Full Crow Moon Tarot and Runecasting

The Full Crow Moon was beautiful last night when I could see her that is. I set the table instead of the altar due to the wind that was blowing. I lit the candles and incense. I cast my circle, went through my usual invocations, and although the clouds were bright, she waited to reveal herself to me.

I drew some tarot cards from my Thoth deck and then cast the runes. The tarot cards drawn were The Sun, The Hierophant, and The Star. For the Full Moon, I chose only cards from the Major Arcana for their archetypal energies given the last eclipse we all experienced along with this Full Moon. I used a three-card spread to suggest an overall focus between now and the Dark Moon.

Astrological depictions surround the ever-expanding energy of the brilliant Sun. The 19th card in the Major Arcana, nineteen represents spiritual attainment or fulfillment. Clarity, determination, success as well as rebirth and awakening are energetic influences of The Sun. The light is returning, and a new day is dawning.

The Hierophant is the 5th card of the Major Arcana, holding his sceptre, the key to mastery of all knowledge in his right hand. The number five represents Spirit controlling Elemental energies and the physical aspect of Self. Representing mastery of knowledge, tradition, and structure, the Hierophant embodies divine wisdom. Aleister Crowley further related this card to an enlightened teacher and the Holy Guardian Angel who assists us in seeking spiritual solutions while standing in our own power.

The final card in the tarot spread is the Star, the 17th card in the Major Arcana signifying illumination, meditation, and one’s inner voice. The Star represents the Blessed Conduit who bridges the abyss. Intuition, healing, openness, and inspiration are the Star’s influence. As we wish upon a star, we pray that our dreams become reality, letting hope guide our path.

Awakening, enlightenment, illumination coalescing from our alignment with Self seem to be the theme of this tarot reading. Nice after the complicated energy from this last of six eclipses. Libra was involved, my sign, so I felt its impact. Let’s just say that I’m glad it’s over.

Now, the runecasting was just as interesting as the tarot spread. Moving deocil from the top, Eihwaz begins the casting followed by Laguz, then Thurisaz, and ending with Wunjo. Cool! This rune casting couldn’t be better!

Whenever I do a four-rune casting like this, I typically view it as elemental influences, but I’m viewing Eihwaz from the standpoint of nonphysical presence, with Thurisaz representing physical presence. Wunjo and Laguz represent receptive and projective influences respectively.

A rune of Elemental Fire, Eihwaz represents the connection between opposites, the link between physical and nonphysical presence. In rune magick, Eihwaz assists in trance work and hedgeriding, and protects against negative forces.

Laguz suggests a lazy afternoon, moving around whatever disturbs our peace of mind. A rune of Elemental Water, Laguz is the rune of the occult and so aptly for this evening draws down moon energy. Laguz encourages us to center, align and know the way forward. Intuition and clairsentience are increased with this rune. In the more assertive, projective position of the casting, Laguz appearing here suggests that a non-resistive approach may be more helpful than a response that’s more overt.

In the physical presence position, the catalytic force of Thurisaz is felt with both the eclipse and the Full Moon. Representing both Thor’s Hammer and the thorn, breaks through barriers, catalyzing change for the better. As problems are neutralized by the influence of Thurisaz, new experiences, and positive outcomes are ahead.

Lastly, Wunjo is in the receptive position of the casting. Harmony, joy, and contentment are present with this rune. Living happily ever after is the energy and influence of Wunjo. In the receptive position, it suggests that it’s time to trust in Goddess and let things unfold as they will. Peaceful days are ahead.

I love when I use different divination methods and they agree with each other. Considering how tumultuous the last week was, some peace will be a nice change. The two new hives are in the apiary and the wire is on the apiary greenhouse so that climbing herbs, flowers, and vegetables will provide food for the three colonies that will forage all over them throughout the summer. A little breakfast before flying out to our fruit trees and the field of red clover that awaits. Our existing colony survived the winter intact, with new drones and nurse bees visible on the outside of the hive. Clearly the queen survived and is busy. We couldn’t be happier and in a few more weeks, our new bees will arrive and we’ll bring all 20,000 of them home in the back seat of my Camry, just like the others.

20,000 bees in my car. They can’t get loose, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. I suppose if I had to, I’d wear my bee suit. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see! A witch in a full bee suit, driving down the street in a black Camry Hybrid, with bees swarming around her. It’s not such a stretch, though. I used to have a Datsun 310 with a hatchback that I hauled a full-sized goat in, as well as 6 adult geese. Theodore was sweet, but the geese weren’t happy and crapped everywhere. At least, I had a tarp down for that one.

Anyway, after the divination and some other witchy stuff, I walked to a small grove of trees where I waited for the light of Goddess Blessings to come out from behind the clouds. I didn’t have to wait long, and then there she was. I drew down her blessings as I do each time, drawing in her wisdom, and becoming one with her Divine Love. This time, my neighbor’s cows were elsewhere so I didn’t scare the bejeezus out of them when I raised my athame into the air. Then the Full Crow Moon slipped back behind the clouds, my ritual complete.

And as we all go forward in the coming days, plant some flowers. Plant them everywhere. The bees will love you for it! And you just might help save the planet and us in the process.

~Blessed Bee

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Witches use various symbols and alphabets for spellwork and sigils. Some write their entire grimoire in Theban script. I’m not that diligent. I typically use them for emphasis or for a particular reason.

Theban Script — also known as the Witch Alphabet

From Wikipedia:

“It is also known as the Honorian Alphabet or the Runes of Honorius after the legendary magus (Theban is not, however, a runic alphabet), or the Witches’ Alphabet due to its use in modern Wicca and other forms of witchcraft as one of many substitution ciphers to hide magical writings such as the contents of a Book of Shadows from prying eyes. The Theban alphabet bears little resemblance to other alphabets, and has not been found in any previous publications prior to Trithemius’.”

Celestial/Angelic Script

From Wikipedia:

The Celestial Alphabet, more commonly known as Angelic Script, is an alphabet created byHeinrich Cornelius Agrippa in the 16th century. It is not to be confused with John Dee and Edward Kelley‘s Enochian alphabet, which is also sometimes called the Celestial alphabet.

Enochian Script

An article from Ancient Origins entitled, Enochian: The Mysterious Lost Language of Angels describes the origins of this alphabet:

“In the year 1581, occultists John Dee and Edward Kelley, claimed to have received communications from angels, who provided them with the foundations of a language with which to communicate with ‘the other side’. This ‘angelic’ language contained its own alphabet, grammar and syntax, which they wrote down in journals. The new language was called “Enochian” and comes from John Dee’s assertion that the Biblical Patriarch Enoch had been the last human to know the language.”

And:

“The Enochian Alphabet was revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley during “scrying sessions”, when various texts and tables were received from angels. Scrying is a technique used by seers, psychics, and sorcerers to foretell the future and involves gazing into a reflective surface to receive messages.”

There are more alphabets and scripts out there. Play around with them and see which ones speak the loudest.

~Blessed Be

References:

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I really like using knot spells. I prefer soft leather to anything else, otherwise I use hemp cord that’s been braided to create a cord of more substance. The number of cords I use ranges from one for something simple to more if I need to influence something more complex, weaving each together with the other cords. A simple knot can be used or something more complex. I prefer using figure eight knots unless I really need to focus, in which case I tie more complicated knots. The casting can be carried on your person as a talisman or charm. Or it can be burned or buried if the working requires it.

There are many versions of the chant that’s recited while tying the knots. A witch can use any order or pattern she likes as well as the type of knot she uses. Knot spells can be worked at any time but they have special significance and power for me if performed when the Moon is either Dark or Full. As with any spell, correspondences regarding day, hour, and time should be observed whenever possible as well as any other correspondences that are appropriate. Specific colors may be selected to enhance the casting.

The knots used…

Knots represent patterns to me. I like seeing how they’re constructed and the path the cord follows to its completion. The following are some of my favorite knots. The more complicated the knot, the more I use it for more involved intention and focus.

  • Single Figure 8 and Figure 8 Tuck — I use the Single Figure 8 the most. The Figure 8 Tuck is more difficult and I need more practice with that one, but it will be useful when a longer, more intense focus is necessary.
  • Celtic Button knot — Here is an example of a Celtic Button knot I’ve created. It
  • takes a little longer than the Single Figure 8, so I use it when I really need a longer focus.
  • Single Figure 8 using three cords — This creates a Witch’s Ladder of sorts and beads can be added as well for magickal intent. If cast for protection as an example, the knot casting can be hung by a door, or placed on the altar, or carried as a talisman.
  • Oysterman knot — I like this simple knot. It looks more complicated than it really is.
  • Stevedore knot — This one is similar to the figure 8 but can be used at the end of a cord to prevent unraveling.
  • Triangle knot — This knot can be tied in succession as shown in the picture or in an alternating fashion. 9 knots are tied in this casting.
  • Josephine knot — I love this knot. It can be used as a talisman or altar piece or carried for whatever purpose for which it was cast.

The words spoken…

There are various renditions of the basic knot spell. The idea is, if you borrow another witch’s written spell, modify it to make it your own. This is the one I use.

  • With the knot of one, my spell has begun
  • With the knot of two, my spell is blessed true
  • With the knot of three, my power flows free
  • With the knot of four, my intention is stored
  • With the knot of five, energy rising and alive
  • With the knot of six, my intention fixed
  • With the knot of seven, the spell has leavened
  • With the knot of eight, coalesce into fate
  • With the knot of nine, my desire, mine

Order matters..or not

Some witches use an order when tying knots. But if you don’t want to do that, you don’t have to. Some knot magick uses the typical 9 knots, but I also perform one that uses 13. Really, any number can be used because it’s all about the witch’s magickal will and intention. Knot magick can be used during Dark Moon ritual to set intentions for the Full Moon and untied at that time. That’s the best aspect of knot magick. You can truly make it your own. Adding beads or shells or other objects that have significance can also be part of the casting. It’s really all up to the witch how she uses knot magick in her craft. Below is the typical 9-knot order to use if you like.

— 1 — — –6 — — –4 — — — 7 — — –3 — — — 8 — — –5 — — –9 — — –2 —

When my boys homeschooled, I didn’t teach as much as facilitate their learning. I hesitate telling any witch how she should perform her craft. It’s part of the reason I’ve always been Solitary. I’ve never been part of a coven so becoming an initiate where someone else confers this or that grade or degree seems counterintuitive. And I’m not trying to suggest that choosing to belong to a coven is a bad thing because it surely is not. It just wasn’t for me. I think it’s great to share ideas and receive advice from others but at the end of the day, a witch decides how she expresses herself and should own that. When I was awarded my Black Belt, there was no one that could tell me I wasn’t a Black Belt. I didn’t need anyone giving me the belt, but it’s part of dojo tradition that a student tests for and is then awarded rank by the instructor or by a panel of instructors. I accepted that because it was expected and I figured that I gave tacit approval when I began training. But for someone to tell me how to be a witch? Yeah, right.

So if you haven’t worked knot magick, give it a try! It might become your favorite magickal tool. Witches who are skilled at macrame should have no problem. For the rest of us, I recommend starting with a simple knot or maybe the figure 8. Your focus needs to be on your intention instead of getting the knots right. If you have to refer to a diagram, it breaks your focus, so work the knot until you’re comfortable tying it without thinking about it. And if you don’t happen to have your cords with you when you feel the need for some knot magick, don’t worry. You can visualize the cord(s) as well as the knots as they’re tied.

So have fun with it!

~Blessings!

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Ogham runes, or staves as they’re also called, are another language from my Druid ancestors used for communication or divination.

RuneNameLetterTreeMonthMeaning

BeithBBirchDecember 24 to January 20adaptability, stability, express creativity, explore new directions, good fortune

LuisLRowanJanuary 21 to February 17Value intuition when making decisions. Look beyond the surface. Magickal protection and healing rune.

FearnF/WAlderFebruary 18 to March 17Stand in your own power, have courage of convictions. This rune embodies strength and wisdom.

SailleSWillowMarch 18 to April 14Psychic ability, intuition, and imagination are facilitated by this rune. The rune of Seidhr, of the Volur.

Nuinn/NionNAshApril 15 to May 12Renewal and rebirth; finding your place, spiritual ascent and transformation

Huathe/UathH/YHawthornMay 13 to June 9Growth through trial, balance and breakthrough, stay centered to remain on your path

Duir/DairDOakJune 10 to July 7Strength, power, understanding, liberation and finding new avenues

TinneTHollyJuly 8 to August 4Balance and strength during difficult times, staying the course, rely on internal balance

CollC/KHazelAugust 5 to September 1Express creativity born from inspiration, divination, convey knowledge and widsom

Quert/CeirtQ/KwAppleSeptember 2 to September 29Beauty, love, abundance, difficult choices, new perspective, healing

MuinnMVineSeptember 30 to October 27balanced life, inner purpose and development, protection, trancework

GortGIvyOctober 28 to November 24Tenacity, strength, perseverance in difficult situations, self-transformation, resistance

NgetalNg/GwReed/BroomNovember 25 to December 23Approach change with flexibility, stay centered in chaotic situations, cleansing, healing

StraifZ/Sw/TsBlackthornUnexpected challenge, turning difficulty into advantage, rebirth, awakening

RuisRElderCycles of renewal, the Wheel, moving from one phase to another

AilmASilver/White Fir/PineThe future is clear, new projects, purification, clarity of purpose and self

Ohn/OnnOGorseStay on your path, harmony, share knowledge, stay centered and focused, prosperity and positive results

UrUHeatherLove, wealth, passion, creative expression

EadhadhEPoplarFaith, self-determination, steadfastness through difficulty, self-transformation

IodhadhIYewTransition, renewal, transformation, passage, new beginnings, past life awareness and connection

EabhadhEaAspenconflict resolution

OrOiSpindle Treeright thinking, fulfilling responsibilities

UilleannUiHoneysuckleLive life to the fullest, honor your needs

IfinIaPineSelf-transformation and personal responsibility, honor and respect for others

EamhanchollAeWitch Hazelunknown as of this printing

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I love herbal oils. They’re simple to make. I use the Simpler’s method, by adding about 2/3 herb to a jar and cover up to the top with my oil of choice. If I’m using fresh herb, then I wilt them a little to get some of the water content out of them before pouring oil over them. Water content of fresh plants can dilute the strength of the infused oil. It can do the same with alcohol tinctures so I use Clear Springs when tincturing fresh herbs to offset any water content they might still have. I can always dilute with water or glycerin later to reduce the alcohol to a more manageable level. If I’m using dried herb, I tincture with 100 proof vodka. I should probably put that on the tincture page when I make one.

Neuralgia Oil

I made this oil by researching neuralgia. I sort of have it in my feet because of constant swelling over the course of thirteen years from RA. St. John’s Wort and Vervain as nervines, act on the nervous system to control pain. Mullein flower deals with pain and inflammation. So, I put equal parts in a jar and covered them with grapeseed oil. Grapeseed is delicate and light and it absorbs into the skin well. I put the jar out in my sand bucket that I use in the summer for my infusions.

Some folks say to put it in a dark cupboard, but I like the solar infusion method instead. I try to remember to shake the jar every day. I typically have several infusions going at once so with them all in the same sand bucket, there’s a better than average chance that I’ll remember to shake them.

Anyway, the oil should sit there for a month or so, then strain it. Now, for the salve:

Neuralgia Oil Salve

Salves are ridiculously simple to make. Heat a cup of herbal oil. Add 1/4 cup beeswax. I use beeswax pearls instead of the slabs. I don’t like grating the slabs or even trying to cut the smaller ones. Eventually, my bees will let me have some of their beeswax, but we’re not there yet. Until then, I buy and use the pearls. They melt easily and it’s simple to measure them out.

When the beeswax is melted, do a spoon test. Dip a spoon into the mixture, taking out a small amount on the spoon. Put it in the refrigerator and if in 1–2 minutes it’s the consistency you like, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, either add a little oil, or add more beeswax. While you’re waiting, add a few drops of essential oil if you like.

When you’re happy with the consistency of the spoon test, then pour your oil mixture into containers. I like small round tins, but small jars work too. I get some of my jars in the canning section of the grocery store, and my tins and amber dropper bottles from Specialty Bottle. They have really cool stuff and it’s reasonably priced. And, where I live, it’s only a day away with ground shipping.

St. John’s Wort/Arnica Oil

Another oil for my RA..it’s great for pain and inflammation. St. John’s Wort and Arnica are wonderful infused into grapeseed oil. Almond oil is another oil that can be used. Apricot is another light feeling oil which absorbs into the skin well. I don’t like greasy oils that don’t absorb in. It’s one reason I don’t care for olive oil as well as grapeseed, although medicinally, it’s probably the best oil to use.

I blended equal amounts of St. John’s Wort and Arnica and filled 2/3 of the jar, covering it with grapeseed oil up to the top. Again, I shook it daily (okay, not daily) and set it out in the sand bucket for a month. It’s lovely, and the oil seems to help the pain I have in my elbow, but I haven’t made any salve yet, which I should definitely do.

General Herbal Oil for Salve

So this is what happens when I walk around my property. I begin gathering herbs. I can’t help myself. And then I bring them back and I infuse or tincture them into something. One afternoon, this is what I gathered:

  • calendula flower — good for rashes, promotes cell repair/growth, and heals wounds
  • comfrey leaf — heals tissue
  • mullein leaf/flower — bruising and pain
  • dandelion leaf/root — joint pain
  • plantain — draws toxicity, sooths inflamed tissue

I used almond oil for the menstruum, again fresh wilting the herbs to reduce their water content, then put them in a jar two-thirds full, and then covered the herbs with almond oil up to the top. I put it in the sand bucket with the other oils so that they can all wait together for me to remember to shake them. A month or so later I strained and bottled it. I haven’t made the salve yet.

So that’s enough for now..I’ll post some more later..

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The thing about teas..

Some herbs are infused, some are decocted. Roots are decocted. There are several ways to do this, but I put them in a quart of cold water and then bring to boil on low heat. Yes, it takes a while, but you should watch it anyway so it doesn’t get carried away on its way to boiling. When it starts to boil, drop the temp down so that it simmers for typically 20 minutes or so, but don’t worry if it goes longer. Longer is stronger, so there’s that.

Infusions are for more fragile herbs and some roots with high volatile oil content such as valerian and goldenseal. I pour boiling water over the herbs in a mason jar and then put the lid on tight, letting it steep for 15 minutes or so. Again, if it’s longer that’s fine.

Now, some of my teas are a combination of herbs as with the first tea listed. I decoct first, then remove the mixture from heat to infuse the remainder.

Teas can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but mine never last that long.

~Blessings to all!

Menopause Support Tea

Might as well put this one first..I made it into a tincture as well.

  • 2 T black cohosh root emmenagogue, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, alterative, nervine
  • 2 T licorice root expectorant, demulcent, emollient
  • 2 T dong quai root uterine tonic, antispasmodic, alterative
  • 2 T St. John’s Wort aromatic, nervine, astringent, resolvent, sedative, diuretic, vulnerary

Roots are decocted, not infused (except for valerian and goldenseal). So, add the root herbs to a quart of cold water in a covered pan on low. Bring to a boil slowly, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and infuse the St. John’s Wort by adding it to the hot decocted mixture. Re-cover the pan, leaving it off the element, and let infuse for 15 minutes or more. Strain and drink.

This helped my hot flashes somewhat. And it tastes wonderful!

Lemon Balm Tea

  • 2 T lemon balm diaphoretic, calmative, antispasmodic, carminative, emmenaogue, stomachic
  • 1 T chamomile tonic, stomachic. anodyne, antispasmodic, stimulant, bitter, aromatic
  • 1 T spearmint stimulant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, aromatic, carminative, nervine, anti-emetic
  • stevia sweetener

Infuse into 1 quart of boiling water, steeping for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink

Crone Tonic Tea

  • 1 T oatstraw
  • 1 T horsetail
  • 1 T nettle leaf
  • 1 T red clover
  • 1.5 T motherwort

I made this on my 58th birthday..

Infuse into a quart of boiling water, steeping for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink.

Feminine Divine

  • 1 T spearmint healing
  • 1 T lemon balm healing, Feminine Divine
  • 1 T holy basil Spirit, Fire, purification, Feminine Divine
  • 1 T chamomile purification, healing, Water, Feminine Divine
  • 1/2 T dandelion leaf divination
  • 1/2 T mugwort strength, protection, psychic powers, astral travel, hedgeriding

I love this tea. I make it in bulk, so feel free to adjust the amounts any way you want.

Infuse herbs together into a quart of boiling water, letting steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink. If making it ahead, add about a tablespoon of herb to a cup of boiling water. It’s wonderful!

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I wanted to create a page for some herbal teas and salves I’ve created. Then I decided to nest some pages beneath this one. That way, it will be easier to organize everything. I’ll have a pages for teas, oils, salves, tinctures, and some cannabis preparations. I’ll add recipes and formulas from time to time. I tend to free-wheel things a bit when I’m creating a tea or an oil. I keep track of what I use, and then if I like it, I write it down for posterity. I’ll include magickal properties if I know or can find them, as well as medicinal properties of the herbs.

I think the best teas are created by walking around my property, gathering various herbs that I see, and bringing them back to brew a cup to sip and enjoy. I might gather a little spearmint, followed by some chamomile, a little holy basil added in, along with a pinch of lemon balm. I might add a stevia leaf for natural sweetness, gathering everything to take back to my kitchen where my favorite cup awaits. I steep the herbs, and when done, I sit back and enjoy a lovely cup of tea. It’s the interaction with the herbs that brings the magick. It’s gathering with love and respect these wonderful life-affirming herbs and drinking in their essence that heals and nourishes our body and our spirit.

So check back from time to time. I’m going to figure out a way to list the pages on the widget side of the blog. I’ll be adding more recipes and formulas as I create them. If I find something I like from another herbalist, I’ll include that too, with a link back to their blog or website, or wherever I find it.

~Herbal Blessings!

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Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on March 24, 2016.