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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Beginner Meditation

By Sandra Anderson, Yoga+

With practice, this beginner meditation will hold the mind steady even during periods of stress.

A well-trained, stable, and focused mind is an asset in every sphere of life. The practice below will develop your concentration, clarity, and inner stability, by providing a single object as the resting place for your mind’s awareness–the universal mantra soham. Practice daily at about the same time, starting with 10 minutes, and gradually increasing to 20-30 minutes, or longer.

Step 1. Begin by training your body to be still and comfortable in a sitting posture. When the spine is erect with the pelvis, chest, and head vertically aligned, the breath becomes smooth, and the mind alert and relaxed. Sit on a chair, or cross-legged on the floor with a cushion or a folded blanket under the hips. Use enough support to lift the hip joints slightly higher than the knees. This minimizes the effort needed to keep the lower back from rounding.

Step 2. Close your eyes and mentally draw a circle of light around yourself. The circle separates you from the world of daily life–both the outer world of perceptions and activities, and the world of your familiar preoccupations and thinking patterns. With this intention, see yourself sitting inside this circle of light. It delineates a space in which you can contain your awareness; let it protect you from disturbances, distractions, and mental dissipation.

Step 3. Feel the entire body sitting comfortably still, release any unnecessary tension, and pay attention to the movement of the breath. Refine your awareness as you feel the breath become smoother and more subtle, expanding from the solar plexus into the limbs on the inhalation, and releasing back to the solar plexus on the exhalation. Be aware of the touch of the breath everywhere in the body.

Step 4. Making sure the body and breath stay relaxed, focus your attention at each of the following energy centers, moving systematically through the body and inhaling and exhaling once at each point: eyebrow center — throat center — right shoulder — right elbow — right wrist — each of the right fingertips, starting with the thumb — right wrist — right elbow — right shoulder — throat center — left shoulder — left elbow — left wrist — each of the left fingertips, starting with the thumb — left wrist — left elbow — left shoulder — throat center — heart center — navel center — center of the pelvis — pelvic floor — center of the pelvis — navel center — heart center — throat center — eyebrow center.

Step 5. Now rest your attention at the eyebrow center. Feel the ebb and flow of the breath through the inner space of the whole body, while maintaining your focus on the eyebrow center. Sense the vibration of a slow wave of breath. This vibration is the mantra soham (pronounced so-hum). Hear the sound so on the inhale, and the sound ham on the exhale. The breath is subtle and slow, so let your concentration be fine and sensitive, becoming more and more one-pointed, and gradually drawing deeper into the mind. Rest in this awareness as long as you like.

To finish the practice, gradually return your awareness to the flow of the breath in the body, the physical presence of the body, and the space around you. Remain aware of the breath and your inner connection as you release the body from your sitting posture. You may want to open your eyes into the palms of your hands, massage your face, and stretch your arms and legs before getting up.

Aromatherapy for Headaches

For those that suffer headaches!

Today’s Tip
Cool compresses made with Marjoram oil can help relieve headaches.

Add two drops of oil to a large bowl of cool water and mix it up well.

Dip a cotton cloth in the mixture, wring it out and apply it to your forehead.

Place another cool compress on the back of your neck to enhance the effect.

Caution
Since marjoram oil may stimulate contractions and promote blood flow, it should never be used during pregnancy. Also, the oil can sometimes dull the senses, so it should be used only for short periods of time. Always dilute the oil well before applying it to the skin, since it may cause irritation in susceptible individuals. Do Not take marjoram oil internally!

Pineapple Slaw

1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks, undrained
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 (10 ounce) package shredded cabbage
2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 large apple, cut into small chunks

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice.
Whisk together reserved 1/3 cup pineapple juice, oil, and next 5
ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Add pineapple chunks,
cabbage, orange, and apple; toss gently. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep. 10 min Chill: 8 hours

Calendula

 – Calendula officinalis
AKA: Marigold, garden marigold, holigold, Mary bud, pot marigold

Calendula, also known as pot marigold has been used all over the world.  Not only for its valuable medicinal qualities, but also for its culinary uses and its unique ability to control insects in the garden.

Calendula is an easy to grow annual as it’s not particular to soil conditions and can easily be grown from seed. When harvesting be sure to leave a few blossoms on the plant and let them form seed heads. Then scatter the dried seeds wherever you would like Calendula to be growing next spring.

History shows that Calendula was most often used in soups and stews to ward of illness.  Hence the name “pot Marigold”. But don’t confuse this plant with the shorter version of the African Marigold species.  Calendula grows from 1 to 2 ft tall and has hairy texture on its leaves.

Today, many studies have proven Calendula to be a highly beneficial herb worth taking a look at.  
   * It has a high concentration of natural iodine, which is believed to be what gives it many valuable wound healing properties.
  * Its antimicrobial compounds inhibit certain strains of Staphylococcus and Candida, as well as E. coli.
       * It contains lycopene, which has recently been shown to be beneficial to prostate health.
      *  Its high levels of carotene and maganese along with iodine promote skin cell regeneration.

In Aromatherapy, Calendula is mainly used for its skin healing properties.  It contains an essential oil in the flower heads and leaves that have an antibiotic effect. It can be used internally as well as externally. Calendula heals all kinds of wounds, especially internal and external ulcers of all kinds.

Externally, Calendula improves blood flow to the affected area and is useful for eczema, gastritis, minor burns, including sunburn, healing pulled muscles, bruises, sprains, boils, insect bites, rashes, wounds, and other sores. Not only that, it is nourishing and regenerative to the skin.  It’s My Nature carries some great Calendula Body Powder that is very soothing to the skin.

Calendula’s anti-fungal properties are great for athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida.

There are many methods of using dried Calendula.  It can be made into tea, which can be drank, or used as a hot or cold compress. Salves, creams, lotions and infused oils are a convenient way to apply Calendula.

Internally, Calendula can be used for such gastrointestinal problems as ulcers, stomach cramps, menstrual difficulties, colitis, diarrhea and to prevent recurrent vomiting.

The high amounts flavonoids account for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Calendula is safe and recommended for use for children’s ailments.  It is great for diaper rash, juvenile acne, and all kinds of childhood skin rashes.

Medicinal Properties include: antibacterial, antiseptic,  antifungal agent, reducing inflammation, wound healing, antispasmodic, aperient, cholagogue, diaphoretic, vulnerary.

Calendula Usage in Aromatherapy
Inhalation – Great insect repellent in the garden.
Skin Care – Use for acne, and rejuvenating skin.
Compress –  Varicose veins., sprains and wounds, bring down fever.
Hair Care – Hair rinse to lighten and brighten hair.
Tea – Drink two to three cups daily.
Bath –  For soothing sunburn and skin rashes.
Massage – With infused oil. rejuvenating to the skin, and the soul.
Compress- To help in the healing of skin wounds: soak a compress in Calendula tea, and apply to the wound for 30 minutes twice daily.

Spider Woman

SUGGESTED MANTRA: EMPOWERMENT
Spider Woman, creator and weaver of life, is the great teacher, protector and Mother of all creation to many southwestern Native American cultures. She manifests as a sacred guardian, overseeing the welfare of all those in need.

SUGGESTED AFFIRMATIONS:
~ My life is full of purpose
~ I deserve to be treated right
~ I am a success in all that I do
~ My goals are becoming manifest
~ Every choice I make is the right one

And for the truly intuitive…
~ Answers that present themselves to me in dreams are correct

Related essences: Goddessence NUIT blend* for the crown chakra

Related gemstones: Turquoise, Coral

According to mythology, Spider Woman spun two silver strands, one connecting east to west, the other north to south. This connected the four corners of the earth, with Spider Woman as the centre. (The strands created the Road of Life in the Hopi tradition, which has as its symbol the equal-armed cross).

HER MODERN ENERGY

In her aspect as Creator and Mother, Spider Woman affirms that women are essential and central to the life process. She reminds us that people of all races were created from the same source, with equal rights and responsibilities. She created her own children, twin daughters and twin sons, who brought forth the sun, moon and stars. She created all vegetation, birds, animals and red, black, yellow and white people.

As a sustainer, Spider Woman is always urging us to reconnect to our own spiritual source of higher power. She tells us that our natural role is to live in peace and harmony, with reverence toward the earth and its beings. She imparts her sacred wisdom to people as they sleep, connecting them to her spiritual wisdom through a filament spun from her body and attached to her crown.

She empowers women to keep the dream of life alive and encourages them to continue weaving their dreams, even in times of despair and unknowing.

DO THIS

If Spider Woman is speaking to you today, take the time to visualise your dream of life. Purify your intentions and sacred space by smudging yourself with Sage and Cedar.

Gather 8 lengths of dried sage, cedar and/or sweetgrass and tie securely with strands of red, yellow, black and white twine. Smudge sticks should be between 3 to 5 cm in diameter at widest point. Tie off loose ends of twine. Light until smudge stick thoroughly ignites. When The flame burns out, purify yourself and your space with the fragrant smoke. Mediate with a mantra or affirmation knowing that Spider Woman Is helping you manifest your life dream.

Yours in love and light,
~Anita~
www.goddess.com.au

My Guardian Angel

My Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel, by my side,
from my presence, do not hide.
Stay by me both night and day,
protect me while at work or play.

Hold me in thy loving hands,
steady the rock on which I stand.
Let me know that you are near,
take away my doubts and fears.

Let me know thy Holy presence,
provide my daily substance.
Help me feel thy loving care,
of your tenderness, to be aware.

Shield me from all harm and strife,
bless me with successful life.
Watch over me when “ere I sleep,
and through the night, my soul please keep.

Refresh me with the morning light,
strengthen me to face the fight.
Go with me to that Heavenly place,
where I’ll finally look upon His face.
~Newyorker55

Honey Almond Bubble Bath

 
1T light oil (olive oil)
1/2c honey
1/2c liquid soap (I use WalMart liquid antibacterial)
1T almond extract
1T glycerine
Mix all together in a squirt bottle. Use 1/4c per bath.

Make a set of Runestones

We here at the Garden of the Midnight Moonchild are fortunate to live on the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States. This great big beautiful “Inland Sea” is the source of our hand-picked supply of naturally hewn granite composite stones.

Once selected, the stones are hand carved, and cleansed with pure running water, and the influence of the Full Moon. There is quite a bit of effort that goes into this process, but we feel it can be most rewarding for the serious student of Runemal.

Of course, you can do this same thing for yourself, wherever you are. And it is actually our belief that you will be FAR better served to create your own tools for divination rather than purchasing them from another… even another as wonderful as us. This is why we spent so much time and effort in giving you all the information you need to create your own Runestones.

Once you have collected your stones, be they from a lakeshore, a quarry, or the driveway, you will want to clean them, allow the surfaces to dry, and select the right place to begin carving the Runes. It will probably be best if you select a part of the stone that is fairly flat and featureless for increased ease in carving.

The tool you choose for carving can be entirely up to you also. We use a small rotating engraving scribe called a “Dremel” which allows you to select different attachments. You may need to experiment with the different “bits” available to you before you find the one you are most comfortable with. This means it might be a good idea to have a couple of “practice” stones at the ready…

Once you have selected your preferred tool, you will want to inscribe your stones in a specific order known as the Aettir. Each Rune stands for a letter and a phonetic sound and as a discrete grouping they represent an entire alphabet known as the “Futhark”. Within this alphabet, or Futhark, there are three divisions known as Aettir consisting of eight letters each in numerical order. Therefore the first Aett will be comprised of runes 1 – 8, the second Aett will be comprised of runes 9 – 16, and the final Aett is comprised of runes 17 – 24.

This means that you will be carving your runes adhering to the following process by sets of Aettir, so you will not begin any work on the 9th rune until after you have carved, reddened, and sung all of the stones in the first Aettir. This is so that you don’t get tired, and tempted to shortcut the process by skipping over some things, because this is a process best not rushed.

First you will be carving or cutting the runes into the wood, bone or stone.

Second, while cutting or carving the runes you will be speaking or singing the names of the runes to empower them while they are being carved. You should be singing slowly and with reverence so that you have intoned every vibration of the rune’s name with each stroke you engrave.

Third, you will be colouring (“reddening”) the runes with either red paint, stain, ink, or your own blood (this is said to connect the runes magically to the person carving them) and it is advised that you allow your runes to bathe fully in the reddening process for a full day and night. We would ask that you use your head where this step is concerned, there isn’t any need to do much more than introduce a drop of your DNA into whatever mixture you will be using for this process. If your carved sigils are deep enough so that you can clearly see them without any additional inking, then you may not need to do much more than introduce a drop of DNA into a bowl of fresh rainwater and let the stones bathe there. If you feel that the symbols will be better seen if the engraving is also inked, then you should be able to introduce a drop of DNA into your “ink”, either way you will effectively accomplish the bond this step is designed to establish between you and your tools.

Finally, when all the work of carving your runes is done you will be making an offering (a “blot”) of thanks to the Gods, usually of mead or ale.

You can elaborate on this simple ritual as much as you like. You may use whatever materials suit your purpose also. There are many substances that can be marked with rune symbols, you don’t need stone… there are many fine tools made from wood, bone, or other material. Sometimes the symbols are carved, sometimes they are burned, sometimes they are inked. The method is yours to choose and we would urge to use whatever works best for you… after all… these are your tools.

Chaste Moon

This is the Moon of the maiden and Faery folk. Gather the seeds of inspiration and imagine what they can grow into. Build an Altar to the Moon and bless your garden in the moonlight. Prepare the earth for planting and yourself for change.

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