Witchcraft into the Wilds: Working magic with nature
My chat this week is all about working with the magic that Mother Nature provides us with, a bit of Witchcraft into the Wilds. Magical energy found within stones, shells, feathers, bones, leaves and thorns.
Each natural item you find or collect out in the wilds will have its own unique energy and that energy can be utilised for spell working or meditation. Tap into and connect with that energy, find out what the item is happy to offer you. Each one will have particular energies whether it is wisdom, knowledge, healing, protection, the list is endless. No two twigs, no two pebbles, not two seed heads will be the same. It is a case of making that connection with the spirit of the item to find out.
Every space whether it is your back garden, your living room, the city park or the middle of a field it all has its own unique energy and history.
Lots of plants have thorns on them; roses, brambles and blackthorn spring to mind and these thorns can be used for magic. Think about what a thorn does, they are protection for the plant, they guard it against predators and they are sharp and defensive. They can pierce, they can cut and they can draw blood.
Folk lore says that blackthorn thorns were always used to curse but folklore says a lot of things that we have since twisted around to our advantage but if that is the choice you make…thorns (any type) are very good for cursing and hexing spell work, rose thorns work especially well in affairs of a broken heart.
But thorns also have a positive side and can be used in spell workings for protection and to dispel negative energy.
Long thorns such as those of the blackthorn can be used instead of pins to stick into poppets and also used to carve symbols into candles.
Use thorns dipped in ink to write magical petitions or ‘fix’ magical workings.
Use thorns in magic to ‘pierce’ negative bubbles and break bad cycles that you have gotten into.
I only pick leaves from plants if they are herbs or the plant is in my garden and needs trimming or cutting back other than that I only collect leaves if they have fallen from the plant. If you are stuck then you could pick a leaf from the plant or tree but please ask permission first.
I use leaves from all sorts of plants and trees but as an example the blackberry is packed full of magical properties but it is a bit squishy to use in spell work. So, I collect and dry leaves from plants such as raspberries, blackberries and strawberries because they are easier to use in incense blends and magic pouches than the fruit.
If a leaf is big enough it can be used to write wishes and petitions on that can be sent away on the winds, buried in the earth, dropped into running water or burnt in the fire.
If you don’t want to write on a leaf or you are out and about and don’t have a pen with you, select a leaf and hold it in both hands then lift it up to your face and whisper your wish into it, fold it over and then allow the wind to take it away.
Bigger leaves make excellent wrappings for charms or spells that need to be buried or burnt adding in the magical properties of the tree or plant to your spell work.
Leaves can also be melted onto candles not only to make them look pretty but also to bring their magic.
Look at a leaf, each one has a map, the thread of veins reaching out from the stem to the ends of the leaf and these pathways can be used as a guide for meditation, taking you on a journey.
And each leaf carries the magic of the tree and each tree has specific properties, either ask the tree what energy it can lend to you or look up tree correspondences.
Nature itself provides dead animals and birds and man in his motor car supplies a lot too. Picking up road kill may sound a bit yucky and is not for everyone or the feint hearted but I think of it as honouring the animal, that it’s skin and bones will be put to some good use after it has passed away.
The bones themselves are a good way of connecting with the spirit of the animal and working with those energies. Animal bones can also be carried in medicine bags to utilise their particular energies.
You can wear the bones to take on the attributes and power of the animal that they belonged to.
Feathers, animal skins or bones can also be used in shape shifting.
Ritual tools can also be made from animal bones – rattles for instance, or tie bones to your staff or wand for an added energy boost.
Don’t waste the bones from your Sunday dinner either; chicken bones especially make really good divination sets. And the bones can be used in your magical work.
Antlers that have been naturally shed also make wonderful magical tools.
Also don’t forget about insects, they have bones they just wear them on the outside. Watch for dead insects that can be used in magical workings. Please make sure they are dead first…
When I find a feather I usually take it home and pop it in the freezer overnight, just as a precaution really because the cold temperature will get rid of any nasties that might be lurking therein. Obviously keep the feather away from your frozen food! Alternatively you can place the feathers in a solution of five parts warm water, one part vinegar and one part witch hazel, leave them to soak for twenty four hours then dry them by laying out flat on a towel.
Feathers bring the magical properties of change, focus, communication, concentration and wishes. But the feather will also carry the magical energies of the particular bird that it came from and the colour of the feather will mean something too.
Obviously, sea shells are associated with water. The Moon controls the tides of the ocean so shells are also associated with lunar magic. Being associated with water and the Moon I think the shell works perfectly in spells for emotions too.
Shells also have an association with the goddess Aphrodite, so can also be used for love spells. Use a shell as a love drawing talisman.
In the past shells were also used in some parts of the world as currency so they also have the association of money and prosperity. Use in money drawing medicine bags (with a silver coin and some mint or basil) or pop a small shell in your purse.
Think about what a shell is, it is a protective covering for the creature inside making shells also good for protection. Use them in your witches bottles, or strung on a necklace for this purpose. You can also pop a shell on the collar of your dog or cat to bring protection.
Shells can also be used in divination, use in a set with pebbles, crystals and bones to cast a reading.
Shells can also have runes or symbols carved or painted on them.
Particular shells also have their own individual meanings.
You can find stones anywhere it might be in the hedgerow, the forest, a field, on the seashore or in your garden, if you are really stuck then you can buy them in a bag at home depot stores…
Stones carry a huge amount of earth energy with them and they have all sorts of uses. If you are lucky enough to live by the sea or a river you may even find hag stones sometimes called holey stones, hex stones or faery stones.
In folk lore hag stones were often used to ward against curses, nightmares, evil spirits and of course witches… They can also be used to look through to see into other worlds, realms or to see faeries. It is also said that you can look through the hole in a hag stone and see things in reality as it helps to look past any glamours or illusions.
These stones were used to keep away the evil hag spirit that would bring nightmares and so the stones were hung in bedrooms and placed on window sills.
Some sailors would tie holey stones to the bows of their boats to protect against malevolent witchcraft. Similarly farm buildings would have a small holey stone or pebble tied to the key for the building – this was to prevent the witches that rode the hedgerows at night from hexing the farm and to prevent the witches from ‘hag riding’ the horses.
So…basically as I am assuming you don’t want to use hag stones to protect against witches…they can be used for all sorts of protection and healing spell work. They can be worn as amulets or popped into medicine pouches or witches bottles, you can also just put them on your window sills or hang one above your doorway for protection. If you are looking for a bit of fertility they are also good to hang over your bed to help facilitate pregnancy.
Hold a hag stone in your left hand and visualise success and your desires, rub your thumb around the hole in the stone in a deosil direction. Keep the stone with you and repeat the spell regularly to reinforce the magic.
But…depending on what area you live in hag stones aren’t always easy to find so…use your intuition and pick pebbles or stones that appeal to you, sometimes a nice looking stone will find its way to you. Each stone has the power of the element of earth so it can pack a good protection punch even if it hasn’t got a hole in it.
If you have worries or troubles or feel that you need to get rid of some negative vibes then send them into a pebble or stone. Once you have released your woes into the stone throw it into a river or the sea or bury it beneath the earth…taking your troubles away with it.
Flat pebbles can also be used to draw beautiful images on, I have several that I have used as god and goddess representations on my altar, I also mark the compass directions on large stones to use in ritual. You can draw images of animals on pebbles to use as animal spirit guide correspondences or just write positive affirmation words on pebbles to keep in the house to remind you to be happy.
If you manage to find a large flattish stone it can be used as a garden altar or for burning loose incense upon.
To watch the replay click the link below
Information from Witchcraft into the Wilds by Rachel Patterson
A book that leads us through the wilds of nature and back to the roots and bones of witchcraft, a natural witchcraft that works with the seasons and all the natural items that Mother Nature provides drawing on magical folk lore and a little bit of gypsy magic too. No fancy schmany tools or ceremonial rituals, this is about working with the source.
Mother Earth provides us with the changing of the seasons and within that turning of the year she gives us everything we need to work magic with from natural energy in the form of storms, rain and sunshine to tangible items packed full of magical energy such as seeds, leaves and stones.