A few days ago I wrote about how the life of everything sings together to make the spirit of a place. As a druid and animist, I like to learn as much as I can about the place and the beings that give it its special spirit.
There are two kinds of knowledge. One is the kind that you can find in books and on the internet. The second is the knowledge in your bones, the knowing you arrive at by using all of your senses.
I like to combine both of these kinds of knowledge to make closer connections to the spirits that surround me.
Try this experiment.
Pick a being that lives near you. It can be a tree, a plant, or a rock – it’s good to start with something that won’t run away. Sit with it for a while, opening all your senses to it. (Only use your sense of taste if you are absolutely certain it’s not poisonous!) See what you can learn by just sharing space with this being.
Then go home and look the plant or stone up in a book or on the web. Look for its characteristics and its uses. To what extent does your intuition agree with what’s in the book?
When I try this, I am invariably surprised about how much I can learn from just being with a natural thing. It would seem that humans are quite capable of using their intuition for all kinds of things.
Gorse was a nice farm boy in Yanjing. He discovered cooking - his mom was a really good cook - and his father, who was a farmer, taught him about herbs, and his grandma taught him about cooking and healing herbs. As he got older, he got more obsessed with herbs and plants, and the village shaman taught him for a while until he said there was nothing else he could teach him.
Then Gorse hit the road and studied as he traveled, with every shaman and witch who knew anything about plants. He studied making potions, making medicines, and cooking. He earned money cooking at inns and caravansarys. When he came to cities where he could settle for a while to study, he’d cook in eating houses. In one of those cities, he met Niko. In jail.
He ended up in jail because he broke into a garden where the plants were placed unharmoniously and were screwing up the house. Niko was tossed in jail I think because the local mages got jealous and wanted him tossed in jail. So they broke out and began traveling together, because Niko saw Gorse’s talent. Niko taught him until they got to Winding Circle. By then, Gorse had the education to get his medallion as a mage, then after a few years as a master, and he was given charge of the kitchens.
“I get frustrated with people who say that a drug experience can have no spiritual validity. I’m here to tell you that all experience is a drug experience. We’re all on drugs all the time, largely because we are MADE of drugs.”
“Nano technology is a very hot buzzword at the moment, an unimaginable dream of building machines and small objects atom by atom. Perhaps under the control of long chain polymers running forms of preprogrammed software of some sort, it’s all very razzmatazz, very state of the art, but in fact pharmaceutical chemists have been working on the nano technological realm for over a hundred years. I mean when you synthesize molecules out of simpler substrate, specifically to have a conformational geometry that matches something going on in the synapse of a primate; a human or a monkey… Or something like that you are working at this nano technological level. Both the psychedelic, and the new computational machines represent extensions of human function… It locks in with the concept of prosthesis. The drugs, the psychedelic substances, the shamanic plants are forms of prosthetic devices for extending the human mind; the human perceptual apparatus into hidden realms or inaccessible realms. Similarly the machines by allowing us to model, calculate and simulate very complicated multi-variable processes extend the power of the human mind into places it could never dream of going before. And part of what seems to me, very real about being a human being and inheriting ten thousand years of human history is the complexity of the inheritance, and the growth of that complexity. A thousand years ago an intelligent human being could actually dream of mastering the entire database of western civilization, read all the classic authors, read all the bible…. Now the notion of any single human being assimilating even a small portion of the database of this civilization is inconceivable. So machines which filter, which search, which are guided by human intent, that’s part of the story. The other parts of the story are about boundary dissolving states of ecstasy in which all the factoids of the culture are thrown up for grabs, the deck is reshuffled, synchronicity rules, and out of that steps visionary understanding, breakthrough, integrated breakthrough under the aegis of psychedelic intoxication.”
Slippery Elm is often used in spells designed to stop gossip.
It is also given to children as a charm warn about the neck to ensure the child grows up with a persuasive tongue.
Native to the US and Canada, this marvelous herb is a gentle and effective remedy for irritated states of the mucous membranes in the chest. This herb was used by Native Americans as a poultice (compress) for wounds, boils, ulcers, fevers, colds, and bowl complaints.
I make an immune tincture for children, and this is one of my key ingredients. Taken regularly Slippery Elm is nutritious and soothing, it is a good food for those who suffer from digestion issues, and brings instant relief from acidity, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. It may also bring relief to conditions such as colic, inflammation of the gut, constipation, and IBS.
At home I prefer to use Slippery Elm for coughs and bronchitis.
Forms of Slippery Elm: Infusion, Poultice, Capsules, and Powder.
Warning: As usual, please note that my level of Japanese is basic at most, and this is just a translation of text summaries available online, so I cannot guarantee that the following snippets are accurate. In other words, these can be just rumors or misinterpretations, and I might have left some parts out because I didn’t understand them. Feel free to share the link, but please DO NOT REPOST, and don’t forget to support the official releases!!
In which the nature of the trials is revealed. Raise your hand if you can hear someone yelling Saori!! or something in the background.
Sage-Sage is the staple of any witch stockpile. Most notable for its cleansing abilities, a bundle of dried sage produces a smell that is abhorrent to most spirits or nasty little critters that like to dwell about. Burn a little, and it will drive them out of your area. For these reasons, sage is used to cleanse and purify sacred spaces before a ritual. Sage is also believed to increase wisdom and gain guidance from a spirit. Lavender-A wonderful herb for healing, it can be used in teas for ridding oneself of headaches. Magically speaking, it is excellent for helping to calm anxiety and stressful situations. It has often been used for aiding sleep and helping to promote prophetic dreaming. If you like to purify yourself before a ritual, sprinkle some in the bathtub and have a nice soak. Peppermint-Perfect for settling an upset stomach, mint in most forms is a great addition to the stores. It is a good herb for protection and for gaining or attracting wealth to you. Not to mention the fairies tend to flock about when it’s grown in abundance. It’s been known to attract casual lovers. Horehound-Excellent for a sore throat, horehound is said to be especially useful in warding against being ensorcelled. That is to say, to protect against other witches or someone casting spells against you. It may even be productive if you’ve got a particularly nasty entity that needs exorcising. Ginger-Being a spicy herb, ginger is known for adding a punch to spells and enchantments, especially those involving sexual magic. This can mean either strengthening the spell, quickening it to fruition, or just making sure it has the desired effect. Clove-Nobody likes malicious gossip, least of all a witch. Cloves are useful for the sake of preventing drama and diverting people from enveloping you in their lies or slander. It is especially good at protecting children from harmful teasing or bullying and can be helpful in bringing your friends closer to you. Olive-Don’t underestimate these little things. They’ve been used in a wide variety of magic and are just as potent today as they were thousands of years ago. Olives are signs of fertility for both men and women and are thought to increase the chances of pregnancy. It is a substantial offering, especially for any workings involving a Cthonic deity and can be used for a quick topical potion mix. Anise-A vivid strengthener in divination and omens, anise is a most wonderful addition to the cabinet. It is thought to assist in trances and meditation, as well as bringing entities to your aid in a working. Anise takes the shape of a star, an important symbol it witchcraft. Red Clover-Often seen as a symbol of good luck, red clover is a good charm to ward off unwanted romantic advances or to ensure to loyalty of someone you love. It’s sometimes viewed as a shamanic plant, able to help one in their interactions with the Otherworld and used as a protection when traveling between. It is thought to calm the capricious nature of some entities if given as an offering.