From the Wortcunners Cabinet, Rosemary

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @iseabail_witchwriter

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

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

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

Magickal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

rosemary dried
dried Rosemary ~ courtesy of Google Images

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

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

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

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

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

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

Gender:  Masculine

Element: Fire

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

Deity: Aphrodite, Venus

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

Sources

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

netdoctor.co.uk

Experience

The Wortcunners Cabinet, Moss [and a spell!]

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Oak Moss – isn’t it beautiful?!!

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

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

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

Magickal

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

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

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

Green or gold cloth

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

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

A small piece of paper, parchment or other

Oak Moss, as much as you wish

A stick of Cedar or if unavailable, a Cinnamon stick

Patchouli herb

A pound coin or any denomination of money in your currency

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

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

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

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

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

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

Correspondences

Planetary: Saturn

Gender:  Masculine

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

Element: Earth

Chakra:  Base/Root

Powers:  Luck, Money, Prosperity

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

Health

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

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

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

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

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Wikipedia.com

Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Oat Straw

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

corn dollies all saints church
Corn dolly collect, All Saint’s Church, Siddington near Macclesfield

Have many of you considered Oat straw in magick?  It was something I had not done for many years but now find a use for it very often.  I have always known oat straw – it has been used for centuries to make corn dollies as a harvest ritual.  Depending upon where you live in the UK, there are regional styles of corn dollies.  You would always know where they are from by their design.  Corn dollies can be simple or very complex.  Still, I never saw a need for oat straw in magick until a few years ago.

A little folklore for you:  During the Middle Ages, Oats were thought to attract vampires, and farmers who grew the grain also had garlands of garlic wrapped around their doors and windows.

Magickal

Using Oat straw as a main ingredient in magickal workings is best used on the day of Venus, Friday and during the hour of Venus.

Money is the primary magickal power of Oat straw.  Perhaps it has to do with the harvests because obviously if your crop was very good, you made more money.  Still, I do find the help Oat straw gives in spell work and talismans is sound.  It is also excellent in fertility spell work.

The ways I have implemented Oat straw in magick is by using it in witch bottles along with other herbs/flowers/resins/woods to help with fertility or finances.  I have also used it in sachets for the same reasons.  And, I made a fertility incense for a woman once using Oat straw along with the appropriate oil, resin, and other herbs and wood for the cause.  It must have worked for she is a mother now 😊  But you can, of course, find other ways to use Oat straw in your magick if these ones don’t work for you.

You can also make use of Oat straw for its rejuvenating properties in the form of a ritual bath or as a ritual cup of tea to invoke inner peace, enhance mental powers, concentration and endurance.

Healing

oats
Growing Oats – purplesage.org.uk

Oat straw contains protein [avenins], saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene, starch, and fat, and it also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron and trace elements like silicon and potassium.  It has long been a food crop but has also shown itself useful in healing.  Case in point, oats are very useful in helping to lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.  Did you hate eating porridge as a child?  Most of us did!  But these days, maybe because of my enhanced years, I have a steamy bowl of porridge [brochan which is my preferred name for it] each morning [when I’m not indulging in the occasional ‘breakfast cake’ 😊] It really sets me up for the day.

The oat seeds carry antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant properties. As I refer to Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician quite often, I find he writes very little about Oats and nothing about the straw. Perhaps because in those days the only use for the straw aside from using in corn dollies was to stuff pillows and mattresses and to feed cattle!  Still, Mr Culpeper’s words on Oats:

“[Government and virtues]  Oats fried with bay salt, and applied to the sides, take away the pains of stitches and wind in the sides of the belly.  A poultice made of meal of Oats, and some oil of Bays put thereunto, helps the itch and the leprosy, as also the fistulas of the fundament, and dissolves hard imposthumes.  The meal of Oats boiled with vinegar, and applied, takes away freckles and spots in the face, and other parts of the body.”

Nowadays, Oat straw is highly regarded for the nervous system and can be prepared as a tea for states of general debility and for nervous exhaustion. Oat straw is a good relaxing nervous system tonic and can be used for insomnia and anxiety when these are due to stress. It is diuretic and acts as a tonic for a weak bladder and for kidney problems. It also brings relief for liver and gallbladder problems. For external use, a decoction can be added to the bathwater to treat skin sores and eczema and that can reduce itchiness. An Oat straw bath also soothes rheumatic and gouty pains.

For those of you with gluten allergies, Oat straw does not contain gluten like other grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Correspondences

Planetary: Venus

Gender: Feminine

Zodiac:  Taurus

Element: Earth

Powers: Money, Fertility, Inner Peace

Deity:  Lugh, Osiris, Demeter, Ceres, Adonis

Other Names:  Common oat, groats, herb oats, oatgrass, oats, wild oats.

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

Sources

Experience

Encylopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Complete Herbal and English Doctor, by Nicholas Culpeper

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Lavender

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

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”.

Lavender field Snowshill Gloustershire countrylife dot co dot uk
Snowhills, Gloucestershire lavender farm ~ photo by countrylife.co.uk

 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

Magickal

Love Witch Bottle
Love Witch Bottle ~ photo by i.macy

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.

Healing

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.”

Correspondences

Planetary:  Mercury

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Virgo

Element:  Air

Powers:  Love, Protection, Sleep, Chastity, Longevity, Purification, Happiness, and Peace

Deity:  Aphrodite, Venus, Bastet, Isis, Tawaret, Brigid, Cernunnos

Other Names:  Elf Leaf, Nard, Nardus, Spike

I hope you have enjoyed and have found something useful to your practise in my blog. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Cloves

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

The name “clove” comes from the French word for “nail”.  They do look a bit like small nails, indeed!

world's oldest clove tree by peter van eck
World’s oldest clove tree photo by Peter Van Eijk for the BBC

Cloves are one of the spices, along with nutmeg, so highly prised that it has started wars. The Dutch monopolised the nutmeg trade and kept it cantered in the Moluccas. They went through great lengths to preserve their monopoly. During the Spice Wars of the 17th and 18th century the Dutch uprooted groves of nutmeg and cloves trees to keep prices high and cut their competitors out of the market. Dutch settlers were given slaves to run their plantations but were told they could not return home to Holland and were required to produce cloves exclusively for the VOC at fixed prices. Seventy large plantations were established mostly on Banda and Ai islands.  Seen here is the world’s oldest clove tree, named ‘Afo’, located in Indonesia, and photographed by Peter Van Eijk for the BBC Magazine.  Afo is estimated to be between 350 to 400 years of age, making it a survivor of the Spice Wars.  Now, sadly, Afo is reduced to a stump and a few bare branches, thanks in part to villagers needing firewood.

On to happier clove stories…..and the magickal ways to use cloves.

Magick

cloves
Whole cloves ~ photo from Google Images

In magick spells, cloves are traditionally used to invoke prosperity, protection, exorcism, and purification.  Its scent helps with boosting confidence and expanding one’s thoughts. Cloves produce spiritual vibrations and it cleanses. It can be burned to prevent gossip about you. Cloves have also been worn to attract the opposite sex.  Wear in an amulet or charm to dispel negativity and bind those who speak ill of you. Cloves strung on a red thread can be worn as a protective charm.  We include a clove in both our Protection Witch Bottle and our Prosperity Witch Bottle, and I am presently preparing an Empath Rescue Witch Bottle by request which will also use clove.

Burn cloves in a crushed form as part of a loose incense to attract riches, drive away hostile and negative forces, to produce spiritual vibrations, to purify the area, or to stop others from gossiping about you.  Be sure to do any kind of prosperity spell work during the day of Jupiter [Thursday] and the hour of Jupiter for best results.

To prevent people from spreading rumours about you, push clove stems into a red candle and burn.

Worn or carried, cloves attract the opposite sex and brings comfort to the bereaved. This is a particularly delightful spice to include in your kitchen magick. Although not green in colour, its function as both a familiar kitchen spice and bringer of magick has it listed as a Green Herb/Spice.

Cloves are useful for bringing a sense of kinship to a social gathering; placing them in a potpourri in the room where people are gathered or using in loose incense is divine. Another use for cloves in loose incense is for those who read the tarot or do any kind of divination work as they help along ones’ ability to be more psychically sensitive.  Cloves are particularly useful in incenses for astral projection work. Putting cloves into your tea before going on an astral journey is helpful as well.

As always, cloves like many other herbs and spices, are very useful in poppets and sachets for any of its powers.

Healing

Used for colds and insomnia, cloves have  been used by cunning folk and doctors for centuries.  Growing up, when one of us had a toothache [too many sweets can decay a tooth badly!] a clove would be placed on – or inside of a tooth if it had decayed – to cure a toothache as it is a natural pain reliever, owing to cloves containing methyl salicylate, as well as the anaesthetic eugenol.  I can attest to this working.  In a similar idea, the Chinese chewed cloves to freshen their breath.

C. 1900 Clove Oil
Clove Oil ~ Old English Chemist’s bottle

Clove oil has been an essential part of any doctor’s or cunning woman’s medicinal tool kit since oil could be distilled from a clove.  It is both antibacterial and anaesthetic. You can rub the oil directly on your gums to numb a toothache, only be sure to only use real clove oil and not clove essential oil which is diluted with carrier oils.  Steep clove buds in a tea to improve digestion, prevent and relieve flatulence, and to relieve nausea and diarrhoea.

Be sure to put a drop of real clove oil inside your elbow to test for sensitivity before swabbing your gums with it.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Jupiter

Zodiac:  Aquarius

Gender:  Masculine

Element[s]:  Fire

Powers:  Prosperity, Protection, Exorcism, Purification, Visions, Clairvoyance

Deity:  Jupiter, Agneya, Mātariśvan, Agni

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

Sources

Wikipedia

Experience

BBC ~ The World’s Oldest Clove Tree, By Simon Worrall

http://factsanddetails.com/indonesia/ ~ The Dutch Spice Wars

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Mandrake or Mayapple

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

The Mandrake is native to southern Europe; however, it does have a “brother” plant in the US called Mayapple.  European Mandrake comes from several species of the genus Mandragora, a member of the nightshade family.  Despite the Mandrake root’s poison, it was used in early Chinese and European medicine as a pain reliever and sedative.  I would not suggest anybody try this at home!  Its fascination in Witchcraft came from the fact it often looks like the body of a tiny person. Below we shall explore the ways it was used in the past as well as some ways you can employ Mandrake today.

American Mandrake [Podophyllum peltatum], also called Mayapple or Wild Mandrake, has a skinny brown root that does somewhat resemble the fatter European Mandrake with its similarity to the human body.  The Mayapple is very much as poisonous as is its European cousin so do handle with care. To my knowledge, the European Mandrake is only poisonous by the roots, however, every part of the American Mandrake is poisonous, apart from the small fruit which I hear tastes like apples [however, the seeds are poisonous], hence the name Mayapple. I think you would get more enjoyment from a regular apple, if I’m honest!

If you’re not confused yet, enter the English Mandrake. English Mandrake [or “false Mandrake”] is another name for White Briony [Brionia alba]. Briony is an invasive vine related to the cucumber. Apart from having large leaves and being poisonous when ingested, Briony doesn’t bear much resemblance to other Mandrakes.  I felt I must mention this as I would not like to think anyone tried to use this in vain for real Mandrake.

mandrake root
Mandrake Root ~ Google Images

Talking of real Mandrake.  Be very careful.  I have read that some sellers on eBay sell Mandrake root for great amounts of money.  I am not saying they are necessarily selling you the wrong thing, but I can tell you that they may not be harvesting it correctly.  Mandrake root should only be harvested in its fourth year.  If people are selling Mandrake root to make a lot of dosh, chances are they are harvesting too soon in order to make that sale. And, if they can get away with it, very probably some of the Mandrake root being sold is fake.  Buyer beware. You can grow your own and I’m sure there are many the reputable website or book which can tell you how to grow it properly.  You will have to order your Mandrake seeds most likely from China or Greece or somewhere it is grown normally. Or, settle for American Mayapple which is recommended as a substitute for the European Mandrake and works just as well.

Magickal

Many calls Basil the Witches herb. In that case, I would call Mandrake the Witches root. It is legendarily used in all kinds of magick.  If you are a neo-Witch [beginner] you may have at least heard of it from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when the stalky plant, when uprooted, shrieks lethally. According to one legend which bears similarity to the Harry Potter film is that a Mandrake will emit an ear-piercing scream if uprooted, killing the person who digs it up. According to the stories, the only way to uproot the Mandrake safely is to plug one’s ears with wax and tie a rope between a Mandrake root and a dog’s tail. Back away from the root and throw the dog a bone or try to have it fetch a stick, and the dog will lunge for it. The Mandrake root will be uprooted by the dog’s sudden leap, and its shrieks will kill the hungry dog. Truth to tell, I wouldn’t know.

mayapple
My dried Mayapple/Mandrake root ~ photo by i.macy

There have been, over hundreds of years, recipes and tinctures to imbibe which would give the Witch or cunning person a psychic edge.  I won’t publish any of what I know here for I would never forgive myself if someone tried it and died, which is a very real outcome if you ingest Mandrake root or any parts of the Mayapple. Therefore, all ideas are for sympathetic magick only.

A dried Mandrake root placed on the mantelpiece is said to protect and bring happiness and prosperity to the household and it will also prevent demons from entering the home. Placed on top of money, it will make the money multiply.

A Mandrake root can be used as a poppet for sympathetic magick. It can also be carved into various shapes for magickal use.

The berries as well as the root are used in charms to increase fertility. Carried, it is said to attract love.

Add a bit of Mandrake root to your moon water and/or holy water for ritual use as it increase the power of any kind of solution you use in your practise, if it is not used to rub on your skin or to eat and drink.

The Mandrake root can be used as a familiar.  You would give it food and drink daily or on a different schedule such as the full moon or dark moon only.  You can give it milk, wine, whatever you like.  Clean the Mandrake root figure, speak to it, form a relationship of sorts, and invite the spirit whom would be your “familiar spirit” to live within the Mandrake root and do your bidding.  The thing I know about creating a familiar is that the one thing you don’t want to do is expect everything from it.  It is best to choose one thing you want most from it and this way it will do its job well rather than having too many spirits enter all with different ideas.

It is also believed that disease can be transferred from an ill person to the Mandrake root by a Witch or cunning person, then the root is destroyed, effectively freeing the person from whatever ailed them.

Likewise, a Witch can exorcise a demonic spirit from a person and cage it within the Mandrake root, and of course, destroy the root leaving the once possessed person free of demonic plague.

Your altar tools, such as your athame, wand, and so forth, can be given extra power by including Mandrake root in whatever oil you use for the consecration of them.  Just a few pieces dropped into say, a bottle of Myrrh [my oil of choice when consecrating my altar and tools] and left inside the oil will do the job. You can also use it in specific oils you might use for dressing candles to empower your candle magick.

prosperity witch bottle
Prosperity Witch Bottle ~ photo by i.macy

Mandrake root is powerful for bringing prosperity into your life.  Several ways of using it would be to  put a piece of Mandrake root in your coin purse or wallet where the folding money is kept.  Do take care not to put your fingers in your mouth afterwards.  You wouldn’t die but you might get a little woogy! And, of course, one our favourite ways is using it as one of the nine ingredients in our Wealth Witch Bottle talisman which we sell in our shop. It can be worn to attract money to you, or it can be kept where you keep money to make it grow such as a safe or a home bank. If you have a home-based business, you can also hang it wherever you work. Mandrake root can be used in a money poppet which you can decorate in any way you see fit to draw money to you and good place to carry it would be in a handbag or a man bag if you’re a chap who carries one.  Again, with adding the root to oils, add a few pieces of the root to Patchouli oil and put a few drops on your folding money to increase the attraction to more money.

Mandrake root is highly protective.  Remember above where I mentioned adding the pieces of root to your homemade holy water?  Use it to sprinkle round your home, particularly around doors and windows to protect from intruders.

Healing

The leaves [European Mandrake only] can be boiled in milk and used as a poultice for external ulcers.

This is where I leave it for, I am not qualified in any way as far as I’m concerned to tell anyone how or when to use Mandrake for health reasons.  I have read many articles about it but the right dosages and so forth to do good and not harm are too iffy.  Yes, I am aware that people through the years have used Mandrake for their health, still, as it is so poisonous, I’m just not going to try.  I don’t mind giving some advice with the non-poisonous herbs, woods, leaves, etc but this one is not one I’ll recommend.  So, if you insist on using it, please find the information elsewhere.  Good luck and be careful, please.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Mercury

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Gemini and Virgo

Element[s]:  Fire

Powers:  Fertility, Money, Luck, Protection, Love

Deity:  Circe, Hecate, Diana, Hathor and Saturn

Other Names:  European Mandrake, Mandragora, Mandrake, Mandrake Apple, Pome Di Tchin, Satan’s Apple, herb of Circe, witches mannikin, sorcerer’s root, main-de-gloire, hand of glory, mangloire

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

Sources

Experience

Wikipedia

The Witching Herbs: 13 Essential Plants and Herbs for Your Magical Garden by Harold Roth

The Mystic Mandrake by C.J.S. Thompson

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

The Magickal Poplar Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @iseabail_witchwriter

POPULUS ALBA woodlandtrust org uk
Populus alba ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Poplar trees, or Populus – the genus, has about twenty-five to thirty-five species, and is native to much of the Northern Hemisphere. The name Populus refers to the fact that the trees were often planted around public meeting places in Roman times. They grow rather tall, 15 to 50 metres [49 to 164 ft] and have trunk diameters of up to 2.5 metres or 8 feet 2 inches.  Different species have names other than Poplar, such as Aspen or Cottonwood.  It all depends upon where you live, I suppose. According to Wikipedia, in the September 2006 issue of Science Magazine, the Joint Genome Institute announced that the western balsam poplar [P. trichocarpa] was the first tree whose full DNA code had been determined by DNA sequencing.  Pretty impressive, that.

POPULUS NIGRA woodlandtrust org uk
Populus nigra ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Loosely speaking, the Poplar is divided into three groups, as mentioned above – Balsam Poplar, Aspen, and Cottonwood, in the United States. As far as I can understand, the only “like” or comparable Poplars which are found in both the US and the UK are the Aspen, Black Poplar, and White Poplar.  Of course, I have already written about the Aspen.  I did find some pretty impressive information concerning a trial which took place in the 1990’s where new hybrids of Poplar were being experimentally planted in the lowlands of England to see if they would be viable as trees to investigate the interaction on profitability….to test whether growing these hybrids would be worth the doing.  I imagine this investigation is on-going as the first seven years will be their baseline for all future events from this experiment…and I have found no ending conclusion of it in my research.

So, as we have nothing quite the same in the UK as all the species of Poplar which reside in the US… apart from the Aspen, which you can read about here, and White Poplar and Black Poplar, I shall write about the White Poplar and the Black Poplar, which both grow in both the US and in the UK, their respective genus’s and species being Populus Alba and Populas Nigra. The White and Black Poplar’s are both naturalised to the UK, having been brought from the US in times past. The genus Populus Alba leads me to think that the White Poplar may have been first discovered in Scotland. Why? Because “Alba” is the word for Scotland in Scottish Gaidhlig, or, Gaelic as you would recognise it.

Magickal

Being of Saturn and the zodiac of Capricorn, any part of Poplar is best used on Saturdays during the planetary hour of Saturn. The best spell work is achieved during this time for  anything to do with safety, power, success, intellect, travelling, communication [especially into other realms]; spells to help you get through difficult times, as well as when you just need a boost in a specific area of your life.

For change and success, the Poplar wood is best ground fine and used as one of the ingredients of your loose incense created for just these purposes.  You may also use it in talismans which you create for these purposes at your altar during ritual.

For creating a protection charm/amulet, you will do well to create your amulet in ritual as in a witch bottle, sachet, or poppet of yourself or the person you’re wanting protection for.

Creating a talisman featuring Poplar wood is also found to attract money and wealth; again, may be used in poppets, sachets, and witch bottles. And, of course, in your ritual loose incense for this purpose.

The leaves of the Poplar are particularly good for use in ‘flying ointments’ for those involved in astral travel and/or hedge witchery, and necromancy – to help walk the hedge and to contact ancestors. The Spirit of the Poplar is a guide during divinations. A perfect divination pendulum can be fashioned from Poplar wood which we are now selling in our shop.

POPULUS ogham Ead

In the Celtic Birth Tree ‘astrology’ [which really needs another designation as it has nothing to do with astrology apart from the lunar months], Poplar is a tree of growth, strength, and visualisation. Its Ogham alphabet is Ead [pronounced hadh] for the English alphabetic equation of the letter E.

Healing

POPULUS ALBA catkins woodlandtrust org uk
White Poplar catkins ~ woodlandtrust.co.uk

I must turn to Nicholas Culpeper for he so kindly wrote about both the White Poplar and the Black Poplar.  You can be assured that much of what he writes is still in practise today.

White Poplar:  ‘White Poplar, saith Galen, is of a cleansing property: The weight is of an ounce in power, of the bark, thereof, being drank, saith Dioscorides, is a remedy for those that are troubled with the sciatica or the stranguary,  The juice of the leaves dropped warm into the ears, eases the pains in them,  The young clammy buds, or eyes, before they break out into leaves, bruised, and a little honey put to them, is a good medicine for a dull sight.’

POPULUS NIGRA catkins woodlandtrust org uk
Black Poplar catkins ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Black Poplar:  ‘The Black Poplar is held to be more cooling than the White, and therefore the leaves bruised with vinegar and applied, help the gout. The seed drank in vinegar is held good against the falling-sickness.  The water that drops from the hollow places of this tree takes away warts, pushes, wheals, and other like breakings-out of the body.  The young Black Poplar buds, saith Matthiolus, are much used by women to beautify their hair, bruising them with fresh butter, straining them after they have been kept for some time in the sun.  The ointment call Populneon, which is made of this Poplar, is singularly good for all heat and inflammations in any part of the body, and tempers the heat of wounds,  it is much used to dry up the milk of women’s breasts when they have weaned their children.’

POPULUS NIGRA buds woodlandtrust org uk
Black Poplar buds ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Black Poplar is a good remedy for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and cystitis. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and diuretic properties well suited to alleviating pain and infection. The Poplar’s buds have all the help you need!  Add two teaspoons of the dried bud from the Black Poplar to one litre of water and infuse for 10 minutes.  You can drink two to three cups of the tea per day to stave off stones and to treat your urinary tract infection or cystitis.  For rheumatism, use Black Poplar bark in a decoction of half a teaspoon of dry bark to a cup of water, infused for 10 minutes.  Drink two cups per day to alleviate pain and inflammation.  Poplar has gallic acid, and salicin, both painkillers.  You may use the recipe above with Poplar buds instead if preferred. This recipe also is good for the gout and bronchitis and is very helpful with the common cold.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Saturn

Gender:  White Poplar, Masculine; Black Poplar, Feminine

Zodiac:  Capricorn

Element[s]:  Air

Powers:  Hope, Rebirth, Divination, Astral Projection, Courage, Ancestry, Protection, Healing

Deity:  Hecate, Morrigan, Tyr, Apollo, Zeus

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

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

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

Wikipedia

Druidry.org

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Juniper Berries

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

juniperus-ornamental-trees dot co dot uk
Juniper ~ ornamental-trees.co.uk

Of the Juniper bush, Nicholas Culpeper wrote in his famous The Complete Herbal and English Physician, “They [Juniper bushes] grow plentifully in divers woods in Kent, Warney common near Brentwood in Essex upon Finchley Common without Highgate; hard by the Newfound Wells near Dulwich, upon a Common between Mitcham and Croydon, in the Highgate near Amersham in Buckinghamshire, and many other places.” Of course, Mr Culpeper would not have known they also were growing in Europe, Southwest Asia, and North America.  He wrote about what was on hand mainly in England in the 1700’s and how each herb, spice, flower, and tree could lend itself to healing in the medicine of the times.  His information was good for his time and is still as useful today.

We can not speak of the berries, which many of us use for different purposes in magick and healing without first speaking of the bush/tree, of course.  And now that we have done, Mr Culpeper has more information regarding the Juniper, “The berries are not ripe the first year, but continue green two Summers and one Winter before they are ripe; at which time they are all of a black colour, and therefore you shall always find upon the bush green berries; the berries are ripe about the fall of the leaf.”

The Juniper bush can grow up to 25 feet tall…I would say that is quite a large bush, indeed! And any lover of a good G and T [gin and tonic] knows the primary ingredient in gin is Juniper berries. But we shall now ponder the magickal and healing ways of the berries.

Magickal

Juniper berries, if added to sachets and carried with, will protect the wearer from accidents and theft, as well as from attacks from wild animals and snakes.

The berries are also said to increase male potency.

If Juniper is grown by or hung dry by any entry door of your home, it is said that the home will be protected against evil forces and persons.

Juniper Berries are good for increasing psychic powers and other popular uses including incense mixtures for exorcism and breaking hexes.  It is also used in love spells.

Juniper has been said to be the guardian of the veil – the veil between the worlds.

For any magickal undertaking, the berries can be dried and crushed to be used in incenses for your purpose.  They can also be added to poppets and sachets for the reasons you wish to use their magickal properties and drinking Juniper berry tea is helpful when seeking out the other side as in hedgewitchery and necromancy. Do not drink the tea or work with Juniper berries if you are pregnant. 

Healing

Juniper berries are known for having health properties that improve memory and mental clarity.

Juniper berries act as a parasiticide (parasite destroyer) and antiseptic. Nicholas Culpeper writes, “The berries stay all fluxes, help the haemorrhoids or piles, and kill worms in children.”

Apparently, a great ridder of ‘wind’ [after all the rich foods partaken of back in the day, no doubt!] for Mr Culpeper also states, “…strengthens the stomach exceedingly, and expels the wind.  Indeed, there is scarce a better remedy for wind in any part of the body, or the cholic than the chymical oil drawn from the berries.”

Juniper 600 apr 2012 cma dot org dot uk
Juniper berries ~ cma.org.uk

Juniper berries are excellent to use in a tea for its detoxifying properties and can aid in the treatment of gout and rheumatoid arthritis.  This is confirmed by Culpeper as he writes, “…[Juniper berries] are excellently good in all sorts of agues; help the gout and sciatica and strengthen the limbs of the body.”  The berries are also known as an excellent diuretic and is proved again by Culpeper, “they provoke urine exceedingly, and are therefore very available to all dysuries and stranguaries.”

Culpeper also says Juniper berries are “a most admirable counter-poison, and as great a register of the pestilence as any growing; they are excellent good against the bitings of venomous beasts.”  I have no doubt this is true.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Sun

Gender:  Masculine

Element:  Fire

Zodiac:  Leo

Powers: Protection, Mental Health, Love, Male Potency, Increasing Psychic Powers, and Breaking Hexes

Deity:  Bridghid/Bridget, Dhatara, Frey, Helios/Sol, Lucifer, Mithra, Ra, Savitar, Apollo, Inanna/Ishtar

Folk Names:  enebro, gemeiner wachholder, geneva, gin berry, ginepro and gin plant

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

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper c 1702

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Magickal Jasmine Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

jasmine tree italy, brolo di nonio
Jasmine tree, Italy, Brolo di Nonio

According to ancient flower vocabulary, Jasmine means “amiability”. So, it is no wonder that the Moo-le-hua, a fragrant Jasmine, is employed in China and other Eastern countries in forming wreaths for the decoration of ladies’ hair.

In Thomas Moore’s ‘The Light of the Haram,’ the Enchantress Namouna, who was acquainted with all spells and talismans, instructs Nourmahall to gather at midnight—“the hour that scatters spells on herb and flower”—certain blossoms that, when twined into a wreath, should act as a spell to recall her Selim’s love. The flowers gathered, the Enchantress proceeds to weave the magic chaplet, singing the while—

“The image of love, that nightly flies

To visit the bashful maid;

Steals from the Jasmine flower, that sighs

Its soul, like her, in the shade.

The dream of a future happier hour,

That alights on misery’s brow,

Springs out of the silvery Almond flower

That blooms on a leafless bough.”

Jasmine is considered a birth tree according to a Druidry website.  When given this tree sign, one can almost always show an interest in politics or some form of public relations and communications or social interests. They enjoy getting their thoughts across.

Magickal

Jasmine flowers are believed to attract emotional love and are associated with beauty, kindness and romance. Jasmine is also believed to bring prophetic dreams and enhance psychic abilities.

In some places, the following mode of floral divination is resorted to. The lover, male or female, who wishes to ascertain the character of the beloved one, draws by lot one of the following flowers, the symbolical meaning attached to which will give the information desired.  There is a quite large table of flowers and their meanings, if drawn.  However, in a bunch of various kinds of flowers, if the woman or man chooses the Jasmine flower it means their intended will be cheerful. Likewise, for all the other flowers on the table, each has its own one-word correspondence.

yellow jasmine-nudiflorum_grande
yellow Jasmine ~ mailordertrees.co.uk

Yellow Jasmine is the flower of the Epiphany. To dream of this beautiful flower foretells good luck; to lovers it is a sure sign they will be speedily married.

Burn some dried jasmine in your bedroom as you sleep to help with divinatory dreams.  It is also useful to burn in loose incense when performing any kind of divinatory work such as pendulum dowsing, tarot readings, runes casting, and ogham readings.  Burning Jasmine is also very useful in lucid dreaming, astral travel / riding the hedge, and contacting the Divine and Guides in dreams and dreaming [including prophetic dreaming].

Jasmine also attracts money.  It is useful for  connecting with others emotionally, for wisdom, as well as creativity, particularly in the creation of something that will touch other’s emotions. Use the Jasmine flower or even use finely ground Jasmine wood in your loose incense for money  or love spells.  Personally, I would use the Jasmine wood in the money incense and the flower in the love incense.  You can also use the Jasmine flower in poppets for money or love.

Jasmine can be used for wands and I look forward to finding some to create them from!

Health

A native of the West Indies and Central America, night-blooming Jasmine is now cultivated in India, where the Malasar people use its juice for cataracts.

Helvetius [real name: John Fredrick Schweitzer, alchemist, 1625-1709] has left a list of classified herbs and plants which in his time were considered by experts in herb craft to exhibit peculiar marks and signatures by which they could be identified with the several parts and members of the human body. This may be said to have formed the basis of the system embraced in the Doctrine of Plant Signatures, and as it epitomises the results of the protracted and labourious researches of the old herbalists, who may fairly be said to have laid the foundations of our present system of Botany, it has been thought worthwhile to give an abbreviation of it. From this table we find that Jasmine is good for the kidneys.

Apart from that, I can’t find much else which Jasmine can be used for in healing. However, it can be brewed into a tea which may be how it helps kidneys.

*** Revision

I must not fail to inform you that certain Yellow Jasmine can be lethal. The “Carolina Jasmine” [Gelsemium sempervirens] which grows in both the UK and in the US, is toxic. One flower from it can kill a child, if eaten. Other names are Yellow jessamine, Carolina jasmine, Jessamine, Woodbine, False jasmine, False jessamine, Evening trumpet flower. Please be mindful of this in using it.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Moon, Venus

Gender:  Female

Zodiac:  Virgo, Cancer

Element[s]:  Air, Water

Powers: Love, Psychism, Abundance, Joy, Divination, Creativity

Chakra:  Heart

Deity:  Venus, Aphrodite, Áine, Bastet, Eostre, Ishtar

“With Hyacinth and Jasmine her perfumed hair was bound,

A posy of sweet Violets her clustering ringlets seemed;

Her eyes with love intoxicate, in witching sleep half drowned,

Her locks, to Indian Spikenard like, with love’s enchantments beamed.”

“Moonlight of the Grove” By Anvár-i-Suhailî

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

Sources

The Light of the Haram, by Thomas Moore

Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics. Embracing the Myths, Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-Lore of the Plant Kingdom, Volume and Lyrics, by Richard Folkard, 1884

Druidry.org

Experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Alkanet

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Alkanet_wildflowerfinderdotcodotuk
Dyer’s Bugloss [Alkanna tinctorial]  ~ by wildflowerfinder.org.uk

Alkanet [Alkanna tinctorial] is derived from the root of a plant known as Dyer’s Bugloss.  Do not confuse it with Viper’s Bugloss [Echium vulgare]. Both have blue flowers, however, very different. Alkanna tinctorial is originally from the Mediterranean and brought to England specifically back in the day, growing in Kent, and in the West Country, specifically Devonshire and Cornwall.  It can be found throughout Great Britain today.  Echium vulgare is a native of Great Britain.

It may not surprise you to know that Alkanet is known for its beautiful red dye, for  if you’ve worked with it before, you can see from your fingertips!   You can also use it in a tinted lip gloss, if you like.  I have no doubt it was the favoured way in which women through the ages have given their pouts a bit of colour before Revlon and other make up companies came out with tubes of lipstick.  Not only has Alkanet been used for lippy, but has, and still is, used to colour wood stain, cloth dye, and wine.

In some forms of magick, Alkanet is used to speed thing up a bit for those in need of a quick fix.  I have never personally used Alkanet in a hurry, so I don’t know, but apparently it is the go-to plant for getting things off to a quick start and early gains.

Magickal

Spell work involving Alkanet is best used on the day of Venus, Friday and during the hour of Venus for the best effects.

Alkanet root
Alkanet root ~ photo from herbalveda.co.uk

Alkanet is a wonderful herb to use for anything related to money.  You can carry a piece of the root with you when going gambling to increase your luck or mix the powdered root with other money-drawing herbs, flowers, and woods to carry in a sachet or talisman.  It is also a fabulous anti-negativity herb and has long been used in loose incenses for that purpose.  I always suggest using Alkanet in a loose incense for burning in a new home or one where trouble has been prevalent in order to cleanse away the negative energies left behind.  You can use the same herbs, flowers, and woods with Alkanet as you may have created a talisman with for drawing money or luck to you in a loose incense for money spells, as well.

As mentioned above, Alkanet is a prevalent ingredient in some Fast Luck oils and such, although I am not familiar with them.  If you don’t want to purchase something such as that you can probably easily make your own.

Not many mentions how Alkanet can draw love to you but based on the same principal as when women long ago rouged up their lips with Alkanet to be more appealing and to find love, it does have a magickal property of drawing love to you.  If you don’t care to wear it on your lips you can make a love poppet with it or you can carry it upon your person discreetly inside a sachet or talisman which you create for this purpose.

Alkanet can protect one from negative energies which have been purposefully directed to him or her as from a hex.

Health

Per Nicholas Culpeper:  “it helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, burnings by common fire, and St Anthony’s fire, by antipathy to Mars; for these uses, your best way is to make it into an ointment; also, if you make a vinegar of it, as you make vinegar of roses, it helps the morphew and leprosy; if you apply the herb to the privities, it draws forth the dead child,  It helps the yellow jaundice, spleen, and gravel in the kidneys  Dioscorides saith, it helps such as are bitten by a venomous beast whether it be taken inwardly or applied to the wound; nay, he saith further, if any one that hath newly eaten it do but spit into the mouth of a serpent, the serpent instantly dies.  It stays the flux of the belly kills worms helps the fits of the mother.  Its decoction made in wine and drank, strengthens the back, and eases the pains thereof. It helps bruises and falls and is as gallant a remedy to drive out the small pox and measles as any is; and ointment made of it, is excellent for green wounds, ricks or thursts.”

Mr Culpeper covered it all in this one paragraph over 300 years ago.  To this day, many of these practises are implemented with Alkanet. Perhaps in more sterile ways but used much the same.

Warning:  Careful of ingesting Alkanet if you have any known liver problems as it can prove toxic.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Gender:  Feminine

Elements: Earth / Air

Zodiac:  Libra, Taurus

Powers:  Prosperity, Purification, Protection, Luck, Love

Deity:  Venus, Shukra, Aphrodite

Other Names:  Anchusa, Dyer’s Bugloss, Orchanet, Spanish Bugloss, Enchusa, Lingua Bovina, Ox Tongue, Yellow Anchusa, and Blue Bugloss.

Many thanks for reading my blog today.   Warmest blessings upon all whom wander this way x

Sources

Experience

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicolas Culpeper c. 1702