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Speaking of Witch Wands & Magickal Things

Three English witches bound to traditional practise

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Love

The “Hidden” Disease – Feline Hypothyroidism

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

chli-before-hypothyroidism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magic of Holly

photo by I. Macy
photo by I. Macy

The Holly and the Ivy
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly wears the crown.
~ traditional carol

In his book The White Goddess, the author Robert Graves proposed that the mythological figure of the Holly King represents one half of the year, while the other is personified by his counterpart and adversary the Oak King: the two battle endlessly as the seasons turn. At Midsummer the Oak King is at the height of his strength, whilst the Holly King is at his weakest. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King’s favour; his strength peaks at Midwinter. They are both vegetation Gods/Deities, connected to fertility and the seasons. They battle each other year after year to reign supreme.

Holly is the tree of the 8th month of Celtic Tree calendar, July 8th – August 4th and the 8th consonant of the Ogham alphabet, Tinne or Tiene. Deities are Lugh, Tannus, and Thor. Ruling planets are Mars and Saturn and its element is Fire. The powers of Holly include protection, anti-lightning, luck, and dream magick.

“Holly reminds us of the need to calm our emotions, if we are to reach wise decisions about our situation. The often painful consequences of our actions are brought to the surface for examination, and calm acceptance of our responsibility is required. We are reminded of the need to view ourselves, as well as others, in the light of compassion and unconditional love. Like the Hanged Man of the Tarot, holly represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.” – The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

“Holly wood was used by the ancients in the construction of spear shafts, and as the spiny leaves show, it is well prepared for battle. A symbol of firmness and masculine energy, the holly endows those born under its sign with an equally well-prepared nature. You have a strong connection to the earth, amazing physical strength, and the ability to direct your energy in a balanced even flow. This stability gives you a generosity of spirit ad a very matter-of-fact solidness that others will respect, admire, and rely on. Before you engage in any battle, look inside for understanding and respect for your opponents.” – Written by Kim Rogers-Gallagher, and Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000

The Holly wand is 37cm (14-1/2 in) long and completely hand-carved by me. There are no wood lathes or power tools of any kind used, nor even so much as a pair of callipers, only a Stanley knife and sandpaper. Of course, the Holly ogham, tiene, is inscribed with a pyrography tool, apart from that, as with all of our wands, no electrical tools were used.

Afterwards, I polish the wand with our own Speaking of Witch Wands English Beeswax Wand Polish, also made by me. You will receive a 10ml pot of this polish along with your wand (as seen here:https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/197822860/speaking-of-witch-wands-beeswax-wand?ref=listing-1) at no additional charge. It may not sound like a large amount but you really only need a tiny amount to keep your wand looking beautiful.

The wood for this wand was not cut by me from the tree, however, I happened upon the remains of a tree pruning and naturally brought all I could home. It would have been rude to Mother Nature not to!

If you would like to purchase this wand, please click this link:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/245178880/holly-wand-magic-wand-wiccan-wand?ref=shop_home_active_4
Thank you for looking and many blessings!

Letting go….a Little

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Sometimes you really do have to give up.

I’ve been tearing around like a blue-arsed fly for the last few months, trying so hard to kick-start a fledgling business, be a Mum and a Nana, sort out and organise things, worrying that Yule-tide would catch me in the usual state of panic. Things continually kept going awry, I began to become uncustomarily impatient, worry set in, and one day recently I snapped.  It had to happen.

No, I didn’t do anything untoward, really…just had myself a right row with myself and felt as though I could not, perhaps even should not, cope with what I’ve been trying to achieve.  However, it became quite clear that, I really SHOULD do what I’m doing, just at a slower, more relaxed pace.  And please for the love of all things good and true…just allow Divine Spirit take over for a change!  Take the time out to do what I was created to do….create!  Enjoy my life, create, and love what I do.  I’ve had quite enough of shoving it down everyone’s neck.  I just want to make things, let my artistic self run amok, and not give a monkey’s if I’m not in Google’s top ten sites.  I will be someday.  Just believe.

So, I’m letting go. I’m not really giving up.  I’m not planning on going anywhere.  Just going to allow the Universe to guide me again.  Take the time to write, make jewelry, paint, draw, create things.  Love.

It is time to let go and believe.  Things will fall into place 🙂

The Magickal Avocado Tree

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photo by Gavin Shoebridge at http://www.gavinshoebridge.com

The Magickal Avocado Tree

Gender: Feminine; Planet: Venus; Element: Water; Power: Love, Lust, Beauty; Dieties: Thoth, Seshat, Osiris

Persea is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen trees belonging to the laurel family, Lauraceae.[2] The best-known member of the genus is the avocado, P. americana, widely cultivated in subtropical regions for its large, edible fruit. – Wikipedia

Avocado/Persea is a sacred tree of the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians usually made their wands out of acacia or persea (avocado tree), and the wood cuttings should be used in sacrificial fire – just sacrifice the branches, nothing else, please. Priestesses of Apollo chewed the leaves and inhaled their smoke to induce a psychic state of mind, however, I would not recommend this as per this documentation:

The leaves of avocado in doses exceeding 20 g fresh leaf per kg bodyweight, produced damage to the mammary gland
with decreased milk production in an animal study. [3] Six of 21 goats feeding on fresh avocado leaves from pruned
trees, showed clinical signs of cardiac distress. [6] Ingestion of avocado leaves also caused lung oedema, hydrothorax,
severe myocardial degeneration, necrosis and fibrosis in 15 Cameroon goats. [7] In a study, nine out of 120 ostriches
died from congestive heart failure within 96 h of ingesting avocado leaves and immature fruit in an avocado orchard
containing Hass and Fuerte cultivars.[27] Finally, researchers from Kenya observed dyspnoea, pulmonary oedema,
abdominal enlargement and signs of elevated liver enzymes from two dogs which had a fondness for avocado fruits.

The ancient Aztecs believed the fruit of the Avocado would infuse one with lust. Growing an Avocado plant is said to bring love into the home. If you don’t want to plant the pit, you can carry it with you to promote beauty. And, of course, we know wands made from avocado branches are powerful. What then, about the leaves? Apart from being dangerous to ingest? What can the leaves do for us in a magickal sense? I’d be happy to tell you.

We know that the very tree is revered by some very powerful Egyptian deities. It is associated with love and beauty. Many aren’t aware that, if you do not “enchant” your herbs, artifacts, etc., that they may or may not help very much. All enchantment is, basically, is telling a herb, leaf, wand, artifact, stone, etc. what you wish it to do. Whilst not much is written about the leaf of the Avocado/Persea tree, it is indeed just as magickal as any other leaf of any other tree, perhaps more so, if you know what you expect of it.

My son, who is of the Egyptian pantheon, and a very strong Shaman, uses the dried Avocado leaves, crushed and ground, along with some other herbs that are sacred to Egyptian deities as an offering to Anubis and Bastet (along with a few Tiger’s Eye stones for Bastet). He also finds that ground bits of Avocado leaf in certain oils he makes for use in his practise adds a bit of extra power. He also scatters the ground-up leaves to the four corners for certain rituals and also burns a pinch of the ground, dried leaves in outdoor ceremonies and sometimes only a small pinch in certain incenses, depending on what he is seeking in the ritual. I don’t think it’s harmed him yet, still, I recommend due care in burning the leaves. Certainly don’t burn them in an enclosed area.

We do have packets of dried Avocado leaf on our main website at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com at a nominal cost. Thank you for reading and blessed be! )O(

*Some information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs, by Scott Cunningham 1985-97, Llewellyn

Enchantment Beads© ~ How and Why Do I Use Them?

SOWWFireDetail

Many of you who follow this blog, like us on Facebook, go to our Etsy shop, or follow us on Twitter, have seen our many “adverts” for Enchantment Beads©.  And, whilst you may think, “ah, they are pretty”, many don’t know why we developed the idea into a working tool or why or how to use them.  Fair enough, I wouldn’t have any idea, either, had I not created the idea 🙂  So, here we go ~

I created our Enchantment Beads© because of my own sort of inability to “keep up” with the number of times I “enchanted” a herb for a magickal work, or even new crystals that I wanted to work with.  The phone may ring, or the cat may plop into my lap and begin begging, or I may get some random thought in my head that just threw my intention and concentration out the window!   I knew I had to come up with a better plan or I may only enchant a herb 8 times instead of 9 or just plainly forget (especially if the phone had rung and I had to take the call).

They look a lot like Prayer beads, yes.  But they aren’t.  There are 9 large beads on every set, sometimes with little silver spacers in-between and sometimes with smaller beads used as spacers.  The idea is to hold them in your free hand, touching each bead as you repeat your enchantment.  Some people feel 3x’s is a charm, others (like myself) like the perfect number 9 of the Goddess.  How many times is unimportant, apart to the individual Witch.  Keeping up with how many times is, especially with our busy lives.

So, there is the basic gist of why and how!  Easy peasy!  And to make them more individualised for everyone who purchases the Enchantment Beads©, we make them in the representation of the Elements, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit/Love.  On most of our sets we use only quality gemstone beads.  We do have a few less expensive sets in which we have used either plastic, coloured glass, or wooden beads…they are beautiful, I just prefer (and feel that most Witches will as well) real gemstone beads.  On the Earth set, you will find a small Pentagram charm, on the Air, you will find a pair of feathers, on the Fire, a lovely brass dragon charm, on the Water, a little silver or bronze starfish, and for Spirit/Love, a heart.  All bead sets have a silver lanyard clip with which you may clip to your belt or just use for hanging when not in use.  No matter how often or little you use them, they will look lovely hanging by your altar!

We’ve just made a new batch of sets in Sodalite (Air), Blue Howlite (Air), Rose Quartz (Water), Malachite (Fire), Aquamarine glass (water), Lapis Lazuli (Air), Tiger’s Eye (Earth) and we have all representations available so please visit our Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SpeakingofWitchWands to order!  With Yule and Christmas coming, please don’t wait!  And, we can also make a representation just for you, which you can access on our Etsy page.  Also, please give us a like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SpeakingofWitchWands and follow us on Twitter @SpeakingofWytch!  Thank you and Blessed be!

Enchantment Beads© are sole property of Speaking of Witch Wands and Magickal Things, all rights reserved.

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