Hoodoo you do? A Voodoo Valentine

I’ve recently returned from the magical city of New Orleans.  From Roman Catholicism to Haitian Voodoo to haunted condos the place is lousy with spirits.  Not to mention the booze variety.

Liquid Poe-try: The Tell-Tale Heart

I recently had the pleasure of visiting a surprising (to me, at least) NYC historic treasure, Poe Cottage in the Bronx, Edgar Allan Poe’s last residence.  While I had known that Poe had perished in Baltimore, I was unaware that he called the Bronx home for the last three years of his life.  He wrote several…

Sunshine Superfan (I’m just mad about saffron…)

I’ve just returned from a trip to Los Angeles, land of relentless sunshine. In the past, I’ve found the aggressive solar aspects of LA to be oppressive and uncomfortable, but I had a much different experience this time.  I was ready to open up to the sun as a symbol of optimism, vitality and enlightenment.

Bee-Witched! The Sweetest Sting

It’s summertime in New York City and I’ve been bee-witched.  In the park there are  bushes alive with busy bumblebees every morning.  I’ve fallen under the spell of their nectar-intoxicated dance; their ingredient-gathering ritual that results in the magical miracle of honey.

Drinking Down the Moon: Making Moonshyne

The mysterious moon pays us a visit each and every night; even on nights when we can’t see her, she is merely hiding, playing her month-long game of peek-a-boo.  She is the consummate coquette, the cool and shimmering goddess, so full of secrets, but she will share them with those who will open their hearts…

Magic Tonka Beans: Illicitly Delicious

The fragrant tonka bean is a native of South America, a product of the cumaru tree (dipteryx odorata).  They have a lovely vanilla-almond-slightly fruity aroma, and in hoodoo traditions these sweet-smelling beans are used for love and money magic.  It’s said that you should work with them in only in odd numbers.  They can be…

Throw a Wicker Man Party for Beltane!

Beltane is one of the best festivals of the year in my opinion – a celebration of fire, flowers and creativity!  It’s also the backdrop for the 1973 Christopher Lee gem The Wicker Man, the film about a hapless policeman investigating a missing child on the mysterious Scottish island of Summerisle. If you’ve never seen…

The Green Man Cometh

The Green Man is a mysterious chap.  A nature deity, he is usually depicted as an anthropomorphic form composed entirely of lush, green vegetation; his face sprouting leaves instead of hair and branches streaming from his mouth.  Interestingly, though he appears to be obviously pagan, the Green Man peers out from the architectural details of…

The Divine Fool: Zero & Hero

The Fool is many things and none.  The Fool is the jester, the joker, the trickster, the clown, the simpleton, the naïf, the hero.  The first card in the tarot deck, the Fool’s number is zero.  A blank slate.