Smudge Sticks

Afternoon all…hope your weekend is going well?

Do you smudge? Yourself, your house, your magickal tools?

I have smudged myself as well as my house/rooms and tools with purchased white Sage. I dont have a pre-rolled smudge stick, just some loose sage that I have lit and wafted the smoke.

Now I know most sticks are made from American White Sage but apparently demand may be outstripping supply!

Apparently the magickal herb Mugwort is not only good as a tea or a smoke but also for smudging with, so isnt it marvellous that I have found some growing on poor ground just around the corner from my house…can you imagine my happy dance when I identified it?
I harvested some the other day, both for myself and a friend, leaving plenty of leaves on the plants and not taking any flowering heads as some of them will be harvested too (apparently flower tea is excellent for lucid dreaming)

I have bunches of leaves tied ready for hanging and drying out..

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I have also made my own Smudge sticks…

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All hung up and ready to dry….

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I have made 3 different types, the first is Mugwort, Lavender and a little bit of loose white sage leaf…these are tied with lilac thread.

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The second batch are Mugwort and Lavender and are tied with black thread.

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And the final batch are just Mugwort and tied with green thread…

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With this little lot I should be fine for smudging for quite sometime dont you think?
And this is my feather wand/wafting tool….what is the proper name for this?
This has been made from feathers that both I and my children have found whilst out walking, I am really pleased with it and it does its job more than adequately.

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Do you smudge, do you make your own smudge sticks?
I would love to know?

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Summer Solstice greetings and Litha blessings

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Solstice greetings one and all…I hope you are having a good Litha (or Yule if you are in the Southern Hemisphere!)

This is my first Litha or Summer Solstice and I was going to mark it in great form but recently life threw me a massive curve ball and all plans went out of the window!
No matter what is going on in my personal life I didnt want to leave it unmarked…its also a full Moon and there is a moot with my local pagan group so busy day all in all!

Anyway, on my way back to work this afternoon, I collected some Mugwort from a rather substantial patch I found (cue little happy dance!) with herbs being collected today being even more potent. I intend to dry some leaves for tea and make my own smudge sticks with leaves and some lavender too.
Part way through collecting I realised I hadnt said thanks as I was given a timely reminder with a sharp sting from a hidden nettle…duly paid my respects and all was well.

There is a big park near where I live and it has a big stone entrance on one side called the ‘Four Seasons’, because there are four women carved from stone, one for each season.

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Spring.

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Summer.

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Autumn.

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Winter.

I have always admired these women but it was only today that I noticed how each woman ages as the wheel turns and each season has its turn – hadnt been obvious before starting my path but now makes perfect sense.
As I dont really have an outside altar I decided to take some roses and use them to honour ‘Summer’.

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Summer with her roses.

I had a quiet word internally with Summer before carrying back onto work. This way I feel I have marked the Solstice in a small way and had a quiet word with the Goddess.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have had/are having a wonderful Solstice, x

Crows

Hi again…two posts in as many days!

Felt I had to share what happened this afternoon in the park whilst walking the dog.

I was throwing his ball for him with one of those plastic flinging devices, so when you throw like a girl (!) he at least gets a good chase, anyway I digress.  Throwing his ball across one of the fields in the park I notice a group (a murder) of crows creating a racket on the ground about the same time the dog does. Now I love corvids…especially crows but the dog likes to charge them like a bowling ball and make them all fly. He duly did this and all but one took off….he was then shouted at by a couple of crows who kept trying to charge him. Thinking this wasnt right I made my way over to find a not-quite-fledgling on the ground, mum and dad trying to protect it from the other birds doing what crows do and trying to kill it, in comes Dufus-dog just to add more confusion!
Its parents flew off to one side caw-ing loudly as I approached baby…it wanted to fly but it still had some pin feathers and not quite enough strength so I picked it up so the dog wouldnt get too interested, its mum and dad were watching me closely as I walked over to the tree line where I presumed its nest was…

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Gorgeous……simply gorgeous!

Mum and Dad followed me, shouting as I tried to put it in a tree.

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Only I had put it in the wrong tree, its parents were sat in another calling it! After a few minutes the silly bird tried to fly again…only to hit the floor and then it was a race between me and the dog to get to it first, Dufus-dog didnt want to hurt it, he isnt like that but I wasnt taking the chance!

This time I put it in the tree its parents were shouting it from…of course they are near the top and I am trying to pull down a large branch (yeah…that wasnt painful at all!!!) for baby bird to sit in and recover…the hope being it could walk and hope further up the branch and into the tree. Kept telling its parents what I was doing, because of course they could understand me, as well as talking to baby!

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I left for a bit to carry on walking the dog, after telling them I would walk back this way to check on them before I left the park.  As we came back past them baby was walking along the branch and then thought it had obviously had enough rest and was going to jump a gap…it missed but at least I was there to shove its bum up with the ball flinger so it could get back on a thicker branch again.

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I left it to mum and dad at this point but I have to admit….I want to back out again now to check on it but I will wait for the dogs evening walk and we might take a longer route and swing by the park for a looksie….I really want it to survive…I know nature is survival of the fittest but falling out of a nest isn’t fitness is it?

My heart is heavy…I really love crows and I really want this little one to live!

One of my favourite things to do

Happy 1st June to you all…this year is just fair skipping by isn’t it?

Thought I would share with you, one of my favourite things to do when its just me walking the dog.
In one of my local parks there is a Labyrinth cut into the grass in a quiet spot of the park…here it is.

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When I dont have the kids with me I can walk this in peace! Anywhere else in the park, the dog barely stays with me but in this bit he sticks quite close, I feel be knows that I am in a different place when walking the Labyrinth so he doesn’t disappear, when I get to the center (and if its dry enough!) I like to sit and try to meditate. At this point the dog normally sits close by to watch over me…this is him sat right behind this morning..

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Sometimes however, watching over me looks like this..

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Sitting down on the grass, with the ‘walls’ of the Labyrinth at eye level..

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…listening to the buzz of insects going about their daily lives, the songs of birds in the trees and the sound of the trees rustling in the breeze, its very easy to forget I am in an inner-city park and I can reach a place that leaves me feeling….blissed out is the phrase that comes to mind.

By way of a thank you for the time spent at peace in the Labyrinth I tend to collect litter and dog poo as I walk the spiral back out again, there is always litter and dog poo in the Labyrinth much to my annoyance but its a public park so I can only do my bit! Here are today’s finds….not a big collection today!

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After leaving the Labyrinth I feel taller, more upright and lighter…it really is good for my soul spending time in there.
If possible I then like to go and visit my serenity tree, the big Oak further round the park.

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It really is a magnificent Oak, I always ask permission to approach before I walk under its boughs and I will place my hand against its trunk. I usually then ask if I can hug it, if I get a positive feeling then hugging this wonderful tree is again good for me and I would like to say the tree benefits too. I can ground myself and the feelings I get while under the boughs of the tree cant really be put into words, I cant describe it and do it justice but take a look at these shady boughs…

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So now, feeling totally relaxed, lighter and more at ease I then get the pleasure of seeing the wild roses and the very happy bumble bees staggering laden down with pollen from one rose to another…all the bushes were alive with happy buzzing!

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Walking the dog in this particular park really is one of my favourite things because I get quality zen time with Mother Nature!