• Monthly Columns

    Book Excerpt – The Magic of Nature: Meditations & Spells to Find Your Inner Voice – Earth Meditations by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

      We’re just a month away from my first release with Llewellyn Worldwide! I am so humbled and happy to share what I’ve learned with everyone. The hope is that anyone can test these simple meditations out and breathe a little easier. I’m a fire sign by nature, but connecting with our planet starts directly with earth, so I’ve offered up that first little bit of love. Please practice with caution. My Climbing Tree Meditation is for those who are avid climbers, but the rest require very little physicality. All the sunshine, Jess   Chapter 1: Meditations to Connect with Nature  Earth Meditations  Trees, meadows, and caves hold more magic than anyone can…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Primrose     Primroses are a hardy, perennial plant which means they’re tough and come back year after year. They’re also absolutely gorgeous and often around in winter, lending some welcome colour to gardens, windowsills, or containers. Originally a woodland plant, primroses or Primula vulgaris will grow just about anywhere as long as there’s drainage so the roots don’t get waterlogged. Finding primroses in the wild can be a sign that you’re on ancient woodland. However, some “wild” blooms can be escapees from folks’ gardens! Either way, even in November and December, their blooms make a gorgeous, colourful addition to the winter landscape.   The Kitchen…

  • Monthly Columns

    Of Medicine ‘n’ Magick

    Deep Autumn I love this time of year. The wheel turns in my hemisphere, and the dark of night claims sway in its dance with daylight. It’s a wondrous sharing. As I anticipate the arrival of winter, the enveloping darkness is comforting Medicine to me. The older I get, the more meaningful this deep autumn Medicine becomes. It’s hard for many, I know. It’s hard, even for me with my solitary ways and absolute love for the long nights, short days, and cooling temps. And this year such seasonal challenges are compounded for many – if not most – with the increased isolation offered by COVID-19. Nonetheless, with or without…

  • 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

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Willow   Willows are a type of tree in the family Salicaceae. They’re deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves towards winter, and they love both moisture and sunlight. Striking weeping willows are often seen trailing their leaves across the surface of streams, while fluffy goat willow or pussy willow brightens up the spring with its soft catkins. While only the largest of gardens will enjoy a willow tree of their own, many people will have a green area or park they can visit to find one of the many species of willow which grow all across the northern hemisphere. Find your own favourite willow creek or…

  • Monthly Columns

    Gael Song

    A Druid’s Garden, Edible Forestry, Year Two A year ago, I wrote an article on putting in an edible forest garden when I was so excited to finally have enough outdoor space to plant one after waiting lots of years for it. And someone requested a follow-up on that first article, so here it is. Just to recap the basics: an edible forest garden is made up of three layers, trees, shrubs, and ground covers, all perennial and all edible in some way. Most of the examples of EFGs I’ve seen look a lot like a jungle, masses of plants scrambling all over each other. But I’m a druid and…

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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Cow Parsley     Anthriscus Sylvestris or cow parsley is a member of the Apiaceae family, just like the carrot and hemlock. It has tall, hollow stems topped with a flurry of delicate white flowers. In Europe it is a common hedgerow plant, and a familiar sight to walkers and foragers. It’s one of the first flowers to appear by the roadside in spring. With many common names including the grand “Queen Anne’s Lace” and the morbid “Mother Die”, this plant is a piece of living history and an intriguing part of the British countryside.   The Kitchen Garden Encouraging cow parsley into the garden would…

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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: The Christmas Tree     Straight away, I know many of you will be wondering why I’m bringing Christmas to the table, when most of us are looking forward to Yule or the Winter Solstice. Well, it’s because I absolutely adore the tradition of the Christmas tree. And, despite what many people think, it’s not an inherently Pagan symbol, although there are definite Pagan roots, pardon the pun. Christmas trees are so popular today that they are grown in all 50 American states, including even Hawaii, and most other places in the world. From candlelit trees in Germany in the 1800s to fiber optic light shows…

  • Monthly Columns

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times for December 2019 (Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash) Bright Blessings! The Winter Holidays are upon us, and it seems there are as many different celebrations as there are different kinds of people circle in our Pagan Communities. No matter what you celebrate, though, it is undeniable that Christmas somehow influences you at this time of year. Whether you are like me and get sick to death of it all very quickly, and decry the fact it lasts so long, or you are somebody who enjoys it all, it is very much a part of our culture. One thing that strikes me is…

  • Monthly Columns

    Beyond Belief: Trees

    (Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash)   By the time you read this I will have had my first spot on British national radio. Specifically, the Beyond Belief radio show for BBC Radio 4. American readers, you may be able to get this online! The show was about the religious and spiritual significance of trees, from the perspective of different faiths. I was one of three experts recruited to debate and discuss the topic. So, how did this come about? Well, I was lucky enough that one of my esteemed colleagues from the Pagan Federation pointed me in the direction of a particular post on Facebook. It was from the…