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I finally finished up decorating my triple moon wreath I started back when I wrote my original post about creating a magickal moon wreath…..two years ago….time flies! To see the basic instructions for making these lunar wreaths click on this link: https://themagickalcottage.com/2019/07/18/witchy-craft-diy-moon-wreath/

To make the triple moon shape, I simply added two crescent shapes of the dried grapevine to the sides of a circular wreath. (I bought a pre-made circular wreath because of its added strength). I wove the star with the cotton cord by poking the cord through the spaces in the dried grapevine on the circular wreath. Joining the crescent shapes to the sides of the circular wreath took some patience …and strength. I used the cord for that but you might try using some wire (next time! 😉).

So this is what I ended up with before my project got put on the back burner:

Today I got out my trusty bottle of Tacky Glue and started tacking down any loose bits of moss.

I gathered some dried garden herbs and a few feathers and started planning how to arrange things.

The herbs were easy enough to just poke through the grapevine wreath, and if it makes you feel better you can add a drop of glue to the ends of the herbs before inserting them for added strength.

I had some yarrow I wanted to add but it was rather fragile, so I tied two bundles together, ends together, with some strong upholstery thread. Then I tied the bundles to the bottom center of the wreath.

Wrap the thread around and tie flower bundles on at the back of the wreath.

To cover the thread on the front of the wreath I glued on some short stemmed flower clusters.

The rest of the decorating was just trial and error until I got a pleasing look. Knowing me I will probably add and subtract flowers or feathers to the wreath over time. But for now I’ll call it good and say it’s finished.

As I always say, make this wreath your own! I like a woodsy natural look, but make yours as glitzy as you like. There are no rules when it’s your personal creation. Please do let me know how your wreath turned out in the comments below! And don’t forget to to subscribe to The Magickal Cottage for more witchy craft ideas!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

Happy Summer! I have created a YouTube video tour showing what’s happening these days in the Magickal Garden. It shows my garden altars, some of my magickal herbs as well as some areas I still have plans to develop.

Here is the link to my Magickal Garden vlog:

The Magickal Garden – July, ‘21

I hope you have some time to get outside and work in your magickal garden, as well. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

Green Blessings,

Sarina

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

“Witches are healers” is one of my favorite phrases. Over time I have come to realize that all my magick must come from a place of wanting to heal.


Thirteen years ago I became a reiki master, or as I prefer to call myself, a “reiki practitioner and instructor”. When I lived in Texas I taught regular reiki classes and had a healing practice. It seemed I left all that behind when I moved out west to California.


I have taught a few classes and still use reiki every day, but lately I have felt an urge to continue to help spread reiki throughout the world …and beyond.

I have set up a new website called Sage Blossom Reiki. I have spent hours making instructional videos for whomever would like to learn reiki healing. And so I am sharing my new project with you for the highest good . I have found that distance healings and attunements can be very powerful.

if you or someone you know would be interested in learning reiki …or just finding out about reiki …please take a moment or two to check out my links!

https://www.sageblossomreiki.com


https://youtube.com/user/sarahmurdick

Healing Blessings,

Sarina

Bealtaine has arrived and with it comes summer and the time of fire! What better way to honor the fire element than to make some magickal candles for your energy work?

The method I use to make my candles is made easier by using a slow cooker. You can actually do some kitchen multitasking while your wax melts, and who doesn’t appreciate that?

Here is what you will need:

A slow cooker like a Crock Pot

Cleaned, heat proof jars.I prefer jars with no markings on them, so jam jars or pickle jars with labels removed work well. Canning jars generally have the company name imprinted on the jar, and since you want your intention in your candle work to be focused, you don’t want any confusing words like “Ball” to get in the way. Make sure the jars have been cleaned well and cleanse them energetically using your preferred method. Make sure the jars are short enough to fit in the slow cooker with the lid on.

Candle wax in flake form. I prefer soy wax since it gives a nice clean burn.

Candle wicks that are long enough to reach a few inches above the top of the jar.

Clothes pins to hold wicks in place.

Herbs (dried or fresh) and oils based on your magickal intention.

A table knife, or anything narrow enough to fit in the jar and easy to clean, for stirring the wax.

Embellishments to decorate the outside of your candle.

To begin, fill your jars to the top with candle wax and set them in the slow cooker to which you have added a few inches of water.

Place the lid on the pot and set the temperature to “high”.

Allow the wax to melt all the way. This may take an hour or so depending on the size of your jar.

This wax is not completely melted. It should appear clear all the way through before the next step .

You will notice that the wax really shrinks each time it is melted. The idea is to keep adding wax to the top of the jar and allowing it to melt until you have a jar almost full of melted wax. Leave some head room to allow room for adding your herbs.

Now you want to carefully remove the jars from the slow cooker and place them on a heat proof surface such as a few sheets of newspaper. Allow the jars to cool about 5 minutes while you get your herbs and oils ready to add to the wax.

Here I have broken up the herbs and set them to one side. Don’t plan on adding more than a half cup to each candle (They won’t fit.). Here I have herbs for two candles each in separate baskets.

Now carefully add the herbs to the wax, stirring them in with the table knife.

After about 5 more minutes add your oils. I prefer essential oils because they carry the plant energies. I add between 10 and 20 drops of each oil to a single candle. Fragrance oils smell stronger but they don’t carry those great plant energies because they are….well…fake…. Give the candles another stir. Every few minutes, for the next 30-40 minutes, continue to give the candles a stir until they look cloudy and have the consistency of pudding. The reason for all the stirring is to distribute the herbs all throughout the candle. You don’t want all the herbs to settle on the top or bottom of the candle. As the wax cools it will hold the herbs in place where you have put them.

Now you are ready to add your wick. Make sure the wick is nice and straight. Thread the top end of the wick through the small hole in the clothes pin. Place the wick in the center of your candle, making sure it reaches all the way to the bottom of the jar. Be careful not to press it down too much or your wick might bend inside the candle. The clothes pins work very well to hold the wicks upright.

Now you leave the candles to cool (probably overnight) before you trim the wicks and burn them.

In the mean time feel free to embellish the jars with crystals, colored ribbons and whatever else inspires you that corresponds with the energy you wish to work.

The herbs and oils in this candle are for bringing in a peaceful love relationship, so I chose rose quartz and red and pink colors for the ribbons.

Now I’m on the hunt for other ways to embellish my candles. I figure it might be nice to reuse the jars (after a good cleansing), so the embellishments I used are all removable. But feel free to paint your jars or add designs in other ways if you aren’t going to reuse the jars.

One thing I wanted to mention: lots of candles you see for sale have crystals mixed right in with the wax. I get that the creators of the candles wanted to add the crystal energies in this way, but for some reason this bothers me. I’m not sure why. I have a thing about putting crystals in hot wax. Maybe some tiny bits of crystals would be ok. But for larger crystals I prefer to place them on the jar. Let the candle light shine through the stones and radiate the crystal energy into the cosmos. Right?

I plan to bless these candles at our Bealtaine ritual, place some sigils of intention on paper, place the papers under the candles, and light them for the highest good. As a gentle reminder, always burn candles in a safe place where they won’t catch things on fire and burn the house down. I have a little altar in my fireplace…with a screen in front.

If you make some candles I’d love to hear how they turned out, so tell me in the comments below. Happy candle making!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina 🦉🌜

Here at the Magickal Cottage spring is well under way! Not only is the green covering the hillsides and flowers are abloom, but there is movement everywhere. The birds are singing and flitting about and the lizards have reappeared, no doubt to capture the newly hatched insects. Mid spring is here!

On the Celtic calendar we follow, spring began at Imbolc. The vernal equinox would be what one might call “Mid Spring”. This confuses some people who think Yule is the beginning of winter when it is actually midwinter. Litha is Midsomer and Mabon is at mid autumn if you are talking celtic calendar year. The reason for this shift in the common view of seasons is that Samhain (around Oct.31) is the Witches New Year. Samhain is where our year begins.

The lunation between March 21 and April 17 is the sixth lunation since Samhain and is called The Hawthorn Moon according to the Celtic tree months.

Now you might look this up online and see that many people want to put the Hawthorn Moon in June, but that’s because they are using the modern calendar that starts January 1st. I’m not saying my way is better, just more traditional. I go by the Celtic calendar.

Hawthorn -Huathe

The Hawthorn Moon is called Huathe in Gaelic. The Hawthorn tree is associate with the sidhe or fairy folk. It is also about cleansing and purification in preparation for Bealtaine. I am immediately reminded of spring cleaning!

I know, when you hear the term “spring cleaning” you think “boring”. But consider this: what you put out comes back at you (some believe threefold). If your vibration is high then you will bring in more that is of a higher energy. Your environment influences your own energy, so now is a great time to break up the stagnant energy and usher it out the door!

Of course, I can’t do anything, even cleaning, without making it magickal in some way! So here is my recipe for Magickal High Vibe Floor Powder. It is composed of very high vibe ingredients! You can sprinkle this lovely witchy stuff all over your floor or carpet, leave it for at least 15 minutes, (enough time for a cup of tea) and then sweep or vacuum the powder up along with the low vibes it has soaked up. Toss the used powder in the outdoor trash can. It may even make your trash can smell nicer!

Magickal High Vibe Floor Powder

You will need:

A box of baking soda

Dried lavender, rosemary and/or rose petals – if you only have one herb that’s ok.

Lavender oil

Palo Santo oil (optional)

Pour the baking soda into a bowl and add the dried herbs (about a TB each of the lavender and rosemary and a few rose petals). Make sure to break the herbs into small pieces.

Add about 10 drops of lavender oil. WARNING: if you are adding palo santo oil only add no more than 2 drops and if you get it on your hands wash it off immediately. A little goes a long way, suffice it to say. I’m speaking from personal experience!

As you mix up the powder with your spoon, focus your intention on enchanting the mixture to clean up and neutralize all the energetic nasties.

Enjoy!

May the cleansing energies of the Hawthorn Moon clear the way for a lovely year ahead!

Blessings,

SARINA

Want to read more about Celtic tree rituals?

Check out this book!

Celtic Tree Rituals: Ceremonies for the Thirteen Moon Months and a Day https://www.amazon.com/dp/0738760226/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_NWYXBE9BKZ5V027P9FNM

Imbolc approaches and although it may not be evident where you live, things are beginning to stir beneath the soil. Imbolc literally translates as “in the belly”. This is traditionally the time when the ewes birth their lambs and snowdrop flowers appear. In the warmer climate where The Magickal Cottage is located we are enjoying daffodils. Time to plant some seeds of both the garden type as well as the spiritual kind! In the belly they can be nourished to sprout and grow in the coming months.

I have been hearing a healing call these days. I follow a shamanic reiki healing path, and it’s plain that during these times of Covid and political turmoil the planet needs healing more than ever. I have had more requests than usual from people asking for healing. My healing altar has been seeing a lot of action! So Imbolc, with Brighde’s healing flame, couldn’t have come along at a better time.

In our coven we call this shining goddess by the name, Brighde (pronounced Bree-duh), but she is known by many names. Many people call her Brigid or Brigit. Then, there’s Bride and Brigantia and probably several others. She’s a goddess of many names, and also a goddess of many talents.

Oh, yes! And she’s also been made a saint by the Catholic Church. Brighde has been syncretized as St. Brighid of Kildare. So many of the pagan customs you hear of that happen around Imbolc (which was renamed Candlemas by the church) have been claimed by the church to honor St. Brighid on her saint day….which happens to be the same date as Imbolc. I know, it can be confusing….

One of Brighde’s many talents is healing. Not only are there several healing wells dedicated to her in the old country, but she also possesses a healing flame, both a metaphysical one and a flame that is tended by the nuns in Kildare, Ireland.

Brighde of the Sacred Flame

One of the many lovely Imbolc customs that I like to honor is to set out a cloth called a “Brat Brighde” on Imbolc Eve. It is said that if you ask nicely, Brighde will pass by and bless your cloth or mantle with healing energy. I’m all for that!

I set out my cloth (actually a scarf that reminds me of her green mantle and flame.) at my garden altar and call on the lady for her blessing by saying:

Lady Brighde, please pass this way.

Lend your healing energy to my mantle on Imbolc Day!

I’ll use it for the highest good with those who so desire,

To receive the healing magick from your blessed Brighde’s Fire!

So Mote It Be!

My Brat Brighde above my garden altar.

You can use the cloth or healing mantle in your healing work. Just cover the parts that need the healing energy with the cloth. I think you could cover a petition or photo and send the healing to a person or animal as well. This energy is perfect to send someone during childbirth.

As you cover the body or petition or photo you might say the following words three times:

By the power of the healing flame,

Bring health and balance in Brighde’s name!

Blessed Be!

I like to weave at least one Brighde’s Cross to set on my Imbolc altar. This is an ancient symbol of the four directions and four elements, and may also be a solar symbol meaning Brighde may have been a solar goddess at one time.

I’ll also be making some Rosemary Bannocks to celebrate the day on February 2nd. So follow the link if you need the recipe for this delicious Imbolc dish. It’s perfect for cakes and ale!

As we start a new season of growth, may the seeds you sow and the projects you grow bless you now and in the months to come.

Imbolc Blessings,

SARINA

The season of Yule is filled with fragrances and flavors! The smell of pine or the taste of a spicy confection inspires in me memories of this magickal time of year.

And despite the name of the holiday of Christmas that falls at this time near the winter solstice, the customs of this season that many consider to be symbolic of Christianity are actually some of the most “pagan rooted” of any season. I’m not going to go into the history of pagan symbols of Yule since that could fill a book. What I would like to reflect on is one of our family Yuletide favorites, the gingerbread folk.

I love these tasty little guys so much that my magickal kitchen gets taken over once a year by gingerbread decor!

Ok, I have more gingerbread pictures of my kitchen, but you get the idea! I’m obsessed.

So how might these spicy cookie kids be considered pagan? Well, first of all, consider the ingredients. Ginger is good for passion, cinnamon love and prosperity, and nutmeg for protection. Every one of the spices in these cookies is related to fiery energy and warmth. What is it we are welcoming back at Yule? Why, it’s the light of the sun, of course! Can’t get much warmer or fiery than old Sol!

So why make these cookies in the shape of people? There may be various reasons for this. Effigies have long been a pagan custom. Think of the corn dollies made during the harvest which are sacrificed to the bonfires the next year. In the case of the gingerbread folk, by eating one a person might be taking into their body a quality such as that fire energy of passion, energy or protection so valued at the darkest, coldest time of year. One old spell suggests that if a woman can get a man to eat one of her gingerbread cookies, the man will fall in love with her. I imagine this could work for both sexes. Worth a try, no!?

There are certainly other spicy cookies and cakes baked at this time of year. The baking of spicy German lebkuchen is an ancient custom, and though the etymology of the name is uncertain it could translate as “life cake”. There’s your tie in with the life giving sun. I also love the custom of wassailing with spiced cider. I hope people still go out into the apple orchards and sing to the trees, wishing them health and a bountiful harvest in the coming year. Now if singing and toasting to a tree isn’t pagan, then I don’t know what is! I plan to sing to and toast my apple trees. I’m beyond caring what the neighbors think.

Consider the story of the Gingerbread Boy: A couple wants a child, mixes some spicy sweet ingredients into a dough and forms it into the shape of a boy, bakes him in the oven, and out pops a live boy who immediately (and magickally, I might add) runs out the door. Go ahead and make all the comparisons you like about the magick of procreation, time in the womb (a bun in the oven) and the trials of parenthood! My favorite version of the story is retold in this version by Jan Brett:

Gingerbread Baby

Some years I bake plain gingerbread folks. Maybe just add some cinnamon candies or raisins or nuts.

Other years I get fancier with the decorations.

Lol – Be creative! Make your gingerbread boy or girl reflect your personality. Offer one of these spicy cookies to someone you are sweet on and see what happens when you focus your intention.

Need a recipe to bake some of your own gingerbread folk? There’s a great one in this new vegan holiday cookbook: Vegan Christmas Cookies and Cocoa

As we welcome back the return of the light and the rebirth of the sun and its yearly cycle, may your year ahead be filled with all good things! And so it is!

Yuletide Blessings,

SARINA

I’ve always been fascinated with animal spirits, guides and totems. It occurred to me that certain seasons seem to be associated with certain animals that reflect attributes of the season.

In North America we see lots of representations of one of our indigenous creatures, the turkey, during the autumn, especially the month of November.

I decided to research the meaning of the turkey as a spirit animal. It’s hard to know if what is written about the turkey spirit animal is just a reflection of the qualities of the Thanksgiving holiday that were just later assigned to the turkey.

Studying an animal’s habits in the earth plane can give insight as to the meaning associated to the animal as a spirit guide.

It turns out that turkeys are very communal animals and are said to represent community. The female turkeys are even known to lay their eggs in a communal nest! Think: Thanksgiving family gatherings.

Turkeys also represent abundance. They feast on nuts and seeds which they sometimes steal from squirrels. Maybe turkeys can represent being sneaky? Or maybe they’re just enterprising? Take your pick! Abundance makes me think of the feasts we share this time of year in some households.

Turkey, however, is about balance and being deeply connected to Earth. He reminds us to honor what you have and be thankful. Acquiring things on the physical plane just for the sake of “having more” is a pointless endeavor. So being thankful at Thanksgiving is an apt association for this seasonal spirit animal.

Are you a community oriented individual with a strong connection to the earth? Then maybe turkey is your personal spirit animal guide or totem! Let me know in the comments if you can make any other connections to the turkey spirit.

Autumn Blessings! 🌽🦃

Sarina

You’ve probably heard a lot about routinely cleansing yourself and your home to remove low vibrations and negativity. But warding and protecting your home can be just as important to keep away the astral nasties and low-vibe negativity! Why not make your cleansings easier by not accumulating so much bad energy to begin with?

There are many ways to ward your home using everyday household items or things from the natural environment. Today I’m posting a video on my YouTube channel to show you one enjoyable way to create a charming enchanted apple wreath. I hope you enjoy watching it. Let me know how your wreath turned out! Click the following link to visit The Magickal Cottage on YouTube: Kitchen Witch Magickal Apple Wreath and while you’re there why not subscribe to my channel? 🌝

Just for your witchy information here’s what Witchipedia has to say about the Magickal Apple:

Apples are sacred to many Goddesses including Aphrodite, Iduna, Freya, Pomona, Eris and through various folklore, Apples are associated with love, fidelity, fertility, marriage, beauty, vanity, wisdom, the soul, the afterlife and immortality. Apples are arguably the most magical and symbolism-laden of fruits.

Love those little pentagrams in the center of the apple. Talk about protection!

Kitchen Witch Blessings,

SARINA 🍎💫

I couldn’t let this rare full moon go by without mentioning a great way to capture some of that amazing moon energy.

Witch’s knots have been used for ages to capture the energy of the environment to be used at a later date in spell work.

Here is a short how-to to get you started on your blue moon witch’s knot:

Under the light of the full moon start with a length of ribbon, yarn or cord about the length of your forearm or longer. Tie a knot in one end. I used blue to correspond to the blue moon.
Cross the ribbon like you are tying a knot.
Start to pull the ribbon through the hole but don’t pull in all the way through.
Pull the loop of ribbon so it’s taut. You have created a slip knot.
Tie two more to total 3 slip knots. You might want to practice tying some knots before you do the actual spell under the full moon.

Here are the words to chant as you tie each of the knots:

knot of one, light reflects the Sun,

knot of two, with shinning Moon that’s Blue!

knot of three, encaptured Samhain’s magic be!!!


Blessed knots now tied and true

Charged, now, through and through!

So mote it be!

-Chant composed by Iriss Firebird

When you want to release the energy stored in your knots in spell work or for those times when you might need some of that Samhain blue moon energy, just pull on the end without the regular knot and do so with intent! And so it is! The energy is released!

Back where you started!

I hope you use this opportunity to harness the moon’s energy to enhance your magick. I also plan to charge up some more full moon water. This spell should actually be good for the next couple of nights after Samhain as long as the moon is full.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you are able to take some time to enjoy a blessed Samhain blue moon!

Blessings,

Sarina 🌝

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