The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Now is the Time for the First Harvest!


 Good Afternoon,

We have celebrated the Summer Solstice also known as Litha to witches and pagans. This is the time for the first harvest from the gardens and waysides. No, not the first food harvest, but the first harvest of medicinal and magickal herbs and plants.

The sun is at it's zenith, with it being mid-summer. I know, I know, many in this country feel that June 21st signifies the first day of summer, but for plant life and pagans it is truly mid-summer. You see we celebrate the first day of summer on May 1st, the first day of winter on November 1st. Many of us follow the old Celtic calendar known as the Wheel of the Year, and it is split into two halves, a light half of the year, summer and the dark half of the year, winter.

But, back to the harvesting of the herbs. Litha is a time when the herbs have been growing for several months. You can see that lavender, roses and herbs such as St John's Wort are all in full bloom.  Now is the time to harvest them and by doing so, trap their potency and magickal power within them.  When harvesting an herb or plant there are a few simple rules to follow. First, a witch usually uses his or her Boline. A Boline is an herb knife and one is pictured here. But any knife, that you dedicate to the job as herb knife will work. Just keep it for this use only.
When harvesting, cut the plant an inch or so above the ground. Never harvest the entire plant, but leave some for the spirits of the garden or forests.  Place the cut herbs on a clean sheet or towel and place in a space with good air circulation and no sun. You can also tie elastic bands to the ends and hang up to dry. Elastic bands are best as the plant stalks might shrink as the water evaporates out of them, making them smaller. The elastic bands shrink with the stalks and keep your plants from falling all over the ground.

Once your plants and herbs are thoroughly dried, store them in a glass container and label them clearly so you know what you have. Also date them. Herbs over a year old, unless they are roots or stalks, will lose their potency and need to be used or replaced. I keep the rule of thumb, that if Nature renews her herbs every year, then so should I!

Research your herbs and know how they work and how to use them. Be very careful of using herbs in a medicinal way, especially if you're not trained in herbal medicine. Just because something is natural, does NOT make it safe. Keep in mind poison ivy is also natural! To learn about medicinal uses for herbs I highly recommend you stay off the Internet, as it's loaded with fools that know it all, without knowing it all! Buy a couple of good, reputable books and read. Also asking questions at a reputable health food store can also give you knowledge. I will also tell you to not ask me or any of the Witches of Enchantments for medicinal herbal knowledge as none of us are trained in the medical field and we refrain from giving any medical advice.

I do use herbs for magickal purposes though. I will mix up a few herbs and carry them in a small pouch for their magickal properties to be drawn to me. I also use them in spell mixes and as components for spells that I cast. There are many magickal uses for herbs but first you must harvest them. Do that in the next week or so, so you can have the herbs at their peak of magickal power and we'll discuss other ways to use them as the summer goes on. Now go out and happy harvesting!


Peace and Happiness

 © 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 


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