Monday, September 6, 2010

Herb Day ~ Hyssop ~ To Purify and Cleanse

Hyssop, to purify and cleanse. 
For this herb I am going to start with some history and background.  I am going to be pulling from various sources. 

The botanical name for Hyssop is Hyssopus officinalis.

Folk Names:  Hyssop Herb, Isopo, Ysopo, Yssop

What does it look like? 

Hyssop is an evergreen plant, this means it will be around all year long.  I have found that in my area that is best to cut it back before the snows so that it is easy to maintain when spring comes and the plant begins to grow in earnest.  The plant grows in a bush configuration reaching about 2 feet tall and about 3 feet across at the most.  The stems are woody and have thin leaves all along it.  The tops eventually get long spikes of blue-purple flowers which will attract a multitude of bees.  The plant can be spread by seeds, cuttings, or splitting. 

So what can you do with it?  I am going to quote from a very interesting tome, Culpeper' Complete Herbal.
The herb is Jupiter's, and the sign Cancer.  It strengthens all the parts of the body under Cancer and Jupiter; which what they may be, is found amply described in my astrological judgement of diseases.  Dioscorides saith, that Hyssop boiled with Rue and Honey, and drank, helps those that are troubled with coughs, shortness of breath, wheezing and rheumatic distillation upon the lungs; taken also with oxymel, it purges gross humours by stool; and with Honey, kills worms in the belly; and with fresh and new figs bruised, helps to loosen the belly, and more forcibly if the root of Flower-de-luce and cresses be added thereto.  It amends and cherishes the native colour of the body, spoiled by the yellow jaundice; and being taken with figs and nitre, helps the dropsy and spleen; being boiled with wine, it is good to wash inflammations, and takes away the black and blue spots and marks that come by strokes, bruises, or falls being applied with warm water.  It is an excellent medicine for the quinsy, or swellings in the throat, to wash and gargle it, being boiled with figs; it helps the toothache, being boiled in vinegar and gargled therewith.  The hot vapours of the decoction taken by a funnel in at the ears, eases the inflammations and singing noise of them.  Being bruised, and salt, honey, an cummin seed put to it, helps those that are stung by serpents.  The oil thereof (the head being anointed) kills lice, and takes away itching of the head.  It helps those that have the falling sickness, which way soever it be applied.  It helps to expectorate tough phlegm, and is effectual in all cold griefs or diseases of the chests or lungs, being taken either in syrup or licking medicine.  The green herb bruised and a little sugar but thereto, doth quickly heal any cut or green wounds, being thereunto applied.
From the book, The Healing Herbs.
Herpes.  Hyssop inhibits the growth of herpes simplex virus, which causes genital herpes and cold sores.  Try the infusion in a compress if you have this chronic, recurring, infection.
Cough.  Hyssop oil contains several soothing camphorlike constituents and one expectorant chemical (marrubiin), which loosens phlegm so it can be coughed up more easily.  Scientific sources agree it's a "reasonably effective" treatment for the cough and respiratory irritation of colds and flu.

Okay, I know what it is used for.  How do I use it?  Again this information is from The Healing Herb.
To make a compress, use 1 ounce of dried herb per pint of boiling water.  Steep for 15 minutes and cool.  Soak a clean cloth in the infusion and apply to cold sores and genital herpes as needed.  For an infusion, use 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water.  Steep 10 minutes.  Drink up to 3 cups a day to treat cough.  Hyssop has a strong, camphorlike smell and tastes bitter.  Add sugar, honey, or lemon, or mix it with an herbal beverage blend to improve flavor.  If you prefer a tincture, use 1 teaspoon up to three times a day.  Hyssop should not be given to children under the age 2.  For older children and people over 65, start with low strength preparations and increase strength if necessary.
The has a wonderful tea recipe.
'Infuse a quarter of an ounce of dried hyssop flowers in a pint of boiling water for ten minutes; sweeten with honey, and take a wineglassful three times a day, for debility of the chest. It is also considered a powerful vermifuge.' (Old Cookery Book.)

Magickal References.
Gender is of Masculine
Planet is of Jupiter
Element is of Fire
Powers are of Purification and Protection
It can be added to bath sachets, infused and sprinkled on objects or persons to cleanse them.  Sprigs of Hyssop can be hung in the home to purge it of evil and negative energies.

Spells.  Hyssop (as an herb) may be used in as an ingredient or substitute for magick spells and formulas related to Jupiter matters (growth, legal matters, luck, meditation, money, prosperity, settling legal matters, and spirituality).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rituals and Ceremonies -- Cleansing a space.

In most Pagan traditions it is very important to purify or cleanse a space prior to beginning any sort of ritual. Although there are a different ways of doing this, how you do it will depend on the tradition you follow as well as what you feel comfortable with.

Usually, when ritually purifying an area, most do it deosil and spiraling inwards to the center. There are times when moving in a widdershins direction is appropriate, most notably for Banishing Ritual.

These methods are some examples of common ways to cleanse a space for ritual.


Smudging uses smoke, which will carry negative energy away from the area. Traditionally White Sage is used, however, other dried herbs can be added, such as Cilantro, Cedar, Lavender and Mugwort. The herbs are bound with string into a bundle, which is commonly referred to as a “stick”.

When lighting the bundle, try to make it flame for a moment if possible, then blow the flame out. This will leave you with a smoldering, smoking herb bundle. Once you have achieved the smoldering bundle stage it is time to smudge the house.

Now you don’t take the bundle and rub it on the walls and other things in the room, which would make a mess and probably ruin a few things and maybe even start a nice fire. What you do is this. Hold the smoldering bundle in one hand or in a heatproof object, like a shell. With either a fan or your free hand you waft the smoke to the edges of the room, making sure to get it into the corners.

When you have finished smudging you can either snuff out the smoldering end of the bundle by setting it into some sand or by crushing the end. An alternative method is to douse it under a bit of water, making sure to let it dry completely before attempting to use it again.

By long tradition, the broom is associated with cleaning and purification. The broom can be either a special one used solely for ritual cleansing or even your household broom. Use a broom or besom going around the edges of the space, with your intent being to sweep negativity away as you go. Here's a good idea. Start and finish near a door--that way, negative energy is swept outside, rather quite literally.

Asperging is the sprinkling with a liquid in order to effect spiritual and magical cleansing. Most people will associate Asperging with the Catholic Church, however the practice is also widely used by pagans for cleansing prior to rituals.

It can be accomplished in many ways. The simplest of these is to have a premixed liquid of your choice and bundle of fresh herbs that you can dip into the water. Then you take the herbs, dip them in the liquid and with a quick flick you throw the liquid off the herb and into area or onto the object to be cleansed. You don’t want or need to have a lot of liquid being thrown though. Just small droplets are perfect. Herbs that are prefect to use are Sage, Lavender, Vervain, Hyssop, Pine, Rue and Rosemary.

Another option that can be used quite effectively to cleanse a space is the use of incense. This can be either in cone form, stick, or powder and charcoal. The incense should be for working with cleaning, purification and even protection if you want to add that bit into the cleansing.

During your cleansing and purification of your space you can also include a little chant to augment the process. There are many to be found on the Internet as well as in books. You might even have one in mind already, in that case write it down so you will remember it for the next time you want to cleanse a room.

In addition to the above, I also ensure that the space is physically cleaned as well. I try to use a non-toxic homemade cleanser to do this. How you physically clean is of course up to you.

I would be remiss if I didn’t do a shameless plug for our online store where we carry many items that are perfect for what I have just talked about. Stop by Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace today and order cleansing supplies.

Blessed Be!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Herb Day ~ MULLEIN ~ Just what the heck it is.

Mullein, I am sure many of you have seen this very interesting plant but never gave it a second thought.  I was in that arena as well until we started to sell it in our online store, Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace.  We were selling pounds of it to people all over the country and even some overseas.  That led me to do some research to find out why it was in such high demand. 

I seached many sites and blogs and such to find that most all the information was the same.  I settled on one particular site, and the page on Mullein.  So here is what all the fuss is about.

Mullein's Botanical name is Verbascum thapsus.

Through history, Mullein has been known by many names.  Here they are - White Mullein. Torches. Mullein Dock. Our Lady's Flannel. Velvet Dock. Blanket Herb. Velvet Plant. Woollen. Rag Paper. Candlewick Plant. Wild Ice Leaf. Clown's Lungwort. Bullock's Lungwort. Aaron's Rod. Jupiter's Staff. Jacob's Staff. Peter's Staff. Shepherd's Staff. Shepherd's Clubs. Beggar's Stalk. Golden Rod. Adam's Flannel. Beggar's Blanket. Clot. Cuddy's Lungs. Duffle. Feltwort. Fluffweed. Hare's Beard. Old Man's Flannel. Hag's Taper.  It is quite interesting to see how people find names for things.  Many of the name are created because of how the plant looks.  The leaves are soft, felt-like and spongy so that explains some of them.  Other names originated because of the use as a torch. 

So where do you find Mullein?  That is quite easy.  Pretty much everywhere. 
From the - "the Great Mullein, is a widely distributed plant, being found all over Europe and in temperate Asia as far as the Himalayas, and in North America is exceedingly abundant as a naturalized weed in the eastern States. It is met with throughout Britain (except in the extreme north of Scotland) and also in Ireland and the Channel Islands, on hedge-banks, by roadsides and on waste ground, more especially on gravel, sand or chalk. It flowers during July and August."
Now this bit says that in North American it is a 'naturalized weed'.  While this is how most agencies view this wonder plant, it is far from a 'weed'.  Here in Colorado, it is found in pastures, open-space, along roads, along rivers and lakes, and even in some yards.  If you are looking for Mullein in your area just head to local undeveloped field or open-space, it just might be there. 

Pray tell, what does it look like? 
Mullein has two growing seasons so it will look different depending on which season it is in.  Season one it will be close the ground and have only a rosette of leaves between 6-15 inches long.  In the second season the rosette of leaves will have a stem rise from the center.  The stem will have alternating leaves similar to the lower rosette.  As the stock reaches full height of between 4-5 feet tall a flower spike will emerge and this will house the many yellow flowers of the Mullein plant. 

So what can you do with this herb?  The as a wonderful piece on this.  I am posting it here for your reference.

The Mullein has very markedly demulcent, emollient and astringent properties, which render it useful in pectoral complaints and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The whole plant seems to possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties.

It is considered of much value in phthisis and other wasting diseases, palliating the cough and staying expectoration, consumptives appearing to benefit greatly by its use, being given in the form of an infusion, 1 OZ. of dried, or the corresponding quantity of fresh leaves being boiled for 10 minutes in a pint of milk, and when strained, given warm, thrice daily, with or without sugar. The taste of the decoction is bland, mucilaginous and cordial, and forms a pleasant emollient and nutritious medicine for allaying a cough, or removing the pain and irritation of haemorrhoids. A plain infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water can also be employed, taken in wineglassful doses frequently.

The dried leaves are sometimes smoked in an ordinary tobacco pipe to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes, and will completely control, it is said, the hacking cough of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefit when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs in general.

Fomentations and poultices of the leaves have been found serviceable in haemorrhoidal complaints.

Mullein is said to be of much value in diarrhoea, from its combination of demulcent with astringent properties, by this combination strengthening the bowels at the same time. In diarrhea the ordinary infusion is generally given, but when any bleeding of the bowels is present, the decoction prepared with milk is recommended.

On the Continent, a sweetened infusion of the flowers strained in order to separate the rough hairs, is considerably used as a domestic remedy in mild catarrhs, colic, etc.

A conserve of the flowers has also been employed on the Continent against ringworm, and a distilled water of the flowers was long reputed a cure for burns and erysipelas.

An oil produced by macerating Mullein flowers in olive oil in a corked bottle, during prolonged exposure to the sun, or by keeping near the fire for several days, is used as a local application in country districts in Germany for piles and other mucus membrane inflammation, and also for frost bites and bruises. Mullein oil is recommended for earache and discharge from the ear, and for any eczema of the external ear and its canal. Dr. Fernie (Herbal Simples) states that some of the most brilliant results have been obtained in suppurative inflammation of the inner ear by a single application of Mullein oil, and that in acute or chronic cases, two or three drops of this oil should be made to fall in the ear twice or thrice in the day.

Mullein oil is a valuable destroyer of disease germs. The fresh flowers, steeped for 21 days in olive oil, are said to make an admirable bactericide. Gerarde tells us that 'Figs do not putrifie at all that are wrapped in the leaves of Mullein.'

An alcoholic tincture is prepared by homoeopathic chemists, from the fresh herb with spirits of wine, which has proved beneficial for migraine or sick headache of long standing, with oppression of the ear. From 8 to 10 drops of the tincture are given as a dose, with cold water, repeated frequently.
I have found the plant.  Now what do I do?
Well that depends on what you intend to make.  If you are going to make the ear oil, you just need to harvest the flowers from the plants.  This can be quite a challenge given that the flowers have no stems.  It is best to get the flowers that have fully opened and are near the bottom of the spike.  These are easier to remove.
If you are interested in the Mullein Tea then you will need the leaves of the plant.  These can either be obtained by removing them individually from the lower part of the plant (not the ones at the very bottom as they are usually damaged and don't do well).  Remembering to only remove some of the leaves and move to the next plant, this is done to ensure the plant survives to produce the seeds needed to self populate.  Another method is to remove the whole plant by cutting at the base just above the bottom leaves.  I would recommend this only if the area you are harvesting from has a large number of plants.  Once you have the entire plant, it can be hung like other herbs to dry and the entire plant processed as needed. 

More detailed information on the uses can be found at The

If you aren't inclined to head out and harvest the herbs yourself we have this herb and many others available in our store at Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace.

Next week is Hyssop. (a rush of ohs and ahs fills the room)

Blessed Be!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Healthcare ~ Will the Village Healer return?

A friend and I were having lunch the other day and we had broached a few varying topics during our discussions, but one peaked my interest.  The subject was; with the rising costs of health care and the somewhat lack luster attempt at reforming the nations health care policies, how long will it be before we see a return of the shamans, medicine men/women, and village healers. 
First let us travel back to the time before we had the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), government run health care, and expensive physicians.  It is known that in many settlements in Europe there was a person or persons whom you would visit if you became ill or injured.  That person knew all there was to know about the ailments and how to remedy them.  They knew which flowers made a person sleep peacefully. They knew which leaves of plants that grew wild in the forests and meadows would clear a cough or sooth an upset stomach.  They also knew which of these would cause harm and even death. there a place for this kind of person now?  I think it would be quite interesting to be driving down the street and see a sign for an apothecary run by a shaman or witch.  Of course there would be resistance from all different directions.  The FDA would surely raise a stick about the fact there wouldn't be any regulation by them.  But you know that not everything has to be under the watchful eyes of the government.  I bet there would be something from the religious groups opposing the non-traditional aspect of the shops.  But honestly what would be the harm.
Of course there will have to be some watchfulness to make sure that whomever is running the shop is doing so ethically and not harming anyone and selling baneful items.  That is just sensible responsibility. 
I have a huge book that has a bunch of herb listed as well as the healing properties they imbue.  I found a treatment for Herpes using a common garden herb, a treatment for coughs by using many different herbs that are found growing wild in many fields and many other ailments. 

This is just something to think of.  Another way for things to change in a time of change. 

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day for work, fun and finding my place.

I have made a decision that I am going to break up my day. I will start with by working on the online store, Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace. I have to finish adding images, ISBN numbers and more descriptions to th books that I have uploaded. Shouldn't take long. After some other things it is going to be time for me to return to World of Warcraft.

I am excited to get my confirmation card for my registration to Dragonfest 2010. Nice that they also included a small check list for things I should pack.

My final quarter for my Year and a Day is coming up. Unfortunately I won't make the first class because of a prior commitment.

I also really need to find a way somehow to set aside a place in this crowded house for me. I had a place at one time but it has since been taken. I just need a quiet place to reflect, meditate and honor the Goddess and God in my life. I too long without it and I am starting to feel disconnected even though I know I am never really disconnected from the divine. So the search begins.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dark of the Moon

Today, June 12th is the New Moon or Dark Moon. This is a time for beginning spells that you want to come to fruition on the next Full Moon which is going to be June 26th at 7:30am. This months Dark moon is going to at 7:15am, Moon will be Void of Course at 7:35pm till 9:50pm so avoid any working during that time.

While reading all the blogs I have chosen to follow I found a great poem on Hecate's Blog.

Dark of the moon, new beginnings.
Dark of the moon, plant a seed tonight.
Dark of the moon, what we envision,
Will come to be, in the Full Moon's light.

Truly a wonderful little chant.

May all your workings bear fruit.
Blessed Be

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Online Spell Casters Can Be Bad.

If you search the internet for 'spells online' you can find millions of returns. 'Love spells' returns over 2 million options. Along with the many 'free' spells you will also find those who take payment to 'cast on your behalf' spells.

Now I have a problem with the people that charge for casting a spell let alone doing it online when you have no direct connection with the individual that the spell is for. I have always felt that charging for doing a spell is wrong.

I also wonder about how these people actually work the spells. I have checked some websites and I am find it quite distressing and even a little silly.

One particular website (name and URL withheld), has spells that cover the traditional spells of love and money but they also have one to break up another couples relationship and a punisher spell. I looked at the specifics of the 'spells' and there is no actual casting done, instead they have a psychic 'use his abilities' to effect the change desired by the spell. So does this still count as a spell? Not to me it doesn't.

What people charge for these spells can be just disgusting. The above mentioned website only charges $39.00 per spell. I found a website that has an 'invisibility cap spell' and they charge $500.00 for the 'formula' to make the cap turn you invisible for real. See like I said just silly.

I wonder what people are thinking when they are going to these 'snake oil salesman' for spell to fix their lives? Love spells can be tricky business because you don't want to infringe on a persons free will. Also if you think about it, the feeling will be fake. Also, when the spell breaks there will be confusion and anger. If you want to get a partner then just get out and make yourself available. Money spells are not so bad and also require work on the part of the person wanting the spell.

Spells are not a substitute for a person actually doing the work to change their life.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Full Moon and the long weekend

Excited about the full moon. Our covens ritual is this weekend, Saturday. Going to be great I just know it. I can feel something in the air.

Also the long weekend is going to be nice too. Nice weather and maybe a traveling to the mountains and enjoy the wonders of nature.

There is a park up in the foothills outside of Denver that I have been want to check out for some time. This feel like the perfect time.

I am continueing my studies on Hecate. I feel so connected to her it surprises me sometimes.

Brightest Blessings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Sacred Place Number 1

I am blessed to live in a city that has some wonderful places to walk and be with nature will still being in the city itself. One such place is long the Bear Creek. There are the traditional cement walking path that are also used by the bikes. I prefer to walk on what is called the Stonehouse Horse Trail. This trail weaves it way along side the creek, through trees and clearings.

I think I have found a perfect ritual spot too. Problem, it is in a very public spot. Lots of people use the trails here.

The whole area is just full of magic energies. I feel so energized while walking the trails. I was able to find my wand while walking the trails one day.

I think some day I may just say screw it and take some things with me and have a small meditation ritual among the wonders of nature and Gaia

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Beginning.

This blogging thing is not as easy as I thought it would be. I am reading a book right now on starting a blog. Kind of funny. There is a lot of good information in it even though he uses Wordpress in his examples. I just like Blogger better.
I guess I should tell a little bit about myself.
I will only be using my craft name on my posts. It is Cainwyne Haef Kemelis. I was born over 40 years ago in the great state of Colorado. I was raised in the Lutheran religion but during my teenage years I stopped attending church. Thus began my journey on my path with the gods and goddesses, even though I didn't know it at the time. I spent some time in the military but the fact that I am gay didn't sit well with some and I was asked to leave. I was a bit disappointed in that but I moved on. I returned to Colorado and began to live my new life.
I have loved and lost many times in my life. I have lost lovers to illness and family to time.
My journey along the path revved up in 2006 when I picked up my first book at a Borders Bookstore. It was Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. I devoured it. It was funny while I was reading it I would think 'that is me'. I soon enrolled in The Grey School of Wizardry. I was having the time of my life. Everything was making sense to me. I began to explore my spirituality and what the path had to offer. While working on my classes and after a talk with a wise witch friend of mine I came to the realization that the moniker of 'wizard' was not who I was. I was pagan, more to the point I was a witch and always have been.
So now I am a witch and proud of it. Right now I am with a coven here in Colorado and I am working on my Year and A day studies. I LOVE it.

I think that is a good bit of stuff. Until my next post.....

Merry We Meet,
Merry We Part,
And Merry We Meet Again.

Brightest Blessings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well this is my first post on my new blog. I have never been one for putting down what I am thinking on paper. That may be why I have such a vivid memory of so many things that have happened in my life. I can remember things as far back to my days in preschool. I never kept a journal or diary. I have tried to keep a journal now and while I do write in it for a few days I end up setting it down and not picking it up again. I wish I had kept it up because I have lost so many thought and ideas recently. So that is part of what this blog will be is my daily musings. It is also going to give a place to share my life on my path with the Goddess and God and the Crossroads that I have encountered along the way. I hope people who read this blog find it interesting and become followers. I will try to keep it interesting. Until the next post....Brightest Blessings.
Cainwyne Haef Kemelis