Cloves are great to have around the house. Not only do they smell amazing, but they can help out in times of trouble.
The smell of cloves (hung up or burned as incense) is supposed to drive away hostile energy, purify a room, and attract riches.
Carrying cloves is thought to bring comfort to the bereaved.
Garlic can be used for so much more than just chasing away vampires.
This stinky herb is great for protection. Hanging dried Garlic over your door is thought to protect the home from negative energy, robbers, and illness. Biting a Garlic clove is supposed to chase away demons, and wearing a necklace of cloves is thought to protect against physical injury.
Rubbing a clove of Garlic over an injury, and then throwing the clove into a river, supposedly brings speedy healing. If you’re worried about contracting Hepatitis, wearing thirteen cloves for thirteen days is supposed to protect you from this disease (though, nowadays, it’s easier just to get the shot).
Tucking a clove under a child’s pillow is thought to keep them safe from night terrors, while rubbing a little Garlic on the inside of a cooking pot blesses and protects the food (and adds a little flavor).
Eating lots of Garlic is also rumored to be good for your love life. Apparently, it triggers lust, not only in the eater-of-the-Garlic, but also in their date.
On top of all of this, Garlic is super easy to grow. Just buy a head at the store and leave it in a cool, not-too-sunny place for a couple of weeks. Suddenly you’ll have these little green shoots (called Garlic Sprouts). Break apart the head and toss any cloves that are funny colors or squishy. Set the rest of the cloves in a shallow container (flat ends down), add just a little water, and leave them in a sunny place. Soon they’ll grow roots and produce more shoots.
You can trim these sprouts and use them like you would chives. They have that awesome Garlic flavor, but they don’t make your breath stink.
Make sure you change the water every few days and toss any cloves that start to look icky. The cloves will produce sprouts for about 3 months. Once the shoots brown and dry up, toss the cloves and get some more.
Hey there, readers!
Thanks for sticking with me, even though I’ve been super lame lately.
While I’m going to honestly try my best to get back on track, here, I may continue to be lame for a little while. I promise to try my best to write a minimum of two posts a week – hopefully I’ll be back up to five before we know it.
Tell me what your favorite topics are (in the comments of this post), and I’ll make sure they don’t fall by the wayside.
Also, here’s a picture of Assassin being adorable … just ’cause.
Boy, I don’t know about you guys, but this whole Mercury in Retrograde thing has really hit me hard. Not so much in my day-to-day life luckily, but my creative life has really suffered.
For the last several days, I’ve just been unable to be artistic and fun. It’s all bad.
Honestly, I must have tried to start this post a dozen times. And every time the photos I took were grainy and boring, the text I wrote was bland and repetitive, and my heart just wasn’t in it.
Today, I woke up determined to FINALLY write this post. I decided that maybe if I tried something a little different, it would spark my creative side.
So instead of the normal photos that accompany my posts, today my friends, you will have drawings – in crayon, no less. Because, really, it’s impossible not to have fun when drawing with crayons.
In my last post (which feels like it was a hundred years ago, I know), I asked what you wanted to see. And two-thirds of you voted for a Wiccan How-To.
So today, we’re going to talk about how to set up an Altar.
(Please, keep in mind that this is how I – as a solitary Wiccan- set up my altars. This post is intended only as a jumping off point. There’s no right or wrong, here.)
Now, a good altar needs three things : 1. A representation of Spirit, 2. A representation of your intention, 3. A representation of yourself.
For most Wiccans (and, really, for most people of any religion), Spirit is involved in everything you do. I’m not talking about a big ol’ guy with a long white beard, here. I’m not even talking about a specific deity. I’m talking about the over-arching idea of a higher power – however you choose to see it.
When looking for a way to represent Spirit on your alter, you should find something that speaks to you. It doesn’t matter what it is – there’s no wrong answer here – as long as it’s meaningful to you. You could use a statue of a deity, a branch of a tree you really love, a painting which moves you, or even a certain color candle.
Really, there are only two types of altars – permanent altars and temporary altars. A permanent altar is set up in a designated space. It might be a portion of a bookshelf, an end table, it might even be hanging on the wall. A permanent altar never (well, rarely) moves. A temporary altar is one that you set up for a short period of time.
Both types have their purpose. A permanent altar is usually created to bring something to a household (like love, protection, or respect). Temporary altars are most often used for rituals or holidays.
If you’re having a hard time finding something to represent the intention of the altar, just ask yourself “Why am I making this altar?” Is it to celebrate a holiday? Seasonal herbs or fruits are a great way to show that (think pumpkins at Samhain and pine boughs at Yule). Is it to honor a loved one who has passed? Photos or mementos (like jewelry or letters) are perfect. Or maybe it’s to bring a little extra love into your life? Rose Quartz, pink candles, or dried flower petals are decorative, as well as meaningful.
There are lots of different ways to represent yourself in your altar. Many people consider actually standing at the altar to be the representation (this works best for temporary altars, since you usually take it down when you’re finished standing in front of it). In a permanent altar, it’s best to leave a small trinket or symbol among the other items. You know, since you have a life, and won’t be standing in that corner of your living room 24/7.
Whatever you choose, just be sure that it’s meaningful to you.
You may also want to use an altar cloth. Altar cloths are great because they add visual depth to your altar, protect the altar’s surface (that table or shelf you’re using) from things like wax and scratches, and they can be used to represent the different aspects.
For example, your grandpa’s old handkerchief might be perfect for that memorial altar. A piece of fabric, printed with a pentagram, might be exactly what your protective altar needs. You might even use a strip of lace for your love altar.
Like I said, there’s no wrong way to make an altar. Just pick things that you love and have fun.
Ps – If you’re looking for a good book on altars, check out Altars : Bringing Sacred Shrines Into Your Everyday Life by Denise Linn. It’s full of beautiful pictures and great ideas.
Hey guys, sorry that I didn’t post for awhile there. It’s been kind of a rough week here at the Myles house.
There’s almost a foot of snow here in Salem. I realize that doesn’t sound like much, but Salem doesn’t understand plowing or road-salting. Plus, my apartment looks like this:
In other news, this is my 99th post! Monday will be my 100th, and I want to do something pretty cool.
So tell me what kind of post you want to see! A video post? An awesome recipe? A Wiccan How-To? An awesome recipe in video form?
Want to see something that isn’t on this poll? Just leave it in the comments (nothing weird, please!) and I’ll add it.
You can vote more than once, so if something cool gets added later, you can always pop back and vote for it.
Get your votes in by Monday morning – I’ll post Monday evening.
Thanks to all my readers for being totally awesome!
Sage is used for all kinds of awesome things.
It’s a protective herb. Burning Sage in a home will cleanse and bless the space.
Carrying Sage is thought to promote wisdom. Carrying the leaves in a sachet or in your pocket is supposedly the best way to bring a little wisdom to your life.
Writing a wish or intention on a Sage leaf and sleeping on it is thought to make the wish real. If, however, you haven’t dreamed of your desire within three days, you’re supposed to bury the leaves and try again.
Apparently, there are a few rules when it comes to gardening Sage. Filling an entire garden plot with this herb is considered bad luck. It’s best to plant Sage beside another magickal herb.
Evidently, it’s also bad luck to plant your own Sage. I’ve read that you’re supposed to have a friend or family member plant it for you, but to me that sounds kind of hard to accomplish… Maybe if you offer to do the dishes or something?
I mention grounding and meditation a lot on this little blog. That’s because, for many Wiccans, these practices are an everyday thing.
Now, personally, I usually only meditate once a week or so (mostly because I just can’t sit still that long), but I do ground myself on the daily. Grounding is one of those things that is easy to personalize and simplify. So it’s possible to ground yourself in a matter of minutes, verses the hour or so I feel I need for a good mediation.
So what’s the difference between grounding and meditation? Grounding is basically finding your spiritual center – that calm state of mind where you feel peaceful. Meditation is when you use that calm state of mind to think over your issues.
Most people combine the two, but really they’re separate – since you can ground without meditating.
There are hundreds and hundreds of different ways to ground yourself and meditate (seriously, Google it sometime). Luckily, there’s really no wrong way to do either – so try a few out and see what works best for you.
Basically, the goal of grounding is to feel calm, peaceful, centered.
The goal of meditation is a little different. Generally when people meditate, they’re seeking wisdom on a specific topic. People often meditate on an idea, a feeling, or a problem.
Stones and incenses are great for meditation because they can help keep you focused on the issue at hand. For example, if your problem is of an emotional nature, you may meditate while holding Rose Quartz. If you’re meditating to find wisdom, burning sage incense can help direct your thoughts.
Don’t worry if you struggle with grounding and meditation at first – it can take time to find a method that works for you.
Smokey Quartz is a beautiful stone. It’s bright and clear, like Clear Quartz, but often has grey impurities swirling beneath the surface.
This stone is perfect for meditation because it absorbs energy, and can be used to direct it. It also dissolves negative energy, leaving you with a fresh state of mind.
Smokey Quartz is also a great healing stone. It’s thought to help regulate internal fluids, help with congestion, and relieve depression.
Rosemary is basically awesome.
Firstly, it’s a powerful protective herb. Hanging dried Rosemary over your threshold is thought to discourage thieves, while tucking some under a mattress is supposed to shield the sleeper from all harm.
Rosemary is also a well-known healing herb. Tying a sachet of Rosemary to your arm is thought to dispel depression, while adding a little essential oil to a bath retains youthfulness. Ancient healers often washed their hands in a Rosemary infusion, and burned Rosemary and Juniper leaves in sickrooms to promote healing.
On top of all this, Rosemary has recently been scientifically studied for its ability to slow Alzheimer’s. One study recently found that smelling Rosemary every day can significantly delay the effects of the disease.
Plus, Rosemary is awesome in scrambled eggs (with a little feta cheese and spinach, especially).