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    Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving

    Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving Every year at Thanksgiving time, many people scramble to try and find fresh herbs to use for their Thanksgiving recipes. You find them in the store, in those little plastic clam shells, kind of dry and wilted. The volatile oils have deteriorated, and while they taste better than the dried version, you are not getting the best flavor. Growing fresh herbs is so easy, why not do it yourself this year? I’m going to separate them into growing groups. Certain herbs enjoy like growing conditions, and you will save time and have more successful plants if you either grow them in these groups or by themselves.…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Merry Beltane! Tis the Season to be Merry! Here are some recipes to get your celebration of to a good start. This May Wine Recipe is a bit different than the norm but sounds yummy: May Wine *Woodruff is easy to grow in a shady spot in a garden or in a container. It is good ground cover and a pretty plant. 2 fifths semisweet white wine (such as Sauterne or Rhine) 1 cup woodruff leaves and blossoms, washed and stems removed Early in the day the May wine is to be served, place the woodruff leaves and flowers in a container large enough to hold all the wine, then…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Merry Spring!     I thought for this month it might be nice to use traditional correspondences of Ostara and incorporate them into the entire month.     Here are some correspondences:   Symbolism / Ritual Work: new beginnings, new life, rebirth, fertility, balance, communication, growth, agriculture, planting, love, sex   Decorations / Symbols: Eggs, new moons, butterflies, bees, cocoons, rabbits, baskets, sprouting plants, wildflowers, lambs, robins, chicks   Stones: Aquamarine, amethyst, rose quartz, moonstone, bloodstone, red jasper   Plants: Blessed thistle, crocus, daffodil, jasmine, Irish moss, oak, snowdrop, ginger   Incense / Oils: Lotus, magnolia, ginger, jasmine, rose, sage, lavender, narcissus   Foods: Seasonal foods, seeds, edible flowers, eggs,…

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    The Mugwort Chronicles

    Ostara Blessings!   Herbs to use in your magic at Ostara: lily of the valley, tansy, lavender, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, lovage, lilac, violets, lemon balm, dogwood, honeysuckle, oakmoss, orrisroot, sunflower seeds, rose hips, oak, elder, willow, crocus, daffodil, jonquil, tulip, broom (Scotch or Iris), meadowsweet, acorn, trefoil (purple clover), vervain.   Incense, Herbs and Woods   Violet, honeysuckle, narcissus, and lemon make good incenses for Ostara — the scents should be clear and light, floral and evocative, but not overwhelming or intoxicating. Herbs associated with springs include meadowsweet, cleavers, clover, lemongrass, spearmint and catnip.   If you want to use wood in your spells and rituals, ash has a strong…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Blessed Imbolc! Pathworking for Imbolc includes some of the following: *    Go for a holiday walk.  It can be short or long, whichever you like.  See if you can feel the impending season.  Imagine, as you walk, what activities are occurring under the soil. *    Clean house.  Physically first, then psychically, magically. *    Make a list of things you would like to plant in yourself, and keep the list in a place you will remember.  Add to it between now and Ostara, whenever the mood strikes you. *    Light candles for yourself and your loved ones, saying prayers and sending them light ad color symbolizing that which they most need…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Have a Merry Mabon! Mabon Ideas:   Decorate Altar with acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress cones, ears of corn, wheat stalks and other fruits and nuts. Basket with dried leaves of various colors and kinds. Appropriate Foods include the second harvest’s gleanings: grains, fruit, and vegetables (especially corn). Cornbread is traditional, as are beans and baked squash.   A basket of gourds or small pumpkins, colorful fall leaves, acorns, vines, grapes or blackberries. You’ll also need a pair of orange candles to symbolize the harvest, a cup of cider or wine, and an apple.   Magickal Ideas for your Mabon Sabbat Ritual   Dip leaves in paraffin and use…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Lughnasadh (Lammas) Blessings! The Magick of Lughnasadh   Oh Lady, your breast is the field.  Your breast is your field.Your broad field pours out plants, your broad field pours out grain. Water flows from on high for your servant.  Bread flows from on high for your servant. Pour it out for me.  I will drink all you offer herbal correspondences for Lughnasadh: frankincense sunflower heliotrope poppies wheat juniper Sandalwood Vervain                                                        Lughnasadh Oils/Incense and Potpourri recipes: Lughnasadh Oil 2 drops peppermint oil 3 drops elder oil 1 drop fir oil 1 drop hazelnut oil corn oil as base *** Lugh Oil 1/4 oz. apricot oil 9 drops lime oil 9…

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    Witch’s Cupboard

    Summer Skin-5 Safe Herbs With temperatures heating up and summer on the way, the one thing most people forget to consider is their skin. Whatever outdoor activity you’re into, your skin is constantly being pummeled with harsh UV rays.  Rather than buying pricey, products full of artificial and synthetic chemicals why not go straight to the source and treat your skin right, the natural way? There are five herbs that will do wonders for maintaining your healthy skin this summer. Comfrey An all-around great plant to have in your garden for its use as a potent medicinal herb, comfrey is a self-seeding, high yielding herb that can save your skin…

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    Salves, Balms and Lotions, Oh My!

      Salves, Balms and Lotions, Oh My! Now that our herb gardens are rocking, I thought I’d give you all a tutorial on how to make an herbal salve, a lip balm, and a basic lotion.  herbal Salve To make a basic salve, all you need is an infused oil, beeswax and some essential oil.     Making Salves: The Key Ingredients Infused oils are carrier oils that have been “infused” with one or more herbs. They are      used to make any oil-based apothecary items, such as lip balms, creams, massage oils and salves.   You can use any oil to make a salve, I personally like infused oils of…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Happy Ostara! This Sabbat heralds in Spring and we can shake off that cabin fever everyone’s been suffering from.  This month’s column will focus on early spring herbs. How to Make a Plantain, Violet Salve Plantain: Its gentle astringency makes it wonderful for blisters, insect bites, rashes and hemorrhoids Lavender Leaves: Is a wonderful remedy for breast inflammation, mastitis, cancer and cysts. Step 1: Gather approximately 2 cups violet leaves and flowers and plantain leaves (either the narrow or wide leafed varieties). Step 2: Try to clean off the leaves as much as possible without washing them. If they must be washed, do so, but be sure that the leaves…