So here we are post number 100 writing these posts is one of the most fun things I do and there is many more yet to come, it started with MAGICK MONDAYS, WITCHY WEDNESDAYS and FREYJA’S FRIDAYS back when I first started A DESCENT INTO DARKNESS, they were quite small often one paragraph facts but have grown into bigger articles alongside my own experience growing in both magick and norse knowledge and now I have TYR’S TUESDAYS and THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS to add to those, meaning I now post 5 days a week, but your here for an article so here it is…
MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE POSTS FROM Witchy Wednesdays….
Witchy Wednesdays #38 Hellebore
Hellebore are a member of the buttercup family and extremely poisonous, native to most of Europe and north America. They come in many varieties with different colours but they all have a five petalled flower which blooms for long periods of time throughout winter and early spring. The name, Helleborus comes from the Greek elein, meaning injure and bora, meaning food, a reference to the plant's poisonous nature. Alexander the Great, supposedly, died of Hellebore poisoning while being treated for an illness. Hellebore was an ingredient in the legendary "flying ointment" and it has long association with witches and witchcraft.Hellebore was traditionally used as a cure for poisoning of livestock and was considered by the ancient Greeks to be a cure for insanity. It was also used as a powerful purgative. This is a baneful herb which should never be ingested and you should wear gloves when handling it. It is used in magic for healing of mental and emotional afflictions and for banishing and exorcisms. It has been used also for increasing intelligence and for protection and invisibility spells.The plant was dried and powdered and scattered around the person to be made invisible. The roots may also be carved in a manner similar to mandrake. The plant is believed to cause madness and can be used for vengeance and cursing.Finally, with this being a really poisonous plant Avoid using it as much as possible but if you do make sure you wear gloves and do not ingest any. The one good thing is that it tastes really bad as well so you are unlikely to ingest it.
Witchy Wednesdays #16 Nettles
Stinging nettles are usually classed as a weed but they have much more about them than people think. They are prominent in America, part of Asia and of course Europe. They grow to around 3 or 4 feet tall and are predominantly green. The common feature is the hairy leaves , the being made of a silica that when when broken by your skin can release histamines irritating the skin. Nettle leaves produce a green dye which was used in war time Europe the make camouflage and is used to this day in Germany to keep canned vegetables looking a healthy green. It is one of the herbs used in the 9 herb charm along with Mugwort, Cockspur Grass, Lambs Cress, Plantain, Mayweed, Crab apple, Thyme and Fennel. Burning it is said to drive away evil spirits and if ground into powder can break curses. Steeping the leaves in boiling water for 10 mins then straining will leave you with a broth or nettle tea the steam will have destroyed the stings. Steamed nettles can also be used as a tasty alternative for any spring greens and are high in vitamins A and C and loaded with iron. No wonder butterflies go mad for them.
Witchy Wednesdays #46 Devils Claw
Devils Claw is a member of the sesame family and is native to South Africa. It is a creeping plant and has greeny grey irregular leaves growing from stalks. When it flowers it has tubular style flower heads these can be yellow or red but can even be purple and even white varieties have been noted. Its fruit however gives its name, They are woody, oval capsules filled with seeds and protected by rows of long, horned arms and spines that extend in all directions. The best part however is he tuber and it has many uses. Today Devil’s Claw is becoming rare. Of the 3 countries in which it is found, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, it is endangered in two. The tragedy is that untrained harvesters collect not just the tuber but also the root, killing the plant for good. The San peoples have used it for fevers, muscle pain, inflammation, venereal disease, blood diseases, diabetes, coughs and gout. In modern medicine it has been show efficacious for pain, inflammation and arthritis. It is the tuber which holds all the medicinal part, and must be taken for a few weeks to see any effect however. Finally devil’s claw is mixed with water or brewed into a tea and used as a bitter to stimulate digestion. In Magick, burning it on charcoal while casting a circle will help clear any energies leaving he area clear for magick workings. It can also be used in the same way to clear any house of negative or unwanted energies. The seed pods of Devil’s Claw, named for their threatening shape, make excellent protective charms. Placing it around the door of your home or building will protect the property from bad or evil spirits.
Witchy Wednesday #60 Burdock
Burdock is an iconic member of the thistle family and is a native of both Europe and America. It has very large, waxy leaves similar to those of the rhubarb plant and has large purple coloured spiky flower heads. It can grow between 3 and 5 foot in height on average. In 1948 George de Mestral, a Swiss inventor, created Velcro after walking his dog and noticing the ‘burs’ from Burdock sticking to his dog.
Burdock was commonly used in cooking in the UK in times past but has long been forgotten about. In Asia Burdock is still used to this day where it is collected commercially and called Gobo. Take a decoction of 1 ounce herb to 1 ½ pint of water, boiled down to a pint, one teacupful per day as a blood purifier and for scurvy, boils and rheumatic afflictions. The roots may be eaten like any root vegetable. It is crispy and sweet and mild. Scrub the root and slice it thin. Simmer it for twenty minutes, until tender in butter or water. In the UK there is a pop called dandelion and burdock which is a fairly popular soft drink.
Magickally Burdock, also known as Bat weed, is cleansing, uncrossing, and protective. To make a Purifying Scrub, brew Burdock root into a tea with Broom Corn, Rosemary, and/or Lemon Grass, strain the tea, and add it to scrub water to purify the premises. Burdock is used in rituals, amulets and spells to ward off negativity and for general protection. It can be used in potions, ritual baths, incense and amulets. Also used for general healing. The root can be carved into a figure, dried and carried or worn as a protective amulet. It is also used magically to enhance male potency and restore hair growth.
Witchy Wednesdays #76 Ash
The ash tree simply known as ash is a name for around 60-65 species of deciduous tree, native to Europe and the Americas as well as parts of Asia. The seeds which it gives are known as keys or Helicopter seeds and the leaves are opposite along the stem in bunches of three. The hardwood coming from the tree is highly prized and often used for sports equipment. The tree's common English name, "ash", traces back to the Old English æsc, while the generic name originated in Latin. Both words also mean "spear" in their respective languages.
The first humans of Norse Lore were Ask and Embla. Ask from the old Norse askr "ash tree"The Ash tree and in Norse mythology is seen as the world tree Yggdrasil or Cosmic Ash. In 19th Century England and France. If a person had fever or toothache, they buried their fingernail and toenail clippings under an Ash tree because they believed it would help cure the ailment. Ash bark can make an infusion that is a mild laxative and diuretic. The root bark is the most potent, and was used to treat liver diseases and arthritic rheumatism. Other uses include reduce fever, treat kidney and urinary infections, expel intestinal parasites, and treating malaria. Boil 1 teaspoon full in 250ml of water and infuse for 3 mins drinking 3 times daily as a medicinal drink. The ash exudes a sugary substance that is suggested to have been fermented to create the Norse Mead of Inspiration.Irish folklore claims that shadows from an ash tree would damage crops. In Cheshire, ash was said to be used to cure warts and rickets. In Sussex, the ash tree and the elm tree were known as "Widow makers" because large boughs would often drop without warning.
Magickally Ash is a good wood to use for wands, staves and besom handles. It has a nice grain, it's sturdy and its reputation as a lightening magnet demonstrates that it is a good attractor and conductor of energy. Sleep with ash leaves under your pillow to received prophetic dreams. Carry a leaf of ash in your pocket for good luck. Ash wood was used for the traditional handle of the besom broom. Druid wands were often made of ash because of its straight grain, and the poles of witches' brooms were often made of ash and was representative of protection and strength. Ash, Oak and Hawthorn make up the triad of powerful faery trees. If you stand in the shadow of an Ash, the Fae will leave you alone. Put Ash berries in a baby's crib and the Fae will not steal it and leave a changeling in its place.
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