perfume

Scents of the Season

November, 2018

And the Wheel of the Year turns again to Samhain. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, that means people are starting to think about pumpkin decorations while wondering if the 80-degree temperatures will turn to 60’s. Whenever this season comes back around our minds turns to the season past, and in a way that spring never really does. Spring is about the movement forward, birth and growth. Fall allows us to take stock of where we have been, and who we have been in the past. This ties in with scents so strongly because of the relationship between smell and memory. You simply cannot have one without the other.

Scent is 90% memory and only 10% recall, because in the process of understanding each smell we encounter we have to unpack the box of our experience, day by day, because each time we encounter a scent, we are encountering the last time we unpacked the memory of that scent, not the first time. We are looking at a copy, of a copy so to speak. The recent days are right there on top of the box fresh and clean because they were only placed there yesterday. Items that were put in the box five, ten or twenty years ago may take longer to find in the box, or they may be covered in dust, so it could take a minute to figure out what you’re looking at so to speak.

But we go through all of these processes because it simply could not work the other way around. Could you imagine being shocked and amazed at the smell of your own house every time you encountered it? There are hundreds of fragrances a day that we take for granted that our noses have (thankfully) written off for us as non-threatening.

With Samhain, it’s the season of taking stock, because we no longer need to take stock of our pantries and larders to make sure our families will make it through the winter, doesn’t mean we can’t take stock of our lives, our groups of friends and families. One of the easiest ways to do that is to relax our brains, our emotional centers and remind them that it is safe enough to take stock of where we are and let our sense of smell and nostalgia take over from there.

How do we do that? Call on the powers of fall. Here are some essential oils, and the magical applications you can do with them. (See ‘Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic‘ for a full list of warnings for each essential oil.)

Anise- (Pimpinella anisum) Anise is a protective plant, as well as a purifying and divining one. If you have someone in your life if you aren’t sure of their true purpose, place a drop of anise in an essential oil diffuser and use the mist created to scry or meditate on the truth of their mission. Anise will tell you the truth and help you protect your family and purify your home at the same time if needed.

 

 

Black Pepper– Improves mental alertness, physical energy and is great for protection spells. Can be used to drive away evil and as such is great for hex-breaking spells and uncrossing work of all kinds. This is perfect for Samhain as it’s this time of the year when the Veil between the worlds is thinnest that energetic nasties can be lurking outside your home. Diffuse this potent protector (again, just one drop! Don’t overdo it and cause yourself or someone else respiratory distress) to do a quick uncrossing to make sure there is nothing lurking from your latest ‘humble-brag’ at work.

 

 

Cinnamon- Boosts creativity of all kinds (artistic, linguistic and more), provides good luck, increases libido. The warming action burns away threads of negativity so is associated with protection. Is very uplifting and is associated with increased intuitive gifts. The next time you want to head into your workspace to get to the newest project consider diffusing some cinnamon essential oil 30 minutes before you are planning to get to work, so you don’t have to overcome the ‘get to know you’ part of your work day and can jump into the creative process.

 

 

Clove- The warmth of clove burns away that which doesn’t belong so its magic is dispelling that which doesn’t belong, especially people who don’t belong in your life anymore.

Ginger- This is energizing, healing and associated with love, passion, and power. What a great time to make sure that the people in your circle have your best intentions at heart. Take stock of the people who have been there for you for the past year, through phone calls, late-night PMs when you needed someone to talk to, who never had the time when you needed someone. Everyone has low times in their life, only you’ll know the difference between ‘dealing with something’ and just someone whose friendship has run its course.

Oakmoss- Not everyone is going to know this one, but I wanted to throw in a wild card. This lichen smells like leather backed with violets and is used for magic dealing with divination, grounding, hex breaking, and big-time manifestation. It also makes a great fixative for magic, so if you want to make sure that your magic is in it for the long haul, use this. (If you work with poppets, and live in a place like Florida, I’ve seen Oakmoss falling off trees, you can stuff poppets with it. Make sure to google a photo of it just because it’s on a live oak, doesn’t make it oakmoss.) I have gotten a decent price online for Oakmoss Absolute, feel free to reach out to my author page if you can’t find it.

By working with the scents of the season we can remember the times of Samhains and Halloweens past and embrace the best parts of ourselves. We can not only be the best of ourselves that we deserve, but that our friends and families deserve. By weeding and tending the garden of our hearts we keep those precious reserves for those people who truly deserve the fruits of our labor and our time, attention and devotion.

For more information on working magic with essential oils, the history of plants and their by-products, please consider ‘Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic‘ available where books are sold. Weiser has thoughtfully provided a generous sample of the first 50 pages at http://tinyurl.com/blackthornsbotanicalmagic

 

Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic: The Green Witch’s Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual & Healing on Amazon

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About the Author

Amy Blackthorn has been described as an arcane horticulturalist for her lifelong work with plants and magic. She incorporates her past in a British Traditionalist Witchcraft coven with her horticulture studies to form one path. She has been trained as a clinical aromatherapist and is ordained.

She has appeared on HuffPostLive, YahooNews, Top10 Secrets and Mysteries, and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. She has also appeared in print interviews for over 20 years. Her tea company Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends creates magical tea blends based on traditional formulas after 20 years of teaching, of study and of practice. She lives in Delaware.

www.amyblackthorn.com

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

July, 2018

Rose Water

Merry meet.

I have a Zephirine Drouhin – an old Bourbon rose from 1868. It’s one of the best-known climbers and is nearly thornless. The reason I love it so much, however, is its scent. Just the memory of its rich, old rose perfume makes me swoon.

When it’s in a happy place, it will bloom in Central Connecticut for about three or four weeks beginning in late May and than a second, lesser, shorter bloom in September. The one I had at my house was happy. The one I stealthily planted at my condo has never bloomed a second time, making this spring’s flowers that last I expect to enjoy before I move.

To preserve some of it just a little longer, I gathered a pan of petals, added just enough distilled water to almost cover, and then I put the lid on the pan and let it slowly simmer, never letting it boil, for about an hour. When all the color has left the petals, the water will be tinted the color of the roses and it’s done.

Strain and keep the rose water in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Consider adding up to one teaspoon of vodka to help preserve it longer than 7-10 days.

The rose water can be used in spiritual and magickal workings.

You can use in love magic to anoint yourself, charms, tools or candles. Rose water can also be for a cleansing prior to spell work, rituals and ceremonies by adding it to your bath or misting yourself with it, Sanserae of Yaels Moon said in a YouTube video.

Roses have magical attraction properties that work for love, luck or money, she explained. It can also be used in beauty spells.

A more involved distillation method would probably produce a more intense result. Instructions can be found for a simple hack here: https://www.freshbitesdaily.com/hydrosol-hack/.

A similar method is described here: http://everythingunderthemoon.net/forum/rose-water-rose-hips-magical-uses-rose-t24175.html.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

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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.

Aromatic Life

December, 2015

It’s All About the Lavender

 

Here are some beauty recipes whose main ingredient is lavender.

 

Lavender and Rosemary Soap

lavender

 

Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) each have a mild yet stimulating effect on skin. Both are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and beneficial for treating wounds, blemishes, boils, dermatitis, fever blisters, and more.
Begin this soap by making and infusion of fresh lavender flowers and rosemary leaves. To make an infusion, pour one cup of steaming hot water over three tablespoons of dried or fresh lavender flowers and rosemary leaves (proportioned as you like) and steep for ten minutes.

3 cups glycerin soap base
1/4 cup lavender flowers/rosemary leaves infusion
1 1/2 tsp. lavender oil
1/2 tsp rosemary oil
1 tsp pulverized dried rosemary (optional)

Combine melted base and herbal materials. Stir until blended, then pour into molds and cool.

This soap is very pleasing–so try not to give it all away! Store some in a linen closet for yourself and your family.

 

 

Lavender Mineral Bath

1/2 cup solar dried sea salts
1/4 cup epsom salts
1/4 cup dead sea mineral salts
40 drops lavender EO

Mix all ingredients well (adding EO last) store in a glass jar or tin
and use 1/4 cup per bath!

 

 

Deodorant Recipe

4 ounces 100 proof grain alchohol
28 ounces purified water
1 cup of dried lavender flowers
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaf
1/4 cup witch hazel leaf
2 teaspoon Lavendar essential oil
In a large jar, combine herbs. Mix alcohol and water and pour into jar with herbs to fill. Screw cap tightly on jar. Let steep, shaking occasionally for a full moon cycle. Strain liquid through muslin cloth. Return liquid to clean jar, add essential oils, Screw cap tightly on jar, shake vigorously. Let set and shake thrice more over the course of a day. Shake well before decanting into spray bottles.

 

 

Lavender Bath 
Lavender essential oil is reassuring, soporific, and is often the first choice of aromatherapists for treating emotional or mental stress. It also reduces muscular pain, whether from illness or physical exertion, and soothes the skin. I can’t think of a more perfect herb for a relaxing bath.

Ingredients:

4 cups epsom salts
2 cups Sea salt
1 cup non fat powdered milk
2 cups oatmeal ground to a very fine powder in a food processor or
coffee
grinder-use the old fashioned kind
40 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, sieve if you wish,then add the lavender 10 drops at a time, thoroughly mix it through. Do this 4 times, so that the lavender essential oil is distributed.

I then put the mix in glass jars and put a pretty sticker on the jar with all the ingredients and the date when I made it.

 

 

Lavender Dusting Powder

 

1/3 c white kaolin powder
1/3 c arrowroot powder
1/3 c cornstarch
4 drops each lavender, clary sage and mandarin EO
Combine ingredients in blender. Add oils and blend. Put in shaker orjar with powder puff.

 

 

Solid Lavender Perfume

4 ounces beeswax
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon Lavender essential oil

Melt beeswax into the oil using a double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in essential oils and keep stirring for about a minute. Pour into containers and let cool completely until solid.