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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Benzoin

Botanical: Styrax benzoin (DRY.)
Family: N.O. Styraceae
—Synonyms—Gum Benzoin. Gun Benjamin. Siam Benzoin. Sumatra Benzoin.
—Part Used—Resin.
—Habitat—Siam, Sumatra and Java.

——————————————————————————–
—Description—Benzoin is a balsamic resin. Normally the trees do not produce it or any substance analogous to it, but the infliction of a wound sufficiently severe to injure the cambium results in the formation of numerous oleoresin ducts in which the secretion is produced, it is, therefore, a pathological product. The trunk of the tree is hacked with an axe, and after a time the liquid Benzoin either accumulates beneath the bark or exudes from the incisions. When it has sufficiently hardened it is collected and exported, either in the form of loose pieces (tears) or in masses packed in oblong boxes or in tins; several varieties are known, but Siam and Sumatra Benzoins are the most important. The incisions are made when the tree is seven years old, and in Sumatra each tree yields about 3 lb. annually for ten or twelve years. The first three years’ collections give the finest Benzoin; after that the runnings are known as the ‘belly,’ and finally the tree is cut down and the resin scraped out, this being termed the ‘foot.’ Siam Benzoin externally is reddish yellow, internally milky white, has an agreeable odour, recalling vanilla, contains benzoic acid but not cinnamic acid. Sumatra Benzoin is always in blocks of a dull reddish or greyish-brown colour. Fine qualities have a strong storax-like odour, quite distinct from the vanilla odour of the Siamese variety. Sumatra Benzoin contains cinnamic acid.
—Constituents—The chief constituent of Siam Benzoin is benzoic acid (up to 38 per cent.), partly free and partly combined with benzoresinol and siaresinotannol; it also contains vanillin and an oily aromatic liquid. When quite pure it should be entirely soluble in alcohol and yield only traces of ash. Sumatra benzoin contains 18 per cent. or more of benzoic acid and about 20 per cent. of cinnamic acid the latter partly free and partly combined with benzoresinol and sumarisinotannol; it also contains 1 per cent. of vanillin, styrol, styracin, phenyl-prophyl cinnamate and benzaldehyde, all of which combine to produce its characteristic odour.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—It is used externally in the form of a tincture, diluted with water as a mild stimulant and antiseptic in irritable conditions of the skin. It acts as a carminative when taken internally is rapidly absorbed, and mildly expectorant diuretic and antiseptic to the urinary passages. In the form of Compound Tincture of Benzoin, it is used as an inhalant with steam in laryngitis and bronchitis. It is a preservative of fats, and is used for that purpose in Adips Benzoatus.

—Dosages and Preparations—Benzoic Acid B.P., 5 to 15 grains. Compound Tincture of Benzoin, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Compound Tincture of Camphor, B.P. (paregoric) poison, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Tincture of Benzoin, B.P.C. 1/2 to 1 drachm. Tincture of Benzoin, U.S.P., 15 minims.

Return to Sender

Have you ever found yourself experiencing a persistent emotion or
physical sensation and had the feeling it didn’t belong to you? Maybe
you had been interacting with someone with a great deal of anger or
anxiety and you began to feel tension or burning in your gut. Or you
were dealing with someone with a bad pain and you started to feel pain
or tension yourself. Humans resonate to each other’s emotions. It is
probably a reason why movie theaters are still in business when DVDs are
available. Being together in the theater, we pick up each other’s
emotions and it amplifies the
entertainment experience.

In relationships, picking up someone else?s negative emotions can be
uncomfortable and distressing. We don’t want to feel bad, yet we might
feel stuck with the feelings even after the other person is no longer
with us. Some people specialize in giving emotions to others. Rather
than deal with their own anger, fear, or shame they project those upon
people they interact with, and the party of the second part gets to feel
the emotion. If you are on the receiving end of such a gift, you had
best find a way to deal with it.

One way, which is not recommended, is to reflect anger back at the
person. For some reason many of us respond this way. Maybe feeling anger
is preferable to feeling whatever emotion has been induced in us, but
who wants anger?
Another, more benevolent strategy is to reflect back love. A therapist
noticed a tight, cramping sensations in his belly. After this occurred
repeatedly for several weeks, he concluded that the sensation was
related to the intensely unpleasant emotions experienced by one of his
clients. It occurred to him that if he could be on the receiving end of
a flow of negative emotion, he could be on the sending end too.

While taking a walk one night and feeling the increasingly familiar
cramping sensation, he imagined taking the tight abdominal energy,
forming it into a ball, transforming it into loving-kindness and sending
it to the troubled patient.

Breathing deeply and consciously, using his hands to define the
dimensions of the visualized emotional energy, he formed the intention
to send a ball of compassion from his heart to her heart. The ball of
sparkling blue goodness turned to a stream of thought propelled loving
kindness. With each breath, he sent a desire for the patient to be free
of her distress.

The therapist’s belly relaxed. Whenever the sensation of tension
returned, he repeated the visualization of sending love, and the tension
abated. At their next session the patient, who did not know of the
therapist’s visualization, gave a clear sign that a level below
awareness the message had been received.

Practice:
*We can only benefit from focusing love and directing it toward those
who may be in a state of emotional distress. Try this:
*Think of someone with whom you have had some conflict or for whom you
retain some negative emotions.
*Notice the emotions that arise when you think of this person.
*Decide to replace those emotions with loving-kindness.
*Breathe more deeply and more consciously.

As you inhale, imagine collecting loving energy. This loving energy
originates in your heart center and extends out beyond your heart a foot
or two.

Use your hands to help imagine the dimensions of this ball of love and
goodwill. Hold them as if you were holding a ball in front of your
chest.
Give this ball of energy a clear and brilliant color.

When you have this ball of good wishes well imagined, breathe out and
send it with your mind to the person with whom you have had conflict or
whom you think may be in emotional distress.

Push the breath out slowly, consciously and forcefully, maybe making a
long HAAAAAAA sound like a slow powerful sigh.

Turn your hands outward as if you were about to push the ball away from
your chest, and visualize the loving-kindness streaming from your heart
region to the heart of the other person.

Continue to breathe and refocus on your
visualization with each breath. Release any hardness remaining in your
heart and let the wishes of happiness, healing, and good will extend out
from you.
 
This visualization is in some respects similar to the Tonglen meditation
of Tibetan Buddhism.

© 2004 Tom Barrett
http://www.InterludeRetreat.com

Water Incense

Water is usually assigned to the direction of west. This is the
element of the natural psychic,
one related to pregnancy, birth, rebirth, death, regeneration,
divination, purification, psychic
endeavors, spirit contact, and past life exploration. Water is the
other feminine element.
To make the basic water incense try using the following:
3 parts lavender 1 part willow bark 1 part catnip 1/4 part valerian
Other water-related herbs and plants include cypress bark, jasmine,
kelp, lotus, moss,
mrytle, myrrh, rue, sandalwood chips, seaweed, and vanilla.

Garlic And Cheese Biscuits

1 egg

2 cups of Bisquick biscuit mix

2/3 cup of milk

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick)

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon of parsley flakes

Mix bisquick, milk & egg together. Form into a soft dough, adding more is necessary.  Fold in cheese. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees. Melt butter, garlic & parsley together & brush over the warm biscuits.

Baby Wipes

1/2 c. distilled water
1 tbls. vinegar
1/4 c. Aloe Vera gel
1 TBS. Calendula oil
1 drop Lavender essential
1 drop Tea Tree Essential Oil

I made these wipes because I wanted something to gently discourage yeast
diaper rashes. The vinegar and Essential Oils discourage yeast growth which
means you shouldn’t have too much trouble with these wipes getting moldy.

To prepare, use a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour all your
ingredients in, cover the jar and shake to blend the ingredients. Place your
wipes in a container and pour on enough solution to moisten them. Store any
extra solution in the fridge. It should stay fresh for a long time
especially if you used distilled water.

If a baby had a really red, raw Diaper Rash you might not want to use these
wipes as vinegar may cause a burning sensation.

Potpourri Jar

I love potpourri. It is also one of the easiest ways I have found to decorate the house. Just open up a bag and put it in a jar, at least that is what I normally do. But then I got the brilliant idea to make these for gifts and give them to friends and family. All it takes is a little imagination and they make great gifts. This is one that I have made recently, it is a bit different than pictured but I gave it as a gift because it was so pretty.

Materials Needed:

  • pint glass jar
  • 6″ crochet doily
  • 3 assorted buttons, 1/4″ to 1/2″ sizes (colors to match ribbons)
  • 1/8″ satin ribbons: (1 yard each of 2 colors, and 16″ of a matching color)
  • 17″ mm string pearls
  • 2″ silk flower with leaves
  • 1/2″ safety pin
  • 3-4 ounces potpourri (about 2 cups)
  • 3″ craft wire
  • scissors; hot glue; ruler

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar with potpourri.
  2. Attach the safety pin to one end of the 16″ satin ribbon. Weave the ribbon in the doily evenly 2″ from the edge. (You should try out the doily on top of the jar for ribbon placement.) Make sure that the woven ribbon pulls the doily tight across the top of the jar when it is pulled tight under the screwing ridges. When the doily is pulled tight, knot it securely under the last ridge. Do not trim off the extra ribbon; allow to hang down the front of the jar.
  3. Cut the mini pearls into the following lengths: 3″, 6″, and 8″. Form a loop with the 3″ piece. Glue this on top of the knotted ribbon in the doily, with the loop extending slightly above the top of the jar. Form a loop with the 6″ piece. Glue on the knotted ribbon with the loop hanging down to the bottom of the jar. Do the same with the 8″ piece as you did with the 6″ piece.
  4. With the 2 satin ribbons left, make a loopy bow with 2″ loops and 4″ tails. Twist tightly with the wire to secure. Glue bow to the knotted ribbon to cover the ends of the pearls. Trim the ribbon ends at angles.
  5. Glue the leaves and flower to the center of the bow. Glue the buttons to the top of the doily, off-center and slightly overlapping.

Meditrina

Theme: Health.
Symbols: Healing charms & herbal preparations.

About Meditrina: This Roman Goddess of healing magick specializes in the
use of wines, herbs and empowered charms to restore our health when
Summer colds or weariness set in.

To Do Today: In Italy, this is a time to go to Madonna del Carmine’s
church bearing an emblem of one’s sickness so the Madonna ( A
Goddess type ) can heal the malady. We will be turning to Meditrina
instead, invoking her power to make health-provoking amulets for
physical protection and a healthful wine.

To make yourself a Meditrina charm that keeps health with you, place a
pinch of caraway, marjoram, nutmeg and thyme in a green cloth and tie it
up. Put this in sunlight ( considered healthful ) for several hours,
then bless it, saying,

“Meditrina, see my need.
I am open to receive.
Throughout the day
good health impart,
in my body, mind, and heart.”

Carry this often. To change it so it protects you from sickness, use a
red-coloured cloth filled with apple peel, allspice berries and a pinch
of cinnamon.

To make an aqua vitae ( a healthful wine ) that will internalize
Meditrina’s well-being, begin with a base of apple juice or wine.
In this base steep a cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger, allspice, nutmeg
and a bit of honeycomb. Do this during a waxing Moon if possible to
promote growing health, then drink as desired.

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

Goddess Meditation

I bud forth delights like the vine,
my blossoms become fruit, fair and rich.
I am the mother of fair love and of fear,
and of knowledge and of holy hope.
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of
life and of virtue.
Come to me, you yearning ones and be filled, for my speech is sweeter
than honey, my inheritance better than honey and the honeycomb.
~ Eccesiastes 24:23-31

Today marks, in the Catholic Church, one of the Summer feasts of the
Virgin Mary, acknowledged today as the Lady of Mount Carmel and invoked
with the prayer above. The association of mother Goddesses with
mountains goes back into antiquity. Often mountains were imagined to
take the shape of a mother’s full breasts. Thus the association of the
Christian Mother of God with the ancient Mother of Gods continued a
goddess tradition into contemporary times.

We yearn toward balance and thus when religion offers no feminine
presence, worshippers are not deterred but find a way to transfer
goddess traits onto an appropriate figure. Thus today, lacking anything
better, we focus on princesses and actresses to meet our hunger for the
archetypal female. The Goddess has never been far from our
consciousness. In some form, she is with us always.

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

Prayers For Before A Meal

 

From forest and stream;
From mountain and field;
From the fertile Earth’s
Nourishing yield;
I now partake of
Divine energy;
May it lend health,
Strength and love to me.
Blessed Be.
 
~~~~~~~~~
Goddess of the verdant plain;
God of sun – ripe grain;
Goddess of the cooling rain;
God of fruit and cane;
Bless this meal I’ve prepared;
Nourish me with love;
Bless this meal I now share
With You both above.
 
`~~~~~~~~~~~
 
From the East the sun rays shine
From the South the gentle rain
From the West blow winds divine
From the North the gifts of gain.
We gather now to bless this food
In perfect peace and love
Lord and Lady touch this meal
With magick from above.
BLESSED BE
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Prayer Before Meals
 
O dearest Mother, I think you for all the gifts of the green earth,
especially these here before me.
 
O dearest Father, you are life itself, and
your goodness is endless.  I think you for the gift of life,
and for this meal set before me,
so I can stay healthy in your service
 
Blessed Be
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mother of Plenty, Bless this Bread
Father of the Grain, Lend Your Seed
Let it nourish Heart and Head
Let it nourish Thought and Deed
Let its breaking be a Spell
That hungry mouths be fed as well
And let its eating keep Us Free
As is our Will
So Mote it Be!
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
Goddess, bless this food you have given me
Let it be filled with your divine energy
So that I will be healthy
And live a long and happy life.
Goddess bless! Blessed be!
 
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food
Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it
Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed
Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.
 
Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food,
To bring it to our tables
To nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.
 
Blessed be our friends, our families, and our loved ones.
Blessed Be.
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

O Lady of the Harvest, bounteous Cerridwen,
For the meat and bread that sustain us,
And the wine that brings us joy,
We thank you and promise you,
That we will never use the strength derived from your gifts,
To willfully harm your creatures or violate your laws.

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