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Notes from the Apothecary

April 1st, 2019

Notes
from the Apothecary: Chilli

Chili is a useful medicinal and magical plant. This spicy fruit is delicious in a variety of cuisines, from Mexican to Indian and many in between. Modern research has found many health benefits, and the modern witch can use chili for a range of spells and magics. Chili is a beautiful plant, with striking foliage and stunning, glossy fruits ranging from scarlet to shades so deep they’re nearly black- perfect for the inner goth! Read on to find out why chili is such a useful ingredient for mundane and magical use.

The
Kitchen Garden

Not everyone likes spicy food, but chili pepper adds flavour as well as heat. It’s all about choosing the right chili and getting the quantities right. As this isn’t a cookery blog, I won’t go into too much detail- I could wax lyrical for days about the tastes of different chilies! But it’s worth noting that you can vastly remove the heat of any chili you want to cook with by removing the seeds.

We use scotch bonnets for when we want a deep, savoury flavour- often in dishes that are slow cooked as these chilies handle this really well. We use jalapenos to throw in to pasta or fajitas, or tiny birds eye chilies to add bite to Thai or Chinese food. I’m a total chili addict, and even when we don’t have fresh chilies in the house, I always have some dry habaneros for emergencies, plus a frankly ridiculous range of pepper sauces.

Currently, I even have some dried scorpion chili- not for the faint hearted!

Growing chilies is pretty easy if you have a hot, sunny garden, or a greenhouse, or a decent sized window-sill that catches the sun. I grow mine indoors as I live in a cool climate. I plant a few seeds in moist soil in a pot, cover them with a clear plastic bag or upside-down soda bottle, and wait for them to germinate. Once they have several leaves, I put them into individual pots. Then, it’s all about making sure they’re watered- but not too much- and have access to light. I also manually pollinate the flowers, in the absence of pollinators!

The
Apothecary

Mrs Grieve refers to cayenne pepper in her Modern herbal, but also uses the synonyms bird pepper and African pepper, so it’s clear she’s talking about hot chilies in general. She states it is a powerful stimulant, and aids in digestion although it can also cause problems due to chili being an irritant. Indeed, one of the reasons hot chilies are added to food is to increase the stomach acid in order to kill more bacteria- useful in hot climes where it is hard to keep food cool and fresh.

She states that in the West Indies, a concoction called Mandram is made with chili, citrus, cucumber and onion as a remedy for weak digestion. Gargling with a tiny amount of chili in rose water was a remedy for sore throats or a relaxed uvula- not recommended without expert experience!

The
Witch’s Kitchen

Cunningham tells us that chili is a masculine herb, rule over by Mars- no surprise, considering the fiery connotations! He also states it is one of the plants associated with fidelity and can be used to break hexes or reveal hidden things. One of the spells he shares is for when you fear your lover is straying. Cross two dried chili peppers then tie them with red or pink ribbon. Sleep with the peppers beneath your pillow to ensure your partner’s loyalty to you. Adding chili powder to love spells will ensure the love is passionate or ‘hot’.

Pueblo and Hopi tribes have used chili pepper in rituals, and Maya tribes believed the chili had healing and protective powers. Columbus was attacked with flaming chili bombs full of habaneros when he arrived in the ‘New World’- an appropriate response, really. There is a Zuni legend which tells the strange story of the origins of the chili plant. Thunder and lightning were stolen from the gods, and two youths played with them until the accidentally killed their grandmother. Where they buried her, the chili plant grew, its fruits imbued with the fiery power of her scolding tongue.

Chili flakes are used in Hoodoo to jinx an enemy, in various powders and dusts. Sprinkling chili around a rival’s home brings them bad luck and difficulties in life. Chili can cause break ups or make an unwanted guest leave. However, it’s also used for cleansing.

I
Never Knew…

The
Latin name capsicum is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘to
bite’, referring to the spiciness when eaten.

***

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 & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Midwinter and Christmas Spirit Magic

 

(Image from http://visitstonehenge.com/)

As nearly everyone knows, light seeds of what will manifest during the coming year, are sent by the spirit world down Arthur’s sword of light to the base of everyone’s spine on Midwinter dawn. I can usually feel a sizzling at the base of my spine that day, when I first step out of my little cottage into the daylight. But there’s much more that follows after, which no one at all seems to recognize. As a light healer, reading energies, it’s easy for me to see these. And so, this month, I want to write about what I’ve observed over many years. Those Arthurian light seeds of the year ahead settle down into the energetic soil of everyone’s womb (both men and women have inner female and male structures inside in light), where they remain for three days, while the Goddess decides the exact form and timing the new impulses of light will take over the year to come. The dark cosmic sea, keeper of all things unborn, floods every person’s abdomen as well. One could call it the unconscious, for it is.

Always, there’s one central thrust of growth for each person over the year to come, growth that will involve facing specific fears or outer challenges meant to build a brand new part of the self within. This new gift or talent is always divine, a small piece of each person’s self-of-light or highest destiny that will eventually emerge during everyone’s final lifetime on earth. This divine self was seeded into us at the very moment of our creation into light, long, long, ago, on the Creator Sun, the highest light structure in the seventh heaven, so say my druid guides. You could think of this new self-of-light that grows into fulness each year as each person’s own divine child of that cycle, too. That’s how my guides speak of it, anyway. Our own divine qualities always reflect the Creators, too, the White Tara and Oghama, Goddess and God.

So, after three days in the cosmic sea, the first structures of the year’s divine child emerge from everyone’s abdominal unconscious and move into each person’s high heart or thymus. The thymus is the inner child heart, where our divine children anchor in most strongly. This happens on Christmas dawn. This child within looks like an infant-of-light, and I find this time most magical, for I can always feel the soft loving-kindness essence of the divine children filling my spirit on that morning. Even amid the bustle of cooking for visiting relatives, I try to find a few moments of quiet to sense what this impulse of growth for the year ahead may bring for me. And this divine infant is one of twelve parts of our inner spirits that everyone has, all twelve with specific vibrations, regencies of the spirit, and directives in life. You could call these twelve parts of everyone’s spirit their personality, too. These twelve parts of our inner spirits exactly match the twelve gods and goddesses of the Creator Sun as well.

And always this emergence of the divine child inside everyone releases a bright beam of hope, a ray of clear diamond light. It will see that, during this first druid moon of the year, the Birch moon, some memory or long-cherished desire will be brought to each person’s attention. This is the first hint of what will manifest for each of us at the end of the coming year, something we’ve long wished for. And this promise of fulfillment stirs up desire from our depths to face and heal whatever fears may be in its way, so this dream will definitely come to be at the end of the year.

Over the year ahead then, this impulse get fleshed out as we push against the thorns and briars in our paths. On Imbolc, the little girl part of each person’s spirit emerges from this abdominal sea. On the Vernal Equinox, the toddler boy emerges. Then the feminine virgin on Bealtaine, the masculine virgin at Midsummer. The inner god and goddess are active during the Oak (May/June) and Apple (July/August) moons, not the solstice/equinox/cross-quarter-day festivals. The inner mother part of our spirits arises at Lughnasa, the inner father at the Autumnal Equinox, the feminine grandmother at Samhein, and finally, the inner grandfather at Midwinter. This is when our new divine part of self is finally complete, fully born into all twelve parts of our inner selves-of-light. It’s the realization of our sweet dream of the year before.

May your own divine child for the year to come be utterly miraculous, bringing an end to want, perhaps, a special destiny, a love like no other. I always hope for the beginning of real peace, unity between peoples, an end to war and privation in the places of most intense global suffering. But these are dreams that will take us all to achieve. For now, it’s enough to feel that sword of light and let it lead you all year long. Let’s walk this road together into the awakening of everyone’s divinity, all of us a shining star in our own personal areas of endeavor. May this season of magic be the very best you’ve ever had!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to Arthurian Fulfillment on Amazon

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