December 2011
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Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Importance of Meditations


In this world, there are people who lack the conviction of belief. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps there is hardship in finances, or hardship at home. The reasons why people lack in this area are not so much the concern, but rather the fact they lack the conviction of self-belief. That is where everything starts. People must be able to believe in themselves.

There are many ways of developing belief in yourself. One of these ways is meditation.

As pagans, most of us believe that the power flows from within and without, through us, not on us. But the fact remains, if you do not believe in yourself, nothing else is possible. You may forever be trapped in patterns of self-defacing, and base behaviour. Please keep this in mind.

Because of this lack of belief, many people have what I call ‘bendable’ ethics. You do not have to believe as I do, but you have to have a concrete set of rules. Meditation allows you to deprogram the negative thought processes. This is a kind of spring cleaning for the mind.

Lets face the facts, negativity surrounds us daily. The cardinal rule being ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, but today it seems to be ‘Do unto others before they do unto you’.

The purpose of meditation is to bring balance, harmony, and peace into you. Yet, by meditating, one opens themselves to higher energy patterns. One learns to ‘see’, ‘feel’, ‘hear’, and many other things. A word of warning however, the hardest thing you will have to face is yourself.

This is perfectly natural. All your fears, hatreds, anxieties lurk within the deep recesses of your own mind. Issues exist that must be put to rest. Take the time to become your true self. This is not an easy task, and for many it takes a life-time or in some cases life-times. Yet at the same time, you become able to liberate yourself from the chains that keep you tied to the dungeon wall. The task becomes to be your true-self, and not what others expect.

Whether the light comes from the sky, or the earth, or even the air around you is of no consequence, for this is a manifold path. Remember to take only what is necessary, and to always give back something in return. Always close the meditation and give thanks in accordance with your belief structure. Know that the spark of divinity is within us all, as well as from outside of us.


Nathaniel Ash a.k.a. Craftmaster

Antifungal Salve

 1 cup garlic oil,
1/2 cup calendula oil,
1 ts black walnut tincture or
1/2 cup oil made from black walnut hulls,
2oz beeswax,
40 drops tea tree essential oil.
Grate the beeswax. Heat the oils, and add the beeswax. When the beeswax is melted, add the tea tree oil and black walnut tincture. Stir well. Pour intosalve containers immediately.

Hot N” Honey Chicken Wings


17 chicken wings

3/4 cup Picante Sauce

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dijon-style mustard

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. ginger, finely shredded

1-1/2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel

Cut off and discard wing tips; cut each wing in half at joint. Place in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour over chicken wings. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Place chicken wings and sauce in a single layer on foil-lined 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until well browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with additional Picante Sauce.
Yield: 34 Appetizers
Category: Appetizers, Chicken


Botanical: Rubus fructicosus
Family: N.O. Rosacea
—Synonyms—Bramble. Bumble-Kite. Bramble-Kite. Bly. Brummel. Brameberry. Scaldhead. Brambleberry.
—Parts Used—Root, leaves.
—Habitat—In Australia, the Blackberry grows more luxuriantly than in any other part of the world, though it is common everywhere.

The Blackberry, or Bramble, growing in every English hedge-row, is too well known to need description. Its blossoms, as well as its fruits, both green and ripe, may be seen on the bush: at the same time, a somewhat unusual feature, not often met with in other plants.
—History—The name of the bush is derived from brambel, or brymbyl, signifying prickly. We read of it as far back as the days of Jonathan, when he upbraided the men of Shechem for their ingratitude to his father’s house, relating to them the parable of the trees choosing a king, the humble bramble being finally elected, after the olive, fig-tree and vine had refused the dignity. The ancient Greeks knew Blackberries well, and considered them a remedy for gout.

Opinions differ as to whether there is one true Blackberry with many aberrant forms; or many distinct types. Professor Babington divides the British Rubi into forty-one species, or more.

Rubus rhamnifolius and R. coryfolius furnish the Blackberries of the hedges, in which the calyx of the fruit is reflexed; has also a reflexed calyx, but the leaves are hoary underneath. R. coesius furnishes Dewberries, distinguished by the large size of the grains, which are covered with bloom and few in number, the whole being closely clasped by the calyx. R. saxatilis, the Roebuck-berry, and the badge of the McNabs, is an herbaceous species found in mountainous places in the North, and distinguished by its ternate leaves and fruit of few red large grains.

R. chamaenorus, the Cloudberry, and badge of the McFarlanes, is also herbaceous, with an erect stem, 6 to 8 inches high, lobed leaves and a single flower which is succeeded by a large orange-red fruit of an agreeable flavour. The double-flowering Rubus of gardens is a variety of R. fructicosus. R. lancinatus, of which the native country is unknown, is a rampant species with deeplycut leaves and large black fruit, which are highly ornamental in autumn.

R. odoratus, the American Bramble, is an erect, unbranched shrub, with large fivelobed leaves and rose-coloured flowers.

R. occidentalis, the Virginian raspberry, has pinnate and ternate leaves, white flowers and black fruit. It is well known that the barren shoots of most of our British Rubi from being too flexile to keep upright, bend downwards even from the hedges and thickets, and root their ends in the soil, thus following that mode of increase which in the strawberry is effected by the scion. The loop thus formed was formerly an object of occasional search, being reputed in some counties (and we have known it so in Gloucestershire) as capable of curing hernia or rupture when used aright, to which end the afflicted child is passed backwards and forwards through the arching bramble. The origin of this custom is difficult to trace; but quoting from Notes and Queries, the passing of children through holes in the earth, rocks, and trees, once an established rite, is still practised in various parts of Cornwall. Children affected with hernia are still passed through a slit in an ash sapling before sunrise, fasting; after which the slit portions are bound up, and as they unite so the malady is cured.

It would appear that in Cornwall the bramble-cure is only employed for boils, the sufferer being either dragged or made to crawl beneath the rooted shoot. We have heard of cows that were said to be ‘mousecrope,’ or to have been walked over by a shrew-mouse (an ancient way of accounting for paralysis), being dragged through the bramble-loop, in which case, if the creature could wait the time of finding a loop large enough, and suffer the dragging process at the end, we should say the case would not be so hopeless as that of our friend’s fat pig, who, when she was ailing, ‘had a mind to kill her to make sure on her!’ (LINDLEY S Treasury of Botany.)

The Blackberry is known in some parts of the country as ‘Scaldhead,’ either from producing the eruption known as scaldhead in children who eat the fruit to excess – the over-ripe fruit being indigestible – or from the curative effects of the leaves and berries in this malady of the scalp, or from the remedial effects of the leaves, when applied externally to scalds. The leaves are said to be still in use in England as a remedy for burns and scalds; formerly their operation was helped by a spoken charm. Creeping under a Bramble-bush was itself a charm against rheumatism, boils, blackheads, etc. Blackberries were in olden days supposed to give protection against all ‘evil runes,’ if gathered at the right time of the moon. The whole plant had once a considerable popular reputation both as a medicine and as a charm for various disorders. The flowers and fruit were from very ancient times used to remedy venomous bites; the young shoots, eaten as a salad, were thought – though Gerard cautiously suggests the addition of a little alum – to fasten loose teeth. Gerard and other herbalists regard the bramble as a valuable astringent, whether eaten or applied: its leaves ‘heal the eies that hang out,’ and are a most useful application for piles, its fruit stops looseness of the bowels and is good for stone, and for soreness in mouth and throat.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—The bark of the root and the leaves contain much tannin, and have long been esteemed as a capital astringent and tonic, proving a valuable remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea, etc. The root is the more astringent.

—Preparations—Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, root, U.S.P., 15 drops. Syrup, U.S.P., 1 drachm.

The fruit contains malic and citric acids, pectin and albumen. If desiccated in a moderately hot oven and then reduced to a powder, it is a reliable remedy for dysentery.

The root-bark, as used medicinally, should appear in thin tough, flexible bands, inodorous, strongly astringent and somewhat bitter. It should be peeled off the root and dried by artificial heat or in strong sun. One ounce, boiled in 1 1/2 pint water or milk down to a pint, makes a good decoction. Half a teacupful should be taken every hour or two for diarrhoea. One ounce of the bruised root, likewise boiled in water, may also be used, the dose being larger, however. The same decoction is said to be useful against whooping-cough in the spasmodic stage.

The leaves are also employed for the same purpose. One ounce of the dried leaves, infused in one pint of boiling water, and the infusion taken cold, a teacupful at a time, makes a serviceable remedy for dysentery, etc.

Old Woman of the Sea

Themes: Water, recreation, rest & art.
Symbols: Sand, saltwater & sea creatures.
About the Old Woman of the Sea: Among the Native Americans of
California, this simple designation says it all. This goddess is a
primordial being whose essence and power is linked with the ocean and
all that dwells within. Old Woman of the Sea washes into our lives
today with waves of refreshment and relaxation. She is also a powerful
helpmate for all water related magick.
To Do Today: Sandcastle building competitions began in Imperial Beach,
California in 1981. Many of the artistically crafted sculptures
feature sea creatures and other water themes. Alongside the festival,
all manner of community activities take place, including children’s
competitions, feasting and live music. So, stop by a gardening store and
get yourself a little sand! Mix up some saltwater to mold and shape
it. As you do, listen to some watery music and focus on the Old Woman
of the Sea. Try to capture her magickal power in your heart.
If you live anywhere near a beach, today’s a perfect time to practice
sand and water magick. Write a symbol in the sand describing what you
hope to achieve, then let the tide carry it to the Old Woman for an
answer. Or, step into the surf and let the goddess draw away your
tension and anxiety into her watery depths.

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

Goddess Meditation

I will not fear change, I will trust that it brings the knowledge I
Come in, come up the ladder,
spirits of rain, spirits of rain.
Come in, come and sit down,
spirits of cloud, spirits of cloud.
Listen: long ago, we were poor,
but we came out of that poor place.
We passed through that poor place
with your help, with your help.
Now come, help us again,
spirits of rain, spirits of cloud.
Come bring your showers,
come bring the heavy rain.
Come in, come up the ladder
spirits of cloud, spirits of rain.
~ Invocation From The Sia People
Even in the midst of what appears to be plenty, we still have needs.
Winter’s chill is gone, the harvest is burgeoning in the fields, the
time of hunger seems past. Yet too much wind, too little rain, too
little sun, too much rain – any of these can endanger the growth that
seems so strong. A happy harvest is never inevitable.
Similarly, even when we seem to have much, we may still want more. It is
possible, as a result, to become ungrateful for what we have, to spit in
Fortune’s face. But, even if we look thankfully at all the good things
life brings us, we will still find needs and wants unmet. This is life.
Even those you are at the top of life’s mountain will still have unmet
needs., thwarted desires. Acknowledge them, seek to satisfy them, but
never forget to be thankful for what you have.

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

Praise Demeter

Praise Demeter full of life
I am always with thee
Honored and humbled
By life’s seasons
Sacred is the fruit
Of thy womb
Holy Demeter
Mother of Life
Guide our paths
Now and through strife
into peace
~ Abby Willowroot © 1999

Lavender Cream

1oz hydrous lanolin (at pharmacies), 1oz grated beeswax, 2oz comfrey
2oz calendula oil, 2oz fresh calendula juice, 1/16oz borax powder, 100
lavender oil.
Mix and heat oils. Melt lanolin and beeswax in the warm oil. In another
gently warm calendula juice and dissolve borax into it. Remove both
from heat. Mix both while constantly whisking. Stir in lavender oil.
into jars and seal.
Cream made from fresh plant juices tend to go bad after 6 to 12 months.
Store in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Ornaments

Makes: 10

Note: These are NOT edible! I am sharing this recipe because they make wonderful gifts. They also would make your house smell heavenly if you make these for your tree.

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation    Method
1       c                     Applesauce
1       oz                   Cinnamon
1       oz                   Ground cloves
1       oz                   Ground nutmeg
1       oz                   Ground ginger
Cinnamon for cutting board

Combine ingredients to make a stiff dough.  Roll out on board dusted with ground cinnamon.  Cut with
cookie cutters of your choice. Put hole in top for string.   Lay out flat to dry. Turn over every 12 hours until completely dry.

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