October 2011
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Monthly Archives: October 2011


Themes: Sun, blessings, cycles, movement, travel
Symbols: Gold or yellow items, horses

About Dag: Northern Scandinavian legends describe Dag, whose name
means “day”, as shining so brightly that she lights both the heavens and
the Earth, which is certainly what occurs around this time of year. As
the northern hemisphere approaches late Spring, Dag’s inspiring light
and warmth are welcome and notable. Dag navigates the sky with the
help of a horse, her sacred animal, giving her additional connections
with movement and safe travel.

To Do Today: This date begins a “day” for Norwegians that will
actually last for 10 weeks, emphasizing Dag’s power. Correspondingly,
people’s activity level increases around the clock, as they sleep less
to adjust to the change in Earth’s cycle. So, when your inner
resources lag or you’re out of kilter with natural or biological clocks,
turn to Dag for assistance. Wear gold or yellow items to tune into her
vibrations, and get out in Dag’s sunlight today ( if the weather
cooperates ). It’s very healthy and naturally generates more of Dag’s
positive energy for anything you undertake.

It’s an excellent day to take a short trip anywhere. If you enjoy
horseback riding and have a stable nearby, take a jaunt and ride with
Dag and the wind at your back. Alternatively, use “horse power” and take
a short drive in your car!

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

Goddess Meditation

There is a Divine Order to everything in life. It is for this reason
that exactly where you are at any given time in life, is exactly where
you should be according to the Divine unfolding of your consciousness
and life.
Goddess come near. Accept our worship.
Bless us. Let us prosper. Bring us fruit.
May our furrows be straight and deep.
May you, rich as milk. feed us deeply.
You are the center of the altar
where we make sacrifice.
You are the priestess and the farmer.
You are the living Earth itself.
~ Indian Prayers From Rig Veda and Harivama

These Indian prayers remind us of the connection the ancients saw
between the Earth and humankind – a connection that was continually
reinforced by ritual. Ritual need not be complex or elaborate. Something
as simple as bowing to the rising Sun was an important ritual to many
people throughout the world. Rituals like that, and the sacrifices of
first fruits typical of farming folk, reminded those who performed them
of the complex interconnections between the Earth and her children.

What rituals do we perform today? Instead of bowing to the Sun, we turn
on the radio. Instead of offering our first fruits, we buy new clothes.
We have become, as a nation, mindless consumers of Earth’s gifts. What
if, for one day, we thanked the Goddess for every gift as we accepted
it? How might our consciousness, our world, be transformed?

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

The Star as a meditation symbol


If you’ve meditated before, you will know the power of concentration upon a simple object or symbol. The difference with the Star is that it is a dynamic symbol. In a word, it shines.


As you steady your breathing, simply allow your imagination to create for you the simple, shining, Star shape. At first it may seem a difficult shape to focus on. Actually that is part of the advantage of it. In one sense, you really need to concentrate to see it. On the other hand, if you concentrate too hard with your mind, you’ll soon lose it. Relax the mind a little. Feel that the concentration is coming, effortlessly and lightly, from your heart. You may be able to see all six points, but don’t worry if you can’t. Just develop the feeling that it is a six-pointed Star that you are seeing, and that it is shining.


Your meditation may take you into a feeling of total oneness, but really all you need do is hold this simple focus as you breathe. It really does have an effect. First of all, it helps to open not only your heart but every cell of your body to the light. The light shines outwards from you too, and so it reaches other people. Go on to the healing page to see how you can use it as a way of bringing healing to others. Click on the Star above to see the full-screen version of it as you begin your meditation. Or go to the special page to find out what does a Star symbol mean?





How can the Star be used to heal other people?


First, just to hold the picture of the Star in your mind or heart means that at the time you do it you are radiating light, which is like love.


You can, though, also see a Star outside yourself and see another person, someone whom you know who is suffering, within it. Don’t see them as suffering, because what you are wanting to do is to help them come back to wholeness, health. So what you see in the Star is the person you have chosen, only in perfect health.


Actually, the Star itself is a symbol of perfect health, perfect being. What does that mean? Not just that someone is well, but that the causes of illness are cured as well as the illness itself.


By seeing them in the star light you are imagining them like this: well and happy. It is remarkable what this thought can do. Try it out, giving it just a little time to work.


You can also think of problems round the world in the same way. Somewhere where there is needless war, for instance, or a famine. Or you can see a favourite animal in the star. Or the rivers and rainforests of the world.


This way, you can really play your part in the world. So can your children.



What does the Star symbol mean?


Maybe it’s odd to think of the Star as having a power other than just as a point of concentration in, say, meditation. Yet there is some point in saying that it does.


Thinking of the Star, first of all, gives each of us the feeling that we are shining with light. Actually, shining beings – each of us. In this state we feel secure but free, and can be more loving, more accepting of other people.


Not only that. By associating ourselves with the Star symbol, we are thinking of ourselves at the simplest, finest, level. As nothing but light, in fact. And just as the demonstration of our loving nature, even just a smile to a passer-by, can brighten other people’s lives – can totally alter the course of a day for them – so letting the Starlight shine from our hearts has a way of touching them inwardly.


You won’t exert any controlling power over other people by letting your Starlight shine to them. It’s not like that. But you may well bring healing to them in their pain, and you may well even help them to turn around the course of an illness they are suffering. Try it and see. Go on, if you would like, to the Healing Page.


The six-pointed star is actually a very old symbol, and it’s not linked to any particular religion in history. Different people have described it in different ways, but one of them is to think of it as composed of two triangles. One points upward, and symbolises all our hopes and aspirations. The other points downward, and symbolises the light that comes to us, like grace. The two completely joined with no divisions, symbolises perfect balance. It means balance between the gifts of life and our gift to life.


Start Making Scents

How to Make Incense for Magickal and Spiritual Intents
by Miriam Harline

Smell is the sense most hot-wired into our animal past. According to Diane
Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses, we smell by means of olfactory
bulbs at our nostrils’ upper tips that, when triggered directly, signal the
limbic system — a brain region inherited from our mammalian ancestors, a
player in lust and creativity. Smell is also our most permanent sense.
Research says scents go straight into long-term memory, later to be
retriggered with all the emotion of the time that laid the memories down. As
Ackerman writes, “A smell can be overwhelmingly nostalgic be-cause it
triggers powerful images and emotions before we have time to edit them.”

Smell thus proves one of our bodies’ best gifts to the magician, ritualist
and spiritual seeker. To speak to the emotions, to the animal spirit, to the
part of us that believes in and works magick, use scent. Burn incense.

If ease is a priority, you can buy your magickal incenses. I’d recommend
Wortcunning and Nu Essence brands. You can find Wortcunning incenses, by
local incense master Leon Reed, at Travelers (501 E. Pine in Seattle) or
directly through Wortcunning (P. O. Box 9785, Seattle, WA 98109).
Wortcunning incense is one of the reasons I moved to Seattle. On a visit
here, I picked up some Pan incense, which when I ran out of self-igniting
charcoal in mid-Missouri I burned on the stove: great before going out
dancing. I figured any place with incense so magickal had to be worth
returning to.
However, if you want incense imbued with your specific magickal or spiritual
purpose and your energy, make it from scratch. Once you have supplies, it
needn’t take a long time, maybe an hour per scent. It’s fun. And there’s
something special about burning a mixture that smells heavenly (or noxious,
as the intention may be) and saying, “Hey, I made that.”

Following I’ve set down wisdom from my teachers and my forays into the craft
and recommended books to take you further. But, as with cooking, you learn
incense making by doing. Find a recipe you like, study it till you
understand how it works, then improvise based on your tastes and
ingredients. As with any practice, trust your instincts. If you want to
reproduce the exact incense in a seventeenth century grimoire or Egyptian
papyrus, you’ll follow that recipe to the letter (if you can find the
ingredients). Otherwise, experiment. Play.

I describe here how to make loose incense, to be burned on self-igniting
charcoal briquettes. You can buy such charcoal most any place that sells
incense herbs. You can also make stick and cone incenses, which the books I
recommend describe. Stick and cone incenses look more impressive for
presents and are easier to burn. But they’re more complicated to make, and
the different forms don’t make your intentions’ results more sure.

Getting Started
To make incense, you’ll first gather some ingredients and tools:
Herbs and oils
Eyedropper (preferably several)
Base oil
Mortar and pestle (preferably two)
Coffee grinder (optional)
Ziplock baggies, in gallon and sandwich size
Small bottles or tins (optional)
Small spoon or spoons (optional)
Astrological calendar
Book or books of recipes

If you want to make just one incense, get just the herbs and oils you need.
However, if you plan to make incense as an ongoing hobby, round up some
basic incense makings. Some elementary herbs and resins, arranged by how
often I use them:
Pine resin
Orris root
Rose petals

Some of the above list will look pretty familiar. Rosemary? Nutmeg? Got it,
in the spice cabinet. If you want to start cheap, you can make many incenses
from common kitchen spices.
Of the nonspices listed above, orris root (iris root) deserves special
mention. It’s a good idea to add one part orris root as a preservative and
fixative to most incense recipes, especially those that don’t include
resins. (Resins are gums formed by solidifying plant juices, for example
frankincense, myrrh and amber.) Get your orris root preground if you don’t
feel like spending an afternoon worrying a tuber.
In general, you’ll want to get woods and tough roots in powdered form. For
anything grindable, however, get leaves or chunks, and grind the ingredient
when you need it. That way, it will stay fresher.

For oils, I tend to buy those specific to the recipe I’m doing. After making
a few incenses, you’ll have a large library. These are the ones I use most:
Use essential oils, rather than perfume oils. An essential oil will
generally announce itself on the bottle. And watch out for patchouli oil.
It’s intense; a few drops will do.

You can locate herbs and oils at pagan and herbal supply shops. To buy
herbs, I tend to go to Travelers or Tenzing Momo (93 Pike Street in
Seattle). You can order from Tenzing Momo by phone, at (206) 623-9837. I
wouldn’t recommend a phone order for a novice incense maker, though; you’ll
want to see what you’re buying. Many herbs and resins are very light, ounces
not pounds. Some are very expensive, though most are not. The fresher you
get something the better — beware a very dusty herb bottle.
Herbs originate in gardens and the wild, of course, and if you have access,
jump at the chance to harvest when the herb’s ready. Don’t wildcraft too
much; take no more than a quarter of what you find, and never take more than
you can use. Pagans will want to ask the plant’s permission before clipping;
a gift in exchange, such as water, returns energy to the herb.

There is such a thing as too fresh, though. If you just cut your herb, you
can’t use it today. I’ve tried quick-drying herbs at 200 degrees in the
oven, and it doesn’t work. Ideally, you should harvest herbs on a dry day at
the peak of their maturity, when active ingredients have reached the highest
concentration — an herbal will tell you when. Hang the plants upside down
in a dry, airy place between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit; they should take
about a week to dry. Don’t store them still damp; they’ll mold. Store herbs
in air-tight containers, ideally glass or pottery. This process should occur
before you try making incense.

When working with oils, an eye-dropper proves useful. If you don’t employ
one, at some point I guarantee you’ll screw up an incense recipe by, say,
pouring in a half-ounce of patchouli. Get several to avoid cleaning droppers
between oils. Look for eyedroppers at your local drugstore. In addition to
scent oils, you’ll add a base oil to incense to activate some of the esters
(scent chemicals) in dried herbs, to make the incense mixture hang together
better and to help preserve it. I tend to use safflower oil because it has a
very light scent, but I’ve been told it goes rancid more quickly than
others. People I trust have recommended jojoba oil and sesame oil. The
strong scent of sesame oil disappears as the mixture dries.

To grind your herbs and resins, you’ll want at least one mortar and pestle.
It’s a good idea to get two and powder herbs in one, resins in another —
this because resins tend to stick and stain and may never come out of a
coarse mortar and pestle. Mortars and pestles can be found at kitchen supply
stores. If you do a lot of grinding, you’ll want a coffee grinder. Buy one
secondhand, and devote it to incense only — you don’t want mugwort-flavored

Ziplock baggies are good for incense mixing and for temporary and less
pretty incense storage. More pretty incense storage is the domain of cute,
colored, cork-topped glass bottles and cunning little tins. The Soap Box
used to carry such bottles, and I’ve seen them at kitchen supply stores. You
can also store incense in film canisters or pill containers, anything
airtight. Small spoons prove helpful when doling out incense samples to
burn, something you’ll do a lot while concocting scents.
An astrological calendar aids in making incense just as it does in any
magickal or ritual activity, to align with the energies of the universe. The
subject of associations is endless and personal, and I’ll only touch on it
here. In general, create incenses under a waxing or full moon for intentions
involving growth and waxing energy, under a waning moon for intentions
involving shrinking or ending. If you’re making an incense for Aphrodite or
to draw love, Venus should probably be favorably aspected; to get a job,
Jupiter should probably be favorably aspected. You get the idea.

You’ll want recipe books. I list some recipes at the end of the article;
chances are none of them will suit your exact magickal or spiritual purpose.
The books I rely on are Scott Cunningham’s The Complete Book of Incense,
Oils and Brews and Wylundt’s Book of Incense. The latter includes many
recipes based on kitchen spices, if you can’t afford much in the way of
supplies. Both also explain how to make stick and cone incenses.

Suppose you have a recipe you like, for an intention you’re interested in.
It calls for peppermint, bay, frankincense and gum bdellium. The first three
the herb shop has. On the last one, the cashier shakes her head. “Never
heard of it.” You try pronouncing it again — same effect. Even if an herb,
gum or oil is theoretically obtainable, you may run into a situation when
you want the incense now and can’t find the odd ingredient.
Don’t give up. Substitute.
You can substitute in several ways. First, if the recipe calls for the herb
or resin and you can only find the oil, use the oil, or vice versa. For
example, oak moss itself is hard to find, but you can locate oak moss oil
fairly easily.

If you can’t track something down in solid or liquid form, The Complete Book
of Incense, Oils and Brews has a lovely table suggesting one-for-one
substitutions for many ingredients. You can also substitute according to
intention or elemental or planetary rulership. Both The Complete Book and
Wylundt’s list ingredients aligned to different intentions, elements and
planets. For example, “love” has a list of suggested ingredients, as do
“water” and “Venus.” Many Wicca and Magick 101 books offer similar tables of
correspondence. If you poke through the tables, you’ll find a substitute for
your herb or oil, often a whole list to choose from. In a pinch, as
Cunningham writes, rosemary can safely be substituted for any other herb,
rose for any flower and frankincense or copal for any gum resin.
Substitutions are essential for many obscure and poisonous ingredients
recommended by old magickal tomes. In case you need to be told, do not use
aconite (wolfsbane), belladonna, hemlock, henbane, mistletoe, nightshade or
other poisonous substances in your incense! It’s not worth the hassle. Some
substances are sufficiently toxic that merely handling them is dangerous.
You can replace any poisonous herb in incense with tobacco, as Cunningham
Likewise, be careful with ingredients that cause smoke that’s very
foul-smelling or liable to produce an allergic reaction, such as asafoetida,
mace, pepper and rue. Some incenses are best burned outdoors.

Making Incense
Ingredients, tools, moon phase and aspects all lined up, it’s time to start.
I generally lay out everything on a clean, smooth surface, then put up a
circle and call the elements, deities and fey to witness. You can be as
formal or informal as you like about your working, but stating and
concentrat-ing on your intention as you assemble ingredients will help imbue
the incense with that intention.
Now dig out your gallon Ziplock baggie. This will be your mixing bowl.
Reread your recipe. Incense recipes are often listed in terms of “parts.”
What constitutes a part is your decision. I often use for a part as much as
I can hold in the palm of my hand. You can also use a teaspoon or a half-cup
or any other measure as a part, as long as you keep the part measure
consistent through the recipe. If your incense recipe is listed in terms of
weight (ounces, grams), however, use weight measurements throughout — don’t
mix parts, which are measure-ments by volume, with measurements by weight,
or the result will make no sense. Whatever the form of measurement, measure
any ingredient that requires grinding in its final, powdered state.
I often find I have a limited quantity of one ingredient. In this case, I
usually grind that first and let the resulting measurement dictate how much
incense to make. For example, if the recipe calls for two parts lavender,
and I only have two teaspoons of it, my part will be one teaspoon.
Another factor in pulverization order is your tools. If you have two
mortars, you can grind herbs and gums separately. If not, start with herbs
as they’ll stick up the mortar less.

If your ingredients and tools are sufficient to the task, grind herbs and
resins in order of smell. Incense, like perfume, is considered to have top,
middle and base notes. Top notes are the lightest and generally what you
smell first. Floral scents are often top notes, for example neroli (orange
flowers). Base notes are the bottom of the spectrum, the strongest, darkest
scents. Animal odors, such as musk, and heavy woods, such as patchouli,
usually form base notes. Some strong herbs, such as lavender, are also
bases. Vanilla and rose are examples of middle notes — strong, but not as
overpowering as patchouli. Use less of the base and middle notes when
creating an incense, more of the top notes, to create a balance. In the
absence of other concerns, start creating your incense with the base note.
This rule especially applies if you’re creating or revising a recipe.

To get to know each ingredient, burn a small ground sample. Your own
associations and emotions for each scent are important. For me, benzoin
smells fey; eucalyptus is cool and sensual. Everyone senses subtly different
affinities. If you find your nose burning out, sniff coffee beans to clear
your sense of smell.
Grinding takes a while. Have faith. Some herbs are surprisingly tough to
work with — lemongrass, for example, grinds away to nothing, so you’ll be
working a long time. Bay doesn’t pulverize well; use scissors to cut it as
fine as possible. Your final powder grains need not be infinitesimally
small; however, the smaller you grind, the more thoroughly your ingredients
can mix to create the unique smell of the final incense.
As you finish each ingredient, add it to the gallon Ziplock baggie, close it
and shake thoroughly.

Once you have all the dry ingredients in, add scent oils. If you’re adding
an oil where the recipe calls for an herb, or vice versa, keep in mind that
an oil comes across much more strongly than the matching herb. A few drops
of most oils will suffice, unless you’re making mountains of incense. Again,
with your oils, start with the base note and use little, then move on to the
middle and top. Mix your oils with the dry ingredients thoroughly, rubbing
out dark spots and balls.
Herbs, resins and scent oils mixed, burn the result. What do you think?
You’re wrinkling your nose. That’s okay — you can fix it.
Suppose your incense smells like just one of your ingredients — cinnamon
and nothing else. There’s a couple of ways of dealing with this. You can add
a little more of everything else. Or you can decide which of the other
ingredients would help balance the strong scent. Cinnamon’s a middle to base
note — another middle to base note would balance it, for example lavender,
assuming your recipe includes lavender. Oil is the easiest way to add
balance because it’s so strong.
Sometimes incense will come out smelling like next to nothing. Too much
balance! Here, you’ll want to emphasize one or two ingredients, whichever
seem most appropriate. For example, if I were creating a moon incense with
oil of jasmine that came out smelling bland, I might tap in a few more drops
of oil, as jasmine is an ingredient that I like and that feels very moon to

Once you’ve got your incense smelling as you want it, it’s time to add the
base oil. Add it in small amounts — you don’t want the incense wet. Add
till you get a sticky or tacky feel, till the powder sticks a little to your
The base oil gives your incense a longer life, but it makes the mixture
produce a heavy, burnt-smelling smoke in the short term. If you must burn
the incense right away, leave out the base oil. After you add the oil,
incense takes a week to ten days to set, and it’s not till after that period
that you’ll be rid of excess smokiness. Check your incense while it’s
setting — if the smoke continues heavy, you can leave the container open to
let the in-cense breathe a bit.
When I’m done adding base oil to an incense, I raise energy and consecrate
the incense to the purpose for which I devised it. This step is essential if
yours is to be a magickal incense.
Now, sit back! You’ve made incense. Be proud of yourself. You have a new
ritual tool that will heighten your every working. And you’ve brought some
scents into the world.

Special thanks to Sylvana SilverWitch and her incense classes, from which I
learned much of the preceding.

Sample Recipes

Full Moon incense
2 parts frankincense
2 parts myrrh
2 parts sandalwood
1/ 2 part rose petals
Jasmine oil
The smell is powdery and sweet, very moony and watery.

Hecate incense
4 parts sandalwood
2 parts peppermint
2 parts myrrh
Cypress oil
As you might guess, the sandalwood is very forward in this recipe.
Wortcunning also makes a stellar Hecate incense based on information in
ancient magickal texts. However, that incense strikes me as better burned
outdoors. Use the preceding to gently honor Her in your hermetically sealed
ritual room.

Hermes incense
1 part cinnamon
1 part frankincense
1 part lavender
This is not my own recipe; I’m afraid I forget where I got it. But it’s
great! Use it also for spells of communication, travel protection and the
like — anything ruled by Hermes.

Lammas incense
2 parts frankincense
2 parts sandalwood
1 part pine resin
1/ 2 part bay
1/ 2 part cinnamon
1/ 2 part coriander
1/ 2 part meadowsweet
1/ 2 part oregano
1/ 2 part rosemary
A few drops rose oil
Slightly less oak moss oil
Very little patchouli oil (start with one drop)

Meditation and divination incense
2 parts benzoin
2 parts lavender
2 parts myrrh
2 parts sandalwood
1 part orange peel
1/ 2 part mugwort
Equal amounts eucalyptus, patchouli oils This mixture is very floaty and
psychically oriented. If you have trouble grounding, ground before you burn.
The sandalwood and eucalyptus come to the fore.

Copyright © 2004 by the article’s author


Easy Cheesy Fondue

1/2 pound swiss cheese, shredded

3 small cans of condensed cheese soup (Campbell’s is best)

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Mix first 3 ingredients together and heat in your fondue pot, stirring occasionally until smooth and heated. Gradually add beer until it is the consistency you prefer. When fully heated you can keep warm, stirring occasionally or just reheat when necessary. Serve with French bread cubes for dunking.

Black Root

Botanical: Leptandra Virginica (NUTT.)
Family: N.O. Scrophulariaceae
—Synonyms—Veronica Virginica. Veronica purpurea. Paederota Virginica. Eustachya purpurea and Eustachya alba. Culveris Root. Culver’s Physic. Physic Root. Leptandra-Wurzel.
—Parts Used—The dried rhizome, roots.
—Habitat—Eastern United States.

—Description—This tall, herbaceous perennial was included by Linnaeus in the genus Veronica, but was later assigned by Nuttall to the genus Leptandra, a nomenclature followed by present-day botanists. It has a simple, erect stem, 3 or 4 feet high or more, smooth and downy, furnished with leaves in whorls and terminating in a long spike of white flowers, 6 to 10 inches long. The leaves, of which there are from four to seven in each whorl, are lanceolate, pointed and minutely serrate, and stand on short footstalks. A variety with purple flowers has been described as a distinct species under the name of Leptandra purpurea. The plant flowers in July and August. It grows throughout the United States, in the south mostly in mountain meadows – in the north in rich woods, and is not unfrequently cultivated. It will grow readily in Britain. The rhizome and roots are nearly odourless, the taste bitter and rather acrid, and are generally used dried. The rhizome is of horizontal growth, nearly cylindrical, somewhat branched, externally dark brown to purplish brown, smooth and faintly longitudinally wrinkled, and showing stem bases at intervals of 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch. The rootlets, rising from the under portion, are wiry and brittle when dry.
—Constituents—The roots contain volatile oil, extractive, tannic acid, gum, resin, a crystalline principle, a saccharine principle resembling mannite, and a glucoside resembling senegin. Both the crystalline principle and the impure resin obtained by precipitating with water a tincture of the root have been called Leptandrin and is said to be the active principle. The properties are extracted by both water and alcohol.

An ester of p-methoxycinnamic acid, a phytosterol verosterol, and some dimethoxycinnamic acid are also obtained.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—The fresh root is a violent cathartic and may also be emetic. The dried root is milder and less certain. Leptandrin excites the liver gently and promotes the secretion of bile without irritating the bowels or purging. As it is also a tonic for the stomach, it is very useful in diarrhoea, chronic dysentery, cholera infantum, and torpidity of the liver.

The accounts of its use are conflicting, perhaps owing to the difference in the action of the root in its dry and fresh states. There appears to be a risk of the fresh root producing bloody stools and possibly abortion, though a decoction may be useful in intermittent fever. It has been stated that the dried root has been employed with success in leprosy and cachetic diseases, and in combination with cream of tartar, in dropsy.

—Dosages—15 to 60 grains. Of the impure resin, 2 to 4 grains. Of the powdered extract, U.S.P., 4 grains. Of the fluid extract, 15 minims as a laxative. Leptandrin, 1/4 to 2 grains.

Make Me Strong in Spirit

Make me strong in spirit
Courageous in action
Gentle of heart

Let me act in wisdom
Conquer my fear and doubt
Discover my own hidden gifts

Meet others with compassion
Be a source of healing energies
And face each day with hope and joy

~ Abby Willowroot © 1998

Elderflower Cold Cream

1 Generous Cup Almond Oil

3/4 ounce White Bees Wax

Scant Cup Elderflower Water

1/2 Teaspoon Borax

Melt the oil and wax slowly in a bowl over hot water. Mix the water and borax in another pan. Put the pan over hot water and stir with a wooden spoon until the borax has dissolved. Then pour the borax mixture into the oil and wax. Remove from heat and beat until smooth and creamy.

A Paper Mache Offering Bowl

A Paper Mache Offering Bowl


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup water

Newspaper or grocery bag strips (1 inch by 3 inches)

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

A Bowl of the size you wish to copy

Acrylic paints

Acrylic gloss finish *optional*

1.Tear paper into strips

2. Take a small, rounded bowl, set upside down, and cover it with petroleum jelly.

3. Mix equal parts of flour and water. A half cup of each is enough for two small bowls.

4. Dip each strip into the paste and apply the first layer of strips vertically , covering the bowls surface. Don’t worry about it being uneven or jagged. It can be easily trimmed with scissors after it is dried. Apply the second layer of strips horizontally and so on until you have 5 layers.

5. Allow to dry. This takes about one full day.

6. Separate the papier-mache from the bowl. Use the tip of a butter knife to separate the two. If the inside is not completely dry, allow to dry for another day.

7. Once completely dry, trim the edges with scissors.

8. Paint with acrylics. Add symbols or sponge. Use your imagination!

9. Allow to dry and then cover with the acrylic gloss finish *optional*.

The bowl you’ve created can be used on your altar to hold herbs, potpourri or shell/stones, etc. It can be gently wiped out but don’t wash it with water or use it to hold liquids of any kind.

***Note*** The finer the paper and smaller the strips that you use the smoother the bowl will come out. I have done these in layers using a courser paper for the first 2 layers and using thinner paper for the top layers. This creates a finer and smoother appearance. It is also fun to experiment with different types of papers in different colors (tissue and crepe are great). Sometimes I don’t paint them at all and just use the different papers. Experiment and enjoy! 🙂

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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!
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