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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Replenishing Breath Meditation

Murcha in Sanskrit means “to retain,” so murcha is the “retaining breath.” Murcha will help you hold on to some of your natural energy that business drains away. Restore yourself through this ritual. Pranayama is the fine art of breathing and controlling the flow of oxygen in and out of the lungs. Conscious breathing can vastly improve your health and make you more alert. This is a yoga exercise for achieving a state of ecstasy through pranayama. Done properly, murcha will enhance your mental capacity, center you, and create a sense of euphoria.


Sit down on the floor or a mat and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Now close your eyes and calm yourself completely. Begin the process of murcha by taking a few mindful breaths. Breathe through your nose. Don’t hold your breath; just breathe in and out in a natural manner, but remain aware of your breathing.


When you are ready, take a deeper breath through your nose and visualize the new air and oxygen traveling throughout your body, cleansing and relaxing you. Hold that deeper breath, bend your neck, and bring your chin as close to your lungs and chest as possible. Keep this position as long as you can do so comfortably. When you need to, raise your head again and slowly exhale through your nose. When your lungs are empty, repeat the murcha breath. Repeat this cycle of breathing five times only. After the fifth breath, notice how you feel and be “in the moment.” Like most breathing meditations, you will experience a subtle sort of ecstasy with raised energy and a sense of bliss.


In pranayama, it is important to remember not to place any stress on your body. Don’t hold your breath beyond your comfort level. To do so would be to go against the grain of the technique and teachings of pranayama.


With practice, you will notice you can hold your breath naturally and comfortably just a little bit longer each time. As with all things, pranayama yoga breathing gets better with practice. The beginning breath cleanses the pulmonary system and raises your energy level.

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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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