A Shamanic and Celtic Wiccan Tradition

Elderberry

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

elderberry 

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information then is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

Also known as Sambucus spp (Nigra for berries and Canadensis for flowers) American Elder, Common Elder, Black Elder, Bour Tree, and European Black Elder, European elder is a plant native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western and Central Asia. Do not confuse this Elder with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder, those are different.  The Elder we are talking about has a long history of use in traditional European medicine, but Elder berries have also been used for making preserves, wines, winter cordials, and for adding flavor to other things.  Of all the parts of the Elder, the flowers or berries are the most commonly used. Dried fruits are less bitter than fresh. (more…)

When Someone Is Dying, Part 2

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

This is the second part of a two-part article about caring for the dying person.  In the first article, I covered some emotions the dying may feel, some quick references to herbs, oils and stones you may want to try, and a basic reminder that really all you have to do is be there to be helpful.  There are, after all, no magick words or “right” things to say or do – there is just being in the present human experience, often silently.  For this article, we move forward into the actual physical look of death, what you may see the dying person’s body doing, and some small suggestions to help. (more…)

When Someone Is Dying, Part 1

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

Probably the hardest thing in the world to deal with is the death of someone we love.  When it is an accident, it is over so quickly, and there isn’t time to react, let alone to prepare.  When it happens slowly, as in the case of old age or terminal illness, it is a different sort of pain, the pain of watching as someone lingers on.  This is the death I want to focus on, and how you can help someone who is going through the dying process.  This article is in two parts, with this first article focusing on the psychological aspects of dying, and how to talk to someone about their death.  The second article will be about the physical aspects of dying. (more…)

Thyme

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

thyme

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information then is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

An aromatic herb in the mint family, thymus vulgaris is a perennial that grows to a height of fifteen inches, with numerous branched woody stems.  These terminate in tiny rounded leaves that are greenish-grey in color with pink flowers that last from May to August. Today thymus vulgaris is common throughout North America, but it originated in the southern Mediterranean. Thyme thrives best with lots of room to spread in. It is easy to grow, and doesn’t mind dry stony soil.  It doesn’t care for too much moisture and heavy beds tend to affect the fragrance negatively, so make sure the soil doesn’t cake around the roots.  In the winter, though, thyme appreciates having soil banked around it to protect from frost.  Thyme leeches the nutrients from the soil, so if you move your plants you will have to trench the area deeper than the roots were able to reach and compost it well. Thyme can repel insects and moths and is said to aid the growth of eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes when planted nearby in the garden. (more…)

So Mote It Be!

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

This is a phrase called out from the mouths of witches all over.  It is found at the end of spells, at the end of prayers, at the end of declarations.  Most witches say it because that is what is written in all the “witchy” books and sites, and we all started our magickal education that way.  Plus, witches aren’t real comfortable using the word “amen” as it belongs to practitioners of other faiths.  But it is an archaic phrase, and we naturally wonder where it came from and why witches have adopted it and continue to use it today. (more…)

Mother May I Hex?

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

So a Tier 3 sex offender moved in down the street.  It is something of a shock to get that notice in the mail – a flyer in from the Sheriff’s Dept giving me his name, address, age, the crimes he was accused of, his mug shot, and identifying marks.  I stared at that man’s face, and I hardly knew what to think.  On the other side of the flyer I got helpful tips about how to live with a sex offender as a new neighbor such as making sure your kids know he is there and to stay away from him, not using your kids names where he can hear or see it, and (my personal favorite) making sure you have recent fingerprints and photos of your kids.  This was some pretty awesome advice to help me sleep at night.  And of course, as I read and contemplated all this, all I wanted was to get him gone. (more…)

Moon Moments – June

By Celestia DragonBee 2014

June, the month of Summer arrives. Long days filled with light and laughter permeate our lives as the kids finish with school and barbeques and friends fill our backyards. June has always been a genuine happy month as Summer truly begins. Let’s see what we have in store.

Our first major activity this month is Mercury doing the moonwalk on the 7th. Yes, Mercury moves Retrograde once again, this time in Cancer. Sensitivity is the name of the game. You very well may find yourself reading into conversations and getting your feelings hurt. Be aware that while body language and tone do have their place in our everyday human contact, at this time your sensitivity may be putting the wrong spin on things. Mercury will be moving back into Gemini in a couple weeks. Try not to get your feelings hurt in the meantime. (more…)

Catnip

By Lady Raven Stormdancer

cat 

*For educational and magickal purposes only.  NONE of this information has been evaluated by the folks at the Food and Drug Administration.  This information, then, is not presented in any effort to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or symptoms.  If you desire to use this or any herb we discuss, then it is up to you to do research and contact a qualified herbalist.  Our religion teaches personal responsibility in all things.  Now is not the time to forget that lesson. 

Also known as Nepeta cataria, Catmint, Catnep, Catswort, Field Balm, Menta De Gato, Catnip is native to Southern Europe but is widely naturalized all over Europe and North America. The root is perennial and has branched stems that reach 2 to 3 feet high which are very leafy and covered with a soft down. The heart shaped, toothed leaves are also covered with a soft down, especially on the under sides.  It blooms from July to September with tiny white or pale pink blooms, and if you are harvesting the flowering tops you should get them in August.   It is a member of the mint family, and looks very much like a mint plant.  It also behaves like mint and once it gets loose it can take over a garden patch. (more…)

Moon Moments – May 2014

By Celestia DragonBee 2014

The month of May brings warm breezes, the aroma of blooming flowers and the bright light of the sun to our lives once again. The winter has been long and as the sun finally lights more of the day, our lives reflect the need for warmth in more ways than one.

Venus dances into Aries on the 2nd of May creating a dazzling sensuality that you feel you’ve been missing for some time. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Being in love with being in love?” Follow your heart, flirt a little. This auspicious time isn’t about settling down into a domestic rut. It’s about loving with everything you are. (more…)

What Do You Do When Everything Is OK?

PentacleAn essay by Lady Raven Stormdancer

A friend of mine pointed out that I tend to cover a lot of dark territory in my writing.  She is not wrong; I have focused a lot on the negative in life and what that means.  Conversely, she asked me what happens to spirituality when things are going well.  That interested me because religion is the thing we fall back on when we are sick, hurting or in trouble.  When things settle down, we say, “Thank the gods” and we move on in a bit more of a chipper mood.  But in that fleeting moment of thankfulness, do we really express our gratitude?  How often do we stand at our altars and ask for things?  How often do we stand at our altars and ask for nothing at all? (more…)