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Musings of a Village Witch by Ness

November 1st - Samhain Blessings to you all. The beginning of another month and the weather has turned. It is raining, windy and positively gloomy today. The evenings are drawing in and at 4.40pm here in the UK, it is starting to get dark.

November 8th - Cloudy and damp days interspersed with sunshine. It is very mild for November and some of the flowers in my garden have bloomed again. I tell them it is time for sleep but Mother Nature and the warm sunshine tells them otherwise.

Leaves hang by their fingertips to the branches – those that don’t want to let go yet! Below a crisp carpet of yellows and browns awaits.

November 11th - Cooler days... That dampness to the air. Leaves now litter pavements, roads, footways and fields. The reds and oranges of late last month are turning to brown as they decay on the cold damp earth. The nights continue to draw in – thoughts of soups, stews and filling winter warming puddings come to mind. Clothes of summer are packed away in drawers and wardrobes. The jumpers, boots and scarves have surfaced and the trees are looking bare.

November 18th- It still feels mild at times and its strange to see some summer plants still in bloom. I walked around the shore and really tuned in to the energy around me. I breathed in deep and focused – almost in a meditative state. Although the air is mild, there is a stillness and a quietness from within the earth. It is starting to rest and prepare for the season ahead.

Crystal Grid for Sleep

Although I walk my dog twice a day generally and try to keep as active as I can in these strange times, I struggle to get a good night's sleep. I don’t have any problem getting to sleep – I put my head on the pillow and I’m out but its staying asleep that’s the issue. I decided to try and get a little help from my crystals and made a grid to put beside my bed. I also have a small lavender bag hanging from my bed frame.

I used the following crystals:

Green Aventurine Skull – comfort and healer

Selenite Moon – protective and calming

Amethyst – connected to crown chakra. Brings calming and soothing energies

Blue Banded Agate – calming

Rose Quartz – loving comforting energy

Snow Quartz – Soothing, protects aura

Howlite – promotes restful sleep

Blue Calcite - recuperation

I have tried to make something every month using something that is in season that particular month.

November is a strange month and there isn't a lot about in the hedgerows, so I turned to 'Practically Pagan – an alternative guide to cooking’ by my lovely friend Rachel Patterson. There are some awesome recipes in there and I knew there would be something that I would like to try for this month.

The first thing that caught my eye in the November section of the book was Bacon Roly Poly. A firm favourite in our house but Rachel’s recipe was a little different – suggesting that this was baked rather than steamed, so I decided to give it a go. I replaced the parsley with sage which is still growing in my garden as we quite like the sage and onion flavour with our bacon. Half an hour or so in the oven and I have got to say, that it was delicious! I will definitely be baking it in future. It gave it a lovely crispy golden crust with a soft and moist centre!

If you don't have the book, I suggest that you add it to your Yule/Christmas list, but here is the recipe if you fancy having a go in the meantime:

170g/6oz Self Raising Flour

85g/3oz Shredded Suet (I prefer to use vegetable suet, but you can use beef)

Salt and Pepper – pinch of each

A little water

Milk or egg for glazing

200g/7oz Bacon Rashers – chopped

1 Onion – finely chopped

2 teaspoons of dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6

Fry the bacon and onions gently until just cooked.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, suet, salt and pepper and parsley. Add a little bit of water at a time until you have a soft dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. You want it to be a rectangle about 12 x 9 inches.

Spread the bacon and onion mixture over the surface of the dough leaving a gap around the edges.

Dampen the edges with water and then roll it up. Seal the ends and pop onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with milk or egg.

Bake in the oven for half an hour until golden.


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