Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Herbal Remedy: Syrup of Figs

I mentioned in my Herbarium: Fig post that figs can be taken in a syrup form to treat constipation. There are two different types of fig syrups. The first, Syrup of Figs, should be taken by children and delicate persons, such as the elderly. The second, Compound Syrup of Figs, should be taken by healthy adults.

Syrup of Figs

Ingredients:
     2/3 ounce dried senna pods
     1/2 cup boiling water
     1/2 cup sugar
     8 fresh figs, quartered
     Juice of 1 lemon


Directions:
  1. Place the senna pods in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve or muslin into a blender. Add sugar and figs and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and heat slowly on med-low heat to reduce, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Do not boil. Should be thick, sugar-like syrup. Add lemon and remove from heat. Pour into a sterilized bottle.
  3. Shake well before use. Take 2 teaspoons when needed but no more than 3 times a day. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
To make Compound Syrup of Figs add two finely chopping stalks of rhubarb to the blender

Good luck making your own! Let me know if you try this recipe and how it works for you!

Herbarium: Fig

 

Folk Names: Chagareltin, Fico, Mhawa
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Fire
Powers: Divination, Fertility, Love, Protection
Magical Uses and History: From Central Africa to the Far East, the fig tree is often referred to as the Tree of Life and Knowledge. The Greeks believed the fig was a gift from Demeter and sacred to Dionysus. For this reason, figs were revered as objects of fertility and love. The term sycophant, which dates back to ancient Greek fig trade, literally translates into "one who shows fig." It originally referred to one who informed on fig smugglers.

Men and women wishing to conceive can carry fig wood carved with phallic images to boost fertility. Eating fresh figs will yield the same result. You can also use fresh figs to charm any man or woman. They will be spellbound by your presence if they consume the fruit.

Fig leaves are sometimes used in divination. Write a question on a fig leaf. If the leaf dries slowly, the answer is yes. If it dries quickly, the answer is no. A slow drying leaf could also be good omen while a fast drying leaf could be the opposite.

Figs grown in the home also offer protection and good luck to the inhabitants. Place a fig branch by your door before leaving for a tip to ensure you will return home safely and happily. If grown in the bedroom it will bring restful sleep. If grown in the kitchen it will ensure your family will never go hungry.

Figs can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Spells
     Fertility Magic
     Luck Spells
     Protection Magic
     Divination

Medicinal Uses: Figs are often used for their mild laxative properties found in the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit. It is best for children and delicate persons. For stronger preparation, it can be prepared with rhubarb. The milky sap from a freshly-broken stalk is very acrid will remove warts.

Preparation and Dosage: Figs can be taken internally in a syrup form or eaten fresh. Syrup of Figs should be used by children and delicate persons while Compound Syrup of Figs should be used for adults (see recipe). Externally use the milky sap of the stem on a wart. Apply several times a day until wart is gone.

 



Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book of Shadows Blessing

The other day I posted how I protect my Book of Shadows. Today I would like to share my Book of Shadows Blessing with you. This blessing will provide magical protection, just like the Book of Shadows Botanical Protection Spell, and charge it with magical intent.

 

Say this blessing over your Book of Shadows. You can do this before or after the protection spell.
"In the realm of magic this book shall reside.
No one but the chosen shall see what's inside.
May I protect it, keep it from harm,
And upon it bestow power, magic, and charm.
No one without wisdom shall peer at its pages,
or the knowledge inside handed down through the ages.
This book be it mine, it harbors no fears.
The knowledge obtained through blood, sweat, and tears.
This book I bless with spiritual light,
And let only the chosen read of its rite.
For those of the Craft truly can see,
This this is my will, so mote it be."
Once said, copy this into the front page of your BOS. Either write it by hand in your best writing or type it out. I find typing and handwriting are equally magical when you actually do the work yourself. Do not COPY and paste this blessing. In order to completely infuse its power into you BOS you must write it yourself. 

Feel free to modify this blessing as you see fit. I purposely didn't use the God or Goddess because I don't believe in them, but you will probably ask for them to protect your book. For example you can change the line "This book I bless..." to say "This book may Goddess bless..." or change "May I protect it..."  to "May God protect it..."

Do you have your own BOS Blessing? Please share in the comments!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Protecting Your Book of Shadows

I decided to write this post after Witchfire over at Book of Mirrors wrote a post titled Student Teacher Relationships. In it she addresses an issue she had recently come upon on a pagan message board. A student of the craft was asking for curses to place on their BOS so that when their teacher (the person teaching them the craft) asked to see it she/he would be harmed. This student said the teacher made them uncomfortable each time they asked to see the BOS. Either way, I am going to say it: This is WRONG. First of all, you shouldn't be learning the craft from someone who makes you uncomfortable. Second, when faced with someone that makes you uncomfortable, someone you picked to learn from, your first instinct should not be to curse them. This student needs to seriously rethink their path. It's like shooting a guest you invited over for dinner because they asked for extra potatoes. Come on. Please don't ever put curses on your BOS. You never know if and when it will backfire on you. It's better instead to put protection spells on it. This way, your BOS is safe from others and won't hurt you or anyone else on accident. When in doubt, avoid "violent" spells. Sometimes the universe gets things mixed up, and its better if the spell was "peaceful."

Today I would like to share my Book of Shadows Botantical Protection Spell. I don't just use this for my BOS, but for all my pagan books and notebooks, even the notebook I use for planning this blog. This is actually very, very simple.


Supplies:
     Sage Smudge
     Your Book of Shadows
     Whole dried Mugwort
     Whole dried Wormwood
     Whole dried St. John's Wort

  1. First cleanse your BOS using a sage smudge. Sage is great at removing any negative energy from objects. While cleansing, imagine the negative energy leaving the book and entering the earth. 
  2. Next place the Mugwort, Wormwood, and St. John's Wort between the pages of your BOS. Make them part of the design. Mugwort, Wormwood, and St. John's Wort are all believed to physically preserve books by keeping page-nibblig vermin away as well as provide spiritual protection. As you do so imagine their energies encircling and protecting your BOS while saying:
    "With these herbs, I protect this book from prying eyes and harm."

Simple and much more effective than cursing someone. If you are looking at protecting all your books, keeping living versions of these plants in and around your library.

How do you protect your BOS?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Q is for Questions

For this week's Pagan Blog Project post, I wanted to address some questions I often get regarding my spirituality. Where to even begin? Anyone who is part of the pagan community knows that as soon as someone finds out you're pagan, the dam breaks and the questions and judgement flow out

However, I don't want to address the most common questions, the one's you will find in my FAQ and the ones we are all generally asked. I want to talk about some questions that even other pagans ask me. The first is if I am Wiccan. No, I am not Wiccan. I used to be in a very loose sense of the word. When I first started "dabbling" in the Craft, Wicca was convenient. The books cover shelves in every major bookstore and information online is prevalent. This made it easy to study, but after about a year I realized it wasn't for me.

Why wasn't Wicca for me? Wicca is a religion. I didn't need religion; I needed spirituality. I didn't need the structure or the deities or the rules. I needed a way to harness the gifts I knew I had to bring harmony to my own life; to make me happy; to make me feel whole. Wicca did not make me feel whole. It made me feel trapped and in so doing threw my life off balance, just as Christianity had done years before. To some, this is hard to understand, and I realize that. However, please consider that not all faiths work for everyone. Wicca did not work for me, but that doesn't make me wrong and you right.

The third question is what I do believe. I think that it's pretty obvious on this blog that I am a hedgewitch. I also don't believe in any deities, a pagan atheist if you will (Sagan Pagan, anyone? Read my FAQ's for more details). What is a hedgewitch? Well, I have a wonderful post explaining what a Hedgewitch is to me. Mind you, everyone has a different opinion on what a Hedgewitch is. Some say they are Green witches. I don't agree with that. I work closely with nature and use herbal remedies like a Green witch, but I also cherish the hearth and home and dismiss most formal rituals. I move to the beat of my own drum.

The last question I am asked is how did I get here. That is an excellent question, and the answer is long and complicated. I arrived here through years of study and work. I experimented, much to my husband's dismay, and it wasn't until I let the walls come down that I realized exactly where I wanted to be. It actually took a book by the often dreaded Silver Ravenwolf to lead me here. In 2010 I purchased her book on Hedgewitchery. I have never done the 13 rites she outlines in the book, but I did read it cover to cover. For the first time I had a name for what spoke to me the most. Her book, along with several others on hedgecraft, are much more structured than I like to be, but the foundations are there. The entire idea that hedgecraft grew out of the term "hedge riders" spoke to me. It screamed at me actually. Witchcraft, to me, is being a witch in so much as our ancestors who lived on the edge of the towns and forests were. They cared for their homes and they healed others. They brought life back to a world often shrouded by death. I spend every day breathing life into everything I do. This was what I needed; hedgecraft was the answer I had been searching 5 years for. It hasn't always been easy, but I don't regret my choice. And that's it; that is what is so awesome about paganism. We can essentially choose our fate, our destiny, our path. Unfortunately we can't do this free from persecution, even from other pagans, but that is a whole other can of worms.

I hope this has been enlightening and if you have any questions for me, please feel free to comment or email me. I love to hear from my readers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Upright vs Reversed Runes


This marks the very end of our Rune Magic Series. Today I would like to briefly discuss upright and reversed runes. As I mentioned in my initial posts on the Futhark Runic Alphabet, runes can be upright or reversed. Reversed runes hold different meanings, usually the opposite of the upright position. However, not all runes can be reveresed, so please be sure to check the list.

How can you tell if a rune is upright or reversed? Easy!


 

That is really all there is to it.

So far I have casted my runes once regarding whether or not we were going to be financially stable in the next two years. This is very important to my husband and me as we wish to start a family before I am 30. The runes gave a promising answer. I am hopeful.

Thank you for tuning into the series. I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any further questions or have a topic you would like me to cover, please feel free to comment below or contact me via email!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Herbal Remedy: Cinnamon Cough Remedy

This week both of the girls I nanny came down with a cough and runny noses. Needless to say, by the end of the week I too had a runny nose, cough, and a fever. Not fun! I don't like to take medications unless I absolutely have to, so this weekend I have been drinking lots of warm water with honey and lemon and using my Cinnamon Cough Remedy. It doesn't taste the best, but it works.

Cinnamon is used to treat a variety of ailments particularly those pertaining to the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. It is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and expectorant, making it ideal for treating coughs.



Ingredients
     1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
     1 tablespoon raw honey
     1 cup warm water

Mix and drink twice a day to soothe cough and cold.

****

I have a hard time drinking it all because I am not a huge fan of cinnamon, let alone a whole tablespoon of it. Flu season will be upon us soon and with little ones back in school, the likelihood we will all be having a cough is high. Keep this in your arsenal of herbal remedies this season to reduce symptoms and fight infection.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Herbarium: Quince

 
Folk Names: None
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Saturn
Element: Earth
Powers: Happiness, Love, Protection
Magical Uses and History: The Quince has a long and rich history and is connected with many deities, especially Venus/Aphrodite. Ancient Greeks believed it would protect you from the Evil Eye. Furthermore, the the quince was often found in Ancient Pompeii artwork and tile mosaics, frequently shown in a bear’s paw. Some text even reference the Quince as the fruit eaten by Adam and Eve in Genesis. In Croatia, Quince trees are planted when a baby is born as a symbol of love and life.

In Ancient Rome, a Quince was shared by the bridal couple to ensure their future happiness. It is also used to ensure fidelity.

Carrying Quince seeds will protect you from evil, harm, and accidents. If you are worried about someone sending you negative energy, eat Quince seeds to protect you.

Chamomile can be used in a number of spells including:
         Love Spells
         Marriage Spells
         Protection Magic
         Curse Removal

Medicinal Uses:
Due to the high fiber content of Quince seeds, they can be used as a gentle yet effective laxative, especially in cases of constipation. They are also used as an astringent to treat gastritis and enteritis and even mild burns. Quince seeds are also anti-inflammatory and an expectorant making them great for mouth washes to treat inflammation and dry coughs.

Preparation and Dosage:  For medicinal purposes, both seed and entire fruit is used. They should be collected between September and October. Internally- For an infusion, soak seeds for 3-5 hours until a slime forms on the outer coats of the seed. Drink as needed or three times a day. For a tincture, take 1-2 milliliters as needed or three times a day (made from seed). Eating whole Quince can work just as well. Externally- Rub the mucus from the seeds on mild burns.






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

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rune Casting Layouts Part 2


Welcome back to the Hedgewitch's Guide to Rune Magic mini series. Last time I posted six possible layouts you can use when casting runes. Today I would like to post the other six layouts I previously mentioned: the Runic Cross, Seven Rune Cast, Runic V, Nine Grid, Tree of Life, and Futhark Cast.

Remember, you can use one of the five methods I mentioned earlier or one of your own methods. Furthermore, you don't need to use a layout if you don't want to. These layouts are for more indepth answers. Some people simply draw a rune a day to gain insight. Use what you feel is best.


Runic Cross



Seven Rune Cast



Runic V
 


Nine Grid
 


Tree of Life
 


Futhark Layout

I know the Futhark layout is difficult to read in this post. Clicking on the image will enlarge it. It is also available on the free BOS page located at the bottom of the post.

Remember, this is not a comprehensive list, only what I have found through research so far. If you read your runes differently, please comment below. Do you use a layout not included in my list? In my last post in this series I will talk about how to recognize upright and inverted runes.

 



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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KnNmfNfzc8MTBUeGpoRkpEblk/edit?usp=sharinghttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KnNmfNfzc8eE0wOHdHaGJXTk0/edit?usp=sharing

Friday, August 8, 2014

Prophetic Dreaming

 

While we sleep, the floodgates for psychic ability are completely open, making prophetic dreaming easy. You can stimulate prophetic dreaming and enhance and encourage clairvoyance with various spells. However, some spells may work better for you than others, so its best to experiment to find which methods to use to enhance your own innate power. Today, I would like to touch on a few of the ways you can enhance or induce prophetic dreams for this week's Pagan Blog Project prompt. Remember to keep your dream journal close at hand so you can jot down your dreams down for evaluation later.

As a hedgewitch, I love using botanicals, so those are the methods I am going to focus on. Certain botanicals stimulate clairvoyance, psychic perceptions, and prophesy more so than others. These include:
  1. Angelic
  2. Anise
  3. Basil
  4. Bay
  5. Copal
  6. Dittany of Crete
  7. Dream Herb (zacatechichi)
  8. Gardenia
  9. Mimosa
  10. Mugwort
  11. Peppermint
  12. Roses
  13. Sandalwood
  14. Syrian Rue (harmel)
  15. Wisteria
  16. Wormwood
You can use any combination of these herbs to stuff dream pillows or conjure bags. You can also use any combination to make a Botanical Blast. Place an assortment of the above herbs in a covered box to keep beside your bed. Before sleeping, uncover and inhale this potpourri to receive a "blast" of power.

You can also place fresh gardenias by your bedside so that you can inhale the fragrance while you sleep. Gardenia's fragrance potently invokes prophetic dreams, as well as invites benevolent spirits to visit. To intensify this method, you can make a Gardenia Crown, which draws its inspiration from Hawaii. Weave fresh gardenias into a crown while focusing on the desired dream and knotting your goals and intentions into the garland. Wear it or place it next to your bed while you sleep.

Another method is the Bay Laurel Quick Fix. Bay leaves stimulate clairvoyance while awake and asleep, and since they are cheap and readily available, this is a quick fix when you want or need to induce prophetic dreaming. Just tuck the leaves beneath your pillow. You may wish to pin them to the sides to avoid scattering them or being pricked during your sleep.

You can also use a Mugwort Mixer Bouquet. Burn dried mugwort and vervain before bed to induce prophetic dreams, truthful dreams, and the enhance your ability to recall and comprehend them.

The last method I would like to address is a Rose Tea. Simply make an infusion using dried rose petals and drink before bed. If you make this on your own, make sure your roses are organic. Most roses on the market today are heavily sprayed with pesticides, making them very unsafe to drink.

As I mentioned earlier, any of these methods or all of them may be used, but their effectiveness may be different. Furthermore, remembering enough of the dreams to record and analyze them is another topic all together. I would like to address the issue of remembering dreams in the next few weeks. Until then, how do you enhance your prophetic dreams?



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

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Herbarium: Chamomile

 
Folk Names: Camomyle, Chamaimelon, Ground Apple, Heermannchen
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Water
Powers: Love, Money, Purification, Sleep
Magical Uses and History: There are two types of Chamomile: German and Roman. Both are essentially equal in their uses, both magically and medicinally. Both are used to attract money. A hand wash made from an infusion is sometimes used by gamblers to ensure winnings.

It can also be burned to promote sleep and meditation or added to a bath to attract love. Due to its sunny nature, it is also often used to combat curses and provide protection. To remove curses and spells cast against you sprinkle it around your property.

Chamomile can be used in a number of spells including:
         Love Spells
         Money Spells
         Prosperity Spells
         Induce Sleep and Mediation
         Dream Magic
         Protection Magic
         Curse Removal

Medicinal Uses:
  Chamomile is renowned for its medical uses and can be used to treat an endless list of conditions. It works as a relaxer, making it great to treat anxiety and insomnia. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it works well to treat gastritis as well as inflammations in the mouth and eyes. Externally it can reduce swelling.

Preparation and Dosage:  Only the flowers of Chamomile are used and they should be collected between May and August while dry. Dry them at a very low temperature. Internally- To make an infusion pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoons of dried Chamomile and let infuse for 5-10 minutes. To treat digestive problems, drink after meals. A stronger infusion should be used as a mouthwash. To make a steam bath boil half a cup of flowers in 4 pints (2 liters) of water and inhale the steam. You can also take 2-4 milliliters of tincture three times a day. Externally- To make a salve, melt 1 cup of coconut oil in a pot. Add 2 handfuls of Chamomile flowers. Mixture should foam. Remove from heat, cover, and let cure overnight. The following morning, reheat (do not boil) and transfer to glass jars.  






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

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rune Casting Layouts Part 1

 

In this post I will talk about 6 out of the 12 casting layouts I have encountered. Which layout or spread you use is entirely up to you. Of course you don't have to even use a spread. You can just draw one rune and take what you will from it.

When casting, you can use one of the five methods I mentioned in my casting runes post. Runes next to each other can either strengthen or oppose each other. If they are opposing runes, they most likely cancel each other out, but its possible they represent what is wrong and what needs to be fixed.

Triple Rune Challenge
 

Three Norns
 

Spiritual Three Rune Cast
 

Four Directions
 

Five Rune Cast
 

 Reading Insight
 

My next post will cover the Runic Cross, Seven Rune Cast, Runic V, Nine Grid, Tree of Life, and Futhark Cast. Is there a layout you use that I have not mentioned?

 



Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Protection Magic


For this Pagan Blog Project post I would like to talk briefly about protection magic. Protection spells are intended to prevent, protect, and repel danger, evil, and negativity. Many witches are confused by protection magic, thinking it fool proof. Let's be very clear: there is NO magical spell that works exactly like an armed response guard. Magical protection spells provide magical protection and their aura enhances other protective methods. If you are afraid of someone robbing you, a protection spell will enhance other methods you use, not replace them, and it doesn't matter how many spells you cast or the number of amulets you post if you don't lock your doors. Use common sense.

That being said, there are many forms of danger lurking out there. Locking your door will only protect you from physical threats while magical spells can protect you from malicious spells, hexes, negative enchantments, and other assorted dangers from a vast variety of magical and spiritual sources. However, just because these dangers derive from a magical source does not mean they cannot manifest in a very physical way. This can be in the form of illness, accidents, and general disaster.

There are thousands of protection spells out there. I posted recently about my threshold protection spell and my home protection ward. Both of these are magical ways I use to not only physically defend my home, but also to magically defend it. I have mentioned before my husband is a funeral director. Sometimes things follow him, and I do not want them in my home. Marietta, at Witchy Words, also has a great DYI protection sachet post. I want to focus on some of the basics today.

As with all spells, numbers, colors, and gemstones can be used to enhance their power. Five is the most common number associated with protection spells as its the number of fingers on each hand. Seven and nine are also used. For colors you can use red, black, and blue. Amethyst, agate, and quartz are most commonly used for protection, although their auras are all very different so use what feels right.

As a hedgewitch, I find working with herbs to be the most rewarding. The Anglo-Saxons recorded nine herbs as sacred. These herbs appear in a poem, commonly referred to as the Nine Herbs Charm or Nine Wort Charm, found in an 10th century manuscript called Lacnunga. It recounts the story of Woden and how he obtained the sacred herbs of old to defeat a serpent. The poem not only names the herbs, but lists their uses as well. The herbs mentioned are:
  1. Chamomile
  2. Chervil
  3. Crab apple
  4. Fennel
  5. Mugwort
  6. Nettle
  7. Plantain
  8. Watercress
You may notice there are only eight listed. This is because the identity of the ninth herb, atterlothe, which translates to "Venom Loather," remains unknown. You can use only these eight in honor of all the botanical species driven to extinction or you can use betony, which is most commonly believed to be atterlothe. Betony is basically a cure all, so substituting it will not alter the effectiveness.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/horsepunchkid/10353422925/in/photolist-9ZqSrZ-5yJox1-81yhyR-a6vrjX-gLTZVP-9gzyPC-adRmLf-adPrPc-dijT7d-ovjdCo-9zpnXi-d5ottu-dcgvxq-cCWEtS-a4Xs8h-9Nwf8D-opnRyL-ahVi2b-9t1xMj-ahVi8E-86aaUM-9NgBhA-c2y7yW-aEbTA9-bVAdwk-ajxmD9-ajxgKC-jQ5FuW-ccXwdj-bVAgHp-bVAjD8-dx779k-bVAg2F-dyjZo2-bVAgue-ccXt6U-bPVpE6-9S3HDz-84nEKR-bZ9edj-fzQkoA-hdwiKp-bWR9t6-a6WoAH-aemxhE-aBp36j-gEZNA7-bAHdLS-a6CGqw-ajxmrqApart from using these herbs, you can also use "Witch Soldiers" to protect your home. In order to have access to a wide variety of botanical magic, witches historically had very extensive gardens. However, because they were also commonly midwives and healers, many of these plants had dual purposes. By the Middle Ages and the Burning Times, however, a garden was a necessity as a means of protection. They designed their gardens to keep persecutors out and protect those within. The classical European witch's garden was surrounded by three rows of scarlet flowers, known as "witch's soldiers." These served as the front-line of protection against witch hunters. Today, you can use your soldiers to protect you from harm in general. This is on my list of to-dos for my garden next year. I suggest planting them around your mailbox or in planters on the edge of your property. Completely surrounding your property is not necessary, nor doable in most situations.

I hope this has been enlightening. Do you use protection magic? What kinds do you prefer?