23 February 2014

Purifying Your Home and Your Spirit

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!




The month of February gets its name from the Latin februum, meaning Purification. The ancient Romans dedicated the month for closures and prayers and purification. The purification rituals were held on the 15th, which was the full moon.

I consider snow to be cleansing to the planet. This month has been pretty snowy so far, so it is holding to the idea of purifying in the month of February (in my mind anyway, lol).

For the second half of this month I will be adding to my exercise and yoga by doing a juice cleanse for 3 days. I love juicing. I've been juicing for around 3 years and it is something I really enjoy. I have a Green Star juicer. One of my most favorite juices is a beet/pomegranate juice. Juicing is not for the faint of heart. New juicers expect it to be like the juice you buy in the store and it is nothing like it. The flavors are much stronger and better and the juice is alive. I found a few cleansing juice recipes:
http://www.thecultureist.com/2013/06/24/10-healthy-juicing-recipes-for-detox-cleanse/

I also recently purchased a new candle water fountain. My old one bit the dust, I could have just replaced the pump, but it was looking pretty rough after almost 7 years of use. I found one similar to it on Ebay, which made me very happy. When it is lit it creates a nice moving watery light on the ceiling and I can really go into meditation mode with it and my mp3 player playing the guided meditations that I enjoy so much.

A few of the guided meditations that I like:
Guided Chakra Meditation
The Healing Waterfall

The next thing I will be doing is a whole house deep purification.  This will include a good deep cleaning with essential oils and an excellent whole house smudge with frankincense, cedar, and sage. I'll make sure that I get every nook, cranny and corner. The frankincense is a great energy cleanser.The sage will help remove energies that are stuck. Cedar is an energy cleanser and will add protection from the bad energy.  All three of them will raise vibrations. After burning the "cleansers", I'll burn the sweetgrass to bring in some positive vibes.

I will list a few other things that I have been doing and using:

One of the best things to do to purify yourself is to drink lemon ginger water upon rising. Especially if you are a woman. I've had wacky hormones since the Lyme disease and lemon water is a great flusher and purifier. I drink 8 ounces every morning.
The Detox Diva explains the benefits:
http://thedetoxdiva.com/everyday-detox-ginger-lemon-tea/

If you don't want the ginger in it, lemon water is still excellent.
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-lemon-water-you-didnt-know-about.html

Dandelion tea. Dandelion tea will love your liver, and therefore your liver will love you.
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7134/8-reasons-to-drink-dandelion-root-tea.html

Dry skin brushing. I haven't done this in a while, it is overdue. Why would I want to dry skin brush? It is excellent for cleaning your lymphatic system. It helps to keep your skin to looking young. So, my question would be, why would you want to? Here's a good article explaining the benefits:
http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2014/02/daily-detox-tip-dry-skin-brushing.html

Salt baths. If you don't follow Wellness Mama, you should:
http://wellnessmama.com/4513/health-benefits-of-salt-baths/

Herbs that are good for purification, and they will also add a few good things to your home such as protection, peace, love, and prosperity.

Patchouli, lavender, sage, basil,

Citrus is also very cleansing and purifying. The floor wash that you can make is a great floor wash. Last year I had a great overabundance of basil, so I made some orange/purple basil cleanser. It was fabulous. I followed the same procedure, but I just added in around a cup of basil.



This is a great purification recipe for an incense or potpourri.
1 cup of dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup of dried peppermint
1/8 cup of crushed cloves
1/8 cup of crushed cinnamon sticks
a few drops of rosemary essential oil

More herbs that are good for purification: Bay, Cedar, Chamomile, lavender, lemon, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme, copal, frankincense, myrrh, sage, parsley, fennel, pine, peppermint


After the home is all fresh and cleansed then I will cleanse, charge, and place a few crystals.

A great book to read for further ideas is Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst. I absolutely love this book.

I am excited about my Spring cleaning this year. It seems that winter has been a little longer, and I am looking forward to welcoming the lightness. Tell me what you do to welcome Spring into your home.

Bright Blessings,
Saga

Graphic credit: I made the cute spring cleaning jpg with designs purchased from http://aprilisadesigns.blogspot.com

16 February 2014

Frustration Will Block Your Magicks

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!

First of all, Happiest Birthday to my wonderful Hubby of 15 1/2 years!!! I love you!

I was having a wonderful conversation about intent and "unintentional" intent with Kallan. In the process, I had an epiphany. The epiphany was about frustration. During the course of the conversation, I talked about inadvertently ending up with my cats.

Okay.....er, I think I need to tell you about my cats. I had Kissy my solid black kitty and I had Bob, my brown tabby. I started thinking of how I would like a Siamese kitty. So, I started looking at Siamese kitties on the internet and I liked the Siamese rescue page on Facebook....and so on. Then one day I saw a picture of a polydactyl (Hemingway) Siamese, and I thought to myself.....now, don't go getting picky about a cat Loren, that's a pretty tall order.

That next weekend I had hubby take me to the Johnson City Animal Shelter, because on their website they had a Siamese momma and babies. When we got to the shelter, she wasn't there. I was so disappointed. On the way back through Kingsport coming home, my sweetheart hubby asked me if I wanted to stop and look at the Kingsport shelter. I agreed, and we stopped by and I ran to the cat room. There she was.  The fluffiest little Siamese kitty feeding on her mommy. I picked her up and she had thumbs! It was a polydactyl Siamese! She was the LAST one of the litter, all the rest had been picked. I ran and filled out the form (getting mine in before someone else that was wanting her) and she was given to me.  Hecate has been a delight ever since.


A few months after bringing Hecate home, we were asked if we would take her sister. We unknowingly had friends that went the same day to the shelter and had picked her sister. She is a lilac tabby point Siamese and yes, she is polydactyl also. Gaia now makes her home with her sister. They are happy to be reunited. So there, the Universe doubly blessed me with what I was asking for. 


My magicks did that. I requested and the Universe fulfilled. It was so easy. I wasn't frustrated.  I wasn't "clingy" I wasn't pushing my magicks on the Universe as a demanding child. I only thought of what I wanted and it was given. Thank you, Universe.

I then began thinking about the other things that I had done by thinking of it, intentional and unintentional. There are quite a few and I began thinking about how easy it was for a result. I wasn't frustrated and demanding. I just thought of it, almost offhandedly, and it was there, staring me in the face.

What is frustration? The dictionary says that frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed at being unable to change something.

Antsy thoughts when you are doing magicks will make something not happen. You already have in your mind that perhaps the Universe wouldn't want to give you something, so there you are causing that very thing to happen.

So, what can you do to help yourself? One thing that I have found very helpful is to wait before doing your magicks. Sit down, meditate, get rid of your negativity. If it takes a week, let it. You want it to work, so removal of all doubt is needed.

Some other things to help you remove that frustration:

Journaling: This helps so much. Put that bitching on paper! Put that sadness on paper! Put that aggravation on paper!

Talk to someone: That's what friends are for, right?

Walk, run, exercise it off

Go outside and connect with nature. Hug a tree. Hug your pet. Send that frustration into the ground.

Run a positive outcome scenario through your head several times. Make it a reality.

Watch a magical movie. Call me a weirdo, I don't care. When I watch a magical movie with a good outcome, it makes me positive.

I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what your favorite way to overcome frustration is. Maybe you can add to my list.

Brightest Blessings,
Saga

10 February 2014

The Rowan Tree and a Solar Cross Craft



This month's tree blog will be about another magical tree, the Rowan. The Rowan has long been known for it's association with magic. I am referring to the European Mountain Ash, Sorbus aucuparia. It is in the Rose family and can grow around 50 ft tall.

Rowan is regarded as a tree of protection. To be protected on a journey or hike, take a Rowan walking stick. Since the Rowan also aids in helping us attune to nature, clearing our minds, and giving us deeper understanding of ourselves, then taking this Rowan walking stick with you will also aid in connecting with nature on your walk.


These are dried, but you can see on the bottom one the star shape. 


The tree is said to be protective against witches, witchcraft, and bad fairies. One of the features of the tree is a small pentagram on the "bottom" of each red berry. The red color of the berries is one of the best colors to guard against enchantments. So, with each berry being red AND with a pentagram on them, makes for a double protective whammy! They can be carried on you or used in charm bags. Placing it above the doorways was said to protect against evil spirits or misfortune. It was also placed in barns for the same purpose.

Having the tree growing by your home offers great protection. People carried pieces of rowan sticks with them, and cattle were often found wearing the Rowan crosses to protect them from enchantments so that their dairy production would not be hindered. Rowan amulets laid on graves were also used to keep the dead from haunting. Sailors carried the amulets on board ship to ward storms.

The berries are edible for people, however they do have to be cooked. If they are not cooked the parasorbic acid will destroy Vitamin C. Drying and fermentation of the berries also will make them safe for consumption. They were also used in drinks and potions that were brewed by the Druids and Welsh Witches because they are said to aid in second sight. To make a tea for second sight, quarter and steep one berry. 
Charging the berries in a ritual gives them an energy potency so that when they are eaten, they will give you the life force of nine meals. They are useful for hard labor, keeping strength during a fast, and healing.

The wood of the Rowan is excellent for divining metal. Dowsing rods, wands, and rowan wood carved with staves are popular magical tools.

The Scottish folk tradition is very protective of the Rowan. The use of the wood, leaves, flowers, bark, and also the cutting of these is not allowed except under special condition for sacred purposes.

The people of Strathspey would make their sheep and lambs pass through a hoop of the tree on the evening and the morning of May Day, according to John Ramsay, laird (land proprietor) of Ochertyre. This was done as protection against witchcraft.

Branches of Rowan were used to protect the crops, animals, and the people from fairies by hanging them over the doors, in Ireland, on May Eve.

Fairies do love the tree, even though it is used as protection against them, and will look for it. You may even run the risk of illness caused by the fae if you harm a Rowan.

To the Druids it was a sacred tree that was used against evil spirits and sorcery. They used it for funeral pyres, as a symbol of death and rebirth. The Seers invoked spirits and divined by burning it in rites. It is one of the nine sacred woods and was burned in the fire of Beltaine.

The Greek goddess of youth, Hebe, had a magical chalice. Demons were able to obtain the chalice while the goddess was being careless. This chalice was the source of the their ambrosia, so with it being gone the gods had to take action to get it back. An eagle was sent by the gods and during the fight to get the chalice, the eagle lost some feathers and a few blood drops. This became the Rowan tree. The leaves were made from the feathers and the berries were made from the blood.

The first woman, according to Norse mythology, was made from the Rowan (the first man from Alder). Her name was Embla. The Norse God, Thor, journeyed to the Underworld and fell in a river with rapids. A Rowan tree bent over and helped him return to shore. The Norse carved staves on pieces of Rowan to use as amulets.

According to the ancient Finnish creation myth, the goddess Rauni had intercourse with Ukko, the god of thunder. This caused all of the plants and trees to be created. Old Norse Raunir translates into Rowan.


 Rowan loop amulet that is shown in the Pitt Rivers Museum
You can see it and read about it here:


Brigid, the Celtic goddess of weaving, spinning, healing, and the arts is associated with the Rowan. In Scotland and Ireland, Rowan wood is traditionally used to make spinning wheels and spindles.

The Rowan is also a faerie tree. Faeries often danced in stone circles that were protected by the Rowan tree. So, needless to say, a Rowan that grows by stone circles is an especially magical tree. 

I'm going to show you how to make a solar rowan cross with rowan twigs and berries and red thread and ribbon. You can hang these above any window or door in your home, or you can hang them near the baby bed to keep the bad faeries away. It can be hung over the pet's bed for pet protection or it can be carried for personal protection. They also make a pretty little craft.

I've found several different variations of the poem to say while you make the cross. You can even make up your own.

"Black Luggie, Hammer Head, Rowan tree and Red Thread, put all evil to its speed!"

or

"Rowan-tree and red thread, puts the witches to their speed"

or

“Rowan twigs and strings of red, Deflect all harm, gossip, and dread”

or

“Rowan tree and red thread, Haud the witches a in dread” . 



Take two equal lengths of rowan twigs.


Wrap red thread criss-cross until it has a really good firm hold. Tie off.


I haven't seen this particular design done with the twigs and berries, it's just something I came up with. I threaded a needle with red thread and I slipped the thread, at the knot end, over the top twig. I then began sliding berries over the needle and down the thread to the twig. I kept them tight. When I put enough berries to make it to the next arm, I wrapped the thread a couple of time around the arm, then I slid it towards the center to make it curve the row of berries. I will do this all the way around the cross. The most important thing is that the berries be kept in a firm, tight line.



I continue all the way around, keeping the berries tight.



When I get to the end, I wrap the red thread tightly and tie it off. I then adjust the berries to make a better circle.



I added a pretty ribbon at the top so that I can hang it.



And here it is. I am holding it up to show you that berries stay in place. I will now hang it over a window.




Unfortunately, one of these amulets was used as evidence against a woman accused of witchcraft in 1618. Margaret Barclay in Ayrshire, Scotland, she was convicted and put to death.


The magical aspects:

Planet: Sun, Uranus, and I've also read Mercury

Element: Earth, Fire and "A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal by A. J. Drew says Air

Polarity: Masculine

Zodiac: Leo

Symbolism: protection, healing, psychic powers, success, inspiration

Colors: red, gray

Deities: Celtic goddess Brighid, the Norse god Thor, the Finnish god Rauni, and the Greek goddess Hebe, Virgin Mary

Sabbat: Imbolc

Folk names: Witchbane, Witchen, Wild Ash, Mountain Ash, Witchwood, Wicken-Tree, Wiggy, Rain Tree, Thor's Helper, Wand Wood, Quickbane, Delight of the Eye, Roden-Quicken, Bird Catcher, Whitty, Sorb Apple

Ogham Name: Luis (pronounced loush)

Letters: L

Animals: Crane

The Ogham symbol for the Rowan





Some great sites about the Rowan tree:

Rowan tree 1

Rowan tree 2





09 February 2014

February's Bone Moon Home Ward Bottle and Bone Recipes

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!

Today's blog will have a couple of recipes that get a nice beginning from slow-cooking bones, and I'll show you how to make a home protection bottle using bones.

We certainly have had the bitter cold this winter, haven't we? The cold has made me want to make all different kinds of soups or chili. I love soup or chili on a cold, winter day.

This month's moon has several names: Snow Moon (I think I don't have to say how accurate this name is this year), Hunger Moon, Blackbear Moon, Starvation Moon, and Wind Moon. The name that I am going to go with is Bone Moon.

Winter was especially hard for the indigenous peoples. This month their food stores would be getting low before the spring came and they often depended upon bone soup and bone marrow for survival. They were smart in their eating. Bone marrow soup is one of the best things that you can consume. It provides excellent nutrition.

I made some bone marrow broth and the next day I used the broth to make French Onion soup.

The link to the recipe for Bone Marrow Broth is here: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3615609338/slow-cooker-beef-bone-broth, I used fresh ground pink Himalayan salt in mine, that was the only difference.

My bones are already to be slow cooked!
My broth after 8 hours of slow-cooking!

Here is the recipe for the French Onion Soup that I used. I can't eat gluten, so the only difference that I did was change the bread. I used Sara Lee gluten free bread. I toasted it with some gruyere cheese, then tore it up and added it to my soup, and threw some fresh parmesan on that. 






Bones are also a component that it is used frequently in magicks. They have been used divination (osteomancy), shamanistic works, ancestry work, spellcasting, protection, and amulets.

I was really torn at which "craft" I wanted to show you. However, Catherine Yrondwode had a great link to a divination article and it led to a bone divination kit.  They are here:

http://www.luckymojo.com/blackgypsies.html
and
http://www.luckymojo.com/throwingthebones.html

So, today I thought it would be fun to make a Bone Moon Witches Warding Bottle for your home.

Witch's bottles are an ancient form of magic. What you do with your bottle after you have it made will be up to you. You can put it in a secret spot in your home, bury under where you hold circle outside, or the furthest corner of the yard, or near your front door. These are common places to put them.

I will be using coyote toe bones in my bottle today. There are plenty of sellers on etsy that are bone collectors. They don't kill the animals but they do find the dead animals and clean their bones for crafts and jewelry making. If you are squeamish about acquiring bones this way, then use chicken bones from your dinner, or you can make the bottle without the bones.

Here's a link to a blog of just such a bone collector: http://bone-lust.blogspot.com/

And here's another, he is just 12: http://www.jakes-bones.com/

And ONE more. I love Sarah Ann Lawless, she has the best blog. Here's a little of her info: http://sarahannelawless.com/2010/09/28/dem-bones/

The reason I chose the coyote was because this will be a home protection bottle and coyotes are very protective of their dens. I'm using a toe bone because it is small and will fit inside my bottle. You don't want skulls for this project, lol. Other reasons I chose coyote bones, based on totem of the coyote: adaptability, illusion and chaos can be stripped away to reveal truth, and sense of humor in life's lessons.


Let's get started:

Grab a bottle or jar. It doesn't have to be big. Mine is a small (around 6 inches tall), frosted bottle that is scratched up. I don't mind the scratches because when I am finished filling it, I will bury it at the base of my front steps.  However, I do want it to be more decorated....so I decided to put a bone goblin on the front out of clay. And too, I want to give future archaeologists a great find when they dig. Here's my bottle in the beginning:

This is the first time that I've made a goblin out of clay. I have been itching to do it on a project, so I made a bone goblin. See the bone going through his nose?

Yes, I know. I do get carried away with projects....sometimes.

AND then I got carried away. I wasn't satisfied with just the Bone Goblin. He obviously needed whole bottle decor



Do NOT add your items to your bottle yet. For a bottle you will want to cast a full circle and make your bottle inside your circle. I'm now going to go over items that are good to add to your bottle. I've made those bold.





Gather your items. You want sharp things. Pins, broken glass, broken mirror, nails, claws. I'm also adding in my cats claws for this, since this is their home too. And don't worry, they haven't been declawed. I have to clip Gaia and Hecate's nails, because they are polydactyl and they have some that they can't retract. If I didn't clip them, they would grow back into their paws, and we don't want that. And I digress, back to the bottle making.

Since I did the wolf moon, I still have some wolf hair left, I will be putting some of that in my bottle as well. You will also want to add some devil's shoestring, rosemary, or pine. Or a combo of the three. These are all protective and will drive the evil from your home. Find some glitter to put in your bottle, this attracts the evil to the bottle, then the pins and sharp items will impale it, the liquid will drown it, and the herbs will send it far away. 

Now for your liquid, you can use salt water, vinegar, red wine or your own urine, or a combo of these. Now, some people will probably go "ewwww", but body fluids are powerful things to include. If it isn't for you then don't use it, go with all vinegar or salt water. 

You will need a black candle to seal the cork when you are finished filling your bottle. If you plan on hiding it inside, you can also decorate the top with ribbon and charms if you would like.

Depending on what type of bone you are using, you may want to look up the totem for that animal, to see how they protect and word it that way. 

Okay, now go take all of your ingredients (keep them separate) and your bottle to your circle area. Cast your circle in your normal way, ask your god and goddess to bless your work and aid you.

Time to make the bottle. You will take each ingredient and empower it for its purpose. Dry ingredients first. State the purpose of each item in turn and place in the jar.

Glitter: to lure the enemy to the bottle
Mirrors: to cut
Pins and Needles: to impale
Nails: to impale
Cat's claws: to scratch
Coyote bone: to protect and trick.
Wolf's hair: to protect
Whichever herb (or combo of the three): to fling the enemy far from your home

and finally: Whatever liquid: drown the enemy

Now, cork the bottle, wax it, decorate it if you wish, and carve a rune in the top of the cork.

I caught my cork on fire! 

And the goal is to make it look creepy



Isa would be a good one because it stops any unwanted activity and helps to stop someone that is harassing you.



Pass your bottle over the flame and say:

"No enemies will be able to harm me. Pins and needles and nails will impale my enemies, mirrors will cut my enemies, cat, coyote, and wolf (or whatever animal you use) will protect me, and the herbs will fling my enemies far from me. With the power of flame this protection is now activated with no harm to me and my property, my family, or my possessions, or my pets. It is activated immediately"

Close circle and place your bottle wherever you wish, keep it hidden. If you bury it, make sure that it is deep enough to never be found. Your bottle will work as long as you have it and it remains unbroken.










02 February 2014

An Imbolc Giveaway


This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!




When I was thinking about what to write......I was kind of stumped. All of your usual has been written 10 million ways, and I just didn't want to re-do that. I kind of always go to the crafty sides of things.....and even though Brigit's cross is a symbol, I didn't want that to be what I made. You can go to any blog and find the instructions and different ways to make them.

Then I thought maybe I could make something with symbols and have a giveaway. The symbols I'll discuss are the ones that I used on the giveaway. I almost used a boar. But, in the end I used the triskelion, the flame, and the raven.

Brigit/Brigid/Brid is the triple goddess as a youthful, pregnant maiden. Her father is the Dagda. She is a goddess of healing, fire, light, childbirth, and hearth.  Brighid represents creativity and fertility. She watches over the sun until it can be brought forth with the ending of winter and the arrival of spring.

This is indeed our first hint of spring. Now is the time to start your spring flower seeds and plan out your gardens. We are nearing the end of winter.

So, the triskele/triskelion/triple spiral is a representation of the triple goddess, and therefore a representation of Brigit. It is also representative of creative energy, progression, balance, and regeneration.

The flame stands for Brigit being the goddess of hearth and fire.

And the raven is not her bird. Brigit's bird is the swan. But, the raven is a bird of Imbolc. It returns to the Highlands in February to nest, being one of the first birds to do so.

There is a superstition that says that if a maiden sees a raven on Imbolc and she follows it's direction of flight, she will know the direction in which her future husband lives.

There are 19 stones going around the pendant to represent Brigit's 19 priestesses that kept her perpetual flame tended in the temple.

The symbols are woodburned on and then they are lightly painted for a bit of color. A light coat of protection is added.

I also braided 3 strands of leather to make the necklace.

To enter for a chance to win this necklace and pendant, go to the Sunday Stew and follow the directions there.

Brightest Blessings,
Saga