Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern 2018 – G.L.W.C of Michigan

The G.L.W.C. of Michigan just issued this press release. Full disclosure, I am on that council board.

 

Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern

2018

 

METRO DETROIT, APRIL 12, 2018 — Actions and circumstances have necessitated, in the view of this body, an official statement regarding our position on several matters. Over the last year, the rise of “witch hunts”, “witch wars”, and what appears on its face to be a power imbalance are of concern to us.

 

Multiple organizations in the region are in internal and external crisis. Leadership positions are no longer based on community visions. The previous culture of service, vision, and upliftment is now one infected with backroom negotiations and breaches of promise. Rumors and hearsay are used to destroy character, without chance for rebuttal, in the public eye. The torches are lit and we see missteps, mistakes, and ignorant actions no longer being times for education, but times for total annihilation by social media attackers and mercenary courtiers.

 

Michigan moved from presumption of innocence, and subsequent actions against those who commit physical harm. Now the community punishes, with great zeal and relish, any perceived infraction no matter the relevance to the person’s position. Personal slights are magnified into full on reputation assassinations. The drive to foment conflict and cause factioning is in full swing, and we fear it has not yet reached its amplitude.

 

Of primary concern are the following:

 

  • The hyperbolic reactions and consolidation of personal and organizational harassment against persons during a crisis without a community sit down meeting.
  • The penchant for the total destruction of leadership without thought to restorative measures considered to the community.
  • The removal of persons from positions of leadership based on non-public and personal relationships and affairs.
  • The insidious climate of a McCarthy type marginalization of people based on differing ideas, tenets of spiritual practice, and political views.
  • The fostering of conflict in what seems to be a premeditated path to an underground purge of said persons.

 

We urge our peers to step back a moment and consider their actions very carefully. How you proceed in the next year will set the stage for an incoming generation. Now is the time for open and honest public conversation and transparent airings of accusations and grievances.

 

For at least three in our community, they are hamstrung by this shift. Their character and actions were cast aside to rot, good works be damned. That is the risk of public service, though. However, usually the public is not swayed by private agendas so easily. How many stakes will be needed to feed your witch hunt fires? If this continues, when will you take your place in one next?

 

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.” – Grantland Rice

 

The G.L.W.C. of Michigan was founded in 2012 to To Facilitate Workshops, Events, Classes, Community Outreach, and a Forum for the Magickal and Magickally Interested Communities.

Media Contact:

Kenya Coviak

rzrrvn@yahoo.com

G.L.W.C. of Michigan/Great Lakes Witchs Council

PBN Blues Series: “The Ballad of Stagger Lee” by Mississippi John Hurt

It is time for another installment in our PBN Blues Series. I hope you are having as much fun reading it as I am writing it. It is also my hope that you are enjoying the music that accompanies each piece. So without further delay, let us get down to it.

There are big dogs, and small dogs, and dogs in between these sizes. But everyone accepts that at any given time, there is always going to be a dog that all the other dogs know that it is a bad move to engage or start any “mess”. It is a sort of survival instinct.

The same sort of survival instinct exists among humans, as well. However, we tend to not listen to our intuition as much as we should. Those of us who are in the magical and spiritual business world are notorious for ignoring that neck chilling instinct that says “time to go on home and sit back down”. The over inflated ego can buy so much trouble that an entire bank could not cash you out of debt.

A lot of bark for a small bite

Opal T. walks into your shop in a furious fit of anger. She paces back and forth in front of your candle shelves. A cloud of vape smoke is filling your small space, but you do not wish to agitate her further by being loudly vocal about it right now. She is an established client and peer, so you decide to wait until she is composed enough to speak to you in a coherent fashion.

CC0 Creative Commons

Opal T. steps to your counter and taps her impeccably manicured fingers on your glass display case top. Her braids are moving around like they have a life of their own, as she animatedly relates the details of her latest witch war with another spiritual worker in town. The woman in her tale is a well known, and respected, community member. She is also not one to be trifled with in any fashion. However, Opal T. decides that she needs to take her to task for publicly questioning her skills.

Now, this dust up is actually not that large of an issue. Besides that, the other woman was actually correct that Opal T. is not qualified to speak on the topic of the disagreement, as she is not an initiate of the tradition in question. In this case, it would be better that it be forgotten. You tell this to your client.

She is not having it, at all. She demands to make an example of the other woman by casting a hex at her. She asks for a consult regarding the most powerful spell component packages you carry. She wants to prove a point, very messily and publicly, that she can hold her own against this woman. She calls her a washed up old hag, and you laugh with her as you bag up her purchases.

She is unsure how to actually cast the working, however. She picks out a few books so that she can construct something at home. Her purchases seem very swayed by the publisher logos on the books, and not content. It does not matter to you. Money is money.

Opal T.  leaves with a haughty gait and a twinkle in her eyes. You count your day’s cash and get ready to close. For just a moment, you get the feeling that you just made a mistake. You brush it off, and flip the closed sign. It will be the last time for many months that you go home with peace of mind.

 

Get back on the porch

Opal T. walks into your shop in a furious fit of anger. She paces back and forth in front of your candle shelves. A cloud of vape smoke is filling your small space, but you do not wish to agitate her further by being loudly vocal about it right now. She is an established client and peer, so you decide to wait until she is composed enough to speak to you in a coherent fashion.

Opal T. steps to your counter and taps her impeccably manicured fingers on your glass display case top. Her braids are moving around like they have a life of their own, as she animatedly relates the details of her latest witch war with another spiritual worker in town. The woman in her tale is a well-known, and respected, community member. She is also not one to be trifled with in any fashion. However, Opal T. decides that she needs to take her to task for publicly questioning her skills.

CC0 Creative Commons

Now, this dust up is actually not that large of an issue. Besides that, the other woman was actually correct that Opal T. is not qualified to speak on the topic of the disagreement, as she is not an initiate of the tradition in question. In this case, it would be better that it be forgotten. You tell this to your client.

She is not having it, at all. She demands to make an example of the other woman by casting a hex at her. She asks for a consult regarding the most powerful spell component packages you carry. She wants to prove a point, very messily and publicly, that she can hold her own against this woman. She calls her a washed up old hag, and you shake your head.

You attempt to reason with her. After all, a disagreement is no more reason to do offensive work of a destructive nature than a laugh at a social faux pas. You also caution her that because she is inexperience in this sort of thing, it is not advisable.

She gives you an angry glare and storms through the book section. She is unsure how to actually cast the working, however. She picks out a few titles so that she can construct something at home. Her purchases seem very swayed by the publisher logos on the books, and not content.

Once again, when she returns to the counter, you caution her about making sure this is the route she wishes to travel.  She asks you to help her construct a cursing spell. As her peer, you do not wish her to undertake anything that would distract her from her usual practices. You also do not wish to become involved in a witch war. Lastly, through your knowledge of the parties involved, you have a strong feeling that she is about to get magically “mollywhopped” with extreme prejudice when she goes up against that other practitioner.

CC0 Creative Commons

You refuse to do the spell design for her. However you do sell the books to her. You are in business, after all. Your conscience is clear.

More importantly, you have successfully avoided involvement in a conflict that can cost you business. Never take sides in a public conflict. You are not a judge or jury. You are in the business of business.

You wait for the inevitable news of another witch war gone wrong. Shaking your head, you do a clearing of your shop and get rid of her energy. Some people should not be tried by the weak and ego-driven.

The woman she is attacking does not get involved in trifles, partly because all her enemies know better than to try her. She is the sort that should be left alone. She is merciless, as are most experienced elders with little patience. You anticipate that Opal T. is about to learn this the very hard way.

The Alchemy of Shadow Work and What Spring and Autumn Can Teach Us About This Important Work

Bet that title has you scratching your head, wondering what can Spring and Autumn teach us about shadow work. Maybe you have scoffed at the regurgitated old analogies of what shadow work is about. Maybe you’re just beginning your learning. Whatever your thoughts, questions and such, I hope you have some curiosity as to what Nature through any of its seasons can teach us about the important work of Shadow Alchemy.

I’ve been a student of Nature, life, us humans since I was a child. I’ve been an initiated person of spiritual wisdom, healing and such also since I was a child. I watch, listen, ask questions, always curious and understanding that there is more and more to learn and understand.

I’ve also come to understand that we humans are not allowing ourselves to evolve, change, heal or grow. We are hindering ourselves by not allowing our stories, myths, analogies, metaphors and other things to change or grow. We’ve also turned important truths upside down and firmly believe our lies.

Which brings us to shadow work and the alchemical process that it is !

We’ve turned shadow into a scapegoat for all the messed up things we are capable of. We believe that shadow only contains the messed up things. We keep being fooled into believing that we don’t need a different approach to our relationship with shadow work.

Yet we can find that nature has a lesson about the truth of shadows and really it’s lessons!

I willingly admit that what I’m sharing isn’t the end all and be all of answers. For even I am a student and I understand I can only know but a portion of any given thing. I also know that each person has their own unique journey of learning to accomplish. Yet my life’s journey thus far because of how I’m always wanting to reach understanding of things, has taught me some things.

Nature, life, our world, each human, animal, element  and all the cycles, seasons, processes  and such are always patiently teaching us important truths. Really life, nature, our world is one big classroom! What I mean by that is, our world, ourselves and life are the micro versions of truths about the much larger or macro of The All That Is and it’s truths!

So what does Nature and it’s many cycles have to teach us    about shadows and our own shadow work?

We have to start with a couple basic things about shadow. Yes, I realize you may know these basic things about how shadow needs light and usually a solid object or person, such as you! But what do these basic things about shadow have to teach us about our shadow work.

Well with this first basic fact about formation of shadow needing light and then a solid something in order for shadow to be able to happen, we then see if this correlates to how our minds and our senses work.

We take a look at our minds and how the information of various things are all first processed in our minds. Then we speak, act and such from those thoughts and we formulate ideas, judgments and beliefs about the outer world we live in. Our minds are an interesting mixture of solid and yet subtle things and our senses we use to carry out different tasks can be seen as as the light and strangely as the shadow also.

So the true point of shadow for us happens between a thought or feeling moving towards an action and or reaction with the outside world!

Shadow lies between each thought, belief, self talk, action and reactions and so much more. Shadow lies in us making our minds conscious and aware of what it’s thinking and believing. Even when we aren’t actively being aware of how we are reacting and interacting with life,  shadow is still there between the mind and outside world.

Another intersting basic fact about shadows is that they change according to the direction of light upon a thing or person!

This basic fact about nature’s ways with shadows can be an amazing teacher in showing us that change is a very natural thing within life and ourselves. Which is a really big truth that we humans struggle to accept especially about our minds and lives.

Yet nature is showing us that change is a very real and natural thing that goes on from moment to moment, day by day, season to season, year by year and so on!

Which brings us to what Spring and Autumn can teach us about shadow work!

When we look at the placement of these two seasons within the seasonal cycles, we see Spring and Autumn at mid way points towards days getting longer or shorter, and same for the night time.

Spring time’s shadow play is one where the shadows look to be getting shorter. For the sunlight during the day is at a point more directly over our home, trees and such. So it’s almost as if shadow is receding.

Another thing about Spring is we start getting excited and making plans for outdoors type of things we want or need to do. So we are engaging the outside world more and more during Spring moving towards Summertime.

This time of year can encourage us to take a good look at how we are engaging and connecting with the outside world, including our interactions and beliefs and such with ourselves and one another.

Another lesson Spring has for our shadow work is all about planting and cultivating growth of things! Spring  can be a big help in guiding us towards the things we desire and long to heal and change. Because we have positive, negative and things in between those two points. Shadow and darkness are actually neutral ground so to speak.

So all facets of beliefs and such reside there! Shadow is very much capable of holding seemingly opposing things! So when we bring this understanding into our shadow work we then can have fuller and easier access to the whole of ourselves!

So during the Spring and going into Summer we can do the work of planting and cultivating the change and healing we long to have happen. And if we understand that shadow and darkness of our minds contain all that we need or can guide us to the things we still need for growth and healing, Spring will help us in big ways to heal and change our interactions with the outside world.

Another point I want to make about shadow is it can be a gentler and safer terrain to travel versus the darkness, because we do have light along the way to help guide us better, versus what can happen with darkness! 

Which brings us interestingly to what can Autumn teach us about shadow work! I’m bringing up Autumn along with Spring in this writing because while the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing life awakening, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing life heading towards certain levels of restfulness, of becoming dormant for a time!

With Autumn the shadows lengthen because the sunlight is at more of an angle. So we have more to shadows during the Autumn. Also in Autumn we have the nights start to get longer and we ourselves with the cooling down of the temperatures, start to stay indoors more. Autumn is the season that gets us ready for the cold and freeze of Winter.

So as we are seeing with Autumn we have a season that we have of preparation for the freezing time of Winter. This means getting the harvesting done, getting seeds planted for early spring, making sure our windows and such don’t leak and getting our Winter clothing out and many other sorts of preparations are done during the Autumn in time for the Winter freeze. Autumn then is a time of pulling inward and making preparations for the dark time we call Winter.

So Autumn as a teacher and guide helps point towards us having opportunities to do the work of understanding the inner world of our minds! 

Shadow work during the Autumn is all about navigating the inner terrain of our minds and getting to the things that limit us, shackle us, or may be toxic and poisonous that need healing. It can also though help us train up the positive aspects so that we can accelerate our growth and healing.

Another reason I am writing about both Spring and Autumn is because shadow work needs to happen in both directions of outer and inner worlds. Especially if we are doing all we can to grow and heal. We need to pay attention to how we are reacting and interacting with the outside world. While also on a regular basis doing the work of checking into what’s going on within the innner world of our minds!

For us to truly become whole and healed we must do conscious working with both the inner world of mind and the outer world of living! Hence why both Spring and Autumn are much needed teachers and guides. Because together they help us have a more holistic approach to ourselves, minds and lives!

Blessings to you all this Spring! Let it be a time of growth and healing in your life that it can be! And let Autumn guide you as you work with your inner world of mind and gain fuller access to your power!

 

 

Working with the Land

This morning I  sat my desk and looked out side to see it snowing on the second day of spring.  As the snow falls I see at least 6″ of snow all over the ground from a blizzard that occurred last week.  This is how it is every year where I live.  Lots and lots of snow that never seems to go away.

Yet when you walk into a retail store you will see seeds for sale and signs of spring every where.  people longing for the time where the days are warm and gentle and that they can be outside with out harsh heat and those pesky bugs (we have a lot of bugs in my area).  Spring time in Maine can be a wonderful time of year when it finally gets here.

Its hard to be thinking about planting your gardens when its still covered in snow and the temps outside can still reach below freezing.  There were times when during this past year I thought about getting started on my prep work outside, but once that thought hit me another draft of snow appeared to come our way.

It may be weeks before we actually notice spring here in Maine.  As a pagan and as a witch I work with the spirits of the land and the current of the land energy.  Hug a tree to talk to the spirit now and they are often annoyed that they got woken up.  They are not yet fully awake and the land is still very much asleep.  Some trees like Birch and Maple have started to have small leafbuds.  Looking outside at the trees in the back and I largely have an image of this:

Maine Winter 2018
Photo courtesy Jeannine Kari Martell-Morris

The grips of winter largely still hold over this land.  Yet we see the squirrels and chipmunks darting to and fro finding food and the birds looking for any seeds or food they can find out in the snow.  Life still moves in Maine spring, just moves quite slowly.    Once the spring rains get here then I can say that the season has begun and that Spring has come to Maine.

This is why for myself I really dont celebrate and honor either Imbolc or Ostara.  To me neither one really represent spring.  Its not spring here.  To me honoring the birth of the sun at Imbolc makes no sense, its still very dark here during that time.  Then the Spring Equinox often has snow storms and ice going on, which to me is not very spring.  Its not really the season of spring, at least in feel or look.  Its still in the grips of old man winter.

The land does not have flowers blooming and baby animals all around.  Its still quiet, cold and mostly slumbering.  The lakes will start to crack and the ice will start to melt, and some flowers will start to peek through the snow in a few weeks.  When that happens I will gladly honor and welcome to start of spring, but for now its very much winter still here.

It took me a while to get comfortable with not having those two sabbats in my practice, but then I realized if I was really going to honor and work with the spirits of the land I should honor the seasons when they actually come to the region.  When they come to Maine, and Winter by far is our longest season.   I’ll acknowledge the light and increase in day when we see that happen and I’ll welcome spring when I see the first flowers popping up in gardens.  Till then I’ll simply continue to ask Old Man winter to be gentle with me and hope the ice and snow spirits accept my prayers of protection and my offerings when I give them.

I look forward to connecting to the spirit of the land when they wake, but for now I will let the land sleep.  I have some plants I can work and grow in my office to try and feel as if Spring is here, but until the land wakes and the mud is here its still a land of snow with ice and cold and fires are needed to keep warm.

Be mindful of your land and the climate.  Don’t force yourself to work in rituals or holidays that dont fit what you see and experience as your land.  The land spirits will guide you and direct you and may even help you find new ways to look at everything you have been doing.

Plant spirits our allies and teachers

As a witch I work with many different spirits and have many different spirit allies.  Some of these spirit allies have been with me longer than others, and many times they have lessons to teach me.   For a long time I wondered what exactly it was my spirit allies had taught me, and where their lessons came from.  There was a time when I actually believed that I had never learned anything from spirits, but I was wrong.

For years one main lesson from all of my spirit allies was to simply trust my intuition and trust my knowledge.  I knew and know more than I often give myself credit for in both theoretical practice and actual practice.  To put it blunt I was afraid of my skill with energy manipulation and with psychic work, so I didn’t let myself access my actual knowledge and understanding.  I didn’t let myself practice.

This was until I encountered my first plant spirit guide.  I had been buying “healing” incenses from stores and “Astral Travel” or “Psychic” development incenses from stores to use in my meditations, spells, rituals, and works.  These worked for a while, but I began to wonder how I could make my own and if that would be any different.   So The next time I went to the local metaphysical store I bought a few herbs to use for healing work and psychic work.  I bought Peppermint, Myrrh, Calendula, and Mugwort to start with.   I also had white sage, Dragons Blood, and Frankincense.  This base provided me lots of different things to work with, spirituality, psychic work, meditation, and healing.  It was a perfect selection to start my journey into magical herbalism.

Before I made my own I started by adding a little of these herbs to the powdered incenses I had been buying.  Just to get myself use to the concept of working with herbs in this fashion.  After a while I decided it was time to start working with the herbs and make my own blends.   I had no idea what I was doing at first, no real connection to any of the herbs, then as I sat down and looked at them I started to have an understanding of which herbs I was supposed to use for the general healing incense I was creating at that moment.

I didn’t think about where the decisions and choice came from at that point in time, but looking back its pretty clear that it was the plants that were helping.  One plant in particular seems to help me more than any other.  That plant is Marigold/Calendula.  To this day it has been the plant marigold that has led me to trust in the plants energy and the plants spirits guiding me in working with them and getting the incense blends just right.

Marigold
Photo found at: https://pixabay.com/en/flower-blossom-bloom-yellow-orange-2469091/

Today when I do spell work or rituals I get out the herbs and ask them who is best to do this work with me, or who wants to be used in this work.  One time when I was doing this for a money spell Calendula spoke up and wanted to be used in the mix.  Which to me was strange.  Our relationship had been with healing and psychic work.  But after some time I relented and added some of the flower to the mix and the ritual worked quite well.  A few days later I did some research and found out that money work was one of the attributes of the herb, yet the plant itself decided to teach me this lesson over books.

A lot of people ask me where the recipes I make come from.  The answer is quite simple.  The plants tell me.  Its that simple.  I may get out a bunch of plants with a similar set of associations (lets say astral travel and psychic work).  I will then set them out and say what I am doing for work.  The herbs themselves will guide me in their use and the specific work.  Some herbs speak louder than others.  Some take getting used to understanding how they speak, and others may never work or speak to you, each plant spirit is different and each one will have different lessons for you as you work with them.

It can be easy to forget the importance that these spirits have in our lives and in our practice.  When we do they can give us needed wakeup calls.  Sometimes these calls are as simple as quick image flash reminders of what we need to do and are doing and other times they can be more to the point causing issues in areas of our life until we address what they have to teach us.

I almost forgot how and why I got to where I am today.  Its thanks to working with the marigold spirit and the spirit of the Pine tree.  These two plant spirits more than any others have helped me develop an understanding of the green world and are one of the reasons I consider myself a magical herbalist.  There are other plant spirits that have been influential in my life, as a witch I have a relationship with mugwort, but its not as strong as any other spirit, but the two who have been my main teachers and guides in spirit work with plants are Marigold and Pine.

Today I got that reminder from one of the spirits.  Writing this article has been one of the ways I am apologizing to that spirit and trying to show the world what it has done for me.  The other way is I reworked my workshop a little bit to include herb samples and a secondary incense to awaken psychic and spiritual powers and connect to plant spirits.  One of the herb samples that the people attending my workshop will get is marigold, helping other people connect to the energy of that spirit is another way I will be making up for forgetting their lessons.

Let the plant spirits guide you and you will find a lot of allies who will aid you in contact with other spirits and your own spirit.  Let the plants guide you and they will teach you their mysteries, their magic, and their spirit uses.  They can be great friends and allies in magic if we just open up to them and listen to what they have to say.

Smoke and sanity for cannabis in the public ritual community

Did you hear that? That was the sound of several folks coughing in the ritual rooms across the nation. That sound happens when cannabis is not listed as one of the smokes present in a rite, folks who may be allergic to it. That sound is also accompanied by the sound of retreating footsteps made by persons with jobs that drug test. Contrary to popular belief in some circles, many asthma sufferers do NOT use it to help their disease. In fact, reaching for an inhaler is a common response.

Cannabis is an herb that has many ritual and recreational benefits. It also has medical ones, as well. I am not debating this in any way.

What I am finding questionable is the fact that its usage in the community, like vaping, is obnoxious in  some cases. The habit of blowing smoke into someone’s face as a part of the conversation is just as rude when it is cannabis as when it is tobacco. Actually, it can be worse, because tobacco usually will not get a person fired when drug tested.

This goes back to common manners. If people are in ritual space with you in public, it is common courtesy to ask if there are those who are smoke sensitive, or are unable to be around certain scents. To include this and not let the persons in attendance know before the rite begins is a bit negligent.

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8730

The spread of legalization of using this natural herb brought with it a giddiness of freedom. That freedom began a descent into boorishness in the last years. In enclosed areas, it can be overwhelming. Not everyone wants to go home smelling in a way that can lead to a potentially horrid traffic encounter with law enforcement officers.

So, just think about asking if folks are able to be fumed with the herb next time, please.

Just to show I have no bias against those who enjoy this green gift, here is a flashback song for toking.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

Common Chickweed

Latin name –  Stellaria media

Common names –  common chickweed, chickenwort, craches, maruns, winterweed

This little plant is found in most places in North America, Europe and Asia.  I live in northwest Georgia and have several acres of fields with lots of chickweed intermingled with all kinds of other wildflowers, grasses, weeds and other plants growing wild.  Many of the weeds my mother tries to keep out of her suburban ornamental garden are the ones I’m thrilled to find in our unkempt fields.  We do not use any pesticides or weed killers so all of those nutritious little plants are chemical free.

Most information says that Common Chickweed blooms from April through late September to early October.  This year I noticed the chickweed blooming at the beginning of February.  We have had some warm weather this year.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)
Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

For those of you that want to go find some chickweed to work with in your area here are some tips for identifying it.

 

Common Chickweed has tiny white blooms that appear to have 10 petals.  They are really 5 petals that are split down the middle making each petal appear to be two petals.  The leaves are oval shaped coming to a mild point at the end.  The leaves are in pairs opposite each other on petioles with a line of fine hair on them.  The stalks also have a single line of fine hair running down the stem between the sets of leaves.  The hair switches sides of the stem in between the leaf sets.  As the leaves go up the stalk each pair is rotated 90 degrees with one pair growing north/south, the next pair growing east/west, next pair north/south and so on.   The leaves fold in when it rains and at night.

Chickweed generally likes moist areas but will quickly spread once it takes root in sunny areas.  Many homeowners spend quite a bit of time and energy trying to eradicate Chickweed from their lawns.

 

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)        Common Chickweed close up of stem

Chickweed is edible with medicinal uses.  Be aware there are some plants that resemble Chickweed that are not edible.  Two look alikes that are toxic are spurge and scarlet pimpernel.   If the plant you think might be chickweed has a white sap it is NOT Chickweed and is NOT edible.  Spurge (left) and Scarlet Pimpernel (right) are pictured below.

Spurge         Scarlet Pimpernel

Chickweed is a nutritious little weed.  According to WebMD.com, it is high in chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamims C, A from carotenese and B factors, such as folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine.   

Medicinal uses have included constipation, stomach and bowel problems, blood disorders, asthma and other lung diseases, obesity, scurvy, psoriasis, rabies, itching and muscle and joint pain.

Here’s some of ways I use Common Chickweed.

  • Dried to make tea when I have an upset stomach, losing weight or when I’m having joint or muscle pain.
  • In an herbal salve for use with insect bites and rashes.
  • In a warm moist compress for muscle pain.
  • In a flower essence for balancing my energy with those I have relationships with or balancing my needs with the needs of a group. I take this when I need to let go of a relationship that does not serve my best interest.  (You can find Common Chickweed Flower Essence in my shop.)
  • In tincture for digestive issues, losing weight, joint and muscle pain.
  • Fresh in a salad.
  • Chopped and frozen into ice cubes to use in cooking.

I also find this little plant to have a lot of magickal uses.  Here are some of the ways I have used it in my magickal practice.

  • Bath teas and salts
  • Incense
  • Smudge sticks
  • Anointing Oils, Waters & Tinctures
  • Sprinkling teas or powders
  • Carried fresh
  • Sachets
  • Amulets
  • Poppets

For the purpose of:

  • Attraction
  • Fertility
  • Love
  • Lunar Magick
  • Relationship
  • Animal Magick
  • Bird Magick
  • Peace
  • Fidelity

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business Network, North Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines Gifts, Charissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio, Pagan Black Book and Pagan Business Directory.

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

Join the Blog Hop and Share Your Blog!

<!– start LinkyTools script –>Join our Blog Hop!

A Blog Hop is a type of sharing ladder for blogs that is hosted on the blogs rather than social media.

1 – Add the link to the blog post you want to share along with the title of the post.

Then go back to the post and get the code and add it to your blog post.

Spread the word to your followers and friends on social media.  Check back and visit the other participants blogs to add your link to their blogs as well.

<!– start LinkyTools script –>
<script src=”https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=284753″ type=”text/javascript”></script>
<!– end LinkyTools script –>

PBN Blues Series: “Michigan Water Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton

We return to our series for the Pagan practitioner with another PBN Blues Series installment. Did you miss us? We missed you.

*We would also like to remind you, Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water.

There are time when the only way to break a streak of bad luck is to shake it off and seek new places and faces. Changing the mind can change the world. But if roots are being done on you locally, booking a flight or hitting the road, may be the answer, if viable. In these circumstances, clients are known to come for insight and work to prepare their route and “traveling mercies”. As a business person, you want to retain clients, but you also want to be of service to them as well. How you handle referrals is delicate and important.

Public Domain

Traveling on, but not without baggage

Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.

Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.

Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you get from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

For this reason, you decide to sabotage his move. In your opinion, the relationship is too beneficial to both of you. You decide to fill the order, but nullify it with your own work. You then set lights for his job to fall through before he has been there a week. You will break this man for both of your sakes. In your view, no other worker can look after him like you, anyway.

Public Domain

You smile, and lie through your Fashion Fair coral lipstick and tell him you know not one authentic practitioner, sorry. You wish him well and watch him walk through your door, knowing he will return a broken man. But you also know you will then keep Curtis L. just healed enough to ensure your prosperity for many years to come. With this decision, you now have changed the course of your practice, but you are fine with that.

 

Fond Farewell, with some stories to tell

Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.

Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.

Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you order from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

Sixthandseventhbooks_fourth_seal_1880.png – Public Domain

You will feel the loss of Curtis L. both emotionally and financially. His custom and referrals contributed to the success and popularity of your business. He sees you as a trusted fictive family member, and you are honored to be held in such esteem. You hold his trust sacred, and it is with this in mind, you prepare with care his last package.

You are a member of the Pagan Business Network, so you know the way to find the people he needs to know and how to place him in touch with them. You also know that a quick free divination will aid him to avoid any unforeseen trouble with the new employer. You give him this free of charge.

With a final goodbye, you send an email to the businesses you recommended, with his permission, with an introduction. He will never forget you, and will no doubt continue to sing your praises. Word of mouth on social media makes his continued referrals very probable for local clients.

Curtis L. sends you a chat message three months later. He is doing very well. That last parting gift of Boss Fix was just what he needed to foil a coworker’s plot to undermine him. His new local worker has a great relationship with him, and you and she often refer clients to each other for online customers. His reviews on both your sites is like honey to bees. Your choice to give a hand up instead of a pulling back, lifted you both.

Public Domain

Looking at Life

Your honor and business reputation are your most bankable asset. Without them, you have nothing. There is no lesson greater than this.

To Drop Ship or Not to Drop Ship

I promised in the last article that I would talk about different selling platforms in future articles.  I will do that.  Today I am going to step it back a little bit and talk about one of the product sourcing options you will have.  You can make or purchase products to sell.  Both of those require an outlay of cash and a space to keep your inventory.  Another option is offering items from companies that will drop ship directly to your customers.

Here’s how drop shipping works.  You set up your shop online.  You sign up with a company to be able to sell their products.  You market and get the customer.  You collect the money and then order from the company and they ship directly to your customer.  When you order from the company you pay less than retail for the order and pocket the difference between what the customer paid you and what the company charges you.  Sounds great, right?

That’s the rosy side of selling product from a drop shipping company.  Let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Out of Stock – sometimes a product will go out of stock and take what seems like an unreasonable amount of time to be ready to ship.  In this case you are the face of the order.  Your customer may not be happy to wait weeks for the item to become available again and you are powerless to get the product any quicker for the customer.  Some drop shipping companies publish a list of out of stock items weekly to allow their client companies to make a note to not offer those items until they are back in stock. That is one of the best options.  However, it does take staying on top of those lists.  Most of the time you will not know an item is out of stock until a customer orders it and you try to place the order with the company.

Shipping Charges – it is important that your business model is such that you are charging enough shipping on the order without charging what might seem unreasonable to your customer.  If you are working with multiple drop shippers, you will run into orders that include product from more than one company.  That means you are paying multiple shipping charges on one order.  The customer is ordering from one shop and will expect shipping to be a combined shipping cost.  This is a bit of a balancing act.

Discontinued Items – you will need to stay on top of items that are discontinued from your drop shipper, so you can remove them from your stock.

So, when crafting your business model, you need to weigh the pros against the cons and address how you will deal with those cons before jumping in to offer products from drop shippers.

With all of this in mind the next question is “Where do I find all of these companies that will drop ship?”

 

I do not have a comprehensive list but can list a few here.  I would love to have a larger list so, if any of you have knowledge of any other drop ship companies please comment with information on them and we’ll add them to this list.

 

Arcadia Marketplace

This company carries candles, oils, smudge sprays and books.  They carry candles, oils, smudge sprays and some books.

Azure Green

One of the most well-known drop shipping companies offering Pagan type products is Azure Green.  Their product line includes statuary, books, decks, wands, athames, candles, herbs, gemstones, oils, jewelry and all kinds of other supplies and tools Pagans use.  There is a lot of competition out there selling Azure Green products.  There are also a lot of customers ordering their items from multiple sellers.

BadAssTribe.com

They sell a list of companies that will drop ship.

Charissa’s Cauldron

This is a shameless plug for my products.  I offer a drop ship program for the Charissa’s Cauldron brand products (Crystal and Flower Essences, Conjure Waters, Goddess Waters and Lunar Waters).  I will leave it to you to read the page that explains how it works.

NewAgeReseller.com

They offer a list of wholesalers that will drop ship for purchase.

StarLinksGifts.com

They sell spiritual jewelry.

SwordsAxe.com

They sell swords, knives, LARP gear and some other goodies.

WiccanSupplier.com

They offer a sizable catalog and will drop ship.

 

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business NetworkNorth Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines GiftsCharissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio.