tea steam

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!

catfruits  asked:

Okay, so, I'd love to read a little something by you set in a world where Lavender made it out of the Battle of Hogwarts. Maybe not okay, but alive?

Once upon a time, Lavender had wanted everyone to look at her. She had been the kind of kid who put on dramatic plays for her stuffed animals, for any visitors to the house, and for any neighbor or passersby she could snag from the front yard.

Dating Ron in sixth year had been fun, most of all because everyone had kept sneaking glances at her. She had heard her name in curious whispers and she had grinned and giggled into Parvati’s shoulder.

Everyone was looking now, or pretending not to. She heard the whispers– oh it’s that poor Brown girl. Can you imagine, if it was your daughter, if it was you? Oh and she was so pretty before, too–what a pity–almost makes it worse, doesn’t it?

“You know Professor Lupin was a werewolf?” Hermione said, ten minutes into a very awkward lunch she had asked for in an equally awkward letter.

Lavender pushed a sauteed carrot through a little puddle of pasta sauce. “I think everyone heard about that one. Someone told the papers, or something, right?”

“Er, yes,” said Hermione. “Snape did. Which is what I– I mean, it’s related. Oh, I wish you’d gotten to talk to Remus about this. He was a lovely man.”

“Not as lovely as Lockhart,” Lavender said and she and Hermione spent a moment in wistful remembrance. “God, I feel old,” Lavender said.

“Anyway, Snape,” said Hermione. “Snape and Lupin. When Lupin was at school, Snape would make him a potion that would… tame him, on full moons. He could just curl up in his office and sleep by the fire. If you’re interested, I’m trying to learn how to brew it myself.”

Lavender shook her head. “We’re not friends,” she said. “Never have been. So why are you doing all this?”

Hermione looked like she was trying to say “we’re friends,” but she couldn’t get it out. “I was there, once, when Lupin turned without the potion. I was so scared. I thought we were going to die.”

“Afraid I’ll sniff you out on a dark night?” Lavender said, face twisting as she sank back into her wicker chair.

“No, I–” Hermione squeezed her eyes shut, and all the hesitation was making Lavender more and more uncomfortable. Even at eleven, Hermione had bulldozed through things. She didn’t waver. “I was so scared, but I think it was even worse for him. It hurt, but he looked so scared, too, I–”

“I know how it feels,” said Lavender, very quietly, and Hermione snapped her mouth shut. Lavender took a big sip from her tea. It was still steaming– it had not taken long to exhaust small talk, between the two of them.

Hermione cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m trying to make amends. I’m trying to– make things better. Do you want this?”

Lavender put her mug back down, shaking out scalded fingers, and said, “Yes.” Then, because her mother had raised her right, she said, “Thank you.”

“That sounds like a weird conversation,” said Parvati, whose door Lavender went and knocked on after she and Hermione had split the bill with the precise-to-the-Knut math of the vaguely acquainted and recently employed.

Lavender kicked through the fall of autumn leaves that had collected in front of the porch swing. “She was trying to be nice, I think.”

“She’s not very good at it,” said Parvati.

-

Her father wept. He tried not to but he was a crier, always had been.

“You were so brave,” said Lavender’s mother, cupping her cheeks in her warm hands and not even flinching at the scar tissue under her palms. “We are so proud.”

Lavender’s mother was a Muggleborn, daughter of a math teacher and a door-to-door salesman (“now there is a profession that requires some magic,” her grandfather used to tell her).

Her father was a wizard and he was trying hard not to cry, bending down to pet the dogs weaving between all their ankles. Lavender bent down, too, scratching behind Fiddlestick’s floppy ears while Mopsy cleaned her cheek forcefully. “Hey,” she said, and her father looked up, trying to firm his wobbly chin.

“You know I’m proud of you, too,” he said, trying not to tremble on it. “I just…” He reached out to squeeze her knee gently. “You did everything right. You did everything good. I’m so proud of you, chickadee.”

“I know,” she said, and she did. He was a Gryffindor, too.

-

It took Hermione more than a month to figure out the potion sufficiently well enough that she’d let Lavender try it. She was founding a non-profit for nonhuman rights, too, after all, as well as doing a fair few local speaking gigs, petitioning the Wizenagamot on a half dozen issues, getting an advanced degree, and supposedly, at some point, sleeping.

It took more than a month, so Lavender spent another night locked in her parents’ newly fortified cellar. She didn’t remember much, but she woke up with her throat sore and her nails ragged. The door was gouged from the inside. She wondered if she had been screaming. She wondered if that’s what the howls were. She felt like screaming, maybe, a little.

The door cracked open the moment the moon had dropped down below the horizon, outside. Her mother came in with a tray of her favorite breakfast foods– danishes and boiled eggs, steaming hot cocoa with the barest splash of bitter coffee in it.

Parvati came stomping down the stairs after her. “Graceful,” said Lavender. She winced at the roughness of her voice.

“Look who’s talking,” said Parvati. “Up, c'mon, eat your breakfast. We’re doing midnight manicures. Your dad says he’ll let us doll up his nails, too.”

The next full moon night, Lavender locked herself in the cellar again. “It should be safe,” Hermione had said. “It should. I mean, I’ve done all the tests. I followed all the instructions. It should work.”

Lavender didn’t remember, because she never remembered– she didn’t recall the cellar door unlocking and opening after ten minutes of post-moonrise silence. She didn’t recall Parvati Wingardium Leviosa-ing a comfy chair down the stairs, or her sitting down and pulling out a stack of Witch Weeklys, nor did she remember curling up on Parvati’s fuzzy button slippers and going to sleep.

But she did remember waking up in the morning, her cheek pressed into a soft pillow. She was tattered under a thick blanket, but she was human and looking upward at Parvati’s slack, sleeping face. Her dark plaits tumbled, curling, over the soft pink polka dots of her pajamas.

Lavender pulled herself up to sitting, stole the open Witch Weekly, and waited for Parvati to wake up.

-

“You’re going to be alright,” Professor Trelawney said and she wasn’t even looking at Lavender’s palm, just holding her hand tight in her cold fingers. “You’re going to be happy. You’re going to be fine. People are going to love you and stand by you and we will be there.”

The tower room was just the same as Lavender remembered it, down to the spicy-sweet tea and Trelawney’s big blinking eyes. Lavender squeezed her hands back. “I love you, too, professor.”

“You know, I think you can call me Sybil. It seems the time for it.”

Dean and Seamas’s housewarming for their ugly little first flat was a crowded mess, but the afterparty wasn’t. Lavender and Parvati came by with paint swatches, opinions, and hangover remedies. They ate greasy Chinese food on the floor, because it was about as comfortable as the couch.

They came back the next week, and the next. Parvati conjured a crackling fire in a big fruit bowl Dean’s mother had given him and they all sat around it like they were back at Gryffindor Tower’s hearths, procrastinating on homework.

On nights like that they sometimes talked about Hogwarts, but most of the time they didn’t. Dean had started drawing again and he walked them through his notebooks– his sisters, caricatures of the customers he dealt with in Ollivander’s wand shop, the snarky little comics he’d always scrawled in the edges of his notes. Parvati told them about the Auror trainees’ antics, going ut on their first field missions with their mentors. “All bravado and caffeine,” she said. “Bunch of show-offs.”

“So you fit in well, then?” Dean said.

“Nah, that’s Lav,” Parvati said. Dean and Seamas glanced warily at Lavender, but she just giggled and reached for another potsticker.

Seamas was considering going back to school. “Hermione’s been badgering me about it,” he said. “Says I have a talent for pyrotechnics, and there’s a whole major for fire magics at Brinxley.”

“What about you, Lav?” said Dean. “You still thinking about vet school?”

“What?”

“Oh, uh, that’s the Muggle word. Veterinarian– a medimagizoologist?”

“The schools aren’t too interested in a werewolf as a student,” Lavender said, shrugging.

“Not that that stops Hermione from showing up on the doorstep with half-penned anti-discrimination lawsuits she wants Lav to star in,” Parvati said.

“When does she sleep?” said Dean.

Little children asked about it in the street sometimes. “Mum, why’s her face like that?” “How come she’s walking all funny?”

Sometimes their parents turned to Lavender with eager bright eyes in the grocery store line, expecting her to answer. (“I got hurt, but I’m okay now.”) Sometimes they shushed their kids and gave her little apologetic half-smiles, glancing away from the raised lines of scar tissue. Sometimes they pulled their children closer to them and crossed to the other side of the street.

Harry Potter had a godson. Teddy Lupin was four the first time Lavender met him, just outside Gringotts. Teddy clung to Harry’s pants leg, peeking past his godfather’s hanging robe. “Why’d her face do that?” he said and Harry dropped a hand down into Teddy’s hair, which was bright green.

“She’s just like your dad,” said Harry.

“Puppy,” Teddy whispered, eyes wide with joy, and his skin shifted until scars stood out stark on his smiling chubby cheeks.

Lavender bit her lip and sank down to her knees in the street, holding out a hand. “Why aren’t you handsome, chickadee. What’s your name?”

Once, Lavender had wanted everyone to look at her.

She hated stories that told you to be careful what you wished for. Were you not supposed to want things? Was that the answer? She was nearly twenty two and she could make things fly with a few whispered words. She had lived through her seventh year at Hogwarts, had stepped out into that battle with her wand out and her eyes open. She had woken up–hurting, wounds tended, poison in her veins–to Parvati sleeping on Sybil’s shoulder at her bedside.

She had cried when they told her about the lycanthropy. She had cried over her bunny because a fox had gotten to it. Both times it had been with her face buried in Parvati’s shoulder and Parvati’s hands stroking her hair. She wished and she wanted– animals that never left you, bodies that never betrayed you.

Once, Lavender had wished that everyone would look at her, and now they were. Everyone was looking– so Lavender held Parvati’s hand in the grocery store at midnight, because they had both been craving green apples. Everyone was looking– so Lavender curled her hair and pinned it up, wore tank tops and little skirts on any day hot enough that she could get away with it, laughed aloud in public spaces. Everyone was looking– so Lavender knocked on Hermione Granger’s door one evening and asked, “What would it take to get me into magical vet school?”

Hermione had her bushy hair all tied back and a quill behind each ear. “A lot. There’s some statutes we’ve got to fight, and even if we can handle that you’ll still be under intense scrutiny for years.”

“I can work with that,” said Lavender, and Hermione grinned.

When Teddy marched down the aisle with the rings, his hair was a shimmering swirl of pink and purple to match the flowers woven into Parvati’s braids and Lavender’s curls.

The honeymoon would be short–a week in magical Paris in the townhouse of a Beauxbaton girl they’d befriended fourth year. Lavender had more medical textbooks packed into her luggage than anything else. Parvati’s bags were lined with half-finished reports that she’d owl to Auror headquarters from a rumpled Parisian morning, getting croissant crumbs in the bedsheets.

But for now the hall was filled with pink and purple blooms, white candles, familiar faces. Hermione stood in a violet bridesmaid’s dress, and Dean and Seamus in matching ties at Parvati and Lavender’s respective backs. Padma was luminescent with joy over Parvati’s shoulder. She had taken Lavender aside that morning for a short quiet walk in the mist and told her, “I know tonight’s what makes it official, but I’ve thought of you as my sister for years.”

When Lavender leaned forward and kissed her wife, her father burst into proud tears in the front row. He was a crier, always had been. Lavender buried her face in Parvati’s shoulder, smiling so hard she thought she might come apart. Her scars creased and puckered in her dimples, and she was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

are you familiar with the feeling of oh-my-holy-moly-my-life-is-a-complete-mess? me too fam. but now, it’s time for change. It’s time to get our shit together and here are some tips to get started.

note : this is just a beginning guide; which only includes 1/100 of the tips to get you life together. I’ll probably make a part two if this is helpful?


1. do not procrastinate.

sounds crazy? but honestly, just don’t. procrastination leads to stress and anxiety and helps you lose your shit.

but, how do we not procrastinate?

  • ‌get things done early. remember that sheet of paper your professor gave around in class having the list of all the assignments to be done that semester? yes, do that work months before if you have time.
  • do your homework the day it’s given. (no watching tv before you do)
  • ‌study in the time you’re actually studying. don’t go on your phone half the time. If you’re doing that, you may as well put your books away.

‌other resources -

2. become the master of  “fake productivity”

fake productivity is basically when you do mechanical work (i.e. stuff which doesn’t require much brainpower) to get into the real “productivity” zone. it helps you brain prepare for the big task ahead. here are some things to do -

  • make your bed
  • do the dishes/laundry
  • clean your room (i know it’s messy yo)
  • get your closet together
  • empty your inbox (be it gmail or tumblr)
  • do a smol workout?
  • make a to-do list/ organize you calendar
  • do a easiest or the most enjoyable task off your to-do list

3. plan, plan and plan

your planner/bullet journal should be your best friend. plan those essays you got to write, that research paper you have to do, down to the time you need to go out for dinner with friends. Plan. Every. Single. Thing. I. Really. Mean. It.

+ and follow up with those plans!! you have already wasted a lot of time on planning, you hAVE to follow up with that planning, right?

4. wake up early

why?  waking up early gives you the time to do things slowly and carefully so that you get it perfect in one go and your life isn’t a complete disastrous mess.

how to wake up early? i got you.

5. have a healthy lifestyle

an example -

x wakes up at 7 am every morning, goes for a short run to wake herself up and comes back to have hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, slices of bread and a mug of steaming hot tea. she starts on her work after that, doing it without stressing about it. Then, after a nice hot bath and a delicious lunch, she goes out to a cafe to work on her online classes and to hang out with her friends. coming back home, she does a quick workout, takes a shower and heads off to make dinner. Having an early dinner, she spends the remaining few hours relaxing, drafting blog posts and spending time with her dog. at 10 pm everyday, she heads off to her bed, looking forward to a glorious tomorrow.

..sounds like a fairy-tale, right? you can definitely live it though.

In general, your day should have the following stuff  -

  • ‌sufficient hours of work using which you can get all your work done
  • ‌a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner (yep, no skipping meals)
  • ‌a workout, generally of 15 - 30 minutes at the least
  • ‌interaction with people, like hanging out with friends or family
  • ‌sufficient sleep and resting time (preferably 8 hours of sleep)
  • ‌a fixed routine consisting of you waking and sleeping at fixed time
  • ‌a ‘me’ time at some point of the day where you don’t worry about work or anything and focus on relaxing after a long day.

6. believing that coffee sucks

why? its basically a drug and if you need three cups of it just to get started on work, you’re going to have a really hard time during finals.

Instead, get enough sleep so that you have enough energy to study without being a coffee addict. or you can even swap coffee for water. (hey, you’ll be more hydrated!)
side note - a cup of coffee per day is okay though. I love coffee too and I totally feel you but don’t overdose on it, okay love?

some extra things to know about -

  • ‌have a companion to keep you accountable at the start.
  • ‌do have a laid-back day once in a while, you’re human after all.
  • balance work and play. reward yourself for shit done.
  • keep track of your spending, earnings, investments, etc.
  • stop being a perfectionist. seriously, you dont need to rewrite all those notes, trust me (comes from a was-a-perfectionist-kind-of-still-am-but-trying-not-to-be perfectionist)
  • ‌don’t stress yourself out. getting your shit together is a journey and not a result.
  • remember, change will come. yes, it will; but only if you take action. start now.

also, on a side note - and this might seem very ironic, but sometimes you don’t have to have your shit together. life is always a mess and trust me when I say this, no one - yes no one - has their shit together and sometimes it’s worth it to lead a messy life and enjoy it without having any fixed rules and regulations like you would have if you wanted that perfect life. enjoy the life you lead and stay wonderful, loves!


- ̗̀   the adulting 101 series   ̖́-        

part one : kicking a rut

go check out my other masterposts here and you can always send in a request for a masterpost as my ask box is always open!!

much love, Taylor  (´。• ᵕ •。`) ♡

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DIY Herbal Steams

So while hunting for holiday gifts, I stumbled onto Fig and Yarrow’s “herbal steams” which are basically just steam teas for your face. They’re selling for $26, but being witchy, I had most of the ingredients on hand. Turns out they are awesome recipes and I wanted to pass them on!

to use //

put a nice handful of herb mixture of your choice in a bowl, and fill with steamy or boiling water. place your head over the steam, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel to keep all the moisture in.

this is a great time to relax and meditate, especially focusing on the correspondences of the herbs you’re using.

once you’re done using the herbs for steam, you can strain out the tea you made and use it in a bath, too! 2x the usefulness

herb combinations //

winter - eucalyptus, juniper, cedar, elderflower, orange peel, ginger root, thyme, star anise, and clove

spring - linden flowers, chrysanthemum, lavender, chamomile, rose petals, nettle, calendula, and red clover

summer - sunflower, immortelle (life everlasting), red clover, peppermint, hibiscus, and linden flowers

autumn - figwort, rosemary, cornflower, rosehip, orange peel, juniper berry, star anise, and cardamom

benefits //

winter - physically, helps respiratory system (eucalyptus) and clears pores. magically, associated with protection, cleansing, and healing

spring - physically, deep cleansing, calming, and hydrating skin. magically, associated with protection, relaxation, and healing.

summer - physically, hydrates, purifies, and cleanses skin. magically, associated with success, love and luck.

autumn - physically, nourishes skin, helps provide mental calm and clarity. magically, associated with mental and psychic ability

I want to start seeing non-aesthetic-y pictures of practice rooms. don’t show me your sleek black music stand in front of the city skyline you can see through your window. don’t show me the impossible concerto you’re working on and your cup of steaming chai tea. take a picture of your crappy wire stand in the bathroom (because of the good acoustics) and an easy c major scale and a bag of half-eaten doritos on the floor. show me the truth

aesthetic
  • Aries: big groups of friends, action films, sugary popcorn, creamy drinks, the scent of sweet caramel, the colour navy blue, play fighting, sleeping really late, taking risks, the company of best friends, the cutest expressions.
  • Taurus: peaceful train rides, repeating songs, dark captivating eyes, silky hair, the taste of newly opened soda, smiling at strangers, daydreaming, grey scale with bright colours, high fiving friends.
  • Gemini: the feel of fresh paper, the taste and scent of dark chocolate, sarcastic replies, expressive eyes, bright emotions, gentle touches, kisses on the hand, warm scarves, fingerless gloves.
  • Cancer: soft sweaters, the scent of coffee, smooth clean hair, pale skin, vanilla, pattens in the stars, beautiful silence, holding hands, gorgeous eyes, cuddling, golden light, evening time, a good book, the colours brown and red.
  • Leo: warm sunlight, the feel of sand on your feet, the colours yellow and blue, cloudless skies, shining smiles, loose ponytails, freedom, ice cream on a hot day, playing childish games with friends.
  • Virgo: prolonged eye contact, comforting whispers, soft cheek kisses, quiet music, late night talking, warm blankets, the scent of a new book, shy smiles, rain against a window, steely grey sky, heavy rain clouds, blue jeans.
  • Libra: cups of steaming tea, fluffy hair, sweet licorice, big heavy hoodies, sci-fi novels and series, silly faces, dark lighting, the colour silver, messy beds, sleeping through alarms, the scent of s fresh morning.
  • Scorpio: little inside jokes, hugs with friends, kisses on the neck, hues of green, dew-sprinkled grass, playful nudges, cheesy selfies, carving into trees, the scent of a forest.
  • Sagittarius: the flicker of street lights at night, the gentle hum of cars in the distance, long and warm laughter, shorts and loose clothing, the cool midnight air, adrenaline rushes, short giggles, linking arms.
  • Capricorn: the scent of fresh fruit, neon colours, bright sunrises, singing slow songs, tracing patterns out of clouds, sweet ice popsicles, fuzzy socks, accidental hand touches, a glass of refreshing fruit juice.
  • Aquarius: clean pillows, hair in buns, a sip of fresh water on a warm day, amazing friendships, first crushes, the scent of coconut, showering in the morning, modern design.
  • Pisces: running with the wind on your face, perfect grins, seashells, drawing on rocks with chalk, painting in to wet sand, bright hair, soft sea foam, pastel colours, little secret gifts, surprise tickles.