Monday, December 9, 2019

December Full Moon Worksheet

full moon, witchcraft, tarot, ritual planning

This month's Full Moon falls on the 12th and falls in Gemini, that two-faced SOB. Can you tell I am a little salty? Needless to say, this month's Full Moon will be a little chaotic. There is a chance that money and/or relationship problems will come to a head this month, so be prepared to release what no longer serves you going into the New Year. Being the last moon of the year, this is the perfect time to think critically over the past year and reflect upon what you need to release. It's not going to be a super easy Full Moon, so be prepared to do a little work. Like everything month, this Full Moon worksheet includes all the usuals, from a release and cleanse box to a tarot spread. The 5-card tarot spread is designed to help you identify what you should release prior to the New Year so you can start 2020 off on the right foot.

full moon, witchcraft, tarot, ritual planning


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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Book Review: The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs by Judy Ann Nock

book review, magical herbs, witchcraft, kitchen witch

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.

Time for another book review witches and I am so excited to share this one with you! I just finished The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs by Judy Ann Nock and I am in love! This is one of the best witchcraft herbal books I have ever read in all of my life. Yes, it's better than Cunningham. Blasphemy, I know.

Nock begins the book by breaking down common uses of herbs, from medicine to gardening to cooking, with magical correspondences sprinkled throughout. I absolutely loved all the little historical asides, myths, and folklore on the different herbs or uses she was discussing. These asides offer a glimpse into the past and offer a deeper understanding of how magical traditions regarding plants developed over time and why we have many of the magical correspondences we do today. To add to my love, Nock also takes a scientific approach to herbs, advising readers to be aware of reactions and always consult a physician or herbalist when using herbs.

In the section on gardening, which is one of my favorites, Nock introduces "sacred sustainability," or the idea that we should live and harvest sustainably and that this act is sacred in and of itself. This resonated with me as an environmental science teacher and as a witch. She discusses creating your own magical garden as well as how to create your own compost with a magical spin. Her discussion of compost and how creating it is a magical act tied to the Wheel of the Year, the Elements, and the Triple Goddess was deeply profound. I honestly had never thought about compost as being magical, but after reading her explanation, I'm converted. If anything, she taught me at that moment to recognize the magic in even the most mundane of acts. She evens offers an amazing composting ritual to do when you begin your gardening journey. I've never been so excited to create compost in my entire life. Haha!

She follows up with a great section on kitchen witchery, which, while short, introduces the idea that cooking is a magical act. This section could have been longer, but there are lots of great books on the topic out there and I believe Nock was just trying to briefly introduce the subject to peak interest. The following chapter covers herbs in wellness. Here, she breaks down the different schools of thought on treating disease. I was thankful she pointed out some of the flaws of homeopathy but would have liked to have seen more in this section explaining the controversy behind it. Homeopathy is based on the idea that like cures like and through dilution we make a cure more powerful. There is ZERO, and I mean ZERO, scientific evidence to support homeopathy, which is very different from naturopathy and other holistic forms of medicine. But I digress. This is definitely an argument for another time.

Following this introduction to the uses of herbs comes a beautifully illustrated section covering 100 herbs and their history, associations, and magical uses. I would have liked to have seen this section fleshed out a little more, especially regarding the history, but fully understand that to cover each herb in such detail would take many a book. Despite this, the section is great and offers some new information, even for me! I look forward to seeing the illustrations in the physical copy. They are beautiful in the electronic copy I read, so I can only imagine they are even better in person.

Part 2 is all about using herbs in magical workings. Her uses and suggestions are new and inventive and have given me so many ideas for future spells. This is the first time in at least 2 years that I have read through spells and been like, "Oh! How thoughtful and inspiring! I am going to use this!" Her spells cover everything from self-care, luck, love, divination, shadow work, and healing. Nock also offers suggestions on how herbs can be used as magical tools and on your altar. There is mention in this book of the Rule of Three, but it was so brief that it didn't turn me off from the rest of the book. There is so much more to this book than Wicca.

I can't even begin to stress how much I loved this book. In fact, I went ahead and preordered a copy because I just had to have the physical copy to make notes in. If you only purchase one book this year, make sure its this one. It is an absolute must-read for all witches, new or not. The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs by Judy Ann Nock will be available on December 10, 2019, so preorder your copy today!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Meditation, Astral Projection, and Hedge Riding: What's the Difference?

meditation, astral projection, hedge riding
You can read more about the differences, specifically between meditation, pathwalking, and hedge riding here.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Importance of Gratitude in Witchcraft

witchcraft, gratitude, Law of Attraction

If you live in the United States, today is Thanksgiving, the day we have designated to be grateful for the time we have been given, the family and friends in our lives, and all the little things we may have that make our lives just a little bit better. In regards to the Wheel of the Year, Thanksgiving is closely related to Mabon, but without the lunar calendar involved. Either way, gratitude and the expression of it is an important magical practice for a variety of reasons.

Witchcraft in and of itself is a work of gratitude. When we practice witchcraft we are honoring our ancestors, the land, animals and plants, and the spirits around us. This act of gratitude takes many forms, from setting up an altar to offerings, and plays an important part in our own transformation. By expressing gratitude, we contribute to our own happiness and form a deep connection with the world around us, both of which are important to personal development.

Any spell or ritual regarding manifestation relies heavily on gratitude. There are roughly three parts to a manifestation spell or ritual: an invocation, a petition, and an expression of gratitude. During the invocation phase, we call upon whatever spirits, deities, elements, etc that we work with to connect with the source, that font of energy we use as witches to manifest change. Next, we ask for specifically what we want because without asking how does the Universe know what to give us? And finally, we end the ritual with gratitude, an act of thanks that lets the Universe know that this change will manifest in our lives and that we are thankful for it. This final act is a sure-fire way to manifest what we want. When we are grateful for what is yet to come as well as what we already have, we align our personal energies to attract that which we seek. This is based on the Law of Attraction, that like attracts like, and the 7 Hermetic Principles.

According to the Law of Attraction, everything is energy. As witches, we are already fully aware of this, knowing that all things vibrate and that we can harness this energy and manipulate it to bring about change. We too have vibrations that can be manipulated by our surroundings. If you pay attention, you may notice your vibration shift when you log into social media, and often not in a good way. There is a lot of negativity out there, especially on social media, and it subconsciously affects us. However, when we shift our focus toward gratitude, our vibration also shifts. Our vibration is directly tied to what we get in life. When we are negative and foul, we often attract other negative and foul things. Have you ever noticed when you are in a good mood that the world around you is a better place? The Law of Attraction teaches us that our thoughts (the mental plane in Hermetism) can directly impact the world around us (the physical plane), which ultimately impacts our spiritual self and our magic (spiritual plane).

I am by no means telling you you have to be positive all the time. Quite the contrary. I fully recognize the value of expressing "negative" emotions and how we can harness that storm to manifest as well. You can read more about how I think the love and light movement is hurting us hereHowever, scientific studies have shown that the expression of gratitude actually changes the chemistry in the brain for the better. So what does this mean for you, as a witch?

I strongly encourage you to express gratitude daily, in whatever means you deem best for you and your situation. Some of us pray when we wake, before a meal, or before bed; some of us write in journals; others still make daily offerings. How you express gratitude can be as simple or as complex as you wish. Personally, I'm an affirmation/prayer type person. I talk to myself a lot, especially when I am alone, and during these times I often express my gratitude. When I notice I am starting to get frustrated, I take a deep breath, name one thing I am thankful for, and let the frustration go. Sometimes I am not very good about doing this, but it helps when I do it. However, you decide to express your gratitude, be sure you mean it. It's not going to work if you don't believe in yourself.

So this holiday season, how you are you planning to express your gratitude? Do you already have a daily gratitude practice? Share in the comments below.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Rue

rue, magical, correspondences, medicinal

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Powers: Creativity, Exorcism, Healing, Health, Mental Abilities
Magical Uses and History: Known as the Queen of Herbs, rue is native to the Mediterranean where it has been used in rituals and spells since antiquity. In Ancient Rome, it was believed rue could protect the eater from the Evil Eye and guarded against poisons, illness, and fleas. Because cats find the smell of rue repulsive, it was believed rue could ward off witches and their familiars as well, although some reports say rue was used by witches to help them identify each other. Either way, rue was commonly added to bathwater to break curses and hexes and was hung above the front entrance or carried in sachets for protection against everything from bad luck to witches to snakes to werewolves. It was believed to be the "protect-all" of herbs. Later it was mixed into incense to be used during exorcisms and used by the Catholic Church to sprinkle holy water on its followers to ward off evil, thus becoming known as the "herb of grace." It can still be hung in the home, sprinkled around you during magical workings, or worn for protection.

Because of its generally perceived protective nature, rue was also used in a number of healing rituals. The genus name Ruta comes from the Greek word reuo, which means to set free, a nod to its ability to set one free from disease. True to form, rue has many healing abilities. Early physicians considered rue to be a deterrent against the plague and other diseases and was prescribe to be worn around the neck. Rue was also commonly placed on the forehead to cure headaches. Rue can be added to incense, spells, and poppets during healing rituals to increase the potency of the magic.

Apart from protection and health, rue was also believed to improve eyesight and creativity. Breathing in the aromatic scent is said to clear the head and improve mental processes. Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci regularly consumed small amounts of rue to increase their creativity and clear their minds. This link to creativity and protection is said to live on in playing cards in the form of the suit of clubs.

Rue can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Creativity Spells
    Psychic Development
    Healing Rituals

Medicinal Uses: Rue is most commonly used to regulate the menstrual cycle, bringing on suppressed menses. Oil of Rue is also a powerful abortive, and therefore should be avoided if pregnant or wishing to become pregnant. Due to its antispasmodic properties, it can be used to relax the muscles, spasmodic coughs, and lower blood pressure. When chewed, it can relieve tension headaches, palpitations, and anxiety. Furthermore, rue contains high levels of flavonoids, particularly rutin, which strengthens blood vessels and therefore can improve eyesight. As an anthelmintic, it can treat parasitic worms. It should be noted that rue also contains furanocoumarins which can make the skin sensitive to light, whether it be after ingesting the herb or touching the juices of the plant.

Preparation and Dosage: Rue is taken internally as an infusion, tincture, oil, or capsule. To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs and allow to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. If taking a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters up to three times a day. Rue should not be used in pregnant or if you wish to become pregnant. In high doses, rue can cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain, severe kidney and liver damage, and even death. However, this is usually in doses of more than 120 milligrams or more (1/2 cup of oil). As with all herbs, consult a medical professional before using.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
rue, magical, correspondences, medicinal