Welcome

Merry Meet, all. Hummingbird, here. 19-year-old eclectic Pagan and witch who works primarily in crystal magick and energy manipulation. Asexual, with a wonderful girlfriend. Not currently following any specific deity(s), but interested in many pantheons including Greek and Shinto. Attending college with end goal of a degree in Interior Design.

This blog is a digitalized record of my life as a Pagan. It includes spells, charms, meditations, notes on the properties of various magickal items, and my own personal experiences with my practice. Sometimes I post multiple times a day, sometimes it's once a month.

All are welcome here. Please, make yourself at home, and let me know if I can help you with anything. )0(

Friday

July 3rd, 2015

We're still getting things unpacked from our vacation. Today, I opened up a box and got out two things which my mom had won in an auction but hadn't wanted (she got them in a box with some other things). The first is this:


It's a very heavy metal disc, probably cast iron, with the directions marked on it. It's probably meant to go out in a garden, and maybe one day I'll have a garden of my own to put it in, but for now it's lying in the middle of my altar as an additional elemental alignment.


Then there was this small plate. Made in Scotland, it carries a 6-9th century Celtic knot pattern on it. I've tried researching the manufacturer a bit (St. Andrew's?), but so far I have been unable to find additional information on it. That being said, it's a lovely little dish, and in very good condition. 

I love auctions - they're a great place to find unique witchy stuff at good prices!

Thursday

Camp Log: Update

I finally got all my camping notes typed up, now complete with pictures! To find them all, check out my BWCAW 2015 tag.


July 2nd, 2015

It's been a busy week, so I'm taking the day off everything to recharge my batteries. This morning, I got the crystals I found last week settled and put two of them out in my fairy garden as offerings.

I also noticed that we have a lot of yarrow growing alongside our patio, so I clipped a bunch to dry and store, before someone mows the lawn and shreds it all. 


It looks a little wilted now because it's only just started to dry, but I've hung it upside down in front of my window to speed the process. When it's finished, I have a jar to store them in.

Yarrow is a useful herb for many reasons, and it can be found commonly across much of the planet's northern hemisphere. It is indeed so common that it is considered a weed in many places. 

When fresh, it has clotting and anti-bacterial properties. If you scrape yourself gardening, pressing a fresh yarrow leaf to the wound will quickly help it stop bleeding. It has the same effect on nosebleeds. I have used it to this end myself, with considerable success. Its genus name, Achillea, comes of course from the Greek Achilles, the hero who carried the plant into battle to treat the wounds of his soldiers. The flowers' essential oil is employed as an anti-inflammatory agent.

If you are working a healing spell, yarrow is an obvious choice. It could also be sympathetically identified with binding spells, as it "binds" skin together.

In the I Ching, a divination system originating in China, dried yarrow stalks were tossed as a randomizing agent. As such, the plant also has associations with psychism and traditional divinitory practices. 

Yarrow leaves are edible*, albeit somewhat bitter, and may help to reduce fever, to lower blood pressure, or to lessen menstrual symptoms. 

*I am not an herbalist, and this information comes from Wikipedia. Be certain when eating any wild plant that you know what it is, if you have any chance of being allergic to it, and what the anticipated effects are. Also be aware that many herbs are not safe for pregnant individuals to ingest. 

For the record: water hemlock looks similar to yarrow, and all parts of this plant are poisonous. Be safe when collecting.

Tuesday

June 30th, 2015

I painted my second fairy house today! I spent most of the day on it, except for an interlude of a few hours where I went to Destiny's house.


The front.


The right side.


The back.

The left side.

I took inspiration from Celtic Women's song, "Fairies", in picking my imagery.





Monday

June 29th, 2015

Right before we left for vacation, one of the women I work with was putting together a children's program about fairies. Part of her itinerary involved the kids decorating little fairy houses, and she asked me to decorate a sample for her.

Fast-forward to today. I got to work and found my little demo fairy house in my mailbox, along with another little undecorated one. They're so cute, and so easy to make!



They're just little wooden birdhouses, of the sort that you could buy for a few dollars at most craft stores. At that point, they can be painted. I used acrylics for this one, in bright colors. After it's painted, flowers, glitter, and rhinestones make for fine augmentation.

One could also go for a naturalistic theme and use dried leaves, mosses, bark, or etc. to decorate, though personally I prefer color. 

Store-bought bird houses are best reserved for indoor use, though if you'd like an outdoor display, clear coats of polyurethane or similar can work for weather proofing.

Having fairy homes like this in one's living space is a great way to attract the flighty spirits. You might even create a ritual to dedicate the house in their honor.


Saturday

June 27th, 2015

We went to another park today, this time with my other grandma and my uncle. There was an interesting stone stack in a garden there.


It is called an Inuksuk, and they were built by the Inuit. The following comes from Peter Irniq, a Nunavuk artist, describing the Inuksuk's history:


I have seen them in photographs before, but never in person, so I thought I would share! Here's a close up of the structure.


Thursday

June 25th, 2015

It's been an exciting afternoon! My grandparents took us over to a nearby park for an afternoon of bocce ball and card games. While we were there, Nick and I climbed down a steep trail to a creek running back through the trees. He went off and explored, but I stayed near the stream bed, looking for rocks. I found a whole bunch of neat ones!


There was plenty of Quartz, of course. Making up about 12% of the earth's crust, it's an extremely abundant mineral. I've identified them as follows:
  • Far left: Medium grain Quartz crystals mixed with pink Feldspar; probably some type of granite
  • Left: A sedimentary rock of some kind (some sort of Jasper, I think) with Quartz growing out the top of it.
  • Top right: A massive (as in, rock-like rather than crystal-point, not as in "huge") chunk of Quartz
  • Bottom right: A smaller, more translucent piece of massive Quartz
  • Far right: Quartzite pebble

I was also excited to find some pieces of what look to me like Unakite. Unakite is the combination of green Epidote with pink Feldspar. The distribution of the two wasn't the most balanced across all the pieces I found. In particular, I think the bottom left is Epidote and Quartz, while the bottom right looks like Epidote and Slate.


And then I found some miscellaneous stones.
  • Top left: Granite; when I picked this one up, there were some neat blue flecks in it which were really pretty.
  • Bottom left: Not sure yet what this is; it's probably sedimentary, although it has more rings than it seems to layers. I don't think it's an Agate, though.
  • Middle: Fossils! I thought maybe it was just some rock conglomerate when I picked it up, but then I was looking at it more closely, and it does appear to have at least some fossilized bones in it.
  • Top right: Red Jasper? It looked more like some when it was wet. I don't know how I could find out for sure, since I don't have the equipment for a streak test, or really to test hardness, either.
  • Bottom right: This is probably more pink Feldspar, but it looked a bit like Rhodochrosite, which I know occurs in neighboring states, so I figured I'd keep it just in case.
Ultimately, I'm very much an amateur where identifying my own stones goes, so if you see anything you recognize, by all means, let me know!

Monday

June 22nd, 2015

Well, we made it out alive. We've returned from the Boundary Waters and are staying the night in Duluth. I'm planning to transcribe my notes from my journal in case anyone has an interest in reading about my trip.

Today, I got a new book from the ranger's station up in Tofte.


Minnesota Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Land of 10,000 Lakes was put together by Dan R. Lynch and Bob Lynch, and let me just say that if any of you have any interest in collecting Minnesota rocks and minerals, this book could be indispensable. It doesn't contain any metaphysical information, of course, but I want to try collecting more of my own specimens, and I've already identified the components of a pair of rocks I picked up at lunch, which I've never been able to do before.

Then at dinner, I had to laugh - the restaurant had cuts of the same MN agate geodes I'd been reading about on display.


Sunday

Camp Log: 6/21/15

(From Hummingbird’s logs, edited and transcribed 7/2/15)

Happy Summer Solstice! It turned out to be a nice one, though you wouldn't have guessed it this morning. The day dawned misty and overcast, though it was calm. I got up around 6:30 and found it was rather chilly. Grandpa had a kettle of lake water on the stove fore breakfast, so I sat by him and just rested for a bit. The plan had been to pick the first nice day from Saturday onward to head back to the Sawbill campground. Yesterday it poured, so obviously that was out. We kept a close eye on the weather this morning to see what it looked like.

For breakfast, we had oatmeal, almonds, and dried berries again. I also washed the dishes, so as to make use of the hot water. By the time we finished up, the sun had burned some of the mist off. I went out on a rock to get a look at the clouds and slipped, sliding into the lake and soaking myself from the knees down. I was able to get a look at the clouds, though. They were still grey, but appeared to be moving off.

Eventually (aka 8:00), we made the executive decision to head out while the weather held, seeing as we had no way to know what tomorrow would be like. The boys and I tore down our tent and the rainfly. The others got the rest of the supplies. By 10:00, we were ready to go. Just before we left, the boys found a little crayfish off shore. A ton of minnows died last night (possibly due to sediment washing into the lake from the rain), and the crayfish was grabbing their bodies and eating them.

The sun broke through the clouds, and with almost no wind, it was one of the nicest days we have had. Nick and I got out way ahead of the others, so we floated along right next to Hog Creek after crossing the lake. The seagulls gave us a bit of a send-off, and we saw the eagle wheeling around by the opposite shore.

When the others got on the lake finally, Nick and I headed onto the creek. There were lots of birds up in the trees - grackles, rad winged blackbirds, and some other songbirds. We were cutting a pretty good pace at first, but the father upstream we got, the more the current picked up, and the harder it was to steer. We kept seeing places we recognized, though, and i saw a couple more Tiger Swallowtails, so we both felt pretty good about where we were headed, at least.

When we got to the portage, it looked like there was a lot more water coming down the rapids this time. Nick and I hauled our things across, and then carried the canoe over together to load it back up. I fell in the water again, because I wasn't paying attention. Also, we put our canoe in on the far side of the portage, closer to the rapids, so we could avoid a huge mud puddle.

We waited there for everyone else to catch up, and I pointed out a red-headed merganser to Nick. He also saw a toad while I was holding the canoe, fishing out spiders with my paddle. The others finally arrived, and once we got back on the creek it was only another 1/4 mile or so to the entry point  - barely two minutes of paddling.

Everyone was totally exhausted when we got back that we just stuffed everything in the cars as quickly as we could. Grandpa had to drain some rainwater out of his truck bed, and then we loaded the three canoes up on top again.

We drove back to the Sawbill campground and took sites 2 and 3. Lunch was ASAP - string cheese, granola bars, peanut butter on bagels, dried coconut, mango, cherries, and apples, beef jerky, freeze dried edamame, and gummy bears. Soon after, I advocated for getting the tents set up in case of another change in the weather. The boys helped me put it up, and then they went down to the lake while I very meticulously brushed out of the tent as I could while letting it air out.

Not long after, I walked down with grandpa and dad to the waterspout to fill up all the water bottles and look at the scenery. There's a very nice pier out onto Sawbill Lake. Apparently, the boys found a snapping turtle there, but by the time I arrived it had gone.

Right around 6:00 we got started on dinner. Mom had a readymade rice package which just had to be heated up, and then we had summer sausage and cheesecake pudding. Somewhere along the line this morning while packing, the soap had gotten mislaid, so that took a while to find, but once everything was washed up, we went over to the Outfitter's.

The Outfitter's had some camp pillows which I liked but were a little outside my budget. The owners have a dog, though, named Pheobe. I pet her for a while, and she lay down on the floor for a tummy rub. Everyone else purchased their necessities, and we walked back to camp.

Grandpa had bought a tent patch kit, so we were finally able to fix the tear in our rainfly. It's not as neat as it probably could have been, but it should stop it getting any bigger.

If the good weather holds, the plan for tomorrow is to day trip on Sawbill. There's a good chance it may rain tomorrow, though, so in that event we'll head out for a hotel in Duluth. Either way, it will probably be eventful.

(As it would turn out, the weather the following day was terrible. We split camp and headed for Duluth.)

June 21st, 2015

Hello, everyone, and happy Litha, Midsummer, and Summer Solstice! I am queuing this post in advance, because today I am celebrating in one of the best possible ways - by camping, literally in the middle of ever-loving nowhere. (If you're the type to do so, please send me some good thoughts for warm, sunny weather.)

Hope you all have a great day, and enjoy the Sabbat!