Wildcrafted Yule Tree Ornaments – Painted Wood, Wreaths, Awens, and Pentacles

The Druid's Garden

As the Winter Solstice is coming up quickly and the tree just went up this past week, I’ve been busy in my art studio and out on the land looking for great things to add to the Yule tree.  As a druid who is deeply concerned about the amount of plastic and “throw away‘ quick purchase items, like cheap plastic ornaments, I didn’t want to buy any ornaments for the tree, but rather, to make them from wildcrafted materials. So today, I wanted to share two simple ways to make nice ornaments for a Yule tree from natural materials and simple tools.

Handmade Stag and Pentacle Tree Topper with Handmade Ornaments Handmade Stag and Pentacle Tree Topper with Handmade Ornaments

Painted or Burned Wooden Round Ornaments

One simple method for creating ornaments is a painted or woodburned wood rounds. These are simple slices of wood that you can decorate in a variety of ways–painting them, burning…

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Druid Gratitude Practices – Nature Shrines and Offerings

The Druid's Garden

Black Raspberry in fruit Black Raspberry in fruit

Every year, I look forward to the black raspberries that grow all throughout the fields and wild places where I live. These black raspberries are incredibly flavorful with with crunchy seeds. They have never been commercialized, meaning no company has grown them for profit. You cannot buy them in the store. You can only wait for late June and watch them ripen and invest the energy in picking. Each year, the black raspberries and so many other fruits, nuts, and wild foods are a gift from the land, the land that offers such abundance.  If I would purchase such berries in a store, my relationship with those berries would be fairly instrumental–I pay for them, they become part of a transaction, and then I eat them. There is no heart in such a transaction.  But because these berries can’t be bought or sold, when I pick…

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Spirit Evocation

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

For those spirits who don’t appear spontaneously there is the route of evocation, which basically means calling upon a certain spirit (or group of spirits) to appear to the medium. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the spontaneous and evocation routes. For instance, with spontaneous manifestations we are at more of a risk for inviting in a deceptive spirit, but that isn’t always the case and spontaneous manifestations shouldn’t be thrown out altogether. No, the main reason early Spiritists encouraged the use of evocation is to limit our communication to only those spirits we know will provide useful information. As Allan Kardec put it; it’s like having an assembly of people gathered together where anyone, at any time, can speak their mind, versus having a specific individual there to deliver a certain message. In the room full of people you might get a wise scholar, or you might get…

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Spirit Obsession

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Relationships between mortals and spirits can be viewed in a positive or negative light. Sometimes when we encounter spirits the information given (and the experience in general) is enlightening and helpful. Other times we encounter spirits who just want to joke around, or who pose as well-meaning characters as a sort of trick. Identifying spirits of this type will be talked about at a later time. For this post I’d like to look at those negative interactions with spirits, or what people have historically called “hauntings” or “demonic possession”.

In the light of Spiritism there are no demonic possessions, and there aren’t really even demons, in fact. There are only higher and lower order spirits. These can be viewed as “good” or “evil” but I tend to view them on the “ignorant” and “altruistic” spectrum instead. In Spiritism we don’t use the word “possession” because we believe that a person’s…

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BUILD YOUR OWN ALTAR Using These CEREMONIAL HERBS

Good Witches Homestead

Day of the Dead: Ritual and Ceremony 

Little is firmly known about the particulars of today’s holiday since the limited sources available are either folkloric literature like the Celtic sagas or Roman authors who would have likely “trashed” the traditions of a culture with which they were often in conflict.

Although, you can kind of imagine what really went on back then. Different cultures around the world gathered in a ceremony to honor their ancestors on and around November 1st. This sacred day was often known as a cosmic aperture, where the veils get thin, and the souls from “the other side” can contact us with more ease. There’s plenty of written experiences where people have encounters with spirits or ancestral anecdotes from all over the world regarding the ceremonial processing of these mystical energies. Samhain, for example, is very well known as its a three day ancient Celtic pagan festival…

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Hauntings According to Spiritism

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

First things first, in Spiritism we really hesitate to call places “haunted”. As a philosophy it has always sought to create calm, rational adherents, who are able to approach the spirit world with peace of mind rather than fear. One of the big questions that came up for budding Spiritists early on was that of haunted places, and whether we should be afraid of such locations. Allan Kardec in The Mediums’ Book encourages readers to rationally think through what exactly goes into a haunting. What is present? How is it affecting you or the family who lives in the place? And how are you able to help resolve the issue? There are many approaches to hauntings that we can look at through the lens of Spiritism, but below are just a few mentioned in detail in chapter nine of The Mediums’ Book.

What Creates a Haunting?

A haunting usually…

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The Goal of Spiritism

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

What’s the goal of Spiritism as a philosophy? It might be an odd question, but it was certainly one on the minds of the early Spiritists like Allan Kardec. As a both a philosophical movement and “science” (as the early members would come to call it) Spiritism sought to ultimately prove the existence of an afterlife to those who might not believe, or redefine the definition of the afterlife for those still held in the grip of overbearing religious traditions. Most of these proofs came in the form of seances where mediums would channel certain spirits in order for the assembled group to gain some sort of new knowledge from the session. Much of this knowledge consisted of details and assurances about the afterlife, the role of spirits, the purpose of life, etc. Occasionally, as with the many channeled passages found in Kardec’s works, these spirits might also provide essential…

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Spiritism vs Spiritualism

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

One of the first things that always comes up when I start talking about Spiritism is the question, “Is that the same thing as Spiritualism?” A lot of folks have heard about the latter, mostly through media portrayals of spirit mediums, and possibly the stories connected to greats like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, both of whom had extensive interaction with Spiritualist mediums. But not a lot of people have ever come into contact with Spiritism, unless of course you are from esoteric communities in South America, which has held the largest population of Spiritists since the birth of the movement in the latter part of the 19th century. In that case you’ve probably heard of Espiritismo, which will be talked about in greater detail in a later post as it has taken on some other, more unique forms. For now, I’d like to talk about some…

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What is Spiritism?

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

As the first post in my new series called The Ozark Spiritist I thought I would take some time to talk about the basics of Spiritism and why I’m writing this series. This information can also be found on my website.

“The line of march of all spirits is always progressive, never retrograde. They raise themselves gradually in the hierarchy of existence they never descend from the rank at which they have once arrived. In the course of their different corporeal existences they may descend in rank as men, but not as spirits. Thus, the soul of one who has been at the pinnacle of earthly power may, in a subsequent incarnation, animate the humblest day-laborer, and vice versa; for the elevation of ranks among men is often in the inverse ratio of that of the moral sentiments.” ~Allan Kardec

This is one of my favorite quotes from Allan…

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Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: Nutty, Sweet & Nutritious — Gather Victoria

This moist, dense and gooey Sticky Toffee Acorn Cake was made from acorns harvested from my neighbourhood. And despite the nearly full day it took to create (from harvesting, shelling, leaching, roasting and grinding – to the actual baking) it was well worth the effort! It took first prize in a most wonderful old-fashioned community harvest…

via Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: Nutty, Sweet & Nutritious — Gather Victoria