Monday, April 29, 2013

A time to start a verticle garden...

OK, this time I'm really going to try it.  Growing plants, that is.  I'm a total wiz with dried herbs which may be why I tend to have such horrid luck with trying to grow them. (They must sense what their eventual fate will be!). This time, I'm going to focus on simple herbs that I use in the kitchen.

The soil in our yard (town!) is pretty horrid for growing things so I thought that I'd try to use pots. That got me to thinking about boxes on the porch railing or even a vertical garden in the kitchen.

Well, I've started both.  Depending on how well this goes, I may expand the pots on the deck.  If the vertical herb garden in the kitchen really takes off, I have some more wall space to do another one or two.

Here are a couple pics of them.  They were just planted yesterday and I swear that they're already bigger!

If they do really well, I may have to invest in a raised garden for the desk and try vegetables.  The only reason that I didn't start with easy vegetables is that we have tons of squirrels, raccoons, and skunks. I'd have to devise some sort of chicken wire top for the raised garden.  That's a bit more work than I wanted to start out with.

Baby steps.  Baby steps.

Ciao a tutti!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Italian words for spells, charms, and the working of magic.

Ciao a tutti!

I've spent that last couple of days in bed with a very mild case of the flu and it's given me the time to do a bit of light research into my Italian language lessons.

As an Italian-American, I'm always looking for Italian words and phrases to re-integrate into my practice.  It can be a bit difficult as many words that come down to use through "Italian-American Language" aren't necessarily correct Italian.  They often are dialects, slang, or combinations.

A mundane example that many will be familiar with are:
gabagool - slang/dialect for capicola
prochut - slang for prosciutto
rigot - slang for ricotta
manigot - slang for manicotti
and, of course maddon' or mahdawn for "madonna mia".

Unless there is a personal or compelling reason for keeping the Italian-American slang, my personal preference is to figure our what the correct root word is and to use it and its pronunciation.  For instance, I say "prosciutto" and not "prochut" and I also say "mozzarella" (pronounced mohz-zah-REL-lah) instead of "mootsorell" because I have no personal attachment to the slang. For the most part, I also think that the original Italian sounds more pleasing to my ears.

What does this have to do with spells and charms? I'm glad you asked. :-)
It seems that Italian (not even counting the various dialects) have a whole host of words that can apply to spells and charms and magical workings. 

Here are just a few of the words that I've come across:

charm - fascino
charm bag - borsa (fascino borsa)
conjure - evocare / scongiuro
enchantment - incanto
exorcism - scongiuro / exorcismo
hex - fattura
incantation - incanto, incantesimo
sending (casting) - invio
spell - turno (to turn or change)
spell - sortilegio
spells - scongiuri
to bewitch - a stregare / affatturare
wards - scongiura
a Working - funzionamento magico (magical working)

I'd love it if my native Italian speaking friends can shed some light on this and maybe correct the translation/usage of these words.  I have my own favorites like fascino borsa, scongiuro, incanto, fattura, and funzionamento. 

What's your favorite?



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

This last month has been quite busy here. Good busy, though!

On the personal front, we celebrated out 28th Anniversary with an amazing dinner at StregaWaterfront.  It was a perfect evening! Also, my 47th birthday was on April 1.  No, really.  :-)

On the business front, Mike and I have been hard at work on doing some site redesign for StregaCrafts. We're not quite yet ready to put the changes live but we're sure that you'll be pleased with all the hard work that Mike has been putting in to making the site cleaner and more professional.

For me, I've been working on doing some product development.  Once of the things that I loved about having a brick-and-mortar store was that I was able to craft custom products for customers.  I love the "witchy hands on" creation of magical object, spell candles, incense, scents, etc.  We have things in our on-line stores but we're going to add a twist to our offerings and let customers request custome items.  Stay tuned and very soon you will be seeing our new offerings.

On the spirituality front, I was honored to celebrate the Anthesteria with Coven Synergy. The only thing that I can say about it is... WOW.

On the community front, I've been working with some of the Elders of the Chthonioi-Alexandrian Tradition of Wicca to come up with ways that we can better interact with people in the community who want to know more about non-BTW modern Wicca.  If you're interested in learning more, just send me an email.  At the moment, we have the website ( but we're also working on something a bit more interactive. (Hint - discussion group for Q&A's.)

Even though it's still cold and windy, I can feel Spring in my bones and I know that the Lady of  Perpetual Spring is right around the corner and has begun her way back to us as the Lady of Flowers.  As Spring rolls around, it becomes clear that it's time to push outward and onward and begin planting the changes planned at Hestia/Imbolc.  Today's tarot card was pretty clear about that!

This morning, I drew the Knight of Wands (Crowley-Thoth Deck) to represent the energies hovering on the edge just ready to move in.  My quick interpretation of this card is "fire of fire, dynamic forward motion, professionalism, through the fire, challenge & unfolding".  Sounds right on the mark to me!

Happy April Everyone!


Oh, and Mike is helping me with a new blog design/layout that should be ready in a couple weeks!  He really is amazing.