Take a moment and imagine, if you will, the scent of Lavender when you first pluck a stem of it and rub the tiny leaves. Let the aroma envelope your senses and your mind be cast to a simpler and happier time. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly, inhaling positivity and exhaling negativity… Do you feel refreshed now? I do simply by writing this paragraph. Lavender is the most powerfully relaxing herb/flower I know of. …. It is no wonder why Lavender is often called “The Tranquillity Herb”.
One of the things I like best about ironing clothes [yes, I still do that!] is to spray lavender water on my personal items [my son might not like smelling like lavender!] before setting the hot iron to them. At one time I also used a lavender washing powder I had found online. Never until later did I find out that I was following a long-held English custom which apparently began when the Romans invaded. Roman soldiers would put lavender in their bath water and do their washing with it as well. Because of this association, during medieval times, laundresses [washerwomen] were called “lavenders”. More often than not, these lavenders were also prostituting for supplemental income as the washerwoman did not make a living wage, so the name lavender took on a double meaning. An anonymous 16th-century poet wrote:
Thou shalt be my lavender
To wash and clean all my gear
Our two beds shall be set
Without any let
One of the key ingredients in both our Love Witch Bottle and in our Empath Rescue Witch Bottle is Lavender. Obviously for love, but in the Empath bottle, Lavender is also for protection, peace of mind, and purification of the depressing aura which can sometimes envelope even the strongest empath.
Lavender can, as above-mentioned, be used for purification bathing. Lavender water can not only be sprayed onto clothing before ironing to impart its scent but to be sprayed in your power circle for rituals to bring purification and protection within it.
Lavender is an excellent sleep aid and one of my favourite things to have near me at night is my Lavender bag created by Jacqui Livesay Art on Etsy. Of course, you can make your own. These can also be used to help you to strengthen your mental and psychic powers during divination. Making a talisman for this purpose is the ultimate way to induce your psychic powers by placing an Amethyst crystal along with lavender herb in a drawstring bag and wearing around your neck when engaged in tarot readings, casting runes or ogham staves, and pendulum dowsing. Lavender is also said to promote visions during readings of any kind.
Love spells and fertility spells are always helped along by Lavender. Use it in poppets, sachets, and loose incenses for these purposes. Wearing the scent of Lavender alone can attract love to you.
Dried Lavender makes excellent smudge sticks.
Whom else would I turn for advice on healing by herbs/flowers/woods, and the like except Nicholas Culpeper, author of the world famous The Complete Herbal and English Physician? Although the writings are over 300 years old, much of what he wrote then holds true to this day. For example, “It [Lavender] provokes women’s courses, and expels the dead child and after-birth”. Whether the birth was ‘intended’ to be early or if the pregnancy had gone full-term, but the child was known to be dead in the womb prior to its birth, Lavender brought on the immediate dismissal of the foetus from its mother’s womb. It is now why I interject a warning to all expectant mothers to never use any Lavender oil or herb by ingestion or otherwise to be safe. I don’t know how much is “enough” but please don’t take any risks. Also, he says, “two spoonfuls of the distilled water of the flowers taken, helps them that have lost their voice” which is what my Nana prescribed me when I had a case of the laryngitis after reading aloud a book about Florence Nightingale to my mum at the dining room table one night. It worked. Culpeper also goes on to say that it is not only good to drink for certain maladies but is also does the job by applying onto temples and smelling through the nostrils to stop tremblings, faintings, and swooning. He also wrote that “The chymical oil drawn from Lavender, usually called Oil of Spike, is of so fierce and piercing a quality, that it is cautiously to be used, some few drops being sufficient, to be given with other things, either for inward or outward griefs.”
Powers: Love, Protection, Sleep, Chastity, Longevity, Purification, Happiness, and Peace
This blog was published in 2018, including part of my 2017 Beltane blog…I like reusing things, so why not the reuse of a blog? Especially if it touches on some very good points! Besides, it does aide me in getting more of the blogs from the old site over to this one…win! So, here in 2022 with much water under the bridge between here and 2018, I wish everyone a very happy and safe Beltane. May everyone be blessed with good health, prosperity and protection.
Happy Beltane, everyone! Or, if you are in The Land Down Under, Happy Samhain! I thought it appropriate to re-visit our Hawthorn tree blog today as it is traditionally used as the “May Pole” being today is also May Day. And then I get thinking “what more can I say about the wonderful Hawthorn?”. I really couldn’t think of a thing, however, as I sat researching a herb I plan on writing about by reading in Nicholas Culpeper’s herbal, The English Physician, I ran across his passage on Hawthorn! What better way to begin my re-blog than to quote the words of the foremost herbalist of his day and still popular in our time? So, forgive the misspellings, for the English language had not quite been tamed yet, or, the authors of many of the olde worldy books just could not spell! Without further hesitation, I give you Nicholas Culpeper’s take on Hawthorn:
It is not my intention to trouble you with a description of this tree, which is so well known that it needs none. It is ordinarily but a hedge bush, although being pruned and dressed, it grows to be a tree of reasonable height.
As for the Hawthorn Tree at Glastonbury, which is said to flower yearly on Christmas-day, it rather shews the superstition of those that observe it for the time of its flowering, than any great wonder, since the like may be found in divers other places of this land; as in Whey-street in Romney March, and near unto Nantwich in Cheshire, by a place called White Green, where it flowers about Christmas and May. If the weather be frosty, it flowers not until January, or that the hard weather be over.
Government and virtues.] It is a tree of Mars. The seeds in the berries beaten to powder being drank in wine, are held singularly good against the [kidney] stone, and they are good for the dropsy. The distilled water of the flowers stays the lask. The seed cleared from the down, bruised and boiled in wine, and drank is good for inward tormenting pains. If cloths and sponges be wet in the distilled water, and applied to any place wherein thorns and splinters, or the like, do abide in the flesh, it will notably draw them forth.
And thus you see the thorn gives a medicine for his own pricking and so doth almost everything else.” ~ Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician and Complete Herbal, 16th century
Culpeper’s way was to assign a planet to every tree, flower, and wort and every part of the human body was assigned a planet as well. If a wort or tree was ruled by Mars you only need to use it for healing the part of the body also ruled by Mars. This was not something you took lightly in those days. He spent most of his life researching by astrology, biology, and the science of making people well again. On the top of it all, he was quite a prolific writing. Although centuries have passed since this writing, we have found all to be true the things Culpeper learned in his research. Many times when I am writing about a herb I consult The English Physician to see what Culpeper made of the herb back in his time and I find that we are still, for instance, using Angelica to help with stomach ailments or Cherry to cure a sore throat or chest congestion. It goes to prove they did get it right in those days and we owe Culpeper and many others a huge debt of gratitude for what they learned and left with us.
Today is May Day and the first day of Beltane. And in many places a tall post of Hawthorn may be being used today for a May Pole. But I do hope in preparing the Hawthorn for its celebratory ritual that people remembered to use all of the Hawthorn and not to waste it…keeping leaves, bark, and so forth for healing potions or protections.
So, please enjoy the rest of the blog, if you have never read it before, and if you have, I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit with new information. Happy May Day and Beltane to all!
From August, 2017:
The Hawthorn tree represents the sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 13 May – 9 June, and this period is represented by the Ogham for this tree, which is also the 6th letter of the ogham alphabet, Huath (Huathe, Uath). The Hawthorn Tree, or Mayflower tree, is sacred to Roman Goddess Flora, Celtic Goddesses Aine and Brigid, along with the Manx – Celtic God Manannàn Mac Leirr. This Ogham symbol is used in Celtic Reiki and its essence represents the energy of cleansing and preparation. It clears the mind of negative thoughts and mental confusion, offering clarity: it gives patience and offers stillness. The Hawthorn tree is masculine and usually, but not always, grows in hedges, but a lone Hawthorn tree, growing on a hill is a portal to the world of faery and is also considered one of the three trees of the Faery Triad, including Oak and Ash. We offer a Hawthorn Ogham pendant in our Etsy shop for those born in the lovely month of May, or in fact, to anyone who loves Hawthorn. Not available as of this writing.
Hawthorn Faery “Along with Oak and Ash, Hawthorn forms the “faery triad” that is especially inviting to the fae. Hawthorn is, in some ways, the faery tree, forming a portal to the faery realm and holding strong magick. The Hawthorn faery offers access to the Other-World, but also protects the unwary, so it is important to be patient with this spirit. She can enchant your life, bringing growth and fertility to all areas, and when the Hawthorn flowers in spring, it represents the bridal gown of the young Goddess. Hawthorn is sacred to the Welsh sun goddess Olwen, the “white lady of the day.” Where she trod she left white footprints on hawthorn, and her father, Yspaddaden Pencawr, was “Giant Hawthorn.” Thirteen tasks were demanded of her suitor, Culhwych, before he could marry her and overcome the power of the giant. Thirteen is a number associated with the moon, for the moon makes 13 circuits of the zodiac to one of the sun. Thus, the Hawthorn suggests union of sun and moon, male and female. The Hawthorn faery promises cleansing, fulfilment, guardianship, and fertility. Keeping grounded and practical is the best way to access her and use her gifts.” ~ The Faery Bible by Teresa Moorey
In Ireland, Hawthorns have always been highly respected as faery trees. They were often referred to as ‘gentle bushes’ after the custom of not naming faeries directly out of respect. Solitary thorns were known as the faeries’ Trysting Trees, and frequently grew on barrows and tumps or at crossroads, thought to be a favourite location of pagan altars.
Folklore: Much of the folklore attached to it seems to come from the fact that the tree is covered in long branches of early, white blossom around the time of Beltane – the First of May. In England, the Hawthorn is known as the Mayflower tree in honour of the month during which it blooms. Symbolising hope, it was the name the Pilgrims took for their famous ship, The Mayflower.
If 1st of May seems early and the blossom is not ready – remember that the British calendar was changed and went forward 12 / 13 days in 1752 – trees have long memories and so work to the ancient dates! This is evident as well in Hawthorn’s place in the Ogham Tree Calendar – beginning now on 13th May – it would once have started on May 1st. Hawthorn is still prevalent in May Day celebrations, whatever the case.
But whilst Hawthorn was a propitious tree at May-time, in other circumstances it was considered unlucky. Witches were supposed to make their brooms from it, and in some parts, it was equated with the abhorred Elder, as in the rhyme:
Hawthorn bloom and elder-flowersWill fill a house with evil powers.
In magick, Hawthorn is known as a psychic shield that can lift the spirits, and a little charm of the wood is a thoughtful gift for a friend going through a time of vulnerability or depression. It is also especially effective against malevolent spirits.
Protection Spell: Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree. “On a piece of paper, write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection, and then wrap it around the thorns. Bury this in the ground – if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.” ~ Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes
Correspondences: Planet: Mars and Venus Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage and male-female unity
Crystals: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin Colour: Midnight Blue, Purple Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea, Hymen, Hera, Virgin Mary Sabbat: Beltane, May Day Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset, thorn-apple tree, white thorn.
“A hundred years I slept beneath a thornUntil the tree was root and branches of my thought,Until white petals blossomed in my crown.” From The Traveller ~ by Kathleen Raine
I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes
The Fairy Bible, by Teresa Mooney
The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper
Most people seem to be more familiar with what I call “Wicca Witchcraft” or other kinds of witchcraft than they are with traditional English witchcraft. Perhaps because more younger folk are predominately coming into the witchcraft “scene” or it could be because many of English witchcraft practises have been held close to the chests of the English witch, or cunning woman / man and not many of us are still handing down the information we’ve learned from the old ones. That has been changing over the last several years, however. But before we can talk about any kind of witchcraft, history will have to be called upon. And, I’m not necessarily talking of witch hunts and trials. Before that, even. It’s all very complex and I don’t intend to write a book here, only a blog. Forgive me if I leave out something that you know about which may be pertinent. Still, we must at least go back in time to European “witchcraft” to get the ball rolling.
Many of the Celtic pagan ways were brought into England/Great Britain by way of immigrants and/or marauding folk such as the Romans or Vikings. Not that Britain proper didn’t have ways of their own already, but the new and similar ways of others certainly added more spice to the cauldron, as it were. There was a time when, the so-called “witch” was a healer first and foremost. Doctors were for the rich; the country folk rarely if ever had a real doctor in attendance for any malady. Mid-wives were the norm for any woman giving birth but even then, sometimes the mid-wife had to be a female family member who did not practise mid-wifery as a rule. Either way, babies were born and lived, and more generations came forth.
The cunning woman or man of the time knew when to plant and when to reap – all by the seasons and the planets. By the same method, they knew which herbs would relieve or cure whichever disease. If you become serious about English witchcraft, you would do well to buy the medieval writings by Nicolas Culpeper or Thomas Oswald Cockayne. The herbal lore is fabulous, and each plant is said to be ruled by its particular planet because it corresponds with that part of one’s body which is ruled by that planet. To this day, herbs are chosen as curatives in much the same fashion. But here again, the common man or woman had to be the “doctor” of the family or the entire village because most often time and money would not permit a horseback ride into the large village to find a doctor – if even it had one, as most doctors were working only for Royalty, and lords and ladies. A person could die of a snake bite before you could jump onto the horse to search for a doctor.
Mostly, none of the knowledge was written down. It was remembered and passed down from one generation to the next, for most English witches / cunning folk were solitary or only involved in their practise with a few family members.
Things were alright with the doings of healing and protections but when it came to death by a “per maleficium” translated as “visible effect of malicious intention”, obviously the Church would step in and many times the cunning woman or man accused would be put to death by burning. This was long before the “Burning Times” we have known about for ages. The laws of the Visigoths [a member of the branch of the Goths who invaded the Roman Empire between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE and ruled much of Spain until overthrown by the Moors in 711], which were to some extent founded upon the Roman law, punished witches who had killed any person by their spells with death; while long-continued and obstinate witchcraft, if fully proven, was visited with such severe sentences as slavery for life. You had to be very careful to only use your craft for good. Still, that didn’t stop good people from being accused anyway.
So, here we are. Things heated up and got worse for many years after. Thankfully, that never stopped people passing down their knowledge to younger family members whom in turn, passed the knowledge down to their own descendants. I’m sure that some things got lost in translation along the way, but you dare not write the information down for fear of being found with it. It is a good job that good people such as Culpeper were counted as men who were knowledgeable about herbs and could work within the aspect of medicinal research to catalogue and maintain records of herbs and how they helped illness. No, they did not do so in aid of witches. But it surely didn’t hurt!
We could talk about this subject for days, but we’ll segue now from the paragraph above where I said, “for fear of being found with it”. This was the basis for many a cunning person’s “tools” being kept simple. For general protection, there were always charms and such… little crosses, necklaces, and other items usually hand carved or sewn. At this time, these were most likely not made to sell for extra income but simply to protect their cattle and property. And, of course, there have always been those who would hex your cattle or property in some way because of an argument with that neighbour or something worse. As other people took up residence in the British countryside, we learned additional ways of doing things which were added to what we already knew. Things probably got very “witchy” then when they learned stronger and better ways to zhoosh up their spell work!
First, we will speak of wands. For the most part, not many cunning folk used wands, however, they weren’t unknown to them and a fair few did use a wand to direct energy. Wands were an Egyptian invention but of course as the way of all magickal things, this idea, too, had made its way to the British Isles. The most important trait of the wand to the layman’s eyes was to not look like a wand. In fact, they were normally just short, gnarled sticks. I would imagine, if found with one in her pinny pocket and to be accused of using a wand, any cunning woman already had the idea of saying, “It’s me doggo’s stick! I tosses it and ‘e fetches it”. In Cornwall tradition, the “keppen” wand was made of local woods, mostly from Rowan. It would only be about 5 to 7 inches long.
Circles as per Wicca were not cast normally for spell work, but in Wales, a technique certainly used was to draw an invisible circle around yourself with your right index finger by extending your arm towards the ground and turning clockwise with the Sun was – and still is – called a “caim”. In other words, it was a reminder that wherever we walk, God is with us, a reminder of God’s presence and protection, a symbol of the encircling love of God. There were “circling prayers” for this as well. I imagine you may be wondering why the Christian God is being referenced. Well, not all cunning folk were still Pagan – at least not the hell-bent for leather Viking kind of Pagans. Many went to church, believed in the monotheistic God, and prayed over the herbs they gathered for spell work and healing. If you can buy a copy of The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Rohde Sinclair, you will see what I mean. This is not at all unusual in old Britain.
Witch bottles. Some of the earliest witch bottles were the old Bellarmine jugs [named after a particularly fearsome Catholic Inquisitor, Robert Bellarmine, who persecuted Protestants and was instrumental in the burning of Giordano Bruno]. This form of “bottled spell” dates back hundreds of years and were prevalent in Elizabethan England – especially East Anglia, where superstitions and belief in witches were strong. The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace, under the floor, and plastered inside walls. One was found under a hearth in England, dug out, x-rayed, then replaced. It did confirm pretty much what archaeologists had thought for years that the bottles were full of fingernail clippings, rusty nails, hair, glass, and urine. Well, there was liquid still in the bottle, and the consensus was that urine was a staple of the witch bottle. The idea was that all the bits and bobs inside the bottle were meant to trap the evil into the bottle where it would meet with sharp objects and be wounded then drown in the fluid.
Charms, crosses, talismans. Every region of Britain had their own favoured charms, amulets, talismans, and such. In Victorian London, children were made to wear little necklaces of blue and yellow beads to ward off bronchitis and whooping cough, which was very deadly for children in those times. To protect the dreamer from nightmares, the cunning housewife would cover an old horseshoe with fabric and hang above the bed. Also, in London, hands made of silver, tin and lead were meant to ward off the evil eye; funnily enough, this kind of charm was used by the Egyptians, c.1500 CE. And here is one I really am not fond of – a dead mole wrapped in floral fabric was believed to offer protection from danger! I don’t think I would care to tote around a dead mole wrapped in cloth… but I imagine it would work by scaring most people away!
We have done some fairly foolish things in England, for a fact. And some very good things. But this one takes the biscuit when it comes to protections and one I protest vehemently: Many years ago, whilst building a new home in Britain, people would have a dead cat placed under the house, in a wall, or fireplace to protect their home from evil and vermin. If I’m not mistaken, the cat had to be “dried”. I’m very happy this has not carried on today – to my knowledge. You can rest assured I will never tell a customer to put a dried cat in their wall!
In other regions, Rowan crosses bound with red thread were said to “keep the witches all in dread” [clearly a charm for ridding yourself of witches, not for witches to use!], but these days it is for protection against evil. Amulets are for protection. The word “amulet” comes from the Latin word amulētum. The earliest extant use of that term is in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History in which it means “an object that protects a person from trouble”. Talismans are generally for exact focus of intent, such as to draw wealth to a person or love or courage, or some other need.
In Dartmoor, if ever you happen to be around any old Dartmoor farm buildings you may possibly notice a small holed stone or pebble sat on a window ledge. Occasionally if the building has a lock with a key still in it there may well be a similar looking holed stone tied to the end of it. These are known as Hex, or more commonly elsewhere, as Hag Stones and their tradition dates to the time when witches rode along the hedgerows at night, intending to steal one’s cattle and horses.
The Familiar. Everyone thinks a black cat is a witch’s familiar. The poor, much maligned black moggy is only popular these days because of the silly notion of Halloween – oh you know, the commercialised ridiculousness. Like any other holiday, commercialism takes the fun out of it. Anyway, no… every witch does not have a black cat for a familiar. Some do, I do not, nor have I ever. The witch’s familiar can literally be anything. It does not need to be an animal. You can conjure up your own familiar in a jar if you like. Just like in MacBeth:
“Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble”
~ Macbeth 4.1
Dogs and cats were the most common familiars, but mice, stoats, toads and many other small animals could take the part. Toads were useful for supplying venom, and vermin and in general were associated with dirt, disease and evil. And do note, the Familiar was not a pet. You would not put the Familiar’s work load on a beloved pet. So, if you have a pet you are calling your Familiar, please don’t. The things a Familiar were sent to do in aid of the witch were not fit for a pet to do.
Just having realised I am beginning to write a book, not a blog here! I think I shall leave you with this overview of English Witchcraft, even if it is not complete by a mile… but that is what books are for and I do recommend The Book of English Magic if you would like to learn more about the Craft. Although, I do hope I have gotten my original point across concerning English Witchcraft and its merits. It would seem many witches today love the “bright, shiny, pretty things” associated with Wicca Witchcraft… I see so many wands, oils, “spell kits”, and other paraphernalia which looks more at home on a small girl’s play room floor than on a real working altar. But that is because I came from a rustic, cunning woman’s descendance. I see things as she and other ancestors saw them – a bit rough around the edges perhaps but able to do the job. Still, it is up to the individual witch to decide what works best for her. And if Plasticine and baked clay with lots of glitter work best for her or him then who am I to judge?
Many thanks for reading today and I hope you found something useful in my blog. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Bergamot is originally native to Morocco and tropical Asia it is grown commercially in the Ivory Coast and is extensively cultivated in Southern Italy. It was first cultivated around Bergamo, from where it takes its name. It would seem it took a fair number of years before it immigrated to other countries. During my research into Bergamot I delved into my Culpeper’s English Physician and Complete Herbal which has no mention of Bergamot, nor any of its other names. As this was written in the 17th century it would seem that Bergamot had not made it to England yet, however, it apparently had arrived in North America – possibly due to the bringing of slaves from Africa where it was grown – and I found this from another site [Bee Balm is one of Bergamot’s American names]: “Bee Balm was used as a medicinal plant extensively by Native Americans who recognized four varieties that had different odors. Wild Bergamot was used also as an active diaphoretic (sweat inducer) for ceremonial sweat lodges. A decoction of the herb was made into hair pomade.“
In a bit more American folklore and history about Bergamot: “The red variety [of Bergamot] is commonly known as Oswego Tea. It was used by colonists in place of English Tea after the Boston Tea Party, when they threw the English tea in the harbour to protest the high taxes imposed on it by the British.”
Bergamot, whether used as the herb itself or as an oil, is one of the most-used herbs when trying to draw wealth and abundance to ones’ self. There are many ways in which to use it to that end. You can sprinkle a bit of the herb into your wallet amongst your folding money or in your coin purse. In money attraction or luck spells you can make a loose incense with Bergamot and other wealth-drawing herbs and woods with a small drop or two of Bergamot oil [or Patchouli oil] and burn it on a charcoal disc during your spell work. For gambling luck or money luck in general, carry a small sachet full of Bergamot and other money/luck drawing herbs is very effective. Bergamot is one of our nine herbs/woods/flowers that we put into our WealthWitch Bottle that we sell in our shop. We use an abundance of Bergamot as we have always had wonderful results from it.
Bergamot is not only for wealth. You can use it in all of the same ways above for protection, hex breaking, courage, and mood-lifting. You may also sprinkle it into your bath water for hex-breaking. For general good spirits, mood-lifting, balance, and confidence, mix Bergamot into a potpourri with other mood enhancing herbs then place bowls full of the potpourri around your home.
Keep in mind that as a multi-purpose herb you must enchant the herb to do whichever of its powers you require most from it for each spell or other use.
Healing: Bergamot’s leaves, flowers, and stems are used in holistic medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, and stimulant. An infusion is medicinally used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and gastric disorders; to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, and to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh [inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus]. Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections. Tea brewed of Bergamot is a wonderful way to settle a dicky tummy.
Correspondences: Planetary: Mercury Zodiac: Gemini and Libra Gender: Masculine Element: Air Powers: Draws wealth and abundance, protection, health Deity: Osiris, Sobek, Nephthys Other Names: Orange Mint, Bee Balm, Horsemint, Monardo
Many thanks for reading our blog and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Sources: The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham Wikipedia.com Experience
As, ever, before writing, I like to hold the crystal I’m blogging about for a bit… to renew my friendship with it and to feel the vibrations; what they are telling me. How do I describe the feeling of being switched round and put back together at warp speed? I suppose if any of you know that description then I don’t need to elaborate. It was very moving, no pun intended. And at the same time, I felt perfectly rooted to my seat. Not a hair out of place… but oh! What a ride! That is Black Kyanite for you!
My opinion of what just happened is, whilst having me perfectly grounded, my Black Kyanite “fixed” my yin yang, finished healing my Root Chakra [forgot to mention I have been on a chakra clearing/repairing … lately after finding myself very blocked up] and then stripped of the stifling aura which has clung round me for too long and freshened me right up. Yes, I do feel rather amazing right now!
To be honest, I don’t always get hardcore feelings from crystals. Not in the earth-shattering way that I just did. Yes, I do always get vibrations, however, most of the time they are more “attuned” to me and what I’m using them for. It just occurred to me that this is what happens to a low vibration person. Normally my vibration is relatively medium to high. When I’m not well or have been remiss about taking care of myself, etc, my vibrational level sinks. What Black Kyanite does to low vibration people could be a little scary at first. I must say that I’m glad I have been working with my chakras up til this writing because that has most likely saved me a real comeuppance! So, my suggestion to all who read this is, please have your chakras in check before working with Black Kyanite or expect a wild ride whilst it repairs you!
Magickal Black Kyanite is a good talisman stone. It is protective of its bearer. It is a perfect grounding stone before rituals. Black Kyanite helps you to remember so it will be good to use when you’ve spent time memorising a lengthy spell chant. Keep close by when doing any divination works. Cassandra Eason says in The New Crystal Bible, “You will have cause to speak your mind, but do not waste words on those who will not listen.” I think it means, don’t waste your gift upon those whom only want good fortunes told and are dismissive of the words foretold that may not suit them. Still, as an all-chakra stone, it is an excellent partner to have near when reading tarot or any other divination work as it helps keep your Third Eye Chakra balanced. Black Kyanite is excellent against psychic attack. Additionally, Black Kyanite is self-cleansing so no need to clean but can be recharged in the full moon, if desired. Please be sure never to soak in water.
Meditation Brilliant crystal for past-life regression work, is Black Kyanite. A lot of people are doing future life progressions, something I honestly see no point of. Still, the Black Kyanite is there for you if that is what you wish to do. It strengthens the tether between Spirit and the Otherworld and can be used successfully in astral protection and hedge witchery. You can cleanse, clear, and re-build/repair all your chakras in meditation with Black Kyanite, however, its speciality is the Root/Base Chakra. And, as a special bonus, you can use your Black Kyanite to get in touch with your Spirit Guide/Guardian Angel for the very first time. If you have never attempted yet to meet your Guardian, Black Kyanite will be a stellar help in doing so. One thing to remember is that Black Kyanite will rapidly place you into a deep meditative state more so than many crystals will. It is also very useful for reading lucid dreaming messages.
Healing Black Kyanite treats muscular disorders, fevers, thyroid, adrenal glands, throat and brain; a natural pain reliever; lowers blood pressure; heals infections; releases excess weight, supports the cerebellum. This crystal is, of course, a very useful one to Pranic Healers, and my personal opinion is that it would be best to see one for any healing work with Black Kyanite.
Correspondences Planet: Jupiter, Moon Zodiac: Sagittarius, Cancer Element: Water Powers: Healing, Grounding, Protection, Manifestation Chakra(s): All, particularly the Root/Base Chakra Deity: Ganesh
Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Sources: Experience The New Crystal Bible, by Cassandra Eason The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall The Crystal Bible 2, by Judy Hall
Ah, Heather! It was very nearly my name as my Mum very much loved the plant but in the southeast, it did not grow as well, and certainly not as prolifically, as it does in the north country. Heather is the 3rd vowel of the Ogham alphabet – Ura – and it is for Summer Solstice, 21 June. It is not a Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, however, if you are born on this day there is no reason not to claim it for your birth tree!
Heather [Calluna vulgaris] is called the “Flower of Passion”. One of its energies in magick is passion – pure, raw, unbridled passion to be exact. And not just passion, but its consequences and all. This may be down to the time of year and that the flowering of Heather heralded a time of rejoicing and self-indulgence for our ancient Celtic ancestors. Mind, you would think they had enough of this during Beltane, but if you think of Beltane as passionate, think of Litha as the after party! I love this excerpt from The Wisdom of Trees, by Jane Gifford:
LESSON OF THE HEATHER
“Heather is a symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice, and self-control. In the first place, heather represents enthusiasm and sensual pleasure, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from spontaneous self-expression. But within this lust for life and exhilaration lies a deeper lesson of the consequences that may arise out of unbridled passion. The Celts believed that you are always totally responsible and accountable for the outcome of your actions, so you were wise to be sure of your own true nature before totally abandoning yourself to the potent delights of heather ale and the pleasures that it could bring. Unchecked, heather is short-lived and unproductive but if burned yearly to the ground, it re-grows with fresh vigour. The lesson of the heather is that a necessary balance must exist between self-expression and self-control for both to be enjoyable and effective.”
Heather can be used for magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick. Heather is often worn or carried as a good luck charm. It is said that a sprig of white Heather placed in a special place of silence and meditation has the power to conjure ghosts or spirits. To do this, pick a sprig of white Heather at midnight, place it in a glass of river water in the darkest corner of your home. Sit and think of a departed loved one and it is said that the loved ones’ shadow will visit you.
In the language of flowers and the gifting of them, Heather means “admiration”. Heather can be used at Midsummer /Summer Solstice to promote love – carry red Heather for passion or white Heather for cooling the passion of unwanted suitors.
Heather is useful in Faery magick and is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. The fae honouring Heather are attracted to shy people.
As a water herb, Heather is very useful in weather magick. When burned outdoors with Fern, the herbal smoke of Heather attracts rain. Bouquets of Heather and Fern can also be dipped in water to call rain.
Healing: Heather has been and is used for antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and sedative purposes. It has a long history of medicinal use. It is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting the urinary tract and mildly increasing urine production. The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent, chloragogen, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and mildly sedative. The plant is often macerated and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and arthritis, whilst a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains. An infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bladder and kidney disorders, cystitis etc. A cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The flowering stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.
Energies: Passion, Protection, Luck
Stone: Red Garnet
Deity: Uroica, Venus, Erycina, Cybele, Nechtan Mac Labraid, the Cupbearer of the Tuatha De Dannan, guardian of the sacred well of Segais and husband of Boane, after whom the river Boyne in Ireland is named. Also, Osiris and Aphrodite.
Other Names: Common Heather, Heath, Lyng, Scottish Heather
The king in the red moorlandRode on a summer’s day;And the bees hummed, and the curlewsCried beside the way.The king rode and was angry,Black was his brow and pale,To rule in a land of heather;And lack the heather ale. ~R.L. Stevenson
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
This is going to be a tricky write, I have a feeling! For most of us who go by Robert Grave’s Ogham trees from the Celtic Birth Trees list, we all know that the tenth lunar “month” is Vine and its Ogham “Muin”, the 10th letter. However, as I noted in my travels to research this “tree” or lack thereof, I find that the Vine is not necessarily meant to be a vine of the grapevine type after all! The Druids classified anything with a woody stalk as a tree, and so therefore it is listed vines amongst the sacred Ogham ranks. Furthermore, grapevines typically come to mind when discussing vines, but it was more likely the Blackberry vines that captured the hearts of the ancient Celts. In my findings, Muin does not mean “vine” but according to Robert Graves means any thicket of thorny, winding bramble of plant and which further supports the idea that Blackberry, which is a prolific plant in most of Europe and the British Isles, is the likeliest for Muin. And, as the Ogham alphabet originated in Ireland, it is also less likely that it means vine – such as in grapevine – because grapes had never, at that time at least, been successfully grown in Ireland. However, as we can use Vine or Blackberry interchangeably for Muin, we shall stick to Vine for the writing of this blog. Also, before I move on and forget to mention, Vine is the Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 2nd September and 29th September.
It is widely thought by some that Vine is the correct source of wood for Muin because of the grape and wine. Wine has been used for centuries for both Pagan and Christian ritual. Writer Erynn Rowan Laurie, Authoress of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, reckons Muin pertains to communication whilst Liz and Colin Murray, The Celtic Tree Oracle, say Muin is about prophecy. John Michael Greer, a neo-pagan American author, writer of The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study, agrees all round but also believes Muin is a stave [or few as some call it] of not only insight but intoxication, as well. Not to put too fine a point on it but if you drink enough wine, you will have some great insights from your intoxication…and most of us are very communicative at the time! Mind you, I don’t think this is what they have in mind…Although, Robert Graves does say that the grape is indicative of “joy, exhilaration, and wrath”. He also says that wine is the “poet’s drink” of “poetic inspiration” and may send one “spiralling towards immortality”.
I think you may now understand why I thought this may be a difficult write. There is little, if any agreement upon the meaning of Muin, not even the wood can be agreed upon!
Magickal Properties: The Celtic meaning of the Vine in Druid lore is rife with symbolism. The Vine is a theme repeated over and over in Celtic art. Interconnections and winding vines are commonly seen on tapestries, writings, knot work and carvings. This indicates the symbolism of connection, eternity, and diversity. – Rebirth and Reincarnation In the Druid perspective, the Vine earned its symbolism from its growth patterns. They recognised the Vine grows opportunistically and would dig in wherever feasible to gain a strong foothold to assure its own growth – Protection This is a powerful metaphor of “going with the flow” or “start as you mean to go on”. In other words, it is a message that when we observe the best of our environment/situation and stay in a relaxed, flowing state of mind, we can most likely gain our highest advantage. – Spirituality The ever-watchful Celts also recognised the Vine’s predominant growth formation is in the shape of a spiral which is symbolic of consciousness, development, renewal, and growth. – Regeneration
You can use Vine in protection poppets, incenses, and witch bottles like any other wood as well as to make amulets from.
And, of course, Vine makes a great wand 😊 Just ask Hermoine Granger!
Correspondences: Planetary: Moon Zodiac: unknown Energies: rebirth, reincarnation, regeneration, spirituality, and protection Gender: Masculine and Feminine Deity: Considered sacred by the Tuatha De Danaan Gods of Irish Mythology Animal: White Swan
Many thanks for reading and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Vine. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Wikipedia.com Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray
This crystal may be a challenge for me this week. Oh, not because I’m afraid I won’t find enough information, but because Lapis Lazuli, being the great beauty it is, has been written about so much! Still, it isn’t like me to back away from a challenge so let’s see what we can find!
The facts: Lapis Lazuli has been used as a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense colour. As early as the 7th millennium BC, lapis lazuli was mined in the Sar-i Sang mines in Shortugai, and in other mines in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. Lapis was highly valued by the Indus Valley Civilisation (3300–1900 BC). Lapis beads have been found at Neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania. It was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BC). ~ Wikipedia.org
I can only imagine how in awe of this stunningly blue stone the early Egyptians were. It is a most striking colour and it isn’t any wonder King Tutankhamun himself would have loads of Lapis in his funerary mask. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli was a favourite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs. Lapis jewellery has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada [3300–3100 BC]. At Karnak, the relief carvings of Thutmose III [1479-1429 BC] show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of Lapis Lazuli being delivered to him as tribute. Powdered Lapis was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra. I, myself, have used powdered Lapis to make dye in tiny amounts where needed. In later years, most notably, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer [1632 – 1675] used Lapis Lazuli to create Ultramarine, a natural pigment he used to paint his famous Girl With a Pearl Earring, 1665. Its name comes from the Latin Lapis, “stone,” and the Persian lazhuward, “blue.” Is it any wonder this stone is so magickal?
The energy of Lapis Lazuli may intensify the growth of intuition, channelling, and psychic abilities, and may aid you to contact with your guardian angels. When using a Lapis Lazuli pendulum, touch the pendulum to your Third Eye until you feel the pineal gland activated. I can’t tell you how you’ll know this, you will just know. If your pendulum is of another material, Lapis is still favourable to have amongst your crystals when divining with pendulum, runes, tarot, or any other method of divination that you use. By opening the Third Eye, Lapis commonly brings through enhanced visionary abilities. It may aid you to use psychic gifts and abilities, in alignment with Divine Will. Lapis is such a prominent third eye chakra stone, that it will help you to develop your intuition as well as amplifying and expanding psychic visions and clairvoyant abilities. I may be repetitive, but I can’t put too fine a point on this.
Lapis Lazuli is also a very strong Throat Chakra crystal and it is very powerful in creating depth and clarity in your thinking and in your communications. It is also called The Crystal of Truth as it also ensures that the words you speak are in alignment with your personal truth.
In protection, Lapis may be worn to guard against psychic attacks. It quickly releases stress, bringing deep peace and brings harmony and deep inner self-knowledge. Lapis encourages self-awareness, allows self-expression and reveals inner truth, providing qualities of honesty, compassion and morality to the personality. It stimulates objectivity, clarity and encourages creativity. Lapis Lazuli assists one to confront and speak one’s truth and inspires confidence. It bonds relationships, aiding in the expression of feelings and emotions. It helps those already in a relationship, in love, to talk freely about any problems they may be having and to tell each other how they feel. In budding romances, Lapis encourages the couple to be honest in their feelings about one another. It will also assist in clearing out any part of the past, in this life or others, that one is still carrying but needs to let go of.
Lapis Lazuli allows one to find the cause of and help to balance the function of the thyroid and hormones to help stave off depression. It assists in the proper health and function of the head and neck, vocal cords, sore throats, headaches, eye ailments, or inflammation in this area of any kind.
Benefiting the immune system, Lapis overcomes hearing loss, eye issues, purifies the blood, relieves insomnia, and vertigo, as well as lowers blood pressure.
Lapis makes quite a powerful elixir to align the etheric, emotional, and spiritual bodies all at once.
Lapis Lazuli benefits the respiratory and nervous systems and the throat, vocal cords, and cleanses organs, bone marrow and thymus.
Correspondences: Chakras: Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra Birthstone: December, October Planet: Venus [Also has a connection to Jupiter] Zodiac: Taurus, Sagittarius [Pisces has been also said to be a Lapis zodiac] Element: Water Powers: Protection [most notably against psychic attack], Manifestation, Creativity, Honesty, Healing, Love, and Inner Harmony Typical colours: deep blue flecked with gold [Pyrite] Deity: Bastet [Bast], Isis, Venus, Nuit, Maat
Many thanks for reading this blog! As always, I hope you have discovered useful information which can help you in your practise and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Sources: Crystal Bible Volume 1: A Definitive Guide to Crystals, by Judy Hall Wikipedia.org Experience
The Hazel tree…also known as “The Tree of Knowledge” is the ninth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar, 5th August – 1st September and is the ninth consonant of the Ogham alphabet named Coll.
Hazel tree people are known as “the know-ers” of the Celtic tree “zodiac”.
People born under the Celtic Hazel tree sign are highly analytical and intelligent. They are gifted in academics and are often the brightest students in the classroom. They are also artistic and can make motivating teachers. They tend to be profound in thought and philosophical by nature.
Their intellect gives them the talent to remember and repeat things with amazing accuracy. Hazel people are well versed in all topics which can make them seem as a know-it-all in social situations. They pay great attention to detail and like things to be just right.
The perfectionist tendencies of the Hazel tree zodiac will sometimes leave them with control issues if everything doesn’t turn out exactly how they pictured. Their ambitious standards can make it impossible for anybody to meet them. They can be perceived as someone who is very difficult to please because of their overly critical nature.
Their critical nature is just their way of trying to analyse a problem and find ways to fix it. They want situations and people to be at their best, but they need to realize that no one is perfect and very few, if any, will meet such high exacting standards.
The Hazel Druid Celtic tree sign often finds it hard to unwind and relax and can come across as too argumentative.
According to The Fairy Bible, by Teresa Mooney:
The Hazel Fairy is a mercurial sprite, deeply wise, a bringer of insight and flashes of inspiration. This fairy can help you to find knowledge in a very individual way, and to develop your intuition so that you can see deeply into many things.
Hazel holds the secrets of the earth and can teach about dowsing and the currents within the land, known as ley lines. She also encourages meditation and confers eloquence on those who respect and honour her.
Wisdom is at the heart of the Hazel tree. Druids, Poets, Bards, and Shaman have long sought wisdom through Hazel. Many early Irish tales describe poets and seers as ‘gaining nuts of Wisdom’, which is most likely a metaphor for such heightened states of consciousness, although the more literally-minded have argued that this expression could refer to a potent brew made from hazelnuts that had psychotropic effects. As to this theory, there are numerous references to drinking ‘hazelmead’ in early Irish literature and many references to Scottish druids eating hazel-nuts to gain prophetic powers.
Hazel woods frequently figure in the sacred landscape. In Ireland, hazel is coll, and the early triad of gods of the Tuatha Dé Danaan, MacCuill, (son of HazeI), MacCecht (Son of the Plough) and MacGréine (Son of the Sun) supposedly divided the island into three so that the country was said to be under the plough, the sun or the hazel, for ‘these were the things they put above all other’.
The Hazel’s association with wisdom extends to other cultures of the ancient world. In Norse mythology it was known as the Tree of Knowledge and was sacred to Thor; the Romans held it sacred to Mercury, who – especially in his Greek form, Hermes – was the personification of intelligence. Hermes’ magic rod may have been made from hazel. The English word derives from the Anglo Saxon ‘haesl’ which originally signified a baton of authority.
Finely powdered Hazel nuts steeped in hot water then with the addition of honey and lemon is thought to relieve a stubborn cough. The leaves brewed into tea can be used to treat such ailments as circulatory problems, fevers, diarrhoea, and excessive menstrual flow.
Hazelwood has been used for centuries to divine for water. For help from the faeries, tie hazelnuts onto a cord and hang in your room. Like Holly, Hazel protects your home against lightning. It is a wood used often for making wands and other magickal things such as talismans and amulets for purposes of gaining knowledge and wisdom.
It is a tree I’ve long admired. To sit and watch the Willow gently blown by a soft wind is mesmerising and soul-lifting. Willow can truly put you into a state of zen without trying very hard.
Perhaps that is best explained in The Faces of WomanSpirit, A Celtic Oracle of Avalon by Katherine Torres, Ph.D. (see below)
Trust All is here and now.
Connect with the Hand of Goddess.
Let Divine Mother Transform you.
Be an Example in the World.
Willow asks you to bend with her into the path of retrieval.
Follow the labyrinth trail, connect with the power of wisdom and the rhythm of your soul, and return to your ordinary world strengthened. You will find that your awareness of your purpose is stronger and your intent cannot be broken by the spell of someone else’s desire.
Could not say it better myself. The Willow tree can put you into a state of rightness with the world, only by observation. Imagine what it can do it in magick!
Willow is the Fifth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 15th April – 12th May and is the Fifth consonant of the Ogham alphabet – Saille being its alphabetical name. If you are a Willow sign, you are ruled by the moon, and so your personality holds hands with many of the mystical aspects of the lunar realm. This means you are highly creative, intuitive [highly psychic people are born under the sign of the Willow] and intelligent. You have a keen understanding of cycles, and you inherently know that every situation has a season. This gives you a realistic perspective of things, and causes you to be more patient than most tree signs. With your intelligence comes a natural ability to retain knowledge and you often impress your company with the ability to expound on subjects from memory. Willow Celtic tree astrology signs are bursting with potential, but tend to hold themselves back for fear of appearing flamboyant or overindulgent. It is your powers of perception that ultimately allow your true nature to shine, and what leads you to success in life. Willow signs join well with the Birch and the Ivy.
Willow’s Medicinal Value
It is a tree of many, many uses. Most well-known is its active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, contained in Willow’s inner bark. But it has been used for centuries for all sorts. These very bark scrapings were made into astringents and used to reduce fever. Willow was also used as a diuretic, a gargle for sore throats and gums, an external wash for sores, skin problems, wounds and burns.
White Willow was commonly used. Purple Willow has the same general properties as White and may even be more effective in lowering fevers. Black Willow has these same properties and can also be used as a sexual sedative. The Black Willow has also been used to treat gonorrhoea, and to relieve ovarian pain. Goat, or Sallow, Willow eases indigestion, whooping cough, and catarrh and is used as an antiseptic for disinfecting bandages. All varieties of this Tree can be utilised as an eyewash, clearing up of skin problems, and a decoction of leaves and bark, simmered, can be used to treat dandruff. All can also be utilised to prevent recurring fevers and as a digestive tonic, especially for dyspepsia.
The Willow tree is one of the seven sacred Irish trees and is a sacred tree to Druids.
Willow is used for the enhancement of psychic abilities. Orpheus, the poet, was said to have received his Gift by touching the Willows in a grove sacred to Persephone. Groves have been used by many types of artisans to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills and the gift of prophecy. This Tree is held sacred, also, to Minerva, the ancient Great Goddess whose bird, the Wryneck, nests only in the Willow. Cranes are also known to nest here and a grove of Willows with nesting cranes is a symbol of extremely happy domesticity.
Magickal uses are extensive. The Besom, the Witches Broom, is traditionally made from three trees. The stave is made from Ash, for protection; Birch twigs are used for the broom itself to expel evil spirits. The Besom is bound with Willow to honour Hecate. Willow branches are said to be the best for divining Water, channelling Earth energy, and finding lost objects.
“Clootie” – Scottish or “cloutie” wells are places of pilgrimage in Celtic areas. They are wells or springs, almost always with a tree growing beside them, where strips of cloth or rags have been left, usually tied to the branches of the tree as part of a healing ritual. In Scots nomenclature, a “clootie” or “cloot” is a strip of cloth or rag, a prayer rag, if you will. These can be tied to any tree when asking for a nurturing love or a release of grief; Willow will serve this purpose best. By the same token, for a wish to be granted, ask permission of Willow, explaining your desired goal. Select a pliable shoot or branch and tie it into a loose knot while expressing your wish, leaving the branchlet on the Tree! When the wish is fulfilled, return and untie the knot, remembering to thank your Friend and leaving a gift of gratitude.
Symbolism: Resonance and Harmony
Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl
Deity: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen,
Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit
Alone with myself
The trees bend
to caress me
The shade hugs
– Candy Polgar
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x