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Monthly Archives: March 2008


Family: N.O. Rosaceae
—Habitat—The Almond tree is a native of the warmer parts of western Asia and of North Africa, but it has been extensively distributed over the warm temperate region of the Old World, and is cultivated in all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. It was very early introduced into England, probably by the Romans, and occurs in the Anglo-Saxon lists of plants, but was not cultivated in England before 1562, and then chiefly for its blossom.


—History—The tree has always been a favourite, and in Shakespeare’s time, as Gerard tells us, Almond trees were ‘in our London gardens and orchards in great plenty.’ There are many references to it in our early poetry. Spenser alludes to it in the Fairy Queen:
‘Like to an Almond tree ymounted hye,
On top of greene Selinis all alone,
With blossoms brave bedecked daintly;
Whose tender locks do tremble every one
At everie little breath that under Heaven is blowne.’
Shakespeare mentions it only once, very casually, in Troilus and Cressida: – ‘The parrot will not do more for an Almond’ – ‘An Almond for a parrot’ being an old simile in his days for the height of temptation.
The early English name seems to have been Almande: it thus appears in the Romaunt of the Rose. Both this old name and its more modern form came through the French amande, derived from the late Latin amandela, in turn a form of the Greek amygdalus, the meaning of which is obscure.

The tree grows freely in Syria and Palestine: it is mentioned in Scripture as one of the best fruit trees of the land of Canaan, and there are many other biblical references to it. The Hebrew name, shakad, is very expressive: it signifies ‘hasty awakening,’ or ‘to watch for,’ hence ‘to make haste,’ a fitting name for a tree, whose beautiful flowers appearing in Palestine in January, herald the wakening up of Creation. The rod of Aaron was an Almond twig, and the fruit of the Almond was one of the subjects selected for the decoration of the golden candlestick employed in the tabernacle. The Jews still carry rods of Almond blossom to the synagogues on great festivals.

As Almonds were reckoned among ‘the best fruits of the land’ in the time of Jacob we may infer they were not then cultivated in Egypt. Pliny, however, mentions the Almond among Egyptian fruit-trees; and it is not improbable that it was introduced between the days of Jacob and the period of the Exodus.

Almonds, as well as the oil pressed from them, were well known in Greece and Italy long before the Christian era. A beautiful fable in Greek mythology is associated with the tree. Servius relates that Phyllis was changed by the gods into an Almond tree as an eternal compensation for her desertion by her lover Demophoon, which caused her death by grief. When too late, Demophoon returned, and when the leafless, flowerless and forlorn tree was shown him, as the memorial of Phyllis, he clasped it in his arms, whereupon it burst forth into bloom – an emblem of true love inextinguishable by death.

During the Middle Ages, Almonds became an important article of commerce in Central Europe. Their consumption in medieval cookery was enormous. An inventory, made in 1372, of the effects of Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France, enumerates only 20 lb. of sugar, but 500 lb. of Almonds.

The ancients attributed many wonderful virtues to the Almond, but it was chiefly valued for its supposed virtue in preventing intoxication. Plutarch mentions a great drinker of wine, who by the use of Bitter Almonds escaped being intoxicated, and Gerard says: ‘Five or six, being taken fasting, do keepe a man from being drunke.’ This theory was probably the origin of the custom of eating salted Almonds through a dinner.


—Description—The Almond belongs to the same group of plants as the rose, plum, cherry and peach, being a member of the tribe Prunae of the natural order Rosaceae. The genus Amygdalus to which it is assigned is very closely allied to Prunus (Plum) in which it has sometimes been merged; the distinction lies in the fruit, the succulent pulp attached to the stone in the plum (known botanically as the mesocarp) being replaced by a leathery separable coat in the almond which is hard and juiceless, of a dingy green tinged with dull red, so that when growing it looks not unlike an unripe apricot. When fully ripe, this green covering dries and splits, and the Almond, enclosed in its rough shell (termed the endocarp) drops out. The shell of the Almond is a yellowish buff colour and flattened-ovoid in shape, the outer surface being usually pitted with small holes; frequently it has a more or less fibrous nature. Sometimes it is thin and friable (soft-shelled Almond), sometimes extremely hard and woody (hard-shelled Almond). The seed itself is rounded at one end and pointed at the other, and covered with a thin brown, scurfy coat. The different sorts of Almonds vary in form and size, as well as in the firmness of the shell. The fruit is produced chiefly on the young wood of the previous year, and in part on small spurs of two and three years growth.

The tree is of moderate size, usually from 20 to 30 feet high, with spreading branches the leaves lance-shaped, finely toothed (or serrated) at the edges. The flowers are produced before the leaves – in this country early in March; and in great profusion. There are two principal forms of the Almond the one with entirely pink flowers, Amygdalus communis, var. dulcis, producing Sweet Almonds; the other, A. communis, var. amara, with flowers slightly larger, and the petals almost white towards the tips, deepening into rose at the base, producing Bitter Almonds. Botanically, they are considered merely variations of the one type, and the difference in variety has been supposed originally to be mainly owing to climate, the Bitter Almond being a native of Barbary. The Sweet Almond is the earliest to flower, and is cultivated more largely than the Bitter Almond. It is valuable as a food and for confectionery purposes, as well as in medicine, being rich in a bland oil, and sustaining as a nutriment: the staying power conferred by a meal of Almonds and raisins is well known. It is only the Bitter Almond in the use of which caution is necessary, especially with regard to children, as it possesses dangerous poisonous properties.


—Cultivation—The early, delicate flowers of the Almond give it a unique position among ornamental trees, and it should have a place in every shrubbery, for it will flourish in any ordinary, well-drained soil, both in open and somewhat sheltered situations, and does well in town gardens.

There are several varieties, differing in colour and size of the flowers: one dwarf variety, A. nana, a native of the Lower Danube, is especially decorative, and is often planted in the forefront of shrubberies. All the species are deciduous.

Sicily and Southern Italy are the chief Almond-producing countries; Spain, Portugal, the South of France, the Balearic Islands and Morocco also export considerable quantities.

In the southern counties of England it is not uncommon for the tree to produce a fair crop of fruit, though it is mostly very inferior to that which is imported, but in less favoured districts in this country the production of fruit is rare.

The tree is liable to destruction by frosts in many parts of Central Europe. In France and Belgium, when grown in gardens for its fruit, the tender-shelled varieties are preferred, and the cultivation is the same as for the peach.


Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Botanical: Amygdalus communis (LINN.) var. dulcis
Medicinal Action and Uses
There are numerous varieties of the Sweet Almond in commerce, the chief being: (1) the Jordan Almonds, the finest and best of the Sweet variety. These, notwithstanding their Oriental name (derived really from the French jardin), we receive from Malaga, imported without their shells. They are distinguished from all other Almonds by their large size, narrow, elongated shape and thin skin; (2) Valentia Almonds, which are broader and shorter than the Jordan variety, with a thicker dusty brown, scurfy skin, usually imported in their shell, and sometimes called in consequence, ‘Shell Almonds’; (3) and (4) Sicilian and Barbary Almonds, which closely resemble the Valentia Almonds but are rather smaller and of an inferior quality. They occasionally contain an admixture of Bitter Almonds.
The annual import of Sweet Almonds into this country is normally over 500 tons.

Sweet Almonds have a bland taste, and the white emulsion formed when they are bruised with water is characterized by no marked odour, the seeds being thus distinguished from Bitter Almonds.

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—Medicinal Action and Uses—Fresh Sweet Almonds possess demulcent and nutrient properties, but as the outer brown skin sometimes causes irritation of the alimentary canal, they are blanched by removal of this skin when used for food. Though pleasant to the taste, their nutritive value is diminished unless well masticated, as they are difficult of digestion, and may in some cases induce nettlerash and feverishness. They have a special dietetic value, for besides containing about 20 per cent of proteids, they contain practically no starch, and are therefore often made into flour for cakes and biscuits for patients suffering from diabetes.

Sweet Almonds are used medicinally, the official preparations of the British Pharmacopoeia being Mistura Amygdalae, Pulvis Amygdalae Compositus and Almond Oil.

On expression they yield nearly half their weight in a bland fixed oil, which is employed medicinally for allaying acrid juices, softening and relaxing solids, and in bronchial diseases, in tickling coughs, hoarseness, costiveness, nephritic pains, etc.

When Almonds are pounded in water, the oil unites with the fluid, forming a milky juice – Almond Milk – a cooling, pleasant drink, which is prescribed as a diluent in acute diseases, and as a substitute for animal milk: an ounce of Almonds is sufficient for a quart of water, to which gum arabic is in most cases a useful addition. The pure oil mixed with a thick mucilage of gum arabic, forms a more permanent emulsion; one part of gum with an equal quantity of water being enough for four parts of oil. Almond emulsions possess in a certain degree the emollient qualities of the oil, and have this advantage over the pure oil, that they may be given in acute or inflammatory disorders without danger of the ill effects which the oil might sometimes produce by turning rancid. Sweet Almonds alone are employed in making emulsions, as the Bitter Almond imparts its peculiar taste when treated in this way.

Blanched and beaten into an emulsion with barley-water, Sweet Almonds are of great use in the stone, gravel, strangury and other disorders of the kidneys, bladder and biliary ducts.

By their oily character, Sweet Almonds sometimes give immediate relief in heartburn. For this, it is recommended to peel and eat six or eight Almonds.

Almonds are also useful in medicine for uniting substances with water. Castor oil is rendered palatable when rubbed up with pounded Almonds and some aromatic distilled water.

The fixed Oil of Almonds is extracted from both Bitter and Sweet Almonds. If intended for external use, it must, however, be prepared only from Sweet Almonds.

The seeds are ground in a mill after removing the reddish-brown powder adhering to them and then subjected to hydraulic pressure, the expressed oil being afterwards filtered and bleached, preferably by exposure to light.

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—Constituents—Almond oil is a clear, pale yellow, odourless liquid, with a bland, nutty taste. It consists chiefly of Olein, with a small proportion of the Glyceride of Linolic Acid and other Glycerides, but contains no Stearin. It is thus very similar in composition to Olive Oil (for which it may be used as a pleasant substitute), but it is devoid of Chlorophyll, and usually contains a somewhat larger proportion of Olein than Olive Oil.

It is used in trade, as well as medicinally, being most valuable as a lubricant for the delicate works of watches, and is much employed as an ingredient in toilet soap, for its softening action on the skin. It forms a good remedy for chapped hands.

Gerard says:
‘The oil newly pressed out of Sweet Almonds is a mitigator of pain and all manner of aches, therefore it is good in pleurisy and colic. The oil of Almonds makes smooth the hands and face of delicate persons, and cleanseth the skin from all spots and pimples.’
And Culpepper writes:
‘The oil of both (Bitter and Sweet) cleanses the skin, it easeth pains of the chest, the temples being annointed therewith, and the oil with honey, powder of liquorice, oil of roses and white wax, makes a good ointment for dimness of sight.’
Culpepper also tells us of Almond butter, saying:
‘This kind of butter is made of Almonds with sugar and rose-water, which being eaten with violets is very wholesome and commodious for students, for it rejoiceth the heart and comforteth the brain, and qualifieth the heat of the liver.’
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Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Botanical: Amygdalus communis (LINN.) var. amara
Adulterations and Substitutes
There are several varieties of the Bitter Almond, the best being imported from the south of France, and others from Sicily and Northern Africa (Barbary), where it forms a staple article of trade. The annual imports of Bitter Almonds to this country amount normally to about 300 tons.
The seeds are used chiefly as a source of Almond Oil, but also yield a volatile oil, which is largely employed as a flavouring agent.

Bitter Almonds are usually shorter, proportionately broader and smaller, and less regular than the Sweet Almonds. They contain about 50 per cent of the same fixed oil which occurs in the Sweet Almond, and are also free from starch. The bitter taste is characteristic.

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—Constituents—The Bitter Almond differs from the Sweet Almond in containing a colourless, crystalline glucoside, Amygdalin, of which the Sweet are entirely destitute. This substance is left in the cake obtained after the oil has been expressed, and can be extracted from it by digestion with alcohol. Many other Rosaceous plants contain Amygdalin, such as the peach, apricot, plum, etc., not only in the seed, but also in the young shoots and flower-buds.

The Bitter Almond seed also contains a ferment Emulsin, which in presence of water acts on the soluble glucoside Amygdalin yielding glucose, prussic acid and the essential oil of Bitter Almonds, or Benzaldehyde, which is not used in medicine. Bitter Almonds yield from 6 to 8 per cent of Prussic Acid. About 5 lb. of the seeds yield on the average half an ounce of the essential oil.

The term ‘prussic acid’ owes its origin to the fact of its having been first obtained from Prussian blue. This acid is contained in small quantities in the leaves and seeds of some of our commonest fruits, especially in applepips. While it is a valuable remedy for some diseases, it is also a deadly poison and its action is extremely rapid.

The leaves of the Cherry-laurel (Prunus lauro-cerasus) owe their activity to the prussic acid they contain. The laurel water made by distillation is a dangerous poison, and is so variable in strength, that it is unsuited for administration as a medicinal agent. Several fatal cases have occurred from its injudicious use.

The once famous ‘Macassor Oil’ consisted chiefly of Oil of Almonds, coloured red with Alkanet root, and scented with Oil of Cassia.

This essential volatile oil of Bitter Almonds, under the name of ‘Almond flavouring’ and ‘Spirit of Almonds,’ is used in confectionery and as a culinary flavouring, but on account of its poisonous nature, great care ought to be exercised in its use, and for the same reason, Bitter Almonds and ratifia biscuits and Marchpane (made largely of Bitter Almonds) should be eaten sparingly.

Bitter Almonds and their poisonous properties were well known to the ancients, who used them in intermittent fevers and as a vermifuge, and they were also employed by them, and in the Middle Ages as an aperient and diuretic, and as a cure for hydrophobia, but from the uncertainty of their operation and the risk attending it, we seldom see them administered now. Taken freely in substance they occasion sickness and vomiting, and to dogs, birds and some other animals, they are poisonous. A simple water, strongly impregnated by distillation with the volatile oil, will cause giddiness, headache and dimness of sight, and has been found also poisonous to animals, and there are instances of cordial spirits flavoured by them being poisonous to man.

Of the several varieties under which they exist, none in size and form resembles the long, sweet Jordan Almond, and it is to avoid Bitter Almonds being used instead of Sweet that the British Pharmacopoeia directs that Jordan Almonds alone shall be employed when Sweet Almonds are used medicinally.

Culpepper says that Bitter Almonds
‘do make thin and open, they remove stoppings out of the liver and spleen, therefore they be good against pain in the sides…. The same doth likewise kill tetters in the outward parts of the body (as Dioscorides addeth) if it be dissolved in vinegar.’
He also tells us that mixed with honey, these Almonds ‘are good for bitings of a mad dog.’
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—Adulterations and Substitutes—The adulteration of Bitter Almonds with Sweet Almonds is a frequent source of loss and annoyance to the pressers of Almond Oil, whose profit largely depends on the amount of volatile oil they are able to extract from the residual cake.

Apricot and peach kernels contain constituents similar to those of the Bitter Almonds. They are imported in large quantities from Syria and California, and are often used by confectioners in the place of Bitter Almonds. (A very large proportion of the so-called ground Almonds sold are prepared from peach kernels, and this is the reason why in good cookery the whole Almonds are used, though the pounding is along and tedious business,-EDITOR)

The fixed oil expressed from them is known as Peach Kernel Oil (0l. Amygdae Pers.). From the cake, an essential oil is distilled (0l. Amygdae Essent. Pers.), as from Bitter Almond cake.

True Oil of Almonds is frequently distinguished from these by being described as ‘English,’ since the bulk of it has hitherto been pressed in this country. The kernels of the peach and apricot are with difficulty distinguished from those of the Almond, and the oils obtained from them closely resemble the so-called English, and much more expensive oil.

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—To make Almond Cake—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take one pound of Jordan almonds, Blanch ym into cold water, and dry ym in a clean cloth: pick out these that are nought and rotten: then beat ym very fine in a stone mortar, puting in now and then a little rose water to keep ym from oyling: then put it out into a platter, and half a pound of loaf sugar beaten fine and mixt with ye almonds, ye back of a spoon, and set it on a chafing dish of coals, and let it stand till it be hott: and when it is cold then have ready six whites of eggs beaten with too spoonfuls of flower to a froth, and mix it well with ye almonds: bake ym on catt paper first done over with a feather dipt in sallet oyle.’
—Almond Butter—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Seeth a little French Barly with a whole mace and some anniseeds to sweeten but not to give any sensible tast: then blanch and beat the almonds with some of the clearest of the liquor to make the milke the thicker, and strain them, getting forth by often beating what milk you can: seeth the milke till it thicken and bee ready to rise, and turne it with the juice of a lemon or salt dissolved in rose water: spread the curd on a linnen cloath that the whey may run out, and let it hang till it leave dropping: then season the butter that is left with rose water, and sugar to your liking.’

—To make Almond Milk—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take 3 pints of running water, a handfull of Raisins of the Sun stoned, halfe a handfull of Sorrell as much violet and strawberry leaves, halfe a handfull of the topps and flowers of burrage (borage), as much of Buglass, halfe a handfull of Endive, as much Succory, some Pauncys (Pansies), a little broad time and Orgamen (Marjoram), and a branch or two of Rosemary, lett all these boyle well together; then take a good handfull of French Barley, boyling it in three waters, put it to the rest, and lett them boyle till you think they are enough, then pour the liquor into a basin, and stampe the barley and reasons, straining them thereto; then take a quarter of a pound of Sweet Almonds, blanch them and pound them thrice, straining them to the other liquor; then season it with damask rosewater to your liking.’

—A Paste for ye Hands—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take a pound of sun raysens, stone and take a pound of bitter Almonds, blanch ym and beat ym in stone morter, with a glass of sack take ye peel of one Lemond, boyle it tender; take a quart of milk, and a pint of Ale, and make therewith a Possett; take all ye Curd and putt it to ye Almonds: yn putt in ye Rayson: Beat all these till they come to a fine Past, and putt in a pott, and keep it for ye use.’

Dark Moon Meditation on the Key

January 17th, 2007

    Today is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, and one of the well known folk stories about him is his discovery that lightning is electricity. He tied a key to a kite and flew it in a storm, and when lightning struck the kite the key gave off an electric shock. Keys are a potent symbol of freedom and discovery. They open doorways. By the dark of the Moon, you can reflect on the keys to discovery in your own life. Settle down into your darkened meditative space with a key in your closed fist. Breathe deeply and fully. Keep on breathing, and ask the spirits to give you insights about what keys and discovery mean to you. Then open your hand, hold the key outward, and ask, “What doorways does this open for me?” Wait for the answer that will surely come to you. Breathe deeply, thank the spirits, and move into discovery.

        By: Gail Wood

Prosperity Oil

3 drops Patchouli
2 drops Cedarwood
3 drops Orange
Optional: Roll in Oakmoss or Allspice.
Alternate Recipe: Add above essential oils in a base oil made with Oakmoss.

Hearty Dill Bread


Dill is the perfect complement for carrots. Try serving this bread warm with our creamy carrot soup.


1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 packages of yeast
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons dill, chopped
6 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon dill weed

Place warm water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Allow yeast to foam, or “bloom” for 8 to 10 minutes. Sauté onion in olive oil, once onions have softened and become translucent, remove from heat and reserve. Using a mixer and dough hook, add yogurt, onions, eggs, salt, and dill to the yeast mixture, and mix until well combined. Slowly add the flour (one cup at a time) to the mixer. Continue to mix until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn dough out, and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Divide dough into two pieces and place into two loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow loaves to rise for two hours before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a glaze by combining egg white and water. Brush loaves with glaze before baking and sprinkle with dill seed. Bake 45 minutes until loaves are golden brown.

Yields: 2 loaves, 12 slices each

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories 160; Calories from Fat 25; Total Fat 3g; Carbohydrates 26g; Protein 5g; Fiber 1g

Lady’s Mantle Hand Moisturizer

You’ll need:
2 Tbsp. finely ground oatmeal
1Tbsp. lady’s mantle infusion* see note
1 tsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. glycerin
Mix all to form a smooth paste. Apply to your hands at bedtime. Leave on for about a 1/2 hour, wash off and moisturize as usual with lotion.


* Note- an infusion is simply a very strong tea made with boiling water-allow it to “brew” for 15-20 minutes.

Make Your Own Heating / Cooling Pads

Make Your Own Heating / Cooling Pads

Sometimes called “bed buddies” or “stress busters”, these nifty little
pads can be tossed in the microwave and used as heating pads for sore,
aching or tense muscles, or tossed in the freezer and used as cooling pads!

The Insides

You can fill the pad with dry rice, corn, bird seed, or a combination
of all of these.

Add spices, herbs and/or essential oils – when heated the pad will
smell wonderful. A combination of allspice, ground cloves, ginger and
nutmeg makes a nice Christmas smell. The combination of herbs below are
purported to soothe a headache:

Dried lavender
Rose petals

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add a few drops of
essential oil if desired. Cover and leave for a day or two, stirring
occasionally to distribute the herbs.

The Outsides

Quickie pads can be made by using an old tube sock and sewing up the ends.

Other materials:

An old towel or washcloth
Flannel (cut up an old flannel shirt or nightgown if you have

Simply cut the material into rectangle pieces, 2-3 times longer than
the width. Fold lengthwise and sew up the sides. Spoon in the mixture
and sew the top end closed.

If you’ll be giving these as gifts, you might want to go one extra
step and make an outer pouch that’s pretty, and washable. An outer pouch
also helps protect the skin from excess heat or cold. Follow the same basic
instructions as above, but make the outer pouch just a little larger than
the inner. On one end you might want to include a strip of velcro to close
the pouch and hold the inner pad in place.

Added embellishments might include a loop of material or ribbon on
both ends to use as a handle, a strip of satin ribbon folded over the
edges for trim, or a embroidered design. Just remember, whatever
decoration you use should be soft, not scratchy or hard.

To Use

Simply pop the pad in the microwave and nuke for 2-3 minutes (time
will vary depending on the size of your pad). To use as a cooling pad,
place in the refrigerator or freezer.


One of our readers wrote in with a cautionary note about heating pads
catching fire from smoldering on the inside. This may occur when the water
content of the filling is dried out and burned from many
re-heatings. One possible solution is to place a cup of water in the
microwave when heating the pads, to keep the interior moist. Another
solution would simply be to replace the filling after so many heatings.

Toni says: I bought a similar product at a flea market and they
recommended spritzing it with water before nuking it so as not to “kill”
the filling, and make it last longer.


An Altar Blessing

>From the Mystic Light
to fertile Foundations
On the Shores of the waters
of Our Hopes and Dreams.
On the Wings of Wind
of Light and Inspiration
With the Inner Flame Kindled
Divine spark and gleam.
Back to the Light
For Manifestation
Swiftly fulfilled,
Moves the Unseen.
By the Moon, the Stars and the Sun
By the God, the Goddess and Ancient Ones
Blessed be this Altar and all here-on
Good for all and harming none


Suggested Mantra: Determination
The dark goddess, Cerridwen, of great wisdom, prophetic foresight, and
magickal shape-shifting abilities lends us Her relentless energy and
focus required to achieve our ultimate goals.

Suggested Affirmaions:
*What’s next?! (yeah!!)
*Success comes easily to me
*I feel absolutely supercharged
*My vital energy resurfaces naturally
*My insecurity is replaced with wisdom
*I am filled with energy to achieve my goals
*I have abundant energy, vitality and well-being

Related Essences: Vanilla, Almond, Oriental Lily, Bergamot.

Related Gemstones: Carnelian, Coral, Agate, Brown Jaspar ( orange
stones ).

The Magickal Welsh crone goddess Cerridwen ( Ker ID wen ) was a
shape-shifting goddess of dark prophetic powers, enchantment and
divination. Cerridwen’s cauldron ( the name Cerridwen is derived from
the Celtic word cerru meaning cauldron ), is a powerful symbol of
transforming magick, and of the lessons learned through change and
experience, as well as divine creative inspiration.

She lived isolated upon an island in a lake in a place known as The Land
Beneath the Waves, where She gave birth to a dark and ugly son named
Morfan. In order to give Her son a birth gift of an easy life as a
brilliant and inspired man, She brewed a magickal potion made from herbs
and waters of prophesy under carefully monitored movements of the Sun,
the Moon and the stars in the sky over the course of 13 moons. When a
boy servant named Gwion, who was guarding the potion, accidentally
sucked three drops of the potion, the knowledge of the universe was
apparent to him, as were the magickal powers of shape-shifting. Enraged,
Cerridwen pursued Gwion, shape-shifting from one animal to another until
she, ( in the Welsh legend ), as a hawk, finally ate him ( as a grain of
corn ) and thereby reverting the universe’s knowledge back to Herself.

The grain took seed in Her womb, and nine Moons later, She gave birth to
the radiant child Taliesin ( the greatest of all Gaelic poets ). He had
inherited the gift of perfect poetry that could blow the seas into a
rage, heal all wounds and foretell the events of the future.

She is the tigress mother, dark goddess, prophetic crone, who pursues
Her interpretation of justice with unfailing energy. If Cerridwen is
speaking to you today, you should also pursue your goal with equal
energy ( if it’s sure it’s what you want ). If you have invested the
energy in the fertilisation of the project you have been nurturing ( as
Cerridwen did in her magickal potion ), then so should you equally
defend and fight for your right to see it to fruition.

Carry an orange stone to help Cerridwen’s powers become apparent in you.
Become the magickal being you need to be – shape-shift and adopt a
totem’s magickal properties in order to help you achieve your ambition.

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