December 2010
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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Bee Balm

Bee Balm, both Monarda fistulosa and Monarda didyma, is an herb grown
for it’s scent, it’s color and it’s usefulness. M. fistulosa is the
lavender colored wild bergamot which grows often in open airy fields,
has flowers that attract bees and it’s flavor is sharper and a little
more minty than M. didyma. This is the variety known as bee balm and
it’s scarlet blooms are a little longer and do attract hummingbirds, but
the bees have trouble getting nectar from the tubular blooms. Wild
bergamot is also known as horse-mint and Oswego tea. It was used by the
Native Americans as a tea, as a flavoring and also medicinally for
stomach and bronchial ailments. You’ll also find other varieties of
Monarda available now, and all are edible.

Monarda needs good air circulation and doesn’t generally do well when
crowded. If it is allowed to dry out and is in a crowded bed it will
most likely come down with mildew. When choosing a location make sure it
has its own space that will be kept fairly moist. My first year planting
it I grew it with Bachelor Buttons, which overcrowded it and the entire
plant contracted mildew. I cut all the infected stems off and the next
year it came back and doubled in size.

Deadhead the first blooms and you’ll get another bloom out it towards
autumn. This is easy to do since the blooms and leaves can be used for
tea either fresh or dried. Tear apart the blooms, removing any green
parts, and use these and the small leaves to salad. Save the older,
larger leaves for tea. Hang in bunches to dry or place on screens out of
the sun. Add a leaf to a cup of black tea when brewing for a nice

Bee Balm can be added to fruit salads, pork recipes, punches and other
beverage recipes plus it can be substituted for mint.
Summer Punch
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup Bee balm leaves
1/2 cup raspberries
2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup mint leaves (any variety)
1 47 ounce can chilled pineapple juice
3 liters of ginger ale
In a sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice, over low heat. Add
the bee balm and raspberries. Bring to a simmer, stir to break up the
raspberries. When the sugar is dissolved, strain leaves and berries out
of the liquid. Add cranberry juice and mint, stirring well. Chill up to
24 hours. When ready to serve, pour into a punch bowl and add pineapple
juice, ice and ginger ale.

Bee Balm Iced Tea
1/2 cup Bee Balm flowers and leaves
8 cups boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the Bee Balm. Cover and steep until cool,
about an hour. Strain and discard flowers. You can sweeten with sugar if
desired. Chill until ready to use and serve over ice.
Bee Balm Tea: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup fresh leaves
and allow to brew for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten if you wish before
serving. To use dried bee balm pour one cup of boiling water over two
teaspoons of the dried leaves. Brew the same and strain.

Summer Tea Blend
3 tbsp. dried chamomile flowers
1 tbsp. dried bee balm leaves
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tbsp. apple or pineapple mint leaves
Mix all the dried herbs together in a jar. Use 2 tsp. of the mix per cup
of tea. Steep for 5 minutes and strain. Sweeten with honey or sugar if
you wish.

More on Bee Balm:
More tips on growing and drying bee balm:


Themes: Sexual prowess, playfulness, wishes
Symbols: Braided or knotted items

About Maia: This Roman Goddess, whose name means “mother”, offers all
who seek it fulfillment and renewed zest. Maia gave her name to the
month of May. She’s the Queen of the Flowers, and today was one of Her
festival days, celebrated suitably with an abundance of blossoms. In
later times, Maia became strongly associated with Bona Dea, whose name
literally translates as “good Goddess.”

To Do Today: As a child, on this day I left bundles of wildflowers
anonymously at neighbors’ homes. As a random act of beauty and
kindness, this still holds merit today and certainly honours Maia.

In magickal circles people customarily braid wishes into the ribbons of
the Maypole and leave them there to germinate and grow until fall. To
do this yourself, find three strands of blue ribbon and braid them
together so they meet five times, saying,

“Tis the month of May, for _______
( health, love, money, or whatever ) I wish today.
Ribbons of blue, help my wish come true.
Braided within, the spell begins.
Bound to and fro, the magick grows.
When in Fall untied, this wish is mine!”

Wear a flowery shirt, skirt, or tie today to welcome Maia and brighten
your day.

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

Goddess Affirmations

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the angels, Queen of May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the angels, Queen of May.
~ Catholic Song To The Virgin on May Day

Through hundreds of years, this day was celebrated by the ancient Celts
as the feast of Beltane, the renewal of Earth’s reproductive energy in
springtime. Revelers danced around trees that represented the phallic
energy of the season, and everywhere lovers enjoyed dalliances to
encourage and participate in the Earth’s renewal.

With the coming of Christianity, the old festival was discouraged,
especially in light of its highly sexual content. In its place, the
church offered a chaste processional to honour the virgin mother of god,
with girls singing songs like that above. But the ancient symbolism held
fast, though hidden: the virgin was crowned with wreaths of flowers, the
sexual organs of plants. Thus, even when the outer meaning was changed,
the inner meaning of the season remained a celebration of nature’s
fertility and fecundity.

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

Releasing Baggage

People who care about other people often carry the weight of the world with
them. When we hear about other beings suffering, we suffer along with them.
As we keep informed of events in the news, new layers of sadness and
frustration pile on to those already accumulated. Add to this personal
problems and
the day-to-day stress of family, work and life in the 21st century and we
have a heavy load to bear.

Some of us live under the illusion that there is merit in carrying the
burdens of the world. We may have been taught that by carrying our crosses
emulate Jesus in his suffering. We come to feel that the more we labor under
burden of pain and stress, the more redemptive value our suffering has. Or
may carry our compassionate suffering as a sign that we do care. “How can I
be happy,” we might ask, “when so many others are in pain?”

We need to decide, however, if the emotional burdens we cling to are useful,

or are they just excess baggage that makes us less effective human beings?
If we carry too much of the pain and negativity of the world, our emotional
health may be damaged. In time, our physical health may deteriorate. Our
relationships, rather than being enhanced, are likely to be strained when we
in chronic stress.

An alternative to becoming overburdened is to remain compassionate, but
willing to let go of suffering. We can practice being empathic,
understanding and
kind without letting our own or other people’s suffering wear us down.
Suffering is inevitable, but it is not the purpose of life. If we get to
our purpose in life, the relief of suffering might be worth considering.

As we strive to reduce suffering, we cannot run away from it. We need to be
able to understand the nature of suffering. We need to foster our own
empathy. We also need to be able to balance the bad with the good. While bad
happen and there is much cruelty in the hearts of humans, good happens too
and love is all around us. We must not forget the good. We must not forget
love. Though there is bad, there is good. Though there is hate, there is
love. Light and dark both exist. The yin and the yang both exist and are
interdependent. Together they make a whole.

Our lives include pain and hardship. They also contain good fortune and
opportunities for joy. How can we deal with the pain and yet be open to the
We must be able to accept what is, do what we can to change things for the
better, and be willing to release our grip on emotional baggage that draws
back into suffering.


As we consciously release the emotional burdens we carry, it can be helpful
to use visualizations to assist in the release. By creating mental pictures
of the release, we may reach parts of our brains that are far removed from
verbal faculties. We want to affect the limbic system of our brains where
emotions are primarily processed.
While in a meditative state, or just when you become aware of holding on to
negative thoughts or emotions, create any of these pictures in your mind.
Imagine you can stuff your negative thoughts and emotions into a black
velvet bag. Get a clear image of the issue you want to release. Imagine
placing it
in the bag and tie the bag up tight. Now get rid of the bag. You don’t need
it. You can:
Shoot it into space.
Toss it into an imaginary garbage can.
Extending your chi, send the unwanted bag of junk to the far reaches of the
Vaporize it.
Dissolve it in the infinite sea of loving-kindness.
Alternatively, put your negative thoughts and emotions in a box you create
in your imagination. Seal it shut. Place the box behind you. Imagine it
shrinking. Let it shrink so much that ultimately it disappears.
In your mind, write your troubles on a blackboard. Next, imagine you are
erasing the blackboard. As the words or images are erased, you release their

hold on you.
In a similar vein, see your problem thoughts and emotions on a video screen.

Turn down the brightness until the image is gone. Then shrink down the
screen until it is nothing.
Remember, joy is a side effect of living compassionately and with

© 2004 Tom Barrett


2 Tab. Cinnamon 2 Tab. vanilla extract 1 Tab. Rosemary 1 Tab. thyme
1 Teas. Clove 1 Teas. Ginger 1 Teas. Allspice 1 Pinch. salt


3/4 c. brown sugar (or 3/4 c. white sugar and 2T. molasses)

2/3 c. oil

2/3c honey

Heat to dissolve the sugar.

5 c. Old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 c. quick oats

1/2c. dry milk powder

3/4t cinnamon

pinch of salt

Mix well and then mix the sugar liquid into the dry mixture. Mix thoroughly. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 for 10-15 min. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool and then put in an airtight container.

Doggie Shampoo Bar

•    8oz  coconut oil
•    6oz  olive oil
•    1.5oz   castor oil
•    3.54oz  lye
•    .25oz  jojoba oil
•    .5oz  aloe vera gel
•    .25ox  eucalyptus eo
•    .125oz  peppermint eo
•    .125oz   citronella eo
•    .25oz  T-50 Tocopherol
•    6.5oz  palm oil
•    3oz  canola oil
•    8.5oz  water
•    .25oz   neem oil
•    .25oz  lavender 40/42 eo
•    .125oz  lemongrass eo
•    .125oz  tea tree oil
•    .125oz  cedarwood eo
I make this in my 6qt crockpot. Add lye to water & set safely aside. Heat coconut, palm, olive, canola & castor oils till completely melted. Add lye water & stir till light trace. Put the lid on the crockpot. I stir every ten minutes till Vaseline stage, keeping an eye out for volcanos in between. After the cook, dump the soap in glass bowl. Stir every 5 minutes to assist in a quick cool down. Make sure to keep the sides of the bowl scraped clean. When my soap has cooled down to approximately 160 degrees (I never check!), add the remaining ingredients, stirring very well. Glop the soap into your log mold & press the air bubbles out for a uniform soap.

Folk Stag

Author: Laurel Reufner.
Copyright: February 2000

Stitch Count: 80 H  x  80 W
Cloth Count: 14
Design Size: 5.71″ H  x  5.71″ W
Color Key
DMC           Color
White       white
mocha beige – dk
mocha beige – lt
mocha brown – ul vy lt
mocha beige – md
christmas red – md

Click to Enlarge!

Protective Blessing For Cats

“Bast of beauty and of grace,
Protectress of the feline race,
Shield  (name of pet) from all hurt and harm,
And keep him / her always safe and warm.
Watch over  (Pets name) from day to day,
And guide him / her home, if he / she should stray.
And grant him / her much happiness,
And a good life free of strife and stress
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I love to share and all of the artwork on this blog is created by me, unless otherwise noted. I do ask that you do not copy or recreate any of the posted artwork here for contest submissions, publication, or profit. I will be extremely flattered if something here inspires you to create for your own personal use, but please give me credit and/or link to my blog. I appreciate your stopping by, and thanks for your understanding! Registered & Protected