February 7, 2017

Full Moon of March ~ The Storm Moon

The month of March is named after Mars, God of War. Anglo-Saxons called it Hraed-monat (rugged month), or Hlyd-monat (stormy month). A stormy March was an omen of poor crops, while a dry March indicated a rich harvest. Some books refer to February as the "Storm Month", however, I find this inaccurate. Where I live, March often IS stormy, and as the old wives tale goes, “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. Many call March the month of the Hare Moon.

Ritual Verses for the Full Moon of March:
by Polly Taskey
You may wish to incorporate the following verses into the 9 Basic Ritual Steps when conducting Full Moon Rituals. You may also choose to include a Charge of the Goddess.

February 2, 2017

Full Moon of April ~ The Hare Moon

April is from the Latin aperio ("to open", like buds). Anglo-Saxons called it something close to Easter-monat, in honor of the Teutonic Goddess of the same name. She ruled spring and light. The Romans dedicated April to Venus, often referring to it as Mensis Veneris instead of Aprilis. April is associated with fertility (rabbits, Easter), and the coming mating of the God and Goddess at Beltane on May 1st. Many call April's Moon the Seed Moon, however, I have learned that February represents the Seed Moon and March is the Storm Moon.

The first few months of the calendar year are all about renewal - shedding the old, used and dull to make way for the fresh; the present and future. Often, we find that we get into a habit of holding close to the trials and experiences of the past - after all, they are familiar to us no matter how painful they were - and there is a bit of comfort in things that are "familiar".

Rituals for the Full Moon of April might focus on purging undesirable habits, traits or negative influences while casting out burdens in order to welcome emergence and deep purification. While fire is the Element often used for bidding farewell to the dull and useless; water may be incorporated afterwards to purify oneself - as if shedding an old skin and being reborn to the light and promise of the season.

Suggestions include writing the traits, habits and negatives within your life on either a stick of wood or piece of paper, casting it into the flames of fire, and following with splashing fresh water from a large bowl (perhaps with white or pink rose petals floating on the surface) upon your face.
The April winds and cleansing rain, freshen Earth where dust remains,
As bunnies frolic to and fro, freed from their warrens down below;
The nesting birds are molting too, revealing plumage bright and new.
And as the world sheds off the old, we re-emerge both fresh and bold.

Promises of light and love surround us as we shed the glove
of stale and baneful thoughts and traits; purity of the soul awaits.
Within this new and blessed spring, we revel in the gifts it brings
from Mother Earth and Father Sun, as if our lives have just begun.
 by Polly Taskey

Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.

November 16, 2016

Herbal Grimoire ~ Cloves

Money Pentacle, Pagan by Design
Cloves have been used in Witchcraft for protection, prosperity, love and purification for many generations.  They are associated with the element of Fire, the planet Jupiter, and are considered masculine in nature.  Cloves have been used in exorcism and are also believed to provide very good protection for children.  They are known, also, to strengthen friendships and ward off malicious gossip.

Medicinally, it is known that Cloves contain Eugenol, a pleasantly-aromatic antiseptic ingredient which is toxic to harmful organisms, fungus, and bacteria.  Perhaps for these reasons, Cloves are a natural choice for driving away negative energies, and drawing in positive attention, purity, and prosperity.

Ideas for using Cloves in Magic:

  • Burn as an incense alone or as a candle dressing (candle color correspondence to match intent) 
  • Carry, or wear (in a perfume or pouch) to attract love or abundance 
  • Place 3 drops of Clove oil on a wet washcloth and add to the clothes dryer when drying your child's clothing to help protect them from harm or bullying, boost their confidence in new situations, and attract positive friends 
  • Infuse into wine or cider as an aphrodisiac 
  • Make into prosperity Pentacles and carry for luck and drawing wealth 
  • Mix with tobacco for smoking 
  • Use in making potpourri, pomanders or sachets to place around the home 
  • Give gifts containing Cloves (such as Potpourri) to solidify friendships, honesty, and trust 
  • Blend them into tisanes or food recipes for inner purification, protection from illness and good health
The photo at the top of this post is one of my own "Money Pentacles".  It is nearly the same recipe as the one shown on McCormick's website, but I usually use white glue with mine to help bind the cinnamon together, and then let them air dry instead of warming in the oven.  When finished, you might place one in your change purse and carry it with you to attract money, and also help you spend wisely.

Here is one potpourri recipe from Crafts for the Kid in All of Us called Soul Soother:  Be sure to wear rubber gloves when preparing.

2 ounces Rose Petals
1 ounce each of Chamomile Flowers, Meadowsweet and Agrimony
1/2 ounce each of Hibiscus Flowers and Lemon Balm
8 crushed Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon crushed Cinnamon Sticks
1 tablespoon crushed Vanilla Pod
2 teaspoons crushed Cloves
2 teaspoons crushed Allspice
3 tablespoons Orris Root
3 drops Carnation Oil
2 drops Violet Oil

While wearing rubber gloves, mix all ingredients in a glass bowl EXCEPT the oils. When mixture is well blended, add oils and continue to mix with your hands. 

Cloves in herbal remedies:

Cloves are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.  They contain 36 active ingredients which contribute to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.  They also contain significant amounts of phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Clove oil is probably best known for numbing the pain of toothache and oral ulcers.  It also contains ingredients which help stabilize blood circulation and regulate body temperature.  Applied externally, it has stimulating effects on the skin, producing heat and redness.

For Coughs:  Three to five drops of Clove oil mixed with honey and a clove of Garlic may alleviate spasmodic cough of tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis when taken once before going to bed.

Muscle Cramps:  May be relieved when oil of Clove is applied as a poultice near the affected muscle.  As a massage oil, Cloves can relieve arthritis and rheumatism. 

Cloves are used also in Aromatherapy to reduce stress.

Precautions:  This post is for informational purposes only and is NOT advice.  This content is NOT intended to replace the professional medical advice of a licensed Physician.  The use of Cloves, especially in excess, including inhaling warm vapors from the oils, can have severe or deadly side effects!  Cloves may interfere with blood clotting and may also lower blood sugar.  Cloves may interfere with blood thinning medications.
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.
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