Hoppy News – Liber Debitum

It always makes magic more official when it has a snappy Latin name. I have adopted ‘Debitum Liber’ (The Book of Debt) for these posts for Hecate, since I owe these explorations to her. Of course, she is a Greek deity, so Biblio Chreous would be more appropriate, but the occult loves a liber more than a biblio so there you are. I blame Crowley.

This post continues to follow the focus of herbs used for dream working, so today is an exploration of Humulus, better known as hops.  Never having worked with hops magically, although I have brewed beer with them, I was surprised by the depth of the flower.  The floral aroma (solar) stands in deep opposition to the Lunar and Saturnian aspects, which touch deeply in the subconscious and even have strong high magical correspondences. In general, hops digs into the hidden aspects of things, touching deeply in the subconscious and unconscious. It reveals connections there, and lends itself to a couple of specific magical uses.

Before I delve more deeply, here is the chart:


Rank Planet Property Power
1 Moon Additive Reveals dark / hidden/ subconscious connections and motivations in dream. Especially useful in revealing outside influences or links that tap into areas where awareness is hidden (historical, emotional, deeply implanted). Reveals areas of weakness that leave one open to outside influences.
2 Venus Additive Reveal hidden sexual emotions or connections (kink).
3 Jupiter Additive Helps to strengthen the connection / awareness of the higher self which acts primarily in the hidden mind.
4 Sun Additive The sun blocks / blinds hops deeper effects. In the sun, hops aroma acts as an attractant, adding to desire.
5 Saturn Neutral Hops is naturally Saturnian, and amplifies the effects of other plants in Saturn.
6 Mars Subtractive Destabilizes control of Martian energy, releases suppressed anger / rage.
7 Mercury Subtractive Blocks / over-rides intellect, helps to release emotions or inhibitions that might be intellectually blocked.


It is easy to see how a lot of these properties ties into alcohol / Dionysian energy! I wonder how strong the effects of a pure alcoholic tincture would be… It might make an excellent element for an initiatory ritual. Or for some pleasantly deep sex magic between trusting partners.

The traditional use of hops (I have looked it up now that my notes and meditation are complete) it to aid with lucid dreaming, and that is spot on in alignment with hops power in the moon of revealing and enhancing awareness of the subconscious and its contents. If we are blocking ourselves from thinking about a subject (for any reason), it makes sense that it becomes more difficult to retain a dream after waking, since our conscious minds will act to replace that block and obscure our dreams. I know that hops are often used in dream pillows, but their scent is primarily solar, so ingestion in some form seems more appropriate for use.  A good hoppy beer might make for good sleep and dreaming! If not physically ingested, ‘swallowing’ the energy astrally would work to bring it into the spiritual body. After all, we want it to work deeply in us.  A sniff simply will not do. Since the energy works personally and internally on a deep level, adding it to a ward or consecration does not seem particularly effective, although if you were to consecrate your bedroom as a sleeping and dreaming temple, it could have a strong effect.  That would be a major work, however, and I would not recommend regular long term daily sleep in such an altered state.

In Jupiter hops helps to reveal the working of the higher self in our deep mind, so the use of hops in dream for this specific purpose is recommended. While I started this series of meditations to help deal with outside influences and dream wards, Hecate continues to guide me toward higher work using herbs and dreamwork as a branch of her teaching tradition. I wonder how these teachings will continue to morph.

Looking at the Solar, Venusian and Mercurian effects of the plant, hops also clearly lends itself to seduction magic. As with all such things, two warnings:

  1. Never use magic on another for selfish effect -even if you ignore karma and / or the rule of three, such uses create a binding that affects the sender as strongly (and sometimes more strongly) than the recipient.
  2. Always be careful about the mental doors you kick open with magic. It almost always pays to do some divination and preparation before delving deeply into your hidden thoughts and desires and it is never something to inflict on others unaware.

Dream well and deeply, and practice safe magic.






Elderberry Remembers

Elderberries tied in particularly well with Veteran’s Day this year – for Elderberries Remember. I know that poppies represent lives lost and blood spilled, but elderberries remember deeply. In every planet and in each aspect, elderberries remember what is true and deeply written. It was fascinating to walk through the planets with Hecate with this herb, because although this exploration was focused on dream, some of the specific properties and energies of the plant translated directly into other workings. In Mars it works as the primary pattern for a curse to awaken old feuds and grudges.  In Jupiter there was an image of people dying their hands with elderberry’s purple juice, sealing an oath in a setting that felt Mithraic.  In Saturn it was part of a complex binding of that planet’s energy, and clearly lends itself to inks and seals for Saturn. Even in the sun, where their energy is subtractive to solar, Elderberry acts as a perfect battery, storing not just the energy, but also remembering the aspect of the sun it absorbs.  This makes it doubly potent in the moon offering not just its own patterns but, when properly prepared, adding pure solar energy as well.

Nettle’s cat wrote a post on elderberries previously with a recipe for a lovely oxymel we use regularly, and that can be found here:  https://walkingamoonlitpathblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/elderberry-oxymel/

When working in dream, as I am still following Hecate’s lessons for protection there (and sharing my results as I promised her), as might be expected the aspect of elderberry most useful there is the Lunar. As a plant that remembers, elderberry energy in the moon meshes with the solar self-knowledge of the user, both consciously and unconsciously, so dream sendings or spells affecting people in their sleep are blocked from altering perception of self. While s dream sending may put someone in a strange situation or environment, the sending cannot block natural reactions or create false overlays of personality.  This is extremely useful for the dream worker, especially when exploring new realms or dealing with hostile entities.  A worker skilled in both illusion and dream can block or confuse thoughts and memories, and in some astral realms different wards, energies or the environment itself can cause altered perceptions.

Working with Hecate on this project, she revealed that dream work is part of her sacred path. It is a path to self-knowledge, and it makes up one of the five major aspects of study of Hecatean magic.  As a result of this, she holds interference with dreams as an affront and will aid her students strongly and directly against interference in that realm.  As with all things, of course, she expects you to pull your own weight and put in the work before seeking aid, and her aid will often be instructions on how to fix the problem yourself.

In using elderberries for warding dream, it is easiest to ingest them as a tea. I enjoy a couple teaspoonfuls with an equal amount of water and a half shot of whiskey as a nightcap. The point is to internalize the energy so that it can act in your mind and protect you – digesting it is a great way to internalize. Meditating on a dried berry to gain awareness of the energy and then sacramentally eating it would also work very well. There is no need (and it would not have a direct effect) to use this energy in a ward as the peppercorn was used.

Rank Planet Property Power
 1 Moon Additive Source of energy, bars falsehood, reveals past lives. Blocks outside dream/spell energies in the lunar arena.
2 Jupiter Additive Carries and binds to tradition, traditional oaths
3 Mars Additive Remembers and fans the flame of old grudges
4 Mercury Additive Reveals deeply hidden thoughts
5 Saturn Neutral Binding agents, locks Saturnian energy
6 Venus Neutral Masks Venusian energy
7 Sun Subtractive Absorbs solar energy, releases in the moon

After using elderberry, I found my dreaming, despite the odd energies that abound lately, to be more comfortable. In addition, I did not feel displaced in the mornings upon awakening, or need time to pull myself together after dreams of strange places and entities.

To follow up on the peppercorns, the ward worked well.  It did not block outside sendings or environmental energies, but it did prevent negative aspects from manifesting.  It worked well as a filter rather than a blocking energy. So in both of these dream protections, Hecate has prevented harm without blocking perception.  Another lesson learned 😊  All knowledge is useful.

Pepper Debt

It is the day before Halloween, or the eve of All Hallow’s Eve as I write this.  The verge of the new year, and a quite appropriate time to pay off debts – or to make a start on paying, in any event.  I personally owe Hecate a debt, and this is a public acknowledgement of this – I owe.  Since part of my debt is to teach, well, here is a thing…

In looking at plant magic, it seems there is a terrible lot of rehashing of the same sources over and over.  With the advent of the internet, this churn of well know information has gotten even worse.  Now a pop author can google and wiki a plant, stir the pot of collected information, and regurgitate an article almost instantly on the properties of a plant and its magical properties, at least as defined by four other authors.

I worked with Hecate to find a system for deep original research into the magickal properties of plants.  While there are multiple steps in the process she taught me, some of which I can share, one of the steps in this is explore a plant in its planetary aspects.  A simple concept, but a labor of years to collect.  Lately I and others in my house have been haunted by dream sendings.  Talking with Hecate, she recommended two things:  First, look at peppercorns, and second, do the work yourself you lazy shit. No new knowledge while you are in default.

I have always loved my straightforward goddess.  😊  No ambiguity there!

After prepping for the work, I walked black peppercorns through the planets, which I have ranked by strength of aspect, and here are the results:

Rank Planet Property Power
1 Mars Additive Burning away, searing, very strong
2 Venus Additive Pathos, sorrow, tragedy of love
3 Saturn Additive Unlocks sweetness by contrast (think pepper jelly), makes the bitter sweet
4 Jupiter Additive Compels the unwilling, taste of the lash of command
5 Sun Neutral A lesser heat, non-competitive – lost in the sun, subtle effect
6 Moon Subtractive All heat removed in the moon, nullifies pepper fire completely and leaves subtle effects
7 Mercury Neutral Neutral effect, very low interaction – may combine with others

Given that the moon is clearly the commanding planet of dream and also a buffer for the fire of pepper, Hecate has clearly guided this lazy mage to a ward against negative dreams using pepper to burn away unwanted outside influences in dream and buffered by the moon, the natural matrix for dream energy. The simplified talisman looking something like this:

Tonight Pepper TalsimanI wall cast this ward as a test to check its influence and see if it is a something I need to add as a layer of the permanent wards on my home.  No need to inscribe it on a copper disk with peppercorn infused Martian inks in the hour of the moon on Mars day using the Orphic triad aspects of Hecate, Artemis and Hypnos – as noted, I am a lazy mage.  Besides, that sound expensive…

Happy Samhain, Halloween and New Year – Coyvere




Marshmallow Wicca

Wicca seems to be afraid of the Dark Goddess.

Oh, they give Her lip service. They talk about balance, and the need for Darkness and Light, but have you noticed that all their worship tends to the former and barely touches the latter?

They only acknowledge Her during this season. And then it’s mostly ancestor worship. The Wild Hunt slips by them with barely a glance into the sky.  And Dark Gods are equally shunned.

Still stuck in that Dark Is Bad mindset?

Balance would be recognizing both and not just the one. The Dark is with us all year, and so is Light.  Death happens in every season.

Wrapping Mary in a pentagram seems to be their idea of the Goddess. Marshmallow Wicca – soft, gooey, and too sweet to really get your teeth into. One dimensional deities.

‘My goddess would never become enraged!’ ‘My god would never mislead me!’ ‘My deities are always kind and good!’  Who the hell are you worshiping – SpongeBob Square Pants?



Stability versus Mutability

Our deities seem to be able to move with the times, change and learn, study us to see where we’re going so that they can relate to us.

I see it in the splinters of the deities who are attached to different persons. Each splinter seems to be crafted to suit the person’s maturity and concerns – a flighty person, a flighty splinter. A mature person, a mature splinter.

Wytch of the North calls hers ‘My Lord of Masks’, and talks about the deities swapping identities casually between themselves. Do they also swap offices? Realms of control? Has Ares ever swapped with Aphrodite, just for the education it would be?  Would Hermes and Apollon trade spheres of influence temporarily?

This kind of mutability is disturbing to most of us. We like stability. We like it so much that we’ll remain in a rut that’s harmful to us rather than risk changing. The idea that your god really isn’t your god, even when he IS your god, leaves us wondering about our terra really being firma.

I suspect this isn’t a problem with most because their contact with their deity isn’t on a basis where they’d really notice a difference. Most of us don’t have daily conversations with our deities. Most of us never hear their voice at all, and consider someone who has to be extremely fortunate, even if it was no more than a few words or a strong feeling. Most of us believe they are there, hope they are there, but we don’t KNOW that they are there. We don’t consciously work with our gods so we don’t notice.

But the few – ‘we few, we lucky few, we band of brothers’ – do notice and are often dismayed or confused by the sudden changes, whether it’s a change of name, a change of personality, or a change of any sort. Suddenly, we don’t know our own god, the god we’ve worked with for so long.  It’s got to be hard to accept. It’s got to make us question everything we knew.

And then there are those who never have to question because their deity never seems to change at all. Herne is always Herne. Loki is always Loki.  Ma’at is always Ma’at.  They work with the same face their entire lives.

One tries to understand, but perhaps understanding is beyond us. Perhaps we just have to accept, adapt, and overcome. Perhaps some of us have to learn to walk on earthquakes.



Can Gods be held accountable for their Actions?

I only ask because I’ve run across more than one person who claims to have been abused or raped by a god. So I’m wondering, just what recourse do mortals have when gods break all civility and morals?

Is there a pecking order in a pantheon? If Odin rapes one of Loki’s people, can Loki demand weregild? Or is Loki SOL as much as the mortal?

What recourse, if any, does a mortal have?

Then others have spoken of times when the deity they had been working with simply bows out so that a different deity can enter, whether the mortal agrees to it or not. And the retreating deity won’t interfere, even when the new deity is abusive and the mortal is asking for help. Is there a hierarchy amongst the deities that says one outranks others, and that one can do as it wills until or unless one who outranks him shows up?

Can you refuse to work with a deity who abuses you? Can you banish a deity? Will wards and shields keep him out? If that doesn’t work, what does?

And how do you heal from abuse when your religion actively promotes and worships the deity who abused/raped you?

Are we pagans as bad as Christians in this respect? Yahweh did some horrible things to a lot of people but Christians ignore all of that and claim that he’s a ‘loving’ god. If Odin is a rapist, how do Odinists or Heathens or whatever reconcile that with their view of him? Do they simply ignore his bad side? Pretend it doesn’t exist, the way Christians pretend? Try to destroy the victim because she’s saying something they don’t want to face up to?

I suppose the idea that gods can do anything they want, because they’re gods, and what happens to us doesn’t matter, but I’ve never believed that crap. It makes the deities nothing but parasites. And it shows them to be petty, cruel, arbitrary, and unable to learn. Not what I’d call worship material.  Is the only recourse we have to stop being pagan entirely? Switch over to another pantheon in hopes that the deities there are more respectful of mortals and better behaved?

I’ve never been physically assaulted or raped by a deity, but if I were I’d want vengeance bigtime. I would cut my ties with that pantheon and those people, because they are aiding and abetting the behavior of the deity who did it.  If a group turns a blind eye to the cruelty of a deity, if a group excuses that behavior as ‘a test’ or ‘you deserve it’ or ‘shaman sickness’ or whatever other bullshit excuse they can come up with, then they’re enabling the actions of a deity who doesn’t deserve worship.


Gaia “Hold my beer”

This past month feels like the start of just about every young adult dystopian novel that I have read. Series of natural distastes  entangled with an incompetent or overly religious government waiting in the wings to swoop in and instill their “new and improved” form of government to save the people. The average person on the street oblivious or so afraid they don’t know what to do to make the train wreck stop.

Makes a cat down right nervous.

Fires in the Pacific West, four hurricanes  in the gulf, earthquakes in Mexico and its not just here in the Americas, the whole world is hurting.

Hope asked me earlier today if I was noticing that it was like all the elements are pissed. Earth, air, fire water all angry pissed and acting out.

I responded with a quick unthinking retort of “Awe hell no, it’s Gaia she’s PISSED”

Then to myself . “Oh”

She’s downright angry at us and its starting to manifest.


Mom is telling us to clean up our mess.

While meditating this morning I had to ask her “Where to start, mom ”

“Sanctuary” that was the answer I got clear in my mind. “Build your own sanctuary and shrine to me”

Coyvere’s interpretation of Gaia is less angry than my own.  He says she simply is sweeping aside old broken structures to make way for the new growth that must emerge here at the beginning of the new age.  He is more calm about destruction than I am some days. He is more comfortable that I to soak in the chaos.

I am a creature of habit so change is struggle to me and not always welcome. I understand the necessity of change and work with deities to help uncover my own chains of illusion that bind me. Focus is not my strong point and daily practices, well I’m a cat for goddess sake, we like sunbeams, warm fires and a good book. Static is an art form for a cat.  As Coyvere reminded me often daily practice is the best place to start. Establishing daily habits of worship or even recognizing and thanks daily  for what we have.  These are the things that will help us to recognize Gaia’s growth and changing and to help carry us though these changes.

I have had a daily practice for years.  Starting each morning lighting our oil lamp for Hestia. Over the past couple of years I’ve added things a couple of salt lamp candles for cleaning out the house in the morning, lighting some incense to our ancestors inside the house and a stick outside for my more natural or nature based ancestors.  The last good drink of tea in the morning has always gone outside to the earth for Gaia.

Is  that enough? When I am mindful and present in such acts yes but when I do them out of rout habit, no it’s not. My gods do not want mindless sacrifice they want mindful sacrifice, if only for a second. That is more important that remembering to take cloth bags to the store.

It is going back to these basics that help me in these times of storms. Going back to the basic helps me ground and be present in the moment.

In this I will create sanctuary.