Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Goblin Market

"We must not look at goblin men,

We must not buy their fruits:

Who knows upon what soil they fed

Their hungry thirsty roots?"

This poem by Christina Rossetti is one of my all time favorites.

It was read to me as a small child by my Grandmother, bless her memory.
It is so disturbing and wonderful at the same time.

The jist of the poem is that something may look wonderful and taste sublime, but if you partake of the offered fruit, you will pine for more, because it can never be found again.

Innocence lost can never be regained, or can it?

I was asked to work a spell for a friend. She is being stalked, offered flowers by an unknown admirer. She refused the offered "fruit" and now she is being stalked at her own home.
The police offer no assistance, except for the "we'll keep an eye on the place and assign a detective to the case". No one knows who this person is, but there are suspicions.
The herbal world offers many different ways to repel unwanted advances. The world of magic is full of charms and spells to do the same.
Here is what I did:
The "Admirer" left a bunch of nasty old flowers tied to the front door knob with a rubber band.
Because I don't know his name, his offering was bound up with Ash Tree leaf and Mugwort leaf, X3. I asked that this person stop harassing my friend, find peace, be well in mind, body and spirit, find his happiness, and move on. The bundle was bound tight with florist tape, put into a jar with dead sea salt, a star anise, a pinch of "Mandrake", filled with sacred water gathered during a solar eclipse, and sealed with bee's wax with alkanet in it for good measure.
You may think this is a lot of stuff and nonsense.....

This takes us back to The Goblin Market....
"Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us."

The flowers were an evil talisman, sent with out provocation, meant to cause fear, distrust, resentment, etc. for the married couple.
The talisman was working.
A counter charm was necessary and asked for.
The charm is empowering, it is a counter talisman and shows power.
A protection charm was also created, it's contents are:
Mullen leaf, Mandrake root, Nettle, Dead Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Tonka Bean, White Sage, and Calendula flower.
This was all put into a pouch to be kept either in the home or on the person being protected.
In the poem, the sister in question Laura,accepts the offered fruit and pines away until she is close to death, her sister, Lizzy, goes out and finds the Goblin Market, is able to procure some "fruit" by being beaten with it, and offers the said fruit to her sister, who fully recovers.
She took on the Goblins and beat them at their own game, but it was almost too late, it took her a long time to find the Goblin Market again.

So......Does this make you want to read the Goblin Market? I hope so. It is a look into turn of the century sensibilities and a look behind the veil of another world.
Was innocence regained? Hell no, we all gathered up some badly needed street smarts !!!
Can of Mace and a fist full of Mugwort !!!
People who would do us harm seem to come from another world. We cannot fathom why they do the things they do. We should never feel helpless, that just feeds into their need to upset our world.
I offer you a picture of the contents of the protection pouch, the binding spell will not be photographed. It will be buried off property near a crossroads and will last for a year and a day.
All spells need an ending date.
Other precautions will be taken to ensure my friends personal protection, like locked doors and friends on the watch. The detective will be notified and this person will be stopped.
It's too bad that things like this happen but it is good to know that knowledge of the plant world, the cycles of the moon, and a little bit of magic,can help us help ourselves on many different levels.

Read The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

Blessings !


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Pole Dancing on Beltane

"Oh do not tell the priest of our art, for he would call it sin

But we will be in the woods all night a conjuring summer in

And we bring you good news

For women and cattle and corn

For the sun is coming up from the south

With Oak and Ash and Thorn"


And with those words we dance the ancient dance of the May Pole.

This is a pagan ritual I have held on my property for many a year now, tying my life up with those of my friends in a dance as old as the season its self.

We welcome in the May as a time of resurrection and renewal. The primrose path is bursting with blooms and the trees and birds and frogs sway and sing in time with the ancient tune. For the season of growth is here.

"The fair maid who, the first of May

Goes to the fields at break of day

And walks in dew from the hawthorn tree

Will ever handsome be"

At the break of dawn on May 1st, maidens wash their faces in the early morning dew to ensure continuing youth and beauty !! This may day it was raining cats and dogs, so it would have been wise to dance naked and cover the entire body. Alas I stayed in bed, another lost opportunity for total youth and beauty. None the less, the may pole was erected, this year in the middle of the back yard, and the limecello flowed, and we all did the dance. It has also become custom to write blessings on strips of ribbon or muslin. These fly free on the air and take our wishes straight to the divine.

The most famous maypoles in history were erected on the Strand in England. Queen Elizabeth I was the first known monarch to participate in the dance. Hers was toppled by none other than Cromwell himself, in 1644. Another famous maypole, erected by Charles II in 1718, was sold to Sir Isaac Newton, who had it shipped to an astronomer friend in Wanstead. There this pagan artifact formed the supporting base of the largest telescope in the world.
The purpose of the May Pole is to bring fertility to the people, animals and crops of the town. Local townsfolk would go out into the fields on Walpurgis night and make love in the freshly plowed fields, to ensure a good harvest and perhaps a bundle of joy the following February. A Beltane fire would be lit on May eve to light the way of the trooping fairies return to the greenwood from their underground dwellings of the winter. Robin Hood and Maid Marian, The May Queen and the Green Man, our connection to the green world is far deeper and ingrained than most of us imagine.
Shakespeare wrote about the trials of the little people in a Midsummer's Night Dream, on this night the fairy worlds involvement with the mortal world mostly consisted of love spells and bewilderment's. Other nights in the year you are better off carrying a Ash, Oak, or Thorn branch with you into the woods to ward off fairy evil. Witches, Goblins, and Ghosts are all about on this night so it is better not to follow will-o-the-wisps or fairy orbs, into the woods or you might wake up someplace quite unexpected.
It's all in good fun for on Beltane morning the sun reigns supreme once more and the ghoolies, ghosties, and long legged beasties are all but forgotten until the Autumnal Equinox, on the other side of the Wheel of the Year !

Monday, May 10, 2010

Making Violet Liquor Part 1

Spring Ephemeral Spirits

A spring ephemeral is a flower that is only here for a very short time, a week, maybe two. It's beauty is so fleeting that if you don't pay close attention, it is gone before you get to enjoy it. Wild violets can be considered a spring ephemeral. As fleeting as fairy wings, some are so tiny that you have to get down on the ground to really see them. Because of their stature, most people don't know that they have a very fragrant aroma. The question is how to capture that aroma, that spring magic, and take it into yourself and make it part of you.
Bright idea !!

Turn it into heady alcoholic drink to be enjoyed by the thimble full.

Stuff and nonsense you say, lets make some right away I say ! I made a video of the process and it turned out poorly since I did it myself. I do most of these strange things by myself so I guess we will have to get used to it until I sharpen my skills. I picked the flowers and made the liquor on May 5th, a good day for harvesting. The moon was void~of~course and in the watery sign of Aquarius. Looked like a good time for brewing.

After spending an hour picking some of the worlds tiniest flowers, I brought them into the house, shook them out on a clean cloth, told the spiders and tiny bugs to go elsewhere, and shot my video. The recipe is simple, fill a clean jar with violet flowers, cover with so so good vodka, cover, store in a cool, dry, dark cupboard for two weeks, shake once in a while. After two weeks, strain and add a simple syrup of two cups sugar to one cup water. Add enough sugar syrup to the vodka to make it sweet to the taste. Say some magic words like trickle trackle tribble toes, let this brew remove all woes. And store in the freezer for about a week to develop the flavor.
Violet Liquor waiting for a dark cupboard.....
Now we wait, and on Mid Summers Night Eve I will host a Fairy Party and invite all my fairy friends and we shall enjoy thimbles full of this magic elixir and forget all our woes and dance about on fairy toes. Video to follow !

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do you know Mugwort?

I was out in the woods early this morning in my P.J's, coffee mug in hand, looking for the magic of the day. Every morning holds the magic that happens the previous night, but you have to get out early to witness it. I heard a voice that said "Do What You Know". What do I know, I though to my self.... Hummm and the first plant I saw was Mugwort. Mugwort is one of the first herbs I have first hand knowledge of, in the magical sense of the word. An old wives tale says that Mugwort in your shoes prevents weariness. And, if you place Mugwort under your pillow you will have strange dreams.

When I was a young wife, I placed a sprig of Mugwort under my husbands pillow. He woke up in the morning and immediately asked, "What did you do to me last night? I had the strangest dreams and they were all about you." Well you can see how useful this could be in a love spell. I also placed a sprig of Mugwort in my gardening shoes and could garden all day long and never felt tired. Well I was 30 years younger, but it seems like I had all the energy in the world. Now that I myself am a old wife, the Mugwort stays out doors for protection. It has cropped up on it's own in various places without ever being planted.

Magic? why yes it is. I know herbs, and herbs know me. They follow me around and plant themselves where I live. I happen to be very good at plant identification. I know what every green thing on the forest floor is, well in my forest anyway. I know a lot of plant lore. That's a fancy way of saying I know a lot of useless information about the green world that most people don't care about in this day in age, or maybe they do...

Maybe people want to read about these obscure things, and maybe I should write it all down as they come to mind, maybe I should start a blog !

So here at the Mugwort Mansion I will be telling you all about garden lore, magic in the garden, things to do and see, things to make, potions to brew, and poetry to live by. I'll show you my magical home in the woods, my plants and animals. And I'll share with you the Magic of the morning.