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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Apricot

Botanical: Prunus Armeniaca (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
—Synonyms—Apricock. Armeniaca vulgaris.
—Parts Used—Kernels, oil.
—Habitat—Although formerly supposed to come from Armenia, where it was long cultivated, hence the name Armeniaca, there is now little doubt that its original habitat is northern China, the Himalaya region and other parts of temperate Asia. It is cultivated generally throughout temperate regions. Introduced into England, from Italy, in Henry VIII’s reign.

——————————————————————————–
—Description—A hardy tree, bearing stone fruit, closely related to the peach. The leaves are broad and roundish, with pointed apex; smooth; margin, finely serrated; petiole 1/2 inch to an inch long, generally tinged with red. The flowers are sessile, white, tinged with the same dusky red that appears on the petiole, with five regular sepals and petals and many stamens, and open very early in the spring. The fruit, which ripens end of July to mid-August, according to variety, is a drupe, like the plum, with a thin outer, downy skin enclosing the yellow flesh (mesocarp), the inner layers becoming woody and forming the large, smooth, compressed stone, the ovule ripening into the kernel, or seed. As a rule in Britain, the fruit rarely ripens unless the tree is trained against a wall; when growing naturally, it is a medium-sized tree. It is propagated by budding on the musselplum stock. A great number of varieties are distinguished by cultivators. Large quantities of the fruit are imported from France. The kernels of several varieties are edible and in Egypt, those of the Musch-musch variety form a considerable article of commerce. Like those of the peach, apricot kernels contain constituents similar to those of the bitter almond: they are imported in large quantities from Syria and California and are oftenused by confectioners in the place of bitter almonds, which they so closely resemble as to be with difficulty distinguished.
The French liqueur Eau de Noyaux is prepared from bitter apricot kernels.

—Constituents—Apricot kernels yield by expression 40 to 50 per cent. of a fixed oil, similar to that which occurs in the sweet almond and in the peach kernel, consisting chiefly of Olein, with a small proportion of the Glyceride of Linolic acid, and commonly sold as Peach Kernel oil (Ol. Amygdae Pers.). From the cake is distilled, by digestion with alcohol, an essential oil (0l. Amygdae Essent. Pers.) which contains a colourless, crystalline glucoside, Amygdalin, and is chemically identical with that of the bitter almond. The essential oil is used in confectionery and as a culinary flavouring.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Apricot oil is used as a substitute for Oil of Almonds, which it very closely resembles. It is far less expensive and finds considerable employment in cosmetics, for its softening action on the skin. It is often fraudulently added to genuine Almond oil and used in the manufacture of soaps, cold creams and other preparations of the perfumery trade.

Isis

Themes: Magick, harvest, dreams, divination, perspective, faithfulness,
love, spirituality & destiny
Symbols: bloodstone, amethyst, silver, myrrh, cedar, hawk & Moon

About Isis: One of the most complete Goddess figures in history, Isis
breathes on us with spring winds to revitalize and fulfill our spirits
in every way. Egyptians venerated Isis as the Queen of Sorcery; Life of
the Nile, Mother Moon, and Protectress. Isis taught humankind the basic
skills necessary to build civilizations, and she came to represent the
powerful attributes of faithfulness, love, inner beauty, oracular
insight, and spiritual awareness ( to name just a few ). She could also
change her follower’s destiny.

To Do Today: Today was the Spring harvest festival in Egypt, honouring
the giver of all life, Isis. Put a bloodstone or amethyst in your pocket
today to inspire any or all of Isis’s characteristics in your soul and
life. If you have any silver or white clothing, wearing them will also
foster Isis-centered energy, because these colors are associated with
the Moon.

One traditional activity today is fortune-telling, an art under Isis’s
dominion. To encourage visionary dreams from her, put some rose petals
under your pillow before going to bed, and burn some myrrh or jasmine
incense. Keep a dream diary handy, and write your impressions
immediately upon waking so you won’t lose the insight.

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

Goddess Meditation

I am the goddess, mistress of the land.
It is I who created the unbreakable laws.
It is I who divided Earth and heaven.
It is I who charted the stars.
It is I who set the Moon and Sun overhead.
It is I who ordered the tides.
It is I who brought men and women together
and I who created all the mysteries.
It is I who made justice stronger than wealth,
and I who designed penalties for evil.
It is I who first created mercy,
and I who metes it out.
I am the queen of Earth and wind and sea,
queen of thunder, queen of the Sun.
Only I can overcome fate.
Only I can overcome death.
~ Song of Isis, Egypt

The power of the Goddess is the power of creation. The Egyptians, and
the Romans who also worshipped the Egyptian Goddess Isis, knew something
of the complexity of her character. The genesis of all life, they said,
rests in Her. And so does its maintenance, its sustenance. As the force
of universal order, the Goddess shows us the way to maintain ourselves
in balance with the Earth and with each other. Righteousness, in her
eyes, is both kind and fierce; it is not a mixture of the two, but both
in equal measures, and unmixed.

We must be simultaneously strong and gentle in order to emulate Her. We
must take care of both ourselves and others. We must both be nourished
and nourishing, caring and cared for. Wherever we find imbalance, we can
turn to Her as a symbol of universal order.

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

Lake Meditation

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is
Earth’s eye looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his
own nature.”
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Rivers and streams are always going somewhere. A lake stays put. Most of
the time our mind may run along like a babbling brook. In meditation we
still the mind so that consciousness is like the still waters of a lake.

One may approach a state of meditative mind through relaxing into a
passive, reflective condition. Lake imagery can help you get there.

Imagine a late summer day at a beautiful mountain lake. There are no
people around. You find yourself at the shore of this deep, clear and
peaceful body of water. You are comfortable and safe and you experience
a great feeling of well-being as you appreciate the beauty of the place.
Looking into the depths of the water you find peace and calm. You see
the lake as reflecting the mountain and trees and sky and all the world,
but also reflecting your own mind.

*Imagine your mind taking on the attributes of the lake.
*The chatter of civilization seems far away and of no great urgency.
*You are where you belong right now.
*Nature has placed you here and grants you permission to stay.
*Thoughts may ripple the surface like a breeze upon the lake, but deeper
down they have no effect.
*For this brief time, those thoughts are of no importance.
*Your mind becomes still and clear.
*Your conscious mind becomes passive.
*Your mind is quiet and deep, but peaceful. *It has nothing it must do
and no place it has to go.  
*You are content to rest here in this peaceful deep calm.
*Your mind is cool, clear, and at rest.  
*Sounds may punctuate the stillness, but they require nothing of you,
and they pass away.
*Allow your mind to sink into the still water.
*Allow consciousness to sink into the depths.
*Rest there as long as you want, and then rise up to the surface again.
*As you return to your daily round, carry the peaceful spirit of lake
consciousness with you.
   
© 2002 Tom Barrett
http://www.InterludeRetreat.com

Zodiac Oils

 
For Zodiac Oils be certain to use the right amount of drops per sign.
 
*Aries Oil*
3  drops Frankincense oil
1 drop Ginger oil
1 drop Black Pepper oil
1 drop Petitgrain oil

*Taurus Oil*
4 drops Oakmoss Bouquet oil
2 drops Cardamom oil
1 drop Ylang-Ylang oil
 
*Cancer Oil*
2 drops Palmarosa oil
1 drop Chamomile oil
1 drop Yarrow oil
 
*Gemini Oil*
4 drops Lavender oil
1 drop Peppermint oil
1 drop Lemongrass oil
1 drop Sweet-Pea Bouquet oil
 
*Leo Oil*
3 drops Petitgrain oil
1 drop Orange oil
1 drop Lime oil
 
*Libra Oil*
4 drops Rose-Geranium oil
2 drops Ylang-Ylang oil
2 drops Palmarosa oil
1 drop Rose oil
1 drop Cardamom oil
 
*Scorpio Oil*
3 drops Pine oil
2 drops Cardamom oil
1 drop Black Pepper oil
 
*Sagittarius Oil*
4 drops Rosemary oil
2 drops Oakmoss Bouquet oil
1 drop Clove oil
 
*Capricorn Oil*
3 drops Vertivert oil
2 drops Cypress oil
1 drop Patchouli oil
 
*Aquarius Oil*
5 drops Lavender oil
1 drop Cypress oil
1 drop Patchouli oil
 
*Pisces Oil*
3 drops Ylang-Ylang oil
3 drops Sandalwood oil
1 drop Jasmine oil

from the archives of The Enchanted Garden

Fettuccine and Vegetables In Creamy Sauce

8 ounces fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 21/4 cups)
1 cup carrot “matchsticks” (or use store-bought shredded carrots)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 11/2-inch-long thin strips
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
11/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) bag spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta, according to package instructions, in plenty of
lightly salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until
they’re soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrots, bell
pepper, thyme, salt, nutmeg and cayenne and cook, stirring
occasionally, 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cook
until the vegetables are softened, about  5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese and remaining 1 cup of
chicken broth in a food processor or blender and puree until
smooth. Add the mixture to the skillet and heat just to a simmer
(do not allow it to come to a boil). Stir in the spinach and remove
from the heat.

4. Toss the vegetables, sauce and Parmesan with the cooked
fettuccine and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis
For each serving: 383 calories, 24 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 7
g fiber, 11 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 1,039 mg
sodium.

Serving Suggestions
Arugula tossed with quartered cherry tomatoes and dressed simply
with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Balancing Bath

4 drops geranium essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop cedarwood essential oil
1 drop vetiver essential oil
Disperse the essential oils in a bathtubful of warm water. Soak in the
bath for twenty minutes.

How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1
½ cups of warm water.

Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the
solution for 15 minutes.

Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is
completely

Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4
times, coating it completely. Hang it up to dry as before

Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.

TIPS:

Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals for coloured flames:
strontium chloride for a brilliant red flame, boric acid for a deep
red flame, calcium for a red-orange flame, calcium chloride for a
yellow-orange flame, table salt for a bright yellow flame, borax for
a yellow-green flame, copper
sulphate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame, calcium chloride
for a blue flame, potassium sulphate or potassium nitrate (saltpeter)
for a violet flame, or Epsom salts for a white flame.

WARNING:

Add ONLY one chemical for color variation.

Blessing Over Food

O Lady of the Harvest, bounteous Cerridwen,
For the meat and bread that sustain us,
And the wine that brings us joy,
We thank you and promise you,
That we will never use the strength derived from your gifts,
To willfully harm your creatures or violate your laws.

Pagan, New Age
source: Submitted by Beliefnet member RevRaven

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