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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Ginger The spice we call ginger is the root of Zingiber officinale. The name derives from the Sanskrit for ‘Horn Body’, referring to the knobbly, ridged shape and texture of the roots. Originating from Asia, ginger is now found all over the world and is used widely in cooking, magic, and medicine. Ginger was brought to America by Francisco de Mendosa, and it grew so prolifically that the Spanish-Americans were able to export it in huge amounts to Europe. The Kitchen Garden Fresh ginger is usually bought as sections of root. It’s a testament to how hardy the plant is that with very little encouragement, it…

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    An Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Inspiration from the Elf Mounds by Mabh Savage

    Inspiration from the Elf Mounds *An Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors by Mabh Savage So, what winds whisper from the elf mounds; what wind breathes from beneath the hollow hills where fairies dwell and myths were born? In other words, how many of us today still feel inspired by the tales of ancient Celtic warriors and wise folk? Which parts of our lives do these stories creep into the most? What do our ancestors still truly have a hand in? What is the meat of modern Celtic influence? Well a quick “Google” search on the word “Celt” will find you brewing techniques that are based on Celtic…

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    Interview with Cyndi Brannen: Keeper of Keys

    Cyndi Brannen has many hats: witch, teacher, psychic, healer, and herbalist, to name just a few. Devotee of Hekate and author of the popular Patheos blog, Keeping her Keys, Cyndi has now written a book all about Hekatean witchcraft: Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction To Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft. Cyndi was kind enough to take some time out to speak to us here at PaganPagesOrg. Here’s what she had to say. Mabh Savage (MS): When did you start writing your blog, Keeping her Keys, and what prompted you to start? Cyndi Brannen (CB): Keeping Her Keys launched on Patheos Pagan around Samhain in 2018. I started KHK because I felt compelled…

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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Chilli Chili is a useful medicinal and magical plant. This spicy fruit is delicious in a variety of cuisines, from Mexican to Indian and many in between. Modern research has found many health benefits, and the modern witch can use chili for a range of spells and magics. Chili is a beautiful plant, with striking foliage and stunning, glossy fruits ranging from scarlet to shades so deep they’re nearly black- perfect for the inner goth! Read on to find out why chili is such a useful ingredient for mundane and magical use. The Kitchen Garden Not everyone likes spicy food, but chili pepper adds flavour as…

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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Witch Hazel Witch Hazel is the name for six types of hazel-like flowering tree or shrub. Four are native to North America, with hamamelis virginiana being the most commonly used. The hazel part of the name refers primarily to the leaves, which are very similar to those of the Hazel. The ‘witch’ part isn’t as magical as we might hope, sadly. It comes from the Old English word wice which means bendy or pliant, and presumably refers to the twigs. The Kitchen Garden Witch hazel is grown either as a decorative plant or for its medicinal qualities. It has strange, curling yellow to orange flowers which…

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    The Road to Runes

    The Road to Runes: Tiwaz Tiwaz, Elder Futhark Rune of Norse God Tyr, Sacrifice and Law. Last month I pulled the rune Dagaz, a rune all about breakthroughs and new beginnings. This coincided with a major life change for me and certainly reinforced my confidence in the runes and my journey with them. The next rune I pulled was Tiwaz, the rune of the god Tyr. Tyr is a god of war, but also of law and justice. Tyr was invoked when victory was needed in battle. He gives the day ‘Tuesday’ its name, and has been conflated with the Roman god Mars. Tyr’s primary myth is the story of…

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    A Spring Equinox Ritual

    Here are some words from a Spring Equinox Ritual performed between three witches with a focus on the Morrígan. You could speak the words on your own, or with a group, and you can decorate your sacred space with flowers or appropriate tools, depending on your path. I’ve left out any specific calls or hails, as you can add these as appropriate to your own beliefs. You will need an object or symbol that is important to you at this time of year, a seed, and a pot of soil (per person.) Spirits of East, creatures of air Light of the bright morning, Venus on the horizon Warm winds chasing…

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    Blood in the Spring

    The woman at the door is trying to push a pamphlet into my hand. I deftly avoid this and politely ask her what it’s about. ‘It’s your personal invitation to the memorial of Jesus Christ’s death.’ Genuinely, for a brief moment, I think ‘Gosh, an anti-Christian group!’ Then I remember Easter, and that it starts with a dead body. I’ve always found Easter a bit morbid. Yes, I know the main celebration is about Jesus coming back to life, but we take a bank holiday to celebrate a good man being mocked, spat on, tortured and crucified. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, the story can’t help but make…

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    The Road to Runes

    The Road to Runes: Dagaz and Breakthroughs Reading the Elder Futhark Runes as a form of divination is intriguing, amazing and enlightening. Remember last month when I pulled the rune Isa? I was locked in a stagnant situation, unsure whether to move forwards forcefully or relax and wait out the freeze. My day job, which I had wanted to leave for some time, was tentatively offering opportunities but then snatching them away, leaving me stuck and not knowing whether to take the plunge. Well, after some contemplation, I realised Isa was telling me that I was allowing myself to be frozen. I was giving in to the temptation to stare…

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    Lick the Sky

    It’s Imbolc And I want to Lick the sky Those fiery stripes Must surely be As sweet as sunrise ice. The blackbird nods Tail bouncing on the wall Of a run down council house. The Honda Prelude that Cuts me up Is a square assed snap chat Of the past And the wind turbine Crazy in the cruel bite Of winter’s last stand Is a bright spark of Future hope. It’s Imbolc And I want to Grasp the earth Bulbs tickling my cheek With first new shoots Reach out with great Goddess hands Surround the sky And lick. *** About the Author: Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician,…