Daily Feng Shui News for Jan 15 – ‘Humanitarian Day’

On ‘Humanitarian Day’ do something totally swell for someone without letting them know. Pay the toll for the car behind you or sneak a latte onto a coworker’s desk without telling them who put it there. Then do something in your own space that will affect a shift towards peace and harmony. Bring home a healthy green plant, or hang a round and faceted crystal somewhere in your space. The plant will facilitate healing on every level while the crystal will lift the soul and the psyche. When you do anything to improve the place where you reside, you will also improve the neighborhood you live in. And why stop there? This ripple effect can improve the whole world. Just one special something placed with intent inside your space can have a huge impact on the entire universe. That makes you a real and true humanitarian and global citizen in good standing.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Our Herb for December 30th – Jewel Weed

Today’s Herb – Jewel Weed

Jewel Weed

Impatiens capensis
Synonyms—Wild Balsam. Balsam-weed. Impatiens
pallida. Pale-touch-me-not. Spottedtouch-me-not.
Slipperweed. Silverweed. Wild Lady’s Slipper. Speckled
Jewels. Wild Celandine. Quick-in-the-hand.
Part Used—Herb.

Habitat—Members of the genus Impatiens are found widely distributed in the north temperate zone and in South Africa, but the majority are natives of the mountains of tropical Asia and Africa.

The flowers, purple, yellow, pink and white, sometimes a showy scarlet, are spurred and irregular in form and are borne in the leaf axils.

The name Impatiens is derived from the fact that the seed-pod, when ripe, discharges the seeds by the elastic separation and uncoiling of the valves.

Under the name of Jewelweed the herbage of Impatiens aurea and of I. biflora are largely employed in domestic practice and by homoeopaths and eclectics.

Description—The plants are tall and branching, tender and delicate succulent annuals, with swollen joints, growing in lowlying, damp, rather rich soil, beside streams and in similar damp localities.

They are smooth and somewhat glaucous, the stems somewhat translucent, the foliage showing a brilliant silvery surface when immersed in water, which will not adhere to the surface.

The leaves are thin, ovate oval, more or less toothed, of a tender green color.

The slipper-shaped, yellow flowers, in bloom from July to September, have long recurved tails, those of the first-named species being of a uniform pale-yellow, those of the second species, orange-yellow, crowded with dark spots, hence its common name of Spotted-touch-me-not. The oblong capsules of both species when ripe explode under the slightest disturbance, scattering the seeds widely. Most of the popular names refer to this peculiarity, others to the shape of the flowers.

Medicinal Action and Uses—The herbs have an acrid, burning taste and act strongly as emetics, cathartics and diuretics, but are considered dangerous, their use having been termed ‘wholly questionable.’

Constituents—The chemical constituents are not known, though the leaves apparently contain tannin, which causes them to be employed as an outward application for piles, proving an excellent remedy, the freshly gathered plants being boiled in lard and an ointment made of them. The fresh juice of the herb appears to relieve cutaneous irritation of various kinds, especially that due to Rhus poisoning. A yellow dye has been made from the flowers.

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Jewel Weed
Impatiens capensis
Found: in wet, shady soil throughout our area
Height: 1-1.5 meters (3-5 feet)
Leaves: are oval shaped and toothed. Toward the bottom of the plant they are opposite; leaves on top are
alternate.

Flowers: have a characteristic pendant-like shape with red spots

Uses: crushed leaves can be made into a poultice to treat a rash or inflamed skin, including irritation from Poison Ivy. Lawsone, a component of Jewel Weed leaves, has reported antihistamine and anti-inflammatory activity.

Jewel Weed – “Touch Me Not” – Impatiens This plant is a very effective Poison Ivy antidote.

The Jewel Weed Stem should be crushed and the liquid rubbed into the skin contacted by the Poison Ivy and symptoms will not appear or will be much less troublesome.

Jewel Weed usually grows near water or in shallow ponds. It is often found in areas where Poison Ivy grows.

Leaves of three, Let them be … Poison Ivy Link to Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac Information Center. Jewel Weed totally neutralizes the Poison Ivy’s oily antigen called Urushiol, and you will no longer spread it by scratching or rubbing. The Urushiol oil may be carried on the fur of pets, clothing, shoes, toys, tools, or other objects and then transferred to the skin. Approximately 24 to 36 hrs after a sensitized person is exposed to the Urushiol, a blistery, itching rash develops. Usually within 15 minutes of contact, the Urushiol binds to skin proteins. If it is washed off with soap and water before that time, a reaction may be prevented. After the antigen is fixed, however, it cannot be washed off or transferred to other areas. Scratching or oozing blister fluid cannot spread the antigen to other areas of the body or to other persons.

Jewel Weed is still quite helpful even if you have developed scabs, though you need to work – Rub – it in longer, and it takes time for the blisters to heal.

Today’s Herb – Licorice

Today’s Herb for Dec. 16th – Licorice

Licorice

Glycyrrhiza glabra

MEDICINAL: Licorice Root is a great source of the female hormone estrogen. It is used for coughs and chest ailments. It is an important herb to use when recovering from an illness, as it supplies needed energy to the system. Used as a remedy for stomach and heart problems, indigestion, and most respiratory ailments. Helps to normalize and regulate hormone production. Should not be used by pregnant women as it can sometimes lead to high blood pressure with prolonged use.

RELIGIOUS: Licorice root was buried in tombs and caskets to help the soul pass easily into the Summerland. Chewing on a piece of the root will make you passionate. It is added to love sachets, and an ingredient in spells to ensure fidelity.

GROWING: Licorice is a perennial that reaches 3 to 7 feet tall. Hard freezes will kill it, so it grows best in warm sunny climates.

5000 Years Of Herbal History

5000 Years Of Herbal History

Over the centuries the healing properties of plants and herbs has not changed. What was a healing plant or herb five thousand years ago is still a healing plant or herb. Because great confidence was placed in them, Witches and physicians of the ancient world were expected to know their herbs. Plants gave healing powers to those who studied them, worked with them, and respected them. In many lands and in many times, healers spent a good part of their lives in the field and forest gathering green medicines. They remembered and scribed what they learned passing it on.

Today we have the opportunity to benefit from the accumulated herbal wisdom of the ages. This advantage allows us to peer back through history, harvesting for our own benefit only those herbs that have stood the test of time. But even the herbal uses that didn’t pan out are fascinating. While the story of healing herbs has it’s comic episodes, it is also a dramatic story of human sacrifice, complete with medical hero’s, men and women whose work deserves to be recognized. Much of this credit in my opinion should go the the Witches of the past because they are the ones who essentially began the work of learning and understanding herbs and their benefits. However when the male physician arrived on the scene, they essentially benefited from the inquisitions and burnings claiming the right to and credit for this knowledge. The topic of how modern drug companies have distorted this knowledge for profit is an area I probably shouldn’t delve into, but what the heck, the truth generally only hurts if it ought to…

Many of synthetic medicines on the market today owe their existence to natural occurring herbs, plants and trees. The original pain killer marketed just a little over 100 years ago is a derivative of White Willow Bark, what is it’s name? Asprin. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion, that the only reason the major drug manufactures synthesize these drugs is because you cannot patent a naturally occurring substance, obviously there isn’t as much profit in something that everyone has access to producing. Ultimately the drug manufacturers create a substance that copies the healing properties of these herbs, plants and trees, then market it to the world while down playing the benefits of the natural herb. Currently the drug industry is the single most profitable business in the United States spending over $5 BILLION per year on advertising and marketing alone! Much of this goes into seducing and providing perks for the doctors who prescribe their magic potions, many of which are completely useless at effectively treating the problem or cause serious side effects. But for the drug manufacturers there is an up side to the negative side effects because that provides them with the opportunity to create new drugs to counteract the side effects their product produced to begin with…

While I do not want to get on a soap box and throw rocks at modern medicine and the drug industry since they have provided benefits and in many cases cured disease. The point is though, there are alternatives which are quite often a better choice if we would only take the time to learn, and understand natures own cures, then take responsibility for our own health.

A final word before you continue into the following pages. Many of the herbs and plants listed here offer a proven track record of alleviating symptoms and helping with different conditions, but there are risks involved in using many of them without adequate knowledge. Without a sound understanding of their properties and potential effects, one would be foolish to blindly use them. Therefore it is recommended that you carefully research those of interest, seek the guidance of a health care professional who is competent in herbal knowledge and use common sense as you proceed. It is also vitally important to remember that the use of herbals should not be used in lieu of sound medical council and advice, instead they should be used in combination with the care of your personal physician. It is not the intent of these writings to suggest otherwise…

Gentle Breezes!

Herne

wicca.com

Herbal Magickal Correspondences

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 Witches Spell for Nov. 20th – Spell to Start A New Beginning

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Spell To Start A New Beginning

To start a new endeavor

Items You Will Need:

Yellow candle

Seeds

Small pot of soil

Water in a decorative pitcher or jar

This spell can be used to give a boost to a new endeavor (or even a new relationship) or to help you find a new start if you’re not sure what to do next. It can be done at any time, but for an extra boost, try doing it at the New Moon.

Focus on what you are starting ( or on what you might want to start or achieve, if you aren’t sure), then light the candle and follow the directions in the spell.

(Hold the Seeds in your Hands)

Bless this new beginning
A gift from the Gods
Which I accept with gratitude and appreciation

(Put seeds in soil)

Let it be productive like the Earth
And nurtured by the warmth of the Sun

(Pour Water on seeds)

Let it flow smoothly like the water
And carry me in a positive direction
Like a seed blown on the winds
Bless this new beginning
That it may broaden my horizons
Strength and enlighten me.
And help my spirit to grow and blossom

So Mote It Be.

 

The Boline

The Boline

The boline is the tool used for cutting things in the physical realm. It usually has a white handle, a blade curved inward, and it’s very sharp, and usually very expensive. It’s used for cutting wands, carving words in them as well as candles, but mostly herbs and branches for wands. In my opinion, as a city Witch, this tool is not really necessary, and just a waste of money (which is why you don’t see a picture of it). You can carve with the tip of an athame, and cut or carve, with magickally charged heavy duty scissors (like the one’s above). But for Witch’s with giant herb gardens and lot’s of trees, the boline may call to you much more than a city Witch.

Old WOTC Yuku Site

Calendar of the Sun for November 10th

Calendar of the Sun

Ancestor Day

Color: Black and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Spread a black cloth, and lay it with photographs, paintings, and other depictions of our ancestors. Add also symbols of their old tools, and statues of ancestral deities, a bowl of seeds for the future garden, pots of soil, a pitcher of water, and many candles of black and white and grey.
Offerings: Things they would have liked to eat, drink, smoke, or smell. Tend a cemetery and clean up the graves.
Daily Meal: Food from an earlier era, using authentic recipes.

Invocation to the Ancestors

Our ancestors got up at dawn,
Slaved in the dirt,
Sweated in the sun,
Chilled in the cold,
Numbed in the snow,
Scattering each seed with a prayer:
Pray that there be enough,
That no one starve this winter.
Pray that no bird nor beast
Steal the food I have struggled for.
And most of all,
Pray that each seed I save
Of this harvest
Shall next year
Bring forth a hundred more.
We live today
Because they worked
Because they sowed
Because they harvested
Because they prayed.

Chant:
Those who came before
We are your children
Those who came before
We honor your names

(Each person takes seeds from the bowl and plants them in the pots of soil, speaking the name of one of their ancestors as they do so, as in: “In honor of _______.” The pots are watered, and the candles put out one by one.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Witches Magick for Samhain – Honoring the Harvest’s End

Samhain Comments & Graphics

How To Honor the Harvest’s End

A Samhain Ritual for Wiccans and Pagans

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Celebrate the final harvest with a ritual.

Samhain represents, among other things, the end of the harvest season. If you haven’t picked it by Samhain, you probably won’t be eating it! The gardens have died off by now, and where we once saw lush green plants, there is nothing left but dry and dead stalks. The perennials have shut down for the season too, going dormant so that they may return to us in the spring. Animals are brought in from the fields for the winter — and if you’ve ever had a spider come wandering into your living room one chilly October night, you know that even the insects are trying to find a place to stay warm.

Here’s How:

If we had lived a few hundreds of years ago, we would not only have brought our cows and sheep in from the pastures. Most likely we’d slaughter a few of them, as well as some pigs and goats, smoking the meat so it would last through the cold months. Our grain that we picked back at Lghnasadhu has been baked into bread, and all of our herbs have been gathered, and hang from the rafters in the kitchen. The harvest is over, and now it’s time to settle in for winter with the coziness of a warm fireplace, heavy blankets, and big pots of comfort food on the stovetop.

If you want to celebrate Samhain as the time of harvest’s end, you can do so as a single ritual, or as the first of three days of ceremony. If you don’t have a permanent altar in place, set up a table to leave in place for the three days prior to Samhain. This will act as a your family’s temporary altar for the Sabbat. Decorate the altar with symbols of late fall, such as:

Skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts

Harvest food such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables

Nuts and berries, dark breads

Dried leaves and acorns

A cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies

Mulled cider, wine, or mead

To begin your ceremony, prepare a meal for the family — and this is something that everyone can get involved in. Put emphasis on fruits and vegetables, and wild game meat if available. Also make sure you have a loaf of a dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and a cup of apple cider or wine. Set the dinner table with candles and a fall centerpiece, and put all the food on the table at once. Consider the dinner table a sacred space.

Gather everyone around the table, and say:

Tonight is the first of three nights,
on which we celebrate Samhain.
It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer,
and the cold nights wait on the other side for us.
The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest,
the success of the hunt, all lies before us.
We thank the earth for all it has given us this season,
and yet we look forward to winter,

a time of sacred darkness.

Take the cup of cider or wine, and lead everyone outside. Make this a ceremonial and formal occasion. If you have a vegetable garden, great! Go there now — otherwise, just find a nice grassy spot in your yard. Each person in the family takes the cup in turn and sprinkles a little bit of cider onto the earth, saying:

Summer is gone, winter is coming.
We have planted and
we have watched the garden grow,
we have weeded,
and we have gathered the harvest.

Now it is at its end.

If you have any late-fall plants still waiting to be picked, gather them up now. Collect a bundle of dead plants and use them to make a straw man or woman. If you follow a more masculine path, he may be your King of Winter, and rule your home until spring returns. If you follow the Goddess in her many forms, make a female figure to represent the Goddess as hag or crone in winter.

Once that is done, go back inside and bring your King of Winter into your home with much pomp and circumstance. Place him on your table and prop him up with a plate of his own, and when you sit down to eat, serve him first.

Begin your meal with the breaking of the dark bread, and make sure you toss a few crumbs outside for the birds afterwards. Keep the King of Winter in a place of honor all season long — you can put him back outside in your garden on a pole to watch over next spring’s seedlings, and eventually burn him at your Beltane celebration.

When you are finished with your meal, put the leftovers out in the garden. Wrap up the evening by playing games, such as bobbing for apples or telling spooky stories before a bonfire.

What You Need

A table to use as your Samhain altar

Decorations that represent the late autumn season

A meal with lots of veggies, fruit, and bread

A cup of wine or cider

Let’s Talk Witch – Water Magick for Autumn

Samhain Comments & Graphics
Let’s Talk Witch – Water Magick for Autumn

The Wheel of the Year begins to make its final turn and now we enter the twilight of the year. The Spirit World is closer to us now. Autumn water magick includes working with spiritual energies, contacting ancestors, scrying and harvest blessings.

Since ancient times, it has been believed that Spirits of the deceased make their journey to the Otherside by water. So it would be appropriate to use water to contact a deceased loved one. Begin by writing a letter to your loved one, using white paper and black ink. Either in the early morning or at dusk, go to a quiet body of water such as a pond—if it’s foggy or misty that’s even better. Kneel at the water’s edge, fold your letter, and let it float away. If there are any fallen leaves upon the water, you may place your letter on them instead. Your message has been received.

Scrying at this time of year by using water can be very effective. Fill your cauldron or a dark colored bowl with water, drop a silver coin into the water, and gaze at the ripples. Allow your eyes to focus on the coin and begin to gaze at the water. If you wish, perform this ritual after dark outside during a Full Moon. Using the water and the Moon together will aid your psychic powers.

Since colonial times, as the harvest season came to a close, water was used to anoint the last stand of grain to ensure a bountiful crop the following year. You can do this in your own garden. Simply leave one plant standing in your garden. This could be one herb, tomato plant or a flower. Before a killing frost, sprinkle this plant with water you’ve blessed. Don’t remove this plant until next Spring.

 

Excerpt from:

Four Seasons of Water Magick
James Kambos, Author