Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Cerridwen Greenleaf

Cerridwen Greenleaf

    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  
Homemade Harvest: DIY Apple Brandy

Here is a delightfully easy recipe that will produce a flavorful homemade liqueur that smells as good as it tastes.  If you are interested in making a hassle-free bottle of spirits apples are a wonderful way to start.  Start with these ingredients:

 

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If You Are Feeling Disillusioned with the World: Get This Crystal

Like many other purple crystals, sugilite is both a spiritual stone and a mental stone. In fact, it helps you understand the effect your mind has on your body. Sugilite can help with learning disorders and remove blocks that prevent new patterns of thought. This rock is good for teachers and students, as it not only clears the paths in the brain but also creates an atmosphere of loving understanding. It can be quite effective when dealing with autism. A gorgeous series of deep purple bands of color, this South African stone, also called luvulite, signifies the highest state of spiritual love. Another forgiveness and letting-go stone, sugilite is so powerful that it can help with channeling. Placed on the third-eye area, sugilite alleviates sadness and despondency. Immensely positive, sugilite protects your very soul from the frustration and disillusionment of this world.

As a healer, it dispels headaches and gently draws pain out of afflicted areas, brining respite to inflammations, toxicity, and stress-related illness. Sugilite has been used to great effect to ease the discomfort of those suffering from cancer. It is wonderful when a stone helps with both physical and emotional issues, as does sugilite. This stone absorbs anger, hurts, and energies that you have unwittingly picked up and are draining you. If you have problems with jealousy, this is the perfect stone to help you rise above any pettiness and bring out your best side in relationships. I love that sugilite creates a sense of belonging for those who always felt like outsiders.

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Ritual Recipes: Kitchen Table Cures

There is not denying we live in a time of immense tension. So many of us are living under enormous stress and strain. But, come to think of it, so were our grandparents and relatives who lived through World Wars. The Great Depression and really hard times. For that reason, some of the homemade healing potions, teas and cures our grandmothers cooked up from the kitchen cabinet are the best things to turn to in tough times. Here are some lovingly passed down from Auntie. Many remedies can be made from what you have in the kitchen, from spices as well as plants. These kitchen table cures will offer you and your family much relief from stress and strain.  Here are a few simple tried and tested recipes:

 

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Hedge Witch Medicine: Nettle Tea

After a week like we all just experienced, boost your mood and immune system with herbs.  Nettle (Urtica dioica) Nettle has been used as a healer for untold centuries and relieves allergies, is an immune booster and can even help with a distended prostate. It is also a superfood and beloved for the nutrients. If you are working with fresh nettles, wear gloves to avoid the stinging. Cooking or drying removes any irritant. Any herb or health food store will have dried nettle or capsule form. Make nettle tea by steeping 2 teaspoons of leaves for ten minutes or take the capsules in recommended doses of 300 to 500 mg twice a day. Nettles are a hedgewitch's favorite and you'll soon see why. Take good care of yourself!

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Chinese Harvest Festival: Moons & Mooncakes

I am very fortunate to be marrying into a Chinese family so I have been learning about the traditions. Coming up this week is the official celebration of the Harvest Moon. In China, the full or Harvest Moon in October is celebrated with mooncakes, which are offered to the Goddess Chang-O, the Lady in the Moon. This is the time when wheat and rice are harvested, making it an important time of thanksgiving for food to have on hand through the winter season.

The rice and the wheat are baked into cakes that look like the big round moon up in the sky and are used as offerings, along with melons and pomegranates, to the goddess. The women making the mooncakes put their intentions into them by whispering secret wishes into the batter. The unifying action of blending and mixing the tasty cakes represents family harmony. One sweet aspect of this ritual is the selection of a young girl to enter the “heavenly garden.” At the ritual feast for the goddess of the Harvest Moon, this young lady becomes the prophet of her family and community, and she is urged to share her visions about the coming year and the prosperity of the village or the land. Feasting on mooncakes and other ritual foods is followed by games and singing under the bright light of Chang-O’s moon. Here is a traditional wish for the season

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Rose Quartz is Love in Mineral Form

We all get worn down now and again and, when that happens, we often feel blue or, at least in the doldrums a bit. If you have not other crystal, make sure to have rose uartz qon hand as it infuses you with self-love and brightens “the vibe” anywhere it is. I view self-love is a superpower and the real foundation of all true personal power. Widely known as the stone of unconditional love, the soft pink hunk of love known as rose quartz is said to attract and inspire love in all forms. It’s especially good for promoting self-love and emotional harmony.

It can be a teeny tiny pebble of pink or a big ol rock but you should have it near you, especially when you are feeling low. I say have some around at all time but, then again, I have crystals in every room. Keeping a piece of Rose Quartz out where we can see it, on your desk at work,   on your bedside table or next to the bathtub, can act as a powerful visual reminder to take a little bit of time for yourself.

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Healing Crystals For When You Are Freaking Out From Stress

I don’t know about you, dear ones, but many of my friends, family, coworkers and I are experiencing extremely high stress. Therefore, I feel called to offer what small wisdom I have for what you can do to counteract this lack of balance in your environment and our world.  As you may know, I am a strong believer in the calming and healing power of crystals. When people ask me, “How the heck could a piece of rock help heal my body?, I will point them to the wisdom of the chakra system.

It is becoming widely known that crystals can be curative for the emotional body, the spiritual body, and the physical body. And, we have learned that crystals can interact electromagnetically with people. The prehistoric medicine man and shamans knew instinctively how to harness this stone power and use it to enhance or stimulate energy; they never doubted the power of the unseen. Modern shamans talk about the body in a different way; they are in tune with and are working with the etheric body, the subtle life force that sustains the physical body and serves as the matrix for the metabolic functions. They work with the system of chakras (points of energy in the astral body that are associated with various parts of the physical body) and endeavor to make sure everything is in proper alignment. Illness beginning with misalignment of either the etheric body or physical body can result in a domino effect of maladies. Imbalance in the etheric body can cause low energy; depression; stress-related diseases such as shingles, ulcers, and migraines; and any number of other serious physical issues

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