The hearth. The center of the home, the center of domestic life. For our ancestors, it was where food was made, stories were shared, textiles were crafted and mended. Eminent scholar of medieval traditions and folklore Claude Lecouteux writes: "Hearth is a generic term for designating the place where fire burns. The hearth can mean different things depending on the era and the region; it ranges from the simple fire pit of primitive dwellings to the more modern earthenware and cast-iron stove, and includes the open chimney, the fireplace, the oven, or the furnace" (The Tradition of Household Spirits, 69). So when I refer to the hearth, I mean the place where the fire dwells and provides warmth and sustenance.
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Lots of plants have thorns on them; roses, brambles and blackthorn spring to mind and these thorns can be used for magic. Think about what a thorn does, they are protection for the plant, they guard it against predators and they are sharp and defensive. They can pierce, they can cut and they can draw blood.
Folk lore says that blackthorn thorns were always used to curse but folklore says a lot of things that we have since twisted around to our advantage but if that is the choice you make…thorns (any type) are very good for cursing and hexing spell work, rose thorns work especially well in affairs of the broken heart....
I am always being gifted with feathers when I am out usually pigeon ones but I have also been given crow and magpie ones too. If you are in the forest you may find all sorts of bird feathers and on the beach it will probably be seagull feathers. Whatever kinds they are feathers carry their own very special magic with them.
When I find a feather I usually take it home and pop it in the freezer overnight, just as a precaution really because the cold temperature will get rid of any nasties that might be lurking therein. Obviously keep the feather away from your frozen food! Alternatively you can place the feathers in a solution of five parts warm water, one part vinegar and one part witch hazel, leave them to soak for twenty four hours then dry them by laying out flat on a towel....