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Speaking of Witch Wands & Magickal Things

Three English witches bound to traditional practise

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Bastet

All Hallow’s Eve Blessings

For the last few weeks, a young black cat has made our back garden her “hang out”.  I wouldn’t exactly call it her making it her home by any means as she did go away for a while and I could only hope she had gone to her real home with her real family.  But then, two days ago, young “Bastet” as we’ve begun calling her, has come back and taken up residency under a small crawlspace underneath the deck behind the house.  I was most pleased to see her back with us.

Some cultures/countries believe – or at least at one time, believed – that black cats are harbingers of doom. Not so of the English, for we have always thought completely opposite of the black moggy.  Good luck all around.  So, we’ve been attempting to keep Bastet happy with us by plying her with plenty of good cat victuals and soothing words and tones.  Apart from her feeling comfortable enough with me pegging out the washing yesterday, she is as feral as a 14 year old girl.

Today as I sat there, watching Bastet contemplate life on one of her favourite perches, a great murder of crows (although thinking back, they looked much too sleek to be crows, possibly ravens) gather rather abruptly in the branches of a young Ash tree across from me.  The tree is in an open “field”, not in somebody’s garden.  At first, I thought, “Ah, what news are the Divine Parents bringing by gifting me the sight of such a spectacular murder? It might not be good!” As we know, along with black cats, many believe the crow to be another harbinger of doom.  Not necessarily!

http://www.humansandnature.org/
http://www.humansandnature.org/

I watched them hopping about from one branch to another, flying around the tree top, and cawing happily and came to realise….this certainly is not bad news!  They were not gathering to feed upon some poor hapless creature who had only recently perished, whereas the news might have been more to the effect of “clean up your messes, make changes, work harder, give up things which no longer serve you”. The crows/ravens were telling me to enjoy life! Have fun, good things are afoot (or “alight” as it were), go for your dreams a little harder, but enjoy the journey.  It was a pleasure to watch their happiness and fun-having gestures. Beautiful…

For much of my life I have believed that the owl and the cat were my spirit animals. Maybe it’s because I so loved “The Owl and the Pussycat” when I were a child, I don’t know. I do know that I’ve always had an enduring affection for winged creatures and particularly those with feathers.  But as I have been moving into my “golden years”, I continually find the crow and the raven making their presence known to me more often than not.  No matter where I am in the World, crows seem to be near, particularly of a morning if I am outside having a quiet cuppa. Their almost cheerful “caw caw caw” seems to be a morning greeting.  Of course, I always reply back, “good morning, crows!”  If a neighbour overhears me, let them think me daft, I could not give a toss.  I’d rather cultivate a good relationship with the crows, if I’m honest.  They tell me things.

So, today’s message on this All Hallow’s Eve is to go for it, do what you love, make those dreams happen, and have a grand old time doing so.  I think I shall…thank you, crows!

The Magickal Avocado Tree

Image

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

The Magickal Avocado Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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