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Musings of a Village Witch - October by Ness

October 3rd - Rains have come in the guise of Storm Alex, although it is still mild in temperature. Last week I had the pleasure of walking around some beautiful parts of the coast in Cornwall – some days without a coat! 

Some flowers in my garden are coming into bloom again – perhaps this warm weather is confusing them, but I like to think that they are having a ‘last hurrah’ before the winter sets in.

Some blackberries remain in the hedgerows but rosehips are abundant – tight red and shiny skins, full to bursting of the seeds that are inside. Thoughts turn to Samhain although it’s at the other end of the month but I have started to decorate my altar in preparation.

My sloe gin that I made 6 weeks ago from sloes foraged from blackthorn growing wild along the shore is almost ready to strain. I am saving the sloes to make some sloe port for Yule although I have heard that the longer you keep it, the better!

October 8th - The winds are here plucking the fragile leaves from the trees. Leaves of orange, red, yellow and copper. The hedgerows look tired now – brambles are almost spent, rosehips are starting to fall to the ground. The skies are grey and it is getting dark now by 7pm.

October 9th - Early morning dew settles on the grass – the sunshine making it sparkle. Blue skies today but there is that chill in the air. Carpets of leaves cover the damp grass and the smell of decay lingers in the nostrils. I do love autumn!

12th October – Raining today. The once parched ground is now cold, damp and decidedly squidgy in places. Decaying plant life is everywhere, although some others are thriving in this cooling climate – nettles, ivy, holly.  Grasses are flattened by the winds and the rain. The cool of the early morning and evening is starting to creep into the day, although sunny days can be still warm. The warmth of the sun hasn’t quite waned yet..

October 21st - my sloe gin has been strained and the sloe port is now nestled in the dark to do its thing. Samhain is almost upon us and this month's energies can be felt. Like the season, I am beginning to feel tired too. Thoughts turn to indoor projects, good books, warm fires and spending some time to rest and recharge.

The shorter days, the colder weather and the current situation can make us feel fed up, down and the need to retreat inwards. Working with shadow at this time of year can be a good thing but I also thought I’d work a simple candle spell to help bring a little positivity in

Spell for Positivity

Orange candle

Orange essential oil for dressing the candle

Fluorite skull for positive thinking

Rosemary for a clear mind – some rolled up into the candle.

Runes: Kenaz for clarity and Wunjo for joy. I also inscribed these into the candle. 

(I worked this spell on a waxing moon)

Sit in front of your candle and light it. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the flame. Think about the positivity radiating out of the flame – upwards and outwards enveloping you. 

When you feel ready say the following:

By the waxing moon

I light this flame

The energies have now shifted

I call upon positive thoughts and clarity of mind 

And ask this fog to be lifted

So mote it be!

When the candle burns down and extinguishes, visualise the smoke carrying away any negative thoughts. 

Souling Cakes

This fabulous recipe is from Rachel Pattersons’s ‘Practically Pagan - An Alternative Guide to Cooking’ book. The recipe can be found under the section ‘October’ and is perfect with an afternoon cup of tea. They can also be left as an offering on your ancestor altar for Samhain.


350g/12 ¼ oz plain flour (all purpose)

175g/6 oz caster sugar

175g/6 oz butter, softened

1 egg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

Pinch nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar


Preheat your oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4. Grease two baking sheets. Mix all the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter. Add the egg and vinegar and mix together to form a soft dough.

On a floured surface, roll out to about 5mm/ ¼” and cut into rounds with a cookie cutter. Place on the prepared trays. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.

See you next month!

Samhain Blessings to you all x

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