Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Potato spells

The common potato is terribly misunderstood.  Originating in the Americas (not Ireland as is commonly held), it has been a staple food among many groups and is often blamed fro widening bottoms.  The tubers, the edible part of the plant is a hardy and pernicious breeder; it's leaves however, are poisonous.  It is also a powerful magical ingredient.

A common folk magic, still performed today is to cut a slice of potato, rub it on a wart, bury it the garden under the full moon to get rid of the growth.  Personally, I can't vouch for this one, as I've never had a wart.  According to Scott Cunningham, you should carry one in your purse all winter to ward away colds (if your purse is very nice, I would use caution. If it's a crappy one from the place with the bulls eye logo, like mine, I wouldn't worry as much). You can carve the number of pounds you wish to use into a potato and bury it to help encourage weight loss.  Potatoes also encourage health, so add some to soups and stews when feeding the ill to help get them on the path to healing.

Potatoes are common kitchen staples and good for magical purposes as well. Try including them in your kitchen witchery and you may be surprised by how versatile and powerful they are.  They are also inexpensive and available in a wide variety of sizes and colors to accommodate your intentions. Try eating purple potatoes for spiritual healing or yellow for energy.  Use them as focus objects when creating your own spells, or use them to make potato stamps to wrap your creations in.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shiny things, knots and thorns- old protection magic

In old stories from around the world bad spirits can be trapped, waylaid or distracted by very simple means. We, as a rather snarky society addicted to psuedomedical diagnoses, would say that these spirits have OCD or ADD. Why? Because they must untangle knots, pick lentils out of the fireplace ashes, get distracted by shiny objects, or cuaght in the brambles because they can't resist.

Protecting your home from bad spirits can be entertaining simple if you use these old stories. A shiny witchball full of dripping, shiny columns trap and distract spirits, of course you must take care never to break one, because the spirits can escape. Mirrors, facing the doors, can have the same effect. Drop a bowl lentils in the cool ash of the hearth and mix well. Many negative entities will feel compelled to sort the lentils out. Why? I have no idea, but I have heard several versions of this techique. Knotted string, the inspiration for labyrinths, has the same effect. Thorny plants, like roses or blackberries, along the edge of the property, a la Sleeping Beauty, catches boogies on the spiky protrusions, not to mention they dissuade human prowlers from bothering with your home.

Folklore, mythology and faery tales offer great inspiration and advise for dealing with unwanted entities and spirits.  Every culture has it's folklore about what and how evil can be repelled, so pick one that you are drawn to, either from your ancestry or from an affinity, and read some folklore.  You might find the prefect protection magic for your home.