The Magickal Maple Tree

Originally posted on 12/09/17 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

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Chew Valley Trees, UK – Field Maple

Some may not think of Maple as being magickal, particularly if they live in Europe or the UK. There are mainly two Maple genus’ which are native and almost native in the UK and those are the Acer Campestre or Field Maple which is native to Britain, and the Acer Platanoides, or Norway Maple which is a naturalised tree in the UK. Both are quite different from the Acer Sapindaceae which is native to North American countries, the US and Canada, and can produce the sap from which Maple syrup is made. If I’m correct in thinking, there are still around 127 other Maple species in the region. However, whether they all produce sap for syrup, I do not know.

Sticking to North America for a short bit [and to tempt your taste buds] the Native American symbolism of the Maple, Acer Sapindaceae, is that of offering, generosity, balance, promise, and practicality. The Maple tree was of importance to the Algonquian tribes of the north-western United States and western Canada, who developed the art of processing Maple sap into Maple sugar, Maple syrup, and taffy candy.

Maple trees hold the wisdom of balance, promise, love, longevity, money, and practical magick. Special for its sugar and syrup it represents success and abundance, most likely because the Native Americans used it in trade and could purchase goods with their syrup when no coin could be made or spared.

Maple has both feminine and masculine energy. Libra and Virgo consider this tree to be sacred. Associated with the elements of Spirit and Water. Planetary Associations: Moon, Jupiter.

The great horned owl is the sacred bird of this tree.

Magickal Properties: Some cultures primarily use Maple wands for spiritual healing. Maple is a traveller’s wood. It enhances intellectual pursuits, acquiring knowledge, and communication. Spells concerning art, beauty, binding, and abundance should consider using this wood. The gipsies [travellers] believe Maple brings gold and that eating the seeds draws love.

Maple Bark
Maple bark from our Etsy shop ~ photo by i.macy

A peaceful wood used for purity and healing. Seeks a strong, devoted companion who cares for others. Excellent for cleansing spells, for use in money and luck spells as a base for loose incense, inside a poppet or in witch bottles. Maple reveals the options – even those that are hidden in plain sight – which lay before you. It enables you to make sound choices rather than rely on blind luck. It is also a wonderful wood for divination, and therefore, we shall soon be making pendulums with Maple.

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

Some sources include:

Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Wikipedia

Love Spells

First posted on 05/02/2014 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

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The 14th of February is nearing;  love is in the air…new beginnings are beckoning. Imbolc has arrived with the promise of Spring soon-to-come and not only are little seedlings stirring in the Earth, awaiting their birth into a sunny World, but the stirrings of passion in our hearts is making many folk – at least those who aren’t in relationships – want to take action.  Is it any wonder that at this time of year I get more requests for love spells than at any other time of the year?

Before we go any further, I don’t do love spells.  I don’t recommend them at all.  I really burned myself several years ago by doing a love spell for myself (and I don’t mean that I burned myself on a candle!).  I really, really thought he was THE one and I would do anything, within reason, to ensure he wanted to be with me as well.  So…a simple little candle spell done and 7 years later, I was still trying to get AWAY from him.  Oh yes, the candle spell worked a treat.  In fact, too well! Problem was, I couldn’t end it when it was physically necessary to do so.  I have always known that every spell needs a “get out” clause, but in candle magick I rarely think to do so.  I’ve only just finished scrapping the rot from that relationship from my boots and it’s been over 10 years gone. But..you really want love and I’m here to help .

I’m not going to put a spell into anyone’s hands that is intended for the attraction/love of one specific person only.  It would be tantamount to handing a suicidal person a noose.  Either way, someone is going to be hurt badly.  My recommendation is to anyone wishing to find love and needing a bit of a hand with that from the Universe is this:

1.  Make a list – list all the qualities you feel you want most from a future partner.  Not just how you would like the partner to treat you, but be so specific that you choose the colour of his or her eyes, if you like. Take your time writing this list, add to it, take away from it, but before you go any further with your spellwork, be absolutely certain that everything on your list is complete and to your liking.  DO NOT give this person a name.  You are NOT wishing for a certain person, only the sort of person you want to attract. However, being dead specific is the only way the Universe is to know exactly what you want in your future partner.

2.  Sleep with this list under your pillow for a week along with a small pouch filled with dried or fresh rose buds, lavender, and vervain.  All 3 herbs are coincidentally for love, however, all 3 offer protection, healing, and luck. Rose and lavender have the power to give you a psychic edge as well..this can help you know when Mr or Mrs Right comes into your life.

3.  Buy a supply of small pink candles – a week’s worth – and burn one each day during the Venus hour(s)** of each day or night, at your convenience, focusing upon your intent to bring love into your life.  Also have on hand a small bottle of rose or lavender oil to annoint yourself & your candle with. Whilst burning the candle, please do not think of a specific person, only think about the qualities you’ve written down.  Small chime/spell candles are usually only about 50p each, perhaps more depending upon where you buy them and it normally takes about an hour for one to burn completely down.  And by all means, carve hearts onto them with a pin if you like. As your candle burns, visualise yourself being loved, cared for, treated with respect, adored. Let the love you could feel for another flow throughout your body and allow yourself to feel it as though you have already found your new love.

For a full week, your main intention is to bring love into your life.  You may carry the herbal pouch with you throughout your day if you choose to.  Do try and keep your mind upon whatever work you must do, still, on your own time, allow the feeling of love and intention rise within you as much as possible.

You will need to keep your mind and eyes open at all times…just because he or she is not the spitting image of the person you have in your mind’s eye, don’t discount those whom aren’t…sometimes the most unlikely on the face of it all is the most likely to be just right.

And please remember – do not do any of this specifically for a certain person’s love.  As the herbalist & writer, Scott Cunningham, once said, “Capturing a person with love magic of this sort is little short of psychic rape”.  Here’s hoping you’ll meet the kindest, gentlest, and most loving partner this month you could ever wish for and may you both be happy ever-after.

 Happy Valentine’s Day and  Blessed be )O(

** you can find the Planetary hours table here: http://www.lunarium.co.uk/planets/hours.jsp to find what time the Venus hour(s) are for each day.  If you find it inconvenient to burn your daily candle during the Venus hour each day, simply carve the Venus planetary symbol onto your candle with a pin.

When She Speaks, I Listen!

First Posted on 11/04/2014 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

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my High Priestess card, Shadowscapes

The High Priestess

I was gifted the Shadowscapes Tarot deck for Yule by my lovely eldest daughter and since, I have taken anywhere from one to 6 or 7 cards per week to meditate over and to simply try and “feel” their meaning before I start filling my head with all the “book learning”. Recently, whilst working with The High Priestess (also, keep in mind that I hold my thumb over the names of each card so I won’t know what it is – Shadowscapes is very different from most tarot decks I’ve used) and she spoke to me:

“I can see your deepest secrets, dear
I know your fondest desires, it’s true.
I know how to make them appear,
The only ingredient is you”

This deck had called to me prior to receiving it as a gift. It filled me with absolute peace and knowing just by holding the package. I think the High Priestess was calling out to me as she is a favourite now and so very helpful! Just thought I’d share. Do you have a deck that does this to you? I think everyone does in their lives….funny it took me all these years to find mine! Or, did it find me? hmm…..

What Dreams May Come (or what do our Spirits get up to at night?)

First posted on 27/11/2013 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands,net

AstralTravel2
photo courtesy of Google images

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

Dream Reading

How many times have you heard a friend say, or have even said it yourself, “I never dream”.  You must simply change the wording of your statement to “I never remember dreams” as it has been proven scientifically that everybody dreams.  Dreams have been documented for centuries.  Whether you have read the Bible or not, you will have heard stories of how angels visited prophets and others in their dreams.  Nothing has changed, really.

There are almost as many theories as to why we dream as there are dreams themselves.  The boffins (scientists) would have us all believe that dreams are just brainwaves and synapses and such, just firing away in our heads, putting forth all manner of gibberish.  I never believed that for a minute.  Dreams are much too important for us to excuse them so lightly.  Please do not take me as knowledgeable about the Bible, nor that I believe everything written in it.  It is a book written mainly by mere men, recounting the history of the World at that time and religious phenomena, family histories, stories, etc that have been told and re-told so often through so many different accounts that it really makes me wonder at times did much of any of it happen the way it is told.  Especially since King James I got his paws on it.  As many know, King James, back in 1600’s England was responsible for re-writing some of the original history of the bible as well as adding his select passages about not suffering a witch to live, etc. I rest my case.

Ah, well, I’m not writing this about King James, nor the Bible per se.  I’m writing about dreams and why they happen.  Many agree that we live on one plane of existance — the Earthly plane. There is, above us, the Elemental Plane, then the Astral Plane There are actually many planes of existance that quantum physics boffins are still investigating and proving, but I’m not a quantum physics expert, so let’s for the sake of our purposes, stick to the Earthly/Elemental/Astral planes.  Most people will agree that we each have a soul, or spirit within us that, in spite of our brains appearing to do all the thinking, the spirit is what wills us to carry on.  A saying I heard a long time ago describes us best, I think:  “We are spiritual beings having a human experience”.  In other words, I think we’ve been around a lot longer than the present, and will be around much longer than the bodies we inhabit now.  Which brings me closer to the subject at hand…dreams.

Our bodies which we now inhabit on the Earthly plane are not able to keep pace with our Spirits, nor were ever intended to.  Some believe that we were gods at one point in time and the Divine Spirit, or God [or God and Goddess as I believe], put us on Earth to learn.  We kept our Spirits, our true selves, but are having to live out a human existance.  Punishment? I don’t know.  But, that is not the point, either.  There are too many beliefs as to why we’re here to debate.  I just want to give you the reason, to my belief, as to why we dream – and what they mean.

When our bodies sleep, our Spirits do not.  It may be as well that some folk do not remember their dreams as there may be no telling what our Spirits get up to whilst they are free of “us”.  In the Elemental Plane above the Earthly plane, it is believed that our Earthly, human thoughts print a pattern of what is real, but also imagined.  If you think about how, for instance, anime artists, cartoonists, sci-fi writers and the like came up with mechanised armour for characters years ago and now those things are being built for actual use, perhaps you can see how the pattern for things is created in the mind of a person, then printed on the Elemental Plane and thus comes into being.  I think it is a good case for the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for”!  As Witches, you are all aware of how manifestation works, I am sure, therefore we won’t go into it here as that is a whole other blog in itself.

As you may be able to begin seeing, our Spirits are able to travel through the Elemental Plane and onto the Astral Plane.  Those planes of existence do not merely waft around in some far-off dimension doing nothing.  There is just as much happening there as here, perhaps so much more so.  We can not only visit the Elemental Plane in our “sleep” but our Spirits are able to visit the Astral Plane as well.  So, as you “dream”, you may find yourself in one World one moment, and another completely different World the next!  You may visit another time, as well.  Time has been proven not to be in a straight line as we might well believe (it looks that way, doesn’t it?), and I can attest that I have been in many different eras myself!

I think the most important thing to do, if you want to remember your dreams, is to write them down upon waking.  I know you’ve heard it before, still, if you want someone who is able to help you sort out your dream, all the details you can remember are very important.  Colours, numbers, writing, were there men and/or women in your dream? Was it day or night?  Was it colourful and pleasing or was it dark and dreary?  Were there animals, birds?  What sounds did you hear?  Even if you were having a drink in a pub or smoking a cigarette…it is all important!

Many people I’ve helped in reading their dreams tell me they had a “nightmare”.  No, your Spirit had a scary experience possibly and scary experiences are not always (in fact hardly ever) harbingers of gloomy prophesy.  Dreaming of death, seeing yourself in your own coffin…not to worry, it isn’t bad news. There are also certain days of each month when whatever you dreamed is not to be entertained according to those who follow Avesta, Globa, Vronsky, and Veda (I’ll explain those another time).  And, in some rare cases, what you ate/watched/read shortly before retiring can influence some pretty strange things in your psyche during the night!

So, if you’ve had a dream that has you wondering whether you should pay attention to it or not, and would like to know what it means, feel free to email me at isabella@wytchencrafts.org.uk.  Or, if you know someone whom you trust and has read dreams for you before, contact that person.  Thank you for reading and if this has helped, please give it a “like”, Tweet to your friends, or share it on Facebook!

Many thanks for reading and Blessed be )O(

Wheel of the Year ~ Samhain

First posted on 28/10/2013 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

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photo courtesy of Google images

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

The Yule and Christmas season is coming closely upon us…yes, I know, let’s celebrate Samhain/Halloween first! I’m sure you have all noticed everywhere from department stores to supermarkets are already clearing away the Halloween goodies and quickly placing Christmas and Yule-tide cheer everywhere. Don’t feel too badly for Halloween…in no time, long before you can say “Happy New Year!”, Christmas will be swept under the rug and out will come , of all the silly things, Valentine’s Day gear. How am I to feel good about purchasing chocolates for a loved one when I know that they have been sitting on a shop shelf for nearly 3 months in advance? Sometimes, I am wary of “sell-by dates”. I have been the unhappy recipient of dodgy choccies before..you know the ones with sketchy looking white-ish places on them?

As Pagans/Wiccans/Witches, most of us feel more in-tune with seasons. It is, after all, one of the many things we closely follow and attune to. There is a time for all seasons and this one is NOT Yule. However, we do understand why retailers do this. It is because they must stay on top of the current market and make sure they are first out the gate with all the latest and greatest for the Christmas season. And then on to the next. As an online seller, I have to admit that I feel the “itch” a bit myself…I really have this yen to start marking down prices, rotating adverts on Twitter constantly, and harking my wares to all whom will listen…or read, as it were. And then I say “no”.

Don’t expect great gushing adverts in the next few weeks from Wytchencrafts. Of course, we’ll plie our wares on Twitter, just not in that constant rush of them most of us have become used to from retailers and online sellers. Not to say that we won’t as it more closely nears Christmas, just not now. We’re too busy celebrating Samhain!

Thank you for reading and Blessed Be )O(

Do I Need A Wand?

First published on speakingofwitchwands.net on 21/10/2013 by Isabella

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

The answer is NO!! You do not “need” a thing, apart from a strong desire to learn, a few good books, and a shed-load of intention. The tools of Witchcraft are important, but you do not need them, per se.

However, many young Witches (does not necessarily mean young in age, just young in the Craft) do feel a need to have certain tools to help them, at the very least in the beginning of their Path, to direct their intention more strongly…or as a bit of a “help” in their Magickal workings. I’m no longer a “young” witch (in either sense of the meaning!), still, I will, nearly every time I work Magick, use my wand, altar paten, cauldron, Book of Shadows (Grimoire), and incense burner. I have an athame, but rarely ever use it. I don’t always use my wand, only when I am doing something very, very serious and want all the help I can get. I made my wand with a load of intention and it was, yes, a bit of hard work. You see, I’m a bit of a “luddite” when it comes to making items…I just can’t get the hang of power tools so the knife works well for me. Still, my wand works so well for me…because it is a part of me.

handle of my wand

The handle of my Yew wand with my handmade crow fetish

No, I didn’t use any body parts in the making of my wand, just my will and intention, some herbs in the tip and a powerful crystal. The same way I make bespoke wands for our customers. Of course, one would think that since I make their wand, all my intention will be in their wand and none of theirs. Not true. When I make a bespoke wand, if the customer asks for herbs in the tip, I will send the herbs and the crystal they order to go into the tip so that the Witch his or herself can enchant the herbs they choose, enchant their crystal and put their intention into their own wand. And of course, one almost always cleanses, consecrates, and empowers their tools before using as I would expect many would do with one of our wands. Your wand will well and truly be your own.

Of course, we also make pre-made wands as well, again, the Witch who buys the pre-made wand can certainly put his or her intention into it after cleansing, consecrating, and empowering. Many Witches (including myself when I was young) buy pre-made wands all the time and have great success with them, love them and wouldn’t use anything else. That tells me that they must work,

So, no, you don’t need our wands, or any wand for that matter. Although, if you feel you do, please see what we can do for you as you will no doubt look at many websites for pricing, etc. and please keep us in mind.

Thank you and blessed be! )O(

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!