Greenwitchaustralia's Blog

A little bit dress up, a little bit of green magic…


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When a tutu is a must….

There are some days you MUST NOT ignore the petulant and very loud demands of an inner bossy boots who must wear a tutu.

These include; getting a new pair of pink Dr Martens, feeling like it’s a pink day, using it as leverage to get through a tired patch, going to a large family gathering, because your 2-year-old daughter suggests it or because you just darn well feel like it.

Wearing it to a 16 year olds birthday party might not be quite their thing… but do it anyway!

Pink Blessings xxx


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The Great Big Enormous Parsnip

How do you cook a one metre long parsnip in a thirty centimetre oven without cutting it up… and how do you empty a lake, polish the bottom and put the water back?

I love the kooky space of my night sleeps. While they appear a bit random and ridiculous, night thinks are most informative.

These two dreams from this week seem like great parables to me. Feeling refreshed when you have a toddler and a teenager, how to juggle work life balance, how to find a house that meets our needs that we can actually afford and want to live in… They all seem a bit impossible, like the princess in Rumpelstiltskin being asked to spin straw into gold overnight.

These are the great sorting dreams. Sorting this from that, and working out what’s yours and what belongs to other people.

I have no answers today, but love the way my unconscious state is continuing to problem solve for me and work out some next steps to my modern-day dilemmas. If not I will put out there for a morning waking answer from my fairy godmother… or, she who knows.

Any ideas on cooking that parsnip?

Green Blessings.


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Oiling the Pelt

When your pelt is dry and cracked, sometimes you need a break, and sometimes you need to oil it. Sometimes you need to do both. I made a soothing unguent for my pelt before heading to the ocean on the weekend.

Making Dew of the Sea Oil

1. I set up an altar for the Selkie before I began my work.

2. Collected all the rosemary I had dried from my patch and put it into a non reactive saucepan.

3. I covered it with Almond Oil until just covered and put it on the lowest possible heat for up to three hours. (Please don’t boil!)

4. Cooled the oil and then strained through cheesecloth and bottled in a dark glass container.

5. Put the oil on the altar to mellow while I went in search of my pelt for a few days.

6. Searching for the pelt: finding joy, peace and happiness in simple things over three days at http://www.johannaretreat.com/






7. Home, physically and metaphorically.

8. Tried out my Dew of the Sea Oil. My pelt breathed a deep sigh of relief as I anointed my hands. Now I am really HOME!

I wish you three-fold courage to try to restore you own pelt. Only you can.

PS. Abundance to Red Catherine at Artemis in Mannum, South Australia, who shared her story of the Selkies on Kangaroo Island, Australia. It gives me joy to know I don’t have to travel to the Orkney Islands to glimpse these magickal creatures, but may be lucky closer to my own shores.

Green Blessings


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Baba and the Skull

So Baba had given her message to me. Focus, get on with the task. Dr Estes had also given her wise counsel. Sort the compost and watch your feelings.

I was very fortunate I had been given the skull to see my way home. I felt like it was only a matter of time before I found the ring.

Carving by Fernando from The Hoodoo Shop
Carving and photo by Fernando and the Hoodoo Shop.

So I raked and raked and raked. The next day I resumed again, more raking. I found it hard to stick with it. I did the task but felt sick and resentful. I was tired and desperately wanting my ring back. The rain started and I finished in relief only about half way through the task I had assigned myself. No one has to do the Baba’s tasks in the rain do they?

I came in for some morsels. With horror I realised while raking and searching for my wedding band my engagement ring had come off. A primordial scream escaped my lips. I have seldom felt so retched or so stupid. If this was ‘the work’ I didn’t want to do it. I realised I was a little like Vasilissa in the Baba’s story. She had the skull to lead her home but its illumination was scary. The things that she could see almost overwhelmed her and she wanted to throw the skull away. So did I.

I have sat with the feelings the last 24 hours and done nothing. I was conscious that I did not want to give up, or abandon my gift of the skull and its teachings. So today I am breathing. One breath in and one breath out. I am completing my jobs in rational order. Avoiding distractions. And centering myself. I know I will not find my rings until I am centred.

It is hard realising how easily I turn my eyes from the prize. My dreams and aspirations are simple and achievable, but keep slipping away from me. Every time I get distracted by a new shiny thing, a random blog, a phone call I didn’t need to take, too many things, I lose my focus.

So with great reverence and thanks I sit with breath in and breath out. I will resume the search for the rings when I feel it is time.

Blessings to the Baba and the Skull.

Post Note: With all journey’s there comes an end.

My wedding ring, lost in the wilderness for months came home. A very happy reunification thanks to the methodical gardening efforts of my husband.

It was found in the very spot the bones got boiled last year when Baba Yaga was visiting.

Green Blessings.


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Baba Yaga and the Lost Ring

The Baba called out to me last night in my fitful, exhausting dreams! The immense and never-ending task of sifting my compost. Uggh! It’s winter sodden, poultry manure enhanced and cold. I woke with a knowing that I’d lost my wedding ring while working in Baba’s Garden…and I had. Tears, admonitions, more tears. “But I washed the socks, raked the leaves, boiled the bones and turned the compost. What more could Baba want?” I consulted Women Who Run with The Wolves and read about the Sixth Task- separating This from that and thought… this might be my work, but I felt confused.

As I sat in sadness I knew it was time to consult one wiser than myself. One who knows. I posted my plea on Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes site with no expectation of hearing anything.

What I posted

Yesterday after a days hard but fair toil with the Baba Yaga, boiling the bones and washing her socks, I had a strange dream about sifting a huge pile of compost. I woke up and discovered I had lost my wedding ring in my efforts. With a sore neck (from raking) and a sad heart (from losing a cherished ring) I ask you wise one, whether I need to sift the compost or seek for something deeper? Green Blessings.
Added by you
to “Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes”

And glory be I got a reply!

The Reply

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes dear cs; assuming you meant consensual reality re raking et al, go look for your ring. If that’s where it is, it will still be there waiting for you. Pay attn to what goes through your mind as your separate this from that. That may be the fire from the skull, literally. See? with love, dr.e
Yesterday at 10:08am

And so the sorting begins. The ‘separating this from that’. I made offerings to the garden sprites, and symbolically turned the compost. I couldn’t focus fully on the task, distracted by the shiny thing (the ring) rather than the journey. So quickly I realized my error. FOCUS. This is a recurring theme for me, so needs some attention. I am committed to my task now. Today I raked over half the garden. Tomorrow the other half . I have neat piles of leaves instead of the scatter gun gardening that I was doing the day before. The compost still has to be sifted. I am hopeful my ring will be found.

I will FOCUS on FOCUS.

Special Thanks to Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes for continuing to be a beacon of hope and inspiration to so many, and to Baba Yaga for keeping me on my toes.

Green Blessings.


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Appreciating what you have- Herbs in the desert

There is nothing like a change of scenery to get you really thinking about what you do. I’ve just come back from a weeks jaunt to Mannum in South Australia, starkly beautiful, but the goddesses own country for growing that which I am familiar with. When I am out and about I find my ‘herb radar’ works on overdrive, bit like a mobile searching for reception out of range. I’m always seeking out new plants, or things I don’t have locally.
I usually do my yearly pilgrimage to Artemis in October. Red Catherine is a womyn who is a Romani, (Gypsy) and still travels by vardo (Gypsy Wagon) and lives on 168 acres in the Mallee. She walks and talks for the non-humans of this planet. My yearly visit always involves going home with bumper nettle crops that I dry for infusions, vinegars and some fabulous nettle salt from Susan Weed’s Healing Wise Book. March was very different. After a desperately dry summer, Artemis looked even more like a desert, and Catherine’s plants had taken a beating. Even geraniums, rosemary and lavenders that usual struggle on valiantly seemed to have given up.
So I had to look a bit harder for herbs of choice. I’ve always admired the beauty of the Spinifex plant, and the robustness of the Pig Face plant. But really it seemed like slim pickings to the untrained eye. An indigenous local would probably find lots more usable green offerings.
As a plant, Spinifex is mainly used for its resin, and for making implements, tools etc, however the clever Ian White makes a Flower Essence out of the Spinifex. He says it is useful for negative conditions, and a sense of being a victim to illness. It empowers one through emotional understanding of illness http://www.ausflowers.com.au/cms/details.asp?NewsID=2. As I had not had a positive identification of this plant (plant or grass) I will find out more before my next visit. Wise counsel to understand what you are using before you launch in.

Pig Face Carpobrotus rossii has mucilaginous qualities, similar to Aloe Vera. It is also a bush tucker plant, with both the leaves and fruit being useful. The red fruits are quite sweet and the green leaves can be eaten raw in a salad. Explorer John Eyre reported the plant could be used as a relish with almost every kind of food, possibly because of the salty taste.

So this visit was useful for me on a number of levels, but importantly reminding me that herbalism does require some thoughtful preparation. Harvest what is available (and plentiful) when it’s around, otherwise you may have an herbal drought!

Victoria has seemed extra lush since my return, and I am enjoying my local herbal abundance and wild crafting what I can, while it is available.

Green Blessings.


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Kitchen Herbalism

Herbalism doesn’t always have to be about tinctures and tablets. My favorite remedies are the ongoing steadiness of kitchen food as medicine. A day in the life of the Kitchen Witch is full of nourishment and magick to soothe and seduce the soul.

Today I enjoyed a nettle urtica dioica infusion, left to brew for 20 minutes. I wild crafted the nettles in South Australia, and they are potent, powerful women’s medicine. When my baby was born last year, I craved it, and drank so much I turned Alice’s poo a very unattractive green. It worked beautifully on getting my iron levels in check after the birth. Now I’m back to having it as an occasional, enjoyable green concoction. Each to their own though. My dear friend said she thought it stank, and was not at all inclined to sup on some. Did I have coffee?

Thursday’s is my throw everything in the pot day, so I made a hearty vegetable casserole, with lentils and quinoa. It was brimming with fresh grown produce; squash, zucchini, kohlrabi, kipfler potatoes…I’d picked a big swath of parsley while gardening at the community plot this morning, so I decided to make some herb dumplings to go on top of the casserole to sop up those lurverly juices. My well-thumbed cooking favorite from Home Economics triumphed again. I adapted the Golden Syrup Dumpling recipe as a base, changing to wholemeal flour and adding finely chopped parsley.


That's parsley to you!
Parsley is heck of a Vitamin C sexy plant. Its medicinal uses include diuretic, emmenagogue and carminative, but for home use, food as medicine is how it should be enjoyed.

After lunch I had a great glass of goddess nectar. Nashi pears, local apples from Harcourt, a dash of fresh root ginger Zingiber officinale (Wooow, what a belt) and these fantastic carrots, the first of my mums crop for the year. Bit of the nettle infusion left, so I threw that in too. Energy and nature bursting from the glass. Ginger is a great circulatory stimulant, so that should give my pipes a bit of what for. I crafted a fresh plant ginger tincture a few years ago, but personally prefer to throw a knob in my juice when I have them. Sage honey has a wonderful story about ginger if your appetite is wetted for more.

Anyway a hungry household and a six month old baby demands this Kitchen Witches time, so more later.

Green Blessings