One of my daughters started kindergarten this year, venturing out on her own into the world. It’s a trying time, both for me as a parent and for her as a child. I have to trust her to care for herself in the big wide world; and also trust that same big wide world to care for her. She’s venturing out without her usual safety nets and protections, raising her courage and conquering her fears.
At this difficult time of transition, I wanted to give her a bit of help. I’ve made a charm bag with simple, everyday ingredients that most people probably have on their kitchen shelves. This easy recipe can be made for any kind of protective use; it’s not only for children starting school!
The uses and properties of the plants and minerals I chose come from Old English sources, put together by Stephen Pollington in his book Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plantlore, and Healing. Here is what I used:
Rosemary – Rosemary is said to have been planted near the home for its protective qualities. Pollington notes that many aromatic herbs were used in this manner, so feel free to substitute any strong and pleasant smelling herbs you may have on hand.
Bay Leaves – I chose the bay leaves because a bay tree planted near a house is said to prevent plague. If there’s anything that a child attending school needs to keep at bay, it’s sickness! This is useful for adults too, especially during cold and flu season – or during festivals and cons where that one illness gets passed around to everyone.
Thyme – This plant is said to promote courage, and to help its bearer overcome shyness. This may not be needed for some children or in some instances, but on many occasions it can be very useful.
Amber Chips – According to Pollington, amber beads were often worn by children in the Anglo-Saxon era. These beads frequently show up as grave goods, not only for children but for women and men as well. Given the stone’s historical association with the sun and its healing properties, it seems a good inclusion. Quartz chips or pebbles, which can be found more easily, can also be used.
Once the bag is complete, you may want to draw a rune or two to seal the magick of the ingredients. I chose a bindrune combining Feoh (in this context: wealth, prosperity) and Eolh (protection). My daughter keeps it in her backpack, where it accompanies her every day to school. You could also choose to wear your bag, or carry it in your pocket or purse – the possibilities are endless!