Thursday, April 2, 2020

April Pink Moon Worksheet

full moon, esbat, ritual, witchcraft, moon magic

April's Full Moon, commonly known as Pink Moon, Hare Moon, Egg Moon or Wind Moon, is a time of rebirth and renewal. The name Pink Moon originates from the iconic pink phlox that grave this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Both the names Hare Moon and Egg Moon originate from the animals commonly seen this time of year. The rabbits are seen romping through the fields as birds begin to nest and lay the first eggs of the season. The name Wind Moon comes from the fact that as the storms begin to leave us, the winds of change remain. This is the perfect time for rebirth, new beginnings, and fertility magic. Start a new project, clean out your home, and allow the winds of change to bring new beginnings and renewal to your life.

This month's Full Moon worksheet contains the usuals of my past Full Moon worksheets, including a to release and cleanse section, a box for your intuition, and a tarot spread. Unlike past worksheets, however, this one can be used every April, as it is based on the correspondences of the moon itself and not other astrological events. The tarot spread for this month features 4 cards to help you with this transition into new beginnings.

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Looking for more free worksheets? Why not get your free copy of my spell/ritual worksheet to write your best spells and rituals yet?

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Apothecary At Home: A New Subscription Box for the Budding Herbalist

subscription box, herbal remedies, herbal medicine, witchcraft, herb magic, green witch, kitchen witch, hedgewitch

I am super excited to share a new subscription box that will be launching later this year with all of you. Apothecary At Home is an upcoming month-to-month subscription box that will introduce aspiring healers to Western Herbalism. Each box will contain 1-3 herbal allies, seeds, growing materials, medicine-making projects, and study resources designed to teach you herbalism from the comfort of your own home. I am a huge supporter of hands-on-learning and strongly believe in teaching someone how to fish rather than simply handing them a fish. Many herbal subscription boxes on the market send you a box full of already made remedies in the hope that you'll come back to buy more of their products when you run out. Apothecary At Home takes this idea and turns it on its head by teaching you how to become the herbalist. Better yet, it's a small business, created and founded by witches just like you and me.

You can sign up to receive updates about the box and possibly win a lifetime subscription on their landing page now. I'm so excited about this box, and can't wait to review the first box!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Tansy

tansy, herb magic, witchcraft, herbal remedies, hedgewitch, green witch, kitchen witch, herb

Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Health, Longevity
Magical Uses and History: Tansy's scientific name Tanacetum vulgare comes from "Athanaton" meaning "immortal" or "immortality." According to Greek myth, Zeus made Ganymede, a youth he fell in love with, immortal by having him drink a juice made from tansy. However, tansy is regarded as toxic and has a history of being used as a poison for both humans and pests alike. It is likely Ganymede was made immortal through death. As such, tansy can be carried or worn to promote longevity or can be used in banishment spells to rid yourself of unwanted people, events, or spirits.

Despite being toxic, tansy is a preservative and was often used for embalming or during funeral rites because of its slow decomposition. The scent of the flowers was believed to help the spirits of the dead on their journey to the afterlife. They can be placed on an ancestral altar to honor loved ones or used to contact spirits.

Furthermore, tansy is an herb of Spring, signifying rebirth and renewal. Place it on your altar to honor Venus.

Tansy can be used in a number of spells including:
    Longevity Spells
    Death Magic
    Spirit Work
    Ancestral Veneration

Medicinal Uses: Tansy is most commonly used to treat intestinal parasites, specifically roundworms and threadworms. As a bitter, it can stimulate digestion and help ease dyspepsia or indigestion. Topically, tansy cream can be used to treat scabies. However, tansy is toxic in high dosages and should be used in moderation as it contains thujone, a psychedelic and poison. It can also stimulate menstruation and should not be taken by women who are pregnant or wishing to become pregnant.

Preparation and Dosage: Internally, tansy flowers can be taken as an infusion. Pour a cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried flower and allow it to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink up to twice a day. This infusion can also be applied to the skin to treat scabies.  As a tincture, take 1-2 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
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Monday, March 23, 2020

Spring Equinox Altar 2020

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

Ostara or the Spring Equinox marks the first day of Spring in most traditions. It is a celebration of new life, fertility, prosperity, and abundance. The Sun begins warming the Earth, melting the snow and bringing with it an abundance of new life. Dandelions and daffodils bloom in full colors, trees begin to blossom, and the birds, bees, and rabbits return to feast upon the new blossoms. Because the Equinox is a time of equality, equal day and night, I wanted to create a balanced altar with some symbolism of this duality represented. I used traditional symbols of spring, including pinks, greens, and blues as well as eggs, rabbits, and flowers, all of which embody the spirit of Spring.

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

1. White Candles- White is the color of purity and new beginnings. Life is starting anew as Spring arrives, and the flame represents the Sun who breathes life back into the Earth by fertilizing Her with His vibrant rays. The white sand in the bottom of the candle holder represents the last of the snow that is melting away, nourishing the soil with life-giving waters. I chose the iridescent candleholders because their colors remind me of Spring, the light blues, pinks, and yellows commonly associated with this time of year. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree (2018-2020); Cost: $1 for each candle holder and $1 for all the candles)

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

2. Marble Egg- The blue, marble egg is the ultimate symbol of fertility and new beginnings. As Spring begins, the birds flock back to their mating grounds, building nests and laying eggs that will give birth to the next generation. I placed it in the center of my altar as fertility is the predominant theme of Ostara. The blue color represents healing, calm, and femininity, something I believe is currently lacking in the world right now. (Where did I get it: Free; a gift from my family. It could easily be replaced with a plastic egg or a real egg for $0.25; Egg holder: Target 2018; $1)

3. Ceramic White and Gold Rabbits:  Rabbits, due to their rapid breeding, are strongly associated with fertility, new life, and new beginnings. They are also one of the first animals to appear in the spring, making them considered the harbingers of Spring. This year I chose to place both a white and gold rabbit on my altar. The white rabbit represents the purity of the Spring Earth and the rapid blossoming of the trees. The golden rabbit represents the nourishing rays of the Sun who showers the Earth with the abundance of His radiant glow. Together they represent the duality of equal day and night characteristic of the Spring Equinox. (Where did I get it: Hobby Lobby 2017; Cost: $3 each)

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

4. Yarn Carrots- Carrots, with their phallic shape, represent masculinity, lust, and fertility. In fact, carrots are believed to cure impotence in men and increase fertility in women, making them the perfect addition to an Ostara altar. Furthermore, their orange color represents fire, passion, and the Sun.  (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2020; Cost: $1 for a package of 4)

5. Green Aventurine- The light hues of the green aventurine represent the new life sprouting up in the warming Earth and abundance. Furthermore, aventurine is known as a balancing crystal, helping to balance both masculine and feminine energy, making it the perfect crystal to represent the Spring Equinox. I placed two aventurine crystals on my altar to represent this duality and harmony between masculine and feminine energy. (Where did I get it: Metaphysical Store; Cost: $1 each)

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

6. Pink Flower Incense Holder- In the center is an incense holder without the incense. I used it because of its pink color and flower shape. The flower represents the new blossoms of Spring, and being pink, it represents love and unity, which results in the flowering fruits so abundant at this time. (Where did I get it: Five Below 2019; Cost: $3)

Ostara, spring equinox, altar, witchcraft, witch altar, sabbat, spring, witchy, occult, pagan, wicca, wiccan

TOTAL COST: ~$15-16

Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of break down helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

How did you celebrate the Spring Equinox/Ostara this year?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Book Review: The Sacred Herbs of Spring by Ellen Evert Hopman

Beltane, sabbat, herb magic, herbal remedies, book review, witchy, witchcraft, herb craft, magical herbs

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, I know. A second book review in a row, but this is mostly what I have been doing to distract myself from some of the things going on in my life. In case you don't follow me on IG or FB, my youngest cat, Charlie, was recently at the emergency vet for several days. He is home now and doing well considering, but needless to say it was an extremely scary 4 days on top of COVID-19 closing almost everything around me, including my work. So reading and working from home is mostly what I have been doing to distract myself. But I am glad I've been reading because this book was great!

Hopman's previous book, The Sacred Herbs of Samhain, keeps popping up in my Amazon suggestions and I've seen it reviewed and posted about numerous times over the past couple of months. I am certainly interested in the book and when I was given the opportunity to review her newest book, The Sacred Herbs of Spring, I jumped on the opportunity. I was not disappointed! Hopman is a Druid and master herbalist, and it shows in her writing. Each chapter is filled with herbs and plants scared to Beltane based upon what you can use them for. Much like my herbarium posts, Hopman discussed each plant's folklore and their medicinal uses. For many of the plants, she also includes delicious recipes for culinary dishes as well as herbal remedies. Each description also comes with an extensive warning, allowing the reader to make an informed choice as to which plants they may or may not want to use. Furthermore, Hopman includes extensive research and cites her sources faithfully. As a scholar, I greatly appreciated her attention to detail.

My favorite chapter was over herbs to use to contact spirits and the Otherworld, but I felt some of the entries were lacking. There was much more Hopman could have included in this chapter, but for those interested in Otherworldly travel, it's a great introduction to some of the herbs you can use. Apart from otherworldly travel, Hopman also includes extensive sections on protection, clarity, love, and to attract nature spirits. She ends the book with a discussion of Beltane traditions, folklore, and foods. Her writing style is authoritative and scholarly but not boring. She weaves a story about each herb, sucking the reader in. I gobbled this book up in three days and strongly encourage anyone interested in plant folklore or herbal uses purchase this book up!

My only complaint about the book is that it does not, in fact, include a detailed description of what the plants look like. While I know a lot about herbs, there were some that I was not sure what they looked like and found myself Googling them. The temporary ARC I read had botanical prints at the beginning of the book, but not paired with the herbs in each chapter. I strongly encourage readers, especially those with limited herbal knowledge, to pair this book with a companion field guide. Hopman includes all the scientific names, so using a field guide should be rather easy. When it doubt, avoid using an herb unless you are 100% sure you are picking the right thing. Buying online from a reputable dealer is best for those unskilled in herbal identification.

The Sacred Herbs of Spring by Ellen Evert Hopman is available for pre-order now and will be released on May 1st, 2020 so pick up your copy today!

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