Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday What Herb Is This - Male Fern

Male Fern
The Male Fern is also called by the names Male Shield Fern - Dryopteris Filix-mas; Bracken Fern - Pteris Aquilina; and Moonwort - Botrychium lunaria. The male fern is also known as the ‘bear’s paw’ and it probably earned this nickname owing to the look of its rhizomes or tubers that are hairy and dark brown. Scientifically, the male fern is called Dryopteris meaning ‘oak fern’ in Greek. It acquired this name because the male fern is habitually found to grow in oak woods. On the other hand, botanists call this species ‘filix-mas’ meaning the ‘male fern’. Interestingly, another species called the Athyriumfilix-femina or the ‘lady fern’ has been named so owing to its fragile appearance. Significantly, till the middle of 1800 botanists were in the dark regarding the fact that the ferns do not have any gender and there is nothing like "male" or "lady" fern in reality. In fact, the spores found in the underneath of the fern leaves or fronds produce both male as well as female cells. These spores are not visible to the naked eyes and the strange renewal of ferns, at times, has given rise to an antique faith that the spores found in the underneath of the fern leaves or fronds bestows invisibility to people on whom it is showered. Even Shakespeare refers to this belief indirectly in his play Henry IV, where he writes “We have the receipt of fern seed, we walk invisible.”

Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Part Used: Leaves and stems

This fern appears to have some qualities in common with the Bracken. The ashes of both have been used in soap and glassmaking, and the young curled fronds have been boiled and eaten like Asparagus. The inhabitants of Palmaand Gomera (islands of the Canary Group) use it as food, grinding the rhizome to powder and mixing it with a small quantity of barley, and the young fronds are eaten in Japan. In Siberia and in Norway, the uncoiled fronds have been used for brewing a kind of beer. In times of great scarcity the Norwegians (over a century ago) used the fronds to mix with bread and also made them into beer. The leaves, cut green and dried, make an excellent bitter, and when infused in hot water make good fodder for sheep and goats. 

The male fern is one of the most powerful medications for tapeworm ever documented in the records of medicine - the root can be used in a powdered form. Right from the days of the ancient Greek civilization to the present day, male fern has been recommended by most physicians to expel worms from the body. The root powder can also be added to salve for wounds and burns, and over the centuries people have been making use of oil taken out from the tuber or rhizome of the herb to cure problems arising from liver flukes or barbs.  Despite its medical utility, the U.S. Pharmacopeia listed the male fern for medical use quite late - 1965. It is interesting to note that even Louis XVI of France coughed up a hefty sum to obtain a remedy containing the male fern.

*****Here is a word of caution. It must always be borne in mind that excessive dosage of the male fern is highly noxious and one should never use the herb without consulting qualified physicians. If taken in high doses, medicines prepared from the male fern may prove to be fatal too.

Father Kunzle's Oil
  • 5 fern fronds, well dried
  • 4/5 (200 ml) cup olive oil

Detach the dried leaflets from the stems and macerate in the oil for 1 month. Carefully strain. This oil can be kept for 6 months away from light. This is an ideal massage oil for muscular pain.

Normally this useful herb grows up to two to four feet in height and bears insipid green leaves also known as fronds. These fronds are narrow and tasseled and grow closely packed all the way up to the fleshy stem. On the underside of the fronds, there are two rows of dark brown spores. The rhizome or tuber of the male fern is reddish brown in color and is usually small, bulky and scaled. As mentioned earlier, the spores found underneath the fern leaves or fronds produce both male and female cells. Thus, the ferns reproduce from these spores.

In many cultures across the globe, people think that the ferns have the capability to transform poor people rich. For instance, a Russian myth says that if a person finds a fern blossoming on Midsummer Eve and throws the fern in the air, he will find a fortune where the fern lands. On the other hand, a fable in Syria says that collecting fern spores on Christmas night will compel the devil to part with his money. 

Moonwort/Fern is an herb of immortality and must be gathered by moonlight if it is to work. Fern should be kept in a room where studying is done to help concentration, and you should burn a sprig of fern before an exam. It can also be used in sachets and amulets for powerful auric protection. You can mix fern leaves with black snake root chips and carry them in a mojo bag for protection from harm and to ward off unnatural illness.

The Fern is an extremely powerful protective plant. Grow them in and around the house for protection from evil and negativity. It aids in gaining mental clarity, and is also used for cleansing, purification, and dispelling negativity. Fern has a reputation for preventing evil from entering the home. Some folks sprinkle crushed fern leaves along the inside window sills in every room of the house to keep out burglars and other intruders. You can also brew fern leaves and black snake root together and add it to your regular floor wash to get rid of jinxes and enemy tricks laid on your doorstep. Freshly crushed fern leaves can also be used as a floor sweep by sprinkling them onto the floor and then sweeping them out the front door.

Fern can be used to bring luck and prosperity. If it is carried, it will attract women to the carrier and if it is burned outdoors it will attract rain. If the Fern is dried over a balefire on the day of the Summer Solstice, it can then be used as a protective amulet. The 'seeds' from a Fern are said to render one invisible - but only if the seeds are gathered on Mid-Summer's Eve. It is claimed to aid in opening locks and was also said to have been used by the Alchemists, who thought it had power to condensate or to convert quicksilver into pure silver.

herbs2000

herb-magic

 

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.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday Try A New Taste - Midsummer Feast

As I did for Beltane, I now do for Midsummer - but further in the future, so if you see something you like, you actually have time to make it…LOL I am going to do a non-vegetarian meal today, and a vegetarian menu next Tuesday.

So…Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

misc~tag2w~michele~eye4expression

Easy Mead
from Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar 2000; written by Breid Foxsong

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart dry cider (hard or alcohol-free)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sliced citrus fruits
  • 3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

Combine in a container just large enough to hold everything. Seal and refrigerate, shaking or stirring daily for five days. Strain before drinking.

 

 

Old Fashioned Root Beer
From Excellent Recipes for Baking Raised Bread, from the Fleishman Company,
1912.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cake, compressed yeast
  • 5 lbs, sugar
  • 2 oz, sassafras root
  • 1 oz, hops or ginger root
  • 2 oz, juniper berries
  • 4 gallons, water
  • 1 oz, dandelion root
  • 2 oz, wintergreen

Wash roots well in cold water. Add juniper berries (crushed) and hops. Pour 8 quarts boiling water over root mixture and boil slowly 20 minutes. Strain through flannel bag. Add sugar and remaining 8 quarts water. Allow to stand until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in a little cool water. Add to root liquid. Stir well. Let settle then strain again and bottle. Cork tightly. Keep in a warm room 5 to 6 hours, then store in a cool place. Put on ice as required for use.

Summer Salsa
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 small Serrano peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small purple onion, diced small
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped small

Stir together the thyme, marjoram, basil, and olive oil. Stir in the lemon and lime juice. Remove the seeds from the Serrano peppers, and mince the remainder. Stir in the minced Serrano peppers, purple onion, red pepper, and cilantro. Allow to sit for at least half an hour before serving to blend flavors.

Chilled Cucumber Soup
by Anna Franklin and Sue Phillips
found at
White Wicca

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pt plain yogurt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Dash olive oil

Place the cucumber and yogurt in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Add the oil and seasoning and blend a little more. Chill in the fridge. Garnish with the fresh mint to serve.

Green Nations Herb Bread
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 c white or wheat flour
  • 2-2 1/2 cups assorted grain flours of your choice (or more white/wheat flour if you wish)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup assorted herbs
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/4 oz yeast (1 pkg.)
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

In a large bowl combine 1 c flour, sugar, salt and yeast and set aside. In small saucepan heat milk and vegetable oil until lukewarm. Be careful not to get your milk and oil too hot or it will kill the yeast. Add egg and warm liquid to flour mixture and mix well. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. With wooden spoon stir in herbs and remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if needed. Dough should be elastic without being overly sticky or stiff. Place dough in warm greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, 45-60 min. Punch down dough, knead and place on a pizza pan or cookie sheet, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again to double it's size. If you feel fancy sprinkle sesame, poppy or dill seed on top before baking. Heat oven to 400 ° and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Serve this bread warm with butter and honey.

What herbs you use depends totally on your personal tastes. Some suggestions: powdered rosemary, parsley, basil, cumin, coarse cracked black pepper, fennel, dill, dried and powdered radish tops, flaked dried carrot tops, nettle greens, calendula petals, finely ground dandelion greens, and thyme.

Orange Honey Butter
Found at Pagan Poet

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Rind
  • 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Combine the orange rind, powdered sugar, butter and honey in a small bowl and blend until well mixed. Chill slightly and serve with Green Nations Herb Bread, scones or biscuits.

Herb Roast Chicken
From Red Deer & Elenya @ University of North Carolina

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 Lemon (juice of)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 4 pounds Chicken, quartered
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Tomato sauce
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 Green pepper, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin

In a shallow dish combine wine, lemon juice, garlic, 1 /4 teaspoon oregano and pinch of salt. Add chicken, turning to coat well and marinate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a saucepan combine remaining ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon oregano and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Put chicken in a baking dish and top with sauce. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until done.

 

 

Litha Mushrooms in Cream
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Mushrooms
  • 2 T. Butter, melted
  • 1 C. Cream
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, garlic, rosemary, or other herbs of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Clean but do not peel the mushrooms. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place them in a single layer in a buttered baking dish and dribble the melted butter over them. Bake at 400° until soft (about three minutes). Pour the cream over the mushrooms and turn the oven to 250° so the cream does not boil. Sprinkle with your choice of fresh, chopped herbs and a dash of salt and pepper before serving,
S
erves 4.

The sudden appearance of wild mushrooms and their rapid growth were once believed to be a sign of magic. Campestri Agaricus (meadow mushrooms, those white caps commonly purchased in the produce section of the grocery store) growing in a circle were thought to be faerie circles where those wonderful, immortal creatures danced. Mortals were warned not to enter such a place or to fall asleep in a faerie circle because they were believed to be gateways to Faerie. Mushrooms in Cream honors the Fey Folk. Unless you are an experienced mushroom hunter, it is best to use mushrooms purchased through your green grocer. I like to use crimini mushrooms, who are in reality,  portabellos picked before they reach mature growth stage, large cap size. When picking through the mushroom bin on the produce aisle, always look at the under side of the caps and choose mushrooms whose gills have not yet opened.

Frosty Strawberry Pie
Submitted to All Recipes by: Jill D

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-oz) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1-1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • whipped cream
  • walnut halves (optional)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and gradually add ice cream, stirring until melted.Note:If pie is to be chilled 3-4 hours before serving, increase to 1-1/2 cups water. Chill until thick but NOT set (15-25 minutes), and then fold in strawberries and pour into pie crust. Chill until firm; garnish with whipped cream and walnut halves. A very yummy summer treat....and you can substitute sugar-free gelatin. Be sure to keep it refrigerated! Garnish with whipped cream and walnut halves.
Makes 1 - 8 or 9 inch pie.

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.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Make A - Midsummer/Litha Witchlets Craft Ideas

Litha Spiral Candles: Litha Craft for Witchlings
by WindSeeker;
Cauldrons and Broomsticks

Materials:

  • Decorating wax strips or preprinted wax logs
  • plain ball or short pillar candle(s)
  • craft or butter knife

Have your child choose a couple of colored wax strip combinations. Cut each strip into 2 pieces 2 ¾ “ long and on piece that is 2" long. Lay a short length of one color over a longer length of another color and roll them into a tight spiral log, ½ “ in diameter by 1 ½ " long. When you've got eight logs use the knife (adults or older children) to cut each log into as many slices as you can. Firmly press the wax slices all around the outside of the candle, starting at the base and working up. Continue placing the slices as close together as possible until the whole candle is covered.

Making Sand Candles
By Karyn Finnell

Needed:

  • A bucket
  • Sand – damp
  • Stick
  • Wick
  • Wax
  • Double boiler or old coffee can & pot of water
  • Crayons (for colors)

Fill bucket with damp sand or, if at the beach, dig a hole in the sand until you reach sand that is damp enough so that in no longer caves in. Poke a few holes in the sand with a stick (3 for a cauldron style base or 4, one in each corner). These will become the "legs" of the candle. Wrap a wick around a stick and dangle the wick into the hole with the stick resting on the outside of the hole.

Carefully melt the wax over a fire or stove using double boiler or coffee can /pot of water – this serves just as well as a double boiler and it saves your good pans from becoming ruined and covered with wax. Using the crayons, you can color the wax. (Warning: Use only crayons without asbestos!!!!!) Peel the paper completely off the crayon and gently drop it into the melted wax. The more crayon you put in the wax the darker the color will become. Stir gently to make sure the color is well blended in the wax. Once the wax is melted and the crayon is blended, slowly, so as not to cave in the sand, pour the wax into your sand hole. Let the wax completely harden in the sand. When the wax is fully hardened, dig around the candle and ease

it out of the bucket or ground. Lightly dust off excess loose sand, leaving the outer part of the wax covered with sand. If you made legs on your candle it should stand on its own (if the legs are uneven, you can even them out by sitting the candle in a hot frying pan).

Other shapes can be made with a child's hand or foot pressed into the sand, or any other object that makes an interesting indentation. For more advanced candle-making, you can press sea shells into the sides of your sand hole before you pour the wax in. They will stick to the wax as it hardens.

Warning! When the wax melts it is Very, Very HOT. Never leave it unattended on a fire or stovetop. Wax also has a tendency to splatter, much like grease, so be careful. You do not have to bring the wax to a rolling boil in order to get it to melt. Take your time and be careful. You will have much more fun if you are safe : )

Happy candle making!

Pagan Candle Craft for Kids
posted by Aradiann

You will need:

  • 2 foil cupcake baking cups for each candle
  • 1/3 to ½ C wax per candle
  • Wicking

Children should have their own candles to which they can whisper their wishes for the coming season. Remove the paper inserts from two foil cups and put one cup in the other. Two layers give the mold enough stability to hold the wax. Using your thumbs and index fingers, pull and push the foil to form sun rays. Be sure that the sides are level with each other. If they're not, when you pour the wax, it will spill out. Pour the wax and insert the wick when the wax has just firmed. After the candle has cooled, remove the layers of foil. Float in water bowls and light.

Stained Glass Sun Catchers: Litha Craft for Witchlings
by WindSeeker;
Cauldrons and Broomsticks

Materials:

  • Wax paper
  • Crayon shavings
  • Colored string
  • Yarn or thread
  • Lace
  • Leaves
  • Flower petals

To begin, have the child empty crayon shavings from their sharpener, or (adults only!) use a paring knife to create shavings. A cheese grater works great for large crayons. Arrange shavings, and any of the accessory items the child chooses and sandwich between two sheets of wax paper. Iron (adults, of course) the whole package on low setting, just until the shavings melt. Cut the "stained glass" into shapes and hang them with string, in a sunny window.

And here are some color correspondences for candles: Candle Color Meanings (remember, these are SOMEONE’S correspondences – yours may be very different – and that is perfectly acceptable!

  • Red - energy, strength, passion
  • Blue - wisdom, protection, creativity, communication, water, healing
  • Purple - spiritual power, psychic ability and energy, hidden knowledge
  • Silver - dreams, the goddess, intuition, telepathy, feminine power
  • Pink - love, peace, romantic, emotions,
  • Gold - wealth, god, happiness
  • Black - binding, protection, banishing negativity
  • Copper - money, growth
  • Yellow - sun, intelligence, memory
  • Green - fertility, money, tree magick, growth,
  • Brown - friendships, favors
  • White - the goddess, purity, spiritualism, peace

I am including one last craft idea - no wax involved - for those of you who may not be comfortable with the idea of children and hot wax. It's been my experience that children are much more capable than adults want to give them credit for, but each person has their own comfort level. With that in mind, here is a repost from May of 2008 - a last craft idea for today that involves no *hot* anything : )

Mud Cast
Inspired by: 'Magical Gardens' by Patricia Monighan.

Needed: 

  • Gather a bucket of dirt (from your own property if possible)
  • A small screen (the kind you find on your windows)
  • a serving platter lined with paper
  • a soil testing kit (optional - see below)
  • instant concrete
  • a carving tool of some sort
  • and a pitcher of water

Find a place you don't mind messing up...this can be pretty sloppy. Take several handfuls of soil and put them on the serving dish and make a mound of it in the center. Pour some water around your soil. Then use the soil testing kit (this step can be skipped if you either don't want to know the quality of your dirt, or if you took the dirt from somewhere other than your own garden). Add the instant concrete and mix it together as fast as you can. Shape it into a disk, then use your carving tool to form a spiral sun symbol, or some other representation of the sun.

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.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Surprise - Midsummer's Eve or St. John's Eve

Midsummer's Eve or St. John's Eve

Taken in it's entirety from The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes.

Midsummer's Eve was originally intended to coincide with the summer solstice, the day when the Sun enters the sign of Cancer, the astrological sign that belongs to the moon, and Earth's magical forces are at their height. Midsummer's Eve is a major holiday for witches and those who love them. Because fixed calendars came into existence, Midsummer's Eve, especially in its guise as the Feast of John the Baptist, does not necessarily correspond exactly with the solstice. (The solstice moves; the Feast doesn't.) Modern Neo-Pagans, however, frequently coordinate Midsummer's Eve with the solstice and so this festival may be celebrated anytime, depending upon place, traditions, and participants, from approximately June 20 through the 24th. A wild anarchic joyous festival, the ancients would have had no objection to it lingering for three or four days.

Midsummer's Eve is a fire and a water festival characterized by ritual baths and bonfires. Bonfires are built upon carefully selected magical wood with special aromatic herbs thrown into the fires. The ashes are later preserved as amulets. Bonfires are built on the shores of lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans. Just as livestock is driven between or around bonfires, so the were once driven into the sea to be buffeted by spiritually cleansing and magically empowering waves.

Midsummer's marks the convergence of Sun and Moon. The sun is at its zenith but the zodiac has entered the watery sign of Cancer, the only sign ruled by the Moon.  Children born during this 30-day period are known as Moon Children. Lunar deities like Artemis, Diana, and Hecate have powerful associations with fire and water as well as botanical magic.

Midsummer's Eve is considered the absolute optimal moment for harvesting magical and medicinal plants. Plants are ideally picked at midnight or when the first dew forms. (Rolling in the dew is believed beneficial for people, too.) Special, unique plants such as the fern seed that provides invisibility are available only on the night. Witch-hunters claimed that this was the night witches rode off to join Satan; witches, on the other hand, claimed that this was the night they congregated to celebrate the Earth and to harvest botanicals for the coming year's spells. According to the tenets of Russian witchcraft, the most powerful botanicals in the world are ritually harvested on Midsummer's Eve atop Bald Mountain.

This is the time to stay out all night reveling and then gather plants before calling it a night. It is a magical time for divination, communing with the spirits, and finding true love - or at the very least romance, flirtation, and fun.

Although Midsummer's Eve was Christianized as St John's Eve, this is perhaps the church holiday with the thinnest veneer. In Siberia a popular name for St John's Day id Ivan Travnik (John the Herbalist) or Ivan Koldovnik (John the Magician.)

In Denmark, Midsummer's Eve has been celebrated since at least the time of the Vikings and is associated with Odin. Healers gathered their botanical supplies for the year on this night. Bonfires were lit, a tradition that survives today, however, visits to the healing springs were once incorporated into the festival as well. Bonfires are still sometimes built on beaches, In Scandinavia, "maypoles" are sometimes erected at Midsummer's instead.

Midsummer's Eve bonfires and water celebrations were particularly beloved in Mediterranean regions. Midsummer's Eve pre-dates Christianity and Islam, and although the later associations have diverged from each other (on the Mediterranean's southern shore, in Muslim Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, the festival is identified with Fatima, the Prophet's daughter rather than with John the Baptist,) the rituals and associated botanicals are virtually identical on either side of the sea.

John the Baptist is much venerated by Freemasons. There is a tremendous Masonic component in Vodoun. In Haiti, John the Baptist is considered among the Iwa; his feast day is celebrated with bonfires, ritual bathing and ceremonial. Whether these celebrations arrived in Louisiana from Haiti, directly from France or even perhaps directly from Africa are unknown.

The most important annual New Orleans ceremonial during Marie Laveau's time was held on St John's Eve at the Bayou St John, the natural waterway which once connected Lake Pontchartrain, popularly known as St John's Lake, with the Mississippi River ant the heart of the Vieux Carre. When these ceremonials began is unknown. Marie Laveau presided over St John's Eve ceremonials at the Bayou St John for years. (See Hall of Fame: Marie Laveau) Celebrations included bonfires, ritual bathing, ancient snake rites, drumming, dancing, singing, and a communal meal. Once secret and forbidden, the festival's reputation (and remember, ostensibly at least this is an official Church-sanctioned feast, although certain practices - those snakes! - were consistently condemned) spread and by 1831, the Pontchartrain Railroad began running special cars to the lake for the festivities for tourists and spectators, not for the participants.

Eventually St John's Eve Voodoo celebrations became a tourist attraction. Tourists, non-practitioners, and observers came to watch, not to participate. Eventually tourist shows began to be staged for which fees were charged. Once again, it became necessary to hold true ceremonials in private. Post Civil War, the tourist fascination with Voodoo culture waned, resulting in periods of great oppression. By the late 1890s, private ceremonies as well as St John's Eve celebrations at Lake Pontchartrain were routinely broken up by the police.

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.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Food For Thought

Is this the world we are allowing to be created for ourselves..? The legacy we will leave for our children and grandchildren..? Is it really so far from incorrect..?

Saturday Something - Litha / Midsummer, Correspondences / Associations

Litha Correspondences / Associations
from
The Sacred Grove

Date: June 20-23 (varies according to the position of the Sun).
Names:
Summer Solstice; Midsummer; Litha (Wiccan); Alban Hefin (Druidic); nti Raymi (Incan); Feast of the Sun (Aztec); Celtic New Year, according to some; St. John's Day/Festival of Saint John the Baptist (Christian).

Sacred To:

  • Gods: Horned Gods; Oak Kings; Sun Gods; Baldur; Mars; Nergal
  • Goddesses: the Midsummer Bride, the lion-guarded Queen of the Year; Aine of Knockaine; Kupala; Mother Nature; Aphrodite Erycina, Aphrodite of the Heather, the nymph-goddess of Midsummer; Astarte/Anatha, the Love and Death, Goddess of Midsummer; Vesta, for whom fires were lit at Midsummer.

Foods: fresh vegetables, summer fruits, pumpernickel bread, ale and mead.
Incense:
frankincense, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose and wisteria.
Candles:
blue, green, gold, red, yellow, bright colors, pastels.
Gemstones:
all green stones (emerald and jade).
Celebrating: abundance, fertility, virility, the beauty and bounty of Nature. It is a good time for empowerment, for strong magic and male rituals, for handfastings and communing with Nature Spirits, for workings of consummation or culmination. The door to the Faery Realm is said to open on Midsummer Night, and twilight to be the best time for faery magic. Celebrate Mid-Summer with fire and singing and feasting, with all-night vigils and torch lit processions. Weave green boughs and crowns of flowers. Dance around a bonfire. Decorate your altar with candles and flowers. Perform the Great Rite in the fields. Erect a Midsummer Tree. Set a fire wheel ablaze (being mindful of fire safety, of course). Walk naked or ride a broomstick through fields as a fertility charm. Draw down the Sun. Drink mead or use it for offerings. Make honey cakes or cornbread with honey butter for the
feast.
Tools:
wand, athame, sword, spear, staff ... all the phallic ones.
Plants:
all flowers, roses, heather, oak, St. John's Wort, MugWort, St. John's Flower. St. John's Wort symbolizes the Wiccan festival of Summer Solstice. A plant was hung up in the house for each member of the family. The remaining plants were bundled, tied to a pole, and set up where grain would be brought at the next harvest. Farmers prayed to the goddess Kupole for a good harvest. The bundle of herbs, called the Kupole, represented her. Heather is the Midsummer Tree of the Summer Solstice. Aphrodite Erycina, Aphrodite of the Heather, mated with the sacred king atop a mountain then killed him by tearing out his genitals. St. John's Flower/St. John's Blood/Mouse-eared Hawkweed (Hieracium pilsoella) was uprooted with gold coins on Midsummer Eve in Germany and Bohemia. Celts, Druids and Scandinavians gathered mistletoe at Midsummer. White elder flowers are sacred to the White Goddess at Midsummer. Orpane/Midsummer Men (Sempervivum telephium, a variety of houseleek) was gathered on Midsummer Eve along with
sprigs of red sage and used to divine the fate of lovers.
Fire:
Midsummer fire was considered the fire of heaven.
Bonfires:
: Bonfires are kindled for health, fertility, love, sacrifice or purification. There is a long European tradition of lighting bonfires at Midsummer, especially of oak wood and in high places. Twin bonfires were common. Smoke of the green oak, burned on Midsummer Eve fires, is painful and gives inspiration to those who dance between the twin sacrificial fires.
In some places a  Midsummer Tree was used to kindle the bonfire.
Health:
The Midsummer bonfire was thought to drive away the dragon that
causes disease.
Fertility:
The ashes of the bonfire were scattered as a fertility charm. Moroccans and Algerians threw incense and spices on their Midsummer bonfires all night, invoking divine blessings on the fruit trees. In parts of England the Midsummer fires were lit in the fields to bless the apples. Midsummer bonfires were jumped over to make flax grow as high as the people could jump. In some parts of Germany young people jumped over Midsummer bonfires
to make the flax or hemp grow tall.
Sacrifice:
Basques burned vipers in wickerwork panniers on Midsummer Day. Firewheels: Firewheels symbolize the sun at its highest point. They were usually rolled down a hill into water, simulating the course of the sun. Midsummer Charms: The charred embers from a Midsummer bonfire are potent magic, charms against injury and bad weather. They are placed in fields or around trees for agricultural fertility, placed in meadows and atop houses to protect them. People in some parts of France held branches of nut trees when they jumped the Midsummer bonfire. These branches were then hung over the doors of cattle stalls. On the Isle of Man blazing gorse was carried several times around folded cattle on Midsummer Eve. St. John's Wort, gathered on Midsummer Eve, is worn as an amulet or hung up over doors or windows as a charm. Gathered naked that night, it is used for fertility. Mugwort has magical powers when gathered on Midsummer Eve. A Mugwort garland woven at Midsummer, worn as a crown or used for viewing the bonfire through, was a charm to ensure that you would have no headaches or eye pain that year. Mugwort was sometimes thrown on the Midsummer bonfire. The French wove garlands of it at Midsummer for protection against ghosts, magic, bad luck and disease for that year. In Bohemia, fir cones gathered before sunrise on Midsummer Day were believed to confer invulnerability. Wild thyme collected on Midsummer Day in Bohemia was used to fumigate trees as Solstice as a fertility charm, to make them grow well. Fennel was hung on doors on Midsummer Eve in medieval times to ward off evil spirits. Ferns generally reproduce via spores, but it was believed that fern seed was magical at Midsummer. Gathered on Midsummer Eve by spreading a white cloth below it, so as not to touch it with the hands, fern seed was believed to confer invisibility and the ability to understand the language of animals. Bohemians believed that fern seed bloomed with fiery golden blossoms on Midsummer Eve, and that the person who climbed a mountain holding it would find a vein of gold and see the treasures of the earth shining with a bluish light. Oil of St. John was a decoction of mistletoe that had been gathered on Midsummer Eve. It was believed to heal all wounds made with cutting instruments. In Sweden the Midsummer mistletoe was attached to the ceiling of the house, horse stall or manger to render the Troll powerless to inflict harm on people or animals. In Italy young singles gathered around a standing stone at Midsummer, the boys wearing green ears of grain and the girls wearing flax flowers, to leave plants on the stone. The affections of a couple were believed to last as long as the plants
stayed fresh upon the dolmen.
Divination:
Nettles were planted or put into water on Midsummer Eve in Sicily. The way they were found on Midsummer Day, blooming or fading, was an omen, especially as to fortune in love. In Moselle, France a good vintage was expected if the Midsummer Eve fire wheel was still aflame when it rolled into the river. In Italy wheat and barley were sown in small pots a few days before Midsummer. Each pot represented a specific person. Fortune and good luck were believed to come to those whose grain had sprouted well by Midsummer
Day, bad luck to those whose grain had not.
Midsummer Trees:
Maj Stanger, Swedish Midsummer trees, were made from tall, straight spruces with their branches stripped off. Wood was sometimes attached so that the trees represented a man with his hands on his hips. The Midsummer tree was decorated by village maidens with leaves, flowers, strips of cloth and gilt eggshells. A large vane or flag was placed on top. Bohemian Midsummer trees were made of fir or pine and decorated by girls with flowers, garlands and red ribbons. The bonfire was kindled of the tree that night, the garlands tossed back and forth across the blaze by boys and girls. Couples held hands and jumped over the embers three times. Singed garlands were saved to burn in the hearth during thunderstorms, or fed to
sick or calving cows.
Death of The Sacred King:
We have evolved and no longer practice blood sacrifice of any sort, but the ritual murder of the sacred king was once a solemn European vegetation rite of Midsummer. He was not a king as we understand that term in modern times but rather the embodiment of male virility, a Hercules figure. He was crowned with roses and wreathed with myrtle, enjoyed the favors of the queen/priestess, but Midsummer was when he felt the stab of the thorns and his rule came to an end. The sacred king's sacrificial death ensured the fertility of the crops and the survival of the tribe. The ekingi was symbolically beheaded as a part of the Bohemian Midsummer vegetation ceremonies. He wore a tree bark robe decorated with flowers, a bark crown bedecked with branches and flowers, a mask, and had ferns on his feet. He carried a hawthorn switch for a scepter and was accompanied by young people wearing bark  girdles who carried wooden swords and willow bark trumpets. There was a chase through the village followed by a mock trial. If the king was found guilty, several hats would be placed
atop his head so that they could be chopped off when he knelt down.
Global Rites:

  • Incan: Inti Raymi, the Feast of the Sun, marked Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. To celebrate make libations of chicha (maize beer). Make offerings to the Sun. Kindle new fire from the sun, with a mirror.
  • Egyptian: In some parts of ancient Egypt the somber rites of the presentation of the first sheaf of harvest wheat to Min took place at Midsummer.
  • Phoenician: Dirges were sung for the child Linus at Midsummer during the flax harvest.
  • Native American: Sun Dances
  • German: Latzman, the Lazy Man of Midsummer Day festivities, was a conical or pyramidal wickerwork frame covered with fir sprigs.
  • Irish: Torches made of bundled reeds were carried on Midsummer Eve.
  • Serbian: Birch bark torches were lit on Midsummer Eve and carried around the sheepfolds and cattle stalls. The people then climbed up into the hills, where the torches were allowed to go out.
  • Austrian/Bavarian: Boys decked out in green fir branches went from house to house with a group of young people to collect wood for the Midsummer bonfire.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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, May 29, 2009

Friday Form A Circle - The Omen Quest Divination Ritual

The Omen Quest
Divination Ritual

Source Unknown

The Omen Quest is based on the folk traditions of Scotland and other Celtic countries and is described and detailed in some of Tom Cowan's books on shamanism and Celtic shamanism. To the Celts, the places that were betwixt and between were doorways into the unseen world and the careful observer could tap into the magic of such places and receive information. Omens are observations of the everyday world around you. The positioning of a tree branch or the reflection of the sun on a puddle, suddenly take on new significance.

To do the omen quest, form a question that you would like answered. This is not the time for yes or no questions, something more complicated. The Summer Solstice is the time when our planting and planning of Imbolc, Ostara, and Beltane should becoming manifest. Once you have your question, go outside. Being in a natural place is always better, but there's no reason not to do it in a city. Spirit is everywhere. When your outside, find a betwixt and between place. Betwixt and Between is a border where you are neither in one place or another. Here are some examples:

  • The Solstice - We are on the border of the growing light and the growing dark time of the year.
  • Dawn/Dusk - The border of day and night - more importantly, not day or night.
  • In A Doorway - neither in the house nor out of the house
  • With Clothes On But No Shoes - neither dressed nor undressed
  • In A Gate - neither in nor out
  • On The Curb - neither in the street nor on the sidewalk
  • In The Shadow Of A Tree - not beneath the tree but under the tree
  • Shadows Of Any Kind - in the sun, not in the sun
  • Edge Of The Water/In The Surf - neither on land nor in the water

Find your betwixt and between place. The more betwixt and between, the better. Take some deep breaths and ground and center. The reports in folklore ask you to "say your prayers and charms." So call on the help of the powers that are important to you, spirit guides, guardian angels, Gods, Goddesses, ancestors etc...

Think of your question. With that in mind turn to the East, close your eyes and ask - Where am I? Wait with your eyes closed until you feel a signal or an urge to open them. What is the first thing you see/experience? This is your omen. Now, the omens are simple every day things like:

  • oak tree
  • bird flying
  • bird flying south
  • sound of a hammer banging
  • golden glow on the horizon
  • woman in red dress approaching

Write down your first impressions with appropriate adjectives:

  • dying oak tree
  • knobby oak tree
  • young oak tree
  • oak tree with two trunks

If you write down an omen that sounds like: yellow 1954 Volkswagen beetle with flat tire. Crying woman with bleached blond hair sitting inside. Child on skateboard passing car on sidewalk heading S-SW on boulevard as hot dog man shouts, "Get 'em while their hot!" You missed it. Probably only one of those things is the first thing you saw. So keep that in mind. Write it down and move into the other three directions doing the same.

Turn to the South, close your eyes and ask - What is my strength?

Turn to the West, close your eyes and ask - Where am I going?

Turn to the North, close your eyes and ask - What is my power?

These are questions about your main question, what is my power in this situation/problem/change of life? Thank the powers and guardians you asked to help you.

Now is the time to interpret your omens. Some will be obvious to you. Remember, these were given to you and were chosen, because you would be able to know what they mean. So if you see lavender waving in the breeze, don't grab every herb lore book to find out what lavender means, what does it mean to you? Some will not be so obvious. I was once given an omen of a young oak waving in the breeze for my strength. To interpret it, I did a meditation and saw myself becoming the young oak. By shape-shifting into the oak, I saw the world through its eyes and its relationship to the rest of the forest. I realized that the message it was trying to give me was about living in community. My strength was community. Some other things may be confusing because you can't tell what you're seeing. I spotted a rock at the base of a tree as an omen. I went closer to the rock and it had painted on it "Believe". So, I think the omen in this case was not the rock, but the message "believe". Tom Cowan gives the example of the "golden glow." On further investigation, it turned out to be the sun reflecting on a yellow pool cover. Based on the person he was questing for and their discussions, they decided the omen had to do with the golden glow and not a pool cover. So, think on your omens. Journal and meditate on them. In the end, they will give you answers.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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, May 28, 2009

Thursday This Is Your Spell - Summertime Magical Spells For Witchlings

Summertime Magickal Spells For Witchlings
From Baby Magic by Vidar Andrewson - Mind Fire

Decide what rituals are suitable for your child's age and which ones are too much for them. I have tried to make them as simplistic as possible.

  • Bubblemagic: Have you ever blown bubbles when you were a child? This rite is quite simple but will work if the right mindset is in order. First go out into nature, on a hill, in a field etc on a windy day if possible. Tell your child to make a wish and blow the bubbles. When they blow the bubbles their wishes are put inside the bubbles and carried up to the Gods & Goddesses. There the bubbles pop and the Gods & Goddesses will see their wishes and grant them. Explain to them that sometimes the bubbles will pop before getting there, due to being attacked by Loki's forces who take the form of bugs, birds, crosswinds, people and other things. If they say a little prayer before the bubbles are blown to ensure a safe journey of the bubbles to the Gods & Goddesses then that will help them do beginning invocations.
  • Kite Magic: Hand make a kite with your child(ren) doing most of the work. On the kite write messages of what they want, wishes. The message can be anything they want the Gods(desses) to hear. It can have a poem written on it, or a request or a simple happy birthday to the God during Yuletide for the beginning of our year. The thought being that the higher the kite goes it gets closer to the realm of the Gods and they can read it easier. If the kite string ever breaks and the kite is lost maybe the Gods have decided to keep the kite? Don't lie to them but let their imagination decide what happened to the kite. If you lie to them they'll never believe you again or will have doubts about what you say in the future.
  • Balloon Magic: Write on a piece of paper your wishes, a song, poem or whatever you want the Gods(desses) to see. Roll up the paper and insert it into a balloon. Inflate the balloon with helium and let it fly on the end of a string <but don't let it fly away because balloons are not environmentally friendly>. A good variation to this would be to put a handful of birdseed inside the balloon so that when it pops the seed will feed the Goddesses children, the birds.
  • Water Magic: Work together to make a boat made of wood or out of scraps of wood. Fill the boat with fish food and a leaf that your kid has written his/her wishes onto. Before your child sends the boat into the water have them say a prayer of what they wish and that in exchange for granting their wish they have fed the Goddesses children, the fish.
  • Magic with Fire: You will need to supervise your kids with this one. Have them write down everything that makes them mad onto a piece of paper and then have them toss it into a fire. If they want wishes to be granted by the Gods(desses) have them write, or draw a picture or what they want on a piece of paper and toss it into the fire. Tell them that as the paper gets burned up it turns into smoke and is carried up to the Gods and then magically turns back into a piece of paper and lands on their alter where they read it.
  • Home For the Faeryfolk: If you have access to a forest this one is cool. Go out to the forest and assist your child in building a home for the faeryfolk there. Don't use two-by-fours but branches instead. Make it as elaborate as you wish. Tell your children that sometimes the faeryfolk take on the form of animals and will move into the home you've built for them. To lure them into the home put a variety of fruits and vegetables inside and a note to them stating that you've built this home for them and if they wish they can grant you your wishes. When the winter snows start piling up they will be very happy you've built them a home and stocked it with food. They may feel grateful enough to grant you your wishes. There is also a post on making Faery Furniture here.)

These are only a few of the spells I am working on. feel free to use these and pass them around. Permission is granted to put these in publications as long as credit is given to me

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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, May 27, 2009

Wednesday What Herb Is This - Makes An Appearance!!!! Fairy Flora

Fairy Flora
by Eileen Holland, © Eileen Holland, Open Sesame

Alder - Alder is a charm against malevolent fairies. Water sprites are said to protect alder trees, so be cautious of cutting one down. Clethrad is an alder fairy known to us from mythology.

Apple - Fragrant apple bark can be added to incense that is burned as an offering to the fae on Midsummer Eve. The fruit or bark of apple trees can be used in fairy magic, especially for love spells. Apples are suitable offerings to the fae.

Ash - Ash trees are believed to provide protection from fairies, who are said to be unable to harm anyone standing in the shadow of an ash tree. Placing ash berries in a cradle is said prevent fairies from taking the baby and trading a changeling for it. (Also see Hawthorn)

Birch - Ghillie Dhu, a Scottish fairy who wears moss and leaves, is said to live in birch thickets. According to the Hanes Taliesin, from the 13th century Red Book of Hergest: "On a switch of birch was written the first Ogham inscription in Ireland, namely seven B's, as a warning to Lug son of Ethliu, to wit, 'Thy wife will be seven times carried away from you into fairyland or elsewhere, unless birch be her overseer."

Blackberry - It was taboo to eat blackberries in Celtic countries - a cause des fe├ęs - because of the fairies.

Blackthorn - Blackthorn trees and shrubs are said to be held sacred by fairies. The Luantishees are blackthorn fairies, who guard the trees. November 11 is their festival.

Bluebell - Some consider bluebells the most potent plant for fairy magic. Fields of bluebells are said to be so dangerously enchanted by fairies that a child who wanders into one may be held captive there by the fae. Adults who enter bluebell patches may become so enchanted that they are unable to leave until other humans come to lead them out. Plant bluebells to attract fairies to your garden. They are said to be called to their midnight revels by the sound of bluebells chiming. If you hear a bluebell ringing, this indicates the presence of a malicious fairy.

Clover - Fields of clover are believed to attract fairies. A four-leaf clover is said to provide protection against the fae, and to be able to break fairy spells and glamours. Wearing a four-leaf clover in your hat supposedly grants you the power to see invisible fairies, as does anointing yourself with an ointment made from four-leaf clover, or carrying a charm made of seven grains of wheat and a four-leaf clover.

Cowslip - Cowslip blossoms are said to be loved by fairies, who use them for umbrellas, and protect the plants. Shakespeare had a fairy say of cowslips:

"And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To draw her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be,
In their gold coats spots you see:
Those be rubies, fairy favors:
In those freckles live their savors.
I must go to seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslips' ear."

"That they do dwell within the cowslips hollow is truth for I have seen them fly out in intoxicated abandon."

Edmund Canterbell

Cowslips are used in fairy magic. They are considered helpful in finding fairy treasures, and keys to unlocking the secret location of hidden fairy gold.

Daffodil - Daffodils are useful for evoking fairies and elves.

Dogwood - Pixy Pears is one name for the tree's fruit.

Daisy - Daisies are used in fairy magic, for working with elves or fairies. Putting a daisy chain on a child is said to prevent fairies from beguiling the child and carrying her or him away.

Elecampane - Elfwort and Elf Dock are folk names for elecampane, an herb whose roots are used in fairy magic. Scattering the root about is said to attract fairies to your home, and growing elecampane is said to attract them to your garden.

Elder - Elder trees and bushes are said to protect fairies, especially at night, from negative energy and from people and entities who would do them harm. It was a British belief that placing a child in an elder wood cradle could cause it to be pinched black and blue by fairies. Elderberry wine is considered fairy wine. Drinking it is said to enable you to see fairies. Add dried elderberries to an incense mixture that you burn to attract fairies to a gathering.

Fairy Wand - Fairy Wands (Dierama pulcherrima) are associated with Titania, Shakespeare's fairy queen. They are used magically to call upon the fae for help.

Fern - Ferns are favored by pixies, who are said to sometimes be found near them.

Fig Tree - The Apsaras, also called Sky Dancers, are fig tree fairies (devas) ho are known to us from Hindu mythology. They bless humans at important stages of our lives. They also sometimes seduce scholars and scientists, and sexually exhaust them so that they will not discover things which are better left alone. Evoke the Apsaras for blessings, sex magic, and for good luck and protection for gamblers.

Flax - Purging Flax (Linum catharticum) is also called Fairy Flax.

Forget-Me-Not - Forget-Me-Not flowers provide protection from fairies. They are said to help to unlock the secrets of the fae, and pave the way to fairy treasures.

Foxglove (*Poison) - Folk names for foxglove include Fairy Thimbles, Fairy Glove, Little Folks' Glove, Fairy Fingers, Fairy Petticoats, Fairy's Cap, and Fairy Weed.. Foxglove is strongly associated with fairies, who are said to wear the tiny flowers as hats and gloves, and to leave their fingerprints upon the flowers. Foxglove is used in fairy magic, and for the evocation of elves or earth elementals. The leaves are said to grant release from fairy enchantment. Planting foxglove is an invitation to fairies to enter your garden. Wearing foxglove is a charm to attract fairy energy. The juice of the plant is said to be effective in breaking fairy enchantments.

Grass - Small fairies are said to ride bundles of grass as horses.

Hawthorn- Hawthorn, also called Whitethorn and Fairy Thorn, is the thorn in Oak, Ash, and Thorn. A grove comprised of those three trees was believed to be the perfect habitat for fairies, and an excellent place to catch sight of them. Pixie Pears is another name for hawthorn berries.

Heather- Heather stalks are said to provide food for fairies. A field of heather may contain a portal to the Fairy Kingdom.

Holly - Holly berries are said to be a fairy favorite.

Hollyhock - Fairies are said to love hollyhocks, especially pink ones.

Lavender - Elf Leaf is another name for lavender, which is used in elfin magic.

Lilac - The scent of lilacs is said to attract fairies to a garden.

Mistletoe - Adding mistletoe to a fairy spell on Midsummer Night's Eve makes the spell more powerful.

Morning Glory - Plant morning glories in your garden to keep away hostile fairies, especially nocturnal ones.

Mushrooms & Toadstools - Mushrooms and toadstools with knobbed caps are said to be used as stools and umbrellas by small fairies. Some of the folk names for various types of fungi reflect this belief: Fairy Club, Elf Cap, Pixie Hood, Dryad's Saddle, Elf's Stool, etc. A circle of mushrooms on a lawn is called a Fairy Ring, Fairy Circle, Fairy Dance, or Fairy Court. Fairy rings were believed to be places of dangerous enchantment that formed where fairies danced.

Nut Trees - Nut trees provide homes for the Caryatids, who are nut tree nymphs or fairies.

Oak - In British folklore ancient, hollow oak trees that stood in old sacred groves were often believed to be the homes of elves or fairies. Such trees were called bull oaks in England, and bell oaks in Scotland and Ireland. You were supposed to turn your coat or cloak inside out to neutralize their magic:

"Turn your clokes
For fairy folks
Are in old oaks."

Any oak tree may provide a home to fairies, elves, or other such beings. Dryads are oak tree nymphs. (Also see Hawthorn)

Orchid - Hammarbya paludosa is called Green Fairy Orchid.

Pansy - Plant pansies to attract fairies to your garden. Oberon, the fairy king, used pansies in his love potion

"Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
It fell upon a little western flower;
Before, milk-white; now purple with love's wound-
And maidens call it Love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower, the herb I showed thee once.
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make a man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"

 

Peach - Some consider peaches to be fairy fruit.

Pear - Japanese pears were called Fairies' Fire in the old Language of Flowers.

Pearlwort - Placing a spring of pearlwort above the front door is said to prevent fairies from stealing any member of the household away.

Peony - Peonies are a charm to bring dreams of fairies.

Primrose - Primroses were considered fairy flowers in Ireland and Wales, where they were believed to grant fairies the power of invisibility. Eating primroses is supposed to enable you to see fairies. Hanging a spray of primroses on your door is said to be an invitation to the fae to enter your home, and to draw fairy blessings; but scattering primroses outside your door is said to keep fairies away by making a barrier that they cannot cross. Touching a fairy rock with a primrose posy that contains the right number of blossoms (try five) is said to open the way to Fairyland and fairy gifts. Be cautious though, for using a bouquet with the wrong number of flowers is said to bring certain doom. Use primroses for fairy magic. Plant primroses in your garden to attract fairies to it. Be sure to take good care of them though, for allowing primroses to languish or die is said to earn you the enmity of fairies.

Ragwort - Ragwort stems are said to be used as horses by tiny fairies.

Rose - Cultivate roses to attract fairies to your garden. Rose petals can be used in fairy magic, especially for love spells.

Rosemary - Grow rosemary, or place fresh sprigs of it about, to keep malicious fairies away. Burn dried rosemary as incense to attract the fae.

Rowan - The presence of a rowan tree in the yard or garden is said to provide the home and family with fairy blessings, and the protection of the fae. Rowan is also believed to provide protection from fairy spells. Rowan was once used as a charm to prevent fairies from spoiling butter as it was churned. In Scotland, the smoke from fires kindled of rowan wood was used to protect cattle from malicious fairies.

St. John's Wort - St. John's Wort is said to offer protection from the fae, and from fairy spells.

Thistles - Thistles are also called Pixies' Gloves, because the fae are said to use the tiny flowers as gloves.

Thorn Trees - All thorny trees, such as blackthorn and hawthorn, are said to serve as meeting places for fairies. Kindling a fire of thornwood atop a fairy mound is said to force the fae to return a stolen child.

Thyme - Thyme is associated with fairies. Wearing a sprig of wild thyme, or essential oil of thyme, is said to help one to see fairies. If you place springs of thyme on your closed eyes and sleep upon a fairy mound, this will supposedly guarantee your seeing fairies. Dried, powdered thyme, sprinkled on doorsteps and windowsills, is an invitation to the fae into your home. Wild thyme, gathered from the side of a fairy mound, is especially potent for use in fairy magic.

Violet - Violets are sacred to the Fairy Queen, and may be used in fairy spells.

Willow - The wind in the willows is said to be the whisperings of a fairy in the ear of a poet. Heliconian is a willow fairy who is known to us from mythology.

Wood Sorrel - Wood sorrel is used in fairy magic, and for the evocation of elves.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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.