leaves

Tea Time Reviews & Conversations with the Fair One

August, 2018

Welcome to our newest review column! I’m the Fair One and I’m pleased to bring you wonderful products from Pagan Owned businesses you may not have heard of, but SHOULD!

I will inform you about the wonderful product I will be reviewing, then next, the business owner and I have a great conversation about their shop, products, ideas, and more. So sit back, have a nice cup of tea with me and let’s open the door to our first shop!

 

Persephone’s herbal learning box

This month, over a nice cup of hot brew I am opening up the from Persephone’s herbal shop. The box itself is lovely, with a great message on the side.

A nice reminder to us all!

Upon opening the box the first thing you see is bags of herbs!!! Three, nice size bags, of that month’s herb, which is Mullien, in two different forms.

You get 2 bags of appox. 0.7 oz of Mullein Leaf and 1 bag of appox. 1.1 oz Mull-ein Comfort which is a mixture of a few herbs with Mullein and is a tea. The back of the packages tells you the ingredients in each bag and gives you any warnings or instructions that are necessary. You, also, receive 2 packets of Mullein seeds with approx. 200 seeds in each. Last, a high gloss magazine of , History, & More all about Mullein.

The packages of herbs are air tight sealed to ensure freshness. The tea, is delicious. Perfect for this column! The magazine quality is amazing. There are articles are awesome. It teaches you how to sow your seeds. The pictures of Mullein are beautiful. It is a great keepsake to have to always remember what the herb does and how to use it.

I was blown away by this product. I could not wait to have a conversation with Christina, co-Shop Owner of Persephone’s with her husband Jared. My Speech is in bold black and Christina’s is in green bold.

Hello Christina!!

It is such a pleasure to meet you. I was very excited to receive your herbal learning box!

The pleasure is mine!  Jared and I were excited to hear that you wanted to learn about our box and share your experience with your followers!  PaganPages.Org is amazing!!

Until now, I haven’t had any sort of formal way to learn herbs other than looking them up in my books or on the internet. You know you research a keyword here or there or look up lists now and then for this or that, but you don’t truly STUDY herbs that way I feel. It’s usually a hurried look up for a spell or ritual. A knowledge that you retain is something that a lot of us Witches are looking for. I have looked into courses, but they can run you a lot of money and they do not come with any supplies. I think you are providing with your herbal learning box, an affordable, amazing way to learn herbal healing & magick. How did you come up with the idea for a herbal learning box?

Jared and I both grew up around natural remedies and have always appreciated traditional healing methods. Though we appreciate and respect the role modern medicine plays in today’s society, we know it isn’t always the best or only solution.  We had wanted to open an herb store here locally in Memphis and be a reliable source for herbs, spices, and teas. But we figured it would be best to start online due to the costs that are endured with a brick and mortar. As we knew that the knowledge we grew up with wouldn’t be enough of credentials into today’s world, we decided to enroll in an herbal school.  We aren’t finished with it, honestly, but we’ve already learned so much more on top of everything else we grew up with and learned through life.  And that’s when we realized that there isn’t much out there that offers exactly as you said – the education with the supplies.  So Jared came to me one day and was like, “What do you think about subscription boxes?!”  And that’s where we started!

Your box is a beautiful mix of the Magickal and the Mundane, with a tale that speaks of a tea for a spell and correspondences and an article of a cure for a breathing ailment. Your Booklet is very complete and I am very impressed by it. It’s made of superior quality. The pictures are a high resolution and beautiful. You capture the herb & its flower in so many amazing lights. It’s breathtaking.

I wish I could say I took them all, but I’m blessed with the internet and paying for the rights to use them.  The magazine is my pride and joy and I have so much fun working with it every month. It’s always stressful because I never want it to be a repeat. I always want it to be something you’re excited to thumb through, and always aim to make it educational for all ages – that’s the #1 goal. Always.  While we strive to keep religion and faith out of the pages as a focus, there are many ways it is brought in – mostly through historical and cultural information. I come from a magickal background, even though Jared doesn’t, and we feel that no matter which side of the hedge you stand on understanding the core values of the flora around us is key to a healthier lifestyle – mundane or magickal.

You have guest writers in your booklet who write the articles and include a bio and picture of them. How do you find your authors? The articles are each unique from each other and informative! Giving you different views on the herb.

We’ve had a few different writers over the 1.5 years we’ve been doing this. To tell you a secret, most have been personal friends that come from a magickal background.  But part of the agreement all writers make is that it must be non-magickal focused.  We love out magickal subscribers and supporters, but we aren’t here to cater to one specific group.  Herbs and their secrets are important to everyone and we don’t want something faith or religious based to scare away people who could benefit from this knowledge.  All of our writers understand this, and usually follow up with something along the lines of “that’s a great way of looking at it and I can appreciate that!”

I have to tell you, the word search is a genius way to have us memorize important key words about the herbs!! I loved that you added that touch of fun activity into the booklet!

The word search came about as an idea to get kids involved actually.  A fun and simple way to learn the key focus points of a word.  And I hope as a momma-to-be that if my child was doing it and they didn’t know a word, they’d ask me and it could be even more of an educational experience – not just about the herb of the month, but also about general knowledge of life. We are toying with ideas of coloring pages or putting together a coloring book… but we’ll see.

This is a Monthly Subscription Box? How do you choose what herb you will focus on each month? Is there a certain way you choose what to put in the boxes each month? This month you include 2 packages of leaves, 2 packages of seeds, and a lovely tea. Do you always include so much?

Hahaha.. That’s a tricky question.  We plan months in advance.  The writers always have a minimum of a month to write.  They are submitting articles for a magazine a month before the box goes out.  Example: We just finished with the magazine that’ll go out in the August box and they’re writing articles now for the September box!  So it can get confusing.  We actually have a secret lair with the void of Facebook where we brainstorm ideas.  Herbs are chosen based on a few things.  #1 is always whether it is poisonous or not.  Because we have the tea, we cannot use something like belladonna or hemlock in a box. I’d love to as our deadly flora friends are so very important to learn about, but we can’t morally, ethically, or legally supply people with these things.  After that we have to make sure that seeds and herbs can be sourced from reliable and ethical vendors at costs that are beneficial for everyone.  While we do strive to give subscribers the best possible, we can’t go into debt doing so.  I can admit there are many months we still go deep into our own pockets simply because we can’t resist giving everyone the best possible.  Our most expensive month was cinnamon and that’s because of the seeds had to be imported in from solid vendors overseas and we had to rush deliver them due to the very short lifespan of the seed.  We try to avoid situations like that, though, because if someone didn’t open their box timely and plant their seeds right then – they lost their germination window.  And that isn’t the experience we’re looking to provide. 

 

We have 4 boxes.  There’s the Seedling Box, the Herb and Spice Box, the Tea Time Box, and the Full Harvest Box.  The Seedling has the magazine and the seed packets every month, whereas the Herb and Spice will have magazine and bags of herbs. Tea Time is the magazine with a bag of tea, leaving the Full Harvest subscribers enjoying the full bounty of all of it.  

You work really hard on your herbal learning boxes and it shows!!! Your shop Persephone’s hosts your boxes, yes? Can you tell us more about your shop and what other items and services you provide?

The subscription boxes are the main focus, but you’re right – not everything we do. Now that our new site is up (and ever so amazingly beautiful thanks to Jared’s handiwork) we have herbs, seeds, and teas coming into the shop also.  Tea blends that are found in the boxes will not be available to the public until after the subscribers have received their boxes first.  We look at it as a way to let subscribers enjoy that first sip of satisfaction for their subscription to the boxes.  We also have our body care line, Kora’s Gift. Kora’s Gift includes lip balms, lotions, soaps, an amazing eye cream, and pretty much anything you can think of! Haha..Jared is always brainstorming more things to work with and provide people with to help bring them back to what nature has to offer instead relying so much on chemicals and ingredients that aren’t safe for you. Kora’s Gift is Jared’s baby – not even going to dispute that.  He’s the math and science brain needed to formulate everything properly.  He will stew over formulas for weeks to ensure that he can always use natural products, get ratios right with each ingredient while ensuring they do what is needed for the end goal.  I can’t do it. As we say, he’s the brain and I make it look pretty, as I do all the label and packaging designs.  Only thing I can’t take credit for design-wise is that beautiful box the subscriptions are shipped in.  I couldn’t top Jared’s design if I tried!  But when he came to me with it, I looked at it like the wheel – can’t reinvent something if it isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed.  We are bringing in eCourses in the very near future, also.  We’ll have courses we put together as well as guest teachers!  We’re excited about this but we’re making sure the foundation of the online system is solid first before we release to the public. I’m giddy over it, though!  

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I really appreciate getting to know you and your shop. I have really enjoyed Persephone’s herbal learning box and Suggest it to anyone and everyone who would like to learn about herbs, not just Witches. It is a fantastic, hands-on way to not only fleetingly learn but to actually memorize and take in great information! Thank you for creating your herbal learning box and sharing it with us!

And we thank you for this opportunity!  We’re so happy to know you enjoyed everything!  We enjoy doing it and it makes all the struggles and headaches endured well worth it knowing everything likes what they receive.  We have so much we want to do and offer because we love herbs and the natural world so much but it’s a baby step process of making sure that whatever we do offer is the best quality for you guys – be it supplies or education.  This is a passion of ours and we just want to keep doing it for as long as you guys want us to! Thank you again for this experience!

 

Wow, I have to thank Christina for this great interview! Now that was a great conversation with an awesome woman, new momma & business owner. Jared is a genius with products & Christina is a business whiz! What they have done is brilliant for us! This has certainly been the best way I have fond to learn about herbs. I am looking forward to their upcoming eCourses and I encourage our readers to look into their shop, upcoming eCourses, as well as the Subscription Boxes. This has been the most knowledgeable and affordable way to learn that I have found. The herb & spice boxes start at $13 a month. While the seedling sachet starts at $12 a month. I stand behind Persephone’s as a quality company.

 

Here is a Picture of everything that was in my box this month (minus the cat):

 

Christina has sent information and correspondences on Mullein for our readers!! Thank you, Christina, for everything!!!!

 

Mullein

Planets: Mercury, Saturn

Element: Fire

Nature: Feminine

Gods, Goddess, & Heroes: Jupiter, Hecate, Circe, Odysseus, St. Fiacre. Given the folklore and alternative names for this plant, I suspect you could probably associated with assorted crone deities and death deities as well.

Festival: Samhain, Midsummer

 

Add the flowers to a recipe for a yellow magical ink – perhaps steeped in vodka with tumeric and saffron heated with frankincense or pine resin. Use for drawing prosperity sigils, sigils of the sun, wealth, success, and strength. Witches can use the soft leaves soaked then dried in beeswax or tallow to make a torch for rituals of necromancy.

Mullein is used to see manifestations of spirits, to see into the otherworld, and to commune with the spirits and deities who dwell there. It is used for divination and dream work or a combination of the two (prophetic dreaming).

If making ritual candles of your own you may use Mullein stalks for the wicks or burn a whole stalk as a candle of itself.

Powdered mullein can be used in spells that call for graveyard dirt. It belongs to the crossroads, to Saturn, and to the underworld. It is Hecate’s torch and Lucifer’s staff. It is a key and a door. Mullein resembles a torch with it’s tip covered in bright yellow flowers with orange and red pollen mimicking flames. Perhaps Hecate’s saffron robe was dyed with rich yellow Mullein flowers instead of actual saffron. The flowers were once used in ancient Roman dyes and pigments.

In Indian lore, mullein is considered a sure safe guard against evil spirits and magic.

The little fuzzy hairs which cover every inch of a mullein plant are very irritating to the skin and mucus membranes. Use care when collecting, and always strain liquids with mullein in them very well to remove the little hairs before ingesting. Never smoke mullein without a filter! (Not that we are advocating smoking anything). Source: http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:mullein

Mullein was first introduced into the United States in the 1700s when it was used to poison fish in Virginia.

Mullein protects you in your sleep helping to combat both evil spirits and nightmares.

As it helps one to fall asleep when ingested, Mullein makes an excellent tea to encourage prophetic dreams and as an aid in lucid dreaming or astral travel while asleep.

Some people keep a packet of Mullein Leaves under the pillow to Prevent Nightmares.

In Great Britain it was used to help bring back children who had been kidnapped by fairies.

Various Native Americans knew a good thing when they saw it and used this Eurasian native that became naturalized in North America to return people to their right mind. For instance, the Hopi mixed the leaves with osnomodium to be used as a smoke by crazy people and those who had been betwitched. The Navajo wrapped the leaves in a corn husk to be smoked to help a mind return if it was lost, and the Potowatami smudged unconcscious people with the leaves to help them return to consciousness. Consider mullein useful in centering the spirit and add it to the pipe smoked as an aid to astral work.

Others wear the leaves in their shoes or Bathe for 5 days in MULLEIN Tea to engender Courage and Drive Away Enemies and Wild Animals.

Mullein Leaf Powder mixed with Graveyard Dirt also appears in a few old recipes for Goofer Dust. When burned with a mixture of Psychic Vision Incense and Commanding Incense and MULLEIN Smoke is said to be powerful in spells against Enemies.

It is mixed with dill, salt, and fennel and sprinkled around haunted areas to repel malicious spirits or ghosts, and it is a substitution for graveyard dirt in the recipes of various spells.

Mullein can be used to bring clarity and inner light, to help a person stand firm and develop inner strength (think of Mullein’s appearance for a moment – strong, upright central stem, almost represents a backbone really, with the flowers at the top as the head.) It can be good for those who struggle with their conscience – perhaps to help them see whether what they did was right or wrong and how to learn from their mistakes if their choice was wrong.

Mullein is a very good plant for those who feel they have lost their sense of ‘self’, to help them figure out where their boundaries are and develop into the people they are supposed to be. I’d be inclined to give it to those who have gone through a traumatic or life changing experience and who need help processing it all and learning from their experiences.

It protects those who carry it against wild animals.

Apparently if you put it into your shoe it will prevent you from catching a cold.

The dried herb guards against nightmares, evil spirits and negative magic and is added to sachets and charms to hang over doors and windows for these purposes.

It is also used in men’s love magic.

Some think that the Latin name ‘Verbascum’ is a corruption of the original word for beard, ‘barba’, alluding to the wooly appearance of the plant.

The plant was certainly known by the Greeks and Romans – Pliny suggested that figs should be wrapped in Mullein leaves to help them keep fresh for longer.

The stems were used as replacement torches by legionaries and were dipped in wax and used as candles at funerals – this usage continued up until the middle ages.

The flowers were used by Roman women to make a blonde hair wash.

Apparently both Circe and Odysseus used the plant – Circe used it as part of her spells, and Odysseus used it to protect himself from her spells, amusingly enough!

In the Middle Ages, Mullein was grown in monastery gardens as a protection from the devil.

Again, conversely, Mullein was used as candles in witches spells, though if the plant was gathered in a particular set of circumstances – the sun in Virgo and moon in Aries – the plant could be used to guard the bearer against sorcery.

Mullein is an ancient sacred plant that can be used in the midsummer celebrations. Flares are made with the flowering spikes that serve as a representation of the Sun god. Mullein protects against all evil, and in particular, against lightening. However, bringing Mullein into the house for no good reason is said to cause lightening to strike.

A great site for more information: https://www.buildingbeautifulsouls.com/symbols-meanings/flower-meanings-symbolism/mullein-meaning-symbolism/#Spiritual

**

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is simply a Witch. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMag.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can email her at jenniferwright at paganpages dot org.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way & trying to make the world a better place with her family.

Gael Song

June, 2018

Tree Magic

I wrote about the druid moons and the trees of the druid year in my third article quite a while ago, but this time, I just want to tell the story of my love affair with trees and how powerful they truly are. As I playfully experimented with reading the energy of life forms around me over twenty years ago, I gradually came to understand that all trees have a very specific energy, each tree family with a definite focus of help or healing. For instance, heart shaped leaves indicate that tree helps heal issues of emotion, the heart. Palmate leaves, like maples, help to heal issues of action. Leaves with a single straight vein up the middle, like Oaks, help the spine. And the parallel, fountain-like veins of Gingko leaves mean it will open up the root flow of the Goddess. My druid inner guides taught me that trees soak up the watery lessons of the Goddess every season, which flow up from the inner earth into the water tables of the planet. Then each tree breathes these out, specific truths, to all passers by. And I realized over many years, too, that the trees in my own back yard had been chosen very carefully by the universe. Sometimes I wondered if I was led to buy or rent certain homes for the trees in the garden! When you step into a forested space, the world becomes instantly peaceful, calming to the soul, and so very beautiful. And I always feel sheltered from the storms of life during my time there, as if trees hold the peace of heaven in their embrace.

But more than anything else, trees have been my solace along the difficult phases of my spiritual path. When I was in the midst of scary financial times (paying for my three daughter’s college educations over ten years) twenty years ago, a big old oak grew up against the balcony of my second story bedroom. And on evenings after particularly challenging days then, I’d sit beside the trunk of that strongest of trees and feel the love of Oghama (the name I use for the high God) flood down around me, His great warmth giving me support, plumping me up from the inside and instantly calming my anxieties. There was a circle of aspens in the woods nearby then, too, and because they are the tree that helps us get beyond our final hurdles into some new expansion of spirit, I’d sometimes go and stand within their circle. And always, I felt a grove of aspen elders awaken within those trunks, enfold me as their leaves sang so joyfully in the wind, and remove whole sheaths of darkness from my being. As magical as can be! But my favorite tree during those years was a young birch I discovered in the meadow on my woodsy wandering one day. It called to me, and I felt a surge of love surround me as I moved through scratchy underbrush to get close to it. This was just after the last of my daughters left home, and I’d closed my therapy practice to begin writing books, instead. But I was often lonely, getting used to solitude, and missed my family. And this little birch became such a friend to me! I went out to see it and share a hug nearly every day, and our spirits grew closer than close over the passing moons. One afternoon towards the end of my time in that home, I heard that birch spirit say quite clearly into my mind that in the spirit world, love is for always, that he would be my friend forever, that he’d send me love even after I moved away (a thousand-mile move!). And this touched me so very deeply, that sweet offering in the midst of my sorrows. I think of him still and send blessings on the wind, even now, fourteen years later. In the tiny cottage I live in now, I have a Rose of Sharon tree, the only one small enough to fit in my little yard. Rose of Sharon is the tree of the virgin goddess, Sìth, and she is regent of peace on earth. And it has been quite peaceful here beside the sea during the four years I’ve lived in this spot. There is whole language of trees most of us are completely unaware of! Take a moment then, will you? As you’re walking, feel the trees you pass by, notice the one that is calling you to come closer, and DO that. Open your heart. LISTEN. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

I feel our tree friends waiting, always, in silent patience to be acknowledged, to connect with us, to speak into our minds and give wisdom or solace, especially during our tough times, to be our once and forever friends again. There is a longing in nature to hold us, guide us, and lead us all Home. Trees are living spirits whose consciousness is simple but profound, connected to angels, gods, goddesses, and guides in the Otherworld in every moment. They are FULL of gentle love, ancient wisdom, knowings that can assist and guide us all. Take their hands along the leaf strewn pathway of your life and let them befriend you.

But perhaps the most startling and life-changing tree moment of my life was when I first began to meditate about twenty-three years ago. I was working as a therapist then, in a marriage that was disappointing in the extreme, raising three girls largely by myself, and taking care of a big old house ever in need of repair. It took great effort to simply find ten minutes a day for my own thoughts! One extra busy morning, I was troubled by something or other and I decided to go outside for a bit of peace and quiet. And I sat under a large white pine beside that house and bent my head beneath it. And in one moment, I felt those branches above me turn into green feathers, the needles softening and wafting gently in the breeze. I could feel them brush my shoulders and greatly ease the burdens of the coming day. They are angels, I thought that morning in great surprise! Trees are angels in disguise! But it was the primordial LOVE that reached into my being in that soft moment which truly changed me, my sudden awareness of the immense and tender power of nature to nurture, hold, and guide, which shifted the very bedrock of my being. The white pine outside my bedroom window in that home was utterly ADORED from then on in return! And the tree sylphs I’d once recognized in childhood, and sadly forgotten in my growing years, opened instantly into my heart and mind again, the whole magical world of spirit ready to embrace me wherever I might need a bit of cheer. I bend the knee of my heart to the tree kingdom, always, a heart full of gratitude and the commitment to care for them tenderly wherever I find them.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

 

Spiralled Edges

November, 2016

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t enjoyed the autumn season. Cool days, the crunch of dried leaves underfoot. Even living in a city, I can see and hear the signs of a changing season around me.

spiral

 

I think it very fortunate that the part of SE London where I live has many green spaces, as they are called. These aren’t just the obligatory park either. Nearly every street has hardy trees planted along it. Grassy patches and flower beds abound. And just like their counterparts in the countryside, they change and grow and shed their leaves when the nights grow longer and the days grow cooler.

I am sat, at this moment, in a busy corner coffee/tea shop. On the road outside the window, I can see cars and buses continually driving by as well as people walking along the pavement. But I can also see a weeping willow waving its branches and a roundabout with grass growing over the whole of it with the trunk of a large tree growing in the middle.

When I am at home, I have only to look out my 2nd storey (well, 3rd storey if we were in America) window and I can see a wall of bushes and trees lining the pavement across the road. During the day I can see birds within the branches, and in the evening I occasionally catch a glimpse of the urban fox that has made a home deep within the protective covering provided.

These are my little patches of Mother Nature that I cherish. Occasionally though, I discover a hidden gem.

One recent discovery was hidden in plain sight. I’ve lived in this area for nearly 20 years, and I only just discovered its wonders a few weeks ago. Who would have thought there could be a large nature reserve located alongside a stretch of one of the busier roads in SE London!

Deep in the centre of this 400 acre nature preserve you can find a working farm, complete with horses, and the skeletal remains of a 13th century moated manor house. The manor and the land around it are now protected by law.

Once upon a time, the oak trees were pollarded https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollarding ) to promote growth in order to harvest the wood for building purposes. Some of those ancient oak trees remain and are over 400 years old.

In autumn time, as I walk along the hard-packed earthen trails, I am reminded once more of why it is that I love autumn. As well as ancient oaks, the preserve has hundreds of sweet chestnut trees. Their spiny pods with the sweet nut inside are now littering the ground. Most have been deftly opened and the inner nut removed by a resourceful squirrel. I have seen foxes, squirrels, birds and have heard rumour that there may even be deer living here. And, while I have not seen them, I have heard the noisy calls of parakeets flying overhead. These large green birds have been establishing a presence in this part of SE London over the past half century and now there are several decent sized colonies.

I am not alone as I walk along these nature trails either. The local residents use the trails daily in their walking commutes; there are joggers and dog walkers. Each of us surrounded by these ancient woods situated on the edge of Greater London.

Here I can see Mama Nature’s signs of autumn, and the promise of rebirth after winter’s chill.

ThriftCrafting: Witching on a Budget

April, 2016

Green Man mask

Greenmanmask1

Merry meet.

Beltane celebrates life at the peak of spring. The earth is bursting with potential, passion, vitality, joy and fertility. Its when Flora, the May Queen falls in love with the young Oak King, also known as Jack-In-The-Green and the Green Man, and they consummate their union.

Greenmanmask2

During celebrations, you often see men wearing a mask of green leaves. They can be made of dyed leather, papier mache and clay. Elaborate ones can cost more than $200. To prepare for your ritual, consider making one for $4 from the dollar store – or for free if you have the materials on hand.

greenmanmask3

I started with a blank mask I picked up at a tag sale last summer for 25¢, but you can sometimes find them on sale at craft stores. I picked out three kinds of flowers each with different leaf shapes and some ivy at the dollar store. The ivy turned out to be too big, and was never used.

Remove the leaves and the plastic piece that shapes them around the stem. Cut most of them apart, but leave some together.

I used a glue gun to attach them, overlapping randomly chosen leaves until the entire mask was covered.

Thats all there is to it. It took less than half an hour, making it fast and easy as well as thrifty.

Greenmanmask4

 

 

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

May, 2014

Crowns

Crown1

Merry Meet.

This month I hope to inspire you to crown yourself with flowers. It’s a wonderful way to bring out the Goddess within. Flowers are also a sign of fertility, quite in keeping with Beltane, making this a perfect time to start.

In most areas, plants are just beginning to bloom. As I write this in central Connecticut towards the end of April, forsythia is just about to peak while daffodils are waning. Grape hyacinth and early tulips are just starting to bloom, and crab apple and a few other bushes and trees are just starting to bud, so it won’t be long. We have vetch and Hebit everywhere. Pansies are flurishing and violets, toothwort and marsh marigolds won’t be far behind. With some luck, perhaps even wild phlox and wild red columbine will bloom.

I don’t have access to many of these, which is why I am not afraid to ask permission to pick, and why I buy them. (I have a friend who happily lets me cut all the lilacs I want because her son is allergic to them. Considering when I go, I fill up the car, it’s worth the roundtrip drive of an hour.)

I suggest harvesting what you have growing locally – including flowers, grasses, weeds and branches – without it being detrimental to the Mother, and supplementing as necessary. I have a “thing” about artificial flowers making for an artificial experience, but if that’s not you, by all means, take advantage of the selection at craft stores. Pick with stems as long as possible.

If not using immediately, keep in vases in a cool place.

There are several ways to fashion a head wreath.

Starting with a frame is helpful, but not required.

A circle of craft wire works, as does a pliable stem (real or artificial) that you form into a loop and secure. Two pipe cleaners can be used to form a circle, and then additional pipe cleaners wrapped around them to strengthen it before decorating. Check to be sure it fits the wearer’s head before proceeding.

Gather several flower stems together and place them on the wire, blooms facing up and out. Wind the stems around the frame and secure with twist ties, pipe cleaners or florist tape. Take the next several flowers and put them slightly behind the first set, overlapping stems, wrapping them and securing in the same fashion. When stems are not easily bent, try wrapping a pipe cleaner, wire or florist tape around a few at a time, and then securing the small bouquet to the frame. Ivy and long grasses can cascade from the wreath. Continue until the frame is covered. Adding ribbons to the back is a nice touch.

Much like French braiding hair, I have also braided stems in such a way that every time you cross over a stem to braid, you add another flower. Tutorials can be found online.

Crown2

Several years ago, I wove a wreath from grapevines and have been using it since, weaving flowers into the spaces of the wreath.

If working with artificial flowers, it’s fairly easy to bend the stems around the base, twisting a few together first if they are small.

Flowers – real or not – can also be secured to a plastic headband.

There is no need to over think the project. Any way you can fashion flowers into a circle that can sit on your head will work. The key thing to remember is that the flowers are beautiful, so there’s no way your crown can be anything but beautiful.

If you like your first one, consider making one for each of the coming sabbats, using seasonal blooms and colors.

Note that the two pictured both happen to be from Lughnasadh and are woven without a base and without a frame.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.