Find the Magick: in a cup of tea

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In the spirit of Kitchen Wytchery, let’s find the magick in a cup of tea, and I’m not talking about a special cup of tea that we’re brewing just for some magickal mysterious purpose, but a ready-made tea purchased at the local grocery store.  *These teas are chockfull of herbs which all contain magickal occult properties, something the average person is totally unaware of.  We’re going through the ingredients to find out just what kind of energies we’re working with:

The tea:  “Dream Easy”

The brand:  “Hyvee” (a local grocery store chain here in the mid-west, this is their store brand)

The ingredients:  chamomile, spearmint, lemon grass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn berries, rosebuds

The Magick:

1.  Chamomile:  energy/projective (masculine); planet/Sun; element/Water.  First, I beg to differ with the source I’m using for this info, but I find the fact that this herb’s energy is masculine (projective) and it’s planetary association (the Sun) is  also masculine, yet it’s linked to the feminine element of Water– I get it “sleepy time, relaxing, etc.”; and, Water, as in dreams. But this still doesn’t feel right to me– the sun, the energy, all points to the element of Fire.  Just saying.

Magickal energies:  for sleep, to promote calmness, but also for luck in money matters; used in issues dealing with god energy– men’s mysteries, men’s health, etc., healing energies in general.

2.  Spearmint:  energy/receptive (feminine); planet/Venus; element/Water. 

Magickal energies:  used to promote healing, especially of the lungs (respiratory issues); used to promote love– actually to generate a little lust it’s said, though this herb would not be my first choice in this matter, way too tame to ignite this kind of raw passion, if you ask me, spearmint would lend itself better to something quieter and more deliberate, like sultry seduction; used to sharpen your mental faculties, though the element used for this endeavor would best be left to Air.  It’s also said that this is the herb you want to tuck into your pillow, or keep near your bed, as it will protect you at your most vulnerable– when you’re asleep.

3.  Lemon grass:  energy/projective (masculine); planet/Mercury; element/Air.

Magickal energies:  This herb is used to repel snakes– though, unless they were poisonous or dangerous, I don’t know why anyone would deliberately want to repel snakes, unless they had some deep seated phobia.  Snakes are beneficial to your garden, and reflective of wisdom and goddess energy.  Lemon grass is also used to heighten your psychic awareness, and again, this is another herb used to enhance lust.

4.  Tilia flowers:  (also known as “linden flowers” or “lime flowers”) energy/receptive (feminine); planet/Venus; element/Water.

Magickal energies:  the energies are geared to love, luck, sleep, rest, dreams, weddings, and beauty.  What’s not to love about tilia flowers.  The energy of the Linden trees are said to be protective, this is also a ‘tree of immortality’, which would lend it’s energy perfectly for magickal spells of eternal youth and beauty; this is a favorite herb for all kinds of love magicks.  Make a dream pillow of equal parts lavender and tilia which promotes both restful sleep and prophetic dreams.

5.  Blackberry leaves:  energy/receptive (feminine); planet/Venus; element/Water.  This herb is sacred to the old Celtic goddess Brighid, renowned for healing, poetry, and smithcraft.  She’s most notably celebrated on February 2nd, a holiday called Imbolc.

Magickal energies:  healing, money, and protection.

6.  Orange Blossoms:  energy/projective (masculine); planet/Sun; element/Fire.

Magickal energies:  love (known as “Love Fruit”), divination, luck, and money.  The dried peel and seeds are used in a wide array of love magick, whether it be candle magick, mojo bags, or dollies, and this magick is serious– whompom serious– this is magick geared to culminate with a walk down the aisle. (I think it’s a hoot that orange blossoms are tremendously popular in wedding bouquets, but the general public doesn’t have a clue as to why.) Enhance your beauty by adding orange seeds to your bath water, or by drinking orange juice with this intention.  This adds a new dimension to the old saying “beautiful inside and out”, no kidding, there are many forms of beauty, and what you are inside is going to show on the outside. (There’s a few specific people I’d like to point this out to but, ahem, we’ll move on.)  Orange blossoms are added to love and lust potions, and since the element here is Fire, use with discretion, I imagine these potions carry quite a punch.  The divination aspect, specifically for yes/no questions– ask a question, eat an orange, count the seeds– even/yes; odd/no.

7.  Hawthorn berries:  energy/projective (masculine); planet/ Mars; element/Fire.

Magickal energies:  fertility, chastity, fishing luck, happiness.  Because of it’s ability to increase fertility, this herb was long used in wedding ceremonies; on the other side of this coin, and it’s quite a flip– the leaves of the Hawthorn tree are said to promote chastity.  I would imagine that these leaves, along with nutmeg, could be used in some high-falutin fidelity magick, but this would best be done with extreme caution, or there might be a whole lot of people who are going to find themselves suddenly celibate when this is not the desired outcome.  Carry these berries with you on fishing ventures to fill your nets (and your skillet); use these berries to help alleviate depression (magically speaking, mind you); and turn to the Hawthorn for protection from lightening and evil spirits.

The Hawthorn tree does have some weight in the world of the witch– they use to be used to decorate Maypoles for Beltaine, and as far as lore goes, it was believed that Hawthorn trees were actually witches who transformed themselves into the tree (to avoid being burned at the stake, no doubt).  Hawthorn trees are sacred to the witch.

8.  Rosebuds:  energy/receptive (feminine); planet/Venus; element/Water.

Magickal energies:  love (and divination for love), psychic powers, healing, protection.

Are you kidding, this is The Ultimate Herb used for all kinds of love magicks, bar none.  It is the epitome of love magick, encompassing human coupling on every level imaginable, and many levels you haven’t imagined yet.  It’s worn for this purpose, given as a gift for this purpose, used in candle magick, mojo bags, hoodoo dollies, and in any significant way that a practitioner can come up with; it’s been burned, buried, and frozen, all in the name of love.  A tea made of rosebuds is drank at bedtime to promote healthy sleep and prophetic dreams– and what do you think the main topic of these dreams will be– you got it.  Rosebuds and rosehips are used in spells to attract fairies to your garden, to heal minor aches and pains, as well as to relieve stress.

Now, drink your tea…

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*Note:  This statement is not meant to alarm anyone who doesn’t practice witchcraft.  By using these teas, you are not inadvertently casting magick spells hither and thither.  Remember– everything used and done to cast a spell must be used and done with intention.  It’s all in the mind; it’s all in your purpose.

The sources for this article:  “Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs” by Scott Cunningham, and my own Book of Shadows

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*Note: the photo is courtesy of Pinterest

Heart on your Sleeve

Amythyst Raine-Hatayama:

Originally posted in:
“Artwork & Other Insanity”

Originally posted on Anne Turrell:

I made this one after a conversation with my mum about how we all seem to wear our hearts on our sleeves and get screwed over because we’re so transparent with out feelings/thoughts/desires. I sometimes wonder if the freedom that comes with being so honest is worth the emotional blows?? But I’m not sure debating this matters since we can’t seem to function any other way :)

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It’s like an emotional hoodie lol; it’s zipped open because we are always spilling our baggage all over the place. It was difficult adding the zipper down the front, I couldn’t get the clay to set right without it already in place (I had wanted to glue it in after it dried) but instead I ended up pinning it in place while still wet. The pins started to rust and made red spots through the clay, so I took it as a sign and knew I had to continue the…

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Tarot Card of the Day: “Shadow”

The Deck:  The Psychic Tarot

Two figures stand on this card, identical figures, one in the shadows, one in the light, both gripping a golden scepter.  They are eye to eye, stern, serious, surrounded by a galaxy of blue stars.

Black and white.  Polar opposites, polar opposite energies, polar opposite personalities.  What is the ulterior motive of this card?  Its almost a dare.  Who will win?– your good side, or your bad side…and is your bad side so bad after all, or can you think of it as just a different dimension of your whole being?  This card is unique, in that it can be a mirror with two variations– it’s either going to point out an inward conflict, or a literal conflict within the real world.

This card is all that and more.  When this card appears for me, it actually warns me of confrontation, confrontation that can be very personal.  It warns me to be on guard, it warns me of ulterior motives, it warns me with an animal instinct that relies on adrenalin.  It prepares me for the fight.

The Psychic Tarot- Shadow

 

You Only Live Once (?)

Amythyst Raine-Hatayama:

Originally posted in:
“Artwork & Other Insanity”

Originally posted on Anne Turrell:

Latest broken heart sculpture, I needed a steampunk heart with gears and such to keep it running after it’s too tired to pump on its own any longer.

Because I am just so tired sometimes.

I am very proud of this one, it looks nice and meaty (almost leathery) and it was great fun sticking it full of metal staples/stitches. It was also nice to break away from the clean white lines of the other hearts, this one feels more real to me, more like it belongs to a real person. A strong, determined, or maybe just stubborn person who refuses to give in or take any shit. I like it :)

YOLO credit goes to D.J.the 2nd on my Facebook, I couldn’t think of a title I liked (Steampunk Something is just too obvious lol) and with technology advancing the way it is who knows, in the future maybe we won’t live only once.

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2014. 1 Comment

So What Kind of Spell Do You Need?

Putting a spell together takes some thought, some research, some planning, and some foot-work (particularly if you don’t have necessary items on hand and have to purchase them, or cultivate them from nature).  So start with a question:  What kind of spell do you need?

Okay, I have a volunteer– “Stacy”.  She has asked me to put a spell together for her to help her with issues of fertility;  and she has kindly agreed to allow the making of this spell to be posted publicly, though her identity will be kept secret.  (Thank you, Stacy!)

First, what does this issue involve deity-wise; what planetary and elemental connections are we talking about here; what sort of herbs would add the energy needed; candle color; timing; what sort of ritual to set this magic off– informal, most likely for a solitary practitioner who practices quietly; what other objects or ‘personal items’ would we need to collect; how would we finish this spell up– release the energy– dispose of the remnants (Or would we dispose of the remnants?).  Can you see all the questions involved in constructing a spell?  Can you see why the practice of witchcraft can be a lot of work?  It requires a vesting of our energy, our mental thought and attention; it can be time consuming, and it must be carried off to work in the first place– which means making the time to actually cast the spell.

It isn’t easy being a witch.  It’s not like the movies at all.  There’s no big ole’ magick wand that we can wave with a special word or two spoken and ‘voila, the spell is cast and magick happens immediately.  Get “real”, sez I.  Here’s how real magick works, get ready to roll up your sleeves and put your energy into it…

First, the Deity:  It might surprise you that I’m not going to choose one of the many goddesses who are connected to physical fertility; instead, I’m going to invoke the energy and spirit of “Papa Legba”.  This entity was greatly maligned recently on a popular television program, depicted as a cocaine snorting devil with an unquenchable thirst for pure human souls (babies).  It’s wise to remember that a lot of what you watch on tv is Fiction, and that creating a riveting story is part of the screen writer’s job.  The ultimate irony in this is that Papa Legba is noted, invoked, and drawn upon by women with fertility issues, he is actually the anti-thesis of his television portrayal:

Papa Legba is the famous, and infamous, spirit of the crossroads, often appearing as an old black man.  He’s a spirit from the West African Voodoo tradition, and you will find him under the guise of many other names, including:  Elegba, Exu, and Papa La Bas– his New Orleans incarnation.

 Papa Legba is a trickster who delights in practical jokes and word games, but he is also a spirit of amazing generosity and protective care.  He protects infertile women, removing obstacles to motherhood; and he assists the poor, often opening up paths and removing obstacles that hinder their growth towards prosperity.  It is said that Papa Legba stands at the crossroads with his shepherd’s crook, where he opens and closes access to life’s path.

Now that we’ve chosen the deity to invoke for the energy we need, what’s going to go along with him???

Ideally I would prefer to work with the energy of a full moon, or at least a waxing moon.  Papa Legba’s ideal days are Mondays and the third day of every month.  Mondays– perfect!– connected to the Goddess, women’s mysteries, the Moon, the element of Water, fertility, women’s physical and mental health.

Candle colors and altar colors would be red, black, and white (Also, ironically, these colors are connected with the three faces of the goddess: red, the mother; black, the crone; and white, the maiden.)  The unique thing about being notoriously eclectic is that it broadens my spiritual path, allowing me to make connections and magickal links to topics, energies, and entities that those aligned with only one tradition or magickal practice might not think about.

The main herb I want to use with this spell is the strawberry…but you can also incorporate other herbs in this spell, and I would suggest herbs and flowers that produce through abundant seeds, such as dill, dandelion, goober daisies, cherry tomatoes, etc.

garden magic 2

Okay, we have our deity, the timing, the colors, the herbs, now you have to decide what kind of magick you’re going to use, how are you going to process this spell and cast it.  I’m going to suggest a combination of candle magick with a mojo bag, using the remnants left over to create the mojo bag that will be kept in a safe and sacred spot…and we can even do something especially significant here.  Stacy, I’m going to speak directly to you now– go to one of those hobby shops (like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s), buy a small wooden box that you will paint and decorate yourself in a way that resonates with you and your idea of a baby; decorate this box in ways that connect with your deep desire.  To this box you can add baby booties, a bottle of baby lotion, a pacifier, a letter to this baby, and whatever else you have room for that will bring this child to life in your mind, that will make its existence real and solid, so that you can almost bury your face in his fuzzy fine hair and smell the scent– most importantly, you will add to this box the mojo bag full of spell remnants– the candle wax and ashes (if you burned any type of spell paper with it).  You could also add to the box small bags of the magickal herbs listed above.

Put this box in a very special and safe place, and have patience dear Lady, nature will work it’s own brand of magick at the perfect moment.

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Spell Consultations:
http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/spellconsultations.htm

*Note: the photos are courtesy of Pinterest

Ask the Witch: An Interview

1.You call yourself a witch. Do you ever worry about the negative connotations behind the term?

I identify completely, specifically, and thoroughly with the word “Witch”.  It is who I am, it is what I’m made of.  It envelops me genetically through familial connections, through spiritual connections, ancestral connections, through universal esoteric connections.  I revel in the word.  I worship the word and the idea of the creature behind the word.  It is one of the most positive connotations in the world.  It is the wise-woman, the healer, the mid-wife, the herbalist…it is the ultimate image of the perfect woman.

Here I should note that in modern times many males who embrace the pagan path refer to themselves as ‘male witches’, and they are, by all means, free to call themselves whatever they wish.  But for me, within my world, within my practice, within my experience, within my coven…”Witch” is “Woman”. 

[*note:  scroll to the bottom of this post for further info]

Do witches have a creed of some sort?

Some do.  Those who follow specific paths and formal traditions, those who consider themselves Wiccan, those who practice what they call White Magick, those who stand at the edge of the cauldron and only dip one toe daintily, cautiously, carefully within the bubbling depths, they will have a creed.  The Wiccan creed is, “Harm none, do what ye will.”…this isn’t a bad creed.   It actually makes a lot of sense.  Those of us who follow this pagan path did not choose to do so in order to harm anyone.  Harming anyone or anything is not our intention, it is not what magick is for.  But there are exceptions.  Within the world of the Gray Witch, there are boundaries that, under certain circumstances, can be crossed.  The one thing that breaks the Wiccan Rede for me is the need for protection, the need for self-defense, the need to keep safe myself, my family, my home, and anything else connected to my world which would directly affect my standard of living, or my sense of well-being…Harm me or mine, and you will experience the wrath of the dark angels, the animosity of those spirits called upon for protection, for retribution, for justice.

What are today’s witch’s like?

Today’s witches are a diverse panorama of women from a varied melting pot of humanity.  They are immersed in our culture and within our communities so completely that they have become part of the tapestry of our modern world, rather than some medieval myth.

As I state at my website, The Witch’s Corner:

Who is the Witch?

She’s a teacher, a librarian, a nurse, a doctor, a lawyer, a shop keeper, a writer, a mother, a student. She’s a blue collar woman, she’s a professional woman, she runs a business, runs for office, runs a household. She’s a companion to her spouse, a grandmother, a partner to her same-sex mate. She could be any woman you’ve ever met and any woman that you interact with everyday.

What makes her different from other women? She sees things that other women don’t. Nature speaks to her in an ancient tongue that has been forgotten by most. Her body responds to the waning and waxing of the moon, to the powers of the planets, the changing of the seasons, the behavior of wild animals, the energies of the plants, the energies of the stones.

The Universe speaks to her with the colorful images on cards, by the crystal images of a glass ball, by the movement of the pendulum, by the visions only she is shown.

Who is the Witch?…She is the Sorceress, the Mother, the Healer, the Wise Woman, the Priestess. She is part of a dim and distant past, and she is the shining light of our future.

Witches celebrate the earth and the seasons. What specifically do you do?

We most certainly do celebrate the earth, the turning of the seasons, called “Wheel of the Year”.  The progression of the Goddess’s story is highlighted throughout the year; it’s connected to the natural world, through the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.  And it’s interesting that you ask me this question, as this very topic is part of my next book.  As I try to explain about the significance of the Pagan holidays in our modern world:

“…I think, for one thing, we have some innate deep-seated unspoken need to have our lives punctuated by milestones; whether personal milestones like weddings, graduations, and births; or societal, communal, and spiritual milestones. There’s a strange reassurance that the universe works in an ordered and predictable manner and time table. And maybe this is comforting to us because so much of life is unexpected, unpredictable, played without a script, and undeniably finite.

Long after we are but a memory, there will still be people celebrating these pagan holidays, punctuating the end of summer, welcoming with open arms the predictable end to the season of light and warmth, retreating into the dark and comforting confines of winter and the still peace that it will bring, only to return to a new season of light with spring.”

What specifically do I do to celebrate these holidays?

Some of these holidays might pass quietly, barely noticed by the rest of the household, significant only to me, celebrated with somber reflection in the flame of a candle upon my personal altar.  Other holidays are more all inclusive; like Samhain, when we get all giddy and excited, decorating the house and grounds for the evening, opening our doors to friends and family, reconnecting with our ancestors; but also reconnecting with each other.  As the bonfire burns late into the night on Samhain Eve, and the air gets cooler, we huddle together, punctuating another year, reminiscing about the past and looking toward the future.

Is a coven supposed to be 13 women?

A coven can be anything you want it to be.  As far as I know there are no written rules and laws to be followed, there are no Pagan Police who will break down your door and serve you with a warrant if your coven is all female or all male, whether it has 13 members or a hundred. A coven is a very personalized group of people, like-minded people, gathering to celebrate their pagan spirituality, gathering to support each other in the day to day humdrum of daily life.  Coven members provide a shoulder to cry upon, an ear for listening, a field board for new ideas.  Your coven consists of people you can laugh with, be totally yourself with, and they are a group of individuals within this great big wide world with whom you can depend upon for loyalty.  Your coven should be a safe haven.

My personal preferences?…My coven (The Coven of Bristolwicks) is an all female coven consisting of 13 members.  I prefer the all female energy, the hen-party aspect if you will; I prefer a small group; I like the number 13- it’s significant to me and it ‘feels good’. I want Coven Sisters for all the reasons I just stated in the first paragraph.

Reality check– when you put any group of people together, it might take some time, some experimenting, some failures, before you create a group of individuals who will work well together, who will successfully support each other, who will get along, and who will ‘click’.  But when it works, you know it; and when it works, it is an amazing experience.

Is there a prescribed form to your rituals?

Yes and no.  I’ve performed formal rituals; I’ve written formal rituals.  I’ve done so in the past, and I probably will do so again in the future.  But this is not the only way I connect with the Divine; this is not the only way I celebrate my spiritual path; this is not the only way I create magick.  My favorite form of witchery lay in the world of the Kitchen Witch, the Green Witch, the natural witch.  Spells put together by the seat of your pants, on a wing and prayer, have been some of the most powerful– and successful–magickal endeavors of my life.  When Spirit hits you, when you make this connection, you want to grasp it when and where you find it.  My special connection with the Goddess does not rely upon getting all dressed up in formal robes and wielding a ceremonial sword to cast a formal circle.

How does being a witch help you in your everyday life?

Being connected to your spirituality, no matter what path you take, is reassuring in the idea that there is more to ‘the big picture’.  There’s something larger than ourselves, there is a higher power, there is a rhyme and reason to the Universe and how it works; and thus, there is a rhyme and reason for existence within this realm.

Witchcraft is a very unique spiritual path, in that the power to create change, the power to shape our lives, the power to overcome obstacles, all lay within us.  Divinity is part of us, not some intangible stereotype hovering in the heavens above watching as we screw up and drop to our knees.  I embrace the Goddess– I am the Goddess– and the Goddess is me.  All of life’s infinite possibilities lay in the knowledge of my own being and within the energies and entities that I have aligned my life with.

If you approach your spirituality in this way, everyday is a celebration of the miraculous.

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*Note:  This blog and my experiences are related to the world through my eyes, through my world; it is a Woman’s Point of View.  My focus is on the feminine aspects of my spirituality, my beliefs, my practices, my experiences.  I could not, and would not, try to explain or write about the male pagan experience.