Herb Garden

Herb Garden

The first harvest of the season is clipped! Well, okay. Really, it was more of a pruning. But I’ll take them.

From left: mint, rosemary and lavender. I am counting the lavender and the mint as one of my three new herbs for my Pagan Summer Bucket List. I’ve never raised mint before. Technically, the lavender was in the ground last season, but this is the first year I’ve actually gotten them to bloom enough to clip.

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Summer Beauty Spell

Summer Beauty Spell

You will need:

*1 glass jar
*1 avocado
*handful dried lavender
*1 pastel purple candle
*piece of paper or parchment
*pen
*matches
*access to a living rose bush

Timing: Full Moon, or Summer Solstice

1. Gather your spell ingredients, and find a quiet place outside under the full moon.

2. On the piece of paper, write out the qualities of your inner beauty. Patience, compassion, kindness, or seeing the best in others are all good choices.

3. Place the paper, avocado, and dried lavender in the glass jar.

4. Light the candle.

5. Chant:
“Where all the rivers of my soul converge
“Under the full moon may they emerge”
Don’t stop until you feel slightly light-headed.

6. Bury the jar near the roots of a rose bush.

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Foxglove

Foxglove

As part of my Pagan Summer Bucket List, I pledged to grow three new flowers or herbs in my magical botanical garden. While we were on our weekend getaway in Berkeley Springs last weekend, I spotted these lovely foxgloves for only $3!! So I snapped them right up and in the ground they went.

Foxglove has special meaning to Wiccan practitioners. Long associated with fairies, potions and flying ointment, this enchanting flower is both beautiful and poisonous.

 

Visiting A Roman Bathhouse

Pagan Summer Bucket List: Number One

During the time of Ancient Rome, when everyday life was filled with the rituals of the gods, bathhouses were a center of health and community. The mineral spas of the ancient world were thought to renew well-being and clear the mind. Wealthy Romans left the bathhouses relaxed, well-oiled and perfumed with the decadent luxury of a day at the spas.

The alluring, timeless indulgence of mineral spring has long captured my pagan imagination. So, last weekend, we packed the car with a picnic basket, our bathing suits and a couple of overnight bags and we headed to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, which is famous in the region for its healing Roman bathhouses.

It took some convincing to get my husband to join me for this exotic ritual from the farthest reaches of an ancient civilization. Let’s just say the role of Pagan Adventurer isn’t quite his thing.

We spent the night before browsing the boutique shops (I picked up an amazing bottle of sparkling grapefruit wine) and the farmer’s market. When he wasn’t paying too close attention, I booked us both an appointment at the bathhouses.

“You what?!”
“Sorry, baby. It’s non-refundable. Oops!”

For a reasonable price (about $32 total for both of us), we got out own private bath, which was about the size of a half a lap pool.

Stepping into the bubbling nutrient-rich waters, I felt like a lobster about to be slow-boiled.

It was hot. Really hot.

My husband (pictured) was squirming about. “How are you standing this?”

We had the room for 30 minutes, and I was beginning to think 5 minutes would have done just fine. But we hung in there.

Towards the twenty minute mark, the most amazing thing happened: the headache I didn’t even know I had evaporated. My muscles began to relax in so deeply, I realized they were tense in ways I hadn’t noticed.

I watched as the cloudy mist swirled about us. It seemed like a good time to try steam scrying.

By the time we were dried off and headed out, I felt lighter and energetic and decidedly more youthful.

Pagan Bucket List, Experience #1: check.

For my other spiritual goals this summer, check out:

https://shesmelting.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/pagan-bucket-summer-list/

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Pagan Summer Bucket List

I find that setting spiritual goals is as important as setting more mundane or worldly ones.

That’s why this summer, I am creating a bucket list to make the most of this the golden season of natural living.

Follow along with me.   I will be reviewing each of my experiences, and maybe inspire you to do some of them yourself!

1.  Experience the healing of a Roman Bath house.

2.  Go on a vision quest camping trip for Litha.

3.  Bake bread from scratch for Lammas.

4.  Design and create a ritual for every full moon until the Harvest Festivals.

5.  Grow at least three new magical herbs in my garden.

6.  Do a floating candle ritual.

7.  Hold at least one bonfire ritual.

8.  Go stargazing.

9.  Create a new kitchen witch recipe using ingredients only from the farmer’s market.

10. Go cherry picking and can them in brandy to give away at Yule.

11.  Go ghost hunting.

10 Ways to Bring Out Your Inner Goddess

10 Ways to Bring Out Your Inner Goddes

1. Take a belly dance class. If you’ve never experienced the sensual, spiritual tradition of belly dance, it’s time to try it! Belly dance is a body-positive activity that even those new to dance can enjoy.

2. Visit a hot spring. The ancient Romans believed mineral springs had the power to heal, renew and cleanse the soul. You will emerge refreshed and with a renewed sense of inner beauty.

3. Book a boudoir session. Oh, why not? Seek out a reputable photographer with whom you are comfortable, pick out something glamorous to wear, and indulge in the power and beauty of your femininity.

4. Go swimming under a full moon. Go night swimming under a full moon. But pick a natural body of water like a river, a secluded beach or a lake. Take in the wonder of the moon in her fullest glory. If you’re really daring and you know a place you can get away with it, skinny dipping earns you bonus points.

5. Experiment with Karma Sutra. The tradition of Karma Sutra is an ancient practice with deep roots in Hinduism and Indian spirituality. Being a lover is an art form, and you are an artist.

6. Give birth to something. Whether it’s a Pinterest craft you’ve always wanted to make, or that novel you’ve never gotten around to writing, creating something new is the essence of a goddess.

7. Build a goddess altar. Pick up a statue of a goddess (Gaia, Aphrodite, and Diana are all popular choices) and create a small space in your home dedicated to the protection and cultivation of your inner feminine spirituality.

8. Make things grow. The magic, power and wonder of taking something from seed to fruit bearing plant is an amazing thing that every inner goddess should experience.

9. Volunteer. You are at your most beautiful and powerful when you use your talents and abilities in the service of others. Nothing will make you feel more spiritual or at peace with yourself. Choose a cause you care about, and give it your all.

10. Celebrate the Summer Solstice like a goddess. Don’t miss out on one of the most amazing pagan holidays this year. Make plans to go to a festival and do it up right. Wear flowers in your hair, find a long, flowing skirt, anoint yourself with rose oil and dance around the bonfires like it’s your last night on Earth.

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Love Potion #9

Love Potion #9

I love incorporating magic into my kitchen! It’s a great way to be creative with your practice and come up with new/different spell ideas that are uniquely you.

This is a quick love spell recipe I threw together for date night with my husband. Try it yourself for a candlelit meal at home or even to enhance the mood at a singles party.

You will need:

-1 ounce heavy whipping cream (or other cream)
-1 ounce white chocolate liquor
-1 ounce vanilla vodka
-splash of raspberry liquor
-coconut (I used unsweetened)
-raspberries
-martini glasses
-red candles

In food magic, chocolate, vanilla, coconut and raspberries are all associated with love and passion spells.

chocolate = infatuation
vanilla = warm feelings
coconut = lasting love
raspberries = passion

1. Chill martini glasses, vodka and white chocolate liquor in freezer.
2. Rim glasses with coconut.
3. Add vodka, white chocolate liquor, raspberry liquor and cream in that order.
4.  Place glasses between two red candles.
5. Stir 9 times, chanting
“One, two, three
“Both your eyes all over me
“Four, five, six
“Red hot passion in the mix
“Seven, eight, nine
“Love tonight for all time!”
6. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

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