January 2009
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Yearly Archives: 2009


Botanical: Aegle Marmelos (CORREA)
Family: N.O. Rutaceae
—Synonyms—Belae Fructus. Bel. Indian Bael.
—Part Used—Unripe fruit.

—Description—Fruit 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 inches in diameter, globular or ovoid in shape, colour greyish brown, outside surface hard and nearly smooth. Rind about 1/8 inch thick and adherent to a light red pulp, in which are ten to fifteen cells, each containing several woolly seeds. It has a faint aromatic odour and mucilagenous taste.
—Constituents—The chief constituents appear to be mucilage and pectin contained in the pulp of the unripe fruit; the ripe fruit differs in yielding a tannin reaction and possessing a distinct aroma.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Fresh half-ripe Bael fruit is mildly astringent and is used in India for dysentery and diarrhoea; the pulp may be eaten or the decoction administered. The dried fruit does not contain the constituents requisite for the preparation of the decoction. It is said to cure without creating any tendency to constipation.

—Dosages and Preparations—Decoction Belae, B.P.C., 1 in 2 1/2: dose, 1/2 to 2 OZ. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 2 drachms.

—Other Species—Mangosteen Fruit (Garania Mangostana) is sometimes substituted for it, also another species of the order Rutacece, Wood Apple or Elephant Apple (Feronia Elephantum), but neither are as effective as the fruit of the Bael Tree.


Themes: Rebirth, cycles, joy, courage, hope, cleansing & change
Symbols: Flowers, dance, iron, sword, peacock feathers & honey

About Kali: Kali, a Hindu Goddess whose name means “time” is the
genetrix of natural forces that either build or destroy. Even in
destruction, however, she reminds us that good really can come of bad
situations. If you find your hopes and dreams have been crushed, Kali
can change the cycle and produce life out of nothingness. Where there is
sorrow, she dances to bring joy. Where there is fear, she dances in

To Do Today: Hindus gather today at Shiva’s temples to honour his
celestial dance; of creation, and Kali dances with them in spirit.
Beforehand, they fast and bathe in holy waters for purification. Doing
similarly ( in your tub or shower ) will purge your body and soul of
negative influences. Add some flower petals or sweet perfume to the bath
to invoke Kali’s cleansing power.

To invoke Kali’s assistance in bringing new life to stagnant projects or
ruined goals, leave her an offering of honey or flowers, and make this
Kali amulet: Take any black cloth and wrap it around a flower dabbed
with a drop of honey, saying:

“Kali, turn, dance, and change.
Fate rearrange.
End the devastation and strife;
what was dead return to life.”

Carry this with you until the situation changes, then bury it with

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

Goddess Meditation

Don’t worry so much about tomorrow;
consider this day a gift from fortune,
this day that you are granted to be young
and dancing while the sap rises
and death stays away. Now is the time
to discover new purposes for playing fields or
public square: to discover them as places
for lingering whispers when soft night
covers secret meetings, a place for hide-and-seek
and telltale giggles from a girl hiding in a corner
from whose arm or finger the prize is snatched
and who ~ almost ~ resists.

~ Horace

The sap of spring is beginning to rise in the trees. Growth is like
that: invisible at first, then seeming to arrive in a sudden crescendo
of green. But the secret of growth resists in invisible times such as
these. The world is still gray with winter, but spring has secretly

Within ourselves, too, we must learn to labor through the silent nights
and winters of our lives, times when nothing seems to come form
fruition, when we encounter only disappointment and disdain. For the
inner work we do during these times is what creates the environment for
growth on which others later remark. Keep faith during the wintry times,
and spring will surely follow.

Magic of Darkness Meditation

November 19th, 2006

    Color of the day: Orange
    Incense of the day: Clove

    There is magic in the darkness if only we can allay our fears of it. It is only the unknown we fear and once we understand that mystery is revealed in the dark, we can relax and find the enchantment of the place. To do this, after sunset today find a place that will be in darkness when the lights are off. Light some patchouli incense to promote deep awareness. Tone a single note to yourself, and settle down into a meditative state. Turn out the lights and close your eyes. Continue to intone softly and breathe deeply. Open your eyes in the darkness. Do not strain to see. Extend the awareness of your psychic senses outward and feel the texture of the night. Breathe deeply and rest in the darkness. Let the messages come to you as you rest in the deepest dark. When you are finished, go back to a ordinary state of consciousness and to your normal activities.

        By: Gail Wood

Cooling Anger Incense

An incense to use in rituals designed to calm down those who are angry and quarrelsome, heal unhappy marriages, etc.

Can be burned periodically in the home to keep family members cooperating with each other.

You Will Need:

1: 1 Oz Of Powdered Passion Flower
2: 1 Oz Of Powdered Orris Root
3: ½ Oz Of Powdered Rose Petals
4: ½ Oz Of Dark Brown Sugar
5: ¼ Teaspoon Of Saltpeter
6: 1 Dram Of Honey
7: 2 Drams Of Tincture Of Benzoin

Whipped Honey Butter

 (2 cups)

1 cup (12 ounces) whipped or cremed honey, softened
if necessary 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
In a medium bowl, mix together honey and butter. Spoon
into jars with tight-fitting lids. Store in refrigerator.

Sea Salt Body Scrub Formula

2 LBS. Medium Sea Salt
2 LBS. Xtra-Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp. Essential oil of choice
1 TBSP. Glycerin
2 oz. Almond Oil
2 oz. Jojoba Oil
Mix well and place in airtight container for storage.

Classic winter wreath

Classic winter wreath
Wreaths are as much a part of the holidays as family time and gift-giving. Making a wreath is also a great family activity (for some a Holiday tradition), and something that doesn’t require a lot of time or skill. In an afternoon, you can easily clip and wire pine onto a frame and produce a wreath that’s ready to hang. Your kids will love working with the fragrant greens and being able to make wreaths even prettier than store-bought ones. So clear a large space on your dining room table,and get ready to create a beautiful wreath.
Adorning the Wreath
After the hard work of tying on greens, it’s time to decorate your wreath. You and your kids can wire on all sorts of adornments: pinecones ,green apples, acorns, small bells,and a Gardening shovel. You can also use ribbon to tie on decorations–such as cookie cutters–or wrap the wreath with a special garland.In my wreath I used a bloomed scallion for a focal piece,instead of a traditional bow. Consider the wreath your palette and decorate it in whatever style suits your family. I let my kids decide for themselves, and every year the final products are different.

To hang the wreath, slip thin white ribbon around the top of the wreath frame (a bit of green wire is less conspicuous), and hang it from a screw, nail or hook.
Prep Time: About 2 to 3 hours
What you need:
1 to 2 large bundles of hemlock, spruce, Douglas fir or a combination
1 bundle of white fern
1 wreath frame (metal or Styrofoam)
Garden clippers
Wire clippers
Spool of fine green wire
2 yards of wide white ribbon
gardening shovel
Seasons: Winter
Materials: wire
1.    Preparing the greens. Take the large boughs and cut the limbs into many 6- to 8-inch pieces (kids old enough to handle clippers can help). Don’t worry about trimming irregularly shaped pieces–you want a natural look and can use nearly everything except the thick central branch. You may want to cut the holly, too, but keep it in a separate pile. It’s expensive, so use it sparingly. Also, cut about twenty 15-inch pieces of wire and put them nearby (I suggest a parent do this job). Watch out–they’re easily lost as the clutter spreads.
2.    Begin to make bunches of evergreens. Use the sturdy pieces from the base of the branches for the back of my bunch; they provide support but are fairly well hidden. You’ll see that the tips of the branches are symmetrical and prettier because they haven’t been cut. As you gather, say, four or five pieces for your bunch, place these sections near the front where they will be the most visible. Better yet, offer them to your kids because they look so nice and work with the less desirable pieces yourself.
3.    Wiring the wreath. When you have formed a nice, thick bunch of greens, hold them down against the frame with one hand and take a piece of wire in the other. Place the greens in position and lay the wire across the bundle, about two-thirds of the way from the top. Now, holding the bunch in place with the wire (one end in each hand), carefully turn over the frame and tighten and twist the wire. That is the tricky part for kids–it can result in moans of frustration, so be ready to help. If you are using a metal frame, clip off any excess wire. With a Styrofoam frame, you can simply press it into the Styrofoam.
4.    Adding the white fern. Attach the second bunch of greens in the same way, except add a sprig of white fern in the front where it can easily be seen. You can create your own patterns with fern–adding it to every bunch or every two or three. (I don’t recommend forming bundles entirely from fern; it’s delicate to handle, costly, and the result will probably not be as full as your bunches of evergreen.) Place the bundle in the same direction as the first one; the second overlaps the first so that only about a third of the underlying bunch is visible. If kids put the bundles farther apart in their haste to cover the frame quickly, they’ll end up with a thin wreath that has an uneven circumference.
5.    Closing the circle. Repeat steps 1 to 3 as many times as needed to work my way around the wreath. A frame 16 inches in diameter will require about 12 bunches. Where my last bunch meets up with my first, there is often a spot that is less full than the rest of the wreath. It’s an ideal place to tie a ribbon.
6.    Folding the bow. I like a bow with many loops because it shows up well and hangs naturally. (Pre-tied bows are also available in craft stores.) Take 2 yards of white  ribbon, about one to two inches wide, and loop it back and forth, pinching it between thumb and forefinger at the middle to retain the loops.Attach the garden shovel before securing the bow.
7.    Wiring on the bow. Take a piece of wire, run it once around the bow and wrap the two ends around the wreath, twisting it in the back. Older kids can try this step but may need some help. You can reuse the same ribbon year after year–just remove the wire, iron the ribbon and start again.

Before Meal Blessing

“Oh mother Earth, we thank you so,
For the food and beverage you bestow.
For your protection and your love,
And everything you do for us.
We offer you thanks, love and mirth,
As we eat your bounty, Mother Earth”


Botanical: Maranta arundinaceae (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Marantaceae
—Synonyms—Indian Arrowroot. Maranta Indica. Maranta ramosissima. Maranta Starch or Arrowroot. East or West Indian Arrowroot. Araruta. Bermuda Arrowroot.
—Part Used—The fecula or starch of the rhizome.
—Habitat—Indigenous in the West Indian Islands and possibly Central America. Grows in Bengal, Tava. Philippines, Mauritius. Natal. West Africa.

—Description—The name of the genus was bestowed by Plumier in memory of Bartommeo Maranto (d. 1559, Naples), a physician of Venosa in Basilicata. The popular name is a corruption of the Aru-root of the Aruac Indians of South America, or is derived from the fact that the plant is said to be an antidote to arrow-poison.
The product is usually distinguished by the name of the place from which it is imported. Bermuda Arrowroot was formerly the finest, but it is now rarely produced, and the name is applied to others of high standard.

It was introduced into England about 1732 though it will only grow as a stove plant, with tanners’ bark. The plant is an herbaceous perennial, with a creeping rhizome with upward-curving, fleshy, cylindrical tubers covered with large, thin scales that leave rings of scars. The flowering stem reaches a height of 6 feet, and bears creamy flowers at the ends of the slender branches that terminate the long peduncles. They grow in pairs. The numerous, ovate, glabrous leaves are from 2 to 10 inches in length, with long sheaths often enveloping the stem.

The starch is extracted from rhizomes not more than a year old. They are washed, pulped in wooded mortars, stirred in clean water, the fibres wrung out by hand, and the milky liquor sieved, allowed to settle, and then drained. Clean water is again added, mixed, and drained, after which the starch is dried on sheets in the sun, dust and insects being carefully excluded. The starch yield is about one-fifth of the original weight of the rhizomes. It should be odourless and free from unpleasant taste, and when it becomes mouldy, should be rejected. It keeps well if quite dry. The powder creaks slightly when rubbed, and feels firm. Microscopical examination of the starch granules is necessary for certainty of purity. Potato starch, which corresponds in chemical and nutritive qualities, is sometimes substituted, but it has a somewhat unpleasant taste, and a test with hydrochloric acid brings out an odour like French beans. Sago, rice and tapioca starches are also found occasionally as substitutes.

The jelly is more tenacious than that of any other starch excepting Tous-les-mois.

Arrowroot is often used simply in the form of pudding or blanc-mange. The roots could be candied like Eryngo.

—Constituents—An 1887 analysis of the root of the St. Vincent Arrowroot gave starch 27.17 per cent, fibre, fat, albumen, sugar, gum, ash, and 62.96 per cent water.

Of the starch was given: starch 83’70 per cent., fibre, fat, sugar, gum, ash and sand, and water 15.87 per cent.

The official granules, according to Pereira, are ‘rarely oblong, somewhat ovate-oblong, or irregularly convex, from 10 to 70 microns in diameter, with very fine lamellae, a circular hilium which is fissured in a linear or stellate manner.’

—Medicinal Auction and Uses—Arrowroot is chiefly valuable as an easily digested, nourishing diet for convalescents, especially in bowel complaints, as it has demulcent properties. In the proportion of a tablespoonful to a pint of water or milk, it should be prepared by being first made into a smooth paste with a little cold milk or water, and then carefully stirred while the boiling milk is added. Lemon-juice, sugar, wine, or aromatics may be added. If thick, it will cool into a jelly that usually suits weaning infants better than other farinaceous foods.

It is said that the mashed rhizomes are used for application to wounds from poisoned arrows, scorpion and black spider bites, and to arrest gangrene.

The freshly-expressed juice, mixed with water, is said to be a good antidote, taken internally, for vegetable poisons, such as Savanna.

—Other Species—
Maranta ramosissima is the M. arundinaceae of the East Indies.

M. allouya and M. nobilis are also West Indian species. The term arrowroot is applied to other starches.

BRAZILIAN ARROWROOT, or Tapioca Meal, is obtained from Manihot utilissima (bitter) and M. palmata (sweet) . It is also called Bahia Rio, or Para-Arrowroot. See MANDIOCA

TAHITI ARROWROOT is from Tacca oceanica (pinnatifida). It is a favourite article of diet in the tropics, being found in the Sandwich and South Sea Islands, and is said to be the best arrowroot for dysentery.

EAST INDIAN ARROWROOT is from Curcuma augustifolia, or longa.

TOUS-LES-MOIS is from Canna edulis and C. achiras, of the West Indies, called Indian Shot, from their hard, black seeds, used as beads, and Balisier, from the use of their leaves for packing, in Brazil.

OSWEGO ARROWROOT, used in America, is from Zea Mays, Indian Corn.

MEXICAN ARROWROOT is from the seeds of Dion edule.

CHINESE ARROWROOT is said to be from the tubers of Nelumbium speciosum.

PORTLAND ARROWROOT was formerly obtained from Arum maculatum, but it was acrid and not very satisfactory.

M. dichotoma has stems used, when split, for making shade mats in India.

M. Malaccensis has poisonous roots used as an ingredient in a Borneo arrow-poison.


Juno was the Queen of the Gods and Jupiter’s wife. The Goddess of heaven and of the moon Juno symbolized the matronly qualities desired for in Roman women. She was the protector of woman during childbirth, rearing, and their preparation for marriage. It was said that she was present and watching during all marriage ceremonies.

Juno protected the City of Rome when the Gauls attacked. Before the attack the sacred geese in the temple of Juno alerted the Romans of the pending danger. This warning gave the Romans the opportunity to attack and defeat the Gauls and save their city.

In addition to geese the peacock was also a sacred symbol of Juno.

A daughter of Jupiter, Minerva, is born through magic. It was said she came directly from the head of Jupiter , not needing the aid of Juno for her birth. This turn of events caused Juno to feel jealousy. Angry, Juno seeks a magic flower that is suppose to allow fertilization without a man. Finding the rare flower juno uses it to become pregnant and gives birth to Mars.

Juno is the Roman supreme goddess and is married to the ruling god, Jupiter. She is believed to watch and protect all women. Every year, on the first of March, women hold a festival in honor of Juno called the Matronalia. To this day, many people consider the month of June, which is named after the goddess who is the patroness of marriage, to be the most favorable time to marry. The peacock is sacred to Juno.

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