Although many people in today’s magical community find it a bit off-putting, the use of bodily fluids in magic is a long-standing custom in many cultures and traditions. Even if we think of it as unpleasant, it’s disingenuous to pretend that no one has ever used — or may presently be using — things like blood, semen, or urine in their magical practices. In many forms of magic, bodily fluids are considered a bonding agent. This make them the perfect taglock, or magical link. Blood, in particular, is seen to be particularly powerful, for a variety of reasons.

In hoodoo and some folk magic customs, a woman’s menstrual blood is considered vital to some types of magic. Jim Haskins says in his book Voodoo and Hoodoo that “to keep a man crazy about her and uninterested in wandering, a woman simply has to mix some of her menstrual blood into his food or drink.”

A North Carolina folk magic practitioner who asked to be identified as Mechon says that growing up, the men in her family knew not to eat any foods that might have a woman’s blood hidden inside it. “My uncle would never eat spaghetti, or anything with tomato sauce,” she says. “The only way him and his brothers would eat things like that was if they were at a restaurant. They knew the women could control them with the blood if they ate it.”

In ancient Greece and Rome, blood was considered to have strong magical properties as well. Capitolinus writes of the empress Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Faustina once was consumed by her lust for a gladiator, and she suffered greatly over this. Finally, she confessed to her husband, who discussed the matter with the Chaldeans oracles. Their advice was to order the gladiator killed, and have Faustina bathe herself in his blood. While covered in it, she was to sleep with her husband. Faustina did as she was told, and she was “delivered of her love for the gladiator.” She also happened to be delivered of a son a short time later, Commodus, who was quite fond of gladiatorial games.

Pliny the Elder relates the story of the mage Osthanes, who used blood from a tick found on a black bull to control a woman who might be unfaithful to her husband. He says, “If the loins of a woman are smeared [with the blood], she will be made to find sex repulsive.”

In parts of the Ozarks, there is a belief that dried blood on a floor will liquefy as a harbinger of destructive storms to come.

Urine is sometimes used in magic as well. Historically, one might have placed urine in a witch bottle, as protection against harmful magic and sorcery. However, Haskins explains that it can be incorporated into a curse as well. He says to obtain some of the intended victim’s urine and put it in a bottle. A few more ingredients are added, the bottle is buried and stomped on, and the target will die of dehydration. On a slightly less malevolent note, he also says that mixing the urine of a young girl with saltpeter and then drinking it as a tonic will help restore a man’s “lost nature,” if his woman has used magic to command sexual loyalty.

Havelock Ellis says in Studies in the Psychology of Sex that urine was sometimes sprinkled on newly married couples, as a blessing – a bit like holy water. The Greeks often mixed urine with salt, and then used it to asperge a sacred space.

In some magical traditions, semen and vaginal secretions are an important component of sex magic. Folklorist Harry Middleton Hyatt documented cases in which a man’s “nature” — or his wandering eye — could be “tied up” in a napkin, which would keep him sexually bound to one woman.

So, in this day and age of highly communicable diseases, should you be using bodily fluids in your magical workings? Well, like many other things, it depends. If you’re using your own fluids in a working, and you’re the only one who’s going to come into contact with them, then it should be fine. If you’re using someone else’s bodily fluids, or using yours with the intent of sharing them with another person, you may want to exercise a bit more caution. Safety is paramount.

If you are unable to obtain bodily fluids — or if the very idea makes you cringe — there are plenty of other options available.


Paper Boats For The Goddess


Some months ago, following a small gathering with other Hekate devotees, a few of us posted photos of paper boat offering vessels taking our prayers, petitions and offerings out to sea.  It formed part of a devotional ceremony to Hekate – who has numerous oceanic connections.

We made these offering vessels by folding boats from recycled paper. We then wrote on it our prayers and petitions and filled it with biodegradable natural offerings.  The offerings were then taken to a local beach, where we offered hymns and invocations, waiting for the incoming waves to take the offerings out to sea – which it did, in a spectacular way.

There have been some genuinely remarkable responses to the idea –  which is being adopted, and indeed evolved, by other groups and individuals.  This practice, in the context of Hekate, is an entirely modern invention – but like many things, it has ancient and concurrent precedents.   It is a practice I am passionate about, so taking some of the responses on board, I decided to write a little more about the concept.

The idea to make these vessels was not entirely my own.  It was inspired, in part, by a chance reading of a text in which it was suggested that boat-like offering vessels were floated to sea, by women, from the shores of the Greek island now known as Delos.

A short description in an 1800’s dictionary:

“The women of Delos offered sacrifices to her in vessels of the shape of boats, and the sacrifices consisted of various things; but fishes were never offered to her.”

~ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

Delos is famous for being the birthplace of the sacred twins, Artemis and Apollo (also see The Birth of Artemis), after which it became home to one of the most famous temples to Apollo (second only to Delphi).  The island’s history as a sacred place predates that of the birth of the twins. It is believed that Delos is the body of the star goddess Asteria, who shapeshifted first into a quail (a type of bird) and then flung herself into the ocean, becoming a floating island, in order to escape the unwelcome advances of the Olympian god Zeus.  Evidence suggests that the island was previously home to the temple of a famed oracular goddess known as Brizo (‘Slumber’’).  It is probable then that the small boats described in the quote above were to this goddessof whom little else is known. The offerings may have been linked to the Dream Oracles, or may have been part of petitions to keep sailors safe.

Asteria, according to Hesiod in his Theogony, was the mother of the goddess Hekate.  So the island of Delos could be seen not only as the birthplace of the holy twins, and the body of the goddess Asteria – but also as the body of the mother of Hekate – a different, but interesting perspective.

I discuss some of this in more detail in my forthcoming book Circle for Hekate: Volume I, and in Volume II there will be example ceremonies to use as templates for your own.

Flames were also floated out on Lake Nemi, a few miles south of Rome, where the famous Nemoralia festival sacred to the goddess Diana was held annually in August. Here Diana was worshipped as Trivia, in  triple form. Entire ocean-going ships were also found at the bottom of this inland lake, which some researchers believe were given as ritual offerings. Inspired by these various ideas, I decided to incorporate some of them into my own devotional rites.

I also know that other groups in the UK create floating offerings for goddesses such as Isis (in London on the Thames) and Sabrina (goddess of the river Severn) on the river Severn. There is also an individual who regularly floats offerings out to Manannán mac Lir (the Irish god of the sea), on the Irish coast.  Their paper boats are far more elaborate than mine!  I guess a lot of supposedly fabulous new ideas are more often, in reality, old prodigious recycled ideas.

Floating offerings on water, for water goddesses, is of course also a living tradition in other spiritual traditions.  For example, flowers and other offerings accompanied by prayers are floated out to sea for Yemanja (Iemanjá) the water goddess of the Yoruba religion. This is done in Africa, Brazil, Uruguay, Cuba and wherever she is worshipped.  In Thailand, offerings are made to the river goddess Phra Mae Kongka. The most famous contemporary example of this kind of offering must be the daily offerings made to Ma Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges in India.


Watching floated offerings on the river Ganges (Varanasi) while I was travelling in India for a few months in 2015/16 was not just magical, but a beautiful insight on how our own ancestors might have worshipped water deities.  It was captivating to watch these delightfully pleasing offerings made from recycled paper, fresh flowers and a small butter-dipped wick, float down the river – and to ponder the beauty of devotion held for Ganga Ma.

This daily practice in Varanasi is known as Aarti.  The offering or diya consists of a flower and a flame which are floated down the river. Every evening fire is offered by officiating Brahman priests, in a truly spectacular ceremony on the bank of the river by the Dasaswamedh Ghat. The ceremony is watched from both the land and from dozens of small boats from the river side by hundreds of participating devotees, who (except of course, a handful of foreign tourists) are there to honour the river goddess.

Watching – and floating my own offerings – from a boat on the Ganges was very special – and made me recall the reason I started making my own paper boat offerings at home.

I hope to be floating many more devotional offerings out onto the waters of this planet.  If you, like me, enjoy the idea of connecting with the spirit of the waters of our planet in this way, please make sure to be responsible in your choice of materials / offerings. Never use any plastics, always make sure your offering is not harmful in any way to the creatures who call the waters home and that everything is fully biodegradable.

“Then the goddess through the love of the god conceived and brought forth dark-gowned Leto, always mild, kind to men and to the deathless gods, mild from the beginning, gentlest in all Olympus. Also she bare Asteria of happy name, whom Perses once led to his great house to be called his dear wife. And she conceived and bare Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honour also in starry heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favour according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honour comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favourably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. “

-from the Theogony of Hesiod, translated by Evelyn White, 1914.  You can read the full text on Sacred-Texts.


Meditation Tea Blends


I find it best to meditate on an empty stomach or when I haven’t eaten too much, attempting to meditate after a huge dinner just makes you sleepy…

Drinking a special tea blend before you start your meditation can help you focus, here are some ideas to get you started but experiment with herbs and spices you have in your kitchen cupboards, see what works for you.  Herbal tea can sometimes be a bit bland or bitter if you find it so just add a teaspoon of honey or sugar.  But please be careful if you are pregnant or taking any kind of medication, check with a qualified practitioner first, herbal remedies and teas can have adverse affects when taken with some medications and some can be dangerous for pregnant ladies.

Meditation Herbs

Some suggested herbs that could be used for meditative, calming and relaxing effects, they all have lots of different magical properties but I have listed the ones that should specifically help with meditation:

Basil – Love, happiness and peace.

Caraway – Health, memory and love.

Cardamom – Love, clarity and uplifting.

Chamomile – Sleep, dreams, love, calming, relaxing, purifying and balancing.

Chrysanthemum – Spirituality.

Cinnamon – Healing, psychic powers, love, focus and spirituality.

Cloves – Love and commitment.

Cocoa nibs – Happiness, love and positive energy.

Coriander – Healing, peace, love and release.

Elderflower – Healing, intuition and rebirth.

Ginger –Love, healing and cleansing.

Jasmine petals – Dreams, love and meditation.

Juniper – Love, healing, purification, psychic powers and clarity.

Lavender – Happiness, peace, love, sleep and clarity.

Lemon – Purification, happiness, decisions, uplifting and love.

Lemon balm – Healing, memory and love.

Lemon verbena – Purification and love.

Lemongrass – Happiness, knowledge and shape shifting.

Liquorice – Love and balance.

Mallow flowers – Love

Marigold – Psychic powers, dreams and happiness.

Mugwort – Psychic powers, dreams, healing, cleansing and astral travel.

Orange – Love, happiness, uplifting, purification and clarity.

Peppermint – Healing, cleansing and calming.


Rose petals & rose hips – Love, psychic powers, healing, peace, knowledge and dream help.

Rosemary – Love, mental powers, purification, healing and sleep.

Saffron – Happiness, healing and psychic powers.

Scullcap – De-stress and peace.

Star anise – Psychic powers, purification, dreams, sleep and spirituality.

Tea (black) – Meditation


You don’t need to source herbs and flowers of course you can use readymade herbal teabags on their own or mix them up to create your own blends, liquorice and peppermint together is one of my own personal favourites.  If you have home grown herbs and flowers then fantastic but if you don’t and there is an Asian supermarket near you they are brilliant for sourcing very inexpensive herbs and spices otherwise just take a look in your local market, farmers market or super market.

For all of the following recipes add your ingredients to a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes then strain.

Meditation Tea #1

Two slices of root ginger

Two slices of lemon

½ teaspoon lavender flowers

Meditation Tea #2

2 teaspoons dried peppermint or a bunch of fresh leaves

3 or 4 rose petals

2 saffron stamens

Meditation Tea #3

1 tablespoon green tea

3 or 4 rose petals

1 pinch skullcap

Meditation Tea #4

2 teaspoons chamomile flowers

1 teaspoon honey

Meditation Tea #5

1 cardamom pod

1 clove

½ star anise

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons black or green tea

Meditation Tea #6

1 teaspoon dried peppermint

1 teaspoon chamomile flowers

Meditation Tea #7

1 teaspoon dried peppermint

½ teaspoon dried liquorice


Taken from Pagan Portals Meditation



Meditation Incense Blends

If I am sitting down for a long meditation session or with a specific meditation journey in mind I often make a loose incense blend to burn to help me, there are lots of lovely incense ingredients that are good for incense blends, I have listed some suggestions below but go with what works for you and experiment with your own blends.  Ingredients don’t need to be expensive either as I mentioned my post on herbal teas there are lots of places to source them cheaply.  You don’t need to use fancy ingredients, pretty much all herbs and spices burn well as do dried flower heads I believe in using what I have to hand and not spending huge amounts of money sourcing a rare organic root from the other side of the planet when I have a cupboard full of herbs and spices that cost me very little.  Just test them first because not all herbs, spices, roots and flowers actually smell nice once they hit the charcoal…


In addition to the tea blend herbs suggested on my previous blog post, all of which can be used in incense blends here are some more suggested herbs and plants to use in meditation incense blends:

Benzoin – Calm, purification and love.

Frankincense – Purification, spirituality, relaxation, focus and love.

Honeysuckle – Psychic powers, balance, memory and meditation.

Mace – Purification and psychic powers.

Meadowsweet – Peace, happiness and love.

Myrrh – Purification, healing and the Underworld.

Passion flower – Love, calm, peace and sleep.

Patchouli – Grounding, balance and calm.

Pennyroyal – Peace

Sage – Wisdom, purification, stimulation and intuition.

Red Sandalwood – Meditation and love

White Sandalwood – Purification and psychic powers.

Thyme – Healing, peace, psychic powers, love, purification, sleep and release.

Vervain – Love, purification, peace, sleep, inspiration and shape shifting.

Violet – Love, peace, healing and rebirth.

Yarrow – Psychic powers, love, dreams, peace and happiness.


When I create a loose incense blend I always start with a resin as this helps the mix to burn for longer and also add in something woody again to help it burn for longer.  If you just chuck a handful of dried herbs onto a charcoal disc it will be burnt out in seconds.  Be warned though…resin especially makes a lot of smoke!  It is personal preference as to whether you keep the herbs, spices and resins whole or slightly crushed or if you prefer to grind them to a powder in a pestle and mortar (or the end of a rolling pin in a small bowl).  Don’t forget that you can use the stalks of the herbs as well, rosemary especially is very woody so it helps the incense blend to burn for longer.

You can also theme your incense blends if the intention of your meditation is to connect with a certain deity, totem animal or place you can tailor the ingredients to suit.

Meditation Incense #1

3 parts benzoin

2 parts lavender

1 pinch mugwort

Meditation Incense #2

3 parts sandalwood

3 parts benzoin

1 part mugwort

Meditation Incense #3

2 parts sandalwood

1 part dried orange peel

1 part mace

1 part cinnamon

Meditation Incense #4

2 parts sandalwood

1 part rose petals

1 part myrrh

1 part jasmine

Meditation Incense #5

2 parts frankincense

2 parts juniper

1 part sandalwood

1 part cinnamon

3 drops patchouli oil

Meditation Incense #6

2 parts copal

1 part jasmine

1 part chamomile

1 part passion flower

1 part lavender

Meditation Incense #7

2 parts frankincense

1 part clove

1 part orange peel

1 part lavender

Meditation Incense #8

1 part frankincense

1 part rosemary

1 part sage

1 part cinnamon


Taken from Pagan Portals Meditation



Curse of the Mirrored Box (Hoodoo)

The curse of the mirrored-box is a very old type of reversing spell used in folk magic traditions to send evil back to its source. The source is usually another individual who is attempting to work evil upon a victim. Interestingly enough I first heard of this type of spell on an episode of Baywatch Nights..


There are several methods of constructing a mirror box. The most traditional method I know consists of purchasing, or otherwise obtaining, a new mirror. It is very important that you do not allow this mirror to capture your own reflection because you don’t want to get any part of yourself mixed up in the spell. However, it can be very difficult (almost impossible) not to allow this to happen….unless you are invisible. The mirror is usually covered with a cloth and broken with a hammer or rock.  Finally, the individual pieces are glued inside a box. The box can be made of anything such as a cheap chipboard box like those found in craft stores, a shoebox, a small jewelry box, etc….I have even known crafty practitioners who make their own boxes to resemble tiny coffins in which they place dolls.
Other methods of creating a mirror box include, but are not limited to, gluing one small mirror to the inside bottom and inside lid of a an altoids can, constructing a box from 6 mirror tiles (four walls, a ceiling, and floor) with the mirrored side pointing inwards. Alternately, if you are in a hurry you can simply press a person’s photo, hair, name-paper, or other small personal concerns between two mirror tiles. The tiles can then be bound with cord, twine, or even tape (yes duct tape has its uses in the magickal world too.)
From there, The curse usually consist of ritually placing a prepared-doll, photograph, or other representation of the individual inside a mirror-box. The ritual can also include the burning of reversing candles and should be accompanied by one’s sincere prayer that any evil the perpetrator is sending against you be directed back at him or her. In my own personal practices, I burn a prepared reversing candle on top of the box itself saying something along the lines of “[N], may all the evil you send to me now and forever return to you!” The candle is then allowed to burn down over the box, sealing the person inside, and setting the curse.
Some practitioners choose to only keep the person inside the box until they feel that the danger is passed or until the individual learns his or her lesson. In these cases, the doll is removed from the box and the box is destroyed. Other practitioners go a step further and take the mirror-box to a graveyard where they petition a spirit to guard over the box and keep the individual “down”. Once a spirit has agreed to these terms, the box is buried at their grave along with payment.
As is the case with many curses, in the Hoodoo Tradition, it is very important that you consult with your divination tool, spirit guides, etc… to determine if this method is justified in your situation before you decide to invoke the Curse of the Mirrored Box.
Now, I can’t share the Curse of the Mirrored Box with you, without also explaining the Reverse-Mirror Box Spell. The Reverse-Mirror Box Spell is similar to the Curse of the Mirror-Box in that it is a box which has been decorated with mirrors on the outside, rather than the inside.  Some individuals create such a box by taking 6 mirror tiles and gluing them together to create a box with the mirrored-side facing out. Inside the box the individual would place a prepared doll, photograph, name paper, or written petition representing them self rather than another person.
The purpose of such a mirror box is to protect the individual from any and all negativity that may be directed at him or her regardless of where it originates. However, some folks say that this type of box will also prevent you from receiving the blessings as well. It is up to the individual to decide if this type of protection spell is appropriate for their situation.


Watermelon Tourmaline: Rainbow Tourmaline

Good Witches Homestead

The watermelon tourmaline is a rare variety that displays three different colors in the same crystal – green (the skin of the watermelon), pink (the sweet fruit) and white (the rind). As in the gem stone ametrine, the colors of the watermelon tourmaline occur 100% naturally. This is a rare occurrence in nature.

Colors: multicolored bands of pink, green and purple

Uses: For inner peace, harmony, balancing and energizing body, mind and spirit, polarity work, and problem-solving. Watermelon tourmaline encourages regeneration of the nerves, helps with paralysis and multiple sclerosis.

Star Sign: Virgo
Planet: Mercury
Element: Earth
Chakra: Heart



Wear watermelon tourmaline to enhance discretion

Carry watermelon tourmaline to help you see the funny side of any situation

Place watermelon tourmaline around your home to encourage humor

Hold watermelon tourmaline to reduce nervousness

Meditate with watermelon tourmaline to connect with your higher self

Give watermelon tourmaline…

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Good Witches Homestead

As Witches, we need to be aware of the Ancient Broom Lore
that has been passed down to us from those wonderful Crones of the past.

1- Never leave home for long periods of time without telling your broom.

2- Treat your broom as you would any other member of your family, with honor,
reverence, and respect.

3- Magickal Brooms are not regular cleaning brooms and should not be used for
such mundane tasks.

4- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside your cast circle.

5- Speak with your broom as you would speak to other members of your family or coven.

6- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside in the weather unless you ask the Broom.

7- Oil your broomstick with every turn of the wheel.

Brooms have long been known for their magickal ways, probably due to its shape,
use in purification rites and kinship with magickal wands and…

View original post 5,021 more words

Sacred & Blessing Herbs ~ Smudging



The act of smudging is done with a smudge bowl or Abalone Shell with the appropriate herbs directly lit or burned on a coal or Charcoal Tablet. When using charcoal tablets, the bowl or shell should be filled with sand or a flat stone to prevent overheating the container. Smudging is also done with herbs tied in bundles called Smudge Sticks. In either case the smoke is ‘washed’ over the person or object with a Feather or by fanning the smoke with one’s hand.

To do a blessing of a person, begin by looking into the eyes of the person for a moment to ‘greet’ them, fan the smoke first at their heart and then up to the right side (your left) of the person’s head, moving around clockwise (sun-wise), gently washing them with the smoke. Continue brushing smoke down over their left shoulder and the length of their arm and back up again to the shoulder. Wash the smoke down the left side of the torso, left leg and foot. Now smudge the right foot, up the left leg, torso and down the length of the right arm and back up to the shoulder. Now turn the person around, turning to their right (sun-wise again) and repeat these movements as you smudge and bless the person’s back. For objects, bless them moving sun-wise around them also.

Smudging in the Seven Directions

  • Facing East – I welcome the energy of the beginning way, the rising sun at the beginning of the day and the light of illumination. Welcome Eagle, flying nearest the heavens, with the clearest of vision. I welcome the energies and spirits of the East. HO!
  • Facing South – I welcome the energy of service to all my relatives, the heat of the noonday sun and the spirit of action in the world. Welcome Coyote spirit. I welcome the energies and spirits of the South. HO!
  • Facing West – I welcome the energy of looking within to find the gifts of healing. Welcome Bear spirit going deep within to seek the gift of renewal. I welcome the energies and spirits of the West. HO!
  • Facing North – I welcome the energy of wisdom and blessing and the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who teach me. Welcome Buffalo and the spirit of giveaway, teach me to be generous and honor all that I receive. I welcome the energies and spirits of the North. HO!
  • Looking up – I welcome the energy and spirit of Above. Father Sky, Star people, and Cloud people. Welcome all that is masculine, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons. And that masculine energy that also exists within the feminine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Father Sky. HO!
  • Looking down (touching the ground) – I welcome the energy of Mother Earth, the feminine principle, the energy and spirit of Below. I welcome the energy and the spirit of our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters. And that feminine energy that exists within the Masculine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Mother Earth. HO!
  • Looking within (holding your hands over your heart) – I welcome the energy of Within, the principle of being connected, the energy and spirit of Within. I welcome the gifts of balance, oneness, and the connection with all things, for all things are one and all things are related. HO!


Smudging and Blessing Herbs

    • Sage
      The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to ‘wash off’ the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. Objects are likewise washed off with sage medicine smoke to rid them of unwanted influences.The plants that are called sage can come from very different families of plants. True sages are in the genus of Salvia; this includes Salvia Officinalis (garden sage) and Salvia Apiana (White Sage), also called California White Sage and Sacred Sage. Many of the herbs called sage come from a completely different family of plants, the Asteracea family. This family brings us the genus of Artemisia from which come New Mexico Sage (Artemisia tridentada), and the sage from the Dakotas (Artemisia ludoviciana), also called Grey sage, Prairie sage, Dakota sage, Lakota Sage and mistakenly sometimes called White sage. All of these sages (Salvia and Artemisia) are used for healing and cleansing. More can be learned from the book Sacred Sage, How It Heals.


    • Cedar
      Cedar is a medicine of protection. Cedar trees are very old, wise and powerful spirits. Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences. Cedar is used as a name for a number of different genuses of trees and shrubs. The primary ones are Cedrus, Thuja, Libdocedrus and Juniperus. The Junipers are not truly Cedars (scientifically) but are used as such by many people. Keep in mind that these scientific names have little meaning to the people using them as medicine in traditional ways.


    • Sweetgrass
      Also called Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass. This very special herb’s sweet vanilla-like scent is the breath of the Earth mother, bringing the blessing of Mother Earth’s love. Sweetgrass is burned to remind us of essence of the feminine and that the earth provides us with everything we need. Sweetgrass can also be be unbraided or trimmed with a scissors into small pieces and sprinkled on hot Charcoal Tablets. Allow the sacred smoke that follows to wash over the subject of the blessing. The sacredness of the sweetgrass herb then sustains the smudging process. Use a smudging feather if you need to douse the flame or promote more smoke.


    • Lavender
      This native of Europe is often used for invitation of the spirits. The name may be derived from the Latin lavare (to wash) or livendula (meaning bluish). In ancient times lavender was an important herb used in mummification. There is a legend that the clothing of baby Jesus was laid upon a lavender bush and acquired the fragrance. Some Christians still regard the scent of lavender as a safeguard against evil. Burning Lavender is best done on Charcoal Tablets.


    • Copal
      This is tree sap from Mexico that is similar to Frankincense. When burned it has a crisp, clean, sharp scent that is almost citrus-like. Copal is sacred to the native peoples of Mexico, as it is a gift ‘pleasing to the gods.’ Because copal is the blood of trees, it is offered to honor the enormous gift given to us by all of the tree people of our planet. Burning Copal is best done on Charcoal Tablets.


    • Frankincense
      At one time both Frankincense and Myrrh were considered to be more valuable than gold. Used to embalm the bodies of the Egyptian Pharaohs, this tree resin is considered to cleanse and protect the soul. Frankincense became important to most every major religion in the world and is still used in Muslim, Jewish and Catholic rituals. Frankincense is said to ease depression and promote clairvoyance. Burning Frankincense is best done on Charcoal Tablets.


    • Myrrh
      This tree resin is said to help one maintain a state of enlightenment. It also connects one to the spirit of youth and clears the path of debris that stands in the way of one’s truth. Burning Myrrh is best done on Charcoal Tablets.


  • Smudging Feather
    It is traditional to use a bird’s feather to brush the smoke over the person or object being blessed. It is important to use the underside of the feather to wash the smoke over the object of blessing. It is the underside of the bird and its wings that face the Mother Earth as it flies and it is this surface of the feather that offers the blessing medicine of the bird.

Other Important Herbs

    • Mullein
      An herb that has been used in smoking blends for the sacred pipe, also used as a tea for lung inflammation. Mullein is also called Yerba del lobo, velvet plant and miner’s candlestick.


    • Red Willow Bark
      This is another traditional ingredient for smoking in the pipe. It is not really a willow, but a dogwood. Sioux people call this bark Chanshasha.


    • Osha Root
      This is one of the roots called Bear Root. This plant grows mainly in the Rocky mountains and is used to invite the bear spirit medicine. Osha is an important medicine for people from northern Mexico to Canada, often used for infections.


    • Uva Ursi
      Called Kinnikinnik by many people, this is another plant used in pipe smoking mixtures. Uva ursi is commonly used as tea for bladder infections.

The material you have just read is ©2010 by the Taos Herb Company.