3 Witchy Tea Recipes to Try This Halloween

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It’s Halloween, and if you already tackled your spooky plans this weekend, chances are you’re staying in and giving out candy, but your mood might be a little weird and for good reason. According to Sara Coughlin in Refinery 29,

“The moon will be in Pisces […] which will make us a little more prone to daydreams and flights of fancy. In the true spirit of Halloween, you might even wish to become someone else entirely.”

That being said, you’re probably feeling pretty magical, right now whether you’re going out in costumes tonight or not. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to have tea tonight, which made me think of witches. So, I looked up some of the best witchy tea recipes I could find. Here are 3 of the best ones.

Caveat: If you have concerns or allergies, please talk to your doctor about these teas. I am NOT giving health advice. I tried my best to pick recipes with ingredients I recognize so I could in good faith recommend them. But, that being said, I am not an expert. I really just spent some time on google this afternoon for a Halloween themed post. 

1. For Safe and Sweet Dreams

Here is a recipe via Sanctuary to help water types, in particular, have a good Halloween night. They also have great recommendations for rituals for other signs to do as well, but personally, this recipe sounds amazing:

Peppermint for protection

 

Lavender for peace

 

Mugwort for safe dreaming

 

Honey to sweeten your dreams

 

Mugwort is bitter; sweeten the tea with honey. Combine these herbs – if fresh, a handful of each. If dried, one tablespoon. Bring water to the bill and pour over the herbs, steeping for thirteen minutes. Strain into a cup and add a spoonful of honey. Stir counterclockwise and speak into the cup a sincere prayer for protection, asking that as you sleep this night you be kept safe from all harm.

You may drink at your altar, in your bedroom, or in a safe and comfortable place. Focus on the herbs in the tea and thank them with all your heart for giving you their help and protection. Feel the gratitude and warmth in your heart.

2. Build-Your-Own

As Cecilia says in her run-down on Autostraddle, recapping their queer astrological and Wiccan retreat,

“One of the most exciting parts of magic is experimenting with different magical elements and combining them into one strong and specific spell. A great entry-level way to practice this skill is by making spell tea! If you know the magical qualities of different elements, you can easily create your own unique tea blend that can be charged for very specific magical desires.”

According to her guide, you can use whatever tea you like as your base: green, black, rooibos, or anything you have, and then, add these accompanying ingredients to help focus it more on your sign or specific needs:

Lavender – Mercury (Virgo), Lavender is great for spell work related to finding peace of mind, cleansing, healing, dream fulfillment, and revealing the truth. Also, for what it’s worth, lavender has a strong traditional association to love magic.

 

Peppermint – Mercury (Gemini) This element provides clarity to possibilities that you’re exploring. It can help you find the answers to burning questions, like: which queer city should I move to? Which hobby fills me with the most wonder and curiosity? Adding peppermint to your spell tea may help you find the insight to organize the options in your life.

 

Cinnamon – Uranus (Aquarius) Sometimes you need the strength to revolutionize your life and discard old habits that aren’t needed anymore for your growth. In these moments, use cinnamon in spells for passion, independence, brilliance, creative projects, community building, or bringing issues to a quick resolution. Also, Uranus is associated with queerness, so throwing a dash of cinnamon in a queer relationship spell certainly couldn’t hurt.

 

Licorice Root – Venus (Libra) This element is associated with Venus, the planet that rules connections that we make with others – friendships, partners, family members, co-workers, even pets. Licorice root can be used to attract any sort of good, healthy, mutually beneficial kind of relationship into your life. It can also be used for mediating arguments or finding harmony in any existing relationships.

 

Forget-Me-Not – Neptune (Pisces) You can use this flower for any spells connected to fulfilling your dreams, opening your heart, accepting your emotions, finding inspiration in artistic projects, feeling connection to something beautiful, or finding beauty in solitude.

 

Amaranth – Saturn (Capricorn) In spell work, amaranth provides strength, stability, and protection. It can help you develop stronger self-control, commit to work projects, get the dream job, or help with anything else that builds positive structures to hold your life together.

 

Rose – Venus (Taurus) Rose can invite simple, beautiful moments of reflection into your life when it feels too chaotic. It can help you make room for simplicity in your life. Roses also can attract someone who has the ability to offer you good sensual, healing sex. It also brings out your strength as a partner, helping you be more affectionate and loving.

 

Orange Peel – Sun (Leo) Orange peel is great for spell work if you’re feeling lost lately, like you need to connect with an inner spark that allows you to be your best self. It can help you connect to joy and charm, and can also help you gain recognition for your accomplishments.

 

Ginger – Mars (Aries) The planet Mars rules our ability to defend ourselves, so it’s great to use in spell work for protection. It’s also what makes us feel energized, or feel really turned on, or take risks, or pursue our passions. Any of these focuses can be helped by using Ginger in spell work — especially sex magic!

 

Yerba Mate – Jupiter (Sagittarius) Yerba Mate is technically a tea base, but it can definitely be used magically! It is caffeinated, but the caffeination feels less jittery than coffee and more energized and focused. Yerba Mate magic can make us feel confident, generous, expansive, and lucky. It’s great to use if you want to connect with optimism and fun in your life — or even adventures involving travel!

 

Jasmine — Pluto (Scorpio) The planet Pluto deals with some of the scarier things in life, like intense transformation and healing through pain. If you have been profoundly injured, Jasmine could be used in spell work to help turn your wounds into wisdom. If you’re in need of a total self-transformation, this could also support that.

 

Chamomile – Moon (Cancer) This element helps us feel safe and at home and comfortable with our inner life. Chamomile is great to drink at home to recharge, or to find a queer chosen family, to receive the care that you need, or to learn how to care for yourself.

While you drink your desired combination, she advises thinking about your intentions to make the strength of these ingredients work.

3. Boost Productivi-Tea

As a theatre artist and a writer, boosting productivity and creativity is important to me. That’s why I love this recipe via HoneyCoyote, AND it actually contains ingredients you already have in your kitchen:

Productivi-Tea

a simple tea for aiding in being productive and creative with your work. or help with mental fatigue and to boost your mental capacity on a stressful day when you have tons of work to do.

Materials

  • 3 parts Black Tea
  • 1 part Rosemary
  • 1 part Basil
  • 1 part Peppermint  

Place all herbs in a tea ball,

put in your favorite mug, and add boiling water.

Steep this brew for about 10 minutes.

Remove tea ball and sweeten to taste

Have Other Witchy Tea Ideas?

Let us know! While I love witch and astrological culture, I really don’t know a lot about it other than the witch books when I was at my Harry Potter fangirl PEAK (12-year-old Katy was on a roleplaying Quidditch team). We’d love to hear more about it. Let us know your recipes in the comments or shares!

5 Characters I Hope To See in the Hellboy Reboot

As you may already know, there is a Hellboy reboot in the works, featuring everyone’s favorite detective from Stranger Things’, David Harbour. As Mike Mignola, the creator of the graphic novels, says in The Verge, this time around it will have an R-rating, leaning in the,

“horror direction, more so than the fantasy direction del Toro was doing. When Neil came on, we decided to go for an R rating, so he doesn’t have his hands tied, and so he can go as dark and as tough as he wants to go. I was a fan of his, and when he came onboard, I thought it was terrific: now it’s really going to be an action-horror film.”

While there are currently not a ton of details, there are so many characters I’m looking forward to seeing in this reboot. As much as I love Guillermo Del Toro, who really introduced me to Hellboy, when I started reading the comics I saw so many amazing characters and great lore the films weren’t tapping into. In fact, in 2014 or 2015, when I was still working at a movie theatre, I was doing research with a friend on actually making a Hellboy 3 fan-series on Youtube. We didn’t get very far, but I still have a soft spot for all the characters I was interested in including. With that in mind, here are 5 characters I hope to see in the reboot.

1. Baba Yaga

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via Nerdist

One of my favorite things about starting the series was the degree of Russian mythology that was infused throughout it. Throughout Wake the Devil and Darkness Calls, she serves as a major player, aligning with Rasputin. She’s just a cool and interesting villain. As Time Magazine explains,

“In some old Slavic accounts, Baba Yaga is a wizened hag who rides in a floating mortar that is directed in flight by its pestle. In other Russian tales, she lives in a hut in the woods ringed by a fence of skulls and elevated on a pair of chicken legs. In almost all versions, Baba Yaga is meant to be very, very scary — the creature best suited to frighten ill-behaved children since, according to legend, she has a habit of kidnapping and eating them.”

In addition, she brings with her all of the fairies and just really good lore. I’d love to see Hellboy squaring off against her. Can you imagine? I hope she beats him up with a Pestle.

2. Hecate

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via Multiversity Comics

Like okay, I know, another mythological witch? But Hellboy‘s Hecate is so much more than the weird plot device you see her as in Macbeth— she is a force to be reckoned with. Hecate, no matter what story she is placed in, is more than a witch but is even worshipped as a goddess. As the dictionary defines her, she is,

a goddess of the earth and Hades,

associated with sorcery, hounds, and crossroads.”

Especially because Hellboy deals so much with the idea of apocalypse and the idea that Hellboy himself could bring it about, she’s a great villain, as an embodiment of hell and the crossroads, for him to try and defeat.

In the comics, even when he defeats her, she attaches herself into a man’s soul, and then when he dies, she takes over AN IRON MAIDEN, crushes a female nazi inside it, and proceeds to beat the sh*t out of Hellboy as a MAGICAL IRON MAIDEN. I’d love to see all of that play out. A giant and transforming iron maiden or just Hecate in her normal form would be amazing.

3. Roger the Homunculus

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via Multiversity Comics

Honestly, I’m a little surprised the Guillermo Del Toro movies didn’t have much of Roger because a homunculus kind of seems like his thing. It’s the type of creature that could be super creepy, artsy, and fantastical, which is pretty much his aesthetic. One of the reasons I fell in love with Hellboy is the practical effects and puppetry, so it’s kind of surprising a puppet homunculus didn’t happen. While there was a glimpse of a statue of him, it would have been nice to have more.

In addition, just going into the witchcraft necessary and ideas around Homunculi would just be really cool.

Either way though, Roger the Homunculus, was actually a big part of the gang in the comics and actually teamed up with Abe a lot. Also, the idea of being made for a purpose and not wanting to fulfill it is a big theme in Hellboy that would be cool to play into.

4. Dr. Kate Corrigan

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via austin eustice

A professor in Folklore and SUPER competent, as well as one of Hellboy’s closest friends, I would love to see her in the franchise again, even as Director of Field Operations for BPRD.

When I started reading about her in the comics, I loved how as an academic, she was an equal to Hellboy. Her knowledge and expertise helped as much as his brawn. Also, she helped explain some of the lore I loved.

If I had gone through with that fan series, I actually would have wanted to play her. I love the fact that they have a great friendship and would be a great addition to the gang.

5. THAT Gorilla

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via IGN

Is there a more iconic image than Hellboy fighting a Gorilla with bolts sticking out of it? Just for an amazing fight scene, this gorilla would be a great addition to the movie. Maybe it would be a waste of CGI, but it would just be a great fight scene with an iconic scene from the comics. In addition, it gives a chance to see Herman von Klempt’s head in a jar and play into the Nazi Ragna Rok mad scientist storyline even more.

In addition, while I didn’t get very far in my abandoned Hellboy 3 fan project, the only thing that was actually set in stone was to have a huge Hellboy and Gorilla battle. So honestly, that’s just for me.

Those are just a couple of my favorites! Who do you hope to see in the new Hellboy? Comment or share with your favorite characters!

Shiny Happy Weekend

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EDITORS NOTE: Bringing you The Weekend Mix is our Mother, Bev Koop. She really wanted to share! Though she is not going to be a regular contributor, you may see her pop up again.

What a sad week it has been! Let’s inject a little offbeat music and humor into your life. Here’s your weekend mix to pick up your spirits for the weekend.

What to Listen to:

Movie producers have been really on point with their soundtracks lately. Three recent films I’ve seen really stand out soundtrack-wise.  The films themselves were entertaining but not necessarily “high art.” Many of these features the music of my youth, the late 70’s and early 80’s were quite the time to be alive!

Guardians Of The Galaxy II: Classic throw-back songs from ELO, Cheap Trick, and Michael Jackson! Guardians of the Galaxy II the movie is currently available for streaming on Amazon.

Atomic Blonde: This soundtrack gives me all the feels of the early 80’s, including some interesting German versions of Major Tom by Peter Schilling, and 99 Luftballons by Nena! Best of all for me though is Cat People by David Bowie. You also have to love a soundtrack that features The Clash and George Michael. The movie itself was fine, but I am living for this soundtrack. Atomic Blonde the movie, is available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on October 24th

KIngsmen the Golden Circle: The soundtrack is amazing, quirky, and weird. It takes you on a wild but satisfying ride. We have Elton John, Prince, and an amusing cover of Cameo’s “Word Up” with a country music flair by Boss Hoss. I am not a fan of country music, but this was EVERYTHING! Finally, we have 2 count ‘em 2 songs by JOHN DENVER?!?! Unbelievable! Kingsmen the Golden Circle is in theaters now.

Offbeat and Funny TV rabbit holes:

Mascots: the latest from Christopher Guest who brought us Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. Need I say more?

The Durrells in Corfu: Catch up or Fall down the rabbit hole of the hysterical and quirky PBS comedy before their season 2 premiers on October 15th. Louisa Durrell and her four headstrong children, ages 11 to 21, arrive penniless on the bucolic Greek island of Corfu in 1935. Hilarity Ensues.

What We Do in the Shadows: Vampire Housemates playful antics as they struggle through everyday life. Since it’s October, this one has a Halloween feel. This one is directed by and stars Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame.

And that’s it! Let’s remember in these turbulent times:

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter”- Mark Twain

Have a GREAT weekend.

🎮 Game Picks: Cute and Queer 🎮

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It can be hard to find good, queer visual novels. This March, I found out about this game jam on Itch.io called #ResistJam. Partnered with IndieCade, the goal of the jam was to resist authoritarianism in all forms. What made it different though, was that it featured workshops and talks on youtube about making inclusive and innovative games. Because of that, I found out about Queerly Represent Me, which is a site that catalogs every game that has queer representation. While I made a simple twine about self-care and drinking tea, a lot of people involved in the jam made a lot of cool and innovative games that involved strong queer representation. Because of that, when I’m looking for a cool and interesting story motivated game, I try to find games with the best representation possible. I like to start my search on Itch.io. There are a lot of creators on there and I love that there’s a lot of experimentation and bolder use of game mechanics that I see in other places.

That’s how I ended up on Itch.io last night. I’m in love with VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action because of the relaxing quality of the game, the strength of the narrative, and the amazing art. In the same vein, I was looking for some cute, female-protagonist-driven, and queer-if-possible games— Itch.io delivered. Maybe it’s because of the ongoing Yuri Game Jam, but when I logged in again, I’ve noticed a lot more games in that niche. Last night, I managed to play two games: Butterfly Soup and Mermaid Splash: Passion Festival and I loved them. That’s why they’re my two must-play game picks this week. Short, sweet, and queer— here’s a mini-review for each of them.

NOTE: Both of these games are FREE, but if you do pay a recommended donation you can get a PDF of art from the games and support the artists! 

Butterfly Soup

via Brianna Lei

If you’ve been following my writing or my twitter for any amount of time, you probably know that one of my most rant-able subjects is Asian Representation in the media. From Tilda Swinton playing “The Ancient One” to how important Fresh Off the Boat is in terms of representation, ranting about yellow-face is what I’m passionate about. One of the best things about this game was that every single member of the characters was Asian and at least 3 out of the 4 main characters are queer. On top of that, there was the innovative use of group chats and text messaging, amazing art, and sharp writing to make this a great experience. Overall it is sweet, though there are some dark themes dealing with verbal and un-seen physical abuse from parents. There were so many references to memes, and this was just a very well written and interesting story.

Plus, you can expect screencaps like this:

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That being said, if you’re looking for multiple endings or the ability to romance multiple characters, this isn’t that kind of game. It is narrative, but the choices you make moreso changes up the dialogue and jokes that are made, rather than the outcome. It’s more novel than choose-your-own-adventure and frankly, that’s fine with me.  In fact, I think the story is great fodder for a film adaptation in its future. Overall, it’s sharp, with great storytelling, and a fun and meme-y way back to high school.

Mermaid Splash Passion Festival

via Sofdelux Studio

Mermaid Splash: Passion Festival is just sweet— plain and simple. You play as Cici, a mermaid that just needs to figure out what skill she needs to hone and find her passion in life, but can still make time to woo other mermaids on the weekends. The game starts with an all too familiar crisis: Cici has a lot of hobbies but she’s not GREAT at any of them. She’s at a point in her life where she needs to decide what to be an expert in. As someone that loves writing, acting, directing, art, and that picks up new hobbies all the time—I know that feeling. I was also lucky enough to go to a college where I could be surrounded by women that in an environment where we could support each other. That being said, the subject of the game really resonated with me. Choosing between farming, art, dancing, and fighting, Cici works not only on her own skills but supporting other women with their passions.

It also provides something near and dear to my heart, scheduling your time wisely:

 

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The art style is gorgeous and it’s about women empowering other women, so it’s an instant favorite for me. Honing Cici’s skills and getting her ready for the passion festival, while hanging out with each of the other women is definitely way faster that butterfly soup. While it takes probably 15 minutes to get through the whole game, there are 23 endings you could possibly have! I had a great time choosing different skills and different characters to woo, spanning ages from 24-43 and even different mermaid types like a shark, angler fish, cuttlefish, and sea slug.

If you want to explore lots of different endings and look at adorable art, with a POC queer protagonist, this game is perfect. Plus: as you play, she unlocks themed outfits!

💖Those are my picks! Keep an eye on us for more Game Reviews and Suggestions! 💖

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