Blackthorn's Botanical Magic: The Green Witch's Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual & Healing

Blackthorn's Botanical Magic: The Green Witch's Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual & Healing

by Amy Blackthorn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578636303
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 09/01/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 90,806
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author


Amy Blackthorn has been described as an "arcane horticulturalist" for her lifelong work with magical plants and teaching of Hoodoo. She incorporates her experiences in British Traditional Witchcraft with her horticulture studies. She has a certification in aromatherapy and is ordained through the Gryphon's Grove School of Shamanism. Amy's company, Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends, creates tea based on old Hoodoo herbal formulas. She lives in Delaware. Visit her at www.amyblackthorn.com.

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CHAPTER 1

Cleansing Smoke and Clearing Energies

Regular use of cleansing smoke with a variety of materials is beneficial to an energetically healthy home. Too many folks rely solely on one cleaning method and one protection method. For example, many people enjoy the way white sage (Salvia apiana) smells, and though it is a good ally for clearing and cleansing space, it should not be your only ally.

Just as folklore says to turn your garments inside out if you think you've been bewitched, so too should your home's energy change. Changing the energetic signature of you, your home, and your loved ones makes it harder for anything nasty to recognize you. True curses and hexes are much rarer than one might be led to believe; they take training, dedication, and effort. That being said, jealousy has a power all its own, and it does not need training, materials, or much effort — only the green-eyed monster. The resentment that jealousy harbors can lead to bad luck, accidents, and worse. You will find many options for protections, cleansings, and the like throughout this book. See the Recipe Index for a full list.

Sage is the go-to for many people, but you don't want to build the magical equivalent of a medically resistant staph infection. Change up your cleansing lineup on a regular basis. Maybe use Florida Water one month; anise protection incense the next; and then sweet-grass (Anthoxanthum nitens) after that. Then try burning frankincense. This is also beneficial in the case of witch wars and grudges. If friend X is no longer welcome in your home and they are likely to try bane work, having a varied protection routine makes it harder for someone to anticipate your plan of action and counter it.

Smoke Tools

There is a hierarchy of smoke tools related to their efficacy.

The weakest of the smoke tools is floral smoke. Lavender buds, for example, are very pleasant smelling. Flowers are well suited to brightening a space.

Leaves are slightly stronger and are good for refreshing the energy of a space. White sage is a common example. Since white sage (Salvia apiana) is largely wildcrafted (harvested in the wild) and used by native peoples, the increasing use of herbal cleansing smoke has led to skyrocketing prices and difficulty in sourcing the materials for the native peoples to whom white sage is sacred. The Salvia genus has many allies that can be farmed and don't infringe on the beliefs and practices of First Nations and Native American people. There are many herbs found in this book that work just as magically.

The roots of a plant are stronger magically than its leaves. Roots will remove energies and entities that were not bothered by leaf smoke. Consider the strength of plant allies like ginger root, calamus root, and galangal root (Low John).

Even stronger than the root allies are wood allies. Palo santo is a popular wood-based smoke tool. This tree, native to Peru and the Yucatán Peninsula, has become increasingly popular in the last few years. This author even spotted it in a chain store that sells costumes, shot glasses, and T-shirts at the local mall. Because of the popularity of this wood, the trees that take decades to reach maturity are overharvested.

The strongest smoke tool of the plant ally families is the resin group. Tree resins are hardened sap structures like dragon's blood (Dracaena draco), frankincense (Boswellia carteri), copal (Protium copal), and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha). If there is a problem that has not been affected by the lower energy signatures of the plant allies, a resin should do the trick.

CHAPTER 2

Timing the Work

The timing of a magical working can make the difference in fighting against the tide and your magic making it to shore. Rather than putting extra effort to work against the moon or the day of the week, try rewording the working.

Color Magic

Essential oils are used in anointing oil blends, and candles are frequently anointed in botanical magic. Here's a cheat sheet of what all the different colored candles signify:

* Red — passion, fertility, enthusiasm, conquering fear, bravery, fast action

* Magenta — fuel for immediate action, enhances other colors, adds speed to magic

* Pink — gentle romance, friendship, honor, harmony, heart relationships, family

* Peach — quiet emotions of joy, strength, peace, truth

* Orange — adaptability, success, encouragement, uplifting, thoughtful

* Yellow — success, thought, will, intent

* Green — prosperity, fast money, healing past lives (use with brown for stable financial resources)

* Blue — spiritual and physical healing, wisdom, balance, trust, tranquility

* Purple — intuition, the Divine, guidance, power, ambition, prophetic dreams

* Black — banishing, hex breaking, breaking bad habits

* White — spiritual enlightenment, cancel magical aims, stalemate, purity, neutral (all-purpose), serenity

* Brown — stability, material wealth (physical goods, real estate), decision making, emotional balance, professional growth

* Gray — neutrality, can be used to cause confusion in an enemy if hexes are directed your way, self-defense, neutralizing harmful energies

* Gold — the God, fast luck, success, intelligence, solar influence

* Silver — the Goddess, resolve inner conflict, persistence, remove negativity

Days of the Week

Here are the best days of the week to perform each type of magic:

* Sunday — personal empowerment, success, generosity, luck

* Monday — spirituality, virtue, emotional security and well-being

* Tuesday — drive, confidence, ambition, victory, vitality

* Wednesday — knowledge, change, charm, communication

* Thursday — luck, power, protected growth, accomplishment, money, honor

* Friday — beauty, grace, the arts, love, fertility, bonding, sex appeal

* Saturday — the law, loss, endings, transforming, banishings, interrupting

Moon Phases and Magic

To give your magic a boost, try timing it with the phase of the moon. For things that won't wait, go with the day of the week that works best.

* Waxing moon — growing toward full. Do magic for increase, prosperity, health, wellness, love.

* Full moon — alignment of moon, earth, and sun (sometime resulting in an eclipse), all purpose, use the extra boost for the metaphysical heavy lifting, court cases, protection.

* Waning moon — shrinking toward the new moon. Practice magic of decrease; bringing things to a close; removing bad habits, negative people, debt, illness.

* New moon — first light. New growth, beginning projects, set ideas in motion. Set goals for the month.

* Dark moon — the absence of light. Do magic surrounding intuition, turning inward, cleansing, banishing or binding both people and addictions.

* Blue moon — the second full moon in a calendar month. Do magic for wishes.

* Black moon — the second new moon in a calendar month. Do magic for serious binding, banishing, stalkers, serious illness, addiction. Heavy lifting.

CHAPTER 3

Making Oils Magical

To perform botanical magic, it's not necessary to memorize a bunch of recipes and formulas. Instead, my goal is to help you learn the basics, and then piece together blends for yourself to suit what you have on hand and what's happening at that moment. Eventually, you'll be able to stretch your wings and create your own blends.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are present in more products than they are given credit for, and now, with internet-based retailers, boutique aromatherapy shops, and artisanal essential oils from farms, there is a surge in interest in the benefits of aromatherapy in everyday life. This includes magical practitioners. Knowing how these essential oils are derived is important, as it can affect the product's scent, whether you can apply it to your skin, and how much it costs. Let's go over some of the ways these oils are produced.

Extracting Essential Oils

Essential oils are single plants, broken down into their volatile constituents through distillation, solvents, or expression.

STEAM DISTILLATION

Steam distillation is the most common method of essential oil extraction and is used mostly for leaves and herbs. Here's how it works: Steam is forced up through a container of plant material into a condenser coil. The steam then collects and travels down the coil and drips into a specialized collection container. The liquid oil is lighter than water, so it rises to the top and drains off. The water left behind is referred to as a hydrosol.

HYDROSOLS

Hydrosols are the by-products of steam distillation that contain 0.02–0.03 percent dissolved particles of the essential oil that was created. They are scented naturally by the plant material they derive from. However, do not expect the hydrosol to smell exactly like its essential oil counterpart, due to the much smaller ratio of dissolved plant material inherent in the solution. Magically speaking, hydrosols have the same properties as the plant's essential oil at a lower price.

Until recently, many companies simply disposed of this beautiful water as a by-product of the oil-making process. But hydrosols are valuable topical products in their own right. For example, one could use a lavender hydrosol as a spritz to call on the protective energies of lavender without needing to acquire and mix lavender essential oil, an oil carrier (more on this below), and mixing equipment.

Hydrosols are excellent bases for liquid smudge blends. They are gentle on the skin and can safely be added to the bath when an essential oil may be irritating. Many hydrosols are simply sold in pump bottles, as they make a nourishing mist for skin, fresh from the refrigerator on a hot day, or from the gym bag before you jump into the car to head home, and are sold as yoga mat sprays to freshen yoga mats after a vigorous practice.

Anytime a blend mentions water diffusers, it is possible to use a water-based room spray (or hydrosol) if a diffuser is impractical. Place 1 teaspoon table salt or witch hazel in a glass bowl and add 30 drops essential oil or synergy. Top with 2 tablespoons water and stir well. Transfer the synergy into a spray bottle and fill with warm water. Give it a good shake before spraying. Note: If essential oils are placed directly into water for spraying, they can leave oil stains on surfaces, so always use an intermediary.

WATER DISTILLATION

Water distillation is used for flowers that are too delicate for steam distillation. Water distillation can be accomplished at home with few materials and makes beautiful waters that can be used in magic, cosmetics, and aromatherapy.

SOLVENT EXTRACTION

Solvents are used to extract oils from delicate plant materials, namely flowers. The oil extracted with the solvent method is referred to as an absolute, such as rose absolute. Keep in mind the amount of time as well as the sheer quantity of flowers it takes to produce this material when looking at the price. For example, it takes about sixty roses to produce just one drop of rose absolute.

EXPRESSION/COLD PRESSING

Cold-pressed oils are a bit of a misnomer. The room temperature materials (citrus peels are the most common cold-pressed essential oils) are crushed between large rollers to release a dark-colored and highly fragrant oil.

Synergies

A blend of two or more essential oils is known as a synergy. Synergies have a number of applications for our use. Ritual synergies can fill a room with a protective scent via a diffuser. Keep in mind that synergies have not been diluted, so they may be dangerous to put directly onto the skin. They are meant to be used in nasal inhalation tubes, room diffusers, or oil burners.

Caution: Please do not put undiluted essential oils on your skin without the direction of a certified aromatherapist. These are volatile oils and can cause chemical burns if caution is not used. Please seek the advice of a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils on anyone under twelve, and never use essential oils on infants. They simply do not have the body mass and will reach toxic levels very quickly. Although some vendors of essential oils are simultaneously trained professional aromatherapists, many, if not most, are not. Please be sure to consult with someone who has properly accredited training. Schools that train accredited aromatherapists will have listings that can be searched.

Base and Carrier Oils

The terms "base oil" and "carrier oil" mean the same thing in terms of essential oils, and I use them interchangeably. Base oils can enhance the effect of your magic. The majority of base or carrier oils come from seeds or nuts. This is important for magic because the energy of new life contained within those oils can bring a powerful push of creation to any spell you use them in.

When choosing a carrier oil, consider the situation or occasion, the oil's shelf life, and your personal preference. For example, if an oil is being designed for a sabbat, choosing a carrier oil with a shelf life of three months means that a very small amount should be blended. Conversely, if the oil being designed is for a sabbat ritual attended by three hundred people, using an oil with a short shelf life is perfectly understandable, because many people will use the oil that day, and there will be very little remaining.

When creating an oil for your purposes, putting an expiration date on your label can save you time and energy. Properly cared for, your oil could last beyond the stated times. Trust your nose — you will know a rancid oil when you smell one.

Proper care of oil blends includes dark glass or dark number 1 plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, stored away from oil-destroying UV rays. A stable temperature is helpful, especially one on the cool side. Heat can be as detrimental as UV exposure. Oils with a short shelf life can be stored in the refrigerator to help lengthen their life span. Remember, even if they are kept out of light, oils are still susceptible to oxidation. This means that the longer the oil has been in the bottle, and the more oil has been used, the more space in the bottle that contains oxygen that can corrupt the oil inside.

Following are a few recommended carrier oils.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil has a nourishing effect on the skin, and its nutrients are easily absorbed. The penetrating action of the oil will deliver whatever has been added to it down into the deeper layers of skin, the subcutaneous tissue. It is well suited for sensitive or aging skin.

The benefit for magical practitioners is this oil becomes a part of you, rather than sitting on the surface of the skin with a greasy feel. The oil becomes part of the practitioner — a fitting visual for oils dedicated to certain deities and their dedicants. Apricot kernel oil is useful for anything related to Venus: love, the arts, beauty, luxury. It also works well in blends designed to facilitate a good night's sleep.

Apricot kernel oil's shelf life is six to twelve months.

Avocado Oil

On the skin, this oil is very penetrating and much heavier than apricot kernel oil. Cold-pressed avocado oil has incredible fats that make for a rich moisturizer for all skin types. It can help clear problem skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains vitamin E and other antioxidants.

Avocado oil is magical by itself, and that magic involves creating new life and new beginnings as well as prosperity. That is just the energy of new life waiting to burst out of the seed. Because avocado has that round, full seed, it is useful in magic for fertility, including ritual oils for procreation, increasing sex drive in a partner, and lust. It's not just for physical fertility, mind you. If you need to make your business fertile, using an avocado-based oil is the way to go.

The oil of avocado has a relatively short shelf life, so make small batches, or only what will be used immediately. Use within three months.

Coconut Oil

Fractionated and expressed coconut oils are equally nourishing for the skin. The largest difference between the two is their room temperature states. Fractionated coconut is liquid at room temperature, while expressed coconut oil is solid with a low melting point. Many companies dilute their most expensive essential oils with jojoba or fractionated coconut oil to lessen the impact on the wallet. Coconut oil is a neutral-smelling body and cooking oil, and it is easy to find on the shelf in the grocery store. Additionally, it is easy to find organic coconut oil at reasonable prices.

Coconut oils are well suited to blends involving love, lunar magic, abundance, balance, childbirth or conception, good luck, or elemental magic.

The stability or shelf life of coconut oil is two or more years.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Blackthorn's Botanical Magic"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Amy Blackthorn.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction: No Magic Wand Needed! 1

1 Cleansing Smoke and Clearing Energies 7

2 Timing the Work 11

3 Making Oils Magical 15

4 Nine Myths of Essential Oils 37

5 Botanical Magic Starter Kit 41

6 Essential Oils from A to Z 49

7 Botanical Divination 279

Appendix A Phototoxicity and Protecting Your Skin 296

Appendix B Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy 297

Appendix C Testing Your Essential Oils for Quality and Purity 298

Appendix D Botanical Magic Resources 302

Glossary of Botanical Magic Terms 303

Recipe Index 311

Bibliography 317

Acknowledgments 321

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