Citoyenne, The apple spell to renew commitment sounds lovely, thank you for sharing that. You've given me some great ideas. I completely agree that everything is situation dependent regarding controlling or abusive behaviour, and about there always being ethical questions in Witchcraft. Apologies if I gave the impression I thought they were a one and done type thing - that wasn't meant at all!
Aurelian, that makes sense re SAL. blimey that's expensive! With healing of heartache, I’ve found sometimes it relates to romantic love, and sometimes it’s familial or with friends, even with the self. So, these are some of the ways that kind of cover those that I might use singly or combined (more often) for a range of heartaches. They tend to be simple and hands on.
Tasting Healing Herbs
Asking first if there is any plant that the person knows of and craves, I would take note of that and any strong feelings, signs or communications I get regarding it. They may feel very out of touch with themselves, or just low and not be able to think of any, and that’s fine and completely understandable. I would get out any herbs mentioned or, if unable to think of any, line up some herbs and/or teas, get them to taste them and see if any call to them or simply feel good. Or I might get a strong feeling at that point to use a particular one. Sometimes using this herb alone as a healer can be good, or I might mix a combination. (And there are always the fallbacks of Rose, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Violet etc.) When the herbs are decided, I’ll prepare them, giving them a sachet to smell, an infused oil or diluted essential oil for use, a spray containing it, adding in a lovely tea for them to drink or getting them to add it to their food or a bath – usually a mixture of these. As a witch, I can use this to try and connect to the plant spirit for advice, just as much as adding healing power into the oils/teas/sachets I give them. I tend towards those three ways of preparing herbs etc. because I find they’re good to get up close and personal with. A tincture taken straight in the mouth often tastes of the alcohol used in the dilution, and taken diluted in lots of water still feel quite impersonal, a bit medicinal. I like for the person who needs the healing to experience it a bit more, the pains of the heart are so very wrapped within that person, and so I feel making the whole experience more personal can help.
To couple with this, I often try to come up with some meals that will really nourish them and feel ‘healing’ that they can add in to their week. Sometimes I will enchant herbs (or spices) to sprinkle into them. These meals are usually made by the person, and I try to encourage that they play some music that lifts their mood or similar while they do it. I will often give them something good, a phrase or image, to focus on whilst they make these meals. I think it’s really important in many people that they themselves get stuck in during healing of their heart (a bit like the experience theory), as many of the people I’ve spent time with struggle to care for themselves and I have often found that to really counteract a healing process.
I’ve found bathing has been a successful way (in a natural water source, if possible, but if not then there’s no guilt in home). A ritual I have found successful without the need for full body immersion that works well at home has been bathing of feet (feet that carry the pain, give it to the water) and we both picture the heartache flowing out through the feet as they are bathed. Sometimes I might give them an infusion to drink whilst they have the foot bath and imagine the healing flowing into them that way, while I concentrate on drawing out the heartache. Then I would usually rub healing oils onto them. Although the feet are a personal space, and often kept private, it is not as intrusive as rubbing the chest – which lots of people wouldn’t be comfortable with!
Bathing the eyes has also worked well, and blessing them to see things more positively, see more of the sweeter side of life (sometimes I’ve added a little honey for this). It can also soothe eyes that are sore from crying and herbs can be really useful in an infusion for this. I have found chamomile (particularly Matricaria recutita, now known as Chamomilla recutita) to be very helpful for those who have heartache relating to childhood and have had good success with Daisies (Bellis perennis) for first loves, [emotional] bruising of the heart and to help with reducing the tainted way life is viewed after losing a loved one. Rosemary can be good to give strength or Thyme, which could also be used if too little sleep or nightmares have been a problem. Calendula can be lovely for a good old sunny cheer-up. Giving them an eye bath is like giving back positively to the eyes which have given so many tears and seen so much pain. A charm can be written to wash away painful memories and images to be sung or spoken over them.
If they feel they are carrying a lot of pain directly on the chest, then I might draw pain from their heart through their back – which is (like the feet) not as intrusive as the chest. Sometimes they might feel it's carried elsewhere, so I would focus on that area. I might lie my hands upon them or give them a massage where my aim is to connect with the pain within them and move it out, to push or pull away the pain and replace it with healing. I think this way can be quite difficult, as I’ve found that I must be channelling it simultaneously from another source and into the person. If I lose focus, which happened particularly at the beginning, then some of the healing energy would begin to come from my own energy directly and I would (later) burn out.
I have sent it into the sea, sometimes to the land, a river/stream or even to the wind (the wind is a personal favourite for bearing my own maladies), the idea being that redistributing the energy to a larger force will turn it into something very bearable and create better balance. I did incorporate breath into some wind spells, where they breathed out, or even screamed, the pain onto the wind, and I’ve done this myself as well. I would usually follow this with something, perhaps done by me or perhaps by themselves, to start bringing in peace or reassurance etc. (Bathing, using incense smoke, rubbing oils on them.)
For those I’ve known, I have wiped tears from their eyes as we have spoken and given them back to the land or the water, asking them to take the heartache with the tears. If this is not possible, I have prayed to my Deity or spirits (or theirs where appropriate) to take the tears, the pain, and give healing. Sometimes I would do this before giving an eyebath.
I have enchanted a piece of handwritten poetry, or a quote, and given this to people to read. There may be more than one. I have done books for people with different quotes to call on at different times, so perhaps one for giving courage, another when you don’t want to feel alone in a certain emotion. I enchant the book and then give it to them to call on when they need. I’ve always used bog-standard ink and enchanted the book itself and aimed to leave strong feeling with each quote, but I’d be interested to try enchanting inks to use for different reasons, like courage and hope. The overall enchantment is one of healing and growing that healing each time it’s read by that person, with the separate feelings coming within that.
Similarly to this, I have plans to link healing to a pop (or their favourite genre) song they can listen to wherever they are so that whenever a certain song is played the healing is increased. I’m not sure why I’d never thought of it before but it’s now definitely down to give a go! I’ve linked it to a repeated chant before, and sung over them/got them to join in but somehow never done it linked to a popular music type song, so will definitely give that a go when the time/need is right.
Although I work with crystals, I haven’t used them hugely within this context before. However, a friend used them very successfully for a heart healing spell (and also for another spell to come off alcohol) – she infused water with their power and drank it daily for a period of time. She says they worked well. The main way I have worked with them is to give the person one to hold when they are either repeating a charm, drinking an infusion or at points where they feel they need it such as a difficult conversation or difficult event or perhaps a moment in the day where they feel it’s creeping on top of them. Sometimes I might give a crystal or make an amulet for a person to go alongside an infusion.
A lot of those involved have had long term problems that won’t be healed in one go, but a big boost and then follow ups can really help. There have been others who haven’t had chronic issues through life, those who have had a hard time at that point, but have good coping skills to draw upon in the first place and have had long periods of feeling content and happy in the heart throughout their life. They may only need a single ritual to set them on the healing strait.
There are also lots of people who have had lots of struggles in life, sometimes feeling like they deserve the heartache, and I’ve found they need longer, progressive spells that keep adding healing over time. It is so dependent on the heartache and the person. The worst times are when there is success at the beginning but it doesn’t last, and the best times are when someone who's heart has been really hurting for a long time breaks out of it and there is lasting healing. What I’d love for the future is to work on it and be able to do more. I have some ideas which I'm trying to develop more, so I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to do that, and that’s partly why I’m training in Herbal Medicine, because one day it would be truly wonderful to weave it all together fully!