The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Which Witch? (Part Four)


What was the first spell you did?
I would say it was more of a ritual than a spell, but it was for healing and improving self-esteem, at a time when I was battling depression. You can find it here.

What was the latest?
A protective charm to guard against negative emotional influences. 

Ever done a love spell?
Absolutely not. The individual’s right to free will should not be meddled with. I did a wonderful spell to attract positivity to my life last year and I was blessed that that came in the form of love, with B, but that was not a specified outcome. 

A job spell?
No. Again, I would not like to influence others. What I would do is a ritual or spell which improves self-belief or confidence, or to calm nerves. 

A healing spell?
Healing is what I do most often. 


Flight of the Phoenix by Shut up and Whisper

Do you believe in Vampires?
Energy-vampires, yes. 

Hmmm I’d say no, but then all mythology comes from somewhere. I believe they exist as a projection of something within all humanity. The ability to turn into an ‘animal’ or ‘monster’ is present within everyone – just not in the literal sense.

Shape shifters?
Not in the literal sense, although I think energies around us are able to take on many forms. I also believe in shifting astrally.

Elves? Faeries? Dragons? Nymphs? Sprites? Mermaids? Sirens? Satyrs?
Why not?


Ever "seen" any of the above?

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?
We all have guardians. Some people just ‘see’ or sense them in different ways.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Which Witch? (Part Three)

Wheel of the Year

What are your favourite holidays?
Samhain and Imbolc.

What if your least favourite holiday?
I don’t have a least ‘favourite’ but I suppose the one I feel least moved by is Litha (Summer Solstice).

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?
Of some sort – these are usually blessings or thanksgivings. I save spellwork for the moon cycle and treat sabbats as a day of celebration instead.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a pagan holiday?
No, but as the teaching year tends to follow the old seasonal cycles, I am fortunate that I am often on holiday for the sabbats anyway.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25?
I celebrate Yule on 21st with those friends and family who wish to join me. The 25th is a day with my whole extended family who aren’t pagan, when we have a Christmas celebration.

Have you ever felt the Veil thin?
More so with each passing year. At Beltane and Samhain particularly and whenever I’m near a hawthorn or willow tree.

Ever danced the Maypole?
When I was little but not properly in many years. Something I would love to do. 

How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays?
Bath, meditation, sometimes a small private ritual, offerings to the gods and goddesses and usually some sort of feast!


Do you use Tarot?
No but I’m absolutely dying to learn. I used to read standard playing cards when I was younger. They can be read in a similar way. 

Do you use runes?
Yes, I have a beautiful set of amethyst runes given to me by a hedgewitch friend. I use them often when I am struggling for clarity with thoughts, questions and decisions. 

Do you use astrology?
It is something I have studied and been fascinated with since a very early age. I am not solely guided by it but I do take it into consideration.

Any other form of divination?
Sticks and twigs occasionally. I used to use the I-Ching daily but haven’t for years. 

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Which Witch? (Part Two)

Gods and Goddess

Who are your patron Gods?
I'm really not sure at this point – I always considered Cronus (Saturn) to be a figure of guidance for me. However, taking into account more recent events, I would have to say Pan. 

Who are your patron Goddesses?
Again, I wouldn’t like to say one with certainty although I work with Selene (Luna) more often than most. 

Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship?
I believe that all gods and goddesses (of the numerous pantheons) are individual aspects of the great God and Goddess. I would say that I give thanks to the God and Goddess and celebrate them as they are the spirit which exists in everything in nature and the turners of the seasonal wheel. Rather than worshipping the individual gods and goddesses, I define my relationship with them as one of great respect: I call on them for assistance and give offerings and thanks for their particular work. 

Do you fear dark aspects of the Gods/Goddess, or rather, respect them?
I respect them and embrace them. Without darkness there exists no light.


Do you regularly commune with nature?
Absolutely and I think most pagans do.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
Yes. I love walking barefoot actually and should do it more often!

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?
In the desert in Mongolia – I was on my own and away from all ‘civilisation’ – no technology, no buildings, nothing. I could see millions of stars that night and felt how insignificant one human is amidst the Universe. I also feel closest to Mother Earth when in stormy weather – a lightning storm always makes me feel how powerful she is. 

What is/are your power animal(s)?
Cats and crows. Crows have been coming to me, in visualisation (and sometimes physically!) for the past three years. 

Do you have a familiar?
There are several cats in my life who are the closest thing, but sadly my true familiar – a cat called Whiskers – passed away a couple of years ago.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Which Witch? (Part One)

I thought it would be fun to answer some questions about my chosen pagan path, as I have never really spoken about it outright on this blog. Hopefully this will give you a bit of an insight! I will answer the questions in stages so as not to bore you with ridiculously long posts. Feel free to take the questions and post answers of your own - it would be fun to learn a little more about your beliefs and practices.


How did you find Witchcraft/Paganism?
From a young age I was conducting ‘rituals’ alone, not really understanding the meaning of what I was doing. As I grew up and read – and read, and read, and read – I started to realise my beliefs and practices had their roots in pagan practices. My journey into witchcraft wasn’t decided until I met a friend who told me she was a Hedgewitch and simply said that she felt comfortable telling me because she expected I would understand. I did and from that point I have trodden the path of a solitary witch. 

How long have you been practising?
I consider myself to be a very young practising witch – about three years as a wholehearted practitioner but, as I say, much of what I do I have been doing unknowingly for much longer. I continue to learn every day. 

Solitary or group practitioner?
Solitary, although I have recently been blessed to find someone who likes to practise as I do so we have conducted a few lovely rituals together. 

What is your path?
I would call myself a solitary hearth witch for the simple reason that, although I do conduct rituals outdoors in the wild, I practise magick more in the home and garden.

Are you out of the broom closet?
Yes, I would say I am. My faith and practice aren’t something I shout about to many people, but I will be open and honest if asked or if I wish to share it with someone special.

Friday, 27 August 2010


...can only come from nurturing and time. This is the case in all areas of life. When I returned home from my holiday I was delighted to find an array of treats waiting for me - all fruits borne from that special combination.

The first treat was found in my post-box...

...a package of surprises from the wonderfully generous Mother Moon.

What delights I found within!

A very dainty pair of earrings. These pretty, delicate ones are just my style.

A set of hand-decorated notecards - perfect for thank yous!

And last but by no means least, a fantastical card, with such a sweet message which went to the heart of how I feel about blogging. 

We are part of a community here and I am loving reaching out to meet like-minded people and hope to get to know you all better over the forthcoming months. These treats are a reminder that with nurture and time, friendships can grow. 

Many thanks and brightest blessings, Mother Moon


The second treat was a wonderful reward for a lot of patience and care over the past few months.

When I first moved in to my cottage, a year ago, a friend bought me a beautiful orchid as a house-warming gift. After several months in bloom, the flowers sadly began to drop one by one until I was left with an empty stem. This happens with all orchids, whose flowering life is limited.

However, I did not want to discard the plant. I had heard it is very rare that an orchid will flower again, but I did not want to give up. I cut the flowerless stem right down and moved the orchid to a shaded, cooler spot.

About five months later I noticed a new stem had appeared. A few weeks after that there were buds on it. I was delighted! And when I walked into my living room on Monday, this was what I saw...

The orchid has triumphed against the odds! Blessed are we with little rewards given for nurturing and having the patience to allow time to work its wonders. 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

An Invitation... you all to take a look at this wonderful wildlife documentary, about Bottlenose Dolphins resident off the coast of the British Isles, in Cardigan Bay.

This film has been made by my lovely friend Kat, who I haven't seen in about a year (boo hoo!) because she has been working so hard. The result is this stunning footage, which has been captured as the final project for her MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging.

I'm so proud of her, as well as my friend Ryan, who has composed the beautiful score which accompanies the film. What I love most about the documentary is that it reminds the viewer of the complexity of the natural environments all around them, which we often take for granted, as well as offering the opportunity to witness some of our country's most magical creatures thriving. Let us hope it stays that way.

If you want to see more of Kat's outstanding wildlife photography, she can be found here, or keep up-to-date with her escapades as she roams around the country with her camera, by reading her blog

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A little holiday

The reason I have been absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks...

B and I have been enjoying the delights of Cornwall. 

I shall be back tomorrow with a 'proper' post. 
I have missed writing and peeking into my favourite blog-world windows. 

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A New Arrival

One of the reasons I have been a bit quiet on the blog front over the past couple of weeks is this little munchkin...

Meet Sydney - the newest member of our family!

Sydney was one of a small litter that a friend's cat had three months ago. As they needed homes, my Mum decided to take one in, hoping she would be a companion for our cat Cleo, who has been on her own for about six months now.

Step by small step they are getting used to each other and while I was at home visiting, as I'm sure you can imagine, much of my time was taken up playing with both cat and kitten.

After all, who could resist that little face?

Even when it cheekily sticks out a tiny tongue!


Anything almond flavoured is a bit of an obsession of mine. My favourite drink is an amaretto sours and I absolutely adore soft, squidgy almond macaroons - just like these 'amaretti morbidi'.

In the past I have had to learn to curb my enthusiasm for treats such as these, for two reasons. Firstly, I have found it rare for shops to stock the truly 'soft' amaretti that I prefer. Secondly, when I have chanced to happen upon them, my delight has usually been dampened by the expensive price. 

So, when a friend made  some of these for me as a Christmas gift last year, I begged her to give me the recipe, in order to put an end to my amaretti embargo. You will need the following:

* 180g ground almonds
*120g caster sugar
* Grated zest of one lemon
*1/2 tsp natural almond extract
* 1 pinch of salt
* 2 egg whites
* 1 tbsp honey
* Flaked almonds for rolling
* Icing sugar for rolling

Firstly, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Grate the zest of one lemon and mix this together with the ground almonds, caster sugar, salt and almond extract. Rub the mixture together with your finger tips.

In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites and honey and whisk until soft peaks form, like so...

You will now need to combine both your wet and dry mixtures. Fold the wet into the dry with a large metal spoon until you get a paste.

Roll the paste into small round balls of about 20grams in weight. Roll each ball on a plate of flaked almonds and then a plate of icing sugar.

Place the amaretti on the tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 12-16 minutes in the oven.

When you remove the amaretti from the oven they should be a light golden colour and still be chewy on the inside. This may take a bit of experimentation to perfect - my first attempt were browned on the base, although still tasted delicious.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Belated Lammas Blessings

 One of the things I love most about living in the countryside is that you can see the seasons changing, almost moment by moment, everywhere around you. 

This field was crammed full of wheat when I walked through it a couple of weeks ago.
On Sunday, there was not a grain in sight: it had all been harvested.

August 1st, although called by different names according to different traditions and cultures, is known to myself and many others here in England as Lammas. This comes from the phrase 'loaf mass' in reference to the first wheat harvest. By baking and breaking bread, on this day we celebrate the success of the crops.

This year I celebrated Lammas day with a family feast and a long walk, enjoying the blessings of the land, the sun and the food they provide. 

I hope you all enjoyed yours. 
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