Purify, Protect, and Bless: How (and why) to make a Salt Jar

Ceremony and Ritual

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he salt jar is a simple homemade sacred vessel, the purpose of which is to purify, protect and bless not only the spaces you inhabit, but also your aspirations and intentions. This is one of the illuminations we are working with in this month’s Spinning Gold coursework and I decided it would useful to share here as well.

Cleansing and blessing are two fundamental acts we find across the broad spectrum of the sacred arts; they are essential skills. The salt jar is a specific version of cleansing and blessing – one that is portable and that has a long history starting out (as did honey and sugar jars) as a special type of Jewish bowl blessing. Just as creating a sugar jar for yourself can bring sweetness into your life in accordance with the sympathetic magical traits associated with sugar, creating a salt jar can create an opportunity for purification, protection and blessing.

Salt is one of the oldest magical substances, entire books have been written about this ingredient alone. It has long been seen to have protective and preserving qualities and is used as a food preservative even today. Salt is also deeply associated with cleansing as the many cleansing and baptism rites calling for either the use of ocean water or water to which salt has been added attest to. The substance is understood to both remove and absorb negative influences or damage caused by the evil eye. As such it is also a blessing ingredient and I take this part quite literally, for without the right amount of salt in our bodies we would die.

A few years ago I began making salt jars on behalf of some of my clients, we have found them to be extremely effective at dealing with the following:

  • hitting a magical “reset” button for relationships that have been recently plagues by illness, fighting, distrust, or heavy stress
  • supporting and encouraging individuals who are breaking the chains of addictive behaviors, thoughts, actions, or emotions that keep holding them back
  • protecting and blessing new babies and families who have been blessed with new children
  • removing streaks of bad luck and difficult times
  • recovering from illness and/or trauma either chronic or acute in nature
  • cleansing an individual who is undergoing or about to undergo an initiatory experience
  • protecting pregnant women
  • protecting and blessing elderly family members
  • restoring peace to fraught relationships
  • to avert jealousy and ill wishes away from an individual and their family

 

Making the Jar

1. Choose a glass vessel. Vessels can be plain and simple as a little mason jar or elaborate as a colorful blown glass. If you use colors, be aware that traditional colors for this kind of work would be blue or red. Whatever you choose, keep in mind you will need to be able to shake it.

2. Salt – Kosher salt is recommended as it has been blessed.

3. Create a petition and place petition in jar. (See below for instructions)

4. Fill jar with salt, giving the jar a little space at the top.

5. Breathe into and the cap and seal the jar.

6. Hold it your hands. Bless it in whatever way you want.

 

Writing the Petition

You will need a pen and a piece of paper the size of a post-it note. Use whatever quality of paper you wish. Write your full legal name on paper three times. Turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise. Write the following over your name:

“May I be cleansed, purified and protected, today, yesterday and all of my days.” Finish by writing “Amen”, “May it be so” or “It is done”.

Fold paper, or roll it up and place in jar or bottle.

Other additions to the jar

There are some traditional ingredients that are often added to these jars and many of them live in your kitchen, they include:

  • Rue – the Greek word for this Mediterranean herb means “to be set free” and the leaves of the herb are shaped like little eyes. It has long been an additive in rites and ceremonies designed to address and remove negative influences caused by envy, jealousy, bitterness, and the “evil eye”.
  • Gold – a small bit of jewelry or even a broken gold chain will work just fine. Gold is added to a salt jar when one especially desires to protect their wealth and/or good fortune. It may also be added for salt jars made on behalf of expectant mothers or newborn children to ensure that they prosper in all ways.
  • Rosemary – another Mediterranean herb like rue, rosemary has long been associated with blessing and keeping the peace in a home and family.
  • Cloves – these pungent spices are worked with in numerous folk magic traditions to restore clarity and open the road for reconciliation in relationships that have been damaged.
  • Garlic – perhaps the best known protective herb, five single garlic cloves when tied together and placed into a bag or a salt jar are considered symbolic of the blessed “hand of Solomon” the wises man to have ever lived. Adding garlic ensures stronger protection and increased clarity and wisdom.
  • Sugar – for couples or families that are having a rough time I like suggesting that they make a combination sacred vessel working with both salt and sugar – the sugar keeps things and people sweet while the salt confers the benefits mentioned above.
  • Onion/wild onion – this is one of my personal favorite additions as it grows naturally where I live in both spring and autumn. Onions are worked with in both sweetening rites and as absorbing forces for harm and negativity.

Working with your salt jar

Like sugar jars, salt jars can be worked with in several different ways. Provided you use a vessel with a fireproof lid you can burn a candle on the top of the salt jar and pay attention to how the candle burns. You can use the jar much like you would a ritual rattle – shaking it rhythmically while singing or praying and also shaking it over people, places, or objects that are in need of cleansing, protection, and blessing.

Finally, for the plant people among my readers, you may have noticed that many of the additions I recommend are edible. You can indeed make a salt jar filled with delicious herbs like garlic and rosemary and then use it to season your foods. This has the extra step of allowing you to take the blessing of the salt jar directly into your body. NOTE: rue is NOT edible.

What I love best about the salt jar is what I love best about folk magic traditions world – over, the profoundly transformative is so often found in the every day – enjoy!

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches: Tea-lightful Cards and Magic with Paige Zaferiou

Learning and Community

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ear Miracles, a few months ago I learned that the correct way to pronounce Paige’s gorgeous last name is to say: zee fairy ooh! To me that is a great summation of the awesome that Paige brings to the Sacred Arts table. She is a magic-making woman, who blends incredible teas (I have a few and they rock) and delivers a hot tarot reading too! I invite you to get comfy and watch the incredible video Paige made for you — it will add some magic to your day!

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aige Zaferiou is a pop-culture-loving, positivity-wielding professional witch with a simple philosophy: magic is everywhere and life is great. As a magical practitioner, tarot reader, and tea maven, she has devoted her life to helping people rediscover magic in their own lives. If you can get down with unrelenting optimism, Lisa Frank backpacks, joyful cussing, frequent breaks for song & dance, and the utterlydelicious reality of our magical world, then GET DOWN, baby kitten! Paige is the witch-friend for you. When she’s not reading cards and pouring tea, you can find Paige playing the ukulele, singing about chickens, and searching for the perfect piece of pizza. Transform the way you experience magic at paigezee.com.

Find Paige:
Blog: www.paigezee.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tarotandtea
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tarotandtea
Moonblessed Tea Blends: www.etsy.com/shop/tarotandtea
Tarot Readings and Magical Services: www.paigezee.com/tarot

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches–Something Witchy this way comes with Sarah Anne Lawless

Learning and Community

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ear Miracles: Many of those in my audience already know our latest guest in the Many Branches series–Sarah Anne Lawless. She is an occult author, witch, herbalist, and artist living in the Pacific Northwest. Her blog is well known in the Pagan community and beyond. Her knack for crafting a brilliant flying ointment is one that I can personally attest to, and her devotion to her Gods is inspiring. Please give her a warm welcome!

bio-pic-2In her own words: A professional artist, writer, and herbalist, Sarah’s work has been published in various books, magazines, and online in The CauldronHex MagazineWitches & PagansWitchvox, Serpent Songs, and Hoofprints in the Wildwood. She is a carver, painter, and illustrator working in the mediums of bone, wood, ink, and paint creating original artwork, talismans, and ritual tools. Sarah is an animist, initiated witch, and wortcunner with a love of otherworldly beauty, folklore, mythology, poisonous plants, wildcrafting, wild places, and bones.

Find Sarah on the web at:

her website: sarahannelawless.com

Facebook: Black Arts Foundry

Twitter: @forestwitch

 

In the occult and magical community you are known for making excellent spiritual products, your writing, and your fine artwork, but you are also one of the few voices out there talking about working with animals and zoological talismans in an ethical and sustainable manner. This subject is a bit controversial but one that I think the magical community needs more familiarity with. What led you to begin working with animals and animal parts in a ritual setting?

For me it started with collecting feathers and escalated from there and I’ve found that others who consider themselves bone collectors often say the same thing. Taking home a feather you found on a forest walk isn’t really so far off from taking home a sea-washed bone or a small skull picked clean by scavengers. Once people find out you’re a bone collector they will suddenly start calling you about bones, feathers, or dead animals they found and ask what to do with them. Then people will start showing up on your door step with boxes of bones and any friends that hunt for food will start giving you bird feet, wings, and sometimes even organs that they don’t want to waste. Often people don’t want to use or give me the animals they find, they just want to know how to bury it safely and give it a respectful send off to the spirit world. A bone collector can find themselves taking on the role of an animal funeral director.

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I think the reason why many find my use of animal parts in magic controversial is because, though the use of zoological remains is still common in modern rootwork and the magical traditions of Central and South America, it is not common in modern witchcraft despite all the documented historical links and traditions. Many people are so far removed from nature, husbandry, and dirty hands-on folk magic that they find the use of zoological remains to be appalling and unethical without trying to first understand the context and history. Many assume that bone collectors such as myself are actually killing animals to use their parts in magic when this is very much not the case. You can find hearts, tongues, and feet at the butcher and you can find bones, skulls, teeth, claws, and hides from taxidermists, tanners, farmers, or hunters who don’t like to waste any part of an animal that’s been hunted or raised for food.

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Another reason I think this practice is controversial is because many people assume you are using a dead animal’s parts solely for cursing and other black magics, when again this is simply not the reality. Indigenous cultures who’ve held onto their animistic beliefs and traditions use animal parts in a sacred manner – they are used to better connect with animal spirits and the whole of nature itself. Feathers are often used to fly prayers to the spirits so they may hear them. Teeth and claws are used for protection against harm and to give one strength. Organs are more often used for healing and offerings than anything else – anyone with a grandmother who still buries dead fish in the garden for the fertility of the plants may best understand this. In rural areas of North America you can still find farmers hanging deer antlers or bull horns over their barn door. They may have forgotten why, but once upon a time it was the belief that doing so would protect your livestock and also ensure their health and fertility.

Modern butchery and hunting practices are wasteful and unethical for treating animals as soulless resources. By doing this work and using animal remains in a sacred manner in our spiritual traditions, we make those animals sacred. By showing them respect even in death, we make their lives have the same value as our own.

 

You are well known for crafting various flying ointments, often using ancient recipes. Why flying ointments and when did your love affair with them begin?

I first took notice when nightshades I had not planted started to grow in my garden plots and containers. Instead of weeding them, I researched them and became fascinated. This led me to growing other varieties like henbane, belladonna, datura, and brugmansia. I had a lot of fresh plant material on hand and at the same time I realized that no one I could find was making and using flying ointments today. Considering that flying ointments were one of the very few genuine direct links to the ancestral magical practices of preChristian Europeans, it puzzled me greatly that modern witches and pagans weren’t using them. Later I discovered this was largely due to fear of the plants as governments had been churning out frightening propaganda against them for centuries and our modern governments continue to spread the fear through misinformation. Tales of wild hallucinations and near death experiences come mainly from youths not seeking a spiritual experience, but who simply wanted to get high and who used these plants without research, proper preparation, and with no regard for dosage. They were using these sacred plants at a toxic level instead of in the much safer ways our ancestors would have and have consequently given these plants a much maligned reputation.

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I mainly work with plants in the solanaceae (or nightshade) family. Though many would believe we no longer use them today, the constituents of these plants, such as atropine, are actually considered “core” medicines on the World Health Organizations “Essential Drug List.” Aside from the nightshades’ long history with witchcraft, they are also some of the oldest and most potent medicines used by humanity. How could an herbalist fascinated with ethnobotany not fall in love with plants that were both powerful spiritual allies and incredibly potent medicines? Though my original intent was to use the solanaceae and artemisias for spiritual purposes, the more I worked with these plants, the more I found people came to me for their medicinal uses as well.

And so, after A LOT of research and careful testing, I started to make ointments with the plants I grew along with dried European mandrake roots. I found them to be very useful in aiding in dream work, spirit work, and trance work along with being excellent topical pain killers for relieving migraines, sore backs, and other muscle and joint pain. I started making them for shamanic and pagan groups who wanted to use them for rituals and ceremonies and I started bringing them to my own rituals and teaching workshops on these plants. With all my experience, I learned that much of the fear and propaganda surrounding nightshades and flying ointments is simply not true and that those of us who have learned their history and proper preparations should pass on our knowledge so it is not lost to future generations as it has been to generations past.

 

A lot of folks in the magical community struggle with that to call themselves. You have referred to yourself as an animist, witch, and spirit worker. What do those words mean to you and what is your advice for someone who has not figured out what the right title is for their work and beliefs?

When I call myself an animist, I am referring to my religious philosophy just as others would call themselves a polytheist or a monotheist. I do not worship gods, but instead see all things, all of nature, as being imbued with spirit, anima, life force. Interacting with and honouring the local animals, plants, rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, and larger land features is what matters most to me in my spirituality – the local spirits, great and small. Within animism there is also room for ancestor reverence and so I also honour those who have come before me, both my own blood ancestors as well as those who lived upon this land long before I was born. Animism is believed to be one of the oldest forms of spirituality in human history and still permeates surviving forms of folk magic, folk religion, and common superstitions.

When I call myself a witch I am referring to the practice of witchcraft, not a religious path. It is the folk magic I do, the early modern witchcraft lore I study, and the rituals I put into practice.

When I use the term spirit worker, it is to reference my work with spirits, both is in this world and the other worlds of folklore. It is my dream work, trance work, and the rituals I perform to interact with spirits – usually plants, animals, or ancestors.

I don’t personally believe in putting too much stock in labels and finding the right one as everyone has their own definition of a term, some using the archaic meaning and some using a modern derivative. It is far too easy to waste a lot of time trying to find a label that fits all we believe and do, when we could instead spend that time actively practicing and developing our own beliefs to suit our individual spiritual needs. I think it is a better use of our time instead of trying to fit into a role someone else has defined and be constantly fretting over it.

I wrote a whole article tackling this subject last winter as it comes up over and over again in spiritual communities: “Ducking Pigeonholing.”

 

You art is gorgeous, tell us a bit about how you got started and what your current favorite artistic project is?

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Thank you! I got started in art at a young age. I was always drawing and painting. I took art classes in every year of school because it was something I always enjoyed. I had a lot of support from family who kept me well supplied with paper, ink, and paints. I even used to illustrate stories I wrote and bound them into little homemade books. Today I’m lucky enough to be in a position to get paid for my art and to illustrate the writings of others as well as my own. Falling more under the umbrella of a folk artist, I’ve been able to explore just about any medium I’m interested in – woodcarving, bone carving, pyrography, textiles, calligraphy, and jewelry to name several.

Right now I have a bit of an obvious obsession with drawing plants and skulls. I hope to do more pieces with plants and animals native to my beloved Pacific Northwest in the near future.

 

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams and passions so you can live your life in joy and wonder, but at the same time be honest with yourself about how you’re going to pull it off in a practical manner.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches–Setting Roots with Jen Holmes of Rue and Hyssop

Learning and Community

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ear Miracles: So you guys know by now that I seriously love every single one of the people I profile for Many Branches but Jen holds a special place in my heart. First of all, her gardener’s salve is truly amazing and my soft hands are the proof! Secondly, she is not only a dear friend and colleague, she is one of my students and she brings magic wherever she goes. Finally, she has one of the kindest, most down to earth voices, in the entire Pagan blogging community — not an easy feat for a bunch of dirt loving folks! Enter into her wild garden of delights–you will be sure to find a magical treat or two!

 

jen 2In her own words: Jen (Rue) Holmes is the lime daiquiri-wielding hostess of the blog Rue and Hyssop, a wandering little adventure in Paganism, gardening and herb-craft, folklore, silliness, and the joys and trials of trying to maintain some semblance of a daily practice. Jen believes firmly in sharing your harvests, daily laughter, and in wearing as many strange hats as you can find.

Jen can also be found at her shop, Three Cats And A Broom, where her gardens in the verdant valley hills bring you herbal goodies to delight your bath, body, and home.


 

Find Jen on the World Wide Web:

Rue and Hyssop www.rueandhyssop.blogspot.com

Three Cats And A Broom www.threecatsandabroom.etsy.com

 

 

Why Rue and Hyssop–do these plants hold special meaning for you and if so what is it?

Picking a name for my blog was no easy task. I was going to be writing about my journey and all that it entailed – the garden experiments, my travels, the ups and downs of my personal practices, and the things that were bubbling away in the cauldron. I didn’t want to mislead anyone. The blog was always about my adventures in Paganism, but it was important for me to present it through the lense of my real life, and not try to come off as someone I wasn’t. It had to be real. Although I don’t discuss my uber-personal stuff (who I’m dating, my familial issues, and other too-close-for-comfort tidbits), I do lay it all out when discussing my struggle with keeping up a spiritual practice, or how I’m working through other issues like fear or self-esteem. It’s the kind of thing I appreciate in other bloggers, so there was no chance that I wasn’t going to be genuine.

“Rue and Hyssop” was a perfect fit for me. It served a dual purpose – it was a play on my at-the-time public name (Rue) and highlighted my interest in herb-craft, as well as providing a bit of symbolism for me, a girl who came from a bible-based upbringing (hyssop being a prominent biblical herb) who grew into a woman on a magical-based path (rue being a beloved charm, most notably for the Strega). As for the herbs themselves, they are a cherished part of my garden. Even after working with them for years, I still find wisdom to glean from them.

 

I think you are one of the brightest voices in the Pagan blogging community –why did you start blogging? As a pagan blogger what would you like to see more of?

That’s a really generous compliment, Bri, and one I’d like to keep working at deserving. When I started blogging almost five years ago, there was not an easy-to-find Pagan community locally. Fortunately that has changed, but I could never regret that it sent me searching online for like-minded people who shared my love of getting dirty in the garden and the wilds, who were fascinated by folklore, and who embraced and celebrated the land and the seasons. I’m thrilled to have met so many wonderful people in the blogging and Pagan communities, and I’m beyond flattered when anyone stops by to read or comment at my little spot on the web. I’m especially surprised at the volume of readers I have that wouldn’t consider themselves Pagan, but who stop by because we share some interest or concern that brings our separate journeys closer together.

I’ve found that this year, the Pagan community seems to be struggling a great deal with divisiveness. This isn’t new, I know, but there seems to have been many opportunities for people to say “we don’t know everything, let’s explore this together,” that instead, have become derisive. The magical and spiritual communities whose boundaries we wander over and through boast some of the most learned, creative, generous, and gifted people on the planet. I truly believe that we can find better ways to express ourselves and our explorations of our chosen path than to knock someone else down to show that we can wield the verbal sword impressively. Having said that, I am often in awe of the strength, kindness, and wisdom of those I’ve met in the blogging community. I’m confident that the people with these traits will outshine the ones who prefer to squabble, and my hope is that we’ll see more bloggers, podcasters, authors, and magical businesspeople stepping out into the public eye and showing the world a diverse community that can work together.

 

You make wonderful herbal remedies that are both healing and magical–how did you get started in this work and what are your favorite things to make?

When I was ten, at the height of summer I walked through a field of clover barefoot. The bees gorging on clover-nectar took exception to my intrusion and I was stung. My grandmother immediately noted that a stinger remained in my foot and cut a potato in half and placed it on the wound. Within a short time, the sting lessened and the stinger fell out. To me, that was the most magical thing I’d ever experienced. Within the year I was weeding her gardens (very non-magical, if you had asked me) and I was forever bitten – or stung – by the garden bug.

After relying far too many years on over the counter drugs for common complaints such as colds, sleeplessness, or skin concerns, I turned to herbs to help combat these issues. I’d always grown veggies and culinary herbs, but medicinals were new to me. I grabbed a handful of books and found some organic seed companies and never looked back. My current passion is replacing the chemical-laden cleaning and beauty products in my home with my own organic herbal alternatives. And, of course, I grow a few plants specifically for magical use too.

My current favourite creations are the herbal-infused oil products. There’s just something about seeing those plants suspended in golden oils, releasing their invaluable treasure. I put together a herbal salve that is crazy-healing, as well as a massage oil, and I’m working on a facial oil that should be coming out soon. I’m testing it right now and I’m loving what it’s doing to my skin!

 

What projects are you working on in 2014? What would you like to learn more about?

I’ve been operating my business as a hobby for the past few years and it’s been fun. When I look to my future, I see myself growing and wild-harvesting plants and making herbal creations full time, so there are some big decisions to be made this year in as far as putting a plan into action to see that outcome.

My herbal studies are always ongoing – I was gifted with about a dozen herbal books this year and I’m enjoying working through them. I’m always playing with and testing new herbal creations. Some will make it to the shop and others may end up being more private runs. I made some sample scrubs for a local spa and they’ve ordered them for their permanent line now.

The thing about plants is that you can spend a lifetime studying them and still have only scratched the surface. The same thing applies to spirituality and magical work – there is always something to discover and experience. I’ll never be finished learning.

 

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

I’ve spoken of this often lately, but it’s because I’ve really been living it. Find one thing to be joyful about every day. We’d all like to win the lottery, or be a size 2, or hit it out of the park in the IQ department, but even if we are not feeling like our best selves, or life is not being generous with the “good stuff” we can still find something to be joyful about. Just one thing. Really dig it. Smile. Dive into that chocolate bliss. Become intoxicated by the scent of that flower. Giggle mercilessly at your crazy cat. There’s always something to squeal about. It will keep you young, I promise. And people will wonder why you are always smirking.

And be kind. It’s not that difficult.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

The best herbs and curios for Academic Achievement+Success

Alchemy and Magic

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ear Miracles: As school starts back up for many of us, it is time to work a little magic to craft the best possible approach to academic success and victory this year! Walk with me down the green path and let’s meet ten delightful natural allies that can help you do just that…

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Botanical illustration of Bay Laurel

1.) Alkanet Root (Alkanna tinctoria) this root comes from a plant known as Dyer’s Bugloss and that should give you a clue about one of its uses — alkanet root creates a lovely and natural red dye. In Conjure folk magic the root is also used to hurry things up and speed things along (alkanet is one core ingredient in many a “Fast Luck” type formula). Since sometimes academic or work success needs to be hurried along a bit, working with Alkanet can provide that speedy edge.

Do: always add a pinch of alkanet to any sugar jar work you have going as sugar jars can be known to take their time before going into effect. If you have a lot of learning material to get through and comprehend, work with peppermint, rosemary, alkanet and bay leaf-perhaps making a mojo hand of all three and then wearing it on your person.

 

2.) Bay Leaf (laurus nobilis): This is in your kitchen drawer right now and is SO awesome! This aromatic leaf is wonderful in chile and soup but is also known for helping one achieve victory and high-flying success. In fact, Bay leaves were used to crown both poets and warriors in Ancient Greece and Rome and our esteemed appellation of “laureate” comes from the second part of Bay’s name: laurel.

Do: Write a petition for success and victory directly on a bay leaf. Add it to a prayer bundle, mojo bag, sugar jar, or wear it in the bottom of your right shoe.

 

3.) Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus): a Southeast Asian aromatic grass with many magical uses, lemongrass is used to open the road, clear out muck, and improve your luck.

Make: a magical floor wash/housecleaner by steeping lemongrass (and maybe some of the other herbs on this list too!) in boiling water or better yet, some vodka. You then use the liquid to wash your floors and clean your home before the start of each semester at school. Not sure about that? You can also buy commercial Florida Water and simply add some lemongrass to the bottle-let it sit for 9 days, and wash your home that way!

 

4.) Lillies (Lilium spp.): These beautiful flowers are sacred to St. Joseph (and various other holy figures) and St. Joseph is the individual who blesses the work of a person’s hands. If you are in a situation where you need to refine a skill set or have your own work be blessed and noticed (because it is excellent of course) the Lily is a good flower to work with!

Offer: lilies to St. Joseph with a petition or prayer that the work of your hands and the thoughts of your mind be blessed, improved, and generate prosperity for you and your family.

 

5.) Peppermint (Mentha pepirita) Peppermint is known for its clean, cutting scent, culinary uses, the ability to spiritually cleanse and to replace bad luck with good, and, in some circles, its use in money drawing magics. This aromatic herb is also wonderful to work with when you need to increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

Blend: Peppermint essential oil with Rosemary essential oil for a fantastic, fresh scent that will also truly aid you when you need to buckle down and concentrate.

 

6.) Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis): Rosemary is another beautiful aromatic herb best known for its culinary use. It has also been sought out for its protective properties and its ability to bless a home and family. Rosemary aids in mental clarity and concentration and the best part of all? You probably have it in your kitchen right now!

Infuse: Olive oil with rosemary — not only can you use it for cooking, you can also use the oil to lightly anoint your third eye before a big test to bring you wisdom and success in all your work.

7.) Sage (Salvia officinalis): when we say that someone is sagacious we are really saying that they are wise. It should be no surprise then that the herb sage-another culinary favorite that is probably hanging out right now in your kitchen cabinet-is used for intellectual success and smarts.

Burn: sage and use it to smudge your body before big academic events. When you do this, pay special attention to your head, hands, and feet.

 

8.) Solomon’s Seal Root (polygonatum officianle, p. biflorum, etc): King Solomon is reputed to have been the wisest man on earth and has long been invoked by magical sorts of all stripes. Solomon’s Seal Root is an essential ingredient for any work aimed at creating greater mental clarity, acumen, and wisdom.

Make: at the beginning of the academic year or when dealing with a situation where you need smarts and success make a poppet that represents you. When you do this, be sure to add hair from your head so that you are blessed with wisdom and add fingernails to the dolly to refine the work of your hands. Add Solomon’s Seal Root throughout, so that you are imbued with Solomon’s legendary wisdom. Pray over the poppet daily and speak affirmations of wisdom and success.

 

9.) Sugar: A lot of magical work that goes into academic success focuses on the student. As we all know, however, a great teacher can make a huge difference! Whether we are teacher OR student, sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where someone we need to favor and support us has taken a disliking to us or seems uncooperative. In cases like this, it’s time to bust out the honey, sugar, or your sweetening agent of choice. Sugar and its relatives has long been used to sweeten someone up and bring them to your side. It is most frequently referenced in love magic but can absolutely be used to influence a teacher, administrator, or supervisor in your favor.

Make: a magical sweetening jar  or toss a bit of sugar in the path of the person you would like to influence while petitioning that they work with you, favor you, and come over to your side of things.

 

10.) An intellectual giant’s graveyard dirt: I am pretty herb focused here but one curio that I absolutely wanted to mention the graveyard dirt of an intellectual powerhouse. A quick search on Find A Grave will help you see who is buried in your area. If you are comfortable and proficient in graveyard work, go buy or collect dirt from a smart spirit and use it to give you aid from beyond.

Add: graveyard dirt to candles, sachet powders, and mojo hands so that you can work in close connection with a brilliant spirit. Only do this work if you are already experienced in spirit work.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

How to Make Homemade Florida Water

Alchemy and Magic

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ear Miracles: Today a little kitchen magic DIY for your reading pleasures! Join me in my momma’s kitchen as we make Florida water and homemade rosewater.


Florida
comes from the Spanish word meaning flower “flore” so florida water basically means flower water. (The correct way to say flower water en Espanol is actually agua de flores, of which a lovely reader reminded me). The company Lanman and Murray has been making a commercial version of Florida Water since the 19th century. There are hundreds of recipes for florida water and it is used in all kinds of spiritual activities-from cleansing, blessing, and protecting, to offerings for the ancestors, to healing and removing negativity.

I make my own Florida Water and each batch is slightly different because I use whatever aromatic flowers and herbs are available at the time. Florida water is quite commonly made with alcohol-which adds to its cooling effect.

Below are two recipes that Momma Hen and I recently worked with to create our Spring/Summer batches of Florida Water:

 

Momma Hen’s Rose-a-licious Florida Water:

  • 3-4 bottles of a commercial Florida water of your choice
  • 3 cups roses (we prefer strongly scented antique roses and have over 200 varieties to choose from in our gardens)
  • 3 cups Jasmine flowers
  • 3 cups aromatic greens like mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, basil, Mexican mint marigold, thyme)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

You can use fresh flowers and plants for this recipe. Combine all ingredients together on the new moon and allow to sit for a full lunation. Strain out plant material, add any essential oils you like,  then bottle, spritz, sprinkle, and go to town!

 

A recipe for Florida Water than involves cooking:

This is a recipe that I created and involved cooking the ingredients on low either at the stove or crock pot.

  • 5 cups of Vodka
  • 9 cinnamon sticks
  • 18 all-spice berries
  • one orange peel (preferably dried)
  • 3 cups rose petals (fresh or dried)
  • 3 cups Jasmine flowers (fresh to get the scent)
  • three bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried angelica root
  • 1 cup aromatic green herbs

Add dried ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes on low. Be careful inhaling the fumes–at this point it will be very Vodka-y. Then add fresh flowers and greens. Cook for 30-45 minutes on low/med-low or even longer. Stir occasionally and then sniff test. You want the botanicals to start outweighing the vodka in your sniff test.

Take off stove, cool, and add any essential oils you like! Bottle, spritz, and sprinkle away!

Rosewater 

And while we were at it-we decided to make homemade rosewater! Usually rosewater is clear and is actually rose hydrosol (the fragrant water created during the process of extracting essential oils from plants and flowers), but there are old recipes for making rosewater using roses (of course) and alcohol (we worked with vodka).

The result is a beautiful dusky rose liquid that smells HEAVENLY. Rosewater is used in blessing work and in love drawing rites.

Sacred Waters and Washes have been used throughout time and are especially loved in climates where its hot for much of the year-nothing cools you down like a quick spray-but if the spray smells good and its magical even better! It is my hope that with a few recipes you can now experiment making your own flower waters.

For those of you who love kitchen magic–have you ever made flower waters before, and if so, how do you work with them?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Two Valentine’s Day Recipes

Alchemy and Magic

D

ear Miracles: Valentine’s Day is here! You can always write a love letter to your beloved, but consider serving them a sexy cup of coffee in the morning and ending your day with decadent truffles. Here are two recipes from my magical cupboard to get your day off to the right start and end it sweetly.

Caffe de Amore

Ground coffee for press pot or automatic coffee maker

1 small-medium sized vanilla bean

4 whole cardamom seeds

3 pinches ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Sugar, honey, agave nectar and rose or orange water to finish

Combine ground coffee and the next 4 ingredients and brew coffee as normal. While coffee is brewing pray the 1st 3 verses of the Song of Songs, call out the name of your beloved and pray that when they drink this coffee they are filled with warm and loving thoughts of you and your relationship with them. When coffee is ready add a splash of rose or orange water and sweetener as desired. Serve with a smile-clothing is optional!

 

Touch Me Truffles

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean

splash of rosewater

4 cardamom seeds

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers

1 teaspoon fig juice and meat

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon stick, lavender flowers, and fig juice/meat with cream. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, add chocolate and cook until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in rosewater. Pour into a small dish and refrigerate until set, but not hard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use to fill candies or form balls and roll in toppings.

As you are cooking pray from your heart that the sweetness your beloved experiences when they eat these candies be the sweetness they are filled with for you.

 

Topping ideas:

cacao powder

cinnamon powder

candied rose petals

ground cardamom and cinnamon combined

sweet red pepper (ground)

Feed to your beloved between sips of icy champagne and some Shakespeare sonnets, you will get lucky!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.