ENGLISH DAISY FLOWER ESSENCE: UNION + TRANSFORM + CARRYING A LIGHT INTO THE DARK

In my daily walks to and from my yurt my eyes are caught by various little beings. Some more vibrantly and shockingly than others. In our mixed days of spring, where the air is cool, then warm, then the sky cloudy, heavy and sometimes sunny, warm rains and some cold mists... a small flower kept catching my eye. Small white flowers, pink and purple at the tips dot the landscape, like clusters of stars in patches of grass, here and there. Simple daisy flowers. Continually they caught my fascination. Each soft petal of perfection, with a bright yellow center. They appeared soft, joyful and gentle.

I had long been holding the desire to make a flower essence. Something about the process seemed weirdly complicated to me, or like I would need the necessary supplies and perfect conditions to make my fragile essence of soft white flowers.

Each time I walked by them, the desire and call to make an essence grew and grew, to a fevered pitch that would not be ignored. I took this as an indicator that the plant was indeed calling, and we were reaching out to one another, to unify in some way.

Without my perfect conditions, tools and supplies I found the following: a unmarked glass bowl, a pair of regular scissors, a pretty bottle I bought for future (flower) mother essence holding and a skunk cabbage leaf to hold the snipped flowers. I checked the time and planetary hour. It just so happened to be the hour of Venus, on the day of Venus, while she is stationed in the sign of Gemini. The sun had three hours left on the day and was beaming golden and warm as it set in the west. The moon, waning, indicative of a time where we begin to shift inward as the moon becomes increasingly dark.

Medicine happens out of necessity.

And so I went to the most vibrant little cluster of flowers and asked them to impart their wisdom, healing and essence into the water I had collected from our tap, that comes from our clean well. I whispered my words over them and then went about the task of snipping the flowering tops while collecting them without touching them into the wide skunk cabbage leaf. I was mindful of my thoughts and turned them towards a soft childlike curiosity. I placed them carefully on the surface of the water, one by one in the waning golden light. Once the surface was covered, I set it up high on some bricks, surrounded by sage and yarrow to collect the light and then collect the shifting lights, the light of dusk and darkening hours. Carrying her soft medicine into shifting tides.

 daisy flower essence

The time had come to collect it, it was in the crepuscular hours, when many creatures emerge, when the air shifts, when a coolness descends upon our little valley... I decanted the magical water into my beautiful bottle and topped it off with some vodka to preserve it. Brandy seemed too dark, to off a color for this delicate little flower and her pure clear essence.

daisy flower essence

My emotional state surrounding all this had been quite anxious. A sense of darkness and doom surrounded me. It was not halting me from operating in the day to day, but it most certainly created obstacles for me in my focus an general well being.

The next morning while it was quite early, I sat over my ritual of journaling, meditation and coffee. The bottle shown clear and shimmering at me from my table. I decide to take a strong dose of the mother essence and see what came up, with no prior knowledge to this flower in essence form.

I quieted myself and tuned into my body. I was feeling frustrated towards social obligations, behind, anxious, a little gloomy, emotionally drained and tapped out.

I took three drops under the tongue and let it settle there. I breathed deeply.

A soft radiant warmth washed down from my clavicle, over my heart and settled neatly into my pelvic bowl and gut. The feeling was that my whole torso was enlivened with a warmth and bubbling feeling in my gut. Slowly, amid my responsibilities I had for the day, a joy surfaced and I was able to smile. Even though I had tasks to attend to, I was much calmer about them. It reinstated my joy in being.

The more I sat, I got the sense of being held very gently at the back of my neck. Like a mother would support the neck of her young infant child. My thoughts turned to the gentle pinks and purple splashes of color on some of the flowers and loving femme nature this flower possesses. The intention of this being made and gathered under the guise of Venus should not be lost on the user. There is very much a nurturing femme quality to this blend. Encouraging us to soften where we may harden off, or close our eyes.

My worries did not dissipate, but it gave me a soft nurturing and joyful influences with which to approach and carry forward with in my condition, in a more constructive way.

A few scant drops lingered in my glass dropper and I rubbed them into my hand and began to shuffle my tarot cards to see if this little English daisy would like to speak through the cards.

Two of Cups + The Hermit

 daisy flower essence and tarot

The Two of Cups suggests a unification within us and outside of us (as within so without) like a reconciliation of our parts. We all desire to merge and I believe that a good practice in this work starts with ourselves. This card also holds quite a bit of joy in that unification. This is the erotic, sympathetic attraction. Which should be recognized that when we are called strongly to make a medicine, this is eroticism in action... The Hermit speaks to carrying this light, the light that this particular flower collects into the darkness. That this then generates an ability within us to hold on to this guiding light and joy and not become lost, as we are in transition or undergoing transformation, or quiet introspection.

All flowers are naturally of the realm of Venus.  

Daisy may be a corruption of “day's eye” and can be sourced from the Anglo-Saxon doeges-sege meaning “eye of the day” as the flower is open during the day, and closing at night. Bellis seems to have its etymological roots in the word, “pretty” and perennis meaning “everlasting” - so here we have Beauty Everlasting, Eye of the Day. Who would not want to carry her into the night in a lovely safe container, or lantern such as the Hermit carries?

There is also perhaps a legend, but I cannot find any proof if it in classical texts of the Roman god Vertumnus giving chase to the nymph Belides of who the genus of this was named after. In his quest to dominate and seduce her, she transformed herself into a daisy, thus escaping him.

In this, it made me wonder these stories of women and nymphs transforming themselves into a plants, flower or bird to escape their oppressor. Why do we have these stories and myths? To give solace to the oppressed, to find wisdom in our traumas be they personal, collective or handed down through generations.

Upon further exploration of the Belides, we find that this is another name for the Danaides. The 50 daughters of Danaus. Ovid gave them the name Belides, which stems from the name of their grandfather, Belus. These daughters were made to marry the sons Aegyptus, a king born of a river god and watery nymph, and then compelled to to murder their husbands on the first night. All of them did this with the exception of one. The 49 daughters who did commit the crime, were subsequently punished, and made to pour water into a bottomless vessel. 

There's much to explore from such a humble low growing flower...  

And so, after having sat with this delicate medicine this is what I feel it has to offer those who have need of her wisdom, grace and gentleness.

  • To reinstate soft, compassionate joy.

  • Holding a light while going into darkness.

  • Exploring purity and innocence of our being.

  • Warm gentle Venusian support.

  • Joy amid our responsibilities.

  • Maintain a tether to joy and softness as we shift into deep introspection.

  • Sweet bubbly feelings in the gut.

  • Turning into our torso: clavicle, heart, gut and pelvic regions.

This essence will be available in my shop. Presented in a small ½ ounce bottle with a dropper and a hand-painted label infused with the daisy essence itself. Just a reminder, all Patreon supporters receive 5% off in my shop, no matter the donation level $1-$20.

References

  • The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook by James Green

  • Theoi.com

  • Alchemy-works.com

  • Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel Moerman

A Reading & Resource List for Every Witch

These are the titles and books that every witch should have in their collection, or somehow get their hands on and read. I am sharing this in reference to questions I have received from Instagram on book/resource recommendations. I have read many of these books and there are many that I have not read yet myself but are on my never ending to-read list. This is by no means super comprehensive, or an end all be all list, but it's a good jumping off point for those looking to expand their knowledge. 

My reading list leans towards traditional witchcraft of primarily European origin. I lean in on my heritage and understand my ancestors and their pre-Christian traditions. Our ancestors are our greatest guides, they want to see us do well and we need to remember them because they are being forgotten. Folk magic is a huge part of my practice as well, so I do have an emphasis on reading about folklore and low down dirty magic. As well as Shamanism, mythology and working with spirits and gods. I'm a dirty ol' witch, pagan, animist and polytheist if you were wondering. 

This list will also include books that have influenced my craft and some recently discovered zines and small independent publishers that I am super excited about! If I am missing anything of note, please leave a comment and I will add it.

Reading and Resource List for Every Witch

Classics

More Modern Classics

  • Rebirth of Witchcraft by Doreen Valiente *a must read to understand the origins of modern resurgence in Witchcraft
  • Natural Magic by Doreen Valiente
  • Witchcraft for Tomorrow by Doreen Valiente
  • Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks & Covens by Paul Huson
  • Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson
  • The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
  • THE BLACK PULLET by anonymous

Witchcraft & Practices

  • The Sorceror's Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick by Jason Miller
  • Protection and Reversal Magick by Jason Miller
  • Craft of the Untamed: An Inspired Vision of Traditional Witchcraft by  Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold 
  • The Witches Sabbats by Mike Nichols
  • Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Protection by Draja Mickaharic
  • A Century of Spells by Draja Mickaharic
  • Crones Book of Charms & Spells by Valerie Worth
  • Treading the Mill: Practical Craft Working in Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Nigel G. Pearson
  • The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Robert Cochrane

American Witchcraft, Southern African American Hoodoo & Conjure

  • Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by cat yronyode
  • Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend: A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals by John George Hohman
  • The Silver Bullet & and other American Witch Stories by Hubert J. Davis
  • The Candle and the Crossroads: A Book of Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work by Orion Foxwood
  • Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson, 2005
  • The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic by catherine yronwode
  • Hoodoo in Theory and Practice An Introduction to African American Rootwork by cat yronwode

Magical Spiritual Herbalism & Witchcraft

  • Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch, and Wolf-Dieter Storl
  • The Pharmako Trilogy by Dale Pendell
  • Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
  • Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green
  • Magical and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs by Richard Alan Miller
  • Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller
  • The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines by Matthew Wood
  • Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul by Ross Heaven & Howard G. Charing
  • Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants by Elliot Cowan 
  • Medicinal Herbs of the Mountains West by Michael Moore *if you live in the western United States
  • The Green Book by Heliophilus

Spiritwork, Ancestors and Gods

  • Cunning-Folk & Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic by Emma Wilby
  • The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland by Emma Wilby
  • COMMUNING WITH THE SPIRITS: The Magical Practice of Necromancy by Martin Coleman
  • Communing with the Ancestors: Your Spirit Guides, Bloodline Allies, and the Cycle of Reincarnation by Raven Grimassi
  • Dwelling on the Threshold: Reflections of a Spirit-Worker and Devotional Polytheist by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
  • Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion by Robert Von Rudloff 
  • Gods of the Greeks by Karl Kerenyi 
  • Hekate Soteira: A Study of Hekate's Roles in the Chaldean Oracles and Related Literature by Sarah Iles Johnston
  • The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion by Daniel McCoy

Women's Mysteries

  • The Wise Wound by Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle
  • Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  • Pomba Gira & the Quimbanda of Mbùmba Nzila by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
  • The Red Goddess by Peter Grey

Small Presses, Zines and Publishers

  • Hadean Press occult books, journals, and pamphlets in standard and handbound editions.
  • Scarlet Imprint "Our work is intended to support practising magicians, students of the occult arts, the esoteric community and the fine book arts." Hands down one of the best publishers right now in the occult world. Incredible work and fantastic blog as well.
  • GODS & RADICALS "Gods & Radicals is a non-profit Pagan anti-capitalist publisher. Our focus is simple: inexpensive print and digital works to inspire hope and rebellion." Fuck yeah!
  • Three Hands Press The premier publisher of contemporary occultism and metaphysica, representing the new generation of esoteric scholars, artists and practitioners. 

Blogs and Fellow Witch Folk

And that my friends, is all I've got right now off the top of my head! I will likely update this and add to it over time. Again, if you feel there is something to add here, please leave a comment.