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Monthly Archives: September 2007

Agrimony (Water)

Botanical: Bidens tripartita (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
—Synonym—Bur Marigold.
—Part Used—Whole plant.
The Water Agrimony, now called the Bur Marigold is an annual flowering in late summer and autumn, abounding in wet places, such as the margins of ponds and ditches, and common in England, but rather less so in Scotland.

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—Description—The root is tapering, with many fibres attached to it. The erect stem grows about 2 feet high, sometimes more, and is wiry and nearly smooth, angular, solid and marked with small brown spots, so as to almost give it the dark purple appearance described by Culpepper. It is very leafy and the upper portion branches freely from the axils of the leaves, which are placed opposite one another and are of a dark green colour 2 to 3 inches in length. All except the uppermost are narrowed into winged foot-stalks at the bases, which are united together across the stem. They are smooth and sharp-pointed, with coarsely toothed margins, and are divided into three segments (hence the specific name of the plant), occasionally into five, the centre lobe much larger and also often deeply three-cleft. The uppermost leaves are sometimes found undivided.
The composite flowers are in terminal heads, brownish-yellow in colour and somewhat drooping, usually without ray florets the disk florets being perfectly regular. The heads are surrounded by a leafy involucre, the outer leaflets of which, about eight in number, pointed and spreading, extend much behind the flower-head. The fruits have four ribs, which terminate in long, spiky projections, or awns, two of which, as well as the ribs, are armed with reflexed prickles, causing them to cling to any rough substance they touch, such as the coat of an animal, thus helping in the dissemination of the seeds. From these burr-like fruits, the plant has been given the name it now universally bears. These burrs, when the plant has been growing on the borders of a fish-pond, have been known to destroy gold fish by adhering to their gills. The flower-heads smell rather like rosin or cedar when burnt.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—This plant was formerly valued for its diuretic and astringent properties, and was employed in fevers, gravel, stone and bladder and kidney troubles generally, and was considered also a good stypic and an excellent remedy for ruptured blood-vessels and bleeding of every description, of benefit to consumptive patients.

Culpepper tells us that it was called Hepatorium ‘because it strengthens the liver’:
‘it healeth and drieth, cutteth and cleanseth thick and tough humours of the breast and for this I hold it inferior to few herbs that grow . . . it helpeth the dropsy and yellow jaundice; it opens the obstruction of the liver, mollifies the hardness of the spleen, being applied outwardly. . . it is an excellent remedy for the third day ague; . . . it kills worms and cleanseth the body of sharp humours which are the cause of itch and scab; the herb being burnt, the smoke thereof drives away flies, wasps, etc. It strengthens the lungs exceedingly. Country people give it to their cattle when they are troubled with cough or are broken-winded.’
It has sometimes been employed on the Continent as a yellow dye, but the colour yielded is very indifferent. The yarn or thread must be first steeped in alum water, then dried and steeped in a decoction of the plant and afterwards boiled in the decoction.
A nearly-allied species, Bidens bipinnata (Linn.), popularly called Spanish Needles, is a native of North America, where the roots and seeds have been used as emmenagogues and in laryngeal and bronchial diseases.

MARIGOLD (NODDING). Another species of Bidens, called B. cernua, popularly known as the Nodding Marigold. The flowers are somewhat larger than B. tripartita,and have a much more decided droop, hence the name ‘Nodding.’ The leaves are not made up of three leaflets but are of lanceolate form, deeply serrated. It is found by streams and ditches, and flowers during the later summer and autumn.

Baba Yaga

Suggested Mantra: Rebirth

It is only through examination of our dark side that we can hope to be
reborn. It is in crossing the comfort zones and visiting our shadowed
selves that we can empower ourselves spiritually, psychologically,
emotionally, and physically to be reborn again.

Suggested Affirmations:
*I am revitalised
*My insecurity is replaced with wisdom
*At my centre there is a incandescent fire *I release myself from
harmful judgments *My new life path reveals itself to me
*I say goodbye to destructive influences

Related Essences: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Geranium.

Related Gemstones: Garnet, Bloodstone, Tourmaline, Smoky Quartz ( red
stones ).

The ancient Slavic goddess Baba Yaga is the wild old crone guardian of
the Water of Life and Death. She is the goddess of death and birth
associated with Autumn, who sings while sprinkling corpses with the
Water of Life to let them be reborn. Although she is fearsome to look
upon, like all forces of nature that are often wild and untamed, she can
also be kind.
Often depicted living in the deep centre of earth, or in a hut
surrounded by a fence of bones, she represents the power of old age, of
witch, and of the life cycle that is birth, death and rebirth. She is
therefore also associated with birch forests (birch being the tree of
beginnings and endings). Another image is that of “White Lady”, or Death
Crone, as she is stiff and white and carved of bone ( she can also be
referred to as Goddess of Old Bones ).

If you’re feeling directionless and an emptiness in the spirit and
emotion, acknowledge Baba Yaga’s presence in you. Being depressed in not
to be feared, rather the process and emotion should be honoured, and
allowed to move on. While the Water of Life and Death can be taken by
trickery or synthetic means ( eg through drugs ), by taking time to work
in gentle silence the Water can also be given to you as a gift.

Behold Baba Yaga, she is here to force us to examine our soul in the
dark mirror and to be forever transformed.

Wear black, red and white scarves this week and use the colours to
remind you of Baba Yaga. Black represents night and the breakdown of the
personality ( the crushed and broken body ready for Baba Yaga’s Water of
Life and Death ), white represents the dawn and purification ( the gift
of the Water of Life and Death ), and red represents day and vital life
force ( the powerful rebirth ).

Work through the cycles of dawn, day and night gently, succumb to Baba
Yaga’s vibrations and trust that she will be kind to you. At the end of
the week say good-bye to destructive influences as you tie the scarves
around a tree in your garden. There they will be connected to the earth
via the tree’s roots, tapping into kundalini energy of the dark side,
and also to the wind which will pick up your depression and carry it
away.

Bedtime Blessing

>From Everyday Magic by Dorothy Morrison

As I lay snuggled in my bed,
Pillow tucked beneath my head,
Maiden, bring me joyful dreams.
Mother, bring me peace, serene.
Wisest Crone, watch over me,
Until the light of dawn I see.

From: “Suzanne”
<disorderlywitches@smartgroups.com>

A Simple Meditation

by Ember

Color of the day: Grey
Incense of the day: Lavender

If possible on this day, burn some pure sandalwood incense. This is the
best incense for meditation. As your incense smolders, focus on the
smoke’s rising and billowing movements. After several moments, close
your eyes, but do not let your mind wander. If it does, gently return
your thoughts to the incense. Inhale the fragrance. Breathe deeply, and
clear your mind. To aid meditation, play music or the sounds of water if
you like. Being near actual running water is desired, even if you have
to use an indoor fountain. Concentrate on the sounds only; nothing else
exists or matters. Try this for five minutes each day, gradually
increasing the time until you can sit for thirty minutes or an hour.

© 2002 Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
http://www.Llewellyn.com

Dispersing Bath Oils

A dispersing bath oil made with sulfated castor oil will allow your
essential oils to disperse rather than floating on top of the bath
water. The essential oils will blend with the water making it feel
smooth and silky.

2 ounces of sulfated castor oil
½ teaspoon essential oil ( of your choice )

Use 1 teaspoon of this mixture per bath.

Apple Sticky Buns

are perfect for the breakfast table.    Estimated Times  

Preparation Time 10 mins.  

Cooking Time 60 mins.     

1 packet (12 ounces) STOUFFER’S frozen Harvest Apples   

1 pound loaf frozen white bread dough, defrosted  

1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour   

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar   

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted   

1/4 cup granulated sugar   

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon        COMBINE apples, flour, brown sugar and walnuts together well in medium bowl. Evenly divide mixture between twelve greased muffin cups.   COMBINE sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Evenly divide bread dough into thirty six pieces; form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball of dough in sugar mixture.   PLACE three dough balls on top of apple mixture in each muffin cup. Cover; let buns rise in warm place until doubled in size.   BAKE in preheated 375°F. oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden
brown. Immediately invert onto serving platter; replace any apple
mixture that may stick to the insides of the cups. Serve warm.
Makes 12 servings   *Defrost Escalloped Apples in microwave on 50% power for 6 to 7 minutes   Yields 12

Witch Hazel Astringent

Witch Hazel Astringent

Fill A glass bottle 1/4 full with dried Witch hazel leaves.
Fill to the top with isopropyl alcohol.
Cork or cover bottle and store in a cool dark place for three days.
On the third day you will find that the liquid has turned white, now strain herbs through cheese cloth, or steel strainer, paper coffe filter.
Return to bottle and cork.
Store in cool dark place.

How to make a dream Catcher

Legend Of The Dreamcatcher

Long ago when the world was young, an old lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a scared language that only the spiritual leaders of the Lakota could understand.

As he spoke Iktomi, the spider, took the elders willow hoop which had feathers, horse hairs, beads and offerings on it and began to spin a web. He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life….how we begin our lives as infants and we move on to childhood, and then to adulthood. Finally, we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle.
Iktomi said, “In each time of life there are many forces and different directions that can help or interfere with the hawrmony of nature, and also with the great spirit and all of his wonderful teachings.” Iktomi gave the web to the Lakota elder and said, “See, the web is a perfect circle but there is a hole in the center of the cirlce. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will catch your good dreams and ideas – – and the bad ones will go through the hole. Use the web to help yourself and your people to reach your goals and make good use of your people’s ideas, dreams and visions.”
The Lakota elder passed on his vision to his people and now the Lakota’s use the dreamcatcher as the web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in their home to sift their dreams and visions. The good of their dreams is captured in the web of life and carried with them…but the evil in their dreams escapes through the center hole, and are no longer part of them.
Materials

5 inch ring
4 yds Suede Lacing
1/8inch 3yds waxed nylon string
1 Small Concho (Shell)
12 Pony Beads
16 Pony Beads
Feathers
Scissors
Glue
Clothes Pin

If you cannot obtain the supplies, try making one using a small green branch from a tree about 1 cm in diameter and 1 meter long. Just bind the ends of the branch together and then make the web in the same way.
This is just one way to make dreamcatchers
1. Cut 8 ft. of the suede lacing. Glue one end of the lacing to the ring. Wrap the suede lacing around the ring until you reach the starting point again. Be careful not to twist the lacing. Glue the end of the lacing to the ring. Hold it in place with a clothespin until the glue dries .
2. To make the web, tie one end of the immitation sinew to the ring . Make nine half hitch knots around the ring spacing them about 1-1/2″ apart. Make the last hitch a little closer to the first knot as this prevents a large gap from forming. Keep the thread pulled snug between the knots.
3. Begin the next row of the web in the middle of the thread that you have already weaved on row 1.Continue weaving in the same way until you have a small hole left in the center. Tie a double knot in the cord, add a tiny drop of glue to the knot and cut off remaining thread when dry.
4. To make the loop to hang your Dream Catcher, use a 12″ piece of suede lacing. Fold it in half and tie a knot in the open end. At the top of the ring, attach the lacing by slipping the loop end through the ring and then around the ring and over the knot. Pull the lacing tight to secure it in place.
5. To make the hanging sections, cut three 8″ pieces of suede Tie two 8″ pieces of suede lacing about one third of the way up each side of the ring using a double knot. Slip 3 colored pony beads onto each piece of lacing and secure with a knot.
6. Using the last 8″ piece of lacing to attach small concho to top middle of the ring. Slip three pony beads onto each piece of lacing.
7. Finally, push two feathers up inside the beads on each piece of lacing except the one hanging from the concho. Glue the feathers if they are loose. The last 4 feathers are attatched 2 each side of the concho.

To make larger sizes : 12 inch rings needs approx. 7 yds of 1/8 suede lacing to bind it 9 inch ring – 6 yds 6 inch ring – 4 yds Remember that you will need extra suede for the laces and hanger.

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