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 Herbs and the wheel of the year

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PostSubject: Herbs and the wheel of the year   Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:44 am




SPRING/EOSTRE

This is the time of the year when the Sun moves into 0 degrees Ares. Traditionally it is a season of birth and rebirth of resurrection following the long winter. The time when the Pagan Sun God begins to makes to make it known that He is well on His way from going from the Sun Babe to the Sun Prince.

ACORNS---may be planted as part of the festival/celebration. It should have been gathered the previous year and is symbolic of life renewing itself. While planting concentrate on those attributes which you already possess and would like to see become stronger in yourself.

BULBS--Any type, daffodils, crocus, tulips, what-have-you are very appropriate for altar decorations and for planting at this time.

CELANDINE--should be included into the ritual cup. It may also be tossed into the ritual fire during the celebration.

CINQUEFOIL--add some of this to your incense. It should have been gathered either under the light of the full moon or at mid-night as the day changes between Wednesday to Thursday under a waxing moon. It brings a sense of communication and awareness to the ritual and when burned as incense will bring friends closer and is said to bring dreams of one's perfect partner.

DOGWOOD--the flowers will bring beauty to your altar and the dried bark may be ground and added to the incense. It is one of those beautiful and voluptuous symbols of spring.

HONEYSUCKLE--grace the perimeter of the Sacred Circle. It is an herb of Immortality and represents the ever constant cycle of life renewing itself.

IRIS--the ground root is added to the incense mixture. It has long been held as a Religious Herb and is named for the deity who leads the souls to the Elysian Fields. In Egyptian lore the Iris is noted as having been carved upon the head of a magickal want to represent the scepter of the pharaoh. It was though the three petals represented the virtues of faith, wisdom and valor.

JASMINE--may be added to the ritual cup and/or used as incense. It is most often associated with t he Goddesses and is considered sacred to Diana of Ephesus, in later years it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is sacred to Quan Yin. It is related to the female/maternal aspects of the universe.

ROSE--Yellow are most appropriate but any color will do, they should adorn the altar. The rose is the most sacred symbol of Aphrodite and represent beauty in its purest aspect.

SEEDS--any and all seeds you have collected from the previous year should be placed upon the altar so that they may blessed by the Priest and Priestess for spring planting.

TANSY--should be baked into the ritual cakes. It is also considered an herb of Immortality and is associated with many Christian festival of Easter. When added to your batter it represents the eternalness of life.

VIOLETS--make beautiful altar decorations. They carry the virtues of modesty, simplicity, serenity and peace. They are a particular source of inspiration and good fortune for women. Violets originate from the nymph Io, daughter of the river god Inachus. She and Zeus developed a romance and when another of Zeus' lovers heard of this she became so jealous that she cast as spell and changed Io into a heifer! In Zeus' great love and compassion for her he changed her into the Violet.

.....................................................

BELTANE/MAY DAY

?The Sun has now moved into Taurus, the seeds are now planted in the fields. The trees are again turning lush and green, Earth is beginning to bloom all over. It is the night when the pagan Sun-Prince turns into the Sun-God and makes love with the Goddess for the first time that year. His coming of age and their Union will produce the fruitfulness of the fields and the bounty of the harvest to come.

ALMONDS--if you have an almond tree (you're very lucky!) Use the flowers to decorate the altar. You may also use some of the ground bark in your incense. Almond has a long history as a Religious herb and if offered as incense in sacrificial rites sacred to Artemis, Hecate and Zeus. It is the source from which Aaron, the high priest of the Hebrews selected his magickal wand. In Greek myth, Phyllis was abandoned by her lover Domophoon and the Gods, unable to bear her grieving over this, transformed her into the Almond. When he came back to her he found only the Almond. It is said that when he feels sufficiently guilty for having left her and he embraces the tree that it then bursts into leaf and bloom. Almond is used to today to capture the essence of love which survives through all strife.

CINQUEFOIL--add some to the ritual cup and/or incense.

FRANKINCENSE--should be the main ingredient in the incense, all other ingredients are secondary to it. It is primarily considered to be a Religious herb, the Hebrew religion regards it most highly using it often in their rites. It is also part of the Roman Catholic tradition, used in ten parts to four parts benzoin and one part storax. It is used primarily to invoke the Male Aspects of the Universe. The Babylonians used it to invoke their Bel, their Sun God. It is also used to invoke Apollo, Adonis and the Golden Haired Sun God (or Princely Aspect) of the Pagan Sun-God. It is also used to invoke the Feminine Aspects of the Universe, Demeter and various Moon Goddesses such as Diana and Artemis. The fragrance aids in focusing concentration and being aware of all that is happening within the ritual. It also holds as an herb of Protection in that its cleansing and purifying properties are excellent for the soul and spirits, keeping you safe when exploring the astral realms.

IVY--wreaths should be worn around the heads of all and adorn the altar. It holds the virtue of fidelity and as such was made into wreaths worn by victors and newly married couples by the Greeks. It is a Religious herb sacred to Dionysus and Bacchus. As such, in magickal workings it is said to prevent drunkenness.

MARIGOLD PETALS--use these to purify and cleanse the Circle. It is an herb of Consecration and as such is used in rituals to the Goddess.

MAYBASKETS--this is not an herb but rather a wonderful tradition. On this night place small baskets of flowers and home made treats upon the doorsteps of your friends.

MEADOWSWEET--if you're desiring to do some magickal working of the romantic kind on this night, offer some of these to the Goddess.

ROSES--any color are appropriate for decorating the altar or the body

WOODRUFF--take this in the cup or (if possible) check out the local liquor store at this time of year and ask if they sell "May Wine".
.................................................................

MIDSUMMER

Well, we all know it isn't mid-summer at all...not by the present day calender anyway...it is June 21, the beginning of summer but since people of old did not actually count summer as a season, rather a natural progression of spring, it is no longer the middle of the growing season. This is also the longest day of the year. It is also the time of year when we begin to see the first fruits of Beltane form and ripen, the Union of the God and Goddess has been successful and is already beginning to produce that which can be harvested and eaten.

CHAMOMILE--is used to invoke the God and will make us aware of the Father of Nature. You may do this by either including in the ritual cup or the incense.

CINQUEFOIL--add to the ritual cup and incense.

ELDER--stand among the Elder to see the little people and the Faeries. Use the blossom in your ritual but ONLY if your goals are clear and your ethics are pure! It is very powerful and if your intentions are not pure...well...watch out.

FENNEL--tie together bunches and hang them around your home, the Circle and/or the altar as it is considered an herb of Protection for the home and family.

HEMP--if you've got some..share with me! This is the night to try out the time honored and very quaint spell of sowing hemp seeds around the church at mid-night. The intended purpose of this has something to do with love...I say something because sources will say doing this will cause you to either...1)dream of your true love and who he/she will be or already is...2)the first person you meet the next day is your true love...3)your true love will come and stand beneath your window while you sleep. Take your pick and let me know the results. In the Pagan/Wiccan religions hemp is an herb of Vision. This does not mean smoke pot all the time, rather that it is reserved for those times of divination alone and for this purpose the fresh juice of the plant should be used rather than smoking a joint.

LAVENDER--traditionally this is tossed into the bonfire to ensure a safe year and good harvest. It is also used as the primary ingredient in the incense and may be taken in the ritual cup. It is capable of invoking Hecate and Saturn. It attract energy of an extremely high vibrational nature and is used in meditation before or during the ritual to increase awareness and bring inner calm and freedom from emotional stress.

MALE FERN--this is the night when this plant should be gathered. It is one of the most potent magickal Aphrodisiacs. Especially useful in males.

MISTLETOE--if you will be wanting this plant for later magickal workings this is the night to gather it.

MUGWORT--is used in the ritual bath and the ritual cup (in a small amount). It is an herb of Protection, tossing some into a fireplace of cauldron is said to keep the home safe from lightning, some burnt in the room brings protection to the children.

ROSES--adorn the Circle and altar with RED rose petals. Also use some in the incense for the Blessing of the Circle.

SAINT JOHN'S WORT--should be gathered upon this night. Stomp on a patch or toss some into the ritual fire to see and commune with the Faery Folk.

VERBENA--gather the new plants for the coming year and toss what you have left from the previous year into the fire. It is considered an herb of Protection and Immortality.
..............................................................

LAMMAS

Now we begin the cycle of the harvest. The fields have been planted, the fruits have come forth, this is the first of the harvest festivals. It is also the time when the Sun-God slowly begins his downward spiral into Death. The nights are growing longer and although we still toil in the gardens the night are cool and the work is not mindful. Now we harvest and work to gather the crops of material and spiritual natures until the frosts of autumn set in.

FENUGREEK--is used at this time to invoke the waning Sun God. It is sacred to Apollo and will bring His wisdom to one's heart.

FRANKINCENSE--is used to cense the gardens or fields at this time to celebrate the beginning of the harvest.

HEATHER--is used to decorate the Circle or altar, if this is not available you may use other grains such as wheat, rye, and the like.

HOLLYHOCK--one long stalk should be carried into the Sacred Circle by the children of the group at the beginning of the ritual procession to the fields. In this respect it will bring the ability to flourish again to the fields when laid upon them.

MISTLETOE--two berries...and no more than that!.. should be added to the ritual cup. This will bring fertility to all who drink from the cup, fertility of the body as well as the mind and the spirit. It will bring creativity through the coming winter.

OAK--adorn the altar and circle with oak leaves. Grind the bark for use in the incense. Oak is sacred to the Romans and the Druids. It sacred to Jupiter, Zeus, Blodeuwedd and Odin. The acorn is a symbol of all. Never gather from an Oak which is a host for mistletoe, these trees should be reserved for holding your rituals beneath and left to their own devices. However, if you may gather the mistletoe, it is considered the most magickal of all mistletoe.

PRODUCE--bring some of the produce you have grown in your own garden to the altar as an offering to the deities.

SUNFLOWER--use this in decoration or any other manner which you would like to. It is wonderful to add sunflower petals to the ritual bath prior to rite, it brings increased happiness into your life and attracts joy and fills the spaces which re empty or sorrowful. It is an herb of Immortality and carries the virtues of adoration and worship. It is used to honor all Sun Gods, particularly Apollo and is said to be a patron herb for Leos and Virgos.
..................................................................

AUTUMN/MABON

Now our harvest is almost complete, all but the hardiest fruits and vegetables have been harvested and are being canned, dried or stored in another fashion for the coming winter. It is the night of Balance, when all has come to the focal point of the Center and now begins its long swing toward the winter months. This is the night when the Pagan Sun-God now actually begins His journey to the Sumerlands and dies off during the coming months awaiting to be reborn at Yuletide.

ACORNS--are now strung into necklaces and used to adorn the male members of the coven.

BENZOIN--is used in the incense and makes us more aware of the balance of light and dark, male/female, positive/negative.

FERNS--this the appropriate night to gather them for later use.

HONEYSUCKLE--the dried ground wood and bark make wonderful incense at this time.

MARIGOLD--decorate with the blossom which are normally quite colorful and full this time of the year.

MILKWEED--on this night there are Faeries and little folk about, this is the herb to help you see them.

MYRRH--is used in the incense and the ritual cup. In the manner of incense it brings about spiritual awareness and understanding of the currents of energy flowing throughout the ritual. It is important to use when trying to understand times of sorrow both personal and spiritual.

PASSION FLOWER--petal are placed in the incense. It calms angers and replaces it with an understanding of the condition.

PRODUCE--bring the best of your current produce as an offering to the Sun God to take and use on His journey and to dole out to those He meets along His way who have need of it.

ROSE--WHITE roses are appropriate at this time. They represent the pureness of the love of the Goddess for the God.

SAGE--is taken in the ritual cup. Carries the virtues of strength, mental health, wisdom and banishes negativity.

SOLOMON'S SEAL--is now used when casting the Circle. An herb of Protection and consecration.

THISTLES--are appropriate to represent your endurance throughout winter.
......................................................................

HALLOWS-SAMHAIN-HALLOWEEN

The last of the Pagan Harvest festivals. We now take in the last of the cold crops and take stock of that we have, ensuring there is enough to last us through the coming coldness of winter. We make the last of our preserves, dry the last of our herbs, can the last of the fruits and so on. It is the night when the Sun-God enters the Summerland bringing the souls who have departed that year with Him. It is the night we celebrate our Ancestors, Those Who Have Gone Before. The night when we ask Those to speak with us, to tell us of themselves, to show us our paths and for High Divination purposes.

ACORNS--at this time of year they are symbolic of the Life Within, the life yet to be fulfilled.

APPLES--are used in the Feast and the bark from the tree is ground and used in the incense. They are considered a Religious herb and when eaten in this form on this night it is said to add a higher magickal dynamic to the ritual and it is then possible to bring out deep personal internal change. Bobbing for apples is very appropriate...and fun!...on this night.

CORNSTALKS-- help to set the mood and add an imaginative element.

DITTANY OF CRETE--should be tossed into the fire to share with those who have passed. It is used also to seek the wisdom from those who are still between lives, teachers, guides, loved ones. It is used to invoke Persephone and Osiris both deities of the mystical Otherworld.

FUMITORY--is used in the incense. This herb is associated with the Otherworld and legend proclaims it sprang from the gases of the earth being born of the Earth's inner self and spirit rather than from seed. As an incense it purifies and is especially good to purify the Sacred Space and cleanse it or distractions and negative energies.

MULLEIN--should be gathered in advance an dried. The tops are soaked in oil or fat and then lit on this night, they make wonderful torches. Be sure to soak them for at least fifteen minutes before lighting, attach them to a heavy metal rod if possible. They may also be picked and dipped in Candle Wax....use your leftovers from your Candle Spells for this purpose.

NIGHTSHADE (DEADLY, BELLADONNA) is gathered this night. It is the one night when the negative energies which be cast aside Their eyes from this plant and will not see you take it. Do not eat it!

OAK--adorns the altar and the male members of the Coven.

PUMPKINS--make those Jack-O-Lanterns! Place them all around your Circle and your altar.

SAGE--is used in the ritual cup.
..............................................................

YULETIDE

This is the wonderful celebration of the re-birth of the Sun God. The time when we spiritually and physically aid the Goddess is giving birth to her Consort. We decorate and burn our Yule Logs and hope that our dreams and desires for the future will come to fruition, we dance our Spiral Dance around our altars and concentrate on sending our energies to the Goddess as She goes through the process of labor and delivery. It is the day when all is born anew and begins, quietly, to grow and flourish again.

BLESSED THISTLE--is taken by the priest in the ritual cup to invoke the newly born Sun God.

CHAMOMILE--symbolizes the Sun God and is cast into the Circle as well as used to actually cast the Circle. It is used in the incense and ritual cup. It is good to use in the Ritual Bath prior to the ceremony.

EVERGREEN--any type will do, they are hung everywhere at this time of year in the home and about the Circle. The needles make excellent incense.

FRANKINCENSE--is the best incense for this ritual.

HOLLY--is used along with evergreen to decorate the home and the Circle. It is a sacred herb of the Druids, in the manner of bringing it into the home one is said to also be bringing in the Little people thereby offering them shelter and safety from the harshness of winter.

MISTLETOE--is added to the incense and hung in the doorways to fill the home with extra love and kisses at this time of year. Each person attending the ritual should toss a mistletoe berry into the fire to represent the things personal to them that they desires to grow and increase in strength as the Sun God grows.

PINE--the Christmas tree is OURS people! Go ahead and put up a big one! Decorate it with popcorn, cranberries, pagan symbols, witchballs, lights, mirrors and whatever else you want.

SAGE--is used in the ritual cup.
.........................................................

CANDLEMAS/IMBOLG

This time is known by some as the "Feast of the Waxing Light" it is the time of year that we are beginning to notice the Sun Gods growth in that the days are becoming longer. This, like May Day/Beltane, is another pagan holiday which has survived into the current time, now it is celebrated as Ground Hog Day.

ANGELICA--is best in the ritual cup. In this manner is considered to bring one in contact with the inhabitants of Atlantis and to bring Atlantean energies into their lives, visions and understanding.

BASIL--this is the traditional time of year for initiations and the initiate should have been taking daily tonics of basil for at least the last two weeks. It is given now to prepare the innerself for initiation to bring fortitude.

BAY--if the ritual is to be a solemn occasion then it is appropriate to chew one or two (no more than that!) Leaves and meditate upon the growing light and Sun God.

BENZOIN--is used in the incense.

CELANDINE--is used in the ritual cup and tossed into the fire.

HEATHER--is used to decorate the entire space.

MYRRH--is used in the ritual cup and/or incense.

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