Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fNso4Cq4XspmaMqDOmmLNZVaAvtba5aF

Being caught between two positions is not easy. It can literally suck the life out of you. Life is full of tough decisions and sometimes it’s hard to know which way to turn, which fork in the road to choose. Do I go this way, or do I go that? The answer lies in uniting your head with your heart, writing down the pros and cons, and taking your time, if necessary. Once you do that things will become much clearer and easier.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The Hide Tarot @hide.tarot 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1TptaVXrLAn_gO7SIhpm1zGNSh3jIt88B

You are entering a happy period of growth and abundance; the seeds you have sown will blossom and come to life, pushing you forwards in your development. Embrace this fertile time, take up every opportunity that is offered your way, and be sure to take a moment to recognise your achievements. Bask in the joy, reap what you have sown, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: Angels & Ancestors Oracle 

Monday, 29 March 2021

The Wicker Man

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1F9V7OdCrDeWYq_0HSPm3ycthWrTiLYSI

Usually around this time of year we’re gearing up for our annual trip down to Hampshire (my birthplace) for the Beltane celebration at Buster Ancient Farm, where a Wicker Man is burned to celebrate the first stirrings of summer. Each year they have a different Wicker Man; the one shown here was to reflect the one in the 1973 film The Wicker Man, and I had a great time climbing up the ladder and getting in it!

Wicker Men are giant effigies supposedly used by the Druids to perform a human sacrifice, to pay homage to the gods in some way.

In Book VI of his Commentary on the Gallic War, Gaius Julius Caesar writes of the sacrificial rituals of the Gauls. The main evidence for this practice is just one sentence:

"The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious rites; and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe diseases and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man, the mind of the immortal gods cannot be rendered propitious, and they have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the flames.”

Modern archaeological research has yielded evidence that human sacrifice was practised among the Iron Age tribes of Europe, but scholars are not sure whether to believe Caesar’s claims, as these deaths predate the Roman era.

Historians are not sure if Caesar was reporting an established tradition, what he’d heard from others (for example Posidonius of Rhodes), or if he was simply telling a story he had embellished, for self-promotion or as propaganda.

They also can’t be certain if these practices, if they did exist, were used for human sacrifice in Iron Age Britain, as there’s no evidence for it, despite the popular myth.

Have you ever been to a pagan celebration or an event with a Wicker Man?

Friday, 26 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

Sacred Circle Tarot card Strength showing a badger and surrounded by witchy charms


Inside all of us is a warrior. Inside all of us there is an immeasurable amount of strength, power and determination, ready to be tapped in to. When things get tough trust this inner strength; take a deep breath, and remember that you can overcome or achieve absolutely anything you set your mind to.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The Sacred Circle Tarot

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The Cemetery Witch Online Store Coming Soon!

The Cemetery Witch Original Incense shown burning surrounded by metaphysical objects

This week’s challenge for #witchwithme over on Instagram is “Potions, Recipes & Spells” - so I’m sharing a jar of my very own handcrafted, hand-blended incense made here on the cemetery.

Just over a year ago I came up with the the idea of opening my own shop and Patreon, and I have been planning both, which is why it has been taking so long - and why I e been so quiet! I’m pleased to say that I’m finally entering the final stages now - taking photographs, creating inventories and building the website.

There will be incense, spell candles, spell kits, herb kits, and other witchy supplies.

I’m very nervous! I’m such a perfectionist that I’m driving myself a little bit nuts with the photography and all the little details, but I hope to be able to bring you another update very soon.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Today’s Tarot Reading

The Cemetery Witch daily tarot card reading showing The Hermit card

The Hermit is an invitation to retreat; to travel deep into the recesses of your spirit and soul, to find the answers you seek. The answers are deep within you; some quiet time away from the noise and distraction of everyday life for reflection and introspection is all that you need to draw them out. Trust that the wisdom is within you, trust your experience, trust your inner voice.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The After Tarot

Monday, 22 March 2021

Witch With Books - Sunday Witchstack!

The Cemetery Witch book stack for Witch With Books showing a selection of herbal books

My Witchstack Sunday for @witch.with.books #witchwithbooks - just some of my favourite herbal books:

ðŸŒŋ Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham 
ðŸŠī Culpeper’s Complete Herbal 
ðŸŒģ The Hedgerow Handbook by Adele Nozedar
ðŸŒą The Green Witch by Arun. Irony-Hiscock
🎍 Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham 
ðŸŒē Herbal Remedies by Anne McIntyre 
☘️ Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs 
🍃 The Likely Herbarium by Kate @likelytale.witch

What are your favourite herbal books? Do you have any of the ones in this stack?


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Aromafume Incense Brick Burner Review

Aromafume brick incense burner situated next to two mortar and pestles alongside some herbs

I’m really grateful to the guys at Aromafume for sending me this incense brick burner and Nag Champa incense - thank you.

I’ve never tried an incense brick burner before as I usually burn hand-blended incense I’ve made myself, or joss sticks. I have to say I was really delighted with it, and so was my husband, and we’ll continue using it.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mJIRSMo2hyq0TfC0GLpikDJ3t4K0LSJ6

The incense brick goes on top, and a tealight goes inside the burner. The burner itself is only small, but to be honest, it doesn’t really need to be any bigger. This makes it really convenient for putting it just about anywhere. This one has a gorgeous Tree of Life punched out of the metal, which lights up when the candle is lit, and the whole thing sits on a lovely wooden base.

The idea of this burner is smokeless incense, which is really ingenious! This would be absolutely perfect for meditation, yoga, therapy sessions or classes, when you’d like to scent the room with incense, but don’t want to breathe in smoke, or don’t want to worry about smoke bothering others. I wish I’d had this burner when I had my holistic therapy clinic.

The instructions say that each incense brick lasts for 1 hour, but they actually burn for much longer, more like two to three hours if you turn them over. There is no ash to clean up or dispose of, the brick goes neatly in the bin, which is fantastic, and the aroma lingers for ages, which I’m really impressed with.

I went on to Aromafume’s website and they’re a Fair Trade-focused company which does not test on animals, does not involve animal testing in any of their processes, and they’re committed to not harming the environment with their products or manufacturing processes.

We have used one box of bricks already and will need to purchase some more soon.

We really loved this, thank you Aromafume!

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Monday, 15 March 2021

Door Knocker Folklore

Intense looking green man door knocker situated on the black door of the Covenstead, Glastonbury

This fabulous door knocker is found on the door of The Covenstead Witchcraft B&B in Glastonbury, where we stayed last September. Isn’t he delightful?

Apparently door knockers are found in England more than any other place. The door knocker at Durham Cathedral, dating from the 11th century, is very special. As far back as 740, the Bishop of Lindisfarne offered sanctuary to any criminal who could reach the White Church (later Durham Cathedral) and strike the knocker.

Heavy door knockers have been a way for people to announce their presence from around the 16th century, but they have also had another use; they are seen as guardians to the home. The lion’s head design has been very popular, it is a symbol of Great Britain, and it symbolises strength, pride, nobility, valour and protection. It is also said that lions are a symbol of the Sun. Lion’s head knockers were popular in America until Eagles overtook them.

Gargoyles and other scary faces have also been used, such as the one shown, to scare away those who would bring trouble to a door. Palm-shaped knockers are also popular, it is thought that they originate from the Hand of Fatima, a palm-shaped amulet used to protected the bearer from the evil eye.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

The Eye Tarot card traditionally the Five of Pentacles by the Hide Tarot surrounded by runes

Previously we had the Four of Pentacles, asking us to examine our relationship with money. This card highlights the fact that we might have a lack mindset, or as a result of financial loss or hardship might be moving towards developing one. Often we ended up sabotaging our ability to create abundance, financial or otherwise, because we’re so focused on what we don’t have, that we don’t see what we DO have. If that’s the case it’s a good idea to start a daily gratitude list; writing down everything we are happy with, or grateful for. Pretty soon the blessings will stack up, and the stagnant energy blocking us from moving forwards, or attracting more, will shift.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The Hide Tarot @hide.tarot 

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

The Modern Green Witch...

Ornate doorway from a church in Rutland, England

“The modern green witch in the urban setting can sometimes feel lost. Visit your city parks or public gardens to find a place that feels comfortable and calm to you, a place where you can achieve reconnection and rebalancing.”

Taken from The Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs shown with some rosemary

I’m sharing another Scott Cunningham book which I think is crucial for any witchy bookshelf: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.

This is a classic, and for good reason! Cunningham provides detailed magickal information for many plants and herbs, including ritual use and magickal use, alongside an illustration of each plant.

There is lots of helpful information on spells and procedures surrounding herbs, for example enchanting herbs; and at the back of the book there are correspondence lists for plant gender, elemental rulers, folk names, planetary rulers, and the magickal properties of oils.

This is such a helpful and comprehensive book.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch


Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham

Cunningham's Magical Aromatherapy book surrounded by herbs and a mortar and pestle

I’m sharing Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham, which has a foreword by Robert Tisserand.

This is a fantastic book which merges Aromatherapy with magickal practice. It has lots of useful lists at the back, for example affinities of essential oils with crystals, aromas of the elements, and many more magickal correspondences.

As a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist and Witch I was overjoyed to find this. Robert Tisserand is the founder of the Tisserand Institute, the leading organisation of research and education in the art and practice of Aromatherapy. To find a book by one of my favourite magickal authors and endorsed by one of the world’s leading experts is very special indeed.

I wholeheartedly support the use of essential oils for their many wonderful benefits, but essential oils can also be dangerous if not used properly, especially when used therapeutically.

ðŸŒļ Using Essential Oils Safely ðŸŒļ

💚 If anointing candles please dilute essential oils in a carrier oil before use. Dilution should always be 2% or less.

💚 Never use oils neat on the skin. Lavender and Tea Tree oil are exceptions, but can still cause skin irritation.

💚 Never ingest essential oils unless being directed to do so by a qualified aromatherapist, herbalist or naturopath. Oils that are safe used topically can be toxic, or even deadly, when ingested.

💚 With the exception of Lavender oil, avoid essential oil use in pregnancy (unless being directed by a Clinical Aromatherapist).

💚 Never use essential oils with children or babies (unless being directed by a Clinical Aromatherapist).

💚 If diffusing essential oils do so away from pets. Whilst many oils are safe, many are toxic or deadly to domestic animals.

💚 Never give out essential oil advice unless you are a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist, and always seek professional advice if looking to use essential oils therapeutically. Essential oils have the ability to lower/higher blood pressure, trigger epilepsy, asthma, and depressive episodes; and they can be fetotoxic or phototoxic.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch


Sunday, 7 March 2021

How To Use a Crystal Ball

A crystal ball shown in the hands of a young girl wearing a green skirt and black top

A modern crystal ball is known as an orbuculum, and is made from glass or crystal. Early crystal gazers - or specularii - used a polished sphere of beryl, well known varieties including Emerald and Aquamarine.

Crystal gazing was commonly practised by the people of Yucatan, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Incas, to name but a few.

The mythical Merlin supposedly carried a beryl sphere to provide King Arthur with readings whenever he needed them.

Crystal gazing, crystal seeing, crystallism, crystallomancy, gastromancy, and spheromancy are all terms to describe the method of ‘seeing’ by gazing at a crystal, which is a form of Scrying.

✨How To Use a Crystal Ball ✨

ðŸ”Ū Place about 10 inches away. A dimly lit, candle lit room works well.
ðŸ”Ū Before attempting to scry, take some time to centre yourself and to connect in with the task ahead. You can ask for protection from your ancestors or spirit guides. Now is also a good time to set the intention that you will only be shown the truth by the ball.
ðŸ”Ū When you feel ready, gaze into the ball. You can touch it as you fix your gaze; whatever works or “feels” best to you.
ðŸ”Ū Make sure to record what you experienced. This could be pictures or images seen in the ball, or it could be mental visions, thoughts and feelings.

Do you have a crystal ball? Are you good at it? I have to admit to being totally rubbish! What is your preferred method of scrying (or other form of divination)?

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

The Witch Tarot Card by the Hide Tarot with crystals and candles around it

This card is a reminder that it’s wise to examine our relationship with money from time to time. If you have been careless with money, or not made good decisions in the past, it’s time to put a plan in place and get your admin and affairs in order. It’s also possible that you have been so careful with money that you loathe to spend it, for fear of losing it altogether. Both situations have their pros and cons. As with most things, balance is the aim here.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The Hide Tarot @hide.tarot

Creating a Forest Altar

A path through some evergreen trees in a forest

Yesterday’s prompt for the @witch.with.me hashtag challenge was “Forests & Trees” and it got me thinking about the witchy things you can forage from the forest floor for use in spells and on altars:

ðŸŒŋ Acorns 
ðŸŒŋ Oak Galls 
ðŸŒŋ Pinecones
ðŸŒŋ Conkers 
ðŸŒŋ Feathers
ðŸŒŋ Ferns 
ðŸŒŋ Rowan berries 
ðŸŒŋ Leaves 
ðŸŒŋ Twigs
ðŸŒŋ Nuts 
ðŸŒŋ Antlers
ðŸŒŋ Bones 
ðŸŒŋ Fur
ðŸŒŋ Moss 
ðŸŒŋ Stones

Remember to always follow the Countryside Code - respect others, protect the natural environment, and enjoy the outdoors.

To create a Forest Altar add to your foraged items:
ðŸŒŋ Potted plants 
ðŸŒŋ Shades of green and brown 
ðŸŒŋ Deity statues, for example Herne the Hunter, Elen of the Ways 
ðŸŒŋ Altar cloth with forest/trees/leaves/mushroom print 
ðŸŒŋ Forest sounds - birds singing, wind blowing, rainforest, thunderstorms and rain
ðŸŒŋ Green, brown and cream candles 
ðŸŒŋ Table top fountain
ðŸŒŋ Wooden candle holders and incense holders 
ðŸŒŋ Green and brown crystals for example tiger’s eye and moss agate 
ðŸŒŋ Musky incense such as sandalwood or patchouli

Have I forgotten anything? If so let me know in the comments! And if you found this post helpful don’t forget to Save it in the folder for later.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1zWQc9429IEMfMX2inZcpoORauc9nmfxj

It takes a great deal of strength to see, accept, and work on one’s Shadow Side. We are all human; we all have less than favourable traits, but The Devil shows up to say “that’s ok”. He also asks what you’re going to do about them! In denying these traits within ourselves we avoid many positive opportunities for growth, change, acceptance, peace and creativity. We can waste energy fighting them, or denying such traits exist, or we can accept them and embrace them, making space to deal with them, and leaving time and energy for other things. The Devil says have compassion for yourself and all will be well.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

I Am Grounded...

A view of the chapels at Oakham Cemetery surrounded by mist

March.

I really feel like I’m waking up now, along with the Earth. Today I chose an affirmation which I’m going to use each day for the month ahead, and which I’m sharing for today’s Green Witchcraft prompt “Earth Element” over on @witch.with.me

“I AM GROUNDED.
My spirit is grounded deep in the earth. I am calm, strong, centred, and peaceful. I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am eternally safe. I am worthy of all things beautiful.”

~ Carly Marie

What do you do to feel grounded? What have you got planned for the month of March?

Rosemary

Fresh rosemary next to a bowl of dried rosemary and a mortar and pestle

Today’s prompt for the @witch.with.me hashtag challenge is “Essential Herbs” and first to mind is Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis).

Rosemary is a herb of cognition and mental power. Inhaling rosemary oil helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical important for cognition, concentration, and memory. In counteracting forgetfulness, boosting the memory, and helping concentration, it aids mental clarity.

Used as a funerary herb placed at the gravesite it reminds that the departed will never be forgotten, and used in bouquets or headdresses for weddings it reminds betrothed lovers that there is a timeless bond between them. We were given the gift of rosemary at our handfasting, bound with red ribbon.

Medicinally, rosemary stimulates the circulation, reduces stress, calms the nervous system and lifts the spirit, especially at a time of grief. Historically it has been used to cleanse the air in sick rooms, and in healing rituals.

ðŸŠīðŸŠī Rosemary Magickal Correspondences ðŸŠīðŸŠī

Rosemary Associations: 
ðŸŒŋ Love 
ðŸŒŋ Loyalty 
ðŸŒŋ Protection 
ðŸŒŋ Healing 
ðŸŒŋ Purification
ðŸŒŋ Youth 
ðŸŒŋ Memory and mental powers 
ðŸŒŋ Exorcism 
ðŸŒŋ Sleep

Gender:
ðŸŒŋ Masculine

Planet:
ðŸŒŋ The Sun

Element:
ðŸŒŋ Fire

Sacred to: 
ðŸŒŋ Venus 
ðŸŒŋ Aphrodite 
ðŸŒŋ Hebe 
ðŸŒŋ The Virgin Mary

Using Rosemary: 
ðŸŒŋ Grow it by the front door for protection 
ðŸŒŋ Place under pillow to help remember dreams 
ðŸŒŋ Stuff into healing poppets 
ðŸŒŋ Wear it when studying to improve memory 
ðŸŒŋ Add it to incense blends for home cleansing 
ðŸŒŋ Use in ritual baths
ðŸŒŋ Make herbal water for cleansing scared spaces 
ðŸŒŋ Use in spells related to memory or retaining youth

Note: Rosemary should not be used medicinally by pregnant women. Consult a qualified Herbalist/Clinical Aromatherapist when using herbs/essential oils medicinally, and never use essential oils neat on the skin.

What’s your favourite herb? Which herbs do you consider essential? Which herbs do you grow at home?