Harvesting First Fruits – Kitchen Witchery

Witchcraft is not just about spells and ritual and its great to return to the land and our source and there is no better time than at harvest. As pagans it is far too easy to be carried away with the mystical aspects of our path and thus lose our physical connection to the land and its offerings.  In a quest to be greater connected physically we decided we would go out in the sun this afternoon to harvest Blackberries for jams and wines. After suffering stinging nettles, blackberry bush thorns, and some mushy blackberries stains, we left with around 2lb of fruit in  carrier bags .

We will also turn our attention to the Blackthorn Sloes which appear to be coming ripe around Tameside. Apparently they are early this year and whilst it might be best to wait until first frost they will be added to Gin with a raft of sugar and should be ready just in time for Yule.

All things being equal the Blackthorn Coven at best will have plenty to drink at our rituals!!

Occult Secrecy and The Group Mind

It is no secret (pardon the pun) that as a Coven we are keen to develop our group mind in such a way that it serves and protects the group collectively and individually. It was on this subject that I was reading through an old occult text book by Gareth Knight, a well known and respected Occultist.  I thought I would share.  In this treatise, ‘A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism‘ he believes that many occult mystery schools shroud their work in secrecy as a method of ‘self-aggrandisement‘ or to ‘cloak ignorance‘ in the writer.  He goes on further to state that whilst secrecy has its place within the Occult it is not in the same sense as we would normally understand it. It is furthermore only secret because primarily it cannot be understood by outsiders.

Secrecy does have its place when it comes to the philosophy of the group mind. Whilst it is possible for a student (and we are all students in one way or another) to make a great deal of progress on his or her own, more progress can be achieved when working as part of a group. It is in a group where a group mind is established (and this applies to any group, social or occult). It is this group mind that affects the unconscious of each individual contained within it. The ideas of the group are pooled into the cauldron as it were and then open to the use of the others telepathically.

He goes on further to state that this process is automatic within any group but this is more so when what is known is kept secret to all those outside the group. This is even more so when it relates to matters affecting the subconscious such as symbolism, mythology or mythological images.

Within Blackthorn Coven we have a group mind already established which every member contributes to on a physical and spiritual level. It is usually this that helps us choose new members, it helps us identify when there is an energy imbalance or where another members might need help in one way or another. Naturally this connection between us is a work in progress and continually developing through the use of ritual and magical work both of which we will expect new members to partake in throughout their training.