Traditional Knowledge on Healing - Sample Essay

Witches and Shaman in this period utilize various natural sources in order to cast their magical spells and conjure healing procedures. These fields are two of the oldest paganism domains, which consider animistic perception that sees all things as imbued with an inherent vitality. The shaman astrally travels to spirit world and offers the opportunity for the dead to return to the living, or to bring back part of the soul that may have escaped the physical body because of trauma or illness (Hunt 2003 155).

These mediums utilize animals or plants as ritual offerings or necessities for the performance of magic. The raven, owl, lizard and pig are some of the animals that witches utilize in order to cast her incantations. Owls and Ravens are known for their sight extensions and transformation modes. Lizards and other creeping creatures are used for conducting rituals and ceremonies to cast their harmful spells. Aside from these creatures, they also utilize wild herbs such as peppermint, basil, lavender, etc. in order to formulate their potions and so-called elixirs (Kelley 2006 196).

Traditional ceremonies and rituals of these pagans mainly involve the utilization and belief of magic. Magical beliefs and practices are by no means limited to “primitive” or tribal societies. It is practiced individually or as part of Wiccan and Pagan circles, and may be subdivided into “high” and “low” forms. The high magic represents the traditional magic developed through the centuries via mystics and secret orders, and involves complicated ritual, elaborate robes, and much specialized paraphernalia.

Low magic is that which is practiced by the traditional healer. It is the magic of nature and of the elements. In a coven or group, witches are principally concerned with low magic or “raising power”, which usually means dancing in a circle chanting in a repetitive fashion (Hunt 2003 155). Healing procedures of witches, shamans and other pagan traditions commonly utilizes the following materials, particularly herbs, candles, food and sex. They coordinate the time of procedure implementation in astrological events.

General supplies for working with herbs include a ceramic mortar and pestle, glass jar, special knife that has been significantly cleansed, consecrated, and empowered for harvesting herbs and flowers; a small, wooden cutting board, and a strainer or cheesecloth. Other supplies might include small vials of elixirs, perfumes, oils, tinctures, and fluid condiments; cloth pouches for conjuring bags and sachets; needle and thread for stringing dried blossoms and herbs (Ravenwolf 2003 275).

The cooking or brewing procedures of using herbs and food for healijng purposes vary in terms of the ingredients present and the outcome desired. Usually, herbal oils are the most prominently used in healing procedures. It is made by cooking dried or fresh herbs in olive oils on the lowest possible flame, using from two or four cups of oil to one cup of herbs. A good basic cooking recipe is to simmer the covered mixture on very low heat for several hours and then let it steep, covered, for 24 hours before decanting (Bennett 2004 95).

Like herbs, trees are visible, living reminders of healing magic. Trees can be incorporated into spells and rituals by learning about their special qualities and asking them to help with or participate in the procedure. Maple tree is known for the induction of friendship magic. White pine is known to induce the powers of peace. The northern white cedars are used by mediums in order to provide protection. The tree magic is also linked in fruit lores, herbal healings and other white magic (Bennett 2004 98).