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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Amaranths

Botanical: Amaranthus hypochondriacus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Amaranthaceae
—Synonyms—Love-Lies-Bleeding. Red Cockscomb. Velvet Flower.
—Habitat—The Amaranths are met with most abundantly in the tropics, especially in tropical America, but are not plentiful in cold countries.
Many species are widely distributed as pernicious weeds. Their economic importance is slight, their properties chiefly proteid nutrient. Many abound in mucilage and sugar and many species are used as pot-herbs, resembling those of Chenopodiaceae. Many, also, are excellent fodder-plants, though not cultivated.

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—Constituents—Their constituents are indefinite; none are poisonous, none possess very distinct medicinal properties, though many have use in native practice as alteratives, and as antidotes to snake-bite, etc.
—Medical Action and Uses—Some species have slightly astringent properties, others are diaphoretics and diuretics, and a few are tonics and stimulants.

In ancient Greece, the Amaranth was sacred to Ephesian Artemis: it was supposed to have special healing properties and as a symbol of immortality was used to decorate images of the gods and tombs. The name, from the Greek signifying unwithering, was applied to certain plants which from their lasting for ever, typified immortality.

Some of the species are old favourites as garden flowers, viz., Amaranthus hypochondriacus, known as Prince’s Feather, an Indian annual – with deeply-veined, lance-shaped leaves, purple on the under side with deep crimson flowers, densely packed on erect spikes, and A. caudatus (Jacq.) (Love-lies-bleeding), a native of Africa and Java, a vigorous hardy annual with dark purplish flowers crowded in handsome drooping spikes. It is considered astringent and a decoction of the flowers has been administered in spitting of blood and various haemorrhages and has been said to be so energetic that it may be used in cases of menorrhagia. With several other species belonging to the closely allied genus Aeva, natives of India, it has also been used as an anthelmintic.

A. spinosa (Linn.), A. campestris (Willd.) and many others are used in India as diuretics. A. oleraceus (Linn.) is used in India in diarrhoea and menstrual disorders and the young leaves and shoots are also eaten as a vegetable, similarly to spinach. A. polygonoides, a common garden weed in India, is also used as a pot-herb and considered so wholesome that convalescents are ordered it in preference to all other kinds.

Freyja

Themes: Devotion, strength, Sun, magick & passion.
Symbols: Lion & strawberries.

About Freyja: In Nordic tradition, Freyja’s name means “lady.”
Generally speaking, it is her domain to care for matters of the
heart. In mythology, Freyja is stunningly beautiful, a mistress to the
gods and she appears driving a chariot pulled by cats. When saddened,
Freyja cries gold tears, and she wears a shining necklace ( alluding to
some solar associations ).
Many people in northern climes credit her for teaching magick to
humankind.

To Do Today: In astrology, people born under the sign of Leo are
energetic and filled with Freyja’s solar aspect. And like Freyja, they
are ardent, dynamic lovers. If your love life needs a pick-me-up,
Freyja’s the goddess to call on. Start with a bowl of strawberries and
melted chocolate that you feed your lover. Remember to nibble
passionately while biting into Freyja’s sacred food! This will digest
Freyja’s energy for lovemaking. If you’re still single, eat a few
berries at breakfast to internalize self-love so more loving
opportunities will naturally come your way.

To improve love in other areas of your life ( the love of friends, love
for a job or project, etc. ), wear gold-toned clothing or jewelry today
to emphasize Freyja’s solar powers. This will give you more tenacity,
focus and esteem for whatever you’re putting your hands and heart into.

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

Goddess Meditation

Am I mad, or does the Muse call out to me?
Don’t you hear her? Don’t you hear her
in the rustling leaves, in the wind’s soft voice,
in the water’s laughter? Don’t you hear her?
If this is madness, let me go insane!
Let me go in search of her, calling out
to the bright sky: descend, singing goddess, descend!
Bring us your immortal music:
the sound of flutes playing like wind
over bending grass, the sound of strings
plucked like sudden sunshine, the clear bell of your voice thrilling
through the world.
~ Horace

To the Greeks and Romans, inspiration took feminine form. Sometimes
there was only one Muse, sometimes several, often nine. The Muse or the
multiple Muses lived in nature, usually near springs or fountains whose
fresh water symbolized the free flowing of creative power.

The Muses still live, in fresh breezes and the ocean’s swells, in
sunlight on a buttercup and the fragrance of ripe tomatoes. Our bodies,
our senses, connect us with the divine beauty that surrounds us, the
source of inspiration. To let our creativity flow, we need to spend time
in nature. Whether in a park or a wilderness, in the privacy of our own
gardens or on a lakeshore, the Muses are there, waiting for us to hear
their sweet music

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

Elder’s Meditation

“My pottery is the handiwork of God.”
–Teresita Naranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO
The Great One has given every human being at least one special talent and one special gift. We need to develop and practice these gifts because they are the handiwork of God. Maybe we are artists-when people look at our work it puts joy in their hearts; maybe we are singers- when people listen to our songs, their hearts are happy; maybe we are writers of song or poetry-when people hear or read our work, it may change their lives. We need to honor ourselves and our gifts. We need to thank the Creator for our talents and our gifts.”
My Creator, let me use my gifts to further Your work on the Earth.

Gambler’s Luck Oil

Anoint on charms designed to bring luck in gambling.

It can be rubbed on the palms before gambling.

Anoint each corner of your bingo card before the game begins, anoint in your shoes before going to the racetrack.

Mix together three parts of cinnamon, one part carnation petals and one part of anise seed.

Add two tablespoons of this mixture to two ounces of oil.

Place a small piece of High John The Conqueror root in each bottle of oil made.

Alamo Muffins

Yield: 18 Servings

1 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1 tb sugar
1 tb baking powder(double-acting)
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs; slightly beaten
1 c yogurt; plain
1 cn cream-style corn; (8-3/4 -ounce)
1/4 c green chili peppers*-seeded and minced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix together the cornmeal, sugar, baking
powder,
baking soda, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in the shortening
until
the consistency is grainy. Beat the eggs into the yogurt, then add to
the
cornmeal mixture. Add the cream-style corn and chili peppers, mixing
just
until moistened.

Divide the batter evenly among 18 greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
Bake
until lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.

NOTES : A nice change from tacos or tortillas to accompany Mexican
meals.
Makes 1-1/2 doz.
*Carolyn’s Note: I would just use a can of chopped green chilies,
drained, if fresh ones are not convenient.

Mint Body Lotion


1/2 cup mint water (see note below)
1/8 tsp. borax powder
1/2 c. sunflower oil
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. grated beeswax
3-4 drops peppermint oil (optional)

Mix together the mint water and the borax, stirring until well mixed. Set aside.
Mix together the sunflower oil, coconut oil, and beeswax in a glass measuring cup. Place the cup with the oils/beeswax mixture in a pan of water (about 1 to 2 inches of water), making a water bath. Heat over medium heat until the beeswax is melted (8 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. When the wax is melted, bring the mint solution almost to boiling (put the glass cup with the mint water/borax in the microwave on High for 1 minute, or use a water bath on the stove top).
Remove the oils-beeswax mixture from the water bath. Slowly add mint water/borax to the mixture in the blender and whip).
Allow the lotion to cool completely. The consistence may seem a bit thin, but it will thicken as it cools. The lotion will be pale green in color. You may add the peppermint oil now if you wish. Pour the lotion into a clean container with a lid. To use, massage a small amount into your skin.

Note: Mint water is made by boiling fresh or dried mint leaves in water and then letting the mixture cool. Strain off the mint leaves. I use 1 cup fresh mint (1/4 cup dried mint leaves) to 1 cup water.

Crafting in the craft

Crafting in the craft
by Dancer

When making use of garden fragrances, how many of us think of the possibilities of pot pourri?

Pot pourri (pronounced: po po-REE) was originally a combination of fragrant petals and leaves mixed with salt and allowed to ferment; the phrase
translates as “rotten pot”. As you probably have access to recipes
of both ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ types, I’ll forgo the actual recipes. Instead, here
are some things to think about as you consider your potential fragrance
mixtures.
(Remember that a pot-pourri can include essential oils as well as
the herbs, barks and flowers; the mix can also be dressed up, if desired, with
unscented dried flowers and colored barks. If you use salt in your
recipe, make sure it’s pickling or kosher salt, to avoid the starches and
fillers.)

Any home can gain in charm by smelling good. Almost everyone is
suitably
impressed by the smell of bread baking. The scent of flowers and
spices tend
to evoke the same pleasure, which is what makes air fresheners (of
all
types) very popular. You can use a pot pourri for more than one
reason: the
first (and usual) reason, to make a room comfortable and inviting;
second,
to invoke a magickal purpose.

A pot pourri mixture for household protection could include: basil,
juniper
berries, cottonwood leaf bud scales, dill, horehound, mugwort, pine,
rose
geranium, rosemary, spruce, tarragon, wormwood. A wreath of fresh
rosemary
laced with the above herbs, and perhaps three (or seven or nine)
marigold,
carnation or snapdragon flowers is nice protection anywhere in or
out of the
house. Use one- to two-foot branches of rosemary, wired together; the
flowers will need replacing as they wilt, but the herbs should dry
well.

To purify a house (that is, to clear it of distressful energies),
make a
mixture that includes: bay leaf, basil, cedar, juniper berries,
lavender,
mugwort, pine, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, thyme, vervain, yarrow.
You might
want to include some gentling herbs: chamomile, lemon verbena,
pennyroyal,
rose, violet.

When you do a little divination, you can have a bowl of pot pourri
nearby
that helps with “The Sight”. It should include some things like:
cedar,
cinnamon bark, cloves, costmary, juniper, lemon balm, mint, rose
petals,
sandalwood, star anise, yarrow. Mugwort is also very useful,
especially as a
dream pillow.

Healing fragrances can be challenging, as health is a state of
balance, and
choosing your scent should re-balance your system. Something all-
purpose
could include: allspice, eucalyptus, cinnamon, sage, saffron,
sandalwood.
Add spearmint for lung problems, and rosemary for anything around
the head.
Bergamot, mint and lavender are especially good for headaches.
Remember that
professional medical help is needed for serious problems; you can’t
sniff
your troubles away! (However, fragrances rarely clash with medical
treatment…)

Feeling a little blue? Try a pot pourri that includes: basil, lemon
balm,
lemon verbena, marjoram, mint, orange, rosemary. Maybe you’d like a
little
lift with: fennel, rose geranium, thyme.

Do you feel like you’re in the middle of an uproar? Put some of
these into
your mixture: basil, bayberry, catnip, cinnamon, lavender, marjoram,
pennyroyal, sage, violet.

Perhaps money slips through your fingers… try a sachet that has
some of:
basil, bay, bayberry, chamomile, cinnamon (or cassia), galangal,
lavender,
nutmeg, mint, thyme. Have a whiff of it before you purchase that
not-really-a-necessity!

Do your ideas desert you? Maybe some herbs for creativity will help:
balm of
gilead buds, bay, cinnamon (or cassia), clary sage, rosemary,
vervain. If
you’re just a little forgetful, try: caraway, cloves, lavender,
lilac, rose.
Perhaps you get started all right, but need a little boost to get
that
project (or article) finished: bergamot, cedar, lemon verbena,
sandalwood,
vetiver.

Are you worried about theft? Keep a bowl of herbs that include some
of:
caraway, juniper berries, mugwort, rosemary… But remember what
Mohammed,
Prophet of Allah, said: “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

And thus it is… Fragrance can improve, enhance, and increase your
efforts
to bring good things into your life, but your effort and intent must
be
there, too! In any case, your place will smell delicious…

Dianic BOS Blessing

Book Blessing
By the One Power over all,
By Diana, Hecate, Selene, Kernunnos, and Pan,
Working for and through this Book of Shadows,
This book only reaches those for whom it is intended,
This work cannot be misused;
And for those who use it rightly,
For the good of all,
And according to free will,
May all the positive magick of the universe
Bring joy and power for good
That cannot be measured.
And So Mote It Be.

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