Saturday, April 6, 2024

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Cardamom

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Cardamom

Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Abundance, Focus, Love, Lust, Prosperity, Strength, Wealth
Magical Uses and History: Cardamom is an herbaceous plant of the ginger family, its seeds being used across centuries for magical and medicinal purposes. According to Indian legend, the goddess Lakshmi, a deity of wealth and prosperity, blessed the Ghats Mountains in southwestern India with cardamom, thus ensuring the region's abundance and fertility. Cardamom is still widely grown in the region today, the trading of the spice has brought great wealth and abundance to the area, thus further associating cardamom with abundance, prosperity, and wealth. As spice trade increased and Europeans were exposed to the exotic cardamom, the price increased, preventing many people from accessing cardamom. It became a symbol of luxury and prestige, adorning the table of only the nobility. Archeological records also suggest cardamom was used as a form of currency during the Byzantine Empire. As such, cardamom seeds can be added to spells and rituals to attract wealth and abundance. Add to sachets, spell bags, or place seeds in your purse or wallet to attract money. If you own a business, place some seeds in your cash register for the same purpose. Anoint candles with cardamom essential oil or roll them in crushed seeds during money spells, especially those that take place on a Thursday. Cardamom seeds can also be used as an offering in place of coins or bills.

Cardamom, however, is most well known for its warming properties and highly aromatic flavor, leading to its association with love and lust. In One Thousand and One Nights, cardamom is frequently referenced as an aphrodisiac with many stories featuring cardamom as a spice that enhances love and desire. Later Culpeper assigned cardamom to Venus and noted its use in love charms. In Egypt, cardamom was frequently chewed on to whiten teeth and freshen one's breath, and even used in perfumes, all of which were done to make one more appealing and attract a potential suitor. This tradition continued through Europe, where cardamom was frequently paired with orange, cinnamon, and cloves to produce a "masculine" scent. As such, cardamom is a great addition to love and lust spells. Chew cardamom seeds before talking to a prospective lover to attract their attention and increase your magnetism, wear cardamom perfume to attract a lover and increase lust, place cardamom seeds in the bedroom to increase sexual desires, or add to foods and teas to seduce your partner and enhance the love in your relationship. As with all love spells, please remember to respect someone's consent and never cast a spell on someone without their approval. The last thing you want to do is start a relationship with a kidnapping!

Apart from the aforementioned correspondences, cardamom is also associated with memory and focus, partly due to its warming properties and partly due to its popularity in Scandinavia. How cardamom first arrived in Scandinavia is debated, but there are two major theories. According to Johanna Kindvall, a Swedish cookbook author, Vikings brought cardamom to Scandinavia after having encountered it in Constantinople. Archaeologists, including Daniel Serra, say there is little evidence to suggest Vikings used spices and there are no references in biking or Icelandic literature to support these claims. Serra believes the Moors introduced cardamom to Scandinavia in the eighth century. The first mention of cardamom appears in the 13th century in a cookbook titled Libellus de Arte Coquinaria by Danish monk Knud Juul. No matter how cardamom ended up in Scandinavia, it remains one of the most popular spices with Swedes consuming 60 times as much cardamom as Americans and 18 times more per capita than the average country! It's used in mulled wines, pastries, stewed fruits, and other spiced dishes and many Scandinavians say the smell and taste of cardamom are a "memory spell" reminding them of home and their childhood. Studies have shown that cardamom is a mild stimulant and is able to enhance focus and memory, thus supporting what many who eat cardamom already know. As such, cardamom can be used to help you focus or increase your memory. Add cardamom essential oil to a tissue or cloth and sniff when you need an extra boost. It can also be safely diffused around adults and children over the age of 10. It's generally agreed cardamom essential oil is safe for both dogs and cats, but I prefer not to risk it. Cardamom tea can also be drunk to increase focus and memory in place of cardamom essential oil.

Cardamom can be used in a number of spells including:
    Love Spells
    Lust Magic
    Prosperity Magic
    Wealth Spells
    Memory Spells

Medicinal Uses: Cardamom is mildly warming and analgesic and therefore is able to relieve nausea, griping, and indigestion. It's also a mild appetite stimulant and aids in the production of saliva. Cardamom is also slightly antiseptic making it a good addition to gargles for sore throats. More recent research suggests cardamom may also be able to lower blood pressure if taken consistently.

Preparation and Dosage: To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds and allow to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to three times a day or half an hour before meals to treat flatulence and appetite loss. An infusion can also be used as a gargle.

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Magical and Medicinal Uses of Cardamom

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Friday, April 5, 2024

Book Review: The Holy Wild Grimoire by Danielle Dulsky

The Holy Wild Grimoire by Danielle Dulsky Book Review

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 free copy of this book via Weiser in exchange for an honest review.

I have now officially read every Danielle Dulsky book published to date, and I have to say, The Holy Wild Grimoire: A Heathen Handbook of Magick, Spells, and Verses is by far my favorite. Dulsky's lyrical and powerful prose is showcased alongside practical spells, rituals, and lessons to create your own working grimoire. I have enjoyed all of Dulsky's work, but I believe this one is the most practical and helpful in regard to modern witchcraft and spiritual activism. This book is probably the easiest to follow, understand, and implement as well.

The Holy Wild Grimoire by Danielle Dulsky uses the elements to create a spiritual grimoire through stories, spells, reflections, and visions. While Dulsky refers to the book you are creating as a grimoire, but it feels more like a Book of Shadows in that you are reflecting on your spiritual practice not really adding spells, rituals, recipes, etc. Despite this, each chapter follows the same basic format: word spell, artful invocation, story lantern, opening spells, reflections, presences, visions, testament, and possible additions. The story lanterns were among my favorite aspects of the book. Dulsky is an excellent storyteller and the stories she includes always have a lesson or message corresponding with the theme of the chapter. Stories are a powerful way of conveying messages and teaching lessons in a palpable way. This is why fables, myths, legends, and folktales are so popular across cultures. Needless to say, Dulsky implements these story lanterns as a way to get the reader to reflect on their own life and practice.

Apart from the book being extremely practical, it's also built upon spiritual activism. In the introduction, Dulsky comments on getting rid of the binary, shifting understanding away from a human-centered approach to climate change, and recognizing the value of hope in removing oppressive systems. Each chapter or "book" includes aspects of spiritual activism. Book of Earth, for example, mentions that Earth is the home of all, and we must remove colonization, white supremacy, and capitalism from our view of Earth and home, food, body, safety, etc. Book of Fire talks about maintaining your spark so you don't burn out, while in Book of Air Dulsky discusses self-care and self-love practices. I appreciated Dulsky's discussion of these topics and know I will need to return to this book later to spend more time with the lessons, reflections, and spells. This work is important and takes time, but worth it.

The Holy Wild Grimoire by Danielle Dulsky Book Review

What spoke most to me, however, was the following passage from page 33: "We must remember that sometimes our circles have remained the same while we have changed. Our friendships, our partnerships, and our teaching circles may not have transformed at all, but we have; for this reason, the circles no longer serve us, but this does not mean they never served us." Dulsky then asks the reader to choose a circle that we can show up more authentically in. Seeing as I am currently going through such a transition, I really needed to hear (read?) that my prior practices served me well, even if they no longer serve me. I mentioned in The Future of Flying the Hedge how worried I was to write the post and implement changes on my blog. I still am. I still feel like I need to suck it up and keep doing what I have always done. The Holy Wild Grimoire reminds us all that growth and change is a normal process and if we are to grow, we need to let go of what no longer serves us.

I highly recommend The Holy Wild Grimoire: A Heathen Handbook of Magick, Spells, and Verses by Danielle Dulsky. As I said, this is by far her best work and one I will be returning to this summer when I have more time to apply the spells and rituals in my own life. You can order your copy of The Holy Wild Grimoire wherever occult books are sold.

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Magical and Medicinal Properties of Turmeric

Magical and Medicinal Properties of Turmeric

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun or Jupiter
Element: Fire
Powers: Beauty, Confidence, Courage, Healing, Luck, Purification
Magical Uses and History: The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India where it had both religious and culinary significance. In Vedic texts, turmeric is referred to by 53 synonyms, each denoting different properties, both magical and nonmagical. For example turmeric is referred to as mangal prada meaning luck bringer, laxmi meaning prosperity, pavitra meaning holy, and hridayavilasini meaning giving delight or charming. As such, turmeric is widely accepted in Hindu culture to be sacred, bringing protection, luck, and even fertility when used correctly. In Ramayana, turmeric is one of eight sacred ingredients used to perform Surya Arghya, the practice of offering water to the Sun God. Performing such a ritual is believed to bring blessings, prosperity, and protection, thus furthering turmerics association with these properties. In Hinduism, turmeric is also associated with the goddess Uma or Parvati, a fertility goddess who rules over marriages and crops. As such, turmeric has found its way into a number of Hindu wedding practices, including haldi ceremonies. During a haldi ceremony, relatives and friends come together to apply a turmeric paste (haldi) on the bride and groom's face and body to cleanse and purify the mind, body, and soul, and bring prosperity and fertility to the new couple. It's also believed to prevent evil spirits from harming the couple before being wed. In other traditions, a string, known as mangala sutra, is dyed yellow with turmeric paste and tied around the bride's neck by the groom to indicate the woman is married and running a household, similar to the exchange of wedding rings in Western culture. Slices of turmeric are also commonly worn as a protection amulet. As such, turmeric can be used in a variety of spells and rituals for protection, luck, prosperity, or fertility.

By 1200 AD, turmeric had spread to China, East Africa, and West Africa where it was quickly adopted into local customs and traditions. Its vibrant yellow coloring and staining ability led to it being used to dye clothing and thread for centuries. Buddhists used turmeric to dye their robes the saffron-yellow still seen today, as turmeric was believed to help purify and protect the wearer. As such, turmeric is perfect for creating magical inks, dying sachets and poppets, or adding color to sweetening jars and other similar spells. Because of its vibrant yellow color and warming nature, turmeric is perfect for spells and rituals for confidence, courage, strength, and happiness.

Apart from ceremonial uses, turmeric was also used in culinary dishes and folk medicine. In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric was used to strengthen one's energy, relieve gas, dispel worms, improve digestion, regulate menstruation, and even relieve arthritis. In southern Asia, turmeric paste was used to cleanse wounds, especially for mild cuts, burns, and bruises. In traditional Chinese medicine, it was used to treat abdominal pain. Turmeric has also been widely used to reduce aging, wrinkles, and skin blemishes when used as a face mask. This is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the historical medicinal uses of turmeric making it perfect for healing spells and rituals, especially those related to stomach issues. Add to healing sachets and brews or even burn as an incense for the same purpose. Because of its associated with beauty, turmeric can also be used in beauty and glamour spells and rituals, especially when applied as a face mask.

Turmeric can be used in a number of spells including:
    Glamour Magic
    Communication Spells
    Luck Spells
    Protection Magic
    Healing Spells
    Banishing Magic

Medicinal Uses: Tumeric has long been used to treat a variety of ailments. It is a natural detoxicant, helping to remove inflammation and countering infection within the stomach and small intestine and stimulating bile production in the liver. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it's also used to treat nausea, gastritis, high blood cholesterol, arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it's useful in topically treating candidiasis and other mild skin infections.

Preparation and Dosage: To create an infusion, combine a 2-inch piece of fresh turmeric root sliced thinly with 1 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly before drinking. Drink up to three times a day. To make golden milk, a popular turmeric decoction, combine 2 cups of milk with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a pinch of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid scalding the milk. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly before enjoying. Drink up to three times a day. To create a poultice or paste, combine one part ground turmeric with 1/2 parts water. Stir to form a thick paste and apply to the affected area. The paste can be used to treat minor wounds, acne, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles. Turmeric paste is safe to use as a face mask for 10 minutes at a time.

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Magical and Medicinal Properties of Turmeric

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