Rhyolite, Bixbyite, and Topaz Matrix

Originally posted on 01/02/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

The only way to effectively write about this little beauty is to explain it as a whole, then break it down into each part to give you the metaphysical properties of this unusual, phenomenal crystal package, given us by Nature. So, we must talk a little science before we can get to the part where I tell you what it can do for you magickally. Bear with.

The combination of Rhyolite, Bixbyite, and Topaz is unusual because there appears to be only one place in the world where it hails from in this form, and this is from the Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, United States. More specifically, it is from the Maynard Claim, named so after Maynard Bixby who discovered “Bixbyite” and “Bixbite”; Bixbite being an entirely different crystal from Bixbyite. Let me explain:

Bixbyite is a perfect, lustrous black, cubic crystal perched nicely atop quartz rhyolite matrix or in my case, a bit deeper at times. It is a manganese iron oxide mineral and the iron/manganese ratio are quite variable and many specimens have almost no iron. It is a metallic dark black with a Mohs hardness of 6.0 – 6.5. Typical localities are Jhabua and Chhindwara districts, India and the Thomas Range in Juab County, Utah. It is also reported from San Luis Potosi, Mexico; northern Patagonia, Argentina; Girona, Catalonia, Spain; Sweden and South Africa. Please note that the only place it is found in Rhyolite is in the Thomas Range, Utah.

Rhyolite, Bixbyite, and Topaz by i.macy

Bixbite is now known as Red Beryl. It was first found in 1904 in the Maynard’s Claim, Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, US. Red Beryl is very rare and has been reported only from a handful of locations: Juab County, Wah Wah Mountains, Beaver County, Utah; Paramount Canyon and Round Mountain, Sierra County, New Mexico, although the latter locality does not often produce gem grade stones. To my knowledge, Red Beryl/Bixbite in Rhyolite matrix is only found in US.

Bixbyite: black. Bixbite/Red Beryl: red.

But what is Rhyolite and why is it so special? Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock. During the late Cretaceous [100 – 65 mya] the younger ranges of the Rocky Mountains were created, and deep fractures appeared which reached deep into the crust. In course of volcanic activities [approx. 20 mya], five or more layers of volcanic topaz rhyolite lava flows covered areas in today’s Utah. Then hot fluorine and beryllium-rich gases and vapours, rising through shrinkage cracks of the cooled lava, met groundwater resources near the surface. The water evaporated and left behind niches or miarolitic cavities and porous areas in which the remaining steam could react under low pressure and high temperatures [300° – 650° C] with the rising mineral-rich gases so that red beryl crystals could grow. Not only do Red Beryl crystals grow in Rhyolite but also do Bixbyite and Topaz.

Topaz: The Thomas Range of western Utah is also one of the world’s best sources of topaz. Cavities in the Topaz Mountain Rhyolite often contain topaz crystals with a beautiful amber colour. Topaz crystals are also found in soils and dry washes around Topaz Mountain. These crystals are usually colourless because the amber colour can be lost through prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. A few specimens fade to a beautiful pink colour.  Topaz is usually a naturally  sherry “yellow” but comes in assorted colours only through heat or irradiation.

What does all of this combination mean for us in the magickal sense? Quite a lot! Bixbyite is a base/root, third eye, and crown chakra stone. It is fabulous at assisting us to open our psychic awareness, making us more intuitive and imaginative. It is also for anyone seeking to communicate with spirit – a remarkable helper in communicating with ancestors – and keeps a clear connection between the seeker and spirit. Rhyolite enhances self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect, and deepens the acceptance of our true self. It helps us to heal old emotional wounds and to deal with challenging circumstances calmly and with inner strength. It is used to aid communication with animals and the realm of Nature. Rhyolite is a heart chakra stone and is also good to use in seeking your spirit animal. Both Bixbyite and Rhyolite are good supporters of past-life regression…Bixbyite in getting you through those stages and Rhyolite helping you to accept and heal. Topaz is a solar plexus crystal, which as a combination of helpful chakra crystals, fits in wisely with Bixbyite and Rhyolite. Like with Rhyolite, Topaz inspires self-realisation and confidence as it imparts the strength to quieten wild emotions. Topaz is highly effective for affirmations and visualisation, meditation, and astral projection, and is an excellent talisman for discerning Divine wisdom and connecting to the heavenly realm.

I hope you’ve found something of help from this lovely combination. It has been a pleasure to share it with you. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:
Encyclopaedia of Crystals, by Judy Hall
Encyclopaedia of Crystals, Revised and Expanded, by Judy Hall
http://www.realgems.org/list_of_gemstones/red_beryl_info.html
https://geology.com/gemstones/states/utah.shtml

Beannachdan na Samhna dha na h-uile

By Isabellla  @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Or, in English, Samhain blessings to all.  I am feeling my Scottish roots deeply this year as I have spent the better part of the last three weeks working through that genealogical branch in my family tree.  I had always grown up believing the prevalence of Scottish ancestry grew through my maternal grandfather’s lineage but as it happens, the Scots brightly adorn both halves of my family tree – and for many, many generations to boot! Then, let us have a Scottish little Samhain!

What about Halloween?

Most of us know the word Halloween is a version of Hallow’s Eve. But are you aware that Halloween originally has Scottish beginnings? The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, or summer’s end. Summer represented the living world [along with Spring, it is the light half of the year] and the dark half of the year begins  31st October.  It was – and is still – believed that spirits of the dead roamed about freely on this night and it was believed that children must be dressed to conceal their youth from these dark entities. What better way to do this than to dress up like the so-called evil spirits themselves so they could blend in?

from Google images, unknown

On this night of merry-making and scary acts [more from children than evil entities!] the way from house to house would invariably be lit by little neep lanterns.  What is a neep lantern, you ask? Well… you know the vegetable as a swede in England or a turnip in Ireland and if you’re in France, it would be called rutabaga.  Neeps were, and are, carved out and a candle placed inside just the same as is a pumpkin in America.  Personally, I think the neep lanterns are much scarier looking! I love them! A jack-o’-lantern [or jack o’lantern, US spelling] is a carved pumpkin, turnip, or other root vegetable lantern, commonly associated with the Halloween holiday. Its name comes from the reported phenomenon of strange lights flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisps [England] or jack-o’-lanterns [Ireland].  Jack-o’-lanterns carved from pumpkins are a yearly Halloween tradition that went to the United States with Irish immigrants.

For all the “guising” that went on in Scotland through a few centuries, the American “Halloween” as is now known in the UK did not latch on fully until the last couple or so decades. Long before Halloween, in Scotland children and adults would go “doukin’ for apples”.  I’m sure that will cause a lot of laughter from across the pond, but the word “douk” as it happens means “to plunge, to dip, to bathe”.  Of course, most of you probably use the word as it is described from the urban dictionary.  Not so nice a connotation indeed! Still, the practise arose most likely from the fact that the ancient Celts held apples as sacred.

Samhain and the protection of fire

Returning to Samhain, large bonfires were an integral part not only of celebrations but also that of protection and were lit in each village to ward off any evil spirits. All home hearth fires would be extinguished then re-lit from the flames of the great bonfire. Sometimes, two bonfires would be built side by side, and the people—sometimes with their livestock—would walk between them as a cleansing ritual. The bones of slaughtered cattle were said to have been cast upon bonfires.

The bonfires were used in divination rituals, although not all divination involved fire. In 18th century Ochtertyre, Scotland a ring of stones—one for each person—was laid round the fire, perhaps on a layer of ash. Everyone then ran round it with a torch, “exulting”. In the morning, the stones were examined and if any was mislaid it was said that the person it represented would not live out the year.

Samhain was mainly seen as a liminal time when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the aos sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’ [the little folk], could more easily come into our world. Many scholars see the aos sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the aos sí needed to be mollified to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink would be left outside for the aos sí, and portions of the crops might be left in the ground for them.

The dead were also honoured at Samhain. The beginning of winter may have been seen as the most fitting time to do so, as it was a time of ‘dying’ in nature. The souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them. The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world. It is the very night I use most for hedge walking and visitation with my ancestors and to honour them. The result of which is always gratifying.  I hope they feel the same.

Halloween celebrations names in other countries and areas include:

Wales –  Calan Gaeaf

Isle of Man – Hop-tu-Naa

Cornwall – Allantide

No matter how you celebrate Samhain this year, please do so safely and responsibly.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x  Beannachdan na Samhna dha na h-uile!

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet: Vervain

Originally posted on 30/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella  @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Having a laugh as I look through different sites regarding Vervain, the multi-functional herb which is used for everything from love to money to protection…and suddenly, I run across a website which says, in the list of metaphysical properties/powers of Vervain, that it “wards off vampires”. Tee hee. That wouldn’t be because in the American vampire love story series, Vampire Diaries, seemingly endless amounts of Vervain was drank, scattered about, worn, and probably bathed in to prevent vampire attacks…but in the end, it mattered not as the main character eventually chose to be a vampire, didn’t she?

Vervain is one of the herbs [worts] which I use in somewhat great abundance, as it happens, but never to ward off a vampire. Although it is good protection against snake bites…but not so much from people bites. And, certainly not in the great abundance with which it was consumed on Vampire Diaries. Still, should you purchase one of our witch bottle necklaces such as the Love Witch Bottle or the Prosperity Witch Bottle, you will have a pinch of Vervain in those.

vervain-indigo-herbs
Vervain photo from indigo-herbs.co.uk

Why is Vervain useful in a Love witch bottle …or for any kind of love empowerment or spell? Oh, let me count the ways! Firstly, Vervain is a Venus-ruled herb and a water element herb. It is sacred to Isis, the Goddess whom is considered to be the ultimate wife and mother. And, along those lines, as Isis is an Egyptian Goddess, in days of yore, the Egyptian people made love potions including Vervain…perhaps they still do, for all I know. It is a well-known, powerful herb for attracting love. But, did you know that it is also an excellent herb for helping those suffering from lost love and broken hearts? Burn it in an incense on a charcoal disc for helping overcome the pain of a break up, broken heart, and unrequited love. Vervain would make a thoughtful gift to anyone looking for love or trying to heal from loss of love this Valentine’s Day.

How is it that Vervain is so great for all matters of the heart and, at the same time, help draw prosperity and money into your life? Vervain is sacred to the Greek God, Jupiter. Jupiter is the God of the sky, but his planet is the one associated with money. According to the Seven Keys of Solomon, if you wish to do a money/wealth/prosperity spell it should be done on the day of Jupiter [Thursday] and in the hour of Jupiter [there are two in each day, one during day hours, one during night hours]. You can use Vervain, such as we do in a talisman, like our witch bottle, or you can burn it in an incense during your ritual. You can also use it in money candles if you are so inclined to make your own candles or you may roll a pre-made candle in a bed of loose Vervain after you have applied your candle dressing oil.

Vervain is also an excellent protection herb. Make an infusion with the fresh herb in water to use to wash and consecrate your tools and altar. Plant the wort around your property. You can use the Vervain-infused water in a spray bottle to spray your door sills to prevent negative energies and people from coming into your home. Wear it in a talisman around your neck or carry it in a pocket or pinned to a lapel to ward off negative energies around you. Make a sachet to place in a child’s cot to protect him or her and to ensure joy and intellect for the child. Albertus Magnus, in his Book of Secrets, offers a clue when he wrote that ‘infants bearing it [Vervain] shall be very apt to learn, and loving learning, and they shall be glad and joyous’. If you suspect psychic attack upon yourself or others, burn Vervain all around the person being attacked. Please do so carefully and responsibly.

Vervain is always its strongest when fresh cut at sunrise. Still, the dried herb itself is one of the strongest worts I’ve had the pleasure of using as well. It has the reputation of being able to greatly strengthen the effects of any other herbs it is used with. Because of this, the Welsh call it Iiysiaur hudol or ‘the enchanting herbe’.

Vervain was a favourite of the Druids, who gathered the herb when the Dog Star, Sirius, was on the rise, in the dark of the Moon. The Druids utilised Vervain in divination, consecration, and ritual cleansing of sacred spaces. They made a magickal drink called the Cauldron of Cerridwen [a shapeshifter] that some say included rowan berries, sea water, lesser celandine, flixweed, and Vervain, which brought the drinker creative energy for bardic song and prophecy; a drink made from Vervain is still said to help poets in their work. Vervain is also still used to make a drink for initiating into Druidic paths. It is fragrant and can be drunk as a tea or burned as an incense. In its connection with the Underworld, it can be added to a cup of wine drunk on Samhain to aid contact with the Beloved Dead.

Medicinal Use:

Vervain is advantageous for women. The herb not only enhances the lactation but also induces menstruation cycles. In addition, Vervain is known to invigorate the contraction of uterine muscles during labour and hence herbalists suggest that it is best to avoid using the herb during pregnancy. However, Vervain may be used during labour as it makes child birth easier.

It is useful as a diuretic.

The herb encloses substantial amount of tannins that makes it an effective astringent and useful as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.

Lotions or ointments prepared with Vervain are effective in treating sores and wounds, and valuable medication for insect bites and skin disorders.

Tea brewed from the herb may be taken to alleviate tension; to lift depression, lethargy, irritability and all other problems associated with stress  such as headaches, migraines and even the nervous system fatigue.

When used as a hot infusion [tea], Vervain functions as a diaphoretic and helps to lower feverish conditions by inducing sweating.

*Word of caution:  if taken in excess dosages, the herb may lead to vomiting. Vervain possesses verbenalin that is said to be a gentle purgative and is suspected to be accountable for the vomiting.

Correspondences:
Planetary associations: Venus
Zodiac associations: Virgo, Libra
Elements: Water, Earth
Gender: Feminine
Magickal powers: Aphrodisiac, Fertility, Consecration, Immortality, Love, Protection, Purification, Psychic Visions
Deity: Diana, Hermes, Medea, Aradia, Bast, Thor, Jupiter, Isis, Cerridwen
Part Used: leaves, flowering heads
Other names: herba veneris, herb of grace, verbena, enchanters herb, holy herb,
blue vervain,  Herb-of-the-cross, Pigeon’s Grass, and holy wort

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:

A Compendium of Herbal Magick, by Paul Beyerl, 1998

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbena_officinalis

http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:vervain

Experience

Petrified Wood, The Kindly Grandmother

Originally posted on 25/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Can you imagine… a tree growing along for many years, then it begins turning to stone? It has always amazed me how this happens. This is the way I perceived it happening when I first learned of petrified wood as a young child… just standing there, tall and beautiful, then one day, stone. Obviously over the years I learned differently, and as we all know, the process begins on the wood which has been in the ground for some time and the organic materials have been replaced with minerals [mostly a silicate, such as quartz], while retaining the original structure of the tissue. It basically becomes a three-dimensional fossil! You just inherently know this is going to be something with teeth in the metaphysical sense.

Petrified Wood is a grounding and protecting stone. I think of “grounding stones” as ones with enormous patience. It is as though they have been around so long and have seen so much that they have the settled ways of the serene older person. The wisdom is beyond reproach, and when you hold such a stone or crystal you can feel that wisdom, serenity, and patience vibrating through you. That is as it should be, for when we need grounding before performing rituals, spells, or simply meditating, sometimes we need all the serenity we can get. I believe it is safe to say you will gather the grounding patience you need from Petrified Wood. Its protection asset is easy to trust. It builds a barrier, a wall, around its user, making it much less likely that harmful spirits or hexes to take hold.

Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood ~ photo by i.macy

It is said to calm the nerves and fears and to encourage feelings of well-being, safety and security, enabling you to stop worrying about the ‘small stuff’. Here the serenity of Petrified Wood comes into play again. It soothes and calms like the kindly grandmother. It gives you a feeling of “everything will be alright”. You never feel alone if you have Petrified Wood in your home. I often handed my daughter a piece of Petrified Wood when she became anxious and couldn’t get a grip on reality. It instantly soothed and calmed her. She has had many problems with nerves over the years but luckily between her Kunzite pendant and elixirs and Petrified Wood, she has managed her anxiety without medication very well for years. Please do not use this as a fail-proof diagnostic and medication tool. If you are having anxiety, depression, or any mental issues, please see your medical professional first before trying any holistic treatment. We all know there are some things which absolutely must be treated by a doctor.

In healing, Petrified Wood is believed to help restore physical energy, to strengthen the bones and to relieve hip and back pain. This may be down to many reasons, but we are always more energetic and full of hope when we feel cared for. And healing is more about believing than anything else in many cases. In crystal healing, Petrified Wood is used for pain relief, particularly in the spine and hips.

Petrified Wood is also said to be helpful in past-life recall or past-life regression work. Which would make sense as it holds the ancient spirits within and they can provide guidance in past-life workings. I have not used the Petrified Wood for this reason yet but look forward to giving it a go.

Correspondences:
Associated Crystals: Green moss agate, rutilated quartz, and tree agate
Candle Colour: Brown or grey.
Chakra: Root, Solar Plexus, Third Eye, and Heart
Element: Earth and spirit.
Flowers: & Plants: Polyanthus, poppy and snapdragon.
Herbs: Incenses – Oils: Burdock, echinacea, fennel, sage and thyme.
Planet: Earth and Saturn.
Zodiac: Virgo
Powers: Grounding, healing, protection, past life recall
Crystals to use with: Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony, Bloodstone, Red Jasper, Onyx, Carnelian, and Opal.

Thank you for reading and many warm blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

Experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Wormwood

Originally posted 23/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

wormwood
from Botanical.com

Working with herbs very often, as I do, I got thinking, “why not do a series on herbs?” …particularly since recently blogging about wort cunning. So, in no particular order apart from most probably writing about what I’ve worked with most recently, we shall begin with Wormwood [artemisia absinthium]. The hint is in the name – what famous drink of the 19th century, recently revived by the Goth community, is made with this herb? If you guessed Absinthe, you win! As early as I can tell, the drink was made popular in 19th century France and became very popular in Great Britain as well – notably a favourite of Oscar Wilde – one of my favourite authors and generally favourite people of all time. The drink, as it was in those days, has been banned, however, and a new, less dangerous Absinthe became popular mainly with the Goth community in recent times. The 19th-century drink was dangerously toxic when taken in excess and since the traditional use of wormwood is believed to summon spirits and allow communication with the dead, there is not much wonder why some people claimed to see visions whilst inebriated!

Mind, we are not advocating the use of Wormwood for this kind of thing. We’re more interested in what it can do for us on a magickal level. Wormwood is one herb I use very often. It is an ingredient in several of our witch bottles, depending upon the powers needed. It is also an ingredient I use in one or two of our loose incenses. Those are still in testing and have not made it to the shop shelves yet. And, during my practise as a cunning woman, I have used Wormwood extensively for everything from astral travel to protection and psychic awareness. I must say, it is definitely one of my “go-to” herbs.

Magickal
The scent of Wormwood is said to increase psychic powers. Burn with incenses on Samhain to aid invocation, divination, scrying, and prophecy. It is especially good when combined with Mugwort and strengthens incense for exorcism and protection. Hung from a rear-view mirror, Wormwood is said to protect vehicles from accidents on treacherous roads. Wormwood is burned to gain protection from wandering spirits. It is used in divinatory and clairvoyance incenses, initiation rites and tests of courage and enables the dead to be released from this plane so they may find peace.

Wormwood is used to relieve anger and allow the user to vent it in a more peaceful way. It can also be used in magick to prevent strife or war. Carried in a pouch, Wormwood is protective. In ancient lore, people used the plant to counter poisoning by Hemlock and various Toadstools.

It is also used in love charms and spells to draw a lover, and is associated with the Lovers card in the tarot. It is sacred to the maiden Goddess, and can be used for scrying and divination as part of incense or perhaps a weak tea to drink before scrying, or a wash for the instruments used. It is used in women’s rites, probably especially those pertaining to rites of passage from child to a maiden – and would probably be a good addition to rites celebrating menarche. It is used in initiation rites, especially those prior to testing times.

An Old Love Charm
‘On St. Luke’s Day, take marigold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a little Wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to powder; then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey, and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your partner “that is to be”:
‘ “St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true-love see.” ‘

Medicinal
Wormwood is said to be useful in the treatment of some depression. It is very good for those who feel utter despair because of their life circumstances. It has some anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of chamazulenes, so it could be used to treat inflammatory digestive disorders. It is used to treat liver and gall bladder congestion where this has led to jaundice, and liver-related depression, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting. As it is warming, it is particularly good for those who suffer from a depressed autonomic nervous system, leading to impaired digestive function. In addition to all the above, it can be used to treat diarrhoea and intestinal parasites.

artemisia_absinthium_200610_300
Wormwood

Some regard Wormwood as a circulatory tonic and stimulant – this would make sense considering its use to improve digestion. It can be used to treat nervous exhaustion and other nerve issues such as neuralgia and depression as previously mentioned. Apparently, it can be used to ease alcohol-induced hangovers although it may be better to dose up on milk thistle before you start drinking or simply not drink as much. This is another of those odd herbs that can be used to cure epilepsy but will also cause it if you use it in large enough doses.

Wormwood has a strong anti-bacterial property – the root, though not often used in medicine, is extremely powerful and useful to ease infections of the throat and lungs. It eases pain and is very cooling and soothing. It can be used topically as an antiseptic.
As an emmenagogue, it can be used to stimulate absent menses where this is due to uterine stagnation which causes delayed menstruation. It can also be used to ease painful periods. It is used as a pain reliever during labour and can be taken as a weak tea or applied as a rub to stimulate sluggish labour when contractions are too weak.
A rub made with the essential oil can be used to relieve the pain of arthritis and related joint complaints, though the oil should NEVER be taken internally.

Correspondences
Other names: Absinthe, Absinthium, Green Ginger, Old Woman, Crown for a King, Madderwort, Sweet Annie, Wormot

Planetary: Mars, Saturn

Element: Earth

Sabbat: Samhain

Powers: Binding, Psychic Awareness, Evocation, Love, Clairvoyance, Past Life Regression, Astral Travel, Protection

Associated Deities: Diana, Artemis, Aesculapius, Horus, Isis, Castor, Iris, Menthu, Pollux

Harvesting: cut the flowering tops off wormwood when they are in full bloom on a sunny day when the sun is at its peak

‘While Wormwood hath seed get a handful or twaine To save against March, to make flea to refraine: Where chamber is sweeped and Wormwood is strowne, What saver is better (if physick be true) For places infected than Wormwood and Rue? It is a comfort for hart and the braine And therefore to have it it is not in vaine.’

~ Tusser (1577), in July’s Husbandry

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

Wikipedia.org

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

Botanical.com

Experience

The Magickal Mariam Stone

Originally posted 18/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Miriam Jasper
My Miriam Jasper aka “The Bean” ~ photo by i.macy

Mariam [Miriam, Maryam] stone helps keep one cool under severe pressure. It is an alchemist stone, enabling one to transform seemingly hopeless situations into creative, positive ones. Mariam Jasper was formed when the Himalayas rose into the sky. It is compressed bone, vegetation and shell from an ancient swamp which was compressed by the incredible forces involved in the mountain’s creation. It is also sometimes called “The Calligrapher’s Stone” (which I believe is wrongly associated as from what I have researched, Calligrapher’s stone looks different completely), as well as “Cobra Jasper”, “Snake Agate”, or “Elephant Skin Jasper”. If I were called upon to make up names for crystals, I would name it the “Bean Jasper” …. although, just because mine looks like a bean does not mean they all do. If you look at Google images, you’ll find these in all shapes and sizes.  The actual name of this lovely stone is “Sange Maryam”, so named for the Goddess Mariamma, who is an avatar of Kali, another Hindu Goddess.

All jaspers are strong, secure, stability stones. It is a powerful protection against things that are not good for you and it eases emotional stresses, making it a wonderful gemstone to have in your home. Jasper gives one the courage to speak out and have personal independence. It also protects from fears in the night.

The crystal meanings of this stone relate to its valuable action to aid meditation and it is also an excellent protection stone. In meditation, it is a useful stone in aiding you to contact your guides and the angelic realm. It will help you to look inwardly at yourself and at your behaviour and can be beneficial to aid you to gain insights when you are doing past life work.

Mariam also serves to counterbalance the busy modern world by bringing back pleasure in nature. It is considered an amulet for driving long distances, prosperity on business trips and overseas deals. Use Mariam Jasper for long term business decision making and forward planning. It counters instant gratification that can destabilise a happy relationship, aids the gentle release of karma or trauma from the past helping you to move forward into the future and is said to ease skin complaints, scar tissue, mobility, and scalp disorders.

Crystal pairings
For money or luck, use Goldstone, Agate, Haematite [Hematite], Aventurine, Garnet, Carnelian, Sodalite, or Citrine.

For security at home, work, or travel, pair your Mariam Jasper with Agate, Aventurine, Iolite, Turquoise, Onyx, Carnelian, Fluorite, Malachite, or Tiger’s Eye.

For contacting your spirit guides and in past life regression work, pair with Angelite or Petalite.

Correspondences:
Element: Fire
Energies: Protection, healing
Chakra: All

Many people look past Jaspers of all kinds as they don’t seem to strike them as being stones or crystals of much power. One person said to me that they aren’t as “pretty” as other stones! Oh, I do beg to differ… and besides, who really cares about “pretty” – you need something that works! And Jasper is a hard-working stone, believe me. All Jaspers are strong grounding stones and wonderful protectors and healers. But on top of that each variation – and there are many! – has additional powers, or energies in addition to the basic ones. You really can’t go wrong buying a Jasper. Not to mention, they are always very affordable, therefore, you can own many of them without breaking the bank. And they make lovely pendulums and jewellery.

Next time you are in your favourite crystals shop, hold a Jaspar. You may feel a strength vibrating from it you have never felt before.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

Shungite, the Stone of Life

Originally posted on 11/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Ah, Shungite…the stone of life! Shungite was first discovered in Shunga, Russia. No prises given for guessing where Shungite got its name 😊

The Shungite stone has healing properties quite unlike any other. It has been used to infuse drinking water since Czar Peter’s time – yes, that would be the famous Peter the Great, Peter I or Peter Alexeyevich. He was rumoured to prefer Shungite-infused water for drinking which led to his frequent travels to Karelia, where Shunga is located. We can now enjoy drinking the mineral-rich water without quite so much bother!

Shungite is a soft, carbon-based stone whose origins date back about 2 billion years -that’s a lot of history to drink in! – for in its pure form it naturally contains small amounts of “fullerenes” which are hollow carbon structures that contribute to some of Shungite’s metaphysical lore. It is scientifically believed that it has positive effects on health and science continues to probe this belief.

shungite palm stone and tumble stone
my Shungite palm stone and tumble stone ~ photo by i.macy

It is a stone of alchemy…as mentioned, it has been used for ages to infuse with water for drinking intending to restore good health. Firstly, it purifies water. But then, it also changes the water, in such a way to normalise many common complaints people are prone to have…everything from arthritis to skin disease. It is also said to help with heart problems, hair issues, and allergies. You can make your own infusion very simply: Leave a Shungite stone in a glass of water covered overnight or in a bottle of water, capped [do keep in mind this is not optimal as the water can absorb chemicals from the plastic bottle]. The next day, pour off the water into another glass or bottle and drink it. You can also purchase bags of crushed Shungite for a filtering system. Either way, it can do you a power of good. Another fact: You may use the normal Shungite stones in your drinking water, however, it is better to use the “Elite Shungite” for this purpose as it has 92 to 98% carbon whilst regular Shungite is usually only about 60% carbon-based.

Shungite is a stone of protection…it’s a black stone and black is commonly a protective colour in western witchcraft. It protectively “cloaks” during spell work to keep the practitioner safe and for lack of better words, “hoovers” up the negative and evil energy that may be surrounding us. It is also helpful in amplifying your psychic powers. In general, Shungite is a brilliant stone to carry with you as it always aims to prevent the negativity of people and the world around you from shattering your positivity.

What do you do to cleanse this workhorse of a stone from all the negativity it draws in? Nothing! The absolute beauty of Shungite is that you can start working with it right out of the box! It never holds in the negativities and evils, rather, it cleanses them and releases them back as positive vibrations. When you receive your Shungite, it is not laden with other’s negativities who have handled it. However, it can have germs so before using it in an infusion, please do wash it! It is recommended to re-charge your Shungite in the Sun about every six months. Moon re-charging is not necessary but you may do so if you like.

shungite pyramid
my Shungite pyramid ~photo by i.macy

Shungite also shields against Electromagnetic Radiation [Computers, TV’s, Mobile Phones] and I have read where some folk purchase slender slivers of Shungite to place between them and their phones! I haven’t tried this yet, but it can’t hurt. My son has a lovely Shungite pyramid that sits between him and his television for all the hours he spends gaming. I am hoping to invest someday in a laptop tray which has Shungite in it for all the hours I’m on my laptop…but I imagine I’m a bit late on that idea as I’ve been using a laptop for years and…. well, if there is damage, it is done by now, I would think! Still, for the readers, please think about this for yourselves.

Correspondences:
Chakras: Base/Root, Third Eye
Powers: healing, protection, psychic
Planetary: Earth

I could write a book about what I love about Shungite but I do have to end this here. You’ll not go wrong by inviting this powerful stone into your life. Depending upon what you wish to use it for, it is a fairly affordable stone, unless you’re buying the Elite Shungite, but it is well worth it. It is if, for no other reason, a fabulous grounding stone and your area where you keep it will feel lighter and less negative. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

**Please do not use this as a cure.  If you believe you are afflicted with a disease, please see your doctor and adhere to his or her advice.  I do not claim any medical knowledge and only promote Shungite or any stone or crystal as a possible enhancer to your proper medical regime.

Sources:

Wikipedia.org

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

Ownership of Shungite

Wort Cunning…What is it?

Originally posted 09/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Recently I was asked this question. I must remember that not everybody knows the old English/Welsh/Irish/Scottish words for things. To be fair, neither do I in some circumstances, but wort cunning is a very familiar occupation to me. To put it plainly, it is working with herbs and plants. That is the very simplest explanation, but it very slightly scratches the surface. Wort is an old English word for herbs and useful plants. Cunning is the art of working with herbs/plants [or anything] for the purposes of healing/leechdom, charming, protecting, and binding.

Still, this doesn’t fully explain, however, at least now we’re mostly all on the same page. To be a successful wort cunner it takes many years of study – reading and working with herbs and plants, trial and error; in truth, it is an ongoing, life-long mission. If you are fortunate, you might have a cunning parent or grandparent who can teach you much along the way. I was very fortunate to have my Nana for the first 22 years of my life to at least get me started in the right direction. I’m forty-plus years past that now and still learning.

I’m not trying to teach you how to suck eggs here. There are so many reading this who already have a fantastic working knowledge of wort cunning and the ones just starting out would do well to buy a few good books, grow some herbs, and get stuck into your learning experience. What I do want to point out is, just buying and growing herbs successfully, reading a couple of good books, does not a wort cunner make. You must learn when to plant and harvest, chants to say during planting, during harvest, whilst preparing for whatever purpose you have in mind, and other mysteries. That is if you want the best results.

from Google images

If you don’t have a wort cunner in the family, then what? It’s alright. The old ones didn’t, either. In many cases, the ones we’ve learned from as the information was handed down through word of mouth and if we’re lucky, published in books, simply made it up as they went, in a way. You wild-gather some plants or herbs…or buy little cups of baby herbs or seeds and plant them. Find out the right time of year to plant…the right planetary hour and day to plant and to harvest…care for them, and watch them grow. Read everything you can about the correspondences of the herbs and plants, such as their element[s], planetary correspondence, deities, zodiac. Also, read what each is or has been used for what problem by others. A very useful first book of herbs is Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, 1985. It not only has herbs listed in it but also has a great deal of woods, flowers, and other plant life which have magickal powers. Another informative book to have on your bookshelf is a yearly Almanac. An Almanac is vital for those who are planning to grow all their own herbs and plants for your practise. Then, you must decide your reasons for working with the herbs and plants you’ve chosen…are you interested in herbal healing? What about herbal charms? Protections and binding magick? You may delve into as many reasons as you like for wort cunning but it’s always best to stick to one line of endeavour and see it through in the end.

Spoilt for Choice?

It is also useful to think about what kind of magickal herbalism you’re most interested in such as English folk magick…or Asian healing…perhaps you’re more into Voodoo or Hoodoo or Native American conjures. I hope you can understand that I don’t wish to tell you that you absolutely must do one or the other, you can do as you please, however, it is easier to pick a path and walk it well rather than hopping from here to there until you are no longer interested at all. In the beginning, you might have to try a few different paths to “find yourself”, but do keep in mind you will do best at one path in the long run.

Personally, I am not at all familiar with anything apart from English folk magick. I never had to make a choice, but I also don’t feel the choice was made for me…it’s just what I naturally evolved to which probably and most certainly was influenced by my ancestry. I am sure there are many reading this who are following a path for much the same reasons as mine. Still, there will be those who will need to try a bit of this and that ’til they know what they lean toward, and that is fine.

In Medieval times immense importance was placed on the rituals surrounding the gathering of herbs or plants for a “spell” and there were ones for everything imaginable whether it was for a protection, a charm to prevent or cure evil, or healing…in those days known as “leechdom”, a forerunner of what we know as medicine or holistic healing these days. If you delve into the old English herbal lore you will see that word a lot. If you can, order a copy of two of my favourite books concerning Medieval healing/leechdom. One is The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, 1922 [last new publication in 2011] and Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England: Being a Collection of Documents Illustrating the History of Science in this Country Before the Norman Conquest, edited by Thomas Oswald Cockayne [Vol I, II, and III]. You will see for yourself how dedicated the old ones were in ritualising the very cutting of a herb or plant and how it all worked together to make the intended outcome “be well with him” as is often said of the “patient’s” health after the leech was finished.

A little example of what I mean by ritual, this excerpt is from my copy of The Old English Herbals:
Of periwinkle: “This wort is of good advantage for many purposes, that is to say first against devil sickness and demonical possessions and against snakes and wild beasts and against poisons and for various wishes and for envy and for terror and that thou mayst have grace, and that thou hast the wort with thee thou shalt be prosperous and ever acceptable. This wort thou shalt pluck thus, saying, ‘I pray thee, vinca pervinca thee that art to be had for many useful qualities, that thou come to me glad blossoming with thy mainfulness, that thou outfit me so that I be shielded and ever prosperous and undamaged by poisons and by water;’ when thou shalt pluck this wort thou shall be clean of every uncleanness, and thou shalt pick it when the moon is nine nights old and eleven nights and when it is one night old’.

This is a short example whereas some take several paragraphs with very descriptive instructions such as the day to begin the ritual, telling the cunner to sing the Benedicite and Pater Noster [clearly a Catholic cunner!], how to harvest the wort by “sticking thy knife into work, fast and go away”, go to the church and cross thyself, go in silence not speaking to no man, the sing the Benedicite and Pater Noster again, as well as a litany…and so on. It seems it could literally take a month in some cases to gather, enchant, then make the charm, poultice, salve, or whatever the case may be for!

Mind, these days we have learned to pare down our rituals for such things and everyone has their own way of enchanting their herbs and plants. Some Christo-Pagan witches might still sing a litany over their work, for all I know but most of us do not. You will find as you go that you will perhaps use things others have done and you will also start your own ways. Just like the old wort cunners of the past, we tend to stick to the methods which give us the results we need. And, like them, we should keep strict notes on what we have done and how it worked.

I hope this has answered a few questions and if not, please feel free to contact me. Most of all, I hope I have not confused anyone more than they were! Best of luck in your wort cunning and warmest blessings to all home this way wander x

Sources:

Experience

The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, 1922

Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England: Being a Collection of Documents Illustrating the History of Science in this Country Before the Norman Conquest, edited by Thomas Oswald Cockayne [Vol I, II, and III]

Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham, 1985

Shiva Lingam, A Mystical Crystal of Power

Originally posted on 04/01/20118 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Shiva Lingam comes from only one place, the Narmada River in Western India, one of India’s most holy sites. The word ‘Lingam‘ comes from the Sanskrit word for symbol, as these stones are a symbol of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam are an integral part of their worship practises and have been for hundreds of years. Their colours vary, but they are all tan colours with various brown, red or grey stripes, spots or patches on the stones.

The villagers around the Narmada River gather the stones from the river and hand polish them so that they are a smooth, rounded shape. They are deliberately made into the well-known phallic shape, as this shape has a specific meaning because it is symbolic of the phallus of the Hindu God Shiva, and of his union with his consort Kali. Within the form of the Shiva Lingam, there is also the shape of the cosmic egg, out of which all creation has emerged, therefore making these stones encompass both the male and female and their union, within the one sacred object. A common myth exists between people that the Shiva Lingam depicts the male genital organ. However, this is misleading and baseless according to some as an irrelevant misinterpretation was done during the latter part of the Vedic period when Indian literature came into the hands of foreign scholars. Thus, Shiva Lingam is just a differentiating mark and not a sex mark. I am not well-versed in Hinduism; therefore, I can’t tell you which is right or wrong.

My Shiva Ligam, i.macy

What Shiva Lingam can do for you

To improve your overall health, Shiva Lingam are powerful as they stimulate the energy system of the entire body, and will aid an overall improvement in your health and well-being. Its vibration has a different action depending on where you place it. This stone holds within it the feeling of unity and duality and will intensify the vitality and level of pranic energy within your body.

It is said that whilst practising yoga, the divine experience of the Shiva Lingam can create a pillar of light, energy, peace, and eternity and helps to expand the mind and bring deep peace and steadiness to the heart and the soul. As you tune into this field of energy that encompasses the Divine Mind, you make contact with the sacredness that these stones have carried for centuries. Shiva Lingam are basically quartz and have a lot of impurities from the river where they originate mixed through. This is a stone that carries a lot of energy.

For kundalini activation, you may choose to use Shiva Lingam alone, or you may use it in combination with other stones that are powerful to aid the process. If the kundalini process is about transformation, you may want to use other stones with it to aid this process. The kundalini energy will rise up the spine from the base or root chakra and through each of the chakras, to end up where it emerges at the crown chakra, like an enormous serpent above your head.

Chakras
Shiva Lingam resonates with all the chakras. They are known to be powerful to aid you on the lower three chakras, particularly if used at the sacral or navel chakra and base chakra. If you centre the energy of these stones at the heart chakra, its vibration at both this chakra and the higher heart chakra connects you to the Divine Mind. Its action within the throat chakra allows you to recognise your connection with your etheric body, and how you can communicate this to your own higher self. Its resonance within the third eye chakra is about your visionary abilities. It paves the way to the crown chakra, where we connect to the Higher Self and the Divine.

Health and Well-being
For healing of any reproductive problems, Shiva Lingam will assist the healing of infertility, relieve menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps and may help disorders of the prostate.

Shiva Lingam supports all aspects of your personal divinity, and is powerful to aid you to overcome the need to judge others, and encourages forgiveness.

It helps to unite separated people, as it has an energy that encourages a feeling of togetherness and community.

Helps to break old patterns and open the path for new life.

Enhances inner transformation.

Boosts vitality.

Correspondences
Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Storm
Energy: Power
Chakras: All
Deity: Lord Shiva, Kali

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Crystal-Cure.com

Crystals and Sacred Sites by Judy Hall

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

Encyclopaedia Brittanica

Magickal, Mysterious Whitby Jet

Originally posted on 14/12/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver


Jet gives me such a thrill, particularly the Whitby variety. Some say it “ain’t Jet if it ain’t from Whitby!” Ah, yes…I almost 100% agree, still, I have had some very good magick come from Jet which hailed from other parts and all. Where does Jet come from, if not from Whitby? Deposits of Jet were discovered in other countries beyond Britain, including Spain, Germany, China, Turkey, and Siberia. In the United States, Jet has been found in Virginia, New Mexico, Utah, and Alaska. However, none of these locations produced Jet that had the same working qualities and beauty as the Jet found near Whitby.

Jet 2
My Jet Witch Ring ~ photo by i.macy

So, whilst Jet from anywhere else may have strong magickal energies when it comes to jewellery making and working with Jet for the creation of art objects, it really is not Jet if it “ain’t from Whitby”!

Jet is not actually a crystal, either, in the sense of what most would call a crystal. It is fossilised wood and compressed much in the way coal is compressed, yet, it is not compressed in “veins” as is coal. And here I go, as I do, tending to go into the science of a thing when all most of you care to know is: what does Jet do for us in the metaphysical sense or…magick?

Jet is the kind of crystal [fossil] that will support you physically, emotionally, and spiritually, helping to achieve your goals with balance and harmony. It helps you to see your way through demanding situations, regardless of all the mayhem going on around you. Jet accomplishes this by drawing the negativity out of your auric field and being free of the negativity helps you to change your perspective of the situation in the way you feel, think, act, and speak. When Jet helps you to release your negativity it does so in a positive way so that it doesn’t affect others adversely. Jet also opens your crown chakra to enlightenment, making it a fabulous stone to use during meditation. Jet also enhances your psychic abilities which makes it a positive crystal for opening your third eye chakra.

Because of Jet’s ability to ground us, it is an often-used stone for the base or root chakra. Jet is equally useful for the solar plexus chakra because of its ability to restore harmony and balance and to help you achieve it. The multipurpose Jet can be used alone during meditation and chakra clearing or alongside your usual crystals. It is the perfect go-to stone!

Prosperity:
We generally think of green crystals/stones when we think of drawing wealth into our lives, but when it comes to money and finances, Jet helps you to manage your finances best. When I began my business, I made a witch bottle to set on my desk. Inside of it, I place herbs which would draw wealth, along with some coins, and a piece of Jet. I still have this on my desk after four years and whilst I can’t say I’ve grown rich, I do know for a fact that my business has increased steadily and strongly over these four years. When I look at my stats I can see the graphs and the percentages which insure me that each month, each year, my finances have increased along with my number of sales. No, it didn’t happen quickly, but it has been steady, and to me, that is better…sometimes when things happen quickly it is over quickly as well. If I continue striving to improve myself and my products and have my Jet witch bottle, I think all will be fine.

Love:
By its very nature, Jet removes negativity from us. Negativity can be the number one killer of a relationship, even before it can get off the ground, so to speak. You may not think you are negative, however, when we have thoughts of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not attractive enough” we are being negative even if we don’t voice those opinions aloud. Our souls recognise things like this in each other far quicker than we admit it to each other, therefore, the one you’re trying to attract – or have attracted and trying to build a relationship with – probably already has suspected your negativity even though you think you have it in check. Jet will help you remove this negativity and to focus on the positives. If you know the Seven Laws of Attraction at all, you will know the more you think about something the better the chance is of attracting it into your life. Jet helps you to think about the good things about yourself, enhancing your positive vibes, and believe me, whomever you wish to attract or have attracted already will sense this delightful personality of yours and love you even more for it!

Jet 1
My Jet tumbled stone ~ photo by i.macy

If your negativity is more deep-seated than the superficial worries of not being worthy, Jet can bring the hidden issues and emotion to the surface, so you can deal with them properly and begin healing. Jet is not just a stone/crystal for relationship love but for self-love as well. Jet is always a source of emotional support through the good times and the bad.

Healing:
Jet is already proven to be a wonderful healing tool for sadness and stress. But, it has also been said to bring relief to those suffering menstrual cramps and it is also said to relieve the pain of childbirth, and it also seems to be helpful in correcting erratic hormones all throughout your pregnancy.

Of course, as a fabulous stabiliser, it would do! The primary objectives of Jet are balance and harmony, after all.

Healers use Jet to help with epilepsy. It has also been used for migraines and lesser painful headaches.

Jet is a superior protection stone. Jet was also found to be a comfort during mourning, long before Queen Victoria made it fashionable after the loss of her beloved Albert.

Bury in the Earth to recharge. Do not give away once you have worn it as it is said to absorb part of the soul of its owner.

Correspondences:
Chakra: Root. Also, good with solar plexus, third eye, and crown
Astrological Sign: Capricorn
Numerical Vibration: 8
Colour: Black and brownish-black
Diety: Pan, Cybele
Planet: Saturn
Element: Earth, Akasha
Sabbat: Samhain
Works well with: Lepidolite, Smokey Quartz, Sugilite, Amber, and Black Tourmaline

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, 2003
Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham, 2002
Chakra Healing & Karmic Awareness by Keith Sherwood, 2005
Gemstone Energy Medicine Healing Body, Mind and Spirit by Michael Katz, 2005
Experience