• Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Clover     Clover is also called trefoil, literally “three-leaves”, and grows in most places around the world. Although many clover plants look similar, there are around 300 species of Trifolium and they’re in the same plant family as peas. Both the round, joyful flowers and the iconic triplet of small, round leaves have a ton of folklore around them – and some surprising modern research, too.   The Kitchen Garden Red and white clover are the most common where I live, and often pop up in lawns without any encouragement from gardeners. As well as being a fantastic food source for bees and other insects,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Lilac     Lilac is a flowering shrub in the olive family, Oleaceae, cultivated in many parts of the world including all across Europe and North America. Robust spikes of delicate yet strongly scented flowers come in colours ranging from purples and pinks through to blues and whites. I’ve been writing Notes from the Apothecary for over 6 years now, and some months I struggle to think of a plant that’s magical, seasonal, and of interest to our readers worldwide. I had no such struggle this month, thanks to the wonderful fragrance that stopped me in my tracks as I was out playing with my 3-year-old…

  • 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

    The Transformative Power of Telling Your Story

    (artwork by: Francene Hart)   We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That’s what I want–to hear you erupting. You Mount St. Helenses who don’t know that power in you–I want to hear you…If we don’t tell our truth, who will? -Ursula K. Le Guin   Folks often tell me they don’t know how or why I share such personal things in my writing with the wide world. Aren’t I scared of being judged? Aren’t I afraid my heart will get squashed by the insensitive people of the world if I tell my story? The honest answer to…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Witchcraft: A Secret History by Michael Streeter

    Book Review Witchcraft A Secret History by Michael Streeter 256 pages   From Ancient Times until Today, magic has always been an important aspect of human life. Witchcraft: A Secret History explores the relationship between humans and magic, witchcraft and religion throughout the Ages. In Part 1 The Ancient World, Michael Streeter teaches the reader about the origins of witchcraft through stories of Hebrew witches and magicians to the Gods and Goddesses that were revered in ancient civilizations. Discussion is given to how these once revered Pagan entities fell out of favor and were replaced with the new religion of Christianity. Part 2 The Medieval World, explores the growth of…

  • Monthly Columns

    Retha’s Crystal Reflections

    The Magic of Azurite     I have been wanting to write about azurite for some time, as it’s such an important crystal it deserves its own moment. Azurite is one of the most potent and intense stones you can work with. So strong that Edgar Cayce credits azurite with being instrumental in aiding his many visions and predictions! This crystal will make itself known and stand out from the rest of your crystal tools as you start to work & focus on your psychic potential. To learn all about this truly amazing gem, read on!     Azurite is a deep blue copper carbonate mineral with a porous appearance.…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – The Mirror of Magic by Kurt Seligman

    Book ReviewThe Mirror of MagicA History of Magic in the Western Worldby Kurt Seligman Original Copyright date 1948 512 Pages   Mirror of Magic is a comparative religion book. It starts with Mesopotamia and goes all the way to the 18th century. I’m one of those people that I make lots of notes whenever I’m reading a book. So, with this book, I’ve made like seven pages of notes. I made a note of, in Mesopotamia, when it talks about how the Gods were reminded of the misfortune of mortals. Back in Mesopotamia, there is no moral distinction between good or bad, or light and dark; spiteful forces could live…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Russian Black Magic: The Beliefs and Practices of Heretics and Blasphemers by Natasha Helvin

    Book Review Russian Black Magic The Beliefs and Practices of Heretics and Blasphemers by Natasha Helvin 176 Pages     I didn’t really know what to make of this book when I received it – I don’t really believe in the reality of “black” magic – or “white” magic, for that matter – magic is magic! – and I don’t care about the practices of so-called “heretics and blasphemers” – where I’m from, spiritually, “heretics and blasphemers” are simply those who do not adhere to the orthodox view, whatever it may be. Which would include me. So although I read it eagerly – I love anything about Russian culture –…

  • Monthly Columns

    Diana The Goddess an Excerpt from ‘Witchcraft: A Secret History’ by Michael Streeter

    Diana The Goddess Excerpted from ‘Witchcraft: A Secret History’ by Michael Streeter     The Roman Empire occupies an important place in the history of witchcraft. Such was its wide-ranging dominance that it provided a bridge from the ancient world, the world of the Sumerians, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, and Greeks, into the Christian era in Europe. The Romans were generally suspicious of witchcraft and magic: for them, it was just another subversive element in a world where order always seemed to be under attack from chaos. Yet the Romans also bequeathed us the legacy of one of the most powerful goddesses of the ancient world, a goddess who was to…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy

    Book Review One Truth and One Spirit Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy 436 Pages     I purposely do not read anyone else’s reviews on a book before I read a book. I do this so that another does not influence my view of the book; I must admit books on Aleister Crowley can be a little dry, and the difficult. But there’s always strange & interesting tidbits that I pick up in the books. Mr. Readdy’s book is a history book. Therefore, it reads like a history book, and if your history buff, that’s fine. I was still able to find a lot of interesting information within…