Make your own Smudge sticks

Making your own smudge sticks…

They really are quite simple and can be done with the minimum of fuss or tools. All you need is fresh herbs and twine or string,

But what herbs? Sage, normal garden sage, rosemary and lavender are great to include but you can also add pine or eucalyptus if you have trees nearby, and even mints and thyme can be included and you can roll rose petals or other flowers within. To begin, put several branches together at the base and cut so the ends are together and the tops finish together…it just makes binding the stick together easier.

Cut a piece of twine 4 times the length of your bundle Tie the bottom of the bundle together with a knot at one end of the string, tighten around the bundle, then bind the bundle together, spiraling the twine up to the top of the bundle, then wrap back down crisscrossing the twine back to the base and tucking in any stray leaves. Tie the loose ends at the bottom. Hang your smudge up in a warm place to dry for about 3 weeks. You will then be good to light and smudge away, following tradition going back through the centuries and the ritual practices of the past!

Magickal Cookery

Goulash Soup – magickal mountain cookery…

I love goulash soup on a cold day in the mountains. I discovered it several skiing holidays ago and now lunch on it every chance I get when in the mountains. It is filling, warming and delicious and fires you to face the world again – after all, you do have to get back down that mountain!! We are going to use soup to spark our inner radiance!! Yes, we really are so first, find a brightly coloured fiery soup you like and want to make i.e. carrot & coriander, spicy lentil or for students or singles, you can even sprinkle a little cayenne pepper into tinned tomato soup!! To set the scene, light Fire incense in your kitchen, anoint an orange or red candle with cinnamon oil and light, & put on music that brightens your day and makes you want to sing and dance, and you are ready to roll!

Stirring clockwise, make your soup or open the tin. Dance and sing whilst stirring and creating and making your soup whilst the flame heats it. Close your eyes and visualise yourself laughing and dancing and spinning like a child on a hillside – be Julie Andrews on that mountain!! Let this wildness travel from your mind, through your heart, down your arm to the wooden spoon into your soup and feel the cookers heat giving it more fire. As you stir, sprinkle in your cayenne or paprika or cinnamon and say, stirring clockwise all the time…

Heat from this fire, put into this mix, Sparkle and light and into us fix,

Let the heat of this potion bring our light to the World, as it radiates outward let our talents unfurl

Let us love who we are and enjoy what we do, and so mote it be for me and for you

Let your soup finish cooking, then simply enjoy eating with the family and let that fiery spark ignite!! Yum…

The power of Sea Salt

The value and power of Sea Salt…

Salt should be the first thing on the table at mealtimes and the last thing to be removed to guard the food and its diners, and always pass the salt with a smile!! Worried about the kids – then secretly throw salt after them as they leave the house and know its protective ability will help keep them safe until they return to you.

Coming from a fishing environment, I tend to add salt to my bath as a matter of course, but especially when not feeling well, as it cleanses the body takes away any negativity and illness, leaving me and my spirit revitalised and refreshed. Next time you run a bath, add a good handful of seasalt and soak for 20-30 minutes, then brush the skin with a body brush or loofah to get the blood flowing and remove toxins working from the feet up – guaranteed to make you feel alive!! Try it and see…

I also keep salt on my altar with a piece of jet to make a protective shield around my sacred space. In a clay dish filled with sea salt, I burn magickal incense to signify all 4 elements, By the way, it is unlucky to run out of salt; always keeping it on the altar ensures I never run out!! It is a sign of loss of health or weath or worse to come…so don’t do it!! Did you know that Roman soldiers were paid in Salt, as in “Worth his Salt” hence salary!!

Cooking Magically

Risotto of Peace and harmony…

How many of you think I have now lost the plot?? Attaining a feeling of peace is never easier than when making risotto – a popular food in our home. Ever tried making it?

Risotto takes about half an hour of constant stirring to make, and you can lose yourself in the risotto, constantly stirring in a clockwise fashion, over and over again. Think loving thoughts and think of happy and fun times whilst stirring and you are simply filling your family dinner magickally with love.

Look out a basic recipe and add whatever takes your fancy in the fridge and make a good honest meal for your loved ones and they will be getting a lot more than just food!

The Green Witch household tips…

Here is the section of little household tips that don’t belong anywhere else…and might even make you smile

Slimming tip:

Buy smaller plates…it is that simple!! I recently went to buy new plates and couldn’t believe the size of them now. They wouldn’t even fit into the average dishwasher…no wonder there is an obesity problem if the plates are anything to go on re portions…dinner plates of ‘normal’ size were now regarded as salad or side plates…and what mum doesn’t like serving a full plate to the kids!! The only problem now is the size of the plates they are getting used to, so my slimming tip is simply buy smaller plates and that will lead to a smaller waistline!!

Magical cup of Coffee

My magickal cup of Coffee and so much more…

The aroma of freshly ground beans is to die for, and the smell of fresh coffee wakes me in a morning, my 1st cup of freshly brewed coffee setting me up for the day. I love my coffee, not the instant variety (wouldn’t touch it if you paid me), but fresh roasted beans from all over the world. I like to buy beans from small plantations to help their local economy and small farmers, not multi-nationals, and grind them at home as I go. Whilst inhaling a new bag of gorgeous smelling beans, I started to wonder what else these wonderful little gems of pleasure could be used for?

I have yet to see coffee naturally on the plant, and was gutted to find that when I was on honeymoon in Hawaii last September, I was staying not far from a coffee museum and plantations containing one of the best coffees in the world and was due to be harvested– Kona beans. I did drink it but didn’t put together that it was actually grown there on Big Island! DOH – a missed opportunity!! However, I bought some home and it just wasn’t the same with Scottish water even though it ours is very good water…it just shows it’s all a matter of climate!!

  1. Thinking of coffee and its ability to get me moving in a morning, coffee beans must do the same, and it stands to reason (magickally) that beans can help get our finances moving too. Fill a shot glass with freshly roasted coffee beans, infuse with abundant vibrations and place in your money corner or, if you have Ganesh or Buddha to attract abundance on your altar, place another glass as an offering to your deity of choice and ask them to help. This stems from African-Cuban voodoo, where they offer their local beans to their deities and ancestors (and no, ground or instant coffee won’t work)!
  2. Coffee has also been used in voodoo to cleanse a person of ‘bad juju’…add squeeze of lemon, handful salt & 2 cups strong coffee to a jug. Run a nice hot bath, perhaps warmer than usual, add the coffee mix and soak for 15-20 minutes. Let the water go, staying in the bath whilst it drains. Repeat every night for a week.
  3. In the shop, we use our tin to inhale the aroma of fresh beans for clearing our nose when we have lost it after smelling different oils and also if we need a wake-up boost, so another thing you can do is to actually have a nice, fancy glass jar of coffee beans sat on your desk, and when tired or feel overworked and under stress, open the jar and inhale the aroma of beans for a few minutes to get your brain moving again.
  4. After consuming all that lovely fresh coffee, so as not to waste those used coffee, I collect the grinds in a tub and add to my flower beds in the garden to help feed the plants. In my head, this surely must be an ecological fertiliser, as they were just going into the recycling anyway. It must also make for really motivated worms too!! We return pearls to the sea for sympathetic magic to bring abundance to us, so returning coffee grinds to the Earth surely works on the same basis and the Earth will help enrich our lives as we help enrich her soil!
  5. Another use of the used coffee grinds is as a natural exfoliator…better than these Nano-plastic ones now plaguing our oceans. Half-fill a small pretty jar with some used coffee grinds and stir in a little natural oil like sunflower, olive or apricot kernel to make your own exfoliator. Use as you would normally as a facial scrub, rinse and moisturise, and store in the fridge or a cool dark cupboard. Make fresh every week.
  6. In Turkey, extra strong coffee is served in little glasses, and I discovered on my belly dance holiday some years ago, men conduct the readings called tasseography, at the table. It is done exactly the same as for teacup readings but with the coffee grinds at the bottom of the little glasses!

Maybe now you will view your morning coffee with new eyes and your beans and grinds a little different!

Your cup of magickal coffee in a morning

It is a well-known fact that 3-4 cups good ground coffee is healthy. My view is everything in moderation and a little of what you fancy does you good, so here’s how to turn your coffee into a magickal brew for the day …

You will need alongside your favourite ground coffee and a clean index finger:

3 pinches ground cinnamon, 3 pinches ground ginger and a pinch nutmeg…and here’s what to do…

  1. To your measured ground coffee, add the cinnamon and say “Cinnamon is for energy, money and love.”
  2. Add the ginger and say “Ginger is for success when push comes to shove.”
  3. Now the nutmeg and say “Nutmeg is for luck, good fortune, and wealth.”
  4. Kiss your index finger, stir your ground coffee with the finger like a love-infusing magick wand x3 and say “A kiss keeps you happy and glowing with health.”  
  5. Now with a coffee filter sparkling with loving vibrations, brew your coffee in the usual way

Now when serving up your coffee to you and yours, sugar adds sweetness to the day (I am plenty sweet enough) and a dash milk helps smooth the way (I use goat’s milk…anything in the way gets magickally booted out haha). 

What water does for you…

Spring cleaning with water…

When de-toxing, you have to drink lots and lots of water…I know, here I go again!! However, don’t rely on drinking loads of bottled water that is in the supermarkets in large quantities in plastic. Remember, some water has been bottled for up to 2 years…yuk!! Drink lots of tap water and, here in Scotland, our water is fab for drinking and tap water passes a lot more stringent tests than bottled water does.

Also, you may laugh at Del Trotter when he bottled tap water and sold it as mineral, but that has actually happened in real life so these bottled waters are not always what they are cracked up to be, especially the cheaper bargains. So, the best option is to use a filter jug or under-the-sink filter for your tap water than to rely solely on bottled (though some of the major cities may be a bit iffy…see if the filters alter the taste. I can actually tell by taste when my filter is done because I can taste the impurities are back in the water!!. They do actually work and you can always fill up the water bottle daily with fresh filter water, or better still, purchase a pretty glass bottle and carry with you in your bag all the time: add some crystals and make your very own personalised mineral water: much better than water that has been sat in the plastic for 6 months don’t you think.

Fair enough, sometimes you just have to buy a bottle of water and that is fine as better to drink bottled water than dehydrate but at the price it is sold (3 times dearer than milk), lets use the free stuff from the tap much more and get our bodies the fluid it needs for optimum health. I know I have the office bottled water in the shop but I use a company that has only had it bottled for up to 7 days before I get it unlike the previous company that I found out stored it for up to a year!!! See what I mean…

It is only when you are afloat with nothing in view except the sea yet having to buy bottled water and bathe in water from the ship’s own processing plant or drive through desert gasping for a shop to buy fresh supplies that you appreciate how lucky we are to have fresh clean water daily (and up here in Scotland, it falls more than average from the sky).

Most of you probably drink plenty but how much is actual plain water? When I mean drink water I mean actual water or herbal tea – not fizzy water, not sugared or flavoured water, not tea or coffee but just plain water. It is needed for every function the body provides. We lose 6 cups of water a day through various means of elimination (skin, urine, gut). It flushes out waste and toxins which are aplenty these days and helps keep the body hydrated. This needs replacing if the body is to protect us and do its job.

Sometimes we even mistake body’s need for water as the need for something to eat – hence why we snack. Water helps keep weight down (it contains NO calories) and if we drink plenty, the body doesn’t need to hold on to fluid, as it knows there is no drought.

Another point to remember – tea, coffee and alcohol are diuretics and as such, lose the body fluid so remember whilst drinking alcohol, always replace with water and flush the body the day after for minimal damage (the Europeans always drink their espresso with a glass of water so take heed!!). So help you to help yourself and drink plenty of mineral/filtered water and you will feel the difference.

An apple a day…

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!!

I love it when the shops are full with the new season’s apples. All the different types, old and new…

So, what does your average apple do for you then? Well, these pieces of fruit we take so very much for granted are a storehouse of essential nutrients that our body can use quite readily. They are anti-viral, readily keeping those colds away if eaten daily: they are helpful in lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure: they have pectin which can bind toxic metals and remove them from your body whilst their tannin acid fights the herpes virus and the polyphenols help in the war against cancer.

Not only that, they regulate stomach acidity and help the body digest fat and protein (hence why you eat pork with apple!!) and to top it all, they dampen the appetite so good for dieting too. Eating an apple around 4pm will keep those hunger pangs away and stop you heading for the chocolate!

My mother always made us eat and apple before bed and I encourage the children to do it too – now I know why!

Time to play…how to make your own herbal stuff…

How to make your own infusions, decoctions, syrups etc were part of everyday life but this knowledge is no longer passed from mother to daughter. However, these home made remedies were imperative to surviving the winter and may be the little extra we are going to need this year, as I think we will be inundated with coughs and colds and these concoctions are great. But how do you make a herbal tea? Or a cough syrup?

Well, I am here to help you discover this help as you never know when you may need it. When in Turkey, I wasn’t feeling well and I was made a special tea by our host and it worked a dream – and only consisted of a couple of herbs from the garden, a squeeze of lemon and some hot water and a lot of local herbal knowledge.


A herbal infusion is the same as your cup of tea – a teaspoon of the dried herb (usually flowers or leaves) or 2tsp fresh herb is added to a cup and hot water poured over, then allowed to infuse for a few minutes, to allow the medicinal qualities of the herb to transfer to the water ready for drinking. Add a little honey if the taste isn’t quite to your liking (though my Nan always reckoned if it tasted rotten, it must be doing you good…)!!

This will get you started with some herbal remedies of your own and you can check out your stores and books and see what you can brew for yourself.


A decoction is somewhat different and what is needed to get the qualities from twigs, roots etc that are a little harder than aerial parts and cannot be got simply by infusing. The root, twigs, bark etc must be placed in a pan with a cup of cold water, brought to the boil and simmered for 5 minutes. This breaks down the harder outer material allowing the medicinal qualities to then transfer to the water.

Infused oils…

We have covered infusions and decoctions previously, but what about infused oil? I mentioned St John’s wort above but you can make very useful carrier oil if this plant grows in your garden. The same goes with pot marigolds which make excellent Calendula oil…just use your imagination and the possibilities could be endless.

So, take some fresh flowers/herb etc and place in a lidded/sealed jar. Cover herb with oil such as almond or apricot kernel, with additions of jojoba or Wheatgerm if wanted. Shake the sealed jar and leave on a sunny windowsill. Shake daily for the next 3-6 weeks whilst the herb infuses into the oil. At the end of the time, your oil will probably have changed colour – in the case of St Johns wort, it will have gone bright red… Drain the oil through muslin into a clean container and voila…your jar of infused oil which can be applied direct to the skin or essential oils added for additional health properties. You will all be planting lots by the spring in preparation of what you can make now, and herbal cooking oils can be made the same way, with olive oil so get playing….

What quantities do I use re oils etc?

I have to say I get asked this question a lot as there are many people out there that have no idea what carrier oil is or what to do with an essential oil so here are a few pointers for you adults out there:

For massage, add 3 drops of essential oil per 5ml carrier oil

If you pour 5ml carrier oil into the cup of your hand, you will get a pointer as to how much it is in your hand and won’t need to measure all the time…

For an oil bath, run your bath first, then add 8 drops of essential oil either direct to the bath or into a tsp bath base, cheap vodka or full fat milk – the alcohol or fat helps to disperse the oil into the water which makes it more beneficial and is a must if children are involved (will cover what can be used for kids next newsletter)

If adding oils to the pillow, add 3-4 drops both sides of the pillow plus on the top edge of the duvet – it makes it that wherever you are sleeping, you will still have access to the aroma.

If adding essential oils to a vaporiser, I tend to add 8-10 drops to the water but it also depends on the size of the room too, so use your common sense.

WARNING: It isn’t so important to get exact quantities for room aromas, but when putting oils onto the body, never overdose as you can overload the liver, so never, ever add more than the massage amount indicated unless you are an experienced aromatherapist and know what you are doing. Never put neat essential oils on the skin either – always dilute except in emergency when lavender and tea tree only can be applied to cuts, burns etc

Your very own herbal vinegar…

Cider vinegar is a health-boosting condiment used for centuries and held in high esteem like honey. Add some home-grown herbs and you have a healthy combo to add to food. A splash of herbal vinegar on your chips will add a mineral-laden boost. Vinegar helps free up minerals within your food so why not have a go and make your own. It really is quite simple. Harvest herbs such as rosemary, coarsely chop and fill a mason jar. Pour the vinegar at room temperature over the herbs until the jar is full. Seal the top with the lid (don’t use metal as vinegar will degrade it) or use waxed or greaseproof paper and an elastic band. Make up jars with different herbs so you can find which is your favourite. Label, date and put out of direct sunlight. Strain after 2 weeks et viola! 

Add to your salad dressings, cooked greens, stir fries and anytime you would use ordinary vinegar. Also remember that rosemary or lavender vinegar make great hair conditioners so use after a hair wash for your final rinse…! Once you get into the mode, you will wonder how you managed without them…

Black Pepper…the strengthening condiment

We daily grind pepper to add to our food, but why? Is it to protect our food? After all, you mix it with salt to dispel negativity and evil so maybe the two condiments came together so you didn’t eat anything that was going to kill you!!

I adore the aroma of black pepper – there is a sweet overtone that I find energising. Black pepper is ruled by the planet Mars and the element of Fire. It is one of the oldest spices in the world, being used in India 4000 years ago, and was a luxury in Europe as it spiced up the bland European diet. It was worth its weight in gold in the Middle Ages when brought to Europe overland, so Columbus and other explorers set off over the Atlantic to find their own route to India for such as the trading of these valuable spices.

Black pepper stimulates our taste buds and our digestive system whilst boosting our immune system, enhancing our circulation and helping eliminate toxins too. It contains piperine which is similar to morphine so makes a useful painkiller – massage with the oil for nerve pain and painful joints and on the stomach for digestive issues.

Magickally, inhaling the aroma of crushed peppercorns or the oil will give you courage and determination to overcome any issue. If you have a daunting situation to face, whether going for an interview or daily having to walk down a dodgy street to get to your work/home, then inhale daily and visualise a spiral of power whirling around you and call on this whenever you feel threatened (but also ensure safety first at all times).