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Smoking Scullcap + Divining


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#21 Mountain Witch

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:29 AM

Actually, Jev, Salvia divinorum itself is classed as a Schedule I drug in 15 states (I think), making its sale illegal. So far, I haven't found any legislation making it illegal to grow. That said, although it's a relative of yer garden variety sage, it's a really picky plant that, I'm told, is quite difficult to grow. (Haven't tried myself.)

 

As far as the fake pot, bath salts, etc., sold in head shops (and sometimes at the local convenience store), you're right. It's not the herb (whatever it may be) that's the issue, it's the added chemicals. Here in Georgia, they're having difficulty keeping up - every time they pass a law outlawing some chemical or another in that crap, the manufacturers just put something else in. And despite the plethora of news stories on how harmful it is - even to the point of fatal, kids, in their infinite wisdom think it won't happen to them & try it anyways.

 

I'll stick to the stuff that comes out of my (or a friend's) garden, thanks very much.


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#22 Jevne

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:44 AM

Thanks, MW.  I'll clarify with the husband-unit :)  He thinks in terms of good, bad, . . . ugh.  The differences would be somewhat lost on him. :D


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#23 Mountain Witch

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:48 AM

Thanks, MW.  I'll clarify with the husband-unit :smile:

 According to Wikipedia (ahem) S. divinorum is a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana. Dunno whether that means possession or sale. SB57 in 2011 if he wants to look it up.


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#24 heathenheart

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:48 AM

Where do you live heathenheart.. mullein grows like made all over the place here..  roadsides etc..

 

Vermont.  There's a lot of it on roadsides and disturbed areas, but it's January...  And it isn't ready to harvest until August.


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#25 Whiterose

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:59 AM

No up there you can harvest it all summer. Usually they are in flower about late June until the leaves all fall.   But for right now, try over at www.mountainroseherbs.com .


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#26 heathenheart

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:18 PM

No up there you can harvest it all summer. Usually they are in flower about late June until the leaves all fall.   But for right now, try over at www.mountainroseherbs.com .

 

Thanks for the tip!  Will do. :)


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#27 Evelyne

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:23 PM

This thread got me thinking about those of us (if there are any of you other than me!) who, for personal reasons, stay away from "mind altering substances" and where that line exists. I drink herbal teas, and even that, to an extent (and depending on your herbs to a great extent...), is a mind altering substance. If I smoked my tea would I be crossing a line? Obviously that's a question I can only answer for myself, but I was wondering if there are any other "sober/clean" witches that use psychotropic herbs (smoked, drank, etc) in their craft and/or spiritual practice. It's not an idea I'm opposed to--tobacco, caffeine, valerian, and many other "mind altering substances" I have no problem ingesting/inhaling.  Maybe the line isn't between substances but between recreational and spiritual substance use? But I'd imagine anyone with a genetic predisposition to substance abuse would have to tread carefully even if their intention (or their intended intention...these things have a way of shifting) was spiritual. I brew a fair amount of seer's teas & dream teas, but now I'm eyeing my jar of damiana & a red apple. Thoughts? 


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#28 RavenFlyer

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:44 PM

I only use mind altering herbs as a spiritual tool. I am one that does not enjoy marijuana recreationally or spiritually. It always makes me feel wrong and super depressed the next day.
I don't recreationally use other substances either. And the only time I've used ethenogens has been to ride and/or cross the hedge which has only been a handful of times in all my years on this path.

Genetic predisposition to substance abuse is always a concern for me. As there are both alcoholics and drug addicts in both family lines. I have recently stopped drinking any alcohol due to my drinking getting out of hand over the last year. It wasn't alcoholism, but it was getting a tad too out of hand. So I have been sober for 23 days as of today. But with that said I never used alcohol as a means of spiritual connection. So I can't speak for those who have imbibed to make spirit connection.

What it all comes down to is personal responsibility.

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#29 Jevne

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:38 PM

.. . .   Thoughts? 

 

We have several threads on this topic.  You might try search for "mind-altering", "Shamanism", etc.  If I happen to see any, I'll bump them up for you.

 

J


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#30 Evelyne

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:21 PM

We have several threads on this topic.  You might try search for "mind-altering", "Shamanism", etc.  If I happen to see any, I'll bump them up for you.

 

J

 

That would be much appreciated; I'll dig around in the mean time. 

 

 

 

 


What it all comes down to is personal responsibility.

 

I couldn't agree more. Other than my teas, coffee, & vaporized nicotine I haven't taken in any "substances" in well over two years. I think this will largely fall into the "bridge you cross when you come to" category, as while I have much interest in hedge crossing I also have no business in it. When I get to that place, I'll deal with those questions. As for smoking my tea to divine....eh...drinking it's awfully delicious especially with a nice seer's crystal in the bottom of my cup. Honestly? It's probably my inner drug addict looking for a viable excuse to smoke something! Never a good idea. 


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#31 ArcticWitch

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:30 PM

Now you've got me thinking, Evelyne!  I very much appreciate and enjoy my mind, and feel no need to alter it.  I don't use any drugs recreationally- I tried marijuana once back in college, and it was such an unpleasant experience, I never had any desire to try it again.  I've never even seen "hard" drugs (other than on TV).  I loathe prescription drugs so much, I refuse narcotics despite living with several very painful medical conditions.  I rarely drink caffeine, don't smoke tobacco, and have alcohol a couple of times per month.  I certainly have no convictions against any type of mind-altering substance, it's just that they don't hold any allure for me other than idle curiosity.

 

I've consumed wormwood tea a couple of times to act as an anelgesic agent for severe pain (I was on the brink of going into shock from the pain).  Its strong effects got me curious about its magical properties, which culminated in recently smoking it on a day where I practiced a good deal of witchcraft.  The smoking's spiritual effects were well worth the "experimenting", and has opened the door for me to be completely comfortable with trying herbs and plants that can enhance (or even trigger) spiritual experiences.  But, as with all things in life, I feel that moderation is key.  I'd be so sad if a healthy spiritual practice turned into a bad habit.


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#32 Aurelian

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:48 PM

 but now I'm eyeing my jar of damiana & a red apple. Thoughts? 

 

I think you'll be ok.  LOL!

 

Most of the 'spiritual' tools employed by witches are really not very abusable, unless you count alcohol as an entheogen, which many do.  A vast majority of hallucinogenic compounds work on the serotonin system and tolerance builds so fast(in some cases taking ONE redose is entirely ineffective) that it is pretty much impossible to get addicted to them.  It just doesn't work that way.

 

Deliriants are a different matter, but, again, outside of controlled ritual use are so unpleasant you'd pretty much just lose your mind, IMO.  That would take care of that.

 

I think there's a time and a place for everything, and daily life is NOT that place.  Just my 2c.


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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

#33 melusine

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:13 AM

I'm interested in learning more about skullcap, as i now believe its growing all over my yard! I read this post, looked it up on google images and i'm certain this is the herb.  It's timely... i was asking a friend earlier if she thought she'd be able to help me identify some of the herbs in my yard and i was mainly curious about this one.  I'm going to harvest some tomorrow.

 

Does anyone know how best to prepare it? Would you suggest a tea of fresh skullcap or drying the plants first? Do you use just the leaves or the blossoms as well?

 

Also, other than feeling relaxed what are the effects?  I try to avoid anything that is going to make me feel high, like marijuana because it makes me feel somewhat anxious.


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#34 melusine

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:27 AM

This thread got me thinking about those of us (if there are any of you other than me!) who, for personal reasons, stay away from "mind altering substances" and where that line exists. I drink herbal teas, and even that, to an extent (and depending on your herbs to a great extent...), is a mind altering substance. If I smoked my tea would I be crossing a line? Obviously that's a question I can only answer for myself, but I was wondering if there are any other "sober/clean" witches that use psychotropic herbs (smoked, drank, etc) in their craft and/or spiritual practice. It's not an idea I'm opposed to--tobacco, caffeine, valerian, and many other "mind altering substances" I have no problem ingesting/inhaling.  Maybe the line isn't between substances but between recreational and spiritual substance use? But I'd imagine anyone with a genetic predisposition to substance abuse would have to tread carefully even if their intention (or their intended intention...these things have a way of shifting) was spiritual. I brew a fair amount of seer's teas & dream teas, but now I'm eyeing my jar of damiana & a red apple. Thoughts? 

 

I, like you, stay away from mind altering substances.  After years of alcohol abuse in which i also occasionally used marijuana i don't feel comfortable using them.  It has been almost five years since i have drank alcohol or smoked but the thought of it makes me anxious.  I would, eventually, like to use flying ointments with mild/small doses of entheogens for spiritual purposes but right now thinking about it gives me an uneasy feeling.  I wouldn't want to use something like that while feeling anxious about it because i'm afraid it will cause me to have a negative experience. So for now i avoid them.  When the time is right i'll give it a try.

 

Now i use oils like clary sage, frankincense, etc. and drink herbal teas, mostly mugwort and wormwood.  I also benefit from herbal incenses.


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#35 Aurelian

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:50 AM

You ARE using entheogens if you are using clary sage and wormwood.  Perhaps not in sufficient doses to get 'high' but that is a different matter, really.

 

I seriously don't think you have to worry about having a bad reaction to it like you do pot, it isn't anxiogenic, it's actually used as a sedative and nerve tonic.

 

Going through the literature very lightly you need to POSITIVELY identify that is is what you believe it is, there are plants very very closely related which will damage your liver.  You also need to only gather certain bits of the herb to dry, which is how you likely should use it, as it's far easier to dose correctly without having to worry about moisture content.
 

I was looking for a dose-response curve for this particular herb but didn't find one at a glance.  There are, of course, people more competent at herbalism than I am!  Perhaps they'll speak up :)


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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

#36 Mountain Witch

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:49 AM

I'll try to do this before my 2nd cup of coffee...

 

Skullcap isn't a narcotic, it's a sedative and a mild one at that. I don't study the "dose-response curve" like Aurelian does (he's the chemistry major, not me) but like almost everything else, your own physiology will determine how you react vs. how much you ingest/smoke. For sleep, it's usually recommended one cup of infusion (tea/tisane) about a half hour before bed. One of my teachers uses it when pain is exacerbated by muscle tension.

 

Skullcap does indeed grow wild in our area, melusine. But as Aurelian said, there are other herbs that look very much like it that also grow wild in these parts.

 

I haven't tried smoking it but it is an ingredient in some native smoking mixtures - those used for relaxation. As an infusion, it's not bad ... a slightly bitter aftertaste. You can use either fresh or dried. The aerial (above ground) portions of the plant are used but because the stalk is so strong & stringy, I usually strip the leaves & just use those. (I grow my own so I know exactly what I have.)

 

In short, if you're looking for a "high", skullcap probably won't provide it. If you just want to relax a little, it's a decent choice.


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#37 LynnBay

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

I've used skullcap to calm down before bed (high strung type A witch over here) and it helps. I don't personally feel high, just calm, I make my own tincture with 1/2 cup dried skullcap, a small 1/2 pint jar, and 100 proof vodka to cover it. Keep it out of the sun- and for the first week open it up and stir it daily. After that, leave it alone for 6 more weeks. 

 

I have to echo the sentiments here of being careful where you get it from. If you don't grow it yourself, get it from a reputable pesticide free source. If you wildcraft, be very careful of what you are harvesting. I remember hearing about someone in a past botany course of mine years ago grabbing what they thought was yarrow and was really deadly hemlock. 


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#38 RoseRed

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:18 PM

I actually purchase my skullcap tincture that's made from the flowers.  I've made my own from the dried herb and the flower tincture is lighter.  I just prefer it better.

 

It kinda tastes like perfume but it's awesome for muscle spasms, to help you relax and feel like you can breathe again.

 

I think KiVa Rose has a good write up about it http://bearmedicineh...-specifics.html


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#39 Aurelian

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:30 PM

Yikes!  Yeah LynnBay there are too many damn things that resemble poisonous hemlock!
 

My only interest in whether the dose-response curve has been evaluated for skullcap, MW, is due to the fact that a few anxiolytic herbs such as passionflower become anxiogenic when dosed too highly, so I'll post that information if I run across it.  I suppose there's not much to worry about if one is conservative;  having needed sleeping pills for quite a long time myself many of these herbs have little to no effect personally so I try to include that sort of information when I can.  

 


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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

#40 ArcticWitch

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 04:44 PM

I actually purchase my skullcap tincture that's made from the flowers.  I've made my own from the dried herb and the flower tincture is lighter.  I just prefer it better.

 

It kinda tastes like perfume but it's awesome for muscle spasms, to help you relax and feel like you can breathe again.

 

 

RoseRed, thank you so much for this information.  I have nerve damage and was disappointed that the dried leaves and stems of skullcap sold at my local metaphysical bookstore did nothing to calm the discomfort, although skullcap has a reputation as being a nervine.  I will try to get it to grow in my witchy garden this year, and make it a point to harvest the flowers for medicinal purposes to see if it will help.


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