Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Flower offering to the Celtic Goddess Brigit, Brigid, Brighid
Here in my dining room (also called the Herb-Craft room) is the heart of my life, my altar.  My husband, Jamey, and I named our big, old, built in 1922, house, Brugh na Bhride (taken from the old Celtic name of Newgrange or Brugh na Boinne, a Neolithic architectural monument and one of the most famous antiquities in Ireland.) 

What activities, sacred and mundane, that we do in our home are all dedicated to the honor of the Goddess Brighid who is also known as Brid, Bhride, Breo-Sagit and by many other names.  She is the triple Celtic Goddess of poetry and writing; healing and midwifery; and smithing (black-smithing, gold-smithing, silver-smithing) or the making of crafts.  She is often called the Goddess of the Forge and fire (bonfires, candles and other burning things) and water (holy wells, rivers, and springs) are her sacred elements.  Her main shrine is in Kildare, Ireland where her worship is centered around her sacred flame and holy well.  A large center has recently been built in honor of Brighid in Kildare. I hope to go there next year to celebrate Imbolc with all the other "Keepers of Her Sacred Flame."

The beautiful vase of flowers on my altar at home is made up of flowers that I grow in my own gardens.  We only have a tiny end lot on a corner in our small city, but we raise a lot of vegetables and even more herbs.  I make all sorts of herbal things with these herbs and I use the dried herbs in magick because I am mainly a Hedge Witch or a Kitchen Witch.

The altar where I do my magickal workings is featured in the picture below.  Above and behind the altar are my dried herbs for healing and magick that I have gathered from my gardens and from my journeys around this world, our Mother Earth or Gaia. 

The statue to the left on my altar is a wonderful sculpture of Brighid given to me by my husband and soulmate this year as my Beltane gift. She is so beautiful.  She stands with Celtic symbols all around her and at the bottom of by her feet and in her hands are the tools of her three incarnations. She holds fire in her hands. 
I also use the stand that I have my herbs stacked upon to hold my seedlings in the spring and on which to dry my herbs in the fall when I plant my gardens and put up the harvest for the next year.  Behind the row of jars on the top shelf is a line of white security candles that I inscribe, anoint and light when someone asks me to light a candle for healing energy.

Above is a better picture of the jars of herbs I have behind my altar.  From these rows of jars plus the other magickal tools and implements on my altar, I form spells and incantations which I offer up to the Gods and Goddesses to help heal this world and its inhabitants, my dear friends and myself.  I celebrate the eight special holidays of Wicca called Sabbats.  These are Samhain, Yule or Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox or Ostara, Beltane, Summer Solstice or Litha, Lammas or Lughnassadh, and Autumn Equinox or Mabon.  I also celebrate the full and new moons every month and honor the Old Ways and the Old Gods and Goddesses in my life. 

Curry, Ginger and Cilantro Chicken Curry


  • 1-2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" cubes (non-antibiotic & additive free)
  • Himalayan pink salt- to taste
  • Fresh ground white pepper-to taste
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder-more or less according to taste and strength of curry powder
  • 3 Tablespoons organic olive oil or organic coconut oil-highest quality available
  • 1-2 large, organic onions, finely chopped (sweet onions have the best taste)
  • 4 organic, garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon organic, freshly minced ginger
  • 1-2 cups of organic or homemade chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten free flour
  • 1-2 packets of Stevia white crystals
  • Organic Vegetables of your choice: total 3-4 cups organic fresh or frozen peas, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc. cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup organic yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 c finely chopped organic cilantro


  • Sprinkle the chicken evenly with about 1 tsp. pink salt, 3/4 tsp. of white pepper and 1-2 tsp of curry powder.  Be sure to suit your taste, hotter or cooler with the spices.
  • Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat until just warm.  Add the chicken cubes and cook, stirring until just the pink is gone from the chicken. Transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl and set aside

    In a second pan, while browning the chicken, brown the vegetables just until crisp-tender in about 1-2 Tablespoon of oil.

    Add the onions, garlic, ginger into the empty chicken pan and cook until onions are transparent scraping bits of chicken off the pan and into the mix.

    Add 1 Tablespoon more of oil to the pan (if needed) and cook until warmed through, then add 2 Tablespoon of gluten free flour to the pan and stir with a fork or a whisk to keep the flour from clumping in any way.  Slowly add the 2 cups of chicken broth to the pan, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until all of the broth has been added.

    Bring to a boil for a few seconds and immediately shut the temperature down to simmer.  Keep stirring the mixture.  It should be thickened and not have any clumps of flour.

    Add the chicken, the vegetables, and cilantro to the pan and simmer for a few minutes stirring well.

    Add 1 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt to the mix (or sour cream if you prefer). Taste the sauce and add the stevia and/or more curry or spices if needed.

    Blend the mixture until all of the yogurt is incorporated into the sauce.  Keep warm until serving.

    Serve over organic, brown Basmati rice. 
Our garden is full of fresh cilantro, garlic, onions and other goodies.  I served this over the Basmati rice with a green and tomato salad from out garden and the family just inhaled it. Absolutely incredible and so healthy too.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Make Lavender Water

My lavender is going CRAZY this summer.  I have harvested it twice and need to get out there and harvest it again.  Lovely!  There is NOTHING that smells better than fresh lavender, nothing at all, even better than most roses if you ask me!  I have two large bags of it drying in the dining room and the heavenly odor fills the air every time you open the door into the dining-room which is now the herb-craft room. 

Today, I am making Lavender water. Lavender water can be used used to scent linens, drawers, closets or clothing. If you still iron, a  spray before ironing will freshen most fabrics with the soothing aroma of lavender. I add lavender or rosemary essential oil to my washer and dryer when I am laundering.  It is also great added to bed linens.  You can sprinkle it directly onto the linens when they are in the dryer, too.  You can also use Lavender water as an air freshener or furniture spray. Just a spritz on your pillow at night and you will sleep like a baby all night long.  

Using Lavender Flowers- (

" Gather your supplies. Lavender water made from lavender flowers won't smell as concentrated as lavender water made from essential oil. Essential oil is the distilled, concentrated essence of lavender made from the flowers. When you use the flowers themselves, the resulting water is very light, but still quite aromatic. Here's what you'll need:
    • Spray bottle
    • Funnel
    • Fine-mesh strainer
      A bunch of lavender stems with the flowering heads at the top (for a total of 2 tablespoons of buds)
  1. Strip the lavender buds from their stems. Lavender flowers grow as little buds along straight stems. To make lavender water, you don't need the stems; the buds contain the floral scent. To remove them from the stems, hold a stem over the glass bowl. Gently pinch the stem at its base, and run your fingers from the base to the tip. The buds will fall off into the bowl.
    • You can also buy dried lavender buds that have already been removed from their stems. Look in gourmet food stores or herb shops.
    • This is a great way to use lavender plants that may be growing in your yard.
  1. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Pour it into a small saucepan and place it over high heat. Heat the water until it comes to a full boil. Don't leave it unattended for too long, or the water will begin to evaporate.
  1. Pour the boiling water over the lavender buds. Carefully pour it over the buds so that the buds can begin steeping in the hot water. The heat will draw out the oils from the flower, and the water will become scented with lavender.

  1. Cover the bowl and let the buds steep. Leave the buds to steep for a few hours or overnight. The process is similar to making tea. Let the buds continue steeping until the water cools.
  1. Strain the buds from the water. Set the fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the water into the strainer to strain out the buds. Discard the buds; they won't have a scent now that their essence is gone.
  1. Funnel the water into the spray bottle. Place the funnel over the opening of the spray bottle. Pour the lavender water into the spray bottle. The water is now ready to use on your linens, as air freshener, or as a tool for aromatherapy.
      • If you want the water to have a longer shelf life, you can mix in one ounce of either witch hazel or vodka. Shake the bottle well to distribute it throughout.