Hello my friends, and thank you for joining me today. We have got some shit to talk about today, and it’s a cool topic in my opinion. We are talking earth magick today. And here’s the thing, I did an earth magick episode about two years ago, but there’s always more to say. And I am feeling very elemental right now. Very sort of back-to-basics in kind of a weird way. I don’t know why that is, but I am not fighting it.
Before we jump in, I want to read an email:
I’m pretty new to the craft. My whole family got covid a week ago and we finished our isolation, but are supposed to be masking when around others. My kids are 5 and 7 and very energetic, we don’t have much of a backyard, so being stuck at home has epically sucked and expecting them to keep a mask on while on a clamboring all over a playground is just not gonna happen. So I took them to a gorgeous victorian arboretum and cemetary near us- it has a lake and tons of trees and is very lovely.
When we arrived there wasn’t anyone around, which was what I had hoped for. After parking the car we turns pouring out a little vodka on the ground, and sprinkling some dried lavender and rose petals as an offering to the cemetary spirits. We each had a rose and a sprig of mint from our garden, and the kids got to put it on a grave of their choosing. They really enjoyed walking/running around the shaded paths and seeing all the different statues and tombstones.
We had a little picnic near a fountain, then they climbed some trees in the park part of the cemetary. A thunderstorm the night before had blown down a ton of branches. I found a lovely little oak twig with leaves and a little cluster of acorns, some beech nuts, and some gingko twigs with green leaves. I felt drawn to these items and put them in the now empty container that had held the mint and roses from our house. On our way out I sprinkled the last of the vodka and herbs at the entrance as thanks, and asked that no spirits follow us home.
In doing some subsequent online reading on cemetaries and witchcraft I saw over and over again that it is considered poor form to take things from cemetaries- but I didn’t feel any ill will when taking the fallen twigs while my kids playing. But now I am worried I messed up. Should I take the twigs and beech nuts back with an apology?
Of course I can only speak from my own point of view, but I think she did everything right. When possible, I do prefer to take things only from the graves of my own ancestors and I always leave something behind as a tribute, but when we aren’t visiting a loved one’s grave, it’s still possible to ethically and respectfully take things with us. With very few exceptions, the spirits of our ancestors don’t actually dwell at their gravesites, so it isn’t as though we are literally taking their property. However, this is a holy place; it’s a place that deserves respect.
When I visit a cemetery, whether my own loved ones are buried there or not, I like to leave an offering behind for the souls who do remain there, and I typically leave flowers and/or spirits. So as I said, she did everything right. Not only that, she and her little ones spent time in the cemetery, laughing, playing, reading the headstones, appreciating the natural beauty, climbing the trees. Spirits appreciate when we spend time with them, and spirits who make a cemetery their home are going to appreciate the positive energy that your family brought. No sorrow or grief, just curiosity and joy. This is also a gift. So some may disagree with me, and that’s fine, but I have no qualms whatsoever with the way this witch and her little witchlings conducted themselves.
And if you have questions or comments or just want to say hey, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, on to the topic of the day. So the month of September is going to be all elemental magick. We are gonna start with earth magick today, and next week we will dig into air magick, and then fire magick and then finally water magick.
And elemental magick is such a huge umbrella term, there’s just a lot of information that falls under that, so there’s a lot more we can talk about than I was able to get to the first time around. That was kind of an overview, and I felt like it warrants a closer look. We’ve done the broad summary, so let’s talk about the finer points.
So first, to give ourselves some foundation for the subject, earth magick is, or can be, divided into two arenas. One is that earth magick is magick that incorporates actual earth. So any work that’s performed using crystals, stones, shells, bones, soil, metals, I also include herb and plant magick. Because of the nature of the roots themselves growing in the earth, drawing power and strength from the soil, which, as I was very clear about two years ago when we talked about earth magick the first time, is where earth magick really shines.
When we are doing work that has a significant incubation period, we want earth magick. When we want our intentions to plant deep roots and grow and spread a strong foundation before finally reaching the surface to bear fruit for us, this is what earth magick is for. Not your quick-burn, flash in the pan intentions, but for more far-reaching manifestations. So, think of the difference between a one night stand vs. your ten year anniversary.
You’re still gonna get laid, but the nature of that interaction will be very different. That was not my most elegant metaphor, probably, but I stand by it. Earth magick simmers, it percolates. It doesn’t come quickly, but when it does, it’s here to stay.
Something I did not touch on two years ago was how the element of earth presents itself in divination practice, specifically tarot. And I want to read a little blurb on that, and I will link to the original source in the episode description, and as always written transcripts of every episode are available for free on the website, middleagedwitch.com. But, back to my point:
“The Suit of Pentacles Tarot cards deal with the physical or external level of consciousness and thus mirror the outer situations of your health, finances, work, and creativity. They have to do with what we make of our outer surroundings – how we create it, shape it, transform it and grow it. On a more esoteric level, Pentacles are associated with the ego, self-esteem and self-image.
The Suit of Pentacles is associated with the element of Earth. Earth is tactile, earthy and tangible. It creates the foundation from which the planet can grow and develop, and it supports and nurtures the plants and trees. Earth is grounded, stable, supportive and fertile. It is a feminine element that is receptive – it takes in nutrients and sunrays and then uses this energy to sustain the life that grows out of it.
The Suit of Pentacles Tarot card meanings cover material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money and other material possessions. The positive aspects of the Suit of Pentacles include manifestation, realization, proof and prosperity.
The negative aspects of the Suit of Pentacles include being possessive, greedy and overly materialistic, over-indulging and not exercising, not effectively managing one’s finances, and being overly focused on career to the detriment of other life priorities. Often what is required to counteract these negative aspects is a return to nature to ground oneself and rediscover what is truly important.
Pentacles Tarot cards often represent the astrological signs of Earth – Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. When you see a Pentacles Court Card in a Tarot reading, it often relates to a person with a Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn star sign. Generally, Pentacles people are practical, career-minded, down-to-earth and generous. They are tactile beings and like to experience the physical, tangible world. They are connected through the senses and seek pleasurable and sometimes indulgent experiences.”
And obviously I love tarot, I read professionally, for crying out loud, and it is the representation of all the elements as suits in the Tarot deck that informs so much in terms of the way the messages come through. And when we think of divination, we usually think of water, probably, because of the psychic and intuitive connotations associated with water. But let’s not forget that so many of our divination tools are made with earth materials.
Pendulums are typically made of crystals or metals. Runes are usually made of stone, bone, or wood. Even tea leaves, that’s earth magick magick, baby. So there is an enormous precedent for earth magick in divination. The earth is such a natural conductor of energy, so it makes sense that we can easily use it to channel psychic messages and information.
But also, as we just read above, earth magick is associated with matters of health, finances, work, and creativity. So when we have desired manifestations that touch any of those issues, earth magick is frequently the way to go.
And here I will just crib my own notes from the original earth magick episode and mention that another strong earth correspondence is protection magick, whether it’s protection for yourself or a loved one, or protection for your home.
For protection spells, especially for people, amulets and talismans are particularly nice because they’re easy to conceal, they can be made from just about anything from coins, to jewelry, to stones, which are all made of earth, and they’re easy to carry on your person.
Amulets and talismans are terms that are basically interchangeable, although if you’re especially pedantic, you’ll want to know that generally, an amulet is some sort of charm or token that confers protection on its user, whereas a talisman gives its user some kind of additional power, although the power given is usually protection, which is why the terms are swapped out so often.
Those kinds of charms are steeped in earth magic. Same with protection work that you do for your home. You can enchant windchimes, you can get some witch bells for your doorways, you can imbue nails or railroad spikes with protection magic and place them at the entryways or in the four corners of your property.
Whatever earth magick you choose to do could be enhanced and supported by the use of an earth magick ritual oil, and I’m gonna give the recipe here, because it’s so interchangeable and multifunctional. Yes, you can definitely have separate protection oils and money oils and oils for healing, and they’re awesome. They’re so powerful, but if you would rather make a general purpose earth magick oil, this is also completely doable and it’s really versatile.
So as with all of our ritual oils, we begin with a few ounces of our carrier oil. For earth magick, I like olive oil. Put it in a small saucepan and add any of the following items that you have on hand. Just omit anything that you don’t have. So, cedar, holly, juniper, maple, pine, comfrey, fern, jasmine, sage, clove, any kind of grains, high John the conqueror root, and/or patchouli.
Bring this mixture to a low heat and let it roll for 20 minutes or so, then strain our all your herb and plant material and pour your earth magick oil into a small bottle or jar to use whenever you have some earth magick to perform. I also like to add a small piece of agate or quartz to the finished oil. This just enhances its energy and gives it a little more kick, a little more spice. And then use it in your earth magick spells however you see fit. Anoint your candle spells, anoint your sigils, mojo bags, amulets, protective wards, and so on.
This is a really adaptable, all-around kind of ritual oil that you can use however you see fit. Add it to your money spells, your healing spells, your spells for a new job or a raise or even just general manifestation work. Earth magick is not maybe as sexy as water or fire magick, but goddamn, it is no less powerful. So give it a try and let me know what you think.
We will meet again next week for air magick, and as an air sign, I’m really excited about that. In the meantime, have a great weekend, and do some cool magick. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch Podcast.
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