Wheel_of_the_Year

Merry Mabon!

How Do You Celebrate the Autumn Equinox

This year, the Autumn Equinox (Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere) begins today on Saturday 21 September and ends tomorrow Sunday 22 September. In Pagan and Wiccan traditions, this is known as “Mabon“.

What is Mabon?

Essentially, Mabon is a celebration of gratitude after the hardwork and toil of the last few months especially, for those following the agricultural calendar. In the Christian church, it is celebrated as the Harvest Festival whilst in the US, although held later in the year, it is akin to Thanksgiving. Throughout history and across religions and cultures, there have been similar celebrations where the central theme is one of thanks, regardless of different beliefs and when the particular celebration falls.

Also, much like the Spring Equinox, the Autumn Equinox is a time of balance as the days and nights now are equally long. It is a time to recognise that the warmth of Summer is behind us and the long, cold nights of Winter lie ahead. A time then to look back and reflect on the spoils of the Summer but to plan and prepare for the Winter.

The Wheel of the Year

“The Wheel of the Year” is effectively a calendar used by Wiccans and Pagans alike, amongst others, with 8 annual celebrations/festivals called Sabbats. Four of these relate to the Sun’s position (the solstices/equinoxes) with the remaining festivals and ceremonies relating to farming/the seasons.

Mabon itself is a relatively new name for the celebration, first surfacing, it is believed, as recently as the 1970s. So who or what was Mabon? Mabon is said to be a Welsh God about whom not that much appears to be known. Often referred to as the “Great Son” of the Earth Mother, there’s an interesting and knowledgeable article on who Mabon was said to be here: https://heartofthewitchspath.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/abcs-of-celtic-mythology-mabon-and-modron/

In Greek mythology, this time of the year was linked to the tales of Demeter, Goddess of the Grain and Harvest, and her beautiful daughter, Persephone whom Hades, God of the Underworld, took a serious liking to and abducted. As the tale goes, Persephone would spend half the year in the Underworld with Hades (Autumn and Winter) and the rest of the year with her mother, Demeter (Spring, Summer).

These are just two of the numerous myths and legends out there used all over the world to explain the key themes of this time of the year, of harvest and gratitude, a time of balancing both the light and the dark. I find it fascinating to see how similar yet different these stories all are.

Traditional Importance of Mabon

In today’s western world, it can be difficult to imagine just what an important time of year this would have been to our ancestors. We live in a world where every conceivable convenience is at hand just by the touch of a button. Not so for our ancestors of course, when one’s very survival through the cold Winter months depended on the harvest of the previous Summer. If it had been a bountiful harvest then all was as well as could be. Had the crops been damaged or failed to grow as anticipated then this would mean a long and difficult time ahead until the following Spring. Not to put to fine a point on it, the toil and hard work of the Summer, as well as the weather and elements, could be the very difference between life and death of a family over the following six months.

Whether Mabon was celebrated by our ancestors is unclear – I guess it depended on how well the harvest did! It would also no doubt depend on how ready they were for the coming Winter. If they were still out in the fields collecting what they could, whilst they would most likely have observed it as being the Autumn Equinox, whether they would have always had time to celebrate the time of year formally doesn’t seem to be well evidenced. More likely it seems they waited for the Sabbat of Samhain, or, as we tend to know it nowadays, Halloween at the end of the harvesting season.

Current Importance of Mabon

My introduction to celebrating this time of year was at primary school when, every year, a Harvest Festival celebration was held in the hall for students, teachers, parents and the residents of a local nursing home. Whilst I never attended a church school, we did celebrate it as a Christian celebration, all pupils sat cross-legged on the hall floor, belting out “We plough the fields and scatter the good seed of the land…” at the top of our lungs, awaiting our turn to go the front and put down our harvest gift, a tin of rice pudding maybe or a tin of beans. The harvest gifts would then be distributed amongst our visitors from the local nursing home before they returned home.

Looking back, I have really fond memories of these times. I doubt I appreciated the real purpose of the event at the time but this definitely felt a genuine time of giving to others who might find Winter more difficult than me and of being grateful, much more so than Christmas even, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

Ways to Celebrate

Schools don’t really seem to make much of the Harvest Festival or similar celebrations these days, which seems a real shame as these nature-based celebrations help to keep us aligned and tuned into the natural world all around us.

So, if you’re interested in moving in harmony through the Wheel of the Year, whether you wish to label yourself as Pagan, Wiccan or indeed anything else, here’s a couple of ideas as to how you can celebrate the Autumn Equinox this weekend:

  • Create a Mabon Altar: take an autumnal walk or have a forage in the back garden for leaves, twigs, berries, using colours and symbols of the autumnal season. You can then add these to any existing altar or display you have in your home as a way of honouring the season.
  • Do an Autumn Clear Out: Like a Spring Clean only six months later! Go through wardrobes and cupboards and take what you don’t want or need to your local charity shop/church/food bank. You may wish to burn incense or try a ritual smudging.
  • Chakra Balancing Meditation: As the duration of the days and the nights are equally long this weekend, this is a perfect time to try a chakra balancing meditation (tons of these on YouTube) to adjust your energetic body to better work with the changing seasonal energies.
  • Have a Wine Tasting Evening: Grab a few friends, a few new bottles of wine and spend the evening enjoying each other’s company and exploring new flavours. Make a theme of it, researching the particular beverage you choose to bring to the gathering to share with your friends.
  • Make a Scarecrow: We visited a local farm a few years ago and had a go at making our own scarecrow, dressing it in one of the old Halloween costumes before bringing it home and popping in our own garden – great fun for all ages as well as a wonderful way to reconnect with the land.
  • Hold a Ritual Ceremony: This could be as simple as lighting two candles, one short and white, one longer and black both lit at the same time and allowed to burn out to honour the light of Summer now giving way to the darkness of Winter. Equally it could include autumnal offerings and/or offerings, prayers or meditations to the Dark Mother/the Crone, the shadow side of the Goddess.
  • Have a Special Dinner: How better to celebrate the time of year than with a home-made meal, celebrated with family, made with all the seasonal foods?
  • Write a Gratitude Journal: I’d recommend doing this frequently throughout the year but if you’re new to the idea, this would be a great time to start your own gratitude journal.

I’d be really interested to hear how you celebrate the changing of the seasons at this time of year – Merry Mabon!

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Toadstools and grass

Looking for Something A Bit Different?

Try This!

Depending on what you mean by “different”, this may or may not be it! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working through a 6-part guided meditation by White Cloud Mystic, who I follow over on You Tube, which I’ve really enjoyed listening to. I’ve included a link to the first one below for anyone who fancies giving it a try.

What is a Guided Meditation?

For those of you who’ve not yet tried a guided meditation, you might wonder what it involves. Generally speaking, guided meditation is where one person leads a person into a meditative state, usually by describing a story or scenario for them to imagine and/or follow the instructions given.

Why I’m Recommending It

Because I enjoyed it and wanted to give others a chance to enjoy it too! It has a really nice simple storytelling style, tone and pace which is so relaxing. I always had a great night’s sleep after listening to one of these.

Sharing here is also a good way for me to make others aware of the channel so that hopefully it grows and we get more great meditations from White Cloud Mystic šŸ™‚

The whole series has a child-like innocence and nostalgia to it where you get to follow your own fairy into a magical world whilst you relax and drift away. There is also, for those interested, the idea that this meditation can be used to develop your own “magic”, whatever that means to you.

Give it a go if you’re interested by clicking on the video above. If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to share with anyone who might benefit from a good night’s sleep tonight!

Which Witch Are You Quiz

Which Witch Are You?

What’s Your Witch-Type?

Much like everyone else, witches and their beliefs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you consider yourself a witch or not, definitely interesting to see which type you’re similar too.

Examples I am probably most familiar with, and described only in basic and general terms, below include:

Traditional Witch:

Studying the craft in a traditional time-honoured sense especially in their locality. Many modern-day witches practice in this way as Traditional Witches. May include a Ceremonial Witch, strongly rooted to ritual and often calling on other beings.

Hereditary Witch:

The Hereditary Witch is born into the craft with practices mainly handed down through generations but still ability to work individually as well. Likely to be more traditional overall.

Kitchen Witch:

Someone using oils, food, cooking and regular goods to work their magick, rituals and spells. I always think of spells as recipes so could be anyone who’s ever followed a food recipe that technically has experienced this to some extent. The difference of course with a Kitchen Witch is that they are consciously aware of how to use and apply these skills to a variety of situations and enjoys doing so.

Solitary Witch:

As the name suggests a witch who chooses to work her magick alone or has yet to find a coven to work with. Blends well with other witch-types. Some believe that Solitary Witches are witches who have been reincarnated, whose knowledge and abilities become available to them upon entering adolescence.

Hedge Witch:

Believed capable of “hedge-jumping” between other worlds and a messenger is the Hedge Witch. Includes working with the elements, astral-projection and/or herbs. May be where the “broomstick” idea came from.

Eclectic Witch:

An Eclectic Witch draws on all different traditions, religions, practices and culture to operate. Makes their own rules. May or may not believe in a deity. More “free styled”.

Other Types of Witch:

Of course, a quick Google check shows that there are literally dozens more that are less familiar to me, including Cosmic or Dianic.

There are also witches that follow a certain founder such as Gerald Gardner, aka the “Father of Wicca”, Wicca being generally considered the modern-day practice of the religion of witchcraft within relatively structured parameters.

Reading through the above list is helpful if you think you could be a mix of more than one. If you’re more interested in just seeing which you’re most like for a bit of fun, I’ve linked to a quiz below on a site I like, MagiQuiz:

https://www.magiquiz.com/quiz/what-kind-of-witch-are-you/

I got Solitary which didn’t surprise me too much but I’d say I’m probably pretty Eclectic too with a splash of Kitchen Witch thrown in for good measure!

Would be great to hear what you got too and if it seemed accurate?

Third Eye

What’s Your Secret Psychic Power?

What “Clair” Are You?

Said to mean “clear”, your “Clair” is what type of vibes or energies come through most clearly to you. Clairvoyance, for example, means clear-seeing so this could be someone who has had full on visions or premonitions or maybe even just snippets of information are seen by them that they aren’t able to fully understand the meaning of immediately.

Further Examples:

Clairaudient: Someone who receives their guidance, messages, intuition, and the like from an inner voice is said to be clairaudient.

Clairsentient: Someone who gets “gut feelings”, an empath who “picks up” on energy around them, other people’s moods or senses a connection to a person or building.

Claircognizant: Where someone receives their messages through an inner knowing often referred to as “downloads” or maybe someone who knows something that they cannot explain where that knowledge comes from.

There are said to be many other types of clair such as clairalience (clear-smelling) and, one I only learned of today, clairgustance (clear-eating!).

To be psychic is to have a way of receiving and understanding the information you are bombarded with on a daily basis which, in my view, is something we all have and use every day without ever really thinking about it. If you are able to believe that the universe is made up of matter and energy, then is it not conceivable that life on earth is capable of tapping into or being affected by those energies and matter in more ways than just the usual 5 senses of taste, touch, hearing, sight and smell?

It’s worth having a think about times in the past when you have just “known” something, something that perhaps you and/or others put down to coincidence or funny timing. What was it that you just “knew”? How did you “know” it? Was it a feeling, a thought, a song you were listening to?

And, if you can’t think of a time why not have a go at this Quiz I found (link below) on PlayBuzz. You might be surprised at the results!

https://pin.it/tbowlcrohrcnu2

I got clairsentient which really wasn’t surprising to me at all. What did you get – do you agree?

The Magick of Herbs – The E’s & F’s

The E’s & F’s

It’s that time of the week again folks when we add another letter (or two!) to our Magickal Herbs Directory. This week, as I only had one ingredient to hand for the E’s, it’s a double-whammy as we examine the F’s too.

To check out the previous week’s edition, which links right the way back to the A’s if you follow it far enough, head here first:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/07/03/the-magick-of-herbs-the-ds/

Whether you seek love, confidence, wealth, health or happiness or to connect with your Higher Power, this week there’s something for everyone…

Elecampane

Related to the daisy, this herb has been used in love spells for centuries and, along with a couple of other herbs, was used to create the well-known “Medieval True Love Powder”. There’s also a link to the elf and fae folk in that if someone was said to be inexplicably fatigued they were thought to be “elf-shot”. Sprinkle in the garden to encourage elves and fae to visit or add to love spells for attracting your true love.

Fennel Seeds

So many uses for this wonder-herb. It can be chewed before giving a speech to encourage confidence and courage or used in a drink or as food seasoning to help combat cravings so perhaps helpful when dieting. In a tea or inhaled it provides clarity and focus so good when revising for tests or exams. Historically, hung over the door of a house to protect the occupants against witchcraft.

Fenugreek Seeds

Known for its ability to attract wealth, health and happiness and to protect against poverty, add some crushed seeds to water and use as a floor-wash or take an empty jar, adding a couple of seeds every day until it is full – once it is full you should receive the abundance you seek. As soon as you have received your bounty, it is said that the seeds should be returned to the ground so bury outside if you wish to remain abundant.

Flaxseed

Another herb known for its prosperity and abundance attracting qualities, flaxseed can also be used, maybe in conjunction with fenugreek seeds as described above, placed in a jar next to the place you sleep (obviously however out of the reach of children) to protect your dreams from nightmares or, as this herb was known as the guardian of children, used in spells, charms or amulets for fertility or to bless/protect a child.

Frankincense

Probably the most pungent of the herbs in today’s list and my favourite. It reminds me of attending church when I was younger and the Nativity Story of course, so unsurprising that it is strongly associated with spirituality, protection, exorcism, consecration and banishing negativity but its links to these uses go right back to ancient times. Frankincense is often crushed and burned with other herbs and resins to cleanse an often sacred area but another use is as an anointing oil when mixed with a carrier and/or other oils.

Short and sweet this week, which is just as well as after my drive across the moors from Manchester to Barnsley and back to see a student today, I’m feeling fairly “elf-shot” myself!

Next week, we’ll continue our journey with the G’s…

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.

The Magick of Herbs – The D’s

The Magick of Herbs –

The D’s

With the powerful New Moon in Cancer now upon us, this week I decided to follow my own advice and set, or rather re-set, my intentions for 2019 in areas where I have drifted off my intended course, set for myself at the start of the calendar year.

Many nature-lovers like myself like to do a “New Moon Ritual” at this time to help cement those intentions more fully so that the are planned and ready to be progressed over the next couple of weeks or so. This doesn’t have to be any more than taking a moment to sit in nature (or indoors if unable to sit outdoors), preferably on the day of the New Moon (or as close to it as possible), meditating on your intentions for the latest Moon cycle and perhaps surrounding yourself with items or trinkets that are important to you and your intentions.

These items could be candles, incense, photos or affirmations, a few helpful herbs…there’s a couple in the article that I think are lovely for adding to your very own New Moon Ritual.

There are loads of articles out there to inspire your New Moon Ritual but I’m something of an improviser! I like to review other people’s ideas and put together my own ritual inspired by others but with my own unique twist and that’s what I’d suggest anyone do. You want to make it feel “special” enough that it’s not something you do every day but not so complicated that you need a set of instructions to follow it!

If you’re interested in how the New Moon might affect your life, feel free to check out the article on it below, along with the link to the previous section on the C’s of our Magickal Herbs directory:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/07/01/how-the-new-moon-energy-could-affect-you-2-9-july-2019/

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/26/the-magick-of-herbs-the-cs/

Otherwise, we progress through our Magickal Herbs A-Z, taking on the D’s….

Daisies

Picked fresh from the garden this evening, most of us will be able to access this plant associated with innocence and child-like love. Many of us will know and have even had a go at the “He loves me; he loves me not” game in our younger years. Given its associations, add liberally to love spells. Alternatively, use in a new baby blessing, perhaps in a baby-shower gift for the parents?

Damiana

Another wonderful ingredient for love spells. Damiana, however, is much more lusty, sexual and passionate than the innocent daisy above so you probably wouldn’t want to include both in the same spell! A good example of why it’s important to set intentions before working with herbs and ingredients to better make use of their gifts. Other uses include opening of chakras and deep meditation. Works well with quartz. Best to not ingest this one.

Dammar Gum

In Malaysian, “Dammar” means “light” and therefore this gum is said to bring lightness to a dark soul. Cleansing of negativity; depression; sadness; and melancholy, it is also believed to be healing and useful in divination and psychic practices, it’s light-bringing qualities helping to raise our awareness.

Dandelion Leaf

Another good ingredient for enhancing powers of divination, psychic abilities and particularly potent at summoning spirits! A purifier, it is a cheery, healing herb and useful to carry as a charm or used in a wishing spell.

Dead Nettle (Red)

This herb is said to be protective, good for friendships and relationships of all sorts, also with a happy, cheerful vibe so may be useful in incense. It can be added to teas or salads, raw or cooked. One particularly good herb for me to use with my New Moon Ritual as it has a grounding, determined energy to it, said to help with willpower!

That brings us to the end of the D’s in our directory. Enjoy the New Moon energies and set yourself some great intentions, maybe even taking part in your very own ritual to help strengthen your resolve. Next week we’ll take a look at both the E’s and the F’s. See you then!

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.

The Magick of Herbs – The C’s

The Magick of Herbs – The C’s

Feeling under the weather this week with a cold, I write whilst currently sipping on a lemon and ginger herbal tea which is most definitely helping when standard Western medicine (Sudafed!) really hasn’t. So whilst I don’t exactly feel like writing, I’m spurred on by the hope that some of what I write may help others understand, appreciate and make use of the magickal powers of herbs.

Continuing with our A-Z guide to herbal magick, this week we take a look at the Cā€™s. To catch up with last week’s guide to the B’s, click the link below:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/19/the-magick-of-herbs-the-bs/

Cattail Seeds

Cattail is commonly used in passion and lust spells and carrying some in a charm is said to increase a woman’s libido should she wish to. It is particularly good as fire kindling which is perhaps where it’s associations with lust and passion arise from.

Chamomile

A herb still revered today for its healing and sleep-inducing qualities, often mixed with apple and used in herbal teas. Peaceful and tranquil it can be used in love spells or to purify ritual tools. It can be added to a bath to either unbind from an unwanted person/lover and their energies or to attract new love. It can also be used by gamblers as a lucky hand-wash.

Cinquefoil (Five-Finger Grass)

The 5 “fingers” of cinquefoil are thought to be useful in attracting money, wisdom, power, health and love so would work well in related spells and rituals. Medicinally, it has been used as a tincture for bruising and to reduce inflammation and fever. In herbal teas, it is thought to aid with digestive difficulties.

Cleavers

For those wishing to encourage commitment and fidelity in relationships, carrying cleavers as a charm or amulet is said to increase one’s prospects. It can be used in spells concerning difficult love relationships to bind another to you. Can be added to teas, soups and juices to reduce bloating and has also been used medicinally to reduce wound inflammation.

Conkers

A much-loved favourite of school children everywhere back in my day! Conkers, carried as a charm/amulet are said to bring luck and prosperity to the carrier and are especially effective carried in a green bag, wrapped in a money-note. Simply rubbing a well-looked after conker is considered lucky in itself. As the shape of the conker is similar to testicles, they are also said to increase fertility in males.

Coriander Seeds

If looking to draw in new love, coriander seeds carried in a red bag with the name of the person you are trying to attract, are said to bring in lust and passion and would be a powerful combination with cleavers (see above). They too are a helpful addition to fidelity spells as well as being a charm against illness. They can be added to a bottle and placed decoratively round the home to increase happiness as well as being used as a purifier in divination.

That brings our brief journey through the C’s of the herbal world to a close. Were there any surprises? Personally, I’ll never see conkers the same again! Join us next week as we move onto the D’s….

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.

Ready to Unlock the Mysteries of the Tarot?

Ready to Unlock the Mysteries of the Tarot?

Introduction

Tarot decks, in some form or another, have been around for centuries, with some tracing their origins back to the ancient world such as Ancient Egypt, whilst others say that their use didn’t actually originate in a form recognisable today until more like the 15th century, most commonly linked with places such as Italy and France.

Maybe it’s the fact that the origins of the cards themselves cannot fully be explained that continues to create the air of mystery that surrounds tarot reading even now in the 21st century, along with the numerous myths, beliefs and superstitions relating to the subject.

To learn more about the basics of the tarot, feel free to check out the linked article:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/astrology-divination/tarot-oracle-cards/

What Makes the Tarot So Mysterious?

Whenever I tell someone that I read the tarot, their reaction to this information can be quite fascinating itself. Some are intrigued and express an interest in having a reading, others tell me they think it’s a load of mumbo-jumbo, whilst quite a few inform me that they have heard that the tarot is “evil” and that it’s a type of black magic or satanic which, frankly, really surprises me in this day and age.

But maybe the real secrets of the tarot lie in its simplicity. Whether your question, query or problem is straightforward or more complicated, the images on the cards will always prompt a reaction of some sort. It does not matter if the issue relates to love, career, travel, family, friendship or something else, the images on the cards and their general meanings do not change.

The type of question asked, the deck and spread used as well as the card’s position in the spread, whether it is being read in its upright or reversed meaning and how to read the cards as a whole within the spread i.e. how they relate to one another, do of course change the messages revealed in a reading but the actual meaning of the cards themselves are constant when looked at in their general sense.

So, Can Anyone Work With the Tarot?

What I think makes the cards so mysterious is the belief that only “readers” can understand the messages of the tarot. Whenever I read for someone, I encourage them to be an active part of the reading, rather than passively waiting for the meaning of the cards to be dictated to them.

In this sense, my role as “the reader” is far more rewarding – the person being read for becomes able to read the cards themselves, guided by me on some of the more complex aspects of tarot reading e.g. the card placement, how each card relates to the other cards in the spread, astrological links and any additional information that is specific to the spread and deck being used.

Whenever I’ve used this technique, the querent (person asking the question) becomes able to tell the story revealed in the images on the cards themselves – who knows the querent and their particular situation better than they do? Often they start off visibly nervous and/or anxious about what the cards might tell them but, as the reading progresses, their confidence in understanding the general messages of the tarot also becomes apparent as they realise the power they hold in working with the messages received.

How to Unlock the Mysteries of the Tarot Then?

The quickest way to start getting to grips with the mysteries of the tarot is to buy yourself a deck and begin with the Major Arcana (the cards numbered from Card 0 The Fool to Card 21 The World) and jot down whatever comes to mind when you look at those cards.

You can then compare your own impressions with whatever it says in the guidance book accompanying your deck. Were there any similarities/differences in what you felt or thought when you looked at the cards and what the book says? It doesn’t mean that your insights were “wrong” so it’s important not to second guess yourself at this point. You have just picked up on some individual messages and energies that may well be unique to you. You may wish to start your own “tarot journal” where you pull one card per day from the Major Arcana and see if the messages you receive over time change at all. Jot it all down in your journal. In this way, you build up your knowledge of the traditional meanings of the cards at the same time as learning to listen and trust your own intuitive messages. I still get new messages coming through with decks and spreads I’ve used for years and that really is part of the mystery of the tarot.

Want to Learn More?

I suggest working with the Major Arcana first as these tend to represent more obvious energies or situations that we are familiar with than the Minor Arcana at first glance.

However, I do understand that many people prefer to be “taught” how to read the cards and their energies. As a result, I’ve decided to begin working on a Free E-Book which can be used to help direct you through the mysteries of the Major Arcana and, if this proves popular, this can be expanded on to include the Minor Arcana also.

If this is something that you think could be of interest to you, leave me a comment as I intend to make the first copy of this Free E-Book available to those who express interest in it first and foremost by setting up a regular, members-only, email subscription just for those who sign up for this exclusive content.

So, Are you Ready to Unlock the Mysteries of the Tarot?

Sun in wooded glade

Summer Solstice Sunset 2019

A Lovely End to the Solstice

It’s 10:25 PM here in Manchester and the sun is just dipping below the Pennines.

Photo doesn’t do it justice; literally took my breath away as I entered my bedroom.

Litha/Summer Solstice Chan
A sacred time for many

Happy Summer Solstice – it’s been a beautiful day and evening x

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The Magick of Herbs – The B’s

The Magick of Herbs – The B’s

Continuing with our A-Z guide to herbal magick, this week we take a look at the B’s.

To see last week’s guide to the A’s click here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/08/the-magick-of-herbs-the-as/

Barberry Bark

A useful herb for blocking an enemy or in uncrossing or cleansing spells. Try adding a little to an uncrossing bath concoction to remove bad luck or to a floor wash to remove negativity from the home.

Bay Leaf

Long known for its protection in avoiding hexes and jinxes, bay leaves have been used traditionally to ward off evil by burning. They are also useful in divination and psychic development and encourage dreams of prophecy. Taking a leaf and writing a wish on it before burning is another of its uses.

Bed Straw

A herb considered of assistance to those seeking love, bed straw can be carried or worn as a charm or amulet or be added to love spells. Sprinkle a little round the base of a pink candle during a love spell using in combination with rose petals to enhance its love-attracting qualities.

Benzoin

Benzoin has a reputation as a herb that can be used in the cleansing and purification of ritual tools. It can be burned as an incense to raise vibrations as a supporting herb during spellwork or divination, and is considered to bring prosperity in matters of business, increasing one’s focus and concentration powers.

Bistort Root

Worn as a charm or amulet, bistort root can be a luck or money attracting talisman. It can also be carried by those wishing to increase their fertility. Due to its protective attributes, it is also said to assist in exorcisms by sprinkling a little in the area you wish to banish something from. A useful aid in ridding oneself from fake friends. Used in combination with frankincense, it is also said to boost psychic powers.

Bladderwrack

Due to its links to the sea, Bladderwrack is used in travel spells especially in journeys by boat/ferry or even crossing water by air, often carried as a protective charm.

Boneset

Another protective herb, boneset prevents being jinxed or cursed when carried as a charm. Other uses are in uncrossing, cleansing and exorcisms when one use would be to drink as a herbal tea. Its medicinal properties include banishing colds/flu. Sprinkled around the home as a floor sweep is one way of using boneset.

Burdock Leaf

A purifying and protecting herb, used in a wash or poultice, it is said to heal wounds. A charm can be made from the burdock leaf and placed decoratively round the home as protection for all who live there. This herb can also be used as a “wishing” herb by burning its leaves whilst focusing on your desire as if it is already true.

Burdock Root

Linked with the leaves from the same plant (see herb above), burdock root is cleansing and protecting so would be helpful in uncrossing spells and protection charms. It is also said to increase male virility.

Burnet

Burnet is another herb with protective qualities so can be used to consecrate an area before spellwork or in counter-magick, uncrossing, cleansing and unbinding. Medicinally it is said to stop/slow bleeding and therefore to be particularly good for healing spells. Known for bringing a lightness of heart and spirit, it is also said to ease depression and low-mood and can be added to drinks and/or salads.

A quick at-a-glance guide to the B’s in our magickal herbs directory. Next week we proceed onto the C’s….

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.