A LITTLE HERBALISM FOR YOUR DAY- Plant Identification and Majorum

 

Plant identification and Majorum

When I began learning herbs from someone other than my grandmother I was taken back at how little information was being given and in my brazen style decided I could do better. So I asked if I could teach a class or two and was given permission. Little did I realize the amount of work and research that really went into knowing more about herbs!

As I proceeded I realized herbalism had its own language. In an earlier blog post, I wrote an herbal glossary that focused on types of concoctions and the actions of the herb. Today I include the language of plant Identification. It is very important to know you have the correct herb as there are many look-alikes out there that can harm rather than heal.

At the end of the glossary I show the type of research I do on all my herbs while discussing Majorum, but first the glossary. Sources are available on request.

PLANT IDENTIFICATION GLOSSARY

AXIS: The axis is the plant stem; more generally the line of growth of a stem or any of its branching parts that carry flowers, other branches, or leaves.

AXIL: This is the upper angle between a bract or leaf and the stem on which it grows, or an axillary flower or bud.

ACHENE: A small dry, nut-like, one-seeded fruit that does not split open when ripe to release the seed, It can be winged, such as a maple seed, or caraway seed.

ASCENDING: This simply means curving upwards.

BASAL: These are the leaves growing at the base of a stem.

BIPINNATE: A leaf that is twice pinnate i.e., a pinnately divided leaf whose leaflets are themselves pinnately divided. (See Pinnate description below)

BRACT:  A small leaf or scale-like structure from the axil of where a flower often begins.

COMPOUND LEAF: This is a leaf divided into two or more leaflets or a leaf or flower cluster with a branched main axis.

DECIDUOUS: These are plants with shedding leaves at the end of the growing season.

DIVIDED: A place in the plant where they separate towards the mid-rib or base.

ELLIPTICAL:  Leaves that are oval but slightly pointed at each end.

FEATHERY: Leaves that are cut into many fine segments along the edge that look “Feathery”

FURROWED: Leaves with longitudinal (long) channels or grooves that run toward the base of the leaf.

GLOBOSE: This term is usually applied to a fruit or a seed that is round like a sphere

LATERAL: This term means something that is situated at the side of the leaf. “It is lateral to the object being viewed”

LEAF AXIL: Is the part between the leaf and the stem

LEAFLET: This is a subdivision of a compound leaf where you find several small leaves in a group.

LINEAR: Leaves that are long and narrow, almost parallel-sided.

LINEAR- LANCEOLATE: These are leaves that are long and narrow but tapering to a point at the tip

LOBED: Leaves that are divided toward the mid-rib but not into separate leaflets, each division is rounded at the apex, like an oak leaf.

LATEX: This is a milky fluid produced by several kinds of plants such as poppy, milkweed, rubber plant, and many more.

MARGIN:  The outside edge of a leaf or seed.

MID-RIB: Is the center vein of a leaf, usually thickened and obvious.

NODE: This is a point on a stem in which one or more leaves grow or have grown; the part of the stem between the nodes is called an internode.

OBOVATE: This describes a leaf that is oval, with the end farthest from the stalk being wider than the end attached to the stem that is somewhat egg-shaped, also called OVATE.

OPPOSITE: Leaves that grow in pairs at the same level on opposite sides of the stem.

PALMATE: This describes a leaf that has the shape of a hand. The leaf will have a center like our palm with three or more leaves extending from it as our fingers do on our hand. The Virginia Creeper vine is one of these types of leaves.

PETIOLE: Is the stalk of the leaf, not the whole plant.

PINNATE: A leaf that has the structure of a feather in that similar parts occur on opposite sides of an axis. A pinnate leaf is divided into numerous leaflets that grow along either side of the leaf stalk and have their own center stalk, which is called a petiole.

RAY FLOWER: These are flowers that edge a central disc, such as sunflowers daisies and many more.

RHIZOME: This is a creeping, usually horizontal underground storage stem, which sends up leafy shoots each season, like ferns, and water hemlock.

SESSILE: These are stalkless flowers or leaves. They have no petiole or stem of their own but grow right from the main stalk much like Chickory does.

SIMPLE: Leaves that are not divided into leaflets of stems but are unbranched in any way.

SPREADING: These leaves stand out horizontally or at a wide angle from the stem.

SHEATH; The sheath is the lower part of the leaf that wraps around the stem or stalk, near the base that is separate from the main part.

TERMINAL: This is the end of a stalk or stem or branch that limits more growth.

UMBEL: Is a bract of flowers that are umbrella-shaped in which all the flowers or the secondary umbels in a compound umbel are borne on smaller stalks that spread out and are equal in length. They arise from a common stem, like on water hemlock and wild carrot.

VEIN: This is the passageway for water and nutrients to and from a leaf; also the mechanical support system you see them when you look very closely at a leaf.

So now that we know more about how to identify a plant let’s talk about one of my favorites, Marjoram! I have fond memories of this herb as it was one of the first teas my mom introduced to me. I knew when mom brought out the Marjoram it was time to sit and quietly talk.

How the following is laid out also shows the type of research I do on all of my herbs. The reason I do this is because I was taught herbs are medicine. Many of the terminology used here can be found in my blog article Herbal Glossary.

MARJORUM;

CONTAINS: vitamins A,B-12,C AND K, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, zinc, silicon, phytonutrients, beta-carotene, lutein, and flavonoids.

ACTIONS; Tonic, carminative, diaphoretic, calmative, anodyne, stomachic, antidote, antispasmodic, anti-fungal, antioxidant, aperitif, diuretic, antibacterial, anti-viral, optic tonic, aromatic, expectorant, emmenagogue, and hypertensive.

USES; asthma, violent cough, spasms, cramps, measles, dropsy, respiratory issues of all kinds, digestive problems, nervous headache, colic, gas, gargle, allergies, colds, nervous disorders, rheumatism, toothache, prevents neural damage in the brain, food poisoning or staph infection

I have used Marjoram as a calmative and tonic. Any time I am over-stressed and worn out, or wrung out during or after a cold or flu or other illness. I find it has restorative qualities and feels very relaxing to the system and I love the earthy aroma!

You can infuse oil to use on sprains or joint pain, by putting the fresh herb in olive oil and let stand in the sun for 2-3 weeks. Another way to do this is to get one of those small warming crock pots for sauces. They heat to 140. Put ingredients in and let warm overnight or two days to get the same effect. This oil can be used for earache and toothache and massage for varicose veins and gout.

The planet of Marjoram is Mercury, and it is used for communication, thinking logic, writing, motivation, and wisdom. This is a good tea to serve at a study group or business meeting.

Its tarot card is the Magician because it has all the tools it needs to do the job. It brings temperance that promotes growth and changes that make one humble. Excellent before meditation. Marjoram’s Goddess is Aphrodite who is the symbol of happiness, love, joy, and serenity. This herb is one of my staples. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Many Blessings!

 

 

 

 

Being of Service and Promotion

Being of Service

In my family tradition I was taught from a young age about being of service. Not just being of service to the spirits of the other side as a witch, but helping people in whatever way possible. Those closest to me know I live this daily.

I often wondered why I experienced some of the things I have in my life. I could not understand why these things were put on me. Often, they were heavy, confusing, and very hard and made no sense.

On a day when I was struggling and feeling like I was at the bottom of life, my mom said, “You experience these things so you can give your knowledge and strength of how you got through them to others.” In that perspective it suddenly all made sense and I was able to carry on.

This does not make me an expert in anything. Nor does it elevate me above anyone else. That is not who I am. I am a simple country witch, a real person that has led a colorful life and had some experiences that when shared, might help others through their journey. And that is the sole reason I wrote my book Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft.

I have had the opportunity to elevate myself in this world and walked away each time because being a real and approachable person available to others was more important. Which makes self-promotion against my character. But how does one be of service to others unless they know you are there?

Promotion

In today’s world of social media, I cannot reach folks that might have a need without some self-promotion. I, like many, despise the slick used car salesperson tactics or flooding of social media I have seen others use. So, I quietly sit in many Pagan groups on social media. I carefully select those I respond to and share my blog once in a while. To date that has been my form of self-promotion. On the flipside of promotion, one must enjoy and share their joys with their community to fully live that joy. That is my goal here today.

In writing psychic Skills For Magic And Witchcraft, the main goal was to write about psychism in a common-sense, and practical, step by step easy to understand way. To tear off the band-aid of the common mystical language that only serves to further confuse or cloud psychism for many.

My second goal was to de-mystify many of the preconceived ideas our society has taught us about psychics and let all psychics know they no longer have to feel odd or confused. There is a name for what they experience, there are tools to use, it is real, and they are not alone.

My book, Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft takes the seeker on the complete journey. In the later chapters, I use real-life experiences to demonstrate how psychic occurrences can appear in daily life. I couple those experiences with additional advanced tools and skills the seeker can use to deal with their own experiences in their own way.

My book is my way of being there for the many psychics that have no one to talk to or feel lost in their experiences. The book is not only what I live daily and what I teach, but it is the book I wish I had growing up as a psychic. It is my greatest desire that it brings all psychics, confidence, guidance, and peace of mind, no matter where they are in the journey.

Today I celebrate my work and let myself feel the joy I wish to share with you the seeker. Psychic Skills For Magic And Witchcraft, published by Llewellyn Worldwide will be coming out in February 2022.

I am excited to see this work come full circle. I can hardly believe it is available for pre-order at Llewellyn Worldwide, on Amazon, and Barnes and noble.

I am also honored to have written an article for the Llewellyn Journal, to be published in January. I even get to be a guest on Spirit Talk, a show in Australia! Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be so. It is almost surreal like I am walking in a dream or in someone else’s life. the joy of it is almost overwhelming. So, witches, follow your dreams and fly!

Below you will see some of the endorsements for my book. I am so honored that these folks thought so highly of my work. I am humbled by their praise. I hope you enjoy the book as much as they have. Many Blessings to all!

Advance praise for Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft: Developing Your Spirit, Intuition, and Clairvoyance, published by Llewellyn Worldwide in February 2022:

“If you want to develop your intuition and related mental acuities, this is a fabulous resource! Each chapter provides a variety of tools, both material and otherwise, that allow you to open your mind and increase your focus. Even if you’ve never done any sort of psychic practice, this book will offer you the framework you need to get started and get better, without being overly dogmatic or prescriptive.” —Lupa, creator of The Tarot of Bones deck and book 

“I’ve read a lot of books on psychism, but this one is unique; not merely theoretical, but actual tried-and-true practical exercises, definitions, explanations, and most enlightening—personal excerpts from Cat’s own journals from a lifetime of both learning and teaching the psychic arts. Cat’s descriptions of her childhood lessons and exercises remind me so much of my own lonely journey as a ‘magikid.’ Fortunately, while I had to invent my own experiments in telepathy, hypnosis, psychokinesis, etc., Cat had her witchy mother and grandmother to teach her. And in this book she organizes the solid lessons she learned and teaches into an easy-to-understand three-level course of study for beginning students to intermediate practitioners. This course presents a foundational curriculum of psychic skills for daily living and all forms of spiritual practices. I recommend it highly!” — Oberon Zell, Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry, author of Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.

“Crone wisdom resonates throughout the pages of this vital book that is certain to become a modern classic. Bringing together a lifetime of clinical and priestess training, Cat Gina Cole has written the consummate book for developing and growing psychic awareness and sensitivity.” — Katrina Rasbold, Author of Uncrossing: Identify, Cleanse, and Heal from Hexes, Curses, and Psychic Attack and Crossroads of Conjure: The Roots and Practices of Granny Magic, Hoodoo, Brujería, and Curanderismo.

 

Yule a time of light and darkness

 

“There is no light without the darkness to compare it to.” An appropriate and popular saying at Yule time. On this solstice many celebrate the return of the light as the days begin to get longer. Others celebrate the dark time and all that dwells there. Some take this time to dive into their personal shadows and darkness.

How ever you acknowledge the darkness this season, there is another darkness that must be dealt with, the darkness we feel from the entire nation. We are all oversaturated with trauma, crisis, and sensationalism in one form or another. As Witches it is our practice to work with the forces around us and that includes this one. As magical practitioners and sensitives it has slowly had its effect on us.

Now that we have acknowledged this dark force, let us as Witches, Magical practitioners, and sensitives, use this Yule and celebration of the return of the light to roll back this dark force on our nation and our personal lives.

This Yule let us gather in energy or in-person and focus on the return of the light to people’s hearts. Cast your laughter and joy loudly from your throats. Cast your music, your dancing, your drumming, your candlelight and let it shine brightly across our communities. Cast the joy until it ripples across the land and touches everyone it can.

My Yule blessing for you all is this: May you feel the ripples of joy and light. May you pass it on. May the New Year have no choice but to be joyful for everyone!

By our will, so mote it be!

Herbal Information Sources

Today I thought I would write about herbalism. And I realize there is so much information out there that you might like to know what sources I use and my process for researching them.

I have several rules of practice when looking for information on herbs. First, I google medicinal uses for….(insert herb here) I look at no less than 15 sites if the herb is new to me. Then I look for what the herb contains, not just its uses. When I begin to see the same information being repeated, that is the information I then write down. After that, I go to my books, and for a new herb, I use no less than eight. Then when that information matches up with what I found online, I enter the matching information into my herbal journal confident in what I have found.

Why do I do all of this? Because herbs are medicine and chemicals just like a prescription.

My number one rule is “Do your own research”, even if a trusted friend gives you good information. Two herbs are responsible for this rule, Kava and the mint family of which there are 7000 species. Kava is listed as harmless and non-toxic, yet if someone has liver issues it can cause them harm. In the mint family of 7000, if someone is allergic to one of them, they are likely to be allergic to all of them. Almost every herb has some indication like this and it takes deep research to find it at times.

I also look at what an herb contains and I find words like saponins, flavonoids, or rutin. I look them up too so I know what they are and how they interact with the body. I look at the actions and find words like depurative, vulnerary, and diuretic, and look them up too. All for the sake of safety and being confident of what I am using.

This resulted in my creation of an herbal glossary I keep for my own use and teach my students. You will find that glossary on my blog at https://catginacole.com/a-little-herbalism-for-your-day/ It is an excellent example of the types of words to look for. I also created the glossary because I discovered herbalism has its own language and the glossary became the key to understanding it.

I do have several friends I have come to trust over time to converse with about herbs, they are: Kathleen Crochet Stursa- Herbalist, simpler, and Gardner extraordinaire, Ruth Overholser-Owner of Lady Thyme Herbs in Cave Junction Oregon, Janice Patterson Sidel-Owner of the Dancing Gypsy in Klamath Falls Oregon, Erika Fortner- Owner of Queen Meb in Portland, Katrina Rasbold- Owner of Crossroads Metaphysical Store in Shingle Springs Ca. These ladies really know their stuff and if the research fails, I can always count on them.

There are two links I use the most, they are Web MD and VeryWellHealth.com I also watch Suzan Weed on YouTube and a few others on occasion. I look at many other links as well but these are the most used.

There is nothing like finding a good herb book with special nuggets of information. When you buy one, check the glossary, index, and bibliography. This will tell you exactly how good the book really is. Here is the list of my current herbal books.

Practical Herbalism by Frtichey

The Good Herb by Judith Benn Hurley

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

The Consumers Guide to Herbalism by Steven Kirch

Magic and Medicine of Herbs by Readers Digest

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs by  Sarah Bunny-Barnes and Noble

Magic with Incense and Powders by Ana Riva

Medicinal Plants of The Pacific Northwest by Moore

Petersons Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs

Todays Herbal Health by Tenny

The Herbalist by Joseph E Meyer

I also have assorted books on aromatherapy and oils and am always looking for more! Feel free to share your favorites with me by leaving a comment and happy herbing!

Tarot Trance, The Fool

A note about trancework. Anything that occurs in trance falls under the category of UPG-Unverifiable Personal Gnosis (knowledge) This means it is personal to you and not verifiable by other means. Each of us have our own unique events and ways of doing them. Most of mine are done while awake and sitting up, only a few are done while sleeping. So, the following is my personal gnosis.

I have been a psychic my whole life and I am used to my head being full of thought and sound. In 2018 I received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. After the accident, my brain was completely quiet. I could not even hear my own thoughts before I said them. The irony is how hard we try to quiet our minds in meditation. But this was almost surgical and quite distressing.

Then my gal pal Phaedra Bonewits whom I had been training under, gave me a task. I was not to just meditate on each of the major arcana of the Tarot but deeply trance on each of them. This accomplished many things, and it brought back my psychism enough for me to begin my journey back to being the psychic I had been my whole life.

This tarot trance begins with the fool card. On this day I was not feeling well and was going back to bed and about to put the work off again. But last minuet I decided to grab the fool card and focus on it as I drifted off. I looked very closely at every small detail. I had to force myself to keep my focus and not let my mind wander. I looked hard at all the colors, the position things were in, the scene, and took it all in.

What I see is, the “fool” does not have a care in the world and is actually taking in the splendor. He has a look of “I have arrived and look at this splendid place” to him. There is no impending doom or fear of falling off the cliff. I reflect on how I think the label of the fool is misleading. He is not a fool at all, just a traveler. The dog has led him to this place and is also happy.

Then I fell asleep and became the fool and was on a small hill above a coastal village near the sea. As is typical of my dreams there were two of me. One the fool, the other also a fool aspect who was not as happy but seemed stronger than the original fool. Yet I am observing them both from a distance in my lucid state. Perhaps this is what Carl Jung meant when he says that dreams are aspects of the self.

As I ponder this a disagreement breaks out with some folks from the village that had arrived to see what we wanted. They were arguing about the dog, who they felt needed protecting. At the same time, an amazing sword appeared in the hands of the stronger fool aspect. It was bright silver, very strong, yet could fold when not in use.

Just then I noticed an orange color like the sun appear in the sky, which was partly obscured by the clouds. As I watched I began to see it was somewhat square and seemed to be a signal we were running out of time. In my mind, a voice said, “It’s coming let’s go!”

We shambled down the rough hillside over rocks and mud toward the village near the sea. When we reached the level ground we could see the village was spread out and primitive. As I,-the fool, took in the splendor of the village,  much like what is shown in the card, my stronger aspect had made it to the sea wall at the water’s edge. He was now involved in another dispute among the village elders there. They were rejecting him and denying him access to whatever was coming.

As I,- the fool, made my way to them, a huge fog rolled in. I remember thinking “What is this fog, I can’t see a thing!” Yet the orange square in the sky was coming closer and getting larger.

Annoyed with the fog and lack of clarity, and the confusion, the fool aspect stood tall. He lifted his chin, closed his eyes, opened his arms, and pushed out his chest towards the fog. This made the fog retreat, revealing that the orange square was a sail. The sail was so large and glorious it took my breath away, no one had seen the like and size before. The ship was just as fantastic and breathtaking. The dog became joyous and began jumping and barking like he was saying this is it! And I was excited too!

I then noticed the stronger aspect of the fool began to walk up the boat ramp with the sword in hand. He held it up, and said, “This is mine!” The elders of the village said, “The sword disagrees.” As they directed our attention to the sword, it folded up, became dim, and would not work for the stronger aspect as he struggled to try and re-open it. Once he gave up and handed it to the fool, however, it became bright and unfolded with all its strength and glory. The elders seemed to approve and allowed the fool and the dog to get on the ship. Then the cat jumped on my belly and woke me up!

Sorry folks, not all trances are complete stories. This is why I now do most of my trances sitting up in a closed room. But do not worry there are many more such fantastic tales to come, so stay tuned to see what is revealed in the next blog entry.

 

DARK MAGIC AND THE SHADOWS

For many Magical practitioners, winter is, the dark time, and full of shadows. Seasonally we have only one winter, but it has occurred to me that according to our modern calendar, winter actually comes twice a year. In January most of us are deep into winter, then it comes again at the end of the year.

Winter brings in the new year and also ends the year. In the fall we see the slow onset of winter as it darkens and blankets the area for the rest of the season. In spring we see the slow recession of its grip and see the hope of spring arrive. Winter shows us the very cycle of “Life, Death, and Rebirth”

Many of us get snow which can lift our spirits. It is cold, it is crisp, it is fresh and it changes the way everything looks, smells, and sounds.

Magically what is snow? Snow is white, the color of purification and clarity. Snow has a way of purifying the air as it pushes all the dust and pollution back into the Earth. To me, that is the air getting cleansed and charged. Because cold crisp fresh air is invigorating, and easier to breathe, everything just feels lighter in a dark season and lifts my spirits too.

Snow is a combination of elements. Snow begins as water. Water is H-2-O, which gets so frozen in the atmosphere it becomes crystalized and falls to the Earth, where solids belong. These crystals bring all the purity and cleansing we know clear crystals to have to Earth with them. Later, they provide nourishing water that brings forth our spring.

Snow also gives us stillness because it seems to make everything stop. Snow dampens sound and stifles movement. This dampens the usual noise we are so used to hearing and gives us cause to listen and notice things. In this way, snow creates a liminal space. This makes it easier for those of us who can, to notice and communicate with the darkness and shadow of the season.

Most think of liminal space as crossroads, thresholds, portals, doors, walk through trees, the beach, and more. The liminal space that snow creates is not often spoken of. It is a liminal space of time. It creates something similar to what many feel when they walk into a church, where all the buzz of the world and time stops. There is only you and your soul. This is why so many do shadow work in this liminal time.

The darkness gives us space enough to let go of what is not useful, apply acceptance and awareness, put your fear aside, gather your strengths, grab your courage in spite of fears, and gain faith in our own ability and that of our divine. We do this shadow work so we can be ready to step across the threshold into a whole new year of the unknowable when spring comes.

When a magical practitioner finds a dark shadow in themselves or others and there is snow on the ground, you can place it in the snow to first freeze it and render it powerless, then to be purified by the snow, then to dissolve as the snow melts.

That kind of shadow work and dark magic is the lighter side of working “Dark Magic and Shadows. The lighter stuff is what prepares us for the real stuff to come. When we clean up our personal shadows, we are better prepared to face any other shadow that may come, not only in life but in Magic.

A Magical practitioner who faces their own shadows and has no fear of them will be able to face the more surprising darker things one encounters in Magic. On occasion, a “dark thing” will pop up in meditation, or a dream or astral travel. Even when working with deities or spirits we sometimes encounter dark stuff. Our shadow work allows us to face them and build skills to handle them. Make no mistake dark things exist in all facets of life and Magic.

It is the job of the Magical practitioner to be able to identify the dark, then decide how best to proceed. Either with protection, engagement or to provide accurate information to others.

There are many definitions of Dark Magic as there is with any type of Magic and discussions on White or Dark Magic and the ethics of it all. I am not here to debate that or give you a set answer to that. What I will and can say, is that Dark Magic exists whether you believe in it or not.

The power comes from acknowledgment. For example, there is an individual whose name I never say. I never say their name because I do not want any acknowledgment of any kind to lend power to them or to create an energetic link back to me. This is knowing darkness is there, but not acknowledging it. This is a type of magical defense, like putting up a shield. Belief is power and any power can be a spell or a protection.

This allows for us Magical practitioners to be aware and knowledgeable but not engage in anything we do not choose to. Yes, we can choose to accept what we experience or reject it, good or bad, either choice is a Magical power.

I have had plenty of occasions to walk among the dark shadows and to do dark magic. Being able to work dark magic and having it available when the need arises is a defense to the dark arts. I find it allows me to walk the light as a better protected and confident Magical practitioner.

So do not be afraid, to look into the shadows or dark magic and come to know them. Just because you look or know and are able does not mean that is where you will reside nor does it make you a dark practitioner, it makes you wise, protected, confident, and capable.

Cinnamon, A herb for the Season

Cinnamon is the bark from the lauraceous tree. While the tree is of the moon the herb is of the sun. Once I began researching cinnamon, I was surprised at the qualities of this un-assuming herb in my kitchen! It has many medical qualities. It is a great anti-fungal and antibacterial herb that makes a nice non-toxic bug repellant when sprinkled in kitchen cabinets. In large amounts, it even keeps away fire ants as long it is freshly applied around their mounds.

Cinnamon can be a lady’s best friend. A tea made with honey and cinnamon powder taken regularly arrests the advance of old age keeping the skin soft and reducing wrinkles!. For this take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of water and boil. Drink one cup per day. I have used cinnamon honey tea to reduce overall inflammation in the form of one cup each morning for a month with good results.

Cinnamon helps with fatigue when made with half a teaspoon of honey in a glass of water sprinkled with cinnamon around two or three in the afternoon when your energy is the lowest. If taken daily at the same time you will see an increase in your energy in about a week.

Cinnamon is high in antioxidants and the oil has anti-microbial properties. It also has manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Several studies show it may help type two diabetes, lower cholesterol, and blood pressure. For blood pressure, I make a tincture of cassia sticks. I break them up roughly and place them in a small jar with three ounces of 100 proof vodka. I place them in a dark place and shake now and then for 4 weeks.

CAUTION!

This makes a strong tincture, no one should be on other blood pressure medicines if they are using this tincture. Dosing is one or two DROPS per day NO MORE and use for only 1 week at a time NO MORE. I have seen this tincture misused and drop a person’s blood pressure to dangerously low levels.

In powdered or stick form, culinary amounts of cinnamon are non-toxic, however, the oil is different. On the skin, it may cause redness and burning. If you were to ingest the oil, which is not a thing to do, it can cause burns on your lips, in your throat, and esophagus.

 

Chinese herbalists mention cinnamon as early as 2700 B.C. as an herb and treatment for fever. Later it was the Greeks and Romans that adopted cinnamon as a spice.

In the seventeenth century, Europeans considered cinnamon primarily a kitchen spice, but they used it to mask the bitterness of other healing herbs. There is a sound reason for flavoring toothpaste and mouth wash with cinnamon because it is a powerful antiseptic that kills many decays and disease-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Cinnamon does more than add flavors to cakes and other high-fat deserts, the herb helps break down fats in your digestive system, possibly by boosting the activity of some digestive enzyme. I think cinnamon is my newfound friend!

Cinnamon is certainly an herb for the season, but few of us think of it in magic. As we approach winter it is time for new beginnings. A time to take a look at what our harvests have brought us. It is a good time to clean and clear out the old to make room for the new. As you do the cleaning and clearing think of ideas, plans, and good fortune you hope to draw to you in the coming year.

The following spell courts the favor of the Kings of four winds. For this spell, you will need to ascertain North and South and so forth.

The four winds were given magical names by the ancient Greeks—Boreas, Eureus, Notus, and Zephyrus. In some circles, they are known as the four guardians. It is these forces together with those of the elemental spirits of Air, Water, Fire, and Earth, that are called upon to carry your desired goal to the four points of the universe.

The spell is designed to be performed outside because you would not want a child or pet to lick up the cinnamon and get harmed. For this spell you will need:

A quarter Tsp measuring spoon

2 small dishes for powdered cinnamon

A small rock or dish of dirt to represent the earth

A white or red candle and holder to represent fire

A feather to represent air

A shell or dish of water to represent water

2-Tsp powdered cinnamon

To set up a proper place, cast a circle of protection as you create your sacred space. Arrange your items on your altar or table and light your candle. Take up one dish of cinnamon, and think for a moment about the four kings and what they mean to you. Then raise up the dish and say Oh great Kings of the Elemental quarters I make this offering to you in gratitude for all you do and have done. After you cast a pinch of cinnamon in each direction, say, Great King of the ( say direction here, north, south, etc) I ask you attend my working and accept my offering so mote it be.

Take the second dish of cinnamon and visualize the achievement of your goal in fine detail. Hold the herb to your mouth being careful not to let it touch your lips, and breathe on it gently, like an exhale to charge the spice with your goal.

Next, put a ¼ tsp in your hand and turn to the North and say; King Boreas of the Northwind, by the powers of Earth, I call on you and ask that you carry my desire to your realm in the Northern Quarter, that you may lend your great power toward my success. Now gently blow the herb from your palm in the direction of the North., and say So Mote it be. Do not blow on the cinnamon too hard or it will get in your eyes and that will be painful.

Take another ¼ of cinnamon into your hand and turn to the East and say; King Eureus of the East wind, by the power of the Air I call you and ask that you carry my desire to your realm in the Eastern quarter, that you may lend your great power so toward my success, then blow a quarter of the herb to the East from your palm and say So Mote It Be.

Put another ¼ tsp of cinnamon in your hand and turn South and say; King Notus of the South wind, by the power of Fire, I call you and ask that you carry my desire to your realm in the Southern quarter, that you may lend your great power toward my success. Blow a quarter of the herb to the South from your palm and say So Mote it Be.

Turn to the West with another ¼ of the cinnamon and say; King Zephyrus of the West, by the power of the Water, I call you and ask that you carry my desire to your realm in the Western quarter, that you may lend your power toward my success, blow the final quarter of the herb to the South from your palm and say So Mote it Be.

Now face the altar and raise your hands and voice and say Oh great kings of the quarters may you accept my offering and my works, thank you for your presence and power as you safely return to your realms with my desire. Then say so mote it be. Leave the items there and let the candle burn down all the way, making sure it is safe from pets and kids, or you can take the candle in and let it finish burning indoors.

 

Sources;

(1)Catanna.com/yule spells

(2)sacresdspiral.com

(3) alchemy-works.com/herb-cinnamon

(4)hub pages.com/hub/cinnamon

(5)alzheimersreadingroom.com

(6)healing herbs, by Michael Castelman

(7)spells by Mathew Green

8) web MD

Samhain 2021

This year for Samhain our group did something a bit different. After being restricted from many group activities over the last year or so because of covid, we were itching to celebrate with the greater Pagan community again. So yesterday on October 30th we decided to attend a small, first annual, Witch festival in Albany Oregon that was coordinated by The Wild Witches of Willamette’s, Jan So, and others. Their group is based out of Salem Oregon.

When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Jan So. My friend Catt Foy, Author of Rune Stones and Their Interpretations, and three other books, and purveyor of the Psy Cards, was also there and we had a pleasant but short visit as she was already heading home when we arrived.

Soon the rest of our coven arrived, George and Anwyn Leverett, Priest and priestess in their own right and owners and creators of Altarwind Music. They are the only ones making Hurdy Gurdies in the USA currently.  George and others make them in his shop and Anwyn tunes them and is a true beauty. George had brought with him a 3 string Hurdy Gudy of his own design, so as we crossed the street and enjoyed the vendors he played music for us. People were fascinated by his Hurdy Gurdy.

Also in attendance was Chase Doney, leader of the Moon Tribe, priestess in training, and student in our Coven of the Rising Phoenix, looking stunning as usual.

Also in attendance was Co-High Priestess and teacher of the Coven of the rising Phoenix, Phaedra Bonewits. She has a very long Pagan history back East, starting with being 3rd generation Lodge initiated Garnarian, The Witches of Greenfield, Co-Author of Real Energy, and Widow, of Isaac Bonewits, and much more. If you wish to see her full bio it is available on google.

At the Witches Fair and Gathering Festival, there were many lovely vendors, belly dancing, and more. One of the vendors was a young gal whose artwork I saw in a Pagan group, Eva Marie Shaw. I was so impressed with her work I connected her to the Green Egg Magazine run by Oberon Zell, for whom I write articles. One of her works will be in their next issue. It was a pleasure to meet her in person and purchase some of her work myself. In all, it was a lovely time!

As we headed South, we stopped in Eugene to drop by Catt Foy’s home to celebrate her purchase of the rental home she has been living in for the last 7 yrs. She almost lost it due to covid rules. It was a hard fight after the death of her husband, but she and her friend Shawn Guerro prevailed and they sign the papers on the house soon. Our coven held a small blessing ritual for them in her back yard under her amazing tree which I led. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

What is Witchcraft, Magic and Psychism?

What is Witchcraft?

That is a question that continues to be hotly debated on social media. There is a lot of “who gets to decide that and why?” type of questions that go along with it too. The answer also depends on culture, pantheon, and personal beliefs. So, you may be asking why bother to attempt to answer such a question?

Well, as a Leader, Elder, Author, Priestess, and practicing Witch for over 50 yrs, and because I am in about 40-50 “witch” groups on social media, I see many looking for direction and firm answers. This is my attempt to answer some of these questions in bulk.

I will begin with an analogy. If you fill a glass half full of water then pour in oil and keep pouring in oil, eventually the oil will push all the water out of the glass. All that will remain is oil.

Meaning a thing still has to have the basics that identify it as what it is, in order to still be that thing. The word Witchcraft brings some negative things to mind thanks to hundreds of years if not thousands of years of people saying it is working with the devil or evil. Witchcraft can be a big scary word but in fact, it is very simple.

Witchcraft also has basics that identify it as Witchcraft. Witchcraft is generally defined as a nature-based religion, that uses magic and psychic skills to be in tune with nature and the world.

A practitioner of the craft may invoke an element or God or Goddess or attend a ceremony or ritual that is magical or work them on their own. Witchcraft is the practice of what the practitioner believes to be supernatural skills and abilities, such as the casting of spells and the performance of Magic.

My family tradition defines Witchcraft as one that uses Magic and Psychism to work with all forces of nature, energy, spirit, and deity. In our tradition, a Witch is also an herbalist and healer that employs all wise craft.

Conversely, a Witch can be any denomination they please. They are only limited by the beliefs they choose to practice. This means a Christian witch only practices within the confines of those beliefs and a Pagan Witch, or Buddhist Witch only practice within the confines of their belief set.

Paganism

Paganism is a big umbrella that covers a wide variety of beliefs. Just like the umbrella of Christianity covers being Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and more. Being a Pagan does not mean one is a Witch.

Pagans love nature and this planet. Many feel at one with it and are very in tune with the cycles of the seasons. They often find joy in the small things the planet has to offer such as a bird singing or a honeybee, and it brings them joy and knowledge.

Summarily, not all Pagans are Witches, not all Wiccans are Witches, not all Witches are pagan, and not all Witches are Wiccan, but all Witches practice Magic. Practicing Magic is one of those things that identify Witchcraft as Witchcraft.

WICCA (Greek derivative for wise one)

Wicca is often defined as contemporary witchcraft and is recognized as a religion. I do not think there is one finite definition for Wicca. The definition I give here is a conglomeration of definitions. However, it is frequently characterized by the worship of deities called gods and goddesses. It contains the belief in the superiority of the mother goddess, who represents nature, emphasizes harmony with nature, and tries to appeal to this harmony.

Wicca uses ceremonies, rituals, and amulets, and more for those who are also Magical practitioners. There is a belief in life after physical death known as the life, death, and rebirth cycle. The harm none and rule of three-fold are part of their precepts. They practice reverence for the earth, the wheel of the year, planetary consciousness within their system of Magical practices. Some, but not all, of what Wicca practices are also identifiers that make Witchcraft, Witchcraft.

NEO-PAGANISM

Neo-Paganism is an eclectic modern movement that began in the ’60s that is primarily concerned with revived and reconstructed pre-christian nature religions and mystery traditions. It draws its base from a wide spectrum of people, who may or may not be Wiccan. Many Neo-Pagans are interested in the occult revival, environmentalism, mythology, spiritual awareness, and comparative religions.

Magic

So, what is Magic? Magic is the application of the will or manipulation of natural but hidden forces like energy,  the spirit of something, deity, and other spirits, the elements and more, to affect change using means not understood by science.

Magic is the ability to effect change in accordance with one’s will by invoking things outside of the five physical senses. Such changes are accomplished through ritual, spells, energy work, and more, in which cosmic powers, deities, or other non-physical beings or the forces of nature are invoked.

Magic is using one’s higher state of consciousness and will. To do this we utilize psychic skills that use the energy emanating from our body and from things outside ourselves to manipulate and interact with other energy patterns according to our will. Most of us call this manifesting. Manifesting is an identifying part of magic but not the sum total of Magic.

One identifier of magic that makes Magic, Magic is the belief that Magic is both real and possible. This involves the idea that the physical world is only part of all reality. Another is the belief that humans have more than just five senses, there are psychic senses. It is by means of these psychic capacities the realms beyond the physical are often contacted. It is believed that these psychic senses are innate in us all and can be reawakened.

Another identifier of Magic is that thoughts are a tool to be used. Thoughts are real and have power. This is a fundamental of Magic because the mind is the power of Magic. To have great strength of will and focus is most important for a person doing magic.

Magic will be powerful or feeble in proportion to the energy, willpower, and focus used by you. Magic is what we do with what we sense. Spells are Magical and used in Witchcraft, but you could not do them without being able to tap energy and vibration. Magic happens for three reasons, what you think say and do.

Think, Say, Do

Thought becomes visualization, focus, an idea, or a goal. To say is incantations, mantras, chants, spells, songs, or poetry. To do is, burning a spell and sending it off, committing a spell to any element to carry it to the cosmos or gods. Dancing, singing, putting something on an altar, lighting a candle, incense anything you do to affirm the idea or goal supports this aim.

Spells are much the same, with them you decide on a goal, they are the art of aiming. You aim at the goal with your will then you send it by using the ways described above, but it needs to be sent to be effective, sending is the do part.

Metaphysical

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter.

I add this topic because magical practitioner’s use metaphysical means as tools in their Magic and Witchcraft. As you can see from the definition the metaphysical by itself is not Witchcraft or Magic.

Metaphysics includes meditation, mindfulness, and any means that help clear and build one’s consciousness. It is a practice of the mind in an effort to make one more calm, focused, and spiritual. All of these practices are tools that help one build a strong mind that can be used in Magic, Witchcraft, and Psychism.

Psychism

Many psychic skills are used in Witchcraft and Magic. Some folks have the ability to sense energy or deity and other things happening around them. They feel it and know it is there. This is often referred to as intuition. I believe it is part of the clairvoyance and clairaudient skills. To sense clearly allows you to be aware of your surroundings.

We all vibrate, vibration is energy. People and the earth are vibrational energetic entities. To feel the vibrations around us and be able to use it, absorb it or send it, is Magic and a psychic skill combined.

Psychism itself is the ongoing study and practice of all things psychic. So, let’s look at what some of the psychic skills are.

Clairaudience

Clairaudience is the hearing of sounds, music, and voices not audible to normal hearing. It can manifest as an inner sound or inner voice that is clearly distinguishable from one’s own inner voice. The voice may be unknown but perceived as coming from a certain spiritual source, sometimes receiving important or useful information from the other side, or hearing vibrations of events past or future like an echo.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the perception of objects, events, or people seen visually in your mind’s eye. It is clear seeing. This kind of seeing may manifest in the internal or external visions or the sensing, of images. It appears to be a general ability among humans. In its highest form clairvoyance is the viewing of non-physical planes, the astral, the etheric, and spiritual worlds of which there are many.

Clairsentience

Those with Clairsentience can feel psychic stimuli in their bodies. It might be a gut reaction like getting punched, or it may be felt in other parts of the body. This type of skill is often accompanied by anxiety or is mistaken for anxiety because there is a great compulsion to respond to what is being felt and what is being felt is not always easy to determine quickly.

Precognition

Precognition is described as the prior knowledge of events. A precognitive will know that the phone is going to ring and who is on it, or that a certain event is going to take place, minutes, hours, or days before it happens. Precognition shows up often in daily life and in dreams.

Divination

Tarot, crystal ball, tea leaves, runes, or any other form of divination can act as a pump to prime your already natural ability. The archetypal characters of the Tarot get into the subconscious mind and wake it up, which in turn enhances our psychic perception. The eventual course of study and practice of Tarot will lead us into our own psychic ability.

The skills I have mentioned have been considered Magic by many, to separate the two is a splitting of hairs. The difference is that psychic skills and metaphysical skills are tools we use in Magic and Witchcraft. We use them to build a strong mind as we develop our will and focus and practice our Magic.

For example, if you want to send a thought or energy to someone, that is magical, but you use telepathy, and meditational focus, as the tool to send it.

These are all skills that we can build up with practice, it will only make our Magic stronger and open up the ability to sense things around us. You need only to pay attention to the feelings you get when it is a psychic moment and note the difference when it is not. The more you pay attention to what is either magic, witchcraft, psychism, or metaphysical, the more you will know the differences and they will become stronger tools for your use.

Book List

Many times, I have been asked to suggest books to seekers. So today I thought I would post a list for your use. Most of these books are in my library and well used by me and my students. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Rune Lore, by Edred Thorsson

Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits

Real Energy by Phaedra and Isaac Bonewits

The Magic Power of Witchcraft by Gavin and Yvonne Frost

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham

The Art and Practice of Clairvoyance by OPHEIL

ESP Beyond Time and Distance by T.C. Lethbridge

The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Second Sight by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Dreams Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist

The Anatomy of Witchcraft by Peter Haining

Journeys Out of The Body by Robert A. Monroe

The Intuitive Way by Penny Peirce

How to do Psychic Readings Through Touch by Ted Andrews

Astral Travel by Gavin and Yvonne Frost

The Psychic Sense by Edgar Cayce

The Donning International Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary by June G. Bletzer, Ph.D.

Grimoire For The Apprentice Wizard by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Circles and Ceremonies by Oberon Zell

Telepathy by Sybil Leek

Psychic Skills For Magic and Witchcraft by Cat Gina Cole ( now available for pre-order at Llewellyn.com)