The Magickal Ash Tree

So much can, and has been, said about the magickal Ash tree that I’m not sure where to begin – or to end – this blog. I can only really attest to what I personally know, right? In that case, Ash is a wonderful wood to work with, as a wand carver and rune maker, I find Ash wood the easiest to carve and sand, and the result is always gorgeous. It is also quite a chatty wood, for me, anyway, as I listen to the wood to get the direction of where to go with carving for wands. It always has much to say. The spirit of Ash is quite strong! (Well, it IS believed in some traditions that Witches live in Ash trees) But mainly, the point of this writing is not much to do with making wands, or runes. It was intended to be a hopefully helpful bit of information regarding the bark and wood of the Ash tree in magickal usage.

Many people write to me when looking through our wood barks section in our Etsy shop. I have come to realise that most people do not read the description provided, and that is mostly down to how hard the description is to find if you are using your phone’s Etsy app to shop. Therefore, I’m happy to explain here as much as I can on how to use wood bark and shavings in your magick. Ash is definitely a wood you want in your potionary stocks.

Ash Wood

photo by i. macy

There are many magickal uses for all parts of an Ash tree, however, as said, we’ll only stick to the wood and bark here. The wood is traditionally burned at Yule to bring prosperity into the New Year ahead. Maybe you don’t have a fireplace, but you can use it in a loose incense mixture and burn on a charcoal disc for the same effect. Ash is also known as one of the three trees in the Faery Triad (Ash, Oak, and Thorn) along with Oak, and Hawthorn. Ash is a wonderful wood for promoting “brain power”. We have had, at one time, a talisman in our shop to this very purpose and will be having them again in future. In meantime, you can use the bark and or shavings in poppets for this purpose as well. Ash bark rubbed into a wart is said to make it go away. And Ash wood and bark is said to have magickal effectiveness in protection from drowning, sea power, and healing. Ash is also used for protection of any kind, whether in loose spell incense, poppets, or in witch bottles.

If you have a need and you can, at the very least, fashion a witch bottle, adding Ash shavings or bark to the ingredients, it will most likely be quite effective. Every witch has his or her preference in how a wood, herb, or flower is used in their magick. You can find your most effective vessel, we can provide the ingredients.

A few other facts about Ash which may be helpful to you in planning your spell work:

Planet: The Sun and Neptune

Element: Water, Fire

Symbolism: Mastership and Power

Stone: Turquoise, Lepidolite (Increase psychic awareness)

Birds: Common Snipe

Colour: White, pale Blue

Deity: Eostre, Frigg, Hel/Holle, Minerva, Nemesis, Odin, Nemesis, Poseidon, Neptune

Folk Name: Hoop Ash, Nion – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.)

The Ash tree is also a sacred tree to the Celts and to Druids. The ogham for Ash is “Nuin” or “Nion” and it is most likely sacred to the Norsemen as it is associated with and said to be Yggdrasil. Ash is the third month of the Celtic Tree calendar, February 18th – March 17th and the 3rd consonant of the ogham alphabet. 

I hope this little article has been of use to the magickal community in your quest to use Ash wood in your spell work. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all x

Sources 

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/native-trees/ash/

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Herbs

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-ash

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Our Pledge to the Victims and Families of Grenfell Tower Block, London

A terrible tragedy visited North London in the early hours of 14 June 2017 when a fire erupted and tore through the 24-story tower block, Grenfell, in Kensington. Presently 30 are known dead but fire brigade and others can’t get into the upper stories yet until the floors are shored up and made safe enough. What is to come doesn’t bear thinking about, but think about and do something about, we must. From today through the end of July 2017, we are pledging 20% of our sales to the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund. You can be assured when you purchase something from us you will be helping victims and families of this devastating tragedy. If you would prefer to make the donation yourself, the link is http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/News/2017/June/London-Fire-Relief-Fund. No matter what you can spend, great or small, is needed and appreciated. Every little helps! Our last fundraiser helped us to send £100 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. We hope to be able to reach that goal but more would be lovely. Many thanks to our customers for being so wonderful. We could not do it without you x

ribbon-black_68

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The Magickal Magnolia Tree

The wood bark of the Magnolia Tree has long been associated with all forms of healing, including spiritual healing. In physical healing, Magnolia has been attributed with prevention of, and / or healing of, everything from cancer to being overweight. “One of the active compounds in magnolia, magnolol, is able to prevent the spread or increase of prostate cancer cells. Although research is in its early stages, many experts believe that magnolia bark extracts can also exert beneficial effects in terms of preventing/treating leukaemia and colon cancer.” – https://www.organicfacts.net – as well as a regular supplementary form of Magnolia is shown to help reduce weight by suppressing appetite..however, as always, see a health care professional before adding Magnolia in any form to your diet.

bull bay magnolia    Bull Bay Magnolia Grandiflora

magnolia-tree-630524

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/630524/Six-of-the-best-trees-for-clay-soils

 

 

Every tree is a powerful source of spiritual healing that can help your own immune system to fight any illness or sorrow. Magnolia trees (Magnoliaceae) are an ancient species, arising before bees, they do not produce nectar, but carry a medicinal energy and essence. They are pollinated mostly by beetles. Over 200 species in the world, and often known as “Champa“, this tree bestows blessings of feminine strength and faith in our deepest ideals, as we open our heart and remember to stay true to ourself no matter how much pressure is placed upon us. The Magnolia is a perfect Mother Goddess tree. But that is my opinion and not really what most literature indicates. Magnolia not only heals her children physically, but she also soothes their anxiety and depression giving spiritual healing as well. This is the reason we sell Magnolia Bark in our Etsy shop.

Magnolia Bark  photo by i.macy

The bark of Magnolia oficinalis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to address anxiety and nervous tension and to promote sleep. Some researchers believe honokiol, a chemical in magnolia bark, is what makes this happen.  Without knowing what the dosage requirements and side-effects, if any, are involved, I don’t recommend brewing up a kettle of Magnolia bark tea and drinking it, although it probably wouldn’t do any great harm.  There are other ways in which to use Magnolia bark without ingesting it which I find, are very beneficial.

One of the ways I use the bark is in healing and anxiety prevention poppets. For instance, in a poppet for a good night’s sleep I would add the bark along with other sleep-inducing herbs and flowers. It is also wonderful as a base for loose incense if you are doing a healing spell.  But one of my favourite ways of using Magnolia is our Magnolia anti-anxiety pendants. I leave the bark intact where it will be against the skin. Any time I feel particularly anxious, I simply rub the pendant between my fingertips and feel much calmer.

Magnolia is also said to increase feeling of love and loyalty; reduces the power of addictions and obsessions, especially smoking; helps skin problems; restores strength after a long illness. Promotes psychic development – a reason why I like to create dowsing pendulums with this wonderful wood. It aids meditation and spiritual opening; promotes harmony, peace, tranquillity.

Magnolia helps learning from past experiences and clarifies true identity. It eases restlessness and confusion and helps to maintain balance during difficult changes. Magnolia promotes a sense of freedom and relaxation. It really is a perfect wood for healing, spirituality, and mental health.

Gender-Feminine -Planetary Association: Venus; secondary-Uranus

Element-Water; secondary-Earth

Zodiac Associations-Taurus and Libra

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com

https://www.organicfacts.net

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/536407227/magnolia-bark-wood-bark-healing-anti?ref=shop_home_active_1

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs

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Feline Hyperesthesia…Like We Need Another Problem!

It has been a long road and we’re not “there” yet. My 17 yr old tabby whom I’ve had since she was a 10 month old feral has been off the rails for about a month. Over a year ago she was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and crystals in her urine. She is doing well with the Royal Canin renal diet and is on meds for Hyperthyroidism. About three weeks ago she had a Vet’s appointment and she has always been pretty good about popping into her carrier, that time was no different. I don’t know what happened at the Vet’s (although I was there the entire time) but she was not “right” after we came home. She was more vocal than usual and very disturbed. But it was not so bad…yet. As another week passed my daughter’s 15 year old tom passed away in the middle of the night. She has had him since she was 11 and it was a long, hard night for her. Sadly, I was asleep and wasn’t there for her but she didn’t want to wake me. Anyway, the day after both my cat and my son’s little tabby changed. His kitty wouldn’t leave the room in which my daughter’s boy passed away in until recently but my poor girl has been absolutely mad! One night she kept me up for hours running from one bedroom window to the other looking out at basically nothing. She’s quite “howl-y” and if I try to pick her up she hisses. She started tearing out huge chunks of fur. She’s bitten me a couple of times. For about a week she wouldn’t cuddle with me at night (something we’ve done every night for all the time I’ve had her with few exceptions) but preferred laying on a different area. I realised one day when all she wanted was to sit in her litter tray that she wanted to feel safe so I got a box and fixed it so she could get in and out plus made a little “roof” for her with half the box flaps. She was quite happy with that until she had a “seizure” (she is trying so hard to bite her own back she gets cramped I think and falls over, usually accompanied by a stream of wee) but she gets up from that quickly. So, the wee’d on box was no more. Then for about a week she began cuddling with me at night again but she still shows so many signs of anxiousness. I found by reading that she has Hyperesthesia Syndrome. Clearly, she has had this all of her life! Symptoms may include tail chasing, howling, self-harm (tearing out clumps of fur, biting), over-grooming, and many others. She has at one time or another done all.

Chili after tearing out fur

Chili’s back after tearing out strips of fur 😦

Day we came back from Vets

The day we came back from Vet’s..before the real problems set in.

I had been using a calming spray I had bought once before and it seemed to do a little for her. She was almost back to normal until I had to try to get her into her carrier so I could spray the room for fleas. She fought for her life! I got scratched up and hissed at. She normally just goes in. Not that day. That was this past Monday, here it is Saturday, and we still can’t spray for fleas. It seems all the good work done up to that point in time has come unravelled and I don’t know what to do but start over.

Her Vet wouldn’t prescribe her anything apart for Zylkene (which I could have bought online for 12.00 less than from her Vet!) I’ve been giving her that for over a week and the only thing its done so far is constipate the poor creature. I ordered the Feliway spray (for marking) as for one it was cheaper and for two, many reviews said how wonderful it was with their girl kitties. I have a small room but she has a long table by the double window on which I keep scratch mats and she loves this – normally. I take her mats out and spray a bit of Feliway on and then bring them back but she doesn’t want to know. When she is on them (frantically looking out each window) she isn’t less anxious. I also spray on my chair where she loves to lay in normal circumstances. She doesn’t avoid it, she just doesn’t seem less anxious. She is happier sleeping atop or inside a cardboard box. But that’s pretty normal for a cat…they do love a cardboard box!

chili in her safe house

Bless her…she looks so forlorn. Still, she was fairly happy there for a few days.

So, have I really learned much about how to help my poor girl during all of this? Yes, and no….I have learned to never touch her back as it sends her into a fit. I have learned to be more patient, but I was already very patient with her. I’ve learned to celebrate the good times because the bad times will suck the life out of you if you don’t celebrate the good. I’ve learned that Zylkene and Feliway probably work a treat on less anxious cats than mine, hence the wonderful reviews. My girl needs stronger meds than this, clearly. In order to get those, I must take her back to her Vet’s to be tested. Hah! Remember earlier in this story how I told you she wouldn’t get into her carrier? Therein lies the rub…I can schedule the appointment but will my dear girl go into her carrier? I’m open to suggestions and will love hearing from other cat owners whom have had the same problems with their kitties. You may be able to teach and old cat new tricks 😊

Posted in cat chronic kidney disease, cat chronic renal failure, cat health, Cat Health, Feline Health, Feline Hypothyroidism, cat illnesses, cat illness, veterinary, cat illness, feline health, feline illness, healing, pet heallth, pet illness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pet Health and Paws-itvity

Pet Health and Paws-itvity

By Isabella

 

Thinking back on this last year and my poor wee girl, Chili’s illnesses, it brings to mind the proverbial barn door and horses. So many “could have, would have, and should have’s” been done so much differently…if only I had known.

chili-in-her-sun-puddle

Chili in her favourite sun puddle

Still, lessons have been learned, after the fact, naturally, then another old adage about hindsight springs to mind as well. Is there a point or a positive outcome to my mental self-flagellation? Absolutely not. Still, we humans do this, don’t we?

A positive outlook feels ever so much better than does the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth caused by overt guilting of one’s self. Anybody whom is familiar with the Seven Laws of Attraction knows that what you think is what you get. It’s a struggle some days but I choose to be positive.  I think it makes all the difference.

Does this tell you things are all tickety-boo? Hardly! Oh, there are constant worries, constant re-evaluation of priorities (my list of at least 10 priorities per day shifts sequence constantly), consistently new problems rearing their ugly heads. No, life is not charmed for me but positivity makes it bearable.

What has this to do with my dear pet’s health? Everything! When the pet mum or dad is positive, the pet is positive. When I hold my dear kitty close, she can feel my serenity and my belief in her. When I am being positive, she eats better which is essential to her health. When I talk to her in a positive tone, I know she understands the importance of what I’m saying. She thrives by my positivity.

I know that many who read this are going through the wars with their own dear pets and health issues. It’s one of the hardest things to go through apart from your children’s illnesses. Whilst I don’t suggest anything that should be used in place of proper Veterinarian care, it is vital to you and your pet to be positive always. Light candles, meditate, self-talk, positive affirmations, all things which can help you to relax and feel more …well…positive!

Have faith in yourself – I believe in you. And so does your pet. Paws-itively!

Posted in Business, cat chronic kidney disease, cat chronic renal failure, cat health, Cat Health, Feline Health, Feline Hypothyroidism, cat illnesses, cat illness, veterinary, cat illness, feline health, feline hypothyroidism, feline illness, pet heallth, pet illness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Hidden” Disease – Feline Hyperthyroidism

Early 2016 my beloved cat of 15 years in my care began acting very strangely. To be fair, my kitty has always been a bit of a strange one. A very amusing cat at times – especially when she would roar around the house with a crazed look on her face, pouncing and bouncing, leaping, and literally flying  at times it would seem! This is what the children and I laughingly called “crack-a-cat” (Not to be confused with Mrs Pumphrey’s Tricki-Woo going “crackerdog” – All Creatures Great and Small) I always put every strangeness about my Chili down to having been a feral cat before joining our family.

chli-before-hypothyroidism

She had been alright it seemed, at first. Eating for England and drinking about enough for all as well. She had taken to spending an inordinate amount of time “hiding” under my desk. I took no serious notice of this as she has always been a “hider”….I would get missing her and when I found her she would be curled up in my wardrobe or under my bed. No alarm bells sounding yet.

One day as I were holding her I could tell she was lighter. I sat her on the armrest of a chair to inspect more carefully but she didn’t seem any thinner by sight. All in my mind, I thought. Within a month, she was visibly lighter so I decided the only thing for it was food. Better food, more food, but food was key. No. Oh she ate well enough alright and would eat anything I put before her. Still, the weight never came back. I still didn’t panic…yet.

In late May, early June, my beloved Chili took a serious turn. She could not keep anything down and was wobbling around like a drunken thing. She literally would stumble whilst walking. She wouldn’t eat, probably thinking it was the food making her ill, and panting heavily. Cats do know themselves better than any of us could hope to. I made a frantic call to the Veterinarian’s surgery and got an appointment for Monday (this was all happening on a Friday night – Saturday morning, ask poor Liss who had to comfort me through it all!) As Chili wouldn’t eat I was told to give her plain turkey or chicken baby food with NO additives. That part is very important.

Without going into all the details or this blog would become a book, Chili was given the full range of testing – bloods, urine, and more. Most heartbreakingly was the sight of my gorgeous girl whom once had weighed between 10 and 12 lbs, was now down to a scant 6.5 lbs! I truly felt I had let her down terribly. I had always promised her I would take care of her and this is what she got for her faith in me.

She was diagnosed with feline hyperthyroidism. It seemingly is a condition which affects many cats in the elderly stages of their lives but only affecting cats under the age of 12 by 6%. Mind, it can also cover a plethora of other illnesses as well, such as inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancer, and chronic kidney failure which have similar symptoms to hyperthyroidism. At the very beginning of symptoms, you MUST have your cat seen to by your Veterinarian. Don’t wait as I did because cats are notorious for hiding their Illness from their humans. I suspect they don’t like doctors any more than we do.

I shall be writing more about feline illnesses and behaviours soon. It has become a subject I am well-versed in from the year my Chili and I have had. If this helps any kitty (and their human!) to get onto the road to good health again, then it has been worth all we’ve been through to share with you.

Chili is still overly slender and has had many other things go wrong, but we are putting them right as best we can. She has her good days and her bad. But she has a fire inside and you can see by her face that her quality of life is there and worth the fight. She believes in me and I believe in her. We’ve got this. >^,,^<

Posted in Business, Cat Health, Feline Health, Feline Hypothyroidism, cat illnesses, cat illness, veterinary, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Your Tweets Being Seen? The Playground Called Twitter

Are Your Tweets Being Seen?

The Playground Called Twitter

by Isabella

Some time back, I wrote a blog concerning “ghost-banning”. It’s about what happens when you’ve been reported for spam, or some other sin on social media, and then, whilst you are being scrutinised by the social media app you’ve offended (whether real or imagined) some of your rights, or privileges in the social media setting are withheld from your use. As in my case on Twitter, I am ghost-banned, and my tweets aren’t searchable under hashtags or in social networking hours.

At last writing, I wasn’t really sure why I had been stripped of my “searchability”, making it difficult to join in the networking hours as no one could “see” my tweets. I’m still not sure because Twitter never tells.  I won’t explain this phenomenon any further here. If you need more information, please read my previous blog. I’ve typed its explanation so often I can repeat it verbatim in my sleep.  You can refer to my earlier blog if you need more information on how to find out if you are ghost-banned:

Social Media and the Modern-Day Witchfinder General

http://bit.ly/2bS2ZIA

For actual spammers, this is fine. It’s a tool for Twitter to stop some (not all, clearly) of the abuse that happens on its platform.  However, there MUST be a way for the innocent to be able to have their account reinstated, to have their account really looked at without assumptions by @support. In order to do that, Twitter needs to implement a proper way for ghost-banned tweeters to put in a ticket. Presently a suspended account has that right, as well should the ghost-banned account.  Not all accounts that have been ghost-banned are necessarily guilty as charged.

Presently, the only way to contact Twitter for non-searchability  is here:

https://support.twitter.com/forms/feature_report?feature=search

Before we go any further in this thesis, let me show you what you can expect when you visit. Firstly, you will find boxes to tick for whichever issue you have. The first or the third one will do for ghost-banishment or “inability to be searched”. I’ve sent so many of these in (to no avail) that I just take turns using those two.

Screencap 1

Next, you will choose something from the drop-down menu. It really doesn’t matter which you choose because, quite frankly, “all of the above” comes to mind. I really think if they do nothing else, that option should be added to this menu. But, go on, make a choice and carry on.

Screencap 2

You now have 500 characters to state your case. I know..makes you feel positively giddy to see 500 characters and not 140, doesn’t it? Don’t get too excited because in reality, you need more. Find an online character counter to save yourself time and to help you figure out the least amount of words to make the best impression.

Screencap 1a

 

And make a good impression, please. I know you’re angry, hurt, full of “how dare theys” but you do not want to reflect that attitude or Twitter will push your “ticket” to the bottom of the heap. And I am sure they have quite a heap by now. Simply state who you are (first name) and what you mostly use Twitter for (ie, a business advertising your product, etc), how you are unsearchable, would someone please look at your account as this has hurt your revenue, that you are sorry for whatever it was you’ve done and thank them.

Just because I have never heard back from Twitter doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I have talked to at least 3 people who have put in a ticket to Twitter and their accounts have since been restored, although Twitter did not contact them, nor did they confirm these accounts had been ghost-banned in the first place.  So, give it a go and good luck. Lastly, once you have filled in the form and pressed send this is what you will see:

Screencap 3

This will hardly fill your heart with hope. It makes you feel as though all this *might* do is give Twitter ideas on how to improve things but thus far, it hasn’t. Who knows? Maybe after the gajillionth entry, perhaps someone will get the idea?

If you’re not ghost-banned, there is a plethora of literature on the web on how NOT to be ghost-banned.  Many people don’t take the time to learn the rules. I must confess I have been guilty as well. Still, as with all forms of social media, I personally attempt at all times to live up to the good common sense my father taught me and not to air my dirty washing as my mum taught me. It would never occur to me to threaten another person in any mode of discussion, whether it be online or in person. If I have over-tweeted on occasion, whether it be my own wares or retweeting someone else’s, I can promise, it was not meant to be spammy. If anything, I am guilty of wanting to be helpful, possibly too much so! Particularly if it this desire to help my fellow tweeters landed me in my own private ghost town.

But, what about when another party becomes angry with another tweeter?  How could a person who did not know they were involved become involved only because they were “guilty by association” with the tweeter who has been targeted? What if that person and all associated with that person become the target of an angry group of tweeters wishing to do them ill?  Because as we know, all it takes is a “playground war” on Twitter and enough people reporting a person with whom they’re angry – no matter which side is right or wrong – people will be ghost-banned.

This would now become a terrible form of bullying. And, as unpopular as I’m sure this will make me with Twitter…isn’t this tantamount to what is happening when they ghost-ban a tweeter leaving them with absolutely NO ability to ask for a solution? If you are suspended, you can file a proper ticket and get help. If you are ghost-banned, you are out of luck, mate. In Twitter’s efforts to thwart bullying, they have become the bully. In their efforts to thwart spam, they have become the spammer with every other tweet a promoted tweet.

It seems a bad move on Twitter’s part to leave who “lives and who dies” up to the masses. I don’t mean to say that people should not be able to protect themselves..not at all. That is why we have the ability to mute and block. If you don’t want to see it, then click one of these. End of. But it seems to me that it is all too easy to report a person for some real or imagined wrong-doing. I want to believe that Twitter’s heart may have been in the right place by giving us these tools, however, Twitter’s owner(s) are still 100% accountable for happens from that point forward. It is my understanding that @support investigates a person’s Twitter account and in many cases, leave it “ghosted” until they have satisfied themselves the account holder is guilty as charged. But as with any business with millions of customers, is their @support coping with all of the charges being brought up on so many accounts?

I have a solution to this, should Twitter be reading. First, let me say that you can keep the “ghost banning” in effect to stop spammers! I realise what your intentions are in using it, but what I ask is that you provide legitimate, non-spamming people a way to contest it when they find out they are being ghost-banned.

If Twitter cares about being fair to their tweeters they would agree to this but I wonder if they do care.  It was down to a knee-jerk decision to implement ghost-banning to begin with because Twitter didn’t want to have to police the tweeters themselves; just leave it to the general population to “police” each other by reporting for spam and other things, whether guilty or not.

Just to have an idea of how they might agree with my opinion you can read here:

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/twitter-boss-admits-company-sucks-at-dealing-with-abusive-trolls/0144769

If you are reading this blog and would like to see a petition sent to Twitter for re-evaluation of their support for people who have, most probably, been ghost-banned without being guilty, please sign our petition:

https://www.change.org/p/twitter-support-for-twitter-s-re-evaluation-of-support-policies-for-ghost-banning?recruiter=22124260&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

Many thanks for reading. The Twitter account you save might be your own.

ghostbanned

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