Favorite Foods + Drinks Before a Ritual

I’m very much a spontaneous kind of spell caster. I rarely plan out full rituals, but when I do, prep is an important step.

One of the steps that’s easy to forget to do is eating before the ritual. Truthfully, if you’re going to be using your own energy for a ritual (rather than channeling fully from elsewhere) you should be eating something both before and after the ritual. So you have a lot of energy to start with and to restore the energy you consumed during the ritual.

So an hour or so before the ritual, these are what I reach for:

  • Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, apples, oranges, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates, and grapes
  • Fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes (yes, yes technically a fruit), carrots, broccoli, radishes, and celery.
  • Fresh salad, usually with lots of variation but not as much salad dressing, cheese, meat, or croutons as I might normally like.
  • Seeds and nuts, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, honeyed peanuts. I try to keep the amount I eat on the smaller side here, as sometimes too many nuts and seeds can feel heavy.
  • A small sandwich or wrap, heavily on the vegetables and flavors. Think afternoon tea sandwich size.
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Fruit juice, often watered down
  • Sweet alcohol, fruit-based alcohol
  • Wine or harsher spirits. I usually go with this when I need to jump directly into some sort of alternative stage of consciousness or drop inhibitions (ie feeling self-conscious) as quickly as possible.

As you can see, I tend to reach for fresh foods before a ritual, usually light on meat and bread. I’m not particular when it comes to my diet – the only thing I really steer away from is organ meat and diary – but I like to go with a light meal usually paired with tea or sweet alcohol before a ritual.

I find this helps keep the energy up and still allows me to move freely during a ritual – very important with how I tend to cast rituals – and not weigh me down. They also can usually be consumed while I go over my ritual notes or do other prep work before the ritual.

This isn’t to say that you MUST eat one of these foods before a ritual. It really does depend on a person and their personal taste. Let your body guide you to the best choices for you.

It should be noted that, for some rituals, I will intentionally skip this step. I won’t eat before vigils for example where I need to do a lot of spirit work and often do trances during that time. I will often skip food beforehand when I perform oracles or medium work. I personally find that I work better that way, but it’s not something I recommend without knowing exactly how to fast safely.

That being said, I do recommend to try and ensure that you’re taking care of yourself before your rituals as much as afterwards and consider trying different food combinations to see what gives you the best results with your magical and spiritual work.


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Magical Gardening Tips for Complete Beginners

Witches and plants go hand in hand. (Generally, of course. I’m not the boss of your craft, but, you know, it’s generally a thing.)

But gardening is expensive. So expensive. You wouldn’t think nature, the thing we live on, in, around, and with would be difficult to acquire, but it is. You can easily drop hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year on gardening – just indoor gardening. Never mind external gardens.

And witchy plants? SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. Either you need to safely wildcraft them (and some of those plants shouldn’t be removed from their environment if you aren’t 1000% sure you can handle them, because the plants need all the propagation opportunities possible) or you buy those plants. Buying seeds can be a few bucks here and a few bucks there, but there’s always a good chance that your plant won’t grow. Then you’re out a few bucks and all you have is a jar of failed dirt. Buying live plants is a better middle ground, but plants do experience trauma so you still have a risk of them dying.

Aside from the expense of the actual plants, you may need to purchase soil, soil additives (because soil is not the same everywhere and some plants are unhappy without certain soil), pots and planters, plant trays and moving wheeled platforms for larger pots, plant food, and possibly plant lights or a water system. That’s for indoor plants. Outdoors? That’s a whole different expensive level. 

So, here’s some witchy truths and tips for indoor gardens.

True Facts

  • You will fail. Plants will die. You may feel like a murderer. It happens to us all.
  • Google plant care for your plant. It may just save your plant’s life.
  • Ask fellow gardeners and witches for advice. This is something all of us do in regards to plants so many are quite happy to talk about it.
  • It’s better to have one healthy plant than six unhealthy plants.
  • Plants do not always smell good. Some plants smell like ass and others will smell like death, piss, or onions. The prize may outweigh the cost, but not always. 
  • You will have bugs. Even indoors, there will be bugs.
  • Sometimes the organic or better quality stuff isn’t best. Think before you buy stuff for your garden. You organic soil may sprout mushrooms that kill your plants (true story) and you may find that a clear vase of water with a handful of rocks is better for a plant than a specific growing pot. Trial and error helps here, but don’t sink a ton of money on something without trying to more common stuff first.
  • Many, many, many plants are invasive. Mugwort, mullein, chamomile, and mint are common invasive plants used in witchcraft. I recommend googling before purchasing or at least googling before planting in the ground for all plants. Some plants spread like crazy and will destroy your garden if giving the chance. 
  • Annual means that it grows for less than two years and will need to be replaced, most lasting a single season. Perennial means it comes back again and again. Some perennials self-sow so you may get a perennial plant to come back, just not the same plant as before.
  • Keep an eye on how warm your plants can get. Too much heat will kill them, but so will too much cold. It may be best to put a plant on a table near a window than in a cold window sill, even if the window gets better light. 
  • Not all plants are pet-friendly. Google may tell you if a plant is toxic to animals, but a better bet is to just keep them out of a pet’s range.
  • Plants do weird shit. Expect to be surprised.

Where to get your plants

  • Grow from seeds
  • Get a cutting or live plant from a friend
  • Grow them from kitchen scraps
  • Buy a live plant at a store or nursery (online or local)
  • Wildcraft one (so long as the population of said plant is super stable)
  • Check the clearance section of a store or nursery 

I’ll be honest. I normally search the clearance section of stores first for plants to rescue. Normally these are plants that are growing weirdly, need transplanting desperately, or simply look unhealthy. And they may be all of that! But they’re usually really cheap so I tend to rescue them first and foremost.

I can, have, and do grow plants from seeds. I usually keep my plant purchases to a minimum from seeds, merely because I don’t have space to give lots of plants a head-start indoors. (Most of my growing space is a single large window where all the indoor plants live during the cooler months). I normally harvest seeds from foods I’ve consumed (like avocado or lemons), but I also buy seeds from Baker’s Creek (rareseeds.com). They sell heirloom vegetables seeds as well as flower and herb seeds.

My favorite (and cheapest) suggestion is to grow plants from fruits and vegetables you already have purchased. I’ve gotten ginger, scallions (green onions), potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, garlic, and pineapples from kitchen scraps. Root vegetables and plants with bases like celery are easier to re-grow, in my opinion. A quick google search of ‘food you can re-grow from kitchen scraps’ will yield good results. 

Some of my best plants I get from nurseries. Yup, they’re more expensive (but not much more, to be honest, then home improvement stores), but they’re way happier plants. And you can get some beautiful selections you might not get elsewhere. Plus, you’re supporting a local small business, which is always a good thing to do. Two years ago, my household scored black petunias (actually a very dark purple) at a nursery whereas we had never seen them before. My preferred nursery is owned and operated by a single woman and conveniently is a few houses down from my preferred farmer’s market. I just have to remember to grab some bug spray before going and I’m a happy witch.

I rarely get plants in other ways. I sometimes will transplant a wild plant to save it from becoming someone’s lawn clippings (like I did with my bittersweet nightshade) and I’ve gotten plants from other people, but largely, I acquire my plants in the above ways right now.

Planting and grow your plants

Following your plant’s care recommendations, provided by google, is best. Seriously. Each plant will require a learning curve. 

My favorite pots for growing are a large clear glass jar and some cheap clay pots. I do have plastic ones, but I tend to only use them for very, very large plants. Ceramic pots are great too and I use them often. I skip concrete planters – they’re very heavy and I’ve had them crack in the New England cold winters. Who knew? Most of the time though, you’ll find a lot of my water-based plants growing in recycled olive or jam jars. I love the eclectic look of the different pots and jars, but if you like things more streamline and uniform, pick something that’s netural and available widely in a variety of sizes.

You can also use a double pot system. Plant your plant in something that might not be pretty, but you can place inside something that is pretty. I do this with plants that haven’t outgrown the pots they come in. Grow pots are cheap plastic and aren’t great, but sometimes moving a plant isn’t the best idea. I often just leave plants alone until they need some attention. I’ve done best at keeping things alive when I work in this manner.

I use decent but not stellar soil for my indoor plants (and I skip the organic stuff after a mushroom episode). I use dollar stone china plates for the bottom of my planters when I can’t find a real one to fit. Driveway gravel is great for draining rocks for the bottom of my planters, but it can be a bit sharp for some delicate rooted plants.. I dig using my hands and end up with dirt everywhere. I water as needed (unless the plants are liars) and feed them as often as I dare.

Working outdoors is a whole different game. There I have shovels, trowels, work gloves, clippers, shears, scissors, ladders, and every other thing under the sun. I use decent soil to bolster the land as needed or dive for gardening tomes to help balance the PH in the soil. I use mulch and large brim hats and consider the merits of growing compost and curse my yard’s poor dirt.

How I set up my pots generally follows like this:

  1. I pick a pot about slightly less than twice the size of the pot the plant currently is in. If it’s a seed, then I use a very small pot about six inches tall and three inches wide. If the plant is very root bound (as in the roots are all tangled together inside the pot), I’ll upgrade to a larger pot.
  2. I put a small layer of driveway gravel at the bottom of the pot. This is so the water doesn’t sit on the roots or soak the soil too much. If your pot has holes at the bottom (and you have a plant liner tray) then you can skip this step, but I generally always use the gravel. The gravel is somewhat pointy so be aware that it may damage very tender roots, so handle with care. I add more gravel if I’m planting something that needs drier soil, like a succulent or cactus. Some water plants are anchored by gravel and use smaller rocks for additional root assistance.
  3. Then I put a little soil in, just enough to cover the rocks (or more if the plant is short but deep roots or it’s a seed)
  4. I pull the plant out of the pot it’s already in, shaking some of the soil from the roots. If the plant is a seed, just plop it in the soil and plant according to recommendations. If it’s very root bound, you may end up spending several minutes loosening up the soil between the roots so the plant can have more room to grow. Be careful not to break the roots or any stems when handling the plant. Be gentle.
  5. Then I pad the sides of the plant with soil, layering on more and more until the roots are completely covered and the plant is well secured.
  6. Sometimes I add rocks at the top, but that’s largely depending on how much I want or need to protect the plant from soil erosion by water. 
  7. Then I drizzle water on the plant until the soil is wet. Finally, the plant can be placed happily in where I want it to go. I’ll add watering and feeding times to my calendar, as suggested by plant growing guides, and call it a day. 

Planting Outside

I won’t cover planting outside right now, because it’s a super large topic and the advice will vary depending on soil type, weather, climate, sun/shade ratios, wind, what’s already growing, wildlife, and how much time you have to devote to it all.

My general advice for outdoor gardeners is to do a soil test, then you’ll have a general idea how much work you’ll need to do to adjust to plants. That being said, it may be easier for you to simply grow in containers than in the ground, especially if there’s a lot of trees, roots, shade, or something buried in the ground, like a septic tank.

Take photos and notes of the areas you want to grow in for at least a week at various times of the day. I just leave a little notebook in the window closest to that area and take notes and a photo every time I walk by. This will help you determine how much sun, wind, and shade that area gets at various times of the day. It also may tell you what wildlife is nearby.

Armed with that information, you can start planning a garden. Again, this is a huge topic, but I typically suggest raised beds, because they’re just so much easier to take care of and work with.

Now, if you have specific plants you want to grow in a specific area, then do a test. I plant my desired plant in a container and place it in a spot where I’d like to plant it in the ground in the future. It helps determine whether or not the plant will survive there. There’s no guarantee even if all this is done. Some plants just don’t do well in certain soils. You’ll have to risk failure to succeed.

You’ll also want to keep in mind how much a plant will grow and how invasive it’ll be. Mint, for example, grows easily in containers, but shouldn’t be planted in the ground or it’ll take over the whole yard. Ground cover can be useful, but sometimes it’s impossible to get rid of later and becomes a nightmare. Do your research before you plant something with a reputation of being invasive in this manner.

Adding some magic

Magic can be added to any part of the routine.

When selecting plants, I seek out the ones that are calling for help or seem to want me specifically. I listen to what the plant wants and that’s how I get many of my plants to do well. This is an animist’s point of view, of course, but I find that it really works well.

You can plant by the phases of the moon and some people do really well with it. I have a theory that if you have a lot of water on the property, planting by the moon works better, but I don’t have near enough data to really propose this seriously right now.

Water can be enchanted with the power of the sun or moon. You can also used infused water, like a tea or water from making pasta to water plants with. This will largely depend on the plant itself. For example, I use nothing but clear, clean filtered or purified water for my indoor bamboo. If I use anything else at all, it dies rapidly and it very difficult to save. Google will, yet again, be your friend.

What you fertilize your plants with can also be enchanted. Rose, according to some gardeners, like calcium so planting a hank of your hair alongside your roses is good for them. I’ve tried eggshells, but I didn’t notice any changes with my rose bush, but I think that’s largely due to the location rather than the plant itself. Once you figure out what weird things you can fertilize your plants with, the magical connections should come quickly after that.

Of course, you can additionally enchant the soil you plant in with enchanted water, carefully made compost, or enchanted draining rocks with sigils painted on them in environmentally friendly paint.

Pots are probably the easiest to enchant. You can draw or paint with environmentally safe paint on the outside and inside of the plant to encourage grow and health in the plant. This can be as simple as a sigil or written word or as complicated as an intricate painting. The choice is yours.

Placing decorations inside the pot is also useful. This can be done by placing a tiny statue in the pot with the plant in a manner where the plant won’t be crowded. I’m plotting to turn the soil around my palm plant into a tiny fairy cottage, lacing each item I acquire or make with spells for prosperity, abundance, and household happiness and health.

There are many other ways to enchant your gardening too. Garden tools can be enchanted for strength and to be rust-proof. Gloves can be enchanting to keep the hands safe. Support for plants can be soaked in enchanted water.

Don’t forget that you can simply verbalize spells by talking to your plants. There’s some research to support that plants like being talked to nicely and sweetly and that backs up my experience nicely. (The only plant I ever struggle with is a climbing rose I’ve named Diva and she’s the most prickly thing I’ve ever met. She gets me every time, no matter what I’m doing.) I like to hum or sing-song to my plants as I work on them, if I’m not just straight-out having a one-sided conversation with them. I get some strange looks, especially from my brother, but I don’t mind.

Those are some basic tips! Hope it helps!


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Starter Plants for a Witchy Garden

Starting a witchy garden? Or maybe you’re just trying to add more magic to your cooking with fresh herbs? It can be so hard to know which plants to start with and which herbs to keep on hand.

Starter Plants for a Witchy Garden by This Crooked Crown

 

This “must haves” for your practice is going to vary wildly. It’s even going to vary on what purpose you might have for those plants. Are you keeping them around for their herbal benefit or magical?

Many people try out green or kitchen witchery only to run away from it or struggle with it. This largely comes from difficulties in knowing complimenting flavors and tastes (remember to taste your food when cooking folks!) and accidentally killing your plants.

I get you. I really do. I have a light green thumb – I can keep things alive but sometimes they just kick the bucket. My best plant right now is my aloe which I leave alone and it’s happy.  When it comes to kitchen witchery, rest assured, I’ve made plenty of stupid mistakes there too. I’ve heard the song of the fire alarm plenty of times.

Knowing what to start with and what to try is super difficult, especially when you’re just starting out. Here’s some tips for you new witchlings (and maybe a gentle reminder for us old-timers)

 

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Kiki avidly watches birds and squirrels.

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Start small

Those big beautiful gardens you see on Pinterest? Yeah, they’re not created in a single season or even a single year. Same thing with indoor gardens. Pick a plant or two tend to them. If they’re still alive and kicking a few months later, add on another plant. Plan for what you want. This also allows you to save up money for garden because it is not a cheap hobby.

If you have such a black thumb that you can kill off a plastic plant, rest assured that you’re not without option. You can use fresh spices. A farmer’s market is your best friend. Some farmer’s markets operate all year around and others are only seasonally. Check out your local ones and see what they offer.

Protip: Take a day and visit both your farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Sometimes farmer’s markets actually partially stock from farmers that also sell to your grocery stores. Or you’ll find that you don’t like that specific potato sold at that farm or discover that while the grocery store is cheaper then farmer’s market tastes better. Figure out where’s the best places to get certain things and you’ll save yourself the heartache of “aw, the radishes are so much better at this farmer’s market!”.

 

Growing versus buying

If you’ve been to online communities you may have run across the idea that plants you grow are more useful than buying herbs. This is only kind of true. (If you’re making a face, keep reading.)

My experience is this: If you’re a spirit worker, the plants you grow develop bonds and relationships with you because you’ll probably talk to that spirit. That plant will be infinitely more powerful – but probably only for certain things. You might discover that the plant you grow is really only good for protection spells. It’s not really going to help you with a luck spell.

But the same fresh or dried herbs you get from the market or store? Those babies can be used for anything they’re associated with rather than being shoehorned into whatever the plant wants to be used for. So they’re infinitely more useful even if you can’t control their quality.

That’s the other main argument: you can’t control the growing conditions, ethical conditions, and quality if you buy. This it true so I highly suggest to look into farmer’s markets to circumvent these things. You can also quickly google on your phone farms the food comes from to see how controversial or unlikable they are. You might be the weirdo standing there for five minutes staring at a head of cabbage but isn’t that better than working with something you don’t agree with?

Growing is, of course, cheaper except for the initial investment. But growing also requires a lot of…

 

Research

I feel like a broke record but research your stuff! This is especially true if you’re growing things. Just some simple research in how certain plants grows (or even that specific breed of plant) can entirely change how I care for a plant.

Research can also change how and why you grow a plant. I don’t use a lot of lavender in my practice but I do for my herbal medicine. So I’d rather grow it outside and harvest it than keep it inside. I use citrus in my craft for cleansing and for my herbalism. I grow mini trees in pots. Same thing with peppers. I grow them in pots so I can have fresh peppers for protection spells and curses.

Research can also tell you on whether or not you actually need a bunch of that plant. If you never use mint in spells but for rare occasions and never cook with it… then why are you growing it? Why waste that time? So what if everyone recommends it or uses it in their spells? YOU don’t and that matters. Develop your own list and needs for what you use in your practice. look through your spells and decide for yourself.

 

 

Those are some super basics. Ready for my go to list of plants for basic witchcraft?

Basil

Sex or sexual attention,  soothing fights between couples or family, dieting or fasting, health and healing, the home, sympathy, harmony, increasing money, good luck, to curse others, fire element, fertility, weddings, romance or romantic love, for attractiveness, exorcism or banishing.

Lemon Balm

For improving memory, easing depression or grief, lifting one’s spirits, for romantic love or romance, for clairvoyant dreams, health and healing, and youthfulness.

Lavender

To see ghosts or spirits, to attract men (especially sexually), for women’s strength or sexual attractiveness, to calm, to calm nerves or anxiety, against unwanted sexual attention, fertility or childbirth, for sleep, healing and health in general, air element, divination, purification or cleansing, for sex or sexual attention, easing depression or grief, relaxation, and for romantic love or romance.

Mint

For increasing money, prosperity, wealth, trade or increasing business, dieting or fasting, cleansing or purification, clairvoyant dreams, divination, relaxation, easing anxiety or nerves, health or healing in general, for improving memory, air element, for sex or sexual attention, romance or romantic love, and creating change or a catalyst.

Rose

Protection, peace, harmony, romance or romantic love, sex or sexual attention, soothing fights between couples or families, for newlyweds, for weddings, for women’s sexual attractiveness or strength, for sleep, healing or health in general, attuning or aiding psychic powers, for clairvoyant dreams, divination, clairvoyance or second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.

Rosemary

Cleverness or mental clarity, focus, for confidence, against thieves or trespassing, for courage or against fear, purification or cleansing, improving memory, against nightmares, for rejuvenation or power / energy, youthfulness, women’s strength or sexual attractiveness, for beauty, for physical strength or endurance, romance or romantic love, to attract friends, healing or health in general, exorcism or banishing, protection, protection at sea, to invoke the sea, against unwanted sexual attention, boosting the five senses, clairvoyance or second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.

Thyme

Wards off fatigue while traveling, victory, to win a battle or overcome an enemy, ease depression or grief, for courage or bravery, wards off fear, wards off nightmares, healing or health in general, for sex or sexual attention, to see faeries, funerary rites or to send off the dead, purification or cleansing, hex / curse breaking or spell breaking, for rejuvenation or power / energy, clairvoyance or the second sight, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.

Sage

Youthfulness, prosperity, wealth, trade or increasing business, health or healing, for improving memory, easing depression or grief, and earth element

Apple

Youthfulness, to know or enter the underworld or land of the dead, for romance or romantic love, for sex or sexual attention, water element, relaxation, for happiness or joy, for success, for gardening success, for rejuvenation or power / energy, health or healing, to use in place of a poppet or for image magic, and wood can be used to create magical tools.

Mugwort and/or Wormwood

Divination, scrying, to strengthen divination tools, for magic mirrors, for clairvoyant dreams, clairvoyance or second sight, to see ghosts or spirits, to contact or manifest spirits, air element, health or healing, for protection while traveling, wards off wild animals, wards off fatigue while traveling, and purification or cleansing.

Yarrow

Divination, clairvoyance or second sight, attuning or aiding psychic powers, romance or romantic love, for weddings, health or healing in general, sexual prowess or fertility, water element, for fair weather, for courage or bravery, wards off fear, for wisdom, purification or cleansing, for rejuvenation or power / energy, exorcism or banishing, and against or wards off negativity, bad luck, spells, curses, or malevolent spirits.

Peppers in general

Protection, against envy or jealousy (both directed at you and your own), exorcism or banishing, for curses or hexes, and fire element.

 

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My grapes are ripening nicely.

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What did you notice about that list? Most of the list can be bought in stores or probably grows locally to you. All of it can be eaten (but please check your allergies and health warnings first!) It’s an excellent start and it covers a lot of things you might be trying to do.

(Side note, my list is from various numerous sources. Too many to list in a blog post. If you want to know where I got a piece of lore from, drop me a line and I’ll give you the source.)

Also, every single one of those plants can be grown in pots at least for a few years. Yes, even apples. There’s some intrepid farmers that make dwarf apple trees but you’ll probably do much better just planting it in the ground. Cayenne peppers, lavender, and roses will need fairly large pots in order to thrive (and do yourself a favor and put them on little rolling plant trays). Most of the rest can be kept in your standard windowsill.

Again, what you grow or keep around entirely depends on your personal practice and needs. Good luck with your gardening!

 

WTF Do I Put in A Money Spell?

Or, Herbs, Spices, Ingredients, and Additives You Can Put In A Money Spell

 

wtfdipiams

I disregard most of the magical herb recommendations. Why? Because most of the time these books don’t tell you why they’re recommending it. And I think that’s pretty important stuff to know.

Don’t get me wrong; I own at least three different magical ingredient or herb books. I used Cunningham’s book when I was younger and I got great results. But when I learned to think critically, I stopped using them as intended and started using them to figure out where to start researching.

I personally feel that if you’re including an ingredient in your spell, you should know at least some basic information about it. A flower you selected because of the sweet scent for your attraction spell might also be a climbing plant. The people you attract might be sweet, but clingy, and choke up your lifestyle.

Because of this kind of logic, I use herbs and spices from the historical trading routes. Many of the spices or items listed below come from the Incense Route, Silk Route, and the East India Trading Company. Or just general historical knowledge of various trade goods wanted in different places. I’d check what your ancestors traded for in the past (if that’s applicable).

Common Money Spell Ingredients by This Crooked Crown

The list of course is by no means inclusive.

  • Salt (since the word salary comes from salt)
  • Actual money (coins, bills, etc) [Gold is probably best but whatever]
  • Silk
  • Magnets (or magnetic stones) [Mandatory IMO for money spells]
  • Incense
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Apricot
  • Cassia
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Sugar
  • Cotton
  • Vanilla
  • Turmeric
  • Tea [Green tea is my default]
  • Coffee
  • Tobacco
  • Chocolate
  • Sandalwood
  • Mace (the plant)
  • Bell and Chili peppers (dried)
  • Saffron
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Wine (any alcohol, really)
  • Galangal
  • Imported fruits or vegetables (dried) [These weren’t often traded because rot but they would have been. They were usually dried. Dried figs anyone?]
  • Precious metals (Gold, silver, copper, steel, etc.) [Try gold foil used in baking]
  • Jewels, gemstones, and semi-precious stones
  • Fine textiles (brocade, velvet, etc.)

Now, I’ll usually throw in candle wax from my money candle (I use the same money candle for every money spell I do). I’ll sew up gold silk charm bags with green thread. I embroider in gold or green money-oil soaked embroidery symbols of money or prosperity. I’ll drip rainwater from a full moon (to keep the wallet full). Tiny scraps of fabric can be used to stuff the bag as well. I also put magnetic sand or magnet chips in as well. I’ll mix whatever herbs on hand into an oil or ointment and smear it all over a coin.

I don’t recommend using shells or beads (unless cowrie beads, semi-precious stones, gemstones, or real pearls). Shells and beads have been used to fuck over indigenous people for centuries but you do what’s best for you.

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Have herbs, will travel.

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You don’t need much. A pinch of whatever’s on hand will work. All of that dumped in the charm bag and tucked into a purse, wallet, pocket, cash register, whatever and you’re good to go. And really, bits of anything expensive can go into a charm bag. Do what feels right and bring the money in.

Originally posted over on my tumblr.

Grace Under Fire Potion

Sometimes, you just need to keep your cool despite all the stress and annoyances in life. This potion can help you do just that.

You’ll need:

  • Saucepan
  • Open flame (see notes)
  • 1 pint Purified water
  • 3 parts Ginger
  • 1 part Rosewater or Pink roses
  • Pinch Allspice
  • Pinch Betony
  • Pinch Valerian
  • Pinch Sage

Over an open flame, simmer all the ingredients together. Don’t allow to boil. Set aside and let cool to drinking temperature. You can serve over ice.

Consumption tips:

Taste-wise, this isn’t all that great. You may want to play around with the recipe a bit until you find something tasty.

Notes:

  • Ginger ale, candied ginger, or ginger beer can be exchanged for ginger
  • Candied rose petals are a good alternative
  • Valerian and sage can be omitted if desired. Betony is essential.
  • You can make this in two parts, a tisane with allspice, betony, valerian, and sage followed by a rosewater and ginger shot. Or, you can drink the tisane and eat candied rose petals and candied ginger.
  • Open flame is necessary for this specific potion. Stove top flame is perfect for this but you could heat this up over a candle or campfire stove.
  • Remember fire safety!

Happy casting!

Does this seem familiar? There’s a spell version of it!

Blessing & Ensorcelling Your Plants

Earth day is here. Some practitioners will even have rituals to renew the environment, praise mother nature, or volunteer to help clean up pollution. Others will spend their day adding or tending their garden or houseplants. And then there’s some who don’t care or have “oh shit!” moments ten minutes to midnight and light a candle and dust off their cactus. To each their own.

 

Nature tends to be a very large portion of a great many people’s practices and growing the plants used in your practice is kind of assumed at times. But gardening isn’t easy. Some plants are notoriously difficult to grow like mandrake and others like mint can go wildly out of control if caution isn’t taken. You have to decide what’s better for you to grow versus what’s better for you to buy when needed. Then you add in your climate, local laws, and just how much space you even need to grow plants. Gardening is a huge endeavor and can get expensive very quickly.

I’m no green thumb. I kill plants all the time. I blame this largely because of space issues – I have too much space in the Crossroads House. House plants are far-flung so it becomes a hassle to care for them in a timely manner and when conveniently or aesthetically placed, there’s little sun for the plants to grow. Outside, the soil’s not great but it’s the layout of the property itself that makes it a gardening challenge. And let me tell you: It is a major annoyance of mine. My neighbors have this palatial garden next door and it irks me so much.

My number one gardening tip is to take it slow. Pick two or three plants a growing season and focus on them. Read up about their care and see how that does. Then pick up another few the next year. Over time you’ll have all the plants you want and you’ll know how to care for them without sinking a big chunk of cash into it. Plus, you’ll develop gardening habits so six weeks in you don’t slack off and kill hundreds of dollars worth of plants.

But what do you do with them? Outside of caring for them and using the bits in your practice, how do you work magic with living plants? There’s numerous ways to do it.

 

Plant with a blessing. For my 21st birthday I asked for a tree and a cat. I got Kiki and a cherry blossom tree. My tree is now huge and beautiful but it didn’t grow that way without help. When I planted my tree, I layered clean water on blessed herbal water on clean water, then murmured numerous beneficial inspiration and motivation as I planted it. I layered in spells for protection and health. Make the entire act of planting a spell and ritual.

Add enchanted decoration. Hanging a crystal from a tree branch or adding quartz to a flower pot not only adds an aesthetic beauty but also can add energy to the plant itself. Crystals aren’t the only thing you can use though! I enchant a very large number of wind chimes to my purposes and hang them up.  I’ve also used pinwheels, tiny statues, and wooden signs.

 

Placement and pots. Adding a fun or funny pot can make or break a “boring” plant. Planting flowers with interesting color combinations can really make your garden stunning. Enchant those things. When you add soil to your garden or water the grow before planting, mutter your spells and send energy towards it. I write in chalk or water sigils or spells inside and outside the pot to encourage growth, strength, and health.

Work with what you got. Look to see what already grows naturally around you. The Crossroads House came with grapevines so I had a crash course in how to care for them. To my delight, poke weed and bittersweet nightshade all grow naturally in my yard (but so does poison ivy and poison sumac. Oops.) But don’t be afraid to ditch what you got. I’m not a fan of hostas but there were over a dozen of them when we bought the house. I ended up re-homing a bunch of them to friends back in college and I’m still finding more of them half a decade later. Just because you have plants you didn’t super want doesn’t mean you can’t enchant them too. When I cut back or rearrange the creeping jenny and grapevines, I put spells on them.

Ask the plant! If you’re an animist, then you’re probably of the school of thought that plants have spirits. So simply ask the plant what spells they should be used in. I tend to plop down somewhere sunny and meditate with the plant for a little while until I get a sense of what I should do. Sometimes it follows along with folklore and sometimes it’s out of left field. For example, I have a climbing rose bush that I only use for curses or vengeful bindings because the plant is mean and vindictive. I never come away working with that rose bush without several new wounds. No other rose bush gives me that trouble. My bittersweet nightshade is a sweetie though and super laid back. My hydrangeas are perfectly happy to protect, encourage, or connect to the spiritual world – in exchange for a a gallon or so of water. Maybe I’m projecting but my spells work and the plants are alive still so I give it the benefit of a doubt.

 

But what kind of spells can you use? Anything. Growth, protection, and health spells are the easiest to pull off. But money or job spells? Sure. I grow basil as a money spell. Curses? Yup. My creeping jenny will stop any enemy or thief in their tracks. It’ll take care of curses too. And that’s just from telling it what I want it to do while taking care of it. I find plants to be a really great alternative to positive jar spells. Plant some sunflowers or marigolds in soil mixed with a few pinches of other herbs can really boost household happiness.

Heads up though. Unless killing the plant is the purpose, be careful with what you add to your plant. You might want to toss in a bunch of ingredients to have a living spell but the weird additions to the soil ends up killing your plant – and your spell.

 

As for myself, this Earth Day I’ll spend my day picking up one of the local beaches, painting a few clever sayings on some pots, and getting to know my new plant friends.

SEA SALT! Why salt scrubs needs more (witchy) love.

One of those things that I LOVE to make for the shop but rarely sells is bath salts. And it makes me sad because not only does one of my favorite things not sell as well as I’d like them to but it makes me feel like no one really gets the true power of salt.

Evoke the Sea salt scrub

Evoke the Sea salt scrub

First, let me wax prose about salt. I love salt. If I was a dragon, my hoard would have salt in it. I use it all the time. Salt water is my absolute friend and the ocean is where I go when I need to cleanse myself and double check if I’m on the right path still. Seriously, a quick wading into the ocean and ten minutes later I’m ready to conquer worlds. Salt carries much of those connotations with me, especially combined with water. But that’s not all salt can do. As truly magical salt can be, salt can also do a lot physically for you.

I’m going to tell you a true, personal story. I hit the growth stage of my puberty early and my face broke out into acne often. It made me self-conscious and despite my mother (a medical professional) giving me various medications and remedies to calm my skin down, nothing worked for long. I was a ridiculously shy child too so the combination gave me social anxiety. I spent 98% of my time alone and preferred it that way. I found my skin ugly and didn’t look like the other girls. I knew I could be pretty, logically. I had modeled in several pageants as a young child and was constantly told I was pretty as a girl. Puberty ruined that for me, I felt. By the time middle school rolled around, I had accepted that acne and I would never be parted and grew resigned around it. I even stopped actively trying to fight it. My mother, you see, had breakouts of acne still so I knew it could and did persist into adulthood. When my face broke out I sighed and vowed to duck my head lower.

My third year of high school I was given an opportunity to study abroad in Cape Verde which I snapped up in a heartbeat. Even then I wanted to be an archaeologist so I knew studying people and anthropology was something I’d have to study en-route to my goal. While in Cape Verde we were taken up to the salt mine, specifically the salt pond there to bathe (and learn about a major economy export of that specific island). The teacher chaperoning us said something about how salt was good for the skin and used in spas. And then one of my classmates reiterated it a bit later. And sure enough, my skin did feel softer after the dip in the water. I didn’t think on it much however given some tragic events that had happened and that tidbit of information slipped to the back of my mind.

A few months later I got my license and after that I was beach bound most days I had a car, could afford gas, and it was warm enough. I didn’t care for the sand or the half-naked men or the calm it gave me – I was there to swim, to embrace the power of the ocean and love it. My skin got better, slowly but surely. But I had psychologically written my skin off so while I noticed less breakouts and redness, I didn’t really make the connection. This pattern continued in college and in the winter where I couldn’t go to the beach, my skin got worse but once it was warm enough and I hit the beach again, it’d clear right up. I still didn’t make the connection, almost certainly due to other medical issues and double majoring taking most of my thoughts. Even without my paying attention to it, my skin got better.

Lorelei Salt Scrub without petals

Lorelei Salt Scrub without petals

Shit went down and I eventually transferred to Harvard than to University of Hawai’i to finish up my schooling. I lived across the street from the ocean in Hawai’i. I stepped outside and I could see the ocean and I fell asleep to the roaring of the waves. To be fair, most houses are within walking distance to the ocean that unless you like in the middle of the island and in order to get that view I lived in the farthest town I could get on the island, one inhabited mostly by native Hawaiians and considered the worst part of the island. (And I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why the native Hawaiian people lived primarily in the most run-down and ignored towns in Hawai’i.) Anyway, I spent everyday at the beach swimming. And then while talking to one of my non-native friends she said something that changed by world:

“I’m so jealous of you. You have great skin.”

I was so floored I could only smile and thank her but inside I was shocked. People are jealous of MY skin???? Why? I’m acne-face! I had enough bumps to be able to throw on green makeup and go as a lizard. But I didn’t. I got inside my flat and took a good, long look in the dingy lighting of my bathroom and saw that no, she was right. My skin was clear. Pale, sure, but acne? GONE.

And it came back to me, nearly a six years later “sea salt is good for the skin”. To be fair, it wasn’t entirely salt’s doing. A fast food free diet helped as did reducing my stress level and using my panacea salve any time a breakout threatened but they happen significantly less often. But I started to think of all the cycles of where my skin would flare up and the pattern appeared. Salt is why I looked amazing.

So while sugar scrubs sell phenomenally well and are super popular, I will always promote salt scrubs. Using salt scrubs is easy – dump a bit in a wet wash cloth, rub it between your hands and use the cloth on your body. When the salt is mostly gone, use it on your face. NEVER put raw salt on your face. Salt is so sharp it’s recommended to pour on things to cut fleas in half so don’t do it. I even save a jug from orange juice and poured a little sea salt in with the gallon or so of water and shook it until the salt dissolved. When I feel my skin getting rougher or I need a cleansing, I dump the salt over my body. Be wary – salt water is always going to be noticeably colder than non-salt water (which is why you should also dump some salt in coolers to keep the cooler ice and water colder, longer).

What other uses does salt have?

Here’s a dozen mundane purposes I have personally used salt for (there’s well over a hundred I know of, especially in regards to food):

  • Poured on mattresses/blankets/pet beds/furniture to cut fleas in half – noticed a significant decrease in fleas when left on for 12 hours during fumigation after Noelle the cat brought home unwanted friends despite her anti-flea medication. Vacuum up salt when through.
  • A bit of salt with some water can be used in the garden to get rid of pest, similar to above. Be cautious as plants with delicate roots or specific soil needs can suffer from this. Similarly, over-salting a plant like poison ivy will kill it. (This is an excellent way to keep poisonous plants in one area of the garden for your witchy needs while making sure they don’t take over the garden entirely. Poison oak I’m looking at you.)
  • Melting ice and snow – works great but it’s cheaper to use road salt and you get better grip with cheap kitty litter.
  • Making soap – you can use it in soap making but I tend to leave it out.
  • Can be used to put out grease fires (or any fire, really). You’re smothering the fire with the salt. Don’t use sugar as a replacement since sugar can melt. Dirt can also be used.
  • Mordant in textile and paper dying. Also, throw a pinch or two in the wash when washing new towels to keep the color from running.
  • Salt and water can be used to clean cast iron without ruining the seasoning. (Don’t overdo it) And hey, if you keep the salt afterwards, you’ll have a good start to black salt.
  • Shine chrome with a salt + vinegar base. Can also be used to get rid of stubborn tea or coffee stains (CRUCIAL around here) and rust. Be prepared for a workout with this.
  • Problems with the drain? Add salt. Especially good when you have hair, worms, or maggots in the drains. Follow up with boiling water or oil. Remember to stand back when pouring so you don’t get scalded by steam.
  • Whiten faded or yellowed cloth or linens by adding 1/4c cup baking soda, 5 tbsp borax or oxiclean, and 2 tbsp salt and boiling for up to 1/2 hour. Rinse in cold water. I use this with bleach just isn’t cutting it sometimes. I’ve also used this to get rid of sweat stains. I would not recommend it for antique cloth given the sharpness of salt. YMMV. Similarly, using this mixture gets up stains on carpets and such.
  • Soaking newly made candles in a salt water solution for a few hours will make them drip-proof. Be absolutely sure to dry them before burning though. Water inside candle wax can cause explosions.
  • Rub slightly damp salt over windows to keep them frost-free (ish). (Make a cloth bag with salt in it, spritz some water, and go to town).
  • Adding salt to shoes and gym bags will help absorb moisture and odors.
  • Soak your straw brooms in hot salt water for 1/2 hour to give them a longer life. Let dry, bristle up. This is for the brooms you use to clean with although the witchy applications are easily visible.
  • Tossing salt in the fire isn’t just a spell to bring back lovers, nope. My aunt use to throw salt in the fire at the end of the night to kill it quickly and to have less soot (since it doesn’t smolder). She said it was to help clean up the ashes easier.

DuRose Salt Scrub with petals

DuRose Salt Scrub with petals

Now for some witchy purposes for one of my all-time favorite ingredients ever:

  • Salt water is a great offering to oceanic deities and spirits. Many time salt water can also be used as an offering to moon spirits. Making your own salt water at home is especially helpful if you live inland.
  • Some theories state that Christian holy water was originally salt water. I have zero Christian background but some sects may still use this? Some Roman Catholics I think? Either way, salt water is used as a holy water recipe in various religions. YMMV depending on your deities’ associations.
  • I know “get the salt” is often ascribed to being used too much by witches but it’s actually REALLY common in various other religions such as Shintoism, Hinduism, Jainism (I believe?), and certain types of Buddhism. And, of course, Judaism have their own specific importance to salt. These are used as cleansing, purifying, or blessings, religion depending. (So if people are telling you it’s not a thing, remind them of this.)
  • Again, not a Christian background but I know Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt and that was a punishment – a curse. As mentioned above, salt can be used to get rid of a lot of things and “salting the land” is an excellent way to forever ruin the ground. Salt in the wounds is another phrase that comes to mind. Add salt in your curses to let them fester and ache more, to cut the wounds deeper. Plus, you can die from too much salt so there’s that. Add in some peppers to make a hot foot powder.
  • Salt is commonly associated with earth in (Neo?) Wicca although I’m not sure if this is true for closed initiation Wicca. So if you’re the kind of person that uses the four or five element paradigm, there you go.
  • Protection is, as mentioned above, the most common use for salt. Making a ring of salt around an object you want to protect or at the windows and doors will not only keep bugs from whatever but also spirits. I have a witch ladder of glass bottles and one of those bottles is filled with – you guessed it – salt.  As a warning and active protection.
  • Lots of spells use salt, such as the aforementioned throwing salt in the fire to bring back a lover. You’re suppose to do this for seven or nine night consecutively, beckoning them back to you.
  • Salt divination is totally a thing I do. It’s similar to tassomancy (tea reading) in the sense that you see the patterns that are there. There’s two methods I use: either I throw down the salt, and read the patterns or I go into a trance, close my eyes, and let my fingers trace out messages and symbols until the moment passes. Depends on my mood and needs, to be honest.
  • Salt is a HEAVILY traded item and I’m all about using items that are popularly traded for wealth and prosperity. I infuse salt with my desire to bring more business or good wealth or something and leave it in an offering bowl by the door or stairs. Laborers were at times paid in salt all the way back to the Roman Army.
  • Huixtochiuatl is associated with salt and salt water, if I recall correctly and salt was not an unknown offering in the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman rituals. (Although how much of that is a scholarly supposition versus evidence I will freely admit to not knowing.)
  • Salt can be submerged in water and dissolved, right? Salt water can also be left out to evaporate, making salt once again. This could be construed as loyalty or an eternal cycle if you’re of a mind to think of it that way.
  • Anglo-Saxon farmers kept a piece of salt by their plows to ward off spirits from ruining the crops. As mentioned above, it also kept pests away and soaking crops in brine wasn’t unheard of during the middle ages.
  • I never travel anywhere without a dash of salt, earth from my garden, and a handful of coins on the bottom of my luggage. It keeps everything protected, wards it all away, ensures I’ll return home (and always have home at hand), and will keep money in my pocket.
  • Salt absorbs things so use a sprinkle of it to absorb negative energy off an item. Be sure the item won’t be damaged by the salt.
  • Remember that long list of mundane uses? Throw a little magic in that and you’re good to go.

So, we’ve covered salt’s amazing right? Now imagine a salt scrub, luxurious for your skin, scented by carefully selected oils and botanicals, and churned into being by a witch pouring magic and energy into each turn of a carved wooden spoon just to make you look beautiful and healthy. Head over to my shop to pick up your own salt scrubs!

Information on Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris – Common Mugwort)

This information was gathered and posted so my customers and clients are better informed when purchasing products that contain mugwort. The following information is not exclusive. Every purchase of a product that contains mugwort is sent a pamphlet with this information, current research, safety tips and tricks, and instructions. Please use with caution and at your own risk.


Do NOT use any mugwort product if pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Mugwort is an abortive and may cause miscarriage. It has also been known to cause the uterus to contract and cause menstruation.

Mugwort is also an allergen. If you are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, chamomile, and other members of the Asteraceae and Compositae families, do not take mugwort. If you are allergic to celery, carrot, birch, tobacco, sunflower, cabbage, grass, hazelnut, olive, mustard, sweet bell pepper, kiwi, peach, mango, apple, or royal jelly, you should also avoid mugwort. This is similarly true for cinnamon, clove honey, and nutmeg which are also ingredients in this salve.

Do not take with together with acetylsalicylic acid, anticoagulant medications, anti-platelet medications, or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. It is suggested that one should refrain from taking flying salves while on hormonal birth control, although there is currently little information available on this subject.

Long term and consistent usage of mugwort has been known to cause damage with the nervous system. Regular daily use of large amounts of mugwort will increase these risks.

All of the above said, my products do not contain enough of any of the plant ingredients to be worth concern to most. There have been no reported cases of any of the above symptoms by users of any of my products.

Mugwort is known to cause “mugwort hangovers” after usage. This is not unusual and should not be a cause for concern. Drink plenty of fluids and eat heartily.

If you experience nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems such as wheezing or shortness of breath, skin allergic reactions such as rash or hives, cease usage immediately, wash the applied area and drink fluids. Call your health care provider, emergency services, or your Poison Control Center. In the United States the number is 1-800-222-1222.

Cleansing Yourself

Cleansing yourself (or other people or your home) is the spiritual equivalent of “did you try turning it off?” (Meditation, of course, being the equivalent of “is it plugged in?”)

Even though it is such a common remedy for so many things, it is often one of the things people just don’t know how to do or only know one method of. This intent of this particular post is to list and describe a few common cleansing practices. For some folks, this will be basic 101 stuff and others may find revelation in this. Wherever you fall in that spectrum, hopefully this is an interesting read and it helps you some.

First, safety tips: Don’t use anything you’re allergic to. It’s very likely a quick 40 seconds google search will give you an idea whether the mixtures suggested elsewhere or even here will be harmful for you. Use common sense and be safe.

Secondly, before you do anything. Stop. Just stop. Stop checking your phone, reading this sentence, or listening to music. Just stop everything. Now breathe. Drawn in a deep breath. Yes, good. Now hold it for a few seconds. Great. And release. Feels better, doesn’t it? Do this a couple of times. These few moments will mentally break you from whatever chaos is around you and help you re-evaluate what needs to be done.

Now, onto the cleansing methods.

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Another image from the lake yesterday.

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The Water Method

The easiest method by far is taking a shower. Take a few minutes to soak in the hot water and get a steam going before dialing the water temperature down to as cool as you can stand, close your eyes (feel free to lean on the wall if you’re worried about falling), and clear your mind as best you can. Take a few deep breaths and start to envision all the black muck and problems you’re facing falling away like the water. Start this at the top of your head and envision it slipping down your body, gaining more muck as it goes. Envisioning the water going black as you do this and that black water going down the drain. Keep doing this until you feel light and can breath easier.

This method historically is used in many cultures. In Japan, there are specific rites of cleansing and purification that require the person to stand under a waterfall. Most of us don’t have a waterfall handy, so the shower works. I personally use the shower method most often but the best way for me to be cleansed is to go to the ocean and just stand in the water. I don’t have to swim, precisely, but just soak my feet (and maybe splash about in the incoming waves) and I am instantly and enormously better. A cousin of mine uses a specific lake. Many users like to do this with a bath but I don’t often recommend because you’re sitting in the sullied water without something to counter the taint. Essentially, bathing and allowing the water to take the problems from you is a strong spiritual cleanse.

If you’re using a shower or bath, the water method is very easily combined with herbs and bathing salts for cleansing. Even bathing in salt water (which you can make by dissolving sea salt into water) will be extremely helpful. Adding essential oils or herbs to the bathing salts, or just alone will help enormously. (Don’t put essential oils directly on your skin without diluting them first.)

My favorite combination is using citrus essential oils, juices, or dried zest to this effect. A drop of two of lemon juice or bergamot essential oil in a bath or among bath salts will do wonders. A quick warning though is that most citrus is photosensitive. So bathing in lemony water will cause the skin to burn more easily. In short: Don’t bath in citrus anything and then go spend a day in the sun. You’ll burn and dehydrate your skin which will cause even more problems.

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From our friend's dock while visiting yesterday.

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Mints, like spearmint, peppermint, or common mint, or even eucalyptus can be used in a similar fashion for a cooling bath. This bath is actually really great if you have an upset stomach or headache so I use it when getting over being sick.

Some people go so far as to bath in sage or other cleansing associated salts or herbs. I find these tend to be very startling spiritually when used in this manner so I recommend them only when there’s a serious problem at hand.

There’s about a hundred thousand different recipes out there. For herbal books based on beauty care Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or Stephanie Torres’ Organic Body Care Recipes are recommended. For those interested in cleansing salts or scrubs and don’t want to make them, I offer them in my shop on and off again.

If you want to use herbs in the shower, take a mesh bag or cheese cloth 1/4-1/2 stuffed with herbs and tie it on the shower head. Wash as usual. Just be careful as some herbs have dyeing, drying, or irritating properties on the skin and eyes. Talk to your licensed herbalist. Keep a bowl of clean water beside the shower in case you get irritants in your eye so you can do an eyewash. Alternatively, you can steep the herbs in warm water and cool it, leaving it aside in a bowl. Take that bowl into the shower with you and use it with a shower sponge (bath scrubbie or bath puff) or wash cloth.

This can also be used to clean the house. I tend to use these herbal salt water recipes for my cleaning buckets, floor washes, window cleaning, and so on. Works beautifully. I even toss salt and a drop or two of essential oil in my washing machine to encourage various things.

The Egg Method

Eggs are spiritually powerful. Not only are they unbirthed young, they contain a lot of healthy materials for us. Since they are unbirthed animals, they can be used to absorb hexes, curses, or just general negative energy. Roll the egg over every part of your body that you can reach. Once done, take the egg to a crossroads far away from where you live (an intersection will work, just don’t get hit by a car) and break the egg. Really throw the egg with some force away from you. Leave a different way you came and go home. I generally recommend following this method up with a luxurious bath or shower.

This can also be done with a stone. Alternatively, you can toss the egg or rock into live water (ocean, river, etc.)

The Smoke Method

This is your smudging or herbal stick burning. Burning incense also falls into this category. In general, you pick up cleansing herbs or incense and burn it, carrying the burning whatever throughout the house  and over your body. Leave a door open so if there’s a spirit that’s being chased out, it can leave.

Similarly, candles can be made with cleansing properties and burned for the same results.

This obviously isn’t recommended if you can’t burn candles in the house, have sensitive smoke alarms, or are allergic to or sensitive to smoke.

Detoxification

There’s a lot of bad information out there for detoxification. Talk to your doctor or licensed herbalist for information on how to detoxify yourself. This is less cleansing of the spirit and more of the body. Still, you would be amazed at how detoxifying your body helps the spirit. Be careful and vet each and every recipe you try since there’s so much bad information out there.

One recipe I use fairly often. I tend to drink this between breakfast and lunch every couple of days. Generally people make this recipe in warm water as a tea. I don’t bother. I just pour a cup of room temperature filtered water and call it a day. And yes, the pepper and cinnamon is really necessary. Capsaicin and cinnamon have a lot of great properties when used in small doses so I highly recommend them both.

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice or 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey (raw is better but whatever works best for you)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup water

Drinking a tea of nettle and green tea is another method.

All of the above being said, you’ll find when googling that a lot of detoxing recipes can also be used as weight loss treatments. Please don’t do it. The above has some evidence of assisting in weight loss but when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. You’ll lose weight by only consuming the above for how ever many days but you’ll gain it all back afterwards. It’s really hard on your system. Additionally, if you begin to experience or are prone to acid reflux, stop taking it and switch to milk or cream to calm the reflux. Vinegar, in large quantities, will be acidic on your system without something to counter it (hence why I use so little apple cider vinegar.)

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Kiki is a slacker.

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You could also bathe in the above, but as previously mentioned, lemon juice can make someone photosensitive. The recipe, if used on the hair and skin topically often, can even be used as a dyeing method. Yes, really. I use lemon juice in my hair oil recipe and it has lightened my hair over time (which I’m fine with). Something to note.

So these are just some of the methods you can use to cleanse yourself.


For more reading, you can go to the following links over on tumblr:

 

Herbs, Plants, and Why They Have Their Associations (tumblr repost)

Anonymous:
Hi! I love your blog! Thanks for being so willing to answer questions! I was wondering if you knew why it is that certain herbs work better for certain purposes more than others? Is there any reason other than “Just because they’ve always worked like that”? (And at the same time, I know there are some who think it’s all intent and that the herbs don’t really matter.) I’d love to hear what you think on it.Image

I actually don’t think it’s all about intent. Personal opinion of course and others are perfectly welcome to work within that belief but I don’t.

Why certain herbs are ascribed certain characteristics depends on who you talk to. For our purposes, I’ll detail why I’d ascribe a particular characteristics to an apple, mostly because I’m noming on an apple right now. But I can probably do this with most herbs.

  • Mythology – There are mythological reasons why an herb would be associated with something. Iðunn kept apples for the youthfulness of the gods. There’s also a myth involving those apples, Iðunn, and Loki. Apples also have a Norse association with fertility if I recall my Volsunga Saga properly. (I believe there have been some Norse finds that discovered apples and nuts among offerings). Apples were part of Hercules’ Twelve Labors (golden apples from the Tree of Life). Hippomenes who tossed golden apples to distracted Atalanta leading to his winning the race and her hand in marriage. Of course there’s Eris the goddess of Discord and the fiasco that was the marriage of Peleius and Thetis, indirectly causing the Trojan War. I’m not sure on the etymology of it but apples are associated with Aphrodite  I believe because they are part of a folkloric or symbolic act of expressing love but don’t quote me on that. This, of course, doesn’t include the story of the Garden of Eden. Conle of Celtic mythology is given an apple which feeds him for a year but thrusts him into the world of the fae (? My version of this mythology is likely not the original.) Avalon translates to “the apple land”, “land of apple”, or “apple island”. Breaking that down, an apple can be used for love, sex, marriage, fertility, youthfulness, secrets and trickery.
  • Folklore – Local and cultural folklore is important, often coming from a local tradition, festival, or even a particular person. Then there’s William Tell, Issac Newton, and Johnny Appleseed. For example, Irish/English folklore states that if an apple is peeled in one continuous piece like a ribbon and is thrown over the shoulder it will reveal the shape of a future lover’s initials. This doesn’t count the vast amounts of saying involving apples such as “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
  • Fairy tales – Snow White’s dealing with the apple is quite famous. In the original myth Snow White actually chokes on the apple instead of being poisoned by it.
  • History – Historically, apples travel well and keep well for a very long time. They’re one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated and are very popular. Not just that, they were often dried and eaten both fresh and dried over the coarse of the winter months. There’s about eleventy-billion ways of cooking, canning, or otherwise preparing apples for consumption. Some foods even have specific meanings to them such as apple and honey for Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year. Because apple trees were common, apple wood was also commonly used in hearth fires and buildings. In fact, buildings boats from apple wood was said to be unlucky because coffins were built of apple wood. There’s a few scholars that have said the apple is a symbolic substitute for Amanita muscaria (fly agaric mushroom) and mandrake. Settlers were told to plant apple trees (upwards of 50 trees) when settling in America so they wouldn’t starve. Apples are BIG money and there’s a great many contests relating to apples (apple pie contests and bobbing to apples).
  • Cultural Associations & Art – Apples are given to teachers by children as gifts. Because of this, it can be used in association with education or enlightenment (especially if combining with Issac Newton’s legend.) Beauty is often linked with love, sex, and marriage because most cultures associated beauty as a desireable trait for all three. In the Victorian era, apple blossoms became known in floriography for generosity and love. Apples can be dried to look like shrunken heads or be used on dolls or as fetishes or poppets.
  • Biology – Apple seeds are actually toxic (amygdalin, which is a sugar-cyanide compound) but safe in small amounts. The larynx on men is called the Adam’s Apple (I believe coming from Garden of Eden story but Christian mythology is NOT my thing.) Falling back to the “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” there is suggested research that states that apples may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, increase skeletal muscle, decrease fat, obesity, glucose intolerance. It’s great for fiber and vitamin C.
  • Appearance & Color – Apples vary in colors depending on type while apple blossoms are white and pink. If you associate color with the apple, you’ll get fire (especially in gala breeds). Red for action, motion, courage, and passion. Pink is gentler, warm, love, comfort, and good for healing, and to relieve depression. In appearance the flesh is smooth and can be shined with a white, crisp flesh and a core of tiny black seeds. The seeds are rather eye-like aren’t they? And in shape, apples are fairly round and I can attest from personal experience make fairly entertaining baseballs.

tl;dr: I’d use apples for love, fertility, marriage, sex, lust, secrets, taboo or forbidden things, beauty, youth, trickery, poison, death (because where there’s fertility there’s death), education, knowledge, contests, trade or commerce, and suspended life (apples are stored long-term for food plus Snow White’s story). And that’s just the simple apple.

Additionally, there’s the animistic belief that plants have souls or inherent power. Either the power or spirits exist there or the power and spirits can be “unlocked” or “encouraged” to a specific purpose for spell work. Or if one worked with a linked deity, you can use those herbs as a substitute for those deities or those deities’ power.

So there’s a lot of reasons why someone may use an herb for something. It really depends on the person. For example, some won’t use the physical appearance of an herb. Others will rely entirely on the folkloric or mythological attributes. The medical and biological attributes are often used by herbalists and are sometimes ignored by some witches. It really depends on the person themselves and their practice. I like to use all of the above in my witchcraft.

(Also, thanks so much! <3)

Originally posted on tumblr here.