Oct 24, 2014

The Great October Book Giveaway - Listen to Them Whisper - Honoring the Ancestors

Our next book is the latest release from Mama Starr - "Listen to Them Whisper" - Honoring the Ancestors.  

Mama Starr is the wise woman behind the Old Style Conjure website and podcast, as well as one of the four members of the Conjure Crossroads crew who host a podcast, and the popular "Folk Magic Festival" in New Orleans, and Conjure Con in California.  Mama Starr is a passionate conjure worker, and has written several books in an effort to share the "work" she was taught by her family.

A few words from the Foreword, from Katie Lydon Olivares:

"On our paths to spiritual enlightenment and personal power, no practice will pack a stronger punch than Ancestor Veneration. The current wisdom teaches that there is no deity or spirit more invested in our success than our ancestors. Their blood courses through our veins. Therefore, as we succeed, they succeed. If only for selfish reasons, they desire great things for us and will remove blocks to achieving our goals. These powerful allies desire a relationship with us just as we desire one with them. There are many tools one can employ to develop and strengthen that kinship.

Enter Mama Starr's latest book, Listen to Them Whisper: Honoring the Ancestors. This information-packed book provides a comprehensive and forgiving path to Ancestor Veneration. Individuals from all faiths and traditions can realistically read this treasure and immediately establish the relationship for which they've been yearning. Mama Starr, author of 8 previous books on her family conjure practices, draws from a lifetime of personal experience. " 

I have two autographed copies of Mama Starr's book to pass along to you. If you want in, simply leave a comment.  If you haven't joined in here at the October party yet, check out the lowdown on this post first, and then swing back and let me know how you found me. (For example, did you stumble across my little blog here, or do we connect on a social media site?)

The month is fading fast now, so you'll only have until Monday, October 27th to get your name in the hat!  I'll draw the winners' names at 9pm Pacific/Midnight Eastern time.

Good luck!

Winners - The Thorn-Blooded Witch

The two lucky people that will be receiving a copy of The Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch, by Raven Grimassi, are:

Stephanie Clayton

Magaly Guerrero

Congratulations!  Please pass along your mailing address, and I'll get your book off to you on Monday!

Don't fret if your name didn't jump out of the hat tonight - there are still six more books that need good homes.  Stay tuned!

Oct 20, 2014

The Great October Book Giveaway - Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch

Another charming author that made an appearance at Faerieworlds this summer was Raven Grimassi (along with his wise and witty partner in life and magic, Stephanie).  He spoke passionately about the wisdom of plants, both wild and those of his yard and gardens, and he touched on some of the history of witchcraft, as well as how his practice works.

He brought with him, his newest book, "Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch - Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery" and of course I had to bring home a couple copies for you!

Here is what the jacket has to say:

"For the first time in more than a decade, Grimassi introduces readers to a new system of witchcraft, one that draws upon the old ways and the old days. Rich with spells, rituals, and detailed illustrations of plant spirits, Grimassi dares readers to take the path that leads deep into the darkened woods—to traverse upon the Thorned Path.

Meet the entities that dwell within the organic memory of the earth, the devas, the deities, the magical life force that lies within the wooded glen. Learn to work with these spirits, and use their wisdom to transform your life and your practice."

The song and dance is the same as all the previous giveaways this month.  Leave a comment and let me know how you bump into me in the wide electronic world (do you follow the blog, or connect with me on social media)? If you've left that info before, you are good!  If you are new here and are wondering about participation or shipping restrictions - read this first.  

I will draw the names for the two copies of Raven's book on Friday, October 24th at 9pm Pacific/Midnight Eastern time.

Good luck!

The above photograph and quoted text are copyright Raven Grimassi and Red Wheel/Weiser and are used only for the purpose of promoting the book.

Winners - Red Wheel/Weiser

First, a big October-sized hug goes out to the good folks at Weiser who sent along these two wonderful books for you!

And the books are flying off to live with....

Hedgewitch Book of Days -  Orion's Daughter

The Voodoo Doll Spellbook - Yasmin

Congrats!  Drop me a note, if you please, with your mailing address, and I'll get your book out to you!  (rueandhyssop AT gmail DOT com.)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to enter!  You can, of course, find these titles on the fabulous Red Wheel/Weiser site if you need a copy of your very own!

Swing by again tomorrow when the next books are up for grabs!

Oct 17, 2014

Crafting Blooming Howls - Incense for Autumn Nights

I am, like that white rabbit, almost perpetally running (and often a bit behind) but I am sneaking in just before midnight to play along with Magaly, the wickedly wonderful hostess of Pagan Culture, at her "Witches in Fiction: Crafting Blooming Howls" party.  There is a dark and lovely bouquet of posts over there to peruse if you enjoy seeing what crafty witches get themselves up to when a blog party arises.

As for my craft, I'm always inspired by the world around me - especially the hills, rivers and plant life in my delightful Valley. Although the Autumn colours have taken their sweet time arriving (we've had a remarkably sunny and warm September and October) they are starting to flash some crimson and orange here and there.  The last of the herb harvests have just come in and are hanging to dry and I'm starting to play and create some of my favourite concoctions.

Today I'm sharing one of my swoon-worthy incense recipes.  I make this incense each Autumn and burn it to evoke the smoky, sweet, earthy scent of deep Fall when the gardens are put to bed and the last over-ripe apples are dropping from the trees, and the scent of woodsmoke is in the air.

Autumn Incense

1 part benzoin tears
1 part juniper berries
2 parts frankincense tears
1/2 part cedar greens
1 part sandalwood

Use a mortar and pestle to break down the ingredients into the desired consistency.
You can be finished at this step, or
I like to add a drizzle of local honey or wine at this point,
 to wet the incense and make it stick together.
I let the coarse incense dry over a two-week period, turning often. Burn on lit charcoal.

Definitely burn this incense when wandering through the garden with your witchy friends, drinking midnight margaritas.  And don't forget to howl!

Oct 16, 2014

The Great October Book Giveaway - Red Wheel//Weiser

One of the most prolific publishing houses that caters to the wider Pagan community is Red Wheel/Weiser.  Not only do they have a varied and impressive catalogue of everything from basic 101 books to classic esoteric tomes, but they are also staffed by some really cool people (I'm talking about you Eryn).  The fab folks there sent along two books for you! The first is a brand, sparkling new October release, and the second was a magical summer release - and they both look amazing!

The first book is "Hedgewitch Book of Days - Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year" by Mandy Mitchell

"Once upon a time the witch held a place of esteem in the village; her knowledge of local plants and wayside herbs were used to heal; her wisdom and empathy made her the village matchmaker and marriage counselor; and her ability to commune with nature and animals gave her a place of revelry and wisdom. She was the Hedgewitch.

Aimed at the busy witch, who is both breadmaker and breadwinner, this book revives the spirit of the Hedgewitch and teaches you how to make every day one full of wisdom, healing, and magic. For the practicing or would-be witch whose life is more jeans, chaos, and the never-ending question of what’s for dinner than it is black robes, cauldrons, and incantations, Mandy Mitchell has a recipe for you!"

You can also check out this book review from Patti Wigington of About.com's Paganism/Wicca portal.

The second book up for grabs is "The Voodoo Doll Spellbook - A Compendium of Contemporary Spells and Rituals" from Denise Alvarado

"When it comes to Voodoo, few things are more iconic than the Voodoo doll. Known also as conjure dolls, doll babies, dollies, baby dolls, poppets, fetich, fetish, and effigies, they are servants of fast-acting, long-lasting magic. If you are seeking a new job or new friends, need to find your one true love or keep your lover at home, wish to be rid of your enemies or protect yourself from thievery, in these pages you will find the doll and the spell to do just that and more.

Drawing not only on New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo traditions, Alvarado also presents doll spellwork from ancient Greece, Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, Africa, and the European grimoires of old magic. You’ll learn how to make, use, and properly dispose of your Voodoo doll."

And here is a review of The Voodoo Doll Spellbook from Cory of New World Witchery.

By now, most of you know how this works, but if you are just showing up to the party, you can go here to view the rules and legal bits.  I throw this little book-rave yearly because I absolutely adore the kind folks who wander by this blog and bump into me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and now Ello (which I keep forgetting about).  So all you need to do is leave a comment telling me how you found me/how you follow me.  If you've done that bit in a previous giveaway entry, you're free to just tell me what book you'd prefer if you win.

I'll draw the names of the two winners on Monday, October 20th at 9pm Pacific/midnight Eastern time.  Please make sure you leave a linked comment or an email address so I can notify you in writing if you've won!

All book photos and quoted text are copyright Mandy Mitchell and Denise Alvarado respectively and Red Wheel/Weiser, and used only to promoted the books listed.

Winners - The Wild Medicine Solution and Plant and Fungus Totems

The winners of "The Wild Medicine Solution" by Guido Masé are:

Country Witch

scavengerspirits - Jennifer Lawrence

The winner of "Plant and Fungus Totems" by Lupa is:


Please drop me an email with your mailing address and I'll get your books off to you!  (RueandHyssop AT gmail DOT com.)