August 31, 2020

Cinnamon sticks. Licensed under CC 0

I’m one of those people who believes cinnamon can go on almost anything. It dances the line between sweet and savory dishes, and you can even use it to spice up hot chocolate or chai, and drink it down ! Unlike some other magickal spices cinnamon is easy to obtain, and you may even have some in your cupboard now. You can purchase cinnamon sticks, powdered cinnamon, and even cinnamon oil.

Technically cinnamon isn’t an herb but instead a spice. In my post earlier this year about Pumpkin Spice I told everyone that Cinnamon is hands down a spice of love. It also contains properties of healing, and one of my favorite powers that of invisibility. In my book Love Magic I write ” Cinnamon heats things up, and love and sex are no exception; it’s the rule. ”

When it comes to cinnamon people can use sticks, powder, or essential oil in their magicks. As always with essential oils, please use gloves, and proceed with caution as they are highly concentrated. There are also cautions to be mindful of when burning cinnamon, as it can be irritating to one’s lungs.

5 Interesting Facts About Cinnamon Sticks

  • Ancient Egyptians used this spice to help with embalming the dead.
  • Putting a Cinnamon stick in your wallet or handbag is said to draw money to you.
  • Cinnamon is said to stimulate and heal the root chakra.
  • These sticks can be placed in your cabinets as an insect repellent, said to be particularly helpful against ants.
  • St. Benedict Crispus was said have used a concoction of pepper, cinnamon, and other spices to combat the plague. Maybe we should try it now !

Cinnamon can be used in a variety of ways in your magick and daily life ! One of my favorite things to do is to use it to make Hoodoo Money Rice, you can find the instructions here. What are your favorite uses for cinnamon ? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.  If you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share !

July 26, 2020

Magickal properties of Wisteria photo by Lilith Dorsey. All rights reserved.

Wisteria has always been one of my favorite flowers. It presents like a glorious waterfall of delightful purple blooms cascading from it’s weeping branches. As many of you know I have recently moved to New Orleans, and life in the swamp has been challenging. I haven’t been able to have a garden for a very long time. Much of my work since I arrived has been spent on carving out the wild space I landed on. Initially I began by taking back the overgrown small strip of land that leads to the backyard. Yes, I put down cardboard, and weed membrane, and mulch, and rocks…. This isn’t my first rodeo (in fact my minor in college was plant science.) Then I started to clip back the weeds. Now I know a weed is any unwanted plant, and there were many aggressive intruders coming from the other side of the fence.

Then the other day I spied some early summer blooms, and I realized what was crossing the divide to come and greet me. It was Wisteria. The magickal properties of wisteria are many, I recommend using the blooms very carefully in your workings as they are toxic to humans and animals. Unfortunately, almost all commercial oil formulas for wisteria are synthetic based. My favorite way to use them in ritual is to simply place a bouquet on the altar or shrine.

Magickal Properties of Wisteria-

  • Beauty
  • Grace
  • Self-love
  • Emotional Healing
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Inspiration
  • Prosperity
  • New Beginnings
  • Longevity

The most popular connotation for Wisteria is longevity. The reason for this is that the plant is known to live for a very long time. Some trees are over a hundred years old, and one in Japan is said to have been thriving for 1200 years. Considering planting some as a symbol of elegance and permanence.

Growing Wisteria

Wisteria is known to do well in zones 4-9. It does best in full or partial sun, and tolerates a wide variety of soils. If you are wondering which type to plant almanac.com tells us “Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) are not native to North America and are considered invasive species in some states. The native wisteria species, American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya), are great alternatives to the Asian species, so if you’re planning on adding a new wisteria to your garden, we suggest that you go with one of the North American species.”

Caution: All parts of the Wisteria plant are toxic to humans and pets, please do not ingest.

Be sure to check out the other Herb Magick posts on this blog, for information about Willow, Ginger, Vanilla, Chicory, and more. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share !

January 27, 2020

Weeping willow photo courtesy of pixabay. Licensed under CC 0.0

Witchcraft and Willow go hand and hand. Having properties of healing, creativity, protection, fertility and divination, it is honored in many different magickal traditions. In the Celtic tradition the Willow Moon time was said to occur from April 15 to May 12th. On Learnreligions.com Patti Wigington writes this ” moon was known to the Celts as Saille, pronounced Sahl-yeh. The Willow grows best when there’s lots of rain, and in northern Europe there’s no shortage of that this time of year. This is a tree associated with healing and growth, for obvious reasons.” In Conjure and Hoodoo the tree branches are one of the items used in making a conjure or controlling hand. In this case it is wrapped up with red and black peppers, pins and needles, to gain control over an individual. Obviously consider the ethics of this type of working before attempting anything. Controlling another will always come at a complicated price. But no matter what, this is a good component to keep in your magickal toolbox.

Goddesses Honored With Willow

These trees are nicknamed Goddess trees and many are associated with this plant.

Artemis– A goddess of the hunt, Artemis is offered honey cakes and willow branches.

Brighid– Honored most often on February 2 at Imbolc, Brighid is frequently given this plant as an offering.

Cerridwen– A Celtic goddess of the hearth and cauldron, Cerridwen is honored with bark as an offering.

Flora– This Roman Goddess of flowers is often offered this botanical.

Persephone – This famous Goddess of the underworld is also known to be partial to willow.

Luna– Willow is said to be connected to the moon, so it makes since that Luna a moon goddess is associated with this plant.

This wood is also often the chosen material for witch’s wands and brooms. For best results magickal tools like these should be handcrafted. Try your best to find a piece of wood that truly resonates with you, speaking on some level to both your heart and soul. Traditionally when making a broom Ash is used for the stick, Birch or Broom used for the brush itself, and bound with Willow in honor of the Goddess Hecate. Even Shakespeare mentions this magickal plant writing:

The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,

Sing all a green willow.

Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow.

~William Shakespeare, Othello

This post is part of our Herbal Magick series here on Voodoo Universe. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment and share !

October 6, 2019

Ginger root photo. Licensed under CC 0.0

Ginger is one of my go to spices for both magick and natural medicine. The botanical name for this plant is Zingiber officinale. People also call it Jamaican or African Ginger, as it is used heavily in both of those cuisines. Lots of people are also familiar with it as a primarily ingredient in Asian cooking, especially since it has been used in China starting around 500 BCE. Actually what is used most often isn’t really a root, but instead an underground stem. The English King Henry VIII was even known to recommend ginger as a way to combat plague.

It believed to by ruled both by the Sun and the planet Mars. In the Norse pantheon the plant is said to be honored by the Good Dwarves. While in the Hindu tradition Yogis and other Holy people are said to drink a fermented brew of ginger, pepper and lemon. Luckily for us, there are many different magickal uses for the plant.

Using Ginger in Your Magickal Life

  • Grow a Ginger plant in your home to promote luck and success.
  • Like I mention in my book Love Magic, you can carry it in your pocket to increase passion and sensual energy.
  • Tossing a root into the sea is said to calm any impending storms.
  • Sprinkled in your purse or wallet, the powdered root is said to attract money.
  • Added to incense it can be used to cleanse ritual tools and spaces.
  • In general this plant is said to raise psychic ability and awareness.
  • If you carve your initials into a piece of ginger and give it to your love, it is said to help solidify your relationship.
  • Place a piece directly under your bed to chase away nightmares.
  • Use this in connection with the Strength Tarot Card for greater understanding of this energy.

 

Please be sure to check out the other posts in our Herbal Magick series. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here, please remember to like, comment, and share !

July 22, 2019

Vanilla plant image by Karen Arnold. Licensed under CC 0.0

I’m all about Vanilla. I cook with it. I use it in my magick, and have even been known to wear it as a perfume. The botanical name for this delicious beauty is Vanilla planifolia.  This tasty bean comes to us from a species of Orchid, and can be used in your kitchen magick and elsewhere. The original Vanilla orchids were cultivated by Ancient Mexicans and were not used for eating at all but instead an aphrodisiac and a beauty aid. The pods were woven into the hair of young women to attract lovers, a practice I think we should bring back today. Later on in Mexico, Vanilla was used by the Aztecs as a culinary treat, being added to chocolate to make a tasty beverage fit for Kings and Queens.

Charles Darwin in his correspondence talked about this delightful plant “What frightful trouble you have taken about Vanilla; you really must not take an atom more; for the Orchids are more play than real work.”

It is used as an offering to the Orisha Oshún , the Goddess Hecate and other divinities. Like all the other orchids Vanilla is ruled by the planet Venus and the element of Water.

Magickal Properties of Vanilla

  • Beauty
  • Clarity
  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Healing
  • Romantic Love
  • Happiness
  • Prophecy
  • Empowerment
  • Energy

The Goddess Lilith has a special affinity for Vanilla. The following recipe uses it to honor her and bring love to the table.

Lilith Bites – These tiny delicious little bites are an ode to sensuality and decadence. They include chocolate which is known to stimulate the body and float it towards higher consciousness. It also includes Vanilla to help fill your life with love and happiness. This magickal recipe is great to use as an offering to Lilith, and/or to share with your lovers.

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon Baking powder
¾ teaspoon Baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups Sugar
1 ½ cups Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
9 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 Large Bowls
1 Small Bowl

Filling Ingredients:

8 Tablespoons sugar
6 ounces Cream Cheese
3 Tablespoons beaten egg
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¾ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, Baking powder, Baking soda, salt, Cocoa powder and sugar together in a bowl. In the other large bowl mix together the water, Vanilla, and Vegetable oil. Grease a mini muffin tin. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Fill each of the muffin cups half way full with batter. Next in the small bowl combine all the filling ingredients together. Mix well. Spoon one teaspoon of filling into each of the muffin cups. Top with remaining cake batter. Bake 15- 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. This will make approximately 24 mini cake bites. This can also be made into larger muffins or a single loaf, just adjust the timing accordingly.

As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like the post, comment below and share !

May 21, 2019

Maguey photo. Image courtesy of pixabay. Licensed under CC 0.0

Maguey (Agave spp.) also goes by the names Century plant, Miracle of Nature, Spiked Aloe, and Rattlesnake Master.  Most people are familiar with this powerful plant because it is an ingredient used in making tequila. Maguey is native to Mexico, and for some there it is considered the Tree of Life.

In Hoodoo and Conjure this herb is used in spells for passion and lust. You may wish to add some Maguey to your Gris Gris bags to bring sensual and lustful energy to your life and relationships. Some other useful herbs and oils to add if this is your desired intent would be patchouly, passion flower, hibiscus, ylang ylang, musk, vanilla, and red roses.

To flip the switch a little bit, the thorns of  Maguey are also used in hexing and controlling spells. Some people also use the thorns in magick where they are attempting to set boundaries.  An 1895 issue of the Journal of American Folk-lore tells of how legend says that there are ghostly phantoms that are said to appear to individuals giving them magick Agave thorns, these were said to bestow bravery, courage and strength. Another way the plant can be used is with the leaves. These are known to have healing properties but are also useful for writing or carving candles. Be careful though this plant can be toxic.

Santa Muerte is also very partial to Maguey as an offering. They are used in spells for her both as a single ingredient, and also in pulque and tequila. For more information about using this for the Bony Lady consider taking a look at Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, The Skeleton Saint by Andrew Chestnut.

This post is only one in our extensive Herbal Magic series, please take a look. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment and share !

April 15, 2019

Common Chicory flower photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

A rabbit sneeze on the morning breeze sets homesick hearts aglow sitting with his rumps in a chicory clump and longing for a nice plump doe. — Richard Adams

Chicory is one wonderful magickal edible. Growing just about anywhere, this herb is very hardy. It is found growing in Europe, Africa, America, and Australia and New Zealand. Also called succory, coffeeweed, and blue sailors, it has been used for its healing properties for almost 5,000 years. Over the years it has developed quite a reputation in Folklore and Mythology.

Chicory Lore

  • Put a piece in your pocket to help you get over past relationships
  • Chicory is one of the traditional herbs for Passover
  • Offerings of Chicory are said to remove barriers and obstacles
  • Greek mythology associated this herb with the nympth Clytia, lover of Apollo
  • The most magickal time for collection of this plant is said to be St. Peter’s Day – June 29th

 

In New Orleans Voodoo we know all about chicory. We use it our magick, and very importantly, in our coffee. In my post New Orleans Ritual Voodoo Coffee I write ” There are many different ritual coffee drinks used around the Afro-Diasporan world. Many of these are alcoholic and are used both as offerings to the Lwa, and fortification for the worshippers. This one is great for honoring the ancestors at Halloween, or Samhain. The following recipe is dedicated to my dear friends at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple (1428 N. Rampart st.) in New Orleans, and the coffeehouse Voobrew Café which used to be next door to the original location.” Then I give the following recipe :

Ingredients:

1 large cup dark roast coffee with chicory

1 dash light cream

1 pinch cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 dash dark rum ( we prefer Barbancourt)

1 tsp. cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy !

Please tell me your favorite uses for this herb below. As always if you have enjoyed anything you have read here please remember to like, comment, and share this post !




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