In January, the nights are long and dark, and many of us are trying to stay warm under a blanket of snow as the Cold Moon approaches (in some cultures, the Cold Moon is the name given to December’s moon, instead). Some of the native tribes of North America called this time the Wolf Moon, because this was when the wolves were howling, hungry, outside lodges where people stayed warm within. Other groups referred to it as the Snow Moon, for obvious reasons.
This time of year, we’re all feeling a bit slow and “off” as our bodies adjust to chillier temperatures. It’s easy to just lie on the couch watching Netflix and eating comfort food when it’s cold and gloomy outside, and making any kind of magical effort can seem like a real challenge right now.
Colors: Black and white, silver
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Gods: Inanna, Freyja
Herbs: Thistle, nuts and seeds, marjoram
Cold Moon Magic
This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities.
Take the time in your busy schedule to meditate and think about what it is you really want out of life, and whether you’re showing people your true self.
January is also a great time to work on full moon magic – after all, the nights are long and dark, and in some areas the moon itself is the only source of light. Put aside your lethargy, and focus some energy on developing your intuition and wisdom.
Finally, for many people, winter is a season of simplification. Set aside everything you don’t need, and try a minimalist approach instead. On a mundane level, try doing a thorough cleaning of your physical space – get rid of the clutter. On a spiritual and emotional level, try to do the same thing – teach your mind to let go of the things that are creating excess baggage for your spirit and soul.
Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com
Magickal Goody of the Day
Summer Solstice Herb Pouch
The summer solstice is a great time to harvest your herbs. Usually by now, gardens are in full bloom, and if you do any wildcrafting, midsummer is a perfect season to find some goodies out in the woods. You can take some of the herbs associated with the Litha season and make an herb pouch to hang in your home (or carry with you) as a multi-purpose talisman.
In many magical traditions, the number nine is seen as sacred, so we’re going to use nine different herbs in this pouch project.
These are all herbs commonly available during the midsummer season, but if you don’t have access to them, feel free to substitute other herbs that grow in your area. Usually people use dried herbs in craft projects, but because these are growing right now, you may want to just use them fresh.
Gather equal amounts of the following herbs:
- Basil, for good fortune
- Hyssop, for cleansing and purifying
- Lavender, for calmness and peace
- Mugwort, for divination and dreams
- Peppermint, for passion and love
- Rosemary, for remembrance
- Sage, for wisdom
- Thyme, for psychic development
- Yarrow, for healing
Blend your herbs together in a bowl. If you’re using dried herbs, crush them into a fine powder using your mortar and pestle. If you’re using fresh ones, it’s probably better to simply tear or chop them into equally sized pieces. This will help release the essential oils, and allow you to take advantage of the fragrances.
Stitch together a basic drawstring pouch using a summery color fabric (yellow or orange is perfect, but work with what you have).
If you don’t have any bright colors available, a plain muslin or cloth fabric will do just fine. Place the herbs in the pouch, and pull the drawstring tightly.
You can keep the pouch on your altar during your midsummer celebrations, hang it over your door to welcome guests, or even carry it in your pocket as a summertime talisman.
WOTC Extra – Baneful Herbs
What are Baneful Herbs?
The dictionary definition for the word Baneful reads:
“(adj) Archaic destructive; poisonous or fatal.”
This neatly sums up the effects of these particular herbs and plants.
In most cases, they are the more dangerous and less commonly cultivated plants – however there are commonly sold herbs and roots that fall into this classification which may surprise some people.
What link all these plants together is the adverse effects they can have – ranging from severe allergic reactions to death.
What follows isn’t an extensive list of all Baneful Herbs – merely some examples. When dealing with any herb or root work – should it be for handling, burning or ingesting – the practitioner should always conduct thorough research into the properties of the plants and any adverse reactions they may produce.
Examples of Baneful Herbs:
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis):
Also known as Bloodwort, Red Puccoon Root and Pauson.
In America it is also known as Tetterwort – which should not be confused with the British use of this name for the Greater Celandine (Chelidonium Majus).
Used for family and home protection, as well as luck – this herb, when used, is typically powdered and sprinkled around the perimeter of the family home. Due to the bright red colour it produces, this plant has also been associated with Venus and love spells. It is also purported to have been used by some tribes as warpaint – and gained an association with Mars.
When slicing the root of the plant, a reddish sap wells up and is used as a natural red dye. It is said to be especially popular with Native American artists.
The plant produces (primarily) the toxin ‘Sanguinarine’. In the 1800’s, tinctures and poultices were made from Bloodroot and in the 1900’s it was used as a ‘mole remover and cure for cancer. However, since the Sanguinarine toxin kills animal cells – application onto the skin may result in the formation of large scabs (eschar) and can cause extreme disfiguration.
In the 2000’s, Sanguinarine was approved by the United States FDA to be included in toothpastes – however, it is believed by some that this causes a pre-malignant oral lesion (leukoplakia).
Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) :
Also known as Digitalis, Dead Men’s Bells, Fairy Fingers, Fairy Gloves, Lion’s Mouth, Ladies Glove, Finger Flower.
The leaves, and occasionally the flowers are used for psychic awareness and protection. It is most commonly associated with the element of water and the planet Venus, as well as the Deities Brigit, Morrigu and Dagda.
A folk myth pertaining to foxglove warns users that it can bring life to the dead, but take the life from the living. It is also sometimes said that the spots on the flowers are caused by elves and fairies laying their fingers on the petals.
It is said that the Foxglove is at its most powerful under the light of a full moon, and that if its left to grow around a person’s home – it will drive away malign influences that seek to breach the boundaries. However, this is not recommended if there are children or animals living in the home or nearby.
Foxglove is one of the most difficult plants to use safely – the effects of its toxins vary from person to person with extreme severity, and for this reason it has been widely dropped from use by practicing herbalists.
Known side effects from Digitalis Intoxication (poisoning) include: anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, xanthopsia (yellowed vision) and blurring of the sight – especially around the outlines of objects and people, giving them a ‘halo’ effect.
Every part of the Foxglove is poisonous to humans and animals (including all livestock, poultry, felines and canines) alike – and although fatalities caused by this plant are rare, there are documented cases. This has been especially common when the plant has been confused for the Comfrey (Symphytum) plant and brewed into tea, which the person has then consumed.
Drying the plant does not reduce its toxicity.
In the 1700’s, extracted parts of the Digitalis were first used in heart-medicine, and in the 1990’s the ‘Digoxin’ was approved for clinical trials in regards to heart failure. However, despite its status – the use of Digoxin and Digitalis is on the decline; this is attributed to safety concerns and a potentially lowered mortality rate – especially in women.
High John the Conqueror (Ipomoea Purga):
Also known as: John the Conqueror, John de Conquer
The roots of this plant are used in various hoodoo spells, and are generally placed in mojo or gris-gris bags. It is said to bring good fortune, success, sexual virility and happiness; as well as protection from all hexes and curses. The effects of the root are determined by the spell work and other ingredients used with it.
The name of the root is said to come from an African Prince who was sold as a slave in the Americas – despite his situation, his spirit was never broken by his captors. In other tales, he becomes a type of Trickster, mainly due to the methods he is supposed to have used to avoid those who sought to re-capture him.
One story states that he is not dead, but waits for his people to call him again – leaving his power behind in the plant so those with the knowledge and the root could summon him.
This plant is poisonous, and the root has a strong laxative effect when ingested. Some members of this plant genus have strong hallucinogenic properties.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis):
Also known as: Lily Constancy, Our Lady’s Tears, Jacob’s Ladder, May Lily, Ladder to Heaven.
This plant is often linked with the element of Air, Mercury and Gemini and is used for summoning and divination. It is also linked with the Deities Ostara, Apollo and Aesculapius.
In folklore, this plant is believed to beloved by the Fae folk, and it is believed that the cup shaped blossom act as bells that ring when the Faeries sing. It is also said that these plants form ladders for them to reach the reeds they need to weave their cradles.
When used in the Victorian style language of flowers – the Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness.
All parts of the plant are highly poisonous – and if consumed, even in small amounts – it can cause a variety of severe reactions – including abdominal pain, vomiting and a reduced heart rate. In larger amounts it can cause death.
Despite the toxic nature of the plant, it has been used in some folk remedies in very small amounts and some herbalists do continue to use it as a restricted herbal remedy.
Mandrake (Mandragora Officinarum):
Also known as: Mandegloire, Mandragloire, Devil’s Testicles, Satan’s Apple, Alraun
The plant is linked with the element of Fire, the planets Mercury and Earth (not as often) as well as the Deities Diana, Hathor, Hecate and Aphrodite.
This raw root of this plant is mostly used as an amulet or talisman – promoting love magic (working as an aphrodisiac). The plant is also said to aid good fortune in business endeavours and gambling – as well as counter magic protection and warding off evil spirits or intentions.
The folklore that mainly surrounds this plant comes from the shape the roots take when grown – with their tendency to split off; they take on what appears to be a humanoid shape. In the past, it was believed that digging up a Mandrake plant would cause it to scream – killing the gardener; to combat this – the Alchemists and Herbalists of the time would tie a rope around the plant and attach it to the dog – believing that when the dog removed the plant from the ground, the scream would kill it – and they would be free to harvest the exposed bounty without harm.
Because the plant can cause a hypnotic state in people, it is believed the Mandrake was one of the first date-rape drugs as well as being an early anaesthetic.
The root – fresh or dried, contains highly poisonous alkaloids and as well as being a hallucinogenic, it is also known to be a narcotic. In large quantities, it induces a state of oblivion – however some herbalists used to juice small amounts from a finely grated root and would use it to relieve rheumatic pains.
However, too much exposure to this plant is believed to cause delirium and madness.
Mistletoe (Viscum Album):
Also known as: European Mistletoe, Common Mistletoe, Devil’s Fuge, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Witches Broom.
Associated with the element of air, the sun and the male gender (the white berries have been linked to male potency) this plant is also linked with the deities Apollo, Venus, Freya, Odin and Balder.
A potent drawing herb, the plant are often added to spell work for good fortune and an increase in finances. It is also placed directly upon a place where protection is needed – in this respect it is sometimes carried as an amulet for personal safety. It is said that wearing a sprig around the neck will also encourage invisibility.
Mistletoe is commonly associated with Druids and druidic rites – lore states that the plant is more powerful when cut with a golden sickle on Midsummer’s Day, and that it must not touch the ground when being harvested.
The Yuletide ritual of kissing under the mistletoe stems from the belief that if two lovers share a kiss beneath the plant, it will strengthen their connection and keep their love strong.
In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Mistletoe was used for the treatment of epilepsy and other nerve disorders that caused convulsions. The plant is a narcotic and can have a profound effect on the nervous system.
Some herbal practitioners use mistletoe to make teas designed to slow the pulse and lower blood pressure, treat arthritic pain and prevent snoring. However, due to the toxic nature of the plant, it is not as commonly used as there are other herbs available which can achieve the same results without the risk of poisoning.
Mistletoe has also been studied with a view to becoming a supplement in some methods of cancer treatment.
The leaves, stems and berries of this plant are poisonous if ingested. The effects of eating the plant (especially the berries) can range from a mild stomach ache to severe abdominal distress and diarrhoea. Cases of poisoning in humans is rarely serious (although factors such as age, size and weight play a part) – but pets are at risks, with recorded cases of fatalities in animals such as dogs.
Monkshood (Aconitum Variegatum) :
Also known as: Aconite, Wolf’s Bane, Leopard’s Bane, Woman’s Bane, Devil’s Helmet, Blue Rocket.
A feminine associated plant; it is linked with Saturn, Capricorn and the element of Water as well as the deities Hecate and Medea.
Used for protection and invisibility magic, it is often used to consecrate areas – removing (banishing) negative or harmful areas; to this end Monkshood is sometimes burned as an incense.
Folk lore tells of Monkshood being carried as a talisman to protect against werewolves – or to cure one who had been turned by one.
It is also said that the Goddess Hecate created the plant from the foam produced by the mouths of the guardian dog Cerberus.
Medically, this plant was used commonly until the middle of the 20th Century, when it was replaced with treatments that were considered safer and more effective. Because of the paralysing effects of its poisons, the plant was used in anaesthetics. However it was also used internally to slow the pulse, and when diluted – reduce feverishness in those suffering from colds, pneumonia, laryngitis and asthma.
The effect of taking Monkshood can range according to the dose taken – symptoms will appear almost immediately in most cases, but have been recorded as appearing up to an hour later. Poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, tingling / numbness or burning in the mouth and face, abdominal cramps and burning sensations and motor weakness. Large doses will cause an almost instantaneous death, however a large dose could see the person surviving for two to six hours before dying.
The plant is so poisonous that the toxin can easily be absorbed through the skin after having touched the plant with bare hands. The effects are almost the same as ingesting the plant.
The poisoning can be treated if discovered in time – patients are monitored for changes in their blood pressure and cardiac rhythm, and they are given activated charcoal to decontaminate the gastrointestinal functions (within one hour of ingestion). Substances such as atropine, lidocaine, amiodarone, bretylium, fecainide, procainamide and mexiletine have also been used in varying cases as antidotes.
Dealing with Baneful Herbs.
If dealing with these plants, roots and flowers – it is extremely important that safety precautions are taken, as many of the poisons and toxins are directly absorbed through the skin.
Care should also be taken when deciding to grow any of these plants – they should be kept away from areas where pets or other people could inadvertently come into contact with them.
As with any herb and root work – erring on the side of caution is a must. If the gardener or practitioner is not certain what they are doing, or what plants they are dealing with – they should leave them alone until they can make a positive identification of the species and the possible ramifications of dealing with them. Baneful herbs are not for novice, new or uninformed practitioners, the potential powers of these plants should be respected by all and approached in a sensible and safe manner.
When To Start Herbs From Seed
Planting Date For Herb Seeds
By Amy Jeanroy, About.com
Starting herbs from seed is probably the most frugal way to begin gardening. It is also a great way to try out many herbs that would be too costly to buy as plants. For the same price as one herb seedling, you can often purchase multiple seed packets.
The important thing to remember when starting herbs from seed is when you should actually germinate them. Here is a list of common herbs, and how many weeks before or after the last frost date you should be planting them.
Starting Herb Seeds Indoors
|How Many Weeks Before Last Frost To Start Seeds|
|Basil||6 to 8 wks before last frost|
|Borage||Direct seed after last frost|
|Chives||8 wks before last frost|
|Cilantro||Direct seed after last frost|
|Dill||Direct seed after last frost|
|Fennel||4 to 6 wks before last frost|
|Lemon Balm||6 to 10 wks before last frost|
|Oregano||6 to 10 wks before last frost|
|Rosemary||8 to 10 wks before last frost|
|Sage||6 to 10 wks before last frost|
|Thyme||6 to 10 wks before last frost|
There are many herbs used today which are helpful in making our dreams more accessible and for obtaining a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, rather than attempting to actually influence our dreams, it is often advisable when working magically simply to let the content of our subconscious come to the fore. For this we may use the group of herbs known as hypnotics or soporifics. Different herbs work for different people so the order here is alphabetical, without any particular preference:
Hops are often used as an infusion or tincture and should not be used when you are depressed. This herb has an effect on the central nervous system, and can be used when tension is making you restless. Gentle slumber is induced from the hop pillow, causing soothing dreams.
Jamaican Dogwood can be taken combined with hops, although it is a fish poison and should be used with care. It is used in cases of insomnia or broken sleep patterns.
Passion flower acts without leaving any kind of a hangover effect and makes it easy for those who suffer from insomnia on a regular basis to find restful sleep.
Skullcap has a sedative action par excellence. Working on the central nervous system, it is particularly useful in cases of nervous exhaustion.
Valerian, which is included in many pharmacopoeias as a sedative, is used to manage tension and sleeplessness caused by tension.
Wild lettuce is invaluable where there is restlessness and excitability; it is both sedative and hypnotic – that is, relaxing and sleep inducing.
As a gentle remedy, it is particularly useful for children.
Nervines have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Some which are relaxants are Balm, Black Haw, Bugleweed, Chamomile, Damiana, Lady’s Slipper, Lavender, Oats, Pasque Flower, Peppermint and Vervain.
Source:Natural Magic: Spells, Enchantments & Self-Development Pamela Ball
Making A Poultice
This is used when you need to apply the herbs externally such as for a burn or for acne. Yes it’s messy but often essential for healing. Pour boiling water over the herbs using just enough to dampen them or evenly cover the plant matter, you’re not trying to extract anything from the herb only to moisten it. When it is all evenly wet remove it with a strainer and place between 2 pieces of gauze (cheesecloth also works well if folded several times). You then apply the gauze with the herbs inside to the affected part and allow the moisture with the herb essence to pass within the person.
Basic Herbal Fumigation
Starting the Herbs
Herbs can be grown from seeds, cuttings or roots.
If you know someone who grows herbs from seed, see if you can beg or barter a
few seeds from them – why buy a whole packet if you can get just enough for your
needs? Seeds are easy to work with. You can start seeds growing in trays filled
with potting mix – try using egg cartons, paper cups, cut-off milk cartons, or
plastic trays (try take-away food trays, or the kind you buy cakes, etc, in).
Keep the soil damp and preferably have the trays somewhere where they will catch
a great deal of light and be kept warm. Transplant them into a larger container
after the second set of leaves has formed and the seedlings look strong.
If you know someone with herb plants, perhaps they would let you have a few
cuttings. Herbs that grow well from cuttings include rosemary, lavender, mint,
thyme, scented geraniums and oregano. Take the cutting in spring or (preferably)
summer, using a section of stem without flowers which is at least a few inches
long. The stem should be firm enough that it can’t be merely pinched off. A side
branch growing from the main stem of the plant is best. Use shears to remove the
stem, and make a slanting cut below the lowest set of leaves. If you can take a
cutting which has a ‘foot’ on it, so much the better – this means that there
will be more space for the stem to suck up water and nutrients from the soil.
Remove the lower sets of leaves, leaving a reasonable section of bare stem –
this is where the roots will form. However, you should leave a few sets of
leaves at the top of the cutting. Poke a hole gently into the potting mix and
insert the bare stem of the cutting, then press the rest of the potting mix
firmly around it. Water well, and after the first watering keep the soil moist
but not completely saturated. The cutting will be ready to transplant when it
has started to grow more leaves, or when it has formed enough roots that it
resists being pulled out of the ground when you tug very gently on it.
Certain herbs grow best from root pieces – comfrey and ginger being good
examples. Take a healthy-looking ‘finger’ of root, plant it in the soil and keep
it well-watered and in a warm sunny place. The root will grow into a healthy
plant, which in turn can have more root fingers taken from it when it’s mature.
Care of Container Plants
I suggest you buy, beg or borrow a good book on caring for herbs in your own
country, as what you should do with them does vary greatly depending on
Let’s Talk Witch – Herbal Preparations
An herbalist’s definition of an herb differs from that of a botanist. The botanist defines an herbaceous plant as one with a fleshy stem that dies back in the winter. The herbalist, however, considers all medicinal and cosmetic plants as <!=-1″>herbs. This broad definition of <!=-1″>herbs includes trees, shrubs, mushrooms, lichens and, of course, fruits and vegetables that have medicinal properties. In many of my recipes, you will find items that you consider food rather than herbs, such as apple juice or <!=214″>shiitake mushrooms.
There are countless different herbs and combinations of herbs that are used for health and healing. But even the most potent herb can become worthless if not properly prepared. Fortunately, there are only a few basic kinds of preparations that are used in treating illnesses and wounds herbally; these are the delivery systems for the healing powers of <!=-1″>herbs.
These preparations transform dried or fresh herbs into something that can be taken internally, such as a tea or capsule, or applied externally, as in a skin salve or a massage oil. In many cases, more than one preparation is applicable for a specific treatment.
Some preparations, such as tinctures and body oils, can be made from either fresh or dried <!=-1″>herbs. The best method for extracting an herb’s properties varies from herb to herb. For example, <!=222″>Saint-John’s-wort, oat berries and <!=99″>feverfew lose most of their properties when dried. A significant portion of the <!=-59″>essential oils in fragrant herbs such as <!=183″>peppermint and <!=61″>chamomile is lost in even the most careful drying process. On the other hand, herbs that contain a great deal of water-<!=75″>comfrey and <!=54″>calendula flowers, for example-are sometimes best when used in dried form; otherwise, the final product will be too diluted.
Whenever one type of preparation is better than another to treat a specific condition, the reason is explained in that chapter. For example, if an <!=13″>aloe vera lotion is better for a burn than a salve is, you will find out why this is so.
Most of these preparations can be bought ready-made from natural food stores-either as individual herbs or in blends of several different herbs. If you feel ambitious enough to make your own concoctions, I have also provided a number of recipes. When deciding which preparation is the most suitable for you, consider availability, cost, convenience and, of course, effectiveness.
Many herbal recipes will use as their basic ingredient not herbs, but <!=-59″>essential oils derived from <!=-1″>herbs. These oils carry many medicinal properties of the herbs from which they are extracted. They are easy to use but are also highly concentrated, so they must be diluted and used moderately to prevent overdoses. As a result, they are mostly used externally, and appropriate cautions are given throughout this book. Do not confuse <!=-59″>essential oils with vegetable oils such as olive oil, which are used as carrier oils in skin products.
Treatments are divided into internal preparations and external preparations, as the nature of the ailment generally determines the nature of the treatment.
Herbal Magickal Correspondences
The power behind herb magic is formless, shapeless, eternal. It doesn’t care whether you call on it in the name of a Witch Goddess or the Virgin Mary – or tap it within no religious framework at all. It is always there, present in abundance no matter where we are or where we travel in the universe.
Though the power is formless, some materials contain higher concentrations of power than others; these include plants, gems, and metals. Each substance also contain different types of power, or vibrational rates. The vibrations of a piece of pine wood, for example, are far different from those of a perfect, faceted diamond.
This vibratory rate is determined by several factors: chemical make-up, form, density, and so on. The powers resident in herbs are determined by the plant’s habitat, scent, color, form, etc. Similar substances usually possess similar vibrations.
Herb magic, then, is the use of herbs to cause needed changes. These plants contain energies – each as distinct as human faces. For maximum effect, the herbs chosen for a spell should possess vibrations that match your need. Cedar is fine for attracting money, but wouldn’t be of help in a fertility spell.
How does herbal magic work? First, there must be a need. A desire often masquerades as a need, but in magic a “desire” is not enough; there must exist an all-encompassing need.
The nature of the need determines which plants are used. Attracting love, for example, is a common magical need and several dozen plants do the job. (A comprehensive list of plants and their corresponding magical needs is coming up…)
Next, a spell or ritual may need to be devised; much herb magic doesn’t need a complete spell, but some of it does. This spell may be as simple as tying up the herbs in a piece of cloth, or placing them around the base of a candle, lighting the wick, and visualizing your need.
If you wish, your spell can be complex, involving boiling water in a cauldron over a mesquite-wood fire at the edge of the desert while waiting for the Moon to rise, before throwing roots and leaves into the pot.
Third, the herbs can be enchanted to ensure that their vibrations are attuned to the need. To do this, you can simply hold the plant material in your hands and visualize aligning the vibrations of the plant(s) with your magical need.
For example: “I gather you, rosemary, herb of the sun, to increase my mental powers and concentration.”
Fourth, the spell is worked, if you choose to perform this step.
Fifth, once the spell has been worked, or the herbs enchanted and the need visualized, it should be forgotten. This allows it to “cook” and bring your need into manifestation.
When baking a cake, if you look into the oven every few minutes the cake will be spoiled. In magic, as in cooking, keep the oven door shut!
And there you have it. This is how herb magic is worked. Does it sound basic? It is. These are the first steps. As with any art, the student may take herb magic further, exploring new territories. For instance, you may wish to incorporate planetary and days-of-the-week correspondences into your herbal magic workings as well.
|Agrimony||Protection, banishes negative energy, sleep(air)|
|Allspice||Prosperity, courage, energy, strength (fire)|
|Almond||Money, wisdom (air)|
|Angelica||Protection, exorcism, health, meditation, divination (fire)|
|Anise||Protection, psychic awareness, repels evil spirits (air)|
|Basil||Mend quarrels, sympathy, happiness (fire)|
|Benzoin resin||Prosperity, astral projection, purification (air)|
|Betony||Protects against nightmares and despair (fire)|
|Borage||Psychic abilities, financial gain|
|Broom||Used to bless weddings (air)|
|Carnation||Feminine energy, healing, strength (water)|
|Cedar||Home purification, good fortune, luck (fire)|
|Chamomile||Love, meditation, peace (water)|
|Cinnamon||Energy, creativity, financial matters (fire)|
|Clove||Banishing, love (fire)|
|Copal resin||Purification, cleansing (fire)|
|Damiana||Love, lust (fire)|
|Dill||Money, luck, protection (fire)|
|Fennel||Protection, healing (fire)|
|Frankincense resin||Exorcism, purification, spirituality (fire)|
|Galangal||Psychic abilities, luck, money (fire)|
|Gardenia||Love, peace, healing (water)|
|Ginger||Success, courage, strength (fire)|
|Hazel||Divination, psychic abilities, dreams (air)|
|Holly||Protection, luck (fire)|
|Honeysuckle||Healing, love, creativity (earth)|
|Horehound||Protection, exorcism, mental clarity (air)|
|Hyssop||Purification, repel negativity (fire)|
|Jasmine||Dreams, sexuality (water)|
|Lavender||Love, sleep, dreams, meditation, protection (air)|
|Lemongrass||Psychic abilities (air)|
|Lilac||Protection, divination (water)|
|Marigold||Legal matters, dreams, divination (fire)|
|Meadowsweet||Love, peace (air)|
|Mint||Healing, prosperity, creativity (air)|
|Mistletoe||Protection, fertility, exorcism (fire)|
|Mugwort||Psychic abilities, divination, protection (earth)|
|Myrrh resin||Purification, healing, spirituality (water)|
|Orris Root||Love (water)|
|Patchouli||Money, lust, fertility (earth)|
|Pine||Prosperity, fertility, healing (air)|
|Rose||Love, healing, friendship (water)|
|Rosemary||Cleansing, purification, exorcism (fire)|
|Rue||Banishing, protection (fire)|
|Sage||Purification, repels negativity, wisdom (air)|
|Sandalwood||Spirituality, exorcism, healing (water)|
|Thyme||Sleep, protection, courage (water)|
|Valerian||Love, sleep, protection (water)|
|Vanilla||Lust, love, courage (water)|
|Vervain||Love, prosperity, sleep, healing, creativity (earth)|
|Wormwood||Scrying, divination, exorcism (fire)|
|Yarrow||Love, psychic abilitities, banishing (water)|
The Herbs Of The Sabbats
To be used as decorations on the altar, round the circle, in the home.
Chrysanthemum, wormwood, apples, pears, hazel, thistle, pomegranates, all
grains, harvested fruits and nuts, the pumpkin, corn.
Holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, pine. Place offerings of
apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons and whole cinnamon sticks on the Yule tree.
Snowdrop, rowan, the first flowers of the year.
Daffodil, woodruff, violet, gorse, olive, peony, iris, narcissus, all spring
Hawthorn, honeysuckle, St. John’s wort, woodruff, all flowers.
Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern,
elder, wild thyme, daisy, carnation.
All grains, grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crabapples, pears.
Hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, oak sprigs, autumn leaves, wheat stalks, cypress
cones, pine cones, harvest gleanings.
OTHER WAYS OF MARKING OESTARA
* Celebrate the arrival of spring with flowers. Bring them into your own home and, in keeping with the theme of balance, give them to others. You do not have to spend a lot of money – one or two blooms given for no other reason than ‘spring is here’ can often bring a smile to even the most gloomy face.
* Do a bit of ‘personal housekeeping’. We live in an age where guilt is more often encouraged then pride, where we are encouraged to dwell upon our ‘negative’ points and habits. This is not the way of the Witch. As Witches we must learn to be as honest about our plus points as society would like us to be about our minuses.
Advertising, probably the most pervasive kind of propaganda, encourages us to think
of ourselves as ‘less than perfect’ unless we look and dress like the people in the
adverts and possess all the things that the advertisers would like us to spend money
on. It is worth bearing in mind that if we truly needed these products then there would
be no need to put them into commercials!
However, to return to the ‘personal housekeeping’, write a list of 20 of your plus points,
things you are good at, and 20 minus points, things you would like to improve. Try
not to be influenced by stereotypes – many female Witches include ‘outspoken’ on
their list of negatives, while males will describe the same quality as positive! If you
absolutely must include your physical attributes on the minus list, then make sure
that these are things which you can sensibly expect to change, but don’t fall into the
advertisers’ trap. From the perspective of the Witch it is far more important that you
should come to terms with the person that you are, rather than worry about the way
people see you.
One of the first tasks of the Witch is to understand and accept themselves, with all
their good and bad points, because it is only when you understand yourself that you
will be in a position to understand others, and therein lies a good portion of Witches’
Start to learn about some of the plants and herbs which have been traditionally used
as remedies. A basic knowledge of herbs is part of the heritage of the Witch.
Three Types of Ingredients Found In Witches’ Flying Ointment
Medieval witches’ flying ointments have three types of ingredients not always exclusive:
*Those with actual vision producing propensity
*Those that are poisonous
*Those that are disgusting
Many herbs components of these salves were highly toxic: a very precise, trained hand was needed to determine exactly how much would provide a shamanic experience, as opposed to how much would kill you. In other words, either those formulas were a lie or whoever successfully used them was a person of skill and knowledge.
Dangerous items(and they are dangerous, do not consider reproducing these formula) used safely could indicate shamanic skill and herb knowledge, if one is inclined to think that way and if one is inclined to respect that skill and knowledge. However, looked at from another perspective, their use could also point to a person’s supernatural ability to withstand poison or perhaps if one is inclined yet another way to indicate the devil’s protection.
Disgusting ingredients are almost inevitably dead babies, typically unbaptized. Information was extracted under torture. It’s very hard to judge how much was genuine information from witnesses and how much was derived from the torturer? Under the circumstances, if the torturer asked whether you used baby fat, would you disagree?
Technically speaking baby fat was only needed for a base. The constant suggestion that it was used also points to early abortion wars and the identification of midwives with witches. Every ointment or salve needs some base for other materials. Fat is merely a carrier for the potent ingredients. Any animal or vegetable fat will serve.
Despite all the pictures of witches literally flying around on broomsticks, a report from 1435 indicates that there was appreciation that the journey was shamanic, not actual: “A woman allegedly rubbed herself with ointment while seated in a large kneading trough. She immediately went to sleep and dreamed of flight However she shook so vigorously that she fell out and injured her head.
What were Witches’ Flying Ointments?
Allegedly, special ointments and salves, when applied to the body, allowed one to mount a broomstick and fly to witches’ sabbats.
Two theories exist, not mutually exclusive. One is that the witches, if some were really witches, were on shamanic journeys. The other theory is that the ointments provided erotic adventures instead, with the broomstick serving for those lacking more conventional dildos, not a standard household item in medieval Europe. Ointments were applied where the skin is thin and permeable: the wrists or vagina.
Flying ointment formulas revealed under torture have since been tested, and the results from scientific testing indicate that many formulas, when applied topically, will produce the sensation of flight.