Friday, January 20, 2012

Bloodroot - A plant whose roots 'bleed'.

Botanical Name:  Sanguinaria Candensis
Family: N.O. Papaveraceae
Folkname: Indian Paint, Tetterwort, Red Pucoon, Red Root, Paucon, Coon Root, Snakebite, & Sweet Slumber.
BLOODROOT
Bloodroot is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground.  Its habitat ranges from Prairie Provinces of Canada, as far south as Florida and west to Arkansas and Nebraska, in the United States.  Bloodroot favors open woods.  The plant produces flowers in spring of white with golden stamens.  After the bloom fades the leaves grow larger and die down in the fall.  The autumn is when the roots of the plant are harvested.  The roots are actually rhizomes and when harvested they need to be stored in a dry place to prevent deterioration.   The seeds are spread by ants who take the seed pods to their colonies, eat the flesh of the pod, and take the seed to the ‘garbage pile’ where the seeds then germinate.
Historical Uses
The rhizome of the Bloodroot plant exudes a bright red sap when the root is cut or broke.  This red sap was used by Native Americans as a dye for clothing and for body paint.  The use of the sap for body paint is dangerous because of the damaged the sap can cause if applied directly.  It is thought that the sap was mixed with some there ingredient to prevent this from happening.
We DO NOT endorse the use of this herb for internal use as it can be very harmful even fatal if too much is ingested.  The following is for historical purposes only and is from Botanical.com.
Emetic cathartic expectorant and emmenagogue, and of great value in atonic dyspepsia, asthma, bronchitis and croup. (The taste is so nauseating, that it may cause expectorant action.) Of value in pulmonary consumption, nervous irritation and helpful in lowering high pulse, and in heart disease and weakness and palpitation of heart of great use. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Also good for torpid liver, scrofula, dysentery. It is applied to fungoid growths, ulcers fleshy excrescences, cancerous affections and as an escharotic. Sanguinaria root is chiefly used as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis and as a local application in chronic eczema, specially when secondary to varicose ulcers. In toxic doses, it causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, faintness vertigo, intense prostration with dimness of eyesight.”
Magickal Uses and Correspondences
Bloodroot is a popular herb used in VooDoo as a protective ‘hex-breaker’.  Bloodroot is also popular for use in rituals and spell pertaining to relationships and marriage.  There are two kinds of Bloodroot used in these cases, the darker ‘King’ root for the male aspect and the lighter ‘Queen’ root for the female aspect.  The root would be placed in a red sachet and then placed within the bed of the couple to ensure a healthy marriage.
Bloodroot is also excellent as a protective charm for one’s home.  Placing a root within the home, out of reach of pet and children (remember it is poisonous) is said to protect from negative energies and spells.  Burning of the root as a powder is said to have the same effect.  (use caution when burning a known poisonous herb, burn in a well ventilated area or outside)
Bloodroot can be substituted for actual blood in spells that require such an ingredient.  Of course this should only be done if the spell or rituals DOES NOT require the ingestion of whatever the bloodroot was used in.  Again, it is a poisonous herb.
Bloodroots are primarily masculine but as stated before the lighter roots can be used in the feminine aspect.
Bloodroot’s planetary relation is to Mars with the elemental relation being Fire.  Bloodroot has no specific deity association.  Previous experience lends that if you are working with a deity who corresponds to Mars and Fire then the use of Bloodroot in spells and rituals is acceptable.
Of Special Interest
Sanguinarine is a part of the sap from the Bloodroot.   This was widely used in toothpaste to help destroy plaque.  While this use was approved by the FDA, it has been recently shown that the continued use of the toothpastes with this ingredient caused cancers of the mouth.  Sanguinarine is still used by some companies in their formulas.
In the End
Bloodroot is a very interesting plant.  It has been around for thousands of years and has made it mark through the use of its red ‘blood’ as a dye and through the use of one of its chemicals as a dental product.  Bloodroot is very poisonous and should not be used internally or topically.  It should be used for your magick workings as desired. 
As always, do your research!  Never use an herb before doing your due diligence and know what you are doing.
Now for those who don’t listen.
For educational purposes only.   This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A dark house…dreaming

dark house

The house is enormous, dark, and it is in my dreams.  I have not only dreamed of this imposing dwelling once but many times.  Each time it is the same.

I some how know the house like a friend.  I know the quiet rooms, walls covered in their ancient papers, floors of rooms covered in lush carpets, halls illuminated dimly with antique sconces and gas flames.  Wood floors polished and clean.  Staircases, embellished with wooden banisters travel from floor to floor.

Dark hall

Each night I dream of this house I find myself wandering through the halls, from room to room, and up the endless stairs.  Musty odors fill my nostrils as I tread down the dim halls.  My foot steps echo through out as I make my way through the house.  I travel the same path each time I am in the house.  The same halls, rooms and stairs.  Each smell and sound the same.  I am happy and calm as I travel the path set before me. 

Finally I find the large central staircase that winds, tightly up to a single room.  Slowly I climb.  Windows open to an out of focus world beyond the smoky glass.  I reach the threshold of the room and find that I am not able to pass through.  No obvious barrier exists but I am held out.  I can see what is inside the room.  All the items are familiar to me.  I remember sitting in the small room and peering out the clear windows on the world outside.  I remember learning things in this room and finding things too.  Now the room is dark and still, dust covers the small table and chair.  Cobwebs, almost as if embodying the cliché, hang from the corners and over the windows.  The once clear glass, now clouded with age.

I am confused and sadden.  Why am I not able to return to a room that I looked forward to being in?  Night after night I return to the room and find it closed to me still, each night the room grew darker and darker.

I haven’t dreamt of traveling through the house in some time but I have the house appearing in my mind’s eye recently, first in vague detail and now in full detail.  I sit and wonder during my waking hours if I will be walking through the rooms, halls and staircases or if I will be taking a different journey. 

I know now that the room at the top of the house will never be open to me again.  I know that the room was a place for me to learn about myself and for me to be found.  I stared my path in that room and I will forever remember it even if I am not able to return to it.  The house remains open to me and me open to the house.

Black house

A dark house…dreaming.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Angelica–An angel of an herb

Woodland Angelica

Botanical Name: Angelica Archangelica

Family: N.O. Umbbelliferae

Folk names: Root of the Holy Ghost, Archangel Root, Garden Angelica

 

 

 

 

Cut Angelica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelica is a biennial plant.  While growing during the first year only leaves appear; during the second year a stem grows up to 6 feet tall.  The flowers bloom in July, are small and numerous.  They range in color from yellow to green.  Angelica favors a damp soil and can be found near rivers and bodies of water. Angelica is native to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland and Iceland where if favors the northern regions.  It is cultivated in France.  I can also be found in Germany's Harz Mountains and in the Rodna Mountains of Romania.

History and Uses

For detailed information on this interesting herb see here.

Healing with Angelica

It has been reported that Angelica relieves the symptoms from the Colds, Flu, and Bronchitis.  It is also known to be used as a digestive aid and a relief for arthritis. For an Infusion: Steep 1 teaspoon of leaves or seeds, powdered, in one cup of water. For a decoction: Use 1 teaspoon of dried root per cup of water.  Boil then simmer for 2 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes then drink up to 2 cups a day.  It will be BITTER.

Angelica is poisonous if the roots are not dried so be sure to dry the roots completely if it is grown.  Angelica should not be given to pregnant women.  Internal use of Angelica may cause photo-sensitivity.

The FDA includes Angelica in its list of safe herbs.  Be sure to adhere to the previous information.  As always consult your doctor before using any herbs and if you develop problems after taking the herb.

Magical Uses and Correspondences

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Sun

Element: Fire

Deity: Venus

If the plant is grown is it believed to be protective.  Because of this it is a good additive for all protective mixtures as well as for exorcisms.  Bathe with the roots to remove curses, hexes and spells that have laid against you.  To protect your property from evil; sprinkle the root of the Angelica plant around the border.

photos found here and here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Pagan Blog Project–Ready to go.

I have officially joined up with the other blogs in The Pagan Blog Project for 2012 sponsored by Rowan Pendragon at One Witch’s Way.

pbp2012

I have signed up for the newsletter and joined the Facebook page. 

Now I just need to start writing.  That is going to be the challenge.  But this is a new year and a new direction has been set before me in many areas of my life so I am sure I will have things to write about as the weeks go on.

On a side note…congratulations to Rowan and Devin for their move to the Pagan Radio Network with The Modern Witch.  I will have to check it out.

Blessed Be!