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A Harvest Moon night…

Last night was a peculiar Harvest 🍂🌝🍂 moon night indeed, as the winds where calm, and the woods unusually still. Late in the night the coyotes sang a soothing song, instead of their regular fare of yelps, screeches and screams. And as they sang to the moon I began to feel a sense of relief, knowing things are happening when they should, and that this dark season will be a time of endings, healing, and transition for me.

The moon is my ruling planet, and therefore my emotions rule as well. Having water as your elemental is fabulous for divinations, hedge flight spells and alike, but not so good in your head. Being able to master it is key, and lately that’s been put to the test. Years past my mind came upon a point of drowning, and to avoid the insanity I escaped into opening my shop and writing. Preoccupying my mind, keeping the emotional horrors at bay, it’s rather ironic that I find myself traveling a similar path once again.

But this time there be a difference. There’s never been this much darkness surrounding me… in me, but also a strong fire within. This fire drives, secures, and lights my path, and with it brings a dark season of opportunities. And by this I mean the time, ability, and mindset to carry on with the writing of my book. For so long now I’ve been consumed with getting the shops up and running, expanding my gardens and hedgerows, learning to grow by the moon, and rewilding my land and life, that writing fell to the roadside for me. Being an indie writer only means more work and cost, but for me there isn’t another way. Since I’ve left society and my job within it, I have come to quite enjoy a reclusive life… and that includes my writing as well.

So into this dark season I go…🕯
to write about the seasons, their spirits and snow.

Chapter One ~ Winter ❄️ 📖🖋

Henbane and Fall Brews 🍂

My black henbane💀🌿 just appeared in several pots on my deck this summer, connecting at a time of death and rebirth for me. The necromancy benefits henbane offers being a plant of Saturn…🪐 are just the icing on the cake for me.

It’s so very satisfying when I really “get” a plant, how to grow her and care for her from seed. My first step in truly knowing and understanding a plant spirit. A celebration of a magickal connection.

Henbane is a real focus plant this time of year, a sacred plant of Hekate’s garden, and an ingredient in incense burned to aid shapeshifting work, favoring the coyote and wolf spirit. Taking in the smoke of this dark herb is done to divine the future, and to aid necromancy. 💀🌿

The ancients in Scotland have connection using henbane with honoring the dead, and German folklore tells that throwing henbane into water shall bring about rain. 💦
As a flower essence I use her when I wish to commune with the spirits of the dead. I add it to my Divination tea in the past, but intend to add it this year to my new Samhain Forest tea. ☕️🎃🍃Medicinally henbane gives us calm, an aid to anxieties, and offers the ability to forget, which may explain connections to the underworld…

So I am turning over a new leaf🍁 as the saying goes, as my cauldron is bubbling with new fall wildcrafts and other new projects for the dark season.

I’ll be offering new Fall🍂 and Samhain💀🎃 wildcrafts and gift boxes, new how to ebooks, 📙 and new seasonal wild food celebrations with my recipes for Mabon and Samhain.
Stay tuned!

Henbane flower essence 💀🌿 https://etsy.me/3wVKwDq
Divination tea ☕️🔮🍃 https://etsy.me/3KPiTSw
Samhain Forest tea ☕️🎃🍃https://etsy.me/3Rl7wUO

Climbing nightshade…💀🍃

I find the bittersweet nightshade wild with abundance this year, but she is noticeably aggressive as well. Twisting about my window as if trying to come inside, knowing fall’s chill will soon be here. Climbing, entwining and choking the valerian🌿…until I set them free.

Solanum dulcamara, also known as Climbing nightshade, Felonwood, Felonwort, Scarlet berry, Woody nightshade, and Violet bloom has been cultivated since the 1500’s. The Iroquois here foraging it to make a poultice for arthritis, but this woodland vine offers much more. 💀🍃

Bittersweet nightshade has the ability to go within the spirit, to grab hold of the parts of one that have been lost or hiding in the shadows and bring it forth. This plant offers the courageousness to go deep into the dark places, facing ones fears and nightmares. Bittersweet nightshade is an aid to journey work or spirit travel, an ally in seeing in the dark, and will also aid in these kinds of experiences to happen.
This poisonous beauty is also known to give protection from the evil 👁 eye or witchcraft, and will be wildcrafted into amulets for the fall season… stay tuned. ✨💀🍃

Change about the wood…

There’s change about the wood. As I went foraging early this morn it was in the 50’s, the sky was gray, and I noticed some of the ferns are turning brown. The bleeding hearts are becoming golden, signs of an early dark season is upon these woods. The tree toads are loudly chirping on my deck and within the wood, the chipmunks are scampering about, and the crows are way more talkative and active. Subtle signs individually, but if you know the woods…

I have mixed emotions about an early dark season, fall is my most cherished, but we live in uncertain times. The dark season here is beautiful but always uncertain, I see it possibly as icing on the cake, but not in a good way. A sense of darkness or foreboding fills the air.

I have been taking long walks within the woods lately observing, doing divinations, conjuring new ideas up for the shops, and journeying. For I live to ride the hedge, dark and uncertain indeed…

I have focus on new wildcrafts for protection, with major Mars, war like influence attached. More dark and insidious things infused with Saturn and Pluto. Saturn’s is pitch black, binding, has boundaries and is restrictive. Saturn is the crossroads, ruled by Hekate and more, along with creatures like the Hag and larvae. Traditionally used for hexing and cursing spells, diabolical spell work, or connections with the crone.

Pluto is far from the light as well, a dark force with attributes hidden to most. A planet, ( I still consider it so) of secrets and radical change. Pluto rules death and rebirth, power, psychic abilities, and the ability to destroy oneself… or others.

Stay tuned 💀🌺🍂

John Barleycorn Must Die! An Old English Folktale 🌾

John Barleycorn must die! sung here by the pagan band Willow’s Drum. An old British folk song believed to date back to Queen Elisabeth the 1st reign, possibly earlier. This version, although not the first and surley not the last, is the one most remembered to date. By Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1782:

There was three kings unto the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die. 

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead. 

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all. 

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he bagan to fail. 

His colour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage. 

They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie. 

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim;
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him further woe;
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro. 

They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones. 

And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound. 

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise. 

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye. 

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

The ballet depicts the suffering and indignities John Barleycorn faces each fall, how he suffers attacks and lashes from sharp knives, cutting him to the knee, finally ending in his death. A death that corresponds to the stages of barley’s cultivation, as in the reaping and matting of the grain. A death of suffering and resurrection to celebrate the rejuvinating as well as intoxifying effects in the drinking of John Barleycorn’s blood.

From a pagan point of view John Barleycorn represents the cycles of nature, spirits of both plant and drink, entwined together within the fall harvest. A time to reap what one has sown, and a time to celebrate John Barleycorn’s death, by the brewing of barley into beer, and whiskey. A cyclic nature of celebration, one of planting growing harvesting, and finally death. A working relationship with the gods of vegetation, who where then sacrificed in order to bring abundance and fertility to the lands. 

The symbolism of John Barleycorn and his death can also be seen in the movie The Wicker Man. Throughout both versions of the movie showing the offering of death for rebirth, and the offerings of spiritual libations to the deties of the grains, and the sun. From Anglo-saxon paganism the deity Beowa has a connection to John Barleycorn as well, the name meaning barley, a correlation between the threshing of the grain, barley, and agriculture.

Barley and mankind go back quite a few moons. It’s uses for food drink and medicine, dating back over 12,000 years. Barley medicinally is used for the lowering of blood pressure, one’s blood sugar, an aid for digestive complaints, and inflammatory conditions. The oldest of the Seven Sacred Grains, and is thought to be a gentle nuturing plant spirit. Stimulating the Heart Chakra, being utilized to ease one’s emotional burdens by transforming dark negitive feelings into lighter more uplifting ones, before the time of darkness arrives. The baking of breads in John Barleycorn’s likeness, or often shaped as the sun, being made for the celebrations of the harvest, and Mabon. 

So celebrate the death of John Barleycorn, offer libations of whiskey to the gods of the grains, try my favorite medieval barley and honey bread recipe and say farewell to our warm and golden days…

New item added to the shop… The Lovers Poppets ✨❤️✨

Sooo today being a day of Venus and lovers, I bring you another new listing at the shop… The Lovers Poppets ❤️

“We loved with a love that was more than love”….
Edgar Allan Poe

Ahhh love… many a witches spell has been cast for love, and these wax poppets are the classic lovers. Man & woman candle figures, that double as poppets for lover’s spells.

To start with I added all natural crushed mica crystals to the wax, an aid to divinations, and what gives these poppets their rosy glow. To this I added some Dragon’s blood,🩸 A resin used for it’s element of Fire, achieving one’s passions, and to boost your magickal workings.

Powdered Adam and Eve’s root, a root used by lovers to keep your lover true to you, and discourage rivals. Adam and Eve root also brings attraction, bringing your lover to you…

The second and darker poppet version is to end a love, and has an icy appearance in comparison to the lovers. That’s because I freeze the dark poppets to chill off any warm feelings they may have for each other.

A bit of crow feather ash is added to aid crone magick, and a bit of the Devil’s trumpet to bring about the dark side of Venus and Saturn 🪐 magick.
These poppets have been rubbed in essential oils to aid their purpose and where created under the full moon for a full blown love, and the dark moon to end things…🖤💀

❤️ ✨Lovers Poppets

New incense blend added to the shop… Plant Spirits 🌿✨

Greetings all, here is one of my new incense blends… Plant spirits 🌿✨

As many of you know I’ve been growing herbs since I was a teenager, learning their individual ways, needs, strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. But you see what I realized was understanding them was not working with them. Caring for and working with are two different worlds, so I decided to change that. I began my idea to make a blend that reaches out to them spiritually, as I do a alraun, (another form of plant spirit). So I began with one of my favorites and a moon tree the willow. You see a infusion of willow branches can be used to soak seeds in to get them to germinate, an opening per say, a way in… to that I added assorted roots, a bit of Pluto energy, from death to rebirth, and to bring communication from spirits. After that I just took off, almost as if in a dance, saying “oh a bit of this and I know… some of that” adding them to the wooden bowl as they came to mind. I added moon flowers and herbs from my moon garden, foraged comfier resins and plants from my woods and before I knew it I had my blend…

🌿✨ Use this blend to connect with and appease the plant spirits.

🌿 Plant spirits incense

The Fires, Flora and Folklore of the Summer Solstice

Summer solstice or Midsummer, the longest day of the year. The mighty Oak King rules the wood by day, the Holly King resides by night, and within a summer sunset, the descent into darkness begins again…

For ancient cultures a time of protection rituals, purification, foraging, and communing with the land and forest spirits. Foraging was of major import, as the Druids believed that the herbs and plants they worked with were at their utmost in potency and magickal abilities. Garlands of flowers and herbs were weaved and then worn to ward off evil spirits and keep them at bay. Dew collected on a Midsummer’s Eve was said to cure blindness, and retore youth.

The bonfires…

Lighting bonfires was another Summer solstice tradition thought to bless the people, their land, and animals. A way of purification, burning away the darker things … The town folk would build a bonfire on the solstice referred to as “setting the watch” to keep evil spirits at bay. Some would then carry a torch from the fire and start a fire on their own land, folks going from one bonfire to another, lighting up fires of purity and protection. These fires were also lit to enhance the sun’s energy and light, assuring an abundant harvest come fall. Scared herbs were often burned in these bonfires to add to the fire’s potency.

Flora of the Summer Solstice

Ferns

Thought to flower and seed only once a year, and could only be seen at the solstice. European folklore told that the forest ferns would bloom for a few brief moments on midsummer eve, bringing good fortune and abundance, and the ability of animal speech. Ferns lend aid to mental clarity, purification, and dispelling negativity. Used in amulets for strong auric protection.

St. John’s Wort  

Also known as Goat Weed, Herba John, and Chase Devil. A dream herb, placed under one’s pillow to induce visions. Burn this herb to protect the home from lighting, fire, and evil spirits. St. John’s wort is known to protect from all forms of malicious witchcraft as well.

Mugwort

Mugwort, aka Sailor’s Tobacco, Artemisia, or Felon Herb is a magickal plant indeed. Bringing about the moon maiden aspect, and increasing lust and fertility to this sun celebration. Mugwort is perfection as a Dreamstate tea to bring about prophetic dreams, used on the Summer solstice this herb unveils the shrouded mysteries normally hidden by shorter days…

Lavender

Elf Leaf or Lavender buds are a traditional Midsummer plant, bringing about zen and tranquility to the home when tossed into the fire. Believed to preserve chastity when entwined with rosemary, this plant also has a maiden aspect. Used in love, healing, and protection spells, a sprig of lavender will bring about the fae.

Mullein

Hare’s Beard, Velvet Plant, and Hag Sticks, are a definite plant of the Summer solstice, the tall stalks were dipped in animal fats and lit as candles to work within the woods or to light the way to the crossroads, hence the name… Burned in Midsummer bonfires for protection, as mullein has connections to spirits. The ashes would be gathered and made into amulets or ointments, used for protection and healing charms throughout the year.

When the bonfires die…

Use the ashes of said herbs and plants to make a protective amulet, or spread them onto the garden to bring about a bountiful harvest. Work with Lugh for his role as a harvest deity.

Have a magickal Summer Solstice! ✨🌞🌻✨

Night of Venus…

Good evening of Venus ❤️ magickal folk, I have just been trying to keep up lately! Whew! Such a busy 🐝 time for me. Of course it doesn’t help when I keep adding more irons to the fire,🔥 but that’s how I roll.

A night for lovers, but what I personally love is how Venus doesn’t necessarily divulge if those love spells or glamours are for good, orrr not so good. One might say down right dark wicked… 🖤💀✨

Venus is a bright star 🌟 indeed, reflecting so much light due to the planet’s dense atmosphere. Most solar energy gets reflected off this atmosphere, creating the spectacular light, and giving Venus her connections with gems and jewels.💎 Venus goes her own way, rotating widdershins from all the other planets. Indeed traveling her own and independent path, another reason to love her.🖤

Venus rules two signs, Taurus ♉️ and Libra.♎️ In Taurus she is an earth goddess, physical pleasure, the body, sensuality. Taurus is associated with resources and money, and Venus can be used in such magickal endeavors.
In Libra she be the goddess of art, relationships, justice ⚖️ and balance.

Work with Venus for spells to find a lover, let that be for a relationship or just a fling. Do spells for self love and healing. Venus rules the heart chakra and throat chakra, heals a broken 💔 heart, or can mend and strengthen relationships. The power of attraction is a serious Venus thing…for example a Lodestone, a natural magnetic stone is a true stone of Venus.

Venus energy helps finish things and projects, that final push to complete one’s goals. So use the power of Venus to attract, and add more energy by working on spells during a waxing moon. ✨🌖✨To use this planet and moon phase together… is but an advantage.

If banishing be your spell, (remember… Venus can most certainly be dark or negative as well,) such as banishing the pain of a broken heart,💔 (Venus heals,) then a waning moon be more appropriate.🌔✨

Venus vibes are fabulous for quick money magick as well. Green is the color of Venus, money, 💴 and the majority of vegetation.🍃 So think food, money matters, materialistic things, job, etc.

Venus stones : 💎
Amber, Aventurine, Azurite, Calcite, Blue Calcite, Green Calcite, Pink Calcite, Cat’s Eye, Chrysocolla, Chysoprase, Emerald, Hexagonite, Jade, Green Jasper, Kunzite, Kyanite, Lapis Lazuli, Loadstone, Malachite, Peridot, Rose Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Rhodonite, Serpentine, Blue Sodalite, Tourmaline, Turquoise, Variscite

Venus flora : 🍃
Adam and Eve Root, African Violet, Alder, Alfalfa, Almond, Angelica, Apple, Apricot, Ash, Avocado, Balm of Gilead, Banana, Bay, Bedstraw, Bean, Beets, Bergamot, Bleeding Heart, Blood Root, Boneset, Catnip, Celery, Cherry, Chickpea, Red Clover, Cocoa, Coltsfoot, Columbine, Cosmos, Crocus, Cuckoo-Flower, Cumin, Cypress, Daffodil, Daisies, Damiana, Dittany, Elder, Fern, Foxglove, Gardenia, Geranium, Goldenrod, Goldenseal, Gooseberry, Heart’s Ease, Heather, Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Horehound, Hyacinth, Hydrangeas, Jade Tree, Jasmine, Jewelweed, Juniper, Kava-Kava, Ladies’ Mantle, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lentil, Lily of the Valley, Lime, Lovage, Lungwort, Marshmallow, Meadowsweet, Moneywort, Motherwort, Orchid, Oregano, Orris Root, Pansy, Parsley, Passion Flower, Passion Fruit, Pear, Pennyroyal, Peony, Peppermint, Periwinkle, Plum, Poppy, Primrose, Radish, Ragweed, Raspberry, Rice, Rose, Sarsaparilla, Self-Heal, Silverweed, Slippery Elm, Spearmint, Star Anise, Strawberry, Sweet pea, Sycamore, Tansy, Thyme, Tulips, Vanilla, Vervain, Vetivert, Violet, Walnut, Watermelon, Wheat, Woodruff, Yarrow Enjoy! ✨💜🔮✨

Anniversary for Deep Within the Hollow 🌿

Magick and me go way back. I’ve been fascinated and connected to it most of my life. Some folks don’t believe in magick, others pretend with it, but for me it has always been a true part of who I am. I’ve spent years hiding it, just like smoking pot it became something I didn’t let people see or talk about. Like Stevie Nicks so famously said “I keep my visions to myself.” But after I made the move to the woods things slowly began to change.

Slowly but surely I became more of who I truly am, and more and more reclusive to these woods. Around five years ago I was in a terrible place, dealing with some wicked sadness and depression. So to get out of it I decided I was going to get busy, take a chance, and open a shop for witches. To help others experience the possibilities of magick… and Deep Within the Hollow was born.

Four years later and here I am, totally removed from society and most people, full of witchy sigil tattoos, looking and being who I really am. For I be the witch of the wood.. and for that I am so blessed.

Thank you all for your support and patronage, four years now and going strong. I hope I am able to continue creating magickal items for you all for many more years to come, and in doing so bring you all a bit of the magick I so love.

Forest blessings ✨🌲🌲🌲✨ Raven