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Witch At The Crossroads: Purge, Protect, & Burn Stuff at Midsummer

By Katrina Rasbold

Of all of the holidays, it can be argued that most cultures at some time or another celebrated Midsummer. The Sun reigns at its full power and dominates the sky for the longest day of the year on Litha. It is commonly believed that the Faeries are most active during this time; an idea perpetuated by William Shakespeare’s famous play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The power of herbs and plants is said to be strongest at this time, so many of the summer herbs are harvested on this day. Continue reading Witch At The Crossroads: Purge, Protect, & Burn Stuff at Midsummer

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Herbalism For Your Day: Lemon Balm

By Katrina Rasbold

Lemon balm is one of the most common herbs we have covered so far, known for its aromatic citrus smell. It is related to the mint family and the leaves are very similar, even if the scent is not. Its fancy name is “Melissa” and it flourishes in any warm or temperate area worldwide. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Lemon Balm

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Practical Magic With Saoirse: Making Yourself At Home

By Lady Saoirse

Bright Blessings,

I don’t know about you, but I have moved around a lot. I do mean a lot. It seems like every year, Mom had us somewhere new and some years, she had us live more than one place. People ask, “Were you a military brat?” I tell them, ‘No, Mama had the wanderlust.” So is it any wonder why I always heard people’s stories about their love for their hometowns and I wished for what they had? At almost age 50, I am still wishing for that. I could lament my fate, but I’d rather explain how you can feel at home when no PLACE is really home. Because if you practice magic, it can be done. Continue reading Practical Magic With Saoirse: Making Yourself At Home

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Witch At The Crossroads: When Bad Stuff Happens

By Katrina Rasbold

We spend a lot of time talking and thinking about why bad stuff happens, especially to people who we consider “good” and undeserving of strife and particularly when it comes in what feels like a disproportionate avalanche. We become deeply angry and philosophical when we try to understand why bad things happen to innocents like children and animals. Often, we become so mired in our determination to understand why something happens that we fail to effectively manage the situation at all. The assignment of blame is one of the greatest time eaters and malice fertilizers ever and is usually the focus of tremendous attention. Continue reading Witch At The Crossroads: When Bad Stuff Happens

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Herbalism For Your Day: Cascara Sagrada

By Katrina Rasbold

Cascara sagrada grows in the Pacific Northwest and is an extract from the bark of the buckthorn tree. You will noticed that we previously covered the wonderful effects of buckthorn in an earlier column. Interestingly, like buckthorn, cascara sagrada was one of the first magical herbs I used in my practice. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Cascara Sagrada

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Herbalism For Your Day: Job’s Tears

By Katrina Rasbold

Like kava kava, Job’s tears are a foreign plant to everyone who does not live in Asia, which is where the plant almost exclusively grows. As mentioned in the article on kava kava, we always achieve a higher energy impact on our shellwork when we use herbs and stones native to our geographical area. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Job’s Tears

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Witch At The Crossroads: Magic & High Emotions

By Katrina Rasbold

Emotion magical practice because spell work begins with what you want to have happen. If you cannot feel, then you cannot want and feeling is emotion. All intense emotion is high energy and you can, with rational thought and careful planning, direct all the intensity of that energy toward your goal. Passion will spike energy right off the meter, whether that passion comes from lust, anger, fear, or exultation. High emotion of all kinds: love, fear, sadness, anger, frustration, etc, can fuel your magical energy like a stoked furnace. But should you? Continue reading Witch At The Crossroads: Magic & High Emotions

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Stone Magic: Petrified Wood

By Katrina Rasbold

Fossils (such as ammonites) and petrified wood share a similar energy in that they are a part of the past preserved into stone. Petrified wood was actually once wood and forms when the woody stems of plants become buried in wet sediments saturated with dissolved minerals. The lack of oxygen slows decay of the wood, allowing minerals to replace cell walls and to fill void spaces in the wood. Continue reading Stone Magic: Petrified Wood

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Herbalism For Your Day: Kava Kava

By Katrina Rasbold

Kava kava is an interesting plant in that all seeds it produces are sterile. This means that the only way to propagate the plant is through cuttings. It is high needs, so you will not likely be able to grow it in a pot or even in a greenhouse. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Kava Kava

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Witch At The Crossroads: Ceremonial Interruptus

By Katrina Rasbold

It can happen to all of us, although thankfully, not usually to the degree we see in the graphic above. Rituals fail. It is easy to raise one knowing eyebrow and say that it failed because it was intended to fail and all things are exactly as they should be and blah, blah, blah, but there is a huge difference in knowing that rituals sometimes do not go as planned versus understanding why rituals sometimes go in the ditch and how to manage that inevitability. Continue reading Witch At The Crossroads: Ceremonial Interruptus

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Herbalism For Your Day: Slippery Elm

By Katrina Rasbold

What we loosely call “herbs” when we talk about magical herbalism is an inclusive label that also includes flowers, roots, barks, and in this case, trees. Where most people think of small green things growing in pretty pots when they talk about herbs, Witches and other magical folks basically mean, “botany” and we are voracious about studying the energy of all parts of pretty much any plant. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Slippery Elm

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Herbalism For Your Day: Buckthorn

By Katrina Rasbold

Buckthorn was one of the first magical herbs I learned about back in the 1980s. I was in Scorpio Herbs (no longer in operation) in Texas and one of the folks working in the shop told me that buckthorn “brings the magic together.” She went on to explain that if you include herbs in your spell work, you should also throw in some buckthorn because it encourages the other herbs to work together more cohesively toward your goal.

Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Buckthorn

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Herbalism For Your Day: Elecampane

By Katrina Rasbold

Legend says Elecampane (Inula helenium) as named for Helen of Troy and grew in the places where her tears fell. Related to the sunflower, this plant is quite tall, up to sixty inches or so. It has a rigid stem with leaves that are green on the top and white on the bottom. It has vibrant yellow blooms that smell a bit like sweet camphor. Continue reading Herbalism For Your Day: Elecampane

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Stone Magic: Tourmaline

By Katrina Rasbold

Tourmaline is one of the stones, like peacock ore, that seems like it should not exist in nature. Its luminous beauty is one of Earth’s beautiful miracles and to make it even more amazing, its magical attributes are off the charts. Continue reading Stone Magic: Tourmaline