How to Get Rid Of Unwanted Energy Without Burning Sage

burning sage

Burning sage has become a popular way to get rid of unwanted energy and purify a space. Unfortunately sage doesn’t grow naturally everywhere, and it’s actually in very short supply. Additionally, some feel that it’s spiritual appropriation to burn sage because the practice is borrowed from Native Americans.

So what is a person to do if you want to get rid of unwanted energy, but you also want to be respectful of the land and indigenous peoples? Thankfully, there are other easy solutions!

Rosemary Under the Bed

Rosemary is a plant that grows very easily in pots indoors. Even apartment dwellers with no outdoor space can have this available at all times. It’s a hardy plant that you can use in foods and it requires a minimum of care. So, how do you use it for banishing negative energy?

Easy! Rosemary is a protective, cleansing, and purifying herb. Just take a bunch or a few springs (depending upon how much juice you need) and place it under your pillow, under the bed, or on a nightstand before you sleep. If you have lots of it, you can even make a wreath and place it on your front door.

Check the dryness of the herb in the morning. Very dry herbs indicate that it’s absorbed lots of unwanted energy and has done its job. The best way to dispose of it is to burn it. If you can’t burn it, be sure that it is disposed of away from your front door or property so that the unwanted energy is away from you and your home.

Use An Essential Oil Elixir

Essential Oils are potent healers that have many uses. For banishing, use three drops of three (only) of the following oils: eucalyptus, pine, lemon, bay leaf, frankincense, basil, clove, rosemary, or angelica mixed into a teaspoon of carrier oil. Whatever you have around the house is fine, such as olive oil or coconut oil.

You can use this mixture in one of two ways. Either place it in a warm bath and soak in it to cleanse your mind, body, and spirit or use it to cleanse your home. If you have floors that can be washed with water, place the mixture in a mop bucket and mop the floors from the furthest corner to the front door. When finished, toss the water outside away from the front door.

You can do either of these practices whenever you need a fresh space or outlook, but the best time is on the full moon or a Saturday.

Warning! Do not use undiluted essential oils. You may experience burning, rash, itching, or other dangerous side effects! Be sure that you are not allergic to these oils before using.

How to Make Black Salt for Full Moon Rituals

how to make black salt

The full moon is a time for releasing what is no longer useful. If you need a little extra help in that department, that’s where black salt comes in handy. This is not the Himalayan or Hawaiian black salt that is used in gourmet cooking. This is the witchy kind that you will make yourself to use for protection, unbinding, driving energy out or away, or taking the wind out of the sails in something.

Whenever you are using things to enhance, remove, or direct energy, I advise that you create as much of the things you are going to use to make this happen. This puts your own energy into it from start to finish and makes your outcome stronger. So it’s better to make your own black salt than buy it.

I don’t advise “dabbling” in this type of work. If you are serious about it, learn how to do it responsibly, in a protected away, and with respect to all that it touches.

To make basic black salt, you will need:

  • a mortal and pestle
  • an airtight, glass container
  • sea salt
  • charcoal (activated, food grade or ashes from the fireplace)
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • cone incense

Start by crushing the charcoal and black pepper in to a fine powder using the mortal and pestle while thinking about the purpose for this black salt. Gently add the sea salt and crush. You have added enough salt when the color remains black.

Choose the type of incense that will complement the purpose of the black salt. For example, if you want this for banishing, sage, dragon’s blood, frankincense, myrrh, juniper, or bay. Now make a bed on a fire proof surface and burn the incense cone on the black salt. When the cone is turned to ash, gently mix in the ashes with the black salt.

Store in the airtight glass container until ready to use. Be careful not to spill this as it may result in unintended consequences.

I suggest personalizing this to make it better suited to the intended purpose. For example, if you want to make it stronger, you can add paprika or oak ashes. Cinnamon or clover enhances the protective powers.

If you want to use the power of the moon to enhance your black salt, you can make it during the dark moon or put it outside under a full moon to boost the potency.



Five Powerful Ways to Become Re-enchanted


If you want to really live an animist life, you need to become enchanted. It’s absolutely essential. The animist world is holistic. The observable, rational, masculine reality overlaps with the feminine mystical, emotional, intuitive world. That is a world of myth and mystery that requires magical eyes to see it and navigate within it. Without it, you will discount all the things of value that make an animist practice meaningful.

Think about it. Most of us are walking around disenchanted, disillusioned, anxious, and dis-eased, right? That’s where the average, modern life leads. Who wants that?

The animist world is not particularly safe, but it’s connected, wild, enchanting, and magical. Since we’re here, we might as well be magical and alive, right? Here are five powerful ways to become re-enchanted.

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” ~Albert Einstein


Wonder is the province of children. They find magic in ants crawling across their knees, droplets of rain, or the sweetness of a lollipop. The world of a child is always fresh and new. It’s alive with possibilities rather than answers and dead ends. It’s inquisitive and peers into darkness that adults have either learned not to enter or no longer see as worthwhile. Be open. Wonder. Let yourself be awed. You will see so much in every day that delights you if your eyes see with wonder.

“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.” ~Rumi


Has anyone ever gone into a fairy wood searching for magic and found it? Probably not. The doorway to enchantment isn’t found on a map. It’s created through the world of feelings. The things that move us deeply, shatter us, and grow our hearts are the what we remember. Those feelings are the fuel that stabilize us through hard times, give us the vision to see into the Darkness, and keep us alive with hope for love, peace, and goodness. So feel. You can’t have that if you don’t.

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” ~Joseph Campbell


Are you going to die with your song still inside you? That song is part of the universal enchantment. We all create it together. It’s a chorus of magic that is available to all. If you don’t dare to bring your magic into being, it not only negatively impacts you, but all of us. Dare. Be bold. Do what you long to do. Sing loud. Dance when you’re moved to. Create. Be your wild, beautiful self.

“If we have no peace, it’s because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~Mother Teresa


So often I hear people say that they don’t belong anywhere. Belonging is a two way street. We have to be open to connection, share ourselves, invest in others, and receive in order to belong. It’s a skin-in-the-game proposition with no guarantees that it will be reciprocated.

Life’s a risk. Nothing enchanting happens in a box where no one sees it. Magic is an exchange of energy. It requires people, creatures, interaction, and connection to happen. There was never a story that said, “Once upon a time, magic happened in the middle of the night that impacted no one. The End.” No! It’s an energy exchange that happens between connected things. So connect.

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ~ Stuart Chase


Everybody has extraordinary experiences that they can’t explain. These are often things we never tell anyone about for fear that we will be seen as crazy. Guess what? They are common! We all have them. And we have a choice about what to do with them. We can ignore them and not get the magic from them. We can use them, but keep them to ourselves and diminish their light. Or we can share them with others and normalize it so that the light can grow.

Do you want to live in a dull, blah world or an enchanted, magical one?

Many animist cultures have magical stories of how the world came into being, prophecies, magical beings, and enchanted interactions between creatures and realms. Those come from the imaginal (not imaginary) world, which is just as real as this one. Learn to dance in it and watch your animist connections soar.

Heather Lore, Magic, and Healing

heather lore

It’s not the season for heather, but we just got back from Wales where there was such a profusion of it that I wanted to share. To get started, here is some heather lore you can use for magic and healing.

  • Latin name: Calluna vulgaris
  • Folk or Common names: Common Heather, Ling, Scottish Heather
  • Ruler: Hestia or Vesta, Isis, Aphrodite
  • Planet: Venus, Sun
  • Element: Water
  • Gender: Feminine
  • Parts Used: herb, flowering shoots, dried or fresh flowers, or oil.
  • Basic powers: general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick.

Heather Lore

Heather pixies live on the moors where the heather blossoms. They have transparent or golden auras and wings that you can see through. Unlike faeries, they do not hide from humans as pixies are are related to humans and have friendly temperaments. That said, heather pixies have a reputation for being pranksters. For example, they are known to lead people off into the woods so that they become lost, then they abandon them. So, it’s best to stay away from them lest you be unpleasantly surprised.

The ancient Picts brewed heather ale that was so delightful that the brewing methods were a closely held secret. While modern brewers have recreated new blends, there is no record of how it was done in old times. The use of heather beer is recorded as far back as 2000 B.C.

When the last two Picts, a father and son, were captured by their enemies, their captor offered them life in exchange for the recipe for heather beer. The father said he’d give it on the condition that the son be put to death first. This they did. The father then said, “You could wrest it from my son, but you’ll never get it from me.” The secret of heather ale was never revealed.

A similar beverage called heather mead is referred to as the “water of life.” It’s mild and is served with meals.

The Scottish say that white heather only grows where the faeries have been.

When giving heather as a gift, historically it means independence and good luck. In Victorian times when giving flowers was a way of expressing things without words, purple heather meant beauty or being worthy of admiration. White heather meant luck, protection or fulfillment of dreams.

Magical Uses for Heather

Heather can be woven into charms that can be used for good luck or protection against danger, particularly violence or sexual danger. For this reason, it’s great to travel with. If you’d like a modern piece of heather jewelry, check out Heathergems.

Brides use heather in their bouquets to attract good luck, fertility, and peace.

heather oghamThe ogham for heather is a vertical line with three horizontal lines crossing it. This character, Ur, is the ogham of passion and luck. It can be drawn on a purple amethyst and used in meditation to enhance clarity. You can also use this for healing.

New moons are a great time to use heather on your altar as they are great for new beginnings or initiations. Other uses are self-discovery, enhancing physical beauty, and bringing a peaceful resolution to any conflict.

Adorning your home with heather will attract friendly spirits and create a peaceful atmosphere. Used outside, they can attract faeries to your garden.

Need rain? Burning heather and fern together will aid in magic designed to bring rain. You can also bundled heather and fern together and use them to sprinkle water on the ground for the same purpose.

Scottish farmers carried burning heather torches around their fields at the Summer Solstice to attract fertility for their crops and cattle. You can also enhance fertility by burning some. “Fertility,” of course isn’t just about having babies, but assuring that whatever seeds you are planting bear fruit.

If you aren’t able to hear the voices of your ancestors, add purple heather to your altar. This will enhance your psychic powers and spirit communication abilities.

If your love spell needs extra power, add white or pink altar for three days.

Carry red heather to ignite passion or white heather to cool down admiration when it’s not reciprocated.

Tie heather on the bedpost to help recall and interpret dreams.

Heather in Healing

Heather’s healing properties are: anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-rheumatic, and diuretic.

Heather is useful for ailments of the genital and urinary systems, including stones, kidney and bladder infections, vaginal discharge, enlarged prostate, and menstrual and menopausal symptoms. It stimulates the flow of bile and urine, making it useful in cleansing and purifying teas.

Heather can also be put in salves for gout and rheumatism and to soothing skin preparations.

Heather may raise blood pressure slightly, so don’t use it if you have blood pressure issues.

People with a heather constitution worry over the troubles of others. Not the big things of life, but everyday things. They try everything to persuade or manipulate others to do what they think right. They like people to be dependent upon them, and they take pleasure in feeling that they are being of use and help to any in difficulty. Heather people don’t like being alone. They like talking about their problems.

Heather doesn’t grow everywhere. Still, it’s good for animists to get to know the energies of the natural world as it helps us to connect with it and use it for healing.

It’s Not About the Rituals

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

I get a lot of requests for rituals. That’s awesome. I am glad people are interested in this. I am happy to share rituals, but I’ve got to tell you something. Animism is not about the rituals.

Did you know that one third of all lottery winners declare bankruptcy? Do you know why? I think it’s for the same reason that spirituality is not about the rituals. Because you can’t change in inside by changing the outside, and any method that skyrockets you beyond a growth point is likely to end in disillusion. Why? Because we didn’t create the foundation to support it.

This is the same thing with manifestation. Some people are great at manifesting. They can manifest all sorts of things really quickly, but if you look closely, they don’t seem to manifest a way of sustaining their gains. Again it’s because there is no foundation.

Let’s take a look at this. If you can’t find a partner, ask yourself why. What is going on in your life that is creating conditions where love that is likely. Do you have walls so high and thick that no one can get in? Is your life too full with other things that there is no space for someone? Do you give your time to unavailable people? Do you give your time to people who aren’t healthy enough to love you back? There is always a reason why things are the way they are.

So to bring it back to spirituality, if you are looking for spiritual meaning through doing rituals, chanting, learning healing, or learning how to speak with the dead, you’re focusing on the what shows up on the outside. If there is nothing inside to support it, it’s eventually going to feel empty because it is. Going through the process of learning and connecting creates the change on the inside. It grounds your practice.

So here is my advice. Read pagan mythology. Learn about pagan symbols so that you can understand the stories and the natural world. Talk to your elders. Get to know your ancestry. Watch. Participate. Ask questions.

Learn about what each step of rituals mean. Create your own rituals so that they are meaningful to you. Be a student. Find a community. Get a mentor. In other words, grow some roots. Whatever you put on top of them will flourish if you give it a strong foundation.

That said, I will get cracking on those ritual requests! Thanks for asking. It’s our pleasure.

Ethics in Divination

ethics in divination

If you engage in divination- either as the practitioner or client- you have to consider ethics. Ethics? In divination? Yes, ethics always play a role in every aspect of life.

Before we can talk about that, let’s first define divination. For most people, divination means the practice of seeking information from supernatural means. For some animists (like me), it means looking to the natural world for information. If you see everything as natural, then there can be no supernatural. How we define this will play a part in where you draw the line.

No Hidden Fees

Some say that divination is a spiritual practice. Some believe that psychic ability comes from God. Many believe that spiritual services are not for sale. If you are one of them, charging for readings is unethical. Charing really high fees (like some famous psychics and mediums- and even not-so-famous ones), might also be considered unethical. While everything in Nature requires reciprocity to keep the energy going around, what is given and received needs to be in balance. Whether you charge fees or not, there should never be any hidden fees. The client should always know what the fees are and be in agreement with that before services begin.

Pan Society is offering divination services as a means to fund our church. Our readers set their own fee. We get a percentage of sales in return for hosting and managing the website. As with many ethical issues, there isn’t always a clear right or wrong way to see it.

Honoring Confidentiality

Whether you have the Sight or are peeking over the fence to get information about someone, it’s a violation of Sovereignty to look where you are not invited. It’s also a sacred trust to keep confidential everything that is shared. That’s not a grey area at all. For example, I don’t answer questions about people who are not present. I only read for the person who is in front of me. ALL information is always confidential.

Telling the Truth

Whether you’re sharing your credentials or giving someone guidance, you always have to tell the truth. It might be hard for someone to hear bad news, but you can’t sugar coat it. You might ask if they want to hear it, but you can neither overstate nor understate anything. Making up stories to make someone feel good is also way out of line. Of course, if you don’t know, it’s okay to say you don’t know. Nobody is “on” 100% of the time.

Keeping the Client’s Welfare in Mind

People usually go to a reader because they are having problems. Sometimes they are even having crises. Preying on them make more money is wrong. For example, telling someone there is a curse on them and you will remove it for $1000 is wrong. (Yes, this happens!) Encouraging them to rely on you is wrong. Lying to them is wrong. Compassion and respect is always right.

Encouraging Sovereignty

Lots of times people go to readers because they want someone to tell them what to do. This can be a seductive trap if the reader likes admiration and wants to be appreciated. However, a good reader practices healthy boundaries and only helps the client to make her own decisions. She never tells you what to do. She respects the client’s point of view.

Works Within Her Skill Set

Nobody can help everyone. Sometimes clients need to see someone else. Maybe because it’s just not clicking today. Or sometimes the client and helper won’t ever work. Or it could be that that client needs a doctor, therapist, or lawyer. An ethical reader will refer you on to the person who can help you.


In all circumstances, our fellow creatures deserve respect. Going into an intuitive counseling session is no different. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, or sexual orientation, all people shall be respected.

If you have any questions about ethics in divination, leave us a comment. Let’s talk. By being open about things, we can avoid issues and encourage understanding.

Magical Herbs for the Summer Solstice

magical herbs

We’ve been talking about magic a lot on Pan Society. Perhaps because we are upon one of the most magical times of the year, Summer Solstice. So, it’s a good time to talk about some of the magical herbs that are associated with this time of year.

Getting to know the plants, their properties, and associated gathering times is a great way to step into the wheel of life. In many cultures, this time of midsummer is a great time to give thanks. The earth is fertile and abundant and sharing her gifts with us. Her magical plants are part of that wonderful harvest. This is a time for gathering above ground plants, so let’s look at what’s available now.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is the most common magical herb. It’s bright yellow, star shaped flower looks like the sun and is traditionally the most important and first gathered. We can trace the tradition of gathering St. John’s wort now back to ancient Greece. However, it’s found throughout the world even still today.

St. John’s wort is used in modern times mainly as an anti-depressant. In the ancient world it was promoted for its wound healing properties. It may also have anti microbial properties. It’s most often used as a tea, but is also hung as an adornment over icons of St. John the Baptist on midummer (June 23 or 24th) to honor him and banish evil from home or places of worship. In Wales, it is hung throughout the house to bring in peace, prosperity, health to the animals, and a bountiful harvest.

If you want to get really traditional, you can harvest this while naked! Like many of the Pan Society holy days, Summer Solstice has a fertility component. It’s a prime time for love magic. Many of these charms and rituals use St. John’s wort to protect against heartbreak and give one the courage to make a move.


The second most popular plant associated with the Summer Solstice is the sunflower. Could there be a more obvious connection than the sunflower? They bring bright and cheerful energy like the sun. As they grow, they turn to face the sun, following it as it moves across the sky. They remind us to look up. Turn towards the light.

Sunflowers are prized for their food and oil. They are also a source of yellow and orange dye. Medicinally they have antimalarial properties. Magically they are used for bringing fertility, good luck, truth, loyalty, and honesty. Like the sun, they hide nothing and spread cheer, so it’s easy to see how these association came to be.

Stonecrop, Vervain, and Yarrow

These herbs are still gathered in Celtic lands and hung about the house for protection against the evil eye and death. The Summer Solstice is a liminal time when the veil between worlds is thin. Spirits are about.

It’s helpful to understand the animist views on death as a time of transition to really understand this, but the short version is that if spirits don’t fully cross over – because they are restless about how they lived, they are not well tended by the living during their transition to the Other World, or they just haven’t been dead long enough – they can “pollute” the living. These herbs help to purify spaces and keep them away.

Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Hyssop, and Sage

After the coming of Christianity, the Summer Solstice observation was moved to midsummer’s eve (June 23) and made into a saints day, St. John’s Day. This was done historically in many cultures when the conquering culture came to new lands as it made it easier for the new religion to take hold. In Provence, France the gathering of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, hyssop, and sage was part of this celebration. They infused them to heal the body and spirit.


If you don’t want to be the object of someone else’s spells, gather some elderberry. Elderberry isn’t yet available where I am, but in places where it is, it’s used for warding off enchantments. If you want to see the fey, sit under an elder tree on the Summer Solstice. The spirit of Elder is a gatekeeper between the realms of life and death. Apparently she can also open doorways to the non-apparent world.

Fern Seed

Another way to avoid enchantments is to make yourself invisible! That’s fern seed’s traditional use. If you collect the seeds at midnight on midsummer, you can also wish upon them.


Summer is the season of heat and fire. Lavender’s blue flowers help to cool things down. The flowers are strewn in the Summer Solstice bonfire to bring peace and serenity to the celebration. They can cool down anger and irritability as well. Adding it to your bathwater can help you sleep.


The Summer Solstice happens as the Sun is entering the sign of Cancer. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. So although it’s mainly a solar holiday, it does have a lunar component too. In keeping with the idea of balance, this is appropriate. And mugwort is a moon herb.

The Summer Solstice is a time for divination. Peering into the unknown is a strength of the moon. Mugwort leads the way by opening the psychic channels. Drinking mugwort on the night of the Solstice can help you see into the darkness. Placing the leaves under your pillow can give you prophetic dreams.

Strewing mugwort into the Solstice bonfire can cleanse and heal.

The moon is feminine, and mugwort is also used to help regulate female hormones. This can help regulate menstruation and reduce heavy periods. When used in moxibustion, it moves energy out of the body and relieves pain.


Mullein is another plant with bright yellow flowers that glow like the sun. This is traditionally burned in the Solstice fire for protection. The ashes are gathered and used in protection rituals and for healing charms throughout the year.

Mullein is best known as a cold remedy and is often combined with Elder and drank as a tea. It can also be used topically for healing dry skin. As a compress or salve, it can be used on boils, bruises, inflammation, eczema, joint pain, sciatica, and hemorrhoids. If you have an ear infection, mullein and garlic steeped oil placed in the ear will reduce pain and heal the infection.

Whether your Summer Solstice includes any casting of magic, I hope it’s a magical day. Be sure to also check out our article about Summer Solstice recipes!