Author: Lindsay Vermillion

Butter Stealing Witches, Hags as Hares & Other Tales on this Blessed Beltane

Below is a collection of fables, folklore, and some May Day traditions that I was not previously familiar with. I have done my best to credit the authors of these yarns, along with a list of references at the end. Ordinarily I write these posts myself, but felt that sharing a collection pieces from my some of my favorite blogs, compiled with some illustrations by others and photos of my own may serve well for this sort of entry.   Butter Stealing Witches From:  The Fading Year On May Day, or more particularly, May morning, witches are traditionally believed to be able to steal their neighbor’s milk or butter, so that no amount of churning will create butter. These witches, or hags as they were often known, were usually widowed women, frequently they were poor, and invariably they were known in their community as odd. Anyone visiting a household between sunset on May Eve and sunset on May Day would be treated with great suspicion. People were particular in not giving anything away, especially fire, milk, …

Time in a Bottle…

It’s hard to pick up writing again. For me, journaling is not an old friend who  (though years may have passed) you can sit and sip coffee with like no time has turned at all. No, writing remembers…. So, I apologize if this is the other side of eloquent. I have been working pretty non-stop for about a year, with but a few breaks in between, and though I am grateful, I can’t help but feel worn. This January we moved to Houston and have just gotten the chance to settle in to our little apartment with our equally little family. I am savoring all of these moments. These moments of early morning coffee, of the light casting an effervescent glow on the hardwood floors, of the smell of mint and rosemary perfuming the kitchen, of dinners eaten around the coffee table (because we haven’t gotten around to finding one for the kitchen just yet), of midday walks, and of late night conversations talking about everything, saying nothing. These moments of just living. And breathing. …

And Maybe…. Mystery

I point my ears to the farthest tree and listen to the needles sway and sing, like a nursery song remembered from childhood. I’m thinking about mending, about restoring, about the remedy of words. Dusk settles and my thoughts inch toward alone-ness. When I sit on the suburban steps staring out at the particulates and angels hidden in the ashes of cigarettes, I think of the soul, of how, maybe it smells like the dampness of rain and if it can be mended. A soul who exists in autonomy, hermiting against the waking world. Content to watch the seeds separate and sow, to watch the birds bend back their beaks in this August heat. The truth is: we exist only inside ourselves, our souls are dormant and our real selves, unactualized. Often times, we are only ever half a real person. We whisper ourselves to sleep and drown in stagnant waters, warm, and maybe even comfortable. And, so, the words we use to sooth ourselves begin to ring true; we listen without question, without second …

Vibrancy & Vigor: An Ode to Vegetables

I currently reside in a shoebox apartment in the urban area of Austin, Texas. Though my space is a small one, I do try to keep a sensible garden. I’m not an expert gardener but slowly I have noticed my pale thumb turning increasingly green… leaving me thirstier for a bigger area to try my hand at seed and soil. “The word vegetable comes from the root that means the very opposite of immobile, passive, dull, or uneventful. Vegere means to animate, enliven, invigorate, arouse. Vegete means to grow, to be refreshing, to vivify, animate. From these roots come words such as vigil, vigilant, and vigor, with all their connotations of being wide-awake, alert, of keeping watch. ‘The understanding…was vagete, quick, and lively,” observed one critic in 1662. Ben Jonson described what he saw as desirable characteristics in woman, ‘faire, young, and vegetous.’ Such respect for the vegetable soul was not confined merely to a robust sensual life, but extended into the religious dimension. ‘Man is righteous in his Vegetated Spectre,’ proclaimed Blake when commenting …

10 Useful Herbs for Everyday Magic

“… Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” ― Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic     I am working on a sort of directory of different herbs, their medicinal and magical properties as well as the folklore associated with them. Though I am not an herbalist, I am a cook / anthropologist and have always been fascinated with how herbs play into flavor, culture, magic, old life ways and seem to have collective past all of their own. I figured I’d start with the 10 that always seem to have a place in my pantry: Thyme –  Thyme can be found in most modern kitchens due to its culinary uses, but it great for magical work as well. It attracts devotion, friendliness, and admiration from others, making it great for spells and rituals regarding relationships, particularly new ones, including interviews. Additionally, thyme can be used to attract good health, luck and money, …

A Simple Silence

How to Be a Poet (to remind myself) BY WENDELL BERRY Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill—more of each than you have—inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity… Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.