Practical Magick
PBP: L is for Lilac

Folk Names: Common Lilac

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Venus

Element: Water

Powers: Exorcism, protection

Magickal Uses:

  • drives away evil where planted/strewn
  • "In New England lilacs were originally planted to keep evil from the property" (Cunningham’s).
  • fresh flowers can be put in haunted house to clear it. 

Medicinal Uses: 

  • was used to treat asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, etc. 
  • Kidney stones
  • epilepsy
  • arthritis

Sources: 

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs

http://healthmad.com/conditions-and-diseases/medicinal-properties-of-blooming-lilacs/

PBP and Herbal Wednesday: H is for Hyssop.

(A little later for an herbal wednesday, but here it is! This is the herb profile from my BOS. Most of the information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs, also information from various herb books)

Folk Names: Hyssop Herb, Isopo, Ysopo, Yssop

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Powers: Protection and purification

Magickal Uses: ”Hyssop is the most widely used purification herb in magic. It is added to baths in sachets, infused and sprinkled on objects or persons to cleanse them, and hung up in the home to purge it of evil and negativity”. — Cunningham’s

Medicinal Uses: 

  • mentioned in New Testament as having purification properties.
  • has high content of camphoraceous oils
  • treatment of lung infections such as bronchitis
  • relieves coughs, colds, and nasal congestion
  • can be used as a gargle for sore throats
  • can stabilize low blood pressure and prevent dizzy spells for people with it
  • used for treatment of minor cuts and bruises
  • WARNING: The essential oil MUST be avoided during pregnancy and by people who suffer from epilepsy
Some observations from my veiling experiences

Most of my followers know that I’ve been veiling daily when I go outside of my home. To contrast it, I purposefully went out without covering. These are my observations: *I received fewer migraine headaches while covering, but when I went without my head coverings, I got them daily and I wonder if this may have something to do with being an empath. *I was treated more respectfully by those older than me. I’m in college, but I look younger than my age; some people have even mistaken me for being as young as 15. While covering I looked my age if not a few years older. *I received far more compliments while covering and people seemed kinder in general. I only had one negative experience while covering, but it was actually directed towards a friend I was with not myself. *I felt much calmer and more grounded while veiling and I was better able to focus on what was important. Such as what my teachers were saying versus chit-chat around me and I had a much easier time focusing on my class work. *I felt less likely to flirt and attract unwanted attention when covering. When I don’t cover I flirt with more or less everyone and I do it subconsciously. This often leads to unwanted attention.

I plan to continue veiling most of the time I’m in large groups of people, i.e. school, church, the store, movies, craft fair/farmer market type places, etc. The exception will be when I actually want to just be lost in the moment, make new friends, attract potential mates, or to pick up on the energy around me, i.e. parties, concerts, most ritual and spell work, hanging out with friends in their homes or mine, carnivals, etc. The type of head covering I wear will depend on the situation. For all day wear I’ll probably stick to the tichel style, although wearing wide cloth head bands worked well for smaller group situations. I think bandanas would work well too as well as more “middle eastern” styles similar to hijabs. That could also be a good choice for cold weather. I intend to experiment with snoods for this purpose as well. For shopping and running errands I think hats and bandanas would probably be most appropriate. My largest dilemma is the “covering all my hair vs covering just the top of my head” debate. My goddesses have yet to show a preference and I’ve made no decision. I have really long hair so it’s a pretty big deal for me and I’ve seen others struggle with this decision as well. So that’s a large reason I’ve decided to experiment with multiple forms of covering.

I love the mantilla/chaple/blush veil style. To me it’s very beautiful and it reminds me very much of priestesses in the ancient world. But I also think this ethereal between-the-worlds quality makes them slightly out of place in everyday life. But I think it could be a nice special occasion look and for certain rituals. I definitely think that if I ever become a high priestess of a group I would wear this style during ritual. I think it gives an air of authority and power, a certain regality to the wearer.

I just want to say that I’ve been fascinated by veiling and head covering for years. I’ve just always found it a very beautiful thing. In a way I feel like the sudden wave of openness about veiling in the pagan community is like an answer to my prayers. It really seems like this “trend” had blossomed in the past few months. Last year or so when I had started looking at head covering it was difficult to find good sources on head coverings in modern paganism. And now it’s one of the biggest topics (I almost want to say controversy) in the pagan community!

PBP: Blessings of Spring!

Whether you celebrate Alban Eiler, Spring Equinox, Ostara, Passover, the feast of Eostre, Easter, or some other early spring holiday, this time of year has a certain feeling of hope and thanksgiving.

I celebrated Alban Eiler back on the equinox, tho I recognize Imbolc as the beginning of spring. I performed the same ritual I’ve been performing for the past 6 years. I also planted catgrass and blessed both gardens on my family’s property. Spring weather had arrived early and flowers had already biked and threw were leaves on the trees. In Michigan we say that it’s officially spring when you’ve seen a robin, and I’d spotted six in one users only a few days before. Spring was exploding! On Friday I celebrated the Feast of Eostre with my best friend and consort and helped him move to the other side of the state. This continued into yesterday when my family dyed eggs. We also spent a large part of the day with my uncle who is just lucky to be alive. He was training to be a pilot, and on thursday while logging hours for his license he was in a severe plane crash. The doctors have told him that is the only person known to have survived a crash like that. And today I am celebrating Easter with my family. The whole day is centered around dinner at my grandmother’s. The kids have an egg hunt and everyone is sent more with an Easter lily. While I do celebate the religious aspect, it’s not in the typical fashion. This stems from the fact that I do not believe Jesus died, so it’s impossible for me to believe he rose from the dead. Instead I reflect on how the individuals in his life must have felt in this situation, himself included. While Jesus himself, his mother, and his wife all knew of the plan and that he wouldn’t actually die the plan went smoothly, they well aware that even a slight mistake could result in his death. While neither of my pregnancies made it to term and I cant call myself a mother, I cannot imagine how fearful Mary must have been. After everything she had gone through to protect her son, it could have ended in a split second. And the bravery of the Magdalene is incredible. While the other apostles high talked it out of there, Magdalene stayed on her husband’s side. But imagine her own fear when she arrived at the tomb to attend to his wounds and the man had alway wondered off and disgused himself! It’s something I could see my consort doing. But I don’t think I’d be as nice to him as the Magdalene was to Jesus. I think I would have killed the man myself!

Spring is honestly one of my favorite seasons, and with all of the natural beauty and wonderful holidays, it’s obvious why! I also try to add one meaningful thing to my path each season and this spring I’ve decided to start headcovering daily. April is the trial run inspired by “wear a hijab in april” and so far it’s gone pretty well. :)

St. Patrick’s Day

So if you’ve somehow managed to miss the fact that tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, you’re either living under a rock, or very far out of the United States or British Isles. And you’re definitely not in Ireland! I live in the US, and incase you haven’t heard me mention it before, I’m Irish. Irish to the point that every St. Patty’s day I end up sitting at my Nana’s for dinner to have corned beef and cabbage, I also have at least 3 cousins named Shaun (my Da came home from work tonight sharing this bit of trivia: Shaun is the top boys name in Ireland), my cousins like to convince people that we’re really leprechauns and that we bleed green, etc, etc. Another odd this is no matter how hard I try (unless I’m quoting Harry Potter), whenever I try to do an actual British accent, it falls apart and all the sudden I have a thick Irish accent. No idea why that happens but it does, and it’s a wee bit embarrassing. (High five if you just read that in an Irish accent). The other strange Irish thing about my Mom’s family is that my great-grandparents, after being born and raised Catholic, decided along with their siblings, that before moving to Michigan they were all going to become die-hard Southern Baptist. Go figure. Half of my family went back to the church, but my grandparents decided not to. I had to go that route on my own. All the Irish on my Da’s side is fully Catholic though. Also, when my family found out I was pagan in the slightest, they said it was fine as long as I was Celtic. Yeah, I killed that didn’t I? I would actually love to be completely Irish Pagan, but the other gods get in my business a bit to much to actually allow me to do so. 

But in the end, my heritage, my crazy family, and my odd Catholic and Irish Pagan leanings come together and have caused a love of St. Patrick’s Day that could probably rival my love of Halloween. And don’t get me started about all the St. Patty’s Day merchandise at stores right now. My friends and family don’t allow me to be around it with money, because I’ll buy it all. I have 3 St. Patty’s Day shirts, pajamas, Hats, necklaces, a tiara, etc. And to be honest I have Shamrock cookies for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will look like a Gothic leprechaun. Black St. Patty’s Day faerie shirt, shimmery emerald green button up used as a jacket (provided I need it, it’s supposed to be 78 degrees) my “Irish Princess” tiara, St. Patty’s necklaces, green makeup, and my nails are already painted sparkly shamrock green. I even have St. Patrick’s Day temporary tattoos. Yes I am that happily tacky. I will also probably be rocking green lipstick. And I will be happy and speaking with an Irish accent all day, more than likely screaming random things in Gaelic. It’s okay to laugh at me. 

But tomorrow night, after I was all the green gunk off and turn off the leprechaun-ness, I have a little ceremony I’ve been doing for years and some of you might be interested in it as well. 

St. Patrick’s Day Ceremony

Altar set up:

colors- green and white. Incense of any kind. Green candle. Communion supplies (if you do this). Representations of a snake, leprechaun, shamrock or three leaf clover, and pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Celtic music in the background is optional. 

Procedure: 

  • Set up altar
  • Cast Circle and Call Quarters if/as your tradition dictates
  • Invoke your choice of deities, Irish probably will work best. (I’ve only done this rite using Irish deities, I don’t know how well it works with other pantheons).
  • Speak your intent for the ritual. I originally used to say “On this day, so sacred to Christians, especially Irish Catholics, I celebrate, not St. Patrick, but my Irish heritage. For today, everyone is Irish!” (I realize how stupid that sounds, but bare in mind I originally wrote this at the age of 13. I was also very anti-christian at the time. Speak your own intent. This whole ritual is mere guidelines and should be altered to fit the individual). 
  • "Today I honor the snake (rest hand on snake representation) which Patrick drove out of Ireland, a metaphor for driving out the Pagans. So today I honor my Pagan ancestors, who I know in my blood, refused to be converted."
  • "Today I honor the leprechauns, wee little faerie shoemakers, may a glass of Irish Spirits make ye merry! I (place hand on leprechaun representation) honor you because you represent the old Irish beliefs and the faeries which refuse to be forgotten".
  • "Today I honor the luck of the Irish (place hand on shamrock) may it always be with me, may luck follow me and mine throughout the year. Today I honor the triple goddess, the many in my heritage. From the Morrighan and her sisters Macha and Babd, to the Goddesses of Sovereignty Banba, Fodla, and Eriu who gave Ireland its name. May the Morrighan, both mother and warrior goddess, protect me and her people throughout the year."
  • (Place hand on rainbow and pot of gold) “And last but not least, I celebrate prosperity and happiness. May it be given to all good Irish, myself included.” (remove hand). 
  • "Today may be a day typically celebrated by a man who ran my people out of Ireland, but I celebrate as every good Irish Witch should, remembering the truth behind all those great St. Patrick’s Day symbols! So Mote It Be!"
  • Take Communion
  • Thank the gods
  • Release quarters and circle
I honestly have this written in my book of shadows… 

I honestly have this written in my book of shadows…