Thursday, January 18, 2018

Herbarium: Orange Blossom

Magical and Medicinal Properties of Orange. Includes FREE BOS page!

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Powers: Divination, Fertility, Love, Luck, Money
Magical Uses and History: Try as I might, there is very little recorded history regarding the orange. Eight magical books and several dozen websites later and all I could manage to pull up regarding the history of the orange is its movement through the world from India. However, one source suggested during the time of Shakespeare, many people carried "pomanders," which consisted of a hollowed out orange filled with herbs and spices to create a scent box. This isn't at all surprising considering the hygiene of the time period. Despite the lack of history, there are many magical uses for the orange.

One of the most prominent uses of the orange is in love spells.  According to one myth, Gaea gave Hera a garden full of "golden apples" as a wedding gift. These "golden apples" have been interpreted to be oranges, thus associating oranges with love and marriage. The dried flowers, peels, and seeds can be added to love sachets while the flowers are often added to wedding bouquets to encourage marital bliss. According to one spell, the orange blossoms added to the wedding bouquet should be saved and burned along with a piece of paper containing the names of the couple. The ashes are then placed in a red bag or small bottle with a piece of true silver and stored in a safe place to protect and preserve love and marital harmony. Furthermore, bathing in an infusion of orange peels is said to increase one's attractiveness.

For prosperity magic, orange peels can be added to spell mixtures, incense, or powders to increase the potency of the spell. The Chinese have long regarded the orange as a symbol of luck and good fortune, so carry them on your person to uplift, energize, and bring good luck.

For divination purposes, when you eat an orange, you can think of a yes-or-no question you want answered. As you eat the orange, count the seeds. An even number means yes while an odd number means no. Thinking of changing plans? Drink a glass of orange juice to increase intuition. Orange juice can also be drunk in place of wine, especially if you are underage or abstaining from alcohol. This tradition began sometime around Henry VIII's reign, although the history is a bit fuzzy.

And finally, due to its association with the Sun, place oranges on your Yule and Litha altars to symbolize the return of the Sun at Yule and his rise in strength at Litha.

Orange can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Spells
     Money Spells
     Luck Magic

Medicinal Uses: Due to its high level of vitamin C and low cost, oranges were often packed on ships to prevent the crews from developing scurvy. High amounts of vitamin C and potassium have also led to its use in preventing cancer and stroke, especially in women and young children. However, citric fruits, like oranges, make you more susceptible to sun burn, therefore increasing your risk of skin cancer if consumed in excess. Orange is also used to prevent heart disease, treat anemia, reduce inflammation, and as an antimicrobial.

Preparation and Dosage: Internally- Drinking orange juice, especially if mixed with blackcurrant juice, reduces inflammation. Drink a glass up to three times a day. To create a tea, add 1-2 tsp (4-6 grams) of dried peel to a cup of hot water. Brew for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink up to 3 times a day. For an infusion, add 1 tsp (2 grams) of dried peel to a cup of water. Allow to brew for 10 minutes. Consume up to 3 times a day. Two to three drops of oil (if marketed for consumption) can be taken daily as a dietary supplement. Externally- Rub diluted orange oil on sore joints to reduce inflammation. Be aware the using orange oil increases the risk of sun burn, so use with caution. Inhale orange oil to reduce anxiety and uplift your mood.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Freyja Box Review: December

Freyja Box Review: December

So, this 3-month subscription box, Freyja, was given to me as a gift for Yule this year, and both me and my boyfriend were pretty disappointed with it right from the start. First, the box is supposed to ship on the 20th each month, and they didn't end up shipping until January. He messaged them several times trying to figure out what was going on (he ordered December 2nd), and never received a response. When the box finally arrived, it came in a standard USPS flat-rate box, which is fine, but all the items barely fit and the box was slightly damaged. Third, the box is Yule-theme, which is also fine, if Yule hadn't already passed. In fact, shipping on the 20th would have meant the boxes wouldn't have arrived by Yule in the first place, so maybe the box from November would have been better suited for Yule? However, despite this, the box did come with some great little items.

Freyja Box Review: December

The first item I pulled out was a small Winter Solstice Soap bar. The packaging says it contains goat milk and pure essential oils, but there is no mention which essential oils it contains. It does have a hint of evergreen and some other solstice smells, but I am unable to accurately identify them. There is no mention where this item came from.

Freyja Box Review: December

Freyja Box Review: December

The second item I removed was some read Mala beads. These came in a plastic bag that said they were made in China, which is pretty disappointing, but they are nice all the same.

Freyja Box Review: December

Freyja Box Review: December

Next was one of my favorite items, garnet. With the small crystal came in information card explaining some of its uses. While the card mentions garnet was used during Winter Solstice rituals, there is no indication as to how it was used.  Underneath the garnet was some frankincense-myrrh incense cones by Hem. I love Hem incense and look forward to using this in upcoming rituals.

Freyja Box Review: December

I then removed my very favorite item from the box, a candle snuffer. Up until now, I didn't own one and would snuff candles out using fingers or a plate. Having a snuffer is an excellent addition to my collection. According to this sticker, the snuffer was massed produced in India.

Freyja Box Review: December
Freyja Box Review: December

Finally I removed a set of three candles, red, gold, and green. They each smell like scents common to the season, but I can't accurately identify any of them other than the green as an evergreen scent. Each votive candle came in its own holder, which is nice considering most other boxes provide a candle and no holder. Despite their scents, these candles can be used for rituals other than Yule.

Freyja Box Review: December

Freyja Box Review: December

Overall I was not very impressed with this box for a variety of reasons. There is no information card on how to use the items, only one item is potentially supporting a pagan business while others are mass produced in foreign countries, the box was late and slightly damaged, no help from customer service was given, and I do not believe the contents of this box are worth $28. We shall see how the next two boxes go, but as it stands, this subscription box leaves a lot to be desired. If the next box is just as disappointing, I will go ahead and give my full synopsis, and move on to another box. Box of Shadows has stepped up their game tremendously, and I would like to review it again.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Full Moons and New Moons of 2018

Yeah, yeah, yeah! We already had one full moon this month, but that doesn't mean it's too late to figure out the rest of the year. As witches, the moon cycle is pretty important to our magical workings, so it's good to know when that moon is gonna do its thing! Please not that all of these dates are in Eastern Standard Time (EST). If you would like to find the exact dates and times of the full and new moons in your area, please go to Time and Date.

Full Moon 2018 (EST)
January 1
Wolf Moon
January 31 (Blue)
Snow Moon- Lunar Eclipse
March 1
Worm Moon
March 31 (Blue)
Pink Moon
April 29
Flower Moon
May 29
Strawberry Moon
June 28
Buck Moon
July 27
Sturgeon Moon
August 26
Corn Moon
September 24
Harvest Moon
October 24
Hunter’s Moon
November 23
Beaver Moon
December 22
Cold Moon

There are two blue moons this year, January 31 and March 31. This means there are two full moons in a month.  Double the magic! There is also a lunar eclipse on January 31st, so be on the lookout for that. The eclipse will change the magical workings for that night, so make sure you align correctly.

New Moons 2018 (EST)
January 16
February 15
March 15
April 15
May 15
June 13
July 12
August 11
September 9
October 8
November 7
December 7

I searched for the new moon names, and unfortunately came up empty. Oh well! Maybe one of you will know the names. I would sure like to know, so please feel free to share in the comments or send me an email. I found one site claiming to have found the New Moon names, but after doing some digging, the names were incorrect.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2018 and that it is full of magic!