I didn’t get yesterday’s newsletter out until suppertime and I started right away trying to finish the lore section and then get today’s template out. Also, the formatting went wonky for the last while, so I worked on sorting that out. I think I got it. Unfortunately, I don’t see the newsletter as it looks to everyone else unless I specifically pull up the preview! Hopefully, I have the problem licked. ….and it looks like maybe not, so I’ll keep trying…
Tempus was working in back sorting some things out. He was finding CD’s that were out of place while cooking some supper and getting a shopping list together. Supper was good. He made mashed potatoes and pork chops and served them with some of my sweet & sour cabbage and sweet corn. He went out to get gas and then helped me close up and the D&D’ers were still going. I ended up hanging out with them for awhile and one dropped me at home.
I called Tempus right away and he was almost done bagging and was on the road by not long after 11pm, which got him home at 5. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well and he left me home this morning. He’s napped a little, sitting up.
Kitty was here, when he brought me back to the shop! She needed some talk time, with a sympathetic ear and we had a good long chat. She and her Mom just headed home. They had come out to the coast after a specific rhododendron variety. It’s always cool to see the old students.
So today, I have to finish up with another stack of books and we have class tonight.
A picture from 5/7/15 by Daniel Schoon of Thor’s Well.
Today’s plant is Oregon Iris, Iris tenax. I grew up calling iris flowers “ladies’ ball gowns”. Local peoples used the tough leaves for making string and rope mostly for snares. –Feminine, Venus, Water – sacred to Iris and Juno, their magicks are used for purification and magicks including 3’s. The three petals stand for faith, wisdom and valor and can be used in magicks to promote these qualities. More on Oregon Iris here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_tenax More on Iris in general here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_%28plant%29
Today’s Mt. St. Helens day, the anniversary of the eruption in 1981 that killed a number of people and disrupted life in the PNW for quite some time. “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!” were the last words of David
Johnston, a geologist on the team of those monitoring the volcano, knowing that his life was on the line, as close as he was to the obviously ready-to-blow mountain, chose to give other people some warning. Innkeeper Harry Truman chose to stay with his life-long dream of a resort in the area. 55 others also perished, mostly loggers and people who lived along the path of the major lahar that actually crossed I-5, making it unusable for a period of time! Several movies and documentaries have been made about the eruption and the area now has a lot of museums dedicated to the events and the remediation of the damage. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens
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Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 5/29 at 7:20am. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 5/19 pm at 4:48pm.
Watch the waxing crescent Moon climb past Venus through Gemini as it orbits eastward around Earth away from our line of sight to the Sun.
A binocular challenge: Just as nightfall becomes complete, spot Venus still a little above the west-northwest horizon. Get it in binoculars or a low-power, wide-field scope. Look upper left of it by about 1.6°. Can you make out the dim glow of the star cluster M35? Have you ever seen an M object so near the horizon? It’ll slide closer by Venus on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Dwarf planet 1 Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It currently resides in western Leo, which appears high in the west after twilight fades to darkness. The magnitude 8.5 dwarf planet is easy to spot through binoculars or a telescope, particularly when it slides past magnitude 4.5 Kappa (κ) Leonis this evening. Point your scope at Kappa and then look for a magnitude 6.8 star half the Full Moon’s diameter to the south-southwest. Ceres lies between these two and slightly closer to Kappa.
The Big Dipper’s familiar shape lies nearly overhead on May evenings. The spring sky’s finest binocular double star marks the bend of the Dipper’s handle. Mizar shines at 2nd magnitude, some six times brighter than its 4th-magnitude companion, Alcor. Even though these two are not physically related, they make a fine sight through binoculars. (People with good eyesight often can split the pair without optical aid.) A small telescope reveals Mizar itself as double — and these components do orbit each other.
Neptune is still low before the beginning of dawn; wait a few more weeks.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for May 2018 https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-may-2018
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Runic half-month of Inguz/Ing, 5/14-5/28 – Male consort of Nerthus, the Earth Mother, Ing is god of the hearth. This time of year expresses potential for abundant growth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 70.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers
Meaning: Being held back for a period of time
Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 18 High 2:38 AM 8.5 5:45 AM Rise 8:53 AM 7
~ 18 Low 9:42 AM -1.7 8:40 PM
~ 18 High 4:18 PM 6.8
~ 18 Low 9:40 PM 2.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Daydream a little.
~ There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. – Colette
~ There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity. – Isaac Asimov, I, Asimov: A Memoir
~ There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them. – George Orwell
~ There is mingling in friendship when man can utter all his whole mind to another. – Norse Adage
Sin no more, as we have done, by staying
But, my Corinna, come, let’s go a Maying. – Robert Herrick (b. 1591)
Magick – Crafts – Herbal Crafts http://www.magicspells.in/magical_herbal_enclyclopedia_a.htm
Caution: All herbal potions will have an effect on you in the mundane. A catnip potion for love will make you sleepy. A mugwort potion for astral travel will stimulate menstrual flow and calm nerves. A St. John’s Wort potion for protection will also lift your mood. You should be aware of the medicinal properties of every herb you ingest. And if you have a medical condition, proceed with caution. When in doubt about the effects of an herb, ask your health practitioner. Also remember more is not necessarily better. People think that just because herbs are sold over the counter that there is no limit to what they can consume. Not so. Herbalists kick around a lot of terms, so let’s define a few of them:
Potion – – Well, witchy herbalists kick this one around. 😉 It’s an herbal tea prepared during the appropriate lunar phase and made with herbal ingredients possessing the correct magickal properties. Potions concocted for love magic are called philtres.
Infusion – – a strong tea. Many recipes will call for a full oz. of herb to one pint of water. Some think that’s too much. I think Cunningham called for one teaspoon dried herb for every cup of water. I just throw in the amount that feels right. This is simply the process of soaking the herb in water. Heat water until just boiling, pour it over the herb, cover the cup, let sit undisturbed for 15-30 minutes. Drink it. Wash with it. Pour it in your bath or anoint yourself with it.
Solar infusions – – put fresh or dried herbs in a jar with cool water. Place in the sun for 1-2 days. Solar infusions seem to have more plant spirit. It’s good to work with the astrological signs here if possible — an appropriate sun sign or other aspect.
Lunar infusions – – same as solar infusions, but placed under the moonlight.
Decoction – – a decoction is made like an infusion, but here it is OK to boil the herb. Usually decoctions are made from roots or other herbs with constituents that are not easily extracted. Roots, seeds, and stems make good decoctions. Begin with cold water, and add the toughest roots, etc., first. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes covered. Then let cool completely. If adding leaves or dried herbs to a decoction, you can take the decoction off the stove and steep your less hardy herbs as you would an infusion. Be sure to cover throughout the process so your volatile oils don’t boil away. Strain. Some recommend one oz. of herb to one pint water. Others use one part herb to 20 parts water.
Tincture – — if long term storage is required, you will probably want to make a tincture. A tincture contains alcohol. Into a mason jar with lid, place 4 oz. of herb and 8 oz. of alcohol. (I use brandy). Seal the jar and keep it out of sunlight for two weeks. Begin this process on the new moon and finish on the full moon. Be sure to swish the herbs around in the jar daily. Strain and store in dark bottles.
Wash – – a weak tea or infusion that is used externally. A mild wash — 1/4 oz. herb to one pint boiling water — can be used to cleanse magickal tools, crystals, or other magickal uses.
Aspurger – – a weak tea (wash) put in a watering can or spray bottle used for spraying an area or thing. Many witches like to use the more natural tree limb with leaves still attached. Dip it in the wash and shake it through the area. Especially good for cleansing spells or exorcism when working with rooms, houses, or large areas.
Ointments/Balms — I include balms in these definitions because the oils used in balms are heated to a liquid state during preparation. Simply melt lard/vegetable shortening/or any fatty substance to a liquid form over low heat. Pour in herbs and let them simmer for about nine minutes. Strain out the herbs and store in an airtight jar. One cup fatty substance to three tablespoons powdered herb. For external use.
Perfumes – -are made by blending essential oils together to create a fragrance. Choose oils to match your magickal intention, then add them to 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup witch hazel tincture, and 1/2 cup water. Shake well, then dab on pulse points. Aromatic herbs work best here.
Oils – -many of the essential oils you find in herbal shops have been distilled with steam. You can make oils at home by crushing herbs and placing them in a jar. Cover them with warmed oil (virgin olive, safflower, and almond are all good). Steep for 48 hours in sunlight. Strain and repeat, adding fresh herbs. You might do this several times until the oil smells good and strong like the herb. Store in dark bottles. I use oils to anoint candles and other magickal tools, myself, just about everything. I love them.
Flower essences — these work on energetic and psychic levels. Pick the flower and place them in fresh spring water — just let them float on the top of the water. Place flowers and/or gems in your crystal bowl full of water in full sunlight for several hours. This process will extract the life essence and energy matrix from the materials. This is known as your Mother Essence. Add brandy as a preservative. From this essence will come your stock bottles.
two drops of the Mother Essence in one ounce pure water with a teaspoon of brandy. This is your stock bottle. From these stock bottles will come your dosage bottles. Simply combine 2 drops from your stock bottles into one ounce pure water and a teaspoon brandy in a dropper bottle. You can take your dose directly from the dosage bottle or drop the elixir into a glass of water. Works like homeopathic medicines.
Gem elixirs — made like flower essences, but using crystals and gems instead of flowers.
Fluid Condensers — you need two handfuls of herb, cold water to cover them, a cauldron or cooking pot, and gin or vodka. Place herbs and water in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Boil for 20 minutes. Cool for 13 minutes, then strain out herbs. Bring to a boil again and evaporate one-half of the liquid. Take from the heat and cover. When cool, add an equal amount of gin or vodka. Three drops of your own blood from your thumb will personalize the condenser and add energy. To use the condenser, put it in a cauldron or pot and simmer to release the herbal magic. Actually, those aromatherapy candle/ simmering potpourri holders work very well here. Place the liquid in the top bowl and light a tea light beneath it. Let it evaporate and release its magickal properties into the air. This liquid can be used as holy water — sprinkle on parchment in petition spells, pour into the earth as a libation, sprinkle tools or working area, etc. You can also make one for each of the four elements and simmer them on your altar during workings.These are a few methods for making magickal potions. The thing that lifts these potions from the mundane, medicinal level to a magickal level is your enchantment of them and magickal timing. Enchant your herbs at the appropriate moon phases and signs (or other planetary aspects) before preparation by running your fingers through the herb while visualizing your need. You may want to simply enchant the finished potion. Gerina Dunwich uses a chant that I really like:
Herbal potion, cauldron brew,
Now be charged with magic true.
With intent I speak this charm,
All be blessed and none be harmed.
Ever minding the rule of three,
As I will, so mote it be.
Or how about:
Brew of flowers, Witches’ tea,
Filled with magic powers be.
A chant you create yourself will have more power and pertain to the spell you are casting. Remember to visualize and focus your intent into the potion and herbs.
So how do you know which sort of potion to make? Obviously infusions are easiest. They can be made quickly and don’t require a lot of prep time. If I want my magic to affect my environment, I might make a magickal perfume. These work well in harmony spells, or to attract a mate, or for glamoury spells. I like oils for anointing myself and my tools (including poppets).
Flower essences (which are easily bought in health food stores) assist me with inner work. I love them! I sometimes use the mugwort flower essence before reading tarot cards.
I would need to make a decoction if I wanted a dandelion root potion for a psychic boost. The potions that use brandy, gin, or vodka are for long term storage. So if I wanted to make a mugwort tincture with all the fresh mugwort from my garden, I would make a tincture. (Tinctures are also excellent for healing potions).
Speaking of healing potions, here’s another chant to use while making (courtesy of Dunwich):
Witches’ potion, I enchant thee
By intent and thrice told verse.
Be a tool of magic for me
Work thy spell to heal and nurse.
Witches’ potion, be now blessed
By power of the universe.
In the cauldron effervesce,
Maladies and pain disperse.
Harming none I know decree
This charm is done. So mote it be!
Repeat this three times as you visualize your intent while the potion boils or brews.
As with poppets, if I’m adding more than one herb, I like to add them in multiples of three. For instance, for a divination potion, I might choose mugwort, yarrow, and dandelion root. I would make a decoction of my dandelion root, take off the burner, then steep (infuse) mugwort and yarrow in the decoction.
For prosperity, I might make an infusion of herbs I know are safe to drink, or I might make a wash to sprinkle my work area and wallet with the inedible mandrake or may apple or periwinkle. The possibilities are endless, really. What you choose is just a matter of what works best for you.
Experiment and see what you like.
Use sprigs of these fresh herbs. Tie the stem-ends together with white thread or string and use to sprinkle brews on yourself, on others or throughout your house. Visualize while utilizing the asperger. Also use for sprinkling salt water around the home to dispel negativity. Aspergers are used in Wiccan and magical ceremonies. Make a fresh asperger for each use
Use sprigs of the fresh plant materials. Tie to a handle of virgin hazelwood (from a tree that has not yet borne fruit) and use for sprinkling as in the above.