April 2012
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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Venus Bath Meditation

by Annie B. Bond, author of
Better Basics for the Home
Three Rivers Press, 1999

Venus is our morning and evening star. On June 8th Venus eclipsed the
sun for the first time since 1874, 121 years ago. Such a rare eclipse!
Venus will eclipse the sun again in eight years, and then not again
until the year 2125. During the next eight years astrologists believe
that Venus energy will be very strong.

Venus has long been associated with Goddess energy, love of the Earth,
romantic love, and sexuality. Aphrodite is a synonym for Venus and means
“water born,” or “foam born.” What better place to connect with Venus,
and meditate on her gifts, than in the bath? Here are simple directions
for this very healing bath:

Give yourself time to spend 15 to 20 minutes soaking in the bath. Fill
the tub with water that is the perfect temperature for you.

Once you are settled in the tub, thank the water for its presence.

Pray for peace and love to prevail on Earth.

Pray for all the blockages to peace and love in your body to be

Repeat either of these prayers as much as you want.

When you are ready to get out of the tub, thank the water. Thank Venus.

Better Basics for the Home

Positivity Potion

This potion will help you become more positive and will also attract positive energies into your surroundings.

You Will Need:

1: 3 Drops Of Frankincense Oil        
2: 3 Drops Of Juniper Oil            
3: 3 Drops Of Orange Oil            
4: 3 Drops Of Basil Oil             
5: A Large Oil Burner                                   

The Potion:

Energize the oils to make you more positive and healthy, mentally and physically.

Pour the oils into the oil burner and inhale the magickal aromas.

Meditate on the positive aspects of your life.

You can also perform this ritual at work or anywhere else that you spend a great deal of time.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

Categories: Desserts, Snacks
Servings Size: 1
1 1/2 tsp Yeast, 1/2 tsp Brown sugar, 1 tsp Salt, 1 1/2 c Water, 4 c Bread flour, 2 tsp Baking soda, 2 c Warm water, 1/2 lb Butter, 2 Tbsp Honey, White sugar Brown sugar.
Preparation Instructions: Mix yeast, brown sugar, dash of salt and 1 1/2 cups water. Let sit for five minutes. Add bread flour. Knead well. Let rise for about one hour. Grease baking sheet. Mix baking soda and warm water. Take a piece of dough and roll and shape into a pretzel. The easiest way to shape is to roll into a rope, whatever size you prefer. Pinch ends of rope then bring ends of rope to other side of circle. Dip pretzels in warm water and baking soda mixture and put on baking sheet. Bake at 425F for about 12 minutes. While still hot, brush with melted butter and honey. Sprinkle with white and brown sugar (approx. half and half mixture).


Botanical: Scilla nutans (S. M.)
Hyacinthus nonscriptus (LINN.)
—Synonyms—Calverkeys. Culverkeys. Auld Man’s Bell. Ring-o’-Bells. Jacinth. Wood Bells. Agraphis nutans, Link.
—Part Used—Bulb, dried and powdered.
—Habitat—Abundant in Britain, Western Europe to Spain, eastward to Central France, along the Mediterranean to Italy.

—Description—From the midst of very long, narrow leaves, rising from the small bulb, and overtopping them, rises the flower-stem, bearing the pendulous, bell-shaped blossoms, arranged in a long curving line. Each flower has two small bracts at the base of the short flower-stalk. The perianth is bluish-purple and composed of six leaflets.
The Wild Hyacinth is in flower from early in April till the end of May, and being a perennial and spreading rapidly, is found year after year in the same spot, forming a mass of rich colour in the woods where it grows. The long leaves remain above ground until late in the autumn.

Linnaeus first called it Hyacinthus, tradition associating the flower with the Hyacinth of the Ancients, the flower of grief and mourning. Hyacinthus was a charming youth whom both Apollo and Zephyrus loved, but Hyacinthus preferred the Sun-God to the God of the West Wind, who sought to be revenged, and one day when Apollo was playing quoits with the youth, a quoit (blown by Zephyrus out of its proper course) killed Hyacinthus. Apollo, stricken with grief, raised from his blood a purple flower, on which the letters Ai, Ai were traced, so that his cry of woe might for evermore have existence upon earth. As our native variety of Hyacinth had no trace of these mystic letters our older botanists called it Hyacinthus nonscriptus, or ‘not written on.’ A later generic name, Agraphis, is of similar meaning, being a compound of two Greek words, meaning ‘not to mark.’

It is the ‘fair-hair’d hyacinth’ of Ben Jonson, a name alluding to the old myth. We also find it called Jacinth in Elizabethan times. In Walton’s Angler it is mentioned as Culverkeys.

—Constituents—The bulbs contain inulin, but are characterized by the absence of starch (which in many other monoeotyledons is found in company with inulin). Even if fed on cane-sugar, Bluebell bulbs will not form starch. They also contain a very large quantity of mucilage.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Though little used in modern medicine, the bulb has diuretic and styptic properties.

Dried and powdered it has been used as a styptic for leucorrhoea; ‘There is hardly a more powerful remedy,’ wrote Sir John Hill (1716-75), warning at the same time that the dose should not exceed 3 grains. He also informs us that a decoction of the bulb operates by urine.

Tennyson speaks of Bluebell juice being used to cure snake-bite.

The flowers have a slight, starch-like scent, but no medicinal uses have been ascribed to them.

The bulbs are poisonous in the fresh state. The viscid juice so abundantly contained in them and existing in every part of the plant has been used as a substitute for starch, and in the days when stiff ruffs were worn was much in request. From its gummy character, it was also employed as bookbinders’ gum.

Gerard informs us that it was also used for setting feathers upon arrows. De Candolle (1778-1841) suggested that the abundant mucilage might be put to some economic purpose.

—Dosage—3 grains.

—Substitutes—any other bulbous plants related to Scilla (Hyacinthus, Muscari Gagea, etc.) have been used as diuretics, and probably contain related, if not identical substances.


Wise and magical goddess of the moon, Rhiannon hears
our wishes and guides us on the path of inspiration – but
only if we learn how to ask!

I ask and therefore I receive
I deserve to fulfil my destiny
I welcome change in my life
I see the path intended for me
My future is full of possibilities
I invite new choices into my life
My goals are becoming manifest
I deserve to have my dreams realised
More about Rhiannon.

Related essences:  bayberry, cedar, pine, sage and rosemary

Related gemstones: cat’s-eye, ruby and moonstone

Rhiannon (Great Queen) was the lunar Welsh Goddess of
fertility and rebirth, transformation, wisdom, and magic.
Goddess of ethereal beauty, she was born with the first
moonrise, Muse of poets, source of artistic inspiration, she
was worshipped outside amidst the trees at woodland alters
and underneath the Moonlight.

As goddess of fertility, Rhiannon gave birth to a son,
Pryderi, at Yule – the winter solstice being a significant
reminder that the ultimate product of death is rebirth.
(Centuries later, in 273 C.E. (Common Era), Christians
adopted this time of Yule as Jesus’ birth). Her son was
abducted one night while she slept, and as punishment she
was tied to the town gates and forced to bear visitors on her
back as though she were a horse. Her dignified strength and
perseverance during this time serve to remind us what all
women are, and will continue to be.

In her death goddess aspect, she is symbolised by an
unearthly white mare and three birds that sang so sweetly
they could raise the dead. According to bardic folklore, she
later become Vivien, the Lady of the Lake in Arthurian
myth, honoured for granting the wishes of those who could
ask for what they wanted, and scorning those who could
not, or would not, ask for what they wanted.  This aspect is
also a possible source for the Grail Question of Arthurian

Rhiannon carried the souls of the once-living on her white
mare to the Underworld, which, according to Celtic legend,
is where the soul exists in a similar way to that in our
world. They did not see a difference between the spiritual
world and the material world, the natural or the
super-natural. After a “life cycle” in the Underworld, the
souls die and are reborn into this world again, perpetuating
the cycle of birth and death, renewal and destruction.

As we have now passed the winter solstice, and head into
the phase of rebirth and renewal, we welcome new
inspiration and Rhiannon’s energy into our lives. At the
next full moon, honour Rhiannon by lighting four candles
(one each of red, green, gold and silver) and make your
wish known to her. With the joyful energy that renewal
brings, have a little fun invoking Rhiannon with the
Anglo-Celtic nursery rhyme:

Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross
to see a fine lady upon a white horse,
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
she shall have music wherever she goes.

The Psalm of the Goddess

Ever as I pass through the ways do I feel the presence of the Goddess.

I know that in aught I do She is within me, and I am within Her.

She abides in me, and I in Her forever.

No evil shall be entertained, for purity is the dweller within me and about me.

For good do I strive and for good do I live.

With love unto all things, so be it forever.

Bath Melts

2 parts cocoa butter
2 parts baking soda
1 part citric acid
powdered herbs        
color (optional)
EO(s) or FO(s) (your preference)
Melt the cocoa butter add EO(s) and color if you wish. Then add powdered ingredients, stir then pour into molds. Let sit in fridge or freezer until set then pop out of molds and let sit for a day or two.

Dyes and Inks

Pokeberries – Boil the berries with vinegar to produce a long lasting
reddish-brown color.
Use as a dye or ink.

Beets – In 1 gallon of water, boil 6 large red beets until water
becomes dark red, add gum arabic a little at a time until ink is
right consistency.

Alder – boil 1 pound of bark for 2 hours. Strain and add 1/4 cup of
raw alum. Boil; for 10 minutes more

Goldenrod – Boil the leaves and flowers for a yellow dye

Horse Radish – Dry the leaves out and then boil for a yellow dye

Wild Celery – For a light yellow dye, harvest the flowers and leaves
during June and July. In a tin or aluminum vessel add 5 gals. of
water. Boil 1 pound of wild celery for 2 hours. Strain and add 1/4
cup of raw alum and boil for 10 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn
and boil for 15 minutes. Remove and rinse material.

Gaillardia (Indian Blanket) – Harvest the flowers, leaves and stems
in June. Using an enamel or stone pot, add 5 gals. of water. Boil the
plant parts for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum. and boil
for 10 mins. more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and boi for 2 hrs. Steep
overnight, remove and rinse material.

Sunflower – Boil the flowers for a yellow dye.

Ground Lichen – Use either fresh or dried lichen. If fresh, scrape
from underneath a sagebrush after a rain. In 4 gals. of water, boil 1
pound of lichen for 1 hr. Strain and add 1/4 cp of raw alum and boil
for 15 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and boil for 30 minutes.
Remove and rinse. For a darker orange, boil for 1 hr. and steep
Queen Anne’s Lace – Boil the roots for an orange dye.

Sassafras – Dry the bark out and pulverize into a powder. Boil in 5
gals. of water until water turns dark orange. Add 1/4 cup of raw alum
to maintain color and boil for another 15 minutes.

Oregon Grape – Harvest the leaves and vines during the Fall. In a
stone vessel add 5 gals. of water and 4 pounds of leaves and vines
and boil for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum and boil for
10 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn, stir well and steep
overnight. Remove and rinse.

Alder – Boil 1 pound of catkins in 5 gals. of water for 2 hrs. Strain
and add 1/4 cup of alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Silver Birch – Boil 1 pound of leaves in 4 gals. of water for 2 hrs.
Strain and add 1/4 cup of alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Bracken – Boil 1 pound of leaves in 5 gals. of water for a green dye.

Red Cabbage – Boil the leaves in 5 gals. of water, strain and add 1/4
cup of raw alum. Boil for 10 more minutes.

Black Raspberries – Boil 1 pound of berries in 5 gals. of water.
Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Sweet Joe Pye – Boil the buds for a pink dye. Start with a 1/4 pound
of buds in 1 gal. of water until desired color is obtained.

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