Category: druidism

Crystal Herbalism – ‘Tis The Season Of The Witch 

October, the month of the blood moon and Samhain, a time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is at its thinnest. I welcomed the 1st with a protection spell for my home.

For the ritual I used clear quartz, a white pumpkin, my pentacle, and a black candle. I rang my Tibetan bell, lite my black candle, and cast my circle. n the silence of the morning, under the transition between the moon and sun, I began my spell. 

“I call upon my spirit guides, witch ancestors, and Goddess. I welcome thee into my circle, bringing light to the shadows that linger in the October sky. For no spirit, good or bad, can enter my home without my permission. May their asking be only kind, for my home is protected by the divine.”

I walked around my apartment with a root chakra singing bowl, allowing its deeps tones to push out stagnant/negative energy so the positive could fill the space. Once I was done I blew out the black candle and placed it on my alter, a reminder of the protection spell that pulsates throughout my home.

  • Clear Quartz: clarity, intention, manifestation, magnifies energy
  • Pentacle: amulet, witchcraft, five elements, ancestry
  • Pumpkin: autumn, abundance, divination, banishing
  • Black Candle: absorbs negativity, mystery, cleansing

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Crystal Herbalism – I AM A WITCH

I have been called a witch ever since I was a little girl. It was a way of people labeling me for my extrinsic beliefs and personality. I never was insulted by it because I found a sense of magic in knowing I was different.

The Beginning 

Growing up I never felt a part of something, in regards to the spiritual community. There were always too many labels and groups that didn’t fully align with what I believed in. I never had a church to attend or a “bible” to read, instead I found myself collecting parts of cultures and religions that vibed with my soul.

I created my own sense of spirituality through nature, Buddhist verses, and fairytales. I spent my days in the library, reading about Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, Paganism, and Druidism. Like a vision board, I cut and pasted what resonated with me and that became my devotion.

Throughout my life I have met an array of people who have inspired me, from a Medicine Woman to a Gypsy, collecting their wisdom along the way. As I’ve gotten older I have grown into my beliefs, no longer seeking an institution rather knowledge. Books have continued to be my bible, like a gardener I harvest what ignites my being.

All Things Magic

With a collage of spiritual insight, I have never felt the need to define myself. But when I read the book Witch by Lisa Lister, I felt an awakening to do just that. After years of research and practice, I declared myself as only spiritual, because I wasn’t fully a Buddhist, Wicca, Pagan, or Druid, they had certain systems that I didn’t agree with. But as I laid out all my beliefs I found that magic flowed through them. Everything was rooted in goddess and nature energy, from praying to the feminist Buddha Tara to moon magick, I was living a witchy life. 

Witch. that word sparked something within me. Each time I said it out loud to myself, I felt my body rise with pride. I’ve always had a fascination with witchcraft but I ever took the step to declare myself as one, I felt like it was such a ancient practice that I didn’t know if I belonged. When I learned about the witch trials in grade school and I went home thinking, no wonder I cant have anything close to my neck, I was hung like them.

My child mind felt a deep connection with the witches that I studied in class. I remember walking home from school and pointing my index finger at the trees, imagining that I controlled the wind. It may have been the years of intense bulling that I endured, but I found a sense of power and solitude in all things magic.

Trust Reigns

The other night I called my father before I went to bed and he told me, “I always knew you were a witch. Ever since you were little you had powers.”

I’ve been blessed with a family that honored by witchiness. Any vision or dream I had, my parents would take them seriously, whether it was taking a different route to school or locking the back door, they respected my intuitive gifts. I never felt ashamed or embarrassed that I felt or saw things differently. 

There have been countless times where my visions and intuition have saved my life and others. It is a part of myself that I cant imagine living without.In many ways my parents nurtured that side of me, allowing that sixth sense to grow and strength with me. To this day my parents still honor my visions. somethings they even ask me for intuitive advice.

I Am A WITCH

I am at a point in my life where I feel unconditionally empowered and loved. I am grounded, abundant with knowledge, and secure with myself. I have waded through depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and bulling, to become the woman I am today. If it wasn’t for the darkness of my past, I wouldn’t be shining this bright.

Even as a four year old girl buying her first Buddha, I knew that magic resided within me. I just wasn’t ready to master it. So, over the years I continued to feed that alchemy with a spiritual practice of crystals, meditation, yoga, spells, grids, goddess mythology, prayer, herbalism, sound medicine, and astrology.

I have spent years learning the depth and feminine roots to that word, WITCH. I bow my head to the witchy women before me, listening to their kind whispers, Rise Sister.

I reclaim witchcraft as my path, understanding that it has been with me all along.

Known to the druids by the name of “Feam,” alder is also often called Scottish mahogany, Irish mahogany, King of the Forest, and Tree of the Fairies. Said to be a charm against malicious fairies that’s guarded by water sprites, it’s extremely ill-advised to cut one of these trees down! What’s more, the Celtic saga Battle of the Trees describes Bran as being identified by the branch of alder he carries. Alder is a powerful tree to involve in your witchcraft!

Energy ~ Masculine

Planets ~ Moon, Mars

Elements ~ Fire, Water

Deities ~ Odin, Bran, King Arthur, Apollo, Astarte, Aphrodite, Pan, Lugh, Orpheus, Branwen, Arianrhod

Zodiac ~ Pisces

Alder shoots can be easily made into whistles and panpipes, which hold great sway over the wind and Air elementals. Meanwhile, due to mingling the elements of Fire and Water, alder is also a great aid for balancing the yin and yang in your life! Medicinally, this tree can be used as an astringent, tonic, antiviral (especially for herpes), hemorrhagic, antibacterial, emetic, vulnerary, febrifuge, anti diarrhoeal, lymphatic, and possibly anti-inflammatory treatment.

With regards to the casting of spells, alder wood wands are recommended for rituals involving charisma, journeys, self confidence, bravery, supervision skills, and spiritual growth. They are also used in shielding the astral self from unwanted intrusion from other realms. Witches of the Stregha path have long known the secrets of the Alder wood. The Italian witches prized the sap of the alder wood to make red dyes for potent Nanta bags; freshly cut alder will turn crimson from the sap, associating it with that which is living and breathing. 

Alder wood should also be used for magicks that are intended to balance action with emotion. This tree can be used in magicks that are designed to protect the heart and chest area: talismans worn about the neck are excellent for this. Said to be the gateway to the faery realm, alder also makes a great aid for magick involving the fae. Some ancient texts suggest that alder also allows spirits from the Otherworld to enter our own.

If one intends to make an alder wood wand for wind magick, it must be taken exclusively from branches separated by the wind. The wand should be imbued with the energy of the full moon associated with alder in the Celtic Zodiac, that being the one in-between March 18th and April 14th. Imbued with the power of Air through ritual, such a wand is a potent aid for wind and weather magick, and should be covered when not in use.

In flower language, alder blossoms mean “Conquers Adversities” and “Strength from Within.”

I’ve had something stirring in my mind that I really wanted to put down into words, and since I just broke 550 followers, I figured now was a good time to do it! This post is going to get pretty long as I work through all of my ideas, so:

tl;dr: Magic and magical beliefs across the world has similarities in belief that, to me, validate the existence of greater powers to my often skeptical modern mind.

As an eclectic witch, I study lots of different kinds of magic and religions to composite my beliefs. I highly admire the Buddha, and I practice a lot of qigong, as well as studying traditional Chinese medicine.

Part of why I do this is because, when researching so many different kinds of magic and spiritual beliefs, I find there are certain common through-lines from cultures widely separated in their development that are hard to calk up to just a common cultural ancestor, like the Chaldeans or Indo-Europeans. 

And I think that, in a practical sense, this syncretic nature to magic can be used to combine concepts from different systems into witchcraft. Druidism, for instance, is so syncretic with Wicca due to the reverence for nature and divination. Why, then, shouldn’t Onmyodo be possible for the same, in its intricate divination techniques and Shinto’s worship of the natural world?

One prevailing concept is the idea of the Power. The Power is an energy that runs through all things in the universe, be they the largest of stars or the smallest of atoms. All things have the Power within them, including flowers, crystals, trees, insects, dogs, cats, humans, even clothes and computers! Some things, however, have more power and exert more influence when used for magic, such as using certain herbs or certain crystals whose Power aligns to a certain purpose.

When you use a crystal to attune to your chakras, light a candle for a spell, observe the position of the planets for the purposes of casting. say a prayer to whatever deity you associate with, or meditate to find inner peace, you are fostering an interaction between the Power within and without your body. Whether you believe that there is a thinking, feeling spirit in everything around you or not, it is hard to refute that the Power is the basis of all magic.

The idea of the Power is not so different from the Tao, the power that upholds all in the universe in Taoism and keeps all things in balance. The natural world is in balance, and when humans live in balance, they are happy and healthy. When humanity tries to upset the balance for selfish ends, they just bring misery to themselves and others in the long run. I feel like this is something many Wiccans would agree with: that there is balance in nature, and balance is the key to happiness, health, and spiritual growth.

It should be noted that balance is not unique to Taoism. Indian beliefs hold that every god is balanced with their counterpart goddess, with some even having a combined deity that is goddess and god all in one! And although the evidence is, at times, questionable, there is indeed evidence for a Meso-American deity known as Ometeotl that is goddess and god, masculine and feminine, light and darkness, and the duality of all things balanced.

Certain Buddhist doctrines, meanwhile, hold that magic spells are not even necessary because there is, in effect, magic in all things in life. The smallest of ants, the shape of the clouds, the simple act of chopping firewood to burn for heating the tea kettle… All things have a certain magic in them, and if one moves too quickly and does not open their perception, they will miss entire worlds of happiness and possibility all around them.

Moreover, my research has shown that from Africa to the Middle East to Asia, there is a precedent for asceticism permitting one to gain supernatural powers which magical formulae and the like help to focus. Shamans, gurus, shugenja… They have all, through ascetic training, attained a kind of power that goes even beyond witchcraft. This post is getting extraordinarily long as it is, so I’d just recommend reading Idries Shah’s work Oriental Magic if you’re interested in learning more. He glosses over a lot of aspects of African and East Asian magic in favor of the Middle East and India, but it’s still a very engaging, powerful read for anyone who wants to do some study outside of European magic traditions.

So yeah! That’s the long and short of my beliefs on magic! I’ll probably go into more detail with different posts in the future, but my next project is to start trying to make my posts on herbs and crystals more often. I know you guys love those, so look forward to more in the future! 

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