Herbal Grimoire: Rowan (Mountain Ash)

*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.*

Identification

The Rowan is a deciduous tree, growing 5-20 feet tall. The bark is smooth reddish brown to gray, often with a silver sheen. Leaves are compound, oblong to lance-shaped and sharply serrated and dark green with lighter underside. Small white flowers form fluffy clusters and are replaced with bright red to orange berries in autumn. This tree can be found in low-to-middle elevation forests, as well as rocky slopes in northern and mountainous regions. It seems to prefer to grow on the fringes of places, such as meadows, clearings, stream banks, and slopes. Cultivars can also be found along roadways. The berries are edible but extremely tart and bitter.

Remedial Qualities

The berries are high in vitamin C – can be added to jams, wines, beers, and bread. The Nuxalk would rub the berries on the scalp to combat lice and dandruff.

Magickal Qualities

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Sun

Element: Fire

Powers: psychic ability, healing, power, success, creativity, protection

Rowan is primarily considered an Herb of Protection as well as a Visionary Herb. For centuries it has been used for protective purposes in Europe, often being planted around the home. A traditional protective amulet is made with two twigs tied together with red thread to form a cross. The branches are often used in fashioning dowsing rods and magickal wands.

The leaves and berries can be added to incense blends, sachets, and amulets, to enhance creativity and psychic abilities, and to banish unwanted energy.

Preparation and Recipe

To dry the berries:

String the berries together along a thread with a needle, and hang to dry. May be used as is for ritual adornment (as a necklace or on your altar), or removed from thread to add to incense, sachets, etc.

You can also purchase dried berries from the shop here.

Sol Incense Recipe:

2 TBS dried rowan berries

2 TBS dried rowan leaves

1-2 cinnamon sticks

1 TBS frankincense resin

2 TBS St. John’s Wort flowers

Crush ingredients separately in mortar and pestle, then add together in a bowl and mix well. Store in an air tight jar.

Burn as needed for creative and visionary works, divination, or casting a circle for ritual.

References:

Beyerl, Paul. The Master Book of Herbalism. Blaine: Phoenix Publishing, 1984.

Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1990.

Pojar & Mackinnon, ed. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Auburn: Lone Pine Publishing, 2014.

Deur, Douglas. Pacific Northwest Foraging. Portland: Timber Press, 2014.

Bright Blessings,

Saga

Tools of the Witch

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. βš”

Blessed be,

S.

Full Moon :::ABUNDANCE:::

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Gustave Dore (1870)

For this Full Moon, my focus is on :::ABUNDANCE::: πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™


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. πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™

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…✨✨✨


Blessed be,

S.

Definitions of Magick

What is Magick, anyways?

“Magic is the art and science of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” – Aleister Crowley

“Magick is the art, science, and practice of producing ‘supernatural’ effects, causing change to occur in conformity, and controlling events in Nature with will.” – Gerina Dunwich

“Magic is the art of effecting changes in consciousness at will.” – William Butler

“We do not affect fate by our magical operations, we affect ourselves; we reinforce those aspects of our nature which are in sympathy with the powers we invoke.” – Dion Fortune

“Magic is a comprehensive knowledge of all nature.” – Francis Barrett

“Magic is making something happen that you want to happen.” – Raymond Buckland

“Magic is the act of using your will to cause change, by focusing and directing your psychic energy.” – Jennifer Hunter

“Magic…is the art of obtaining results without resort to the ordinary mechanism of cause and effect.” – Serge Hutin

“The work of magic involves transformation, and the first transformation is the shift of perception.” – Marion Weinstein

“In its true sense magic is a high art and science itself, that should release the powers of the imagination for the benefit of any other part of life.” – Gareth Knight

“Magic is the science of the control of the secret forces of nature.” – S.L. Macgregor-Mathers

“[Magic is] the mastery of occult forces and their use in order to produce visible effects.” – Frank Gaynor

“Magick is the art and metaphysical science of manifesting personal desires through the collection and direction of energy.” – Raven Grimassi

“Magic is concerned with the conversion of universal energies into practical frequencies that can be utilized according to the needs of the occasion.” – Murry Hope

Source:

Buckland, Raymond. Wicca for One. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2004.

Blessed Be,

S.