Thursday, March 24

All About Herbs: Sage

Sage is a plant I have a love-hate relationship with. It's fantastic in cooking and fantastic in spells but it doesn't take much of the plant for the smell to be overwhelming for me. I hold my breath while making stuffing! The taste is just amazing though and within magick it has very powerful cleansing properties so I do consider it an essential herb to have to hand.

I'm currently growing some Sage in a small pot, I bought a herb growing set that included a pot, compost and seeds. Handy little set that only cost a couple of pounds, I got mine from Wilkinson's but I expect most garden centers and that stock something similar. Be warned though - plants from seeds do take a long time to mature but are pretty hardy once they do, usually after their first season.

This is my little sage plant at the moment -

Sage has a number of magickal properties but is best known for being used in smudge sticks when cleansing places, people or objects. It drives out negative energy which is very useful when purifying space before carrying out spells and rituals. Everything ends up smelling like a sunday lunch mind you!

Other magickal properties of sage include protection, good health, memory improvement, learning, healing, prosperity, justice and wisdom. Although, you may have your own personal uses of sage - I for one sometimes have different properties for herbs than whats listed in books and on websites. It all depends on how the herb "speaks" to you so don't confine yourself to the above list or anything you read.

One simple protection spell that I have used on occasion is to steap sage leaves in water, strain and then use the water to wash doors and windows, tipping the rest around the boundary of the property.

Have any sage spells? Don't forget to comment and share them with everyone!

Excuse the mess!

All today today I will be redesigning the blog so it will look a bit strange for a while until I finish, I should be done by this evening though and posting about Sage straight after!


Domestic Witch

Tuesday, March 22

From Day to Night and Night to Day

I like to greet the morning and the night, in the morning I wish for a happy and productive day, in the evening I ask for peaceful sleep and protection of myself and those I love. At the moment I simply say a prayer but after reading a post by Lyn, titled Double Candle Magick, on her blog Adventures in Life, Love and Magick I had an idea to say thanks to the Goddess for the previous night/God for the previous day and then greet either the day or night within the same spell/prayer.

You will need -
One black candle (or whichever colour represents the night to you, possibly silver)
One white candle (or which ever colour represents the day to you, possibly gold)
Potato peeler
Lighter or matches
Suitable candle holder

Create a straight edge on each candle using the peeler where you will be sticking them together. Hold the two candles together, light the taper candle and drip wax along the seams of the black and white candle. Once dry the two candles will be stuck together, add more wax if needs be. Place in the candle holder. Lyn suggested using a small glass jar filled with sand which I will be doing, I always wash out empty jars and take off the labels as they always come in handy!

Place the candles where the moonlight and sunshine will reach them (careful with putting them in a window, I have ended up with puddles of wax during hot days by doing this) and on each morning and evening light the candles and say thanks for what you recieved the night or day before and ask for what you wish for the coming day or night.

I'm absolutely useless at writing prayers etc so I tend to make up what I'm saying as I go, each morning and evening being slightly different but I will share one of my personal favourite prayers, this one is to be said before going to sleep.

"Lady of the Moon
Lord of the Sun
Protect me and mine
Now day is done"
 - Living Wicca by Scott Cunningham

I will update this post with photographs of the candles when I can, I would post some now but my camera is playing up at the moment, but if you visit Lyns blog (the link is at the start of this post) you will see some photographs of the two candles stuck together.

If you would like to share any prayers that you use to greet the day and night post a comment!

Update! Managed to get one photograph before my camera battery died, I ended up using a tealight holder filled with salt to hold the candles, I will post a photograph of the candles lit tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20

Red Pepper Risotto with Camembert

I've seen this recipe, or variations of, on a number of websites and in magazines so its probably something you've seen before. I'm going to share anyway because I cooked it last night and oh my it was fantastic!

Red Pepper Risotto with Camembert

Serves 2

Knob of salted butter
Tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, finely chopped
3-4 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
2 pints chicken stock (or there abouts, sometimes I use more, sometimes less, you can use veg stock if you prefer)
4 red peppers
Pinch of Oregano
Black Pepper
Whole Camembert (this is a lot so you may want to reduce what you use, me and my OH love it though so tend to eat it all)

Preheat the grill to a medium to high heat. Cut the peppers in half, de-seed them then place on a greased baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Grill until blackened, remove then place in a bowl and cover tightly with clingfilm. Once they have cooled remove the skin and chop.

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan on a medium to high heat until the butter has melted, add the onion and celery and cook for five minutes or so, until they begin to soften. Add the rice and fry until the butter and oil has been soaked up by the rice. Pour in the wine and reduce. Once the wine has been reduced and absorbed by the rice add the oregano and begin to slowly ladle in the stock. Only add one ladle full of stock at a time, stirring constantly and not adding another ladle of stock until the previous one has been absorbed. Continue until the rice is soft. Just before the rice is cooked, add the red peppers and seasoning.

Heat the oven to 200C, place the Camembert (with rind) on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Place the risotto on warm plates, the Camembert onto the risotto and serve with fresh crusty bread. Yum!

I took a photograph of the one I made last night, mostly because I cant ever seem to get the entire risotto red, like shown on most recipe websites. Excuse the presentation!

If you try this and like it or have any comments or suggestions don't hesitate to leave a comment! (Trying not to beg for at least one comment here lol!)

Wednesday, March 16

Spell Candle Pouch

After buying some lovely beeswax candles I realised I had no where to store them where they wouldn't get damaged. The main thing I didn't want to happen was the different coloured wax rubbing against each other so I decided to make some small pouches out of felt - they are quick, cheap, simple and serve their purpose. Of course you can use them to store other things too! The most difficult thing about them is the stitch I used (Blanket Stitch) but even that's quite simple to do.

You will need:
Tape Measure


Cut a piece of felt that is 3 times the height of the candles. Lie the felt flat, fold the bottom of the felt up to create the front piece, this piece should be slightly longer than the height of the candles. Sew both sides of the front piece to the back piece, using a blanket stitch. (Having one piece of felt instead of two means that you only stitch down the sides)

Fold the top of the felt down over the front piece to create the "lid". Cut a slit in the lid half the size of the button you're using, ensure that the hole meets up with where you will be placing the button. Sew the button onto the front piece.

Ta Da! You should have something that looks like the green one below, which I made last night (I sewed the bottom of mine as I got a bit carried away with the stitching...)

Apologies that my instructions aren't very good, I'm much better at showing than explaining... I wont even attempt to tell you how to do a blanket stitch, click here for a video tutorial someone made on YouTube.

Salt Dough

Over the last week or so I've been searching for statues of the Goddess and God, nothing caught my eye except one which was extremely pricey. I asked on the Black Cat Wicca forum what others use to represent the Goddess and God (if they do at all of course), there were some wonderful replies and suggestions including glass bottles.

As I only wanted something simple I thought that maybe I could purchase some clay and mold my own, then it dawned on me - salt dough! I've never used salt dough before and I wasnt sure whethe it would be suitable but I have to admit, I'm quite impressed with the results. I ended up making symbols rather than statues mind you!

Salt dough is very easy (and fun!) to make and you're likely to have all the ingredients in your cupboard. It can be air dried or oven dried and then painted. I'll be using poster paints as thats what I have in and then glazing them using PVA glue.

Salt Dough

One part salt
One part water
Two parts flour

Mix it all together! Thats basically it to be honest, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and nead into a ball. If its sticky, add more flour, if its dry add more water.

The dough will look like this -

Drying can be done in one of two ways - air drying, which can take a couple of days or more or oven baking. to oven bake, preheat the oven to 50C, cover the dough with foil and place in the oven, after thirty minutes turn the heat up to 100C. It should take about 3-4 hours but obviously it depends on the size and thickness of the dough. Check and turn regularly.

I personally prefer air drying, although it takes longer it means that I havent used electicity or a machine to make them - baking them is just a convenience, not a necessity.

If you have any left over dough dont panic or throw it away - it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, just wrap it up in clingfilm and put it at the back of the fridge. Stick a label on it if you have children or a husband that will eat anything.

Here are mine so far, I will be going over them with a nail file just to get rid of any bitty parts and then painting them. I will update you with images of the painted ones once they have dried.

Elements and Horned God

Triple Moon Goddess (my personal favourite). The colour difference between the ones above and the triple moon goddess symbol is because the above photographs were taken two days after making them so they are almost dry.