• 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

    GaelSong

    Labyrinth Lore I’ve built quite few labyrinths and used to walk one every day, for years. This is the season for labyrinths and mazes, so I’ll share my thoughts on the two major types that have been found in history. First is the Minoan, 7-circuit one. This was built as a place for initiates to meet their darkest fears, and it is said there was a Minotaur in the center. But I am guessing it was shaman in disguise, helping move his tribe through their initiations, instead. These ancient mazes were not easy places, though, for many who entered did not come out alive. The seven-circuit labyrinth was used in…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Demons and Spirits of the Land: Ancestral Lore and Practices by Claude Lecouteux, Translated by Jon E. Graham

    Book Review Demons and Spirits of the Land Ancestral Lore and Practices by Claude Lecouteux Translated by Jon E. Graham 212 Pages     In Demons and Spirits of the Land: Ancestral Lore and Practices, Claude Lecouteux has written a fascinating and well-resourced exploration of pre-Christian Europe’s relationship with the spirits of the land. The writing is academic in nature, with many quotations from and cites to original sources deftly weaving centuries of cross-cultural traditions from Northern and Western European. Lecouteux describes the practices by which humans first respected the spirits of natural places, then colonized and “civilized” those places, changing their relationship with the local beings. With numerous references…

  • 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 – Herbs of the Southern Shaman by Steve Andrews

    Book Review Herbs of the Southern Shaman by Steve Andrews 152 Pages Herbs of the Southern Shaman is Steve Andrew’s follow-up to Herbs of the Northern Shaman and makes an excellent companion to it. This is a well-researched overview guide to entheogenic plants which grow in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a small book, 152 pages, that contains a wealth of information about more than 50 “teacher” plants we commonly associate with altered consciousness, like peyote and ayahuasca, and those we are more likely to find in the kitchen, like nutmeg. There is a bit of overlap with the Herbs of the Northern Shaman that Andrews references, as plants like…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Travelling the Fairy Path by Morgan Daimler

    Book ReviewTravelling the Fairy Pathby Morgan Daimler 289 Pages   Travelling the Fairy Path is a fun and educational resource to guide you on the Fairy Witchcraft Path. If you are just curious about the “Good People”, or have been working with them all along, you will find insight from Morgan Daimler, although, I would not consider this a “Beginners” book. It is not a long text, coming in at 288 pages, however there is a multitude of information waiting for you. This includes a chapter length autobiography on Daimler, in which she introduces herself as well as some of her qualifications. This, in my opinion, is to demonstrate her…