herbal thought

Witch Tip

This is just a little thing I’ve done a couple of times, and it worked nicely. Many witches collect dirt or detritus from important locations (graveyards, courthouses, colleges, etc…) for use in spellwork. I find it works great. 

The problem, of course, is that you often get weird looks and could run into trouble while doing it! First of all, only do it in areas you’re allowed to be - don’t trespass, obviously! 

The thing is, though you’re not trespassing, some onlookers might still cause trouble for you, especially if you’re in a very conservative/uptight area of the world. 

My method for handling this is simple. I carry a small clipboard. This serves two purposes: I can write where and when I got the material using the clipboard, and people (seeing the clipboard) assume I’m a student doing a project, so they don’t bother me or think it’s odd! 

Thus far, while doing this, nobody’s really approached or noticed me much. It’s great! Letting someone assume I’m doing something else feels okay to me. There’s obviously a ton of other things (magical and mundane) that you’ve got to consider and think about when collecting soil, but this makes it easier.

Another thing I’ve done: instead of collecting soil, collect leaves! This works best in autumn, and you’ll want to consider what species of leaves you’re getting. 

Nevertheless, some dried leaves from a place are just as tied to the land as the soil itself, in my opinion. If, while doing that, someone approaches you, you can just say, “I’m building a leaf collection!” It’s true, after all!

Sit

and drink your tea,

my love, sit and drink your tea.

Rose hips

and honey

and lemongrass tea,

Don’t think of you,

Don’t think of me.

Sigh

And drink your tea,

My love, sigh and sip some tea,

back-garden-lavender,

Chamomile tea,

Memories fade.

Memories linger.

Smile

And drink your tea,

My love, smile and finish your tea,

Mint,

Or jasmine,

Or hibiscus,

Or ginger,

Distance is lonely;

I love you wherever.

anonymous asked:

Do you know any good books on alchemy?

There are obviously many classics of the genre available free online, mostly on Hermetic.com, so I would suggest searching on there. Beyond that, I can recommend some more contemporary sources available on Amazon and at other booksellers. 

Please not that alchemy is an interest of mine, but true alchemy (as in the historical practice known as such, as opposed to general herbal magick) is not something I’m an expert or even very knowledgeable about. In short, I’m still learning, and maybe others can chime in with more books that we can both look at.

Here we go; these appear on my large list of book recommendations, but I’ll just list the alchemy ones here for brevity’s sake. The first two of these are more general herbal magick (with alchemy applications), whereas the second two are more strictly alchemy-related.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Fanfiction: Monthly

Universe: 2k14
Ship: Raphril underscores it, but all the boys dealing with hormonal surges caused by April
Words: 2599
Rating: M. 
Warnings: More overt sexual references, some minor swears
Summary: Sequel to Something In The Air. The next day, the bros discuss.

Please note that in my fanon the bros are all 21. I do have more ideas surrounding this concept for future fics but I wanna write a bit more outright Raphril before I tackle it more, I think. Hopefully you all enjoy this one too!

Keep reading

Image from gsso-stock on deviantart.

Antioxidant Tea Formula -

Herbal Solutions For Healthy Living - Richard Salzo, Herbalist, and Dr. Michael Cronin, Naturopathic physician

Ingredients:

  • BiIlberry
  • Hawthorn Berry
  • Gingko Leaf
  • Green Tea Leaves
  • Rosemary Leaf
  • Prickly Ash Bark

BiIlberry: Similar to blueberry, the dried, ripe fruit, and leaves, are used for protective properties. Medically, it has been used to treat Chronic Fatigue, diabetes, kidney infections, to improve vision and lower cholestrol. It can also protect the blood-brain barrier and other blood vessels from being disrupted. Contains Proanthocyanidin (PCO) that are established as strong anti-oxidants.

Hawthorn Berry: Leaves, berries, and flowers of this plant are used in medicine. Thought to be protective, especially when sprinkled around the home, or consumed in tea or other herbal mixtures. Thought to promote fidelity in relationships. Medically, used for heart disease, abnormal blood pressure, digestive problems, menstrual pain, and reduce anxiety. Powerful in protecting the cardiovascular system.

Gingko Leaf: The leaves of the gingko plant are used in medicine as an expectorant, anti-tussive, anti-asthmatic, sedative, and mild astringent. Magical uses are or contacting spirits, and for vivid dreams. Eliminates excessive nitric oxide, a type of free radical.

Green Tea Leaves: Well renowned for their many medicinal benefits, green tea also promotes courage and inner strength. The medical benefits include mental alertness, low blood pressure, low cholesterol, fat, and decreasing risk for HPV and certain cancers. Contains polyphenols and flavonoids that make it a powerful antioxidant.

Rosemary Leaf: The leaves of this plant are often used in teas and mixtures. Its magical uses are protection, love, lust, healing, exorcism and purification, and good sleep. Medically,  it has been used for preventing dementia, improving memory, preventing infections, and helping heart palpitations.

Prickly Ash Bark: The bark of this plant has been used as a nerve tonic in traditional herbal medicine, and is considered a circulatory stimulant. Used for love.

Brew these into a tea and charge some clear quartz with your intentions and needs for the tea, and set them into the bottom of the cup.

—-

Now, as with any magic or spiritual work, the tea will give the brewer the most satisfaction and achieve their goals the best if intentions and care are put into the preparation of the tea. YOU make the magic, not the leaves.

If you’re taking medications or have any physical conditions, research any herbs you use before you consume them; Some herbs can interact badly with certain medications.

Take care of yourself, and have a wonderful day!

anonymous asked:

hey you mentioned using valerian root, i have some and was considering trying it, anything i want to know first?

I would advise doing a lot of research yourself prior to trying it. Safety is paramount. As I said, it causes heart problems in some dosages for some people. Read up on counter-indications, especially if you take medication of any sort. 

A lot of people say this (but please don’t ignore it!): ask a doctor prior to starting valerian use. I actually had a long talk about it and other herbs with my former psychiatrist back in Ohio, and she helped me choose the ones that were right for me and would not interfere with my normal medications. 

For example, she told me St. John’s wort was off-limits for me, but valerian and kava were fine, and helped me find some books with dosage information in them. 

One rule I have here on my blog, though, is that when mentioning herbs like valerian, I only talk about my own experiences. I specifically avoid giving specific instructions for using them, because I am neither a medical doctor nor a licensed herbalist. 

Everyone is different, and you never know what you might be allergic to, or how a herb (really, some herbs are drugs) will affect you. I just have to emphasize caution. Valerian, especially, is extremely powerful, and my mom has actually seen some overdoses on it brought into the hospital where she works!

If you do decide valerian might be a thing for you, have done your research, and talked to relevant professionals, as well as understanding the risks, here’s some general tips.

A lot of people get it and think they can just pop it in a normal tea and use it that way. The truth is, pouring boiling water over valerian is pointless because the essential components of the plant evaporate in hot water, and drinking it gives you no effects. I myself do cold water infusions of the stuff, and it works well for me.

The big point of valerian, mostly, is to relax you. I have two standardized (for me) recipes that I use with valerian. Both are cold-water infusions. One uses lavender along with the valerian - for relaxation. The other is straight valerian. You’d have to choose dosages with help from a herbalist or doctor, and research and know the risks.

Most often, it is used to induce sleep, though. Given that people usually use it in an infusion, you’ve got to keep, uh, toilet issues in mind. If you drink valerian or another tea, wait a bit before actually settling in to sleep, and do a toilet break just prior to curling up under the blankets. 

If you don’t, you might wake up in the middle of the night and have to head for the washroom, which interrupts your sleep, and makes the whole thing less useful. I mean, as far as I know, interrupted sleep kind of makes the sleep less restful, so why would someone want that? 

A word about the scent. Some people hate the smell of valerian. A lot of people say it smells like old socks. The taste can be unpleasant as well - it’s quite bitter and since smell and taste are very linked, you might feel like you’re drinking or consuming old socks. 

I hated the smell and taste at first, but if valerian is helpful to you, it becomes less awful over time. Basically, your mind begins to associate the smell with the effects, and you don’t mind it as much.

One last thing - the scent itself is powerful, if distasteful. A year back I was working night shift and would sometimes make a brew of valerian before going to bed each morning. 

I had a process for doing this that included a ritualized magical grinding in a mortar and pestle, and often, I’d find myself becoming sleepy just from the grinding. The scent alone can make you relaxed, though it’s awful for a lot of us. 

I apologize for being unable to provide information on non-infusion ways of taking it. I’ve never used valerian tablets, nor tinctures. I made a valerian tincture once, but eloped (yeah - I ran off to Europe and got married!) and had to toss it before it was done infusing. So I can’t really give information on those.

I can’t tell you whether you should try valerian or if it will work safely for you. Be careful and use your better judgment. Know the risks, of course, and I really do strongly urge consulting a medical professional or herbalist before using it. 

With anything that can be termed a drug, it’s my view that the individual is responsible for making the choice themselves, and I realize that while I know how something effects me, I can’t possibly know how it would affect you.

The story is quite old, it seems, but no one can say quite how old, or where it originated. 

It was a time of strife. Society was ravaged. By what, there is some disagreement - some say it was the days of the Black Death, others that it was the communist regime in the Soviet era. Nobody can be sure, but one thing remains - the idea of adversity.

And, there were four thieves who triumphed over this adversity. There are arguments regarding whether they were virtuous people - Robin Hoods, for example, or simple cutthroat ne’er-do-wells, but regardless, they managed to ride the flow of societal unrest and survive against all odds. No matter what version one accepts, though, they were in fact, criminals, and alluded not only the societal unrest of their existence, but also the long arm of the law itself.

They were eventually caught, but even then, they alluded punishment and survived to continue their “work,” such that it was. How? Well, the agents of the law asked to know their secret, promising that if it was revealed, they could go free. And, it turns out, the secret that had allowed them to survive was an herbal potion that became known as Four Thieves Vinegar.

It traditionally contains a large quantity of garlic infused in red wine vinegar of high quality, and, in addition to this, four other materials. These four, each representing one thief, vary depending on who one asks, and have been said to have consisted of many things, ranging from deadly wormwood to the above innocuous (though powerful) ingredients.

Nowadays, few if any of us are willing to believe this narrative to have taken place outside of mythic time, but the potion, and the sentiment associated with it, persists. Science has even shown that the garlic and certain other ingredients may actually be antibacterial or boost the immune system. This may explain their association with warding off disease and hardship in general. Either way, the potion is said to be quite powerful magickally.

You’ll find versions of it sold in bookstores at exorbitant prices, making all kinds of claims, and yet, a simple version can be made at home rather cheaply. In reality, it isn’t a panacea, but is still very powerful, and should only really be used in worst case scenarios, such as when you find yourself faced with great adversity or an extreme attack on your person. To use it frivolously would, I believe, diminish its efficacy for you in the future.

In terms of using it practically, I’ve heard of it being used as a salad dressing (provided no poisonous ingredients have been used) or mixed into hot tea and drank, or just swallowing a spoonful. Take it internally at your own risk, though, naturally, and there are other ways to use it - again, floorwashes, anointing. For me, it was extremely effective to trace symbols using it (very lightly) on certain surfaces to ward off danger, but as usual, your results may vary. Ganbatte, and I hope this little post interested you!

Why Astrology in Herbs is Important

I’ve done tons of herb research over the past few weeks, and I’ve found two types of sources. There are those that describe their astrological attributions (and, if the source is good, why they’re associated with those things). Then, there are sources that simply say things like, “Lavender is calming and good for love spells.” I prefer the former source, and it’s not (just) because I’m coming from a ceremonial magick background.

You see, I honestly feel like the “good for love spells, calming” approach doesn’t really have a leg to stand on. They rarely mention why the herb is associated with those uses. Oftentimes, it’s obvious (lavender scent calms many people), but not always. Furthermore, many just consist of a laundry list of possible uses, often too many to count. 

And, there’s so much redundancy. If you take these sources at face value, you would almost have to conclude that every single herb is associated with every single use. And, this may well be true in some ways (personal correspondences are a thing), but if you want to work within tradition and tap into more universal traits in the plants, you need to find authors that give a clearer picture.

Heck, I’m not even saying that you absolutely have to focus on astrology, but if you really want to go down the aforementioned road, you need to focus on some sort of system, perhaps even just the five elements. Astrology is definitely going to be my go-to system, though!

Also, the outer planets are really starting to annoy me. Sorry, Neppy - just can’t stand you!

4

My room in my (quite small) apartment is small, as well, and the walls are dingy. I have thick black and cream-colored curtains that block out almost all sunlight so that I can sleep better during the day. It would not seem like a pleasant place to most people, but one becomes accustomed to such things. 

The room is definitely dominated by what I affectionately call my laboratory - the collection of herbs and object that I use in my herbal alchemy and magic work. It consists of the four glass-front cupboards you see above. They’re not particularly organized, except that one is dedicated solely to things I’ve made or collected, and that’s the final one pictured.

I’m fairly neat and tidy with my room as a whole, but the herbs sometimes spill and you can no doubt see little bits of them in the shelves of the cabinet. The cabinets and jars work well for their purpose. My herbs seem to stay fairly fresh, and the cat (his name is Orange Thing) doesn’t get into the valerian or catnip unless I leave them out.

Not pictured: the tops of the cabinets where I store other, random supplies like carrier oils and a few more jars of herbs that wouldn’t fit, and also my mortar and pestle and small scale for measuring psychoactive herbs like kava kava, etc. I’ve got a bottle of vodka, to, that’s been sitting there unopened for almost six months, mostly because I know nothing about alcohol and bought the wrong proof for tincturing.