I was a young man, I fled my home country. I will refrain from naming
it here, because if you knew where it was, you would be able to locate
the forest and I want it to remain as it is: obscure, mythical, and
All today I have been wanting to create an altar for the forest / lake spirit, Ne'er Recur. My backyard is an entire mountain, built upon old burial grounds as well. Creating an altar for him, I feel, may be a bit difficult…but certainly doable. Here is what I have for ideas right now;
-Bones (particularly a deer / fish skull or antlers)
-Dried / pressed leaves, plants, flowers, herbs
-Bottle of lake / swamp water
-Picture of Ne'er Recur (I do intend to try to draw him sometime)
I might as well say now, Ne'er Recur is a rather tall creature. Around 7ft i’d say…he wears a long brown and green cloak, folded-over leather boots, and a deer’s skull as a mask. Sometimes when his hood is down, his scruffy dark brown hair can be seen. Like I do, he often carries around small bags of herbs or stones on his belt. Soon I hope to post a picture of him here 🌲🐟🐚🌾
Everyone has an animal, bird or fish which holds a special meaning for them. This is not necessarily a pet or even a domestic animal; it could be foreign or even mythical
1. Take a walk in the woods just before dusk. Take the time to look at the trees and plants, to inhale the scent of the woods and listen to the sounds around you.
2. Find an old tree and sit down beneath it. Close your eyes and lay your hands flat on the soil on either side of you and take a few deep breaths.
3. Ask the Goddess to send you your Totem animal.
4. Open your eyes and pick up the first thing you see lying on the ground near you. Take this home and place it under your pillow for three nights and your Totem animal will come to you in your dreams.
5. When you know what your Totem animal is, remember to look out for it in the world around you and to acknowledge this gift of the Goddess each time you see it
We are the girls who kiss wolves, who train foxes hoping we could tame their hearts, hoping we could train them not to leave us, we are the girls who kiss imperfections that cannot be salvage, hoping that our goodness is enough to shed light to darkest and dirtiest part of a human soul. We are the girls who played with fire, burn our tongues and lungs, hoping that the smoke of our ashes will serve as a sign that even when you turn into dust and ash, your cries and pleas will still rise up to the heavens, a ghost of a smoke rising above the forest, guiding the lost souls in the right direction. We are the girls who sing with the wind and dance to a rhythm no one else could hear, who let dangers swirl on our palm, seep on our veins, and swim on our bloodstreams.
We are the girls who wouldn’t kiss frogs hoping they would turn into a prince, because we are the girls who make changes to this upside down world.
Plants and herbs are a common ingredient in many forms of magic. Whether you are making incense, stuffing a sachet, or brewing a folk remedy, if you practice long enough, you’re eventually going to have a use for them. When that’s the case, you’ll want to use the best possible ingredient.
While store bought herbs will do in a pinch, I prefer to harvest my own. This way: you can be confident of freshness, you can establish a relationship with the donor plant, and you can harvest with intent, contributing to the power of the destined spell. Your spell work begins with the gathering of components, so treat the activity with the focus it deserves.
The first thing you will need is a cutting tool. Some traditions recommend the use of a sickle-shaped tool with a white handle, called the Boline. Here’s an example of what one looks like:
Personally, I don’t recommend the use of a Boline. Here’s why:
They tend to tear the plant instead of cutting it. The jagged edges this leaves behind are more prone to infection, and susceptible to insect attack.
They’re conspicuous, and the layman may mistake it for a weapon. Enjoy explaining to a cop that it is a “special knife for witchcraft”.
They require considerable care to keep sharp
If your beliefs don’t specifically demand the Boline, I instead recommend a pair of garden pruning shears with white handles. They are affordable, inconspicuous, and designed to do as little damage as possible to the plant.
Once you’ve chosen your knife, you should consecrate it. It should never be used for any purpose other than the harvesting of plants. When it isn’t in use, store it near your altar.
Next, you’ll need something to carry your herbs in. I use a large linen hip bag with an over the shoulder strap. You’ll also need some twine or string to divide the herbs you’ve collected, and a “harvest journal” so you can take note of the location of plants you find.
Finally, you need an offering to thank them for their gift. In magic, there is nothing without sacrifice. In the store, you pay with money. In nature, you can pay with fertilizer. I generally carry around a re-purposed water or soda bottle filled with fertilizer mix.
Finding Your Herbs
Some of us are lucky to live close to forests or natural fields on public land, but for many it can be a challenge to source wild herbs.
If you live in a city, find out if there are any nature trails or reserves in your area, then check what their policies are. You can also search for vacant lots, or neighbors with a green thumb. Make sure to ask before helping yourself! Sometimes you can find areas beneath power lines where herbs and flowers are allowed to grow freely. Taking plants from those areas is usually allowed.
You should try to avoid harvesting near a road (where the plants will have taken in a lot of pollution), from very small plants, or plants that appear to be sick. You don’t want to eat a sick plant, and you don’t want to kill a plant by taking from it. A good rule of thumb is to never take more than 25% of the plant’s total growth.
Before you cut the plant, you should take some time to connect with it. Examine it to see if it is healthy. Take your time identifying it. Feel the plant’s energy and let it get to know you. Once you’ve determined that the plant is a good candidate, you should ask its permission to take it.
This process is intuitive. Some believe you should ask aloud, others that you can ask silently, communicating with the plant by focusing your intent. Let the plant know what you want to use it for, and invite it to participate with you. Then, wait a few minutes and listen for a response.
You should get an impression on whether or not it is okay. This could come in the form of a sensation, such as an inviting warmth, or a chill that turns you away. It could just be a sense of satisfaction. Trust yourself and go with what you sense is right. If you feel unsure or anxious, find another plant.
Using your sharp implement, make a clean, angular cut near a joint. This will make it easier for the plant to heal and regrow. You will want to choose a portion of the plant that is not the oldest (dark and woody), and not the youngest (the lightest with the most budding leaves). A good middle-aged branch is best. Be sure to never take more than 25% of the total plant growth.
While you are harvesting the plant, you should focus yourself on the intent of the spell you’re collecting it for. If you’re gathering chamomile for a healing tea, visualize yourself getting well. If you’re casting a money spell, see yourself getting that big cheque! If the goal is a love spell, see yourself with your ideal partner.
No specific goal? If you’re harvesting for general purposes or to replenish your stock, you can focus on the properties of the plant, and enforce your intention that it should lend strength to your work.
Tie the plants that you have collected into a bundle so that they wont get lost in your other herbs when you put them in your carrying bag.
Having taken from the plant, you should give thanks for the gift. Tell it that you’re grateful, and assure it that it wont be misused. Then, provide payment!
Pour the fertilizer you brought at the roots of the plant. If you stumbled upon the plant accidentally and don’t have your fertilizer with you, make some other form of offering. Traditionally, a small coin at the base of the plant can show your willingness to give. Don’t litter! The scrap of paper or cloth in your pocket is probably not a suitable offering.
Before you go, spend a moment tending to the plant. Clear debris from around it, untangle it from choking weeds and pluck off any dead matter. Practice respect by leaving it in better condition than it was when you found it!
Storing and Preparing for Use
To use the herbs fresh, simply wash them in cool water and pat them dry. They can be kept lively for a few days by putting them in a vase of water and keeping them in a cool area (if your fridge isn’t too cold, that’ll do nicely).
If you wont be using them within a few days, or want to put them in a sachet, tea or incense, you will probably need to dry them.
Tie a string around the base of a bunch of the washed, dried herbs and suspend them upside down in a warm place with good ventilation. To avoid collecting dust, I like to tie brown paper bags over them. Check them once a week, and take them down when they are dry and brittle, but before they turn to powder beneath your thumb. The length of time they’ll take to dry will vary widely based on your climate and the thickness of the plant.
When they’re dry, keep them in a labeled, airtight container for up to six months.
Record any observations you make while working with the herb along with it’s location in your harvest journal. If the plant is particularly fragrant or effective, write it down so you know to go back! If it doesn’t work well for you, make note of that, too.
And that is how you harvest herbs for magic! Happy Crafting!
After first reading Stay In Place (Sing A Chorus), I’ve been connecting what all the emotions described as colors mean the best as possible. Of course this is just what I figure; it’s definitely not official but I still thought I could try… ;)
Fic by @solo-chaos
Jonathan’s hands trembled after reading the text. He hadn’t gone to that place in, well, years. He wasn’t even sure he knew how to get there. But the slight hope that he might be there, waiting for Jonathan, was enough to propel him forward.
Jonathan grabbed a simple blue jacket, sliding out of the house and following the path behind his house. His feet guided him, remembering the countless hours he had spent walking this same path so many years ago. He stopped by the river, watching as its elegant waters dipped and flowed, creating a simple rhythm. Jonathan’s heart beat along, singing the song of his memories.
In the hustle and bustle of the local village the Little Girl did not have red eyes. The red tinted glasses her grandmother had gifted her did not fool the people of the village in the daylight, but this was okay, as it was not their purpose to fool the people of the village in the daylight.
The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would go to the bakery and buy a loaf of bread. The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would go to the butcher and buy a piece of meat. The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would tap her stick on the ground to see her way in and out of every stall at the marketplace, for the Little Girl who did not have red eyes, in fact, had no eyes at all.
In the dark tree tunnels of the forest the Little Girl had red eyes. The red tinted glasses her grandmother had gifted her did indeed fool the animals of the forest in the shadows of the foliage, this was fortunate, as it was their purpose to fool the animals of the forest in the shadows of the foliage.
The Little Girl who had red eyes would stumble across the bridge under which the Great Troll lived. The Little Girl who had red eyes would trip past the old oak in which the Elder Owl sat. The Little Girl who had red eyes would cautiously crawl atop the log through which the Dread Serpent slept. The Little Girl who had red eyes would pass each dangerous beast with ease through the twists of the forest path, for the Little Girl who had red eyes, in fact, had the eyes of the Red Eyed Wolf.
Of all the terrifying beasts in the forest, none were as feared as the Red Eyed Wolf, and it was the Red Eyed Wolf who was not fooled by the Little Girl with false red eyes. She saw the trickery for what it was and watched as she passed beast after beast without fear, and so the Red Eyed Wolf stood in the path of the Little Girl.
“Please allow me passage,” pleaded the Little Girl with false red eyes. “I do not walk your woods with arrogance Ms Wolf, I simply must deliver this food to my grandmother, she is old and frail you see.”
“There are safer paths around the woods child,” said the Red Eyed Wolf. “Why do you take the one known to be perilous, the one that causes you to trip and fall so?”
“The path around is too long,” said the Little Girl. “I am small and blind and cannot travel quickly, my grandmother’s food will spoil.”
“On the long path you risk spoiled food, on the short path you risk your life. I would consider your choice foolish.” The Red Eyed Wolf said after a moment of thought.
“Perhaps it is foolish Ms Wolf, but still I do it.” said the Little Girl. “I love my grandmother so and I will do you any favour you wish to have safe passage through your woods. I am not strong and I am not wise, I cannot even see, but any favour you ask of me, I will do it.”
The Red Eyed Wolf thought of the generous offer, for indeed it was generous. The Little Girl put a lot at risk for the sake of another and was willing to put herself in dept to a beast so as to continue her perilous task, and relied upon only a false pair of red eyes to protect her from all the other beasts that she passed on her journey.
The Red Eyed Wolf had watched and waited for the Great Troll to realised the trickery and leap at the Little Girl from under his bridge, but he never did. The Red Eyed Wolf had waited for the Elder Owl to grow wise to the illusion and snatch up the Little Girl in her sharp talons, but she never did. The Red Eyed Wolf had waited for the Dread Serpent to wake to the lie and gobble the Little Girl up in their large mouth, but they never did.
The Red Eyed Wolf realised that the Little Girl had most likely imagined each scenario herself, perhaps with even greater fear as she could not even see the great creatures of the forest that stories told of. The Little Girl with false red eyes was a creature of great generosity, the Red Eyed Wolf had decided, and great generosity was an invaluable treasure.
“Child, I will grant you the passage you seek,” decided the Red Eyed Wolf. “I will meet you at the forest mouth and guide you along your path that you may travel without fear of falling. I will ask one favour of you for each journey, if the favour is not paid by the journey’s end I will eat you.”
The Little Girl smiled. “I will grant you each favour without fail, I promise this.”
Each day the Little Girl with false red eyes would enter the woods, and each day the Red Eyed Wolf would guide her, a little hand nestled among soft fur as the Red Eyed Wolf warned of gnarled roots along the ground or large stones that laid in the path. As usual neither Troll nor Owl nor even Serpent bothered them on their journey, and it was as they crossed the bridge that the Red Eyed Wolf made her first request.
“Child I request you tell me, what does the Great Troll smell of?”
“The Great Troll smells of the pond Ms Wolf, of stagnant water and mossy stone.”
The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The second request of the Red Eyed Wolf on the second journey through the woods was asked as they passed the old oak.
“Child I request you tell me, what does the Elder Owl smell of?”
“The Elder Owl smells of the trees Ms Wolf, of woody bark and sweet sap.”
The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The third request of the Red Eyed Wolf on the third journey through the woods was asked as they walked along the Dread Serpent’s log.
“Child I request you tell me, what does the Dread Serpent smell of?”
“The Dread Serpent smells of the ground Ms Wolf, of long grass and fallen leaves.
The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The Red Eyed Wolf asked many more questions of the Little Girl, she asked the smell of the flowers along the end of the path, the smell of the rain on stormy days, the smell of the fungi that grew on the trees in the darkest parts of the woods.
The Little Girl with false red eyes answered every question, some with difficulty as she did not have the words, others with ease as the words came naturally off her tongue, without fail she would answer them all until she had described the scent of everything there was to smell in the woods. The Red Eyed Wolf was very impressed.
"You have the nose of a wolf.” she told her.
One day the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose had almost reached the end of the woods when she realised the Red Eyed Wolf had not made a single request that day, fearing some sort of trickery, the Little Girl told the Red Eyed Wolf of the smell of her home, of the smoke from the hearth and the flowers that sat outside the front window. The Red Eyed Wolf said nothing, so the Little Girl continued, describing the scents of the marketplace, she described the smells of the fresh meat and the warm bread, of the vegetables and fruits and even the people.
The end of the path was nearing and the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose did not stop. She described the smell of garlic on her fingers after cooking dinner and how it lingered no matter how much she scrubbed. She described the smell of her grandmother when she hugged her goodbye, the scent of barley sugar on her breath. The Little Girl talked of the scents of her past and the scents of the present and the scents she hoped to encounter in the future until she felt the sunlight on her skin and stopped, she had reached the end of the woods, and still the Red Eyed Wolf had said nothing.
“Why have you not made a request this journey? Do you intend to eat me after all?” the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose asked.
“I will not eat you this day,” said the Red Eyed Wolf. “Nor will I eat you any day to come, you have given me a great gift child, you have taken me on a journey through your home and your village. You have shared your life with me and shown me things I could never have imagined within and without my home in the woods.
"The truth is child I have only once left these woods and during that time I encountered a man who wished to take my fur. I escaped his trap with my life and with scars along my snout. I can hardly smell even the strongest of scents since that day, a world without smell to a wolf might as well be a world without sight to a human.”
The Little Girl understood.
The Red Eyed Wolf made no more requests of the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose, she had no need to as the Little Girl freely became the nose of her friend, sharing every scent she encountered with her companion who responded in kind, freely becoming the true red eyes of the Little Girl who had none.
At the mouth of the woods Sightless Girl leapt upon Scentless Wolf and two became one, one who traveled with ease and grace, one who knew the forest in every way it could be known, one who could touch and taste and hear and see and smell.
And where the path ended, so did they, once again becoming Sightless Girl and Scentless Wolf, but neither were sad at the departure.
Both Girl and Wolf had many many days to live, and they would join one another at the mouth of the woods for each and every one of them.
I drew a picture once of a blind Little Red Riding Hood with the Wolf as her guide dog so I felt like writing a story to go with it
Scenario of Link dreaming about his past lives (a la Roxas from KH2)?
You said lives, but I’m just gonna get my Twilight Princess-y hands all over this.
He was in a forest. No, he was in a town in a forest. He’s guiding goats back to a stable. There’s a high pitched giggle and he whirls toward the source and suddenly he’s in a prison cell facing an imp, and then there’s a snap and he doesn’t have to look to know that she broke the chain on his ankle. Then he’s in the forest again, standing in front of a giant tree and he runs in and it’s dark. Then it’s not, and he’s standing on the wrong side of a ceiling, hat stuffed in his pocket and dripping sweat into the lava below. Somewhere in his head there’s a scoff and a flash of a child running from a monster along the edge of a pool of lava but then it’s gone and he’s using a clawshot(where’d he get that name, that’s a dumb name, who names something so cool a clawshot?) to go from platform to platform. Then there’s a scream in a voice he recognizes and he’s running, paws slamming into the ground as he listens to the ragged breathing from his back, a cold dread in his stomach. Then he’s running again, but he jumps and bites and he tears something out from a purple robe and then the robe screams but he doesn’t care. He does care as the ice slams against the wall and the innocent woman falls to the ground, he cares as her husband runs in with a cry of distress, and he lets himself relax as they embrace, lets his worries for the woman quiet. His worries aren’t quiet as he goes through the temple torn from time. They aren’t quiet as he commands a statue, they certainly aren’t when he uses statues to smash the arachnid. He’s baffled and amused as the eye runs about. He’s less amused as the dragon shakes him off again. He’s angry and frustrated as he fights the man that hurt her, that took her throne. He’s screaming in anger as he fights the man that killed her. She comes back and he’s happy and then the mirror shatters and so does his heart.
The screams that victims hear when they lock eyes with Resonance is actually the cryptid’s desperate attempt at communicating with them telepathically.
Their mental waves are, so far, incompatible with living beings.
All attempts at putting their soul to rest have fallen short, since the handful of hired priests who’ve attempted to brave the Haunt have either fled before the ritual was completed, or never stuck around long enough to start it.
Sightings after these attempts had greatly increased for a short time. To avoid accidentally upsetting the spirit, all further requests have been firmly denied.
Would make a good forest guide, thanks to the glowing stones that adorn their body.
Has made friends with other, less-known spirits in the area
Physical contact with the Haunt can result in a wide array of side effects
anything from goosebumps, to slight numbness, to a ‘dead limb’; most effects rarely last longer than a few days.
A kiss had not been on Will’s agenda when he had snuck out of his grandfather’s castle before dawn.
The young prince had wished to get away from the court, nothing more, if only for a little while. He could not stand being locked up in this shiny cage for a day longer, could not stand feeling like a pretty bird on display anymore. Will hated this place, everything it stood for. For the most part, Will was sure the feeling was mutual.
It had been luck which allowed him to leave his room before sunrise. In the quiet of night, Will had snuck to the stables, saddled his favourite horse, and ridden out of the palace as fast as the stallion would carry him.
When Will passed the walls of the capital and the countryside spread out on either side of him, he had not planned to land in a cold king’s arms. The first rays of sunshine broke over the mountains in the distance and gave the valley Will rode through a golden glow.
Will had no direction in mind. He would go where his horse might take him, as long as it was away from the castle, from his father and his grandfather, the king.
The path snaked its way north, further and further, until the world got colder and darker. Will must have crossed the border to the kingdom that lay to the north of his grandfather’s.
The change was shocking.
The trees were not dead, but bare and deformed like creatures from a nightmare. The sky above was dark, although Will was sure it still must be early in the morning. Will felt surrounded by dancing shadows, thought he’d heard whispers between the trees that could not be blamed on wind rustling leaves.
Will realised he had lost sight of the path. His horse was jumpy, scared, more so than an animal trained this way should be. It’s uneasiness spread over to Will.
He’d heard the stories. The king who ruled over this realm was a pale, ghostly apparition with no love in his heart. It was his hatred that had poisoned the lands. He lived alone, with only the dead for company.
Seeing the world around him, Will felt inclined to believe the tales. It was no wonder a man who called this kingdom his own earned the name Ghost King.
It had been luck when guards found Will, demounted from his horse as to not be thrown off by the spooked animal, wandering through the forest. They’d been kind and helpful, although their sunken faces and empty eyes had made Will expect a different treatment. In contrast to Will, they seemed to navigate the forest easily, guiding him back to a path.
A chill sunk into Will’s bones, colder and less forgiving the deeper he got into the kingdom. Will wondered for a moment if his father and grandfather had noted his absence yet, if they were looking for him or chalked his disappearance up as a lucky twist of fate.
They reached the castle as night fell. It had been dark before, but Will could tell the light was fading more now and despite the uneasiness in his guts of being brought before the Ghost King, Will was glad he was here rather than lost in those woods.
Against any and all expectations, the king was a young man. Will doubted the king was much older than him. Dark hair framed a pale face, and unlike his guards, his features were not sunken into his skull. The man was handsome, graceful like a panther surrounding his prey as he stepped down from his throne and walked toward Will to greet him.
This man was nothing like the myths made him out to be. Will was instantly taken by him, fascinated by his otherworldly beauty and poise, his kindness and wisdom shining through every word.
This was not a man who held no love in his heart, but a man who’d held too much.
At the end of the night, a small voice at the back of Will’s head whispered that this man was a way out. Before, trading one castle for another had not seemed like an option to Will, but the Ghost King was different. Will doubted he’d be caged here, although the man himself seemed to be. How lonely it must be…
It was not really a choice as much as acting on instinct when Will crowded into the man’s space and kissed him. He had only kissed once before, but that had been long ago and soon forgotten under his father’s punishment for hanging around the servant boys.
It took Will some coercion – cupping the King’s face, running his thumbs over the man’s cheeks, humming quietly against his lips – before the kiss was reciprocated. A cold hand settles on Will’s side, and he shivers from both the touch and the temperature.
Will grabs the king by his coat and pulls him into the room.