From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Liquorice Root

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I don’t normally write about herbs/spices/woods/roots that are more predominantly used in HooDoo/Conjure spells or witchcraft as I’m not 100% familiar with this kind of sorcery, however, I have a love affair with Liquorice root which I must write about!  No matter what kind of witchcraft you’re into – Green, Hedge, Kitchen, etc – this root is easily applied to most in one form or another.  And, most of all, it can be an excellent health aid when necessary.

Liquorice Allsorts

Liquorice Allsorts ~ heaven!

Liquorice root [Glycyrrhiza glabra], which means “sweet [glykys] root [rhiza]” in Greek and “glabra” is Latin for “smooth”, is a legume. It is native to the Mediterranean and parts of  South-West Asia and particularly to the Indian subcontinent, where it is called “Mulethi”.  It is a perennial herb/spice that grows to over a metre and a half tall.  It is not botanically related to Anise, Star Anise, or Fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. As many of you know, Liquorice root is the primary flavour you find in… Liquorice! And, growing up, I was the odd child who adored Liquorice Allsorts, along with horehound, and boiled sweets of any sort.  Most children were after anything with chocolate in it, but not the oddity that was my small self.

Magickal

Liquorice Root

Liquorice Root ~ Photographer Unknown

The first thing you’re ever taught in little witches’ school is to carry a piece of Liquorice root in your pocket to attract love.  I highly expect that was from back in the time when a young lad would smell the sweet scent of Liquorice and be extra nice to the young lady who smelled of it!  But oh, is there ever much more you can use Liquorice root for.

In HooDoo, it is used primarily for compelling or dominating someone.  I personally don’t do this kind of magick, but if you do, this apparently is the one for making a lover do your bidding or anybody for that matter.   It is alleged to grant the bearer control over a person or situation. Because of this, Liquorice root is an ingredient in formulas used for controlling others, including Commanding Powder and Essence of Bend-Over Oil. I read that one can mix Liquorice root with Commanding Powder and sprinkle it around the room where they will meet someone they wish to control. You can also add Liquorice root to a conjure bag filled with so-called Love-Herbs, in order to dominate in a love affair. And, of course, chips of Liquorice root can be burned as an incense while doing a domination candle-spell.

Not judging those who wish to practise this kind of magick, but not my cup of tea.

A way to use Liquorice root/powder that is more up my street is that you can use it in spell-work to empower yourself and to strengthen your own will.  By this, after enchanting the root or powder for your purpose to strengthen your will or to empower you to do a necessary task, make a tea of it and as you drink, imagine yourself having the power to pass that test or to ace that job interview.  If you feel your will has been lagging, the same principle applies.  Or, if for health purposes you feel you should not drink the tea, you can either sprinkle it over yourself before the task.  You can also carry the root in a pouch which you have already cleansed and consecrated and enchanted for your purpose – yes, much like a HooDoo mojo bag.

Correspondences

Planet:  Mercury, says Culpeper, Cunningham says Venus

Gender:  Male [Feminine according to Cunningham]

Zodiac:  Gemini and Virgo

Element:  Fire [Water according to Cunningham]

Powers:  Love, Lust, Fidelity, Commanding, Control, Domination

Deity: Cliodhna, Freya, Hathor, Eros, Pothos, Mercury

Other Names:  Lacris {Welsh], Lycorys [probably medieval English with a Latin bent], Reglisse [Welsh], Sweet Root

Healing

In Nicholas Culpeper’s book, The Complete Herbal and English Physician, he writes:

Liquorice Plant

Liquorice Plant ~ Telegraph.co.uk

It [Liquorice] is under the dominion of Mercury.  Liquorice boiled in fair water, with some Maiden-hair and figs, makes a good drink for those that have a dry cough or hoarseness wheezing or shortness of breath, and for all the griefs of the breast and lungs, phthisic or consumptions caused by the distillation of salt humours on them  It is also good in all pains of the reins, the stranguary, and heat of urine: The fine powder of Liquorice blown through a quill into the eyes that have a pin and web [as they call it] or rheumatic distillations in them doth cleanse and help them.  The juice of the Liquorice is as effectual in all the diseases of the breast and lungs, the reins and bladder, as the water, with some Gum Tragacanth, is a fine licking medicine for hoarseness, wheezing, &c.”

[Reins, if you’re wondering, dates back to Biblical times as the name for the kidneys]

Exactly as it is still used today.  As in regard to Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges which contain sugar, liquorice extract, menthol, eucalyptus oil, dextrin, tragacanth, and capsicum tincture.  And, believe me, these work a treat on any sore throat and cough.

For most of us who use the holistic approach to medications, a simple cup of Liquorice tea will do a world of good.  And the good thing about Liquorice tea is, apart from all its healing qualities, that you do not need to add sugar.  Liquorice root is said to be fifty times as sweet as caster sugar which you would normally use in your tea.  There are more than 300 different compounds in Liquorice, some of which have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.  It is said to help eczema, impetigo, cellulitis, and folliculitis which are believed to be caused by Staphylococcus aureus. 

Other uses for Liquorice [not only the root but the leaves as well] is for stomach discomfort/ulcers, Hepatitis C, and tooth decay.  It was found that an extract containing glabridin and glabrene, which are flavonoids present in Liquorice root, is effective in relieving stomach discomfort. The extract reduced nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn. Glycyrrhizin may help treat hepatitis C, a virus that infects the liver. Without treatment, Hepatitis C can cause inflammation and long-term liver damage. Researchers have reported that glycyrrhizin demonstrates antimicrobial activity against hepatitis C in cell samples and may hold promise as a future treatment for this virus. Doctors in Japan have used the injections in patients with Hepatitis C which improves their health where no other drug does.  Some research suggests that Liquorice may help kill bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay.

And, of course, Liquorice is phenomenal for soothing a sore throat and many people think of Liquorice as a sore throat remedy, as such.  To prove a point,  a small study recruited people who were having a breathing tube inserted into their oesophagus before surgery. Following its removal, the breathing tube can cause a postoperative sore throat, known as POST. The researchers showed that gargling a Liquorice solution for 1–15 minutes before surgery was as effective as a ketamine gargle in reducing the incidence and severity of POST.  Another similar study found that solutions with a higher concentration of Liquorice were more effective than less concentrated solutions in improving POST.  I know which I would rather gargle with in light of all the bad business with ketamine!

Now, for the side effects and admonishments, which you know are coming…

Number one – if you have high blood pressure, it is best to avoid Liquorice tea or any product with real Liquorice in it [many sweets claiming to be Liquorice are flavoured with Anise oil as it tastes similarly].   Recently in the UK, a woman fell ill with nausea, headaches, and dizziness.  When she went to her GP she was diagnosed with hypertension.  It was caused by her drinking three cups of Liquorice tea a day!  As soon as she stopped drinking it, her symptoms disappeared.  Please, DO NOT make this mistake.  Yes, it is a delicious tea but too much of a good thing is not good as we all know.

I won’t tell you not to have a cup of Liquorice tea if you only use it for a sore throat or cough if you use it in moderation.  Even if you do have mild high blood pressure.  My blood pressure can get a bit spikey at times, but I would never avoid the Liquorice tea altogether if I needed it.  Still, I do want you to be forewarned that it is not a drink to have because you like it.  It is, in my mind, a completely medicinal tea and should be used only as such.

With that said, if your potassium levels are low, it is recommended not to eat or drink Liquorice as it causes your potassium levels to lower.   This can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy, and worst still – congestive heart failure – the path that poor woman in Sheffield was headed toward drinking three cups of the tea a day!

Pregnant women should not consume large quantities of Liquorice or take Liquorice root as a supplement. One study found that the glycyrrhiza in Liquorice could harm the developing brain of the foetus, leading to cognitive problems later in life. An older study found that heavy Liquorice consumption during pregnancy could lead to preterm birth.

Potential drug interactions

drugs that lower potassium

blood pressure medications

diuretics, also called water pills

heart rhythm medications

blood thinners, such as warfarin [Coumadin]

oestrogen, hormone therapy, and birth control pills

corticosteroids

Please always use any tea or supplement under the advice of your healthcare provider.  Unless you are a licensed holistic or Aruyvedic practitioner, or at least a long-term practitioner of holistic healthcare, you may not always know what does or doesn’t work well with prescription medications.  Please do not take any chances with your health.

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

Sources

Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5080527/Woman-48-drinks-three-cups-liquorice-tea-day.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardenprojects/10958614/Could-liquorice-return-to-Britains-gardens.html

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The Magickal Boswellia Tree, or The Frankincense Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

FrankincenseTree

Boswellia Tree ~ unknown photographer

Ah, the Boswellia sacra tree!  The sap of this tree is the most used resin in all of history for purification, protection, consecration, and healing.  It is most prevalent in northern Somalia and the Dhofar mountain range in Oman.  Boswellia serrata also produces frankincense and is native to much of India and the Punjab region that extends into Pakistan. The Boswellia Sacra tree is rather small as trees go and it grows to a height of  about 2 to 8 metres or 6 to 26 feet.  The most famous product of either Boswellia tree is its resin… it is what we have come to know as Frankincense.

We learn about Frankincense from a very early age.  As children, many of us were brought up in Christian households, but not relegated to being Christian; practically every religion has heard the story of the Three Wise Men visiting the Christ child and the gifts they brought to honour him, one of which was Frankincense. Frankincense was used long before Christianity as incense and oil for consecration, purification, and protection of sacred spaces and people. The Catholic religion was, as far as I know, the first Christianity-based religion to use Frankincense.  The Church of England used incense throughout its history, until the mid-1600s, when it fell into disuse generally and subsequently became illegal. From that time, though, it continued to be used in worship in isolated instances, such as in York Minster, and since the mid-19th century its use has spread and increased. It forms a normal part of ACC liturgy and worship.  Jewish rabbis use consecrated frankincense in ritual, particularly in the ceremony of Ketoret.

Our cherished Frankincense supply could be in decline over the next years.  Read more in this article by the BBC.

Magickal

For most of you reading today, I would be hard placed to give you any new information about Frankincense in magick.  You already are familiar with using the resin along with tree bark and herbs for different spells.  You already know the oil is fabulous for protection.  And, you most likely burn Frankincense joss sticks for purification of your home or any sacred space.  I’m particularly pleased that I can still burn Frankincense for as I’ve grown older my olfactory sense has become very sensitive to Dragon’s Blood, which I adore.  Now, I can regularly burn Frankincense as it is gentle on my poor nose.

But Frankincense does not need to be burned to be effective.  It is one of the nine herbs, flowers, resins, and woods we use in our Protection Witch Bottles and Necromancer’s Witch Bottles.  It is believed that carrying a piece of Frankincense is protective.  It can be held in a small bowl on your altar as an offering to your favourite Sun God or Goddess.  You can anoint yourself or another with the oil for protection as well as anoint your altar or witch tools.  I would be interested to learn of your uses for the resin or the oil. Please use the comments section below.

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Gender:  Male

Element:  Fire

Powers:  Consecration, Healing, Protection, Purification, Spirituality

Deity:  Ra, Apollonius, Hephaestus, Venus, Sol [Helios], Buddha, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva [Hindu]

Sabbat:  Yule

Other Names:  Dhoop [Sanskrit], Frankincense tree,  Olibanum-tree, Olibanus, Olibans, Luban, Mohor, Beyo, Maid

Health

Resin made from Boswellia extract has been used for centuries in Asian and African folk medicine. It’s believed to treat chronic inflammatory illnesses as well as several other health conditions such as arthritis, some cancers, osteoarthritis, asthma, and irritable bowel disease [IBS].  Boswellia is available as a resin, pill, or cream.

Boswellia products can differ greatly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remember to speak to your doctor before using any herbal therapy.

General dosing guidelines suggest taking 300–500 milligrams (mg) by mouth two to three times a day. The dosage may need to be higher for IBD.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests 300–400 mg three times per day of a product that contains 60 percent Boswellia acids.

Boswellia may stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvis. It can accelerate menstrual flow and may induce miscarriage in pregnant women.

Other possible side effects of Boswellia include nausea, diarrhoea, acid reflux and skin rashes.

Boswellia extract may also interact with medications, including ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs].

Sources

BBC.co.uk

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia

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The Magickal Bodhi Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

The Bodhi tree doesn’t seem to be mentioned much in witchcraft and that may be down to its religious connotations.  It even has religiosa in its name, i.e., Ficus religiosa which means “sacred fig”. Can you eat the figs from the Bodhi Fig tree? As best I can tell, yes. But for the most part, the figs we eat usually come from the Common Fig [Ficus carica] tree.  And, here is a little fig fact for you [although, you might decide to give up eating this delicious fruit when you read the following]

Figs Are Not Vegan Because They Are Full of Dead Wasps

You’re welcome 😊 I’m pescatarian, not strictly vegan, therefore, this doesn’t stop me from eating a fig… although I did shed a tear for the poor mother wasp.

Bodhi_Tree_Marking_-_panoramio credit Neil Satyam

photo by Neil Satyam

Back to the Bodhi Fig.  This tree is also called “the tree of awakening”.  Many of you may already know that the Mahabodhi Tree, located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Bodhi.  The Bodhi is a many-storied tree and I could carry on writing about its lore; however, we shall move onto how it can benefit us in so many ways.

Magickal

Maha_Bodhi_tree_2 by Gr3krishna

the Mahabodhi Tree, photo by G3Krishna

I have never used any part of the Bodhi tree for magickal purposes.  As close as I may have come is using the branches from a huge Ficus tree that was once in our garden but died of natural causes, for wands.  But that was an entirely different genus of Ficus.  I have found very little regarding magickal endeavours with any part of the Bodhi tree.  It would seem, if you want to do anything magickal with a Bodhi tree you must own one or travel to a place that does have one.  No, you don’t necessarily need to travel to India to visit the Bodhi for magickal or enlightenment purposes, however, you will need to travel to where they can be grown as they need warm temperatures.  I have read where they grow in the United State’s California and Florida.  And, I have also found a website which sells the seeds to grow your own Bodhi for a reasonable price.  If you live in the US, you can purchase a Bodhi tree in a 4-inch container for not an unreasonable amount of money, but it will need to be ordered and p&p will apply, I am sure.  How would you use a Bodhi tree if you could travel to one or buy a small pot plant?

According to my go-to for odd trees, Tess Whitehurst writes:

Protection

“The Bodhi tree’s divine alignment and active positivity provides a potent protection boost  Whilst simply spending time with a Bodhi tree can increase the natural protectiveness of your personal energetic field, walking around the trunk in a clockwise direction nine times will have a particularly protective and purifying effect.”

Wisdom

“If you’re in need of a little wise guidance, or you would like to increase your own personal wisdom on any given issue you need look no further than a living bodhi tree.  A true guru of the tree kingdom, simply spending time with a bodhi tree can offer the counsel you need.  For this purpose, visit the tree as you would a spiritual master, kneel near the trunk and silently offer up your challenge or situation through your thoughts and emotions.  Then, simply relax and be with the tree until you feel entered, grounded and calmly certain about how to proceed.”

She also speaks of healing, rainmaking, and nature spirits. If you would like to buy a copy of her book, find her under Sources below.

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Gender:  Male

Element:  Air

Powers:  Fertility, Healing, Nature Spirits, Rainmaking, Protection, Wisdom

Deity:  Buddha [all], Brahma, Vishnu, Siva [Hindu]

Sabbat:  Litha

Other Names:  Peepul tree, Bo tree [Hindi], sacred fig, Aswattha [Sanskrit]

Health

All parts of the Bodhi Tree have been used as a medicine for their cooling and healing properties, as part of the Ayurvedic healing system. They have been used to treat various diseases of the skin and blood, digestive, reproductive, respiratory and other body systems.  I have yet to learn where any part of the tree can be obtained from to aid in at-home Ayurvedic healing or holistic healing, of which I use both in my practise.

Some known medicinal uses reported in the literature are:

Leaves – to relieve diarrhoea and dysentery

Fruit – to treat asthma, digestive problems and as an antidote against venom and other poisons

Seeds – for urinary ailments

Bark – as an antibiotic against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli

Sap – to remove warts

Roots – to heal ulcers and gum disease

“Oh, Aswattha tree! You are a God.

 You are king among trees.

 Your roots represent Brahma, the Creator;

 your trunk represents Siva, the Destroyer and your branches,

 Vishnu the Preserver.

 As such you are the emblem of Trimurti.

 All those who honor you ;

 in this world by performing Upanayama,

 walk round you, adoring you and singing your praise;

 obtain remission of their sins in this world and bliss in the next.

 I praise and adore you.

 Pardon my sins in this world and give me a place with the blessed after death”.

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

Sources

EarthStoriez

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia

 

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The Magickal Bay Laurel Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

If you guessed that this is the tree where our beloved Bay leaves come from, you are correct.  The Bay Laurel [Laurus nobilis] is the aromatic, sun-loving tree which is renowned from the ancient Greek and Roman times as the embodiment of fame, victory, and success.  The victors of those times [think Julius Caesar] wore Laurel crowns… as a matter of fact, Italian high school graduates continue this tradition today.  The word “laureate”, which comes from the word laurel, indicates a high level of mastery and recognition, as in Poet Laureate.  And I am sure you have also heard of the phrase “rest on one’s laurels”.

Magickal

Bay Laurel Tree gardener focussed dot co dot uk

Bay Laurel “Lolipop” tree ~ gardnerfocused.co.uk

Bay is definitely aligned with fame, winning, successfulness in all you do.  We use it extensively in magick.  But why? And how? Many times, we may use an herb or spice because a spell requires it without giving much thought to why are we using this particular herb or spice. If you have used bay leaves in a success, luck, or money spell then you may have had great success with the spell.  But, did you know that your herbs and spices may not work so well unless you enchant them to do your bidding first? My personal enchantment routine is to hold each item I choose to go into my spell work in my “power hand”, which for me is my right hand. Then I choose the correspondence of the herb that I wish to enchant it for… most herbs and spices have a variety of correspondences, as you may know.  Some may do multiple different things such as money, fertility, protection, etc. So, if you want money, you must enchant that herb/spice for its correspondence of money and not fertility. Then, holding the herb in my power hand, I speak my enchantment to it nine times.  After I feel the sudden warmth in my hand, I know it is ready to be added to my spell potion or incense.

Other ways in which to use the wonderful Bay leaf are for prosperity, wish granting, psychic abilities and more… one quick spell anyone can do is to write “prosperity” onto a Bay leaf in gold ink [you can get gold ink pens at most department stores with any kind of stationary department] and then burn the Bay leaf, focussing your intent for prosperity as it burns.  For protection, burn Sage along with Bay leaves to cleanse your space needing protection.  For success, hold a Bay leaf and channel your desire into the leaf until you feel it is working, then burn the leaf. You can also add one or more Bay leaves to any magickal working performed with the intention to manifest any variety of success.  Another way to draw money into your life is to empower four Bay leaves during the New Moon in the light of the noon Sun, then place them in your wallet or cash box.

Anti-Harassment Spell

Hold a single Bay leaf between your flat palms in prayer pose near your heart.  Fell or imagine a bright sphere of sunlight surrounding your and shielding you from all negative effects of harassment and unwanted advances.  Call upon Daphne to support you in this intention and remind yourself that you are not deserving of such treatment.  Vow to yourself that you will refuse to tolerate it or take to heart any longer.  Then place it in a drawstring bag, along with a haematite stone, and wear it around your neck so that it rests over your heart.  Thank Daphne for her help and wear as needed. ~ Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Trees

Correspondences

Planet:  Sun

Gender:  Male

Element:  Fire

Powers:  Anti-Harassment, Healing, Psychic Abilities, Prosperity, Protection, Success, Wish Granting

Deity:  Apollo, Daphne, Gaia, and Peneus

Sabbat:  Litha

Folk Names:  sweet Bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel

Health

basil_leaves soap kitchen dot co dot uk

Bay Laurel leaves, dried ~ thesoapkitchen.co.uk

Most of us have used Bay leaves in cooking meals, particularly Italian dishes. But did you know that Bay leaves have the ability to detoxify the body, slow the ageing process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimise digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer?

Bay leaves have a profound effect on our gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulating vomiting [as an emetic] when something toxic has been consumed. Furthermore, the organic compounds found in bay leaves are very effective for settling upset stomachs, soothing irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] or even lessening the symptoms of Celiac disease.

Having a hard go of breathing due to flu or cold?  Melt down some bee’s wax, add a little bit of a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil, then some Bay leaf essential oil [the higher the grade, the better to make a salve.  Rub on your chest and not only will it help you breathe better by loosening the phlegm, but its antibacterial properties will help rid you of the bacteria trapped in your respiratory tract.

Don’t be too quick to chuck out that salve when your cold is all better! You can likewise use it on arthritic joints or sore muscles for relief of pain.

** “Bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the Bay Laurel tree. There are some varieties that are toxic when consumed. You can purchase Bay Laurel leaf in capsule form.  There is no scientific evidence I can find that it works, but as mentioned earlier, it is also believed to prevent certain cancers and lower glucose levels in diabetics.  Please see your GP before embarking on any kind of self-treatment for disease.

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

Sources

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Wikipedia

WebMD

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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