Danu's Cauldron: Wisewoman's Ways, and Wild Fey Magic

Living in a sacred landscape, walking between the worlds in the veil of Avalon Glastonbury. Where the old gods roam the hills, and the sidhe dance beneath the moon...wander into the mists with me and let us see what we may find...

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Cauldron bubbles....autumn kitchen witchery part 2

Following on from my previous post about foraging and working with plant spirits to add extra magic to our potions and hedgerow cooking, one very important berry to collect at this time of year is the rosehip. Rosehips are the hard, oval shaped berries of the rose. Packed with vitamin C and a host of other essential vitamins and minerals these rich red berries have been used medicinally for thousands of years all around the world and are a potent magical resource. Like roses, these are usually thought of as sacred to earth goddesses as well as goddesses of love, and astrologically they are usually thought to be ruled by Jupiter and Venus and are suitable for magic related to these themes; love, abundance, exuberance, fertility and sexuality. Like roses rosehips also have strong faery energy, and are attractive to the sidhe  and nature spirits. Rosehips however have quite a different energetic feel than rose flowers. Far more robust, their taste and scent is quite fruity and zesty, hinting at their high vitamin C content. Traditionally the best ones to use for flavour or magic are hips from rosa canina the wild dog rose, although garden roses also work well.

Medicinally rosehips have been used to help with intestinal problems, kidney and bladder infections, stress and depleted immune systems, and to boost the circulation. When using rosehips some like to remove the seeds inside which are covered in tiny hairs and can be an irritant, but personally I've never noticed this be a problem. To remove the hairs, slit the berries and scoop out the seeds, or roughly chop the berries in a mixer, and then sieve. The tiny hairs will fall through the sieve easily.      

Rosehips make excellent syrup which is delicious and good for keeping coughs and colds at bay. It's loved by children and worth trying if they aren't fans of citrus fruit to help them get all their vitamins. Rosehip tea has similar properties, and is easy to make, just pop some berries, fresh dried, whole or chopped into some boiling water for 5 minutes. Rosehip vinegar is also good for winter colds and flu, and also makes a good salad dressing.

Rosehip magic.

When gathering the rosehips I always ask the plant and talk to it gently, as I feel this makes a more potent potion or charm, and also means I get far less scratches by the rose's thorns in return.   

Rosehips can be strung together with needle and thread to make pretty necklaces or bracelets, to attract the sidhe and to encourage loving energies into your life.  These make good love charms, as well as attracting luck and prosperity, and to align your spirit to the beauty of the wild. Use rosehips to decorate your altar, and in charm bags to bring love, prosperity or faery magic into your spells. Placed under the pillow they are said to help bring you sweet and healing dreams. Offerings of rosehip syrup to the faeries or the powers of place are well favoured, and also makes a good late autumn food source for butterflies. Talk to the rose spirits in the hips while you work and they'll add their magic to your desire. You don't need any fancy rhyme or spell, a good friendship with the plant spirit goes much further.

Danu's Rosehip syrup

you need....

1kg rosehips

1kg caster sugar

2 litres water

Wash the rosehips, and if they are quite hard roughly chop them, otherwise they will break down fine when cooked. Boil them gently for a few minutes, take of the heat and leave to steep for an hour.

Strain the mixture through a muslin or jelly bag. Put the pulp back in the pan with another litre of water and boil again, repeating the process. Put all the strained juice in a fresh pan and bring to the boil, letting it reduce by about half. Add the sugar and stir gently in a clockwise direction, visualising good magic imbuing potion until its dissolved. Store in sterilised jars or bottles. Rosehip syrup doesn't keep long once its opened, so storing in multiple smaller quantities is better than in one large jar.

Rosehip vinegar

To make rosehip vinegar slit the hips and place in a sterilised jar. Cover with cider vinegar and leave on a sunny windowsill for a month. Strain and bottle in a sterilised container.  


blessings of the wild rose spirits to you!    

danu x  




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Danu Forest is a wisewoman in the Celtic Bean Feasa tradition of her ancestors. You could call her many things- witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman. Danu lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of several books including Nature Spirits, The Druid Shaman, Celtic Tree Magic, Gwyn ap Nudd and The Magical Year'. She teaches regular workshops and online courses and is available for consultations, including healings readings and other ceremonies.


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