Archives for August 2011

Magickal Herbs and Roots

Eye of Horus now carries Herbs for Natural Magick, in addition to our loose incense resins and herbs. If you’re blending your own incense, preparing for a sabbat ritual, compounding a spell or charm, or searching for your personal aromatherapy blend or sachet ingredients, we offer an array of fine botanical curios for your needs.

Herb magick is earth magick. Rooted, growing and best used when long-lasting effects are the desired outcome. If you need a better permanent job or relationship, or want to protect your home or just increase the good vibe, then herb magick is a good choice. If you need a change in your life to occur right away, you may find lighting a candle as part of the initial spell or blessing, gives it a quick push. But to really get acquainted with herbs, it’s good to have an experienced guide. That’s why we are offering this introductory hands-on workshop.

Magic of Herbs classThe Magic of Herbs with Gypsy Nilsen

Oct 2nd (Sunday) 2:00 – 5:00 pm

This class is for those interested in learning how to use herbs for magick in their daily lives or just curious about the uses of herbs. We will explore lore and myths, as well as learn the folk names and botanical names of commonly used herbs. What really is Eye of Newt? What is the best herb for luck? Gambling? Romance? Legal matters? We will talk about the practical and magical uses of herbs, everything from a simple incense to calm your home to brewing a tea to add to your floor wash. You will get a chance to make a Mojo Bag filled with herbs and make a tea mixture. This is a hands on class, so we will touch, smell and taste some herbs. The cost of the workshop includes all the herbs and supplies for your mojo bag and tea. Click here for more info on the Magic of Herbs Class.

But if you are more of the do-it on your own sort, or want to know more about the selection of herbs we have, read on.

It’s in the Bag

Creating a charm bag is a powerful act of intention. You determine your purpose and then bring objects together to support that purpose. Other names for and types of Charm Bags include: Herbal Charms, Sachets, Mojo Bags, Gris Gris, and Medicine Bags. The bag usually includes some herbs, a stone, a charm and anything which seems magically appropriate to the purpose. They are often carried in a pocket or purse, worn around the neck, put in the glove compartment of a car, kept on an altar, by the bed, or other place, depending on it’s use.  Many are very simple.  For example:

High John the conqueror

John the Conqueror Root

High John The Conqueror – Anoint the root with some peppermint oil, or surround with Peppermint herb, and tie up in a green or purple bag to attract needed money.

We’ve started out with 24 of the most useful and recommended herbs. But if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can get it, usually within a day or two. We’ve hooked up with a local supplier who buys direct from farmers/gatherers/wildcrafters worldwide. Each of the herbs has a brief description on our website, but it is by no means a complete history of the use of the herbs.

Compendium of Herbal MagickIf you need help choosing the herbs, oils and stones to use in your own charm bags, check out our list below. Usually just one herb will do, so you can just pick and choose based on what you have on hand, or what can be easily obtained.

We also offer a growing list of  Herbal Magick books, including Ellen Dugan’s Herb Magick for Beginners, Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs, and for the most complete and amazing tome, Paul Beyerl’s Compendium of Herb Magick.  Beyerl’s Compendium is the most comprehensive and all-inclusive book on the magical and religious uses of herbs ever published with 330 herbs covered in detail with over 100 illustrations. Sections include the Magickal Classification of Herbs; A Guide to the Usage of Magickal Herbs, Dieties and Magickal Herbalism and astrological Herbal Correspondences.

Also, please note that some herbs are toxic and so you should store safely and keep them clearly labeled.  The more you use herbs, the more you should learn and it is wise to have some training as well as good references. We do not have an herbalist on staff, and so are offering herbs for magickal purposes only. Full disclaimer: No product herein is intended to diagnose or cure disease.  It is vital that you look to a registered herbalist and your own health care provider before making a tea or applying any herb medicinally.  “Herbal” does not mean “safe.” Also, we do not sell “recreational herbal incense.” These herbs are for the magickally inclined, rather than thrill-seekers.

Some of the Purposes for our Herbs
Yarrow

Yarrow

Each herb below is linked to the deeper description. So click through to get enough information to select the appropriate one for your specific purpose.  For instance, both Dittany of Crete and Yarrow are good for different kinds of divination. Dittany of Crete draws spirits, specifically of the departed . . . it has a history of use in necromancy. Yarrow is a Venus herb used in love and romance related divination. Very different! The descriptions on our site are by no means complete. We have books for that!  So peruse the purposes below, or just browse all the herbs and roots on our site to choose what you need. Some of the uses of the herbs are not included in this list because they are so specific, such as the use of the amazing Jericho Flower. This is just a sampling . . .

Business Success: Juniper Berries, Marshmallow Leaf (Althea), Passionflower, Pennyroyal

Courage: Galangal Root (Low John)Mullein, Rosemary, Wormwood, Yarrow

Divination: Dittany of Crete, Mugwort (Artemisia), Orris Root, Red Clover, Yarrow

Marigold Flowers

Calendula (Marigold)

Dreams:  Anise Star, Calendula (Marigold), Mugwort (Artemisia), Wormwood, Yarrow

Faeries and Elves:  Red Clover, Rosemary

Good Luck: Galangal Root (Low John), Red Clover

Happiness: Calendula (Marigold), Lavender, John the Conqueror Root, Passionflower

Healing: Peppermint, Mugwort (Artemisia), Rosemary

Health: Juniper, Lavender

Legal Matters / Court: Calendula (Marigold), Galangal Root (Low John)

Lavender

Lavender

Love: Basil Leaf, Dittany of Crete, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Marshmallow (Althea), Orris Root, Passionflower, Rosemary, Yarrow

Meditation: Peppermint Leaf, Scullcap

Mental Powers: Calendula (Marigold), Rosemary

Money, Prosperity, Wealth: Basil Leaf, JasmineMandrake Root, Peppermint

Peace:  Lavender, Passionflower, Pennyroyal

Protection: Angelica Root, Anise Star, Basil Leaf, Calendula (Marigold), Mandrake Root, Mugwort (Artemisia), Mullein, Red Clover, Rosemary

Psychic Ability: Calendula (Marigold), Yarrow

Purification / Sanctification: Angelica Root, Juniper, Lavender, Rosemary

Sleep:  Lavender, Peppermint, Passionflower, Rosemary

Strength: Mugwort (Artemisia), Wormwood

Success: Red Clover, High John the Conqueror

Finally, herb magick is a deep and fascinating subject. Study. Learn. Experiment. Keep a Record. But most of all, blessed be and enjoy the journey.

Urban Farming, Druids, Trees and Street Faeries – View from the Eye

In the midst of the urban problems in London, and all the shakeups and downs coming from “the Street” comes some hope for a different way of dealing with difficulty from The Urban Farming Guys  “This is the epic story of a band of pioneers–several families who have uprooted from comfortable suburbia & made their homes for good in one of the most blighted zip codes in the U.S.–64127, Lykins neighborhood, inner-city Kansas City. Each of us, standing with our neighbors, believe there is hope, but we know that money alone will not solve the problem.”

This just proves you can get back to nature in the city. If you wonder at the roots of the current set of issues we face, just check out the Salvage series  of articles by John Michael Greer in the ArchDruid Report.  But it’s not for the faint-of-heart. It’s more for those who are willing to face the future and wade in and do something.

Speaking of doing something to solve problems, here’s one for the Druids and other tree-lovers.  A 13-Year old was inspired by trees and came up with a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. This story comes from Inhabitat.com – a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Just look around, and you will find wonder to behold. Beth Hansen-Buth, the Faerie Artist (and my twin sister), pointed me to the Fairy Street Fashion of Finland. (We’re half-Finnish). For those of you who who embrace the Fae Lifestyle, music, art etc., you should check out these outstanding Faerieworlds events>

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” ~William Butler Yeats

 

Fournier Decks – Labyrinth, Favole, I-Ching

The divination decks from Fournier (Spain) are amazing examples of how fine art speaks to our subconscious. These decks are practical portfolios: The Labyrinth Tarot and I Ching Dead Moon represent the range of artist Luis Royo. The Favole Tarot is a dark gem of gothic art by Victoria Frances. We’ll start with the two Tarot Decks.

They are both standard 78-card decks, though a bit smaller than a standard tarot deck. This makes them great for those with smaller hands, or if you want a take-it-with-you deck you can pull out for spontaneous readings. In European fashion, the pip cards of the tarot suits are repetitions of the suits symbols, like in a playing card deck.

The Labyrinth Tarot by Luis Royo

Labyrinth Tarot by Royo

The Labyrinth Tarot by Luis Royo

Fans of internationally renowned illustrator Luis Royo, as well as tarot afficianados, will delight in the dreamy atmosphere, sensual figures, and superb workmanship of this finely-crafted, collectible tarot deck—-created by one of the most popular fantasy artists of our time. Sepia tone dominates the emotionally-charged major arcana, while the minors are divided by color according to their suits: wands, pentacles, cups, and spades. The spades are, of course, swords, just the name is changed.

The pips, or numbered cards of the minor arcana, do not have the full illustrations of the standard Rider-Waite Deck, so if you are new to Tarot, there isn’t an image story to go by. But those familiar with the Tarot will easily be able to read with them. The Court cards for each suite are full illustrations.

The Labyrinth Tarot’s powerful images, featuring Pagan and astrological symbols, were conceived solely for this eagerly-awaited project from Royo, whose award-winning work has adorned a wide range of merchandise and media, including comic books, games, and science fiction from major publishers.  Here are four of the cards from the Labyrinth Tarot deck to give you a feel for it:

Labyrinth Tarot Cards

The Fool, The Knight of Spades, Three of Wands, Four of Cups

Larger versions of these images plus several more can be found in our online store details page:  The Labyrinth Tarot.  Just click on the button below the deck image to flip through the gallery of images.

The Favole Tarot by Victoria Francés

Favole Tarot

The Favole Tarot

Victoria Francés (October 25, 1982) is the Spanish illustrator behind this dramatic deck. Influenced by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, H. P. Lovecraft, Luis Royo and Brom. A rising star in fantasy illustration, Francés has wowed Europe and is rapidly gaining fans in the U.S. The stunning Favole Tarot showcases this young illustrator’s signature Gothic Romantic style, with themes and characters inspired by Anne Rice, H. P. Lovecraft, and pre-Raphaelite paintings. Bask in the splendor of this dreamy, timeless world, haunted by beautiful vampires, dark fairies, and other mysterious creatures of the night.

The suits in the Favole Tarot diverge from the Rider-Waite tradition, you’ll find crosses, masks, roses, and butterflies. There is nothing in the generic little white book to indicate how the suits map to the standard Rider-Waite-Smith deck, so at Eye of Horus, we’ve done our own interpretation:

  • Butterlies = Air/East/Swords – Butterflies are definitely an air creature
  • Crosses = Earth/North/Pentacles – You don’t get much more grounded than a cross
  • Flowers = Water/West/Cups – Flowers speak directly to our emotions
  • Masks = Fire/South/Wands – The handle is reminiscent of wands and Masks evoke Mardi Gras with enthusiasm, passion, party & play.

Like the Labyrinth Tarot, it follows the European tradition in the minors and has repetitive pip cards instead of full illustrations. Again, this throws off some inexperienced readers, so have a good reference like Tarot for Beginners at hand if you aren’t fluent in Tarot.

Gorgeously grim and lyrical, this unique deck will help you explore the dark crevaces of the psyche—and find beauty where its least expected. Here are four of the cards from this deck:

Favole Tarot Cards

VI The Lovers, II High Priestes, XV The Devil, One of Masks

There are over a dozen larger card images in the Alternative Views gallery for The Favole Tarot in our online store.  It was just too hard to whittle down which best represented this deck! Click here to for the detailed card views or to buy the Favole Tarot.

I Ching: Dead Moon Deck

I Ching Dead Moon Deck

I Ching Dead Moon Deck

You might wonder where the name for this deck comes from, if you aren’t familiar with Luis Royo’s work. His book, Dead Moon, is

“An epic story of the confrontation between two clans and their leaders, Moon and Mars, in an oriental and mystical atmosphere. A story in which opposites attract into a beautiful and fatal story. Luis Royo undertakes an immense, 128-page effort, in which he has combined canvas painting, large-scale painting, graphite and pencil. One of the most demanding creations in his professional life, making it also one his proudest. Undoubtedly a great treat for all his followers, who will be able to enjoy, for the first time, a creation in which the images and the text have been created within a self conclusive story.”

64 of these images are included in the I-Ching Dead Moon Deck. I-Ching  is an ancient form of divination, thought to be more than 3,000 years old.  In China, the I Ching had two distinct functions: First, as a compendium and classic of ancient cosmic principles; Second, the I-Ching was a divination text. Thus, the I-Ching can be used either as divination or as a wisdom-teaching tool.

The text of the I Ching is a set of oracular statements represented by 64 sets of six lines each called hexagrams  Each hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines, each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line – associated with male energy), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center – associated with female energy). With six such lines stacked from bottom to top there are 26 or 64 possible combinations, and thus 64 hexagrams represented. see Wikipedia’s hexagram lookup table.

Traditionally, 50 Yarrow Sticks were thrown repeatedly to determine the final hexagram. This method was simplified into using 3 coins. With the I Ching Dead Moon Deck, you can pull just one card. Along with striking, Asian-influenced imagery, each of the sixty-four cards features an I Ching hexagram. Collectors of art and divination decks will be delighted to add this gem to their collection.  Here are four sample cards:

I Ching Dead Moon Cards

47 Swamp over Water | 46 Earth over Wind | 44 Heaven over Wind | 52 Mountain over Mountain

Larger views of these and additional cards are in the Alternative Views gallery for the I Ching Dead Moon on our online store.