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Witch & Popcorn

August 1st, 2018

Review of Insidious 3

Bright Blessings!

I could not resist reviewing another horror flick! I can’t get enough of them!

I have seen Insidious and also part 2, and was tickled pink when I saw a part 3!

Here is the official trailer.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HxEXnVSr1w[/embedyt]

I liked parts 1 and 2, but part 3 was the best, in my opinion. It is the prequel to 1, and 2, and shows what happens that starts the ball rolling for the events in the first two films.

The plot is the very grief-stricken teenager, Quinn approaches psychic Elise, to contact her deceased mother. Elise has stepped aside from medium-ship work, and initially tries, but then refuses to help.

Soon after, horrible things start to happen, and Elise awakens from a terrible dream, only to find that whatever spirit was reached has invaded her home. She basically tells it to get out, but is too terrified to find the strength to banish it.

Things at Quinn’s house get so bad, her father is forced to seek out Elise, and convince her to help.

At this point a level of badassery Elise was unaware she could manage is reached, and she saves the day.

For now…

What sounds like a basic blockbuster Hollywood horror is much more.

It demonstrates the power of the gifted medium to command spirits and remind the living have something the dead do not- Life and a body.

Elise, played by petite veteran actress Lin Shaye, looks nothing like a powerful exorciser, or magician conjuring and commanding demons- but she sure as hell does. Her soft blonde hair, and normal street clothes as opposed to fancy, glittering robes are substance over style, and remind us that it is ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things. She has been nominated for multiple awards in her portrayal of Elise in the Insidious films, and won some. She is the star of the film, and will steal your heart. Every witch will look at Elise, and say “I want to be her when I grow up!!!!”

The entire film is fiction of course, but deals in a very serious topic.

You should be careful conjuring, and truthfully, most people don’t have any business conjuring at all. Quinn’s mother’s spirit was unable to answer her daughter, because a more powerful, malevolent spirit reached out instead.

Quinn did the right thing, and sought help, but only after extensive attempts to conjure on her own part first. A bereaved child in modern day America would have no way of understanding the dangers involved in such a thing, but modern day Pagans, Witches, and Occultists should. Unfortunately, many find the adrenaline rush from contact with spirits too intoxicating to resist, and get drawn in.

I have witnessed one such incidence, and it was nothing like the demonic possessions of fiction except for the fact the spirit completely overtook the victim.

Said victim was a young man of 17-21 years of age, and he had enjoyed conjuring up said spirit. By the time his caretaker got him to an exorcist, he was so overtaken spiritually there was a black smudge where his face should have been. That is how the spirit presented itself to me, and that is how much it overtook the boy, who was a mere host to a spirit parasite.

Not an exorcist myself, I assisted the exorcist, and was sent out of the room for a time during the operations.

There was no screaming, or levitation. Nobody’s head turned around backwards, and the exorcism was a success. Unfortunately, the young man started conjuring again, was soon re-possessed, and the exorcist suffered a terrible rash.

On one hand, we have the right to allow spirits to ride us. On the other hand, it can be downright dumb to let something in. Christians invite The Holy Spirit in. Vodouns allow themselves to be ridden- but only in ritual, or under guidance.

Modern day Pagans, Witches, and Occultists should take notice from the truths shown in films such as Insidious 3. For one thing, spirits sometimes lie. They can reach into us when we are at our weakest, and be worse than a dangerous drug. They like our warmth, our life-force, and to use us to experience the goodness of these things.

Not everybody has an Elise to save them.

In the end, Elise is rejuvenated, and has come out of her self-imposed exile. The end of the film promises a new beginning and hope for the living that one such as Elise will do as a friend urged her when he said “ I don’t want you to stop helping families like them. They need you too much.”

This is another lesson from the film- Be what you are. Use your gifts, and reach out to those you are called to reach.

And watch this film, you will like it.

Also, I found out there is Insidious part 4! Oh joy!

Happy Movie Watching, and Blessed Be!

Insidious: Chapter 3

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel

 

Bright Blessings! I am thrilled to be doing a tv show & film review column. I DO sometimes luck into a film review and interview in a current film or book, but this column is different.

I will be selecting films and shows that have Pagan, supernatural, sacred, or witchy themes, and doing a review. No interviews involved, and I will be doing reviews of things that are not new releases.

How fun is that?

For my first review, I selected The Last Witch Hunter, a 2015 film starring Vin Diesel, the immortal Michael Caine, and Elijah Wood.

 

(The Last Witch Hunter Movie Trailer on YouTube.com.)

 

Filmed in blockbuster style, complete with the good versus evil theme, strong, muscle bound heroes, and soft beautiful starlet ladies, this is pure Hollywood, non-intellectual entertainment, and translates into a lot of relaxing fun.

The plot is a simple one. An ancient diabolical witch was thought to be defeated by Kaulder (Vin Diesel) centuries ago, during which time she has cursed him with immortality. He uses his limitless lifetime to hunt down other diabolical witches, and keep more benevolent ones in check. Unfortunately for him, said diabolical witch was secretly kept alive, and centuries after he thought he’d slain her, the devotees of said witch resurrect her in what will be the biggest battle of Kaulder’s career.

I liked and recommend this film for its good action scenes, dazzling special effects and costumes, and satisfying ending.

No spoilers!

I will say, though, leave it to Hollywood to keep the theme of the especially heroic good guy who is beyond perfect, who has to break all the rules to save the world.

Don’t expect accuracy in portraying what witches of today do. This is unapologetic fiction, not meant to be educational in any way. Use of sacred symbols such as the pentacle, runes, and discussion of the four elements, herbalism, and psychic gifts are nowhere near the real thing, but make for juicy good fiction.

Wood seems to have a knack for playing innocent faced characters with a trick up their sleeves, as he has in most films I’ve seen him in. As Gollum would have said “He’s tricksy!”

Caine is well…Michael fucking Caine, and is, as always a smooth, refined film god.

Vin Diesel stays mostly clothed throughout the film for a change. Sorry ladies, but as usual, he is cast as the romantic lead, with precious few intimacy scenes.

Although this is a fun movie as opposed to one offering pointers for social change, there are some lessons we can gather from it.

  1. Magic can be used for good or evil, depending on the magical practitioner.
  2. Intention is everything.
  3. You cannot run from what you are. Accept your gifts, and be thankful for them, because one day, they will save you.
  4. A witch is born, not made.
  5. People can be very good at illusions, lies, and betrayal can be absolutely anywhere.
  6. Similarly, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised about who you CAN trust after all.
  7. Not all witches or people in general are good, and not all are bad. Pay attention and learn before deciding to trust or not.
  8. The dead watch over the living. Always.
  9. In your weakest moment, the people who truly care about you can help you find the last reserve of strength you had no idea you had.
  10. Where there is life, there is hope. Never give up for as long as you are alive.

 

I recommend the film for good, fun, supernatural fiction. I’m sure there are those who would be upset fiction portrays witches inaccurately, but truthfully, anybody who believes witches can live forever, can set fire to things with our minds, and are out to destroy the world are not going to listen to the truth anyways.

So, grab the popcorn, and enjoy The Last Witch Hunter.

Blessed be.

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel

 

 

 

 

 

 

App Review

Simple Habit – Meditation for Busy People

Once more into the world of meditation apps I wander! This time I’m exploring the benefits of Simple Habit, an app I’ve had for a while but only used very sporadically. Again, I started with the free version then looked to upgrade for more features. The app is normally about $6 a month for the full version, but you can invite friends to get limited time access to premium content, so I bugged my friends and family in order to get access to the good stuff. Just for you guys. Because I loves ya.

The interface is less showy than the other apps I’ve looked at. It’s a dark gray background, with ‘windows’ style blocks displaying the title of each meditation. It’s very easy to navigate, and the lack of ‘flashiness’ lends itself well to a tool that’s designed to be calming and soothing. There’s a search function that allows you to look for key words. It even suggests things you may be looking for help with, such as ‘stress’ or ‘sleep’.

On the home page, there’s a larger block that simply says, ‘Play Next’, which shows the next meditation that’s either been recommended or lined up based on what you’ve already listened to. Clicking on this today opens ‘Simple Habit Starter’. The block disappears, and the screen shows a podcast style interface with the round circle showing how much audio remains, a pause/play function and before you start, a friendly reminder to ‘Take a deep breath’. Again, the colors are very muted, there is no clutter on the screen. It’s as if the app has been designed specifically to avoid distracting you from examining the recesses of your mind, by being as unobtrusive as possible.

Simple Habit Starter’ is subtitled ‘Introducing Mindfulness’. Many of the meditations (possibly all, I haven’t listened to them all so can’t say for sure!) start with ‘You’re listening to Simple Habit; a daily vacation for your mind.’ What a nice idea, that meditation is taking your brain on a little break. Someone called Cory Muscara tells me to get comfy; either sit or lie down. Close my eyes if it feels comfortable. Give myself permission to be here; stopping can feel foreign. There’s nothing I need to achieve. I’m encouraged to focus on my breathing, and the short starter session is over before I know it, leaving me oddly refreshed and keen to explore the other features. Before I do anything else, I’m encouraged to aim for small meditation goals, like a 3 day streak.

What I particularly liked was once the meditation was over, the app doesn’t fling you right back to the home screen, but lists other meditations you may be interested in, to add to your play list. Some are on the same or a similar theme and others are by the same guide. This is a great feature as if you are picking meditations that appeal to you, you’re more likely to be excited about meditation and see it as something to look forward to, rather than something you ‘should’ be making time for.

I did seven ‘sleep better’ sessions, and believe me, I have listened to *many* guided meditations promising a great night’s sleep, so wasn’t expecting anything special. I was pleasantly surprised. Each of the first six sessions taught you a different technique to help you fall asleep. What I found most useful about this was the fact that most of these techniques can be used without the need for external audio input. Once you’ve learned the skill and practiced it, you can simply relax and use the power of your own mind to put it into practice, without having to load up the app every time, which can wake you up further.

Simple Habit is perhaps one of the best mediation apps I’ve found so far. Even when I ran out of ‘premium’ time and was flung back to freebies only, I still found plenty of relevant meditations, from really short ones for busy days, to longer ones for after the kids have gone to bed. The guides are positive without being condescending, it’s reasonably priced and it’s easy to tailor the experience to your own needs. Highly recommended.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

Click Images for Amazon Information

 

 

The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition”

 


by Shaheen Miro

Published by Weiser Books

Published: 2018

Pages: 146-page Guidebook + Deck of 43 Cards

 

In his first deck, Shaheen Miro presents a set of 43 keys that tap into your lunar self and unlock the unfolding mysteries of life. Based on the symbols in the Lenormand deck, he has added more cards as well as more layers of meaning to all the cards. While still serving to understand the mundane circumstances of our daily lives, these cards delve deeper into the creative and intuitive self – the lunar self.

The solar self is logical, analytical, realistic and reasonable. Adult. Safe. It often overpowers the fluid, mystical, passionate, wondrous lunar self that longs to fall in love with the world. This deck got me in touch with, as Miro prefers, “the path of the self-expressive, soul-seeker, the mystical traveler who treats the world like a great canvas of adventure, expressing and exploring. Cultivating vibrance and buoyancy.” The liberation he speaks of comes from bringing the lunar self forward and letting it speak.

And speak it does.

I had never used a Lenormand deck before, so this set of symbols was new to me. I found them powerful. From the first time I used them, they drew information out of me I didn’t know was there. If these cards are meant for you, I trust they will awaken your intuition and tap into your inner wisdom, freeing you to become a nomad on a lunar path. Approaching them with a sense of wonder, the symbols trigger universal, general and personal interpretation, allowing you to tell a story.

My journey with the Lunar Nomad Oracle began when I was gifted a deck of “gypsy” fortune telling cards,” said Miro, an intuitive reader, energy worker and artist. “It was an old deck of 36 cards, each with its own symbol and illustration. There was no name or association to Lenormand on the deck, just these simple cards with a profound and uncanny wisdom about them. They reminded me of old dream symbols or tea leaf reading emblems; tea leaf reading is one of my favorite forms of divination.”

It was the perfect framework upon which intuition could unfold.

Something in me felt prompted to explore these symbols through my own psychic lens. I wanted to see how the energy of the symbols moved me to create. I felt like I channeled the deck into creation. I would allow the energy of a symbol to enter my awareness,” he said.

I would contemplate a symbol, letting it fully wash over and saturate my awareness. Then the energy of that symbol would begin moving me, almost like I was translating the energetic signature into something visual. I am a mixed-media artist, so I work in layers, combing illustrations, textures, colors and washes together. With the Lunar Nomad Oracle these resulted in these fascinating illustrations… each one seems like a little dream being cracked open and spilled out for us to wander through.”

The cards are rich with imagery and symbols that provide clues and prompts to the intuitive self. There are no suits and no linear structure, leaving the reader great freedom to add personal interpretations and insights. Each card is a word that, together with other words, forms a sentence. The more cards and the deeper you go, the more sentences become paragraphs that become stories.

It was affirming to find the way I have come to read cards is how he explains it to his readers – that it’s not about memorizing meanings, it’s about looking at the cards and making up a story. There is no right or wrong interpretation. Next, you’d review the keywords for each card, adding to the story those that resonate, thus allowing you add more to your story.

Although Miro offers a simple three-card layout of obstacle/focus/outcome, he also states these oracle cards do not need a spread with assigned meanings. Nine cards (typically three rows of three) make for a detailed story.

The oracle can be used to diagnose a situation, to look into the unknown; to explain or deconstruct an experience or memory; or to help create something. Cards are drawn differently depending on the intention.

Of all my decks, about 75% are tarot and 25% oracle. I find myself using tarot cards 95% of the time, and the ones I turn to most have a strong feminine energy (two are round, one is dreamy). This is the first oracle deck I have used day after day for most of the month rather than just pulling one out for a reading here and there. Working with three a day, the more familiar I became with the cards, the more I was hooked.

The artwork has somewhat of a Victorian, steampunk look to it. Some of the cards look dark – not in a sinister way, but more like how things look after the sun has set and the colors are swallowed by the night. The cards also have multiple layers. Mountain (pictured above), for instance, is more than a high green hill that presents an obstacle as well as a peak presenting another perspective. Lunar Nomad’s mountain card has geometric drawings superimposed on it, assuring me there are solutions to the seemingly insurmountable situation. For the key card (pictured above), an open hand holds a translucent key. Other than being offered the key to open all doors, the fact it does not appear as a three-dimensional solid key reminds me that my mind forms my reality. For you it might have a different message.

No matter what you see in the cards, or what story you weave, as Miro states, “Remember, the magic is in you, not the cards; they are only keys to unlocking your inner wisdom and magic.”

The Lunar Nomad Oracle is all my own,” Miro said. I created the card artwork and wrote the guidebook. This is my invitation for people to open the door to a new life where magic is real. The guidebook is my personal take on what the images convey to me, and how the process unfolded in my life. But there is nothing set in stone; I encourage people to use this oracle and the information in the guidebook as a platform to discover their own inner wisdom it’s right there under the surface just waiting to be found.

Working with oracles, and the Lunar Nomad Oracle specifically, has become a way of life for me. I do not see divination as predicting the future, to me it is a deep and sacred communion with our own inner magic and the limitless possibilities in the Universe. Everything is made of energy, we all tell an energetic story that is generated from our thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs and that energetic story becomes the narrative of our lives. If you make conscious your personal energetic story you have access to all the possibilities around you. You can shift the energy, change the narrative and create a whole new future. That’s the magic I share with my clients, and anyone who joins me on the Lunar side.”

He has a new book coming out next year.

For information and articles on magical living, intuition and self-empowerment, visit Shaheen Miro’s website and his Instagram where he encourages people to join him to learn about the oracle and other mystical work as well as to share your own readings with the cards by tagging him.

The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition

***

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.

Book Review

Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions”

by Anastasia Greywolf

Published by Wellfleet Press

Copyright May 29, 2018

Pages: 256

This book is marketed to “help readers navigate through their amorous adventures,” such as people hoping to “catch that person you’ve been secretly in love with for the past five months” and to help when “an unrequited crush is not getting your subtle hints.”

In her introduction, Anastasia Greywolf, a practicing witch and herbalist and a founding member of the Coven of the Moonbeam Ravine, states, “Whether you want to find ‘the one’ or simply make your pets love each other, get rid of a bad date or set yourself free from a bad energy of a relationship from the past, you’ll find the magic to make it happen in these pages (check the back for a full index of spells). From more than a dozen contributors, they draw from a variety of traditions and spiritualities.”

Some of the magic is traditional while most is modern.

I agree with Greywolf that “of all the mysterious forces in the universe, love may be the most powerful” and “love is hard to control.” I don’t agree that all the incantations, concoctions and charms offered to harness it are necessarily proper. Yes, love spells have been around “forever.” However, if something interferes with a person’s freewill, warning bells go off in my head.

For instance, there is a “Sisterhood Spell for Female Friends” contributed by Susan Adcox. Noting you “can never have too many sisters of the heart,” she offers a spell to make a relationship with a casual friend or acquaintance grow into something more. It involves burning a white candle and saying, “Bound by choice and not by blood, Be for me a sister good. Share the joy, halve the pain,
Our love will ever wax, not wane.”

While it seems harmless, my ethics would keep me from doing it because it’s trying to get someone to be a good sister. Rather, I would find another way to address the situation. If I was shy or too intimidated to approach the person, I would do some magic to bolster my self-confidence and courage. I would also recognize that this woman may not choose to be a close friend for any number of reasons that may very well have nothing to do with me. Not knowing the person well, there could be something about her behavior that would make not being close to her actually be for my highest good and greatest joy.

There is much to consider when doing a spell, and those involving others require the most thought and experience, which is why I caution people not to just pick up a book and follow some instructions without thinking through every detail and possibility.

A traditional spell Greywolf offers is “To Marry Whomever You Choose.” It reads, “To make the person you love want to marry you and ensure a union, the solution is simple. Obtain the heart of a chicken and swallow it whole.”

Other than being extremely squeamish about swallowing a chicken heart whole, I am also extremely squeamish about making a person love me. There are at least half a dozen ways I can see this go sideways.

The same goes for the spell “To Get a Marriage Proposal” contributed by Luna Eternal. Among other steps, it has the reader repeat three times,”With the love that is ours / I call upon this ancient power / Engagement is what I seek / Proposal is what you offer to me / By the power of three times three / As I will it, so mote it be!”

I see this as a form or manipulation. I also recognize my bias comes from how I practice and I acknowledge not everyone walks the same path the same way.

Spells can be found in the book that do not reach into someone else’s space. The “Pre-wedding Bath,” submitted by Jill Robi, is one of those. It calls for lighting pillar candles on each corner of the bathtub, adding certain essential oils to the water and floating rose petal upon it while envisioning “the best version of your special day, pulling positive energy into yourself, and projecting that into the universe.”

Robi’s “Wedding Sachet,” and Greywolf’s spells “To Cure Pre-Wedding Jitters” and “For Bandaging Past Wounds” are but three more examples.

I appreciated that along with steps to take “For Courage to Break Up With Your Lover,” contributor Aoife Witt wrote, “Important note: Most of us dread breaking up with a significant other. If the reason you are nervous about initiating a breakup is because your significant other may become violent, you may do this spell but please do not rely on it. Go to a safe place, and call the proper authorities.”

Among the more interesting spells I found in the book was this one to love yourself.

 

The Narcissa”

by Hollen Pockets

This is a spell to fall in love with yourself. Perform in times of need.

Take a rock and break your mirrors. You don’t need them right now.

Keep the rock and break your scales.
Take some scissors and snip your measuring tape. Keep the scissors and cut your hair, no mirrors needed. Speak the words: It doesn’t matter. It will grow.

Go for a long walk or get out of the house in whatever way you can. Use your body. Count the beats of your great heart.

Find a reflective pool. If needed, fill your favorite bathtub and look into that.

Speak the words: I have all I need.

Smile at your reflection, blurry and imperfect in the reflecting water. Smile and smile and smile.

 

For readers who want to craft their own spells, or modify one from “Love Magic,” the lists of colors, stones, herbs, essential oils and flowers found at the back of the book are helpful. There is also a section on love omens – from apples to wishbones – along with the meaning of various birds, a list of lucky days, and information about how each phase of the moon relates to love magic.

As with everything in life, it is wise to take what you need and leave the rest. I hope you will do so with this book as well as all others that show up on your path.

Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions

 

***

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.

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 Recipes, 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

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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.

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