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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bayberry

Botanical: Myrica cerifera (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Myricaceae
—Synonyms—Wax Myrtle. Myrica. Candle Berry. Arbre à suif. Myricae Cortex. Tallow Shrub. Wachsgagle.
—Parts Used—The dried bark of the root. The wax.
—Habitat—Eastern North America.

——————————————————————————–
—Description—The only species of a useful family that is regarded as official, Myrica cerifera grows in thickets near swamps and marshes in the sand-belt near the Atlantic coast and on the shores of Lake Erie. Its height is from 3 to 8 feet, its leaves lanceolate, shining or resinous, dotted on both sides, its flowers unisexual without calyx or corolla, and its fruit small groups of globular berries, having numerous black grains crusted with greenish-white wax. These are persistent for two or three years. The leaves are very fragrant when rubbed.
The bark as found in commerce is in curved pieces from 1 to 7 inches long, covered with a thin, mottled layer, the cork beneath being smooth and red-brown. The fracture is reddish, granular, and slightly fibrous. The odour is aromatic, and the taste astringent, bitter, and very acrid. It should be separated from the fresh root by pounding, in late autumn, thoroughly dried, and when powdered, kept in darkened, well-closed vessels.

The wax was first introduced into medicinal use by Alexandre in 1722. It is removed from the berries by boiling them in water, on the top of which it floats. It melts at 47 to 49 C. (116.6 to 120.2 F.). It is harder and more brittle than beeswax. Candles made from it are aromatic, smokeless after snuffing, and very brittle. It makes a useful body for surgeon’s soap plasters, and an aromatic and softening shaving lather. It has also been used for making sealing-wax. Four-fifths of this wax is soluble in hot alcohol, and boiling ether dissolves more than a quarter of its weight. Four pounds of berries yield about one pound of wax.

—Constituents—There has been found in the bark of stem and root volatile oil, starch, lignin, gum, albumen, extractive, tannic and gallic acids, acrid and astringent resins, a red colouring substance, and an acid resembling saponin.

The wax (Myrtle Wax) consists of glycerides of stearic, palmitic and myristic acids, and a small quantity of oleaic acid.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Astringent and stimulant. In large doses emetic. It is useful in diarrhoea, jaundice, scrofula, etc. Externally, the powdered bark is used as a stimulant to indolent ulcers, though in poultices it should be combined with elm. The decoction is good as a gargle and injection in chronic inflammation of the throat, leucorrhoea, uterine haemorrhage, etc. It is an excellent wash for the gums.

The powder is strongly sternutatory and excites coughing. Water in which the wax has been ‘tried,’ when boiled to an extract, is regarded as a certain cure for dysentery, and the wax itself, being astringent and slightly narcotic, is valuable in severe dysentery and internal ulcerations.

—Dosages—Of powder, 20 to 30 grains. Of decoction, 1 to 2 fluid ounces. Of alcoholic extract, or Myricin, 5 grains.

—Other Species—MURICA GALE, SWEET GALE, ENGLISEI BOGMYRTLE, or DUTCH MYRTLE, the badge of the Campbells. The leaves of this species have been used in France as an emmenagogue and abortifacient, being formerly official under the name of Herba Myrti Rabantini, and containing a poisonous, volatile oil. The plant is bitter and astringent, and has been employed in the northern counties as a substitute for hops, and also mingled with bark for tanning, and dyeing wool yellow. The dried berries are put in broth and used as spices. Formerly it was much used in cottage practice, its properties being similar to those of M. cerifera. It is covered with a golden, aromatic dust, and is thus used to drive away insects. The leaves are infused like tea, especially in China, as a stomachic and cordial. See GALE (SWEET).

M. nagi. A glucoside, Myricitrin, resembling quercitrin, has been separated from the yellow colouring matter, or myricetin.

M. cordifolia, of the Cape of Good Hope, yields a wax which is said to be eaten by Hottentots.

M. Pensylvanica has roots with emetic properties.

A Brazilian species yields a waxy-resinous product called Tabocas combicurdo, which is used as a ‘pick-me-up.’

BAYBERRY is a synonym for the Wild Cinnamon or Pimenta acris of the West Indies and South America, which yields Bay Rum and oil of Bayberry.

Luonnotar

Themes: Creativity, tradition, fertility & beginnings
Symbols: Egg, East wind & poetry

About Luonnotar: A Finno-Ugric creatrix, Luonnotar closes the month of
February with an abundance of creative, fertile energy. Her name means
“daughter of Earth;’ and according to legend she nurtured the cosmic
eggs from which the Sun, Moon, and stars developed. In the Kalevala,
Luonnotar is metaphorically represented as the refreshing east wind-the
wind of beginnings. She also created the first bard, Vainamolen.

To Do Today: The Kalevala is the epic poem of more than twenty thousand
verses that recounts the history and lore of the Finnish people.
Luonnotar appears in the creation stanzas, empowering the entire ballad
with her energy. If there’s anything in your life that needs an
inventive approach or ingenious nudge, stand in an easterly wind today
and let Luonnotar’s power restore your personal muse. If the wind
doesn’t cooperate, stand instead in the breeze created by a fan facing
west!

To generate fertility or internalize a little extra resourcefulness as a
coping mechanism in any area of your life, make eggs part of a meal
today. Cook them sunny-side-up for a “sunny” disposition, over easy to
motivate easy transitions, or hard boiled to strengthen your backbone!

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

Goddess Meditation
Do not think of Vesta
as anything other than
fire, the living flame
which gives birth to nothing
but itself again.
Thus we call her virgin
for she is never seeded
not does she bear fruit.
And oh! she loves her maidens,
companions in virginity.
~ Ovid, Fasti

To the ancient Romans, this was New Year’s Eve. On this day, the sacred
blaze burning in the temple of the fire goddess Vesta was allowed to go
out. The rest of the year, a sorority called the Vestal Virgins, under
the direction of the Virgo Vesalis Maximus, tended the fire carefully,
for it represented the very essence of Rome. A night without that fire
burning in the temple was a dangerous and powerful time.

There are such flameless nights in our live, times when we do not know
if we can survive, when life’s passion has dimmed and all seems dark and
cold. In such times, we can only do what the Vestal Virgins did,
generation after generation, in the Roman temple: we can wait, and
watch, and pray. And hope, and trust in the great truth of nature: that
change is inevitable, and even dark times must have their endings.

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

Relaxation Practice Outline

This is Good General Information if you are just learning to relax in order
to go into a Meditation

Lie comfortably, but not for ordinary sleep.

Select a spot or crack on the ceiling, a little above one’s eyes’ normal
level of sight. Stare at the spot, without blinking. Focus and make this the
visible world, let your attention flow between you and this spot. At the
same time remind your body what it feels like to go to sleep. Allow your
eyes to feel this wish for sleep, but do not allow them to close. Continue
until they cannot remain open any longer.

Now attend to you big toe on the left foot. Do not move it, just know that
it is there. Then turn your attention to the other big toe. Allow the this
gently focused awareness to spread to your other toes, etc… Be aware of
warmth and the heaviness, too.Allow the warmth and heaviness to spread
inward, feel the bones relaxing and melting to the touch. Let the warmth and
relaxation starting at your ankles, moving to the shins, the calves, to the
knees, etc… Keep going until you reach your head. Let the soothing warmth
drain away all the tension to the Earth.

Now focus on your breathing. Watch it come and go slowly of its own accord.

Finally, pay more attention to the outward breaths. The relaxation deepens
more with each one. Now imagine that you are breathing out an inch or two
below your navel. You may feel warmth or tingling there as you do so. Allow
any thoughts or dreams to come, look at them, let them go, and return to the
breathing. Let your outward breath go further each time you exhale. Stay in
this pleasant place for as long as you want.

8) When you are ready, imagine you are a diver, ready to return by your own
buoyancy from a great depth to the light above. Count backwards from twenty
as you come up from those depths, pausing occasionally to remember, and
think that your eyes will open as you reach the number one.

9) Open your eyes, and move very gently, carefully at first. Think about
what has happened. Take notes.

Keep a journal of both waking and sleeping events, Day One is the first day
of your moon. In addition to the written record devote one page to be a
monthly calendar. Mark the dates in a circle, like a clock, with Day One in
the 12 o’clock position. Write in the phases of the moon, temperature and
types of dreams: violent, passive, mysterious, sexy, etc… If you do not
like the clock method you can make a flat chart and do the same things.
Simple relaxation is the key. The best time to start the relaxation exercise
is during the first quarter of your cycle, after your moon is over

BEACH MEDITATION RITUAL

Collect enough seaweed to make a giant pentagram -lay strips of it on the
sand to form the Witches sacred five point star. Make sure that the top
point faces the ocean to draw on its energy. Sea weed is blessed by Mother
Ocean and so it will enhance your meditation.

Now sit in the center, close your eyes, relax and breathe deeply. Don’t try
to focus on a particular thing. If you like you can chant a mantra of your
own or perhaps use this one:

“mother ocean
all around me
wrap yourself around my soul
flow into my imagination
a mirror of the whole”

Say this either silently or out aloud until you are completely receptive to
the energy of Mother Ocean. Then take note of any visions or thoughts that
come to you as these will help to guide you through the coming year

WHITE LIGHT DELIGHT

Use when invoking the white light of protection
1 Tab. Rosemary 1 Tab. Ginger Dry peel of one lemon Dry petal of 2
white roses
1 Teas. vanilla extract 1 Teas. almond extract 1 Teas. coconut extract
7 crushed bay leaves

Garlic Bread

Here it is:

Garlic spread for bread:

1/2 cup butter
6-7 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbl. onion powder
2 Tbls. dried chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water

Blend all of the above until smooth.  

Cut Italian bread into slices and lay on cookie sheet.  Spread with
above mixture.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until
browned.  

Delicious!

From:  “A Good Cook…Ten Talents – Natural Foods – Vegetarian Food-
Combining Cookbook and Health Manual”

by Frank J. Hurd, D.C., M.D.

Aftershave

This easy to make aftershave is sure to soothe any man’s skin. Give him a
personalized gift from the heart. We are sure it will become his favorite.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons witch hazel
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 tablespoons orange flower water
15 drops bergamot essential/fragrance oil
10 drops lemon essential/fragrance oil
8 drops neroli essential/fragrance oil

Directions:

Directions: Combine all the ingredients into a bottle, shake well. Set aside
for 1 week. Shake once a day. Store in a cool dark area.
By Pioneer Thinking http://www.pioneerthinking.com/aftershave1.html

Carved Pumpkin Air Fresheners

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living.
We are so over commercial air fresheners and their blanket of perfumy toxins, and we’re having some serious doubts about mass-made scented candles too. But now the house smells like dogs. This autumn we are going for the old stand-bys like simmering potpourri, but also came across a sweet idea that uses hollowed-out pumpkins to create aromatic pumpkin candles. They are seasonal, safe, and delicious smelling, with the added bonus of being wonderfully decorative. Learn how to make them here.
Although we’re pretty sure Martha Stewart’s house does absolutely not smell like dogs—she does provide a pretty cute pumpkin pie potpourri idea on her website. We have expanded on that idea and are happy to have another natural and non-toxic alternative to commercial air fresheners. So, thank you to the craft mavens over at MS.
It’s a pretty simple project—if you’ve carved a pumpkin before, you have all the expertise you need:
1. Cut off the top of a medium pumpkin, clean the interior and top. (See How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds for a healthy snack)
2. Cut holes in the sides to vent. Use an apple corer: you can place the holes randomly for a mod look, or symmetrically for a more classic design. Alternatively, you could carve a jack-o-lantern.
3. Rub your favorite seasonal spices on the inside of the pumpkin top: try cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. You can press some cloves or star anise in the top as well, or rub on some fresh vanilla bean. (Don’t use vanilla extract—the candle flame may ignite the alcohol.)
4. Place a beeswax tea light candle in the bottom of the pumpkin. Light and let burn. (And never leave a burning candle unattended!)

Protective Blessing For Fish

“Oh, fishtailed Goddess, Melusine,
One of the watery depths, serene.
Protect my fish and keep them safe,
From fungus, wounds, and all ill fate.
Keep them free of all disease,
And let them swim with grace and ease.
Bless them with your loving care,
Guard them, Melusine-hear my prayer”
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