#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 18 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts, so I thought that for the next little while I would do one (or a few at a time) for the end of week “My Pagan Perspective” posts and work through them a bit at a time.

Herbs03

18. Do you use herbs and/or crystals in your personal practice? Is so, which are your favourites? And why?

I already wrote about the most commonly used crystals in my practice, so I figured that I would use this prompt to now focus on the most commonly used herbs and plants in my practice.

I would like to focus first on the why part of this question, though.  I use herbs and plants in my practice in much the same way I use crystals. To enhance my intentions, enhance the energies I’m working with, or guide those energies to strengthen their purpose.

Spellwork is like any task.  Say you want to hammer in a nail.   You can use a rock…. or you can use a hammer.  Both will work, but the hammer will be much more efficient and much easier to use.  In this analogy, the nail is spellwork… and the hammer is the crystals and herbs used in that spellwork.

Here is my “short list” of the “herbs” I use on a regular basis in my path and practice. Not an exhaustive list, but my go-to herbs most of the time.  I have included what I most often use these herbs and plants for, but keep in mind this is my personal most common uses for each plant and in no way is anywhere near the full scope of that plant’s uses in in spellwork and ritual.

Herbs01

The following herbs and plants are those most commonly used in my practice as a whole (and are non-edible either because of toxicity or personal allergies)

Alder – Strength, Protection, Self Confidence, Bravery
Aloe – Peaceful Energy, Soothing, Home Protection, Luck, Lunar Magic, Silencing Rumors
Birch – Energies of Potential and Renewal, Psychic Protection, Purification
Buttercups – Reminiscence, Self Worth, Innocence, Self Love, Inner Child Work
Cascara – Releasing Spiritual or Emotional Constipation, Money Spells, Legal Matters
Cedar – Perseverance, Fortitude, Protection, Cleansing Negative Energy, Warding
Columbine – Love Magic, Life Path Work, Inner Truth Work
Douglas fir – Healing Magic, Ancestral Work, Grounding, Grounded Progress
Fern & Fiddle-heads (various) – Protection, Invisibility, Good Fortune, Exorcising Evil Spirits
Fireweed – Easing Anger, Restoration, New Beginnings, Breaking Up Spiritual Blocks
Foxglove – Protection, Love and Sex, Fertility, Psychic Warfare
Hemlock (various) – Fostering Sexual Impotence, Purification Rituals, Protection During Astral Travel
Hoya – Wealth, Protection, Inward Exploration, Future Sight
Ivy (various) – Self-Love, Cleansing Negative Energies, Abundance
Juniper – Clear Sight, Warmth, Hope, Love and Sex
Maple – Spiritual Healing, Intellectual Pursuits, Bindings, Abundance, Communication
Marigold – Healing Depression, Cleansing, Good Health Spells
Nasturtium – Encouraging Tolerance, Creativity, Independence, Free Thought
Oak – Longevity and Immortality, Wisdom, Personal Power, Protection, Doorways
Peace Lily – Harmony, Comfort, Platonic Love
Pine – Wisdom, Longevity, Healing, Protection, Purification, Banishings
Poison Ivy – Protection, Defense, Repellent Magic
Rhododendron – Intellectual Pursuits, Sussing Out Enemies
Slippery Elm – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Spruce – Resilience, Rebound Defense Spells, Spirit Communication
Stinging Nettles – Uncrossing, Dispelling Negative Energy, Purification, Willpower
Sweetgrass – Attracting Positive Energy, Purification, Cleansing Out Negativity, Spiritual Healing
Tansy – Longevity, Intention Setting, Invisibility, Curse Protection, Safe Travels
Thistle – Protection, Ancestor Magic, Boldness, Self Growth, Uncrossing
Various mosses, lichens, and liverworts – Attentive Understanding, Clarity, Abundance, Harmony

Herbs02

Also, as a lot of my practice is focused on and included in food, here is a go-to list of the herbs and plants that I commonly use in my general practice as well as my kitchen witchery.

Basil – Peace, Happiness, Protection, Prosperity
Bay – Uncrossing, Employment, Protection, Prosperity, Psychic Boost
Blackberry – Protection, Prosperity, Healing
Chamomile – Healing, Gentle Energy, Harmony, Breaking Curses, Unraveling Unfamiliar Spells
Chili Pepper – Uncrossing, Banishing, Love, Protection
Cinnamon – Energy Boosting, Intention Boosting, Abundance, Prosperity
Cloves – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Dandelion – Healing, Divination Boost, Protection, Encouraging Smooth Cycles
Garden Sage – Protection, Purification, Healing, Cleansing, Luck, Wisdom
Garlic – Healing, Luck, Dispel Negative Energy, Thief Warding, Repel Harmful Spirits
Ginger – Protection, Sex Magic, Prosperity
Lavender – Cleansing, Clarity, Relaxation, Healing Relationships, Releasing Negative Emotion
Lilac – Energy Boost, Balance, Romance, Metaphysical Doorways
Mint – Resolving Misunderstandings, Prosperity, Lessen Accident Proneness
Mugwort – Dreams, Psychic Boost, Protection, Purification
Orange Peel – Prosperity, Success, Positivity
Oregano – Comforting Warmth, Protection, Purification, Vitality, Peace
Pansy – Gentle Energy, Love, Kindness, Self Love, Bright Ideas, Happiness
Raspberry – Protection, Love, Kindness, Youthfulness, Creativity
Rose (incl hips) – Health, Love, Anticipation of Love, Abundance, Emotional Healing, Secrecy
Rosemary – Warding, Purification, Protection, Psychic Cleansing, Repels Negative Energy
Shepherd’s Purse – Healing, Protection, Healing, Renewal Magic
Thyme – Loyalty, Luck, and Dispelling of Grief, Nightmares, Depression, and Negativity

As mentioned previously, these are far from the only herbs and plants that I use in my practice, but they are the ones that I use most often. Nor have I listed all of the possible uses for each plant, just the what I most commonly use them for.

Herbs and plants have a wide variety of different uses to boost spellwork, divination, intention setting, and other purposes.  I use plants and herbs, as well as crystals, daily in a variety of different ways.

I think it’s important to stress, though, that I have training as a botanist that allows me to handle a lot of dangerous plants much more safely than the average person, and that there are a handful of dangerous and even deadly plants on the list shared above that I do not recommend being used by those without the training and knowledge to do so safely.  Without the proper training and care, one could very easily end up not just hurting themselves, but possibly killing themselves, a loved one, or a beloved pet by accident.  It’s always important to research plants used in any magical working thoroughly before jumping in with both feet.

#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 4&6 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts!  This is my Part 2 of answering her list of questions.

forest

4. What is your favourite element to work with? How do you work with it?

It’s probably not at all surprising to hear that my favorite element to work with is the earth and the green that grows from it.   This is very much based on the soil and the green and the cycles of life and decay that these go through together.  It is especially true of damp soil, such as that found here in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

It is very common for me to incorporate soil and plant matter into my spellcraft.  Not just in the use of herbs as incense, but in the actual mixtures and crafting of my spells.  I connect very strongly with plants and their energies help to amplify my own in spellcraft, so this only makes sense.   Some plants I grow on my balcony for this purpose, others I forage from the forests and other natural places near where I live.

I also often use the act of planting, as well as established live plants in my rituals.

6. Do you incorporate environmental consciousness and sustainability into your craft?

Absolutely.  Especially because I incorporate the earth and those things that grow from it so heavily in my craft, it’s extremely important to me that I don’t cause harm in my actions.  As I have an education in botany and horticulture, I’m more than a little knowledgeable in plant care and how to forage what I need without harming the earth and environment in doing so, and how to provide offerings that both protect and assist the earth in staying healthy and thriving.

I do not use items in my craft that are endangered, and I grow many of the plants I use most heavily myself rather than buying from an outside source that may (or may not) have good foraging/growing/gathering practices.

I feel that, especially if someone is practicing an earth-based religion, it’s important to consider your effect upon the earth and do those things in your power to foster the health and well-being of the earth and environment you have influence over, rather than taking it for granted.

 

#GrumpyWitchTag (non) VR to Yarrowen and Heather Carter

I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a “grumpy witch”, but I think the questions are more about the things you either don’t like or don’t connect with, rather than really being grumpy. This tag first came to my attention in Heather Carter’s channel, and then I forgot about it a bit until the other day Yarrowen also did a response to it.

pug

So here’s the questions and my answers to them…

1. Do you have a least favorite time of the year magically?

The second half of Summer.  I’m just not a fan.  It’s all about the heat, the lack of rain, the HEAT…. and, well, everything drying out and becoming crunchy.

2. Is there an herb that you don’t like working with or never seems to work in your practice?

No, although there are herbs and other plants that I avoid working with due to allergy issues.   Some of these include, but are far from limited to, juniper, alder, tobacco, marigold, linden flower (and lemon tree in general), and hibiscus flowers.   IF I work with these, I have to be extremely careful not to allow them to touch my skin or get near my face.  A flu mask, long sleeves, and doubled up latex gloves are a must, and sometimes eye protection as well.

3. Is there a stone or crystal that you don’t like working with or never seems to add anything to your practice?

Ugh.  I can’t work with nuummite.  It’s energy is too “heavy” and just drags me down when I come in contact with it.   That said?  My sister uses nuummite as a paperweight (with intention spellcasting) on her stack of little paper thin girl pad things?  WTF are they called?  Liners?   She uses them with those and swears by it.

Aside from that, I’ve learned a few lessons about where not to use certain stones because they are not suited to it (or I am not suited to their influence in that way of using them), but I it isn’t that I don’t like to work with them or don’t find them useful in other ways.

4. Is there anything that “bothers” you about your deity or your practice?

Um… well, honestly?   The shit that bugs me is that I just don’t have enough time to commit to it as I’d like.   That really doesn’t have anything to do with my practice though, and more to do with just being busy and overworked. I don’t work with specific deity, tho.

5. What do you do when a spell doesn’t work?

Review, reflect, revise, and try again.  OR…. evaluate if it’s something I really want or need in the first place, as sometimes when shit doesn’t work, it’s telling you that whatever it is is just not meant to be.

6. Have you ever done a meditation or astral work that did nothing for you?

I don’t do astral work, but I do meditate regularly.  And yes.   There are times when I just cannot manage to settle and focus for my meditation.  I wouldn’t say it does nothing for me, just that it doesn’t have the amount of a desired effect as I’d like.

7. Is there an element that just doesn’t work for you?

I don’t connect as strongly to fire or air as I do to earth and water.  I don’t really consider any of them not working for me though.

8. How do you get out of a witchy rut?

Usually?  I take a break and wait it out.   If I’m not “feeling it” I don’t do it.  I figure that it’s the universe’s way of telling me I need to take some time to let up and just relax for a bit.

9. How do you deal with life getting in the way of your practice?

The best I can?   I mean everyone has responsibilities and obligations to deal with.  Everyone has people that need our time and things that require looking after that have nothing to do with your practice.  It’s a part of life.   Like other parts of my life, I strive for balance.  Sometimes I mange it… other times, not so much.

Some of the ways I strive for balance is by trying to carve out specific time for different things, setting up methods of accountability (like this blog for my daily draw and Saturday check ins), and pre-planning/pre-working some of the things needed to prep for upcoming busy times.

10. When you have all of these negative feelings about your practice, what do you do?

I think I pretty much answered this in the eighth question.  I take a break and wait it out, or I may reach out to others for a different perspective to help me find balance a little faster if I think it will help.