The Magick of Heather

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

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

Ah, Heather! It was very nearly my name as my Mum very much loved the plant but in the southeast, it did not grow as well, and certainly not as prolifically, as it does in the north country. Heather is the 3rd vowel of the Ogham alphabet – Ura – and it is for Summer Solstice, 21 June. It is not a Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, however, if you are born on this day there is no reason not to claim it for your birth tree!

Heather [Calluna vulgaris] is called the “Flower of Passion”. One of its energies in magick is passion – pure, raw, unbridled passion to be exact. And not just passion, but its consequences and all. This may be down to the time of year and that the flowering of Heather heralded a time of rejoicing and self-indulgence for our ancient Celtic ancestors. Mind, you would think they had enough of this during Beltane, but if you think of Beltane as passionate, think of Litha as the after party! I love this excerpt from The Wisdom of Trees, by Jane Gifford:

LESSON OF THE HEATHER

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

Heather is a symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice, and self-control. In the first place, heather represents enthusiasm and sensual pleasure, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from spontaneous self-expression. But within this lust for life and exhilaration lies a deeper lesson of the consequences that may arise out of unbridled passion. The Celts believed that you are always totally responsible and accountable for the outcome of your actions, so you were wise to be sure of your own true nature before totally abandoning yourself to the potent delights of heather ale and the pleasures that it could bring. Unchecked, heather is short-lived and unproductive but if burned yearly to the ground, it re-grows with fresh vigour. The lesson of the heather is that a necessary balance must exist between self-expression and self-control for both to be enjoyable and effective.”

Magickal:

Heather dried
My dried Heather ~ photo by i.macy

Heather can be used for magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick. Heather is often worn or carried as a good luck charm. It is said that a sprig of white Heather placed in a special place of silence and meditation has the power to conjure ghosts or spirits. To do this, pick a sprig of white Heather at midnight, place it in a glass of river water in the darkest corner of your home. Sit and think of a departed loved one and it is said that the loved ones’ shadow will visit you.

In the language of flowers and the gifting of them, Heather means “admiration”. Heather can be used at Midsummer /Summer Solstice to promote love – carry red Heather for passion or white Heather for cooling the passion of unwanted suitors.

Heather is useful in Faery magick and is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. The fae honouring Heather are attracted to shy people.

As a water herb, Heather is very useful in weather magick. When burned outdoors with Fern, the herbal smoke of Heather attracts rain. Bouquets of Heather and Fern can also be dipped in water to call rain.

Healing: Heather has been and is used for antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and sedative purposes. It has a long history of medicinal use. It is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting the urinary tract and mildly increasing urine production. The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent, chloragogen, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and mildly sedative. The plant is often macerated and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and arthritis, whilst a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains. An infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bladder and kidney disorders, cystitis etc. A cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The flowering stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Correspondences:

Planetary: Venus

Zodiac: Gemini

Element(s): Water

Energies: Passion, Protection, Luck

Stone: Red Garnet

Bird: Grouse

Deity: Uroica, Venus, Erycina, Cybele, Nechtan Mac Labraid, the Cupbearer of the Tuatha De Dannan, guardian of the sacred well of Segais and husband of Boane, after whom the river Boyne in Ireland is named. Also, Osiris and Aphrodite.

Other Names: Common Heather, Heath, Lyng, Scottish Heather

The king in the red moorland Rode on a summer’s day; And the bees hummed, and the curlews Cried beside the way. The king rode and was angry, Black was his brow and pale, To rule in a land of heather; And lack the heather ale. ~R.L. Stevenson

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

Sources:
The Wisdom of the Trees, by Jane Gifford

The Magic of Holly

First Posted on 27/10/2015 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

English Holly, Ilex aquifolium

The Holly and the Ivy
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly wears the crown.
~ traditional carol

In his book The White Goddess, the author Robert Graves proposed that the mythological figure of the Holly King represents one half of the year, while the other is personified by his counterpart and adversary the Oak King: the two battle endlessly as the seasons turn. At Midsummer the Oak King is at the height of his strength, whilst the Holly King is at his weakest. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King’s favour; his strength peaks at Midwinter. They are both vegetation Gods/Deities, connected to fertility and the seasons. They battle each other year after year to reign supreme.

Holly is the tree of the 8th month of Celtic Tree calendar, July 8th – August 4th and the 8th consonant of the Ogham alphabet, Tinne or Tiene. Deities are Lugh, Tannus, and Thor. Ruling planets are Mars and Saturn and its element is Fire. The powers of Holly include protection, anti-lightning, luck, and dream magick.

“Holly reminds us of the need to calm our emotions, if we are to reach wise decisions about our situation. The often painful consequences of our actions are brought to the surface for examination, and calm acceptance of our responsibility is required. We are reminded of the need to view ourselves, as well as others, in the light of compassion and unconditional love. Like the Hanged Man of the Tarot, holly represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.” – The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

English Holly keppen wand ~ photo by i.macy

“Holly wood was used by the ancients in the construction of spear shafts, and as the spiny leaves show, it is well prepared for battle. A symbol of firmness and masculine energy, the holly endows those born under its sign with an equally well-prepared nature. You have a strong connection to the earth, amazing physical strength, and the ability to direct your energy in a balanced even flow. This stability gives you a generosity of spirit ad a very matter-of-fact solidness that others will respect, admire, and rely on. Before you engage in any battle, look inside for understanding and respect for your opponents.” – Written by Kim Rogers-Gallagher, and Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000

The Holly wand pictured above has been sold a while back. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get Holly branches, however, we have a bit left and do make some other things with it such as amulets and talismans. Please check by often to see if we have a Holly charm that would be helpful to you.

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