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I’ve had an old armoire at the Magickal Cottage that I’ve been meaning to fix up and use in some creative way. After painting it I decided it would make a great place to dry and store herbs.

So here is a link to my YouTube video showing how I created my magickal apothecary:

https://youtu.be/S8-3bI7DUBQ

How do you dry and store your magickal herbs? Let me know in the comments below!

Bright Blessings,

SARINA

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Taking further inspiration from the whimsical water colors of Regan Ralston, let’s travel outside the witches’ cottage to the realms of the green witch and hedge witch.

As I mentioned in the last post, it’s possible to possess the traits of more than one kind of witchy aesthetic, and in many cases the lines between two or more paths might be a bit blurred. So it is with the green and hedge witch; so I will try to point out the main differences between the two.

The Green Witch

Art by Regan Ralston https://waterofwhimsy.com/

So, putting it bluntly, the green witch is an “herb head”. As they walk down the street they peer over peoples’ fences to see what’s growing . If you go hiking with them they will know the names of most of the plants along the path. If another green witch accompanies them they may even argue over a plants Latin or common name. But the arguing is all in good fun. To the green witch, plants are fun!

The green witches’ home may be filled with house plants and pots of soil containing their latest plant propagation projects. And a green witch doesn’t have a “dream home”; they have a “dream garden”. Not only does this witch know the names of LOTS of plants, but they know the plants’ magickal and medicinal properties as well. Got a problem? The green witch has a tea for that!

I know one green witch whose entire kitchen has been taken over by bottles and containers of her witchy brews. I mean, it’s jam packed with herbal vinegars and herbal infusions and herbal everything……It’s so cool!!!

The green witch may be an active environmentalist and/or they will send energy to planet earth and all its creatures on a daily basis. They truly understand the term, “Mama Gaia”. They connect with nature and feel their best when they can go on a hike out in nature in every season.

They love essential oils! They’re from plants, right? So picking just one for the green witch would be hard. Something herb-ally smelling like rosemary oil or thyme oil might get their attention. They probably place clear quartz crystals in and around their flower pots, but moss agate, malachite and green aventurine would inspire them as well.

I’ve just touched on some points about this green path. Want to explore green witchcraft even further? Here are a couple of book suggestions to get you started:

The Hedge Witch

Art by Regan Ralston https://waterofwhimsy.com/

In the British Isles much of the farmland is separated by plantings of hedgerows. Inside of the hedgerow was considered a safe place to be after dark for humans and livestock. Traveling beyond the hedge was considered risky. The term “hedge witch” comes from the practice of “flying beyond the hedge” which refers to astral journeying. This can be done with or without the aid of mind altering substances. The hedge witch shares this practice with those we call shamans or shamanic practitioners. The purpose of the astral journey is to gain spiritual knowledge and answers to pressing questions. This practice is what distinguishes a hedge witch.

The hedge witch does everything with intent and they enjoy their little daily rituals. So if you see an individual having a conversation with a noisy crow, or you observe them saying “goodbye, see you later” to their house as they exit the front door, they might be a hedge witch.

That individual might also be wearing practical walking shoes (none of those black, pointy toed Halloween costume shoes!). And they might be carrying a walking stick and a backpack. They are going on a mystic hike! The hedge witch shares an interest in herbology with the green witch so they may be into foraging like their witchy green cousins.

If you happen to be lucky enough to accompany them on the hike, you may observe the hedge witch pause a moment to seemingly stare at nothing. Then they will point their finger at a space under a bush and say, “There’s a lot of fae activity in there.”

Is the hedge witch loony? Some might say so, but if you understand the path of hedge witchery you will get that this person has decided to challenge the mediocre concept of reality to explore other realms. The hedge witch dares to follow their own path and enjoys keeping their own company. Sounds pretty admirable to me! BTW, if they have invited you to come on a hike with them, you may have what it takes to be a hedge witch. They just know things! That’s why you were invited to come. 😉

The hedge witch may enjoy the scent of oak moss oil or pine oil and fir tree oils. Think “trees“. They may make their own incense and can come up with some original blends to burn while in a dream state. Their best stones will be those they found out in nature. They can be lucky this way. They may find some gorgeous agates and moon stones, and I know one hedge witchy lady who found a good sized crystal point on one of her hikes

There’s lots more to know about being a hedge witch so here are a couple of books to nudge you along past the hedge:

Let me know what you think about these two paths of the green and hedge witch. Do either of them resonate with you? Tell me in the comments!

Herbal Blessings,

SARINA

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Have you been having vivid dreams lately? Or have you been extra intuitive about things? Well, perhaps that’s the Lion’s Gate energy you are feeling from this new moon that’s approaching on August 8, 2021. Some say this will be the luckiest day of the year!

Six years ago I made a YouTube video about manifesting your wishes during the new moon.

Here is the link that explains how to write your petition:

New Moon Manifesting on YouTube

With the approaching powerful energy I decided to create a new video on how you can use the present energy and future new moon energies to manifest long term goals. If you have any questions about the process please post them in the comments below or on my YouTube channel.

Here is the link for the new video:

Using New Moon Energy for Long Term Goals

Mark your calendars for August 8th and Happy Manifesting!

Blessings,

SARINA

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Lately I have been inspired by the work of the whimsical witchy water color artist, Regan Ralston, to write a series of blog posts on the various types of modern witches. With her gracious permission I am featuring her beautiful water color drawings as part of my posts. (BTW, you will love exploring her website, so please check it out!)

https://waterofwhimsy.com/

Understand, please, that this is not an attempt to typecast or pigeon hole anyone, but rather a fun way to help people explore their magickal paths. You, like me, might be a blend of a few of these witchy types. So let’s explore!

First off are the witches of hearth and home. These witches love their home and garden. They are the nesters and the crafters whose homes enchant you with a sense of comfort as you step through their doorway.

Art by Regan Ralston of Water of Whimsy
https://waterofwhimsy.com/

The Hearth Witch

No florescent lighting for these magickal ones! Candles and vintage lamps decorate their homes. The hearth witch may have a favorite comfortable chair where they sip their coffee or tea. At their feet you might possibly see one or two contented furry companions. If they don’t have a fireplace to sit by, there will be some hearth-like area in their home they have created near that favorite chair. It might be a table with a grouping of candles or a glowing salt lamp, but it will be a place that gives off the warm glow of the home hearth. They may, in fact, have a spell candle glowing in the fireplace at any given time.

For me the hearth witch brings to mind the Scandinavian word, “hygge” which connotes a sense of comfort and coziness. So “witchy hygge” is what the hearth witch is all about.

The hearth witch is the journaling type who likes to write down their musings and magickal wisdom. Their bookshelves are filled with a wide variety of well used books on a variety of magickal subjects.

Whether the hearth witch decorates in hippie/boho style or “witch cabin in the woods” style, there will be an emphasis on comfort. So, pillows and soft throw blankets and comforting smells will prevail.

They may prefer grounding scents like patchouli or cedar wood or homey, coffee, spicy smells. Crystal geodes and sodalite are good for amplifying their mental acuity for reading and writing, and smoky quartz or black tourmaline will help them feel protected and grounded.

Anna Franklin has written a series of books on the hearth witch worth exploring for further hearth witch info:

https://waterofwhimsy.com/

The Cottage Witch

The cottage witch is happiest when they are working or sitting in the cottage garden, or planning their next witchy craft project. They will cherish grandma’s antique tea set and serve floral teas in their rose water scented parlor.

The cottage witch may amaze you by salvaging an old garden gate and recycling it into a shabby chic (enchanted) wall decoration. Their outlook is the rosey one that sees trash as possible treasures. They may make their own clothes and are always dressed in a creative way to fit the current occasion. A witches’ tea party or picnic in the garden would be their idea of the perfect get together.

They make an effort to always have a fresh bouquet of flowers placed on the home altar. And they may know the magickal properties and mysterious messages of many of the cottage garden flowers. Even if the cottage witch lives in an apartment they will likely grow flowers on their window sill or balcony. Creating scented sachets and dream pillows may be one of their favorite types of spell craft.

Their home may smell of lavender oil, rose absolute or rose water. They may wish to display and meditate with rose quartz, amethyst or selenite which possess a loving high vibration.

If you think you are a cottage witch you might want to read more on the subject. One of my all time favorite books on cottage witchcraft is Cottage Witchery by Ellen Dugan:

https://waterofwhimsy.com/

The Kitchen Witch

As one might assume, the kitchen witch is a good cook. More than that, though, their kitchen skills extend beyond the culinary. With the kitchen witch there is always something brewing!

When you enter their home you will always be drawn straight to the kitchen by the delicious smell of something fresh from the oven. Their hosting skills are excellent and they will ply you with home made brownies and a warm cup of tea.

You will feel immediately at home, but don’t be fooled! Kitchen witches can be mighty magickal. When they cook with intention they can influence the stubbornest of minds through their scrumptious creations. There have been some who would malign the kitchen witch with tales of enchanted gingerbread cottages and poisoned apples, but the kitchen witch typically has a heart of gold.

They, no doubt, have a kitchen altar and light a candle to their chosen deity before starting a spell …..I mean recipe! They have a wooden spoon for a wand, a certain enchanted kitchen knife and they may wear a special apron as their kitchen witch ritual garb. They use only the highest quality ingredients, and if the don’t have a kitchen garden they will frequent the local farmers market. Many kitchen witches grow and dry their own herbs to include in their food and herbal remedies.

Beyond the obvious delicious food they create, the kitchen witch may craft salves, lotions, soaps and candles. They may make their own enchanted cleaning supplies and floor washes. You name it. If they can brew it, they will!

Lemon and lavender essential oils may be their favorites because of their cleansing properties, but cinnamon oil may liven up the atmosphere while rosemary oil is the all purpose enchanter. A quartz crystal cluster may be on their kitchen altar radiating its helpful energy.

In addition to their kitchen cookbooks, they will own books that name the magickal properties of foods and magickal cooking methods.

Here are a couple of the many good books to explore:

If you are discovering that you are a witch of hearth and home, I hope this post has been useful in helping you along your path.

If you feel this witchy aesthetic doesn’t resonate with you, stay tuned. We will explore more witchy types in future posts!

Magickal Blessings,

Sarina

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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

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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

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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

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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 🦉🌜

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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

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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

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