Day of Mars

Over the weekend I took time to clean house, venerate the land and the dead, steady my mind and ready my heart.  I won't fear anything, I have myself held together by something strong.  It's time to get to work.

Mars Day, Waxing Moon


Leporcalia Tarot and The Tin Can Forest

Oh I'm just ever so happy with the Leporcalia Tarot.  

Kyrianne, thank you so much, and thanks again for keeping me updated during the bicoastal storms!  This deck is not only good quality design, but so interesting just to look at.  The style marries the modern with traditional art, has multicultural facets (everything from a mochi-making Moon rabbit to Mayan Lovers) and flows between classical, contemporary and everything in between a bit.  I was particularly happy with what I can only assume was a (awesome) nod to Watership Down on the Sun Card.   I was hoping that this wouldn't be another slightly cheesy animal-theme deck and was not disappointed- this is artwork, plain and simple, and each card looks like it had been well thought out before going into print.  It isn't too cutesy; if anything it gives me a bit of a Victorian tea-parlor feel, except far more worldly.  Lastly, the carrot "wands" suit was an adorable touch.

We approve.
You can follow Kyrianne on facebook and purchase this deck on Etsy.

A few months ago there was an occult book fair and conference at the UW which I was happy to attend.  I loved the rare literature, the cool and knowledgeable dealers, the talks, the atmosphere, but gods honest truth, the stand out was the art of Tin Can Forest.  I met one of the proprietors and immediately had to buy one of her prints.  I then spent a good deal of time lavishing compliments and practically begging her to consider creating a tarot deck from her stunning gallery.


Tin Can Forest; your work speaks to me.  It speaks to my magic, my circles, my rituals.  Every time I look up at your prints I'm reminded that the sabbat is more than real, because you must have been there yourselves to have captured its otherworldliness so succinctly.  We must have met there, over forest and fen, under thickets and in cabins and pits.  This style is like water and thorns, like fairy tale dreams and beautiful nightmares altogether.  You've got quite the aesthetic, TCF, and I'm all about you right now.

Seriously, is there anything I can do to convince you to make a borderless tarot deck from your paintings?  Come on, I pledge invest a small sum every month if it will get me a full tarot deck from you.  I'm dead serious.

pretty please? just think about it....

Interpretation


I saw a path obscured by obstacle, overcome by an all-seeing eye.  I saw a moon above an ox, and thistles in bloom.


Relationships are complicated; romantic or creative. Communication is difficult and it takes some hard work and creativity to make expression of an idea work.  But when you put in the effort and time, success is natural.  Be warned, even though the past can bring back good energy and new opportunities, learning to let go of a distraction is sometimes necessary to create something new.

Love Plant, Love Potion


Bene stetis, bona gens

They say we all love in a particular manner.  Some of us love logically and pragmatically, others romantically and others have companionable love.  Consummate love is rare, it's far more common to be infatuated with the idea of a person rather than the reality.  It's common to become fascinated in love with someone who is inherently bad for you.  And others are doomed to fall in love quickly and wildly, here and there.

"Love is sweet.  A mouth that is the object of erotic love tastes like honey."-Christian Rätsch, Plants of Love

It is part of my identity to recognize the sensual appeal in the realms of taste and smell as they are manifested in nature.  Different smells turn us on, different materials produce different effects; medicinal, metaphysical or otherwise.  Cinnamon stirs passion, vanilla sweetens languishing love, lime teases the tongue and chocolate is euphoric delight in all its diverse forms.

Tea: black tea, blue lotus, peppermint, jasmine blossom. Just for me.
Every culture had its own taboos relating to love magic.  In Latin American magic, vanilla and cacao are used in combination for both medicine and as an aphrodisiac and this pairing is also blended with allspice and cayenne- both of which are considered aphrodisiacs. In Lucumi, omieros of Oshun are blessing and love potions distributed to a patient by the babalawo or a even a witch. In Neapolitan witchcraft, cimarutas or Rue charms are a common talisman, as well as the employment of philters; erotic, committal, consensual, narcotic, entrancing, illegal, forbidden, delighted containing a vast array of herbs and spices.

Friday Morning's Venusian Beauty Bath

In a Tibetan lust-bath potion, it is reported that pomegranate juice, cinnamon, mallow, asparagus and long pepper are employed to reinvigorate that which has been lost.  The ingredients in Southern Hoodoo's love philters involve the volts of the one who is desired or admired; their socks soaked in whiskey, old underwear, spit, semen, hair, breast milk- all manner of personal, these would be coupled with herbal waters, often containing yarrow or High John. This was often mixed with erotic ingredients, concealed in food and fed back to the desired.

Love charms, in all cultures involve a tone of sweetness and floral quality.  The same way the Romanian witches wildcraft sweet flowers for their love potions, so do the brujas in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and so it is with traditional English witches.  In Irish festival lore, hawthorn blossoms morning dew was a potent love and blessing potion.

"Its ritual: either to an apple or pomegranate you recite the incantation three times. You give the fruit to the woman and have her suck the juices.  That woman will come to you: you can make love to her." Neo-Assyrian Ritual texts, 9th Century B.C.E, Ancient Greek Love Magic, Christopher A. Faraone.

Classical folk magic and witchcraft often defined love magic into categories, usually two which represented the separation between charms for intimacy and charms of erotic love.  Christopher A. Faraone helps us define these as eros; which are "spells used to induce uncontrollable passion" and philia; charms which induce affection.  Philters used to cause impotency or coerce sexual frenzy fall under eros, which deals in desires, while those used to bring a woman romantic and marital love as well as the magic of glamour (manipulating the facade with cosmetics and charms) fall under philia.

Floral Tea and Bath; rose petal, bud, hip, French lavender, white heather, blue lotus, marigold, red clover, jasmine blossom, orange osmanthus, elder flower. Requested by Ann. W.
Beyond their simple metaphysical interpretations of folkloric symbolism, there is a real chemistry to some of the Plants of Love.  Though an aphrodisiac flower or food hasn't yet been proven to exist which can cure organic impotency or actually bring a person to orgasm through use alone, there are tastes and smells that appeal to us on an individual level, and this is, in part, because of the chemical make up of different herbs and how they interact with our psychology and physiology.  Many plants of love contain serious poisons like solanaceae herbs and papaver, while others are stimulating and mildly euphoric like plants containing caffeine and caffeine-like chemicals, e.g; cacao, vanilla, tea.

The way we commonly consume cacao and vanilla overshadows the fact that each is processed, stored, fermented and treated to alter flavor and enhance their scent.  Raw cacao nibs and true vanilla pods lose much of their chemical constituents during the treatment process and then again when cooked, which is why raw cacao is often used in order to get a better idea of the true flavor of the bean.  The component of cacao; theobromine, is a stimulant (and poison in large enough doses),  likely lead to its folklore as stimulating warm feelings- similar to vanilla which is ingested for the same purpose.

Do these plants really increase our Oxycontin and Dopamine production or do they just taste so good that we produce these chemicals in response?  I do not know.  What I do know is that there isn't a lot of science to back up the notion of a so-called "true aphrodisiac".  Plants like damiana; the staple Mexican aphrodisiac, anise; Dioscorides claimed this inspired lust, lovage; which is used in standard aphrodisiac tea as well as cinnamon, cacao and vanilla persist in our lore and legends as Plants of Love; both sexual and romantic.
Rose water, orange blossom water, apple cider vinegar, lemon floor wash

Love magic of any kind is about boundaries and choices.  Traditionally, a witch is one who would perform both coercive and consented erotic and romantic spells.  That's part of the differences between a witch in the traditional sense of the term and other practitioners of magic like healers and shamans.  At the same time, the witch would be employed to dissolve or mend or kindle the possibility of marriages, predict fertility and cure venereal diseases with green or white magic.  This is part of the dual nature of the "witch"- just as capable of chaos as order, it all being a matter of choices and personal boundaries.

I could go on and on about the moral implications of tampering with free will, but I'm not entirely sure it works that way, but I will say this; I do not believe I personally have the right to invoke a name in red work, even in the production of erotic philters. I draw my line in the craft at this particular form.  I'm not judging other practitioners for it, that's just part of what makes witches, witches.  I guess right about here, my primary experience with Arts considered not to be "witchcraft" (e.g healing, medicine) shapes my moral views to a degree.  Hex? Sure.  Curse? Hey, shit happens and I wont judge a good curse here or there.  But target a person to coerce their attraction? Nope. I'm not down with metaphysical roofies.

I enjoy helping people feel like they can draw love, opening their minds to the possibilities.  I deal in curiosity and impulses, persuasion and the game.  You know.  That dance?  The flirt before the wave of tension breaks?  I deal in that energy. There's this optimism to my work and it has a lot to do with making people feel full and comfortable.  I find I'm better at that, because it's what empowers me; the curiosity and craving for what's next...  Is that because I'm a tarotist?

Some of these are baths or teas or both.  Depends on who I was working with.  I didn't include a whole list of ingredients because these recipes are private, but I did label their primary parts.  I'm happy with what I've done.  I'm glad people ask me for specific work on such a powerful part of their personal lives.  And it's nice to do my work.

Each person who requested this had received a love reading from me last month during my open period, and it helped me see what they'd need.  After some taste testing, I found some good blends. When I felt that call, I anointed the altar and then got to work.

Success Draw Tea: Orange peel, lemon zest, cacao, vanilla powder (brown and white), ginger root, pinch of marigold.  For D.K

Love Draw Sugar Bath: rose petal, bud and hip, cacao, brown and white vanilla powder, It will be cut with whole milk powder, goat milk powder and honey powder, mixed lastly. For C.B

Renewal Affection Tea:  chili, anise, cinnamon, cacao, brown and white vanilla powder, clove, nutmeg, pinch of Himalayan sea-salt.. For my boy Jackson

  • Plants of Love by Christian Rätsch
  • Pharmako Poeia by Dale Pendell
  • Ancient Greek  Love Magic by Christopher A. Faraone
  • Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph
  • The Sorceress by Jules Michelet
  • Where the Hawthorn Grows: An American Druid's Reflections by Morgan Daimler
  • Magick Potions by Gerina Dunwich

Weekend Work: Ivy

the essence of ivy.

My grandpa gave me this tiny box with an agate set on top a while ago, after I sanitized it I thought it would be a nice place for my solid ritual perfume for the spring; essence of ivy is woody and bitter, but when combined with the blended scents of opium and rose the scent becomes thick and floral, lastly tincture of palo santo adds a piney note which blends well with the sweet and sugary aromas of blonde amber and honey

The suit of Pentacles or Coins is ruled by the planet Saturn, and the herb ivy; this suit symbolized home, fortune, protection and stability, and so the the ivy, which protects and binds is interwoven with this suit.  Meditate.


The Chocolate Rose Lime-sugar Philter



2+ cup: who really knows, I make it different every time depending on who I'm with.  When I'm with someone who doesn't have much of a sugar tooth, I use little sugar.  If I'm with someone like me, I make it thick and sweet and spicy.  Do what feels right.

  • Lime and lemon sugar (a teaspoon combined)
  • Red sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Rose-water infused sugar (1/4 tsp)
  • Raw Ecuadorian cacao (ground to powder, 1/4 cup, more if desired)
  • Cinnamon (powdered 1/3 tsp)
  • Nutmeg (powdered 1/4 tsp)
  • Damiana (powdered 1 tsp)
  • 1 chili pepper during simmer (to taste)
  • Local bee pollen (1 tsp, powdered)
  • Red rose petal (1/2 tsp powdered)
  • Rose syrup (to taste, if wished)
  • Whole milk (powdered, 1/2 cup)
  • Water (2 cup)
  • *additional euphoric herbs of the flowering variety, in the form of butter ;)
I cooked it slowly over the stove in a pan, stirring until it became thick and frothy.  With the rose syrup added and a pat of butter, the philter is heavenly, fast acting.  Strain through cloth mesh, but if you like a little texture, strain through a sifting mesh.  The creamy hot milky mixture will be spicy with a thick aromatic heat that fills the air around it. If you add rose syrup, it's slightly floral and a good combination with the rose powder.

It fills the mouth; hot, sticky, thick and heavy on the tongue.  When it hits the belly it is warm and fiery, probably from the mix of chili seed and prayers to The Holy Harlot.  It has the power to make you giddy and hot, happy and satisfied, ready and willing, and is a perfect dessert between partners (with some whipped cream on top!)

Balancing sweetness is key, don't go overboard just because the cacao is bitter upon first taste; it doesn't take much in the way of syrup or raw sugar crystals to sweeten this chocolate milk.
A Sweet Dream Sugar Gourd

Something Beautiful


I saw something so beautiful inside.  It was clear and blue and warm, it was complicated and destructive, it held my gaze, and it was beautiful and then it died.

Beauty is the spring time.  That is when I come alive, with the seeds and the green.  For some, the beginning of spring is the day you set your clocks forward, for many pagans, the spring arrives with Imbolc.  For me, the spring comes with the first new sprig of green I see in the woods.  The second those bluebells, hyacinth, lunaria and iris start pushing up through the cold earth and stretching up towards the weak sunlight, that's when spring begins.  It begins when the beauty of winter has turned to brittle barrenness and the ground is suddenly dusted in that fine, new grass beneath the frost.

The crab apples, pears and plums wither in their sacks and ferment.  When they slough to the ground, the earth smells like mead and rot and magic.
Spring, to me, is everything beautiful and right. It signifies the beginning of something old and new at the same time.  The wheel is the same every time, you know?  It turns endlessly from one season to the next.  The leaves grow brittle and bare, they grow green and nubile, they grow heavy with fruit, they grow brown and bony.  It's a system that continues on and on forward.  It's a clock to me, a grand clock by which everything that matters can be measured.  I measure my progress each spring; my seeds, my plants, my work by the increasing warmth of the land and the rise of the sun- by the change in constellations and the way the land grows and ebbs and breathes.


Just as the winter is sometimes personified as the Hag and Hunter; the spring sometimes is personified by the Virid Virgin and the Green Man; they symbolize the pure growth of new life before it enters is stage of sexual reproduction and fecundity.  When the flowers bloom and open to the world for the bees to pollinate and the wind to break, they will be in the garden of the green man and woman, of those old gods of woods and trees and soils, they'll be cared for by the next personified season.  Spring is here to cook up life to be served deliciously to us all.

My Yew.
I saw something so beautiful.  It was growth, it was destruction, it was bones covered by moss and black fungus.  It was ripe ferns unfurling and stretching along stumps and hillsides.  I saw glassy saps gushing from between the split legs of an old pine.  I got drunk on the smell of petrichor and withered leaves; I fell asleep to the sound of frost cracking along the creeks.

Winterstide is ending, here comes the Spring.

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