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Tea Time Reviews & Conversations with the Fair One

August, 2018

Welcome to our newest review column! I’m the Fair One and I’m pleased to bring you wonderful products from Pagan Owned businesses you may not have heard of, but SHOULD!

I will inform you about the wonderful product I will be reviewing, then next, the business owner and I have a great conversation about their shop, products, ideas, and more. So sit back, have a nice cup of tea with me and let’s open the door to our first shop!

 

Persephone’s herbal learning box

This month, over a nice cup of hot brew I am opening up the from Persephone’s herbal shop. The box itself is lovely, with a great message on the side.

A nice reminder to us all!

Upon opening the box the first thing you see is bags of herbs!!! Three, nice size bags, of that month’s herb, which is Mullien, in two different forms.

You get 2 bags of appox. 0.7 oz of Mullein Leaf and 1 bag of appox. 1.1 oz Mull-ein Comfort which is a mixture of a few herbs with Mullein and is a tea. The back of the packages tells you the ingredients in each bag and gives you any warnings or instructions that are necessary. You, also, receive 2 packets of Mullein seeds with approx. 200 seeds in each. Last, a high gloss magazine of , History, & More all about Mullein.

The packages of herbs are air tight sealed to ensure freshness. The tea, is delicious. Perfect for this column! The magazine quality is amazing. There are articles are awesome. It teaches you how to sow your seeds. The pictures of Mullein are beautiful. It is a great keepsake to have to always remember what the herb does and how to use it.

I was blown away by this product. I could not wait to have a conversation with Christina, co-Shop Owner of Persephone’s with her husband Jared. My Speech is in bold black and Christina’s is in green bold.

Hello Christina!!

It is such a pleasure to meet you. I was very excited to receive your herbal learning box!

The pleasure is mine!  Jared and I were excited to hear that you wanted to learn about our box and share your experience with your followers!  PaganPages.Org is amazing!!

Until now, I haven’t had any sort of formal way to learn herbs other than looking them up in my books or on the internet. You know you research a keyword here or there or look up lists now and then for this or that, but you don’t truly STUDY herbs that way I feel. It’s usually a hurried look up for a spell or ritual. A knowledge that you retain is something that a lot of us Witches are looking for. I have looked into courses, but they can run you a lot of money and they do not come with any supplies. I think you are providing with your herbal learning box, an affordable, amazing way to learn herbal healing & magick. How did you come up with the idea for a herbal learning box?

Jared and I both grew up around natural remedies and have always appreciated traditional healing methods. Though we appreciate and respect the role modern medicine plays in today’s society, we know it isn’t always the best or only solution.  We had wanted to open an herb store here locally in Memphis and be a reliable source for herbs, spices, and teas. But we figured it would be best to start online due to the costs that are endured with a brick and mortar. As we knew that the knowledge we grew up with wouldn’t be enough of credentials into today’s world, we decided to enroll in an herbal school.  We aren’t finished with it, honestly, but we’ve already learned so much more on top of everything else we grew up with and learned through life.  And that’s when we realized that there isn’t much out there that offers exactly as you said – the education with the supplies.  So Jared came to me one day and was like, “What do you think about subscription boxes?!”  And that’s where we started!

Your box is a beautiful mix of the Magickal and the Mundane, with a tale that speaks of a tea for a spell and correspondences and an article of a cure for a breathing ailment. Your Booklet is very complete and I am very impressed by it. It’s made of superior quality. The pictures are a high resolution and beautiful. You capture the herb & its flower in so many amazing lights. It’s breathtaking.

I wish I could say I took them all, but I’m blessed with the internet and paying for the rights to use them.  The magazine is my pride and joy and I have so much fun working with it every month. It’s always stressful because I never want it to be a repeat. I always want it to be something you’re excited to thumb through, and always aim to make it educational for all ages – that’s the #1 goal. Always.  While we strive to keep religion and faith out of the pages as a focus, there are many ways it is brought in – mostly through historical and cultural information. I come from a magickal background, even though Jared doesn’t, and we feel that no matter which side of the hedge you stand on understanding the core values of the flora around us is key to a healthier lifestyle – mundane or magickal.

You have guest writers in your booklet who write the articles and include a bio and picture of them. How do you find your authors? The articles are each unique from each other and informative! Giving you different views on the herb.

We’ve had a few different writers over the 1.5 years we’ve been doing this. To tell you a secret, most have been personal friends that come from a magickal background.  But part of the agreement all writers make is that it must be non-magickal focused.  We love out magickal subscribers and supporters, but we aren’t here to cater to one specific group.  Herbs and their secrets are important to everyone and we don’t want something faith or religious based to scare away people who could benefit from this knowledge.  All of our writers understand this, and usually follow up with something along the lines of “that’s a great way of looking at it and I can appreciate that!”

I have to tell you, the word search is a genius way to have us memorize important key words about the herbs!! I loved that you added that touch of fun activity into the booklet!

The word search came about as an idea to get kids involved actually.  A fun and simple way to learn the key focus points of a word.  And I hope as a momma-to-be that if my child was doing it and they didn’t know a word, they’d ask me and it could be even more of an educational experience – not just about the herb of the month, but also about general knowledge of life. We are toying with ideas of coloring pages or putting together a coloring book… but we’ll see.

This is a Monthly Subscription Box? How do you choose what herb you will focus on each month? Is there a certain way you choose what to put in the boxes each month? This month you include 2 packages of leaves, 2 packages of seeds, and a lovely tea. Do you always include so much?

Hahaha.. That’s a tricky question.  We plan months in advance.  The writers always have a minimum of a month to write.  They are submitting articles for a magazine a month before the box goes out.  Example: We just finished with the magazine that’ll go out in the August box and they’re writing articles now for the September box!  So it can get confusing.  We actually have a secret lair with the void of Facebook where we brainstorm ideas.  Herbs are chosen based on a few things.  #1 is always whether it is poisonous or not.  Because we have the tea, we cannot use something like belladonna or hemlock in a box. I’d love to as our deadly flora friends are so very important to learn about, but we can’t morally, ethically, or legally supply people with these things.  After that we have to make sure that seeds and herbs can be sourced from reliable and ethical vendors at costs that are beneficial for everyone.  While we do strive to give subscribers the best possible, we can’t go into debt doing so.  I can admit there are many months we still go deep into our own pockets simply because we can’t resist giving everyone the best possible.  Our most expensive month was cinnamon and that’s because of the seeds had to be imported in from solid vendors overseas and we had to rush deliver them due to the very short lifespan of the seed.  We try to avoid situations like that, though, because if someone didn’t open their box timely and plant their seeds right then – they lost their germination window.  And that isn’t the experience we’re looking to provide. 

 

We have 4 boxes.  There’s the Seedling Box, the Herb and Spice Box, the Tea Time Box, and the Full Harvest Box.  The Seedling has the magazine and the seed packets every month, whereas the Herb and Spice will have magazine and bags of herbs. Tea Time is the magazine with a bag of tea, leaving the Full Harvest subscribers enjoying the full bounty of all of it.  

You work really hard on your herbal learning boxes and it shows!!! Your shop Persephone’s hosts your boxes, yes? Can you tell us more about your shop and what other items and services you provide?

The subscription boxes are the main focus, but you’re right – not everything we do. Now that our new site is up (and ever so amazingly beautiful thanks to Jared’s handiwork) we have herbs, seeds, and teas coming into the shop also.  Tea blends that are found in the boxes will not be available to the public until after the subscribers have received their boxes first.  We look at it as a way to let subscribers enjoy that first sip of satisfaction for their subscription to the boxes.  We also have our body care line, Kora’s Gift. Kora’s Gift includes lip balms, lotions, soaps, an amazing eye cream, and pretty much anything you can think of! Haha..Jared is always brainstorming more things to work with and provide people with to help bring them back to what nature has to offer instead relying so much on chemicals and ingredients that aren’t safe for you. Kora’s Gift is Jared’s baby – not even going to dispute that.  He’s the math and science brain needed to formulate everything properly.  He will stew over formulas for weeks to ensure that he can always use natural products, get ratios right with each ingredient while ensuring they do what is needed for the end goal.  I can’t do it. As we say, he’s the brain and I make it look pretty, as I do all the label and packaging designs.  Only thing I can’t take credit for design-wise is that beautiful box the subscriptions are shipped in.  I couldn’t top Jared’s design if I tried!  But when he came to me with it, I looked at it like the wheel – can’t reinvent something if it isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed.  We are bringing in eCourses in the very near future, also.  We’ll have courses we put together as well as guest teachers!  We’re excited about this but we’re making sure the foundation of the online system is solid first before we release to the public. I’m giddy over it, though!  

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I really appreciate getting to know you and your shop. I have really enjoyed Persephone’s herbal learning box and Suggest it to anyone and everyone who would like to learn about herbs, not just Witches. It is a fantastic, hands-on way to not only fleetingly learn but to actually memorize and take in great information! Thank you for creating your herbal learning box and sharing it with us!

And we thank you for this opportunity!  We’re so happy to know you enjoyed everything!  We enjoy doing it and it makes all the struggles and headaches endured well worth it knowing everything likes what they receive.  We have so much we want to do and offer because we love herbs and the natural world so much but it’s a baby step process of making sure that whatever we do offer is the best quality for you guys – be it supplies or education.  This is a passion of ours and we just want to keep doing it for as long as you guys want us to! Thank you again for this experience!

 

Wow, I have to thank Christina for this great interview! Now that was a great conversation with an awesome woman, new momma & business owner. Jared is a genius with products & Christina is a business whiz! What they have done is brilliant for us! This has certainly been the best way I have fond to learn about herbs. I am looking forward to their upcoming eCourses and I encourage our readers to look into their shop, upcoming eCourses, as well as the Subscription Boxes. This has been the most knowledgeable and affordable way to learn that I have found. The herb & spice boxes start at $13 a month. While the seedling sachet starts at $12 a month. I stand behind Persephone’s as a quality company.

 

Here is a Picture of everything that was in my box this month (minus the cat):

 

Christina has sent information and correspondences on Mullein for our readers!! Thank you, Christina, for everything!!!!

 

Mullein

Planets: Mercury, Saturn

Element: Fire

Nature: Feminine

Gods, Goddess, & Heroes: Jupiter, Hecate, Circe, Odysseus, St. Fiacre. Given the folklore and alternative names for this plant, I suspect you could probably associated with assorted crone deities and death deities as well.

Festival: Samhain, Midsummer

 

Add the flowers to a recipe for a yellow magical ink – perhaps steeped in vodka with tumeric and saffron heated with frankincense or pine resin. Use for drawing prosperity sigils, sigils of the sun, wealth, success, and strength. Witches can use the soft leaves soaked then dried in beeswax or tallow to make a torch for rituals of necromancy.

Mullein is used to see manifestations of spirits, to see into the otherworld, and to commune with the spirits and deities who dwell there. It is used for divination and dream work or a combination of the two (prophetic dreaming).

If making ritual candles of your own you may use Mullein stalks for the wicks or burn a whole stalk as a candle of itself.

Powdered mullein can be used in spells that call for graveyard dirt. It belongs to the crossroads, to Saturn, and to the underworld. It is Hecate’s torch and Lucifer’s staff. It is a key and a door. Mullein resembles a torch with it’s tip covered in bright yellow flowers with orange and red pollen mimicking flames. Perhaps Hecate’s saffron robe was dyed with rich yellow Mullein flowers instead of actual saffron. The flowers were once used in ancient Roman dyes and pigments.

In Indian lore, mullein is considered a sure safe guard against evil spirits and magic.

The little fuzzy hairs which cover every inch of a mullein plant are very irritating to the skin and mucus membranes. Use care when collecting, and always strain liquids with mullein in them very well to remove the little hairs before ingesting. Never smoke mullein without a filter! (Not that we are advocating smoking anything). Source: http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:mullein

Mullein was first introduced into the United States in the 1700s when it was used to poison fish in Virginia.

Mullein protects you in your sleep helping to combat both evil spirits and nightmares.

As it helps one to fall asleep when ingested, Mullein makes an excellent tea to encourage prophetic dreams and as an aid in lucid dreaming or astral travel while asleep.

Some people keep a packet of Mullein Leaves under the pillow to Prevent Nightmares.

In Great Britain it was used to help bring back children who had been kidnapped by fairies.

Various Native Americans knew a good thing when they saw it and used this Eurasian native that became naturalized in North America to return people to their right mind. For instance, the Hopi mixed the leaves with osnomodium to be used as a smoke by crazy people and those who had been betwitched. The Navajo wrapped the leaves in a corn husk to be smoked to help a mind return if it was lost, and the Potowatami smudged unconcscious people with the leaves to help them return to consciousness. Consider mullein useful in centering the spirit and add it to the pipe smoked as an aid to astral work.

Others wear the leaves in their shoes or Bathe for 5 days in MULLEIN Tea to engender Courage and Drive Away Enemies and Wild Animals.

Mullein Leaf Powder mixed with Graveyard Dirt also appears in a few old recipes for Goofer Dust. When burned with a mixture of Psychic Vision Incense and Commanding Incense and MULLEIN Smoke is said to be powerful in spells against Enemies.

It is mixed with dill, salt, and fennel and sprinkled around haunted areas to repel malicious spirits or ghosts, and it is a substitution for graveyard dirt in the recipes of various spells.

Mullein can be used to bring clarity and inner light, to help a person stand firm and develop inner strength (think of Mullein’s appearance for a moment – strong, upright central stem, almost represents a backbone really, with the flowers at the top as the head.) It can be good for those who struggle with their conscience – perhaps to help them see whether what they did was right or wrong and how to learn from their mistakes if their choice was wrong.

Mullein is a very good plant for those who feel they have lost their sense of ‘self’, to help them figure out where their boundaries are and develop into the people they are supposed to be. I’d be inclined to give it to those who have gone through a traumatic or life changing experience and who need help processing it all and learning from their experiences.

It protects those who carry it against wild animals.

Apparently if you put it into your shoe it will prevent you from catching a cold.

The dried herb guards against nightmares, evil spirits and negative magic and is added to sachets and charms to hang over doors and windows for these purposes.

It is also used in men’s love magic.

Some think that the Latin name ‘Verbascum’ is a corruption of the original word for beard, ‘barba’, alluding to the wooly appearance of the plant.

The plant was certainly known by the Greeks and Romans – Pliny suggested that figs should be wrapped in Mullein leaves to help them keep fresh for longer.

The stems were used as replacement torches by legionaries and were dipped in wax and used as candles at funerals – this usage continued up until the middle ages.

The flowers were used by Roman women to make a blonde hair wash.

Apparently both Circe and Odysseus used the plant – Circe used it as part of her spells, and Odysseus used it to protect himself from her spells, amusingly enough!

In the Middle Ages, Mullein was grown in monastery gardens as a protection from the devil.

Again, conversely, Mullein was used as candles in witches spells, though if the plant was gathered in a particular set of circumstances – the sun in Virgo and moon in Aries – the plant could be used to guard the bearer against sorcery.

Mullein is an ancient sacred plant that can be used in the midsummer celebrations. Flares are made with the flowering spikes that serve as a representation of the Sun god. Mullein protects against all evil, and in particular, against lightening. However, bringing Mullein into the house for no good reason is said to cause lightening to strike.

A great site for more information: https://www.buildingbeautifulsouls.com/symbols-meanings/flower-meanings-symbolism/mullein-meaning-symbolism/#Spiritual

**

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is simply a Witch. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMag.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can email her at jenniferwright at paganpages dot org.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way & trying to make the world a better place with her family.

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

September, 2017

The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magical Ingredients and Spells”

 

 

by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

Published by Sterling Ethos

Published: 2017

Pages: 305

 

Rituals, History, aromatherapy, crystals, candle magic, spiritual alchemy, potions, tinctures, herbs and recipes are just some of the topics covered in this hardcover book that’s approximately six inches by six and a half inches. It’s an inch thick and just feels good to hold.

 

As a “Wiccapedia,” it covers all the topics you need to know, and then offers lists for additional reading and reference materials.

 

The section on herbal folklore includes information about botanicals for health and healing, and passes along an old but potent charm. The chapter on aromatherapy explains how to use essential oils both for health and in magick, offering dozens of recipes. In presenting crystals, their properties are explained, along with instructions for using them to make waters for balancing chakras, and for relief from everything from asthma to stress.

 

Practical magick covers spells for mind, body and spirit. There’s a housecleaning incense spell, a healing poppet spell, money spells, and spells for protection and for love. Twenty-three pages focus on candle magic while forty-seven pages are dedicated to teas, tinctures and tonics for health and magick. A chapter offers ways to cook up some magick – literally – with recipes for soup, bread, Yule shortbread cookies, Imbolc cake and more.

 

The book introduces readers to a variety of tools and topics, helping them make their own magick, and it makes a reliable reference source as well.

 

Shane Robbins is a psychic and a paranormal researcher whose grandparents immigrated from Russia and Hungary with bottles of botanicals and the knowledge of herbal healing. Her grandmother’s tea cured the polio she contracted from one of Salk’s first vaccines. That changed her life, and set her on a course to teach holistic medicine and healing. Robbins put her research and extensive knowledge into this book.

 

Charity Bedell has been practicing witchcraft for seventeen years – a journey that began when she was given a copy of Silver Ravenwolf’s “Teen Witch” on her thirteenth birthday. Her witchcraft now is wild and free, incorporating shamanic techniques, prayer, meditation, trance work and offerings to connect to the spirits of the land. Bedell is committed to the Temple of Witchcraft traditions. A lifetime of herbalism and alternative healing practices also stretch back to her youth.

 

Each woman has written other books before this. Coming together, their aim was to inspire and empower readers, giving them a vast collection of information. The new as well as the seasoned witch will find knowledge of value. My copy has the corners of several pages turned down.

 

 

 

 

***

 

About the Author:

 


Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

 

Natomas Craft Notes

December, 2016

Flags, flax, fodder, Frig !

This old Devonshire witch greeting conveys best wishes for the four goods in life: (1) a house (flagstones), (2) clothes (linen was common), (3) enough food (for you as well as your livestock) and (4) a good sex life. No. (4) is taken from the name of Odin’s wife, the Goddess Frig. Frig was the Goddess of conjugal love, so you are not wishing promiscuity on someone. No true Pagan will use Her name in coarse expressions, by the way !

Light a Candle

Whenever a fundie or some other cowan (non-witch) vilifies my religion, I remind myself of the saying “better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Then I do just that – I literally light a candle. It’s amazing how quickly candlelight calms my ruffled feathers ! Then I do something for the Craft.

Craft work comes in four flavors: (1) Work for oneself, (2) Work for others, (3) Work for the coven and (4) Work for the Craft. Here are some examples of the four lines of work:

(1) You have to work your personal Craft before you can do anything helpful along the other 3 lines. This can include study, ritual practice, handicrafts, growing herbs, taking a walk to study local flora and fauna, meditation, or doing inventory, for instance. Doing inventory means I go through my clutter and organize it, getting rid of what I don’t need and making use of what I keep. Getting rid of things can often mean giving them away, putting them where they will do the most good. Inventory is a good way to clean one’s life and make more room in it for the Craft.

(2) Work for others can mean working with a magical partner or with a relative newcomer in the Craft, helping him or her to find source materials, sharing techniques and so forth. As covens grow, it’s a good practice for intermediate witches to buddy-up with people just coming in, and it takes a lot of the burden off your overworked HPS. At the same time, I have profited greatly from partnerships with Craft sisters and brothers operating on a more or less equal level of familiarity. Partners can point out mistakes to each other and help to spur each other to more consistent efforts.

(3) When you have passed your first degree it is time to begin thinking about the state of the coven itself. Sian Airgeaid, for instance, is currently lamed by my own absence, due to the need to find work which took me to Sacramento. This places a high burden on the HPS and means that I can’t always attend ritual occasions. Initiates should be concerned about this and offer to help shoulder some of HPS’s organizational burdens. Work along this third line involves asking questions about where the coven is going, how much it should interact with other covens, how it can best attract and screen new members, how it can acquire more capacious facilities, and so forth.

(4) Work for the Craft as a whole is the proper concern of everyone, whether new or old in the Craft. One should never joke about one’s beliefs, especially to outsiders, but have respect for the Craft’s dignity. You must consider how ‘out’ you want to be. Are you wearing a pentacle (pentagram in a circle) on the outside to attract attention, for instance? If so, you may get more than you wanted, and much of it may be negative or at least uncomprehending. If you are an ‘out’ witch, how far are you prepared to go to answer the ignorant and bigoted about your religion? Don’t forget, also, that if you display the pentacle you become an example of the Craft, so you may have to think twice about flipping people off or otherwise losing your temper. On the positive side, work for the Craft can include getting on the internet and making contact with other witches and Pagans, developing liaisons with kindred spirits out there, as a way of building our much-needed Pagan community. Do consider getting access to the internet, as it is the best way to reach like-minded people while avoiding the sort of local visibility that can invite persecution. There are a lot of lonely solitaries out there waiting to hear from you !

Candle-gazing Meditation

September, 2009

Sit on the ground, and hold your candle in your hands.
This is your flame. You created it. It burns as your symbol in the universe.
Look at the flame. As you breathe, the flame moves with you. It plays and
frolics as you watch it.
As you look at the flame, you can see that it is actually made of the colors
of the rainbow. Subtle shades of red glow at the very tip of the flame. Your
passion, your physical body are being left behind, as a faint reminder of
who you are.
The orange that follows spans a short time on the flame. Your anchor on this
earth, also reminds you that there is a life on this plane.
Then, the yellow, the most prevalent, the most powerful part of the flame
draws your attention. It burns as your creativity, yearning to burst free
and shower you with its inspirations.
Your eyes follow down and see the tiny segment of green, your center, your
growth. This is where the bountiful harvest of your life lies.
Feel the growth and abundance everywhere in the universe before you fall
into the blue at the base of the flame. The blue, the higher emotion of your
secret self burns brightly if only you look at it. Below it, barely
perceptible, is the violet of your spirit.
This is the same spirit that resides within you, but it is barely
perceptible day to day. You must catch it unawares to know it. As you watch
your flame/spirit, Let the violet flame enlarge and envelop the blue, green,
yellow, orange and red of the fire. Let your spirit enlarge to fill you in
the same way. As you inhale, feel your spirit fill you. Let it permeate your
fingers, palms, arms, shoulders, head, neck, chest, pelvis, thigs, calves,
feet, and toes. Let it have control, however briefly, over the flesh form
you have chosen for this lifetime.
Breathe the flame. As you breathe, let your spirit speak with you. Let it
give you its innermost confidence. Breathe your spirit. After a while, I’ll
come back to you.
As you breathe your spirit, allow it to slowly begin to recede from every
secret part of you. Begin to feel the sensations that have not been so
present in your body. Relax into the form you have known for so long. As you
watch the flame, see the violet begin to recede from the other colors in the
candle. It will leave a little of itself behind in every color as will your
spirit leave a little of itself behind in every part of you. Feel it leave
the red, the orange, the yellow, and the green. As it recedes from the blue,
feel it mix with the blue and flow downward to reform as the base of the
flame and the base of your being.
You have met what guides you in your innermost dreams. It will visit you
again.