Smudging

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Originally posted on Spiritlore:

Smudging is the traditional Native American practice of using the smoke of burning herbs to cleanse the mind, body and spirit.

Today, it is generally used to break old patterns in one’s emotional sphere, thoughts and surroundings. If you have been experiencing low vibrations or conflict in your life it often leaves an imprint on you, or your environment. This can perpetuate negativity beyond the issues that brought it about. One way to dispel this kind of lingering energy is through smudging!

Today we smudge in a variety of different ways, to cleanse living spaces, objects and our own energy field. Smudging is very personal to the practitioner. There is no right or wrong way to do this – go with what you feel, and make it your own! The following examples are for general information.

If you are interested in smudging you should consider the following:

  • Tools + herbs
  • Space
  • Intent

Tools

smudge tools

A smudge bundle…

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Yule in the Southern Hemisphere and Litha in the Northern Hemisphere

As I sit in front of the fire watching the flames flicker and glow, I wish for those in the Southern Hemisphere a wondrous feast day. May it bring bright blessings and joy to all.

Blessed Be!

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YULE

Also known as Jul, Yuletide, Feill Fionnain, Alban Arthan.
Deities: Frey, Nerthus, Woden, Herne, Oak King, Holly King, Sul, Amaterasu, Isis, Osiris, Apollo.
Colours: Red, green, silver, gold, white.
Incense: Pine, cedar, frankincense and myrrh, cinnamon, orange.
Traditional Motifs: Evergreens, mistletoe, ivy, snowflakes, yule log, gifts, bells, solar disks, candles.

Yule comes from a Nordic word “Iul” meaning “wheel” and is a turning point, a point of change, where the tides of the year turn and begin to flow in the opposite direction. It is the darkest time of the year, the time of the longest night, but there is the promise of the return of light. Holly and mistletoe are often thought of at this time as they symbolise fertility – the mistletoe berries are white, representing the semen of the Horned God, and the holly berries are blood red, symbolising both the menstrual blood of the Goddess.

Evergreen trees also represent youth and freshness, and are symbols of the promise of spring. A Yule custom, still practised at Christmas (the time of Yule in the Northern Hemisphere) is to dress an evergreen tree, and make offerings. Pagans honour the spirit of the tree, and what it represents. The tree may be decorated with appropriate offerings such as fruit, pine cones, jewellery, symbols of the sun, symbols of fertility, etc. The star is put on the top of the tree as a sign of hope, the Goddess rising as the Star of the Sea, such as Isis, Ishtar, Aphrodite.

The God represents the Sun who passed away at Samhain, and will now be reborn after this long night to bring warmth and fertility to the land. The night belongs to the Goddess, and is a night of waiting, through Her pregnancy, for the Child of Promise. The Goddess turns the Wheel of the Year to its starting point for the morning after the longest night, Pagans greet the new Sun and celebrate the waxing year. The rising Sun brings the promise of Spring. It is still along time before the Sun will be strong. The Sun is now the Child of Promise, the young hero God. It is a time of making wishes and hopes for the coming year, and of setting resolutions. From the darkness comes light.

A popular custom at this time is the burning of the Yule log where a portion is saved for protection of the home during the coming year. The log is often decorated with holly and evergreens to symbolise the intertwining of the God and Goddess who are reunited on this day. The traditional roast pig served with an apple in its mouth represents the Goddess in Her dark aspect of Cerridwen, Freya, Astarte or Demeter to whom the pig is a sacred animal. The apple is sacred for it contains life itself, the essence of being, the soul which can be passed from one body to the other when eaten, the Goddess magik of immortality.

SUMMER SOLSTICE (Litha)

And to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, I wish you bright blessings at this time of year as the sun warms you with its golden light, may you play and frolic in the joy of its warmth.

Blessed Be!

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Also known as Alban Hefin.
Deities: Apollo, Balder, Oak King, Holly King, Sul, Isis, Hestia.
Colours: Sea green, red, gold, brown.
Incense: Frangipani, violet, cedar, St John’s Wort, basil.
Traditional Motifs: Oak leaves, acorns, antlers, straw wheels, bees, honey, floating candles, cauldrons, marigolds, ivy.

At the Summer Solstice the sun is at its highest and brightest and the day is at its longest. The Lord of Light has fought the powers of darkness, and is triumphant, ensuring fertility in the land. But in so doing, He sows the seeds of His own death. The Wheel turns and the Goddess shows Her Death-in-Life aspect, the Earth is fertile and all is in bloom, the Goddess reaches out to the fertilising Sun God at the height of His Powers. The Goddess is now heavily pregnant just as the Earth is full and ready to share Her bounty. The Summer Solstice is a time of fulfilment of love. Flowers are in bloom everywhere, ready for pollination, fertilisation, yet once fertilised they die so that the seeds and fruits may develop. At the same time, summer fruits appear, for a short but delicious season.

Although the days begin to grow shorter after Litha, the time of greatest abundance is still to come. The promises of the Goddess and God are still to be fulfilled. This is a time of beauty, love, strength, energy, rejoicing in the warmth of the sun, and the promise of the fruitfulness to come. It seems a carefree time, yet the knowledge of life is the knowledge of death, and beauty is but transitory. Pagans celebrate life, and the triumph of light, but also acknowledge death.

In many British Pagan traditions, the tale of the Oak and Holly King, the light and dark lords, is told. The Oak King represents the waxing year, Mid Winter to Mid Summer, while the Holly King represents the waning year, Mid Summer to Mid Winter. They are both necessary because without decay and destruction no new growth can begin. Twice a year they meet each other and fight. At Yule it was the Oak King who won the battle. At the Summer Solstice, although light is at its strength, it also is the peak of the Oak King’s reign, he is conquered by his darker twin, the Holly King, and the inevitable journey towards the darkness and the depths begins.

New Moon Psychic Bath

Originally posted on Witches Of The Craft®:

New Moon Psychic Bath

This relaxing bath will help bring out your natural psychic abilities, and connect with the energies of the moon. Try to perform this spell during the phase of the new moon if you can.

You will need the following items for this spell:
  • • 1 cup coarse sea salt
  • • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • • 1/4 cup vervain
  • • 1/4 cup jasmine flowers
  • • 7 drops cypress oil

In a bowl, mix together everything but the oil. Pour it into a tub full of hot bathwater, then add the drops of oil to the bath too. You can split the mixture in half for 2 baths if you want, just keep the oil separate.

Get in the tub, and just soak. Careful getting in though, the sea salt will be a bit rough under foot. Let your thoughts float and open up your mind to new…

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Herbal Pharmacy – 7

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Originally posted on Mystical Magical Herbs:

Tabebuia_impetiginosa

Photo of Tabebuia impetiginosa (Pau d’arco).

Sage ~ Salvia officinalis  [ Hot flashes ]

Traditionally used to reduce hot flashes. Sage is not only a popular culinary herb, but also widely used as a remedy for hot flashes. The plant is rich in tannins, giving it astringent properties and supporting its use to reduce excessive bodily functions. In addition to hot flashes/flushes, these drying properties may benefit other menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and heavy periods. Scientific studies have shown that several compounds in sage possess estrogenic effects, which may further explain its use in menopause. Infuse 1/2 tablespoon of fresh or dried sage in 1 cup of boiling water. Steep three minutes, strain out the herb and drink while hot. It is safe to drink one or two cups twice weekly, especially the week before your period. May also relieve PMS symptoms.

German Chamomile ~ Matricaria recutita […

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Samhain Southern Hemisphere – Beltane Northern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Samhain, as the weather turns cold it is time to light the fires and snuggle up, be warm and honour the season as it changes. Blessed Be!

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The Pagan year begins (and ends) with Samhain. It is a time of reflection, of looking back over the last year. This is the time when the boundary is thinnest between the worlds of living and dead; the powers of divination, the Sight, and supernatural communication are strengthened on Samhain night, and it is considered a powerful but dangerous time to communicate with lost loved ones. Pagans celebrate Samhain as an acknowledgment that without death, there can be no rebirth. At Samhain, the darkness increases and the Goddess reigns in her powerful aspect of the Crone. The God passes into the underworld to become reborn of the Goddess again at Yule. It is a time to honour those who have gone before us.

Blessed Be!

Beltane – Northern Hemisphere

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And to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, rejoice as the sun begins to shine and the flowers begin to bloom.  Let your hearts burst with joy as the light shines down upon you.  Blessed Be!

Beltane is the cross-quarter holiday between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. It is the time when the abundance of flowers and greens is a welcome relief from winter’s drabness; it was traditionally a day for leaping the Beltane fires, which were lit to honor the Sun God, and for celebrating fertility.

Beltane celebrates the blessing between Mother Earth and Father Sky and honors all life.

Both are times when the “veil” between the worlds is thought to be thinnest, and therefore magik can happen, such as visits from faeries or similar other-worldly occurrences.

This is a good time for invoking our spirit guides to help us.

A blessed Beltane to you!

A Money Charm

Originally posted on The Wytches Blog:

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What you will need.

  1. A Square of green cloth
  2. All Spice, Borage, Lavender and Safforn
  3. Some suitable crystals or salt rock (such as Emerald, Adventurine)
  4. Three Silver Coins
  5. Gold and Silver colored thread.

Method Gather up the three silver coins and breathe on them 4 times chanting ” To the Spirts of Air I say bring some money my way.” Put the ingredients on the cloth and tie the cloth into a bag, using 8 knots in the thread.

Hide the bag in a safe, cool, dark place away from prying eyes for 8 days. After the 8 days money should be coming in.

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