Thursday, November 29, 2012

Magical Herb Course

Available from Celestafrittata Bottega
For those of you enjoying my blog posts on Basic Magical Herbs (Lesson 1 and Lesson 2) as I study them through Witch School, I thought You might also be interested in the articles written by Leillan for Witches of the Craft on Magical Herbs and usage. Links share below

Lesson Introduction

Lesson 1 Storage and Tools

Lesson 2 Basic Herbs

Lesson 3 Less Common Herbs

Lesson 4 Enchanting Herbs 

The Herbal Tarot: 0 Fool Ginseng

The first card in The Herbal Tarot deck and the first card I will be studying in this introduction to the tarot with herbs is

0 The Fool Ginseng

The tarot deck pamphlet has this to say of the card:
"Ginseng is the herb of cosmic energy. It is a tonic and a demulcent. The root is used for all deficiencies and weaknesses. (Uranus)."

The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities so filled with visions, questions, wonder and excitement is he, that he doesn't see the cliff he is likely to fall over.
While it's wonderful to be enthralled with all around you, excited by all life has to offer, you still need to watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.
The Fool is always an indicator of newness; as well as the purity and open-hearted energy of a child. This is generally considered a positive card, with the caveat that it's important to take time to be sure that you are "looking where you're going."

The Fool is also the card of Primordial Deity.
This is the Deity before the making of the universe, when God, or Goddess, was One and complete in itself. Before the "Big Bang" so to speak.
This is the card of Beginnings, before even the story is laid out.
I like to think of the tarot as a story and the Fool is the decision of reading the story more than the opening or first words of the story itself.
The Primordial Deity plays into Ginseng being the "herb of cosmic energy."

(Panax ginseng or Panax quinquefolius)

Ruled by Uranus, Saturn and the Sun
Gender: Masculine
Element: Fire

Medicinal Properties:
Ginseng is known as the king of herbs because of its multitude of medicinal uses
Valued in Chinese medicine as a valued treatment for "yang" defficency in the spleen and kidneys, as well as for the effect it has on "Qi," or the vital force thought to be inherent in all things.

Ginseng is highly regarded as a stimulant and general tonic that promotes sexual potency, lust, vitality, and long life. Also considered to be great in aiding mind and body in adapting to stress, trauma and fatigue, as well as having some ability to increase stamina and stimulate the immune system

Drunk as a tea, Ginseng is believed to be a powerful lust-provoking aphrodisiac

CAUTION: Don't take Ginseng and Ginseng mixtures with Coffee as it will accelerate the caffeine effects on the body and can cause diarrhea.

Magical Properties:
The mystical and magical lore goes back for thousands of years.

The forked root of the plant also sometimes quite clearly resembles that of a human figure, giving rise to the aphrodisiac qualities associated with it. In fact, the most valuable roots of all are the few found with an appendage between the forked "legs" of the figure.

In modern magic, Ginseng root is carried to attract love, ensure sexual potency, enhance beauty, draw money, and promote general good health and vitality. It is also associated with protection,fulfillment of wishes, and spirituality.

Burning Ginseng root or powder as an incense is believed to ward off evil, break hexes or curses, repel negative spirits, and provide visualization fulfillment

In Hoodoo
For Male Vigor, keep Ginseng in a bottle of Holy Oil and use it to dress the penis.
To make a Gambling Hand, get a piece of Ginseng, a piece of Black Snake Root, a John the Conqueror Root slice, and three fresh seeds from a green (unripe) Red Pepper. Fold it toward you into a scrap of red flannel, soak it in Hoyt’s Cologne, sew it up, and place it in a red flannel bag.
To Control Your Mate, mix Angelica root powder and Ginseng root powder with an equal volume of white flour and scorch this in a pan on the stove, being careful not to burn it. Use it to dust the house for 9 days.

Ginseng is an effective substitute for mandrake in all spells.

Llewellyn Spell of the Day
Uses Ginseng for its cleansing and hex-breaking properties.
"For guarding health and drawing strength and courage, ginseng is very useful. It’s not for nothing that ginseng is called the “wonder of the world” root.
Carry the root with you, in pieces or whole, wrapped in a piece of red cloth and secured with gold or orange thread. Or else keep a ginseng pouch in your living room or on your altar.
Ginseng when burnt and used as a fumigant is potent for breaking hexes. For purifying home interiors, place ginseng root on your altar for three days.
Then soak it in a bowl of warm water and leave it to stand overnight. Sprinkle the water from the bowl around the rooms of your home, or on the windows and doors. Sprinkle the water in the four corners of the property for protection against entities. Store the ginseng water in a spray bottle.
Before you dress each morning, lightly spritz your body from head to foot. The ginseng spritz is especially helpful for those engaged in healing and psychic work."

Witches of the Craft also has a Ginseng Spell
Using the first dollar earned in a business wrapped around a ginseng root to bring prosperity.

The Good and Bad of Magic

The Good and Bad of Magic
“True magic is neither black nor white. It is both because Nature is both; loving and cruel.” – Lirio in The Craft 1996

Magic, the reason most people are drawn to the study of witchcraft, is the act of using the conscious mind and will power to actively control the all-pervasive energy that makes up the universe and focus it on one task.
The question of how to use this power and the ethics involved in making this decision has been a debate since mankind learned that they could harness this ability and use it for their individual purposes.

Good Magic vs. Bad Magic
Whether magic, or the act of doing magic, is good or bad is a question of morals and ethics that will change from person to person depending on his or her upbringing, culture, and background teachings and decisions.
In my opinion, the term Good Magic refers to the act of doing magic for the purpose of bettering the self and/or the world in general. Bad Magic, on the other hand, is the act of doing magic to harm others or the self. Harm is the key word in most definitions that differentiate good and bad magic.
The idea of harm and magic is where the magical practices and beliefs of the Wiccan faith refer to the Wiccan Rede, which states “Do what thou will and Harm none.” This is explained in Witch School Lesson 1 of the First Degree in that Wicca isn’t worried so much about who a person is sleeping with or if they are gambling, drinking or smoking so long as that person is not harming anyone.

The Gray Area
The gray area comes about in magic when practitioners begin to question whether their actions are indeed harmful.
The answer to this question is obvious to some when it comes to the idea of murder, however, it becomes gray area when a person is killing in order to protect family, property or the ideals of nation and religion.
Many agree love spells that force the emotions of another are wrong but do not question the ethics of spells that keep a man or wife faithful. One must ask if it is just as unethical as that man or woman having an affair.
Spells for prosperity are normally considered good magic. However, what if the spell that wins a witch a promotion at work causes another person more deserving to not reach their goal or, worse, get fired?
Then, there is the question of whether or not creating a commissioned spell or doing magic for a customer or friend that is harmful for another person reflects badly on the witch or the person commissioning the magic?
For many making these decisions, the question is not whether magic itself is good or bad but the intent of the witch, which cannot be easily judged by outsiders.

The Law of Karma
Many witches believe that when someone acts through harmful intent, magically or not, they receive their punishment through the Divine. Some witches call this reaction Karma while others refer to the Law of Three.
Karma is, in the Indian belief, an action that causes the cycle of cause and effect. This concept is that whatever person puts out into the universe with their actions, magical or mundane, there will be an effect on that person. This is the same for good magic or bad so that anyone doing bad magic will have something bad happen to them.
The Law of Three is a Wiccan belief that many witches take to literally mean that whatever a witch puts out into the universe will come back to them either in multiples of three or three times as forceful. However, many others, including the Correllian tradition, believe that three is simply a number of balance and that the actions of the witch will come back to them as many times as it takes for them to learn their lesson.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Magic is a blessing given by the Divine to people so that they can co-create the world around them. Whether the witch chooses to use this power for good or bad effects his or her reality, so that it is up to the witch to decide whether he or she would like live in a world wherein bad things continuously happen to him or her and those around them or if they will persist in using their abilities and practice to create good. 

*** This essay was written for my first lesson in my course to becoming a First Degree clergy of the Correllian Church***

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Herbal Tarot: About Tarot

In combination with my study of The Herbal Tarot, I will not only be reviewing the herbal associations but also the tarot deck itself.

I first studied tarot under reader June Wright who still reads professionally in Johnson City, TN at her shop Caravan Mystique on Spring Street. She is an excellent reader and teacher with the tarot, combining the traditional meanings of the cards and encouragement to read each spread with your intuition.
She taught me about the cards then had be apprentice with her by sitting in on readings and later doing readings under her observation. By the end of a couple of months I was reading at festivals and in her shop, which was then located a block away and under the name Unique Treasures.

To accompany my studies now, I have joined Tarot College, an online school with classes on tarot, readings, divination, specific decks, etc.
I am taking the course called Tarot which has reminded me of things I've forgotten over the last few years and taught me a things I never knew, leading me down paths in the Tarot I have never previously tread. I encourage you, if you are currently studying tarot, to give Tarot College a look.

An Introduction to the Tarot

This is a brief introduction. There are many many many books on tarot that explain the long and vague history of the deck, and I suggest that you read a few to give you a better idea of it than I can in a simple blog post.

No one really knows when Tarot cards were invented, or by whom, though people have advanced many theories over the centuries.
The Tarot supposedly made its first appearance, according to Tarot historian Tom Tadfor Little, as traditional playing cards first seen in Europe in 1375. How it got there is in dispute in most texts. Some believe it came from Egypt and the Middle East brought to Europe by the crusaders. Others hold that the Romany tribes brought it through Europe in their travels. I don't hold a strong belief either way and, though it sounds apathetic or critical, I don't really care much which one is true. Its "true" origins do not effect my studies or readings. This does not mean that I don't think that the study of the history of tarot is in any way pointless or unnecessary, just that bickering over its origins isn't helpful.

The earliest mention of the Tarot comes from an edict banning tarot in Bern, Germany issued in 1367. At this time the cards were called by the name Nahipi, and they may have consisted only of the playing cards we know today as the Minor Arcana.

The earliest description of a Tarot deck, written by Frater Johannes von Rheinfelden in 1377, describes only the four suits of the Minor Arcana. Also, the oldest surviving card deck, the so-called “Hunting Deck” of Stuttgard, dating from 1420, consists only of Minor Arcana cards.
The Major Arcana cards make their first verifiable appearance in the early 1400s, with the Visconti-Sforza cards providing the oldest surviving examples.

It does appear, however, that the first Tarot decks were created as a game. The decks were used to play a game called triumph that was similar to bridge. In triumph, 21 of the 22 special picture cards were permanent trump cards. The game spread quickly to all parts of Europe. People began referring to as tarocchi, which is an Italian version of the French word tarot, around 1530.

There does not appear to have been an agreed upon system of Major Arcana cards at first. Instead symbols were drawn from many sources; early decks include among their Major Arcana such images as the Planets, the Zodiacal signs, the Seven Virtues, the Muses, figures from Pagan mythology, etc… Some of the modern Major Arcana cards appeared from the beginning –such as the Fool- others did not make their initial appearance until much later. In particular the Devil card and the Tower were added to the Major Arcana during the era of the Reformation.

 The Major Arcana, or Trumps, are considered the fifth suit of the Tarot, but they are markedly different from the other four suits.  It is said that this is because the Major Arcana deal with spiritual things, while the other four suits, or Minor Arcana, deal with everyday situations.

The cards start with the Major Arcana and, importantly with
  0)   The Fool 

LOLcat Herbalist

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination

The Lady of the Abyss of Witches of the Craft was recently nominated by Morrighan of The Enchanted Solitaire for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! (Which she rightly deserves)

In return, as The Lady of the Abyss nominated 15 other blogs for the award I was Nominated!
I was very surprised by this as I've only been blogging here since late September of this year.
Thank you Lady of the Abyss for reading and noticing me ^_^

In participation I will now share a little about me and nominate 15 more blogs for the award.

Fact 1: I am five feet tall. This may not seem important but you try living with a man who is tall and likes to put things on the top shelf.

Fact 2: I am a night person, which may be the reason why I associate with the moon and night magic more than sun magic or sabbats.

Fact 3: I have notices that as I grow older I am drawn less towards dark, gothy images of witches and goddesses and more towards motherly, curvy, homey images. i.e. less Bellatrix Lestrange and more Molly Weasley in my life.

Fact 4: I love Winter and Snow. Maybe one of the reasons I am so happy to live in Alaska.

Fact 5: I love RPG games. While I have veered away from the addiction of WOW I do play on forums, on XBOX and used to play a lot in chat.

Fact 6: I love fairy tales and connect more with the Villain than the Princess - I love Malificent!

Fact 7: I am a Proud Pagan Polyamorist with a wonderful husband and lovely girlfriend who I live and practice with.

15 Nominations (in no particular order)

Witches of the Craft (not because I was nominated by The Lady of the Abyss but because its a blog I actually visit quite frequently)

The Herbalist's Path (not a pagan blog but a great blog for herbs and she's currently offering a class on medicinal teas)

The Deepest Well

Full Circle

Green Man Ramblings

The Domestic Pagan

Tales from the Kitchen Herbwife

Wandering in the Woods

Reverend Sherry Cooper's Blog on Witch School (its still a blog and as my mentore, I felt I needed to include her as she is very inspiring to me)

Dancing in Fields of Tansy (I love her posts about herbal prepping)

Methow Valley Herbs

The Essential Herbal Blog

The Herb Gardener

Comfrey Cottages

I Chose Health (shameless plug. This is my old blog and where I first got started with health and herbal blogging)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Herbal Tarot Study: Introduction

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or have chatted with me know that last month I received my new tarot deck: The Herbal Tarot. I will be studying the cards individually over time and decided to share my studies with you, dear readers. Feel free to follow my information here as if it were a free class or simply to supplement any tarot studies your are currently taking.

This deck combines my two favorite aspects of practicing witchcraft - Herbs and Tarot.
I have loved both since I was very young and just pulling down books on my head from the top shelf in the Spirituality section of my hometown library.
In this time of my life, I feel the herbal tarot will help me on my path of joining my spirituality with what I used to consider my mundane goal of becoming an herbalist or naturopathic healer.

Over a period of several months, I will be taking the card one at a time and studying not only the card itself but the herb accompanying the card. You will see posts on how to read the card, how to use the card in any spells or meditative work, how to use the herb in its culinary, medicinal or magical purposes, etc.
I hope that you enjoy these posts and learn something along with me.

An Introduction to The Herbal Tarot

The Deck was created by herbalist Michael Tierra and artist Candis Cantin. Published by U.S. Game Systems, Inc.
The book that accompanies this deck is out of print and therefore I have not seen it sold for less than $60 online. (I will not be using this book in this study as it is not logical to order it at this time with my budget).
The deck follows the sequence of the Rider-Waite Tarot and the introduction in the small pamphlet accompanying the book explains, "Anyone familiar with the Rider-Waite Tarot will be able to transcribe their understanding to the Herbal Tarot."

The herbs were assigned to the cards intuitively based on astrological correspondences, symbolism and traditional, folklore and biological uses.
Here is the reason I love this deck:
"The Herbal Tarot is designed to integrate the healing properties of traditional herbs with the tarot. Thus it is a useful introduction both to the ancient arts of herbalism and to occult mysticism...Herbs, when joined with the tarot, can provide a symbolic material manifestation to accompany a specific divination."

The Deck Itself

Candis Cantic is the artist of this deck. She worked with the art form the Rider-Wait deck and added a natural flare not only with a picture of the herb associated but with the characters in the deck itself. The Queens of the deck are near a natural body of water, the Kings enthroned with natural stone, the Page of Pentacles is gardening, etc.

On the back of the cards is a balanced design of rosemary with four blue flowers.
From my own meditations on the back of the card I believe that the four flowers are meant to assign the four corners of a sacred circle. Each flower has eight petals that resemble the Wheel of the Year with its eight sabbats. The inner red petals symbolizing the four seasons in that year.
The rosemary on the back of the card has many magical properties. The properties that I believe most influence readings with this deck include protection, mental powers and purification. These powers would benefit any deck by aiding in cleansing it between readings and grounding it before the next reading is begun.


There are many reviews of this deck online. The following links are to some of the ones I read and liked.

The Aeclectic Tarot did a few reviews of this deck.

Tarot Reader Jan reviews the deck on Angel Paths

How to Choose an Herbalist

Finding the right herbalist is a lot like finding the right personal physician; the patient needs to select a healer that they can trust. Many patients and alternative health seekers find themselves a little lost among the many people that call themselves herbalists and healers, unsure of who to go to.

Herbalism: Past and Present

Herbalism is a traditional, and some would call alternative, medicinal practice based on the use of plants. This practice is one of the earliest forms of medicine. Every culture has used herbalism to treat major and minor illnesses. The oldest practitioners of herbalism are the witch doctors, shamans, and wise people of the tribes.

Before the age of modern allopathic medicine, the herbalist would have been the primary medical expert and would care for all of those in his or her area. The household would also have one or two people, usually the mother or grandmother, who used herbs to heal minor problems.

Today, herbalists continue the practice of natural healing. Known as Master Herbalists (M.H.), most obtain certification through a school program, like that of Herbal Healer Academy and Clayton College of Natural Healing. The course usually covers many different types of herbs and their properties, reading from specialized texts, learning how to create herbal medicines like tinctures and liniments, and taking a final exam covering the course material. After passing the exam, the herbalist is then given certification that is meant to show achievement of that course and is not a federal certification like that of a Medical Doctor (M.D.).

For further formalization, an herbalist might join a group like the American Herbalist Guild (A.H.G.) where they undergo testing and must have some clinical experience in order to join. Most groups have a strict code of ethics an herbalist must abide by in order to become and remain a member of said community.

A problem some patients have is finding an herbalist. Most practitioners specialize in two or more forms of alternative healing, including herbalism. Herbalists can be found among acupuncturists, reflexologists, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.), aromatherapists, nutritionists, homeopaths, naturopaths, and many other alternative healers.

Choosing an Herbalist Involves Questions

The best way to choose an herbalist is to ask questions.

First ask family members and friends if they have an herbalist, and if so, would they recommend them? Usually the family members and friends, if not seeing an herbalist themselves, will ask around as well. Using personal networks is usually the best way to obtain specific information about healers and their personality as well as practice.

Asking employees or owners of local health markets might give the seeker an idea of how many herbalists and healers are in their area as well as names to contact. Some health markets even have a wall or table where healers can leave business cards and flyers.

There are also many online registries of healers, such as that of the American Herbalist Guild, which provides herbalist contact information by state.

Upon finding an herbalist, the patient should ask themselves some questions to determine how helpful the healer is. Below are some questions from Complete Idiot's Guide to Herbal Remedies by Frankie Avalon Wolfe:

  • Does this person engage you in their healing process?
  • Does this person assure you that the body heals itself and that the herbs give opportunity to heal? Or does he or she take all the credit?
  • Does this person make you feel that you can trust him or her?
  • Do you learn from this person?
  • Does this person guide or dictate you?
  • Can this person answer your questions to your satisfaction?
  • Does this person teach you the nature of herbs and why you might be ill in the first place?
  • Do they help you find a plan that's right for you?
  • Do you get results from working with this person?
  • Does this person listen to you?

Lack of Trust Hinders the Natural Healing Process

Good chemistry is a must between healer and patient in any field because of the amount of time spent together between check-ups, consultations and other meetings. If the patient feels uncomfortable with their healer, then trust cannot be fully felt and if they don't trust the healer then they may not be truthful. If the patient doesn't tell the truth about their diet or drug regiment, then the healer cannot know for sure how to treat the patient and may harm them instead of cure them. Lack of trust can hinder healing just as much as poison or a bad diet plan.

There are No Magic Bullets

Lastly, when searching for an herbalist, the patient must remember that true healing takes time. Any healer, herbalist or otherwise, that offers a quick fix to all problems is not offering health. There are no magic bullets or miracle cures, as any true healer will be quick to say. Anybody offering a quick fix that cures everything from hair loss to cancer is offering nothing more than snake oil.

**I originally wrote this article for Suite101

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Basic (Magical) Herbs: Lesson 2

Dill (Anethum gravelus)

Medicinal Uses: digestive disorders, infections, diuretic

Magickal Uses: protection, love and and aphrodisiac (seeds) as well as Money and Luck

May be hung in childrens' rooms to protect them from evil spirits and protect against bad dreams.
Use dill seeds in money spells.
Take a dill bath to make yourself irresistible

Witch in the Kitchen explains that while Dill (the plant) is an herb, the seeds are actually a spice on her blog post HERE

I think that most of us know Dill best as part of the pickling spices used for cucumbers to make Dill Pickles. However, there are many other pickle recipes that call for dill including green tomatoes and
Green Beans like those sold by Darling Delights 2012 on Etsy HERE

Etsy has many other dill recipes available including dill bread and dips.

Sage (Salvia Officianalis)

Medicinal Uses: astringent, anti-inflammatory, digestive
A drying agent in the body.
The tea can be used for night sweats, breast milk, and mucous congestion.
Benefits nerves and the menstrual cycle.
An astringent, helps with diarrhea
Use as a sore throat gargle.
A poultice for sores and stings.
Homeopathic form is used for night sweats, coughs and dry breast milk.

Magickal Uses: purification, wisdom, wishes
Tradition holds that whomever eats sage becomes immortal in both wisdom and years.
Used for wish manifestation and to attract money.

It is my personal opinion that every witch should be familiar with this herb.
It is a wonderful purifying herb whether used in an herb mix, as an incense or in smudging wands, which is probably most popular for.
I have used white sage for smudging not only in my home but for the ritual cleansing of someone dear to me who was very ill and fearful of having cancer. Sage has a wonderful smell, the smoke is a beautiful white and swirls through air, touching everything with its purifying essence.

Moma Sarah of ConjureCardea offers bundles of California White Sage
She explains "Our Native elders have taught us that before a person can be healed or heal another, one must be cleansed of any bad feelings, negative thoughts, bad spirits or negative energy - cleansed both physically and spiritually. This helps the healing to come through in a clear way, without being distorted or sidetracked by negative "stuff" in either the healer or the client. The elders say that all ceremonies, tribal or private, must be entered into with a good heart so that we can pray, sing, and walk in a sacred manner, and be helped by the spirits to enter the sacred realm."
You can buy this sage and other herbs and curios from Moma Sarahs shop on Etsy HERE

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
The poisonous herb of the week.

Medicinal Uses: used to make heart medication, digoxin
Anyone who has or has had a loved one with heart or blood problems has probably heard of the medication Digitalis, which is made from a component of foxglove or a synthesized version of the component.

Magickal Uses: to attract fairies, protection from evil as well as increases confidence and self esteem, wounds to the heart, old grief that has refused to process, ease mental turmoil, quit mind, connect to heart, releasing past life patterns. Karmic patterns.

MoonlightCrystals offers a Heart Chakra Flower Essence that includes Foxglove as well as other flower and crystal essences.
There is even a Self Healing Ceremony included that has Introspection, Visualization and Affirmation.
You can purchase this Essence elixir at MoonlightCrystals shop on Etsy HERE

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Basic (Magical) Herbs Lesson 1

Along with my classes on Living the Wiccan Life and First Degree Correllian Clergy through Witch School, I am also taking a class on Basic Herbs.
The class offers 3 herbs a week for 10 weeks for a total of 30 herbs.
I thought I would share those herbs and my additional research on them here. I wont be sharing all of what the class offers, for that you will have to go and sign up for it yourself. Its a free course, so there's no reason not to.

Lesson 1

Cilantro aka Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Medicinal Use: Digestive disorders, painful joints, and hemorrhoids.

Magicak Use: love, health and healing.
Used in love sachets and spells.
Add the powdered seeds to warm wine to make a lust potion.
Protects gardeners and all in their households.
Gather at harvest and hang in the home for protection.
The seeds promote peace between people who are unable to get along.
Use it in drinks or crushed in incense.
Helps one find romance and is an excellent herb to add to an elixir when the Great Rite is celebrated.
Throw instead of rice at handfastings or add to the handfasting cake.

SevenCrows7 offers a traditional German love spell based upon the love magic in 7 coriander seeds
The kit contains: a small bottle containing seven coriander seeds, a cork for the bottle, a bees wax candle, cheesecloth, coriander love spell booklet with full instructions, full moon calendar for 2012 and 2013, Wishcraft booklet, and the original spell printed on a small parchment scroll
You can purchase the kit on Etsy HERE

Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officianalis)

Medicinal Uses: depression, nervousness, pain

Excellent tonic for those who suffer from burnout or chronic fatigue syndrome
Encourages the production of bile thus aiding digestion
Helps relieving the symptoms of Bronchitis, Asthma, Flu causing cough and clearing the lungs
Vision tonic
Nervous system tonic
Emmenagogue (induces menstruation)
Relieves migraines and headaches caused by stress
Encourages hair growth
Relieves vertigo caused by inner ear problems
Enchances memory
Mouthwash for bad breath
Stimulates brain

Magickal Uses: protection, mental powers and purification as well as Love, Lust, Exorcism, Healing, Sleep, Youth
You can read about Rosemary in my post in which it is used as part of a ritual bath

The Magick Hearth offers Rosemary chili pepper shortbread cookie recipe to spice up your love life with a little bit of kitchen witchery.
"use this recipe and feed your lover or significant other these shortbread cookies made with fresh ROSEMARY for LOVE, ROMANCE, and LUST and dried CHILI PEPPERS for FIDELITY and SEXUAL PROWESS!"
You can buy the recipe from The Magick Hearth on Etsy HERE

Oleander (Nerium oleander)
This is the week's poisonous herb. Its good to know about poisons for safety as well as their powerful magical uses.

Medicinal Uses: It has been used for centuries as medication. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE
Magickal Uses: love
You can buy this art print at CasstronautMeder on Etsy HERE

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ritual Bath 2

A little while I wrote about Ritual Baths and gave an example of the one I did for my First Degree Course for WitchSchool. The following is another example for yet another Witch School class - Living the Wiccan Life.

While the bath for First Degree is for releasing the past, the bath for Living the Wiccan Life is for purification and is more of an "in general" use.
The lessons teaches that ritual baths "removes negativity from you on all levels. It can energize you, and increase your psychic awareness and ability."
This ritual bath exercise too uses herbs and asks that you choose from a list and pick at least one purifying herb and combine it with at least one other mentioned.

The purification herbs listed at Burdock, Lavender and Dandelion Leaf.
Other herbs listed are:
Cinnamon to raise spiritual vibrations
Jasmine to promote psychic ability
Peppermint to increase psychic ability
Red rose petals which are sacred to the Goddess and promote clairvoyance and happiness.

I do disagree with the inclusion of cinnamon as it can be very irritating in a bath.
The lesson even recommends using essential oils instead of herbs if must and, thought it does warn that peppermint and cinnamon can be irritating to skin, it does not include that the essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil and that cinnamon oil can actually cause burns on the skin.

Other than that, the herbs listed are great and easily obtainable for the most part at health food stores, supermarkets and in fresh, dried or tea forms.

I chose Lavender and Rose as well as Chamomile which was not listed to aid Lavender's soothing powers.
I did light a few white tea lights to set around the tub and some lavender e.o in a nearby oil burner.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cleansing Crystals

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook and I had to share it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ritual Bath

In the months and year to come I will be taking a few courses on spirituality and healing/herbalism.
One of these courses is the First Degree course for Witch School. The first lesson in this degree involves a bath as the spell of the month. Sounds simple enough except when you get into the spell, it involves reviewing and releasing all the painful memories of the past. 

That being said, the spell does involve some herbs. 

In the bath or in a cheesecloth (like a tea bag) I'm asked to add a handful each of Rosemary, Sage and Sea Salt. 

A sun-related masculine herb with the element of fire.
Energies include cleansing and purification as well as protection. 
This is also a great herb for mental clarity.
Used for kitchen witchery as well as ritual magic, this is also a great herb for the garden or a small potted plant. 
Other purposes- rosemary is used in incense, dream pillows, to asperge a ritual space with holy water, and was even used in wedding garlands in the past. 

On a more personal note - Rosemary was one of the herbs in the bath mix i was given for my first less on with Herbal Healer Academy. I find it suiting that it is another rosemary bath that starts me on this first degree course. 

Another masculine herb, sage has the properties of Air and is associated with Jupiter. 
Energies include purification, healing, mental clarity and amplification, and prosperity.
Sage can even be used to contact spirit guides and expand the self to reach the Higher Self. 
I am most used to using Sage as a smudging stick for ritual cleansing of a space or a person and I believe that this use most reflects is Air-like quality. 

While not an herb, salt is used in all forms of magick form High Ritual to low garden or kitchen witchery. 
Today we have access to all kinds of salt from Pink Himalayan (my personal favorite) to black to white flaky sea salt. 
For this bath purpose course sea salt or even bath salts can be used. 

Its always best to make your own ritual tools, including herbal blends, but if you wanted something ready to go, there are many stores online and off that offer a variety of herbal bath salt blends for various purposes. 

This Wicca Ritual Cleansing Bath Salt is made with quartz crystal (which you can easily add to your own bath mix if using a tea ball or cheesecloth). This particular blend was mixed on a Full Moon during a "Raging" storm, so it will also hold that powerful energy amplified by the crystals. 

This beautiful blend I could not describe better than the words on the website so I will simply share them here with you:

"This is the "healed" blend of exclusive Sage Goddess bath salts, designed to facilitate physical and emotional wellness through purification and detoxification. This mixture of pure essential oils and organic herbs will encourage you to breathe deeply and clearly...

The mint leaves (spearmint and peppermint) are organic. The four essential oils in my blend - a mixture of rosemary, peppermint, and ruby grapefruit - are organic and pure. A combination of sea and dead salt provides texture and softens skin.

I package the salt mixture with one piece of bloodstone, which you can see in the photo; all salts are smudged with sage before shipping. My intention is that when you open the package, you will feel instantly at peace, ready to clear your mind and body of whatever illness or unwell sensations you have. Let go of what does not serve."

You can buy this exquisite blend at The Sage Goddess on Etsy

This collection of bath salts use herbs, resins and essential oils and are made individuality so that you can decide on just one herbal energy or a few to blend yourself to your discretion. 
Currently available are Dragons Blood, Lemongrass Sage, Hyssop (another clarifying herb), and the aforementioned Rosemary. 
Plus, they're available in these darling apothecary jars that I love. 

You can purchase these salts at Findias Emporium on Etsy.

*Magickal properties of herbs found in Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Magical Classes and Coursework

There are so many people in the world that want to learn to create magick. Students seek mentors, teachers, leaders, priests and more to teach them about magick, spellwork, herbs, healing, crystals, and more.
With the wonderful world wide web, finding these classes has become easier and easier with a variety of classes ranging from free mini-courses to more expensive classes that end with certifications and know-how to start your own practice.

The following are just a few of those courses that I've come across in my time looking for my own teacher.


Confessions of a Kitchen Witch offers Free Wicca/Witchcraft Lessons and, while there are already a few lessons up, they haven't gone very far and you can sign up to be part of the lessons any time.

WitchSchool is a very popular website that I usually don't feel a need to explain the site or what it offers. Amongst its many offerings is a selection of basic classes for free including Basic Herbs, Living the Wiccan Life, and Progressive Witchcraft.
While this is on the Free section of this post, if you want access to their other classes like Wicca in the Military or Intro to Animal Herbology you can pay a variety of ways - $5 a month or $99 lifetime memberships available.

Tuition Based Coursework

The Enchanted School of Witchcraft offers 3 degrees (Initiat, Adept, High Priestess) with classes like Herb magic, Craft Tools, Psychic Skills and Tarot. Their cost is $2500 or $50 a month. There is a waiting list as she only accepts a limited number of students so that each student can get individual time with their teacher.

Karmic Journey offers courses online and through correspondence. Each student receives a Practitioner's Starter Kit of sample oils and herbs. Classes include basic Wicca theory and correspondences and there are 15-16 lessons. Tuition for Internet based students is currently $10.50 with a promotion they're currently offering. Correspondence student tuition is $75.

The Magicka School offers 2 sets of courses. There is a free membership program that offers 2 set of courses - Wicca Revealed and Beginners Tarot. The Paid membership program costs $55 for lifetime membership or $33 annually and among the many benefits are the Advanced Tarot and Herbal Compleat Courses as well as various e-books, e-zines and the ability to obtain certificates for completed courses.

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart created The Grey School of Wizardry with several other well-known witches and wizards to provide classes to interested student both young and adult. Inspired by the Harry Potter classes, the school even has houses for younger students and lodges for the older students with contests between and within said groups. Classes offered include Wortcunning, Dark Arts, Performance Magick and Alchemy.
For younger students the monthly fee is $4 with a level up fee ranging form $2.50 to $15. For adult students the cost is $8 monthly with level up fee from $5 to $30.

Certified Course Work

Certified Crystal Healer Course is offered by the Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy. It is not continuous so if you miss an opening, feel free to sign up to receive updates on the course and when it will be enrolling again.

Herbal Healer Academy offers classes for students to obtain certifications for Herbalism, Acupressure, Qi Gong, Homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, and Survival as well as other courses. Students can even obtain certification as a Naturopathic Healer. Herbalism courses are $20 a lesson with $8 shipping. Other courses vary in price depending on number of lessons, books and other text involved.

Susun Weed's Wise Woman University offers a variety of courses created by Susun Weed and other herbal teaching experts. Classes include Herbal First Aid, Green Witch, Intuitive Developement, Creating Altars and Creative Writing. Correspondence courses range from $450 to $550 with the ability to pay $50 monthly. Online courses range from $75 to $175 depending on how lengthy or in-depth the course is.

If you find other courses online that you have found beneficial and offer classes on herbs or magick please let me know. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Magical Herbalism Part 1

Witchcraft and herbalism go hand in hand and have done so for centuries. In the past, witches were called wise women or wise men and were often the only people their neighbors could go to for healing. Doctors were sparse and so expensive only gentry could afford them or...there were none to be found in general. So the wise men and women who watched the stars, gave thanks to the divine and harvested and respected the herbs of the field were the healers of mankind until their persecution led them to go underground and hide their craft and wisdom.

Today, many witches are returning to their roots so to speak and looking to find a connection to the earth by healing themselves and those around them with herbs and plants.
I am one of these witches.

I wanted to do a series of posts to collect data online into one place for easier research not only for myself but for others looking.

The following are site and blogs that provide magical herbal information. has a great reference list form A-Z of herbs and their magical properties. While I do not count myself as a wiccan in the modern sense of the term, I have found that wiccans and wiccan websites tend to be the easiest to access for information about paganism and magical herbalism in general.

Witch of Forest Grove has a great series of posts called Weeds for Witches that include Dandelion and Clover, two of my favorite weeds.

Kitchen Witchcraft blog has been around since September 2010 and has many posts on herbalism, herb crafting and her connection to her magickal path. I love her posts and I'm sure you will too.

Susun Weed, one of my herbal heroines, offers a Green Witch Home Study Course which I have yet to take but I wanted to add it here because I am very interested and wanted to share it with others. She also has a course called Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition that sound equally appealing and are both the same price. I'll write more about online and correspondence courses later.

Creole Magick has some great articles not only on witchcraft and herbalism but also on other healing methods such as Ayurveda.

I hope you find many blessings in the links given. Please share your witchcraft and herbalism links with me by commenting on this post or sending them to me at hedgewife at yahoo dot com.
I would be more than happy to share them as well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nourishing Infusion Course by Susun Weed

Learn to create nourishing herbal infusions by the well known wise woman Susun Weed for free!

Susun is offering this course for free on her Wise Woman University - a savings of $150!

I just enrolled and look forward to the lessons on why infusions offer superior medical qualities than teas, building relationships and making lifestyle choices with herbs and infusions.

Will you join me?

Nourishing Herbal Infusions - Drink Your Way to Health

Cold and Flue Season Funny

This was posted on Facebook by Earth Fare and gave me such a giggle I had to share it with you all.

The Metaphysical Properties of Hawthorn

According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs:
“Hawthorn was once used to decorate May poles. At once time Hawthorns were believed to be Witches who had transformed themselves into trees. Witches have long danced and performed their rites beneath the thorn.”
He goes on to say:
“Hawthorn has long been used to increase fertility. Because of this power it is incorporated into weddings, especially those performed in the spring.
‘The leaves, curiously enough, are also used to enforce or maintain chastity or celibacy. The leaves are placed beneath the mattress or around the bedroom for this purpose…worn or carried it promotes happiness in the troubled, depressed, or sad.
‘The Romans places hawthorn in cradles to guard the child from evil spells.
‘In the past most Witch’s gardens contained at least one hawthorn hedge.”
In reference to fairies, Cunningham states:
“The hawthorn is sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree fairy triad of Britain: ‘Oak, Ash and Thorn,’ and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see fairies.”

In Llewellyn’s 2013 Herbal Almanac, Darcy Blue French writes of Hawthorn in her article “Four Roses: Tree Medicine from the Rose Family.”
“Hawthorn is a wonderful remedy…It will soothe and calm the spirit.” She describes it as aiding those who have asthma attacks, suffer from panic or fear or who have a dream quality and a “tendency to get lost in ‘other worlds’ or appear to be ‘taken  by the Faerie.’”

Ann Moura, in Green Magic: the sacred connection to nature, says of Hawthorn in her correspondences section:
Hawthorn – Protection, Witchcraft power, Otherworld, Beltane, ward negativity, attract Faeries.
She later associates Hawthorn with Creativity, Crone, Dark Moon, Death-Passages, Hunter, Lunar Eclipses, Solar Eclipses, Transitions-Rebirth, Underworld, Purity, Saturday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Crataegus oxyacantha

The Benefits of Hawthorn include:

Famous for its heart tonic - both physically and emotionally.
Physically, hawthorn is used for a variety of heart problems including angina, arrhythmia  high and low blood pressure, and arterial hardening.

Hawthorn and rose tea by Artisan Witchcrafts

Hawthorn can even decrease the need for heart medications - but should be monitored so as not to cause contraindications with heart and blood pressure medicines.
A tonic and an astringent - best for those lacking cardiovascular system tone.

Hawthorn was a tonic for what the Chinese called disturbed Shen. Shen is a word for spirit which resides in the heart. This is our emotional state of mind. Disturbed shen could manifest as heartache, depression, restlessness, anxiety, fear, or even PTSD.

An ally for all suffering from a broken heart or any situation which requires protection of the emotional mind.
Hawthorn is also a calming nervine, so it should also be monitored if taking other calming medications or herbs.

Hawthorn Berries from Wytchen Wood

Asthmatics who tend to have attacks when upset or frightened can find aid in Hawthorn.

Hawthorn has also been used to aid the treatement of those with Parkinson's disease, stroke, toxic shock syndrome. It improves circulation, minimizes leg cramps and tremors, and increases a feeling of well-being among patients treating the disease.

The recommended dosage of Hawthorn for heart disease is 160 mg a day divided into 2 doses though some may take up to 160 mg three times a day depending on their condition.

I recommend hawthorn mostly for heartache for soothing comfort.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Full Moon Elixir Harvesting

Tonight, at midnight no less, I'll be harvesting my Hawthorn Heartache Elixir.
It's been brewing for 3 weeks now and I think a Friday morning under the full moon would be more than perfect for such a blend.

My Heartache Elixir contains hawthorn berries, rosehips, fine brandy and raw Alaskan honey.
It is then infused with the energy or both rose quartz and bloodstone to enhance the hawthorn and rose properties including aiding the heart and the blood.

Benefits of Hawthorn Heartache Elixir include
Aiding blood pressure and blood circulation
Strengthening the heart both physically and emotionally
Aiding those suffering from grief, loss, and heartbreak

I made a large batch of this elixir as I will be sending some to my grandmother, who has suffered many family losses this past year, and I will also be sending some to those participating in the Herbal Solstice Swap on PoppySwap with me.
Depending on how things go, I might be offering the Heartache Elixir on my etsy store soon in small amounts.
If you're interested in trying this elixir, let me know and I can work out sending you a small sample for a minimal price and shipping.

Azure Green

AzureGreen- Celebrating All Paths to the Divine