BOOK REVIEW: Spirit Work Primer

I receive a lot of messages, comments and the like asking all kinds of questions, but mostly they’re from folks seeking advice.

By far, the number one question I receive is: Where do I start on my journey to Spirit Working?

I find that people are confused about how to find a Deity.

Let’s pause and address THIS.

-You do not need a Deity

-In my humble opinion, They find and choose you

-Your journey will lead you to them (Examples: S*xual A*sault, death and pain led me to Hekate; Asanas and practicing the 6 Branches of Yoga fully committed as a Hindu led Kali to me who paved the way for Shiva through Her dance of destruction)

Carrying on..

Folks don’t know how to Evoke or Invoke and when to do which; I personally do not engage in the latter because of a pact I made with another Spirit.

We each have our own paths to walk and Practices to well, practice.

Spirit Work itself is a broad term, but it means working with Spirits.

This could be anything from a God, Goddess, to a Daemon, or an Angel.

There are many classes of Spirits and different definitions depending on Tradition, individual opinion and personal, lived experiences.

So where do you begin? How do you start?

It’s really overwhelming and not something that can be summed up in a blog or fb post.

Jason Miller recently put out an excellent book called, Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies. I will be reviewing it in the future.

The thing I must say about Miller’s book (he’s one of my favorites and most influential Authors) is that he wrote it for people that already have a Magickal foundation established and honestly?

I really appreciate that.

I think it’s incredible to have books that appeal to novices and adepts alike; I like that there are books for novices only; I like that there are books for adepts only.

They can all exist, and they are all (mostly) worthy.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing to experienced Practitioners. I started reading it and was like, “Oh, oh, thank f*ck”.

That said, there is a book that has kind of slipped through the cracks and I believe it’s noteworthy.

I had not heard of it before, and when I did and I started reading, even though it is specifically for NEW PRACTITIONERS, I found it exceedingly interesting, and it helped refresh some things for me. Not in a redundant way, either.

I never felt like I was being spoken to like a child, and I found the entire thing educational and that, my friends, is why I am here.

The Spirit Work Primer: A Beginner’s Guide to Streamlined Spirit Work by Naag Loki Shivanath, published by Crossed Crow Books. This is a revamped, second edition from the original 2017 publication.

Image Source: Crossed Crow Books/fb

I highly recommend it if you are interested in working with Spirits but have no clue where to begin.

Covered topics are:

The Basics of Spirit Work, The Nature of Offerings, Spirit Senses, Magickal Invocation, Magickal Evocation, The Nature of Spiritual Pacts, Spirit Possession, Familiar Spirits, Spirit Keeping, Isolated Spirits, Created Spirits, Spirit Houses, Spiritual Self-Defense and Cleanup, Grimoire of the Thorn.

Publisher describes it as follows:

“Invocation, Evocation, Possession

These words conjure forth feelings of unease and confusion for many magical practitioners, even today. This book, however, is a fantastic guide intended to shed some much needed light on these often misunderstood subjects. Within these pages, spirit worker and necromancer Naag Loki Shivanath serves as guide and teacher, taking all readers through a sophisticated yet highly practical system of spirit conjuration. If you’ve been interested in learning how to sharpen your spirit senses, safely practice spirit possession, work through spirit invocation and evocation, then this tome is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Whether you are a follower of the more ritualized manifestations of the magical arts or a Witch looking to deepen your practice with the spirit world, A Spirit Work Primer will prove to be a valuable resource that is referenced time and time again.”

This is a book that is not specific to any one Tradition or path, and the Author never shames the Practitioner for the path they walk.

This is an informational guide on Spirit Work.

I will say, and this may be my only critique, the Author brings up Gender in Practice, and the way it’s worded could’ve been better. I don’t know if I agree with associating give and take (in pact work) with the masculine and feminine manifesting.

I know a lot of folks will not align with or resonate with this excerpt and I owe it to those folks, those readers to add this disclaimer.

As a Queer person myself, I will say this should not deter you from the book, but for non-binary folks who completely reject this dichotomy in practice I feel it’s fair to mention. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

“The Principle of Gender

At last, we reach the final law, stating: “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles: gender manifests on all planes.” This law speaks to more than just your anatomy, however. This law speaks to the fact that nothing is without balance, and that everything that is generated or regenerated consists of both masculine and feminine energies: light and dark, fire and water, air and earth, and so on. To see how this principle applies to pact working, consider that for every desire you create a pact for, you have to give something up. You have to balance the scales, or else Spirit will not deliver on their end. This forms the circle of give and take, the manifestation of male and female.”

I agree the scales must be balanced. I agree that in pact working for it to be successful you must sacrifice something; as mentioned above, I don’t agree that it is masculine and feminine manifesting.

All in all, this is an excellent book and should be talked about more.

Most importantly, it should be read.

The Forgotten Magic

Part 3

Touching the Field

Of all the heightened senses of childhood this probably got me in the most trouble. As it is one that even the most unintuitive can experience fairly easily.

As a small child I would play with feeling my energy field, especially while in the bath for some reason. Feeling the resistance of the air around me the tension on the surface of the water. How far can I sense things touching my field, can I push it out and feel other fields outside of the room or sense things that cannot be seen. Expanding to feel my surroundings then contracting to condense the energy. Taking my hands from pray position to opening the palms but keeping the fingers tips and thumbs together, forming a triangle.

Image by Louise Cox

If I squinted I could see the ball of energy between my hands and would play with the magnetic push pull sensation warming my palms.

I taught my little sister to play the magnetic push pull game and we would play together feeling the warmth between our palms, pushing against each others energy and I realised that I could show other children how to feel this energy to.

During the summer holidays one year, I can’t remember who, maybe it was some older girls or the mum of my neighbour, had taught us a little parlour game/trick. It’s a combination of suggestion and other stuff but also using energy manipulation. I can’t remember exactly how the rhyme went or all of the actions now. Anyone can do this if they go through the sequence but I was particularly good and found I could influence even the most sceptical.

The rhyme was a about a murderer and the participant would play the victim. Looking back it probably did seem quite dark and was about the same time the Yorkshire Ripper was at large. I grew up in Yorkshire. But children like a little of the macabre, that’s why fairytales are so appealing and to us it was just a fun game.

Returning to school after the summer holidays, the game obviously made its way onto the playground.

Here is what I can remember of our little game. The ‘victim’ stands in front of the the person conducting the game and starts by telling the story of the ‘murderer’. Who then comes up to the ‘victim’ and puts a bag over their head. You tell the person playing ‘victim’ to close their eyes and you go through the action of putting a bag over their head and tie it around their neck. You continue the story of the ‘murderer’ binding the ‘victim’ whilst performing the actions of winding your invisible rope around them. The binding is finished with a knot at the back of the ‘victim’ and you step back and stand a few feet away holding the remainder of the invisible rope. Ending the story by telling them how the ‘murderer’ dragged the ‘victim’ away to bury them in the woods, pulling on the invisible rope. The person playing the ‘victim’ falls backwards as you pull the rope.

Everyone thinks this is great fun and all want to have a go at playing both the victim and the murder.

Until the RE teacher sees what we are playing, declares it Witchcraft and me as the Witch! I’m only about 8 or 9 years old and as a child of the 70s my only references at this point for Witches are fairytales where Witches are green and ugly with pointy hats and warty noses and generally evil and to be feared. I spend the remainder of my junior school years taunted by the rest of kids as ‘Witch’. Hence I was never particularly fond of the word.

Understandably I hid my nature a little more and retreated into seclusion.

I have started to peer out from behind the door and try to regain all I have hidden for so long. I’m not ready to step out fully yet and declare my presence and I’m not even sure I know what that will be. The revival of these forgotten memories and the rekindling of the practices I did as a child has already had a remarkable impact on my life. My energy is slowly returning, the Forgotten Magic is still there. That small ball of energy I toyed with as a child has grown and my aversion of the word Witch has subsided. After all even the ‘Wizard of Oz’ has good as well bad Witches.

The Forgotten Magic

Part Two

Seeing the soul of things

Art by Louise Cox

I had a somewhat paradoxical childhood. Most of the time I did not feel like a child, I knew I was older than my years but in a childs body. If you then speak to the adults most of which I am aware are younger than me, as yourself, they do not like it. So I learnt to act like a child, I don’t think I was very good at this. I decided to keep quiet instead. I quickly learnt that some things you especially keep quiet about.

My mother once asked me what I was looking at one night while sat on the sofa. I was bored with what they were watching on the TV and had become distracted by the coloured orbs dancing about the window.

“I’m watching the coloured lights by the window” I replied “look how beautiful they are”.

“There’s nothing there” she snapped looking at me like I have two heads.

“Maybe we should take you to have your eyes corrected if your seeing things” she warned me.

I wanted to protest and was horrified that my vision could be corrected so I would not be be able to see these things but a voice in my head said keep quiet, I shut up and promised myself to keep quiet in the future.

Art by Louise Cox

I would often unfocus my eyes to see what cannot be seen. I’d practice on inanimate objects. The clock on the mantelpiece was a favourite. It had a rotating pendulum with three balls underneath. The trick is to be in a trance state before you start staring. This was a lot easier as a child as my mind was a lot less cluttered as it is today. Once calm look at your chosen object but don’t focus in on it, take in the whole scene, keeping your attention on the object. Eventually your vision will shift, I feel this in my ears as well, they buzz a little or feel like the pop you get when there is a pressure change. I liked using the clock as it’s moving pendulum gave colourful tracers as they moved plus it was just a clock, it had no energy attached to it so made a good practice object. If I used the same technique on my favourite toys they would be more animated, being imbued with energy from the personality I had given them.

Some things do not like to be seen.

I was staring out of the window of my Nanna’s flat one day. I had a strange fascination with one of the windows in a large house opposite my Nanna’s. Nanna lived on the thirteenth floor of a block of flats. There was a large expanse of grass outside with a big oak tree in the middle and a few smaller trees dotted about. On the other side of this open space was a large manor house. When left alone in the livingroom I would look out of this window, I always had an intense feeling that someone was watching me from one particular window in the manor house. It was so far away you couldn’t see if there was or not, but I had a weird sense like when you feel someones magic and it’s challenging you, ‘I see you I know what you are’.

Back then everything was more feeling and emotion than words and in my mind I knew in the room that window belonged to, there was a little boy. He was trying to get my attention because he knew we were the same so I understood. He was asking for help. But I’m just a little girl on the thirteenth floor of a block of flats looking out of the window back at someone I can’t even see! Is he really there?

This always made me feel really sad. I wanted to go up to the house and ask if there was someone in that room and I could I speak to them and help, obviously this was not possible.

On one particular day as I stared intently towards the window in the manor house, the large oak tree was caught in my gaze. It’s aura started to shimmer, the whole tree shone with a magenta hue so bright, I took my eyes off the window and marvelled at the beautiful glow of the oak tree pulsating with energy. I could see its very essence, it’s soul. The second my full attention was on the tree, it sent a shock wave so strong I felt like I’d been physically pushed backwards. It hit my solar plexus breaking my trance instantly.

Art by Louise Cox

I knew the tree was not happy to be seen and I’d been put in my place. It certainly gave me a greater respect of trees and an awareness that like people some like to be left alone.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with ‘unseeing’, I call it ‘unseeing’ because you have to tell your brain to forget it knows what everything is and cultivate a sense that you are trying to see something else. So far I managed to regain the same sense of sight looking at an ornament in my room and I also still have one of my childhood toys which again had more movement than other inanimate objects.

I was a little more apprehensive about try this on any trees. However I plucked up the courage and tried the technique on the palm tree in my garden. It seems friendly enough. This took longer to engage than the inanimate objects I had used. Eventually I managed to get focused, by this point I felt as if I was floating and my sight goes in and out, like you are looking through a camera and zooming in and out, my sight was closer then further away. Then the palm tree was not just a palm tree put a yellow and blue entity with many heads and eyes. I made it clear that I meant no harm and it seemed ok with letting me observe for a while. Then I said thank you for letting me see you and returned to normal sight, although I could still see some of the eyes for a few days every time I looked at the palm tree, this has now faded, unless I consciously look for them.

Image by Louise Cox

As a result of these experiments my hynogogic images have become a lot more vivid especially before sleeping.

As for the boy in the window. I did ask my Nanna about the house and if you could go visit. She told me it was a borstal for boys where all the naughty boys went and that you cannot visit as it’s all locked up.

Whether there was someone in that room looking out the window or not I will never know for certain but this is one memory that has stayed with me throughout my life.

Years later I learnt to use the same technique the oak tree had used on me to defend myself from unwanted attention but that’s another story.

Basics of Botanicals: ANISE

Anise
(Pimpinella anisum)

☆☆☆please note, STAR ANISE scientific name is Illicium verum

OCCULT/METAPHYSICAL/CURIO:

■Spiritual/Psychic protection
■Money
■Friendship
■Clairvoyance
■Cleansing
■Beauty
■Banishing

TYPICAL USES IN HISTORIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES:

■Upset stomach
■Runny nose
■Expectorant
■Diuretic
■Appetite Stimulant
■Nicotine dependence
■Insomnia
■Menstrual discomfort
■”Male menopause”***

Flavoring in:
••alcohols/liquors/dairy/meats/candies/breath fresheners

••Nonconsumables: fragrance for soaps, or perfumes; also as an insecticide

more info:
https://www.rxlist.com/anise/supplements.htm

***https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056

INTERACTIONS:

■Allergic reactions
■Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) MODERATE
■Contraceptives
■Hormone-sensitive conditions (please visit link provided below for more information)

more info:
https://www.rxlist.com/anise/supplements.htm#Interactions

 

extra info:

○○○Find out what the difference is here:
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/anise-seed-vs-star-anise#what-is-anise-seed

○○○Hint : Anise Seed and Star Anise come from two entirely different plants with origins in different parts of the world.

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK link to H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

The Forgotten Magic

Art by Louise Cox original photo Sandra Stalker

Intro

I do not practice magic, I am magic I was born this way, it’s enmeshed in the very fabric of my being. In essence we are all magic it’s only a question of whether you remember your inherent nature or get caught up in the conformity of the world at large and become conditioned to that reality. To a certain extent we all have to conform to society to survive, I have pandered to society norms. I rarely speak of my beliefs and over the years have blocked the intrusions of the Other.

This has is consequences. Firstly as a teenager and well into my thirties I was plagued with Sleep Paralysis attacks. Back when these attacks first started there was no label for my experiences and very little written. Before the invention of the Internet it was a lot harder to research anything without access to a good library. And who do you talk to when you are afraid to go to sleep in case the demons try to drag you away and devour your soul.

Secondly, after NOT learning my lesson of neglecting my magic this first time, I once again became entangled in the snare of conformity. This time it has affected me physically and I was diagnosed with CFS ten years ago. I have done all I can medically and had a refresher course via the NHS at the beginning of this year. I know deep in the recesses of my mind that if I want to truly be well again I need to reconnect with the source, field, universe whatever you want to call it.

Reaching back into my earliest memories I was living a magical life, only, I had to start hiding it, as I realised not everyone was interacting with the world as I did. Now I wish to rekindle the connection I’ve lost and reconstruct the things I did intuitively as a small child, when there where no boundaries between magic and reality. I need to remember the Forgotten Magic.

Part 1 – Black Horizons

My earliest magical memories from childhood started young, around the ages of three to eight. Once I was put to bed at night, I would make contact with the ‘beings’ (for want of another word). Inducing a trance state to communicate with them. This was not a dream, all the time I was conversing with these other beings, I was fully aware that I was a child in a bed at night and after our meetings were over, I would settle down and go to sleep.

Drawing on these memories what were the mechanics of the trance inducement. I would sit calm and still, feel the energy which flows through all of us. This energy always concentrates in the palm of my hands. When the energy felt strong enough, I would place my hands over my eyes so that the base of my palm was covering the socket of my eyes. Eyes closed I would look into the darkness and wait. At some point there would be a shift and my ears would feel like there had been a change in pressure. In the vast darkness there is an horizon. The beings would come towards me from this horizon. Sometimes one or two, sometimes up to five of them. They appeared to me as coloured luminous energy. The conversations happened telepathically, more emotion than words. Some were more friendly than others, some in different towards me and one seemed to dislike me and the feeling was mutual.

I was very fond of one of the beings in particular, he is the one who visited the most. I painted a picture of him at Sunday School (this would be the one and only time I went to Sunday School). I wasn’t very old, pre-school days. Easels where arranged in a circle and we were painting. The lady looking after us asked me what I was painting. I felt panic, I know I can’t tell her who this is.

“It’s a Horse”, I tell her.

“That’s a funny looking Horse”, she declares, “where’s his eyes”?

“I’ve been making the colour for his eyes”, showing her my paint brush which has a lovely shade of pale blue. I’d spent a long time trying to get the right shade of luminous blue, which was highly frustrating with the low grade poster paints at my disposal.

She promptly snatched the paint brush out of my hand and blobbled a dot, where she thought the ‘Horse’ should have an eye.

“There that’s much better” she declares and walks off. I was furious, how dare she, she has no idea about how the world works and she’s supposed to be teaching me about spirituality! That was not where his eye was supposed to be! I refused to go to Sunday School ever again.

Art work by Louise Cox

When I was much older I read ‘The Tibetan book of the Dead’ and felt a connection to the descriptions of experiences you are to encounter when you die, with the visits of the beings I encountered as a small child. Was this some kind of cross over stage? I was alive but interestingly in the memories I have of conversations with these beings are mostly about the fact that I was not happy to be here. Why was I here? I didn’t want to be here, I wanted to go back home. The people I was with, my family had no understanding of what I was.

They were adamant I had to stay. Am I supposed to be here for a reason. Why now in this place with these people. I do remember in one of the last conversations, one of the beings saying I was here because I ‘meddled’. With what or whom, in my last incarnation here or in the Other place, where I longed to back to. I have no idea and if I am to learn a lesson then it would help it I had some inkling to what it was.

Then one night I was told that they would not be visiting me again, I was to have no further contact. I was devastated, lonely and abandoned in a place I felt I did not belong. I was probably about six or seven. I have tried many times over the years to get back to the Black Horizon where the beings can be contacted. Sometimes I can see it but don’t quite make that final shift. I suppose it’s like phone call but the line at the other end is dead or is blocking my calls.

I experimented again over the last month or so at one point I saw something like a door open on the Horizon but it was abruptly closed. I guess I have to wait until I cross over to the Other side again.

 

Taroting Depression with The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that all life flows in circles. This is a reminder that most of us with Depression need. Badly. And often.

When we’re in the throes of a bout of Depression, it can be easy to think that this is the way that things will always be. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that it’s not.

Things will get better and things might get worse. That is the nature of life. The one thing you can guarantee is that things will always be changing. 

Yes. Even when you have Depression. 

An episode of Depression may lead you to believe that each day is the same. It seems that way when you’re stuck in the bottom of the abyss. Only things aren’t the same. There are always small shifts, sometimes so small that you don’t recognize them.

It’s not until afterwards that we can look back and see where those shifts occurred.

The Wheel of Fortune isn’t a quick fix. That’s the point. It’s a reminder that “this too shall pass.” A glimmer of hope when it all seems too much. 

It’s also a poignant reminder for those of us who live with Depression but are in a “well” phase. Although you feel good right now, there’s a mighty good chance that tomorrow will be a reminder of just how devastating the demon Depression can be.

So, how do we work with the Wheel of Fortune?

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll be aware that I usually include a guided meditation for you to follow, but I don’t feel that’s appropriate with this card. To me, wheels are for flowing and not structure, so I think it’s a better idea to grab a pen and paper and follow your thoughts.

Place the card in front of you and see what parts of the image capture your attention. It doesn’t really matter which tarot deck you’re using. 

Here are some questions you can use to kick off your journaling.

  • What attracts my attention in this image?
  • What do I dislike in this image? Why?
  • What part of this image makes me feel hopeful?
  • What part of this image makes me feel sad?
  • What does the phrase “wheel of fortune” mean for me?

These are just some points to get you started, make sure you allow your thoughts, and your pen, to wander off wherever they want to go. 

Another tip: sleep with the Wheel of Fortune under your pillow when you need a reminder that things will get better. 

This is only THIS moment. 

Black Orchid Alchemy Logo

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Basics of Botanicals: ACORN

Occult:

Associations: lightning, Horned God, Ostara

How to use:

talisman against premature aging

Acorn ink (sigil creations, dye) (Dana & Dana 2020)

Medicinal:

Quercus  (Oak)

(robur {english oak},alba {white oak}, etc.); there are  500 species in the genus Quercus.

Parts used are bark, leaves, acorns

Short-term external use

The acorns of the Quercus brantii Lindl are widely used in alleviating symptoms of diarrhea, laryngopharyngitis diseases, menorrhagia, obesity, and stomach ulcers. (Taib 2020)

May help or improve: bone health, metabolism, energy levels, heart health, diabetes (possibly aid in blood sugar regulation), digestion, skin care. However, the tannins of these can cause great stomach upset, so it is recommend to “boil until the water no longer turns brown.” (WebMD 2022)

Nutritional Facts  (Staughton 2021)

 

 

Citations:

link to photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/branch-acorns-in-the-fall-brown-3682386/

Dana, & Dana. (2020, May 24). What to do with acorns. The Druid’s Garden. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/what-to-do-with-acorns/

Staughton,  John (2021, July 16). 8 amazing benefits of acorns. Organic Facts. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/acorns.html

Taib, M., Rezzak, Y., Bouyazza, L., & Lyoussi, B. (2020, July 31). Medicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of quercus species. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415107/#:~:text=The%20acorns%20of%20the%20various,ulcers%20%5B8%2C%209%5D

WebMD. (n.d.). Acorns: Are they safe to eat? WebMD. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-acorns-safe-to-eat

Further Information:

Pollux, A., & May, A. (2021, February 26). The protective magickal properties of oak and acorns. Welcome To Wicca Now. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://wiccanow.com/magickal-properties-of-oak-and-acorns/

 

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK link to H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

A-dress me, Witches

Freepik

As some of you may or may not know, my favourite gothic dress recently disappeared from the shared accommodation in which I live.
And many of you might be asking, why should we care about that?
Well, spiritual seekers, let me spin you a tale of Witchcraft and empowerment, the infusion of heart and soul into fabric, and the absolute violation when something is just… gone.

Before we begin, let us acknowledge that the world of fast fashion is a blight on our world.
In a world which excuses the horrendous actions of companies because they get cheap bargains, we, as those who understand the impact of energetic vibration (and hopefully care about other people in the world), must open our awareness to the suffering selfishness can create. We can shop smarter, locally, from small independent sellers with higher ethical standards.

All that being said… it began with a dress.

A long black gothic maxi dress with white occult symbols all over it, slit up one side, with a caduceus painted up the front.
The caduceus was very special to me – I was born under the month, day, and hour of Mercury, so my attachment to that symbol as a part of my identity was profound – it became one of my Priestess dresses that symbolized healing and divine messages. I wore it to several important events in my priestess training at Glastonbury, and in Goddess circles. I, like one of the snakes on the chest, became intertwined with it, for as with many magical items – the specialness to their owner creates a magical imprint, and that belonging weaves magic into the fabric.

Growing up I had never rebelled, because it was not safe to do so. I grew up in an environment of abuse, and though I adored the gothic styles, I never quite dared to step outside of the box of safety I had created.
Inviting my mother’s attention for any reason was a bad plan.
So later in life, I experimented with the more gothic styles available – anything that I felt celebrated my Witchy self. It was part of the process of undoing the conditioning that had destroyed me with fear as a young woman. I stepped into my power – mine.
Constantly copied by my youngest sister (the golden child to the narcissist,) anything that used to be mine was taken. Given away or stolen. My boundaries were constantly violated.

Moreover, my Priestess dress became a kind of armour.
Later I had gotten myself into a toxic relationship where my looks and weight were under constant attack. The male in question tried to tell me that ‘bad things happened’ whenever I wore my dress.
He knew it was my favourite, and he knew I looked (and felt) good in that fabric – its unusual cut flattering my natural hourglass figure, and he sought to ruin that for me.
But it didn’t work.
My dress helped me rally that ember of resistance, that steely grit that I had forgotten how to access, and inwardly begin to whisper, ‘fuck off.’
My dress was no longer just a part of my spiritual expression, it had become armour.
The occult symbols were no longer just marks on fabric; they were alive, thrumming with purpose and magick – when I wore it, I was protected. I was totally and completely myself like a second skin.

This brings to mind the stories of Selkie Women and something I wrote about them for one of my Songs of Shades books:

Selkie

“I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I have learnt

From my mistakes,

It took a life time or two,

I swam to shore,

Gave it my all,

The reason being you.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I was burnt

My actions blurred

Naked and alone

I gave up to much

Against the rocks

My nimble body thrown.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

The tears I wept

The blood I spilt

My essence rough and dry

I longed for love,

And scaled the depths

Reaching for the sky.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

Now I steal away

In the dead of night

My skin clasped, oh so tight,

I leap the cliff

Into my waves, knowing,

I will be alright.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.”

Much like the tales of the Selkie women, my second skin was suddenly gone. Missing. I knew it had not left the house by my hand, and I rummaged through my wardrobe, under the bed, anywhere and everywhere for days and days on end.
It was nowhere. It was just… gone.

Freepik

The emotions that I cycled through because of this (and continue to do so) are very real. That dress was a part of me. My life. I had earnt the money to buy it, I had worked magic in it. I had honoured the Goddesses of my spiral walking in it. I had stood discussing sisterhood and what it meant. It was a part of my magical self. Infused down to the stitch. The violation in it being simply gone (without rhyme or reason,) was a cold stab in the heart.
At the time I had also thought it irreplaceable because this dress was a few years old and no longer sold – but the universe sent me a beautiful soul who found a second hand one online, and I cried as I purchased it.
Many other beautiful shining examples of sisterhood rallied around me and told me that they understood why I felt such pain.
This touched my heart, and opened up further understanding.

Throughout history, the creation of clothes has, historically, fallen to the women. Our ancestors weaved and dyed and created magic into their clothing, sewing protective symbols and chanting songs into their stitches. The skill and the witchcraft there was profound – and that memory still reverberates within us through the spiritual ecosystem.
We are connected to that practice. It is a part of sisterhood throughout history, and so when something we value so deeply is gone, it betrays what sisterhood stands for in our hearts, or our connection to the matriarchal spirits who watch over us.
Something precious that mattered to us is simply absent – and the heartbreak that follows is very real.
When people copy or steal from us, they are infringing on our personal sovereignty, our essence, our expression of self.
This is not the same by the way as taking elements of inspiration and weaving it into our stories – for that is a thread, not a garment.
Weaving together is respectful, the energy has a reverence instead of blatant disregard and self-centred violation.

And so we weave a spell, Starlets.
We remind that which was our second skin of our love for it, and how it belongs to us, a beautiful rose with which we adorned our body, and how too it may have thorns should such a violation of its purpose have taken place.

Travel well through the Otherworlds, Starlets

Joey Morris

Basics of Botanicals: ACONITE

Aconite

Occult:

Associations: Feminine, Saturn, Water, protection

How to use:

Consecration of tools or spaces

Incense

Invoking Hecate

Amulet “Invisibility” earthwitchery.com states you can, “wrap the seed in a lizard skin and carry to become invisible at will.”

Please use caution handling this plant, wear nonpermeable gloves (Grandmont 2017), make sure you have no open sores/cuts or wounds, and do not submerged yourself or any appendages in its water during consecrations or washes 

Medicinal:

Aconitum napellus

There is a very low margin of safety between therapeutic and toxic doses of aconitine. is considered POISONOUS.

Also known as Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus) & Monkshood (Aconitum japonicum) (Britannica 2022); over 200 species within the Ranunculaceae (Britannica 2021). Please do not eat any part of these plants. Introductory; will not be listing the homeopathic uses here despite their existence.

Aconitum napellus (A. napellus, also known as monkshood or wolfsbane) is a perennial herb often grown as an ornamental plant due to its attractive blue to dark purple flowers. All parts of the plant, especially the roots, contain toxins. Aconitine is the most dangerous of these toxins. It is most noted as a heart poison but is also a potent nerve poison. Raw aconite plants are very poisonous. (Poison Control)

Example of attempting homeopathic remedy that went negatively and caused a young adult to be sent to the ER for self-treating anxiety. More is not typically better, unfortunately, the individual thought increasing his dose would serve him quicker effects. He took 3 capsules, as opposed to his single capsule dose, of his homemade blend of dried up root matter. Went to bed, but awoken to symptoms of:

. . . generalized numbness, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and defective color vision (he was seeing purple).

He spent 48 days in the hospital.  (Poison Control n.d.)

 

Citations:

Link to photo source:

https://pixabay.com/photos/monkshood-toxic-poisonous-plant-5449413/

 

Poison Control (n.d.). aconitum napellus (monkshood): A purple poison. Poison Control. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.poison.org/articles/why-is-monkshood-considered-a-poison–174

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2021, September 22). aconite. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/plant/aconite

Britannica. T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2022). Monkshood. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/plant/monkshood

Jean-Pol Grandmont ( Jan. 31, 2017). Plant profiles in Chemical Ecology. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://sites.evergreen.edu/plantchemeco/wolfsbane-fictious-plant-contains-very-real-dangers/

Witchery, E. (n.d.). Monkshood aka Wolfsbane. Monkshood. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from http://www.earthwitchery.com/monkshood.html

 

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

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Manifestation Tactics on the Back End

Holding hands open with glowing lights on dark background

TUE 2/22/22 Intention setting time, various cosmic energies at work to ensure their manifestation. But even on the most mundane of days, successful manifestation hinges on our ability to direct these energies with a clear mind and focus as well as believe these things we desire are actually possible and that we deserve to experience them,  to not conflate desire with alignment. Because it’s all about alignment!

People can get lost in the idea that we need to stay positive at all times even if it’s completely fabricated in order to maintain this alignment, but ultimately this is a trap. Not meaning one should wallow in it for any extended amount of time, but if you keep telling the universe that you are great even though you are dying inside will have a tendency to signal the universe that “hey, this person is great, let’s leave them right there.” Being uncomfortable and recognizing that discomfort, addressing it, and not ignoring the signs or pasting over it with “everything is fine” is one of the most direct ways of clearing that path.

Some situations are much more difficult to wiggle our way out of than others but with the desire to change and the willingness to believe it’s possible, most situations can be made more positive and in alignment with our desires for them.   In order to have something different, a different space must be made for it, otherwise, the blessings will be more difficult if not impossible to maintain or even be recognized. An open mind is quite helpful in this process but even attempting that can carry inherent discomfort. But if looked at properly this discomfort signals areas that need attention in order to get into the energetic alignment we desire.

woman was meditating in sunrise and rays of light on park and nature, soft focus

Alignment calls for these energies we are directing and following through to have a clear pathway. Do we believe we deserve the things we desire? Do we believe these things are even possible? Are we working from a feeling of lack? Is the energy and inspiration to change being followed or fought against? Are we adding a lot of emotional weight to the request, or letting it flow freely to where it needs to go?

Time to check our feelings surrounding the things and outcomes we desire. By addressing these feelings and underlying emotions we clear the path for this light, these energies, to work through us thus we become clear conduits. Now deep breaths, relax the jaw and unclench the stomach and buttocks… Find that flow, release judgment of ourselves and these desires, and try and work from there. Light on our feet, the cosmic dance.