Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Traveler's Charm & New Additions

For the third week in a row, I have had to travel four hours, each way, to my mom's home due to some medical issues she has been having. After a  cardiac catheterization, we now know what the problem is and no surgery will be needed, thank the Lady, just some new meds. Ahhh, what a relief! No matter how old we are, we want mommy happy and healthy. She was off to bingo tonight, her usual pursuit on Wednesday evenings. 

Whenever we travel, we always take a stone from around our land, awaken and connect with its spirit and ask that it protect and bring us home safely. We've been doing this for some time. Funny, the same two stones are always in the same place, waiting for us.

If you want to add this little ritual to your travel plans, just find a stone near your home, on your land; nothing fancy is needed, just a stone directly from the land. Awaken it in whatever manner you like; call to it, ring a small bell, whatever, then ask the spirit of the stone to lend its protection while you travel and return you safely back home. Place the stone just under the driver's seat, not so far that it can't be seen - you want to be reminded that it's there. When you return from your travels, and this is very important, thank the stone and return it from whence you found it. A small offering or libation would be a nice way to say thank you.

 We also have some new additions to our family of wild life and they are just adorable! Their little peeps outside the window call to me twice a day, morning and late afternoon, as they make their rounds with mommy and aunts. OK, so they like the seeds and bread we can't seem to help giving them!
The end of another busy day and back to the comforts of the nest, wherever that might be!

Blessings nine!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hazel Dickens, RIP

(turn off my playlist below to listen to this)

Hazel Dickens passed away yesterday, the 22rd, at age 75. Her music was sort of bluegrass/folk/old time with a bit of rebel and feminist thrown in. Her voice was full of emotion.There was something about that voice and the songs she sang that kept me listening. I think she was pretty amazing.

Well, good journey Hazel, I know you will keep singing wherever your journey takes you. 

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Believe in Good Stuff!

I believe in pink.
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and
I believe in miracles.

Audrey Hepburn

Reading Audrey's words, which were shared with me by my friend, Barbara C., inspired me to make my own "I believe" list.

I believe that laughing is the best medicine.
I believe that all girls, all women, are beautiful,
no matter how many calories they burn,
no matter if they are happy or broody.
(All creative souls must brood a bit for their art.) 
I believe that today is the best day.
I believe that tomorrow is another best day,
and the day after and the day after that, on and on.
Everyday that was is the best day.
Everyday to come is the best day.
I believe that all you need is love - really.
I believe gray hairs are starlights growing, shining from our heads.
I believe wrinkles are a sign of wealth, how rich one's life has been.
I believe in red. 
Strawberries, tomatoes, apples, red bell peppers and radishes (the red ones)
 are ambrosial  foods for sensuous women.
I believe red is power, but I still believe in pink too.
I believe we all need a little pink with our red.
I believe a kiss can make one's day,
even if it is just watching someone else receive a kiss.
I believe waking up to see your love smiling at you
is a wonderful way to start the day.
I guess I could just go on and on,
I have many beliefs in my heart, my red heart, trimmed with pink.
When all is said and done,
I believe that life is really good and one can always find that good,
no matter what is going on... we just need to believe.

copyright 2011 E A Kaufman  

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Magickal Clary Sage

An herbalist friend, Cynthia Johnston of Moonmaid Botanicals, introduced me to this herb and its medicinal properties many years ago. Specializing in women's reproductive cycles and issues, she taught me that clary sage is very effective for women's issues - especially menopause, easing hot flashes, cramping, etc. A note of caution: pregnant women should avoid it as clary sage has other uses that may be harmful during the pregnancy.  

As a licensed esthetician, I use the essential oil in treatments for oily skin in my facial work, and also make an infusion, along with a few other herbs, into which I dip cotton pads and place over the eyes. Clary sage is purported to help eye/vision problems. The tea is also good for digestive upsets. A cloth dipped in a strong infusion or very warm water with a few drops of the essential oil, wrung out and placed over the tummy or sore muscles is very nice. Aromatically, it assists with emotional and psychological tension, easing anxiety and, according to some, helping with depression and high blood pressure. I like to use it in aromatherapy anxiety blends because of this and find it balances and restores so one can relax and release stress.

 I have never had the opportunity to sit and work with the live plant and connect with its spirit which is the best way to know a plant. However, I've had good results with the dried herb and the pure essential oil.

In magick, clary sage is highly protective. Having it growing around one's home is a very good thing for a number of reasons. At the Alchemy Works website, they include a note about this herb - "this plant concentrates heavy metals from the soil and can be planted to clear contaminated areas. It should then be disposed of rather than composted" - naturally, as in magickal workings, one would not want to save what was used to cleanse. What a gift to your land or any land, to grow this herb to assist in cleansing it of toxins. Go talk to your plants, get to know them and ask them to protect your land and home. You should do this with all your plants and trees, build a relationship with them - they will tell you what they can assist you with on an energetic level.  

For protection, hang bouquets of clary sage to dry around the house, place it in sachets with other herbs for protection, placing in appropriate places about the home or office. Carry a small pouch with clary sage and other protective herbs in your handbag and keep one in your car. For ritual work, it is a a potent ingredient when you want to cast a protective boundary. I generally add it to the warding blend I use for my home, placing it on window ledges and on top of door frames. 

In spells, clary sage is an excellent addition to and has long been used in love potions and as an aphrodisiac. In my personal work, I have seen this herb as best used by women who want to attract a man - I suppose, since it is very much a woman's herb. Not all may agree with this assessment, but that is what the herb has taught me. Even an herb, collected, dried and handled respectfully, will maintain its spirit and be able to communicate with you. 

Associated with both the moon and mercury, it has been my experience that it is very helpful in workings that include journey, trance, dream and visionary work, as well as divination. It can enhance psychic abilities. Sprinkle some of the dried herb around the table you lay your tarot cards, runes, bones or stones on. Crush a bit of the herb in your hands and inhale its fragrance. An infusion makes an excellent clearing and enhancing wash for scrying mirrors and  scrying stones. Burn as an incense or use the essential oil in a nebulizer and to anoint the third eye during any of these types of workings to enhance your abilities and the reading.  A drop or two on your pillow before bed can enhance any dreamwork and aid in the recall of those dreams, especially for divination purposes. It tends to make dreams very vivid when one is open to such work, so prepare yourself appropriately.

A note of caution, if you are going to use alcohol or other mood altering or narcotic substances during these workings - or in general - ingesting clary sage along with those substances may cause a stronger reaction. Use common sense and caution.

Personal experience
Cynthia Johnston - moonmaidbotanicals.com
Natural Magic - John Michael Greer
Master Book of Herbalism - Paul Beyerl

copyright E A Kaufman 2011

The above post is offered for informational purposes only and is in no way a recommendation to consume or use the herb in any manner, nor is it a guarantee for the spells, lore or other information mentioned.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Magic of Bay Laurel

Bay Laurel
(Laurus nobilis) AKA Baie, Bay Tree, Greecian Laurel, Laurel, Laurier d’Apollon, Laurier Sauce,Lorbeer, Nobel Laurel, Roman Laurel, Sweet Bay.

Both leaf and berry are used as well as the essential oil.

Sacred to both Apollon and Artemis. In Greek myth, the lovely Daphne, a nymph, was transformed into a bay tree to escape pursuit by Apollo, thereby remaining, as she wished, a virgin. Apollo, heartbroken, made a crown out of bay leaves and branches and wore it to honor her. Romans dedicated this herb to Fides, goddess of honor and fidelity. In another myth, Hermes is said to have invented fire by striking a pomegranate against a Bay Laurel tree.

The Pythias, Priestesses of the Delphic Oracle, chewed the leaves to induce their prophesies and enhance communion with Mother Earth, Gaia and then Apollon - this is in addition to the inhalation of the fumes from natural gases that  rose from deep within the earth. It is also thought that the seeds of henbane were burned as well, intoxicating the priestess and opening the way for prophesy.

Both ancient Greeks and Romans were known to crown victors of competitive  games as well as scholars  with wreaths of laurel to honor them.
In the 17th century it was believed that bay leaves were protection against witchcraft. Of course, we know that is not the case as withes use bay leaves. However, bay leaves are very protective, bay trees were planted around homes to defend against curses. Folks believed that bay would protect one’s home  from being struck by lightning and damaged by thunderstorms.
Magical Uses:

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun, Jupiter
Element: Fire

Bay has been used in magic and ritual for thousands of years. Culpeper, in his herbal, wrote that Bay was known for its ‘mystical’ properties, and noted  that Bay Laurel is a ”Tree of the Sun, under the Celestial Sign Leo, and resisteth Witchcraft very potently” – also noting that ‘all the evil old Saturn can do to the Body of Man’…That neither Witch nor Devil, Thunder nor Lightning will hurt a Man in the place where a Bay-Tree is”.
- Use in teas for clairvoyance and to aid divination. As mentioned, the ancient Greek Oracles at Delphi and priestesses of Apollo chewed Bay leaves to enhance their trance states when giving prophecies, and burned Bay as an incense.
NOTE: Use caution when burning or ingesting! Ingesting is not recommended. Instead, use an infusion to mist about the area during divination, to wash a scrying mirror, add to a scrying bowl of inky water or perhaps a tea, lightly brewed, using just a bit of a leave and not brewed strong. *

- Wear as an amulet to ward off evil and negativity, burn or scatter in exorcism rituals.

- Place in the windows to guard against lightning. Purifies the home.

- To remove curses and evil spells, mix crushed or powdered bay leaf with sandalwood powder, burn on a charcoal.

- Use in wash water to clean floors as well as sprinkling the powdered herb, then sweeping, to rid the home of crossed/cursed conditions.

- To ensure a long and lasting love, a couple should break a twig from the tree, together break the twig in two and each keep a half.

Add a few drops of the essential oil to a cup of water in a spray bottle, mist your pillow to induce prophetic dreams. According to Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, place bay leaves beneath your pillow for the same purpose.
- Use a sprig of Bay to asperge water during purification rituals or place in a bowl of water to wash the hands before entering sacred space.
- Bay is appropriate for the consecration of musical instruments.
- Use Bay oil or infusion to consecrate candles and other magical tools; asperge or mist home or sacred space to clear unwanted energies.
-  Write your desire or need on a bay leaf, then burn to bring the spell to fruition.
- Write charms or draw symbols of protection on the leaves and hide about your home to keep it safe from all manner of ill will and misfortune.

- A Bay tree planted near the home, or bay leaves hidden in the home, are said to protect those within from sickness.
- Bay leaves give strength when worn during athletic competition.
- Burn a candle dressed with the essential oil to bring about needed change within oneself.
* Caution: Please note, care should be taken when using bay as it can be toxic when taken internally. The berries can induce miscarriage/abortion, so caution is advised if one is pregnant. That being said, most people add the leaves as seasoning to food, but do not eat the leaves, removing them before serving the dish.

A Dictionary of Greek & Roman Mythology, Michael Stapleton
Plants of the Gods, Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hoffman
The Oracle, William J. Broad
Culpepper’s Herbal
Natural Magic, John Michael Greer
Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic, Catherine Yronwode
Keep Bay Close By, Sherry Eldridge
Personal experience and experimentation

copyright 2011 E A Kaufman

The above post is offered for informational purposes only and is in no way a recommendation to consume the herb in any manner, nor is it a guarantee for the spells and lore mentioned.