The Magickal Buckthorn Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

One of the first questions which pop up under ‘People also ask’ if you Google Buckthorn Tree is “Is Buckthorn good for anything?” .  Really? I felt quite indignant! Aren’t all trees good for something, if not multiple things? Maybe having a Druid father makes me feel indignant over that question, however, should you be one of those who might ask this, let me very patiently explain just what the Buckthorn tree is good for… and hopefully the people who do ask that question routinely will find satisfying answers here 😊

Buckthorn Flowers

Buckthorn flowers ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Buckthorn [Rhamnus cathartica] tree is native to countries from the central British Isles south to Morocco, and east to Kyrgyzstan.  It is also native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia.  Mature trees can grow to a height of 10m, with grey-brown bark and spiny branches. The leaf buds are conical and black brown in colour, and form on long stalks. Buckthorn is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on different trees. Flowers are yellow green with four petals and are pollinated by insects.  It is similar to alder buckthorn [Frangula alnus] but purging Buckthorn has opposite leaves and Alder Buckthorn has alternate leaves.

Purging Buckthorn is the main food plant of the brimstone butterfly whose caterpillars eat the leaves. Its flowers provide a source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, while its dense growth makes it a valuable nesting site for birds. So, yes, it is good for something, our Buckthorn!

Buckthorn Berrys

Buckthorn berries ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

However, in many places it seems to take over wherever it lives.  Not only in the UK but mostly in the US where the common Buckthorn lives [brought over by the English back during the Great Pilgrim Migration]  is a bit of a nuisance.  Whilst birds [and sometimes mice] do eat Buckthorn berries, it’s often because it’s the only available seed source. But Buckthorn berries are not a good food source for small birds. They’re low in protein and high in carbohydrates and produce a severe laxative effect in some animals. For smaller birds, the laxative effect can even be strong enough to result in death. Adding insult to injury, the excreting birds also end up distributing the Buckthorn seeds over long distances. And, that means more Buckthorn.

Now you might see why it is called “purging Buckthorn” sometimes…

Let us talk about magickal uses now!

Magickal

Tess Whitehurst, in her book The Magic of Trees, calls the Buckthorn “a Taurus with an Aries rising” because it is a tree which is stubborn enough to see anything through.  Sometimes, in magick, we really need that kind of tenacity!

Buckthorn Seedlings

Buckthorn seedling ~ Treegrowers.co.uk 

It is said that if you wish to de-hoard your home but can’t get the energy up to do so, place a 50p coin [or a 50 cent piece in the US or anywhere else which uses 50 cent coins] at the base of a Buckthorn tree.  Then, ask permission of the Buckthorn tree to snip a branch from it, doing so with love.  Use this branch to purify the air in your home before starting the task of decluttering, moving through each room using an anti-clockwise sweeping motion. When finished, give the branch back to the earth by laying it on the ground.  Start small… clear out one small space, such as a cupboard.  Continue choosing one small space to clear as you feel more up to it until you have de-hoarded every place in your home. And, if it works as well as I think it should, you might well be motivated to clear your home much sooner than you first imagine!

Buckthorn is likewise a good ally in beginning any kind of endeavour, whether a new business, new job, or anything in which you feel you need extra “sticktoitness”.  I would suggest doing the same ritual as above, only “sweeping” yourself with the branch.  I would also snip off a small piece of the Buckthorn branch and use it as a talisman to help you keep motivated but still leave the largest piece of the branch to the earth outdoors as described above.

If beginning any kind of new project, whether for work or school, visit a Buckthorn tree at noon.  Empower a crystal [one which has powers of success is best, such as Citrine] with your intention, holding it in bright sunlight if possible.  Imagine yourself feeling joyful and successful in embarking upon this project, working faithfully until complete.  Imagine your success and the honours it might bestow, and your satisfaction of a job well done.  Empower the crystal with all the confident feelings you have and when you feel this is complete, bury the crystal at the base of the Buckthorn, then pour an entire bottle of red wine around the tree’s roots.  Yes, you can use a cheap bottle 😊

According to Dioscorides, placing branches of Buckthorn around doors and windows drives away all evil sorceries committed toward you.

According to Scott Cunningham, it is wise to carry a piece of Buckthorn with you to all  court and legal matters and as a general good luck generator.

Correspondences

Planetary:  Saturn [Mars, according to Whitehurst]

Zodiac:  Sagittarius

Gender:  Feminine [Masculine, according to Whitehurst]

Element[s]:  Water [Earth, according to Whitehurst]

Powers:  Protection, Exorcism, Wishes, Success, Legal Matters, Strength, Tenacity

Deity:  Ran,  of the Vanir

Other Names: Purging Buckthorn, Common Buckthorn

Healing

Sadly, my go-to for all things herbal/tree/spice related information, Nicholas Culpeper, has no writings of Buckthorn so no words of wisdom from him.  However, I think you may have gotten the idea above that Buckthorn is an effective laxative.

Word of Caution: If you suffer from a bleeding disorder, Buckthorn berry can be dangerous, as it slows down blood clotting. Also, if you already are taking blood pressure medication or suffer from hypotension, this berry might not be a great choice. As always, you should speak with a medical professional before making any major changes to your diet.

That said, the berries of the Buckthorn are thought to be a preventative to many diseases and problems such as aging, anti-cancer, cholesterol, circulation, diabetes control, heart health, stomach problems, vision health and a vitamin C boost.

But please, do not just pluck the berries off from a tree and start eating them.  In a case like this, once you have a thumb’s up from your GP, order a proper supplement from a reputable vitamins and supplements dealer.

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

Sources

Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst

Woodlandtrust.org.uk

Posted in Business, healing, Health, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Turmeric

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

How-To-Grow-Turmeric-4 balcony gardens

Growing Turmeric ~ photo from Balcony Gardens

For health benefits I pair a half-teaspoonful of Turmeric powder and a dash of black pepper with Ginger root tea.  Perhaps one reason they work so well together is that Turmeric is a member of the Ginger family.  Turmeric [Curcuma longa] is a flowering plant and of course, both Turmeric and Ginger are used for cooking, particularly in the Middle Eastern countries, but Turmeric is also quite magickal.  It has  been long used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as haridra.  Oh, yes! It can be used as a dye, as well.  In fact, it was originally used as a dye, then found to be a flavoursome food additive, and then was found to be quite medicinal as well.  Always be certain the Turmeric you buy is orange/yellow, not orange/red.  Orange/red could mean impurities were added such as heavy metals, etc.

During the Vedic period in India, Turmeric was known as the ‘’golden spice’’ or the ‘‘spice of life’’ as it was associated with the sun. Significance was attributed to the bright yellow and saffron spice as the sun and sun Gods were a focal point of worship and ritual at the time. The main indigenous uses of Turmeric were rites and rituals intended to produce fertility and spiritual purification.

Magickal

Turmeric has been used in many cultures for increasing fertility in both humans and animals.  Some swear by wearing Turmeric in a charm for good health and protection.  For protective purposes in a ritual circle, Turmeric is sometimes sprinkled within its boundaries.  In Hawaii, Turmeric is mixed with salt and water, then sprinkled in the area wanting purification such as a sick room or even a ritual circle.

Because Turmeric implies a symbol of purity, fertility and prosperity among the Hindus. It is used in  rites and rituals. Turmeric powder along with sandal powder is used in preparing Kalabha to be poured on the presiding deities in temples.

The dried Turmeric roots in Betel leaves called Kumkum are given to the women during the ceremonies as they are considered as a fertility enhancer and bring good luck. Married Hindu women apply this on their forehead longitudinally along the hair partition path to indicate the marital status or smear Turmeric paste on either side of the cheek.  Turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and groom before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where it is believed to make the skin glow and keep harmful bacteria away from the body.

In southern India, the dried rhizome is often worn in an amulet as protection against evil and to bring about healing or good luck.

Correspondences

Planetary: Sun

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Leo

Element: Fire

Chakra:  Solar Plexus

Powers:  Fertility, Health, Purification, Protection

Deity:  Kaali, Naaga, Vishnu, Durga,  Lord Krishna, Ganesh, Kali [Hindu]

Other Names: Olena [Hawaiian]

Health

Turmeric root by Julie Daniluk

Turmeric root ~ photo by Julie Daniluk

Unfortunately, my go-to for all things herbal and spice, Nicholas Culpeper, has no words of wisdom for Turmeric. Then again, he mainly wrote of what he knew from all over England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.  There is a good chance he had never tried the spice as it was either not being imported to Great Britain at the time or, if it was, he simply had not the chance to use it.  So, a lot of what you read now will be from my own use Turmeric and the findings I have.

In Ayurveda, the Hindu medicinal system, Turmeric is utilised extensively for its healing and health producing qualities. Spiritually it is used to balance the energies of the body while medicinally it is well known as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, digestive, antioxidant and diuretic agent. It is taken internally in the form of juice, tea and powder or applied topically in the form of lotions, ointments and pastes. Milk boiled with Turmeric and sugar is used in India as a cold remedy and the juice of the Turmeric root is often applied to help heal wounds.

My personal recipe to help keep my immune system up, as I had written about in my last blog, From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Ginger Root:

1-ounce grated Ginger root , steep covered for ten minutes.  I put my Ginger root in a tea diffuser/basket, but you can also just toss it into the hot water if you don’t mind Ginger bits floating round in your drink.  When ten minutes are up, lift out tea basket and add the following:

½ teaspoon powdered Turmeric

A dash or pinch of black Pepper

Stir very well and keep your spoon for you will need to stir it constantly as all of the Turmeric fails to dissolve in the water but if you stir again after each sip you won’t end up with a quarter teaspoon of Turmeric in the bottom of your cup.  It may sound like a bit of work, but the health benefits are very much worth it. 

So far, so good is all I know… its added health benefit is that because both the Ginger root and the Turmeric are both so very anti-inflammatory, my arthritis pain is all but a dream now.  Hand on heart, drinking two cups of this concoction a day is doing more for my pain than when I was having to take heavy prescription painkillers.

Turmeric is also said to be effective for ailments of the liver, such as jaundice.  Clinical trials have shown it to successfully reduce cholesterol levels.  Studies have shown it is also effective against H. pylori the cause of gastric ulcers.  It has also been found effective in some cancers.  Curcumin, the workhorse in Turmeric, can reduce LDL – or bad cholesterol – which will then prevent blood clotting, while removing arterial plaque build-up.

Turmeric contains phytochemicals and nutrients with several beneficial effects such as protecting body organs from damage, reducing cholesterol levels, improving blood-vessel health, controlling inflammation, combating infection, and more.  So, what isn’t there to love about Turmeric?

Stay healthy.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings upon all whom this way wander.  Please stay safe x

Sources

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Wikipedia.com

Experience

Posted in Ayurvedic, Ayurvedic Healing, Business, healing, Health, Herbalism, Herbs, Hinduism, Magic, Magickal, Uncategorized, wort cunning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fifteen Ways to Live in Self-Isolation or Full Stop Quarantine Without going Mad

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

It’s like all the bad bits from history assailed us all at one go.  Kind of like The Plague, 1918 Flu, and both Wars I and II hit at once.  We are now facing several dangerous enemies – Covid-19, the normal flu season, no toilet roll in supermarkets,  wars going on in other countries we have now all but forgotten, and a whacking big recession coming.  Oh, I should have thrown in the Great Depression up there just for some more bang.  Not that we need more bang.

Here is the thing… some people are now thinking they are ill when they aren’t.  We have had to fight the queues for the basic necessities for life as we know it.  If you have food for a week now, you might be rationing it just to make it stretch further because no one knows what the shops will be like in a week’s time or even if we will be allowed to go to them.  I can certainly understand the feeling we must hoard what we can but in truth, if we did not, everybody could have what they need, not just the privileged few who decided it was alright to buy up every last roll on the shelf.  But I digress. This is not what I mean to write about today.

Although food and toilet roll are precious commodities, so is our mental health.  Some of us have been self-isolating for a few days or longer.  Mainly those of us over 60 or 70 years of age or anybody with underlying health conditions. Personally, I do not mind for I have almost always been a very solitary soul.  As long as I have a cat, I’m alright.  But most of you are very social creatures and self-isolation could have you climbing walls already.

Then, of course, there is the never-ending news which never sounds very much more hopeful day after day.  This one is the real bug-a-bear.  Watching Sky or the Beeb or whatever news outlet you watch where you live will drag you further down the self-isolation rabbit hole. And, also reading your Google news feed.  All I can say is – stop.

uninspiredMy son, who is 25, came to Dr Mum [Me, of course]  last night saying he felt he should go to hospital.  Why? I asked him.

“I have a dry cough”

Me:  “Everyone in this house has a dry cough.  We always have dry coughs”

J:  “I am having trouble breathing”

Me:  “Use the nebuliser”

J:  “I’m worried it isn’t my asthma”

Me:  “What are your other symptoms?”

J:  “I think my blood pressure is high”

Me:  “I think you are having a mild anxiety attack”

J:  “But…”

Me: “I’ll take your blood pressure”

Yes, it was high.  So, I steeped up a good cup of Hawthorn tea for him and told him to drink it down, come back in half an hour and I would retake his BP.  Sure enough, his BP had gone down more than 20 points and he was actually in very good spirits… this is partially why I had him drink the Hawthorn tea… it is very much more calming than Chamomile and it does a world of good for high blood pressure and anything heart related.  He has been fine since.

J’s problem is, he watches too much news.  I knew this.  I get to feeling quite ill myself if I watch too much news.  As you are self-isolating or quarantined, do not make the mistake of watching news all day or reading news articles.  Please, for the sake of your sanity, stop!  You must already know the basics that we have hopefully been practising for at least a couple of weeks and that is 1] handwashing, 2] not touching your face 3] coughing/sneezing into the crook of your arm if a tissue is not available 4] social distancing, keeping at least 1 metre [3 feet] apart from others in public, and 5] using hand sanitiser when you can’t wash your hands and to wipe down the supermarket trolly push bar.  If you know and adhere to the basics, and self-isolate, you have a very, very good chance of getting through this.  The bad news is, it can and will take a huge toll on your mental health – if you let it.

Many of you are already aware of how the subconscious mind works and how whatever self-talk or outside bad influences you have fed it, is probably exactly what you are going to get in return.

ImageWhy feed it a steady diet of disease, death, destruction, and fear?  Unless those are things you aspire to then I think it best to leave them off.  It’s fluffy bunnies time!  Yes, fluffy bunnies.  It was a term my youngest daughter used when she wanted to be comforted.  And, by the time the fluffy bunnies arrived, she was no longer scared.  It’s a bit too much of a story to tell here but it worked.  We have to find our own fluffy bunnies as adults.

Here are a few ideas, but of course, some of these are things which comfort me; some are  ideas I thought of as I wrote. You can make a list of what you prefer for yourself… or, you are welcome to my fluffy bunnies 😊

Read a book from the past!  Which books have you read that gave you a good case of the feel happy’s?  Maybe it was a book from childhood… maybe something from in school or maybe even a book you have read to your child.  But if it makes you feel good, read it!

Join an ancestry website.  I’m currently working on two – Ancestry.co.uk [free but pay to get more out of it] and on Wikitree.com  [100% free].  Both are excellent and I’m really loving WikiTree at the moment because everyone contributes to one large tree from all over the world.  And, you can even find out how many degrees of separation you are from someone famous.  Best of all, after you have grown your part of the tree a bit you can also find out if you are related to a former Prime Minister, a former US President, a person who went to the American British Colonies on the Mayflower, as well as the signers of the Magna Carta!  I am a 10th cousin of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and there are 20 degrees of separation from King Henry VIII and myself…. That and £5 might get me a good latte 😊 The point is, it is fun and it gets you off the news.  Not to mention, you can make friends and learn more about your family’s past.

Exercise.  I can’t run, never could.  So, I won’t be out taking a morning run.  But I can go onto YouTube and find yoga, calisthenics, Pilates, and a plethora of other forms of exercise.  And, there are forms of all the exercises which can be done on a level for children, beginners, pros, even for Seniors.  One springs to mind for children [which can be also joined in by the whole family] is Joe Wicks’ “PE with Joe”.  Joe has informed the media that from Mondays through Fridays he will be holding live PE sessions for children being kept home by new isolation restrictions on his YouTube channel.  Of course, Mum and Dad are welcome to join in!  The best part is exercise helps to build your immunity.

Take up a new hobby.  I read the other day where actor Idris Elba [Luther] had begun teaching himself the guitar whilst in isolation.  His wife says he is doing pretty well at playing, despite never having learnt anything about it before.  Although Idris has Covid-19, he is doing the best he can in isolation mode not to allow himself to sit and stew on the problem and this frees his mind to help him to get well. Maybe you don’t have a guitar but there is something you can try… you never know, it might be something you can sell, and it becomes a new opportunity!

Sing.  Oh, don’t worry… I can’t sing, either, but it releases feel-good endorphins, so let’s do it!

Garden.  No, Boris won’t have you arrested for going into your back garden and planting a few seeds.  Herbs are always fabulously helpful things to grow.  Or, next time you cut open a pepper, save the seeds and plant them. Or plant a garlic.  You would be surprised how many things you can grow from the produce you bring into your home.

Start a YouTube channel.  Perhaps you can journal what you do every day to stay sane whilst in isolation… or do make-up tutorials… or read to children … teach…. it’s up to you!  If you can keep it bright and cheerful, helpful to others, it is just what to do!

Turn off notifications on your computer.  Yes, you can.  Go to your Notifications [lower right-hand corner of your screen], click on the gear icon, go to its settings and turn off notifications.  Now, DailyMail will leave me be with all the bad news flashes which I really can’t deal with whilst working online!

Use Skype to have parties.  It’s not recommended to be drinking or smoking spliff during all the Covid-19 going on, however, if you’re used to hanging out with your mates on the weekend and having a few drinks you can’t do it in person now.  But most people have Skype and if so, why not dial into each other, face to face, and knock back a few, and have a laugh. It’s better than nothing and much safer than pubs… which won’t be open anyway.

Make a mood board.  Surely you have some travel brochures, magazines, pics on your phone of things you would love to buy or whatever it is that stirs you.  So, using what you have… a large piece of cardboard or perhaps even the white back side of holiday wrapping paper taped to a wall; cut out and tape up on your board places you want to go or things you want to buy once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

meditate-meditation-sunsetMeditate.  If you have never tried to meditate this is a good time to start.  I will admit, I am no Maharishi Mahesh Yogi but after some practise, I can clear my mind longer than I once could.  It is definitely a practised act, meditation is.  No one is perfect at it from the first go.  Focus your mind on the quiet.  You can do this even if there is noise going on.  A few times in the past I have tried to focus on the quiet moment between raindrops.  I need much more practise to get to that lofty stage in my development!  The trick is to focus on silence but when you do have a though, recognise it then let it go and go back to focussing on silence itself.  Eventually you will have less thoughts bothering you as you meditate.  [listen to either Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra on YouTube for help in learning how to clear your mind of the endless “noise” it produces]

Self-teach.  Pick a subject you have always wanted to learn… or even one from in school which you wanted to learn but found it too problematic to bother with [probably because, like me, there were more fun things to be done than my maths!]  You can lean a new language… or Algebra, or History… whatever you choose.  Just have a look round YouTube, I’m sure you’ll find loads of tutorials.  My son recently built himself a gaming PC.  He never had never done this before, and he had never had any kind of class for it.  He decided it was what he wanted to do so, with a lot of help from YouTube and his own natural ability to make things work, he now has a top of the line gaming PC… which only cost him about 200.00 in parts! The same equivalent from a computer shop could have easily cost more like 1500.00.  All self-taught!

Ring up family and friends often.  Especially the elderly ones.  Let them know you are thinking of them.  Listen to them.  Don’t do all the talking.  They need you. And you need them.

Sit in the sun.  For at least, and probably not more than 15 minutes every day  when you see sunshine outside, go out and sit.  Best source of vitamin D and it will elevate your mood exponentially.  Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system.

Pray to the Universe.  Even we witches pray.  Our deity may not be the same as yours, but then, with all the religions in this world, it doesn’t matter.  If you aren’t particularly religious or don’t believe, pray to the Universe.  If we seek out the Universe for attracting what we want, why should we not be thankful to the Universe as well?  And, don’t blame the Universe for what is happening in the world; it is not the Universe’s fault.  It is what we as human beings have brought forth.  Not pointing a finger at anybody for I know what I have done to bring about Climate Change and other assorted calamities and I accept it.  But it is the catalyst for change within us.  So, no matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Wiccan, or whatever religion, pray to the Universe as well.  Thank the Universe for the lessons we are learning, although harsh.  Thank the Universe for the love It has for us and thank the Universe for the blessings.  Don’t ask for anything, just be grateful… you will come away feeling refreshed.  It may not sound like it, but it is a fluffy bunny moment! And, being in tune with the Universe is very beneficial to body, mind, and spirit.

So, there are my fifteen fluffy bunnies for you. Of course, I don’t do them all, but I do many of them and it helps ever so much!  And do notice I did not mention binge-watching programmes on Netflix or board games once!  There is only so much of either that anybody can handle.  I wish everyone the very best and do keep safe.  We will get through this and whilst apart, we will still get through this together.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessing upon those whom this way wander x

Posted in Business, healing, Health, Health and Safety, Human Nature, Meditation, Self Isolation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

OK, Coronavirus!

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I’m pretty cross at the moment… no, angry is more like.  I am fed up to the back of my teeth with what is going on right now, not just in this country but many others.  Let me count the ways:

  1. dailymail the bog roll planks

    The Toliet Roll hoarders ~ photo from the dailymail.co.uk

    Covid-19 is NOT going to give you diarrhoea, you complete planks!  Nor is it going to stop toliet roll being made.  You selfish, unthinking lot who go out to scavenge every last package of loo roll, toliet roll, toliet paper are doing a HUGE disservice to your fellow human being.  If you run out and you’re on self-isolation as I am because, [in case you give a toss], I am a 64-year-old woman with underlying health issues.  AND, I have two Gen Z adult children who still live at home, both of whom have underlying health conditions, therefore, we are stuck in and needing to order online… but guess what? THERE IS NO BLOODY TOLIET ROLL TO BE FOUND FOR LOVE OR MONEY.  So, thanks for that.

  2. Hand sanitiser bandits:  When you scoff up the lot to sell for whatever unreasonable amount you can jack the price up for or just to pile up in your garage for personal use, you probably have enough to not only see you through the Covid-19 pandemic but also through the never-gonna-happen Zombie Apocalypse!  When you HOARD things like this, muppet, you are ensuring that some other poor sod might die because he or she could not clean their hands after shopping [for not a hell of a lot, from what I’m seeing!] until they get home and, along the way maybe his or her eye begins itching too badly to ignore so they give it a quick rub and lo! They get coronavirus into their eye.  They will at the least get ill.  Or worse. Sociopath.
  3. People who think you can’t hear so they get up in your face to talk in the supermarket:  No.  Just NO.  Stay one metre away and please shout if you think I’m deaf,  but do not, please DO NOT get within spitting distance of someone’s face!

I could go on but I am feeling a little better just typing this out.  I know that people in this world have a better nature than this.  I am cross as hell, yes, but I am also seeing the good in people – people making sure the homeless get fed and get things they need…people delivering food and hopefully, toliet roll, to the elderly…people donating, businesses making hand sanitiser and giving it away for free… yeah, because you ones who decide you simply must have more hand sanitiser than your neighbour bought it all up!

save lives dont hoardSeriously, supermarkets will still open.  Delivery services will still bring your food and other essentials to you.  You will not starve, you will not go unclean, and you will not need to start tearing up your favourite magazines to wipe your bum!  Just give the flipping rest of us a break, please!!  We deserve our essentials as much as anybody else.

And… it would not surprise me in the least if the bog roll scoffers also have fancy-schmancy bidets in their bathrooms. You don’t even need the stuff, really. Well, maybe a little but flipping half dozen packages from every store you go into?  No.

I don’t think anybody who reads my blogs is this kind of person, if I’m honest.  But you know exactly the kind of person who is.  Do us all a favour and print my angry rant and post it to them.  I’m thinking of printing out several myself and going everywhere taping it to supermarket doors.  Ah, but I can’t… I’m self-isolating.  Because I give a ….. about my family, my self, and the planks who think it so clever to buy up all the bog roll and hand sanitiser!  War rationing should be brought back!

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

For your further reading pleasure [or displeasure as may be the case] I have compiled a common sense list of things you should know, but probably already do.

COVID-19 [aka Coronavirus] FACTS

You can be carrying the virus without feeling symptoms [asymptomatic].

You can be asymptomatic and still spread the virus to others.

People who are most at risk are – anyone with underlying health issues:  diabetes, asthma, cancer, auto-immune diseases such as any kind of thyroiditis, Lyme Disease, etc, and people over 60 years of age.

There is no present assurance that the disease won’t strike twice on one person.

People, particularly over 60 years old,  may eventually be asked to self-quarantine for the greater good of all for an indefinite period.

Coronavirus has been tested and found to stay on these surfaces for this amount of time:

Cardboard   –  up to 24 hours

Plastic and steel – up to 72 hours

Copper – up to 4 hours

Do not use Ibuprofen at this time, buy some Tylenol as Ibuprofen, being an anti-inflammatory could aggravate the infection because it weakens our own immune system

All countries are not reporting the correct number of infected

What everyone can do to prevent the spread

Disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, tap handles, everywhere people touch.

Wash hands thoroughly, not just your palms for 20 seconds.  It has been recommended that you sing Happy Birthday twice whilst washing as that takes about 20 seconds.  Also, wash under fingernails by scrubbing them on your soapy palms.

Do not shake hands with anyone.  Namaste is nice.

Keep a distance of at least a metre/3 feet  between yourself and others when you are in public

Use hand sanitiser after opening doors [especially at work or in stores], after getting into your car, etc

Use your wrist to turn off water taps, push door levers, especially when out in public

Sneeze and cough into your crooked elbow if you do not have a tissue. If you do use a tissue, throw it away immediately

Use knuckles to flip on light switches, push buttons.  Use your elbow to turn off water after washing hands.  You can even use your wrist to turn the doorknob.  Just keep in mind that once you have washed your hands, it does little good to immediately touch something that may have germs, particularly this one, on it.

Don’t rub your eyes, pick your nose, or put your fingers in your mouth unless just washed thoroughly.  Not being funny.  Eyes,  nose, and mouth are key entry points.  If you must rub your eyes use a tissue.

Rub down your phone with either screen cleaner or hand sanitiser [back only with this] often

Whether you think it is the right way or not, get an early voting form to avoid the need to go to polls.  Everyone will be using those pens and you won’t know if the person in front of you or behind you is infected or not.

It is recommended to prepare all meals at home and avoid restaurants until after things are back to normal

Stay out of crowed places as much as possible… think about ordering food online.

Use less toilet roll and paper towels

These precautions can save the life of not only yourself but your family, co-workers, and others

The first line of defence is keeping this or any disease out of the home, so what we do outside is of critical importance.

Thank you.

 

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From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Ginger Root

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Growing Ginger Root

Ginger growing!

I felt now is timely to expound upon the virtues of Ginger root.  And, forgive me if this is more about health than magick, however, in the current climate, I felt all information I have should be shared.

The English origin of the word, “Ginger”, is from the mid-14th century, from Old English gingifer, from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit [Middle Indic] singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram. Ginger originated from Southeast Asia. It is a true cultigen and does not exist in its wild state.

Though it is grown in many areas across the globe, Ginger is among the earliest recorded spices to be cultivated and exported from southwest India.  India holds the seventh position is Ginger export worldwide, however, is still the largest producer of Ginger in the world.

Magickal

There are many ways in which to use Ginger as magickal currency.  One I only just picked up on recently is one for health [although Scott Cunningham has mentioned it]:  Chew some [cleaned] root and spit it on the source of the ‘sicknesses’ to banish it [be it a part of a body, a photograph of the sick person etc].  Take that, Covid-19!  And, in the Pacific, the Dobu Islanders do the same to ward off incoming storms.  I have no recorded proof that either thing works, but when things are dire, we witches want to throw all we can at the problem, don’t we?

Ginger is used a lot in love spells. It is one of the ingredients in our Love Witch Bottle we sell.   Just drinking a cup of Ginger root tea will add power to any spell you perform.

And, Ginger features predominantly in money and success spells.  Whole Ginger root can be planted by your front door to welcome money into your home or you can carry either powdered Ginger or a piece of Ginger root or dried Ginger in a pocket to attract money to you.

For a lusty weekend with your beloved, prepare a Ginger-infused wine for the two of you!

You can burn the root of Ginger and consecrate your ritual tools in the smoke or use it to break hexes.

Simply chewing Ginger root can imbue you with stronger magickal power and capacity.

Correspondences

Planetary: Mars

Gender:  Masculine

Zodiac:  Aries

Element: Fire

Powers:  Love, Lust, Health, Money, Success, Power

Deity:  Brighid, Vesta, Wadjet, Hephaestus, Logi, Ra, Hestia, Sekmet

Other Names: none

Health

Queen-Elizabeth-I-of-England

Queen Elizabeth I

Any of you of a certain age may remember your mother giving you a cup of steaming Ginger tea for an upset stomach.  It is absolutely spot on for nausea and any tummy upset, including morning sickness.  Nicholas Culpeper did write a bit about Ginger… it was only taking hold in Great Britain when Queen Elizabeth I presented visiting dignitaries each with a Gingerbread man baked in their own likeness. Gingerbread tied with a ribbon was popular at fairs and, when exchanged, became a token of love.  Ginger root was only introduced in Great Britain around the 14th century and as far as I can tell, was not grown here.  So, Ginger, as many East Asian spices were of the time, was probably too scarce and expensive for most physicians of the time to use.  To my knowledge, the first blurb written about it was by Mr Culpeper in his The Complete Herbal and English Physician:

Zingerberis. Of Ginger.  Helps digestion, warms the stomach, clears the sight, and is profitable for old men:  heats the joints and is therefore profitable against the gout, expels wind; it is hot and dry in the second degree.”

Wild Ginger and Ginger

Wild Ginger, left; Good Ginger, right ~ photo by By Anna Frodesiak – Own work, Public Domain

As almost always before I write about a herb/flower/root/bark/spice to be used in a medicinal way, I guinea-pig myself with the item.  Mind, I also do read everything about it that I can if it isn’t something I’m already familiar with, right down to recommended dosages.  I have an insatiable desire to know every detail, including research studies.  I don’t feel I should introduce anything medically viable without having done so first.  Still, that said, always do consult your GP before trying most things I speak of… although, I have come to agreement with myself that, Ginger root is 99.9% safe for anybody, with the occasional caveat, such as, don’t use North American wild ginger… much, anyway… as it can cause kidney damage.

I suppose my nana started me on this because as a healing cunning woman herself, if I started moaning about a tummy ache, out comes the grated Ginger root and ten minutes later I was sipping the tea!

Ginger Root

Perfect Ginger root

As a sufferer of arthritis, bad hip and back, and Graves disease [hyperthyroidism] and Hiroshito disease [hypothyroidism] – yes, you can have both –  I needed to look into all things which can be of benefit to me in my “elder years”.  No, I don’t really feel elderly… but you know… So! Some years ago, I had found that adding Turmeric and a little pepper to my twice daily Ginger tea would help my arthritis and has it ever!  I no longer need heavy painkillers or even paracetamol or ibuprofen [more about ibuprofen later].  Of course, I still have some pain occasionally but nothing at all like I once had.  There have been many research reports written about this and you can click here for one which I think explains most things about Ginger root best.

The brilliant bit about this concoction is that it is said to boost one’s immune system as well.  I drink mine twice per day and here is my recipe:

1-ounce grated Ginger root , steep covered for ten minutes.  I put my Ginger root in a tea diffuser/basket, but you can also just toss it into the hot water if you don’t mind Ginger bits floating round in your drink.  When ten minutes are up, lift out tea basket and add the following:

½ teaspoon powdered Turmeric

A dash or pinch of black Pepper

Stir very well and keep your spoon for you will need to stir it constantly as all of the Turmeric fails to dissolve in the water but if you stir again after each sip you won’t end up with a quarter teaspoon of Turmeric in the bottom of your cup.  It may sound like a bit of work, but the health benefits are very much worth it. 

I won’t promise you that you’ll never become ill with a cold or flu if you drink this twice per day, but it can help and possibly reduce how long you’re ill for.  And I won’t tell you that it tastes wonderful because it is an acquired taste, even for someone like me whose taste buds love nearly everything.  Although, if you feel you can drink it a bit easier by adding honey, there’s no harm in it.

Whilst there seem to be no contraindications on how much plain Ginger tea one drinks, there is for how much Turmeric you ingest.  It is likely that more than one full teaspoon per day is not good for you, unless you are very ill or your Ayurvedic or holistic healer recommends more.  Many of you would like to drink one cup of Ginger and Turmeric tea and be done with it but as you know with any pain reliever, it is best to stage doses, therefore, I recommend taking a “dose” around mid-morning and the other just before bedtime.  Also, always be sure that whether you take your Turmeric in the Ginger tea or via supplement that black Pepper or piperine [a natural compound in peppercorns that make black pepper spicy] is included.  Neither Turmeric and Curcumin [the substance that gives the spice its orangey-yellow pigment] supplements cannot be absorbed properly without one or the other.

Please understand that this concoction will not cure a cold [which is of the Coronavirus genealogy] nor the flu, nor Covid-19!  But, it may, with any luck, help already healthy people with no underlying issues, feel better quicker.  I hope so, anyway.

About Ibuprofen, as promised:  The French Health Minister recently reported that Ibuprofen as a painkiller should not be used, particularly with Covid-19.  The country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on Saturday: “The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice.” As per a report in The Guardian.

Health officials point out that anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the response of the body’s immune system.

Many thanks to all whom this way wander and good health and warmest blessings to all x

Sources

Experience

The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

Wikipedia

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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

Posted in Business, folklore, Litha, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Mars, spell work, spells, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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