First sprouts of the year, Thyme 🧚♀️💚 Because this is due more to chance and circumstance, rather than any planning on my part, I’ve chosen to see this wonderful herb as a message of guidance for the year ahead. The magickal powers of Thyme include health + healing, restful sleep, psychic powers, love, purification, and courage. It is used to invoke the Faery Folk, and a bank or bed of Thyme in the garden is believed to be home to the Faeries. The flowers of Thyme represent courage and bravery. This herb is both hardy and delicate, and reminds me of the phrase, “sword without armor”. Remedially it is most commonly used for afflictions of the lungs and stomach, both of which I associate with grief, so perhaps it may be used as a balm for grief as well. Overall, I understand this to mean I should continue my work with the Faery Folk, remember my own inner strength and courage, particularly when it comes to experiencing grief, and focus more on my path of healing, for self and others. 🙏✨ While this is a personal reflection, perhaps it resonates for you as well, or perhaps you have your own first sprouts that you may glean from in a similar manner?
Bright Blessings and Merry Imbolc,
Resources: • The Forgotten Arts: Growing, Gardening & Cooking with Herbs by Richard M. Bacon • The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra • Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham • The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl
I am excited to let you know that the MMC shop is now open! Here I’ll be adding items that I find useful for the Witch, such as herbs, candles, apothecary items, and more. These are all created, crafted, and assembled by me, and many of the items will be foraged and/or garden-grown as well. I aim to provide goods that are created sustainably, inspire you in your Craft, and are available at affordable prices. Please follow me on IG @mmc.blog to stay up-to-date on new additions as well.
While the calendar new year is not really a part of the Witch’s Wheel, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a time for intention and ritual. Here are a few ideas for activities that can be done at this time, and if you have additional ideas, please let me know in the comments!
*Please note: this is not a monograph, and I am not an herbalist. This is an excerpt from my herbal grimoire, and the writings of a Witch. It is intended to supplement your own research and studies.*
Who is Saint John?
Saint John, also know as John the Baptist, was a Jewish preacher in the 1st century AD. Christian scholars believe he baptized Jesus, and the Gospels portray him as a precursor or forerunner to Jesus. According to the New Testament, he was beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between AD 28 and 36 for rebuking Herod for divorcing his wife and unlawfully marrying the wife of his brother.
Saint’ John’s Wort is named after this religious figure because the flowers usually bloom on or around June 24th, which is believed to be Saint John’s birthday. The crimson liquid exuded by the plant is believed to be a symbol of the blood spilled from his beheading, and the five yellow petals resemble a saintly halo.
Scientific name: Hypericum perforatum
Hypericum comes from the Greek word hyperikon, which means “over an apparition”, referring to the belief that this herb warded off evil spirits. Perforatum refers to the pinhole perforations found in the leaves and petals.
“…the leaves bear pellucid, transparent dots along their green surfaces…” – Michael Moore
An herbaceous perennial found in uncultivated ground, woods, hedges, roadsides, and meadows. May be found blooming throughout summer. The flowers are bright yellow, an indication of the healthy virtues of this herb. If you crush the flowers, they exude a crimson-purple liquid. The leaves have tiny pinhole perforations, which you can see if you hold one up to the light.
Saint John’s Wort is used to treat pains and diseases of the nervous system, and can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is one of the best herbal therapies for those experiencing depression and numbing frustration, as a result of feeling “stuck in a rut.” Topically it works well as an all-purpose ache and pain reliever.
Powers: health, protection, strength
Saint John’s Wort is considered an Herbe of Protection, which history dates back to the early Greeks. It may be tossed in the hearth or fireplace to bring protection to the home (it would also be an excellent addition to an incense blend created for use in protection magick). It may also be placed in a jar and hung by a window or doorway to prevent malevolent spirits from entering the home. It may be used as an amulet to be worn on the body for protection and/or good health – also to attract love, and cure melancholy. It is associated with the element of fire, and may be used in magickal works to commune with fire spirits. Gather and dry the herb over a midsummer bonfire as part of your seasonal celebrations.
“A tincture of the flowers in spirit of wine, is commended against melancholy and madness.” – Culpeper
For depression: combine equal parts powders of St. John’s Wort, red rose petals, and lemon balm. Take two “00” size gelatin capsules every two hours for no more then three days in succession, tapering off to three times daily as symptoms subside.
To make a tincture: Gather the flowering tops, chop these up and fill a glass jar with as much herb as possible. Cover herb with 100 proof vodka (fill jar til almost overflowing). Screw on the cap, store in a cool, dark place (such as a kitchen cabinet). Strain after six weeks. Take 20-30 drops, up to three times per day.
To make an oil: Gather flowering tips, set them loosely in an open paper bag for a day, then chop them well and pack them into a jar with olive oil. Store away from sunlight in a warm place for 2-3 weeks. Strain well, squeezing with a cloth to extract as much oil as possible.
To make a salve: melt one cup of infused oil with one ounce of beeswax in a double boiler. Pour into jars, allow to cool and cap. Combines well with Arnica and Poplar Bud oils as an all-purpose ache and pain reliever.
Do not ingest if you gather this herb from roadsides. Instead, you may dry it, to be used in incense, amulets, witch bottles, etc.
Infused oil for cold sores: apply one drop to affected area to prevent cold sores from developing, or to manage nerve pain and speed recovery.
Anointing oil for Protection (infused oil) – in my experience, when anointing yourself with St. John’s Wort oil, it will bring about protection in unexpected ways (as is often the case with magickal workings), but in exactly the way you need it. St. John’s Wort is an herb of blessing and healing, and when worked with respectfully, will bring profound transformation when it comes to inner strength and boundaries.
The object you see hanging around my neck is a flint striker, which I use along with my magickal knife to start fires for ritual, cooking, dye pots etc. What started out as a somewhat mundane novelty (starting fires with a flint striker is pretty fun) became, over time, a more significantly magickal practice for me. Building the foundation for the fire with paper, kindling, and then firewood – ensuring the structure has good airflow to catch, then creating a small nest of dryer lint at the very center, striking the flint to create sparks – getting the angle and pressure just right to do so, waiting patiently for the lint to catch.. it’s an incredibly meditative process. It has taught me about patience and the importance of good bones. It has taught me about energy exchange and transmutation. It has brought me to experiencing a stronger connection to my ancestors. And there is still more to learn from this humble skill. So now I adorn myself with this flint striker, and feel the true weight of it as a Tool of the Witch. ⚔
For this Full Moon, my focus is on :::ABUNDANCE::: 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙
Imagine you are a night traveler, a figure of the Shadow Realm traversing the Greenwood under a cloak of stars every night, opening your senses as your visibility is diminished, listening acutely for any dangers of beast or man. The night is your home, yet it is a crooked path and the way is often unknown. Then, one night, you begin to notice more clarity in your vision – the stones and foliage around you begin to take shape. Everything takes on a progressively silver hue, and you are starting to see the world around you. Finally, one night you look up and see something that takes your breath away – a giant glowing orb in the sky, radiating light beyond your imagination. Everything is bathed in this glowing light, the path is clear, your step becomes more swift and assured as you can now see the way without doubt. The beauty of the Greenwood around you is remarkable, it is all illuminated now in the generous moonlight. 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙
This is ABUNDANCE , the light of the full moon reminds us of the generosity of Nature. With ABUNDANCE we are filled with a sense of gratitude, to the point of awe – it is something to celebrate and appreciate. It allows us to see our way more clearly, to walk a bit more confidently, to see the beauty around us, and more of the big picture. And just like the light of the Full Moon ABUNDANCE comes and goes… and with the Dark Moon we are once again turned inward, to rely on more subtle senses and take in the splendour of the stars…✨✨✨