The Energies of November

As we move into the month of November there are some beautiful Autumn colors on display in the countryside around us. We also have many late flowering roses and other summer plants still blooming happily in our garden.

However, with both Halloween and the change of time into winter mode now behind us, it is clear that we need to prepare ourselves for the winter months ahead. For all of us in the northern hemisphere, this is the beginning of a time of greater introspection, an opportunity for personal reflection and a period of rest and recuperation at an inner level. A time to nurture the seeds that we intend to sow in the springtime.

Everywhere in the world now you can see the old stories that belong to third-dimensional consciousness unravelling as things that have previously been hidden from view are brought into the light of awareness for transformation.

This will be a particularly strong theme throughout November because the energetic alignments for the next few weeks continue to have a focus that is firmly fixed on promoting change and transformation.

There is a definite degree of intensity in the energetic line-up this month which will be pushing us to engage more fully with our empowered fifth-dimensional self so that we are able to make a positive contribution to the creation of a new reality.

At times this could feel challenging and uncomfortable, as though you are being well and truly pushed out of your comfort zone. If this is your experience this month remember that the universe always has your back and that this is simply an opportunity to release who you are not in favour of becoming more of who you really are.

Success is assured if we just keep moving forward with the least amount of resistance that we can manage. Just stay grounded, detached and focussed on your own truth so that what you no longer need can be released and transformed.

The Influence of Scorpio

Scorpio Symbol

The sun moved into the constellation of Scorpio on October 23rd providing us with the perfect energetic backdrop to assist with our process of change this month.

When the sun magnifies the watery energies of Scorpio the energetic focus is always one of deep inner transformation. Scorpio energy is warrior energy and it will unequivocally take us deep into the subterranean world of our subconscious, emotional nature. Here we can find ourselves confronted with the need to make the choice to transform ourselves from the inside out.

There is a ‘death and rebirth’ flavour to these energies that can feel both intense and challenging if we are tempted to resist the proffered invitation to make any changes that might be necessary.

The influence of Scorpio could feel particularly intense for the few days around the full moon which is exact in the early hours of November 4th, or late November 3rd in some time zones. This full moon with the sun in Scorpio and the moon in the opposite sign of Taurus always tends to ignite emotional sensitivities and the consequent propensity for overreaction and emotional drama.

So, if you should find yourself in a situation this month where some sort of emotional drama is playing out around you, remember to breathe deeply, ground yourself and detach energetically. For best results choose the path of least resistance and just go with the flow if you can.

Expanding Realities

There is a definite degree of intensity in the energetic line-up this month which will be pushing us to engage more fully with our empowered fifth-dimensional self.

Until very recently, incarnating on Earth has meant that we have had to squeeze ourselves into the ‘reality’ of a third-dimensional template because that is all that has been available here for a very long time.

From within the restriction of this setup, there has been a very limited choice of realities that we could experience here in a physical body. The collective reality that developed, as a result, was one that required conformity to a set of limited beliefs and ideologies. While these have varied over time they have all restricted our capacity to experience multiple realities from the vantage point of a physical incarnation.

Since the third-dimensional template was replaced by a fifth-dimensional one back in December 2012 the constraints of the old patterning have gradually been loosening and our perceptions of life have been expanding and changing, sometimes quite dramatically.
The opportunity to create a completely different reality for ourselves both individually and collectively is now easily within reach, provided we allow ourselves to leave behind our old third-dimensional mindset and the restrictions that relate to it. This opens up the possibility of many parallel realities operating side by side, as each of us explores the opportunities available to us within the new template, from our own expanding perspective and at a speed that works for us.

The energies this month will be offering us a wonderful opportunity to review our current choice of reality with a view to making adjustments where necessary. This is an individual, inside job so it is important that we pay attention to what feels right for us and allow the expression of our true self to take centre stage in this process.

Moving away from a shared reality in which conformity to a group agreement has been perceived as necessary for survival can feel temporarily uncomfortable. Give yourself permission to choose the quality of the vibrations that you allow into your personal reality. Equally importantly, give yourself permission not to let other people’s realities overflow into your own. It can be all too easy to fall back into old habits, comfort zones and emotional patterns of interacting with others if we are not very careful.

Be aware that anything old that does not fit the new fifth-dimensional reality that you are constructing may well make itself more obvious to you this month. Here is a lovely quote from Abraham via Esther Hicks to remind you of how to cancel out any unwanted vibrations in your reality; “Get so fixated on what you want, that you drown out any vibration or reverberation that has anything to do with what you do not want”. Abraham

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November Birthflower: Chrysanthemum

COMMON NAME: chrysanthemum
GENUS: Chrysanthemum
SPECIES, HYBRIDS, CULTIVARS:
The garden chrysanthemum,
C. morifolium, is a hybrid developed from four species native to Asia. Many cultivars have been developed from this one, differing in size, shape, type of flowering head, growth habit, color, and time of bloom.
FAMILY: Compositae
BLOOMS: Fall
TYPE: perennial
DESCRIPTION: The many classes of chrysanthemum include pompon, quill, spider, brush, thistle, single, in-curve, and spoon. These classes are based on the physical characteristics of the flowering head.
CULTIVATION: Small chrysanthemum plants can be purchased in spring, set in the garden or holding bed throughout the summer, and then put on display beginning in early fall. The plants develop very shallow root systems so they can be transplanted easily in late summer with few problems.
Conscientious pruning during early summer will result in bushy plants with numerous flowers. Pinch back new plants when they are 6 inches tall, and continue to pinch back the flowering stems until ninety days before they bloom.
Chrysanthemums are heavy feeders. They will benefit from weekly applications of a liquid manure or biweekly applications of a quickly soluble fertilizer. Continue to fertilize them until the buds begin to show color.
Chrysanthemums are very ancient plants, as supported by the fact that Confucius wrote of them in 500 B.C. The ancient Chinese botanist T’ao Ming-yang developed many new strains of chrysanthemums so beautiful that people came from great distances to view them. Soon his village became known as Chuh-sien, or the city of chrysanthemums.
Chrysanthemums were always great favorites of the noble class, and in China, up until a relatively short time ago, common folk were not allowed to grow them in their gardens.
Records show that chrysanthemum seeds came to Japan by way of Korea in the fourth century. In A.D. 910 Japan held its first Imperial Chrysanthemum Show and declared this the national flower.
Claire Haughton in her book Green Immigrants tells the following legend of how the chrysanthemum came to Japan: The Empire of Japan was born when a shipload of twelve maidens and twelve young men from China set out to find the “herb of youth,” which kept people eternally young. They carried baskets of chrysanthemums to trade for this herb. After many weeks at sea, their shipwrecked near an uninhabited island. They swam to shore, planted the chrysanthemums, and settled down to build an empire. Japan’s imperial coat of arms shows a sixteen-petaled golden chrysanthemum.
Chrysanthemums were first introduced to Europe in 1688, and their reception there was not enthusiastic. They were essentially ignored for many years by most European gardeners, despite the fact that records from the 1700’s indicate the Dutch were growing at least six species. In 1843 the Royal Horticultural Society sent Robert Fortune to China to obtain the hardy autumn-flowering chrysanthemums, and this seems to have triggered great interest. By the mid-1800’s their popularity had been established. Particularly popular in France were the small, rounded varieties, which were called pompons because of their similarity to the small, wool pompons found on soldier’s hats.
Chrysanthemums were introduced to the United States in 1798, and by 1850 many nurseries were carrying as many as forty varieties. In 1900 the Chrysanthemum Society of America was established, and they staged their first exhibit in 1902 in Chicago.
The genus name is from two descriptive Latin words, meaning “yellow” and “flower.” These flowers make a very good dye.
In the Victorian language of flowers, this plant means cheerfulness and optimism. The Chinese consider it a sign of rest and ease, and the Japanese take it as a sign of long life and happiness. According to the Japanese floral calendar, it is the flower of September. The English calendar claims it for November.
Chrysanthemum petals are quite tasty and are particularly good added to cream soups or various salads {including green, fruit, or chicken}. Blanch the petals for several seconds before using them, but don’t cook them too long as this makes them bitter.

The Witches Gossip Corner ~ November 12th, 2016

Scorpio Born on November 12

Scorpios born on November 12 may come off as shy or quiet, but it is really just because they possess huge stores of internal energy which they keep to themselves and only share with those who are extremely close to them. Other than that, these Scorpios are not ones to make waves seeking attention, but rather to work quietly and determinedly on their objectives. Because they are initiators and “doers” rather than braggers or talkers, November 12 Scorpios lead by example & always excel.

Even the family members and close friends of November 12 Scorpios can say that it can be hard to break past your timid walls at times. You may use your shyness as a self-protective shield, and as a way to test those around you and see how deeply they wish to connect with you. Your hard work ethic does serve as an inspiration to the people around you, however. You like to definite success by your own standards and you like to prove that anything can be done if you have the mindset to succeed.

scorpio-young-woman-lantern-mountain-blue-night

Deep within themselves, November 12 Scorpios are full of mysticism, spirituality, and intrigue. They are interested in metaphysics and other worldly matters. Their inner world is extremely rich and full of excitement, making these Scorpios avid readers, writers, artists, and communicators. When hurt, November 12 Scorpios can close themselves off deeply into their shell and will not emerge until they feel healed — that may take quite some time. Give these Scorpios their space and they’ll be happier.

November 12th Scorpios can use their sensitivities for good by choosing a career which allows them to express their emotions gently and vulnerably. They also have a practical understanding of life and can succeed in the fields of business, marketing, or communications, but they should still find a way to merge their emotional powers with their professional potential. These Scorpios are here to win.

Happy Birthday to all Scorpios born on November 12!

enchanted-forest-dark

Magical Properties of Trees and Specific Woods

Alder Wood

Masculine Energy. Alder is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 18 March to 14 April. Druids associated this tree with the fox. The deity Bran considers this tree to be sacred.

Magical Properties: Alder wands are used for witchcraft magick rituals concerning with charisma, journeys, self-confidence, bravery, supervision skills, and spiritual growth. Also used in shielding the astral self from unwanted intrusion from other realms.

 

Apple Wood

Female energy. The apple wand is symbolic of fertility, peace, plenty and joy. A tree that is sacred to Venus and the Celtic Goddess Rhiannon. Apple is a staple food of the elven and fairie realm.

Magical Properties: This is a powerful wood of choice for the witch when working with the fairie magick. Apple is a good wood for aiding in the propagation of skills, often used in love magick. Applewood promotes peace and harmony, magick of light and the divine, and promotes visions.

 

Ash Wood

Female and Effeminate Male energy are present in Ash 18 February to 17 March. Ash is closely aligned to the elemental Earth. Ash is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology. Greeks associated this tree with Neptune and Mercury. The Druids associated this tree with the adder. The Nords held this tree sacred to Woden (Odin), the Nordic World Tree, Yggdrasil, is an Ash tree and is considered to be the father of all trees. The Welsh associated this tree with the God Gwydion.

Magical Properties: The Ash wand is an excellent wood for promoting brain power, aids in communication, intelligence, wisdom, and promotes curiosity. Use this wood to remove mental blockages and aid in the promotion of word use and understanding. It is the wood of the writer, poet, and scholar. Promotes spiritual love and health. Protects against unwanted change. Brings balance to the mind. It is said that warts rubbed on the bark will be absorbed into the tree. Use for protection from drowning, magickal effectiveness, sea power, and healing. Ash is also used for protection, finding special roots, horse magick, enhances skills of arts and crafts, justice, weather magick, and for working with the magick of cave and wells.

 

Basswood Wood:

Basswood is sacred to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and the Celtic Goddess Arianrhod, Goddess of the Stars and Queen of Heaven. Some associate this with the Celtic Tree of Life. Basswood is related with the element of Air.

Magical Properties: Basswood wands are used for creative endeavors, star magick, enlightenment, love, attraction, healing, and enchantments.

 

Beech Wood:

Male Energy and because it produces nuts it is closely related to the Oak. Associated with the Greek God Apollo and the Elves Sun Lord Obraash. The Celts used the nut of this tree to fodder the sacred swine. Norse tradition says that tablets of Beech were used to make the very first writing tablets for the runes, strong magick for working with the Nordic runes.

Magical Properties: Beech wands are used in the magick of divination. Reduces swellings and skin inflammations. Helps to balance mental health. Aspiration, desire, and victory are all key elements of this wood. Used while working with ancestors, old wisdom, and magickal research. Beech is a sacred wood of the summer solstice.

 

Birch Wood

Female energy. Birch is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 24 December to 20 January. One of the first trees to naturally establish in cleared forests. It is a tree of new beginnings and establishments. Closely aligned with the element of water. The Druids associated this wood with the white stag.

 

Magical Properties: The Birch wand is used in many cleansing rituals. Birch is a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and diligence. Some use this wood to aid in the calming of emotions. The bark helps to heal wounds and burns. Many European communities use or have used, birch twigs to expel evil spirits. Some cultures utilize birch rods in rituals designed to drive out spirits of the old year. Controlled by Moon influences to include; birth, Lunar spells, healing, and protection. Birch by tradition has been linked to youth and new beginnings. Use in rituals that signify a new start of any endeavor.

 

Cedar Wood:

Associated with the Greek Goddess Persephone during her detainment in the Underworld. Also associated with the Celt Goddess Sezh that watches over the realm of fertility, herbs, and trees. Used by King Solomon, one of the greatest mystics of all time, in the building of the temple in Jerusalem.

Magical Properties: Cedar wands cleanses negative atmospheres. Used for the creation of sacred spaces. Related to longevity, protection, and preservation. Often used to summon helpful spirits during rituals and invocations.

 

Cherry Wood

Both feminine and masculine energies. Artemis, Morrigan, Tyr, Mars, Aries, Herne, and Ambash all consider this wood sacred. Associated with the elemental Earth.

Magical properties: Cherry wands are very centered and has very grounded energy. Earth energy is very well grounded, unwavering, and solid. Cherry is used in ritual to stabilize and focus. Cherry is often used for intuitive and insight and to overcome obstacles. This is an excellent choice for divination or medium work, as well as healing and love magic. Cherry is suited for use in hunting magick, working with animals and familiars, eroticism, unification of covens and groups, spells of detection, and amplifying spell work.

 

Elder Wood

Feminine energy. Elder is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 25 November to 23 December. The Elder is also said to be the tree used in the crucifixion of Christ. Associated with the Celt Goddess Cailleach Beara and the Raven. Some have considered this tree to be unlucky due to its association with the crucifixion, or it may one of those nasty rumors started by the church in order to combat belief systems outside their on scope of a limited belief system.

Magical Properties: Elder wands are most often used in Faerie Magic, banishment, magical arts, protection from evil, imagination, change, and healing.

Elm Wood

Feminine energy. Often referred to as the home of the fairies. It is known to for its ability to ward away lightening. Associated with the Great Goddess in crone stage. Relative to the elements of both Earth and Air.

Magical Properties: Use of the Elm wands is strong in magic used concerning endurance, fertility, horticulture, passage thru death and phases of life, rebirth, and invocation of the Goddess. Elm adds stability, grounding, and focus on spelling working.

Hawthorn Wood

Masculine energy. Hawthorn is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 13 May to 9 June. Considered sacred by the Celtic summer flower maiden Olwen, also associated with the owl. This tree is also sacred to Aquarius and the wind lord Vashaan. It was often planted in the parameters of a cottage for protection. It is believed that fairies live in the hedges of Hawthorn especially if near ash or oak. Associated with the element of Air.

Magical Properties: Hawthorn wands open insight, provides psychic protection, encourages creativity, used to make charms, aids in the development of self-confidence, purification, develops patience, detects magic since it is deeply magical from outer realms, used in weather working, banishment of evil spirits, concealing magic, chastity, male potency, and fairy magick.

Hazel Wood

Feminine energy. Hazel is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 5 August to 1 September. Associated with the elements of Fire, Air, and Water. Manannan Mac Lir, the Celtic Sea God, considered the wood to be sacred. Druids associated with the fish Salmon. Aligned with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and the Celtic Goddess Danu, known by the elves and Arianrhod.

Magical Properties: Artistic ability, magical knowledge, and optimism are provided by the enchanting use of Hazel. The energy of hazel wands promoted love and creativity allowing a person to move beyond self-serving modes of existence. Hazel is the bringer of change. Hazel also promotes creative expression, eloquence, and art of all types. This was the most common wood used to create wands in the ancient Celtic traditions. Also used in magic spells for wisdom, creativity, intelligence, navigation, inspiration, and wrath.

Hickory Wood

Masculine energy. Hickory is sacred to the Celtic God Lugh and the Greek God Apollo. Hickory is closely related to the oak and many of those properties apply.

Magical Properties: Use this wand in magic that seeks direction, abundance, wholeness, and general acquisitions. It can be a source for developing leadership skill and creating an influence of presence.

Honey Locust Wood:

Loved by the fairy because of its thorns that protects fairy clearings.

Magical Properties: A mighty wand of protection and bindings. Use while working with the fairy realm. Some use this wood with spells that deal with beauty and physical appearances.

 

Holly Wood

Feminine energy. Holly is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 8 July to 4 August. The sacred spear of Odin was made of Holly. The Roman god Mars rules over this mighty wood. Related to the elemental Earth. Associated by Druidic tradition to the grand majesty of the Unicorn. The Smith God Govannon considers this wood to be sacred.

Magical Properties: Purity, strength, logic, power transfer, protection. Holly wands are often used in magic concerning sleep. It is said that a man who carries the leaves and berries of holly is irresistible to women. Since the story of the rulership of the Holly King and the Oak King deal with cycles and rebirth, it is often used in magic to ease the loss of loved ones to death. It also carries properties of the sacred, material advance, physical revenge, and beauty.

Ivy Wood

Masculine energy. Persephone considers this wood to be sacred. Druids related this to the Butterfly. Guinevere the fairy bride rules over this wood.

Magical Properties: Determination, strength, optimism, spiritual growth. Ivy is a fine wand for protection, good against wayward spirits and angry elementals, ensures success in business and all new endeavors.

Lilac Wood

A favorite of the forest nymphs and where they are surely Pan is close. Lilac is sacred to the Greek Twins Gemini. Associated with the element of Air.

Magical Properties: Lilac wands are good for magic dealing with romance, love, and passion. Superb when utilizing magics for the realm of intellect, communication, mental concentration. Enhances sexual pleasure. Lilac provides protection during travel. When dealing with illusion magic, this wood is very adequate, as with the divining arts.

Maple Wood

Maple has both Feminine and Masculine energy. Libra and Virgo consider this tree to be sacred. Associated with the elements of Spirit and Water. The great horned owl is the sacred bird of this tree.

Magical Properties: Some cultures primarily use Maple wands for spiritual healing. Maple is a traveler’s wood. It enhances intellectual pursuits, acquiring knowledge, and communication. Spells concerning art, beauty, binding, and abundance should consider using this wood. The gypsies believe Maple brings gold and that eating the seeds draws love.

Oak Wood

Strong Masculine energy. Oak is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 10 June to 7 July. The Druids associated the oak with the Wren. Closely aligned with the elements Earth, Water, and Spirit . The Oak is considered to be the most powerful and the most sacred to the Druids. Wizards consider this the most amplified wood to use to in spells that work with time and counter spells. Sacred to the Irish God Dagda.

Magical Properties: Truth, steadfast knowledge, protection. Oak wands bring vitality and long life. To the ancient Celtic people, oak was the protector, provider, benevolent king of the trees. Utilized as a healing wood, and very will grounded considering its strong connection to the earth. This wood helps center the mind, allowing it to focus on the task at hand and ignore distractions. Oak help promotes both observation and intuition. Oak magic inspires bravery, presence, leadership skills, prosperity, and strength.

 

Osage Orange Wood

Masculine energy. Associated with the elements of Spirit, Earth, and Fire. Named after the Osage tribe of the Great Plains region.

Magical properties: This wood is famous for its ability to repel household pests and resist rot. Recommended to use this wand in magicks dealing with astral healing, spirit guides, and animal guides. This wood aides in the pursuit of goals and passions.

Poplar Wood

Masculine energy. Plato makes a reference to the use of Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination. Aligned with the elements of Spirit, Water, and Fire. Influenced by the power of Venus.

Magical properties: Poplar wands have an incredibly diverse energy, allowing it to be an all-purpose wood for magickal workings. The diversity of the energy in this wood makes it useful for evocation as well as banishment rituals. It is also strong with the elements of hope, rebirth, and divinations.

Sassafras Wood

Native Americans and early settlers considered sassafras to be a cure-all for all sorts of ailments. The root bark was once believed to be a curative, capable of treating everything from headaches to malaria, fever, liver problems, stomachaches, and colds. In addition, the wand was believed to increase hunger. The wood, which continues to be used in furniture, was often used in flooring and bedsteads because people believed the sassafras fragrance would drive away bedbugs and other pesky insects.

Magical properties: Early settlers also believed that beds made from sassafras would drive away evil spirits and give people restful sleep. Eases problems with the digestive system. Burying money near the roots of a Sassafras tree brings prosperity.

Vine Wood

Masculine and feminine energies are present in Vinewood. Vine is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 2 September to 29 September. Druids associated this wood with the Swan. Considered sacred by the Tuatha De Danaan Gods of Irish Mythology.

Magical Properties: Vinewood wands encourage spiritual initiation, faerie work, joy spells, excitement, rebirth., sacred knowledge, and authority.

Black Walnut Wood

Feminine and Masculine energies are present in Black Walnut. Closely aligned with the elements of Earth and Spirit. Walnut is sacred to the Gods Vashaan, Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, and Vishnu.

Magical properties: Black walnut wands are well used in magics of teleportation, astral travel, weather working, averting lightening, powers of the wind and breath, and motivation.

Willow Wood

Feminine energy. Willow is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology 15 April to 12 May. Willow is strongly aligned with the element of water and associated with the element of spirit. The Druids associated this tree with the hare. Diana, Hecate, Astarte, Ceridwen, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, and Omulan all consider this to be a very sacred tree.

Magical Properties: Willow wands are strong in the cycles of life dealing with death and rebirth, change, the will. It is a very emotional wood. Willow can add vital energy to the sick and elderly. Some say that burning willow can soothe and guide the souls of the recently deceased. Willow wood is the very essence of magick, not just the mere making a tool into a magical one, willow makes the tool magickal. Willow will align itself with the inner will of the party that shares its energy. The stronger the will, the more effective the wood. Willow is extremely useful in healing. It is also good for love spells and rituals involving emotion. It strengthens the third eye and is a great tool for divination as well.

November, Autumn, Fall

“The name ‘November’ is believed to derive from ‘novem’ which is the Latin for the number ‘nine’.  In the ancient
Roman calendar November was the ninth month after March.  As part of the seasonal calendar November is the
time of the ‘Snow Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period described as the ‘Moon of the Falling Leaves’
by Black Elk.”

Samhain:

“This association of death with fertility provided the theological background for a great number of end-of-harvest festivals celebrated by many cultures across Eurasia.  Like Samhain, these festivals (which, for example, included the rituals of the Dyedy (“Ancestors”) in the Slavic countries and the Vetrarkvöld festival in Scandinavia) linked the successful resumption of the agricultural cycle (after a period of apparent winter “death”) to the propitiation of the human community’s dead.  The dead have passed away from the social concerns of
this world to the primordial chaos of the Otherworld where all fertility has its roots, but they are still bound to the living by ties of kinship.  It was hoped that, by strengthening these ties precisely when the natural cycle seemed to be passing through its own moment of death, the community of the living would be better able to profit from the energies of increase that lead out of death back to life.  Dead kin were the Tribe’s allies in the Otherworld, making it certain that the creative forces deep within the Land were being directed to serve the needs of the human community.  They were, in Celtic terms, a “humanising” factor within the Fomorian realm.

Whatever the specific elements had been that determined the proper date of the end-of-harvest honouring of the dead in various places, by the ninth and tenth centuries the unifying influence of the Church had led to concentrating the rituals on November 1st and November 2nd.  The first date was All Hallows, when the most spiritually powerful of the Christian community’s dead (the Saints) were invoked to strengthen the living community, in a way quite consistent with pre-Christian thought.  The second date, All Souls, was added on (first as a Benedictine practice, beginning ca.  988) as an extension of this concept, enlarging it to include the dead of families and local communities.  Under the mantle of the specifically Christian observances, however, older patterns of ancestor veneration were preserved.”

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“first snow
house sparrows
darken the hedgerow”
–   Ellen Compton

 

“I am the ancient Apple Queen,
As once I was so am I now.
For evermore a hope unseen,
Betwixt the blossom and the bough.

Ah, where’s the river’s hidden Gold!
And where the windy grave of Troy?
Yet come I as i came of old,
From out the heart of summer’s joy.”
–   William Morris, Pomona

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be
a National Day of Thanksgiving.

autumn-witchAutumn Abundance

What a magical time is autumn. A time of transitions, of change, of gain and of loss, we celebrate the culmination of the years work and we grieve the inevitable endings that follow.

The dark months are coming and the wind howls around our cottage as I write this but now is still a time of abundance and celebration and, most of all, a time for giving thanks to the Goddess of the Harvest for all this Earth has given us.

At this time of year we are spoiled for choice with the hedges dripping with all sorts of goodies, but by preserving, freezing and making lovely medicines we can make sure we have something to keep us going all through the winter too.

Eating local wild foods is not only great for our health, as they are often fresher, more vital and richer in nutrients than anything we can buy, but also connects us to a sense of place and belonging and encourages a deeper relationship with our natural environment. Even if it’s just a few berries whilst out walking or a handful of leaves added to a salad or soup, the plants around us are experiencing the same environmental conditions that we are and have adapted well and therefore are able to help us do the same.

At the moment I’m enjoying most of my wild foods in the form of elderberry and rosehip syrups, blackberry crumbles, nettle seeds, hawthorn teas and the young ground elder leaves that are poking up through my newly weeded vegetable beds and taste lovely in carrot and apple soup.

My mornings are starting at the moment with a lovely big glass of ‘hedgerow milk’ which consists of freshly made almond milk, a little local honey, some hawthorn berry powder, rosehip syrup and nettle seeds. Delicious and nourishing it helps me start the day feeling energised, connected to the land and full of gratitude.

Eating local wild foods helps ensure we are getting the right nutrients for our seasonal needs. The berries that are in abundance here at this time of year are filled with anti-oxidants including flavonoids and other polyphenols as well as lots of Vitamin C to help protect our bodies and support our immune systems as the weather gets colder. Many also have an anti-inflammatory action which helps soothe the aches and pains that can accompany colds and flus.

Foraged nuts and seeds such as walnuts, cobnuts or hazels, chestnuts and nettle seeds are nourishing and contain proteins, healthy fats, vitamins such as B’s and E and are a good source of well sustained energy.

And soon it will be time for harvesting roots which help us to draw our energy in and down (just like the plants do at this time of year) and give us much sustenance and grounding ready for the more inward focus of the winter months.