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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Mistletoe Mistletoe (Viscum album –European Mistletoe; Phoradendron leucarpum and P. flavescens – Oak Mistletoe/American Mistletoe ) is also known as All Heal, Birdlime, Devil’s Fuge, Donnerbesen, European Mistletoe, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Lignam sanctae crucis, Misseltoe, Thunderbesem, Witches Broom and Wood of the Cross.   It is known as all purpose or “All Heal” herb by the Druids.  Mistletoe is found in Winter Holiday season and can be found in Europe and the United States.   Also, Mistletoe is a parasite and only grows on a host plant.  So if you decide to grow Mistletoe, make sure to grow it with a plant that you would not be upset if it weakens…

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    Gems of the Goddess

    Freyja – Queen of the Valkyries Goddess of Love, Beauty, War and Death Freyja (also known as Freya) was one of the major goddess of Norse mythology and leader of the Valkyries.  She was the goddess of love, fertility and beauty.   She is also known as the Goddess of war, battle, death, magic, prophecy and wealth.   She could be seen as the counterpart to Rhiannon and looked upon as the Lady.  It is thought that the day of “Friday” was named after Freyja. Freyja was married to mysterious God Od, who is sometimes associated with Odin.  One of the myths associated with this is that Od left her and as…

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    Gems of the Goddess

    Yemaya – The Great Mother Yemaya is the Goddess of the Ocean and is also known as the Great Mother and the Mother of All Creation.  She is also the Protector of Children and women, especially pregnant women.    She is the Mother of the Fish and the Goddess of Surrender.  Yemaya is an Orisha, which is one of the Gods of the Yoruba religion, which was brought to America from Africa.  One of the theories is that she traveled from Egypt to Africa and her name changed from Isis to Yemaya.  Yemaya is associated with the river of Ogun, because this river is known to cure infertility. Yemaya has many…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Blessed Thistle Blessed Thistle (Carduus Benedictus) is also known as Holy Thistle, Holy Ghost Herb, Saint Benedict Thistle, Spotted Thistly and Cardin.   It is known as a “heal all” herb.  Blessed Thistle is an annual and it is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia but now can be found in Europe and the United States. In ancient times, Blessed Thistle was known to cure many ailments, including the plague.  Currently, it is used to help with upset stomach.  Be very careful of using the herb in large quantities because it can induce vomiting.  It is also known to help with mothers producing breast milk. Blessed Thistle is also was…

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    Gems of the Goddess

    Cerridwen – The Tiger Mother Goddess Cerridwen is known as the goddess of death, initiation, inspiration, magic, and regeneration. The Magical Welsh crone goddess Cerridwen (pronounced KARE 0id wen) was a shape-shifting goddess of dark prophetic powers, enchantment and divination.   She is equated with Hecate (Greek) and Balb (Irish).  She is also sometimes related to Muses (Greek) but in a dark and more violent form. Cerridwen’s cauldron is a powerful symbol of transforming magic.  It contains all the knowledge in the world.  This is where the inspiration for the Samhain (or Halloween) Witch stirring a Caldron comes from. The brew in the Cauldron (named Amen) is known as Greal.  This…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    The Witch’s Cupboard Mint Mint (Mentha spp) is also known as “Garden Mint”.   Other names include Menta (Spanish, Italian), Menthe (French), Minze (German), and Nahnah (Arabic).  “Mint” is a general term for herbs in the Mentha family.   There are many different types of Mint which you can research for specific qualities.  Mint is found in parts of Europe and parts of Asia. In ancient times, Mint was considered an honored herb.  It was used as payments to the Pharisees.  It was also used by the Romans to crown themselves during celebrations and victory.   One of the Goddess myths is that Demeter turned the nymph Mintha into a Mint plant after…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Lavender Lavender (Lavendula officinale or L. Vera) is also known as Elf Leaf, Nard, Nardus and Spike.   The name is said to come from the Latin “lavare” which means “to wash”. Lavender is very common these days – its uses include sleep pillows, oils, teas, moisturizer and flowers.  Lavender is a perennial and can be grown very well, though it struggles with cold temperatures. In ancient times, Lavender was used as a religious herb.   It had been by selected by King Solomon to purify his temple.  It was a sacred herb that’s use has been traced back to pre-Christian times.  It had been thrown into the fire on St. John’s…

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    The Elements

    The Air – so crisp and clear. It tells me what I need to hear. It encourages me to think deeper. It whispers the truth in my ears. The Earth – so solid and strong. It takes on my pain, transforming it. It helps me to stand strong. It loves me like a mother would. The Fire – so passionate and light. It brings illumination to what I need to see. It burns away the hurt and pain. It keeps me warm when I feel the chill. The Water – so cool and refreshing. It washes me of all my worries. It glides me along the current of my life.…

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    Gems of the Goddess

    Psyche – the Goddess of the Soul The Goddess always has lessons to teach us based on their experiences.  Today, we look at the transformation through the Greek Goddess Psyche’s story of winning her husband Eros back. Psyche was a mortal – a stunning beauty, no less.  She wasn’t interested in love and romance, which upset Aphrodite, the Love Goddess, greatly.   Aphrodite decided to teach Psyche a lesson so she sent her son, Eros (known also as Cupid in Roman Mythology) to shoot her with one of his arrows.    However, when Eros went to do the job, he stumbled and got hit with his own arrow.  He immediately fell in…

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    The Witch’s Cupboard

    Cinnamon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, C. verum) also known as Sweet Wood and Ceylon cinnamon.   Its origin is Sri Lanka.   Cinnamon is pretty common in foods these days such as cinnamon rolls and cinnamon tea.  It is a bark that is ground into powder form that can be added to food and burned as incense. In ancient times, Cinnamon was used as a religious herb, created to purify temples.   It also helped with mummification to create a sweet smell.  Throughout history, its leaves have been used in medicine. Cinnamon can be used and substituted for Sun Magickal work such as healing, illumination, magickal power, physical energy, protection, success, and putting an…