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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Basil, Sweet

Botanical: Ocymum basilium (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
—Part Used—Herb.
——————————————————————————–
—Description—Common or Sweet Basil which is used in medicine and also for culinary purposes, especially in France, is a hairy, labiate plant, growing about 3 feet high. The stem is obtusely quadrangular, the labiate flowers are white, in whorls in the axils of the leaves, the calyx with the upper lobe rounded and spreading. The leaves, greyish-green beneath and dotted with dark oil cells, are opposite, 1 inch long and 1/3 inch broad, stalked and peculiarly smooth, soft and cool to the touch, and if slightly bruised exale a delightful scent of cloves.
There are several varieties, differing in the size, shape, odour and colour of the leaves. The Common Basil has very dark green leaves, the curled-leaved has short spikes of flowers, the narrow-leaved smells like Fennel, another has a scent of citron and another a tarragon scent, one species has leaves of three colours, and another ‘studded’ leaves.

—History—The derivation of the name Basil is uncertain. Some authorities say it comes from the Greek basileus, a king, because, as Parkinson says, ‘the smell thereof is so excellent that it is fit for a king’s house,’ or it may have been termed royal, because it was used in some regal unguent or medicine. One rather unlikely theory is that it is shortened from basilisk, a fabulous creature that could kill with a look. This theory may be based on a strange old superstition that connected the plant with scorpions. Parkinson tells us that ‘being gently handled it gave a pleasant smell but being hardly wrung and bruised would breed scorpions. It is also observed that scorpions doe much rest and abide under these pots and vessells wherein Basil is planted.’ It was generally believed that if a sprig of Basil were left under a pot it would in time turn to a scorpion. Superstition went so far as to affirm that even smelling the plant might bring a scorpion into the brain.

Culpepper says:
‘Being applied to the place bitten by venomous beasts, or stung by a wasp or hornet, it speedily draws the poison to it. – Every like draws its like. Mizaldus affirms, that being laid to rot in horse-dung, it will breed venomous beasts. Hilarius, a French physician, affirms upon his own knowledge, that an acquaintance of his, by common smelling to it, had a scorpion breed in his brain.’
In India the Basil plant is sacred to both Krishna and Vishnu, and is cherished in every Hindu house. Probably on account of its virtues, in disinfecting, and vivifying malarious air, it first became inseparable from Hindu houses in India as the protecting spirit of the family.

The strong aromatic scent of the leaves is very much like cloves.

Every good Hindu goes to his rest with a Basil leaf on his breast. This is his passport to Paradise.

Libitina

Themes: Death & freedom
Symbols: Fire

About Libitina: Libitina is the kindly natured Roman Goddess of funerals
and pyres. In poetic writings, her name metaphorically equates with
figurative or literal demise. Turn to her this month to “die” to
outmoded ideas or be freed from had habits. Or call on her to invoke
peace for the spirits in Summerland.

To Do Today: In Rome, Feralia was part of a weeklong festival honouring,
appeasing, and communicating with the spirits of dead ancestors. If
there’s something you want to say to a departed loved one or a token you
want to give them, today is an excellent time to try this Libitina
mini-ritual. Following Roman custom, toss a message or gift into a fire
source, focusing on the individual for whom it’s intended. Libitina
bears the energy of the gift or note safely to the desired spirit.
Emotionally, this type of ritual liberates you from lingering guilt and
generates a sense of closure.

Use the same ritual to rid yourself of old ideas or characteristics that
fetter spiritual growth. Take any flammable object that represents this
characteristic. Hold it in your hands and channel that obsolete energy
into it. Toss it into a fire, saying,

Libitina, liberate me; as this bums, my spirit is freed.

Turn your back to the fire and don’t look back until the symbol is
completely destroyed.

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

Goddess Meditation

Her thighs are large and firm
as an elephant’s trunk thick
and strong as a plantain tree,
vast pillars supporting her body.

Her lotus breasts are sweet
with sandalwood perfume.
Her lotus breasts are sweet
with the faint traces of love.

The Goddess is her own temple,
painted red, and vast as an elephant
that rises steaming from its bath
in waters filled with foam.

~ Indian Bhubaneshvari

Because the Goddess includes all that is and all that can be, she is
often depicted as an enormous woman. In the Indian poem above, the
Goddess is described in terms that can make us feel uncomfortable. How
can the Goddess be beautiful, if she is as big as an elephant? How can
she be beautiful, with such thick thighs?

Peace Giving

“This is the way of peace: overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth,
and hatred with love.”
Peace Pilgrim

The world is a dangerous place now, and it always has been. The nature of the
dangers change, but danger has always been here. Though we pray for it, we
have not yet attained peace on earth, except that which resides in the hearts of
individuals. Throughout history, some people have learned to open their
hearts to their fellow humans and to the world at large. They have carried peace
with them. Those fortunate enough to encounter these carriers of peace may have
become infected with that love also.

Others could not be touched by love. They held to their prejudices, their
grudges and their defenses. How sad to have been an acquaintance of Jesus or
Buddha or St. Francis or some other great being and have missed the opportunity to
share in the peace.

Peace givers live now. People in this world live lives of compassion and
kindness. They are around us. We must wake up though to recognize them and share
in their peace.

It is perhaps not in our power to change the entire world instantly, but we
can change ourselves. We can affect those around us by living in the spirit of
love, by being more forgiving, more accepting, more honest. We can only do
what we can do, but we can do something. What can you do?

© 2004 Tom Barrett

APHRODISIA INCENSE/OIL

This is great to burn in the bedroom if you’re looking for passion
and wild sex. Patchouli, Pine Needles, Sandalwood.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

• 2 tablespoons shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) *
• 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
• Fresh strawberries with stems, rinsed and patted dry

1. Cover tray with wax paper.

2. Place chocolate chips and shortening in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1-1/2 minutes or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; cool slightly.

3. Holding strawberry by top, dip 2/3 of each berry into chocolate mixture; shake gently to remove excess. Place on prepared tray.

4. Refrigerate until coating is firm, about 30 minutes. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Coats about 5 dozen small strawberries. (About 1 cup coating).

*Butter, margarine and spreads contain water which may prevent chocolate from melting properly; oil may prevent chocolate from forming a coating.

SAGE DEODORANT

1 ounce of sage tincture
1 ounce of witch hazel extract
10 – 20 drops of essential oil blend – Use sage, coriander or chamomile
to fight bacteria and add another one that has the fragrance you like (I use 10 drops of sage essential oil and 10 drops of peppermint oil so I can smell like a peppermint drop)

5 – 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract (a natural anti bacterial agent used here as a preservative i. e GSE by Nutribiotic)

I do not necessarily add the grapefruit seed extract as it is
expensive and my deodorant went thru a year of Florida weather with
no-one complaining WITHOUT USING IT .
when you DO add the GSE add it into the sage alcoholic tincture
before you put the oils in otherwise the GSE  tends to separate the
oils.
This needs to be shaken before you use it.

Seashell Decorated Diffuser Bottle


 

Since summer is coming to an end I wanted to do a craft that would allow us to combine some of the fun things that we might have found at the beach. This is an easy project that can be done with just about anything and can be done on all sorts of bottles. The great thing, I have found, about these bottles is that they can given as gifts for any occasion.

Materials Needed:

  • Empty diffuser bottle
  • Seashells
  • Glass beads
  • Colored/stained sea glass
  • Strong hold glue- I used Gorilla Glue
  • Craft stick- used to apply glue
  • Sand-this is optional

Instructions:

  1. Clean bottle if it contains any labels and glue. Lay out some newspaper to protect your workspace and lay the bottle down flat on the newspaper.
  2. Glue on the sea glass, seashells and beats. If you have chosen to use sand you can leave spaces between the sea glass pieces to sprinkle to sand onto the glue.
  3. All that is left is to let the glue dry completely before moving or gifting your new diffuser bottle.

Summer Solstice Blessing

(author unknown)

Giver of life and Source of All
Loving Truth of the heavens
May your energy sing through the Universe
as we grow to understand our own power
May we take up your cause of peace and freedom
As you sustain our hopes
May our children know compassion, harmony and love
Feed us with the challenges we need for today
And let us have gratitude for our trials
As well as for our victories
Let us be gracious with our strength
And Let us eclipse our self-doubt
As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny
This is our wish and our thanks
Blessed Be

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