Pennyroyal is well known as a magical herb. In some traditions it’s associated with money, while in others Pennyroyal is connected to strength and protection. In Hoodoo and some forms of American folk magic, Pennyroyal is carried to ward off the “evil eye.” Cat Yronwoode of Luckymojo.com says that it can be used to break a hex or curse.
Associated with the planet Mars, Pennyroyal was used by sailors in the Elizabethan era to ward off seasickness. It’s also believed to effective in warding off fleas and mosquitoes.
Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough that in Morocco, Pennyroyal and other aromatic herbs were burned in large quantities at midsummer. He says that people leap across the smoke, “driving it towards the orchards and crops,” as a method of protecting the year’s harvest from damage. The smoke contains a “magical quality which removes misfortune from men, animals, fruit trees, and crops.”
For some protection magic, make a sachet stuffed with Pennyroyal and tuck it in your purse.
In a few traditions, Pennyroyal is associated with money magic. If you own a business, place a sprig over the door to draw in customers and prosperity. Try making a bar of Money Soap to wash your hands with, or use Pennyroyal to brew up some Prosperity Oil.
The reddish/orange stone known as carnelian is often streaked with white, and its colors are reminiscent of the rich landscapes of the American southwest. Use carnelian in rituals that involve grounding, because it is indeed associated with the element of Earth. Its healing powers are used in treatments of impotency and infertility, and in some cases it is believed to stop excessive bleeding, such as nosebleeds. On a magical level, carnelian comes in handy for magical shielding, or as a talisman against psychic attack.
Deity of the Day
Also known as ALLATU, ERESHKEGAL, ERISHKEGAL, ERISHKIGAL
Underworld Goddess of Death, Darkness and Dust.
The consort of NERGAL, and ISHTAR’s sister, she is a brooding moody figure who is prone to fits of fury and spasms of tearful temper. Particularly when she doesn’t get her own way. If you see her lips turn black, you know things can only get worse.
ERESHKIGAL is known as ‘Lady of the Great Place’. Which in this instance means Deadville. ‘Queen of the Great Below’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
In fact the locals referred to her domain as ‘The Land of Gloom’ — and were not impressed by a menu offering a choice between mud and dust. Dead boring really.
ERESHKIGAL’s Underworld realm is guarded by Seven Judges and Gatekeepers, who seem very zealous about keeping people out. Which, we feel, is hardly necessary.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2012 January 17
IC 2118: The Witch Head Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Gimmi Ratto & Davide Bardini (Collecting Photons)
Explanation: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble — maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. This suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from bright star Rigel, located just below the lower edge of the above image. Fine dust in the nebula reflects the light. The blue color is caused not only by Rigel’s blue color but because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earth’s daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in Earth’s atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. The nebula lies about 1000 light-years away.
Cut Hair to Retard Growth, Mow to Retard Growth, Entertain Friends, Host a Party
Don’t let this become the lost weekend. Hope and fear are battling for supremacy since jovial Jupiter is making three alignments today while the Moon in Libra makes its first union with the recently stationed ring-master Saturn tomorrow. Like it or not, these two planets – the largest in our solar system – have much to do with how we hopefully (Jupiter) fit into society and worldly happenings or fearfully (Saturn) try to reach various career milestones without developing all sorts of chronic difficulties in the process. Of course, Jupiter can bring excess and overdoing of a good thing while Saturn can teach the essential long-term rewards of patience, hard work, self-reliance and responsibility. On today’s agenda, the Sun and Jupiter provide sustenance and robust enthusiasm as they form an inspirational, 72-degree link (12:03AM PST). However, Jupiter – being no slouch as King of the Gods – keeps up his interactive efforts by making a contra-parallel to Neptune (3:17AM PST) and a subtle and yet still nurturing and creative, 30-degree tie to Venus (8:35AM PST). Despite some potential confusion and uncertainty coming from Jupiter’s contact with Neptune, Jupiter is offering you a sizable dose of optimism right now. Relationships receive an empowerment boost from Mars contacting Juno via an inspirational, 72-degree liaison (12:53PM PST). If you feel the urge to shop for values or change your hair style or wardrobe, you are probably picking up on both the Moon’s presence in Libra as well as the Mars-Juno association. A big event later on is Pallas entering Pisces (9:07PM PST). Learn more about the secret teachings of all ages and the philosophical tenets of ancient civilizations. One way you can improve your problem-solving skills is to keep a dream notebook and understand more about how precognitive visions will assist you in fulfilling your higher destiny.
Calendar of the Moon
Rowan Tree Moon
Altar: Upon a cloth of orange-red set a row of red candles, Brigid’s cross, and a bell.
Offerings: Votive candles. Quicken a newborn idea into birth.
Daily Meal: Hot drinks with every meal. Keep food warm.
Call: Now is the quickening of the year.
Response: Now is the time of the first movement.
Call: Now the child stirs in the womb.
Response: Now the seed stirs in the earth.
Call: Now the plains flood and our fire is threatened.
Response: Now the cold water drowns our spark.
Call: Now is the time of the hard struggle.
Response: Now is the month of desperation.
Call: Now is the time of desperation to live.
Response: Now is the time of desperation to be born.
Call: We turn in our sleep as the earth turns.
Response: We dream with the sleeping earth.
Call: Each of our dreams is a lit candle in the dark.
Response: Each of our dreams is a single point of hope.
Call: They shine faint and alone in the night of struggle.
Response: They are alone as we are alone.
Call: Yet we are not alone in our dreams.
Response: We are not alone!
Call: We will keep our fires burning.
Response: We will burn against the night!
Call: We will warm our dreams with the force of life.
Response: We will not die alone in the cold!
Call: We will ward off all evil.
Response: Only good shall pass our gates.
Call: We will care for each other.
Response: We will never cease to care!
Call: We will survive the winter.
Response: We will survive!
(Repeat last two lines twice more.)
Protect the flame that warms your dreams
And dreams shall never die.
Calendar of the Sun
Colors: Black and White
Altar: On cloth of black and white, lay a conch shell cut so that it can be blown through, a cup of water, and symbols of the hermaphroditic union.
Offerings: All should come to the ritual dressed in clothing of the opposite sex. Those who are of the third gender should wear black and white and be chosen to do the work of the ritual.
Daily Meal: Cakes and breads shaped like double genitalia.
Invocation to Tiresias
Tiresias, great seer,
You who traded sight
You who traded male
For the union of both,
Teach us that such boundaries
Are merely illusion,
To be dismantled
And walked right through.
Teach us that there are
New ways of seeing
That look past the blinders
Of culture and roles.
Teach us that our assumptions
Can often be done without
And that our lives will be
The better for it.
(There is no specific chant for this ritual; all should chant wordlessly while the water is poured into the conch shell and it is passed around. Each should either drink from it or blow into it like a trumpet, depending on whether they need to invoke female or male energy respectively into themselves. Then the rest is poured as a libation.)