Intent: To force a liar out of hiding and expose their misdeeds and trickery.
Deer’s Tongue Herb
Dragon’s Blood Resin
Mortar & Pestle
Grind the Galangal Root and Deer’s Tongue with mortar & pestle until a fair amount of powder collects in the bottom. Sieve the material through a fine mesh strainer into a collection dish; this removes the larger ungrindable pieces and gives you cleaner powdered herb. (Pro-Tip: Putting a funnel under the strainer helps reduce lost material.)
Grind small amounts of the remaining ingredients and add them to the dish. Mix everything well and bottle immediately.
Sprinkle where you know your target will walk, or across the entrance to a room or dwelling, or in the corners of a room. (The powder is most effective when trodden upon by the target.) As you do so, visualize a flaming eye stripping away their lies and dishonesty. If you wish, you can recite the now-famous line:
Intent: To remove difficult obstacles caused by other people.
Sumac Berries (sub: Vetiver)
Galangal Root (sub: Cinnamon)
White Oak Bark
Mortar & Pestle
IMPORTANT NOTE: There many species of Sumac growing in North America, and it’s important to know the difference if you go out to harvest your berries from the wild.
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) or Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) are the ones you want. They have narrow leaves, upright cones of fuzzy red berries, and are relatively harmless. The fruit, which ripens from July through September (search in the fall for dried cones), is edible and can be used to make a pinkish, lemony-flavored drink, or ground to add spice to meat and vegetables.
Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is a mimic and is not true sumac. It has white berries, wider leaves, and causes an itchy and highly uncomfortable rash, and should be scrupulously avoided. A general rule of thumb: if you see a plant whose leaves have an oily-looking sheen, DO NOT TOUCH IT. “Leaves that shine, no friend of mine.” Better safe than sorry.
If you cannot obtain wild sumac (or just don’t want to go tramping through the woods), the berries are available for purchase online, or you can substitute Vetiver.
Grind each ingredient separately for several minutes to produce fine powder. Sieve the material through the mesh strainer into the collection dish; this removes the larger ungrindable pieces and gives you cleaner powdered herb. (Pro-Tip: Putting a funnel under the strainer helps reduce lost material.)
For the White Oak Bark, Sassafras, and Galangal Root, retain the leftover large pieces that don’t make it through the strainer. You can use this for loose incense or charm bags later. Remember, witchlings: waste not, want not! (If you don’t have Galangal Root handy, plain cinnamon will suffice.)
Combine the component powders in the collection dish, mix well, and bottle immediately.
Sprinkle where you know the person who is the cause of your problem will be walking. Alternatively, you can write down a list of your grievances, the method by which you want to obstacle removed, and the ideal outcome, then add a few pinches of the powder and folder the paper into a tight packet (use tape on the edges). You can stick this in a jar or keep it tucked away or carry it in your pocket, whichever is more relevant to your situation.
Mama, it’s mostly to do with the “NO SUBSTITUTIONS OR YOU’RE NOT DOING REAL WITCHCRAFT!!!” hysteria. I’ve seen witches who should know better taking that line and it pisses me off, given that store rosemary works just the same as garden rosemary.
Oh that? Bah, humbug.
There are SOME things you can’t substitute in spellwork without expecting a diminished result, but buying herbs from a supermarket rather than growing them yourself or getting them from a witchy shop does not fall into that category.
Not to mention, there are some herbs that pack more punch than others, but they can be hard to get ahold of, particularly if you’re low on funds or can’t find an occult shop. Using appropriate combinations of less expensive and more readily available herbs from the supermarket may take a little more work, but it will be just as effective.
Can’t find Galangal Root to get the job done? Use equal parts Cinnamon and Ginger Root.
Can’t get your hands on Marshmallow for persuasion? Use Cinnamon Sugar.
Can’t seem to procure Angelica for protection and warding? Use Basil, Rosemary, and Salt.
Can’t track down that elusive Dragon’s Blood for luck and empowerment? Use Allspice or Cloves.
Can’t find Roses or Orris Root for your love spell? Use Apple Seeds, Coriander, and Parsley.
Can’t afford the high prices of money-drawing herbs? Use Rice and Orange Peel.
Want to curse the pants off of someone, but can’t make a poppet to save your life? Use a Potato.
Trust me, I do this sort of substitution all the time to save money and procurement headaches. Supermarket herbs work just fine.
Magickal uses of Galangal Root include winning in court, doubling money, and hex breaking. Burn as incense to remove evil spells. Carry for protection, to improve psychic abilities and to bring good health.
Worn or carried, it protects and draws good luck. Place it in a leather mojo bag with silver, to draw money.
Powdered galangal is burned to break spells and curses. It is also carried or sprinkled around the home to promote lust. Worn as a talisman, galangal aids psychic development and guards the wearer’s health.
Galangal has come to be known as Low John in Hoodoo practices, where it is often carried in a mojo bag or otherwise used in spiritual ritual and spells to find aid in winning court cases, increasing your wealth, and protection from curses. Less commonly, it can also be found used in spells seeking to increase psychic potency or those rituals and spells involving sexual magic.
Galangal nurtures the fire within. It burns away the wishy-washy thoughts of every day affairs and is thus an excellent concentration aid that will help the practitioner to focus his or her intentions. It promotes clarity of vision and helps focusing visualizations.
Hello darlings! It is here. I was preparing for this day for a long time and now I’m getting ready to go into the woods to perform my rituals. I have a few minutes left to share something that can be interesting for you.
Special Samhain Incenses:
1 part Powdered Allspice
1 part Ground Black Pepper
2 parts Clove Powder
1 part Myrrh
12 parts lightly crushed Rose Petals
1 part Crushed Holly Leaf
1 part Crushed Oak Leaf
1 part Dragon’s Blood Resin
1 part Cedar Berries
1 part crushed Rose Petals
2 parts crushed Mugwort Leaves
2 parts Frankincense Tears
4 parts Myrrh Resin
4 parts crushed Rosemary Leaves
4 parts Chrysanthemum Flower Petals
4 parts crushed Pine Needles
1 part Rowan Berries
1 part Blackthorn Wood
½ part Galangal Root
½ part Chervil
½ part Vervain
½ part Parsley
2 parts Pine Oil
1 part Frankincense Oil
1 part Patchouli oil
1 part Lavendar oil
Cleanse the space and cast the circle.
Lighting their candles, call the elements:
“I call upon the spirits of the North, that they join my Circle and bring word of the dead, and take my words to them! Welcome, spirits of Air!
I call upon the spirits of the East, that they join my Circle and bring the comfort of the Earth, the flesh of the Mother, to which we all return. Welcome spirits of Earth!
I call upon the spirits of the South, that they join my Circle, bringing purification, that my soul learns from the trials and joys of life. Welcome, spirits of Fire!
I call upon the spirits of the West, that they join my Circle and bring peace, that I may take comfort in the Cycle. Welcome, spirits of Water!”
Call down God and Goddess.
Light the Goddess candle, saying:
“Lady, may your love shine upon us in bounty and in loss.”
Light the God candle, saying:
“Lord, though extinguished for a time, your light will return to us!”
Extinguish the God candle, saying:
“I mourn and celebrate the death of the God. For the Light is now short, yet our harvest is great, and the light will rekindle again, the Cycle begin anew in Nature. I take comfort also in knowing that no soul is lost or forsaken on the Wheel. Blessed be your rest, Lord.”
Sit in the circle with the bowl (or mirror) before you, the candle behind it, unlit. Have the slice of bread beside you to the left, and the drink to the right.
Pick up the bread and tear off a small piece, dipping it into the drink. Say something like:
“I offer this sustenance to those who have passed before me, this bread of the earth and air, and this drink of the water and fire. With the union of the two, they become whole and I offer it to my ancestors, to the Gods and Goddesses who would have it.”
Place the bread in the natural bowl, taking a moment to contemplate who has passed on that would come to take some of the food you have offered. Once done, pick up the black candle and light it, saying something like:
“I light this candle as a lantern to guide those who have passed before me. I welcome them to this rite so long as they offer good will to it. Negativity will be turned away, positive energies will be welcomed. With this candle, I illuminate the circle as a beacon to those who have passed that I love and cherish.”
Set the candle down behind the bowl of water (or mirror). Stare into the water, preferably at an angle so you can see the flame of the candle dancing on the surface of the water. Let your mind go and concentrate on meeting up and connecting with those that have died before you that you wish to contact. Be they pets, persons, or Deities, concentrate on connecting to those that have gone on, and ask them for guidance, or ask them whatever you like.
Take as long as you like on this part of the ritual, for it should not be rushed.
When done, lift up the bread and take one more piece, dipping it into the drink. Say something like (you may change the words if you feel like that, add anything etc):
“I offer more of the food that sustains me, soaking up some drink to quench the thirst of the thirsty. Thank you for coming to me, sharing in your wisdom, guidance, and company.”
Set this piece in the natural bowl with the other one. Share in with the meal by eating the bread and drinking the cider that you have beside you.
When this is done, dismiss the deities and all others you have called and close the circle. Ground and center.
There are many ways to celebrate Samhain. Here are a few:
Samhain Nature Walk. Take a meditative walk in a natural area near your home. Observe and contemplate the colors, aromas, sounds, and other sensations of the season. Experience yourself as part of the Circle of Life and reflect on death and rebirth as being an important part of Nature. If the location you visit permits, gather some natural objects and upon your return use them to adorn your home.
Seasonal Imagery. Decorate your home with Samhain seasonal symbols and the colors of orange and black. Place an Autumnal wreath on your front door. Create displays with pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, acorns, and apples. Set candles in cauldrons.
Ancestors Altar. Gather photographs, heirlooms, and other mementos of deceased family, friends, and companion creatures. Arrange them on a table, dresser, or other surface, along with several votive candles. Kindle the candles in their memory as you call out their names and express well wishes. Thank them for being part of your life. Sit quietly and pay attention to what you experience. Note any messages you receive in your journal. This Ancestors Altar can be created just for Samhain or kept year round.
Feast of the Dead. Prepare a Samhain dinner. Include a place setting at your table or at a nearby altar for the Dead. Add an offering of a bit of each beverage being consumed to the cup at that place setting, and to the plate, add a bit of each food served. Invite your ancestors and other deceased loved ones to come and dine with you. Dine in silence. After the feast, place the contents of the plate and cup for the Dead outdoors in a natural location as an offering for the Dead.
Ancestor Stories. Learn about family history. Contact one or more older relatives and ask them to share memories of family members now dead. Record them in some way and later write accounts of what they share. Give thanks. Share what you learned and have written with another family member or friend. Add names of those you learned about and wish to honor to your Ancestors Altar.
Cemetery Visit. Visit and tend the gravesite of a loved one at a cemetery. Call to mind memories and consider ways the loved one continues to live on within you. Place an offering there such as fresh flowers, dried herbs, or a libation of water.
Reflections. Reflect on you and your life over the past year. Review journals, planners, photographs, blogs, and other notations you have created during the past year. Consider how you have grown, accomplishments, challenges, adventures, travels, and learnings. Meditate. Journal about your year in review, your meditation, and your reflections.
Renovate. Select an area of your home or life as a focus. Examine it. Re-organize it. Release what is no longer needed. Create a better pattern. Celebrate renewal and transformation.
Bonfire Magic. Kindle a bonfire outdoors when possible or kindle flames in a fireplace or a small cauldron. Write down an outmoded habit that you wish to end and cast it into the Samhain flames as you imagine release. Imagine yourself adopting a new, healthier way of being as you move around the fire clockwise.
Divinatory Guidance. Using Tarot, Runes, Scrying, or some other method of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come. Write a summary of your process and messages. Select something appropriate to act upon and do it.
Divine Invocations. Honor and call upon the Divine in one or more Sacred Forms associated with Samhain, such as the Crone Goddess and Horned God of Nature. Invite Them to aid you in your remembrance of the Dead and in your understanding of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. If you have lost loved ones in the past year, ask these Divine Ones to comfort and support you.
Transforming Expressions. If you encounter distortions, misinformation, and/or false, negative stereotypes about Paganism and Samhain in the media, contact the source, express your concerns, and share accurate information. Help eradicate derogatory stereotyping with courteous, concise, and intelligent communications.
Community Connections. Connect with others. Join in a group ritual in your area. Organize a Samhain potluck in your home. Research old and contemporary Samhain customs in books, periodicals, on-line, and through communications with others. Exchange ideas, information, and celebration experiences. Regardless of whether you practice solo or with others, as part of your festivities, reflect for a time on being part of the vast network of those celebrating Samhain around the world.
Thank you all for being here with me! Let the magic happen today.
This afternoon’s project: HANGING THOSE DARNED SHELVES!
My Dad made these for me when I was a kid, to hold knickknacks and keepsakes. They’ve been sitting against a wall for over a year since I moved to Virginia, so today I decided I was going to spend my lunch break installing drywall anchors and hanging shelves.
They make a perfect home for my frequently-used herb jars, which add a nice little punch of color to the office wall, and it has the added bonus of helping to de-clutter the living room.
Err…I can’t describe it well in English, here’s Wikipedia.
Sate Padang is a speciality satay from Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, made from beef cut into small dices with spicy sauce on top of it. Its main characteristic is the thick yellow sauce made from rice flour mixed with beef and offal broth,turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt. In Medan, a lot of Sate Padang use not only beef but also chicken and lamb.
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