Archive Monthly Archives: April 2017

A to Z Herbarium: Zhi Zi

Love, Peace, Healing, Spirituality

Chinese-named herbs to the rescue again! This time, zhi zi = gardenia.

Fresh gardenia flowers placed in sickrooms will help with healing. The dried petals are often added to incenses and healing mixtures. Dried gardenia is also often used in Moon incenses, and scattering dried gardenia about the room will encourage peaceful vibrations.

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Hazel and Holly — An Unadorned End

Previous: A Return to Light

Hazel moved as if within a dark and disturbing dream. It was like she had become trapped in a net of iron-bound mist. And she wasn’t alone. There were others here with her, whispering against her skin, drawing long, shadowed fingers across her mind.

They desired things of her, wordless pleas that pulled on her thoughts and crawled over her skin. The men in black robes needed to die—they told her this. And they gave her a soulless dragon as her vessel.

Yet, at the height of her fury, a light shone in the distance. It permeated the cloying whispers like sunlight spilling over a strawberry strewn hill. She reached towards it, but then the warmth gathered around her hand, as if she held the sun itself and it had refused to burn her. Continue reading

A to Z Herbarium: Xue Jie

Love, Protection, Exorcism, Potency

Ok, so I had to use the Chinese name for this herb, as herbs starting with X in either English or Latin are seemingly non-existent.

Anywho, turns out that xue jie, in English, is dragon’s blood (from the Latin sanguis draconis). It’s the resin from a number of different plants belonging to genera Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang and Pterocarpus. That all seems terribly complicated, so let’s just say it comes from the dragon tree (which is actually true).

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A to Z Herbarium: Wormwood

Psychic Powers, Protection, Love, Calling Spirits

Wormwood is used in incenses intended to develop psychic powers. Carrying wormwood will protect against bewitchment and bites from sea serpents. According to ancient tradition, wormwood will also counteract poisoning by hemlock and toadstools (take this advice with an epic-sized grain of salt).

Burning wormwood will summon spirits, and is sometimes mixed with sandalwood for this purpose. If burned in graveyards, it’s said that spirits of the dead will rise and speak.

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A to Z Herbarium: Violet

Protection, Luck, Love, Lust, Wishes, Peace, Healing

Carrying violet will protect one against wicked spirits, and bring about a change in luck and fortune. When mixed with lavender, violets stimulate love and lust. Gathering the first violet in spring means your greatest wish will be granted.

In ancient Greece, violets were worn to cool tempers and bring about sleep. Ancient Romans made wine out of violet blossoms. A wreath of violets worn on the head was believed to cure headaches and dizziness. Violets have also been associated with death and mourning. It’s possible this connection goes back to ancient times, as it’s said when the Phrygian god Attis died, violets sprung wherever his blood fell.

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