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Hello Dahlings! A few updates for you!!


The Shepherdstown Street Festival is THIS SATURDAY and it is going to be a blast! Live music, food, and TONS of vendors! If you want to come out for the party (yes, there is a beer garden) and need details, click here!


The Darkflower booth will now NOT be at the rescheduled Brunswick Arts Festival on Saturday as well...trying to staff two booths in two different states suddenly seemed BONKERS, especially since Shepherdstown runs until 9 pm. We hope to pick it up again next year.


And have I got a BRAND NEW CLASS FOR YOU in Winchester on July 6!


CELTIC SPELLWORK 101: SYMBOLISM AND PRACTICE

Interested in learning to set up a Celtic Wiccan sacred space and how to write your first simple spells? Join Tava Baird, a mentor in the Pagan community for over thirty years, for this introductory course. We'll be crafting a set of Witch Bells and then creating a traditional Magick Circle in which to bless them, as well as answering all your questions on how to get started in your own practice complete with history of the modern Witchcraft movement, reading lists, and all the great resources Tava shares with those she mentors. If you have ever wanted to explore Wicca this is the beginner's course for you! Bring your questions and your sense of wonder and join us in the Circle!


Course is from 10 am-12:30 pm and the $65 fee includes all materials!


TO REGISTER CLICK HERE:



AND also coming up that same weekend in Winchester:



SUNDAY, JULY 7th in Winchester at RAVEN CONJURE, 6:00-8:00 PM: SINGING TO THE BONES: An Introduction to Casting Bones, Stones, Shells, and Charms


An introductory course covering the history and art of bone-casting. Come help us preserve this ancient and beautiful form of divination! Cost of $60 includes a starter bone-casting kit, casting cloth, and a copy of Singing to the Bones. You'll walk in a novice and walk out with a beautiful and endangered form of divination in your soul! Class time: 2 hours.




AND ALSO......NEW DIG DATES at The Haunted BLUE BALL INN!

Want to come dig? We're finding tons of tools, toys, animal bone, ceramics, and more! Come volunteer to help excavate and research at this historic site near Winchester, VA! No archaeological experience necessary. The site has an INTENSE amount of spirit activity and no working restroom at this time (except for # one, lololol) so please do not bring children under age 16 without speaking with me first. If you would like to dig please email me at tavabaird@gmail.com and I will give you all the details!


DIG DATES (all dates are 9-12:30 AM, or for whatever part of that you can make it).


SUNDAY, JULY 7, 9 AM-12:30 PM

SATURDAY, JULY 13, 9-12:30

***NEW DATE WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 9 AM-12:30 PM

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 9 AM-12:30 PM


Thank you for your support!! See you all soon!



P.S. Thank you so much to all of you who have visited my new etsy site at https://darkflowerbooks.etsy.com.


The sequel to The Ballad of Birdie MacLeod is 100 pages done and should be out late summer!


And stay tuned.....there's a podcast in the works within the next few weeks!!!

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Hey there everyone and Happy Almost Summer!


There's lots going on right now at Darkflower Books and Folk Art, so let's get to it! The first thing I'd like to mention is that a whole slew of my original folk paintings are now for sale at Odyssey Gem in Winchester (find them at https://www.facebook.com/odysseygemfloat/). They have the most GORGEOUS crystals and stones and their prices are ridiculously good...if you are in the Winchester area swing by and take a peek!


Want a print? The etsy shop has prints of most of the designs you see above and more! https://darkflowerbooks.etsy.com


Upcoming Events for the 2nd half of June:


The Silver Moon Emporium on June 23rd in Manassas (more info here: https://www.tavabaird.com/event-details/silver-moon-emporium-beltane-market). Technically I guess it's a Midsummer market, not Beltane, but however you slice it it's gonna ROCK. This vintage movie theatre-turned-event center is an INDOOR market, so you can still come hand out even if it rains or is 100 degrees! The building will be loaded with art and metaphysical vendors and it always a tone of fun, and I have a massive double-wide booth right inside the front doors (and yes, Idol Hands will be right next to me!) Spell kits! Poppets! New prints! The NEW Witch of Wolfcroft Book! Come say hello!





JUNE 29th is going to be a doozy...the Brunswick, MD Arts Festival was rescheduled to this date due to rain in May, AND we have the Shepherdstown, WV Arts festival that day too. I'll be manning the Shepherdstown Darkflower booth in WV, and Intern Sarah will be manning another Darkflower Booth in Brunswick AT THE SAME TIME. Here are the links if y'all wanna come out and party:




And then on July 6 I'll be at Moon Phased in Winchester teaching Celtic Spellwork 101: Symbolism and Practice. Read a bunch of books and blogs but need help setting up your first Circle and casting simple spells? You're going to get a workout in this class, baby! Infor and registration is here: https://www.tavabaird.com/event-details/celtic-spellwork-101-symbolism-and-practice


And now...a Haunted Archaeology Update!


The Blue Ball Inn in Brucetown, VA - Est. 1747

Our archaeology at the Inn has been an amazing success...we did at least once a week, and BAGLOADS or artifacts come out of the ground! Tools, coins, pottery, animal bone, glass...in thirty-five years of digging I have NEVER seen a site this artifact plentiful. We have volunteers helping clean and ID artifacts because I can't keep up with the onslaught! And I am currently hard at work writing a book that not only covers the history of the house, but records the paranormal experiences many of our volunteers have had inside. If you are in the Winchester area and would like to come and dig, please send me a message and I'll get you signed up to become part of our volunteer crew!


A HUGE THANK YOU to our amazing archaeology volunteers who came out to dig yesterday in the heat....we found a ridiculous amount of artifacts! Thank you also to the volunteers who have answered my call to clean artifacts!


And a BIG "Hooray!" to volunteer Historians Mark R. and Ashley for ferrying Archaeologist Nate, Archaeologist Kathy, and myself on a three-hour Magickal Mystery Tour around Brucetown and surrounding environs pointing out old family houses, historic churches, cemeteries, and mill locations in which to set our story as I write the book about how this amazing community has come together to uncover the history and artifacts of the Inn. I am honored to know all of you and I learn SO MUCH whenever I am in your presence!


NEXT DIGS:

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 9 AM-12:30 PM

SATURDAY, JULY 13, 9-12:30

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 9 AM-12:30 PM


We'll be adding another weekday dig in there shortly as well.


ALSO: the Inn chimney is in need of repair and we need a good mason to give us an estimate. If you know of one in the Winchester area, please let me know and I'll get the message to Joseph Durbin (or you can write him directly!)


For more on the Inn, follow me on Facebook (Tava Baird or Darkflower Books and Folk Art) and follow Blue Ball Inn on Tiktok for videos (including ghostly encounters in the house.) We are now on our way to identifying some of the spirits residing within.


And mark your calendars for September 28-29, when there will be another Paracon event to raise funds to preserve the house! there will be a market in the back yard, you can tour the house, and there will be a ticketed nighttime paranormal investigation as well!



HAPPY SOLSTICE, EVERYONE!

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Hello All!


I haven't posted in a while (for reasons that will become immediately apparent), but I wanted to give you all a little update as we launch into summer and say hello. A lot has been going on, from new books to archaeology at the very mysterious and EXTREMELY spirit-occupied building above.


First, the book stuff: three new Darkflower Books have come out so far this year, all incredibly different. The Ballad of Birdie MacLeod is a prequel to The Spiral Pathways series with LOTS of character crossover, and its sequel, The Angel and the Blackbird, will be out at the end of the summer. The Book of Samael: Conversations is a book I never thought I would write and documents conversations with a particular Seraphim / King of Daemons and is currently my best-selling book. Its sequel, The Book of Samael: Dreams should also be out later this summer and continues where the first book left off, and focuses on what happens when an otherworldy guide directs you to turn and face your darkest fears. And the sequel to Bonewytch, titled The Book of High Places, will be out in late autumn or early winter. Get ready for the return of Fia Grace Elliot in a big way people, and what's inside The Magician's Vault in the Arcanum!


And then...a few weeks ago I quietly released The Witch of Wolfcroft, Guidebook One. This book is the first twenty-odd assignments I give my students when mentoring them in Spiral Pathways Witchcraft. Guidebook Two should be out at the end of this year or very early next year. If you have been wanting to start down the path of investigating Witchcraft, this is the book for you. There are lots of Witchcraft books out there, but this is broken down into distinct lessons and there is an entire online support page that directs you to free videos and web pages to assist your learning, and is written by a Witch with 35 years experience and twenty years as a teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum author for schools.


The books are available on Amazon, or through my new etsy shop at https://darkflowerbooks.etsy.com if you are interested.


And now...on to the haunted inn.


I have been less active online lately because market season is in full swing and most weekends I have back-to-back events booked. Several weekends ago I got invited to vend at an event called Paracon at a building called The Blue Ball Inn.


I must admit, I thought they were kidding me about the name at first. I've never been involved in the ghost scene before, but the event organizers were lovely and so I decided to give it a whirl.


We set up in the backyard of the second-oldest building in the Winchester, VA area. It is a tavern built in 1747 and its owner bought the property next door and discovered that the inn came with it. It has been falling into disrepair for years. Once he started trying to make repairs he quickly found out why.


From what I have been told by the owner and his close friends, Joseph bought the property in a private sale and had never been inside the inn before he bought it. The inn did have a resident, which he found odd considering the building doesn't have running water or a working septic system. The tenant was living in one room and had boarded up all the other doors in the house but one to the outside, and when Joseph spoke to him the man explained that he was the last of a family that had rented the whole building at one point but that everyone had either died (at least three of them on the property) or left. Joseph correctly ascertained that the man was not living in a healthy way here and that it would be a good idea for him to vacate the inn. He helped the man to leave as gently as he could, and then started un-boarding doors, only to discover that the inn was literally loaded to the rafters with garbage.


Joseph started making videos of himself as he undertook the Herculean task of renovating a 1747 inn all by himself, hoping to update plumbing and get the building to a state where he could turn it into an Air B&B or something. But as he started posting the videos to TikTok, he started receiving emails and comments that there were things happening on camera behind him that he could not see. Items moving, and some people saw a face. Curious neighbors came to visit when they saw the inn being worked on and said, "You know this place is haunted, right?" (He did not.) Soon ghost hunting groups were reaching out, asking to spend the night.


To say that the energy in this place is intense is the understatement of the year. I have seen people walk into the house and say, "I don't really believe in this stuff," and come out ten minutes later in tears. After spending the weekend at Paracon and spending time in the house, I absolutely believe there is A LOT we can't see going on in the house, and I don't consider myself especially sensitive to energies. I experienced blurred vision, irregular heart beats, and temperature variations that changed suddenly that went WELL BEYOND what I would expect in an old building while visiting certain rooms. Lots of people felt overwhelmed enough walking up to the house that they couldn't even go in. And many people, myself included, experience drastic mood swings, touches, scratches, and even bites while inside the house (something touched my leg, I shit you not).


But all of that aside...my degree is in Colonial Archaeology. I have worked at Monticello in their archaeology department and as a tour guide at Ash Lawn-Highland, and have dug at sites all over Virginia. An untouched 1747 inn? This is like catnip. I started diving into the history of the house and started family trees for all of the inhabitants I could find. Local energy workers and psychic mediums would come out of the house and tell me they saw a spirit, got a name or part of one, and described the person's age and how they were dressed. And as I started doing the research, I started finding them. People with matching names, ages, and dress that matched the time period they would have been alive that were buried nearby.


And that's when I discovered that one of the family trees had names that matched those in my own.


The land was originally settled by Scottish immigrants. And it appears I may be related to the family who had the building constructed in multiple ways.


This only fueled my interest. Last weekend a group of volunteers and I went to the inn and opened up two 3' by 3' archaeological test squares in the back yard. There are stories that both Revolutionary War soldiers and Civil War soldiers camped on the property. George Washington was said to have visited the inn on multiple occasions. I want to find these artifacts.


Within the first three inches the artifacts were coming out fast and furious. We're only on the top layer, but actually found pennies letting us know we were in the 1960s and 70s. We are going back tomorrow to keep going. (By the way, pennies appearing and disappearing in front of people seems to happen frequently in the house, but these came out of the ground, so I'm good with that.)


It's all under there somewhere -the artifacts of nearly three hundred years of occupation. And as I raise interest and get more volunteers through Facebook and Instagram posts and Joseph continues posting on Tik Tok, we hope to get more help to uncover the mysteries of this place. People who have tried to drive the spirits out only seem to make things worse. I have a different idea: uncover who they were and are, honor them, and bring their stories to light. Save the building from falling down around them. Let them see that it is in good hands. I'm visiting their graves as I discover them and bringing flowers and making paintings for the inn and spending a lot of time working with energetic healers to send good energy to those who reside within the walls. Some of the spirits in there may even be my ancestors.


The ghost hunting groups are still coming through, but I have hopes that one day this place will be more than just that. That it will tell the story of the land, and the town, and the generations who lived and worked here. Of their loves and losses, and their hopes. We know that many lives ended on that property. Maybe we can help some of them on their path to peace.


I want to find out the story of the spirit who appears in the windows, watching the road outside, waiting for someone.


Perhaps she's waiting for us.




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