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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Balsam of Tolu

Botanical: Myrospermum Toluiferum
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
—Synonyms—Balsamum Tolutanum. Tolutanischer Balsam. Balsamum Americanum.
—Part Used—Exudation.

——————————————————————————–
—History—There is still some obscurity about the origin of the different South American balsam-yielding trees. The appearance of the above variety is said to differ but slightly from the Peruvian, but the method of gathering the balsam is quite different. V-shaped cuts are made in the tree, and the liquid is received into calabash cups placed at an angle; these are emptied into flasks of raw hide, conveyed by donkeys to the depôts, and finally shipped in tin or earthen vessels, which occasionally contain large pieces of red brick. On arrival the balsam is soft and sticky, but exposure to the air makes it hard and brittle, more like resin, with a crystalline appearance. In colour it is pale, yellowish red or brown. It has a sweet, aromatic, resinous taste – becoming soft again when chewed – with an odour resembling vanilla or benzoin, especially fragrant when the balsam is burned, but completely changing and resembling the clove-pink if dissolved in a minute portion of liquor potassa.
As the balsam solidifies, its odour becomes more feeble, but the quantity of cinnamic acid increases, and it thus becomes valuable to perfumers as a fixative, an ounce added to a pound of volatile perfume making it much more permanent.

Tolu Balsam is frequently adulterated with turpentines, styrax, colophony, etc., and may be tested by heating it in sulphuric acid. If pure, it will yield a cherry-red liquid, and will dissolve without any appearance of sulphurous acid.

—Constituents—About 80 per cent amorphous resin, with cinnamic acid, a volatile oil, and a little vanillin, benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate. It is freely soluble in chloroform, glacial acetic acid, acetone, ether, alcohol and liquor potassa, scarcely soluble in petroleum-benzine and benzol.

To distinguish it from Balsam of Peru it can be tested with sulphuric acid and water, yielding a grey mass instead of the lovely violet colour of the genuine Peruvian Balsam.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Stimulant and expectorant, much used as the basis of cough mixtures. The vapour from the balsam dissolved in ether when inhaled, is beneficial in chronic catarrh and other noninflammatory chest complaints. The best form is that of an emulsion, made by titurating the balsam with mucilage and loaf sugar, and adding water.

Two parts of Tolu, 3 of Almond oil, 4 of gum-arabic, and 16 of Rose-water, make an excellent liniment for excoriated nipples.

—Preparations—Tincture, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Syrup, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Lozenges, incense and pastilles are also prepared.

Laima

Themes: Love, unity, blessing, luck, destiny & magick.
Symbols: Wreaths & swans.

About Laima: The Lithuanian Goddess of fate, luck, beauty and magick
swoops into our lives in the form of a swan, reminding us of the
transformative power of love. Traditionally, all Laima needs to
change from one form to another is a swan feather, alluding to her
nature as a shape-shifter who uses magickal charms to manifest her will.

To Do Today: Around this time of year, young people in Lithuania
gather in a temple at sunset, then go into the forest to harvest summer
flowers. From these, circlets and strings are made to crown and bind
lovers together in Laima’s and nature’s beauty. Then the young people
dance together round a birch tree ( rather like a Maypole ) singing to
the Goddess and asking for her blessing. This is a lovely tradition
that can be adapted by gathering Summer flowers and holding hands around
them at your family supper table. Allow Laima to renew your love and
unity in a moment of silence before dinner. If you live alone, invite
a close friend to join you instead.

Also, find a small rose-vine wreath at a craft shop. Adhere the image
of a swan to this somehow ( representing Laima ), and hang it where you
can easily see the wreath regularly. Each time you do, remind yourself
that love is the most powerful of all the goddess’s magick and that
includes loving yourself!

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

Goddess Meditation

Oshun is brass and parrot
feathers in a velvet skin.
Oshun is white cowrie
shells on black buttocks.
Her eyes sparkle in the forest,
like Sun on the river.
She is the wisdom of the forest.
She is the wisdom of the river.
Where doctors fail,
she cures with fresh water.
She feeds the barren woman
with honey and her dry body
swells up like a coconut.
Oh, how sweet, how sweet
is the touch of a child’s hand.

How often do we ignore our body’s wisdom? Sleep and food, love and
beauty: these are what our body needs. Yet we ignore the yawns and the
yearnings. We push on, working later when our bodies crave rest. We deny
ourselves a nourishing meal, opting for the lowest-calorie substitute.
But our bodies are not to be denied. We make mistakes in the all-night
push; we cannot resist a brownie for desert. Our appetites assert
themselves with all the wisdom our bodies bear.

Desire tells us what will make us whole. Of itself, desire is only a
message from the self. It tells us that something is out of balance or
missing. Listen carefully to the messages of desire, for without balance
and wholeness no one can dance.

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

OM AH HUM Meditation

by Lama Thubten Yeshe

When you meditate, don’t squeeze yourself. Just sit comfortably and
let your breath energy flow naturally; be just as you are. Don’t
think, “I’m a meditator”; don’t think, “I’m humble”; don’t
think, “I’m an egotist.” Don’t think anything; just be.

The meditation

Purification of body

Place your hands in whatever position is comfortable for you and
close your eyes. Visualize a white OM at the center of your brain, a
red AH at your throat and a blue HUM at your heart. These letters are
made of radiant light. If you can’t visualize these letters in
Tibetan or Sanskrit, you can visualize them in English or any other
language.

Concentrate on the white OM in your brain. Recognize that this white
OM is the pure energy of the divine body of the buddhas and
bodhisattvas.

Make the sound “OM” and visualize that radiant white light emanates
from the syllable, goes down your central psychic channel and fills
your whole body with blissful, radiant white light energy. All
conceptions and impure energy of body are cleansed and purified.

It is important to visualize that your entire body, from head to toe,
is completely full of blissful, radiant white light energy. Feel
that. Continue making the sound “OM” for two or three minutes while
you are meditating and purifying your body.

When you stop making the sound, don’t do or think anything. Remain
perfectly still, fully aware, unconcerned with good or bad, not
reacting, free of any internal conversation, with all your attention
on the light consciousness at the center of your brain. Be there. Be
intensely aware and let go, without sluggishness, without
distraction, without expectation.

Intensive awareness leads to the experience of zero, or egolessness;
emptiness; nothing. Comprehend this intense awareness and let go.

Purification of speech

Concentrate on the red AH at your throat chakra, like the sun at
sunset. Recognize that this red AH is the pure speech of the buddhas
and bodhisattvas.

Make the sound “AH” for two or three minutes and visualize that
radiant red light emanates from the syllable, goes down your central
psychic channel and fills your whole body with blissful, radiant red
light energy. All conceptions and impure energy of speech are
cleansed and purified.

Again, when you finish the recitation, just be, without any
expectation or interpretation, in a state of intense awareness of
your own consciousness.

Understand your experience of the non-dual, of the non-self-existent
I, of nothingness, zero, empty space as truth; as reality. This
increases your energy for strong comprehension of reality. This
experience is much more real than your waking, fantasy sense world.

When uncontrolled, distracting thoughts come during meditation,
realize that not only you but also all other sentient beings are in
the same situation of not being able to control the mind. On this
basis, cultivate equilibrium and loving kindness for all others.
Thus, your uncontrolled, distracted mind becomes a resource for the
development of loving kindness. When it arises, direct that intense
awareness of loving kindness towards your consciousness.

Hence, there are two ways you can meditate here. Either place intense
awareness on your own consciousness or, when distractions arise,
direct intense awareness of loving kindness on your own
consciousness. Alternate these two.

Then, your loving kindness manifests in your central channel at your
heart as a full moon disk.

Purification of mind

At your heart, on the moon disk, stands a radiant blue HUM. Recognize
that this blue HUM is the non-dual wisdom of all the buddhas and
bodhisattvas. Your heart is pure, cool and calm, opened by the
radiant light of the moon and the HUM. Infinite blue light radiates
from the HUM. All narrow thoughts disappear; all indecisive minds
disappear; all obsessed minds disappear.

The radiant blue light from the moon and the HUM fills your whole
body. Your whole body feels blissful. Filled with light, there is no
room for fanatical, dualistic concepts. At the same time, make the
sound “HUM” for two or three minutes. Then feel infinite blue light,
like your consciousness, embrace the entire universal reality. Your
intensive awareness embraces all of universal reality. Feel and be,
without expectation or superstition.

Conclusion

There are two essential experiences that we can achieve through this
meditation: wisdom and method. The wisdom experience is intensive
awareness of your own consciousness. The method experience comes when
you get distracted and use that lack of control as a resource to re-
generate loving kindness. Then, when you are again free of
distraction, remain in the experience of wisdom. In summary, when
your concentration is good, place your attention on wisdom; when you
are distracted, generate loving kindness.

Recitation of the OM AH HUM mantra is very useful. Since you are
often too busy to recite long mantras, you can recite this short one,
which represents all other mantras. In particular, when you say “OM,”
intensive awareness is energized and your consciousness awakens
within you.

The purpose of meditation is to awaken us from the deep sleep of
ignorance—to awaken us to universal reality, not to our usual fanatic
reality. Mantra touches a wider reality; that’s why it’s useful.

Enticing Love Incense

Try this incense in your rituals designed to attract and hold love.

Can also be burned periodically to keep an aura of love about the home.

You Will Need:

1: 1 Oz Of Rose Petals
2: ¼ Oz Of Sweet Bugle (Calamus Root)
3: ¼ Oz Of Cinnamon
4: ¼ Oz Of Anise Seed
5: ¼ Oz Of Frankincense
6: 1 Oz Of Powdered Sandalwood
7: ¼ Teaspoon Of Saltpeter
8: 2 Drams Of Tincture Of Benzoin
9: 1 Dram Of Seduction Oil (See recipe)

Hummus

This high-protein dip is great as a pita bread sandwich filling. You can also serve as a dip with wedges of toasted pita bread or chips, and colorful veggies such as sliced tomato, cucumber, celery and carrots. This makes a great party dip!

3 C. garbanzo beans, cooked

2-4 cloves fresh garlic

¼ C. sesame tahini (sesame seed butter)

1/3 C. fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1. In a blender or food processor, thoroughly blend ingredients into a smooth and creamy consistency. If too thick, add a little water. It should be the consistency of mayonnaise.

2. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with a little paprika. Garnish with fresh parsley or kalamata olive.

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM BATH BAG

The Gentle buffing action of this luxurious bath bag will leave your skin feeling like satin.

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup powdered milk

4 tablespoons almond meal

15 drops strawberry perfume oil

Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Stir to mix well. Add essential oil and blend. Makes three bath bags. Add to tub of running water.

Crafting Ritual/Ceremonial Candles

Ritual Candles are a form of symbolism used within the circle while
summoning the elements and guardians therein. Each is created with the
symbols of a specific element in mind, and charged with the entities of
that element. It is important to remember that all of the elements are
of the Goddess and the God, as they are of everything, and before
charging each candle should be concentrated and dedicated to the Lord
and Lady.

While candles are used in virtually every tradition of Wicca, usually
they are not assigned to be such symbolic tools. However, a
ritual/ceremonial candle can be as powerful of a ritual tool as the
Athame, Pentacle, and Cauldron if so desired.

A benefit of working so intently upon a ritual candle, is first and
foremost – The more time you spend working with a tool, the more
attuned it will be with you and your energies and vice versa. Secondly,
after crafting is completed, you can take some well-earned pride in the
magnificent tool you have crafted for the Lord and Lady.

As you are crafting your ritual candles take some time to look at
yourself, your life, and all the aspects of the two. Contemplate on the
will of the Universe and the God and Goddess. Search your heart for
guidance, and utilize the time for productive meditation.

Materials Needed for Candle Crafting:
Thin Paintbrush
Four (4) Small Black Plates/Saucers
Candles: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green and Black
Enamel Paints: Black, White, Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green (All Natural
Paints if possible) Optional Gemstones: Quartz Crystal, Topaz, Amethyst,
Rock Crystal, and Ruby or Jasper

Note: I suggest using a thick, broad based candle, one that usually
burns the inner part of the candle, leaving the outer shell in tact.
This way the symbolism of your crafted candle will be maintained while
the candle is in use. Also, a smooth texture will help with symbolism
to be painted on candles.

Using the Thin Paintbrush, paint the corresponding astrological symbols
repeatedly around the base of the candles and decorative spiritual and
lunar symbols upon the face of the candle:

Crafting the Candle of Earth:
Around the base of the Green Candle (using Black Enamel Paint) paint
the astrological symbols for Taurus(n), Virgo(r), and Capricorn(v) & on
the face of the candle paint the name Ghob, the silhouette of a gnome
or dwarf and the symbol of a waning moon(C). Also, if a Rock Crystal is
available, inset it below the symbol of the moon.

Charging the Candle of Earth:
Be sure to meditate and ground yourself and then consecrate and
dedicate the tool to the Goddess and the God before charging (an
example of a dedication ritual is included at the end of this document).
After crafting your Candle of Earth, it is time to charge it with the
element and the entities therein. Sit in a peaceful place where you
will not be disturbed. Using your sword or wand, starting at the east
draw circle around yourself three times in a counter-clockwise
direction and envision a trail of bluish-white light remaining where
you’ve traced the tip of your sword or wand, the trail becoming
brighter with each pass. Take a moment to realize that all negativity
has been banished and cannot exist within your circle, and that only
positive and creative energy remains. Turn your body so that you are
facing east and while holding the candle in both hands, raise it
skyward, and mote the following:

“Element of Earth, keeper of the East Wind
Ghob, ruler of those within, thy power send.”

Place the candle upon the plate along with a corresponding offering of
invitation (perhaps a palm of dirt from a place that holds significant
personal meaning to you) and light the candle before saying the
following:

“Wisdom of age and bearer of winter,
energies of abundance and prosperity,
welcomed into my circles – thee may enter,
as I offer this candle as an alter and thy key.”

This charging ritual invites the element of Earth, and all the positive
and creative entities and energies of the element into your circle, and
motes that those energies are welcomed into all of your circles when
you light the candle during ritual work.

After you invite and mote your intention to the element of Earth, thank
Ghob and the entities and energies within the element and mote that you
are ending this part of the ritual as you snuff the candles flame.

Crafting the Candle of Fire:
Around the base of the Red Candle (using Black Enamel Paint) paint the
astrological symbols for Leo(q), Sagittarius(<WBR>u), and Aries(m) & on the
face of the candle paint the name Djin, the silhouette of a salamander
or small dragon and the symbol of a waxing moon (E). Also, if a Ruby or
Jasper is available, inset it below the symbol of the moon.

Charging the Candle of Fire:
Be sure to meditate and ground yourself and then consecrate and
dedicate the tool to the Goddess and the God before charging (an
example of a dedication ritual is included at the end of this document).
After crafting your Candle of Fire, it is time to charge it with the
element and the entities therein. Sit in a peaceful place where you
will not be disturbed. Using your sword or wand, starting at the east
draw circle around yourself three times in a counter-clockwise
direction and envision a trail of bluish-white light remaining where
you’ve traced the tip of your sword or wand, the trail becoming
brighter with each pass. Take a moment to realize that all negativity
has been banished and cannot exist within your circle, and that only
positive and creative energy remains. Turn your body so that you are
facing south and while holding the candle in both hands, raise it
skyward, and mote the following:

“Element of Fire, keeper of the South Wind
Djjin, ruler of those within, thy power send.”

Place the candle upon the plate along with a corresponding offering of
invitation (perhaps write a very personal experience that holds much
meaning for you and changed your life in a positive way on a small
piece of paper and burn it upon the plate) and light the candle before
saying the following:

“Curiosity of youth and bearer of the summer sun,
energies of passion and sexuality,
into my circles ye are welcomed, changing one,
as I offer this candle as an alter and thy key.”

This charging ritual invites the element of Fire, and all the positive
and creative entities and energies of the element into your circle, and
motes that those energies are welcomed into all of your circles when you
light the candle during ritual work.

After you invite and mote your intention to the element of Fire, thank
Djjin and the entities and energies within the element and mote that you
are ending this part of the ritual as you snuff the candles flame.

Crafting the Candle of Water: Receptive Feminine Energy (absorption and
germination)
Around the base of the Blue Candle (using Black Enamel Paint) paint the
astrological symbols for Scorpio(t), Pisces(x), and Cancer(p) & on the
face of the candle paint the name Niska and the silhouette of a nymph or
mermaid and the symbol of a full moon (A). Also, if an Amethyst is
available, inset it below the symbol of the moon.

Charging the Candle of Water:
Be sure to meditate and ground yourself and then consecrate and dedicate
the tool to the Goddess and the God before charging (an example of a
dedication ritual is included at the end of this document). After
crafting your Candle of Water, it is time to charge it with the element
and the entities therein. Sit in a peaceful place where you will not be
disturbed. Using your sword or wand, starting at the east draw circle
around yourself three times in a counter-clockwise direction and
envision a trail of bluish-white light remaining where you’ve traced the
tip of your sword or wand, the trail becoming brighter with each pass.
Take a moment to realize that all negativity has been banished and
cannot exist within your circle, and that only positive and creative
energy remains. Turn your body so that you are facing west and while
holding the candle in both hands, raise it skyward, and mote the
following:

“Element of Water, keeper of the West Wind
Niska, ruler of those within, thy power send.”

Place the candle upon the plate along with a corresponding offering of
invitation (perhaps a sprinkling of water from a bowl of water you have
sipped from while remembering something or someone that has great
meaning and makes you very happy) and light the candle before saying the
following:

“Knowledge of maturity and bearer of the autumn leaves
energies of absorption, germination and fertility,
within my circle ye are welcomed to be,
as I offer this candle as an alter and thy key.”

This charging ritual invites the element of Water, and all the positive
and creative entities and energies of the element into your circle, and
motes that those energies are welcomed into all of your circles when you
light the candle during ritual work.

After you invite and mote your intention to the element of Water, thank
Niska and the entities and energies within the element and mote that you
are ending this part of the ritual as you snuff the candles flame.

Crafting the Candle of Air: Projective Masculine (Instruction, Freedom,
and Obtaining Knowledge) Around the base of the Yellow Candle (using
Black Enamel Paint) paint the astrological symbols for Aquarius(w),
Libra(s), and Gemini(o) & on the face of the candle paint the name
Paralda, the silhouette of a fairy or sylph and the symbol of a new
moon(D). Also, if a Topaz is available, inset it below the symbol of the
moon.

Charging the Candle of Air:
Be sure to meditate and ground yourself and then consecrate and dedicate
the tool to the Goddess and the God before charging (an example of a
dedication ritual is included at the end of this document). After
crafting your Candle of Air, it is time to charge it with the element
and the entities therein. Sit in a peaceful place where you will not be
disturbed. Using your sword or wand, starting at the east draw circle
around yourself three times in a counter-clockwise direction and
envision a trail of bluish-white light remaining where you’ve traced the
tip of your sword or wand, the trail becoming brighter with each pass.
Take a moment to realize that all negativity has been banished and
cannot exist within your circle, and that only positive and creative
energy remains. Turn your body so that you are facing north and while
holding the candle in both hands, raise it skyward, and mote the
following:

“Element of Air, keeper of the North Wind
Paralda, ruler of those within, thy power send.”

Place the candle upon the plate along with a corresponding offering of
invitation (perhaps a palm of dirt from a place that holds significant
personal meaning to you) and light the candle before saying the
following:

“Beginning of all things new, bearer of spring time and life energies of
freedom, knowledge and purity, ye are welcomed into my circles without
strife, as I offer this candle as an alter and thy key.”

This charging ritual invites the element of Air, and all the positive
and creative entities and energies of the element into your circle, and
motes that those energies are welcomed into all of your circles when you
light the candle during ritual work.

After you invite and mote your intention to the element of Air, thank
Paralda and the entities and energies within the element and mote that
you are ending this part of the ritual as you snuff the candles flame.

Crafting the Candle of Spirit:
Around the base of the Black Candle paint the symbols for the four
phases of the moon (CEAD). Upon the face of the Black Candle (using
White Enamel Paint) paint a pentagram and the silhouette of a stag, and
if so desired, around the upper mid section or rim of the candle, paint
the Wiccan rede “An it harm none, do as ye will.”

The Candle of Spirit is not charged with an element, rather charged
during dedication for guidance and purity of heart. It is a constant
remainder in the circle of the wiccan rede and proclamation that the
intent of all actions within the circle is positive and within the law.

The black plates/saucers are to set the candles upon during ritual.
Also, they may be used to place offerings or items of power such as
herbs, gems, salts or incense to the corresponding element during
certain rituals. These can be left blank and placed under the candles at
the time of ceremony, or they can be decorated and symbolize each of the
elements – This can be done by using the White Enamel Paint and painting
the symbolism of the specific element onto the surface of the plate and
painting the rim of the plate the corresponding color for that element.

Note: The charging of candles may be done several in one ritual, or all
in one ritual should you create them all before charging. It is
suggested to charge them in order counter clockwise from the east. Also,
it is important to remember that after dedicated and charged that the
candles are no longer “yours” they are tools bestowed upon you by the
Lord and Lady, and a beacon and key into your circle for the element
they are charged with.

Using Ritual Candles In Your Circle:
During ritual work in your circles a compass is used to determine the
directions and then you set the candles upon small the black plates
accordingly as follows and in this order: Green(Earth)<WBR>/East,
Red(Fire)/South, Blue(Water)/<WBR>West, Yellow(Air)/<WBR>North. As each candle is
set down and lit, summon the element into your circle with a mote (This
first mote of each charging ritual would be acceptable).

The Black(Spirit) Candle is symbolic of everything, and is not used in
the magickal work, but rather in invoking the Lord and Lady and will be
kept within the inner circle. Also the entire ritual/ceremony is of
spirit, and therefore it needs no plate for offerings or tools of power.
It is a constant remainder in the circle of the wiccan rede and
proclamation that the intent of all actions within the circle is
positive and within the law.

Consecrating & Dedicating Ceremony for Ritual Candles:
Be sure to meditate and ground yourself before performing the ceremony.
Sit in a peaceful place where you will not be disturbed. Place the
candle on a black cloth, and your other ceremony materials around the
cloth. In the air, just above the candle, trace a pentagram with your
index finger and envision the tip of your finger leaving a trail of
bluish-white light, as if actually drawing it in the air. When the
pentagram is finished mote the following:

“Maiden Goddess, energy of youth and curiosity
I ask that you concentrate this candle with your purity.
Mother Goddess, energy of maturity and protection,
I ask your watchful eye upon this tool to be.
Crone Goddess, energy of age and ancient wisdom,
I ask that you guide this tool so that I may see.
Horned God, energy of strength and will,
I ask that with this tool you guide the law through me.”

Place your hand over the candle and envision the purity, wisdom,
protection and strength of the lord and lady pouring from within you and
encompassing the candle and say the following while doing so:

“Oh, Goddess of the Moon and Magick,
And God of the Sun and Forest,
I dedicate this tool to your will and wisdom,
Let it be source of no curse, no harm and no hate
So moted, so shall it be!”

You have now dedicated the candle to the Lord and Lady, and consecrated
and purified it with their energies. The candle is no longer yours, but
rather theirs, and you are allowed to use it as a tool of ritual
workings as long as it is done without the intent of harm, negativity,
or hatred. As with all spell crafting rituals, if you are not completely
sure of your intent, meditate and ask for guidance from the goddess. If
you listen, she will answer.

Notes on Crafting Ritual/Ceremonial Candles: For clarification purposes,
these notes have been added. The shapes of the candles suggested are
wide, cylindrical and tall. The base of the candle, as stated in this
article, means the rim around the part of the candle that touches the
table, it does not mean the actual bottom of the candle. The face of the
candle, as stated in the article, means the side of a candle, more
specifically, the side of the candle that faces you when inside a
circle.

Sacred Book Blessing by Witchard

Book of Shadows
Book of Light
Grow with Strength,
Power, and Might

The sacred tome
that resides herein
will only be shared
with Wiccan kin

Shielded and protected
shall these words be
with added magick
cast by me

Pages of wisdom
filled with second sight
may you grow in number
by each day and night!

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