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Herbs for the Modern Heathen

Herbs for the Modern Heathen by The Herb Witch

Be sure to check out more from The Herb Witch HERE.

Many of us, do not live in the place that our ancestors lived. I was born in England but moved to Canada
as a child. As a Heathen, I use herbs daily in my daily practice as well as in my sacred spaces and it has
been quite the journey researching the type of herbs and plants that my ancestor would have used. This
is my experience, and I am not going to tell you how to Heathen. I will chat a little bit about how I use
herbs to connect with my ancestors, the gods, the land spirits and wights.

Offering Fire

I often have Offering fires in which I offer food to my ancestors, a drop of ale poured on the ground and certain herbs to burn in the fire as an offering. In my personal ritual I use the herbs that were common and abundant in the time of my ancestors. The herbs I offer are usually wormwood, mugwort, lemon balm, peppermint, clary sage, rosemary, rose petals, lavender and chamomile. I often interchange this with cedar, juniper and pine tips, black walnut, beech, birch, poplar, willow and elm barks. There is no need for a specific list, I offer what is at hand and what is available to me at that time. Better yet, bundling cedar, pine and juniper with these herbs is a wonderful offering as well and these bundles can be placed directly in the fire to burn along side any incense or loose herbs that you would like to add.

Herbs for the Land Spirits or Landvaettir

Illustration of a landvaettr

Throughout all the seasons, I will often walk through a field or a forested area and leave an herbal offering for the land spirits. I will often tie up a cloth bundle with various herbs and flowers and seeds and lay it in a clear area for the land spirits. Upon laying down the bundle, I open it up and lay it down flat on the earth. For me it acts as a token of my gratitude for all the gifts that I receive from the land. You can also sit in a spot of your choosing and burn an herb offering bundle or loose herbal incense. These are only suggestions, and you can certainly create your own way of offering up offerings to the Landvaettir.

Offerings

Herbal offerings

When offering to the Gods the rationale I use to select herbs is to select herbs that symbolize the qualities and skills of that God. I will provide you with a short list of the herbs I use for offerings to the Gods.

Baldur – Sunflower petals, Marigold, Chamomile (flowers I associate with being bright)


Freya- Mints, Roses, Mugwort ( Seidr work) , daisies


Frigga – Flaxseed, Birch Bark, Lavender, Roses, Calendula (Hearth Herbs)


Eir- Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Chamomile, Lemon Balm (Healing Herbs)


Hel- Mugwort, Plantain, Rue, Wormwood (plants associated with the dead)


Heimdall- Rosemary, Clove, Allspice, Clary Sage ( Herbs for protective vigilance)


Odin- Ash bark, Mugwort, Viper’s Bugloss, Woad, Red Clover (Shamanic Herbs)


Thor-Nettle, Thistle (protective yet aggressive plants) Oak bark ( sacred to Thor, Donar)


Woden – Mugwort, Plantain, Watercress, Chervil, Mayweed (Wild Chamomile), Dried Crab Apple,
Nettle, Fennel and Viper’s Bugloss (borage). These are the herbs from the Nine Herbs Charm poem.

**This is just a sample as I prepare herbs for many gods, but hopefully this gives you a bit of an idea.
Please use your own intuition and definitely use what is at hand.

Yule Herb Bundles

When crafting bundles or incense for burnt offerings to my ancestors I like to offer what ever is in season as well as offering two specific flowers of herbs to my bundles. I often add Forget me nots to my bundles as well as Black Eyes Susans as they are said to act as a conduit to the beloved dead.

I go by the seasons, in early spring it is the first flowers such as violets, tulips and daffodils. Further into summer I will offer roses, lavender, calendula, peppermint, rosemary, clary sage, thyme and what ever else is in season. I the end, it is an offering of what you have and what is available for you to offer up.

Many Blessings to your home and hearth!
wyrþe þanc!!
The Herb Witch

Further Resources

Incorporate herbs into spells, rituals, and divination with this all-inclusive guide to the benefits of using herbal magic in witchcraft.

From creating potions to using dried herbs in rituals, herbal magic is a natural way to practice witchcraft. Herbs can be used in many different ways to help set the intention through every part of a witch’s process.

In The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs, learn everything you need to use the most powerful herbs and use them as an essential part of your practice. Including information on which herbs are best for what kinds of spells, how to use herbs in divination and rituals, and step-by-step guides to making herbal bundles, potions, and sprays, this guidebook has all the important facts to make your herbal witchcraft a success.

Jam-packed with herbal ideas, this guide is perfect for both beginners and experienced witches looking to incorporate more herbs into their practice. Beautiful and functional, it is easy to navigate and offers a detailed guide to herbal magic!

A highly recommended Youtube channel is that of Freyia Norling who is extremely knowledgeable regarding the use of herbs and more with Norse Folk Medicine.

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Ocean Jasper: The Crystal of Waves

Ocean Jasper: The Crystal of Waves by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check out W1tchsbrew’s Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd.

WHAT IS OCEAN JASPER?

Ocean Jasper or Sea Jasper is characterized by the presence of small spherical aggre- gates (spherulites, or “orbs”), just a few millimeters in diameter, that derive from a process of alternation and silicification of volcanic tuff and rhyolite flows. As one of the many known types of Jasper, Ocean Jasper is a member of the Quartz family. Its high mineral silica content accounts for the specks of shimmering druzy quartz often found in Ocean Jasper. This includes orb-like shapes alongside other patterns and strips of colour – hence the name, orbicular Ocean Jasper.

OCEAN JASPER ORIGINS:

Ocean Jasper only comes from one place in the world, northwestern Madagascar. It is found in the Analalava district of the Sofia region in the former province of Mahajanga. 

As the deposits are part of the shoreline they can only be seen and mined at low tide. With no roads in this remote area, material must be removed and transported by boat.

TYPES OF OCEAN JASPER:

Eight different veins of Ocean Jasper have been discovered and each has produced slightly different looking stones. Although this crystal is more commonly found in white, green and brown, Ocean Jasper is sometimes also found in black, blue, red, pink, orange, yellow and gray.

The stone was named “Ocean” jasper by an American mineral dealer in 1922, simply because the first known deposit was located very close to the sea itself as well as its resemblance to waves, ripples, and water drop rings. 

The best known research on Ocean Jasper is by Dr. Werner Lieber. He theorized that it is a sphärolithischer Chalcedon (German, “spherulitic or orbicular chalcedony”) Spherulitic refers to spherulites, a more technical name for the orbs.

8th vein ocean jasper is considered by many as the finest kind of ocean jasper.

METAPHYSICAL HEALING PROPERTIES OF OCEAN JASPER:

Ocean jasper is said to provide calm, uplifting energy to the holder in trying times, feeding into a more optimistic outlook on life. The stone aids clearer communication, and enhances self-confidence as well as insight. 

This beautiful stone draws its soothing power from the element of Water, outputting strength and renewal with a slow, steady frequency and a deep circular energy that embodies the interconnectedness of all things. A highly spiritual Shamanic stone, Ocean Jasper is said to purify everything around us as well as connect us with protective and healing nature spirits.

PHYSICAL HEALING PROPERTIES OF OCEAN JASPER:

Ocean Jasper is also popular among crystal healers for its believed ability to address and relieve certain physical ailments as well as activating and aligning solar plexus, heart, and throat chakras

Ocean Jasper is thought to be highly restorative for tissue deterioration of the internal organs. Said to help stabilize nutritional absorption of vitamins and minerals, especially in balancing sodium and iodine levels and relieving water retention, Ocean Jasper is highly sought out for it’s believed physical healing properties. 

Known as the “Supreme Nurturer,” Jasper is a stone of grounding and stability, providing comfort and security, strength and healing. Its presence balances the aura to a level of wholeness and peace, and acts as a reminder that one is not here on the physical plane simply for oneself, but to bring joy and substance to others.

Like the gentle tides that ebb and flow along the shore, wearing away rocks and bringing gifts from the oceans floor, Ocean Jasper brings to the surface long-hidden and unresolved emotional issues in a soft and nurturing manner. Ocean Jasper inspires compassion towards yourself throughout any healing process. It promotes patience, reminding you that everything is accomplished in perfect time. This is a crystal for being honest with oneself and listening to your heart, especially when confronting problems. As you align with Ocean Jasper you willingly accept responsibility for your actions and experience a more joyous, confident outlook.
Explore the natural wonder of one of the most important petrological discoveries of the last 20 years, the spectacular Ocean Jasper or “Spherulitic Chalcedony” of Madagascar. Coveted by collectors, lapidaries and the jewelry market, this amazing material has become exceedingly rare as large-scale high grade specimens, and remains a geological mystery to petrologists. Find out why conservation efforts are important to preserve remaining large-scale specimens for classification and research studies. Includes full color images of many beautiful specimens.
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Phantom Quartz: Otherworldly and Rare

Phantom Quartz: Otherworldly and Rare by guest Blogger W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check out W1tchsbrew’s Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Otherworldly and rare, Phantom quartz is a variety of quartz consisting of visible layers of overlapping crystal growths. The outline of the inner crystals can be seen due to some variation in composition or mineral inclusion making the boundary between growths visible. The interior crystal layers are known as phantoms.

About 2000 years ago, naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote that Quartz crystals were formed in icy environments particularly in caverns and dark clefts in the mountains. This became the widely accepted belief in the 18th century when modern geology was just burgeoning in Europe. Around that time, Phantom Quartz crystals were called ‘ghost crystals’ and ‘shadow crystals.’

Phantom Quartz in Spirituality

Shamans consider Phantom Quartz to be the light stone. It symbolizes the light residing in every person. Toltec philosophy claims that every living being is a light being, which means all organisms come from the same source and are interconnected.

But our light can get dimmed and often not seen by the naked eye. This causes us to feel disconnected from others and the world. Phantom Quartz counters this effect. Its light helps restore our bond with every living creature.

Phantom Quartz can also be found in other colors such as this green specimen.

Metaphysical Properties of Phantom Quartz

It is believed that the crystal can heighten intuition and create a connection with one’s spirit guide. Phantom Quartz is used to access the angelic realm. It is beneficial in unblocking and activating the third eye and crown chakras. As a result, greater consciousness and spiritual growth is achieved.

The crystal also has the ability to balance the root and sacral chakras, the areas that can get blocked by a person’s traumas. Blocked lower chakras can lead to fear and low self-esteem. Phantom Quartz clears out and balances these energy points to replace unproductive energies with love, creativity, sexuality, and stability.

Phantom Quartz is effective at cleansing auras and dispelling negative energies. It helps with personal inner growth and overcome stagnation. It aids and enhances healing abilities and facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body. Phantom Quartz connects to the earth and higher realms.

ORIGIN

Phantom Quartz is only found in Minas Gerais, an inland state in southern Brazil known for its wealth of minerals and mining activities.

Phantom quartz crystals have been referred to as ghost crystalsspectre crystals and shadow crystals. The name quartz comes from the Saxon word querklufterz which meant cross vein ore.

A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guide to crystals.

Find a known crystal instantly or identify an unknown crystal in this easy-to-follow directory that includes photographic identification, detailed descriptions, and information on the individual properties of each crystal–including the spiritual, mental and psychological, emotional and physical effects, plus its use in healing. It’s an indispensable reference for crystal lovers everywhere, featuring over 150 crystals.