From the Wortcunners Cabinet – Mandrake or Mayapple

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The Mandrake is native to southern Europe; however, it does have a “brother” plant in the US called Mayapple.  European Mandrake comes from several species of the genus Mandragora, a member of the nightshade family.  Despite the Mandrake root’s poison, it was used in early Chinese and European medicine as a pain reliever and sedative.  I would not suggest anybody try this at home!  Its fascination in Witchcraft came from the fact it often looks like the body of a tiny person. Below we shall explore the ways it was used in the past as well as some ways you can employ Mandrake today.

American Mandrake [Podophyllum peltatum], also called Mayapple or Wild Mandrake, has a skinny brown root that does somewhat resemble the fatter European Mandrake with its similarity to the human body.  The Mayapple is very much poisonous as is its European cousin so do handle with care. To my knowledge, the European Mandrake is only poisonous by the roots, however, every part of the American Mandrake is poisonous, apart from the small fruit which I hear tastes like apples [however, the seeds are poisonous], hence the name Mayapple. I think you would get more enjoyment from a regular apple, if I’m honest!

If you’re not confused yet, enter the English Mandrake. English Mandrake [or “false Mandrake”] is another name for White Briony [Brionia alba]. Briony is an invasive vine related to the cucumber. Apart from having large leaves and being poisonous when ingested, Briony doesn’t bear much resemblance to other Mandrakes.  I felt I must mention this as I would not like to think anyone tried to use this in vain for real Mandrake.

mandrake root

Mandrake Root ~ Google Images

Talking of real Mandrake.  Be very careful.  I have read that some sellers on eBay sell Mandrake root for great amounts of money.  I am not saying they are necessarily selling you the wrong thing, but I can tell you that they may not be harvesting it correctly.  Mandrake root should only be harvested in its fourth year.  If people are selling Mandrake root to make a lot of dosh, chances are they are harvesting too soon in order to make that sale. And, if they can get away with it, very probably some of the Mandrake root being sold is fake.  Buyer beware. You can grow your own and I’m sure there are many the reputable website or book which can tell you how to grow it properly.  You will have to order your Mandrake seeds most likely from China or Greece or somewhere it is grown normally. Or, settle for American Mayapple which is recommended as a substitute for the European Mandrake and works just as well.

Magickal

Many calls Basil the Witches herb. In that case, I would call Mandrake the Witches root. It is legendarily used in all kinds of magick.  If you are a neo-Witch [beginner] you may have at least heard of it from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when the stalky plant, when uprooted, shrieks lethally. According to one legend which bears similarity to the Harry Potter film is that a Mandrake will emit an ear-piercing scream if uprooted, killing the person who digs it up. According to the stories, the only way to uproot the Mandrake safely is to plug one’s ears with wax and tie a rope between a Mandrake root and a dog’s tail. Back away from the root and throw the dog a bone or try to have it fetch a stick, and the dog will lunge for it. The Mandrake root will be uprooted by the dog’s sudden leap, and its shrieks will kill the hungry dog. Truth to tell, I wouldn’t know.

mayapple

My dried Mayapple/Mandrake root ~ photo by i.macy

There have been, over hundreds of years, recipes and tinctures to imbibe which would give the Witch or cunning person a psychic edge.  I won’t publish any of what I know here for I would never forgive myself if someone tried it and died, which is a very real outcome if you ingest Mandrake root or any parts of the Mayapple. Therefore, all ideas are for sympathetic magick only.

A dried Mandrake root placed on the mantelpiece is said to protect and bring happiness and prosperity to the household and it will also prevent demons from entering the home. Placed on top of money, it will make the money multiply.

A Mandrake root can be used as a poppet for sympathetic magick. It can also be carved into various shapes for magickal use.

The berries as well as the root are used in charms to increase fertility. Carried, it is said to attract love.

Add a bit of Mandrake root to your moon water and/or holy water for ritual use as it increase the power of any kind of solution you use in your practise, if it is not used to rub on your skin or to eat and drink.

The Mandrake root can be used as a familiar.  You would give it food and drink daily or on a different schedule such as the full moon or dark moon only.  You can give it milk, wine, whatever you like.  Clean the Mandrake root figure, speak to it, form a relationship of sorts, and invite the spirit whom would be your “familiar spirit” to live within the Mandrake root and do your bidding.  The thing I know about creating a familiar is that the one thing you don’t want to do is expect everything from it.  It is best to choose one thing you want most from it and this way it will do its job well rather than having too many spirits enter all with different ideas.

It is also believed that disease can be transferred from an ill person to the Mandrake root by a Witch or cunning person, then the root is destroyed, effectively freeing the person from whatever ailed them.

Likewise, a Witch can exorcise a demonic spirit from a person and cage it within the Mandrake root, and of course, destroy the root leaving the once possessed person free of demonic plague.

Your altar tools, such as your athame, wand, and so forth, can be given extra power by including Mandrake root in whatever oil you use for the consecration of them.  Just a few pieces dropped into say, a bottle of Myrrh [my oil of choice when consecrating my altar and tools] and left inside the oil will do the job. You can also use it in specific oils you might use for dressing candles to empower your candle magick.

prosperity witch bottle

Prosperity Witch Bottle ~ photo by i.macy

Mandrake root is powerful for bringing prosperity into your life.  Several ways of using it would be to  put a piece of Mandrake root in your coin purse or wallet where the folding money is kept.  Do take care not to put your fingers in your mouth afterwards.  You wouldn’t die but you might get a little woogy! And, of course, one our favourite ways is using it as one of the nine ingredients in our Prosperity Witch Bottle talisman which we sell in our shop. It can be worn to attract money to you, or it can be kept where you keep money to make it grow such as a safe or a home bank. If you have a home-based business, you can also hang it wherever you work. Mandrake root can be used in a money poppet which you can decorate in any way you see fit to draw money to you and good place to carry it would be in a handbag or a man bag if you’re a chap who carries one.  Again, with adding the root to oils, add a few pieces of the root to Patchouli oil and put a few drops on your folding money to increase the attraction to more money.

Mandrake root is highly protective.  Remember above where I mentioned adding the pieces of root to your homemade holy water?  Use it to sprinkle round your home, particularly around doors and windows to protect from intruders.

Healing

The leaves [European Mandrake only] can be boiled in milk and used as a poultice for external ulcers.

This is where I leave it for, I am not qualified in any way as far as I’m concerned to tell anyone how or when to use Mandrake for health reasons.  I have read many articles about it but the right dosages and so forth to do good and not harm are too iffy.  Yes, I am aware that people through the years have used Mandrake for their health, still, as it is so poisonous, I’m just not going to try.  I don’t mind giving some advice with the non-poisonous herbs, woods, leaves, etc but this one is not one I’ll recommend.  So, if you insist on using it, please find the information elsewhere.  Good luck and be careful, please.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Mercury

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Gemini and Virgo

Element[s]:  Fire

Powers:  Fertility, Money, Luck, Protection, Love

Deity:  Circe, Hecate, Diana, Hathor and Saturn

Other Names:  European Mandrake, Mandragora, Mandrake, Mandrake Apple, Pome Di Tchin, Satan’s Apple, herb of Circe, witches mannikin, sorcerer’s root, main-de-gloire, hand of glory, mangloire

Many thanks for reading my blog.  I do hope you found something useful in it for your practise.  If you have enjoyed it, please leave a comment, like it, and share via the social media buttons below.  Warmest blessing to all who wander this way x

Sources

Experience

Wikipedia

The Witching Herbs: 13 Essential Plants and Herbs for Your Magical Garden by Harold Roth

The Mystic Mandrake by C.J.S. Thompson

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

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Care for the Empath

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Do you want a laugh? Here it is:

em·path

/ˈempaTH/

noun

(chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

What a laugh! “Chiefly in science fiction”?? Oh dear. Those of you whom are Empaths, please try to disregard some dictionaries, particularly the one I took a chance on whilst on Google.  But then, what would I know, only having lived 22 years with an empath mother and having a handful of the same qualities myself.  I’m truly sorry if any are offended, but I really had to include this just to prove that when one knows nothing of which they speak, they should not speak… including writers of dictionaries.

Being an Empath is a very real ability.  Albeit, one that many on the outside looking in won’t easily understand. But I believe that what throws many into chaos when confronted with trying to define empathic nature is how closely resembling some mental health issues it can be.  Many are wrongly diagnosed as Bipolar.  The Empath does suffer the highs and lows, like Bipolar because they naturally feel other’s highs and lows, their joys and sorrows.  Being an Empath is a roller coaster ride, but not a jolly ride at all.  The many tears shed by my Mum at the dining table with her head on her crossed arms are a testament to that.  And, not being able to speak of what ailed her.  She could manage herself around her family…her mother would have understood as she was a cunning woman with deep roots in magick, still, she never felt she could share what was happening.  And, I believe wholeheartedly because she couldn’t bear thinking she was gifted by any kind of magick as she felt it was all wrong.  In those days had she seen a doctor for her “problem” most likely she would have been prescribed Valium and sent home to become another addicted housewife.

The main difference between the Empath and the Bipolar is that the Empath does not become violent whilst being bombarded by other’s emotions.  Or, at least very much less likely to.  And, the Empath does not suffer the delusional episodes which is a tendency of the Bipolar.  If you need further differentiation,  the Bipolar is less empathetic toward others, in fact, often cursing and lashing out at those trying to help them. You see, I do not make these claims lightly as I have a child who is Bipolar.  It can get ugly at times.

I’m not able to give a completely unbiased accounting as I have been closely involved with both sides, the empathic and the bipolar.  But I do know that Empaths know what you mean.  They “get you”.  Some of you have disciplined yourselves and have learned to be able to be empathetic without being sucked dry by the psychic vampires.  Others, the dear fledgling wee birds with hearts bigger than the Universe itself, become exhausted by the feelings they have taken upon themselves…and believe me, they didn’t ask for it.  Still, it is what happens, and they want so desperately to help those who need help.  What can they do?

As I am sure most of you know, there are a good many website which give not only insights and explanations about being an empath but there are many self-help websites on your side as well.  Not to mention books, such as The Empath’s Survival Guide, by Judith Orloff, MD. 

What else, apart from reading books and websites, can the Empath do to make life a bit more bearable on themselves…to protect themselves from the daily onslaught of depression, tears, pain, and sometimes joy beyond belief…joy is good but try getting hit by an overload. That might not be pleasant. As ever, I am here to help, if I can and here are some tried and true suggestions for those of you who need ideas on how to manage being an Empath more effectively.  My heart goes out to every one of you for yes, I do know your pain.

Crystals

Recently I made an Empath Rescue Witch Bottle for a lady whom was having a hard time managing her gift.  I always add nine “ingredients” to a witch bottle because we believe the perfect number is nine.  In this witch bottle I added four layers of crystal chips, Snowflake Obsidian, Lapis Lazuli, Rose Quartz, and Amazonite.  Here are my reasons for using these and some additional ones which are very good as well.

Snowflake Obsidian:  Grounds, repels negative energy, and balances emotions.  Supports the root chakra.

Lapis Lazuli:  Brings forth wisdom and truth; helps to decipher trust and intuition.  Supports the throat chakra.

Rose Quartz:  Heals and supports the heart, grounds emotions. Supports the heart chakra.

Amazonite:  Balances emotions, stops outside energies from taking over.  Supports all chakras, particularly the heart chakra.

empath crystals

Stephanie Bellinger‎LIGHTWORKER & EMPATH SUPPORT

Other crystals which are helpful to stabilising the Empath from being taken over by emotion include Amethyst [supports the crown chakra and holds you close to the Divine and your Spirit Guardian], Haematite [protects the body and keeps spirit grounded, supports root chakra], Citrine [brings enlightenment, optimism, warmth, and clarity. Sacral chakra], Lepidolite [brings peace and tranquillity, soothes anxiety, centres the mind in times of stress.  Supports all chakras]. Malachite [stone of transformation, brings healing, enhances willpower, blocks negative energies, deep energy cleansing. Supports heart and throat chakras].

As you can, purchase pieces of jewellery having these crystals on them.  Of course, you may research and find many other crystals you might prefer better which will do you good.  Wearing pieces which support and protect you and your chakras, will help ease the suffering you feel and help clear your head so you can think of ways to help the people reaching out to you.

Of course, jewellery is not the only way to work with crystals.  I always recommend palm stones in the various helpful crystals mentioned above.  They are also called worry stones by some and the reason is that many people, when in distress of any kind, get more satisfaction from the large palm stone by using it as a large worry bead to help get the most out of the crystal’s support as well as something to give comfort to by rubbing it and holding it.

Crystal grids are another fabulous way of directing your empath crystals to support you.  You can make a crystal grid as small or as large as you like.  I have seen a photo somewhere in the not-so-distant past where someone had created her entire room into a large crystal grid.  That would be nice, however, not many of us can afford all the crystals you need and not to mention the very enormous crystal receivers and generators she had.  If you can do one of that scale, then that would probably be optimal and do send me photos! I think that a crystal grid of any size which you have built for your needs is plenty large enough.

Crystal elixirs are one more way to get the most benefit from your crystal support.  Please do keep in mind that you can’t make an elixir from every crystal as some have things like lead and so forth which will leech into your water.  However, you can still use them for a sympathetic elixir where the crystal is not left inside the water you will drink but above it on a piece of card stock or however you wish to do it.  Before making any crystal elixir, please read up on the crystal thoroughly to see if you can use it in your drinking water.

Teas and Herbs

hawthorne-berry-tea

Hawthorn Berry tea ~ Better Nutrition

Hawthorn Berry tea:  Excellent heart tea! For the heart chakra and for the heart proper. It is perfect for healing any kind of heart or heart-related problems. Empaths know their hearts are largely affected by the situations they are in and often find themselves having heart palpitations and other problems.  Hawthorn berry tea will give you the support you need and as a bonus, you can infuse your cup of tea with a Rose Quartz for the extra help.

Lavender tea:  You need your Spirit to be soothed every day and to be connected with your Divine source and your Angel.  Lavender tea can provide you with this by enhancing your mental clarity and calming your nervous system amongst other things.  Supports your crown chakra.

Ashwagandha tea:  I have never tried this one, however, whenever I read anything to do with Empaths this tea is mentioned, therefore, I must believe that we’re on to a winner with this tea for supporting your root chakra. It is an ayurvedic herb that has powerful root chakra cleansing properties.  It helps you to be more grounded by reducing anxiety and depression.  An added bonus, if you need one, is that Ashwagandha is a cancer-killing tea!

Chamomile tea:  An obvious choice for its relaxing properties.  It is another good choice for helping your heart.

There are other herbs which can be used as teas such as Nettle Leaf, Linden, Sage, and Dandelion Root.  Be certain to check that none of the teas you try will interfere with drugs you may be taking for heart problems or anything else.

Thank you for reading.  I do hope that you can use the help I have tried to provide.  Mind, this doesn’t touch the sides, really, for there are loads more things you can do.  However, I am hoping this will help in some way. If you have enjoyed this blog, please give us a like and if you think it could be helpful to someone you know, please feel free to share via the social media buttons below.  Warmest blessings to all whom wander this way x

Experience

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How Can I Heal Myself?

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

How can I heal myself? I would like to say “easily” and for some it can be – but [there is always one!] – it does take a good deal of discipline.  In the beginning of any self-healing, one should know what is wrong with themselves.  It doesn’t help if you imagine you have cancer because you went to a website and you have some or all the symptoms.  That is not a diagnosis.  The problem is with self-diagnosis is that many diseases have the same symptoms.  You may find several symptoms for diabetes matching those for cancer, or perhaps hypothyroidism, or any number of diseases.  The only way to truly know what you are up against is to see your doctor.  It just could be that it is not as bad as Dr Google would have you believe.

That said, many of you are in a  situation of not being able to afford a doctor.  Even if you have NHS [National Health Insurance, UK] or Medicare in the US, you can run into situations where something that needs doing will cost you money you don’t have.  And, there is the time aspect.  No matter what insurance you have or lack thereof, you may be put on a waiting list in some places just to see a GP.  I do understand.  I’m not minted, either.  And, some of the things my doctor has told me that I “need” could cost me more money than I have.  Owning a business certainly does not mean that you have endless supplies of money.  Once you restock all the things you need just to run your business, profit is gone.  I didn’t come here to whinge, but I do understand 100% those of you who don’t feel they can afford to be seeing to for their symptoms.

So… what are we meant to do whilst we either wait two months to be seen by a doctor or wait indefinitely until we save enough to pay for the extras we may need? Here is where I am here to help you.

Firstly, you have symptoms.  Don’t and I repeat, don’t go reading up on symptoms and getting yourself in a state because you think you are going to die.  Your state of mind is very important to your self-healing and being scared beyond belief is not going to help you.  Since you don’t know what [if anything] needs healing, my answer is this:  healing meditation.  Healing meditation is free.  Healing meditation will not interfere with any drugs or therapies your doctor may be having you use.  Healing meditation is safe.  Healing meditation will make you feel better from the first day.  I know this because I do a healing meditation every morning as prescribed.  Please visit The Renegade Pharmacist and carefully read everything to find out how you can perform healing meditation and why it is so remarkable.  Don’t worry, it is only one page and the simple instructions for the healing meditation are all there. No fee.

meditate-meditation-sunset

Picture from Google Images

One of the reasons I love the healing meditation apart from all the above is, I could take my own pace with it.  Truth to tell, I have been in such pain and in such a  bad way that it took a little while just to be able to breath as prescribed.  I can tell you, however, if you are the same way, do not stop trying!  You will find that every day you try, you will get better at it.  And, I can promise you, you will feel better the very first day.  No, you won’t be healed – yet.  But feeling better was something I desperately needed and happy to gain.

The next reason I love the healing meditation is the idea that I can unlock my stem cells to get out there and fight for me.  This is fabulous for those of you who can’t afford to see a doctor or the myriad of testing they will inevitably put you through.  And, more fabulous still for those whom are waiting in a queue to see some one at all!  You can use healing meditation to empower yourself ahead of time.  Even if you don’t know for a fact that you have a disease, once you have gotten your stem cells actively flowing, they will find the places within you what need healing and begin working!  And, wouldn’t it be grand if you ended up healed before you got to the doctor?  I personally would welcome that clean bill of health!

Please do not take this as a nod to not seeing your doctor if you are feeling better.  See him or her anyway.  The healing meditation is not meant to be a substitute for those who truly need treatment or need to find out if they need treatment.  I implore you to please still seek your doctor’s advice.  Still, carry on with the healing meditation.  It can’t hurt!

Secondly, dietary changes.  Oh, this is a hard one!  As I’m sure you have read, sugar is a bad thing to eat.  Oh, it tastes divine but what it can do to your body and health doesn’t bear thinking about, although, we must think about it.  Studies have linked sugar to cancer and a plethora of other ills.  Now, the good news is, you can still have cake, but you will need to track down the recipes for sugarless cakes and sweets.  If you have any good recipes, please pass them on to me because I am a cake fiend! If you believe you might be in line for a case of diabetes, please chuck out the sugar now!  Don’t forget to read labels as sugar can be in the most innocuous of places, such as tinned foods.  Even if you don’t have diabetes, overloading on sugar can also make your eyesight fuzzy and can make your skin look bad, even in your older years.  When you see a person whom you know is in their seventies or eighties but look like they are still in their fifties [without plastic surgery], I can just about promise you that they do not partake of any or very tiny amounts of sugar and probably never have done.

Salt.  If you recurrently have high blood pressure readings whether you are checking them at home or at the doctor’s you must ditch the salt.  I have varying blood pressure readings…there will be times when it is normal at 120/80.  Sometimes it will be somewhere between 130/150 over 80/90.  But a couple of times recently it has shot up to 200/this number I forgot because I was so shocked!  As mentioned above, I have chronic pain.  Pain can make your blood pressure increase.  But not all the way up to 200!  If you were hurt so badly that your blood pressure could rise that high, most likely you would have blacked out.  First thing I did was go onto the BBC food page website and started printing out all the no-salt recipes I could find!  Since I ditched salt, it hovers between 120/80 or 130/90 but has gone up to 150/90 once – because I was in extreme pain.  This is something you must adhere to the rest of your life because a few weeks of going salt free won’t “fix” you.  Chances are it will happen again.  And when it goes up to 200 and higher, you could have a stroke or heart attack.  Even if you are already on blood pressure medication it is best to leave off the salt anyway.  Thankfully, this was much easier to do than to give up sugar!  Still, you can find the cleverest recipes so that you’ll never miss the flavour.

Alkaline diets. A big lot of hooey.  You can’t change the PH level of your blood.  A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat.  The way many of the Alkaline Diet proponent’s “measure” the successfulness of getting the alkalinity out of themselves is by PH testing their urine.  And, as I said, your urine PH level changes depending on what you eat. It is NOT going to change the alkalinity of your blood….or the acidity of your stomach to be more alkaline.  The alkaline diet claims to help your body maintain its blood pH level. In fact, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.

However, the foods you are meant to eat in the Alkaline Diet are very good for you and will be helpful in getting your body healthier.   This diet was first heard about by many when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook some years ago.  Forgive me, but Mrs Beckham needs to put on some weight rather than take it off! My point, however, is that the Alkaline Diet will NOT cure cancer or any disease.  I do imagine it could be helpful to that end but as in traditional medicine, you can’t depend on this one thing to cure you.

Thirdly, Deepak Chopra.  I have found a wonderfully relaxing YouTube “video” which isn’t a video, it is simply 46 minutes of Deepak Chopra speaking called The Secret of Healing – Meditations For Transformation and Higher Consciousness.  I listen to ten minutes per night before I do my last meditation of the day.  And, when you have listened to the entirety, he suggests you start again.  I have only begun listening to this and I suppose it will take some time before I see benefit, however, it is very relaxing, and I enjoy what he says so I shall continue because he is “seeding” my mind with positivity.  Afterwards, I begin my own meditation in which I relax my body from the toes up, breathing deeply, and speaking kindly to myself, allowing myself to float off to sleep. It is a lovely way to end a hectic day.

I also take a ten-minute meditation break after lunch.  It is simple and all I do is not think.  Some days I admit it is hard not to think at all but if you concentrate on your breathing, you can keep your mind clear.  This is what Eckhart Tolle will call “being present”.  Many call it mindfulness…but I think I prefer Mr Tolle’s term for it better…how can you be mind “full” if you are not thinking?   This simple little clear out of the cobwebs is a good way to get yourself ready for the rest of the day.

By now you may be thinking, “what a lot to do!  I have no time!”.  Of course you do.  The morning healing meditation doesn’t take long, and you can do this before you get out of bed.  It could take 20 to 30 minutes, depending.  Once up, you feel refreshed and on your way to a fabulous day.  Ten minutes after lunch?  It is a dawdle, really.  Eat one less sandwich to give yourself time.  Not being cheeky but if you want to add in time for the meditation which will jump start your afternoon, you will find a way to squeeze in the time.  Then, you have all the time in the afternoon and evening to do what you normally do.  One last meditation after you’re in bed after listening to Deepak Chopra and you’ll get a wonderful night’s sleep for it to boot!

So, what does meditation do for you to help you heal? Some forms of meditation have been found to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the body’s relaxation response, improves blood supply, slows down heart rate and breathing and increases digestive activity. It also slows down the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol [which is what make some people’s tummies become so large and hard to shift].  Meditation is recommended for people with depression, panic or anxiety disorders, ongoing stress, or for general health maintenance of brain alertness and cardiovascular health.  In a study published in 2012, in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, African-Americans with heart disease who practised Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or to die, than those whom attended a health-education class. Among the meditation group, there were 20 such occurrences, compared with 32 in the control group. The study, which ran for more than five years, involved about 200 people.  In the last five years, research found that meditation can result in molecular changes affecting the length of telomeres, a protective covering at the end of chromosomes that gets shorter as people age. The study involved 40 family caregivers of dementia patients. Half of the participants meditated briefly daily, and the other half listened to relaxing music for 12 minutes a day. The eight-week study found that people who meditated showed a 43% improvement in telomerase activity, an enzyme that regulates telomere length, compared with a 3.7% gain in the group listening to music. The participants meditating also showed improved mental and cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression compared with the control group. The pilot study was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

There are many more findings than these.  And, of course there is information on the first link I set out above on healing meditation by The Renegade Pharmacist.  It is not difficult.  You don’t need to buy special clothing or pay any fees, nor buy any special equipment.  Just pop on your pyjamas and breathe your way to good health!

I hope you find my blog helpful.  Please do see a doctor before beginning any kind of possible life-changing experience but again, I understand if you don’t.  But do not stop taking medications already prescribed to you once you begin meditating.  My suggestions are not to replace or supersede whatever your doctor currently has you on.  But don’t be surprised if you are 100% faithful to this regime that someday, you may not need medications any longer; don’t stop taking them without doctor’s blessing.  I’m not making a promise, but I can see this being a possibility for some at least.  Good health to you as you go. If you have enjoyed my blog and find it useful, please give a like and share on the various social medias via the buttons below.  Many thanks to all who wander this way and warmest blessings x

**I shall give monthly updates of my progress

Sources

Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes Of Meditation Twice a Day by Sumathi Reddy, 2013 for Wall Street Journal

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2012, American Heart Association

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

Deepak Chopra

Experience

Posted in Business, healing, Health, heart, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Cloves

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The name “clove” comes from the French word for “nail”.  They do look a bit like small nails, indeed!

world's oldest clove tree by peter van eck

World’s oldest clove tree photo by Peter Van Eijk for the BBC

Cloves are one of the spices, along with nutmeg, so highly prised that it has started wars. The Dutch monopolised the nutmeg trade and kept it cantered in the Moluccas. They went through great lengths to preserve their monopoly. During the Spice Wars of the 17th and 18th century the Dutch uprooted groves of nutmeg and cloves trees to keep prices high and cut their competitors out of the market. Dutch settlers were given slaves to run their plantations but were told they could not return home to Holland and were required to produce cloves exclusively for the VOC at fixed prices. Seventy large plantations were established mostly on Banda and Ai islands.  Seen here is the world’s oldest clove tree, named ‘Afo’, located in Indonesia, and photographed by Peter Van Eijk for the BBC Magazine.  Afo is estimated to be between 350 to 400 years of age, making it a survivor of the Spice Wars.  Now, sadly, Afo is reduced to a stump and a few bare branches, thanks in part to villagers needing firewood.

On to happier clove stories…..and the magickal ways to use cloves.

Magick

cloves

Whole cloves ~ photo from Google Images

In magick spells, cloves are traditionally used to invoke prosperity, protection, exorcism, and purification.  Its scent helps with boosting confidence and expanding one’s thoughts. Cloves produce spiritual vibrations and it cleanses. It can be burned to prevent gossip about you. Cloves have also been worn to attract the opposite sex.  Wear in an amulet or charm to dispel negativity and bind those who speak ill of you. Cloves strung on a red thread can be worn as a protective charm.  We include a clove in both our Protection Witch Bottle and our Prosperity Witch Bottle, and I am presently preparing an Empath Rescue Witch Bottle by request which will also use clove.

Burn cloves in a crushed form as part of a loose incense to attract riches, drive away hostile and negative forces, to produce spiritual vibrations, to purify the area, or to stop others from gossiping about you.  Be sure to do any kind of prosperity spell work during the day of Jupiter [Thursday] and the hour of Jupiter for best results.

To prevent people from spreading rumours about you, push clove stems into a red candle and burn.

Worn or carried, cloves attract the opposite sex and brings comfort to the bereaved. This is a particularly delightful spice to include in your kitchen magick. Although not green in colour, its function as both a familiar kitchen spice and bringer of magick has it listed as a Green Herb/Spice.

Cloves are useful for bringing a sense of kinship to a social gathering; placing them in a potpourri in the room where people are gathered or using in loose incense is divine. Another use for cloves in loose incense is for those who read the tarot or do any kind of divination work as they help along ones’ ability to be more psychically sensitive.  Cloves are particularly useful in incenses for astral projection work. Putting cloves into your tea before going on an astral journey is helpful as well.

As always, cloves like many other herbs and spices, are very useful in poppets and sachets for any of its powers.

Healing

Used for colds and insomnia, cloves have  been used by cunning folk and doctors for centuries.  Growing up, when one of us had a toothache [too many sweets can decay a tooth badly!] a clove would be placed on – or inside of a tooth if it had decayed – to cure a toothache as it is a natural pain reliever, owing to cloves containing methyl salicylate, as well as the anaesthetic eugenol.  I can attest to this working.  In a similar idea, the Chinese chewed cloves to freshen their breath.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clove Oil ~ Old English Chemist’s bottle

Clove oil has been an essential part of any doctor’s or cunning woman’s medicinal tool kit since oil could be distilled from a clove.  It is both antibacterial and anaesthetic. You can rub the oil directly on your gums to numb a toothache, only be sure to only use real clove oil and not clove essential oil which is diluted with carrier oils.  Steep clove buds in a tea to improve digestion, prevent and relieve flatulence, and to relieve nausea and diarrhoea.

Be sure to put a drop of real clove oil inside your elbow to test for sensitivity before swabbing your gums with it.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Jupiter

Zodiac:  Aquarius

Gender:  Masculine

Element[s]:  Fire

Powers:  Prosperity, Protection, Exorcism, Purification, Visions, Clairvoyance

Deity:  Jupiter, Agneya, Mātariśvan, Agni

Many thanks for reading my blog.  I hope it has been helpful to you and enjoyed.  Please share via the various social media buttons below and a like and a follow would be very much appreciated.  As always, I welcome questions and comments and always answer shortly.  Warmest blessings upon all who wander this way x

Sources

Wikipedia

Experience

BBC ~ The World’s Oldest Clove Tree, By Simon Worrall

http://factsanddetails.com/indonesia/ ~ The Dutch Spice Wars

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Posted in Amulets and charms, Business, Herbalism, Herbs, Love, Magic, Magickal, money, Prosperity, protection, spell work, Talismans, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft, wort cunning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Witchcraft is Not a Religion

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Here I go again.  I’m not best pleased with what I find in my news feed regarding witchcraft for at least a second time.  I really do wish people could leave well alone and not try to pick apart the psychology of the “witch” or try to psychoanalyse why people are turning to witchcraft…and do they really have the time to sit and notice all these things they say are happening?  When US president Donald Trump said “witch hunt” did the media misunderstand and believed it was upon them to go poke at cauldrons til they found witches? Then again, it has become a “thing”, I suppose, because the numbers are seeming to drop from organised religion – church goers to be exact – and it seems that it is so because they have all taken up witchcraft or so I keep reading.

witchcraft

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Why don’t I appreciate this sudden interest in the occult [particularly by  writers of magazines and other unknowledgeable media] and their assumptive reasoning as to why anybody does anything?  Well, that sentence holds your first clue.  Just why do they all assume everyone is jumping onto the witchcraft train simply because the churches do not have as many patrons these days?  Probably because they have done a little homework.  According to The Telegraph [yes, The Telegraph UK], “Witchcraft is thriving in the US with an estimated 1.5 million Americans identifying as witches – more than the total number of Presbyterians”.  I don’t imagine, however, that Presbyterians make up the largest sector of organised religions in the US.  I’m not going to get tied up in the numbers game but there are many other religions in the US – Catholicism, Baptist, Methodist, Muslim, Jewish, Quaker, and hosts of others so I would not go so far as to claim that witchcraft has taken over the Christian and non-Christian religions alike.  Still, it does make an interesting point about the world today…which is precisely why I feel compelled to read all the drivel and non-drivel about it sent my way by my Google News feed.  And, I’m still scratching my head in wonderment about why The Telegraph would be bothered about the upsurge in witchcraft in the US….

Just bear with this old curmudgeon crone, if you will.  Enter one self-proclaimed [well, we all do this] witch, Dakota Bracciale, co-owner of Catland Books in Brooklyn, NY, who told The Telegraph that “the rise in witchcraft among millennials speaks to their desire to find spirituality outside of traditional religion”.  Witchcraft is not a religion, however.  Does anyone else with a love for history, find in this a re-telling of an ages-old story? What happens when one finds oneself in a conundrum with the religion they have subscribed to for most of their lives? They move on to another.  If there is not another, as in the case of King Henry VIII, if you’re a King, you simply start a new religion – one that can give you what you want, like, say, a divorce.  And there have been many the new religion born from people feeling unsatisfied for numerous reasons with the old religions and from there came new religions such as Wesleyan, Lutheran, Quaker, and so on.  What seems to be happening is not exactly a new thing [like so many might have you think]. But when you think of new religions, witchcraft is not one of them.  Witchcraft is much more than I can spend time writing about, but in its very simplest terms, it comes from a desire to make changes, to conjure protections of all kinds for ones’ self and others – up and to creating hexes, if needs must, to heal, to learn, to bind power, to unbind power.  That description doesn’t half touch the sides nor does it scream religion of any kind to me, does it you?

Witchcraft does not need a “supreme being”.  It does not necessarily need any deity, unless the witch her or himself wants one…or two, or more.  Many witches believe in their own power alone.  Still, many a Wiccan witch will have two deities at the least, the God and the Goddess.  The old Pagans had multiple deities as was with the Northmen [Vikings] who honoured Odin, Frey, Freya, Loki, Thor, and many, many others.  Of course, Odin was/is the All-Father, so he is the one they wished to please most.  I’m not Wiccan, nor proclaim loads of knowledge, still, Wicca is a religion and is gaining respect and popularity as such. From dissatisfaction with religions offered us by our parents and communities as we grew and not finding answers that we needed has helped to give a huge rise to Wicca.  And, because it is so diverse, you do not need to believe in only a monotheistic God.  This religion has the added flexibility of worshipping / honouring however many deities you like – or none at all.

My point being is, you can be a Wiccan witch but you can’t call witchcraft a religion nor call it Wicca [definition: a form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions.], nor treat it as such.  I wish these journalists who probably get all giddy about flying so close to the occult would calm down and learn a few things first.  The most recent article that has flown up my nose is one written by Paul Bois for Daily Wire titled “American Witchcraft Rises as Christianity Declines”.  If you’ve read my previous blog, you can laugh along with me for we know witches can be Christian as well as Pagan / Wiccan. The first thing that annoyed me is the picture he uses for the article. To me it says Mr Bois has no real respect for witches if he still thinks they all look like the “hags” in the picture.  Mind, I realise it is makeup and likely someone’s Halloween selfies, still, I’m feeling contemptuous all the same. The article seems to be primarily hinged upon observations by Mr Bracciale and a co-worker [owner?] of Catland, Melissa Jayne.  The one thing to take away here is that between the pair, they have seen an upsurge in sales for everything from books to tarot cards.  I have no doubt that people wanting to take control of their lives is on the upsurge. Still, let’s call it what it is – it is witchcraft and not religion.

Here is the final thing that worries me.  Every single week, nearly every day, I find new articles concerning witchcraft and its growing popularity. I will be the last to stand in the way of the person whom has searched his or her soul for answers and after they have done, came up with witchcraft as the answer.  As mentioned, however, there are some people whom do grab the end of the broom on a whim…or because “everybody else is doing it”.  I have already ruminated over why people may be feeling the call to witchcraft, Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Witch – What Kind of Witch are You and Does it Matter?  and if you’ve read it, you may remember that I’m very wary of anyone coming into witchcraft on a whim.  And, people do come to witchcraft on whims quite often.  And as I pore over social medias, I find at times there are a few [alright, about every other one] witches who post continuously confrontational subject matters decrying other religions and memes about what witches can do, how powerful they are, and many are just downright rude. I think to myself that it would seem they need to constantly “prove” they are a witch – or at least make certain their followers don’t forget.

What happened to keeping to ourselves?

Yes, I know….this is the 21st century! We can be free in the light of day and we can say, yes, we are witches and not worry about Matthew Hopkins rising from his grave to come looking for us.  Still, have you kept up with the kinds of leaders some countries have elected in the last two years?  And this past week, Brazil just got their own answer to the US’s Trump.  And there are countries we need not speak of whom have already been saddled for years with unsavoury leadership.  If these and others like them got their way, have no doubt we could become the hunted once again.  Yes, I absolutely do fear this.  And, I am sure that many of you scoff and say – oh, we have come too far for that to ever happen again.  Still, I say to you, my honourable friends, Trump has overturned the ability for transgender people to serve in the military so what makes you think he could not start a very real witch hunt? To us it looks like he is systematically pulling rugs out from every forward gain, from climate control to LGBT rights. I hope I am wrong.

[Report by Daily Mail from New Guinea, 4 January 2019, Brutal witch hunts bring terror to Papua, New Guinea]

I apologise for my political tirade.  I’m sure that doesn’t win many points with those of you whom are like me in thinking that politics should not enter into a business woman’s or man’s public speaking.  Still, at the moment, the thought of a witch hunt is a very real worry for me and may also be for others.  I won’t apologise for my concern. Especially when witchcraft and witches are being written about every week by writers whom are not in the least familiar with witchcraft or Paganism. We certainly can’t return to the shadows again.

And, unless another article affects me to the point where I feel another rant coming on, I shall endeavour to keep my opinions to myself on political matters as I have always striven to do.  No one likes seeing a poor dead horse being beaten, do they?

Many thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this blog, please give us a like and share via social media buttons below. Questions and comments are always welcome. Warmest blessings to all who wander this way x

 

 

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From the Wortcunners Cabinet – Rosemary

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Heading toward Yule, Rosemary came to mind and its heady “pine-ish” aroma.  It is a scent and a flavour I love wholeheartedly.  Rosemary roasted potatoes come to mind! But I am not here to write a cookbook, am I? No, I’m here to explore all the wonderful magickal ways with which Rosemary can assist us in spells and healing. And even with Yule having passed, Rosemary can be used in so many ways, from magick to good health. So, let us begin.

rosemary in bloom

Rosemary in bloom ~ gardenaction.co.uk

Reading through Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician, I find it amusing that as he wrote about most herbs and plants, he would always say in the beginning of each plant’s description, ‘…it is so well known, I need not describe it.’  I would have to argue a few of his entries saying that as I would never know the plant without a description or picture, however, I can agree here…I imagine everybody knows the look of Rosemary! It has been around for so long and used by so many that it is a staple in all kitchens most likely and grown in many gardens.  It is so easy and hardy to grow that it can flourish even in the gardens of those without green fingers.  If you’re not sure of yourself as a gardener I believe you will find success at last by growing Rosemary.

Magickal

Rosemary is a favourite of mine to use in poppets and incense for courage and healing spells and for protection.  It is also a fundamental ingredient in clearing rituals.

rosemary netdoctor dot co dot uk

Rosemary bundle ~ netdoctor,co,uk

Burning Rosemary whether in an incense or as a smudge stick/wand is a long-favoured way of “clearing the air” in a negative home or room.  It has been found to help students whom are swotting up for exams and whilst doing revision for it helps clear their minds and keeps them on task because it helps their memory.

Many people I have talked to use Rosemary oil for cleansing and consecrating their altar and tools, however, I have not tried this. I stick to using Myrrh.  Still, I may give Rosemary a go sometime. I certainly know it can’t hurt.

Plant Rosemary near your entrance doors on your home to ward off thieves.

My family swore by Rosemary being left underneath the marital bed for increasing the chances of fertility.  You can make sachets to lay under pillows on the bed to achieve the same if you don’t want to have to sweep Rosemary needles from under your bed.

For marital loyalty, have your groom’s buttonhole made to include a sprig of Rosemary and be sure to have it added to your own bouquet to use during your wedding / handfasting.

Rosemary can be used in wreathes and decorations for the Yule season [keep in mind for next year] for its protectiveness, heath-giving, and loyalty attributes.

Hanging a bunch of Rosemary above one’s bed can ensure nightmares will not come.

The Elven folk are said to be attracted to Rosemary and I can attest to that as we had a maisonette a few years ago with a massive, bushy Rosemary growing in the back garden.  We also had an impish Elf we named “Squishy” who notoriously pulled pranks when we sat out at night with a glass of wine. He was a quite a lot of fun, however, we haven’t seen him since moving to our bungalow.  If we did not come out, he would chuck pebbles against the bathroom window to get our attention!

Health

According to Culpeper, Rosemary “….is very much used for inward and outward diseases, for by the warming and comforting heat thereof it helps all cold diseases, both of the head, stomach, liver, and belly.  The decoction thereof in wine, helps the cold distillations of rheums into the eyes, and all other cold diseases of the head and brain, as the giddiness or swimmings  therein, drowsiness or dullness of the mind and senses like a stupidness, the dumb palsy, or loss of speech the lethargy, and falling-sickness, to be both drank, and the temples bathed therewith.”  He also goes on to say it is good for bathing away pains in teeth and gums and is used  “to clear away stinking breath“.  Rosemary also helps a weak memory and a plethora of other maladies!  It would seem that if you had Rosemary in your garden and knew how to use it, you could almost live forever!

How do we use it in these times? A lot of the same ways as in olden days. We use Rosemary in cooking much of the time to guarantee proper digestion, particularly during holiday meals.  It is one of the reasons why I always add Rosemary to my roast potatoes.  Not only does it make them taste wonderful, but it is also helpful to sooth our stomachs from the excesses of the day.

rosemary dried

dried Rosemary ~ courtesy of Google Images

Other ways I have used Rosemary is to melt down some bee’s wax, then add a bit of camphor. Next, I add a good amount of ground, fresh Rosemary, and a few drops of Rosemary oil,  then allow it to sit til completely cool.  It is the most fabulous nose un-stuffer when you have a cold, not to mention very gentle round your sore nose.  It can also be used on cuts and bruises with success.  It works for sore muscles, of which I generally have many, and this balm also helps reduce the appearance of spots and scars in the skin. For very sore muscles a drop or two of turpentine won’t go amiss. The same as people used it for many centuries ago.

For our hair, my daughters and I make an infusion with castor oil and fresh Rosemary by stuffing as much as will fit into a large jar. Then, we fill it with either castor oil or extra virgin olive oil and let it set for thirty days in the sunny window sill with the lid on tightly.  Note: Be quick about using it if you make your infusion with olive oil as it seems to go “off” quicker than castor oil.  Just massage into your hair and apply heat, let it sit for an hour, then wash as normal.  Your hair will be softer than ever, and it seems to help strengthen against breakage.  Infusion made oils are also useable in your magickal work in place of their essential oil counterparts.  In fact, I like using infusion made oils better.

Rosemary is a wonderful pick-me-up in the sickroom.  Have fresh bunches of Rosemary placed about the room for the spirit-lifting aroma and the protection of the patient.

I warn you, though it is bitter, you can steep Rosemary flowers and needles in a diffuser to make a cup of tea for an upset tummy.

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Zodiac:  Aries *Many say Leo, however, I use the designation of Aries by Nicholas Culpeper

Gender:  Masculine

Element: Fire

Powers:  Health, Protection, Courage, Cleansing, Loyalty, Fertility, Longevity

Deity: Aphrodite, Venus

I hope you have found some use for Rosemary from my blog that you may not have already thought of. If you have enjoyed this blog, please share via the various social media buttons below and give it a like.  Comments are always welcomed and I do answer back.  I thank you kindly for reading and warmest blessings to all this way wander. x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c.1700’s

netdoctor.co.uk

Experience

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#HappyNewYears2019

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Twenty-Nineteen!  Was a time when I couldn’t conceive of the year 2000, let alone being nearly twenty years past that! I remember as a child thinking the year 2000 was light years away and it frightened me to think I would be 45 years of age then; I did the maths and wished I had not.  But when you’re eight or nine that looks impossibly far away.  And, for the record, I wouldn’t mind being 45 years old again!! Take that, eight-year-old me! Ha ha….

Still, here we are.  And I have no new words of wisdom for you….nothing what hasn’t been said before in many ways.  Be kind to one another.  Look for the good in everyone.  Love yourself; leave your Ego out of it.  Give.  Love.  Promote peace.  You already know what to do, you don’t need me saying to do it.

All I really came here for is to wish everyone of my readers and everyone around the world much love, good health, wisdom, and prosperity for 2019.  I hope whatever you are going through as 2018 bows out will be mended this new year.  I hope you gain new strength and wisdom to bear up anything which enters your moment in time. I hope you can regain good health if you are poorly now and to maintain good health if you are so fortunate.  I hope whether you are a small-business owner or work for someone that 2019 sees in an abundance of wealth for you…and please use your wisdom to make it grow.  But most of all, I wish everyone so much happiness! If you can be happy, most things never seem so bad… a cute little story I heard years ago, writer unknown…

Once upon a time, there was a nonconforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started southward. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and poo’d on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end. But then the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping sparrow and promptly ate him.”

The lessons of this story are thus:

  1. Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
  2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
  3. If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your gob shut.

Have the happiest New Year ever, my friends! I wish everyone the very best x

The Wand Carver 2019

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