Free Printables: Gardening Calendar

Do not download this pic – the downloadable PDFs are at the end of the post!

This two-page printable Gardening Calendar is based on the one I use myself, and will be very useful for beginning gardeners and wildharvesters. I write only the main monthly tasks, and also record what we have wildharvested (and where), so next year I can go back to it, and plan our wildharvesting trips in advance. It is a very efficient way to keep up with the cycles of the year, and once you have filled the first year, it is incredibly easy to stay prepared and organized. Below, you can find two versions for downloading, one in full colour, and one in black and white. And remember, as always, personal use ONLY.

Download The Full Colour Version

Download The Black And White Version (Printer-Friendly)

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Magical Herbalism For Beginners III: Wildharvesting And Guerrilla Gardening

Beautiful mountains in the area of the Valley Of Colino, which crosses our town.

The third post of this series is about herbalism outdoors: Wildharvesting and Guerrilla Gardening. For those unfamiliar with the terms, Wildharvesting is the practise of identifying and gathering herbs that grow in natural areas, and Guerrilla Gardening is the planting of beneficial plants in abandoned urban areas.

We practise both – we live in a quite poor urban area, with very few green spaces and very hard climate conditions; and, since we have only an urban garden on the house’s roof terrace, we need to wildharvest to get plants that we cannot plant in pots. I hope our experience helps you and inspires you!

To read the first and second part of this series, please click Here (Part 1) and Here (Part 2).

Wildharvesting

· Wildharvesting requires the utmost respect for Nature and Her generosity; harvest just what you need, harming the plant as little as possible and leaving enough of the plant for it to regrow and feed the local fauna. If possible, harvest from several plants, instead of from one. Learn how to prune herbs correctly so you encourage growth

· Get a quality hand scythe, and keep it as sharp as possible. There is nothing that causes more accidents than a dull blade.

Our scythe – old, but very loved :).

· Protect your hands with gloves. We use the gloves that are sold for electricians and other construction workers – they are quite thick while allowing excellent movement, and have a non-slip cover on the palm for a better grip.

· For urban wildharvesters, a few ziplock bags and a good pair of kitchen scissors will be enough; for those who wildharvest with a car, and need bigger quantities of herbs, this is our car’s kit: besides the scythe and the gloves mentioned above, we keep ziplock bags in several sizes, trash bags (for actual trash left by others), a couple of big and sturdy plastic bags for bigger amounts of plants, cotton cord, a sturdy rope, water, food, and a small first aid kit.

· And speaking of trash – don’t make any, and if you find stuff left by others, pick it. The land Spirits will love you for it. Become the guardian of the place where you harvest, and you will always be welcome to the land and its secrets.

· Always leave a payment for what you are taking, and thank the spirits of the place for allowing you to find and harvest plants. You can take seeds, fruit, milk, tobacco leaves, honey, bread or cake… the list can be endless. Take something of quality, and only biodegradable items. No candles, plates, or anything that can poison animals like chocolate.

· Do NOT wildharvest endangered species, on public parks, on preserved areas, or private properties. Ever.

· Do NOT wildharvest right off the edge of the roads where there is car traffic, if you have any intention of ingesting the plant, or to use it topically. Those herbs are poisoned by the cars’ fumes.

· And, this is very important: wildharvesting can be a dangerous activity. Don’t be the guy from Into The Wild, please; stay safe at all costs, never go wildharvesting without telling someone, and never ingest any plant until you are sure you know what you are putting in your body. Nature is NOT harmless, and neither are plants.

In this area (I will keep the place private), we have replanted several Dragon’s Blood trees, a Fig Tree, and several Canarian Lavender plants.

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening is the act of planting useful, edible and endemic plants on abandoned urban spaces. Guerrilla Gardening looks forward to give back to Mother Nature, to make our urban spaces more beautiful and useful, to offer sources of free food for anyone who needs it, to educate others in honouring the Earth, and to give the urban bird and insect fauna more sources for food and shelter.

· We gather all the seeds from our kitchen scraps along the year, extra wildharvested seeds, and any overstock of seeds from our garden, dry them and mix them in a bag – once dry, you can keep a small amount in your purse/backpack in a ziplock bag, and just spread a pinch whenever you have the chance.

· You can also mix your seeds with clay and make balls/discs with the mixture; make sure it’s natural clay with no chemicals added, like potters’ clay, and do not use heat to dry them (in both cases, so you don’t kill the seeds). Once they are dry, not only you can plant them anywhere, they make great gifts for friends and family, or for anyone you want to turn into Guerrilla :).

· Remember not to spread invasive plants, and use only varieties that are native to your environment – this is extremely important! Always choose useful over beautiful, food and medicine over pretty.

· Plants that are butterly and bee favourites should always be among your choices – the more we help beneficial insect populations, the healthier and stronger our ecosystem will be.

Offering of honey and Anise cakes, for a very special Spirit friend in one of our favourite wildharvesting areas.

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Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Magical Herbalism For Beginners II: Drying And Storing Your Harvest

Rosemary (homegrown) and Eucalyptus (wildharvested), ready to be added to our Apothecary. The stalks are tied in bundles for our magical bonfires.

On the first post of this series, I offered a series of tips on learning about herbs for beginning Green Brujas; this second post will be focused on the drying and storage of your herbal bounty :). Enjoy!

· The first step is to clean the herbs thoroughly of dust, animal hair, insects and all kind of natural debris, specially if you have wildharvested them. Remove brown and yellow leaves and dry stalks. Keep only the best!

· Once the herbs are clean, decide which herbs will be used fresh and which ones will be set to dry; fresh herbs are better to make incense sticks, kitchen oils and vinegars, to mince and make frozen cubes of cooking herbs, and so on. All the work done with fresh herbs is your first task.

· For the herbs you want to preserve dry, branches should be hanged in bundles in a shady but well ventilated area – remember not to hang them touching a wall, or the side of the bundle touching the wall can rot. Don’t discard the stems, as many plants contain more essential oils in them than in leaves or flowers.

· If possible, do not dry herbs in the sun as the essential oils of the herbs are highly volatile and the plants will lose some of its power if sun dried. Solar drying is good for roots, fruits, berries, barks, stalks, and anything that holds plenty of water.

The cardboard boxes from the plant nursery are always saved, as they absorb the herbs’ humidity very well. These are turned over daily for the best results.

· Smaller amounts of herbs, moss,  hair-like roots, seeds and loose flower petals should be placed on trays; either on trays made with netting for ventilation, or in regular trays lined with absorbent paper or tea towels. Again, they should be placed in a shady but well ventilated area, away from direct sun. Once a day, turn the batch around for an even drying.

· Remember that chopping herbs is much, much more easier to do when the herbs are fresh; if you suffer from arthritis, fybromyalgia or any other kind of painful/debilitating condition, you should consider chopping the hardest parts, like roots and barks, before drying them. The drying process would be the same as above.

· Those of you who live in colder and more humid areas of the world, may need to dry your herbs using heat – your regular cooking oven is always a good choice. Keep your oven at the lowest temperature and leave the oven door slightly open for ventilation. After half an hour, bacteria or bugs will not survive and, though the plant’s power will be a little lower, it will be perfectly safe to use and store.

· Depending on your weather, herbs may take from 1 to 4 weeks to dry. Once they are crunchy, paper-like and soft to the touch, they are ready to be placed in a glass or ceramic jar and labelled. Remember to add the date of harvesting, as you don’t want to use herbs that have been stored for more than a year – you are not a butterfly collector, so USE what you have harvested!

· To store herbs, I simply use recycled and sterilized glass food jars; to sterilize the jars, place them in a tub filled with very hot water after washing them regularly, to remove all stickers and dissolve the glue; after a few hours, scrub the stickers away with a wire kitchen scrubber (and lots of patience!) and wash them again. When they are dry, rub the inside surface with alcohol (regular rubbing alcohol or vodka will do). Be extremely meticulous when cleaning the lids too.

· Keep your herbs in a dark place, away from strong smells and, if possible, away from heated rooms like the kitchen. If you are using your herbs for cooking, save baby food jars or spice jars to keep a small amount of the herbs in the kitchen, while the rest stays in a dark and fresh place. That way, your herbs will stay fresh and filled with healing and magical properties until the last bit is used.

Roots like Ginger, and any other hard materials like barks or woods, are chopped prior to be set in trays for drying.

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Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Magical Herbalism For Beginners I: Starting The Journey

Lovely flowering Marjoram, from our garden.

Magical Herbalism can seem like a daunting task when you are a beginner. There is so, so much to learn, and so many fascinating subjects, that it may put off even the most enthusiastic practitioner. On the first post of this series, I am offering tips on starting your herbal journey, and on making the best of it without going insane :). Enjoy!

· If you’re a true herbalist at heart, you will continue to learn until your very last day – so start slow, and stay slow. You cannot learn the properties and Latin names of a hundred herbs in one day.

· RESEARCH. Do not work intuitively, specially if you are making herbal products that will be ingested, or used topically. Herbs are NOT harmless. Invest in good books on the subject.

· Learn the Latin name of herbs – it is much more useful than it seems; for instance, for online researching and sharing with herbalists from other cultures and languages.

· Learn first about your local herbs, the ones that grow easily around you – so many beginners are discouraged from continuing their learning, simply because they are obsessed with growing certain plants, and fail. Just so, start with live plants from your plant nursery, instead of trying to start everything from seed, which is much more difficult.

· Keep a notebook only for herbal lore – a regular ring binder is perfect, as you can add and reorganize as you go along. Herbalism is dirty work, so keep the pretty notebooks for something else.

Flowers and herbs, set in baskets in a cool and shady place to dry.

· If you cannot have your own garden, start buying a small amount of dry herb and, before you make any use of it, place the herb in a bowl/plate and place your hands over it. Welcome its Spirit into your life, and do your best to transmit your thankfulness and welcoming – then relax and let the herb speak. Note down everything you have felt, heard or seen.

· On the other hand, if you can have a garden, no matter how small it is, treat it well and put in the hard work. The key to reaching the deepest knowledge from your plant Allies is happy plants – learn as much about the practical side of gardening, as you do about magical gardening. Plants need food, space, and they need to be protected from illnesses and pests. Gardens that are loved and protected by a devoted Yerbera*, grow better, are more resistant to bugs and produce more leaves and seeds for your work.

*Yerbera – female herbalist.

·The Fairies/Elementals/Corte Encantada** are there to help you. Search for their advice as protectors of Nature by creating an altar to them in your garden, or near your herb caupboard. Make a fairy pond, leave offerings for them and acknowledge their presence.

**Corte Encantada – In Maria Lionza’s religion, a group of Spirits which includes Fairies, Elementals, and other child-like Spirits.

· And please, don’t fall for the “some plants are more magical than others” myth. While I have nothing against cultivating and consuming entheogenic or poisonous plants at all, that doesn’t make them more magical than the ones you would grow for your kitchen. A Basil plant that is well cared for, and grown in a Sacred space, is just as powerful as any Mandrake.

Basil bundles, just ready to be set to dry.

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Herbalism: Making Omiero

Water And Herbs From The Garden, To Be Used In The Herbal Wash

Afro-Latin magical terms that will be used in this post:
Omiero: a magical herbal wash, usually made for cleansing and blessing a space or a person. Term belongs mostly to Lukumi vocabulary.
Yerbero: a herbalist. The term is used both for medicinal and/or magical herbalism. Term is used in several Latin American countries, and also in the Canary Islands.
Corte: group of Spirits in Maria Lionza’s religion. Term belongs to the religion only.

An overview
The two main ingredients of Omiero are water and fresh herbs. The herbs must be cut in pieces, preferably by hand, and crushed with your hands so they release as much juice as possible. Then, they must be left overnight to steep; the following morning, the liquid is strained, and the herbs thoroughly squeezed, again by hand.

Tradition mantains that a knife’s blade should not touch any of the herbs, neither to harvest them nor to piece them, but in my opinion this is sometimes undoable. Ripping off pieces of plant with your bare hands can damage your plants, and woody stalks like Rosemary’s are just impossible to mince by hand, specially for someone like me, who suffers from fibromyalgia. I like to respect tradition as much as possible, so to go over this I just use my gardening scissors – I use them almost every day, so they are really charged with my energy, and they are not a knife.

Fresh herbs, minced and ready to be used.

Once the herbal liquid is made, the following procedure varies from tradition to tradition, and it would take me a whole book to describe them all, not to mention that most herbal recipes are a Yerbero’s secret (and so are mine). Omiero can be used as a floor wash for the home, as a Spiritual bath, to cleanse and feed altars/ritual tools/sacred spaces,etc. Just so, recipes are almost infinite, as well as the purpose – it is usually made to cleanse and bless, but recipes can be adapted to other needs.

Just so, it can be used along with any other staples of our practise, for any of the uses above – with Holy Water, with Agua Florida, with blueing, with salt, etc. That, of course, depends on the Yerbero’s experience, and on the use it will be given. To give it more power, Omiero can be prayed over, and each recipe and use can be joined with specific Spirits or Cortes. In my practise as a Espiritista, this is a requirement; we ask all the Cortes of Spirits to bless the Omiero, with a special request for those Cortes that hold spirits of Yerberos.

Charging The Herbal Washes

Note: take a look at the pictures I am showing in this post – as you can see above, the bowls were so full of herbs that the candle plates could stand over them without sinking. THAT is the correct proportion of herbs and water to make Omiero, if you want it to actually work. This is very important!

Some Questions

Can I make Omiero myself? Of course, this is only a herbal wash and it has many names accross different religions and practises. In my opinion, you should not call it Omiero if your path is outside the religions of the African Diaspora, so please refrain from doing that, and choose a term that is in consonance with your own path, and herbs you are familiar with. If your path does not have a specific term, just use herbal wash or cold infusion.

Can Omiero be made with dry herbs? In my opinion and experience, no. If one ingredient is absolutely required, and it’s out of season, it can be added dry because there is no alternative, but the point is that a good Yerbero can always find seasonal herbs for every recipe, and does not need to do that. The energy of fresh herbs cannot be matched in power. That is also the reason why there is no such thing as pre-made or commercial Omiero.

Can Omiero be stored? Only for a couple of days in the fridge, as it is used. When I make a batch, I schedule all the uses beforehand, so I know how much to make, and how much time I need to set aside to use it as quickly as possible. Usually, it is gone in 48 hours or less.

Once steeped overnight and strained – such lovely colour!

A Few Simple Recipes For Herbal Floor Washes

All of the following recipes are meant to be made in small amounts, for your personal use, and only as floor washes. A breakfast bowl full of fresh minced herbs, and the same amount of water, will do. Once the herbs have steeped, and you have followed the recipe’s instructions, add the liquid to a full bucket of clean water, and wash your floors. Always, start at the bottom of the house towards the front entrance, and throw away the remaining liquid on the street (preferably at night when no-one can see you).

For Protection And Cleansing: Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage and Fennel. Once strained, mix with a shotglass of Holy Water, a couple of drops of Azulillo (blueing), and use.

To Bring Peace To The Household: the petals of five white Roses, Peppermint, Spikenard flowers, Lavender and Rosemary. One strained, add a shotglass of Rose Water, a shotglass of Holy Water, and use.

To Bring Financial Blessings (this is for stores and offices, not homes unless you work from home): Cinnamon, Ginger root, Basil, Lemongrass and Spearmint. Once strained, add a shotglass of Ron Miel (Honey Rum), a shotglass of lemon juice, and use.

To Remove Negative Spirit/Energy: Rue, Thyme, Sage, Fennel and Holy Basil. Once strained, add a shotglass of rubbing alcohol, a handful of salt and use.

The last picture is from the altar, looking lovely and glowing after being cleansed with part of the Omiero, all ready for our upcoming Summer Solstice Blessing Service! By the way, if you want to read more about this Service, and participate, you can do so HERE.

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Winter Rose: A Simple, Natural Beauty Tonic

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In our islands, roses are a brief winter delight. This morning, Fernando brought me some wild roses – they were already wilting because of the very cold night we had, so I decided to make a skin tonic before they were gone.

This tonic is formulated to smooth, clean, and revitalize your skin. It does not matter which skin type you have, and it can be used in your entire body if you want to.

I get extremely dry skin in the winter, and because of fibromyalgia I am very prone to itchy skin in any season, and this always works beautifully for me. Of course, you don’t need to have any skin problem to use it – a healthy skin is very important for good health, and cleaning it + feeding it will always make you feel and look better. Here’s the recipe:

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In a salad bowl or similar, mix the following ingredients:

· Rose petals (one handful if dry, two handfuls if fresh) – Roses smooth the skin, improves skin circulation, and help removing blemishes.

Note – please notice that they must be wild roses, or from any place where you are sure that they are not loaded with chemicals. Usually, flower store roses are, so avoid them.

· Honey (a teaspoon) – It is antibiotic, so it helps with clogged and infected pores, adds elasticity, and heals small wounds.

Note – the more pure the honey, the better. Avoid supermarket honey and get honey from a local beekeper if possible.

· Calendula Petals ( one handful if dry, two handfuls if fresh). Heals and strengthens the skin at all levels, reduces inflammation and alleviates discomfort.

· Lavender Flowers (around a dozen flowers if fresh, two teaspoons of flowers if dry, no leaves). Disinfects skin and helps healing acne, rashes, cold bites, etc.

· A slice of Lemon. Removes excess oils gently and disinfects skin.

Put all ingredients together in the bowl, and pour about two glasses of boiling hot water over them. Cover and let sit until the tonic is back at room temperature, strain and keep in a sterilized jar.

Use it as soon as possible, preferably that same day. To apply, soak a ball of cotton, and dab the skin gently and generously. You can just let it dry on the skin, but if you put too much honey and it feels sticky when dry, just wash the skin with warm water only. You can repeat the treatment several times during the day, or in different body areas. You can keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days, but not more.

And Witches – remember intention! While preparing your tonic, concentrate on healing, restoration, wellness, health, vibrancy, beauty, and anything you relate to the ingredients of the tonic, and to what you want to get from it. Of course, if you work with any deity or Spirit that patronages any of these qualities, you can do the work under their presence, or ask them to bless the tonic as you make it. Magic becomes a million times more powerful when you make it yours!

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Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Urban Gardening: The Garden In January

As every month, here is a new post showing images of our urban magical garden. After a very rainy December (which, even if it makes no sense, it is actually unusual for us), January has woken up sunny and warm, and the plants are just loving it.

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January is a time for planting seeds for us – these two in the picture above is a mixture of sun-tolerant wildflowers, that we plant twice a year to keep bees and other beneficial insects coming to our garden. A very easy and affordable way to make your urban garden happy! These were transplanted together in a bigger pot, where they will grow undisturbed until the end of the summer.

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Above and below, the gorgeous flowers of the Canarian Bellflower, which we grew from a wildharvested cutting three years ago, and that is doing wonderfully in our weather. The flowers are huge, and smell like heaven, similar to the scent of Gardenias – of course, we are carefully saving the flowers as they wilt to be added in Love spells.

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Despite the colder temperatures, this Lavender is blooming in full force. A herb of blessing, cleansing and protection that brings peace to the Spirit.

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A “volunteer” Mallow Plant, always a sign of winter in our landscape. This plant grows everywhere in our area, so the seeds come with the soil we wildharvest. If they’re not disturbing other plants’ growth, I don’t cut them off, since their life cycle is just for the season, and they will be very useful for Love and Protection work.

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Common Sage blooming. Hopefully these flowers will give us a few seeds for next year, although we have had more luck propagating them from woody cuttings. One of the most powerful healing plants of our Curanderismo tradition, for the body and the Spirit.

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And finally, the first bloom of one of our Aloe Africana, which we wildharvested as a tiny plant a couple of years ago. I don’t know if this has any scientific base, but in our Curanderismo tradition, an Aloe plant is not mature enough to be used for healing until it has bloomed for the first time. I can’t wait for the gorgeus orange and red petals to appear.

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Visual Inspirations: The Island In January

Happy New Year to all readers and subscribers!!!

January is the greenest, most beautiful month of the year when it comes to our tiny islands. This year, after an unexpected (but deeply grateful for) very rainy autumn, Winter has started cold (by our standards :D ), sunny, and totally delicious.

The places where we wildharvest regularly become our gardens, our adopted areas; we know every tree that grows there, when they flower and seed, and when they are not to be cut. Many of the older trees hold very powerful Spirits, and they have become our friends through each visit, each offering, each time we clean the place from trash. We see seasonal plants come and go with the year, rejoicing by their return every single time. We are as attached to these places as if we owned them, and when civilization ends with them, our heart will be broken.  So, what you are looking at is not only pictures of pretty things – it’s our green family :). Enjoy!

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Hibiscus (above) and Bird Of Paradise/Strelitzia (below) are in full bloom during this season.

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Gorgeous moss textures on the bark of a bottle tree (Adansonia Genus, Baobab).

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Canarian Ivy (Hedera Canariensis) growing over a Pepper Tree (Schinus Molle).

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The Canarian Palm tree (Phoenix Canariensis) is giving fruit abundantly – only animals eat their dates, but the sap that is taken from the crown of the tree is the origin of the Canarian Palm Honey, one of the most delicious relics of Canarian cuisine, and sadly a disappearing tradition.

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Inside the branches of one of my “adopted” Dragon’s Blood Trees. This one is actually the biological mother of the one I grew from seed, and that lives in our garden.

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And finally, my beloved Juniper trees. These five trees grow around a well that is centuries old, and are the home to several families of blackbirds,  so they are quite magical indeed.

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Service Preparations: Fortuna Incense Recipe

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Our upcoming 2017 Blessing Service, which will happen on December 21st, is focused on attracting blessings of all kinds for the coming year, and on releasing and cleansing negativity from the previous one. For it, I have been working on a very special herbal incense, using our most powerful Green Allies – and, just as the altar tree, it has been baptized as Fortuna Incense, because I think it encompasses what I want to provide to my customers through this service: good fortune for 2017.

This incense, as you can see in the pictures, will be made using exactly eight equal parts of the following ingredients:

  • One part is powdered resins; this time, I have mixed and powdered Storax Benzoin, Frankincense and Rose resin (Arabic type) – but any mixture of your choice is fine, as long as it is good quality. This ensures good burning, and adds a soft element of fragrance. And, no matter how many resins you use, they should not be more than one eighth of the mixture.
  • One part Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis); the holy warrior, cleansing and blessing on its way. A plant that is also related to good health and to prosperous businesses, it had to be the first on the formula. For those who need obstacles removed, healing and good luck.
  • One part Canarian Juniper (Juniperus Phoenicea, endemic); emblem of the island of El Hierro, for strength, courage, healing and endurance at all levels. For those who want to achieve ambitious goals, or need extra strength to heal and grow.
  • One part Ginger root (Ginziber Officinalis); equal parts luck, passion and joy, ginger brings opportunity, opens roads, and attracts love and inspiration. For those who want to want to find love, heal relationships and open communication at all levels.
  • One part Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomun Verum); money, money, money! Cinnamon brings wealth, financial growth and all the blessings of abundance. For those who need financial blessings in the upcoming year.
  • One part Moorish Sage (Salvia Canariensis, endemic); the gentle but powerful healer, that brings balance to the mind, body and spirit. For those who need healing of any kind, and for those who are working on personal improvement.
  • One part Dragon’s Blood root (Draco Dracaena, endemic), emblem tree of Tenerife, and the tree with the most famous magical resin in Western magic. The roots are from our own tree, which I have grown from seed, so this is VERY special. For those that need empowerment, psychic and spiritual growth, and guidance.
  • One part Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus): one of our greatest warriors and protectors; for protection, cleansing, and removal of negativity. For all participants, since we all can use the Eucalyptus’ power.

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Of course, there is more than just the recipe – so much more. After mixing the herbs, the mixture is ensalmada (prayed over) along several days, and will stay at the altar until the 21st, constantly receiving energy from the altar. We have been working on charging the altar for two weeks already, so this incense is going to be quite powerful when offered to the Spirits during the service.

But, creating this process depends on you and your path; all the information I have shared about each plant should be enough so you can build a ritual process for waking it up, that works according to your own path, and your own level of growth.

And, if you want to make substitutions, make them without hesitation, again according to your ecosystem and surrounding Green Allies – but please understand that I cannot help you with that, because I may not know a thing about the green life in your area :). Making this yours is your job.

If you are interested in participating in our Service, you can do so clicking here – it’s really affordable, for those who actually need more blessings!

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Herbalism: The Rose Of Jericho

The Rose Of Jericho (Selaginella Lepidophylla) is a very common amulet for protection and prosperity among Afro-Latin practitioners. This plant is bought dry, and “resurrected” by placing it in shallow water. I got some new ones the past week, and documented the resurrection process, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a new blog post about this lovely and magical plant.

The Gardener Tips

Other than being in a well-lit place, away from cold air drafts, and getting the water changed weekly, this plant needs no more care – and, if you forget to change the water and it gets dry again, do not worry! You can resurrect them many times. This plant loves dry and warm places, so water should always be at room temperature when you change it; do not add more than 1/2 inch of water, or the plant could rot.

If you live in a humid climate, or if you are putting the plant in too much water, the Rose Of jericho can develop mold easily – just wash it gently under the running tap to remove it, change the water (and add less this time) and move the pot to a warmer place.

An extra tip – I add a small dropper of liquid fertilizer once a month to the water, in order to give the plants the nutrients they need. Plants cannot survive only on water!

The Witch Tips

Most practitioners believe that the water absorbs the negativity around it, so just throw away the water when you change it. Personally, I do not adhere to this belief, but certainly I am not doing anything with water that has been sitting on an open pot for a week, so I throw it away too.

Of course, since it is a protection and prosperity talisman, practitioners sometimes add coins, gemstones or other amulets to the water – that, of course, should be adapted to your specific path, but in my opinion there is no need to add anything if the plant is well cared for. Witch, Keep It Simple is one of my life mottos!

Can you use Blessed water to feed it? Absolutely! In my opinion, all plants are talismans, and all plants have knowledge to teach, so I do this with all my plants – and I swear by this method. Blessed water makes the plant grow stronger, and feeds something of spiritual value to the Spirit that governs the plant.

Can the dry plant be used in prosperity and protection spells? YES. Actually, when I buy mine, I always get an extra one to add to my herbal powders and incenses. So, if you have one, and your weather does not allow you to keep it healthy while “alive”, don’t get frustrated – my recommendation is to let it dry fully and powder it for other magical uses.

And, remember that this is just a plant, and it won’t live forever, no matter how well you care for it. I usually change mine yearly for new ones, and let the old plant dry completely for spellwork use.

In the following pictures, the process of the resurrection – the first one below these lines is a picture of the dry plants, just as they were bought.

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After about an hour of being in water – you can already see green spots on the inner parts of the plant.

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After three hours, unfurling beautifully!

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About 24 hours later, fully opened and regaining their lovely green colour.

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After about a week, fully open, and moved to a larger pot.

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