A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Seven

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Duir Oak Ogham
Duir Ogham ~ Photo by i.macy

The ruler of the seventh lunar month and Ogham letter “D” is Duir which is the Ogham for the Oak tree.  Duir is also the Ogham of those born between 10 June and 17 July.  The grand Oak is the King of the forest and he grows slowly, taking in and processing everything… he is the Protector and the doorway [the word Duir means door] to all mysteries.  The Oak teaches us strength.  It decrees justice.  When you draw the Duir Ogham, do not take your intuition lightly for you will do yourself a great disservice if you do.

Representations:  Ancestry, Protection, Fertility, Health, Success, Prosperity, Wisdom, Justice, Strength

Ogham Letter:  D

Number:  7

Colour:  Gold

Tarot:  Strength

Animals:  Oriole, White Horse, Wren

Plant:  Colts Foot, Mistletoe

Divination Meaning:  Whatever your query, when you pull Duir, you know you must take a “hands-on” approach to the answer. This will nurture the skills you wish to have.  You must be brave; step through the door. As with all Ogham divination, you will learn by doing. Because you do, you will be wiser.

How to Mend the Problem:  You have accumulated acorns of wisdom.  If you have not, it is time to do so. You will be called upon to share this wisdom with others.  Whether you are a teacher or student, you are called upon to be tough and resilient despite life’s unpredictability as an Oak is to a bolt of lightning.  Strength and Wisdom are your mission and you know deep down you can achieve these.

This is your first lesson as the first drawing of Duir.  As you progress with your strengthening intuition you will be able to read this Ogham much easier in relevance to your query.  Always remember the Oak’s representations and learn how they come through to you each time.  Never forget that Duir is the doorway to every knowledge.

You can catch up the first five blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six by clicking on these.

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

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

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

Experience

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

What Wood is Best for Making a Wand, Part Two

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Wands Collage 2a
wands collage by i.macy

As discussed yesterday in What Wood is Best for Making a Wand – Part One, here is a short explanation of which woods make the best wands for certain situations.  Again, I don’t hold strict adherence to any of them for everyone, apart from two as you will read.  I do realise that which wood for a wand is entirely the preference of the sorcerer.  Still, there are many only starting out who may be interested in a guideline of what might work best for them.  Not to mention, it could be helpful in any kind of wood research. 

LaurelMasculine energy. Air/Fire.  Laurel trees are most closely associated with Greek mythology [Daphne and Apollo]. Laurel is a symbol of resurrection because of the plant’s ability to be revived after a drought. A sprig of Laurel was worn in England for protection.  Its powers therefore are mainly about strength, protection, rebirth, and prophesy. It is a strong wood in its abilities and should not be used without due care, still, it is a good tree from which to make wands from beginners to seasoned sorcerers.

LindenFeminine energy. Air.  Linden is a dream to carve.  She is a gentle beauty whose strengths are attracting love, balancing energy, and neutralising negativity.  Linden is wonderful for any spell work to do with breaking hexes and clearing negativity from your life or someone else’s. Linden is a protective wood as well, and very protective of her sorcerer.  I would highly recommend this as a first wand. And, any sorcerer would do well to have a Linden wand in their repertoire, no matter how established.

Magnolia Witches Stang
Magnolia witches stang ~ photo by i.macy

MagnoliaFeminine energy. Water.  Magnolia is a tree which has its beginnings in the southern United States but since has been naturalised in the UK and possibly other parts of Europe.  The Magnolia was also cultivated in China for the flower buds from which tea is made. Magnolia’s bark has a healing and calming effect on people.  It is a good wood to use for a healing wand.  It is also a marvellous wood for using in divination and doing ancestral work or seeking past lives.  As a matter of fact, I have created a Magnolia witches stang for “walking the hedge”.  Magnolia’s strengths also include love, protection, self-awareness, and truth.  She is so gentle, yet so strong that I recommend Magnolia to beginners and seasoned sorcerers alike.

MapleMasculine energy. Earth/Air.  Another tree naturalised into the UK, most of what we find about Maple is information more directed to those in the US. Still, we can use the magickal information interchangeably to a degree, depending upon the kind of Maple. Maple is excellent for work to do with longevity, abundance/wealth, divination, and love and we have made many a Maple wand for different “levels” of “experience” sorcerers.  It works well for all experience levels.

OakMasculine energy.  Air/Fire.  Oak is a wood I have much experience with. Not only do I have an Oak wand – amongst the many I use – but I have created many Oak wands over the years and find it to be hard to carve but the results are always worth it.  It is a wood that speaks to me freely as I create the wand; It directs my design.  Oak has many powers which make it a good wand for many.  Amongst those are work in ancestry, healing, longevity, luck, wealth, strength, and success.  The Celts saw the Oak as a tree of divinity and Druids would not meet without an Oak tree present. Yuletide is when the Oak King takes over from the Holly King and Oak is the traditional Yule log.  No one can go wrong with an Oak wand and I highly recommend this wood to any sorcerer.

OliveMasculine energy.  Air/Water/Earth/Fire.  If you are fortunate enough to live where Olive trees are readily available to you, don’t hesitate.  It is said that picking an Olive branch brings prosperity and happiness, therefore, you may cut an Olive branch without fear of bad things happening.  Be sure to thank the Olive tree, however.  Olive is a wood of abundance, balance, healing, longevity, prosperity, rebirth, and success.  It’s not a wood I have had the pleasure of working with, still, I recommend it to any sorcerer who wishes to use it.

RowanFeminine energy.  Earth/Fire.  Rowan is a tree loved by many, me included. It is, after all, a tree honoured by the Goddess Brighid whom  is well-loved by many and used by the Celts when reciting magickal incantations.  Rowan is notably most associated with protection but is also healing, lucky, and a wood of blessings. Rowan is one of the Nine Sacred Woods. Rowan is most suitable for protection in any ritual and most notably during astral travel/hedge riding.  It is a fabulous wood for healing spells and contacting the Elementals.  My opinion of Rowan is that if you will only have one wand in your possession, make it a Rowan wand.  It is most suitable for any sorcerer.

SycamoreFeminine energy. Air/Water. My first wand. Sadly, I no longer have it but that has been well over forty years ago.  Sycamore associations include abundance, immortality, love, protection, rebirth. It is a wood to use when in need of comfort from the world. Can be used in ancestry spells, money spells, protection spells.  It is a very strong wood and would be an asset to any witches’ wand collection.

Willow: Feminine energy. Fire/Water.  Willow is a lovely lady.  She is known for healing, knowledge, protection, wishes, birth, and intuition.  Willow is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods. Willow is a generous tree/wood to its sorcerer.  Willow wands are best used in love rituals, raising moon energy, contacting faeries, and trusting your intuition. A wand wood for all sorcerers.

handle of my wand
My Yew wand and crow fetish ~ photo by i.macy

YewFeminine and Masculine energy. Air/Fire/Water. Another wood from which I have a wand. Its attributes include ancestry, change, communication with the dead, divinity, immortality, longevity, rebirth, and strength.  Yew is the wood associated with the crone.  It has been said Druids used/use Yew for their wands. Yew is very poisonous so take every precaution in making a Yew wand – gloves, respiratory mask, long sleeves and trousers, as well as safety glasses.  Most particularly when sanding the wood, it is important not to breathe in the sanding particles.  And when you are finished, put all tools [cleaned] away and be sure to clean up any bits left on your workshop floor.  Do not under any circumstance create your Yew wand inside your home and especially if you have pets for, they will succumb to the poison as well.  I cannot put too fine a point on the safety of your work with Yew.  That said, as a hedge witch, I use my Yew wand when riding the hedge/communicating with my ancestors and particularly on All Hallows Eve as one of my protections and for its ability to help me connect with the dead.  This is not a wand wood that I recommend lightly nor, will I recommend it to anyone whom is not very advanced in sorcery.  It will, I can vouchsafe, be a reliable and loyal wand in the right hands.

This concludes my analysis of the best woods to use for wands at any level.  These are only for guidance, but I must plead with you to take my advice to heart on Blackthorn and most particularly, Yew.  I will never claim to know everything, for that is impossible, however, I have both woods as wands and I know them as well as the back of my hand. I only make this plea with your safety and well-being at heart.  And, of the two, if you must, choose Blackthorn over Yew until you are firmly established in your path.

Many thanks for reading and I hope it gave you some proper insights to help you choose – whether it is your first wand or your tenth.  If you missed it, here is Part One from yesterday.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Experience

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

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

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Dittany of Crete

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

So, last week we wrote about how Elm [please keep in mind this blog was written three years ago at a different time in the year] was very much a love tree so keeping along those lines whilst springtime still has many thinking of love, what do you know about Dittany of Crete? Most would probably say “astral projection” and you would be quite right! But, it is also a love herb!

dittany of crete
Dittany of Crete ~ Courtesy of Google Images

Dittany of Crete hails from the Mediterranean and grows wild only on the Aegean isle of Crete. It is a small and fuzzy perennial, with beautiful pink flowers that appear in the summer. In Cretan tradition, it symbolises love and is thought to be an aphrodisiac. The local name for Dittany is “Erontas,” referencing Eros. It grows only in the most inconvenient places— on the sides of cliffs and gorges. If a young man wished to truly prove his love to a young woman, he would “climb any mountain” [wondering now if that is where that line from the song came from?] to gather a bouquet of the fragrant herb to present to her. As the legend goes, these young men were known as “Erondades” [love-seekers]. To obtain a bouquet of Dittany, it was said, you had to truly be in love. I only hope they were met with satisfactory results!

Warnings come with many of my writings, therefore, I feel this one must come early on – Beware the sellers of Dittany of Crete. It is best to buy directly, however, there are a few reliable re-sellers. It is a very, very expensive herb. I have seen some unreliable types on certain venues selling everyday Oregano for Dittany. Yes, they are technically cousins, but they are far from being the same. Do your research before buying.

Magickal

It is said if you burn Dittany on a charcoal disc along with Dragon’s Blood resin and stare at the rising smoke, you will see the face of your intended love. This same incense can be used to spice up a stale love life in the bedroom. You can make love poppets or sachets with the herb along with lavender and other herbs which encourage love. In European folk magick, Dittany is regarded as a consummate love herb. Feeding it to your intended is supposed to cause them to fall irretrievably in love with you.

Dittany of Crete dried
My dried Dittany of Crete ~ photo by i.macy

Dittany is perfect for manifestations of spirits when burned as incense. It can be mixed with equal parts of vanilla, benzoin and sandalwood to make an astral projection incense. It is believed to produce spirit manifestations in its smoke. Soon we will be offering a Samhain Hedge Rider Incense in our Etsy Shop for this purpose. All I can say now is that it won’t be as simple a recipe as the one above and will have not only the ability to travel through the veil but to be protected whilst there as well.
The leaves can not only be burned as incense but can also be burned in the All Hallow’s Eve fire when seeking communication for wisdom from the other side. Dittany is associated with the Underworld and is related to Persephone, Orris and other deities who assist with transport into that realm.

For divination, Dittany can help with the activation of your Third Eye, and it has a traditional use in its ability to help manifest our psychic vision. You can make a poultice of the leaves to rub on your Third Eye or use a Dittany of Crete Oil. Fresh Dittany can be used to make an infusion with a basic oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil.

According to Scott Cunningham, the “juice of Dittany” will drive away venomous beasts, so rub it on your body before entering their domains.” I’m guessing that applies to mossies or any kind of biting or stinging pest. And, as far as I know, perhaps it extends to snakes and the like as well. Personally, I just prefer to stay far and away from the realm of venomous beasties!

Healing

dittany-of-crete
Dittany of Crete ~ HerbalGreece.com

Dittany of Crete has been used in times past as an external poultice for wounds and bruises. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties due to the phenol carvacrol. Nowadays it is used for digestive tract disorders including cramps, stomach problems, and worms in the intestines. It is also used for urinary tract and genital tract disorders. A beverage of this herb relieves headaches and neuralgia. Other uses include treatment of epilepsy, spasms, fluid retention, and liver diseases. Please consult with your GP before attempting to diagnose and heal yourself at home. There may be more serious illness at hand than you would know of.

Correspondences:

Planetary: Mercury and Venus
Zodiac: Libra and Gemini
Gender: Masculine and Feminine
Element: Air and Water
Powers: Divination, Manifestation, Love, Astral Projection, Protection
Sabbat: Samhain
Deity: Eros, Venus, Mercury, Artemis, Persephone, Zeus
Other Names: Hop Marjoram, Erontas, Hop Plant

“A branch of healing dittany she brought, Which in the Cretan fields with care she sought: Rough is the stem, which woolly leafs surround; The leafs with flow’rs, the flow’rs with purple crown’d” From Virgil’s Aeneid

Many thanks to all who read this and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Experience
Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Wikipedia.org
Herbalgreece.com

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Mullein

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

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

photo by Sihiri Magical Market ~ sihiri.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawk’s Eye, The Traveller’s Crystal

Originally posted on 09/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Hawks Eye
Hawk’s Eye ~ photo by i.macy

Hawk’s Eye, also known as Blue Tiger’s Eye as it is sometimes referred to, is a very beautiful crystal.   It is blue-grey to blue-green in colour. It is so-named for its “chatoyancy” which reminds one of the eyes of the hawk. Hawk’s Eye is a variety of macro-crystalline quartz. Hawk’s eye is a pseudo-morph of quartz. A pseudo-morph is one mineral that changes into another mineral over time and in the case of Hawk’s Eye, it began its life as crocidolite and was later transformed into quartz. Crocidolite is a fibrous blue mineral belonging to the riebeckite family of amphibole silicates. It is one of the several forms of asbestos. The transformation of Hawk’s Eye begins as quartz slowly becomes embedded between the fibres of crocidolite, eventually completely replacing it while retaining the fibrous shape of the original mineral.

Hawk’s Eye is not a blue Tiger’s Eye, although very closely related to it and Pietersite, as well.  Tiger’s Eye is formed from Hawk’s Eye. As blue crocidolite is dissolved by quartz, traces of iron oxide remain; less iron tends to result in the blue colour of crocidolite and if more iron is present, colour tends to result in the brownish golden colour of Tiger’s Eye.

Enough of the facts, yes? What about what can Hawk’s Eye do for you? Hawk’s Eye is believed to help those with a fear of flying. It is thought to be good for sight and vision, enhancing our ability to focus. Physically, it is often used for problems with eyesight, but it is also helpful for sinus congestion, as well as spine and neck problems.

Hawk’s eye is believed to be a stone of protection, often used by travellers. It can also be used to help protect against the negative energy of others. Its energy is known to help balance the brow chakra.

Use it to expand your horizons at work. It will help bring new opportunities at work or the possibility of transfer to a new location.  Hawk’s Eye is an excellent crystal for business owners.

Hawk’s eye is the best stone for astral travel, clairvoyance, and remote viewing.  Anyone, such as I, who is a Hedge Witch or learning Hedge Witchery would do well to have these crystals on hand as we are considered travellers – of another kind.  It is also an excellent crystal for past-life regression.  Although I have not tried it for this purpose yet, I would imagine that it would be superb for lucid dreaming, as well.

With their ability to work well together with Angelite, I would believe that Hawk’s Eye would be a perfect crystal to use with Angelite when meditating to correspond with or “find” your Spirit Guide/Guardian.  And equally, as Sapphire is an excellent crystal to use whilst practising necromancy as in contacting the spirit of a loved one, Hawk’s Eye would be a perfect addition to this working for its ability to enhance the spiritual Sapphire.

Although for many years my main focus of interest has been on crystals and how they help heal as well as how they can help advance my magickal practise. Funnily enough, I have only recently learned about [and owned] Hawk’s Eye.  My little handful, as pictured, sends a wild amount of electrical charge pulsing through my hand when holding them. I always lay them down feeling much more optimistic than before. As a small-business owner, that can be a very helpful feeling, indeed!

Correspondences:

Associated Crystals:  Angelite, blue quartz, and Sapphire

Candle Colour:  Mid-blue

Chakra:  Brow

Element:  Air

Flowers & Plants:  Mint, lupin, and larkspur

Herbs – Incenses – Oils:  Agrimony, aloe vera, rosemary, and sandalwood

Planet:  Jupiter.

Zodiac:  Sagittarius

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

Sources:

healingwithcrystals.net.au/tiger-eye.html

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

Experience

The Magic of Yew

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Originally posted on 5 Sept 2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

yew5
Yew leaves and berries, courtesy of Google images

Yew is a tree that commands much respect. If you don’t, it can kill you. Harsh? Not at all. Yew is a very poisonous tree, every part of it from bark to berry seeds, however, the fleshy fruit of its berries is not poisonous but the seed within is. This is because of Taxine, a toxic alkaloid component in the leaves, bark, wood, and seed of the Yew. Even when the Yew tree has died, its toxicity is still there. Handle with care.

handle of my wand
My Yew wand with crow fetish, photo by i.macy

So, how is it that you see so many lovely objects made from Yew? Everything from boxes to wands! As a matter of fact, my personal wand is Yew and I’m still here. The people who make objects from Yew wood know chapter and verse on how to protect themselves during construction of their beautiful items. It is essential to wear a good respirator mask, especially whilst sanding Yew wood, and gloves. It is also best to wear long sleeves and trousers and shoes…. this is not a job for wearing your shorts and vest top on a hot day. You don’t want the dust from sanding settling on your skin. Of course, most people would bath or shower after working in this way, however, it is very likely if you have a pet that the pet could lick your hand before you had a good clean up. This would end in tears, I’m afraid.  Yew is as toxic to pets as it is to humans so please don’t give Yew to your dog as a chew stick. If you have a Yew wand, keep it in a place where pets can’t get at it.

Hoping I have made my point about the dangers, let’s talk about the magick! The Yew is one of the most magickal trees for protection, reincarnation/rebirth, necromancy, and longevity spells. It is the 5th vowel of the Ogham alphabet, Ioho. It is called “Tree of Resurrection” or “The Tree of Eternity”. It is the Ogham of Winter Solstice and the Dark Half of the year. Yew is a wood of great strength.

5000 yr old yew in dafynnod wales graveyard
5,000 year old Yew in Defynnog, Wales

Yew is wonderful for connecting with your ancestors.  As it is the only biological creature capable of living indefinitely, possibly forever, it is much sought-after for longevity spell work. It is also exalted as a tree of rebirth which gives way to a Breton legend that the tree is said to grow a root into the open mouth of each corpse buried in the graveyard. This root is a symbol of rebirth with the spirit reborn in much the same way as the tree itself is reborn. And, so it may be as so many graveyards have Yew trees growing in them.

“Just as the Yew tree possesses an immortal ability to renew itself, so too do you.  Living for centuries, it is a silent witness to the passing of time. Evergreen, its red, waxy cup-shaped berries, enclosing a small poisonous seed, predict protection. A good thing in your life will continue, just as a branch grows down inside the hollow trunk, embedding itself in the soil to sprout a new tree. If you remain working quietly at what you want, like the inconspicuous small green female flowers, you will attract your aim.  Communication will surprise you in the same way that the large bright yellow flowers on male trees throw out clouds of yellow pollen when ready to mate.” ~ Tree Magick by Gillian Kemp

Yew Necromancer Witch Bottle
Necromancer’s Witch Bottle Necklace ~ photo by i.macy

Because of the possibility of poisoning, some witches or practitioners of delving into the past and connecting with their ancestors or other forms of necromancy, are not comfortable with using Yew outside of some form of containment. One of the things I have fashioned for myself as a hedge witch, travelling the hedge between Worlds to connect with my ancestors, is my Necromancer’s Witch Bottle Necklace. It is a simple glass bottle, filled with enchanted herbs and Yew, then sealed, not to be opened. I won’t divulge every item that goes inside this witch bottle but it has herbs which summons Spirit, help Spirit to manifest, eases the souls of the dead, appeases and relaxes any traumatised Spirits, to make the Spirit manifested tell the truth, and tobacco to show hospitality to the Spirit(s). The small stick of Yew is included to banish malevolent Spirits.  We do offer these in our Etsy shop. This witch bottle is also effectively worn when doing any spell work which may concern longevity or for doing any kind of past-life regression work. It is very protective and helpful in the case of the latter.  It is also said to be a bringer of dreams and helpful in overcoming fear of our own death. Yew teaches death as transformation, not an end. The witch bottle also can facilitate connection with your Spirit Guardian.

Correspondences:

Planet: Saturn and Pluto

Element: Earth and Water

Symbolism: The Tree of Life, Immortality, Rebirth, Protection, Longevity, Change, Divinity, Strength

Metal: Lead

Stone: Olivine

Birds: Eagle, Hummingbird

Colours: Black, Dark Green

Deity: Banbha, Dione, Artemis, Persephone, Hecate, Astarte, Odin. Yew embodies the crone aspect of the triple Goddess. Yew is one of the Guardians of the Underworld that assist in guiding souls from one world to the next.

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones

That name the under-lying dead,

Thy fibres net the dreamless head,

Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.

~Tennyson

Many thanks for reading, be safe when handling Yew, and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

PS… please don’t forget to follow us here on Wytchencrafts as the SpeakingofWitch blog will be removed once we have all our blogs transferred over. x

Necromancy – It is not a Dirty Word Anymore

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Necromancy

noun [ U ] UK ​ /ˈnek.rə.mæn.si/ US ​ /ˈnek.rə.mæn.si/

the act of communicating with the dead in order to discover what is going to happen in the future, or black magic (= magic used for bad purposes)

Source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/necromancy

Right.  I think we can do better than this. I chose this snip because it is annoyingly narrow-minded and clueless. And I needed a little shove to get me blogging today. I think this shall do nicely.

Yes, necromancy can be used for bad purposes. But, so can potatoes. Let’s give necromancy a bit of good credit for a change. Necromancy is most generally understood to connote the manipulation of the souls of mortals and the reanimation of their corpses. That would be the old-school basics. Personally, I am not at all interested in making the dead rise. Can’t imagine it would smell very nice either. Let’s let those buried rest in peace as they should, shall we?

Modern necromancy is about re-animating souls, not bodies. Have you ever wished you could speak to a long dead relative again? Perhaps you can. For many years I have practised the All Hallows Eve Raising of the Ancestors.  With special preparations of my own, I can many times raise the spirits of an ancestral line from one side of the family or other with favourable effect. There are gaps in our ancestral story which, I have found in my genealogy research, and necromancy helps me to find valid answers. It is also a way of honouring the dead in my family and to find out what direction they might like me to take the family as it stands today. Throughout the year I keep a small ancestral altar with photos and relics meaningful to not only myself but to my deceased family members as well.

ancestral altar
My ancestral altar ~ photo by i.macy

It is not only witchcraft practitioners using necromancy to contact the dead. There are many cultures in different countries who keep the practise…some do so as in days gone by, so yes, there are people still raising the dead out there. Not so, for most of the modern necromantic community. You obviously don’t need to be a witch to practise, either. But you will need to have a healthy respect for the dead and embrace death as part of living, not fear it. Modern necromancer Leilah Wendell writes in The Necromantic Ritual Book that the necromantic rituals she describes contain no “brutality, desecration of the dead or any other practice that one would consider the antithesis of reverence.”

Whatever way you decide to practise necromancy, please first learn about it in detail and especially how to ground and protect yourself before contacting spirits or literally raising the dead. Know what you truly want in your contacting of the spirit. Do not use this as a parlour game. It is a serious business and not to be undertaken lightly. Be polite and respectful and all should go well for you.

We are just spirit ourselves, after all…having a human experience.

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