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

The Magickal Bay Laurel Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

If you guessed that this is the tree where our beloved Bay leaves come from, you are correct.  The Bay Laurel [Laurus nobilis] is the aromatic, sun-loving tree which is renowned from the ancient Greek and Roman times as the embodiment of fame, victory, and success.  The victors of those times [think Julius Caesar] wore Laurel crowns… as a matter of fact, Italian high school graduates continue this tradition today.  The word “laureate”, which comes from the word laurel, indicates a high level of mastery and recognition, as in Poet Laureate.  And I am sure you have also heard of the phrase “rest on one’s laurels”.

Magickal

Bay Laurel Tree gardener focussed dot co dot uk
Bay Laurel “Lolipop” tree ~ gardnerfocused.co.uk

Bay is definitely aligned with fame, winning, successfulness in all you do.  We use it extensively in magick.  But why? And how? Many times, we may use an herb or spice because a spell requires it without giving much thought to why are we using this particular herb or spice. If you have used bay leaves in a success, luck, or money spell then you may have had great success with the spell.  But, did you know that your herbs and spices may not work so well unless you enchant them to do your bidding first? My personal enchantment routine is to hold each item I choose to go into my spell work in my “power hand”, which for me is my right hand. Then I choose the correspondence of the herb that I wish to enchant it for… most herbs and spices have a variety of correspondences, as you may know.  Some may do multiple different things such as money, fertility, protection, etc. So, if you want money, you must enchant that herb/spice for its correspondence of money and not fertility. Then, holding the herb in my power hand, I speak my enchantment to it nine times.  After I feel the sudden warmth in my hand, I know it is ready to be added to my spell potion or incense.

Other ways in which to use the wonderful Bay leaf are for prosperity, wish granting, psychic abilities and more… one quick spell anyone can do is to write “prosperity” onto a Bay leaf in gold ink [you can get gold ink pens at most department stores with any kind of stationary department] and then burn the Bay leaf, focussing your intent for prosperity as it burns.  For protection, burn Sage along with Bay leaves to cleanse your space needing protection.  For success, hold a Bay leaf and channel your desire into the leaf until you feel it is working, then burn the leaf. You can also add one or more Bay leaves to any magickal working performed with the intention to manifest any variety of success.  Another way to draw money into your life is to empower four Bay leaves during the New Moon in the light of the noon Sun, then place them in your wallet or cash box.

Anti-Harassment Spell

Hold a single Bay leaf between your flat palms in prayer pose near your heart.  Feel or imagine a bright sphere of sunlight surrounding your and shielding you from all negative effects of harassment and unwanted advances.  Call upon Daphne to support you in this intention and remind yourself that you are not deserving of such treatment.  Vow to yourself that you will refuse to tolerate it or take to heart any longer.  Then place it in a drawstring bag, along with a haematite stone, and wear it around your neck so that it rests over your heart.  Thank Daphne for her help and wear as needed. ~ Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Trees

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Gender:  Male

Element:  Fire

Powers:  Anti-Harassment, Healing, Psychic Abilities, Prosperity, Protection, Success, Wish Granting

Deity:  Apollo, Daphne, Gaia, and Peneus

Sabbat:  Litha

Folk Names:  sweet Bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel

Health

basil_leaves soap kitchen dot co dot uk
Bay Laurel leaves, dried ~ thesoapkitchen.co.uk

Most of us have used Bay leaves in cooking meals, particularly Italian dishes. But did you know that Bay leaves have the ability to detoxify the body, slow the ageing process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimise digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer?

Bay leaves have a profound effect on our gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulating vomiting [as an emetic] when something toxic has been consumed. Furthermore, the organic compounds found in bay leaves are very effective for settling upset stomachs, soothing irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] or even lessening the symptoms of Celiac disease.

Having a hard go of breathing due to flu or cold?  Melt down some bee’s wax, add a little bit of a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil, then some Bay leaf essential oil [the higher the grade, the better to make a salve].  Rub on your chest and not only will it help you breathe better by loosening the phlegm, but its antibacterial properties will help rid you of the bacteria trapped in your respiratory tract.

Don’t be too quick to chuck out that salve when your cold is all better! You can likewise use it on arthritic joints or sore muscles for relief of pain.

** “Bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the Bay Laurel tree. There are some varieties that are toxic when consumed. You can purchase Bay Laurel leaf in capsule form.  There is no scientific evidence I can find that it works, but as mentioned earlier, it is also believed to prevent certain cancers and lower glucose levels in diabetics.  Please see your GP before embarking on any kind of self-treatment for disease.

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

Sources

The Magic of Trees by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia

WebMD

Crystal of the Week, Snowflake Obsidian

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The Snowflake Obsidian is a much gentler sister to her brother, Black Obsidian.  Snowflake Obsidian is recommended for those who can’t tolerate the higher energies of Black Obsidian but still want the grounding and protective virtues of Obsidian.  She may be gentle but don’t get Snowflake wrong, she is fierce!

snowflake obsidian
My Snowflake Obsidian ~ photo by i.macy

As most of you know, all Obsidians are glass… created by a volcanic eruption ages ago.  All varieties have an amorphous crystal system and are in the mineral class of oxide. The stunning patterns of “snowflakes” that stand out of its black background are inclusions of Cristobalite. As you see from the picture, the snowflakes can be quite large, or they may be smaller, depending on the amount of Cristobalite.  They are found in the lower mid-west of America in states such as Utah, but are also found in Mexico and Brazil.  Obsidian blades have been found in burial sites dating back to Palaeolithic times. It had been regarded as a stone that would drive out demons. In the Middle Ages it was used as an aid for magickal rituals. Mayan priests used Obsidian mirrors for predicting the future.

Magickal

Snowflake Obsidian dissolves shocks, fear, blocks and traumas. It has an enlivening effect and brings hidden inner images to light. It can also bestow an unimagined depth to our emotional nature and help with many types of obsession. Snowflake Obsidian purifies the atmosphere of negative spiritual influences and can serve as protection from psychic attacks.

A stone of purity, Snowflake Obsidian brings about a balance to body, mind and spirit. Snowflake Obsidian helps to keep centred and focused when any type of chaotic situation, whether it be home, relationships, or work is presenting itself. Snowflake Obsidian can remove negativity from a space or person with ease.

Snowflake Obsidian helps to draw emotions to the surface and to examine harmful thought patterns and opens awareness of past lives and of having many incarnations, increasing our knowledge that we have been here before and will be here again and that there is no death of the soul. Snowflake Obsidian promotes a sense of calm and inner centring which readies one for a deep meditative state. During Chakra cleansing meditation it is perfect for your root/base chakra.  It is recommended to end the meditation with a final clearing using a quartz crystal.  Snowflake Obsidian shows us how to gain spiritual invulnerability and freedom. In doing this, forgotten capabilities may be retrieved and our perceptions can become refined to the point of clairvoyance.

Snowflake Obsidian is a very grounding and protective stone. It is used as a great cleanser of negative energies, helping to remove not only negativity experienced in the environment, but also that of one’s own emotions, such as anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, etc. Snowflake Obsidian is often used for healing and releasing energy blockages and tends to work quickly to move truths to the surface to be resolved. It is best used for grounding before rituals above most other grounding stones, unless, you can use Black Obsidian which is very good for grounding oneself before any spell to do with hexing or binding.

Snowflake Obsidian is an excellent tool for attuning to animal totems and animal allies, and for becoming more sensitive to the subtle flow and movement of energy in the environment.

Health

Snowflake Obsidian helps to dissolve pain, tension, energy blocks and vascular contractions. Shock resulting from injury is dissolved on a cellular level, so it helps accelerate the healing of wounds. In improving circulation, it ensures the warming of your extremities like chronically cold hands and feet. To improve circulation, it is best when worn next to the skin.

As Snowflake Obsidian enhances blood flow, it may be used in conjunction with treatments for veins and the skeletal structure, and to ease problems associated with the menstrual cycle and the balancing of hormones. As an elixir [use the indirect method], it may be used to smooth the skin and clear the eyes.

Correspondences

Planetary: Saturn

Zodiac:  Scorpio, Virgo [helps with all zodiac signs]

Gender:  Female

Element:  Fire

Powers:  Protection, Grounding, Past Life Regressions, Emotional Support, Healing

Chakras:  Base/Root

Deity: Tezcatlipoca

Other Names:  The Stone of Truth

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

Sources

Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible [London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010]

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003]

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009]

Judy Hall, 101 Power Crystals [Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011]

Experience

Crystal of the Week, Lapis Lazuli

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

This crystal may be a challenge for me this week. Oh, not because I’m afraid I won’t find enough information, but because Lapis Lazuli, being the great beauty it is, has been written about so much! Still, it isn’t like me to back away from a challenge so let’s see what we can find!

The facts: Lapis Lazuli has been used as a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense colour. As early as the 7th millennium BC, lapis lazuli was mined in the Sar-i Sang mines in Shortugai, and in other mines in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. Lapis was highly valued by the Indus Valley Civilisation (3300–1900 BC). Lapis beads have been found at Neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania. It was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BC). ~ Wikipedia.org

Lapis Lazuli
One of my Lapis Lazuli tumble stones ~ photo by i.macy

I can only imagine how in awe of this stunningly blue stone the early Egyptians were. It is a most striking colour and it isn’t any wonder King Tutankhamun himself would have loads of Lapis in his funerary mask. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli was a favourite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs. Lapis jewellery has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada [3300–3100 BC]. At Karnak, the relief carvings of Thutmose III [1479-1429 BC] show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of Lapis Lazuli being delivered to him as tribute. Powdered Lapis was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra. I, myself, have used powdered Lapis to make dye in tiny amounts where needed. In later years, most notably, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer [1632 – 1675] used Lapis Lazuli to create Ultramarine, a natural pigment he used to paint his famous Girl With a Pearl Earring, 1665. Its name comes from the Latin Lapis, “stone,” and the Persian lazhuward, “blue.” Is it any wonder this stone is so magickal?

Magickal:

A Lapis Lazuli Pendulum for sale in our shop ~ photo by i.macy

The energy of Lapis Lazuli may intensify the growth of intuition, channelling, and psychic abilities, and may aid you to contact with your guardian angels. When using a Lapis Lazuli pendulum, touch the pendulum to your Third Eye until you feel the pineal gland activated. I can’t tell you how you’ll know this, you will just know. If your pendulum is of another material, Lapis is still favourable to have amongst your crystals when divining with pendulum, runes, tarot, or any other method of divination that you use. By opening the Third Eye, Lapis commonly brings through enhanced visionary abilities. It may aid you to use psychic gifts and abilities, in alignment with Divine Will. Lapis is such a prominent third eye chakra stone, that it will help you to develop your intuition as well as amplifying and expanding psychic visions and clairvoyant abilities. I may be repetitive, but I can’t put too fine a point on this.

Lapis Lazuli is also a very strong Throat Chakra crystal and it is very powerful in creating depth and clarity in your thinking and in your communications. It is also called The Crystal of Truth as it also ensures that the words you speak are in alignment with your personal truth.

In protection, Lapis may be worn to guard against psychic attacks. It quickly releases stress, bringing deep peace and brings harmony and deep inner self-knowledge. Lapis encourages self-awareness, allows self-expression and reveals inner truth, providing qualities of honesty, compassion and morality to the personality. It stimulates objectivity, clarity and encourages creativity. Lapis Lazuli assists one to confront and speak one’s truth and inspires confidence. It bonds relationships, aiding in the expression of feelings and emotions. It helps those already in a relationship, in love, to talk freely about any problems they may be having and to tell each other how they feel. In budding romances, Lapis encourages the couple to be honest in their feelings about one another. It will also assist in clearing out any part of the past, in this life or others, that one is still carrying but needs to let go of.

Healing:

Lapis Lazuli allows one to find the cause of and help to balance the function of the thyroid and hormones to help stave off depression. It assists in the proper health and function of the head and neck, vocal cords, sore throats, headaches, eye ailments, or inflammation in this area of any kind.

Benefiting the immune system, Lapis overcomes hearing loss, eye issues, purifies the blood, relieves insomnia, and vertigo, as well as lowers blood pressure.

Lapis makes quite a powerful elixir to align the etheric, emotional, and spiritual bodies all at once.

Lapis Lazuli benefits the respiratory and nervous systems and the throat, vocal cords, and cleanses organs, bone marrow and thymus.

Correspondences:
Chakras: Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra
Birthstone: December, October
Planet: Venus [Also has a connection to Jupiter]
Zodiac: Taurus, Sagittarius [Pisces has been also said to be a Lapis zodiac]
Element: Water
Powers: Protection [most notably against psychic attack], Manifestation, Creativity, Honesty, Healing, Love, and Inner Harmony
Typical colours: deep blue flecked with gold [Pyrite]
Deity: Bastet [Bast], Isis, Venus, Nuit, Maat

Many thanks for reading this blog! As always, I hope you have discovered useful information which can help you in your practise and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Crystal Bible Volume 1: A Definitive Guide to Crystals, by Judy Hall
Wikipedia.org
Experience

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, Nettle

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

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

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

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

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

But what about Magick?? Oh, alright 😊

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

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

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

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

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

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

Petrified Wood, The Kindly Grandmother

Originally posted on 25/01/2018 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Can you imagine… a tree growing along for many years, then it begins turning to stone? It has always amazed me how this happens. This is the way I perceived it happening when I first learned of petrified wood as a young child… just standing there, tall and beautiful, then one day, stone. Obviously over the years I learned differently, and as we all know, the process begins on the wood which has been in the ground for some time and the organic materials have been replaced with minerals [mostly a silicate, such as quartz], while retaining the original structure of the tissue. It basically becomes a three-dimensional fossil! You just inherently know this is going to be something with teeth in the metaphysical sense.

Petrified Wood is a grounding and protecting stone. I think of “grounding stones” as ones with enormous patience. It is as though they have been around so long and have seen so much that they have the settled ways of the serene older person. The wisdom is beyond reproach, and when you hold such a stone or crystal you can feel that wisdom, serenity, and patience vibrating through you. That is as it should be, for when we need grounding before performing rituals, spells, or simply meditating, sometimes we need all the serenity we can get. I believe it is safe to say you will gather the grounding patience you need from Petrified Wood. Its protection asset is easy to trust. It builds a barrier, a wall, around its user, making it much less likely that harmful spirits or hexes to take hold.

Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood ~ photo by i.macy

It is said to calm the nerves and fears and to encourage feelings of well-being, safety and security, enabling you to stop worrying about the ‘small stuff’. Here the serenity of Petrified Wood comes into play again. It soothes and calms like the kindly grandmother. It gives you a feeling of “everything will be alright”. You never feel alone if you have Petrified Wood in your home. I often handed my daughter a piece of Petrified Wood when she became anxious and couldn’t get a grip on reality. It instantly soothed and calmed her. She has had many problems with nerves over the years but luckily between her Kunzite pendant and elixirs and Petrified Wood, she has managed her anxiety without medication very well for years. Please do not use this as a fail-proof diagnostic and medication tool. If you are having anxiety, depression, or any mental issues, please see your medical professional first before trying any holistic treatment. We all know there are some things which absolutely must be treated by a doctor.

In healing, Petrified Wood is believed to help restore physical energy, to strengthen the bones and to relieve hip and back pain. This may be down to many reasons, but we are always more energetic and full of hope when we feel cared for. And healing is more about believing than anything else in many cases. In crystal healing, Petrified Wood is used for pain relief, particularly in the spine and hips.

Petrified Wood is also said to be helpful in past-life recall or past-life regression work. Which would make sense as it holds the ancient spirits within and they can provide guidance in past-life workings. I have not used the Petrified Wood for this reason yet but look forward to giving it a go.

Correspondences:
Associated Crystals: Green moss agate, rutilated quartz, and tree agate
Candle Colour: Brown or grey.
Chakra: Root, Solar Plexus, Third Eye, and Heart
Element: Earth and spirit.
Flowers: & Plants: Polyanthus, poppy and snapdragon.
Herbs: Incenses – Oils: Burdock, echinacea, fennel, sage and thyme.
Planet: Earth and Saturn.
Zodiac: Virgo
Powers: Grounding, healing, protection, past life recall
Crystals to use with: Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony, Bloodstone, Red Jasper, Onyx, Carnelian, and Opal.

Thank you for reading and many warm blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

Experience

The Magickal Magnolia Tree

First posted on 13/06/2017 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

The wood bark of the Magnolia Tree has long been associated with all forms of healing, including spiritual healing. In physical healing, Magnolia has been attributed with prevention of, and / or healing of, everything from cancer to being overweight. “One of the active compounds in magnolia, magnolol, is able to prevent the spread or increase of prostate cancer cells. Although research is in its early stages, many experts believe that magnolia bark extracts can also exert beneficial effects in terms of preventing/treating leukaemia and colon cancer.” – https://www.organicfacts.net – as well as a regular supplementary form of Magnolia is shown to help reduce weight by suppressing appetite..however, as always, see a health care professional before adding Magnolia in any form to your diet.

bull bay magnolia
 Bull Bay Magnolia Grandiflora

Every tree is a powerful source of spiritual healing that can help your own immune system to fight any illness or sorrow. Magnolia trees (Magnoliaceae) are an ancient species, arising before bees, they do not produce nectar, but carry a medicinal energy and essence. They are pollinated mostly by beetles. Over 200 species in the world, and often known as “Champa“, this tree bestows blessings of feminine strength and faith in our deepest ideals, as we open our heart and remember to stay true to ourself no matter how much pressure is placed upon us. The Magnolia is a perfect Mother Goddess tree. But that is my opinion and not really what most literature indicates. Magnolia not only heals her children physically, but she also soothes their anxiety and depression giving spiritual healing as well. This is the reason we sell Magnolia Bark in our Etsy shop, when available.

Magnolia Bark
photo by i.macy

The bark of Magnolia oficinalis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to address anxiety and nervous tension and to promote sleep. Some researchers believe honokiol, a chemical in magnolia bark, is what makes this happen.  Without knowing what the dosage requirements and side-effects, if any, are involved, I don’t recommend brewing up a kettle of Magnolia bark tea and drinking it, although it probably wouldn’t do any great harm.  There are other ways in which to use Magnolia bark without ingesting it which I find, are very beneficial.

One of the ways I use the bark is in healing and anxiety prevention poppets. For instance, in a poppet for a good night’s sleep I would add the bark along with other sleep-inducing herbs and flowers. It is also wonderful as a base for loose incense if you are doing a healing spell.  But one of my favourite ways of using Magnolia is our Magnolia anti-anxiety pendants [availability unknown]. I leave the bark intact where it will be against the skin. Any time I feel particularly anxious, I simply rub the pendant between my fingertips and feel much calmer.

Magnolia is also said to increase feeling of love and loyalty; reduces the power of addictions and obsessions, especially smoking; helps skin problems; restores strength after a long illness. Promotes psychic development – a reason why I like to create dowsing pendulums with this wonderful wood. It aids meditation and spiritual opening; promotes harmony, peace, tranquillity.

Magnolia helps learning from past experiences and clarifies true identity. It eases restlessness and confusion and helps to maintain balance during difficult changes. Magnolia promotes a sense of freedom and relaxation. It really is a perfect wood for healing, spirituality, and mental health.

Gender-Feminine -Planetary Association: Venus; secondary-Uranus

Element-Water; secondary-Earth

Zodiac Associations-Taurus and Libra

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

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com

https://www.organicfacts.net

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs

The Magickal Oak Tree

First published on speakingofwitchwands.net Sept 2013

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

oaktree

Photo by  Glennie Kindred, www.whitedragon.org.uk

Sacred to Dagna, Dianus, Jupiter, Thor, ZeusHerne, Janus, Rhea, CybeleHecate, Pan, and Erato

Gender:  Masculine; Planet:  Sun; Element:  Fire

Oak was a source of food for early settlers in Britain and revered by the Druids.  The Druids (traditionally) would not meet for rituals unless an Oak tree was present.  Religious articles were often fashioned from the tree and Witches danced beneath it.  A tree as long-lived as the Oak naturally offers magickal protection and if you have two twigs of Oak, bound by a red thread in an equal-armed cross, it would be well for you to hang it in your home.

Oak Cross 3

photo by i.macy

Acorns, of course, have always been used for nature’s help – guarding against lightning strikes, drawing to the bearer wealth, among other things.  But, have you ever considered the magickal power of the Oak bark ?

Oak Bark
photo by i.macy

Logs of Oak were often burned in fireplaces to draw off illness.  Nowadays, not everyone has a fireplace, however, Oak still has a healing property in the bark.  They can be ground fine and used in incense, with the same effect.  Also, in incense to draw money and wealth, protection, luck, fertility, and potency.

Carrying a small pouch of Oak bark in a wallet or handbag draws wealth and adds protection to the bearer.  It can also be used in poppets to effect the properties that you desire for yourself or another.

Thank you for your support and many blessings!

*Some information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs, by Scott Cunningham 1985-97, Llewellyn

The Magickal Cypress Tree

*First posted on speakingofwitchwands.net, September 2013

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

Many of you may or may not be aware of the magickal properties of many trees.  For instance, did you know that the Cypress tree has a “folk name” of “The Tree of Death”?  It is thought to be so because at one time in Egypt, coffins were made of Cypress wood.  However, funnily enough, one of the magickal properties of Cypress wood is longevity!  If one carries it on their person, in a pocket or worn as jewellery, it is said to give long life and protection.  Cypress is also comforting in times of sorrow,  such as the death of a friend or loved one as it eases the mind and allays grief if carried to the funeral.  Many deities hold sacred the Cypress such as MithrasAphrodite, Hekate, CupidApollo and others.

cypress tree
Photo by CP Smith, http://www.geograph.org.uk

Thank you for your support and many blessings!