Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Magickal Folk Box Review: November

Magickal Folk Box Review: November

November's Magickal Folk Small Combo box focused on the feminine. As mentioned previously, the small combo box comes with a tea ritual, meditation kit, and crystal alchemy kit, essentially a little bit of everything they curate for the month in one box for just $24.

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Feminae Tea Ritual Kit

The first item from the box is the Tea Ritual Kit, which contained a tea called Feminae. According to the packaging, the tea is a blend of white tea, red rose, hibiscus, skullcap, vitex berry, rose hips, and pomegranate flavoring. Not going to lie, this tea is a beautiful rose color, smells like heaven, and tastes like a flower garden. I'm so in love with it. When I read the ingredients after removing it from the box, I knew in an instant I would enjoy this tea. I am a sucker for rose, rose hips, and hibiscus. To add to it, the base is a white tea, which is milder and sweeter in flavor as it comes from young tea leaves. The ritual suggests imbibing this tea with your fellow lady witches to inspire conversation, especially during our "moon cycle" or consumed ritually in tribute to the Morrigan. Honestly, I would pair this tea with Dulsky's Holy Wild. The book is all about taking back our Goddess powers and the message pairs amazingly with this tea!

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Meditation Kit

The next item is the Meditation Kit, which focused on the sacred Wolf. The purpose of this meditation is to connect with the wolf in your life as well as honor the spirit guides in your life. As a hedgewitch, I absolutely love that this month's kit included ways to honor and connect with your spirit guides. They are so crucial to our development as witches and the meditation outlined by Candice at Magickal Folk is beautifully written and easy to follow, even for a beginner witch. The kit included a cauldron recipe card to record the ingredients included in the kit as well as any other items you add to the ritual to connect with your guide. There are two beautiful Lapiz Lazuli crystals and an herbal incense mixture that contains cedar and juniper tips for protection, star anise to carry your messages, wood betony for removing doubt and opening communication, and elderflowers to bring ancient wisdom. I love how well thought out this mixture is and that is can be used during hedge riding or a normal ritual to communicate with spirits.

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Crystal Alchemy Kit

The final kit, the Crystal Alchemy Kit, contains a large piece of peacock ore and a witchcraft oil both of which are designed to increase magical intentions. The oil contains jojoba, olive oil, and sunflower oil infused with dragon blood resin, honeysuckle flowers, and vervain herb. Candice suggests using it as a base spell oil during rituals or to banish, heal, and enchant. There are no essential oils in this product, which I think it great because many people are allergic to essential oils. This also allows the oil to be more versatile so it can be placed on the skin, the third eye, or used to anoint candles and other objects used in spell work. The oil has a sweet, subtle scent; nothing overpowering here!

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Crystal Alchemy Kit

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Crystal Alchemy Kit Ritual Oil

Overall, I love the diversity in this month's box. I'm not going to lie, the tea is my favorite part! Once this subscription is complete, I may purchase the monthly tea ritual for just $5. Considering how many cups I tea I get per bag, $5 is a steal! On average, I get 7-10 cups of tea. Remember, you don't have to throw the tea out after one use. Using freshly dried herbs means you can get at least 2 cups out of most teas, so don't throw it away after one cup! Besides, the tea leaves can be used in later rituals as an offering or just to enhance your spell work!

Magickal Folk Box Review: November: Crystal Alchemy Kit Peacock Ore

Have you subscribed to any witchy or pagan subscription boxes lately? Have something you would like me to review before you commit to a purchase? I am on the lookout for something new to try next year and would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Monday, December 3, 2018

10 Witchy Ways to Give This Season

10 Witchy Ways to Give This Season

One of the reasons I love this time a year so much is because suddenly the majority of people become a little more charitable. Every year I adopt a local family to buy presents for, I donate canned goods and clothes, and if I am able to, I give up some of my precious time to help others. I'm particular about the charities I get involved with, as many use the opportunity to make money instead of giving money. It's even harder when there are conflicts of faiths. For example, I absolutely LOVE the idea behind Operation Christmas Child, but I HATE that they go into developing countries and use God as a weapon against children. I don't support that ideology one bit. So what's a witch to do? I've done the legwork and came up with a list of 10 witch-friendly charities to give to this season. I've also included instructions on how you can find local charities to support and how to find the ratings of those charities.

Pagan Pride Project Inc

Even been to a Pagan Pride festival in your local area? If so, this is the organization that helps fund and coordinate those events. They are a nonprofit organization that not only brings together pagans but also promotes social responsibility by hosting a food drive at all of their events. If you've ever been to one, you've probably "paid" to get in with canned goods. The local was rented using donated funds, so to keep these events going around the world, consider a small cash donation through PayPal.

Spiral Scouts International

A neo-pagan alternative to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, that offers a welcoming environment to children and families of all faiths. They do essentially the same things as Boy/Girl Scouts but are more inclusive and they focus more on caring for our Earth and honoring her in a way befitting us all. Currently, there are about 45 circles and hearths all over the world. Consider starting a circle in your area or make a donation to keep their programs running. If you are looking to get a little something out of your donation, they have a beautiful Goddess Coloring Book and Pagan Kid's Activity Book that would make a wonderful Yule gift to the child in your life.

ACLU Foundation

Not directly pagan/witch, but these are the people fighting for our religious freedoms and protections in the United States. The ACLU is the people who fight for you when your employer tries to fire you for being a witch. These are the people that fight for you when our government attempts to pass a law banning pagans or LGBTQ members from our military. According to Charity Watch, the ACLU Foundation has an A+ rating which means they are using most of your money to support their mission, not pay their top executives a hefty salary.  In other words, they are putting their money where their mouth is. They do good work to keep us safe.

Center for Biological Diversity

Again, not very witchy, but extremely important to environmentally conscious people like ourselves. The Center for Biological Diversity helps preserve and protect threatened and endangered species through advocacy, research, and environmental protections around the world. These are the people fighting to keep tigers, elephants, leopards, red wolves, and a host of other species from going extinct. While you may not think an individual species is important, as a biologist, I can assure you they are. Loss of a single species often causes a cascade effect in the ecosystem. This means less diversity for us to enjoy, whether it be for pleasure or for scientific or commercial use. Biological diversity is extremely important to the survival of all life on Earth. According to Charity Watch, The Center for Biological Diversity has an A.

Arbor Day Foundation

I love this charity. The Arbor Day Foundation is a US-based charity that plants trees where they are needed the most. In light of current deforestation issues, these are the people world diligently to plant more trees to increase habitat, reduce climate change, and just make the world a better place to be. Charity Watch gives the Arbor Day Foundation an A-. Why not donate 10 trees in the name of a loved one this holiday season? I used to do this every year, and will be sure to pick that tradition up again this year.

The Trevor Project

A large number of witches and pagans are apart of the LGBTQ community, and while we don't often talk about it, suicide is just as prevalent in our community as in others. Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project provides crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youths under 25. They do incredibly good work and offer a host of services to keep our LGBTQ community safe. According to Charity Watch, the Trevor Project has an A rating. If you are looking to continue to support the LGBTQ community, also consider giving to my favorite charity, Lost-n-Found Youth. This is an Atlanta, GA based charity that provides shelter, food, and support to homeless LGBTQ youth. They are the only LGBTQ friendly homeless shelter in the Atlanta area. I love their work and support them every year. They are always looking to monetary gifts, but they also have an Amazon wishlist if you would rather donate food, clothing, bedding, or backpacks.

PetSmart Charities

Okay, this one may seem a little odd because PetSmart is such a huge company, but they are one of the highest rated animal adoption charities in the United States. If you are looking to help get some pets adopted, PetSmart Charities is the charity to donate too. They spend less money to raise funds and 93% of donations go directly to getting animals adopted. If you have ever been to a weekend adoption at PetSmart, this is where the funds came from to help run the event. They also help support local animal shelters and provide low-cost spay and neuter. I adopted my cat Oscar Wilde from a PetSmart adoption day and its the best thing I ever did. If you are looking for other ways to give back to the homeless pets in your community, try volunteering at your local animal shelter or consider gifting your local animal shelter with used towels and blankets, pet food, and cat litter. These gifts go a long way.

Operation Homefront

For those of you who don't know, my little brother has been serving in the US Army for several years as a combat medic. He did two tours in the Middle East and is currently stationed in Hawaii, the buffer between the US and North Korea. Operation Homefront is a charity that helps provide assistance to military families in the form of financial aid. Honestly, charities like this shouldn't need to exist, but because our government is too cheap to pay our service members enough to take care of themselves and their families, many families end up relying on outside help. Operation Homefront provided military families over $22.5 million in financial assistance last year, 18% of which when to help families buy groceries, 16% for rent/mortgage assistance, and 15% to keep utilities on for our military families. They also provide backpacks and academic scholarships so military children have what they need to succeed. Charity Watch gives them an A rating, with 92% of funds raised going to support our military families so they don't have to choose between food and keep the electricity on.

Scholarship America

Scholarship America helps students and communities by aiding in the development of scholarship programs around the country, specifically targetting low-income areas and families. Global scholarships are available as well. They also design and deliver high impact education programs to make a difference in these same areas to promote education as a way of rising out of poverty. There is a running list of active scholarships available on their website to ensure students can easily find and apply for scholarships across the country. I know many in our community cannot afford for their children to go to college, so consider helping support a local scholarship through Scholarship America, which has an A+ rating from Charity Watch. If you are looking to give to a pagan/witch specific scholarship, try one from this list or donate to Michigan Pagan Scholarships.

Global Fund for Women

This charity works to ensure that women around the world have reproductive and sexual rights, freedom from violence, leadership, and economic justice. The partner with other local groups to advocate for women and keep women globally safe and represented. According to Charity Watch, the Global Fund for Women as an A rating. The majority of our community includes women, and women witches in other countries are not as safe as women in the United States, Europe, and Australia. There are modern day witch burnings still occurring, most of which are directed at women. The Global Fund for Women seeks to end violence of all types against women, no matter their religious affiliation.

Looking to stay local? You can use Charity Navigator to find charities in your area that meets your standards. Charity Navigator also lists the charities rating, if it has one, and a short description of the charity so you can donate your money and time wisely. You can also give to Charity Ratings, which is a nonprofit organization that unbiasedly rates and reviews charities. Their ratings are well-respected, accurate, and transparent. They also allow you to search your favorite charities to learn more about them. While not every charity is on there, the big ones are. I always search Charity Ratings before I give, unless I've worked with the charity directly before.

This list is by no means all-inclusive. I tried to pick charities that do work related to paganism and witchcraft in some way or that supports a vast number of our members. If you have a charity you love to donate to, please leave a comment below. I'd like this to be a running list of great charities for witches and pagans to donate to to make the greatest impact on our community. Remember, charitable giving doesn't have to be expensive. Just $5 goes an incredibly long way. I donate $5 to charities all the time. They are happy for the donation, and while it may not seem like a lot, it does a whole lot of good, I promise. I used to work in a donation call center; we loved $5 donations! I hope you'll find it in your heart to give this holiday season and may you have a very happy holiday!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hedge Riding Series: After You Hedge Ride: Coming Back to Earth

Hedge Riding Series: After You Hedge Ride: Coming Back to Earth

Once you have crossed the hedge, met with your guides, and begun to develop relationships with them, it is time to come home. If you are listening to shamanic drumming, there is always a signal to let the listener know the drumming will soon end. This signal is designed to pull your soul back to you and give you time to slowly come back to earth. But how does one do this?

Depending on the method you used to get into the Otherworld, your method of coming home will vary as well. For me, I always cross the hedge in the same way. I start at the same location at my childhood home, find the same fallen tree, and either walk down or up the stairs to reach the realm I am looking for. I take the same route home. If I am in the Lower Realm, I find the cave covered in vines and walk back up the steps, through the tree, and back to my childhood home. Each of us enters the Otherworld differently, so whatever path you originally took to get there, you should retrace your steps to get back. Make sure you take the same path every time. This makes it easy to travel to and from the Otherworld, but also ensures your soul makes it back in one piece. Once you have made it back to your original starting location, send out a pulse of energy through the Universe. I do this by outstretching my arms, looking up, and forcing energy out of myself. This energy pulse acts as a beacon, allowing any missing fragments of yourself to return to you. Sometimes pieces of us get left behind in the Otherworld without us realizing it. This pulse will call those pieces back to you so you return to our plane completely. After sending out the pulse, check yourself over. Do any areas feel less solid or colder than other places? If so, you may still be missing parts of yourself. Send another pulse and wait a moment or two. If the piece(s) still do not return, you will need to extend your journey. Travel to the Middle Realm and summon your animal guides to assist you in locating the missing pieces. This is an extremely rare occurrence for well-trained witches. Usually, one pulse is more than enough to ensure you return whole. If you have taken the proper precautions, you shouldn't have to worry about losing parts of you in the Otherworld.

Once you have ensured all of you has returned, slowly open your eyes. If you are laying down, I suggest you remain laying for at least 2-3 minutes to readjust to the physical world. The same if you are sitting. Don't get up right away or try to immediately begin processing your journey. You may feel groggy or tired when you return. This is normal, especially if you have done a lot of work on your journey. Remember, time is different within the Otherworld and our world. While you may have only been gone for 30 minutes on Earth, you could have been in the Otherworld for a week. Its okay if you are tired afterward. Flying is hard work! You may even notice everything is slightly out of focus. Give yourself time to adjust and fully come home. While you are adjusting, reach out and feel the Earth around you. Even if you are inside on your bed, send your energy down until it touches the Earth. Feel the cool, damp soil surround your body and ground you. If you are too drained to do this or unable to ground this way, hold some black tourmaline. This is my favorite method of grounding. Black tourmaline and I have a pretty awesome relationship. I rely on my beautiful crystal A LOT. I always keep it next to me when I hedge ride so I can easily reach over when I am finished to quickly ground myself. Grounding after flying is incredibly important. It brings your mind and soul mentally back to our plane and will allow you to get rid of that tired feeling you may have.

When you are positive you have returned completely, cleanse yourself with sage or another cleansing herb blend. This gets rid of anything that may have hitched a ride back with you. Spirit parasites are common so a cleanse is necessary. If you want and feel it will help, take a cleansing shower. Wash with a sage soup or hang some fresh sage in your shower to help remove any parasitic spirits from yourself.

It is only after you have grounded and cleansed yourself that you should begin trying to process what messages you saw and received. Be sure to write everything you can remember down in your Book of Shadows or in a hedge riding notebook. I keep a notebook specifically for hedge riding. I journey so often and have such elaborate experiences, that it doesn't make sense to try and keep these notes with any other magical workings. In fact, I have a notebook for dreams, one for tarot and divination, one for spell work, and finally one for hedge riding. I've found it is the easiest way for me to organize. Anyway! When you are writing, don't worry about complete sentences, the timeline of events, or spelling. If you need to, jot down major events and images and worry about elaborating on them later. Once you have written everything down, take a break. I know you want to immediately jump right in and begin making sense of everything you saw and did, but trust me, you need to take a break. Go get a snack. Drink something sugary. Go for a walk or go watch The Office. If you give yourself a break, both mentally and physically, you'll be better equipt to figure out the messages you have been given. You may even need to give yourself an entire day. It just depends. When the mind has had time to relax and recalibrate, it is often able to see patterns and meanings and solve problems we wouldn't otherwise have been able to see or do. This is why people tell you to sleep on things. Your mind is a powerful tool, but it needs a break after flying as well. When you feel ready, begin by rereading everything you wrote. Expand on any areas you rushed to get down. Start to piece together any messages you may have received and try to make sense of what you saw and did. Sometimes the messages are extremely clear. Sometimes Meka looks me straight in the eye and says, very clearly, do this. Other times I am shown a series of images and it takes me a week to figure out what she was talking about. Our spirit guides don't always speak the same language as us and sometimes they give us answers to a question we didn't realize we were asking. Those answers may take a little longer to figure out, but make sense when events start to fall into place. Meditate on what you have seen, light candles, burn incense, hold some amethyst, do whatever you need to to figure out the meaning to the messages you received. Be aware that not everything has a meaning. Sometimes lines get crossed and we pick up random bits of information. If you are struggling to understand a message, let it breathe. Taking a break is always the best thing you can do. If push comes to shove, hedge ride again, this time making it clear you want a straight answer. Heck, try asking the question a different way!

It is important to note that your guides, if they are really your guides, won't lie to you. If you are concerned about the information you have received, go back and ask again. If you receive inconsistent information, the spirit you are talking to may not be your guide or at least not yet. Not everyone you meet if out to help you.

There is a lot more to hedge riding then what I have mentioned in this series. Over the course of the next year I will expand on some of these topics, but honestly, it would take a book to completely explain everything involved in hedge riding, from building your garden to shapeshifting, to summon and binding spirits. The list is pretty endless. Good news for you, I am currently writing a book! Maybe I'll get around to finishing it within the next year. Until then, keep an eye out on the blog to related posts! I promise I will delve into many of these topics soon. My final post of this series will include some of my journeys. I thought about leaving this final post off, but I recognize some of you may need to see what I have experienced to validate your own. I'm right there with you. Besides, reading about the experiences of others is so intriguing! It's like reading a really good book, don't you think? Within the next couple of weeks, I'll share some of my most memorable journeys with you!

Interest in the rest of the series? Make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming posts!

Hedge Riding Series

After You Hedge Ride: Coming Back to Earth
My Hedge Riding Experiences

Looking for more information on hedge witches? Check out my posts on the topic:

Monday, November 26, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Hedgewitches

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Hedgewitches

My favorite time of year is right around the corner, and I can't wait! I know most witches adore Halloween, and yes, as a hedgewitch I find Halloween pretty fantastic, especially when it comes to spirit work, but there is just something about Yule that resonates with my soul. I absolutely love snow, hot cocoa, the smell of balsam, twinkling lights, warm fuzzy blankets, holiday dinner, and giving gifts. I am the ultimate gift giver, and I can tell you, I usually go all out at Yule because this is the one time of year spoiling someone else is perfectly acceptable. You can bet your butt I'm going to do some hardcore spoiling of all my friends and family this year. However, I realize not everyone is as gift savvy as I may be, especially when it comes to giving a gift to the witch in your life. Are you wondering what you should get the hedgewitch in your life? Have no fear; Willow is here to help! Here is my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Hedgewitches, perfectly curated for that special witch in your life. (Pst, get me these for Yule too, MP!)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Element Candles by Wilde Autumn Apothecary

1. Element Candles by Wilde Autumn Apothecary. I had the pleasure of meeting Caundace at Atlanta Pagan Pride this year, and I bought several of her products. Her candles are great, especially the 1936 which smells like roses, and I enjoyed her 1936 essential oil perfume, even though the scent doesn't last all day. The Element Soy Candles are a great gift addition for the witch in your life. Each of the elements is represented in a separate candle for just $10 each and they burn for a long time. This is a great way to represent the elements on your altar or they can be used during specific spells and rituals to invoke the element you desire. Either way, whatever you buy from Wilde Autumn will be well worth the money, and the witch in your life will be thrilled with the gift. (Please note there is a typo in the shop. I believe "wind" is supposed to be "fire" based on the product description).

Glow Spirit Board by Memento Mori Goods 
2. Glow Spirit Board by Memento Mori Goods. This is my favorite spirit board I have seen on Etsy. First, this darn thing glows in the dark. Who doesn't love glowing cats?! Second, its crafted from Blackened Baltic Birch, a wood specifically for banishing and keeping out negative spirits, making it a pretty powerful wood to use for a spirit board. It is hand painted and polished to a satin finish, and for just $61, I say you are getting this bad boy for a steal! As a mediator between this world and the next, a spirit board is a wonderful spirit communication tool for the hedgewitch in your life. (Please note that spirit boards are NOT the enemy; poor practice and planning is. As with all magical tools, spirit boards should be used with caution and only by well-versed witches. These are not a toy.)

Modern Herbal Pendulum Board by Positively Mystic

3. Modern Herbal Pendulum Board by Positively Mystic. Okay, is this not one of the prettiest pendulum boards you have ever seen in your life? Yeah, that's what I thought. The design is laser cut onto maple, which is associated with travel, moon magic, and learning, making it a great pendulum board for asking questions. The herbal design is also perfect for hedgewitches who are natural herbal healers and spirit communicators. If the witch in your life doesn't have a pendulum board, you should probably get her/him one. The size of the boards ranges from 3.5 to 12 inches in diameter and range in price from $17-$45. There is nothing wrong with the mini board. In fact, it'll probably work best anyway! Hopefully, the witch in your life has a pendulum, but in case they don't, one of amethyst is a must to increase spirit connection. Why not throw in this amethyst pendulum from Lumina Crystals for just $4.50?

The Spirit World Oil by The Raven's Moon

4. The Spirit World Oil by The Raven's Moon. This little oil makes a great stocking stuffer for the hedgewitch in your life. It is specifically designed to help open the gateway to the Otherworld so it can be used during hedge riding or during other spirit work. Please note this oil is for anointing, not for a diffuser. At just $12.99 a bottle, its slightly pricey, but this little bottle will go a long, long way!

Welcome Witches Doormat by A Little Tinsel

5. Welcome Witches Doormat by A Little Tinsel. This doormat is cute af, and perfect for a homey witch looking to add a little magic to her/his front doorstep. The doormat measures 18" x 30" and is made of coir natural coconut fiber with a rubber back. Each doormat is handpainted, meaning there will be slight variations between each mat, but that's what makes each of them so great! This mat is more pricey than others at $40, but the personal touch and supporting a small business is worth the price.

The Witch is In Decal by Handmade Harrisburg

6. The Witch is In Decal by Handmade Harrisburg. This decal goes great with the welcome mat featured above, especially for the hedgewitch in your life that has a spiritual business run out of the home or a local shop. The decal comes in a variety of colors, fonts, and sizes, and is guaranteed to last about 5 years outside, depending on local weather conditions. Based on the size you purchase, the decal can cost you between $12 and $17. (Please note that this type of vinyl is not meant to be removed after a month or so of use, but is meant to be a permanent fixture. Apply at your own risk.)

Personalized Moon Forest Constellation Mug by She Wolfka

7. Personalized Moon Forest Constellation Mug by She Wolfka. Okay, tea, and maybe coffee, is a staple of witchcraft. That's a given, so of course, there is a mug on this list. Duh! This particular mug features the moon phase and constellation of your choice. Who the heck doesn't want a mug with a full moon and their astrological sign on it? This Libra sure as heck wants one! The mug comes in grey, blue, or light turquoise, and each is hand painted. Again, this is a little pricey at $30.02 a mug, but trust me, the witch in your life will appreciate the heck out of this mug. (These ship from Slovenia so you best purchase it now if you want it!)

Spells and Hexes Stylus Pen by The Carbon Crusader

8. Spells and Hexes Stylus Pen by The Carbon Crusader. Have a tech-savvy witch in your life or just one that loves office supplies (yeah...that would be this witch), then this pen makes a pretty awesome stocking stuffer. It's $8 and when the ink runs out, she/he can still use it to play Candy Crush or draw funny faces on Snap Chat.

Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle by Siolo Thompson

9. Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle by Siolo Thompson. This oracle deck is absolutely gorgeous. Every time I look at the cards I just melt. The deck features a variety of herbs and helps you learn traditional herb lore while seeking guidance from the spirit world. The deck contains 40 perfectly decorated cards at just $22.50. Even if the witch in your life has a tarot deck and/or Oracle deck, you should probably get them this one as well.

Coloring Book of Shadows 2019 by Amy Cesari

10. Coloring Book of Shadows 2019 by Amy Cesari. I have the 2018 planner and I LOVE it! I am sure 2019 is going to be just as awesome. For just $11.69 the witch in your life can fully plan and track their magical year while fostering their inner creativity. Its a great gift for Yule, especially for that witch in your life that already struggles to keep their life organized. And good news! This panner is also available in a southern hemisphere edition!

Moon Incense Burner by Most Amazing

11. Moon Incense Burner by Most Amazing. Is this not the cutest freaking incense burner you have ever seen? Yeah, that's what I thought! Its just 3.5 inches, made of Baltic Birch, and just $8.50. I'm sure your witch burns incense and they could always use an additional holder.

Rose & Almond All Natural Nourishing Hand Cream by Bahari Blossom

12. Rose & Almond All Natural Nourishing Hand Cream by Bahari Blossom. Okay, so most of the items on this list have been unisex. This one is clearly for the witchy woman in your life, but honestly guys, you should want to smell like roses for your lady too and no one likes chapped hands. With cold, dry weather wreaking havoc on our skin, this nourishing hand cream will soothe even the most stubborn dry skin and the smell of roses will help conquer those winter blues and have you dreaming of spring weather. 50 grams costs just $6.

Moon and Trees Letterpress Moleskine Journal by Runaway Press

13. Moon and Trees Letterpress Moleskine Journal by Runaway Press. A witch can never have too many journals. You need one for a grimoire, one to be a Book of Shadows, one for dreams and divination and tarot and runes and hedge riding and recipes. I mean, the list is pretty endless if you think about it. This journal contains 80 lined pages and features a beautiful full moon over a forest of evergreens for just $15. It is available in several colors, including grey, green, black, and blue.

I realize not all of the items are the list are cheap and for those of you on a tight budget, some of these wonderful items may not make the cut. In the end, giving a gift should come from the heart, and anything you buy for the witch in your life this Yule will be greatly appreciated. These just happen to be a few of my favorite things this year, and I look forward to compiling another list next year!  If you are in a pinch, crystals and herbs go a long way! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Apothecary: Sore Throat Remedy

Apothecary: Sore Throat Remedy

I was sick for about a week and a half with what I originally thought was tonsillitis. After a couple of days, it turned into a sinus infection. Thankfully, I know exactly what to do when I start to get sick, especially when my throat begins to hurt. Please note that this is not intended as medical advice and you should consult with your doctor before trying the remedy listed below. If you are running a fever, you need to seek medical attention. Antibiotics aren't terrible. In fact, they are life-saving, so if you need some, make sure you get them!

Sore Throat Remedy

3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
real honey to taste

Mix the garlic and cayenne together until well combined. You can use fresh or jarred garlic. There really isn't a difference in effectiveness. Add at least a teaspoon of honey, if not a tablespoon or two, to taste. This is super, super spicy without the honey, so be sure to add enough to dull the spice and sweeten the taste.  Take 1 tablespoon every 3-4 hours after eating. Too much garlic on its own can upset your stomach.

This remedy is great for adults and children. Unless you are allergic to one of the ingredients, there is little risk, other than an upset tummy, to using this remedy freely. It should be noted children until the age of one should NOT eat honey, so avoid giving this remedy to a small child. Also, should your symptoms worsen or you begin to run a fever, you should definitely seek medical attention. Sometimes antibiotics are best. Its the difference between living our best life and dying.

How It Works

Garlic is one of the most universal herbs on the market and has been recognized by herbalist and scientists as one of the most effective antimicrobial plants, acting to help kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Because of its unique properties, garlic is the perfect remedy for a sore throat, whether it be brought on my a bacteria or virus.

Cayenne, on the other hand, is a stimulant, increasing blood flow to help speed up the healing process. Like garlic, cayenne is also naturally antiseptic, helping to kill bacteria and viruses lurking in the throat.

And finally, raw honey! Honey is also naturally antiseptic, working with the garlic and cayenne to fight off the infection. It is also anti-inflammatory, helping reduce swelling of the tonsils and coating them to reduce irritation. Of course, the honey also dulls the spice of the cayenne, making the whole remedy more palpable. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?


Is there a particular way you ward off a sore throat? I'm always looking for new recipes!