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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Balsam of Peru

Botanical: Myroxylon Pereiræ (KLOTSCH)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
—Synonyms—Toluifera Pereira. Myrosperum Pereira.
—Part Used—Oleoresinous liquid.
—Habitat—Central America in the forests of San Salvado.

—Description—A large and beautiful tree with a valuable wood like mahogany, and a straight smooth trunk; the last is coarse grey, compact, heavy granulated and a pale straw colour, containing a resin which changes from citron to dark brown; smell and taste balsamic and aromatic. Leaves alternately, abruptly pinnate, leaflets two pairs mostly opposite, ovate, lanceolate with the end blunt emarginate; every part of the tree including the leaves abounds in a resinous juice. The mesocarp of the fruit is fibrous, and the balsamic juice which is abundant is contained in two distinct receptacles, one on each side. The beans contain Coumarin, the husks an extremely acrid bitter resin, and a volatile oil; a gum resin, quite distinct from the proper balsam, exudes from the trunk of the tree and contains gum resin and a volatile oil; the tree commences to be productive after five or six years, and continues to yield for thirty years; the flower has a fragrance which can be smelt a hundred yards away.
The process of extraction produces three grades of balsam; the title ‘Balsam of Peru’ is derived from the fact of its being shipped from Peru. There are several fictitious Peruvian balsams found in commerce, but they do not contain the same properties. A white balsam is made from the fruit of Myroxylon Peruviatta or Pereiræ, which has a peculiar resinous body and none of the chemical constituents of Balsam of Peru; this is termed Myroxocarpin. Another substance obtained from the same tree and much used in Central America is termed Balsamito, it is an alcoholic extract of the young fruit. This is used as a stimulant, diuretic, anthelmintic and external application to gangrenous ulcers and to remove freckles. Balsam of Peru is warm and aromatic, much hotter and more stimulating than Balsam of Copaiba and is used for similar complaints. It is specially useful for rheumatic pains and chronic coughs.

—Constituents—A colourless, aromatic, oily liquid, termed cinnamein, dark resin peruviol, small quantity of vanillin and cinnamic acid.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Stimulant, expectorant, parasiticide. Used in scabies and skin diseases; it destroys the itch acarus and its eggs, and is much to be preferred to sulphur ointment, also of value in prurigo, pruritis and in later stages of acute eczema. It is a good antiseptic expectorant and a stimulant to the heart, increasing blood pressure; its action resembles benzoic acid. It is applied externally to sore nipples and discharges from the ear. Given internally, it lessens mucous secretions, and is of value in bronchorrhoea gleet, leucorrhoea and chronic bronchitis, and asthma. It is also used in soap manufacturing, for its fragrance, and because it makes a soft creamy lather, useful for chapped hands. Balsam of Peru can be applied alone or as an ointment made by melting it with an equal weight of tallow.

—Dose—10 to 30 drops, best given in syrup, with the yolk of an egg added, or with gumarabic.

—Adulterations—Castor oil, Copaiba, Canada turpentine, etc.

—Other Species—
The pod is used in the island as a carminative, and externally in the form of a tincture. As a lotion for rheumatic pains, the stems yield a balsamic juice.

This bark is used in powder and in decoction for wounds and ulcers, and the dried concrete juice of the trunk of the tree IS very similar to Balsam of Peru.


Themes: Spring, Protection, Overcoming, Kinship, Energy, Joy
Symbols: Birch & Bells

About Lada: Lada bursts forth from her Winter hiding place today in
full Slavic costume and dances with joy, grateful for Spring’s
arrival. As Lada moves, her skirts sweep away sickness and usher in
the Earth’s blossoming beauty. She bears a birch tree and flowers to
honour the Earth’s fertility and to begin planting anew.

To Do Today: This spring festival is overflowing with Lada’s vibrancy
and begins with the demolition of a snowman, symbolic of winter’s
complete overthrow. If you live in a region where there’s no snow,
take out an ice cube and put a flowering seed atop it. Let it melt,
then plant the seed with “Winter’s” water to welcome Lada back to the

Bells ring throughout this day in Switzerland to proclaim spring and
ring out any remaining winter maladies and shadows. Adapt this by
taking a handheld bell ( you can get small ones at craft stores ) and
ringing it in every room of the house, intoning Lada’s revitalizing
energy. Or, just ring your doorbell, open the door, and bring in some
flowers as a way of offering Lada’s spirit hospitality.

Finally, wear something with a floral print today or enjoy a glass of
birch beer. Better still, make a birch beer float so the ice cream (
snow ) melts amid Lada’s warmth, bringing that transformative power into
you as you sip.

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

Goddess Affirmations

What greater praise can I give you than to call you
green? Green, rooted in light, shining like the Sun that
pours riches on the wheeling Earth; incomprehensible
green, divinely mysterious green, comforting arms of
divine green protecting us in their powerful circle.
And yet, lady, you are more than even the noblest green,
for you glow red as breaking dawn, you shine white
as the incandescent Sun. Splendid virgin, none
of our physical senses can explain or comprehend you.
~ Christian Poet Hildegarde of Bingin, Item de Virginibus

It is not ancient and tribal people who have found spiritual
significance in nature. The great Christian Hildegarde could have been a
Pagan philosopher, so deeply did she embed natural imagery in her songs
to the Virgin Mary. She did not intend heresy; she did not, in fact,
perceive herself as especially unorthodox. But the senses spoke to her,
as they spoke to other mystics of other lands and times. And she saw
that this world’s beauty is not antithetical to the spiritual life, but
rather enhances and expresses it.

Thus she speaks of the divine mother in terms identifying the Virgin
Mary with the great ancient Goddess of grain and of the sky. In the
verses above, Hildegarde sees Mary as the sprouting spring plants, and
as the Sun that illuminates and nurtures their growth. No matter what
our heritage or our religious tradition, we can find strength and
inspiration in the feminine power of the natural world.

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

Ocela’s Visualization Techniques

Although some people have a natural talent for visualization,
most don’t. It is a skill that takes months or years to develop,
and rushing yourself to progress is often counterproductive.
I would suggest two things to you, regular static visualization
using primary shapes and colours and also a pathworking maybe
once a week.

Set aside a regular time every day when you know you will
have peace and quiet, and make sure you are relaxed, with
no worries running through your mind to distract you. Also
ensure that you are comfortably dressed and in a position
that won’t cause you muscle cramps… in other words,
minimize all distractions as much as possible before you start.

Begin the static work by visualizing a blue circle and trying
to hold the image for thirty seconds. Relax, wait a few minutes
and try to do it for another thirty seconds. Don’t try to force
yourself to visualize for longer than that to start with, or get
stressed if you can’t do it. Repeat the process for six days,
then take a day off or maybe do a pathworking instead.

The next week, visualize a red triangle instead. Again,
do this for six days using the thirty seconds, rest,
thirty seconds pattern. The third week, visualize a yellow square.
The fourth week, go back to the blue circle, but try to hold
the image for sixty seconds. Repeat with the red triangle
and the yellow rectangle.

On the seventh week, try to visualize the blue circle on a
plain yellow background for sixty seconds
(don’t be surprised if you feel that any progress you
have made is slipping back at this point). Then move on to a
red triangle on a green background and a yellow square on
a blue background. Don’t rush yourself, and take six days
for each image, even if you feel ready to move on.

By the tenth week, try a blue circle inside a yellow square,
then visualize a red triangle inside a blue circle
and yellow square in a red triangle.

For week thirteen, try a blue sphere rather than
a circle. Move on to a pyramid and a cube, then
add the appropriately colored backgrounds,
and slowly increase your time to two minutes and longer.
When you can manage five minutes fairly
easily, visualize the sphere starting to spin;
again do this for six days, than move
on to a spinning pyramid and a spinning cube.

On your ‘days off’ (LOL) from the static shape work,
try a simple pathworking… this will help to develop the
freedom of your mind in visualization and provide a welcome
change from the control and discipline. Imagine yourself
walking through either a familiar or an imaginary place; a
forest is a good setting, but choose what appeals to you.
Let your mind add as much detail as possible, not only visual,
but sounds, smells, textures and tastes as well. In this,
do not aim for control, but focus on getting it as vivid
as possible and gradually increase the length of time.

Dream Incense

2 parts Sandalwood
1 part  Rose
1 part  Camphor
A few drops of Jasmine Oil
Burn a bit in the bedroom to produce psychic dreams.

India’s Roasted Potatoes

A simple and versatile recipe using ingredients found in most kitchens,
this dish is served throughout India.

2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
¾ tsp. salt
2 lbs. boiling potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1 ½” cubes
Sweet onion slices, red bell pepper and chopped cilantro for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in the cumin,
coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt.
2. Add potatoes and stir to evenly coat with spices.
3. Transfer to a large baking dish lined with aluminum foil. Arrange
potatoes in a single layer.
4. Bake in a 400-degree oven until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to heated serving platter and garnish with onion, pepper and
cilantro. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

A Sweet Cleanser

By Victoria

Sugar is not good for the inside of your body, but it is pretty wonderful for the outside.

While washing your face with your regular cleanser, add a teaspoon of white or brown sugar to the lather and massage gently into your skin.  It will dissolve quickly and slough off any dead skin cells.  You can also take a handful of sugar into the shower and scrub your whole body with it.  This is very invigorating so do give it a try.

Protection Bottle or Truth Confidence Bottle

Protection Bottle or Truth Confidence Bottle

1 small bottle with stopper/cork (small enough for someone to wear or
in their pocket, but concealed)
A pinch of the following herbs, while saying these words with each
Chant 3 times
“Dear Goddess, help __________(person’s name) to know the truth of
troublesome situation and have confidence now.”

HERBS: Sage, Rosemary, Mugwort, Linden, Lavender, Basil, Elder,
Dill and Marigold. (I used these exactly, the amount depends on the
size of
the bottle.)

MINERALS: Two small pieces of Pyrite for protection and one of
Tiger-Eye for
seeing the truth.Ask the person not to show or reveal this bottle it to

Tarot Cards Blessing

This is a blessing to say when you are shuffling tarot cards, to make the reading work out better, and to see the meanings of the cards more clearly:

“Silver moonlight, and Sunlight of Gold,
  Light my way clearly as the cards unfold,
  Show me the subconscious,
  And secrets untold,
  Show me what the past, the present and future doth hold,
  Let me see clearly the cards meanings,
  Be they bright and warm, dark or cold,
  God and Goddess be with me, and bless me
  As the cards unfold.
 So Mote it be!”

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