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

Feather Magick

(I originally wrote this post for Moon Books Blog)

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The element of Air…the wind in our hair, the sun on our lips, the call of birds we hear with our eyes closed, to magnify all the other senses. And with those calls, we feel the magick; we feel the power; we know how to direct the energy of the feathered creatures into our daily lives, to find and keep love, to bring tranquility and healing, to expand knowledge, to protect us, or to inspire us.

Every feather I find is a gift. It’s carefully tucked away in a special box, or gently placed between the pages of a book. It will lay there and pulsate with unused energy, dormant magick, until I feel the need, until I hear the call…then I’ll bring it out. I’ll combine the feather with candles, herbs, incense, and often personal items. I’ll open myself to the spirit of the creature, the energy of Air– and often the other elements as well. I’ll cast a circle to contain my magick and protect me from all the other energies and entities swimming around the universe, or I’ll throw caution to the wind and leave myself open and vulnerable. It’s my call.

At the center of it all is the creature:

Blue Bird/communication & eloquence: the element of Air is mingled with Water– one pure thought, the other emotions and inner mysteries. I choose incense and herbs with receptive (feminine) energy to draw into myself the magick of eloquent communication touched with the right amount of intuition and insight: calamus, jasmine, hibiscus, columbine, pansy, or lilac. I choose incense and herbs that quiver with the energy of Air: lavender, bittersweet, goldenrod, sage, or slippery elm. The candles– one is yellow (Air); one is blue (Water); one is white and carved with personal intentions, goals, and wishes. To the cauldron I add the Blue Bird’s feather and perhaps a slip of paper holding the name of someone who needs to hear me, really hear me, maybe for the first time.

Blue Jay/protective magick: you know when you’re not safe, when you’re vulnerable and unprotected. Sometimes it starts as an uneasy feeling, or dreams in the night that stay with you during the day. You know. The Blue Jay’s raucous, obnoxious, aggressive behavior will cast a spell of protection around you; the bad boy of the bird world, like a strutting gutsy gun-toting bad boy on the streets. With the energy of this bird, your enemies will keep their distance, think twice about attack, think twice about crossing you. The candle is black, the herbs and incense pungent, stinging, obnoxious, even poisonous…cloves, allspice, cayenne pepper, belladonna, hemlock, black cohash, thistle. You will make a mojo bag to keep with you at all times, a bag that will contain at least three of these herbs, the Blue Jay’s feather, and a stone of black onyx.

Cardinal, Goose, Swan/Love:

Cardinal: the very color of this bird sparks with the energy of Fire…passion, lust, love, and raw sexuality. It wreaks of sweaty sheets; breathless whispers; the fierce mingling of bodies, the beautiful struggle to get ever deeper, closer; ecstasy so intense it leaves you exhausted. The red feather of the Cardinal carries desire, sexual fantasy, the raw instinct to mate, the pure unadulterated energy of sex. Save this feather for a special occasion, a special someone, because once this energy is released, you will no longer have control.

Goose: loyalty, fidelity, passion for a one-and-only love. The Goose mates for life, and this is the energy its feathers will carry. The magic of this bird is a love that will out last time, a love to grow old with, a love that is unquestionable, a love that you can trust– forever, perhaps through more than one lifetime. The magic of the Goose engulfs the mystery of soul mates. It is the energy that draws two people together with a first look, a connection that is keenly felt but can’t be explained.

Swan: the Swan is first love, new love, delicate and genteel love. It is the spiritual beauty of a new union. The Swan’s energy encompasses naïve enthusiasm, an awakening, a coupling of the mind as well as the body. The energy of theses feathers contain the gallantry of the knight in shining armor, the fair maiden, and happy-ever-after endings. Love magick of the Swan has nothing to do with reality; it embodies the fantasy of what we wish love were like. Beware the magick of the Swan, it can lead you into illusions and a lust to chase forever an unrealistic ideal…but this magick has its place.

Dove/healing rifts: this bird is the epitome of peace, and it’s this energy which can be used to heal rifts; to bring enemies together; to end feuds; to bring a sense of well-being to people, or a space. On a white sheet of paper, write the names of those involved in the dispute; but write them not in a single row, or on opposite ends of the paper– write the names one on top of the other. Lay the Dove’s feather on one edge of this paper and roll it up, tying it with white ribbon, creating a scroll. Either keep this token in a secret place and let the magick bubble and brew and build over a period of time, or unleash its energy in one furious burst by throwing it into the flames of a roaring bonfire.

Owl/wisdom: oh, be gone, the ways of the fool…bring with the feather of the Owl wisdom, the ability to judge truthfully, insight that reaches beyond what we can see or feel, and the means to keep in check all those things in life which can so easily unseat us. The spirit of this bird encompasses wisdom from the universe, the past as well as the present, it wreaks of ancient energy, the ancestors. Guard its magick well…there are those who would not wish wisdom upon you, for with wisdom comes discernment.

Robin/domestic bliss: heal the wounds of domestic strife, or enhance the energy of a happy home with a feather from the Robin. The magick of this bird is centered around hearth and home, family and familial connections. If the energy here is tainted, every other aspect of life will fall into the great abyss. Like the center of a wheel, the energy of the home supports and connects all those who touch it. Sweet Robin, bring with your energy the Mother’s great blessing upon our hearth and the loved ones seated ‘round it.

Sparrow/ambition: be cautious with the energy of this bird, for ambition, once released, can feed upon itself and devour the one who dared to wake it. Temper ambition with common sense; sensitivity to those around you; and a sense of balance above all else. The energy of the Sparrow is frenzied, highly concentrated, and too strong for some; but it may just be the push that’s needed to ignite motivation.

Raven/occult mysteries: the feather of the Raven is sacred to women like me. Within it lay the secrets of magick and manifestation; energies unseen; impossibilities realized. The magick of the Raven is wild and untamed; it carries the energies of the Wild-Woman, the Crone, the Sage, the Wizard, the Witch. The Raven will whisper in your ear, teaching you that which is considered forbidden by some. The Raven will send out it’s call, and if you’re of the right mind, the right spirit, to hear it, there will be no turning back.

 

The Cottage Witch/Kitchen Wytch/Hedge Wytch

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The cottage witch/kitchen wytch/hedge wytch– she’s one and the same, and for me, this is the epitome of what I have always viewed witches as being ever since I was a child. It is that unobtrusive and eccentric woman who grows herbs in her gardens and about her house, who has developed a unique and unusual relationship with the wild things that visit her yard and inhabit her grounds. It is the woman who has the ancient knowledge and wisdom to incorporate the magickal use of herbs into her everyday life—in the food she prepares, in the water and solutions that she uses to clean her home, in the incense she burns to smudge her living quarters.

It’s not the flashy publicity oriented media image of a witch that people seek out…it is the quiet Wise Woman in the unusual house down the road; the woman people whisper about curiously amongst themselves, the woman cocooned in ancient mysteries and magickal ways.

This is the Kitchen Witch– resplendent in her simple life-style that centers around hearth and home; the Cottage Wytch…immeshed in centuries of tradition and mystery; the Hedge Wytch…creating natural magick in the wild woods using the magick of the green, the magick of the stones, the magick of the Goddess.

*Note:  I’ll be adding more thoughts and insights to this subject, as they come to me and as I have the time.  I love this aspect of the witch, and it’s this image that is most familiar and most attractive to me.  I have to shake my head and wonder when I hear people referring to witches in negative and ugly terms.  I think…Apparently they have never met a hedge wytch!  The green witch is well-rooted in all three aspects of the world encompassed by these witches, and although some people may point out slight differences in a practice here or there amongst the kitchen/cottage/hedge witch, these simple and natural witches are much more connected and united than they are distinctive to each other.