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Hestia was the Goddess of the Hearth. She was felt to be present in the living flame at the center of the home or temple. Hestia’s symbol was the circle; her first hearths were round. The home (or temple) was not sanctified until Hestia entered. She made these places holy when she was there. She was considered a spiritually-felt presence as well as a sacred fire that provided illumination and warmth.

Even though she was greatly honored, she was the least known of the Greek goddesses. She was the first child born to Rhea and Cronos. In the Roman pantheon she is known as Vesta, and her mythology appears in three Homeric hymns.

Come Vesta, to live in this Beautiful Home,
Come with warm feelings of friendship.
Bring your intelligence,
Your energy and your Passion
To join with your Good Work.
Burn always in my Soul.
You are welcome here.
I remember you.
–Homeric hymn

Aphrodite caused Poseidon and Apollo to fall in love with Hestia. She refused them both, taking an oath to remain “a woman unto herself.”

Hestia’s significance is found in rituals symbolized by fire. For example, whenever a new couple would venture out to start a new home, Hestia would come with them, representing the sacred fire and linking the old home with the new. This symbolizes continuity and relatedness. Hestia’s fire provided warmth and sanctified the home.

Hestia was often associated with Hermes, the messenger god. He was an eloquent deity, a protector of travellers and god of speech. In households, Hermes and Hestia were related but separate. Hestia provided the sanctary for the bonding together of the family; Hermes was the protector at the door.

The Hestia archetype represents focused consciousness. Her way of perceiving is inward and intuitive. This archetype allows us to get in touch with our values by focusing on what is personally meaningful.

The Emotional Effects of Meditation

Adapted from Whole Body Meditations
by Lorin Roche, Ph.D.
Rodale Press, 2002

Even if you think you are not an emotional person, you are likely to
feel worlds and worlds of emotional nuances during even a 20-minute
meditation session. You will sometimes find yourself feeling safe and
snug during meditation, and at other times you will run through all of
the emotions you experienced in the past day or two. Specifically, your
body will bring up for your review every emotion that you felt but did
not express completely.

Whatever your natural responses were during the day that you could not
or chose not to express will flow through your body, and you will feel
them. What happens is often like this:

One moment you are focusing on your breath, the next moment you are in
the theater of your mind, watching a soap-opera-like scene from your
day, and you are noticing feelings you had in your body that you didn’t
fully appreciate at the time. It could be anything. You might find
yourself hearing an undertone of sorrow in your friend’s voice, and your
heart aches. You could realize that you were jealous of someone but you
didn’t admit it to yourself at the time. Or, on your mind’s screen you
might find yourself looking into the eyes of someone you love and
realize with a pang that you haven’t heard from or reached out to her in
a long time—too long.

This catharsis is an inseparable part of meditation. In nature, as in
the theater or the opera, all of that drama can intensify the feeling of

Sabbat Incenses


Grind together 1 teaspoon of Dragon’s Blood Powder, 1 teaspoon of Frankincense, and 5 drops of Musk Oil.


Grind together 1 teaspoon of Benzoin, 1 teaspoon of Dragon’s Blood Powder, 2 teaspoons of Dittany Of Crete or Sage and 1 of Mint.


Grind together 2 teaspoons of Sandalwood, a handful of dried Rose Petals, 1 teaspoon of Galangal Powder, 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon and 6 drops of Neroli Oil.


Grind together 2 tablespoons of Lavender, 2 of Vervain and 2 of Sandalwood, 1 handful of dried Gardenia Petals and 3 drops of Frankincense Oil.


Grind together 3 tablespoons of Sandalwood, 1 tablespoon of Hops and 5 drops of Rose Oil.


Grind together 2 teaspoons of Frankincense, 1 teaspoon of Sandalwood, 7 drops of Cypress Oil with 2 Drops of Patchouli Oil.


Grind together 2 teaspoons of dried Patchouli Leaves, 1 teaspoon of Myrrh and add 3 drops of Nutmeg Oil.


Grind together 2 tablespoons of Pinewood Shavings, 2 tablespoons of Frankincense, ½ a teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder, 3 drops of Cedar Oil and 2 drops of Ginger Oil.

Cheesy Pumpkin Spread


1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

12 ounces softened cream cheese

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 tablespoons sweet or dry sherry

Line a 4 cup mold with plastic wrap. In small skillet, melt butter. Saute pecans for 1 minute or until golden. In large bowl beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, pumpkin and garlic on medium speed until creamy. Beat in enough sherry to make desired spreading consistency. Spoon into mold. cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or until firm enough to hold shape. unmold onto serving plate. Press pecans on top. Serve with crackers.


Botanical: Polygonurn Bistorta (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Polygonaceae
—Synonyms—Osterick. Oderwort. Snakeweed. Easter Mangiant. Adderwort. Twice Writhen.
—Part Used—The root-stock, gathered in March, when the leaves begin to shoot, and dried.
—Habitat—A native of many parts of Northern Europe, occurring in Siberia and in Japan and in Western Asia to the Himalayas. It is common in the north of England and in southern Scotland, growing in moist meadows, though only of local occurrence; in Ireland, it is very rare.

—History—In many places, it can only be regarded as an escape from cultivation, its leaves and young shoots having formerly been widely used in the spring as a vegetable, being still, indeed, in the north of England an ingredient in Herb Pudding, under the name of ‘Easter-mangiant,’ the latter word a corruption of mangeant, i.e. a plant to be eaten at Easter, ‘Easter Giant’ and ‘Easter Ledges’ being variations of this name In Lancashire and Cumberland, the leaves and young shoots were eaten as a green vegetable under the name of Patience Dock and Passions. The roots and leaves had also a great reputation as a remedy for wounds, so that the plant was generally cultivated for medicinal use, as well as for employment as a vegetable.
The name Bistort (Latin bis = twice, torta = twisted) bears reference to the twice-twisted character of the root-stock, an old local name, ‘Twice-Writhen,’ being a literal translation of the Latin. Its twisted, creeping nature is also the origin of the names Snakeroot, Adderwort and Snakeweed. It was at one time called Serpentaria, Columbrina, Dracunculus and Serpentary Dragonwort, and has been thought to be the Oxylanathum Britannicum and Limonium of the ancients.

Externally, the root-stock is black, but internally is coloured red and is rich in tannic and gallic acids, which makes it a powerful astringent and has enabled it to be used in tanning leather, when procurable in sufficient quantity.

The root-stock, as it appears in commerce, is about 2 inches long and 3/5 inch broad, twice bent, as in the letter S, more or less annulate, bearing a few slender roots, otherwise smooth, reddish brown internally, dark purplish or blackish brown externally, depressed or channelled on the upper surface, convex and with depressed root-scars below with a thick bark surrounding a ring of small woody wedges, which encloses a pith equal in thickness to the bark.

The drug has an astringent and starchy taste, but no odour.

Besides being one of the strongest vegetable astringents among our native plants, the roots contain much starch, and after being steeped in water and subsequently roasted have been largely consumed in Russia, Siberia and Iceland in time of scarcity and are said after such preparation to be nutritious and a useful article of food, bread having been made of the root-flour of this and another Siberian species of Polygonum.

Where established, the Bistort becomes often a noxious weed in low-lying pastures, frequently forming large patches difficult to extirpate on account of its creeping root-stock.

—Description—A number of tuberous roots are produced from the S-shaped root-stock from the upper side of which spring directly large oval leaves, with heart-shaped bases, of a bluish-green colour on the upper side and ash-grey, tinged with purple, underneath, both leaf-stalks and blades being about 6 inches long. The upper part of the leafstalk is winged. The flower-stalk, 12 to 18 inches high, is very erect, slender, unbranched, and bears leaves smaller than the root-leaves and few in number, broader at their base and on very short stalks. The stems terminate in a dense, cylindrical spike of striking flesh-coloured flowers, which consist of five coloured sepals, eight stamens and an ovary with two to three styles. The flowers are grouped in twos, one flower complete, the other with normal stamens, but only a rudimentary ovary. The styles of the complete flower do not mature and become receptive of pollen from visiting insects, till their stamens have shed their pollen and fallen, cross-fertilization thus being ensured. The flowers are produced in May and June and again in September and October. The fruit is three-seeded, the ripe seeds are small, brown and shining. Birds commonly feed upon the seeds, which can be employed to fatten poultry.

—Cultivation—The plant may be propagated by division of the root-stock, in early autumn or spring. Bistort is sometimes used to ornament moist parts of the rockery and shady border. When grown in bold masses, it is a handsome and attractive plant.

When it has a corner in the kitchen garden, it is well to pluck it now and then, even when it is not immediately required for culinary purposes, as the plant has a strong tendency to disappear.

—Constituents—Bistort root has never been carefully analysed, but it is known to contain about 20 per cent. of tannin and a large amount of starch, as well as some gallic acid and gum. Its virtues are extracted by water and its decoction becomes inky black on the addition of a persalt of iron and with gelatine it forms a precipitate. Red colouring matter is also present.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Bistort root is one of the strongest astringent medicines in the vegetable kingdom and highly styptic and may be used to advantage for all bleedings, whether external or internal and wherever astringency is required. Although its use has greatly been superseded by other astringents of foreign origin, it is of proved excellence in diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and all bowel complaints and in haemorrhages from the lungs and stomach, and is a most effectual remedy for bleeding from the nose and exceedingly useful in dealing with haemorrhoids. It is used – as a medicine, injection and gargle – in mucous discharges, as well as for haemorrhages.

A teaspoonful of the powdered root, in a cupful of boiling water, may be drunk freely as required.

The decoction, often also used, is made from 1 OZ. of the bruised root boiled in 1 pint of water. One tablespoonful of this is given every two hours in passive bleedings and for simple diarrhoea. The decoction is also useful as an injection in profuse menstruation and in leucorrhoea and is a useful wash in ulcerated mouth and gums, and as a gargle. It is also used as a lotion to ulcers attended with a discharge.

Bistort is considered valuable for diabetes, given in conjunction with tonics, and has itself tonic action.

The older herbalists considered both the leaves and roots to have ‘a powerful faculty to resist poison.’ Combined with the bitter flag root (calamus), the root was used to cure intermittent fever and ague. Green (Universal Herbal, 1832) cites its frequent use in intermittent fever, both alone and with gentian, 3 drachms daily being administered.

It was used, dried, and powdered on cuts and wounds to stop bleeding. The decoction in wine, made from the powder, was drunk freely ‘to stay internal bleedings and fluxes,’ and was considered ‘available against ruptures, burstings and bluises from falls and blows’- also to ‘help jaundice, expel the venom of the plague, smallpox, measles or other infectious disease, driving it out by sweating.’ A distilled water of the leaves and roots was used to wash any part stung or bitten by a venomous creature, or to wash running sores or ulcers; also as a gargle in sore throat and to harden spongy gums, attended with looseness of teeth and soreness of the mouth. Gerard stated that the root would have this effect, ‘being holden in the mouth for a certaine space and at sundry times.’ He also states that ‘the juice of Bistort put into the nose prevaileth much against the disease called Polybus.’

The root was also employed externally as a poultice.

The powdered leaves were employed to kill worms in children.

In Salmon’s Herbal the following preparations are given, with their uses:
1. A liquid juice of the whole plant.
2. A distilled water of the roots and leaves.
3. A powder of the leaves (good to killworms and for other things.)
4. A powder of the root. (Prevails against malignity of measles and small-pox and expels the poyson of the Plague or Pestilence or of any other infectious disease, driving it out by sweating.)
5. A compound powder of the root (made of equal quantities of Bistort, Pellitory of Spain and burnt Allum made into a paste with a little honey and put in hollow of a tooth or at the side, eases their pain and stops the defluxion of rheum on the part cleanses the head and brain and causes evacuation of abundance of rheumatic matter.
6. A decoction of the root in wine or water.
7. A decoction compound of the root. (6 oz. Bistort root, 4 oz. Angelica, 4 oz. of Zedoary, 1 oz. of Winter’s Cinnamon, all being bruised, infuse in red port wine or Canary, 5 quarts, for 6 hours, then giving it 2 or 3 boils, take it from the fire, strain out the wine from the ingredients, which let settle, then decant the clear from the rest sweeten with syrup of lemons or syrup of vinegar. This is a notable medicament against Measles, Small-Pox Calenture, Spotted Fever and even the Plague. It also prevails against any vegetable poison, which is taken inwardly, if timely given.)
8. The diet drink, made of the roots, leaves and seeds.
9. The spiritous tincture.
10. The acid tincture.
11. The oily tincture.
12. The saline tincture.
13. The fixed salt (resists putrefaction).
14. The essence.

—Dosage—The root is generally administered in powder, the dose being from 1/4 to 1/2drachm in water.

A fluid extract is also prepared from the root, the dose being 1/2 to 1 drachm.

A decoction is also much employed.


—Infants’ Diarrhcea Syrup—
1 OZ. Bistort root, 1/4 oz. Cloves, 1/2 oz. Marshmallow root, 1/4 oz. Angelica powder, 1/4 oz. best Ginger powder.
Bruise the root and cloves small. Add 1 1/2 pint boiling water and simmer down to a pint. Then pour boiling mixture upon the powder, mix well and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to get cold, strain and add lump sugar, sufficient to form a syrup, boil up again, skim, and when cold bottle for use.

This may be given to children in a little Raspberry Leaf Tea, 3 to 6 teaspoonfuls daily, according to age of child. If bleeding from bowels, or flux, a tea of Cranesbill is recommended instead of Raspberry Tea. (SKELTON) .

1/2 OZ. Marshmallow root powder, 1/2 oz. Bistort root powder, 1/2 oz. Cranesbill root powder.

Mix the powders thoroughly and then form into a stiff paste with treacle. Preserve in a jar and take a small quantity (about the size of a bean) three times a day. When constipation is present, 1/4 oz. Turkey rhubarb powder may be added to the other powdered roots. For the blind piles, 1/2 oz. Barberry bark should be added.

Pile Ointment should be applied at the same time, made as follows: 1/2 oz. Bistort root, 1/2 oz. Cranesbill herb, cut up fine.

Simmer gently for an hour with 2 OZ. lard and 2 OZ. mutton suet. Strain through a coarse cloth and squeeze out as much strength as possible. Add 1 OZ. Olive oil and mix well. Allow to cool gradually. This is equally good for Chapped Hands, Sore Lips, etc. (SKELTON.)

—Decoction for Piles—
1 OZ. Marshmallow root, 1 oz. Bistort root, 1 oz. Comfrey root, 1 OZ. White Poplar bark, 1 OZ. Cranesbill, 1 OZ. Yarrow, drachms each Cloves and Cinnamon.

Bruise the roots, add 2 quarts of water and boil 20 minutes, then add the herbs, Cloves and Cinnamon and boil 10 minutes longer. Strain and sweeten with brown sugar.

Dose, a wineglassful four times a day. Also use Celandine (Pilewort) Ointment. (Medical Herbalist.)

—Gargle for Ulcerated Tonsils—
2 drachms Tincture of Bistort root, 2 drachms Tincture of Bloodroot. Add 2 tablespoonsful of warm water.

Use as gargle, or spray the throat.

—Compound Bistort Wash—
1 drachm Tincture of Bistort, 1/2 oz. Bayberry powder.

Infuse the powder in 8 oz. of boiling water let it remain until cold, strain the liquid off clear, add the tincture and use freely morning, noon and night.

In inflamed mucous discharges from the ears, nose, vagina, urethra or any other part, this wash is exceedingly useful. (National Botanic Pharmacopoeia.)

—For Diabetes—
Fluid Extract Bistort, Jambul Seed, Pinus Can, Rhus Aromat., Potentilla Tormentilla of each 2 drachms. The same quantity of Tincture of Hydrastis.

Put the whole into a 12-OZ, bottle and fill with distilled water. Dose, 1 tablespoonful every four hours after meals. (Medical Herbalist.)

Pet Blessing

Prayer to Artemis (to bless a pet)

Artemis, Guardian of creatures wild,
Hear this request from Your loving child,
I ask You now to come and bless,
This animal with happiness.
She’s more than just a pet to me–
A beloved member of my family.
Grant her a long and healthy life,
Free from hunger, pain, and strife,
Fill her days with love and light,
Gentle hugs and blessings bright,
May I treat her with respect and care,
And be thankful for the bond we share,
Protect her from danger and those who harm,
Keep her comfortable, safe, and warm,
And grant that we might always be,
Content with each other’s company.
Artemis, Maiden, both fierce and free,
Grant these things I ask of Thee!

Herbal Astringent

– Stephanie Tourles

1 C distilled water                                  

1/2 C vodka

1 t each:sage, yarrow, chamomile, rosemary, lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, and strawberry leaves

1/4 C witch hazel


Mix thoroughly and store for 2 weeks in tightly sealed jar.  Keep in cool, dark place. Strain. Refrigeration is not required, though a cool product is nice on a hot summer day.  Use 1 t per application.

Scrying Mirror

You will need the following for this project:

* An inexpensive wall clock with a glass lens (available at Wal-Mart and most Dollar Stores)
* Glossy black enamel spray paint (make certain that it can be used on glass)
* A screwdriver
* Black felt
* Craft glue
* Old newspapers

1. Use the screwdriver to carefully remove the glass lens from the clock.
2. Should you wish to embellish the mirror with stencils, paint them on the convex side of the clock lens now, prior to spray painting, and allow to dry.
3. Spread the newspaper in a well-ventilated area, and place the clock lens on it convex side up.
4. Spray the convex side of the lens evenly with the spray enamel. This may take several coats in order to be smooth and even.
5. Ensure that ALL of the convex side is painted opaque. No light spots should show anywhere on the surface.
6. Allow to dry completely.
7. Drape the felt over the lens, again convex side up, and cut out the felt in a circle matching the lens.
8. Attach the felt to the painted (convex) side of the mirror with craft glue, and allow to dry. (the felt ensures that your new mirror will not become scratched with use)
9. Hold your mirror concave side up, or place it in a stand (shown below). You now have a scrying mirror
10. Note: You may choose to use the leftover clock face for a pentacle.

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