How Do I Deal with Fear?

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

How do I deal with fear, indeed.  Many of us, no matter how intelligent… no matter how ‘tough’, no matter how young or how old, we all seem to have that common denominator:  Fear.  And often I am asked, ‘How do I get rid of fear?’.  You don’t, my friends.  In case you don’t know, fear is one of those built-in things we have that, for no matter how hard we try, we can never 100% rid ourselves of it.  But that’s alright.

You’re mad, you are thinking now… it’s alright to go round feeling as though fear just hangs over you like a rain cloud? No, not quite that way, but I’ll explain.

People have had fear built into them since the first of mankind walked the Earth.  It was necessary to keep them sharp and on watch for natural enemies like huge animals what might eat them to other tribal people who might want to take over their patch.  But early mankind was most likely much simpler thinking and once they had seen off the object of their fear, they relaxed and felt happy.  They did not go back into their cave or hut and ruminate about the next thing that could happen to ruin their happiness.  As far as they were concerned, it was sorted. Until the next time.

As time progressed and religion began taking shape, early Pagans feared their Gods and Goddesses.  Anyone would do when your God was the God of lightning and storms.  The first time you saw a mate struck by a bolt of lightning, you would be fearful of that God, wouldn’t you?  Perhaps that is where sacrificing one of your fellow tribe came from…Let’s give Thor/Indra/Zeus one of our own first and perhaps he won’t take another one in that manner again.  The Ancient Ones had to kind of make it up as they went in many cases but suffice it to say, it is probably how they handled that kind of fear.  But much like their ancient ancestors they would also feel fear when fighting off enemies, then, they would go back to a relaxed and happy state once they won the battle.  Not many would sit at home and start worrying about the next time he or she had to go to war.

The point I’m making is, until recent-ish history, say, over the last two-thousand or so years, people were able to deal with each fear as it came and then relax – at least for a while.  People began living in fear in earnest when Theodosius passed legislation prohibiting all pagan worship [c.392] and it did not improve when the Crusades began c.1095 and the Inquisition began [12th century].  We then added to our natural enemies, occasional human enemies, and fear of our Gods with the fear of literally everyone, for no one really knew who would be against or for them.  We were becoming trapped into an endless cycle of constant fear which has had devastating results upon mankind individually and together.

Is it any wonder we are fearful?

“The first duty of a man is subduing Fear” [Thomas Carlyle c.1846]

So… how are we meant to subdue Fear? People pray for it to go away.  It won’t.  People think they are not brave if they are fearful… not true at all because if you can still push yourself to do a thing no matter how afraid you are then you are considered very brave.

“Human beings face a multitude of difficulties and dangers which must be confronted if they are to live a human life.  The human body is extremely vulnerable, always exposed to the possibility of accident, illness, pain, and death.  Yet, people are not usually obsessed with these undoubted dangers, and life would be scarcely possible if they were.  All pleasure in life would be lost were we overwhelmed by all the actual and possible dangers that surround us.”  ~ John Casey

In Mr Casey’s Pagan Virtue: An Essay in Ethics [1990], he goes on to describe how he “might” rid himself of fear by virtually pretending there was no danger from the item which causes the fear in him.  We all know that is no good.  If the spider which you are pretending to be not dangerous really is, then you are not allowing Fear to do his job.  You might want to back away from that spider!  This appears to make one think it is alright to cheat Fear of his due.  I’m afraid Fear may redouble his efforts on future scares in that case.  Casey goes on to say that he might do better at ridding himself of fear by having more self-confidence.  Ah… well, in theory, that sounds smashing, still, in practise, it is impossible.  I know a good many people with bags of self-confidence, however, they are visited by Fear now and again.  As well it should be. And I won’t go on with Mr Casey’s dissertation as to when he begins saying that he must develop anger to dissuade Fear, I closed the book.

What Mr Casey seems not to have learned by 1990 is that Fear is a part of everyone.  Fear is not going to be “gotten rid of”.  Would you chuck out the part of yourself that causes you not to step off a ledge? The part of you that says “RUN!” when you need to get out of the way of something or someone barrelling toward you?  The part of you that stops you from getting into a car with a drinking driver?  I would not.  Not even when it has nearly driven me round the bend on a couple of occasions.  But that was not Fear’s fault.  It was mine for allowing it to rule my thoughts over everything else that I knew was common sense.  Too much of a good thing can be bad for you, clearly, if you let it be.

So, what is the answer?

I think I have one plausible answer.  It works for me.  It does take a bit of getting used to and it needs a bit of discipline.  It is not a one-shot attempt kind of thing.  You see, Fear is not a separate human-type individual sitting your shoulder, still, Fear does hear and listens and has his own personality of sorts.  Mine tends to be quite clingy at times and I have come to think that maybe he needs me more than I need him.  I guess that’s why he hangs around longer than he should.  But on to my method.

tim-ferriss-quote-fear-is-your-friend-it-is-an-indicator-sometimes

Quote by Tim Ferris, Artist unknown

I talk to Fear.  Aloud.

Fear, my friend.  I know you are a part of me.  We need not try to part ways, I have come to realise that yes, I need you.  You have been there at the right time for me and I do appreciate this.  However, it seems to me you tend to overstay your welcome and I find myself feeling fearful over some rather silly things.  Now you and I both know this is unnecessary.  What if I get fed up and stop listening to you and end up in trouble?  I would say you weren’t doing a very good job of things then, wouldn’t you?  So, let’s do this… you go sit over away from me and wait until you see some real danger.  When you do, please notify me. Until then, please stop waving small matters and imagined matters in my path.  This does me harm if nothing else.  I can sort out these little things without you.  Thank you so much for your real help in past and future.  We are friends, we just don’t need to be in each other’s pockets.

Afterwards, I feel absolutely wonderful.  I know he is still lurking but that is a good thing.  I am sure I will need him again in future.  But not because the rash on my arm might be something deadly – which it isn’t, or because of a million other little things that would only take a bit of common sense to fix.  This may or may not work for you.  If you really want it to, it will.  You’ll need to be assertive but kind.  No need shouting at Fear. And you may have to do this every day for a while until you get your Fear put into his place.  But the thing is, he will cool down and leave you in peace more and more.  And this is how I deal with fear.

I would love to read your comments on how you deal with your fear in the comments below!  Everyone has different ways of doing things and it’s always good to have varieties of ways.  Many thanks for reading and please don’t forget to like and share on social media!  Warmest blessings to all who wander this way x

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The Magickal Chestnut Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

sweet-chestnut-habit-woodland trust

Sweet Chestnut tree ~ woodlandstrust,co.uk

The Sweet Chestnut [Castanea sativa] tree lives to be about 700 years old and interestingly, does not bear fruit until around its 25th year of life.  It is native to Europe, western Asia and north Africa, and is thought to have been introduced to the British Isles by the Romans; today it can be found commonly throughout Britain in woods and copses, especially in parts of southern England, where it is still managed to form large areas of copping. If you remember my last writing about a nut-bearing tree, The Magickal Walnut Tree, it was believed that the Romans brought those to Britain as well.  Would we have had no nuts if not for the Romans?  Apparently not, as it is beginning to seem!

It’s a wonderful tree to grow if you have the room for the flowers provide an important source of nectar and pollen to bees and other insects, and red squirrels eat the nuts.

Horse Chestnuts [Aesculus hippocastanum] are easily mistaken for Sweet Chestnuts.  Horse Chestnut trees originated in the Balkans and were introduced to the UK in the 1600’s as an ornamental tree.

Horse Chestnuts are one of the first trees to come into leaf each year.  The leaves are made up of 5 to 7 leaflets.  These trees look at their best in springtime, when they are covered with clusters of either pink or white flowers, known as ‘candles’.  The flowers are normally pollinated by the early flying bumble bees.

horsechestnut uk safari

Conkers ~ photo by C. Bradley, 2004 uksafari.co.uk

Shortly after pollination the seeds of the tree appear encased in a prickly green shell about 1cm in diameter.  Through the summer they grow to about 5cm in diameter and then in September the prickly casing splits open to release the shiny brown seed, known as a ‘conker’, which is something any child in Britain can spot miles away.

The sweet chestnut is the delicious, edible chestnut that most people are familiar with around the holidays.  An edible chestnut is easiest to spot if it is still in its husk, which is spiny and needle-sharp. The toxic, inedible chestnut, the horse chestnut, has a husk that is much smoother, with only a few ‘warts’. Horse chestnuts are the ones commonly found in forests.  If you are a wild-gatherer of foods and herbs in the forests or roadside lay-by’s, please take care in gathering the correct Chestnuts.

Magickal

Chestnut trees and its respective parts are often used in purging,  banishing rituals spellwork, however, I have not used them in any of these kinds of spells, so I have no knowledge to offer here.

For blessing a new home to attract abundance and prosperity place a bowlful of Sweet Chestnuts in each room of the new home. Keeping a bowl of Chestnuts close to you is also good for peace of mind.  You can carry a couple or handful in your pockets for the same effect.

Chestnuts can be eaten to encourage fertility and desire and may be carried as a charm by women who wish to conceive. Keeping chestnuts around the house (and eating them) encourages abundance. **

Staves made from chestnut wood are said to encourage longevity, increase energy, enhance intuition, and help with grounding and centring of energy. Chestnut wood can also be used to make talismans for justice, success, to gain the sympathy of your audience and to encourage your mind to take in information.

Druids often made staffs from Chestnut wood, because the physical connection to the wood allowed the user to draw longevity and invigoration from the wood.

Sitting under a Chestnut tree will help ground and clarify the mind during periods of meditation.

Place a Chestnut piece of wood or carving under a troubled couple’s bed to ease disputes and relationship problems.

** Warning:  As always, take care not to eat of use any kind of nut in your home if you or anyone has nut allergies.

Healing

Native Americans may have used a tisane of chestnut leaves to treat severe coughs and heart disease, a poultice of the leaves for sores and a decoction of the bark to treat worms.

Horse chestnut  is a traditional remedy for leg vein health. It tones and protects blood vessels and may be helpful in ankle oedema related to poor venous return. It is used extensively throughout Europe as an anti-inflammatory agent for a variety of conditions, in addition to being used for vascular problems. The plant is taken in small doses internally for the treatment of a wide range of venous diseases, including hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, phlebitis, leg ulcers, haemorrhoids and frostbite.

Horse chestnut is an astringent, anti-inflammatory herb that helps to tone the vein walls which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, haemorrhoidal or otherwise problematic. The plant reduces fluid retention by increasing the permeability of the capillaries and allowing the re-absorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system.

The seeds are the source of a saponin known as aesc in, which is the compound that has been shown to promote normal tone in the walls of the veins, thereby improving circulation through the veins and promoting the return of blood to the heart.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Jupiter, Sun

Zodiac:  Cancer, Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo

Element[s]:  Air, Fire, Water

Gender:  Masculine

Powers:  Healing, Love, Prosperity, Abundance, Attracting Animals, Relieving Worry, Transforming Karma

Deity:  Artemis, Diana, Boann

Other Names:  Sweet Chestnut, Candle Tree

As always, I thank you kindly for reading my blog.  I hope you will take a moment to give it a like, leave a comment, and share it via the social media buttons below.  I hope the information has been very helpful to your practise.  Warmest blessings to all x

Sources

Witchipedia

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties, by Tess Whitehurst

Woodlands Trust

Experience

 

 

Posted in Air, Business, Druid, fertility, healing, Health, longevity, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Talismans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

#MeToo

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

As a business owner, I try very hard to stay dis-opinionated when it comes to politics – particularly another country’s – religion, and a plethora of things which could easily turn nasty.  It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I try to find more positive things to comment on.  But then, there is #MeToo…

Someone said recently in my general hearing “This #MeToo business is catching on like a sale at M&S… when one woman buys one and it’s half off, the rest of them want one and all.” CRINGE.

What you don’t know about me is, it takes all I have sometimes to hold my tongue.  I have a very sharp tongue and if I don’t think long and hard about what I’m going to say, I will make people cry. I get it from my grandfather.  He was a Scot and he  really didn’t care if he burned your earholes to a crisp. And, his filter was non-existent.  At least, I do have a filter and have learned to use it. Thanks to my grandmother.

I won’t tell you what flashed into my mind to say to this plank but suffice it to say it was deliciously rude and cruel.  And to my mind, it was no better than he deserved.  I would have enjoyed watching his ears go up in flames, if I’m honest.   Because…. #MeToo.

shutterstock_metoo_institure for policy studies

photo by Shutterstock 

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s to my teen years and early twenties.  In those days, girls/women were accused of “asking for it” if anything terrible happened to them. If, for example, you walked into a police station and told a copper you had been raped, you would probably have been eyed up and down first.  Then maybe given a piece of paper and a pen to write down what happened.  If you were luckier still,  you might get taken into an interview room and asked many questions…the thing is, though, the questions were mostly seeming to dig you out, not to find out what kind of devil could possibly do such a thing.

“What were you wearing?”

“Had you been drinking at all?”

“Had you been taking drugs?”

“Do you live alone or with your family?”

“Is the lad someone you know, or did you just meet him?”

“Are you a prostitute?”

“Why were you walking alone at this time of night?”

I’m remembering this as best I can, there may have been more, but this is what my best friend got for her troubles when she reported the fella she had gone on a date with for the first time,  who decided to take what he wanted… “no” meant nothing to him, and she did tell him no…repeatedly.  And, the police did not even ask her if she said no.  It almost seemed a given that it did not matter if she did or not.  It was still very much a man’s world in those days, after all.

When she got home, things got no better.  Her Mum… her own MOTHER! told her that “dressed like that, it was no wonder the lad thought he could have his wicked way”.  Needless to say, no matter what I could do or say to help her, she began drinking heavily and somehow remained a functioning alcoholic for a good many years, holding down a good job as an estate agent but could never trust any man enough to have a meaningful, happy relationship with.

Then, in my case, I never told.  I couldn’t face anybody with what had happened to me.  Not to mention that I was only twelve years old at the time.  I was a tall girl and wore make-up from a young age.  Dressed smart and stylishly to boot.  I guess I always thought I “was asking for it” and all… I knew it was what my Mum and everyone else would say.  That’s why I have never told anyone until now. But #MeToo.  I kept mine to myself all these years.  And, I’m not going to tell now.  For one, chances are the man is dead by now and even if he isn’t, I don’t want the inevitable stupid questions…

“What were you wearing?”

“Had you been drinking at all?”

“Had you been taking drugs?”

“Do you live alone or with your family?”

“Is the lad someone you know, or did you just meet him?”

“Are you a prostitute?”

“Why were you walking alone at this time of night?”

But the worst one of all because it has been so long:

“Why didn’t you report him then?”

Or

“Why didn’t you tell your family?”

Why not indeed.  I think this has been fully explained above, that is why.  And so, on the day that in the United States the Senate is going to vote for whether Brett Kavanaugh will become a Supreme Court Justice despite the testimony of many but particularly that of Dr Christine Baisley Ford, which by the way, passed three markers on her polygraph test / lie detector test for 100% honesty, that he sexually assaulted her at that party in the 1980’s; he is being voted to become to Supreme Court Justice.  Where is the justice in that?

I have no closing speech.

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Feuille-morte

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

To make a countryman understand what feuille-morte­ colour signifies, it may suffice to tell him, it is the colour of withered leaves in autumn. “

— John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690

My favourite time of the year – Autumn! And the trees are coming alive with colour, the freshness in the air signifies the Autumnal change from a fairly sweltering Summer.  Funny how I would think the trees are coming ‘alive’ with colour when in fact, they are dying, the leaves are that is.… but I think that, in and of itself, has  great significance to the time of year and its representation. We think of Autumn, being the time before Winter – when for many the world looks barren, plain, and dead – as the ‘old woman’ status of the world during the season.  I rather think it more like the ‘late middle-aged woman’.  She is still invigorating and colourful.  She still has much to do and enjoys fun as much as the next.  She dresses herself in bright colours – reds, purples, yellows, and feuille-morte: which in French literally means ‘dead leaf’ but think of the hues of those dead leaves!  The colour name, feuille-morte refers specifically to a brownish-orange or yellowish-brown colour. I think that gives our late middle-aged season just that little bit more flair, don’t you?  She deserves it.

Autumn time of the crone mollie kellog

Autumn Crone ~ art by Mollie Kellogg

Of course, the colourfulness of her dress does not completely cover the knowledge that she is dying.  She knows it.  We know it. But something we may not think about is that the sap is going to carry on rising within the tree just as the movement through Winter, or the ‘death’, is going to carry on shifting… until the Sun rises on Spring and the tiny green leaves will unfurl from the tree where the Autumn Crone enjoyed her last hurrah just months before. And she is reborn as a young Spring Maiden again with a pretty green frock and time to enjoy.  One thing you can be assured of – her spirit never died.  It has been there all along, resting up for her new adventure and her new youthfulness.  And so, it is with us all.

I welcome comments and follows and always pleased when you share my writings. My heartfelt thanks to those who do so. Warmest blessings to all who wander this way. x

Posted in Autumn, Business, folklore, Magic, Magickal, Samhain, traditional witchcraft, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Magickal Walnut Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

When I chose to write about the Walnut tree, I immediately thought of the stocking fillers we had for Christmas as a child.  There was always an orange.  And of course, the obligatory stick of Rock. Then some assorted sweets wrapped in crinkly cellophane.  And Walnuts! And that was our lot in those days.  To a child growing up in the sixties’ it was a veritable cornucopia of goodies! I know nowadays it is much different, but I started my own five out on “nuts and fruits and sweeties” ‘til they cottoned on to the fact that their friends got chocolate bars and mini-gifts wrapped up in paper inside their stockings…oh the good old days!  Of course, things got much more expensive then!

Walnut tree Woodland Trust

Walnut Tree ~ photo by Woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Walnut [nut proper] was said to be introduced into England from its native Iran by the Romans.  Juglans regia, the Persian Walnut, English Walnut, Circassian Walnut, or especially in Great Britain, common Walnut, is an Old-World Walnut tree species native to the region stretching from the Balkans eastward to the Himalayas and southwest China.  Archaeologists have found that black Walnuts were a popular food with Roman people.  Another name for the Walnut is Juglans which is thought to mean Jove’s/Jupiter’s acorn, however, “Juglans” comes from its Latin name, Juglans nigra  i.e. Black Walnut, which is an American Walnut tree and Black Walnut being native to eastern north America was introduced to Europe in 1629.  For our purposes they both are used in the same way magickally and in healing.

Magickal

Money and Prosperity:  Always keep a bowl of **Walnuts on your table. Replace when eaten. The Walnuts radiate the power of Jupiter all over your home, bringing new opportunities, fertility, and wealth.

A spell to bring forth what you desire:  Crack open a walnut. Break the nutmeat in half. Put the one half back in the walnut. Write on a piece of paper what you desire “I attract more money” or  “every day I become more beautiful”.  Fold the piece of paper and put it in the walnut.  Close the walnut and wrap it with red cord. Seal it with red wax. **Eat the other half of the nutmeat while you inscribe outside of the walnut “to grow”. Taste the magick of the walnut and its power. Your wish becomes one with you. You can bury the walnut or carry it with you.

You can use Walnuts and Walnut wood and bark in rituals and meditations that deal with life transitions, rituals of initiation, manifesting intention into the physical realm, and weather magic.

The Romans once buried coins underneath Walnut trees as an offering to the Roman Goddess of fruit trees.

Because of its resistance to decay, Walnut wood is fabulous for wands, however, it is not a wood I find lying about very often so it could be some time before that happens! The young Walnut tree can be devastated by the grey squirrel. It also susceptible to Walnut leaf blotch.

** WARNING:  If  you or anybody in your home has a nut allergy, DO NOT attempt this spell. I am sure I don’t need to tell you; however, I feel honour-bound to do so anyway.

Healing

Western science has shown that the fruit husks of the black Walnut contain juglone – a compound that inhibits bacterial and fungal growth, and may be valuable in controlling dermal, mucous, and oral infections in humans. It is also being tested for its anticancer properties.

Walnuts Inside

Walnut fruit ~ Google Images

I have, in my readings, come across media saying that whatever body part a fruit or vegetable looks like is what it is useful in healing.  When you lay the fruit of the Walnut out side by side it looks like a pair of lungs or, if you put the fruits together, a brain.  “The Walnut tree and its wood help us with our mental gifts. Even the Walnuts themselves resemble little brains! Intelligence, wisdom and inspiration all come under its realm. It has also been said that Black Walnut contains medicinal properties. Walnut holds the powers of the breath and inspiration. Symbolic of confidence and mental wisdom.  Black Walnut wood has medicinal properties that are useful in the prevention and treatment of disease. Walnut teaches us clarity and focus, using our mental gifts wisely and how to best use our intelligence.” ~ Dr Kyle D Christensen

Black walnut has been used by native people for thousands of years. Native American ethnobotany has revealed many medicinal uses for the bark, leaves, husks, and nuts of black walnut, including its utility as a mosquito repellent, a dermatological aid, an anti-diarrhoeal, a laxative, and an anthelminthic. In one form or another, this species has been used to relieve the symptoms of fever, kidney ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, ulcers, toothache, syphilis, and snake bite, among others.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Jupiter, Sun

Zodiac:  Gemini, Leo, Virgo

Element[s]:  Air, Fire

Powers:  Change, Fertility, Healing, Inspiration, Intentions, Protection, Wealth

Gender:  Masculine

Deity:  Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Carmenta, Carya, Diana, Pomona, Rhiannon, Apollo, Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, Vishnu

Other Names:  White Walnut [butternut], Ball Nut, Ban Nut

As always, I thank you kindly for reading my blog.  I hope you will take a moment to give it a like, leave a comment, and share it via the social media buttons below.  I hope the information has been very helpful to your practise.  Warmest blessings to all x

Sources

Witchipedia

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties, by Tess Whitehurst

Woodlands Trust

Experience

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Happy Mabon 2018

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Mabon Blessings

Image from Google Images

My favourite time of the year is almost here – the **Autumnal Equinox. Clearly, I have always been an “old soul” for when other children were dreaming of April, May, and summer months, I was awaiting the golden reds, yellows, purples, and browns of Autumn.  I don’t know why it’s always been such an important time of the year for me from even when I were a wee bairn.  Is it the crisp, cool freshness of the air?  The colours? The harvesting of delights brought forth from Mother Earth’s ample womb? To be fair, I haven’t been part of a harvest since I spent time at my Nan’s as a child and teenager.  Still, I imagine that feeling still lingers on and makes me want to be there again. It was a place I felt safe and loved; a place where getting up at sparrow’s fart was a joy rather than a punishment.  No, I was never made to rise early for punishment – unless you want to count going to school as punishment… as some do 😊

But let’s consider that not everybody is privy to a joyful second harvest on a farm. Most of us these days live flats/apartments/terrace houses/urban/suburban lives.  If you’re lucky, you might have an allotment or a small patch in your back garden to grow some herbs and veg, but I have a feeling most reading this won’t be going out to bale hay or dig out potatoes or the like.  So, how do we celebrate?  More importantly, how do we bring Mabon into our children’s lives, so they understand the importance of the Sabbat? Lots of ways!

Firstly, Mabon or the Autumnal Equinox or Second Harvest is not only about bringing in the last of crops, but it is a time of beginning to wind down and relax. It is also a time of reflection on the last year.  There is now a balance [for many] of light and dark hours apart from the UK where the sun falls out of the sky by 4 pm – I jest, a little – thereby creating a balance in the world. I believe this is another reason I so love Autumn…I’ve never been a bright sunshine kind of girl.  Maybe I was a vampire in a previous life, who knows.  But I do find the dark comforting and cosy.  However, as I had meant to say, this time of year is a time for thankfulness for all we have created and received.  A perfect segue to our five projects for Mabon:

  1. Make a “Blessings Jar” or box.  You may make it plain or fancy, only do wash the spag bol sauce out of it well first.  I used to – and need to renew this for myself – keep jars for every year’s blessings.  This is also a perfect way to teach your children the value of being grateful.  When I felt down and as though things weren’t going my way, I would often open my very full blessings jar and begin reading the slips of paper I had filled it with. In no time I would feel so much better because it proved me so wrong about things not going my way. I think children can learn from this.
  2. Honour the early darkness. Most people hate the shorter days and longer nights because they are sunshine people and that’s alright! We need sunshine people as well!  Still, this is a time to give thanks for the darkness to give us time for the extra rest we very much need after a hard year of work.  It is the time of the Crone and she is to be revered. Learn to embrace the darkness as a prelude to the light.  Teach your children that without darkness it is impossible to appreciate the light.  Teach them about the Crone aspect of the Goddess and help them to see how important she is.  If their grandmother[s] is still alive, be sure to help them to respect her and if she is not, it would never hurt to visit an old person’s home and make a new friend.  It will teach your children not to fear becoming old and to always give respect to those whom are.
  3. This is a time for food drives in many countries. Find out where you can donate or hold one of your own!  Too many people are left to fend alone for Christmas and other seasonal celebrations wherever you live. Along with your children, set aside a small budget, even if it will only buy one tin of beans each week to purchase some non-perishable foods to donate.  You will teach your children how to think of others and to give with their hearts.
  4. Help the homeless. You may not feel comfortable walking up to a homeless person on the street to gift them with a new sleeping bag, but it won’t do anybody any harm to sign on to neighbouring homeless shelters – especially for the upcoming cold months when they are most understaffed.  There you can give of your time which can be freely given.  Listen to their stories.  Help the elderly ones to shave or get cleaned up.  I’m not saying you must exchange numbers but do give of yourself and something wonderful will happen within you, I promise.  You will forget your ego.  You will have more compassion for others.  And whilst you can’t bring your children there to help due to age constrictions, you will bring your “new self” home to them and they will see a more positive difference in you, which in turn, will help them.
  5. Help your family. Spend real time together for meals, movie night, going to a park, whatever you enjoy, but do so without smartphones and tablets! Have conversations without texting, watch a film without checking Facebook or Twitter, in fact, just turn off your phones whilst watching a film together or having a family meal.  If you already do these things, plan a project together to help others.  The point is, re-connect with your family and friends without doing so on a device. And you just might find it is more enjoyable and personal to look into the eyes of the person you are speaking with.

Creating an altar is one of our favourite ways to celebrate Mabon.  Create an altar setting using nuts, dried flowers, fruit [apples!], and corn dollies. It is such a versatile Sabbat to work from, so you can have a lot of fun with your talents and creative side… and of course, the children can either help or create an altar of their own.  As fun as it can be to come up with ideas, it is also a time to teach them reverence for the Sabbat.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you for your Mabon celebrations and activities. The main thing is, enjoy the seasons as they come… some hold more favouritism for us than others but to accept and love each one is the same as accepting and loving our Earth and our planetary system as they work hand in hand to create these lovely changes. Don’t forget to use recycled and and natural items as often as possible and do re-purpose or recycle all when you are finished. If you have enjoyed my blog, please give it a like and share via the social media buttons below and as always, I welcome comments! Have a blessed Mabon x

** Autumn Equinox is 23 September and Mabon begins on 21 September

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From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Tansy

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I would first like to share this exact writing on Tansy from The English Physician and Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper:

Wild Tansy or Silver-weed.

This is also so well known, that it needs no description.

Place.] It grows in every place.

Time.] It flowers in June and July.

tanacetum-vulgare-isla-gold-farmyard-nurseries-uk

Tansy ~ Photo by farmyardnurseries.co.uk

Government and virtues.] Now Dame Venus hath fitted women with two herbs {ed. Isn’t it kind to give us only two?} of one name, the one to help conception, and the other to maintain beauty, and what more can be expected of her? {ed. I seriously am feeling bile rise in my throat!} What now remains is for you to love your husbands {ed. am choking here!}, and not to be wanting to your good neighbours? {ed. Have completely lost it now!}  Wild Tansy stays the lask, and all the fluxes of blood in men and women, which some say it will do, if the green herb be worn in the shoes, so it be next to the skin; and it is true enough that it will stop the terms, if worn so, and the whites too, for I ought to know {ed. I have no idea what he meant in that last sentence}.  It stays also the spitting or vomiting of blood.  The powder of the herb taken in some of the distilled water, helps the whites in women but more especially if a little coral and ivory in powder be put to it.  It is also recommended to help children that are bursten, and have a rupture, being boiled in water and salt.  Being boiled in water and drank it eases the griping pains of the bowels, and is good for the sciatica and joint-aches.  The same boiled in vinegar, with honey and allum, and gargled in the mouth eases the pains of the tooth-ache, fastens loose teeth, helps the gums that are sore {ed. I have a feeling that the “allum” alum is what works on the gums more so than the other ingredients}, settles the palate of the mouth in its place, when it is fallen down.  It cleanses and heals ulcers in the mouth, or secret parts {oh I say!}, and is very good for inward wounds, and to close the lips of green wounds, and to heal old, moist, and corrupt running sores in the legs or elsewhere.  Being bruised and applied to the soles of the feet and hand wrists, it wonderfully cools the hot fits of agues, be they never so violent. The distilled water cleanses the skin of all discolourings, therein, as morphew, sun-burnings, &c. as also pimples, freckles, and the like; and dropped into the eyes, or cloths wet therein and applied, takes away the heat and inflammation in them.

Where then, does it make a woman beautiful or bountiful? And how very patronising and chauvinistic! I admire Mr Culpeper for his work, not his opinions, clearly!

Tansy has had a lot said for it – and about it… not only was it once helpful in dressing the dead for funerals, apparently it was useful for keeping flies off fresh meat! You can repel ants and beetles from your home by planting Tansy around it.  I don’t know if the plant proper is helpful, but Tansy oil is said to repel mosquitoes. Tanacetum vulgare was originally a European plant but as many plants do when people immigrate, they became nationalised into other countries as well. In the Victorian language of flowers, Tansy flowers are a declaration of war. Tansy wreaths are suitable funeral decorations.

Magickal

Tansy is used in spells, charms and potions for longevity.  You can use it as an oil or make an oil infusion with the freshly cut herb by stuffing as much as possible into a large jar then adding olive oil or grapeseed oil. Let it sit in the sun for thirty days, turning it a half-turn round each day. Afterward, you can pour it off through a sieve or cheesecloth into a large bottle or several smaller bottles for use in your magickal workings.  You can also use the dried Tansy in loose incenses for whichever purpose your intention lies for your magickal work.  It can be added to poppets and sachets for different magickal reasons, as well.

Of course, Tansy can be added to witch bottles for your magickal intentions.

In  Hoo Doo Magick, Tansy, along with other herbs, are worn in the shoes of a person trying to keep under the radar of the law such as police officers.  Other herbs which can be blended with Tansy for this purpose are Asafoetida, Celandine, Devil’s Shoe Strings, Elder, Fennel, Black Mustard Seeds, and Oregano.

Tansy is often used in rituals of Womanhood such as first menses and motherhood.

Healing

Tansy may be used for expelling worms, one ounce of herb steeped in one pint of hot water drunk as a tea twice a day. This same remedy is employed for kidney and nervous troubles and low-grade fevers. It is also said to calm the stomach and relieve gas.  In large doses, however, it is very irritating to the stomach and digestive systems.  Excessive doses have produced seizures and uterine bleeding. Use on a regular basis causes organ degeneration.

An infusion of Tansy is a useful wash for scabies, eczema and fungal infections.

**Warning: Do not confuse Tansy with Tansy Ragwort which has rayed flowers and does not have sharp toothed leaves. Tansy Ragwort is toxic, not mildly toxic like Tansy, but extremely toxic.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Zodiac:  Gemini

Gender:  Feminine

Element:  Water

Powers:  Protection, Longevity, Fertility, Immortality, Health

Deity:  Mary, Hebe, Ganymeade, Ishtar, Eostra

Other Names:  Silver-Weed, Wild Tansy, Buttons

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s offering and that I have provided useful information to you.  If you would be so kind to give it a like, make a comment, and follow, it would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks and warmest blessings x

Sources

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Witchipedia.org

herbmagic.com/tansy

experience

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