* High John the Conqueror
* Lily of the Valley
* Morning Glory
* St. John’s Wort
* Witch Grass
* High John the Conqueror
* Lily of the Valley
* Morning Glory
* St. John’s Wort
* Witch Grass
* ( to maintain:)
* Life Everlasting
* St. John’s Wort
* Sorrel, Wood
The second aspect of the Goddess is that of Mother. As previously stated among her names by which she is called are the Great Mother and Mother Nature which signifies her worshippers believe her to be the Mother, creator and life-giver to all of nature and to every thing within.
This at first may seem confusing to many within the Christian Age where the Father God is claimed to be the creator. What many are not aware of, but more are becoming so, is that the world passed through a matriarchal age before the present patriarchal one. There is ample archaeological, historical and anthropological evidence of this. The previously mentioned findings of numerous female figurines and drawings in many locations supports the fact that during such ancient times the female was very honored. The depictions self-fertilization and women giving birth states the Goddess has been very honored for motherhood.
Seas, fountains, ponds and wells were always thought as feminine symbols in archaic religions. Such passages connecting to subterranean water-passages were often thought as leading to the underground womb. Currently science partly substantiates these archaic beliefs. It is known that hugh quantities of microscopic plants and animal live close to the ocean surface. Upon this sea life’s death its shell remains settle to the ocean floor, and when studied through accumulations of sediment core samples, which represent millions of years of sea life, they provide a continuous history of the earth’s environmental stages. To this extent the ocean, which seems to contain the beginning stages of life, may be thought as the Mother’s womb. “And water, like love, was (is) essential to the life-forces of fertility and creativity, without which the psychic world as well as the material world would become an arid desert, the waste land.”
This idea of the Goddess or maternal womb is embedded in history. It was and is symbolized by the ceremonial bowl. When used in the Egyptian temples as the temple basin it was called the shi. In Biblical times it became the brass sea in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). Such bowls or vassals were used for illustrations, baptisms and various purification ceremonies. Although the Christians often fail to disclose that the holy water fount still symbolizes the womb. This symbolically is true since the water is to bestow blessings or grace upon the one which it is sprinkled upon, or who sprinkles it upon himself, and this grace supposedly comes from Jesus Christ who came from the womb of Mary.
Although, in the ancient maternal temples this womb-vessel was very much respected for its inherent fertile power. Its holy waters were revered as they were considered spiritual representing the birth-giving energy of the Goddess.
Throughout the history of Goddess worship, witchcraft, and currently in Neo-pagan witchcraft the cauldon has been a feminine symbol associated with the womb of the Mother Goddess.
All Christian sects have not thought of God as just masculine. This is especially true of the Gnostics. It is in the Apocryphon of John one sees the apostle John grieving after the crucifixion. John was in a “great grief” during which he experienced a mystical vision of the Trinity:
the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I was afraid, and I] saw in the light…a likeness with multiple forms…and the likeness had three forms.
To John’s question of the vision came this answer: “He said to me, ‘John, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?…I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son.’”
To many this description of the Trinity is shocking, but it need not be. What so many forget, or do not realized is that the New Testament was written in Greek; whereas, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word meaning spirit is ruah having a feminine gender, but the Greek word for spirit is pneuma having a neuter gender. Thus the Greek language, or to be more specific a change in language when writing the New Testament, virtually made the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, asexual. It also, when accepted by the orthodox Christian Church, eliminated any femininity concept of God. Also Mary is held to have remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians because Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning “virgin,” instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus. But, the Gnostics did not adhere to the orthodox teaching. Possibly one reason was that many of the Gnostic leaders, particularly Simon Magus, were of Greek or Samaritan heritage, and within these heritages polytheism and feminine deities were known and accepted, also they knew Hebrew. Therefore they kept the feminine meaning of the Holy Spirit which remained in their sacred writings and interpretations.
In The Sacred Book one reads:
…(She is)…the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit… She became the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, the mother-father [matropater]…
In the Gospel to the Hebrews, Jesus speaks of “my Mother, the Spirit.” Again, in the Gospel of Thomas “Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father–the Father of Truth–and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit.” And, in the Gospel of Philip, “whoever becomes a Christian gains ‘both father and mother’ for the Spirit (rurah) is ‘Mother of many.’”
In a writing attributed to Simon Magus it states:
Grant Paradise to be the womb; for Scripture teaches us that this is a true assumption when it says, “I am He that formed thee in thy mother’s womb” (Isaiah 44:2)…Moses…using the allegory had declared Paradise to be the womb…and Eden, the placenta…
“The river that flows forth from Eden symbolizes the navel, which nourishes the fetus. Simon claims that the Exodus consequently, signifies the passage out of the womb and the ‘the crossing of the Red Sea refers to the blood.’” Sethian gnostics explain that:
heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb …and if…anyone wants to investigate this, let him carefully examine the pregnant womb of any living creature, and he will discover an image of the heavens and the earth.
In scriptural writings we find standing at the foot of the cross at the time of the crucifixion three Marys: the Virgin Mary, the dearly beloved Mary Magdalene, and a more shadowy or mysterious Mary. “The Coptic ‘Gospel of Mary’ said they were all one. Even as late as the Renaissance, a trinitarian Mary appeared in the Speculum beatae Mariae as Queen of Heaven (Virgin), Queen of Earth (mother), and Queen of Hell (Crone).”
Within modern culture these roles of Goddess and Mother are seen to be reemerging. While the psychanalyst Sigmund Freud down played the emergence devotion to the Goddess as infantile desires to be reunited with the mother, his theory was challenged by C.J. Jung who described this emergence devotion as “a potent force of the unconscious.”
Jung theorized that “the feminine principle as a universal archetype, a primordial, instinctual pattern of behavior deeply imprinted on the human psyche, brought the Goddess once more into popular imagination.”
The basis of Jung’s theory rested on religious symbolism extending from prehistoric to current times. His archetypical concept is that it is not “an inherited idea, but an inherited mode of psychic functioning, corresponding to that inborn ‘way’ according to which the chick emerges from the egg; the bird builds its nest;…and eels find their way to the Bermudas.”
The biological evidence of Jung’s archetypical concept indicates the psychological meaning. Although the psychological meaning cannot always be as objectively demonstrated as the biological one, it often is as important or even more important than the biological one. It lies deep within the levels of personalities, and can elicit responses not possible by mere abstract thinking. These responses energize and deeply effect persons. “Jung believed all religions rest on archetypical foundations.”
This does not necessarily mean that all or every religion originated from an archetype, but rather the archetype on which most, if not all, religions were and are based is the deep felt (italics are the author’s) need within the people for their particular religion. This need is what brought forth the religion. There are various views on the causes this need arouse, but “Jungians have espoused the Mother Goddess as an archetype, a loadstone in the collective consciousness of both men and women to be minded of psychological wholeness.”
Many men have expressed the need to return to the Goddess, indicating that this is not only a woman’s search or desire. “English therapist John Rowan believes that every man in Western culture also needs this vital connection to the vital female principle in nature and urges men to turn to the Goddess. In this way men will be able to relate to human women on more equal terms, not fearful of resentful of female power. Perhaps this is how it was in prehistoric times when men and women coexisted peacefully under the hegemony of the Goddess.”
To many men in Neo-paganism and witchcraft sexism seems absurd and trifling. If all men were honest they would admit that they would not be here if it were not for their biological mothers. Sexism immediately disappears when this fact is agreed to. All human beings are sexual, and sexuality propagated, although at times it would seem the Christian Church would have liked to dismiss this fact completely. But, the fact cannot be dismissed because, again, according to Jung this biological fact is also imprinted as the archetypes of anima and animus upon the human unconscious. They represent the feminine side of man and the masculine side of woman. As behavioral regulators they as most important; for with out them men and women could not coexist. When the two unconscious elements are balanced harmony exists, but when there is an unbalanced over masculinity or femininity is exerted.
Most people admit we currently live in troubled, if not, perilous times. Both our species and planet are endanger of extinction. Our customary religions and governments seem stifled if not helpless to solve all of the enormous problems which confront us. Perhaps many are feeling the urgent need to cry for help to the Good and Divine Mother asking her to please clean up her children’s mess, or wipe up their split milk before it’s too late.
This charm will only work if you are seriously and intensively looking for a job, sending out resumes and scheduling interviews.
You Will Need:
A cinnamon stick
A High John the Conqueror Root
Green or gold thread
Three Kings Oil (made of frankincense oil, oil of myrrh, and spikenard)
Red flannel drawstring bag
Tie the cinnamon stick and the High John the Conqueror Root together with the thread. Anoint them with the Three Kings Oil, and place them in the bag.
Every morning before you go out job-hunting, anoint the charm with a bit more oil. Keep it in your pocket or bag as you go out to look for a job.
If your situation is the same after nine days, you may want to look at different alternatives or change your game plan. It could be a signal that the field you are looking it is not right for you for that you, or that you may find opportunities elsewhere.
Are You a Pagan Individual?
When one looks about the Neo Pagan community, one common factor that stands out is the constant jockeying of certain individuals/groups to be the learning curve for all other pagans. To my mind this is an attempt to validate ones personal insecurities. For as pagans we should be individuals who are comfortable in the way that we seek our spiritual path.
One cannot be true to and thus accepting of others if we are not true to ourselves first. This is a tenet that separates the individualism of paganism in general and witchcraft in particular, from the tenets of organized religion.
It is interesting to note though that such behavior is unique to Neo Paganism. Not all of those who contributed to the origins of Christianity believe in the concept of “Jesus” as he is portrayed by the organized religions of today.
For instance, the Mandaeans are followers of John the Baptist. They are a people called “Mughtasilah”, which translates as, “Those Who Wash themselves”. They are considered to be the “Children of the Books”, and as such, are said to be “holders of the Word of God.” And though they are hostile to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, (Mandaeans regard Christianity and rabbinical Judaism as false religions that, along with the negative influence and/or alignment of planets and stars, impede the soul’s release from bondage.
With the arrival of Islam in Iraq, in 636 CE, the Mandeans were seen as the third “people of the book”, and were thought to be the mysterious Sabians of the Koran. But the Mandeans still encountered a difficult relationship with Islam, and Muhammad is in their writings called the demon “Bizbat”.
The Mandaeans themselves subscribe to the belief that Judas Thomas was Jesus’ twin brother and that it was actually Judas Thomas who was crucified on the cross and that Jesus then lived out his life as his brother Thomas to avoid persecution for his attempted role as the alleged messiah. To support this belief, the early church father “Irenaeus” wrote around 150 CE that Jesus remained on earth as a teacher for some twenty years after his crucifixion, and that John the Apostle served as a conduit for these teachings.
The Mandaeans are an ancient form of Christian Gnosticism, which practices initiation, ecstasy and various rituals that have been said to resemble those of the Freemasons. They very frequently practice baptism in running water and a sort of “confirmation”, is given to the dying. They repudiate idolatry and circumcision, while celibacy is absolutely forbidden. They practice a moral code of charity and goodwill.”
They hold to a planetary influence on the hours, much like Solomon and others of his kind did and they have a seven-day induction of priests, which is similar to the Sabians. Their year consists of twelve months of thirty days each, followed by five auspicious days of epact. At the New Year they keep vigil for the spirits of light to return from congratulating the Supreme Being for creation.
They utter “Ask and find, speak and listen” like the Harranians, but then invoke a formal denial of the powers of the sun and moon contrary to the Sabians. Their calendar is solar while the Harranian one is luni-solar. And amongst the Mandaeans, women may own property, though divorce is not recognized, and a man may have as many wives as he desires.”
The Mandaeans take their name from “Manda” which means secret knowledge.” The Mandaean priests are called “Nasoreans”, as were the followers of Jesus. Within the Mandaean sect, a Nazarean is equated to the same status as an archbishop. During the first three centuries CE, there were certain Mandaean or Johannite sects, especially in the region of the Tigris-Euphrates basin, who honored John the Baptist, not Jesus, as their prophet.
One of these sects still exists to this day in areas of Iraq. According to their thinking, John the Baptist was “the true prophet”, while Jesus was a rebel, a heretic, who led men astray and whom betrayed secret doctrines.” According to the Mandeans, John the Baptist was Hibil-Ziwa. “Hibil-Ziwa was a Savior who entered the world of darkness and destroyed the evil spirits so that the faithful could obtain liberation before the end of the world.”
The Mandaeans tell of the founding of Jerusalem by a powerful and evil female Goddess named Ru Ha. For Jews, Muslims and Syriac-speaking Christians, Ru Ha, signifies the Holy Spirit who is mentioned in both the Quran and the Bible. She controlled the Seven Planets and worked evil on the Earth through several chosen men. They are Abraham, Moses, David and his son Solomon. Her greatest evil however, was realized through the actions of one man. At her temple in Jerusalem, a young priestess was selected to bear a “special offspring”. The name of this priestess was “Miriam”. The Christians call her Mary. She brought forth the “child of Ru Ha”, the “Imunel” (Immanuel) and he were in turn called, “Jesus”.
He was baptized by John and taught at length by him. In time he turned away from John’s teachings and led the people astray, the Mandaeans claim. The Mandaeans say that Mary is a “Daughter of Moses” and that Moses dwelt on Mt. Sinai.
One of the texts of the Mandeans tells a story about the flight of a group called “Nasoreans”, from areas that are today known as Jordan, to the Mesopotamian region, in the times of the Jewish wars following the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE. It is thought that they were driven out by Saul (Paul) himself.
The story goes that Paul arrived as the first Christian missionary in Corinth and in Ephesus, only to discover to his amazement that there were already churches established there. Upon making inquiries he discovered that they were the Church of John the Baptist. Paul believed that the Ephesians and Corinthians would, therefore, be delighted to discover that he represented Jesus Christ, the one prophesied to come after John.
However, contrary to his expectations, they had never heard of such a prophecy.” The following reference is found in the Christian bible: “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when [or after] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ “John’s baptism, ” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 19:1-5
And so though there is an ongoing and determined effort by the three main Abrahamic religions to be seen as the learning curve for all other beliefs in the world, just as there are certain Neo Pagan individuals/groups who follow suit in regards to Paganism. As individuals it is our responsibility to dig beneath the surface of such popular and often misguided rhetoric, for the truth is that which serves the individual and not that of the masses.
As pagans, our spiritual journey is unique to each of us and cannot nor should not be defined by any one group of folks, regardless of such rhetoric…
To increase power and use it wisely
High John the Conqueror oil
Notes: The best time to do this spell is at midnight on a full moon, but if you don’t want to stay up that late, you can work it at any point on the full moon night or on a Sabbat.
Since you are asking to draw in power, be sure you are firmly grounded and centered before casting this spell and that the space you are working in is protected. Unlike some of the spells in this book where it makes little difference whether or not you start by casting a formal circle, in this case I would recommend you do so. This is not a spell to be cast lightly.
Cast your circle, ask for help from the four quarters, invoke the triple goddess of your choice (I like either Hecate or Brigid, but any triple goddess [maiden/mother/ crone] will work), then anoint the candle if using the High John oil. Be sure you are centered before reciting the spell.As my craft I work to hone At this deep and sacred hour I call on Maiden, Mother, Crone To send me wisdom, strength and power Lend me power for my spells Power for work and power for play Send wisdom so I’ll use it well Growing in power every day.
The very first herb that I became aware of was Sassafras (Sassafras officinale) . I was about four years old and even now at the age of fifty three, I still savor the taste and smells of a hot mug of sassafras, which by the way is a mild diuretic. I was always amused by how the root would grow to just one side.
From then until now I can honestly say that I have rarely used a prescription/commercial medicine, preferring to use natural herbs instead, which is in keeping with my pagan upbringing.
And before the billionaires that make up the AMA get their tails in a knot, I am not advocating the use of natural herbs over prescription medicines. I do advocate doing your research to see if perhaps there is a more natural approach to ones individual well being. However this is a personal decision each has to make for him or herself.
At any rate, as the years passed, my interest and study of herbs grew and eventually I became certified as a Master Herbalist, which just means that I like the study of herbs, a lot. As such I am often asked a zillion questions about this ailment or that and what is the best herb to treat it with.
There is a story from Celtic paganism about how DianChect the master physician for the Tuatha De Danann, slew his son, Miach during a fit of jealousy. And from his grave sprang 365 different herbs which Miach’s sister, Airmed, harvested in order to give them to the human race. When their father saw what she was doing, he scattered the herbs all about so that humans did not obtain such knowledge so easily.
And that’s ok, for one thing I am not of the mind to question what decisions the Gods decide to make in relation to humans. And I am of the mind that one should always do their research before engaging in the use of herbs.
Also as a pagan I firmly believe in the old adage that rather then learning a little about a lot of herbs, one should learn a lot about just a few herbs.
Herbs are a natural form of medicine, so as with anything, do your research. For those who seek to incorporate herbs into their regimen but whom also take prescription drugs, you should be very aware of any possible contraindications between the herbs and the man-made medicines that you are taking.
You can complement your research into herbs by reading classics such as Culpepper’s Herbal, Shennong Emperor’s Classic of Materia Medica (Shennong Bencao Jing) , Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu) and the Treatise on the Nature of Medicinal Herbs (Yao Xing Lun) .
The Doctrine of Signatures is also interesting even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.
Of course every herbalist worth their roots have a few favorite herbs that they relate to. A few of mine are Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) , an herb that is dedicated to Hymen, the God of marriage. Hawthorn is effective for curing insomnia and is used to prevent miscarriage and for treating nervousness. Hawthorn has been used for centuries in treating heart disease, as regular use strengthens the heart muscles, and to prevent arteriosclerosis, angina, and poor heart action. Hawthorn normalizes blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use will usually lower blood pressure.
But again and I can’t stress this enough, Do Your Research!
I also employ Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) as a remedy for liver problems. It is used for varicose veins, menstrual difficulty, and congestion in the liver, spleen and kidneys. And the poisons most dangerous to the liver, those contained in the Deathcap mushroom, can be effectively detoxified with Milk Thistle extract. Shitake mushrooms are known for their anti-tumor properties and have been used as a dietary supplement for thousands of years in the Orient.
Moving on, I cannot say enough about White Willow bark (Salix alba) . The White willow contains salicin, the active constituent from which commercial aspirin was first synthesized. White willow bark is used for rheumatic complaints, arthritis, headaches as well as diarrhea, dysentery and a number of other complaints. I suggest the White Willow because though a number of other Willows also contain salicin, the tannin levels may be too high for other types of Willow to be of use.
St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has a long and interesting history. The first century Greek physicians Galen and Dioscorides recommended it as a diuretic, wound healing herb, and as a treatment for menstrual disorders. In the sixteenth century Paracelsus, who ushered in the era of mineral medicines, used St. John’s Wort externally for treating wounds and for allaying the pain of contusions. St. John’s Wort, flowers at the time of the summer solstice, and in medieval Europe it was considered to have powerful magical properties that enabled it to repel evil.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is considered to be one of nature’s most effective herbal tranquilizers. It is a powerful root for the nerves, and as such, valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive. It helps cure depression when taken once or twice. It is also a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities. A very good herb when used properly.
And last but certainly not least is Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) . Red Clover is used as a nerve tonic and as a sedative for exhaustion. It is used to strengthen those children with weak systems, and is used with children for coughs, bronchitis, wheezing, as it is mild to their systems. Red Clover contains some of the best mucus clearing properties found in nature.
For over 100 years Red Clover has been used to treat and prevent cancer. It is often used in combination with many other drugs in the treatment of cancer and is known to be one of the best herbs for treating all varieties of cancer anywhere in the body.
If you make a personal decision to use herbs in your daily life and you decide to harvest such herbs yourself, please show some respect for Mother Nature. Please don’t harvest endangered or declining species. And when you do harvest, only take a little and leave a lot. This will contribute to a continuing harvest, as the herbs will have a chance to populate.
Some of the herbs listed in this article may not grow in your area, but there may be equivalent herbs that grow within your local area. And for the last time, please do your research. And when harvesting wild herbs be wary of nearby pollutants such as heavily traveled roads, polluted streams and such. Also think of the needs of the wildlife and insects in your area. Far too often as humans, we only think of our own needs. But as pagans we have a greater responsibility then just ourselves…
There were some backwoods hillbillies living across the river from each other, who feuded constantly. John hated Clarence with a passion and never passed up a chance to throw rocks across the river at Clarence. This went on for years until one day the Corps of Engineers came to build a bridge across that river. John was elated; he told his wife that finally he was going to get the chance to cross over and whip Clarence.
He left the house and returned in a matter of minutes. His wife asked what was wrong, didn’t he intend to go over the bridge and whip Clarence? He replied that he never had really seen Clarence up close and didn’t realize his size until he started over the bridge and saw the sign: “CLEARANCE 8 FT 3 IN”