Pennyroyal Tea

The name brings to mind a Nirvana song titled Pennyroyal Tea.

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:musical_score: “Sit and drink pennyroyal tea

Distill the life that’s inside of me

Sit and drink pennyroyal tea

I’m anemic royalty”.

What I didn’t know back then was that it was probably a reference to Courtney’s baby, Francis Bean and a reflection of Kirk’s feelings toward being a good father.

Anyway. Pennyroyal is used to induce labor, can cause miscarriage and used to aid PMS symptoms as well as bring on mensuration.

However, it used to be called lungwort and was used to suppress coughs and help break a fever by producing sweat.

Pennyroyal Tea

1 teaspoon of dried herb steeped in 8oz of water once a day SPARINGLY. Some suggests that there is no “safe” dosage but it has been used for generations to cause abortions which has also lead to death of some mothers.

Do not take while pregnant! Do not give it to children, infants or pets.

Information sourced from

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Contraindications are sourced from the internet off various sources. While I believe that a cup will heal, too much can kill so use with caution or under the direction of a certified herbalist or ask your doctor.

Four Imperial Palaces

And Five Emperors

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The Four Palaces are also known as the four elements or four compasses or four guardians that are invoked or awakened when starting rituals.

I use a singing bowl to wake the four corners along with a chant and meditation.

The Four Guardians

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Black Tortoise: North, Winter, Night, Water. The Black Tortoise hears your thoughts and prayers.

Red Phoenix: South, Summer, Noon, Fire. Brings growth.

Azure Dragon: East, Spring, Morning, Wood. Nurturing.

White Tiger: West, Fall, Evening, Metal. Sees movements or acts.

Five Directions or 5 Celestial Bodies or 5 Emperors

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North/Water

South/Fire

Center/Earth

East/Wood

West/Metal

 

 

The Three Sovereigns or Trinity of Heaven, Earth and Man

Heaven: celestial kingdom; sun, moon, stars; spirit, pneumatic, proliferation.

Earth: the underworld: mountain, valley, plain; transformation; resources, soma.

Man: humankind; Father, Mother, Offspring; choice, manifestation, psyche.

In Taoist/Buddhist craft, the Five Emperors are called in to undue bad joo joo ie: malevolent magic but that’s not their only purpose.

In western witchcraft there are four elements: earth, fire, wind, and water.

I incorporate myself as the sixth element of my craft, wind because I use my breath as a principal element aka, qi. But also recognize Wind/air as a unifying aspect in the craft not only because it communicates but because it’s the element that acts upon all the other elements in other words, you can’t have fire or water without air (oxygen) and without those you cannot have wood, or metal or what makes earth (the mother) able to nurture or give birth all the elements that we, humans, need for resources etc.

Collectively they are all aspects of the the Tao.

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Dragon pic is my own.

Theft Protection Folk Magic

This is something that I got from my mom.  Growing up, my mom was most definitely a superstitious woman and a lot of old school folk magic cames from the idea that you could do things to ward off undesirable things or change an outcome of something.

Being asian (southeast) my mom had a superstition for just about everything but 1 of them I used pretty often, nearly everyday actually.  This one is to prevent people from stealing from you.

It’s pretty simple. You don’t need anything but yourself and belief in yourself and your own inner magical powers to bring it to fruition.

When your left palm itches this means that money is coming your way.  Sometimes it’s a little but other times when you feel a painful pinch in the center of your palm, that means a lot of money is coming your way.  NEVER scratch the palm of the left or you will lose money.

If the RIGHT palm itches, I draw cross, circle it three time counter clockwise and strike through in the last circle.  In my head I repeat, 1.2.3. you will not steal from me (or my family) and I blow on my palm.  When it keeps happening then someone is pretty intent on getting you money or stealing whatever from you.  IF that happens, then whisper or speak loudly (however you feel is necessary) into your palm and blow it away aggressively.  You can (and I do if they won’t quit) speak a curse or hex upon them which usually consist of something like, “if you steal from me, you’ll lose more than me” or a pep talk “it’s not worth it, do the right thing and work for what you need or ask for help”.  Really it depends on the feeling I am getting from it.

And that’s it for this old school folk remedy for theft.

The picture shown is the Atlantean Cross.  It’s like a seal for those who claim to be spiritual or ancestral decent from the Atlantis.  It was a symbol used for protection and strengthening power.

Apotrope

An Apotrope is an amulet that uses a symbol such as an eye to ward off the evil eye. It’s design is meant to stare back against evil, to shew it away.

Common protection symbols against evil is the Hand of Fatima or the Hamsa. Other symbols or tools can also be used in an Apotrope such as a mirror or a sigil.

It is said that once an Evil Eye is cast upon you that you must clear the evil (subjective term) from yourself and surroundings which can take some time doing if the eye cast on you is super bitter and full of hate.

They say that the evil eye comes from jealousy. Once you’ve cleansed yourself and home of this negative energy you must wear the amulet forever.

Now, I don’t know if is literally forever BUT for a good long while until the person or persons who cast this on you are no longer bitter or hateful or jealous of you. Eventually it will subside but that kind of bad energy does often take a while to dissipate.

Some ideas for the creation of an Apotrope are:

Metals like silver, gold or aluminum, anything that can deflect the energy back. Or metals that can absorb bad energy like copper and hematite. Bismuth can be used to a deflect and absorb and also cleansed and reshaped in hot water.

Dried or pressed Spilanthes. You can press and laminate it (just use tape) or cast it in resin. Put a hole in the tape or resin and wear it around your neck.

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Crystals that can absorb the negative energy like a smokey quartz, clear quartz or black tourmaline. Highly polished black obsidian works well to absorb and deflect. Agates or Jasper that have an 👁 in them.

Peacock Feather.

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Sigils or symbols should be made with the purpose of protection. Think of them as “return to sender” spells but the 👁 is sufficient.

Wear it around your neck, on your wrist, as a ring, or keep it on your body at all times even when sleeping.

Some of the symptoms of the Evil Eye are:

Inability to focus

Distracted

Depression

Anxiety

A feeling of unease that you cannot shake

Sleeplessness

Repetitive thoughts

Persistent tinnitus

Wormwood aka Absinthe

Artemisia absinthium

Wormwood

Green Fairy

Green Madness

Artemisia

Absinthos

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Belonging to the Daisy family and apx 40 million years old.

This “weed” was known to kill anything (plant) that tried to invade its space and is a wild spreader and known for its bitter taste before it became the popular spirit known to cause hallucinations from a chemical called thujone which wasn’t really the culprit but the amount of alcohol in absinth (136% – 180% proof) killed a lot of people in its day and it was outlawed in 1915 in the US.

Early doctors and alchemist believe that it could get rid of tapeworm and would prescribe it even though it would likely kill them. Talk about last ditch effort!

Absinthe is NOT something you should ever make at home and I think it is still illegal, at least in the US (I think).

It’s known as the Green Fairy and also known to cause blindness, cramps, nerve damage though today, you can safely purchase it at the market. Um…not the alcohol but the herb woodworm in oil, capsule or powder form.

The father of this Green Madness was Nicholas Culpeper and his recipe became famous for inducing a “stream of consciousness”.

Van Gogh was locked up in an asylum detoxing from the Green Fairy when he painted Starry Night.

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So for all it’s madness, how was/is Wormwood ever used medicinally?

It can be used in a slave to repel fleas and ticks and it’s also used to help with other stomach ailments like liver and gallstone issues as well as Chrones diseases and as a topical treatment for healing wounds. I personally would not cultivate it on my own for ingestion or topical treatment because I am allergic to most weeds but you can buy it just about anywhere.

You can look up ratio details online or ask your doctor about the right amount to use in tea but it doesn’t taste good. That’s what I hear, I haven’t tried it myself.

As an insect repellent you can add it to a lotion or spray.

For wounds (antibacterial treatment) you can make a salve.

As for ingested uses, ask your doctor. This information comes mostly from a book called The Big, Bad Book of Botany by Michael Largo and various sources from the internet and should be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak.

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Garlic

Garlic

Allium sativum

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In folklore, garlic, as well as leeks and onions were used to protect against evil and was worn during the Black Plague outbreak in the Middle Ages. While it never proved to work against black death, it could be said that the strong smell of garlic and/or onions was enough to keep people a safer distance apart and it never worked against vampires.

Fun Fact, I am distantly related to John Hunyadi, the “Turk Beater” also known as the man who murdered Vlad Tepes aka Dracual or the Impaler.

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Garlic was also thought to protect people against illness which is how it is used today and has been used for over 7 thousand years I think. It is a native crop to China from the Yunnan province but clearly cultivated around the world and probably one of the most used of all herbs because there are many truths to its power to protect against illnesses.

Garlic as well as onions are everyday staples in my home and when I was growing up it was the one herb that both my ma and dad could agree on and used it in and for just about everything. I was actually very surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t use garlic in their everyday cooking. Call it culture shock and I learned that when I met my husband!

They say that the secret to long life is eating garlic and I have pretty much used it in every dish since I started cooking when I was about 8 years old. To NOT use garlic and onions is like sea water without the salt. Not only does it add more flavor to every dish, it also does have very powerful medicinal properties that have been shown to protect against cancer, stomach illnesses, and help keep your cardiovascular system in good shape by reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides. It’s one of the worlds most powerful and cheap antioxidants as well a good source to regulate blood sugar and boost testosterone and metabolized iron.

Anti-oxidants are used to rid your blood of oxidative stress which impairs your bloods cells from delivering hemoglobin through your body and is one of the more important aspects of a good cardiovascular heath. Or as my mom would say, “it keeps you young”. Lol. Maybe she was right the whole time. I will be 42 soon and from what I am told, I still look to be in my 20’s. Late 20s but still…

Aside from the common knowledge, my mom had me use garlic for everything. When I think of it I think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the dad uses Windex on everything. My mom was like that with garlic. You got a pimple? Rub some garlic on it. Have a patch of uneven skin tone? Rub some garlic on it. Not feeling good, eat some garlic. That, and she would have me use it when I got sun patches on my skin. I used to get white spots on my face from too much sun so it would stand out against my tan skin. TBH, I think it was bleaching my skin so to speak, that or it was turning over new cell growth so that the damaged skin spots would fall away faster. Don’t quote me on any of that as a fact. It’s just what I did and it seemed to work. I do caution however that it does sting a little but it is an anti inflammatory as well SO….

Garlic, of course, can be eaten raw as well as cooked but raw garlic makes your breath smell a little worse for wear. Remedies that I know of to combat garlic and onion breath are to chew a piece of parsley. You know, that piece of green that restaurants put on your plate and to eat an apple. I personally go with the apple because it taste better but parsley (fresh) is cheaper and can be easily grown in your home herbal gardens.

This year will be my first successful year growing garlic at home. In previous years I had failed and that would be because I live in a hot climate and garlic are mild weather crops. Cool weather crops.

To plant, take a clove and push it into the ground. While my book says that they should be planted deep, others have said they can be shallow and I did the latter and it was successful.

The bigger the clove, the bigger the bulbs so plant the biggest ones you have. Plant in the Fall and harvest in the Spring. You don’t have to do anything to them but they prefer nutrient rich organic loose soils that remain somewhat dryer and plant just over a bulbs width apart.

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Garlic belongs to the Amaryllidacae family and is closely related to: onions, leeks, rakkyo and shallots. I think I read that the stalks from garlic are actually considered leeks and they are edible and do produce flowers and are pollinated by bees.

Before harvesting, cut the stalks off to concentrate energy into the bulbs for bigger bulbs. Personally I prefer normal sized cloves. Elephant garlic taste too bitter to me but I will cut the leeks after this late cold spell passes.

All pics are mine but the sketch was taken from The Big, Bad Book of Botany.