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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Arnica

Botanical: Arnica montana (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
—Synonyms—Mountain Tobacco. Leopard’s Bane.
—Parts Used—Root, flowers.
—Habitat—Arnica montana or Leopard’s Bane is a perennial herb, indigenous to Central Europe, in woods and mountain pastures. It has been found in England and Southern Scotland. but is probably an escape.

——————————————————————————–

Mountain Arnica
(arnica montana)
—Description—The leaves form a flat rosette, from the centre of which rises a flower stalk, 1 to 2 feet high, bearing orange-yellow flowers. The rhizome is dark brown, cylindrical, usually curved, and bears brittle wiry rootlets on the under surface.
—Cultivation—Arnica thrives in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. It may be propagated by root division or from seed. Divide in spring. Sow in early spring in a cold frame, and plant out in May.

The flowers are collected entire and dried, but the receptacles are sometimes removed as they are liable to be attacked by insects.

The root is collected in autumn after the leaves have died down.

—Constituents—A bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volatile oil. Tannin and phulin are also present. The flowers are said to contain more Arnicin than the rhizome, but no tannin.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has long been a popular remedy. In the North American colonies the flowers are used in preference to the rhizome. They have a discutient property. The tincture is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. Repeated applications may produce severe inflammation. It is seldom used internally, because of its irritant effect on the stomach. Its action is stimulant and diuretic, and it is chiefly used in low fevers and paralytie affections.

Arnica flowers are sometimes adulterated with other composite flowers, especially Calendula officinalis, Inula brittanica, Kragapogon pratensis, and Scorzonera humilis.

A homoeopathic tincture, X6, has been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy; also for seasickness, 3 X before sailing, and every hour on board till comfortable.

For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tineture has brought great relief. Applied to the scalp it will make the hair grow.

Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and many severe cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally.

British Pharmacopoeia Tincture, root, 10 to 30 drops. United States Pharmacopoeia Tincture, flowers, 10 to 30 drops.

Isolt

Themes: Love, fertility & sexuality.
Symbols: White items.

About Isolt: Known throughout Western Europe as the lover of Tristan,
Isolt of the White Hands is a Celtic Goddess who encourages devoted love
and improves sexual expression within a relationship. Close studies
of her stories indicate three women who held this role, alluding to an
ancient triple Goddess whose role changed with time and bardic
adaptations.

To Do Today: In France, this is a time for women to come to a cave in
Province thought to be an ancient dwelling of the Goddess ( later
attributed to Mary Magdalene ). They travel here from miles around
seeking love and/or fertility, the cave acting like a creative womb in
which the Goddess’s power grows. If you’re fortunate to live in an area
with caves, take a moment to visit one today. Sit inside and let Isolt
hold you in her loving arms or fill you with an appetite for your
partner. Otherwise, create a makeshift cave out of blankets draped
over a table. Meditate inside, visualizing Isolt’s white light
filling your heart chakra until it all but bursts with devotion and
fervor.

If you’re seeking a mate, use this time to express your desires to
Isolt, visualizing your ideal mate in as much detail as possible. Then
get out and start socializing, so the Goddess can open the path to love.

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

Goddess of the Day

I am first, I am last.
I am loved and I am scorned.
I am life, I am death.
I am pure and I am soiled.
I am the knowledge
that hides within all questions.
I am what is sought, and I
am the seeking itself.
I am all that is within you
and all that is outside you.
I am the garment that shows you
the secret of your soul.

On this day that is traditionally the feast of Mary Magdalene, it is
appropriate to consider the hidden possibilities in the most familiar
stories. Esoteric traditions, like that of the Gnostics, teach us that
feminine power is not only found in life’s beauties, but in her
difficulties as well. The Goddess encompasses all of life. She is the
seed sprouting and growing, but she is also the seed that sprouts only
to die. She is the hopeful moment when life seems all dawning potential,
and she is the despair of shattered hopes. She is the pain of birth, the
release of death, and she is the beauty of new life, the wild anguish of
death. The Goddess is the totality of all that is.

As we learn how to acknowledge the complex nature of the goddess, we no
longer divide life into black and white, good and bad, up and down, pain
and pleasure. We see how everything is related, how life cycles from
birth to death and back again. We learn to embrace the Goddess in her
entirety, neither shrinking from life’s challenges nor failing to
celebrate her beauties. We see her as she is, multiple and
ever-changing.

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

Listening to the Pulse of the Universe

__________________________________

The pink blossomed tree,
The bees,
The hum,
Are One.

__________________________________

What do you hear when it is very, very quiet? It is not nothing. The
universe hums. Sound is vibration, and the world vibrates. We have the
ability to sense vibrations in the air, and we call it hearing. We hear
birds singing, people talking, vehicles moving, wind blowing, fans
humming, water falling. Our minds sort the sounds by importance. You may
hear birds calling aas you awaken in the morning, but as you go about
your daily business, you may no longer notice the sound. You may hear
people talking, but not really attend to what they are saying, until you
hear your name spoken. When you drive, you probably don’t notice the
sound of the engine, unless the vibration changes, and then your
awareness focuses on the unfamiliar motor noise, and you tune out the
radio or the person in the passenger seat talking to you.

Normally, we are bombarded with all sorts of sounds in the course of our
day and are aware of relatively little of it. Much of the sound is of no
significance to us, so we tune it out. People vary in their ability to
do this, and for many of us the need to tune out noise in our daily
routine creates stress. When you are trying to concentrate and the radio
or TV is playing or people are talking nearby, the task becomes harder.
Tension increases and concentration suffers.

Meditation is best done in a quiet place. If quiet is unattainable,
masking sounds, such as calming music, recordings of  nature sounds,
or even white noise, like the sound of a fan, can help screen the
distractions. Chanting also helps the meditator to screen out
distracting sound. In addition, it creates a physical vibration in the
body of the chanter that may be calming, yet energizing.

Let’s assume though, that you can find a quiet place to sit. Maybe this
is a place far from the hubbub of the world. If there were no
significant sound vibrations in the air, what would you hear? Maybe the
air molecules doing their random dance would cause a quiet hum in your
ears. You might hear the soft sound of your breathing. You might even
hear your heart beating and the blood pulsing in your body. If you are
very still, your whole body may become like your ears, and you will feel
the vibrations in your cells as if they were sounds. You might feel/hear
the electrical pulses of nerve cells passing messages down the line. You
might hear/feel the rustling of protoplasm as cells grow, divide, and
die. If you tune in even more, you might think you can sense the
rattling of atoms as they bump together and electrons bounce around
their paths of probability. When you are very still the universe hums,
and the humming is a chorus that forms an infinite song.

Practice:
Notice your awareness of sound. Stop what you are doing now and then,
and just listen. What do you hear, when listening attentively, that you
screened out a moment ago. What sounds demand your attention? What
sounds irritate you? What sounds soothe you?

__________________________________

Do a sound inventory of your home or work place. What do you hear there?
Is it too noisy for comfort? Can you turn down the volume, at least some
of the time, to create more peace and quiet? You may need to negotiate
with those who share your space. Talk about it.

__________________________________

In meditation, try just listening. Instead of concentrating on one
thing, open your awareness as wide as it will go. Listen receptively.
Become aware of whatever sounds come to you.  Notice how your
attention moves from one sound to another. Notice where attention fades.
Notice where it sharpens.
Listen with your whole body. Where are the boundaries between hearing
and feeling? Can you hear your soft breathing? Can you hear your pulse?
What else can you hear?

__________________________________

The Thunder of Now
Plowing the field of magnificent potential,
We view our lives as if  through a microscope.
Addicted to progression, our history making
Folds in the converging lines of events,
So that the highly improbable appears,
In its fixed past, inevitable.
Pulling clear lines out of chaos,
Life becomes ordered, predictable and small.
Instead, listen to the universe squeezing itself into existence.
Pieces of being crackle into nowness,
Moment by moment,
Probabilities freeze into real time.
Like a flock of crows drawn together by mysterious attraction,
This “right now” flies at us
From the vestiges of “a moment ago.”
Gather yourself to awe
At the thunder of unfathomable being
Drawing up creation.

Tom Barrett
April 1998

© 1999-2004 Tom Barrett
http://www.InterludeRetreat.com

Business Incense

(To attract customers)
 
 
2 parts benzoin
1 part cinnamon
1 part basil

Noodles in Faery Butter

>From Wisteria’s Faery Recipes

4 hard-boiled egg yolks
2 tablespoons orange flower water (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
1 lb. noodles (any kind), cooked
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1 orange, sliced (garnish)
Beat the egg yolks, sugar, butter, thyme, basil, and orange water in
a small bowl until smooth. Mix enough of the butter with the hot
noodles to coat the noodles with a golden-yellow color. Garnish with
orange slices.

Yield: 8 Servings

Happy Bath

4 drops bergamot essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil
1 drop basil essential oil
Disperse the oils in a bathtubful of warm water. Soak in the bath for
twenty minutes.

Pumpkin seed necklace

Pumpkin seed necklace

THIS YEAR, when you hollow out that Halloween pumpkin, save the seeds to make enchanting and colorful jewelry. Separate the seeds from the pulp and rinse them well in warm water. Spin them in a salad spinner, then spread them out on paper towels to dry completely.
When the seeds are dry, color them with felt-tipped markers, leaving some uncolored if you wish. Make holes near the center of each seed, using an awl and a block of wood. String the seeds with a large-eyed needle and fine elastic, using 125 to 130 seeds for a necklace, far fewer for a matching bracelet. (Measure around your neck or wrist before cutting the elastic, allowing a little extra to tie the finishing knot.)

FACE PAINT: For each color, use 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon cold cream, 1/2 teaspoon water, and 1 to 2 drops food coloring. In a paper cup, mix the cornstarch and cold cream. Add the water and food coloring; stir. Use a paintbrush or cotton swab to apply paint. Remove with soap and water.
FACE MAKEUP: In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon flour. Stir in 3/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 cup water until smooth. Divide mixture into 4 paper cups; add food coloring to 3 of them. For a makeover, use tissue paper torn lengthwise into 2-inch strips. Paint untinted mixture onto a section of the face. Place strips of tissue paper over it. Cover with more untinted mixture. Continue covering face, one area at a time. For warts, stick puffed wheat cereal to the untinted mixture; cover with tissue paper. When dry, use the color mixtures to paint the face. To remove, wet the face and peel tissue away. Wash with soap and water.
Pumpkin and ginger cookies
These soft, cakey cookies are best eaten the same day they’re baked. That won’t be any trouble!
•    1-1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
•    1 cup pumpkin puree
•    1 large egg
•    2 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot, or more to taste
•    2 tablespoons sour cream
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
•    2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•    1 cup chopped walnuts
•    1 cup currants or chopped raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease two cookie sheets. Combine brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, gingerroot, sour cream, and vanilla in a food processor. Process to a smooth puree. Add the soft butter and process for 8 more seconds.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid in two stages, just until blended. Fold in the walnuts and currants (or raisins). Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets, leaving 2-1/2 inches between each one. Bake for 15 minutes. When done, the cookies will form a crust, but they’ll still be soft to the touch. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Blessing of Food

Hold high the platter of food and say:

“I request thee, oh great lady,
 To fill these articles of food a holder of your mighty energy”

Lay down the platter of food and hold your hands over it.

“Guard me waking, oh lord of light,
And watch me sleeping, oh lady Night.
I take thine food in to cleanse my soul,
Allow me to eat from thine holy bowl”

Use your athame to draw a pentacle over the food:

” I request all negativity from this food be drawn,
Force thine evil from thine dawn.
Allow me pure life and being to,
In thou food, eat of it too”

Eat the food and return extra energy.

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