Porcupine Claw Necklace

My wife and I are bone collectors. We stop for roadkill and reverently take what is offered up. It may sound gruesome, but it is a way of honouring the lives and spirits of these animals. Perhaps a year ago we came upon a porcupine at the side of the road. Its quills were scattered everywhere, far further than we could imagine. I blessed the animal with herbs and seeds and salt from a tiny pouch that I keep with me, sacred. Then we collected some quills and my wife took four claws. The claws she preserved in Borax, and last night I felt called to make something from them. I wanted a powerful, large necklace — black, to remind me of the ‘darker’ realities of death and destruction that are valid parts of life. I don’t know if I can truly embrace death and destruction, and I do not seek evil. But I do seek the neutrality of the universe.



A Busy Witch

I’ve been busy in the kitchen! I made hair oil for a friend, ‘passion’ candles for my collection, and I tried something new — bath bars made of beeswax, honey, and sea salt. The idea is a moisturizing scrub and I tested it last night — the sea salt is pretty scratchy and the beeswax is quite hard of course, and the honey is sticky — but it does work, and they look lovely anyway:


My next experiment is a muscle/sciatica salve for my wife and others in my family.

More on Flying Ointments

I have refined my ointment-making skills, now that I have proper ingredients like grapeseed oil and beeswax. My wife came home with belladonna a week ago and I’ve been playing with it (carefully) ever since! I’ve also found that passion flower does nice things for me, which was unexpected, and the result is almost a spiritual ADHD remedy. I’ve been making mystical lip balm as well, with milder but still potent herbs.

Here’s a small jar of flying ointment I made for a friend:


Here is some ‘mystic’ lip balm and ointment:


of flying ointment and supermoons

Last night my wife and her dear friend and I went on a country drive to enjoy the extra-bright full moon. I had wanted to do something for the full moon but thought I needed something more than candles and incense and prayer. So I slathered myself up in my homemade flying ointment and off we went.

I was very surprised when I began to feel physical effects from the ointment, since I used none of the more poisonous ingredients. It felt like the veil between worlds had thinned; everything felt alive. I felt wonderful and slightly distracted by pretty glowing streetlights, though my mind was still sharp.

We drove for about an hour and a half, sighting two raccoons and — surprisingly — a possum. I prayed and asked for communion with the spirits. Earlier that day I had pulled the Communion card from my Earth Magic deck, which I have pulled several times recently.

I’m not a very visual person; I wish I could say I saw spirits last night. But I felt them. I knew they were there, speaking to me. And there is nothing disappointing in that. I need to open my mind a little more and stop harping on the visual side of things, since I access the spiritual realms in a different way. I am learning, slowly.


Hedgecrossing ritual

Yesterday evening I held a ritual for an important otherworld journey to seek advice about my wife’s leg pain. I bathed in salt water and prayed for protection and a vivid journey. I drank tea with sage, sweetgrass and mugwort. I selected a long comfy dress I’ve never worn to be my ritual clothing. I created sacred space and burned wormwood and mugwort. I rubbed my homemade flying ointment on my inner elbows, wrists, neck, and ankles. Then I took up my rattle and began to journey.

The journey felt intense and I received much-needed answers. I was told an herb for arthritis pain and one for sciatic pain. I had my doubts but researched them later and found them both valid — they have been specifically studied for these ailments. I need these kinds of verifications once in a while and they always blow me away. But the main message was not herbs but of action, and I need to pay attention.


I love looking at altar pics. My own household altars follow no rules and tend to grow beyond their boundaries, organic as the plants that make my living room into a jungle.


This is the main altar in the living room. It is shared between my wife and I, and much adored.


A moose skull I found on some rocks up north, for my wife.


This is a work-in-progress altar in my meditation room.

Crossing the hedge

Up to now I’ve used my rattle and drum music by Sandra Ingerman to ease the passage of my shamanic journeys, but I am beginning to experiment with incenses and ointments to enhance the experience and add to the ritual quality of the work.

My first incense blend is rich-smelling but gentle, using the herbs more as a vessel to carry my intent.

Sojourner’s Smoke

  • juniper berries
  • cloves
  • sage
  • star anise

My new blend is a gift from my wife, who surprised me with sachets of wormwood and mugwort from the local metaphysical store. These herbs I consider more powerful in themselves (and potentially dangerous), so please do your research if you wish to use them. In addition to burning them as incense, I have mixed them with an ointment base and cedarwood oil. This is not a refined way to make a flying ointment! It’s messy, but I like the rustic quality of whole herbs in the ointment rather than an herbal infusion. It may, however, prove to be a disaster.

Giving due respect to the herbs, I will pick an evening to journey with them when I can devote my full attention and intention to creating sacred space and enacting ritual. I think it’s important to look forward to it as a deepening of my practice, not an attempt to fly around the room.