#30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge Days 10 & 11

Day 10: Herb/Plant/Tree
Choose a plant ally to connect with. Or let one choose you! More information on being chosen by a plant here: 6 Signs a Plant Wants to Make Magic with You.

This one doesn’t even take any thinking at all, though I have many favourite trees and plants, my ally has always been Willow. As a kid, they were my favourite trees to climb, and I was fortunate enough to have had many around. I have sat in their wooded arms to cry, to sing, to reflect on many a thing, to cast spells. Not to mention the Disney movie Pochahontas really solidified that love of Willow trees, who wouldn’t want a badass, tells it how it is but in a sweet kind of way, grandmother Willow?

Day 11: Write a spell and perform it

This spell plays right into my love of the Willow tree, and is quite simple.

Materials:
-a leaf (can be of your own tree/plant ally, or something that fits your purpose)
-a tall place, preferably over running water, but anywhere high is just fine

Instructions:
1. Find a fallen leaf from your chosen plant/tree. Thank the spirit of the leaf. Bring it with you to a high place, I love the bridges over the Saugeen river here.

2. Stand with the leaf in your hands, looking at it and focusing your intent into it. Ask the spirit the leaf comes from to help your intent to manifest. You can also ask for any worry to be taken with the leaf when you let it float away.

3. Once you feel your intent is fully imbued into the leaf, let it float down and away from you. Since I have the river below, I can watch my leaf, my wish, be carried away downstream, taken to where it needs to go to do its work. It’s also a fantastic imagery of it being taken into the Astral where the magick can set itself to work once I can no longer physically see the leaf.

4. Thank the spirit of the plant/tree for helping with your purpose.

 

If you’d like to follow along with Plentiful Earth’s #30DaysMagicalRoots challenge, don’t fret about being late! I think the most important part is that you can do this at any time, and reconnect with your magical self, or build that foundation of small daily practices. ❤

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Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. 😀

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia

The Pagan Experience Looking Forward

Thanks to a few of the bloggers I read, I am now going to participate in The Pagan Experience, as a step up from the Pagan Blog Project. Now I don’t mean that in a negative light, it just feels like PBP is more for those starting out, the prompts emphasize the history, tools, etc. of Paganism and Witchcraft. While I like to go back every once in a while and give a thought as to why we use what we use, the power in tools of the tangible and intangible sort, I feel like it’s no longer the time for me to continue “starting out”. Also, most of the PBP posts that I’ve written in the past year and a half, perhaps more, have been more personal, less of that initial Learn. All. The. Things.
I’m still learning of course, but it’s much less about the books now, and more about the actual practice, the interactions that I have. Learning things by rote helps a bit, but can you remember all the things you had to memorize when you were in grade school? Probably not. What stays in mind are the experiences, things connected to emotions, and spirituality is abundant in the emotional department.

Alright, so to get to the point of this first Pagan Experience blog post, resolutions! I don’t really do them. I generally have things that I am always working towards anyhow, so I’ll share what the coming year will have in store for me.

1. Write. I need to finish the novel I began writing for NaNo. I’m still excited about the story, but I need to take some time to plan out what’s going to happen in each chapter till the end of the book.
I am also going to write short stories of erotica to publish on a fairly regular basis. I enjoy writing it as much as I love reading it, and sometimes, you just gotta write your own stuff to see what you want to see. I’ve already got a neat world I’m working in, and I’m excited to see where it goes as well. I think with this first story, there will be more, a bigger story that will be put out in instalments. It’s also going to be a way for me to sharpen my story writing skills so that the big stories I have to tell will be done so in a much cleaner way.

2. Redo my garden this year, cutting down some of the things that didn’t seem to work well, and what we didn’t tend to eat very much of. It will also be a year of knowing what will need to be better taken care of on this particular plot, now that I’ve gone through a growing season with it. And this year, I absolutely must remember to get my sister to bring some horse poop in the fall! (The poop is the most important goal, of course!)
I will also be making a bigger effort for herbs, both culinary and medicinal. Of course, it can all be used magickally, but you already knew that, right? Also, herbs and flowers in the garden keep pests away, so there’s also that.

3. Eat well, move more. Nothing specific. I’m not going to say I want to lose such and such amount of weight. I just want to take care of my body, which is something that’s already on my mind every day anyway.

4. Spiritually, I’d like to allow myself to just do things when I feel moved to. Not to just sit there thinking that there’s going to be too much involved. We do things when inspired because we are deeply moved to do it, ritual and celebration helps us to mark important things in our lives, and I need to do this more. I’m not saying I’m going to do ALL. THE. RITUALS. I am not a ritual kind of person. Only once in a while. No, if I feel like I need to bake something for an offering, or do a specific spell, or say a prayer in a more formal and marked way, I will do it.

5. Sing more. I’ve been moved more and more lately to sing. Not as intensely as I have pursued it before, but music is calling. I often think of writing, but my best tunes come out in the shower and I forget when I’m done. Yes, I realize I should just bring my phone in and record. Welp, there’s a thought 😛 Thank you, writing this post for making me think of that!

I think these are the basic things I am seeking to do this year. Nothing too crazy, just things that I feel are attainable, as I already endeavour to do them anyway.

Month of the Ivy

Ivy - by Vulkan

Ivy – by Vulkan

Dates:
September 30 – October 27

Latin Name: 
Hedera

Celtic Name:
Gort

Folk Names:
Bindwood, lovestone

Hedera helix (English Ivy) - Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thome; Flora von Deutschland, 1885

Hedera helix (English Ivy) – Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thome; Flora von Deutschland, 1885

Parts Used:
Berries, leaves

Medicinal Uses:
A drachm of the flowers which has been decocted in wine is said to keep dysentery in check.

The yellow berries are said to be good for those who spit up blood, as well as against jaundice.

According to Culpepper, ivy for nerves and sinews should be used externally, never internally.

The tender twigs used to make a salve will aid in healing sunburn.

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Associations:
Dionysus, Kissos, Zeus, Jupiter, Sun, blue, yellow serpentine, resurrection, positive strength of the ego, sacred to Osiris and Saturn.

Magical Uses:
It is carried by women (especially brides) for good luck. It’s also used in charms for fidelity and love.

Wherever you grow it, or wherever it grows naturally, it guards and protects the area from negativity and disaster. However, if the ivy should die and fall off (be especially wary if it is your house), it is said that misfortune is sure to come your way.

Because ivy naturally spirals as it grows longer, it is connected with cycles, resurrection, rebirth. It also seeks light and food sources through many obstacles, associating it with strength.

It has many magical uses such as the general protection, healing, exorcism, and cooperation.

On New Year’s Eve, if you place a leaf in water, and it is still fresh on Twelfth Night (January 5th), the coming year would unfold favourably for you. For the Yuletide season, holly and ivy together make for traditional and beautiful decorations.

Crowns made of holly and ivy are worn by a couple who are handfasting. A crown of just ivy was worn by poets as it is thought that ivy brings divine inspiration. The Greeks in Corinth would also make victory crowns of ivy for those who won at the games held in the city.

Full Moon Shenanigans

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It’s the Vine Moon, and I am working with some grapevines tonight for some nefarious deeds. Ok… not so nefarious, but some thing for which I would like a little magical boost for.

So I sang in offering to the grapevine in my backyard after asking for some of itself, had an interesting interaction with it, and took what I was allowed. It was pretty enchanted as the sun was behind the pine the grapevine is growing up on, and the sun was filtering golden light to dance across my eyes as the rest of the world seemed not to exist for a few seconds. I love moments like those.

I hope your Full Moon is fruitful and the Moon, Gods, and Spirits enjoy your worship, watch over and aid in your magic, and bestow Their blessings upon you.

Oregano

From wikipedia.org

From wikipedia.org

Latin Name: Organum vulgare

Common/Folk Names: Kekik (Turkish), wild marjoram, winter marjoram, Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano, mountain mint, wintersweet

 

From FoodUniversity.com

From FoodUniversity.com

Medicinal Uses:
It has been shown to be most likely effective for riding oneself of intestinal parasites.

Oregano has proven to be high in antioxidants, and in tests, it has shown antimicrobial activity against certain strains of listeria.

In traditional Austrian medicine, oregano consumed as a tea or used topically as an ointment  is used to treat respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system disorders. This hearkens back to Hippocrates’ use of oregano as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments, along with use as an antiseptic.

From homegarden-journal.com

From homegarden-journal.com

Magical Uses:

Ruled by the planet Venus, the element of Air, and associated with Aphrodite.

Work with it for luck, happiness, tranquility, health, and protection. It can aid you in letting go of a loved one, or deepen existing love.

A crown of oregano worn during handfastings will bring happiness to the partnership. If also worn on the head whilst sleeping, it is said it will aid in psychic dreaming.

Because of oregano’s ability to bring joy, work with it to celebrate joyful occasions, or to bring more joy into your life. Wreaths or bundles of oregano can be left upon the recently deceased’s grave to ensure they find joy in the next part of their journey.

Of course, with all culinary herbs, use it in your food to impart the joy and happiness of oregano to your friends and family. Being easily recognizable as an important ingredient in Greek and Italian cuisine, it conjures up images of large family dinners, all are laughing and telling stories to each other, enjoying each other’s company. Keep these images in mind as you stir that pot of spiced tomato sauce, or as you mix together that olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano dressing.

PBP – Hellebore

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Please note that hellebore is quite poisonous and should not be used by those who haven’t knowledge of how to work with poisonous herbs.

Latin Name:
Helleborus niger (black hellebore is the traditional magickal herb, called black for its roots, as the flowers are usually pink or white)

Common Names:
Christe Herbe, Christmas Rose, Winter Rose, Melampode

Parts Used:
Root, rhizome

Image from Botanical.com

Image from Botanical.com

Medicinal Uses:
Please do not use hellebore for medicinal purposes, the following is a recounting of historical medical practices concerning the herb.

Hellebore is a severe purgative, emmenagogue, and anthelmintic (rids the body of parasites), but is an extreme narcotic.

Previously employed quite frequently to treat dropsy and amenorrhoea,  as well as proved useful in the treatment of hysteria and nervous disorders. It was generally used in tincture form, but applying the tincture to the skin proved a violent irritant. 

Since it is so poisonous, foxglove and dogbane were used more often as they weren’t nearly as poisonous as hellebore.

Magickal Uses:
Associated with Saturn, Mars, and the element of Water.

Was once used to bless cattle against evil spells and baneful influences. In fact, there was a specific ritual performed whilst digging the roots, the details of which have been unfortunately lost with the passage of time.

An ingredient in incense meant to consecrate talismans of Saturn. It was, according to Agrippa, used as well to raise spirits of Mars.

Scatter hellebore that has been powdered in front of you as you move and you will be invisible.

At one time used to induce astral projection (but not recommended as again, very poisonous), along with exorcism rituals. It is also employed for banishing and necromancy.

Photo by  Archenzo Moggio.

Photo by Archenzo Moggio.

PBP – Heather

 

Image from grow.ars-informatica.ca

Image from grow.ars-informatica.ca

 

Latin Name:
Calluna Vulgaris

Common Names:
Heather, Heath, Scot’s Heather, Scotch Heather, Froach, Ling

Parts Used:
Flowering shoots

Image from Wikimedia

Image from Wikimedia

Medicinal Properties:
Heather has been used for insomnia, migraines, stomach pain, skin problems, and coughs, and problems that are connected to menstruation. It is considered a mild diuretic, and has antiseptic qualities.
Its use strengthens the heart and raises blood pressure slightly, and has been used to treat heart palpitations.
Used fresh or dry, you can make a heather tea to access its benefits by simmering 4 teaspoons to a cup of water. The dose is a half of a cup per day if drunk.
The flowering shoots can also be added to a bath to tone muscles and sooth rheumatic issues.

Magickal Associations:
The planet Venus, Water, garnet, red, white, Red Grouse, Uroica, Venus, Aphrodite, Erycina, Cybele, Isis, wild passions and their consequences

Magickal Properties:
An flower of the Goddess, it is sacred to Isis. Heather is carried for protection against violent crimes, especially of rape (white heather provides the strongest protection), and for general good luck.

White heather is often used in cases where one is presented with overly passionate, and ultimately unwanted suitors.
Red heather, in turn, aids to stir up the passions, or to begin or end an affair.
Purple is often used for spiritual development.

Sleeping on a pillow stuffed with heather can bring about foretelling dreams of good fortune.

Burning heather and fern together outdoors brings rain.

It is a flower that can open portals between this and the world of the Fae. The Fae of this flower are also especially attracted to people who are shy. It can also be used to conjure the spirits of the dead.

Lastly, it is helpful for those who shape shift, as well as protects against shifters who would cause you harm.

Image from guim.co.uk

Image from guim.co.uk

Pagan Blog Project – H is for Hearth

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The hearth is the heart of the home, and it has become an increasing part of my practice’s focus. I am growing quite mindful of the sacred duty of keeping the hearth, and how my upkeep and time spent cleaning, cooking, baking, creating beautiful things to decorate our home, taking care of the animals, and the man, is integral to the feminine side of my spirituality.

I will outright say that I do not believe that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”, not in the anti-feminist sort of way anyhow. I feel that the traditional gender roles are acceptable, and noble to pursue if that is the path that draws you; the same way it is acceptable and noble to pursue gender roles that are not traditional to your gender. In my case, I am very feminine, and enjoy the traditional feminine roles. “A woman’s place is in the kitchen” should really be “a person’s place is in the kitchen if that is where they find joy”. I enjoy creating a loving, welcoming, warm environment for family and friends. I have kind of always been the mama in my group of friends. That’s just the way I was made.

The hearth to me symbolizes the place where you can always return to to be safe, no matter what else in the world is going on. “Home is where the heart is,” and never a truer thing was said. The physical and spiritual energy (whether thought about or no) put into creating a home that harbours health, nourishment, joy, and love makes it inherently a sacred space. With this in mind, a happy home is naturally protected from outside negativity and harm. That doesn’t mean stop spiritually cleansing by smudging and the like, or never create protection charms to hang up, or never ward your home; do so when you need that extra bit of shielding. For the most part, however, your home is protected by the energy put into making it a warm and happy place.

I’ve been playing with an idea in my head for a little while of keeping a candle lit at all times in my home to symbolize the warmth and light of the hearth (seeing as there is not an actual fireplace in here), and to keep me mindful of keeping my home warm and light. I will obviously have to extinguish it when I leave the house, but otherwise, I’m thinking this will be a good thing for me. I am the lady of this house, and I enjoy the sense of duty and purpose within that role, and a reminder of that when I’m not enjoying it so much is in order, I think.
I’m also pretty sure the man enjoys the effort I spend making nummy foods, so it’s not a role that goes unappreciated! Speaking of which, he has said a few times recently that managing the household is my job, in lieu of reminding him of his chores and things that need to be taken care of by him in the house.
While sometimes there is frustration with having to remind him about things, I took on this role automatically when we moved in together almost six years ago. And I have to admit that my memory and observation skills are much better than his when it comes to the things that must be done, and are not necessarily fun. In a way, it’s also nice that I am relied upon in such a way.

To sum it all up for me, simply, there is more to homemaking than just the outward, or tasty, appearances.

Allspice

Image from Wikipedia

Latin Name: Pimenta dioica

Common Names: Pimento, Jamaica Pepper, Eddo, Madere, Basheen, Kouroubaga

Parts Used: Fruit, the shells in particular

Herbal Usages:
Although Allspice is now mostly used as a flavouring and condiment in foods, it does aid in griping (pain in the bowels), and when using a purgative (cleansing) for the bowels. It will rid you of the flatulence associated with bowel issues.

Image from Wikipedia

Magical Properties:
This is a spice associated with Fire and Mars, a very masculine spice indeed. It is used for attracting money, luck, success, and healing. Carried in a green flannel bag, it will bring you luck while gambling. Allspice will help you beat out your competition, so carrying some on you while going for interviews, or while competing for something will greatly increase your chances of coming out on top. It is a very useful spice to carry while being a salesperson as it makes it more likely people will buy more from you. Sprinkle the powder at your business or place of work to bring great success; rubbing your hands with it will attract money to your hands.

Image from Wikipedia