Happy Imbolc 2020!

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

8x10_Brigid_E-479x600 Emily Balivet

My Brigid art by Emily Balivet on Etsy

Hello, a bit early!  Imbolc, of course, is Sunday 2 February.  Imbolc or Imbolg, also called [Saint] Brigid’s Day, in which case the day would be called Candlemas [for Christians], [Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa’l Breeshey], is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. The festival/celebration is held about half-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.  Whether Pagan or Christian, the celebration is a celebration of light, leaving the deep darkness of Winter and moving toward Spring.  In many places, new signs of life both plant and animal begin to appear already.  It is truly a time to celebrate.

To me, Imbolc is the entering of the birth canal, as in a birth about to happen.  We theoretically “die” at Samhain, we are also implanted into the “womb” of Yule, and then we begin rebirth in Imbolc to emerge as “new” come Ostara. Symbolically speaking, my point of view does not exactly fit in with the wider Pagan community’s beliefs; in fact, it almost sounds Catholic, but I’m not.  Traditionally, Imbolc is the Goddess’s respite after giving birth to the God [Sun] on the Winter Solstice.  But, just as Imbolc once symbolised the first day of Spring in Irish Celtic lore, the date is no longer flexible as it once was and is held between 1st and 2nd February.  So, I believe the current meaning of Imbolc can be just as much open to interpretation as it is seen or felt by any person.

At this time of the year, we begin to “see the light”, as it were [or, if I may offer a bad pun based on my above theory, “the light at the end of the tunnel” – forgive me].  How might we celebrate such a momentous occasion? Well, you don’t need money, really.  Which is a good thing, as most of us aren’t exactly flush.

Most of you own at least a stub of a smudge stick, I’m sure, or some incense.  This is a good time of year to smudge your home… cleanse the path to rebirth and protect your space.

Burn candles.  If you only have one candle [white or yellow would be best but go with what you have], it is a good day to light it and think about the Goddess Brigid.  As it burns, this would be a good time to speak the poem I mention next paragraph.

brigids-cross from earthwitchery dot com

Brigid’s Cross ~ by earthwitchery.com

Clean your altar space and leave offerings for Brigid.  You could make a Brigid’s cross for one.  Traditionally in the UK, this would be made with wheat.  If you have reeds available, you can create them this way.  If all else fails, you could draw one on a piece of paper to place on your altar.  As Brigid is associated with poetry, perhaps you could write an Imbolc poem dedicated to her.  In Wicca, it is also customary to leave grain and milk offering for Brigid on the altar.

Drink a beer! Did you know that St Brigid is the patron saint of brewing? If you’re Irish, you know it. This is not a dig, by the way because I am from some Irish ancestry myself and I do love a pint! 😊

Brigid’s Sacred Correspondences

Animals:  Boar, Cow, Fish, Sheep, Snake, Wolf, Bear, Badger, Swan

Trees:  Hazel, Oak, Rowan, Willow

Plants:  Blackberry, [all] Spring Flowers, Grain and Hops

Symbols:  Brigid’s Cross, Flame, Iron, Nine White Stones, Number Eight, Two Crescents

Element:  Water, Fire

Number: 8

Astral:  Milky Way, The Moon

Imbolc shona daoibh go léir to all, and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

Life

 

Posted in Business, Celtic Tradition, Fire, folklore, imbolc, Ireland, Magic, Magickal, Pagan, Uncategorized, Wiccan, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Baobab Tree

By Isabella @The WandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Now, for something a little different.  Most of us won’t have a Baobab [Adansonia] tree growing in our back gardens unless, of course, we live in say, Madagascar, Australia, the African mainland, or the Arabian Peninsula.  The Baobab tree can live up to 3,000 years and grows quite huge  reaching heights of 5 to 30 m [16 to 98 ft] and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m [23 to 36 ft]. The Baobab trees in the southern part of Africa began dying off the early part of this century with the cause not certain, however, it is strongly believed that pesticides and/or dehydration from Global Heating are a determining factor.  Of course, pests could also be to blame, but I’m sure the former two are as much to blame.

Magickal

baobab-trees-Grandidier-Avenue-of-the-Baobabs

Baobab trees ~ Encyclopaedia Brittanica

It is said that gazing at a Baobab tree can invoke an ancient feeling; that perhaps it is bringing back a past life memory or a genetic one.  As someone who is used to receiving both kinds, it can be difficult to discern which it is.   I can imagine though, as a many-greats granddaughter of Mitochondrial Eve, who left Kenya some 150,000 to 200,000 years ago and travelled through the Sudan [or, her closest descendants did] en route to Turkey, then Italy and places further abroad ‘til they ended up in Britain, that the picture of a Baobab tree merely conjures the genetic memory.  Regardless of what memory it gives us, you only need look to see that the Baobab has a very ancient, otherworldly feel to it.  The Baobab is brilliant for helping us connect with our past lives. A good way to do this is to imagine and meditate upon the Baobab. Allow yourself to be taken to a different world – perhaps your own or an ancestor’s.

Another interesting feature of the Baobab is that it almost appears upside-down.  Funnily enough, there are local [to the tree] legends regarding the tree falling from the Divine Plane and the top half becoming stuck in the earth whilst the roots stuck out above.  Kind of gives new meaning to “As above, so below”.  Or, did that come from the Baobab? Perhaps we should meditate on that one.

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Boabab powder ~ nuts.com

We can’t all have a Baobab tree, but we can have parts of one to work with.  You can buy the fruit [aka, monkey bread] of the tree. Well, I mean, the powder that comes from the fruit.  It is useful in a variety of ways.  You can buy the powder from BuyWholeFoodsOnline.co.uk or if you’re in the US, TerraSoul Foods.  I do have to say, the US pays a lot more for this stuff than the UK! Even with the currency exchange being rather low, it is a good bit more highly priced than in the UK. Still, I think it is worth the money and I will highlight some of the best reasons under Health, shortly. 

But we’re still thinking on the magickal ways in which to use Baobab. One way I like to use the powder, aside from using in food or drink for health, is to put a small amount of Baobab powder into a bowl on your altar whilst doing any kind of past life or ancestral spell work.  If you worship the African Gods or Goddesses, you might like to leave a bowl of Baobab powder on their altar, dedicated to them and if you can get them, Baobab flowers would also go down a treat.

There is one thing you would never get to do is build a wand from Baobab. Injuring the tree in any way is a sacrilege to the Orishas/Gods and terrible punishment would rain down upon the offender.  If you cut one down, it would leave the residing tree spirit homeless, and the spirit would seek revenge. In some communities, people won’t dare pick a leaf or collect dead, fallen wood which may cause an immediate sentence of death.  If this sounds a little familiar, we of any Celtic or Gaelic pagan beliefs know that certain trees must not be cut without certainty of punishment to ensue.

If you want to learn more about this stunning and majestic tree, please visit Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu.  Nothing better than learning from one whom has lived with Baobab all his life!

Corresponces

Planet: Earth

Element: Divine Spirit

Gender:  Masculine  and Feminine

Powers:  Ancient Awareness, Divine Communication and Blessings, Generosity, Grounding and Earth Wisdom, Knowledge, Natural Abundance, Spiritual Power, Sustenance, Transitioning to and from the Spirit World, Travel

Deity: Osanyin, Aja [Goddess], Oko, Ososhi

Sabbat: Mabon

Folk Names: None, really

Health

The guts of the baobab fruit.

Baobab fruit, inside the shell ~ photo by Annabel Hughes

The shell of the Baobab fruit bakes in the sun for about six months, drying on the branch – as a matter of fact, it is the only known fruit that does dry on the branch.  The Baobab is often called “the Tree of Life” and after researching this phenomenal fruit and what it offers, I can certainly see why.

 

Because of this, the fruit inside the hard shell is naturally dehydrated.  This produces a 100% superfood, extremely high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants.  Is it any wonder that where Baobab grows, even in poorer cultures, that the people there are remarkably healthy? The ones who eat the Baobab fruit, at any rate.

The main, mostly only, way we in other parts of the world who can’t have access to a Baobab tree can at the least purchase the powdered form, which is just as beneficial.  The flavour is said to be very tart and lemony.  If mixing in water for a drink, you can add honey for sweetening.  You can add it to almost anything you eat or drink, if you like a tart, lemony flavour.  I think this would be excellent sprinkled over baked fish!  You could even add it to your cup of tea of a morning.  I don’t know anybody these days who add lemon to their tea… or mint… but, if you were a mind to, Baobab powder would suffice without the sticky mess!  I have also read the powder tastes like sorbet.  Perhaps making a sorbet with the powder in it would be another way of taking it.

However you ingest your Baobab powder, there is a long list of “why you should”.  Firstly, and I’m guessing you’ve cottoned on to this one already is for your immune system.  As you know, the human body does not create nor store Vitamin C, therefore, a nearly endless daily supply is needed to keep one at less risk of colds, not to mention to support our collagen supplies.  A single serving [2-3] teaspoons offers up 33% of our daily Vitamin C requirement! Given that you would need to eat 20 oranges per day to attain your optimal level of Vitamin C, that means you would need to eat 6.33 oranges just to reach 33%!  I love an orange now and again but, flamin’ ‘eck! I would be sick of oranges by that point!

Blood sugar management is another way Baobab fruit helps us. Baobab powder contains 34% soluble fibre, which helps to slow down the release of sugars into the blood stream, reducing energy spikes. Soluble fibre can also help to control blood glucose levels, improve blood cholesterol and reduce visceral fat [body fat that is stored around the organs in your abdomen]. It also helps with the absorption of iron, which many do not know. If you’re short on iron supply and must take supplements, this wonderful powder can help you get the most out of it.

Approximately 40% of people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time [NHS, 2016]. Despite the growing awareness of the role of fibre in improving our digestive health, 80% of people in the UK don’t eat enough of it. Baobab powder is almost 50% fibre. There are two types of fibre that our body needs: soluble and insoluble – and baobab contains both. Soluble fibre dissolves in the water found in your digestive system and can help to reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood.

Prebiotic or gut health. The soluble fibres of Baobab fruit pulp are prebiotics: non-digestible food components that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of beneficial microflora [Journal of Food Research, 2016].  It’s these prebiotic qualities that could explain how Baobab might just be the secret to having the world’s healthiest gut. Studies of the Hadza Tribe in Tanzania, some of the planet’s last remaining hunter gatherers, found they have 40% more diverse gut microbiomes than the average Westerner! “According to scientists, the Hadza have the most diverse gut bacteria of anyone anywhere in the world” [Independent, 2017]. One of their key staples? If you said Baobab, you got it in one! Well done, you!

And, for those of us wanting better skin, younger looking skin? Baobab powder has twice the antioxidants gram per gram of goji berries and more than blueberries and pomegranates combined.

Baobab is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C which supports collagen formation – helping to give you radiant, glowing skin as well as preventing wrinkles.

In fact, baobab’s skin benefits are so impressive that Baobab was the first ever food item to be sold in the beauty halls of the prestigious London department store, Liberty, where it is listed as “must-have” thanks to its exceptional ‘beauty from within’ properties.

There really are loads more reasons why everyone should be eating Baobab in some form or the other [actual fruit or the powder].  It helps balance one’s PH, it defends our bodies from chronic diseases and ailments such as hypertension, arthritis and deficiency in vitamin D.  It can even help with post-workout soreness because of its high vitamin C content.

I hope you have found all this helpful in your magick and for your health.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessing to all whom this way wander.

Sources

The Magick of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia.com

Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu

NHS

The Independent

Journal of Food Research

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Druid, Earth, healing, Health, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, The World Tree, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft, wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Almond Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

What an interesting tree, the Almond! One of my favourite nuts are Almonds along with Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Pistachio nuts…alright, I’ll stop 😊 Admittedly I could go on a lot longer, but we are here for the lovely Almond tree and what it can do for us magickally.

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An Ingrid Almond tree growing on the Oxford High Street, UK ~ from Pinterest`

In researching the Almond tree [Prunus dulcis], I learned so much I never knew. Firstly, Almonds grow rather prolifically in the US state of California, but the tree is native to the country of Iran and closely surrounding countries. They are also grown in Australia and Spain.  Sounds to me that wherever it is quite warm most of a year, Almond trees will grow.  That is why you won’t catch many growing in the UK unless they are the Ingrid which is the most reliable Almond variety for the UK climate, and will produce well-flavoured Almonds in late August if you can offer it a sunny sheltered situation. The spring blossom is also very attractive – far more so than most fruiting plums and cherries, to which it is closely related.

Another fact about Almonds is that there is a fatally poisonous Almond called the Bitter Almond which is grown in the wild. It is so highly toxic only a small amount is fatal.  Beware of the wild Almonds wherever you reside.

Almonds ripe

Ripe Almonds ~ Google Images

The Almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m [13–33 ft] in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm [12 in] in diameter.  The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm [1–2 in] diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring.  If you’re planning on planting an Almond tree, please do, however, be advised your wait will be a long one until your real first harvest as the trees reach full bearing age five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. And, the almond fruit is 3.5–6 cm [1 3⁄8–2 3⁄8 in] long. In botanical terms, it is not a nut but a drupe.  Still, I shall always call them nuts, as I only learned they are “drupes” as of today.

You may have heard of Almond gum in spell work.  Badam pisim/ Almond gum cannot be prepared.  It comes from the tree. Badam/Almond tree bark secretes the gum which dries up on the bark, then one can collect the gum and clear it of any leftover wood bark to be used in many ways.

Magickal

Keep an Almond in your pocket to help you retrieve lost things and it assists in bringing good luck your way.  Almond oil is often used in prosperity spells by rubbing it on the working candle or a few drops in a loose incense being burned for prosperity; Almond leaves and Almonds proper are also used for money magick. Also, Almond oil can be smeared on money to help attract more money.  As a wand or amulet, the wood of the Almond tree aids in self-protection.  Almond wood is also said to be effective in love magick.

Almonds are also essential to beauty as the drupe [nut] is beneficial to our health, however, I came across this spell in my copy of Tess Whitehurst’s book, The Magic of Trees:

Preheat your oven to 350F [in North America], or at around 180c/160 fan/gas mark 4 in UK/Europe. Thought I should add that as she did not. Centre yourself by holding your hands in a prayer pose and calling upon the Goddess [of your beliefs] to bless your magickal workings.  Place three cups of raw, organic Almonds in a medium to large bowl.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and stir in a clockwise direction with a wooden spoon until coated.  As you stir, mentally direct a very bright, pink light through the spoon into the Almonds.  Line a baking tray with aluminium foil or preferably baking parchment and pour the Almonds onto the baking tray, spreading evenly.  Hold open your palms over the Almonds and direct the energy of your words into them as you chant three times:

Goddess of love, Goddess of light

Bless me with your beauty bright

Bake for ten to twelve minutes or until they are a rich, dark brown.  Let cool, then store in a large glass container with sealing lid. Every morning until they’re gone, have one quarter to one third cup Almonds with or for breakfast until they’re gone.  Repeat as desired… or as needed 😊 I would need to eat them forever!

Correspondences

Planet: Jupiter [I have also seen some saying Mercury]

Element: Air

Gender:  Feminine [some say Masculine]

Powers:  Beauty, Clairvoyance, Divination, Fertility, Goddess Energy, Healing, Prosperity, Protection, Wisdom

Deity: Attis, Mercury, Thoth, Hermes

Sabbat: Beltane

Folk Names: None, really

Health

Badam pisim otherwise known as Almond gum has great cooling properties.  In very hot places such as India, where my mother’s very far back ancestors came from, Badam pisim is added to water or any drink to help cool one’s system on a 40c day.  It helps calm the stomach burns, treats ulcers and reduces the burning sensation in the stomach. It is also known for its cholesterol lowering properties.

Health benefits of the Almond nut/drupe:

Almonds bbc good food

Almonds ~ BBC Good Food

Almonds are high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. Whilst phytic acid is generally considered a healthy antioxidant, it also slightly reduces the amount of iron, zinc and calcium you get from Almonds. They are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E, so good in fact, you can eat these daily and probably no longer need E supplements. Almonds can assist with blood sugar control.  If you are hypoglycaemic or have diabetes, sometimes the blood sugar gets a bit out of whack.  People without diabetes also see major reductions in insulin resistance when supplementing with magnesium. Always keep a container of Almonds [non-sugared!] with you .  They are very high in magnesium therefore you could possibly save money from buying that supplement.  Almonds can lower your cholesterol levels particularly the LDL or bad cholesterol.

Lastly, Almonds can help you in weight loss.  Due to their satiating properties, Almonds [and Walnuts] are a great addition to an effective weight loss diet.  And, they are high in fibre and protein and low in bad carbs. Win-win!

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia.com

Posted in Beltane, Business, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, occult, Pagan, Prosperity, sorcery, spell work, spells, Thoth, Uncategorized, wealth, Wiccan, Witch, Witchcraft, wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Acacia Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Are you ready to climb trees with me again? I am on a journey to write about trees we often don’t have where I live or… possibly we do, and I simply haven’t paid them any mind til now.  I can’t say I’ll be expert at writing on subjects I have not worked with personally, but I feel I can at the least pull together into one blog all the useful information you need to work magick with if you do have access to these.  And now, on the very magickal Acacia tree!

Folklore

Acacia tree

African Acacia tree ~ Google images

Acacia is steeped in lore, particularly from the Egyptians.  The ancient Egyptians made funeral wreathes of Acacia leaves and the Hebrews planted a sprig of evergreen Acacia to mark the grave of a departed friend. Acacia is also revered by the Egyptian gods and goddesses as it is believed the very first gods were born beneath its branches in Heliopolis. The stern of the celestial boat of Ra was made of Acacia wood and it was sacred to the Goddess Isis.

The ancient Egyptians used the Nile Acacia for enlightenment and talking to the gods. Their spiritual guide was not Hathor or Isis, but Osiris. Osiris was the first god to be born from under the Acacia tree, in their beliefs, and all else followed. The legend remains today that the spirit of Osiris is in every Acacia tree on the Nile…nee, all Acacia trees.

Magickal

If you wish to become a spiritual leader, it is believed you should fashion a wand from Acacia wood for it is thought to increase your integrity, authority, and confidence if you so charge it to be; all of which you will need to have to fulfil this role.

You can use Acacia leaves dipped in your homemade holy water to sprinkle your altar or any other items you wish to consecrate.

gum arabic

Gum Arabic ~ photo from Amazon.com

If you wish to communicate with the dead, Acacia leaves burned in a loose incense on a charcoal is effective. This is also an effective way to induce spiritual phenomena and develop personal psychic power by opening your mind; adding Frankincense and Myrrh can be used to intensify the effect.  Acacia leaves are especially powerful when attempting to contact the dead and should be rubbed into white candles but not worn on the body while attempting such work. Acacia symbolises the afterlife.

Acacia is used in spells related to protection and psychic power and the dried gum [gum Arabic from Acacia senegal] is used as a base for many incenses, as well as . Combine with sandalwood to make an incense to aid in meditation. The leaves may also be burned on charcoal to increase personal power and the resin is how most of us use it mixed with loose herbs and woods on a charcoal.

If you are fortunate enough to have an Acacia tree growing near, it is an effective way to have your petitions heard by your god[s] and/or goddess[es].  Many years ago, the famed Charles Darwin came upon an Acacia tree in Patagonia where the village people revered it as a Divine altar.  They would leave offerings beneath it along with their requests.  Perhaps you can find a way to create your own Acacia altar.

Health

Apparently, Acacia is available in supermarkets.  To be fair, I have never gone in search for it to use as a health aid or a food enhancer.  However, Acacia has apparently been used in medicine for a great number of years and I assume, if you know how to use it correctly, it is of great benefit.  However, as always, please see your general practitioner before embarking on any home health remedy. And I do not mean Dr Google.

Acacia is often used in topical treatments to help wounds heal. Doctors, scientists, and researchers believe that this effect may be due to some of its chemicals, such as alkaloids, glycosides, and flavonoids. In one study, a species of acacia known as Acacia caesia was tested on rats as part of a topical wound treatment. It led to quicker wound healing than the standard treatment.

The extract of a species of acacia known as Acacia catechu, sometimes called black khair, can be used in dental products like mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. Powdered Acacia can also be used in a type of herbal toothpaste that’s been shown to clean teeth without being too abrasive to the surface of your teeth. An older study, Trusted Source from 1999 showed that this herbal tooth powder cleaned and cleared well over two-thirds of tooth plaque, and nearly 100 percent in some cases.

Acacia gum contains water-soluble dietary fibres [WSDF] that are not only good fibre for your diet but also helpful in keeping your cholesterol under control. One study showed that taking 15 grams of Acacia gum in liquid form every day helped manage the concentration of plasma cholesterols in blood. Although published in 1992, this is the most comprehensive study on the effects of Acacia gum on the blood to date. WSDF can also help you maintain a healthy weight and is good for general cardiovascular health. The American Food and Drug Administration [FDA] even made changes to regulations to recognise the beneficial use of Acacia as a good fibre source in many popular foods, including cereals, juice, and yoghurt.

Because it’s known to relieve irritation and inflammation, Acacia gum can also help control coughs. The properties of Acacia gum allow it to be used in solutions to coat your throat and protect the mucus in your throat from irritation. Using Acacia for coughs can keep your throat from becoming sore as well as ease or prevent symptoms, including losing your voice. I don’t think I trust sucking on the tiny gum Arabic resins I burn in my censor…

The Acacia greggii plant, found in the United States and Mexico, can be used to help stop blood flow in gashes, wounds, and other surface cuts. Pouring an Acacia-infused tea on cuts is an especially effective remedy. This can be helpful for stopping heavy bleeding and washing bacteria from the cut.

Potential risks

Ask your doctor before consuming any form of Acacia to make sure you won’t have an allergic or drug interaction reaction. Acacia senegal has been found to interact with the efficacy of some medications. For example, it may prevent some antibiotics from being absorbed.

Some forms of Acacia contain toxic chemicals that could cause hair loss, affect your digestive tract’s ability to take in nutrients, and stunt growth. Do not consume a form of Acacia that you’re not familiar with. Also be sure to consult your doctor or an expert before taking any form of Acacia that hasn’t been processed for use in food.

Acacia is often found already processed in foods, but it’s also available in ground, powder, or whole form at your supermarket. The studies above show that anywhere from 15 to 30 grams of Acacia per day is a safe dose but talk to your doctor before giving it to younger children or older adults. They may suggest adjusting dosage to avoid any potential digestive or absorption issues.

Corresponces

Planet: Sun

Element: Air, Spirit

Gender:  Masculine

Powers: Fidelity, Immortality, Psychic Abilities, Protection

Deity: Osiris, Astarte, Ra, Zeus, Isis and Diana

Sabbat: Litha

Folk Names: Cassie Flower, Catechu, Egyptian Thorn, Gum Arabic, Cape Gum

I hope you enjoy the new tree series.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Healthline.com

Posted in Air, Business, Egypt, folklore, healing, Health, Litha, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, occult, Osiris, Pagan, sorcery, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft, Zeus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hindsight and 2020

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Happy New Year, everyone.  Not just a new year but a new decade and all.  It isn’t exactly starting out so well for some… well, for many, if I’m honest.  Australia is on fire like never before, and not in a good way.  United States just rattled Iran’s cage very hard by killing Soleimani.  Blowback will not be pretty.  Love him or hate him, United Kingdom now has Boris Johnson firmly ensconced as Prime Minister.  And nearly every country is experiencing harsh weather of some kind in the form of flooding, fires, extreme snow and ice; extreme heat for others.

I have predictions for the decade, but I never share them online.  I just keep them to myself in hopes some of them do not come to fruition. But all of the above does go hand in glove with a prediction I made in 1974.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this gift.  Still, I always know that these things may not come true if we somehow work together in harmony.

Let’s step back from the doom and gloom though.  Let’s try to figure out what we can individually do to right the wrongs in our own lives and how it can affect others.  How can each of us change a thing about ourselves, our base nature, which might help bring a lot more joy into the world?

None of us are superheroes/heroines.  No one really expects Batman to swoop down and take care of the badness at hand, do we?  Of course not.  But, if you’re reading this, you are probably a very strong individual.  And, if you are reading this, you are most likely a witch.  If you can’t change things, nobody can.

Now is the time for working great magick.  No matter where you are in the world, no matter which of the most pressing issues are the one or one’s which worry you most, you can work effectively at bringing about the right change needed.  Even the newest of our spell-makers can effect change with the right belief in themselves and the Universe.  We can turn the tide, if we so choose to.

New Year Witch Pledge

by Abby Willowroot

But sometimes, it is not enough to merely cast a spell.  We must put into effect the positive lifestyle changes that may bring about world peace or getting politicians on board with climate change.  We must first be the change to effect the change.  I can’t tell you how you must individually do this.  Only you will know how.  This may mean an extra bit of meditation, divining, or communing with the spirits to bring about your answer, still, you are the master or the mistress of your own ship.

I will not say this will be easy.  It won’t be. And we can’t give up just because things will get worse. All things normally get worse before getting better so pluck up your courage and keep fighting. If you have children, or planning to have children, or have grandchildren, you must not give up.  It is their future we work for, not just our present.  And, we can’t just try to make one place whole again without wanting the entirety of the world to be whole.  What good would there be in a dome over your city or village whilst doom and destruction raged all around it and over?  What we do must be for the greater good.  We need each other, world-wide. There was a song in the Seventies by singer-songwriter Sting.  One line always stood out to me.  It went, “Russians love their children, too”.  That changed my mind about the world entirely.  It made me realise that no matter what kind of fighting was going on between countries or within, those people loved their children as much a Brit or American or anyone loved theirs.  They, too, wanted peace and happiness for their children. People just want to get on with their lives and work, go home, eat supper, talk with their families.  It matters not what religion or colour they are.  It matters not which country they live in. We are all fundamentally and biologically the same the world over.

Now, please, let’s do something positive about it. At the end of the 2020’s, let’s not yet again say “hindsight is 20/20”.

Many thanks for reading.  I wish the happiest of new years to all whom wander this way and as always, warmest most heart-felt blessings x

Posted in Business, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Climate Emergency, Global Crisis, Global Heating, Global Warming, happy new year, Magic, Magickal, Pagan, People, Tragedy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yule 2019 Blessings to All

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

yule blessings

Yule Blessings – by unknown

Happy Yule, my friends.  Today is the first day of Yule which runs through 2 January 2020. It is, as you know, the shortest day of the year, and beginning tomorrow until Summer Equinox, will grow longer by small minutes, at first too small to notice, then as more extra minutes accrue, we will begin to see the days grow longer.  In the UK, the “night” comes at around 4 pm, give or take now, but eventually in Summer, it won’t be dark until nearly 10 pm. [fun fact:  The shortest day lasts 7 hours 49 minutes and 43 seconds in London. This means that the length of day during the winter solstice is 8 hours, 48 minutes and 37 seconds shorter than the summer solstice.]

It’s like gaining an extra day comparatively! But for now, bring out your sun lamps and keep your spirits up… It only goes upward from here.

That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway….

I don’t normally post a blog on a Sunday, but life has been a series of “abnormalities” for my family and myself this last few months, so why not an abnormal day for a blog post? Abnormal is the new normal and I can appreciate that most of you reading this will know exactly what I mean.  I’m not one to share my business online.  In the 60’s and 70’s when I was growing up, it was never the done thing… to “air your dirty washing” or in other words, speak of your problems or talk about money.  I kind of miss those times because people girded their loins and found ways to get by without taking charity from neighbours or family.  Then again, the new “psychiatry” in the form of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where people make pleas for help as easily as we used to smile and nod at passers-by, can have its cathartic moments for some.  I guess it all boils down to what works.  I can’t do it and it’s a product [or some might say, a symptom] of my upbringing that I can’t pour my troubles out to people I’ve never seen before… so why am I contemplating it here in my blog?

Just to clear the fog… to explain my absence from writing… to prove I am human… just what, I am not sure.

I think, that at this time of year, when we have passed through the dying process of Samhain, and we are in the process of rebirth as we grow within the Yule like a babe in the womb, awaiting Ostara and Beltaine and being reborn anew, I feel I must first whisk out a few more crumbs of fear, doubt, and worry.

Yule

Artist Unknown

My health, which I won’t go into details, they aren’t important, took an annoying turn for about close to four months. I am much better now, but it has been a time of trial and error, for that was the only way to find the culprit of my poorliness.  Apart from that some other expectations went down the plughole and business has been the worst it has been since we began this business in 2013.  I still haven’t found the answer to this one but it’s an ongoing process of yet more trial and error. It hasn’t helped any that my daughter has been left off work schedule on her job for going on the third week again.  Good old zero hours contracts.  But the worst bit of all was a week ago, my ex-husband, father of my three young witches, had a heart attack. Had he not gotten to hospital when he did, he was told, it would have ended differently in a bad way. He had a procedure to remove the fully blocked artery and the partially blocked artery’s build up of plaque and catheters implanted and now on six medications to keep this from happening again.

Well, if there is one thing I know I can always put my belief into, and that is the power of herbs and diet.  So, to help my ex, I have been scouring the internet for meals which can benefit him in keeping his arteries de-clogged and help him to feel his best.  As I go, I see the benefit in eating this way for myself and my live-at-home son and daughter as well.  My son is 25 and worries he may have some heart issues [although so far through testing we have found no evidence] because of palpitations and my daughter, 29, has her own issues.  They both eat like teenaged boys.  Some of you who read my blogs regularly, may remember my Fizz Free February blogs where I cut myself off from sugar completely for that month.  The results have been excellent in warding off my pre-diabetic troubles and for the most part, helping me to shed the extra weight I’ve carried since the birth of my twins in 1994! Oh, I had lost that post-partum weight probably twenty times over during the last 25 years but of course, I would pile it back on for one reason or the other.  Since last year I have kept it off a record number of months for me.  Result.

Come January, there will be adverts galore for gym memberships and meal plans and what-have-you.  And you can find a gajillion “diets” on the web – Keto, Vegan, etc, etc, etc – and I’m sure they all have their merits. I won’t talk badly about any of them because I have never tried those.  But, my advice to anyone having possible diabetic, heart, or any other issues is to follow first your doctor’s advice and secondly, tailor your diet to your needs.  Luckily, the heart-healthy diet we are embarking upon is good for not only our hearts but all our issues.  It is mostly sugar-free and lactose-free for me, anti-artery clogging for my ex and all of us, and mostly vegetarian with the odd chicken breast or salmon, as an ingredient here and there [it is not Vegan however, as there are some cheeses involved occasionally] .  Environmentally, it is sound as well, for it will get me back into the garden growing more herbs and other edibles and best of all, no more red meat bought by my ex.  I had given up red meat before it became a thing for the environment, but he was not ready to go down that road.  He is now. Result.

the yule log

Unknown artisit

As you can see, we’re having a Yule clear-out in our family.  It is time to become responsible adults.  When we crawl out of the womb of Winter come Spring, we would like to be born again as healthier, wiser people.  Think about it for yourself and your own family.  If you already eat healthily and for the environment, good on you.  If not, please do…

And there you were thinking I would speak of Yule logs and other assorted Yule pleasures.  Maybe next year.  My main priority this year is hopefully sparking a flame that will help my witchy friends become the healthiest they can be next year.  That is the best magick of all.

Many thanks for reading and the warmest of Yule blessings to all whom wander this way. x

Posted in Business, Christmas, Health, Herbs, Magic, Magickal, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samhain, All Hallows Eve, and Mercury in Scorpio Retrograde Blessings 2019

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Hello, dear readers.  Yes, I have been away for a long time.  Too long.  It’s been a busy old time here at the Covenstead and not much time for writing, I fear.  But I have been thinking of you and what topics I can write about in the months ahead, so I hope you felt that.

And, of course, I have been readying things for Samhain and All Hallows Eve. Today and tonight are one of our most mysterious Sabbats.  How will you be spending your All Hallows Eve/Samhain?

crossing the veil

Crossing the Veil, artist unknown

As a solitary hedge witch, I shall spend it alone mostly. But tonight, as the veil between the worlds shifts and thins, I shall be “riding the hedge”, visiting with and speaking to my ancestors [and any other Ancient Ones who wish to have a word].  In the last few weeks of being away I have been working [again] on my genealogy.  This has been an off and on process for nearly thirteen years in the making.  At this time, I have worked back as far as twenty-six generations down four lines and at least as far back as thirteen to sixteen on others.  Why is this important to what this blog is about? Perhaps it is only important to me… you see, I use many different methods of speaking with the ancestors. Almost every time I get a new face or a new name coming through along with the “regulars”.  I keep note of the names and sometimes check my genealogical records and do not find this name.  I go away thinking, “must be someone outside the family”.  Not so, in around seven cases as I have deepened my search, I have found the names, far back in time… I had only not gotten to them yet over the years. And, knowing names, and recognising names are very important to me in this kind of work.  It isn’t something you must do, per se, but it surely doesn’t hurt.

When I meet with the ancestors they don’t always speak in words – which is good because my ancestors come from many places.  Not only from England, Scotland, Wales, and France as I was already aware of, but also from Holland, Finland, Iberia, Belgium, and Italy as I have learned recently.  I listen with all my senses as advice, questions, warnings, and the like come through in different ways.  Sometimes, no messages come through at all, but more like a warm feeling of familial respect and love. It is always nice to meet a new one whom I had never met before.  Interestingly, when I am typing in the information that I have for a newly found ancestor, I sometimes get immediate messages if something is wrong with what I’m typing.  Not about typing errors but about the person’s name or other things like dates regarding this person.  Thanks to the rapport I have with them, they have saved me from putting the wrong name or date into my genealogy several times.

Enough about my penchant for learning about my ancestors.  We have yet another Mercury in Retrograde, in Scorpio no less, and it starts today, as well. What has this special retrograde have to do with All Hallows Eve and hedge riding, apart from that all fall squarely on 31 October? I think it bears thinking about that this particular retrograde is for helping us have a good old clear out.  Not the usual hoarding house clear out but the kind where you clear out the skeletons and other junk cluttering up our lives inside our heads.  De-cluttering our grey matter on occasion is good for the soul.  And, as the portal between the worlds opens, it is also the best time for remembering who we are and where we come from.  And, obviously, the best way to do this is to speak with those whom have gone before you.

By knowing who you are and meeting with whom and what has gone before you, it makes it easier to find ways to understand yourself.  It can also help you find ways of forgiving those who wronged you all those years ago. And by the same idea, it can help you to forgive yourself for any wrongs you feel you have committed.  It gives you a chance to speak directly to those you may feel you have wronged and to say, “I’m sorry”.  Believe me, I think most of us feel worse about our wrongs toward others than we do about the one’s others have done to us. in many cases.

No one is going to think poorly of you if you take a few “well-being” days away from the office this next few weeks [retrograde runs through the 20th of November, yay] and a little forewarning – taking 11 November off might be a good idea for those who allow their mouths to take over when emotions run high.  It wouldn’t do to tell your boss to go f him/herself.  Just saying.

Mercury in Retro not

from hudabeauty.com

Still, as bad as a Mercury Retrograde may sound, it can be a good thing with a little forward planning.  It doesn’t affect everybody exactly the same.  Each star sign, whether you’re an Aries or Taurus, or Sagittarius, will find different effects for themselves.  You can get an idea by going here where it is explained what to expect according to your star sign. Whatever affectation the retrograde takes upon you, prepare and just take it slowly.  Take the time to get your mental clearing sorted and by the end of it all, I feel quite sure you’ll be fine. And, still have your job 😊

Thank you for reading and warmest blessing upon all whom this way wander.  Have a very nice Samhain, All Hallows Eve, and a very relaxed Mercury in Retrograde x

Posted in Business, Human Nature, Magic, Magickal, Pagan, Sabbats, Samhain, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment