Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making Magical Berry Ink

1/2 cup of Mulberries,
1/2 teaspoon Salt,
1 teaspoon Vinegar

Mash Berries Gently With a Wooden Spoon in a Sieve/Strainer
over a bowl or measuring cup.

Mulberry Juice with a few floating seeds

Mulberry Ink
The recipe I use to create my berry ink I found in Silver Ravenwolf's book, Hedge Witch.
She advises that you can use any berries such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc either singly or a mixture of berries.

I used mulberries from the tree in my neighborhood plus a few blackberries I found growing down near the stream behind the house.
You use the vinegar to help hold the color. I used red wine, one because it doesn't smell as strong as some vinegars can and second because it is a red vinegar and probably has some staining qualities too.
Salt is used to deter mold.

She also advises that you can scent your ink by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I decided to use a combination of orange, clove and cinnamon. It gave the ink a nice spicey smell and it also helped mask the vinegar.
 After I added my oils, I restrained my juice to help remove the left over seeds and poured it into my washed clean bottle using a small plastic funnel.
Because this is a natural product it has a short shelf life. To help it last as long as it can, I store my ink in the refrigerator.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wren Report

The wrens hatched last week. Dad and Mom were busy doing a little bug foraging.
 Here Mister is bringing a tasty morsel to the Little Woman. This was during the incubation stage. He would feed her and then fly over to my arching trellis and sing opera to her.
Watching them feed and tend the babies has been fun and educational.
The kids are getting big. Today I saw them peeping out of the bird house. I counted three little open mouths.
I think it will not be to long before they try their wings.
Pineapple Scented Geranium and Coleus
Handmade Pentacle Stepping Stone and Owl Carved Rock

Lavender, Pinks, Rosemary Red Geraniums, Winter savory, Lemon Balm , Sage, St. John's Wort, Thyme, Chives and
Rose Scented Geraniums
It's been a little difficult to find a time when I can  water and work in my herbs. The Wrens get excited and sound a heated repeated tskk at me.
But I discovered if I stay low to the ground and not look at them, they'll tolerate me for a short while.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June Activities

Crafting Lavender Hand Salve
Working on my Blue Altered Art Book
The Mulberries are ready for crafting homemade BOS ink

House Wrens have taken up residence in my little blue birdhouse.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Practical Magic Altered Art Book

I was going through my photos of altered art books I have created and came across these.
They are photos taken of the Practical Magic Altered Art Book I made as a party favor for the Second Annual Practical Magic Blog Party ,hosted by Frosted Petunias.

I'm in need of another shot of Practical Magic. I think I'll get my DVD out and play it this evening. I'm also thinking I need to create another altered art book.........
What do you think?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Hermit- Lesson 10- Black Crow Tarot Course

The hermit is number 9 in the major Arcana; a very mystical number indeed!
Here we see the hooded cloaked man standing a top a mountain looking down.
 He holds a staff in one hand and a lantern in the other. His gray beard and hair are symbols of his experience and wisdom, and his cloak represents spirituality.
His staff is his support but it also suggests a wand inferring that his strength comes from his magic/spiritual knowledge. He is a sage, holding forth his lantern lighting the way for all his fellow travelers.

This card appearing in a reading may indicate a time of retreat or solitude for the seeker. The hermit stands alone. The shadow side of solitude is isolation, in which the solitary condition is forced or caused by negative influences or situations.
This card can also indicate a person ( maybe the seeker or someone the seeker will encounter) who will be instrumental in someway or aspect to the seekers spiritual quest.
The seekers life will be changed by this person and will be illuminated by the light from the Hermits' lantern.
As always other cards in the reading and the seekers question will bear upon the Hermits meaning.

Sometimes there isn't a spiritual matter addressed by this card. This card is also the card of the loner and the recluse shut off from others and fixed upon a solitary study or activity.
How important is Hermit time in your life?

I have periods where I quite often need hermit time. I need time to paint, draw, read and study, time to work in my herb garden. I need time to process what's been happening in my life whether it is of a  spiritual nature or not.
I need time to create my art too.
Growing up in a family of seven people all in a small home, I felt like I was always looking for some time alone. Sometimes the only place I could find was underneath my bed.

Was there a person in your life who was the hermit for you- a personal/spiritual guide or teacher?
I can't think of any one person but my teachers/hermits have been either books I have read or movies I have watched.
I come from a very strict Protestant family. My Grandfather was a traveling Preacher. The Bible was the laws and guidelines to our family life and the way I was raised..
My view of God was that He was a harsh judge mental super being who had so many rules about everything.   You could be sinning and not even know it! It left me feeling scared, guilty and doomed.
  I remember being 14 and watching the Walt Disney movie Pollyanna on TV.  In the movie Polly has a conversation with the preacher of her Aunt's church concerning all the loving happy scriptures found in the Bible and she didn't understand why the hell fire and damnation ones were the only ones most seemed to preach on. I was really struck by what she voiced. I felt like she was channelling my thoughts. It gave me a different way to think and view church and the people who were the leaders.
 I was in my Junior year of High School when I saw the movie Fiddler On The Roof. My Allied Arts class had gone on an end of the year field trip to the Art Museum and to see this movie.
 I had just gotten my period and was cramping something awful.  I only mention this because it was a factor in the whole experience.
I sat through that movie physically in pain and emotionally astounded by the fact that the main character had a personal way of talking to God. It was a total epiphany for me.
 I had never been taught or shown that you could do that... I mean talking to God like he was your best buddy!!
 In the last three years of studying the Craft, I have read a lot of books that have shown me, taught me and addressed old questions I had about women and God and to think about and understand what a Divine Spirit means to me.
These books have been my Hermits, my Teachers lighting the way for me. Black Tarot Course