Plants and herbs are a common ingredient in many forms of magic. Whether you are making incense, stuffing a sachet, or brewing a folk remedy, if you practice long enough, you’re eventually going to have a use for them. When that’s the case, you’ll want to use the best possible ingredient.
While store bought herbs will do in a pinch, I prefer to harvest my own. This way: you can be confident of freshness, you can establish a relationship with the donor plant, and you can harvest with intent, contributing to the power of the destined spell. Your spell work begins with the gathering of components, so treat the activity with the focus it deserves.
The first thing you will need is a cutting tool. Some traditions recommend the use of a sickle-shaped tool with a white handle, called the Boline. Here’s an example of what one looks like:
Personally, I don’t recommend the use of a Boline. Here’s why:
They tend to tear the plant instead of cutting it. The jagged edges this leaves behind are more prone to infection, and susceptible to insect attack.
They’re conspicuous, and the layman may mistake it for a weapon. Enjoy explaining to a cop that it is a “special knife for witchcraft”.
They require considerable care to keep sharp
If your beliefs don’t specifically demand the Boline, I instead recommend a pair of garden pruning shears with white handles. They are affordable, inconspicuous, and designed to do as little damage as possible to the plant.
Once you’ve chosen your knife, you should consecrate it. It should never be used for any purpose other than the harvesting of plants. When it isn’t in use, store it near your altar.
Next, you’ll need something to carry your herbs in. I use a large linen hip bag with an over the shoulder strap. You’ll also need some twine or string to divide the herbs you’ve collected, and a “harvest journal” so you can take note of the location of plants you find.
Finally, you need an offering to thank them for their gift. In magic, there is nothing without sacrifice. In the store, you pay with money. In nature, you can pay with fertilizer. I generally carry around a re-purposed water or soda bottle filled with fertilizer mix.
Finding Your Herbs
Some of us are lucky to live close to forests or natural fields on public land, but for many it can be a challenge to source wild herbs.
If you live in a city, find out if there are any nature trails or reserves in your area, then check what their policies are. You can also search for vacant lots, or neighbors with a green thumb. Make sure to ask before helping yourself! Sometimes you can find areas beneath power lines where herbs and flowers are allowed to grow freely. Taking plants from those areas is usually allowed.
You should try to avoid harvesting near a road (where the plants will have taken in a lot of pollution), from very small plants, or plants that appear to be sick. You don’t want to eat a sick plant, and you don’t want to kill a plant by taking from it. A good rule of thumb is to never take more than 25% of the plant’s total growth.
Before you cut the plant, you should take some time to connect with it. Examine it to see if it is healthy. Take your time identifying it. Feel the plant’s energy and let it get to know you. Once you’ve determined that the plant is a good candidate, you should ask its permission to take it.
This process is intuitive. Some believe you should ask aloud, others that you can ask silently, communicating with the plant by focusing your intent. Let the plant know what you want to use it for, and invite it to participate with you. Then, wait a few minutes and listen for a response.
You should get an impression on whether or not it is okay. This could come in the form of a sensation, such as an inviting warmth, or a chill that turns you away. It could just be a sense of satisfaction. Trust yourself and go with what you sense is right. If you feel unsure or anxious, find another plant.
Using your sharp implement, make a clean, angular cut near a joint. This will make it easier for the plant to heal and regrow. You will want to choose a portion of the plant that is not the oldest (dark and woody), and not the youngest (the lightest with the most budding leaves). A good middle-aged branch is best. Be sure to never take more than 25% of the total plant growth.
While you are harvesting the plant, you should focus yourself on the intent of the spell you’re collecting it for. If you’re gathering chamomile for a healing tea, visualize yourself getting well. If you’re casting a money spell, see yourself getting that big cheque! If the goal is a love spell, see yourself with your ideal partner.
No specific goal? If you’re harvesting for general purposes or to replenish your stock, you can focus on the properties of the plant, and enforce your intention that it should lend strength to your work.
Tie the plants that you have collected into a bundle so that they wont get lost in your other herbs when you put them in your carrying bag.
Having taken from the plant, you should give thanks for the gift. Tell it that you’re grateful, and assure it that it wont be misused. Then, provide payment!
Pour the fertilizer you brought at the roots of the plant. If you stumbled upon the plant accidentally and don’t have your fertilizer with you, make some other form of offering. Traditionally, a small coin at the base of the plant can show your willingness to give. Don’t litter! The scrap of paper or cloth in your pocket is probably not a suitable offering.
Before you go, spend a moment tending to the plant. Clear debris from around it, untangle it from choking weeds and pluck off any dead matter. Practice respect by leaving it in better condition than it was when you found it!
Storing and Preparing for Use
To use the herbs fresh, simply wash them in cool water and pat them dry. They can be kept lively for a few days by putting them in a vase of water and keeping them in a cool area (if your fridge isn’t too cold, that’ll do nicely).
If you wont be using them within a few days, or want to put them in a sachet, tea or incense, you will probably need to dry them.
Tie a string around the base of a bunch of the washed, dried herbs and suspend them upside down in a warm place with good ventilation. To avoid collecting dust, I like to tie brown paper bags over them. Check them once a week, and take them down when they are dry and brittle, but before they turn to powder beneath your thumb. The length of time they’ll take to dry will vary widely based on your climate and the thickness of the plant.
When they’re dry, keep them in a labeled, airtight container for up to six months.
Record any observations you make while working with the herb along with it’s location in your harvest journal. If the plant is particularly fragrant or effective, write it down so you know to go back! If it doesn’t work well for you, make note of that, too.
And that is how you harvest herbs for magic! Happy Crafting!
Seth sat comfortably
in my oak tree eating. The one that always sat perfectly in the corner of the
backyard. When I think of it, he was always
climbing that damn oak tree and he was always
eating. At the end of the day, he was my best friend.
why are you in my tree with an orange?” I asked, as he looked smugly down from
a middle branch orange peels in hand.
Frederic Leighton (1830-1896)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, England
Daphnephoria was an ancient Greek festival held every ninth year at Thebes in Boeotia in honour of Apollo. It consisted of a procession in which the chief figure was a boy of good family and noble appearance, whose father and mother must be alive. Immediately in front of this boy, who was called Daphnephoros (laurel bearer), walked one of his nearest relatives, carrying an olive branch hung with laurel and flowers and having on the upper end a bronze ball from which hung several smaller balls. Another smaller ball was placed on the middle of the branch or pole (which was called a κώπω), which was then twined round with purple ribbons, and at the lower end with saffron ribbons. These balls were said to indicate the sun, stars and moon, while the ribbons referred to the days of the year, being 365 in number.
The Daphnephoros, wearing a golden crown, or a wreath of laurel, richly dressed and partly holding the pole, was followed by a chorus of maidens carrying suppliant branches and singing a hymn to Apollo.
Characters: Castiel X Reader,
Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester
Word Count: 4837
A/N: Pure unadulterated
one-shot Christmas fluff featuring you and your favorite angel (and those lovable
Winchester brothers) that originally began as a short imagine about decorating a tree and then took on
a life of its own.
that my sewing kit?” Dean hovered behind your chair, hands idly stuffed in his
it? I dunno, found it in the bathroom next to the first aid kit,” you shrugged,
stringing another piece of popcorn onto the thread.
know, that’s my good suture needle,” he angled closer, snatching a handful of
popcorn from the bowl and stuffing his mouth, screwing up his face in
displeasure, “what the hell? And why does this popcorn suck?”
for the tree,” you held up the long strand of popcorn proudly, “unsalted popcorn
keeps better.” You swiveled in the chair, furrowing your eyebrows at him,
“Wait, do you actually have a bad suture needle? Like for when Sam is getting on
your nerves but needs stitching up?”
he guiltily turned away, leaning against the edge of the table, shoving his
hands back in his pockets, a mischievous twinkle forming in his green eyes,
smirking, “maybe.” He cleared his throat, “Uh, what tree?”
one in the library,” you grinned, returning your focus to the task of stringing
popcorn, “speaking of which, can you go see if Cas needs help? He was having a heck
of a time grasping the concept of a tree skirt.”
Request: Imagine where you come to Neverland when Baelfire is there and you befriend him, and then the shadow takes you away from Neverland because thinks you’re making Peter weak because the shadow told you that Peter loves you and then you somehow end up in Storybrooke and you go with Regina, Hook, Emma, Rumplestiltskin, and the Charmings to get Henry back and Peter is mad at you and sees that you’re still young after all this time and he finds out that you made a deal with someone for eternal youth?(A/N: I changed the deal for eternal youth, but the reader is still eternally young. This will be probably be split into parts)
You knew better than to be out at night. Neverland was more dangerous at night. You knew that, but you heard something. Getting out of your private tree house, you walked softly across the camp.
At least you had separate sleeping arrangements. The boys would make you stay. In the dark jungle, you couldn’t see very well, but you heard someone. A really familiar voice called, “Y/N.”
Maybe it was a bad idea. Oh well, too late.
The voice led you deep into the forest. There, a fire was lit. Shadows danced on the trees. Before you could react, one that looked like a shadow that belonged to a boy your age lunged at you.
Shadows shouldn’t be able to carry you. It should have been impossible that you were flying away from Neverland with a shadow. Not wanting to leave, you tried to break free, but the invisible grip from its smoky hands tightened. The same voice from before came from the shadow with white lights for eyes. “Girls aren’t allowed. You’re making Pan weak.”
Peter Pan had saved you from your nightmare of a home. When you were a baby, your parents had offended a witch. She apparently turned and requested you.
Your parents had no choice, so you were taken and raised by a witch. You couldn’t remember what you had done, but the angry witch cursed you to never have a home and be lonely for your whole life.
You outlived everyone. You never aged, but you never told anyone since Neverland prevented aging anyway.
Pan never knew. He found you by yourself and didn’t ask. The only thing he asked was if you were lost.
Wind rushed through your hair. You struggled more, but it was pointless. “He can’t love,” the Shadow growled, “Love is weak.” You froze at the mention of love. Pan rarely implied that he liked you as a person. Now, the Shadow that was taking you from your home was talking about love?
Neverland became a speck. Night turned to day and bright lights blinded you. “Where are you taking me?” You demanded.
“Where you’ll be powerless.” All of the sudden, the Shadow dropped you in the middle of a forest. Branches cut into your arms, drawing blood. You landed on your back in a bank of snow.
Weather on Neverland never changed. There were few storms and no snow. You gathered the white snow in your hands. It sparkled in the daylight. “Hello?” A male called.
You turned suddenly. “Hello?” You called back.
A man with brown hair and blue eyes came out the woods. He wore strange clothes. “Are you okay, Miss?” He asked. When you didn’t respond, the man reassured, “Don’t worry, I’m the Sheriff of Storybrooke.”
The words meant nothing to you. “Uh, is that where I am?”
“Yeah,” the man informed, “I heard your little tumble. Come on. Let’s get those bandaged up.” The man introduced himself as Sheriff Graham. Once the sticky things were over your wounds, he took you to the Mayor of Storybrooke.
She looked actually confused. “Who is she? I’ve never seen her.”
“This is Y/N,” Graham introduced, “Y/N, this is Regina Mills. I found her in the woods after falling down.”
“Really?” Regina seemed actually confused, “Well, she’d be more than welcome to stay here until her parents claim her.”
You knew that your parents were dead and no one was coming, but the offer was too good. You were still scared after leaving Neverland. Wishing you were there, you noticed Regina dismissing Graham and calling her son, Henry, in. “Henry, this is Y/N,” she told the younger boy, “She’ll be living with us for a while.”
Henry smiled at you and showed you his book in his room. You told him your story, which he believed instantly.
You met Mr. Gold, who was actually Rumpelstiltskin. He was in Neverland to take Baelfire with him. You remembered being scared for your friend, but he grew up. Mr. Gold definitely recognized you, although he didn’t say anything.
Things got really interesting, about three years later, when his mom, the Savior, came. Emma Swan broke the curse that made the citizens of Storybrooke forget their fairy tale counterpart.
Pan hadn’t tried to find you in all that time. You almost forgot about Neverland until Henry was taken there. You were certain that Pan just wanted him as a Lost Boy. Once his family came, he would give him back.
You jumped at the chance to go to Neverland. The way you were smiling made Emma suspicious, but Hook just looked at you with pity. He knew that the Neverland they were going to wasn’t the one that you knew.
After the little encounter with mermaids, you were puzzled. They never usually hurt anyone on purpose. When the island came in sight, you looked at it with confusion. Sure, it was night, but why did the island look so terrifying?
Little boys would visit there in their dreams. The island had turned into a place of nightmares. When you went to bed, all you could hear was the sound of children crying. It was awful.
Deciding to make the same mistake twice, you wandered off into the dark jungle. That time, you had brought a small dagger that Emma gave you.
The branches rustling made you uneasy and jumpy. Suddenly, a familiar pair of green eyes met yours with uncertainty. The boy flew away a few feet, giving you a chance to see him. “Y/N?”
Description: Dino confesses to a long-time friend after a long time of liking her, but it’s not your typical confession..
“Can we go from acacia to forget-me-not?”
Forget-me-not: true love
*I didn’t do chocolate alcohol due to my religion, but anesthesia from her wisdom teeth getting taken out… Idk is that ok?*
-LEE CHAN’S POV
Acacia▬an alluring snow-colored flower. To be more descriptive, it has a twig-thin grass stained stem in the middle, branching off into tiny breathtaking shell-macaroni-type petals. Why am I talking about this? Due to myself being caught in the middle of one of these petite marshmallow-colored petals, I fear I may never find my way to a forget-me-not flower.
Believe me, I have attempted through various ways. My throbbing young painfully aching heart was unable to successfully break out of those stone shining chains that I thoughtlessly have locked myself in. In like manner of a kid, I longed to scream so loud my sound waves would reach to an unknown planet galaxies afar from earth. Moreover, finding myself constantly in the state of frustration. Why couldn’t you just let me out? You still don’t want to get out of your Acacia flower, either?
As a result of my prolonged time spent in this position, I’m afraid my thoughts have been eaten by entertaining times spent with you, and I’ve forgotten where the key was to get out.. Sure, being in those frail petals wasn’t so bad, it was nice.. As long as I was with you. Nonetheless, at some weird point, I began meditating on other subjects than sports and action figures..I..I-I started thinking about my future. I did not even ever ponder in my younger years, that I would want to break free and swiftly run to that deep blue of forget-me-not.
Major throwback to last year in the days leading up to O levels. Anyways to all of yall facing Os in less than a month, GOOD LUCK! I’d like to share what I’ve learnt from my O level experience, some last minute tips/reminders (I am very much a nag orz)
It’s about 2-3 weeks to the exam, so…
general rule: CLARIFY ALL CONCEPTUAL DOUBTS NOW. Ask friends, ask teachers, ask anyone! (I’m here too!)
STOP WRITING LENGTHY NOTES. (Unless you’re at your last chapter or so) You should use the time instead to do your TYS, or some alternatives to quickly finish going over content:
Write your notes on your textbook (What I did for SS), use highlighters and whatnot
Make flashcards for the most important info, it could be something you’d like to refer to while waiting to enter the exam hall* for sense of security or sth (*DO NOT CRAM NOR DO/DISCUSS STUFF. IT WILL MAKE YOU PANIC AND YOU WON’T WANT THAT)
Spontaneous mindmapping. Read and understand the topic/highlight/whatever works for you, then grab blank sheets of paper. Write the topic title in the middle and branch out whatever you can recall (good for Geog, good for Science), do it quickly without referring to anything, don’t worry about messiness and all. Afterwords grab another colour ink and your textbook and fill in what you’ve missed out and correct any errors
Do your TYS. DO IT. I did not get As for the subjects I did only one TYS paper for. If you really don’t think you can finish all 10 years make sure you’ve done at least the past 4-5 years, IF YOUR SYLLABUS IS NEW BE CAREFUL
Go over your old papers/assignments. List down the issues, find where your marks get lost, take note of it!
Take about 10 minutes to take note of the secondary schools you’ll pass by on your way to school. In the event of emergencies (train breakdown, etc.) if you really cannot make it to your school in time for your paper you should be able to take it at the nearest school.
Weight your commitment to certain subjects if you have to (eg. if you have 3 sciences and don’t feel confident about one, focus more on the others or sth). Ultimately you cannot use all your subjects for L1R5 / L1R4 etc.
Some subject specific tips/reminders:
English - Perfect your editing. That 10 marks is really important. Expose yourself to the different types of situational writing (letter? brochure? speech?) literally pretend you are making that speech, writing to your aunt etc. BE GENUINE.
A/E Math - Practice a little everyday, try a couple of challenging sums but otherwise being extremely clear about the “standard” questions (especially for A math) is fairly substantial
Sciences - You gotta do your MCQ TYS, a lot of questions in the MCQ paper are repeated/very similar. Keywords are extremely important in your paper 2 answers. Bio: Many terms to spell!
Social Studies - Essay: You will be told not to spot. But remember that if you are really desperate you can forgo one chapter. At the end of the day it is how well you explain with your solid examples for that one set of questions you choose. SBQ: Practice! Expose yourself to decontextualised (non textbook case studies) SBQs, different types of questions (especially those evaluative stuff like “Are you surprised by this source?” etc.)
Geography - Try the questions in your textbook (All About Geography) as they are nicely arranged in topics for you. Practice drawing diagrams (formations of whatever, plate movement etc.) and remember they need to have titles, legends etc. Also, memorise specific examples (with stats, dates, facts and figures and all) for your 8 mark questions, you could try practicing how to integrate these examples into different explanations for different but similar questions
Literature - Pretend to be a fangirl about your set text if you aren’t. REMEMBER QUOTES. Essays and PBQ are marked similarly (How well you explain things/organise your thoughts, how well you use your quotes etc.) so choose wisely. Prose VS Poem: Every word in the poem is there for a reason, you gotta follow the progression of stuff in the prose. Sometimes it’s not the difficulty of understanding either, but the difficulty of the questions.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH (Physical, emotional, spiritual) please drink lots of water and think positive. Don’t overwork yourself. Encourage each other alright! You can do it. Believe in yourself and your 10 years of compulsory schooling. GO ACE THE PAPERS!!!
Everyone was sure Q was going to break when they lost Bond. The building the agent had been inside had collapsed on top of him, there was no way even James Bond could survive that. Q simply signed off, taking off his com set and finishing his earl grey without even a hint of emotion. The room stayed silent, no dared even breathe. The Quartermaster was a time bomb, sitting in the middle of his own branch. R moved first, collecting the empty mug from Q’s desk and offering to type up a report. Q nodded his thanks, humming softly as he packed up laptop and made to leave– Moneypenny stopped him at the door. Q looked at her with eyes made of hurricanes and shook his head, Moneypenny let him pass without a word.
Things continued on with Q as if nothing had happened, acting as if James was only on an extended mission. It took about two weeks before everyone stopped treating him like glass, glass with a bullet hole through the center only held together by its own will. Another six months passed, the longest Q had been apart from James since they’ed met. Several members of Q branch became worried that Q was in denial, while others began to look over the resume and prepared to get new jobs to escape their sociopathic Quartermaster.
It was another eight months before Q actually smiled again. 011, a new agent Q had refused to hand 007′s number to, had his first successful mission that day and M had attributed most of the credit to Q’s branch. The mission had been a twelve hour ordeal and Q knew his cats wouldn’t be happy about him returning at three in the morning. Opening the door to his flat, Q’s senses were assaulted by the scents of dry blood and gun powder he’d nearly rid the flat of in the last year.
Choking on the tears he’d held down for so many months, Q’s voice was thick in his throat. “What do you see?”
“A bloody big ship.” The voice drug across his skin like sandpaper, a code word, for times when there wasn’t enough time to explain how everything was going to be okay in the end. Bond, James Bond. Q’s agent had returned.
As promised here is a post on how I make mind maps, this a paper and pen version (sometimes I make them on the computer). This is the general process however some do vary. (Also please excuse the terrible handwriting).
I start off by getting everything I need, so textbooks, notes, post-its,my pencil case, and A3 paper.
Next I make summary notes of the textbook and my own notes, this is helpful for later because it means I have summaries of the textbook.
Next I put the title in the middle and branch out with the first concept.
I then use my post-it notes to start writing out the key points.
I then make a new branch for the next concept, and I put a pencil like between the old and new the concept so when I rub it out there is clarity between the two. I continue to do this until all the concepts are on the paper.
(Dashed line mean it is a similar concept but not linked to that person).