If you know me at all, you will know I am a huge tea drinker! Rarely am I seen without a cup by my side. I started out as an herbal drinker as a way to enjoy the many health benefits of medicinal herbs and it has since become a sacred morning ritual and a comforting companion during a hard day’s work.
So let’s talk a bit about tea. What is it? Where did it come from? And how can you use it in your magickal practice?
All About Tea
There are two different infusions of plants commonly referred to as tea. The first comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which produces black tea, white tea, green tea, oolong, and more. This tea plant is mainly grown in China and areas of India and Nepal.
The second we sometimes call tea but it does not come from the tea plant at all. This is commonly referred to as “herbal tea” but is more accurately an herbal tisane or herbal infusion. This is made from any type of herb and is naturally caffeine-free since it is infused with herbs instead of tea leaves.
Because herbs have magickal properties in witchcraft, brewing an herbal tisane offers you a way to connect with the magick of herbs, as well as their myriad of medicinal properties. You can drink a cup during a spell or a ritual to infuse yourself with the energy you wish to accomplish. For example, if you wish to attract a loving partnership, you can drink yarrow, or if you wish to attract money, drink chamomile.
The Origins of Tea
In my last Witchy DIY article, I spoke about my experience with incense in China, but that was also the trip I gained a new appreciation for tea. Unlike American culture where I am from, tea is a huge part of the culture and history of China. I was even able to attend a Chinese Tea Ceremony and experience just how revered tea is as a part of the culture.
Although many of us may think of tea as a British thing today, it wasn’t introduced to Europe until the 16th century. Tea has been used for thousands of years, possibly even dating back to the Shang dynasty in China, but it is widely accepted that the discovery of tea is accredited to Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC. According to the lore, the emperor was boiling a pot of water when some tea leaves fell into the pot, therefore creating what we know as tea.
However, there are similar legends across all of Asia where the tea is grown. In India, the creation of the tea plant itself is credited to the sixth-century Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. Upset by his own inability to stay awake while meditating, he tore off his eyelids and tossed them onto the ground. When they landed, they grew into the plant our tea comes from today. When Bodhidharma ate the plant, his mind became clear and focused so he was able to continue meditating.
How to Use Tea in Witchcraft
In Chinese spirituality, drinking tea connects you to the four spirits: honor of everything, appreciating the beauty of nature, pursuit of harmony, and respect for the lives of others. It is a mystical experience to be felt and not known. Japan honors “The Way of Tea” with a ceremonial preparation of green tea, and Korea’s tea ceremony is called Darye, which means “Day Tea Rite.” For many cultures around the world, drinking tea is a ritual in itself.
Tea for Meditation
Enjoying a cup of tea can be a meditative experience for everyone if you turn off all distractions and simply allow the tea to ground you, focusing on the sensation of the heat on your hands around the cup, the steam warming your face, and the aroma of the tea.
Tea for Connecting with the Four Elements
For those who practice witchcraft, making a cup of tea is an easy way to connect with all four elements. The tea leaves come from the Earth, activated by pouring hot boiling Water over them. To boil the water uses the element of Fire, and steam rises from the hot beverage, connecting us to the element of Air.
Tea for Divination: Tasseomancy
Tasseography, also known as tasseomancy or tassology, is a way of using tea leaves for divination. To do this, let the loose leaves sit in the bottom of your cup while you enjoy your tea, breathing and grounding and centering yourself. Then, when only a small amount of liquid remains, swirl the contents and quickly turn the teacup upside down on its saucer. What remains in the cup creates shapes for you to use in this divination practice! Your intuitive first impressions are most important, but you can also find suggestions and meanings to guide you or interpret through traditional symbolism.
Making Your Own Magical Tea Blends
Are you ready to make your own magical tea blends? The process of blending tea is full of mindfulness magick. Think about the herbs you are blending and what you want them to do for you. This is called “charming” or “programming.” You can use teas and herbal infusions in your craft by connecting your intention with the energy of the plants. I will suggest a few herbal blends that I like but feel free to experiment with your own! These are all loose herbs so you should have something like a tea ball strainer available. You may also like a pentacle tea spoon to blend with for that witchy flair.
Tea Blend Recipes for Witches
Both of these flowers have powerful healing properties. Just as they medicinally strengthen the body tissues, in magick yarrow strengthens love and relationships, both friendships and romantic partnership. Calendula brings sunny and joyful vibrations and lifts the spirit.
Medicinally, these herbs are used to calm nerves and reduce stress. Chamomile attracts good fortune, prosperity, and luck when used in witchcraft, and lemon balm promotes an optimistic outlook on life. This blend is great to use in spells for manifesting money.
Medicinally, this blend will cleanse and purify the body and soothe the digestive tract. The magick of this combination is that all three work together as powerful removers of barriers and allow you to break free of what is holding you back.
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