Swept Away by The Witch’s Broom

Since pretty much always brooms have been associated with witches. And although Deborah Blake’s latest is called “The Witch’s Broom: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Broomsticks”, there is something there for more than just a Witchy reader.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Witch’s Broom” has loads for the witch who is looking to add a broom into their magical routines. Ritual use of brooms, spells and charms incorporating brooms, and segments Blake calls “Real Witches, Real Brooms” where other notable Witches talk about how they use brooms in their practices are all there for the magical practitioner.

However there are loads of great stuff to be found for the non-Pagan, non-Wiccan, non-magical practitioner. Just your average John Q. Broomfan. You can learn how to make your own broom, how to decorate store bought brooms, and get great gift ideas. I know I’m eager to hit the craft store now for some shopping. Also, there is fun broom folklore and history.

Oh, and there are wonderful, whimsical, interior illustrations throughout the book by Mickie Mueller. The totally adorable cover art was done by John Kachik.

“The Witch’s Broom” is just such a fun, informative read. I promise if this review has piqued your interest you will enjoy the book. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to buy some new brooms.

The True Story of the Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street

By William J. Hall

Laura Goodin was distraught. She was exhausted and concerned, fearing she was nearing the end of her rope. “Why us? Why us?” she repeated in her characteristic loud and less than pleasant, voice. It had been her question for many days now but something about it was different that time. Her tone seemed more reflective than before. She lowered her head into her hands and sobbed.

Laura was a plain looking, overbearing, heavy set women with 1970’s horned rim glasses and a stodgy wardrobe. She was socially inept, though filled with love for her family and eager to provide well for them. She was a loyal and supportive wife and devout in her faith. What little personal strength she had exhibited early in their ordeal clearly had begun to wane.

She lifted her head from her hands and continued, “Everything of value in our home is gone.”

This thorough suffering became immediately obvious as I listened to hour upon hour of private, intimate interviews with the family that had been undertaken and recorded as part of a serious scientific investigation. The Goodin’s story is a perplexing one. All they sought was solitude, away from the reporters and the hordes of people who insisted on hanging on in the hope they might witness some inexplicable event, which they could take away with them and exploit for personal advantage in its retelling. The Goodin’s made no money from the haunting and they shunned fame and self-promotion. They had nothing to prove to the world. Day after day, month after month, they quietly plodded along, side by side with the unexplainable terrors life kept feeding them. This is their story—their real heart-touching, life-changing story.

The year was 1974. The world had experienced “The Exorcist” less than a year before the horror that had been the Goodin’s reality, at last went public. There were the husband and father, Jerry, the wife and mother, Laura, and their ten year old adopted daughter, Marcie. They lived in a tiny bungalow on Lindley Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Jerry supported his family working as a low wage maintenance man at Harvey Hubbell, Inc. in Bridgeport. Laura was a stay at home housewife.

Due to her olive skin color as a full blooded five nations Indian, Marcie was picked on relentlessly at school. The bullying peaked when she was beaten up by another child and, as a result, found herself in a body brace. This incident only further fueled her mother’s destructive, if well meaning, overprotective instincts. The little girl’s frustration and loneliness boiled within her as she struggled to quietly hold it all inside. The parallel with events in the movie, “Carrie”, is uncanny.

According to experts, those kinds of frustrations and enforced inhibitions are the essential elements for inviting a poltergeist into one’s midst. The phenomenon is reflected in objects being moved and damaged, and people being roughly handled by an unseen force. One theory suggests that a child or teen who, without any physical action, unconsciously disrupts a setting, such as a home, by unleashing energy born from his or her pent up, boiling anger. Other paranormal experts suggest that these entities come to occupy areas through a parallel world. Some suggest that the mere circumstance of such an intense emotional phenomenon produces or invites an evil spirit to inhabit the home. Still others say it is a mixture of both spirit and psychic energy. The discrepancy among these theories continues to be the subject of much debate.

One aspect that distinguished this phenomenon from other similar situations was that it morphed into a very public matter. During November of 1974, the bizarre antics of the little house leaked to the public and attracted crowds that swelled to over 2,000 onlookers. Lindley Street was barricaded and traffic was backed up for a mile or more in all directions. A catch phrase developed and spread among the spectators up and down that street, and very soon across the continent: The house on Lindley Street is haunted!

Newspapers, radio, and television stations throughout the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Israel told of the strange things happening there: police officers reported seeing a 300-pound refrigerator float up off the floor and rotate, objects flying off walls, an amorphous, misty figure appearing to a house full of people, a talking cat, and even little Marcie being forced through the air until she hit the wall behind her.

Unlike many alleged ghostly events that had occurred in isolated, rural houses with only the report of their residents, these incidents had more than seventy-seven credible witnesses, among them a police lieutenant, a police captain, two fire chiefs, police officers, firefighters, two priests, neighbors, extended family, a seminary student, reporters, and others. In addition, approximately four hundred onlookers reported seeing the phenomena from outside the home. Well-known paranormal investigator Ed Warren said at the time that it was the most well-documented haunting in 100 years.

A major question remained, then: Why didn’t this case move the reality of the paranormal into a position of legitimate study in mainstream science?

After three days, the Bridgeport Police Superintendent Joseph Walsh announced that the incidents were a hoax created by the resident Goodin family’s ten year-old daughter Marcia and the case was closed. Police badly needed an acceptable explanation to placate and disperse the crowd camped near the house. Its mere presence was disruptive well beyond that block. It continued to block streets for miles around, causing mischief and property damage while holding valuable law enforcement resources hostage.

But behind the scenes, the inquiry into the events at Lindley Street was far from over. Police continued to offer the family protection from the phenomena even after the case was deemed closed by the police. The police captain also required officers, who had been on the scene, to assist in a scientific investigation conducted by two agencies: the Psychical Research Foundation, which got its start at Duke University in 1961, and the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship. It seems obvious that the authorities clearly didn’t believe their own ‘hoax’ explanation. Police and firefighters who witnessed these bizarre events stood by what they had reported at the time.

The study for which they were interviewed concluded that the events were the doings of a poltergeist – literally, meaning “noisy ghost.” Poltergeist activity typically consists of strange noises, footsteps, moving objects, and the destruction of property with no visible physical cause, most often occurring in the environs of a prepubescent child. Ed Warren and a priest on the scene also attributed this particular series of events to a demonic presence in addition to the typical poltergeist manifestations.

So there I sat—a skeptic at heart looking at folder after folder of undeniable proof. In addition to the multitude of recorded and transcribed interviews from 1974 and 1975, there were official data sheets describing each event as it had been witnessed. Each incident was charted, describing what happened and where everyone was at the time. It is very unusual to have such precise and thorough documentation in which multiple witnesses from varying physical perspectives had their testimony charted individually. It allowed for mutual corroboration of the minute details, which substantiated there was no misinterpretation of the facts. The witnesses approached the phenomena logically, often not considering the paranormal as the source until eliminating other possible causes.

In my mind, the investigation did not dare end there. I began retracing the steps of those involved. I contacted several of the witnesses with whom I had interviews from 1974 and 1975. I also discovered numerous new witnesses. There were children of the witnesses from all those years before and electrical engineers, employees who worked in the records department of the Bridgeport Police, friends of the family, Jerry’s co-workers, and, whenever possible, surviving family members.

It is a heartbreaking story about the unwelcome forces that came to dominate every aspect of this poor family’s life – a family whose members only wanted the freedom to establish and maintain a quiet, fulfilling, happy life. They had not sought either fame or notoriety. They accepted no compensation for their story. They shunned the public view and abhorred having been hurled into the court of public opinion.

©2014 William J. Hall, author of “The World’s Most Haunted House: The True Story of the Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street” published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. EAN: 978-1601633378 List Price: US $15.99

About William J. Hall:
William J. Hall was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the events of this book took place. He watched the news coverage of the Lindley Street haunting on television when he was 10 years-old. Hall is professionally equipped to recognize trickery. After more than 25 years as a performing magician, he knows how to create and recognize illusions. He is experienced in researching the unexplained, from folklore and urban legend to fortunetelling, the pyramids, and other mysterious tales. His syndicated 1990’s column “Magic and the Unknown” ran for six years in multiple local papers in his home state. Hall has two sons and resides in Plainville, Connecticut.

Craftivism Now!

Are you ready to be inspired? Like let’s go out and change the world right now, this minute, level of inspiration? Then pull up a chair because have I found the book for you and it is all about crafting. Yep, like needle and thread, yarn and bead, clay and paper crafting. The book is called “Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism” and it was edited by Betsy Greer, author of “Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch” and she also runs the blog Craftivism.com.

What is craftivism? It’s a term for crafting that is motivated by social or political activism. Greer explains that “the creation of things by hand leads to a better understanding of democracy, because it reminds us that we have power.”

“Craftivism” is divided into four categories: Personal Threads, Refashioning Craft, Craft as a Political Mouthpiece, and Activating Communities. Personal Threads features personal approaches to craft including the concept of guerrilla kindness and some really badass cross-stitchers and quilters. Refashioning Craft discusses how you can use craft for clothing that can reflect beliefs by crafting resistance or making a statement such as a jewelry maker who creates in public and gives away the result. The next section, Craft as a Political Mouthpiece, includes the AIDS Quilt, a knitted mouse activist, the work of the Adithi collective, and more. Finally Activating Communities which shows how crafting can improve and empower communities be it by updated suffragette banners (there’s one for Robyn!) or making handmade basketball nets.

“Craftivism” is a fascinating look at art, politics, crafts, and fashion. The interviews and stories are inspiring and at times emotionally moving. You’re going to want this book and then get ready to get engaged.

10 Questions with Dr. Penny Sartori

1. How do you define a near death experience?

It is an experience that some people report following a close brush with death. The experience follows a pattern of common components that were originally defined by Dr Raymond Moody in his book Life After Life in 1975. Common components include hearing the news of being close to death, travelling down a dark tunnel towards a bright light, a panoramic life review, an out of body experience, meeting deceased relatives / friends, meeting a ‘Being of Light’, being sent back to life, a barrier or a point of no return.
Each NDE is unique and not all components occur in every NDE.

2. What inspired you to study near death experiences (NDEs)?

It was an encounter with a dying patient I was looking after when I worked as a nurse in the ICU that inspired me to study NDEs. That encounter made me realize that we really do not understand death so I wanted to have a greater understanding of the dying process to that no other patient would have to undergo such a prolonged and undignified death as that patient who inspired my studies.

3. How has the medical establishment responded to your work studying NDEs?

At first the medical establishment was a little skeptical but as my research progressed they could see that it was ultimately going to benefit patients so they became very interested and supportive of my research. When my research had completed my medical colleagues were very interested and I was asked to present papers at medical conferences to disseminate my research findings.

4. Have you found that age affects the NDE?

No, NDEs can occur in people of all ages even young children who have no concept of death.

5. Do varying cultures affect the NDE?

Yes, the NDEs are influenced by the person’s culture. For example people in the West are more likely to report images of Jesus whereas people from India are more likely to report images of Yamdoots, messengers of Yama the god of the dead or Chitragupta the man with the book of deeds.

6. How are deathbed visions (end of life experiences) different from NDEs?

The deathbed visions are more of a chronic phenomenon and can occur over a few days. As the person gets closer to death so the visions may increase in frequency. Deathbed visions usually begin within a week or a few days before the person dies. NDEs occur spontaneously and occur in a matter of seconds.

7. How do NDEs affect the people who have them?

Many people are profoundly affected by their NDE in many different ways including psychologically, physiologically, spiritually and sociologically.

Their values may change drastically – so much that there can be a high divorce rate in people who have had an NDE. They are less materialistic and simple things in life like spending time with their family or spending time in nature takes priority to their previous lifestyle which may have been very money orientated. Many change careers from a highly paid job to doing voluntary work or working in the caring profession.

Some people have changes in their electromagnetic field and can’t wear a wrist watch or find that electrical items malfunction in their presence.

Some people feel that their religious belief is strengthened whereas others feel that they become more spiritual as opposed to religious. People are generally more compassionate, loving and respectful towards others and also have a heightened awareness of ecological issues.

8. Can you tell my readers a little bit about the 5 year study you did on NDEs?

When I worked as a nurse in the ICU for 5 years I interviewed patients who had survived a close brush with death. I came across 15 people who reported an NDE. I wanted to investigate if the NDE could have been caused by lack of oxygen, the drugs that we give to the patients or due to wishful thinking.

I didn’t find any cause for the NDE – for example one patient reported an NDE while unconscious but at the time he was fully ventilated and receiving high levels of oxygen and his vital signs were monitored throughout and his oxygen levels in his blood were normal. Some patients reported an NDE and had not been given any drugs at the time.

Some patients reported unpleasant NDEs which would not suggest that these are not merely wishful thinking.

I came across some very interesting examples where what the patients reported could not be dismissed or explained away. Patient 10 reported an out of body experience where he accurately reported the actions of the nurse, doctor and physiotherapist – at the time he was deeply unconscious and his eyes were closed. I know what he reported was accurate because I was the nurse looking after him at the time. I’ve nursed thousands of unconscious patients during my 21 year nursing career but no other patient has described an experience in so much detail and with such accuracy. As patients regain consciousness they are very disorientated and groggy and quite vague for some hours and even days yet this patient was very clear and precise about what he experienced as soon as he regained consciousness.

9. Why is it important that we study NDEs?

I think it is crucial that we continue to study NDEs in the clinical environment as they are giving us a different understanding of consciousness. Research in this field is now calling into question the premise that consciousness is produced by the brain. This will then lead us to other ways of investigating and understanding consciousness.

I think studying NDEs will also give us greater insight into the dying process so that we can better support patients as they are dying.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Ooh, that’s a difficult one.

Ok, if you knew that today would be the last day of your life, would you be doing anything different right now?

Talk about difficult questions!

Probably, but not by much. Instead of sitting here typing while my husband is stretched out on the other couch I would probably shut off my laptop and cell phone and crawl over and curl up on the sofa with him.

About Dr. Penny Sartori:
Dr. Penny Sartori worked as an intensive care staff nurse for 17 years. She undertook the UK’s largest and first long term prospective study of near-death experiences (NDEs) and was awarded a PhD for her research in 2005. She is uniquely qualified as not only has she worked daily with dying patients for many years but she also has the benefit of undertaking doctoral research into NDEs.

Her second book, “The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us Live More Fully” is published by Watkins Books. Whereas previous research has been unable to verify events that have been reported, more recent hospital research is showing that NDEs can no longer be dismissed as hallucinations or aberrations of a dying brain. Drawing from many instances throughout her nursing career coupled with many examples from people who have written to her over the years, she discusses that NDEs occur and have very real life changing effects and how, by trying to pathologize NDEs, the very important message that these people bring back has been overlooked. She reiterates that hearing what these people have to say can benefit us all without having to nearly die ourselves.

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

July brings the climax of summer and for this month’s Querent Jonah, the heat is on. Jonah has excelled in his career with many successes but feels the pressure to make a change. He wants to know what potential the future brings to find success in advancement of his education, or whether a different career track is in order.

Exploring the crossroads in his career I sense the stagnation- that he is good at what he does but it has become routine and I also feel that there is/may be a change in family responsibility and caretaking that also influences the desire for a change.

Jonah will have an opportunity to make a drastic change and reinvent himself, this will be a breath of fresh air. I feel like education is a part of this but it may involve taking a class, or completing a training program- I don’t feel like it involves going back to school for a lengthy period of time as it seems to promote his skills with a new level of development. I feel like his interests are being stirred up and I perceive a pattern of fine lines- like a plaid pattern involved- this may be related to visual arts or to a technological device that consists of these fine lines- it isn’t clear to me, but I feel like he is being inspired in a new direction for a reason. It seems that if he wanted further education he would be assisted through a program to help re-enroll and get training, I feel like this is either government sponsored or with the assistance of a powerful agency and that he would be recognized by them as a good investment. I feel like part of what keeps him back is an obligation to others or caretaking for a family member however the change would be good for him and would not involve as much stress as he is expecting.

The three cards are the Ace of Rods (Wands), 7 of Cups and King of Cups. This suggests that a new plan is in order and will appeal to his curiosity and need for excitement, following the change in direction will bring Jonah close to numerous old goals and current interests. Here is the best part- of the numerous talents, and the numerous goals, whichever he chooses Jonah will find success, the only difficulty is prioritizing.

Decide which talent brings the most joy or is of the most interest and focus on that for now and he will develop it successfully. I feel like Jonah already has most of the experience and knowledge and if he did further his education it would just be to learn the ground rules and receive the credibility on paper. A healing or helping profession is involved- like medical work but more family, children or counseling focused.

I say this because the final card is the King of Cups and it seems like he is in for a rise in status and the reputation will be that of powerful nurturer and provider for others’ emotional needs. Jonah’s family obligations do not seem to suffer, in fact he become stronger in your role of provider. Going back to the drawing board and following a new idea that brings interest and excitement will work out for success and emotional well being in the long run.

This month’s reading was conducted using the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini. This deck follows the format of the traditional Rider Waite deck which are my template for working with Tarot and the archetypes. Palladini adds his own style to the original themes and cards without changing their names/numbering system etc. As the Rider Waite deck has been written about previously, I wont belabor the specifics in terms of theme, format etc. for this deck as the Majors and Minors are in the same template with the exception of Wands being labeled as Rods. What is different and inspiring about this deck is its artwork. As the name suggests, Palladini brought the archetypal representations originating in the Renaissance forward to his era- the 1970’s when the deck was published. In doing so, we have a blast from the past with art deco, “stained glass” feeling imagery. The original symbolism and figures now pop with color and classy style. If my reaction to first seeing the Rider Waite deck was mistaking the cards for being flat and lifeless, and my love for the originals an “acquired taste”, this deck is more a love based on intrigue. Intentionally two dimensional it feels like each card is its own stained glass window which for me further evokes a feeling of sanctity in the cards. They are not the neon signs that many modern decks try to be, nor are they a passive menagerie of colors and pretty pictures that easily become wall paper. Each card is rather commanding.

While the cards have been modernized in this deck in true Aquarian style, in which mystical wisdom is brought forth in a dramatic way and distributed to the people, and for the benefit of the people, I like seeing a deck that is modern in color scheme and design without being quite so modern that it becomes a reminder of everything digital. Therefore for me, this deck is advanced enough so I can smile at the colors that are so 70s it may as well be part of their name (mostly 70s orange, 70s blue, 70s red) but not wince at seeing one more graphic design that was formulated on a computer and looks identical to many other images designed the same way. There remains a human touch in these images. Plus the artwork inspired by the original trumps but brimming with newer colors and illustrations of Palladini’s time is also reminiscent of the revival of classical wisdom and folklore rampant at the time of their creation. So each card could easily be an album cover for Donovan, or an even folkier revival group, portrayed through Tarot archetypes. In addition the spiritual quest made hip edge invokes the energy of the day in which many religious “molds” were broken and spirituality in its own context became liberated from the confines of traditional Towers (think Jesus Christ Superstar, or even Tommy, in which spiritual themes are explored in taboo or unorthodox ways that speak to a modern world without losing the original message). The artwork is liberated but not so trippy as to be unrecognizable.

I chose this deck without giving much initial thought to why, but in retrospect I feel it was a perfect match for this month’s Querent who is hovering between his past and future mission, reinventing himself and choosing between traditional and revolutionary roles. This deck is easy to use and I recommend it for beginner to advance. Specifically, if a student of Tarot or a Querent is straddling two worlds, or exploring new horizons and needs an energetic boost to bring revolution to their own lives, this deck carries inspiration that can help catapult the Querent into their future self without forgetting their roots.

In accordance with NYS law all readings are intended for entertainment purposes only.

Aquarian Tarot is produced through US Games Systems Inc. and was created by David Palladini (1970). http://www.usgamesinc.com/Aquarian-tarot-deck/

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and uses the Tarot and intuition to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011) and Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch (Schiffer Publishing 2013). In August 2014 a third book, The Esoteric Dream Book, will be available also through Schiffer.

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com.

Moonlight Tarot is now part of The Psychic Connection! Check out the profile at: http://thepsychicconnection.net/moonlight-tarot-psychictarot-reader/ New callers register at: https://prodca.click4talk.com/c4a/usignup_page.php?c4a=30236 to receive your first five minutes FREE!

If you prefer a live reading, check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY.

For weekly FREE Tarot Card-A-Week Workout Journaling guide and other great offers and updates, join the mailing list by clicking here: http://eepurl.com/UF0N1

Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines

If you’re looking for a resource for information about goddesses why not go straight to the best, Patricia Monaghan? Monaghan published the first encyclopedia of divine females in 1979, and that book has stayed in print in one form or another right up to today with “Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines”. The latest is newly expanded and features more than 1,000 heroines and goddesses from folklore, literature, and religion from around the world. The amount of information is dizzying.

The “Encyclopedia” is broken up by region and country; South America and the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, North America, South Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Rome, Greece, Celtic World, Pacific Island and Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and Indonesia, India, Circumpolar North, China and Korea, Eastern Mediterranean, and Africa, and I’m sure I missed some!

Do you know who Uti Hiata is? How about Ececheira? What about Pidari? They’re all pretty cool. I bet you’d find them interesting. You know a good way to learn about them? Yep. “Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines”.

The “Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines” is an invaluable resource, written by an undeniable expert in the field.

What’s Inside a Red Bull & Vodka

I tried Red Bull once. It tasted nasty. So I stick with my numerous other vices. However, I have always wondered what the heck was in it. I mean, you can read the side of the can, but what does it all mean? Fortunately, for information and entertainment, Wired Magazine’s web series “What’s Inside” answers this question.

When I think of Red Bull I always think of it as mixed in the “cocktail” Red Bull & Vodka. It’s actually why I tried Red Bull, the idea of drinking Red Bulls & Vodkas. Not happening. Anyway, it turns out Wired also did a “What’s Inside” about Vodka so why not complete the combo?

Red Bull & Vodka

Now you know exactly what’s inside those Red Bulls & Vodkas you toss back. I’m sure enough Vodka makes the Red Bull taste okay, but seriously, there are tastier ways to get drunk my friends. They usually involve rum. Mmmmm……..rum.

Fly Away with Dr. Hummingbird

I received a promotional copy of April White’s album “dr. hummingbird” and I’ve got to tell you guys, it is a beautiful journey I’d encourage you all to take.

It’s electronic, but incredibly intimate in sound. Open waves reveal tiny, tinkling notes prancing on tip toes atop the waves. “dr. hummingbird” is easily a go to album for meditation, yoga, or general relaxation. However I want to add I’ve found it wonderful for my focus as I’ve played it in the background as I’ve worked at my laptop. White mentioned that listeners have used the album to prevent road rage, study for finals (See? I said it was good for focus!), and file their taxes.

You can find “dr. hummingbird” on BandCamp or Amazon.com!

Visiting Helderberg Meadworks

Some of you may remember that I was lucky enough to interview Peter Voelker, the owner of Helderberg Meadworks. Apparently The Magical Buffet community made a good enough impression that I got invited over to actually see the mysterious, alchemical process that goes into making their varieties of mead! Squeee!

To be honest, it’s no serious mystery as to how mead is made. First you take some of this:

Water

Then you add some of this:

Honey

Although Helderberg doesn’t use any old honey, this is raw honey direct from a local beekeeper. I got to taste it and it was amazing. It was sweet, but then it had a zingy flavor at the end. Peter explained that the zippy flavor comes from where the bees live and travel.

Lastly, you need some of this:

Yeast
Yeast

Then, you let it hang out and ferment.

FYI, it even tastes good while fermenting.

After three months it’s finally ready to be filtered and put into bottles. Then it gets the cool wax top.

Many crayons died to bring you this lid.

They put one of their bad ass looking labels on it.

You can get that on a shirt.

And you end up with something beautiful.

Beautiful.

Two people make all of THIS.

This.
And this.

So that all of us can do this!

DRINK!

Available right now from Helderberg Meadworks is Heritage, which is a honey mead, and apple Mead, which is their honey mead blended with Indian Ladder Farms apples. Both are smooth and very drinkable. Personally, I like the Heritage at room temperature and the Apple cold.

I know what you’re thinking, those sound great, I’m going to go get me some of that! That is fantastic, you should do that. However you should know that in August they’re adding TWO MORE varieties to their line up! Oh and they both sound wonderful!

There will be Maple Mead. Much like the Apple Mead, the Maple Mead will start life with the honey mead base but by working with Wilderhook Maple Farm they will be adding maple to the mix. I didn’t get to try this one but I was told that it maintains a maple flavor without being overly sweet. I’m pretty excited to compare this one with their Heritage Mead.

Now for the grand finale, Feral Mead. This mead is made from yeast that was gathered and cultivated from right outside the Meadworks. Seriously. Peter told us about collecting it. How he would gather some and it would be all weirdly colored and just dump it out. But finally he got something that looked right, and smelled right, so then he set about using it for a small test. And then the last test, he drank the results! That takes some kind of balls people! I’m no longer impressed by the guy who took down the 10 point buck. Have you gathered your own yeast in the wild? No? Then move along. The most important part of this Feral Mead story is this, it tastes AMAZING! Just so, so good. It’s like Heritage Mead’s beautiful sister.

If you want to learn more about Helderberg Meadworks and where you can buy their tasty meads, you can visit their website.

Me with the Helderberg Crew

Kirsten, Peter, and Me