#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. ❤

My Magical Place

I want to share a few pictures of my favourite place to go when I need to do some magick. It’s off the trail I frequently ride on. I’ve been going here since I was 15 or 16; it is an incredible place of power. When you walk in off the trail, you go down a short, gravel hill between an ash tree and another (I can’t remember). When you get to the bottom, there is a little stream on the right that flows down to the river in front of you between two very large black willow trees. I think willow may be my tree, seeing how it has played a prominent role throughout my entire life.

I laid down in what seems like a perfect place to rest between four of the willow on the right’s large, strong main limbs. My head leaned back on one of them, and I could look up into her swaying branches and leaves above. Right now, there are little white fluffs of willow seed floating around in the air, making it that much more of a visually magical place. The sun dances between the leaves, and when you close your eyes, the shadows and light play across your eyelids, almost like the sun reflected on water.

I met with her spirit, she showed me some things that are bound to pass for me, and I made some magick with her help.

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This is my view if I turn my head to the left, laying in her arms. The trees and wildness speak to me. There’s a reason why I’m a Forest Witch. My magick is strongest with the trees’ guidance, and beneath their bodies swaying in the winds. I get to this point on the trail, and the farther I go in, the more I feel home, feel free, and feel the thrum of all that lives around me.

 

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On the way back, I take a picture of what I believe to be mullein (and after some Googling, find that it is). It’s the only one I could spot on the entire trail, so I may have a better look next time I go.

June 16

 

And now for something completely different (not really, as my garden is a magical place too), here is one of a few pea pods I harvested yesterday 🙂
They were sweet, delicious, and I cannot wait for more! Once harvesting gets underway, I will be a busy bee preparing all these vegetables for storage by freezing and canning.

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PBP – The Love of Green

This morning, I luckily got out in time before a downpour to check on my garden. I had noticed yesterday that there were seedlings above the soil, but it was much too humid and hot to bother with staying in the direct sunlight to take pictures. This morning, after off and on downpouring yesterday, and rain through the night, it was much more pleasant to walk around in the sun to check on things. I guess I won’t be needing to do much watering for a little while.

As I was walking around a few days ago, I noticed at the back of our property, just behind the fence that houses a swampy area beyond it, there is a grapevine happily growing away, attaching itself to the fence and the pine tree that stands behind it. I was shocked for a moment, as I have been thinking of grape growing, but didn’t know how it would do in my climate, and there it was, just doing its own thing all by itself. I’m thinking I may harvest some leaves for dolmades at some point. Yum. We’ll also have to wait to see how the grapes turn out. I wouldn’t mind using them for food, but would love to make some wine if I think the grapes would make a decent one.

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard :D

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard 😀

This cattail stood the test of this long, frigid winter and hangs out, wafting in the winds. I wonder if the fibers have been used to make yarn before? Must Google.

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This lovely, red branched bush is producing flowers, it looks like they will become berries later in the year. Before we moved out west, these bushes had not been on the property, so it’s a new addition, as well as some ferns that have made their way to the fence.

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These beans are coming up quite well. There’s a strange uncertainty that happens when you plant all your seeds, and then there’s nothing left but to water and wait for them to turn into seedlings. I thought a lot about the seeds not producing anything, that all my planning and hard work digging out the plots would all be for naught. It might yet be for naught if some freak weather happens, or some pest or animal comes in and makes a meal of my young plants. Alas, only time will tell.

Bean

Kentucky Wonder Bean

These willows are providing much for me this year. I’ve always had an extreme fondness of Weeping Willows, they were one of my most favouritest trees to climb when I was a child, and now they quietly watch as I putter in the garden. I tell them my secrets.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

This is the delicious Swiss chard coming up. I decided I wanted colourful veggies, and so I picked out Rainbow Swiss Chard, along with some rainbow mixed carrots. Next year, I want purple cauliflower.

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

My potatoes are finally starting to show their sprouts above the dirt. The red more than the Yukon Gold at this point, but I am excited.

Norland Red Potato

Norland Red Potato

This flower, which loves growing around here as I see it on the hiking trails all summer long, has graced one of my garden paths since we can’t get the ride-on mower in there. We’re planning on getting a non-powered push mower with a basket on the back to do the paths and a very steep hill that I’m thinking may eventually house some flowers.

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This rhubarb slowed for a while after I planted it in ground, now more leaves are starting to pop up, so I’m quite excited for rhubarb pies!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The onions just kind of shot up over night two nights ago. One day, there were a few little spikes of green coming out of the soil, maybe half an inch long, now there are many, even up to three inches above the soil.

Dutch Onions

Dutch Onions

I’m singing blessings to my seedlings each night as I water them. It puts me in a trance, and then I just hum the tune as it now holds the power of the words to be sung with it. So far, the land seems to be happy with my endeavours, and I’m making fairly regular offerings.

It is so incredibly good to have dirt beneath my finger nails and staining the bottoms of my feet again. Playing in dirt releases chemicals that makes you kind of high, and rightfully so.

The Month of the Willow

Salix_alba_Morton

Latin Name
Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow), Salix alba (White Willow)

Celtic Name
Saille (sail-yeh)

Common Names
Willow, Tree of Enchantment, Sough Tree, Pussy Willow, Witches’ Tree, Tarvos Tree, Sally, Saille, Withy, Withe, Aspirin, Witches’ Aspirin, Osier, Salicyn Willow

Dates
April 15 – May 12

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Parts Used
Bark, wood, twigs, branches, sap

Medicinal Uses
The bark and leaves of the willow has long been used for pain relief as it contains salicin, which the body turns into salicylic acid, which was isolated and synthesized in order to create the pain relieving aspirin many people use today.
Because the bark is quite astringent, it can be used as a diuretic, to ease rheumatic conditions, and combat heartburn.
The sap gathered from a flowering tree aids in skin blemishes and dandruff problems.

Constituents
Phenolic glycosides (which include salicin, salicortin, salireposide, tremulacin), tannins, flavonoids, catechins.

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Associations
Water, Moon, silver, Hekate, Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Circe, Orpheus, Selene, Luna, Brigid, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, Audhumla (the great Cow in Norse mythology), Hel, Idunna, Loki, Nanna, Nerthus, Ran, Sif, Sigyn, Sjofna, Skadi, the Feyfolk, moonstone, hawk, snowy owl, Beltaine

Magical Properties
Dark moon magic, magic associated with water: creativity, emotion, love, divination, female energies/rights of passage, inspiration, binding, protection, healing, death, wishes, peace, joy.

When willow is placed in a home, it protects against malicious energies/witchcraft, and evil; if a willow is grown near your home, it protects it. The tree is also welcome in graveyards.

If you carry a bit of willow in your pocket (a twig or the like), it will bring you courage and help you to overcome the fear of death.

You can tell your biggest secrets to a willow tree, as it will trap the secret inside itself.

They will also grant your wishes, if you ask properly.

Willow and sandalwood burned together during the waning phase of the moon encourages spirits to more easily be conjured.

In love magic, the leaves are commonly used, as well as to forge friendships, alliances, pacts, and loyalty. If you’ve been spurned by your lover, wear a willow charm, and they should find their way back to you. At the end of the year, to discover whether you’ll be married in the new year, throw your shoe up into the willow’s branches:
”Throw your shoe high up
into the branches of a Willow tree;
If the branches catch and hold the shoe,
you soon will married be.”

 

Offerings

After having done some magic(k)al work on Beltaine, I needed to make an offering to the gods. I had to wait until we got groceries to be able to do it, but I got the ingredients to make salt dough so that I could sculpt some things to offer. While working on these items, I took the time to be mindful of what they were thanks for, and to put my intent of love and gratefulness into the pieces for the gods.

I did a flower for the goddess, and an oak leaf for the god. Now, I wasn’t really using specific gods for my little ritual, just the energies that make the world go round, masculine/feminine, sun god/lunar goddess.


While salt dough is pretty easy to make (recipe will follow), it’s definitely not something you can make really elaborate images out of. It’s kind of got the consistency of play-dough, though slightly different.

Recipe
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cup salt
paint & varnish

Watercolour or gouache needs to be varnished (a pva glue will do). Acrylic paint doesn’t need varnished but can be for extra durability.

-preheat oven to 180c/350f
-mix all ingredients to form a soft dough, it should feel velvety and pliable
-knead the dough thoroughly on a floured surface until it is soft and stretchy

** make sure the dough is kneaded thoroughly or it will bubble and distort you chosen form when it’s baking

-model the dough – use hands and any kitchen implements you want to make patterns and forms
-bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or until the dough is hard
-paint when completely cool

** If the dough is not completely hard when it has cooled (check the underside) then pop it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool again before painting.

I got it from the #mce_temp_url#, which is, by the way, a fabulous pagan forum.

Anywho, I will be placing these little creations out in a huge weeping willow tree near my house, and saying a few quiet words of thanks. 🙂