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Hedge Witch, Vedge Witch

January 1st, 2019

Naked
Nutrition

More
and more folks are embracing a plant-based lifestyle, many of whom
are pagans as being plant-based fits in with “do no harm”.
Plant based is best for our animal companions and it is best for us.
This new occasional column will review offerings within the
vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

First up, is “Naked Nutrition“, who recently reached out to PaganPagesOrg. After a few back and forth emails, I was sent a couple of samples.

The
first, and largest, is NAKED CHOC PB. I received a 5 lb. tub. I’m
grateful that I make smoothies so often! This is really tasty vegan
protein powder. I tend to buy vanilla protein powders, so this was
quite a change for me. It was thick and creamy enough without my
adding anything to it, but, to change it up, I added a banana and a
tablespoon of peanut butter. Yummy!!

NAKED
CHOC PB is made from slow-roasted peanuts grown on US farms and
organic cacao. That’s it – two ingredients. It’s dairy free
(vegan), soy free and gluten free. There are no GMO’s, no salt, no
sugar and nothing artificial.

I
also received two vegan protein powder samplers, one of which I gave
to my daughter for another opinion. The sampler included: Contains
Naked Pea, Chocolate Less Naked Pea, Vanilla Less Naked Pea, and
Naked Rice in single serving pouches.

Naked
Pea is made exclusively from raw yellow peas grown in the USA and
Canada. It is vegan, gluten free, and soy free. Chocolate Pea is the
Naked Pea, but
with raw organic chocolate powder and organic coconut sugar. Naked
Pea is the same but with vanilla.
Naked Rice is made from organic sprouted whole grain brown rice.
Once again, it is gluten free, soy free and vegan.

To
those thinking this is a company that only makes vegan protein
powders, be aware that they have many kinds available that are not
plant-based; some for gaining weight, some made with whey and casein,
and some made for those looking to gain weight, add creatine, amino
acids, or collagen; they even have several made with goat milk, egg
whites and sweet potatoes. Two that I have found are pre-workout
supplements.

Their website has quite a few recipes for using the protein powders, some for smoothies and a few for protein bites and bars. There is also an abundance of articles on their blog for weight gain/loss, muscle building and fitness tips, among others. All of the reviews listed on their website are quite good.

Each
of the protein powders comes in a 5 pound tub at the cost of

$54.99.
You can also subscribe monthly and the price becomes a bit less.

So,
if you like smoothies and use a protein powder, I suggest you give
this one a try. I think you will like it.

You can find Naked Nutrition at: https://nkdnutrition.com/

***

About
the Author:

Susan
Morgaine
 is
a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher,
Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist
with PaganPages.org Her
writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever
Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed
and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises,
Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also
been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She
is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She
is the author of “My
Name is Isis
”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………”
children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A
Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long
been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes
and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She
is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation,
being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research
Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the
Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found
at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and
her email is [email protected]

My Name is Isis on Amazon

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 Recipes, 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.

Alchemy & Ashes

 

 

Parlour of Magical Curiosities

Inspired By History, Myth, and Magic

 

 


Alchemy & Ashes provide a variety of excellently handcrafted, by them, elixirs, incense, perfumes, soaps, conjure powders, and more. They supply an assortment of kits and boxes ranging from their $30 Sanctus Box, which includes a Protection Oil & Florida Water for Ritual, Purification & Aura spray for purification energy clearing, to; a PART the VEIL Conjure Kit- Witch Box that helps with intuition, divination & so much more starting at only $20. I’m only naming two, to see more of their kits & boxes, you can visit them at Alchemy & Ashes. You will not be disappointed. Their boxes are not recurring monthly subscriptions. They are one time purchases, as you go kits & boxes. So there is no need to worry about having to cancel your monthly subscriptions.

As I close the envelope addressed to me a waft of the sweetest herbal smells fills my nostrils bringing the promise of witchiness to come and my excitement surges. I received a mysterious box from Alchemy & Ashes all in black and smelling like a Witch’s Heavenly Cupboard. It immediately piqued my curiosity.

 

 

I had to tear right in I could not hold back. When I opened the box everything was beautifully wrapped like Gothic Presents. I was in a Gothic Dream come true!!!! Now let’s see what’s inside these little packages…. Rip, rip, rip…..

 

 

Pamphlet

 

Very nicely made. One page, folded. The art of their Logo and everything goes very well with a gothicy/witch theme. The Pamphlet lists all Alchemy & Ashes contact information and it mentions that they have a free app. I checked out the app and it is very helpful.

The pamphlet teaches you a few ways to use Conjure Powders. Reading this is how I learned the theme of the box. Everything is wrapped up so elegantly you could not tell what was in the box. Just smell beauty. The pamphlet goes on to tell you about 6 herbal blends of Conjure Powders, their titles, and info on them. At this point I was not sure what it all meant, but it looked promising. So I decided to get into more!

 

Conjure Powders

 

What I mistakenly thought would be a very large candle due to it’s sheer size and shape (most witch boxes give you candles what can I say!) when I opened the box turned out to be quite a surprise…6 tins of Conjure Powders. As you can see in the picture the tins are full. I kept spilling them in fact when I opened each of them. Then I would have to do a blessing, invite a spirit, or banish something. LOL. It was quite funny to watch. My familiar went nuts. I was expecting a smaller sample size of the conjure powders for a box. I was extremely pleased. The 6 Conjure Powders are as follows:

  • Elicio (Conjure) – a mixture to conjure spirits & energies beneficial to your workings.
  • Exilium (Banish) – a concoction to banish spirits & energies that are detrimental to your workings.
  • Praescientia (Intuition) – a blend to aid with intuitive abilities & divinatory gifts.
  • Amor (Love) – a mix to attract love.
  • Praesidium (Protection) – a combination to create a boundary of protection from unwanted spirits or energies.
  • Fortuna (Prosperity) – A mixture to attract spirits & energies of prosperity and abundance to you.

Almost all of the Conjure Powders from Alchemy & Ashes in the box are made from a blend of at least 7 herbs. Most of them were made from 13! The smells are vibrant. The pamphlet lists the ingredients in each powder as well as what it is used for & a definition for it’s meaning. Plus, as I mentioned before, they teach you a variety of ways to use Conjure Powders. None are difficult.

So excited by these 6 great sized tins that I almost forgot the box contains more! On we go….

 

A Modern Witch’s Flying Ointment

 

Unguentum Sabatti is the hand that parts the Veil.” That is how Alchemy & Ashes begin to explain what Witch’s flying ointment is. Flying ointment is a mixture of herbs & essential oils mixed in coconut oil and beeswax that help relax, soothe, and help bring you to another level of consciousness & help aid in meditations , divination, lucid dreaming, rituals, astral traveling, etc… When applied to certain areas of the EXTERNAL BODY before beginning.

You get a full 1oz supply in a nice tin. Solid, not too greasy and slimy like others I have tested in the past where you put your finger in the ointment and it just goes right to the bottom. This is substantial and will last a long time. The smell is amazing and you can actually pick out some of the herbs from simply taking a sniff. The back of the tin does, however, list the ingredients.

 

Sanctus Aqueum


This is Alchemy & Ashes own version of Florida Water. Florida Water is used for blessings, consecrating, cleansing, & purification when you can not smudge.

They create each batch on the New Moon & let it charge until the Full Moon. It is, also, infused with a Quartz Crystal to amplify it’s energy. It comes in a glass spray bottle.

When you spritz the air, you automatically smell more than just water in the air. I have used these sprays before, sometimes called ‘smudge sprays’ or ‘aura sprays’. I like them. They are quick ways to cleanse the area and yourself & they do work and calm you. You can feel them lessen tension in the air quickly. This one, however, has the most brilliant smell so far! The bottle may seem small but you don’t need to use much. Alchemy & Ashes recipe is strong. I am finding all I need is 1 maaaaybe 2 pumps. So shake, pump once, Deeeep breath, hold 1, 2, 3, Release, Ahhhhhh! I’m in a garden….a field….I’m goneeeeee….

 

Sanctus Oleum


In this 10 ml glass roller bottle is a witch’s protection oil. It can be used to consecrate items, make protective sigils on doorways & windows, as well as used to anoint yourself during ritual work.

Alchemy & Ashes creates each batch on the New Moon and leaves it to charge until the full moon. It is, also, infused with a piece of black tourmaline for it’s protective energy.

I have never heard of something like this before. It is definitely welcomed new knowledge and a welcomed new tool for my personal witch box. The smell to this oil is heavier than the smudge spray. Thicker somehow, if smells can be thicker. If feels thicker, too. I guess you would want protection to be heavier, your own fortress or armor.

 

Soaps (Free Samples)

Yes, I know you want to eat the picture, bu you can’t, they ARE delicious don’t get me wrong, but they are soaps! The deep brown, marbled soap on the bottom is named ‘Aquitaine’. A mix of lavender, patchouli, & bergamot it reminds me of a cleaner purer version of Bath & Body Works all “natural” line. I may have to change where I purchase my soap from now! The lighter brown, marbled soap on top is named ‘Sweet Alchemy’. It is a blend of almond, cocoa, honey, & oats and I think I may taste this one, it really does smell that good! The third, solid brown bar is named ‘Nimue’ and smells like clean sheets outside drying on a clothesline on a spring day to me. It’s made of lavender, lemon, & Clary sage.

They feel wonderful on the skin. So clean and fresh. They leave you skin soft and smelling as beautiful as the bars.

 

My Overall Opinion…


I have to admit the Witch in me loves the all black theme. Now they did send me a box of many different types of samples to review. I do not think they sell this exact box. But have boxes that sell these items. I can honestly say, though, that Alchemy & Ashes do not hold back and give small sample sizes in their boxes, because they gave me what they put in their boxes. They give you your monies worth. You can smell the quality. Feel it. The Conjure Powders tins are full to bursting, pungent, smell fresh. They explain all in their pamphlet, I love that. They don’t leave you in the dark wondering what to do. The Florida water WORKS. I have yet to try the flying ointment, but the quality is there, and I am waiting to use the Sanctus Oleum for Samhain on my front door. Their sample soaps quality is so amazing you will need more. I can, without a doubt, say this box is WORTH THE WITCH!!!

 

We were blessed to be able to have a little chat with the wonderful Owner & Madame of Alchemy & Ashes Shawnee Kircher!

 

Jennifer Wright: What brought the idea of the mystery box to you?

Shawnee Kircher: We loved the idea of other subscription boxes, and we also liked the idea of getting our products out there to people who may have never used them, or can’t decide which products to start with, so it was a win-win for them and us!

 

JW: How did you begin them?

SK: We realized there was a market for handcrafted ritual products, and felt that our products are a bit different from what we had been seeing. We were tired of seeing the commercially, mass marketed items in a lot of the boxes that lack the spiritual energy that a handcrafted product carries with it. That’s hard to recreate in a factory.

 

JW: How do you choose what you put inside them?

SK: We try to consider the season or sabbat coming up as to what people may be needing at the moment, but also like to have some staple products in there that anyone can use regardless of path or preference.

 

JW: Is yours a recurring monthly box?

SK: We’re aiming for seasonal at the moment. If interest grows, perhaps we will shift to monthly.

 

JW: Are you pagan?

SK: Yes. I use the term Pagan in the sense of a) outside the confines of the Abrahamic religions and b) nature based spiritual path follower. I also use the term Witch, as I am a practitioner of the Craft. I think those two terms can be used separately from each other, as not all Witches are Pagan, and not all Pagans are Witches, but in my practice they go hand in hand. I don’t ascribe to any religious doctrine, though I did find my way to Paganism through Wicca, as it was the most accessible at the time for me, about 20 years ago, and while I’m not an initiate of Wicca nor do I follow any of it’s “rules” (like The Rede), I do think it influenced some of my practice.

 

JW: What types of interests do you have?

SK: I love the dichotomy of beautiful and creepy when they present themselves as one – like in the “modern” vampire stories: Louis in Interview with a Vampire, or the suave and debonair Bela Lugosi – this beautiful creature that is deadly, so that you’re attracted and repulsed at the same time. That touch of “otherness” is very interesting to me in art and life.

 

JW: Did you feel the pagan world was missing something to make you create your Box?

SK: I think Pagans are pretty crafty folks, so I didn’t reinvent the wheel, but I did put my spin and perspective on my ritual products that are included in the boxes. Sanctus Aqueum (“Holy Water”) was based off of a 19th century recipe for Florida Water. I tweaked the traditional ingredients and added my own touch, and its been a great selling product. Sanctus Oleum (“Holy Oil”) is similar in use to Holy Chrism used in the Church, but with herbs associated with protection in various folk magic traditions. Unguentum Sabatti (“Sabbat Ointment”) was formulated with herbs associated with astral projection, necromancy, and visions to enhance your own intuitive abilities in a more gentle manner than many of the traditional flying ointments.

 

JW: Do you have a site and sell other types of products?

SK: You can find many of our handmade items to purchase on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/alchemyashes). Besides our ritual items mentioned above, we also make handcrafted cold process soaps, perfumes (both oil based and alcohol based), lip balms, herbal powdered incense, and amulets.

We don’t currently do direct sales through our website (alchemyandashes.com)

However, you can always email us your order at [email protected] and we can invoice you and you can pay online.

We’d like to thank Shawnee Kircher for taking the time from her busy schedule to speak with us at PaganPagesOrg and everyone at Alchemy & Ashes for everything! We hope our readers get to meet everyone at Alchemy & Ashes soon!

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About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Frisky Fish

 

 

This month we are featuring a wonderful Mini Ritual Subscription Box https://frisky-fish.cratejoy.com/subscribe/ from Frisky Fish. Each month they feature 3 or more vegan and eco-friendly products in their Mini Ritual Subscription Box to help assist you in creating a sacred space.

 

 

Every month their box features unique art inspired packaging that helps support local artists and designers, as well.

 

 

The theme for this sacred space creating Mini Ritual Subscription Box is Solstice/Renewal. The contents are as simply elegant as the casing that houses them. The colors are soothing, playing toward the peaceful/renewal vibe.

With your Mini Ritual Box comes a glass roller of an essential oil blend called ‘Fresh’. This is a mixture of Lemon & Lavender essential oils blended with a touch of coconut oil. I don’t know if it is the way this oil is blended with coconut oil or the way they do with their recipe, but this oil goes on the skin and mixes in so smoothly. The smell is absolutely divine and smells like a Fresh Soothing Garden.

Next, you will find a bottle of Himalayan Pink Salt. The bottle simply reads what they are and directions which state: Add to warm bath. Stir to dissolve. Pink Himalayan Salt is one of the purest salts available. It is mined from deep in the Himalayan Mountains. The salt crystallized more than 200 million years ago and remains protected from modern-day pollution and impurities. It is good for cleansing, healing, peace, and clearing so I can see why Frisky Fish suggests it for your Ritual Bath.

Also, included is a nice size stick of Palo Santo. When burned Palo Santo acts as a smudging agent to cleanse the area or person. It keeps energies grounded and clear. Its scent provides upliftment that raises your vibration in preparation for meditation. Palo Santo is traditionally used for relieving common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and more.

You get a delicious Tea Bag from Naturate Tea with a light flavor of berries and rosehips to warm up and enjoy while you sit back and relax.

Last, but not least, a simple, yet elegant, Citrine Choker Necklace to wear. Citrine works best when it is in contact with your skin. It is said that Citrine never needs to be cleansed because it can not be affected by negative energy. It dispels negative thoughts and feelings and brings a joyful atmosphere.

I am seeing a theme to this Mini Ritual Box. A Calming Self Soothing, Self Love, Cleansing Vibe. I love it. The Ritual to perform with this all inclusive tiny box is to cleanse, purify, and love yourself.

The prices for Frisky Fish’s Box’s vary, but start at $39.95 for the Ritual Kit + Oils. The oils alone are worth the price. I have not felt an oil blend like theirs. It’s worth the investment.

Where to Find Frisky Fish

Main Shop: https://friskyfish.myshopify.com/

Cratejoy: https://frisky-fish.cratejoy.com/subscribe/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/friskyfish

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/friskyfishla/

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Review of HokumWares

 

 

This past Samhain I went on a day outing with my Family Coven to an annual Witches Market in Philly called “Witches Night Out.” We had an excellent time, however we did not get much. We found a lot of the prices to be exorbitant. Also, most of the items were not necessary for us. Jewelry made from bones (human & animal), regular jewelry out of our price range, patches, clothing, candles & some kits of sorts with funny names. However, there was one booth that really caught our attention and kept it.

It was a nice sized table, whose smell lifted you by the nose and floated you over. It was filled with colorful soaps, unusual lotions mixtures, bath bombs that look like potions, beautiful handcrafted crocheted altar cloths and more. We found ourselves in front of the lovely face of Anna Maria, the owner of the amazing shop HokumWares.

Anna Maria’s infectious smile and wonderful products immediately brightens your day as you are being tossed around like a sack in the jumble of crowd. Anna Maria is funny and cheery and just great to talk to. She takes the time to explain to you what is in her products, why she makes her own products, why she chooses her ingredients and doesn’t rush you along, even though there is a throng of people surrounding us.

Right away we were drawn to the lotions. There were three scents, each unique. I chose to purchase the scent Pikake Flower & Gardenia. I love the smell of Gardenia, but this smells more than just gardenia, well obviously it smells like Pikake, too. I had no idea what a Pikake Flower was until I looked it up. It is the flower used in Hawaii to make leis! It has a wonderful fragrance. Both pikake and gardenia compliment each other well.

I purchased an 8oz pump plastic bottle for only $10. I found that to be a very fair price for handcrafted lotion. The bottle is completely filled. Professional labeling. Ingredients written on label.

Now what I love about this lotion (besides the scent)…

Let me start with the bottle it comes in. The pump twists open and shut. LOVE this idea! I have not seen this before. This means I can carry it in my bag with me at all times and not have to buy something to put it in and spend more money. You just simply turn the top left and right and it locks. I amaze easily!!!

The lotion is not thin or runny. It is not watery, or oily. If you turn over the bottle you do not see it running or moving down the sides. It is a thick lotion without being a unblendable paste.  It blends right into your skin easily without leaving that excess lotion you have no clue what to do with because it is too thick or watery.

After you put it on your hands they feel totally moisturized, not greasy. You can pick up objects without dropping them. Without leaving a mess on them. Yet your hands feel like they are moister.

I am diabetic so I have VERY dry hands. My hands can be known to drink In lotion and then feel like I have not put any on. Sometimes I can put on lotion and 2 minutes later it’s like I didn’t put any on. With HokumWares lotion I use a normal amount, a squirt, rub it into my hands and they stay lotioned for over an hour. I stopped timing it after an hour. It got rid of my chapped skin on my hands for that long, too.

I’m touchy when it comes to lotions. I don’t like to feel greasy. This lotion was very comfortable to me. Next, I want to try it on my face. Usually lotions make me break out on my face. I don’t think this one will. I think it will get rid of the flaking I have been getting in my T Zone.  Update:  I have used it on my face and no pimples or break out!!!

I almost forgot to mention, I also have psoriasis and eczema. The lotion does not make them flare at all. I get psoriasis flares on my elbows that burn because they chafe now that it is colder outside. The lotion soothed those without causing the burn some lotions cause due to over scent or whatever is in them.

For purchasing the lotion I was given a free sample of HokumWares Cold Process Soap. The samples name was Herkimer Diamond Soap. You want to smell something refreshing and clean??? Get a wiff of this bar!! Lathers nicely. Cleans well. Leaves you smelling wonderful.  I love the impression of the logo in the bar. 

As a free gift for going to the Witches Market, the first 50 to arrive received a Goody Bag with products from some of the vendors. HokumWares was one of the vendors who contributed to the Goody Bag by giving those a free Lip Balm. We are lip balm nuts, and found that we wished that it kept our lips moist a bit longer. If you are the type of person who doesn’t lick your lips or rub them together too much, you should be fine.

We had a chance to speak with Anna Maria about herself and her products.

Jennifer Wright (JW): Hello Anna Maria! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions and letting us & our readers get to know you!

Is it true you try not to rely on store bought items?

Anna Maria (AM): I will use some store-bought items within reason, but I lean heavily towards products that are cruelty-free.  If I cannot find something that I enjoy, or something that I’ve enjoyed heavily, I try to replicate the positive points of the products while still making it my own recipe.

JW: You even make your own cat food?

AM: I do! Although they do also eat a high quality canned food, they enjoy all kinds of meat I can source.  They love chicken wings!

JW: Is this is why you started making your own line of soaps and lotions and so on?

AM: I have always been fascinated by soap makers for years.  My past lab director at an old job would pay me in soap for small side jobs I would do for her and they were lovely.  Soap is the perfect marriage of two things I am fond of: science and alchemy intermingled with art and design with a sprinkling of my own unorthodox offerings.

JW: How long has HokumWares been open?

AM: HokumWares has only been open to the public for about 1.5 years, although I have been making soap for about 5 years.  I wanted all my recipes to be exactly what I wanted out of them before releasing to the public.  Many, many loaves of soap have been made before they were ever for sale to hone technique and understand oil qualities and product safety.

JW: What all do you create?

AM: I have branched out from soap to offer other bath and beauty products including bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balm, sugar scrubs, whipped body butter, and more recently hand and body lotion and hair oils.

JW: You use all natural products?

AM: I try to keep my ingredients as “clean” as possible.  Since the term is not regulated, everyone’s interpretation of natural is unique.  So for me, that means using essential oils and natural colorants or none at all for products.  By that definition, some of my products are natural and some are not.  I do use Phthalate and Paraben free fragrance oils in the bulk of my products and some may consider those natural.  It’s all up for interpretation.

JW: How do you come up with your ideas?

AM: Some ideas are cultivated, meaning I need to put a little thought into product specifics.  For example, my hand and body lotion was a necessity for me to create, but I chose my 3 initial scents off of what my offerings “should” be: a healthy mix of floral, fruit, and spice.  Other ideas come to me organically and I basically have free range to do whatever I want while incorporating the things I love and feelings I want to impart onto a product.  A huge example of that would be my Felinas bars of soap: a marriage of soap and hand-cast cat bones I’ve collected.  A conscious joining of scientific alchemy and a somber yet beautiful memorial to a life that I will not let be remembered in tragedy. 

JW: I bought your Pikake Flower and Gardenia Lotion. I fell in love with the unique smell and blend. I love Gardenia. You make two other kinds of lotions that are just as unique, what are those scents?

AM: They are Black Pepper & Oud and Grapefruit & Bamboo.  The black pepper fragrance is a spicy smoked scent that pleases my dark while the grapefruit is a very cleansing, uplifting scent.  I wanted a small yet wide-spanning range of scent for my first run that would appeal to myself as well as potential customers.  I will be carefully expanding this range as time goes on, but I feel that these are a great start to a pleasing product.

JW: I agree. I have smelled your other lotions at the market, and was totally surprised, especially by the black pepper fragrance. It was beautiful. It was hard to decide which to buy. I think I have more shopping to do!

Do you do a lot of testing? Do you ever find things that are just a no go?

AM: Everything that I make is meticulously tested and retested; HokumWares has been in the making for quite some time and only when I found I had a great product to share did I start offering it to the world.  I do it for safety reasons as well as just being a somewhat perfectionist at heart.  I do have products that I’m currently working on that are still in developmental stages; an example would be my tattoo balm.  It’s been in the making for about 8 months and although I have tested the prototype on myself and 1 other person’s fresh tattoos and have had wonderful results, the consistency is not where I want it to be.  Back to the formulation rework on that, as well as lining up tattoo appointments to test a new prototype!

JW: What is your favorite product that you sell? Is it your hair serum? Is that the secret to why your hair is so gorgeous???

AM: Thank you for the compliment! They all have their places in my heart, but I would have to say the hair oil has had me smitten for the past year.  A close second would be any of my cold-process soap; I am a sucker for the tried and true.

JW: Do you magickally charge the items you make?

AM: I try to plan productions of certain things on specific dates as well as going into it with a clear, open, happy heart.  I hope my customers can feel that love come through.

JW: I feel it!

Where can our readers find you?

AM:

Website: www.hokumwares.com

Instagram: @_hokumwares

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecleansingoracle

Business inquiries: [email protected]

Thank you, Anna Maria, for the wonderful conversation! It’s been such a pleasure talking with you. I highly recommend our readers check our all of your wares.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

 

Book Review

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession

by Mya Spalter

 

 

Inspired by a New York Occult shop of the same name, Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the shop, its wares and the accompanying advice and conversation that might be had when looking to craft a beautiful and meaningful altar space, or create sacred space.

The author, Mya Spalter, uses a very warm approach, telling how she came to work at Enchantments store and then taking you on a journey through the highlights of her learning and experiences in working in a busy occult venue. Even the way in which the book has been arranged feels like a coffee break exchange of information of “what works, and what doesn’t?”, “how’d you do that?” and “can you teach me about that?”, that you would expect from most witchy stores and those who work there.

Part One is aptly entitled Witchy Implements and includes chapters dedicated to altars, correspondences, such as colors, plants, herbs and some of the disciplines that would be included in witchy practice such as astrology, the wheel of the year and more.

Part Two reinforces the necessity for Magical Intention(s) and begins the work of spell crafting, protection and divination, and concludes with a more in-depth approach to astrological uses and the cosmic connection found within what has traditionally been deemed an earth/nature-based practice.

The book is nicely illustrated with interspersed black and white drawings that are whimsical and informative. And, using a style near and dear to my heart, each chapter concludes with “Suggested Reading” and a list of well-respected titles relevant to that chapter’s offerings. I could go on in pointing out sections here and there, but, quite honestly, this is a book to be experienced first hand.

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is the next best thing to having a good friend who will walk you through the magic, point out the highlights anh solid and usable information, this is the one for you!

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession on Amazon

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

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