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Family recipes: Carrot cough syrup

Today I will be sharing with you a much loved recipe (folk medicine) that has been in my family for generations: carrot cough syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 carrots sliced
  • 4 or 5 soup spoons of brown sugar
  • 4 or 5 soup spoons of honey
  • Grated ginger root (optional)
  • Grated lemon peel (optional)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

In a bowl, place the carrots sliced, add honey and brown sugar.
You can add grated lemon peel, lemon juice and grated ginger root.

Let it sit for a few hours until you get the syrup. From one day to the next is best.

Although it is unlikely it’ll last long enough to spoil (it is that yummy), if it’s not hot weather season, it’ll be safe to keep out of the fridge for at least 3 days, and in the fridge at least up to a week.

How about you? Does your family have any folk medicine recipes?

Feel better soon!

Disclaimer 1: Please make sure you’re not diabetic or allergic to any of the ingredients

Disclaimer 2: Using this or any other folk medicine recipe does not exclude visiting an actual medical doctor. I am all up for folk medicine, but there are times when an actual medical doctor is necessary. Please don’t ever risk your health and your life.

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The Village Witch’s March Hocus Pocus Sub Box

As promised, I am writing a review on The Village Witch‘s March Hocus Pocus Sub Box.

Let me start by saying I am absolutely in love with it!
March’s theme goes along nicely with Spring Cleaning – Banishment.

For those more on the Wicca side, you can use the products in this box to banish negative energies. 😉

It contains so many top quality products and even freebies!

The products are lovely and smell wonderfully. To the point I need to remind myself they are not edible, I cannot brew tea with those or wear them as perfume.

Also, all products are handmade (except, so far, for the yummies they send).

To start with, I got more product quantity than the price I paid for them. The vials and flasks all come full up to the top with product, which is clearly more than they advertise in the shop. And let me add that this doesn’t happen just for the sub boxes but for any order. This means that, after one spell, you still have plenty of product to use on other spells.

The Banishing Oil is lovely! You can tell it is the real thing.
In fact, TVW’s oils (yes, I have several) aren’t made just with liquid oil with essential oil drops. You actually see the they used real plants in their products as you can actually see them in the oil vials.

I am absolutely in love with the Banish Bad Vibes Aura Spray. Forget all those home sprays. This one is lush and I cannot get enough of it, and the house feels light again.

I loved the Go Away Evil Floor Wash! Trust me, it is hard to follow the instructions on TVW’s website, the scent is so wonderful!

The Banishing Loose Incense and the Negative Energy Cleansing Salt are beautiful and smell wonderfully. And not suitable for tea, please keep that in mind.

There’s also a Banish a Negative Person spellvelope. Choices, choices…
Seriously, don’t take that lightly. I am not a love & light Witch, but I have a conscience and I don’t cast this sort of spells lightly and neither should you. All that you do comes with a consequence, even if that consequence is overwhelming guilt for harming someone when you could have taken things in a different direction, or for doing something rash.

The Banish Evil ink has a beautiful shade of grey/black colour (depending on how you use it). No photos at this time as I don’t have a proper pen for it…yet. 😉

There is also a small black candle that you can use in your spell.

This sub box brought the cutest small wooden chest that you can either use for banish people into it or hide a treasure (a tiny one).

And can you believe it came with a Witchy Badge?!? I loved it! It’s currently on my backpack. 😀

Although the March’s sub box does not come with a spell, it contains an A4 size sheet with ideas/hints/general instructions (if you will) on how to create your own spell, whatever path you’re on (Wiccan path included).
Lets face it, your spell will be much more powerful if you write it yourself, as it will have more of your own energy infused in it.

And this is, after all, The Village Witch’s purpose with their Monthly Hocus Pocus Hampers: to empower you, to help you connect with and develop further your own personal power for you to use in your Witchcraft.

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March’s Hocus Pocus box and contents
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Ask a Witch…

I want to play a game.

Just kidding. This is not a Saw movie. I love horror movies, but not the gore type. For me, a good horror movie involves the supernatural (mostly ghosts).

However, I am creating a new section, if you will.

Imagine you’re curious about Witchcraft or you’re a Witch but Wicca is not your thing and just to think of waiting for a specific moon phase or casting a circle to do a spell puts you off and you’d like to explore Traditional Witchcraft.

Or you would like to have the support of someone on the same path and would like to have someone to ask questions, or advise, or brainstorm whenever you bump into a wall spell wise.

Why am I making this offer? We’ve all been there.
I still remember when I started on this path over 20 years ago and all I got was information on Wicca and most of it unreliable.

Do feel free to contact me. How? Through email, for example. You can contact me by emailing me to ana@intothesacredforest.com.

As your questions may be other people’s questions, I will be posting the replies to those questions once a week on this blog.
Thus, I would like you to inform me in your email if you give me permission to use your name (first name or alias) or if you prefer to be known as Anonymous.

By the way, I don’t reply to trolling or sealioning. I am not the jackass whisperer and nothing good ever comes from baiting.
Also, keep in mind you’re dealing with a Witch that is far from being all love and light, doesn’t believe in the Wiccan Rede nor the Rule of Threefold, and enjoys giving a hand to Karma. Therefore, threats of any kind will be dealt with accordingly.

Ask a Witch
Photo by yours truly

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Being a Witch

Probably the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Witches are evil stepmothers such as Snow White’s. Or perhaps the victims of the “Holy” Inquisition. Or even Wicca followers.

I am neither, though.

For starters, I am real.

I am also still alive (which is kind of nice — I even get to write on my blog).

Other than that, I am a Traditional Witch. I don’t worship the Goddess and the God and I don’t abide by the Wiccan Rede.

I don’t wait for specific Moon phases to do spell work (although I love the Moon).

I don’t use athames nor other similar tools, and I don’t cast circles. I do have a Grimoire — does that count? 😉

I am far from being all love and light and I definitely don’t do ‘blessed be’s.

As I see it, everything you do affects others. For each action there is a reaction, a result that, no matter how much love and light is involved, will always affect someone.

Think protection. When you protect someone you care from someone working to hurt them, even if you are a Wiccan you are probably aware it will affect negatively the person wanting to hurt the person you care about.

If someone hurts someone I care about or incites another to hurt that person, be it physically, emotionally or financially, you can bet I will protect the person I care about. If that means I will have to bind, banish or hex the person wanting to hurt the ones I care about, so be it. I am more than prepared to handle consequences and I won’t even bat an eye.

Currently I have been far more active witchcraft wise for several reasons:

  • People I care about need my help (be it help with protection, financial boost, professional boost, motivation/focus boost, self-esteem/confidence boost, healing or whichever other reason)
  • I want to learn more (there’s always something more to learn) and improve my skills as a Witch
  • People want to learn and I believe in sharing knowledge.

Improve business/more paying clients
Improve business/more paying clients

If you are expecting all love and light from me, you will not find it.

But I don’t make love spells (unless it’s a self-love/self-esteem spell) and I don’t take hexing lightly. In fact, something very wrong must have occurred for me to take that step.

For example, recently I had a very close friend of mine and her mum being robbed at gun point. The thieving bastard was presented with a hex. He robbed my friend at 9am and was caught at 02:30pm, in Brazil, during Carnival (the whole country stops, according to her). The thieve also got the beating of his life when he was caught. He was not a happy thieve, but I was also not happy with what he did to my friend, so that makes us… somewhat even.

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“Catch the thieve painfully” spell

I choose balance between light and dark. If I have to give karma a little help, so be it.

This is me. Take me as I am or not at all. Just don’t mess with the Witch or the people the Witch cares about.

See you in my next post, where I will be doing a review of the Hocus Pocus Hamper sub box of March by The Village Witch.

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The Village Witch

I found the best witchy shop ever!

The Village Witch works online and caters to several paths: Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, Hoodoo, Voodoo…

The people running the store are amazing! They genuinely care, they are generous and wonderful lovely people.

I’ve already purchased a few items from them (jewelry, oils, herbs, roots…).

Vial necklaces
Vial necklaces, one for protection and the other for development

First big order
My first big order from TVW

They sell top quality products and offer top quality services.

I recently subscribed to their Hocus Pocus Hamper (aka sub boxes). These are usually themed.

In the Hocus Pocus sub boxes you will always find materials for spells (that will last way beyond the suggested spell that comes with the box – which you will create with some TVW pinpoints – your own creation, which will increase its power). Think oils, herbs and roots, powders, inks, aura sprays, floor washes, as well as exclusive products that you won’t find in the store as they are created specifically for the sub boxes. Oh! And yummy goodies, as they always add a bit of their love and care in the form of teas, hot chocolate, and other yummy products.

Once I receive my first sub box, I will be making a review. 😉

And, should you prefer, they also will create individual tailored boxes for you. All you have to do is contact them.

This way to the store

Clicky for the sub boxes

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

…that time of the year with so many festivities. There’s Christmas, Yule, Alban Arthan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Koliada, Yalda, and so many others.

I am a Druid, so I celebrate Alban Arthan. But my family is Christian, so I celebrate Christmas with them. How come? Christmas, to me, is about family, is about of those I am from. My siblings and siblings-in-law, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my fiancée and my in-laws and, of course, my ancestors. So I celebrate my family and friends, I celebrate our tiny community, I celebrate that I have a family and I am not alone.

Although I am a Pagan, I will always continue my family’s tradition, and any other tradition we might create. My family accepts me for who I am, and I accept them as they are.

To me it’s beginning to look even more like family, love and acceptance, comfort and warmth.

Our Christmas/Yule/Family tree
Our Family (Christmas/Yule) tree

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Honouring our Ancestors

It’s Samhain time again.

Yesterday, for many people was Halloween. At home, was my Dad’s birthday. But it was also time to honour my Ancestors – the ones that came before me: Ancestors of blood (whether I knew them or not), Ancestors of Spirit, Ancestors of Land and Ancestors most Ancient (John Beckett, “Who Are Our Ancestors?”).

In general, I tend to notice patterns (not that I have a mathematical mind, as I always sucked at Maths while at school). And some are really easy to notice, if you keep your mind open a little.

And this season (if you will) is not different for me.

In Portugal, some people are really against celebrating Halloween – a “Trick or Treating” tradition brought from abroad, unlike our very own “Bread for God” (“Pão por Deus”), celebrated on November 1st, where kids go door-to-door, asking “Bread for God”. Notice the pattern? Because I did. I am certain both stem from a Pagan common origin.

Also in Portugal, a culture that is a mix of Catholics and Atheists (with some other paths in between, such as Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, and Western Paganism), I noticed another pattern (when we went today to visit the closer cemeteries where our loved ones are buried – the ones in Lisbon district, as we will be visiting the ones in Coimbra on the second half of November). Honouring our Ancestors – Atheists, Catholics, Pagans, we all honour our Loved Ones that have already crossed to the Otherworld.

This season I honoured, once more, my Ancestors. Yesterday, while at home, with my very own solitary ritual (not a very elaborate one – I light candles, burn incense and meditate on my Ancestors). Today at the cemeteries (placing fresh flowers at my family and friends’ graves) and at a Catholic church (with my Catholic family, lighting candles).

I do my best to keep in mind that “Honouring the Ancestors” should be a daily practice (and in my immediate family we try to visit our Ancestors graves on a weekly basis).

But it is comforting to think that this, too, was adopted into other paths and not left behind when Christianity took over the Iberian Peninsula.

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Candles for the Ancestors. Conceição da Abóboda church. Photo taken by yours truly

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It’s Autumn: Samhuinn approaches

Yesterday, I went to Sintra. I noticed what my body and spirit have been telling me for a while, despite the Summer heat that we have been experiencing during the day: Autumn is here to stay.

The days are already shorter and the trees’ leaves have been dancing on their way to the ground, wearing beautiful tones of orange, gold and red.

At night, the temperatures have been dropping a lot and you can feel the humidity in the air promising rain soon.

But there is something else in the air that makes this time of the year different. Besides the thinning veil to the Otherworld, Autumn invites you to introspection, to focus on Nature’s visible changes that remind us so much of the advanced stages of the human life cycle, to remember and celebrate our Ancestors – those that came before us and that, despite that they have crossed over to the other side of the veil, they created the basis for our existence, for our path, including our spiritual one.

This season allows us to look back, to assess our path, to assess our choices, and it allows for new possibilities, new potential choices for the new cycle ahead.

This season, for its association with the changing cycles, to the change of states (from the Summer dryness to Autumn’s rains), the celebration of those that crossed over and often with reunion with them in so many different cultures, we could infer that this season celebrates the cycle of change and the cycle of life as a whole, looking at death as part of the life cycle and not as the end of it, a taboo that we should never address.

Autumn has the potential to allow us to face our fears. It is not by chance that the Samnhuinn’s masks (that were a protection against evil entities that came from the Otherworld to take the living with them) were adopted by Halloween. And it is not by chance that, between 1995 and 2015, most horror movies were released in October (see link).

However, besides facing our fears, we should all transform that courage into a motor for change, to change within us and in society what no longer serves us and what no longer serves (or never did) the others that we see as different.

Autumn is a season of changes, the best time to face our fears. So let us change, let us face our fears, but let us do it in a positive manner for all.

Otherwise, we won’t be facing our own fears, but losing our sovereignty to those fears. Otherwise, we will not be promoting true change, but only a deterioration of the situation, comparatively to what it was in the beginning of the cycle that is ending.

Face the fear to question yourselves, your statuses and beliefs. Face the fear of leaving your comfort zone, and start seeing the world through the eyes of the other person, under the light of their life experiences. Face the fear of feeling empathy for all living beings, no matter how different they are from you.

Change, and the world will change with you.

 

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Photo taken in Pena Palace (Sintra, Portugal) by yours truly.

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The wheel has turned once more

The wheel has turned once more
The winds of change are blowing
The tree leaves that whisper “It’s time for a new start”
The old cycle is ending, a new one is beginning
Ground yourself, toughen up
Hold your head up high
The time has come for with the old to part
Again the wheel has turned
Hard times are coming
But you, Seer, already knew
It is time to go back to your path
It won’t be easy, it won’t be pleasant or soft
But it is yours, this path, to find
It is yours, this path, to embrace
Warrior, your time has come to fight
Seer, your time has come to see
Bard, your time has come to sing the stories of old
Healer, it is time to release the light
Druid, it is your time to learn and teach
For the wheel once more has turned
And what was now no longer is
And what was then is now again

 

My tiny collection (there are actually 2 tarot decks missing along with a Druid Animal Oracle)
My tiny collection (there are actually 2 tarot decks missing along with a Druid Animal Oracle).