Ostara is the festival of the Spring Equinox, when night and day are equal once again. The sun will now grow in strength and the day will be longer than the night after 21. March. From now on, the earth is in full swing, trees start to bud, the birds sing happily in the sunshine and all over the garden is evidence of new growth.

When you are in tune with nature, this can be a very stressful time. The 2 weeks before and after the equinox tend to be somewhat tense and full of stress (nothing new there then) as nature battles with itself to find balance once again. I personally always feel unsettled at the equinox and tend to do something rash – in the past I have set up the business, moved home, changed the car (several times), split up with a partner (several times) – are we getting the picture so you have been warned but just go with it as it is all about change and this time of conflict lasts 14 days before and after the equinox. Have a look at your life and if you are not happy with what you see, then this is the time to do something about it, whatever it is or at least start to plan. This is nature leaving darkness behind and heading for the light and you too can do the same. New things are paramount at this time – hence why we celebrate with an egg – the beginning of life itself. At Ostara, the symbolism is balance – if you or your life is not in balance, time to see how it can be sorted whether it is about health or things/people that stress you out!!

The festival is all about rebirth and growth, and this is highly apparent in it’s symbol of the egg. Yes, the chocolate egg is a modern-day pagan symbol to symbolize the Goddess Oestre. In days gone past, they would have been hard-boiled eggs brightly painted, but this tends to be a tradition that, in most places, has now died and be replaced by our favourite chocolate in brightly coloured foil (makes sense now). The Goddess even gives her name to the hormone that stimulates ovulation, Oestrogen. Life evolves from inside the egg, hence why we have chocolate eggs at this time of year. All of nature gets ready for their new life, be it the spring flowers of the earth, the blossom on the trees or the young of the birds, bees and animals. Place spring flowers in the home and, because it is the festival of New Life, it is time to “spring-clean”, clearing out the old and making way for the new.

In days gone by, to celebrate the spring and the new beginning, people would wear new clothes they had spent all winter making, but not until the equinox – bad luck to wear them before. They would rise at dawn, put on their new clothes and watch the sun come up. They would also bless the ground with seeds for the forthcoming season and ask Mother Nature to be kind and smile on them.

To symbolise the turn of the sun wheel, people would celebrate with what is now called hot cross buns – sweet buns decorated with a solar cross – and this was long before the church adopted them as a symbol of their own but to me they represent the sun and the moon, the circle of life, the four seasons and the Celtic cross and I love them toasted (the element of fire) so it is all in the power of what you believe yourself. Make them magickal and it will be so.. What – another pagan tradition adopted by the church – no!!! Yes, and the Easter bunny is another. He worshipped the Goddess Eostre, and to please the fertility goddess, he decorated sacred eggs and presented them to her. She thought them so beautiful that she wished this to be shared with all, so the rabbit went round the world distributing these gifts of life. This now is remembered on Easter Sunday as you watch the sun rise – that first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal Equinox – so which bits of Easter are Christian then?

Eostre is the Goddess of Spring and the white hare sacred to her. This Sabbat is all about the land and new beginnings – clearing away the old to make way for the new, just like you do the garden. This is the time to start new projects, just as I did my business! If you feel life has been difficult, make this a new start for you – closing the door on this part of your life and opening up to the next. Plant those new seeds and wait for them to begin to grow. The hare is associated with March due to their strange mating behaviour, Mad as a March hare accounts for their hopping and jumping about, boxing and trying to impress the females of the species, so as to mate. They produce several litters a year, a perfect representation for this season. As we are seeing, the weather is quite unpredictable in March. A wet March predicts a wet June but snow is good…last time we had lambing snow, we had a fab June so here’s hoping!

Things to do at Ostara…

Firstly, you need to bring spring flowers into your home. Support charity and buy daffodils, the sign of new hope and get some sunshine into your home. Even plant some to bring spring into your life. One of the signs of Easter is the egg – the symbol of fertility and life itself. What are you going to give birth to this year – what ideas do you have to nurture and make materialise? Don’t just sit there, make it happen. How are you going to find the extra time, space, etc? Well it means it is time to spring clean both your home and you life. Get rid of all excess, all those things you don’t need. Simplify things to allow time and space for the new to come in. We all have too much clutter these days, and what valuable time we have to ourselves tend to be taken up with “stuff”. Get rid of the stuff and you will have more time for yourself, for the things you want to do and for the people around you that matter.

Clear the debris from the garden tidying the way for the new growth. Enjoy spring by simply being with it. Fill your space with aromas of sunshine such as bergamot and grapefruit by sprinkling on carpets etc. Give your home a physical clean plus a purification to cleanse the negativity alongside the dust. Purify just before the new moon if possible – use the cycle of the moon to be rid of negative issues, then your home will be wonderful for Ostara and the arrival of Spring. So, first, instead of cleaning the home with a traditional cleaner, make an infusion of rosemary, lavender, thyme and bay and use this water to cleanse the home. Wash down windows, paintwork and doors, whilst knowing you are banishing negativity and evil with this cleaning process. Once the physical aspect is all done, pour the remainder of the infusion down the drain banishing all negativity from the home (watch as the water disappears and you will know it is all gone). Burn purifying oils such as frankincense, rosemary and juniper in the home or smudge each room with sage. Clean your altar and decorate with spring flowers and yellow candles to mark the growth of the sun to come. Your home is now clean and cleansed and ready for the forthcoming season and I am sure you will notice the difference in the atmosphere now the stagnation of winter has been removed. Now to simplify – recycle, recycle, and recycle. Give old clothes away to friends if they can re-use them (including the ones that don’t fit but one day I might be able to get into them again!!!!). If not, give them to charity. Simplify your life and if that means redesigning a room or changing the house around, then do it. Also, try and take a walk daily if possible but weekly if that is all you can fit in and over the coming months, make a point of watching nature develop. We have an avenue full of daffs planted for Marie Curie and it is spectacular at this time. Watch for the bluebells, crocuses, cowslips and primroses appearing as spring progresses, not to mention all the fantastic aromas as the blossoms of various trees fill the air. If you don’t get out in nature, then you cannot appreciate the magick of life itself and how spectacular Mother Nature really is. Enjoy her at her best!

Once winter starts to give way to the spring and better weather, the body suddenly looks not as in shape as it should be (I am being polite here folks!), as the winter coat that has been responsible for keeping you warm now becomes more noticeable and in need of shedding – again. Time to start a programme for cleansing the body and getting fit! Indulge in a day of pampering if you get the chance as we all need a little indulgence after the winter and this would give your new fitness programme a good start. Now, by shedding the coat, I do not mean start a new diet!!! I mean more exercise, walking, swimming or something to get that body moving!! Diets don’t work and your body just begins the yo-yo syndrome as it thinks it has hit a famine. To balance the weight loss, it starts to hold on to every calorie you eat and so you actually end up putting on weight. This is due to the body having not yet evolved from the days of feast or famine. So, in fact, all you have to do is eat in moderation, cut out the current junk and convenience foods and increase your activities, but you know all this if you are a regular, so get on with your body’s spring clean.

Now to the body…

Spring cleaning isn’t just about the home – the body, especially the skin, also needs attention after the winter. For the body, I tend to repeat the Candidiasis diet (get it off my website or pick up free leaflet in the shop). This ensures my body is balanced after all the winter seasonal activities, which in Aberdour, tend to be just finishing (Burns suppers, winter gatherings, 6 Nations rugby etc). A few weeks and the body will be refreshed again as the lighter foods begin to appear in season and the winter stodge can be forgotten until next winter.

The body has, for most of the winter, been covered in layers of clothing, especially after this cold snowy winter (which was exactly what we needed!!), and the central heating has been belting out. Then we throw off the layers and expect the skin to look great and take whatever rays the sun throws at it. Now what we have to remember is that the skin is our largest organ and reflects what is going on on the inside. Eczema and psoriasis can be indicators of omega deficiencies, stress and a liver not coping, whilst cellulite means toxin build-up. We have to learn to both read and respect the skin and look after it more so it can protect us from the elements. So this spring, let’s pay attention to our skin and prepare it for what I hope is going to be a great summer.

Firstly, increase your water intake to 8 glasses per day and cut out the rubbish replacing it with salad and fresh fruit to improve vitamin and mineral levels (try to get your 5+ portions daily). Cut down on drugs and alcohol to rest your liver to allow regeneration and if you smoke – stop…it ages you dreadfully! Take your multi-vitamin & mineral, extra zinc & Vitamin C, omegas 3 & 6 plus probiotics and you should see a vast improvement very quickly if you follow this plan. Good skin means good health…it is that simple and you cannot have one without the other.

A Spring bath-time ritual…

At some point over the Equinox when you have an evening to chill, light some candles (fire) and incense (air), run a hot bath (water) to which you have added some Himalayan salt (Earth) and favourite oils or bath bombs! Back in the kitchen, add cup sea salt to a bowl and stir in oil such as olive or sunflower to make a scrub. Scent with geranium or juniper oil (or another indulgent favourite) and stir. Take into bathroom along with a piece rose quartz, and get yourself undressed and into the bath. Rub salt scrub into your skin and rinse, to exfoliate and moisturise, then lay in the water and relax, with the rose quartz on your heart. Close your eyes and spend 5 minutes just contemplating your life and what changes you can make at this time. Now say with conviction 3 times:

Fears and woes, you will take flight,

            Worries and cares, you’re out of my sight.

            Stronger and happier I will grow each day

            Because my soul will find its way

            Balance and harmony will spring into life

            This is my will so no more strife

Relax with the rose, the candles, the warm water and the aromas until you feel ready to get out. Let the worries go with the bathwater as you pat your skin dry with a warm towel. Once dressed comfy, put the Rose Quartz in your ‘Serenity/self-esteem” corner to remind yourself you are worth a pampering! Repeat this ritual often…

Spells for Ostara

Ostara is the time of fertility and that includes birth of projects as much as children. As green and yellow are the colour of the sabbat, take one candle of each, a cleansed hematite, and a piece of paper with your aim(s) written carefully down. Now, holding the candles in your power hand, see yourself achieving your objective, and then place the hematite on top of the paper, which has been carefully folded, and the candles into holders. Hematite is a go-for-it stone to help you reach your goal. Light the candles dedicating them with a little poem, because, as we know, all good spells are done in rhyme that end in “this is my will, so mote it be”. Well, mine usually are anyway. You do whatever you feel best with. Following the completion of the spell, carry the stone with you and place back on your altar at night, back on top of your aim or objective. It is done.

As I have said, this festival is all about new life and growth. If there is a wish you want to materialise with all your heart and soul, then this is the spell for a long-term wish. I am always telling my clients that if you don’t plant the seeds, then nothing will materialise. This is taking that a step further and will need your love and devotion to make it happen. Decide on your need remembering it will take time to make your dearest wish happen. This is not the thing to do if you need it next week ok. Now take some seeds of the plant that will make your need materialise:-

Fertility – poppy or cucumber                    Healing – lavender, rosemary, sage

Love –jasmine, yarrow, coriander                Money – honeysuckle, chamomile, basil

Peace – rose, valerian                         Protection – bay, rose geranium, St John’s Wort

Or use your own symbolic seeds.

Now, over a pot of soil or a chosen piece of garden, hold the seeds in your power hand (the one you write with) and visualise your need or wish coming to fruition. Hold that picture and tell the seeds what it is you would like and why, then still holding the visualisation, plant the seeds. Now you need to lovingly tend those seeds, giving it shelter, water and food, bringing the new life and healthy growth forth to aid your wish to manifest. Neglect the seeds or seedlings and your heart and soul isn’t going into materialising your wish, so your wish will not materialise at that time. Give it all it needs to grow healthily and you are doing all in your power to make it happen – the rest is up to the elements, you have done your bit and put it out there. As I always say, you don’t ask, you don’t get. Take care of your plant. After all, you gave it life and it will, in return, give you a little bit of life and magic. Happy planting.

As nature will be in torment and winds will probably be blowing with attitude, I thought a spell on the wind would be suitable, though on the East coast, the wind usually blows anyway! Remember though, these spells can be used anytime, not just the sabbat I include them in. Using Air for spells is very effective. Been depressed this winter? Then stand with your face into the wind, spread your arms out wide, and let the cold wind of the North (preferably) blow straight through you, and you will feel much better.

Better still, if your problems have been mounting, then, find a bush or tree that is dead but still planted in the ground in a place where the wind blows freely. Then, using one leaf for every problem or pain you wish to be free of, push each leaf onto the tip of a branch on the bush. As you do, just state:

“Of my ………………… I wish to be free; this is my will, so mote it be”.

When you have gone through each problem individually, then leave the bush to release its leaves, therefore releasing the energy of the problems into the universe and letting the Universe get to work on them for you. Know that as you walk away, it is done. This will take a few days or so for the leaves to go free and start working so don’t just sit around waiting for the leaves to be freed or you might be sat there a while. You have done what needs to be done, so just let it go and get on with the job in hand.

Luck for Ostara incense…ruled by Jupiter for luck

Refresh life and luck with the new springtime by creating this incense yourself for your home and family.

Grind together in a pestle and mortar, a mix of copal and pine, and add your own mix of any of the following:

Rose petals, orange peel, heather flowers, star anise, poppy seeds, nutmeg, grains paradise, or a selection.

Grind together to make a fine blend, then burn daily to encourage vibrations in the home to help boost luck and success to all who live within until the storminess of the season is over and calm reigns supreme.

Weight loss spell to aid your new diet and exercise plan for the spring…

If you would like to improve what you see in the mirror, the here is a little magick to support your plan:

Firstly, at sunset mix together fennel, dill and lavender and add a green tourmaline, ruby or apatite to the mix. Place in a yellow pouch. Next, take a small piece of paper and draw a cross in the middle, and draw a straight line through the centre of the cross to make an elongated star-shape. Fold the paper into a small size and add to your pouch. Close the pouch and hold in your power hand (writing hand). Close your eyes and visualise yourself now and then see yourself changing to how you want to be/see the scales coming down from the weight now to a more healthy weight. Carry this pouch wherever you go in your pocket, visualising daily your aim and magickally, it will help with overeating and weight loss, and positively encourage healthy exercise…and help you achieve what you want to be…but please be realistic – size zero is impossible and unless nature created your body to be that size,  extremely unhealthy too. Be real and it will be done…so mote it be

Spell for the Spring Full Moon…

Here’s a lovely Spring spell for the forthcoming full moon from Ellen Dugan…her poetry is better than anything I can write!! You will need to:

Gather some spring flowers in a pretty vase put on your luck incense. Place a white candle in a pretty holder (or a white votive / tealight in a glass holder). Set a cream moonstone in front of the candle and sprinkle a circle of fresh floral petals around the spell.

Light the candle, and, holding the stone, repeat:

On this bewitching night of the full storm moon,

I call on the old ones to grant me a boon

May I find prosperity and balance today

Leaving room for good luck and joy to come my way

This small moonstone will act as a talisman true

May I be blessed and steadfast in all that I do

This March full moon spell closes up with a rhyme

I walk in balance and wisdom at all times.

Allow the candle to burn out. Carry the moonstone with you until the next full moon. Keep the fresh flowers going for the next month until the next full moon and return your moonstone to the altar every night,

Balancing life...

Whether an Ostara bonfire, a symbolic candle in a cauldron or a simple tealight in a holder, sit out in the moonlight on 20th Mar after 10pm but before 1.30am when the moon is full. Place a reflective bowl of water to catch the Moon’s rays to which you have added a supportive amulet crystal of choice. Close your eyes and visualise your life-balancing list actually in place and part of your new regime, then simply say 3 times to the Moon…

What was old is now new, what was dark is now light, 

What was asleep is now awake, what was dim is now bright

At this time of nature’s balance, oh Mistress of the Moon

Please bring harmony, hope and balance, into my life very soon

 Balance is in need and life’s renewal is the key

And as this is my will, Then, so mote it be

Next, dip each of your hands in the bowl of water three times and let it dry onto your hands, whilst thanking the Moon for her help. Take the crystal out of the bowl to carry daily for support to action the changes, then pour the water into a nearby plant or tree. Your intentions have now been set in motion…

Yarrow…a true Celtic plant

It may be a funny little plant growing in the wild, and most will not even give it the time of day, but one of my favourite magickal plants is yarrow. Its Latin name is Achillea Millefolium, so named after the Greek Warrior Achilles, who supposedly discovered its power to stop bleeding on the battlefield and made a salve with the plant to heal his warrior’s wounds, but he must have been unable to find it when an arrow struck him in the heel and killed him…hence Achilles tendon!! This plant is native to Scotland and can be found on any wild walk. Highlanders still make a Yarrow healing balm, and in Orkney, Yarrow was used as a tea to ‘dispel melancholy”. It was always found in Saxon apothecaries and in Monastic herbal medicine gardens as is actually a very useful 1st aid plant. It is said that if out and about on a walk and someone gets a nosebleed, putting a yarrow leaf up the nose with stem the flow of blood (remove once stopped), whilst chewing a fresh leaf can help calm toothache and a leaf pressed into the skin will also help a shaving cut or any cut even!!The stems can also be used as I Ching sticks.

But what about a bit of Yarrow magick for Spring?

When out walking on the lovely days as they begin to arrive, look for this feathery plant with its head of tiny white flowers. The first flowering plant you see of the new season will grant you one wish! On seeing the flower, hold the flower head in your hand straight away and make your wish. Now cut the stem and take the single flower home and sleep with it under the pillow going to sleep visualising your wish. The next day, place the flower head in a green satin bag and hang on your altar to help your wish come true.

Got a new challenge?

As for the challenge of Ostara, this sabbat may have a different challenge for you. I rented my shop and began my business on Ostara nine years ago and that was certainly a major challenge for me, so if there is something you really really want, then this is a good time to go for it. When I got the keys to the shop, I entered my business premises as mine for the first time and called on the help of Mars to help me in this new challenge I was now confronted with. It is this is that I am now passing on to you if you are venturing into a new project yourself:

Between the hours of two and three in the afternoon, anoint a red candle with rose oil, light it and say:

“Mars, great warrior, protector of the fearful and energiser of the weak, I ask you to enthuse me with your knowledge and power, your fearlessness and enterprise. Infuse me with your inspiration, armour me with your brilliance and guide me always with your light so I may always trust and be guided by the light of my spirit within me. This is my will, so mote it be”

Let the candle burn until it is finished and it is done. Good luck with your new venture and may it be as successful to you as mine is to me.

Oils of Mars…for added help

All new beginnings and challenges take courage. If you have to face a nerve-wracking situation, make an important phone-call, or confront someone or something, but really doesn’t warrant calling on Mars to help, then call on his oils. Black Pepper has an unforgettable fiery aroma, and with visualisation, will give you the courage to literally “face your fears”. It will also sharpen your memory and mental faculties and help you stay awake – so a good oil to inhale if you need to drive at night. Ginger is also a Mars oil and can be used in much the same way, except that it also brings money and success if used in prosperity spells and situations, and will also spice up your sex life – so add to passion spells or massage oil. A passionate energising little oil or what!

 And so to Mother’s Day

In line with the theme of new life, Mothers are honoured at this time. Instead of going out and purchasing a few flowers at extortionate prices, here are a few ideas for you (aren’t I just too good to you!!).

Why not buy her a houseplant, with magickal qualities to enhance her life:-
Aloe Vera protects against accidents and intruders in the home.
African Violets promote peaceful vibrations and promote spirituality, as do crocuses.
All types of fern are magickally protective for the home, especially if placed before large windows.
Orchids and tulips are both governed by Venus and bring love to the home.
Ivies of all kinds protect the home and drive away evil and negativity, whether inside or out(grown on the walls).
The Venus flytrap is a strange plant but traps or catches luck, money or whatever the owner wants to find.
The Weeping Fig is restful if grown in the bedroom whilst bringing good luck & prosperity anywhere else.

If you have jewellery in mind, then why not pick a crystal with loving vibrations to emanate the reason she is receiving the gift:-
Rose Quartz – to help her feel good about herself and promote peace & happiness
Fluorite – to bring about a flawless state of health & bring order to chaos (if she needs it)
Amethyst – for peace and tranquillity
Kunzite – for relaxation, it soothes tension & stress and gives you a lift.
Citrine – for health, wealth and happiness
Amber – for protection, strength, energy, to attract friendship, love and happiness, and enhance the cashflow.

Mothers are invaluable and your best  friend so use this time to honour her and let her know how much she is loved.

 Rain collection…a simple spell

They say the first rain of spring is the luckiest of rains, so on rising on the morning of Ostara, put a glass or earthenware container outside to collect the first rain that falls, the luckiest being on Ostara itself. After the first rain has stopped, bring the container inside and reserve the water. To utilise this luck, you can either:
1. Add the water to a bath to attract luck and joy to you for the next year
2. Use as a hair rinse to attract romance into your life
3. Sprinkle or spray into the corners of the house to attract luck and joy into your home
4. Use as a facial rinse to help delay ageing for as long as possible
5. Use as a wash for abdomen and genitals to attract fertility
The sky gives us the rain so let’s use this gift for good to help us during the next year.


Pronounced may-bone, this is the autumn equinox, when night and day are equal. The sun’s power is diminishing fast, and from now on, the nights will be longer than the days. In days past, the harvests would now be mainly gathered, and these celebrations would be a respite from the work. Children at school today still bring in groceries from home and have a Harvest Festival, giving thanks for a good year of crops. This is a follow on from the Old Ways, as are most of the religious festivals.

Mabon begins the commencement of autumn. The leaves are yellowing and beginning to fall, brambles are collected for jams and pies, and the rose hips and elderberries for syrups and wines to ward away the winter coughs and colds.

It is now a long-forgotten art of protecting the body for the forthcoming season with what was available from the ground and hedgerows. They didn’t have fridges and freezers, supermarkets and chemists. They had to live off the crops and hoped that they survived the winter – hence the celebration for the good harvest and the preparation by the women for the long nights and cold days ahead.

Today, we are out of tune with the seasons because food is available all year round from different countries all over the world. However, if you want to remain healthy over the winter then eat what is in season in your own country. Just because we can buy something doesn’t mean we should – salads won’t feed the body in the cold, and strawberries don’t feed and protect the body for the winter so it’s back to healthy stews and soups with lots of root vegetables and good stocks, so please think ahead. Ditch the processed foods full of rubbish, cut out the dreaded hydrogenated foods and aspartame, and plan to feed yourself and your family good, natural foods to keep the body healthy and ready to face the winter. Also, don’t forget, as always with the equinox, balance is in conflict as night and day fight to rule. Because night wins, expect arguments, depressed feelings and no energy/ extreme tiredness at this time (month surrounding the equinox). By October, you should start to feel better and no, you aren’t going mad!!

The year is winding down, and the nip is in the air first thing in the morning. Time to contemplate the bounty of the last six months and what has been brought into our lives – what had we planned to do, what have we done since the spring and what have we made happen. It is also time to slow things down as winter is on the way. Fruit would be dried, pickled, bottled – you name it. Food was stored, wood was chopped (I know that one with 2 coal fires to keep running), and houses checked and secured for the winter weather.

What to do at this time…

This is the Pagan Harvest Festival, when we are grateful for what the last 6 months has provided, and celebrate accordingly.  The drink should be red and white wines, homebrewed beers, fruit juice (so I am fine with my gin and grapefruit!) and the likes whilst the food table should be full of fruit, salad, home baked bread, pies and quiches, cheese and pickles – nothing fancy, just plain, simple fayre.

It is a time to realise just what we have to be thankful for – healthy children, good friends, family, a warm comfortable home – not the material things of life but those things that should make life fun and worth while.

Your altar should be decorated with the fruits of the season, nuts, corn etc. Have a go at making your own fruit pies or pickles. This was a necessity back in days gone by, to ensure the food kept over the winter in whatever ways they could. As the winter approaches, why not select a project to keep you occupied during the coming months. Attend a night class and learn something you have always wanted to, or catch up on your reading. Set yourself a target and see if you have achieved it by the next equinox.

The autumn is a lovely time to take walks, not only to get exercise or keep your sanity, but to see what is going on with nature, especially as we can often get a wee glint of late summer at this time. See what you can find in the hedgerows – elderberries can be made into what is known as Elder Rob – great source of Vitamin C, as is rosehip syrup made from wild rosehips and all available from your local hedgerows. I used to make these when my kids were little to keep the colds away and they always worked. Another tip is if you find any teasels, take one home – they get the bits off your woollies as good as those electric defuzzer things!! Decorate your altar with some wheat or barley if you can find any and one black and one white candle to symbolise the balance of light and dark. Put some autumn flowers and some dried fruits too. The equinox is a good time to look at what you have achieved this year, and what you could have achieved but didn’t.

It is important for us all to embrace the season and where we are at in the Wheel of the Year. Time to change your duvet to the thicker one and swap your wardrobe. I have my universal clothes that stay (jeans etc) then my spring/summer/optimistic clothes; lighter layers and colours as the sun strengthens and days heats up, and this goes out at Ostara. The Equinox sees them sealed back away and exchanged for the autumn/winter/slob about cosy clothes; warm, thick, comfy layers for the longer, darker nights as we head for the colder, hibernating part of our year. There is something quite nice about changing your wardrobe and being part of the wheel, because for most of you, these simple things are all you do. I have coal fires so need to chop and dry wood, cut scrap wood for kindling and fill the bunkers at both house and shop, ready for the change of weather but for most, it is simply pressing a switch to bring the heating back on! By getting candles out, clothes swapped, coats cleaned, the duvet changed and summer sandals swapped for winter ankle boots, you are getting in tune with the movement of the Wheel.

The equinox is the time we contemplate the last 6 months. Did you succeed in your plans: did you have a productive season: did you achieve all you set out to achieve? Time to give thanks for the bounty you have been blessed to receive – no better way than with a party for friends to join in your thanks! Invite a few friends or family round for a drink or a last BBQ of the season. This is also your traditional Harvest Festival as the work is all over, so do something good for the less privileged: donate to a charity, give some time to a good cause or similar – even just help out a friend who is having a hard time with the kids.

Now what? Yes, time to plan for the next 6 months – what are you going to do now the dark nights are here? What are you going to achieve through the winter? Although it is a time to hibernate, you don’t need to stagnate. Time to plan guys and gals! Is there something you should have done previous and regretted not doing so? Now is the time to put it right!! Write down your aims for the winter and place on the altar, along with some dry, fallen leaves and perhaps some nuts and pine cones, symbols of fertility, and leave as a theme and a reminder for the winter. By the time the new leaves of next spring appear, you should have achieved something useful, whether you have caught up with all those books, painted that room, knitted that jumper, gone to a night class and gained a new skill or taught yourself something you have wanted to learn for ages.

The winter is a time of learning, so what are you going to do with it this year. What will you do this winter? Now is the time to set things in motion and make use of these dark nights ahead, so do something with them. Start a project or finish one that you have begun. Do a correspondence course, join a gym or fitness class, learn a new skill or get down to reading those books you have had for ages – whatever you choose, make sure it will be a useful use of winter.

Easy spell for Mabon…

Is there anything in your life that needs to go? Then have a go at this:

Take a walk in the countryside and see the autumn taking hold – view the fallen decaying leaves and find one that is in good shape. Visualise what needs to be let go of or gotten rid of, and write a relevant single-word description on each leaf such as smoking or jealousy or whatever is in your darker side that needs to be let go of. Now bury the leaf in a pile of decaying leaves and leave to rot with the rest. As it rots over the winter, so will your issue. It is done so let it go –let the power of the Earth help give you strength and support.

A couple simple Autumnal spells just for you…

I mentioned spiders previously, but here is a simple thing to change how you think of spiders…even though they aim to trap flies and wasps etc and are very useful to us, some just hoover them up or kill them. Firstly, any spider sat in the open is simply a female looking for a mate…yes, it’s a horny spider, so leave her alone, poor girl! If you want to set her free, then catch her under a glass, place cardboard underneath and take her outside. Spiders are a symbol of connection, creation and all things communicative, so can help you weave your web of destiny!

When you take her outside to a nearby tree or bush, whisper the following:

“Mrs Spider, go run free, and weave a wish in your web for me”

As you introduce her to her new home in your garden, whisper your need/wish/goal and know, as you work to achieve your goal, there is a little friend out there helping to weave your wish for you too.

Autumn to us as kids meant bramble picking, free food for the winter, which mum made into pies and crumbles with apples. Brambles bring good health and abundance and apples protection, so traditional, bramble and apple pie would be weaved with a little magick to help you survive the winter in good health, with enough coal for heat and food to eat. My nan used the leaves as a tea for an upset tummy and the fruit to make blackberry rob to fight colds, and to dye cloth or wool, so helpful free berry indeed. As you pick, wash and prepare the fruit, simply say:

“Fruit dark and sweet, and so good to eat, bring us good health and abundant wealth”

Keep repeating as a quiet affirmation during preparation, cooking and serving and let the bramble do its best!

And there’s more…something to do with the kids…

Some homes have fancy festive fairy lights situated in a large vase to light up a corner. If you only bring it out at Christmas, then get it out of the loft and use it as a seasonal decoration. If you don’t have one, then check out your local DIY store and pick up a bargain that will become your year-round Sabbat centre-piece.

As the leaves fall, go for a walk with the kids and find some nice autumnal leaves that have fell but have not yet started to rot, especially if after a windy day as they get blown off trees on mass. Now bring the nicest home and place between 2 tea towels. Put some heavy books on top to dry and flatten them. The next day, cut a strip of greaseproof paper long enough to wrap around your vase. Fold in half and decorate with the leaves, using glue to hold them in place inside. When the kids have tastefully decorated the paper, affix with tape to the outside of the vase and switch on. Now you have a beautiful family-made Mabon decoration for your lounge. Using your imagination, you and the kids can change this with the seasons…so let their ideas flow and get creative!!

Bonkers for Conkers…more than an old autumnal game

In Aberdour, the old horse chestnut tree is the first to announce that autumn is on its way, then the kids simply wait…until the conkers (the tree’s seeds) begin to fall. In my day, the boys couldn’t wait for the conkers, as this was the big battle between friends…who had the champion conker? There were family traditions, with advice coming from dad, uncles and grandads, to see what they did and who was top dog. Did they soak them in vinegar or bake them in the oven to harden…the boys back in the day had loads of tricks, all of which were illegal in any competition!! It really wasn’t all about the biggest either but the heaviest. Fresh conkers are best, so as they begin to fall, select the shiniest and heaviest. A quick test is to put them in a bucket of water… damaged internally and they will float, so throw them away as they will never be any good. If they sink and intact, they are good to keep. Leave them to dry on a towel, then pierce with a metal skewer and hang on an old shoe lace. Then, it is time to challenge your mate and with alternate strikes, try to hit your mate’s conker…just check the string is the same length (another illegal move), then let the battle commence… this was serious stuff back in our day (and free)!!

However, there is more to conkers than battle. If you don’t like spiders, there is a lot of folklore about spiders and their hatred for conkers, so if you collect fresh conkers and place near windows and doorways, spiders will avoid your home for the winter, and if they are already there, they’ll leave…just pop behind furniture against their favourite wall or leave in corners of their favourite room, and wait. Other pieces of magickal folklore include:

  1. Carry a conker to attract good luck
  2. Carry to help ease and stave off aches and pains
  3. Carry a conker in your money pocket when gambling (can also be wrapped in a cash note)
  4. Place a conker in your home (money corner) to attract money
  5. Carrying a conker will ward off ills and chills
  6. Thread with string and hang conkers in wardrobes to keep moths away

So, it’s well worth taking the kids to the woods & collecting some fresh conkers…they might just come in handy!!


So, back to Lammas or Lughnasadh as it had been known before – call it whichever you want to but I use Lammas as round here, they still have lots of Lammas Fayres in little villages and towns. Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon name means “loaf-mass” when the first corn was baked into bread and shared amongst the villages during their celebrations, whilst Lughnasadh was named after the God Lugh who was God of the sun, corn, harvest and light and was the start of the hunting season (and still is disguised as the glorious 12th which was Old Lammas Day.)

On 31 July at sunset, the party to celebrate the harvest begins. The crops are full and ready to be gathered. The first grain would be harvested and baked into loaves especially for the occasion. The husks would then be used to make a corn dolly and hung in the home to bring a year of good fortune, the previous year’s dolly being burnt on the Lammas bonfire. This is known as the festival of first fruits and any celebrations would include raspberries, blackberries, brambles or whatever was ripe and ready for picking.

In days gone by, this was the party before the hard work of harvesting really began. Over the next 6 weeks, the village would all work together to bring in the harvest. Even the children were included in this and one of the reasons behind the 6 weeks off school in the summer. On farms and the likes, this will still be valid, as the harvest had to all be in by the Autumn Equinox, and stored ready for the winter. Lammas was the fun before the grind. Here in Aberdour, the Lammas fair has been revived and we have fun and frolic for 9 days. OK so we push it a bit, but there isn’t the work to do in the fields for the majority of us, but more a rest from the work of today. Another point is that, in days gone by, the party began when the grain was ready. They judged by nature, not calendar, as we do today. Remember, the lives of the people in days gone by depended on plentiful crops and a good harvest to last them through the winter.

Lammas celebration is that of plenty, the bounty of the fields about to come in – the festival of First Fruits. The earth will go into mourning as the bounty from her fields will be taken and left barren. It is a celebration of transformation – grain will become flour and make bread, and the products of the trees and the hedgerows will be turned into pickles, pies, wine and jams. The death of the fields, so to speak, will give us life over winter. The rule of life – there is always a price to pay. And an extra bit – Lammas was so called after “loaf-mass”, in which the first grain from the field was baked into bread and thanks given for the blessing of the harvest.

Things to do at Lammas

Decorate your altar with corn, oats etc, poppies and other greenery that is around, and burn beeswax candles, a product sacrificed by the bees from their home to give you light. If you want to be really adventurous, collect wheat from the fields and make a corn dolly for your altar.

Have a look at the last 6 months, and see what your personal harvest has produced. Have you completed all that you planned at the spring equinox? Or have you not done anything about your ideas yet? Evaluate where you stand and if your life is going how you had planned. And if not, then what are you going to do about it!!!

On a nice day, take a walk and experience the hedgerows and fields – the reason for the celebration. See how the brambles are doing. Are they ready yet for picking? Is the corn? Bring something back from the field or hedge for your altar. I remember as a child spending part of August picking brambles and coming home with black fingers stained with the juice and nettle stings all over your knees as the best brambles always grew with the nettles (they feed them!). It also taught you to find the nettle cure – dock leaves – something kids seem to have forgotten these days. So, spend an afternoon in the country with a friend, partner or the whole family if not picking, then at least having fun exploring. I remember we were always driving looking for sections not yet picked over, yet these days of supermarkets and chemicals, no-one ever seems to pick from the hedgerows any more but this would have been a tradition at this time, gathering food for jams, wines and pies for the winter.

Important is to include a loaf in any ritual that you do, to celebrate the transformation of the sun’s rays into the corn into the bread into you. Get a bottle of organic berry wine such as bramble or raspberry or some freshly squeezed fruit juice and include this as part of your ritual of thanks too.

So, enjoy as in days gone by, the hard work was about to start again and this party-time was deserved.

Whilst you are out and about examining the hedgerows, why not do a little magic too. Without the magic of trees, we could not live. They turn the nitrogen we exhale back into oxygen for us to breathe. This is why trees are so important. Cut down all the trees, we die too.

So, find a tree and have a chat. Talk to the tree whilst you sit under it. Tell it of your problems. These old and wise guardians have stood, some of them, for thousands of years.  They are indeed magickal and we can use this power to transform. Do you have a bad habit you want to kick? Take a charcoal pencil or a burnt piece of wood and draw the bad habit on a fallen leaf or piece of bark. Now bury it at its roots, all the time telling the tree what you want to happen. Place an offering to the tree in the hole along side the leaf and cover up. Don’t forget to water the spot too and it will be done.

I have already mentioned going out for a walk and checking out the hedgerows, but what about the rest? It is very important for a witch or prospective witch or pagan, to attune with nature. Any self-respecting witch finds it a necessity to walk by water, stand open-armed and let the wind blow through, lay in the sun and feel it’s warmth and energy or sit in the light of the moon and let her healing powers flow through you.  This is far more important in the understanding of the elements and it’s powers than to worry about getting the words to a long-winded spell correct. You cannot worship nature if you never go out in it.

A witch is a person who is environmental and honours that environment around her. You cannot appreciate the power of nature unless you visit it and can feel it on a regular basis.

Your magickal Harvest jar…                                 

People’s lives depended on the harvests in days gone by…it was necessary for life to have enough to eat over the winter, so people hoped and prayed for a good harvest and this would all be celebrated at the turn of the wheel. We also have harvests in our lives from the seeds we too plant, whether ideas, children or businesses, and wishes in our daily lives to help improve them are just as important today as they have always been. Your long-term goals should be in your wish box, which is updated 6-monthly but are for things in your future i.e. partners, new home, perfect job etc but the things we harvest seasonally can be wished for in the family harvest jar.

First, you will need a pretty jar, whether gifted with maybe a candle in but too good a jar to discard, or even a recycled marmalade or honey jar that you have decorated with relevant symbols yourself…but a pretty wide-necked jar with a cork or lid. Also collect dried sage or fresh leaves if you have them in the garden, wishing grains, a sprinkle of oats, barley or wheat, fresh from harvested fields, but otherwise a little sprinkle of porridge oats will suffice, 4 hazelnuts (or acorns or other nuts in the shell), a small piece of pyrite and a piece snow quartz. You will also need paper and a gold or yellow pen, and some golden coloured ribbon or cotton (golden harvest theme)

On the night of Lammas, when you make your fire, you can put together your Family harvest jar. Hold the sage between your “magick mittens” and charge the herb ‘to set your wishes in motion’. Add to jar. Now repeat with the rest of the items and layer in the jar with your chosen nuts and crystals on the top. If you don’t have all of the items, then no worries, just use what you have. You are now ready for wishes. With your Sun/harvest pen, write a single wish on a piece of paper, roll into a scroll and tie with a little ribbon (different colour per family member). Place in the jar. All family who live in your home can add their wishes, as many as they want, but only one wish per scroll. When all are done, close the jar with the lid and place in a prominent position in the family room, but not where it can be played with or opened by mistake. You have set your wishes into motion and now leave them and wait for your harvest to appear. Review your wishes in the spring, remove what has materialised or no longer relevant, and replace what is still relevant and yet to occur. Wishes can be added to the jar as needed!

The importance of Friendship

Us humans need friends. Friends are the family your choose to have around you, people who are there to support you in times of trouble, to act as a sounding board when you need to offload, and to help you celebrate when times are good. They share our secrets, our fears and worries and support us in times of loss. You may be lucky enough to have a large circle of like-minded, trustworthy friends who you can call on at any time to help you out (and, no, I do not mean likes or friends on Facebook!). True friends are people to be treasured and enjoyed like a fine wine… good friendships grow better as the years go by. Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while, it will be like it was yesterday when you meet or call on them for help or guidance, and true friends also tell it like it is.

Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and friendships change. Maybe you have had to move towns for work and leave your friends behind, had a family and your friends were work-based, or maybe you have divorced and your circle of friends get split or you realise that a friendship is actually one-sided and you can’t deal with the negativity that friendship brings any longer. Life changes and moves forward and sometimes you just feel a little lonely and need to enhance your social life and make a new friend. Lammas is about celebrating and being thankful for the good things in life, so is a good time to add a little magick to improve your social circle.

Lammas Friendship Talisman

Before Lammas eve (31stJuly), gather together 3 similar sized crystals of moonstone, jade and rose quartz, a small green pouch or scrap of material, a large ivy leaf (check out walls etc) some patchouli oil and a piece pink ribbon.

On Lammas eve or Lammas, light your bonfire or bbq (still fire/heat) as part of your Lammas celebrations, or simply a candle or tealight. Cleanse your crstals in water, ready to be used.

Sit with the firer and some incense, (any will be fine as you need frankincense in it) and think about what your life needs, whether to seek more friends, deepen friendships that already exist or strengthen the bond between you and those you have left behind in another location. As you think of your need, place the crystals in the bag or centre of the material, and draw together, then tie it with the pink ribbon, three times, making 3 knots. Sprinkle the bundle with 3 drops patchouli, then bury in a safe place, such as in a potted plant or outside planter and look forward to a livelier social life. This spell can also be performed in the spring or on any waxing moon, as no-one should feel alone or lonely in this world. To quote the Beatles: ‘We get by with a little help from our friends”

Are you worth it?

The first instant response to this question should be “Of course I am”…and this was me, when asked why I had indulged myself with expensive perfume on a girly shopping trip – because I am so worth it!!! If this wasn’t your first response to this question, the question has to be asked as to why not?

Women today have more money, more power, more independence than ever before, yet some still feel undervalued or worthless? Maybe I am selfish but I have developed the attitude that I am well worth it. Maybe Witchcraft has done that for me, but I work hard to provide money and a home for my children and if I want some me-time away from them, it opens their independence, not my guilt. Why can’t women go shopping for an hour with the girls or take a bath in peace? I am much calmer and can handle so much more when I have had my quiet cup of coffee, a lonesome walk with the dog or 20 minutes in a sumptuous oil bath.  What’s more, I deserve what little time I award myself. I am not here to be at my family’s beck and call 24 hours a day. I deserve a life and, as a witch, I aim to live that life to the best of my ability…not merely exist as Wife, Mother and Domestic Slave. When the kids are wee there is little choice, but you can still start your plan for when they are bigger, and take that first step sooner rather than later. Taking valuable time away from the kids teaches them the life lesson that parents ARE entitled to a life. Time to take a stand and get your life back on track!

It takes courage but all women should head for the joy in life and not the doldrums – things that make you happy and grow, not miserable and limited. Make your wish list for the future and start planning how to get a little of what you wish for yourself: if you don’t have a plan, it will never happen!

A wee note to the men & offspring who read this newsletter: give them a helping hand and help them to grow, not keep them slaving over the sink. Witchcraft is all about balance and, as I see it, the scales aren’t exactly in balance. All work and no play makes Jill a knackered domestic Goddess!! Whilst at home, pick up those books, and help keep the brain ticking. Take up a night class as the start to your plan for the future, or read every minute you get on subjects that interest you. A friend of mine took a degree whilst raising her kids, which is to be applauded and her plan was ready once the kids were all in school…it just takes a little focus!!

Lammas is all about enjoying the summer before the hardship of winter and working out what you have achieved and where you go next. It is time to begin making that plan or wish list if you don’t have one in place. I realise that decisions can be easy and straight-forward, but other times, not so easy, especially when the decision is about things that are very important, and not small issues, but life-changing decisions. So, how to you make your decision on where you are going is a question I am often asked and if it was as simple as handing over a stone and your decisions are sorted, life would be so much easier. However, it isn’t quite that simple for most, so here is some help in seeing clearly the right choice to bring about moving your life forward. Don’t worry – be happy!

A Lammas Tarot spell at dusk…

Lammas is a time to be grateful for the good things in life, but sometimes we are weighed down with problems and cannot see the wheat for the chaff. At sunset on Lammas Eve (31st), take a small yellow candle, yellow or gold fairy dust and the 10 cups tarot card outside (make use of that old set) and sit at the garden table or altar. As the sun begins to go down, turn the card face down and light the candle next to it. Think about the family issues that are weighing you down and troubling you, and visualise them building up in your heavy heart, then flowing down your arms into your hands! Once in the palm of your hands, sprinkle fairy dust on them, hold up to the sunset and blow your troubles on the dust to the sunset. Then whisper to the Sun…

            Mighty fire of blazing Sun, take away my troubles as the day is done

As you watch the sunset, know your troubles are being burned by the Sun. Then flip over the 10 Cups. This is your wish card and symbolises a happy settled family life. Let the candle burn out and place the tarot card on your altar or mantle-piece until your troubles have worked themselves out. Happy days…

A few seasonal traditions

I love superstitions, folk lore, weather lore, old wives tales and the likes (if you have any you would like to be included, send them in to me!!) So here are a few for this time of year:

Babies born in August were regarded as children destined for a great future whilst those who were tired of life and wanted to die ate cabbages during this month!! Bizarre

One of my all-time favourite flowers is the tiny Scarlet Pimpernel. Looking to see if this flower is open or closed will tell the weather this month – when it’s petals begin to close, rain is on its way whereas if the petals are wide open, the weather is set to stay fine.

Crossing water on a ship/ferry and want a safe sea voyage? Then toss a penny over the ship’s bow as it leaves port to pay the God of the Sea to keep you safe!

Watch the tides in August if you live by the sea, especially in Scotland when the Lammas floods can be particularly high and would predict a very wet August which can traditionally be the wettest of the summer months anyway, whereas a misty or dewy start in Wales would mean a month that would end in heat!


Around 21 June, the wheel of the year turns yet again to bring us now to the shortest night and longest day of the year – that of Midsummer. As the name suggests, this is the time when we think of sunshine and beaches, fun and frolic, barbecues and salads, late nights and early mornings, and of course, that holiday we have spent all year saving for. The long days mean we return from work with hopefully warmth and sunshine still left for hours with which we can have fun in.

Midsummer is the season of love and commitment…romance is not dead! This is when the nights are short and the days long and warm. This is when people should enjoy each other’s company long into the night with a glass of wine in candlelight, or stroll along the beach barefoot, holding hands. It is a lovely time of year and every good day or evening should be enjoyed, preferable outside, with the ones you love, listening to the birds singing and the bees buzzing about. Notice the simple beauty of the flowers in the garden, the leaves on the trees and the crops in the field. It is also a fragrant time of year so pay attention to the aromas in the air too. Take time to appreciate what’s around you.  It is certainly a time to celebrate life and living it, physically, magickally and emotionally with family and friends around you, as this is the time to celebrate beauty and abundance, whilst enjoying the bounty of nature and of life.

At this time, we celebrate the Sun and light itself. Everything is green. Everything is growing. Fill the home with sunny yellow candles on the altar/mantelpiece if you have to stay indoors due to weather or health, and simply celebrate light. If outside, fill the garden with those yellow citronella torches to light the way for the night of the fairies. Wear something gold and green for magickal Sabbat colours. Collect shells to decorate your altar when next at the beach. Get the kids or grandkids to make daisy-chains, or string the shells together to hang in the home. The biggest thing of importance on this Sabbat to to celebrate sunshine, nature and the outdoors and the abundance of life with those you love…that’s it!

But what about our ancestors? What would this time have meant for them? Well, the crops would have been sown, the flowers and herbs full of bloom and Mother Nature’s bounty in full production. Now they would have protected their family, crops and animals against anything going wrong by making amulets to hang in their homes, fields and barns. Until the crops were harvested and the calves born, anything could happen and they would do their utmost to protect against damage, sickness and danger.

As this sabbat is obviously a sun celebration, the fire would be lit to honour the Sun God’s strength. The Celtic community would have lit their fire at sunset on Midsummer’s Eve and maintained it all the way until the next sunset on Midsummer’s day, thus honouring the shortest night followed by the longest day, and there would have been a whole night and day of festivities and rituals.

If you like to light a fire to the sun, twin fires are a great way of symbolising the sun’s dual nature – the waxing which has just climaxed and the waning which is soon to begin. Using this twin philosophy, if there is something you need a yes/no answer for, set up two identical candles in two matching holders, one inscribed yes and the other no. Place in an area free from drafts. Ask your question and light the candles. Whichever one burns down first is the one to hedge your bets with…simple but effective don’t you think (unless it comes up with the answer you didn’t want!!!)

Lots of outdoor festivities, barbeques, fun and frolic -so much daylight, so much fun to be had, so little time to sleep. Well that’s the plan guys, so just go with the flow. BBQ’s – where men get to cook over masculine fire with stick in hand doing macho stuff, talking macho talk and drinking macho beer. Can’t you just tell it is a male sun festival when the Oak king fights the Holly king for ruler ship? Bit like how they decide who is in charge of the BBQ – they are just acting out the male role of which male is more dominant.

This is the time most of us grab a holiday if we can afford to, whilst the weather is good. This is due to days where, once the planting was done, there would be a break for those who worked on the land, awaiting the crops to ripen. Hence a holiday – they weren’t needed so much at this time and got a chance of a few days off and made the most of it were they could, spending time with family and friends, a wee dram here and there, and so the summer holiday was born. Nowadays, we tend to take a fortnight, but a day away to the seaside in the past would have been truly wonderful and exiting and the most the average family could afford. How much we take for granted these days. So, to celebrate Midsummer, if you aren’t already away on holiday, hold a party, have a BBQ with friends, but be outside if you can. The sun is at its strongest and the day is the longest so enjoy, and hopefully, the weather will play the game.

This is the time of the peak of nature when all the crops, flowers and gardens are all well established and when our Lady gives us the gift of happiness. The sun makes us all glad to be alive and our daily lives should show this by living each day to its fullest and celebrate – and those who have seen me go straight from work to the pub will now understand the reason. So, at Midsummer, light a bonfire on the beach or have a barbeque and a beer with the family but enjoy the Solstice – I’ll certainly be having a tipple or two!!

What to do around Midsummer

Midsummer was the time to gather their magickal herbs for protection and none more so that the sunshine herb itself –St John’s Wort. This bright, sunny herb flowers around midsummer, and should be gathered, blessed by passing it over the midsummer fire, and then hung in the home for a year of protection and happiness – taking down last years and burying it.

Its medicinal properties are very well known these days. Like bright sunshine, St John’s Wort lifts the mood, dispelling anxiety and tension, helps lifts depression and combats mood swings – very useful for sufferers of PMT, SAD and the menopause. A little known fact of this herb is that it can also be very supportive for bedwetting in children.

The infused oil of St john’s Wort is great for nerve pain such as sciatica and shingles, and will help heal any skin problem such as burns, ulcers and wounds, and can also be applied to sprains and varicose veins. To infuse your own oil, add the flowers to olive oil in a sealed jar, packing them in as tightly as possible. Leave in a sunny window and shake daily. After 2 weeks, the colour should have changed to bright red. If not, strain, add fresh flowers and repeat. Keep in a dark cool place in a clean bottle.

Another herb to be harvested at midsummer is our faithful cure-all – Lavender. It was used in the Middle Ages as a strewing herb to keep a house smelling fresh and its antiseptic properties helped to avert the plague and suchlike. It was hung in wardrobes to keep moths away as it is an excellent insect repellent and, even today, it is a favourite to keep in our underwear drawer and the likes to keep clothes smelling fresh and clean.

Lavender is also a peace bringer to the home – harvest and hang with your Sj Johns Wort above the front door for a year of calm.

If you are writing a love letter to someone, then scent the paper with lavender, either by dropping a few drops on the paper, or keeping lavender flowers with your notepaper so it takes up the aroma over time. It particularly attracts men (so that is why granny always smelt of lavender), and was used by prostitutes a few centuries ago to attract custom – I bet not a lot of people knew that. Another detail was it prevents men being cruel to their wives if worn by the woman – another point in its favour as there is certainly too much of the domestic violence going around these days.

Because lavender is the herb of sleep and inner peace, place under your pillow if there is a special wish you would like to come true. Go to sleep thinking about your dream, and if there is any answer to your wish in your dreams, it is said that your wish will come true. That’s a nice bit of trivia for this wonderful time of year.

Aromas of Midsummer

Summertime and no sunshine! How do you create that wonderful sense of sun without it. Then have your home full of fresh flowers and fill the air with the aromas of summer. Burn oils such as lemon, bergamot, orange and grapefruit – the sunshine aromas to lift moods, brighten your day, and help keep the flies and wasps at bay with their natural repellent at the same time. Try mixing floral and citrus together for that summery mix. Try lemon and geranium or perhaps grapefruit and ylang-ylang.  Experiment. Go wild. Be daring – it is the time of fun and frolic.

Daisy, daisy

What about trying some old-fashioned fun things like making daisy chains with the kids. Parents probably moan about the daisies ruining their beautiful lawn, but as kids (and with no daytime TV), daisies were a source of fun in the sun. We would spend hours making tiaras and necklaces, joining these beautiful little flowers together…part of Midsummer fun.

Daisy comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘daeges eage’ which means ‘day’s eye’ because they open during the day, revealing the beautiful yellow sun in the centre, then close at dusk to hide it again. If you pick daisies between Noon and 1 o’clock on Midsummer’s day, dry and place in a yellow pouch and carry to ensure success in any venture…just write in gold pen on a piece paper what you want to achieve and include in the pouch with the daisies.

At the same time, pick your St John’s wort herb, pass through incense or the flame of a yellow candle, then hang above the door for a year of happiness. If you still have last year’s bunch hung up, take it down and replace with the new and recycle the old one into the garden waste bin.

Watch out for the Little People

As any reader of Shakespeare knows, Midsummer (as in the Night’s Dream) is also the night for elves and fairies and it is a custom of followers of the old ways to offer respect to the little people by leaving them food and drink on this night. When you raise your glass, state that you are giving some to them, then pour on the ground from your glass, or pour into a small dish. The same with food – don’t just throw it out, as you would to the birds as this is considered by them to be a sign as disrespect, but actively give them a share of your own food and drink and set it where they can find it. This ensures that if your garden does contain any resident little people, then they remain on your side, and not work against you.

Ritual for Midsummer to lift your life…

As this is a time for joy, if your life isn’t full of happiness then this is the night to try and change all that. Take a piece of natural cloth and fill it with herbs such as lavender, chamomile and St John’s Wort (the sunshine herb). Now, hold the cloth and pour all your troubles and woes into this “herbal teabag”. When you have placed all your issues and negativity into the herbs, tie it closed with a red tie, whether ribbon, cotton or wool. If you are casting a circle, then take your pouch into the circle, but at sometime you need to build a fire, even if it is a small one. You can even have a candle and your cauldron in the garden to carry out this simple measure.

Sit in front of the fire and “call upon our Lady and Lord and the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water to join you and help you be rid of your cares and woes to purify you on this Midsummer evening”.

Now, light a red or a white candle and set fire to the herbal pouch and drop it in the cauldron. If you have a wee fire, then just throw the pouch in. With feeling simply say:

“By the power of my Lady and Lord, I banish you. By the power of the Sun, Moon and Stars, I banish you. By the power of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, I banish you”. Now watch your woes burn to ash. When it is so, simply say something like “Gracious Lady and Lord, on this night of summer magick, enhance my life with joy and wonder. This is my will, so mote it be. Blessed Be”. Feel the powers of the night and of nature charge your body and your life and know it will be so. Give thanks to all whose help you have asked for and celebrate with a toast of wine and some fruit.

Spell for Manifestation…life is simple

When you have some time at Midsummer, light an orange candle and fire/sun incense to set the mood; now breathe, count to 10 and, with the above in mind, spend a while looking at life as you know it, evaluating your life and what needs to be changed. Write down what you want to happen in your life. Is it a new partner, a new career or job, to have a baby or simply to be happy in your skin? Have you always wanted to learn a skill or climb a mountain but haven’t? What wish would you like to manifest that could make a difference and help change your life? These are the many questions you have to answer to manifest your dreams. Now to help them along…

Write the changes to be made down on a piece of paper which you will keep on your altar or sacred space or put in your wish box. Now take a Bay leaf (I should have some hopefully next week for collection at the shop if you don’t have any, or you can obtain dried ones from a supermarket) and simply write each wish on a leaf. When done, burn the bay leaves in your cauldron (or a simple bowl if you don’t have one) to get the wish in motion. Keep the paper safely so you can remember what you have wished for and what is on its way and keep your carnelian close to help you climb any walls or blockages that materialise! Remember the warning – be careful what you wish for as you might just get it and it might not be what you want at all. Also remember that this is not about material things, no lottery wins but about changes that will bring about transformation in your life to bring that sought after happiness…do it now and get the strength of the sun and the power of carnelian to help get it moving.

Some water fun…

Sometime during a day out, you will find yourself sat by a pond or loch – still, slow flowing water. Ever sat and thrown pebbles in and watched the ripples? Yes. Perfect for a bit of divination. This is the reason you do this, you just didn’t know why. With the help of a round, smooth pebble, centre yourself and ask a straightforward yes/no question whilst holding the pebble. Then throw the stone into the water and count the rings. Odd number, Yes, even, No. Simple, productive and fun on a sunny afternoon in the summertime.

Use the feminine aspect of the Element of Water and the elixir of life itself to answer your questions.


Beltane is my favourite of all the festivals because it hails the beginning of summer and takes us up to the longest day. You can physically see Mother Nature in action as the blossom fills the trees, aromas fill the air and the birds busy themselves feeding their youngsters and watching them learn how to fly and feed themselves. It fills us with the hope and anticipation of a long and wonderful summer (often not forthcoming in Scotland but we live in hope as you have to be an optimist to live here!)

What is the Sabbat of Beltane all about? It is May Eve, at Dusk. Every village would light a huge balefire. They were honouring the Earth, who would produce their crops, and the Sun, who would ripen them, and the best was to PARTY – all night. This, however, was the ancient custom that the Christian church outlawed the most, but was the hardest to ban. People who celebrated and depended on the laws of nature still lit their Beltane fires, even when they had been “converted”to the church beliefs, as they still did not want to anger the Sun. Green was the symbol of Earth and was the customary colour to wear at Beltane. To assist the banning of it, the Church declared that green was “unlucky” and the union of the male and female “sinful and dirty”. However, the thing that the Ministers fought against was the way that the ordinary people honoured the Goddess and the Horned God. This is the naughty one folks, the one the people didn’t want to let go of, no matter how Christianised they were made to be, because this was one of the “fun” festivals…

This was the festival of lust and passion as witches and pagans honoured the body and the physical relationship between men and women – a necessity for the continuance of the human race. Fires would be lit on the hilltops at dusk and the village would party till dawn, then celebrate all the next day too. Couples would “make love” in the fields to ensure the success of the crops and the village, and any babies resulting from this night was a blessing from the Goddess herself. It did not matter if the woman was in a relationship, married or alone, as the pregnancy was deemed an honour, and the baby a “chosen one”. Of course, in Celtic society, the female was the head of the household and chose her partner, owned the land and made the decisions, including whom she slept with. Any marriage was reviewed on a yearly basis, at the end of which, if one partner was not happy, they both walked away or continued for another year or however long they decided. What a great system (though nowadays we don’t need to increase the population anymore, so lets not go there guys – have the fun and frolic but wisely and safely thank you)

Couples would also get wed on May Eve and jump the Beltane fire as part of the ceremony, and for luck and fertility. On the way home, the women would wash their faces in the dawn dew to ensure their beauty would remain. This was also the time the farmers would take the cattle and drive them through the centre of the ashes to purify the herd.

A great symbol of Beltane is the maypole – the largest phallic symbol a village could display I think. The pole was placed into the earth, symbolising fertility (obviously), and the dancers would weave their ribbons down the pole symbolising the circle of life. On May Day, the village would have selected a maiden to be May Queen – this still occurred in England when I was a child, but here in Scotland we have a Lammas Fair Queen. The may Queen and her consort was connected to Maid Marion and Robin Hood – a fairy tale or myth which actually related to the Goddess of Nature and her Green Man, the fun-loving and mischievous Pan. For those who have visited my shop, you will notice Pan sits in pride of place at one door whilst a beautiful maiden sits at the other – what do you mean, you have never noticed before? You look next time you pay a visit –remember, there is more to living the magickal way than one day every 6 weeks – it is a whole way of life.

Things to do at Beltane...

"Don’t cast a clout till the May be out" was a saying my nan always used. I always thought she meant May as in the month, but in fact, it is the may flower Hawthorn. The may heralded the summer and until it flowered, summer hadn't begun and chillier weather could still be on it's way!! Beltane celebrations began when the first May flowered. Never pick before Beltane, as nowadays, we are ruled by the calendar, if you are lucky enough to live in a warmer climate than up here in Scotland, and some say never take indoors except on May eve, whilst others say leave at the door as a house protector. In days gone by, the doorway of all homes would be decorated with the Hawthorn blossom. The maidens on Beltane would dress their hair with the Mayflowers – maybe as a sign to the men that they weren’t spoken for.

Up here in Edinburgh, Beltane is still a huge celebration, with a monster fire on Carlton Hill. A procession of light and men pained red honour the Sun King, and the party goes on all night to see the dawn. Since the revival of the Old Ways, the celebration of Beltane has risen again. So, if there is no bonfire near you, light a red candle in a bowl of Earth and honour the Earth and the Sun and have your own Beltane Fire. Make your wish on the flame and let it burn all night. If you are really daring, then go somewhere with your partner to a safe, secluded spot, and rekindle the fire of the past, as it has always been, is now and will be again.

It was always traditional that females on their way home from the Beltane celebrations washed their delicate skin in the morning dew of the Hawthorn to ensure their beauty remained. Even Queen Guinevere rode out on Beltane to gather the Hawthorn for their May Day celebrations.

Beltane is a feast of celebration, joy and happiness looking only to the future. Your very celebration of this night is the spell for Beltane. On this night, there should be merriment, not sadness or solemnity. I am sorry, but feeling sorry for yourself or unhappy with your lot is NOT ALLOWED at Beltane. What you year ahead holds depends on how you see in the dawn. So, the Green Witch’s spell for Beltane is to wear green, ladies get hawthorn in your hair, go and have fun, make your wish on the fire, forget your worries and celebrate what you want the future to hold – not what the past has dished out to you. But, remember, for your luck to hold out, you must sleep in your own bed at sometime on this night (or morning).

As this is the night of the marriage of our Lady and Lord, and the festival of passion, for those of you still waiting to find love, here is something for you. For those in a relationship, you can use this to enhance what you have.

Have a bath with Ylang Ylang, patchouli, jasmine or rose oil, our oils of love and play romantic music to entice the mood. Dry and dress. Put flowers in your hair, as above, and adorn yourself with any of the oils above, diluted in jojoba oil to make a perfume, and place on wrists, heart and neck.

For passion, take a red candle, for love a pink one. With a crystal point, draw two intertwined hearts on the candle and anoint with love oil or one of the oils above. Now visualise being held, loved and kissed, but do not see a face as you cannot decide who comes into your life. (For those in a relationship, then see your partner). Place pink and green stones in a circle on your altar and place the candle in the centre. As you light it with a match, smile and say a few words in rhyme, such as:

Lady of the Moon, Mistress of the Night,

Bring to me with all your Might,

A man to love, who will love me,

This is my will, so mote it be.

As this candle begins to burn,

A lover true, I will earn.

Leave the candle to burn and know happiness is on its way.

A few words of warning, as those who know me will be able to quote – be careful what you wish for, as you might just get it and it may not be what you wanted at all. You have been warned. Love is the one area you must be careful – What goes around comes around x3. Remember this well. Don’t take what ain’t yours…

Lighting the Bel Fire

The lighting of the fire is the magickal part of the night. Wear something green on Beltane and the ladies can put flowers in their hair. It can be as simple or as spectacular as you want it to be as long as it is safe. It can be a simple orange or yellow straight candle lit in soil within your cauldron, the candle representing the male and the cauldron the female, or it can be a bonfire in the garden attended by family and friends. The important thing (to me) is the lighting of the fire/flame before the sun sets and keeping it going through the night (if possible). This represents the magickal energy of the sun and the beginning of summer and we are heading for the longest day when the light is at its most powerful over the dark!! The magickal flame can be used to bring things to you or take them away. Wish on the flames, or write down what you need to come or go to or from you, throw the paper into the flame and state something simple to the flames such as

‘Fire fire take (bring) this from (to) me, this is my will so mote it be’. Simple but effective!!

So, if you want a partner or good health or love or a baby or give up a bad habit…whatever, use this night to solve your problems, then celebrate in a manner that it be done…enjoy and look forward!!

Fire is the element of the Sun, the South, of strength, of change and of passion…and is obviously a fire sign. I love this element. It represents power, energy, creativity, inspiration, motivation, vitality and transformation. It can motivate people into doing things they would not normally do. It has the power to change things. It can destroy everything in its path but can ignite new beginnings, so you can use it to burn away old desires and bring on the new ones. I once drove through an area of Majorca that had been completely destroyed by fire, but marvelled at the tiny new fans of greenery appearing from the blackened tree stumps whilst the area was still smoking from the devastation. The old trees were dead but the new were appearing instantly…fresh growth fanning out from the flames with hope and optimism and Nature was recovering at an alarmingly fast pace…amazing!!

It can do that in your life too. It can rekindle passion in your life, as it has done at Beltane for centuries. Make an incense using frankincense with mustard seeds, black pepper and galangal to bring the passion of the Sun into your home. If you don’t like incense, blend the fire oils and add to an oil burner for a fabulous empowered home! This is the time to make changes if you are not content with your lot and some fire motivation and determination can help you on your way this magickal mystical Beltane.

Beltane Fire safety:

I think Beltane is the most fun of the celebrations as it is simply about enjoyment and fun and staying up all night, plus, if you have a partner, a little outdoor loving if you can manage it. A fire has to be lit at dusk for this Sabbat and kept alive till dawn, so whether you light a candle, BBQ or a bonfire, care must be taken that we don’t set the whole world alight. I don’t want to take the fun out of Beltane but it seems that, since the rise of the New age and Witchcraft, there has also been a rise in domestic fires, so, after consultations with our local Fire Brigade, here is some advice to have a carefree but safe Beltane and I am not referring to the safe sex bit


  1. Never leave candles unattended and never go to sleep with a candle burning (I have seen cheap t-lights ignite!!)
  2. Don’t burn candles near curtains or similar and don’t set candles too closely together
  3. Snuff candles with an upturned glass, snugger or spoon rather than blowing them out.
  4. Nightlights can generate enough heat to melt plastic – so place on heat-resistant surfaces, not the TV!
  5. Remember that heat rises. Candles placed on shelves can burn the shelf above so allow enough room


  1. Light small fires in a pit surrounded by stone or on a beach
  2. Make sure you are not too near trees as the flames can rise and set them alight
  3. Don’t put aerosols, cans or tyres on the fire (yes, I’ve seen it done!!)
  4. Don’t leave a roaring bonfire unattended and put it out before leaving by sprinkling with soil or sand

These are just a few safety suggestions so use your common sense – another wee tip that I have done myself is to not place crystal spheres anywhere where the sun can shine through. The shop isn’t on the sunny side of the street but just before and after midsummer, we get the sun in our windows just at teatime. However, I have burnt various material, plus 2 sets of tarot cards, so imagine what can happen if you place a crystal ball in a sunny window!!! Stay safe, use your noggin and have a fun–filled but safe Beltane…please!!

Talking of wishing...

The Hawthorn – tree of magick and of Beltane

The hawthorn is very distinctive with its small white flowers in May and its bright red berries later on, being covered with the thorns that give it its name and leaves that look like smaller oak leaves. The leaves, taken as a tea, are good for circulatory and cardiac problems and those suffering from emotional distress and have been used in folk medicine for centuries. The wood is knotted and not really much use to a woodworker and doesn’t even burn well in fires – in fact, it carries a lot of superstition and hawthorn should never be taken into the home! However, you can usually find lots of these trees around the fairy mounds (maybe why you don’t take it into the house as it may contain one such being!) The tree’s gnarled appearance indeed makes it enchanted in its own right but despite this, it is a very pretty tree when in full bloom. Also, the fairies use the hawthorn as a symbol of their territory (part of the triad of Oak, Ash and Thorn) and to protect their mound and as such, to leave their trees alone.

Strange things seem to happen to those who disturb and destroy such trees. In fact, in an up-to-date story, the failure of the DeLorean cars was put down by the Irish people to the fact that he personally bulldozed a fairy mound and removed the Hawthorne trees to put up his factory as the builders wouldn’t touch it. If you do remove anything from a tree, just remember the leave an offering to the tree and the little people for the gift.  It would always have been used to decorate the maypole at Beltane and even into bridal flowers at this time to promote fertility in the marriage. However, when leaving to go to battle, the man would also put hawthorn under the mattress to ensure his wife’s celibacy in his absence! Those who are sad, unhappy or depressed should carry some around to magickally promote happiness whilst should any fishermen be reading this, some hawthorn leaves carried on your fishing trip helps to ensure a good catch!

Any bad habits etc....

If you have any bad habits, illness, or problems the Beltane fire is certainly one of the best times to deal with them.  If your problem can be utilised into a symbol, then you simply throw the symbol into the fire (i.e. pack of cigarettes to stop smoking) but if it is more complicated than that, write it down in symbols (body with a hammer hitting the head for migraines etc). The fire will consume the symbol or paper and thus the power they have over you has been destroyed by the element of transformation. As it burns, simply state “Problem, be gone from me - this is my will, so mote it be”. Go on, magickally expel those habits and know you will feel better!!

Your Outside altar...

It is a good idea to set up an outside Beltane altar where you are celebrating Beltane. I am lucky to have my fire-pit in the garden weather permitting that we can celebrate outside. You also need to set up good quality full-bodied red wine, a plate of fruit such as strawberries & grapes and maybe oatcakes and fine cheeses.

As this is also the night of the fairies, don’t forget their treat too: kids will love to do this. If you have a fairy house or door in your garden, do this there, otherwise pick a nice spot.

Mix together rose petals and fairy dust and make a circle about 10-12” wide. Place some walnut halves or nut shells within the circle filled with cider and wee treats to let them to celebrate when they come out to play. If over the next few days, when the sun is shining and not a cloud in sight but you feel rain on your face, the fairies are saying thank you for their treat!!

This holiday is all about fun and can last several days – hence why some places have their Mayday festival along with May Queen, maypole and dancing men and we even get an extra days’ holiday to help with the hangover!!
Purple and green are the Beltane colours so dress with the season and decorate your altar accordingly.

A Magickal Wish Box for Beltane...

Plan your Beltane fire, whether a bonfire in the garden or beach, or an orange sphere candle on your altar.

Beforehand, get a small wooden/pretty box. Fill the bottom with dried Orange flowers and frankincense. Sit quietly and think carefully of all the things you would like to materialise in your life…and be specific: (don’t just write “pay off debts” – put the amount of money and to pay what!!). Write down all those things you wish for you and yours to take your lives forward over the next few months or even years. Make two identical lists. We have used Lodestone for spells in the past – well, time to use it again to attract those things to you, so look it out. When dusk arrives on Beltane, light your candle or bonfire, however you have chosen to represent the Beltane fire for your household. Sit and think about what you have written (be careful what you ask for as it may just happen and may not be what you wanted at all…). When the list is finalised, put one folded list in the box on top of the herbal mix and sit the lodestone on the top. Close the box. Take the other list to your fire, set it alight and let it burn, whether thrown into the fire or carefully set alight by the candle. Take your wish-box and pass it through incense, (frankincense, fire or sun), saying out loud “By the power of Fire, please bring to me, these wishes and desires, so mote it be” and place the box on your altar. Light incense on altar weekly until it be so.

Spells for Beltane...

Decorate your altar with spring flowers and of course, hawthorn if you can find it, but not till the night of Beltane itself. Place Hawthorn over your doorway as well. Use pink candles on your altar, as this is to signify the love and fertility both in relationships and nature that ensures a bountiful harvest. Balance this with a bright orange one, your representative of the Sun, as this is a fire festival and nature can only be bountiful if both male and female play equal parts – something often forgotten today. Bathe with ylang ylang or jasmine or rose oils for a loving aura.
For the spell, you will need a pink candle and holder, some hawthorn and jasmine flowers and greenery and a small item of clothing belonging to each of you to tie together.

To strengthen an existing relationship and enhance your love, take a pink candle and carve two interlinking hearts, with your initial in one and your partner’s in the other. Anoint your candle with Love oil – if none available then use Palma Rosa, lavender or Ylang Ylang oil - then hold it in your power hand (the one you write with), close your eyes and see the two of you so happy together – you know that togetherness only couples know. Pour all this into the candle and then place in the holder. Surround with rose quartz or other pink/green love stones and some hawthorn and jasmine (this also flowers at this time with an aroma to beat no other and is a powerful aphrodisiac as well). Light the candle.
Now, take an item (secretly) of yours and one of your partner’s –flexible items that aren’t too big – and tie them together in front of the lit candle. This simply binds you together as a couple and strengthens the relationship. Do not use if there is no relationship – it is for existing couples only. As you tie them together, visualise your relationship as you wish it to be and pour it into the knot you are creating. Now, hide these linked items where they cannot be found – the relationship can only be strengthened whilst the knot is in place. I know, a bit sneaky, but you should never reveal your spells to anyone until they have been fulfilled anyway. Reveal this or the knot undone and the spell is undone too.
If it is a child you want to bring to your relationship and have not been blessed yet, then simply do the above but add a baby item as well. After all, the primary reason about this Sabbat is the celebration of life itself and this is the most positive time to ask our lady to bless you.

Spell for Fidelity at Beltane

I decided that, as Beltane is a promiscuous festival, a spell for fidelity would ensure peace of mind – well, it is what I have had questions on just lately! I have also had a few enquiries when partners are working away, that sort of thing, so here is my suggestion.

Take a nutmeg and cut it into 4 pieces. Now we are going to use the elements to ensure trust. Bury the first quarter somewhere where it can be left undisturbed, throw the second into the wind off a high building or a cliff if you live near the sea, burn the third (in your Beltane fire), and boil the last to make an elixir. Drink a sip from the liquid and then retrieve your last piece and keep it with you at all times (including putting it under your pillow at night). You have done all to ensure your partner remains true for as long as you are apart.

Another Spell for Beltane - how to attract a lover

Here is a spell for all those ladies that will be wearing green on Beltane (or men for that matter).

When doing any work to find a partner, do not visualise a face or you limit the field. Also, remember you cannot alter anyone’s path or this is regarded as bad and karma will follow. So the best thing when wanting a partner to love is to select on personality. Imagine the good points of the partner that you want. Don’t go for a 6ft blonde fireman with muscles but for someone who will make you laugh and treat you like the goddess that you are.

Make a garland for your hair to wear on Beltane made from twisted ivy and one single piece of May if you can find it, otherwise perhaps some rosemary. This is to celebrate the marriage between our Lady and Lord on this night and your hope as you craft this circle, that next year you won’t have to wear the green (men can do this too, but with oak leaves and maybe honeysuckle).  Now prepare your spell ingredients outside at your Beltane fire, on your altar or in the garden at dusk (this can be carried out on a full moon for the rest of the year):

Take a pink candle, some love oil, a rose and cup of water, an emerald placed between 2x small Herkimers in a spiral (for wearing later) and some rosemary & set on your altar wherever you have decided to carry this out. Hold each item separately and infuse with the feeling of being in love but no particular face…now…

Fill the cup with the water and place the rose into the cup and say:

“By this rosy cup of love, I draw love from up above”

Engrave the candle with two entwined hearts and anoint with love oil or rose oil, set behind the cup, light the candle & repeat the above saying for the 2nd time.

Place the spiral of diamond and emerald through the candle flame, into the water and onto the rose (leave in the rose if possible, otherwise sit between the candle and the cup). Now sprinkle rosemary around all and repeat the above saying for the 3rd & final time.

Let the candle burn for at least 9 minutes (3x3) before snuffing to burn nightly or leave to burn down. Take the crystal spiral and wear on a necklace under your clothes to attract your lover to you. If you are partying the rest of the night, you can anoint yourself with love oil & wear your love rose and you are all set for your magickal Beltane celebration. Continue to wear your magickal crystal spiral until your new lover has come to you.

Spell for bringing a lover..

If you are on your own and are ready for someone to come into your life, use the Beltane fire to make this happen.

First, get together some rose petals and a nice piece of writing paper. Write on the paper all those attributes you require in your next love. Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it!!

Once you have filled in all those requirements, sprinkle the rose petals in the centre of the paper and then carefully fold up. Now put the paper with the petals in your Beltane fire saying:

Power of Fire; please bring to me a love that is true, so mote it be…
Now let it burn…and now we wait…the motion has been set...

Hawthorn Spell for Beltane...

To perform a spell at Beltane, find your own personal magickal Hawthorne tree – easy for me to say as I can access them by the dozen but those of you in cities may have to visit a park). On Beltane or when the moon is full, visit the tree and take with you various small strips of cloth in colours to match your needs and wishes plus a gift. Now, in the quiet of the night, attune yourself to the tree’s vibrations. You are asking the tree to grant you your wishes so you must give it your time.

When ready, and the spirit of the tree is aware of your presence, hold a corresponding piece of cloth and ask of the tree your wish. Visualise what it is you are after and speak a little poem. So, if you need money, then take a green piece of cloth and ask: “Spirit of the Hawthorne tree, grant to me prosperity, this is my will so mote it be.” You then pierce the cloth onto one of the thorns. Are you with me? If it is love you are after, then you would use pink cloth and chant

“Charm of rose and hawthorn tree, bring my true love unto me, this is my will, so mote it be.”

Just make up as simple or as fancy a poem as needed. If you don’t want to use the “so mote it be” then you don’t have to but I always do so I included it. You can make as many wishes as you like, each one requiring a separate piece of cloth and a separate thorn. If something is very urgent, you can repeat the request several times. When you have made all your requests to the tree, leave a gift such as wine to its roots and when a wish materialises, return to the tree with another offering.

Getting rid of worries...

Gather some dried weeds, dried lavender or yarrow and a little frankincense resin and, before dark, light your magickal fire outside, made with 13 sticks. Once the fire is burning, by the light of the fire, write your worries, one by one, on separate pieces of paper in as fewer words as possible. If a person is making your life hell, just write their name, not the whole story…are you with me??

Now, close your eyes and visualise yourself sat inside a magickal sphere with your fire, protected by a blue light. Open your eyes, and throw the weeds on the fire. One by one, put each worry on the fire, stating what it is you have written.

Once all has been burned, throw on the lavender or yarrow and frankincense, saying “Worries be gone, let happiness come, so mote it be” and watch your fire burn down. Your worries won’t be gone by the morning but it has set things in motion so you can now stop fretting. Worrying does nothing except give you high blood pressure – only action can change things around you and the time for that is now…


What is now known as Candlemas at church is the old pagan festival of Imbolc (ewe’s milk). Known as the Festival of Light, Imbolc heralded the return of Nature’s Bounty. The Earth is stirring underground, and even though the ground may still be covered in snow and frost, if you look carefully, you will find evidence of growth. Soon, the ewes will start to produce this year’s lambs, and the milk is a reminder that winter would soon be over. This was a well-needed sign in days of old as food would be starting to run low and firewood would be running out. Then, they depended on their stores of food and wood to keep them alive and warm – something very few of us actually experience these days. It would have been a potluck celebration, as something would have had to be caught to celebrate with and that would have depended on the luck of the hunter. So nature’s signs would be a welcome reminder that the hard times would soon be over and they had hopefully made it through another winter as the first snowdrops started to appear.

Once the first lambs were born, which, in days gone by signified hope that they had made it through another winter. The first snowdrops will appear at this time to confirm that this is the time of renewal and rebirth. The Triple Goddess is in her maiden form and represents fertility, creativity and poetry – quite apt as up here in Scotland we are also getting ready to celebrate Robbie Burns with the schoolchildren all reciting his poems at this time, and Burns night the first major celebration in the Scottish calendar following Hogmanay. This is also the time to cleanse both your home and your body in preparation for the forthcoming spring.

The festival of Imbolc was traditionally Brigit’s day. Brigit is the Celtic Triple Goddess of poetry, healing & fire-craft. Her names vary from Brid, Brigit, Bridget and Bride but they are all one. She was Ireland’s Mother Goddess (Goddess of all) and the country was united in the worship of her. She was protector, warrior, guardian of children and Goddess of fire and the Sun. Her symbol includes the heart which runs with the fact that Valentine’s Day is celebrated just a couple of weeks later. It was Bride who was credited for wakening the Earth and so, as the Goddess of fire and the Sun, candles or bonfires are always lit for her. Her colour is white for the purity of the snow drop and the milk and as she is responsible for the fertility of the earth, all women to be married are named after her (bride) and wear white in honour of her, in the hope that she will bless the marriage. Women in labour in the Scottish Islands would call for her help to assist in the safe delivery of the baby and, when the child was safe they would thank her and consider themselves blessed by Bride herself. Lots of different cures were attributed to Bride and each area in the Celtic lands has an ancient tale of her help. Because of the dedication to Bride, the Christian church moved Candlemas from 13th Feb to 2nd and claimed Bride as their own by changing her name to St Brigit,  the woman who they claimed delivered Christ.

The Snowdrop…

So named because it usually pushes through the snow, it was also known as White Queen or Snow Princess.

Everyone knows what a snowdrop looks like with its dark green leaves and drooping white head and is known as the flower of hope and new life. However, it also has a lot of associations with fear and bad luck. It is a bad omen to bring a cut flower into the home as someone was surely to die before they bloomed again, because the flower resembles a corpse in a shroud!!. However, a bowl of planted snowdrops in the home causes no harm and some say a handful of cut snowdrops bring happiness to the home…so go figure but in Victorian days, death was prevalent anyway!! It isn’t really used herbally – the plant is actually poisonous but a poultice from crushed bulbs was often used in days gone by for frostbite.

Imbolc Spring Clean.

Imbolc is all about purification and cleansing, so this would be the correct time to de-tox your body as the maiden sweeps clean with her new broom. We are what we eat, and after the festive over-indulgence, a thorough cleansing would be appreciated so that we can clear out the stagnation and allow inspiration and creativity to flow once again. In order to commence with the spring clean, follow the candidiasis diet for 2-4 weeks (yes, here I go again) to allow your body to cleanse, whilst also protecting your health for the future. Keep your mind off food by also spring-cleaning the house. Yes, by doing this, you are carrying out the maiden’s clean-sweeping work, so are living magickally, as all lone-witches do. A clean and tidy house followed by a cleansed and purified body will prepare you for what the spring has to offer both physically and magickally. Make way for the new by clearing out the old. Yes, that means recycle all that “stuff” no longer of use to you. Give the things to friends, charity, whatever, and throw away what cannot be recycled. As you do this, visualise your problems, habits, bad eating ways, whatever you need to also get rid of, going out with the physical cleanse so that fate can bring in the new to you. Believe it is done when you are done and the last of the cleansing is complete.

The romance of February and Valentine’s Day

There were lots of ritual celebrations at this time in days gone by. The Romans dedicated Imbolc to Venus, the Celts considered it Brigit’s day and the Orientals honoured Kuan Yin, and there were many more such days during this month, whether dedicated to children or poets or love. We celebrate Brigit’s day – Goddess of the Hearth, feminine arts (divination, witchcraft and occult knowledge), poetry, fertility, healing, agriculture and smithcraft and enjoy her granted 3 wishes on this day (check the website), but Valentine’s day is perhaps a result of today’s version of these dedicated days from days gone by where love and fertility was honoured.

I often feel that a lot of couples, once they settle into house and children mode, forget that they began as two people in love where nothing mattered but spending time together, and yet sadly end up as two people job-sharing bringing up kids. It is time to make time for the other member of the parental team and Valentine’s Day is the day for the two of you to rekindle feelings (or any day during February where you can get the kids out of the way for the evening). It is time to lose the parental role and put yourselves first; rediscover the lover you have lost. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune on fancy gifts, extortionately priced flowers and extravagent meals!! It is time to feel loved because that is all you need according to the Beatles and love is free. So, have a night out or even better, a night in. When was the last time you took a scented bath together with a suave Sauvignon or a cocky Chianti, gave each other a seductive massage on the living room rug or shared a romantic candlelit meal which you lovingly cooked together, drinking more of the wine than you add to the Spaghetti Bolognese … use your imagination and take time to remember the fun and frolic of simply being a couple again.

Those of you who are alone right now shouldn’t miss out either. Why not run a hot bath, add some exotic oil such as ylang-ylang, burn a romantic pink candle and have a good soak in the bath with a glass of wine – perform this ritual on a Friday to attract love or Tuesday for passion – it may just open that door to love again…!! Set the mood with some love incense, add the oil, and whilst swirling the water, visualise your bath full of red hearts before you surrender to the warm water and engulf yourself in that love-inducing liquid of life…

So what do you put in that oil burner, bath or massage oil??

The romantic oils are sandalwood, patchouli, lavender, rose or jasmine. You can either let sandalwood stir your desires, patchouli stir your passions, follow Cleopatra and let Jasmine seduce your man, let lavender help you relax and luxuriate in those undisturbed moments or use rose to prepare you as a couple for a long night ahead!! Put Frank Sinatra (or similar) on the stereo to create the mood, light scented candles and love incence, open the champagne to celebrate that new-born fizz about to explode or the raunchy Rioja for a night of red-blooded passion… come on, live a little and make a promise to to give yourselves time ‘together’ every month…

Spell at Imbolc – a gift from Brigid

To honour the Triple Goddess at Imbolc, namely the Celtic goddess Brigit, place spring flowers in your home and light a white candle in her honour. When you dedicate the flowers and the candle to her, she will grant you 3 wishes, one for each of her aspects. With 3 more white candles, make the 1st wish for the good of others, whether animals, the planet or humanity – your dedication to others outside your normal life. Make the 2nd wish for a friend or partner and then make the 3rd something you would wish for yourself. As you make each wish, light the candle from the main one. Do not be selfish or manipulative and focus on the wish in hand. It is done. Leave the candles to burn down completely. I can hear you novices to witchcraft saying, “It cannot be that simple”. Oh Yes it can. The power lies in you and the element you are using (Fire) and it can be really that simple. You are putting your wish out to the Universe and that is it.

Magickal hot chocolate…Imbolc celebration

You can celebrate Imbolc with a celebration of milk, & make luxury hot chocolate!! In the mountains, hot chocolate is served with Baileys (Whisky Cream liqueur), an even richer milky celebration, which gave me the idea to include Real Hot chocolate…no, I don’t mean a pack of instant with hot water, but the real stuff people enjoyed before instant came along. If you don’t want the fuss, you can make original instant with hot milk, but here is a recipe for a simple luxurious Imbolc treat for you and your partner…

Ingredients:    300ml milk, 70ml double cream, 50g good chocolate, chopped, 1 x shot Baileys (optional)

Method:           Add the milk, chopped chocolate and nearly all the cream to a pan (saving a little for the top). Heat gently whilst whisking until smooth and bring to the boil. Pour into 2 mugs or liqueur coffee glasses & add Baileys. Swirl the cream and grate a little chocolate on the top et voila…an Imbolc celebration indeed

Skadi…the Norse Winter Goddess

Dressed in white fur and metal armour, with her wolves, bow and arrow and snowshoes, her domain rules the mountains in winter. She is the complete embodiment of strength and courage during the winter months when ice, frost and snow take over the mountains. She is happiest when hunting, skiing or walking decked in her favourite snowshoes in the snow-covered mountains of Scandinavia, the area being named after her!

I mention her now as she rules over those dark times we all go through one time or another, and brings out the things that are really important from within! She positively encourages and rules over independence, strength and justice, stopping at nothing to get where she needs to go, but with passion and integrity, she is determined to live life to the full, no matter how harsh the winter gets or how hard the circumstances become!! Skadi helps you be determined to overcome, no matter how tough the climate or how difficult it becomes, to provide for yourself and your loved ones…Women power at its best… go girl!!

Winter is a dark time but is part of every year. When times are dark, it calls mainly for patience and persistence because, after every dark winter comes the Spring, when new life and growth will begin again.

We are going through tough times once more and our country’s future is not certain, but under the snow, life goes on. Animals hibernate. Seeds await germination, and Imbolc is symbolised by Snowdrops pushing through the snow and ewe’s milk, meaning new life and fresh meat is on the way. The circle turns once more and life goes on regardless of the circumstances around. Out of the dark comes the light. Winter does not last forever and the cold will eventually warm as the Sun returns, so enjoy the purity of the winter and embody the strength of Skadi when challenged. Light a fire, stay warm and dry, and snuggle up with those you love till Spring gets here!

Crystals to empower your wish…

In days gone by, Imbolc was also the time to collect magickal stones and crystals, to help, heal and protect for the forthcoming year. These stones could be placed on your magickal altar or sacred space, or kept on your person, as in jewellery or a medicine pouch, and would help to fulfil your wish above.

Amethyst  – to help you with your spiritual path

Quartz clear  – for direction or focus on one particular goal

Rose quartz  – for love and friendship

Citrine  – for health, wealth and happiness

Tiger Eye  – gives the energy of the sun to deal with life’s dilemmas

Aventurine  – talisman of protection

Calcite  – for wealth (green) and balance (any colour)

Carnelian – for justice

Hematite  – for aiming high without boundaries

Lapis Lazuli  – for healing and psychism

Moonstone  – the female’s stone of fertility and protection

Agate  – for courage and new beginnings

Fluorite  – for flawless health and spring-cleaning your life

Tourmaline  – weight loss (green) and protection (black)

More Spells for Imbolc…

Light your bathroom with a few scattered tea lights plus a green candle placed on the edge of the bath near the taps. Run your bath, adding one large or 3 small aventurine crystals and scent the water with patchouli oil. Now get into the bath, relax in it’s warmth, close your eyes and really think about your immediate prosperity wishes… what you need and what you want. Remember – need not greed so none of this “let’s win the lottery jackpot” – money doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness – just misery in more comfortable surroundings. So think about what you need to pay, what you need to have done (as in get the leak fixed and the bathroom redecorated, not buy a new house) and have some left over for a bit of fun. When you have decided, concentrate on the green candle at the end of the bath, visualising those things being done & paid and state:

On this New (or full, as applicable) moon, my intention is set. New luck will be mine and all my needs met

With harm to none, please bring this to me, this is my will, so mote it be.

Another thing you could do…

involves fire. Decide what things you could do with removing from your life during the coming year, and tie together a little bundle of straw with black thread or ribbon for each issue you want to remove from your life, whether a habit or addiction you want rid of or a person you need closure on…you get the idea. When you have your gathering of little straw bundles (and I mean little if you are doing this indoors), you need to burn them somewhere. If you are lucky enough to have an open fire, then use that or use your cauldron if you have one, setting fire to them inside the cauldron, as the straw may go up quickly (take care whatever you are doing!). Failing that, you could even light a little tidy-the-garden type of bonfire outside and do a ritualistic burning of your problems and habits outside with nature – it won’t take long and, on a clear night, could even be quite peaceful and give you a sense of completion and closure. Just make sure you focus first on each issue and then see it no longer a problem to you as your little bundle burns away to ash. When it is all done, leave the situation knowing that each of these issues will be dealt with. The secret of witchcraft is not in how fancy a spell you perform or how many fancy words you say, but in knowing your actions will make it happen. You must be able to trust in what you do. Any doubt will doom your actions to failure. Remember the words – This is my will, so mote it is. Say them with conviction. Believe these little words and it will be so.

The single ones amongst us may like to try this bit of fun (or is it??) On 2nd Feb, should you see birds flying in a certain direction, and this is the direction from which your future partner will come and home made. Another Scottish tradition is to look out your window on the morning of the 2nd and the first man you see would have the same name as your future husband!!

Those of you on our own should carry an emerald around, should you want to actively seek a partner. Cleanse and programme the emerald to bring your love to you and then carry around on your person next to your heart, but it must be hidden. The person attracted to you must not see the stone!!

Blessing from Brigid for the newborn

On the next Imbolc after baby’s birth, on Brigit’s day, do this Blessing for Brigid: Light a white candle to her, present baby and say:

Goddess of Fire, we present to you our newest member of the family.

We ask you to welcome him (or her) and love him, bless him and protect him.

Watch over him as he grows, as he loves, and as he lives

This we ask of you Brigid; may you love him and take care of him as we will

This promise we make to you as you do to us, so mote it be

Keep a picture of baby on your altar/family mantelpiece with the white candle, and burn it whenever baby needs extra help. Thank Brigid for any help she gives you. Renew the candle and update baby’s photo every Imbolc.

Valentine’s Day 14th Feb

This festival came to be as it is the general date that birds select their partner for the season. The Victorians used it as a time to send cards and gifts to a secret love so they would know someone liked them and this was how the industry of greetings cards came about. Valentine’s day is about unrequited love and not the festival for florists and restaurants that it has been turned into today. So, if you don’t fall for all the hype, don’t feel guilty – you have grasped the true meaning of the occasion. You don’t need a special day to tell your partner you love them and give them flowers – you can do it any day you want to. Be different and use one of the other 364 days instead and avoid being ripped off at the same time.

 29 Feb (Leap year)
So girls; who fancies popping the question to him this Leap Year?? Leap year only comes about once every four years to realign the yearly calendar with the Sun. It was thus named because English law didn’t recognise this extra day in law so all rules were “leapt” passed and consequently, traditions became null and void just for the one day. In Ireland in the 5th century, St Bridget petitioned St Patrick to allow women to have more choice in who they married(and Imbolc is Brigit’s Day) so he gave them 29th Feb to break with tradition and propose to the man they would have liked to be with. In Scotland, it was even against the law to refuse such a proposal and any man would be greatly fined should they’d done so!! So, go on, go on, go on…if your single and in love with the man of your dreams, because love is in the air…as they say!!


The Festival of Yule celebrates the Winter Solstice, the darkest part of winter. It contains the longest night and the shortest day-  anywhere between 20 – 22 December. From then onwards, the Sun will slowly gain strength, and the barren Earth will commence its regeneration, though it will be Imbolc before this is obvious.

The celebrations of Christmas rejoice in the birth of a new life, just as people have always celebrated since time itself began – a new year and a new cycle. All the traditions of Christmas as we know them today have Pagan and Druid roots and although we carry out these traditions, few people actually know why.

The traditional Holly Wreath has been used for over 4000 years to represent the Wheel of the Year and a new beginning in the ever-turning circle of life, and, being holly, it was also a symbol of protection for the home, just as a holly tree in the garden is.

The Celtic and Norse people used a Yule Tree to represent the continual circle of life, the return of the Sun and to represent their wishes for the forthcoming year. The tree would be decorated, not with bright shiny plastic as we do nowadays, but with amulets and talismans, made to ensure a happy time ahead. The tree would be brought inside and decorated with fruit for a successful harvest, nuts for fertility, coins for wealth, love charms for happiness and candles to light the way for the returning Sun. As you can see, without knowing, we still do the same, but with electric lights and a bit more glitter, that’s all. So, when decorating your tree this year, really put your wishes and dreams into it, and you will be doing the same as the “old ones” always did. Don’t forget to burn plenty of candles over the holiday to welcome back the Sun.

More on that tree? Get the kids to make garlands for the tree with popcorn and cranberries (white and red for holly and mistletoe berries) to provide food and shelter for tree fairies and elementals sheltering in the greenery. They can also string together juniper berries, also for the tree, for a home full of love, and also add little bunches of cinnamon for healing & abundance. Add chocolate money for prosperity, hearts and charms for love and happiness, nuts for fertility and use your imagination to help bring your dreams & wishes to fruition next year for you and yours. Finally, don’t forget your Goddess in pride of place on the top of your pine tree, observing all the fun and festivities. Thus year, decorate your home with meaning and wish on each object as you hang it on your tree whilst your festive incense burns and red, green and gold candles flicker – this is a sacred and ancient tradition and the Christmas we know now is relevant to witches as well as Christians, because the symbolism we now know as Christmas is as ancient as the celebration itself.

Santa and his reindeer capture the essence of the horned God and every good Christmas tree has its fairy on the top – welcome the beautiful goddess of light and love and peace into your home. The top of the tree was always important and most people place a fairy or a star in the prime position – the star, of course, is the 5-pointed pentagram representing the 4 elements and spirit – in a way using all the elements to ensure their wishes materialised, and the fairy represents the “wee folk”, who at this time of year would be invited indoors to shelter from the cold and dark, and the tree would be their obvious haven.  Your Christmas colours of gold and red are the colours of the Sun, and green the colour of the Earth. Santa and his reindeer capture the essence of the horned God and every good Christmas tree has its fairy on the top – welcome the beautiful goddess of light and love and peace into your home.

Mistletoe, if it could be obtained, would be hung to ensure another prosperous year. Kissing under the Mistletoe is as old as the Celtic/Druid way of life. Sacred to the Druids, their legal agreements and hand-fasting ceremonies (marriage) all took place “under the mistletoe”, as the agreement was then truly sealed – so just be careful who you kiss this year under the mistletoe, or they might just hold you to your word.

The centrepiece of Celtic celebrations was the Yule log, which is still around today. Back then, it would have been Oak, the king of the waxing year, and decorated with Holly, the king of the waning year. Three holes would have been drilled into the top to represent the triple aspect of the Goddess, and candles would have burned in the log for the festivities, to ensure fertility and abundance for the forthcoming year.

The magickal Yule insists on no excessive work, but to all of us in the retail trade – fat chance, though I tend to add a little bit of brandy to the mulled wine so if too much is consumed, then work just becomes a giggle and customers have to tend to themselves!! – However, I simply transfer my days of rest to later on at 25th when it is now more allowable to stop work for a couple of days. An apple eaten at Yule will ensure health, the mistletoe hung at Yule will ensure a year of happiness and a magickal cleansing bath will free your body of the worries you may have been carrying over the past few months and these are traditions that can still be done at Yule itself.

Yule is a time of relaxation and time out half way through the year and people since time began have always ate and drank too much at this time so no reason to not enjoy Christmas like everyone else – gifts have always been given to symbolise the turn of the year even if it was a new fur-skin coat or a necklace of shells in a cave with a freshly roasted deer for dinner, the meaning is still the same. The festivities have always gone on till 12th night when fires would be lit on every headland and beacon round the country to ensure fertility for the land in each area and the next day it would be back to work – nothing new then!

As the Sun is at its weakest, so the moon is at her strongest nearest to Yule. This makes it a good time to work with her when she is full, so check the Moon calendar for strongest moon. Because of the cost at this time of year, we will all be spending money we don’t have so maybe remember to definitely do a prosperity spell with the full moon as we will need all the help we can get!!

A tip or two for Yule

To ensure that your festivities go without a hitch, here are a few tips for you. Whilst Mistletoe represents wisdom, prosperity and fertility, the Holly (male) and Ivy (female) represent balance and luck. Again, bring these into your home at this time. Always hang the holly before the mistletoe as this then avoids any ill-luck or family quarrels. Never burn the Yule holly as, if you do, a misfortune is sure to follow and remember to leave the mistletoe hanging all year round to ensure a year of protection and good luck – replace it when you get the fresh mistletoe next year.

As the Sun is at it’s weakest at Yule, the Full Moon that usually follows Yule is regarded as the most powerful of the year – make use of it. . Decorate your Home & tree with symbols of fertility, health, wealth and prosperity – nuts, fruit, suns (male), stars (pentagram) and moons (female), elemental symbols such as icicles, snowflakes, and protective herbs and spices such as cinnamon sticks etc – even chocolate represents the luxuries of life – just use your imagination.

As for the aromas of Christmas, those who burn oils regularly should use oils such as cinnamon and orange, mandarin and clove, frankincense and myrrh, to bring the season into the home. Clove and cinnamon are very antiseptic, killing off all those bugs that may be hanging around, to ensure nothing spoils your festive season. Frankincense and myrrh are spiritual aromas, bringing the heightened awareness of the spiritual realms, whilst reducing stress and tension, ensuring a relaxed Yule. Orange and mandarin are your fun-filled aromas, ensuring your festive arrangements are full of joy, energy and magickal fun.

I always get asked about guilt at this time – enjoying and joining in the family Christmas when it isn’t our celebration. Don’t worry; it is how you use the experience and what you take from it that counts. My house looks like everyone else’s only we work at Yule but not at Christmas. I don’t have to throw my religion down everybody else’s throats. I grew up alongside Jehovah’s witnesses, who seemed to suffer at Christmastime and I wouldn’t want that for my own children. My partner is a Christian but we have leaned to combine and honour each other’s religion, not condemn it. I will be attending a Carol concert with him and join in his joy of the occasion. Some of the Carol’s are pretty pagan; “the holly and the Ivy” is as pagan as it gets!! I will have my symbols and he his. The only way we will have our beliefs respected is to respect others and this is the point. Send Xmas cards; just look for the ones that state “Seasons greetings” or “Yuletide greetings” – subtle but honest. Gifts at this time represent the gifts that our Lady and Lord have bestowed upon us – that of life, love and prosperity. It is all a matter of prospective; that’s all. See what you can see within the customs of your family and friends, join in, enjoy and simply smile, count your blessings and give silent thanks.

My extended family celebrate with a meal together on Yule and a get-together on Christmas day, exchanging small gifts and consuming fabulous food and excellent wines and beer…no extending credit cards here; it just brings misery in January when the statement arrives!! It is more about quality time together playing stupid games and having a laugh with our extended family than being about piles of expensive ‘stuff’. The festive time was always over a few days, so don’t feel guilty about being really busy at Yule but enjoying Christmas Day! It is now seen in our multi-cultural society as a festival for all creeds to enjoy in their own cultural way with family. Quality time spent with kin is what life is about. Time is such a rare commodity that any time together is a time of celebration!

Yuletide punch – Wassail

Wassail is a traditional drink of Yule for wishing good health. The drink would be “cooked” on the stove, then would be put in a large cup and passed around with the blessing of “Waes Haelinch” meaning Good Health. So if you want to know how you make this magickal festive elixir, here is a recipe:

1 ltr apple cider and 3 apples, grated

2oz brown sugar, 2.5ml ground ginger and grated nutmeg

Put a mugful cider in a pan and add the grated apples. Cook till the apple is soft and add the sugar, ginger and the rest of the cider. Heat through but DO NOT BOIL. Add some grated nutmeg and keep warm and serve to friends and family to wish them well for the forthcoming year. YUM…

A Yule spell for new beginnings…using onions and some twigs

A Russian spell to ease us into the new wheel and help us move forward can be done with the use of 2 small onions, 3 white or beeswax yellow candles, a little salt, 2 pieces red ribbon or cord and 2 birch twigs. Salt is a purifier as are the onions and birch symbolises new beginnings. On the eve of the winter solstice, light the candles. In their light, peel the onions and thread with the red ribbon/cord saying:

Spirits of past and present, keep evil sorts at bay;

Let harmony and joy prevail at the turning of the day.

Hang the onions at the front and back door (if no back door, use a back window instead). Hang the onions until the 24th, take them down and sprinkle them with the salt. Remove the cord and bury the onions in the garden.

Hold the birch twigs to your 3rdeye for a moment, then tie with the red cord and replace above the doors.The birch will help you begin your new cycle. Let your festive fun be the mark of this new beginning…cheers!!

A Yule-time wish

The rebirth of the Sun today gives a feeling of hope and warmth, and we can harness that in a wish.

You will need a red Yule candle and a depiction of a reindeer to represent the horned God – picture, xmas stamp, table confetti or similar, a gold pen, some fairy dust, a piece of writing paper and a small envelope.

When you have your Yule candles ready, turn off all the lights and sit and feel the darkness.

Now light your candles, one by one, fill the room steadily with candlelight and sit and think of what you would like to attract during the next year.

Once you have decided on your wish, write it on the paper in gold pen and fold, placing it in the envelope. Add a sprinkle fairy dust, seal your wish inside with your stag and then hide the envelope away where no-one will find it, until the longest day and hopefully, as the light grows in strength, your wish will come into being!

Mayan Sachet for Yule…

It is customary at Yule to hang the Mistletoe but I needed something extra to mark this auspicious occasion. An old Yule recipe was prepared and wrapped in either green or red cloth and given as gifts at this time using 12 herbs for the 12 festive days. I have selected my own version using Juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, rosemary, cinnamon, orange flowers, lavender, mistletoe, lemongrass, Grains of Paradise and rice and mixed it all together for love, luck, wealth, harmony and happiness. These pouches are something you can do too.

Light incense and candles on the altar as above, and mix the blend of herbs and spices in a bowl with your fingers saying “Luck and prosperity, happiness and harmony” (as above) as you mix the blend together. Spoon it into green/red pouches and give as gifts to those friends and family who need a little luck, love or abundance in their lives Paper wishes can be added too before hanging. Help them achieve new hope this Yule.

A family wishing spell…

When you and the family/friends get together, have a go at this little bit of magick for you all. You will need a little reindeer to represent the Horned God, along with some nuts, pine cones and maybe a sprig pine, mistletoe and holly and a nice set paper and envelopes.  On your altar/mantle, make a small circle with the nuts and pine etc encircling the reindeer and a red candle. Using a gold pen, let every member write their wish for the forthcoming year on a piece of paper and seal in their own envelope. Leave the candle to burn for the rest of the day or until it is no more, then tie all the envelopes together with red ribbon and store in your magickal box until Midsummer. Burn all the unopened envelopes together in your Midsummer ritual fire to nudge the spell once more!

Saturnalia and the Romans…

No-one throws a party like the people of Ancient Rome, their revelry and debauchery being well known through the ages. In ancient Italy planting of crops took place between October and January and their God of Agriculture was Saturn. Saturn was depicted as a working God, who is also now known as Old Father Time. Today, we think of Saturn as a planet in our Solar System rather than a God of old, who, astrologically enters your horoscope to teach you the lessons of life to ensure Karmic balance! Portrayed as an elderly, bearded man, he carries the scythe, sometimes a time-piece, and is always draped in robes. He is the giver of plenty from the Earth, so around 17thDecember, the party began until well after Yule to encourage a great harvest.

The Roman parties were awesome, and slaves became free of work, worries and rules for the week. They would eat with their master and wore a red freedom hat, called a pileus and everyone had a good time honouring Saturn.

Saturn was the Roman God of seed and time, and I have visited the remains of Saturn’s temple in the Forum in Rome, where the state treasury was also held. Here also took place fertility rites, to ensure the seeds grew to give an abundant harvest the next year. Food and wine would be in plenty, businesses, courts and schools were closed and the peasants ran the City. Feasts and banquets were held everywhere people gathered, and simple gifts were exchanged, including such things as a writing implement, tool, cups and spoons, clothing and food. Also given were tapered candles, the giver of light and these were burned in plenty to ensure the return of the sun to warm the ground and help the seeds grow. There would be naked partygoers in the streets singing like the drunks of today, and the halls of their homes were decked with boughs of laurel (no holly or pine in Rome!) This ended up a sort of drunken Roman Mardi Gras that went on for days, & would be the highlight of their year, before the hardness of a slave’s life resumed.

Saturnalia was a Roman Holy day, regardless of the partying, to honour their God. Saturn statues were traditionally bound with woollen ties all year round to stop him leaving Roman territory, but were cut at this time to allow Saturn to join in their fun. The final day of celebrations was known as Sigillaria (day of little figurines). Simple figures were made of wood, wax or clay to celebrate the New Year, and symbolise the letting go of things they needed to change to move forward. They may have begun with a sacrificial meaning but ended up as toys for the little ones. Saturn’s hands and feet would then be bound once more as the celebrations came to an end.

New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay here!!)

New Year or Hogmanay over the past centuries has also brought about a few traditions of its own. Burning 7 candles ensures lucky homes, though we more and more see the line of 7 lights in windows in every town and wonder why we do that, but now you know. The body would have been bathed and new clothes put on, the home would have been thoroughly scrubbed, the locks all opened (open house) and a new clean knife left at the door for protection for the next year. All jobs no matter how hated are to be done before the New Year celebrations begin and the New Year enters your home. A fire would have been burned all night to complete the New Year ritual, and this would have been the actual fire but these days, candles will be sufficient. We then are all aware of the New Year tradition of bringing in coal, bread and whisky (fuel, food and drink) and this tradition still goes on as does that of the dark male but where did that come from? It was apparently that the Celts were dark haired but the Norse and Vikings were not – dark hair meant friend not foe…so there you go, another mystery unravelled. It is also important that the bringer of the New Year isn’t wearing all black or carrying a knife (but these days the Skein Dubh is part of the kilt so it isn’t counted!!) If someone enters by mistake before the entry of the New Year, it can be counteracted by throwing salt into the fire so don’t panic!!

To continue the New Year traditions, ensure your cupboards are full of fresh food on New Year’s Day and your pockets and wallet/purse full of cash to ensure a year of plenty all the remainder of the year.

If your year has been fraught with problems, and you can get to a coal fire or bonfire, try this spell.

Take the calendar of the year just passing and bind it with wool. Then, place it in a fire, be it coal or an outside bonfire and say with feeling:

“Burn, burn, you calendar burn and last year’s worries never return.”

Apparently, another tradition of mine at New Year is actually Scottish – that must have come from a past life then. I always go into the New Year clean and tidy. On New Year’s Eve, before I go out and celebrate, I take down the tree, put away the decorations, clean and tidy the house, have a purifying bath and put on clean clothes and start the Year afresh. I always pay the bills as well (even if it means putting them on my credit card or overdraft!!). Any bills that have arrived get settled on the last banking day of the year. I never start the New Year with bills outstanding. It doesn’t mean I don’t owe anybody anything. It just means that everything that needs paying at that time has been paid. Once all this has been done, the magickal New Year can proceed with a fresh beginning. Try it, especially if the last year has been dogged with troubles. If you have had money troubles, fill your pockets with money on New Years day as a symbol that you would like your pockets to remain full during the year – though it is traditional here in Scotland that the home’s First footer brings in coal for heat, bread for food, money for wealth and a “wee dram” for luck. Another wee thing to remember – never hang up your new calendar for the year until New Year’s Day.

After it is all over…

So, Christmas and New Year has been and gone. You have overdone it all – food, wine, alcohol, chocolate and your body is now exhausted – how can you protect yourself from too much damage and what do you do to recover!!

Well, try and drink water as well as alcohol and that will at least keep the body flushing the alcohol through and limit the problems i.e. have a glass of wine or gin and tonic and have a drink of water next to it. Take plenty of Vitamin C over the festive period to keep those free radicals down and help keep viruses at bay at the same time. Omegas mentioned above can also help limit hangovers of an extra one is taken before bed after overindulging.

Once it is all over, try and cleanse the body. Do the candidiasis diet for a couple of weeks to give the body a well-earned rest and if the alcohol was far too excessive, take some milk thistle tincture over a few weeks to help the liver recover and regenerate. Continue with some good vitamin supplements plus extra 1000mg Vitamin C throughout January and February to ensure the viruses stay away and your immune system is back to full strength. If you feel depleted, get some Echinacea as well so ensure immune system is working properly. Following the festive season, people pick up everything as their body is too depleted and then spend the next couple of months unwell and depressed but a few simple measures can prevent this. You have been warned.


So, we now reach Samhain at sunset on 31 October. Most of you refer to it as Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve – the eve before All Saints Day, the Christian adaptation of the pagan festival. This is the Celtic New Year, when we arrive back where we started. The food is now stored and winter begins at this time. The sap has all returned to the ground, the leaves fallen and that feel of winter is upon us.

In days gone by, now was the time when the surplus livestock would be killed to ensure enough meat to eat over winter and that there was also enough feed for the remaining animals themselves. They would also let the home fires go out (which only happened at Samhain and Beltane) and start them again from the embers of the communal Samhain fire. This clears out the old and allows the new to come in – again something we nowadays associate with New Year.

As witches believe in re-incarnation, contact with the spirit world is easiest at this time. The veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and people who have passed over into the Summerland and wish to contact someone can return, if they so wish, for a brief time. This is the night for divination, whether reading Tarot or scrying, as the world of spirit can help guide you with your problems or issues that need to be resolved.

Samhain was a fire festival, celebrated with a large communal fire – only the date has changed as we still do this, the excuse now being Guy Fawke’s Night on 5 November. Traditionally, this was a time to clear out the old and bring in the new, and this begun with the hearth. Fires were permanent features in the old days, but on this night, along with Beltane, the fire would be extinguished and re-started with embers from the Samhain communal fire.

The subject of Halloween is very prominent around now, as all children get ready to dress up as witches and ghosts and all things that go bump in the night. Trick-or-treating may seem like an American import, but is actually quite relevant to witches as the Lord of Misrule is allowed to run free at Samhain to play tricks on the Human race. The children are simply his playmates, that’s all. So, they are paid a small token not to do his bidding. As our loved ones can return on this night, so can some of the more mischievous spirits as well. Back home in Lincolnshire, when I was younger, Halloween didn’t exist. No child was let out after dusk because this was the Night of the Witches and they were the only ones who could safely be outdoors.  They had work to do and were left alone to do it. Instead, the children had Mischief night on 4 November, when the work of witches was all finished and the veil again closed.

If you are walking on All Hallow’s eve and hear footsteps behind you, you would never look to see who was there if you live in Ireland because if you see one of the dead behind, you will soon be joining them!!

This night is a time of partying but also of contemplation and remembering – a mix of ends and beginnings – a time to remember the past and plan the future. The strength and wisdom of the Crone (the 3 faces of the Goddess) is called on at this time to keep evil at bay in the form of the grinning face on the Pumpkin – she smiles to keep the evil that roams on this night, away from our doors. Children carry these on this night, whilst parading around in costumes with masks on their faces. This represents transformation and change – we all have good and bad inside us and this night shows this aspect is in us all. Nature has to be balanced and that includes the aspects of good and evil. Things are not always what they seem to be – and even the best of us have to sometimes put on a mask to deal with something, whether we have to be strong in the face of adversity or loss, cruel to be kind, or simply tolerant of people we have to deal with and smile when we really want to scream. Yes, we all have to, at some times, hide behind a mask. This should be a warning to us all. Our mask may be bad but underneath we are good- it is those whose mask is kind and plausible that may be the most deadly. Watch for that mask – a lesson to us all, especially with what is going on in the world at the moment. Deep or what!!

Things to do at Samhain

The winter has now begun and time for rest. The nights are dark early, the animals have hibernated and the birds flown to warmer climates. The mists give the nights a spooky feel at this ghostly time of the year. The curtain between this world and the next is drawn back and every witch should carry out some form of divination on this night, whether cards, crystal, Ogham or runes to see what the next year holds. Decorate your altar with apples, fallen autumn leaves and orange or green candles, plus the form of divination you are going to use later on. Meditate if that is your thing, or cast a circle and invite family members who have passed over to join you and help you with any advice. Light a candle and remember lost loved ones, place a light in the window to help spirit find their way whilst keeping evil at bay and place salt and bread on the doorstep, for the sheer indulgence of the departed. Don’t forget to party too. Have a drink to those who have gone before whilst toasting their life and their part in yours. Death is a part of life. The Earth is at rest after all the work of the year. Death leads to decay which fertilises new life – and so it begins again. This is why black is the colour of Samhain as well as orange, the colour of Fire and fallen leaves.

The New Year also represents new beginnings. If you are having a bonfire, write a habit you want rid of and throw it into the flames: a new beginning – and yes, they took the fire of Samhain and transformed it to Guy Fawkes Night after he tried to blow up Parliament. Like all Pagan celebrations, slightly changed but still there just a few days late..

The next day is Goddess Fortuna’s festival of luck and wealth in Rome. Light a candle and raise a glass in her honour and maybe she will bless you for next year…

Traditional things to do on Samhain – and why.

Hollow out a pumpkin or turnip and carve in it the face of the Crone (the wise one). Light it with a candle. This is to keep away those mischievous spirits that are around sustenance for the fairies and spirits who pass by. Candles in the window will guide them on their way back to the world of spirit.

On the night of Samhain, a very simple symbol of this night is to light a candle in the window to show spirit the way and honour those who have passed over. It is a time to think of the past, of bonds with loved ones and times of joy spent with them. Leave some bread and salt on the doorstep for the passing spirits to indulge in.

This is the time to tell ghost stories around a bonfire, or go off to visit fairie hills or graveyards in the dark. On this night, if you place a candle before a mirror in a darkened room and look past yourself, you will indeed see the face of the person you will spend the rest of your life with – all part and parcel of the divination process that has always occurred at this time of the year. Remember to also leave a treat for the souls of those departed so place some bread, salt and water outside your front door. The thing to also remember on this night is to enjoy yourself and have fun – after all it is the New Year and that means a PARTY and a wee dram or two!!

Samhain is the time of divination, so time to pick out those runes, contemplate over the crystal ball or shuffle those tarot cards and see what your challenges are for the next 12 months. So, here is what I use, and it will maybe give you insight as to why there are so many sets of cards out there and that you can use more than one set at a time:

My tarot set for my personal readings is the ‘Sacred Circle’ set and that is used for the actual tarot reading, which will give me info on what is coming up, what to watch out for and where I am going wrong!!

The ‘Crystal Ally’ set gives me my crystal to wear or carry for the next few weeks and the reason why I should.

The ‘Faeries Oracle’ gives me advice from the little people to follow or take heed.

The ‘Druid Oracle’ gives me the animal for the Sabbat.

The ‘Celtic Ogham Oracle’ gives me the Celtic tree from the forest from which I need support.

The ‘Goddess Oracle’ gives me my Goddess from the heavens for support and area to attend.

And finally I take a card from the deck Voyager just to throw confusion into the game (I have yet to understand the attraction to this pack but there you go…still take a card anyway).

So, each card is displayed on my altar until the next sabbat so as to not forget what I have been told, and it is bizarre how they link together but they do and the same lesson can be told several times in different ways (that is upstairs way of making me take note!!). So, as you can see, you can utilise several sets to get confirmation of what lies ahead, what needs attending to, etc, so give it a go and see what you get, as this is the night to discover what the next year can hold for you. After all, this night is as much about the future as the past…

Decorate your altar with dried leaves, nuts and orange candles, plus any significant cards you have selected from your divination. Put your wishes for the next year in your wishing pyramid or underneath a quartz crystal. At some time during the evening, as this is a fire celebration, you need to light a fire somewhere, whether a large bonfire outside or a small one in your cauldron inside with some candles around. I remember bonfire night back home in Lincolnshire as a child, and we would walk the full length of the promenade. The council lit bonfires down the whole length of the beach and the whole of the town would bring fireworks and light them for the benefit of all before the tide came in and took it all away– it was a truly magickal night and one of my favourites of the year.

Apples are very special on this night – hence why we “bob for apples in the water” – the apples contain the seeds of life, if you cut one open across the way, it will reveal the seeds in a pentagram, the sign of protection, and, of course, you bob for apples in water in a bowl – the water of life in the womb. Yes, it signifies our very beginning as we eat the apples at the start of the New Celtic Year.

For the single amongst us, if you peel an apple on this night, ensuring it stays in one long strip, and throw it over your left shoulder, it should reveal the initial of your true love, provided it stays in one piece.

If you are in a relationship, take two nuts and throw one each into the Samhain fire. If they explode, you have a loving relationship but if they merely whimper or hiss, then your love is on the way out. Watch for those who react differently – what is going on with one of you??

Wishes could be defined too – write a wish on a piece of paper, roll it up and then throw it into the fire. If the paper burned immediately, the wish would be granted but if not, then you are probably out of luck!! There are lots of these types of divination to be found so seek some more unusual ones out yourself if you wish to partake in something different.

When it comes to divination, you are well to set the scene, so to speak. You don’t need to cast a circle if you don’t want to, but you are best to enhance the atmosphere to get your psychic centre mentally tuned into getting the best results. So here are a few tips:

Light the room with a few candles – enough to see but no more and a couple on the table you are sitting at (or in glasses on the floor if you are down on the carpet). Light some incense – something with frankincense, sandalwood, yarrow, lemongrass or cinnamon. This will open up the psychic side of your brain and enhance any reading you do. Drink some herbal tea – something such as mugwort or sage (both excellent menopausal remedies so it must be something to do with tapping into the wise woman!!) and this will add to your ability. Another thing, once the scene is set, ensure that you have all you need before sitting down, including some water, and also that the door is locked and the phone unplugged – getting into the reading and having the phone suddenly ring is likely to give you somewhat of a fright so be warned. A crystal such as quartz, amethyst or phantom quartz will also add to the event. I always had all 4 elements on the table when doing readings – it always gave me this extra bit of confidence to know that all of them were represented! So, when all this is done and you are sitting comfortably, then you can begin!

Incense for Samhain

The easiest way to have fresh incense for this night of divination is to use my psychic or divination incense but, for those who like to play, here is a mix for this auspicious night of mystery and magick:

3 parts Frankincense, 2 parts Sandalwood, I part ground Cinnamon and 1 part grated nutmeg

Grind the frankincense, then add the remainder of the ingredients and stir in. Add a few drops of orange oil and clove oil (or my Childhood memories oil will do if you have any left over from Yule). Burn on charcoal in your cauldron for help opening your psychic centre and aid you in your night of divination to let your future unfold.

Ancestral Candle ceremony…

Here is a deeper ritual that older family or friends can join in with on Samhain before divination…

Prepare the remembrance area with a main black candle and lots of tea lights or small white candles, some matches and a heatproof container or tray filled with salt, sand or soil. You can do this alone or with others too…

Place one candle in the centre and get your matches ready, with everyone attending sitting round the table. Now, switch off all the lights and let your eyes adjust to the dark. Feel and embrace the darkness. Then say

“We invite our lost loved ones to sit and be with us tonight…so please join us”

Once ready, strike a match and light the central candle, at the same time, saying something like

“We welcome our departed loved ones into our home on this night, and honour your presence amongst us”

Taking it in turns, each person should light a tea light or candle from the central black candle, and place it in the salt on the tray to remember someone who has passed over i.e.“ I remember my cuddly old dad and his warm smile, who never told me off, no matter what I had done” or “I remember my lovely old Nan and her black handbag full of coins, her jam tarts and that great holiday we had when I was 14 and the stuff we got up to”…you get my drift. Keep going for as long as it all takes, and until the darkness is filled with a tray of bright lights and the air full of fun-filled memories! Thank your visitors for joining you at the end and let the lights burn down themselves.

The seeds of love at Samhain

The Celts replaced life with life, hence planting a tree at a graveside, so you can follow this little charm and give back to the Earth in the name of your cherished loved ones. You will need:

A small dish and a votive candle and glass, a pack of your favourite seeds and a pouch to carry them.

On Samhain place the votive candle in the centre of the small dish and scatter the seeds round the candle. Light the candle, thinking about the person (you can use the candle from the tray above if you have followed that) and say something simple like “miss you dad” or “Gone but not forgotten nan” and let the candle burn with the seeds in the dish overnight until the flame goes out.

The next day, gather the seeds and put into the pouch and decide where you are going to scatter your seeds of remembrance…whether around a family grave, a favourite place or a part of your own garden…like a fairy or herb garden. Now scatter on the Earth, whilst saying a simple charm x3 like “forever in my heart” or “Love you always”

Hopefully, your seeds will germinate next year and grow into a beautiful natural healing section of garden…lovely!

The Mysterious Bat…symbol of Samhain…

Bats get a bad press but I adore them. My outdoor project has been to make a bee and bat-friendly garden to encourage the bats to swoop around more, eating all those beasties and pollinating my night flowers – bees through the day and bats through the night! Bats are found all around the world and don’t actually turn into vampires. Everyone in Scotland should be encouraging bats; they consume their own body weight in midges and mossies every nightl!! They fly at upto 60mph and can find food in total darkness because of the high-pitched sound they transmit which is beyond our hearing. Even in severe weather, the can survive freezing temperatures and even being totally encased in ice. They are the original creatures of the night and can live upto 30 years. The females only have one pup a year so they need to be protected or can easily become endangered, and like any mum, a bat will find her own pup amongst a million other bats due to its own unique sound and smell. I think they are a delight and they say it is lucky if a bat falls on you so count your blessings and let’s encourage these lovely mammals to get their amazing work done!

Spell for Samhain – remembering those who have gone

Items needed: 1 natural candle and 1 blue candle, 1 stone/pebble amethyst or quartz for every person you would like to remember on this night, and 1 goblet red wine (or more if you have a lot of people to remember!!) Cast your circle or sacred space, ensuring you have a comfortable area to sit within your circle as you could be there some time. Light the two candles in the west of your circle forming a doorway by which spirit can enter should they choose to do so. Now, take one crystal in your hand, close your eyes and remember the good things about that person – those things that made you smile, laugh or cry. Then, when you have remembered the things you wanted to, simply state something like “If you are able, please come and sit with me…name….” then lay down the stone with the candles. Lift your glass and toast them and take a drink. Continue until all the people you wanted to think about had been remembered.

You may get the feeling that one is present, a few or all if you are lucky, in which case it will be a crowded circle. However, it is lovely to sit and remember and let them come should they want to. This is what Samhain is for and why the children dress as ghosts and ghouls. When you have sat for enough time and all is done (you can also do your divination within the circle as it would definitely be a powerful reading), then simply pick up each crystal individually, stating something like “…name…, thank you for your time, and I bid you hale and farewell.” and when all have been thanked, then close down your circle and keep those special crystals on your altar.

Protection House Spell for Samhain
To keep your house protected for the coming year, mix together sea salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar and grind them together. Bring in a sprinkling of marjoram for happiness and grind them all together whilst visualising all residents happy and safe in their castle.

Now split the mix into 2 x black pouches and add 1 x small quartz and 1 x black stone such as tourmaline, obsidian and onyx to each pouch. Hang at the front and back doors and keep this bad world away from your door…it is done!!

Spell for Samhain to ward of bad luck…

There are a lot of people out there who believe they are having “a run of bad luck” and they say things run in 3’s. So here is what we are going to do. Because this is the start of the next wheel, forwarned is forarmed.

Take 3 shiny pennies, 3 pieces of cloth in a favourite colour and 3 bits of string/ribbon. Sit in front of your Samhain fire with protection incense burning and wrap each penny in a piece of cloth and tie with string saying:
“In luck I trust, in luck I believe, with this cloth, good luck I weave”.

Hold each pouch in the incense smoke and then place 2 safely on your altar/sacred space/magick box and hang the other over your front door.

Any time you feel there is a run of “bad luck”, you take this pouch out into a field/countryside/beach and bury it, saying “Bad luck has come but not to stay, I bury it now to turn it away”. Return home and hang a new one in its place. It is turned and we are done.

Let’s get rid of the negative…with some knots and a stone…

Knot magick is as old as the hills. It has been used for ever, yet it can be really simple with simple materials.

This Sabbat is about death and new beginnings, and if you have something that is holding you back, I want you to use this to let it go and go into the New Year positively fresh and raring to grasp the new!

The only tool you need is a small Rhodonite and a piece of black cord, ribbon, waxed cotton or wool about 12” long – it must be a natural material.  Light incense and candles. Cleanse the Rhodonite in incense smoke and put aside. Quietly sit with your piece of black cord with an end of the cord in each hand. Now, think of the problem and get yourself emotional about the issue to be gotten rid of. Get angry. Get upset. Get so upset, you may even cry over the situation. When you are so emotionally charged, use that energy to tie a single knot in the cord and when you pull the knot, drop the cord like it is on fire, walk out of the room and slam the door!!

Next, go to your bathroom, close the door quietly and compose yourself. Run a bath or turn on the shower and add juniper berry to the water/shower gel and breathe its purifying aroma…cleanse yourself of all that emotion.

Once you are clean, calm and dressed, go back into the room. Pick up the cord, and calmly undo the knot. Take the cord outside and find somewhere to bury it, giving it back to the ground. Its job is done so cannot be re-used. Return indoors and pick up the rhodonite. This is your support, your cushion, your stick. It will help calm your fears and help you have the courage to overcome and make changes to your life. The motion has been set; you can now move forward with conviction and plan your new start ahead.

Your banishing flame

As we say goodbye to the Celtic year, this is a good time to release things that have been holding you back. This is a fire festival and the strength and renewal ability of fire can be used to release the old habits and move forward into the new. Take time beforehand to consider what is holding you back and needs to be changed. Take a square piece of paper, and in black ink, write down exactly what needs to be changed/let go of i.e. I need to stop smoking. Turn over the paper and on the other side in green pen, the changes you need to grow, as if they have already happened i.e. my debts have been reduced/ paid due to stopping smoking etc. When your list of changes is done, place a bay leaf (kitchen) or a fallen oak leaf in the centre of the paper, then make 2 equal folds enclosing the black writing and leaf inside, then fold again twice more the other way to result in a small package. Place in a blank envelope and seal. Whether using a bonfire, the shop fire or the flame of your Samhain candle, you must burn this letter safely to seal the deal on the night of Samhain. As the paper begins to burn, watch it and say…

            Negative patterns be gone I say, and now you burn, let them stay away

            Open the door to changes great, transform my life as is my fate,

             Expand my horizons, my life, my soul, as positive changes are now my goal.

Repeat till it burns out completely and finish with “So mote it be”

Now you can go into the Celtic new year knowing changes are on the way. It is done