A Bardic Sigil Technique

The Druid's Garden

Sigil creation in progress!

I open up a sacred grove with intention.  After opening the grove, I sit for a few moments, breathing deeply and centering myself.  When ready, I pick up the chalk pastel and I allow the chalk pastel to move across the page, closing my eyes at points, emphasizing lines at points, and letting me be in the flow of the moment.  I keep refining the design, moving pieces of it to new areas of the paper.  I don’t focus too much, paying attention instead to my overall intention: a specific land healing sigil, a sigil that will link different sacred sites I’m working on and work with ley line energy on the landscape. After a number of versions, the sigil seems complete, and I work to transfer it to a wooden round–the process of transfer allowing it to undergo yet another, final, revision.  In today’s post…

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Christmas-Solstice EO blend: bring the forest inside

Inner Journey Events Blog

Christmas Tree EO Blend.png Oringinal image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I love the scent of evergreens… perhaps this is why I walk so often in the nearby forests. In winter, I like to bring those scents indoors to freshen up the indoor air — especially if it’s just too cold to throw open the windows.

So, each year I make a Solstice/Christmas essential oil blend for diffusing and reminding me — on those days I can’t get outside or bring the outside indoors— of the beautiful and healing fragrance of the boreal forest. I normally add a touch of spicy oils that I associate with our Solstice celebrations, such as orange and cinnamon.

This year, I changed up the scent just a little… adding in a touch of Frankincense essential oil (one of my favourites), a reminder of the coming sacred time that some of us celebrate as Christmas or Yule, and others as…

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The Bee and the Machine: Moving Beyond Efficiency and towards Nature-Centeredness

The Druid's Garden

Animals have spirit!

Over the course of the last four centuries, the Western World has created a set of “unshakable” principles concerning the natural world: that nature is just another machine, that animals don’t feel and do not have souls, that plants and animals aren’t sentient. Descartes, writing in the 1600s during the early rise of mechanization, was one of the first to make this claim. He posited that animals are mechanical automata, that is, they are beings without souls, feelings, or pain. These same ideas were not limited to non-human life; we see the same kind of thinking being applied to justify slavery, genocide, colonialization, and a list of other atrocities. When we combine this kind of thinking with the economic ideas of “growth at all costs” and “efficiency”, we end up in the dystopian fiction we find ourselves living in right now. I want to take some time…

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Sacred Tree Profile: Black Locust’s Medicine, Magic, Mythology and Meanings

The Druid's Garden

Black locust in bloom

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a spiny, scraggly tree that is found abundantly along the US East Coast. Very little is written about this tree from a magical or mythological perspective, although certainly, anyone who works wood or practices permaculture is aware of the more tangible benefits this tree provides. In today’s post, we explore this amazing tree and start building some more specific magical knowledge to incorporate this tree into local druidic or nature-spirituality practices.

My parents’ land in Western PA, land where I grew up, consisted primarily of old potato fields.  We had two sets of tree lines where the farmers had let the trees grow; these lines were full of huge cherry and maple trees grew.  In between those tree lines as the land sloped down the mountain were open areas populated with blackberry bushes, hawthorn, and black locusts–several acres of them…

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Awen, Bardic Arts, and the Ancestors

The Druid's Garden

The time between Samhain and Yule is always a time of deep reflection for me.  As a homesteader, this represents the end of the season– the first frost happened in the week I was drafting this post, making everything curl up and die. By the time late November comes around, any major outdoor projects are complete for the year. We anticipate, even embrace, the winter months when snow carpets the ground and all is frozen and still.  While in the light half of the year, I spend most of my spare time gardening, doing various permaculture projects, or just being outside in the summer. In the dark half of the year, this is when I turn to more inward-focused bardic arts, more intense practice of my magic and journeying,  and learning from books of all kinds.  So as we move into the dark half of the year, I’ll be spending…

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Herbs Essential to Magic

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Paris Wolfe

Herbs have power. They change health and beauty. In the past such abilities were headoverheels_smallconsidered magic. And, those in the know were often considered witches, witch doctors, wizards and the like. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Today we know the science behind herbal powers, and that may mean ancient herbalists were among the earliest scientists.

Regardless, on Halloween it’s entertaining to don an archetypal witch costume and pretend to cast spells on unsuspecting mortals. Year ‘round, nonetheless, real practitioners of Wiccan “religion” use herbs for good.

Practicing witch Ellen Dugan may be considered one of the top Wiccan authors. She has written a number of books combining herbalism and spirituality or “green magick.”

In Garden Witch’s Herbal (Llewellyn, 2015), she defines green magick as “a practical, nature-based system of the Craft that focuses on reverence for the natural world, the individual’s environment and the plants and…

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Ancestral Herbalism and Samhain: Working Deeply with Rosemary

The Druid's Garden

Rosemary from the Plant Spirit Oracle Rosemary Card from the Plant Spirit Oracle

As we quickly approach Samhain, it is a useful practice to spend some time with rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and build her into your Samhain practices. In this post, we look into some of the magic and medicine of Rosemary, and I share a number of ancestor and Samhain-focused practices that you can use with Rosemary.

An Ancestral Ally of Humans: History, Medicine, Magic

Before we get into what you can make or do with rosemary, let’s spend some time exploring and understanding this ancient herb. Rosemary has been with humanity almost as long as we have written records. Native to the mediterranean region, rosemary was first found referenced on cuineform tablets from Ancient Egypt that are from 5000 BCE–thus, humanity has at least an 8000 year old relationship with this herb (but I suspect it is much longer than our written history!)…

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A Journey through the Senses: Breathe Deeply

The Druid's Garden

An Ancient Black Oak An Ancient Black Oak

Over the summer, I spent the weekend at a beautiful farm with my family for a family reunion. That land had gifted me, and all of us, much that weekend. I had found some stunning new stones for pigments, I had spent tranquil time on the lake, and I had talked with many of the trees there. So, as I was preparing to leave, I walked up to a giant oak on my way out. I gave it a big hug. It had rained the night before and the trunk was covered in lichen. I took a breath and the smell was that sweet and earthy smell of lichen. I remember the smell the first time I smelled such a lichen. It was down in Louisiana, and I had visited an ancient live oak with some druid friends. A branch had fallen on the ground…

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Herbs from the Witch’s Garden

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

webinar Jackson witch2019Grab the latest issue of HSA’s The Herbarist and gather around the cauldron to learn about herbs from the witch’s garden with author and guest speaker, Andrea Jackson. Much of what we know about herbs and plants belongs to early witches who were called upon to know their plants and potions. Although witches were often associated with doing the devil’s work, there were many others who were “wise women” going about the business of bringing healing through plants, roots, and herbs, along with chanting, healing, and love potions.

Plan to join us on October 22nd at 1pm eastern as Andrea Jackson shares with us, “Herbs from the Witch’s Garden.” With the cool weather and shortened days leaving long shadows, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn what plants made witches fly and perhaps leave you inspired to create a spell of your…

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Earthen Nature Spirit Statues with Cob

The Druid's Garden

An earth spirit statue in my greenhouse, freshly made with sticks and an oak gall

A lifetime ago, myself and a dear friend dug some clay out of a hillside.  We each took half of it.  My half of the clay was used to form an earthen statue, a guardian statue, for that same friend who was struggling with terminal cancer while still in his early 20’s. It had a wooden tree knot head, stones for its belly, a stick staff, and an earthen body.  My friend accepted it reverently, and it went with him everywhere, even till the end. As he struggled with his battle with cancer, it grew nicked and chipped.  The wooden head fell off, just as my friend’s brain cancer grew more serious. When he passed on, the earthen statue passed on with him, returning to the earth. This statue was an impermanent being; fashioned of…

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