Archive for the ‘healing’ Category


My three year-old Canadian Maple is suffering from a touch of mildew, and I want to try making my own fungicide before trekking out to find a chemical version.

Baking Soda fungicide

  • 1 tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Washing up liquid
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 gallon – 3.8 litres (6.5 pints) Water
  • Tablespoon measuring device
  1. Mix the baking soda, vegetable oil, and washing up liquid with the water.
  2. Shake solution to mix the ingredients. It is important to keep the ingredients mixed thoroughly so continue to shake the solution often while spraying.
  3. Spray on areas of your lawn or garden that is affected by fungus. The fungicide can be used on lawns and on vegetables, and ornamental plants in your landscape. One gallon of this home remedy fungicide will cover/treat approximately 1000 square feet.

Garlic and Mineral Oil Fungicide

  • 3 oz minced garlic cloves
  • 1 oz mineral oil
  • 1 tsp fish emulsion
  • 16 oz water
  • 1 tbsp castile soap
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth or muslin fabric
  • Spray bottle

    Mix the mineral oil with the garlic in a glass jar, and let the mixture steep for at least 24 hours.

  1. Strain the mixture and discard the garlic. Pour the garlic oil back into the glass jar.
  2. Stir the fish emulsion and 2 cups of water into the strained garlic oil, and then add the liquid castile soap.
  3. Pour the fish emulsion mixture slowly into the garlic oil, stirring as you pour.
  4. Mix 2 tbsp. of the fungicide with 1 pint of water and put it in a sprayer to treat affected plants. Garlic and mineral oil fungicide will keep for several months if you store it in a sealed glass jar.

Garlic and Pepper Fungicide

  • 1 large head of garlic
  • 700ml (1.5 pints) water
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 habanero or jalapeno peppers
  • 1 whole lemon
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth or muslin fabric
  • Spray bottle
  1. Place one large head of garlic in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the water, vegetable oil, habanero or jalapeno peppers and whole lemon, and blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  3. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then pour it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin fabric.
  4. Mix 4 tbsp. of garlic and pepper fungicide with 1 gallon – 3.8 litres (6.5 pints) – of water to spray on affected plants.
  5. Store any unused garlic and pepper fungicide in the refrigerator.

!! The garlic and pepper will also kill any insects on the plant


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I lay there, not sleeping, listening to the deep breathing of the baby. If you have ever watched a baby sleep, to say that a sleeping baby breathes deep is an understatement. A baby breathes with his entire body, and even more so in sleep. His belly fills up like a balloon and empties out as if deflated. “A complete breath” is the expression that comes to mind. To me a baby has a more natural breath than an adult. They don’t carry as much stress or tension in their bodies. Their diaphragms aren’t constricted and tight from lack of use. There are not tension knots in their throats. Their breath, I would think, is closer to how our breath is supposed to be.

That night, I started noticing the pattern of my babies’ breathing. There is no interruption or pause between the inhalation and the exhalation; it is a smooth in and out. Then there is a slight pause before they draw in another breath. Their breath goes something like this: in and out, slight pause, in and out, slight pause. The pause is not long, maybe a half a second to a second at most.

Babies are nose breathers, inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils. The breath is deep, expanding both the lungs and diaphragm completely. Their entire body moves up and down with each breath.

I had always thought that deep breathing was a product of physical and mental relaxation brought on by meditation or yoga. When I forced it, as I did, it was neither comfortable nor relaxing. It did not feel natural. Rather, it was strenuous, awkward and difficult. Why, I used to wonder, would I begin my meditation by doing something that is physically hard. It was easier for me to enter an alpha state through mental focus and relax my body, which naturally deepens my breath, than initially to focus on breathing deeply. Was I wrong?

Over the next several weeks, what I discovered with my nightly experiments was that, while forcing my breath to mimic that of a sleeper, even though it was not occurring naturally and was uncomfortable and awkward, it forced my mind and body into a sleep pattern. Faking the breath faked out the mind and body and produced the mental state I wanted.

I tried this new outlook on breathing in other facets. Paying attention to my breath while I was meditated, I noticed how it was different from the breath of sleep. When meditating, there is an added pause, at least for me, between inhalation and exhalation. It went something like: in, pause, out, pause.

My realization made me think of the meditation guides I read long ago saying to focus on the breath. I thought they meant as a foci, as something to concentrate on in order to relax the mind. I didn’t realize it was also a way to learn what your breath is like while meditating in order to reproduce the physical and mental effects using only the breath – no foci necessary.

During ritual I can use my breath to force myself into a deeper alpha state, which is better to feel and control ritual energies. During trance work, when I find myself distracted, the utilization of breath can bring the mind back to the trance.

Excerpt from: Witchvox – The Breath and Faking it

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It is remarkable that many of us have trouble naming five or ten plants associated with smoke medicine. In my search through the ethno botany of Mesolithic Britain I was delighted to re-discover at least 120 species indigenous to that area alone.

Smoke is an area of medicine that is, to me, a practitioner’s dream. There are fires made from specific species for specific purposes. I found a surprising number that went to fire-making tools. The pallet of plants for smudging or smoldering was staggering, burned as remedies for everything from disease and injury to exorcism, good luck and purification. And nothing that I learned suggested that selections were random, coincidental, or based on availability. Remembering that each species invoked a distinct spirit that addressed a clearly specific value, I could only conclude that smoke medicine, although wholly spiritual, was hunter-gatherer science at its finest.

Our penchant to view information compartmentally rather than holistically, as a hunter-gatherer might makes divisions among plant species problematic, as there exists no clear lines. For example I could not delineate between objectives such as ritual, purification or magic. There was never a clear view of separation between medical, exorcismal or purificational. Even fire making presented issues as to where tools left off and fire began.

I asked, what divides protection against from the curing of illness, or the need to repel as opposed to exorcise? Where does the medical imperative of sleep leave the realm of casting spells for it? So you can see that the problem of classifying species by usage is quite a challenge. Should you refer to the essay appendix on my website http://www.verdasmedley.com please take all of this into account when studying the species organized by use.

Examples of species that crossed categorical lines were certainly not difficult to find. For example oak (Quercus) was not only burned on Summer Solstice for purification and endurance but was regarded as fuel for the sun as well. Ashes from the burn were spread on fields to empower growth and also placed on the tongue for sanctification. Smoldering oak coals were carried from home to home to both exorcise and bless the dwelling in the new season. Oak bark was used to carry fire from one place to another and its leaves were used as wraps in which other herbs were rolled for ceremonial smokes. The same leaves were braided into crowns worn by ritual lovers, fostering fertility of the Earth in spring. The smoke from smoldering oak pitch was inhaled for respiratory distress.

Acorns, recognized as sacred first foods, were believed to harbor the spirits of security and abundance and were left at gravesites during ancestral feasts. Those same acorns were used in divination and prophesying as well as stood as profound tantric symbols. As a keeper of lineage and history, oak was entreated for the resolution of disputes with the knowledge that it safeguarded.

Oak is linked to expansiveness even as it stands as a boundary marker between worlds. It counteracts loneliness, protects against lightning, and is handled in an array of crafts that include prophesying, divination, and ancestral invocation. Oak enjoys many other fine properties so it becomes evident that it can’t be placed in only one category of spirit handling.

Yarrow (achillea) enjoys many excellent qualities too. Its flowers can be smoked or smoldered to repel malevolent spirits. The same smoke purges persons or places while setting up a formidable shield of protection. Yarrow juice has been applied by the intrepid before fire walking and its leaves chewed before fire eating.

Yarrow is believed to combat fear, promote courage and placate the spirits that impair vitality while it also enhances psychic awareness and ability. It is love medicine as well used to cast spells to attract love, repel undesirable attention and sooth unrequited love. Yarrow smudge revivifies during rituals. Clearly yarrow is not easy to classify either, demonstrating again the need for holistic rather than compartmentalized thinking.

Juniper (Juniperus) smudge is another with a wide range of applications. It can be used to exorcise the spirit of illness from a person and their home while preventing that spirit from returning. The same smoke is used to modify bad behavior. It can exorcise the malevolent spirits that cause bad dreams, protects newborns and mothers, and placates the spirit of grief after funerals. Juniper smoke is believed to remedy dizziness while its ashes have been used to appease the spirits that cause convulsions. Juniper smoke has countless other applications and all of its fine properties are brought to fire making tools such as torches, tinder, bases for fire drills and as a means of carrying fire.

All told I found nearly forty species, indigenous to the British Isles alone, associated with fire making tools. A remarkable number of magical species were used as fire drills such as holly (Ilex) , willow (Salix) and blackthorn (Prunus) . An array of mosses as well as alder (Alnus) , mullein (Verbascum) , and hazelnut (Corylus) made good tinder. Many more species went to pipes and pipe stems such as dogwood (Cornus) , rhododendron (Rhododendron) and ash (Fraxinus) .

It needs to be remembered that even in the most ancient times our ancestors had oil lamps simply by pouring a puddle of oil into a hole or depression in a stone and adding a wick. Thistle seed (Carduus) was rendered into lamp oil; thistle long known as a formidable agent in incantations that led to understanding the causes of spiritual pain. Another thistle (Onopordum) was used to fortify personal shields of protection and countered the effects of malevolent spirits. Its seed was rendered into lamp oil as well.

Fibers twisted or braided into wick included mullein (Verbascum) a caster of spells, a formidable exorcismal and a revivifying shield of protection. Sedge (Carex) went to wick as well. Its exorcismal spirit repelled malevolence believed responsible for stealing self-expression or robbing an individual of trouble-free sleep.

An impressive list of smoke medicine was found for casting spells of all types such as skullcap (Scutellaria) , mullein (Verbascum) and burdock (Arctium) . Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) were both used as smoke during descrying rituals. Some like thyme (Thymus) , samphire (Inula crithmoides) , and spikenard (Inula conyza) went to smoke that enhanced psychic ability. Ash (Fraxinus) fires were used for divination, juniper (Juniperus) smudge empowered incantations, and columbine (Aquilegia) smoke promoted courage and daring. Loosestrife (Lysimachia) smudge appeased strife (hence the name) while burnet (Sanguisorba) smudge preserved health.

I found almost thirty species that were linked to purification and ritual, loosely distinguished from sixteen exorcismals and thirteen repellents. Protection against malevolent spirits, injury or illness enjoyed a menu of about eighteen species with additional handfuls for good luck in general, prosperity, strength, and hunting savvy. Even love medicine could be selected from a pallet of about eleven species. Just building a fire from a choice of about fourteen species required knowledge and consideration as each of these species had profound magical properties.

I found smoke medicine to be absolutely amazing and as sophisticated as any group of species I had studied. It speaks eloquently to the exceptional and encyclopedic knowledge of the environment, both tangible and spiritual that our ancient ancestors enjoyed. My research was deeply validating for me, as I never believed that our ancestors, portrayed as confounded and unintelligent, could have even survived did they fit this errant description. I found them to be profoundly ritualistic, and magnificently beautiful in their frugality and love for our Earth.

I am relieved to have been able to re-construct to some degree a picture of their world and their intensely prayerful lives colored magically by humility in presence of the spiritual mystery all around them all the time. I came away holding the fervent belief that we, as a species, had reached our spiritual apex during the Mesolithic era. I am profoundly grateful to not only know our ancestors intimately again but also find some comfort in knowing as well our capacity for both spiritual lives and spiritual reverence for our planet.

Source: WitchVox essay – The Prayer of Transcendent Smoke

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Uses of Vodka

* To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka, and let it dissolve the adhesive.

* To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, Fill a spray bottle with vodka and spray the caulking. Let it sit five minutes and then wash clean.
The alcohol kills mould and mildew.

* To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka.
The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

* Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving.
The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

* To remove wine stains, liberally apply vodka, scrub with a brush and then blot dry.

* Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

* Add a jigger (a shot) of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo.
The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

* Fill a spray bottle with vodka and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

* Pour equal parts vodka and water into a freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshing ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.

* Pack a large, clean jar with freshly packed lavender flowers. Fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days.
Strain the liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

* To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

* To cure foot odour, wash your feet with vodka.

* Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

* Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.
I wonder if this would work with nettle sting?

* Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

Source: e-mail from Denise

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