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Herb of the Month – Basil

When the summer heat is in full swing and I want something cool and wonderful for dinner I think of such things as Caprese Salads, Pesto Chicken, and a light marinara sauce. Magickally, I am looking to spice things up and bring in some added prosperity and good fortune. What do all of these things have in common? Our Herb of the Month – Basil.

Herb of the Month - Basil
Basil Plant (Photo from Pixabay)

Basil has long been associated with Witchcraft, hence the name “Witches Herb.” This versatile herb can be for any magickal purpose from increasing wealth, calming quarrels, to bringing the user love and harmony.

In Witchcraft, as well as cooking, Basil is used both fresh and dried. Stir it clockwise in soups, stews, and sauces to bring prosperity and good fortune. Place counterclockwise on your Caprese salad to dispel gossip and quarrels.

Latin Name: Ocimum Basilicu

Family: Lamiaceae

Folk Names: Albahaca, American Dittany, “Our Herb,” St. Joseph’s Wort, Sweet Basil, Witches Herb

Energy: Masculine

Elements: Air, Fire

Planet(s): Mars

Astrological Signs: Aries, Scorpio

Deities: Ares, Eleggua, Erzulie, Hemphu, Krishna, Lakshmi, Vishnu, Yemaya

Growing and Harvesting Basil

Basil is easy to grow, but it does like it’s soil toasty -don’t plant before the soil is 50 degrees, 70 is even better-making it perfect for warmer climates. Heat gives your Basil the start it needs, so plant your basil when the nights have warmed up as well. Without the heat, your basil will not flourish.

Basil prefers its “feet” a bit moist so well-draining soil is a must. Basil grows well in a greenhouse or even indoors with the proper light. It doesn’t require much fertilizer while growing, but a good starter fertilizer will give basil the boost it needs to thrive.

Plants can get quite large, reaching up to 24″ if you let them. However careful pruning and harvesting of the plants at around 8″ keeps your plants healthier, allowing them to bush more and send more energy to the leaves instead of the stalks.

One or two plants is usually sufficient for the average household. If you are like me and freeze and/or dry my basil in bulk I would suggest at least 5 plants.

Harvest your basil early in the morning by pinching off a few leaves on each plant. Your basil leaves will taste best before the plant flowers – flowering can make the leaves bitter. If you see flowers forming at the top of your plants, pinch or snip them off as soon as possible.

Magickal Uses of Basil:

Parts Used: Whole herb, leaves

  • Abundance
  • Astral Projection (flying)
  • Business
  • Dispel gossip
  • Divination
  • Exorcism
  • Happiness
  • Harmony
  • Love
  • Money
  • Peace
  • Protection
  • Safe Travel
  • Wealth

Ways to use Basil Magickally

  • Take dried basil and tie it in a drawstring bag with some pennies to draw luck to your money and business matters.
  • Plant basil near the threshold of your home to repel negative entities and welcome friendly spirits.
  • Take a bath with Basil before attempting astral projection to aid you in your journey.
  • Simmer cut lemon and fresh basil in water. When cooled and added to a spray bottle, it can be used to clean sacred objects, candles, altars, spaces, the work environment, etc.
  • To use for exorcism: Mix basil, rue, hyssop and myrrh and grind to a powder. Burn over a charcoal making sure you fumigated every corner of your home.
  • Giving a basil plant to a newly married couple is thought to ensure that their marriage status sweet and prosperous.
  • Use the essential oil in aromatherapy to dispel or banish sadness or depression.
  • Hang the leaves from your windshield or anoint yourself, an amulet, or your car to keep yourself safe during travel.

Culinary Uses for Basil

Basil images
Image by Conger Design from Pixabay

Basil is a versatile herb. It can be used fresh, dried, chopped, and crushed. It adds zip to your pasta sauces, brightness to your salads, and its mildly spicy taste can be blended into butter for the perfect summer spread.

Your culinary adventure can start by preserving your basil harvest by drying the leaves in a dehydrator or on drying racks. You can also use a food processor to finely chop the fresh leaves and freeze in ice cube trays for fresh basil any time. Another great preserving idea is to create an infused vinegar or oil for use in cooking. Take fresh basil leaves, slightly crushed, place in a mason jar and cover with either white wine vinegar or olive oil. Allow the basil to sit in the vinegar or oil for a week or two, shaking once daily. Then strain the basil out of the liquid and place the liquid in a clean, decorative container or back into the mason jar. Both infusions will keep up to a year when kept out of direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Of course, we can’t talk about basil without bringing up pesto. Basil, in my opinion, makes the best pesto. Add whole basil leaves to a food processor, filling it to the top, and then pulse lightly. Add in some fresh minced garlic and drizzle in some olive oil. Pulse again and continue to drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency you desire. You can add pine nuts or walnuts to the finished pesto to give it some added mouth feel.

Medicinal Uses of Basil

Note: The information noted in this blog post is intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this post are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems, nor is it for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications or before using and herbs or herbal supplements.

Medicinal Properties:

  • Alterative
  • Antipyretic
  • Carminative
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant

Used primarily in a tea, Basil has a long history of aiding such ailments as stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It works well to ease constipation and lessen anxiety symptoms.

Basil is full of antioxidants, so including it in your diet will aid with the elimination of free radicals from your body. Basil, according to a 2019 study, may help to reduce high blood sugar levels.

Another type of basil is tulsi, or holy basil (Ocimum santum). This plant plays a therapeutic role in Tamil and Ayurvedic medicines, which are predominantly practiced in Southeast Asia. This is different from sweet basil we use most often in cooking. Tulsi has amazing medicinal and therapeutic qualities – too many to mention in this article.

Amazing Basil

I hope you’ve enjoyed our adventure with our Herb of the Month – Basil. May this post inspire you to try your hand at growing this amazing plant yourself.

Blessings!

Sources: The Way of Herbs, Tierra, Michael, Pocket Books 1998

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Herb of the Month-Thyme

With the summer heat now upon us, it’s time – no pun intended- to harvest some of our herbs. Here in the Central Valley of Oregon, things are a bit trickier, gardening wise, so we need to pick hardy perennials. With that in mind, let me introduce you to our Herb of the Month-Thyme.

Herb of the Month-Thyme
Thyme in a raised planter (Photo by Terry Lynn Pellegrini)

Thyme is a member of the mint family. It is generally a low growing perennial, winter hardy to zone five. Leaves are dark, gray green in color and the labiate flowers are tiny and generally pink. Blooms in early to midsummer. There are many tiny oval-shaped leaves on each slender, woody stem.

Thyme comes in over fifty varieties with different fragrances and flavors. Fresh or English thyme are used most often in cooking.

A native of the Mediterranean, Thyme was spread throughout Europe and used frequently by the Romans. Their soldiers added it to their bathwater to increase bravery, strength, and vigor. It enjoyed a long association with bravery. In Medieval England, ladies embroidered sprigs of thyme into their knights’ scarves to increase their bravery. In Scotland, highlanders brewed tea to increase courage and keep away nightmares.

Thyme is also a purificatory herb; the Greeks burned it in their temples to purify them and so thyme is often burned prior to magical rituals to cleanse the area. In spring a magical cleansing bath composed of marjoram and thyme is taken to ensure all the sorrows and ills of the past are removed from the person.

It is said that places where wild thyme grows are blessed by fae, and due to this association thyme is often used in work regarding fae.

Thyme

  • Plant: Thyme
  • Latin Name: Thymus vulgaris
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Folk Names: Garden Thyme, Common Thyme
  • Elements: Water
  • Energy: Feminine
  • Planet: Venus
  • Astrological Signs: Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Taurus
  • Deities: Aphrodite, Aries, Freya, Hecate, Mars, The Fae
Thyme in Bloom- Photo by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Magickal Uses of the Herb of the Month-Thyme

Parts used – Whole Herb

  • Banishing Negativity
  • Cleansing
  • Courage
  • Divination
  • Dream Work
  • Fairy Magick
  • Happiness
  • Healing
  • Health,
  • Heighten Empathy
  • Love
  • Prosperity
  • Psychic Abilities
  • Purification
  • Sleep

Magickal Ways to Use Thyme

  1. A pillow stuffed with thyme dispels nightmares and promotes positive dreams.
  2. Wearing a sprig of thyme in your hair makes you more approachable.
  3. Add thyme to your bathwater to increase courage.
  4. When working hard to achieve a goal that seems un-achievable, thyme can be used in spells to help you keep a positive attitude.

Growing Thyme

Thyme can grow in the ground or in a container. Either is left outside in wintertime. New leaves will emerge within the early spring. Thyme thrives in full sun and loves heat. Thyme likes well-drained soil as it doesn’t like “wet feet.” In the garden, plant with other drought-tolerant perennials.

It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds as they are slow to germinate and easily “drowned”. It is much simpler, and more satisfying, to buy the plants from a garden center or take some cuttings from a friend. Over time, you can propagate from your own cuttings.

Plant cuttings or young thyme plants any time after the ground temperature reaches 70°F. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost in well-drained soil about 9 inches apart. 

Space young plants 12 to 24 inches apart, depending upon the specific variety. They will spread out quite a bit so they need plenty of room.

Thyme does well in greenhouses and even indoors with proper grow lights and moisture levels. This is important in Central Oregon as are many micro-climates can make growing any herbs a challenge.

Culinary Uses

Thyme is used most often to flavor soups, stews, meats and veggies. I use it in my pasta sauce, beans and sprinkle it into chicken soup. It’s great on roasted potatoes, and even in fresh bread.

Thyme can be used either fresh or dried. Dried has a more powerful flavor so use less than you would fresh, roughly one third of the dried herb compared to fresh. When using fresh you can use the entire stem (remove the stem before serving) or remove the leaves from the stems and sprinkle into your dish.

Thyme infused vinegar is a wonderful way to add flavor to salads and veggies. Fill a jar with fresh thyme (dried can be used in a pinch but it is harder to strain) and then cover with white wine vinegar. Let the jar sit for several days to a week. You will know when it is ready when the vinegar has a strong thyme taste. Strain the vinegar and discard the thyme. Place back in the jar or a fancy serving decanter.

Medicinal Uses of Thyme

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Before using any herb medicinally, always consult with your physician.

  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Antitussive
  • Carminative
  • Disinfectant
  • Expectorant

Thyme is often used for acute respiratory infections including coughs and colds. It can sooth gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, gas, and indigestion.

Thyme is a powerful disinfectant and antiseptic when used both externally – as a wash – and internally in a tea or tincture.

Some benefits of using Thyme are:

  • fighting acne
  • lowering blood pressure
  • helping to alleviate cough
  • boosting immunity
  • disinfecting
  • repelling pests
  • aromatherapy
  • boosting mood
  • preventing bacterial infections
  • helping to treat yeast infections
  • possibly helping against certain types of cancer

Our Herb of the Month-Thyme, is an amazing plant. It is hardy, easy to grow, great for cooking and packed with medicinal benefits. May this humble yet amazing plant grace your garden and bring you joy.

Blessings!

Sources: Gladstar, Rosemary, Medicinal Herbs, a Beginner’s Guide, Storey Publishing 2012; Tierra, Michael, The Way of Herbs, Pocket Books, 1988

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New Class – Making Magick with Culinary Herbs

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. We’ve all used them for cooking, but did you know you can use them for magick as well?

Welcome to Making Magick with Culinary Herbs! This fun, hands-on class will provide you with information on 9 culinary herbs, their magickal properties, uses, as well as a bit of history and lore. We will then go on to create one of three (your choice) charm/spell bags using these wonderful herbs.

Class will be held on:

June 12, 2022, 1 pm

June 16, 2022, 6:30 pm

at the Triune Moon studio – 51636 Huntington Rd Ste 2, La Pine, Oregon

Price is $20 per person and includes a detailed handout and all herbs, etc. for the hands-on portion.

Click on the link below to reserve your spot!

https://square.link/u/nJ9n9C0i

Making Magick with Culinary Herbs
(Image by Steve Buisinne from Pixabay)

Note: This class will be available for purchase online early in July.

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No Longer AWOL

Hello all! Sorry I haven’t been around lately. My site has been acting strangely and I have been unable to post anything. I am no longer AWOL, so I’ll catch you up on what’s happening.

I opened my Reiki studio and mini-store on April 16th. It’s been going well with clients coming in fairly regularly and in-person my tarot readings keeping me busy. Right now I am open by appointment only but am planning on having more walk-in days as I did last Saturday.

Reiki Session in Progress at Triune Moon

The Etsy shop is doing well. Orders continue to come in at a steady pace so that is keeping my quite busy as well.

I’ve started classes and workshops in the new space. I have a two this month (my son’s wedding is this week so I kept my calendar small) but have several planned for June and July. The class offerings are as noted below:

Class Offering for May and June 2022

  • May 25th – Crystal Ball Gazing Workshop
  • May 28th – Sculpt Your Own Goddess Workshop
  • June 8th – Poppet Workshop
  • June 12th and 16th – Making Magick with Culinary Herbs
  • June 19th – Create a Summer Solstice Sun Catcher
  • June 30th – Unusual Forms of Divination

As you can see, I’m keeping very busy. I will be starting up the card of the week again and I am working on a newsletter as well.

I will be working on a viewable calendar for this site and also a “book now” page for my services and classes. I am planning on offering several classes on line and via Zoom or Messenger Video early next year. I will, along with my business partner Molly, be expanding our Sisterhood circles. In February I will be adding Goddess circles to the schedule as well.

So, I am no longer AWOL but I am crazy busy. And happy to be so.

Blessings.

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Finding Beauty in the Little Things

You would think that living in a forest amongst the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines that beauty would be easy to find. And it is. As the autumn progresses the land here is dipped in shades of green, gold, red, and umber. It rained yesterday and the droplets on the trees reflect the rising sun, looking like diamonds amidst the pine needles and aspen leaves. However, I am not speaking of the obvious sort of beauty. The beauty that assails your senses and leaves you breathless. No, I am talking of finding beauty in the little things. Beauty in the less obvious places.

Have you ever looked at a weed? I mean, really looked at it. Have you noticed the whorls, the geometry, the beautiful simplicity it projects? I hadn’t either until I started taking photos of plants around my property. The perfection, the beauty of a weed is amazing. We may still want to remove them (though many are actually beneficial and/or medicinal) but we can’t deny that they can be lovely-especially when they are in flower.

Finding Beauty in the Little Things - a whorled weed from my yard.
A whorled weed from my yard.

Little Things Can Be Amazing

Have you ever sat and watched a bee? For 20 minutes? I have. I got caught up the other day marveling at the industry, the loveliness, of this tiny little creature. Many of the flowers are gone, but they have found the sweetness of the hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds have since migrated away (a different species than I was familiar with in the Central Valley) so the bees have appropriated the feeders. I was going to take them down but now instead, will refill them just for the bees. Forget the bird watching. Now I am an avid bee watcher as well.

Once you start looking at life differently, finding beauty in the little things is easy. Take dust motes for example. I never realized how beautiful they can be when you watch them whirling about in a beam of light. Makes your household chores that much easier to accomplish when you can have something wonderous to look at around every corner. And trust me. In this environment, I’ll always have dust to marvel at.

Finding Beauty in Unusual Places

As I continued on my quest to find the beauty around me, I began to look in unusual places. At least they were unusual for me. I began to look at (and under) rocks, twigs, and brush. I found beauty in a petunia that had sprung up between the cracks of a retaining wall. The last owner must have planted petunias last year, giving us a splash of color to greet us this season.

Finding beauty - a petunia between the rocks in a retaining wall.
Last year’s petunias add to this year’s beauty.

I then found myself marveling at the moss growing on a rock. Moss you say. Is a rock really that interesting? It is! The textures, the shades of green and brown with a smattering of rust and gold. It looked to be as soft as velvet. It was, but a bit spongy as well. Yet, look at how lovely the texture it, how delicate the moss seems. Amazing!

Luscious moss covered rock.

Little Things are Beautiful

The vastness of the blue sky, the soft whiteness of the clouds, the seemingly endless forest scape – these things are beauty portrayed on a grand scale. But a single drop of water shimmering on a one needle. The flicker of a tealight candle. The tip of a warm, wet, black nose directly in your eyesight as you awaken in the morning. This are the little things that we can find beauty in. They are all around us. From the sun reflecting off of a puddle in the parking lot of the grocery store to the smile of your neighbor as they wave from across the street. Keep looking for the beauty that is all around you, hiding in the unusual, the little, and the weird spaces around you. It will make you smile, your heart sing, and bring you joy.

Blessings!

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3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon

Mabon is on the 22nd this year and I am looking forward to yet another solitary Sabbat. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what I would like to do. Trust me. This solitary life hasn’t been easy when it comes to creating ritual. I have so many ideas but all of them seem to include multiple people. So, I sat down with those ideas and pared them down to just me doing all the things. Still, I couldn’t decide on just one thing so I have come up with 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon.

Below are 3 ways as a solitary (or expand this for a group) to celebrate the second harvest. All are very simple and shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Modify these ideas to fit your personal practice and expand on them if you like.

My Mabon altar from 2021.

Celebrate Mabon with an Actual Harvest

If you are an avid gardener, this may be an easy one for you. If not, this will take a bit of research or some travel. Find out, for your particular area, what fruits and vegetables are harvested during the month of September. Here in Central Oregon we are harvesting apples, several types of berries, cabbage and carrots, among others. Once you know what to look for – go out and “harvest” it, either in your yard, at the local farmer’s market, or ask a local grower to pick your own.

Once you’ve collected your harvest, set up your altar in your usual fashion. Place a green or gold candle on the altar and place your bounty around it. Light the candle and say:

“On this day of Mabon, I reap the bounty of the second harvest. May all my days be as plentiful as they are at this moment in time. May me and mine never hunger, may we want for nothing. May our pantries and bellies be full. May our hearts and beings be filled with joy, love, and peace.”

Sit for a while. Focus on the many things you have at this moment and all the bounty that will come your way. When you feel you are ready, snuff the candle and partake of your harvest.

Create a “Harvest” Journal

For this ritual you will need a notebook of some type (or you can add this to a journal that you are already keeping). Or, if you are like me, and have terrible handwriting, you can create a folder in your laptop or computer labeled “Harvest”. This ritual can be done in front of your altar. Alternately, if the weather is good, take your notebook outside.

Begin by thanking any deity(ies) that you work with (or the Universe, the One, Lord and Lady, etc.) for the many things that you have “harvested” this year. These things can be something tangible such as a new home, new job, a marriage, and so forth. Also count the intangible harvests. These are actions or deeds that have helped you “harvest” new ideas, attitudes, etc. For example, I have recently been working on ideas for a new book. While that book hasn’t come to be yet, I have harvested many ideas for that book.

Now write all of this down – yes, all of it. Even if you feel it is too small to note, mark it down. Don’t think to much about any of it, just write. When done, read it out loud to yourself. Did you write down a good deal more “harvests” than you were thankful for originally?

Keep this journal (or a printed copy of your file) on your altar. Take a look at it every day until Samhain and see how many other wonderful things you have “harvested” this year.

3 Ways tp Celebrate Mabon - Apple Magick
Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay

Make Some Apple Magick!

Of the 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, I find this the most simple, yet most profound. No, really. For this experience you will need an apple (or two), a sharp knife, a candle, your altar (If you don’t have an altar, any flat surface (even a fireplace mantel) will work just fine.) Lastly, you will bring an open heart and mind.

Place the apple(s) on your altar. If you wish, add other fall decorations as well. In the center of the altar place a candle-green or gold is appropriate but a white candle will work just as well. Place the knife next to the candle.

Light your candle and say “I welcome the magick of the season into my life. May the blessings of Mabon be shown to me.”

Cut the apple horizontally with the sharp knife. A pentagram will appear in the center of the apple. Sit in contemplation of this magickal gift and think of the many gifts that you possess as well. Close your eyes and meditate on these gifts. When you are ready, open them again and look around you. Do you see the 5 points of the pentagram being repeated elsewhere? How about the magick of your 5 fingers? Your toes? The five elements (earth, air, fire, water and spirit or wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.) Think of how miraculous the number 5 can be and the how the magick of the pentagram relates in your life.

Now take a big bite out of the apple. As you do so you are taking in the magick of the harvest, the magick of the pentagram, and the magick and goodness of the apple into your being. Leave the remainder of the apple on your altar as an offering and snuff out your candle.

Celebrate Away!

As you can see, a solitary Mabon ritual be reverent and rewarding, simple yet fulfilling. May these 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, bring you as much joy as it has me.

Blessings!

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How to Use Spell Powders

Long before I met my first Craft mentor I had no idea where to start when it came to spell work. My first teachers were the books I could purchase by nearly clandestine practices from my local book store (I was WAY in the closet at that time). I tried candle magicks, small spells, and then I found, what for me, was an article – I don’t recall who wrote it, on how to use spell powders. It was quite the eye opener and it changed everything.

Spell powders are created by grinding dried herbs, resins, and stones/crystals into as fine a powder as possible. The completed powder is then charged with your intentions and used in a manner that is most beneficial to your outcome. These seemingly simple ingredients combined with your intentions create a powerfully concentrated magickal experience that will enhance any spell or working you choose.

How to Use Your Spell Powder

Spell powders are very easy to use. You can sprinkle them on doorsteps, windowsills, or pathways (this works fabulous for powders for protection, money drawing or to move a nasty neighbor on their way.) Add your powder to your wallet or inside a coin purse to attract money. Dress a candle with oil and roll in or sprinkle the candle with the powder to charge up your candle magick. Use the powder to create your ritual circle. Place the powder in mojo or spell bags to carry with you. Ring your candles or other spell items with your powder. You can even add the powders to a potion or brew.

Don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. Your Craft is your own and the many uses of spell powders is only limited by your need and imagination.

Note: Remember that powders are never, ever to be ingested or used as an incense. They are for external use only, and may contain ingredients that could be harmful to you if eaten or inhaled through smoke and ash.

Creating Your Own Spell Powder

Creating your own spell powder is not as complicated as it seems, but it is time consuming. To create your own you will need some basic ingredients and tools. Below I’ve given you ideas and instructions in creating your own spell powders.

How to Choose Spell Powder Ingredients

In order to choose the ingredients you must first have a clear idea of what you would like to use your powders for. Are you looking to find love? Is prosperity or money on your mind? Do you have a neighbor that is harassing you or your family and you need them to move on? The variations are endless. However, as in any spell work, you must focus on the exact issue or need and choose your ingredients from there.

Once you have your focus you can begin to determine what herbs, resins, or stones and crystals would work best. You can use a guide to correspondences such as Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondence: A Ritual Handbook or you can let your intuition guide you. Use as many as you are guided to use. I personally like to use 3, 7 or 9 ingredients but that is not a hard or fast rule.

Use high quality ingredients, if at all possible. Organic herbs have an energy that mass grown and produced do not. Better yet use herbs you have grown yourself to add extra power to your work.

The same goes with resins and stones. Purchase these from reliable and ethical stores, online or your local metaphysical shop. The better the quality, the more responsibly harvested and sourced, the better the finished product.

Creating Your Spell Powder

Creating a Spell Powder

Now that you have gathered your ingredients it’s time to create your powders. Don’t forget to have pen and paper next to you so you can record what you are using and how much. Relying on your memory can be tricky when you want to recreate any magickal powder, potion, etc.

Be precise and accurate in your measurements. Use a scale if possible or, if you’d like, use the old methods of “one palm full”, or a “pinch. Just keep it consistent for each ingredient.

Take your measured ingredient and place it into a mortar or pestle. If you are making large amounts, like I do, use a dedicated electric coffee or herb grinder. As you place the ingredients into the mortar (bowl) or grinder focus on the intention of the powder. If it is for prosperity, for example, you can say “For Prosperity” as you place it into the bowl. Grind the ingredient to as fine a powder as possible. This may take quite a while, especially with roots and barks.

A note of caution when using an electric grinder. Resins may gum up the grinder so a mortar and pestle is preferred. Stones and crystals may dull the blades of the appliance as well, so use caution.

Grind all ingredients well and place in a ceramic bowl or a clean cauldron. Hold you hands over the bowl and charge (empower) your powder for its intended purpose. If the powder is for love you could say something such as “Let this power aid me in drawing love, in all its forms, to me.” or I charge these herbs to seek out and find my true love, whomever that may be.” When you feel you have poured as much energy and focus into the powder it is now ready to use.

Using The Moon and Planetary Timing When Creating Your Spell Powder

I wanted to add just a quick note about using moon phases and a planetary hours and astrological correspondences when creating your powders. If you create your powders with the most auspicious timing, be it by the moon or planets, it will add an extra punch of energy and efficacy to your powders. That being said, our needs don’t always happen during the correct phases. If you need money fast and it’s a waning moon don’t worry. Create that powder anyways. As an example, instead of asking for an increase of funds you can ask to banish debts instead. Better yet, you can add a “disclaimer” to your workings. You can say something like “May all the correct astrological, planetary and lunar correspondences favor this powder.” Just remember, need outweighs “correctness”. It is our will that makes it work. The Universe will listen.

Don’t have time to Make Your Own – No Worries.

How to Use Spell Powders - Triune Moon Luck be With You Powder
Spell Powder -from the Triune Moon Etsy Store

Making your own spell powders can be labor intensive. If you, like many others, are super busy or perhaps just don’t have access to the herbs, stones or resins required, not to worry. You can check out my Etsy Store at TriuneMoon. I have several powders and spell candles there for purchase. I can also create custom spell powders for your particular needs.

Whatever you decide, creating your own or using a purchased spell powder, you can be certain that your spell work will pack on extra punch when you use these powdery powerhouses.

May all your intentions be made manifest and your spell work be fruitful.

Blessed Be.

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15 Magickal Projects While We Shelter In Place

We are going through an unprecedented crisis in our country right now. This pandemic has changed the way we are living, working, and socializing. Most of us in the world are now on “shelter in place” orders. It is going to be difficult for most of us to keep busy – mundanely and magickally. To help you make this time as productive as possible, and still have fun, I’ve come up with 15 Magickal Projects while we Shelter In Place.

First of all, let me emphasize “Stay Home”! Only go out for necessities – food, medicine, to work (if you can’t work from home), and to walk or run for exercise (keeping physical distance). If you don’t have supplies for any of the projects I’ve indicated – don’t run out to get them. Order online or, better yet, improvise. Let’s see how resourceful and ingenious we can be.

15 Magickal Projects

  • Create a Magickal Journal or Book of Shadows (BOS). – Have any old binders or notebooks laying around? How about composition books? Do you have leftover tissue paper or wrapping paper? If you have any of these things, some Decoupage or Clear craft glue, you can create a one of a kind magickal journal or BOS.
  • Melt down your old candle nubs and make new candles. – You know you have them. Bits and pieces of old candles that you’ve been saving for just such a day. Gather them up, melt them down, and make some new, magickaly infused, candles for your altar or spell work.
  • Sew up some spell bags. – Wlhile I usually like to use white or red for my spell and mojo bags, any remnants of material you have on hand will do. No sewing machine is required, just a needle and some thread. The hand-stitching adds extra energy to the bags.
  • Plant a magickal herb garden. – Check out my blog on creating a Witches Garden for some helpful hints.
  • Learn about a new magickal discipline or practice. – If you are anything like me, you love to learn about different practices and magickal techniques. Fortunately there are a lot of great books available from Amazon and information on the Internet, allowing us to research to our hearts content.

The Projects Keep Coming

  • Create rituals for all of the Sabbats. – The time to procrastinate is over. With all of is at home for the next few months we can devote some of our time to creating those rituals we have always wanted to. Never written a ritual before? Now is the time to grab pen and notebook, sit at your laptop or tablet, and give it a go.
  • Do weekly chats online with your coven or circle. – There are lots of ways to connect. Zoom, Skype, and Messenger are just a few platforms to chat, connect and see each other’s smiling faces.
  • Clean your altars and workspace. – No, not just a good dusting – really clean them. Wash statues and offering plates, scrape off that candle wax. Scrub your cauldrons and all the surfaces.
  • Start a Gratitude jar. – Grab an old or a box and create a Gratitude Jar. Each day write on a slip of paper something you are grateful for and place in the jar. Being grateful for what we have is a very magickal practice!
  • Create some magickal art. – Sculpt, paint, do needlework, anything creative. As you do so, infuse it with magickal intention. Later, as you look at, hold, or wear your art, you will activate the magickal intentions.
15 Magickal Projects- An old witch sitting in front of the fire.
Public Domain Image
  • Craft a new item for your altar. – Always wanted to make an altar cloth from material you found a year ago? Itching to carve an altar offering bowl? Now is your chance. Break out your tools and get to work.
  • Hold daily or weekly healing rituals for the World. – It’s important to remember we are all connected. All forms of healing are critical! I will be publishing my healing ritual in the next week or you can design one of your own.
  • Practice your psychic arts. – Grab your pendulums, tarot cards, crystal balls, etc. and get to work. We will need these skills even more as we move forward.
  • Start or enhance your meditation practice. – Just do it already! This one of the best ways to enhance your magickal practice. And, there are no more “I don’t have time.” excuses allowed.
  • Drum, Sing, and Dance in your magick. – Bring some joy , along with the magick, into this stressful time.

Now Get To Work!

Don’t hesitate another moment. Grab your supplies and get to work. Unsure of where to start or how to do some of the projects I suggested? No worries. I will be posting “how-to” blogs in the weeks to come.

I look forward to seeing some of your projects. You can post pictures in the comments or on my Facebook Page – Triune Moon.

Stay home. Be Safe. Stay Healthy. Blessed Be!

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Vervain – Herb of the Month, February 2020

Vervain, commonly known as Verbena, is an extremely versatile herb, both magickly and medicinally. Found all around the world, it has a rich and useful history. Vervain has been considered a magickal and sacred herb in many different cultures throughout the centuries. It is best remembered as a sacred plant to both the Druids and the Roman priesthood.

Vervain - Verbena Officinalis
Verbena Officinalis

To the ancient Romans the name “verbena” meant altar plant. The twigs of the plant were put into bundles and then used to sweep the altar and temple areas.

The name “vervain” comes from the Celtic term “ferfaen;fer” meaning “to drive away” and “faen” meaning “a stone”. Healers would gather this herb to be used to treat kidney stones – something it is still used for today.

Vervain is a slim plant that may grow to be about 80 cm (32 in) tall. It is a hardy perennial and self-sows. It grows freely in the wild and is often found along roadsides and in dry or stony grounds. Today it is a favorite in many a garden and a staple in every witch’s herbal cabinet and apothecary.

Plant: Common Vervain

Scientific Name: Verbena

Genus: Verbena, L.

Latin Name: Verbena Officinalis, Verbena Californica, Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain)

Family:  Verbenaceae

Folk/Secret Names: Van Van, Dragon’s Claw, Enchanter’s Plant, Herba Sacra, Holy Plant, Frog’s Foot, Juno’s Tears, Pigeon Grass

Gender: Feminine

Elements: Water

Planet: Venus

Astrological Signs: Gemini

Deities: Venus, Cerridwen, Isis, Mars, Venus, Aradia, Jupiter, Thor, Juno

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Vervaain - An artists rendition of vervain

Magickal Uses of Vervain

Vervain is a sacred plant, potentially the most mystical plant on earth. It is used on altars and is a staple plant in magic ceremonies. It is a versatile herb that has many magickal uses.

Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves

  • Bestowing peace
  • Catalyst – use to make spells “go”
  • Cleansing the altar
  • Consecration of tools
  • Healing
  • Herb of Immortality
  • Keeping evil at bay
  • Protection
  • Purification
  • Romance and love
  • Turning your rival into an ally
  • Used in fortune telling and prophecy
  • Vervain is the herb of poets, singers, and bards.  It was often carried by these performers for to bring inspiration and increased skill
  • Vervain was placed around fields to prevent bad weather and to ensure a good harvest.
  • Vision questing

Substitutions: Motherwort, Skullcap, California Poppy

Verbana hastata
Verbena Hastata

Growing Vervain

This easy to grow plant is a favorite in many home gardens. The Verbena genus is large, contains both annuals and perennials, and has a range in height from 10 cm through to 1.4 m. Vervain (Verbena) as an annual grows in zones 1 to 10, as a perennial: zones 3 to 10. In general the plants have dark green toothed leaves, and bloom from summer until the first frost of winter. Depending on the variety they may have clusters of tiny flat fragrant flowers or spikes with tiny flowers, making Vervain a great attractor of butterflies and bees to the garden.

Vervain can easily be started from seeds. Be sure to stratify the seeds (follow link for definition) to increase the germination rate. Sow seeds outside after the last frost of spring. Seeds can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to germinate, so don’t get discouraged. Alternately you can pick up plants from your local nursery.

Plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Spacing of your plants will depend on the variety.  Consult the information on the seed packets or plant tags to determine the planting space required for your variety. When in doubt, consult the staff of your favorite nursery or garden center.

Depending on your soil quality and acidity, Vervain needs very little fertilizer.  I usually add a bit to the soil before I sow seeds or add new plants and to any established perennials in the early spring.

Blooms are very long lived.  However, Vervain is self-sowing so if you don’t want your garden overrun with these beautiful plants cut the flowers before they go to seed.

Medicinal Uses

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional Information

Verbena Officinalis is most often used medicinally.  Alternately you could use Verbena Hastata. Some of Vervain’s properties are:

  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticoagulant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Diaphoretic
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Galactagogue
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant

Vervain is most often used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Ascites
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colds
  • Depression
  • Flus
  • Gout
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney Stones
  • Liver disorders
  • Mastitis
  • Painful or irregular menses

Please consult a licensed Herbalist and your Physician before using any parts of the Vervain plant medicinally.


Sources: 

Beyerl, Paul The Master Book of Herbalism Blaine, Washington, Phoenix Publishing Inc. 1981

Dugan, Ellen Garden Witch’s Herbal, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Publications 2009

Mueller-Ebeling, Claudia, Ratsch, Christian, and Storl, Wolf-Dieter Witchcraft Medicine Vermont Inner Traditions 2003

Tierra, Michael The Way of Herbs New York, NY, Pocket Books, 1998

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Taking Some Much Needed Downtime

Wow! It’s hard to believe that Winter Solstice will be here on Saturday. This year has just flown by. And what a year it’s been. I’ve been simultaneously busy and relaxed, contemplative and active. I’ve been chasing my new puppy, busy with the tarot cards of the day and writing this blog. But now that the holidays are upon us I am going to be taking some much needed downtime.

We all need a bit of a break now and then. A time to regroup, refresh and reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and spirits. Getting some much needed downtime is crucial to our health. This time of year is perfect for that. The days are colder and the nights lend towards snuggling in your favorite blanket, enjoying a cup of tea and a good book. For me, it is also the time I take stock of what is or isn’t working for me. How can I best use my time? What things need to be put aside and what new things should be put in their place? My Virgo soul enjoys a good list so I grab my pad and pen and get to writing up pros and cons.

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