From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Butchers Broom

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

In the 17th century, the English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper used Butcher’s Broom to help the healing of fractured bones. And it has been used in medicine ever since for a variety of reasons, one most important reason is as an anti-inflammatory drug. Butcher’s Broom is a shrub naturalised to England/UK, growing wild all over Europe and northern Asia and found growing happily wherever there is sandy soil. It is found natively in the Mediterranean, Iran, the Azores islands and parts of Africa. And now, Box Holly has become sparsely naturalised in North America, wherever there is sandy soil, I am sure. But I am here to dig up some magick on the fabulous Butcher’s Broom [box holly].

Butchers Broom
photo from artimondo.co.uk

Magickal:
Butchers Broom – or my favourite, Knee-Holly, is used in protection charms. You may use it in any way you like. I find using the woodiest part in making protection incense may not be to everybody’s olfactory preference but the smoke calms one and it calms the animals in your home. The incense is also extremely good whilst divining by tarot, runes, pendulum, or any other forms of divination as it helps you to access your psychic powers as well as helps you stay calm and focused. The dried leaves are good to use in poppets, witch bottles, and sachets for protection as well as drawing healing and psychic powers to you.

To raise the wind: Take a small handful of Butchers Broom twigs and toss them into the air.

To calm the wind: Burn a small handful of twigs and scatter the ashes into the wind.

Remember – intent is everything in magick.

To Banish: Make a small altar besom from Butchers Broom. Write on a piece of paper what it is you want to banish from your life that you feel is holding you back. Burn small twigs of Butchers Broom in a cauldron along with your piece of paper until ash. Use your Butchers Broom besom to stir the ashes anti-clockwise whilst thinking of how this problem will leave you in peace. Naturally, make sure the ashes are cold first! Then, go outside and face North, get a few ashes on the “broom” part of the besom and blow them off, then East, etc. You can add your own words to this by saying something after each turn that will tell the Universe what your intentions are or just think them. If any ash is left afterwards, simply tip it out on the ground and give it a stamp with your foot imagining yourself free of your hindrance. So mote it be!

Butchers Broom dried
My dried Butcher’s Broom ~ photo by i.macy

Medicinal:
Not throwing caution to the wind [pun intended] but I shall say now: If you have high blood pressure, do NOT use Butcher’s Broom in healing yourself or others unless by sympathetic healing. Do not ingest.

In addition, it’s possible that butcher’s broom may interact with blood pressure medications and stimulant medications. So, if you’re taking either of these, you should probably avoid butcher’s broom.

From Culpeper’s Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpepper:

For the Wrist Drop, and for the maw or belly, take two cups full of the ooze of this wort, which is named victoriola, and by another name, Knee Holly; administer it [to the patient] to drink fasting mixed with honey; soon it diminishes the wrist drop.

Additionally, English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper prescribed butcher’s broom to heal fractured bones, taken both orally and made into a poultice over the break. I should think we have come a long way since Mr Culpepper wrote this in his Complete Herbal, which by the way, is as useful today as ever, back in the 17th century.

Butcher’s broom is used for haemorrhoids, gallstones, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and for symptoms of poor blood circulation such as pain, heaviness, leg cramps, leg swelling, varicose veins, itching, and swelling. Butcher’s broom is also used as a laxative, as a diuretic to increase urine output, reduce swelling, and speed the healing of fractures. The root is the main part used in healing, however, the leaves and woody stems are also boiled into tinctures, teas, and poultices for external use.

Today, Butcher’s Broom is known most widely for the way it benefits the circulatory system, especially for those with orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure when going from sitting to standing) and chronic venous insufficiency.

In some cultures, the roots are eaten in much the same way as asparagus.

There are several ways to get the benefits of Butcher’s Broom. Many people take it in supplement form, which can be found in pills, oils, and creams. As mentioned earlier, some people eat Butcher’s Broom roots like they would asparagus, although it smells and tastes much more pungent and bitter than asparagus.

Correspondences:

Gender:  Masculine

Planetary: Mars, Jupiter, and Mercury [primarily Mars]

Powers: Healing, Wind spells, Divination, Protection, Psychic Powers, Banishing

Element: Air and Fire

Astrological: Aries, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Pisces

Day: Tuesday and Thursday

Deity: Jupiter, Mars, Amon, Ares

Other Names: Box Holly, Sweet Broom, Knee-Holm, Petti-gree, Victoriola, Euscus, Knee-Holly, Kneehulver, Bruscus

Many thanks for taking the time to read our blog! We hope you’ve enjoyed it and hopefully learned new things. If so, please like our blog, give us a follow and share via the various buttons below. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, by Thomas Oswald Cockayne, 1857 ~ A collection of documents, for the most part never before printed, illustrating the Science of this country before the Norman conquest

The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

Culpeper’s Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpepper – reprint 1987 from 17th century

Wikipedia.org

Experience

Crystal of the Week, Red Jasper

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Once upon a time, Red Jasper was an expensive stone because it was so sought-after. It is a stone of great antiquity, having been named in the Bible and was the first stone in the breastplate of Aaron, the High Priest. Red Jasper was called the blood of Mother Earth by Native American tribes and was used to stimulate health and re-birth, innovative ideas and strategies, and increase one’s sensitivity to the earth when dowsing for water or calling in rain. Jasper is an opaque variety of Chalcedony, and is usually associated with brown, yellow, or reddish colours, but may be used to describe other opaque colours of Chalcedony such as dark or mottled green, orange, and black. Jasper is almost always multi-coloured, with unique colour patterns and habits. A very special stone which seems to have fallen from grace with too many people these days! A favourite crystals shop of mine says they can’t give them away it seems. And I have literally witnessed punters pick one up, put it back, and move on to fancier crystals and stones. They don’t know what’s good for them, I say.

red jasper
Red Jasper ~ photo by i.macy

We must wait for the magick because the real magick occurs in the birth of Jasper. Jasper is typically found in veins and cracks in volcanic rocks, often together with chalcedony and agate. No geodes filled with Jasper that resemble agate geodes have ever been found, so the formation of Jasper seems to be restricted to veins and cracks percolated by aqueous solutions. Veins of jasper occasionally occur in igneous rocks [for example, red and yellow Jasper in granite in the Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany]. The cracks filled out by Jasper often form during tectonic activity. These movements go on for a long time; the cracks will reopen again, the Jasper will be shattered, and the voids in between will be filled with more Jasper. This leads to the formation of brecciated Jasper, a rock that has – often repeatedly – been shattered, and is made of Jasper, and sometimes chalcedony and microcrystalline quartz of assorted colours. The image shows a tumbled specimen of unknown origin. Its deep red colour is caused by embedded haematite and you may be able to make out the black haematite streak in the Jasper pictured in my hand. You can also make out the huge quartz inclusion in the larger stone.

Hopefully, this explanation is enough to let you know how wonderfully made red Jasper, nee all Jaspers, are and why they deserve our reverence as much today as they did so many centuries ago.

Magickal:
Wear or carry Red Jasper to alleviate stress and reconnect with Earth’s grounding energies. Its cleansing effect eliminates negativity, returning it to its source, and stabilising the aura. It is an ideal worry or rubbing stone for soothing the nerves and restoring balance.

Red Jasper is marvellous for clearing the mind during meditation, prayer or contemplation. Its high spiritual energy increases focus and endurance during long ceremonies or practises and is helpful in establishing new spiritual disciplines. It is an excellent stone for shamanic journeying and astral travel and provides vivid dream recall.

A valuable stone of protection, Red Jasper guards against physical threats and assists in situations of danger. Keep in the car to prevent accidents, theft or road rage, and place in the home or office to absorb electromagnetic and environmental pollution and radiation. Wear two or three items of Red Jasper jewellery or a pouch of three small tumble stones to shield against psychic attack or when working with spirit rescue, potentially violent or psychologically disturbed individuals.

Red Jasper is a stone of passion and a token of all who consummate love. It encourages control in all things, and thus calms sexual aggressiveness, promotes sexual compatibility, and enhances tantric sex. It may assist women in overcoming a jealous love rival or unfair opposition to a relationship.

Red Jasper also stimulates passion in one’s creative work, manifesting innovative ideas and freshness, and the energy to continue a project even after the initial excitement has dwindled. Its energy brings focus and self-mastery. Red Jasper is the crystal of actors, actresses and all connected with expressive and performing arts in becoming more sensitive to their audiences.

Red Jasper may be used as a professional support stone for all jobs requiring physical strength and stamina, from police officers to trades workers, waitresses and waiters, and other high activity professionals. It also brings energy, alertness and emotional endurance to accountants, computer operators, military personnel and all who must continuously be focused and on task.

In Divination:
Known as “the rain bringer,” Jasper has been revered since ancient and medieval times as a divining stone of “tempestaries,” magical masters of the wind and rain, called upon in secret to save harvests in periods of drought, or to save ships from violent storms. Green and Brown Jaspers were considered the most powerful for this purpose. Red Jasper was also used by the Native Americans for dowsing the land for water and was especially helpful in increasing the searcher’s sensitivity to the Earth.

Jasper has also been utilised for divining the future. Red and Picture Jasper are especially conducive for dream work and visioning, and it is an excellent scrying and dowsing pendulum stone.

The Divinatory meaning of Red Jasper: Be tough but kind with someone close who acts helpless and drains you of money or energy with constant demands.

Dreaming of Jasper signifies love returned.

Healing:
Red Jasper helps with the sense of smell. It also promotes physical energy. Red jasper is thought to help balance the energy in the body. Red Jasper helps regulate the metabolic energies of the body, providing strength and vitality, and increasing physical stamina. It is particularly beneficial for those needing extra support during prolonged illness, injury or hospitalisation. Because of its ability to help generate muscle tissue, it may be useful in weight lifting and bodybuilding, and to enhance the effects of exercise.

Red Jasper is thought to support the circulatory system, detoxifying the blood and removing blockages of the liver and bile ducts. It strengthens the heart and enhances circulation, and may be useful in treating anaemia, exhaustion, and heart conditions, including recovery of bypass or transplant surgeries.

Correspondences:
Zodiac: Scorpio, Sagittarius
Element: Fire, Earth
Chakra: Base/Root
Deity: Cerridwen, Isis, Bona Dea, Chirakan-Ixmucane, Callisto, Clota
Planet: Mercury, Saturn, Venus
Energies: Grounding, Protection, Healing

Many thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this blog, feel free to share using the convenient buttons below. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible, London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010
Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible, 2003
Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2, 2009
Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 3, 2013
Judy Hall, The Encyclopaedia of Crystals, 2013
Judy Hall, Crystals to Empower You, 2013
Judy Hall, 101 Power Crystals, 2011
Wikipedia.org
Experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Mullein

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Another fabulous wort you can use for free if you’re a mind to go wild-crafting is the wonderful Mullein. Yes, I know, any herb can be wild-crafted if you know what you’re looking for and if it is in somewhat plentiful supply where you live, but not all plants are. Mullein is easily found in Asia, Europe, and is a naturalised citizen of the United States when it was brought…as many plants and trees were…over on the ships of the early European and British settlers. Do be certain to ask permission if you find Mullein growing all around in your neighbour’s lawn…as it is a weed, after all, he or she may not mind, but don’t go helping yourself unless they say it’s alright.

photo by Sihiri Magical Market ~ sihiri.co.uk

Mullein has a very shallow root therefore it will be easy to pull out of the ground. Tie up by the roots and hang in a cool, dry place to let it dry out appropriately, but place something underneath to catch the seeds. Either use them or dispose of them properly or you’ll find your lawn overrun with Mullein in time should they get swept outdoors. The little fuzzy hairs which cover every inch of a Mullein plant are very irritating to the skin and mucus membranes. Use care when collecting, and always strain liquids with Mullein in them very well to remove the little hairs before ingesting.

Growing Mullein is easy enough and its little yellow flowers attract butterflies and bees. The flowers can also be boiled to make a bright yellow dye for fabrics. If you add sulfuric acid, it will turn the dye green and if you add an alkali it will turn the dye brown.

Mullein can be used in candle crafting as well. You can use it as the wick! According to Indian lore [I am assuming this is regarding Native Americans] Burning a stalk of Mullein protects against evil and magic.

Magickal Uses:
Whereas a spell calls for graveyard dirt and you are not able to procure dirt from a graveyard by any reason, you can grind and powder Mullein as an excellent substitute. Despite the many folk names for Mullein, it is, in magick, known as Hecate’s Torch or Lucifer’s Torch, as well; it is representational of the Crossroads. It is one of the nine herbs and resins we use in our Necromancer’s Witch Bottle Necklace which I originally created to use in my travels as a hedgewitch, because of its encouragement of manifestations of spirits, to see into Otherworld, and likewise commune with those who dwell there. If you like to create your own candles for your spell work, you could truly enhance riding the hedge by creating a candle using either a stalk or the leaf of Mullein as the wick.

Mullein can also be used for prophetic dreaming and astral travel whilst asleep, drink a cup of “Dreamer’s Tea” before going to sleep which is 2 parts Mullein flowers, 1-part Poppy flower, 1-part Mugwort, and 2 parts Spearmint. To aid divination by tarot, runes, ogham, or pendulum, you can either drink the Dreamer’s Tea or you may use a loose incense with Mullein. We have been working on a Necromancer’s incense blend recently which we’ll sell in our shop soon.

Mullein is also useful in preventing nightmares and is always protective of the dreamer. I love a sachet of Mullein and Lavender under my pillow for such a purpose. I don’t think I have nightmares, as such, but there are the odd nights when I have dreams that are not prophetic, nor astral travel-related…they are just unpleasant things that must be coming from my subconscious for some peculiar reason or other. I find the sachet quite relaxing and protective on those nights.

Medicinal Use:
Mullein is an excellent colds and coughs medicine as it loosens phlegm, is an expectorant whilst soothing the cough at the same time. The tea is also mildly sedating which helps you to relax and rest – which is one of the main things needed when you have a bad cold. If you are using fresh Mullein, be sure to strain through a cloth or cloth bag before drinking so the tiny hairs won’t go into your tea. Not to advocate smoking, but…I have read many times that smoking Mullein is excellent for sufferers of asthma and chronic cough. It’s best to roll it using a cigarette machine so you can use the filtered paper. Once again, you don’t want the tiny hairs getting into your throat and lungs making things worse. For earache or any inner ear troubles, it is recommended to make a tincture of Mullein and garlic then use a few drops in each ear. It can also be used to treat ear mites in animals. Make an infusion of Mullein for treating frostbite and burns.

Correspondences:
Planet: Mercury [Agrippa] or Saturn [Culpepper]
Gender: Feminine
Deity: Jupiter, Hecate, Lucifer
Element: Fire
Other Names: Common Mullein, Great Mullein, White Mullein, Woolly Mullein, Torches, Mullein Dock, Our Lady’s Flannel, Velvet Dock, Blanket Herb, Velvet Plant, Woolen Rag, Woolen, Rag Paper, Candlewick Plant, Wild Ice Leaf, Clown’s Lungwort, Bullocks Lungwort, Aaron’s Rod, Adam’s Rod, Jupiter’s Staff, Jacob’s Staff, Peter’s Staff, Shepherd’s Staff, Shepherd’s Clubs, Beggar’s Stalk, Golden Rod, Adam’s Flannel, Beggar’s Blanket, Clot, Cuddy’s Lungs, Duffle, Feltwort, Fluffweed, Hare’s Beard, Old Man’s Flannel, Flannel Flower, Beggar’s Flannel, Hag’s Taper, Hedge Taper, King’s Taper, Candelaria, Quaker Rouge, Graveyard Dirt, Devil’s Tobacco, Miner’s Candle, Ice Leaf, White Man’s Footsteps, Witches Candles, Witches Taper

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this blog and find it useful, please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or by any of the useful buttons below. It’s my pleasure to share this with you! Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Witchipedia.org
Experience
The Old English Herbals, By Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

Crystal of the Week, Amazonite

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Amazonite was always one of those crystals that I thought were pretty…mainly for the colour…but I never really delved in to find out much about it. And, partially, too, because not to brag, but I do not know how many crystals/stones I have…I lost count years ago. And, that isn’t because I’m one of those people who “see it, must have it”. Generally speaking, I only purchase a crystal when I feel I “need” it. So, this is how it came to be that only within the last year – in my cronage – did I finally purchase a few Amazonites. Very pleased that I finally did, I must say!

My Amazonites ~ photo by i.macy

With a name like Amazonite, you would expect this stone to be a full-on warrior, practically making one’s hand tremble only to hold it. Not really…Amazonite to me is a gentle giant. It has strong vibrations, but they are gentle and calming. It is a stone you need to have if you are in any way prone to a nervous disposition. I wouldn’t call myself nervous but there are times, as there are for most people, when things get right on top of me and I feel overwhelmed. That is when Amazonite brings me back to normalcy and calm. Funnily enough, I didn’t know this was what was meant to happen until, in a shop, I held the larger stone you see in my hand and felt immediately calm. You see, I am agoraphobic, always have been, and in my youth, it took many drinks to get me to the party but these days, if I drank that much I probably would be arrested before I got to the tills in Aldi. I do push on and go where I want to badly enough, but it doesn’t come without its problems. As soon as I held the Amazonite, I just knew I needed several of these in my life!

There is no wonder then, why Amazonite is called the Stone of Courage. It is a stone that can provide harmony and balance and give you the voice and the courage to speak your mind. It can drive away irrational fears and holding it feels like you have a dear friend with you, keeping you safe. For these reasons alone, I highly recommend Amazonite but there is so much more to this kindly warrior.

Amazonite is a wonderful chakra clearing stone. It is mainly for rejuvenating the heart and throat chakras, but it can assist in clearing all chakras and balancing their energies. It helps you to see both sides of every story. Amazonite is also a stone of healing and prosperity. In healing, it aids in cell regeneration and healing after illnesses, trauma or injury, and relieves muscle spasms. It may be used in treating disorders of the nervous system and blockages in the flow of neural impulses, as well as issues with the throat and thyroid gland.

Amazonite is helpful in balancing the metabolic processes related to calcium assimilation. An elixir of Amazonite taken three times a day is believed to rectify a calcium deficiency and may be useful in resisting tooth decay and osteoporosis, and for diminishing calcium deposits.

As an emotional healer, it soothes trauma and calms the mind, alleviates worry and fear, and directs anger and irritability into more positive action. It regulates the aggressive aspects of one’s personality and urges the mind to seek emotional balance. Amazonite increases self-esteem, especially in women, and reduces tendencies to self-neglect. It enhances the ability to communicate more effectively by identifying how one’s words have created the current reality, and how to change one’s vocabulary to reflect a higher, more aligned reality. It also empowers one to set appropriate boundaries, inwardly in self-discipline, and with others in establishing healthy relationships.

Magickal:
Amazonite makes a wonderful talisman for drawing luck and wealth into your life. It is also equally as wonderful as a talisman for courage. It can protect you by absorbing bad energies coming at you and dispelling them into the cosmos, to be cleaned and returned as positive energy.

Correspondences:
Zodiac: Virgo
Powers: Healing, Power/Courage, Luck, Protection [Absorbs Undesirable Energy, Dispels Negative Energy]
Deity: Sacred to most, if not all, the Egyptian deity

Many thanks for reading. Please like and share if you enjoyed and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Experience

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

https://mycrystalpedia.wordpress.com/a/amazonite/

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Nettle

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Nettle at Clerk Hill, Whaley, Lancashire ~ photo by wildflowerfinder.org,uk

Nettle is one of those “weeds”/herbs/worts which almost everybody has in their cabinet, I believe. Even the non-witchy community love Nettle tea for what ails them. And, like Yarrow, it is practically free to use if you live in Europe or the Western United States as it tends to grow quite wild if not maintained.  For those knowing their plants, wild-gathering is the optimal way of having most of what you need in your wort cabinet. For the rest, there are plentiful ways of buying Nettle…dried, fresh, freeze-dried, even in pill and liquid form. Why do we need Nettle in our lives? For everything!

Nettle is full of vitamin C and iron. It makes a fabulous soup stock and steamed Nettle leaves are a great little side for the main course of your meal. Of course, there is always the famed Nettle tea, so as you can see, it has many uses in the kitchen, and more that I don’t even know about, I’m sure. Of course, before you decide to make a Nettle salad, you must know about the plant a little because those leaves, if not properly prepared, can do more harm than good. You have heard of Stinging Nettle, I am sure, and that is where the “sting” comes from – the leaves. The leaves and stems are covered with tiny stingers made of silica, like glass, and they break off into your skin when touched, unleashing their chemicals which can cause a nasty allergic reaction. I have not forgotten my first run-in with Nettle at about the age of 4 as Nana gathered it for her kitchen. I must have not noticed that she had thick, heavy gloves on instead of the little woolly ones like mine, so I tried to help. Pulling those little woolly gloves off doubled the agony, believe me. Therefore, please only use thick, heavy gloves and cover yourself well whilst wild-gathering Nettle.

Another household use, if you are so inclined, is to spin yarn or thread from the inner fibres of the stems. I know nothing of spinning yarn and thread apart from what I may have seen in films and television, but apparently, the people of Denmark once used it to create burial shrouds and the Native American people used it for fishing nets. It is said to be a very soft fabric when woven and a very strong thread or rope when used singularly. The all-round usefulness of Nettle doesn’t end there – a green dye can be made from its leaves and stems to dye the fabric you create from the Nettle itself.

But what about Magick?? Oh, alright 😊

Magickal Uses:
Long ago, a bundle of Nettle were placed under a person’s sickbed to induce their good health and healing. People believed putting things under beds was somehow a good thing to do, such as laying a knife under the bed of a woman in labour to reduce her pain. I know the knife didn’t work for me, but I could not say about the bundle of Nettle under one’s bed. Would never hurt to try! You can return to sender or reverse a curse with Nettle by using it in a poppet. Carry a sachet filled with Nettle for protection. Hang Nettle around your home or sprinkle it around, if in dried form, to ward off evil and to give general home protection. As Nettle is also believed to ward off lightning strikes, this can also be beneficial in that aspect. Nettle is always my first go-to for protection use and it is the first herb I put into our Protection witch bottles.

Medicinal:
Because of Nettle’s considerable amounts of iron, it is a good wort for those with anaemia. Word of caution: If you are going to drink Nettle tea to discourage your iron deficiency, be sure to not continue taking iron tablets. Too much iron can cause more problems than deficiency can. It is best to use the fresh leaves and not the dried herb, although there are still health benefits to the dried herb. Fresh is always best. Nettle tea is also an excellent diuretic.

Nettle is another wort that is very useful to staunch the flow of blood from a wound, much like Yarrow. As a matter of fact, Nettle and Yarrow seem to go hand-in-hand in many concoctions and decoctions for health and magickal purposes. Topically, a poultice of nettle leaf can be used to soothe the heat and inflammation associated with burns.

Correspondences:
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mars
Zodiac: Scorpio
Element: Fire
Powers: Consecration, Exorcism, Healing, Lust, Protection, Anti-Sorcery, Hex Breaking, Uncrossing
Other Names: Stinging Nettle, Sting Weed, Common Nettle
Deity: Apollo, Freya, Hecate, Ra, Thor

Many thanks for reading, please share if you enjoyed, and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:stinging-nettle
Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham
The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Experience

Crystal of the Week, Desert Rose

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Desert Rose
My Desert Rose ~ photo by i.macy

The Desert Rose is also referred to as the Sand Rose, Selenite Rose or Gypsum Rose. Found in dry, desert regions, Desert Rose Selenite is named for Selene, Greek goddess of the Moon because of its moon-like glow. Exchanged between lovers, it will bring about reconciliation.

Some minerals form rosette shapes, and Selenite is one of these. The Selenite rose rock or “The Desert Rose” is often confused with the Barite rose. The edges of Selenite rose are sharper and the crystalline structure is less hard than the Barite rose.

Some Desert Rose metaphysical properties are mental clarity, increased awareness of self and environment; allows one to see inner truth, promotes success in business, helps one to access angelic guidance, quickly unblocks stagnant energy, instils a deep peace, and assists in accessing past lives. Because each one is said to contain a unique spirit guardian, they have traditionally been used as talismans for protection.

And, for all the above reasons, Desert Rose is an excellent meditation stone. It will guide you in connecting to your higher self and reaching a deeper meditative state. This stone is a very strong activator of your third eye, and it will help bring your clairvoyant gifts to the fore. The energies of this stone will also strengthen your natural intuition. It is also believed that it can help you to speak with your Spirit Guardian, as all Spirit Guardians can speak amongst themselves, and the Desert Rose’s can help facilitate conversations with your own. I say this as I have found it to be a wonderful assistant whilst speaking with mine.

It makes a wonderful protection stone. Place a Desert Rose Selenite sphere at the corners of your home to create a peaceful, safe environment that will not be disturbed by outside influences.

Health and Healing:
Desert Rose is considered to be helpful in fighting off viral infections. However, if you believe you have the flu, please see your GP!

Desert Rose is also believed to help reduce seizures, help with psoriasis, strengthen bones, help one’s complexion, provide relief for backaches, ulcers, release one from unhealthy addictions, travel sickness, and aid in treatment of the prostate.

Family, Love, and Finances:
Children: It can be used to help children shine at something they are good at but have difficulty showing it due to shyness.
Finance & Prosperity: helps work against redundancy, and thus should be used in work environments prone to tension or redundancy situations.
Home: It is a stone of family unity and so should be placed in your house. It will also help bring out your inner potential.
Love: strengthens relationships by encouraging friendships between lovers, enhances warmth and closeness between you and your loved one, helps unleash inhibitions and creates a positive mental attitude.
Ritual: Desert rose will amplify any fire magick.

Correspondences:
Associated Crystals: Banded agate and petrified wood.
Candle Colour: Light brown.
Element: Fire and Wind
Flowers & Plants: Flowering cactus and oleander.
Herbs – Incenses – Oils: Copal, fennel, parsley, tarragon and witch hazel.
Planet: Pluto.
Zodiac: Scorpio, Capricorn, Taurus
Energies: Healing, Power, Love, Protection
Chakras: Heart, Third Eye, Crown
Number: 11

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

Sources:
Experience
The Crystals Bible, by Judy Hall
Encyclopaedia of Crystals: Revised and Expanded, by Judy Hall, 2013
https://meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com/desert-rose/

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Yarrow

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Yarrow - permaculture co uk
white Yarrow ~ from permaculture.co.uk

Yarrow. Did you know, is a relative of the Daisy? And, it may not only be white, but it can also be pink or yellow. Its medicinal use is far-reaching into the past, but it is still a go-to herb for today. Yarrow is another wort with which I employ most often in my herbal work. What is most wonderful is that Yarrow can be one of the “cheapest” worts you’ll have in your cabinet as it grows wild all over the world, pretty much, and if you learn to identify it properly, you can harvest your own just by taking a walk in the countryside. However, you must be careful to take only what you need and not over-harvest, for plants need to be left to carry on propagation to ensure that more will be available to all. Not to mention, its flowers are essential to our bees – butterflies and wasps love it and all. Yarrow flowers from June to August, sometimes into October, in the UK. Harvest the leaves in Spring, the flowers from July – September when just opening. This from permaculture.co.uk may be useful to you in learning to identifying and harvesting herbs:

“New, affordable courses, designed for people wanting to deepen their understanding of wild plants, as well as sharpening their plant identification skills, are now available through my new foraging group http://www.meetup.com/Wild-food-and-medicine-Foraging-Apprentices

A number of bite-size foraging videos will give you a taster http://www.youtube.com/ipsophyto777”

For more from Christopher Hope visit www.wildplantguide.co.uk

pink Yarrow ~from JacksonNurseries.co.uk

Medicinal Use:
Yarrow has been called a pharmacy in one plant. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, diuretic, diaphoretic, astringent, expectorant, and vulnerary in one. It was used on battlefields to staunch the flow of blood from wounds received in battle, saving countless lives as both a cleaning astringent and an anti-septic keeping away the possibility of infection. Yarrow was found amongst other medicinal herbs in a Neanderthal burial site in Iraq, which dates from around 60,000 BC, therefore, it has been in aid of humanity for quite a number of years!

If fever did take hold, despite the precautions, Yarrow is a diaphoretic, and can reduce fever as well or better than today’s aspirin. It can reduce the pain of menstrual cramping, relieve heart palpitations, and acts as a diuretic as needed, as well as an expectorant for chest inflammation. Be careful to study the amount of Yarrow you may use for the illness you need to treat as even herbs can be over-used and cause more problems. Always check with your physician to make sure that it won’t counteract or increase the actions of pharmaceutical drugs you are already taking. If you are on blood thinners, please check with your GP.

**Please note: I am not a doctor, nor do I intend to treat anyone for any condition by writing about herbs. Please do use common sense and see a doctor before using these herbs and methods. If you are being treated holistically already, still speak to your doctor before adding any other herbal remedies to your regime.

Magickal Uses:

yellow Yarrow ~ from coblands.co.uk

Yarrow has been used for ceremonial magick for no telling how many centuries. Because of its healing effects, it was believed to be a very spiritual wort. Blood was the essence of life to people, and Yarrow could heal the loss of that essence. Naturally, it would be regarded as having much magick. People began carrying amulets and charms made with or carrying Yarrow to protect themselves against evil forces and negative energies. It has also been a go-to for love and the bringing of love into one’s life. And, it is one of the strongest promoters of courage out of all the herbal world. We love Yarrow… it fits in with so many of the things we create for our shop… when you buy a witch bottle necklace for love, protection, or courage, you will be pleased to know that Yarrow is used as one of the nine sacred herbs in each one.

For love: To guarantee love will last for seven years, hang dried Yarrow over the bed and use it in wedding decorations.

Wearing a little Yarrow in any form will help in seeking friends or a lover.

Yarrow will also help you to love yourself.

You can also use Yarrow in love spells by rolling your working candle in it, or using it in love poppets, or in a loose incense.

Psychic Abilities: Drink Yarrow tea before performing any kind of divination. Also, burn in loose incense whilst divining.

Courage: Hold or wear Yarrow in any form to dispel fear and feel stronger, more courageous. Can also be used in a sachet to carry with you.

Correspondences:
Planet: Venus
Deity: Achilles
Chakra: Crown
Powers: Love, Protection, Courage, Psychic Powers, Exorcism
Other Names: Milfoil, Soldier’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter’s Weed, Staunchweed, Arrow-root, bloodwort, greenarrow, sneezewort, thousand-leaf, yallow

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:
https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/weeds/yarrow
https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/yarrow-and-its-medicinal-benefits
Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclaire Rohde

Happy New Year and Happy Hogmanay 2022

This won’t take up much room or time. Only wishing everyone well-wishes for the upcoming new year. Unfortunately my Scottish friends and family won’t be able to celebrate Hogmanay as thoroughly as I know they can in better times, still, I believe we shall get there before long.

I hope as we go into the new year that everyone is healthy and well. Thank you to everyone who follows me here and for your kind readership. Let’s all put our collective energies together and seek to make 2022 better than ever. Let’s carry on working for Climate Change and for keeping each other safe. Let us be for peace. Let us be for love. Let us be for a better future for our descendants.

Enjoy the evening and enjoy whomever you’re with. Much love to all and many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Blessed and Happy Yuletide 2021 and Winter Solstice

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Ah, the dark half of the year is slowly ending and what better way to celebrate than Yule? Yes, we still have some dark weeks ahead but only about half what we began with on Samhain… now if we watch carefully, we shall notice that the days get ever so slightly longer each week once we peak on the 21st of December, the first day of Yule [Auld English, ġēol] and the day of Winter Solstice, our longest night of the year.

What would our ancestors have been doing this night? That entirely depends on which ancestors. Our most recent ones [the last 500 years’ worth] would likely be ignoring Yule mostly [whilst not bearing in mind most of their Christmas ‘traditions’ were born from Pagan Yule] instead speaking of Christmas food, going to church, planning festivities to welcome again the birth of the Christ child. Yule is very much a celebration of birth as well – the rebirth of light and sunshine. Jesus is often called “the Light and the Way” by Christians. These two concepts go hand in hand this time of year yet separately.

But what would our ancestors be doing this night 500+ years ago? In England and surrounding countries, many families, Christian or Pagan, would be dragging in a great Yule log to burn in their largest fireplace – Christians were very much a part of this holdover tradition from their Pagan pasts.

The Yule Log – originally a Scottish tradition from the Norsemen

There may have been weddings planned at this time. Another long-held but eventually dissolved practise was that of handfasting by the Catholic church.  Along with the formal Christian wedding ceremony there was also a handfasting, from the Old Norse handfesta meaning “to strike a bargain by joining hands” between the wedded couple. This presumably was dissolved after all the Saxon-Dane conflict was eventually resolved in England. 

Much decoration was done in homes all over the British Isles and Germany [and likely everywhere].  We can thank the Germanic people, the Saxons, for introducing us to the joys of decorating and feasting during Yule.  Long before the Danes decided to embark upon our shores, the Saxons came and apart from some fighting now and then, they taught us so much regarding this lovely Sabbat.  This is not to mean we did not already have traditions, but we did learn more. I mean, nobody knew Yule like the Saxons! When they fully embraced Christianity, they fully embraced Christmas like no other, as well. We would likely have never had Christmas trees had it not been for the Germanic people.

Twelve days of….

This is where all the fun happened No matter if you lived in  500 AD or 1500 AD, or even later, the 12 days of Yule or Christmas were the best! Some early Pagan countries only celebrated Yule for three days or “until the ale ran out” according to the Norse text, Heimskringla. Still, a good time was had by all, unless, of course, you were one of those being sacrificed.  A lot of that went on in Pagan culture, however, the eating, drinking, and making merry went on with the living. Luckily, more animals were sacrificed than people and the slaughtered animals fed the community; of course, plates full were left for the gods as well.

Medieval style hanging holly, ivy and mistletoe decoration

No work was allowed during the 12 days of Yule or Christmas.  In the run up to the Yule celebrations, now beginning on roughly the 21st of December and the Christmas celebrations on the 25th, the men and women of a village worked tirelessly to prepare. Women made candles, took inventory of how much grain they could use from their stores for pastries, loaves of bread and pies. They made extra ale and often the menfolk were made use of decorating the homes.  Especially when the huge double ring bedecked with ribbons, holly, ivy, and mistletoe needed to be hung from the centre of the ceiling in the main room. Baking and preparing food began well ahead to ensure everything was ready.  And, of course, the men of each household, brought much joy to their families by dragging home the huge Yule log for the fire which was to hopefully last 12 nights.  These activities were generally the same for both Pagan and Christians alike. The biggest difference being that the Pagans got a four day head start and their Twelfth Night ended on around the 31st of December or 1 January. I should say nearly every year as the calendars were not always in congruence with each other in olden days.  The Christian Twelfth Night is always on 6th January.

How will you spend your 12 days?

Are you the one who is lucky enough to live where you can drag a huge Yule log home to burn for twelve nights? Or perhaps you enjoy baking bread and brewing ale…I hope that everyone will be able to spend their Yule or Christmas in a traditional way as much as possible. Mostly, I hope you can spend it with family – safely. Almost everywhere has spent at least one Yule or Christmas in lockdown. But that was before vaccines.  Now that we have them, although not perfect, I hope you will join me in getting yours soon. 

Tudor style breads and pies

My daughters and I wish you the blessing of light and a very happy Yule. To our Christian friends, we wish you a very Happy Christmas.  To all, we wish a gloriously Happy New Year and to Scotland, Happy Hogmanay 2022! And, as always, warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

See you next year!

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