#30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge Day 29

Day 29: Astrology
Find your moon sign (you will need to know the date and time you were born) and read up on how it influences your life. Here is a good resource for finding out your moon sign: Lunarium.

Moon in Virgo

Practical, attentive to details, capable of keeping things in order, finding and rectifying problems. Likes pets, enjoys to collect and systematize just anything, hates chaos (although at times creates it).

The Moon in Virgo individual knows intuitively that the world is complicated and multi-faceted, and many things need to be done to keep afloat in it. If he or she is an energetic person, they can easily become workaholics as they will fuss endlessly about every detail, unable to relax and calm down until a whole pile of different chores have been sorted out. The inability of these people to relax can often lead to nervousness and disturbances of the digestive system. They can become over-critical and sometimes this makes them highly-strung and rather unbearable to those around them.

On the other hand, sometimes if the Moon in Virgo belongs to a passive person, he or she might end up doing nothing at all. They know very well how many things ought to be done, but because they know they will be unable to do everything, they just stay idle.

Since they have a good memory and are resourceful, Virgo Moon people often succeed in areas where it’s necessary to keep a lot of details in mind, and they can prioritise, systematise and put things in order. They are curious to know how the human body works and how to make it more efficient, and as a result they may find themselves studying medicine, nutrition or some kind of healing. In fact, knowledge of what to eat and when to eat can be really important for Virgo Moons because in their physiology, the state of their health is very closely related to their digestion. Perhaps this is the very reason why Moon in Virgo people are so selective with food. Never will they eat just anything! Ever!

To stop being stressed out, these people find it helpful to do housework: cleaning, washing up, tidying. Domestic chores can serve as a kind of shelter from the problems of life. Another much less desirable way to deal with their nervousness is to pass it on to others! They do this unintentionally, because it can be so difficult, given their attention to details, not to find something wrong with someone and then latch on to it and nag.

Parents with the Moon in Virgo want to teach their children how to work, how to do everything themselves, and how to keep things in order. Perhaps this is because their own mother taught them how to do all these things, in the same way.

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

il_fullxfull.370580527_57mb

 

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.

800px-Young-catkin

 

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.”

 

Libra

Libra by Josephine Wall

Dates: September 23-October 23

Symbol: The Scales

Element: Air

Ruling Planet: Venus

Gods of Justice:
Themis (Greek), Astraea (Greek), Dike (Greek), Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman), Nemesis (Greek), Honos (Roman), The Furies (Greek Justitia (Roman), Maat (Egyptian), Isis (Egyptian), Shezmu (Egyptian), Forseti (Norse), Utu (Sumerian), Shamash (Babylonian).

Characteristics of a Libra:
Librans tend to be charming, elegant, gentle, kind and lovers of beauty and harmony. They are able to stand back and view the big picture in a critical fashion, however, do not handle others questioning their opinions as once they’ve concluded on said opinions, they believe that their found truths are self-evident. Coupled with this is low tolerance for criticism and greediness for approval.
However, these darker aspects are usually not too prominent as Librans tend to have very balanced personalities. They are quite sensitive to others’ needs, and seem to have a sixth sense about emotions, being able to bring their optimism to any situation. They do not like viciousness, violence, cruelty, and despise arguments and conflicts between people. They always try to compromise and cooperate, achieving what they perceive is the best outcome for all.

Virgo

Windflowers by Waterhouse

Dates: August 23 – September 23

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Planet: Mercury

Virgins in Mythology:
The Virgin Mary (Christian), Hestia/Vesta (Greek/Roman), Anat (Ugarit), Artemis/Diana (Greek/Roman), Astraea (Greek), Athena/Minerva (Greek/Roman), Electryone (Greek), Bona Dea (Roman), Fulla/Volla (Norse), Cavillace (Incan), Umay (Turkish), Gefjon (Norse), Devana (Slavic), Hecate (Greek).

Characteristics of a Virgo:
Analytical, precise, observant, reliable, helpful, reserved, conscientious, concerned with health, detail oriented, industrious. Virgos are those who wish to do their jobs well, no matter what the task, no detail is too small for them. They are intellectually inclined, and while they may appear calm on the outside, their wheels in their brains are constantly whirring. They have a thirst for knowledge, yet are also quite idealistic. They seek constant improvement in their surroundings, including the people around them, and within themselves.

Month of the Rowan



Celtic Name
LuisLatin Name
Sorbus Aucuparia

Dates
January 21 – February 17

Parts Used
Berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities
The  bark of the Rowan, as well as most other tree’s bark, has astringent and tannic properties. The bark would be used in a decoction as a blood cleanser, to treat diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

The berries are high in vitamin C, and were used to fight scurvy. The berries were made into jams and jellies; teas for diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract conditions as the berries have diuretic properties; a gargle of the fresh berry juice aids with inflamed mucous membranes

*Please note that before consuming the berries, they must be cooked as they contain parasorbic acid, a cancer causing compound.

Magical Properties
Associated with masculinity, Mars, fire, Imbolc, Brighid.

Used in protection spells, especially against fire and lightning. It was hung around dog’s necks for increased speed, hung in homes to protect against charms of fire, and protection against fires. The Rowan also has the powers to protect humans and animals alike against baneful spirits. It is also used in healing of the body. Equal armed crosses of Rowan are carried for protection against harm and wands placed above doorways for luck and good fortune.
The trees were planted in churchyards to watch over the dead. Because of the five pointed star you see when you slice a berry in half, it is believed that the tree has the ability to protect against witchery, trickery and enchantment. The tree is also said to bring about more strength through courage.

Leo

Aaah, now we come upon the fiery, look-at-me sign of Leo.

Dates: July 22 – August 23

Symbol: The Lion

Element: Fire

Planet: Sun

Lions in Mythology:
Sekhmet (Egyptian), Maahes (Egyptian), the Goddesses Cybele and Juno drove chariots pulled by lions (Phrygian and Roman respectively), the Nemean Lion in Heracles/Hercules’ twelve labours (Greek/Roman), the sphynx (Egyptian), the manticore (Persian), the chimera (Greek).

Characteristics of a Leo:
Brave, warm-hearted, creative, enthusiastic, dominant, spontaneous, extroverted, a leader, ambitious. Leos are born to lead and be followed by loyal subordinates. They are grand in their gestures and expressions, and they know exactly what they want and how to get it. These traits are excellent for those who are trying to change things for the betterment for society/the Earth/animals/etc. Leos are meant to be heard, meant to be followed and are quite inspiring.


Month of the Oak

The Oak has always been one of my favourite trees. Just looking at pictures of one from afar gives me a sense of wonder and simple, homely countrysides. From June 10 to July 7 is the Celtic month of Duir, the Oak. Oak is the seventh moon of the Celtic calendar as well.

Latin Name:
Quercus alba (White Oak)

Parts Used:
Bark, wood, leaves, acorns

Herbal Usages:
Oak is well known for its astringent and antiseptic properties and has been used as a tonic for a long time. Bark can be made into a tea to heal hemorrhoids.
When given with chamomile flowers, it helps eases intermittent fevers.
Very useful when there are chronic diarrhea and dysentery problems, a decoction of 1 oz of Oak bark in 1 quart water, boiled down to a pint and drank in wine glass size portions will aid the bowels.
This decoction is also used externally as a gargle to help sore throats, and as a fomentation (warm or hot liquids that are applied to the body to ease pain; like a poultice). Can also be injected for leukorrhea, and applied to bleeding gums, or hemorrhoids.
Acorns can also be peeled and be used to make potions to treat alcoholism, bad breath and constipation.

Associations:
The word “Duir” comes from the Sanskrit “Dwr” which means “Door”. It is the door to the three worlds of the Shaman.
Fire; Sun;
wren, black, white carnelian; moonstone; Yule fires; Yule log; Brighid; The Dagda; Dianus; Janus; Cybele; Rhea; Pan; Erato; Hecate; Zeus; Jupiter; Thor; Perkunas; lightning; thunder; the Wild Hunt; King Arthur’s round table.

Magic(k)al Workings
As the month of Duir has the summer solstice in it, the Oak is a powerful symbol of midsummer.
Money, success, strength, fertility, stability, health, healing, potency and good luck. Different types of Oak will lend slightly different properties to magic(k)al workings. Red Oak is fiery, White Oak is for solidity and strength, Brown Oak is earthy and is used for grounding.
Acorns can be used to attract someone of the opposite sex, used for divinatory powers, and to attract prosperity and wealth.
Oak is known as the “King of the Grove”; a holy tree; the lord of truth and is one of the three  sacred trees “Oak, Ash & Thorn”. Worship of the Oak may stem from the early nomadic Europeans using acorns for food.
The acorn is seen as the representation of the supreme form of fertility and creativity of the mind; as such, they are used to increase fertility of both projects and ideas and human reproduction, and also ease pain.
Because of its ties to immortality symbolism, acorns are sacred to the Samhain season and are often used in fall decorating.
It is said that the voice of Jupiter can be heard in the rustling of the leaves. At midsummer, the future can be divined by listening to the wind in the leaves. Acorns should be planted during the Dark moon to attract prosperity.
It is a very powerful herb for protection; England is said to be protected by the Oak when using its timbers to build their ships. It is also used as a boundary for its protective qualities. Acorns placed in windows will ward off lightning and beings that would scare us at night; they will also attract luck. Acorns can be born in pockets to ward off storms, to prevent the bearer from getting lost, and protect from evil intent. They are also carried as charms for immortality, longevity, fertility, ward off illness and preserve youthfulness. Three acorns can be made into a charm to attract youthfulness, attainment, and beauty in life. This charm should be bound with the maker’s hair, and blessed at every Full and Dark moon of a year, and then worn.
A leaf worn on the neck and next to the heart will allow the wearer to not be deceived by the world at large.
A few leaves in bath water will cleanse body and spirit. If you catch a falling leaf, it is said you will not be sick for the winter. If a sick person is in your house, light a fire of Oak wood to draw out the illness.
Because the Oak is a male tree, athames,  and certain male-aspect wands and staffs should be made of its wood. The wood is also used to make religious idols.
The Waning moon is the right time to harvest Oak, during the day for Acorns, and at night for the leaves and wood. Offer wine to the Oak’s roots as thanks for allowing you to take a part of him.