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Every morning, as I sip my coffee, I make a point of pulling a couple of tarot cards. Last Saturday I winced as I dealt myself the Ace of Wands Reversed

and the Tower.

Of course no card is really bad, but these cards seemed to indicate there would be challenges ahead! I had no idea what the cards were referring to, but by day’s end they made sense to me.

I had planned to do some witchy house cleaning, maybe light some candles and bake something. Create some hygge, as they say in Norway. But as I was returning from our morning walk, my fire sign self took over! For what seemed like the millionth time I noticed a bushy plant that seemed to dominate the front garden…in a bad way. And for the millionth time I wished it were moved to our back slope where it could spread to its heart’s content.

The plant I am referring to is dietes, or fortnight lily. Let me tell you, this is one tough plant! In this case it was also a very tenacious one.

I looked up fortnight lily’s magickal properties and came up with nothing, but I would assign it survival and strength….and stubbornness. Ok, ok, it does have pretty white or yellow flowers.

I decided to muster some determination and went for my shovel and pitchfork. As usual, it refused to budge. But today I wasn’t going to surrender. Hey, maybe this plant was loaning me some of its own qualities?

Long story short, I started to develop a strategy and the plant was coaxed loose. I noticed it seemed easier when I explained to the plant spirit that I would find it a better more spacious place to grow. This plant is very easy to transplant. Very easy. Any piece of a root left behind will start to grow again. I have no doubt it will thrive on our back slope.

I piled the plantlets into plastic pots, used a pick ax to dig out more bulblets and carted everything down the back hill.

Then for the fun part! There was a fun part. I placed a small birdbath and statue of a cat in the space where the monster plant had been. Around the statuary I planted sweet alyssum (protective against glamour spells and hexes), dianthus (for the moon goddess, Diana) and blue salvia (for protection, purification and divination).

What do you think? The plants should spread and fill in well in the coming weeks.

I thought back on the morning’s tarot cards. Interesting that the wand reversed suddenly suggested a hard to deal with plant! And the Tower card showed how I cleared out the old to make way for the new! In this case a large unruly plant was replaced with some lovely, daintier blooms.

As I like to remind myself, magick is everywhere. You just have to be open to noticing it!

Garden Blessings,

Sarina

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I’ve always wanted to circle in a body of water, and this Lughnasadh I got the opportunity. I’ve heard that sitting or standing in water helps to amplify psychic energy; thus, my curiosity about holding ritual in water. We have a swimming pool at our current home, and the hot summers here have made us enjoy this watery feature even more. A pond, lake or the ocean could serve as well or even better for a water located ritual.

When I saw a floating drink holder at a local store, a light bulb lit up in my brain. Why not make the floatie into a floating altar?! And so we did. There’s a picture of it above. You could use real candles if you insulated them to not melt a hole in the floatie. I used electric candles and we tried not to splash water on the altar. I cut a piece of plastic table cloth to use as an altar cloth (and to cover up the shark mouth design 😳). The holes in the drink holder were the right size for small candles, and in the remaining two holes I inserted water filled jars with flowers.

So, how did the ritual go? It went very well, indeed! Dancing in a circle in water to raise energy really creates a swirling cauldron effect. Amazing!

We started our Lughnasadh celebration by gathering in the magickal kitchen to craft some corn dollies. This sabbat is to celebrate the first of 3 harvests and to honor the god Lugh. Lugh of the Strong Arm is multi-talented and rather solar in his aspect. The corn dollies we made were a symbol of the harvest and meant to add prosperity and protection to the home.

Here are steps to creating a corn dolly of your own. You will need to find dried corn husks and string or bind wire as well as a pair of scissors.

Gather about 4 leaves.

Tie them together.

Flip all of the leaves over the area you tied, covering the wire or string.

If you want to make hair or a cape, save one leaf out and tie the other leaves together to form a head. Try to pull the leaves taught before you bind them together.

To form the arms, take one leaf and cut it down the middle. Then, line up the two pieces so that the narrow and wide ends are opposing each other.

Roll up the two pieces and bind them in the center.

To add the arms you will need to separate the leaves of the body and slide the arms up to just below the head. Then tie them in place to create the dolly’s waist. It’s looking like a dolly now, right?

Trim the bottom of the skirt so she stands up.

Create elbows and hands with the string or wire.

Trim up the arms to a pleasing length. Cutting at an angle makes the ends look more like hands.

As your dolly dries it will become stiffer and hold it’s shape. You can wire the dolly to create various poses.

Create a flying witch!

Be creative and work at adding your own unique details! Just take a look at what we came up with. Don’t say, “I can’t”. Use your witchy resources! That’s what it’s all about!

As we gathered at the pool edge we set our corn dollies on the floating altar.

We drank some crystal charged rose water to ground and shake off the stress of the day.

We cast the circle, called the quarters and the center, inviting in Cerridwen and Cerrnunos, and proceeded with our blessings and petitions.

We observed the sacred rite of cakes and ale.

As center and quarters were dismissed, and the circle was taken down we stepped out of the water feeling blessed by all we had experienced.

The Lughnassadh incense I had mixed up some weeks before filled the air with the scent of oak moss and copal. We sat on the deck, ate the delicious potluck meal we had prepared and relaxed in the waning daylight.

I hope your Lughnasadh was blessing filled….and there’s still lots of time to create a corn dolly! Let me know how they turn out!

Blessings,

Sarina

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via Along a Pagan Path

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Our coven has decided to make a series of videos to provide information and to serve as a resource for those starting a pagan path. If you would like to follow The Magickal Cottage channel on YouTube, you can be notified when a new video is posted.

Blessings,

Sarina

Along a Pagan Path on YouTube

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I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Etsy for enchanting decor for The Magickal Cottage. I really believe in supporting independent artisans and when I see something that is exactly what I want (budget permitting), I order from these independent merchants. I also believe that nobody creates in a vacuum. Every great idea was inspired by another idea.

I was inspired by something I saw online that sparked the idea for creating what I’m going to share with you today. My magical moon wreath was so fun to make! Here is the process I followed, but feel free to improvise if you create one yourself, and make your wreath your very own.

A few years ago I bought some grapevine garland at the craft store. I imagine you could cut up a grapevine wreath just as well, but I decided to use what I had…very witchy of me.

I cut two moon shaped pieces of the garland to be joined together to get the thickness I wanted.

I used cotton cording to join the two pieces together, wrapping around in a spiral fashion. The package of cording contained 8 yds which was enough with some left over.

At this point I have to just encourage you to create a type of weaving pattern that is pleasing to you. If you’ve ever made a dream catcher then you will rock at this part. I haven’t and didn’t. But I kept at it and just considered it to be a kind of wabi sabi weave I ended up creating.

You will want to end your weaving at the top point of your moon shape and cut a long enough piece to hang down and hold your crystal piece.

I found a crystal geode slice pendant in the jewelry making department of the local craft store. But, hey, make your own pendant or hang something completely different on your moon if you prefer!

Next, you will want to arrange some florist’s moss on the “fat” part of your moon to give it more of a crescent shape.

I put dots of Tacky Glue all along the wreath where the moss was to be placed. You can use Will Hold if you like. I prefer Tacky Glue. And glue guns are a challenge for me (ouch! burn!), but if you are a glue gun rock star, be my guest!

To make my pendant more secure, I put a drop of glue near the knot of my pendant, at which point I was able to trim off the ratty bits of the knot and make the connection look smoother.

Next, I started adding my dried flowers. You can add artificial flowers, dried herbs from your garden….experiment! Don’t be afraid to rearrange things until you get the arrangement you like.

I decided to wire a little dragonfly charm to the top of the pendant.

I felt a couple of feathers would look smart as well. The final thing you might want to do is to trim up the points on your grapevine moon with some strong scissors or garden shears to give the points a more tapered look.

Here is a list of supplies for creating your moon wreath:

  • Grapevine garland or wreath
  • Cotton cord of your color choice 8 yds is plenty
  • Florist’s moss
  • Craft glue of your choice (don’t use gorilla glue! 😳)
  • Pendant of your choice with a fixture at the top for hanging it.
  • Dried or artificial flowers, feathers, etc. for final touches.

Enjoy your wondrous, magickal moon wreath, and please do send pictures and comments of how yours turned out!

Creative Blessings,

Sarina

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I’ve known very few people who absolutely love cleaning house. I’ll have to admit that once I get started cleaning sometimes I get in the groove, and with music playing in the background it’s almost enjoyable. Almost.

Nurturing the magick in your cottage should go hand in hand with cleansing a house, but a witch has to go beyond cleansing to truly enchant a home. During this retrograde time I realized that I had been putting off a few things that would really improve the magick at Sycamore Hill. It’s been nearly a year since we moved in and my magick room in particular was still a mess. What was worse is that I couldn’t find things. So, long story short, I dove right in. There’s more to do, but that’s more material for future blog posts! 😻

I organized my herbs and incense, and placed them in my painted cabinet. Ok, they aren’t in alphabetical order ….yet. Now I have everything I need in one place to make that Lughnasadh incense!

On top of the herb cabinet I’ve set up a formal altar to honor Cerridwen and Cerrnunos….the Owl and the Stag. No tools on this altar since it’s mainly a place for meditation …. and lovely crystals. Speaking of which, crystals should definitely be a part of every witchy home. I think our home has crystals in nearly every room.

This little cauldron I scored at a local vintage fair. Flea markets and vintage fairs are an excellent source for witchy decorating items and tools. Scan their energy before buying. If there is weird or disturbing energy in the item give it a pass. You probably won’t be able to cleanse away those bad vibes. Even if the energy resonates, be sure to smudge and cleanse the item when you get it home. I’m a regular junk gypsy and have given many lovely items a new magickal home.

On to my witchycraft room….

My mish-mash of craft supplies went on shelves behind some old curtains. I mounted some of those stick on removable hooks on either end of the shelves to hold a curtain rod. This one thing made the whole room easier on the eyes and gave things a more magickal feel.

Above the shelves sits a bathroom cabinet I rescued from the street, cleansed and painted, and now a home for magickal oils.

My working altar is where I will do most of my witchycrafting. I covered the craft table with a nice cloth and tidied things up. Still a lot of stuff there ….but most witches I know have a lot of STUFF. I think cleansing and organizing is the key.

One of the best things about my witchycraft room is the window seat reading nook. I’m ashamed to say I have barely used it. This witch is too busy! But, I cleaned it up, added boho curtains and now it’s very inviting!

And, yes, I do have a thing about mermaids and dragons. Who doesn’t? The merkitty clock above my computer chair was a splurge from when we first moved in. Isn’t she lovely? My husband thinks she’s weird. Go figure!

So far so good. There are still a few more weeks until the end of Mercury retrograde and we will see what other magickal home improvements I can conjure up. Stay tuned….

Has Mercury retro inspired you to do any magickal fix -ups in your enchanted home? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

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Crows are said to be able to travel between the planes of existence and be able to deliver messages over space and time.

Here is a way to send a message to someone you have lost touch with. By the way, this time of Mercury retrograde is a great time to make contact with people whose whereabouts is unknown to you. I’m going to try this one to find my long lost cousin in England whose whereabouts I have been unable to find for some time. Haven’t spoken to her in years!

So here goes:

1. Find some seed. A handful will do. It should be organic and non-GMO. I suggest corn. It should be visible enough for the crows to spot it.

2. As you hold the seed in your hands say this charm or write one of your own:

Over space, over time,

Listen now to this rhyme!

Make ______’s presence be known,

By letter or phone.

Crow, deliver this message,

And may you have safe passage.

If you have a special message for the person being sought, state it now.

And so it is!

3. Take the seed to a place where you have seen crows. Scatter it on the ground. Walk away and don’t look back.

I’ll let you know if I find my cousin. Post your results in the comments as well!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

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