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Welcome to the Sacred Hearth of Dawn Black, a homesteading hearth witch from the Midwest United States.
This is my personal journal and Book of Shadows, loaded with wortcunning, kitchen witchery and Pagan parenting adventures, heavily seasoned with opinions and politics, presented here in the hopes that my experience and research will, in some way benefit you.

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Recent Rants

Entertaining At Midwinter

The Winter Solstice occurs sometime between December 20th and 22nd and is the shortest day and longest night of the year and the official start of winter, though some folks will feel that winter has set in long before its arrival and some of us are saying you ain't seen nothin' yet! . This time of darkness gives rise to a number of holidays to brighten up the gloom of the season with a celebration anticipating the return of the light. I like to use the name Midwinter as a path-neutral...

Housewarming House Plants

If you're as bummed about the end of the gardening season as I am, you may be thinking of ways to brighten up your indoor surroundings and nothing says springtime like some green. Live plants instantly lift the energy in your home and some can also bring specific magical energy into your space. And if you aren't lucky enough to have a plot of Earth to care for, houseplants can help you to feel that connection we gardeners long for. African Violet My mother loves African violets. It was always a...

A Little Samhain History

Samhain originated as a Gaelic festival. The word is from the name for the month of November. A popular translation of the word is Summer's end though it could refer to an assembly or gathering . The festival kicks off the month beginning with Samhain night (October 31st) and runs through Samhain Day (November 1st). Traditionally festivals begin at sunset and end the following sunset, though some folkloric references seem to suggest that the festival lasted several days. Samhain marked the...

The Dirt on the the Besom

A besom is a witch's broom and the practical kitchen witch may choose her broom for looks or function or both. Many of us have two or more brooms. One for sweeping dirt indoors, one for sweeping energy indoors or out and maybe another for sweeping outdoors. They may be handmade or mass-produced. 1 There is a great deal of lore associated with the broom spanning many cultures. Indeed it can be argued that the broom is one of the most magical of a witch's tools. The image of a witch riding across...

In Season

First Harvest

The First Harvest celebration falls halfway between Midsummer and the Autumn Equinox in the first week of August. Depending who you ask, it might be celebrated on the full moon in Aquarius (while the sun is in Leo) or anywhere from July 31st or August 7th. On the modern calendar, it is August 1st but many practical Pagans celebrate it on the first weekend in August, because we have to work during the week. First Harvest can also be celebrated at an even more variable date, the first ripening of...

Orpheus And Eurydike

Orpheus was a bard, a singer of great renown, son of the Muse Calliope and also the King of the Cicones, a tribe that lived in the Rhodope Mountains in Thrace (part of what is now Bulgaria). They say that he was the first to master the lyre that Hermes made upon the first day of his birth, a gift from his first teacher Apollo who taught young Orpheus to play upon the slopes of Mount Parnassus. None have played the lyre so perfectly since Orpheus. His voice, trained by his dear mother Calliope,...

The Tastes of Autumn

Ah autumn! The world is full of color, the air is crisp and are gardens and farm stands are overflowing with ripe fruits and vegetables. The long awaited fresh apples give us apple cider with its traditional accompaniment; fresh donuts have whole days devoted to them here in the Midwestern USA, and pumpkin spiced everything is everywhere. Pears, cranberries and grapes are ripe now too, and corn on the cob is really only worth eating when it's right off the stalk, while quinces need to be eaten...

Feast Of Sacrifice

The Feast of Sacrifice celebrates the sacrifice that other living things- plant and animal- make so that we may live. An effigy is made out of materials on hand and stuffed with good things to eat. It is then sacrificed and the food is taken from it and made part of a ritual feast. There are two versions of this ritual. In one version the victim is destroyed by fire, and in the other the victim is beaten and torn apart. The Wicker Man Effigy was made famous by [love, affection, harmony,...

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