One of my main aims for 2017 has been to travel more of the magical and beautiful UK. I am originally from New York, and I moved to this part of the world because I feel a connection to this place. I believe I was drawn to be here, and feel it would therefore be worthwhile to actively explore its landscape and energies. 

I went to Scotland for the first time in August for a 6-day island tour. It was a trip full of lots of water, wind and heather! I went in search of magic, and I sure found it. These are some places that I found to be particularly special…

 

Isle of Skye

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The Isle of Skye was the destination I found most enchanting of all during my tour.

It is also known as “The Misty Isle”, and some believe it is connected to Avalon. It is also held to have faery connections.

It is easy to see why such magic has been associated with it- the Isle of Skye certainly has a mystical beauty and unearthly feel that sparks the imagination! 

 

The Fairy Glen

One particularly charming place we visited on the Isle of Skye was the "Fairy Glen". This is a place of mystery because this 1/4 square of a mile space is the only one in the area with raised mounds, and it is not known why. For this reason, along with its otherworldly beauty, it is believed that faeries live under these mounds. 

There are two are two rules for visitors to the Fairy Glen:

  1. No Whistling- The sounds hurts the faeries' little ears!
  2. Do not take anything. 

Our tour guide informed us of these rules and explained that there are some "good" faeries and some "bad” ones, and you don’t want to make the bad ones angry! 

There are stories of bad luck for those who took something from the glen. One person did not believe in them and to prove that they did not exist, took a rock. He then had two months of bad luck. So, he mailed the rock to the tour company and wrote: “Please return this to the fairy glen!”. There are also stories of harmless pranks played on visitors from time to time.

This was a wonderfully beautiful and magical place, and I would definitely like to come back sometime. I also would like to visit the Fairy Pools next time, as well, as that seems like a worthwhile place to visit. 

 

Callanish Standing Stones

This stone circle resides on a beautiful site in the Isle of Lewis. The Callanish Stones are older than Stonehenge, and I strongly believe that this is a place where rituals and ceremonies took place. 

So far my experience with standing stones is that they feel like beings, and each offer distinct kinds of healing energies to immerse ourselves in. 

But the stone that stood the tallest there, at the center, was an exception. It felt like a conduit of energy (like a wand), drawing down power from above. I believe this particular stone is the center where rituals were performed. 

The stones that were erected are “lewisian gneiss”, and they are the oldest rocks in Britain- up to 3 billion years old! This information makes me think that they must hold some ancient wisdom, no? 

Here is a video I recorded, offering a visual tour of the Callanish Stones…

And apparently, sometimes you can see the Northern lights there. Cool, huh? How completely magical! 

Photo by Emma Mitchell

Photo by Emma Mitchell

Next time I visit Scotland, I would like to check out Orkney. I believe some magic is to be found there as well. I’ll be sure to share when that happens! 

Love,

Ellie

Posted
AuthorElizabeth Brucia

Here in London we have been transitioning from Summer to Autumn

The days are getting noticeably shorter and darkness is creeping in, the leaves are starting to turn and there is that feeling in the air. 

Like many other witchy folk, autumn is my favorite season- so of course, I love to celebrate it!

Here are some ways we can play with the Autumn season….

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1. See the Foliage-

Of course this would be on the list! 

Go for a drive to take in the beautiful colors of the changing leaves- or better yet, take a walk. Walking in nature is the best way to experience a season. As you walk, also take in the crisp air and the smell of the earth. Connect and be with it all. 

2. Wear Autumnal Colors- 

Celebrate and align with the season by wearing its colors of burnt red and yellow, brown and gold. 

I also find it festive and a fun, refreshing change to switch from summer wear to big sweater cardigans and boots. 

If you wear makeup, maybe also “go darker” and switch to wearing some smokey eyeshadow.

3. Enjoy Warming Drinks-

The weather puts you in the mood for something warming. Have something spiced or with a roasted flavour. 

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Some recommendations:

Genmaicha: A Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice

Hojicha- Another Japanese green tea that is roasted

Cinnamon Tea- I love Pukka’s “Three Cinnamon Tea”

4. Try this Spiced, Warm Apple Juice Recipe-

Speaking of warm autumnal drinks, here is one simple recipe I absolutely love- pure apple juice simmered with a bag or two of Yogi Detox Tea. 

Try it. It’s easy to make and is sweet, spicy and delicious

5. Enjoy Autumnal Foods-

I just love autumnal foods… especially squash! Kabocha squash is my favorite. Head to your local farmer’s market and see what this season’s harvest has produced. Have these foods with lots of herbs. Also have some soups and stews!

6. Have a Mabon Dinner-

And speaking of cooking autumn foods… celebrate the Autumn Equinox (aka Mabon) by having a Thanksgiving dinner with some family and/or friends. 

To me, this is the true “Thanksgiving”, because this is when the Earth has produced its second and final harvest. 

It is also the end of the year, and it is a good time for us to reflect upon the things that we have produced in our lives so far, during this turn of the wheel. 

The equinox falls on the 22nd this year, so you could have the dinner sometime around this date. 

Be sure to include in your meal some apples (a most magical, otherworldly fruit linked to Mabon). Optionally also have a celebratory toast with gratitude for all the good things with some mead- a honey based drink that represents sweetness in life.

7. Have Pomegranate Tea-

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Pomegranates are linked to the goddess Persephone. It is during this season when she made her descent into the Underworld, and initiated from a maiden to a Queen.

Consume this fruit to acknowledge this process that we undergo as well, each year. We are going into the dark. Let us emerge, reborn and empowered!

Here is a pomegranate tea recipe based on and inspired by an old blog post by author Benebell Wen...

Ingredients:

3 pomegranates

8 cups water

Sweetener to taste (I use brown rice syrup or coconut blossom sugar) 

 

-Wash and wipe clean each pomegranate.

-Cut horizontally in half, so that you may see a star shape.

-Extract the seeds into a large bowl.

*Two ways to extract seeds:

1- With a large spoon, hit the back of the fruit over the bowl so that the seeds may fall out. When most of the seeds have fallen out, put the fruit inside out to extract the rest of the seeds. This is a fun but potentially messy process, so be sure not to wear white! 

2- Place the fruit in a bowl with water so that it may soak for a bit. The fruit will then break apart more easily, and the seeds will come out more easily as well, by hand. 

-Put the seeds in a pot and crush with a mortar (Benebell Wen treats this as a meditative process and chants mantras while doing this- love that idea! Good ol' "Om" would be a great one to do). 

-Put the pot on the stove, add water and bring to a boil.

-Cover and simmer for about an hour.

-Stir in sweetener and serve.

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8. Start to go into the Dark-

The dark time of the year is when we are inclined to go “within” and reflect. Take advantage of this time by perhaps journaling, meditating and/or  having periods of silence. 

 

Enjoy the season, everyone!

And for those of you down South, here is another post for you. 

Love,

Ellie

Posted
AuthorElizabeth Brucia