natural magick

💐 Flowers & Signs 💐

Aries: red roses, tulips, geraniums
Taurus: daisies, violets, foxgloves
Gemini: orchids, daffodils, honeysuckle
Cancer: lotus, white roses, jasmine
Leo: marigolds, sunflowers, dahlia
Virgo: chrysanthemums, violets, all brightly colored flowers
Libra: violets, pansies, primrose
Scorpio: hollies, gardenia, hibiscus
Sagittarius: crocus, carnations, red roses
Capricorn: baby’s breath, jasmine, black poppy
Aquarius: orchid, trillium, bird of paradise
Pisces: water lilies, lilac, poppies

Let’s talk about the elements!

I’ve written a lot about the seven classical planets and celestial/cosmic witchcraft. I think it’s time to bring things a bit more down to earth, though!

This is a new two-part series! It will focus on the natural elements as understood by the Western Magical Tradition.

In today’s article, I’ll be explaining a bit about the history of these concepts and how I see them. I hope you find this interesting and informative!

Thinking About the Elements

Elements are one of the first concepts I learned when beginning a journey into witchcraft. 

But! How do we view the elements as concepts? Lets consider how they relate to us and the whole universe. Here’s my views!

Some believe the elements are simply words for natural phenomena.
In other words, Fire is fire - the burning of a campfire or candle, or another flame. Water would always be something like a stream, the ocean or other liquid. I don’t see it this way. They’re far more complex than that!

The four elements stem the observations of ancient philosophers. These thinkers guessed that these substances were the building blocks of physical reality. Of course, they were wrong! In reality, atoms comprise matter. Matter and energy, then, make up the physical universe. 

We could associate four classical elements with the four states of matter. These are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. They’d correspond to earth, water, air, and fire in turn. This is a very simplified view, though!

These concepts were fundamental to the ancients. A wealth of lore has developed around them. They have grown into complex metaphors for aspects of the human condition. The physical manifestations of the elements have become potent symbols. 

They represent various mental and emotional phenomena. Symbols are important in witchcraft. The way I see it, all tools of the Craft are symbols used to connect with larger forces that work within the universe.

The elements themselves, and their attributions, are in fact, somewhat arbitrary. This means that each of us will have a different idea of what each element represents!

There’s nothing wrong with this, though. The point is to use them as symbols. What they symbolize to you is your own business!

Qualifying the Elements

In the Western Magical Tradition, there are four core (classical) elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  

Some traditions do posit a fifth element called the quintessence, also known as Spirit or Aether. This fifth element stands apart from the other four, as it doesn’t behave in the same way.  

I’ll be focusing on these four, not on the quintessence. Spirit as an element is a very large topic best suited for its own series of articles.

Alchemical thinkers have placed these four into categories. . They’re quite useful for understanding the system. 

Each element is either “hot” or “cold,” as well as either “dry,” or “wet.”

This doesn’t describe the physical qualities of the phenomena in question. Rather, these terms are metaphors. They refer to the roles taken by the concepts each element embodies.

Hot and Cold Elements

Hot elements are active in human existence. 

They stand for concepts that penetrate and alter the world around them.
An outdated way of putting this would be to describe them as “masculine.” This comes from historical stereotypes about gender. I tend to use the term “active” to describe hot elements. That’s Fire and Air.

Cold elements are passive and receptive. 

They represent concepts from which we draw nourishment. They are the structure or substance that forms our mental landscape. The hot elements tend to be the essence or organizing principle. 

Cold elements are often stereotyped as “feminine.“  They are Water and Earth, both of which play a nourishing role in human existence.

Wet and Dry Elements

Dryness as a concept within the Western Magical Tradition refers to a fixed state. In other words, the dry elements are things that don’t often change. These elements are full of stability. 

The key feature of a dry element is lack of intense motion. We can depend on the stable parts of our existence, represented by these elements.

The dry elements are Fire and Earth. It may seem strange to call fire stable, but it is a reliable source of warmth to us. It represents a constant feature of human life.

When we speak of wet elements, we mean the two elements that aren’t fixed. In other words, elements that flow ,change and transform. It is the concepts associated with these elements that drive the changes. They are reliable, but only insofar as change, itself, is something to rely on! 

The wet elements are Air and Water. Both are natural features that shift and flow through our lives. The inclusion of Air as a wet element shows that these are metaphorical, not literal terms.

Much more could be said about how people have described the elements throughout time. The above image shows the alchemical view of how the elements can combine to create secondary principles. 

As you might guess, “fixed” and “volatile” here stand for what we’ve been calling “passive” and “active.” If you want to know more about these further topics, I recommend Robert Bartlett’s book, True Alchemy. 

The entire concept of the elements is a metaphor, though. It’s a metaphor that can work for you. It can help with your Craft, and help you connect with the universe. I’ll be posting the next article tomorrow! In that, I’ll be discussing each element in detail.

Teas for Witches: the Basics

I can talk about tea literally all day (and I have because I’ve worked in a spice and tea shop for years), and there is SO much to talk about with both health and magical benefits. Teas are made from tea leaves called camellia sinensis, with the exception of herbal teas/infusions. For this, I’m going to list magical and health benefits by type of tea.

Black Tea

Feminine * Earth * Winter * Strength * Stability * Death * Expelling Negativity * Alertness * Energy

Black tea is the most fermented and oxidized of all teas. Its tea leaves look shriveled and black. It combats heart ailments, digestive problems, high cholesterol, asthma, and breast/menstrual problems. Black tea also has a lot of caffeine (47 mg, still less than coffee) and too much of it can cause acidity issues in the stomach.  

Examples: English/Irish Breakfast Tea, Assam, Darjeeling, Lapsung Souchang, Ceylon, Earl Grey

**There is a subset of black tea called Pu-erh, a post-fermented black tea. Some consider this to be the “purest” of all teas and connect it to the aether, as it is rare and valuable.

Green Tea

Masculine * Fire * Summer * Passion * Healing * Conscious Mind * Sexual Health * Love * Energy * Progress * Magic

Green tea is slightly steamed but not fermented, which maintains its green color. It has many health benefits, such as detoxifying, reducing cholesterol and weight, boosting immunity and stamina, and reducing blood glucose. It has less caffeine than black, but still some. 

Examples: Jasmine, Sencha, Matcha, Gyokurocha, Genmaicha, Hojicha, Gunpowder, Dragonwell

Oolong Tea

Feminine * Water * Autumn * Reflection * Meditation * Wisdom * Serenity * Concentration * Romance * Friendship

I always describe Oolong as being between Green and Blacks, since it is half fermented. It can help manage weight and stress, balance blog sugar levels, remove free radicals, and promote healthy skin and bones. HOWEVER, too much can actually speed up bone degradation because it sweeps away excess calcium. And beware of its high caffeine content (I used to drink Raspberry Wulong to pull all-nighters).

Examples: Milk Oolong, Formosa, Wulongs

White Tea

Masculine * Air * Spring * Happiness * Wisdom * Moon * Purification * Protection * Clarity * Cleansing * Beginnings

White tea is a little harder to find. Either the tea leaves are plucked as immature leaves and steamed, or the leaves have not been processed (there seems to be little consensus across cultures). Some have a small amount of caffeine. It’s a great antibacterial and antioxidant, and it improves the heart, oral health, and skin. Drinking a couple cups works better than one, and you can reuse the tea leaves, granted that the second cup will brew longer.

Examples: White teas come in many flavors and are usually labeled as white tea. You may need to seek out a tea shop to find some.

Herbal Tea

Magical properties depend on which herbs are used

This tea seems to be the most popular for witches on tumblr, because it is composed of dry, unprocessed herbs, seeds, fruits, or roots, and has no caffeine (as long as the herb doesn’t!). There are many recipes online as herbals are easy to make. In general, herbal tea promotes calm, reduces cholesterol and risk of heart conditions, cancers, and diabetes. Due to its lack of actual tea leaves it has less antioxidants than other teas. Some don’t even call it a tea, but dub it Herbal Infusion.

Examples: Rooibos, most Chais, Ginseng, Chamomile, Peppermint, Spearmint, Hibiscus

**Yerba Mate is an herbal tea that is notorious for its high caffeine levels (you’ve probably seen the energy drink). It also zaps one’s appetite and can become addictive, so be careful around this tea!

As always, feel free to add/message me of any corrections, and I hope you find your cup of tea!

✨A List of Basic Herbs✨

Hi, lovelies! I haven’t made a witchy post in a little while, and thought that this would be very helpful, especially for baby witches. Here is a list containing a few easy, basic beginner’s herbs to gather for your witch cabinet/magick tool collection! If you do not have access to all of these in their herbal/spice forms, remember that oil is always a good substitute.

Basil: This herb can be used to bring good luck, promote purification, and provide an extra boost in love spells!

Chamomile: This is very similar to how Lavender is used in magick. Chamomile is very beneficial during meditation and in sleep/healing spells, it is also very protective, lucky, and purifying.

Cinnamon: In addition to smelling and tasting wonderful, cinnamon is a great option for wealth, success, and healing spells.

Eucalyptus: So, so excellent for healing. General protection is also a very good use for it!

Lavender: A favorite of nearly every witch I’ve met, and for good reason. A perfect herb for calming, protection, healing, purification, and happiness.

Mugwort: General healing, strength, and protection are all things that mugwort can be used for. Using it as an incense is also effective - it can assist in the strengthening of your divination practices.

Peppermint: It’s not just for having around during the holidays- peppermint is wonderful for boosting your psychic energies and abilities.

Rose: The ultimate in love and romance spells, of course - in addition to protection, luck, and helping your psychic powers grow.

Rosemary: Rosemary is a very good all-purpose herb. It can be effective in all of the following areas: protection, love, purification, mental powers, cleansing of negative energy, promoting sleep, and helping your memory.

Sage: Sage is a staple in nearly every witch’s collection. It is generally used for its strong healing and cleansing powers. It can also be used in spells/rituals that support longevity, fulfillment of wishes, wealth, and protection.

Sandalwood:A wonderful medium for strong cleansing of negativity. Healing, exorcism, dream fulfillment, and spirituality are also great uses of sandalwood.

Bonus: Salt! I use it in nearly all of my rituals, spells, and altars. Salt is an absorber rather than a channeler, soaking in all of the psychic energies surrounding. It is purifying, protective, and healing, a good addition to any general ritual.

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The Green Witch

Is the practice of nature-based and earth oriented witchcraft. Green witches usually practice a traditional form of witchcraft in which the earth, trees, herbs, plants and flowers are consulted for their medicinal and magical value. They will grow their own herbs or Wildcraft them, and are very good at making herbal remedies. Usually, the spirits of nature, the dead (that of humans and animals) or the Fey have a large part in Green traditions. 

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