I will say that, as I'm sure is true for everyone asked to narrow down their preferences, or sum up their practices, this was a difficult challenge. And really this post is just the tip of the iceberg. However I'm going to give this a go, so here we go!
My Three Favorite Herbs
I'm adding a little disclaimer here, because there are so many herbs I love and use that narrowing them down to three is nearly impossible. There are herbs I tend to use more for rootwork, and there are herbs I use more often for making healing teas, or oils. I decided to highlight the the latter for this post. And I'm cheating here, I know, but I'm just going to say that garlic must go at the top of my list - perhaps I'll honor it with being Number Zero. I use garlic for warding off colds and flu by drinking it raw with orange juice and cayenne. I cook with it. It's useful for treating ear infections when combined with olive oil and used as drops in the ear. It's wonderful for the heart. There is just no excuse not to have garlic in your cupboard at all times. Now on to the next three.....
|Dried rosemary and lemon balm|
First of all, rosemary just makes me feel content. The aroma alone is deeply satisfying for me, and I often go out into my garden simply to run my hand through my rosemary bush and inhale the lingering scent from my skin. As with garlic, I sometimes cook with rosemary; I suppose that's a given. But it's also a great tea, especially when dealing with respiratory issues, as it's an anti-inflammatory. Rosemary can help relieve headaches, and as a wash it's great for the hair. You can use it to increase circulation and to help with muscle and join pain (arthritis, for example). This herb helps improve memory and relieve menstrual cramps (it's an antioxidant). In magic it's often used to help increase feminine power, cleansing, and for protection.
2) Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalus)
Lemon Balm smells pretty amazing, too, and is a great herb for calming anxiety, frayed nerves, and mild depression. You can drink it as an infusion to treat indigestion, as well as for colds and coughs. In fact this is one of the core ingredients in my anti-cold tea because it has antiviral and antibacterial properties! I don't tend to use this herb for magical anything, though some do for healing and sometimes love purposes.
|Dried elder berries|
Elder berries and flowers form a core part of my herbal medicine cabinet. Both are useful for fighting colds and coughs, and for fighting allergies. With antiviral properties, it's another major component in my anti-cold infusions, and it has such a lovely, subtle flavor. Some people just use flowers for this purpose, or only use berries for tinctures, syrups, or cordials, but I like using them together; the flowers are gentle and light, and the berries rehydrate and release their deep purple essence during the steeping process, which I love. Elder can be used to treat eye inflammation as well as arthritis. It's a diaphoretic and stimulant so it increases the efficiency of the body's systems, and helps increase perspiration which is an effective body cleanser. I feel like Elder is a loving mother, always ready with arms wide open. She's gentle and soothing, which is also why I find this herb a wonderful addition to herbal baths for the purpose of emotional healing.
|Dried elder flowers|
Of course I have more than three that I value highly, but these three are definitely core staples!
Pretty much all quartz, though I do love clear quartz and quartz crystals. I also love snow quartz. Quartz is an amplifier and indispensable for healing and transmitting. Crystals can be programmed for specific purposes, and can hold energy. I found my first crystal at a nature/science store when I was probably thirteen, and I fell in love. I had heard that you should try not to let people hold your crystal because as they hold energy, the ideal situation is that your quartz is imbued with your essence rather than a hodgepodge of random energies. So my crystal has only ever been held by me (since the original purchase, naturally), thereby having accrued about 22 years of Essence of Olivia. Quartz is one of the stones associated with the sign of Capricorn, which was another initial draw for me. Quartz can help amplify the properties of other stones, and in particular I love combining it with black tourmaline, another one on my top three list!
|Varieties of quartz|
I originally bought this stone for the sensations it gave me when I held it. Later I researched its properties and it all made sense! I came across this stone at a witchy shop. I had heard of it before though hadn't thought much about it, but as I was browsing it drew my attention. These dark jewels seemed to be almost glowing with powerful energy. I picked one up and immediately felt my crown start to buzz. The feeling I had was sort of a combination of relief and satisfaction, something like how it feels to lay down on the floor or bed and totally stretch every part of your body. It was awesome. I thought it would be amazing to dive into a bathtub full of black tourmaline and stay a while. Later I learned that this stone is powerful for protection and deflection of negativity, as well as for transforming ill vibrations into positive ones. You can actually use black tourmaline to protect yourself against the electromagnetic emissions from computers and cell phones due to its natural electrical current. That is pretty amazing all by itself. So even if you're not into magic, here's a really sensible, practical reason to acquire this wonderful stone! Another side effect of black tourmaline's electrical charge is that it helps connect the energy sources/chakras throughout the body, increasing and smoothing the flow. This is great for everyone, really, but especially for healers.
I wrote about my experiences with this wonderful crystal in September of last year and I've hyperlinked the previous text in case you're interested in reading more about it. Suffice it to say that my dreams are stunning, clear, and educational!
|Apophyllite and Black Tourmaline|
1) Spending time in nature
I would imagine that this would apply to most people. It has been my favorite thing to do ever since I can remember, and in fact as a pre-teen I spent long hours alone in the forest across the street from my house, picking raspberries, building living-wood shelters, looking for raccoon prints by the river shore, observing deer and fox. It was pretty wonderful. This is still something I can't do without, and one of my regular, favorite things to do is simply stroll around the neighborhood, watching the breeze move the tree leaves, noticing how the sunlight filters through palm branches, taking in the smells of backyard fires, grass, moist earth. This morning I spent about a half hour taking pictures in my back yard; this time of year the sun hits all the sweet spots, so the early hours of the morning are especially lovely. And one way I love interacting with nature is through tending my herb garden!
|Gardenia bush in my back yard|
Some of the most satisfying things I do are: make healing teas for my loved ones; do work to help those I care about to heal, attract new opportunities, or repel negativity; create spiritual/cleansing baths for the home or body; and the list goes on! Watching my child laid up on the couch with a nasty virus is difficult, but spending thirty minutes crafting a soothing medicinal infusion and then slowly watching the symptoms ease, is very fulfilling and empowering.
It would be entirely remiss of me not to put this in the top three activities, because divination is an important facet of my life (and hey, it's the main theme of this blog). Not a single day goes by that I don't divine in some fashion, for some purpose, whether with cards or with runes, or sometimes with both. It's an art; it takes patience and dedication, and an open heart. In short, it's wonderful.
So with that I conclude my 3x3x3 Witchy Tag. If you're a witch, rootworker, conjurer, diviner, herbalist, or anyone at all, really.....consider yourself tagged!