Monday, September 22, 2014

Sea Spell for Prosperity

Here is a little Sea Spell for Prosperity!

Recently a fellow Witch sent me a box which contained many watery things, there were shells, feathers, mermaid's purse(s) and other things. With the arrival of the new mermaid's purse, I decided to use some of my smaller ones for some magic! A Mermaid's purse is shark and/or sting ray egg pouches. They are also called Devil's purses which hints at its powerful nature. You can find them on the shore of almost any beach. They are usually found by the surf mixed in with washed up seaweed. Using the casing that once held a baby string ray or shark that was birthed into the sea for spell work is incredibly powerful. They are also the perfect vessel for magic that involves growth, prosperity, birth, and renewal.

I recently came across the Janarric Runes. Raven Grimassi has written about them. He believes that they are runes used by Witches in an Italian coastal town. So, in a way they are associated with the sea and water witchcraft. I decided to use three of the runes in bind rune fashion. I worked them together until I was happy. The result is below. I had just picked up some new paint and decided to use it on the egg pouch. I also wrote my spell on paper and placed it inside the pouch. Once the paper was safely inside, and the paint dry, I said my incantations and finished my spell. The mermaid's purse speaks of birth, growth renewal, and bounty, these energies along with the fierceness of the animal, the sigil, the spell, and symbolism of the egg pouch. All these combine together with the spoken incantations, makes one power packed charm! Below are some helpful hints so you can make your own.


  • Find a hatched mermaid purse on a near by beach. Clean it up and let it dry. 
  • Prepare your sigil and intent. Paint or draw it on. 
  • Prepare your spell and any incantations you may have.
  • Gently roll up the spell
  • Find the opening of the pouch and gently push in the rolled up paper containing your spell and/or sigil
  • Whisper your incantations and leave on the altar until it is finished. 
  • Return it to the ocean with an offering when you are finished. 


Also Mermaids purse's and various sigils can be used in protection charms as well. Using the egg pouch to call upon the spirits associated with these powerful animals.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Water Witchcraft

Most people are familiar with sea witches and sea witchcraft. It seems as if, like the village witch, the sea witch has been recognized as a solitary powerful path by the general community. Of course sea witchcraft is not limited to solitary practitioners, as I know of a few sea witch covens around the globe, but often times sea witches are inclined to carve their own path, similar to the way a river might carve it's own path through stones. Water witches, like the Sea Witch, are drawn to the water. Water witches are drawn not only to the ocean, but they feel and must answer the call of river water, lake water, canals and even the rain. Like the sea, these bodies of water are seductresses. They pull at our heart strings and torture our spirit; pining and raging like an ocean in a storm. I have heard whispers of those that say they have Mermaid or Selkie blood and also of those that have had past lives as such creatures; perhaps they are true and perhaps it is just the seduction of the mysterious waters. What is known, is that the water calls to us, it pulls us in and we feel empty and lost with out it.

A water witch is simply one that works witchcraft with water. Over the years I have found some that are skeptical, and others that deeply understand my words. It is very interesting that Sea Witches seem to be accepted by the pagan world, but Water Witches are not. However, with the recent publishing of Whist Waters by Gemma Gary, it seems as if the Witchcraft community is finally interested in accepting Water Witchcraft as well. It makes sense; water is everywhere. It is not just the ocean or large lakes, it is the rain, the swamps, large rivers and seasonal streams etc. Water is essential to our life; we cannot go without water for longer than a few days without death. Our bodies are made up of a considerable portion of water. We know from Dr Masaru Emoto's work with water (which I will discuss below) that even the slightest word can create a change in water, and how that word is spoken influences the outcome of that change. When we put these thoughts about water and change together with the definition of magic...

Magic is...

"the science and art of causing Change to occur in conformity with will" 
~Aleister Crowley~

"the art of changing consciousness in accordance with will"
~Doreen Valiente~

We end up with a very clear picture of how powerful water magic can be. In short, since we know that words and intent influence the structure of a water molecule and that magic is change according to will and will and intent are almost synonymous then we have a basic formula for Water magic. Intent + water = a visual change. In a way, we can even see the magic take place!

Before I continue I want to share some of Dr. Masaru Emoto's work. I am a big fan, and I am absolutely thrilled that we have scientific evidence that thoughts, spoken and written word, music, and environment effect the way that water forms crystals. This short video on youtube gives a very quick overview of all his work. Dr. Emoto began photographing water crystals and comparing how they looked. He found that polluted water and natural spring water were incredibly different. He then took it a steps further and played music for several hours to distilled water. The results were astounding. Classical music formed beautiful snowflake like crystals while heavy metal produced scrambled molecules. He then took it even further and began speaking single words to the water and watching how it changed. Positive words created beautiful patterns while negative words did not. You can see in the video below some of these images and how they are compared. Dr. Emoto's work is widely known and in the past few years has gained much popularity and respect world wide.


When we look at Water Magic as a practice, utilizing it in either small (rain, wells, etc) or large quantities (lakes, ocean etc), it is very clear that chanting, spells, incantations, sigils, and many more magical practices can be incorporated and the result is incredibly powerful. For hundreds of years Holy Wells have been revered for their powers of both cursing and healing. Such bodies of water include the famous hot springs at Bath. The hot baths, shrines and a temple dedicated to Sulis, the Goddess that presides over the hot springs, are  known to heal, but are also known for its curse tablets, where over 300 were found. Many bodies of water like the Glastonbury red and white wells contain their own properties which are enhanced by the calcium and iron deposits. For hundreds of years Clootie have been hung over sacred wells in the UK. This was practiced widely from Wales to Scottland and still is today. The famous Mother Shipton, witch and oracle, lived by a sacred spring and can still be visited today. Not suprisingly her name is Ursula Southeil (interesting connection to Disney's little mermaid!) As you can see both Folklore and Science support the idea of water magic.

Water Witchcraft, as I stated before, is very similar to Sea Magic and Sea Witchcraft. Sea Witches usually stick to the sea shore, however water witches will be found just about everywhere. Near lakes, rivers, holy wells etc. Tools are usually gathered from the shoreline and oftentimes shells, driftwood, and plants are their tools of choice. Water Witches will most often blend Sea magic with their craft. Focusing on tides, moon cycles, and so much more. Since there is no specific Water Tradition (with one exception) you will find that most sea/water witches practice very differently. Some incorporate water and sea spirits, fae or deity into their practice, while others believe that there is no religion associated with their practice at all. These topics are very popular in the pagan community and chat boards, and though they do influence water/sea magic, they are not a topic I am going to discuss here and for one very simple reason; No one will ever agree! Water witches will also find that they differ in their beliefs, the one thing that binds us together is Water in her many forms. For me, a Water witch's practice can be defined by Magic that is focused around water, water creatures living and dead, spirits that are associated with water, and if one wishes Goddess and Gods associated with Water.

** The one exception in tradition I mention above is The Water Witches in the UK. There is very limited information on them however. They are part of a group of people that were very much like gypsies, but their homes were floating barges. There is no particular tradition and with limited information it is hard to say how they practiced. However what we do know is they were wandering people of the industrial revolution that lived on the water canals in the UK. Many people still live this way today, but I am not sure if they exist in the same manner.  I call this a tradition because it was a group of people that practiced for years in a similar way, and many were family. You can read about my own adventures on these mysterious canals here.

There are many different types of water; fresh water lakes and the ocean are not the only types and many hold as much power and mystery such as the muddy waters of the Uk Canals, sacred wells, and swamps. Many sea witches work with brackish water and so do water witches. There is so much magic in the brackish waters of the Calvert cliffs. Large Megolodon teeth can be found on the shores, and stingrays swim circles in the early morning on the calm glassy surface of the pale blue and gold water with the sun rising in the east. The shores are full of healing and death, with yarrow growing among the poison  hemlock on the banks of the shore speaking of balance and bane. Large predators once roamed the waters and the stings of the jellyfish are fierce. Oh how glorious to watch the storm come across the waters...

Swamp water is also full of mystery and poison. Toads, snakes and spiders lurk with in the grooves of a hollowed cypress tree, tall nubs of the cypress trees roots peek above the surface of the waters. Swamp waters can be found all over the world. Most commonly known would be the Florida Everglades and the Bayou of Louisiana. Any type of magic you can imagine can be practiced in this type of water, from natural magic to voodoo. However I will say, I do not think that ceremonial magic would be suited for this type of environment

Lakes and Fountains hold so much mystery and mythology. The Lady of the lake has to be the most famous account of water magic taking place in a lake. There are several tales of Ladies of the Fountain and Lake Ladies and their magical gardens, healing powers, and bargains.

Rain, Snow, Hail and storm energy in general is very interesting to work with as well. I personally collect water everywhere I go. Often times I label and date it with what type of storm it was. As you can imagine, a summer sun shower would be beautiful warm energy, and hail and a lightning storm pack a VERY powerful punch and can be incorporated into magical workings that need the extra push or used to curse. There is nothing like sitting on the banks of a large body of water, watching a terrible storm roll in. Many water witches enjoy this type of weather, and pull energy from the storm as well as send spells out and let the roaring winds and waters weave the magic.

Types of water you can work with include, sea, brackish, lakes, rivers, distilled, hydrosol, swamps, snow, hail, rain, ponds, canals, seasonal creeks, sacred wells and other bodies of water. Really there is no limit to how you can use water magic! I find that Water Witches are attracted to bottles, bowls, and other vessels. They are often found beach combing or searching the banks of rivers and lakes. Many I have spoken with are drawn to some sort of mythological water spirit or creature such as Mermaids, Selkie, and Lake Ladies. Many love to swim, boat, and are often found in the bath. Interestingly, astrological charts seem to indicate a strong lean towards water, often times having a Water rising sign as well as a Watery moon. However this is not a hard fast rule and it does vary. Often times, Water witches are very good at water scrying, divination with shells or bones found along the shoreline. Almost every Sea/Water witch I have met is a bit of a magpie and will collect shells, wood, glass etc from the water and create shrines or water based altars. Many work with tea, sacred baths, healing waters, holy wells, hydrosols, and water based sprays. I will blog more about how to work with different bodies of water and how to work with them in the future.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Poison Garden

One of the most important parts of my own spirituality and path is what many call Wildcraft. This falls within the veins of herbalism and witchcraft. I grow, and tend many different plants, such as fruit trees, a vegetable garden, rose garden and an herbal garden. Living in Arizona can present a bunch of challenges when growing plants the heat and dryness is not helpful at all. However I am a gardener and have been my entire life. My mother sent me a photo recently, of me tending a garden with my father at a very small age, perhaps 5 or 6. I remember this garden as my first garden, I was the one that wanted it, and though I did have help it was my garden. I remember it being huge, but I think it was my small size that made it look so large. Over the years I have lived in many different states/countries and have dealt with many different climates, some more difficult than others. Though Arizona has proven to be the most difficult location yet, I have still managed to grow several different gardens, my favorite is the poison garden.

You may wonder why I would grow poison plants. Well it is a bit complicated but also very simple. I love plants! Rare and poison plants have always fascinated me. When I first studied the craft nightshade plants always caught my attention. When I found out that plants, such as peppers, eggplant and tomatoes were in the same family it made me want to research and read. Nightshade plants and most any Solanaceae plants seem to grow incredibly well for me. Many call this, as well as working magically and medicinally with a plant "Plant spirit allies" I personally believe that everything has spirit. So as you can imagine working with plant spirits is incredibly joyful for me.

Several years ago I had a period of time when I was influenced heavily by nightshade plants. They literally just came to me. It was then I decided I wanted to do research, academic, historical, magical, etc. I grew as many nightshade and other poison plants as I could. I grew them from seedlings or seeds and studied each as they grew. Along with academic research in anthropology and ethnobotany I began to cultivate a relationship with them. Later when I moved to Arizona and once again perused academic studies I found myself in an ethnobotany internship (2 semesters) studying Mayan ritual remains, as well as ethnobotany classes, classes about traditional healing etc. Through this, I was able to study these poison plants more in depth with the support of other ethnobotanists and academics. Well enough about me. I am sure you want to hear all about the poison garden!

First off let me say this. STOP, stop right here and read this, then read it again. These plants are potentially dangerous. If you do not know what you are doing do not handle them, do not grow them, and never EVER take them internally. Yes I do make Flying Ointments that I sell locally, however I measure them out, and have studied them extensively so that I understand what I am dealing with. If you grow, buy, use these plants do so at your own risk, and ALWAYS with respect. Plants such as Datura do not care if you live or die, she has no problem taking your life.

Datura

Datura comes in many variety of species. Of these I have personally worked with, D. stramonium commonly called Jimsom weed. D. inoxia, which is commonly called Moonflower (see blog about confusing Moonflowers here) D. metele, which have beautiful white and purple blooms, and D. Wrightii which is often called Sacred Datura. Datura contains several alkaloids classified as tropanes. Many Solanaceae plants contain Solanine which is a glycoside. This causes symptoms such as headache, vomiting, and coma if ingested. Datura, Belladonna, Henbane and mandrake contain Atropine, Scopolamine, and Hyoscyamine which has been used in modern medicine for several different reasons. However this does not mean that you can also just use the plant for medicine. It is incredibly more complicated than that. These alkaloids are contained in the seeds and blooms of the Datura plant. Datura is a sacred plant and should be treated as such. Though used in Witches flying ointments they should be prepared with knowledge. Witches such as Sarah Lawless have brought the popularity of Traditional Flying ointments to the world of witchcraft. It has encouraged people like myself to come out of the closet and share their work with poison plants. Datura boasts beautiful purple or white flowers among rich green colored leaves and purple shaded stems. It has been sacred to witches, Mayans, and is still revered in modern day mexico and around the world. Personally I use Datura in my ointments and with magic. She is incredibly powerful, magically speaking and has a strong will, she does what she wants when she wants. However with respect she can be very powerful ally.












Foxglove

Foxglove or Digitalis is one of my favorite flowers. I will admit I have many favorite flowers. Foxglove reminds me of my childhood. Climbing the hills of the U.K. and hiking in the Scottish highlands. As a girl I would pick the long stems of foxglove to bring to the hostess of our BnB. I would stick my fingers inside their spotted blooms and wave them on my fingers. Pink Foxglove has a certain enchantment about it. You can hear whispers of Faery lore, and feel the deep mysteries surrounding the landscape where it lives. Foxglove contains digitalin which is the chemical compound extracted from Foxglove and used in medicine to treat cardiac patients. Overdose can result in extreme sickness and therefor Foxglove should not be taken internally. I personally use foxglove in work with the Faery realm. Dont let this beauty fool you, though she seems harmless, she should still be approached with respect and caution. 

Black Hollyhock

Black Hollyhocks are the only plant in this blog post that are not poisonous. However they are a staple of my poison garden due to their black color and mystery. They are part of the Mallow family which is used by herbalists for many different ailments. However don't ever ingest the Hollyhocks from my poison garden! They are in such close contact with the poison plants that they absorb some of the alkaloids through root contact and through the soil. Better to be safe than sorry!


Black Nightshade

Black nightshade often is confused with both Henbane and Belladonna. However it is entirely its own plant. It grows well in conditions that are similar to what Henbane and Belladonna like. It has smaller oval shaped leaves and tiny star shaped white flowers that produce black juicy berries. They look much like a very dark blueberry but should never ever be confused as such. For eating these will leave you very sorry. Though folklore and some modern testing is reputing the evidence that this plant is entirely toxic, it should be avoided, especially in its green state as this is when it is most toxic. It contains the Tropine alkaloids just like Datura and the other nightshades do, so use caution!

Henbane

Henbane or Hyoscyamous niger is one of my favorites! I adore the strange flowers and the sticky leaves. When the flowers turn to seed pods I love crushing the seed pods between my fingers. Traditionally it has been used in beer, and is sometimes called the Devils Brew. Like its relatives it contains the Tropine alkaloids and should not be ingested. In Roman times it was used as an anesthesia, it is a traditional ingredient in witches flying ointment, and some believe that the Oracle at Delphi used this herb (among others) to induce her trance. However it is known to induce coma and even death so know your plant before you work with this deadly beauty. 

Angel Trumpets

Angel Trumpet or Brugmansia is related to Datura. It is a close cousin and contains many of the same magical and toxic properties that Datura does. It has a very high ratio of scopolamine though, higher than Datura. These beautiful flowers are large and come in a variety of colors from yellow to red and pink to purple. They are very toxic, however they are commonly used in many tropical gardens. My first encounter with Brugmansia was a huge tree in Japan outside of the Chinese food restaurant. They can become very tall and are sometimes mistakenly called Tree Datura. This plant has been used in Mexico and South America for hundreds of years as a hallucinogen. However it remains deadly and can kill if the incorrect dose is taken. It has been added to smoking blends my indigenous medicine men/women, however many say that the effects of this plant never ever go away.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory or Impomea are a common garden flower. However most don't know that they do contain a chemical very close to that of LSD. LSD was originally derived from Ergot, which is a fungus that grows on Barley. Ergot and Morning Glory seeds do have a similar compound that will induce hallucinations. However you will be disappointed if you run out to smoke a bunch of morning glory seeds from your local plant store. It is more complicated than that. Some varieties will leave you disappointed while others will leave you dead if you use too many. Morning glory sometimes is called Moonflower because of its large disk like blooms. However they come in a variety of color from white or blue to red. Red Impomea's root (Impomea jalapa) is High John the Conquer root and is often used by Root workers in magic for luck. Impomea is often known as Bindweed, as such it is used to bind. I often use its fresh or dried tangled vines in such work. 

Belladonna

Atropa Belladonna or deadly Nightshashade is a notorious witch herb, used in flying ointments and poisons for hundreds of years. Belladonna like its close relatives (such as Henbane and Datura) contain several different tropine alkaloids. It's main alkaloid is Hyoscyamine but Scopolamine and other alkaloids are present in the entire plant. Belladonna is entirely poisonous and ingesting this baneful beauty will leave you very unhappy and can result in death, especially in children. The name means Beautiful Woman, and in the Victorian era, when the look of "death" was popular young women would use small bits of the plant to create dark circles around the eyes and to achieve pale skin. Physicians used Belladonna along with other plants as an early anesthetic, Belladonna is a common name used among pagans and is said to be scared to many goddesses such as Hecate, Bellona, and the Greek Fates, one of which (Atropos) shares its name. Always use caution and wear gloves when working with this plant, especially if you have cuts on your hand. Belladonna's energy is much quieter than Datura, but don't let her fool you, she is just as deadly.

Mandrake

Mandrake of Mandragora Officinarum, is another of the notorious Nightshade and Witch plants. However Mandrake is somewhat milder. Mandrake was also an ingredient often used in flying ointments, and is used quite often by witches and magicians. Some say that the golden apples of the Mandrake were the same golden apples that belonged to Aphrodite. Mandrake has been associated with love and has a history as being used as as aphrodisiac. Though it's golden apples and small purple flowers are well nown it is the mandraks root that is most popular. From pop culture to wives tales, Mandrake roots have been use by magicians and witch for many different magical reasons. Many believe that the mandrake possesses great power, and as such should be greatly respected. Though it isn't as notorious or dangerous as it's other family members, it does contain Atropine, Scopolamine, and Hyoscamine, Unfortunately I could not locate photos of my mandrakes and currently I don't have any to post. 

Fly Agaric

I do not grow Fly Agaric, only because I live in a place that is not suitable for their growth. However I do work with them in my flying ointments. These baneful fungi have delighted many children and adults with their mysterious spotted caps, in many fairy tales and colorful books. I always found it strange that such fungi would be in children's bools and movies, such as Alison in Wonderland and other fairy tales. It is almost as if it wants to be known. Perhaps it is the visual and folkloric enchantment that is so attractive to us all! However be wardned! This psychoactive fungi can surely take you on a trip, which may end in your grave. Fly Agaric contains Muscimol, and a neurotoxin called Ibotenic acid, these can lead to hallucinations and even death. The amount of toxins that are contained in each cap can very depending on region, and so these should not be taken raw or internally as it may be your last meal. However there are some out there that do work with these fungi and have found ways around death, such as cooking the fungi or boiling them. Some have reported safely drinking them in a tea but still report hallucinations. Last year during my Ethnobotany research I came across this intriguing article. "Eating Santa's Shrooms" You can find that info here, However for safety reasons I do not recommend it. 

Monkshood

Aconite, Wolfsbane or Monkshood is an incredibly dangerous and deadly plant. It is part of the Ranunculaceae family and closely related to Delphinium.  Occasionally I grow Monkshood, but it contains deadly poisons and should NEVER be ingested. Growers should wear gloves and take precautions not to let it come in contact with the saliva glands. This deadly poison contains Pseduaconitine which has supplied many cultures with poison arrows and even poison bullets. This is a deadly poison and should always be treated as such. For the novice poison Gardner, I highly suggest growing Delphinium and getting to know its less deadly cousin first. However precaution should still be taken as ingesting this plant will also lead to coma or death. (Please note that Delphinium, is also toxic and you should do your research before working with either plant)

******

Visit the Alnwick Poison Garden Virtually here
Learn more about Poison plants and their magical properties here

Sources
Pharmako Gnosis by Dale Pendell
Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
Plants of the Gods by Richard Evans Schultes

All photos in the blog were taken by me and connot be used with out my permission

***All contents of this blog should be use for research purposes only and as stated in the blog, should not be used medicinally or ingested***

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Magical Hair Wash

Years ago at an Umbanda ritual, I was told by one of the mediums that I did not pay attention to my hair, and it needed more care and I needed to cleanse it more often. Over the years I have held on to this message and have been more careful with my hair. I have learned to keep track of the hair, making sure it doesn't get caught, and even saving it for magic and offerings. One year I even aided a mamma hummingbird with my hair to fix her poorly made nest, she use it to weave the nest to a branch. Hair holds energy, it holds everything from the past. There have been studies on hair and its power. It is believed by many cultures to hold power, energy or memory. Often times when I grieve it is followed by cutting or trimming my hair. However recently it has gotten so long that I do not want to cut it during transitions. Instead I cleanse my hair with water, oils and herbs. After my hair has been washed with shampoo and conditioner (while still wet) I soak my hair in a basin of warm water. While the water is filling, I add a cloth bag full of dried herbs, I add 9 drops of Rose oil and a few rose petals. When the water has turned into a nice tea like mixture I soak my hair in the water for few minutes. I pat it dry so that the oil and herbs stay in my hair. Today's cleanse is below.

Red Rose- For balance
White Rose- For balance
Sandalwood- To bring positivity, spirituality, and cleansing
Sea Weed- To connect with the sea and promote growth
Witch Hazel- For hair cleansing and scalp health
Peppermint- To promote growth
Eyebright- To spiritually cleanse, wisdom, strengthen my third eye and connection to the other world
Rose Oil 9 drops- For health, balance, and other esoteric reasons




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Resurrection Water

As you know the past 6 months have been hard. These things just happen, no one person can always have a great day, week, month or in my case several months. So last week was my birthday. It was a quiet day, as all my celebrations had been over the weekend. I was gifted with great food, cake and presents. Last year was a big year for me and I had stressed myself out. I am very glad to have had a nice quiet birthday this year.

A fellow witch who we will call D. came over to pick up some flying ointment. I had helped him out with supplies for his coven last Samhain and he gifted me with a few little gifts. I always try to reciprocate even if it is MONTHS later. I had finally strained this batch of herbs and made my third and most potent brew. I sold out of all the large ones locally, all but one. I had one left and it had D.'s name all over it! When he stopped by I was just finishing up with an emergency henna client. We had hennaed several places for a show she had coming up, and for whatever reason, it did NOT like her upper hip, we were finishing up very quickly as D. arrived. We got to talk of poisons and he showed me the most beautiful ritual knife I have seen. As he was wrapping the knife back up we reminisced that we had the same birthday! He reminded me about some particular astrology notes regarding our birthday. This gave rise to a few ideas of what to do magically, on my birthday.

Since no one had any big plans for me that night I decided to take the night to myself. I cleaned the magic room first, as I have been using it for research and books were strewn across the floor with various notes, sketches, and random bits of bone, shell, and rock packed in baskets and on glass dishes. That is how I roll in the magic room, when I work, I work! Tonight was different though because it was my birthday. I decided to work some personal magic with sigils, black scrying water, a hand made ancestor candle from the last batch and Resurrection water made from the Rose of Jerico.

A resurrection plant or Rose of Jerico or Selaginella lepidophylla  belongs to the spikemoss family.  It has been used as an antimicrobial and can ease sore throats, and colds (please consult your doctor before use) Traditionally it is used in hoodoo and similar practices for various magical reasons. The plant looks like a small tumble weed, brown and brittle. Though the plant in itself is magical it was the water and the actions that take place in the water that truly hold the power, at least for me. Once the roots of the plant have been submerged into water the plant begins its resurrection process. It opens slowly over a few hours. Once the plant has come to life I remove some of this life giving water and use it in other workings. Any working which requires transformation, rebirth, and forward movement would be an appropriate use for this plant. 

I have been working with the resurrection plant for coven rituals lately. We have been using the water left in the dish after it has opened for healing rituals. The plant's energy is quiet, but very strong. I started by taking the bottle of water from the spring I collected several weeks ago, on my excursion to the hot springs with "the bestie". I poured the water over my hands into the bowl letting the OLD flow off into the bowl and onto the dead miniature tumble weed seated in my sacred blue bowl. Though not dead, it was dormant and looks like it is barely clinging to life curled up just hanging on, keeping its energy reserves for when it really needed it. The blue bowl is the same blue vessel you see throughout the blog in various states. It has become my main water working tool and for this rite it was creating change by being the cauldron or vessel of change. It held the dried and cracked plant crumpled tight in to the shape of the ball. As the water rushed over my hands I released all the old, and everything I wanted gone. Ritually cleansing and releasing everything old and worn out into the bowl. I went into my ritual bare, clean and ready to really take that leap and go into the next birth cycle free of old chains and pains. (Physically and emotionally)

I took myself into an altered state with a mixture of intoxicating herbs, ointments and incense, I chanted along with a playlist of deep songs that put me into an amazing trance state. They sent me right where I wanted to go... As the music faded away I came down from my flight to work a little magic on my birthday night. I had received a gift of a Henbane root in a black box several months ago. It had been more of an altar decoration than anything else. Then in the last moon cycle I began to work with it. I opened it up and gave it an offering of my blood. It has rested since. After my flight, I opened the box and ask for its spirit to aid me in my work. When my rite was finished the resurrection plant had bloomed. The blooming of the plant in conjunction with my rite symbolized in the physical world, what I had worked magically in the otherworld.

The next day copper dragonflies swarmed my head as I harvested the herbs from the garden for burnable herb bundles which some call smudge sticks. I have never seen so many dragonflies in Arizona! In fact not since I was Florida have I seen that many dragonflies! Their presences acknowledges my rite worked, and very speedy at that! Thanks to a little extra punch from Jupiter...

If you want to make your own Resurrection water simply place a resurrection plant (of either variety) in a bowl of water. After a few hours add a little more water because it absorbs the water very fast. Thank the plant for its help and energy then remove the water you need. Replace the plant and add just a little more more. It is important to remember to water from underneath. You don't want to soak the top of the plant because it may mold quickly. You can also add rose petals, herbs or stones to the water or bowl but always check to make sure they are safe for the plant and your magical working. You want to use water from a fresh source as they don't love ocean water very much. This is a plant of miracles, it can lay dormant with no water for many many years, possibly up to 50! The Resurrection water can be used for many reasons. Floor washes, personal cleansing, herbal remedies, and any magic that involves rebirth! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Rose Thorn Charm

Slathered in homemade flying ointments of nightshade and fly agaric, I waded through the waters of the forest creek. I dropped pansies from my garden as an offering and sacrifice to the spirit world. I walked against the current untill I heard a call, a tug at my heart strings. I saw the seductive silver of the artemisa and nightshade. A single purple flower with a bright yellow pistil and anthers stuck out and drew me in. I instantly knew I had permission, it is almost as if she drew me in. There was no need to ask she beckoned me over and I thanked them. I harvested several branches and placed them in my harvesting basket. I walked for a while before heading back to my family picnicking by the river for lunch. I thought I had finished collecting plants, but I was not quite done. There to my right, standing high above the rest of the silver weeds were green and brown striped balls glistening in the sun. There were exactly three on a dried and twisted silver nightshade twig, my charm was almost complete. I collected fallen bark, droplets of sap from the ground, some wild weeds and then I waded in the waters and regenerated. I crossed the river back to my family and after an enjoyable day returned home.

The rose, the first to bloom on this plant the second for an offering. This one white on the outside and deep blood red on the inside. It whispers to me words of bone and blood. I combine the rose with it's extra sharp, needle fine thorns, with the prickly weeds and silver nightshade. This formed the perfect combination for the charm I needed. Beauty and bane, bone and blood...tied with a black cord this protection charm now hangs in the magic room. I warn visitors not get too close to this beauty, she has a sharp bite. There were many sacrifices in this making this magical charm. Sharp pricks sticking my flesh as I wrap the cord around it reminding me that everything has a price. All great works of magic cost, the price is always different and never easy. The cord wound tight, the sacrifice given, incantations whispered and life given...


Friday, May 23, 2014

Becoming the Witch on the edge...

Now that school is done and I have caught up with 80% of the things I needed to do, I have been considering my path again. This is something that I re-examine on a regular basis, but sometimes I reach a point where I find myself at the crossroads. Lately I find myself there quite a bit. Not always, but many times standing at the crossroads can be a signal of a death/rebirth cycle. This is where I currently find myself. Things around me are changing, things are dying. Things I thought were solid are not. People I trusted I no longer trust. Friendships ending, beloved cat leaving. All the security blankets taken away...

I became this insane woman so focused on things like academia, business, movement, and other airy things. I lost myself. Sometimes it happens, sometimes we have a moment where we say "hey I need to go on this journey" and so we do. There are ups and downs, and reasons we went on the journey to begin with. However along the journey sometimes we loose ourselves. Up till last night this is what I thought. I had completely compromised who I was trying to fulfill all these requirements I had placed on myself, or so I thought! You see just when you loose yourself and feel like you are standing naked in front of the world raw and open you look deeper past all the superficial things and into the core of who you are. When you wash off the dirt you can see the roots, their size, strength, and exactly how they are formed. This is what happened for me...

Years ago I wandered down the Wiccan path, first the eclectic path, then the initiatory path. It filled the gap and gave me the confidence I needed. I then wandered down the path of the Reiki Healer. It also filled a hole that needed to filled. I had to learn how to heal. I wandered down the path to Avalon. I found home here, or at least for a while. You see one can not live in Avalon all the time, but if I felt at home there, then where did I belong in this world? After the loss of my mentor I spent the last few years in a state of wandering. Wandering here and there. I found Traditional Craft an found that there are some aspects I loved like the history and folk magic and some things not so much. I learned that I am most happy working water magic, and I have the best results. I learned that plant spirit work was just as important to me as regular spirit work. I learned that plants, nature and death were a vital portion of my craft. I learned that I am not interested in diabolical craft. However the academic portion does interest me! (Just not as a practice) You see I believe in being balanced. So I acknowledge that the dark is as important as the light. I learned I was not impressed with the modern Wiccan/Pagan movement, and many other things about my path. Sound familiar? Not the white light and not the diabolical craft either, but balance. One can not live in the extreme of either and maintain balance. Read more about my thoughts on that here and listen to me babble on in a video here

To go forward you HAVE to go back.

I worked snake and wild carrot medicine among the swamp waters and cypress trees. I worked with the great weavers, and the dark mysteries of the waters, I was a Witch. I just had no idea at the time that this was the case because I was only 10. After fierce studying  as an adult that is exactly what it was. I learned that going back to my roots does not mean going back to where I first learned about the craft, it was when I first started practicing the craft. You might wonder how a pre-teen who has never hear of these things could be practicing them. I do not know if it is faery blood, as some call it, past life memory as others might, but I just was and I knew who I was then, there was no label and no politics...

I think it is time to take you back into deep memories. When I was a young girl I grew up quite different than many. We lived a very simple life, part time latchkey kids and full time fun! My dad finished school and found a good job. It was about then, in my pre-teens that we moved into a new home. We were all proud of this home, for us it was our first home we had ever had built and we had great pride. My parents were smart they chose a home that was alongside a wetland preserve. Nothing could be built behind us, and like much of the Florida habitat it was swamp land. This here was the beginning of my journey. My mother home schooled us for reasons that don't need to be mentioned. However this did play an important role in establishing my roots. Besides spending most of the summers on the hot beach in Daytona, I would spend much time in the forest/swamp behind my house. I would finish my work, grab my boots and be gone. Another important part of this was that the neighborhood was under construction. This meant dumpsters full of supplies! We recycled some of those supplied into a "tree house" well it wasn't a tree house because there was no tree. It was a little cottage on stilts on the edge of the property line and partially into the hedge. It sat on the boarder of this world. Each day I physically crossed the boarder into the swampy forest. I spent all my time gathering charms, snakes, feathers, flowers etc. I hung them in the cottage, placed them in jars etc. I was known in the neighborhood for identifying snakes. We would get all sorts of calls about me coming to see if this snake was poison or not. In fact I once was grounded for catching a pygmy rattler in a jar, I also caught a baby coral snake that got me busted as well. These are all energies of the Witch. Not the ceremonial Witch, but the energies of the Hedge Witch and the Hedge Rider (Read about the differences here)

This was the time that my dreams started. I have seen spirits since I was very young, but my dreams began about this time. Or I should more accurately state that I remembered my dreams, and noticed patterns. I had dreams of the future and the past. My empathetic abilities were turned on, I lashed out like an angry tidal wave, unable to control the feelings from a hundred different people at once. I have a good control of it now. However I still do melt down here and there I know what this is. It took me years to control the flood of emotions and even longer to figure out why I couldn't control them all the time. Today I see this as a sign. When I lash out or can't control my emotions this is a sign that something isn't right. It is a sign that I am unable to properly process the "empathic hits" this means one of 2 things. Either the persons energy has changed so drastically that it is not aligned with mine any longer. Or my time with them is simply over and I am unable to process the grief of the loss. One thing about being a psychic empath is sometimes you feel the feelings before the event occurs. This makes for one crazy life, but it can be dealt with and worked to ones advantage. (I can see all you empaths nodding) There is nothing like loosing your mind over something before it even happens. No this is not the same as self fulfilling prophecy, these events are out of our control, and often we don't know what they mean until later (and hours of meditation wondering why you are crazy) Back on track!

So These are my roots. I kept thinking that all my education was the foundation I was wrong... It was only the support beams. It was not the rock solid foundation at the bottom, it was what helped to expand my walls. I began to get angry with the community. I became confused with all the different corners that were at war with other corners, or at least hurling cows with insane insults over castle walls at each other. Which corner do I choose? Where do I fit? Better find a side because it isn't safe out here  in the center. So for a while I chose a corner, then found it wasn't right, so I chose another and also wasn't right, so I searched and searched. This led me to academia, oh what a ride that was. So enjoyable and so horrible all at once. It was another "thing" that I thought I needed for validation. Turns out it wasn't true...

"to truly walk the path of the witch means you best expect to be faced with challenging events and your deepest fears sooner or later. To be a witch means you will be asked by the spirits to do work that they want you to do, and it’s not always the kind of work you would ask for. That’s sort of the point, though." http://thewhitethornwitch.com/2014/05/02/a-witchs-work/

This statement is truth the entire blog post is amazing go read it. We are all so different in our paths, the Witch can not be defined by conventional means. Instead she is defined by her/his work. I do not define my path as being a path of water, instead my work with water (and other things) defines me.

Then a few days ago I posted this on facebook...

I contacted an old acquaintance yesterday. I remembered she had written a blog about the Heron and Heron Medicine. I was struggling a bit in my mind and heart. I am fed up with people bashing other peoples paths. I'm tired of the Trad Crafters saying what horse shit New Age is, and i'm tired of new agers claiming that the craft is all dark and demonic (it can be, but not all of it). This goes on and on and on for almost every path has these problems. What I am trying to say is, if you path is forged on dissing of other paths, then you friend have a big problem, and no true path. I'm not perfect and in the past I have found myself in the throws of pagan politics, and christian bashing. That is not me, not now. So I asked her for the blog, and she sent it. I believe it has been expanded now and is better than ever. Read this, one Modern Witches account of her path.... " I followed the trail as I was led, and had learn what I needed to learn to get over the bullshit self-doubt that had dogged me for a decade"... "no human was an intercessor between me and the Gods, my ordination was direct from Source, and I know now that this is the only way for me." It speaks deeply to me and I think everyone should spend time reading this. If for the Heron medicine, or to read an account of a true, strong witch and priestess in our community. I was always taught that initiations made you a Witch. Well this is true! However what I didn't realize is that initiation come in all forms, the most powerful from the divine!  http://heronsrook.com/2014/05/07/down-the-rabbit-hole-to-become-heron-rising/ 

This was the final piece to the puzzle, it always amazes me how what seam like small encounters on the surface (like a facebook post) can be the ONE thing that finally gives a clear picture. Many of you, no doubt have seen my post statements like "I am not Wiccan" or "I am not new age" I want to point out that these are statements about where I am currently. This is not me denying my roots or more accurately those support beams. I do not follow these paths any more, however they do influence me from time to time. I do not deny their existence in my life or my path. To do so would deny the existence of my path that I am on now. For how would I have ever arrived here without first being there? Something else you will not see me do is bash these paths. I studied them, I received certificates, and graduations and papers that say I am educated in these things, these are all true. From time to time I may use a piece of quartz this does not diminish my current path, or the realization of who I am at this moment. To bash these practices (or anyone's for that matter) does not give my current practice validation, in fact if I did I would be completely sabotaging where I am now, denying the very existence of everything I have learned, everything I have gone through, and everything I will do. I am not going to remove these older support beams, instead I am adding newer ones, and repairing others...

As mentioned in Heron's blog about her inner 3rd degree I resonate with her acknowledgement of it. I am not going to label myself and say that i'm going through an inner 3rd. Perhaps I am, NO doubt Heron did, but for some reason I don't need to claim a number. I feel like i'm getting an upgrade. I don't know if it is 2.0 or 3.0 but it is an upgrade and one that has certainly taken fear and doubt and thrown them out the window. One that has taken the security away and said GO practice in the wild, be wild, since when did you worry about rules and expectation? You are water you can NOT fit into a box, it can not hold you...

So I do not choose to be in the center of the warring corners, and I reject the fundamentalist corners. You will not find me in your box of what I should or shouldn't be. I do not align myself with any corner, any group, any idiots who are spending their time complaining about crap that is wrong. I align myself with my higher purpose and with the greatest teachers earth, water, wisdom, compassion and with these I stand on the edge, one foot in the spirit world, and one foot here in this world. It is strange how you wander down a path so sure of your destination, so sure you know what is at the end. Only to find that the path wasn't labeled correctly! I walked down the path of academia looking for validation. Turns out the path was not called Academia, but instead the path to "finding your true self" so I wandered through the forest of academia, and at the end is a burning cauldron of "who gives a fuck about validation" Here I am, this is me, I share what I can, I understand my purpose and what it is, at least as it is right now, and so I wander down this thorny path in search of crafting, in search of practice, but not in search for who I am.

I am the Hawthorn tree
I stand at the edge between you and me
I am the decision made
Like the Heron through the muck I wade
Thought I lost myself along the way
Turns out I was just ok!
A Witches work is never done
Time to walk my path, NO RUN!
To the place where I belong
Back to my roots I trudge along
Standing on the edge I found my song...

~For what you can not find within You will never find without~

Big THANK YOU to Heron Michelle and Kayla Wilde. I haven't had the time (during this last semester) to blog much and, having these to read and ponder has been truly amazing. Thank you for holding me up when you didn't even know you were. This is what it is all about folks... Support and nurturing others growth thanks for fertilizing my soil and soul.

OH! and a Last big Thanks to my bestest bestie! Who is has amazingly strong ears to listen to my incessant babbling along the way...