Guest Column: Book of Shadows

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor

 I make magic……… I understand how some magic works and have learned how to use it.  I was taught by my grandmother to create my own personal practice that understands who and how philosophy creates a path that supports how-to live-in harmony with the spiritual journey that I am on.  

My Book of Shadows is also known as a Grimoire.  A Grimoire is a record of that journey and a collection of many rituals that allows me the ability to pass on the knowledge for others.  It is a book of practical magic.

I was born on Halloween, coincidental? Perhaps, born into a world of moving energy, healing, restoring balance is the practice of the Green Witch.  That is the lineage I follow. The Green Witch works in a sacred space that is created by declaration, smoke cleansing, strewing herbs, and asperging.  We constantly evolve and our ethics are not written in stone.  The Grimoire reflects our ethical system, refining conclusions and ideas much like a journal reveals how we process the gifts of the Divine.  

Many of us follow Lawrence Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Reasoning. These ethics guide us in the obligation of care and focus on the moral value of being an empathic individual and how they function in both the spiritual and mundane worlds we live in.

A large part of our work consists of plant magic, the use of herbal medicine.  Whole plant medicine, as some of us like to refer to it today, is cannabis.  That is my absolute favorite herb, with still so much more to offer our communities,

One such beautiful example of the mysteries of cannabis is it is one of the oldest cultivated plants dating back 12,000 years and demonstrates medicinal properties that support the immune system. along with anti-inflammatory effects and cancer fighting potential.  Over 6- neuroactive chemicals have been identified up to date to treat disorders like Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory bowel disease and Dravet Syndrome in children. Our very own endocannabinoid systems show to have a direct and strong effect on the systems of the body.  Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main active compounds that we use today from this ancient herb.

My Grimoire contains the name of the plant that I am working with, it’s physical description, an illustration or photo of, any toxic warnings associated with the specific plant, geographical info , medical info, practical and historical use such as it has been recorded that Queen Victoria used cannabis for menstrual pain, the history and background of Charlotte Figi, a little girl with Dravet syndrome who was treated with CBD that lead to the development of Charlotte’s Web by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, who helped lead the way with more scientific investigation into the many uses of CBD.  I also record any magical and personal information I may have concerning herbal medicine. It’s also good to have a sample of the plant (and yes, cannabis is legal both for medical and recreational use in the state where I reside), so to answer that question, I have samples.

Since we are no longer burned at the stake, it is important to keep up with politics and other important events that dictate and can impact our practice.

Activism creates change………and change begins here.  I hope you enjoy following the journey of the Green Witch, we are global!  To be continued………

References and Sources:

The Wicca Herbal Recipe. Jamie Wood. The Woman’s Book of Healing Herbs, Sari Harrar and Sara Altsui O’Donnell, The Cannabis Health Index, Uwe Biesching. The Green Witch, Arin Murphy Hiscock, Cannabis Nurses Network . Cannabis, A Clinician’s Guide, a Chapman, and Hall Book