Showing posts from 2013

Temperance Banner

The new banner on this blog was created from a photo I took at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, USA.  It's of the Temperance sculpture dedicated by a Christian group in 1910.  While I don't agree with the extreme temperance movement (an oxymoron if there ever was one), the virtue of temperance itself is I believe worthy of respect.  Here is part of the definition taken from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition:
Moderation in action, thought, or feeling: restraint.Habitual moderation in the indulgence of the appetites or passions. How boring some would say and point out the quote I've seen attributed to Oscar Wilde, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain among others, "Moderation in all things, including moderation."  This quote is something I wish those pushing alcohol abstinence when this statue was erected would have taken to heart.

By no means am I temperate in all things.  But it's a personal goal I strive…

Oak Tree in Natural Medicine and Magic

The oak tree has long been associated with the Druids. These ancient priests are believed to have held a grove of oaks as a sacred meeting place. Its use in healing has been known for centuries as well as for building, which is no wonder in a tree known for its incredible strength and durability.

The Oak Tree in Natural Medicine

The bark of the oak brewed into a tea has been used for healing varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and reducing fevers. Acorns from the tree are also crushed and used in various herbal preparations including mixing with milk to help counteract reactions to medication.

Oak was one of the first Bach flower remedies. Dr. Edward Bach developed his oak essence to be used by those who suffered from instability and hopelessness drawing upon the tree's physical strength and ability to give shelter.

The Oak Tree in Spiritual and Magical Practice

As mentioned, the Druid priests considered a grove of trees, especially the oak, as a sacred space for religious communion and ri…

Ash Tree in Natural Medicine and Magic for Weight Loss and Spells of Creation & Destruction

The ash tree is prized for building and flexibility and has been used throughout time to make weaponry and useful household items. Spiritually, it has a special association in different cultures as being a tree of creation, destruction, and rebirth.  Some variations of the ash tree used in medicine and magic include the white, native to North America; the European, native to Europe; and the flowering, native to Europe and Asia.

Ash in Northern European and Celtic Mythology

In Northern European lore, the famed World Tree—Yggdrasill—may have been an ash or a yew. This tree is at the heart of the nine worlds. Each world has its own inhabitants, from Asgard as the realm of the gods and Midgard as the world most familiar to humankind; to Hel as the underworld and the subconscious. The creation, destruction, and rebirth of the worlds are woven into the mythology of Yggdrasill.

In Celtic lore, the ash was sacred, especially to warriors. Steve Blamires states in Celtic Tree Mysteries that the …

Walnut - Witchcraft Tree for Fertility Magic, Healing and Transitions

The walnut tree has provided food and material used for healing since the Roman times. Its long association with witchcraft once made the tree an object of suspicion and fear. Modern witches, however, hold the tree sacred and use it in folk magic and herbal remedies following in the footsteps of their ancient counterparts.

In much of Europe and Asia, the common walnut, also known as the English walnut, is widely cultivated for its delicious nuts. The most prevalent walnut trees in North America are the white or butternut walnut and the black walnut tree.

Walnut Trees in Natural Medicine

Besides being a favorite nut in baking recipes, the walnut itself contains the mineral manganese. Linda Rector Page, N.D., in Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone relates that one of the many benefits of manganese is supporting the brain and nerve centers. It also helps eliminate fatigue and nervous conditions.

The leaves from the tree are gathered in the spring or summer and dried for …

Willow Tree in Natural Medicine and Magic

The willow tree has been used medicinally and magically in cultures nearly worldwide. The Salix alba or white willow bending over lakes and ponds is what is most commonly associated with this tree. However, there are approximately 300 species within this genus in the form of trees and shrubs.

Willow in Natural Medicine

In the New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses, author Deni Bown relates that the anti-rheumatic properties of this plant are recorded on clay tablets of the Sumerian period as early as the 4th millennium BC. Bown also states willow was once a tree associated with grief in England where garlands of the leaves were worn in honor of departed loved ones.

Willow is considered a natural aspirin alternative. In fact, the active ingredient in aspirin is the synthetic acetylsalicylic acid, which is a derivative of salicylic acid in willow. Its pain-relieving and fever-reducing properties were known to Native Americans who brewed the bark into a tea for such purposes.

English …

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Midsummer, Summer Solstice or Litha.  By whatever name you call the holiday and however you celebrate may you have a beautiful summer season.

I've always loved Lisa Thiel's voice.  I found this tune on YouTube in honor of Litha.  Enjoy!

© Trish Deneen

Birch Tree Medicine and Magic for Sleep, Purification and Rites of Rebirth

*Previously published elsewhere; see note at end of article. This information is based on my understanding and research done at the time of original publication.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

The birch tree has many species including short trees and shrubs, but the two most well known are the tall white and paper (a.k.a. canoe) trees. The peeling bark was used to make paper and in the construction of canoes. The wood is used for household items such as items and kitchen ware. All parts of the tree have uses in natural medicine and magic.

Birch Tree in Natural Medicine

Oil extracted from birch bark is astringent and used in healing severe skin conditions such as eczema. Tea made from fresh leaves is used in breaking up small kidney stones. Tea made with either young leaves or the inner bark is used for rheumatic conditions and as a sleep aid.

Leaves of birches have diuretic properties and are used in teas along with young shoots as a laxative. All parts of th…

Georgian Wicca

The Georgian tradition is a branch of the Neo-Pagan, nature-based religion of Wicca. Its roots go back to the 1970s and include influences from older Wiccan traditions.  One of the stated goals from the Georgian Wicca website is to bring about understanding between different branches of Wicca and witchcraft.

The Founder of Georgian Wicca

This sect of the Craft takes its name from George Patterson, a World War II veteran who founded the tradition with Zanoni Silverknife and Tanith in 1970. The group became a legally recognized church in the state of California in 1971.

Influence from British Traditional Wicca

British Traditional Wicca is the term for those Wiccan traditions that can trace their lineage back to the New Forest area of England. While Georgian Wicca cannot claim this lineage, it is heavily influenced by BTW in that it is an oath-bound initiatory path.

Some of the sources drawn from to develop the Georgian tradition were Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, the New England Coven…

British Traditional Wicca

Note: This information is based on my understanding and research done at the time of original publication which has been several years.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.  The closest I've come to working with a traditional Wiccan coven is a Georgian Wiccan group.  They were great people, though I decided this wasn't the path for me.

British Traditional Wicca or BTW as it is commonly shortened to is a term that refers to branches of the Neo-Pagan religion Wicca that have origins in the New Forest area of England.

Origins of Wicca

Wicca is a nature-based, mystery religion that combines ancient and modern spiritual concepts. Gerald Gardner, a former British civil servant and folklorist, is credited with bringing Wicca to the public eye in the 1950s with publication of his book Witchcraft Today. He claimed to have been initiated into a coven of witches practicing an ancient strand of witchcraft in England. This group came to be known as …

Four Thieves Vinegar

Four thieves vinegar is used by modern witches, magicians, and hoodoo practitioners for personal protection against psychic attack and to banish an enemy from their surroundings. Being easy and cheap to whip up in the kitchen has made it a popular magical item.

Legends of the Four Thieves

There are several legends associated with the use of the vinegar. Perhaps the most well known is that of four thieves who lived during the time of the plague in France. They were caught for their thievery and imprisoned but were promised that if they buried the dead and lived, they would be set free.

The legend says that one of these thieves knew the art of herbalism well. He made some of the magical elixir to keep he and his friends safe from the plague as they were busy burying corpses. Other legends place this tale in Italy.

These legends have woven their way into folklore and permeated magical culture. A French origin is plausible since this recipe was and still is popular in hoodoo, which has str…

Cleansing Sacred Objects

Items used in ritual are tactile representations of their communion with the spiritual realm. These can include simple tools such as prayer beads, rocks, shells, and feathers to more elaborate items such statuary, altars and large cauldrons. Just what makes these objects sacred varies from each person. A rock on the beach may seem mundane to some but feel like the perfect devotional tool in the hands of someone else.

One belief among Pagans is that these objects can be charged with the energy they are to be used for such as healing, divination or devotion. Before this can happen, it is necessary to cleanse the items of previously imbued energy whether it is negative or otherwise. Below are some simple cleansing rituals that can be utilized for this purpose.


Smudging is the use of incense or herbal smoke to purify the item. This became very popular due to the use of sage in Native American inspired spirituality. A favorite incense can be used and tailored to the item's purp…

Ley Lines in America

One of my newest articles at Squidoo is becoming one of my most popular (note, Squidoo is now defunct, so this article has been moved to HubPages).  I've always been fascinated by the ley line theory and sacred sites.  If you believe the earth has grid system of energy points, then you might enjoy my intro article:  Ley Lines in America.  It's actually about ley lines in North and South America.  There were already articles there on ley lines in other parts of the world so I decided to focus on the Americas.  Enjoy.

© Trish Deneen

Top Ten Healing Crystals

Crystals are used in energy healing to affect a change on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual planes. Below is a listing of the metaphysical properties of ten popular stones that can be used to make gem elixirs, in laying on of stones and with meditation. This information is not meant to replace medical advice.

Agate - Stone of Inspiration

Agate is a chalcedony that comes in a variety of colors. Some characteristics that all agate share are intellectual stimulation and balance between the emotions and intellect. Some commonly known agate types are:

•Blue lace agate: This stone is used to increase effective communication and for treatment of throat ailments.
•Fire agate: A stone used to inspire action and freedom from inertia.
•Moss Agate: Elixirs made from this stone are used to treat skin problems, eye disorders and to aid digestion. It's a stone of prosperity and increases self esteem.

Amethyst - Meditation and Balance

Amethyst is a variety of quartz that comes in shades…

Odin's Associations in Myth and Magic

The Norse god Odin is often depicted as a fierce warrior, but that is just one of his many attributes. This is partly due to the fact that his worship differed among the tribes of pre-Christian Northern Europe as well as the evolution of his character over time. He is complex and at times mysterious, a god of life and death, poetry and magic who can provide inspiration for various types of magic and ritual.

Odin as Creator, All-Father and Wish-Father

The Norse creation myth begins with two worlds of fire and ice. From the meeting of these worlds, Ymir is born. He is the primal giant who created the first gods. Odin and his brothers, Vili and Ve, slayed most of the elder gods and from the body of Ymir created the world of men called Midgard as well as the inhabitants of that world. Vili and Ve are often seen as personality aspects of Odin, and he has eventually become the most well known of the three.

One of Odin's roles is as an All-Father or leader of the race of gods known as the…

Moon Phases in Magic

The moon has long been associated with mystery and magic. While timing magic with the phases of the moon isn't necessary for a spell to work, it definitely helps to give spells that extra push in the right direction.

Magic of this type is generally performed to coincide with either the waxing, waning, new and full cycles of the moon.

Moon Phases 
New Moon: Also called the dark moon. At this point in the cycle, the moon is in conjunction with the sun (between the sun and earth) when the light from the sun renders the moon invisible to the naked eye. Some consider this a time to rest from magic. It is also good for working darker magic and communing with dark deities such as Hecate and Lilith as well as darker aspects of the personality. This is also an excellent time for binding and banishing spells. Waxing Moon: The waxing phase is the time that the moon appears to be growing larger in crescents towards the right in the sky up until the point of the full moon. This appearance of the…

Odin's Journey for the Runes

The Norse god Odin is known for his traits both praised and loathsome. He ruled Asgard, the realm of the gods, and is called the All-Father, he who made the worlds with his two brothers, Vili and Ve. He also plays a major role in Northern European lore as the god who received the runes by his own shamanistic death journey.

Odin as God of Death

He is known as a battle god not so much for fighting but for choosing which warriors are to be slain. In this sense, he is a god of death and a psychopomp leading souls through the worlds. Many times though the Valkyries performed this task in his name. He was loved as a giver of wealth and good fortune yet feared for his association with death.

Odin as God of Communication and Magic

H.R. Ellis Davidson in Gods and Myths of Northern Europe links Odin's death aspect with his role as a god of magic. He brought forth the runes used in writing and spellcraft. Galdor (also spelled galdr) is the combination of poetry and rune carving both of which O…

Aleister Crowley Quotes on Magic and Will

*Previously published elsewhere - see note below
As magician Aleister Crowley told it, he was so mischievous his mother would call him Beast 666 in comparison to the evil biblical creature.  Later in his life, this famous occult figure continued to call himself the name as part of his rejection of what he believed to be oppressive societal standards.  His written works on the occult and magic have spawned a religious movement and influenced modern witchcraft. Here are some quotes from his most famous material.
Quintessential Crowley
Aleister Crowley's most well-known and talked about quote is from his seminal work Magick in Theory and Practice and states his idea of the nature of magic:
"Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will." The concept of the pure will of the individual was paramount in Crowley's philosophy and is touched upon below.
Wisdom from the Book of the Law
While on honeymoon in Egypt, Aleister Crowley's wife, R…

How to Make a Moon Elixir

 *Previously published elsewhere - see note below

Goddess-centered groups and other Pagans honor the phases of the moon in ceremony and magical practice. One reason for this is to bring the qualities of the moon into their lives including increased intuition, self-awareness, healing, magical ability and feminine power.  A simple moon elixir can be prepared and used by those who want to enhance their magical rites.

Lunar Phases for Magic

Before making the elixir, it's good to note what magical qualities each phase of the moon possesses. The elixir will then take on the quality of that particular phase. Below is a brief explanation of lunar phases:
Full moon:  This is the peak time to perform spells for increased wealth, health and romance as well as protection.Waning moon:  Rituals of release and letting go of unwanted things, habits and relationships.New moon:  A good time for banishment and binding spells.Waxing moon:  This phase lends its energy to attraction of material, emotiona…

Singing Crystal Bowls Meditation

I used to belong to a women's group that would meet mainly for full-moon ceremonies.  Occasionally, one of the members would bring her set of crystal singling bowls to include in a pre-ritual meditation.  They were incredibly effective in raising the vibration of the group and ritual space.

Tibetan Buddhists utilize singing bowls in ritual and they are believed to have an ancient origin but I'm not sure if the origins are clear.  They've been popular with New-Agers and Pagans alike as well as yoga practitioners and alternative healers.  As sound is a powerful vibratory force, it only makes sense that it can affect us on that level.

This meditation by Luminous Energies on YouTube is very relaxing, but there's just nothing like being in the same room with them.  There are sets that are sold with bowls that correspond to each chakra and are named with notes, C note, B note, etc.

 © Trish Deneen

How to Make a Gem Elixir

Gem elixirs store the properties of crystals in liquid form. They're also called crystal or gem essences and are used for healing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Below are instructions for making personal gem elixirs with variations. Disclaimer:  This is not meant to replace medical advice but to act as a complement to traditional health care.

Materials Needed to Make Elixirs

The materials needed to make gem elixirs can be easily found and are listed below. Crystals are often sold in metaphysical shops or online. Most of the items listed can be purchased at a grocery or drug store. The amber dropper bottles can be found online at natural health outlets including those that sell aromatherapy supplies.
Crystal of choice (polished or well-cleaned stones are best to prevent raw material from getting into the elixir)Distilled or spring waterGlass bowlGlass jarAmber dropper bottles (optional)Brandy or cider vinegar (optional)Prepare Crystals for Use

Crystals must fir…

Chaos Magic and Sigils

Chaos magicians have a penchant for using sigils in their rites. Sigils are symbols used to create reality according to the will of the magician. Since symbols have resonated deeply with humanity for thousands of years, this is an especially powerful way to practice magic.

Attributes of Chaos Magic

Unlike what the name implies, chaos magic is hardly chaotic. It can be, but the point is to be freed of cultural programming in order to bring about true change. In this sense, chaos is the cathartic element that pushes the magician past restrictive personal boundaries.

Chaos magicians stay away from a dogmatic approach. Instead, they believe in embracing different belief systems as a means to an end. For instance, for one rite, they may immerse themselves in ceremonial magic techniques and for another may use a more nature-based ritual to achieve success in their work.

A.O. Spare - Pioneer in Chaos Magic

Austin Osman Spare, an early 20th century English artist and occultist, pioneered chaos …

Holy Harmony by Jonathan Goldman

I've recently discovered Jonathan Goldman who creates beautiful music for healing and meditation.  I used to be much more in the loop regarding these types of artists when I worked in the alternative health field.  I'm sorry I've missed out on Mr. Goldman's work all these years, but I'm making up for it now.

This music is from his CD Holy Harmony.  From the Amazon description, this music includes sounds of:
" ...tuning forks of the complete healing codes of the Bible, and the choral chant of YHSVH, an ancient Hebrew sacred name of Christ." To me, this is a deeply prayerful piece.

You can learn more about Jonathan Goldman at his website.

© Trish Deneen

Chakra and Flame Psychic Self-Defense Meditation

Psychic self-defense is a term used to describe protection from unwanted influences whether or not they're from intentional psychic attack, also known as psychic vampirism. This can be from an outside source or from self-destructive behavior. One technique used for protection is visually bathing the body in the colors of the chakra system and encasing it in a protective blue flame.

Chakras, Psychic Attack and Psychic Vampires

According to psychologist and founder of the International Parapsychology Research Foundation, Joe Slate, in his book Psychic Vampires: Protection From Energy Predators and Parasites, psychic vampirism is an energetic phenomenon that leaves victims feeling lethargic, emotionally drained and even physically ill.

An energetic field surrounding the body, has been recorded by techniques such as Kirlian photography. Metaphysical practitioners and researchers including Slate call this field the aura and believe it can extend several feet out from the body and be wea…