love

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2017

Cliodnha

goddess1

(Photo Credit : Pinterest)

Cliodnha, known as the Queen of the Banshees, or Queen of all the Fairies of the HIlls, is part of the Tuatha Du Danaan, subject to the Goddess Danu.

Cliodnha presides over Tir Tairngire, or the Land of Promise, a place of happy feasting, with no aging, violence, death or decay, which some say is the Celtic Otherworld.

She has three colorful birds, who eat apples from a tree in that Otherworld, that can heal the sick with the beauty of their song.

goddess2

(Photo Credit: wolfanita@deviantart)

She is a Goddess of love and beauty. She would take the form of an enchantingly beautiful human woman and use her beauty to take many mortal lovers. She was associated with light and happiness, but with a dark edge because when we was done with her mortal lovers, she would sometimes lure them to their deaths by the sea.

She fell in love with a human man named Ciabhan, and wished to be with him. But she was lulled to sleep by the music of one of Manannan mac Lir’s minstrels, and was swept away by a wave. She is said to rule the ninth wave of every series of waves, which was larger than the preceding eight. Large waves are knows as “Cliodnha’s Waves”.

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(Photo Credit: inochitohi.deviantart.com)

One of the best known stories of Cliodnha is when Cormac mac Carthy asked her help in a lawsuit in the 15th century. Her advice to him was to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning. He did so and easily won his court case by the eloquence of his speech. This stone is the famous Blarney Stone. Cormac mac Carthy was so concerned that everyone would kiss the stone and the land would become a home to those who “could deceive without offending”, that he hid the stone in his castle, where it is to this day.

Cliodnha resides in her palace in the center of a sacred hill in County Cork, called Carrig Cliodnha.

May the blessing of Cliodnha be with you.

)O(

Bad Witches Guide

June, 2017

 

The Bad Witches Guide to Life, Love and Magick
I am a bad witch. There are a long list of reasons why I am a bad witch. Having been out of the broom closet for some considerable number of years I would on occasion get asked “but you’re a good witch though?” My response to that depending on the person asking but I found I started to say “yes, a very, very good witch” rather darkly as it usually got the point across.

There is this sort of pressure to be “nice” to everyone, as though we had to be saintly ambassadors of our faith. Not that I’m not generally a polite person I just don’t subscribe that “nice” is any kind of “good” or healthy. It is not authentic, it’s fake and insincere and I loathe it. Unfortunately good witches tend to fall into two camps. The “yes” witch (it’s a trap); whom has to be the kindest, sweetest most co-operative person to their own detriment of their own health and sanity (of the two kinds I have been closest to this kind). The other is the more witchy-than-thou; who will loudly proclaim or in snide whispers that only a _____ can be a true witch. This will depend on the witch but the vitriol and nastiness that goes with it, under the guise of “nice” of course, is deeply awful. These kind of witches police and pigeon-hole the community.

 

Life! Don’t talk to me about life!” Douglas Adam Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

I am a bad witch because I am not a patient person, nor a terribly forgiving one (though I try). I believe that life is wonderful, beautiful and amazing. It’s also full of injustice, hate and bile. From abusive partners, to drug-addicts who might want to break into your house, awful ex’s who make your life miserable or diseases robbing you of years of life.

Now life to me is three-fold, what you think, do and treat the world echoes out and you have to take responsibility for a certain amount of it. Yet being a bad witch I also think sometimes life happens to you as well as you happen to life. As such being passive about it all is a wonder in theory, “this too will pass” is wonderful if you have never had a kidney stone. You are responsible for you, and your kids. I don’t have the stomach to watch the powerful abuse the weak. It enrages me. I just can’t “love and light” at them. These things are usually time sensitive too. I am a bad witch because I think that a good offence can be the best defense. I happen to think that people who cause pain for their own pleasure are pretty awful and maybe if they got dumped into a barrel of sharp rocks and rolled down hill I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

That said I do understand that there is always more to a story (that doesn’t make someone less of a villain if they are one) and that good people can do terrible things. Cursing everyone who happens to eat meat because you think it is cruel shows a profound lack of understanding of context, and is the other end of the extreme of those who hunt for sport. There is no such thing as “harm none”. It doesn’t exist. Farmers in third world countries growing soy and other cash crops commonly consumed by vegans will kill pests with extreme prejudice and often live in poverty. Hunting “big game” damages the eco-systems and reduces an animal’s life to an “experience”. All you can do is the best you can and try not to be a dick about other people’s choices.

I think it is more productive to get passionately involved in making things better as often as you can.

You are going to have dodgy bosses (or co-workers), silly accidents, sudden illness and lying friends or family. Life is not a stream of perfect but you can be a good witch and suffer it well or take your power and do something about it.

 

 

“Keep it in Your Pants” Spell.

Sexual harassment is illegal; however temporary contracts, poor management, and no job security are. Sometimes being honest and making a complaint can get you fired. This isn’t right, but this is the world we live in.

A gendered pair of underwear. (Briefs, knickers, granny pants)

Wool or cushion stuffing

Yarrow flowers

White heather

Spring water

4 white candles (tea lights will do)

Photo or paper with all of their names.

Sew, staple or hot glue the underwear mostly closed.

You have no power of me, from sexual violence I am set free.”

This would be an appropriate gluing or sewing chant, but “leave me alone” is just as applicable.

Mix your herbs and stuffing together then add to the underwear. Add their photo or names and shut the underwear.

Place your underwear on a plate or dish with the unlit candles around it.

Let those who need to see what s/he is; see clear.

Those who are afraid feel no fear.

They lose the power they hold dear.

I am free to pursue my career.”

With each line light the candle. Then carefully pour the water over the underwear soaking it through. Now you can place in a zip-lock bag and put in the darkest deepest reassesses of your freezer (under the unmarked left-overs from three years ago); or under a rock in the garden. Somewhere cold and damp will do.

Leave for three months. If things haven’t changed you may need to do something else and if they have you can remove and deconstruct the underwear and re-cycle or destroy the underwear.

 

***

 

Lucy Drake has self published three books. The Key: Opening the doorway to Magickal Practice (which is in its second edition) and Litanies of Grief and Inspiration.

 

The Love of Chocolate from Guest Author Lilith Dorsey

February, 2017

The Love of Chocolate
Lilith
Dark and delicious, almost everyone loves chocolate. This little bean is not only tasty but also quite magickal. It has a long history of use throughout several countries and cultures.
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree, discovered over 3,000 years ago in the rain forests of Central America. Originally it was used as an alcoholic beverage. Prized by Ancient Mayan societies, Chocolate from the very beginning was an integral part of rites and rituals. The Mayans has uncovered a way to cultivate the beans. Next they dried, roasted and ground them into a paste. This was then combined with chili peppers and cornmeal to make a strong beverage. This ritual drink was used for everything from initiations to burial rites.
The invasion of Mexico by the Spanish brought chocolate to Europe. There it was prized as a beverage of wealth and power. It was reserved for the elite as a supreme delicacy.
Even if you’re not a magickal person it is easy to see how chocolate is a sensual delight. It’s smell, texture and touch lend themselves to passion. Because of this chocolate is a wonderful ingredient to use in your love spells and workings.
In my book Love Magic, I talk about combining two great aphrodisiac ingredients, chocolate and strawberries. “Strawberries are one of the many plants ruled by Venus. This recipe blends two great romantic pleasures—both strawberries and chocolate—to conjure up some sweet romance.” Craft this recipe witch care and magickal intent and you will be able to manifest your desires.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Recipe
1 pound strawberries, washed and dried
2 Tbs. butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chunks or chips)
To make dipping easier, leave the leaves on your strawberries. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Dip strawberries one at a time into melted chocolate. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy with your love.
Lilith2
Lilith Dorsey M.A. , hails from many magickal traditions, including Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, and Native American spirituality. Her traditional education focused on Plant Science, Anthropology, and Film at the University of R.I., New York University and the University of London, and her magickal training includes numerous initiations in Santeria also known as Lucumi, Haitian Vodoun, and New Orleans Voodoo . Lilith Dorsey is a Voodoo Priestess and Psychic, and in that capacity has been doing successful magick since 1991 for patrons, is editor/publisher of Oshun-African Magickal Quarterly , filmmaker of the experimental documentary Bodies of Water :Voodoo Identity and Tranceformation, author of Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism,The African-American Ritual Cookbook, her latest book Love Magic and also choreographer for jazz legend Dr. John’s “Night Tripper” Voodoo Show.
Lilith can be reached at the following:

HedgeWitch Days!

September, 2015

THE MAGIC OF A SONG AND A BISCUIT!

Hi my lovelies!

September, ahhh, I love it! Crisp autumnal walks in the fading sunshine, crunching of leaves and nut husks underfoot and the hedgerows bedecked with scarlet berries.

This is my all-time favourite time of the year.

Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the peace that descends over the land as the children are once again contained by the walls of the school, yay! The colours of autumn can quite take your breath away, here in magical Wiltshire it is glorious as the fields are stripped bare and the chaff is singed down, the trees explode into a riot of uplifting and comforting hues…and all of us that walk this path rejoice in the second harvest, Mabon.

The equinoxes are literally a time of balance, once again as the wheel of the year turns we stop and take a moment to celebrate and give thanks, and this is our biggest thanksgiving festival of all. The light and dark are at that now poised on the edge of change once again, signalling for us to stop and take stock. I love that we have these points on the wheel of our year, it’s so wonderful to be reminded every 6 or so weeks to pause, take a breath, and ready ourselves for the next chapter…bit like a coffee break in the calendar! Ummm, biscuits, see how my mind wanders, it’s amazing that I ever get past the first sentence of anything I write! Where was I? Oh yes, biscuits…nope, oh yes… Mabon!!!

Ok, so we have a wonderful harvest to celebrate, beautiful leaves to walk through and dress our altars with, nuts and berries to gather and use, so what, as a solitary Hedgewitch can you do to celebrate the second Harvest, welcome the dark half of the year and honour the Goddess and the horned one? Of course you can hold your own thanksgiving ritual, light candles and bedeck you and your home with all the joys and colours of this time of year, but how about this year doing something like that famous song says…

’’You’re going to reap just what you sow!’’

Now I know we really aren’t at the sowing time of the year, and we are reaping the harvest now, and so we have technically already done that line in the song this year, but I think that sowing the seeds of magic that slowly grow through the dark half of the year means a stronger harvest when it eventually comes but maybe we should now sow a seed of magic to reap in the future…Which of course, if you know me and how my brain works brings me back to, yes you’ve guessed it, biscuits!

Time to get those aprons on guys and whip up a batch of yummy seasonal biscuits, which a little magic thrown in of course?! Elderberries are so underused unless they are in Jams, jellies and cordials so get picking these gorgeous plump gems whilst they are in season, how convenient that the season runs from now to just before Samhain, making these little guys perfect for our Mabon recipe. Don’t forget to check the Hazel for any nuts too, it’s always a race to beat our squirrel friends to their nutty goodness, but hey, maybe this year is my year to win! Remember as ever, if you forage for your ingredients, leave plenty for our wild friends, take only what you need.

ELDERBERRY and HAZELNUT COOKIES

(Preheat your oven to 180’c)

Light a simple candle to the Goddess

You will need;

110g salted butter

200g sugar

2 eggs

Juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons milk

240g flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup elderberries

½ cup chopped cob or hazelnuts 

Method

  1. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat.
  2. Once butter has melted pour into a large bowl and combine with the sugar, lemon juice, eggs and milk. Whisk together in a clockwise direction and say;

I stir for positivity, light and love for all.

  1. Continue to whisk until smooth.
  2. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir clockwise saying;

Wheat of the earth, bind this spell for me.

  1. Once the mixture is smooth, tip in the Elderberries and chopped nuts. Stir gently clockwise to combine and say;

Fruits of the earth, seal this spell for me.

  1. Place your bowl of cookie batter next to your lit candle and say;

Light of the goddess, please bless this spell for me.

  1. Leave your bowl next to the candle for 15mins to bless the work you have done.
  2. After 15mins has passed, drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet, leaving room to spread between cookies.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for approx. 10-15mins (remove when just golden brown.

Allow cookies to cool slightly on the tray before moving carefully to a cooling rack.

You can dress these cookies up by drizzling the top with a little white chocolate if desired or change the flavour by adding a little orange or lemon peel.

Ok, now you have your wonderful cookies, time to reap what you have sown my lovelies!

Place your cookies in a tin, on a plate, whatever you have, hold your hands over them and say;

Mabon blessings on this my spell

Sown with love, all is well!

Then take your cookies and give them to someone! A neighbour, a nursing home, a homeless person, anyone you wouldn’t normally interact with on a daily basis. Give them with love and blessings, with a smile as warm as the sun and a heart full of golden light.

Your spell is complete my lovelies…and you will find you WILL reap what you have sown, the dark half of the year awaits with its many blessings, haven’t we got off to a good start!!!

Of course once you’ve completed your spell you should really make some more, you know, just to check they are ok hehehe…it would be rude not too, I’ll put the kettle on, cuppa???

Mabon bounty and love guys, and as ever

Bright blessings

Book Review: A Spell A Day: for Health, Wealth, Love, and More by Cassandra Eason

July, 2015

Spelladay

 

A Spell A Day: for health, wealth, love, and more

By: Cassandra Eason

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Ethos (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English

 

I am a huge fan of Cassandra Eason’s books. They are always full of practical wisdom and enchanting insight. This little tome (and I mean little—if not for the thickness it would be pocket sized) is full of spells for most of your magical needs. There are 366 spells for you to choose from; that’s a lot of magic happening in this petite book. You won’t find curses or hexes in A Spell a Day, but you find spells to break them. Most of the ingredients needed are easy to find and cost little, if any, money. Most materials can be found in any aspiring witches home. There are plenty of spells for both the novice and adept alike; I know I have found many to be quite useful for my magical wishes.

Here you will find spells for health, wealth, and love as the title suggests, and in addition hidden throughout this gem of a book are spells for acceptance, self-love, loss, life development, and fertility. There also spells for sex (including libido), death, gambling, luck and success, protection, and many more.

A few of my favorites are:

A Sea Shell Spell For Acceptance Of A Love Who Is Not Accepted By Family And Friends (pg165)

A Full Moon Spell For Anything You Urgently Need Or Desire (pg95)

A Five herb Spell To Protect Your Home From Theft, Fire, Flood, Storm, Or Any Natural Disasters (pg99)

A Bay Leaf Spell To Ensure A Regular Inflow Of Money (pg258)

Cassandra Eason provides a list of ingredients, timing, and instructions for each spell. They are very straightforward and easy to follow. The spells are not divided into sections or put any particular sequence, but the index in the back of the book offers the page number for each type of spell.

I have been pleasantly pleased with this book of spells. It is adorable in its compact style which makes it easy to travel with. A Spell A Day will be a book I turn to often for quick and easy, yet very effective spells. I recommend this enchantingly fun book for any Witch or Wiccan who could use a little extra boost in their magical lives.

Oak-corns & Apple-thorns

December, 2012

Love and Longing in Life and Magic

How miraculous is to try and change the course of life by working a spell, journeying to the Otherworld, or talking to a deity, spirit, angel, or ancestor?  Think about that for a minute.

All of those things are possible, but not if you approach them with the same emotional investment you would put into cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash.  In fact, the secret to success in the realm of magic is a sense of love, longing, and wonder at the miraculousness of whatever you are undertaking.  Allowing spiritual or magical activities to become mundane is a witch’s most dire nemesis.

As a young person, back when I called myself a Christian, I was struck by a story from Matthew.  In my mind it became a living scene. A woman is moving through the crowd trying to reach her savior, saying to herself, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment I would be made whole.”  I imagined her longing, the press of bodies impeding her at every step.  I could see and feel her yearning in my imagination, her hand trembling in sickness, until at last her fingers touched the dusty hem of his robe.  He turns and says, “Daughter, be of good cheer; thy faith hath made thee whole.”

We have to be like the woman in that story — not in her choice of religion of course — but in her desire, longing, love and belief.

Some years ago I had a back problem.  I was in physical therapy and making very slow progress.  I used a little tree charm that I got from a book by Scott Cunningham to work a healing.  I had chosen a willow tree, a really lovely one, by a lake.  Before I started to work, I took some time to get know her.  Standing in her shady arches, I was overcome by the sound of the breeze through her hanging boughs.  I let that miraculous tree into my heart completely.  I allowed myself to be filled with the wonder and the beauty of her until I came to appreciate how blessed I was to have ever found such a tree.  By the time I was ready to begin, I was tingling all over.

Cunningham’s charm involved walking around the tree nine times while reciting a chant that began, “Great tree, strong tree, older than time can tell…”   When I had finished circling the tree nine times, reciting the rhyme each time, I put my back against her.  I asked her to take my pain and cast it away.  I thought about how crippling my back pain was and about how desperately I needed to be healed.  I thought about the power of the willow, about the healing powers in her bark.  I visualized my pain passing into her, up into her limbs, and through boughs that drooped, touched the water, and swished in the air off the lake.  I made her an offering and came back often to thank her.

The charm, in conjunction with my physical therapy exercises, made me as good as new.  I got the help of that tree twice more over the years, but after the third time I felt I had asked enough of her.  My job no longer takes me to that part of town, but whenever I’m in the neighborhood I stop by to visit.

Magic is virtually free in monetary terms.  The investment is emotional and spiritual.  Although you can start with imagination, what you ultimately have to do is fully experience reality.

Let it in, respond to it, and then allow the power of love and longing do their work.

Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

November, 2012

I Am A Hypocrite. I Am Love.

 

The word hypocrite is defined by Merriam Webster as a person who puts on a false appearance of morality and virtue or who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

 

I was called a hypocrite yesterday. And I must admit that I was surprised. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I was. Granted it was second hand information, as the person who informed me of this wasn’t the one who allegedly labeled me a hypocrite – they were just the messenger. Nonetheless it was unsettling to me. It isn’t because I haven’t been called unsavory names before. Hell, I’ve been called a lot of things: arrogant, self-righteous, cold hearted, unfeeling, cruel, a bitch …  Oh! And you can’t forget the best one of all – Satanist. But none of them are true. Well, at least not to me. Not from my perspective which is the only perspective that is relevant to me in my life experience. When I questioned the messenger they had no further details about why the original ‘labeler’ viewed me as a hypocrite (or perhaps they did but didn’t want to share it with me) but really the reason behind it is immaterial. It is that individual’s perspective when looking at me. To them it is truth. They, see a hypocrite.

 

Today I am grateful that this information was relayed to me (regardless of the motive behind the ‘labeler’ as well as the messenger) because it has given me a moment of reflection. And I would agree with you, that if I was more confident in my own Authentic Self and True Will, I wouldn’t need these moments of reflection but, because I am continually moving towards enlightenment and working to integrate my fragmented Souls and releasing my Shadows, times like this are vital and required on my journey. God Herself has guided me towards this moment so that I might take this opportunity and use it for my Highest Good.

 

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. Hearing that someone perceived me as a hypocrite and then shared this opinion with at least one other person, wasn’t easy to hear nor was it easy to accept. It stung. It hurt. But I have discovered that as I forge my own path through the jungle of life, the times when I learn the most about myself and am able to do the most internal work is when things aren’t so easy.

 

“To learn you must suffer,” is a common theme within Wicca. The words, “To learn you must suffer, to live you must be born, to be born you must die,” are recited during The Great Rite within Ritual. When the scourge is presented to the postulant at Initiation she or he is asked if they are ‘willing to suffer to learn’ and the answer is expected to be an unwavering ‘yes’. I understand and resonate with this concept. I’ve embraced it. But there are times that I don’t recognize these opportunities as they reveal themselves, because I am caught up in the feelings of that moment. Feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger and hurt bubble within me like a poisoned brew threatening to overflow. My ego is immersed in identifying with the accusations and finding ways to justify my deeds and words instead of viewing that flicker in time as the opportunity that it is: a chance for reflection, evaluation and a time to realign my soul vibration with my True Will and Authentic Self.

 

Today I stopped identifying and released. I reflected, evaluated and realigned my soul vibration. I am perceived as a hypocrite. So be it.

 

I am who I am. I am love. This is my perspective. This is my perception. No one else has to believe it. It is real to me. It is – who I am.

Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

August, 2012

Love, Fear and Action

 

My husband and I had an interesting conversation the other day concerning fear, love and action. The question that we discussed was this: What motivates an individual into action?

 

A few definitions are needed here in order to understand this discussion.

 

What we mean by fear is any thought or vibration that is a negative emotion – a resistance to what is truly desired. Some emotions that correspond to fear are: anger, confusion, disappointment, vulnerability, unworthiness and guilt. These are examples of fear manifesting within our life experience.

 

What we mean my love is any thought or vibration that is a positive emotion – an alignment with that which we truly desire. Some emotions that correspond to love are: joy, understanding, contentment, calmness, happiness and delight. These are examples of love manifesting within our life experience. Our natural instinct is to know and live in the vibration of love.

 

What we mean by action is any physical movement towards a specific goal.

 

My husband suggested that for an individual to be motivated into action there needs to be an equal balance of fear and love. That the person has a fear of a specific circumstance and they choose something they love in order to be motivated to ‘do’ something concerning the fear. For example: an individual enjoys music (vibration of love) but he is feeling discontentment (vibration of fear) with his life. It is then the love and fear combined that motivates the individual to create (action) music.

 

While I agreed with the basic concept of this I felt there was a piece of the equation missing.  I disagreed with the thought that there needed to be an equal balance between fear and love. Perhaps it is an abundance of one or the other than motivates. Consider for a moment, the vibrational spectrum. On one end we have fear and on the other we have love. As we experience life on this physical plane of existence we fluctuate within this spectrum between the two vibrations. Sometimes we experience more fear than love and other times we feel more love than fear and even other circumstances we may even hit the balance but to conclude that at that moment of balance is when we are motivated into action, well, I just don’t agree.

 

What if there was another component involved in motivation? What about desire? What about Will? How does this affect an individual’s action, if at all?

 

As an individual experiences life fluctuating between fear and love, which I believe is necessary to living in a physical manifestation, action is determined by Will to manifest a specific vibrational frequency. Physical movement would depend on the strength of the individual’s Will. If the individual has a weak Will then there would be little or no movement. No action. Although even as I type this out I believe that no action is still action. If the individual has a powerful Will then the action would be greater and more successful in manifesting their desire. This would mean that an individual aligning on the vibrational spectrum of fear and love with a strong Will would manifest that which they are most aligned with. If this individual has more fear than love they would be manifesting the desire motivated by this alignment. For example: an individual is worried (vibration of fear) about the lack of money but he enjoys music (vibration of love) so he creates (action) music with the desire (Will) to make money.

 

If the individual has more love than fear they would be manifesting the desire motivated by that alignment. For example: an individual enjoys the company of people (vibration of love) but she sees that society is generally in a state of discontentment (vibration of fear) so she shares (action) personal experiences with the desire (Will) to teach others how to find personal happiness.

 

After the contemplation on this concept I suggested that for an individual to be motivated into action there needs to be a strong Will along with both the vibration of fear and love. What do you think?

Musings From the Mossy Trail

June, 2012

Yarrow: For Health, Love and Wisdom

To bring to me my true loves’ name

To heal my wounds and ease my pain

For courage and protection spells

Divining rights at ancient wells

For all this favor I beseech,

Tis’ yarrow’s powers that I seek

 

Yarrow, a perennial herb, has lovely fernlike foliage containing soft wisps of hair- type follicles. It flowers from mid-summer to autumn, displaying clusters of white, yellow, lilac or deep burgundy petals resembling tiny daisies.

A prolific plant, yarrow has the ability to spread underground shoots as well as seed itself, often leaving some gardeners to consider it a weed. If one is willing to spend a little time controlling its spread, when planted in conjunction with other herbs, yarrow actually increases the essential oil content of those herbs, while enhancing their growth and health in general.

 

History –

Having discovered fossils of yarrow pollen along with other herbs in Neanderthal burial caves, Archeologists have linked yarrow with the human race some 60,000 years ago. From ancient Roman wars to the American Civil war, yarrow is documented as having been used in healing wounds and preventing inflammation.  In first century A.D, the Greek Physician Dioscorides smeared yarrow on ulcers to prevent inflammation.  

    • Herbal

  • ist John Gerard (1545 – 1611), recommended it for “swelling of those secret parts”, and Nicholas Culpeper, a 17th century British herbalist, used it for healing wounds, inflammation and bleeding. Yarrow was prescribed often enough to be included in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1836 – 1882, and was still in the Pharmacopoeias of Austria, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland in 1982.

     

    Harvest and Uses –

    It is best to harvest yarrow early in the day after the dew has dried. Gather stems when flower heads have just opened and are in full bloom and then hang upside down to dry. Once dried, the flower heads can be added to sachets for love, courage, communication and psychic ability among many other things.

     

    1. Medical

     

    • Yarrow tea is excellent to treat a cold and cleanse the urinary system. It can be made by using one ounce of dried leaves to one pint of boiling water

     

    • It is also said that drinking yarrow tea can remedy the blues and restlessness, especially during menopause

     

    • Fresh leaves can be chewed to relieve toothaches.
    • In India, yarrow was put into medicated steam baths for fever; and the Chippewa used it very similarly for headache
    1. Cosmetics
    • Yarrow is wonderful when used for cleansing and as an astringent. Use 1 cup dried flower heads to two cups boiling water. Let steep 10 minutes covered. Pat onto the skin with a clean cloth.

     

      • Divination

     

    • The ancient forecasting of the Chinese I Ching was originally performed using yarrow stems

     

    • Yarrow tea (see recipe above) can also be drunk prior to divination, and to help the mind focus on a specific issue or to avoid distractions

     

    • Rubbing your eyelids with yarrow is said to enhance your psychic abilities

     

    • Yarrow can be used in incense or oil to cleanse the aura and for divination, as it is very useful for psychic communication

     

    1. Magical Lore
    • Placed under a doormat, yarrow can deter unwanted callers
    • When strewn across a threshold, it will keep out evil and protect against hexes
    • Hang a bunch of yarrow over the bed on the wedding night to ensure lasting love for seven years.  Adding it to the bouquet or garlands worn by the bride or groom has the same effect.
    • Saxons packed yarrow into their amulets for protection against all manner of ills

     

    • Yarrow has long been associated with witches, hence sometimes called Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s plaything and bad man’s plaything

     

    • When sewn up into pillows, it will give the dreamer a vision of their true love

     

    • Make leaves into a smudge stick to cleanse negativity from your home

     

    1. Spells

     

    • Wish Spell – The very first blooming yarrow you see is magical. Hold the bloom in one hand and make a wish. That night sleep with the plant beneath your pillow.

     

    • Fertility Spell – Basil boughs over the bed are a Middle Eastern recommendation to promote fertility. European magical tradition suggests hanging boughs of fresh yarrow over the bed to enhance romance, sex and conception. Hedge your bets by weaving garlands of both basil and yarrow, and hang them over your bed. A really super charged version adds mistletoe and mugwort too

     

    • Happy Home Spell – Decorate your home with boughs of fresh yarrow to banish sadness and negativity

     

    • Infants Protection Spell – Tie yarrow to the baby crib to protect from fairies, malevolent magic and negative spirits

     

    • Bridal Bouquet Spell – Incorporate yarrow into a bridal bouquet for 7 years of happiness

     

    • Courage spell – Hold yarrow stalk in both hands and focus on your goals and desires to magically stimulate courage and relieve fear

     

    May the gifts of yarrow serve you well in your Summer Solstice celebrations and beyond. Happy Summer!

    Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

    March, 2012

    In Love and Light

    The phrase “in love and light” is a New Age sentiment common within the modern pagan community. I’m sure you’ve read it and if you interact with individuals within the community then you’ve heard it more than once but, really, what does it mean? What does this phrase convey? I found that when I asked numerous individuals I received as many different responses as people I questioned.  For some ‘in love and light’ means; “with love and positivity”,  “sending energy through love”, “being wrapped in love and light from the Universe”, “unconditional love and light of The Goddess and God”, “peace and love” as well as, “sending joyful blessings”.

    I’m guilty of using the phrase myself on occasion so it has been important for me to define the meaning of the phrase especially when addressing my own students. Here is what I’ve gleaned:

    “In love”

    The word love, in the phrase, is defined as divine love or agape. It is righteous, good and non-sexual. It is the love of The Goddess and The God; the love for the sacred being that each of us hold within us and that is connected to all beings including deity. It is unconditional and understands what lies beyond our physical human manifestation and within our Sacred Self. So “in love” means being within unconditional love.

    “In light”

    The word light addresses the concept of energy, specifically positive energy. So being “in light” means being “in positive energy”,

    We are, were created from, and will return to, The Divine Source. While we are manifested on Earth and within our current society we are constantly dealing with both positive (light) and negative (dark) energies that also reside on this physical plane. Many of us are also affected by the energies (both negative and positive) that dwell on the spiritual plane however, it is vitally important that we don’t forget that regardless of these energetic influences, we are co-creators and are continually manifesting our own reality. It is the reality that we create for ourselves that gives us our perception of each and every experience we have. We can choose to focus on the positive experiences or the negative, to dwell in the light or the darkness.

    It is important to acknowledge and understand that both the light (positive) and the dark (negative) energies originate from The Divine Source. The religion of Wicca acknowledges and honors this concept of polarity. It is the tenet of my spirituality and is beautifully illustrated in the belief of The Goddess and God. They are the prime example of balance that I strive to maintain. Now just because I strive for balance that I ignore the negative (dark) feelings or energies that may invade my life, it means that I don’t continuously indulge them. I don’t believe that Indulgence encourages balance. To feel and express my emotions – all of them – isn’t a “bad” thing however, what I do with the emotions that is what matters most.

    Remember you are a manifestation of unconditional love and a co-creator. You, hand in hand with The Goddess and God, and all the energies (both light and dark) of the Unseen realm create your reality, your life experience. The question for you is this …

    Will you dare to do so “in love and light”?

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