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I am currently in the process of migrating the content shared here to a series of new websites hosted at

As you explore this site, you may find links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal. For this I apologize. I am very working hard behind the scenes to restore those pages along with a link to their homes on my new website where they can be viewed in full.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Old Names For Herbs - A to Z

In the old days, herbalists and midwives didn't use textbook botanical names for herbs. Medicinal and magical plants had colorful descriptive names. Often, old books about magic and herbal healing use the folk names instead of the names commonly used today, and it can be confusing. So, here is an alphabetical listing of those names, along with the common and botanical names in current use. You'll notice that some plants have a variety of names, and some names refer to a variety of plants.

  • A Hawk's Heart: Heart of Wormwood Artemisia absinthium
  • A Lion's Hairs: Tongue of a Turnip [i.e., the leaves of the taproot] Brassica napus
  • A Man's Bile: Turnip Sap Brassica napus
  • A Pig's Tail: Leopard's Bane Arnica montana
  • A Titan's Blood: Wild Lettuce Lactuca virosa
  • Aaron's Rod: Goldenrod Solidago Virgaurea -or- Great Mullein Verbascum thapsus
  • A Bone of an Ibis: Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica
  • Absinthe: Wormwood Artemisia Absinthium
  • Adder's Fork: Bistort Polygonum Bistorta
  • Adder's Mouth: Chickweed Stellaria Media
  • Adder's Tongue: Dogstooth Violet Erythronium multiscapoideum
... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, Magickal Ingredients, and can be found in its entirety here: Old Names For Herbs

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

King of the Gypsies

Recorded 26.5.1984 at Suckley, Worcestershire by Eric Payne

Bob recounted that:- “Scarratt was the King of the Gypsies.   When one dies, they pick another. He was one of the richer type of Romany, he was a Romany you see … there’s a difference between a Gypsy and a hedge crawler that’s taken to the road.

They had two great big horses on a pole pulling the van through here and his family were ‘well to do’, with sovereigns on their fingers and in their ears. All their money was more or less carried on their person, although some was, I think, in their milk churns or in their vardos’. They had no bank accounts, no bank books, they couldn’t read anything – that was the idea of that.

Scarratt would lead and go first with his showpiece van and his horses on the pole, nobody else had a van and horses, so they stood out like a sore thumb! If you were working at the roadside when he passed, you’d look up at him and say ‘How are you’ …. you knew it was Scarratt, he hadn’t a name on his van, but you knew it was him with his piebald horses. Word would have gone round that he was on his way, so the other vans started to gather but nobody would proceed until he had gone first. Scarratt administered his own law. He would give offenders up to the police if they’d done anything terrible, but if it was a trivial offence he’d see to it, and if he thought it was bad enough, he’d drum ‘em out, they were no longer in his kingdom .. and he was King!”

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Insomnia Spell - Hecate's Bath

Once upon a time, according to legend, Hecate had a temple in the ancient city of Colchis, surrounded by vast botanical gardens. Her priestesses, including her most famous devotee Medea, were famed for their botanical knowledge. No doubt they could concoct a sleeping potion or two. This simple bath uses two of Hecate's sacred materials - honey and lavender - to soothe the way to sleep and encourage healing dreams....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Magickal Apothecary, and can be found in its entirety here: Insomnia Spell - Hecate's Bath
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