The winter holidays are often depicted as a time of warmth, joy and camaraderie throughout the world. While those wonderful feelings are often present during this time of year, so are the realities of stress, tension and rushing around to have everything prepared. Now add on gatherings with family and friends, all of whom have their own energy, and you have a recipe for the perfect storm empaths and intuitives are left to stumble through. Luckily however, witches are not the sort to stay helpless in these situations. Here is the green witch’s guide to surviving the holiday season, and feeling empowered while doing so.
Herbal Cleansing Spray
Floor washes have long been used in many paths to cleanse an area of undesired energies and invite new energies in. However, mopping the whole house can take a lot of precious time that during the holidays many can’t afford to lose. Additionally, if there are multiple people in the home walking around constantly, it can make the task even more difficult. Instead, you can craft a magical multipurpose spray that can be used multiple times throughout the season in short bursts for when an energetic refresh is needed.
Using various herbs and fruits you can bring green witchcraft into the practice. One recipe you can use to tap into the powerful energies of seasonal herbs would be to use some of the sprigs of a fir or pine tree. Evergreens are commonly associated with powerful properties of healing, renewal, purification and protection. Snip off some sprigs of your holiday tree if you have one ( make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with any preservatives) or go hunting for some fallen evergreens such as fir, pine, spruce or cedar.
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part water ( preferably distilled)
- 1 Tablespoon of salt ( pink salt preferred for color magick)
- Herbal intention blend
|Purification & Longevity||Serenity & Calm||Love & Emotional protection|
|-Evergreen : fir, pine, cedar or spruce- Lemon Peel-Grapefruit Peel||–Lavender–Passionflower-Thyme||–Orange Peel–Star Anise–Rosemary|
Add all the herbal blend, salt and evergreens into a large jar and fill with vinegar. Taking time to connect with the magickal properties of each ingredient and infuse your intention into each one. Let it sit for a week , turning the jar every day or every other day to ensure all the plant material stays covered. When it is ready to use, mix one part of the vinegar with one part distilled water and any crystal chips you desire for an extra oomph, into a spray bottle. This spray is now ready for you to use and spread your intention while the salt adds more purification as well as sweetness and love due to the pink color.
Paperwhite Bulb Spell
Paperwhites are often used in the winter months to bring some natural beauty to the indoors when outside is usually barren. As a part of the narcissus family, paperwhites also hold the magickal properties of love, luck and fertility. They are especially known for having energies full of self love and can be particularly helpful when you need a boost of self confidence and love during the stressful holiday season.
- 2 Paperwhite bulbs (representing duality and balance as well as relationships)
- Glass marbles or crystal chips
- A glass, ceramic or metal bowl (6 inch)
- White ribbon
First arrange your marbles or crystals into the bowl so that they are at least 2 inches deep. This will allow the roots of the paperwhites to have enough room to grow and mingle. Then taking each bulb in your hands one at a time, visualize the bulbs as two separate entities, one to represent the masculine energies and one for the feminine. Place the bulbs root bottom down onto the marbles, making sure they are steady and then fill the bowl with water just until only slightly covered. Feel free to use full moon water for an extra magickal layer in the spell.
After that you can tie the white ribbon symbolizing unity, peace and balance around the vase. If you incorporate sigils into your practice, then you can even write a handcrafted sigil on the back of the ribbon to add more personalization to your intention. Check out Sarah Esmae Wolfe’s article on sigil crafting here on the witch’s guide blog if you would like some more information regarding sigils. These also make wonderful gifts for loved ones who also love plants and could use a little extra emotional balance, peace and self love.
Pine Branch Door Besom
While wreaths are a common door adornment during the winter yuletide, another way to add some magic to your entryway is to use a branch of evergreen to make an herbal besom to hang over your door. In Japan it is a common practice to place a pine branch above the doorway to invite in enduring joy within. You can practice the same concept but add your own flair by crafting the branch into a broom with herbs and personal talismans added to support the desired intention. You can allow your creative energy to flow with this activity, lending more personal power into the besom.
Some favorite dried herbs you add would be yarrow for love and courage, rosemary for purification, Honeylocust tree branches or Rue for protection, Althea (marshmallow) and cloves. If you have any special symbols or charms you are connected to, add those in. If you have any ribbons that can add some color magick to your besom then use those as well. The more attention and time you pour into this magickal working, the more energy will be infused to support and activate the herbs.
Sleep and Anxiety Potion
The days leading up to celebrating with the family are often filled with sleeplessness and anxiety if I remembered everything needed for the big day. If this is something you struggle with, then this under the bed potion will help you to release those anxieties and invite in a good night’s sleep.
- Sleep herbal blend ( lavender buds, chamomile, lemon balm, thyme)
- Bay Leaf ( keep whole)
- 1 tsp salt
- Small bowl (preferably white or silver for lunar energy)
- Mortar & pestle
Using a mortar and pestle, grind each of the herbs one at a time while envisioning yourself in a peaceful and dream filled sleep. Really visualize the feeling of the soft bed supporting your back, and the lunar light shining on you full of protection and guidance. After you have finished grinding the herbs, pour them into your hands and speak aloud “May the energies in my mind and surrounding my space rest in deep peace, so that I may also”.
Then place the herbs in your bowl and fill with water and add in the salt. Place the bowl under your bed while you sleep and in the morning pour the water out and away from where you rest. Do this as many nights as needed to maintain peaceful rest and rejuvenation to take the holidays on empowered.
Personal Body Anointing Oil
Sometimes in the heat of the moment you need something to ground you, and to act as a quick reset.This oil can be placed on your pulse points as a mini centering ritual, to be used throughout the season. You can either add some essential oils into a carrier oil or if you wish to add a bit of green witchery look no further than your spice cabinet and garden.You can easily craft this tool yourself by infusing the oil with your desired herbs and intentions on the stove with a little heat.
- Sweetgrass dried
- Orange peel
- Sweet Almond oil (or any skin safe oil)
The sweetgrass provides a very sweet almost vanilla like scent that can be very calming while also lending its magickal energies of purification and grounding. The orange brings in happiness and while the clove buds can help to ease stress and lower elevated blood pressures. These three together provide a very powerful combination when applied to the pressure points such as the wrists, neck and even your chest. If you are in the broom closet with friends and family, then this is an easy way to work some of your practice discreetly, as most assume it is a simple perfume.
To craft the infused oil, place the herbs in a double boiler or glass mason jar. If you want to make a large batch of the oil you can even use a crock pot. Cover the herbs with your oil and gently heat the herbs over a low heat for four to five hours, and then remove from heat to cool overnight and continue infusing. If you would like your oil to have a stronger infusion you can heat the oil 48 to 72 hours. Once the oil is cool, strain using cheesecloth and then store in a glass bottle or rollerball vial for up to 6 months.
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