Many assume that the term “Holy Water” indicates church-based water only. This is an oversimplification of a complex concept. The Roman Catholic Church did not invent the concept of Holy Water but adopted it from earlier Pagan use. Various Pagan shrines possessed virtually identical Holy Water fonts. Holy Water is a crucial component of many magical, religious and spiritual traditions, although what constitutes Holy Water and how it’s made varies greatly.
Water collected from the Jordan River, and water blessed by the church is considered Holy.
According to British folk tradition, rain falling on Holy Thursday – Ascension Day – may be gathered and used as Holy Water. Any other day held sacred to the spell caster may be substituted: Summer Solstice, May Eve, New Year’s, Samhain, your birthday, a saint’s day, etc.
Holy Water may also be made via astrological correspondences. Some believe that waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are holy and charged with extra magickal power.
Balinese tradition uses a variety of Holy Waters. These may include the water found within unripe coconuts or young bamboo. Ocean water is sometimes used as well.
Modern Wicca has evolved the notion of Holy Water. Various formulas exist. At it’s simplest, Witch’s Holy water is spring water with salt added. Different covens may have personal recipes, including infused herbs (rosemary, thyme, and vervain are particularly popular), or crystals.
Pow-Wow also features various recipes but the mainstay is water with salt and vervain added. Christian Pow-Wow may choose church-blessed waters instead.
Balinese Holy Water, Church-blessed Holy Water and Wiccan Holy Water (among others) are consecrated via sacred ritual: the ritual activates the water. Other magical traditions consider that the sacred, magical power of Holy Water is such that no further ritual or consecration is needed and may in fact be interference. Obtaining Holy Water may thus be as simple a gathering rainwater or adding sea salt to spring water. Complex rituals may also be designed.
Holy Water is most commonly used for:
- Cleansing and purification, both for individual bathing and for space-cleansing (sprinkle in corners).
- Altar cleansing and blessing.
- Healing spells.
- Holy Water is also believed capable of magically transmitting physical relief especially for headaches and tension. Use in compresses and massage.
- Cleansing and empowering materials and tools by either anointing them, or soaking them in the Holy Water.
- Exorcism and banishing spells.
A variety of recipes and rituals for making Holy Water can be found here:
The name is said to be derived either from the fact that its whitish, blue-green color gives it the appearance of smoke rising from the ground, or, according to Pliny, because the juice of the plant brings on such a flow of tears that the sight becomes dim as with smoke, and hence its reputed use in afflictions of the eye.
According to the ancient exorcists, when the plant is burned, its smoke has the power of expelling evil spirits, it having been used for this purpose in the famous geometrical gardens of St. Gall.
Earth Smoke is also known as Fumitory. There is a legend that the plant was produced, not from seed, but from vapors arising out of the earth.
While this herb is most often used in money drawing incense formulas, it is also carried (in it’s dry form) in the shoes by salesmen for luck in making quick sales. It can also be brewed in water and the liquid sprinkled around the business premises to bring in quick money.
Formulas using Earth Smoke can be found here:
Each month the moon waxes and wanes through its cycle, touching each star sign for a few days. As it changes rapidly, so can the emotional states of those people who have strong lunar alliances in their natal charts, hence the moons name, lunar, came from the word lunatic!
Waning: When the moon is waning, it’s on the cycle of diminishing; therefore, it’s a good time to end anything that isn’t working, which allows something new to enter your life. It’s also a prime time for clearing and cleaning.
Waxing: When the moon is waxing, it’s on the cycle of becoming fuller, and thought to be a more prosperous time. This is the time for gathering up, for bringing in, for growing and adding to.
Full moon: The strongest period for the full moon is the period either side of the full moon, 1-3 days. However, the period just before the full moon, keep in mind that the moon is still in its waxing cycle still becoming fuller, and directly after the full moon it then begins its waning diminishing cycle.
New moon: The new moon period is known to be a magic wish time, with its strongest time 1 to 3 days after the new moon and also just before the full moon. The time just before the full moon begins to diminish is a very powerful time to cast your dreams, goals and wishes to the universe for creation. This is one of the intense energy times to do spells, rituals, prayers and re-in force your positive thoughts.
Eclipse: An Eclipse signifies an intense time of energy, which can spark the beginning or end of relationships and situations, and can have an effect before and for months after the eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs on the new moon and a lunar eclipse occurs on the full moon.
Read more: NY Daily News Horoscopes
- Ruler: Fairies, Venus
- Element: Air
- Planet: Mercury
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Leaf – fresh or dried, Essential Oil
Thyme was called thymos by the Greeks, which meant “fumigate”. They associated thyme with valor in battle, and the restoration of physical power. Roman soldiers were known to bathe in a decoction of thyme before going into combat, to boost strength and courage. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic, and in Egypt, thyme was one of the herbs which was used in the mummification process.
Thyme cleanses and renews the spirit and calls angelic forces to one’s aid. Long utilized in the energy cleansing and clearing of temples in Greece, thyme can be burned or strewn to disperse stagnant vibrations and invite the new. Bathe in the oil for serious purification after you have come in contact with death.
Thyme can be used in healing rituals, or to bring about restful sleep. Women who wear thyme on their person are irresistible to men, and carrying sprigs in your pocket aids in developing your psychic abilities. Burn some thyme to help boost your courage before confrontations. Add this herb to foods to increase your awareness, sight, and memory.
It is also used in love spells to invoke more gentleness and understanding into a relationship.
Attractive to the fairy folk, thyme can be grown in the garden to entice their plant blessings, and a little thyme under the tongue allows one to see them more clearly.
An herb that helps connect with psychic consciousness, thyme in a divination formula aids the mind in understanding and deciphering psychic visions and impressions.
Burn as incense or wear to attract good health. Place a sprig beneath your pillow to ensure dream-free sleep. It is frequently burned before ritual to cleanse the area. Burn when asking advice of loved ones who have passed on.
Compiled from various sources.
- Ruler: Jupiter, Hecate
- Element: Air
- Planet: Sun
- Type: Herb
- Parts Used: Fresh sprigs, Dried power, Leaf, Essential Oil
A favorite herb of witches, rosemary also has a long history of being used to counteract bad spells and block their powers. Hang fresh or dried sprigs of rosemary in your home to dispel witchcraft and evil plots. Carry the leaves in a red cloth bag for protection.
The reviving scent of rosemary stimulates the memory and thought processes. Rub the oil into yellow candles and light on a Thursday to improve your study habits and grades. Season food with dried ground rosemary to improve your memory and increase your clarity.
Its scent when burned or added to any herbal preparation adds an energy of protection and purification to a space. The oil applied directly to rashes and skin blemishes clears the area, and when inhaled, its aroma aids the memory and brain functions.
Sprinkling rosemary leaves over a grave brings comfort to the dead and memories for the ones left behind. Rosemary placed in a bath before bedtime wards away nightmares, and when carried in an Herbal Amulet, it gives confidence and courage.
As for Rosmarine, I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore, to friendship…
~Sir Thomas More
- Ruler: Sun, Mercury, all Gods and Goddesses of victory
- Element: Fire
- Type: Spice
- Magickal Form: Powder, Sticks, Essential Oil
Cinnamon is one of the herbs used throughout the Far and Middle East for purification and temple cleansing. In addition, cinnamon’s energy promotes success, healing, the raising of spiritual intent, and clear psychic vision. It is an excellent addition to almost any magickal herbal formula.
Very energizing to the human nervous system, cinnamon awakens the mind to clear and quick thought.
A favorite of many gods and goddesses, cinnamon powder is sprinkled on offerings to attract attention and win the favor of the gods. Add the oil or powder to any money or success blend to bring swift results. Before getting out of bed in the morning, rub a dab of pure essential oil onto the soles of your feet and you will be led to money during the course of your day.
Chew cinnamon sticks to summon winged Mercury for luck in creative endeavors. For victory and to increase your chances of winning, dust your hands with cinnamon powder or add a few drops of cinnamon oil to the bathwater on a Sunday or any day at sunrise.
Note: Be careful when using in oils and baths. Many people are very physically sensitive to the potency of this bark and its essential oil. Its application to the skin can cause burns.
Collected from various sources
- Ruler: Earth, Water
- Type: Mineral
- Magickal Form: Coarse, fine
- Magickal Properties: Purification, Protection, Grounding, Blessing
Salt is a primary tool of any Witch, regardless of the personal path. Sacred to all ocean deities and considered one of the most sacred substances of earth. It is a representation of earth herself in a mineral form.
Salt has many meanings. It is incorruptible itself, and preserves other things from decay, and hence it is an emblem of eternity and immortal life. It typifies wisdom and friendship. It was included in pagan sacrificial rites, and also in those of the Jews, and from time immemorial it has been used as a protection against all forces of evil.
Salt is used in traditional magical practices for blessing, grounding, protection, and cleansing. In Wicca, salt is sprinkled to purify and create the sacred circle.
It is frequently used as a base for other ingredients in powders, floor washes, bathing spells, and charm bags. Sprinkle around the four corners of the room and add to bath water to protect and dispel evil. Sprinkle black salt on doorways to keep undesirable influences away.
Salt represents prosperity. It was once used to pay salaries in ancient Rome: the word salary comes from the Latin sal, for salt. Many superstitions arose around spilling salt because of its preciousness. Add salt to dark leafy greens to increase your income.
Salt is seen as a feminine, nurturing mineral, whereas sulfur is thought to be the male, destructive mineral. Salt works in banishing spells by breaking up or splitting apart any negative influences, due to its purity. It is used in holy water and is a staple on most altars.
To eat another man’s salt is to establish a mystical bond between host and guest which neither can afterwards ignore with safety. The First Foot in Scotland and northern England often brings salt with him, signifying prosperity, see First Footing.
On the other hand, to help anyone to salt is to “help him to sorrow,” and a dark spell to make fruitful land barren was to curse it and sprinkle it with salt.
In the old days, in the English north-midlands, oaths were sometimes taken on salt instead of on the Bible. It was confidently believed that a prayer offered near salt would be answered.
If a plateful of salt was brought by the parents to a baby’s baptism and held near him during the service, he would be certain of Heaven when he died. As late as the 1940’s it was still quite usual in many districts to put a pinch of salt and one of sugar into a baby’s mouth when he first visits another house, or to include a little among the first gifts made to him.
A little salt in a cradle protected an unbaptized child, a heap in a pewter plate set on a corpse kept away demons and prevented swelling.
In the English midlands, salt and water, mixed three times, signed with the sign of the cross, and sprinkled over any unlucky thing, would remove the bad luck.
Collected from various sources
- Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants
- Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard
- Colors: light blue, violet
- Flowers: primrose
- Scents: wisteria, heliotrope
- Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal
- Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar
- Animals: otter, unicorn
- Birds: eagle, chickadee
- Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite
Power Flow: Energy working toward the surface; A good time for spell work on purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans.
From: Moon Magick