Happy Celtic New Year!

Samhain Celebrations

As I’ve dived deeper into the ancient history and culture of Great Britain these last 12 months or so, purely out of personal interest, I’ve been delighted to discover just how many of our “modern-day” celebrations and traditions are far more ancient than I initially thought.

Modern or Ancient Traditions?

I’ve known since I was a pretty young child that Christmas, for example, was in fact a Pagan holiday allegedly hijacked by the early Christian church as a way to cement the new religion of Christianity on the people but allowing them to celebrate in a way and at a time they were used to, albeit under a different name. Originally known here as Yule by the Celts and later as Saturnalia following the Roman invasion, many of the traditions of Christmas such as decorating homes with holly, mistletoe and even decorating a tree clearly pre-date Christ’s birth. Why at this time of the year? It coincided with the Winter Equinox, a time that marks when the shortest day/longest night of the year, and was really a celebration of light and dark, like so many ancient celebrations.

I remember learning at school that Halloween was really All Hallows’ Eve, as 1 November was All Saints’ Day, being a day to remember Christian saints and martyrs. In fact, from what I’ve read since, Pope Boniface IV only created this celebration in the year 609 and purposely chose the date to coincide with the date Samhain was celebrated, again to replace the Pagan holiday.

More recently, as I started researching Samhain and how it used to be celebrated by the Celts, I was interested to note that bonfires would be lit. This raised the obvious question to me – is our modern day celebration of Bonfire Night here in the UK somehow linked to Samhain rather than Guy Fawkes? I can’t blame the Christian church for this (who I have nothing against by the way!) – whilst at the time there was a war waging between Protestants and Catholics and had been since the time of the Restoration, I think this was more a case of old habits of the people die hard, and celebrating Bonfire Night kept the old tradition alive, just for different reasons. It was a good way for those who still followed the old faith to practice the traditions of the ancient religion without arousing suspicion from those who would otherwise have called them witches and heretics. Confessing to being either Catholic or Pagan back then would likely lead to the same outcome – execution – frequently by burning!

Traditional Samhain Celebrations

Samhain was a 3-day festival honoured by the ancient Celtic pagans here in the UK during the time of the Iron Age, which means “summer’s end”, thus ushering in the Celtic new year. Some of the key themes believed to have been part of Samhain include:

  • Cycle of death and rebirth celebrated as the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter;
  • Final preparations for winter e.g. crops, animal sacrifices;
  • Bonfires/fire festivals to mark the autumn equinox and the start of the dark half of the year;
  • Visibility of the gods by humans, the occult and spirits from the Otherworld;
  • Offerings left for visiting spirits;
  • Playing of pranks and tricks;
  • Fortune-telling for the year to come;
  • Dressing up/costume wearing.

Do any of these look familiar?

When I was little, we were not allowed to go trick or treating as my mother classed it as “begging” and believed also that it was unsafe. We did go to family Halloween parties, bobbing for apples, dressing up usually in a black bin bag with witch face paint on and, with my mum’s birthday being on Bonfire Night, we usually celebrated that too by having a bonfire in the back garden and watching everyone else’s fireworks (being not very well off ourselves!).

Some people say that Halloween has become too “Americanised” but I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. For our honeymoon, my husband and our kids went to Florida in October/November and if there’s one thing Americans do fantastically well in my view, it’s got to be Halloween!! Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights are fantastic and Disney’s Not So Scary Halloween equally fun for little ones. In the UK, Alton Towers and a lot of farms put on some great events too with Halloween being more popular than ever these days. What a wonderful way to keep the old beliefs and traditions of our ancestors alive and kicking for future generations!

I personally feel like I’ve really connected with the Samhain celebration this year. I love that traditionally it was a way to remember those who have gone on to the spirit world and I’ve now discovered that Bonfire Night may be linked to the festival too. My mum died at only 53 a few years ago and with Bonfire Night being her birthday, it has given a special day even more meaning for me.

The kids, me and the dog all went trick or treating and I was blown away by some of the effort people went to this year – fantastic and all in the name of good fun.

Now I’m off to put the pumpkins to good use and make a warming pumpkin soup for supper – yum!

Tarot Cards Anne Stokes www.myholisticliving.co.uk

Energy Tarot Reading: November 2019

November 2019

With Halloween, also known as Samhain, just around the corner, what better time to put to use my new Anne Stokes’ Gothic Tarot Cards, gifted to me last month by my husband for our wedding anniversary.

As this is a general energy reading for November 2019, obviously take what resonates for you from your reading below. If it’s not something that seems relevant to you and your life then these messages won’t be for you this time. If you’re looking for more personalised messages then feel free to contact me for a personal reading, details and packages of which can be found over at our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/HolisticLivingWithCarla/

Your Reading

Tarot Cards Anne Stokes www.myholisticliving.co.uk
Picking your Cards…

Four of Swords Tarot Cards Anne Stokes www.myholisticliving.co.uk

Four of Swords (reversed):

The Swords denote intellect, thoughts, mental stimulation with the four being a time for deep reflection and meditation, musings and pondering. A time to be alone with one’s thoughts to gain a better understanding of a situation.

If you’ve never tried meditation before, this could be a perfect time to give it a try and, with being reversed, suggests to me that is something that you are sorely in need of.

The Empress Tarot Cards Anne Stokes www.myholisticliving.co.uk

The Empress:

A maternal, earthy energy, nurturing and creative. It can of course denote an actual pregnancy or be metaphorical such as birthing a new project or idea.

She is the power behind the Emperor’s throne; a source of inner strength and a wise and loving ruler.

Maybe a time to show your nurturing side – whether to yourself or others.

The Chariot

The Chariot:

A change of energies here, suggestive of a time of picking up the pace, maybe feeling pulled in all directions, forward movement, travel, victory and progress.

It feels as though the end of November could start to get extremely busy for you with you maybe feeling like you’ve taken on too much. Stick with it as the card in the upright position suggests you are moving in the right direction.

Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords:

Another card of the Swords suit. The Ace is the beginning and, being Swords, suggests the beginning of an idea or thought.

Your mind becomes consumed as the seeds of a new idea begin to take hold. Think it over carefully before deciding how to act. Your thinking is likely to be razor-sharp at this time.

Tarot Reading https://myholisticliving.co.uk/
Your Cards

The Takeaway

This felt a very clear message for those it is meant for; if you’re feeling burnt-out, stressed, over-stretched, indecisive, unsure or just out of sorts in any way, what have you got to lose by spending 5 minutes a day in silent reflection with yourself. You may be thinking that you can’t spare 5 minutes a day, but as someone who often feels the same, I know my day always feels much calmer and do-able when I take the time to meditate, especially in the morning.

This would coincide with the message of The Empress – nurturing yourself is a way of not only loving yourself but in doing so you are better able to nurture and love others. Meditation is an easy and effective way to do that. Carve out just 5 minutes a day for yourself to sit with yourself and your thoughts and listen to the sound of your breathing. Meditation is not about not thinking. Rather it is to simply observe your thoughts, which will come, and become aware of them. Then bring it back to the present by simply focusing on your breathing.

And you’re going to need those 5 minutes a day to yourself to better handle the faster-paced energies of The Chariot in the latter half of November when you become even busier. Take the time now to establish the habit of meditation and it will pay dividends for you at this hectic time.

The end of November feels calmer again, if you’ve listened to the guidance and messages from your Higher Self and carved out just 5 minutes a day to nurture yourself through meditation, even through the busy times. In doing so, you’ll sharpen your mental strength and might just hit on a fantastic new idea – be sure to think it through from all angles whilst your wits are about you. This is not the time to act but to enjoy the birthing of a new idea.

Until next time…

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!

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 🙂

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 C’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?