DON’T YOU DARE PUT SALT IN THE GROUND.
DO NOT CAST SALT CIRCLE IN THE DIRT.
DO NOT SALT THE GROUND TO CLEANSE IT.
DO NOT BURY SACHETS THAT INCLUDE SALT.
STOP SALTING THE GROUND.
YOU WILL MESS UP THE SOIL AND HURT THE PLANT LIFE.
USE SOMETHING ELSE.
Alternatives : rice , potatoes , plant seeds ,sweet onions , eggshels , baked sun water , pocket sand and bones
Here’s a spell I made with Pinecone Pub!
I have been called a witch ever since I was a little girl. It was a way of people labeling me for my extrinsic beliefs and personality. I never was insulted by it because I found a sense of magic in knowing I was different.
Growing up I never felt a part of something, in regards to the spiritual community. There were always too many labels and groups that didn’t fully align with what I believed in. I never had a church to attend or a “bible” to read, instead I found myself collecting parts of cultures and religions that vibed with my soul.
I created my own sense of spirituality through nature, Buddhist verses, and fairytales. I spent my days in the library, reading about Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, Paganism, and Druidism. Like a vision board, I cut and pasted what resonated with me and that became my devotion.
Throughout my life I have met an array of people who have inspired me, from a Medicine Woman to a Gypsy, collecting their wisdom along the way. As I’ve gotten older I have grown into my beliefs, no longer seeking an institution rather knowledge. Books have continued to be my bible, like a gardener I harvest what ignites my being.
With a collage of spiritual insight, I have never felt the need to define myself. But when I read the book Witch by Lisa Lister, I felt an awakening to do just that. After years of research and practice, I declared myself as only spiritual, because I wasn’t fully a Buddhist, Wicca, Pagan, or Druid, they had certain systems that I didn’t agree with. But as I laid out all my beliefs I found that magic flowed through them. Everything was rooted in goddess and nature energy, from praying to the feminist Buddha Tara to moon magick, I was living a witchy life.
Witch. that word sparked something within me. Each time I said it out loud to myself, I felt my body rise with pride. I’ve always had a fascination with witchcraft but I ever took the step to declare myself as one, I felt like it was such a ancient practice that I didn’t know if I belonged. When I learned about the witch trials in grade school and I went home thinking, no wonder I cant have anything close to my neck, I was hung like them.
My child mind felt a deep connection with the witches that I studied in class. I remember walking home from school and pointing my index finger at the trees, imagining that I controlled the wind. It may have been the years of intense bulling that I endured, but I found a sense of power and solitude in all things magic.
The other night I called my father before I went to bed and he told me, “I always knew you were a witch. Ever since you were little you had powers.”
I’ve been blessed with a family that honored by witchiness. Any vision or dream I had, my parents would take them seriously, whether it was taking a different route to school or locking the back door, they respected my intuitive gifts. I never felt ashamed or embarrassed that I felt or saw things differently.
There have been countless times where my visions and intuition have saved my life and others. It is a part of myself that I cant imagine living without.In many ways my parents nurtured that side of me, allowing that sixth sense to grow and strength with me. To this day my parents still honor my visions. somethings they even ask me for intuitive advice.
I am at a point in my life where I feel unconditionally empowered and loved. I am grounded, abundant with knowledge, and secure with myself. I have waded through depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and bulling, to become the woman I am today. If it wasn’t for the darkness of my past, I wouldn’t be shining this bright.
Even as a four year old girl buying her first Buddha, I knew that magic resided within me. I just wasn’t ready to master it. So, over the years I continued to feed that alchemy with a spiritual practice of crystals, meditation, yoga, spells, grids, goddess mythology, prayer, herbalism, sound medicine, and astrology.
I have spent years learning the depth and feminine roots to that word, WITCH. I bow my head to the witchy women before me, listening to their kind whispers, Rise Sister.
I reclaim witchcraft as my path, understanding that it has been with me all along.
Tips for the Dark Half of the Year
Winter is coming quickly. A lot of people see this time of year as bleak, depressing, or just boring. Here are some tips to stay attuned to nature during these months.
❄️ Go outside. Even if it’s cold, the trees are bare, and the only colors are muted and dull. We often think that summer is the only time to enjoy the outdoors—the only time to hike, meditate outside, etc. In winter, there are no lush green trees or balmy days filled with sunshine and the smell of flowers. While summer is intoxicating, winter is a time to contemplate and reflect. Go outside. Feel the cold. Feel the mud and the dead grass and the chilly wind. Listen to how quiet it is. Understand that the dark half of the year is a time of silence, stillness, and death. It’s natural to have an aversion to these things, but take some time to sit down and just listen. Breathe. Feel the reality of silence and death around you. It’s a sobering experience, but also a very insightful one. If you have any fear of death or quiet, now is the time to go sit with those things as they appear in nature and just meditate with them.
❄️ Eat cozy foods. It’s cold outside—warm up with hearty soups, stews, homemade bread, and root veggies. Warm spices and hot drinks will keep you feeling grounded. This is a wonderful time of year to practice kitchen witchcraft—focus on coziness, family, protection, and rest.
❄️ Study magic! The Dark Half of the year is devoted to self-reflection, rest, and contemplation. Snuggle up indoors with a fluffy blanket and devote some time to studying magic and witchcraft with a hot cup of magically-brewed tea.
❄️ Think spirits are sleeping along with all the greenery? Think again! The Dark Half of the year, in many cultures and spiritual traditions, is considered extremely spiritually active. Deities like Odin, Berchta, Hekate, and spirits such as elves and ghosts are very active this time of year. You can choose to honor them if you want, or practice various spirit-working techniques. If you’re into necromancy or divination, this is a wonderful time of year for those things.
❄️ Be kind to local wildlife by installing things like bird feeders outside your home. We modern humans may have an easy time of it in winter, but animals struggle to survive during these months. Any bit of kindness will be much appreciated.
❄️ Nurture your fire energy. During winter, it’s easy to internalize the cold and take on its characteristics—sluggishness, sleepiness, a foggy-headed feeling. Some crystals that are great for winter include golden rutilated quartz (aka Venus hair), citrine, carnelian, obsidian, and garnet. All of these crystals contain a strong fire element as well as offer grounding qualities, mental clarity, and protection.
❄️ Go out and forage for magical ingredients! Melted snow is extremely purifying and can be incorporated into spells for purification and cleansing. Icicles can serve as temporary wands, especially in spells that require a strong water element. The ash from bonfires (or hearth fires) can be used to make black salt. Fallen branches can be crafted into wands. There may be nothing growing this time of year, but you can get creative and still find magical ingredients in unexpected places. Just be respectful and don’t collect from places where it’s illegal!
This is by no means a comprehensive list—these are just some ways I’ve celebrated the colder months. I hope they’re helpful in any way!
A Practical Guide to Herbology
Lesson One: Medicinal Teas
When I was first starting out with herbology, I was living in a small village in Croatia with a total population of less than 100 people. We depended on homemade teas, salves and medicines to heal us since the nearest hospital was two hours away. We treated ourselves with the power of herbs, gifted to us by the Earth.
These days, we can purchase all the tools we need to grow both common and exotic plants. Dried herbs are also another good option, especially for those that cannot grow their own. And with these tools, we can craft our own medicines.
For the first lesson, I’m going to focus on something simple: the art of crafting medicinal tea.
Creating Tea Blends
When starting out with creating medicinal teas, it’s important to understand how each ingredient interacts with our bodies. Be sure that you’re not allergic to any of your herbs and that they won’t interact poorly with any prescribed medications that you’re on. For example, those who are diabetic should not take angelica root; folks who are allergic to ragweed should avoid chamomile.
Here’s a list of common herbs and their functions for the purposes of crafting medicinal teas:
Angelica Root: Soothes colds and flu, reduces phlegm and fever. (Do not use if you are diabetic)
Basil: Eases headaches, indigestion, muscle spasms, insomnia; reduces stress and tension
Blackberry Leaves or Roots: Reduces diarrhea
Catnip: Soothes teething pain, colic, diarrhea, indigestion, anxiety, insomnia. (May cause drowsiness. Avoid if on Lithium or sedatives)
Calendula (marigold): Reduces fevers, soothes indigestion, gastrointestinal cramps, flu; antiseptic. (May cause drowsiness. Avoid if on sedatives)
Cayenne Pepper: Soothes coughs, colds, arthritis (topical), nerve pain, fever, flu; expectorant. (Avoid taking with medications that contain Theophylline).
Chamomile: Reduces insomnia, anxiety, stress, fever, indigestion; aids with sleep and pain relief. (May decrease effectiveness of birth control pills and some cancer medications, may increase the effects of warfarin; avoid if you are taking medications for your liver)
Cinnamon Bark: Soothes sore throats and coughs; anti-inflammatory (Avoid taking with diabetes medications)
Dandelion Root: Detoxifying, aids digestion, relieves constipation, laxative. (Avoid if on antibiotics, lithium or water pills)
Dandelion Leaf: Mild diuretic, potassium-rich (Avoid if on medication for liver)
Elderberries: Wards off colds and flu
Ginger: Eases morning sickness, nausea, colic, indigestion, diarrhea, fever, sore throats. (Avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
Ginkgo: Relieves anxiety, vertigo, tinnitus; improves circulation, helps concentration; helps PMS. (Avoid taking with ibuprofen or with medications that slow blood clotting; numerous medications have interactions with ginkgo so speak to your specialist before use)
Ginseng: Aphrodisiac, mild stimulant, boosts immune system. (Do not take with medications that slow blood clotting, and avoid taking with diabetes medications or with MAO inhibitors)
Goldenrod: Relieves gout and cramps
Lavender: Reduces anxiety, headaches, tension, stress, indigestion, IBS; antibacterial; antiseptic; disinfectant (May cause drowsiness; avoid if on sedatives)
Lemon balm: Relieves anxiety, cold sores, colic, insomnia, restlessness, indigestion; boosts memory (May cause drowsiness, avoid taking with sedatives)
Nettle: Reduces hay fever and arthritis; diuretic. (Avoid taking with diabetes medications, medications for high BP, sedatives, medications that slow blood clotting, and lithium)
Peppermint: Relieves nausea, anxiety, indigestion, IBS, colic, diarrhea, fever, coughs, colds; anesthetic (Avoid if you have acid-reflux disease; avoid taking with cyclosporine; avoid if on liver medications)
Pine Needles: Expectorant; antiseptic; relieves coughs, colds, fever and congestion
Rosemary: Improves focus, memory, concentration, BP, circulation; antiseptic; antidepressant; eases indigestion
Thyme: Antibacterial, antiseptic, eases coughs and colds, expectorant (Do not take with medications that slow blood clotting)
For those starting out, here are a few recipes for common ailments. As you start making your own teas, you’ll learn which blends of herbs work best for your body. Keep track of which ingredients and combinations are successful – with each steep, you get closer and closer to crafting your perfect personalized medicine cabinet.
– ½ tsp chamomile
– ½ tsp lemon balm
– ½ tsp elderberry flower
– ½ tsp thyme
– ½ tsp lavender
– ½ tsp catnip
– ½ tsp rosemary
– ½ tsp basil
– ½ tsp calendula (marigold)
– ½ tsp goldenrod
– ½ tsp ginger
– ½ tsp lemon balm
– ½ tsp peppermint
– ½ tsp pine needles
– ½ tsp nettle leaf
– ½ tsp angelica root
– ½ tsp chamomile
– ½ tsp catnip
– ½ tsp lavender
Sore Throat Relief
– ½ tsp cinnamon (or half a stick)
– ½ tsp ginger
– 1 tbsp honey
– ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
– ½ tsp angelica root
– ½ tsp calendula (marigold)
– ½ tsp lemon balm
Photographs are under the Creative Commons License. Content is from my grimoire and is embedded with information from a variety of sources over the years.
Updated 7 March 2018 with relevant warnings and to be consistent with other posts in this series.
Warnings: All plant material should be sourced appropriately and responsibly for your own safety and well-being. Be certain that you are purchasing food-grade ingredients from a reliable retailer or supplier. Along these lines, not all dried herbs are meant for consumption so please be on the lookout for “external use only” labels – you do not want those products for this.
Do your own research regarding medicinal plants and usage, especially if you are sensitive or have allergies of any kind. If you are on medication(s), consult a doctor before use.
Finally, medicinal teas are a health supplement and not a substitution for professional medical and psychiatric aid. If you are experiencing any prolonged health and/or mental health issues, SEE A DOCTOR.
I’ve compiled some helpful websites and databases for researching herbal medicine + possible interactions with other herbs or medications. (Click me)
Selenite is fossilized salt water, giving it the cyclical energy of lunar and water. This crystal teaches us to ebb and flow, that the light always illuminates the darkness, like a starlight sky.
This self-clearing crystal is perfect for cleansing other spiritual tools. It also aligned and activates the chakras when moved along the body.
Selenite is closely connected with Arianrhod, a welsh moon and star goddess. She shape-shifts into a white owl, she is able to see into the depth of the darkness and seek out the light. The silver wheel is her symbol, the weaving of the moon phases with the Corona Borealis. Arianrhod rules fate, magic, reincarnation, and manifestation. She reigns in her castle (Caer Sidi) among the northern stars. The best time to connect with her is during a full moon for manifesting goals and during the new moon in order to welcome change.
Use the crystal on your alter for a center point of clarity and clairvoyance. Place near you bed to promote peaceful lucid dreams.
Do no run under water, this crystal will dissolve because it’s formed from sacred salt.