Welcome to the Equinox, when day and night are once again equal but, from now on, the nights get longer and the days shorter as we travel into the run-up to the shortest day. Already, I have noticed the nights are noticeably pulling in and there is a nip in the air in a morning. As my old nan would say, “I can feel it in my bones”!! We have hardly seen summer this year up here in the central belt of Scotland. I think I have sat out twice with my herbal tea in the sun, and have worked outside just once. It is going to seem a long and miserable winter this year unless the rain goes away and gives us a little Indian summer!! They say that if St Bartholomew’s day (24th Aug) is warm and dry, it will be a fine and sunny autumn…but it was damp and drizzly with sun appearing later on, so that will be that…no Indian summer for us this year!! We will need to continue supplementing Vitamin D this winter. Personally, I have not stopped this summer and am beginning to feel those autumnal aches appearing, so I will be off in search of sun, sea and sand this September, before the winter sets in so check out the shop closures further down!
I like the change of seasons. It is a great time to inspect your wardrobe and recycle what no longer fits. Out come the warmer jumpers, whilst the strappy summer dresses get folded and tucked away till next year. Time to get the winter coat cleaned and check out the ankle boots. Wood cutting fills every spare minute as we get ready for our coal fires being lit every day, getting the kindling bunker filled and the log pile drying. Autumn has always been a busy time for people, but we don’t have to prepare and store food for over the winter anymore, as we all have freezers and supermarkets, and most just have to get the boiler serviced ready to switch the heating back on as the mornings chill down. However, it is nice to feel the seasonal change and to ring those changes.
This is the autumn of our year, when we decide how we are going to fill those long nights and not let them go to waste. It is a good time to study. At the shop, we notice an increase in sales of tarot, runes and crystal balls, as people use this time to study their chosen or new form of divination. Maybe it’s time to catch up on all that reading or find a new hobby to begin…teach yourself knitting, crochet or cross stitch or join an evening class to learn something new like a language or foreign cookery. This is a great time to challenge the brain whilst hibernating, so what are you going to do this winter through all those long, dark nights? This is the time to make those choices! I suspect I won’t have time to study this winter…I am too busy reminiscing on how I coped with toddlers back then and what will I have to move out of his way…OMG, all those crystals!! Haven’t had to worry about a toddler since beginning the shop when my youngest was 4…so I will be spending winter reorganising things out of his way!!
Bonkers for Conkers…more than an old autumnal game
In Aberdour, the old horse chestnut tree is the first to announce that autumn is on its way, then the kids simply wait…until the conkers (the tree’s seeds) begin to fall. In my day, the boys couldn’t wait for the conkers, as this was the big battle between friends…who had the champion conker? There were family traditions, with advice coming from dad, uncles and grandads, to see what they did and who was top dog. Did they soak them in vinegar or bake them in the oven to harden…the boys back in the day had loads of tricks, all of which were illegal in any competition!! It really wasn’t all about the biggest either but the heaviest. Fresh conkers are best, so as they begin to fall, select the shiniest and heaviest. A quick test is to put them in a bucket of water… damaged internally and they will float, so throw them away as they will never be any good. If they sink and intact, they are good to keep. Leave them to dry on a towel, then pierce with a metal skewer and hang on an old shoe lace. Then, it is time to challenge your mate and with alternate strikes, try to hit your mate’s conker…just check the string is the same length (another illegal move), then let the battle commence… this was serious stuff back in our day (and free)!!
However, there is more to conkers than battle. If you don’t like spiders, there is a lot of folklore about spiders and their hatred for conkers, so if you collect fresh conkers and place near windows and doorways, spiders will avoid your home for the winter, and if they are already there, they’ll leave…just pop behind furniture against their favourite wall or leave in corners of their favourite room, and wait. Other pieces of magickal folklore include:
- Carry a conker to attract good luck
- Carry to help ease and stave off aches and pains
- Carry a conker in your money pocket when gambling (can also be wrapped in a cash note)
- Place a conker in your home (money corner) to attract money
- Carrying a conker will ward off ills and chills
- Thread with string and hang conkers in wardrobes to keep moths away
So, it’s well worth taking the kids to the woods & collecting some fresh conkers…they might just come in handy!!
Lucky black cat
In Britain, we regard black cats who cross your path as lucky, yet in USA, to see a black cat is an omen of bad luck. Maybe it is a mix of both. I saw this on the back of a book and it made me think. It said that black cats were an ‘antidote to bad luck’! If you are having a run of bad luck and see a black cat, then you should turn around counter-clockwise x3, spit on the ground then state ‘Black cat, black cat, this I pray, bring me luck and bless my way!’
Rutilated quartz: my personal energizer
One of my turn-to crystals when I am really tired, is rutilated quartz. One of the Super 7 crystals, I have several pieces in jewellery and wear them often. The rutile is trapped inside quartz, which acts as a battery, and looks like pieces of hair caught inside the clear stone (known as Angel or Venus hair). It is sometimes so thin, you can hardly see it until its golden appearance is heightened by light. It can seem bronze, silver or gold in colour, and, although I am not scientific, this fine metal is the base ore to titanium!! The hair strands have been referred to as ‘captured sunshine’ in ancient times, and even back then, this was regarded as a magickal mood-changer. It helps restore a person’s vitality helps you feel better. Its titanium content helps give you strength to conquer your fears, and help you conquer changes and new directions. It has the ability to bring universal light into your very being via the aura, dispelling negative energies and replacing it with positive energy flow. It helps you let go of whatever may be holding you back, including the past, and helps you magickally overflow with renewed energy, feeling uplifted, and feel that you can overcome anything. I love it and it will be available as a Mabon exchange of energy gift on my return, to help us all get through this winter, along with a magickal cauldron divination…
Here is a bit of fun to get you into the autumnal mood when with your witchy friends (or not). Like I mentioned earlier, stocking up the cupboard to survive the winter was part of the autumnal process following the equinox. Cupboard staples for soups were always a necessity, like dried lentils, barley, beans and peas. If you carry these in your cupboard (or even if you don’t, you can purchase cheaply), fill a small cauldron halfway with dried beans, then add a handful dried peas and mix with a soup spoon. Look away and pick up a spoonful of beans out of the pot. If it contains a pea, you will have a forthcoming period of luck and good fortune, and at the spring equinox, you can do it all over again. More than one pea and there could be love, marriage, new baby, new job or new home on the horizon for you and yours. We will be playing with this in the shop by the fire on my return, so come and have a go and let’s see what the forthcoming season holds for us all…but remember, it’s just be a bit of fun…or is it??
I constantly get asked for the most complicated of equipment for magickal spells and altars, but sometimes it is all about ‘making do’ or recycling what you have until you can replace it at a later date with something better.
Take my scrying bowl…I have a beautiful silver singing bowl for my moon work, which I found in Glastonbury, but up till that point, a £2 glass sundae dish had worked perfectly for the 10 years previous! An altar cloth can be simply a beautiful headscarf found in some foreign land or charity shop! Likewise, my wand… no buying one from a shop… wands sometimes present themselves in the most random of places…down a beach at the water’s edge or fallen in a wood, picked up whilst on an Autumn walk, or like mine, stuck up ready for pulling out a peat bog in Ireland! Witches have always recycled and utilised what they had…cauldrons were just the traditional cooking pot and the broom their pre-electricity Vacuum! Making the most of what you have is the keyword of magick, and all these tools need is a good elemental cleanse and programming, with the right intention from you.
Cleanse your tool by sitting it outside for 24 hours in the elements, then bring inside and purify with Clearing or purification incense (not a stick but the real thing), and then bless and state its purpose on a Sabbat. Only use that item after that for its magickal purpose, and you are good to go until you find a replacement, which can take years, because they become a part of your magickal toolset and then it takes something really special to replace something that is already doing the job for you…or if like my wand, will never be replaced!! It is all about intention and how you use it magickally, not simply about how much it cost and if it is the best and prettiest out there!!
Shop hours over holiday time…
This summer school holidays has been nothing short of nuts!! We have been so busy, the shop is wrecked, and so am I, so I need rest & heat to my bones before preparing for the winter. My partner has booked a surprise trip, destination unknown, so how exciting is that? My magickal mystery tour is taking me away Friday 8th September.
We will be normal shop hours till Saturday 9th, then Helen will be at the helm during my absence, as follows:
CLOSED; Sun 10th to Wed 13 Sept OPEN; Thur 14th to Sat 16th Sept
CLOSED; Sun 17th to Wed 20 Sept OPEN; Thur 21st to Sat 23rd Sept
Normal hours will resume from Tue 26 Sept when I get back. Keep an eye on our Fb page…any exciting escapades (got no clues so far), I will give you a sneaky peek at my adventures as they happen to me…!!
New Moon: Wed 20 Sep @ 06.30 hrs Full Moon: Thur 5 Oct @ 19.41 hrs
New Moon: Thur 19 Oct @ 20.12 hrs Full Moon: Sat 4 Nov @ 05.23 hrs
As I set out on this exciting adventure, enjoy the autumn…Halloween is on its way!
Bright Blessings from The Green Witch
Christine Quick, The Green Witch, Mystique Moments, 59-61 High St, ABERDOUR, Fife, Scotland, KY3 0SJ