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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Daily Visualization Exercise

Sit comfortably, perhaps cross-legged with a meditation pillow to support you.
Close your eyes and take some deep, cleansing breaths. Keep your eyes closed and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes.

Allow any thoughts that come into your head to leave at their own pace. Redirect your attention to your breath, without trying to control it.

Become aware of your spine’s connection to the earth. Envision roots growing down from your spine deep into the earth’s molten core.

Feel the earth’s energy moving up through the roots and through your body.

Open your eyes. Cup your hand in front of you.

Visualize the energy coming up from the earth moving through you and forming a ball in the palm of your hand.

Look at the ball. Notice the color, the feel of it, its heat, and its smell.

Hold it steady. Then try to make it rotate. Toss it back and forth from hand to hand.
Hold the image for as long as you can, and then absorb the energy back into your hand.

Let the energy flow from your hand back through your body and into the earth.

As with physical exercise, you should start slowly and build your way up. Try holding the ball to the count of ten at first, and then letting that time gradually expand. As you master visualizing the ball, you may choose to vary the form of your visualization, such as transforming the ball into an apple, and gradually more sophisticated forms.

This exercise can also be adapted for building group energy. The ball can be passed from one person to another, around a circle, with each person adding energy to it. After this is mastered, the ball may be tossed around the circle, as in a game of Hot Potato. Another advanced variation, based on hide-and-seek, involves one person forming and hiding an energy ball, so that others can search for it using their intuition, pendulums, or dowsing rods.

Once you feel comfortable with visualization, it will become easier for you to cast spells that will help you change your own reality.

Protection Oil

3 drops Rosemary
2 drops Vetivert
4 drops Dragon’s Blood
Optional: Roll in Cinquefoil, Fern and/or Vervain.

Honey and Orange Tea Loaf

6 ounces Self Rising flour
6 ounces Honey
1 ounce Margarine
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 large Orange, grated rind of

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a 2 lb. loaf tin. Cream the margarine and honey together in a bowl, mixing thoroughly. Add the egg and beat vigorously. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder and add alternately with the milk, to the creamed mixture. Sprinkle in the orange rind and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, glaze with honey and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve sliced and buttered.

Skin-Softening Milk Bath

Everybody likes soft skin, except maybe for Godzilla and some of his amphibian kin, so I thought today I’d share with you a little home-made recipe for a milk bath concoction that sounded pretty cool.

Casey Kellar, author of Natural Beauty and Bath Book (Lark Books, 1997), says the milk in this recipe moisturizes rough skin.

1 cup full-fat powdered milk

2 tablespoons almond meal

2 tablespoons barley or oat flour

A few drops of rose (Rosa centifolia) essential oil

 

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then add two tablespoons to a tub of water. Soak for 15 minutes.

Store the remaining bath mix in a glass jar at room temperature. It should keep for two months.

Faery Dream Pillow

Faery Dream Pillow ~

Cut out two squares of soft fabric approximately 6 inches square…. velvet, velveteen or satin are preferred, sew around three sides of the squares with white or silver thread. Mix in a bowl:

Rose Petals (two parts)
Primroses (one part)
Bay leaves, fresh (one part)
Lavender (one part )
Milkweed pod silky tassels (two parts)

Turn the pillow inside out so that the seams don’t show, stuff the pillow with your herb mixture. Sew up the end so that the herbs stay in the pillow. You can then decorate the pillow if you want with lace, silk, or embroider with designs, etc. Take this pillow to bed with you at night and put it under your pillow. This not only smells great but will help you to have dreams of the fey. NOTE: After six months these pillows may lose their “fresh” scent. You can reuse them by emptying out the old contents and refilling them with new herbs

 

Brideo’gas: (corn dollies)

Brideo’gas:
(corn dollies) are created from oat or wheat straw and placed in
baskets with white flower bedding. Young girls then carry the
Brideo’gas door to door, and gifts are bestowed upon the image from
each household. .
MATERIALS:

Corn husks
Large bowl of water
Twine or string
Scissors
Old pieces of fabric
Watercolors or markers
Glue

Soak your corn husks in warm water for about an hour until they become pliable. Gather several damp husks and tie them together tightly with twine, about 1/2 inch from one end.

To make the head, hold the knotted end in one fist, then fold the husks down (as though you were peeling a banana) so that they cover the knotted end. Smooth out the husks to make a face, then secure them with a piece of twine around the doll’s neck.

To make the arms, roll up a single husk and tie it off at both ends. Position the arms up between the husks, under the doll’s neck. Smooth the husks over the arms to form the chest and back, then cinch in the waist with twine.

For a skirt or legs, arrange several husks, inverted (like a skirt that has blown up over the doll’s head) around the waist. Secure with twine, then fold the skirt down.

For legs, divide the husks into two parts, tying each bunch at the knees and ankles

To make clothes, hair, hats or headdresses, glue on little pieces of fabric

Use markers and watercolors to give the illusion of facial features.

Alternative Morning Blessing

“Gracious Creator / rix, who lives within me,
Help me to understand your ways.
Guide my feet as they trod your path,
And keep me safely out of harm’s way.
Teach me to trust myself, my inner child,
And my instincts.
For I am a product of your creative force,
And by my very existence,
Form an important part of your universal plan.
Make my life not a test,
But instead a joy.
And speak to me through my intuitive nature,
So that I cease to see my whims and fancies,
As mere frivolity.
Let me view them, instead,
As what they are-
An important part of who I am,
In your world.
So mote it be”

Allspice

Botanical: Pimento officinalis (LINDL.)
Family: N.O. Myrtaceae
—Synonyms—Pimento. Jamaica Pepper.
—Part Used—Fruit, particularly the shell.
—Habitat—Pimento, or Jamaica Pepper, familiarly called Allspice, because it tastes like a combination of cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon and pepper, is the dried full-grown, but immature fruit of Pimento officinalis (Lindl.), or Eugenia Pimenta, an evergreen tree about 30 feet high, a member of the natural order Myrtaceae, indigenous to the West Indian Islands and South America, and extensively grown in Jamaica, where it flourishes best on limestone hills near the sea. In this country, it only grows as a stove plant.
It is also cultivated in Central America and surrounding states, but more than half the supply of the spice found in commerce comes from Jamaica, where the tree is so abundant as to form in the mountainous districts whole forests, which require little attention beyond clearing out undergrowth.

——————————————————————————–

—Description—The tree begins to fruit when three years old and is in full bearing after four years. The flowers appear in June, July and August and are quickly succeeded by the berries.

The special qualities of the fruit reside in the rind of the berries. It loses its aroma on ripening, owing to loss of volatile oil, and the berries are therefore collected as soon as they have attained their full size, in July and August, but while unripe and green.

Gathering is performed by breaking off the small twigs bearing the bunches; these are then spread out and exposed to the sun and air for some days, after which the stalks are removed and the berries are ready for packing into bags and casks for exportation.

The spice is sometimes dried in ovens (Kiln-dried Allspice), but the method by evaporation from sun-heat produces the best article, though it is tedious and somewhat hazardous, requiring about twelve days, during which the fruit must be carefully guarded against moisture, being housed at night and during rainy and damp weather.

The green colour of the fresh fruit changes on drying to reddish brown. If the fruit is allowed to ripen, it loses almost the whole of its aromatic properties, becoming fleshy sweet and of a purple-black colour. Such pimento, to render it more attractive, is then often artificially coloured with bole or brown ochre, a sophistication which may be detected by boiling for a few seconds with diluted hydrochloric acid, filtering and testing with potassium ferrocyanide; the liquid should assume at most a bluish-green colour.

The fruits as found in commerce are small nearly globular berries, about 3/10 inch in diameter, somewhat like black pepper in appearance, with a rough and brittle surface and crowned by the remains of the calyx teeth, surrounding the short style. The fruit is two-celled, each cell containing a single, kidney-shaped seed. The remains of the calyx crowning the fruit and the presence of two single-seeded cells are features that distinguish Pimento from Cubebs, the fruit of which is one-celled, one-seeded and grey and from Black Peppercorns, which are also one-celled and one-seeded.

The spice derives its name from the Portuguese pimenta, Spanish pimienta==pepper, which was given it from its resemblance to peppercorns.

—Constituents—The chief constituent of Pimento is from 3 to 4.5 per cent of a volatile oil, contained in glands in the pericarp of the seeds and obtained by distillation from the fruit.

It occurs as a yellow or yellowish-red liquid, becoming gradually darker on keeping and having a pleasant aromatic odour, somewhat similar to that of oil of cloves, and a pungent, spicy taste. It has a slightly acid reaction. It is soluble in all proportions of alcohol. The specific gravity is 1.030 to 1.050. Its chief constituent is the phenol Eugenol, which is present to the extent of 60 to 75 per cent, and a sesquiterpene, the exact nature of which has not yet been ascertained. The specific gravity to some extent indicates the amount present; if lower than 1.030, it may be assumed that some eugenol has been removed, or that the oil has been adulterated with substitutes having a lower specific gravity than that of eugenol. The eugenol can be determined by shaking the oil with a solution of potassium hydroxide and measuring the residual oily layer. The United States Pharmacopoeia specifies that at least 65 per cent by volume of eugenol should be present. On shaking the oil with an equal volume of strong solution of ammonia, it should be converted into a semisolid mass of eugenol-ammonium.

The clove-like odour of the oil is doubtless due to the eugenol, but the characteristic odour is due to some other substance or substances as yet unknown. A certain amount of resin is also present, but the oil has not yet been fully investigated.

Bonastre obtained from the fruit, a volatile oil, a green fixed oil, a fatty substance in yellowish flakes, tannin, gum, resin, uncrystallizable sugar, colouring matter, malic and gallic acids, saline matter and lignin. The green fixed oil has a burning, aromatic taste of Pimento and is supposed to be the acrid principle. Upon this, together with the volatile oil, the medicinal properties of the berries depend, and as these two principles exist most in the shell, this part is the most efficient. According to Bonastre, the shell contains 1O per cent of the volatile and 8 per cent of the fixed oil; the seeds only 5 per cent of the former and 2.5 of the latter. Berzelius considered the green fixed oil of Bonastre to be a mixture of the volatile oil, resin, fixed oil and perhaps a little chlorophyll.

On incineration, the fruits yield from 2.5 to 5 per cent of ash.

They impart their flavour to water and all their virtues to alcohol. The infusion is of a brown colour and reddens litmus paper.

The leaves and bark abound in inflammable particles.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—The chief use of Pimento is as a spice and condiment: the berries are added to curry powder and also to mulled wine. It is popular as a warming cordial, of a sweet odour and grateful aromatic taste.

The oil inaction resembles that of cloves, and is occasionally used in medicine and is also employed in perfuming soaps.

It was formerly official in both the British and United States Pharmacopoeias. Both Pimento Oil and Pimento Water were official in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1898, but Oil of Pimento was deleted from the British Pharmacopceia of 1914, though the Water still has a place in the British Pharmacopceia Codex.

Pimento has also been dropped from the United States Pharmacopoeia, but admitted to the National Formulary IV. Pimento is one of the ingredients in the Compound Tincture of Guaic of the National Formulary IV.

Pimento is an aromatic stimulant and carminative to the gastro-intestinal tract, resembling cloves in its action. It is employed chiefly as an addition to tonics and purgatives and as a flavouring agent.

The Essential Oil, as well as the Spirit and the distilled Water of Pimento are useful for flatulent indigestion and for hysterical paroxysms. Two or three drops of the oil on sugar are given to correct flatulence. The oil is also given on sugar and in pills to correct the griping tendencies of purgatives: it was formerly added to Syrup of Buckthorn to prevent griping.

Pimento Water (Aqua Pimentae) is used as a vehicle for stomachic and purgative medicines. It is made by taking 5 parts of bruised Pimento to 200 parts of water and distilling down to 100, the dose being 1 to 2 fluid ounces.

—Concentrated Pimento Water of the British Pharmacopoeia Codex—
Oil of Pimento 1 fl. oz.
Alcohol 12 fl. oz.
Purified Talc 1 oz.
Distilled Water up to 20 fl. oz.
Dissolve the oil in the alcohol, contained in a suitable bottle, add the water gradually shaking after each addition; add the talc shake, allow to stand for a few hours, occasionally shaking, and filter.
One part of this solution corresponds to about 40 parts of Pimento Water.

—Other Preparations—The powdered fruit: dose, 10 to 30 grains. Fluid extract: dose, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Oil: dose, 2 to 5 drops.

Pimento is one of the ingredients of Spice Plaster. An extract made from the crushed berries by boiling them down to a thick liquor is, when spread on linen, a capital stimulating plaster for neuralgic or rheumatic pains.

The fruits of four other species of the genus Pimento, found in Venezuela, Guiana and the West Indies, are employed in their native countries as spices.

The ‘Bay Rum,’ used as a toilet article, is a tincture scented with the oil of the leaves of an allied species, P. acris, commonly known as the Bayberry tree.

—Adulterations—Although ground Pimento is sometimes used to adulterate powdered cloves, it is itself little subject to adulteration in the entire condition, though the ground article for household consumption as a spice is subject to the same adulteration as other similar substances, it is sometimes adulterated with the larger and less aromatic berries of the Mexican Myrtus Tobasco, Mocino called Pimienta de Tabasco.

At one time the fruit of the common American Spice Bush, ‘Benzoin ‘ was used for this purpose. The powdered berries of this American plant, a member of the natural order Lauracece, Lindera Benzoin, occurring in damp woods throughout the Eastern and Central States, were used during the War of Independence by the Americans as a substitute for Allspice and its leaves as a substitute for tea, hence the plant was often called ‘Wild Allspice.’ All parts of the shrub have a spicy, agreeable flavour, which is strongest in the bark and berries. The leaves and berries are also used in decoction in domestic practice as a febrifuge and are considered to have tonic and also anthelmintic properties. A tincture prepared from the fresh young twigs before the buds have burst in the spring, is still used in homoeopathy, but no preparation is employed officially.

The ‘Carolina Allspice,’ or Sweet Bush (Calycanthis foridus, Lindl), is a shrub 6 to 8 feet high, which inhabits the low, shady woods along the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina and in Tennessee. The whole plant is aromatic, having the odour of strawberries when crushed.

It is asserted that the shrub is important as a source of poisoning to cattle and sheep. The alkaloid it contains exercises a powerfully depressant action upon the heart.

It has been used as an antiperiodic, in fluid extract.

Butterfly Maiden

Themes: Rebirth, beauty, fertility, balance, freedom & nature
Symbols: Butterflies, seedlings, rainwater & spring flowers

About Butterfly Maiden: In Hopi tradition, the Butterfly Maiden is a
kachina ( spirit ) who rules the springtime and the Earth’s fertility.
Butterfly Maiden flutters into your life today to reconnect us with
nature and to help us rediscover that graceful butterfly within each of
us – the one that effortless rises above problems, making the world its
flower.

To Do Today: In magickal traditions, the equinox celebrates the Sun’s
journey back to predominance in the sky and the return of fertility to
the Earth. It is a joyous fire festival when the elements are in
balance, giving us the opportunity to likewise balance our lives. If
anything has held you back from real spiritual growth, now is the time
to banish it and move on. Visualize yourself as the caterpillar who
becomes the butterfly, then let the Butterfly Maiden give you wings with
which to overcome anything!

To inspire Butterfly Maiden’s beauty within and without, wash your face
and chakras ( near pulse points as well as at the top of the head, in
the middle of the forehead, over the heart, near the groin, behind the
knees, and at the bottom of the feet ) with rainwater first thing in the
morning ( dawn is best ). Go outside afterward and toss some flower
petals into a Spring breeze, saying:

“Butterfly Maiden, liberate me;
let my mind and spirit ever be free!
The winds will carry your wish to heaven.”

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

Goddess Meditation

In a red-gold chair sat a woman. To stare directly into the Sun would
be less difficult than to stare at her brilliance.
A white silk gown clothed Her, fastened with red gold.
On Her shoulders sat a mantle of such brocade as cannot be described,
all woven with gold and jewels fastened
with a brooch of gold.
Her hair was dressed with rubies
and pearls and gold.
And all of this was just a reflection
of her inner brilliance.
~ The Dream of Maxen, in the Welsh Mabinogian

Today the light has outstripped the darkness inn its annual race. Energy
pours into our bodies as we begin to feel again the power and grace of
light-filled movement. During the coming season. we will honour the Sun
and the light, feeling its power and rejoicing in its beauty.

We do not need to deny the night to celebrate the day. Both have their
special glories. Relish the delight of warm air on skin. Let your eyes
rest with joy on the yellow-green of new leaves. Touch the tender
catkins and the fragile crocus petals, feeling the wonder of pleasure.
We are born into bodies that sense and respond to our world. Let
yourself become a vessel of the power of the goddess, acknowledging the
beauty She has created.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

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