Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Introduction to Birthstones and Astrogemology

Birthstones are very special stones that have traditionally been correlated with every month of the year. Hallmark didn’t invent the concept of birthstones, however; it came from the Bible! In Exodus chapters 28 and 39, there is much discussion about a burnished and stone-set breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews. Here is the biblical description of the breastplate: 

And he made the breastplate, artistically woven like the workmanship of the ephod, of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen. They made the breastplate square by doubling it; a span was its length and a span its width when doubled. And they set in it four rows of stones: a row with a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald was the first row; the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold in their mountings. There were twelve stones according to the names of the sons of Israel: according to their names, engraved like a signet, each one with its own name according to the twelve tribes. (NKJV, Exod. 39:8-14) 

These twelve stones from the famous breastplate became linked with the twelve signs of the zodiac, resulting in our cherished modern tradition of birthstones. The long history of birthstones has many more  s, but an important point to know is that your birthstone is yours by divine right and birthright. I know I was thrilled when I found out amethyst was mine, even though it was ranked as semiprecious. All I knew was that it was purple, my favorite color. 

What you need to know about your birthstone is that it is a major power source for you. You should have at least one piece of jewelry made from your birthstone, and treat it as the special stone it is. You should also keep this sacred personal stone around in other forms as well. I have a candleholder made of a large amethyst geode on my mantelpiece surrounded by candles. Just lighting the candle immediately calms and centers me. I realize you can’t do that with diamonds, although Herkimer diamonds can be substituted nicely. If you are a January Capricorn, for instance, and your birthstone is garnet, you can have an entire set, or parure, of garnet jewelry—rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces—for the fullest expression of birthstone power. Surround yourself with your birthstone energy and you will feel at peace, filled with well-being from your gem-fired glow. 

Here is the classic list of birthstones by month:

  • JANUARY: garnet, a stone symbolizing a light and loyal heart and lasting affection
  • FEBRUARY: amethyst, a sexy and sensitive stone; Cleopatra's royal ring
  • MARCH: aquamarine, long known as a soothsayer's stone, and bloodstone, long known as the martyr's stone
  • APRIL: diamond, the traditional engagement ring, which represents the power of love
  • MAY: emerald, a lovely green stone of protection
  • June: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite - all moon and sea stones powered by water
  • JULY: ruby, the most highly prized gem of all and a symbol of the essence of life
  • AUGUST: peridot, the ancient symbol of the sun, and sardonyx, an intelligence-enhancing stone
  • SEPTEMBER: sapphire, a true blue gem that represents the purity of the soul
  • OCTOBER: opal, sait to contain the beauty of all other gems, and tourmaline, a stone of inspiration
  • NOVEMBER: topaz, a stone of royalty, named the Sanskrit word for fire
  • DECEMBER: turquoise, which brings luck, and zircon, the traveler's stone
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    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  


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