wild-plant

it’s amazing how fast the human brain picks up on stuff and adjusts itself to things. i’ve only been playing dwarf fortress for about a day and a half and i already know what ALMOST everything is just looking at it, i could tell you what everything on that map is except for maybe some of the plants and wild animals

Somewhere in Greece, April 2017. Felt like playing with colors a bit. I never aim for documentary precision but usually don’t do surreal, either. Lately, however, I’ve felt the urge to experiment. Will appreciate your comments!

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Edible Magickal Flowers and Folk Lore

The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greeks and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking, medicine, and magick.

 Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little magickal whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising. Flower petals can be used in salads and as garnish for desserts, but they also inspire magickal creative uses as well. Use them to make floral spirit water for rituals, as a medicinal tea, or add to a healing spell or love potion….  the possibilities are endless.

 TIPS FOR SAFE AND TASTY DINING:

  •        Not all flowers are edible (those listed below are safe for consumption) - As lovely as eating flowers can be, some can also be a little … deadly, so only eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants. (Always refer to the botanical name when verifying whether a flower is safe to eat.)
  •       Just because a flower is edible doesn’t mean it will taste good. Some will be more to your liking than others – it’s all a matter of taste. Keep in mind that the stamen, pistil and sepal of some blossoms are bitter and can contain pollen that may detract from the true flavor of the flower. Consuming only the petals will further heighten the appeal factor.
  •       Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
  •       Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
  •      Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.
  •      If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
  •     To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.


1, Allium
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful.  Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible. Garlic is masculine in nature and associated with the planet Mars, the element fire and the sign Aries. It is sacred to Hecate and is a suitable offering to her left at a crossroads.  Garlic has antibiotic properties, but should not be used directly on wounds or in poultices or salves because it can be irritating to the skin and may inhibit blood clotting.

2. Angelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor. Believed to have originated in Syria, angelica is now found just about everywhere. In ancient times it was used to ward off the plague and evil and as a cure for poison and… well, just about everything else. Angelica is associated with the angels Michael and Gabriel. It is aligned with the sun and the element of fire and sacred to Venus. Angelica tea is useful for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, heartburn, nausea, ulcers and various other digestive ailments.

3. Anise Hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor. Anise is one of the oldest known plants that were grown for both culinary and medicinal use. Anise is associated with the element of air, the God Apollo, the planets Mercury and Jupiter, and the astrological sign Gemini. Anise is also considered masculine.

4. Basil
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder. The word Basil comes from the Greeks, meaning “King”.  Basil is sacred to Vishnu, Tulasi and Erzulie, masculine in nature, and associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars. Basil helps steady the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money and protects against insanity.

5. Calendula / Marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds a dash of magick to any dish. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all loved calendula and used it for culinary and healing purposes. During the medieval period it was considered a cure for just about everything.  Marigold is associated with the Sun. Calendula symbolizes love and constancy.  It is great for wedding bouquets and decorations. It is the traditional “he loves me, he loves me not” flower and is useful for love potions. Dried petals can be strewn to consecrate an area or burned in consecration incense. They are also a good addition to dream pillows.

6. Carnations
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.  In ancient Rome, carnations were known as “Jove’s Flower” as a tribute to their beloved king of the gods, Jupiter.  Carnations are masculine, associated with the Sun and Jupiter, and with the element fire.  Those things that fall under the rule of Jupiter are ideal for use in magickal applications related to luck, money, good fortune, status, legal matters, fertility, friendship, ambition, career, success and protection. The flowers can be used to lend strength in healing applications. The practitioner can also use carnation essential oils to increase health and vigor.

7. Chamomile
Small and daisy like, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.  The Romans used Chamomile for incense.  Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt for fevers and was dedicated to their Sun God Ra.  Chamomile is associated with the sun, Leo and the element of water. It helps cleanse and invigorate the throat chakra (5th). It is associated with various Sun Gods, including Cernunnos, Lugh and others.  It is used in spells for money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.

8. Chrysanthemum / Mum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals. In Celtic folklore, chrysanthemums in the garden were considered a meeting place for the faeries. Chrysanthemum is masculine in nature and resonates with the energy of the Sun and the element of fire.  Chrysanthemum has been used for burial rituals and is a suitable decoration for Samhain and for ancestral altars.  The dried flower heads of chrysanthemum can be burned during house blessings ceremonies. 

9. Dandelion
The bright yellow flowers should be gathered as soon as they open. Remove the green bits from the base of the flower before using. These can be added to wines, vinegar or jellies. The name dandelion comes from the French, “dent de lion” which means “tooth of the lion”.  The dandelion is masculine in action and associated with the planet Jupiter, the element of air and both Pisces and Sagittarius. It is also associated with any solar deity, Hecate, Brigid and Belenos.  A tea of the flowers and leaves may be consumed to increase psychic ability, while pouring boiling water over a bowlful of roots will aid in calling spirits.   You can also make a wish and blow the seeds off a dandelion head.

10. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes. Some of the earliest recorded uses of lavender are by the Roman soldiers who used the wild-growing plant to perfume their bathwater and wash their clothes. Lavender is masculine in action and associated with Mercury. It is also associated with the element of air and the astrological sign Virgo. It may be used as an asperging herb (to sprinkle water for purification purposes) and dried lavender sticks or wands can be burnt like incense. It is also useful in spells to sharpen the mind, to encourage or strengthen pure love and to encourage fertility. The scent of lavender is relaxing and uplifting all at once making it a great aromatherapy for stressed out or depressed individuals. Try adding some lavender oil to your bath or add it to mild oil for a relaxing massage at the end of a hard day. Stuffing a pillow with lavender buds may help insomniacs relax and fall asleep and soothes headaches.

11.  Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf. Oregano is ruled by Venus and the element of air and associated with Aphrodite. It is used in spells for happiness, tranquility, luck, health, protection and letting go of a loved one. It can also be used in spells to deepen existing love. When worn on the head during sleep, it is said to promote psychic dreams. Oregano symbolizes joy. Use it for rituals celebrating joyful occasions, or in spells to bring joy into one’s life.

12.  Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties. From the time of Solomon, the rose has been the flower most closely linked with love. The rose was sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and was connected to her messenger, Cupid. Roses have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Roses are associated with Aphrodite, Adonis and Eros. Rosewater is a protective agent worn on clothes. Rose petals can be added to charms against the evil eye.

13.  Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary. The word Rosmarinus is from the Latin meaning “dew of the sea”.  Rosemary is also associated with Aphrodite and appears in many ancient images of Her. Rosemary was used to ward off evil spirits and nightmares. The wood was used to make musical instruments. Rosemary is male in nature and ruled by Leo, the element fire and the sun (or Moon, depending who you ask).  It’s sacred to Hebe, Aphrodite and the Virgin Mary. Rosemary can be used in spells for fidelity and remembrance as well as to dispel jealousy. Rosemary is useful for ritual baths, and for making sacred herbal water for ritual cleansing, blessing and purification. Bathing in rosemary will enhance your memory.  

14. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves. Sage is a hardy perennial of the mint family.  The Romans regarded sage quite highly and much sacrifice and ceremony was associated with its harvest. They believed it stimulated the brain and memory and used it to clean their teeth. Sage is masculine in nature and associated the element of air and the planet Jupiter. Sage is sacred to the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter. It is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Sage is used in magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes. Sage is also believed to help alleviate sorrow of the death of a loved one.

15. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke. Sunflower is associated with the sun and all solar deities. Its essence helps balance the first chakra and also helps with confidence in leadership roles. Sunflower oil can be used as carrier oil for healing oils used in massages and ointments.

16. Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks. In Roman mythology, violets were said to be lesser goddesses who once dared to rival the beauty of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.  Violets are affiliated with the planet Venus or Pluto and are associated with the nymphs of ancient Greek myths.  Violets are also associated with death and rebirth through the story of Attis. Violets are useful in love spells and may be carried as an amulet to increase one’s luck in love. Try combining them with lavender for an enhanced effect.

 Sources:  HerbalRiot, Cheralyndarcey, Witches of the Craft, Inspirationforthespirit,  Witchipedia 

Magick for Spring Time

❁ Do a ‘spring cleaning’ by cleaning and cleansing your whole house.  

❁ Do a ritual to welcome spring. 

❁ Begin devoting your time to learning, reading, and writing about your craft.  

❁ Use divination to determine your goals and outcomes for the year. 

❁ Start your seeds inside.

❁ Spoil your houseplants by watering them, fertilizing them, and talking to             them. Add crystals to their pots. 

❁ Spend time outside noticing signs of springs return. 

❁ Change your altar to correspond with spring. 

❁ Collect rain water from spring showers.

❁ Collect flower blossoms to dry and press for your spells and grimoire.

❁ Collect spring stream water.

❁ Meditate in the greening grass.

❁ De-clutter your home to bring forth fresh, new energies.

❁ Plant wild flowers for the bees.

I meant to post this sooner but life seems to have gotten in the way. 

May the moon light your path!
Moonlight Academy

The Etiquette of Herb-Gathering

As a practicing Witch and small-scale herbalist, I often find that when I’m out and about I’m also absentmindedly on the lookout for any new, interesting or useful herb species that might help me in my practice. I even carry a small clean jam jar and a sharp penknife in my handbag at all times for if I spot a herb I just can’t resist and need to take a cutting of it for my collection back home. However, while I’m avidly seeking out roadside feverfew or happily snipping cuttings of a rare cultivar of lavender or sage, I’m always acutely aware of why I call the etiquette of herb-gathering.

These are a few simple rules by which I suggest all foraging Witches, alchemists and herbalists should abide that dictate the correct course of action for those who seek to collect herbs from places other than their own gardens. They are mostly fairly common-sense, but a few are ones that might be overlooked, but which can actually be of profound importance!

I will list the rules below, but bear in mind that it’s not like this is some onerous obligation that must be fulfilled, and nor is it some sort of “Witchcraft commandment” or infallible and unchanging list of sacred laws. These are a few things that I created for my own usage, and nobody else is under any obligation to use them. If you choose to do so, I’ll be thrilled; if you find a way to improve them, please do reblog this post with your corrections! 

The Etiquette of Herb-Gathering

  1. Remember that all plants are living things, and if you harvest them too severely, they will die. This seems obvious, but you’d be shocked how many people forget! This is especially important when what you’re harvesting is the plant’s leaves - always remember that leaves are how plants make their food, so leave enough of them to enable the plant to keep growing strongly.

  2. Never forget that you may not be the only one foraging. Make sure that, when you harvest a wild growth of a herb, there may be others in the area who would also like to harvest that plant. Take only a little from a lot of patches, rather than using only two or three patches, but taking almost all of what is available at each one. This will not only ensure that other foragers can use that patch too, but will mean that when the patch regrows, you’ll know where to go back to in order to find it again instead of needing to hunt down a new patch each time.

  3. When foraging on another’s land, ask their permission first! This seems so straightforward, but sadly people forget that plants growing in other people’s gardens (yes, even their front lawn) are that person’s private property! Taking cuttings or fruits from plants on that property without the owner’s permission is legally theft, and can be punished just like shoplifting or stealing a bike from a railing. It also means that the owner will know that their plant is looking smaller because it’s been harvested, rather than them thinking it’s died or been eaten by some wild herbivore.

  4. Always cut stems at a diagonal angle. Never snip a stem so that it forms a circular, blunted end, because this can allow rainwater to build up on the surface of the cut. This rainwater can trap fungal spores, and cause the plant to get a serious fungal infection that may damage or even kill that whole patch. Instead, cut the stems at a roughly 45° angle, so that water beads up and rolls off more easily. 

  5. When collecting flowers, remember that other people like to look at wildflowers. Never take ALL the flowers from any wild plant, both because it prevents that plant from reproducing as it naturally wants to do, and because it means others who walk past the plant don’t get to see it’s beautiful blooms! If you own the plant, that’s another matter - you may WANT to snip off all flowers to prevent it from bolting, like with parsley. However, with wildflowers, always leave at least half the flowers on the plant so that it can continue to reproduce as nature intended.

  6. Never pick a plant you can’t identify with total certainty. Yet another seemingly-obvious one that is nevertheless often ignored. This is often quoted for fungi, because some fungi can be quite poisonous, but if anything it’s even worse for plants. The medicinally fabulous plant known as yarrow, Achillea millefolia, is a very useful plant and a common component of herbal medicines. However, it looks almost identical to spotted water-hemlock, a species of plant so deadly that one bite can kill you in 20 minutes. Make completely certain that all plants you collect are positively identified, and that you flag all plants with commonly-confused poisonous cousins for further identification later if you’re not 100% sure.

  7. Never harvest flowers from plants around beehives. Bees are one of the most important families in the natural world, being responsible for the pollination of tens of thousands of species of flowering plants all over the world and on every forested continent. Whilst most species of bees are solitary, and don’t form the large hives we assume are common to all bees, those that DO form vast colonies need similarly vast numbers of flowers to support themselves. When you come across a beehive, especially a boxed hive that’s clearly domesticated by humans, try to avoid harvesting any flowers from within 500 metres (about a third of a mile) around the hive(s). The hive needs all the nectar and pollen it can get, and due to the rising threat of colony collapse disorder the life of every single hive is a precious thing that must be preserved at all costs. It might be inconvenient for you, but it’s worth it.

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These are just a few of the major rules that I personally suggest all foragers and herb-gatherers take to heart. Remember that you’re not the only Witch who needs their supplies! Thank you for reading :)

– Juniper

Forest Witch Tip: Poisonous doppelgangers🌿🌱

This is a list of some of the most confusing plants to identify, with dangerous evil twins (although they may be good for curses). Remember not to eat ANYTHING in the wild unless you’re 100% certain what it is. It’s especially important for us hedge witches who tend to forage vs grow and all kinds of nature witches to know what we’re picking. 




Sweet almonds vs. Bitter almonds

The sweet almonds that are bought, sold, and enjoyed in the U.S. and in most countries have only a negligible amount of cyanide in them, but bitter almonds—which are shorter and wider than their sweet cousins—can contain 42 times as much. This high cyanide content means that children can be fatally poisoned by eating just five to ten bitter almonds, and adults by eating around 50. Even a handful of bitter almonds can lead to dizziness or vertigo, weakness, difficulty breathing, and numerous other symptoms in adults 


Wild grapes VS. Moonseed

Menispermum canadense, or “Canadian moonseed,” produces fruit so similar in appearance to grapes and other pleasant edibles that it can blend in with the Vitis bunch if you’re not careful. The plant is toxic for humans from root to leaf-tip, and its moonseed berries—which have a single, crescent-shaped seed each, unlike grapes’ round ones—can easily prove fatal when eaten due to their toxic lode of dauricine.  Moonseeds also reportedly taste just awful (generally speaking, this is a good sign you should spit something out). 


Carrot, parsnips vs hemlock 

The above-ground plants of wild carrots (Daucus carota, widely known as Queen Anne’s Lace) and parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) can look a lot like hemlock’s, and the roots below can appear similar, too (especially when they’ve just been pulled out of the ground).


For the record, wild parsnip poses its own threat, too. Especially during flowering season, its sap can cause skin reactions which can range from a simple rash to something very much like a lasting, second-degree burn. So if you do go root-hunting (staying well clear of hemlock, of course), you’ll do well to use gloves and skin-covering clothing whenever possible.


Wild blueberry vs Tutsan

blueberries have a potentially deadly lookalike that’s spread from its native Eurasian zones to New Zealand, Australia, and North America. The black berries of Hypericum androsaemum, a.k.a. tutsan or “sweet amber” bushes, can do a decent blueberry impression but can cause gastrointestinal distress, weakness, raised heart-rate, and other symptoms in both people and animals, and especially in children. In general, eager berry-pickers should do some careful research before foraging in the wild, as a wide variety of berries are moderately to highly toxic, including strychnine tree berries, and holly berries

Baby Witch Tips

•Learn stuff about where you live. This can help you with crystal magick and herbalism. I have a shit ton of quartz where I live, and a bunch of edible plants that grow in the woods. This way, you can start your witchy collection for free. (Be careful with harvesting wild plants, obviously.)

•You don’t have to follow spells you find exactly. Say you find a great spell for restful sleep online, but it calls for lavender and chamomile, and you only have lavender. That’s fine! Take the chamomile out or substitute it. 

•Learn a tiny bit of a lot of things. Don’t feel like you have to focus on one thing yet. Take some time to read up on stuff and figure out what appeals to you. 

•Make your own tools. You don’t have to waste money on fancy tools to be a valid witch. My wand, some of my candles, my pentacle, and my staff are all homemade. 

•On the line of saving money, thrift stores are your best friends. 

•DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO LABEL YOURSELF. This took me so long to figure out. You don’t have to decide that you’re a chaote or a spirit worker or a Heathen or an eclectic witch or a Neowiccan or anything. If one of those labels strongly appeals to you, awesome! But don’t feel pressured to pick one.

•If you’re in the broom closet and live with someone who you don’t want to figure out about your practice, make a mini altar in a shoebox! Put all your altar stuff in the box and put it under your bed. You can set up the altar on the box when praying or doing spells or anything like that. 

•It’s okay to be Wiccan, but you don’t have to be. There are a ton of other options. 

•Don’t put yourself down if magick or astral projecting or spirit work or any other practice doesn’t come naturally to you. Practicing is an option, and so is not doing it at all. 

•It’s okay to take breaks from your practice.

2

Last week my daughter has graduated from from junior high school and the entrance ceremony of her high school she will be held on 8th April. So I will make bento again in mid-April and upload it. Don’t miss it! This bento is the second from the last. It is consisting of Chicken Karaage (deep-fried chicken), sweet thick omelette, and sautéed Aralia Sprout. Do you know Aralia sprout? We call it “Taranome (たらのめ)” and often eat such edible wild plants as Araia sprout, Japanese butterbur sprout and bracken, as it has been believed that their bitterness excrete waste materials accumulated during winter from the body.

Poseidon/Neptune

Originally posted by bursting-rainbows

Small devotional acts.

  • Go swimming
  • Visit a beach – it doesn’t have to be an ocean beach
  • Wear seashell jewelry
  • Watch horse races
  • Water the wild plants in the heat of the summer
  • Learn the signs of someone drowning – they’re subtler than you think
  • Buy some pet fish
  • Donate to charities that are helping clean the ocean or protect marine wildlife
  • Have a plan in case an earthquake hits your area
  • Use more sea salt in cooking
  • Take an oceanography class
  • Keep a tide chart with you
  • Put a bird bath in your yard
  • Go fishing
  • Install an app/system that notifies you about earthquakes everywhere in the world
  • Pick up garbage from areas that are near water
  • Watch documentaries on natural disasters or oceanic life
  • Go horseback riding
  • Drink more water
  • Visit an aquarium
  • Wear scents that remind you of the ocean, or burn an ocean scented candle
  • Be nicer to seagulls
  • Dress in colors that remind you of the ocean
  • Visit a waterpark
  • Make your screensaver an ocean scene
  • Eat more ice cream
  • Learn about sea creature mythology
  • Take a cold bath
  • Make a mini sand garden
  • Go outside at dawn when everything is misty
  • PRACTICE LOVING YOURSELF
  • Many, many, many other things not said here