Crystal of the Week – Moss Agate

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Moss Agates

Moss Agate variations ~ photo by i.macy

When working with crystals it still amazes me how different they can look from each other.  When I began studying crystals longer ago than I care to mention, I started with the assumption each different type would look pretty much the same to its brothers and sisters.  No.  In fact, as time went on, it seemed at times that one would look so different I would think it belonged to another group, but not so.  Of course, now I know never to judge a crystal by its cover so to speak… case in point, this little array of Moss Agates in my hand.  The green, mossy one nearest is a dead ringer for what most call a Moss Agate, and you’re right, it is.  But then, you have a couple of white ones with a little bit of green inclusion, the another which is half white, half green, and then, one which is very odd, indeed…so how do we know? We’ll begin with the very odd one.  It has a different colour of green, but only just.  And I believe the inclusions of red oxide are making the green look a little bit bluer than it normally would.  I call this one my little rarity because rarely Moss Agate can be found with red and brown patterns due to the corrosion of the iron within the chlorite and hornblende.

Moss agate is described as a neutral and transparent Dendritic Agate. While technically it is not an Agate it is in fact Chalcedony. The use of the word Moss Agate was used before the scientific definition and so it has stuck. Moss Agate contains sets of mineral inclusions that imitate the looks of trees, plants, and landscapes. Some Moss Agate inclusions are composed of manganese and iron oxide and are one of the most unique Agates available.

Magickal

As a stone of abundance, Moss Agate can be used in spell work for financial gain.  It is a perfect crystal to transform into a talisman for helping to gain wealth.  It is also an excellent crystal to use for encouraging fertility if you are wanting to start a family.  Not only will the Moss Agate help you to conceive but will also help you during pregnancy and especially during the birthing process. Moss Agate will attract abundance in all forms.  In the workplace, it draws new business and gradual expansion, increasing prosperity over time. It is good for small businesses and the self-employed.  It is helpful to keep one wherever you wish to draw abundance to – your handbag, your cash till, your banking papers, and wherever you keep money.

Moss Agate has “warrior energy” … if you need the strength to get through something just use your Moss Agate as an amulet to protect and energise your courage and war spirit.

If you are unsure about the direction of your life, meditate with your Moss Agate to seek the path you are meant to take.  Not only can it point the way for you to go but it can help you to transform yourself into the person you want and need to be, to be successful in the directed path.

As a Heart Chakra stone, you will always find Moss Agate useful in cleansing and repairing the Heart chakra. It is also said to be a favoured crystal for helping one find true love.  But mainly, it is stone of calming and self-love… it teaches us to care for ourselves which is very important if we want others to care for us as well.

Healing

Moss Agate is truly helpful for the circulatory system, which regulates beat, and other heartbeat abnormalities. It helps buzzing in the ears. Using an Agate along the core of the chest fortifies the cardiac muscle of a person and treats emotional discord. Moss Agate increases the digestive system at it heals gastritis.

It aids and eliminates all toxins within the body. Agate may also diminish the signs of epilepsy, and for some people, it protects them against sleepwalking. In addition to this, Moss Agate conveys inner peace, and strength to the emotional aspect and through the entire body.

Additionally, it is especially accommodating stone for those people who experience severe mood swings as well as those passionate due to their emotional drama in their lives. It also pacifies impulsive tempers, promotes tolerance, completeness, and inner peace, as well.

Moss Agate also helps the person to release deep-seated apprehension and depression, extending one’s individual space and development. It enhances a good self-image and fortifies positive character traits, which includes the capability of the person to get along with other people as much as possible.

Moss Agate also enhances the acuity of the senses and neuronal activity. It helps eliminate depression caused by left-right brain imbalance, and stimulates mental function by improving concentration, perception, and analytical abilities.

Moss Agate is anti-inflammatory and helps treat infections and swelling, colds and flu, and lowers fever. It is useful for long-term illness and recovery, boosting the immune system, and is thought to prevent hypoglycaemia and dehydration. As an elixir applied to the skin, Moss Agate treats fungal and skin infections and irritations.

Correspondences

Planetary: Associated with Mercury and Earth

Zodiac:  Gemini

Element:  Earth

Gender:  Female

Powers:  Wealth and abundance, Protection, Love, Physical and Emotional Healing, Fertility, Conception and Birth

Energy:  Wood

Chakra[s]: Heart

Deity: Bona Dea, Aurora, Cerridwen, Gaia, Nya

Other Names:  Stone of Abundance, Spirit of Nature

I thank you so much for reading my blog today.  I do hope you will take a moment to share via the social media buttons below, give us a like and leave a comment if you will.  Many blessings x

Sources

Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones, Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007

Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible, London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible, Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2, Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009

Advertisements
Posted in amulets, Business, crystal, Crystals, fertility, folklore, gemstone, gemstones, healing, heart, Love, Magic, Magickal, metaphysical, Pagan, Prosperity, protection, Witch, Witchcraft, wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding English Witchcraft

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Most people seem to be more familiar with what I call “Wicca Witchcraft” or other kinds of witchcraft than they are with traditional English witchcraft. Perhaps because more younger folk are predominately coming into the witchcraft “scene” or it could be because many of English witchcraft practises have been held close to the chests of the English witch, or cunning woman / man and not many of us are still handing down the information we’ve learned from the old ones.  That has been changing over the last several years, however.  But before we can talk about any kind of witchcraft, history will have to be called upon.  And, I’m not necessarily talking of witch hunts and trials.  Before that, even.  It’s all very complex and I don’t intend to write a book here, only a blog.  Forgive me if I leave out something that you know about which may be pertinent.  Still, we must at least go back in time to European “witchcraft” to get the ball rolling.

Many of the Celtic pagan ways were brought into England/Great Britain by way of immigrants and/or marauding folk such as the Romans or Vikings.  Not that Britain proper didn’t have ways of their own already, but the new and similar ways of others certainly added more spice to the cauldron, as it were.  There was a time when, the so-called “witch” was a healer first and foremost.  Doctors were for the rich; the country folk rarely if ever had a real doctor in attendance for any malady.  Mid-wives were the norm for any woman giving birth but even then, sometimes the mid-wife had to be a female family member who did not practise mid-wifery as a rule.  Either way, babies were born and lived, and more generations came forth.

cunning woman

Cunning woman ~ British Museum of Witchcraft

The cunning woman or man of the time knew when to plant and when to reap – all by the seasons and the planets. By the same method, they knew which herbs would relieve or cure whichever disease.  If you become serious about English witchcraft, you would do well to buy  the medieval writings by Nicolas Culpeper or Thomas Oswald Cockayne.  The herbal lore is fabulous, and each plant is said to be ruled by its particular planet because it corresponds with that part of one’s body which is ruled by that planet.  To this day, herbs are chosen as curatives in much the same fashion. But here again, the common man or woman had to be the “doctor” of the family or the entire village because most often time and money would not permit a horseback ride into the large village to find a doctor – if even it had one, as most doctors were working only for Royalty, and lords and ladies.  A person could die of a snake bite before you could jump onto the horse to search for a doctor.

Mostly, none of the knowledge was written down.  It was remembered and passed down from one generation to the next, for most English witches / cunning folk were solitary or only involved in their practise with a few family members.

Things were alright with the doings of healing and protections but when it came to death by a “per maleficium” translated as “visible effect of malicious intention”, obviously the Church would step in and many times the cunning woman or man accused would be put to death by burning.  This was long before the “Burning Times” we have known about for ages. The laws of the Visigoths [a member of the branch of the Goths who invaded the Roman Empire between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE and ruled much of Spain until overthrown by the Moors in 711], which were to some extent founded upon the Roman law, punished witches who had killed any person by their spells with death; while long-continued and obstinate witchcraft, if fully proven, was visited with such severe sentences as slavery for life.  You had to be very careful to only use your craft for good.  Still, that didn’t stop good people from being accused anyway.

So, here we are.  Things heated up and got worse for many years after.  Thankfully, that never stopped people passing down their knowledge to younger family members whom in turn, passed the knowledge down to their own descendants. I’m sure that some things got lost in translation along the way, but you dare not write the information down for fear of being found with it.  It is a good job that good people such as Culpeper were counted as men who were knowledgeable about herbs and could work within the aspect of medicinal research to catalogue and maintain records of herbs and how they helped illness. No, they did not do so in aid of witches. But it surely didn’t hurt!

London amulet-hands_2039631c

Amulets from the Lovett Collection (c) Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

We could talk about this subject for days, but we’ll segue now from the paragraph above where I said, “for fear of being found with it”.  This was the basis for many a cunning person’s “tools” being kept simple.  For general protection, there were always charms and such… little crosses, necklaces, and other items usually hand carved or sewn. At this time, these were most likely not made to sell for extra income but simply to protect their cattle and property.  And, of course, there have always been those who would hex your cattle or property in some way because of an argument with that neighbour or something worse.   As other people took up residence in the British countryside, we learned additional ways of doing things which were added to what we already knew.  Things probably got very “witchy” then when they learned stronger and better ways to zhoosh up their spell work!

Holly Keppen

Holly keppen wand ~ photo by i.macy

First, we will speak of wands.  For the most part, not many cunning folk used wands, however, they weren’t unknown to them and a fair few did use a wand to direct energy.  Wands were an Egyptian invention but of course as the way of all magickal things, this idea, too, had made its way to the British Isles. The most important trait of the wand to the layman’s eyes was to not look like a wand.  In fact, they were normally just short, gnarled sticks.  I would imagine, if found with one in her pinny pocket and to be accused of using a wand, any cunning woman already had the idea of saying, “It’s me doggo’s stick! I tosses it and ‘e fetches it”. In Cornwall tradition, the “keppen” wand was made of local woods, mostly from Rowan.  It would only be about 5 to 7 inches long.

Circles as per Wicca were not cast normally for spell work, but in Wales, a technique certainly used was to draw an invisible circle around yourself with your right index finger by extending your arm towards the ground and turning clockwise with the Sun was – and still is – called a “caim”. In other words, it was a reminder that wherever we walk, God is with us, a reminder of God’s presence and protection, a symbol of the encircling love of God.  There were “circling prayers” for this as well.  I imagine you may be wondering why the Christian God is being referenced. Well, not all cunning folk were still Pagan – at least not the hell-bent for leather Viking kind of Pagans.  Many went to church, believed in the monotheistic God, and prayed over the herbs they gathered for spell work and healing. If you can buy a copy of The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Rohde Sinclair, you will see what I mean. This is not at all unusual in old Britain.

london witchbottle greenwich

X-ray of a Bellarmine jug witch bottle ~ British Archaeology

Witch bottles.  Some of the earliest witch bottles were the old Bellarmine jugs [named after a particularly fearsome Catholic Inquisitor, Robert Bellarmine, who persecuted Protestants and was instrumental in the burning of Giordano Bruno].  This form of “bottled spell” dates back hundreds of years and were prevalent in Elizabethan England – especially East Anglia, where superstitions and belief in witches were strong. The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace, under the floor, and plastered inside walls.  One was found under a hearth in England, dug out, x-rayed, then replaced.  It did confirm pretty much what archaeologists had thought for years that the bottles were full of fingernail clippings, rusty nails, hair, glass, and urine.  Well, there was liquid still in the bottle, and the consensus was that urine was a staple of the witch bottle.  The idea was that all the bits and bobs inside the bottle were meant to trap the evil into the bottle where it would meet with sharp objects and be wounded then drown in the fluid.

London childs anti bronchitis necklace

Child’s necklace – University of Oxford Museum

Charms, crosses, talismans.  Every region of Britain had their own favoured charms, amulets, talismans, and such.  In Victorian London, children were made to wear little necklaces of blue and yellow beads to ward off bronchitis and whooping cough, which was very deadly for children in those times.  To protect the dreamer from nightmares, the cunning housewife would cover an old horseshoe with fabric and hang above the bed. Also, in London, hands made of silver, tin and lead were meant to ward off the evil eye; funnily enough, this kind of charm was used by the Egyptians, c.1500 CE. And here is one I really am not fond of – a dead mole wrapped in floral fabric was believed to offer protection from danger! I don’t think I would care to tote around a dead mole wrapped in cloth… but I imagine it would work by scaring most people away!

London mole in cloth

Protection amulet – Mole in floral fabric.  ~  Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

We have done some fairly foolish things in England, for a fact.  And some very good things.  But this one takes the biscuit when it comes to protections and one I protest vehemently:  Many years ago, whilst building a new home in Britain, people would have a dead cat placed under the house, in a wall, or fireplace to protect their home from evil and vermin.  If I’m not mistaken, the cat had to be “dried”.  I’m very happy this has not carried on today – to my knowledge.  You can rest assured I will never tell a customer to put a dried cat in their wall!

Rowan Cross3

Rowan protection cross ~ photo by i.macy

In other regions, Rowan crosses bound with red thread were said to “keep the witches all in dread” [clearly a charm for ridding yourself of witches, not for witches to use!], but these days it is for protection against evil.  Amulets are for protection. The word “amulet” comes from the Latin word amulētum. The earliest extant use of that term is in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History in which it means “an object that protects a person from trouble”.  Talismans are generally for exact focus of intent, such as to draw wealth to a person or love or courage, or some other need.

In Dartmoor, if ever you happen to be around any old Dartmoor farm buildings you may possibly notice a small holed stone or pebble sat on a window ledge. Occasionally if the building has a lock with a key still in it there may well be a similar looking holed stone tied to the end of it. These are known as Hex, or more commonly elsewhere, as Hag Stones and their tradition dates to the time when witches rode along the hedgerows at night, intending to steal one’s cattle and horses.

catsbroom706

The Witch’s Familiar ~ Google Images

The Familiar.  Everyone thinks a black cat is a witch’s familiar. The poor, much maligned black moggy is only popular these days because of the silly notion of Halloween – oh you know, the commercialised ridiculousness.  Like any other holiday, commercialism takes the fun out of it.  Anyway, no… every witch does not have a black cat for a familiar. Some do, I do not, nor have I ever.  The witch’s familiar can literally be anything.  It does not need to be an animal.  You can conjure up your own familiar in a jar if you like.  Just like in MacBeth:

“Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble”

~ Macbeth 4.1

Dogs and cats were the most common familiars, but mice, stoats, toads and many other small animals could take the part. Toads were useful for supplying venom, and vermin and in general were associated with dirt, disease and evil.  And do note, the Familiar was not a pet.  You would not put the Familiar’s work load on a beloved pet.  So, if you have a pet you are calling your Familiar, please don’t.  The things a Familiar were sent to do in aid of the witch were not fit for a pet to do.

book of english witchcraft

Book of English Magic 

Just having realised I am beginning to write a book, not a blog here!  I think I shall leave you with this overview of English Witchcraft, even if it is not complete by a mile… but that is what books are for and I do recommend The Book of English Magic if you would like to learn more about the Craft.  Although, I do hope I have gotten my original point across concerning English Witchcraft and its merits.  It would seem many witches today love the “bright, shiny, pretty things” associated with Wicca Witchcraft… I see so many wands, oils, “spell kits”, and other paraphernalia which looks more at home on a small girl’s play room floor than on a real working altar.  But that is because I came from a rustic, cunning woman’s decendence.  I see things as she and other ancestors saw them – a bit rough around the edges perhaps but able to do the job. Still, it is up to the individual witch to decide what works best for her.  And if Plasticine and  baked clay with lots of glitter work best for her or him then who am I to judge?

Many thanks for reading today and I hope you found something useful in my blog.  Please feel free to share via the social media buttons below, leave a comment and give us a like! Warmest blessings x

Sources

The British Museum of Witchcraft

Wikipedia.org

London’s Lost Amulets and Forgotten Folklore

Experience

 

Posted in amulets, Amulets and charms, Business, Celtic Tradition, Familiars, folklore, healing, Health, Herbalism, Herbs, History of Witchcraft, Magic, Magickal, Nightmares, talismans, protection, Talismans, tools, traditional witchcraft, Wands, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crystal of the Week – Sodalite

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Sodalite

My Sodalite ~ photo by i.macy

It occurs to me that Sodalite is a very much over-looked little gem.  Or shall I say, “semi-precious gem”. Perhaps it is because to look at Sodalite it seems so unassuming… so … innocent and pretty.  If you have never thought to work with Sodalite, however, you are missing out on one of the most powerful crystals you can find for so many reasons.  Sodalite can be a life changing stone; it is recognised as the most powerful crystal for dissolving guilt, fear and general self-punishment.  It brings clarity to mental confusion and inner peace to a wildly racing mind.  It can help you to realise that “this is the moment you have.  Live in it. Do not think about the past and do not try living in the future.  All you can live in is this moment, so live it in peace.”  This is the message Sodalite brings when you hold it and listen.

Sodalite 2

Sodalite pendulum in our shop ~ photo by i.macy

Sodalite helps us in a variety of other ways as well.  Are you afraid of public speaking? Take your Sodalite with you to the podium.  It calms your over-anxious mind and helps you to speak clearly and effectively.  It is, after all, a Throat Chakra stone.  Are you prone to panic attacks?  Holding a Sodalite worry stone or even a small tumblestone will ease your anxiety and in many cases, erase it.  Do you read tarot, cast runes, pendulum dowsing?  Sodalite is one of the best crystals you can have around if you practise any kind of divination.  It helps to open and expand your psychic abilities.  Just touch it to your Third Eye and see…no pun intended.

Sodalite is capable of all this and so much more because it bridges the gap between your heart and mind with clarity of purpose.  It does so swiftly with no thought upon your part required.  It is a must-have in your crystals collection.

The Sodalite stone is generally predominately blue with white/grey streaks and/or spots which comes from Calcite deposits.  That said, you may even stumble across Sodalite stones that contain inclusions in shades of yellow, red and green.  I have personally never seen one such as this, but I hear they exist.

Magickal

Sodalite will aid you to develop your intuition, and it will also stimulate the birth of clairvoyant abilities or strengthen them if you already are using these gifts.  It helps you to think rationally and intuitively and to verbally communicate your thoughts both truthfully and in a calm and relaxed manner which is very important during a tarot reading.  This crystal will go so far as to help you to understand the patterns behind such things as astrology and the tarot.  If you are interested in psychic development, try using a piece of Sodalite under your pillow – it encourages connection through your dreams.

Healing

Sodalite is more of a mental health stone rather than a physical health stone.  It would almost seem the Sodalite has little to do and yet when you really delve into it you find that Sodalite’s “jobs”, as it were, are all closely aligned with each other for the total well-being of the individual using them.  It is great for someone lacking confidence as it encourages high self-esteem and acceptance of self. At the same time, as above-mentioned, it is a perfect go-to stone for those having panic attacks and anxiety.  The peace and emotional balance it brings, in either case, is instantaneous.

It is good for healing damaged relationships of all kinds; it helps bring solutions to disagreements. An excellent stone to enhance all communication skills.  It also helps us to lose old behaviour/thought patterns that no longer serve us.

That said, using Sodalite to meditate with when doing either chakra clearing or just meditating, will help to keep you fresh mentally before the problems set upon you and cause panic.  Keep Sodalite in all rooms of your home to impart a fresh and loving feeling throughout so you can draw upon its courage-giving powers at any time.

Sodalite does have some physical healing attributes. In physical healing, Sodalite is said to be helpful for high blood pressure and diabetes.  It is also said to protect against radiation and all forms of electromagnetic stress protecting your energy from being affected, hence another good reason to keep Sodalite in all rooms of your home.

It is also associated with calming effects on the thyroid gland, nervous system and all glandular functions. In balancing the endocrine system Sodalite strengthens the metabolism, reducing stress and prolonging physical endurance.

Also beneficial for calcium deficiencies, boosting the immune system, combating insomnia; it treats the throat, larynx, vocal cords and hoarseness. A Sodalite elixir consumed daily is effective against diabetes.

Correspondences

Planet: Jupiter

Zodiac: Sagittarius [also associated with Venus]

Energy: Earth, Spirit

Element: Water

Gender: Female

Deities:  Ardhanarishvara (Shiva together with consort Parvati)

Powers: Creativity, Dream Work, Meditation, Psychic Development, Self-Improvement, Courage

Chakras:  Throat and Third Eye

Other Names:  The Stone of Truth

Many thanks for reading my blog today.  I hope you found something useful by reading it and please share via the social media buttons below.  I’m quite fond of hearing from my readers so if you want to leave a comment, please do, and don’t forget to follow by clicking the link.  Warmest blessings to all x

Sources

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, 2003

Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham, 2002

Chakra Healing & Karmic Awareness by Keith Sherwood, 2005

The Illustrated Directory of Crystal Healing by Cassandra Eason, 2003

Experience

Posted in Business, crystal, Crystals, Divination, divination tools, dowsing, gemstone, gemstones, healing, Health, Magic, Magickal, Meditation, metaphysical, pendulum, protection, Sodalite, Water Element, Wiccan, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Ironwood Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

lignum vitae

Holywood Lignum Vitae ~ courtesy of Google images

Ironwood is a common name for many woods that have a reputation for hardness.  And the insane number of species of “Ironwood” made it impossible to make this a sweeping inclusion of all Ironwood trees into one blog about how the wood may be used for magickal and medicinal needs.  So, the only thing for it was to choose one and go with it, therefore, I chose Lignum Vitae [Guaiacum officinale] which hails originally [near as I can tell] from the Caribbean and Northern South America. There is an Ironwood cousin in the UK called Persian Ironwood [Parrotia persica], however, it is more of a garden-variety ornamental tree and the leaves are stunning. Every country of the world has its own Ironwood species, whether from hailing from there originally or having been naturalised into that country.  As its name might suggest, it is the hardest of woods.

Persian ironwood ,Parrotia persica, red autumn leaves

Parrotia Persica, UK ~ courtesy of yours.co.uk

According to Druidry.org, Ironwood may be considered a birth tree for the dates of Jun 4-13 / Dec 2-11 and is called a tree of discipline, order, and admiration.  When given this tree sign, one can be referred to as having a steady and sturdy enough foundation for further growth and development, both in themselves as well as enabling the same in others.  I have detailed much about the various birth trees in one of my blogs but have yet to follow up on the Druid’s notion of birth trees.

Fact and Folklore

Lignum Vitae was the traditional wood used for the British police truncheon until recently, due to its density [and strength], combined with the relative softness of wood compared to metal, thereby tending to bruise or stun rather than cut the skin.

Another way Lignum Vitae has helped police work is the heartwood of Lignum Vitae exudes a brown colour resin that has a pungent taste and has therapeutic as well as non-remedial uses. Amongst the various non-medical utilities of the resin, one extremely remarkable use is founded on the fact that when it is blended with any alcoholic solution, the colour of the resin changes to blue when it is exposed to bloodstains. Therefore, the Lignum Vitae resin is valuable to the police as well as other investigators who use this sap to detect bloodstains that may have gone unnoticed.

On a lighter note, it is used to make lawn bowls, croquet mallets, and skittles balls. The wood also has seen widespread historical usage in mortars and pestles and for wood carvers’ mallets. I think I should like one of those!

In Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House, one of the characters, Matthew Bagnet is referred to as Lignum Vitae, “… in compliment to the extreme hardness and toughness of his physiognomy”.

According to T. H. White’s version of the King Arthur story, The Once and Future King, Lignum Vitae, from which the wand / staff of Merlin is made, has magickal powers.  Well, belonging to Merlin, of course it would!

From A Book of Highland Minstrelsy: With illustrations by R. R. M’Ian [1846] – “The Clan Mac Pherson possess a curious relic of the past in a Black Chanter [or flute part of the bagpipe], made of Lignum Vitae, and endowed with magical properties according to tradition.  Its origin is described by Scott in the “Fair Maid of Perth””.

According to Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph [1964], Ironwood pegs would take away toothache.  The patient and a female companion, one whom is unrelated to the patient, would go into the forest with a mallet and an Ironwood peg.  The patient would stand with his or her back against an Ironwood tree whilst the female companion would drive the Ironwood peg into the tree at the exact distance from the ground as is your toothache.

Magickal

Lignum Vitae is an exceptionally powerful magickal wood and has a profoundly positive energy. The overall energy of the wood can be summed up as “the power and strength of goodness.” Its strong connections with the Sun, Jupiter, and luck energy make the wood an ideal tool for any worker of positive magick. The energy about the wood is also very healing, in both physical and spiritual matters. The energies within the wood would also be excellent for divining information from far away as well as close to home.

Being startlingly durable and strong, with a heavy weight and impressive hardness, Lignum Vitae is so dense it can sink in water.  Known by other names, including Guayacan, Greenheart, and Iron Wood, the name Lignum Vitae itself means “wood of life”.  This is perhaps because it is well known as a powerful aid in preserving health and can be a potent component in spells with such an intention. Its sturdy properties are also reflected in the potency it can lend to spells of protection.

This wood represents the end of strife and the beginning of a new, positive, cycle.

Health

Initially, Lignum Vitae wood was transported from the Caribbean to Europe in the form of an extremely valuable remedy for gout as well as the sexually transmitted disease [STD] syphilis. Although a misleading praise, using this wood to treat syphilis was said to be very effective during the 16th century. In effect, the treatment entailed administering large doses of the resin obtained by boiling the Lignum Vitae wood to patients who were covered tightly with plasters from their head-to-toe and subsequently detained in extremely hot rooms for about a month. Throughout the course of the treatment, the patients were provided with very small amount of food. However, besides being given the resin, they were administered big doses of mercury. Whilst several people succumbed to the disease as well as the treatment process, the few who managed to survive were cured of syphilis!

During the current times, scientists have discovered that this resin encloses two very active elements – guaiaconic acid and guaiaretic acid, which are highly effectual anti-inflammatory agents and work as local stimulants. They also possess laxative properties. Owing to their anti-inflammatory attribute, these substances are made use of in pharmaceutical formulations for treating tender throats as well as several inflammatory ailments, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. In Europe, particularly in Britain, Lignum Vitae is employed in the form of a medication to treat arthritic as well as rheumatic conditions, as the anti-inflammatory attributes of this tree facilitate in providing relief from swelling and joint pains. In addition, Lignum Vitae possesses sweat-inducing, laxative, and diuretic properties. At the same time, Lignum Vitae accelerates the process of eliminating toxic substances and wastes from our body, making it an excellent remedy for gout. The tincture prepared with Lignum Vitae is often used in the form of a friction rub on the areas affected by rheumatic arthritis. In addition, if you are enduring tooth ache, you may dampen cotton wool with the resin exuded by this tree and apply it externally to the affected area to alleviate pain and swelling, if any. At the same time, the decoction prepared with the wood chips of Lignum Vitae works in the form of a local anaesthetic and it is employed not only to cure rheumatic joints but to heal herpes blisters as well.

The wood is known for helping to preserve health, making it great for healing magick when fashioned into a healing wand.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Sun, Jupiter, Venus

Zodiac:  Taurus, Sagittarius

Element:  Earth, Water

Gender:  Male and Female

Powers:  Healing, strength, divination, spirituality and protection

Deity:  Jesus, Jupiter, Venus

Other Names:  Guayacan, Greenheart, Iron Wood, Guaiac, Guaiacum

Many thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you found something helpful to your practise.  If so, would you kindly like our blog, leave a comment, a 5-star rating, and share on social media?  Buttons are conveniently below.  Warmest blessings to all wandering this way past. X

Sources

The Once and Future King, by T.H. White

A Book of Highland Minstrelsy: With illustrations by R. R. M’Ian [1846]

Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph [1964]

Wikipedia.org

Druidry.org

 

Posted in Business, Druid, Earth, folklore, healing, Health, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crystal of the Week – Snowflake Obsidian

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The Snowflake Obsidian is a much gentler sister to her brother, Black Obsidian.  Snowflake Obsidian is recommended for those who can’t tolerate the higher energies of Black Obsidian but still want the grounding and protective virtues of Obsidian.  She may be gentle but don’t get Snowflake wrong, she is fierce!

snowflake obsidian

My Snowflake Obsidian ~ photo by i.macy

As most of you know, all Obsidians are glass… created by a volcanic eruption ages ago.  All varieties have an amorphous crystal system and are in the mineral class of oxide. The stunning patterns of “snowflakes” that stand out of its black background are inclusions of Cristobalite. As you see from the picture, the snowflakes can be quite large, or they may be smaller, depending on the amount of Cristobalite.  They are found in the lower mid-west of America in states such as Utah, but are also found in Mexico and Brazil.  Obsidian blades have been found in burial sites dating back to Palaeolithic times. It had been regarded as a stone that would drive out demons. In the Middle Ages it was used as an aid for magickal rituals. Mayan priests used Obsidian mirrors for predicting the future.

Magickal

Snowflake Obsidian dissolves shocks, fear, blocks and traumas. It has an enlivening effect and brings hidden inner images to light. It can also bestow an unimagined depth to our emotional nature and help with many types of obsession. Snowflake Obsidian purifies the atmosphere of negative spiritual influences and can serve as protection from psychic attacks.

A stone of purity, Snowflake Obsidian brings about a balance to body, mind and spirit. Snowflake Obsidian helps to keep centred and focused when any type of chaotic situation, whether it be home, relationships, or work is presenting itself. Snowflake Obsidian can remove negativity from a space or person with ease.

Snowflake Obsidian helps to draw emotions to the surface and to examine harmful thought patterns and opens awareness of past lives and of having many incarnations, increasing our knowledge that we have been here before and will be here again and that there is no death of the soul. Snowflake Obsidian promotes a sense of calm and inner centring which readies one for a deep meditative state. During Chakra cleansing meditation it is perfect for your root/base chakra.  It is recommended to end the meditation with a final clearing using a quartz crystal.  Snowflake Obsidian shows us how to gain spiritual invulnerability and freedom. In doing this, forgotten capabilities may be retrieved and our perceptions can become refined to the point of clairvoyance.

Snowflake Obsidian is a very grounding and protective stone. It is used as a great cleanser of negative energies, helping to remove not only negativity experienced in the environment, but also that of one’s own emotions, such as anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, etc. Snowflake Obsidian is often used for healing and releasing energy blockages and tends to work quickly to move truths to the surface to be resolved. It is best used for grounding before rituals above most other grounding stones, unless, you can use Black Obsidian which is very good for grounding oneself before any spell to do with hexing or binding.

Snowflake Obsidian is an excellent tool for attuning to animal totems and animal allies, and for becoming more sensitive to the subtle flow and movement of energy in the environment.

Health

Snowflake Obsidian helps to dissolve pain, tension, energy blocks and vascular contractions. Shock resulting from injury is dissolved on a cellular level, so it helps accelerate the healing of wounds. In improving circulation, it ensures the warming of your extremities like chronically cold hands and feet. To improve circulation, it is best when worn next to the skin.

As Snowflake Obsidian enhances blood flow, it may be used in conjunction with treatments for veins and the skeletal structure, and to ease problems associated with the menstrual cycle and the balancing of hormones. As an elixir [use the indirect method], it may be used to smooth the skin and clear the eyes.

Correspondences

Planetary: Saturn

Zodiac:  Scorpio, Virgo [helps with all zodiac signs]

Gender:  Female

Element:  Fire

Powers:  Protection, Grounding, Past Life Regressions, Emotional Support, Healing

Chakras:  Base/Root

Deity: Tezcatlipoca

Other Names:  The Stone of Truth

Many thanks for reading my blog today! I hope you’ll share it by social media with the handy little buttons below and give it a like, and perhaps a 5-star rating? Would love to read your comments! Warmest blessings to all x

Sources

Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible [London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010]

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003]

Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009]

Judy Hall, 101 Power Crystals [Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011]

Experience

Posted in Business, Crystals, folklore, healing, Magic, Magickal, protection, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Fig Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

fresh figs

Fresh Figs ~ photo courtesy of Eric Hunt, his original work

According to the most recent figures I have found, there are between 750 and 850 Fig tree species.  One of the most popular Fig tree species is Ficus benjamina, or just “Ficus” which many of us grow inside our homes.  But the one I’ll be writing about today is the Ficus carica, or “Common Fig” which produces the lovely Figs which songs have been written about.

 There is evidence that figs, specifically the Common fig [Ficus carica] and Sycamore fig [Ficus sycomorus], were among the first – if not the very first – plant species that were deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11, 000 years ago.

Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plant in the mulberry family, known as the Common Fig [or just “the fig”].  It is the source of the fruit also called the fig and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially.  Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.  The species has become naturalised in scattered locations in Asia and North America.

Unlike other fig species, Ficus carica does not always require pollination by a wasp or from another tree, but can be pollinated by the fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes to produce seeds. Fig wasps are not present to pollinate in colder countries like the United Kingdom as they need warmer climates to live and breed. The Fig tree is androgynous, with the fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves representing the masculine.

The Fig is listed by the Druids [Druidry.org] as a “birth tree” for Jun 14-23 and Dec 12-20 which I have listed in an older blog, but to this day I have not had time to settle in and learn why they have a much different list of birth trees and dates than the one for the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar.  I do plan on sorting this out eventually!

Magickal

In Greek mythology it is believed that Demeter gave a Fig to Dionysus as a gift, hence the link to love and fertility. The Greeks revered Figs so much that they made it illegal to transport excellent quality Figs. The Romans held Figs sacred as well, and it was believed that the wolf who raised Romulus and Remus rested under a Fig tree. The Buddhists viewed the Fig tree as a symbol of enlightenment, as it is believed the Buddha reached his enlightenment under a Fig tree [the Pipal, Ficus religiosa]. Ashoka the Great bestowed kingship on the branch from the very tree and planted it in a thick-rimmed solid gold vase.

Figs are linked to male potency. Men can eat fresh Fig to increase their potency and virility, as it increases the motility of male sperm.  As the copious amount of seeds within the fruit suggests, Figs can help with fertility magick. Women have carried Fig carved into phallic images to raise their chances of conceiving.  When travelling, leave a fig tree outside of the door. This will ensure you return safe and happy. Grow Fig in the kitchen to make sure that your family never goes hungry.  To get an answer to a question, you can write the question on a Fig leaf; if the leaf takes a long time to dry, the answer is yes, and if it dries quickly than the answer is no.  Growing a Fig tree in the home can bring the household good luck. Fig trees grown in the bedroom can help with restful sleep.

The wood and bark from Ficus/Fig trees can be used in poppets and loose incenses for purposes of fertility, and good luck, as well.  We once offered this in our shop.

Health

An ointment made of the juice and hog’s grease, is an excellent remedy for the biting of mad dogs, or other venomous beasts, as most are.  A syrup made of the leaves, or green fruit, is excellent good for coughs, hoarseness, or shortness of breath, and all diseases of the breast and lungs; it is also excellently good for the dropsy and falling sickness.  They say that the Fig Tree, as well as the Bay tree, is never hurt by lightning; as also if you tie a bull, be he ever so mad, to a Fig Tree, he will quickly become tame and gentle.  As for such figs as come from beyond sea, I have little to say because I write not of exoticks” – Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century excerpt from The English Physician and Complete Herbal.

ficus carica rhs co uk

Ficus carica, Fig trees ~ courtesy of rhs.co.uk

Plant parts and extracts of the Fig tree have traditionally been used for internal, as well as external, application. For example, poultices from fresh or dried Figs, Fig leaves, or Fig wines; lye from Fig tree bark; or latex from stems and leaves have been used to aid in many conditions. Latex has been used as expectorant, diuretic, and anthelmintic, or to ameliorate anaemia. Leaves are known for their antidiabetic and vermifuge effect. However, they also cause contact dermatitis in humans and phototoxicity in animals. Seeds are processed to edible oil or lubricants. Sporadic cases of fig allergy after ingestion of fig fruit have been reported, especially in patients whom are allergic to Ficus benjamina. Also, Phyto photodermatitis caused by contact with various parts of Ficus carica has been reported and linked to furanocoumarins in latex.  If you have an allergy to latex I would suggest not using those parts of the Fig/Ficus in your healing practise.

Correspondences

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Deities: Aphrodite, Demeter, Hathor, Juno

Powers: Divination, Prosperity, Fertility, Love, Luck

Folk Names: Common Fig, Fico, Mhawa, Chagareltin

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you’ve enjoyed doing so.  We would always love comments from our readers to tell us how we’re doing.  If you would be so kind, please share our blog via the various social media buttons below and give us a 5-star rating and a like.  You are also welcomed to join our mailing list to receive notification when a new blog comes out.  But do not worry, we only blog twice per week, sometimes less, so we won’t fill your inbox! Warmest blessings to all x

Sources

BBC

Wikipedia

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Druidry.org

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Posted in Business, Celtic Tree Calendar, folklore, healing, Love, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft, wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tribute to an Outstanding and Loving Friend

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Chili June 2017 blog pic

Chili 17th June 2017 ~ photo by i.macy

How do I write a proper tribute to the best friend I’ve ever had?  Some of you may snort with laughter and think me sad when I tell you.  This outstanding and loving friend was my cat of 17 years, Chili “Boots” MacGillicutty. We shall just call her Chili.  Sometimes we called her Princess…other times, Monkey, as in cheeky as hell.  Once in in a while we also called her Diva.  She could be a right little madame when she wanted to be.  But, she was always loved by everyone in the family.  Right down to my self-professed “cat hater” ex-husband.  No, he really doesn’t hate cats.  As a matter of fact, he was always the one to haul us to the Veterinary surgery when Chili needed to see her doctor…which was often this last three years.  And, he was always the one to pay for the expensive bill and allow me to make payments back to him.  He was also the one who would sit in the room with us whilst she was being seen to.  And, Monkey showed me up one day when she took umbrage with something I did or said in the room and she went and steadfastly sat by “daddy” and completely mugged me off, blanking me entirely, and didn’t forgive me til after we came home! They had a good bond.

As I said, Chili had been ill the last three years.  I had blogged about her bouts with renal failure, hyperthyroidism, and hyperesthesia.  She would get knocked down but get back up again.  You can’t keep a good cat down and she might get melancholy for a few days, but she would pull up her boot straps and get back on with life.  Mind, it could take a lot of praying to the Divines, Bastet [Bast], and positive talk to get her going, but she would get going.  She had only just been back to the Vet’s last month for her yearly thyroid blood work.  Turned out they need to increase her dosage on her medication but everything else seemed fine…apart from the fact she had lost some weight again, something she sorely did not need to do. Still, no red flags came up where I was concerned because we had been down this road many times over the years…she would lose, gain back, lose, gain back… began to become her party trick, it would seem.

But she began eating less and less. I changed her food to one she really shouldn’t have but she loved, as she was on the Royal Canin wet food for renal failure cats, but it is so important to keep a cat eating so I would have fed her anything at that point just to keep her eating.  I did notice that she was favouring one side of her mouth but here is the thing:  she has always had a funny little thing she would do with her mouth from time to time that the children and I would laugh about and say it was her “Billy Idol sneer”.  She had this for years.  And her Veterinarian always checked her gums and teeth and smelled her breath but made no mention of a gum problem.  She did have a fang on that side which had chipped some years ago, but it never seemed to make a difference.  As it happens, it was what got her in the end, an abscessed tooth [she never once cried in pain!] and neither one of us knew til too late. I won’t dwell because this blog is about how phenomenal my girl was, not a whinge sesh over why this happened.

Chili came to live with us as a feral cat on 9 April 2001.  She was about 10 months old which I reckoned made her a June baby, so I gave her my Mum’s birthdate, 19 June for general purposes.  And, I do think that suited her because she did have a lot of my Mum’s tendencies.  And she could be mad as a box of frogs at times, like Mum.  A true Gemini, ha ha… I love Gemini’s so please take no offence here.  Poor girl was fearful as you would imagine and hid a lot in the beginning but then she took to lying on the settee beside of my then-husband, the now ex and “cat hater” – not. It seemed she had chosen him as her human.  But then as she became braver she would hang around with my two daughters in their room and even allowed them to dress her up now and again. That was the true test of her willingness to be in a family of daft humans.  She didn’t bolt for the door once.  Still, after a time, she must have grown tired of that scene because one night, I hear my bedroom door crack open softly.  Suddenly, I had a warm furry cat making herself comfy in the space between me and the edge of the bed! Just like that! So, I just started stroking her fur and she purred. I was so happy!  This became the norm for every night thereafter.

About a year later when my husband and I were going through our divorce, Chili would lay beside me in the middle of the bed instead of cliff-hanging the edge.  She would wake me up with nose kisses and small wet pecks at my eyelids.  How I wish I had a camera for the times I would wake up to her standing on my chest – ouch! – and peering down into my face.  Not to sound crude but she would then, after I managed to get up, follow me to my en suite bathroom where she would sit with her back to me, expecting her back scratched whilst I sat there!  As a matter of fact, no matter where she might be in the house, as soon as she heard the bathroom door shut, she would be there like lightning, stand up and push the door open with her paws and come in and situate herself for her back scratchings! That was my Diva!

As a matter of course, I had met someone new and got remarried.  Those were three of the most turbulent years of my life and a horror.  My Chili got me through those days.  She taught me bravery and faith.  She also taught me to look things in the eye and face them down. I honestly couldn’t have gotten through it all without her.

Chli before hypothyroidism

Chili c. 2012 ~ Beautifully plump & healthy ~ photo by i.macy

Then came then wonderful ten years of living in our maisonette.  We had a game she loved playing… whenever I made up the bed or changed the sheets, I would throw the sheet over her and go round tucking it in calling out “Where is Chili?? Where did she go?  Chili must have gotten lost!” and she would lay very, very still.  Once the bed was made up, I would call out for her again, “Oh where did my Chill go?  I’m going to miss her!” And then, sure as, she would wriggle herself out of the middle of the bed and pop out miaowing as if to say, “here I am, ya dafty!”.  She loved jumping from the corner of my dresser to the bed.  It was quite a distance but 9 times out of 10 she made it.  And I could not help but laugh a little when she didn’t for she would pop up onto the bed and look around as if she wanted to be sure no one saw.  But I did. She would lay on a chaise lounge by my desk every day whilst I tweeted during networking hours.  Wherever I went, she was beside me.  And, yes, she still followed me to the bathroom and let herself in for a back scratching!

Just about four years ago we moved into our bungalow.  She was older but still fat and healthy.  But a year in and she began losing weight and hiding under my desk for weeks at a time.  Oh yes, she would eat and go to litter tray, but she didn’t come to bed with me.  I took her to Vet’s and this is when we found out she had hyperthyroidism and renal failure.  It began the roller coaster ride I never thought would happen but oh did it.  But I made a promise to her after she chose me to be her human and that was that I would always take care of her, no matter what.  So, to the best of my ability, so I thought anyway, I did all I could for her to help her through the rough patches and to keep her healthy as I could.  Sometimes I didn’t do very well at it.  She still loved me anyway.  Then, Wednesday morning 25 July 2018 at approximately 5 am my gorgeous princess Chili passed gently away in my arms.  One of the last things I did was sing her one of my silly little made up songs about her.  No two were ever the same but she got them. Her suffering was over, and she was born into the Summerland where she could feel well and happy again and probably see her friend Sam [a gorgeous long-hair fellow once owned by old cat hater 😊] again.  Chili didn’t often suffer the presence of another cat, but she adored Sammy. We buried her as Egyptian-style as possible wrapped in her favourite blanket that I had only washed that very day for this very reason… I printed a picture of us together and wrote of my love for her and wished her well in her new adventure, added two sixpences for her passage, and some of her food to her coffin aka a perfectly sized cardboard box with a lid.  Sadly, I was out of cypress as we always add cypress wood to our pet’s graves.  I think I shall cover her burial mound with cypress as soon as I can, however. Then, we laid her to rest in our back garden… in a place I had made a mental note of only a day before as a pretty place to bury her and during a waxing gibbous moon, just a day from full moon, she was interred.

I know this blog is a bit all over the show and I have written better.  I just wanted to get my feelings and the cute things and the love out on paper, so to speak. I don’t want to forget but I am older and all… it is bound to happen, losing some smaller details.  But I shall never, ever forget that I love her.  And she will always occupy my heart, the place where she always wanted to snuggle against when she were feeling her most poorly.  Rest in peace, my Angel. I love you.

The prettiest girl in the world

Is my Chili girl

She’s ever so sweet

And you will love to meet

My lovely Chili is a treat.”

~A silly Chili song by Isabella


In Memory of a Wonderful Friend

Chili “Boots” MacGillicutty

B. 19th June 2000

D. 25th July 2018

Forever in my heart

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, Cats, feline health, feline hypothyroidism, feline illness, Feral Cats, pet heallth, pet illness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments