Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by PapaGheny

  1. I've found different methods and traditions have different fundamentals of how they work with the pendulum. As a result they seem to have different takes on involuntary movement. Some seem to rely on it others seem to avoid it.


    I talked a little about what I was taught about it in this conversation. http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/11691-pendulums-do-they-work-for-you/page-3?hl=pendulum


    For some time now I've mainly used a hanging pendulum rather than holding one. Its just been convenient to work around. But I never hesitate to make one if I'm not at home. As for materials I often go for acorns or small pine cones and cordage. At home its a pendent I've had for many years. Seems to me its less about what it is made from and more about what works well with you and you relate with as a pendulum, rather than a bit of string and a sinker.


    I hope you find any of this helpful.

  2. A few years work seems to be coming together this year. I have gardens at four locations in the area. These are large vegetable gardens and varying sizes of herb gardens and the orchard, along with plenty of wild to look after. The goal is in the next two years to grow enough to meet most of my folks needs, keep the wildlife fed and healthy, have enough for trade, and some back case the neighbors need a hand. Most are pretty common, so I won't run through the list, and just hit on a few that stand out to me this year.


    Ginger, is new to me and is turning out a nice indoor project.

    Yarrow, I'm bringing up from seed and some transplanted from wild.

    Stinging Nettle, I was given a handful of seed and we will see how it dose here.

    White Sage, I've had good luck with common sage. So, we'll see if it will take our winters.

    Cherry tomato, I was looking through seed and realized I'd never worked with them. I was sprouting romas so thought I'd give it a shot.

    St. John's Wort, This isn't common here so I thought I'd like to give it a try.

    Lemongrass, I've never tried to get in before.

    Roses from clippings, this is just a project to build experience.

    The garlic beds are looking great this year.

    And basil seems to be in high demand last year will just nearly last till this years comes in.


    I think its going to be a good growing year here, if we can get past the next month's weather.

  3. I have recently have been frequented by a peregrine falcon. These are an uncommon but not all together unusual birds here. Just recently they made the threatened and endangered list, but are still seen around now and then.


    The first encounter was typical working on a relatively isolated hilly piece of land about 20 mile out of town. It was simply sitting on a pine branch about 6 or 8 foot up, looking at me. Not that strange, if it was a hawk I would have taken less notice.


    A few days later I was having a cigarette in the driveway on the same land watching a snowstorm building quickly. From above and to the east the falcon nearly hit me seeming to loose some control coming into the wind break of the house. It landed not more than 4 feet from me in a flower bed barren in winter. We looked at each other a moment. It was just long enough to notice that ruffled feathers on its left wing I spotted on our last meeting was a slight injury. Possibly a scrap from a tree branch. Then it took out grabbing a black-capped chickadee from a near by holly and disappeared into the bluster.

    This was a striking encounter. That night I gave offering and Spellwork to favor the falcon.


    The third was a sunny day just before noon and I was sitting on my porch having a cup of coffee. A falcon landed on an old maple about 10 foot off the porch at eye level to me. I quickly noticed it had the same wing injury. This got my attention because I currently am living in the middle of town. The distance and injury making it an unlikely coincidence.


    This is what some of the lore I have tells me about falcons.


    The falcon relates with elemental wind, water, and sometimes lightning.


    They are related in action to lightning.


    Like many birds of pray it is often thought of as a direct messenger of the sky.


    It is often a symbol of nobility, speed, precision, the hunter/arrow/bullet, looking ahead, lightning,



    In divination it often refers to looking forward to a single point in time. This often comes down to a crossroad often never to be returned to, but that could bear great reward.


    In deciphering the falcon one can also add feelings of majesty, awe and terror. As well as companionship and a connection between ones self and nature or the sky.


    However, most of this come from local lore and passed conversations with mentors and Witches. My library is quite lacking in falcon lore. Particularly fundamentals and root folklore. If anyone knows and good resource for this, knows any lore on falcons they would like to share, or wants to take a crack at interpreting the signs, I would be glad to hear about it.

  4. Oroboros - I make a willow bark tincture. It works great, but watch the dose it's rather strong. For most about ½ – 1 tsp in a glass of water seems close to replace the effects of 200 – 400mg of ibuprofen(for me). But, I'd go light till you get a feel for it.

    By the way it smells and tastes like aspirin.


    The only complaint I have heard is that if other pain meds cause constipation so will to high of a dose of willow bark.

    Sometimes, I will take it with mixing it. This can significantly numb the mouth and throaty, or be rough on the gut.

    All this has been what I have seen with it so far. I don't have much experience with the tea. So, I can't comment there.


    We are warned not to use it with aspirin allergy or breastfeeding. It's also noted that it doesn't replace aspirin taken as a blood thinner.


    I also keep crystallized ginger around just for cold season.


    And, I want to try the sugar and onion . I've heard about that one for quite some time but haven't tried it yet.


    Island Bruja - I'm liking the sounds of the ginger variation I may need to give that a shot.


    For cold I have heated whiskey, a bit of rosemary, and honey, in a sauce pan for 10 min or so. It needs to get hot enough to melt the honey, and strain the rosemary out. That worked for me.


    My grand father swore by a spoonful of crushed horseradish. It worked, but I'm pretty sure it just beats the hell out of you till the evil spirits give up and leave.


    And just because there is not one here yet.


    Chicken soup for cold.

    Drop 1 whole chicken in enough water to cover it.

    Add ½ tsp of thyme, 2 tsp of salt, and bring it to a boil.

    Put a lid on it for a hour or so.

    Pull the chicken up with a fork and use another fork to pull the meat from the bones, and back into the pot. If its not falling off easy leave it go a bit more.

    Dip it into a bowl and add a good amount of raw fresh chopped garlic and onion.


    Okay, so I think the soups helps, but the real action is the garlic and onion. So if all you're up to is canned soup adding raw garlic and onion is still a big help.

  5. Oroboros, Many types of birds are considered messengers of the spirit world in quite a lot of folklore. I'm not sure if cardinals specificity are one of them, off the top of my head. They are often associated with winter and tend to be striking in there appearance that would make them prime candidates for it. I do know they are worked with in protective, strength, and acceptance, spells and related to the cycle of life and death. They have also been seen as a guide when one feels lost geographically, emotionally, or spirituality.

    I think the are definitely worth researching there is rather abundant folklore.


    Regardless if they where messengers that's a great story. Thanks for sharing it.


    Ravenshaw, I have heard a few ill omen on the cardinal. For instance native folklore tells us to see a cardinal flying down word can mean separation or loss. If flying up word reunion and good fortune.

    Growing up I also always heard they where related to blood on the snow, and selected who died in the hunt. That came with the superstition that to have a blood spot on your cloths would attract a cardinal and lead to bad luck or a short life. But, I don't know where that came from it was just something folk said.

  6. I'm finely getting back to this.


    I noticed some talk about chickens above. Including the very amusing comment “You have to think, what information would you trust a chicken to bring you from the other side?”. Truthfully as funny as it is I figure it's also a good question to ask yourself. Along with “Why would you ask a chicken?”


    So, the first thing I figure I might ask a chicken is were to plant a garden. If there is one thing any chicken should know its were the worms are. Over say a week one could place a chicken in different parts of the yard and watch were they get to scratching and pecking most often. If they keep returning to the same spot it's like that the soil in that area is teaming with life.


    A less logical question for them might be about planting and preparing for winter. It's said that when a chicken molts from the front first, the end of winter will be harder than the rest. If the back end first the beginning will be the harder part of the season. Evenly and it will be rather consistent. I should note here that I have also heard this with the front and back reversed, I say it this way because I find it more reliable. Also, this says nothing to the severity of the winter just its rhythm. Other critters seem to know better on that score.


    Then there is puny of cultural traditions and mythos I would think on. As I learned it, the chicken has most commonly been seen as a death bird. There dose seem to be a lot of available arguments for this. Particularly in cultures with beliefs of an underworld spirit domain or return to Earth mythos. In these traditions I find the chicken to bridge the earthly realm and the spirit realm. In this way it can be seen as a conduit or ever attractive medium between the realms. So, one is often not asking the chicken but rather asking a spirit directly through the chicken or inhabiting it. At least that's how I have grown to understand it.


    Since reading bones was the main point brought up I thought I would give some of my take on that. I have learned it that, it's not just that it a chicken's bones that makes them useful in divination. I have seen some valid means of building tools or devices out of their bones to communicate somethings with spirits. These are often in the forms of charms, chimes, mobiles, or dosing devices, that often act as a temporary housing for a spirit or spirits. Heads, feet, and feathers are often used as well.


    With casting bones I learned it a bit different. In stead its a spirit bound and under the control of the caster that dose the talking. The method of cultivation of the bones I learned and seems to me most effective is extremely involved. I wont be going into the details here in a public area, as some might call them easily misunderstood, possibly dangerous, and if not done correctly cruel.

    I will say that it involves the raising and slaughter of chickens, and it would like to be difficult if you don't already do so. It takes place over the course of a few months, and starts with a live chicken and ends with a bag of precious bones. I should point out that I have never preformed this on my own, I've never seen the need really. I learned it from a Witch I have great respect for and acted as a second in the rituals. After, I never knew the bones to give her an incorrect reading.


    All this is not to say this is the right way, or there are not other methods. This is just a blush of what I have see to be affective.

  7. This book has peaked my interest a few times. I would like to take the time for a closer look at it. I redownloaded(if that's a word I kind of feel like it shouldn't be) it so maybe after I get settled for winter in a week or two.

    It always looked like odd genetic experiments. Then I had the thought after you first made this topic it might describe formulas. Many alchemy books of the renaissance would have images of mythological stories and such that described formulas for alchemical work. So mayhap the plants aren't alien they are just representing traits of plants being used in stages?


    Anyway that's just breath in the wind, but was my thoughts on it. Regardless its a great book to get the wheels turning. Thanks for bring it up.

  8. Christine, I suspect I'll make my way back down to those parts at some point. I have some folk scattered down through there.


    I for one would take your Grandmother's word for it on the hummingbirds. I looked at a few wildlife maps and they say there should be three species there. But, I know I've never seen one on that side of the Shenandoah. I hear Virginia Beach gets them, but by my figuring it seems like coastal spill over from North Carolina they get them pretty good down there. When you first posted they should have been fighting for territory and fanning out. With some luck the population has grown. If they made it that far up the bay it could be as you said “a sign of hummingbirds to come. Certainly nothing to sneeze at!”  It's a good thing to my eye as they could pick up the slack with pollination while the bees are getting back on there feet.


    If I were you I'd play the odds and hang a feed next April.


    CelticGypsy, I find animal divination a great topic. I'm currently rearranging and glancing over my notes on the subject and hope to contribute more to the conversation as I find the time.


    As I don't like responding on a topic without addressing it, I'll give my general take on it. I find two primary forms animal divination.


    Direct - when one seeks an answer to a specified question. Such as reading bones and innards, or consulting an animal spirit or oracle.




    Passive – reading communication from the behavior, features, or appearance, of an animal. Like an animal making a sound under unexpected conditions, seeing an animal with particular markings, or crossing paths with an animal.


    I enjoy both, but passive most often. Given that I like a divination that comes to me instead of waiting for me to think something's up. Both are tied heavily to folklore and cultural experience. However, both also cross culture by have their roots in watching and learning the nature of the animals. To me this makes it one of the many voices by which the world and often beyond can speak to us directly.


    That's the way I tend to see it anyway.

  9. Christine, your post first struck me with the statement that they have not been there in at least fifty years. This year my area has been home to bald eagles. Not that they are unheard of, just not seen with in a hundred mile or so. They where last recorded in these parts fifty four years ago. This year there are three.


    I'm not sure if its what you where looking for, but it comes to mind that an animal oracle from distant parts can mean its influence is from an unexpected source, out of season from a hidden, distant, or lost source, or with the return of an animal the source is from a different time. The different time is from the two time coexisting through its presences or vice versa. The out of season I think comes from stories of animals traveling to hidden realms for the winter. I have no clue where the lore on distant parts being unexpected comes in, just the way I always heard it.


    Off the top of my head hummingbirds them selves gave a few readings. Luck, fortune, freedom, hidden intentions, and passion, for a start. Then enlightenment, or the drinking in of divine wisdom. Being blinded by passionate or wild pursuits. Arguments getting blown out of proportion. Tenacity or greed to ones own ruin. Or, being blinded by an emotional situation.


    No mater how you read it they are an enjoyable little critter to watch. I also wanted to mention that I haven't been in those parts in years but when I last was, there was plenty a hummingbird could make food of.

  10. Great stuff here,

    I think can add a hand full I didn't notice reading through.


    Holly is also a symbol of life and death to some. I would figure this is related to it being poisonous and medicinal.


    Musselwood has the expected strength, protection, and permanence. It has been said to be used to control the will of others particularly animals. Most likely because it was used to make good ox yokes, or maybe vise versa. But, I have also been told protection from fire which I would like to learn more about if anyone has heard the same.

    I will also add for earlier questions, There are a lot of trees known as Ironwood this is one it is also known as American Hornbeam and the technical folk call it Carpinus caroliniana.


    Hickory twists have been handy to folk in things relating to secretes. Keeping them and fining them out. I've always heard this and encountered it all up and down the east coast of the U.S. Why make good sense to me but, I wonder if it's origins are native or pioneer, and if it pops up anywhere else.


    Birch has been used for things relating to spirits. I was told as a kid that a spirit may use the shade of a birch as a doorway to the living world, or to be seen or heard by the living. It have seen where it was used relating to animation and sentience. The closest folk lore I found so far was from around Russia.


    Lilac I learned growing up held the magic of rebirth. I always thought this must have to do with spring and the cloud of fragrance. One year a hard winter took some branches down off my lilac. They were tossed in the wood pile to dry till after midsummer. Then looking for a pole to prop a net for my strawberry one was cut into a stake and driven into the ground. Before the first frost it had leaves and a few flowers. I get it now.

  11. First thank you Kalinia for talking about the stones. I knew someone that did near enough to that years ago, but nearly forgot it till I read this.


    I keep a good handful of cooking recipes in my book. Some are to get a more defined response. Like using herbs to invoke moods and such. Others are lost recipes that where a signature dish of folk passed on. I often pull these out on holidays or in celebration of the dead. Nothing takes the plastic out of the last harvest feast, for my folk like their Grandmother's raisin cookies from childhood.


    Also, I think it will be helpful to keep these connections to the dead for later Witches in the family. May as well give them a leg up.

  12. Great topic. I tend to incorporate all the aspects of my life I can. I find many things enrich each other and narrow paths lead me to unnecessary short-sightedness.


    I find I have an interest in most things and enjoy learning about most anything. These days this means a lot of reading, not often fiction but sometimes classic lit.

    I enjoy the sciences in general as well as philosophy. Medical and health practices of any tradition through the ages has been eating a lot of time because health has been a growing demand for those around me the past few years.

    I get into any kind of handcraft, and really making just about anything.

    I like long camping trips. I spend a lot of time around animals, and enjoy working outside, gardening farm work, and the like.

    Yep, this all pretty much all solo stuff. I don't really talk to folk unless they need something.

    • Upvote 1

  13. Lots of good advice floating around here. I would have to go with,


    Really learn to understand consequences. Good or bad, consequences aren't punishments they are your rewards from outcomes you helped design. And, trying to fight or avoid them is like working for a meal then throwing it away. Except your consequences with pride and add them to you.


    I likely could have saved a half dozen years with that.

  • Create New...