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

September 1st, 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.

 

 

We come to that time of year when many lonely souls come to us and ask us to do our magik and a spell to bring love into their lives. Most only need a ‘charm’ or ‘crutch’ in order to help their own self esteems and to bring them out of their shells. There have been times I have been so caught up with helping others bring love into their lives that I have forgotten and neglected my own. Forgotten to even do the little things for those I love.

This month in The Witch’s Cupboard, I want to explore a few of the herbs that have historically been used for love. I want to share ideas to help, enhance, and nurture the loves in our lives, not help others to find it. This column is geared to make our Valentine’s and February a little more special for the ones we love.

There are many, many herbs that have been used throughout time to bring love, enhance sexuality, and woo others. I could write a book on the oddities and spells alone. We are going to go to the cupboard and pull out just a few that are common which can strengthen your love and also bring lasting health benefits. So come into the kitchen, open your cupboard, turn on the stove, and bake some magik with love.

We begin with a very common yet under rated herb, Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum).  In Chinese Herbology, it is said Cinnamon are twigs and bark from large tropical trees that warm the body, invigorate the circulation, goes to all 12 channels (meridians) of the body, and harmonizes the energy of the upper and lower body. Cinnamon also reduces allergy reactions. The herb is usually cooked together with other herbs to make tea that regulates the circulation of blood. Cinnamon has also been used for appetite loss, bronchitis, colds, cough, fever, indigestion and other digestive problems, sore throat, diarrhea, and some cancerous tumors. Eastern herbal remedies suggest Cinnamon for heart problems, dental pain, and urinary problems. For those you who use and enjoy medical and therapeutic grade essential oils, cinnamon oil can be used as a sexual stimulate, beneficial for colds, coughs, flu, rheumatism, and circulation. I have also heard it can aid in controlling sugar and certain types of diabetes. But in our magical world, Cinnamon is highly recommended as purification incense prior to sacred work, and increases focus and concentration, while enabling a peaceful mindset for ritual work or divination. With our theme for Valentine’s, Cinnamon is known as an aphrodisiac. When used in spells of sexuality and passion it deepens any meditations on love.

Another common herb in our cupboards is Ginger. Since ancient times, Ginger has been used to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea, and heart conditions.  Ginger may decrease joint pain from arthritis, and may have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease. Ginger is mostly known for its properties to help treat upset stomach and nausea. It is also believed to help the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and even painful menstrual periods. Magically Ginger is known as a powerful herb/spice. Ginger essential oil is useful in sexuality; love; courage; and money. Eating Ginger before performing spells will lend them power, since you have been “heated up” by the Ginger; this is especially true of love spells.

Since we are in our kitchens and at our cupboards, Something simple that can be done using the herbs/spices above to bring a smile to your loved ones faces is to bake cookies. You can make these simple recipes by adding your own special magical spells that are dear to you while you prepare the dough.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended.  Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, and stir in remaining flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Combine the 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.  Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are beautifully golden.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Soft Ginger Cookies
Ingredients

* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup margarine, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 2 tablespoons white sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, and then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Next month’s edition of the Witch’s Cupboard will fall upon the Ostara/Spring Equinox rituals and will introduce you to preparing growing your own herbs for the coming Spring/Summer seasons. One I would like to follow along with is lavender because of the many health benefits of its oil. Until next time, happy baking to a healthier you.

Blessed Be,

Namaste Iammu,

Indigo Rainbow

Disclaimer:

Please note that we are not advocating that people stop using their normal medication, but would like to make people aware that some alternative therapies can be very effective to help treat problems and create a healthier, younger and more vital you. Also, it is not recommended to use most herbal supplements during pregnancy, or during breast feeding, or for small children. But then again, although these warnings must be provided, we must ask if the warnings come from experiences using herbs or from a medical community which is afraid we will cure ourselves.

Book review

The Witches’ Almanac, Issue 36

Water: Our Primal Source

Published by the Witches’ Almanac Ltd.

almanac

This almanac, founded in 1971, has become a traditional pagan reference. It starts with the beginning of the astrological year, running from Spring 2016-17. Its theme is water; the current year’s theme is air.

One of the parts I find most useful is the moon calendar noting the moon’s phases and place in the zodiac. I also enjoy the year’s astrological forecasts for each zodiac sign, beginning with the vernal equinox. Each two-page spread touches on highlights for the year, health, love, spirituality and finance.

Other reference information includes astrological keys, eclipses, retrograde planetary motion and how to plant by the phases of the moon. While all this information is available somewhere online, it’s nice to have it all in one place you can trust.

The rest of the 206 pages are a collection of ancient lore and legends, trivia and wisdom. Among this issue’s lineup of obscure topics are “Waynaboozhoo: The Great Flood Story of the Ojibwa – A traditional tale of good and evil,” “The Margate Grotto: A Mystery Spelled in Shells,” and “The Singing Tower and Spook Hill: A Sacred Journey though Old Florida.”

The almanac’s short articles present a mix of perspectives and traditions; with more than 40, there is sure to be something of interest to you. Black-and-white images appear on nearly every page.

If you use the moon at all in your practice, you’ll be reaching for this again and again.

Witch Balls

Merry meet.

A blog by Silver RavenWolf for making witch balls for conjuring inspired me to try something similar as a project at a recent pagan gathering.

witchball1

The balls are made from herbs, essential oils and wax. They are meant to be thrown into a ceremonial fire, placed on an altar or in other spaces, added to mojo bags, or crumbled and scattered around an area. They are not to be eaten.

witchball2

The herbs and oils chosen will determine if the balls are for protection, cleansing, love, healing, abundance, banishing or some other intention.

witchball3

Although I made mine with wax, they can also be made using mud, clay, or a dough mixture of flour, salt, egg and water.

After determining your intent, collect ingredients with those properties. I used a mix of about a dozen herbs, spices, resins and dried flower petals for a total of about three cups.

witchball4

Working in small batches, I melted wax and poured some into the herb mixture, stirring with a spoon because the wax is hot. Mix in just enough wax that the herbs will hold together. Working quickly before the wax hardens, use your hands to form small balls. Place them on waxed paper or tin foil and allow them to cool.

witchball5

Melt more wax, adding essential oils if you wish, and one by one, dip each ball and place it back down. If you wish, you can smooth the balls before the wax hardens by rolling them between your palms as you would a meatball. Dip each ball at least twice. The more layers, the more sturdy the balls will be. In all, I used a bit more than a pound of beeswax.

witchball6

Some people drizzled wax in a contrasting color over their balls. One woman added small gemstones to hers. Slivers of money, ashes of photos or documents that have been burned, grave dirt and charms can also be added, along with whatever else your imagination conjures or your intuition desires.

Once cool, the balls store easily in egg cartons.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

The Good Witch’s Guide by Shawn Robbins & Charity Bedell

*Credit:  Excerpted with permission from The Good Witch’s Guide  © 2017 by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell, Sterling Ethos, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

 

GoodWitchesGuide

 

 

Spells for Money

One of the most common sources of stress in modern life is money. We need money to pay the bills, obtain food, and have shelter. We have all had financial worries at some point or another. Some people struggle with earning enough money or are out of work. Other people may have unexpected expenses come up in their lives, like medical or repair bills. All of these issues cause stress, and too much stress can lead to illness. The following spells will help bring about a healthier bank balance and more peace of mind. Do be warned, though—casting spells for money will only bring about what a person actually needs, rather than what they desire: Never spellcast for greed, only for what you need.

 

Money-Packet Wish Spell

Materials

1 pen

1 green candle

1 sheet of paper

5 coins (4 pennies and 1 quarter, or for other currencies 5 silver coins will work fine)

40 inches (100 cm) thin green ribbon (giftwrapping style is fine)

Ritual

Using the pen, inscribe the wax of the candle with the word “money,” and then, using the same pen, write the word “money” on the paper. Go on to write all of the things you need the money for, using as much detail as possible. For example, if you need extra funds to pay the bills, write clearly in capital letters:

GAS BILL, ELECTRIC BILL, MORTGAGE PAYMENT, DENTAL BILL,

And so on.

As you write out your needs, pour your emotions into the paper. Place the coins on top of the paper, and light the green candle next to it. Say this spell seven times:

Like the trees growing free,

Prosperity there shall be.”

Keeping the coinage inside, start to fold the paper toward you, turning and folding the paper around the coins until you can’t fold it anymore. Take the green ribbon and wrap it around the packet. With every three rotations of the ribbon-wrapping, turn the packet toward you and chant these words seven times:

Money flowing free,

Prosperity there shall be.

Money worries gone from me.”

When the packet is almost completely covered with the ribbon, use what’s leftover to secure it with a knot. Drip wax from the candle onto the knot to seal the spell. Let the candle burn down, and bury any remains from it at the root of a tree near your home. Place the packet in your wallet or purse, or carry it in your pocket with you every day. If you wear a skirt or a dress, take a safety pin and pin the packet to the inside of your skirt or dress. Keep the packet with you until the money issues at hand have resolved. Then dispose of the packet at a crossroads or under a tree near your home.

 

Money-Tea Spell

Materials

Saucepan filled with water

Sharp knife

1 green candle

Copy of a utility bill or job application; anything that represents the need

Mortar and pestle

1?4 teaspoon finely chopped

chamomile flowers, either fresh or as dried tea (in a tea bag or loose)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1?4 teaspoon finely chopped goldenrod, either fresh or as dried tea (in a tea bag or loose)

Strainer

Mug or cup

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons honey

Candleholder

Ritual

Put the pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. While the water is heating up, use the knife to inscribe the candle with words of your intent (“erase debt,” “find employment,” “pay bills,” etc.). Place the candle on top of a bill, job application, or a piece of paper with your need written on it.

With the mortar and pestle, grind together the herbs and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon for the tea. As you mix them, visualize your financial stress disappearing and your desire materializing. As the water on the stove boils, charge it with images of financial security and what manifestations of prosperity and success would look like. Visualize a green and orange light flowing in the water.

Put the blended herbs into the boiling water. Leave it to simmer for a few minutes. Take the pan off of the heat, and leave to cool. When the tea is cool enough, dip your finger into it and anoint the unlit candle. The candle should stay sitting on top of the bill, application, or paper. Say this spell five times:

Money flowing free,

Money come to me.”

Pick up the candle and rub it a few times from bottom to top with your hand. Strain the tea into a cup and then mix in a teaspoon each of cinnamon, sugar, and honey. Repeat the chant five more times while you stir the tea clockwise. When you’ve finished, rub the candle down with the remaining honey, from the bottom to the top. Once the candle has been fully anointed with the honey, roll it in the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Next, place the candle in a holder and light it. Take a sip of the tea, then say this spell:

Money tea, I drink thee.

Prosperity there shall be.”

Drink the tea. When the candle burns down, take the wax and the strained herbs from the tea and bury them at a crossroads. If there are no crossroads available, a spot on your property or a plot of land is acceptable. You can toss them into the trash, but do so with a prayer or statement, so that it brings your intent to all corners of the world.

 

***

About the Authors:

 

Shawn Robbins is the author or coauthor of four highly successful books, including the newly released hardcover edition of Wiccapedia (Sterling) now used as a teaching and reference guide in many of the online Wicca schools. She has taught classes about herbs, health, and healing at the NY School of Occult Arts, as well as lecturing extensively throughout the country on this subject.

Charity Bedell (also known as Loona Wynd) has been a practicing witch for over 15 years, with an extensive knowledge of herbal medicine and magick. She has an online store where she sells her handmade herbs, tinctures, and oils (Mystic Echoes) and has a large following both in the Wiccan community and in mainstream America.

Useful Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-good-witchs-guide-shawn-robbins/1124566628

 

*Credit:  Excerpted with permission from The Good Witch’s Guide  © 2017 by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell, Sterling Ethos, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

 

Book Review: Love Magic: Over 250 Spells and Potions for Getting It, Keeping It, and Making It Last

 

 

by Lilith Dorsey

Published by Weiser Books, 2016

Paperback; $12.15 at Amazon

This connection between magic and eroticism is an obvious one. They both encompass absolutely every sense. We lose and find ourselves in magic and love, if we are lucky.”

So begins the introduction to this 275-page book, which seems especially appropriate for Beltane.

The first chapter presents spells for self-love and happiness.

These are the root of your magical success,” she wrote in the introduction.

That is followed by chapters on romantic, marriage, fertility, universal love and erotic adventures. As diverse as situations can be, so are the magical traditions from which the spells are drawn.

There are spells and potions for finding love, keeping love, and healing yourself so that you are ready for love. The book includes rituals for invoking goddesses of love and for love gone bad. There are even recipes for foods such as Simply Sensual Flower Fudge and Oshum Seduction Salsa, because, she writes, “Seduction is best begun at the table.”

Dorsey distinguishes between spells for a general dose of universal love and those intended to connect specific individuals, and provides spells and formulas for each. She also stresses the importance of ritual cleansing – such as baths, smudging and using magical floor washes –as “one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your home.”

Along with cleansing spells, she recommends divination and healing work, regardless of the problem, and offers a variety of each.

In addition, she discusses the ethics of love magic, and provides information about sacred botanicals and crystals, and ends with six chapters from the Book of Psalms and some recommended reading.

Dorsey is a spiritual practitioner and has been a professional psychic for more than 20 years. She is also an anthropologist, which prompted her to include historical spells. Magically, she is dedicated “to many different spiritual traditions, including Santeria, which is more properly known as La Regla Lucumi. In that religious tradition, I have been deemed, through divination, to be a daughter of the goddess (Orisha) Oshun,” she writes. Shun’s domain, Dorsey adds, includes love and marriage. “She is intimately acquainted with all facets of love.”

Dorsey wrote the book to share her knowledge and experience.

Click Image for Amazon Information

 

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