Mulder:“Imagine an island with lots of white beach. Imagine lots of blue ocean. You in a swimsuit, and …”
Scully:“You in a red Speedo?”
Mulder:“I may still have that somewhere. Just us in a little boat with all that blue and all that sand and we’re brown as berries ’cause we’re out of the cold and dark and into the warm and light. As far away from the darkness as you and I can get.”
There’s a topic that I don’t often see floating around the web in regards to witchcraft. Amid all of the encouragements and inspiration, talk of gods and spirits, and beautiful aesthetic, we don’t often see much of the more unsafe parts of being a witch…
Now before I go any further, I am not trying to make it seem like being a witch is a bad thing. That would be awfully hypocritical, coming from a witch who’s been practicing for a little over half his life. Rather, I want to address something that everyone who practices or wishes to practice should know: witchcraft is not inherently “safe.” This is in regards to the more mundane aspects and the spiritual aspects. I’ll address some of what I can, as well as give some recommendations for safe practice.
And don’t fear! Even if you’re brand new to witchcraft, you can still practice. As always, what I’m recommending is to educate yourself as much as possible and to explore with confidence and humility.
Mundane: Burning Shit
Fire safety may seem like a no-brainer. But there are those out there who neglect fire safety for the sake of a spell or rite. Under no circumstances should you ever neglect proper fire safety. Just like in D&D, the gods aren’t going to save you from stupid.
1) Ventilation: Whether it’s incense, offerings, or a candle, always burn in a well-ventilated area. This prevents smoke and ash buildup in an area, and also voids “hot spots.” The flame will be able to breathe without spreading, and there’s less risk of catching something else aflame. If your flame is open (such as on a taper candle) keep hair and loose clothing tied up or well away from the flame, and avoid placing it near walls or curtains.
2) Containers: Always burn the substance in a heat-proof container. Using a heat-proof container prevents melting, scorching, or spreading flame. Plastic is unwise because if scorched or burnt, it can release harmful chemicals (not to mention melts and makes a horrible mess). Glass is advisable if it is tempered and designed to be heat proof. (If it is not, you risk cracking - or worse, shattering - the glass). Other safe substances (be sure to read labels and warnings!) may include ceramic, terra cotta, cast iron, and brass.
3) Substance: One of the biggest peeves I have when it comes to reading about DIY incense or burnt offerings and such is when such herbs as mugwort or rose petals are included. ALWAYS do your research before burning plants. Some (such as rose petals) will simply smell horrible. Others have toxic chemicals that, when released during burning, can cause symptoms ranging from burns or rashes to inflammation of the respiratory tract, neurological damage, or even death depending upon the plant being burnt. To an extent, many of these can be avoided simply by burning in a well ventilated area. Others should only be smoked/burnt in moderation (such as mugwort, which can be a neurotoxin in doses that are too high and too frequent).
4) Supervision: Many spells call for allowing a candle to completely burn down. While practical for quick-burning candles (such as birthday candles), it’s hard to remain in a room for hours on end, waiting for that seven-day candle to burn down. Some traditions aren’t too finicky about burning down the candle. But for those that are, be sure that you are ALWAYS around and aware of the candle flame so as to prevent accidents. Keep water or an extinguisher on hand (just in case) and if the worst happens, do not hesitate to call an emergency line.
Mundane: Consumption of Herbs/Substances
Let’s face it. In witchcraft, there is a lot of eating and drinking. Many of us include a “cakes and ale” or “communion” in our rites. Still others of us have an emphasis on cooking, or on making herbal teas and infusions. And, of course, there are plenty of witches out there (myself included) who may partake in the smoking of or eating of different types of herbs (such as tobacco or cannabis).
One of the best things anyone can do if they see a spell or recipe calling for a substance they’re unfamiliar with is to research that substance. Learn as much as possible: its preparation, health benefits and side effects, history, et cetera. This has a couple of positive benefits. First, you become knowledgeable about what you are eating or smoking. Second, you avoid consuming something that may be toxic.
Take elderberry, for example. Many people have it growing right in their backyards. But it’s dangerous to use it without the proper knowledge. The berries can cause stomach upsets if unripe, and the wood should never be burnt or ingested for any reason (this includes making whistles and the like) while still wet and green because it is toxic. Furthermore, if you’re unsure of the distinction between elder and water hemlock, you run the risk of consuming the hemlock - the whole of the plant being extremely toxic and deadly.
So always be sure to know what you are putting in your body. Even something which seems safe enough may have unexpected or dangerous side effects (if you suffer from anxiety, for example, you should be careful of what strains of cannabis you smoke or eat, because some strains can trigger panic attacks and heightened anxiety).
If you are working a spell for health or healing which calls for certain herbs, be sure to look into what medications you’re taking to avoid any harmful combinations. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU USE MAGIC OR HERBALISM AS A REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT. Magic and alternative medicines are meant to be supplements rather than replacements. To neglect your physical condition is dangerous, and your physician should always be addressed if you’re feeling ill.
Smoking anything should be done with caution, and should only be done legally. This means learning local ordinance and laws regarding the substance and acquiring the proper permits if necessary. Some places put age restrictions on substances such as cannabis and tobacco. Others have it outlawed completely (as in the case of cannabis depending on where you live). In addition, smoking anything can be harmful to health due to tar and ash entering the lungs.
IN NO WAY DO I CONDONE UNDERAGE SMOKING OF ANY SUBSTANCE.
Do your research, and be careful, please.
Mundane/Spiritual: Sex and Body Fluids
This is something that (luckily) many witches are very careful to warn about. In large part, this is due to the fact that the community is largely built of strong and empowered women or feminists. But when new to witchcraft, it is still important to address.
The use of body fluids in magic (i.e. blood, menstrual discharge, semen, saliva, et cetera) can make a spell particularly powerful and bound to the witch working it. However, body fluids are a great way of transmitting diseases, as well. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU SHARE OR EXCHANGE BODY FLUIDS WITH OTHER PEOPLE. This includes if they’ve been dried out. So if you’re putting together a spell sachet, for example, don’t feed or anoint it with blood, saliva, semen, et cetera. Instead, perhaps add a strand of hair or a fingernail clipping if a taglock is completely necessary.
And when working with body fluids, be sure that you know what kind of magic you’re using, how it works, and why. Offering any body fluids to a deity or spirit is something that should be done cautiously and only with a spirit with which you’ve developed a strong and beneficial relationship.
Sex magic is not uncommon. While some shy away from the topic, it’s important to understand that magic has various ways of being worked. Intense emotion or some sort of trigger to set intent is often used. This can be done through meditation, but it can also be done through achieving orgasm.
Some covens or couples will also make use of sex to reflect fertility aspects of their deities.
Whether straight or LGBTQ+, always practice safe sex. This includes the use of condoms and contraceptives, engaging in physical acts only with those you trust completely, in a legal manner (including age and location), and while completely clear of mind (no drugs, alcohol, et cetera).
To Be Continued…
There is more to go over. But as I’ve said, let this article not deter you from practicing witchcraft. Part of practicing witchcraft is being sensible, safe, and educated about what you’re doing. Always be well prepared!
Teenager. Moody asf. Insider. Foodie. Total bitch. Queen. Pretty much a hoe. Hates her brother. Wishes to be heiress of gen 2. Doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Prob be famous. Likes girls. But also likes boys. Wants a dog but EA says no. 0 compassion. 0 fucks.
Foodie Friday: Angel Food Cake with Elderflower Syrup
Image and Recipe Credit to MarthaStewart.com
Warning: Please use caution whenever harvesting wild flowers, fruits, or herbs, and do not consume them unless you are absolutely certain that they are edible and safe. If there is even the slightest bit of doubt, please resort to purchasing the ingredient in a store or local apothecary for safety’s sake.
Ingredients For Syrup: -4 cups water -4 cups sugar -20 elderflower heads -Skin and juice of 2 lemons
Ingredients for Cake: -1 cup sifted cake flour -1.5 cups superfine (castor) sugar -14 large egg whites (at room temperature) -1 tbsp room temperature water -½ tsp salt -1.5 tsp cream of tartar -2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally until simple syrup is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Remove the elderflower heads from their stems, discarding the stems and placing the heads in a large heat-safe bowl. Add lemon skin and juice to bowl and pour simple syrup into bowl, stirring to combine.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 days and up to 4 days. Strain syrup through cheesecloth-lined sieve and discard solids. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a fine sieve, sift together flour and ¾ cups sugar four times.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together egg whites and water until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high and sprinkle in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff but not dry.
3. Transfer to a large bowl. In six additions, sift dry ingredients over meringue, folding in quickly but gently.
4. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Run a knife through batter to release air bubbles. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.
5. Invert pan on its legs or over the neck of a glass bottle and let cool completely, about an hour. Carefully run a long offset spatula or knife around the inner and outer perimeter of the pan to release cake. Place on a plate, bottom side up; cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
9. Serve each slice with some elderflower syrup poured around the base, and whipped cream and berries on top.
Many of us are at least somewhat familiar with the iconic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which French soldiers throw insults at King Arthur. “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”
Elderberry was and continues to be a favorite food in Europe and in certain areas of the United States, in varying forms from floral syrups and fried flowers to fermented elderberry wines (and elderberry preserves are simply divine when spread over buttered toast!). The elder tree, however, holds some long-standing symbolism when it comes to witchcraft and magic!
Historically speaking, elder is one of those trees that has straddled the line between a positive symbol and a negative symbol, depending upon what side of the line you were viewing it from - much like how yew was often associated with death from a Christian viewpoint but associated with protection and flexibility from a Norse perspective. In the case of elder, however, it had much more to do with the belief that elder trees were more often than not inhabited by spirits (comparable to the belief that there are spirits that inhabit Jericho roses).
In Celtic lore, elder has a particular link to the fae, as it was considered to be a guardian tree. Faeries would gather about the tree, and if one were to sleep beneath the elder’s branches, she would dream of the faerie realm of Tir na nOg. In pre-Christian Ireland, elder was a sacred tree held to such a high esteem that it was forbidden to break its twigs.
Perhaps one of the most well known legends regarding elder is the Danish Hyldemor, or Elder-Mother. The Elder-Mother was a spirit who lived within the tree who was respected for her healing and nurturing capabilities. Before approaching the tree to harvest the berries, flowers, or wood, it was a common practice to ask her permission with the promise of returning the favor in the next life: “Old Woman, give me some of thy wood and I will give thee some of mine when I grow into a tree.”
With the spread of Christianity, the tree’s association with spirits and faeries would take a dark turn, and elder would go from being a sacred, positive tree to being synonymous with evil and the devil. The Elder-Mother’s rather kind demeanor was twisted into that of a witch. Its red sap and hunched shape evoked the image of a hunched old witch who would bleed when cut, to English eyes. In Ireland, the tree went from being a guardian of Otherworld to being a tree whose branches were cut by witches and used as magic horses.
Furthermore, elder took a darker turn when (much like how the tomato was once associated with the forbidden fruit in Genesis) Christian legends associated elder with the crucifix and Judas’ suicide, as reflected in the carol of the Twelve Apostles:
The twelve apostles they were standing by, Their roots in the river, and their leaves in the sky, The beasts all thrive wherever they be. But Judas was a-hunged on an elder tree.
Not everywhere in the British Isles was the tree feared, though, and it maintained some of its magical qualities. In Scotland, it was believed that if you stood under an elder tree during Samhain, you could witness the faery host riding by, and elderberries harvested on Midsummer’s Eve would confer magic powers. And in the Isle of Man, elder continued to be a home for elves and fae, which protected against witches and malevolent spirits if it grew just outside the front door.
Again in Scotland, elder would even have a positive association in Christian communities, as its twigs would be fashioned into a cross and hung over stables and barns to ward off evil spirits and hearse drivers would use elder-handled whips to banish negative influences.
Today, elder is regaining its positive associations thanks in part to its prolific production of flowers and fruits and in part to its place in ancient Celtic lore. It is a popular addition to Beltane floral rites, and its healing properties are being brought back into home remedies. For instance, the green sticks were said to be able to cure warts when rubbed on the affliction and then burnt, and elder twigs were believed to banish the evil spirits which caused toothaches. Today, its berries and flowers could be used to help alleviate cold and flu symptoms in herbal remedies.
Its associations with the fae make elder a wonderful tree for inviting faeries into the garden, or for honoring them on an altar with elderflower decorations and offerings. In kitchen magic, elderberry preserves, elderflower syrup and cordials, elderflower teas, et cetera, all can bring energies of prosperity and health to food. In addition, elder foods can be used as offerings or can be cooked and eaten as a way of connecting more with the fae or with one’s femininity.
Since elder has a strong association with banishing negative influence, elderflower infusions can be used as a liquid for asperging. Its wood and twigs can be fashioned into charms or amulets for various spells, its flowers and berries added to jars and bags, and the tree can be kissed or hugged to invite good fortune (if you’re not afraid of getting some strange looks from passerby, of course)!
Consider the role elder may play in your life, and how its sweet berries and lovely flowers can bring health and positive energy into your kitchen!
So, im working on a mini series for badassdanddpics and was wondering if you guys had any ideas. im calling the mini series “Bewildering Botany and Perilous Poisons” that will basically showcase magical plant homebrew that will aid adventures and villains alike. for the poison section of it, i put together some basic information from D&D about the rules as well as how they are applied and used against others as well as common symptoms from plants in the real world.
different poisons are applied to victims by
smoke from being burned
common rules (for 5th edition D&D regarding poison)
A weapon coated with poison will dry out in one minute.
When you are poisoned, you will usually suffer from the poisoned condition.
Poison can be bought or crafted using the downtime rules and a poisoner’s kit.
Cures for poison include low level spells or anti-toxin.
Truth Serum is listed under poisons, and is something I think could be useful in your campaign in many different ways.
Poisoned: A poisoned creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
each round until you make a saving throw.
Common symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, convulsions, liver failure, disables nerves, lowers blood pressure, and can stop the heart, muscle twitches, and sometimes paralysis, irritation of skin throat and mouth, swelling, burning pain, breathing difficulties and stomach upset. dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, convulsions and photo-toxicity
underneath the “keep reading” i have included some actual plants that could help with creating realistic homebrew.
Despite the worry, Papaver couldn’t help
but laugh. “Oh? You’d be happy with sharing me?”
“I might be sharing you but it’s the
potential for twice the sex. What man will say no to that?” Coffea grinned,
nudging Papaver again towards the car. “The cameraman is getting angsty. We
should get back.”
“This was nice. I’m glad we found this
place; I think I’ll come back.”
“Maybe for our next date,” Coffea
suggested, happy to see Papaver smile again.
Rachel recently lost the love of her life. This was someone that she was with in High School and thought she’d always be with. They broke up and she believed they would eventually find their way back to each other and they won’t. Then we have Quinn getting back with Puck, someone that she has a history with that started at McKinley, and Mercedes getting back with Sam, someone that she also has a history with that started at McKinley. They’re getting their second chance to make it right and that’s never going to happen for Rachel and Finn. It has to be painful for her to see that. (x)
A/N: Muse burst out of nowhere and before I knew it, I was jotting down this blip. Based off of the AnimalSet from SIF. Semi-crack(?) Words: 4,782 Ships: Kanan x Dia, implied You x Riko Summary: In which the popular body pillow Panda went on a journey to find herone night stand the mysterious stranger who shared her bed.
Finchel AU: inspired by the movie ‘Never been kissed’ ↳ Rachel is a journalist who goes undercover as a 17-year old student in her old high school. Unfortunately she didn’t count on falling in love with her teacher, who doesn’t know she’s not actually his student.
reminder that it breaks my damn heart that after tj overdosed and woke up in the hospital, even though the last time he saw his family they were stepping on his dreams and ruined his mood, the first thing he did was APOLOGIZE for having overdosed