Witch’s Garden

Aloe – luck, protection

Carnation – protection, strength

Chamomile – passion, sleep

Chrysanthemum – strength

Clover – wealth, success

Dandelion – divination

Heather – protection, luck

Hibiscus – love, lust

Holly – protection

Honeysuckle – wealth, spirit

Jasmine – love, wealth

Lavender – peace, happiness

Lilac – Exorcism, love

Lily – healing

Marigold – protection

Myrtle – fertility

Poppy – love, sleep

Rose – healing, love

Witchcraft 101

the-darkest-of-lights:

I was asked to make a post about some basic information for beginners. This post covers a lot of information to start you off on. 🙂

I suggest you pick out a topic and start there by studying it and practicing it, and don’t forget that it’s your journey and you decide what you believe to be most important. Feel free to expand your horizons.

Some subjects:
–symbols
–animal magic
–
history
–sacred geometry
–herb magic
–crystal magic
–spells
–potions
–amulets/charms/talismans
–animal spirits
–deities
–elemental magic
–esoteric
–angel magic
–numerology
–poison path
–hexes
–alchemy

Some wonderful authors:
–Scott Cunningham
–Dugan
–Gerna Dunwitch
–Worth
–Eileen Holland
–Judika Illes

I do have a list of great beginner books that I suggest:
Candlelight Spells 
- Gerna Dunwitch
Spells For The Solitary Witch 
- Eileen Holland
Mrs Bs Guide To Household Witchery 
- Kris Bradley
The Way Of The Green Witch – Murphy Hiscock
Book Of Witchery – Dugan
Cunningham’s Book Of Shadows – Scott Cunningham
Practical Protection Magic – Dugan
Pure Magic – Judika Illes

Some tips:
1. Do your own research.
2. Don’t be afraid to read about ‘taboo’ topics.
3. Libraries are great places (if you can’t find a book your looking for, you can get one shipped from another library for free).
4. There are many magical subjects to study.
5. You don’t need any tools.
6. You can work magic in the kitchen with everyday ingredients.
7. You can write your own spells.
8. Don’t do anything your not comfortable doing.
10. Don’t forget to Take notes (book of shadows)

A book of shadows is a book that one uses to write about their experiences, their path, and anything they feel is important to add.

Some info for your Book of Shadows 
(BOS) and you can put anything you’d like in it, as each book is individual to the owner who write in it. You can also have many Book of Shadows and it’s ok to keep your old ones. Here are a few subjects you can go over in the book:
–lunar calendar
–info about your deities
–herbs
–crystals
–sabbaths
–correspondences
–tool info
–symbolic info
–a bio
–book protection spell
–spells
–charms
–potions
–recipes
–notes from your craft

The Basic Tools Of A Witch
**tools do not need to be used but make casting easer and this is not a complete list, as different paths have there own lists.

The Chalice 
- often made of silver, though it can be made of any material. It is associated with water, and feminine energies.

The Cauldron – a tool of fire, often used to burn offerings, fire magic, or mixing potions. Many use cast iron cauldrons as cooking vessels.

Dowsing Rods – a divination tool often used to find lost objects or find underground water for well making.

Magical Journal – a magical journal often called a Book of Shadows due to pop culture, often used to keep a log of magical experiences, practices and recipes. 
Many believe the power of the written word, I personally believe that there’s more power in writing down it all by hand. You can use you book any way you want and name it what you want. It’s supposed to be personal and over the years you may have a series of books written by you.

The Wand – can be made with a verity of materials, many use certain woods and crystals while others use copper. They have masculine energies and considered tools of fire/ air. They are used to direct magical energies.
 Willow wood is associated with lunar magic; Oak wood is associated with fire magic
; Apple wood is associated with love magic,
 to name a few woods and magical uses.

The Athame – a double sided blade that is never to be used to cut any physical surface. It is usually considered to be a tool of air/fire. Used to direct energy, it has a masculine association.

The Besom – a broomstick; it combines both masculine and feminine energies, used to “sweep away unwanted energies”; never to be used for mundane but only for the magical, or else you risk loosing any magical power stored in it.

The Smoke Fan – used to move magical energies in a space, a tool of air as it can be used in combination with sage for a cleansing ritual.

Basic Tool Consecration
Prior to consecration, I rub the tool with fresh lavender, eucalyptus or mint leaves.
When I consecrate my tools I hold the tool in my hand and visualize it absorbing my energies, then I purify it from its old energies with the elements; I choose to use the smoke method. While I smoke cleanse the tool I usually say aloud a blessing of the elements:


I hold in my hands the (tool)
which I dedicate as a tool of the (name of element) element
I dedicate it to positive uses
as I was the Path of the Wise

Basic Herbs:

Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)
Gender: hot
Planet: mars
Element: fire
Deities: Krishna, Vishnu
Basic Powers: purification, protection, exorcism, love

CAMOMILE (Anthemis Nobilis)
Gender: hot
Planet: sun
Element: water
Part Used: flowers
Basic powers: prosperity, meditation, money, induces sleep when burned

CATNIP (Nepeta Cataria)
Gender: cold
Planet: venus
Element: water
Deity: Bast
Part Used: leaf
Basic Power: love, animal connection, relaxation

HONEYSUCKLE
 (Lonicera Caprifolium)
Gender: hot
Planet: jupiter
Element: earth
Part Used: flowers
Basic Powers: prosperity, clairvoyance

LAVENDER (Lavendula Officinal)
Gender: hot
Planet: mercury
Element: air
Part Used: flowers
Basic Powers: love, protection, purification

MUGWORT (Artemisa Vulgaris)
Gender: cold
Planet: venus
Element: air
Deities: Artemis, Diana
Part Used: herb
Basic Powers: protection, clairvoyance

THYME (Thymus Vulgaris)
Gender: cold
Planet: venus
Element: air
Part Used: herb
Basic Powers: clairvoyance, purification

YARROW (Achillea Millefolium)
Gender: cold
Planet: venus
Element: water
Part Used: flowers
Basic Powers: love, clairvoyance, exorcism

Beginners Oil Apothecary
Almond Oil
Gender: masculine
Planet: mercury
Element: air
Powers: love, prosperity, wisdom

Bergamot Oil
Gender: masculine
Planet: mercury
Element: air
Powers: prosperity, protection

Eucalyptus Oil
Gender: feminine
Planet: moon
Element: water
Powers: cleansing, healing, protection

Frankincense Oil
Gender: masculine
Planet: sun
Element: fire
Powers: peace, protection, exorcism, spirituality

Jasmine Oil
Gender: feminine
Planet: moon
Element: water
Powers: love, sexuality, goddess

Lavender Oil
Gender: feminine
Planet: venus
Element: water
Powers: cleansing, purification, relaxation, healing

Patchouli Oil
Gender: feminine
Planet: Saturn
Element: earth
Powers: love, healing, passion

Sandalwood Oil
Gender: feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: water
Powers: dreams, divination, enhancing psychic abilities

Beginner Crystals

QUARTZ CRYSTAL
Planet: sun, moon
Element: fire, water
Powers: protection, healing, power, lactation

AMETHYST
Planet: Jupiter, Neptune
Element: water
Powers: dreams, overcoming alcoholism, health, healing, psychic abilities, peace, love, protection, happiness

TURQUOISE
Planet: Venus, Neptune
Element: earth
Powers: protection, courage, money, love, friendship, healing, luck

TIGER’S EYE
Planet: sun
Element: fire
Powers: money, protection, courage, energy, luck, divination

SUNSTONE
Planet: sun
Element: fire
Powers: protection, energy, health, sexual energy

MOONSTONE
Planet: moon
Element: water
Powers: divination, psychism, sleep, gardening, protection, youth, dieting

ONYX
Planet: Mars, Saturn
Element: fire
Powers: protection, defensive magic, reducing sexual desires

APACHE TEARS
Planet: Saturn
Element: fire
Powers: protection, luck

OBSIDIAN
Planet: Saturn
Element: fire
Powers: protection, grounding, divination, peace

MALACHITE
Planet: Venus
Element: earth
Powers: power, protection, love, peace, business success

JET
Planet: Saturn
Element: earth
Powers: protection, anti-nightmares, luck, definition, health

FLUORITE
Powers: mental powers, calming

CARNELIAN
Planet: sun
Element: fire
Powers: protection, peace, eloquence, healing, courage

Candle Colors
WHITe – all purpose, unity, purity, cleansing, peace, balance, spirituality, healing, innocence, rain, magic involving young children, truth, consecration, balancing the aura

RED – passion, vitality, strength, survival, fertility, courage, sexual potency, mercy, action, danger, war, fire element, conflict, sports, independence, assertiveness, competition

BLUE – communication, will power, focus, forgiveness, good fortune, weight loss, truth, fidelity, patience, domestic harmony, organization, removing bad vibrations, sincerity, astral projection, water element

YELLOW – masculine divinity, great fortune, abundance, prosperity, male energy, understanding, divination, fast luck, solar/sun energy, positive attitude, justice, health, attraction, luxury

GREEN – prosperity, abundance, money, physical & emotional healing, growth, luck, marriage, tree/plant magic, acceptance, weather, counteract envy/greed/jealousy

PURPLE – wisdom, influence, spiritual power, contact with spirits, drive away evil, change luck, independence, government, break habit

PINK – love, compassion, nurturing, femininity, friendship, romance, partnership, spiritual & emotional healing, protection of children, domestic harmony, self-improvement, maturity

ORANGE – creativity, self-expression, intellectual matters, overcoming addiction, legal matters/justice, joy, business success, ambition, vitality, fun, action, opportunity, celebration, investments

BROWN – ouse blessing, animal/pet magic, earth magic, concentration, material goods, stability, locating lost objects, earth element, real estate, construction, food, financial crisis

BLACK – grounding, wisdom, learning, protection, safety, reversing, uncrossing, unhexing, repelling black magic, banishing negativity, releasing, shapeshifting, defense, scrying, pride

Casting circles
Using an athame draw a circle around your working area, and then invoke the elements and chosen deities (optional) then proceed with your magical workings. There are may ways of casting a circle, everybody does it there own way.

Invocation of the Elements 
Via Cunningham’s Book of Shadows:
Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Elements of astral birth
I charge you now; attend to me!
In the circle, rightly cast
Safe from psychic curse and blast
I charge you now; attend to me!
From cave and desert, sea and hill

By wand, blade cup, and pentacle

I charge you now; attend to me!

This is my will, so mote it be!

Dismissal of the elements
:
Earth, Water, Fire and Air

Elements both strong and fair
Return to your abodes now
Flee!
 This is my will, so mote it be!

Centering ritual
To be centered means to be balanced physically and spiritually.

Body mind and spirit now align

center focus on this goal of mine

subtle bodies balance to the core

clear and strong I’m ready to explore

Chant to help create a sense of connectedness:
To the sky spirit
rise 
with my voice
lift my eyes
see the sun, moon, and stars
touch them all, mine and ours

Circle of Protection Incense
Designed to protect a person, home, or place of business from evil influence.
1 oz powdered sandalwood
1/2 oz powdered 5 finger grass
1/4 oz. powdered frankincense
1/4 oz grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. salt peter
1 dram of gardenia oil
2 dram tincture of benzoin
1/8 Fl. Oz =1 dram 
1/4 Fl. Oz = 2 dram

Tincture of benzoin
2 oz powdered benzoin
4 oz water
12 oz alcohol
Keep this mix in a bottle for 2 weeks and shake daily, then strain the liquid for use.

I Spoke With A Pine Cone

pine cone chat

Materials:

–three white candles (one tapered, two shorter and thicker)
–three Herkimer Diamonds (for some protection and aid in seeking knowledge)
–two Snowflake Obsidians (for protection)
–one dagger (to draw the circle)
–a spirit invoking/dismissal chant (for the beginning and end of the event)
–one pine cone

I began to meditate, focusing on my breathing first, then focusing on my body in physical space. I could see my room in my head, including the pine cone in front of me. I then focused on my spiritual body, and imagined my spiritual hand reaching out and hovering a couple inches above the pine cone, as though hesitating to pet it.

Then I imagined my hand picking up the pine cone and cradling it my cupped hands in my lap.  As I did so, I got the feeling that it was okay for me to do this.  So, with my physical hand, I picked up the pine cone and cradled it in my lap.

Every time I exhaled I made sure a small current of my energy flowed down from my shoulders and arms, into my hands, to be soaked up by the pine cone.  After a little bit, I didn’t feel like I was holding anything. With my spiritual body, I looked down at the cone and fell into the darkness that hid between the petals.

And it was dark in there, except when I said “Hello?” Then a light came on and illuminated a four poster bed. It looked cozy but I was confused why it was there.  I said my greeting again and was shone a table with papers and notebooks and pencils strewn about.  I gave my salutation one last time and finally heard a faint “hello?” coming from behind me.

I turned and looked into the darkness. I walked a little forward, wary of not being able to see what I was walking on.  “Hello?”

A light turned on in another room (so I could see the outline of the doorframe but no details on the door or anything else) and out walked a tall, thin man with short hair.  He smiled and said, “Hello!” Like it was one of his favorite words.  He held what looked like a notebook or clipboard and a pencil, and walked toward… no, past me, to the table and at the wall, which had a chart of some kind pinned to it.

“Are you the Pine Cone?”

“That I am.” He didn’t turn around, he kept working.

I walked over and asked what he was doing.  “I’m keeping track,” he said.

“Of what?”

“My brothers.”

I looked closer.  The chart was a family tree and he was checking and adding names.  “You know all of your family?”

“Of course.”

“How?”

He pointed to his head with the pencil. “We chat, up here.”

“That sounds exhausting.”

“Not really.  It’s more like what you would call background noise.”

“Oh.  Are you sad that you’ll never be a tree?”

“I won’t get to grow?”

“No. I have you on a shelf in my room.”

“Oh, alright then.”  He went back to the room he originally came out of.

“Do you have any advice or wisdom you want to share?”

He came out. “Not really.”

“Pine trees always seem like they would have good advice or something.”

“I’m not older and matured, like my fathers and grandfathers,” he said.

We spoke about a few other things.  I asked if I were to use him in a spell what might something he could help with.  He said fertility, definitely, and prosperity spells.

I asked if he could see if I really did have a connection with nature.  He said yes, I do have an affinity with nature.  With flowers, really…  Yellow flowers, particularly. If you have yellow flowers in your garden and you pay them even a little bit of attention, they will thrive.

“Are you sure you don’t have any advice? Because I totally felt an energy coming from you this morning and it felt big.”

He was pensive for a moment, then took my shoulders in his hands, and looked me straight in the eye.

“Don’t give up,” he said. “You can do it.”

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that.  But it did have that ‘big’ feeling from earlier in the day.

“That’s it?” I asked.

He looked back at his research and nodded. “Yup.”

“Okay.” I said.  “Thank you. Would you like me to return you to where I found you?”

“No, that’s okay. There’s no need to go back.”

“Are you alright, then, just sitting on my shelf?  Would you like me to do anything for you?”

He said,  “I’ll be fine.  Just know that the lights won’t be on, but someone will be home.”

I nodded. “Okay. Thank you.”

And I exited the pine cone by flying out of the darkness between the petals and back into my body.

pinecone

I have this fine specimen of a pine cone, and all I can find out about pine cones is that they are good for opening your third eye. They are also good to keep by you when meditating. Does anyone have any other info about pine cones?

pine cone

earthandoceantarot – all fabulous ideas! Thank you! I really like the mini landscape. I think I’ll try to meditate with it tonight and try to strike up a conversation.

Ten Mistakes New Herb Gardeners Make (and How to Avoid Them!)

thebeardedgardener:

Mistake 1: Growing from seed. When you first start out trying to grow fresh herbs, I recommend you begin by trying to grow from seedlings rather than planting your own seeds. These great little starter plants are widely available in grocery stores in the late spring. For the same price as a packet of fresh herbs from the produce section, you can buy your own little starter plant. Lots can go wrong in the seed to seedling transition (including not thinning out plants properly), so its probably best to begin by skipping that complicated task or you are in danger of washing out before you really begin.

Mistake 2: Starting with the wrong varieties. I recommend you start by trying to grow fresh basil. It is the perfect trainer herb. First, basil grows quickly, allowing you to observe the effects of your care more easily. Second, basil leaves wilt visibly when not watered enough, but recovers well if you water the wilted plant. This makes basil a great ‘canary in the mineshaft’ to help you figure out how much water is enough.

Mistake 3: Watering herbs like houseplants. Instead, water herbs a moderate amount every day. While some houseplants flourish with one solid watering per week, most delicate herbs require moderate and regular watering. This is particularly true during hot summer months. If you have good drainage at the bottom of your pot (at least a drainage hole, possibly rocks beneath the soil), it will be difficult to water herbs too much.

Mistake 4: Not cutting early and often. As a novice gardener, it may seem like your puny little plant just isn’t ready for a trip to the barber, but then you will find yourself sitting there wishing for leaves without much success. Again, basil is a great herb to practice pruning. As with all herbs, you want to cut the herb just above a set of growing leaves. With basil, when you cut the plant that way, the originally trimmed stem will no longer grow. However, two new stems will grow around the original cutting, creating a “V” shape (see the photo above, can you spot the Vs?). If you don’t trim basil aggressively, it will continue to grow straight up, and become too tall and top-heavy. Making your first trim approximately 3-4” above the soil produces a nice sturdy plant. Of course you want to be sure you are always leaving a few good sturdy leaves on the plant (see below). As it continues to grow, continue to prune it approximately every 3-4” for a nice solid plant. I like to let it grow for some time and then cut back to within 2-3 inches of the original cut. After only a few early trial cuts, this usually makes for a nice clipping with plenty of basil to use for a pizza.

Mistake 5: Taking the leaves from the wrong place. When you are just starting out it seems to make so much sense to pick off a few big leaves around the bottom of the plant, and let those tender little guys at the top keep growing. Wrong. Leave those large tough old guys at the bottom alone. They are the solar panels that power your herb’s growth. Once your plant is big enough to sustain a decent harvest, keep on taking from the top, as you have been when you were pruning. That way you get all those tender new herbs that are so tasty, and your plant gets to keep its well developed solar power system in place. Plus, if you pluck from the base and leave the top intact, you get a tall skinny plant that will flop over from its own weight (and yes, I know this from experience). When you pluck from the top, instead of clipping off just below a pair of leaves, you want to clip off just above a pair of leaves. It is a bit counter-intuitive as a novice, but trust me it works. The place where the leaf joins the stem is where new growth will occur when your plant sends off new stems in a V.

Mistake 6: Letting your plants get too randy. If you are pruning regularly, this may never become an issue, but unless you are growing something for its edible flowers, be sure to cut back herbs before they start growing flowers. My friend once brought me to her backyard garden and pointed, frustrated, at her wimpy, small basil plants. “I just keep tending them, but they don’t even produce enough leaves to put on a salad!” she lamented. I pointed to the glorious stalk of flowers at the top of each plant, “That’s your problem” I explained. Because herbs are kind of like college boys: if you give them half a chance, they will focus all their energy on procreation and neglect growth. If you want leaves, keep cutting off the little flower buds whenever you find them (see photo above), and it will encourage your plant to focus on growing more leaves.

Mistake 7: Using tired soil with no nutrients. Tired soil that has been sitting in your garden or lawn for ages often looks grey and a little depressing. Would you want to grow in that stuff? Give your plants a dose of the good stuff and they’ll thank you for it. I grow my herbs in a combination of potting soil, used coffee grounds (with a near-neutral PH, available for free at Starbucks), and organic compost. If I have some on hand, I also throw in crushed egg shells. Those without access to compost (and no deep commitment to organic growing) may find Miracle grow useful. My momma swears by it for tomatoes. A diluted solution of Miracle grow occasionally can help many herbs flourish.

Mistake 8: Getting in a rut. There is an element to passion about herb gardening. In order to be good at it, you need to feel rewarded. So don’t stick too long with one or two herbs just because they work. Branch out to a few other basic herbs that you will use regularly in your kitchen. There are few things more rewarding as an urban foodie than being able to pop out to the fire escape to clip fresh herbs to use in my cooking. Once you have become comfortable with basil, I recommend moving on to try growing oregano, mint, rosemary and thyme. All are regularly useful herbs in the kitchen, and all are relatively easy to grow. You will notice that rosemary cleaves after cutting in a somewhat similar way to basil, but grows much more slowly, so the effect is difficult to notice. Some plants also respond to clipping by throwing out more full leaves at their base. I have long wanted to grow cilantro but have not had much luck with it.

Mistake 9: You mean there’s more than one kind of mint?When choosing herbs, read the label carefully. For example, there are two main varieties of oregano: Mediterranean and Mexican. Mediterranean oregano is the more common variety, and what you likely own if you have conventional dried oregano in your cupboard. I have Mexican oregano growing on my back fire escape. I love Mexican oregano in spicy dishes, for making beans from scratch, and often use it in tomato dishes where I don’t want the flavor to seem too much like marinara. Similarly, there are many different kinds of mint. You don’t want to be thinking of the pungent spearmint plant and accidentally take home the much more subtle (and not mojito savvy) applemint by mistake.

Mistake 10: Feed me Seymour! If you are planting in soil instead of pots, take care that your cute little herb seedling doesn’t become a giant plant that takes over your garden. A word of warning for oregano and mint: both can be voracious growers. If you are planting outside in a garden, rather than in pots, you may want to consider potting these herbs and then burying the pots in the ground. This will add a measure of control to the root systems of these herbs, which can otherwise take over a garden and strangle nearby neighbors. When in doubt, check out wikipedia, they usually are careful to point out which herbs are in danger of overwhelming your garden.

Spell To Help A Plant Grow/Resurrect A Plant

You will need both an incense burner and incense of your choosing as well as a silver coin (such as a dime. The coin in optional but much preferred).

Now this spell is hand written by myself. You will need to go out to the plant. No meditation is needed. All you need to do is touch the plant or area around it. Imagine green light enveloping and nurturing it. Then, chant:

“Make this (Plant Name) grow. Let it thrive. Even through the hardships, let it survive. This is my will and this is my plea. So mote is be.”

When done, either light your incense inside your house near your altar or outside near the plant. (I used frankincense and lit it inside.) when you see plant growth, plant a dime in the general area around the plant as a thank you to the element of Earth. I have both resurrected my cactus and helped grow my mint back with this spell. Do NOT forget to give the plant generous helping of water.

Recycling Tips For Greener Witchery

Being a Green Witch is not only brewing nice oils or creating incenses; much more important than those things is the belief that Nature is our true and only source, and that it must be respected and cared for as much as possible. Both for rural or urban witches, reducing our waste and recycling are the biggest steps into a greener, more conscious living, and the ones who make a true Green Witch in my opinion. Here are some helpful and very cheap (if not free) tips that we use on our daily life:

The Garden
– Save the water of boiling potatoes and eggs and water your plants with it. Not only this reduces your water waste, that water is full of nutrients for your plants.
– Any herbal debris from your herbal garden can be saved and used to make “compost tea”: cut all leaves and stems in small pieces with scissors and place them in a piece of fabric (thrifted sheets are perfect). Add a stone or any other heavy object and tie the fabric to make your “tea bag”. Place it on a bucket of water, cover the bucket and leave in a warm place for a few days. Your herbs will love this water! This always works best with fresh herbs.
– Don’t throw away that nettles after you’ve weeded them! Not only they have wonderful properties for your health, they also make the best cold infusion to fill your plants with nutrients.
– Coffee grounds and powdered eggshell make a wonderful organic fertilizer.
– To keep you plants free from most bugs, spray the plants with a garlic infusion; boil the water, put on the garlic cloves (as many as you want, I use a full clove head per gallon of water) and let it sit until it’s back to room temperature. Then, add a glass of apple vinegar and spray your plants with it, specially under the leaves. Most bugs will starve to death as they hate the taste of the infusion. Once you have ended with the bugs, “shower” the plant spraying clean water, to get rid of any residual taste. Note: do this only when you have bugs or you’ll end up with garlic flavoured herbs.

Feathered And Furry Spirits
– Your local birds need extra food on the winter, mainly carbohydrates to create fat to survive the cold season. Make bird food for them recycling stale cereals, muesli, cookies, cakes and bread. Mush your leftover mix to very small pieces and add two teaspoons of honey and a powdered eggshell for extra calcium intake.
– Place some extra bird houses on the warmest wall of your garden. Birds always avoid air drafts, so keep that in mind.
If you have a garden, you can also place sheltering places for animals. Wooden boxes, old buckets, just use your imagination! Leaving a little of your pet’s food outside is no big waste and could help animals who are breeding to avoid starvation.
– Don’t forget your local shelters! Most of them accept donations of all kind, from old blankets, leashes, rubber toys… even if you can’t afford to give money, there is always something we can contribute with.