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Yearly Archives: 2006

Clay Torq

 Items needed:

  • one and a half blocks of light brown/beige fimo

  • bronzing powder (found next to the fimo)

  • small seed glass beads

  • measuring tape

  • varnish

 

1) Measure your neck and subtract one inch.

2) Divide the one block into thirds; work a piece in your hands until they are pliable, and roll into a long thin rope like you learned how to do in kindergarten with playdoh until it is the desired length. Do this with the other two pieces.Form it into a circular shape and lay on a cookie sheet.

3) Lay the three fimo ropes side by side, and roll them together so that they form a large rope.

4) Divide the other block of fimo into half; divide this piece into thirds. With two of the pieces, roll into a ball shape and attach it to the ends of the torque. Divide the remaining piece into fourth, work the clay and roll into thin ropes. Lay two of these small ropes vertically where the balls and large rope join and wrap it around to the back, pressing it in. Do this on the other side too.

5) Gently fit the small glass beads inbetween the spaces of the small ropes that you just joined; these are the “jewels” of the torque.

6) Rub the torque with the bronzing powder – carefull, a little goes a long way!

7) Bake according to the directions on the fimo blocks, but take it out 5 to 10 minutes before it’s due to come out. It will be hard and firm, yet still flexible enough to bend making it easier to put on.

8) Apply an varnish coat to the torque and let dry.

Wild Blueberry Irish Bread

Yield: 5 loaves

6 eggs
1 lb. 12 oz. sugar
2 lbs. flour
1-1/2 oz. and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 lbs. blueberries
Sugar glaze

Beat eggs in large bowl adding sugar gradually. Add flour and baking
powder. Moisten with milk.
Gently fold in blueberries. Put dough into five greased loaf tins.
Bake in pre-heated 350°F oven, 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown.
Brush tops with sugar glaze.
(4-1/2 x 8-1/2 x 3-inch pans are best)

Tea Tree Oil Treatment for Toe Nail Fungus

Nail Fungus Remedies
You can apply 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil directly to infected finger and toe nails 3 times daily. For people who are sensitive to direct application of tea tree oils may try soaking their nails in treated water or applying lotion or powder on them.
Tea Tree Oil Hand or Foot Soak
•    1/2 cup warm cider vinegar
•    6 drops of tea tree oil
•    Add one of these four essential oils (your choice)
o    1 drop sandalwood oil
o    2 drops peppermint oil
o    2 drops patchouli oil
o    2 drops thyme oil
Add the three ingredients listed above (vinegar, tea tree, and your choice of secondary essential oil) to a basin filled with warm water. The water should be wrist or ankle deep. Soak your hand or foot for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Fungal Nail Lotion
•    4 teaspoons cider vinegar
•    1/8 cup (30 ml) of distilled water or boiled water
•    10 drops lavender oil
•    6 drops of tea tree
Pour vinegar into a dark glass bottle.
Add the essential oils and shake well. Then add the water and shake again. Swab affected areas with cotton 3 times daily. Shake well prior to application for each use to disperse the oils.
Fungal Foot Powder
•    2 tablespoon of corn flour or unscented talc
•    15 drops of lavender
•    5 drops of peppermint
Put corn flour or talc into a small plastic bag. Add the essential oils. Tie or zip close the bag securely and let sit for 24 hours allowing the oils to spread through base. Shake well before using first time.

Yule

Yule
*Southern Hemisphere Date: June 21st
*Northern Hemisphere Date: December 22nd

*Origins: Yule is from Old Norse which means “wheel” as it is a symbol  that the year has turned. Falling on a Solstice, it marks the start of the  New Year in Norse and Roman times.

At Yule, the God is traditionally born by the Goddess, a divine birth. This is time of the year when the day is short and the night is long. Candles are lit to welcome back the returning light of the sun ahead. The Sun, a symbol of the God, renews itself from the dark, symbol of death. In Pagan lore, this is the time when the Oak King (a symbol of divine rebirth) overpowers the Holly King (a symbol of death). Celebrated items for Yule include the decorated evergreen tree, the Yule Log, and the exchange of gifts.

Back Pain

Back Pain

5 drops sandalwood eo
5 drops eucalyptus eo
5 drops mandarin eo
5 drops ylang ylang eo
1 ounce almond oil

Combine and mix well. Gently massage this oil on.

8 Tips to Focus Your Mind

8 Tips to Focus Your Mind – How To

Adapted from The Healing Aromatherapy Bath,
by Margo Valentine Lazzara (Storey Books, 1999).

Mental clutter, hyper-mind, head on overdrive —
we’ve all been there. Here is some soothing relief.

Simple Solution:
Try these simple suggestions for slowing things down.
Your concentration and memory will improve, you will
gain greater perspective on your life, and you’ll be able
to think more clearly and with less effort.

Learn to relax your mind as you relax your body,
to reap the benefits of less stress, and gain a more calm
and mindful awareness of the present moment.
You will be surprised how easy it can be.

1. Witness your thoughts.
No one can stop thinking entirely;it is impossible.
If you start trying not to think, you only end up thinking
about how to stop thinking!
What you can do, however, is to withdraw from your
thoughts and become more of an objective spectator.

2. Picture your mind as a blank canvas or a dark sky.
Allow your thoughts to come and go, but resist the urge to
follow each one.
Your brain will eventually slow down and you will feel less pressured.

3. Count.
If you find it difficult to let go of your thoughts, try counting
slowly as you breathe.
Watch your thoughts and try to resist following them.
Turn your attention to the count as you breathe out.

4. Pay active attention.
As you work and think, try to keep your attention on the
task at hand, Be strict with yourself,and each time your
mind wanders, return it to the task.
As you keep refocusing your attention, your “mind stillness”
will improve.

5. Still your body.
One sign of fragmented attention is fragmented movement.
For example, when you are at the theatre, it is easy to tell
if others around you are fully attentive to the performance.
People who sniff and sigh, move their heads this away and that,
and wiggle in their seats are having some difficulty concentrating.
Rapt attention is usually accompanied by still body posture.

6. Find a comfortable position and don’t
allow yourself to move.
Concentrate on what you are doing or watching,
drawing your attention away from physical distractions,
and focus your thoughts on your task.
After a while, you will notice that you fidget less and feel
less physical discomfort.
You are now channeled into mental exertion.

7. Interest your mind.
Try to find interest in projects to help you concentrate.
Taking up a new hobby can be a tremendous help.
You should also try to find something interesting even
in the dullest chore.
If you are at a gathering, find someone and start a conversation.
Be inquisitive and you might discover you have similar interests.

8. Open the mind.
Just as strength, stamina, and flexibility must be incorporated
in your physical routine, the mind needs new and absorbing
challenges to give it a change from its everyday journey.
Notice something new on the same way home that you
might not have noticed before. Buy a magazine on a subject
you normally wouldn’t look at, read it, and open yourself to
new possibilities.

Acacia (Gum)

Acacia (Gum)
Botanical: Acacia nilotica (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
—Part Used—Gummy Exudation from stem.

——————————————————————————–

ACACIA NILOTICA (LINN.) All the gum-yielding Acacias exhibit the same habit and general appearance, differing only in technical characters. They are spiny shrubs or small trees, preferring sandy or sterile regions, with the climate dry during the greater part of the year.
The gum harvest from the various species lasts about five weeks. About the middle of November, after the rainy season, it exudes spontaneously from the trunk and principal branches, but the flow is generally stimulated by incisions in the bark, a thin strip, 2 to 3 feet in length and 1 to 3 inches wide being torn off. In about fifteen days it thickens in the furrow down which it runs, hardening on exposure to the air, usually in the form of round or oval tears, about the size of a pigeon’s egg, but sometimes in vermicular forms, white or red, according to whether the species is a white or red gum tree.

About the middle of December, the Moors commence the harvesting. The masses of gum are collected, either while adhering to the bark, or after it falls to the ground, the entire product, often of various species, thus collected, is packed in baskets and very large sacks of tanned leather and brought on camels and bullocks to the centres of accumulation and then to the points of export, chiefly Suakin, Alexandria, or – in Senegambia – St. Louis. It is then known as ‘Acacia sorts,’ the term being equivalent to ‘unassorted Acacia.’ The unsorted gums show the widest variation as to size of fragments, whiteness, clearness, freedom from adhering matter, etc. It is next sorted or ‘picked’ in accordance with these differences.

There are many kinds of Acacia Gum in commerce:

KORDOFAN CUM, collected in Upper Egypt and the Sudan, in Kordofan, Dafur and Arabia, and exported from Alexandria, is considered the best and is the kind generally used in pharmacy. It consists of small, irregular pieces, commonly whitish, or slightly tinged with yellow, and is freer from impurities than most other commercial varieties. But those known in commerce as ‘Turkey sorts’ and ‘Trieste picked,’ which are brought from the Sudan by way of Suakin, are equally suitable for medicinal use.

SENEGAL GUM, of two varieties, produced by two different trees, one yielding a white, the other a red gum, is usually in roundish or oval unbroken pieces of various sizes, larger than those of Turkey Gum, less brittle and pulverizable, less fissured and often occurs in long, cylindrical or curved pieces.

The term ‘Gum Senegal’ is not, strictly speaking, synonymous with Gum Acacia, though it is commonly so used. Gum Acacia is the name originally pertaining to Sudan, Kordofan or Egyptian (hashabi) Gum, which possesses properties rendering it superior and always preferred to any other known to commerce. During the political and military disturbances in Egypt between 1880 and 1890, this gum became so nearly unobtainable that occasional packages only were seen in the market. Among the many substitutes then offered, the best was Gum Senegal, which was adopted as the official equivalent of Gum Acacia. In this way, it came about that the names were regarded as synonymous. In 1890, the original Acacia again came into the market and eventually became as abundant as ever, but it is no longer possible to entirely separate the two names. Most of the characteristically distinct grades of Acacia Gum are now referred to particular species of the genus Acacia. Most works state that both the Kordofan and Senegal Gums are products of A. Senegal (Willd.), the range of which is thus given as Senegambia in West Africa, the Upper Nile region in Eastern Africa, with more or less of the intervening central region.

A. glaucophylla (Staud.) and A. Abyssinica (Hochst.) are said to yield an equally good gum, but little of it is believed to reach the market.

Mogadore Gum, from A. gummifera (Willd), a tall tree found in Morocco and in the Isle of Bourbon, occurs in rather large pieces, closely resembling Kordofan Gum in appearance.

Indian Gum, the product of A. arabica, the Gum Arabic tree of India. The gum of this and other Indian species of Acacia is there used as a substitute for the official Gum Acacia, to which it is, however, inferior. Indian Gum is sweeter in taste than that of the other varieties, and usually contains portions of a different kind of gum.

Cape Gum is also imported. It is of a pale yellow colour and is considered of inferior quality.

AUSTRAILIAN GUM, imported from South Australia, is in elongated or globular pieces, rough and even wrinkled on the surface and of a violet tint, which distinguishes it from other varieties. It is not entirely soluble in water, to which it imparts less viscidity than ordinary Gum Acacia. It frequently contains tannin.

Gum Acacia for medicinal purposes should be in roundish ‘tears’ of various sizes, colourless or pale yellow, or broken into angular fragments with a glass-like, sometimes iridescent fracture, often opaque from numerous fissures, but transparent and nearly colourless in thin pieces; taste insipid, mucilaginous; nearly inodorous. It should be almost entirely soluble in water, forming a viscid neutral solution, or mucilage, which, when evaporated, yields the gum unchanged. It is insoluble in alcohol and ether, but soluble in diluted alcohol in proportion to the amount of water present. It should be slowly but completely soluble in two parts of water: this solution shows an acid reaction with litmuspaper. The powdered gum is not coloured blue (indicating absence of starch) or red (indicating absence of dextrin) by the iodine test solution. It should not yield more than 4 per cent of ash.

—Adulteration—Adulteration in the crude state is confined almost wholly to the addition of similar and inferior gums, the detection of which requires only familiarity with the genuine article.

In the ground condition it is adulterated oftenest with starch and dextrins, tests for which are given in the official description. Tannin is present in inferior gums and can be detected by the bluish-black coloration produced on adding ferric chloride. Gums of a yellow or brown colour usually contain tannin, and these, together with such as are incompletely soluble in water and which yield ropy or glairy solutions, should not be used for medicinal purposes.

—Chemical Constituents—Gum Acacia consists principally of Arabin, a compound of Arabic acid with calcium, varying amounts of the magnesium and potassium salts of the same acid being present. It is believed, also, that small amounts of other salts of these bases occur. (Arabic acid can be obtained by precipitating with alcohol from a solution of Acacia acidulated with hydrochloric acid.) The gum also contains 12 to 17 per cent of moisture and a trace of sugar, and yields 2.7 to 4 per cent of ash, consisting almost entirely of calcium, magnesium and potassium carbonates.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Gum Acacia is a demulcent and serves by the viscidity of its solution to cover and sheathe inflamed surfaces.

It is usually administered in the form of a mucilage – Mucilago Acaciae, British Pharmacopoeia and United States Pharmacopoeia made from small pieces of Gum Acacia dissolved in water and strained (1 in 8.75).

—Dose—in syrup, 1 to 4 drachms of the gum. Mucilage of Acacia is a nearly transparent, colourless or scarcely yellowish, viscid liquid, having a faint, rather agreeable odour and an insipid taste. It is employed as a soothing agent in inflammatory conditions of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tract, and is useful in diarrhoea and dysentery. It exerts a soothing influence upon all the surfaces with which it comes in contact. It may be diluted and flavoured to suit the taste. In low stages of typhoid fever, this mucilage, sweetened, is greatly recommended. The ordinary dose of the mucilage is from 1 to 4 fluid drachms.

In dispensing, Mucilage of Acacia is used for suspending insoluble powders in mixtures, for emulsifying oils and other liquids which are not miscible with water, and as an ingredient of many cough linctures. The British Pharmacopoeia directs it to be used as an excipient in the preparation of troches. Compound Mucilage of Acacia – Pill-coating Acacia – is made from Gum Acacia, 1 in 10, with tragacanth, chloroform and water, and is used for moistening pills previous to coating.

Gum Acacia is an ingredient of the official Pilula Ferri, Pulvis Amygdalae compositus, Pulvis Tragacanthae compositus, all the official Trochisci, and various syrups, pastes and pastilles or jujubes.

Acacia Mixture, Mistura Acaciae of the British Pharmacopoeia Codex, is made from Gum Acacia (6 in 100) with syrup and diluted orange-flower water, employed as a demulcent in cough syrups and linctures.

—Dose—1 to 4 fluid drachms. Syrup of Acacia, British Pharmacopoeia Codex, used chiefly as a demulcent in cough mixtures, is freshly prepared as required, from 1 part of Gum Acacia Mucilage and 3 of syrup, the dose, 1 to 4 fluid drachms.

The United States Pharmacopoeia Syrup of Acacia, though regarded as a useful demulcent, is chiefly employed as an agent for suspending powders in mixtures.

The French Pharmacopoeia has a Syrup of Acacia and a potion gommeuse made from powdered Acacia, syrup and orange-flower water.

As a dry excipient, powdered Acacia is employed, mixed in small proportion with powdered Marsh Mallow root, or powdered Liquorice root. A variation of this is a mixture of Acacia, 50 parts; Liquorice root, 34 parts; Sugar, 16 parts, all in fine powder. Another compound Acacia Powder used sparingly as an absorbent pill excipient, is made of equal parts of Gum Acacia and Tragacanth.

Gum Acacia is highly nutritious. During the time of the gum harvest, the Moors of the desert are said to live almost entirely on it, and it has been proved that 6 oz. is sufficient to support an adult for twenty-four hours. It is related that the Bushman Hottentots have been known in times of scarcity to support themselves on it for days together. In many cases of disease, it is considered that a solution of Gum Arabic may for a time constitute the exclusive drink and food of the patient.

Ala

Ala
Themes: Luck, harvest, joy, cleansing, death & cycles
Symbols: Yams & crescent Moon

About Ala: This West African Earth-Goddess represents the full cycle of
Earth’s seasons from birth to death, gently reminding us that Spring is
transitory – so enjoy it now! Serious crimes are an abhorrence to Ala
and the spirits of the dead go to her womb to find rest. Votive
candles are suitable offering for this goddess figure.

To do Today:
When you get up this morning, light any candle to welcome both Ala and
Spring. If possible, include yams in your dinner meal to internalize
the joy and good fortune Ala brings with the warmer weather. Bless
your yams by putting your hands ( palms down ) over them, focusing on
your goals, and saying:
“Ala, be welcome. In this your sacred food, place the energy of
happiness, luck and protection for the months ahead.
So be it.”

The people of Ghana believe in celebrating the new year over thirteen
days instead of one. During this time they dance to banish evil,
honour their dead ancestors, encourage serendipity and petition Ala for
a good harvest season. Ala’s shrines and other sacred places are
bathed on the last day of festivities to wash away the old, along with
bad memories. For us, this equates to dusting off our altars, bathing
any god or
goddess images we have, and generally cleansing away old energies so Ala
can refresh us.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

A Witch’s Kitchen Blessing

A Witch’s Kitchen Blessing

“Blessed be this kitchen of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Be warmed by the
sacred light of the Goddess and horned One. My all that is created here by
means both
magical and mundane bring nourishment, healing, sustenance and cause harm to
none. With love and peace, joy and magic, be now and always filled.
So mote it be.”

Source; Llewellyn’s 1999 Witch’s Calendar

Fairy Furniture

May is a month that fairies love. Show them your appreciation by making them some furniture!

Items needed:

  • twigs, vines, dried flowers
  • needle and thread
  • scrap material
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • pruners to cut the twigs

Directions:

  1. Decide what you’re going to make. We’ll make a chair, to give you an example.
  2. Cut the twigs in this manner – one long, bendable piece that will form the back legs and back of the chair, and four equal lengthed twigs which will form the two front legs and the seat.The chair should stand no more than four inches tall (including the back)
  3. Bend the long twig,and hot glue one of the smaller pieces in between the two ends where you want the seat to be.This will be the back of the seat.
  4. Hot glue on each side of the bent twig facing towards you a smaller twig; these will be the sides of the seat.
  5. Glue the front piece of the seat to these side twigs.
  6. Glue the two front legs to the seat so that the chair legs are even.
  7. If you wish,wrap the vines around the chair back and legs.
  8. Cut the scrap material to form a “back” and a “seat” – these are NOT to be as wide as the chair, but will fit inside of the twigs.
  9. Using your needle and thread, attach the material to the chair using a whip stitch.
  10. Hot glue small dried flowers at the top of the chair.

This technique can be used to make all kinds of fairy furniture, from tables to beds, to sofas – all of which are sure to delight your fairies!You can make little tea cups too from dried flower cups!

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