herb bed

Witch Tips for City Witches

City Witch Tips for all of my fellow witches stuck in apartments, dorms or other city areas.

  • If you can’t burn incense you can make your own sprayable incense by mixing alcohol (usually vodka or rubbing) with essential oils and a bit of oil, spray in the air to act like incense
  • If you are unable to go outside for whatever reason to get rain water (in my case just no where to collect it safely), fill a jar or glass with regular water and keep it near a cracked window to charge it with the wind, sound and scent of the rain outside. Same goes for storm water
  • Trapped in city and unable to get ocean water? Sea salt mixed with rain/storm water can be an excellent substitute
  • To continue on with water substitutes, if you can’t collect snow crushed ice from your fridge will suffice
  • Low key warding/protection you can use: spray moon water, salt water or sprayable incense about your apartment or dorm, place sigils under doormats, furniture, inside cupboards, etc; place crystals about hidden or out in the open, sweep and dust out the door or towards windows
  • If you need melted wax to seal a jar or for any other magical purpose, but can’t burn candles, by a wax melter and melt that wax and imagine the light from the burner acting like a flame (plus they are rather cheap, I got mine for 25 bucks)
  • Need stars in your craft but too much light pollution? Glow in the dark stars on your ceiling or wall can work just as well for visualization. Print out pictures of your favorite constellations or planets and place them up on your walls or on your altar. Live video feed of the night sky can also be easily found on the internet
  • Bath magic is amazing for low-key ‘in the woods’ witches. Use teas, milk, oils, herbs, bath bombs, bubble baths, salts, etc that relate to your intent. It is also a good place to meditate if you have roommates or family around that would disturb you otherwise
  • If you do for whatever reason need to burn a candle, birthday candles are small, melt fast, and don’t create a lot of smoke or smokey scent
  • Sigils are another great low-key form of magic. To boost them up, use color magic related to the color you draw them in, write them using quills made of feathers related to your intent, use colored paper, rub a drop of essential oil on them, charge them with crystals or in your windowsill
  • You don’t have to burn sigils to activate them, which is hardly an option when you are in a dorm or apartment. Other options are: Shredding them, erasing them, soaking them in a bath or shower, using body heat or your own pulse, etc
  • Miss having the outdoors and plants around? Windowsill gardens can really help. Small plants you can consider keeping in your windowsill or counter-tops: succulents, cacti, bamboo, lemongrass, basic, rosemary, mint, rosemary, mosses, aloe, snake plant, pothos (and other vines), carrots, beets, shallots, lettuce, spinach, garlic, chives, parsley, oregano, thyme, and marigold
  • Open your window to let the wind and air from outside to help energize you and clear out negative energies inside
  • Fun places to put sigils: under furniture, carved into soap, onto shampoo/conditioner bottles, on your make up, inside phone cases, in shoes, under bandages, sewn into pillow cases and blankets, behind pictures in frames, underside of nail polish, carved into wax squares for your wax melter, keys and keychains, behind mirrors or in medicine cabinets, on bookmarks, on or in binders and pencil cases, on medicine bottles, and water bottles/travel mugs
  • Easy to make and dispose of poppets: carrot sticks (one of my personal favorites), apples or other fruit, clothe, paper, popsicle sticks, paper towels/napkins, toilet paper rolls, eggs, celery stocks, and cotton balls
  • The internet is an amazing thing. Need some sounds to help you focus or meditate? Easily look up the sounds of rain, storms, wind, ocean waves, jungles, forests, etc
  • Christmas lights are fun and great way to use discrete witchcraft. Select ones in the colors you wish for them to bring ie green for growth, yellow for inspiration, white for protection, purple for psychic abilities, etc. 
  • Some everyday things you can use for discrete witchcraft that don’t cost much at all or that you most likely already have: water, table salt, black pepper, paper, crayons/pencils/pens/markers, vinegar, milk, tea, highlighters, make up and beauty supplies, shampoo and conditioner, rubber bands, paperclips, thumbtacks, computer/phone/tablet, music/music player, playing cards, dice, air freshener, perfumes, toothpaste, rice, flour, sugar, honey, and all kitchen herbs and seasonings.
  • Can’t afford gemstones or crystals on college budget? Crackle and dyed quartz you can find super cheap at craftstores and online. I bought a whole bag for 4 bucks. Use them based on their colors and shapes. Can’t afford that but still want to use rocks in your craft? Find some rocks you like outside, again use their colors and shapes to determine their correspondences. Want to use them for a specific purpose? Paint sigils on them in the color that corresponds with what you want! Charge them in your windowsill or with your own energy and intent. There you go!
  • Pocket mirrors are cheap, easy to carry around and great for glamours and on the go magic. 
  • Seriously though, glamour spells are going to be a good option for you. use your make up, skin products, hair care products, brushes/combs, perfume, mirrors, toothbrush/toothepaste and intent. Good to do while you are getting ready for your day
  • Dream magic is another friend of the city witch! Use crystals, sigils, herbs, etc near your bed before you go to sleep, drink some chamomile, get yourself a dream journal (mine is literally a notebook with construction paper on it), keep it and a pen near you. In the morning write down your dreams, your thoughts, how you feel (tired, refreshed, groggy, etc), and interpret them. 
  • Can’t afford tarot cards? Print out some, you can usually find them online and they won’t last as long as a real deck but it is a good temporary solution. Want a Ouija board but can’t keep one or need it to be easily hidden? Print one out, draw on one on paper or cardboard, fold it up and store it once you are done. Want a pendulum but can’t afford one? Use your favorite necklace, bracelet or keychain!
  • Tea and coffee magic is great, make your own tea blends with the herbs you like. Or just buy simple green or black tea and add sugar, milk, etc depending on your intentions
  • As I said before, crock pot magic. The Modern Cauldron: brew and cook all day with it, fill your apartment with the scent of the herbs and food to fill it with the energies they correspond with and you get a delicious meal to come home to! Most dorms allow them. Rice cookers also work well.
  • Can’t afford fresh food? Have to survive on ramen, canned soup, and microwaved meals? That is okay! They even correspond with things! Tomato soup for love, beauty and passion. Beef ramen noodles for strength, courage and longevity. Microwave mac n cheese for beauty and feminity. Look at their ingredients and what they correspond with. Sure its not as glamorous as a making a huge made by scratch traditional meal but its kitchen magic none the less. Stir it with your intent while you cook. It isn’t fancy but it works just as well!
  • Use a notebook or binder for a nice grimoire, decorate it as much as you want on the inside. Print out pictures of nature, animals, planets, stars, places, crystals, etc that you cant’ access/afford and use them in your craft. Spell books and grimoires are powerful tools
  • Don’t have a wand? Use a wooden spoon. Tie a colored string or ribbon to it to correspond with what energy you want it to have and move and flick it as you would a wand. 
  • Knitting, crocheting, and knot magic is very apartment friendly. As well as sewing and embroidering plus it is super calming.
  • Glitter, sequins, and beads are great in witchcraft! Use their colors to determine their correspondences. Put them in spell jars, sachets, bottles, etc. Glitter tip: if you spill any don’t fret, get some packing tape, wrap it around your hand with the sticky part outwards and dab at that glitter spill. You will literally pick up all of the glitter in seconds!
  • Enchant and charge your pots, pans, skillets, and other cookware to make every meal magical
  • Make moonwater in your windowsills. Use it for cleansing, beauty, divination, clarity, protection and purification
  • Take walks. Even if it is a city there is still nature about. Pigeons flying about, potted flowers outside of stores, grass growing in front lawns, etc. Enjoy yourself, even if it is not some wild, vast forest you can still connect with your local nature.
  • Pick up litter or garbage you see outside, being in the city we all see it. The natural world around you will appreciate you helping out. Bring a bag with you when you take your walks or travel and fill it with wrappers you see on the ground.

I hope this was helpful to all of my fellow city and dorm witches!

Bed magick (for my spoonie witches):

The setup:
🌟-Sigils placed under your mattress for pain-free rest and anything else you need!
🌟-Place crystals under your pillow (or in the case) for restful sleep or a specific use. I often place amethyst and Quartz under my pillow for headaches!
🌟-Hang herb sachets above your bed.
🌟-Keep any supplies you want nearby in case you become bedridden.

Bedridden witchy things:
🌸-Play with spare bits of energy in the room.
🌸-Listen to music that makes you feel witchy/powerful.
🌸-Wash your face with a pre-prepared cleansing spray (add herbs and such).
🌸-If possible, open a window for at least five minutes and soak in the sensations of the outside world.
🌸-Read a witchy book/write in your grimoire.
🌸-Hold your crystals or keep them near you.
🌸-Washing your sheets/blankets/pillow case = the ultimate cleanse.
🌸-Meditate and work on breathing.
🌸-Spend some time with your tarot cards or pendulum (you don’t have to use them though!).
🌸-Do some dream magick.
🌸-Drink some herbal tea.


Remember, your witchiness isn’t based on your ability to practice all the time. It’s perfectly acceptable to take as long as you need when you aren’t feeling great.

(This is okay for everyone to reblog and use btw.)

The Wiccan’s Glossary

Bay Leaf can be used to increase psychic awareness. 

Sleeping with Bay Leaves under your pillow can cause prophetic dreams. 

Burning it as incense can promote visions. 

Write a wish/question on your bay leaf & then burn it, conveying it to the spirit realm. If the leaf crackles & burns brightly then the outcome will be positive. If leaf refuses to burn or smokes, then the outcome is negative. 

Carry bay leaves to ward off evil.

HERBAL STARTERS!

HThyHerbal starters! (Please be aware of the fact I’m still very new to herbalism myself!)

Starter herbs; always remember to start with the simpler to grow, easier to use and cost effective herbs. They are just as brilliant as any other herbs!
-
Rosemary
- Lavender
- Oregano
- Chives
- Sage
- Thyme
- Basil
- Lemon Balm
- Mint

Starter books; the best way to learn and understand the varsity and intensity that herbalism has to offer you is to hit the books, go to your library and ask them if they have herbalism books the older the better. Read gardening books, and also go to farmers markets if you can they have heaps of cheap books that are packed with information.
-Rosemary Gladstar’s - A Beginners Guide to Herbal Medicine.
-Rosemary Gladstar’s - Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.
-Paul Beyerl’s - The Master Book of Herbalism
(Although this one is very magickal as well)
-Simon Mills - Dictionary of Modern Herbalism
-The Royal Horticultural Society’s Encyclopedia of Herbs.
(This one’s great for herbalists who are gardening as well.)

Handy Hints: When beginning herbalism you may think you’ll have it mastered a lot sooner than you will but don’t stress because really it’s not a topic you can master. Just remember to always aim for further learning, read more books, do more trial and error, make more remedies and always stay positive about it. 

There are so many topics to learn; diagnosis, understanding the human body and how to treat it’s issues, understanding how to grow, harvest and store herbs, dosages, remedies etc. The best way to learn all this stuff is to just do it however you please. Don’t spend hours and days stuck on the one part of something. Just study all different topics and bits and pieces, it’s all about how you organize your informations. Keep a folder/book for each category. (Herbal properties and warnings book/folder, herbal remedy and dosage books, growing, harvesting and storing herb books.) This is an easy way to keep yourself interested and build a solid guideline that you can easily go back to whenever some information slips away! 

REMEMBER THAT HERBAL MEDICINE TAKES A LOT OF LOVE, POSITIVE ENERGY AND GOOD INTENT. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER YOU ARE SPIRITUAL OR NOT RESPECT YOUR PLANTS, BE THANKFUL FOR THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND AID IN OUR HEALTH AND EVERYDAY LIFE AND PUT YOUR WHOLE SELF INTO EVERYTHING YOU LEARN AND MAKE.

4

#Edible Forest Gardening 101

An “herb spiral” garden accommodates for the unique needs of most culinary herbs. Made of stone, cement, brick–or another material with a high heat capacity–the spiral-shaped structure functions to create a series of different microclimates and drainage conditions.

  • Herbs that prefer dry conditions are planted near the top, where drainage is the best (ie. Thyme).
  • Herbs and other plants that prefer hot conditions are planted near the walls, where they take advantage of radiating heat at night (ie. Rosemary).
  • Herbs that prefer sheltered conditions are planted lower on the structure, where they are sheltered from prevailing winds (ie. Dill).
  • Herbs that prefer cool conditions are planted low on the side of the structure that receives less sunlight (ie. Chervil)
  • Herbs that prefer wet conditions are planted near the base of the spiral, to where the water drains (ie. Mint).

Right now, my herb spiral contains this baffling array or plants:

Mint (Moroccan, Spearmint, Chocolate, Garden, Water), Thyme (Lemon, Lemon Variegated, Lavender, English), Sage/Salvia (Italian, Purple), Chives (Garden, Chinese, Garlic, and Round-Headed Leek) Curry Plant, Lavender, Rosemary, Tarragon, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chervil, Sorrel, Black Cumin, and Coriander.

DIY herb spiral (steps):

#herb spiral #DIY #permaculture #edible landscaping #raised beds #herbs

anonymous asked:

I need Moonlight Hakizana kisses like something feirce. Gardens? Yes. Late Night Study? Also yes. Castle Walls? Please. Just Moonlight kisses.

(Part of a series. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. Part Five.)

He cannot keep allowing this to happen.

Keep reading

The Signs as Fantastic Beasts (& Where to Find Them)
  • Aries: Ashwinder. These beasts emerge from magical fires and only live for 24 hours. In that time they slither into the woods to lay their eggs and then turn to ash. Their eggs are extremely valuable to Love Potions. Ashwinders take the form of pale-grey serpents with glowing red eyes. They are found worldwide.
  • Taurus: Bowtruckle. A Bowtruckle is tree guardian found mainly in German, English and Scandinavian forests. They are extremely small and very hard to see as they blend in with the trees they protect. They appear to be made of bark and twigs and have two small brown eyes. They are peaceful creatures until their tree is threatened, in which case they will gouge out the attackers eyes with their claws.
  • Gemini: Demiguise. There isn't much information known about Demiguise creatures because they are very shy and have the ability to make themselves invisible when they feel threatened. They take the form of graceful apes and they are especially known for their silvery hair which can be spun into invisibility cloaks. They are often found in the Far East. 
  • Cancer: Antipodean Opaleye. These creatures are actually very small dragons and considered to be the most beautiful out of all the dragon species. They are known for their iridescent, pearl coloured scales and their multi-coloured eyes. Even though they produce magnificent scarlet flames, Opaleyes are the least aggressive dragons and will only kill if they are hungry or extremely frightened. They are typically found in New Zealand. 
  • Leo: Fwooper. These magical birds are commonly found in Africa and are famous for their exceedingly vivid plumage. Their feathers range from fire-orange, bright pink, lime green and golden yellow. They are extremely dangerous creatures because their songs (though beautiful) can drive the listener to insanity. 
  • Virgo: Kneazle. Kneazles are small cat-like creatures with spotted fur, overly large ears and the tail of a lion. They are extremely intelligent and just as independent but can become aggressive if they don't trust someone. They have the uncanny ability to detect suspicious characters and can always be relied on to take their friends to safety if they are lost. They are often found in Britain.
  • Libra: Nundu. This creature is arguably the most dangerous creature in the wizarding world. Resembling an enormous leopard, these beasts are often over-looked by Muggles. However, a single breath from a Nundu can create such a virulent disease that it can wipe out an entire village in one fell swoop. It is hard to track Nundus as they are so silent and are incredible at remaining unseen. They are mostly found in Africa.
  • Scorpio: Lethifold. Lethifolds take on the shape of a thick black cloak. They glide along forest floors looking for prey and if something is unlucky enough to meet one, the Lethifold will quickly glide over its prey and suffocate it to death. It then digests its prey on the spot and leaves no trace of its victim behind. The only way to repel one is a Patronus charm. They are extremely rare and are only found in tropical climates.
  • Sagittarius: Pixie. These creatures are described as being tiny, electric blue humanoids. They delight in tricks and are very mischievous. It is still a mystery as to how they are able to fly (they have no wings) but they use this to their advantage as it helps them pull of more complicated jokes. Their voices are said to sound like high pitched jabbering to human ears. They are found in England. 
  • Capricorn: Manticore. This creature is a class XXXXX, meaning it is highly dangerous and should never be approached, trained, or domesticated. It has the head of a man, body of a lion and tail of a scorpion and is reported to lure its prey in with soft coos and songs. Once it has sight of its prey, it devours it whole. A sting from a Manticore's tail is instantly fatal. It is also nearly impossible to kill as its hide repels all known charms. It is found in Greece.
  • Aquarius: Grindylow. These creatures are quite frightening and are commonly found in lakes in Britain and Ireland. Taking the form of pale-green water demons, Grindylows generally feed on raw fish and are extremely aggressive towards both Muggles and Wizards. They are often seen around merpeople and were the reason Fluer Delacor had to forfeit during the second challenge of the Triwizard Tournament. 
  • Pisces: Mooncalf. These creatures are intensely shy and only emerge from their burrows during a full moon. They are described as having pale grey skin, large eyes and four spindly legs with large flat paws. They perform extremely complicated dances in the moonlight and if a wizard were to collect their silvery dung and spread it on their herb or flower beds, the plants would grow very fast and become uncommonly strong. These creatures are found worldwide. 
  • Information from: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander. (Can be checked out of the library at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy)

fox213  asked:

Hi I was wondering if you might have some information on herbs and their properties because I want to grow an herb garden but don't know what to grow?

Oh damn, that’s pretty broad! Any specific herbs you have in mind?

If you’re new to growing herbs, my advice is to start small and manageable, with culinary herbs that have a lot of writing on them online as educational tools. Your question suggests that you’re new to growing herbs in general, so I’ll assume you’ve never had a herb garden before and need some basic, entry level advice.

——–

My first piece of advice, therefore, is don’t be impatient. Take your time to learn how things work – based on your blog, I’m assuming you’re a Northern hemisphere witch, which means you’re going to be in winter right now. This gives you a few months of snow and ice before you’re able to plant anything in February and March (many plants need a late winter/early spring planting to develop good roots), and therefore lots of time to study!

Plants are living creatures, and it’s not just as simple as “put them in the ground and give them water”. Every plant species and cultivar (cultivated variant; that’s kind of like breeds for dogs, but for plants) has different needs, both nutritionally and environmentally. A few of the most common things that are different between plants are:

  • Levels of sun – some plants can’t stand direct sunlight, others will die without it.
  • Levels of water – some plants are water-hungry, others drown in a light shower
  • Soil acidity – that is, how much acid or base is in the soil, which usually varies between 6 and 8
  • Nitrogen fixing – this is when plants use bacteria in their roots to “eat” nitrogen from the air. Nitrogen is an essential ingredient in proteins, and if your plant isn’t a nitrogen-fixing species then it will need extra nitrogen from fertiliser.
  • Carbon needs – plants use carbon to make the cellulose that builds up their cell walls. Some plants need their carbon intake from the air to be supplemented with carbon from their soil.
  • Insect susceptibility – some plants, like marigolds, are basically impervious to insect damage. Others, like common mint, can be absolutely obliterated before you know it. Take care to companion plant (I’ll explain later), or to use chemical insecticides to protect your harvest.
  • Perennial vs annual vs biennial – many plants, like lavender, will grow year after year without worries (perennial). However some plants, like parsley, only live for two years (biennial) before dying and need careful cutting and pruning to make sure they live beyond that “deadline”. Some only live a year before dying back, and need to be replanted every year (alliums like garlic for example, because you harvest their bulbs).


…And these are just a few of the common issues! Plants aren’t as easy as “plonk in the soil and forget”, but in many ways this makes it a LOT more rewarding! You really have to CARE about your plants to keep them happy and healthy, and when you finally harvest that first crop of naturally grown, hand-raised mint or feverfew or oregano, it’s one of the best feelings in the world!

Learn about what the plants you want to grow require, and learn to get into the habit of checking up on them to make sure they’re getting it. Set reminders on your phone, write down important dates on your calendar (“every Sunday, make sure to spray some insecticide; every second Tuesday, do the weeding”, that kind of thing). Remember that plants can’t tell you when they’re in distress, and need you as a good, careful grower to care for them and keep them safe and healthy. Read up on what your plants need over the winter, and when spring comes you’ll be ready!

——-

Beginner Plants for Beginner Gardeners!

As for actual plants that a beginner might want to start with…

Well, because you don’t want to go wasting money on expensive medicinal herbs before you know how to actually care for herbs of ANY sort, I recommend starting out with a nice, simple culinary herb garden. Culinary herbs are easy to obtain, there’s lots of information on the Internet to help you, and they tend to be quite hardy and difficult to kill if you do things right, which gives you a lot of leeway when you’re starting out.

My recommendations for beginners are parsley, sage, peppermint, marigold and thyme. Each has its own reasons, and I’ll explain why below:

  • Parsley: This is a hardy, well-known and very frequently used herb that grows extremely well under almost any soil conditions. It needs little attention, and so long as you keep it well-watered and in full sun it shouldn’t have any problems with growing like a weed. However, it is also a biennial plant, and this means that two years after the seeds first germinate, it will start trying to produce seeds of its own. It does this through a process called bolting, which is where a part of the plant tries suddenly to grow very very tall, very very fast. When it does this, the flavour of the parsley goes absolutely to rubbish, because all the energy of the plant suddenly goes into trying to produce bolts and then to produce seeds to put on those bolts. Additionally, if it succeeds in producing seeds, the plant will be dead by the end of the year and you’ll have to replant the whole thing! So, parsley makes a great beginner plant for those who want to learn about what bolting is, how to spot it, and how to prevent it from destroying their hard work.

  • Sage: Sage is another hardy culinary herb, and like parsley it grows very well in full sun provided it has enough water. However, it is also quite nutrient hungry when compared to parsley, and whilst it’s a very forgiving plant it will eventually die if you don’t give it some decent organic plant food. Seasol, which is a seaweed-based fertiliser, is a great one that I use at home, but you can also use horse manure or similar. Unfortunately, most fertilisers do smell pretty pungent! Sage is also an insect-repelling plant, and so if you plant it around the rest of your herb garden as well as marigold (see below), you can use what’s called companion planting to keep your herbs safe from insects without having to use insecticides. Companion planting is when you pair one plant species with another in order to strengthen both – for example, geraniums produce a toxin in their roots that will kill off almost any other young plants around it, including weeds and vegetables. However, cucumbers are immune to geranium poison, so if you plant a couple of geraniums in bottomless pots inside your cucumber patches, you’ll never have to weed them! Sage, mugwort and marigold are common companion plants to help protect against insects, and usually you surround your herbs with a sparse ring of safe and marigold and put a mugwort plant in the middle to ward off flying bugs like blackfly. 

  • Peppermint: This hardy plant is sun-tolerant but prefers moderately shady conditions. It likes water, being as it is a hybrid between spearmint and watermint (peppermint seeds don’t exist, because they can’t produce seeds). However, like all mints, peppermint is also rhizomal, which means it spreads through horizontal, underground roots called rhizomes. Using this method, it can cover an entire herb bed in a matter of months and choke every single plant in the bed to death if you’re not very careful. This makes it an excellent plant for teaching the values of bottomless pots – literally large flowerpots that have had the bottoms cut out but the sides left on. This means that whilst the plant can grow downwards towards supplies of water, the shallow, horizontal rhizomes can’t spread out and cause havoc in the plant beds! Peppermint contains high levels of a chemical called menthol, which is a natural insecticide. This means that peppermint beds rarely suffer from insect problems! It’s also delicious, and enjoys being planted around about the 1st of February when the ground is still icy cold. If you want a plant that has all the same effects, but will also grow from seed, use spearmint instead.

  • Marigold: These are strictly speaking not culinary, but any herb grower worth a damn knows how very, very useful these wonderful flowers are. Whilst they do have medicinal usages as a form of topical poultice for the treatment of skin disorders (I’ll write about that later), the BEST usage of marigold is as a form of living insect repellent. Slugs, snails and flies seem utterly repulsed by marigolds, and won’t dare go near them or any plants that are close to them. This means that by planting a few marigolds around your herb garden, you can effectively ward off any possible invasion by hungry gastropods. Fantastic! They’re also hardy little blighters, and quite hard to kill (though their powers against insects do not extend, unfortunately, to caterpillars to my knowledge, you can use mugwort to defend against them). 

  • Thyme: Thyme is probably the hardest plant on this list to care for, and that’s why it’s here. Thyme is a good plant to demonstrate to people what growing most medicinal herbs is like, because whilst culinary herbs have been bred to be easy to cope with medicinal herbs don’t have that same feature, and can be very difficult. Any beginner herbalist or herb grower should be able to care for thyme before they advance onto anything more complex. Thyme is a woody plant, and due to uneven germination it is quite hard to grow from seed. Therefore, the best way to get thyme is to take a cutting from a friend, buy some powdered rooting hormone from a garden centre, and plant the cutting rather than a seed. This takes a fair amount of skill to know how to do, so don’t worry about getting it wrong a few times! It might also work if you use the “pinning” method, where you take a segment of the plant’s stem, cut it HALFWAY through, then “pin” the broken (but not severed!) stem under soil for a few weeks. If you get lucky, the broken stem will start to sprout roots but the bit of stem that was left would have kept the pinned cutting alive long enough to do that. Just cut off the rooted section, and replant it as a separate plant. Google plant pinning for more information. Thyme also requires fairly regular maintenance, requiring pruning at the start of every spring and summer to prevent it from growing too wild and out of hand. This is also when you take any thyme you want to dry. They don’t like hard winters, so you need to plant mulch around the stem and over the roots if you’re going to have snow or hard frost to prevent the soil freezing. All in all, it’s not an easy plant to master, so if you can master thyme then you should be equipped for dealing with most of the more difficult medicinal plants.

I hope this helps! This is the most full guide I’ve ever given regarding beginner herbalism and herb growing, but if you have any other questions (please, for the love of the gods, specific questions - I can’t take more 2,000 word essays), don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks lovelies!

– Juniper Wildwalk, herbalist and nature witch

P.S. Seriously, this was like 1,900 words and if I wasn’t time-limited I could probably have gone to 4,000. However, please please please don’t tempt me, otherwise I’ll go writing-mad and my timetable can’t take it!

flickr

Kitchen garden at Bolen residence by Gardening Solutions

Cleansing Moonwater Spell

I created this simple healing spell myself. I try to perform it on each full moon when her power is strongest, but it can really be done whenever you need some peaceful moon energy. Just make note of what phase she is in and tailor your intent accordingly.

What you need:

A vessel such as a bowl or chalice (I’m a kitchen witch so I use my ceramic mortar and pestle bowl that I’ve had forever and use for many witchy purposes)

Any crystal that you find calming and healing, such as clear quartz or amethyst. I use a large herkimer diamond. Moonstone also works well for this spell. Use any stone that speaks to you and has peaceful energy.

Any associated herbs. Sometimes I’ll use fresh lavender or chamomile.

Water. Preferably from a well or spring (might want to buy bottled water for this, although tap water works just as well in a pinch)

What To Do:

Fill the vessel with the water, crystal and herbs. Set the bowl somewhere where the rays of the moon will hit the water in the bowl. If it is cloudy I still do the spell, knowing that it may not be as powerful but the moon will still permeate the water through the clouds. Outside is best, but a windowsill will be fine. Let the water sit overnight. (If it is raining I do not fill the bowl beforehand, but let the rain fill it)

In the morning your moonwater is ready. Remove the crystal and herbs to use for other magickal purposes. You can drink the moonwater or use it to cleanse your house/tarot/ritual tools. Use your intuition.

This is what I do-

Drink some of the water directly from the vessel, visualizing the healing energy of the moon filling my body and moving through me, recharging me and aligning me with the divine feminine energy of the universe. Then I take the remaining water and sprinkle it across the doorway and around my bed, all while still visualizing the healing moon rays creating a peaceful barrier around my sleeping area and threshold of the house. I hang the herbs above the bed until the next full moon. I hold the crystal to my forehead and meditate for a brief minute. I leave the crystal wherever its energy is needed most (for instance, there was a lot of negative energy built up in one corner of the kitchen last month so I put the herkimer there for the month to dissipate any lingering negative energy.)

So there you are! If you have any gods or goddesses you invoke normally, feel free to ask them for their blessings during this ritual. It’s a great way to align yourself with the moon cycles and lunar energy as well as gently healing any stress of the past month. It’s great to perform this after a nice relaxing bath.

Blessings!

(Fawn & Fang)

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Herbed Rice with Black Bean Relish and Creamy Basil Dressing

Submitted to MasterChef by delishytown

The ingredients in the MasterChef at Home Mystery Box this week were: Salmon filets, bacon, black beans, balsamic vinegar, rice, fresh basil, fresh mint, and Plain Greek yogurt. I knew that the salmon had to be the star of the show, but I definitely wanted to use the bacon. I decided to break out the electric smoker for this dish, & wrap the Salmon in bacon. I finished it under the broiler to crisp up the bacon. It was soooo good! Every bite was heavenly and smoky and fresh. This was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made.

Here’s how I made this delicious Smoked Salmon:

Rinse 1 cup of rice a few times until the water runs clear. Add to a pot with 4 cups water and a pinch of salt. Simmer until al dente, drain and add back to the pot. Add 1 tsp chopped basil, ½ tsp chopped mint, sprinkle of celery salt, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of dried dill. Toss together with a fork, then cover and set aside to steam.

Drain and rinse black beans. Add to a bowl with 1 small chopped Persian cucumber, 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar, ¼ tsp minced garlic, ½ tsp fresh chopped basil and ½ tsp chopped mint, and season with celery salt and pepper.

Turn the smoker to about 180 to 200 degrees. Soak apple and mesquite chips in water. Remove any bones from the salmon. Rinse and pat dry. Drizzle the salmon with some of the balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with a little brown sugar, season with salt and pepper. Smash and chop 1 large garlic clove, (reserve ¼ tsp of this garlic for the dressing) spread the rest of the garlic on the fish. Slice a lemon very thin, you need about 4 thin slices of lemon depending on the size of the filets. Place basil leaves on the fish, top with the lemon slices, wrap with the bacon. Crisp up the remaining bacon for garnish. Place the fish in a shallow foil pan and into the smoker. Smoke the fish about 25 - 35 minutes. When it comes out, it should be most of the way cooked. Turn the broiler to high, sprinkle a little more balsamic vinegar and a pinch of brown sugar on top. Broil a few minutes until the sugar bubbles and the bacon crisps up.

While your Salmon is in the smoker, make the creamy basil dressing. In a small bowl add 10 - 15 basil leaves, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, celery salt and pepper, ¼ tsp smashed & minced garlic, juice of ½ lemon, 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar, and a tiny pinch of brown sugar. Blend with a stick blender.

Serve the Smoked Salmon on a bed of Herbed Rice with the Creamy Basil dressing and a side of Black Bean and Cucumber Relish with Crispy Bacon Crumbles. Yum!