Friday, March 30, 2012

Violet ( Viola Odorata)

The violets have a large family of some four hundred species, predominately perennial herbs but with a few annuals. Violaceae is a family composed of pansies, garden violas and violets.
Viola Odorata
Common name- Sweet Violet
The parts used are flowers and leaves dried and whole plant fresh.
The sweet scented Violet appears at the end of February and has finished blooming by the end of April. In the seasonal soap opera of the garden the violet plays the part of the ingenue. It's understated beauty, down turned head, subtle color, fleeting fragrance and retiring nature makes us fearful that the violet will be overlooked and therefore we make the effort to seek her out.
The violet has been and is used in cooking, medicine and perfumery.

In Scott Cunningham's book, Magical Herbalism, he attributes these characteristics to the Violet.
Folk name: Blue Violet, Sweet Violet
Gender: Cold
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Associated deity: Venus
Part used: Flowers
Basic Power: Love
Specific uses: Mix with lavender to make a powerful love sachet. A violet chaplet cures headaches. Carrying the flowers will bring a change of luck or fortune. Associated with sunset and twilight, so have on the altar if doing magic at these times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ostera- Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox, the dramatic moment each year when night and day are of equal length everywhere on the planet. This is the time to ponder the newness of our human family and the ancient relationships between Earth,Sun and Moon.
The turning of the Wheel of the Year is never ending and timeless. The seasons, planetary movements and tides renew themselves, encoded since creation. As humans we awaken to our common origins, but stand in
awe of the mysteries of the universe.
For witches Spring Equinox is an enchanted borderline time outside of time, where a magical seam joins light and dark., From this moment on, the Sun begins its seminal journey across the sky, its light and warmth over taking the darkness of Winter until its power peaks at Summer Solstice in June.
The change from dark to light sends the message to all here on Earth that Springtime is the season of rebirth.
We have arrived on the point on the Wheel when the Maiden Goddess becomes the Mother once more.

This is the time of the year is when we use herbs and seeds to make the most of the wealth and healing warmth of the Sun.
Trefoil images representing the Triple Goddess have special meaning now, any three leaf grass is a gift from the Fairies bringing protection and luck. It is customary to leave a small token of thanks to the Other World when you take a cloverleaf or any other three leafed grass.
Bring the feeling of new Spring life into your home with pots of crocuses or hyacinths. Fill a vase with tulips and daffodils. Create a mini rock garden for your window sill using rocks, twigs and moss in a dish or special bowl.

Moss is an excellent binder for spells. It brings moisture and freshness inside and is used in spells and philters for attracting wealth. Vervain and moss are used in philters and incense to resolve conflicts that may arise amid the frenetic energy and forces of Spring.

Ostera Oil:

one quarter teaspoon of each-
almond oil
patchouli oil
elder oil
lavender oil
violet oil
Warm all ingredients in an enamel or glass sauce pan. Remove from heat and let cool.
Keep in green,blue, pink, or lavender bottles.
Use to anoint your candles for your Ostera celebration.

Exerts taken from Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills's book, Celebrate The Earth

Friday, March 16, 2012

Creating Oils and Philters

When I first began creating oils and philters, I had fun searching out the lovely bottles in the colors I wanted to use. I acquired some from Hobby Lobby, a few from my local Goodwill store and a couple I had saved and had stored away in my basement.
Sometimes being a finder and keeper of unique and unusual things comes in handy.
One of the struggles I had was to find and collect all the base oils and essential oils along with the herbs, flowers and stones.
Once I began to craft the oils I had questions about proportions. Some of the recipes supplied the amount required ,others were vague. 
With a little more experience under my belt I have come to find that sometimes the amount the recipes called for made a larger supply than I needed at the time.
I realized I needed  to find a basic fluid ounce measurement table so I could reduce amounts called for in the recipes and still  keep the proportions correct. With a little research I came across this table:

1 minim = 1drop
1 US dram = 60 minims
1 teaspoon = 80 minims
1 tablespoon =3 teaspoons or 4 fluid drams
1 ounce = 2 Tablespoons

 I also found and bought Scott Cunninghams's book, The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews.
It has a lot of helpful information.