A Witch’s Garden )O(

Merry meet all,

I am posting here about my garden. There is not too much going on with the paranormal here. That is not my only passion. My garden is my other passion. I am proud to state here that the mugwort is growing to a height of nearly  seven feet high! The doe in the photo above visited my garden! I was amazed that the deer stood that close. Wow she sniffed the plants then left. I can’t blame her. She probably preferred the security of being in hiding. 

I have more lemon balm than I know what to do with. I am also growing lovage, lavender, mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, chamomile, thyme, lemon verbena, nasturtiums, red clover and anise hyssop. I’m growing cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, popcorn, purple beans, green peas, pumpkin, and yellow string beans. I can’t wait for harvest. !! For fruit, I’m growing raspberry canes, strawberries, haskap berries (I enjoyed them in my Cheerios(, and blueberries. 

This year, I used more fertilizers. One fertilizer I am very fond of is Gaia Green Organics Power bloom. My elecampane, comfrey and other plants have all greatly benefited from this rich fertilizer. I can’t believe the difference in my garden. Why didn’t I know about this stuff sooner? Oh well I do now and I love it. My comfrey flowered this year. I was sure I killed it. I enchanted the comfrey plant and elecampane which grow close together in the garden and they both grew better as a result of it. 

I want to share gardening tips with you!!! Enjoy.  Note: I wrote this for a family member but anyone can read and benefit from this listing of tips. 

Gardening Tips

Read and enjoy!!

Here are tips on how to grow the best cucumbers and tomatoes EVER!!

 

  • Plant tomatoes and cucumbers in full sun in rich, fertile soil. Amend the soil
  • Remove rocks and debris and weeds. Or the plants will compete with the weeds for the nutrients.
  • If you want, add gemstones to the soil to help plants grow. Clear quartz crystal and green stones such as aventurine and jade are good choices. The gemstones radiate energy which energizes the soil.
  • Grow veggies where there are lots of earthworms- a good sign! They aerate the soil – loosen it up.
  • Add worm castings for soil improvement and nutrients. Your plants will thank you.
  • Support the plants with stakes and clips to support the plant’s growth.
  • If you can, add a fish head to the hole where you plan to grow tomatoes. Then leave it there, like never dig it up.The tomato plant would get tons of nutrients though!!
  • Water the veggie plants regularly. If left to drought, they bolt and go to seed.
  • Leave room between each plant. Avoid overcrowding them. Plants are healthy when they have enough room between the plants. That way they don’t get moldy or mildewy.
  • Support tomato plants in cages or with stakes. When they can grow tall and straight, they produce more better flowers. Cucumbers can grow vertically but they need support.
  • Start your veggies, flowers or herbs early in the growing season. That way they get more time to develop and grow more fully.
  • No pesticides! Plant flowers nearby that would attract pollinators. If you have to pollinate the plants yourself, using a paintbrush, gently dab at the male veggie flower and add the pollen to the female flower. Bees usually do this for us. When installing a cage to support the tomato plant as it grows, place it there early on and don’t hurt the roots. Then you are good to go!

Watering

  • Water the plants regularly. I use a hose and a jug. The jug is reserved for applying fertilizers such as fish emulsion and miracle gro. Read the instructions to know how much to apply and how often. A little goes a long way. Never add too much at once!
  • I like to water my garden early in the morning. This lets the plants dry and stay healthy. Watering at night can attract slugs. Plants reach deep down for water and nutrients. Regular watering ensures they don’t dry out. Water the roots of the plants. That is why it is a very good idea to have flowers or something nearby to attract them. Bees are unsung heroes.

Fertilizer

  • Ready for a cocktail of fertilizer? Ok
  • Chopped up banana peels add potassium to the soil.
  • Never add egg shells to the garbage again! You can add an entire egg to your soil, the shells, the water you boiled the eggs in. It all should go to your garden for a boost of calcium. Plus, the sharp edges deter slugs. I save egg shells by letting them dry out in a bowl then grinding them to a near powder and storing in a dry jar.
  • Miracle Gro is a good choice but read it carefully. Yes, plants need nitrogen. Yet sometimes, the products contain more nitrogen than the much more necessary potassium and phosphorus. Make sure that you achieve a balance of all these nutrients.
  • Other good helpful fertilizers are bonemeal, blood meal, seaweed extract.
  • Less popular choices but as useful are molasses and Epsom salts. I am in debate as to how they much really help or are just a fad.
  • I like to add both granular and liquid fertilizers to my garden. The Gaia Green Organics Power Bloom fertilizer has made a big difference in the productivity of my plants. Liquid and granular are both beneficial. A little does a lot, remember.
  • I scratch back some soil at the base of the plant, spoon in the granular fertilizer without disturbing the roots, then put the soil back. The grains eventually break down. Always water after adding it to the soil.
  • Rapid Grow Vegetable and Tomato Fertilizer is granular. It has a 5 -10 -5 fertilizer which contains 5% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, 10% potash, 4% calcium, and 1.9% magnesium. This really does work. These products are available at Halifax Seed.
  • Neptune Harvest Fish Emulsion liquid fertilizer is smelly but almost magical! I love adding it to my plants.
  • I save the water that I use to boil veggies in and add that to my plants for a nutrient boost!
  • The soil must be replenished each spring. This helps in the productivity and health of your plants.

Light

  • Cucumbers and tomatoes and most other plants are happy in the sun! I grew my tomatoes from seed indoors in a sunny area. I started the seeds in soil in Styrofoam cups. Sun, sun, sun. I poked a hole in the cups and labeled them.
  • Let the plants also grow in a spot where they are sheltered but also get the wind. Wind sends a message to plants to grow a thicker stalk. That is why I like having a garden. The plants are exposed to all the elements.
  • This is why it’s vital to support the plants. In case of really strong winds, the cages and supports hopefully keep the plants from being knocked over.
  • After June 21, the sunlight decreases. Go ahead and try to give your budding plants a long growing season.

 

Soil

  • I am glad to hear you prepared the garden bed first. That is vital. I can share some soil mixes I made for my plants. I went to some real work for one of my haskap berry plants. I got a big bowl and I mixed up some fertilizers in the bowl. Before I added that to the spot where the plant would grow, (and I even added a quartz gemstone), I dug a big hole where I would plant it. Then I added the soil from that hole to the bowl. I did my best to remove rocks and debris. It was cold out there but I sat in the cold and worked it. Then when I had removed as many little stones as I could, I added the mixture back to the root hole. Then I put the haskap plant in. The rest is history.
  • I worked the soil in the veggie patch last year. I raked all the to soil back. It was a big patch. I had everything I needed at hand. I cracked a whole egg and added that. I added the egg shells I had stored all fall and winter to the soil. I added bonemeal, worm castings, and mixed it all up. I put the topsoil back and mixed it all together. After that, I added the plants.

Pests

  • There are neutral ways to counteract pests in your garden.
  • Remember, pests can develop a resistance to the toxic chemicals of pesticides which I never add to my garden.
  • Beneficial insects happily march to the front lines in a faceoff with the bad bugs. It’s nature’s way. I direct seed nasturtium plants in my garden. Direct seed means plant the seeds right in the soil rather than starting the plants inside. The nasturtiums attract the aphids (which ants harvest, btw), but that gets the attention of the beneficial insects. Ladybugs eat aphids!
  • I sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of my plants to deter slugs. Use broken glass bits, egg shells and coffee grounds. The grounds contain nitrogen but it is OK. Add it again after the rain. The egg shells + grounds are hard on slugs’ soft slimy bodies. Beer in a deep dish catches them too.
  • Make a mix of water, dish soap and cayenne to a spray bottle. Spritz your plants with it. If plants taste bad, the bugs won’t eat it. But to save your tastebuds, always wash what you bring in from the garden.
  • If plants are healthy, they can resist most bugs that want to eat them. Bugs can be washed off your plants with a strong spray of water.

 

Harvest

  • After all that hard work, the harvest is the reward. I don’t know how to stop powdery mildew. It can affect the harvest. Following most of the above tips can hopefully avert that problem.
  • If the frost is near, then it is time to bring in your fruits! For me, it is a bittersweet time. If plants are cut from the vine, they get no more nutrients. But at some point, we all have to do it.
  • Tomatoes can ripen on a windowsill. Cucumbers can ripen indoors. I can’t wait to harvest my onions. Some veggies have to be ‘cured’ first. They have to dry out for a few days so they are ready for storage.
  • Mm who can resist veggies you grew yourself? Not a touch of that Monsanto poisoning. Yeah, I suspect my primary blog was hacked cuz I was outspoken about Monsanto. Ha didn’t stop me.
  • Vines and stalks can be left to decompose and yes add their own nutrients to the soil. For example, I grow peas every year which are a natural source of nitrogen. When they are done, I cut the vines, get the last of the peas, and add the vines and the soil to the garden from the pots. All winter, they break down, leaving behind a good dose of nitrogen.
  • But tomato stalks take a long time to decompose. Don’t worry. Just put them somewhere else in the garden to die back.

Seeds

  • You can save your own seeds from your plants. You need as much patience with this as you had when growing your tomatoes and cukes.
  • Always keep only the strongest plants and the strongest seeds. Those strong seeds adapt to the growing conditions of your area.
  • To save tomato seeds, scoop out the seeds from a tomato that looks viable and healthy. Put them in a jar with water.
  • Now to start the fermentation process, the water will help to separate the seeds from the pulp. Again, only from the best healthiest tomato!
  • Allow up for 4 days. It will begin to smell awful. That is nature’s way and normal!
  • It is basically rotting. But you want that.
  • Put a bit of cheesecloth over the jar to prevent flies from finding it.
  • When a thick layer of mold or fermentation is at the top of the jar, and the seeds are lying at the bottom, it is done. Then you can remove the top mold layer and the fermentation and even shake the jar. The seeds will fall to the bottom again. Strain the seeds into a colander or mesh screen. Wash the seeds very well. Remove the bad stuff. You are left with strong, viable healthy seeds for future plantings.
  • Let the seeds dry on a dish, not paper towel to dry completely. Air drying the seeds patiently is the best way. Then when they are totally dry with zero moisture, store them in a labeled and dated jar. Make sure the jar is bone dry and same for seeds – or herbs! They mold quickly and are then no good. Most people don’t know that.
  • The heirloom seeds are the best to save but it is ok if they are no heirloom. The best things about saving the seeds from your tomato plants is that the tomatoes are adapted to the conditions in your area. So, the next generation of tomato plants would be as well.
  • Saving cucumber seeds: Don’t save from plants that have diseases. Ever.
  • Don’t save seeds from hybrid plants. They carry that trait to the future plant.
  • Do check that the person or bee or wind that carried seeds or pollinated the plant – that you checked the pollination of the plants. You could get some weird looking plants with none of the traits of the parent plant if you are not watchful. Seed saving requires vigilance.
  • Harvest seeds when the fruit is mature. Otherwise, the process for cucumber seed saving is the same as for tomatoes. Check which cucumber is most ripe and leave it to age and ripen on the vine that you want to get seeds from.
  • Seed saving can save you money!
  • I start my plants indoors in early April. Root veggies such as turnip, beets can be planted in April. Most plants though such as tomatoes and cucumbers need to be planted after all risk of frost is gone.
  • Well, you can’t always guarantee a future cucumber plant or tomato will grow to be just like its parent plant. But that is part of the mystery.

Storage

  • Store tomatoes out of direct sunlight. Store cucumbers in the crisper of your fridge
  • Keep tomatoes in the fridge when they have fully ripened. This helps them last longer.
  • Enjoy your harvest!

Potted plant or plant starting Tips

  • I mix the soil with fertilizers before I add seeds. Seeds that are tiny can be planted on the surface of the soil. Larger seeds can be planted deeper in the soil. Some seeds need to germinate in the dark. Most seeds require sunlight or a grow light to germinate. As the plants grow, after a few weeks, you can fertilize them again. Read the instructions on the package.
  • I churn the soil or stir it up to loosen up any clumps of soil. Big clumps of soil prevent a plant from growing its best. Most plants prefer rich, loose, healthy soil. Carrots like soil that has some sand in it and that is clump and pebble free. The roots go down deep.
  • Don’t start seeds in starter pots that are so ridiculously small the roots have no room to form. The formation of plant roots is vital at this stage. The white Styrofoam cups were big enough to support the plant and let roots form strongly. They were also easy to label so I could remember what I wanted to grow.
  • When buying starter plants, check that the plant roots have vitality and are white or healthy looking. (Yes, on occasion, I have bought plants and brought them home to discover later the plants were dead.)
  • I don’t know if you have ever heard of ‘thinning’ seedlings out. It means to sort which are the strongest seedlings and which are the weakest. Discard the weak ones. Some veggies can be grown in pots. But there are a few conditions to follow.
  • Plants prefer to be in a garden. Their roots grow down deeper and stronger. They are exposed to the elements. They are naturally pollinated. They are exercised by the blowing wind.
  • My carrots are in containers. I still have to thin out the weak from the strong. I made sure the pots were big enough to sustain the carrot roots. I had to ensure the seedlings had room in between each seedling. Make sure each pot has a drainage hole.
  • Germination takes patience.
  • To avoid damping off, make sure each little seedling has plenty of ventilation and light. Damping off kills them. So put one seed in each pot or cup or whatever you start seeds in. The roots can more fully develop that way too.
  • If you do ever start more than one seed in a starter pot, which you can do, you must gently separate them into their own individual pots later. Most plants don’t like to be uprooted. I have converted to Styrofoam cups for starter plants. Yup more chance of good root growth and room for the plant leaves to form and more chance of ventilation. All good all around. They are also easy to label. I even drew little pictures on the outsides of the cups- a sun, a flower.
  • The tiny seedling that emerges in a starter pot is called a cotyledon. When it forms its true leaves, then it is really growing. This goes for all plants.
  • When you divide up your seedlings, scoop them out with the roots using a tiny spoon. A spoon is better than a fork. You can’t hurt the roots. Be gentle. A spoon is round, the best choice for putting a plant in a deeper pot.
  • Grow lights are not the same as the sun. But I started a lot of plants that are now in my garden by seed. I just turned a lamp on and placed the lamp right near my seedlings. It worked.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Happy gardening!

These tips are not carved in stone. This is all based on my own experience in gardening. I have found this information has worked for me and I am happy to pass it on! Most of the information here can be googled.

 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Never Summon what you can’t Banish

Merry meet all,

I watched The Conjuring 3 last night. Right from the beginning of the movie, the terror (at least for me) never let up. I mean wow the acting was amazing. I felt so bad for David Glatzel and Arnie Johnson. The possessions looked so real and believable. Wow what an amazing and terrifying movie. 

Ed and Lorraine Warren are in the midst of an exorcism for David Glatzel. The poor kid contorts, growls and screams. The older boy who is somehow related to the family dares the demon to possess him instead to spare the younger boy. That is where the movie and the story- and trouble really start. What chilled me was how normal the possessed victims could seem at times, as if the demon was temporarily subdued. The lawyers all refuse to accept demonic possession as a reason for the murder Arnie commits on his landlord as a motive for murder. This was supposed to be the first case and first time that demonic possession was used as a reason for why Arnie killed his landlord. 

“The Glatzel Family

The title of the movie comes directly from the nickname of the real Arne Johnson case – known as the “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. 

The Glatzels were a real family who called in help from Ed and Lorraine Warren after 11-year-old David Glatzel began exhibiting increasingly strange behavior, claiming he saw visions of an old man who appeared as a beast, talking in otherworldly voices, and displaying scratches and bruises on his body. The Warrens diagnosed him as being possessed and several exorcisms were carried out, where the family claims David levitated.

The contortions David goes through in the movie are artistic license – though it’s worth noting they’re performed by a real person, a little girl, with Julian Hilliard’s face CG-ed on top.

At the end of the movie, during the credits, you can hear the real recording of what happened.

Ed’s Heart Attack

We could find nothing to suggest that Ed had a heart attack immediately following David Glatzel’s exorcism, although Ed would eventually die of a heart attack in 2006.

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Arne Johnson

Arne was a real person and as in the movie, he was dating, and later married Debbie Glatzel, David’s sister. During one of David’s exorcisms, Johnson supposedly challenged one of the many demons allegedly possessing David and invited the demon to leave David and possess him instead. Following this incident Johnson apparently began to display odd behavior similar to David’s.

As in the movie, Debbie worked at a dog kennel and her employer was also her landlord. Unlike in the movie, where he’s called Bruce (played by Ronnie Gene Blevins), in real life his name was Alan Bono. On the day the murder was committed, Arne and Debbie were with Arne’s sister Wanda and Debbie’s 9-year-old cousin, Mary. They had been out for lunch with Bono who had been drinking. Later on an altercation took place where Bono grabbed Mary, and Arne ordered him to release her. Debbie apparently tried to deescalate the situation but Arne started growling like an animal then pulled out a knife and stabbed Bono to death. As in the movie, Debbie was a witness.

The Disciples of the Ram

The Disciples of the Ram aren’t real but they might be loosely inspired by real cults such as the Manson family –  this lot appeared first in the movie Annabellewhich is a fictionalized backstory of the doll (which is a real doll that was kept in the Warren’s artifact room).

Katie and Jessica

The murder of Katie by Jessica and Jessica’s apparent suicide afterward never happened, and the film doesn’t give a massive amount of backstory about these two. However, DC Comics has launched a new book titled DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #1, which specifically focuses on Jessica and how her possession comes about. It works as a direct prequel to the movie.

Kastner and the Occultist

Certainly no mention of these elements of The Conjuring:The Devil Made Me Do It were ever brought up in the real case. These parts of the film lean into the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, implying that David Glatzel was deliberately cursed by a devil worshipper looking to gain great power. It’s a fun bit of horror, which nods to other genre films and allows the Warrens to have an adventure with an actual antagonist rather than making the film a courtroom drama.

The Court Case

It is true that Johnson’s lawyer – a man named Martin Minnella – did try to present possession as a defense but the judge wouldn’t permit it. Instead Arne’s lawyers went for a self-defense plea. He got convicted of first degree man-slaughter, was sentenced to 10-20 years in prison and served five.

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Michael Taylor

In the movie Ed Warren mentions to the lawyer that there had been a British case in the past where demonic possession had been considered a factor. The name Ed mentions is Michael Taylor. Taylor was part of a religious group in Ossett in the UK, who in 1974 began behaving weirdly. After a time, a decision was made that Taylor must be under the influence of a demonic presence and an exorcism was carried out. Vicars said he was possessed by 40 demons, and over an eight-hour exorcism they managed to rid him of most them, though they apparently didn’t manage to get those pesky last few – leaving those representing insanity, anger, and murder behind.

Sent home to rest before the exorcism would be completed, Taylor went to his house and brutally murdered his wife. Though details of the exorcism were discussed in court, Taylor was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and rather than arguing he was actually possessed, the defense placed a level of blame at the feet of the religious group.

Carl Glatzel Jr.

Not mentioned in the film is the fact that some years later, David and his older brother Carl filed a lawsuit against Lorraine Warren and writer Gerald Brittle who co-authored a book about the case, titled The Devil in Connecticut, after it was reprinted in 2006. Carl claimed that the possession was a hoax, that his brother was mentally ill, and that the Warrens had concocted the story for financial gain, convincing the Glatzels that it would make them wealthy and help get Debbie’s boyfriend out of jail.

Lorraine Warren and Brittle stood by their work, with Warren pointing out that six priests had agreed David was possessed. Debbie and Arne supported the Warrens’ version of events

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is out now in cinemas.

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Rosie Fletcher

I enjoyed the movie The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made me Do it. I hope you all have a chance to watch the film too. I had to see it alone. That was not easy. I mean I wasn’t alone in the theatre. I just went to the movie alone. I wish I could have snuggled up next to my date – not that I have one. I would have felt tons better. The terror never lets up. I found parts of it even funny, like when Ed Warren transforms into a version of Jack Torrance, chasing Lorraine Warren down dark tunnel. Patrick Wilson is not only damn hot but a wicked actor who deserves an Oscar for his acting in this movie. 

The Conjuring 3 had a new director. I think that more horror movies should be made by that director. He knows what he is doing. I am sure that the movie would have been far less terrifying if it was directed by Wan. Grab some popcorn, and see this movie. It will make you leave the lights on all night. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Haunted Dolls )O(

Merry meet all,

Today I bought a porcelain doll, shown in the photo above. I went to Value Village with the intention of finding a doll with a weird vibe on it. I found it. Oh she cost ten bucks! I want to write a haunted doll story. I needed a muse. My witch friend, Pamela, who owns a witch shop and has the best most awesome shop and the brains to run it suggested I find a doll at the local thrift store. I flew to the shop on my broom (OK, OK I took the bus.) Once there, I strolled the aisles for the perfect doll. 

I found the doll section. It didn’t take me too long to find the porcelain doll I was looking for. I brought her home. I combed her hair because it has many tugs. I cleaned her face with a warm washcloth. I fussed with her dress. I am unsure if I should sage her because that may rid her of the vibe she has. I will wash her outfit and put it back on her so she is clean. 

Her name is Isabelle. Isabelle has a burgundy pouch that is sewn shut. I seam ripped the pouch open. I found two seeds that resembled garlic cloves in the pouch. My friend on Facebook is a medium. He sensed some bad vibes from her. She doesn’t want to be called Cordelia. It’s Isabelle. My friend Scott Lee Bower tells me she once belonged to a family who had a young daughter. The father was a vicar/ priest. Their daughter may have been murdered and the spirit of the girl moved into the doll. He (Scott) felt there was a child murder. I sure hope the doll’s past is not that tragic but who knows? 

I feel lightheaded  every time I hold her. I do sense that Isabelle is happier here. I know she was unhappy before at the store and in her other home. I hope she is happier here. Her eyes have something sad in them. I wonder if that will change as she lives here a long time. 

The doll at the witch shop who resembles Anne of Green Gables is happier now. A woman brought her in because she didn’t know what to do with her. The doll has been cuddled, and fussed over and lived at the witch shop for a while now. She is a happy doll now. That doll was witness to a murder. The poor doll- and the victim! I will also coddle Isabelle too. No one will be mean to her anymore. 

I appreciate it that Scott could clarify al that to me and sense that about Isabelle. Poor Isabelle. Spirits will move into a doll because the doll resembles a person. I fear mannequins. I dread them like I would dread a shark. They seem human but aren’t quite human. People can actually develop a phobia called Pediophobia, a fear of dolls. Dolls resemble people but aren’t quite right so that is why people, some people, have the doll fear. I can understand it but I have no fear of dolls. Well to be honest, the one thing that freaks me about dolls is their eyes. Those glassy eyes stare out at you, expressionless. Isabelle has an emotion in her eyes though: sweet and sad. I think the sad part is due to her unhappy past. If the doll at the witch shop can change, then I shall see if this doll can change too. Only time and love will tell. 

I smudged Isabelle with a sage stick. I also hand washed her entire outfit and let it air dry. This changed her energy significantly. I’m not sure if she will still move on her own. I am sure I will see it soon and know when it happens. It’s possible that some love and tender care could have altered that. Hard to say. 

On a happier note, the Summer Solstice is almost here! I can’t wait. A friend of mine heard of an interesting theory. The few days we experienced sweltering hot weather here caused or was related somehow to the solar eclipse. June has a lot going on celestially. Wow that is a cool theory  I am willing to believe. How do you all plan to celebrate the Solstice? I plan to burn green candles, associated with the earth, drink herbal tea and honour the faeries in my garden. I will have fun and I hope you all do too!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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The Feminine Macabre

Merry meet all,

I am very excited to announce I’ll be featured in the all-female paranormal journal The Feminine Macabre Volume 2. It will be released in August 2021.

Volume 2 of The Feminine Macabre is out in a couple of months and look at the amazing list of writers who have contributed to this volume and if you’ve not heard of this before, search online for Volume 1 or if you’re UK based click here: amazon.co.uk/Feminine-Macab

The Feminine Macabre is an all-female paranormal journal. Paranormal investigating is not the exclusive domain of men. Damn right. Woman are way more in touch with their intuition. Ghosts are not exactly tangible. It does require having a sharp sixth sense to detect ghosts anyway. That is not what most men do. I am not trying to be sexist here. Paranormal investigations are very scientific too. It is just fascinating. 

I am proud to be included in this journal. It is the first all-female paranormal journal I have heard of. Volume 1 contains a foreword written by Patti Neghri, of Ghost Adventures. I don’t know who is writing the foreword for Volume 2. I am sure both journals will contain fascinating stories. I can’t wait to read both journals. My article focuses on the unsettling true history of my beloved haunted hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

I will help promote the second issue of The Feminine Macabre. Amanda, the editor and genius of this project is hosting interviews on Facebook. I can’t wait to be a part of that! This all sounds so exciting. I don’t get paid for this but I do get a free copy. I am so happy to be involved that I don’t mind that I am not paid. The payoff is this opportunity. I am very grateful. 

I just happened upon the website Spookeats. It is how I got involved in this. Good thing too! Hm, now that the lockdown is over, I may dive back into my solo paranormal investigating. 

Till then, stay spooky

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

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Summer Fun )O(

Merry meet all,

The month of June brings us the summer solstice, or Litha and Midsummer as it also known. I encourage you all, my dear readers, to look up the stars this month. A few cosmic events are heading our way. On June 10th, we have the first solar eclipse of 2021. Next, the Moon and Mars are very close to each other on the 14th. June 21st is the summer solstice. Yay! The last Supermoon is on June 24th! Charge. your crystals and honour the Moon Goddess!

I am very intrigued by the new Conjuring movie. But they bash witchcraft. So that turns me off. I may wait till it comes out on video or on Netflix. I have so many points but I am scared to see it alone. Such is my luck. It does look like a truly scary movie. 

I have realized lately that I am too kind. I bought a book for Zak Bagans and his crew. I mailed it all the way to the States. I never thought it through enough. I should have known I would never get a thank you. I know the point is to give. I did do it with an open heart. I haven’t seen any mention on Twitter. I made a spooky bookmark for the book, wrapped it all up in black tissue paper, took real care with everything. I over extended myself. I am not doing that again. 

My garden is growing just beautifully. I am eager to watch the giant pumpkin grow (here’s hoping), the yellow string beans, purple beans and green peas. As well as the basil, tomatoes, dill, elecampagne, cabbage, chard, popcorn, sunflowers, turnips, sage, nasturtiums, marigolds, etc. Yeah it will be a great harvest. I hope all my plants grow well, better than that, amazingly. 

A deer visited the neighbours yard yesterday. She was beautiful- and elusive! That was amazing to see a deer in full view, sniffing and munching on plants. She walked through my garden patch. I saw the telltale hook marks she left behind. I did get a photo but not the greatest picture. 

We are not in lockdown anymore here. The city has come to life! I can’t understand how our economy survives. I was vaccinated recently. My arm hurt a lot from the needle. 

Being out in my garden and planting seeds and herbs has rejuvenated my spirit. I feel alive again. I’m not excited about the ticks and other pests, but I can work with that.

I have the best news! I saved this part for last! Tim Waggoner is my mentor!! He is an amazing writer. I am thrilled to have him as a mentor!! I am sure I will learn much about writing. 

 

Count the days down to Summer Solstice!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

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The 2021 StokerCon Horror Writing Convention

Merry meet all,

I’m writing this post to share my experience at StokerCon with my dear readers. It was the most inspiring, badass, and educational event of my life. It was so cool to sit there ( and I had to, as it was virtual and I seriously hurt my back) with other like minded people. The organizers, panelists and attendees were so nice! 

The event began on May 20th to May 23rd. The Horror Writers Association used Hopin for a virtual platform. Over four hundred and sixty people attended the convention. Hopin was a very interactive platform. There was a live chat which I just loved. Breakout sessions, live discussions, and the Ann Radcliffe conferences which was several live videos and discussions of themes related to horror were also offered. I watched almost every single Breakout session. There were so many to choose from.   Someone could pitch to an agent/ editor and participate in the Bram Stoker hangout bars or the Mary Shelley hangout bar, the Shirley Jackson hangout bar or the Edgar Allan Poe hangout bar. 

The Breakout sessions are discussions shared by panelists online. I was able to watch them in the discussion. Live chats made it easier to partake in the session. I watched the following sessions: The Current State of Publishing, A Genre by any other Name, Professional Etiquette: The Business Side of Publishing, The Appeal of a Good Scare, Tone and Setting, Thrilling Communities with Chilling Experiences, How Dialogue can Make or Break a story, the Guest of Honour Reading: Joe Lansdale, Totally Bloodless Horror Promotion, The Scary Truth about Horror reviews, Nightfire Fall Spotlight, How to Make a Career of Writing, Interview with Joe Lansdale, the Interview with Steve Tem, Mentorship in the HWA, What makes a book cover Good, History of the Gothic Horror Folklore, the Bram Stoker Awards Ceremony and the Sixth Annual Final Frame Short Horror Film Competition. But I loved the most the Breakout sessions!! I also viewed the American Female: Gothic, Classic Horror’s Timeless Appeal, the Panel on The Author-Editor relationship in The Horror Genre Author Newsletter as well as a few author readings. 

I also watched the Bathing Beauty: Violence and Vulnerability in the Showers of Horror, Blood Milk and Teeth, It’s Still Alive, Alive!, Real Vampires: The Reflection of Otherness in the lBloody Mirror, “That so wicked mouth”: Rabies, Nymphomania, and the Monstrous New Woman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Why is this Possession Different Than All Other Possessions: Jewish Exorcism Films. Those videos were fascinating. So many people let themselves believe that a dybbuk box is actually possessed by a demon or even that Annabelle doll. I don’t believe they are. The Possession video proved it. 

A few more highlights of the convention were the Film Competition and the Bram Stoker Awards. On Saturday night I watched the Final Frame 6th Annual Short Horror Film Competition. The videos were all scary and amazing! The sound and audio quality were amazing!! I voted for the best film I watched. 

The Horror Writers Association is proud to announce the winners of our Final Frame Film Festival that took place during our first virtual StokerCon.

The Final Frame Film Festival is chaired by Jonathan Lees, Final Frame Director and our Director of Film Programming, StokerCon.

This year our judges were ALEJANDRO BRUGUES, GRADY HENDRIX, BECK KITSIS, CARLEN MAY-MANN, LISA MORTON, and ED POLGARDY. 

The GRAND PRIZE goes to Tony Morales for Abracitos

1st Runner-Up to Brian Sacca for Joanne Is Dead

2nd Runner-Up is to Trish Harnetiaux for You Wouldn’t Understand

Best Writing in a Short Film is a tie!

Brian Sacca for Joanne Is Dead

and Trish Harnetiaux & Jacob A. Ware for You Wouldn’t Understand

Audience Award goes to Tony Morales for Abracitos

You can read more about Final Frame here:

http://stokercon2021.com/?p=141

Abracitos used almost no music. That made the fear of the actors in the movie far more real. In fact, the lack of sound was extremely effective at making the fear unbearable and real to viewers because all you could hear was their breathing. Wow. Amazing film. 

Here are the winners of the Bram Stoker Awards: 

Announcing the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Winners

Los Angeles, May 22, 2021

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, announces this year’s Bram Stoker Awards® winners at a virtual ceremony during StokerCon™ 2021. “This year’s winners reflect a deep range of works from a competitive field,” said John Palisano, HWA President. “The winners and finalists truly represent a broad spectrum of titles in horror and dark fantasy. HWA members and awards juries have shown dedication and objectivity to the selection process for outstanding works of literature, cinema, non-fiction, and poetry.”

We proudly provide the list of talented winners along with the finalist nominees. 

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Winner: Stephen Graham Jones – The Only Good Indians (Gallery/Saga Press)

Also nominated:

Alma Katsu – The Deep (G.P. Putnum’s Sons)

Todd Keisling – Devil’s Creek (Silver Shamrock Publishing)

Josh Malerman – Malorie (Del Ray)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican Gothic (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Winner: EV Knight – The Fourth Whore (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Also nominated:

Polly Hall – The Taxidermist’s Lover (CamCat Publishing, LLC)

Rachel Harrison – The Return (Berkley)

Ross Jeffery – Tome (The Writing Collective)

Kate Reed Petty – True Story (Viking)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Winner: Adam Cesare – Clown in a Cornfield (HarperTeen)

Also nominated:

Daniel Kraus – Bent Heavens (Henry Holt and Company/Macmillan)

Monique Snyman – The Bone Carver (Vesuvian Books)

Aiden Thomas – Cemetery Boys (Swoon Reads/Macmillan)

Erica Waters – Ghost Wood Song (HarperTeen)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Winner: Nancy Holder, Chiara Di Francia, and Amelia Woo – Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural (Kymera Press)

Also nominated:

Steven Archer – The Masque of the Red Death (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Jennifer Brody and Jules Rivera – Spectre Deep 6 (Turner)

Rich Douek and Alex Cormack – Road of Bones (IDW Publishing)

Alessandro Manzetti and Stephano Cardoselli – Her Life Matters: (Or Brooklyn Frankenstein)Independent Legions Publishing)

Steve Niles, Salvatore Simeone, and Syzmon Kudranski – Lonesome Days, Savage Nights(TKO Studios)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Winner: Stephen Graham Jones – “Night of the Mannequins” (Tor.com)

Also nominated:

Gabino Iglasias – “Beyond the Reef”(Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror)(Wicked Run Press)

Gwendolyn Kiste – “The Invention of Ghosts” (Nightscape Press)

Jess Landry – “I Will Find You, Even in the Dark” (Dim Shores Presents Vol. I)(Dim Shores)

Sarah Pinsker – “Two Truths and a Lie” (Tor.com)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Winner: Josh Malerman – “One Last Transformation”(Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors)(Written Backwards)

Also nominated:

Meghan Arcuri – “Am I Missing the Sunshine?” (Borderlands 7) (Borderlands Press)

Kurt Fawver – “Introduction to the Horror Story: Day 1” (Nightmare Magazine Nov. 2020, Issue 98)

Cindy O’Quinn – “The Thing I Found Along a Dirt Patch Road” (Shotgun Honey Presents, Vol. 4: Recoil) (Down and Out Books)

Kyla Lee Ward – “Should Fire Remember the Fuel?”(Oz is Burning) (B Cubed Press)

  

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Winner: Lee Murray – Grotesque: Monster Stories (Things in the Well)

Also nominated:

Kathe Koja – Velocities: Stories (Meerkat Press)

John Langan – Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies (Word Horde)

Patricia Lillie – The Cuckoo Girls (Trepidatio Publishing)

Anna Taborska – Bloody Britain (Shadow Publishing)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Winner: Leigh Whannell – The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Goalpost Pictures, Nervous Tick Productions)

Also nominated:

Scarlett Amaris and Richard Stanley – Color Out of Space (SpectreVision)

Misha Green – Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Episode 1: “Sundown” (Affeme, Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television Studios)

Misha Green and Ihuoma Ofordire – Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Episode 8: “Jig-a-Bobo” (Affeme, Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television Studios)

Angela LaManna – The Haunting of Bly Manor, Season 1, Episode 5: “The Altar of the Dead” (Intrepid Pictures, Amblin Television, Paramount Television Studios)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Winner: Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn – Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women(Omnium Gatherum Media)

Also nominated:

Michael Bailey and Doug Murano – Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors(Written Backwards)

Samantha Kolesnik – Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror (Grindhouse Press)

Sara Tantlinger – Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror (Rooster Republic Press)

Mercedes M. Yardley – Arterial Bloom (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Winner: Tim Waggoner – Writing in the Dark (Guide Dog Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Also nominated:

Florence Kelly and Meg Hafdahl – The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films (Skyhorse)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas – 1000 Women in Horror (BearManor Media)

Brian Keene – End of the Road(Cemetery Dance Publications)

Alison Peirse – Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre (Rutgers University Press)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. – The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaption(McFarland)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-FictionWinner: Tim Waggoner – “Speaking of Horror” (The Writer)

Also nominated:

Rhonda Jackson Joseph – “The Beloved Haunting of Hill House: An Examination of Monstrous Motherhood” (The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaptation)(McFarland)

Cynthia Pelayo – “I Need to Believe” (Southwest Review Vol. 105.3

Kelly Robinson – “Lost, Found, and Finally Unbound: The Strange History of the 1910 Edison Frankenstein” (Rue Morgue Magazine, June 2020)

Christina Sng – “Final Girl: A Life in Horror” (Interstellar Flight Magazine, October 2020)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Winner: Christina Sng – A Collection of Dreamscapes (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Also nominated:

Alessandro Manzetti – Whitechapel Rhapsody: Dark Poems (Independent Legions Publishing)

Jessica McHugh – A Complex Accident of Life (Apokrupha)

Cynthia Pelayo – Into the Forest and All the Way Through (Burial Day Books)

Sara Tantlinger – Cradleland of Parasites (Rooster Republic Press)

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenplays and non-fiction. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates and Neil Gaiman. 

So, as you can see from the above, StokerCon was a smashing success!!! Four hundred eighty five people attended the virtual convention with a ninety percent turn out!! Two thousand eight hundred people have subscribed to the Horror Writers Association Quick Bites newsletter. The Bram Stoker Awards Ceremony had a grand total of twelve hundred views with over four hundred people who watched!! There were 18,000 views and chats during the whole convention. There were a total of one hundred forty votes for the Film Competition. These shy high statistics reveal a growing enthusiasm for horror in all its ravenous blood thirsty forms. Horror has not died! The beast is alive and well and tugging at its’ Damascus steel chains!

I hope this continues into the future, however horrifying that may be!!

Horror was never meant to be compartmentalized, confined, or stamped, shipped and packeged into one solid predefined shape. I now know that like the fanged vampire, a convulsing werewolf or mummy in shreds it changes form, breaks out of its cage and along iwth the changing times, it changes. It pulses and breathes, drinks blood and yet invites us along as it keeps changing with the times.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Spring Projects

 

Merry meet all,

Beltane is here!  I hope you all still celebrated it even if you had to go it alone. Hopefully everything goes back to normal. My indoor garden is blooming beautifully. I hope the frost passes soon. I can’t wait to get my plants in the garden. Some of them, especially the squash, are growing so big!

I’m burning a creativity candle and burning lavender incense. My spider ring turned gray. I painted it black which was the original color. It faded from being exposed so many times from water. I painted it black using black nail polish. I never expected it to work. But each time I shower or wash dishes, I have to remember to remove the ring to protect it. I love how it turned out. 

I ordered a new dress from Killstar. I can’t help myself. I have hereby sworn fealty to Killstar. I can’t wait to get the dress. I also ordered a scented eraser and kitty pen to write with. I am by no means done ordering from Killstar. I love Killstar. They just have my style! I also bought a pretty flowery dress from the Black Market. Here are the links if you need a break from Covid and crave retail therapy. Black Market has some beautiful sarongs, and other alternative delights. The staff are super sweet and the employees actually care about the workers in the Third World countries. What is not to like? 

Killstar: https://us.killstar.com

Black Market: https://www.blackmarkethalifax.ca

Go ahead, indulge! Nothing stops me. 

I plan to complete the cosplay costume. I procrastinated working on it for the winter. I would not have worn in then. Now I will finish it. Since I am in lockdown, I can now work on it and not feel bad about it. They don’t want us to work, well I can still create. Creating is what I do best. I am determined to finish it. I have it all worked out in my mind. It will be beautiful one way or another. I have the black lace gloves, lace up boots, the mourning veil, jewelry, and a belt for the outfit. I can’t wait to wear it out. Covid won’t stop me. 

I am not shocked I am bursting with creativity. It is the spring season/ growing time after all. I mean I usually am creative but lately now more so. My garden is growing gorgeously. I can feel spring now. I’m waiting for a warm day to carve the bark off of a branch of yew wood to make a stang. I can’t wait. I have a special balm I conjured for rubbing onto wood to make it smooth. I plan to carve symbols on it and maybe add leather strings, beads, stones, etc. It will look really cool. 

If we are forced to stay home or close to home, then now is the time to finish all those projects. Yup. I may be biased here because I have a million craft supplies. But it took me a long time to invest in them. I take care of my tools too. Now’s the time to be creative. 

I hope this inspires you all!!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch 

 

 

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Beltane

 

Merry meet all,

I recently completed my short story, The Queen of Swords, and submitted it to the Writers Digest annual writing competition. I am proud to have reached my goal. Covid and the lockdown we are in here in my neck of the woods are hard to deal with. Having a goal and writing stories has helped me greatly to deal with it. I also submitted my story to Hellbound Books for an anthology call. 

Setting and reaching goals is important during a Covid lockdown. It keeps your mind busy. My next goal is to submit my novel to Undertow Publications. This company is located in Canada! I am happy about that. They open for submissions tomorrow. So I shall be ready for that. I hope this company wants my novel because they are a Canadian company. Everything would be much easier for me. I have not heard much about them but I shall cross my fingers. 

Later on, in late May, I plan to attend the virtual StokerCon convention. I preregistered and I so look forward to it. I promise a full report of how much decadent fun I plan to have. It will be exciting for sure! 

I finished reading the Ghost Hunting book by Zac Bagans. I really enjoyed it, I learned a lot! I left a good review for it on Amazon. I want to send the Ghost Adventures crew a gift. I have ordered the legendary book by the even more legendary Helen Creighton- Bluenose Ghosts. This classic book chronicles the many stories that Helen Creighton amassed. She devoted thirty years  of her life to collecting ghost stories from the Maritimes. If the GAC crew won’t come here, I shall endeavour to bring the ghost stories to them. I hope they enjoy the book as much as I do. I wish Helen Creighton was still alive. It would have been an honour to meet her in person. She lives on in her books and in the memories of those who knew her. 

I encourage anyone who’s interested to read Ghost Hunting by Zac Bagans. He leaves no stone unturned in his tome of wisdom and hard earned experience. It amazed me how much he knows about spirit photography. While he relies heavily on quotes from Troy Taylor, he also fills the book extensively with his own vast knowledge on the paranormal. There is nothing that you can’t learn in this great book. The paperback cover of the book is fragile. I mended the parts of the book cover that tore with scotch tape. I. mean I really loved this book that much. I clearly share a passion for the paranormal. 

As I type, it’s raining and overcast here. It hardly appears to be a spring day. It looks more like fall. Tomorrow is Beltane. This year, due to Covid restrictions, I can’t celebrate with anyone. But then, I do my celebrations alone anyway. This has been on my mind lately. I have been reevaluating who I want in my life and who I don’t want in my life since the pandemic began. I have been turning inward and been more reflective. I am very jaded to romance now. I blame that on my ex. I will do a small celebration maybe but seeing as I live alone and am too wise to the world now. Maybe Beltane is more suited for younger people. Beltane is one of the three spring Sabbats. It is about the joy of life, love and the return of spring. 

I hope that everyone finds a way to celebrate Beltane- without disrupting the Covid restrictions! I know that sounds dull, but that will help us get through this faster! We could all use some happiness right about now. 

Beltane is a May Day festival. 

“About Beltane Fire Festival

Our festival is a living, dynamic reinterpretation and modernisation of an ancient Iron Age Celtic ritual and is the largest of its kind. Having been resurrected as a practice in 1988 it has become a central focus for our community, bringing many many people together to acknowledge and revel in the birth of the Summer and the fertility of the land.

What is Beltane?

One of the four quarter day festivals, Beltane saw members of communities come together to celebrate the return of the summer. The observance of this hugely important time in the turning of the wheel of the year was characterised by a celebration of the return of the fertility of the land, and would have been a time when livestock would have been put out to pasture.

The word ‘Beltane’ roughly translates as ‘bright fire’ and, as such, one of the most important rituals, which survives today in our modern festival, concerns the lighting of the Beltane bonfire. Fire was seen as a purifier and healer and would have been walked around and danced/jumped over by the members of the community. Farmers would also have driven their cattle between bonfires to cleanse and protect them before being put out into the fields.

In ancient communities, all hearth fires would have been extinguished and a new neid fire lit which would have then been used to relight people’s hearths in their own homes. In this way the community was connected to each other by the sacred fire which was central to all. The festival would also have been a time of courtship rituals and a celebration of our own fertility!

The important point to note when thinking about our own festival is the joy and the revelry that is fostered in the ritual. It is about casting off the darkness and celebrating the light. It is a time for celebrating fertility, both in the context of our biological functions as well as our own creative energies, the fertility of our creative community.

Historical background

The modern Beltane Fire Festival is inspired by the ancient Gaelic festival of Beltane which began on the evening before 1 May and marked the beginning of summer. The modern festival was started in 1988 by a small group of enthusiasts including the musical collective Test Dept, with academic support from the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Since then the festival has grown, and now involves over 300 voluntary collaborators and performers with the available tickets often selling out.

While the festival draws on a variety of historical, mythological and literary influences, the organisers do not claim it to be anything other than a modern celebration of Beltane, evolving with its participants. The purpose of our festival is not to recreate ancient practices but to continue in the spirit of our ancient forebears and create our own connection to the cycles of nature.

For a more detailed history of Beltane both as a historical tradition and as a festival, please read this page.

Modern festival

The festival takes place on Calton Hill. It is a procession, which starts at the National Monument (know to Beltaners as the Acropolis) and proceeds anti-clockwise around the path meeting various groups along the way. The procession is driven by the beat of drums which urge it inexorably towards summer.

Copyright Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

At the procession’s head is the May Queen and the Green Man, followed by a cavalcade of characters who are intrinsically linked to them and their journey. Their destination is punctuated by various groups who either help or hinder their progress towards the Green Man’s fate and the May Queen’s destiny.

After a dramatic stage performance signifying the inception of summer the May Queen and Green Man spark the birth of summer by lighting a huge bonfire. The performance then moves into its community phase. All the participants congregate in a place called the Bower. From here the finishing movements of the festival are played out in a dance of reds and whites. This is also where the home comforts of warmth, food and drink are provided to the tired and often very cold performers and crew.

The boundaries between performers and audience then fades and the festival, performers, music and audience drift off into the night, taking away the memories of a unique and special event.

For a full description of what you can expect to experience at Beltane Fire Festival, read this page.

Location

While Arthur’s Seat was, in times past, the location for Beltane celebrations, at the time of the planning of the new Beltane Festival a location was needed that was more accessible and central, while still maintaining an association with nature and the environment. Calton Hill also at that time had a bad reputation relating to sex and drugs and was a ‘no go’ area of the city, and part of the aim was to ‘reclaim’ that space for the local community through our celebrations. That Calton Hill is now a popular park for all Edinburgh residents as well as tourists is evidence of the influence that our festival has had on this picturesque space.

Featured image by Prem Shah for Beltane Fire Society”

Blessings, Spiderwitch

Credit given to https://beltane.org/about-beltane/

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Mother ordered in Sydney court not to expose child to witchcraft

Merry meet all,

A new story came to my attention this morning. The story is about a woman who was told by a judge not to expose her child to witchcraft. Will we ever win? It’s hard to say if this news story is any indication. I have pasted the link into this post below.

https://www.saltwire.com/cape-breton/news/local/mother-ordered-not-to-expose-child-to-witchcraft-100579848/?utm_medium=Social&fbclid=IwAR1aZN2qsqK119susplUPHHeSd2pE3IlqJRgeUUkMQ14aDpeSb_fncaw9IY#.YIQFTzRMqdU.facebook

“Mother ordered in Sydney court not to expose child to witchcraft

> >

SaltWire Network · Posted: 16 hours ago | Updated: 13 hours ago

The Supreme Court has handed down a decision in a bankruptcy case against a former New Waterford resident. STOCK IMAGE
A Sydney Family Court judge has ordered a number of restrictions for the parents of a seven-year-old — among them, the mother must not expose the child to her spiritual belief in witchcraft. STOCK IMAGE

A Sydney Family Court judge has ordered a number of restrictions for the parents of a seven-year-old — among them, the mother must not expose the child to her spiritual belief in witchcraft.

The restriction is one of 27 imposed on the couple by Justice Lee Anne MacLeod-Archer in hopes of settling a high-conflict relationship between the parents that has been ongoing in court for most of the child’s life.

In a decision released this week, the judge noted the child is described as bright, articulate, charming and pleasant but now displays signs of anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity and is at risk of developing further mental illness as a result of the conflict between her parents.

“It’s clear the child has seen and heard a lot of arguments and conflict. Sadly, when asked to draw a picture of her family, she pictured herself standing apart from her family members,” said the judge.

When asked to explain why she placed herself standing apart, the child explained, “Just doing nothing … I was tired. That’s how my life rolls.”

The names of the parents were not reported by the judge in order to protect the identity of the child.

The father halted visitations by the mother for nearly a year contending the mother was not adhering to health restrictions imposed as part of Nova Scotia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHILD COMES FIRST

MacLeod-Archer concluded that a previous order of shared custody with the father as primary caregiver is to continue and rejected the mother’s claim for custody.

“The mother frames her submissions in terms of parental rights. But those rights are trumped by the best interests of the child,” ruled the judge.

MacLeod-Archer also wrote that the mother asked the court not to punish her for having a mental illness.

“This decision is not about punishment. It’s about what parenting plan is in the child’s best interests. Shared parenting requires a level of co-operation that is not present in this case,” said the judge, adding the mother will have access, without the father’s consent, to discuss her child’s welfare and progress with teachers, doctors, counsellors and therapists.

The mother admitted to the court she has not been seeking cognitive behavioural therapy as recommended but that she intends to do so.

The mother has told her child things that no child should be hearing including the details of the murder of a friend of the mother’s and that the child’s father did not want her to be born.

“That type of deliberate damage to the child’s trust and love for the other parent is unacceptable and it must never happen again,” said the judge.

The court was also told that while at the mother’s home, the child was allowed to watch scary movies and play violent/adult-themed games which the judge said were not appropriate for a child of her age.

The father also expressed concern that the child has been exposed to witchcraft.

“A child of seven years old, who is already exhibiting signs of anxiety and stress, and who is at risk of developing further mental health challenges, is far too young to be exposed to witchcraft,” ruled MacLeod-Archer, adding that day may come when the mother can explain her beliefs to her child but that can only come with permission of the father.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The mother vowed not to let the child visit her altar located in the home.

“I am concerned about her (the mother’s) willingness to comply with this restriction. She may view it as an infringement on her religious freedoms, much as she views the requirement to wear a mask as an infringement on her personal liberties,” said the judge.

“If that is the case,” said the judge, “the mother must realize that her right to practise her beliefs is not affected by my decision. It is only the sharing of her beliefs with the child that is.”

During the hearing, the mother said she considered the pandemic a hoax and does not agree with being compelled to wear a mask and that the current health restrictions are a bit much.

The restrictions ordered by MacLeod-Archer include that both parents comply with all public health directives during the current pandemic, and they not discuss or question the child about the other parent’s personal life or activities.

All adult-themed movies and games portraying paranormal, supernatural, violent or sexualized stories are not to be shown or made available to the child.

The mother is also prohibited from exposing the child to symbols relating to her spiritual belief.

When it comes to communication, the parents will only converse via text or email and all such communications are to be child-focused, cordial and to the point.

The child is not to be shown or hear any discussions concerning court proceedings. Neither side is allowed to post any comment, music, poems or photos on social media about the other parent and any existing posts are to be removed.

Both parents were also ordered to enrol in counselling and the father is to make arrangements for the child to have counselling to help deal with the emotional impact of the parental conflict.

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This is infuriating. It is an infringement on a person’s freedom and religious discrimination. No one is telling me what to do and what not to do, especially when it comes to my own personal spiritual practice. Everyone has the right to that. I bet there will be a backlash and strong reaction to this story in the near future. They could have written the headline much better than that. I believe a person should be able to what they want in their own home. I sure do intend to exercise my own rights. Time to wear my witch hat in public. 
I’m currently reading the book Ghost Hunting for Dummies by Zac Bagans. One section of the book discusses questions to ask people being interviewed for ghostly occurrences in their home if they practice witchcraft and black magic. That made me angry. I scratched out the words with a black stripy pen. I drew a broomstick there where I scratched out the words. A pentacle hangs from the broom staff. Never get angry, get even. 
Soar on your broomsticks!! 
Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Newfoundland oddities

Merry meet all,

I’m growing a variety of seeds in starter pots. Tomato, basil, dill, chard, popcorn-you read that right, cucumber, cilantro, pumpkin, gourds, luffa, arugula, lavender, sage, green bunching onions and elecampane and cabbage. That seems like a lot but imagine the harvest! Plus, it’s all delicious! 

I have setup two lamps where I have my seedlings. That is to ensure they receive the maximum amount of light. It is very overcast here most of the time. They will get a higher amount of light from the bare light bulbs. I leave them on all day. I used white styrofoam cups to start the seeds in. That means the roots have more room to develop. I labeled each cup and poked holes in each cup in the bottom. That lets the water drain and keeps the seedling roots from rotting. Now all I need is the frost to pass so I can put the seedlings outside. It’s not time yet for that. 

Today I want to tel you about a Paranormal podcast in Newfoundland. I hope you enjoy this post!! 

Paranormal Podcast focuses on Newfoundland oddities

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Jon Mallard’s “The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast” is published on the first of every month to share strange and paranormal stories.
Jon Mallard’s “The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast” is published on the first of every month to share strange and paranormal stories. – Contributed
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“I don’t really believe in ghosts, but this one time …” is the line Jon Mallard, host, creator and producer of “The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast,” a paranormal variety show, has heard time and time again.

Mallard has been a paranormal investigator for five years. He began his monthly podcast four years ago because he realized paranormal investigators were somewhat isolated in Newfoundland, and a podcast could be a way to start talking to people outside the province.

“The coolest thing about the show is the reach,” says Mallard, “It’s an amazing thing.”

The podcast has grown significantly since it began and now appears on a myriad of search engines with over 33,000 subscribers on PodBean alone, coming from as far away as Japan.

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Each episode is composed of different sections including hot topics in paranormal news that month, and true facts that are out of the ordinary. Every podcast feature guests from Canada or around the world, including Newfoundlanders such as folklorist Dale Jarvis, Energy worker Betty Collings, and Henry Crane of Bell Island to discuss topics ranging from haunted houses to big foot and wrestling.

Mallard converted one of the closets in his home into a recording studio, and records and edits the podcasts himself. One of his favourite episodes was released one year ago on July 1, 2017 called “Canadian Odd-yssey.”

“It was awesome because I got to highlight all of the odd things that are out there in our country,” says Mallard about the episode.

Mallard hopes that the podcast will one day be picked up on local radio stations because they are yet to broadcast a paranormal show about Newfoundland.

“One thing that really ties all things together around the world is oddness that we live in,” says Mallard.

“My dream is for everyone to know what ‘The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast’ is,” says Mallard who doesn’t aspire for the podcast variety show to necessarily become a big part of people’s lives, but instead something they can look forward to enjoying regularly.

In addition to “The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast,” Mallard is married and the father of two children, seven and two, and works as a type of foster parent. His family has been “100 percent” supportive of the podcast and his wish for it to continue growing in the years to come.

“I would love to see more Newfoundlanders subscribing to my podcast and supporting their own,” says Mallard.

“The Odd to Newfoundland Paranormal Podcast” is published on the first of every month and can streamed or downloaded off a myriad of engines including I-tunes and can be subscribed to on PodBean (http://oddtonewfoundland.podbean.com).

sadie-rae.werner@thetelegram.com

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Credit given to https://www.saltwire.com/newfoundland-labrador/lifestyles/paranormal-podcast-focuses-on-newfoundland-oddities-223500/

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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