Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crafting, Rituals & Reading for Bealtaine

a newly made hearth candle on my Bealtaine altar last year.

In this post I will just be sharing some links to previous posts that I thought might be of interest to my readers for Bealtaine. Last year I did a post for Bealtaine with some information and links to other resources, which you can read here.


May Bushes, Boughs & Garlands
Hearth Candles
Fertility Charm for the Garden
Nature Friendly Offering Stones
A Recipe for Spring Cleaning
Cross Quarter Waters
A Rowan & Red Thread Cross for Travel
Using Botanicals to Dye Magical Textiles


A Bealtaine Blessing
An Irish Spell to Attract Bees
Consecrating Seed
Gifts for Birds


Honey Bees & the Gaels
Doing Rituals in Nature
Wildcrafting Etiquette

Hearth Candle

hearth candle during Samhain 2013

I do not have a fireplace, so instead I use a candle to represent a hearth for my household. For Bealtaine I ritually extinguish the one from the past year and light a new one that will be used for the upcoming year.

this year's candle
I will use beeswax from old blessing and protection candles that I saved throughout the year; I like to dye the candle red {a colour of protection} and this year I scented mine with bergamot and vetiver. I also include shells and botanicals that are associated with properties that I want to draw into my home such as peace, protection, prosperity and over all blessings.


Fertility Charm for the Garden

I make these charms both for female fertility and to bury in my garden to bring abundant growth. I use milkweed pods because of its vulva shape; inside I use beeswax, shells and herbs associated with fertility and bounty.
Should you wish to make your own, Bealtaine or the Spring Equinox would be excellent times to bury in your garden, accompanied by a prayer for a prosperous growing season and offerings to the spirits/deities of agriculture.

Monday, April 28, 2014


witch's money bags/sedum
The growing season seems to be off to a very late start here this year; most years I would have early flowers such as periwinkles, sweet woodruff, wild ginger, cowslips and other Bealtaine staples by now.
Up until a few days ago all that was in the garden were the skeletons of last's years growth that has been hidden under piles of  snow for the last five months. I am happy to say though that some greenery is finally starting to emerge!

a little "dolmen"

doo-dads and periwinkle

lady's mantle

backside of our toad house


wild ginger

some type of campanula

Jacob's ladder

just some more doo-dads


Latest Charms for Etsy


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Portable Apothecary Giveaway

It has been quite awhile since I did my last giveaway, so I figured I would do another. This giveaway features a portable apothecary that would be great for those who need such a kit for when travelling, who have limited amount of space to work with, or who are just starting to gather herbs and the like for their collection.

Up for Grabs:


Blue Spruce Needles
Chamomile Flowers
Comfrey Root
Common Tansy
Creeping Charlie
Dandelion Root
Elder Berries
Feverfew Flowers
Goldenrod Flowers
Graveyard Dirt
Hawthorn Berries
Heather Flowers
Hollyhock Leaves
Juniper Tips
Ladys Mantle
Lavender Flowers
Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Lilac Flowers
Mullein Leaf
Oak Bark
Periwinkle Leaves
Red Sandalwood
Rose Pedals
Rowan Berries
Staghorn Sumac Berries
Sweet Woodruff
Vipers Bugloss
Willow Bark
Witch Hazel

How to Enter the Giveaway:
For those who are interested in entering, all you need to do is share a favourite magical and/or medicinal herb {try to include information on how to cultivate it, it's uses, properties, folklore, and such; you can refer to this post to get some ideas}. All entries must be submitted to the comment section of this post; you can either just type it out there or link to a video or blog entry that is posted elsewhere. Previously some folks were having issues posting in my comment section, so I will accept entries that are emailed to me {unfetteredwood at yahoo dot ca} and I will post them in the comment section, along with listing who the name of the person it is for.  The winner will be drawn at random right after the closing date. Below you will see the vitals:

  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. Entrants must be 18 years or older.
  3. The giveaway is open for Canada & US only {due to the nature of the contents, I don't want to risk the kit being destroyed by customs. My apologies to international folks!}
  4. Should the winner reside in an area where any of the herbs are illegal, I will replace those herbs with others that are legal for them in their area.
  5. To enter you are not obligated to purchase anything from me or to subscribe to any of my social media haunts.
  6. All entries must be submitted by Monday May 26th, 2014 at 3pm EST.
  7. The winner will need to provide a mailing address to receive their pretties. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose than to receive their winnings. The information will not be given to anyone else, or sold to a third party.
Good luck to all of you who enter!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gaelic Folk Healing: Staunching Blood

This is my first entry on Gaelic Folk Healing, this one covers some of the traditional lore and practices to stop bleeding. This post is for the sake of exploration and is not intended to give medical advice!
Blood Drop by Mattia Belletti

Is beannuighthe ainm an fhir a sgoilt croidhe an làoigh ghil ;
Is maith an nidh thainic as, fuil, fion, agus fioruisge.
An ainm a n-Athar, stop an fhuil ; Sancti, taraidh dà chobhair.
Spiritus Sancte, stop an fuil ta ag teacht go treun.
~ Ortha Coisgthe Fola
There were healers who reported had the gift to stop bleeding, through the use of prayer or words of power. These gifts were sometimes thought to be passed through blood line or taught from one person to another. In some parts of Scotland, it was thought to be most effective when a male taught a female and a female taught a male these incantations. {Survival in Beliefs Among the Celts by George Henderson}.
In the Third Manx Scrapbook there is an instance of a Peel man named Gawne who was on a boat with a man bleeding to death and Gawne "saved his life without touching him, merely using a spoken formula." This gift was not only used on humans, but animals as well.
Also found in the Third Manx Scrapbook are accounts of a man named Jack Corlett of Ramsey who was thought to be especially gifted in staunching the bleeding of animals. Of this the author says:
"A friend of mine when about 11 years old watched a farrier cut a tumour out of the vaginal passage of a neighbour's cow near Leodas in Andreas. It was a serious operation, and the farrier refused to begin it until Jack Corlett came. As soon as the growth was cut out Corlett muttered his charm, and the bleeding ceased. This my friend saw, he says, with his own eyes."
There are few other accounts of people who supposed had this gift in the book which can be read here.

Some lore insists that to be able to stop bleeding on an individual, the healer must know the name of the person. An example of this is found in a story from Aultbea, Scotland where a blood-charmer named Ian Ban had trouble stopping the bleeding of a man injured at a wedding. It wasn't until another blood-charmer present spoke the victim's true name that the bleeding had stopped.

Not everyone was lucky enough to have someone around who supposedly had the power stop blood on command. Those people would turn to other means to staunch bleeding.

In Transactions of the Gaelic Society, Vol. 14 a cure to stop bleeding that was used in the Scottish Highlands was boiling a bowlful of blood into a powder, which was then given to the bleeding victim to swallow.
A cure reportedly used to stop bleeding in Ireland was cobwebs:
"This knowledge about cobwebs can be traced back to a medical manuscript that was transcribed from Latin into Irish by an Irish Liaig, T.Ó Cuinn in 1415. This manuscript is a compilation in Irish of various Latin works that were in general use by medical people in the middle- ages. The Tadhg Ó Cuinn manuscript has this to say about cobwebs:
Tele rania: i.e. the spider’s web; cold and dry; it has the retentive virtue; it stops the bleeding of wounds, and it heals as we have said.’ " {The Thread that Could Not Be Broken: Overview of Irish Traditional Medicine by Rosari Kingston}.

Lady Augusta Wilde cites in Ancient Cures, Charms and Usages of Ireland a prayer that is used in conjunction with scarlet coloured yarn to stop bleeding. The yarn was tied tightly around the neck and wrists {definitely not recommended!!!} while this prayer was said:

"There came a man from Bethlehem to be baptized in the river Jordan ;
 but the water was so muddy that it stopped flowing.
So let the blood ! So let the blood !
 Let it stop flowing in the name of Jesus, and by the power of Christ !"
Frogs and toads were used to stop bleeding in Scotland; living toads were brought face-to-face with a person to stop a nose bleed, and the ashes of a frog were administered to stop more serious bleeds {Healing Threads by Mary Beith}.
A charm called a "toad-stone" is noted in Scottish Charms and Amulets by Geoffrey Black that apparently was used to stop bleeding. It was a small black oval-shaped stone that was placed on a wound and the following incantation was said:
"The water’s mud [?wud] and runs aflood,
And so does thy blood.
God bade it stand and so it did.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, stand blood!"
Many different herbs were also used to stop bleeding, and there are a few named Lus na fola/Lus na fala {"herb of blood/blood weed"} including Yarrow{Achillea millefolium}, Shepherd's Purse{Capsella bursa-pastoris}, and Saint John's Wort {Hypericum perforatum}. Often these herbs would be used in ointments to be applied to wounds to stop bleeding and to promote healing in general.
To stop nose-bleeds Mary Beith mentions two folk cures used in the Scottish Highlands: a Broom{Cytisus scoparius} bundle was tied around a patient's neck or a seaweed called Linarich {Ulva lactuca ? } was placed on the forehead and temples. She also raises Stinging Nettle {Urtica dioica} poultices being used for minor bleeding, as well and Puffballs {Bovista nigrescens} and fresh Plantain {Plantago major} to staunch small amounts of blood flow.

If any readers happen to know of other Gaelic folk cures and lore for staunching blood, please feel free to share them!