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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Apple

Botanical: Pyrus malus
Family: N.O. Pomaceae
—Synonyms—Wild Apple. Malus communis.
—Parts Used—The fruit and the bark.
—Habitat—Temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

——————————————————————————–
—History—The Apple is a fruit of the temperate zones and only reaches perfection in their cooler regions. It is a fruit of long descent and in the Swiss lake-dwellings small apples have been found, completely charred but still showing the seed-valves and the grain of the flesh. It exists in its wild state in most countries of Europe and also in the region of the Caucasus: in Norway, it is found in the lowlands as far north as Drontheim.
The Crab-tree or Wild Apple (Pyrus malus), is native to Britain and is the wild ancestor of all the cultivated varieties of apple trees. It was the stock on which were grafted choice varieties when brought from Europe, mostly from France. Apples of some sort were abundant before the Norman Conquest and were probably introduced into Britain by the Romans. Twenty-two varieties were mentioned by Pliny: there are now about 2,000 kinds cultivated. In the Old Saxon manuscripts there are numerous mentions of apples and cider. Bartholomeus Anglicus, whose Encyclopedia was one of the earliest printed books containing botanical information (being printed at Cologne about 1470), gives a chapter on the Apple. He says:

‘Malus the Appyll tree is a tree yt bereth apples and is a grete tree in itself. . . it is more short than other trees of the wood wyth knottes and rinelyd Rynde. And makyth shadowe wythe thicke bowes and branches: and fayr with dyurs blossomes, and floures of swetnesse and Iykynge: with goode fruyte and noble. And is gracious in syght and in taste and vertuous in medecyne . . . some beryth sourysh fruyte and harde, and some ryght soure and some ryght swete, with a good savoure and mery.’

—Description—The Crab-tree is a small tree of general distribution in Britain south of Perthshire. In most respects it closely resembles the cultivated Apple of the orchard differing chiefly only in the size and flavour of the fruit. Well-grown specimens are not often met with, as in woods and copses it is cramped by other trees and seldom attains any considerable height, 30-foot specimens being rare and many being mere bushes. Those found in hedgerows have often sprung from the seeds of orchard apples that have reverted to ancestral type. The branches of the Crab-tree become pendant, with long shoots which bear the leaves and flowers. The leaves are dark green and glossy and the flowers, in small clusters on dwarf shoots are produced in April and May. The buds are deeply tinged with pink on the outside the expanded flowers an inch and a half across, and when the trees are in full bloom, they are a beautiful sight.

The blossoms, by their delightful fragrance and store of nectar, attract myriads of bees, and as a result of the fertilization effected by these visitors in their search for the buried nectar, the fruit develops and becomes in autumn the beautiful little Crab Apple, which when ripe is yellow or red in colour and measures about an inch across. It has a very austere and acid juice, in consequence of which it cannot be eaten in the raw condition, but a delicious jelly is made from it, which is always welcome on the table, and the fruit can also be used for jammaking, with blackberries, pears or quinces. In Ireland, it is sometimes added to cider, to impart a roughness. The fruit in some varieties is less acid than in others: in the variety in which the fruit hangs down from the shoots, the little apples are exceedingly acid, but in another kind, they stand more or less erect on their stalks and these are so much less acid as to give almost a suggestion of sweetness. The fruit of the Siberian Crab, or Cherry-apple, grown as an ornamental tree, makes also a fine preserve.

Cider Apples may be considered as a step in development from the Wild Apple to the Dessert Apple. Formerly every farmhouse made its cider. The apples every autumn were tipped in heaps on the straw-strewn floor of the pound house, a building of cob, covered with thatch, in which stood the pounder and the press and vats and all hands were busy for days preparing the golden beverage. This was the yearly process – still carried out on many farms of the west of England, though cider-making is becoming more and more a product of the factories. One of the men turned the handle of the pounder, while a boy tipped in the apples at the top. A pounder is a machine which crushes the apples between two rollers with teeth in them. The pulp and juice are then taken to the press in large shovels which have high sides and are scored bright by the acid. The press is a huge square tray with a lip in the centre of the front side and its floor slopes towards this opening. On either side are huge oaken supports on which rests a square baulk of the same wood. Through this works a large screw. Under the timber is the presser Directly the pulp is ready, the farmer starts to prepare the ‘cheese.’ First of all goes a layer of straw, then a layer of apples, and so on until the ‘cheese’ is a yard high, and sometimes more. Then the ends of straw which project are turned up to the top of the heap. Now the presser is wound down and compresses the mound until the clear juice runs freely. Under the lip in the front of the cider press is put a vat. The juice is dipped from this into casks. In four months’ time the cider will be ready to drink.

The demand for cider has increased rapidly of late years, chiefly on account of the dry varieties being so popular with sufferers from rheumatism and gout. As very good prices have been paid in recent seasons for the best cider apples, and as eight tons per acre is quite an average crop from a properly-managed orchard in full bearing, it is obvious to all progressive and up-to-date farmers and apple-growers that this branch of agriculture is well worthy of attention. In the last few years, with the object of encouraging this special Applegrowing industry, silver cups have been awarded to the owners of cider-apple orchards in Devon who make the greatest improvement in the cultivation of their orchards during the year, and it is hoped this will still further stimulate the planting of new orchards and the renovation of the old ones.

The peculiar winy odour is stimulating to many. Pliny, and later, Sir John Mandeville, tell of a race of little men in ‘Farther India’ who ‘eat naught and live by the smell of apples.’ Burton wrote that apples are good against melancholy and Dr. John Caius, physician to Queen Elizabeth, in his Boke of Counseille against the Sweatynge Sicknesse advises the patient to ‘smele to an old swete apple to recover his strengthe.’ An apple stuck full of cloves was the prototype of the pomander, and pomatum (now used only in a general sense) took its name from being first made of the pulp of apples, lard and rosewater.

In Shakespeare’s time, apples when served at dessert were usually accompanied by caraway, as we may read in Henry IV, where Shallow invites Falstaff to ‘a pippin and a dish of caraway,’ In a still earlier Booke of Nurture, it is directed ‘After mete pepyns, caraway in comfyts.’ The custom of serving roast apples with a little saucerful of Carraways is still kept up at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at some of the old-fashioned London Livery dinners, just as in Shakespeare’s days.

The taste for apples is one of the earliest and most natural of inclinations; all children love apples, cooked or uncooked. Apple pies, apple puddings, apple dumplings are fare acceptable in all ages and all conditions.

Apple cookery is very early English: Piers Ploughman mentions ‘all the povere peple’ who ‘baken apples broghte in his lappes’ and the ever popular apple pie was no less esteemed in Tudor times than it is to-day, only our ancestors had some predilections in the matter of seasonings that might not now appeal to all of us, for they put cinnamon and ginger in their pies and gave them a lavish colouring of saffron.

Apple Moyse is an old English confection, no two recipes for which seem to agree. One Black Letter volume tells us to take a dozen apples, roast or boil them, pass them through a sieve with the yolks of three or four eggs, and as they are strained temper them with three or four spoonfuls of damask (rose) water; season them with sugar and half a dish of sweet butter, and boil them in a chafing dish and cast biscuits or cinnamon and ginger upon them.

Halliwell says, upon one authority, that apple moyse was made from apples after they had been pressed for cider, and seasoned with spices.

Probably the American confection, Apple Butter, is an evolution of the old English dish? Apple butter is a kind of jam made of tart apples, boiled in cider until reduced to a very thick smooth paste, to which is added a flavouring of allspice, while cooking. It is then placed in jars and covered tightly.

The once-popular custom of wassailing the orchard-trees’ on Christmas Eve, or the Eve of the Epiphany, is not quite extinct even yet in a few remote places in Devonshire. More than three centuries ago Herrick mentioned it among his ‘Ceremonies of Christmas Eve’:
‘Wassaile the trees, that they may beare
You many a Plum and many a Peare:
For more or lesse fruits they will bring,
As you do give them Wassailing.’
The ceremony consisted in the farmer, with his family and labourers, going out into the orchard after supper, bearing with them a jug of cider and hot cakes. The latter were placed in the boughs of the oldest or best bearing trees in the orchard, while the cider was flung over the trees after the farmer had drunk their health in some such fashion as the following:
‘Here’s to thee, old apple-tree!
Whence thou may’st bud, and whence thou may’st blow,
Hats full! Caps full!
Bushel – bushel-bags full!
And my pockets full too! Huzza!’
The toast was repeated thrice, the men and boys often firing off guns and pistols, and the women and children shouting loudly.

Roasted apples were usually placed in the pitcher of cider, and were thrown at the trees with the liquid. Trees that were bad bearers were not honoured with wassailing but it was thought that the more productive ones would cease to bear if the rite were omitted. It is said to have been a relic of the heathen sacrifices to Pomona. The custom also prevailed in Somersetshire and Dorsetshire.

Roast apples, or crabs, formed an indispensable part of the old-fashioned ‘wassailbowl,’ or ‘good brown bowl,” of our ancestors.
‘And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl
In very likeness of a roasted Crab’
Puck relates in Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

The mixture of hot spiced ale, wine or cider, with apples and bits of toast floating in it was often called ‘Lamb’s wool,’ some say from its softness, but the word is really derived from the Irish ‘la mas nbhal,’ ‘the feast of the apple-gathering’ (All Hallow Eve), which being pronounced somewhat like ‘Lammas-ool,’ was corrupted into ‘lamb’s wool.’ It was usual for each person who partook of the spicy beverage to take out an apple and eat it, wishing good luck to the company.

—Constituents—Various analyses show that the Apple contains from 80 to 85 per cent. of water, about 5 per cent. of proteid or nitrogenous material, from 10 to 15 per cent. of carbonaceous matter, including starch and sugar, from 1 to 1.5 per cent. of acids and salts. The sugar content of a fresh apple varies from 6 to 10 per cent., according to the variety. In spite of the large proportion of water, the fresh Apple is rich in vitamins, and is classed among the most valuable of the anti-scorbutic fruits for relieving scurvy. All apples contain a varying amount of the organic acids, malic acid and gallic acid, and an abundance of salts of both potash and soda, as well as salts of lime, magnesium, and iron.

It has been calculated that in 100 grams of dried apples, there are contained 1.7 milligrams of iron in sweet varieties and 2.1 milligrams in sour varieties. It has also been proved by analysis that the Apple contains a larger quantity of phosphates than any other vegetable or fruit.

The valuable acids and salt of the Apple exist to a special degree in and just below the skin, so that, to get the full value of an apple, it should be eaten unpeeled.

The bark of the Apple-tree which is bitter, especially the root-bark, contains a principle called Phloridzin, and a yellow colouring matter, Quercetin, both extracted by boiling water. The seeds give Amygdaline and an edible oil.

Apple oil is Amyl Valerate or Amylvaleric Ester. An alcoholic solution has been used as a flavouring liquid, called Apple Essence.

Fresh apple-juice is employed for the N.F. Ferrated Extract of Apples.

—Medicinal Uses—The chief dietetic value of apples lies in the malic and tartaric acids. These acids are of signal benefit to persons of sedentary habits, who are liable to liver derangements, and they neutralize the acid products of gout and indigestion. ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is a respectable old rhyme that has some reason in it.

The acids of the Apple not only make the fruit itself digestible, but even make it helpful in digesting other foods. Popular instinct long ago led to the association of apple sauce with such rich foods as pork and goose, and the old English fancy for eating apple pie with cheese, an obsolete taste, nowadays, is another example of instinctive inclination, which science has approved.

The sugar of a sweet apple, like most fruit sugars, is practically a predigested food, and is soon ready to pass into the blood to provide energy and warmth for the body.

A ripe raw apple is one of the easiest vegetable substances for the stomach to deal with, the whole process of its digestion being completed in eighty-five minutes.

The juice of apples, without sugar, will often reduce acidity of the stomach; it becomes changed into alkaline carbonates, and thus corrects sour fermentation.

It is stated on medical authority that in countries where unsweetened cider is used as a common beverage, stone or calculus is unknown, and a series of inquiries made of doctors in Normandy, where cider is the principal drink, brought to light the fact that not a single case of stone had been met with during forty years.

Ripe, juicy apples eaten at bedtime every night will cure some of the worst forms of constipation. Sour apples are the best for this purpose. Some cases of sleeplessness have been cured in this manner. People much inclined to biliousness will find this practice very valuable. In some cases stewed apples will agree perfectly well, while raw ones prove disagreeable. There is a very old saying:
‘To eat an apple going to bed
Will make the doctor beg his bread.’
The Apple will also act as an excellent dentifrice, being a food that is not only cleansing to the teeth on account of its juices, but just hard enough to mechanically push back the gums so that the borders are cleared of deposits.

Rotten apples used as a poultice is an old Lincolnshire remedy for sore eyes, that is still in use in some villages.

It is no exaggeration to say that the habitual use of apples will do much to prolong life and to ameliorate its conditions. In the Edda, the old Scandinavian saga, Iduna kept in a box, apples that she gave to the gods to eat, thereby to renew their youth.

A French physician has found that the bacillus of typhoid fever cannot live long in apple juice, and therefore recommends doubtful drinking water to be mixed with cider.

A glucoside in small crystals is obtainable from the bark and root of the apple, peach and plum, which is said to induce artificial diabetes in animals, and thus can be used in curing it in human beings.

The original pomatum seems to date from Gerard’s days, when an ointment for roughness of the skin was made from apple pulp, swine’s grease, and rosewater.

The astringent verjuice, rich in tannin, of the Crab, is helpful in chronic diarrhoea.

The bark may be used in decoction for intermittent and bilious fevers.

Cider in which horse-radish has been steeped has been found helpful in dropsy.

Cooked apples make a good local application for sore throat in fevers, inflammation of the eyes, erysipelas, etc.

Stewed apples are laxative; raw ones not invariably so.

—Dosages—Of infusion of the bark, 1 to 4 fluid ounces. Of phloridzin, 5 to 20 grains.

—Other Species—
APPLE OF SODOM (Solanum sosomeum). This is a prickly species found near the Dead Sea, full of dust when ripe, the result of insects’ eggs deposited in the young fruit. Some regard the name as referring to Colocynth, and others again to Calatropis procera.

ADAM’S APPLE is a variety of the Lime (Citrus limetta). Superstition relates that a piece of the forbidden apple stuck in Adam’s throat, and his descendants ever after had the lump in the front of the neck which is so named.

MAY APPLE. American Mandrake, Racoonberry, Hog-apple, Devil’s Apple, Indian Apple, or Wild Lemon, a purgative used in liver complaints.

THORN-APPLE. Datura stramonium, Jamestown Weed, Stinkweed, or Apple of Peru has narcotic, anodyne leaves and seeds.

CUSTARD APPLES, or Annonas, grow in hotter countries than common apples. Several species are edible, especially Annona tripetela, A. squamosa and A. glabra. A. palustris of Jamaica, also called Shiningleaved Custard Apple or Alligator Apple, is said to be a strong narcotic. The wood is so soft that it is used for corks.

PINE APPLE is the fruit of Bromelia ananas, deriving its name from its pine-cone shape.

LOVE APPLE, or Tomato Plant, is the fruit of Solanum lycopersicum or Lycopersicum esculentum.

MAD, or JEW’S APPLE is the fruit of S. esculentum.

RED ASTRACEIAN APPLE is var. Astracanica of P. malus. Var. Paradisiaca and var. Pendula are also well-known.

Varieties of Crabs are Dartmouth or Hyslop, Fairy, John Downie, Orange, Transcendent and Transparent.

MALAY APPLE is the fruit of Eugenia malaccensis.

ROSE APPLE, or Jamrosade, is the fruit of E. jambos. The bark and seeds arc employed in diarrhoea and diabetes. Dose, of fluid extract, 10 minims or more, in hot water.

THE STAR APPLE (Chrysophyllum cainito) of the West Indies has an astringent, milky juice.

APPLE OF ACAJOU is a name of Anacardium occidentale, which yields a caustic oil used like croton oil. It is used in marking-ink. It also supplies a gum like gum-arabic.

CEDAR APPLES are excrescences on the trunk of Juniperus virginiana, used as an anthelmintic in the dose of from 10 to 20 grains three times a day.

ELEPHANT APPLE is the fruit of Feronia elephantum.

KANGAROO APPLE is the fruit of S. laciniatum.

KAU, or KEL APPLE is the South African name for the fruit of Abaria Kaffra.

MAMMEE APPLE is the fruit of Mammea americana.

MANDRAKE APPLE is the fruit of Mandragora officinalis.

MONKEY APPLE is the West Indian name for Clusia flava.

OAK-APPLES are spongy excrescences on the branches of oak-trees.

OATAHETTE APPLE is the fruit of Spondias dulcis.

PERSIAN APPLE is the name by which the peach was first known in Europe.

PRAIRIE APPLE is Psoralea esculenta.

WILD BALSAM APPLE is Ehinocystis lobata.

Ishikore-Dome

Themes: Arts & excellence
Symbols: Stone & mirror

About Ishikore-Dome: This Shinto goddess is the protectress of all
stonecutters and smiths, having fashioned the mold from which an
eight-petaled mirror was made for Amaterasu ( the Sun goddess ). The
beauty of Ishikore-Dome’s creation was such that Amaterasu came out of
hiding, bringing spring’s wonderful sunshine with her! Similarly,
Ishikore-Dome tempts us to come out of our home-cave today, explore and
express our talents, and enjoy the warmer weather.

To Do Today: The sign of Aries is said to produce a feisty, courageous
spirit, which is exactly what it takes sometimes to stop being the
proverbial wallflower and try new things. If there’s an art form you’ve
always wanted to try, or one that you love but hesitate to try because
of perceived shortcomings, let Ishikore-Dome’s encouraging energy nudge
you into action today. Remember, Buddhists believe that developing
artistic proficiency comes down to three things: practice, practice,
practice!

To conduct yourself with greater courage and a unique artistic flair;
make a simple Ishikore-Dome charm from a small mirror. Face-down on the
mirror, glue a symbol of the area in your life in which you need more
creativity, mastery, or mettle and carry it with you. This symbolically
reflects your desire to the goddess

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

Goddess Meditation

She is mad, Her lover is mad, and I am mad for loving Her!
This world is bewitched by the lovely Goddess.
No one can describe how lovely She is, how glorious,
how perfect Her gestures, how sudden Her moods.
Her lover, poisoned with love for her, calls out Her name
endlessly, singing Kali’s name over and over and over.
Life has its currents, cycles, tides which ebb and flow.
She looks upon them all with equanimity.
Nothing is opposite in her mind: not life, not death;
not love, not hate; not the self, not the void.
Your raft, the poet said, floats upon the sea of life.
It drifts up with the tide, and down with the ebb.
But the Goddess is there. The Goddess is always there.
~ Indian Poet Ramakrishna

On this day, when light and darkness are briefly equal, before the light
grows and swells and carries the world into summer, it is good to
meditate upon the ultimate falsity of all divisions. Kali, the fierce
Hindu goddess, reminds us of that truth: that existence is not bound by
our false dualities. There is no light, no darkness in Kali’s world.
What she offers us is not a gray mixture of black and white, but a
paradoxical world in which both exists in all moments, at all points, in
all ways. Life is both pain and pleasure, love and hate. Kali is beyond
both, but includes both.

Meditating upon Kali is one of the great traditions of Hindu India. The
paradoxes and mysteries she expresses are almost beyond words, though
great poets like Ramakrishna have spent lifetimes trying. As the sun
dances briefly in her perfect balance, let us join the poet in marveling
at the power of the goddess.

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

Imagine Your Dream Garden

Adapted from Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, by Cait Johnson SkyLight
Paths, 2003

People have imagined paradise as a garden for millennia. Certainly,
images of gardens, with their complex interweaving of wild and tamed,
can give us deep soul-nourishment, especially if we take a little time
to imagine a garden of our dreams.

If you could use a little spirit-nourishment and inspiration, try these
simple steps: you don’t need a trowel or even a packet of seeds, only a
few minutes and the willingness to imagine. A ten-minute visit to your
Dream Garden can feel better than a week-long vacation! Why wait?

1.) Start imagining the basic nature of your dream-garden. Would it be
stately or wild and tangled? What grows there? Are there fruit trees as
well as flowers? Are there little winding paths or spacious promenades?
Secret bowers and nooks to sit in? Large trees to lean against? How does
it smell?

2.) How do you feel when you go there in your mind? What does your
spirit long for that this garden feeds?

3.) You may come across pictures that remind you of your spirit-garden.
I recently opened a magazine to an article on a beautiful old house and
organic garden in Provence that I somehow instantly recognized. “This,”
I thought, “is it.” It had soft, high banks of lush herbs, abundant
fruit trees, a terrace where friends sat drinking wine in the setting
sun surrounded by flowers–it looked like my idea of paradise. What does
yours look like? You may want to begin collecting photos from lifestyle
and gardening magazines, not so you can deplete yourself and your bank
account trying to replicate them, but just for dreaming, for
soul-nourishment.

4.) Visit your dream-garden often. Learn its paths and byways. You may
discover things you didn’t know were there: a secret spring, or a pool
tucked away among the plants. Imagine picking a ripe apple from your
sprit-tree. Imagine how warm from the sun, how perfect and heavy it lies
in your hand. Imagine its sweet scent, the lushness of its flavor. Allow
yourself to experience every pleasure you desire.

Earth, Water, Fire, and Air
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1893361659/caremailgreeting

Copyright: Adapted from Earth, Water, Fire, and Air
by Cait Johnson SkyLight Paths, 2003
Copyright (c) 2003 by Cait Johnson. Reprinted by permission of SkyLight
Paths.

**Disclaimer: Care2.com does not warrant and shall have no liability for
information provided in this newsletter or on Care2.com. Each individual
person, fabric, or material may react differently to a particular
suggested use. It is recommended that before you begin to use any
formula, you read the directions carefully and test it first. Should you
have any health care-related questions or concerns, please call or see
your physician or other health care provider.

http://www.Care2.com

Star Oil

¼ Ounce Almond Oil
10 Drops of Lemon Oil
7 Drops of Jasmine Oil
7 Drops of Rosemary Oil
17 Drops Camomile Oil
5 Drops of Sandalwood Oil

Creamy Four-Herb Pesto

Toss this green pesto with a short-cut pasta, such as ziti, chunky pieces of
cooked chicken breast, steamed vegetables, and chopped fresh tomatoes and
the feast is complete. Just add a green salad and warm crusty bread.

½ cup chèvre cheese

½ cup sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ cup fresh basil leaves

¼ cup chicken broth

¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Dash of salt, or to taste

garnish (optional): sprigs of fresh herbs, freshly grated Romano cheese

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor. Process until the
consistency is nearly smooth.
Toss with hot freshly cooked pasta. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Advance preparation
Covered and refrigerated, this pesto will keep for up to 2 days. Bring to
room temperature before tossing with hot, freshly cooked pasta.

Bath Beads

Ingredients:
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 tbs. powdered sugar
2 tbs. borax powder
1/4 cup rose water or orange water
2 tsp. Vitamin E oil
10 drops essential oil

Directions:
Combine milk, sugar, and borax powder in a bowl,
stirring until well mixed. Add water, vitamin E oil,
and essential oil. Stir until you have a thick dough.
Roll dough into a ball 1 tsp. at a time with your
hands. Place balls on a sheet of tin foil or waxed
paper and let dry for 24 hrs.

Candle Cup craft

( Source Unknown to me )

Love Candles? Hate to spend a lot of money for them? Here’s a way to make beautiful creations for very little money. To top it off, they make wonderful gifts for family and friends, especially around the holidays.
Candle Cups

Items Needed:
Old cups
Old Candles (or other type of wax)
Scented Oil
Wick
Needle or small ice pick
Directions:
Melt down wax or old candles and mix with some scented oil.
Pour melted oil mixed with scent into cup.
When wax is almost almost dry, but still soft around the edges, tump cup upside down and slide wax out.
Taking your needle,or small ice pick, push completely through the bottom of the wax straight through to the top of the wax. Make sure it is centered.
Once the hole has been done, thread wick through candle, cutting it at the top, leaving at least a half-inch to an inch sticking up.
Place wax back in cup. While wax is still pliable, you can take your fingers or other items and make designs on the top of the candle of desired.
If you just want a plain candle, place wax back in cup, making sure to press wax down against edges of cup to form a tight seal.
Once wax has hardened, place a gift tag on cup and give to a friend.
Bargain Idea:
Search yard sales and Estate Auctions for unique cups and other items that would make a great candle.
You can buy wick cheaper if you buy from a craft store by the yard.
If you don’t have old candles that are all the same color, don’t worry. Melt down different color candles, one at a time. Pour first one in, let harden; then repeat with another color. You may use as many colors as you like.
(HINT: These look best in clear cups)
To insert wick, simply place cup in warm water until edges are softened. Remove cup, tilt upside down, remove wax, insert needle or ice pick and thread in wick

Blessing Seeds

Seeds and bulbs have always been considered talismans or charms of
life. They are the core of green growing things and as such are the
very essence of magic. It is important to bond with your seeds and
so prepare them for their roles in your garden with love. All things
respond to love. To begin this relationship, it is traditional to
keep the seeds in or under one’s mattress or pillow for three days,
and only love and peace can occur in that bed during that time!
In short, treat your seeds like your children!

It is said one should wrap them in white cotton cloth to bless them.
It is traditional to greet the seeds in the morning and tell them
good night after your lights are turned off. During the three days
they are with you, talk to the seeds and encourage them to grow and
be happy and live up to their full potential. Tell them how happy
they make you and how you will bring them into your life…

When you plant them, it is an old practice to shed a tear or two into
the Earth where you plant. Just as children depart the home to grow
and prosper, so should you see your seeds as your little green
children.

from: The Magical Garden By Sophia

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