Happy Ostara 2019

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Light rides in on her white horse and defeats the darkness! The world rejoices by the little bluebells daring to peek through the earth and bird’s morning song is chirpier and merrier.  There is a freshness in the air which gives promise to happy times ahead. Ostara has arrived!

I hope everyone is in a celebratory mood.  We have had much to angst over, whether it’s Brexit or the silly buggars being played out by some national leaders…but we can smile and be cheerful because we know by the breaking of the Ostara sun, things do change.  Things do get better.  Things which were bleak become rosier.  We’ve got this!

How will you celebrate Ostara?  I know many will decorate their altars beautifully – I have some gorgeous orchids for mine and a lovely new Morrigan statue, not that the Morrigan is really associated with Ostara but I love, love, love this statue!  I shall drape a few flowers over her to zshoosh her up a bit.  Apart from gorgeous, Springy altars, what else will you do?  Keep in mind Easter will be mentioned a bit in these ideas although Ostara / Spring Equinox is not the same as Easter because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the festival can occur on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Still, much of the symbolism below is something which was implemented from Ostara in pre-Christian times.  I hope all this makes sense!

Ostara 2

Image from Ecosia.org

I think the Hare is a good place to start as the Hare is sacred to the Goddess in Celtic tradition.  The Hare is also  the totem animal of lunar goddesses such as Hecate, Freyja and Holda.  Our Hare is representative of rebirth, the moon, fertility, immortality, and abundance.  Of course, the Christian religion, with Easter at roughly the same time, has turned the Hare into a cuddly Easter bunny bringing sweets and eggs to all the children.  If you have children, you will probably have Easter egg hunts.  You may not know that the Easter egg hunt was born from the adult Hare hunting at Easter in England.  Hare hunting [hare coursing] used to be a common pastime at Easter. Normally Hare hunting was not allowed apart from this time of year when the date of Easter is determined by the Moon together with the Hare’s strong lunar associations apparently made it alright. Perhaps leaving food for the Hares would be a nice thing to do.  Of course, having a Hare representation on your altar is good.  A friend of mine makes the loveliest Hare memory boxes where you can store your favourite “memories”, cinema ticket stubs from a special night, pictures of meaningful people, dried flowers from a special person.  I think it would make a smashing altar box!

Ostara Cat and HareThen, of course, there are eggs!  The ultimate symbol of fertility and rebirth.  Eggs were not hidden and hunted for until after Christianisation because they took on a whole new meaning from the Pagan meaning. They became the metaphor for Jesus’ resurrection and the shell as the tomb.  In Medieval times, eggs were forbidden to be eaten during Lent. It has been said by some that when the adults participated in the Hare hunt, the children were made busy collecting eggs for an after-hunt feast.  Of course, through the years and because the Royals, bless them, loved egg hunts, we have managed to turn this one Pagan and Christian shared event into something all children [and adults!] love.

So, of course, the odd egg won’t go amiss on your altar!

Feasting…always popular at any occasion!  Pagans seemed to be renowned for the feasting they would do during all Sabbats.  It would be rude not to!  When you have things to celebrate – the Yule season, Imbolc, Ostara…whatever the occasion, they are all centred around something to celebrate and when one celebrates, one feasts! This is something which can be joined in by with the entire family and even if you live alone and have no family, a nice feast will do you a world of good.  Some suggestions for what to cook and bake:

Hot Cross Buns – in the Christian tradition, Hot Cross Buns are reserved for Good Friday but nowadays they are eaten all through Easter.  They can just as easily be a part of your Ostara celebrations.

Ostara Bread – Only found out about this recently and can only recall the person who came up with it as being named Deb.  I like to give credit where credit is due, but I’m flummoxed on how to find her!

Ostara Bread

You will need:

3 mugs strong white flour

500 mls buttermilk

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

3 teaspoons ground almonds (optional)

3 tablespoons golden syrup

juice of 2 lemons

1 small beaten egg for glazing

soft brown sugar for sprinkling

Blend the ground almonds and flour together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk/lemon juice and golden syrup. Now for the messy bit – mix together with a wooden spoon or with your hands – whichever you prefer. As you do so think of the emerging life we celebrate at this time and add the hopes, ideas and wishes you have for the year to come. Repeat three times:

‘Out of Earth toward the Light, New Beginnings taking Flight…’

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat into a circle. With a sharp knife lightly score the bread into two halves to represent the Equinox. Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake in a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. When sharing this bread with friends or family you can invite them to add their own wishes to the loaf before it is divided up for all to share.

Thank you, Deb, whomever and wherever you are!

Ostara Incense – For your Ostara ritual, what could be nicer than a Spring-y incense concoction to burn on your altar?  Here is one from taken from Scott Cunningham’s book The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews:

Burn during rituals on Ostara [the Spring Equinox, which falls on Tuesday, March 21st this year], or to welcome Spring and to refresh your life.

The materials needed are the following:

*2 parts Frankincense

*1 part Benzoin

*1 part Dragon’s Blood

*half part Nutmeg

*half part Violet Flowers (or a few drops – like 3 – of Violet Oil)

*half part Orange Peel

*half part Rose Petals

*charcoal block/briquette

*fire-safe incense burner, censer or pot.

For best results, grind the materials in a mortar and pestle. Take a small amount and place on a burning charcoal block in a fire-safe censer or burner.

I would personally add a ground up wood to this incense as we always do but I won’t fiddle Mr Cunningham’s recipe.

Ostara Prayers – You may want to start your day with a prayer to your Deity.  Here is a simple one to get you started.  I’m sure most of you prefer to be author or authoress of your own prayers and spells.

“Hail Bright Maiden of quicksilver delight,

shine upon me.

Thy morning blessing, which,

like the new dawn, refreshes my Spirit and

lifts my heart with song.

Blessed Be.”

 Ostara Meditation –  Every day I make a point to meditate for fifteen minutes after lunch.  Normally I only focus on my breathing so that I won’t think.  I need that time to reset myself for the rest of the day.  This Ostara, however, I think my afternoon meditation will be different as I will use this time to reflect on the sabbat and imagine myself taking part in the experience of Ostara and all it represents.

Plant an Ostara tree [or herb or flower]

My hope for you and everyone in your circle of friends and family is that the day is filled with joy and looking forward to new beginnings.  I wish the blessings of abundance, kindness, and good health upon all.  Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings upon all whom wander this way.  Happy Ostara! X

Sources

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews, by Scott Cunningham

Experience

 

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Understanding the Ogham Alphabet

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The Ogham alphabet was derived from sacred glyphs and it is mainly associated with Ireland and the Irish Gaelic language.  It is, of course, often claimed by others, such as the Welsh traditions which says that Hu the Mighty invented the Ogham ‘for he first applied vocal song to strengthen memory and record’.  This is even more plausible than where, in The White Goddess, author Robert Graves claims the tree alphabet as partly his invention.  I don’t suppose he would ever think that people would learn, if they had not already, that the Ogham alphabet would turn up marked on trees and stone monuments, dating back as early as the first century AD.  It is also plausible to understand that the Ogham alphabet was used all over the British Isles by Druids and the Bards alike so it could have been a collaboration of Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and English people.  And, there are other claims that the Ogham was around before the first century AD, some saying it goes back to the first century BC.  I suppose we will never really know definitively but it is enough to know that it is part of a much more ancient language than Robert Graves may have claimed.

All we need to be concerned with is understanding the Ogham…at the very least, in layman’s terms, so that when you see something regarding the Ogham you can understand how it fits in with the trees used and its basic meanings.  If you wish to learn to cast the Ogham for divination, there are a good many books which are very thorough.

You’ll often see the Ogham called the “tree alphabet” and so it is.  That is because each Ogham is assigned to a tree/shrub/bramble.  It is a form of encoded wisdom which was once strictly passed on by initiation only. The Ogham itself is very magickal; it aided healing, science, divination, and initiatory learning through its potent wisdom based on trees, plant, and animal growth by their seasonal energies, not to mention its great spiritual power.  Each Ogham letter has its own sound[s] to convey its meaning…it is said to be multi-layered in that it represented the sounds of nature, the air, the earth, animals and plants…all the sounds which veritably create music… can you imagine? The learned ones in their time communicating in this way? It lifts my spirit to imagine it. Music is recorded when written on an Ogham stave.  Timeless.

It would be difficult then to imagine only one person creating the Ogham alone, so it is of my highest opinion that many are responsible for its being.

To understand why each Ogham ‘letter’ is so assigned, we must see the tree groups as the people whom invented this magickal communication did.  There are four main groups:  Chieftain, Peasant, Shrub, and Bramble.  The Chieftain trees are Oak, Holly, Yew, Ash, Pine, and Apple with Apple being most frequently the host of Mistletoe, Mistletoe is known as the ‘hidden tree’.  The Peasant trees are Alder, Willow, Hawthorn, Rowan, Birch, Elm, and Beech.  Sometimes Silver Fir is included, depending upon whom is writing.  Then, there are the Shrubs which consists of Blackthorn, Elder, Aspen and the Poplars, Juniper, and Reed with the possibility of Maples.  Lastly, the Brambles:  Dog-Rose, Bramble, Broom, Heather, Ivy, Vine, and possibly Honeysuckle, Fern, ‘Traveller’s Joy’, and The Spindle Tree.  Each tree, shrub, and bramble and its associations, which I have not listed at this time, were created by the authors of the Ogham.  The Irish Gaelic letters shown in the below illustration are in alphabetical order but not in their seasonal order.

sacred ogham 1

The Ogham Alphabet ~ Sacred Chaotic Geometry on Tumblr

As room did not allow, I did not attach the tree name to each of the twenty oghams on the chart which are mainly used for divination purposes, therefore, I shall list them here:  Beith – Birch tree, Luis – Rowan tree, Fearn – Alder tree, Saille – Willow tree, Nuin – Ash tree, Huathe – Hawthorn tree, Duir – Oak tree, Tinne – Holly tree, Coll – Hazel tree, Quert – Apple tree, Muin – Vine, Gort – Ivy, Ngetal – Reed, Straif – Blackthorn, Ruis – Elder tree, Ailim – Pine tree, Ohn – Gorse, Ur – Heather, Eadha – Poplar tree, Ioho – Yew tree.  I have drawn a red line around those which are used in divination, leaving the five combination vowel letters to the side for another time. You may be familiar with this if you have read my blog, What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What is Your Star Sign.

My Ogham Set

My Celtic Tree Oracle and personal Ogham set

There is so much more to be said about the Ogham but in this writing,  I am only presenting what is used in divination because so many people ask how they are used for this purpose.  Of course, if I had a lot of time, I could explain it all, however, I do spend much of my time writing or creating things for our shop and simply can’t write about it all.  In olden days the Ogham alphabet was a way of communicating – people even created a sign language with it – and for recording.  It was a secret language of the Druids and the Bards.  Nowadays, it is used nearly exclusively for divination.  In this respect, the trees themselves, whilst providing anchorage for the whole system are regarded as doorways through which to enter deeper wisdoms. If you want to learn how to divine using the Ogham, it would be a good start to buy or make a set of Ogham for yourself and buy a book or two such as Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie or a less expensive option would be to purchase The Celtic Tree Oracle: A System of Divination by Colin Murray where you can divine with oracle cards.

I hope this has clarified a few things for some of you who queried.  If it has been of interest and help to you, please share via the social media buttons below and would love to read your comments.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom wander this way.. x

Sources

The White Goddess, by Robert Graves

Tree Wisdom, By Jacqueline Memory Paterson

Wikipedia

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The Impossibility of [Climate] Change

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I’m not really a worrier.  I have found my Zen and can’t be fussed most of the time.  Still, I have found myself all a-dither in recent years over Climate Change/Global Warming.  Getting upset won’t help, I know this.  A clear head and a clear plan will win the day in most cases.  But the problem here is, how do we get everybody on board?  By this I mean the Climate deniers…even the Climate sceptics are “on board”….they only must pick everything apart first to make sure it all adds up.  However, from my observance, there are more Climate deniers than any of the rest.

climate change earth dot com

Image from earth.com

For example, Donald Trump, president of the US.  Complete denial.  Wants to bring back coal mining, more fossil fuels…global warming can’t be real because it’s snowing outside…what? Oh, I won’t even go into explaining the difference because I imagine if you’re reading this you already know.  And, he isn’t the only one.  President Macron of France completely buckled to the Yellow Vest protesters to remove the fuel tax he imposed to be scrapped along with other things that were intended as part of Mr Macron’s plans to transition France toward cleaner energy.  I could list a multitude of countries and their reasoning or lack thereof, but the problem is this:  No government with a very strong conservative base is likely to want to go full swing into fixing or at least managing Climate Change because it will cause them to need to give up what they hold dearest – money.  The only ones with a view to making the changes needed, money be damned, are the democratic, liberal, neo-socialist [this is a clue] types. Many of the conservatives make noises toward helping fix the problem but they tend to wrap their main interests [bad things that brings in more money] in a pretend-able shield of a grand gesture toward repairing Climate Change just to get their main interest passed into resolution. If you have ever noticed, these conservative government lawmakers are generally fairly old.  To be fair, I am fairly old, but I have a much younger person’s viewpoint on how things should be done.  We need more young liberals in government possibly but as the old guard doesn’t seem to be ready to retire, we must find a way to make them see sense.  And the clue is that the neo-socialists scare the hell out of the capitalist conservatives, therefore, it will be doubly difficult to get them on side if socialists are involved.

That is going to be a job.

climate change haikudeck dot com

Image from haikudeck.com

You may have heard the saying, “softly, softly, catchee monkey”: in other words, “Don’t flurry; patience gains the day.”  We need to make the idea of what we want palatable to the old guard.  Yes, I realise we don’t have time to tarry but I would rather take it slowly a bit to get people up to speed on what is needed rather than to go in so ham-fisted that we scare them completely off the page.  It is not enough to tell the old guard what is needed.  They mostly already know.  What is necessary is to present these needs with a sound plan of action.  A plan with smooth as possible segues into the necessary options from the old oil and coal ones.  And, it must not cost a packet.  Surely at least, not all in one go.  And you also must avoid raising taxes as much as possible.  It’s a tall order no matter what you do.  Still, taking the time to show conservative capitalist lawmakers how money can be made from fixing Climate Change, and how jobs can be created from Climate Change is the only way you will ever get them on board.  I quite agree that if you are a socialist this is a bitter pill to swallow, however, how much do you want to fix the problem?

Despite the lack of manners and common decency and down-right bullying in some governments it would be wise for the strong, young, idealists whose ideas are going in the right direction to take the stance of being the ‘adults in the room’ and beat the old guard at their own game.  Don’t pitch ideas without following up with sound methods of making the ideas work.  Don’t give in to name-calling, cursing, and back-biting, just because you can.  You don’t necessarily have to respect someone in order to act respectful toward them.  You can be strong and get your point across without bullying [don’t fall into the trap set by others].  Putting it straight forwardly, people don’t want more of the same as they may feel they are getting from the old guard.  They do want change, but they want sound and permanent change – for the better.  The impossibility of Climate Change can be made possible.  Softly, softly….

Thank you for reading and if you would, please share by the social media buttons below – and if you feel it is worthwhile advice, please print and share with your young lawmakers.  Your comments are very important to me so please feel free to comment as I always find time to answer.  Many warm blessings to those whom wander this way x

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From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Oat Straw

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

corn dollies all saints church

Corn dolly collect, All Saint’s Church, Siddington near Macclesfield

Have many of you considered Oat straw in magick?  It was something I had not done for many years but now find a use for it very often.  I have always known oat straw – it has been used for centuries to make corn dollies as a harvest ritual.  Depending upon where you live in the UK, there are regional styles of corn dollies.  You would always know where they are from by their design.  Corn dollies can be simple or very complex.  Still, I never saw a need for oat straw in magick until a few years ago.

A little folklore for you:  During the Middle Ages, Oats were thought to attract vampires, and farmers who grew the grain also had garlands of garlic wrapped around their doors and windows.

Magickal

Using Oat straw as a main ingredient in magickal workings is best used on the day of Venus, Friday and during the hour of Venus.

Money is the primary magickal power of Oat straw.  Perhaps it has to do with the harvests because obviously if your crop was very good, you made more money.  Still, I do find the help Oat straw gives in spell work and talismans is sound.  It is also excellent in fertility spell work.

The ways I have implemented Oat straw in magick is by using it in witch bottles along with other herbs/flowers/resins/woods to help with fertility or finances.  I have also used it in sachets for the same reasons.  And, I made a fertility incense for a woman once using Oat straw along with the appropriate oil, resin, and other herbs and wood for the cause.  It must have worked for she is a mother now 😊  But you can, of course, find other ways to use Oat straw in your magick if these ones don’t work for you.

You can also make use of Oat straw for its rejuvenating properties in the form of a ritual bath or as a ritual cup of tea to invoke inner peace, enhance mental powers, concentration and endurance.

Healing

oats

Growing Oats – purplesage.org.uk

Oat straw contains protein [avenins], saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene, starch, and fat, and it also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron and trace elements like silicon and potassium.  It has long been a food crop but has also shown itself useful in healing.  Case in point, oats are very useful in helping to lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.  Did you hate eating porridge as a child?  Most of us did!  But these days, maybe because of my enhanced years, I have a steamy bowl of porridge each morning [when I’m not indulging in the occasional ‘breakfast cake’ 😊] It really sets me up for the day.

The oat seeds carry antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant properties. As I refer to Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician quite often, I find he writes very little about Oats and nothing about the straw. Perhaps because in those days the only use for the straw aside from using in corn dollies was to stuff pillows and mattresses and to feed cattle!  Still, Mr Culpeper’s words on Oats:

“[Government and virtues]  Oats fried with bay salt, and applied to the sides, take away the pains of stitches and wind in the sides of the belly.  A poultice made of meal of Oats, and some oil of Bays put thereunto, helps the itch and the leprosy, as also the fistulas of the fundament, and dissolves hard imposthumes.  The meal of Oats boiled with vinegar, and applied, takes away freckles and spots in the face, and other parts of the body.”

Nowadays, Oat straw is highly regarded for the nervous system and can be prepared as a tea for states of general debility and for nervous exhaustion. Oat straw is a good relaxing nervous system tonic and can be used for insomnia and anxiety when these are due to stress. It is diuretic and acts as a tonic for a weak bladder and for kidney problems. It also brings relief for liver and gallbladder problems. For external use, a decoction can be added to the bathwater to treat skin sores and eczema and that can reduce itchiness. An Oat straw bath also soothes rheumatic and gouty pains.

For those of you with gluten allergies, Oat straw does not contain gluten like other grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Correspondences

Planetary: Venus

Gender: Feminine

Zodiac:  Taurus

Element: Earth

Powers: Money, Fertility, Inner Peace

Deity:  Lugh, Osiris, Demeter, Ceres, Adonis

Other Names:  Common oat, groats, herb oats, oatgrass, oats, wild oats.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you have found something helpful or at least of interest here and if you have, please share via the social media buttons below.  I do welcome comments so feel free to ask questions or tell of something you have learned about the subject and I always reply in due time.  Please also give a like and follow!  Warmest blessings to all whom wander this way. X

Sources

Experience

Encylopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Complete Herbal and English Doctor, by Nicholas Culpeper

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Juliana v US – You Go, Girl!

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

A little child shall lead them, Isaiah Chapter 1, Verses 1 through 10.

Any EastEnders fan will laugh and call me Dorothy Brannan, Mrs.  Don’t worry, I have not turned into a God botherer.  But, along the way in my witchy life, I have picked up a few Biblical bits I like.  And this verse I think suits this particular blog down to the ground.  It is about a legal case in the US called Juliana v United States – Climate Change Litigation.

Our-Childrens-Trust-Lawsuit-889x610

Our Children’s Trust ~ Image from inhabitat.com

The basis of the litigation as you can already tell is for Climate Change / Global Warming.  It was not brought forth by a business or a scientist or anybody of some notability as one might think.  It was brought forth by one nineteen-year-old woman [I almost said “girl” which, in my years, I still think of people under 40 as “kids” sometimes, and I apologise] and twenty other youthful plaintiffs, the youngest being only eleven.  The suit was started in 2015.  Only recently did I hear of it, but then that’s not surprising as most news to do with Climate Change over the last few years gets pushed to the back pages whether in a newspaper or Google News online…only now, however, it is front and centre where it should be since the scientific boffins have been raising the alarm more intensely.

The lawsuit is formally against the United States and several of its executive branch positions and officers, also formerly, including President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. The lawsuit asserts that the government violated the youths’ rights by allowing activities that harmed the climate and sought the government to adopt methods for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The lawsuit is at the leading edge of an area of environmental law referred to as “atmospheric trust litigation”, a concept based on the public trust doctrine and international responsibility related to the government’s control over natural resources in the interest of public benefit. While previous lawsuits in a similar vein have been dismissed by US courts, Juliana v. United States gained attention in 2016 when US District Court of Oregon, Judge Ann Aiken, upheld the idea that access to a clean environment was a fundamental right, allowing the case to proceed.  ~Wikipedia

Whilst other’s lawsuits have been denied, this one keeps going.  This gives hope.  Still, there are no provisions in the United States’ Constitution declaring any citizen’s right to a clean environment, low-levels of CO2, low levels of methane, clean water, or anything of the like. If anything ends this suit it would probably be this.  There is nothing America holds dearer than its Constitution…

Then again, when the American Constitution was written, there was nothing but trees and fertile ground, fresh air, and probably very normal seasons.  There were no massive Industrial Revolution factories with stacks belching out coal emissions, nor millions of cars roaring round super-highways spending methane and carbon like a reckless neo-millionaire spends money.  Nor that many farting cows…ha ha…a little levity.  Would, if the US founding fathers had a vision of their future home, have they written in an article or law providing all citizen’s rights to a clean environment?  We shall never know.

So now, those of us whom are becoming familiar with Juliana v US, are waiting with bated breath.  I, for one, pray that Juliana and her twenty comrades wins.  If they do, this will, of course, be a major upheaval in the way things are currently done in the US.  And, if you ask me, being one of the largest nations in the world, this would be a very good thing.  I’m quite sure to their conservative party, the Republicans, this would not be welcomed, still, they are parents and grandparents as well.  Will they not welcome changes which will ensure a safer world for their children, grandchildren, and descendants for centuries to come?  I should like to think so.

What will happen if the plaintiffs win for the advancement of Climate Change? Then the government of the United States must change the way things are presently going to make the environment safer for its inhabitants.  It won’t all happen immediately but plans and laws will need to be put in place [yada yada…bureaucratic red tape] and things will get messy before they get better, however, this is something that is needed to get the proverbial ball rolling.  Still, even if the government “wins” [no one wins, really], a dent has been made on the side of good because of Juliana, the Trump administration is on record admitting the truth about Climate Change, not only as it has been cast by the Juliana plaintiffs, but by the Administration’s own scientists and most of the world’s scientific community.  This is the one major reason that I believe Juliana v US has managed to press on so far and has not been dismissed as other suits have been.  The US government, despite Trump’s tweets to the contrary, have admitted that Climate Change is real and needs to be addressed.  This can, at the least, be helpful for future litigations.  Oh, yes…it’s very helpful.  With any luck it may set forth a precedent for the youth of other countries to go boldly against their country’s government if it is not readily in favour of doing anything about Global Warming for their citizens.

And we were led by the little children. Bravo to the youth of the world.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  I appreciate everyone taking a bit of time to read my ramblings and I hope you find something of interest and of possible help to you.  Please share via the social media buttons, if you will, and I love to receive comments and answer to all.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

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The Magickal Cherry Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

WildCherry02 woodlandtrust dot org dot uk

Prunus avium ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Do you ever think you know it all?  Some of us older types do that sometimes.  So, there I was, thinking the Cherry tree came from Asian countries such as Japan and I find the UK has a native, yes native, Cherry tree all along! The Prunus avium, or Wild Cherry, is a native of the UK, no ties to Asiatic countries.  Well…knock me down with a feather!  Never too old to learn, I say.

The most important  Cherry tree in my life was from a child, when visiting my Nana’s farm and helping her pick cherries to put on a Victoria Sponge or to make tarts with. I was never much help as I ate more than I collected.  Still, she never failed to make a special tart just for me with the cherries I picked….I’m surprised that could have amounted to much, ha ha…she most likely added some of her own to my pitiful lot, as a good Nana will do.

In the Victorian Language of Flowers, white flowers from the Cherry tree meant deception.

Magickal

In Highland folklore, Wild Cherry trees had mysterious qualities, and to encounter one was considered auspicious and fateful.  In fact, in the Highlands it was once taboo to use Cherry wood, as Cherry trees, were regarded as being so magickal in Highland culture.  They were also a bit rarer in the Scottish Highlands as the Cherry tree grows best in the more southerly regions of the UK.

When using Cherry wood or any part of the Cherry tree for spells, please note it is best to do these rituals on the day of Venus [Friday] during the hour of Venus for best results.

Cherry stones have been used as talismans to attract love. According to Tess Whitehurst, authoress of such books as You are Magical and The Magic of Trees, Cherry blossoms are for divine love, forgiveness, gentleness, remembering one’s primal innocence, romance, and weight loss, although from my research the only one I find matching would be love.  Still, many witches do find new reasons for certain things working for them that no one else has done.

Any part of the Cherry tree can be used for spell work and for incense making [bark], oils, sachets, witch bottles, poppets, and the branches are well-suited to becoming magic wands.  The Cherry wood wand is best for healing and love spells / rituals.

Healing

Cherries rentacherrytree dot co dot uk

Cherries! ~ rentacherrytree.co.uk

Regarding the Cherry tree, Nicholas Culpeper wrote:  “The gum of the Cherry-Tree, dissolved in wine is good for a cold, cough, and hoarseness of the throat”.  The gum, I would presume came from within the bark of the Cherry tree, as most cold and cough remedies even to this day, use the bark of Cherry trees to silence coughs due to cold and to help expel phlegm.  Not only was the bark of the Cherry tree used in England and surrounding countries during this time but across the pond, Native Americans also used the bark of Cherry trees in the same way.  And, I am quite sure they did not consult Mr Culpeper’s writings, although it may be possible that returning Englishmen from North American travels may have passed round the knowledge about Cherry trees and we in turn began using this information for ourselves.

Other attributes of the Cherry tree’s fruit, by Mr Culpeper are the ability to “provoke urine” and also “mends colour in the face, sharpens the eyesight, provokes appetite, and to expel gravel and wind”… do I want to know what he means by ‘expel gravel’? Probably not… it is enough for me to know cherries will most likely make you fart.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Venus

Gender:  Feminine

Element[s]:  Fire, Water

Zodiac:  Aquarius, Aries

Powers:  Love, Wisdom, Money, Luck, Inner Peace, Healing, Divination,

Deity:  Morrigan, Artemis, Persephone, Herne, Mars, Pan, Thor, Vertumnus, Yaya Zurkurai

As always, I thank everyone for kindly reading my blog.  I hope you found something of interest and / or help to you here.  If so, please share via the social media buttons below, and I always love a comment and will answer quickly as possible.  Don’t forget to give us a like and a follow!  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c1702

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Woodland Trust

Posted in Business, Divination, folklore, healing, Health, Love, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, occult, Pagan, sorcery, spell work, Talismans, the Morrigan, Thor, traditional witchcraft, Uncategorized, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Blue Planet

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

earth@2x blue-planet dot com

Image from blue-planet.com

No, I’m not trying to take anything away from David Attenborough’s brilliant series.  But in my thoughts, I imagine Mother Earth as being very “blue”…melancholy… over the way we children have abused her over the years for the sake of money.  Not all of us have, mind, but many are the greedy politicians whom have been known to work just that bit harder to keep oil and all fossil fuels pouring into their countries for the huge cheques paid them by the lobbyists.  And, it isn’t just for fossil fuels, lobbying is used for everything…even for good.  Still, I for one, would love to see an end to it.  It should be the people of the country who get to “lobby” for what they want.  Not big-name companies who don’t give a monkey’s about what their special interests are harming as long as they get paid well for supporting it and making it happen – via an MP or a senator or whatever you call your governmental person whom is supposed to be fighting for YOUR best interests.

Chernobyl dailymail dot co dot uk

Chernobyl – dailymail.co.uk

I’m off my political soap box now.  Kind of.  What I really want to speak about is how can we best help turn around the damage done so far to our lovely planet.  For a start, should we go Nuclear, Wind, or Solar? Many believe that we can quickly get carbon emissions reined in by going with new nuclear facilities where there are still coal-burning facilities for power as well as updating our older nuclear facilities.  In my mind, that only seems to touch one problem and not another…why, oh why, would we want to instil more uranium-based power throughout our countries when it is a terrible option for possible ground wastes and many other reasons.  Just look what happened in Chernobyl in 1986.  And then, there would be more lobbying for those uranium lords wanting to keep the price up and make huge profits.  For example, the United States imports most of the uranium it uses as fuel. Owners and operators of US nuclear power reactors purchased the equivalent of about 43 million pounds of uranium in 2017. About 7% of the uranium delivered to US reactors in 2017 was produced in the United States and 93% came from other countries. Isn’t it a case of the dog chasing its tail a little…a country imports most of the uranium it uses as fuel [which they actually mine from their own country], then it turns round and buys over 11 times as much uranium from other countries! I think there is something inherently wrong with the entire thing myself.  Presently, nuclear reactors are only 11% of what the World uses for energy.  For wind power, it is only around 5%, and for solar, roughly 10% as of 2017.  Add them all up and we have 26% of the World covered by some form of renewable energy [I did fail to mention that uranium is renewable/recyclable].  I do shudder to think what the other 74% uses.  And this also has me – and many people – concerned about just how we are meant to rein in carbon emissions enough within ten years for the climate not to increase another .5 Celsius.

wallace broecker npr

Wallace Broecker ~ NPR

I apologise to those who think me an alarmist.  Still, facing the facts, these are questions that should have been answered and worked toward, not just improving but fixing, over forty years ago when now recently deceased, ‘Grandfather of Climate Science’, Wallace Broecker brought the term ‘global warming’ into the public.  Broecker was a professor in the department to earth and environmental science at Columbia University [US] and was amongst several who did raise the alarm in 1975 [yes, we knew then] about how drastic changes in the Earth’s climate which humans would or could be responsible for over a relatively short period of time.  He even wrote a paper in 1975 called Climate Change:  Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”.  He spoke openly about the need to restrict fossil fuels and the disruptive effects that just a few degrees of warming could have on the environment.  He was  trying to save us but who really listened? Not enough people or the right people, surely.  As Broecker said, “The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks.”  Sadly, as pointed out with only roughly 26% of the world on renewable energy, we are, in fact, only poking the beast with sticks here forty-four years on.  If we had been at 26% by say, 1985 or 1990, we would be most of the way, if not all the way, to where we should be now.  As my Nana used to say “If ‘if’s and’s and but’s’ were sweeties and nuts, a Merry Christmas we’d all have, indeed”.

cryofmotherearth system change not climate change

Mother Earth crying by Digitalessandra for systemchangenotclimatechange.org

It’s past time to hold back the effects as they stand.  If we could wave a magick wand and stop the detriment in its tracks, maybe over a few hundred years’ time, we could wind the clock back to a cooler planet.  But we must look at ways to evolve with the changes that have already occurred and to evolve further still to adapt to changes that are bound to happen in a very short future.  I’m not saying we can’t do anything to prevent further warming or an apocalypse, but I am saying we must learn to adapt to what we have and get busy very quickly on preventing future worsening of the nightmare we created.  I am tired of seeing Mother Earth cry.

Many thanks for reading.  Please see below for links where you may be helpful in getting your representatives to listen to reason and other useful things all of us can do.  Many warm blessings to all whom wander this way x

Find Out How You Can Help

A great page from the US – How Can You Prevent Global Warming https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming

From the Independent, UK – 20 things we could do right now to reduce climate change and prevent extreme poverty https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-global-warming-chad-frischmann-project-drawdown-carbon-dioxide-a8574461.html

From Persil washing products, UK – How to Prevent Global Warming: A Guide on Global Warming for Kids  https://www.persil.com/uk/sustainability/sustainability-for-kids/how-to-prevent-global-warming-a-guide-on-global-warming-for-kids.html

From UK – In-depth: How the UK plans to adapt to climate change  https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-how-the-uk-plans-to-adapt-to-climate-change

From the US – 35 Easy Ways To Stop Global Warming https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/stopglobalwarming.php

There are a good many articles and websites out there and I could have listed them all but most say roughly the same things.  These are a good number to read and go from and remember, one of the most important things you can do is pester your country’s leaders to do the right thing by Mother Earth and us.  Call, write, lobby if you can, for greener technology and carbon reductions.

 

Posted in Air, Business, Climate Change, Environmental Protection, Global Warming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments