Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Make A - Book of Shadows

Picture from Pandoraz Treasures which by the way is apparently having a "Going Out Of Business Sale"

Since I did the Book of Shadows post yesterday, I thought it would be fitting to give directions on how to create your own Book of Shadows. You can use anything from a plain old spiral bound notebook, available just about anywhere, to a journal, a diary, or something made just for that purpose. There are many places that sell blank BoS, both online and at any of a number of witchcraft shops.

But what I am going to do here today, is give a blueprint to create your own, "classic" BoS. Anything you make with your own hands is going to be imbued with your energy, and therefore more powerful for you. You should be able to find supplies at any art supply store, craft store, or even your neighborhood Wal-mart, many of which have a decent crafts section. Jo-Ann Fabric, Hancock Fabrics, and Michael's are also good places to look for supplies.

  • What you'll need:

  • Leather front & back covers

  • parchment paper

  • leather ties (this can be bought by the yard at most fabric stores)

  • something to make holes (maybe an ice pick & a hammer?)

  • writing implement

  • whatever you want to use as decoration on the cover

  • if you're really crafty, you could use leather sets to emboss the wording or designs on the cover as well

You can go to Associated Content or eHow and get step-by-step instructions on how to make your own leather cover. One of them says it would be perfect for a Bible, which I find slightly ironic...You should also be able to find these pre-made at one of the store types listed above. The directions seem to be tailored to making a cover for an existing book, but it seems to me you could adapt it, replacing the book with stiff cardboard, to make your front & back covers.

Capricorn's Lair has a good selection of different parchments, as well as a selection of journals that could be used as BoS, As a matter-of-fact, they are one of my favorite on line stores. Between them & Azure Green I've almost always been able to find whatever magical item I have been looking for. You should also be able to obtain parchment at any of the places listed above.

SO, make your covers putting two or three (or however many you want) holes in them to "bind" them. Next, you need to determine how much paper you think you'll want (keep in mind, if you are doing this as described, using the "ties that bind" to hold it all together, you can always add more paper later), Center your paper on the cover & mark where your holes need to go. Once you have your holes, carefully thread the leather ties through all pieces, starting with the back cover, next the parchment, then the front cover. Carefully tie in a knot, You now have a Book of Shadows, made by you. Decorate the cover in whatever design you prefer.

There is one other on-line store I'd like to direct you to. It's called Seasons of The Witch, and sells calendars, planners, binders, and other things. I have purchased from them in the past and found them to sell high quality items, as well as being quick & friendly.

Fill your BoS with your spells, rituals, recipes, cures, herbal information, dreams, thoughts, and whatever else seems important to you. Never mind if it isn't something typically included in a Book of Shadows - this one is YOURS and should contain YOUR energies.


When done, you can use one of the following spells to Bless your creation. The source of the first is unknown, the second was found at New Orleans Mistic:

Protecting Items from Prying eyes
This is a spell that protects your witch chest, if you have one, your place where you keep magical items you don't want others to see, and of utmost importance, your Book of Shadows.
Have a bowl of water, a bowl of salt, and one of those cheap misters you can get in the drugstore. Put candles in the four corners and light them. Cast a circle and Call the Corners. Then Hold your hands over the bowls of water and salt, and allow your magic to flow through your arms onto the objects, surrounding them with protective light.
Protect from prying eyes
What only I can see
Protect from prying eyes
These magic things of me
Make a veil of mystic worth
Protect this magic Book of Shadow's hearth
Let our lines be blurred
Blended smudged and slurred
Only my eyes can see
The secrets which entrusted be
Then hold your hands over the water, and say:
I consecrate this water for protection in the name of the Lady and the Lord so mote it be!
Then hold your hands over the salt, and say:
I consecrate this water for protection in the name of the Lady and the Lord so mote it be!
Then put the water and salt into the mister and lightly mist your object(s) Your personal belongings (in this case, your Book of Shadows) are protected!!

To Bless Your Book of Shadows

You will need:

  • A Blue Candle

  • A Purple Candle

  • A Red Candle

  • A Green Candle

  • A Yellow Candle


Whether your BOS is a heavy-bound journal, a small personal diary, or a 3-ringed notebook, this spell will guard your book and enchant its pages.

On the night of the Full Moon, cast your circle and place your BOS on your alter. Situate 5 candles (Purple, green, yellow, red, and blue) around your book in a rough pentagram shape. If you see fit, you can place the candles in their correct positions:


Blue ~ Green

Red ~ Yellow

Light the candles, starting with the purple and ending with the blue, and say this or another verse:

By the powers of center (north, south, east, west),

The forces of spirit (earth, air, fire, water),

I bless and protect this Book of Shadows From all unwanted forces and beings.

With your power hand, athame, or wand, draw an invoking pentagram on your BOS's cover and say:

May no unprepared eye or hand behold this Blessed Book of Power.
Ancient Mother, behold this book.
Guard and bless its pages.
Ancient Father, behold this book.
Guard and bless its pages.
By the powers of the Moon and stars above me.
So shall it be.
With this, the ritual is done. Some chose to bury the candles. Others choose to use them for another spell. It's your choice what you do. It is recommended that this spell is done for the 4 sabbats to mark your progress and increase in power, but it also can be done once a year on that same month's Full Moon.


From: "Chameleon" (

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Surprise - What Is A Book Of Shadows

I could use this day and space to do a general Lammas/Lughnassadh overview, but that wouldn't really be a surprise, would it? And today's theme is "Sunday Surprise". So I decided to deviate from the expected, and do an overview of Books of Shadows .

According to it's most basic definition, a Book of Shadows is a book of spells or rituals copied by hand. That's crucial; by definition, a Book of Shadows is a personalized, hand-written book, No two are identical, if only because the handwriting is different. Although various authors have published their personal Book of Shadows, these are usually intended as guidelines or methods of preserving traditions. If you use a printed, published Book of Shadows for spellcasting, which many do, then by definition it is being used in the manner of a grimoire. In order to possess an authentic Book of Shadows it must be hand-written even if all you do is copy it word for word. A not insubstantial portion of the tradition's power and beauty derives from the magical art of putting pen to paper.

Books of Shadows derive from the notion that because magical practices and/or pagan religion were persecuted with total eradication as the goal, witches (variously defined) kept secret books. Secrecy was crucial because possession of a magical or pagan text (and that's a distinction the Inquisition would nor have made) was grounds for arrest and conviction for witchcraft. The title of the genre, which may or may not have been coined by Gerald Gardner, father of modern Wicca, refers to the necessity of keeping these books hidden or in the shadows."

If one uses the purest, narrowest definition of a Book of Shadows as a hand-written, personalized book of rituals and magic, then in essence, all magical manuscripts created prior to the invention of the printing press, not least the medieval grimoires, are Books of Shadows. They were, by necessity, hand-copied. There was no other way to make a book.

However, that pure, narrow definition of Book of Shadows is rarely used, and the equation of then with medieval grimoires would horrify, appall and anger many Wiccans, because a Book of Shadows is more than just a handwritten ritual guide.

Many would object to considering medieval grimoires as Books of Shadows because these grimoires are virtually all associated with a type of selfish, frequently malevolent, male-orientated sorcery, heavily steeped in Christianity (many who used and perhaps wrote then were theologians) and with a type of magic that is diametrically opposed to traditional Earth-centered witchcraft,

Historic Books of Shadows, as opposed to those created in the wake of Gerald Gardner, are understood to have been books written by individual female witches or by covens in a desperate attempt to keep traditions alive. They are shadowy because normally this material would never have been written down but transmitted orally-but desperate times required desperate action.

This is the definition of Book of Shadows as taught by Gerald Gardner, who claimed to have learned of the tradition when he was initiated into a long- secret coven. Gardner wrote his own Book of Shadows together with Doreen Valiente and Aliester Crowley, and this book is among the bedrock on which Gardnerian Wicca is formed.

Since Gardner, Books of Shadows are an integral part of Wiccan religion, manifesting in various ways.

  • Solitary witches may create their own book to suit personal needs

  • Some traditions maintain one copy, entrusted to the High Priest or High Priestess; initiated individuals may copy from the book as needed

  • In some traditions, initiation involves copying and understanding the Book of Shadows over an extended period of time

  • Not all traditions create Books of Shadows; some prefer not to put everything in writing.

In this sense Books of Shadows transcends spells. They are books of ritual. If one belongs to a specific spiritual or witchcraft tradition, this sacred book is where the laws, rituals, spells, and crucial information of that tradition are written.

This notion of the historical Book of Shadows grounded in the witch hunts is controversial. Academics specializing in witchcraft often object to it, convinced it didn't exist. Many believe Gerald Gardner created the concept himself and only claimed that the tradition was old, similar in fashion to the way grimoires authored in the eighteenth century claim to be based on ancient manuscripts, Because so few ancient magical or pagan texts survived, it's impossible to verify - or disprove - these claims.

Scholarly objection stems mainly from the fact that the type of witch Gardner describes tends to be female and is generally believed to be at best functionally illiterate. However, this is assumption and incredibly difficult to prove, one way or anther.

Witch-trial records do show that when witches were burned, books were burned with them, However, because the books were burned there is little if any evidence of what was burned. It's an old political trick; first burn the evidence, then say the evidence didn't exist. And maybe it didn't. Maybe the scholars are right. But maybe they're wrong - at least some of the time, Secrets have a way of emerging from the shadows: one historical reference survives. According to seventeenth-century Venetian Inquisition records, charges of witchcraft were levied against a woman names Laura Malipero. When the agents of the inquisition searched her home the discovered a copy of the banned grimoire The Key of Solomon, together with a private, hand written book of spells and rituals into which Laura had copied portions of that classical grimoire. Laura Malipero was obviously not illiterate. Her handwritten book fulfills Gerald Gardner's concept of the individual witch's Book of Shadows and straddles the fine line between them and medieval grimoires.

And whether Gerald Gardner or someone else made up the notion of Books of Shadows may be irrelevant; it is a beautiful tradition.The completed books (and some are never complete, perpetual works in progress) are beautifully embellished works of art, power, magic, and spirituality, Some are written in magical scripts, some are illustrated. No two are exactly alike,

Wiccan Books of Shadows are traditionally kept secret, Many covens administer an oath of secrecy to initiates, You have to enter and commit yourself to that twilight world of shadows to gain access.

Source: The Element Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft:

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Special Stones - Amber

Amber is one of the stones associated with Lammas/Lughnassadh, so here is some info on it:

Amber, or fossil tree sap, was made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park". Amber is a beautiful stone that is cut and polished and used as a valuable gemstone. It is also a fossil and can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants. Millions of years ago large stands of forests in some parts of the world began to seep globs of sticky resin. This aromatic resin oozed down the sides of trees, as well as filling internal fissures, trapping debris, such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects. As geologic time progressed the forests were buried and the resin hardened into a soft, warm, golden gem, known as amber. The odd inclusions that are often seen in amber usually add to amber's unique look and in many cases greatly increase its value. The fossils that are encased in amber probably got there when they flew or crawled on to the fresh seeping sap and then got stuck. The sap oozed over the trapped animals and perhaps fell to the ground and was later covered by dirt and debris. The sap later hardened and became a fossil. Invaluable plant remains have been found in amber including flowers, mushroom caps, seeds, leaves, stems, pine needles and pine cones. Remember these are fossils and are not the same species that are alive today. Amber has greatly increased the knowledge of the evolution of insects and plants as well as enlivening the interest in paleontology in general.

Amber is not produced from tree sap, but rather from plant resin. Sap is the fluid that circulates through a plant's vascular system, while resin is the semi-solid amorphous organic substance secreted in pockets and canals through epithelial cells of the plant. This aromatic resin can drip from and ooze down trees, as well as fill internal fissures, trapping debris such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects. The resin becomes buried and fossilized through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds. Although a specific time interval has not been established for this process, the majority of amber is found within Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary rocks (approximately 30-90 million years old.) Although there are contrasting views as to why resin is produced, it is a plant's protection mechanism. The resin may be produced to protect the tree from disease and injury inflicted by insects and fungi. Resin may be exuded to heal a wound such as a broken branch, and resins possess odors or tastes that both attract and repel insects. In mature trees, resin may simply exude from vertical fissures in the bark due to tension produced by rapid growth. Resin may also be produced as a plant's method for disposing of excess acetate.

Amber is known to mineralogists as succinite, from the Latin succinum, which means amber. Heating amber will soften it and eventually it will burn, a fact that has given rise to the name of bernstein, by which the Germans know amber. Rubbing amber with a cloth will make it electric, attracting bits of paper. The Greek name for amber is elektron, or the origin of our word electricity. Amber is a poor conductor of heat and feels warm to the touch (minerals feel cool). Amber studies are truly interdisciplinary. Geologists and paleontologists are interested in amber because it is a fossil, evidence of prehistoric life. Archeologists look at trade routes and the barter view of amber. Organic chemists investigate the physical and chemical properties. Botanists and entomologists examine the botanical sources of amber and embalmed insects and debris. Poets, writers, and artists look to amber for sunny inspirations. Gemologists and jewelers desire amber for its beauty and rarity. Curators and conservationists preserve and archive amber. Technology has allowed for the extraction of DNA from animals and insects trapped in amber.

Most of these forests were situated in what is now the Baltic Sea area, although large deposits are also found in the Dominican Republic and China. As the Baltic Sea slowly encroached upon the pine forests, huge deposits of amber were submerged. Amber is thus often associated with the element of water, although for many it symbolizes fire. Dominican and Chinese amber is mined from deep underground deposits, giving it more of an association with earth. Amber is found in all Baltic countries; Venezuela; Russia; Romania; Burma; in coal seams in Wyoming, USA and the Dominican Republic. Color is amber yellow to orange.

Amber is found in a dazzling array of hues, and many of their names refer to food. The costly and rare "cherry" amber is a deep wine color, and derives it's colors from the sap of the now-extinct pine trees that they exuded from. These are found only in the Baltic, so most paleontologists theorize that these trees, with their deep green or deep red saps, were indigenous to this region. The enormous pine forest that once covered what is now the Baltic Sea is now completely submerged. "Custard," "butterscotch," "butter," "caramel," and "cream" ambers are self-descriptive. "Egg-yolk" amber actually looked like beaten eggs, with streaks of yellow and white. "Tomato" amber looks like partly ripe cherry tomatoes. The classic Baltic amber is usually called "honey" or "cognac," while the deeper, sunnier amber of the Dominican Republic is called "orange." An opaque type of Baltic amber is called "fatty" since it resembles a lump of animal fat, although this does not diminish its magical properties. Amber from Romania tends to be quite dark, as does Burmese, which is often called "tiger" amber because of its swirls of black in a dark orange. Amber also comes in a very rare blue, and black-and-white, as well as a lovely green. "Blonde" or "white" amber is often referred to as "new" amber by dealers. Although it is new only by a few million years!

While many people prefer amber in natural chunks, the process of slightly heating amber to make it malleable into round beads does not change its magical properties. Hand-faceted amber is very expensive, but molded faceted amber is affordable and genuine. However, "fused" or "reconstituted" amber is simply tiny chunks of amber fused together with a resin binder. Amber is often imitated by plastics, colored glasses and some modern tree resins. However, its hardness is usually greater and it is tougher than other resins. Amber can be burned, and is fluorescent under UV light and is much tougher (will not crumble as easily) than modern tree resins.

Amber is probably the oldest substance used for adornment, ritual and magical purposes. From ancient times, it was prized as "solidified sunlight," and believed to possess many of the sun's life-giving properties. As the fabled "gold of the North," it was much sought-after by the Greeks and Romans. Scott Cunningham notes that "amber has been used for nearly every purpose in magic." It was often worn by shamans and witches, who believed that it could increase the power of their magic. To this day, it is widely used around the world to safeguard health. Amber pendants were worn to preserve chastity, and used as rosary beads or talismans against evil and dark forces. Sailors burned amber on ships to drive away sea serpents and the perils of the deep. Amber was burned along with non-fossil tree resins, such as frankincense, myrrh, and copal to dispel evil spirits (and fumigate worldly nuisances such as mosquitos). Prussians and Samogitians used amber in the manufacture of incenses. In former times Lithuanian tribes employed such incense to drive away evil spirits from the dead and help the soul travel to good spirits. The newly born babies were fumigated so that they could grow faster, the newly-weds - that they could live happily and those going to war so that they could return with spoils of victory.

Before World War I amber was still used for treatment of various diseases, e.g. tincture made of pieces of amber and vodka was thought to increase sexual potency of men. In Lithuania and in tsarist Russia nannies had to wear amber beads to protect themselves and babies from diseases. As late as before World War II, especially in Germany, amber beads were put on babies to make the eruption of teeth less painful and make the teeth grow stronger. Even now in Lithuania many women suffering from goitre purchase curative amber beads made of unpolished pieces of amber to wear around the neck. It is a bio-stimulant that has a positive effect on the nervous system, the heart, and the kidneys and stimulates recovery processes. Honey was mixed with powdered amber and prescribed for asthma, gout, and the black plague. It was believed that amber protected one from madness, powder of amber mixed with honey cured throat, ear and eye diseases and taken with water cured stomach illnesses. It was also as a remedy for "swollen glands and sore throat and palate", and as a remedy for many diseases. There was a belief in eastern countries that amber smoke strengthens human spirit and gives courage. In China "amber syrup", a mixture of succinct acid and opium, was used as a tranquilizer and antispasmodic. In the Middle Ages amber beads were even worn for the treatment of jaundice. It was believed that the magic force of this yellow stone could absorb unhealthy yellowness of the skin and the weakness of the organism. Today amber is still used as a medicine!

Amber has a unique charm and air of mystery surrounding it. Amber may also possess magical properties now unknown to us: many Atlantologists believed that the fabled "aurichalcum" of Atlantis was actually molten amber. Its intensely magnetic and electrical properties (the Greek word elektron means amber) may indicate that it holds properties yet to be discovered. Anyone interested in amber is well advised to read Dr. Patty C. Rice's Amber: The Golden Gem of the Ages for an exhaustive and fascinating study.


Amethyst Gallery

Emporia State University

Amber Gallery

Lady Bridget's Wiccan Ways

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Form A Circle - Lammas/Lughnassadh Solitary Ritual

This is one I have had in my collection for a while now. I always like to search for anything I post, to see if I can link to someone else, and give them credit they deserve. I found a link to this so included it.

* Storm Wing's Lughnassadh Sabbat Ceremony *

By Storm Wing; From Storm Wing's Webpage

This Ritual can be performed either during the day, perhaps late afternoon, or during the early evening hours, just after Sunset. Sweep area, starting in the North and moving deosil, with your magical broom to cleanse the Circle area and "sweep away" any lingering negative energies. You may want to outline the perimeter of your Circle with corn meal, the grain most sacred to this Sabbat.


  • Golden yellow altar cloth
  • Harvest Items - corn and/or other grains
  • Golden colored stones and/or Sun Wheels
  • A loaf of bread (cornbread is best)
  • Juice or Wine
  • Plate or Bowl
  • Candles - Green, Yellow, Red, Blue
  • You can also have other elemental symbols, if you like
  • Your usual altar tools

Set up the Quarter candles (North-Green, East-Yellow, South-Red, West-Blue) and/or other items symbolizing the elements at the Four Quarters (use a compass if not permanently marked out). Set up your altar as desired, and face it to the North, covering it with the golden yellow altar cloth. For this Ceremony, you may want to have upon the altar items from the harvest, particularly corn and other grains. In honor to the Sun Gods, you may also want to place golden stones and Sun Wheels upon the altar. You will also need a loaf of bread - preferably cornbread, and some sort of juice or wine. You will also need a plate or bowl to remove the harvest offering. In addition to your usual tools and props, upon the altar should be:

  • Golden Yellow, Orange, or Red Altar Cloth
  • Sun (God) and Moon (Goddess) Candle Holders, with Gold and Silver Candles, respectively.
  • Incense, Summer Blend** or Horned God Incense
  • Ears of Corn, Squash and other Harvest Items
  • Golden Stones and Sun Wheels or Sun Symbols
  • Small Loaf of Bread (preferably Cornbread - for the Ritual)
  • Anything else personally deemed appropriate or necessary

When all is set up, take a shower or bath for purification and don your ritual robe or other ritual attire. Be sure to wear your magical jewelry. Sit quietly and meditate for a little while - to ground and center before beginning the Ritual. When you feel ready to begin, play some quiet peaceful music for the ritual.

After the Circle is cast, begin the Lughnassadh Sabbat Ceremony... Pick up your Wand and hold it in your power (right) hand, face the North and with your arms outstretched (kneel or stand) and when you feel ready, begin your ceremony with these words:

"The Wheel of the Year turns on and on, bringing us all to and from each Season, and from and to another. What will be is. What was will be. All time is here and now in this Sacred Space. I now pause to watch the Wheel turn and cast this Circle on this blessed eve to celebrate the Season of Lughnassadh - the First Harvest - when the bounties of Nature give of themselves so that we may survive. I come here now to praise the bountiful Goddess and the benevolent God. I wish to give thanks for the bounty of the fertile Earth, and to feel myself as a part of the relentlessly turning wheel of life, death and rebirth. O Great God of the Ripening Fields, who has been known as Lugh, Tammuz, Adonis, Attis and Dionysus - Grant me the understanding of sacrifice as you prepare to deliver yourself to the lands of Eternal Summer. O Great Goddess of the Corn and Grain, who has been known as Brigit, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Astarte and Demeter - Teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun wanes in its strength and the nights grow cold."

Place your Wand back in its place on the altar. Spread your hands out over the harvested foods on the altar and say these words:

"Blessed be the bounty of the harvest, fruit of the womb of the Goddess. Blessed be Mother Earth...Today I honor the deities in their aspects as the Grain God and the Corn Mother."

Pick up the loaf of bread (hopefully cornbread) and say these words:

"Blessed be the harvest, manifestation of the sacred marriage of the deities. Blessed be the fruitful Corn Mother. Blessed be the God of the Harvest. I partake of the First Harvest, mixing its energies with mine, that I may continue on my quest for the Starry Wisdom of the Mysteries. Many blessings I have been given. I count them now by this bread of the grain of Mother Earth."

Now name all the things you are currently thankful for, one by one. This part of the ritual should be spontaneous - DO NOT use a script for this, go with your heart. With each thing that you name, break off a piece of the bread (or cornbread) and eat it. Sip from the goblet of fruit juice as well... When you are finished doing this, say these words:

"Thank you Great Mother and Great Father. O Lady of the Moon and Lord of the Sun, gracious Ones around whom all of life spins its thread...I offer my thanks for the continuing fertility of the Earth...May the blowing grain loose it's seeds to be buried in Mother Earth, ensuring rebirth in the warmth of the coming Spring...I ask that you humbly accept my offering of this bread and juice. I offer it to Mother Earth, and to her consort, the God. And I ask that it may also be used to feed the faeries of the fields and the animals of the woodlands."

With these last words, place some of the bread and pour some juice into the libation bowl. Cup your hands around the offering (libation bowl) and say:

"I consecrate this offering back to the Mother from whom it came, to her consort, the God, Her animals and Her fairy beings,. Blessed Be Offerings given in love return three times over,.Blessed Be this gathering, the giver and the gift."

After a brief pause to catch your breath, continue with these words:

"All things have their Season. Tonight the Wheel has brought us to the Season of Harvest. A time of beauty and time of toil. A time to reflect on the Summer and a time to prepare for the Winter ahead...To everything there is a Season...

A time for every purpose under the heavens...
A time to be born... a time to die...
A time to plant... a time to harvest...
A time to destroy... a time to heal and rebuild...
A time to cry... a time to laugh...
A time to grieve... a time to dance...
A time for scattering stones... a time for gathering stones...
A time to embrace... a time to stay back...
A time to find... a time to lose...
A time for keeping... a time for throwing away...
A time to tear... a time to repair...
A time to keep silent... a time to speak up...
A time to love... a time to hate...
A time for war... a time for peace...

Blessed Be the Great Mother whose womb contains and births all life. Blessed Be the Grain God whose seed plants all life. Blessed Be the grain of the Earth, and Blessed Be this Season of Lughnassadh!"

Now is the time for meditation and any spellworkings you may need or desire to end your Sabbat celebration. Good Lammas spellworkings include: connectedness, career, health, and financial gain. If no spellwork is to be done at this time, then proceed with the Cakes and Ale Ceremony, followed by Releasing the Magic Circle.

**Summer Blend Incense Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Sandalwood,
  • 1 part Mugwort,
  • 1 part Chamomile,
  • 1 part Gardenia,
  • few drops Rose oil,
  • few drops Yarrow oil,
  • few drops Lavender oil -
A part can be 1 teaspoon, 1 cup, 1 pound; anything you want depending upon how much incense you want to make. I recommend starting with teaspoons along with the appropriate fractions of a teaspoon. Measurements can be cut down to produce a smaller quantity. The ratios of ingredients may be altered to suit your sense of smell. None of these incenses will remain lit by themselves, they must be smoldered on charcoals.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How To Make Your Own Incense

I found these directions at Full Moon Magic - this site has all kinds of great info! I wanted to go ahead and post this, because a lot of the spells and rituals I post call for "special" incense to be used. This way, I can refer folks back here for basic instructions, and just include the necessary ingredients in the posts themselves :)

Recipe for Homemade Charcoals


  • Barbecue Charcoals
  • Potassium Nitrate**
  • Egg Whites - or - Plain Knox Gelatin - or - Agar

The hardest part of this recipe is grinding up the charcoals, they're really a bugger to pulverize. I've had the best luck using a hammer. You could just hit them with it, but then you'd have charcoal bits flying everywhere. You have to contain them in something that won't be punctured by the sharp pieces while you pound them up. I have tried a number of sorts of bags and canvas works the best. The problem is getting a canvas bag. I don't know of anywhere they are sold, I happened to have some from some sandbags. You could sew one, they sell canvas or poplin at every fabric store. Put the charcoals, the regular barbecue kind, in the bag about 5-7 at a time and pound away. Get as close to powder as you can re-pounding the larger pieces to break them up more.

When you have your charcoal ready you add potassium nitrate powder, one part to three parts of charcoal powder. You can buy the potassium nitrate at the pharmacy in that little section where they have the iodine and flowers of sulfur. The potassium nitrate is what will keep the charcoal burning. To form the loose powder into patties you add egg whites, just the whites, until you create a paste. How many egg whites you will require depends upon how many charcoals you used. Just keep adding them until you can get the paste to hold together. You may substitute plain, unflavored, Knox gelatin mixed with enough warm water to dissolve it into a thick gel if you like. Vegans may use agar from the health food store which is a seaweed product.

Form the paste into little patties about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. You can use those mini muffin tins if you have them. Let the patties dry completely, this may take a couple of days. You want them crispy with no wet centers. When they are absolutely dry you can store them in tightly closed glass jars to keep them fresh. If you keep them in plastic bags they will draw damp and not burn properly. To use the charcoals you must have a proper incense burner. If placed in a glass or ceramic container to burn it may shatter and a metal container will burn the surface it sits on. They will become too hot to use in a ceramic or glass container without sand or salt in it to absorb and dissipate the heat. You can use a bowl of any sort with about two inches of either sand or salt in it. Light the charcoal with a match, it may take a try or two. The burning charcoal may sparkle or pop a bit, this is the potassium nitrate. You may notice a slight scent from the burning egg white, but it goes away. Put the herb, wood, resin or oil on the smoldering charcoal to burn.

When mixing incense ingredients, a part can be 1 teaspoon, 1 cup, 1 pound; anything you want depending upon how much incense you want to make. I recommend starting with teaspoons along with the appropriate fractions of a teaspoon. Measurements can be cut down to produce a smaller quantity. The ratios of ingredients may be altered to suit your sense of smell. None of these incenses will remain lit by themselves, they must be smoldered on charcoals.

**Whatever the volume and shape, combustible incense is always made with potassium nitrate, better known as salt peter. This helps the incense to burn well, and evenly. You can find potassium nitrate in nearly any drug store, although you may have to ask the pharmacist for it.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Thursday - This Is Your Spell - Lammas Grain Sprouting Spell

At Lammas, witches cast spells for connectedness, career, health, and financial gain. Spells for abundance are completely appropriate now. As the sun is growing weaker, it is a good time to do grounding and sun meditations, then use the golden rays of the sun (gathered during meditation) in spellcasting.

* Grain Sprouting Spell *

By Pauline and Dan Campanelli; from "Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions"

The Campanellis suggest sprouting some grains of wheat as part of your Lammas rituals. Once the wheat is sprouted, the book suggests taking half the sprouts and adding those to the loaf of bread that you bake for the Lammas ritual or feast. It suggests taking the remaining half of the sprouts, setting them in the sun so that they 'green-up'. Once the sprouts have gotten nice and green, you can then take them to a river or stream and place the sprouts into the water. Say these words while the sprouts gently float away:

"God of Grain,
Lord of Rebirth,
Return in the Spring,
Renew the Earth!"

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday What Herb Is This - Lammas/Lughnasadh Associations

Lughnasadh was the time of the first harvest and a time of games, competitions, initiations and arbitration. It was and is associated with the Goddess of Sovereignty. The God Lugh was said to have originated this festival to celebrate the efforts of his foster mother Tailtiu to clear the fields of Ireland for planting. Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvests, though perhaps it also marked the ending of the hay harvest. It was a festival that could last two weeks! Among its activities, couples could enter into a "trial marriage" known as a "Brehon wedding." The two would clasp hands and thrust them through a circular opening in a special stone, while announcing to the Brehons -- judges and lawyers -- that they intended to live together for a trial period of one year, after which the marriage would be formalized. Either party could break the marriage by a public announcement during the feast of Bealtaine in the Spring....(more Lammas info to come at a later date)

Herbs: berries, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, mistletoe, Oak, Oat, sunflower, Caraway, Corn (not technically an herb), Sloe, grapes, all grains,

*Berries: Pies can be made of berries to commemorate the death of the God, the "Green Man", who is sacrificed each year at the harvest so that the greater life may prosper. Healing, money, protection.

*Fenugreek: Use Fenugreek seed to attract money. Used in rinse water as you clean, is said to attract money. Make a tea to ingest or use in the bath. Focus on developing the powers of the mind.

*Frankincense: Use for purification, protection and exorcism. Use it to accelerate spiritual growth.

*Heather: This is a herb of luck and protection, and can be used in rain-making rituals.

*Hollyhock: Attracts money, success, and material wealth. Favored by faeries to bring luck to the home.

*Mistletoe: Gathered on Lammas by the Druids of old. Use this herb to strengthen all magical workings. Use also for healing, protection, conception, consecration and beautiful dreams.

*Oak: Use for strength, perseverance and protection. Brings fertility to ideas, projects and harvest magic. Cakes are made with the new grain and shared with friends and family. Oat is used in money spells.

*Oat: Use in money and gather wealth spells.

*Sunflower: These are sun symbols and symbolize wisdom and the healthy ego. Wisdom, fertility, a strong and healthy confidence. Place on altar; add seeds to feast.

*Caraway: Consecration, longevity, fidelity. Bake in bread to celebrate the Harvest.

*Corn: represents fertility, place on altar as an offering to the Great Cosmic Mother, Ceres / Demeter.

*Sloe: Used for creating magical wands which can be used for many purposes just carried confers protection from evil, can be used for wishes. Also good for divining rods.

*Grapes: are symbolic of fertility, joy, intoxication, healing and youthfulness.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Carlin - R.I.P

Yes, I know this isn't "witchy" per se, but as I am a big fan of George Carlin, I wanted to acknowledge his loss, and find an appropriate way to reflect that not only am I a Fan, but he will be missed in this household...I will miss him, and his views that, while claiming to be comedy, actually hit pretty close to the mark - at least with me. I went to Tom's Hideaway, like I do every morning, to play the daily trivia game, and found this waiting for me. I hope Tom will forgive me for stealing/borrowing his post....but it is probably the most appropriate, for me....

George Carlin died of heart failure last night after checking into a hospital complaining of chest pains, he was 71.
Here is one of the many rants he performed in his great comedic career:


When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion.
No contest.
No contest.
Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day.
And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.
And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!
But He loves you.
He loves you, and He needs money!
He always needs money!
He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, but somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story.
Holy shit!
But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried.
I really, really tried.
I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things.
I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is
f*@ked up.
Something is wrong here.
War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades.
Something is definitely wrong.
This is not good work.
If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.
Results like these do not belong on the resume of a Supreme Being.
This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.
And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago !!

R.I.P. George

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Tuesday Try A New Taste - Elder Flower Fritters

Traditional Pagan Foods for the Lughnasadh Festival include homemade breads (wheat, oat and especially cornbread), corn, potatoes, berry pies, barley cakes, nuts, wild berries, apples, rice, roasted lamb, acorns, crab apples, summer squash, turnips, oats, all grains and all First Harvest foods.

I found an awesome site containing PAGAN RECIPES! It rocks! You can find it at Everything2. Today's recipe is from this site, and sounds absolutely yummy!!!!

Elder Flower Fritters

Fritters are a nice variation on pancakes, and the bonus for this particular recipe is that they are sweet without any additions, requiring no syrup, sugar or jam. Many people have had fritters of various types, especially the popular apple variety. But . . . "elder flower" fritters? Yes, these actually contain elder flowers!

Flowers were a common ingredient in cooking during medieval times, which is where this recipe comes from (England, specifically). In this recipe's case, the flowers mixed into the batter help add a kick and a minty taste. Because of the elder flowers, these sweeties have been associated with faeries in folk myths. Because of that, they have been used at Pagan celebrations of Beltane, Litha, and Lughnasadh to help as a protection against the malevolent and mischievous fair folk, and sometimes these are even made at Samhain season as a symbol of keeping away bad spirits. If you've never made a recipe incorporating flowers before, you might start with this one--you'll be pleasantly surprised! (Read on after the directions for variations and notes.)


  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ****rose water ****
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups elder flowers, freshly picked and cleaned


Mix egg, rose water, honey, and brandy in a bowl, then stir in flour and cinnamon. Should be thick like pancake batter. (Add flour if it's too thin, and add more brandy if it's too thick.) Fold in the flowers. Fry like pancakes, OR drop by the teaspoonful into a deep-fat fryer until golden brown. Serve with orange water sprinkle and fresh lemon, or dip in sweet cream.

Yield: Fried like pancakes: About 10. Deep fat fryer: About 2 dozen.
Source: Paraphrased from Patricia Telesco,
A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook

Note: In many areas it may be tough to find fresh elder flowers. The author made this recipe with dried elder flowers ordered from Living Earth Herbs. It still tasted fine. If you order from somewhere or pick them yourself, make sure they are the correct, edible variety because there is a kind you shouldn't use due to high toxicity.

If You Cannot Find Elder Flowers or you are squeamish about eating flowers, there is a variation:

You can make this recipe by substituting very finely diced apples--about a cup's worth--for the flowers, and adding a little fresh mint. If you do do this substitution I urge you to not neglect the mint, because with either elder flowers or with apple-and-mint, the minty taste is really what makes it so good.

****rose water is sometimes used in spell work mostly for love and harmony-type spells. It is also a good ritual cleanser to wash tools or hands or whatever else needs purifying. You can buy rose water if you want, but it is dreadfully simple to make as well:

1 cup fresh rose petals
½ c water

Bring water to a boil. Pour over rose petals. Let steep for 15 minutes. Drain water off of rose petals, and store in the dark.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Make A - Palm-Pentacle for Lammas

Since Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is our next holiday, on August 1, I figured I'd get a headstart on it. This would be a great craft to do with the witchlets!

Found at The Rising Wind

Elemental Palm-Pentacle Project by Amanda Kaczmarek

As the Lammas season rolls around we want to teach our children about the importance of this first harvest. You can bake bread, tell stories and sing songs, but this craft is one of my favorites ways to give kids a "hands-on" feel for the bounty of our grain. These make wonderful decorations for children's altars and as always are a great gift for the grandparents. As you create the dough, talk to the kids about the flour itself. Tell them how grain starts as a seed and grows through the summer. Talk about how the grain is harvested and then ground into flour for us to use in cakes and breads (and salt dough). Talk to them about the things that they are harvesting in their lives and how thankful we all are for the food the earth brings us.


Salt dough (equal parts flour and salt, water)


Ribbon or twine (for hanging on the wall)


Paint brushes


Clear varnish or polyurethane spray (optional)

Something to represent each Element and Deity:

  • Earth - Pebbles, dried leaves, fake flowers
  • Air - Craft feathers, tiny bells, cotton balls (clouds!)
  • Water - Seashells or toy fish
  • Fire - *used* matches or bits of lava rock

With the children, mix equal parts flour and salt in a large bowl (try one cup of each to start). When they are well mixed, add water until it reaches your desired consistency and level of moisture. More flour will make a softer dough. Knead the dough until it is elastic and no longer sticky. To store, wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an air-tight container to prevent drying.

Roll the salt dough into a ball and flatten it with either your hands or a rolling pin into a circle shape. Don't spread it too thin, as the hand print won't show properly.

Make a firm hand-print indentation in the center of the circle. With a toothpick, etch a pentacle or other symbol into the palm of the hand and write the name of the person who's hand print it is onto the thumb. If you want to etch a saying around the border of the circle, do so with the toothpick. Two good choices are the Wiccan Rede or the lyrics to "Earth, My Body." ("Earth, my body, Water, my blood, Air, my breath and Fire my spirit.") If you are planning on hanging this project, make a hole near the top of the circle with a toothpick.

Now, either leave the project to air dry, or bake it in the oven. Start at about 125 degrees for about half an hour, then turn the temperature up to 225 degrees. The object should sound hollow when tapped when it is fully cooked, which can take several hours. If it starts to brown, simply cover with aluminum foil.

When the project is cooked and cooled, you can decorate it. Choose a finger to go with each element, and paint it in an appropriate color. You could even use a small brush to paint the engraved pentacle or words in the project. When the paint dries, you can glue your elemental objects into or around the finger indentation. When finished and the glue is dry, you may wish to seal the project with a varnish or polyurethane spray. After which, if you are hanging this project, you can thread a bit of twine or ribbon through the hole.
Hopefully you and your children will have a wonderful time talking about Lammas and creating beautiful treasures and memories.
Have a great Lammas!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Surprise - I Walk The Path Alone

This was written by a man who was on a pagan Yahoo! group with me. I actually have several of his stories, and will probably post them here eventually. I made a point to get his permission to post in any forum, as long as credits are attached.

I Walk The Path Alone

I become awake and aware at the dawn of my life's day. A path stretches out before me, far away into the distance, disappearing into the future's horizon. What should I do? Should I follow this path? I'm not prepared. I'm all alone, with no one to keep me company, or to tell me what I must do.

I set out along the path. I meet a beautiful giant woman, who seems to radiate sunshine with her smile at me. In her company is a big strong giant man. He looks at me with pride gleaming in his eyes. I don't know why. And they both walk beside me for a while. The woman draws me close to her chest, feeds me, nurtures me. The man brings me food to eat, and he throws a ball with me. When I stumble on my new feet and fall, one of them seems always there to pick me back up and set me on my feet again. They teach me things which they say will help me find my way up this path. As I grow, my steps become larger and faster, and soon the man and woman can't seem to keep up. They start to fall farther and farther behind me.

I walk this path alone.

I come across a group of people in the afternoon, and they seem to be about like me, in age and size. They tell tales and share their life's stories with me. I laugh with them and I cry for them. Many miles, I travel this path alone, seemingly a path with no end. It grows wearying at times, but one of these people always seems to be there to lend their arm to steady me, or their shoulders to support me. They say that I'm special to them. They help to guide me up the path. It's such a shame, how lonely and uncared for I am, as I walk the path alone.

The sun shines upon my upturned face. The wind gently ruffles my hair and cools the afternoon, making it pleasant and bearable. The water I drink is so refreshing and cool, tasty to my mouth. Birds serenade me from the trees, the brook to my side burble and bubbles happily. A dog barks, wagging its tail and happy to see me, adding it's own chord to the melody which seems to be playing around me.

I travel on, sad and weary, for I walk this path alone.

Evening comes, and the light of day starts to fade. I grow cold and I start to grow fearful of the dark. I have been walking this path alone all this day of my life, and now it seems that darkness may hide this path from me. I feel that it's time to lay down and rest, to let the darkness take this path from me, but I can't. I have traveled too long and too far. I must find the end of the path, the place it leads to. But it grows so dark, I can't see where to place my feet. Will I now be forced to stop my trek? To stand here alone in the dark after walking this path alone for so long?

A candle appears to my left, a lantern to my right. They are held by a man and a woman, much like those who I came across earlier this day. They each take one of my arms with their free hands, and steer me around the final bend, to the end of this path I have walked alone. Before me stretched out yet another path. How could this be? I'd walked my path, and walked it alone. Would this be all that is in store for me? I stopped dead in my tracks, and the man and woman stopped as well. I took a step back so that I could face them both, and I asked them then, if this were to be my fate. To continually walk along paths, all sad and alone. The woman smiled at me, then held me close and comforted me. The man laid a strong hand upon my shoulder, and just by his touch, I felt reassured.

"My son" he said, "you have never been alone. We have always been with you, and many others have come into your life as you walked your path. Yes, it is your path to walk. Only you can make the journey, but those others you will meet along the way will travel by your side for a time, helping you along as you help them, and keeping you company".

I thought back over the long day of my walk, realizing only then that I hadn't always been alone as I thought. I smiled at the man and the woman, thanked them for their comfort and company, and raised my foot to set out along this new path.

The new day dawned, and I could clearly see the path laid out ahead of me. I started the new day of my life along the path with a jaunty step. I came upon a couple, a giant woman and a giant man. As my mother draws me close to her chest, the sun seems to shine from her smile. My father looks down at me with pride gleaming in his eyes. We set out upon the path, these people to help get me started and pointed in the right way, and others to meet later, to help me on my way.
March 2002

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Saturday - What Herb Is This - Mugwort

Well, apparently I am losing what little mind I have left...maybe that's why my head hurts so bad...Looking back over the week it seems I did Saturday's stone post on Wednesday, so I guess I will do Wednesday's Herb post today...


Also known as Sailor's Tobacco, Witch Herb, Old Man, Artemis Herb, Hartemisia, Felon Herb, Muggons, Naughty Man, Old Uncle Henry, St. John's Plant, Cingulum Sancti Johannis. The mugwort is a shrubby perennial, the flowers are in small oval heads with cottony, leaf-like structures from which the flower stalk arises, and are arranged in long, terminal clusters of flowers; they are either reddish or pale yellow. The stems, which are angular and often of a purplish hue, frequently rise to 3 feet or more in height. The leaves are smooth and deeply indented, of a dark green tint on the upper surface, but covered with a dense cottony down beneath. The Mugwort is closely allied to the Common Wormwood, but may be readily distinguished by the leaves being white on the under-surfaces only and by the leaf segments being pointed, not blunt. It lacks the essential oil of the Wormwood.

It thrives in extreme heat and poor soil, and will withstand full sun or light shade. Mugwort grows abundantly in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, in open areas and alongside roads. Mugwort can be collected during the late summer. It abounds on hedgebanks and waysides in most parts of England.

The Mugwort is said to have derived its name from having been used to flavor drinks. It was, in common with other herbs, such as Ground Ivy, used to a great extent for flavoring beer before the introduction of hops. For this purpose, the plant was gathered when in flower and dried, the fresh herb being considered unsuitable for this object: malt liquor was then boiled with it so as to form a strong decoction, and the liquid thus prepared was added to the beer. Until recent years, it was still used in some parts of the country to flavor the table beer brewed by cottagers. It has also been suggested that the name, Mugwort, may be derived not from 'mug,' the drinking vessel, but from moughte (a moth or maggot), because from the days of Dioscorides, the plant has been regarded, in common with Wormwood, as useful in keeping off the attacks of moths.

The mugwort has a large number of uses, and has been traditionally used to treat digestive disorders. It has also been used as a tonic for various remedies. The mugwort is known to be milder in action than most other species of Artemisia, and this means that it can be taken for improving appetite, digestive functions, and absorption of nutrients over long periods of time, in small dosages. The elimination of worms within the body is achieved, and whenever needed, it can be used to induce menstruation as well. In Europe, mugwort is assumed to be a uterine stimulant, but this idea is in direct opposition to the Chinese concept of using mugwort to prevent miscarriage in a woman, and also to reduce and to stop excessive and heavy menstrual bleeding. The herb is also widely used as an antiseptic, and is known to provide relief in cases of malaria. In Chinese medicine mugwort, known as Ai ye or Hao-shu is highly valued as the herb used in moxibustion, a method of heating specific acupuncture points on the body to treat physical conditions. Mugwort is carefully harvested, dried and aged. The down is separated by heating the leaves and afterwards rubbing them between the hands until the cottony fibers alone remain, these are then made up into small cones or cylinders for use. This "moxa" is burned close to the skin to heat the specific pressure points. It has been used in this way to alleviate rheumatic pains aggravated by cold and damp circumstances. Mugwort has also been used in various size cones that are placed on the skin directly or on top of an herb or some salt and burned. Artemisia Moxa and A. sinensis are mainly used in Japan.

The shrub was also used by ancient Europeans and Asians in treating various ailments. The Greek physician Dioscorides of the 1st century AD supposedly stated that the Goddess Artemis, who gave inspiration to the plant’s genus name, used the herb to offer succor to women in the throes of labor and childbirth. An eighteenth century Spanish herbalist, Diego de Torres is known to have said that using an application of mugwort as a plaster below the woman’s navel would induce labor in the woman. It has a stimulant and slightly tonic property, and is of value as a nervine, being an old-fashioned popular remedy for epilepsy (especially in persons of a feeble constitution) palsy, fits, and similar affections. Gerard says: 'Mugwort cureth the shakings of the joynts inclining to the Palsie;' and Parkinson considered it good against hysteria. A dram of the powdered leaves, given four times a day, is stated by Withering to have cured a patient who had been affected with hysterical fits for many years, when all other remedies had failed. The juice and an infusion of the herb were given for intermittent fevers and agues. The leaves used to be steeped in baths, to communicate an invigorating property to the water.

Mugwort is a known traditional herbal remedy for worms, and when it is used in lowered dosages over a specified period of time, it can prove to be extremely effective. The Chinese and Europeans use the herb for disorders and malfunctions in the reproductive system, and when properly used, the herb can bring on the onset of menstruation. The Chinese use the herb to warm the body, and to stop bleeding when the cycle is too long. It is also used to stop uterine bleeding brought on by certain deficiencies, in which case the herb cools the body. A cool or cold womb is thought to be the cause of infertility in a woman, and mugwort can be used to treat this condition as well. It can also, if used properly, stop a miscarriage from taking place, although this can only be done under the supervision of a qualified medical or herbal practitioner. Menstrual pain can be alleviated successfully with the help of mugwort, and when it is used externally in the form of a moxa stick on specific acupuncture points, it can even help turn a breech baby around in the womb. Chinese mugwort is found to be often acrid, bitter and warm.

As an infusion: Mugwort can be taken to treat menopausal syndrome.
As a bitter: Mugwort can be used to cool the digestive tract in fever management.
As a decoction: Mugwort can be used to make a warming tea for menstrual pain: 5 g mugwort can be combined with an equal amount of dry ginger to make the tea.
As a tincture: Mugwort can be used for effectively treating menstrual pain, prolonged bleeding, scanty menses and other related disorders. The herb can be used as a stimulant for treating liver stagnation and slow digestion. In childbirth it can be used for prolonged labor and for the treatment of retained placenta.

As a tincture: 1-2 ml or 20-40 drops can be taken two times a day.
As an infusion: 100 ml or 4 fl oz can be taken two times a day.
The Chinese however use it in dosages of 3 - 9 g or 1/8 - 1/2 oz.

Given in infusion, it should be prepared in a covered vessel, 1 OZ. of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water, and given in 1/2 teaspoonful doses, while warm. The infusion may be taken cold as a tonic, in similar doses, three times daily: it has a bitterish and aromatic taste.

The dried leaves were, sixty or seventy years ago, in use by the working classes in Cornwall as one of the substitutes for tea, at a time when tea cost 7s. per lb., and on the Continent Mugwort is occasionally employed as an aromatic culinary herb, being one of the green herbs with which geese are often stuffed during roasting.

Mugwort has a long history of folk tradition and use. Anglo-Saxon tribes believed that the aromatic mugwort was one of the nine sacred herbs given to the world by the god Woden. In Pagan ceremony, a garland or belt of mugwort is worn while dancing around the fire during summer solstice celebrations. The herb is then thrown into the fire to ensure continued protection throughout the coming year. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a versatile sacred herb. It can be used for spiritual cleansing, protection, healing, and consecration. It can also aid dream work, trance, and intuitive development. This amazing shrub has been known since the ancient times, and reportedly, Roman centurions used mugwort inside their sandals, so that their feet could remain in great shape. They planted mugwort by roadsides where it would be available to passersby. In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, it being believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of it in the wilderness.

Mugwort is considered a magical herb, with special properties to protect road-weary travelers against exhaustion. There were many superstitions connected with it: it was believed to preserve the wayfarer from fatigue, sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits generally: a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John's Eve to gain security from evil possession, and in Holland and Germany one of its names is St. John's Plant, because of the belief, that if gathered on St. John's Eve it gave protection against diseases and misfortunes. At the culmination of a home blessing rite, a fresh Mugwort sprig should be hung above the main door into the home for protection and good fortune. Hang a Mugwort sprig or wreath above your bed to bless sleep and dreaming. Fill an amulet bag with Mugwort, energize it, and wear it around your neck for healing, spiritual growth, and intuition. Drink as a tea sweetened with honey before divination. The plain tea can also be used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors. Leaves of mugwort can be placed around crystal balls and magic mirrors to aid in scrying - burn with sandalwood or wormwood in scrying rituals. Put a pouch of Mugwort in the glove compartment of your vehicle or hang a Mugwort amulet bag from your rear view mirror to bless your travels. In addition, Mugwort can be combined with other ingredients in making amulets and charms for a variety of purposes; strength, psychic powers, protection, prophetic dreams, healing, astral projection (Venus, Earth, Feminine). Use in dream pillows for prophetic dreams.

Some of the magic in mugwort is in its reputed ability to induce prophetic and vivid dreams when the herb is placed near the bed or under the sleeper's pillow. Dream pillows were once called comfort pillows, and were used in the sickroom to ease the nightmares that may come with medicine and the smells of illness. Relaxing herbs - primarily catnip, lavender, and mugwort - combined in little pillows were respected for their usefulness in easing the sleep of crying babies. Dream pillows work just as well on healthy folks, but may not be for everyone. Although most people react to fragrances in pleasant ways, the people who have had the least reaction are heavy smokers, elderly people, and those who use excessive amounts of cologne or perfume; all seem to have desensitized noses. But for most people, fragrance unlocks pleasant memories that play out in their dreams in the most delightful way.

Dream Pillows: For a large sized dream pillow, take a cotton pillow case liner, stuff it with dried Mugwort leaves to the desired thickness, and then securely shut the end. Another type of dream pillow is a Mugwort sachet. Cut two pieces of cloth of equal size. Most Mugwort dream sachets are square or rectangular since they are easiest to make, but they can be any shape and size. Place the right sides of the fabric pieces together and stitch a half-inch seam nearly completely around the edges. Turn the sachet bag inside out, fill it with Mugwort leaves, and then hand sew the opening shut. Place this sachet under your regular pillow or inside its pillowcase. Connect with your Mugwort sachet or pillow just after getting into bed. Touch it and smell its fragrance as you do an affirmation to bless sleep, guide dreaming, and aid dream recall and interpretation upon awaking. For a protective amulet, take a rectangle of purple velvet, 4in X 2 in. and sew into a small pouch. Add freshly picked mugwort that has been dried (approx. 5 g.). Carry it in a pocket to protect against all sorts of bad external influences and slide it into your pillow to encourage revelatory dreams.

Associated with the Full Moon and with the Summer Solstice since ancient times, Mugwort is also suitable for rituals year round.

Information obtained in part from :

A Modern Herbal


Circle Magazine

This herbal information is intended for educational purposes only. I am not a medical professional and I cannot prescribe what herbs are right for you. I cannot answer medical questions, so please do not ask me (or any other complete stranger for that matter) to prescribe herbal remedies, cures, treatments or to guess what is wrong with you.

If you use herbs, do so responsibly. Consult your doctor about your health conditions and use of herbal remedies. Herbs may be harmful if taken for the wrong conditions, used in excessive amounts, combined with prescription drugs or alcohol, or used by persons who don't know what they are doing. Just because an herbal remedy is natural, does not mean it is safe! There are herbs that are poisonous such as Poison Hemlock, Jimson weed, and many more.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.