Tuesday is Herb Day – DANDELIONS!

There are still a few hours of Tuesday left, so let me rave on at you about dandelions for a bit.

I must be one of the few gardeners in Melbourne actively trying to increase the dandelion population in my garden, rather than attempting to eradicate them. For a long time my garden was, sadly, entirely dandelion free. Then, amazingly, under the thorny shadow of the climbing rose, a single exemplar of the being Taraxacum officinale appeared. I was delighted, checking on it regularly to see when it would flower (a slow process), and then, just as regularly, and even more eagerly, checking to see if the flower had turned into a puffball of seeds that would populate my already (maybe) overcrowded garden with more of its kind.

The puffball arrived. And THEN A POSSUM ATE IT.

However, a few days later, after listening to me whinge about the possums eating my long awaited dandelion puffball, Cath very sensibly just took a seedhead from the massive dandelion that was growing down the lane (that’s the one in the picture above) and blew the seeds all over the spot where I want them to grow. Now I have lots of dandelion seedlings popping up and I am content.

Just what is so good about dandelion?

You can eat the leaves, which are very bitter, especially as they get older, so the young ones are best in terms of palatabiltiy. They are still quite strong and may take a bit of getting used to (I’ll probably have a rant about why people should include more bitters in their diets at another time). I often pick a few to put in a salad or a sandwich amongst the other greens like rocket; you could also toss them into a soup or cook them in amongst some milder greens like spinach or silverbeet.

Because the roots of dandelion grow so deep into the earth, the leaves are rich in minerals like iron and potassium; you can brew them as a tea, which has tonic and diuretic properties (and since diuretics in general can deplete the body of potassium, dandelion is a particularly good choice).

The root is hepatic, which means it acts on the liver, stimulating its function and aiding the body’s natural detoxification processes. Roasted, the root makes a tasty ‘coffee’ which is delicious on its own or with milk and/or spices.

Dandelion is one of those herbs which bridges the worlds. Its taproots go deep, as I mentioned before, and yet its flower is as pure a representation of the sun as you can find. It is sacred to the Goddess Hekate, the Illuminatrix who also walks between the worlds. The seeds are messengers, and will carry your wishes with them as they take to the air.

So next time you meet a dandelion, honour it; there’s more to it than meets the eye and it has many gifts to share with you!

Bright blessings


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Let food be your medicine – the gift of meat


Over the weekend I have made oxtail soup. I’ve never made anything quite like this before: roasting the bones, simmering them slowly for a full day, straining the stock, adding soaked barley then simmering again, shredding the flakes of meat from flower-shaped bones, gone so soft that they crumble under my fingers, falling apart having given up all their nourishment into the soup we are about to eat.

Ten years ago I could not have understood how this could have been good for me. Today I don’t understand how I could ever have believed it would not be good for me.

This is not glamorous food; it’s not fancy; it’s not politically correct. It represents yet another turning point in the complicated relationship I’ve had with food throughout my life. For me this path is about true, deep, transformative nourishment: literally from the bones of this animal, this ox, into my bones.

I am grateful for this gift; I’m grateful for the animal that has given its life for mine, for the privileges that allow me to receive the gift and make use of it, for the people who have inspired me to do so, for the capacity to change my thinking and to continually learn better, to work on healing and connecting.

For those of you also interested in exploring the path of traditional foods, I highly recommend the website Nourished Kitchen and the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Brightest blessings

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Tuesday is Herb Day – NASTURTIUMS!

Do you like nasturtiums? I LOVE nasturtiums. They are one of my favourite plants. I love the way they grow all over things and the way their flowers are so bright and colorful. I love the peppery taste of the leaves and flowers, and that you can eat every part of the plant. I love the fact that they have such an unlikely-seeming botanical name… NOT Nasturtium officinale as any sensible person might think, but Tropaeoleum majus (N. officinale is actually watercress! Go figure. But at least I can remember it).

I planted quite a lot of nasturtium seeds in one of my garden beds a few months ago, not expecting them to do much as it’s in an area that gets almost no sun in the dark half of the year. Naturally, every single one germinated and the bed is now a riot of nasturtium leaves, some almost the size of plates (although no flowers have appeared as yet). They are so rampant they are even overshadowing my horseradish and I needed to do something to cut them back a bit. But there’s only so many leaves that I can put in a salad… Salads which I am pretty much the only person in the household to eat… And then I came across a solution: nasturtium pesto


I made a few alterations to the original recipe (I didn’t have any walnuts), and I can vouch for its deliciousness. So here’s my take on it:

Nasturtium Pesto
2 cups (tightly packed) freshly washed nasturtium leaves
2 cloves garlic
1.5 cups (NOT packed) coarsely grated pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)
Olive oil
Salt, to taste

Place the first three ingredients in a food processor and blitz together. Add olive oil in a stream and keep blending until you have a smooth-ish paste – I didn’t really measure but I imagine I used at least half a cup. Taste and add salt if you like. Scrape into a clean jar and cover with a layer of oil to help keep it fresh. Cap tightly and store in the fridge. Or, fill an ice cube tray & freeze, popping the little blocks out into a freezer bag for longer storage.

Let me know if you try it, or if you have any other unusual pesto recipes, or if you love nasturtiums too!

Bright blessings,


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A ritual for Hekate


On Saturday I caught the train down to Sandringham to attend the Sacred Fires ritual held by Tina from the Covenant of Hekate. It was a cool yet intermittently sunny winter’s afternoon, not raining (miraculous!) nor too windy – in fact a perfect day. The tide was high and there were many gulls – especially once they realised there was food on the altar – but few people outside or circle.

There were nearly twenty of us in the circle, I think; mostly women, a few men. We each spoke briefly about our connection with Hekate. The most common theme seemed to be that she has made herself known at the dark times in our lives, offering her light to illuminate and guide us when we have lost our way. For myself, it is comforting to know that she is there holding the lantern and pointing the way, even though I can see only a very short way along the path beneath my feet.

We called on the goddess with praise for the blessings that she has poured into our lives, and each lit a candle to represent her bright fire. We shared food and drink and offered libations to the ocean, which were hungrily investigated and snapped up by the seagulls floating on the high tide below the rocky altar. Many of us had brought items to be consecrated to Hekate – jewelery, tools, amulets – and Tina helped us to bless them with all four elements.

As a solitary practitioner I really appreciate the chance to attend a ritual of this sort, particularly because Hekate is a new goddess in my life and this helps me to understand some if her many different facets, and also because Tina always puts so much effort into creating a welcoming, beautiful circle. There was ceremony, there was laughter, there was reverence and a real sense of power. I came away feeling revitalized, inspired and connected – and what more can you ask of a religious ceremony, whatever your denomination?

Thank you Tina.

Bright blessings

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Journeying of a Hedge Wytch



My journey last year was one of deep changes and initiation. The challenges helped to shift and sort me in ways deep and knowing. Facing many fears and death allowed me to achieve an inner strength and calm… and with that came the warrior spirit.

Facing these challenges was a very different experience to the challenges I faced when I lost my father as a young woman of 17. Of course, in one instance, I was but a girl and in the other, a woman… and so I could be of great support.. already a mother, a wife and a practitioner I could give myself entirely to her… not needing anything from her… just giving was incredibly healing .. instead of needing the support a child would naturally require.

As every birth is different, every death is different. And here, the lessons were completely different. The loss of a parent at such a young age left me wounded, the loss of my mother helped heal those original wounds.

The two experiences were worlds apart… a full 28 years and a Saturn return apart, no less. But symbiotic and cyclical. A turn within my karmic wheel. The final turn being when I face my old friend, Death..

And so now I find myself in a position where what once may have been a fear or concern is now nothing but a waste of precious energy and time, leaving me either bored or amused… but not occupying much space before I put my efforts into what is truly worthwhile.



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Horned god ointment


Today Cath made our Horned God ointment – prepared during the solar eclipse, with the sun and new moon in Taurus.

A little bundle of snake skin, wood betony, willow, patchouli and oak moss was placed within the infused hellebore root oil, then blended with with bee’s wax and mugwort infused oil. The hellebore root was black, but surprisingly the infused oil was quite light in colour and fragrance.

Here are the balms, not yet set.

20130510-191832.jpgThis ointment can be used for underworld workings or shape shifting magic. It is also protective and may help you to avoid unwanted attention.

And the final product with pathworking tunnel… Down the rabbit hole we go…


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I went walking barefoot in the park today. Not something I do very often, but I felt inspired; it was a lovely autumn afternoon and not too cold or too wet, at least not in the sun.

More and more leaves have drifted down from the trees, some of them are completely bare now and the grass – which is green again thanks to rain and cooler temperatures – was thickly carpeted with the fallen. There haven’t seemed to be many acorns this year – or perhaps the birds just got them all early. I’ve got a couple to carry around with me for luck, though.

I visited some of my favourite birch trees and sat with them for a while. A gardener on a ride-on mower was roaring about in the background. It wasn’t windy. I love how the light gets old so early in the afternoon at this time of year; as if it’s thicker and richer from being poured into fewer hours of the day. The are still bits of leaves and dry grass stuck to my jumper from when I lay in the ground.

I’m off to harvest some holly tonight. The berries are perfectly ripe, so shiny and such an amazing scarlet.


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Magickal Samhain makings

On Samhain Cath and I got together for some magickal crafting… We made three different ointments: Dark Goddess, with infused oils of hemlock & dittany and patchouli essential oil – so earthy and deep; Third Eye, with infused oil of mugwort and essential oils of basil and frankincense – rich and heady to open you up to the astral realm while keeping you protected and grounded; and Hedge Riders’, with infused oils of hemlock, dittany & mugwort perfect just on their own for helping you pass the boundaries of everyday existence. Don’t they look delicious?


Then there were the ritual soaps, made with coconut & olive oils and delicious scents – one for the Goddess (rosewood and lavender and patchouli in that one), one for the God (full of bright masculine citrus oils and oats), and one for general cleansing (with infused mugwort oil, sandalwood and rosemary essential oils).


We’re excited to be debuting these items at the market this Saturday. Any leftovers will go into the shop so keep an eye out!

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Lady Luna


Majestic lady of the moon,
You who greets the dusk with silver kisses.
Mistress of the night and of all her magick
Shadow maker
Shadow breaker
My heart’s desire
I have searched for you from the beginning
I pray by your moonlight
For the Highest Good

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Maat Feather Meditation

Maat Feather Meditation


To lighten and align your heart chakra, try this exercise for seven days….

Lie down in a quiet and sacred space where you can remain undisturbed through this exercise. Place a white feather upon your heart, close your eyes, focusing on your breath. Relax your body, going deeper and deeper into relaxation until you reach a relaxed and meditative state.

Breath in and out slowly as you become one with the feather. Relax and let go of the stress and pressures of the world. Release all the tension in your body and especially your womb. As you go deeper into your relaxed and meditative state become aware of any pain you may be holding in your body. Now, release the pain your body holds, from this life, and your previous lives.

Allow your body to float, and drift and connect with the divine Spirit, creating unity with the sacred source.

Feel you becoming one with the feather. Move deeper and deeper into your quiet and safe space. Now bring your consciousness towards your heart. Feel the weight of your heart. Does it weigh heavy against the day? Are there words you spoke which are held here still? Feel the weight of it, its heaviness or lightness, which ever may be the case. Take as much time as you need to feel it completely. Own the weight within it. Then, as your breath out, release the weight with your breath. Let it go, breath in lightness and breath out heaviness. Take as much time as you need, until you feel your heart becoming lighter and lighter still. Think again about your feather, laying gently over your heart, its lightness and become one with it. Once you have become one with the feather, imagine your heart and feather moving towards one another until they become one, and your heart has the weight of the feather.

Feel peace and calm flow into you as your inner balance is restored and renewed.


In Shadow and Light


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