Herbs, Oils, Crystals and Metals

April 5, 2008 at 1:00 am (magic, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, shamanism)

So this is going to be a tricky post to write, for the simple fact that unless i want to upload encyclopedias and violate copyright laws, it’s kind of hard to write anything succinct or meaningful.  Oh well, I love uphill battles so here we go.

Herbs

Herbs have many uses, there are the mudane uses such as ornamentation and culinary, then there are medicinal and then magical.  I’m not interested in discussing mudane uses of them, but ritually they have a very important roles as symbols.  Psychologically, when you add an herb to a spell, there are unconcious attributes to whatever herb your adding that serve as a trigger within you to affect the desired result.  The first thing a spell changes is you, ie your internal world shapes your external world, and when you cast a spell, you are changing that internal unconcious world and thereby, creating the desired effect in the outer world.  Herbs are a tangible tool to use.  Make no mistake you need nothing but yourself to cast a spell, but symbolism and physical tools help to create a more powerful result, because your physically doing something, instead of just mumbling to yourself (besides, people might look at you funny)  There also is the consideration that the plants have energies of their own and if you harvest them respectfully, they’ll impart their energies into your work.  In my own personal use, I use sage regularly as incense.  I guess it gives some people headaches, but for me its a piercing smell that is a trigger for me to enter into that theta state.  It is symbolically an herb of wisdom.  Other herbs that come to mind are ivy for fidelity, basil for money, rose petals for love (red for passionate, white for virginal).  I use a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, bay and rosemary as a purification powder for use in place of salt in ritual space clearing.  A really good book to pick up for this purpose is Cunninghams Encyclopedia of herbs.  I believe that “to ride a Silver Broomstick” has a basic list, as does Green witchcraft.  You also can make up uses as you see fit.  If a plant or natural object (such as a pine cone or piece of bark) holds a special significance for you, then use it.  That would be more powerful than any “approved use” from someone elses list.  For me, I did an Earth mindfulness spell that I used a piece of birch bark for that was given to me on a walk with an old friend of mine.  It became symbolic of the Earth, and the spell worked.

Oils

Oils also are one of those things that have both mundane and magical uses.   I primarily use them in purifying roles although I have also used them in an awakening/anointing aspect.  The four oils I have used the most are frankincense, sandalwood and then violet and white musk in conjunction.  The frankincense and sandalwood are just precious oils, both being in use as purifiers since ancient times.  White Musk and Violet I use also for the same purpose of anointing my brow and purifying myself before invoking the Lord and Lady, they are balancing to the Crown Chakra, and being a woman, that is the highest feminine chakra (its just the highest chakra period).  I also have used oils ceremonially to animate guardian totems.  I have two foo lions that I place outside my front door wherever I live.  I smudged (incense smoke waved over an object) and anointed them and invested them with energy and intent, so far they seem to have worked, I swear they get fiercer looking every year.

Crystals

Crystals are just plain fun.  Maybe I’m weird but I like rocks, especially if they are pretty colored ones.  They have all sorts of uses, but generally they serve to magnify and impart their energies to any given working.  I use obsidian, placed in a window to ward against a particular negative influence, rose quartz attracts true love, shiva linga restores faith in male power, tigers eye protects, amethyst invokes dreams, moonstone amplifies empathy and psychic power, jade and sapphire are said to attract wealth.  As with herbs and oils, there are encyclopedias that go into depth on the subject and can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about any stone.

Metals

Metals also have their own energies.  The Ancient Egyptian alchemists created a metal in their tinkerings that as far as I can gather was the ultimate dark energy metal.  It was the anti-dross I guess and was proported to be extremely powerful and very sought after.  The three common ones are gold, silver and iron.  Gold attracts wealth (duh) and is associated with the sun and as such useful for solar workings.  Silver is associated with the moon and is associated with dreams and intuition, lunar workings.  Iron is a metal of protection and strength.  Metallurgy is not something that is quite so common, there aren’t as many books floating around as there are on the three previously mentioned subjects, but that is in no way a diminishment of their importance.  Pay attention to the jewelery you wear, as impure metals will actually detract from your aura/energy.  If you don’t believe me, take a piece of pure gold, no matter how small, and then a piece of diluted impure metal.  Extent your arm out from your shoulder so that it is parrallel to the ground.  Hold the gold in your hand and have someone press down on your arm.  Then switch to the impure metal, and have your friend push down again.  You will be amazed at the result.  For the record I only wear pure metals, crystals or gems, or hemp necklaces with semi-precious stones for charms.  Impure metals are weakening. 

So there you go, there is you’re crash course on herbs, oils, crystals and metals.  It would be a wise investment for any aspiring adept to buy encyclopedias on the subject, you will find them invaluable.

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