Hyacinth Tincture

“If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.” –James Terry White (1907), Not by Bread Alone

According to ancient Roman mythology, Hyacinth was a beautiful young man. This mortal was the faithful lover of the god Apollo. As usual, the pantheon of gods was rife with jealously. No one was more envious of their relationship than the West Wind, Zephyr. Enjoying the company of one another, Apollo and Hyacinth started a game of discus. Hyacinth ran to catch the discus, as any fool-hearty lover might to impress their significant other. Zephyr blew Apollo’s discus off course, which mortally wounded the young man. Apollo rushed to his love, denying Pluto claim to the boy’s soul. Instead, Apollo crafted a flower, the hyacinth, from the spilled blood. His tears stained the flower’s petals as sign of his grief. Despite this tragic origin, the hyacinth has often been associated with playfulness, games, and recreation: a reminder of Hyacinth’s impish nature.CBnCuDjUAAAONtB

Today, I thought it appropriate to write a blog post about a Hyacinth tincture I made a few weeks ago and completed today. A tincture is a concentrated liquid form of an herb or flower (similar to a cooking extract). Tinctures preserve the properties of the herb, while also making them last longer! In fact, alcohol based tinctures have a shelf life of several years. Most tinctures can be used both externally and orally. Always keep in mind, however, to fully research a flower or herb’s toxicity prior to use. I encourage you to try making your own tinctures, as they are very inexpensive (compared to store bought)! They are great for medicinal or ritual purposes. For example, the pink hyacinth flowers I used for my tincture will help in any spells pertaining to recreation or playfulness. Who doesn’t need a little fun in their lives every once in a while?

Below, I have outline the method I find most useful for the process!


 Supplies:

-A clean glass jar with a lid

-Consumable 80 proof alcohol (I use vodka)

-Herb/flower of choice (dried or fresh)

Most tinctures have an alcohol base, as it makes them last longer. You can use vodka, rum: really any alcohol except isopropyl! Tinctures can also be made with a glycerine, vinegar, or honey base, but we can leave that for another instructional post.

CBnCu3LUgAA4GsB

Fill the jar 3/4 full with the herbs. Do not pack down, movement is necessary!

Fill the jar with alcohol and stir with a clean spoon.

Put the lid on the jar (I use a pickling jar to seal in freshness!). Store the jar in a cool/dry place, shaking daily for at least three weeks. Optimally, store for six weeks.

Strain through a cheesecloth. Store the tincture in a clean glass jar.

NOTE: Alcohol evaporates, so check regularly to make sure the herbs are always completely submerged. Similarly, try not to open the jar often—this could increase the risk of introducing bacteria which can result in mold or fermentation.CBnCvzdUIAAiG0V

If you replicate this recipe with the hyacinth, I would not recommend taking this tincture orally. This flower is sometimes confused with hibiscus which is edible. Many parts of the hyacinth, on the other hand, are poisonous. Although I have not found any warnings against the consumption of the flowers, I would not suggest it. Instead, use this tincture as a perfume.

Pax et Bonum,
Meadow

Seedlings from Imbolc Part 2

This is a continuation of the ritual from Imbolc and the first update. I will jump right in and discuss some of the magickal properties of the plants that have sprouted.

2015-03-05_11.22.17Parsley, as is often the case with green herbs, can be used to increase prosperity. Further, parsley can be used to purify oneself or end misfortune when added to a bath. For the home, parsley can calm and protect as well as create a general sense of well being. When used in spell work, strength and vitality are increased after an illness. However, some sources consider parsley to be an evil herb and cutting the plant may be also cutting back your luck and/or love! Parsley is masculine, is under the rule of Mercury and the element of air.

Parsley must go to the devil and back nine times before sprouting

– Folk saying (concerning the time it takes to sprout)

serrano_peppers_bg
Photo: http://www.turnernewzealand.com

Two types of peppers were planted (Serrano Chili and Jalapeno). Not much about the magickal properties of these specific peppers could be found, however there is some information concerning chili peppers in general. Chili peppers can be used to break a hex as well as in fidelity and love spell work. Dried peppers or seeds can be added to love spells to increase passion in a relationship. Peppers are masculine, ruled by Mars, and (not surprisingly) under the element of fire.

It is better to eat pepper and be happy, than eat honey and be sad – African Proverb

marigold
Photo: Karen Juliano http://www.flickr.com/photos/31068810@N02/6147508777/

Marigold is mainly used for love and attraction spell work. It can be used to attract respect, admiration, new love or add life to a current relationship. Marigold can be placed above the bed to cause prophetic dreams, or under the bed for protection. One of the major magickal properties of marigold is related to psychic energies as it can help with prophesy and clairvoyance.

Calendula (marigold) strengthens the heart exceedingly – Culpepper

Hopefully this inspires some to plant some of these magickal herbs for your own spell work.

Blessed be, Luna

Color Magick

“The tulip is, among flowers, what the peacock is among birds. A tulip lacks scent, a peacock has an unpleasant voice. The one takes pride in its garb, the other in its tail.” -French Proverb

For centuries, tulips splattered color across the fields of Persia and Turkey. These flowers were the inspiration for noble and elegant art pieces across Asia and Europe. Europeans mistakenly gave tulips their name, from the Turkish tradition of wearing tulips in the turban. Tulip = Turban? Not too far a stretch! The flower’s popularity spread quickly during the 17th century, particularly in the Netherlands. Tulips are now grown throughout the world, but most people still identify cultivated varieties as common “Dutch tulips.”

IMG_1583

The symbolic meaning of tulips is generally means “a perfect love.” Very befitting as a live Valentine’s Day gift! Like many flowers, different colors carry their own significance. Red tulips strongly associated with true love, while purple represents royalty. Yellow tulips once are now a common expression for cheerful thoughts and playful love. White tulips can send a message of forgiveness and variegated tulips, once among the most popular varieties, mean “You have beautiful eyes.” While it is easy to go on forever assigning symbolic meaning to flowers, it may suffice to move on to the significance of color magick.

4bef3d22de88c98aa067f3f370700f40
NaturalCarisma Blogspot

With any sort of flower, you can use the different colored variations in color magick. With tulips, for example, a witch can use a dark strain such as “Queen of the Night” for full moon rituals or bright red or pink flowers for spells to increase passion.

Adding color to your altar is simple. You can use clothing, altar cloths, candles, or flowers in colors associated with the intent of your spell or ritual. Some witches even write their spells using special ink or colored pencils with a corresponding color palate. Below is a small reference table of colors and their meanings. TheMagickalCat has a splendid article for color correspondences. I have included their table for your use when gathering/working with the natural world.

Black: Grounding, wisdom, learning, protection, safety, reversing, uncrossing, unhexing, repelling black magick, banishing negativity, releasing, shapeshifting, defense, scrying, pride.

Blue: Communication, will power, focus, forgiveness, good fortune, weight loss, truth, fidelity, patience, domestic harmony, organization, removing bad vibrations, sincerity, astral projection, water element.

Brown: House blessing, animal/pet magick, earth magick, concentration, material goods, stability, locating lost objects, earth element, real estate, construction, food, financial crisis.

Copper: Business success, passion, money, fertility, career growth.

Gold: Masculine divinity, great fortune, abundance, prosperity, male energy, understanding, divination, fast luck, solar/sun energy, positive attitude, justice, health, attraction, luxury.

Gray: Loneliness, glamour, contemplation, removing negative influence.

Green: Prosperity, abundance, money, physical & emotional healing, growth, luck, marriage, tree/plant magick, acceptance, weather, counteract envy/greed/jealousy.

Andy Small Fine Art Photography

Indigo: Spiritual guidance, psychic ability, stop gossip/lies, dignity, divination, meditation, ambition, overcome depression.

Lavender: Knowledge, intuition.

Light Blue: Spirituality, tranquility, peace, protection.

Orange: Creativity, self-expression, intellectual matters, overcoming addiction, legal matters/justice, joy, business success, ambition, vitality, fun, action, opportunity, celebration, investments.

Pink: Love, compassion, nurturing, femininity, friendship, romance, partnership, spiritual & emotional healing, protection of children, domestic harmony, self-improvement, maturity.

Purple: Wisdom, influence, spiritual power, contact with spirits, drive away evil, change luck, independence, government, break habit.

Red: Passion, vitality, strength, survival, fertility, courage, sexual potency, mercy, action, danger, war, fire element, conflict, sports, independence, assertiveness, competition.

Silver: Feminine divinity, stability, psychic awareness, intuition, dreams, victory, meditation, communication, moon magick, gambling luck.

Violet: Spirituality, connection to higher self, Goddess, insight, clarity, tension.

White: All purpose, unity, purity, cleansing, peace, balance, spirituality, healing, innocence, rain, magick involving young children, truth, consecration, balancing the aura.

Yellow: Pleasure, success, happiness, learning, memory, concentration, persuasion, inspiration, imagination, solar magick, charm, confidence, air element, travel, flexibility.

cf78b72a0c8c3d57404ec1f4dbb60765
Unknown Photographer (Pinterest)

Color has an effect on our brains and it can produce raw emotion. It can affect an individual’s mood and stimulate even awareness. That said, it is comes as no surprise that color has been used in modern medical, psychiatric, and educational practices. The ancients practiced forms of color magick that many of us are familiar with today. To be successful with this type of magick, keep this in mind: Colors used for spell work should evoke a unique inner response. Each response can be different and vary from person to person. Thus, colors must have meaning to the person using them, in order for color magick to really work. Experiment and see what works for you! If you have worked with color magic or have further questions regarding the topic, please leave your responses in the comment section below.

Pax et Bonum,

Meadow


See more at:
http://www.themagickalcat.com/Articles.asp?ID=241#ixzz3RkM3nigm
http://www.proflowers.com/blog/history-and-meaning-of-tulip
http://www.angelfire.com/la/redwitch1/colors.html

Seedlings from Imbolc Part 1

Hello all!

This is an update on how my little seedlings from Imbolc are doing. To give newcomers a little bit of background, these seeds were planted in the days leading 2015-02-14_15.53.49 up to Imbolc. They were then dedicated and blessed in a ritual that was performed on Imbolc. For the full reference there are links to the preparation before and after Imbolc. So far only the sage, thyme, basil, and oregano have sprouted. Since these were the first to sprout and announce to the world that they are here, I will write about each of their magickal properties and when the others sprout I will write about them as well.Sage

Why should a man die who has sage in his garden? – proverb

Sage is masculine in nature and associated with the element of air and the planet Jupiter. Sage is commonly used to smudge and purify the body as well as the home. It is also used in magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes.

Often thyme can be used to promote restful sleep or in healing rituals. Burning thyme in your bowl or cauldron may help give you courage to face a confrontation, as the ancient Romans were known to bathe in thyme before combat to increase courage and strength. Further, carrying around sprigs of thyme in your pocket can aid in developing psychic powers. Thyme is associated with the feminine, the element of water, and is ruled by Venus.

Never enough thyme – proverb

Basil has a long history, but is commonly used to focus the mind and attract peace2015-02-14_15.51.14 and harmony. You may place basil in different places within your house for protection. Basil is also used in peacemaking rituals after a quarrel. Basil is associated with the masculine, fire, and the planet Mars.

Magic originating from the Mediterranean area consider oregano a protection herb. Planting oregano around your home helps ward off negative energy. It is associated with the feminine, Aphrodite, and the element air.

This just goes to show that white and green magick really go hand in hand. If it were not for the plants, we would have little power. This is true of all life, we cease to exist without the earth and all that flows from it.

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them. – Liberty Hyde Bailey

2015-02-14_15.52.31Blessed be, Luna

How to Know if You Are a Green Witch

Are you the type of person who stops to admire the red-breasted robin as he bathes in a puddle? Do you pause during walks to listen to the whispering leaves or laughing flowers? If you are fascinated by the natural world or even man-made gardens, you might be a Green Witch.

Green Magick is ultimately an earth-oriented type of witchcraft. In the wise words of Wendell Berry, “If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life: worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds… Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long.” The very essence of our humanity is connected directly to the earth. For millions of years, it has nourished and rejuvenated mankind. This relationship is sought after by many modern day Green Witches. Plagued by the hustle and bustle of urban living, the Green Witch seeks comfort in ancient rituals. The dirt, trees, herbs, plants, and flowers all have an energy.

Green practitioners consult these friends for their medicinal and magical value. They choose to grow their own herbs or gather them from the wild (also known as Wildcraft). With patience and time, Green Witches learn to make herbal remedies, craft teas, and maintenance gardens. That said, it is important to remember that the spirits of nature, the dead (of humans and animals), and the Fey play a significant role in the Green tradition.

Another point to address is the difference between a Hedge Witch and a Green Witch. Those who practice Hedge Craft walk a more shamanic path. Hedge Witches engage in spirit flight and can journey into the Other World, an amazing accomplishment for any witch. Thus, the term “hedge” signifies the boundary between this world and the spiritual realm. Similar to Green Witches, a Hedge Witch may also work as an herbal healer or even a midwife. While some differences seem drastic, it is NOT impossible for a Green Witch to become a Hedge Witch, or vice versa. A simple label cannot define you as a witch or restrict you to certain abilities. If you practice and stay true to the path, you can master any craft you want.

While many witches are born with a natural affinity, an individual has a choice in which craft they wish to pursue. Green, White, Traditional, Hedge, or Sea Witches are all welcome to our circle. Please understand though, Black Magick is NOT practiced by any member in the Circle of the PussyWillows.  Black magic is a dark art, because it is used to obtain something by means of controlling someone else. Our circle does not promote Magick for personal gain.

So, are you a Green Witch? Do you have any questions or experiences you want to share? Post them in the comments below.

Merry part,

Meadow