Mar 31, 2017

The magick of the Willow tree

   
"Culpeper says in his Complete Herbal "The moon owns the willow" and it was known as the witches' tree and the tree of enchantment. Robert Graves suggests that witch, wicker and wicked are all derived from willow."

By Glennie Kindred ( www.whitedragon.org.uk ) 

   
     Willows are trees and shrubs from the genus Salix, found in cold to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Almost exclusively they’re all (around 400 species) hygrophytic to hydrophytic, which means they’ll be found growing on damp soil, in moist areas or straight out of the water.

     The leaves are typically narrow or lanceolate, though they can sometimes be oval as well, and occasionally with serrated edges. They have very strong roots, sometimes stoloniferous, very resistant, creeping, and even forming on the aerial parts of the plant. The Willows are dioecious, which means they have separate units bearing only male, and separate units bearing only female
White Willow ( Salix alba )
inflorescence known as catkins. Both type of flowers have reduced calyx and corolla, male flowers having typically 10 stamens, while the female ones having a single ovary, with a single seed. Another interesting taxonomic marker are the conspicuous paired stipules, which may or may not remain for a while during the late spring and early summer. Many willows also blossom before they form leaves. The catkins are tinted orange or purple once they fully form, and are usually well known even among the laypeople, as the Willow’s inflorescence type, being pretty and distinguishable that they are.

     People love to plant willows on “troublesome” grounds prone to forming pools, or puddles and retaining surface water for prolonged periods, as they will ameliorate this problem. They are in general very decorative so that helps too. They’ve proven themselves as an invaluable source to the natural versions of analgesic medicine and plant’s growth hormone.

     The analgesic compounds are salicylates, namely salicilin and salicylic acid found in the bark and leaves of the Willow (and also Poplar) trees. [1] Salicylic acid is a metabolite of Aspirin. Hippocrates suggested chewing on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. The analgesic from the Willow seem to work slower than the Aspirin, but also seem to have a more lasting effect, particularly in treating headaches, lower back pain, osteoarthritis etc. [2] Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) which is abundant in new branches, and stems is a powerful growth hormone of the plants [3] and can be used for propagation of cuttings of willows and pretty much any other plant equally well. People make the so called; “Willow water” to use it as a natural plant growth hormone. The Salicylic acid present in the willow water has an additional benefit, or fighting the bacterial and also some fungal infection to which the cutting are very prone to become victims.

      The wood is used in the furniture industry, and branches are sometimes used as wicker for the baskets.
       Willow can act as hyper-accumulators on certain types of soil, and are therefore used for phytoremediation of the soil.

     Willows in magick and spirituality
      
     Many species, or even varieties are used in magickal workings. This is probably due to the fact that the most of the Willows are rather similar, and share the traits which are observed in the “Doctrine of Signatures” so people naturally tent to use whatever species was available in their part of the world. In the Europe, the Willow used in magick has been the “White” willow or Salix alba, but also Salix babyloniaca or the Weeping willow. The latter, due to its availability pretty much worldwide, is often being used nowadays in magick. It’s a popular horticultural tree, that’s quite tolerant to the differences in soil types and composition, so it’s grown profusely across the northern Hemisphere.

     The Weeping willow is though, sometimes seen as unlucky due to its use prominently as a symbol of sorrow or death in art. In Shakespeare’s “Othello” we have a “Willow song” sang by Desdemona
From the Monet's Water Lilies series,
notice the branches of  Weeping Willow arching
over the water and the Lilies
in an act of despair. Claude Monet painted ten Weeping Willow paintings in 1919. apparently as a mournfull response to the tragedies of the World War I. [4] It’s perhaps this, paired with the feminine and Lunar nature of the plant, that lends to its occasional use in magick to “make someone weep” or cry. A Hoodoo friend of mine, tells me she’ll use the powdered or crushed leaves on a skull candle to either make someone cry, or help someone morn over some loss and consequently heal and move on.

     Willow and the unconscious

     Willow, is the bridge to unconscious and understanding our own emotions. Ruled by Moon and water, it makes perfect sense for it to be an agent per excellence for such. The Latin verb “salire” which means “to leap”, and is one of the possible sources of the Latin name for the genus, illustrates the spiritual power of the Willow to help one leap the gap between emotion and understanding. Or emotions and cognitive processes. It brings clarity when the confusion is caused by imagery, emotional outburst, and helps us go through emotional turmoil in a natural and healthy way, keeping us balanced should we start to waver, hesitate or “run amok” the path we need to take in any given time.
     Many consider it extremely beneficial when facing a sensitive dilemma of any kind, or struggling with emotions, to sit under a willow tree, or to hug it. Especially during the nights of the Full Moon, ideally near the body of the water so you can watch its reflection. This is said to intuitively bring solution to the mind. From personal experience, I can testify that this is indeed of great help.
     Willow can also help us understand the abstract imagery, dreams, visions, and makes an excellent divining rods.
     In Slavic, and particularly Balkan Slavic witchery it’s used to heal and soothe a child which is overly emotional, usually the children that cry hysterically, and sometimes also those that suffer from night terrors.
     For this purposes one needs to find a branch of Willow that touches the water surface, dips it into a vessel with water*, and give some of this water to the child to drink. [5]

     Willow and the feminine

     Willow is deeply connected to the feminine and the female energies. It’s associated with the various female pagan deities like the; Artemis, Ceres, Hecate, Persephone, Hera, Belili and others [6] It’s seen symbolic and sacred to the Brigid during the Imboloc by some.
     Sallow, as also sometimes referred to (some species more than others, in Europe Salix carpea for example) appears also as a symbol of female sexuality, fertility and female power to fascinate, charm and bind;

     “Willow is used for charms of fascination and binding, and during the spring moon we have the power of the Spring Maiden who fascinates and binds the power of the young King. Aphrodite is associated with the spring and the bright half of the moon, courtship and the union which blesses the land with fertility. British and Irish mythology is also rich with legends of the beguiling, Willowy Spring Maiden who is called Olwen, Niwalen, Gwenhyver, Cordelia, Blodeuwedd and many others, who initiate the young King into a deeply sexual experience.” [7]

     In the Balkans, Willow is used profusely in folk healing rituals, but some of them are reserved only from the women, and are therefore tabooed for men.  The example is the ritual that women, especially maidens and young girls do on the feast day of the St. George. They make a “belt” using a willow branch and tie it around their waist to be “as slim and fair as willow”, which is also an example of sympathetic magick.

     For the Slavic people Willow is a place that the water fairies love to frequent and dwell around, so they can be contacted there, or an offering for them could be made there. Caution was needed, as in the Slavic folklore, most of the water fairies are very malevolent and cruel, and should only be contacted in some dire need. It was usually only the desperate or those extremely skilled in magick who’d work with the water fae.
    
     Willow as a healer and “axis mundi” for the Slavic folk

     Among most Slavic people, the Willow enjoys the reputation of a sacred tree, which is a bit like the Ygdrassil or the Tree of life of Kabala, for it’s transcendental and connects various planes of existence. It is therefore considered the embodiment of the archetypical “axis mundi”, much like the Oak tree that only gained such reputation later in the Slavic culture and myth, mostly due to the patriarchal ways of community, making it a “male” counterpart to the willow. [8]

     Because of this transcendental, and bridging (like mentioned before the word Salix, is derived from the terms reffering to leaping) power, the willow was used to banish diseases to the “Netherland”, or other specific place, where from they could no longer return to ail the one performing the ritual.

     An example is a ritual where a person afflicted with the fever, particularly a persistent one, must roast a whole garlic bud, early in the morning before the first roosters sound themselves. Then he or she, takes it to the willow, shakes it three times vigorously apologizing for it and saying:

It is not the morning dew that I shake off from you,
But the fever that I shake off from myself” 

     A person then leaves the roasted garlic on the willow, and swiftly abandons the place, taking care not to turn back** and look at the spot, for any reason. [9]

     It’s still customary to hit children (mildly and affectionately, for it’s a symbolic gesture) in Serbia, Bulgaria, parts of Montenegro and Croatia on the Lazarus’ Saturday with willow twigs to ensure they remain healthy throughout the year. The willow branches are also commonly blessed in the Orthodox Christian churches on this day, to be used on the Palm Sunday, due to them being more readily available than the palm trees. [10] Young men and women will also customary hit each other with the willow twigs saying: “May you grow fair as willow”, in a belief that this will bring them vitality and fair appearance.

     Since this is meant to be a practical blog, here are a few ideas, that I’ve came up myself, on how to implement the power of willow in magick;

     The dream decoder spell

     Respectfully gather a small piece of willow bark, or a piece of Willow wood. You can use some branch and cut a small slice of it. Thank the tree and water it or leave it some kind of offering. This would ideally be done on a night of the full moon, or otherwise some Monday.

     When dry, some Monday, place this piece of this wood in a small blue, or a purple bag or sachet, preferably made of linen, along with a piece of Ulexite, Clear Calcite or Quartz. Light a blue candle and enchant the charm by holding it in the hands, breathing upon it and chanting;

     Nightly scenes that perish with light
       Confusing, forgotten or out of sight
       I understand now your omens and sign,
       For Willow and crystal conjure you fine” 

     Place under pillow to overcome confusing, irrational dreams, and to understand dream omens and the symbols of the subconscious mind in them, helping this insight heal the mental struggles which caused them.

     The New chance spell

     When experiencing a failure of some kind, and wanting to turn it around by finding another way to do it, a new perspective, or simply new hope and willpower, go to where willows grow. Respectfully cut a small, healthy branch from the tree, preferably the new, green ones. This should be done in spring, during the waxing moon, ideal time being Ostara.

     Plant it in the wet soil. You may dip it in the growing hormone to ensure it sprouts new roots swiftly and safely. Envision the solution you need, or simply wish for it strongly, water the cutting and chant:

           “Cut away yet, far from dead,
              Even when stricken with the strife,
              I embrace the new chance instead,
              Growing towards better life.” 

     As the little cutting grows, so will you find the solution and a way to turn your failure into success.

     Hoodoo spell to make someone weep or heal them
   
     To make someone mentally unstable and make them weep and cry. Inscribe a skull candle with the name of the person you wish to affect. It should be a black skull candle. Dress it with some condition oil appropriate to your need. Then sprinkle the candle or entwine it with some Couchgrass ( or Witchgrass ) and sprinkle with some crumbled leaves of the Weeping Willow. You can arrange these just below the eye sockets of the skull candle so it appears as if the skull is crying. Burn and speak appropriate words or power.

     To help someone heal from grieving too much, dress a white skull candle with some Healing or Tranquility oil. Sprinkle it with crumbled or powdered Weeping willow leaves and Balm of Gilead. If it’s a broken heart they suffer from add some Violet leaf or Heartease leaf too. Burn during the hours of the Sun and read the following Bible verse:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ( Revelations 21:4 )

     Spirituality talisman

     It’s customary in some parts of Europe to collect some Willow tree juice on a piece of Linen fabric the day after Ostara , and then carry that a spirituality talisman. Here is what I think is an equally good alternative method.


     Cut a piece of willow branch, so you have a nice, small rounded slice. Gather respectfully on a night of the full moon, or some Monday while the moon is in the waxing phase. Inscribe one side of this talisman with the spiral. On the other you can inscribe an open eye, and your initials, or something of a sort. Let it dry, and when well dry, dress it lightly with some Master key oil, or other kind of appropriate spiritual oil. When the oil dries out, it’s ready. You can make it into a pendant or place in a small charm vial and use that as a pendant, and carry it on your behalf to raise your spiritual awareness, and help you connect to the spirit world more easily and swiftly. It will also help grow your natural spiritual talents. You can also put this in a charm or mojo bag with things like the Witches Burr, and Galangal root for example, for increase in spiritual power.

NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself. If you wish to use  any part of it  elsewhere online feel free but add credits: Shadow of the Shadows magick place, or "Shadow-333@hotmail.com , or a direct link to this page

CREDITS AND REFERENCES: * In traditional Balkan witchcraft this type of plant remedy is usually made by soaking the plant material, usually a whole plant if herbaceous, or a bark, root etc., in a vessel with water; most commonly a pan, or a bowl, and leaving it outside or a window sill over night to catch the “brightness”, that is the spiritual energy radiated by Moon and stars. The Willow remedy was probably also made this way.
** This is a frequent taboo in some Slavic magick rituals and spells, particularly the healing ones. It’s firmly believed that if the practitioner turned around, they could catch a glimpse of the forces or spirits which are making sure the ritual comes to fruition, and could go mad or die because of it.

[5] Veselin Cajkanovic “Recnik Srpskih narodnih verovanja o biljkama” (lit. Veselin Cajkanovic “Dictionary of Serbian folk beliefs about plants”) Beograd 1994
[6] Cunningham, Scott “Cunningham’s encyclopedia of magic herbs”
[7] Retrieved from; https://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/willow.htm for explanatory, educational and illustrative purposes, without any ill will
[9] Acc. to the  same source listed under [8]
[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_Saturday

IMAGE CREDITS: 

The first image, the botanical illustration is from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/2b/a8/022ba89dd0769cadb7f92a95953ff24b.jpg 

The second one, which is the Claude Monet's image is from: https://d1inegp6v2yuxm.cloudfront.net/royal-academy/image/upload/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,w_950/joumqzbympg7vmxsqe4j.jpg 
both used here for illustrative purposes  without any ill intention

Apr 29, 2016

Wards and barriers

     "You shall not pass!!!"  
     
     That’s what Gandalf said, then he drove the bottom end of his staff into the narrow rock bridge in the cave, and prevented some kind of ancient, fire demon from following and killing the members of the fellowship of the ring, in the Lord of the Rings movie.

     He literarily prevented that demon from proceeding, he blocked his path. He cast what we would describe as a ward, in magick. He broke off the rock bridge and plummeted alongside the demon in the precipice too, but that’s beside the point lol.

     So can one magicakally prevent one from entering a specific place, most notably and most often this place being one’s home? The answer is absolutely. All sort of traditions and magickal paths have their ways of doing this and we shall discuss a few in today’s post.
A Witch's knot charm/symbol/ward


     A very informative and trustworthy site on Wiccan and Celtic magick defines ward as a shield anchored to a physical place.  [1] Furthermore, it’s stated that unlike the shield, the ward is powered by the Earth, and its energy rises from it, as it were, and I find all that to be pretty illustrative of a typical ward. A different article, though describes it as a “psychokinetic shield” that deflects energy. [2] I have two issues with that; if it was psychokinetic it would deflect more than just energy, it’d deflect matter as well, and a ward does not just deflect energy anyway. It can turn away people, or animals, or spirits too.

     A protective magick circle, as used in Ceremonial magick is yet another example of a magickal ward. So it’s indeed a form of shield “anchored” to earth, or even emanating from the Earth, and a magickal boundary set to keep something out. Behind the yellow line, sort of say.

     Clearly, the best time for setting up magickal wards are days and hours of Saturn, a planet ruling boundaries (setting or breaking and transcending the same)  and mystery, or wondrous works, among other. Materia magicka correspondent to the planet is thus also used commonly for setting up the magickal wards.

      It’s also important to notice the selective nature of the wards; they are set up with an intention to keep something specific out, not just pretty much anything, which means, if you cast a protection spell to keep people with specific type of intentions or aims outside of your home, such will be repelled, but it won’t stop other people from coming around. This is quite useful, and is sometimes even cunningly used to test someone’s true intentions and to tell apart friendly people from the “snakes in the grass”. Now let’s proceed with few examples, meant to keep evil people, spirits and similar out of someone’s home.

     Traditional Balkan witchery spell for keeping evil people away
    
     Get a new, unused knife, preferably one with the black handle. During the waning phase of the Moon, bring some water to the boil and add some red chili peppers, and salt in it. Dip the knife in it three times, saying something along these lines:

As the Moon wanes, and as this blade cuts,
So will you N.N. stay away, and be cut away
From this home, and this place
And will not enter this dwelling. Amen

     Place it on a napkin or a paper towel and allow it to air dry. When it does, find a way to hide it somewhere around your front door doorstep ( or if it’s a specific room, in front of these room’s doors ), pointing outwards and normal ( under 90’ angle ) to the door’s plane. You can for example place it under the rug or doormat etc. Next to it, or somewhere on the doorframe also place a sprig of Basil, wrapped around the base with a red yarn or thread. Most people like to hang this little sprig just above the doors.
     The person who you don’t wish to enter your home, should not be able to, after you’ve done this.

Herbal wards

     Many herbs, when placed in jars, vials, or hung about the place are effective wards against bad people and evil spirits.

     Dill for example, when hung above the doors, with the clear intention to do so, is said to keep both bad people and evil spirits away from your premises.

     Similarly, St. John’s wort, picked on Midsummer, is widely believed to bar the entrance to a home, or a room, to even powerful evil spirits and demons.

     Fennel, a “cousin” to the Dill, was once placed in keyholes to keep the Ghosts out, and nowadays an infusion or a floorwash is used to keep the intruders out. [3]

     Hawthorn branches in front of doors and windows of the home, were used in Balkans to prevent a vampire from entering given home. [4]

     Major Celandine keeps the law away from your property, and when used properly will make police evade your place in a wide circle. Elderberry flowers and boughs can also do the same.

     A friend of mine told me that If I want to stop someone from coming around, or entering my home all I need to do is place a personal concern of theirs, or a name paper lacking the previous, in a small vial along with Black seeds, Red Onion peels and Rose thorns, and fix this to my front doors. She said: “Even if they come around, they won’t go pass the doors, in fact they’ll soon leave, probably complaining about some feeling of unease”. I tried this one, and it worked wonders when I did.

Hoodoo’s Red Brick

     One of the most powerful wards against  bad people, or people who wish you ill is the Hoodoo trick with the red brick dust,  popularly referred to as the “reddening” . It’s tad more elaborate then what you’ll commonly be advised; which is to just sprinkle the dust in front of your doors, but when done properly it works wonders.

     The place that one intends to protect should be thoroughly cleansed spiritually beforehand, and in Hoodoo this is usually done with a floorwash containing powerful cleansing and protective ingredients. This part of the ritual is according the tradition done a little before sunrise, and without uttering a single word.

     A good, traditional floorwash that can be used here is made by combining:  Household Ammonia, Saltpeter, and Epsom salts in a wash, but the most traditional wash used is actually one’s own first morning urine, dissolved in some water. [5] This makes sense being that the Household Ammonia is often used as the replacement for the urine in Hoodoo formulas and tricks.

     Some Hoodoo authorities suggest this should be done on specific days; namely: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. [6]

     Having done that, one proceeds to lay a line in front of their doors, with the red brick dust powder. You can conceal the line later with, let’s say a doormat, but this is not necessary and  more often than not, not done.

Icelandic “Hurðstoðva” ward, to prevent a specific person from entering your home
    
     The following spell makes use of a specific “galdrastafir” , an Icelandic written charm/sigil, which is etched into Rowan wood, or wand, and then one is to walk thrice around their home with it clockwise, and three more times in the opposite direction, wraps the wand with some thistle leaves, and then places it above the doors. This is said to prevent the person from entering your home. I know very little of trolldom, but during the walking part I’d use some words of power which mention the name of person in question to focus the spell/ward, and attune it to their energy. Or place it alongside their name paper, photo, or some bodily concern.



      The original instructions are as follow:

     “Hurðstoðva - Doorstopper. A galdrastafir to hinder someone from entering your house. If there's a person you do not want to enter your home, edge this stafir into a rowan-wand. Do this as the sun is on her highest, and proceed to walk sunward around your house tree times, followed by tree times withershins, while holding the wand in which you are laying the spell. To prime the spell, bind the wand in thistle leaves, and place it above your door.” [7]

     Some wards to keep the evil spirits outside

     Some evil spirits more than others, are bent on gaining entrance to your home and wreaking havoc in it. The wards used to keep them out may vary slightly depending on a specific spirit, but are often in form of charms, herbs or written inscriptions. Following are some examples of such:


·         St John’s wort, particularly that plucked on the Midsummer, in noon, placed in a jar and then hung by the door or windows will ward off evil spirits. I usually read the Psalm 90th over such charm.
·         Two Hawthorn branches, placed and tied one over another so that they form a Cross, and secured with a piece of natural, red yarn which was soaked in Holy water from the church, shall prevent all sort of malignant spirits gaining entrance to a dwelling, if it’s hung by the door lintel, or secured above the doors. It can similarly be placed above one’s bed, besides it or carried on person ( a small charm ) to protect from all sort of disembodied spirits and even the malevolent fairies.
·         Alder is said to ward the “unseen” threats, including evil spirits. A piece of wood can be carried in a charm bag for example
·         A witches knot charm, carved into doors, windows, or written on paper, preferably in Dragon’s blood magickal ink, will keep the evil spirits, hags and curses at bay ( see the image at the beginning of the post )
·         Charms carved from the Jasper stones are hung by the door to repel ghosts and evil spirits, particularly the evil trickster sprits. In China, these charms often take  the form of a dragon
·         Bloodstone is carried as a pendant, or in a charm bag to keep away evil spirits and demons and prevent them from affecting on
·         Salt is a powerful ward for all sort of ills, including the evil spirits, and salt circle is a brilliant example of such. Read Psalms 29th, 40th and 90th over some salt and then sprinkle it around your home, or object or person you wish to protect in a clockwise circle. Similarly, praying the 18th Psalm over salt makes it a good ward against the robbers and thieves.



NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself, hence If you wish to use any parts of elsewhere online, add the credits; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post

CREDITS AND REFRENCES:

[4] Jasna Jojic Pavlovski “Magija Biljaka”
[6] Acc. to; same as under [5]
[7] Retrieved from:  http://seidr.hekse.dk/#post6   and used here for explanatory and  educational purposes without ill will

IMAGE CREDITS: The Witch’s knot picture  is from http://www.examiner.com/article/the-witch-s-knot and digitally edited by myself,  used here for illustrative and explanatory purpose without any ill
The “Hurðstoðva”  galdristafir image was drawn and edited by myself 

Apr 28, 2016

The magick of spring flowers

     
NOTE: My apologies. This post was due for the early March but sadly I was very busy ... so here it's now, hope it still comes handy

     The springtime is practically at the doors already. We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, here in the Eastern Europe, Mediterranean part, where I am in particular, and those days a week when we’ve been blessed with a clear sun spell, one could see all these beautiful, ephemeral wildflowers, the harbingers of spring.

     Beautiful to the eye to many surely, but some people know there is more to these little members of plant’s kingdom than what meets the eye. Which people one may wonder? Witch people indeed ;)  You see, most of the spring flowers have some use in magick and divination, some are of particular utility, and rarity, and are pretty much available for a very short period of time, If You are the one to collect your own magickal herbs. And why shouldn’t you be? It deepens your connection to the nature, plants and spirits associated with these, it’s a good discipline exercise, and lends additional power to your works of magickal herbalism. And saves you some money for those herbs that you cannot find near you, those exotic and/or rare ones.

     The ephemeral spring flowers are often small, colorful and often enticingly pungent, because these plants finish their lifecycle for a few months tops, and require to draw attention of the pollinators, least they pollinate via anemophily . They are sort of “pioneers” during the spring, when it comes to plants that appear, especially among the angiosperms ( Magnoliophyta ), and appear before the other plants that await for more consistent, stable conditions. So they embody the principle of action and bravery quite finely, and are in general symbolic of awakening of the nature, hope and resilience. They are omens of the arrival of the “light half of the year” and happier, leisure times, which come as a proper blessing after the long, dark, introspective period that winter can be.

     Hence I decided to write a little piece, hopefully a practical one too, on how to make a best magickal use of some spring flowers, timely. I will be discussing those that are either found commonly throughout the Europe as autochthonic flora elements, or those with a cosmopolite distribution, as it would take more time and a lot more space to go into more detailed lists of species and their usage. So the common, available ones, you probably have growing in your own yard, or that park nearby, and those you might have passed by without as much as a second glance many times by now.

     So without any further ado, let start.

Daisy ( Bellis perennis )

     A common little flower from the Asteraceae family, also known as “English Daisy”, “Common Daisy” or “Lawn daisy” , with two type of lowers in its inflorescence ( pesudanthium, composite flower head ); the white, marginal male flowers, and the yellow, centrally positioned female flowers.

     It’s a common, worldwide spread custom to pick the white flowers to determine if a lover loves you or not. It’s a “Loves me, loves me not” type of divination, where the answer which appears when the last white flower is plucked from a given flower-held is held to be the truth.

     It’s a Venus and water correspondent plant, and sleeping with it’s roots ( or a whole ) plant under pillow is said to bring an estranged lover back.

     It’s “relative” Ox eye Daisy ( Leucanthemum vulgare ), which is sometimes  confused with the Common Daisy, is said to give extra power to the spells.

Buttercup ( Rannunculus arvensis, R. ficaria, R.spp )

     Buttercups are plants from the Rannunculaceae family, and of the genus Ranunculus. These are commonly used in a folk divination, where they are placed bellow one’s chin, a freshly plucked yellow flowered specimen, that is, and observed/gazed. One watches the petals and if they see a reflection of their chin or face in them, their lover is madly infatuated with them. People also gaze into the yellow petals of the flower to get a glimpse of how their “true love” looks like.

Violet ( Viola odorata )

     This rather well-known, beautiful zygomorphic flower, with purple ( or very rarely white ) petals, has a beautiful, sweet, intoxicating perfume.
     But this perfume, as well as the plant are quite repellent to the evil spirits. The flowers protect from the wicked spirits, and the leafs were worn in a green sachet to help cure wounds, and prevent evil spirits from making them worse [1] It’s used in Hoodoo and Santeria bath formulas that serve to repel evil ghosts and stop them from influencing someone.
     Hoodoo people also wear a Violet leaf in their shoe for seven days to help them find a new lover, because it’s auspiciously shaped like a heart. [2]

      Violet flowers are ingredient in the Obitsu Hoodoo powder, a powder used to uncross someone, while also protecting them from harmful magick, particularly   those type of spells done with the help of evil spirits. The formula is as follows:

Obitsu powder

Combine and pulverize

·         *  Jasmine flowers
·         *  Violet flowers
·         *  Lemongrass or Citronella

Herb Robert ( Geranium robertianum )

     The plant known as Herb Robert ( Geranium robertianum ),  from the Geraniaceae family is a common pioneer species on devastated lands, especially those forest habitats “cleared” by the fires. This it represents hopes and new beginnings, but also healing. It’s a herb that is in Traditional Balkan witchery believed to be able to bestow health upon the sick, and magickally help curing any kind of illness. It was often placed in a pan with spring water for this purpose and left outside, on the night of the full Moon, to “absorb” the energy of Moon and stars. In the morning the resulting liquid was used to wash the patient’s hear of afflicted body parts, or used in healing ritual.

     Leaves crushed, and bruised onto skin will repel mosquitos, although will also leave one with a bit of an odor. To some unpleasant (reminiscent of burning tires) yet to others perfume like, smelling kind of like roses. You can carry some in a blue sachet bag, along with Rose hips, and Anemone flowers,  a piece of Garnet, and optionally smallest chunk of Camphor, to preserve health, restore it if lost,  and protect from sickness.

Saffron (Crocus spp.)

     Unlike the domesticated Crocus sativus (fam. Iridaceae), which normally flowers in the autumn, most Crocus species that grow in wild flower in spring. In magick a whole variety of species can be used. The stigma’s are collected and used for magickal spells and formulas. They have to be handpicked, and there’s only 3 stigma’s per flower, hence why the Saffron as a spice is so expensive.  The domesticated species ( Croscus sativus ) has sterile reproductive elements and is reproduced via bulb division/propagation.
     It’s use in love and money spells if well known, and it’s said to draw the riches even when used in the smallest amounts. It’s also said to “inflame the heart with love” or even lust.
     Combined with the Frankincense tears and burnt as an incense it’s said to be   excellent for “bringing light into dark spaces” and lifting the spirit. It’s also believed to help see the truth in the situation by heightening psychic powers. [3]

     As a Solar and Fire plant, it’s very powerful and illuminating. You can make it into a “Enhancing powder” ;

Combine

·          * Powdered Frankincense resin
·         * Saffron powder
·          * Cinnamon powder
·         *     Chamomile flowers powdered
·          * Epsom salts and Cornstarch mixture as a base

     Sprinkle to enhance spells and rituals, particularly those of a fire magick type. Toss a bit on the incense, dust a candle with it, or throw into the flames alongside a paper with petitions, symbols, use in cauldron waters etc.

      Chickweed ( Stellaria media )

     Chickweed is a small herbaceous green plant from the family Carryophylaceae, with somewhat inconspicuous yet beautiful white flowers. It’s common in the deciduous woods.
     “Carry or use in spells designed  to attract love or maintain a relationship. “ [4] It can be used in spells to inspire someone to express their love towards the user, if they feel reluctant to do so. One can simply enchant the plant and have them hold it. It will open their heart and mouths.


Bluebell ( Hyacinthes non-scripta, Hyacinthes spp. , Campanula rotundifolia, Campanula spp. )

     Another “spring bloomer” the Common Bluebell is actually not a true Bluebell at all! Bluebells are the plants from the Campanulaceae family, mostly the genus Campanula (common in Europe is Campanula rotundifolia, for example) . Common Bluebell, as known in England and USA, is actually from the Amaryllidaceae family. The two are very distant, taxonomically speaking,
     It matter little though, for the folklore associated with both groups seems to be pretty much exactly the same.
     It’s a fairy flower, and in UK its presence indicated that the forest where it grows is ancient. It’s not advisable to pick it, even though people do so to hang it on strings during the Midsummer to attract the Fae (fairies).  Hearing the Blubells ring was considered to a death omen, and the forest where it grew in abundance is said to be under the influence of fairy spells. [5] Folk say that Far love to wear the flowers as hats which is often said about the Digitalis flowers as well .
     It is also used in truth spells…  Enchanted and given to someone to hold, with any excuse, is said to force them to tell the truth no matter what.

     It’s commonly grown in gardens, as an ornamental plant, so outside the UK, it’s pretty safe to pick it, without endangering the populations. It should not be ingested though as it contains alkaloids.

Daffodil ( Narcissus poeticus )

     Another bulbous, beautiful perennial from the Amaryllidaceae family. Often thought ( erroneously ) to be named after the mythical figure Narcissus, but had actually been named so before the myth’s discovery. It’s also the flower mentioned in the Persephone myth, the one that distracted her, enabling Hades to  kidnap her.
     It’s associated with peace, hope, self-love, rebirth, resurrection, renewal and the new beginnings, and worn in a pocket near the heart is said to confer a cheerful disposition and optimism to the wearer. [6] Some also say that worn like that, brings luck.
     It’s also a flower used in funerary rites, and a suitable Ostara  altar decoration/offering and symbol.

Magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia spp. )

     This ancient shrub/tree from the Magnoliaceae family blooms in early spring, so even though it’s not herbaceous, nor small and gentle, it can be seen as an ephemeral being that it finishes blooming, pollination, and forms a fruit, all during a relatively short period  of few months.
     It’s a Venus and water plant particularly famed for ensuring conjugal fidelity, when the leafs are placed bellow bed, or sewn into mattress.
     You can enchant a leaf and place it over the Book of Shadows, to prevent others from reading it.

Lilly of the Valley ( Convalaria majalis )

      This beautiful, white flowered herbaceous plant, flowering in May, is a symbol of purity, humility and spirituality. It’s in the family Asparagaeceae, possibly the only species of the genus.
       Among many other magickal uses, the flowers of this plant augment and amplify the beneficial spiritual work greatly, which is probably why they are an ingredient in the New Orleans style “Holy Spirit oil”, reportedly of the following formula:

  • Lilly of the Valley
  • Hyssop
  • Basil
  • Lavender
All combined in a base of “pure Oilve oil from Israel”  and used “for highly positive works and to summon helpful spirits” [7]

Snowdrops ( Galanthus nivalis )

     This early white-flowering plant, from the Asparagaceae family, often appearing and flowering through the snow, is a symbol of hope, comfort and purity.
     It’s associated with  and symbolic of the Candlemas andImbloc  and those picked on the Candlemas  day are believed to be imbued by miraculous power.

     You can get a dry, pressed flower, place it in the Psalm Book on the page where 23rd  Psalm is, read the psalm and add a heartfelt prayer for help with some situation, or problem that seems hopeless or  unsolvable  to you. Then procced to also read the Psalm 42nd , place the Psalm book with the flower bellow your pillow, and place a glass of fresh water next to your bed. Go to sleep and 
record any guidance or symbolic dreams that you receive.

NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself, so if you desire to use any parts of it elsewhere online, you may do so but provide the credits:    Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or direct link to this post

CREDITS AND REFERENCES:

[1] acc. to Cunningham, Scott in; “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”
[4] As under [1]
[7] Formula retrieved/quoted from : http://www.examiner.com/article/the-art-of-conjuring-oils-and-potions-part-3 for educational and explanatory purposes, without any ill will 

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo showing Buttercups was taken by myself

Mar 29, 2016

Conjuring the strength


     Sometimes we find ourselves drained, tired and unable to proceed.
Physically and/or mentally. Maybe even from a spiritual perspective, we start feeling hopeless,
Atlas  holding  up the world

unbefitting or discouraged to tackle some kind of problem or an issue. In short we lack strength, and persistence to get something done. We may even attempt to achieve something, or pursue a goal, and then start feeling overwhelmed or scared and eventually give up. Or we may feel as if the burden of the whole world is on our shoulders. Life gets hectic . 


There are many reasons why we may start to feel like that, and a more succinct and in-depth analysis of such is beyond the scope of a blog post, for it can, and has filled pages of books and books, but let’s mention just some common causes, to better understand the issue:

·         Physical/physiological causes: improper nourishment, poor sleep quality, stress and various medical conditions, can all respectively drain one of energy and strength to do things. In such cases, naturally, an orthodox, allopathic medical help is sought, which can of course be complemented by healing and/or empowering spiritual work, or alternative medicine methods.

·         Mental causes: stress, exogenous depression, peer pressure, anxiety, time schedules and deadlines, atychiphobia, neurasthenia… these are just a handful of many possible causes in the area or mental health and wellbeing that can deplete human of their strength and energy, and leave them unable to carry on or give up. Even just the general way of life can affect it in a clandestine, foxy way. Let’s say you have a cluttered work desk… it’s a reflection of mental clutter and simultaneously a tool to perpetuate and increase it, in a sort of vicious circle process. Such can leave you feeling exerted, lost, tired and incapable to get the work done.

·         Spiritual causes: poor spiritual hygiene can result in spiritual debris preventing normal energy flow, and cause lack of strength which cannot be accounted nor diagnosed by anything related to mental and/or physiological sphere. A parasitic spirit or thoughtform can deplete one of energy, or even one’s fear of failure, and hopelessness can turn into a thoughtform and make one less strong and apt to tackle something than they normally are. All sort of crossed conditions, binding spells and blocked conditions in particular can also greatly deplete one of it’s personal power.

     So as we see, there are 3 main dimensions, in all their varieties of lockage in strength to do something. Hence, for humans, and spiritual people in particular, strength is not simply ability to perform work or use certain amount of force, per specific amount of time or even area. It’s a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and potential to cause changes in our surrounding.

     As noted, If we happen to know the underlying cause to our inability or lack of strength to do something (let’s say, as simple thing as mundane spring cleaning and painting or as complex as successfully performing a human-flag exercise) we can treat the cause respectfully and in time, restore the strength or ability to do it. To illustrate;

·         Vitamin B group deficiency, which can cause conditions such as asthenia among others, can be treated with a Vitamin B supplement, in acute case as a vitamin complex shot, or in a chronic or less severe case with taking a vitamin B group supplement.

·         A cluttered room can cause mental exhaustion, and eat up inspiration, focus and determination to do things. Cleaning up and organizing the room will restore the positive mind outset and hope, and help one realize that the root of their power deficit was in lack or organization, and focus.

·         If someone finds themselves a victim of a blocked condition, caused by themselves or others, either way, a Blockbusting type of spiritual work, common in Hoodoo magick, will remove these obstacles which were lowering one’s efficiency to accomplish something.

     Yet, what if the cause is not clear, and we need to act fast? We may not have the time to introspect, or perform divination for example. We need something done right now, time is of the essence, and we are lacking strength to do it. Or what if we generally lack strength to do something at given point? We are simply not yet developed enough to do something but we really need to. Or what if we need just a little push… a touch of something, like some people may need caffeine in the morning, to help get them through the day. It’s perfectly normal to help oneself now and then in such way.  Well in that case, we can use magick to conjure up some strength, increase our personal power, and so on. It may be as simple as “charging” and carrying a stone, or more complex as a combination of spiritual bath and a candle burning ritual. In either case, magick can cover all three aspects mentioned, in which the underlying cause, or causes, can be found. Hence, in this article I will present some advices, spells or works, I’ve either came up with myself, or found elsewhere and decided to share.

     Materia magica

     Any and all herbal, animal, or mineral agents used in magick to empower one mentally,
The Prihtvi Vardak mudra, for strength,
Vigor and endurance, and in Christianity;
a gesture of blessing Byzantine art   detail
physically, spiritually or combined, will help. For example, Sampson snake root will empower one physically and spiritually, Mint will do so mentally  bringing sharp mind and clarity as well, particularly in times of need, while Mugwort, plucked ritually and placed in a shoe will ensure physical strength and endurance. Master of the Woods will do the same, and also empower one spiritually. Ginger rhizome and John The Conqueror root are well known for empowering people, each in their own respective way. Rosemary will give mental and physical vigor and excellence. Thyme and Borage, as incenses or infusions can give us bravery we lack to get up and tackle something. Cocoa or coffee baths are said to replenish lost physical strength in meek people. And so on.

     Colors traditionally used for strength, are purple ( mastery and occult power, mental power ), blue ( healing, and replenishing strength ), red ( for increasing physical power, vigor and endurance, as well as bravery ), or orange ( for conjuring the energy, magnetism, and power in general ). White can of course be used instead of any of these, or along with them, as can natural beeswax brown candles.

     Laundry bluing , used in baths, alone or combined with other ingredients, is a brilliant way to deal with the mental fatigue, as well as physical fatigue. Crystals and gems will be discussed in a separate paragraph.

     Magickal timing

     These type of spiritual work is ideally done on a night of the Full Moon, or during the Sunrise hour. Otherwise, time it during the days or hours of

-          Mars – for physical empowerment, strength boost, bravery and endurance

-          Mercury – for mental excellence, studies, and mental endurance and focus

-          Sun – healing conditions related to the lack of strength and infusing one with strengths

-          Saturn – Spiritual strength and breaking boundaries to progress, strength use or increase

     Obviously if you need let’s say; both mental and physical strength you can combine the timing, that is perform the ritual/spell during the Mercury day and hour of Mars, and so on. It’s also worth mentioning here that the Sunrise time coincides with the beginning of the planetary hour of Sun ( one of them ) for a given day.

     Spring Equinox   ( roughly around the 21st of March ) is the most auspicious time of the year for rebalancing and empowerment, and taking charge of your life, as well as acquiring that extra strength needed to tackle even the long standing problems, and make changes in life.

     Crystals and minerals

     Following are some crystals, that are on a mental or emotional plane, as well as physical and spiritual used to empower someone, or give them endurance and also inspire them. The list is by no means complete, and is merely what I’d suggest, and what the people working with crystals generally agree upon; along with a brief explanation why and in which case

·         Fluorite – will be ideal to provide mental strength and aptness for anything study related

·         Clear Calcite   – Will provide clarity and soothe the connective tissues and muscles if they are sore [1]

·         Carnelian  – will raise the levels and give strength for one to “come on their own” [2] as well as increase physical strength, vigor and endurance. It’s extremely useful if a prolonged effort in something is required

·         Unakite – draws off negative energy from the heart chakra, and lifts the spirits when one feels down, helping them see the beauty in life [3]

·         Garnet – for physical strength, endurance, vigor and courage. It’s also a very energizing stone

·         Clear quartz – energizing, promoting mental focus and clarity and balancing the energy bodies and meridians, helping undisturbed energy flow

·         Sunstone – For a sunny disposition, optimism and re-energizing, as well as treating depression and melancholia. It also helps heal variety of physical conditions which cause, among other weakness and lack of strength

·         Onyx  – a mental tonic crystal

·         Shungite – Said to eliminate and absorb anything that is a hazard to human health [4] and the essence ( infused water ) is a general body tonic, that also helps heal all sort of conditions particularly inflammations and infections. It battles the effects of stress ( oxidation for example ), and helps rejuvenate the tissues and body

·         Sugilite – “It imparts the ability to face unpleasant conditions, encourages positive thoughts, and releases emotional turmoil” , it’s a pain reliever, and when placed on the third eye will deal away with despair [5]

·         Charoite – deeply physically and emotionally healing, it’s also empowering and helps overcome fears and obsessive compulsive thinking

     A spell of strength

     During the hour of Sun combine, and using a mortar and pestle pulverize;

·         Sampson snake root or herb

·         Mint

·         Ginger rhizome

     On a piece of paper write your name 7 times and encircle it with word: “Power” or “Strength” written in a continuous line so that it forms an undisrupted circumference around your name. Place some of the powder on it, and fold the paper in such was that it forms a triangle, and that the powder is securely closed within. Try to keep it small.

     During the Sunrise, or the hour of Mars, light an Orange or White candle, and in front of it place a fireproof container or dish ( like a cauldron ), and place inside some lit charcoal disc, one or more depending on the size.

     Say aloud the following words as you set the paper you prepared earlier alight, on the candle’s flame:

     Timid spirit and body weak,
      Surge of power now they seek,
      As sun rises with this spell,
      They’re empowered, strong and well!”

     Release the paper in the dish on the charcoal disc, and repeat the words once again. When it’s almost completely burnt to ashes, add some more of that powder, say the words one more time and inhale the incense fumes.

     Let the candle burn all the way down, and extinguish on itself. You can dispose of the ashes under some large, strong, imposing tree, like an Oak for example.

Elements empowerment spell

     Go somewhere where the water meets the land. Seashore/ocean would be ideal. Have a red candle with you, and a lodestone.

     When you reach there, pace the candle facing south, light it, and holding the lodestone in your hands chant:

      To give me strength, and power I need
        Sprits of elements I invoke and plead,
        Earth, Air, Water and Fire,
        Lift my spirit, it is my desire!”

     Chant as many times as you like, or until you feel the Lodestone in your hands tingling with power. Then you can spend some more time in quiet meditation if you so please. It is done.

      The following charm, unlike the previous two, is not (written, composed) by myself, but it find it just that splendid and well done that I had to share it here



     Charm for energy and motivation

     “Need some extra energy? Motivation? Creativity? This charm bag is intended to do all that and help you get stuff done. You will need:

Motivation: Purple Statice or Lemon,

Creativity: Ginger, Nutmeg, or Vervain,

Energy: Chamomile or Carnation, Quartz Crystal of your choice” [6]



You may also find some potentially helpful information on my posts about:

Carnelian Carnelian magick
Magickal tips against procrastination  and sloth and

Mars warrior spirit magick  


NOTES: This article was written and composed by  myself, so If you wish to use any part of it elsewhere online, feel free, but add credits; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post

CREDITS AND REFERENCES: 

[1] According to Judy Hall; "Crystal Bible"
[3] Acc. to https://crystal-cure.com/unakite.html

[4] Acc. to and more information can be found here; http://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/shungite.html
[5] Quote retrieved from : http://crystal-cure.com/sugilite.html

[6] Retrieved from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/315252042647123936/ original source ; http://recreationalwitchcraft.tumblr.com/post/112072939192/motivation-charm-bag posted here  for educational purposes without any ill will
IMAGE CREDITS:  Atlas holding up the world https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e1/c1/3d/e1c13db987e69784abe396b6b81dce76.jpg
Prihtvi vardak Mudra https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/96/f9/86/96f9869b9f9dcd9d4909fcb798930278.jpg

Both used for illustrative and explanatory purposes without ill will