Lammas 31 July - 1 August 2020
This may be Lammas but certainly doesn’t feel like any normal summer. There are no Mediterranean holidays, no village festival and no Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The kids haven’t just broken up for summer. Nobody is going on holiday except in UK if you don’t want quarantining. Shops, bars, cafes and hotels have only just opened back up with people venturing maybe…and some businesses are still waiting and remain closed since lockdown began!
The world is now all about social distancing, face coverings, outside queueing, hand sanitizer and surface cleansing. People are afraid to use money whilst the card machine companies encourage contactless spending to increase their income! Let me tell you, 7 years working in a bank, we were never afraid of catching anything from money – you just learned you had to wash your hands several times a day because money was absolutely filthy!!
The world is now changed…whether permanently remains to be seen… but this is the “new normal” and whether I can cope with it also remains to be seen. 24 years building my business and now the chaos, the fun, the crowded store and the complex and surprising questions have all gone. There is no time or space for people to ‘wander’ for an hour in search of some peace anymore…instead of a relaxing escape for as long as your please, time is limited as others queue waiting to get in. I know all businesses are trying to find their way through these new ways, but I am not a food or clothes shop! My shop is a magickal place for you to find the answer to your question, whether a crystal, a piece of jewellery, a book, a blend of oils or simply a hug, a tissue and a listening ear…and I am not sure it will survive in this new mode… only time will tell, but I am not here to police people coming in and out, spray everyone entering and try and hurry folk along because of the queue outside…it is just not the way my shop works!!
But now to Lammas - the beginning of autumn. It is the time for harvesting the hedgerows – a time when crops come to fruition and, as the weather has been so good, I am sure the farmers are delighted as crops ripen early..
This is a good time to eat lots of berries and collect remedies for the winter for free. Take a walk with your partner, family or kids in the country and collect brambles, rosehips and elderberries to make winter remedies to keep the kids healthy on their return to school. If you are into it, this time of year can be extremely productive until the winter. By Samhain, the larder and freezer should both be full! When you imagine witches stirring their cauldron, it is always thought it was spells and potions, but health is a very important part of being a witch, using the bounty of nature to ensure your family remain healthy…and with 2020 being a year to be remembered due to this pandemic, it is even more important to keep on top of and improve family health to keep on fighting infections and viruses over the winter, so get brewing and get those pans and cauldrons bubbling!!
What to do at Lammas…
Your altar should be dressed in autumnal colours such as yellow, orange or red. Add candles, and acorns & pine cones if you can find them. If you are near fields, when the farmer cuts the wheat fields, gather any ears you can find and place them on the altar. This is when having a dog pays off, as you can watch for such things and collect as you go. Pop the corn or barley into a wee vase or, if you want to be adventurous, then try your hand at a corn dolly...you should find a ‘how to’ on the internet!
Lammas means loaf-mass, so why not try your hand at baking. Make some bread if you can, and break a home-made loaf with friends. Add some bramble or elderberry wine but if you cannot find any, then a good red wine will do nicely, and give thanks for all that comes to the table and count your blessings; this is the time to be thankful for food, family and friends and after this year, if you and yours remained healthy and avoided Covid-19, you can be especially thankful…as lots across the world have not been so lucky and families will be dealing with the after-effects and the loss suffered for a long time to come!
Making healthy Rosehip syrup…
I used to make rosehip syrup for the kids for over the winter, plus add Niaouli oil to every bath they had, and they never seemed to get coughs and colds. Nowadays, people tend to rely on chemicals, so why not have a go at making your own home-made remedies at a fraction of the cost. Here’s how to make old-fashioned Rosehip syrup to keep the kids extra-topped up with Vitamin C through this winter…
Gather about 20g-25g fresh rosehips, rinse and put into an enamel, glass or stainless-steel pan. Cover with 375ml cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes until it has been reduced by a third. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a jug and press rosehips to ensure as much goodness and liquid goes in the decoction. Add back to the pan with equal amount of local honey (250ml decoction to 250ml honey) and stir until it is dissolved. Pour into sterilized dark glass bottles, preferably with cork stoppers as syrups can ferment…keep in the fridge and give children 5ml daily for their natural vitamin C.
Elderberry rob can be made the same way. Again, full of Vitamin C, this was used at the first sign of a cold. Add a spoonful of the elderberry rob to a spoonful honey and juice half lemon and add hot water for a warming, soothing children’s drink. We have to do our utmost to stay on top of our immune system this winter and if your immune system is working and you are as healthy as you can be, it may help you avoid any recurring Covid to come!
Frankincense - oil for clarity and tranquility
One of my most used oils is Frankincense. I adore its balsamic citrus aroma. I find it calming yet uplifting, and often use the oil to clean and purify my home when I’ve been tense, stressed, or need to focus. The oil has the ability to help you relax, so if suffering from nervous exhaustion or depression, this oil is fab – it will calm that tension and soothe you to restful sleep! Just add to your bath, oil burner or inhale straight from a tissue. I even add it to my moisturizer and night oil, as Frankincense has been used for centuries as a tonic to glorify older skin and fight wrinkles!! Frankincense is a spiritual resin known throughout the ancient world, so burn the pure resin on a charcoal block to uplift and clear the home of negativity. Inhaling the oil will calm the physical whilst awakening your higher consciousness, inhale to help calm the mind but awaken your inner self if meditating, and bring a halt to those thoughts going around your head, allowing clarity and concentration to come through for answers to those questions. If you are distracted, Frankincense will centre and focus you. If you feel weighed down with life, then this oil will allow you to free yourself of the ties that bind and rekindle that calming inner light…
A wish from our native Yarrow…
Yarrow is a common grassland plant native to Scotland. Around here, it grows on the cliff area but will grow anywhere that wild flowers can grow. A sprig in the wedding bouquet will ensure 7 years happiness, a bunch fresh yarrow hung over the bed will ensure love lasts 7 years, and hung over the front door will attract good friends & keep evil away! The tea has been used for anxiety, melancholy and as a tonic in Scotland for centuries. Keep an eye on your local plants, and, when you find your first piece blooming yarrow, it will grant you one single wish. Hold the bloom and make your wish, then carry it home and sleep with it under your pillow, then keep on your altar!
And another wish to help you get moving…
We all need help just now so here is something we can all do. Collect together a few stems of fresh herbs from your garden or supermarket, such as rosemary, sage, bay, parsley etc (will take cuttings in for those without). Write your wish in full in appropriate colour ink on a piece of paper and wrap within the herb stems. Tie with yarn or wool using 9 knots whilst saying an appropriate repeated little rhyme…if money, maybe say something like
‘Money come, money flow, Money sparkle, money grow’
Then light the bundle outside in a cauldron or container and let it burn till only ash remains. When a good wind blows, scatter the ashes to the wind stating “So mote it be” to set it finally in motion.
Addition to the list…3rd wedding anniversary…
If you have reached your 3rd year of marriage completed, it is celebrated with Leather. If you think of Roman armour, it was made of leather because it was durable and protective. Leather protects you from the elements – hence why the animals have suede and leather as skin, and the shoes, coats & gloves you wear to keep the cold out! You have now made 3 years and your marriage is growing stronger. You are working together to fight challenges you face from outside, and through rain or shine, thick or thin, you are a unit of strength against the world!
Sunflowers are the flower for this celebration, for the sunny success of your growing love. They are associated with truth, honesty and loyalty, and wish you wisdom, luck and good health. The seeds are a symbol of fertility, being eaten to promote pregnancy! The Sunflowers represent Sun and fire but the crystal for this anniversary, Moonstone, is Moon and Water…perfect balance, night and day, male and female, projective and receptive!
Moonstone is the Goddess crystal and is also the pregnancy and safe delivery stone…we getting a theme here? Your relationship is now strong enough to support a family so encourages you to move to the next stage in the circle of life! It is protective & love-drawing and is prized for the stone to work out any issues between lovers, and exchanging stones helps you face & deal with any problems you may have. So, husbands, to reach favour with the wife, it’s a designer handbag and purse, some sunflowers and a set of moonstone jewellery…lovely!!
The Green Witch & Covid-19…
In the shop, we have now working to our new normal hours. We will be open sooner than guaranteed, but the daily cleansing takes time, so we will open as soon as it is sorted, but we will definitely be open as follows:
Tue, Thu, Fri and Sat: 11am till 4.30pm ish
I am finding all this extra work somewhat exhausting, so keep an eye on FB and website for any sudden closures or holidays. Remember, I am not as young as I used to be nor can I do what I used to do!! Please be patient if you’ve to queue: seats outside for the sun, brollies for the rain, spray for hands, just don’t forget your face coverings!
Full Moon: Mon 3 Aug @ 16.59 hrs New Moon: Wed 19 Aug @ 03.42 hrs
Full Moon: Wed 2 Sep @ 06.22 hrs New Moon: Thu 17 Sep @ 12.01 hrs
Bright blessings and virtual hugs from
Chris (alias the Green Witch)