Crystal of the Week, Dumortierite

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I’m just a little put out with myself for not having a larger piece of Dumortierite! I have carried this one paired with a Carnelian for years.  I suppose I just never thought I needed more – this is a very powerful crystal! Together they are a good team for me, casting off the laziness that can sometimes set in and boosting not only my physical energy but also sharpening up my mental processes as well.  I think it is time to cleanse them, charge them, and carry them once again!

dumortierite
My Dumortierite ~ photo by i.macy

The Dumortierite is stunning blue colour.  Many mistakes it for Lapis Lazuli or Sodalite.  Just keep in mind that Lapis has the lovely flecks of gold and the Sodalite often has lots of white in it.  Dumortierite is most likely to have veins of white, rather than patches, and it does not have gold flecks.  It does often have lighter and darker blue shading.  Dumortierite often forms as inclusions in Quartz, and this combination results in a natural blue Quartz gemstone. These are known in the gemstone market as “Dumortierite Quartz” and they are becoming increasingly popular as a minor blue gemstone. Dumortierite is named after French palaeontologist Eugene Dumortier [1803-1873].

Magickal

Dumortierite is a powerful psychic stone. This stone is generally thought to increase the psychic ability and the connections to the Divine mind. In combination with Pearl, Dumortierite will develop or enhance your psychic powers.  If you are a tarot reader, your interpretation and accuracy will be more on point when you are aided by this stone.

If you place Dumortierite behind your ear, it will enhance your clairaudience. It can also work with your Causal Chakra [past life chakra] so that you can activate your past life memories.

Dumortierite is a good luck stone when in it comes to wealth and fortune. It’s a great crystal to have, especially for those who are starting their own business.

When paired with Covellite, it’s an effective organisational stone.

Dumortierite will help you break ties with things or people that are no longer working for you. It will help you break the cycle of co-dependency and make you realise that only you have the power to control your behaviour and what happens to your life.

Healing

Dumortierite may help to bring order and organisation to a turbulent mental state. Dumortierite is used as a meditation stone as it enhances the connection to the universe and can help bring clarity to the mind. Dumortierite can help to facilitate spiritual development and can help one to express and understand their spiritual experiences. Along these same lines, this important stone can help to increase contact with angels and other types of spiritual guides.  Bringing order and a deeper, more fulfilling connection with the spirits and the spirit world may very well make this one of the more important stones in your collection. Enhanced connections paired with enhanced clarity may make for an especially balanced user. Dumortierite is associated with the throat chakra. This association helps to bring into balance the physical, mental, and spiritual communications which may help to keep the entire aura in balance.

what-on-earth-is-dumortierite
You deserve a better picture! photo by Stonebridge Imports

In the same manner that Dumortierite can be useful for metaphysical healing and balance it can also be used for physical healing and balance. Dumortierite is often used to treat depression and over-stimulation. In addition, Dumortierite may help to relieve the symptoms of addiction. This crystal is considered to bolster the energy of self-discipline, so it is easy to see how it may help to achieve things like ideal weight or cessation of some undesirable activity. Dumortierite may also help to cool the body, treat certain skin disorders, ease the symptoms of diabetes, increase or balance your metabolic rate, or even soothe hyperactivity. Aside from strictly physical attributes Dumortierite can help to soothe the mind from depression and help to clear the mind for more effective thought processes. In all, this important gemstone could be just the help you need for clarity and relaxation to gain a higher connection with the world around you.

Dumortierite is said to be good in treating headache, diarrhoea, stomach ache, and other intestinal problems. It can also help relieve vomiting, nausea, cramping, and colic in babies. Pranic healers use Dumortierite for hypersensitivity and epilepsy, as well as skin disorders and other pains, aches, or illnesses in the thyroid or parathyroid areas.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Saturn

Zodiac:  Leo/Sagittarius

Element:  Water

Gender:  Masculine [works to balance masculine and feminine energies within people]

Powers:  Psychic Abilities [All], Patience, Healing, Intellectual, Positivity, Calming, Communication, Mental Discipline

Chakra:  Throat, also said to open the Third Eye

Deity:  Isis, Neptune, Ariadne, St Brigid, Hokkmah, The Muses, Sarasvati

Other Names:  Stone of Patience

Many thanks for reading my blog!  It’s a pleasure to be of service.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Illustrated Directory of Crystal Healing, by Cassandra Eason, 2003

Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic, by Scott Cunningham, 2002

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall, 2003

Gemstone Energy Medicine Healing Body, Mind and Spirit, by Michael Katz, 2005

Experience

Crystal of the Week, Apache Tears

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Apache Tears are of the Obsidian family as we know.  And to me, all varieties of Obsidian seems to almost form a ‘family’ not unlike our own.  I have written about black Obsidian, the very strong ‘older brother’ and Snowflake Obsidian, the gentle but strong ‘younger sister’… but Apache tears has a strong yet friendly and gentle vibration which makes it feel almost parental… like a loving mother or father. Not as fierce in nature as black Obsidian but can be very protective all the same.  I’ve heard some say that its misshapen appearance makes one feel more comfortable with it.

They are a type of Black Obsidian stone found in the south-western US and Mexico. The meaning of their name comes from an American Native legend. It was said that certain members of this tribe were pursued by the Cavalry, and although they fought bravely they were outnumbered. Rather than be captured they jumped off the cliff to their deaths. The distraught women of the tribe cried dark tears of grief, which fell to the earth, and formed into these dark strangely shaped stones. It is believed that their tears formed into these unusual stones, so people will always remember what happened.

Magickal

Apache Tears
My Apache Tear ~ photo by i.macy

As are all Obsidian stones, Apache Tears are an excellent grounding stone.  But this stone seems to have a more intuitive grasp of when it should do it job than does the black Obsidian.  Apache Tears are often used to cleanse one’s auric field and provide safety and protection for healers.  By using Apache tears, rather than other types of Obsidian, you can find that you’re able to address negativity in a calmer and more constructive way.  Apache Tears won’t ‘bring’ luck to you, but it can be used to shield you from bad luck and bad vibes to give you a rest to regroup.

Wearing Apache Tears near your heart is an excellent way to always be mindful of its power and to feel protected and cared for.  It is also effectively used to clear the heart of old disappointments and distresses.  Apache Tears opens you up to an acceptance of higher spiritual qualities and knowledge.

Because Apache tears, like most dark stones, work to sponge up negative energy, you will want to frequently cleanse them to get the full benefit of their positive energy.  If you neglect to cleanse them, you may find their efficacy wanes over time. To cleanse, simply hold them under running water while visualising the negative energy being washed away, then place them in direct sun or moonlight for several hours.

Healing

Apache Tears are very useful stones for anyone to use, but especially if you are a healer. If you are doing any spiritual development work, there are strong advantages to using these stones. Their strong energy works within the base or root chakra, where it will move excess energy down into the earth chakra for grounding with Mother Gaia. They also protect you from any possibility of “catching” the disease that you’re attempting to cure.

The energy of these stones will strengthen the blood and the immune system, and they will help the body to assimilate Vitamin C and D.  They assist with the reduction of toxins in the body by aiding their removal. They may calm muscle spasms and enhance vitality and strength within the body.  Within the heart chakra their energy will assist the emotional body to heal, from old issues of an emotional nature.  Their energy within the sacral or navel chakra helps to aid the removal of disharmonious energies in relationships.  They may bring through joy as they encourage you to feel more positive about life.

Apache Tears are also said to help with adrenal glands, bone pain, brain cancer, brain inflammation, brain lesion, headache, insect sting, joint pain, kidneys, lesions, migraine, muscle lesion, muscle pain, nerve inflammation, ovaries pain, prostate regulation, small intestine purification, spine & spinal cord inflammation, spine & spinal cord lesion, spine and spinal cord pain, spine and spinal cord strengthening, stomach, thymus.  It would be prudent to leave these healings to the capable hands of a good Pranic Healer.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Pluto and Saturn

Zodiac:  Scorpio

Element:  Fire and Earth

Powers:  Absorption of Negativity, Protection, Psychic Protection, Healing

Gender:  Female and Male

Deity:  Pele, Tezcatlipoca, Itzpapalotl, Sekhmet, Isis, Horus, Black Madonna

Chakra[s]:  Root/Base, Sacral, Heart

Other Names:  Obsidian Drops, Obsidian Tears

As ever, I thank everyone whom is so kind to read my blog. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, 2003

Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham, 2002

The Illustrated Directory of Crystal Healing by Cassandra Eason, 2003

Experience

Crystal of the Week, Preseli Bluestone

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

The-Bluestone-portal by garyllewellyn.com Judy Hall
The Bluestone Porthole by garyllewellyn.com for Judy Hall

What were the builders of Stonehenge so attracted to, to choose Preseli Bluestone as the stones for the inner circle of the henge? What about it resonated with them so intensely to drag these stones 150+ miles to the henge to add to its creation? Well, I think most of you may be able to answer that by holding one. For me, without thinking, I felt the word “ancestor” [which is not odd for me in this case as one of my familial lineages have been in Salisbury, Wiltshire for as far back as c 1100 – that I know of… it well could be further back than then] come to mind. I felt history and time and people all at one go. You might think I would be very familiar with the stone already but not really. There are so many thousands of different crystals and stones in this world and although I’ve spent many years studying them and working with them, I really haven’t touched the sides yet. You can only really learn by spending a goodly amount of time with and reading about and working with, a stone or crystal…so yes, I always feel “behind” in my studies. And the very first thing I do with any stone is to hold it and record my very first, virgin reactions. It’s almost scary how I’m right almost every time. This is not bragging…anyone can do this and I’m betting most of my readers know what I mean.

The Preseli Bluestone, according to Judy Hall, authoress of The Crystal Bible and all its descendants, says “Bluestone is unique. It has high paramagnetic resonance and a distinctive appearance. Bluestone reconnects to your ancient knowing, helping you to live in harmony with the earth and everything on it. It expands your senses, taking you beyond the everyday and into the metaphysical realms where perception is sharper. You see the world with different eyes when you connect to Bluestone and its sacred sites. Carrying immense healing energy and forming a doorway to other dimensions, Preseli Bluestone helps you connect to earth energies and the wisdom of the Celtic Druidic peoples.” In a much better way, Judy tied together my usual one-word understanding of a stone.

So, when the people from over thousands of years ago travelled to the Preseli Mountains in Wales and found the iconic stone, the huge Saracen shards jutting here and there, then touched them…can you imagine the massive resonating force they must have felt? It’s no wonder they brought all they could back to the henge site. Compasses are said to go bonkers in the Preseli Mountains particularly at the Carn Menyn outcrop from which the bluestones of Stonehenge were sourced. The entire site is riddled with geomagnetic anomalies and powerful telluric earth currents which add power to the stones. And, in case you didn’t know, the Preseli Bluestone originally formed the outer circle but eventually became the inner circle,

Judy Hall also says, “Preseli Bluestone activates the Soma Chakra, located at the hairline above the third eye. A higher resonance of the third eye, when activated the soma chakra opens metaphysical awareness and visionary ability. The chakra also links to the angelic realms and spirit guides. It has to do with perception of the cycles of time and awareness of the workings of synchronicity.”  Got to love a bit of time travel!

So, let’s explore the magickal meanings of this fabulous stone!

Magickal:
The first and foremost feeling from Preseli Bluestone is a powerful feeling of needing to tell you about the past. It can assist you greatly in the development of psychic gifts and aid you in discovering abilities such as dowsing and geomancy. Although primarily a throat and heart chakra, placing the Preseli Bluestone on your solar plexus chakra can stimulate your willpower and inspire courage, and in doing so they help to connect the throat, heart, and thymus [higher heart] chakras.

Preseli Bluestone is one of the best stones ever for past life regressions. These stones have all the knowledge of the ages and when used in meditation to travel back in time, you can easily learn about past lives you’ve possibly had in ancient Celtic Britain and in ancient Egypt. Preseli Bluestone may help you to discover aspects of past lives that may be holding you back in your current life.

The Preseli Bluestone is remarkable for grounding oneself before a ritual or just because you’re feeling a bit scattered. It can truly bring you back to Earth and keep you firmly planted during a tough emotional time. Keep one as a talisman for this purpose with you always if you are given to anxiety attacks.

Keeping one by your bed can possibly create dreams that may help you to remember past lives in ancient Atlantis or if you spent time in the past as part of any Druidic culture.

It is also said that the Preseli Bluestone can help one discern the truth from listening to another speak.

Healing:

Preseli Bluestone
My Preseli Bluestone ~ photo by i.macy

The vibrations are very high in Preseli Bluestone. Many of you may know that when a cat purrs, it is not always purring from the joy of being with its favourite human but may be purring to heal itself. They know that the frequency of their purr can indeed heal many ills. The vibrational frequency of Preseli Bluestone works in much the same way and the Ancient Ones found that bones would heal much more quickly when these stones were near. An amazing healing device used by some Pranic healers is the Preseli Bluestone wand.

Correspondences:
Planetary: Moon
Zodiac: Taurus
Element: Earth
Powers: Healing [broken bones], Psychic Awareness [of all kinds], Courage, Communication, Grounding, Preventing Jet Lag, Ancestral Workings
Chakras: Throat, Heart, Higher Heart
Deity: Gaia, Hecate, Cerridwen
Other Names: Dolerite, Spotted Dolerite, Preseli Dolerite

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

Sources:
Crystals and Sacred Sites, by Judy Hall
Crystal Prescriptions 4: the chakras and kundalini, by Judy Hall
The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

The Magickal Fig Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

fresh figs
Fresh Figs ~ photo courtesy of Eric Hunt, his original work

According to the most recent figures I have found, there are between 750 and 850 Fig tree species.  One of the most popular Fig tree species is Ficus benjamina, or just “Ficus” which many of us grow inside our homes.  But the one I’ll be writing about today is the Ficus carica, or “Common Fig” which produces the lovely Figs which songs have been written about.

There is evidence that figs, specifically the Common fig [Ficus carica] and Sycamore fig [Ficus sycomorus], were among the first – if not the very first – plant species that were deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11, 000 years ago.

Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plant in the mulberry family, known as the Common Fig [or just “the fig”].  It is the source of the fruit also called the fig and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially.  Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.  The species has become naturalised in scattered locations in Asia and North America.

Unlike other fig species, Ficus carica does not always require pollination by a wasp or from another tree, but can be pollinated by the fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes to produce seeds. Fig wasps are not present to pollinate in colder countries like the United Kingdom as they need warmer climates to live and breed. The Fig tree is androgynous, with the fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves representing the masculine.

The Fig is listed by the Druids [Druidry.org] as a “birth tree” for Jun 14-23 and Dec 12-20 which I have listed in an older blog, but to this day I have not had time to settle in and learn why they have a much different list of birth trees and dates than the one for the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar.  I do plan on sorting this out eventually!

Magickal

In Greek mythology it is believed that Demeter gave a Fig to Dionysus as a gift, hence the link to love and fertility. The Greeks revered Figs so much that they made it illegal to transport excellent quality Figs. The Romans held Figs sacred as well, and it was believed that the wolf who raised Romulus and Remus rested under a Fig tree. The Buddhists viewed the Fig tree as a symbol of enlightenment, as it is believed the Buddha reached his enlightenment under a Fig tree [the Pipal, Ficus religiosa]. Ashoka the Great bestowed kingship on the branch from the very tree and planted it in a thick-rimmed solid gold vase.

Figs are linked to male potency. Men can eat fresh Fig to increase their potency and virility, as it increases the mobility of male sperm.  As the copious amount of seeds within the fruit suggests, Figs can help with fertility magick. Women have carried Fig carved into phallic images to raise their chances of conceiving.  When travelling, leave a fig tree outside of the door. This will ensure you return safe and happy. Grow Fig in the kitchen to make sure that your family never goes hungry.  To get an answer to a question, you can write the question on a Fig leaf; if the leaf takes a long time to dry, the answer is yes, and if it dries quickly than the answer is no.  Growing a Fig tree in the home can bring the household good luck. Fig trees grown in the bedroom can help with restful sleep.

The wood and bark from Ficus/Fig trees can be used in poppets and loose incenses for purposes of fertility, and good luck, as well.  We once offered this in our shop.

Health

An ointment made of the juice and hog’s grease, is an excellent remedy for the biting of mad dogs, or other venomous beasts, as most are.  A syrup made of the leaves, or green fruit, is excellent good for coughs, hoarseness, or shortness of breath, and all diseases of the breast and lungs; it is also excellently good for the dropsy and falling sickness.  They say that the Fig Tree, as well as the Bay tree, is never hurt by lightning; as also if you tie a bull, be he ever so mad, to a Fig Tree, he will quickly become tame and gentle.  As for such figs as come from beyond sea, I have little to say because I write not of exoticks” – Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century excerpt from The English Physician and Complete Herbal.

ficus carica rhs co uk
Ficus carica, Fig trees ~ courtesy of rhs.co.uk

Plant parts and extracts of the Fig tree have traditionally been used for internal, as well as external, application. For example, poultices from fresh or dried Figs, Fig leaves, or Fig wines; lye from Fig tree bark; or latex from stems and leaves have been used to aid in many conditions. Latex has been used as expectorant, diuretic, and anthelmintic, or to ameliorate anaemia. Leaves are known for their antidiabetic and vermifuge effect. However, they also cause contact dermatitis in humans and phototoxicity in animals. Seeds are processed to edible oil or lubricants. Sporadic cases of fig allergy after ingestion of fig fruit have been reported, especially in patients whom are allergic to Ficus benjamina. Also, Phyto photodermatitis caused by contact with various parts of Ficus carica has been reported and linked to furanocoumarins in latex.  If you have an allergy to latex I would suggest not using those parts of the Fig/Ficus in your healing practise.

Correspondences

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Deities: Aphrodite, Demeter, Hathor, Juno

Powers: Divination, Prosperity, Fertility, Love, Luck

Folk Names: Common Fig, Fico, Mhawa, Chagareltin

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

Sources

BBC

Wikipedia

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Druidry.org

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

The Magick of Heather

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Heather ogham Ura
The Ogham Alphabet ~ Google.co.uk

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_hills_main countrylife dot co dot uk
Heather hills ~ countrylife.co.uk

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.”

Magickal:

Heather dried
My dried Heather ~ photo by i.macy

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.

Correspondences:

Planetary: Venus

Zodiac: Gemini

Element(s): Water

Energies: Passion, Protection, Luck

Stone: Red Garnet

Bird: Grouse

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 moorland Rode on a summer’s day; And the bees hummed, and the curlews Cried 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

Sources:
The Wisdom of the Trees, by Jane Gifford

Happy and Blessed Imbolc 2022! The First Sabbat of the Year

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Happy Imbolc, everyone! Our first sabbat of the year and we’re off! Time to roll the wheel round and see where we go from here… The beginning is always the best place to start, of course, and this is why that it is so fitting that Imbolc’s meaning is “in the belly of the Mother,”  because the seeds of Spring are beginning to stir in the belly of Mother Earth.  Everything is now centred around growing, warming, light, new beginnings.  It has always been the time of year when I endeavour to change my diet or learn new things.  It is an inherent need which builds at the end of a year and is made manifest beginning around 1 February.  It is not something I plan; it just always happens.

Still, it makes sense… it is a time when we want to brush away the cobbies and clean.  We want to make improvements in our lives, both physically and figuratively.  As Doreen Valiente once said, ‘Spring cleaning was originally a nature ritual’. It is all about new beginnings.  Most of you probably feel the same.  I have always wondered why we must write lists of things we wish to change/resolutions on New Year’s Day when we really have been having too much Yule-tide fun to care much about things such as expanding waistlines or cupboards in need of a good sorting out.  How is one meant to remember what they want to change after all the revelry?  It is perhaps as well that our spiritual selves make these plans for us during January, so we are prepared to take on the tasks come February. It’s a thought…

Brigid, the Fire Goddess

Brigid, the Fire Goddess by Emily Balivet on Etsy

It is befitting, that the Fire Goddess leads us out of the darkness of Winter. Not only for the light to see but as in “lighting a fire inside”.  When we get the call from our spirit to get things done, we tend to manifest those things better in this time of year better than others.  Ah, if you are young, you probably do manifest things easily in any time of year but for some of us folk of a certain age… well, we do have to make hay when the sun rises, and it is warmer much of the time!  That said, there are so many ways in which to honour one of our favourite Goddesses.

Try making a loose incense for your Imbolc magickal workings: 

Brigid Imbolc Incense

2 parts Dragon’s Blood resin [or you may use Sandalwood or Frankincense]

2 parts Oak bark, ground

shredded Snowdrops or Angelica fleurets, dried

1 part dried Ginger root, ground

a few drops of Orange oil

Mix all ingredients, save for the oil until last.  Do not soak the mixture with oil, only gently toss the ingredients lightly with four drops to start.  You can add another drop or two of oil, if needed but you cannot remove it so make certain your loose incense mixture does not become soggy with oil or it will be wasted. Burn on a charcoal disc in a brass censer, preferably on a bed of lava sand.

Make a Brigid’s Cross

I’m not that good at explaining these semi-tedious things so here is a link for you to learn how to make your own Brigid’s Cross. Don’t forget to like and maybe subscribe 🙂

Brigid’s Candle [Flame]

If you love to make candles, as do I, you can make your own Brigid’s Candle.  Make it in either white or silver to use on your Imbolc altar for honouring Brigid.  Don’t fret if making candles is not your thing.  You can buy white pillar candles relatively inexpensively – even a pound shop pillar candle will do!  You could wrap green ribbon [about 5-7 mm wide] around the candle or leave it as is.  You could also carve sigils into it which you create for Brigid.

A few things to do to make this Imbolc brighter [pun intended!] for you!  Thank you for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

The Magickal Mariam Stone

Originally posted 18/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

The Magickal Spindle Tree

Originally posted on 23/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

I have a theory about Sleeping Beauty’s fateful finger prick on the spindle in her 15th year of life – besides the one in which I think she was far too young to be kissed by princes – is that the spindle was poisonous by Nature. And, this is true of the Spindle tree…it is quite a poisonous tree, mainly the leaves and berries but I wouldn’t want to prick my finger on the wood, either…just incase!

How was the Spindle tree so-named? From my research it seems the major consensus it that William Turner concluded, this being from The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, 1922:

I coulde never learne an Englishe name for it. The Duche men call it in Netherlande, spilboome, that is, spindel tree, because they use to make spindels of it in that countrey, and me thynke it maye be so well named in English seying we have no other name. … I know no good propertie that this tree hath, saving only it is good to make spindels and brid of cages ” [bird cages].

Woodland Trust

The Spindle tree, and it’s leaves and berries, has been used over the centuries for many medicinal purposes. Everything ranging from appetite stimulants to nits [head lice], and horse/cattle mange. As before mentioned, the tree and its parts are very poisonous, so it would be better left in favour of other, safer options for these ills.

It has also been used for many household items in addition to its namesake reason, spindles, and other items such as bird cages, and even toothpicks.

The Spindle tree is found in many countries – albeit, named differently in each, I am sure. To America it was brought from England several centuries ago to be used in gardens and eventually became known as the Arrow Tree. I can only imagine it was as useful for making arrows there as it was for making spinning wheel spindles in Britain and other parts of the world. The Spindle tree is found mainly in hedgerows in Britain but has become very useful as an ornamental tree as well.

Spindle is also one of the trees of the Ogham alphabet. It is not one of the Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, but one of the five extra Ogham. It was declared there were not enough sounds to cover all human speech from the other Ogham, therefore, OI or TH, from the Irish Oir, was created. In the diagram of the Ogham, you’ll see it encased in red. It is the 22nd letter of the Ogham. OI represents the Spindle tree. It is also associated with lightning. It has been said it eases the pain of labour and birth. In modern times it has come to be associated with wealth and inspired knowledge.

According to authoress Sandra Kynes, Whispers from the Woods, Spindle is a symbol of magic in the Norse Pagan tradition. Another name for the constellation Orion was “Freya’s Spindle”. Spinning is associated with the Goddess Athena because she is credited with being the inventor of spinning and all womanly arts. The spindle was the tool of the Fates, daughters of the Goddess, Necessity [the Mother of Invention], who fashioned the destiny of humans.

Magickal:

Can be used effectively in cleansing rituals to heal old emotional wounds. Spinning and weaving spells that bring people together. Confronting one’s “shadow self” or when facing difficulties. Spindle tree wood makes an excellent pendulum for divination.

Correspondences:

Element: water
Deity: Athena, Frigg/Freya, Minerva, The Fates
Energy: feminine
Sabbat: Imbolc
Attributes: attaining quests, cleansing, divination, honour, inspiration, spiritual work, feminine power, seeking true self, community spirit
Other names: Spindleberry, Pegwood


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

Sources:
The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes
Druidry.org
Wikipedia
Woodland Trust

Samhain and the Magick of Blackthorn

Originally posted on 31/10/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

treeid-blackthorn woodlandtrust
Young blossoming Blackthorn ~ photo by woodlandtrust.org.uk

It is the tree of Samhain. In the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar, Blackthorn is 31st October, the beginning of Samhain and more recently associated with Halloween. Its ogham name is Straif, Chieftain tree.  It is not a CBT Calendar birth tree, therefore there will be no “zodiac” reading associated with Blackthorn, although some traditions believe those born upon this day to be born from something less than angelic. We shall lay superstitions and old beliefs aside to look at Blackthorn as the wonderfully magickal and protective tree that it is.

“The holy day of Samhain is, in the Celtic tradition, the first day of Winter: a time of sacrifice, divination for the New Year, communion with the dead, of endings and rest. On this night the world of spirits, ancestors and mortals might meet.

The Blackthorn tree is esoterically known as both the Mother of the Woods and the Dark Crone of the Woods.  It is found primarily in the British Isles and is generally part of hedgerows and in thickets. You’ll often find it alongside Elder and Hawthorn in the hedgerows bordering many farmlands. It is a very difficult tree…more like a shrub than a tree, traditionally never becoming taller than thirteen feet in height…to physically come close to. And if you do, mind the thorns or “spines”…

Within the mythic cycle of the Goddess as Crone, she deepens into Herself and enters the Dreamtime, the place between the worlds where past, present and future exist simultaneously. The season invites you to enter a place of stillness and simply be where you are: not moving forward or backward but utterly present, suspended in the space between past and future. It is here that you may hear Her voice in the crackling fire, rain, and wind.

Review the year that has passed with introspection and retrospection. Commune with your ancestors and honour your beloved dead. Remember your sisters who perished in the Burning Times, and commit yourself to the struggle for justice. Divine and ask the Fates for blessings in the coming year. What do you leave behind in the year that has passed, and what do you wish to take with you? How will you prepare to listen to the Old Wise One within?” ~ Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries by Ruth Barrett, and We’ Moon

sloe-dave kilbey photography
Sloe berries on Blackthorn tree ~ photo by Dave Kilbey davekilbeyphotography.co.uk

The Blackthorn does produce fruit, called sloes, and is often made into sloe berry jam and sloe gin.  The berries have medicinal use as well which we’ll look at later.

Folklore

Blackthorn is generally depicted as an ill omen throughout Britain and even Europe, however, the Celtic people formed its most sinister reputation…a hard, cold winter would be referred to as a “Blackthorn winter” and the Ogham letter straif is where the English word “strife” is derived from. Drawing the straif Ogham stave [made of Blackthorn wood, of course!] means the diviner is in for a thorny go of things. The drawing of the stave also indicates the actions of fate in your life, something that cannot be avoided but must be faced and dealt with. Blackthorn gives you the strength to accept and persevere in the face of adversity.

Blackthorn is associated with death quite frequently. Samhain is the death of the old year whilst hailing in the new.

In the Irish legend, the Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne, a passage describes Sadhbh eating sloe berries and becoming pregnant as a result. She gave birth to a son who was born with a lump on his head. The lump turned out to be a worm or snake. The snake was eventually killed in sacrifice for another man. In The Sword of Oscar, sloe berries are part of a sacrificial theme as well. Blackthorn’s theme in traditional stories often indicate a warrior’s death in service to the High King or tribe.

In the Word Ogham of Cúchulainn Blackthorn is ‘an arrow’s mist’ and ‘smoke drifting up from the fire.’ These are both kennings for death.

Magickal Use

Blackthorn is used for purification, as well as protection, ridding the atmosphere of negative energy. It deals with the issues on a Karmic level, which cannot be avoided. Meditating on Blackthorn can purify our minds of negative thoughts and impulses at the deepest level of our psyche. It can aid us in combating fear, depression, and anger. The thorns of the Blackthorn can be imagined lancing the built-up abscess of negative thoughts, and release the emotional toxins, which can then begin to heal. Using the gentler sister tree, Hawthorn, in conjunction with Blackthorn, can aid the process of healing.

Traditionally, Blackthorn is used in protection against evil, creating boundaries, purifying, confronting our own dark side. Blackthorn dispels negativity, toxins, old wounds, and impurities. It can be used in exorcisms. It is associated with chthonic and protective deities.

Blackthorn Spines
Two of my Blackthorn spines…one is 3″ long! Photo by i.macy

The spines can be used as pins to stick in a poppet. A wand or staff can be used for help in exorcisms or for protection from fire and for general protection.  A staff can be used to make wishes, and carrying the wand or staff protects one from evil. The wood makes a good divining rod. Often the Blackthorn wand is called a “blasting rod” for the power is so intense. An ideal wand for casting spells against enemies.

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

Medicinal Use

The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. The dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to soothe the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis.

Correspondences

Planet: Mars, Saturn

Element: Earth, Fire

Zodiac: Aries, Scorpio

Symbolism:  The inevitability of Death, Protection and Revenge, Strife and Negativity, The Balance between light and darkness.

Stone: Black Opal, agate, bloodstone

Colour: Purple, Black, Red

Bird[s]: Thrush

Deity: Morrigan

Sabbat: Samhain

Folk Names: sloe, sloe plum, wishing thorn, faery tree

Pronounciations:

Scots Gaelic: Draighionn

Irish Gaelic: Draighean

Welsh: Draenen ddu

Many thanks for reading.  Have a blessed Samhain and warmest blessings to all x

Sources:

Druidry.org

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries by Ruth Barrett, and We’ Moon

Experience

The Magickal Hazel Tree

Originally posted on 24/10/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Hazel Ogham Pendant by i.macy

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:

Hazel Tree ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

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.

Folklore:

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.

Medicinal purposes:

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.

Magickal:

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.

Correspondences:

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Symbolism: Wisdom & Divination, Poetry & Science, Playfulness & Enchantment, Healing Arts

Stone: Topaz, Pearl

Birds: Crane

Colour: Orange

Deity: Hermes, Aemgus, Artemis, Diana

Underneath this hazelin mote,

There’s a braggoty worm with a speckled throat,

Nine double is he,

Now from eight double to seven double

And from seven double to six double

and so on until:

And from one double to no double,

No double hath he

~Old adder bite charm, writer unknown

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

Sources:

The Fairy Bible, by Theresa Mooney

Druidry.org

SunSigns.org

woodlandtrust.org.uk