From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Alkanet

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Alkanet_wildflowerfinderdotcodotuk
Dyer’s Bugloss [Alkanna tinctorial]  ~ by wildflowerfinder.org.uk

Alkanet [Alkanna tinctorial] is derived from the root of a plant known as Dyer’s Bugloss.  Do not confuse it with Viper’s Bugloss [Echium vulgare]. Both have blue flowers, however, very different. Alkanna tinctorial is originally from the Mediterranean and brought to England specifically back in the day, growing in Kent, and in the West Country, specifically Devonshire and Cornwall.  It can be found throughout Great Britain today.  Echium vulgare is a native of Great Britain.

It may not surprise you to know that Alkanet is known for its beautiful red dye, for  if you’ve worked with it before, you can see from your fingertips!   You can also use it in a tinted lip gloss, if you like.  I have no doubt it was the favoured way in which women through the ages have given their pouts a bit of colour before Revlon and other make up companies came out with tubes of lipstick.  Not only has Alkanet been used for lippy, but has, and still is, used to colour wood stain, cloth dye, and wine.

In some forms of magick, Alkanet is used to speed thing up a bit for those in need of a quick fix.  I have never personally used Alkanet in a hurry, so I don’t know, but apparently it is the go-to plant for getting things off to a quick start and early gains.

Magickal

Spell work involving Alkanet is best used on the day of Venus, Friday and during the hour of Venus for the best effects.

Alkanet root
Alkanet root ~ photo from herbalveda.co.uk

Alkanet is a wonderful herb to use for anything related to money.  You can carry a piece of the root with you when going gambling to increase your luck or mix the powdered root with other money-drawing herbs, flowers, and woods to carry in a sachet or talisman.  It is also a fabulous anti-negativity herb and has long been used in loose incenses for that purpose.  I always suggest using Alkanet in a loose incense for burning in a new home or one where trouble has been prevalent in order to cleanse away the negative energies left behind.  You can use the same herbs, flowers, and woods with Alkanet as you may have created a talisman with for drawing money or luck to you in a loose incense for money spells, as well.

As mentioned above, Alkanet is a prevalent ingredient in some Fast Luck oils and such, although I am not familiar with them.  If you don’t want to purchase something such as that you can probably easily make your own.

Not many mentions how Alkanet can draw love to you but based on the same principal as when women long ago rouged up their lips with Alkanet to be more appealing and to find love, it does have a magickal property of drawing love to you.  If you don’t care to wear it on your lips you can make a love poppet with it or you can carry it upon your person discreetly inside a sachet or talisman which you create for this purpose.

Alkanet can protect one from negative energies which have been purposefully directed to him or her as from a hex.

Health

Per Nicholas Culpeper:  “it helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, burnings by common fire, and St Anthony’s fire, by antipathy to Mars; for these uses, your best way is to make it into an ointment; also, if you make a vinegar of it, as you make vinegar of roses, it helps the morphew and leprosy; if you apply the herb to the privities, it draws forth the dead child,  It helps the yellow jaundice, spleen, and gravel in the kidneys  Dioscorides saith, it helps such as are bitten by a venomous beast whether it be taken inwardly or applied to the wound; nay, he saith further, if any one that hath newly eaten it do but spit into the mouth of a serpent, the serpent instantly dies.  It stays the flux of the belly kills worms helps the fits of the mother.  Its decoction made in wine and drank, strengthens the back, and eases the pains thereof. It helps bruises and falls and is as gallant a remedy to drive out the small pox and measles as any is; and ointment made of it, is excellent for green wounds, ricks or thursts.”

Mr Culpeper covered it all in this one paragraph over 300 years ago.  To this day, many of these practises are implemented with Alkanet. Perhaps in more sterile ways but used much the same.

Warning:  Careful of ingesting Alkanet if you have any known liver problems as it can prove toxic.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Gender:  Feminine

Elements: Earth / Air

Zodiac:  Libra, Taurus

Powers:  Prosperity, Purification, Protection, Luck, Love

Deity:  Venus, Shukra, Aphrodite

Other Names:  Anchusa, Dyer’s Bugloss, Orchanet, Spanish Bugloss, Enchusa, Lingua Bovina, Ox Tongue, Yellow Anchusa, and Blue Bugloss.

Many thanks for reading my blog today.   Warmest blessings upon all whom wander this way x

Sources

Experience

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicolas Culpeper c. 1702

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Chamomile

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

chamomile rhs dot org dot uk
Roman Chamomile ~ rhs.org..uk

Take a seat, bring your cup of Chamomile tea and I’ll tell you of all the ways in which Chamomile does so much more than settle our nerves and lifts our spirits. This may not have ever occurred to you…it never did to me…but there are two types of Chamomile – German and Roman.  The German variety, Matricaria recutita, is mostly used in the US, whilst the Roman variety, Chamaemilum nobile, is used in the UK.  The German variety grows about six inches taller than the Roman and is an annual bloomer whilst the Roman variety is a perineal bloomer, but they both have the same correspondences and work equally as well as each other. The German variety has daisy-like flowers and grows wild in most lawns, but the Roman variety finds itself purposefully planted in lovely gardens. As there are Nine Sacred Woods, there are also Nine Sacred Herbs with Chamomile being one.

Of course, Chamomile is not only used in the UK and the US, but in earliest known usage it was favoured highly by Ancient Egyptians.  Chamomile was employed for treatment of diseases like malaria and fevers, as well as in the mummification process.  And, naturally the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Vikings were known to have used Chamomile in similar ways for health treatments. The Romans were known to have used Chamomile in their incense.

Magickal

A good way to use Chamomile as a protectant is to make an infusion to use to wash thresholds of doors and windows which will help keep unwanted energies or entities from passing through. Use powdered Chamomile flowers around yourself or home in sachets or sprinkled to remove spells cast against you, to prevent fires, and lightning strikes.  Also, plant Chamomile near doors and windows, to prevent negativity from entering your home, or blend it into a sachet to carry with you when you think you might be in physical or magickal danger.   It really is best used along with other charms for defence of bad magick against your person.

Dried chamomile flowers, pulverised with a mortar and pestle, is an excellent incense blend to bring about relaxation and meditation.  Don’t forget, the Romans used Chamomile incense! Chamomile is especially useful if you’re trying to get yourself calmed and centred—blend it with lavender if you’d like to ensure a night of restful sleep with calming dreams.

chamomile dried
dried Chamomile ~ Google Images

Chamomile in powdered or simply dried form is wonderful to use in candle magick.  Very useful is to make your own candles with dried Chamomile buds.  After anointing your candle with the oil you wish to use, roll your candle in the dried or powdered Chamomile for extra effect in your magickal working.  Be certain, of course, that the candle colour, oil, and herbs used are beneficial to your spell

It is said that washing your hands in Chamomile water before gambling will increase your luck. And, it would not hurt to wear a Chamomile flower and add some dried Chamomile to your purse, wallet, billfold or wherever you keep your money.  You can use Chamomile in money spells, using a green candle and perhaps a Patchouli oil to draw more money into your life.

Chamomile is a throat chakra herb.  You can help your voice by drinking Chamomile tea, of course, but during chakra clearing try placing a Chamomile flower on your throat as you meditate upon clearing the chakra.

Healing

Per Nicholas Culpeper, The Complete Herbal and English Physician:  “Nechessor saith, the Egyptians dedicated it [Chamomile] to the Sun, because it cured agues, and they were like enough to do it, for [they were] the arrantest in their religion that I ever heard of”.  Mr Culpeper goes on to say that Bachinus, Bena, and Lobel recommended the syrup be made of the juice extracted of Chamomile, and sugar to be inwardly taken for the spleen.  He also thought this concoction would dissolve kidney stones and would do so quicker by adding the mixture to a glass of wine… well, they always had wine for everything in those days, didn’t they?  I don’t know how anyone ever really knew they were ill as most often everyone was tiddly on wine!

Mr Culpeper also recommended a Chamomile decoction, or tea as we know it today, to take away the ills of phlegm, melancholy, or inflammation of the bowels.  Bathing in Chamomile took away weariness and pains, “comforts the sinews that are over-strained, mollifies all swellings”.  It also relieved cholic, “pains and torments of the belly”, and “gently provokes urine”.  Chamomile provoked sweats, helped women’s monthlies, dissolved wind in the belly, and was probably the number one go-to for almost any ailment during this time.  And we are still using Chamomile for all of the above today.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Sun

Gender:  Masculine

Element[s]:  Water

Zodiac:  Leo

Powers:  Money, Peace, Love, Protection, Tranquillity and Purification

Chakra:  Fifth – the Throat

Deity:  Ra, Cernunnos, Lugh, Helios

Other Names:  German Chamomile[US], Wild Chamomile, Scented Mayweed, Hungarian Chamomile, Roman Chamomile [UK],  Garden Chamomile, Ground Chamomile, Low Chamomile, Whig Plant, Ground Apple, English Chamomile

Many thanks for reading my blog today.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

Experience

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Magickal Hawthorn Tree: The Mayflower Tree – Revisited [again!] for Beltane

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

This blog was published in 2018, including part of my 2017 Beltane blog…I like reusing things, so why not the reuse of a blog? Especially if it touches on some very good points! Besides, it does aide me in getting more of the blogs from the old site over to this one…win! So, here in 2022 with much water under the bridge between here and 2018, I wish everyone a very happy and safe Beltane. May everyone be blessed with good health, prosperity and protection.

hawthorn alone
lone Hawthorn tree, courtesy of Google images

Happy Beltane, everyone! Or, if you are in The Land Down Under, Happy Samhain! I thought it appropriate to re-visit our Hawthorn tree blog today as it is traditionally used as the “May Pole” being today is also May Day.  And then I get thinking “what more can I say about the wonderful Hawthorn?”.  I really couldn’t think of  a thing, however, as I sat researching a herb I plan on writing about by reading in Nicholas Culpeper’s herbal, The English Physician, I ran across his passage on Hawthorn! What better way to begin my re-blog than to quote the words of the foremost herbalist of his day and still popular in our time? So, forgive the misspellings, for the English language had not quite been tamed yet, or, the authors of many of the olde worldy books just could not spell! Without further hesitation, I give you Nicholas Culpeper’s take on Hawthorn:

HAWTHOEN.

It is not my intention to trouble you with a description of this tree, which is so well known that it needs none.  It is ordinarily but a hedge bush, although being pruned and dressed, it grows to be a tree of reasonable height.

As for the Hawthorn Tree at Glastonbury, which is said to flower yearly on Christmas-day, it rather shews the superstition of those that observe it for the time of its flowering, than any great wonder, since the like may be found in divers other places of this land; as in Whey-street in Romney March, and near unto Nantwich in Cheshire, by a place called White Green, where it flowers about Christmas and May.  If the weather be frosty, it flowers not until January, or that the hard weather be over.

Government and virtues.]  It is a tree of Mars.  The seeds in the berries beaten to powder being drank in wine, are held singularly good against the [kidney] stone, and they are good for the dropsy.  The distilled water of the flowers stays the lask.  The seed cleared from the down, bruised and boiled in wine, and drank is good for inward tormenting pains.  If cloths and sponges be wet in the distilled water, and applied to any place wherein thorns and splinters, or the like, do abide in the flesh, it will notably draw them forth.

And thus you see the thorn gives a medicine for his own pricking and so doth almost everything else.” ~ Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician and Complete Herbal, 16th century

Culpeper’s way was to assign a planet to every tree, flower, and wort and every part of the human body was assigned a planet as well. If a wort or tree was ruled by Mars you only need to use it for healing the part of the body also ruled by Mars.  This was not something you took lightly in those days.  He spent most of his life researching by astrology, biology, and the science of making people well again. On the top of it all, he was quite a prolific writing.  Although centuries have passed since  this writing, we have found all to be true the things Culpeper learned in his research.  Many times when I am writing about a herb I consult The English Physician to see what Culpeper made of the herb back in his time and I find that we are still, for instance, using Angelica to help with stomach ailments or Cherry to cure a sore throat or chest congestion.  It goes to prove they did get it right in those days and we owe Culpeper and many others a huge debt of gratitude for what they learned and left with us.

Today is May Day and the first day of Beltane.  And in many places a tall post of Hawthorn may be being used today for a May Pole.  But I do hope in preparing the Hawthorn for its celebratory ritual that people remembered to use all of the Hawthorn and not to waste it…keeping leaves, bark, and so forth for healing potions or protections.

So, please enjoy the rest of the blog, if you have never read it before, and if you have, I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit with new information. Happy May Day and Beltane to all!

From August, 2017:

Hawthorn Ogham Pendant
Hawthorn Huath Ogham Pendant ~ photo by i.macy

The Hawthorn tree represents the sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 13 May – 9 June, and this period is represented by the Ogham for this tree, which is also the 6th letter of the ogham alphabet, Huath (Huathe, Uath). The Hawthorn Tree, or Mayflower tree, is sacred to Roman Goddess Flora, Celtic Goddesses Aine and Brigid, along with the Manx – Celtic God Manannàn Mac Leirr. This Ogham symbol is used in Celtic Reiki and its essence represents the energy of cleansing and preparation. It clears the mind of negative thoughts and mental confusion, offering clarity: it gives patience and offers stillness. The Hawthorn tree is masculine and usually, but not always, grows in hedges, but a lone Hawthorn tree, growing on a hill is a portal to the world of faery and is also considered one of the three trees of the Faery Triad, including Oak and Ash. We offer a Hawthorn Ogham pendant in our Etsy shop for those born in the lovely month of May, or in fact, to anyone who loves Hawthorn. Not available as of this writing.

Oak Ash and Thorn
The Faery Triad Talisman: Oak, Ash, and Thorn ~ photo by i.macy

Hawthorn Faery
Along with Oak and Ash, Hawthorn forms the “faery triad” that is especially inviting to the fae. Hawthorn is, in some ways, the faery tree, forming a portal to the faery realm and holding strong magick. The Hawthorn faery offers access to the Other-World, but also protects the unwary, so it is important to be patient with this spirit. She can enchant your life, bringing growth and fertility to all areas, and when the Hawthorn flowers in spring, it represents the bridal gown of the young Goddess. Hawthorn is sacred to the Welsh sun goddess Olwen, the “white lady of the day.” Where she trod she left white footprints on hawthorn, and her father, Yspaddaden Pencawr, was “Giant Hawthorn.” Thirteen tasks were demanded of her suitor, Culhwych, before he could marry her and overcome the power of the giant. Thirteen is a number associated with the moon, for the moon makes 13 circuits of the zodiac to one of the sun. Thus, the Hawthorn suggests union of sun and moon, male and female. The Hawthorn faery promises cleansing, fulfilment, guardianship, and fertility. Keeping grounded and practical is the best way to access her and use her gifts.” ~ The Faery Bible by Teresa Moorey

In Ireland, Hawthorns have always been highly respected as faery trees. They were often referred to as ‘gentle bushes’ after the custom of not naming faeries directly out of respect. Solitary thorns were known as the faeries’ Trysting Trees, and frequently grew on barrows and tumps or at crossroads, thought to be a favourite location of pagan altars.

Folklore: Much of the folklore attached to it seems to come from the fact that the tree is covered in long branches of early, white blossom around the time of Beltane – the First of May. In England, the Hawthorn is known as the Mayflower tree in honour of the month during which it blooms. Symbolising hope, it was the name the Pilgrims took for their famous ship, The Mayflower.

Hawthorn flowers
Hawthorn flowers ~ Courtesy of Google Images

If 1st of May seems early and the blossom is not ready – remember that the British calendar was changed and went forward 12 / 13 days in 1752 – trees have long memories and so work to the ancient dates! This is evident as well in Hawthorn’s place in the Ogham Tree Calendar – beginning now on 13th May – it would once have started on May 1st. Hawthorn is still prevalent in May Day celebrations, whatever the case.

Maypole_1500-56a6e0953df78cf77290a7cf
A Pagan Maypole celebration, led by the Green Man, photo courtesy of Google images

But whilst Hawthorn was a propitious tree at May-time, in other circumstances it was considered unlucky. Witches were supposed to make their brooms from it, and in some parts, it was equated with the abhorred Elder, as in the rhyme:

Hawthorn bloom and elder-flowers Will fill a house with evil powers.

In magick, Hawthorn is known as a psychic shield that can lift the spirits, and a little charm of the wood is a thoughtful gift for a friend going through a time of vulnerability or depression. It is also especially effective against malevolent spirits.

Protection Spell:
Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.
“On a piece of paper, write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection, and then wrap it around the thorns. Bury this in the ground – if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.” ~ Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Correspondences:
Planet: Mars and Venus
Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage
and male-female unity

Crystals: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite
Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin
Colour: Midnight Blue, Purple
Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea,
Hymen, Hera, Virgin Mary
Sabbat: Beltane, May Day
Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset,
thorn-apple tree, white thorn.

“A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn Until the tree was root and branches of my thought, Until white petals blossomed in my crown.” From The Traveller ~ by Kathleen Raine

I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Druidry.org

thoughtco.com

thegoddesstree.com

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

The Fairy Bible, by Teresa Mooney

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Experience

The Magickal Cherry Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Prunus avium ~ Evening Standard

Do you ever think you know it all?  Some of us older types do that sometimes.  So, there I was, thinking the Cherry tree came from Asian countries such as Japan and I find the UK has a native, yes native, Cherry tree all along! The Prunus avium, or Wild Cherry, is a native of the UK, no ties to Asiatic countries.  Well…knock me down with a feather!  Never too old to learn, I say.

The most important  Cherry tree in my life was from a child, when visiting my Nana’s farm and helping her pick cherries to put on a Victoria Sponge or to make tarts with. I was never much help as I ate more than I collected.  Still, she never failed to make a special tart just for me with the cherries I picked….I’m surprised that could have amounted to much, ha ha…she most likely added some of her own to my pitiful lot, as a good Nana will do.

In the Victorian Language of Flowers, white flowers from the Cherry tree meant deception.

Magickal

In Highland folklore, Wild Cherry trees had mysterious qualities, and to encounter one was considered auspicious and fateful.  In fact, in the Highlands it was once taboo to use Cherry wood, as Cherry trees, were regarded as being so magickal in Highland culture.  They were also a bit rarer in the Scottish Highlands as the Cherry tree grows best in the more southerly regions of the UK.

When using Cherry wood or any part of the Cherry tree for spells, please note it is best to do these rituals on the day of Venus [Friday] during the hour of Venus for best results.

Cherry stones have been used as talismans to attract love. According to Tess Whitehurst, authoress of such books as You are Magical and The Magic of Trees, Cherry blossoms are for divine love, forgiveness, gentleness, remembering one’s primal innocence, romance, and weight loss, although from my research the only one I find matching would be love.  Still, many witches do find new reasons for certain things working for them that no one else has done.

Any part of the Cherry tree can be used for spell work and for incense making [bark], oils, sachets, witch bottles, poppets, and the branches are well-suited to becoming magic wands.  The Cherry wood wand is best for healing and love spells / rituals.

Healing

Cherries rentacherrytree dot co dot uk
Cherries! ~ rentacherrytree.co.uk

Regarding the Cherry tree, Nicholas Culpeper wrote:  “The gum of the Cherry-Tree, dissolved in wine is good for a cold, cough, and hoarseness of the throat”.  The gum, I would presume came from within the bark of the Cherry tree, as most cold and cough remedies even to this day, use the bark of Cherry trees to silence coughs due to cold and to help expel phlegm.  Not only was the bark of the Cherry tree used in England and surrounding countries during this time but across the pond, Native Americans also used the bark of Cherry trees in the same way.  And, I am quite sure they did not consult Mr Culpeper’s writings, although it may be possible that returning Englishmen from North American travels may have passed round the knowledge about Cherry trees and we in turn began using this information for ourselves.

Other attributes of the Cherry tree’s fruit, by Mr Culpeper are the ability to “provoke urine” and also “mends colour in the face, sharpens the eyesight, provokes appetite, and to expel gravel and wind”… do I want to know what he means by ‘expel gravel’? Probably not… it is enough for me to know cherries will most likely make you fart.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Gender:  Feminine

Element[s]:  Fire, Water

Zodiac:  Aquarius, Aries

Powers:  Love, Wisdom, Money, Luck, Inner Peace, Healing, Divination,

Deity:  Morrigan, Artemis, Persephone, Herne, Mars, Pan, Thor, Vertumnus, Yaya Zurkurai

As always, I thank everyone for kindly reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c1702

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Woodland Trust

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Tansy

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I would first like to share this exact writing on Tansy from The English Physician and Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper:

Wild Tansy or Silver-weed.

This is also so well known, that it needs no description.

Place.] It grows in every place.

Time.] It flowers in June and July.

tanacetum-vulgare-isla-gold-farmyard-nurseries-uk
Tansy ~ Photo by farmyardnurseries.co.uk

Government and virtues.] Now Dame Venus hath fitted women with two herbs {ed. Isn’t it kind to give us only two?} of one name, the one to help conception, and the other to maintain beauty, and what more can be expected of her? {ed. I seriously am feeling bile rise in my throat!} What now remains is for you to love your husbands {ed. am choking here!}, and not to be wanting to your good neighbours? {ed. Have completely lost it now!}  Wild Tansy stays the lask, and all the fluxes of blood in men and women, which some say it will do, if the green herb be worn in the shoes, so it be next to the skin; and it is true enough that it will stop the terms, if worn so, and the whites too, for I ought to know {ed. I have no idea what he meant in that last sentence}.  It stays also the spitting or vomiting of blood.  The powder of the herb taken in some of the distilled water, helps the whites in women but more especially if a little coral and ivory in powder be put to it.  It is also recommended to help children that are bursten, and have a rupture, being boiled in water and salt.  Being boiled in water and drank it eases the griping pains of the bowels, and is good for the sciatica and joint-aches.  The same boiled in vinegar, with honey and allum, and gargled in the mouth eases the pains of the tooth-ache, fastens loose teeth, helps the gums that are sore {ed. I have a feeling that the “allum” alum is what works on the gums more so than the other ingredients}, settles the palate of the mouth in its place, when it is fallen down.  It cleanses and heals ulcers in the mouth, or secret parts {oh I say!}, and is very good for inward wounds, and to close the lips of green wounds, and to heal old, moist, and corrupt running sores in the legs or elsewhere.  Being bruised and applied to the soles of the feet and hand wrists, it wonderfully cools the hot fits of agues, be they never so violent. The distilled water cleanses the skin of all discolourings, therein, as morphew, sun-burnings, &c. as also pimples, freckles, and the like; and dropped into the eyes, or cloths wet therein and applied, takes away the heat and inflammation in them.

Where then, does it make a woman beautiful or bountiful? And how very patronising and chauvinistic! I admire Mr Culpeper for his work, not his opinions, clearly!

Tansy has had a lot said for it – and about it… not only was it once helpful in dressing the dead for funerals, apparently it was useful for keeping flies off fresh meat! You can repel ants and beetles from your home by planting Tansy around it.  I don’t know if the plant proper is helpful, but Tansy oil is said to repel mosquitoes. Tanacetum vulgare was originally a European plant but as many plants do when people immigrate, they became nationalised into other countries as well. In the Victorian language of flowers, Tansy flowers are a declaration of war. Tansy wreaths are suitable funeral decorations.

Magickal

Tansy is used in spells, charms and potions for longevity.  You can use it as an oil or make an oil infusion with the freshly cut herb by stuffing as much as possible into a large jar then adding olive oil or grapeseed oil. Let it sit in the sun for thirty days, turning it a half-turn round each day. Afterward, you can pour it off through a sieve or cheesecloth into a large bottle or several smaller bottles for use in your magickal workings.  You can also use the dried Tansy in loose incenses for whichever purpose your intention lies for your magickal work.  It can be added to poppets and sachets for different magickal reasons, as well.

Of course, Tansy can be added to witch bottles for your magickal intentions.

In  Hoo Doo Magick, Tansy, along with other herbs, are worn in the shoes of a person trying to keep under the radar of the law such as police officers.  Other herbs which can be blended with Tansy for this purpose are Asafoetida, Celandine, Devil’s Shoe Strings, Elder, Fennel, Black Mustard Seeds, and Oregano.

Tansy is often used in rituals of Womanhood such as first menses and motherhood.

Healing

Tansy may be used for expelling worms, one ounce of herb steeped in one pint of hot water drunk as a tea twice a day. This same remedy is employed for kidney and nervous troubles and low-grade fevers. It is also said to calm the stomach and relieve gas.  In large doses, however, it is very irritating to the stomach and digestive systems.  Excessive doses have produced seizures and uterine bleeding. Use on a regular basis causes organ degeneration.

An infusion of Tansy is a useful wash for scabies, eczema and fungal infections.

**Warning: Do not confuse Tansy with Tansy Ragwort which has rayed flowers and does not have sharp toothed leaves. Tansy Ragwort is toxic, not mildly toxic like Tansy, but extremely toxic.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Zodiac:  Gemini

Gender:  Feminine

Element:  Water

Powers:  Protection, Longevity, Fertility, Immortality, Health

Deity:  Mary, Hebe, Ganymeade, Ishtar, Eostra

Other Names:  Silver-Weed, Wild Tansy, Buttons

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s offering and that I have provided useful information to you.  Many thanks and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Witchipedia.org

herbmagic.com/tansy

experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Enchanter’s Nightshade

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

From Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics, by Richard Folkard, Jun, London 1884:

“ENCHANTER’S NIGHTSHADE.—Formerly the Atropa Mandragora used to bear this name, but by some mistake it has been transferred to the Circæa Lutetiana, an insignificant plant named after Circe, the famed enchantress, probably because its fruit, being covered with hooked prickles, lays hold of the unwary passers-by, as Circe is said to have done by means of her enchantments. The Mandrake was called “Nightshade,” from having been classed with the Solanum tribe, and “Enchanter’s” from its Latin name Circæa, a name which it obtained, according to Dioscorides, because Circe, who was expert in herbal lore, used it as a tempting powder in amorous concerns.”

An interesting little book which, if I understand correctly, sounds almost more like an apology for his bad information in the preface rather than a preface of something of great import.  But as it was of some interest, I just had to include it… take from it what you will.

Enchanters_Nightshade wanstead wildlife dot co dot uk
Enchanter’s Nightshade ~ wansteadwildlife.org.uk

You’ve seen the pretty pink slips bobbing in the breezes over the last month or so.  They are quite small and may be white instead of pink.  If you haven’t, try looking in shady places where the ground is moister such as shady woodlands, coppices, and perhaps in some hedge rows. If you have seen them, you have found Enchanter’s Nightshade.  If you’re not familiar with Enchanter’s Nightshade or Circaea lutetiana; this nightshade is a member of the willowherb family, Onagraceae.   It is not related to other nightshades such as the deadly nightshade.

The genus name comes from the enchantress Circe of Greek mythology and the specific designation is derived from Lutetia, the Latin name for Paris, which was sometimes referred to as the “Witch City”. Despite its name it is not especially toxic but contains a lot of the astringent tannin.  The plant is native to Europe, Middle Asia, Siberia, United Kingdom, and the eastern United States and Canada. It grow in woods in deep shade and moist environments on nitrogen-containing clay.

Circe was a powerful Grecian witch who, with the help of herbs, muttering incantations, or praying to her strange gods, could turn men into animals, or create unsubstantial images of beasts. She often called to her aid Nyx, Chaos, or Hecate. But as witchcraft may make a victim also of him or her who practises it, the nights of Circe could be wasted in fear because of the uncontrolled visions that filled her house. And so, for example, the walls and chambers of her palace could seem to be bathing in blood, whilst fire could seem to devour her magick herbs. That is why it was a relief for her when daylight came, and she could bathe and clean her garments, forgetting the scaring nightly visions. Circe also liked to attract others for the mission of sex magick, therefore it could be thought this is one reason this kind of nightshade is called Enchanter’s.

Magickal

enchanters nightshade
My dried Enchanter’s Nightshade ~ photo by i.macy

Enchanter’s Nightshade is a useful herb for aiding in the Laws of Attraction.  Not only the love kind of attraction but to attract whatever it is that you want in your life, including wealth, health, and any number of things. As a rule, Enchanter’s Nightshade does not attract wealth itself but it aids in the  Seven Laws of Attraction where you attract what you need and want into your life.  You may use it in the usual ways which you do for spell work, mainly useful in loose incenses to be burned over a charcoal disc.  This is a particularly good way to use it during meditation.  It is also useful in spells for binding, hexing, and love.  Mainly you may read that you use Belladonna [Deadly Nightshade] for hexing but those of us who would rather not, I have found that Enchanter’s Nightshade – absolutely no relative of the Deadly variety – works just as well. It is also said to be useful for shapeshifting and transformation in which you would drink it as a tea, however, be certain you have the correct herb before ingesting.  Take all due precautions and then take them again.

For enchanting or simply attracting the lover of your dreams, make a sachet of dried Enchanter’s Nightshade to carry with you when you have opportunity to be near this person.  In our Love witch bottle necklace, Enchanter’s Nightshade is an ingredient. You may also use with other dried herbs which attract love, such as Vervain, in a loose incense to burn during spell work for love.  And, of course, if you prefer making poppets, use the Nightshade in those as well.

Healing

According to Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician and Complete Herbal:  It is a cold Saturnine plant.  The common Nightshade is wholly used to cool hot inflammations either inwardly or outwardly, being no ways dangerous to any that use it, as most of the rest of the Nightshades are, yet it must be used moderately.  The distilled water only of the whole her is fittest and safest to be taken inwardly:  The juice also clarified and taken being mingled with a little vinegar, is good to wash the mouth and throat that is inflamed; But outwardly the juice of the herbs or berried, with oil of roses and a little vinegar and ceruse laboured together in a leaden* mortar, is very good to anoint all hot inflammations in the eyes.  It also doth much good for the shingles, ringworms, and in all running, fretting, and corroding ulcers, applied thereunto.  The juice dropped into the ears eases pains thereof that arise of heat or inflammations  And Pliny saith, it is good for hot swellings under the throat.  Have a care you mistake not the deadly nightshade for this; if you know it not, you may let them both alone, and take no harm having other medicines sufficient in the book.”

In medicine Saturn presides over the skeletal system, skin, teeth, gall bladder, spleen, and vagus nerve. Saturn symbolised processes and things which were dry and extremely cold, and was therefore inimical to life. It governed the melancholic humour.

Nearly all I can find about the use of Enchanter’s Nightshade for nowadays is using it as an astringent for skin maladies.  Oh yes, and the [*] above – please do not use any leaden vessel in the preparation of herbs for health and physical use.  I don’t think I need to say it, still, there can always be that one 😊

Correspondences

Planet:  Saturn

Zodiac:  Capricorn and Aquarius

Gender:  Female

Element:  Earth and Water

Powers:  Healing, Love, Binding, Hexing

Deity:  Circe

Other Names:  Sorcerer of Paris, Witch’s Grass, Great Witch Herb, Wood Magic Herb, Paris Nightshade, Herb of St. Etienne, Southern Broadleaf Nightshade

Many thanks for reading my humble little blog.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician and Complete Herbal [17th century]

Richard Folkard, Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics [Jun, London 1884]

Witchipedia

Woodlands.co.uk

Experience

The Magickal Fig Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

fresh figs
Fresh Figs ~ photo courtesy of Eric Hunt, his original work

According to the most recent figures I have found, there are between 750 and 850 Fig tree species.  One of the most popular Fig tree species is Ficus benjamina, or just “Ficus” which many of us grow inside our homes.  But the one I’ll be writing about today is the Ficus carica, or “Common Fig” which produces the lovely Figs which songs have been written about.

There is evidence that figs, specifically the Common fig [Ficus carica] and Sycamore fig [Ficus sycomorus], were among the first – if not the very first – plant species that were deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11, 000 years ago.

Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plant in the mulberry family, known as the Common Fig [or just “the fig”].  It is the source of the fruit also called the fig and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially.  Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.  The species has become naturalised in scattered locations in Asia and North America.

Unlike other fig species, Ficus carica does not always require pollination by a wasp or from another tree, but can be pollinated by the fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes to produce seeds. Fig wasps are not present to pollinate in colder countries like the United Kingdom as they need warmer climates to live and breed. The Fig tree is androgynous, with the fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves representing the masculine.

The Fig is listed by the Druids [Druidry.org] as a “birth tree” for Jun 14-23 and Dec 12-20 which I have listed in an older blog, but to this day I have not had time to settle in and learn why they have a much different list of birth trees and dates than the one for the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar.  I do plan on sorting this out eventually!

Magickal

In Greek mythology it is believed that Demeter gave a Fig to Dionysus as a gift, hence the link to love and fertility. The Greeks revered Figs so much that they made it illegal to transport excellent quality Figs. The Romans held Figs sacred as well, and it was believed that the wolf who raised Romulus and Remus rested under a Fig tree. The Buddhists viewed the Fig tree as a symbol of enlightenment, as it is believed the Buddha reached his enlightenment under a Fig tree [the Pipal, Ficus religiosa]. Ashoka the Great bestowed kingship on the branch from the very tree and planted it in a thick-rimmed solid gold vase.

Figs are linked to male potency. Men can eat fresh Fig to increase their potency and virility, as it increases the mobility of male sperm.  As the copious amount of seeds within the fruit suggests, Figs can help with fertility magick. Women have carried Fig carved into phallic images to raise their chances of conceiving.  When travelling, leave a fig tree outside of the door. This will ensure you return safe and happy. Grow Fig in the kitchen to make sure that your family never goes hungry.  To get an answer to a question, you can write the question on a Fig leaf; if the leaf takes a long time to dry, the answer is yes, and if it dries quickly than the answer is no.  Growing a Fig tree in the home can bring the household good luck. Fig trees grown in the bedroom can help with restful sleep.

The wood and bark from Ficus/Fig trees can be used in poppets and loose incenses for purposes of fertility, and good luck, as well.  We once offered this in our shop.

Health

An ointment made of the juice and hog’s grease, is an excellent remedy for the biting of mad dogs, or other venomous beasts, as most are.  A syrup made of the leaves, or green fruit, is excellent good for coughs, hoarseness, or shortness of breath, and all diseases of the breast and lungs; it is also excellently good for the dropsy and falling sickness.  They say that the Fig Tree, as well as the Bay tree, is never hurt by lightning; as also if you tie a bull, be he ever so mad, to a Fig Tree, he will quickly become tame and gentle.  As for such figs as come from beyond sea, I have little to say because I write not of exoticks” – Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century excerpt from The English Physician and Complete Herbal.

ficus carica rhs co uk
Ficus carica, Fig trees ~ courtesy of rhs.co.uk

Plant parts and extracts of the Fig tree have traditionally been used for internal, as well as external, application. For example, poultices from fresh or dried Figs, Fig leaves, or Fig wines; lye from Fig tree bark; or latex from stems and leaves have been used to aid in many conditions. Latex has been used as expectorant, diuretic, and anthelmintic, or to ameliorate anaemia. Leaves are known for their antidiabetic and vermifuge effect. However, they also cause contact dermatitis in humans and phototoxicity in animals. Seeds are processed to edible oil or lubricants. Sporadic cases of fig allergy after ingestion of fig fruit have been reported, especially in patients whom are allergic to Ficus benjamina. Also, Phyto photodermatitis caused by contact with various parts of Ficus carica has been reported and linked to furanocoumarins in latex.  If you have an allergy to latex I would suggest not using those parts of the Fig/Ficus in your healing practise.

Correspondences

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Deities: Aphrodite, Demeter, Hathor, Juno

Powers: Divination, Prosperity, Fertility, Love, Luck

Folk Names: Common Fig, Fico, Mhawa, Chagareltin

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

Sources

BBC

Wikipedia

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Druidry.org

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Calendula


Instagram: @thewandcarver

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Calendula Indian Prince The Irish Times
Calendula “Indian Prince” ~ The Irish Times

The Calendula flower, or Marigold, as it also known, can put a smile on just about anybody’s face…unless of course, you are bound and determined not to! This flower was revered by the ancient Egyptians for the glow it could give their skin and it has been used in matrimonial garlands in India, garnish in Greece, and pot plants in and around homes in Europe and North America. A sunny garden in Britain has almost always had Calendula growing in it. The plants are very inexpensive and easy to grow. But Calendula was not always just a pretty face. It was used for many different illnesses to relieve pain and suffering or to heal the heart and skin.

Magickal:

Calendula Dried
My dried Calendula ~ Photo by I. Macy

Calendula can clear one’s aura by drinking it in tea form. It can clear negative energy in a room just by using it in a potpourri or placing it in sachets around the room. If you aren’t feeling optimistic and rather gloomy, just carry the flowers in your pockets or you can make yourself a poppet of yourself and use Calendula in it, making your intention known as you create it that you wish to be upbeat and happy again. The same can be used to draw happy and positive people into your life.
Place Calendula under your bed for protection from robbery. It is also a good thing to keep in your pockets for dealing with legal matters. Calendula could easily be said to be a good herb/flower in working with the Laws of Attraction… it will help you to draw to you what you wish for by positive thinking and belief in yourself. The more you use Calendula the better it works for you. And, once you have acquired your needs, be it happiness, wealth, or what-have-you, Calendula teaches you how to maintain it. For Calendula to be its most magickal, harvest during full Sun.

Healing:
Calendula is an anti-inflammatory. It has been used for a wide range of health problems since before the 1600’s. Plasters, or “plaisters” as it was spelled in Culpeper’s were made to bring down swelling and to drink the tea was beneficial to the heart, as well as to “expel any malignant or pestilential quality which might annoy them”. Another way to aide the heart was to make a plaster with the petals, hog’s grease, turpentine, and rosin [resin] to succour the heart “infinitely in fevers, whether pestilential or not”. It was used as a talisman to prevent one from falling ill with the Plague. Nowadays it is used for everything from acne to varicose veins. Calendula is now, as it always has been, an excellent healer of wounds and is also said to reverse wrinkles as it helps the body stimulate the production of collagen. It can also be used as a pain reliever and is a superb immunity booster.

Correspondences:
Planetary: Sun
Zodiac: Leo
Gender: Masculine
Element: Fire
Powers: healing, protection, anti-negativity
Deity: Ra, Vishnu, Lakshmi
Chakra: Solar Plexus
Other Names: Marigold, Holligold, Bull’s Eyes, Gold Bloom

“The Marigold that goes to bed wi’ the sunne, And with him rises weeping” Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale

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

Sources:
The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper
Experience

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet, Angelica

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Angelica Archangelica coblands-co-uk
Angelica Archangelica ~ coblands.co.uk

As Angelica Archangelica grows wild in every country lay-by ditch practically, you can wildcraft this herb very easily, however, be very careful not to confuse it with Water Hemlock, which is very poisonous. Angelica is a member of the parsley family and grows to be three to eight feet tall. I have read that it is possibly originally from Syria, but no matter, as it is probably nationalised in every country in the world by now. That is if the soil is moist and rich and not getting too much sun. If you choose to grow your own, keep this in mind. It is not overly fond of the sun beating down upon it. If you do wish to plant your own Angelica, do not plant them near Dill, should you also be growing it.

Angelica has a history of being the “Warder”. It was used to ward off the Plague and many other sicknesses and evils. Nicholas Culpeper wrote: “It [Angelica] resists poison, by defending and comforting the heart, blood, and spirits; it doth the like against the Plague and all epidemical diseases, if the root be taken in powder to the weight of half a dram at a time, with some good treacle in some Carduus water and the party thereupon laid to sweat in his bed.

Angelica has always been used to ward off evil as long ago as when the old Julian calendar was used and was so named because it usually came into bloom around the feast day of the Archangel Michael, who appeared in a vision to explain the plant’s protective powers against evil. Nowadays with the Gregorian calendar, the plant does not bloom quite so near the feast day. Just to tell you how far different the two calendars are, today, as I write this is 6 May 2018. If we were still using the Julian calendar, it would be 23 April 2018!

Magickal

Angelica
My dried Angelica ~ photo by i.macy

Magickally speaking, the time to gather Angelica is during the time the Sun is in Leo and gather in the hour of Jupiter. Per Nicholas Culpeper: “Let Sol be angular; observe the like in the gathering of herbs [of other planets, as well] and you may happen to do wonders.
Angelica is commonly used for general protection, especially against evil spirits and hex-breaking as well as general blessing and is especially useful for the defence of women. Grow Angelica on your property to protect your garden and home.

Angelica root can be carried alone or added to talismans to increase longevity and ward off illness and evil spirits. Keep Angelica in a white bag and charge it to protect your baby.

Smoking the leaves is said to increase clairvoyance and encourage visions. We, of course, do not advocate the smoking of anything ahem

Angelica is excellent in incense for exorcisms, healing and protection. It is also used as a bath to remove curses placed on the individual and sprinkled around a home to protect the house and those within from baneful magick. Mix with consecrated salt before sprinkling around your home.

Healing
According to Culpeper in his Complete Herbal, Angelica helped all diseases of the lungs and breast, including pleurisy, coughs, shortness of breath. It helped the pain of cholic and stoppage of urine, opened stoppings of the liver and spleen, “dis-cusseth” all windiness and inward swellings. Just below I have copied and pasted this from another place in my computer papers:

Angelica tea is useful for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, heartburn, nausea, ulcers and various other digestive ailments. It is a good general tonic which strengthens the liver and improves general well-being and mental harmony and is good for chronic headaches, fevers and general body weakness as it improves circulation and increases energy.”

Isn’t it wonderful that what Physicians learnt all those centuries ago about herbs were correct? And that it was a blessing for the people of that time or more would have died needlessly from not having the modern medications we do today. Still, we do strive not to give way to modern medications any more than necessary and much prefer the old ways of curative herbalism.

Be careful of using too much Angelica at a time and it would not hurt to stick to the old herbals for the amount to take, for instance, half a dram. Of course, many people prefer to buy their herbal remedies online or in the shops – and this is fine, not everyone can grow all the herbs they need! – so be sure to follow the directions for use carefully.

Externally, Angelica can be used to cleanse wounds and promote healing. Just make a tincture of the leaves and/or roots to cleanse your wound.

Warnings – Angelica should not be used by pregnant women as it encourages activity in the pelvic region and may cause miscarriage.

Because of its high sugar concentration, Angelica should be used with extreme caution or not at all by diabetics.

Correspondences:
Planetary: Sun
Zodiac: Leo
Element: Fire
Deity: Venus, Helios, Lugh, Apollo, Frey and Ra
Powers: Protection
Other Names: Lady of the Meadow, Queen of the Ditch, Bridewort, Archangel, Masterwort, Ground Ash, Holy Ghost Root, Archangel Root, Dong Quai, Root of the Holy Ghost

Many thanks for reading! I appreciate all who come to read my blogs and I hope you will learn something new whilst here. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century
The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham
Experience