Craft of the Wise

Ancient knowledge for today's times

Merry Meet & Welcome To The Craft of the Wise

Greetings in the tenth month of October in the year of our Goddess 2010.

October is the tenth month of the year, it’s name derived from the Latin word meaning, “eight,” as it was the eighth month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Libra, the scales (September 23 – October 23), a cardinal air sign ruled by Venus. In October we enter the glorious late afternoons of the year. Bittersweet berries turn brilliant orange, and the woodland blazes with vibrant ciders reminiscent of a Persian carpets. As October passes the door to the otherworld opens wider. We become more receptive to spiritual energies and feel drawn to bond with our ancestors. The main holiday of October and one of the most magickal nights of the year; is, Samhain, or Halloween. This is a traditional time to honor our ancestors. Many seasonal decorations can help do this. The jack-o’-lantern illuminates a path so the spirits of our ancestors can find their way. Apples are used to feed the dead, so leave an apple next your door or on a plate as your table. The name of October ‘s Full Moon, the Blood Moon, come from this urge to connect with ancestors. When the Blood Moon, come from this urge to connect with ancestors. When the Blood Moon rises, it smolders like an ember in the autumn sky. She is a beacon for spiritual energy. Thank her by leaving an apple beneath a tree, or by burning some dried, wormwood in a dish and meditating on your deceased loved ones.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Work Zone | Leave a comment




FLIES: Clover flower, oil of sassafras, mixture of clove, bay, and eucalyptus

INSECTS: Oil of mint, feverfew, oil of citronella, pennyroyal, and oil of

MICE: peppermint pennyroyal

BODY LICE: oil of bergamot, oil of pennyroyal

FLEAS: rue, chamomile, savory, and pennyroyal

CATS: rue, lavender, and ginger

DOGS: Ginger

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Herbal Magick | Leave a comment



Advice to the Beginning Herbalism Student:

Herbalism, like midwifery skills, is one of the oldest parts of teaching within
the craft, but is also one where we have lost a huge amount of information and
where science has yet to catch up. Every pagan culture has utilized the
herbalism of its particular region, and I have found no one source or teacher
who could possibly know about every herb that grows on the Earth. Yet today we
have the opportunity to perhaps achieve this within a lifespan or two, using the
electronic communications at our fingertips. Science is now slowly beginning to
learn the importance of the natural herbs in healing, but they will take
centuries to figure it all out because of the way they go about things, unless

The first step in herbalism is to gather the tools you will need, and that is
the main point of this first message. I have found the following useful and in
many cases vital to learn and practice the use of herbs.

A Good mortar and Pestle, one of stone or metal is preferred. If wood is used
you will need two, one for inedibles and one for edibles – make sure they do not
look identical, as you do not want to accidentally poison anyone!!!

Containers: Although you can buy dried herbs over the counter in many places
these days, do not store them in the plastic bags they come in, as these are
usually neither reusable nor perfectly airtight. Rubbermaid style plastic
containers are good, but expensive. I have used glass coffee and spice
jars/bottles to good effect, as well as some medicine bottles. The more you
recycle the better ecologically, just make sure they have been thoroughly washed
and dried before placing anything inside them.

Labels: This is vital! None of us in this day and age can possibly recognize
each herb in its various forms simply by sight. Always label your containers as
you fill them, and if possible date them when they were filled so you don’t keep
spoiled stock on the shelf.

A Tea Ball: A good metal teaball of the single cup size can be very useful in
the long run when your are experimenting, and when you are making single person
doses of teas and tonics.

Cheesecloth: Useful for straining a partially liquid mixture and occasionally
for the making of sachets.

A Good Sized Tea Kettle: preferably one that will hold at least a quart of

A Good Teapot: for simmering mixtures. I use one from a Chinese import store
that has done me well.

A good cutting board and a SHARP cutting knife, for just herbal work.

A notebook, of some sort to record the information in as you go, both successes
and failures. Always record anything new you try that may or may not work, and
also and research information you get from various sources.

An eyedropper.

White linen-style bandages: Some ace bandages are also useful in the long run.

A metal brazier, of some sort, or a metal container that can withstand heavy
usage and heat from within or without, useful for several things including the
making of your own incenses.

Reference sources, Shortly you should see a list of books that I have read from
in the past that I consider useful, build from this as a starting point to
others and to your teachers help.

Thats it to start, you’ll pick the rest up as you go. Take your time studying,
take lots of notes, compare your sources and your own personal results on each
herb and on herbal mixtures of any kind.


Many herbs will grow well in pots on sunny windowsills, in window boxes, hanging
baskets and in tubs or barrels in a sun room or on a balcony. There should even
be enough space on one large, south-facing windowsill to grow a selection of the
basic flavoring herbs or a row of scented herbs that can be used for making
tisanes. If you have a sun room or baloney, then 4 tubs planted with mixed
annuals and perennials and a good proportion of evergreen herbs for winter
picking could provide most of the fresh herbs needed by a small household, as
well as being decorative and sweetly scented.

Light and Temperature

The first necessity is light. Few herbs suitable for indoor growing will thrive
in the shade. Most need sunlight for at least half the day, so set them in a
south facing window, if possible, otherwise one facing east or west. It is
possible to grow herbs in a shady room under special fluorescent tubes, which
should be set about six inches above the top of the plant.

Temperature is important. It is useless to attempt to grow herbs directly above
a radiator or stove in an airless kitchen that is often steamy and full of
fumes. Ideally, there should be warmth during the day, lower temperatures at
night and some humidity. In a centrally heated house, humidity may be lacking so
keep a bowl filled with water above the radiator or near the herbs. A direct
draft may harm the plants though fresh air is necessary.

Clay and Plastic Pots

Plastic pots are often used today, being cheaper, lighter and less likely to
break than clay. But there are some advantages in using an unglazed clay pot,
the most important being that excess water will evaporate through the clay walls
so the roots are not likely to become waterlogged. Drowning by over watering is
the most common fate of indoor herbs. Another advantage is that the moisture
content in the soil can be discovered by tapping a clay container sharply; it
will give a ringing sound if the soil is too dry and a dull thud if too wet.
Whether plastic or clay, the container should have an adequate drainage hole and
be stood in a saucer or tray. A layer of gravel in the tray will ensure that the
pot never sits in stagnant water.

Boxes and Barrels

Wooden boxes or barrels make good containers if you have the space. Boxes should
be at least 10 inches deep. Saw barrels in half and use them as tubs, or cut
several holes about 2 inches across in their sides and grow a herb from each
hole. If you use a large barrel in this way, put a narrow tube of wire netting
down the center from top to bottom, before filling it with earth. By watering
down the tube, the moisture will spread evenly through the soil; with no tube,
the lower plants may suffer from drought. Do not creosote the insides of wooden
containers to sterilize them as the fumes may damage the plants, instead make a
small fire of newspaper inside the container, just sufficient to char and
sterilize the surface of the wood.

Hanging Baskets

To make the best use of all available space and light, plant a hanging basket
with herbs, the upright species in the center and trailing mints and thymes,
nasturtiums or ground ivy round the edge. Special clay bowls or wire baskets can
be bought for this purpose or even an old kitchen colander will do. To contain
moisture, line the wire basket thickly with sphagnum moss or hay, or with a
plastic sheet, before filling it with earth.

A large, unglazed, terra-cotta bowl with 6 or 7 2-inch holes bored in it will
make an ideal hanging onion pot, if you can buy one or have one made. Fill it
with earth, plant chives in the top and press the bulbs of Welsh onion into the
holes. You will be able to cut the hanging green shoots throughout the winter.

Soil, Water, Food, and Care

Put a layer of broken crocks or stones in the bottom of large containers before
filling them with soil and sprinkle a few spoonfuls of granulated charcoal over
them to prevent the soil souring. Then, fill with a standard potting compost
bought from a shop or good, loamy, garden earth mixed with a little coarse sand.
Sterilize the garden earth for an hour in the oven if you wish, to kill insect
eggs and weed seeds.

Be careful not to overwater, especially during the winter when plans are resting
and should not be stimulated into unseasonal growth. It is best to water in the
morning so that excess moisture can evaporate during the day and to use only
tepid water. During the summer, it may be necessary to syringe the leaves of
broad- leafed herbs such as sweet basil with tepid water to prevent them from
flagging. The leaves of herbs in city window boxes will also need occasional
syringing to prevent their pores becoming clogged with grime and fumes.

Each spring, spread a little well-rotted compost over the earth in the herb
container and water well. If any other food is needed, use a herbal fertilizing

Although the restricted light and space will prevent herbs from growing as large
indoors as they would outside, they will need regular cropping or trimming to
keep them compact and controlled. Pinch out the center shoots to encourage bushy
growth and cut off any runners. Examine the drainage hole regularly and if root
fibers are showing, transfer the plant to a larger pot.

What to Grow

Many people will want to grow culinary herbs indoors that cannot be bought fresh
and do not dry well. Three large pots, 12 inches in diameter, filled with the
annuals, chervil, basil, and coriander, will provide a good mixture with strong,
distinctive flavors. Sow their seeds directly into the pots in the spring in
moist, fairly rich soil, and thin out the seedlings. The chervil and coriander
will begin to shoot and grow leggy soon after midsummer, but basil, especially
the compact bush basil, will continue into the winter months.

Sweet marjoram and summer savory also grow well indoors and are both annuals.
For a basic supply of perennial, evergreen culinary herbs, plant thyme species,
winter savory, a clump of Welsh onions and the prostrate rosemary. Decorative
dwarf golden sage can be included, and the biennial parsley. None of these are
invasive herbs and can be planted together, but mint needs a pot of its own and
plenty of moisture. If you have room for a deep tub or barrel on a balcony or
roof, then it may be possible to grow tall herbs such as angelica, deep-rooted
caraway or horseradish; otherwise these species are obviously unsuitable for
indoor growing.

Another series of pots or a large box could be used for growing herbs for
tisanes. Plant peppermint and lemon balm (whose roots may need confining), the
annual German chamomile, the little rock hyssop, lady’s mantle and trailing
ground ivy.

Herbs grown for their scent might include dwarf lavender species, clove
carnation, dwarf santolina and upright and trailing pelargoniums. There are
literally hundreds of pelargonium varieties, each with leaves of a different
scent and shape, and all make admirable houseplants, being easy to grow and easy
to propagate from cuttings. Use the leaves to flavor custards, creams and
gelatins and in potpourri mixtures.


Notes: Always keep a record of the work you do. If using herbs for healing,
remember you are NOT a doctor, use them only for adjuncts not replacements for
medical treatment. The traditional Herbal Craftsperson will meditate as the work
is done and after it is completed, in this way learning is continued.

The Water in the following preparations is brought to boiling then poured over
the herb, the herbs are NOT boiled in the water, for that would cause a
breakdown of the vitamins and minerals in the herbs that are so vital to the
healing process.

Making An Infusion

This process draws the properties you want out of the herb for healing. An
infusion is basically a strong tea. The normal mixture is 1 pint of water to «
ounce of herb. It takes experience to learn how long each herb needs to steep,
some take longer than others, the average length of time is hour but with
practice you’ll learn which take longer and which take less time.

This is the easiest method.

Making A Decoction

This is much the same as an infusion (tea) except you are working with a much
more solid herb such as thick pieces of root or bark which can’t be ground up or
the remedy calls for a much stronger dose..

This is the one case where you should BOIL THE HERB. In fact that’s the whole
process. Make sure that no steam escapes or the vital oils will go away with it.
Also (of course) never use any metal when doing ANY herbal remedies.

If you will have more than one ingredient in the decoction begin by boiling the
toughest then work down. Start with cold water and after boiling for what you
consider long enough allow it to steep usually for at least 30 minutes.

Making A Poultice

This is used when you need to apply the herbs externally such as for a burn or
for acne. Yes it’s messy but often essential for healing. Pour boiling water
over the herbs using just enough to dampen them or evenly cover the plant
matter, you’re not trying to extract anything from the herb only to moisten it.
When it is all evenly wet remove it with a strainer and place between 2 pieces
of gauze (cheesecloth also works well if folded several times). You then apply
the gauze with the herbs inside to the affected part and allow the moisture with
the herb essence to pass within the person.

Making An Ointment

This method involves mixing the herb(s) with a fixative such as petroleum jelly
or vegetable fat. This is done by heating the fixative until it is quite warm
and adding the ground herbs to it. Once mixed up the mixture can be heated more
than once and allowed to cool, Once you are satisfied that all the goody has
been removed from the herb the whole mixture should be strained and put into a
storage container then allowed to cool. This is the same procedure used to make

Making A Wash

Same as an infusion (tea) except you use it externally.

Making A Tincture

These are used when long term storage is required. It requires alcohol of at
least a 75% grade which can be safely ingested. Place the following in a jar
which can be tightly sealed.

1-4 ounces of the herb 8 ounces of alcohol (drinkable!) 4 ounces of water

Seal the jar and keep it safely out of the light for 2 weeks. Each day at least
once, check it and make sure that you loosed the mass of herb inside the jar by
swirling it about. Continue this process until at the end of the 2 weeks the
alcohol has extracted all the constituents without need of heat. This process is
best begun on the new moon and completed on the full.

AROMATHERAPY – The Art of Herbal Scents…

Aromatherapy, the art of healing with aromatic plants, or with the oils of those
plants, was well known to the ancient ones. The Egyptians, the Romans and the
Greeks all practiced it as an integral part of their medicinal lore. Wise women
and men treasured the secrets of precious scents and applied them with great
skill. The Romans massaged themselves with sweet-smelling unguents before
plunging into their elaborate baths. The Greeks assigned a godlike virtue to
each plant, and by inhaling the fragrance, they believed they would assume the
attributes of that god. During the Plague of Europe’s 17th Century, the
perfumers who dispensed the pine, cypress and cedar incense that was burnt in
the streets and in the hospitals to mask the dreadful odors, those perfumers
were UNTOUCHED by the virulent disease that annihilated great masses of the

Of course, medical science has come a long way. Many treatments that were used
in the past have been supplanted by more modern, more scientific methods. But,
have they thrown out the baby with the bathwater? About a hundred years ago, the
great medical minds of the world decided that this herbal scent business was
just so much superstition, and that such old-wive’s tales had no place in Modern
Medicine. Since that time, no medical practitioner would recommend scent, with
the exception of the menthol-type scents burnt or inhaled for respiratory
complaints, which were already known to be so effective that to forbid them
would place a seal of unbelieveability on the entire edict. All other scent-
medications were scorned, even though they had proven to be a very effective
means of well-keeping. And the public, believing the medical profession to be
infallible, went along with it. Today, aromatherapy is enjoying a re- birth in
the holistic spirit of New Age Medicine.

The mind plays a major role in all bodily ailments, as proven by recent
research. That is not to say that the mind can cure the body of all its
ailments, but fragrances that can alter the patient’s emotional state may be
able to leave the way open for a beneficial cure, by accepted means. In other
words, why leave anything to chance? What would it hurt to smell an herb when
you have a headache? Would it infringe upon the noble Medicine Man’s territory
if we sniffed flowers when our tummies hurt?

IF YOU NEED MEDICATION, TAKE MEDICATION. But, be sure you need it. Are you
taking medication because it is required by your condition, or are you
popping pills you bought over the counter to self-cure a ‘minor’ problem?
Illnesses that are stress-induced, like asthma, headache, and depression respond
very well to inhalation therapy. Skin disorders, respiratory ailments, digestive
problems and backache can respond to inhalation and massage with scented oils.
The same way a lovely perfume evokes memories, or desires, all fragrances cause
the brain to respond in some way. If the fragrance brings about a sense of
relaxed wellness, who is to say that that is not the healing element? Aromatic
bathing enhances the benefits of the scents used as inhalants or tactile

Along the same lines, the inhalation of a burning scent, if purely made, would
have the same or maybe a more readily-absorbable effect. So, take stock of the
fragrances available to you, in the forms of incense, oils, potpourris and even
teas. Even if they don’t heal what ails you, they can make you feel more
relaxed, more well. And isn’t that what you wanted, after all?

What follows is a list of fragrances and the ailments they have been reputed to
affect. I have tried to use only the herbs, plants and seeds you can find most
easily in your garden, in the supermarket, and at the corner fruit stand. Also,
below are some guides that will help with your plans.

An aromatic tea is to be consumed close to the nose, so as to continuously
inhale the healing aromas while you drink the beverage.

When you use oils for massage, you will need to know the areas of greatest value
for that massage. We suggest you consult a chart that shows the accupressure
/acupuncture points, used by the great Chinese practitioners for centuries of

A foot soak is reputed to be nearly as beneficial to the body as a whole-body
soak, since the feet will absorb the medicating herb and propel the journey
upward into the body of the healing element.

Inhaling is done over a bowl of boiled water in which the herb or its oil are
floated, while you lean over it with a towel over your head to simulate a steam

A compress is either cool or warm, but always damp, with the herb impregnated
within, and is laid gently upon the area, not rubbed or massaged or moved about
in any way. For this reason, compresses work quite well for burns, wounds and
sores. You can burn an herb in many ways.

A purchased herbal incense works well. Or you could place the dried herb on any
burning incense, or an open fire. Scented candles also provide the same scent.
Essential oils dropped judiciously upon burning coals will do. You must only
decide whether you want just the scent in the air, or if the smoke is what you
feel will benefit. Burning always gives a dry scented air, as opposed to
steaming, which provides a damp scented air.

T – Aromatic Tea, also known as Tisane

W – Bathe (Make a tea and add it to your bath

M – Massage with a scented oil

C – Compress, wet, either warm or cool

S – Steam (Best way is with a humidifier)

B – Burn

I – Inhale, either the smoke or the steam, but also the aroma of the other

F = Foot Soak, with a stronger tea blend than in the bath



Water Retention (T);

Arthritis (T,C,M);

Cholesterol Reduction (T)


Infant/Child skin care (M,W);

Coughs, Colds (M,I)


Meditative frame of mind (B,T);

abates nightmares (T,M)

Baby’s Breath

Healing frame of mind (B)


Skin care (W,M)


Bronchitis, Colds, Internal Cleansing (B,I);

Antiseptic (C)

Depression (M,W);

Fainting (I);

Nervousness, Insomnia (T,B);

Fever (T,M,W,S,C);

Indigestion, Nausea (T,M);

Mental fatigue,Peaceful frame of mind (B,T,M,W);

Hormone Stimulant (M,T,C);

Insect Bites (C,W);

Migraine (B,C,W,T);

Stimulant (T);

Weight Loss, Skin Care (M,W)


Antiseptic (W)

Decongestant, Colds (S,I,W,T)

Internal Cleansing (B,I)

Hair Loss (M,W)


Antiseptic, Acne (W,S)

Pain Relief, Neuralgia (M,C)

Insecticide, Lung Congestion (B,I)


Calm, Healing frame of mind (T,B,M,W)


Nervousness, Headache (T)

Hysteria, Insomnia (T,B,M)

Fever, Hives (W)

Stomach Upset, Hiccups (T,I,S)


Fever, Internal Disinfectant (T)


Internal cleansing (B)

Lung congestion, Expectorant (B,M,I,W,S)

Digestion (I)

Antiseptic, Astringent, Eczema (W,C)

Sexual Response (M,B)

Sedative (B)


Burns (C)

Depression, Nervous Tension, Calm (T)

Nausea, Fatigue, Insomnia (T,W)

Diarrhea, Indigestion, Menstrual Cramps (T,M)

Eczema, Rheumatism, Arthritis (M,W,C)

Fainting (I)

Fever (C,T,W)

Headache, Migraine (M,I,)

Weight Loss, Cellulite (T,M,W)

Infant skin care, Inflammations (W)

Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Menopause (M,W,T,B,S)

Pain Relief, Neuralgia (C,W,M,T)

Sore or Weak Eyes, Sores, Wounds (W,C,S)

Hysteria, Relaxant, Appetite Stimulant (T,B)


Healing frame of mind (M)

Bedwetting (B,S)

General Weakness (T)

Spasms, Circulatory Problems (W,F,M,C,T)

Impotence (M,B)

Infections (W)


Weight loss, Skin care (W,M,T)


Calm (T,B,I)

Muscle Tension, Spasms, Pain Relief (M,W,S,C)

Toothache (T,C)

Insect Repellent (B,C,W)

Stimulant (B,T,M)

Infections, Antiseptic (W)

Nervousness, General Weakness (T,W,S)

Cough, Colds, Gargle (T,W,S,B)


Depression, Calm, Heartache (T)


Internal cleansing (M,W,I)


Water retention (T)


Peace, Calm (B,I,S)


Water retention, Cellulite, Menopause (W,M)

Varicose Veins, Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Coughs, Sinus, Flu, Colds (I,C)

Cramps, Muscle Tension (M)

Wounds, Sores, Cuts, Acne (W,C,M)

Rheumatism, Arthritis, Aches & Pains, Spasms (F,C,M,W,S)

Nervousness (S,B,I)

Deodorant, Astringent (W)


Blood weakness, Water retention (T,W)

Eczema (W)


Hiccups, Health maintenance (T,I)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Cough, Flu (I,C)

Sinus, Migraine (M,W,I)

Burns (C)

Diarrhea, Indigestion, Kidney/Urinary Infection (W,M)

Sore throat, Laryngitis (I,S,C)

Rheumatism, Aches & Pains (M,W,F)

Antiseptic, Wounds (C,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Fever (C,M)


Colic, Constipation, Cystitis, Flatulence, Indigestion (T,W)

Nausea, Weight loss, Reducing hunger pangs (T,W)

Health maintenance (T)


Depression (W)


Calm (B,I,M,W,F,S)


Asthma, Hypertension (C)

Intestinal Worms (T)

Antiseptic, Antibiotic (W)

Toothache (M,T,C)

Insomnia (T,W)

Coughs, Colds, Congestion (T,M,C,S)


Water Retention, Cellulite (M,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Varicose Veins, Circulation Problems (W,C)

Astringent, Wounds, Fractures (W)

Burns  (C)

Neuralgia, Pain Relief (M,W,F,C)

Hormone Stimulation (M,B)

Fatigue, Exhaustion (M,W,F)


Health Maintenance (T)

Menstruation (T,C)


Depression, Heartache, Grief (I,B,M)

the Pain of Childbirth (I,S,M)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colic, Flu (I,S,F,C)

Eczema (W)

Fever (W,C)

Indigestion, Rheumatism (M,W,C)

Good spirits, Peace, Calm (B,S,I)

Meditative frame of mind (I,B,W,T)


Water Retention, Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Rheumatism, Gout (C,M,F)

Stimulant, Energizer (W,B)

Antiseptic, Sores, Wounds (W)

Colic, Cough (T,S,I)

Exhaustion, Fatigue (F,M,W)

Kidney/Urinary Infections, Cellulite (M,W)

Constipation (M)

Diarrhea, Flatulence, Indigestion (T,C)

Eczema (W,C,S)


Burns, Eczema (W,T,C)

Wounds, Spasms, Acne (C)

Hemorrhoids, Insect Repellant (W,C)

Calm (T)

Sore throat, Nausea, Diarrhea, Nervous tension (T,I,S)

Depression, Headache, Migraine (W,B,T,I)

Hair Loss, Cellulite, Weight Loss, Menopause (M,W)

Rheumatism, Fatigue, Exhaustion (M,W,F)

Fever, Pain Relief (M,C)


Rheumatism, Gout (W,F)

Aging Skin, Acne, Antiseptic, Astringent (W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Water Retention, Gastric Distress (T,I,S)


Weight loss (T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds (I,S)

Constipation, Indigestion (M,T)

Colic, Headache, Nervous tension, Depression (M,W,T)

Health maintenance (I,B)

Insect Bites (C,W)

Menstrual Cramps (M)


Meditative frame of mind (T,M,B,I)


Rheumatism (M,C,W)

Water Retention (T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Flu (T,I,S,W)

Colic, Indigestion, Nausea, Morning Sickness (T,M)

Mental Fatigue, Shock (T,W)

Toothache (W,C)

Fatigue, Weight Loss (T,C)

Headache, Migraine (M,I,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Cooling, Fever, Nerves (M,C)

Spasms, Pain Relief  (C)


Sinus, Bronchitis, Flu, Decongestant (I,C)

Hormone Stimulant (M,B)

Fatigue, Aches & Pains, Rheumatism, Gout (B,C,M)

Infection, Antiseptic (W)

Water Retention (I,W)


Calm, Peace, Depression, Insomnia, Fatigue (T)

Nausea, Heart, Liver, Uterus, Stomach (T)

Weight Loss, Infant skin care (M,W)

Sex Drive/Libido (M,B)

Headache (W,M,I,T,B,S,C)

Astringent (W)


Weight loss, Nervous tension (T)


Depression, Healing frame of mind, Stimulant (T)

Asthma, Colds, Flu, Decongestant (M,W,F)

Constipation, Diarrhea, Cellulite (T,M)

Fainting, Headache (T,M,I)

Rheumatism, Gout, Arthritis, Aches & Pains (M,F)

Weight Loss, Migraine (M,W)

Exhaustion, Fatigue (T,M,W,F)

Hormone Stimulant (M,B)

Sores, Burns (C)

Antiseptic, Skin, Astringent (W)

Fumigant (B)

Heart, Sickliness (T,M,B,I,S)

Sprains, Pain Relief (M)


Meditative frame of mind (B,T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Cold (T,I,S)

Burns, Eczema (W,C)

Fainting, Low Blood Pressure (T,M,B)

Flatulence, Headache, Indigestion, Diarrhea (T)

Sore throat, Cough (T,I,S,C)

Toothache, Weight loss (T,W)

Menopause, Cellulite, Aches & Pains (T,M,W)

Menstrual Cramps, Nervousness, Hair Loss, Trembling (T,M)

Fatigue (W,M)

Memory, Ability to Learn (B,T)


Depression, Heartache (T)

(Use Spearmint for the same reasons as Peppermint, but Spearmint is less
powerful and better for children.)


Heartache, Depression, Calm (T)

Internal cleansing, Kidney/Urinary Infections (W,M)

Asthma, Bronchitis (I,S)

Fainting, Restore Energy, Renew Spirits (B,I,T)

Rheumatism, Weight loss (M,W,C)

Cellulite, Aches & Pains (W,F,M)

Insect Bites, Antiseptic, Inflammation, Infection (W,C)

Wounds, Sores, Cuts (C)

Constipation, Intestinal Parasites (T,M)

Fatigue (T,B,M)

Spasms, Hair Loss, Digestion (M,W,T)


Peace, Calm (T,B)


(Courtesy of Jeanne Rose)


Witch Hazel Extract:

Soak 1 oz. witch hazel leaves and twigs combined in 2 cups of alcohol. Shake
daily. Strain. Use full strength on bruises. (You can dilute with water and use
as a mouthwash also.)

Yerba Santa Poultice:

Good for severe bruises and swelling too. Mash the leaves of a Yerba Santa,
then soak them in water, and apply while still hot to the bruise. Cover the
leaves with a CLEAN cloth.


Mari-Gilly Water for Burns and Sunburns:

An Actual Case History from the Author:

“One day while lighting the oven the book of matches took fire in my hand and
stuck there. After shaking it off, I dug into my herbal closet. I was looking
for a remedy I had made a month before. Amateurishly I had preserved it beneath
a layer of oil, and it was colorful with mold. I filtered it out and plunged the
badly burned hand in the liquid. Within two minutes the pain was gone. In 20
minutes the hand was wrapped in cloth and no longer painful. There were no
blisters of any kind, but within three days a black, horny layer appeared where
the blisters might have been. Very ugly. In another week, this peeled off, and
once again the hand was smooth,
pink, soft, and completely unscarred.”

The recipe for the miracle is:

Simmer one handful of balm of Gilead buds and one handful of marigold flowers in
an enamel or glass pot with water to cover. Do not boil. After 15 minutes remove
from heat, strain and pour liquid into a clean and sterile jar. Add a layer of
olive oil to cover. Do not let the oil and liquid mix. It will keep for a few
months. To use: Hold breath (as liquid does NOT smell good) and pour through
filter paper or paper towel. Use directly on burns, sunburns, and other similar

Marshmallow-Comfrey Oil:

Simmer 1 handful of crushed marshmallow root and 1 handful of Comfrey root in 1
cup of white wine in an enamel pot. Cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. When
cool apply to burns and sunburns.


Note: All these cures will work for pimples, zits, and corns too.

Stolen Apple Cure:

Get an apple. Cut this apple into as many pieces as you have warts. Rub one
peace onto 1 wart, and repeat with all warts. Wrap up the apple bits in a piece
of cloth, then bury the whole thing. When the apple bits have rotted, the warts
will be gone.

Dandelion Juice:

Gather together, many dandelions, this includes stems, heads and leaves. Squeeze
them. Apply their milky fluid to the wart or corn.

Oil of Thuja:

Apply this oil to a wart. An infusion used as a wash on the warts will work too.
(Note: Thuja is also called White Cedar)

Marigold Juice for Warts:

Take a fresh marigold, squeeze out the juice and apply it directly to a wart.
Let the juice dry. Make applications until the warts fall off.

Milkweed Juice:

Take some fresh milkweed, squeeze it, and apply this milk to the warts. The
indians say that it will entirely cure warts with just a very few applications.


If you use tobacco products, try this instead. Try chewing a combination of
gentian root and chamomile flowers every time you feel the need to smoke, then
try these tea recipes.

Manzanita Cider:

Crush a handful of manzanita berries and bruise a handful of the leaves, and
pour over 2 cups of boiling water. When settled, strain off the liquid and use
throughout the day as a drink.

Horehound Tea:

Take 1 oz. of the green herb, 1 oz. of honey, and 1 pint of boiling water.
Cover, and set aside until cold. Drink 4 oz. at a time for a cough.

Other Herbal Teas:

Try a combination of coltsfoot, mugwort, and culeb, with lemon and honey.

Try a snuff of golden seal; small pinch of the golden yellow powder snuffed into
each nostril is sometimes very efficacious in the treatment of bronchitis. If
your respiratory passages are particularly painful, slippery elm tea is an
excellent demucelent.

Sinus Infections-

Golden Seal Snuff:

Take powdered golden seal and snuff a bit into each nostril whenever needed.

Herbal Inhaler:

In a small bottle add 10 drops of each of the following oils. Carry it around
with you and sniff the scent of these fine aromatics whenever you wish to clear
your nasal passages.

Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, Bay Leaf, and Cloves -or- Peppermint

Sore Throats-

Dirty Sock Cure:

During the winter, when you get a sore throat, wrap your dirty wool sock around
your throat every night and the soreness will soon disappear.

Sage Tea:

Take equal parts of sage, rosemary, honeysuckle, and plantain. Boil these herbs
in sufficient water to cover. Add a small tablespoonful of honey to each pint of
liquid and use as required.

Yerba Mansa Root:

This root, chewed slowly, will ease the pain of sore throats.

Colds & Coughs-

Teas for Colds and Coughs:

To help eliminate mucus in the respiratory passage, mix together equal parts of
the following ingredients:

comfrey root


balm of gilead

chamomile or coltsfoot

elecampane or wintergreen leaf*

For either tea steep 1 heaping teaspoon of the herbs in 1 cup of boiling water.
Cover the pot and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain. Drink this tea as often as
you like. You can add lemon and honey.

(*: Potentially dangerous. Can cause irritation, allergic reaction, gastric
distress or other discomfort.)

Tea for Coughs:

Mix together equal parts of pennyroyal, licorice, and horehound and make a tea
by steeping 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes.
Strain. Drink with lemon and honey as often as you like.

Tea for Colds in the Chest:

Mix together equal quantities of birch leaf, horehound, and licorice. Steep 1
heaping teaspoon of herbs per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes. Strain.
Drink with lemon and honey as often as you like.

Sleep Tea for Colds:

Mix together equal quantities of dandelion root, chamomile, and valerian. Steep
1 heaping teaspoon of herbs per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes. Strain.
Drink with lemon and honey to relax you and help you sleep when you have a bad

Tooth Aches-


Put a piece of a garlic clove inside the cavity. It kills the pain and seems to
slow up the infection process. At night place a peeled garlic between your teeth
and your cheek. This is also good to keep a cold from becoming severe. (Make
sure you wash out your mouth in the morning though!)
Marshmallow Root Poultice:

If you have an abscessed tooth and a swollen jaw, place pieces of dried
marshmallow root between the tooth and cheek. Renew the poultices in the morning
and night. This greatly reduces the inflammation and keeps the pain in check.

Bad Backs-

Chamomile Oil:

This is an old Egyptian formula. Take flowers of chamomile and beat them up with
pure olive oil. Leave to stand until the virtues of the flowers have been
extracted. Then with the oil rub over the whole body, especially the back. Go to
bed, cover up. Good for over-strained muscles, cramps, strains and stitches.

Super Massage Cream:

1 « oz. of coconut oil

1 « oz. of turtle oil

1 dropper sweet clover oil

Mix all the ingredients together. This is an excellent cream, useful for all
sore and aching muscles. According to the therapist the author consulted, this
cream is superior to anything supplied by the hospital.

Lavender Oil:

Mix 1 part oil of lavender with 3 parts olive oil, or 1 part oil of lavender
with 1 part coconut oil, and use to massage the muscles of the lower back. Use

Aching Joints-

Parsley Tea to Stimulate the Kidneys:

Take a handful of fresh parsley and pour over it 2 cups of boiling water. Steep
until cold then strain. Drink 1 cup of this tea before every meal and before
going to bed.

Indian Tea:

The indians drink a tea of rose petals, peppermint, lemon peel, and liden leaves
for arthritis.

Rheumatism Tea:

An excellent tea to take daily for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis is
a mixture of cascara sagrada, poke root, cimicfuga, uva ursi leaves, chamomile
and sassafras. Take 1 T. of this mixture and pour it over 2 cups of boiling
water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes and strain. Make it fresh in the
evening and drink 1 cup, with lemon and honey if you like. Drink the other cup,
cold, in the morning.


Insect Bite Ointment:

Beat some frankincense to a powder and mix it with oil of bay. Use it to anoint
the body to ease the itch of insect bites. For the sting, a little oil of
cajeput offers relief.

Dog Bites:

Four oz. rue, 4 oz. treacle, 4 oz. garlic, 4 large spoonfuls of scraped pewter.
Boil all of the ingredients with a bottle of strong ale. (Beer will do.) Strain.
Apply the sediment to the wound and drink the clear liquid 9 spoonfuls every day
for 9 days. – a seventeenth-century recipe.

Athlete’s Foot-

Soap & Powder:

Mix together 1 oz. powdered gum, benzoin with 4 oz. starch. When washing your
feet, use soap bark, a useful detergent, especially good for athlete’s foot.

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath:

Steep 1 oz. sage and agronomy in 2 cups of hot apple cider vinegar for 15
minutes. Keep it covered. When cool enough put your feet in and soak for as long
as you can. Repeat two or three times a day.

Olive Hair Oil:

To 4 oz. olive oil, add 1 t. oil of rosemary, and 5 drops oil of lemon grass.
Rub a tiny bit into the hair each night. This is version of an old time recipe
that helps hair grow.

Yucca Root Shampoo:

Boil 4 oz. yucca root or soap bark in 2 cups of fresh water until it is reduced
to 1 cup. Strain and cool. If not sudsy enough for you, add castille shampoo.
Brunettes can substitute rosemary water, and blondes chamomile water, for the 2
cups of liquid-both cleanses and deodorized the scalp.

To thicken the hair, and to keep it from falling out:

Put 4 lbs. pure organic honey into a still with 4-6 oz grapevine tendrils and 2-
4 oz. tender rosemary tops. Distill as cool and as slowly as possible. Allow the
liquid to drop until it begins to taste sour. Rub this into the hair roots

Sage Tea:

Drink sage tea daily and rub the infusion onto the roots of your hair to retain
its rich, dark color.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Herbal Magick | Leave a comment



Christianity teaches that God is transcendent, is separate from nature, and is
represented to humankind through masculine imagery. Witchcraft holds a
pantheistic view of God. God is nature, therefore God is in all things and all
things are a part of God. However, this God is in actuality a goddess.

A fundamental belief in Goddess Worship is the idea that the goddess predates
the male God. The goddess is the giver of all life and is found in all of
creation. The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed.
The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies
as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy,
and our anger as purifying. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength,
enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions.

The modern Goddess movement is an attempt to integrate the feminine back into
the world as we know it. This means bringing the Goddess out of the shadows and
back into the limelight where she belongs. Part of most modern Goddess
traditions is the idea that Goddess exists within and around everything in
creation. Therefore, if Goddess is sacred, then so is the Earth, so our bodies,
etc. Moreover, the relationship between all of these things is equally sacred.
Therefore, not only do we need to revere the creations of the Goddess, we must
revere the relationship and the systems that Goddess has created, for they each
have their purpose. The problem is that we don’t always know what the true
system is anymore because our society is so corrupted by the patriarchy. For
example, if we only examine the system as it exists today, we might come to the
conclusion that women’s place within the system is necessarily subservient to
the men in the system. Naturally, eco-feminists would laugh at this idea. First
of all, eco-feminism maintains that the natural order of things is not linked by
hierarchical value, so the very notion of men governing women is absurd. The
nature of things would require reciprocal communication and integral networking.

In light of this, then, Goddess religion asserts that Goddess and God cannot be
viewed separately, but rather as a network of energies that work together to
better the entire network.

Goddess Archetypes:

The Maiden is the first aspect of the Goddess, presented to us as a young woman,
blossoming into womanhood, exploring her sexuality and learning of her beauty.
She is most often depicted as a teenaged girl or a woman in her very early

Unlike the images of young women in many patrifocal religions, the Maiden is not
necessarily depicted as a virgin in most Goddess traditions. In Catholicism,
Mary is depicted not only as a virgin maiden, but continues to be a virgin
throughout the duration of her lifetime, regardless of the fact that she was
married and gave birth to a child. This has more to do with the taint patrifocal
religions assign female sexuality than anything else. But because women’s
sexuality is not denigrated in Goddess traditions, there is no need to associate
virginity with the Maiden Goddess.

In fact, the Maiden Goddess is seen as a particularly sexual being. Because she
has just bloomed into her womanly form, she is particularly interested in her
body and what it can do. She is interested in her beauty, and she learns to
manipulate the affections of other’s based upon her feminine wiles.

Some might take offense at my use of the word manipulate in the preceding
sentence, but in fact, that is what sexuality is about, both on the part of the
male and the female. Flirtation, courting and other manners of getting the
attentions of the opposite sex is certainly a form of manipulation. It is not
manipulation with malicious intent, to be sure, but when you attempt to curb the
attitudes or thoughts of others through your own appearance or behavior, this is
a form of manipulation, and by no means negative.

Because the Maiden is associated with the first blossoming of womanhood,
adulthood and sexuality, she is associated with the Springtime. Just as her body
develops breasts and she becomes sexually capable, so too does the Earth mimic
her development. Flowers bloom, the Earth awakens from the deep sleep of winter
and begins to procreate again. Animals lie with one another, flowers are
pollinated. Spring is a time for new beginnings. It is the counterpart to the
winter of Death.

Just as Spring is the counter to Winter, so too is the Maiden the counter to the
Crone. The Crone is the embodiment of death, and subsequently rebirth, and it is
through the aspect of the Maiden that the Crone is able to pass from this world
and be reborn. As the young Goddess delves into her sexuality, and eventually
becomes pregnant, the Elder Goddess may pass away and give her life that the
Maiden may become Mother, and one day, Crone. The cycle is never ending.

The Maiden takes the Green Man (Horned Lord, many other names in many other
cultures) as her consort. In some cultures, the Green Man may be her brother or
even her son. At first glance, the courtship between the Maiden and the Sun God
seems ripe with incest, because he is always somehow related to her. But if you
read the myths associated with the Mother Goddess and how it came to pass that
she became pregnant, you will usually find that she became pregnant by her
husband, who has to give his life for one reason or another, and she agrees to
bring him back into he world as the child in her womb. In essence, she gives
birth to her husband, rather than taking her son as her lover. This is even true
in the Catholic goddess vision: Jesus was the son of God, but he was also God.
Because this idea is confusing and can lead to ideas of incest much like I
discussed above, the Christian church left Mary a virgin, thus bypassing the
whole sexual encounter, and thus the issue of incest altogether.

Maiden Goddess of Note include:
Diana, Persephone, Kore, Bleudowedd, Artemis, Ariadne, Hestia,
Athena, Aphrodite, Minerva, and Venus.

The aspect of the Mother Goddess is probably the most widely known and most
widely envisioned in most cultures. Because the Earth nourishes and replenishes
us, most goddess cultures did pay reverence to the Earth as the Mother, and
therefore the Goddesses that are most prominent and about whom stories are most
prolific are the goddesses that are the representation of the Mother.

She is, in virtually every aspect, a divine or celestial representation of our
earthly mothers. Everyone has an earthly mother, or at least did at one point,
so we readily understand the relationship between mother and child. The mother
is the protector, the care-giver, the kisser of wounds, and the disciplinarian.
The Divine Mother is no different.

Many of the most ancient goddess figures that archeology has uncovered are
goddesses depicted as round, pregnant women. They feature large breasts and
full, meaty hips. Some archeologists (patriarchal, close minded fellows, to be
sure) have written these goddess figures off as nothing more than prehistoric
“porn” figures. However, the generally accepted opinion is that these figures,
found in such places as France, modern day Turkey, and Egypt, are actually
representations of a mother goddess. There is some speculation that perhaps
these figures are not goddesses at all, but rather figures used in fertility
rites to enable women to conceive children. This too is a possibility, but when
combined with other information that we have (such as other evidence of
prehistoric goddess worship, and the fact that the connection between sex and
pregnancy was not made until much later than the dates associated with these
figures) leads most scholars to believe that these statues are indeed goddess

Although the depiction of the Mother Goddess as a pregnant woman is prominent,
she is certainly not always seen that way. The Mother aspect may be seen with
small child in tow (most often a boy, who later becomes her consort, as is
discussed in the section on the Maiden). This aspect of the Mother Goddess plays
on the care-giving, sweet, loving aspect of the Goddess. However, do not be
fooled into thinking that the Goddess as Mother is a pussy cat. She can also be
a warrior.

Like earthly mothers, the Goddess is fiercely protective of her children, and in
order to provide that protection she will often don the face of the warrior. The
Warrior Goddess most probably gained popularity among people who had begun to
adopt a more patriarchal (or at least patrifocal) structure. It might be
presumptuous to say that matrifocal cultures were not particularly warlike, but
it is safe to say that patriarchal cultures were more so. In either case, the
warrior Goddess did become popular. In this aspect she is Amazon, fierce and
strong, and able to take on any man to protect what needs protection.

Just as the maiden is represented by the season of Spring, the Mother aspect is
present in Summer. By summer, berries and fruits are ripe, ready for the
plucking. Vegetable gardens are mature and harvest is close at hand. The sun is
high in the sky, and even though the sun is typically seen as a Male Deity, some
cultures did associate the sun with the Goddess, (most notably the early
Egyptian culture) and thus the high sun of summer was associated with the
Mother, who was also seen as the pinnacle of the cycle of life.

In western traditions, the Goddess remains pregnant until the Winter Solstice,
at which time she gives birth to a sun god of some kind. (Note the adaptation of
the Christian church …Christmas, anyone?) The Catholic Goddess Mary also falls
into the category of the Mother Goddess, because she does give birth to King at
Solstice. (At least this is how the Christians celebrate the holiday, even
though biblical scholars suggest Jesus was very likely born during a warm

Mary is a curiosity though, because she is a Dual Goddess, and not a Triple
Goddess as most multifaceted Goddesses are. She is a maiden because she remains
a virgin (and though not all maidens are virgins, all virgin goddesses are
maidens), and yet because she gives birth, she is also a Mother. However, there
is no reference in the Catholic tradition of Mary as an older woman. Therefore,
Mary’s development ended with her at the Mother phase.

Mother Goddesses of Note include:
Demeter, Isis, Cerridwyn, Kali, Gaia, Oceana, Brigit, Nuit, Hera,
Selene, Anu, Dana, Arianrhod, and Epona

The Crone is the final aspect of the Goddess. The Crone is most often depicted
as a Grandmother, a SageWoman, or a Midwife. She is the keeper of Occult
Knowledge, the Mysteries and the Queen of the Underworld. It is through the
Crone that knowledge of magick, the Dark, and other secrets of the ages are
passed down.

The Crone is, in some ways, a Triple Goddess herself. She has lived through the
tender, sensual age of Maidenhood, suffered the birth pains of Motherhood, and
now carries with her the memories of these passages into her old age. But though
she has experienced these events, these are not the things she represents, and
therefore she is not revered for these traits. Nevertheless, having endured
these experiences makes her the wise woman that she is, and enables her to
guide us through the dark.

Her role as Midwife is both symbolic as well as actual. Traditionally, it is
always the older women of the tribe who facilitate the birth of children, most
likely because they themselves had gone through, but also because the role of
midwife was a sacred position, and thus suitable for an older tribeswoman.
Certainly the Crone fulfills this aspect in that she is the midwife to the Queen
of Heaven when she gives birth to the Oak King at Yule.

But symbolically she is the midwife in our lives as well, guiding us from one
phase of life to the next. If you see progression from one phase of life to the
next and can see it as a rebirth process, then envision the Crone as the aspect
of the goddess that guides you through that time. Transition is very difficult,
and for most people it is a time of darkness. It is a time where we have to rely
on our intuition, because we are unfamiliar with the territory. But according to
the myths and ancient lore, we receive our intuition from the Crone. It is she
who guides us, and it is she who facilitates our birth.

The Crone Goddess is often times the least seen, because she does represent
death, and with death comes fear: fear of the unknown, fear of losing our loved
ones, and fear of being alone. But we must remember that with death always comes
rebirth. The Crone always brings with her promises of the Maiden, and the cycle
never ends.

The Mother aspect of the Goddess is discussed as being a Warrior Goddess, but
the Crone can be a Warrior Goddess as well. Where the Mother Goddess is the
blood of battle, the War Cry incarnate, the fighting Amazon, the Crone is the
Strategy, the ability to see what cannot be seen. She is the seer, the General.
The Crone Goddess does not don the face of the warrior to shed blood, but she
will provide the courage to walk through the dark, the ability to seek and
destroy the enemy, whether the enemy is actual, or internal.

In many respects, the Crone Goddess is the aspect of the Goddess that is most
called upon to conquer inner demons. This is due to the fact that as the keeper
of mysteries, the Crone is also the Keeper of the Underworld. With her help, we
are able to travel into the Underworld and fight whatever demons haunt us.
Likewise, once we are ready to be reborn, she again acts as the midwife and
guides us once again into the light.

Crone Goddesses of Note include:
Hecate, Kali, Cerridwyn, Badb, Cailleach, Macha, and the Morrigan

written by susan lucas

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Beliefs of the Witch | Leave a comment

Growing Your Own Crystals

Let me start out with how to grow crystals.

You need an absolutely clean container.  Baby food jars will work, but they are
awfully small for growing decent sized crystals.  Smallish glass baking dishes,
say 5″x5″ are much better.  I use a 250 ml or 500 ml beaker, covered with
parafilm (or Saran wrap), so something about the same size (like a Mason or
fruit jar) is ideal.

You need a place to grow the crystals that is not disturbed by pets, younger
children, or parents.  This place should have as constant a temperature as
possible – meaning that window sills are pretty much out. I use the top of a
cabinet or closet shelf, or sometimes the refrigerator (in the lab, of
course…). You will need a small plastic spoon, one small enough to reach into
whatever kind of container you are planning to use to grow the crystals. And
finally, you will need a couple of 1-liter bottles to hold the solutions.  I use
plastic soda bottles, *BUT* unless you have a child-free place to keep them, I’d
use something else.  A litre of even a non-toxic chemical can make a young child
quite sick.

The first order of business is to understand *CLEAN*.  Everything you use to
grow crystals has to be CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.  That means, no lint, no
fingerprints, no water spots, just sparkly spotless squeaky clean!. The best
home technique is to wash the containers with liquid detergent and a brush, then
rinse them out with hot water until the soap is entirely gone, then rinse them
twice with a small amount of distilled water and turn them upside down on a
paper towel to dry. Be sure to clean the tops the same way.

Make a saturated stock solution in the following manner:  Put 800 ml of hot (not
boiling, about 120 to 140 degrees) distilled water in one of the 1 litre
bottles, and slowly add the crystal chemical to it with stirring or shaking.
When no more of the chemical will dissolve, leave the bottle undisturbed for one
hour, then pour off the solution from the first bottle into the second bottle.
Try hard not to get any of the undissolved chemical into the second bottle.
Then, add 50 ml of additional distilled water to the bottle. This is your
crystal growing stock solution.

Make doubly sure that your crystal growing container is *CLEAN*.  Then, pour in
the (still warm) stock solution to a depth of 2-3 cm.  Cover the container
*loosely* with aluminum foil, and set it aside to start to crystallize as the
solution cools. You may want to check it two or three times each day. Do not
stir, shake, bump, or get dust in the container. Usually after 2-3 days there
will be small crystals forming in the bottom of the container. Let them grow in
the original container until some of them are 5-10 mm long.  You may have to
_SLOWLY_ add some additional stock solution to the container. For the best
results and the biggest crystals, try to disturb the crystals as little as
possible. Put them on a back shelf, hang out a DO NOT DISTURB sign, and leave
them alone for several days.

Once you get some nice small crystals, pour the solution in the crystal growing
container back into the _first_ bottle, and dump the crystals out onto a paper
towel.  Select a few of the nicest looking crystals as seeds to start the second
part of the process, and put the rest back into the first bottle.  Now clean,
and I mean -CLEAN- out the crystal growing dish (or jar), rinse it twice with
distilled water, and fill it with stock solution to a depth of 2-3 cm (just like
before).  Now, use the plastic spoon to gently lower just one of the seed
crystals into the solution.  Cover the container *loosely* with aluminum foil or
Saran wrap and set it aside for the crystal to grow.  I usually start five or
six containers on this second phase.

Now, once per day, uncover the growing container and use the plastic spoon to
_gently_ turn over the growing crystal.  Replenish the level of stock solution
in the growing jar, but take care not to pour new solution in so quickly that
you disturb the growing crystal.  Keep this up as long as the crystal continues
to grow true.  If additional crystals start to form, then use the spoon to fish
out the big crystal, and dump the solution and the little crystals back into the
first bottle, clean the dish, and start over with the big crystal as a seed.

You can go through a lot of stock solution this way.  If you run out, then just
fill up the first bottle (with the crystals in it) to 800 ml with distilled
water, dissolve more new chemical mixture, and do like before to make new stock

There are two keys to growing big, beautiful crystals this way.  The first key
is CLEANLINESS.  Dust is your enemy, big time.  The second key is PATIENCE,
crystals grow as fast as they want to, not as fast as _you_ want them to grow. 
This is not a short-term, overnight or even over-the-weekend project!  Still, I
have grown crystals 3-4 cm long in 4 weeks, and I have grown some 10 cm crystals
(over a pound!) in six months. When the crystal is as big as you want it to be,
take it out and dry it. If you want to, you can spray it with clear lacquer to
keep it permanently.

Now, chemicals.  I put this off to last, because what you use depends a lot on
how much you can be trusted with chemicals or the likelihood of little kids
messing with your crystal factory and makin’s… I have listed some
recommendations below, along with how toxic the stuff is.

All of these crystals are sufficiently non-toxic that the dried crystals can be
handled with bare hands. Needless to say, you shouldn’t eat them!

These are my recommendations for chemicals to use to grow crystals:

1.  Aluminum Potassium Sulfate (Alum) – non-toxic, cheap.  Grows clear,
    colorless octahedra.  Fairly fast growing, easy to succeed.

2.  Aluminum Potassium Sulfate + 25% Chromium Potassium Sulfate.  non-toxic,
    inexpensive.  Grows beautiful purple crystals.  Fast growing, easy to
    accomplish good results.  My second favorite combination.  You can
    grow chromium potassium sulfate by itself, but the crystals are so
    dark you can’t see through them.

3.  Sodium sulfate.  non-toxic, cheap.  Grows clear triclinic blades.
    non-toxic, fast growing.  Medium-difficult to get well shaped crystals.

4.  Ferric Ammonium Sulfate.  non-toxic, inexpensive.  Grows pale
    lavender crystals, nearly always twinned.  Slow growing, Medium-easy
    to get good results.

5.  Copper Sulfate – toxic if ingested.  Grows bright blue triclinic
    crystals.  Fast growing.  Medium-easy to get good results.  Except for
    not being non-toxic, probably my first recommendation.

6.  Potassium ferricyanide.  toxic if ingested.  Grows bright orange
    isometric crystals.  Slow growing, easy to get good results if you
    have enough time.

7.  Copper (II) Acetate.  toxic if ingested.  Grows deep forest green
    rhombic crystals.  Slow growing, difficult to get well formed crystals.
    But the results can be really beautiful, and worth the trouble.

8.  Sodium chloride (table salt).  non-toxic.  Grows clear cubes.  Slow
    growing, difficult to obtain well-formed crystals.  Very sensitive
    to changes in temperature or humidity.  Transparent cubes are
    obtainable, but a LOT of effort and care is required.

9.  Potassium chromate (not dichromate).  You will probably have to make
    this by reducing Potassium Dichromate with Potassium hydroxide.
    Dissolve the dichromate, and then add potassium hydroxide slowly
    until the color _just_ changes to bright yellow.  Toxic if ingested,
    the dichromate is listed as a carcinogen (also if ingested). Grows
    bright lemon yellow monoclinic crystals, just beautiful.  Medium
    fast growing, medium easy to grow good crystals. Gorgeous.

10. Lactose.  non-toxic (edible!).  Medium-slow growing, easy to get good
    looking clear to white crystals.  Changing containers often is necessary
    because the lactose tends to want to grow mold.

11. Ferrous Sulfate (coppereas).  Mostly non-toxic, grows pale green rhombic
    crystals.  Fast growing, cheap.  Medium difficult due to air oxidation
    of solution – requires really good cleanliness.  The crystals can be
    transparent and grow to large size.

12. Cobalt Chloride.  toxic if ingested.  Fairly expensive, medium slow
    growth.  Crystals are deep red.  Medium difficult to get good results.

Crystal gardens are nice, too.  I use a mixture of ammonium and sodium sulfate
because it grows really nice long blades and effloresces if the humidity is not
too high.  You can color the gardens with soluble prussian blue (Mrs. Somebody’s
blueing) if you want to. You know this trick, right? It’s the one where you pour
the salt solution over charcoal briquettes in a pie plate.  You can do the same
thing if you make an absorbant tree out of paper (use a paper clip to stiffen
it, it gets soft when it gets soggy) and add green food color to the solution.

Here’s an alternate method that gave somewhat quicker results.  Choose a
chemical that is soluble in alcohol, but less soluble in water. Dissolve it in
alcohol to make a saturated solution like above, put it in a small jar covered
with a osmotic membrane (you can use filter paper, even) then sink it in a
larger jar of water. As the water diffuses in and the alcohol diffuses out, the
chemical crystallizes…  As I recall, copper sulfate was used, but this was
years ago.

I think Alum is the cheapest chemical, and you can get it in grocery stores for
39 cents/pound – add this to your chemical list.  It’s sometimes sold under the
name “pickling salt”.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Gemstones/Crystals | Leave a comment



This is borrowed from the July/Aug of 96 issue of Llewellyn's New Worlds Of Mind 
& Spirit Catalog.

Special care should be taken when selecting a personal crystal. Try and obtain a 
single point with an intact point and all six facets visible on its surface. If 
the point is chipped, the energy emitted will not be as focused. It should also 
be small enough to hold in one hand. The suggested sizes can range from less 
than two inches to five inches in height and diameter. If you are right-hand 
dominant, the quartz's vibrations can be tested by holding the crystal point up 
toward the head in your left hand.

The Point is placed up rather than down in order to direct the energies into 
your brain. The left hand is preferred as it is connected to the opposite side 
of the brain. This is the right hemisphere, the intuitive portion of our mind. 
For those people who are left-handed dominant, the holding process should be 

After holding the stone for a few minutes some people may experience energy 
vibrations in the form of body temperature changes, colors flashing through the 
mind, or a feeling of peaceful compatibility. If any uncomfortable sensations 
are experienced, choose another crystal and repeat the same process. It is 
important that you synchronize with its energies.

Often a stone will choose us by projecting strong vibration. It is not uncommon 
to walk away from such a crystal only to discover a compulsion to return and 
purchase it.

The most aesthetically pleasing is not necessarily the correct crystal.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Gemstones/Crystals | Leave a comment



Gemstones have been used for centuries as meditational aids and magical magical 
foci.  Each individual type of stone has different properties.  Here are some 
healing and spiritual  properties from a list I have. These descriptions are 
based on ancient legend and lore:

AGATE: Moss Agates considered to be most powerful. Aid in restoration of energy, 
used  in healing, and believed to bring wearer happiness, wealth, health, and 
long life. Increases ability to ward off self-induced anger and inner 
bitterness. Carnelian- gives protection and energy. Moss green-balances 
emotional energy. Moss red-balances physical energy. Blue lace-gives 

Amber: Powerful healing stone with large amount of organic energy. In ancient 
times, ground to a powder and mixed with honey or oil of roses for various 
physical problems. Filters germs and infections and has the power to 
disinfect. Worn around the neck to help fight infection and respiratory 
diseases. Lifts the spirits.

Apatite: Promotes communication and mental clarity.

Amethyst:  Increases spiritual awareness, has a calming and soothing influence, 
has the ability to transmute negative into positive, and is very effective as a 
healing stone. Warmed and placed on the forehead and temples, it is good for 
headaches.  Has the ability to draw through it forces directed towards the body 
and repels vibrations which the body doesn't need, thus releasing only the 
energy patterns beneficial to the body.  Best worn in healing near the heart 
center.  Opens up spiritual and psychic centers. Helps prevent drunkeness.

Aquamarine:  Calms nervous tension. Calming effects of the sea. Used to help 
banish fears and phobias. Means seawater. Soothing and cleansing.

Adventurine:  Increases perception and creative insight. Stimulates opportunity 
and motivation.

Azurite: Powerful healing stone, invokes spiritual guidance, opens psychic eye. 
Good for dreams and improving psychic ability.

Bloodstone:  Stimulates flow of energy for healing blood circulation, stops 
hemorrhaging.  Removes emotional blockages.

Citrine: Stimulates openness and accelerates the awakening of the mind.  An aid 
to the digestive system.  Helps eliminate toxins. Encourages tremendous healing 
on the  emotional and mental levels, helps unblock subconscious fears, and 
serves as a natural relaxant.

Coral: Balances physical energy and relaxes tensions. Carries the creative 
vibrations of the sea.

Emerald: Promotes creativity, stimulates perception and insight, and strengthen 
memory.  Beneficial effect on the eyes.

Garnet: Balances hormones, good for mental depression, enhances self-esteem,  
alleviates bad dreams, and encourages success in business. Thought to assist in 
seeing into past incarnations.

Hematite: Calming to the emotions. Worn as an amulet to confer strength and 
procure favorable legal judgments. In Egypt, used to reduce inflammation and 
treat hysteria.  Considered to be a grounding stone. Helps maintain balance 
between body, mind, and spirit.

Ivory:  Spiritual protection.

Jade:  Stimulates practicality, wisdom, and universal attunement. Thought to 
provide a link between the spiritual and the mundane.  Most revered by the 

Jasper:  For energy balancing of emotions and stress.

Fluorite:  Opens and softens the way for the use of other stones. Excellent used 
in aquariums-provides needed minerals.

Lapis Lazuli:  Stimulates wisdom, truthfulness, & psychic experiences, healing 
and strengthening when worn next to the skin. Strengthens mind and body to 
spiritual awareness.

Malachite:  Often used as a child's talisman to sleep soundly & protect from bad 
dreams.    Stimulates clear vision and insight, represents hope and inner peace, 
believed to protect from danger. Increases abundance in all areas of life.

Moonstone:  Brings good fortune. Reflects the wearers being and feelings. 
Promotes unselfishness. Opens the heart to humanitarian love and hope. Good for 
protection while traveling on water. Gives clarity to spiritual understanding. 
Good for pre-menstrual symptoms and balancing to the reproductive system.  Used 
to ease childbirth.

Pearl:  Stimulates feminine qualities, used to focus attention, helps pull 
together mental and spiritual forces, peace of mind. Represents purity, modesty, 
& gentleness.

Peridot:  Dispels fears, guilt, and depression. Used to counteract negative 
emotions and healing of the spirit. Affects top three chakras. Once worn as a 
means of gaining foresight and divine inspiration.

QUARTZ:  Amplifies the healing energy of the one using it. Used to help draw out 
pain.  Able to tap into the energies of the universe. A good stone for 
meditating on. Works primarily with the Third Eye center, also relates well with 
the heart center. To be able to  tune into the quartz  promotes clarity while  
concentrating on it. Also affects the crown chakra.  Very potent and often worn 
to protect from negative vibrations. Cleanse regularly.  Rudilated-rutile 
needles help focus attention. Smoky-good for calming the mind. Rose-vibrations 
of universal love & inner serenity.

Ruby:  Increases vigor, renews vitality and cleanses the blood. The stone of 

Topaz:  Calms emotions, protects against external stresses. To restore physical 
energy & quiet emotional nature.

Tiger Eye:  Very powerful protection, clarity of thought.

Tourmaline:  Causes the wearer to be more flexible, more understanding and more  
objective in purpose and reason. Calming. Each person has a different response 
to this stone. Causes a reaction in the intestinal tract.  Black and Crystal-
removes negativity and cleanses. Some say it should not be worn as jewelry. 
Electric and magnetic properties.

Turquoise:  Vibrates calming radiations, protective, and restores healthy mental 
attitude. Stone of friendship. Balancing and healing.  Great strength and 
vitality. Takes on characteristics of the wearer.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Gemstones/Crystals | Leave a comment



(From: Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches Way)

The following are from the Gardnarian Book of Shadows. Other names for the 
Goddess or God may be substituted. Alexandrian uses Aradia and Cernunnos in 
place of the longer list of Hebrew and other names.

Consecration of the Water and Salt

Place the bowl of water on the Pentacle, hold the tip of the Athame in the 
water, and say:

          "I exorcise thee, O Creatures of Water, that thou cast out
          from thee all the impurities and uncleanness of the spirits
          of the world of phantasm. Mertalia, Musalia, Dophalia,
          Onemalia, Zitanseia."

Remove the bowl from the Pentacle and replace it with the salt, and say:

          "Blessings be upon this Creature of Salt; let all malignity
          and hindrance be cast forth hencefrom, and let all good
          enter therein. Wherefore I bless thee and invoke thee, that
          thou mayest aid me."

Changing the bowls over again and pouring the salt into the water, say:

          "Yamenton, Yaron, Tatonon, Zarmesition, Tileion, Tixmion.
          But ever mind, water purifies the body, but the scourge
          purifies the soul.

Consecrating a Sword or Athame:

With the Athame laid over the Pentacle, with and touching another consecrated 
Athame if available. Sprinkle them with the salt and water mixture. Pick up the 
tool and pass it through the incense smoke, then replace it on the Pentacle. 
Laying your right hand on it, say:

          "I conjure thee, O Athame, by these Names, Abrahach,
          Abrach, Abracadabra, that thou servest me for a strength
          and defense in all magical operations against all mine
          enemies, visible and invisible. I conjure thee anew by the
          holy name Aradia and the holy name Cernunnos; I conjure
          thee O Sword (Athame), that thou servest me for a
          protection in all adversities; so aid me now."

After again sprinkling with the salt water and censing the Athame is returned
to the Pentacle. Say:

          "I conjure thee, O Athame of Steel, by the Great Gods and
          Gentle Goddess, by the virtue of the heavens, of the stars
          and of the spirits who preside over them, that thou mayest
          receive such virtue that I may obtain the end that I desire
          in all things wherein I shall use thee, by the power of
          Aradia and Cernunnos."

After kissing the blade and presenting it to the Goddess recast the Circle using 
it, but without words. It should then be kept in close proximity of the owner's 
body for at least a month, perhaps under the pillow, etc. Do not allow anyone 
else to touch or handle your tools for at least six months.

The latter part of this is my adaptation as the specified ritual involves two 
people, a priest and priestess doing such things as holding the Athame between 
their bodies.

Consecration of Other Working Tools

Used for any ritual item other than an Athame or Sword.

Man and Woman lay their right hands on the tool, which is placed on the 
pentacle. Say:

          "Aradia and Cernunnos, deign to bless and consecrate this
          white handled knife (or whatever) that it may obtain the
          necessary virtue through you for all acts of love and

The man sprinkles the tool with the salt and water mixture then the woman passes 
it through the smoke of the incense. She then puts it back onto the Pentacle. 

          "Aradia and Cernunnos, bless this instrument prepared in your honor."

Once again the man sprinkles and the woman censes.

The one who is not the owner then gives the five fold kiss to the one who owns 
the tool. For the final kiss on the mouth they hold the tool between their 
bodies. The owner should then immediately use it. Incise something with the 
white-hilted knife, exhibit the Pentacle to the four quarters, cense the four 
quarters, etc.

When not in use, all tools should be put away in a secret place; and it is good 
that this should be near your sleeping place and that you handle them each night 
before retiring.

Consecrating Personal Jewelry, Etc.

Not from Gardner's Book of Shadows, but as used by the Farrars.

Man and woman place the object on the Pentacle and lay their right hands upon 
it. They say:

          "We consecrate thee in the element of Earth."

They sprinkle the object with the salt and water mixture, saying:

          "We consecrate thee in the element of Water."

They pass the object through the smoke of the incense, saying:

          "We consecrate thee in the element of Air."

They pass the object above the flame of the candle.

          "We consecrate thee in the element of Fire, in the names of
          Aradia and Cernunnos."

If the object is something that can be worn or used immediately it should be.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Consecration | Leave a comment



Pick up broom and sweep the circle as you walk inside deosil. Repeat:

	Sweep, sweep, sweep this place
	By Powers of Air, I cleanse this space.

Pick up the incense and walk around the circle. Repeat:

	Light, light, I light this place
	By Powers of Fire, I cleanse this space.

Pick up the Chalice. As you walk deosil, sprinkle water and repeat:

	Liquid. liquid I wash this place
	By Powers of Water, I cleanse this space.

Pick up salt. As you walk deosil, sprinkle salt and repeat:

	Salt, salt, as I walk this place
	Powers of Earth, cleanse this space.

Return the salt to the altar. Stand in center and repeat:

	Spirit, Spirit, fill this place
	Powers of the Ancient Ones, consecrate this space.

	I now direct the energy of the Universe to forever fill and bless this 

Lay hands upon altar and say:

	This altar is dedicated to the Lord and Lady of light. 
	May it serve me well.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Consecration | Leave a comment

Circle Purification – No Incense

Circle Purification - No Incense

A Circle Purification that doesn't use Incense: for asthmatics, those with 
allergies, and those with other pulmonary disorders by Matrika.

This ritual was inspired when someone in our circle back in Central 
Massachusetts started dating a young woman who was a great herbalist, 
knowledgeable about crystal healing, a competent tarot-reader and a beginning 
astrologer.  She had read "Spiral Dance" by Starhawk on the Craft of the Wise 
(Wicca) and wore a pentagram around her neck, but couldn't try circle work 
because she was allergic to smoke and had a serious asthma problem.

So, here's the rite.  You prepare your altar as usual, with the exception of the 
incense and incense burner.  5 non-electric pot-pouri burners filled with water 
and an appropriately scented pot-pouri should be on or near the altar with 5 
candles.  Be sure that you use the correct type of candles for your pot-pouri 
burners, as other types can destroy the burners.  Put these on the altar, which 
should be at the center of the circle and facing North or East according to your 
custom.  If they do not fit without obstructing the work, place them in a semi-
circle at the foot of the altar.  Have matches there to light the candles under 
them at the proper time.

The rite 
(Leader 1 should be a male, if possible.  Leader 2 should be a female, if 

Leader 1 - blessing the water and herbal mixture in each pot-pouri burner with 
the wand. A long-stem rose with the thorns removed can be used for a wand if you 
do not yet have one.  Of course, this must be replaced each time you do a ritual 
"By Fire and By Air
 By Water and by Earth
 by the Lady and the Lord
 I conjure thee to purify our circle this night"

all- " So mote it be"

He takes one of the burners and the matches to the North where he lights it.  
Leader 2 accompanies him with her wand, after he lights it she raises her wand 
and says
"By fire and air
 By water and by earth
 Let us purify the
 Northern Quarter of our circle"

There is a pause during which everyone visualizes (vividly imagining in every 
detail from a relaxed, meditative state) an arc of rainbow light forming that 
quarter of the circle then, when she lowers the wand, everyone responds.  all - 
"So Mote It Be"

Leader 1 returns to the central altar and gets the next burner, placing it in 
the East and lighting it.  Leader 2 continues in the same way as above.  This 
procedure is then repeated in the South and then in the West.  Each time the 
invocation is changed to reflect the direction they are in.  Each time the group 
visualizes the rainbow arc of light.  And after each direction, Leader 1 returns 
to the center to get the burner for the next direction ready.  By constantly 
returning to the center each time, the emphasis is placed there.  After the 
Western quarter is lit, Leader 1 places the final burner on the altar, between 
the candles, where the incense burner would be if there was one and lights it.  
Leader 2 stands before the altar, raises her wand and says

"By Fire and by air 
 By water and by earth 
 Let us purify the sacred center of our circle
 where Heaven and Earth Unite
 and Where the Lord and Lady are joined in love."

While her wand is raised, everyone visualizes the rainbow light from the outer 
circles flooding in to the center and filling the circle with harmonious 
vibrations and energies.  After a few moments, she lowers her wand and everyone 
all- "SO mote it be"

The circle casting is continued as usual with the invocations of the elements at 
the 4 corners, according to your tradition.  Then the actual circle-casting is 
done as usual.  After this do whatever rite and/or magick you would usually do 
and close in the usual manner.  Be sure to snuff the candles and not to blow 
them out.  Use a silver teaspoon to do this, if you don't have a snuffer.  This 
ceremony ONLY replaces the part of the rite where you sprinkle with salt-water 
and then cense the circle to purify it in PREPARATION for the actual circle 
casting.  It is NOT the full casting of the circle.  (Some traditions purify 
with all 4 elements separately, sprinkling salt on the floor for earth, water on 
the floor for itself, censing the circle for air, and carrying a candle around 
for fire.  Either way this rite replaces the elemental purification, as the 
burners embody all 4 elements - the water for itself, the candle for fire, the 
herbs for earth, and the scent the steam gives off for air.)

OF course the pot-pouri burners used for this should only be used in your 
psychic work and should have been consecrated or smudged (by someone who can 
deal with the smoke) in preparation for this ritual.

To prepare appropriate pot-pouri scents for the purpose of your rites, use the 
directions for making the various home-made herbal incenses traditional in 
Witchcraft and in Magick; however, don't grind them with a mortar and pestle as 
you would in making incense.  If you do not know the recipes for these, any of 
the Scott Cuningham books on making incenses would provide them for you.  They 
are available from Llewelyn Publishing, box 64383 St.  Paul Minnesota. (They 
will send you a free catalogue on request)

Despite the initial cost involved in obtaining the 5 burners, it is highly 
suggested you do it that way for two reasons:

1. In anything but a very small and enclosed space, you will not get enough 
scent to represent the air element sufficiently for magickal and ritual working. 

2. To represent all 4 elements in EACH of the quarters and in the center of the 
circle is very important in establishing the traditional boundaries between the 
worlds the ordinary and non-ordinary or shamanic realities) that is the purpose 
of casting the circle and creating sacred space.

CERTAINLY BURN YOUR FINGERS BADLY.  (It is not appropriate to bring a pot holder 
into circle to carry it either! PLEASE!)

I hope this is helpful to those who have breathing problems and wish to perform 

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Circle Casting | Leave a comment