Book Review – The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and Spells by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

 

 

Available at Amazon.com

The Good Witch’s Guide is truly what it sets out to be: an excellent reference guide for skilled practitioners, novices or those just beginning to take interest in the magickal arts. The book is well-organized, insightful and provides explanatory summaries within each section that provides clarification of purpose.

The Good Witch’s Guide is broken into three parts, the first of which is Ye Olde Witch’s Wisdom, Rituals and Formula’s. This part of the book gives a brief history of the folklore, aromatherapy, and use of crystals and gemstones. I like that this part of the book explained the “doctrine of signature” which is thematic in traditional folklore. I found the essential oil list comprehensive; the chapter provides a list of common ailments, points of improvement and essential oils that are recommended to provide relief. The essential oil section is also divided into healing and magickal and provides several recipes for each. Required items that many of these recipes call for are easy to locate.

The chapter, Crystal Power, provides information on charms, elixirs, and explains chakra balancing in a concise manner. The chapter also provides a list of crystals and gemstones and their applications as well as recipes for healing and magickal applications. The list provides a great number of commonly utilized crystals and gems.

The second part of the book, Spirit Spells and Spirituality, outlines the importance of well-being and visualization. I absolutely love the spells for well-being and self-love. The focus segues into spells that can be utilized to heal others such as the Healing Poppet Spell. The section then transitions to cleansing, protection and magical spells. Chapter 5 covers candles, their colors and uses.

Chapter 6 has spells for health and also some for removing fears and phobias. The section is rounded out with a section that defines types of spirituality and philosophies. I like that it gives a brief summary of those listed without a bias toward one or another. “A Good Witch’s Guide” encourages and promotes self healing in daily life and encouraging use of healing of others and then extend it outwards to include wildlife and the environment. It contains a gentle reminder to be kind, be mindful and act with love.

The third part of the book, DIY Brews and Potions, continues to remind the reader to look in your kitchen and your yard for sources for herbs and plants. As well as defining animism, this section contains a terminology of infusions, decoctions and tinctures. A list of common herbs and uses for them includes information on possible prescription drug interactions, information that is vital to all practitioners. As a kitchen witch, I really appreciated Chapter 8, Kitchen Witchware: Cooking up Magick. There are several recipes that are definitely going to be incorporated into my repertoire!

The A to Z of Health Remedies is a nice addition to the appendix. I enjoyed seeing remedies from other practitioners. The Good Witch’s Guide also provides a great resource list for supplies and also a recommended reading and reference material list.

I enjoyed The Good Witch’s Guide. It is a good read. The book provides a summary explanation, directions for self use, healing, magick and then encourages focus outward to use the knowledge to benefit others and the environment around us. Throughout the book there is significant emphasis on cleansing the items you work with of residual energy as well as a focus on energy, mood and intent. These things are very important to keep in mind whether you are creating an essential oil for a ritual bath or baking a loaf of bread for a family dinner.

I appreciated the liked that the format of the book was user-friendly. Each of the three sections is broken down into healing and magickal applications and each of these sections lists herbs, spices, plants, supplies uses in either application. I also liked that the authors encourage the practice of “look in your spice cabinet” and also to look for plants, herbs in your environment.

I recommend The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and Spells to anyone who is interested in learning or continuing to seek knowledge with healing lore or has an interest in the arts. Rating: 5 stars

 

Lenore Sagaskie is a writer and artist living in self-imposed exile in Michigan.

You can follow Lenore on Facebook and on Twitter @Lenorewrites

Groovy Green Craft Practitioner Series: Star of Bethlehem or Nap-at-Noon

DISCLAIMER:  ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN IDENTIFYING PLANTS. USE YOUR FIELD GUIDES AND LEARN YOUR LATIN NAMES. WHEN IN DOUBT, FIND AN EXPERT. NO ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES IS INTENDED TO GIVE MEDICAL OR ANY OTHER ADVICE IN THE HEALING ARTS OTHER THAN THAT OF A LAY PERSON.

Behold, the star that shines among the verdurous landscapes of Spring. The eyes shall be gladdened when they espy the tiny visitor that frustrates gardeners, but THIS graceful sweetheart has hidden qualities. We are talking about the Star of Bethlehem or Nap-at-Noon ( Ornithogalum umbellatum). A gentle bulb which loved being here in the United States so much, it escaped private gardens and went wild. Why play a bit part when you can be your own star, right?

Some folks think the bulb on this is delicious, but they are brave of heart. As a matter of fact, they should make sure they have a sound heart. This plant can affect it.

The bulbs apparently are edible though they contain heart stimulants with a digitalis-like reaction. Another possibility is that it follows from an ancient belief that doves were of a single sex and produced milk to feed their young; thus bird’s milk meant “a wondrous thing.” – University of Arkansas System,Division of Agriculture | Agricultural Experiment Station

 

By Björn S… (Garden Star-of-Bethlehem – Ornithogalum umbellatum) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
You will delight in seeing its six white petals that end in points like rays. A green stripe runs along their underside.  A member of the lily family, it captivates the eye. Simple, yet elegant, it is also INVASIVE.

 

Let us be clear. DO NOT PLANT THIS PLANT IN THE WILD. IT WILL NOT LEAVE. IT WILL ENDANGER OTHER SPECIES. THIS PLANT IS SOMETHING OF A STONE COLD BI***..

Star-of Bethlehem is non-responsive to several herbicides. Research studies at Purdue University found that paraquat provided 70 to 78% control. –https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/star-of-bethlehem.pdf

No one wants to deal with what will happen when you release invasive species into an ecosystem. Do no be a part of that jerky nation. I WILL judge you, and you will  not be able to share my corn bread.

I am not sure if I would share my cake either, since the petals of this flower are used to bake bread. No, I will not give you a recipe for that. Don’t roll your eyes at me, they might stay that way.

Some folks find that they enjoy nibbling on the bulbs that are fully cooked. I said fully cooked.

Let’s  look at that again: FULLY COOKED.

Raw bulbs have nasty side effects such as … death. Ok, so there is stuff that happens before that degree. Toxicosis is not cute. That whole excessive drooling, violent vomiting, swollen lips, tongue, throat and skin irritation is a real bummer. Not to mention the fact that not being able to breathe is not in fashion on beautiful spring days, Darling. Curiously, though, people do take the plant for treatment of congestive heart failure, according to the folks over at WEbMD.

Jan Kops – www.BioLib.de

Seriously, this plant contains alkaloids and cardenolides which are not our friends. Your children, you, and your animals could suffer if they eat this plant. Such a pretty little poison.

But to be candid, that is a real possibility if you mess around with this plant. It is not a ramp, but folks do try to think it is just because it has a bulb.

(See, this is why we cannot have nice foraged things.)

Ok, healers, I did not forget you were reading along, fingers poised on your pestles. Simmer down a bit and watch this lovely little video on its potential. In a plant essence, it is used for the uplifting of the despondent and those in grief, shock, or recovering from an emotional upheaval. It can bring gladness. It sure did for the Crusaders when they had to dry and eat them in a bout of starvation. Even Rosemary Gladstar trusts the qualities of this uplifter. (Yes, I made that word up. So what.)

Now, let’s talk a bit of the ethereal thing called magick. If you have been paying attention, you know what the properties and fok thought is about what qualities this plant has as a healing agent for emotional upset. Perhaps a candle made with the flowers, or a powder made from the petals might be used. I do not recommend burning.

The real thing you need to remember is that it is primarily good at addressing trauma of the mind and heart. A healing poppet might be useful. Or perhaps a gentle wind and ribbon wind catcher with the stems woven in and enchanted. It is really up to you.

I would venture to say that perhaps this resilience is tied to the plants seemingly stubborn ability to not be removed or stamped out of existence. The spirit of defiance is strong in this one. May that spirit of defiant joy be with you as well.

 

 

Groovy Green Craft Practitioner Series: Eyebright or Euphrasia officinalis

DISCLAIMER: ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN IDENTIFYING PLANTS. USE YOUR FIELD GUIDES AND LEARN YOUR LATIN NAMES. WHEN IN DOUBT, FIND AN EXPERT. NO ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES IS INTENDED TO GIVE MEDICAL OR ANY OTHER ADVICE IN THE HEALING ARTS OTHER THAN THAT OF A LAY PERSON.

Let us take a moment to feast our eyes on a lovely plant spirit known as Eyebright, or Euphrasia. Now, normally, this is where I put the officinalis on the end of the plant’s name. But in this case, I am going to pump my brakes a bit, because something a little different is going on here in Michigan. For foragers, it is important to know what we are looking at and identifying.

Eyebright has as its genus the word Euphrasia. But in Michigan, unless it was planted specifically, you probably (I said probably) will not find the officinalis epithet being appropriate to what you will find commonly growing.

I SAID PROBABLY. STOP CORRECTING ME. I CAN HEAR YOU, YOU KNOW.

What you will more likely encounter is Euphrasia Stricta. You will usually find these more along the upper peninsula. This is its glamour shot below.

By Bernd Haynold (selbst fotografiert – own picture) CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], 

 

Notice how it has the same petal shapes as its cousin, but is not quite the same in stature. Look closely. The plant does not  stand the same way as the officinalis.

This is a fairly easy species to identify, with glabrous leaves and with more definite (almost hair-like) bristle tips on the teeth of the leaves and calyx than the other two species, although the bristle tips are a little less pronounced than on some Ontario material. The plants often present a rather “skinny” aspect, with longer internodes and smaller leaves than other species, and a close look reveals to the naked eye a somewhat bristly aspect from the prolonged teeth. – Herbarium University of Michigan

This plant is one of the stand by herbs for eye issues. Indeed, you will need a good set of peepers to find it. Check along areas like old railway paths, meadows, pastures, roadsides, etc. Think travel, for this plant has traveling shoes and is trekking on down from Canada to us. You will catch the flowers begin to appear usually around July.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:246_Euphrasia_officinalis_L.jpg
This sweet thang grows to about a half a foot high. It is also parasitic, as it grows  and depends on nutrients from the roots of other plants. You will notice its pronounced resemblance to an eye. Yep, our old friend the Doctrine of Signatures rises up again to lead us. The bloodshot eye appearance is kind of a clue to how it may be employed.
This is not really a kitchen herb. Although traditionally, it has been ingested in wine. I am NOT telling you to go get drunk and think that you can avoid a bloodshot eye hangover by combining them. You are not slick. I WILL make fun of you.
But if you are determined to just cram things into your mouth, then you can add the greens as a bitter addition to salads. Just a few. If you find you do not like them, then that is fine. That is what you get for putting everything in your mouth.
You can blend it in milk and apply it to irritated eyes. Learning the different ways of preparing the herb in common household blends and compounds is always a useful skill. Milk, oil, butter, and fats have been used this way for centuries, and the pantry stands ready to be used to its full glory as we re-embrace the old ways.
DO NOT PUT THIS ON YOUR EYES IF YOU HAVE CONTACT LENSES IN. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TYPE THIS, BUT I LIVE IN PURE PAGAN MICHIGAN. SOMETIMES WE GET WATER IN OUR EARS AND IT MIGRATES TO OUR MINDS.
For the herbal healer, you just hit the next best thing to commercial drops when it comes to soothing. Once, when visiting a remarkable herbalist in Hemlock, Michigan, my eyes were almost sealed shut from an extreme allergic reaction. With permission, she made a soothing poultice of eyebright and within an hour, I had relief, reduction in swelling, and the banishment of my redness.
She also gave me some to take home. Since I have chronic asthma, it was more than courtesy. This herb is also commonly used to help with bronchial issues. I will never forget this experience. Which is rightly so, since eyebright contains flavanoids and beta-carotene which help with the memory.
Here is an excellent suggestion from “A Modern Herbal” ‘s site.
An infusion of 1 OZ. of the herb to a pint of boiling water should be used and the eyes bathed three or four times a day. When there is much pain, it is considered desirable to use a warm infusion rather more frequently for inflamed eyes till the pain is removed. In ordinary cases, the cold application is found sufficient.
The word  euphrosunee,  means joy and gladness. It calls back to the happy little bird, the linnet. Folklore says that the bird cleaned its eyes with the plant, and the Greeks took the hint. After all the nights of wine like most of the ancient world, I am sure they were really happy for anything to clear up morning-after eyes.
The eye is suggestive of life, of divinity, of intellect, piercing acuteness (acies); and again, of truth, of joy, of love: but these seem to have been disregarded, as being mere indistinctive accidents, and the primary idea which, by the common consent of almost all nations, has been thought most properly to symbolise this organ is a spring—fons, πηγή. -, Notes and Queries, Number 193, July 9, 1853 A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc
For the magician, this ties in smoothly. Why? Because this herb is often used to see accurately into a situation. It is also used to aid clairvoyance and divination. Used as an incense, it can assist the Seer in their pursuit of knowledge.
I said knowledge, not wisdom. You can see stuff and not understand what you see. You can see bamboo and sugar cane all day, and not have the wisdom to know which tastes better, OR, which one to NOT set on fire. Just saying.
It can also be brewed as a tea to aid in this. But before you start guzzling eyebright expresso shots, make sure you are not allergic to it first. You could experience swelling, constipation, and other nasty things. Do some research before you start using it, like any other plant in this series.
Using it as an herbal powder will also garner positive results. Do this to dress an candle. Or even add to a lamp. Be imaginative. Be safe. Be blessed. I am rooting for you.
I hope you comment about your experiences with this plant below. I am always excited for feedback. Please do.
I’ll keep an eye out for you.
Please enjoy “Angel Eyes” as performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra (Ol Blue Eyes).

Witches Red Salt: Powerful Love Charm

Witches Redsalt:
A traditional Witches Love Charm

 

With tomorrow being Valentines day alot of people are thinking about love spells and love charms.  Love magic can be effective.  It can be used to attract a long term relationship, a sexual relationship, friendships and more.  Like with any spells love spells need to be made very specific.  You may find that if you target an individual that the relationship is not a healthy one and they end up being obsessive or controlling.  This is why it is best in love spells to gear them towards a specific type of person (meaning qualities, interests etc) rather than an individual.

With this in mind one of the most powerful love charms out there is Witches Red Salt.  Witches Red Salt is an herbal charm that is made out of roses, sea salt and other herbs associated with love such as cinnamon, dragons blood, and Apples (the peel or flower would be best here).  The goal of the Red Salt is to attract love first other additions depend on the individual witch.

Now that we know what Red Salt is used for let’s make an All Purpose Red Salt.  This witches Salt will ensure fidelity, attract love, happiness, and friendship, all things that are essential in a healthy relationship.  Once we have the Red Salt made we will take a look at how you can apply the red salt in a spell.  The first part of the entire process is the crafting and charging of the Red Salt.

The act of making the Red witches salt is a spell in itself.    When you are creating the salt you are directing, manipulating and focusing various energetic forces into the salt.  You are working with the energy of the herbs and your own emotional energetic forces to create an item used to direct those energetic forces for a change in your life or the life of another person.  You are effectively working a spell through the process of making the Witches Red Salt.

Crafting the Red Salt

Materials:

4 cups Sea Salt *Any salt will work.  Sea salt is best.  Kosher salt works as well.  Pink Himalayan salt will add to the spell from its color.  (Salt is used to cleanse and remove blocks in the way of attracting love)
1 Cup Sugar (to sweeten them to you)
1 Cup Red Rose Petals (for love)
1 Cup Dried Apple Peels (Love)
1/4 cup Catnip (Happiness)
3 Tablespoons Dragonsblood (lust and love)
2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon (lust and love)
1 Tablespoon Ground Allspice (Fidelity)
Red Candle (for love)
Green Candle (For the herbal spirits)
White Candle (Spiritual force in general)
Mixing Bowl
Mortar And Pestle
Rose Quartz (self love and friendship)
Jar or Container with a lid to store your salt in

Spell:

On your altar place the three candles in a triangle with the white at the top point and the red and green at the bottom point.
Place the mixing bowl in the center of the candles
Around the Mixing bowl lay out the Rose, Apple Peels, Catnip, Dragonsblood, Cinnamon, and Allspice.
As You light each candle state:

“I call upon the spirits of the herbal Green
The powers from the worlds unseen
Lend me your blessings on this night
Bring me the powers of love shining bright
Empower this charm today
Bring us love which will stay”

Next you take the  Salt and pour it into the mixing bowl
Pick up the Rose Petals and Hold the Rose petals over the candles.
As you hold the rose petals over the candles feel the powers of the spirit awaken.
Thank them silently and put them into the Mortar and Pestle.
As you grind the Rose petals into the finest powder that you can  see love surrounding you.
Feel the energy of love flowing from your hands into the salt
Once the Roses are ground add them to the red salt
Stir the roses into the salt clockwise once again visualizing love.  See the salt covered in a bright red light that is warm and welcoming (Red being love, desire and passion)
Take the Apple Peels and repeat the process using the Mortar and Pestle.
Once the Apple Peels are ground add them into the salt again stirring clockwise visualize the red light
Take the Catnip and awaken it as you did with the Apple Peels and Rose.
Once again grind the Catnip into as fine of a powder as you can and add it to the salt stirring clockwise
Awaken the Dragons blood, and add it to the salt followed by awakening the Cinnamon, and Allspice together.
Next add the sugar
Now that all the herbs are combined continue to stir the Red Salt together.
As you stir the salt visualize the salt glowing with red light.
While you stir and blend chant the following chant five times:

“Love come to me
One that freely loves me
Bring a lover that’s true
Open me to a love that’s new”

Once you feel that the energy has reached its max potential place your hands over the salt and draw a pentacle and a heart sealing in the energy
Pour the Charged Salt into your jar or Container
Cover With the lid and place the Rose Quartz stone on the Lid to continue to charge the Salt
Extinguish the Candles

The red Salt is now ready to use.  Simply take out a small amount as needed for spell and ritual work.

Working With Red Salt

Now that we have made the red salt it’s time to talk about how we can work with the witches salt. It is important to remember that witches have always been very practical.  They worked with what they had on hand and when they could.   Working with red witches salt is designed to be practical and easy.

Working with red salt is fairly easy. The salt is already charged and ready to go.  You can simply use the red salt as it is.  That’s right.  Since the red salt is already charged all you need to do now is give it a specific direction to work in.  You can sprinkle the red salt into your shoes with the intent to attract love with each step.  Just sprinkle the salt and say your intent for love.    If you are the type to be a little more formal with your application of powders the following two spells are more structured ways to use the sprinkle in your shoes trick.

Walk to manifest Love
Materials:

Red Salt
Your Shoes
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it

Spell:

On the paper write out your desire to have love.  Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for.  Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“”May every step I take this day bring true love my way”. ”
Fold the paper towards you with the red salt and place in your shoes.
Then as you walk every day the energy in your steps will activate the salt.
Your walking ever day will attract the energy that you are sending out through your steps.

Dancing for Love
Materials:

Red Salt
Your Shoes
A piece of Paper with your petition written on it

Spell:

On the paper write out your desire to have love.  Be sure to include any specific desires and qualities about the type of person you are looking for.  Things like hobbies, music, general interests, etc as well as personality traits (supportive, strong, good with animals etc) down
Once the paper has been written on sprinkle a little bit of the Red salt over the Paper and state:
“Every move I make tonight brings a lover that is right”.
The more you dance the more energy you will gather and direct.
The salt will act as a focal point directing the energy from dancing and the salt into the earth through your feet.

There are other ways that you can sprinkle witches salt and form a love spell.  Many men and women use lotions and colognes or perfumes to male ourselves feel good about ourselves and to feel attractive.  You can use red salt to strengthen the feelings of attractiveness when you work with those products.  The goal in this application is to maximize how you feel attractive so it gains the attention of those who you are attracted to.

Makeup and Lotion Attraction Spell
Materials:
Red Salt
Lotions and or any Beauty supplies (this includes hair styling supplies as well as makeup and colognes)

Spell:
Gather all of your Beauty Supplies together
Envision yourself in a pink (for self love) and red (for general love and attractiveness)
As you pick up each item see a red and pink light entering the items until they glow.
Once they are glowing pick up the red salt and sprinkle it over the item stating
“Love come to me freely
One who accepts me
A love that’s meant be”

Now these items will be charged for the next month for both self love and romantic love.
Simply use them as you would normally.

Notes:
Repeat the spell once a month to keep the items empowered
Perform the spell as needed when items are replaced

These spells should help you get started.  Working with witches salt can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be.  The charm is powerful and ready to use.  Be wise.  If you are unsure about performing a spell or working do a reading and look to find out if its a good time to do the spell.  If its acceptable to perform the spell get to work.  If not do a reading and you’ll find out what you can do instead.

If you do not want to make your own, of if you can’t find the supplies there are many places you can find Red Witches Salt
Try:
Mystic Echoes Red Witches Salt
Arte’s and Crafts Hoodoo Powders and Salts

For supplies Try:
Mystic Echoes Herbs and Curios
Arte’s and Crafts Apothecary
3 Crowsmagick Herbs, resins, and Roots

Best of luck finding love.

Conjure for the Holidays

Ah the holidays.  Its a time for joy and love.  Its a time that is meant to be full of happiness and good will towards others.  This time of year is as full of goodwill and love towards your fellow man as it is jealousy and fear.  From neighbors who are jealous of you to those troubling family issues that seem to come up around the holidays energy of jealousy and anger spread as rapidly as love and joy. A lot of the jealousy issues raised during this time are unconscious so it is important to keep up your protections.

In addition to what ever protections you typically have around your home this time of year you can add extra protections through your holiday decorations.  That’s right your wreaths, the bells, and the crystal balls on your holiday tree can be protections.  These protections are excellent in that they can be hidden in plain sight which makes them even more effective.  So lets take a look at a few of these decorations.

Lets start with the wreath.  Wreaths are in a circle which is unbroken.    Most wreaths are made out of evergreens.  Most evergreen trees have symbolism of prosperity and wealth or succsess.  So the wreath itself represents unbroken prosperity and succsess.  Many wreaths have tinsel or glittering ribbon as decorations.  Those glimmering ribbons distract any ill intent or spirit that is sent your way.  Add a pair of nails in a cross buried in the center of the wreath and you have excellent protection.

Christmas and Yule trees are very popular.  Tinsel is a common decoration like with wreaths the tinsel distracts the ill intent of any spirits that could be sent your way.  Many craft stores sell clear glass balls that can be decorated with symbols of protection (depending on your path which symbols are important to you) and filled with herbs protection, luck, prosperity, etc.  Adding bells to your tree will invite positive spirits and blessings and warn you if there are negative spirits or energy it will banish them from the area.

Finally cinnamon brooms can be hung to invite prosperity and succsess.  If you add red ribbons it will bring protection your way as well.  Hang it over your door or the door to your business or office to bring succsess and prosperity through the new year. Adding bells or chimes will add additional protection and blessings.

I hope that you will take this article and use it to spark some Yule or Christmas holiday traditions.  Let the decoration for the holiday and the setting of the decorations with the protections and blessings become a ritual in and out of itself.  By letting your family join in the setting of the decorations everyone adds their energy, their desires, and their will to the home.  The decorations and the magic within them will truly reflect the whole home.  Brining the whole family together is really what the holidays are all about.

May you have a blessed Holiday!

Happy Yule

Merry Christmas

~Loona Wynd~

An Introduction to Practical Herbalism

There are many images associated with magic and witchcraft.  One of the most common ones is that of the witch in their garden or the woods gathering an assortment of plants for their work.  Today magical herbalism remains one of the most actively practiced magical and spiritual practices.  This is one of the practices that can be found across cultures.  It unites many forms of magical practices and cultures.  The more one studies and explores magical herbalism the more one realizes there is to know.

Like any field of magic there are no shortages of specific areas of study.  There are many different ways that you can practice herbalism and be a magical herbalist.  From hanging herbs and decorations around the house, to health remedies, tinctures, incenses, baths, and the food that you eat, magical herbalism is one of the most simple and effective ways of working magic there is.

Before we get into several different practices and herbs that you can work with its important to know what sort of tools you will need.  In general for magical herbalism there are not too many tools needed.  Scissors and a knife for harvesting are among the

Magical Herbalism is the most practical of all the arts out there.  What is more practical than adding a little magic into the food that you eat?  Through the art of kitchen witchery instead of sending the magic out towards the universe you are sending the magic into yourself.  You become the portal for your magic to manifest.   In kitchen witchcraft you have all the tools you need right in your kitchen.  From the herbs you will use to the tools to work your spells everything you need is right there.

In fact most magical needs can be met with only the herbs and spices that we use in our daily food.  Lets take a look at a few of the common spices found in many kitchens and their properties.  Aside from Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Oil there are several herbs and spices that are found in most kitchens.  These spices are just as effective in magic as herbs like Frankincense or Myrrh and are often times not only more affordable but also easier to obtain.  Most of these can be found in your spice cabinet or fresh at the grocery store.

Common Kitchen Spices and their Magical properties

Allspice: Money, Luck, Healing

Basil: Love, Exorcisms,Wealth, Astral Travel, Rituals for the dead, House blessings, Ancestral work,Invoking Dragons, Protection, Attract money

Bay Leaf: Protection, Purification, Psychic powers, Strength, Wishes

Black Pepper: Protection, Exorcism

Cayenne Pepper: Fidelity, Hex breaking, Protection, Removal

Cinnamon: Sexuality, Lust, Wealth, Money, Consecration, Purification, Love

Garlic: Protection, Exorcism, Lust, Antitheft

Nutmeg: Gambling luck, Money, Fidelity, Prosperity, Luck

Oats: Money

Oregano: Keeps away the law, Joy, Strength, Vitality

Parsley: Underworld workings, Ancestor veneration, Healing, Fortune, Success, Lust, Protection, Purification

Rosemary: Cleansing, Draws the aid of spirits, Love, Mental focus, Protection, Lust, Exorcism, Healing

Sage: Spell Reversal, Guarding against the Evil eye (White sage): Cleansing, Purification, Make Sacred

Salt: Purification, Protection

Sugar: Attraction work (to bring something to you love, money luck etc), Favor gaining, “sweetening those”

As you can see there is a lot that you can do with the spices we use to flavor our foods and with items easily located around the house.  Do you need to cleanse your house you can burn white sage or culinary sage for that effect.    If you are trying to draw some customers to your business you could create a mixture of basil, sugar, and cinnamon to sprinkle around the registers or you could simply write your wish for customers and sales on the back of a bay leaf and place that in your register.  A good protection mixture would be Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Garlic powder and you could use that on your meats or veggies empowering you to feel more secure and safe.

 

Since we took a look at the spices we work with let’s take a look at some of the fruits and nuts found in our diets for further ideas.

Common Fruits and Nuts

Almond: Money, Prosperity, Wisdom

Apple: Love, Healing

Banana:  Fertility, Potency, Prosperity

Blackberry: Healing, Money, Protection, Return evil, Exorcism

Blue Berry: Protection

Lemon: Purification, Love, Friendship, Justice

Lime: Healing, Love, Protection

Nuts: Fertility, Prosperity, Love, Luck

Orange: Love, Divination, Luck, Money

Peach: Love, Exorcism, Longevity, Fertility. Wishes

Pear: Lust, Love

Pecan: Money, Employment

Pineapple: Luck, Money, Chasity

Raspberry: Protection, Love, Good luck

Strawberry: Love and luck

So now that we have some of these fruits lets look at some options for spells.  Lets say you wanted to increase some customers at an event or sales at work.  During your lunch break you could eat a fruit salad made up of a mixture of  Almonds, Bananas,  Orange, Pineapple, and Pecans.  Add cinnamon and sugar for further boosts.  If you like apple pie and want love you could make an apple pie and empower it with your desire for love.    If you want to cleanse and protect yourself a smoothie of Blueberry, Blackberry,Lemon,Lime, and Raspberry.  It is very simple and effective for you to work with these fruits.

Now there are many other plants that a person interested in magic can use.  The ones that we find in the kitchen and grocery store are only some of them.  The rest of them are outside in the wild or in our gardens.  The world of plants has much to offer.  So let us continue our journey and take a look at some of the plants in our gardens and in the wilds that we can work with.

  Many of the common weeds that we encounter on a day to day basis actually have several magical properties.  Learning which plants are local to you is a powerful way to work magical herbalism.  It’s easy to find a local guide-book with full color photos and identification.  The national Audubon society often creates several different books for each region.  These books are a must have resource for those interested in harvesting plants from the wild.

Wildcrafting is an excellent way for you to not only connect to the land that you live on but with the spirits of the land and the animals.  By learning which trees and plants are native to your area you can cultivate relationships that will last for a very long time.

Wildcrafted Magical Herbs and their associations

Black Eyed Susan: Cleansing, Releasing, Grounding, Integration, Mediumship, Connecting with the dead

Cedar: Healing, Purification, Money, protection

Cloves: Psychic abilities, Astral Travel, Protection, Exorcisms, Love

Crab-apple: Fertility, Healing

Cramp bark: Protection, Luck

Dandelion (flowers,leaves,and roots): Purify, Manifest Wishes, Enrich, Money

Daisy: Lust, Love

Goldenrod: Money, Divination

Goldenseal: Healing, Money

Mugwort: Strength, Psychic powers, Protection, Prophetic dreams, Astral projection

Mullein: Courage, Protection, Love, Divination, Exorcism

Nettle Leaf: Protection, Exorcism, Healing, Jinx breaking, Lust

Oak: Protection, Health, Money, Healing, Potency, Fertility, Luck

Pine: Remove evil, Money, Cleanse, Healing, Fertility, Protection , Exorcism

Plantain: Healing, Strength, Protection

St. Johns wort: Health, Protection, Strength, Love, Divination, Happiness

Skullcap: Love, Fidelity, Peace

Willow Bark: Love, Protection, Healing

Wormwood: Psychic Powers, Protection, Love, Calling Spirits

Yarrow:Psychic development, Courage, Love, Exorcism, Protection

Yellow dock: Money draw, Attract Customers, Love Draw

Many of the plants listed above are considered to be weeds to most modern gardeners.  In fact these wild plants and flowers are some of the most powerful plants known to witches.  These plants could be living right outside your door.  All you need to do now is gather them and start working with them.  With these plants you have a lot of different opportunities for different works.  Want to enhance your psychic abilities gather some catnip and mugwort to burn as an incense or drink in a tea.  Want to feel protected?  Carry an acorn in your pocket for protection.

Aside from working with the herbs in your kitchen cabinet and that grow wild many witches grow herbs in garden outside or in pots ins their home.  When you grow the herbs you work with in magic they have a deeper connection to you than plants in the wild you gather or get in the store.  These plants rely on you for all of their care and needs.    The following list contains plants commonly grown in gardens for witchcraft.

Common Grown Plants

Aloe Vera: Protection, Peace in the afterlife, Prosperity, Success, Love

Catnip: Love, Beauty, Happiness, Cat Magic, Break Spells, Fertility, Psychic powers

Calendula/Marigold: Money, Prosperity, Health, Psychic Development, Protection, Prophetic dreams, Legal matters, Psychic Powers, Healing

Chamomile: Protection, Luck, Money, Sleep, Peace, Purification

Echinacea: Strengthen spells, Offering to spirits

Ivy: Protection, Healing

Jasmine: Love, Money, Prophetic Dreams

Lavender: Love, Protection, Purification, Happiness, Peace, Healing, Meditation, Psychic abilities

Lilac: Exorcism, Protection

Lilly: Protection, Breaking Love spells

Lilly of the Valley: Mental Powers, Happiness

Morning Glory: Happiness, Peace

Orchid: Love

Orris (Orris Root): Love, Protection, Divination

Pansy: Love, Rain magic, Divination regarding love

Peppermint: Purification, Love, Healing, Psychic powers

Peony: Protection, Exorcism

Primrose: Protection, Love

Rose: Love, Psychic Powers, Healing, Divination regarding love, Luck,  Protection

Snapdragon: Protection

Spearmint: Healing, Love, Mental Powers

Tulip: Prosperity, Love, Protection

Most every plant can be used for magical and spiritual work.  It is up to you to find which plants resonate best with you.  Here are a few examples of things you could so. So lets say you live in an area that has a poor reputation, and you have a yard.  One thing you might want to do is plant some flowers for protection like, Lilac, Peony and Snapdragon outside.  Inside you could grow some Aloe Vera for protection.  If you want peace in the home growing Lavender and Roses is a good idea.

Of this list some plants like Lavender, Spearmint and Peppermint can be easily grown inside in a pot.  Other plants like Lilacs require space outside. It doesn’t matter if you grown the herbs outside or in pots, these plants will be your allies for a long time to come.  If you raise them, talk to them, and show them love these plants will respond and shower you with their powers.  Learning about the plants through growing them and gardening will not only connect you with their spirits but also with the spirits in nature and with the tides of nature.

It has been my hope that though this article you have gotten some ideas of some plants you can work with that are commonly found in the grocery store, your gardens, and in the wild.  You don’t need to work with the exotic herbs like Dragon’s blood, Myrrh, or Frankincense to be a magical herbalist.  You can just work with what you have on hand and you will be a success.  Now if you want to work with some of the traditional herbs like Frankincense, Myrrh, etc there are plenty of places online where you can find them.

Here are some shops that you can visit to obtain herbs for magical and spiritual workings:

http://mysticechoes.storenvy.com/

https://3crowsmagick.com/

http://artesandcraft.com/

www.originalbotanica.com

A further list can be found at http://paganbusinessdirectory.com/businesses/magickal-supplies/

For further reading on the topic these  books are recommended:

The Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Hoodoo Herb and Root magic by Cat Yronwode

Mastering Herbalism by Paul Husson

A Compendium of Herbal Magic by Paul Beryl

 

 

 

 

Deals In The D!

 "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes" - Detroit City Moto
“We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes” – Detroit City Motto

Against all odds, The Renaissance City is truly living up to it’s name(most parts, but that’s a different post)These days!

From the University District at McNichols and Livernois to Riverside Park, Old Redford District to  the edge of Grosse Pointe, there is renewal and the Breath Of   Life flowing across my great city. As more and more people turn from Suburbanites to City Slickers, a Witch has to wonder: Where can I find great deals and support my new neighbors and City, while still getting quality service?

Well my friends, just in time for the Holidays, I have complied a list of Detroit’s Premier places to shop for all your Holistic, Metaphysical,Unique and Witchy needs! 

Now, what makes this list any different from the same old recommendations floating around, internet retailers, or your usual tried and trues? Well, EVERYONE on this list is a Detroiter and their businesses are based in DETROIT.Detroit Proper.

Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!
Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!

 

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  1. The MotownWitch – “Creative Magic” 

Now, what would Detroit be without its resident Witch? Everything offered is hand-crafted by The Motown Witch (aka High Priestess Yvette-Louise) using the highest quality ingredients.The Motown Witch is dedicated to supplying customers with the finest quality spiritual products and services. She is excellent at and offers oils, herbs, hand-crafted soaps, body butters, incense, jewelry, spiritual baths, waters, ritual powders and salts, ritual and spell work.

If you’re looking for an Authentic ATR worker that has dedicated herself to serving her community, Contact The Motown Witch at:  www.motownwitch.com  / https://www.etsy.com/shop/MotownWitch  Phone: 313-757-0689

 

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2. Sacred Stone Collections“Where Wellness and Transformation Can Ascend “

We Magickal People tend to have a rock addiction, as in stones and Crystals! This wonderful Proprietress, Fullmoon Ptah(Alisha Fullmoon Brown) is an expert in several healing modalities, one of which is Crystal healing. Sacred Stone Collections is your one stop shop. they have a vast variety of crystals in different forms. Her store consists of products that assist spiritually, mentally, physically as well as various supplies.

  • They have rough and polished crystals/gemstones in various selections such as: Yoni eggs, pendulums, stones, geometry sets, wands, merkabahs and more.
  • Spiritual products such as: White California Sage, Satya, Hem and other incense, resins, rocks, Palo Santo Wood Sticks and Florida Water.
  • Rejuvenate your body with raw Shea butter and black soap, Nubian Heritage’s Organic Soaps, Body Washes and Lotions, then anoint yourself other fine oils.
  • We also carry cast iron cauldrons, abalone shells, soapstone and wooden boxes, various velvet and silk bag for wands, crystals, Sacred Crystal eggs and pouches.
  • Other services Fullmoon provides are:
    • Crystal grid and body layouts
    • Back herbal nerve application
    • Magnetic Hematite spine realignment
    • personal and group crystal workshops
    • personal and family holistic coaching
    • Sacred Crystal Eggs Consultant and Affiliate Program(Make Money while you shop!!!)
    • gemstone consultant
    • Loctician
  • Fullmoon Ptah is also a distributor for Young Living High Therapeutic Essential Oils and Pure Herbs Herbal Extracts!

You can contact Fullmoon Ptah directly at 313-303-7765 and  www.ssccrystals.rocks

 

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3Blooming Lotus Wellness – “Because YOU ARE worth it!”

Eventually we all get to a point where we realize a need to reunite with the Divine Feminine for our healing and restoration. Blooming Lotus Wellness is a place where Women and Men can find peace, tranquility, healing and Love. Love of self and a whole being; Mind, body, soul and womb. Danyelle Claxton is skilled and trained to assist both  men and women along their wellness journey using the holistic tools of food, herbs, prayer, meditation, and exercise, to bring your mind, body and spirit back into alignment and into a state of balance and dis-eased free. The Blooming Lotus Offers:

  • Womb and Health Consultations
  • Yoni Womb Steam Consultations
  • Yoga Sessions
  • Belly Dance Session
  • Pre Natal Doula and Birth Services
  • Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Food Prep Services
  • Weight Loss Services
  • Pure Herbs Liquid Tenturs
  • Queen Afua Wellness Products

You can TEXT “BLWELLNESS” TO 28228, Call (313) 516-1789 or go to http://www.mybloominglotuswellness.com/

 

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4. Porter Bottle Company

So after you’ve gotten your Herbs, oils and rocks, you will most likely need something to package them in! Something no herbalist, Cunning person or Witch ever has enough of is bottles and jars. While you could go to a big box store, why not stay local and unique and checkout this detroit gem! While the website might not be fancy, I promise the quality and service can’t be beat. You can check them out at:

1941 West Fort Street

Detroit, Michigan 48216

Hours:8:00 am – 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday – Friday.

Phone: (866) 341-5172

Email: porter@porterbottle.com

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5. Mecca Aroma“Radiate Beauty From the Inside Out” 

Mecca Aroma® is part of a family business that has existed for the past 30 years. Mecca Aroma is importer and distributor of the finest grade “A” top quality oils. They have a huge selection of over 1,000 fragrances in stock and continuously growing each and everyday. 100% free from alcohol, we also carry burning oils, essential oils, punk sticks and natural beauty products. If you’re looking for a bulk supplier of incense and perfume supplies, or looking to get into retail yourself, all vendors are welcome. No customer is too small. They ship nationally and worldwide. Orders are usually  processed within 24 hours.  You can check them out at:

15370 Grand River Ave
Detroit,MI  48227
Email: MeccaAroma@yahoo.com
Tel: (313) 835-2295

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6. Crown’s Royalties – “Authentic To The Bone”

If you are looking for handmade, African jewelry with authentic free-trade beads and stones, check out this woman’s Facebook page! She has irresistible African Trade Bead jewelry with timeless beauty with affordable prices.CROWN’S ROYALTIES is not just a jewelry company. They also have handmade and organic body and skin products as well! You can also contact her via: http://www.crownsroyalties.weebly.com/

Phone: (313) 451 0297
email: crown7176@gmail.com

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7. Twisted Willow Soap Company – “Get Twisted”

YES, they ARE made in DETROIT. trust me, I’ve seen where the Magick happens!

This wonderful company is guided by 3 Powerhouse Women and are a favorite across all demographics. Not necessarily a Magickal company per se, however the deeply moisturizing soaps, lotions and balms work wonders on My family’s dry skin.

My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.
My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.

They have an array of wonderful scents (or, none!) and products that are great for those with special needs (Eczema, cancer, arthritis, etc) . Twisted Willow is an organic bath and body company that believes in creating a quality, luxury product that is good for the body, mind, soul, and planet. ALL of their products are hand-made in small batches, and fair trade. With the exception of a few scent oils, our products are also 100% organic. They even take some special orders!

You can find this wonderful company at:

Gibraltar Trade Center

http://www.twistedwillowsoap.com/

or Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/Twistedwillowsoap/

 

Okay people, this list is by no means exhaustive, so if you know of another little known Detroit Proper Gem of a Detroiter’s , caring is sharing so drop it in the comments!

Go Forth, Share, and SHOP SMALL!

 

 

 

How to Spiritually Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and be Magically More Productive During the Fall and Winter Seasons

pixabay-stuxAfter the heat and activity of the summer, many of us look forward to the cool autumn days and snow bunnies become giddy as winter approaches bringing them the snow they so crave. But others may be dreading the loss of light and warmth and may experience the potentially devastating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. This disorder affects some during the spring and summer months but is mainly prevalent in the winter. The symptoms may include but are not limited to:

Depression

Irritability

Lack of motivation

Feeling physically heavier

Not wanting to get out of bed

Self-induced isolation

This disorder can also put a big damper on your spiritual and magickal practices since the proper mood and energy we need to manifest our intentions may be sorely compromised by this affliction. There are ways to overcome this disorder such as certain lamps that emulate the Sun as well as medical treatments that a doctor can prescribe. There are also spiritual ways to overcome it, particularly by reconnecting with the energy of the Sun. Here is a video that gives three techniques that show how to reconnect to the awesome energies of the Sun so that you can get your energy back and happily engage in the magic of the season:  The techniques that are given are categorized for those who are visual and/or highly imaginative, empaths and the highly sensitive and those who have a strong awareness of their energetic connection to their own internal energy and that of the Divine. These categories allow the instructions to cater to the individual needs and gifts of the viewer.

Now that you’ve got your sunshine back on, let’s continue by removing that which is no longer needed and which may be hampering our productivity.

Shed Your Skin and Those that Drain You

As fall approaches, trees begin to prepare for the winter months by first transferring the nutrients from the leaves to the branches and then sealing off the parts of the branch that have leaves attached which then causes the leaves to fall off and die. They do this so that they can maintain their moisture and nutrients to successfully get through the winter. We can learn much from this process. During the winter months, our energy may be lower so it’s important to make sure that we direct it towards that which we need to sustain our wellbeing and not those who would drain us of our precious resources.

Exfoliating the skin and removing the dead cells that block moisture retention and dull our skin is an excellent way to start. Not only does exfoliating the skin warm and invigorate it, promoting healthy lymph flow and collagen production, it is also symbolic of removing those things from our lives that block our good health on all levels. As it uncovers new and healthier skin, symbolically it uncovers new and healthier energy in our lives, in our spirituality and our intention work. It is a declaration to gladly purge that which drains us and welcome that which renews and invigorates us and our lives. It helps us to retain moisture, the element of water which is the creation elixir of life, energy that can be used to further empower us on all levels of our being. Use a natural exfoliant such as oatmeal, sugar or salt depending on your preference and infuse it with your intentions to remove that which is adverse to you and to suffuse you with young, fresh, vital energy to empower you. As you rinse it off, ask the element of water to help you to go with the flow for a better life and to bless and empower you with stronger vital life force energy so that your ability to manifest the life of your dreams does not slow down in the winter but instead helps you to walk your path with strength, vigor and spiritual peace and power.

It is also time to exfoliate those people that may be draining you while contributing nothing to your life. The same way the tree diverts nutrients to the branches and seals them to cast off the leaf to maintain its survival during the winter, so we too must also remove those who drain our energies and contribute no value to our lives. This can be a very painful but liberating process. It may also be a very necessary one if you are handing over your already minimalized energies to others without return. It can be likened to taking constant withdrawals from your bank account without making deposits. This is a sure path to energetic bankruptcy and now is the time to preserve our energy and not waste it on those who have proven themselves to be energy parasites.

Now that we’ve removed that which holds us back from our spiritual awesomeness, let’s get into how to take full advantage of the energies surrounding us during these magickal seasons.

Plant a Winter Intention Garden to Harvest Great Things in the Spring

There are plenty of crops that are planted in the fall and winter to bring a spring harvest. You can grow a plant in your home that represents what you wish to harvest for spring or to bring a specific energy into your home during the winter. Here are some examples:

Peas – Represent money and love and are best planted in November and February.

Garlic – Represents protection, healing and passion.

Leeks – Represent love, protection and exorcizes evil.

Onions – Represents protection, healing, prosperity, passion and prophetic dreams. The best time to plant them is in January or February.

You can also grow flower producing plants in the warmth of your home to bring in the energies to boost you towards your goals.

The fall and winter months are filled with magickal energy that is ripe for the picking. Exfoliate, rejuvenate and bask in all powerful and productive energies that these seasons bring and use them to manifest the life of your dreams.

Psychic Empath Goddess Rhonda Harris-Choudhry has been utilizing her psychic gifts since she was a teenager. It is her Divine mission to empower people by teaching them about their innate spiritual and energetic gifts and how to use them effectively to improve their health, life and happiness. She also trains empaths, helping them to lead happier and healthier lives. Learn more at www.healinghennagoddess.com.

 

PBN Blues Series: “Stones in My Passway” by Robert Johnson

Ah yes, that good old-fashioned favorite has finally made its way to this series.  In most practitioner’s scope of service, there will inevitably arise the question of foot track magick. The laying of tricks and the fixing of soils is as old as the first time someone drew the image of their enemies on the bottom of their shoes. Salting the earth so nothing grows is the mundane cousin to dusting the ground where folks will walk.

Image: How-Soon Ngu

The foot, and the need to crush those under it, is primal. The use of their footprints to get to the enemy is well-known. There are varied applications of this, and it is up to the parties involved in the situation. Sprinkling powders, driving in objects, or burying fetishes in the ground are in many magickal practices, so be ready for anything no matter where you set up shop.

Quick and sloppy service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

Image: Bruce Emmerling
Image: Bruce Emmerling

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since court.

You tell SuGhee T. that this is a simple fix. You direct her to a set of novena candles and give her instructions on using them. You also sell her a small High John root to carry. You offer to dress the candles and sprinkle a bit of glitter and oil just on the top of the wax. She leaves and you go about your day.

 

Getting down to business for effective service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since the court case.

After more conversation, you find out that things in her yard and home have gone missing. There was a day not too long ago when her window was open, even though she never leaves it open. Nothing of value was stolen, so she had forgotten about it. Upon reflection, she notes that several personal items have gone missing.

Adding to this disclosure, she tells you that her yard has been slowly dying near her tree. There is a bare spot where rain damaged the ground by flooding it. It is just outside her bedroom window. She remembers strange mounds in the earth and unusual stones. You grab your divination set and get to work.

Image: Joy Stamp
Image: Joy Stamp

You shake your head and take a moment for a deep intake of breath. In this moment, you have deduced that this is going to be an ongoing situation. You also know that it will take some serious work, so you let SuGhee T. know that this is not an overnight fix. Things are going to need she get her hands dirty. You also tell her she is going to have to re-purpose some of her kitchen tools.

The fact that the cousin has become so brazen speaks to his level of malevolence. The unexplained happenings are all tied into the timeline. The images are the final nail in the coffin of proof that buries any doubt about the source of this run of disasters.

Together, you devise a long series of workings to battle back this attack. The cousin has used a combination of magicks, contagion, probably sympathetic (according to your oracle), and conjure. So this will have to be fought on multiple fronts. You warn her not to tip her hand that she knows what he is doing. The soil around her house will have to be handled as well.

An order of spell components is placed for the missing items. Ancestor Work is your main plan of attack, as well as graveyard work. You are going to bring Grandma into this fight. She is also going to have to do some night time work of her own.

A friend of hers of the dangerous sort lies buried not far from her home. She decides to pay him a visit and ask for some assistance. She makes a quick search on her smartphone for the closest store that sells a good grade of rum and adds a few more items to her list.

Image: Todd Quackenbush
Image: Todd Quackenbush

Reversal work can get nasty. You give her a set of instructions for clearing herself, her home, and her property. She buys a railroad spike from you for her car and a few lodestones for her bag. Her kitchen will be her headquarters for the next few months, so she also buys a good mortar and pestle while she is there.

Later

SuGhee T. follows the plan and comes back to your shop within a month’s time. Her spirits are higher, and she has a new dog. The cousin is mysteriously no longer coming around, and actually has fallen quite ill. Such a shame when that happens, you say. You both share a look and your customer buys a few more things. She leaves your shop, satisfied and ready to refer more clients.

Herbal Lore

Written by: Rose Miller AKA Ravenwings

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For thousands of years, herbs have been used for medicinal purposes as well as cosmetics, aromatics, cooking, and even embalming. The earliest known medicinal uses were documented it an Egyptian medical document called the Ebers Papyrus. This document contains over 800 medicinal drugs that were used from herbs and dates back to 1700 B.C. The Chinese claim that their use is even older than the Egyptians. Traditional Chinese medicine dates back to around 2500 B.C. Their form of using herbs also incorporates other treatments such as acupuncture and even massage. To treat an illness is to treat the whole person, to restore balance and harmony so that the body can then heal itself.

Indian Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes that good health is the responsibility of the person. Herbs and diets are used to help restore a balance to the body in order for it to heal itself. The Greeks also believed in maintaining a balance for good health and incorporated herbal knowledge from Egypt, India and China.

Hippocrates – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

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From Greece the medicinal practices reached Rome around 100 B.C. Medicine itself became a profitable business. Galen disagreed with Hippocrates idea of the body allowing to heal itself and reworked his ideas. Galen’s books became standard medical texts and his theories are still used in Unani medicine practiced by Muslims and even in India. Some of his theories are found throughout Shakespeare’s plays.

During the reign of Elizabeth I herbals were written by Gerard, Parkinson, and Culpepper. An herbal book that not only describes plants but, also shows how to use them. The herbal book was second only to the Bible at this time.

In an article in The Economist. 2002

“Chimpanzees suffering from intestinal worms in Tanzania dose themselves with the pith of a plant called Veronica. This plant produces poisonous chemicals called terpenes. The pith contains a strong enough concentration to kill the gut parasites, but not so strong as to kill the chimps (nor people, for that matter; locals use the pith for the same purpose).”

In the early days of medicine, drugs could only come from the plant. As society has changed and we have more scientific ways to find out what makes this herb do what it does. Then chemical structures can be identified and made synthetically. The active ingredient in Willow Bark is salicin, and was artificially made in 1852. In 1899 Bayer was the first company to introduce the aspirin using this synthetically made product. The problem with the synthetically made active ingredients found in these herbs have numerous side effects that using the actual herb does not have.

The use of herbs however over the thousands of years have been more than just for culinary and healing uses. In Rome the people actually paid their taxes with anise. Romans also used dill to make wreaths and garlands to keep away witches. In some places parsley was thought to repel head lice. There are some other great little tidbits about herbal folklore on http://www.almanac.com/content/herbal-folklore-and-old-fashioned-tips.

Whatever the reason we use herbs today it has all been tried and true over thousands of years by millions of people. So the next time you add oregano to a spaghetti sauce or take an aspirin, keep in mind that what you are doing is not new or unique, just a modern version of the days of old.