• Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Blackthorn   Prunus spinosa, literally meaning a spiny fruit tree, perfectly describes the beautiful yet oh so spiky blackthorn. Blackthorn is a familiar sight across much of Europe, and in Northern England where I live, the blossoms are one of the most impressive displays of spring. Blackthorn blossoms really stand out in the hedgerows because the flowers arrive quite some time before the leaves; white, delicate yet profuse blossoms perched on dark, spiny twigs. Blackthorn is also intertwined with folklore, otherworldly beings, and magic. It truly is a worthy addition to our apothecary.   The Kitchen Garden Many people will know the blackthorn for its beautiful…

  • Monthly Columns,  Spells & Rituals

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times for March 2021 Bright Blessings! It’s below freezing outside, and we may get up to eight inches of snow in the next three days. I have been shoveling my backside off this month, because we’ve already gotten PLENTY of snow already, as The Cailleach reminds us it’s still her domain. Not for long!   (Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash)   In just over a month, it will be Spring Equinox, and, according to weather reports, it will have warmed up significantly by then. Already, the days are longer, and seeds are out in stores…YES we got some seeds. Those who have read…

  • Monthly Columns,  Spells & Rituals

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Bluebell     Tiny bluebells are, for me, a sign that spring is truly on the way. In the woods near where I live, they spring up, completely unannounced, sometime between the snowdrops and the wild garlic. It’s a “blink and you miss it” kind of phenomenon; Come to early, and the ground is just green and dormant. Come too late, and the flowers have already wilted, the plants getting ready to store their energy until next year. The most spectacular showing of bluebells is at a patch of woodland a little further afield, by the banks of one of our waterways. These bluebells arise and…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Relaxation Special There’s no getting away from it: things are pretty stressful right now. The pandemic situation is something we’re potentially stuck with until there’s a vaccine, plus on top of that, there’s a whole lot of unrest in the world. Finding time to relax and unwind has never been more important. That’s why I decided to dedicate this issue of Notes from the Apothecary to plants and herbs that help alleviate daily stresses. Remember, herbal remedies are a form of complementary therapy and should NEVER replace existing medication or treatments. You should always take advice from a medical professional, especially if you are already taking…

  • Monthly Columns

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times for June 2020   (pic by AmberAvalona on pixabay.com)   Bright Blessings! Believe it or not, it will be Summer Solstice before we know it! What warmer weather we are having that at this time a month ago! Many of us will be merrily working away at our gardens! For me, having pulled a raised bed, I won’t be planting as much- and I learned a very ugly truth meaning I might not plant hardly anything at all. I still live in the condos- truthfully, we may be stuck here as long as another year- if not longer. Long boring story- sigh. Normally,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Free Resources for Pagans Right Now

    If there’s a silver lining in the coronavirus quarantine and lockdown measures, it can only be the way in which it’s made communities come together in support of one another. Within the Pagan communities worldwide, this includes a wealth of free resources to help Pagans and their families connect with one another, learn new things, and stay spiritual even in the face of crisis. Here are the ten best pagan resources I’ve found this month, please feel free to share your own in the comments or on our social media.   Pagan Federation Online Garden The UK Pagan Federation continues its run of great free events with a virtual garden…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Jack by the Hedge I don’t get a huge amount of time to spend keeping my garden super tidy, but that’s ok, because I like it to run a little wild. Because of that, we get plants that come in from outside the garden, often spread by birds and small animals, or simply by seeds blown in on the wind. Once such plant which is a star of British verges and hedgerows is this lovely plant, pictured. It has many names, but my favourite one is Jack by the Hedge, Latin name Alliaria Petiolata. Jack by the Hedge is also called Garlic Mustard, or even Poor…

  • Monthly Columns

    Gael Song Second Edition

    The Hidden Gem of Solitude   With most folks staying at home during this pandemic, I thought an article about solitude might be helpful. I’ve lived a contemplative life for twenty years now, mostly by myself, writing, meditating, in complete silence 90% of every day. Besides three mornings of volunteer work a week, my life is very, very quiet. When my last daughter went off to college twenty years ago, I chafed against the isolation but within a very few months, I began to cherish it and still do. What I discovered fairly quickly is that silence opens the doorway to the Otherworld. In general, beings on the other side…

  • Monthly Columns

    Pagan Events At Home Online Events

      The UK Pagan Federation has put together a wealth of activities to join in with whilst safe at home. Every day of the week has had a different focus, with May looking to be the home for a range of Beltane themed “Garden Party” events, videos and talks. Over the last few weeks the Pagan Federation has run a mammoth schedule of daily events aimed at keeping the Pagan community engaged, supported and entertained. The schedule ran Monday to Friday as follows: Monday: Videos from various members of the Pagan Community Tuesday: A weekly online ritual to promote strength, peace, wellness, hope and resilience. Wednesday: Batty Nan’s Crafty Circle,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Things to do with the Kids this Spring Equinox

      The Spring Equinox is also called the Vernal Equinox and is when day and night are roughly equal. It’s the halfway point between the winter solstice and the summer solstice. After the Spring equinox, the light increases a little every day, although the way up to the longest day of the summer solstice. In the Northern hemisphere, the spring equinox is on Thursday the 19th and Friday the 20th March, depending on location. In the Southern hemisphere, this is the autumnal equinox. The spring equinox for the Southern hemisphere will be on Tuesday 22nd September. The Spring Equinox is a great time to get kids involved with pagan activities,…