The Magickal Poplar Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @iseabail_witchwriter

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

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

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

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

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

Magickal

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

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

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

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

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

POPULUS ogham Ead

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

Healing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Correspondences

Planetary:  Saturn

Gender:  White Poplar, Masculine; Black Poplar, Feminine

Zodiac:  Capricorn

Element[s]:  Air

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

Deity:  Hecate, Morrigan, Tyr, Apollo, Zeus

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

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

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

Wikipedia

Druidry.org

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Juniper Berries

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

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

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

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

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

Magickal

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

The berries are also said to increase male potency.

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

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

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

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

Healing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Correspondences

Planetary:  Sun

Gender:  Masculine

Element:  Fire

Zodiac:  Leo

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

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

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

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

Sources

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

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Crystal of the Week, Black Phantom Lodolite Master Crystal

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

black phantom quartz garden
My Black Phantom with little “garden” lower left side ~ photo by i.macy

Of all the crystals I have, this is probably the most precious.  It is a Black Phantom Quartz crystal with literally everything going on within it.  It can be called a “Garden Quartz” or Lodolite Quartz because it has a small “garden” growing within it… just a small one, mind, and my phone camera doesn’t pick it up well, therefore, you must take my word for it.  But the thing that gives me the chills every time I look at it are the inclusions!  There are [which I’ve tried in vain to capture] two nearly fully grown Quartz point twins within it and a third one on the opposite side.  They are smoky with clear crystals about them and they are partitioned from each other by what is perceived to be a thin black slab… these would be phantom inclusions of carbon or manganese, often echoing within the body of the crystal showing the form of a termination point from an earlier stage of the crystal’s growth.  It’s stunning and I only wish I had a really good camera to show you.

black phantom quartz inclusions
You may be able to see the Quartz point leaning left inside the Phantom. There is another beside it to the right ~ Photo by i.macy

Phantom Quartz crystals show the clear delineation of another completed crystal inside the main crystal. Many times, you will notice several completed crystals inside one another. In geological terms, the first Quartz crystal stopped growing due to lack of a “mother”, or SiO2 feed. During this rest time, cave dust settled upon the original crystalline structure [i.e. Quartz crystal].  When the “mother” solution was reintroduced into the cave, rather than a new and separate crystal forming [the most common process], the mother solution reformed over the original crystal, trapping and enclosing the cave dust or dirt and giving the crystal a ghostly look, thus the name phantom.

black phantom quartz slab
The “divide” or slab in between ~ Photo by i.macy

Otherworldly and rare, phantom crystals can be composed of a wide variety of materials including sand, clay, chlorite, actinolite and mica or iron materials such as Goethite and Haematite. ​ Phantom Quartz crystals are considered as Master Crystals because of their unique ability to represent the separate and unique lifetimes of the one Quartz crystal and its regressive properties and the ability of life after death.

Magickal

black phantom quartz 1
She’s a keeper! ~ Photo by i.macy

As a business owner I have found that the magick of this crystal is strong toward helping me to push forward with ideas and the hard graft to realise those ideas as made objects for selling. If I’m stuck with no clear plan, this crystal helps me to focus and make a plan which will utilise ideas I may have had in the distant past but never “got around to”. The Black Phantom brings out my potential better than any other crystal in my crystals arsenal. All it need do is sit on my desk near me and I am remembering things I have thought of previously not to mention remembering things my grandparents made in their practise.  Black Phantom Quartz can enrich your life in many ways, both in learning from experience and in wealth.  It will not hurt to write what you wish for in terms of growth – spiritual, physical, or financial – and place the paper underneath the Black Phantom.

This may belong under “Healing”, but the Black Phantom allows you to rest and it also helps you to reboot from feelings of fatigue.  It can heal you in mind, body, and soul.

black phantom quartz point
To the point! ~ Photo by i.macy

For anyone who has experienced a broken past in any way, it will help heal you from your experiences like nothing else.  For those who are interested in their family genealogy, it helps to reconcile the differences and make peace with some things you may learn which causes you dismay.  If you are suffering because of a past life issue, please use the Black Phantom.  It will help you release your self-judgement.  Its emotional healing powers are unsurpassed in my books.   And it is all you need for grounding.

After using your Black Phantom, you can cleanse it by laying it in a dish of Quartz crystal pieces or passing it through the smoke of white Sage.  It is strengthened by either sunlight, moonlight, or both.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Pluto

Zodiac:  Capricorn

Gender: Neutral

Element[s]:  Storm

Powers:  Accessing Akashic Records, Business, Grounding, Mental Focus, Memory, Protection, Rejuvenation, Wealth

Deity:  The Divine God and Goddess

Other Names: Garden Quartz, Lodolite Quartz, Black Phantom

Health

The Black Phantom Quartz is excellent for strengthening the muscular and skeletal systems. It can be used to counter osteoporosis, fragile bones and weakened muscles. This stone can assist in strengthening the heart and lungs and supports the nervous system and myelin neural sheaths. Black Phantom Quartz are powerful stones for grounding etheric energy into the body for the healing of physical disease. It helps strengthen the nervous system and the cardiopulmonary system.

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

Sources

Experience

The Book of Stones, by Robert Simmons

Wikipedia

Crystal of the Week, Labradorite

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

So, I have chosen the lovely and magickal Labradorite for this blog. Hard to imagine I have not done this one yet!

Labradorite
My Labradorite ~ photo by i.macy

Labradorite is one of my favourites and not just because it is one of the most beautiful crystals in the world with its kaleidoscope of various colours.  They are not only full of hues of blues and greens, purples and yellows but can sometimes be orange, yellow, brown, and reddish. There are some which have a decidedly black look to them in places as well which are Black Labradorite, a dark gemstone famous for its grey base, black specks & high luminescence. It is a crystalline variety of plagioclase feldspars which is mainly formed from a combination of sodium feldspar (albite) and potassium feldspar (microcline or orthoclase) at low to medium crystallisation temperature.  It is also called Larkivite by some, however, there are differences.

Labradorite got its name because the first place it was discovered was in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada.  It can also be found in many places, including in Finland, Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, and the US.  The Finnish variety is called Spectrolite and is slightly different as it exhibits the full range of colours. Shall we get on to the magick now?

Magickal

Firstly, Labradorite protects ones’ aura. This means it creates a force field throughout the aura, protecting and strengthening the energies within and preventing others from ‘tapping in’ to your personal energy and draining you.  Can you guess whom this would most benefit? Any Empath would benefit highly.  But just as much it can protect the non-empath from the psychic vampires out there just waiting to get in and suck your happiness dry.

If you are practising your psychic knowing, psychometry, clairaudience, clairvoyance, or clairsentience skills, Labradorite is one of the best crystals to have with you.  It can help you to develop your gifts as you make better connections with Spirit.  Labradorite is a Stone of Magic, a crystal of shamans, diviners, healers, and all who travel and embrace the universe seeking knowledge and guidance. For self-discovery, it is excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition, and psychic abilities.

Wearing or carrying Labradorite allows one’s innate magical powers to surface. It enhances the mental and intuitive abilities of clairvoyance, telepathy, prophecy, and coincidence control, and assists in communication with higher guides and spirits in accessing Akashic records, psychic readings, and past-life recall. It provides an ease in moving between the worlds and permits a safe and grounded return to the present.

Labradorite tempers the negative side of our personality, the traits and actions that rob our energy and may produce depression or shame. It assists in reducing anti-social, reckless, or impulsive behaviour in children, teenagers and adults who are easily led into trouble by others, and may aid in detoxifying the effects of tobacco, alcohol, and to a lesser degree, hard drugs.

Healing

Labradorite is beneficial to the lungs, and may assist with respiratory problems, bronchitis, and colds. It assists in digestion, regulation, and metabolism.  It has been used in treatment for the eyes and brain disorders, to stimulate mental acuity, and to reduce stress and anxiety. It may also be soothing during menstruation, for PMT symptoms, and for pain relief.

When used for physical healing purposes, one should hold or carry as a touchstone, or wear as jewellery. When the healing process is complete, the stone should be cleansed under running water. If by chance its surface becomes cloudy, place it in a glass with mineral water and set in a spot where it will have sun and moon light for a few days so it may be recharged, regenerated, and refreshed.

Correspondences

Gender:  Masculine

Planetary:  Earth

Zodiac:  Aquarius, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Leo

Element:  Water

Powers:  Protection, Psychic Healing, Psychic Powers, Psychic Protection, Strengthening

* Chakras:  All [particularly the Throat]

Deity:  Isis, Arianrhod

* I have had a recent experience where Labradorite was very helpful to me by placing it over my heart chakra. I had had a particularly hard day and was quite upset. This helped me to feel as though all the aggravation simply flowed away. 

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

Sources

Experience

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

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

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

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, Moss Agate

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Moss Agates
Moss Agate variations ~ photo by i.macy

When working with crystals it still amazes me how different they can look from each other.  When I began studying crystals longer ago than I care to mention, I started with the assumption each different type would look pretty much the same to its brothers and sisters.  No.  In fact, as time went on, it seemed at times that one would look so different I would think it belonged to another group, but not so.  Of course, now I know never to judge a crystal by its cover so to speak… case in point, this little array of Moss Agates in my hand.  The green, mossy one nearest is a dead ringer for what most call a Moss Agate, and you’re right, it is.  But then, you have a couple of white ones with a little bit of green inclusion, the another which is half white, half green, and then, one which is very odd, indeed…so how do we know? We’ll begin with the very odd one.  It has a different colour of green, but only just.  And I believe the inclusions of red oxide are making the green look a little bit bluer than it normally would.  I call this one my little rarity because rarely Moss Agate can be found with red and brown patterns due to the corrosion of the iron within the chlorite and hornblende.

Moss agate is described as a neutral and transparent Dendritic Agate. While technically it is not an Agate it is in fact Chalcedony. The use of the word Moss Agate was used before the scientific definition and so it has stuck. Moss Agate contains sets of mineral inclusions that imitate the looks of trees, plants, and landscapes. Some Moss Agate inclusions are composed of manganese and iron oxide and are one of the most unique Agates available.

Magickal

As a stone of abundance, Moss Agate can be used in spell work for financial gain.  It is a perfect crystal to transform into a talisman for helping to gain wealth.  It is also an excellent crystal to use for encouraging fertility if you are wanting to start a family.  Not only will the Moss Agate help you to conceive but will also help you during pregnancy and especially during the birthing process. Moss Agate will attract abundance in all forms.  In the workplace, it draws new business and gradual expansion, increasing prosperity over time. It is good for small businesses and the self-employed.  It is helpful to keep one wherever you wish to draw abundance to – your handbag, your cash till, your banking papers, and wherever you keep money.

Moss Agate has “warrior energy” … if you need the strength to get through something just use your Moss Agate as an amulet to protect and energise your courage and war spirit.

If you are unsure about the direction of your life, meditate with your Moss Agate to seek the path you are meant to take.  Not only can it point the way for you to go but it can help you to transform yourself into the person you want and need to be, to be successful in the directed path.

As a Heart Chakra stone, you will always find Moss Agate useful in cleansing and repairing the Heart chakra. It is also said to be a favoured crystal for helping one find true love.  But mainly, it is stone of calming and self-love… it teaches us to care for ourselves which is very important if we want others to care for us as well.

Healing

Moss Agate is truly helpful for the circulatory system, which regulates beat, and other heartbeat abnormalities. It helps buzzing in the ears. Using an Agate along the core of the chest fortifies the cardiac muscle of a person and treats emotional discord. Moss Agate increases the digestive system at it heals gastritis.

It aids and eliminates all toxins within the body. Agate may also diminish the signs of epilepsy, and for some people, it protects them against sleepwalking. In addition to this, Moss Agate conveys inner peace, and strength to the emotional aspect and through the entire body.

Additionally, it is especially accommodating stone for those people who experience severe mood swings as well as those passionate due to their emotional drama in their lives. It also pacifies impulsive tempers, promotes tolerance, completeness, and inner peace, as well.

Moss Agate also helps the person to release deep-seated apprehension and depression, extending one’s individual space and development. It enhances a good self-image and fortifies positive character traits, which includes the capability of the person to get along with other people as much as possible.

Moss Agate also enhances the acuity of the senses and neuronal activity. It helps eliminate depression caused by left-right brain imbalance, and stimulates mental function by improving concentration, perception, and analytical abilities.

Moss Agate is anti-inflammatory and helps treat infections and swelling, colds and flu, and lowers fever. It is useful for long-term illness and recovery, boosting the immune system, and is thought to prevent hypoglycaemia and dehydration. As an elixir applied to the skin, Moss Agate treats fungal and skin infections and irritations.

Correspondences

Planetary: Associated with Mercury and Earth

Zodiac:  Gemini

Element:  Earth

Gender:  Female

Powers:  Wealth and abundance, Protection, Love, Physical and Emotional Healing, Fertility, Conception and Birth

Energy:  Wood

Chakra[s]: Heart

Deity: Bona Dea, Aurora, Cerridwen, Gaia, Nya

Other Names:  Stone of Abundance, Spirit of Nature

I thank you so much for reading my blog and I wish for warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones, Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007

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

The Magickal Linden Tree, or Lime Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Linden Trees
photo by majestictrees.co.uk

Tilia is a genus of about thirty species of trees, or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere.  In the British Isles they are commonly called lime trees, or lime bushes, although they are not closely related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. So, when you see the “Lime” tree listed in an ogham birth tree list it is referring to the Linden tree [Tilia europaca] in Britain but if you are in America [Tilia Americana], they refer to it as Basswood.

Now that you are adequately confused….

Be sure to use the botanical name when ordering seeds or trees.  Common names vary by nation, culture, and region, and sometimes the same common name is applied to different plants.

The Linden/Lime tree flowers are a favourite of bees wherever you live so if you are ardent about  helping to save the bee population, plant a lovely Linden/Basswood tree wherever you live.  Honey from the flowers is considered the best flavoured in the world.

Linden became popular after the fourteenth century on the Continent and in England for carving and other work that did not require strength.  Many of the carvings in St Paul’s Cathedral [London] and Windsor Castle are of Linden wood.  The tree’s fibrous bark has been used for rope, mats, baskets, and clothing.

Magickal

Linden flowers are often used in love spells/mixtures and protection spells and incenses. Mix equal parts Linden flowers and Lavender flowers then place in a sachet under your pillow to relieve insomnia. Keep Linden flowers on a table to release the energies needed to keep the spirit alive and healthy.

Lime Oil, as it is called, from the Linden tree, is used for purification and protection, promoting calmness and tranquillity, and strengthening love.

Dreaming of a Linden tree means good news is coming.  Dreaming of cutting down a Linden tree means your love life is in danger.

Linden is also used in longevity spell work and used in prophecy.

Medical

Linden tree’s flowers are a calming and soothing herbal tea not unlike Chamomile, but I think is more flavourful than Chamomile.  The French call Linden flower tea, Tilleul. It’s good to have before bedtime for a good night’s sleep to not only relax your body but your mind, as well.

Historically, Linden has been used to soothe nerves and treat health problems associated with anxiety.  Its calming nervine, antispasmodic, and helpful circulatory properties are used to help to ease spasms and cramps that contribute to headaches, tight muscles, and migraines as well as menstrual cramps.

Linden Tree Flowers
photo by gardenerstips.co.uk

I have read that whatever body part a fruit or leaf resembles is what that fruit or leaf is good for medically.  The heart-shaped leaf of the Linden tree gives a good idea of what it is good for both medically and magickally.   It can lift us up or “gladden the heart” emotionally and in love as well as benefitting the physical heart as well, which is evidenced in its long use for assisting with conditions such as atherosclerosis, angina, and heart palpitations especially when there is nervous tension or stress involved.  Linden is exceptional at reducing fever and fighting infection.  It even has a profound effect on loosening chest congestion and sinuses.  With the colds and flu season quickly approaching it would do you well to stock up on Linden flower tea unless you’re fortunate enough to have a Linden tree growing in your garden!

There are no contraindications to using Linden flowers that I can find.  Still, only use as needed.

Correspondences:

Planetary:  Jupiter, Sun

Zodiac:  Gemini, Sagittarius

Element:  Air

Gender:  Feminine

Rune Character:  Asa/Letter A

Powers:  Attracting Love, Balancing Energy, Neutralising Negativity, Heart Healing, Protection, Sleep, Stress Relief

Deity:  Arianrhod, Aphrodite, Eostre, Freya, Frigg, Lada, Nehalennia, Philyra, Venus, Zemyna, Odin, Tyr

Other Names:  Bee Tree, Lime Tree, Basswood, Lime Blossoms, Linden Flowers, Tilia

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

Sources:

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Wikipedia.org

Experience

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

The Magickal Vine…or Blackberry Bramble?

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Muin Ogham


This is going to be a tricky write, I have a feeling! For most of us who go by Robert Grave’s Ogham trees from the Celtic Birth Trees list, we all know that the tenth lunar “month” is Vine and its Ogham “Muin”, the 10th letter. However, as I noted in my travels to research this “tree” or lack thereof, I find that the Vine is not necessarily meant to be a vine of the grapevine type after all! The Druids classified anything with a woody stalk as a tree, and so therefore it is listed vines amongst the sacred Ogham ranks. Furthermore, grapevines typically come to mind when discussing vines, but it was more likely the Blackberry vines that captured the hearts of the ancient Celts. In my findings, Muin does not mean “vine” but according to Robert Graves means any thicket of thorny, winding bramble of plant and which further supports the idea that Blackberry, which is a prolific plant in most of Europe and the British Isles, is the likeliest for Muin. And, as the Ogham alphabet originated in Ireland, it is also less likely that it means vine – such as in grapevine – because grapes had never, at that time at least, been successfully grown in Ireland. However, as we can use Vine or Blackberry interchangeably for Muin, we shall stick to Vine for the writing of this blog. Also, before I move on and forget to mention, Vine is the Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 2nd September and 29th September.

Grapevine Groves Nursery
Grapvines, grovesnurseries.co.uk

It is widely thought by some that Vine is the correct source of wood for Muin because of the grape and wine. Wine has been used for centuries for both Pagan and Christian ritual. Writer Erynn Rowan Laurie, Authoress of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, reckons Muin pertains to communication whilst Liz and Colin Murray, The Celtic Tree Oracle, say Muin is about prophecy. John Michael Greer, a neo-pagan American author, writer of The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study, agrees all round but also believes Muin is a stave [or few as some call it] of not only insight but intoxication, as well. Not to put too fine a point on it but if you drink enough wine, you will have some great insights from your intoxication…and most of us are very communicative at the time! Mind you, I don’t think this is what they have in mind…Although, Robert Graves does say that the grape is indicative of “joy, exhilaration, and wrath”. He also says that wine is the “poet’s drink” of “poetic inspiration” and may send one “spiralling towards immortality”.

I think you may now understand why I thought this may be a difficult write. There is little, if any agreement upon the meaning of Muin, not even the wood can be agreed upon!

Magickal Properties:
The Celtic meaning of the Vine in Druid lore is rife with symbolism. The Vine is a theme repeated over and over in Celtic art. Interconnections and winding vines are commonly seen on tapestries, writings, knot work and carvings. This indicates the symbolism of connection, eternity, and diversity. – Rebirth and Reincarnation
In the Druid perspective, the Vine earned its symbolism from its growth patterns. They recognised the Vine grows opportunistically and would dig in wherever feasible to gain a strong foothold to assure its own growth – Protection
This is a powerful metaphor of “going with the flow” or “start as you mean to go on”. In other words, it is a message that when we observe the best of our environment/situation and stay in a relaxed, flowing state of mind, we can most likely gain our highest advantage. – Spirituality
The ever-watchful Celts also recognised the Vine’s predominant growth formation is in the shape of a spiral which is symbolic of consciousness, development, renewal, and growth. – Regeneration

402_grapevinetwigs
grapevine twigs – Google images

You can use Vine in protection poppets, incenses, and witch bottles like any other wood as well as to make amulets from.

And, of course, Vine makes a great wand 😊 Just ask Hermoine Granger!

Correspondences:
Planetary: Moon
Zodiac: unknown
Energies: rebirth, reincarnation, regeneration, spirituality, and protection
Gender: Masculine and Feminine
Deity: Considered sacred by the Tuatha De Danaan Gods of Irish Mythology
Animal: White Swan

Many thanks for reading and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Vine. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Wikipedia.com
Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie
The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

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