Sunday, July 30, 2017

Harvest Time In A Witch's Garden _Smudge Sticks

Hand-rolled Sage & Yarrow Wands

 Late July and early August is my favorite time to harvest the herbs I will bundle and dry for smudges. The warmth in the air, the mellow slant of the sun and the deepened colors of the garden all call to me.
 Smudging is the act of burning dried resins and herbs to release a fragrant smoke that will cleanse the air, a person, a thing or a space both physically and aurically. These materials can be in loose incense form or bundled and tied together into wands. Recently there have been several articles floating about online touting how this is now 'scientifically verified' as being 'truth'. Those of us who have done this for decades just smile. I'm sure our Ancestors are out-right chuckling about being 'verified'.

 This is a short list of common smudging herbs:

Tobacco Leaf

To create your own smudge wand bundle together the freshly cut herbs of your choice based on their properties and what you want to accomplish. Fold each end over the other to make a  chunky palm-sized 'packet' then wrap tightly top to bottom with thread in a color coordinating with the bundles intended purpose. Allow to dry in a cool well ventilated area for approximately 4-6 weeks.
  For more information on how use smudge sticks check in for next week's post.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Persephone Writes...

Good morning!
As many of you know I spent this past winter working within a different artistic pursuit. What started as Blog - Medium Tales - quickly morphed into a memoir now in Paperback and on Kindle. A signed Paperback is available on our etsy store now...

Divine Interference - Living with Angels, Demons, Fairies, and Ghosts

From the blog Medium Tales :

Here's your publishing update- Its done!! Yay!! The book Divine Interference-Living with Angels, Demons, Fairies, and Ghosts is now available in 2 forms- Kindle and Paperback through Amazon and a signed paperback edition through my etsy store. Go HERE and HERE for each venue. I've sent out the batch of pre-orders yesterday and am anxiously awaiting the responses.
 In the meantime....

Monday, May 29, 2017

Magical June


Fresh Lavender  Gathered From My Garden

Good Morning from Persephone's Folly! Its been one helluva winter and I am very very glad to see the Calendar turn towards the month of June. For details on all of that personal stuff check out my Northern Visions blog--

  Summer schedule here means fresh herb gathering, crafting of infused oils, magical garden planting and wrapping and drying Smudge Sticks for the rest of the year. This summer I have planted an entire walkway with alternating Lavender and Sage for those Smudge Sticks- I adore them! I guess some of you do as well since they are almost sold out!

  The Summer Solstice - June 21- is one of my favorite seasonal observances in that it is total play-time for me! I choose an 'only can do it in the summer' activity like canoeing or a day at the beach and revel in the fact that it is finally summer-time in the north. At home I will set a small altar and leave offerings and homage to my Gods and the Fae ,as well as other Land Spirits, will receive their gifts at their shrine in my back yard.

  St John's Day  - June 24- is an herb gathering day. St John's wort grows in abundance here in Northern Michigan and if the herb has flowered then I make a day of it with hiking and gathering the plant tops for future use in tinctures, soaps, and oils.

Are there summer magical milestones that you observe? I would love to hear about them in the comments section!

Monday, October 24, 2016

I dreamed last night that I died....


   Well, that got your attention, didn't it? But its true.In the very early morning hours I dreamed that I was on either the 5th or the 10th floor balcony of a building (i'm not sure which and I'm not sure yet why those numbers are important) that exploded/came down. I was simultaneously on the balcony and watching from a distance. From a distance I watched the building come down and myself on the balcony and for some reason believed I had survived it. I got onto a motor cycle driven by a friend I once had (who 'in real life' died several years ago) and we road off. The next part was that I was wandering the lobby of a nearby building and feeling very anxious that I did not have my purse or my phone and no way to contact my family to let them know that I was OK. It seemed odd that we survivors were just left to our own devices with no help centers set up for us.I was also very thirsty. I found a (in real life) friend in her hotel room and asked her for a bottle of water but she ignored me. I noticed her youngest son specifically and he saw me but I couldn't get anyone to get me any water.
  I wandered for a bit then found myself in another hotel room with the family of a man who I met once in 'real life' but is known from some ghost hunting shows. I honestly never have thought of him one way or the other except that the one time I met him in person that he was very kind and funny. So in my dream I wind up in his family's hotel room. The whole family- his wife, a son (that I don't now if he even has in real life) are snuggled in bed and I lie down between him and his son. He smiled very kindly at me and I remember being so relieved that someone saw me. I asked for water and he gave me some juice then announced that he was wondering why I (he used my name in the dream) was out wandering around on such a beautiful Sunday morning. I was embarrassed that I had intruded on his family-time but then realized that he was the only one who knew I was there. I began to wake up from the dream and as I awoke realized that I had died when the building came down.

 So- what to make of it. Obviously one does not die when they dream of their own death because here I am on my 2nd cup of coffee typing this all out for you to read. Though I have to admit that I was quite discombobulated upon coming to full wakefulness. That means that 'I died' is not a literal interpretation here- thank goodness!
  I've been awake a couple of hours now just kind of letting that dream settle as well as deciding
 1.) whether to share it and 2.) which blog to share it on. Obviously I decided to share it and I chose the esoteric Persephone's Folly blog so as to not frighten the heck out of my more literal, mundane friends and family .

 This is what I have made of this rather dramatic dream - To start it is a moving picture narrative of the Tower Card in Tarot. That is about the *only* literal interpretation that I will give for the dream. Do I think a building will literally collapse with me in it sometime soon- no. (Though we are traveling in a week and I will probably request a ground floor room in the hotel where we stay -better safe than sorry!) But, no- I don't believe the dream was prophetic of a disaster or my death. I do believe that my Guides were giving me a slap upside the head to pay attention and to stop down-playing the effects that so many changes are having on my life and energy.

The old ways are done therefore the old ways of doing things are done. 
~~Adjust. Adapt ~~

There was also the message that I must start taking care of myself- get nourishment ( the juice) pay attention to who *really sees me* - recognize that the foundations are shifting and act accordingly.

 ~~~ Having just finished that paragraph a very clear (both of my dogs reacted) bell rang. There is no TV or radio on and there are no outside sounds;the neighbors are all at work Just one chime. It was very much an affirmation. Dione Fortune has written about 'the astral bell' - think its time to read up on that ~~~

Dreams are endlessly fascinating to me- whether seen as 'housecleaning' by the subconscious, visits from passed on loved one's, or messages from Guides there is no shortage of information and suggestions when it comes to them. Over the years I have learned that the VERY FIRST thing to pay attention to is how I FEEL about the dream: if it seems significant then it more than likely is.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Of Autumn and Fae and Crystals, Oh My

faerie queen by Brian Fraud

 The Wheel is turning and the veil thins- I keep catching flitters and flutterings of other realms from the corners of my eyes. The Fae draw near and I hear their whispers and muted conversations from the trees and meadows. They don't seem to venture to the beaches of the Great Lake- that is the realm of The Lady and not theirs to walk it would seem.
  With this thinning I find myself hyper alert and tingly- my skin prickles and thrums with incoming information and vibrations of passing Spirits. There is so much activity that it amazes me everyone doesn't feel this. But they don't. In fact, most don't. And a few of those will read this magical mystical ramble and worry for my sanity _smile_  But for those of you that know me - sanity aside!- you know that I revel in the Power of this time. I am not a 'Springtime- throw white light at it - gentle type of Witch'. I gather my strength and my power from the extremes- storms off the Lake, thunder & Lightening, bright and full moons, the inky darkness of the New Moon,brightly hot summer days,and fog as thick as pea soup.
by wendy fraud

  In a week I will be attending the ParaCon (paranormal convention) in Sault St Marie, Michigan. I've already gathered my arsenal of cleansing and shielding products as I fear there will be many many types of people and energies roaming about the convention center. Physical and non alike. Add to that 2 nights in hotel room and I'm a little nervous. Hotel rooms are prime spots for 'astral nasties' that hang out and feed on folks' fears and worries. Think of it as a buffet of sorts for those types of entities- every night a new, fresh psyche open and ready and throwing out all of its hopes, fears, and thoughts as it sleeps. I've had some truly awful experiences in hotel rooms and now arrive prepared.
How so?
This is what I carry:
Florida Water in a spray bottle -- I Spritz the room to cleanse it
Blessed Salt - I sprinkle (lightly) around the perimeter and in the corners to seal it
A large Crystal - placed next to my bed and charged to absorb any negativity that may still be floating about.
My Own Psychic Shield Soap - used to zip up my aura and keep any roaming astral nasties away
Psychic Shield Soap in the mold. 

While at home I make generous use of candles and incense but its not a good idea to light things in a hotel room so the list above has become my go-to for making the room cleane and safe.

During the convention itself another large crystal will sit on the vending table and I will have protective stones on my person. Throughout the day these will be run under cool water to clear them. At night they will be placed in blessed salt to charge for the next day's vending.

While it may seem excessive to some -these precautions and rituals -I have found them to be absolutely essential to my physical and psychic health. I am a sensitive and an empath and far to easy for other energies (human and non) to access. In previous posts I have discussed the need to care for oneself psychically. Even if you are not a terribly "sensitive" person, if you are a Witch chances are you are utilizing and moving energy. Physically you will begin to feel the effects of energy that you have absorbed if you do not have a standard ritual for cleansing and clearing.  Check out the previous post dedicated to this or comment with any questions...

 So all of that aside, I love this time of year :-) Its ripe and juicy and so very much alive with the bounty of this realm and the movement of the other realms. The light here is golden and mellow and the air is gentle and caressing.  The Fae, especially, are available now and I commune and communicate with Them often until Midwinter... while terrible tricksters and having a sense of humor that is often at Humans' expense I have found them to be interesting companions and help-mates this time of year.
 Here's to Autumn! And to understanding the need for Psychic Health, and for good home made soap and for Flitterings and Flutterings. May It Always Be So...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sacred Jewelry

Prayer Beads
 Prayer Beads and Sacred Jewelry has been around as long as humans have been aware enough to adorn themselves with natural elements...millions of years.... It is a cross-cultural and religiously free practice. In fact, I would hazard a guess that there is no group, culture, or religion that does not have some sort of body adornment or decor which is used to symbolize deeper psychological and magical ideas or practices. 
 The image above is a picture of a custom made Elemental Rosary that I created for a friend. These are also called Witches Ladders within neo paganism. Catholics refer to them as Rosaries, with Hindus and Buddhists utilize many styles of prayer beads (just to name a few). The use is the same- a vehicle for meditation and prayer with each main bead and spacer bead used to move along the prayer or to begin a new part of the meditation. This particular set uses the traditional western version of Elemental energies as well as the duality of The God/dess energies and how those play out within our lives. The meditations also encourag the user to identify and strengthen those energies that can be useful for her.
 And don't discount beauty-- function is all well and good but if the jewelry is not pleasing to look at half of the purpose is gone!  So whether you will make your own or purchase/order from a reputable Crafter please consider form, function, symbol, and purpose for your Sacred Jewelry.
  Have you created your own sacred jewelry or prayer beads? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

 ~To order your personal piece please contact me at ~

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Longing for the Wild

  As I sit here in my Mother's very proper living room-which was my Grandmother's very proper living room before her's- waiting for her to wake up for the day so that we can ready her for her at home physical therapy for a recent knee replacement I find myself longing for my freedom. I don't know what it is about returning to a parent's home that immediately transports one to an awkward 12 year old's mind-set. Or maybe that happens the most when one has-as an adult- veered so far off of the path one was raised on as to be almost unrecognizable. 

I try very hard to honor my Mother's beliefs (and her parent's before her and so on and so on and so on) yet I chafe at the church services I attend with her and wonder anew at the celebration of a death by grievous torture on a wooden cross piece. While I was indeed raised with these beliefs and practices they are no longer a part of me and I can honestly say that I no longer can even fathom the mindset that accompanies the hymns; 'We are special because we are chosen and yet we are horrid people because we will never live up to the ideal that the crucified God is to us'. Hug-slap. Hug-slap. Hug-slap. 

I am four hours from home and I miss my freedom and sense of wildness that becomes deadened and tamped down here. I want to light a candle and chant. I want to open my herb cupboard and inhale deeply of the spirits and energies within. I want to set up and arrange an altar with abandon and openness. I want to write and create pages in my book and talk to the crows. I want to hold my arms wide and welcome in The Morrigan and Herne and dance with the Lloa while I craft their likeness in dolls. All of this is within me and a part of me-no matter where I am residing physically but I can't help but twitch and stretch against the invisible binds and ties of family propriety while I am here.  The poem below describes The Wild of a Pagan God and lifestyle perfectly--

Sometimes a Wild God (by Tom Hirons)

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.
When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.

Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:
The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.