Today is my birthday!

Today is my birthday,Yes I am a Capricorn, with a Scorpio moon and a Sagittarius sun & Pisces node. I am the third generation to be born with  a veil over my head. Wise tales say its good luck in midevil times they said it would keep evils away. Also that the person that had been born like this would save people from drowning. They also have a second sight!

My family’s heritiage is that of medicine women in native american tribes, celtic witches to egyptian people. The only reason I speak of this is because if all my crazy different ancestors didn’t meet each other and procreated for millions of years I wouln’t be here. The band the streets have this song and it always makes me feel so alive…

“For billions of years since the onset of time
Every single one of your ansestors survived
Every single person on your mum and dads side
Successfully looked after and passed onto you life
What are the chances of that like
It comes to me once in a while
And everywhere I tell folk it gets the best smile..”

-The Streets “On the Edge Of a Cliff”

Just think about that when ever your lost and you need help getting back on track because it would not be something so special to just ignore. Spirit has bigger plans for you!

Blessed be and listen to the song its awesome!

http://www.lyricsbay.com/on_the_edge_of_a_cliff_lyrics-streets.html

Cunning Folks

The Cunning Man

The Cunning Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cunning folk – Traditionally the cunning man or cunning woman was a person who, healed, worked magic, created herbal remedies, provided charms, anti-witch measures, spells, and fortune telling services, they were paid a fee for their work. Cunning (knowledgeable) or (wise), originated from an Old English term kenning, this referred to professional or semi-professional practitioners of magic. Some acquired their gifts through heredity, their magic was a mixed bag of folk medicine and occultism, folk magic was passed along in oral tradition, and embellished along the way, they employed practical remedies for specific problems. It was believed they could work with supernatural power in order to increase the effectiveness of their work. In most instances someone could set themselves up as cunning folk, with no particular background or training, although some did come from a background of magical practitioners.

Up until the mid nineteenth century there were several thousand cunning folk working in England, and although there was a higher ratio of men, the women were successful in their role. Many of the cunning folk working in Britain kept their ordinary line of work, while earning money as a professional cunning man or woman to boost their income. Most cunning men and woman were solitary practitioners, and employed a variety of magical implements.

Some kept animal familiars and supernatural entities, known as familiar spirits, they were considered to be benevolent and helpful.  It was believed the familiar spirit took the cunning person on a visionary journey to a place called Elfhame, (elf- home). In this trip the cunning folk’s soul would go with the familiar on a journey into a hill, to a great subterranean fairy hall, while there they would encounter fairies led by the king and queen, and take part in a feast.

As most local clients were poor, fees for magical services were small. Their fees were much higher when a member of the aristocracy sought them out, and this was often to do with matters associated with love, money and bewitchment. The cunning men and cunning women who worked for the aristocracy, were much better off financially than those who only treated villagers. Some cunning folk received annuities, and others took a percentage of all stolen goods found through divination.

They were particularly popular for their charms, which they recited during their spell casting and divination work. They also created specific and very expensive charms for the aristocrats,  writing down magical words in order to conjure, love, money, fertility and prosperity. The charms were sometimes written on parchment or paper, sewn into a bag, and either placed in the clients home, or carried about by them. By employing a variety of divination tools the cunning person was able to tell a person’s fortune and divine the name of their future love. They were often consulted to cast spells or charms to ensure a spouse’s fidelity and to find lost items. Some cunning folk claimed to have the ability to locate lost treasure, the cunning man or woman was called upon to overcome through magical means, the demon, spirit or fairy that was guarding it.

The cunning folk were especially adept in creating charms that would repel or break the spells of other witches blamed for bewitchment. They were the only healers to offer a package of anti-witch measures and were especially effective curing malevolent sorcery. They were also called upon to protect, heal and locate lost animals, and to care for crops. The cunning folk used a wide variety of methods to heal their clients, using various herbs, plants the laying on of hands, and conducting elaborate ceremonies. They practiced folk magic, known as low magic, and ceremonial magic known as high magic, their role was to attend to the physical and spiritual needs of their client.

Cunning folk flourished up until the late 17th century, this was a time when belief in magic was high, they took the role of unofficial police and were believed to be a deterrent to crime, as when crimes were committed a cunning man or cunning woman was consulted to divine the guilty party. From the 18th century onwards their place in society continued, and carried on into modern times, especially in rural areas. Many cunning folk operated in a very competitive market, and would often travel great distances to visit their clients, their profile was very important to them. They used crystal balls and scrying bowls in their work and astrology. A Grimoire was a most coveted item and those who owned one added to their profile. Although they were predominantly solitary practitioners, there were some families who approached it as a magical business.

British Cunning folk were referred to as wizards, wise men, wise women, conjurers, pellars charmers and white witch, and in the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods Britain was a place where folk magic was very popular. In France, the terms devins-guerisseurs and leveurs de sorts were used to describe cunning folk. In the Netherlands they were referred to as toverdokters or duivelbanners, in Germany Hexenmeisters, and in Denmark kloge folk. In Spain they were curanderos and in Portugal they were known as saludadores. Cunning folk and their use of white magic for healing and as a protection against black magic, was widespread in Germany. The primary role of the Italian cunning folk was healing, with the use of herbs and spiritual healing, their spiritual healing was believed to come from an inner power, known as la forza (power), la virtu (virtue) or il Segno (the sign), they were also consulted to remove curses.

Because of the usefulness of cunning folk, they were able to practice their magic as an open secret, and quietly conducted their business in such a way they avoided anti-magic and anti-witchcraft laws. They met with little interference from authorities, who chose to ignore them unless there was a specific complaint. The cunning folk were often denounced during religious gatherings, but because of their popularity and usefulness, were never pursued. During the time of the Inquisition, cunning folk became vulnerable targets, but in spite of this there was a huge amount of public support for them, because they were so important to those who required their services.

The disparity between witches and the cunning folk, was that witches were seen to do harm, and cunning folk were useful and provided a valid service. Cunning folk were active from the Medieval period through to the early twentieth century when it is believed the declining belief in malevolent witchcraft, did away with the need for anti-witchcraft measures, which was a primary service offered by the cunning folk.

Plants, Herbs, and Dark Magic

It was believed that witches made a pact with Satan, and many plants and herbs were considered evil especially if they had a name associated with the Devil. There are plants believed to bring about evil or bad luck, especially if they are planted near the home or bloom out of season. A bunch of primroses or daffodils numbering thirteen, was believed to affect the fertility of chickens and geese. Blossoming blackthorn brought into the house is the harbinger of illness or death, broom brought into the house will bring bad luck. Bad luck is brought into the home with any plant, tree, or shrub that blooms out of season, in particular fruit bearing ones. Yew should never be brought indoors as according to folklore it would result in the death of a family member and if it was brought into the home at Christmas a family member would meet their death before the following Christmas. If parsley is given as a gift if will bring with it bad luck, and if a hydrangea is planted near the house or brought indoors daughters will remain unmarried. It is said that cutting down a healthy tree, especially an oak tree (sacred to the ancient Druid priests), is a most unfortunate thing to do and bad luck will follow.

To those who wish to protect themselves against malevolence, they wear or carry a mojo bag filled with one or more protective herbs. The protective herbs are – lavender, castor beans, henna, angelica, anise (aniseed), betony leaves, pennyroyal, sage, rue, lime tree twigs. These herbs can also be sprinkled around the home, they can also be hung in windowsills or doorways, be place under the bed or under the pillow. Many involved in occult practices believe in the evil eye and herbs can be used to combat the power of the evil eye. The evil eye was known as the mal occhio, the belief is that someone is born with this power over others. There are certain plants with the name of the Devil, and the using of these plants magically and medicinally by witches, most of whom were healers, automatically linked them with the Prince of Darkness.

Alaskan ginseng – devil’s club

Alstonia scholaris – devil’s tree

Asafoetida – devil’s dung

Bachelor’s buttons – devil’s flower

Belladonna – devil’s cherries

Bindweed – devil’s guts

Cassytha spp – devil’s twine

Celandine – devil’s milk

Colicroot – devil’s bit

Datura – devil’s apple

Dill – devil away

Dodder – devil’s guts/devil’s hair/hellweed

Elder – devil’s eye

Elephant’s foot – devil’s grandmother

Fairywand – devil’s bit

False hellebore – devil’s bite/devil’s tobacco

Fern – devil’s bush

Field convolvulus – devil’s weed

Grapple plant – devil’s claw root

Hedge bindweed – devil’s vine

Henbane – devil’s eye

Hieracium aurantiacum – devil’s paintbrush

Indigo berry – devil’s pumpkin

Jimsonweed – devil’s apple/devil’s trumpet

Lambertia formosa – mountain devil

Mandrake – Satan’s apple

Mayapple – devil’s apple

Mexican poppy – devil’s fig

Mistletoe – devil’s fuge

Parsley – devil’s oatmeal

Periwinkle – devil’s ivy

Pricklypear cactus – devil’s tongue

Puffball fungus – devil’s snuffbox

Queen Anne’s lace – devil’s plague

Viper’s bugloss – bluedevil

Wild yam – devil’s bones

Yarrow – devil’s nettle

Succisa pratensis (devil’s bit), was used to treat many of the ailments that the devil and his minions perpetrated on mankind. That humans had found something to treat the ailments that the devil had afflicted then with, angered the Devil, causing him to take a bite out of the root of the devil’s bit. This is the reason for the ragged appearance of the plants roots.

Those who wanted to protect themselves from daemons, sorcerers, and any venomous creatures, in medieval Europe used particular herbs to ward off evil. One of the most popular herbs was oregano which was carried in the form of a herbal amulet, by carrying this the Devil could neither tempt nor harm a person. Many inquisitors  while torturing witches, burned oregano believing the smoke was effective in stopping the Devil from assisting his witches.

Parsley had Satanic connotations, and due to its slow germination parsley seed was said to go seven times to hell in order to obtain the Devil’s permission to grow. People were very superstitious about parsley, with many believing that if parsley seeds failed to germinate the individual who had planted the seeds would die within a year. Monkey puzzle trees were planted in or near graveyards in England, thus preventing the Devil from entering burial grounds and taking the souls of the dear departed.

To protect yourself against bad luck and illness, place yarrow on your doorstep, this will keep the Devil at bay, and protect you from negativity and evil spirits, you will also be protected against black magick and evil spell casting. Hanging elder over the doors and windows acts as a deterrent to the Devil, keeping your home safe from dark magick. Holly was used in the Middle Ages, people believed they would be protected from the Devil and his evil doing.

In Britain those who feared the power of Satan protected themselves by wearing an amulet filled with St. John’s wort, others stitched St. John’s wort inside their clothing. On St. John’s Eve, springs of St. John’s wort were gathered by people wishing to protect themselves from the Devil’s evil and keep their homes safe. It was hung over doorways and windows, it was also placed under beds. For protection and to drive away evil, it was said that St, John’s wort should be gathered on a Friday, made into an amulet and hung around the neck. In the 17th century children were made to wear a piece of mistletoe on a necklace, this was done to protect them against evil spirits and the Devil. There was much superstition in the 17th century, in order to protect themselves against demonic possession people carried mistletoe charms and placed them in and around their homes.

Hoodoo is a mix of African religious beliefs, European folklore and Native American herb lore, it is a tradition attributing power through magickal means, hoodoo is not connected to any form of theology or religion. The practice of hoodoo is known as conjure, conjuration and root work.

Angelica Root – Hoodoo practitioners use the root of the angelica to ward off evil, to break jinxes, to bring good luck, to ensure good health and wellbeing. Angelica root is carried in a blue mojo bag, with a pinch of lavender flowers and anointed with three drops of peaceful home oil, this brings peace, tranquility and calm to a person’s home, it also practices those married against infidelity and strengthens bonds.

Buckeye Nuts – Buckeye nuts are carried in the pants pockets by men, promising good fortune in sexual matters. The buckeye nuts are carried in mojo bags to prevent and cure arthritis, rheumatism and migraines. Gamblers use buckeye nuts to bring them luck, a hole is drilled in the nut, it is filled with mercury and sealed with wax. Gamblers carry their buckeye charm in a mojo bag, as well as a silver dime, it is anointed with any luck attracting occult oil, a favourite is fast luck, this is carried by the gambler who is about to place a bet. The luckiest day to prepare the charm is on a Wednesday during a planetary hour of Mercury, as the day and hour corresponds to one who governs games of chance and sleight of hand.

Devil’s Shoestring – The devil’s shoestring protects against evil and poisoning, it stops people from spreading gossip, wards off crossings and helps someone find or maintain employment. Devil’s shoestring is a favorite of those who are inveterate gamblers. The devil’s shoestring is made into an amulet and is especially helpful to those with a passion for gambling.

High John the Conqueror – For any situation High John the Conqueror can be used it is a multi faceted herb to be used as a charm or amulet. The root was name after an African king sold into slavery outsmarted his captors.  High John the Conqueror is used to attract money, increase strength, protect against evil, gain confidence, overcome difficulties and attract good luck. It breaks hexes, helps depression, enhances male libido, male practitioners of hoodoo use it to seduce women. High John the Conqueror is an occult oil used for money making purposes as well as to enhance male sexual prowess.

Lucky Hand Root – This is the name given to several species of orchids, the ingredients are added to a mojo bag for gambling luck, to protect from illness, to aid employment and bring about success. It is also said to increase personal power, and when added to High John the Conqueror its power to bring luck and abundance has no equal. Lucky hand root is sold under the name lucky hand oil, gamblers rub it on their hands before they play with the belief the cards or dice will be lucky and that the oil will hoodoo the game in their favour. Gamblers sprinkled powdered lucky hand root on their money before they began the playing, this was known as marking the money and gamblers felt this would ensure a win. It was also thought to be an especially potent protector when used in an amulet.

On the 3rd May each year, Witches and Pagans gather rowan twigs and leaves for magickal spells and amulets, this day is known as Rowan Tree Day. They decorate their homes and altars with sprigs of rowan to bring blessings and protection of the goddess and her horned consort. It is believed that on this day fires made of rowan wood possess the power to summon spirits, this is a day of magickal energies.

On the 24th May each year, St. John’s wort is burned to repel evil spirits and protect against sorcery. In Pagan tradition it was considered lucky to use a gold coin or a stag’s horn to dig the plant up, magickal energies peak on this day. Legend has it that anyone who picks or eats blackberries on this day will have bad luck. The 31st October, is Halloween has a custom of placing a candle inside a hollowed out pumpkin, this is done to ward off demons and evil spirits who walk the earth on this night.