Altar to Brigit


I am in the process of making an altar to Brigit. I confess that what is holding me back is that I am broke, but hopefully I will get things together and buy what I need next month.

An altar to a deity is so that you can connect more with that deity; also it will hopefully aid focus when I am flametending.

So, what am I going to put on it? A candle is a must. Not only to connect to any entity, but because Brigit is a goddess connected with fire. I am going to leave any other elements out. While the Celts had their own elements of water, air and earth none of them seem to be particularly connected to Brigit.

The altar cloth will be green and I have an LED candle already consecrated to Brigit. I always change the colour to green as it starts off white. A bowl to put offerings and healing requests is needed, but I can get one from a charity shop and consecrate it.

Brigit has various animals connected with her; I will buy some toy animals from a children’s toy shop and consecrate those.

It seems a pretty bare altar; most of the pictures of those you see on the net are stuffed with all sorts of artifacts. If anything occurs to me to put on the altar or Brigit asks for it, then I will add to it but I am not going to put crystals on it just because someone has done some hard work working out what deities are associated with which crystals when Brigit is not connected with crystals or the earth in particular.

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Candles


A lit candle makes a connection to an entity, whether it be the ancestors, spirits or a deity.

Either the candle being dedicated to the entity you want to connect to or a photograph will help matters.

So not a Witch’s Garden


When we were looking for a house to live in, one of the few stipulations I made was that it had to have a decent garden. Luckily, we did not end up with the huge garden I wanted, as it’s difficult enough to manage the small garden we have.

To start with, the garden was covered in either ivy or bluebells. If I had known what I had known now, I would have napalmed the lot. Whatever you do, do not plant bluebells in your garden. They are a devil to remove and I’m still trying to kill the blighters after seven years of gardening. I cut all the ivy down and have a wand with a diameter of an inch as a result. I kept quite a few other pieces, but unfortunately those were stored in the garden shed, something got in and made holes in them, so I lost the lot. I now store wood in the garage to cure.

The garden and lawn has suffered from my ignorance. When I was growing up my parents had just let the lawn be, but the soil in my current garden is clay so we are prone to moss and I knew nothing of drainage holes and still know little of weeding the lawn. I have nearly banished all the moss and this year’s lawn project is to buy edging and use it to mark a border, as one of the side borders is merging with the lawn. I did previously use a spade to mark the border, but since the lawn is so poor this did not work and I think I need edging to make a permanent border edge.

I had done some gardening before, but stopped in my teens after the gladioli incident. I had grown them from seed and they were growing marvellously and flowering well until my parents insisted on putting grass cuttings around them for mulch, which killed them. I was terribly upset and did not garden again until I moved into my current home.

I did not know about soil types or shade as my parents’ attitude is “just put it in anywhere, it will survive” and I found out through a lot of trial and error that this advice just doesn’t work. I no longer take gardening advice from my parents.

Since the garden has clay soil a lot of herbs will not grow, as most need dry conditions. I did plant heartsease, thinking it would have a lot of uses but I never did use it and one year it failed to come up again. I could plant herbs in containers, but I currently have four, which are proving hard enough to deal with as it is. For example, I had not realised that even when it is raining sometimes the rain doesn’t reach the soil in the container until my penstemons failed to flower.

My garden is at the moment suffering from neglect through illness (I’m currently recovering from a bout of ‘flu and am off physical work until better) and having a toddler to work around. I’m hoping to do a lot more this year as he’s now napping for around two hours an afternoon, but it’s possible that he may drop naps altogether and I’ll be stuffed.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the witchy garden I dreamed of, but I seem to use wood in my spells instead and have a local wood five minutes away from me.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

The Reality of Paganism and Witchcraft


When you decide to become a pagan and/or witch, you imagine it to be a wondrous world filled with magical things where you can wave a wand and make all your troubles go away.

The reality is that you just inherit another set of tools to deal with problems. You can see what the problem is by reading the tarot cards or look into the future to see if your spell will work. This depends on how good the reader is and unfortunately I am not that good a reader.

You may not use the tools in the right way. Using the tarot cards to make decisions for example, or there are times I have not asked the correct question.

You could curse a hated enemy, but the curse may not remove the problem or (for example) if you have cursed the enemy with digestive problems then they may take their discomfort out on you.

Then there’s the fact that spells take hard work. First, you have to sort out what you’re going to do and use. Then, do the divination to see the outcome of the spell. Third, repeat the first two steps till you get it right.

There’s also all the research and the reading and learning to do. There’s interacting with deities and the mistakes you make along the way, suffer because of them and have to put them right.

It’s fools like Silver Ravenwolf who write that you can become a witch by reading one book. I prefer Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax who says “I’m just learning every day”.

Hello Again


Apologies for the enforced absence; we had computer problems as the router slowly died of old age and we decided to change providers and get a new router for free.

This took a while and during that time I celebrated the Winter Equinox by wassailing the guardian trees of my neighbourhood. I am sad to say that the one which was my estate’s has been cut down. However, another one has taken its place.

January saw me do my usual clearout; I went through all my documents, letters and files on the computer and stored on CDs. I also cleared out my mobile phone of numbers I hadn’t used for a long time.

I was going to celebrate Imbolc, but my son was sick that day and even though he napped as usual in the afternoon I did not want to be doing a ritual and worrying that he would wake up and throw up in the middle of it. I felt I couldn’t give the proper attention necessary for that ritual, so nixed it.

I did renew my house protections and made a new Brigid’s cross to put over the house door. The old one goes up in the attic to protect from fire and lightning.

Fallow Period


Unfortunately I have not being doing much of anything for the last few weeks (apart from what was detailed in last week’s blog) as my son has seen fit to give me three hours’ sleep a night, except for two nights when he gave me five.

He has spent a lot of the time when I was awake sleeping on the sofa and yelling because of his teeth at various intervals.

Cursed Places


There have always been places that are cursed : trees which the locals go past at a run, rivers that are known to take a life.

There’s a bridge over the railway line that I used to walk through twice a day. I have never seen it with graffiti on and there have been a number of nasty incidents, including one where a mentally ill woman set herself on fire in the toilet of the train she was travelling in as it was coming into my town and unfortunately died.

I have been advised to do a cleansing, but will have to do my tarot reading beforehand to see what exactly the problem is, as I have never dealt with anything such as this, but do not want incidents such as the above to happen in my town.

Hallowe’en Market


Last Sunday I went to the Hallowe’en market run by The Raven and Broomstick occult shop in Peacock Mews, Leighton Buzzard.

The market was a delight. There were many craft stalls of which the owners had obviously put hard work and many hours into their wares. There were also a few of which the wares were just a piece of wood with some crystals stuck into. Caveat Emptor.

The Raven and Broomstick itself has many wares : herbs, wands, skulls, the usual books and much more. I purchased a box for my tarot cards and while the carving on the box was not the best I had seen, I have been struggling to find a box for my tarot cards for years as the cardboard containing the pack is fast crumbling.

All in all, an enjoyable hour spent and I highly recommend taking a look at The Raven and Broomstick if you find yourself in Leighton Buzzard.

As for Samhain, I am writing this while suffering from the tail end of a stomach bug and while my appetite is back to normal I am still feeling tired and cold, so unfortunately it is a non-starter this year.

Irish Witchcraft


For some years I have been trying to find a strain of witchcraft that is particularly Irish and so far I have failed.

I feel it is time to drop this search and concentrate on doing witchcraft. This is because while such a search usually has benefits because you find out other things while trying to find your goal, this one has not borne any fruit, so it is time to concentrate on other things.

I have not totally given up and may resume the search at some time. If I am meant to find it, the deities will guide my steps. It may be that another is destined to find it and I am not.

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