Growing up, I was very lucky. We lived on a 200 ace farm in West Virginia. At first, I didn’t love that we were so remote but, eventually, I came to treasure the beauty of nature which I could enjoy at any time. I had an Aunt Edith, my Uncle Edison’s second wife, who mentored me. She took me under her wing and taught me many things. I make much mention of Aunt Edith in my Witch’s Brew Good Spells series and how I owe her for my small wisdom. She taught me about plants and their uses in cooking and healing. She taught me about trees and how to identify each one by bark and leaf. She taught me about the stars in the sky and the constellations, a perfect preparation for the astrology we delved into later on. Witchcraft is the most natural thing in the world- and indeed, it is all about the natural world. On woodland walks, my Aunt Edith pointed out heart’s ease, wild mint, and other herbs, which grew in the creeks bed near my home. We picked, steeped, and sipped these herbs together while she imparted her wisdom. Little did I realize that these teas were sacred potions designed to gently soothe my soul and open my mind to the wonders of witchcraft.
In those timeless afternoons, I learned that the practice is not about looking inward, but about focusing your attention on the world around you. Magic exists in every leaf, every stone, every body of water, and every being. Aunt Edith taught me that becoming attuned to the natural world is a witch’s highest calling, and achieving harmony with the cycles of nature is the key to inner peace; this much I know.
As a child, I loved the varied colors of rocks and crystals and asked for a rock tumbler for Christmas. Remember those? Soon, I was tumbling away and making some very low-budget jewelry for my sisters, my mother, and myself. Everyone raved about the shiny, smooth stones glued (rather sloppily, as I recall) onto crude bracelets, rings, and necklaces. A February baby, I felt pleased that my own birthstone, amethyst, was so readily available, and my sister Martha was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t provide her with her April birthstone—diamond! My mother loved her peridot gifts and still wears a little metal leaf onto which I glued a tiny, polished green pebble.
Like many of you, I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a kid, then immediately dived into The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien knew of the power of crystals and gems and has contributed greatly to their legend and lore. I remember reading enviously about the Dwarves’ glittering caves and treasure troves. For me, it was no mystery that the One Ring was evil, because it was a plain band inscribed with the language of Mordor in Elvish script and with no stones at all, while the rings of the heroic Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Aragorn all featured beautiful stones. Stones and gems were good and had the power to help vanquish evil? Yep, this I could completely understand. Even in the lavish and terrifically entertaining film version of this epic trilogy, stones have a starring role. I think I especially enjoyed when Gandalf claps a big quartz crystal onto his own wizard’s staff to light the way when he and the rest of the Fellowship enter into the Mines of Moria, a real den of iniquity as evidenced by the most unwholesome Balrog. Oh, and then there are the lovely and mysterious palantir, or seeing stones, which I can only guess are super-powered crystal balls. What delight—I love that millions and millions of people, quite literally, are being introduced to the supremacy of stones in this way. I must confess, as well, that when the line of The Lord of the Rings jewelry came out, I couldn’t resist ordering an Elven Ring of power, with a lovely blue stone.
Below is an introduction to some Middle Earth Magic, dear reader. I would love to hear from you and will share spells, charms, enchantments and wisdom I have picked up along the way!
Rings represent eternity, unity, reincarnation, safety, union, power, and energy. They symbolize the eternity of the circle shape—the universe. Wearing rings was believed to help ward off any kind of malevolence through their continuity—nothing could get in. A ring binds you with the energy of the stone. In dream psychology, a ring represents the desire for reconciliation of the different parts of your being and personality; it shows you want to be an integrated whole, which is the first step in making it happen. If you want to deepen a friendship, exchange amber rings with your friend to bind you together forever. Why do you think Native Americans wear turquoise rings? They know it is a guardian stone; its power is doubled when it is in a ring.
When wearing a ring, be sure the bottom side of the stone is open to allow greater connection between the stone and your skin. On your left hand, wear ring gems that awaken and release emotions, and on your right hand, wear stones that will enhance your career and your personal goals in life. I know that thumb rings have become a big trend, but you should know that wearing them could block the energy of the thumbs or, even worse, bring out egotism and selfishness.
Your index fingers are indicators of achievement, and wearing the proper gem on that finger can really aid you in striving for your dreams. For wisdom, wear lapis lazuli. For greater love of yourself and others, try pearl, moonstone, or garnet. For success, wear carnelian. For a quiet mind and greater calm, wear sodalite chrysocolla, or turquoise.
Your middle fingers are about ideas and insight as well as intuition; the left hand represents the receiving of ideas, and the right hand represents action and achievement in your life. Wear stones on the middle finger only when you want to get a lot of psychic input from the world around you. For greater sensitivity and creativity, wear amethyst. To awaken your inner and outer beauty, wear ruby. To access your higher good and know your life purpose, wear sapphire or quartz crystal.
The ring finger is about creativity, and, of course, the ring finger on the left hand is your love center and a direct connection to your heart. For deep and loyal ties of love, wear diamond. To express your love, wear moonstone. To inspire creativity, wear emerald. To meet creativity goals, wear tiger’s-eye or cat’s-eye. For practicality in your work and art, wear turquoise. For service to your community and the world, wear opal. For serenity both within and without, wear ruby.
Pinkie fingers represent change. The right gem on your little finger can help you find and pursue new opportunities and change the direction of your whole life. This is a lot of power in one little ring! For better organizational habits, wear pearl. For unwinding and simplifying, wear turquoise. To bring new energy and new prospects, wear aventurine.