Sunday, 25 October 2020

Halloween Games: Mysterium - Ghostly Murder Mystery


As well as celebrating Samhain as a pagan festival, I also like the spooky fun of secular Halloween. And while Halloween parties might be cancelled this year, playing games can still be done even if you only have a small number of people in your household. One of my favourite Halloween-themed games is Mysterium, which is about a haunted house in which a murder took place. 

The idea is that one of the players is the ghost of the murder victim, and the others are psychics trying to find out who killed them, where, and with what object. The ghost can only communicate by giving the other players cards with dream-like pictures on that give clues. They have to guess the right answers before the in-game clock reaches a certain time, with each round being representing an hour on that clock. The mechanics are sort of a cross between Dixit and Cluedo, if you are familiar with those games.

Mysterium is for up to 7 players aged 10 and over. I used to think that it was only good with a large number, but recently my husband and I tried the two-player rules. It works quite well, even though it is a bit different to the standard game. If you are all on your own, there's even an online version you can download as an app and play against an AI. 


Previous related posts

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Pagan Eye: An Apple Pie for the Feast of Pomona

 This photograph of a home-made apple pie and cream is making my mouth water. It was baked by Jane Mortimer, but I now might have to get cooking and make one myself!

Jane said: "I hope Pomona will forgive me for being late with celebrating her special day, but I didn't look at my copy of Pagan Portals Every Day Magic until it was too late to make a pie for the right day. I made an apple pie using windfall apples collected locally and frozen a few weeks ago. I ate my portion with a liberal dollop of clotted cream. I'd like to think food eaten in honour of deity doesn't have any calories, but sadly that's not the case.  Good thing we had salad for our main course!"

Pomona is the Roman goddess of the orchards, and Apple Day is celebrated in the UK on October 21, but I don't think it is ever the wrong time to have apple pie!  Pagan Portals - Every Day Magic is published by Moon Books and has something to do or celebrate every day of the year.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to badwitch1234@gmail.com Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself.

The photo is copyright Jane Mortimer.

Previous related posts:
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/08/apple-season-gathering-windfalls-after.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/10/magic-and-recipes-for-apple-day-21.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/09/pagan-eye-fallen-apples.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/kitchen-witchcraft-magic-of-mashed.html

Friday, 23 October 2020

Poisonous Herbs: Hemlock - A Witches' Plant

Dry hemlock seed heads along river banks is one of the iconic sights of an autumn walk. Hemlock is also one of the poisonous plants associated with witchcraft. The Weird Sisters in Shakespeare's Macbeth throw a root of it into their cauldron, and it is another traditional ingredient of flying ointment along with mandrake, henbane and aconite

Matt Porter, who specialises in growing and preserving poisonous herbs, sent me these pictures of his two hemlock plants and their roots. He wrote:

"I harvested after the plants went to sleep for the year. The smaller potted plant is water hemlock and the larger one is poison hemlock. The whole root inside the jar is the water hemlock root and the other root is the poison hemlock root. I thoroughly enjoyed growing my hemlock this year and last year and found it quite low maintenance when it came to its upkeep. I kept all of the leaves and flower head cuttings and dried them out for my altar and ritual uses."

The pictures are copyright Matt Porter, who has very kindly been allowing me to use his pictures of poisonous plants on A Bad Witch's Blog. You can see earlier posts here:
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/09/pagan-eye-freshly-harvested-mandrake.html http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/09/magical-dolls-mandrake-root-becoming.html http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/poisonous-herbs-henbane-root-in.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/poisonous-plants-aconite-monkshood-or.html

Notes: This post is for information purposes only, it is not advice. If you think you might have been poisoned seek urgent medical help.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Shopping: Bewitched Botanicals Halloween Collection

Although I've not actually run out of soaps and smellies, I couldn't resist ordering more. I'm now looking forward to washing my hands with Ghost Puffs, bathing in Sleepy Hollow and maybe indulging in some socially-distanced Trick or Treating on the side. They are the names of Bewitched Botanicals' Halloween Collection, including scrubs, whips, melts and, of course, wonderful soaps. 

My witchy friend Jane Mortimer did the same. She said: "I ordered a little stash of not-particularly-Samhain goodies a couple of weeks ago from Bewitched Botanicals, and was very impressed with the mini-sizes of scrub and whip (I ordered the sample/gift bag). Their Halloween collection has moved up a notch from 'coming soon' to 'it's here', so I celebrated Pension Day by ordering lots of lovely stuff to slather on to my wizened witchy skin."

Throughout October I've been posting about Samhain shopping. I've posted pictures of lovely witchy stuff I've seen, things I've bought, and also shared photos of other people's wonderful finds. I've been buying Bewitched Botanicals' soap for years now - it really is my favourite and is kind to my extremely sensitive skin. They also produce wonderful special collections, so I also snap up things that won't be available forever.

The picture at the top shows Halloween bath cauldrons, the middle picture show Sleepy Hollow melts, and the bottom picture shows Ghost Puffs soap. You can visit Bewitched Botanicals' online shop here: https://bewitchedbotanicals.com/

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/samhain-shopping-tempting-treats-witchy.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/samhain-shopping-magical-goods-at.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/10/halloween-shopping-crafting-broomstick.html

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Online and London Pagan Events for Samhain

Here is a list of online witchy events and small group activities until Halloween, or Samhain. I mostly list online events, and things taking place in London, as that's where I live. At the moment, events are often being reorganised due to social distancing rules changes, so please check before attending anything. If you know an online ritual, talk, meeting or workshop you want included, please email me at badwitch1234@gmail.com

Wednesday 21, Monday 26, Tuesday 27, Friday 30 October; Kist in Thyme, Poppets and Besoms. A series of 6 online workshops with herbal storyteller Amanda Edmiston, organised by the Centre for Folklore, Myth and Magic. Time: 10am. Each one can be booked separately (£5 per household) or £25 for all six. Artist Holly has also created craft boxes for £9.50 containing what you might need for the sessions. To book contact Amanda via https://botanicafabula.co.uk/ More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/502009240686791

Now to 1 November. Online Samhain Festival with Wendy Witch. Share your Samhain preparations, recipes, rituals, spells, traditions on the event page. Free. https://www.facebook.com/events/1622067754639532/

Tuesday 20 to Wednesday 21 October; Aphrodite's Monthly Festival. Join Aphrodite's Flame Keepers to tend a candle flame from for as long as you wish in your own home from dusk until dusk. You can use real candles or LED lights. Venue: Worldwide. Details: https://www.facebook.com/aphroditesflame/

Now - Sunday 25 October; October Plenty Online Festival with The Lion's Part. Details: https://www.facebook.com/TheLionsPart/

Wednesday 21 October; Forest Bathing: Seasonal Self with London Forest Bathing Meet-up Group. Venue: Queen's Wood, Highgate, North London. Time: 9.30am. Tickets: £25. https://www.meetup.com/London-Forest-Bathing-Nature-Connection-Meetup/

Wednesday 21 October; Apple Day Workshop on the Festival of Pomona, Goddess of Apples, as part of The Lion's Part's October Plenty Festival. Online event. Time: from 11am. Free. https://www.facebook.com/events/742157879672870

Wednesday 21 October; Shakti Yoga - Decompress. Online event with Dancing the Goddess. Time: 6pm. Tickets: £7. https://www.meetup.com/Dancing-the-Goddess/

Wednesday 21 October; Cord Cutting Meditation. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets £5-£20. Time: 7pm. https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Wednesday 21 October; Moon Books Live Talk and Discussion with Debi Gregory, author of The Elemenpals, hosted by Moon Books. Time: 7pm. https://www.facebook.com/MoonBooks

Wednesday 21-Thursday 22 October; Two-Night Online Wicca Course for Beginners with London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £30. https://www.meetup.com/LondonWoodlandWitches

Thursday 22 October; Shamanic Activation: Animal Guides, their Purpose, Roles and Identification. Online event with Harriet Goudard. Time: 10am. Free. https://www.meetup.com/awaken-the-inner-shaman-london/

Thursday 22 October; Rev Lionel Fanthorpe on Mysterious Objects. Online ASSAP talk. Time: 7pm. Free event. Tickets limited to 100 and available first to all Assap members, but can be booked by non-ASSAP members from Thursday morning. Email secretary@assap.ac.uk to reserve a place. To join ASSAP, for £5 per year, visit http://www.assap.ac.uk/.

Thursday 22 October; Breathwork for Creativity. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets: £5-£20. Time: 7pm. https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Thursday 22 October; Biruani Huni Kuin Women's sharing and song circle via Zoom. Organised by Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £20. Detgails on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/659118898079037/ and on the Aho website www.aho.community

Thursday, 22 October; Witches' Night Market Sale. Time: 8pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1452183671642039

Friday 23 October (every Friday); Friday Live Chat hosted by Rachel Patterson, author of the Kitchen Witch series of books. Time: 9am. Free event. https://www.facebook.com/RachelPattersonbooks/

Friday 23 October - 5 November; London Dreamtime: Werewolves of London Full Moon Audio Walk. Download the audio tour and listen from your smartphone to be led on a dusk tour around the West End, including locations from the the 1980s classic film. Venue: Charing Cross, London, WC2N. Time: In your own time, at dusk. Tickets · £13.52. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/london-dreamtime-werewolves-of-london-full-moon-audio-walk-tickets-122052631707?

Friday 23 October (usually every Friday); Shakti Yoga. Online event with Dancing the Goddess. Time: 9am. Tickets: £10. https://www.meetup.com/Dancing-the-Goddess/

Friday 23 October; Crossbones Vigil - Halloween Portal. At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since June 2004, people have honoured the outcast dead of Crossbones Graveyard, Southwark, but at the moment this are virtual events. You can do a solitary ritual in your own space, light a candle and say the words you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/GooseandCrow/  More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1082177305535109/

Friday 23 October; Herbal series meetup. Online talk via Children of Circe, a private pagan group run by Richard Levy and sponsored by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. You have to join the group to watch the videos: Time: 8pm. Free event. https://www.facebook.com/groups/725752541262809

Saturday 24 October; Beneath the Inner City. A Guided Tour of Tower Hamlets Cemetery with Claire Sack as part of London Month of the Dead. Venue: Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Southern Grove, Mile End, London E3 4PX. Time: 11am  Tickets £12 including a 20 per cent donation to the cemetery. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Saturday 24 October; Hecate's Sanctuary. Zoom Workshop with Carrie Kirkpatrick and Caroline Wise via Goddess Enchantment. Time: 11am - 6pm. Price: £45. concessions available upon request. http://goddessenchantment.com/workshops/4594962328?

Saturday 24 October; Plague and Scandal at the Clerk's Well: The Burial Grounds of Clerkenwell. A Guided Tour with Caroline Swan as part of London Month of the Dead. Venue: Clerkenwell, London. Time: 2.30pm  Tickets £12. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Saturday 24 October; Lyn Baylis: Pagan Priesthood. Video talk and question session as part of Witchfest Online organised by Children of Artemis. Time: from 3.45pm. For more details and links: https://witchcraft.org/witchfest-online/

Saturday 24 October; Vesta/Hestia Gong Healing for 6 people. Organised by Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £30. www.aho.community

Sunday 25 October, Music and Meditation Inspired by the Pagan Festival of Samhain, led by Rev Kate Dean of Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel. Time: 11am. Free. Service delivered live on YouTube, here:

Sunday 25 October; The Omphalos of London. A guided tour of St Pancras Old Churchyard with Robert Kingham as part of London Month of the Dead. Venue: Saint Pancras Gardens, Pancras Rd, London NW1 1UL. Time: 11am  Tickets £12 including a 20 per cent donation to the cemetery. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Sunday 25 October; October Plenty Festival with The Lion's Part's. Online event. Time: from noon. Free. https://www.facebook.com/events/369188624217201

Sunday 25 October; Kitchen Witch Samhain Online Ritual hosted by Rachel Patterson and Kitchen Witch Coven of Natural Witchery. Time: 7pm. Free and open to all. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/330348254841663

Sunday 25 October; British Occult and New Age Spirituality Bookshops. Online talk by Dr Shai Feraro, organised by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Time: 7.30pm. 
An update to announce the Zoom talk which is to take place tomorrow evening (Sunday 25th October 2020) at 19:30 UK time. Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0pduGspjkiGNC4VThpgV0wbXTTb_D3A_P_

Monday 26 October; Shakti Yoga - Awaken. Online event with Dancing the Goddess. Time: 7am. Tickets: £7. https://www.meetup.com/Dancing-the-Goddess/

Monday 26 October; Mindful Still Life Monday Sessions with London Drawing, via Zoom. Two sessions: 12.30pm and 6pm. Free, but donations welcome. http://londondrawing.com/events/mindful-still-life-monday-sessions/

Monday 26 October; Astrology Circle - Learn the Houses. Second of four sessions. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 6.30pm. Tickets £5-£20 per session.  https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Monday 26 October; How to Know Higher Worlds. Study and conversation group on Zoom hosed by Dr Sue Peat and Philip Martyn, through Rudolf Steiner House. Free. Time: 7pm (Every 2 weeks on Monday until December 7) https://www.meetup.com/rudolf-steiner-spiritual-science/

Monday 26 October; Crystal Grids. Online workshop with Rain McManus. Time: 7pm. Cost: £20. Cntact Rain for for payment options. https://www.facebook.com/events/3007666756006587

Monday 26 October; Resurrecting the Dead - Nikolai Fedorov, Cosmism and the Common Task. A live, illustrated zoom talk with Gary Lachman as part of London Month of the Dead. Time: 7pm. Early bird tickets £4, including a donation to NHS charities. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Tuesday 27 October; Heron Drums Online Shamanic Drum Circle via Facebook or Zoom. Time: 7pm: Details: https://www.facebook.com/herondrumsuk/

Tuesday 27 October; Simplify: How to Stay Sane in a World Going Mad. An online talk with Bob Hillary, organised by Watkins Publishing. Time: 7pm. Free, but register for a place. 

Tuesday 27 October; Moon Cycle Alchemy. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 7pm. Tickets £5-£20 per session.  https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Wednesday 28 October; Moon Books Live Talk and Discussion with Imelda Almqvist, author of books on sacred art and shamanism, hosted by Moon Books. Time: 7pm. https://www.facebook.com/MoonBooks

Wednesday 28 October; The Vampirology of Covid-19 - The Folklore of Contagion. A live, illustrated Zoom talk with with historian Nick Groom as part of London Month of the Dead. Time: 7pm. Early bird tickets £4, including a donation to NHS charities. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Wednesday 28 October; Chakra Healing Evening. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 7pm. Tickets £20/£30 per session.  https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Wednesday 28 October; Hertford Samhain Ancestor Moot. Online event. Time: 8pm. Free. https://www.facebook.com/events/1111338525961399

Wednesday 28 October; Full Moon Sound Journey. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets £5-£15. Time: 8.30pm. https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Thursday 29 October; The Psychic Workout with Maria Antoniou. Online mini workshop through the College of Psychic Studies. Time: 11am-2pm. Tickets: Members: £55, Non-members: £75. https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Thursday 29 October; PF London Samhain Online Samhain Ritual with Luna Iter. Hosted by The Pagan Federation: London. Time: 8pm. Free. Zoom: us02web.zoom.us/j/83045646552 Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/788286185047657

Friday 30 October; Book Launch Event for Medicine of the Imagination: Dwelling in Possibility by Imelda Almqvist. Time: 2pm. Free to attend, but register for a place in advance. https://pregnant-hag-teachings.teachable.com/p/book-launch-event-for-medicine-of-the-imagination/

Friday 30 October; Start of a year's online membership and training with a witches coven, run by Shirlee and Kim of Wicca Moon. It will offer training in working with crystals, herbs, healing, magicking and more each full moon. There will be an esbat ritual every month, guided by an initiated high priestesses and high priests of the old craft. The price of this group will be £365 for the whole year which can be paid in instalments of £35 per month. For further details on how to enrole contact Shirlee or Kim  on shirlee@wiccamoon.org.uk  or call Wicca moon 02088507809. https://www.facebook.com/WiccaMoonEltham

Friday 30 October; Full Moon Circle. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 7pm. Tickets £5-£20.  https://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/digital

Friday 30 October (usually every Friday); Psychic and Intuitive Skills Development. Online via Zoom with Mahesh Gordhan of the London School  of  Spirituality. Time: 8pm. Tickets: £5/£7.50. https://www.meetup.com/londonschoolofspirituality/

Friday 30 October (this has changed from Saturday); Halloween Party. Online event via Children of Circe, a private pagan group run by Richard Levy and sponsored by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. You have to join the group to watch the videos: Time: 8pm. Free event. https://www.facebook.com/groups/725752541262809

Friday 30 October; Online Samhain Ceremony with London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Beginners of Wicca and Paganism welcome. Time: 9pm. Tickets: free, but you must register for your place. https://www.meetup.com/LondonWoodlandWitches

Saturday 31 October - 2 November; Witchcrafters Online Full Moon Pagan Market. Starts 9am. Free. https://www.facebook.com/events/2698839427103504

Saturday 31 October; Early Time and Late Halloween Breath Ceremonies with Lisa Li online via Zoom. Organised by Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Times: 10am and 6pm. Tickets: £20 per session. www.aho.community

Saturday 31 October - 7 November; Constructing the witch: how women became maleficent. Two session online class with Ann Jeffers via City Lit. Time: 10.30am-1pm. Tickets: £59/£47/£36. https://www.citylit.ac.uk/

Saturday 31 October; The Mysteries Of The Mausolea. A guided tour inside some of the mausolea of Highgate Cemetery West led by Dr Ian Dungavell as part of London Month of the Dead. Venue: Highgate Cemetery West, Swain's Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ. Time: 10am.  Tickets £20, includes donation to the cemetery. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Saturday 31 October - Sunday 1 November; Mind Body Spirit Online Festival. Tickets from £5. https://www.mindbodyspirit.co.uk/whats-on/online-wellbeing-festival

Saturday 31 October; 'A Huge Pack of Witches': A Witch scare in 17th Century Lancashire. Online talk by Jess Nelson, Head of Collections at the National Archives. Time: 10.30am. Free, but you must reserve a ticket. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-huge-pack-of-witches-a-witch-scare-in-17th-century-lancashire-tickets-125608629793?

Saturday 31 October, Rural Gothic Samhain Surprise. One-day festival of online lectures organised by the Folklore Podcast. Tickets: £7.50. https://thefolklorepodcast.weebly.com/store/c9/Tickets.html

Saturday 31 October, Wicca Moon Witches Tea Party. Hosted by Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Road, London SE9 6SH. Time: noon. https://www.facebook.com/events/361687141620269/

Saturday 31 October, Afternoon Memorial Ceremony for Ken Rees, a much-loved London-based pagan elder and teacher who recently died. Online ceremony via Zoom and small events being organised by individuals at the same time. Time: 2pm. Free to attend. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/750040445581585/ You can also visit the Ken Rees Memorial Page: https://www.facebook.com/KenReesMemorialPage

Saturday 31 October, I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts! Online talk with Richard Wiseman and Chris French. Online event via Skeptics in the Pub. Time: 6.45pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/338071624190856

Saturday 31 October - Sunday 1 November; Aphrodite's Flame Samhain/Beltane Celebration. Join Aphrodite's Flame Keepers to tend a candle flame from for as long as you wish in your own home, from dusk to dusk. You can use real candles or LED lights. Venue: Worldwide. Details: https://www.facebook.com/aphroditesflame/

Saturday 31 October; Samhain Ritual hosted by Cunning Folk. Online event. Time: 8pm. Free, but you must register for a place. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/samhain-ritual-tickets-123657840931

Sunday 1 November; Full Moon Event with Peace Fires. Light a candle or fire for peace wherever you are in the world, for just for 10 minutes or an hour or longer and state the intention: “Let there be peace on earth and love for one another.” Details: http://peacefires.org/

Sunday 1 November; Kensal Green Ne'er Do Wells. The Victorian Underbelly Underground at Kensal Green - A Guided Tour with Robert Stephenson as part of London Month of the Dead. Venue: Kensal Green Cemetery, 364 Ladbroke Grove, Kensal Green, London W10 5AB. Time: 11am.  Tickets £12, includes donation to the cemetery. https://www.londonmonthofthedead.com/

Sunday 1 November; Forest Bathing with London Forest Bathing Meet-up Group. This is a small, socially distanced outdoor event which will be adjusted in line with government guidelines. Time: noon. Tickets: £25. https://www.meetup.com/London-Forest-Bathing-Nature-Connection-Meetup/

Sunday 1 November; Virtual French Quarter Ghost Tour for Day of the Dead. Online event hosted by Witch Way Magazine. Time: 4pm. Tickets £10. https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/witchwayevents/10

Sunday 1 November; Paganism. First session in 7-Sunday online course exploring the main branches of Western Paganism and associated history, beliefs and practices. Tutor: Ginette Davis, with WEA.
Ref: C2227647. Time: 4.30pm. Fee: £44.80. https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2020/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C2227647

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not responsible for the content of any of these events. Where a practitioner is offering information about magical protection, this is *not* medical advice.