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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Anemones

Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae

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The Anemones are represented in our native British flora by only two species, the dainty little Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) and the Pasque Flower (A. pulsatilla), both possessing medicinal properties, though the former is little used now.
There are, however, about seventy species in the genus Anemone, including the subgenus Hepatica, now also reckoned as Anemones, though formerly ranking as a separate genus, the chief representative of which, A. hepatica, is of some considerable medicinal value. A. pratensis, a continental species, is employed medicinally for the same purposes as A. pulsatilla, and the number of species familiar to us as garden flowers is very great, the most popular among these being, perhaps, the Poppy or Garden Anemone, A. coronavria a native of the Levant and Southern Europe, introduced here in 1596, and the Star Anemone, A. hortensis, a native of Italy, brought to England from Holland about the same time. A. apennina and A. blanda are also particularly charming the latter with large flowers of various shades of blue being the earliest to open.

—Description—The distinguishing characteristics of the genus Anemone are the presence of three entire leaflets arranged in a whorl just under the flowers, forming an involucre, and the fact that the flowers themselves have no real petals, but a calyx of six to eight petal-like sepals. All species share the acrid and bitter nature of almost all plants of the Ranunculus order to which they belong, and the leaves and flowers should not be eaten. The toxic principle has been extracted from three species: the two British species and one foreign one, though no actually fatal results have been recorded. A yellow-flowered foreign species, A. ranunculoides, found in almost all parts of the Continent, has been used for poisoning arrows, and in France, swelling and blistering of the hands has resulted from using the juice as a stimulant to ulceration.

—Cultivation—Anemones flourish best in a rich, sandy loam, but will thrive in any garden soil which is well-drained and tolerably light, it should also be enriched with decayed manure. Sea sand, or a little salt mixed with the soil is a good preventive of mildew.

Propagation is by division of the rootstocks and cuttings of the root in autumn and early spring – from October to the end of March – and also from seed, which should be sown within a month of ripening, as it deteriorates with keeping. Sow thinly in lines on the surface and merely rake the seeds in with a very light hand. Germination is slow. Thin the plants to 6 inches apart. Thinnings will bear transplanting if carefully handled and helped with water afterwards. The first flowers are generally produced the first spring after sowing, but soil and situation have always a great effect on them.

Some persons take up Anemone tubers as soon as the leaf has died down, and replant in the early part of the year, but this is not necessary: those that have been two or three years in the ground attain a large size – they are solid, flattened masses, not unlike ginger. When planting, cover with soil to the depth of 3 inches.

Most garden Anemones can be treated in this way. The best time for transplanting A. pulsatilla is considered to be directly after it has flowered, or at any rate during the summer, while it is in growth; autumn is a bad time and early spring not much better.

Hathor

Suggested Mantra: Shapeshift
Hathor’s esoteric attributes are about emotions and feelings. Hathor
brings the gift of shapeshifting – she lets you transform from a woman
crippled with anxiety to a wondrous creature shining light and radiance.

Suggested Affirmations:
*I surrender to the rhythm of Earth
*I live life without fear
*My whole being reaches for the stars
*My creativity is energised
*I dance with abandon
*Joy! Oh joy!

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

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

Hathor was revered as the ancient Queen of Heaven. She is connected to
the womb chakra, the core of our creativity and centre of emotion. When
you are feeling uneasy, you will first feel the anxiety at the centre of
your desire, emotion, sexuality, creativity and emotional core: your
womb. Think about the feeling commonly called “butterflies” – where do
you feel it? Yes, in your womb, or belly!
Hathor is the patron of dancers, the mother of the gypsies, the
generator of light and radiant power. If Hathor is speaking to you
today, she is appealing to your creative core to dance, release any
anxieties through your feet as they hit the earth, and through your
upraised arms as you reach for the stars… Dance with the rhythm of the
Earth, surrender to the pulse, embrace the emotion.

You are truly blessed to have Hathor speak to you today. Take a moment
to look inward. Hold a related gemstone, or light a related essence.
What is it that is causing you angst? Visualise the problem rolling
itself into a ball. Take the ball, and throw it into the air as you leap
into your week, light of step and glowing with radiance!

Finding Your Guide

Allow your body to gently relax. Move yourself around on your chair until you feel perfectly comfortable.

Now I want you to move your attention DOWN from your head to your chin and DOWN from your chin to your throat and DOWN from your throat to your chest. DOWN, DOWN to your stomach.

Now move down into that safe place deep within yourself, that place which is just below your navel. This is your sacred sanctuary, a place that only you know about.

From that place, I want you to move into the hallway in your mind. Along the hallway are many doors. One particular door is of golden light. You feel drawn by that door and you move through the door of light into a place of peace, comfort and protection.

Once through the door, you find yourself on a path through the woods. As you move along the path, you faintly hear the sound of water. Birds sing in the trees. The sunlight filters through the canopy of deep, green trees overhead. A warm, gentle breeze caresses your face and blows lightly through your hair. You feel as if you are being kissed by God. The smell of the forest and of wild flowers surrounds you, bathing you in an essence so sweet and so wild that your senses are reeling.

You come to a body of water. Because it is part of the enchanted forest, this water is pure, clean and clear. It is cool and inviting. You sit on the edge of the bank and dip your cup into the sacred water and you drink. You are comforted and refreshed.

You arise and continue moving on your path through these wondrous woods. Soon you come to a clearing in the trees. The clearing is surrounded by stately oaks, their branches extended to protect you. The color of the wild flowers stands out strong against the greens of the grasses and the brown-black of the tree barks. You breathe deeply of the sweet air. You know this place… you’ve been here before. Maybe in your dreams or maybe in life – it doesn’t matter. You just know that it is your haven.

There is wonderful, soft green grass growing here and it invites you to sit down and rest. Now you begin to hear in the distance other-worldly music, Tibetan bells… flute music… soft chanting… You listen carefully, as you feel drawn to the music.

You look up and see purple mountains in the distance. As you look, a tiny golden Light appears. It draws closer and closer to you. It floats gently up the path toward your little sanctuary. Its light is soft and gentle. Yet it shines with a brilliance you have never seen.

As it reaches the outer edge of your sanctuary, it stops and becomes a large pulsating crystalline light. You watch. You wait. You give the light permission to enter your space.

The light draws forward and hovers just before you. The Light shimmers. Soft strands of gold stream forth like a flower blossoming. As each petal of this light unfolds, you see that something or someone is inside.

Then you see before you a wondrous being that you recognize as your spirit guide. You know it is your spirit guide because you feel a strong surging of love pouring out from it to you and you feel, deep in your heart, a strong answering outpouring of love from you to it. You feel completely safe with this being. It may or may not tell you its name, but it calls you by your name.

Spirit Guides will take any form that you need to understand right now. It can be in the form of a human, an animal, an object or some divine form. See it! imagine it! Know it is real!

What form is your spirit guide in? What shape is it? If it is human, is it male or female? What does it smell like? What color is it? What does it feel like?

Begin to carry on a conversation with this wondrous being. Ask its name. What is its purpose? Why has it come to you?

Let this being communicate itself to you and tell you why it is working with you. Ask it for its help and guidance. Ask your guide what you need to know about your life at this time. Tell your guide anything that is disturbing to you at this time. Ask it how best to call upon it in the future.

Ask it to let you know it is there, consciously, within the next few days, whenever you need help.

When you feel finished, thank your guide for the opportunity to meet and work with it.

As the golden light folds back up around your guide, send it off with your best thoughts and love. As it withdraws from your space, moving back up the path, you sit back down in your spot. You understand that in this inner sanctuary you invite any and all of your guides into your awareness.

This is exciting and you are fascinated with your experience, your experience of expanding your horizons. You breathe deeply, relaxing and reliving in your mind, what has happened. BREATHE.

As you do so, the path and the woods begin to fade and you find yourself gently coming back to the present… to this room, this time and this place. When you are ready, be sure to drink some water and maybe eat a slice of bread to ground yourself.

Right now, it would be helpful to you if you wrote down all you have experienced, exactly as it happened.

Bless you.

Make your own oil infusions

After you make your own essential oil infusions, you can use it to
make other things, like your own customized perfume.
Health food stores and specialty supermarkets carry essential oil in
small vials. When buying essential oil, it is prudent to check to
see if what you have in your hand is pure essential oil and not one
that is diluted. Sometimes it is hard to find the essential oil you
want and have to special order it. Essential oil is a little pricey
to begin with and if you have to special order it, the price goes
even higher.

Essential oils are always mixed with carriers which are oils that
are mild and have no scent. This is because using essential oil at
full strength can irritate your skin.

Making your own essential oil at home is not hard, just have to have
some patience. You can use any herb or flowers to make essential
oils, it just depends on your preference. Lets say for the purpose
of this project, you want to make mint essential oil. ( If you are
using flowers, do not use petals that have been sprayed with
pesticides, i.e., flowers from florists.)

What you need:

Organically grown mint

A clean jar with a lid

Carrier oil: Sweet almond, jojoba, safflower, olive oil

The amount of mint you need will depend on the size of your clean
jar. You will need a fresh batch of leaves everyday for the next
week.

1. Crush the mint leaves with your hands and pack them loosely into
the jar.

2. Pour the oil into the jar and fill it to cover the leaves. Cover
tightly and set aside in a warm place.

3. Next day, strain the oil off the leaves and crush a new batch of
leaves. Pack into the same jar with the strained oil. Top off with
new oil, close the jar and set aside in a warm place for a day.

4. Repeat step three for the next five days. On the last day, pour
into smaller bottles and label them carefully and refrigerate to
extend its shelf life.

You can make your own perfume by adding about 15 drops of essential
oil into a ounce of vodka or Evercleer. Another thing you can do is
to add 30 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of your body lotion
(unscented).

Pesto Pasta

2 lg. cloves garlic
3 C. fresh basil, firmly packed
2 Tbsp. rice Parmesan
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
¾ C. olive oil
¼ C. pine nuts
¼ C. walnuts
2 tsp. sea salt
Pasta of your choice, cooked al dente

1. Place garlic and salt in the bottom of a blender. Grind into a paste for
10 seconds.
2. Add ½ cup pine nuts. Grind until coarsely chopped.
3. Add the basil leaves and pulse, stopping frequently to push the leaves
down.
4. Add olive oil and blend briefly.
5. After it becomes a thick, chunky paste, add rice Parmesan and yeast. Mix
until blended, but not smooth. The sauce should contain small pieces of
leaves and the nuts should be broken up, not pulverized.
6. Combine enough pesto sauce to coat all areas of the warm pasta.

Bird Seed Wreath

Bird Seed Wreath

Sticky gelatin holds seeds to a cardboard base for a wreath that birds can peck away at for weeks. Save this project for winter: Unless temperatures are below or close to freezing, the gelatin may slide off the base. If your winter temps hover in the fifties or above, you can substitute peanut butter for the gelatin to make a reasonable facsimile.

Materials
•  Piece of corrugated cardboard
•  Packet of clear gelatin
•  2 quarts of mixed seeds and nuts
•  Length of wirer
•  Bow or cluster of California pepperberries (optional)

1. Cut a circle of corrugated cardboard to a diameter of 10 inches

2. Mix packet of clear gelatin according to the package directions.

3. Pour 2 quarts of seeds and nuts into the gelatin.

4. Stir to coat the seed mixture. If the mixture is too loose and doesn’t hold together when you squeeze a handful, add more seed.

5. Mold by hand onto the cardboard form.

6. Attach a loop of wire for hanging. Attach a bow or cluster of California pepperberries for decoration, if desired.

BOS Blessing

As within, so without
My harmony exists throughout
I am one with both these worlds
With the two, my spirit twirls

Between the worlds this Circle stands
A ring of light
A ring of clasping hands
Where incense sweet and bitter brine
Shall bless each thing
Empower and make divine

Skin-Softening Bath Bag

 
Adapted from The Herbal Body Book, by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 1994).
This easy-to-make bath bag nourishes and softens winter-weary skin in the most delicious way.
It calls for two common kitchen-cupboard ingredients: one provides gentle exfoliation to banish dead flaky skin cells, and the other soothes and softens.
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup ground oatmeal
1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds
1. Place ingredients in the toe of an old stocking, or in the center of an 8×8 square of muslin, cheese cloth, or cotton (old, worn handkerchiefs work well). Gather into a pouch and tie with a short string.
2. As you relax in the tub, gently rub your entire body with the bag, then let it remain in the water releasing its softening
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