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It should have roots

Making root beer

Making root beer

Witch where?

Hedge Witch, Green Witch, Garden Witch, Kitchen Witch, Cottage Witch? These are mostly marketing terms, phrases put together to make good book titles. Hedgemage is a phrase I have run into in fantasy novels and such to mean someone who wasn’t a trained wizard but could still do magic down and dirty. But other than that, how old are these phrases actually? They seem to originate early this century (2001-2003ish).

And as far as I can tell from the various books about them, they are all nearly the same things with minor difference about what part of the town is the witches favorite. Nothing against anyone defining themselves that way! These are fun terms to use. But you are a witch whether you are in the kitchen, on the other side of the hedge/fence/railroad tracks, in your garden, living in a cottage, or a high rise apartment.

Pear Brandy

The landlady went out of town leaving ripe organic Bosc pears and fancy German honey? I can’t be blamed for making pear infused brandy can I? I can see this being an excellent offering for certain Fay Godesses.

The landlady went out of town leaving ripe organic Bosc pears and fancy German honey? I can’t be blamed for making pear infused brandy can I? I can see this being an excellent offering for certain Fay Godesses.

First Frost

Mandrakes are happily tucked in and ritually welcomed into the house before the first frost, which feels like it could be this week.

Mandrakes are happily tucked in and ritually welcomed into the house before the first frost, which feels like it could be this week.

Pear apple honey country wine, on its primary fermentation. Mmm… Pears!

Pear apple honey country wine, on its primary fermentation. Mmm… Pears!

1 gallon glass jug of preservative free apple juice or cider
6 pears
1 pound honey
1 pound sugar
1/2 cup citrus juice
2 cloves
2 allspice buds
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon premier cuvée wine yeast
1 bunghole fitted to the jug
1 airlock
Funnel
Jars or bottles for finished wine

Pour most of the apple juice into a pitcher. Warm up about four cups of apple juice in a pot. Mix in the honey until it dissolves, then mix in the sugar too til it dissolves. Pour that all through a funnel into your jug. Chop up the pears and put in the jug. Pour in the citrus juice orange, lemon, tangerine, whatever is easy. Pour more apple juice in but leave about four inches air space from the top of the jug. Sprinkle in your spices, yeast and optional ingredients like yeast nutrient, tannin and pectin enzymes. Okay put the regular lid on and shake that jug for a bit. Then put the bunghole and the air lock in. Put water in the air lock. Keep in a warm part of the house with a towel or something under it to catch spills. Should get bubbly within 24 hours. check often to let out extra bubbles or pit airlock back in. Strain the pears out after a week or two. Rack it off its sediments after a month and bottle it when it stops bubbling when you tip or nudge it. Glass bottles with screw tops are find if you don’t have corking equipment. You can even just put the regular jug lid back on and put it in your fridge and drink it. But if you can cork and age it, do.

Wave incense over it and chant whilst stirring with a wooden spoon to make it witchier.

Fruit Press

My new fruit press, for making wines and meads! Woohoo!

My new fruit press, for making wines and meads! Woohoo!

Happy Halloween and Splendid Samhain (pronounced Sow-en),
Samhain is the Irish new year. Everything begins in the void in darkness and the new year is no different. Right when everything gets cold and dark the new spring is developing underground in the land. Ready to be born at winter Solstice.
There are many traditions surrounding Samhain, the most well known of course is guising. That is getting into costume in order to blend in with the dead and other spirits who are visiting, since the veil between this world and the otherworld/afterlife is at its thinnest this season.
People light lanterns to attract or distract wandering spirits. They set out dinners for ancestors, and do divination on Samhain night.Young unmarried women would do divination with apples and mirrors to see who they might marry in the coming year.
Samhain is also a noted event in the story of the Morrigan. On Samhain, the eve of the second battle of Magh Turehd she coupled with the great god the Dagda to favor his side in battle against the Fomorians, an underworldly seamonster race.
There are many more such stories, but thats some of the basics I thought I would tell you before I come over dressed up as gods know what tonight with stuff to make some elderberry wine with you.
Kisses and love,
Sara