Friday, September 11, 2009


A beautiful bright to dark green crystal, usually with stripes or swirling patterns, Malachite has a silky appearance and is found in the Congo, the Middle East, Peru, Romania, Russia, Zaire and Zambia. The green colouring of Malachite comes from copper with the water content affecting the depth of the green and the dark/light patterns.

Chemically, Malachite is closest to Azurite and can actually be formed from Azurite as it crystallises. As a result, the two are often found together.

Malachite is toxic therefore should be used cautiously when carved or used in crystal water. It should not be taken internally. Malachite is also sensitive to acid, heat, hot water and ammonia. As such, polished Malachite should not be washed in water, acids or any product containing ammonia.

The word Malachite may be a derivative of the Greek words "malache" meaning "mallow" (a green herb) or possibly "malakos" meaning “soft”. Both aptly relate to this green, soft stone.

Physically, Malachite is often associated with the following:
* Stomach
* Liver
* Kidney stones
* Lungs
* Immune system
* Multiple sclerosis
* Circulation and other issues related to the blood (e.g. reducing bleeding, blood purifying, blood pressure)
* Radiation and chemotherapy
* Sleeping problems
* Asthma
* Bones and bone marrow
* Cancer
* Growths and tumours
* Joints
* Muscles
* Inflammation
* Bacterial infection
* Brain disorders
* Purging of toxins
* Vertigo
* Child birth
* Morning Sickness
* Pain relief and trauma
* Epilepsy
* Gall Bladder
* Infections

Magically, Malachite is generally used for the following purposes:
* Protection
* Transition and transformation
* Clearing negativity
* Promotes faithfulness and loyalty in relationships
* Accepting responsibility
* Releasing inner truth
* Clarifying emotions
* Assisting in physical and psychic healing
* Meditation
* Psychic visions
* Self-expression and creativity
* Money matters

Malachite may assist with the following:
* Depression
* Anger
* Nightmares
* Addiction
* Anorexia
* Confidence
* Emotional healing
* Trust

Malachite has a feminine feel to it and is associated with the astrological signs of Capricorn, Scorpio, Taurus and less commonly Libra, Aquarius and Sagittarius.

Malachite can be used on the heart chakra due to its green colour for matters of the heart but also the throat for self expression and creativity. In history, the ancient Egyptians used ground Malachite for their eye make-up and over children’s beds as a protection symbol.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is sometimes known as Passionvine or Mayhop and is a perennial vine that is native to the West Indies and Southern America although it is now grown in most parts of the world.

The passionflower gets its name from 15th and 16th century Spanish missionaries who applied the unique physical structure of the plant to symbolise the last days and crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to Wikipedia as follows:
* The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
* The tendrils represent the whips used in the Flagellation of Christ.
* The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
* The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the Crown of Thorns.
* The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
* The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
* The blue and white colours of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.

The leaves, stems, flowers and tendrils of the plant have been used medicinally, ritually and recreationally and the fruit from the plant (sometimes known as passionfruit, granadilla or water lemon) is also popular. It can be taken as a tea infusion, tincture or smoking mix, however, as with all herb, a medical professional should be consulted first.

Although thorough medical testing has yet to be conducted, passionflower is thought to provide sedative and mild hallucinogenic effects. As a result, passionflower is sometimes used for anxiety and related conditions such as nervousness, agitation, stress, tension and insomnia as well as being used as a muscle relaxant and digestive aid. It is typically thought of as non-addictive and has been successfully used to decrease the impact of opiate, cannabis and alcohol withdrawal.

Passionflower may interact with other drugs, particularly blood thinning agents, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. There have also been reports of passionflower causing hypersensitivity reactions (such as hives, skin blood vessel inflammation) and asthma. As a sedative, it may cause drowsiness and in larger doses it can create a hypnotic state or cause hallucinations. Passionflower is not recommended for pregnant women or young children.

As a magical herb, passionflower can be used to attract and keep love as well as to bring peace and blessings, particularly when grown in or around the home. The hummingbird (in the form of a charm or some other representation) enhances passionflower in spell work due to the assistance several breeds of hummingbird afford to some varieties of passionflower in terms of pollination.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oracle Bay Spell

This spell is inspired by the Delphic Oracle. At the site of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, a woman, in some stories a young virgin possibly of noble blood and in others a post-menopausal celibate peasant woman, sits on a brass tripod over a crevice in the inner hearth. As she breathes in the vapours created from the decomposing body of the monstrous serpent that was slain by Apollo, the woman, known as the Pythia, speaks the prophecies of Apollo.

This spell should be used when you seek guidance from the oracle. Before conducting this spell, give proper thought to why you are seeking guidance. Clearly understand your reasons and ensure you have given consideration to your motives and the factors affecting the situation. Once you have this settled in your mind, you will need to formulate a specific, concise and direct question and have this ready for the ritual. You can either write this question on the paper (see list below) before performing the spell or you can do it when you actually perform the spell.

For this spell you will need:
* A picture of Pythia (look in books, try a Google image search, etc)
* A medium to large cloth
* Two sticks or cones of bay incense and a lighter/matches
* Crushed bay leaves
* Pot suitable for pouring filled with boiling water
* Spoon or athame to stir the water
* White cup and saucer
* Small piece of white or light coloured paper and pen or pencil
* Writing pad

Choose a place where you won’t be interrupted. Fold the cloth into a triangle and place it on the ground. This will represent the tripod on which the Pythia sits.

Cast circle.

Stand facing north with the tripod cloth representation in front of you and say:

“Here in this sacred space, I am Pythia.
I am she who was chosen to speak the oracle of Apollo and I am ready to pass on his message and that of Gaia before him.”

Sit on the tripod cloth.

Take the crushed bay leaves in your right hand and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I infuse this water with the power to divine.” Sprinkle the crushed bay leaves into the water and stir with the spoon or athame.

Light the bay incense and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I light this incense to create the vapour of the slain python.”

Visualise yourself as Pythia and complete the recreation of the scene of the Delphic Oracle in your circle. Look at your picture of Pythia for a few moments then close your eyes and imagine that your folded cloth is really the tripod on which Pythia sits. Picture yourself sitting there looking down over the chasm. Smell the incense and allow it to form an association with Apollo and with the smell of the vapours that rise from below you and linger all around. Taste them in your nose your and mouth and feel the giddy sensation they create as your head buzzes and swarms with the energy of the moment. Then, meditate on the situation surrounding your question until the first incense has burned out.

Write your question on the small piece of paper if you didn’t do so previously and place it on the saucer under the cup.

Stir the hot water with the crushed bay leaves with the spoon or athame and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I draw on the knowledge of the unknown and the insight and wisdom of the Delphic Oracle.”

Pour some of the water and crushed bay leaves into the cup and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I sip on Pythia’s cup and take prepare for the words of the oracle.”

Carefully sip the water avoiding the crushed bay leaves until they are all that is left in the cup then turn the cup upside-down onto the paper with the question that is on the saucer.

Light another bay incense and meditate on your question. Look at the pattern of the crushed bay leaves and residue on the piece of paper that your question is written on. Pick up the writing pad and pen in preparation for any messages that come through via automatic writing and also allow yourself to speak aloud any words that come to you.

When you feel that you have received your answer, even if you don’t understand what it means, allow yourself to become more aware of your physical surroundings. When you are ready say:

“In this moment, I give thanks to Apollo, Gaia, Pythia and the spirit of the oracle and release you from this circle. Blessed be.”

Open circle.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bay Laurel

Other names

* Bay
* Bay Laurel
* Bay Tree
* Daphne
* Grecian Bay
* Grecian Laurel
* Greek Bay
* Laurel
* Laurel Tree
* Laurier d'Apollon
* Laurier Sauce
* Laurus nobilis (botanical name)
* Lorbeer
* Noble Laurel
* Roman Bay
* Roman Laurel
* Sweet Bay
* True Laurel

Habitat and Physical Description

Bay laurel is an evergreen native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region and can grow to a height of 10 to 18 metres but can be successfully grown in a pot to reduce the size. It grows well in shady and damp areas of the garden in most soil types though preference is to soil that retains moisture and are well drained.

The leaves of the bay laurel are usually anywhere from 6 to 12 cm long and 2 to 4 cm wide with a finely serrated and wrinkled margin. Bay laurel is dioecious, so each plant will be either male (androecious - flowers produce pollen but no seeds) or female (gynoecious - flowers produce seeds but no pollen). The flowers on the bay laurel are about 1cm in diameter and are typically produced in pairs beside a leaf. Bay laurel bear fruit in the form of a small black berry, approximately 1cm long.

Culinary Uses

Bay is a popular herb for cooking with due to the aromatic nature of the dried leaves, although the leaves are removed at the end of the cooking process and is not eaten. In cooking, bay laurel serves as an appetite stimulant and also assists with the digestive process of heavy foods.

Medicinal Uses

Bay laurel is said to be an excitant (exciting, stimulating) and to have narcotic properties although may cause perspiration as it acts as a diaphoretic or as an emetic, which causes vomiting, in large doses. Medicinal uses of bay laurel include:

* Analgesic
* Anti-bacterial
* Anticonvulsant
* Anti-inflammatory
* Antioxidant
* Bronchitis
* Bruises
* Cancer
* Cough
* Dandruff
* Digestive complaints
* Ear ache
* Flu
* Fungicide
* Insect repellent
* Muscle aches and pains
* Promotes onset of menstruation (and therefore can cause miscarriage in pregnant women)
* Respiratory issues
* Rheumatism
* Settles the stomach
* Sprains

To make a herbal tea from bay leaves, boil 1 litre of water and add three level teaspoons of crushed bay leaves. Cover and allow to steep for approximately half an hour. Strain before use. Can be stored in the refrigerator.

To prepare a rub using bay laurel, combine bay leaves and a little olive oil and heat for approximately 20 minutes. Ensure the heat is kept very low to prevent the oil from overcooking, burning or smoking. Strain the oil from the leaves, allow to cool and then rub or massage into the affected area.

Use the stained leaves from the tea or rub when warm to make a poultice by spreading them on a cloth and applying to the affected area.

Magical Uses

Bay laurel is a strong purification and protection herb. Magical uses include:

* Avoid curses / jinxes
* Clairvoyance
* Prevent unwanted attention / interference
* Prophetic dreams
* Purification bathing (e.g. Ritual bath)
* Remove curses
* Wisdom

Ways that bay laurel can be used in magic include:

* Added to a talisman or mojo bag
* Candle dressing
* Dream pillow
* Hung in a room or area to prevent mischievous or harmful workings cast by others
* Scattered on a floor, in a cupboard, doorway etc then swept away to purify the area and to ward off negativity
* Worm as an amulet

History and Myths

Laurel wreaths were used in ancient Greece, particularly as a prize at the Pythian Games. This is one of the many areas where bay laurel is seen as a symbol of victory, success, fame or prosperity. This is also the origin of the term ‘to rest on your laurels’ and of the title ‘poet laureate’.

In Chinese folklore there is a great laurel tree on the moon, and the Chinese name for the laurel, (traditional Chinese: 月桂), literally translates to "moon-laurel". This is the subject of a story of Wu Gang, a man who aspired to immortality and neglected his work. When the deities discovered this they sentenced Wu Gang to fell the laurel tree, whereupon he could join the ranks of the deities; however, since the laurel regenerated immediately when cut, it could never be felled. The phrase (simplified Chinese: 吴刚伐木) ("Wu Gang chops the tree") is sometimes used to refer to endless toil, analogous to Sisyphus in Greek mythology.

The Delphic priestess are said to have made use of bay leaves to aid in their prophetic visions and divination rites.

In Greek mythology, Apollo, who was a great warrior, was said to have insulted Eros for playing with bows and arrows when, in Apollo’s view, Eros was unworthy of using such weapons. In retribution, Eros took a lead arrow and shot Daphne in order to incite hatred and then took a gold arrow and shot Apollo through the heart to incite love. Apollo was thereby stricken with love for Daphne whereas she saw him as repulsive and fled from him. Apollo took chase and as he was about to catch her, Daphne called out to her father, Peneus, to open the earth to enclose her or to change her form. At that moment, Daphne was transformed into a bay tree. Apollo still loved her and tended to her with his powers of healing and eternal youth to render her evergreen.