Tag Archives: seasonal

Winter Walk: Sacred Thorn Grove, January’s Mysteries and the Bloody Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

14 Jan

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Steady-paced I walk up the hill. The air is pleasantly cold. It clears the mind and disperses my headache. I am not freezing. The road I’m walking up is called Am Kirschberg, literally meaning “by the cherry mountain”. The field to the left is covered with a thin layer of snow. The dark frozen soil is sticking out of the white. Ploughing traces create zen like, eye-dazzling patterns. At the end of the long stretched field the view is clearing up towards town. Over the horizon line a narrow golden band illuminates the sky. Above me are grey clouds. I am planning on a short walk, but my legs carry me in a different direction…

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Atop a stone wall by the castle, I find the wormwood has not entirely fallen victim to the frost. Next to fading foliage, fresh silvery green leaves are sprouting forth. I gather a few of them, enough for a small winter herb bundle to hang up at home. When dried, it will empower necromantic incense blends. Looking across the river valley, remnants of snow are showing between leafless trees and dark rocks. The sky is an eyeful and I would enjoy the silence, if it wasn’t for cars flashing past on a mint-green autobahn bridge.

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The Thorn Grove in Winter

The way down is frozen over and I hold onto the rusty handrail in order to not slip and fall. People coming my way do not greet me and I do not greet them either. Halfway down the hill, I arrive at the thorn grove. The path up there leads through leafless hawthorn trees growing in all directions. A jay sitting in the branches looks at me but does not fly off. Cautiously I venture on. The ground is muddy and slippery. Most of the snow at this side of the hill has melted. By the rocks I find another wormwood plant and spot a bird’s nest near where the jay had been. I am looking around, breathing the fresh winter air, trying to focus my myopic eyes on the distance. I think of none. It is a good place for the soul.

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Above, the hawthorn thicket is overgrown by raspberry and wild rose. To the right there are young blackthorn shrubs. Their thorns are long and sharp. The young twigs are flexible and make the best thorn-crowns. Further uphill, there is another areal of high-grown hawthorn trees, partly covered in ivy. It’s bordering at a property and the allotment gardens are close. One is likely to meet passersby here. But a magician knows to use the gaps and at night the place is dead silent. Today, however, I am only a passerby myself.

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A Thin White Veil upon the Field

I’m on my way home, stopping now and then, intrigued by the formations of clouds and the golden light of the sun further afar. A skein of geese is on its way southwards. Passing by wild cherry trees lining the field, I search their stems for resin and at last find a group of three tall and slender trees, the base dripping with soft, blood-red gum. I memorize the spot and proceed, faster now. I have to watch my steps. The trail is akin to an ice rink.

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At the birch tree, I stop once more. From here the field looks softer…

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The birch is a pioneer, a tree of new beginnings and the first to come back after complete devastation. The birch profits from death and desolation, but it also paves the way for others to follow and thrive. Beith is for birch, the tree of January, the door opener.

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Remnants of snow on the barren field, remind of the birch’s torn bark. It starts raining and continues to do so. The next day the snow will be gone.

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The Blood-Red Resin Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

Returning to the cherry trees, the resin is moist from the rain water and easy to scrap off. I collect a jar full, which I later place on the heat. The resin dries and hardens quickly. In its soft state it is sticky and a yellow golden color. It smells remotely of ripe cherries and of caramel, when burnt. In German it is also known as Katzengold, literally “cat’s gold”, and used for sweetening cough tea. In my worship, I employ the dark red resin tears for Naamah and other female entities. In their harvest, take care to not take everything and leave some behind for the spirits, along with offerings for the guardians of the trees. Physical gifts are symbolical and in order, but they count none without respect and patience. The latter are the true sacrifice. The trees will remember your signature and recognize you next time you approach them.

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I am thankful. The thought had crossed my mind to scar the trees in order to gather their resin. But I have not done so. Therefor I am blessed.

Concerning the Wood Wide Webhttp://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet

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Plant Sigil Card Set, Autumn Equinox Edition

26 Sep

Finally done! Here are the latest sets of cards with my plant-inspired sigils. Wrapped in autumn-colored peacock marble paper, fitting for the autumnal equinox.

As you know I am dedicating sigils to each herb I work with and keep posting these sigils here and elsewhere. In March this year I made a first print set of these abstract sigilic emanations, which I brought with me for the London Magical Arte event. The cards were passed around, single motifs were discussed and became the basis for inspired conversation. At the time I had only printed the cards but not yet made a nice packaging for them. Later I made a slipcase with paper bought from my local bookbinder. Thus far two smaller editions have been done for the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, now followed by a 3rd for the Autumn Equinox, the content being:

  • 45 cards with plant sigils printed black on heavy paper vergé
  • 4 colored cards with my ‘soul-paintings’
  • numbered edition specific title card
  • list with names of corresponding herbs
  • introduction to the cards

All cards are hand-numbered on the back. With the help of a list you find the name of the corresponding herb for each card. There is no prescribed method of laying the cards. Possible ways of interpreting and laying them are outlined in the introduction that comes with each set.

Price: 31 Euro for one set + shipping

Offcial sale date was September 22 and thus far 9 boxes have already been paid and 3 more are reserved. I hope to be doing larger editions in the future with the help of the funds gathered through the sale of these first editions. If you wish to have one please message me at info@teufelskunst.com

Autumn Fire (Change of Season)

19 Sep

I feel the change of season

this autumn fire

the nights getting longer

the impending darkness

this cold breath down my neck.

But I am aflame and

burning with passsion

to a degree that it

almost consumes me.

Memories and dreams

the future and the past

they are merging

in a round-dance of autumn leaves

in the yellow light of street lamps

or in the dim grayness of

one drizzly September day.

I am day dreaming

and the world around me becomes

like the surface of a pond

into which I dip my finger

and suddenly the whole picture

starts to ripple and disperse

and the voices of people talking to me are muted

and I hear something else.

Silence.

The veil is thinning.

I am dreaming of reconciliation.

Back in Green

23 Apr

Spent all day in the garden, weeding, cleaning and preparing containers, pricking and repotting and doing this year’s first herb harvest! Due to the mild winter and early spring the green are exploding and everything seems to be one month ahead. Our cherry tree has already flowered, the apple tree is in full bloom as well as the lilac. The meadow is white with daisies and cuckoo flowers and the sweet woodruff is already flowering. The new additions to the garden planted last year are blossoming. But there are also some ‘wild’ additions, such as the common lungwort, which I spotted growing wild now on our meadow and which has been known as a medicinal herb for centuries. Below are some recent impressions of the Green and our garden. You see what has become of the seedlings I had posted a few weeks ago…


Above: the bed in half-shade, which we dug out and manured with fresh compost soil last year – before weed had taken over the whole place, so we removed about half a meter soil, strained it and laid foil around everything. Now it’s filled with plants for study and pleasure. I start to worry though it may soon be too packed!

Below: a bed left wild and overgrowing; forget-me-not and hyacinths have found a new place there admidst ground elder unconquered. All attempts to weed it out were futile. Therefore I learned it has also some benific qualities and now would actually be a good time for harvesting and using it fresh in cooking… Besides the sweet woodruff has been expanding not only there but this year it also started taking over the raised bed! As you can see it is overflowing and it was high time to clear it and do a first herb harvest. Lets see what to do with all the woodruff and wormwood! Well, the latter I already know what to use it for… There is also our lilac tree blooming by the compost, spreading its sweet scent.

And there is also the lungwort, which I look forward to study more…

Seasonal: Collecting Mushrooms

9 Oct

 

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