Nature Mandalas: Magic, Meditation, & Thanksgiving

We are in the midst of a season of gratitude. Not just because of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, but because we have crossed the threshold of Samhain and the final “harvest” and now it’s time to turn inward and reflect on our year; to be grateful for the blessings we have in our lives, the positive things that we have manifested over the past season, and the ways in which we have grown.  Jupiter is in its happy place at this time of year, the constellation Sagittarius, and Jupiter is all about expansion, spiritual growth, and opportunity. We must plant the seeds of the new year in the darkness so that they can germinate during this period of rest and reflection and begin to manifest in spring.  Before we can plant those seeds, we have to assess our own progress and show gratitude.  Gratitude to the universal spirit, to the earth, to our own higher self, to those who have encouraged us this season, to our ancestors, spirit guides, local nature spirits and to the land.

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4 Simple Steps to Supercharge your Medicine-making using Astro-herbalism

We have a nice little stand of comfrey at the end of our driveway. 🌿 Comfrey is ruled by Saturn and it is supposed to be most potent when harvested on Satur(n’s)day during the Saturn hour (either the first or 8th hour of the day, beginning at sunrise). Comfrey is an incredible vulnerary (wound healer) both internally and externally. It is also an astringent (constricts tissues, slows bleeding) and a demulcent (soothes mucus membranes). Saturn rules the bones, as well as lung-related diseases and skin diseases. You can those properties reflected in comfrey’s healing. Comfrey was commonly called “bone-knit” because of its affinity for broken bones and it’s astringent properties make it excellent for speedy healing of wounds (note: it heals from the outside in and is especially potent when combine with St. John’s Wort, which heals from the inside out). This particular bundle (pictured above) was harvested when the moon was in Pisces and Pisces rules the lymphatic system (and the feet!) so those leaves will end up playing a leading role in an extra potent all-around healing oil & salve.

What am I talking about? Medical astrology and astro-herbalism. Have you ever been acquainted with the process of planting and harvesting by the moon? It’s quite a common practice; even nowadays you can even find information in your trusty Farmer’s Almanac that can be picked up at any grocery or hardware store. Well, astro-herbalism is kind of like planting-by-the-moon…on steroids. If you want to take your medicine making to the next level, keep reading!

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New Moon in Scorpio Meditation

Tonight’s new moon is in Scorpio and Scorpio represents the darkest time of autumn, when the Earth is about to sink into dormancy, where we journey to the underworld and in doing so shed all the layers of ourself and explore our deepest depths, dying to our former selves and eventually being reborn like the Babylonian myth of the goddess Inanna. Scorpio is the flaming sword that guards the Secrets of the Universe.  Scorpio invites us to be tested and through each test to shed another layer of our ego and open ourselves to Spirit.  

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Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (with a dash of magic)

At this time of year, all I want to eat is soup. Soup and soft, warm homemade bread. Yes please. In the winter I think I crave the nourishment of a rich, vegetable-based soup and the medicine of all the wintertime spices. Isn’t it interesting how the spices we tend to gravitate towards for autumn and winter meals are actually just the medicine needed to drive off winter colds and flu? I’m not sure if this is medicinal knowledge that was passed down centuries ago and integrated into our culture or if, like many animals, we still possess the ability to self medicate by being drawn to plants and herbs that our bodies need at certain times. I certainly experienced that phenomenon during my pregnancies. Vibrational medicine, such as flower essences, are also a wonderful addition to soups. I like to add a little magic to my cooking by using flower essences. Flower essences work on an energetic level to address the emotional and spiritual needs of the body. One of my favorite essences this season for using in nourishing soups and drinks is Pacific Dogwood Flower Essence.

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Samhain Mushroom Magic

We are sinking into the darker half of the year. The season is almost palpable here in the Pacific Northwest. Everything smells of damp earth and woodsmoke. Bright red, yellow, and orange leaves pop against a backdrop of dark evergreen. After a dry and smoky summer, it’s misty and magical in these woods and there are mushrooms…everywhere.

To me mushrooms are the quintessential being of Samhain. They embody so much wonder and mystery. A kingdom that holds the powers of life, sustenance, medicine, and death. An entity containing such magic that it can link entire forests together through its underground networks. An organism that both helps the forest to thrive and also itself flourishes on that same forest’s decay. The parts of a mushroom that we see springing up from the forest floor or the decaying log of an old growth tree are just the fruiting body of the plant. Most of the plant is hidden underground, where vast networks of mycelium run underneath the forest floor. They remind us that there is only a thin veil between our world and another.

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Wildcrafting: Cascade Oregon Grape Root

It’s October! 🍁🍂🌗🎃🌿 My tiny witch asked if we could make some medicine and we happened to be walking past some Cascade Oregon Grape in the driveway. Very abundant in this area and the roots are a potent medicinal. Oregon grape root contains Berberine (as evidenced by the bright yellow color of the root flesh), widely known as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic it has also been studied in recent years for its anti-inflammatory properties and effectiveness in treating type 2 diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, and cancer. Oregon grape root is also a bitter that supports the digestive system. One of my favorite things about this plant is that once you harvest the root and rhizome you can replant the crown. Happy Fall y’all!

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Season of the Witch

Welcome to the inaugural post of the WILD MAGIC blog.  My name is Heather and this space is the manifestation of a dream I have had for some time now of both sharing my medicine with the world and of bringing together a wonderful community of artists, healers, and magic makers.  Based on the title of this post, you may think that I am talking about the fact that is is OCTOBER.  The one month of the year when witches are whole-heartedly embraced by popular culture.  However I’d like to shine a light on what I feel is a recent stirring, a transmutation that has picked up in the last decade or so. The coming of the “season of the witch.”

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