A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Seventeen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Ohn
Ogham Ohn ~ photo by i.macy

Ohn is the Ogham mark for the needle-bearing, non-conifer tree, Gorse, or Furze, from old Celtic dialect.  Truthfully, Gorse is considered more of a hedge plant than a tree, although they can grow to about 15 feet in height if not pruned back.  Ohn is also the Ogham for the Spring Equinox sabbat of Beltane.  It is not a Celtic Birth Tree Ogham.  Folklore has it that Ohn/Gorse is effective against faerie mischief.

Representations:  Fertility, Hope, Prosperity, and Protection

Ogham Letter:  O

Number:  17

Colour:  Gold, Yellow

Tarot: The Chariot

Animals:  Bees, Cormorant, Hare, Harrier Hawk

Plant:  Heather

Divination Meaning:  When you pull the Ohn Ogham, the question you must ask yourself is, “Where is my journey taking me? How shall I follow my path?”  A hint:  First look at the part of your life you’re in.  Are you young? Middle-aged? Older? When Ohn appears in your reading, it can indicate that you need to examine the direction of your life… maybe you’re about to take a trip; it can indicate emotional journeys such as changes of mind or heart. And, Ohn can also indicate if you need to make a spiritual journey such as meeting with ancestors in the Otherworld or finally meeting your Spirit Guardian.  Use your intuition to know where your journey lies. If you are to embark on a physical journey, Ohn is a magick amulet for you as physical protection; it is also well to have on hand for spiritual and emotional journeys.

How to Mend the Problem:  If you find physical travel is ahead for you, tend to mending any faults with your personal vehicle if you plan to use it.  Plan your trip to the best of your ability to minimise delays at airports and reduce travel times by taking the most direct but safest routes.  If you are called to go on a spiritual journey, it is always wise to first meet and form a relationship with your Spirit Guardian and animal if you have not done already.  Again, you must prepare for the journey.  And, if your journey is an emotional one, prepare yourself by committing yourself to being courageous… use talismans to this effect, if you feel necessary, and know that you will be deeply affected, however, it is a necessary journey to lay to rest the thing[s] which trouble your heart most.

the Chariot
Shadowscapes The Chariot ~ photo by i.macy

The tarot card I find is most relatable is The Chariot.  Notice, no matter which deck you use, the Warrior is upright, brave, and victorious.  He/she holds no reins… he is in control through the strength of his will and mind.  Although her beasts are pulling in different directions [in my case, a pair of Unicorns lead the way in my Shadowscapes deck], the charioteer uses her willpower and sheer resolve to steer the chariot forward in the direction she wants.  This is exactly what you wish to do in your journey as well.

You can catch up the first sixteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, Part Fifteen, and Part Sixteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Sixteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Ailm
Ogham Ailm ~ photo by i.macy

The Silver Fir is the main tree for which the Ogham Ailm represents, however, in some other circles the Elm tree is also marked by Ailm.  To confuse the issue further, Silver Fir is not mentioned in my first blog [see Sources below the link] regarding the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar and the representation of each tree’s Ogham alphabet.  One chart uses Pine in the place of Fir. The Ailm Ogham, all the more confusingly, represents all three trees:  Elm, Fir, and Pine.  For our purposes, should we create an Ogham set for ourselves from the twenty woods needed, it seems the prevailing wood for Ailm by the Druids is Silver Fir.  Ailm is the Ogham for the 23rd of December, the beginning of Yule.

While Silver Fir is not, as stated, a Birth Tree, it is called “The Birth Tree”.  It is used in protection spells for mothers giving and having given birth.  One of the ways is by burning the needles in the birthing room.  An excellent way to bring this into the 21st century is to create a loose incense with the Fir [or Pine] needles to burn on a charcoal block. Fir is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods.

Representations:  Far-sightedness, Beginnings/Endings, Pregnancy/Birth, Understanding, Intuition, Psychics,  Manifestation, Epiphany

Ogham Letter:  A

Number:  16

Colour:  Piebald – spotted/black/white/speckled

Tarot:  The Tower

Animals:  Lapwing

Plant:  Fir,  Pine, Elm

Divination Meaning:  You must question yourself again… What work am I starting? How am I being initiated?  Ailm is the Ogham of beginnings and endings combined. As one comes into this life, so is one born into the next.  You must study the part[s] of your life going through transition and look ahead into your own future.  You will be able to see what is beyond and what is coming.   When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being.  Someone you know may be about to give birth, or you are beginning a new project; you are full of excitement and creativity, an epiphany is about to happen. It could also indicate that your spirituality is about to experience a great growth spurt. But no matter what is coming, you must realise that it is going to happen.  How it happens is largely up to you as to whether you will drag your feet and make it painful or whether you will open yourself willingly to the change and go through it with grace.

How to Mend the Problem:  The chthonic current of Ailm is life and death… the oceanic current of Ailm is being on the threshold of something new and exciting; being on the brink of discovery – on the verge of the “aha moment”.  You are standing at the threshold of a very important passage in your life.  You may be about to give birth to a baby… or perhaps a brand-new idea… or you will learn that you have acquired the spirituality you have worked so dedicatedly for.  Perhaps you will make a discovery which can help all of mankind.  Here, you and you alone must see into your own future and decide what it will be. Your intuition is going to be necessary.  The Universe feels you are ready for the passage.  You would do well to trust the Universe and in yourself for you have learned all you need to know at this point to make this passage. But do understand, the passage itself cannot be rushed, nor can you stop it; this is not in your hands.  Take your time and savour it. It will be worth it.

One further note, if you are pulling three staves in a reading, and pull the Ur stave along with Ailm as one of your three,  it will have to do with Death… and do remember that to pull the Ur stave, just as with the Death card in tarot does not always, and rarely means, physical death. Always make note of where it falls…Past, Present, or Future.

The Tower
The Tower ~ photo by i.macy

The tarot card with goes so well with Ailm is The Tower.  Of that I’m aware, there are no “upright” or “reverse” meanings in the Ogham.  Your stave will represent both sides of the coin, as it were.  Your foresight into your situation will tell you whether the meaning is fabulous or not so much.  Still, as previously mentioned, the Universe feels you are ready for this.  The Tower card in the Upright position means to expect the unexpected – massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems, natural disaster, job loss or any event that shakes you to your core, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. There’s no escaping it. Change is here, but trust me, it’s for your Highest Good. In the Reversed state, The Tower suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. This differs from the experience of the upright Tower where the change is often because of external circumstances and may even feel forced upon you. After a Tower experience, you will grow stronger, wiser and more resilient as you develop a new perspective on life you did not even know existed. These moments are necessary for your spiritual growth and enlightenment, and truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.

The Ailm Ogham does the same for you.

You can catch up the first fifteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, and Part Fifteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

The Magickal Dogwood Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Dogwood cornus-florida-flowers-treesonline dot co dot uk
Cornus Florida ~ treesonline.co.uk

Yes! We do have Dogwood trees in the UK! But many of you probably know this already.  When I was quite young and my parents upped sticks and moved away from the big city life into the “country” – which isn’t so much “country” anymore – they bought a detached house on a good sized plot of land and my father, ever the Druid at heart, planted at least one, sometimes three or four, of every tree he could.  And he certainly did plant Dogwood trees.  As far as I can surmise, he planted Cornus Florida [from North America] based on the colour and size of the trees that I remember.  But is another which lives happily

dogwood - kousa - gardeningknowhow dot com
Cornus Kousa ~ gardeningknowhow.com

in UK weather called Cornus Kousa [from China] and it has pointier flowers. However, there is also a Dogwood [Cornus sanguinea]  shrub which you mustn’t confuse with the American or Chinese tree  because they are ornamentally placed around homes and businesses and the

Cornus sanguinea is typically found growing along woodland edges and in hedgerows of southern England. Mature trees can grow to 10 metres.

Dogwood Cornus Sanguinea flowers woodlandtrust
Cornus sanguinea   ~ woodlandtrust.co.uk

The Dogwood tree is said to live about 80 years under optimal circumstances.  I don’t know if Dad’s trees still exist as he moved away from this house a few years after my Mum died.  Truth be told, I haven’t been able to bring myself to go there again as I’m sure the changes may not please me.  But if they please the current owners that is all that matters, I suppose.  I’m not one to hang on to the past.

Magickal

The writer Tess Whitehurst, in her book The Magic of Trees, likens the Dogwood to – well, a dog! She says the Dogwood gives you protection from what you wish to exclude and, like a dog, helps you determine whom and what should be excluded from your life.  Rather than growling at someone or something as would a dog, the Dogwood wood gives you the feeling you should step away from the person or situation if you carry it as an amulet.  It is said that a Dogwood tree is excellent protection if planted around your home.  This is exactly what my father did… as a defence in front of our new home he planted three Dogwood trees… he clearly knew the power of three as we never had a time so bad we could not pull through it.

The origin of the name comes from the smooth, straight twigs [daggerwood] which were used to make butchers’ skewers. Skewers used to be called ‘dags’ or ‘dogs’, so the name means ‘skewer wood’.  Tess Whitehurst in her book kind of got the meaning wrong way round as she says the name came from using the wood for knife handles.  But the point is [see what I did there?] is that the Dogwood is thought to be as loyal as a dog and is said to help humans communicate with them.  It is also believed that using pieces of Dogwood bark and its flowers in the kennel of a convalescing dog will ensure its health will mend rapidly.  In the Victorian language of flowers, the Dogwood flower means endurance.  Another good reason to plant one the lovely species of tree in your garden.

The tree’s name “Dogwood” also carries associations with the Celtic Irish hero Cuchulainn, whose name meant “the dog of Cuchulainn” referring to his loyalty.  Uncertain about this as I have no way of knowing if the Dogwood existed in the early Pagan Celtic Ireland.

Sitting under a Dogwood, particularly if you’re feeling melancholy and having a good cry is thought to be very cathartic. It is believed that the Dogwood helps you to get your grief out more thoroughly.

Place the sap of the Dogwood onto a handkerchief on Midsummer Eve. This will grant any wish you have if you carry it faithfully. Dogwood leaves or wood can be placed in protective amulets.

Correspondences

Planet:  Saturn

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Capricorn

Element[s]:  Spirit

Powers:  Empathy, Love, Loyalty, Miracles, Protection, Secrets, Sympathy, Wishes

Deity:  Saturn, Jesus, Venus, Hecate

Other Names:  Dagwood, Bitter Redberry, Box Tree, Boxwood, Budwood, Cornejo Florido, Cornel, Cornelian Tree, Cornouiller Américain, Cornouiller d’Amérique, Cornouiller à Fleurs, Cornouiller à Fleurs d’Amérique, Cornouiller de Floride, Cornus, Cornus florida, Dog-Tree, Dogwood, False Box, Green Ozier, Osier, Rose Willow, Sanguiñuelo Florido, Silky Cornel, Swamp Dogwood,

Health

Historically, American Dogwood was sometimes used for treating malaria instead of the drug quinine. American Dogwood is still used today as medicine, but not very often. People use American Dogwood for headaches, fatigue, fever, and ongoing diarrhoea. It is also used to increase strength, to stimulate appetite, and as a tonic.  Some people apply American Dogwood directly to the skin for boils and wounds.

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

Sources

Experience

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia

Woodland Trust

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fifteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham ruis
Ogham Ruis ~ photo by i.macy

We shall now delve into the mysteries of the Ogham, Ruis, which is of the Elder tree, a Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 25 November and 23 December.  The Elder tree represents the Dark Half of the year and is associated with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. But the focus is on its Ogham, Ruis, which loosely means “red” from the Irish Gaelic word, “Rúad”.  And, as you will read, Ruis will make you “see red”! And, it will help you to learn not to. Those born in the Elder lunar month are very passionate.

Representations:  Passion, Jealousy, Sexuality, Guilt, Envy, Love, Love of Life, Devotion to Deity, Healing

Ogham Letter:  E

Number:  15

Colour:  Bright Red, Light Red

Tarot:  Judgement

Animals:  Black Horse, Pheasant, Raven, Rook

Plant:  Dandelion

Divination Meaning:  What am I passionate about?  How do my passions help or harm me? These are the questions one must ask themselves if they draw the Ruis Ogham.  We are now delving into the emotions that may either help or harm, depending upon their use. What happens to arouse your emotions to guilt and frenzy?  These are the symptoms of a wider desire and you must suss out the source to begin “training” them to do good or to eliminate them from your life.  You are the judge and jury.

How to Mend the Problem:  Like Passion itself, Ruis can be steeped in joy or hatred. Jealousy and Rage are part and parcel to this Ogham’s energies; however, they can be turned to passionate love as well.  This pertains to any extreme emotion you may feel you’re having a problem with.  You can turn extreme hatred into love… whatever the emotion, you can control it with the power of Ruis and your own intuition and mindfulness. However, the chthonic current of Ruis is a difficult one as most of its meanings are emotions which people find hard to face. Still, there are also positive passions found with Ruis and because of this, as we can learn from Hinduism, we can turn our anger [insert emotion of choice] into cleansing through self-reflection and examination and thereby turning a societally harmful emotion into one of social activism and a deep desire for Justice, or expressing that emotion through healing work.  Ruis gives powerful focus and energy to overcome difficulties.

Judgement
Shadowscapes Judgement card ~ photo by i.macy

In examination of what Ruis means, I find the Judgement tarot card comes to mind strongly. This is because Judgement calls upon us to rise and embrace a higher level of consciousness for the service of our Highest Good.  Both Ruis and Judgement indicates that you need to make a life-changing decision, and they tend to show up when you are close to reaching a significant stage in your journey.  This is the time when you will review and re-evaluate your past experiences and have learned from them. All the pieces of the puzzle of your life are finally coming together to form one, unified picture of your life story. This integration has healed deep wounds, and you are now able to put the past behind you. You have found your absolution, having cleared any wrongdoings or regrets, and releasing any guilt or sadness about the past. This purging process will leave you refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.

You can catch up the first fourteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, and Part Fourteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

From the Wortcunners Cabinet, Rosemary

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @iseabail_witchwriter

It is July but I am thinking of Yule so Rosemary came to mind and its heady “pine-ish” aroma.  It is a scent and a flavour I love wholeheartedly.  Rosemary roasted potatoes come to mind! But I am not here to write a cookbook, am I? No, I’m here to explore all the wonderful magickal ways with which Rosemary can assist us in spells and healing. And even with Yule being a half a year away, Rosemary can be used in so many ways, from magick to good health. So, let us begin.

rosemary in bloom
Rosemary in bloom ~ gardenaction.co.uk

Reading through Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician, I find it amusing that as he wrote about most herbs and plants, he would always say in the beginning of each plant’s description, ‘…it is so well known, I need not describe it.’  I would have to argue a few of his entries saying that as I would never know the plant without a description or picture, however, I can agree here…I imagine everybody knows the look of Rosemary! It has been around for so long and used by so many that it is a staple in all kitchens most likely and grown in many gardens.  It is so easy and hardy to grow that it can flourish even in the gardens of those without green fingers.  If you’re not sure of yourself as a gardener I believe you will find success at last by growing Rosemary.

Magickal

Rosemary is a favourite of mine to use in poppets and incense for courage and healing spells and for protection.  It is also a fundamental ingredient in clearing rituals.

rosemary netdoctor dot co dot uk
Rosemary bundle ~ netdoctor,co,uk

Burning Rosemary whether in an incense or as a smudge stick/wand is a long-favoured way of “clearing the air” in a negative home or room.  It has been found to help students whom are swotting up for exams and whilst doing revision for it helps clear their minds and keeps them on task because it helps their memory.

Many people I have talked to use Rosemary oil for cleansing and consecrating their altar and tools, however, I have not tried this. I stick to using Myrrh.  Still, I may give Rosemary a go sometime. I certainly know it can’t hurt.

Plant Rosemary near your entrance doors on your home to ward off thieves.

My family swore by Rosemary being left underneath the marital bed for increasing the chances of fertility.  You can make sachets to lay under pillows on the bed to achieve the same if you don’t want to have to sweep Rosemary needles from under your bed.

For marital loyalty, have your groom’s buttonhole made to include a sprig of Rosemary and be sure to have it added to your own bouquet to use during your wedding / handfasting.

Rosemary can be used in wreathes and decorations for the Yule season [keep in mind for next year] for its protectiveness, heath-giving, and loyalty attributes.

Hanging a bunch of Rosemary above one’s bed can ensure nightmares will not come.

The Elven folk are said to be attracted to Rosemary and I can attest to that as we had a maisonette a few years ago with a massive, bushy Rosemary growing in the back garden.  We also had an impish Elf we named “Squishy” who notoriously pulled pranks when we sat out at night with a glass of wine. He was a quite a lot of fun, however, we haven’t seen him since moving to our bungalow.  If we did not come out, he would chuck pebbles against the bathroom window to get our attention!

Health

According to Culpeper, Rosemary “….is very much used for inward and outward diseases, for by the warming and comforting heat thereof it helps all cold diseases, both of the head, stomach, liver, and belly.  The decoction thereof in wine, helps the cold distillations of rheums into the eyes, and all other cold diseases of the head and brain, as the giddiness or swimmings  therein, drowsiness or dullness of the mind and senses like a stupidness, the dumb palsy, or loss of speech the lethargy, and falling-sickness, to be both drank, and the temples bathed therewith.”  He also goes on to say it is good for bathing away pains in teeth and gums and is used  “to clear away stinking breath“.  Rosemary also helps a weak memory and a plethora of other maladies!  It would seem that if you had Rosemary in your garden and knew how to use it, you could almost live forever!

How do we use it in these times? A lot of the same ways as in olden days. We use Rosemary in cooking much of the time to guarantee proper digestion, particularly during holiday meals.  It is one of the reasons why I always add Rosemary to my roast potatoes.  Not only does it make them taste wonderful, but it is also helpful to sooth our stomachs from the excesses of the day.

rosemary dried
dried Rosemary ~ courtesy of Google Images

Other ways I have used Rosemary is to melt down some bee’s wax, then add a bit of camphor. Next, I add a good amount of ground, fresh Rosemary, and a few drops of Rosemary oil,  then allow it to sit til completely cool.  It is the most fabulous nose un-stuffer when you have a cold, not to mention very gentle round your sore nose.  It can also be used on cuts and bruises with success.  It works for sore muscles, of which I generally have many, and this balm also helps reduce the appearance of spots and scars in the skin. For very sore muscles a drop or two of turpentine won’t go amiss. The same as people used it for many centuries ago.

For our hair, my daughters and I make an infusion with castor oil and fresh Rosemary by stuffing as much as will fit into a large jar. Then, we fill it with either castor oil or extra virgin olive oil and let it set for thirty days in the sunny window sill with the lid on tightly.  Note: Be quick about using it if you make your infusion with olive oil as it seems to go “off” quicker than castor oil.  Just massage into your hair and apply heat, let it sit for an hour, then wash as normal.  Your hair will be softer than ever, and it seems to help strengthen against breakage.  Infusion made oils are also useable in your magickal work in place of their essential oil counterparts.  In fact, I like using infusion made oils better.

Rosemary is a wonderful pick-me-up in the sickroom.  Have fresh bunches of Rosemary placed about the room for the spirit-lifting aroma and the protection of the patient.

I warn you, though it is bitter, you can steep Rosemary flowers and needles in a diffuser to make a cup of tea for an upset tummy.

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Zodiac:  Aries *Many say Leo, however, I use the designation of Aries by Nicholas Culpeper

Gender:  Masculine

Element: Fire

Powers:  Health, Protection, Courage, Cleansing, Loyalty, Fertility, Longevity

Deity: Aphrodite, Venus

I hope you have found some use for Rosemary from my blog that you may not have already thought of. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all this way wander. x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c.1700’s

netdoctor.co.uk

Experience

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fourteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Straif
Ogham Straif ~ photo by i.macy

Blackthorn is a winter tree and it has black bark and vicious thorns, or “spines”. It has delicious berries called sloes which only ripen and sweeten after first frost.  It is a formidable tree and yet, it is a protective tree, a tree of authority and strength. It is wise not to go up against Blackthorn for it will always win. Blackthorn’s Ogham letter is called Straif, which sounds much like ‘strife’. It is not a Birth Tree Ogham, but it is the Ogham for the dark half of the year and its date is 31 October.  If you were born on this date, you could easily call it your birth tree.  Be forewarned though, the meanings of Blackthorn and Straif may not be ones you wish to be associated with. Or again, perhaps you do. Straif’s chthonic current speaks of secrets and the preservation of secret knowledge.  It can refer to magickal or occult mysteries and to a depth of magickal and spiritual practise. Straif reminds us to expect the unexpected.  Sudden reversals of fortune are possible. The spiritual direction is to use divination in whatever manner you get best results from to help lead you through the journey of change and your intuition will help guide your discernment.

Representations:  Authority, Control, Protection, Strength, and Truth

Ogham Letter:  St, SS

Number:  14

Colour:  Dark Purple, Grey, White or Yellow

Tarot:  Wheel of Fortune

Animals:  Bees, Butterfly, Thrush

Plant:  Houseleek

Divination Meaning:  Pulling the single stave, Straif, means unexpected change, plans altered, plans ruined.  Always be prepared for the unexpected with the appearance of Straif.  You must question yourself:  What part of my life needs a total change?  How am I being transformed?

How to Mend the Problem:  Change can be managed through spiritual work when Straif is an influence. Straif gives the ability to transform attitudes in healing. Despair can become hope. This Ogham is good for work with the emotions and for transforming deep-seated issues that have strong roots in the past, changing things without destroying the vessel.  Leave off any negative view you may have.  Clinging to old ways and facing challenges with anger, resentment, and stubbornness will only hurt you more. Accept the changes and move on with grace. Realise your life has changed dramatically and emerge reborn.

Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune ~ photo by i.macy

Many wrongly assume the Death card in tarot would be most likely the partner for Straif.  Not at all.  Yes, of course, you must “die” to some old ways so that you can rebirth to new and healthier ways. The Wheel of Fortune card is the best partner to Straif.  The upright Wheel of Fortune card asks you to be optimistic and have faith that the Universe will take care of your situation in the best way possible. Meditation and visualisation can reinforce your intention to bring increased abundance, good fortune and prosperity to you. Your life is about to turn in more positive directions if you are willing to grow and expand. Keep your mind open to all kinds of synchronicities and signs from the Universe. The magick of fate and destiny is behind you, and miracles are happening. However, when the Wheel of Fortune is reversed, your luck and fortune may take a turn for the worst. You may experience unexpected change or negative forces could be at play, leaving you feeling helpless. You have a choice: you can do nothing, and hope things will get better, or you can act to improve your situation. See this moment as your opportunity to take control of your destiny and get your life back on track.  So, like the wheel, what comes round goes round… and refer to the upright to fix the upside down.

You can catch up the first thirteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, and Part Thirteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog. Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Happy Litha 2022 and Merry Midsummer

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

The longest day of the year has just rolled around again.  I hope it is not miserably hot for you, wherever you are in the Northern Hemisphere. But it is now Litha for us and we have a few warm weeks ahead. And a Happy Yule to our lovely witches Down Under where it is Yuletide. We hope you are enjoying yourselves safely.  Lockdowns, for the most part, are over so many will have the travel bug.

stonehenge
my favourite pic of Stonehenge

I am, for myself, keeping to lockdown rules as best I can, being a woman of a certain age. So, I’m not going out in search of a festival, although I would certainly enjoy one!  This is the time of year in the past where, if we could get the time off work or just wanted an overnight “day trip”, off to Wiltshire we would go to see the sunrise at Stonehenge and feeling special because of all the generations of some of my ancestors whom lived there for centuries probably saw the same event at some point in time or another. 

Avebury stone circle aerial view tripsavvy dot com
Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire

There are generally thousands who go each year.    Of course, there is also Avebury circle, another henge, which is also located in Wiltshire

How ever you celebrate your Summer Solstice, I do hope you have fun. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Thirteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

OGHAM NGETEL
Ngetel Ogham ~ photo by i.macy

Ngetal is the Ogham for Reed.  I know… a Reed? It gives way to thought to skinny grasses growing up from marshes and estuaries, but the Reed can become quite woody and thick giving its strength and protection to thatched roofs for centuries.  Reed is also instrumental in the making of woodwind instruments [pun intended], and other by-gone era uses included arrow shafts and writing pens.

Ngetal /Reed is also the Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 28th October and 24th November. Reed signs among the Celtic tree “astrology” signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core.  It’s a kind of magick. Reed is the 12th month of the Celtic Tree Calendar and the 13th letter of the Ogham alphabet.

Representations:  Healing, Growth, Harmony, Protection, Loyalty, Unity, and Will

Ogham Letter:  NG

Number:  13

Colour:  Pale Green

Tarot:  The Magician

Animals:  Kingfisher, Geese, Owl

Plant:  Watermint, Broom, Fern

Divination Meaning:  You will find order where others create chaos and disorder. Also means healing and you should be aware of your health, mentally and physically.  Ask yourself, “where am I wounded? What in my life requires healing?” Use your strengthening intuition to decide the whether it is yourself or someone else who needs healing.  Of course, as always in a three-stave draw, be sure to check what your other two staves tell you and remember the draw of the stave is important.  Is it past, present, or future?

How to Mend the Problem:  Ngetal requires direct action. Particularly if the “wound” is in urgent need of healing… keep your target in sight and do not be distracted; stay grounded.  By keeping to simple laws of order this will not be difficult.  Keep your wits about you when others are being chaotic. Insist upon harmony in stressful situations.

Ngetal is protective.  For physical healing, it is not untoward to draw this Ogham onto the body of the indisposed near or above or over where healing is called for. The same goes for spiritual or mental healing.  To wear Ngetal when ill makes it a talisman for healing.

The Tarot card I believe best represents Ngetel is The Magician. The Magician stays grounded with one foot on the ground; in some decks such as my Shadowscapes, he sits on the balls of his feet.  One hand points more upwards… to the Universe, and the other is downward, to Earth. He looks both forward to new ideas and is grounded to the ways that are proven. He alone knows best how to manifest what is either desired or needed. He is the epitome of harmony. And very often, healing requires harmony and grounding and a bit of the old ways along with new ways.

You can catch up the first twelve blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, and Part Twelve by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog. Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Twelve

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Gort
The Ivy Ogham, Gort ~ photo by i.macy

I call it the “seeker’s” Ogham, Gort.  Gort is the Ogham for the Ivy plant… again, the Celtic people did not always choose the wood of trees but sometimes vines and reeds, depending upon the meaning of certain woods to them which would indicate what would be used for each Ogham alphabet.  Whilst Gort is the twelfth letter of the Ogham alphabet, the Ivy it represents is the eleventh lunar month of the Celtic Tree Calendar and this brings us to Gort being the “sign” for those born between 30 September and 27 October.  People born during this time are notorious for sticking by their friends and creating long lasting connections. Ivy / Gort is always seeking and spreading, leaving everything stronger in its wake, much the way the people born during this lunar month do with others.  You will come to understand yourself better through Gort;  I would even go so far as to say you may find your full purpose in life through Gort. It will lead you down the right roads, but always take care to use your intuition to know whether it is right for you, or not.

Representations:  Friendship, Happiness, Healing, Prosperity, Protection, Steadfastness, and Tenacity

Ogham Letter:  G

Number:  12

Colour:  Blue, Light Brown

Tarot:  The Sun

Animals:  Mute Swan, Butterfly, Lark, Swallow

Plant:  Woody Nightshade

Divination Meaning:  This is not the time to be alone. But you are probably not one to be alone much, therefore, feel free to cleave unto your friends.  Whatever it is you may need help with, they will be there for you as you are always there for them.  Drawing the Gort Ogham can also mean prosperity is coming, for which you must be patient. If drawing three Ogham staves in a reading, pay particular care to the meanings of the other two and in what order each draw was made.

How to Mend the Problem:  Recognise that “group unconsciousness” has an effect upon you and go inward to learn more about the self. Enter “group mind” with joy and assist others with their spirituality as they assist you in yours.  We are all intertwined as is the Ivy; we can all be successful by supporting each other.  Gort symbolises many forms of abundance; the rewards of patience are many. There is a general air of gratitude and plenty, with an assurance of ease in the situation though it may have been long in coming.  Give thanks always.  Do keep in mind that you will find further meaning from each Ogham as your intuition develops.  These are but a guideline.

Gort resonates with The Sun card in tarot.  The Sun represents success, radiance and abundance. The Sun gives you strength and tells you that no matter where you go or what you do, your positive and radiant energy will follow you and bring you happiness and joy. People are drawn to you because you can always see the bright side and bring such warmth into other people’s lives. This beautiful, warm energy is what will get you through the tough times and help you succeed. You are also in a position where you can share your highest qualities and achievements with others. Radiate who you are and what you stand for; shine your love on those you care about.

You can catch up the eleven blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, and Part Eleven by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

The Wortcunners Cabinet, Moss [and a spell!]

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Oak Moss – isn’t it beautiful?!!

Never did I think as I began writing this blog that there were so many varieties of Moss!  For my own purposes and practise I use Oak Moss exclusively.  I am not a Moss for Dummies kind of girl, still, there is one hell of a lot of Moss in the world!  Over 12,000 species to be in close range!

As my favourite physician, Nicholas Culpeper said in his book, The Complete Herbal, “I shall not trouble the reader with a description of these, since my intent is to speak only of two kinds, as the most principal, viz. Ground Moss and Tree Moss, both of which are very well known”.

Although I plan on giving the magickal properties of Oak Moss, I feel I should mention most mosses will align magickally with Oak Moss and can be interchangeably, in case you are unable to procure Oak Moss.

Magickal

I have used Oak Moss extensively in spell work.  One other thing Nicholas Culpeper stated in his book is that with Tree Mosses, the Moss takes on the nature of the tree itself and his belief was that Oak was most binding.  Therefore, I have always felt most compelled to use Oak Moss in my practise.  He also stated that “most Mosses are under the dominion of Saturn”.  In that case, no matter which kind you prefer to use in your practise, the Correspondences below should be closely related.  As far as powers are concerned if you use a Moss from a different tree than Oak you should likely find the powers for that particular tree to align it properly with your spell work.

One of my favourite ways to use Oak Moss is in a spell jar.  As Oak Moss is intricately linked to the acquisition of money, here is my Extra Money / Business Spell Jar formula:

One medium sized jar with lid [I save curry sauce jars for this purpose!]

Green or gold cloth

Green or gold ribbon, two of each whichever colour you use]

Green or gold candle [a small spell candle will do]

A small piece of paper, parchment or other

Oak Moss, as much as you wish

A stick of Cedar or if unavailable, a Cinnamon stick

Patchouli herb

A pound coin or any denomination of money in your currency

A piece of Whitby Jet or a piece of Jet that is easily attainable where you live

On a Saturday for wealth, on a Sunday for business growth.  Saturday being the day for Saturn is wonderful for gaining extra money and you would use the green cloth, green ribbon, and green candle for that spell.  If you are wanting more money for your business, you would use the gold and do your spell on a Sunday as it is the day for Business spell work.  Keep those aside for the end.  Light your candle and say a prayer in your own words to your God, Goddess, the Divine Parents, the Universe [whomever you pray to] or just visualise money coming to you.  Enchant your Moss, Cedar or Cinnamon, Patchouli, money, and Jet, placing each into the jar in that order.  It will not matter if they get jostled about and rearranged later, it is only important that you put them in this order.  Once all items are in, write on your parchment paper the amount of money you need [don’t go too over the top… the Universe doesn’t do greedy] and tie it with one of your ribbons then put it inside your jar. Holding your jar in both hands then take a nice deep breath in thinking “poverty be gone” and slowly release your breath into the jar thinking “prosperity come home”, Do this three times then put the lid onto the jar and tighten.  Next, cut a square of the colour of cloth you are using that will fit over the lid of the jar, hanging over the top by a bit – enough where you can tie the ribbon round the jar neck tightly and as you tie the ribbon into a bow say “so mote it be”.

A protection spell jar ~ only an example if you are not familiar. Your spell jar won’t look like this one.

Leave your spell jar on your desk if for business or any safe place for extra money. It is important not to unseal it ever because your spell will not work and this is a lasting spell so you can charge in the light of the waxing moon to give it more power each month.  It is perfectly acceptable to keep it in a sunny place as well as the masculine power of the sun works well with the spell jar.  Only do be sure not to leave it where a child or a pet or roommate would potentially knock it over or open it.

I have also used Oak Moss in sachets for money that I can carry with me in my handbag and for luck.  For my Yule loose incense blend I add Oak Moss – did you know that Oak Moss is used in many perfumes? Any one of them with a woodsy scent likely have Oak Moss. It is no wonder that kind of perfume is my favourite.

There are plenty of other ways to use it in magick. Perhaps some of you know of ways you may want to share? Just leave a comment below!

Correspondences

Planetary: Saturn

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Capricorn, Aquarius [pre-discovery of Uranus]

Element: Earth

Chakra:  Base/Root

Powers:  Luck, Money, Prosperity

Deity:  Shiva, Kali [Hindu], Brahma, Yama [Vedic]

Health

Nicholas Cunningham had much to say about Moss as a curative… I am not certain if anybody these days would care to try them.  However, whether you would or not, I think you will at least find some amusement from these. As afore mentioned, he speaks only of Ground Moss and Tree Moss in late medieval England.

The Ground Moss is held to be singularly good to break the stone, and to expel and drive it forth by urine, being boiled in wine and drank The herb being bruised and boiled in water, and applied, eases all inflammations and pains coming from an hot cause; and it therefore used to ease the pains of the gout.

The Tree Mosses are cooling and binding, and partake of a digesting and mollifying quality withal, as Galen[1] saith, But each Moss partakes of the nature of the tree from whence it is taken; therefore that of the oak is more binding, and is of good effect to stay fluxes[2] in man or woman; as also to vomiting or bleeding, the powder thereof being taken in wine  The decoction thereof in wine is very good for women to be bathed in that are troubled with the overflowing of their courses[3].  The same being drank, stays the stomach that is trouble with casting, or hiccough; and, as Avicena [sic][4] saith, it comforts the heart.  The powder thereof taken in drink for some time together, is thought available for the dropsy. The oil that has had fresh Moss steeped therein for a time, and afterwards boiled and applied to the temples and forehead, marvellously eases the head-ache coming of a hot cause; as also the distillations of hot rheums[5] or humours[6] in the eyes, or other parts.  The ancients much used it in their ointments and other medicines against the lassitude, and to strengthen and comfort the sinews; for which, if it was good then, I know no reason but it may be found so still.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings upon all whom this way wander.  Please stay safe x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Wikipedia.com

Experience

[1] Galen, Greek Galenos, Latin Galenus, (born 129 ce, Pergamum, Mysia, Anatolia [now Bergama, Turkey]

[2] A pathological flowing of blood (or humours, excretions, discharges) from any part of the body; ~ blod, ~ of blod, profuse bleeding; ~ of the womb, dysentery, diarrhoea, or lientery.

[3] A Tudor England term for a woman’s menses – “A woman’s monthly bleeding, otherwise known as “courses”, was believed to be the womb ridding itself of excess blood. If this did not happen the womb could become overrun with blood and could possibly drown the woman.” [hahaha, how silly!]

[4] Avicenna, an Iranian philosopher and physician of the tenth and eleventh centuries [4th and 5th century AH] His scientific fame and influence was not only spread in Iran and the Islamic world, but also extended to the whole world. According to some researches, the views of Avicenna in diagnosis and treatment of some diseases, such as asthma is more precise and effective than the findings of modern medicine, or in jaundice, biliary obstruction and liver indigestion, his prescribed medicines are in conformity with the findings of new researches

[5] Pronunciation /ruːm/ – A watery fluid that collects in or drips from the nose or eyes.

[6] Greek physician Hippocrates [ca. 460 BCE–370 BCE] is often credited with developing the theory of the four humours—blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm—and their influence on the body and its emotions.