Mar 31, 2009
Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. Popular use of these products include massaging products, medicine, or any topical application that incorporates the use of essential oils to their products. It has a particularly Western currency and persuasion. Medical treatment involving aromatic compounds may exist outside of the West, but may or may not be included in the term "aromathatherapy." Below I have listed three types of aromatherapy using various herbs for different situations and a little history of how it was used in ancient cultures.
Chamomile derives its name from the Greek kamai melon, meaning fallen apples and the Latin "nobilis" refers to noble flowers. A very soothing essential oil. It promotes relaxation, encourages patience, ease and allays worries.
Chamomile's nature is to help us let go of expectations and calmly acknowledge our own limitations. Egyptians dedicated this herb to the Sun since it cured fevers while other sources say it is a Moon herb for its cooling effect. Egyptian priests recognized its soothing properties for nervous complaints. Often considered the Matriarch in Aromatherapy.
Elemi essential oil has a lemon-pepper, green-wood, spicy balsamic scent.
The traditional empirical and anecdotal narrative for Elemi is that it eases stress and nervousness by imparting a sense of joy and peace. It has a unifying effect and is helpful for meditation and visualization. Its nature is to impart an appreciation for all the gifts in
our life. The resinous, fragrant gum of Elemi was used in Egypt in the sacred practice of mummification. It was used as a fumigant and to treat respiratory complaints and was popular in 15th century Europe in unguents as a skin preservative to slow wrinkles in ageing skin and
to heal wounds and infected cuts.
Clary Sage essential oil is a herbal, nutty fragrance. It is a top/ middle note.
The traditional empirical properties and anecdotal narratives are that the lovely scent of Clary Sage may bring relief to stressful situations as it has an uplifting effect on the mind. Clary sage regenerates energy and inspires both mind and spirit. It can induce a kind of euphoria or a feeling of elation. It is thought to also encourage vivid dreams and enhances creative work.
Clary sage was called herba sacra, or 'sacred herb' by the Romans. It was thought to banish all grief from the mind and body, and it was one of the most popular drinks in Britain before India and China teas were consumed. Clary sage's nature is to encourage us to be
more receptive and allowing.
These are but a few of the that can be used. I tried to branch out in my research to include some oils that I normal don't use in my aromatherapy collection, I figured I could learn a few new things as well. I strongly encourage to check out a few websites that discuss herbs and essential oils and try a few to see just how our moods can be affected.
Mar 30, 2009
The following was written by my good friend Amy. When I read it I couldn't help wanting to share it with all of you because it has very good advice and I felt maybe we can take something away from it and find it useful....
What makes us who we are..
Every one has a past full of good, bad, and indifferent times. What makes us who we are is how we have dealt with these times in our lives. Times often considered to have left confusion, damage, and baggage. For those who are lucky this all gets lighter and becomes lifted. The baggage starts to become dealt with and unpacked. All this unpacking lifts the confusion and heals the damage. Bad baggage doesn’t go away over night this takes a while, and for some never seems to leave. When it is unpacked keeping it that way is a continued process. Ounce this unpacking has been done those around you can’t be expected to fully understand. Each persons healing process is unique to them. They are sure however to be left with questions of why. When really they need only support the healing unpacking it has done. ...
Mar 29, 2009
This last week we implemented a plan for the children in the hopes that our combined environment would become more peaceful and organized....So far I am very happy to report that this system has worked out rather well and the children are going with the flow and adjusting nicely. My number one observation that has resulted from this past week has been that children love structure, they crave it as a matter of fact. The schedule of specific times for specific activities has given them a better sense of security as they are all aware of what their responsibilities are as opposed to wanting to be in control of things that are being taken care of by the adults in the household.
Although our two families come from different backgrounds, my roommate Coral and I do share the same history of parents with addictions. Things were very chaotic when we were growing up and therefore we decided long ago to break the unhealthy cycles and patterns that had been passed down from generation to generation. It's had it's difficult times but with hard work and a lot of patience things are going to be alright.
1.) My children
2.) My friends
3.) My cats
4.) Learning from past mistakes
5.) My willingness to let go and let the Universe handle it
6.) Time for myself
7.) The scent of the air after a rainstorm
8.) Finding the positive in a negative situation
9.) Knowing hope is always present
10.) Seeing joy on another's face
Mar 28, 2009
Today I'd just like to touch on a little bit of everything...my living room, kitchen and hallway are now being painted and space for my laptop and myself is somewhat relegated to where ever I can find it, which makes writing my blog a tad bit difficult. It will look nice when it's finished but until then my usual routine (which I seldom deviate from) has become a distant dream for now!
The first topic I'd like to talk about is my daily meditation ...or lack thereof...I have mentioned in posts previously about how important to my sanity they are but this last week I have become acutely aware that my inability to focus and relaxation has been put on the back burner, mostly due to workman going in and out of the front door, paint fumes and piles of random furniture and tarps from my living room all the way down the hall to the laundry area.
I have decided that even though it might be just a few minutes a day, it is imperative that I take advantage of them as they come lest I again get the urge to run screaming from the house! ( I know, you're all going to start wondering soon if I should be in a long term facility...)I'm not doing my whole routine but I've found that just taking fifteen or twenty minutes to ground and center myself make a world of difference. It's so easy to go through my day and not realize how wound up I am until the evening time comes and I find myself too exhausted for anything but bedtime.
My second order of business is a new blog just started by Celestite called Seeker. It's a great blog that chronicles her journey into the art of divination in all it's forms from tarot to pendulums and anything else in between. I myself use the tarot, and runes but have not delved too deeply into pendulums or scrying.....although I recently purchased a beautiful Triple Goddess scrying bowl....and this is absolutely the perfect forum for me to explore areas that I've yet to discover. When mentioning divination, most people seem to shudder and everything connected with this art seems somewhat mysterious and a little intimidating so I encourage you to check it out and find out for yourself the true meaning of "occult" ( the word occult simply means "hidden" or "not seen" and is nothing like what has been portrayed in spooky and gruesome Hollywood horror flicks)
Lastly I'd like to mention Earth Hour....Which is this evening at 8:30pm your local time and is an effort to make a difference by diminishing our carbon footprints and switching off our lights for one hour. This is an excellent website with great concern for Mother Earth and again I encourage you to check it out and join in turning off your light for an hour.
Well, that's my miscellaneous contribution for today and tomorrow will be my usual Serenity Sunday list.
Mar 27, 2009
Just as “Milk does a body good,” Epsom Salt may be one of the most perfect nutrients for flowers and plants. And mid-to-late spring is the ideal time to nourish the soils and roots of your favorite foliage and flowers with this inexpensive and easy-to-use compound. According to the Epsom Salt Council, research indicates Epsom Salt can help seeds germinate; make plants grow bushier; produce more flowers; increase chlorophyll production; improve phosphorus and nitrogen uptake; and deter pests, including slugs and moles.
I have a small rose garden in front of my house and each year I treat them to 1/2 cup of epsom salts in mid spring, along with the rose food I feed them regularly. I learned of this little trick years ago when I worked at a local nursery and later as a master gardener in my area. At first I scoffed and was very skeptical but one year I figured that I would be open minded and try it, lo and behold my roses started pushing new canes from their graft and were generally hardier and more full. I promised myself that I'd be open minded from then on because sometimes...you just never know when a great tip might turn up!
Mar 26, 2009
Sunshine...brightly upon the glass,
reflections dancing across the cool water;
testing nature, will each moment pass.
Growing acquainted to the creation,
new birth sprouting from the womb;
changing rules by the nation.
Sunshine glimmering across the sea,
fishes skimming top and bottom;
birds are flying high and free.
People testing it's ultimate power,
forgetting who holds it in his hand;
fearing the coming of the midnight hour.
Showers purify the damage that is done,
from trees the world cut down;
as some battles are never won.
Sunshine still shining rays producing,
changes brought on by modern man;
new ideas they are always introducing.
Sunshine fading, as the ocean rises,
effecting tides, waves, and seasons;
the earth has many surprises.
Marilyn Wilke Ramone
Mar 25, 2009
In my house life can be somewhat chaotic because between my room mate and I, we have four children several cats and two dogs. The children range in ages 12 years old to 8 years old and as all children are...each has their very individual personality. We have one bathroom and three bedrooms and space is at a premium as one can probably guess with only one bathroom and three little girls (poor Conor is the lone boy in a house of women) our mornings are completely and utterly insane. As you may have guessed I am heading into the deep murky waters of just how to get along with each other and up to just yesterday...it has definitely had it's hairy days and hazy grey areas. Anyhow, we all sat down the other day and decided that the stress had to be removed from the house and we were all going to brainstorm ideas in order to ensure the smooth sailing of each individual that lives here.
One of the issues that we had been dealing with was the lack of personal space and personal privacy...take the telephone for instance.....One of my greatest pet peeves is being in an important conversation and have one or more children vying for my attention and as they do I notice that the loudness level slowly increases until I stop my conversation and address the child(ren) involved. My tolerance level immediately drops and I find myself turning into what I like to term "mommy dearest" and when all said and done...I'm rather disgruntled and crabby and unfortunately that feeling would follow me into dinner time and even as far as bedtime which inhibited my ability to unwind myself and get to bed at a decent time.
Our solution will now be that the child(ren) that insist on this behavior will immediately go to the table and sit quietly and respectfully until the adult that instructed them to do so believes that said child has sat there and successfully and completed their time... then they are called aside and this behavior or attitude is discussed and understood as to why this was inappropriate and the best way to avoid future issues. If it happens again, then a toy or privilege will be removed and they must earn it back.
So far the results of our brainstorming session and resulting modifications in our lives has had an immediate and positive result and I can personally say I'm absolutely thrilled that at the end of the day I am not ready to run screaming from the house pulling out my hair and bedtimes are blissfully calm and peaceful. I hope that this endeavor will continue to pay out in respectful, responsible and well rounded children....but just in case, I have an emergency suitcase ready and waiting by the front door....
Mar 24, 2009
The little rabbit on the Nine of Cups cards reminds me of "the cat who ate the canary." Now, a canary is a pet strictly off limits to hungry felines. Any cat who manages to catch one is going to feel pretty smug about it. This is the impression that the Nine of Cups implies ... nothing but indulgence and self-satisfaction.
At the physical level, the Nine of Cups is a sign of bliss in all the senses. Sights, sounds, tastes, feelings. This card encourages you to seek out pleasure and enjoy your life in every way. You can meditate with the natural world as well.... Mother Earth herself. She too enjoys in sharing her abundance and delights.
At the personal level, the Nine of Cups indicates contentment with the way things are. Notice how the man is seated confidently with his arms folded and a smile on his face. He has everything he wants and couldn't be happier about it. "See all my cups!" he seems to say. "Aren't they great?"
Sometimes it's wonderful to sit back and revel in the knowledge that all's right with the world. But a word of caution. You may be tempted to indulge yourself at the cost of someone else (like our mischievous cat!). This may feel great at the time, but sooner or later the feathers around your mouth will be discovered, and regret will set in. Chasing pleasures without regard to what the consequences are is never satisfying in the long run.
In many tarot traditions, the Nine of Cups is known as the Wish Card. It shows your wish will come true. A wonderful prospect, but remember your fairy tale lessons. You must be sure you know what you really want and accept the responsibilities that go with your wish. If that is the case, then enjoy your good fortune!
Mar 23, 2009
For many pagans and wiccans, it's hard to find kid-friendly activities that celebrate our spiritual path. Believe it or not, sharing your beliefs with your kids is easier than you think. After all, you're the parent, so you can lead by example. Show your children what you do, and they'll emulate you in their own way. Teaching by doing is the key. By living a pagan life, you'll show your kids what it means to be pagan or wiccan or whatever your family's path is. These very simple activities are easy enough that you can do them with nearly any child, so have fun with them!
Everyone likes to drum, and the louder the better. If you don't have a professional drum, don't worry -- that's why the gods made coffee cans. Let your kids experiment with containers of different sizes and shapes, and see which ones make the most interesting sounds. Fill an empty water bottle with dried beans to make an impromptu rattle. Two thick dowels tapped together make a percussion instrument as well. Have a family drum circle night, and let everyone bang away to raise energy.
Sure, the idea of teaching a toddler to meditate sounds crazy, but you'd be surprised what kids can do if they're interested. Even if it's just two minutes lying in the grass looking at trees, it's not a bad idea to start your youngsters meditating early. By the time they get to be adults with stressful lives, meditation will be second nature to them. Use breathing as a way of teaching counting to small children. Elementary-school age kids can usually handle a ten- to fifteen-minute guided meditation.
3.) Wheel of the year journal
Get your child a blank notebook, and have them keep track of the patterns of nature. Note the dates that the first buds appear in spring, when birds begin to migrate, and when the weather changes. If your child is old enough to surf the Internet, have him predict the weather for the next few days and then compare it to your local weather forecast -- and then see who's right! As the Wheel of the Year turns, your child can help you prepare for upcoming sabbat celebrations.
Mar 22, 2009
What happens when we die? This is a question no one can answer, given that no one has been to death and back to tell us the truth. Christians believe that the good go to Heaven while the sinners go to hell, and Buddhists and Hindus believe we are reincarnated until we reach nirvana. What do wiccans believe? Well, as the Wiccan religion isn't exactly an organized religion, it depends on who you ask.
Most wiccans believe in the Summerland, which is a paradise much like the christian heaven. All people, except spirits who remain behind lost and wandering, go to the Summerland, even the wicked. The Summerland will be different for everyone, their own version of Shangri-La. There, they can be reunited with their loved ones, look over those they left behind on Earth, and take time to recuperate from life. Our time in the Summerland is spent processing what we learned, recovering from the hardships, walking with the Lord and Lady and being one with them, and then planning our next life.
I have never really sat down and thought about reincarnation but I have entertained the idea of rather than another life we are to live...what if it's more like the next level or plane of existence that we are transitioned into. I do believe that when our bodies die, our energy (or soul if you choose,) does indeed go on...to me I envision it as a veil of sorts. This energy is around us all of the time but we cannot see it as it is just beyond our vibrational plane.....but as I've said, I have really not explored this area of belief in depth but that would be an excellent topic for a future blog!
1.) My children
2.) My cats
3.) My friends
4.) The cool green grass beneath my bare feet
5.) Warm rain on my face on a summer evening
6.) The smell of fresh baked bread
7.) The laughter of small children
8.) The rush of my breath as I inhale deeply
9.) Finding a new grey hair on my head
10.) Nighttime chirping of crickets and croaking of frogs
I picked a few unusual things to be grateful for this week, there were a couple losses in my little corner of the world and I believe that the things I love to complain about the most are probably the most important things that I would miss in my life. How easy it is to go about life and grouse about what isn't right in my life, but what about that which is right? Notice the little things...that annoying snore your partner has...the irritating way that your children smack their lips when they chew gum or finding coffee and sugar sloshed on the counter and not wiped up... because if all that were gone the empty silence would be deafening.
Mar 21, 2009
The Five of Cups is about disappointment, loss, what "might have been" and crying over spilled milk. It is the card that sees the world as half empty instead half full. If the stricken looking little bunny would just look behind him, he would see that there are two cups that still remain standing.
We may feel discouraged upon seeing this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change and the idea that better might be coming is indicated by the two remaining cups. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change... and no matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love... our emotions often object.
This card also reminds us to be aware of our actions, should those actions lead to undesirable consequences. Remember, the cups deal in the realm of emotion and the movement it takes in our lives. This card asks us to remember past disappointments and losses .... and calmly navigate our way to better solutions. The key thing to remember about this card is that hope is not completely lost as long as long as we choose to focus on the remaining cups,
Mar 20, 2009
The aura is the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body (Human Energy Field-HEF) and every organism and object in the Universe. The Human Energy Field as a collection of electro - magnetic energies of varying densities that permeate through and emit or exit from the physical body of a living person. These particles of energy are suspended around the healthy human body in an oval shaped field. This "auric egg" emits out from the body approximately 2-3 feet on all sides. It extends above the head and below the feet into the ground.
The aura consist of seven levels/layers/auric bodies . Each one of the subtle bodies that exist around the physical body, has its own unique frequency. They are interrelated, and affect one another and the person's feelings, emotions, thinking, behavior, and health as well. Therefore a state of imbalance in one of the bodies leads to a state of imbalance in the others.
Red~ Relates to the physical body, hart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction. Friction attracts or repels; money worries or obsessions; anger or unforgiveness; anxiety or nervousness
Green~ Relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change. Love of people, animals, nature; teacher; social
Blue~ Relates to the throat, thyroid. Cool, calm, and collected. Caring, loving, love to help others, sensitive, intuitive.
Lavender~ Imagination, visionary, daydreamer, etheric.
Earth Colors~ Soil, wood, mineral, plant. These colors display a love of the Earth, of being grounded and is seen in those who live and work on the outdoors....construction, farming, etc. These colors are important and are a good sign.
There are many shades and hues of auras, these are simply a few.
Mar 19, 2009
I stopped in at my son's school today to visit with his teacher (nothing bad....just a progress report) and while I was waiting I saw this little curious little poster on one of the library walls, I got closer to read just what it said and suddenly I felt compelled to write it down. Here it is as follows:
The more you read...
The more you know.
The more you know...
The smarter you grow.
The smarter you grow...
The stronger your voice.
When speaking your mind...
and making your choice.
It's just a few simple lines but for some reason my little inner voice was telling me that they were profound and powerful and I simply must share it. It's a plain statement but just how many of us really think about the positive impact it could have on our children...if we sat down and applied this philosophy? Reading to your children is one of the most important things that we can do to put them on the track to great things.
Mar 18, 2009
Celtic knots are perhaps the most notorious and recognizable artwork in Celtic history.
They started appearing in history after about 450 AD; the Celtic knots meaning is sketchy at best, because there is little written history documenting their purpose.
However, repetition of their appearance through history in conjunction with other various human interpretations give us insight, and allow us to infer some basic information relating to the Celtic knots meaning.
The Celtic knot symbol, is also referred to as the mystic knot, or the endless knot. The more esoteric or spiritual meaning of this symbol eludes to beginnings and endings. In viewing these beautiful knots, we cannot see a beginning or and end, and therefore we are reminded of the timeless nature of our spirit. This translation hearkens to our most primal selves as we contemplate the infinite cycles of birth and rebirth in both physical and ethereal realms.
A less spiritual representation is also related to the knots endless nature. Due to it's infinite path, the Celtic knot can represent an uninterrupted life cycle. Some may use this symbol as a charm of sorts – warding against sickness or setbacks that might interfere with an otherwise calm and stable life. In this vein, these knots are used as emblems, which can be found in jewelry, clothing, or home decor. In ancient times, gifts adorned with mystic knots would be given with best wishes of longevity, or luck with new endeavors.
Mar 17, 2009
The Two of Pentacles indicates that one might experience progressive change now. there is the ability to cope with two or more situations, having learned to juggle them both but much more will be achieved once a decision is made. Think before you act... reflect on things... take a good look at your situation. Be patient time and reflection will reveal how you are doing and what your next move will be. It is essential that you maintain harmony. Do not allow this change or these disturbing influences upset you, let yourself play be flexible and venturesome it will provide scope for your intuition. Put on that happy face that the little fox exhibits.
Emotional tranquility brings clarity. Sometimes it is difficult see to the bottom of things if the surface is all stirred up. Step back from it all even if only for a moment. Expect to receive acknowledgment and reassuring news. Stop believing that spiritual development occurs only in serious moments .... pleasure and amusement can teach you a great deal, as long as you are willing to pay attention.
What two or more situations are you handling with ease... What are you adapting to.... What do you want to change in your home, profession, status, finances? What are you juggling in order to keep stable... money, finances, lifestyle? In what ways can you maybe play and use your adaptability in stressful situations?
Mar 16, 2009
May you always have...
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.
St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow, and as you've probably noticed it is brewing up to be a big to-do.....green beer, emerald colored rivers, leprechaun footprints are seen on sidewalks and shamrocks by the hundreds appear like magic. What most folks don't realize is that while St. Patrick is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland, those snakes were probably just a metaphor for early Celtic Paganism. Once St. Patrick arrived, he spread the gospel far and wide, effectively converting an entire race of people to the new religion. The story of St. Patrick is an interesting one, though, and he was credited with a miracle for his work in Ireland.
The real St. Patrick was believed by historians to have been born around 370 c.e., probably in Wales or Scotland. Most likely, his birth name was Maewyn, and he was the son of a Roman Briton named Calpurnius. As a teen, Maewyn was captured during a raid and sold to an Irish landowner as a slave. During his time in Ireland, where he worked as a shepherd, Maewyn began to have religious visions and dreams -- including one in which showed him how to escape captivity. Once back in Britain, Maewyn moved on to France, where he studied in a monastery. Eventually, he returned to Ireland to "care and labor for the salvation of others", and changed his name to Patrick, which means "father of the people."
Mar 15, 2009
It's been a little stressful this week.... just seemed like the annoying little things added up and by Friday night, I was so ready to buy a one way ticket to anywhere! Usually I don't sweat the small stuff but I haven't been taking time for myself and I'm starting to feel it. Time out for yourself is critical to recharge the batteries, gain fresh perspectives on stagnant situations and is definitely a key part into maintaining ones sanity!
My list for this week....
1.) My kids
2.) My cats
3.) Meditation time
4.) The new pair of Classic Bunny Slippers that I indulged in buying for myself
5.) Classical music
7.) Friends to commiserate with
8.) Sunshine (when it comes out)
9.) Kudos when I need them the most
10.) The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Rex Harrison...great flick!
Mar 14, 2009
Spring will soon be arriving and March has roared in like a lion and if we're really lucky, it will roll out like a lamb. Meanwhile, on the 20th of this month, we have Ostara to celebrate. It's the time of the vernal equinox of you live in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's a true marker that spring has come. There are many different ways you can celebrate this sabbat, depending on your tradition.This sabbat is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring, when light and darkness are in balance but the light is growing stronger.
The forces of masculine energy and feminine energy are also in balance and this day paves the way for the coming lushness of summer. Ostara is a time for the celebration of fertility and balance, a time when all elements within and without us are brought into harmony. A time of new life and rebirth, as well as the end of winter.I thought that I would add my favorite chutney recipe and a really fun creative project Ostara Oil, which I use to anoint my candles with.
Ostara Mint Chutney
3 C. fresh mint leaves, off stems
1/2 C. fresh cilantro
1/2 C. fresh parsley
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
1/2 C. red pepper, chopped1 small onion, chopped
1/2 Tsp. sea salt
A dash of lemon juice water
Throw everything in your food processor or blender and chop until it forms a paste. Add water gradually to thin it out, and continue blending until the water and paste have formed a smooth sauce. Refrigerate if you're not going to serve it right away.
2 parts frankincense
1 part benzoin
1 part dragon's blood
½ part nutmeg part violet
½ part orange
½ part rose
Mix the ingredients well and use a funnel to fill any small decorative bottle that you choose.
Mar 13, 2009
This is one of three cards in the tarot deck that have a tendency to strike fear in the hearts of those who's reading it turns up in...The Devil. This card, despite the depiction, is really not all that scary if you know a little bit more about it.
The Devil in the tarot deck has little or nothing to do with the frightening winged skeletal creature, in fact, this card is all about bondage...bondage to outmoded ideas that are no longer useful...bondage as in addictions....bondage to our weaknesses and bondage that comes from letting our boundaries be crossed without respect.
When I look at the two little figures that are chained to the pillar, one can only notice that if these little animals really wanted to, they could quite easily slip from the chains that hold them. Why do they stay...is it out of duty...is it out of fear....? Change is a life altering event but if we continue to sit in fear and remain chained to the old ways, what a sad lonely life lies ahead of us.
It takes greater courage to shed our fears and take bold new steps to improving our situation and our outlook on the world because if we can change our own world, what's to stop us from enacting that change in the world around us? Try something positive and new today and see how it affects the world around you.
Mar 12, 2009
Pamela Colman Smith, the woman best known for her art behind the Rider-Waite tarot deck, was born on February 16, 1878 at 28 Belgrave Road in Pimlico, Middlesex, now London. Her father, Charles Edward Smith, was an American merchant from Brooklyn and was related to actor William Gillette, who was best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes. Pamela's mother, Corinne Colman, was Jamaican and came from a very artistic family of painters.
In June of 1899, Pamela set about making a name for herself as a writer and illustrator. Her first published works were illustrated books based on Jamaican folk tales, including: Annancy Stories (1902), a story about the traditional African folk figure (Anansi the Spider.) As a published writer and artist, Pamela gained access to the artistic and literary circles of London, and was introduced to the poet William Butler Yeats.In 1903, while illustrating some of his work, Yeats introduced her into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn just as the order was beginning to break up.It was here she first came into contact with Arthur Edward Waite and the Rider-Waite tarot was born.
Pamela Colman-Smith during her lifetime was a women who didn’t seek notoriety, nor did she seek fame, all she wanted was to be recognized for her talents as an artist. She never married. She had no known heirs or family except for the elderly long time female friend and companion who had shared her life for the past 40 years. When she died on the 18th September 1951, Pamela was penniless and her life’s work obscure. There was no funeral procession to honor her life and no memorial service to evaluate the impact her work would have upon future generations. Her grave site, if one exists, remains unknown.
Mar 11, 2009
When I have a pot of tea, especially when I feel like I need to recharge my magical batteries so to speak, I like to light a few candles, some incense and soothing music and use this blessing......
BLESSING OF HERBS
With the tip of your athame touching the Herbs, intone this blessing:
Thou has grown by favor of the Sun,
The Moon, and of the dew.
I make this intercession, ye herb:
I beseech thee to be of benefit to me and my rite,
For thy virtues are unfailing.
Thou art the Dew of all the Gods,
The Eye of the Sun,
The Light of the Moon,
The Beauty and Glory of the Sky,
The Mystery of Terra.
I purify thee so that whatever is wrought by me with thee may,
In all its powers,
Have a good and speedy effect with good success.
Be purified by my prayer and be powerful!
So mote it be!
When water is hot enough, place the herbs in the Tea Pot and add water from the brewing dish, give it a couple of stirs.While the tea is steeping, intone this Prayer:
Giver of life
Strengthen me during my life-long strife.
Teach me Your ways of perfect love,
Peace, and wisdom true.
Spawn from my purest heart
These words to You
May this prayer help me to better
Myself in word and deed,
To a higher plane I shall succeed.
Beautiful Light of Goodness Fair
Lore of old we both do share
A Witch's brew, I drink to You
My love for You, by day, by night
In thought and in sight
Will my soul learn
The meaning of this life again.
I thank the goddess and say blessed be, then I sit down and enjoy my fresh brewed nectar.
Mar 10, 2009
I listened to Ariel's podcast last night and wow...what a great podcast! (of course they're all terrific as well as powerful.) Anyhow, one exercise he spoke of in his podcast on "Building your power base- the Water Body" was to take note of where we are placing our faith, in other words, what do we believe in? What a powerful question..."What do I believe in?" I'm not sure that I've ever paid attention to what I actually do believe in until confronted with a situation that is contrary or challenging to those beliefs. Just where does my faith lie... what are the places that I put my faith in daily, without even realizing it...where does that foundation of faith stem from? My head is spinning just trying to think of my beliefs...so, here it goes...
What I believe in:
~ The sun will rise every day and set each evening
~ There is always an answer, always a solution and always a choice to be made in every struggle
~No matter how dark life can get, there is hope...light at the end of the tunnel
~ The Universal Intelligence ( God, higher power, goddess, god) is around me all the time, present in all living things
~ No matter how long it seems to take....truth has no other option but to surface
~ Children are a privilege not a right
~ All living things deserve respect and compassion...yes, even people too
~ There is wisdom to gain from our elders
~ Most animals make better people than some people do
~ Say "I love you" to your loved ones as often as you can
These are just a few of the things that I believe in...what does that say about my faith? I think it simply reassures me that the path I walk... this journey I take, is the correct one for me. What are some things that you believe in...what foundation does your faith spring from?
P.S.- You can find Ariel's podcasts "The Witches Primer" on iTunes podcasts, I encourage you to listen.
Mar 9, 2009
Just like in the non pagan community, sometimes pagans and wiccans find themselves battling addiction, like a very close friend of mine right now. Her addiction, however, is not drugs or alcohol but the father of her youngest daughter. He has been serving time for a methamphetamine addiction and other unmentionable offenses and is due to be released here very soon. It's so very difficult to watch her as she deals with the anger, pain and lack of hope that she's experienced in the past several years. She has been working a program that supports friends and family members of those with addictions and has made so much positive progress in learning who she is, her place in this world and how she fits into it now as a healthier outlook on life has taken roots.
Because most pagan spiritual paths encourage balance, harmony and personal responsibility.... for some pagans, recovery is more than just "getting better... it becomes a part of the spiritual practice itself." For a lot of pagans fighting addiction (whether it be their own or that of someone close,) the problem lies not in the twelve-step program itself, but in the interpretation of how those twelve steps should be followed. She has chosen to use the term "higher power" and it has worked out very well. She didn't get hung up on the terminology but forged ahead in making a better life for her children and herself.
Addictions are dark and terrible places to become trapped in but for the families and friends, it becomes a cycle that is not so easily broken. It takes inner strength, courage and a deep desire to rise above the pain and anger to a place where it is decided that things are going to change. I deeply admire my friend for choosing to stand up and say "No more" and draw boundaries for herself and her children. I feel so helpless sometimes because it is a journey that only she can take, I can only stand by to cheer her victories and give hugs when days are grey and stormy.
I by no means condone those with addictions and their lack of taking responsibility for their choices or actions, in fact it makes me ill. I witnessed the terrible devastation that is left in the wake of these addictions first hand as a child of nine and I see it now in the eyes of my friend and her girls. The thirst for justice screams in my head daily but I also remember that it is not my justice to take which makes it much more frustrating. So to my buddy..."Take heart, I will be there when you need my shoulder to cry on... I will be there in the sunshine and the rain...I will be there when you doubt your strength...I will be there!
Mar 8, 2009
Gratitude is an emotion that occurs after people receive help, depending on how they interpret the situation. Specifically, gratitude is experienced if people perceive the help they receive as (a) valuable to them, (b) costly to their benefactor, and (c) given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions (rather than ulterior motives).
My list for today:
1.) My children
2.) My friends
4.) Sunshine and rainbows
5.) My incorrigible kitties
6.) Cute animal pictures
7.) Fresh brewed coffee
8.) My electric blankie
9.) Ceremonial sage
10.) Good neighbors
Mar 7, 2009
The Akashic Records refer to the frequency grid programs that create our reality. The Akashic records (Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space" or "aether") together are a collection of mystical knowledge that is encoded in the aether; i.e. on a non-physical plane of existence. The concept is prevalent in new age thought. and is understood to have existed since the beginning of creation (some even say before). Just as we have various specialty libraries ( medical and law), there are said to exist various Akashic Records ( animal, plant, mineral, etc) encoding Universal lore. Most writings refer to the Akashic Records in the area of human experience but it is understood that all phenomenal experience as well as transcendental knowledge is encoded therein.
The Akasha is said to be the library of all events and responses concerning consciousness in all realities. Every life form therefore contributes and has access to the Akashic Records. It is asserted that to gain access into the Akashic Records, every individual human can become the physical medium, and various techniques and spiritual disciplines ( yogic, pranayama, meditation, prayer, visualization) can be employed to quiet the mind, become a "witness" and achieve the focused, pre-conscious state necessary to access the Records.
I'm not quite sure about many of the theories that abound but I do know there is something else beyond our physical world. I do believe that energy cannot be destroyed nor does it dissipate once our physical bodies cease. Science has proved that this energy exists in us as does it in all natural, living things. Let me hypothesize for a moment...Just what if we do go on long after this world... what if a select few can tap into this energy or Akashic record? The possibilities can boggle the mind and all I ask is for you to consider is... "What if?"
Mar 6, 2009
When speaking about the four seasons, I like to use my pagan view of them because it's my opinion (and only my opinion I remind you) that these were the original versions of spring, summer, fall and winter that we recognize today. What follows is the Celtic view of of these seasons or "fire festivals."
The four fire festivals marked the turning of the seasons. Two of the fire festivals, Samhain and Beltane, were considered to be male, and Imbolc and Lughnasadh were female. Each was celebrated for three days - before, during and after the official day of observance.
~Imbolc, which literally means "in milk", traditionally has marked the lactation period of ewes and cows. Ewes are unable to produce milk until after they bear their young, which occurs at this time. Since milk was very important to the basic survival of the tribes, this was a time of great joy. It meant that the end of a long winter was in sight, and green pastures were only a few months away. It's significance was placed upon the Light of fire and at Imbolc, Brighid was pregnant with the seed of the Sun. She was ripe with the promise of new life, as the seeds of the earth deep within its soil begin to awaken at this time, ripe with the promise of Spring, new life for the planet. Thus Imbolc was a time of awakening, promise and hope for the coming spring.
~Beltane, was a celebration of the return of life and fertility to the world, and was celebrated on or around April 30. It is sometimes referred to as Cetsamhain which means "opposite Samhain." Beltane was the last of the three spring fertility festivals, and the second major Celtic festival. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, Winter and Summer. Beltane joyfully heralded the arrival of Summer in its full glory. It was believed that if you bathed in the dew of Beltane morn, your beauty would flourish throughout the year
~Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season, and the decline of Summer into Winter. Traditionally called Lammas from the Saxon word Hlaf-mass, the Feast of Bread, festivities and rituals typically centered around the assurance of a bountiful harvest season and the celebration of the harvest cycle. A bountiful harvest ensured the safe passage of the tribe through the upcoming winter months. The gathering of bilberries was an ancient practice that symbolized the success of the Lughnasadh rituals. If the bilberries were bountiful, it was believed that there would also be a plentiful harvest.
~Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendant of the ancient Celtic festival called "Samhain" meaning Summer's End. Samhain was the first day of winter, and the end of one pastoral year. It was the time when the night became longer than the day, the last apples were picked, and the year began again with its dark winter half. Also called Samhiunn or Hallowe'en, this festival is sometimes called Trinoux Samonia or "Three Nights of the End of Summer."
Mar 5, 2009
Celestial bodies — the Sun, Moon, planets and stars have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time throughout our existence. Ancient civilizations relied on the movement of these heavenly bodies through the sky to determine seasons, months and years.
We know little about the details of time keeping in prehistoric eras but wherever archaeologists find records and artifacts, they usually discover that in every culture, some people were preoccupied with measuring and recording the passage of time. Ice-age hunters in Europe over 20,000 years ago scratched lines and gouged holes in sticks and bones, possibly to count the days between phases of the moon.
Five thousand years ago, Sumerians in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in today's Iraq had a calendar that divided the year into 30 day months, divided the day into 12 periods (each corresponding to 2 of our hours) and divided these periods into 30 parts (each like 4 of our minutes). We have no written records of Stonehenge, built over 4000 years ago in England, but its alignments show its purposes apparently included the determination of seasonal or celestial events, such as lunar eclipses, solstices and so on.
The Egyptians were the culture to formally divide their day into parts something like our hours within their yearly calender. Obelisks (slender, tapering, four-sided monuments) were built as early as 3500 B.C.E. and their moving shadows formed a kind of sundial, enabling people to partition the day into morning and afternoon. Obelisks also showed the year's longest and shortest days when the shadow at noon was the shortest or longest of the year. Later, additional markers around the base of the monument would indicate further divisions of time.
Who knew that the humble beginnings of the calendar was to evolve to where it is today! It's easy to just glance at our decorative calendars pinned to our walls and never really think of the metamorphosis that they have undergone.... carrying us along and into the twenty-first century.
Mar 4, 2009
I thought I might do a small series of posts dealing with time, calendars and seasons so here is the first post, today I picked Daylight Savings Time....
Whether or not we notice it, the schedule of our life is affected by the movements of the earth, moon, and sun. In ancient Rome a priest observed the sky and announced a new moon cycle to the king. For centuries afterward, Romans referred to the first day of each new month as Kalends, (which means "to proclaim”).
This coming weekend it is time to set the clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time which gives us the chance to enjoy sunny summer evenings. ( in my neck of the woods I really hope we have a sunny summer because the usual rain we're prone to getting is really dreary!) Yet, the beginning of Daylight Saving Time has been riddled with controversy since Benjamin Franklin first thought of the idea.
Even today different areas and countries routinely change their approaches to Daylight Saving Time.Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.
As I mentioned earlier, Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784 but the thought was rejected until 1916 when it was adopted by several counties in Europe that initially rejected the idea.... at that time an effort to conserve fuel was needed to produce electric power and Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916, by advancing the hands of the clock one hour until the following October. Daylight saving time was observed nationally again during World War II, but was not uniformly practiced after the war's end.
Finally, in 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it.
I had never thought that much about Daylight Savings Time but it was very interesting to re-learn what it was all about. It seems that the little events that go unnoticed by us in our hectic everyday lives are the events that shape those busy lives too. So, don't forget this weekend to set your clocks foward or you might end up out of sync with those around you.
Mar 3, 2009
Spanning many traditions found around the world is the concept of the goddess as being threefold. These perceptions shared associations with the moon phases, with the growing seasons and with the phases of a woman’s life. Most frequently they are described as Maiden, Mother and Crone. With a strong connection to the Earth and its cycles, it’s not surprising that this view can be found in so many cultures.
The Greeks, Romans, Norse, Celtic and Hindu spiritual systems all had groups of goddesses who fit this interpretation. Sometimes a single goddess could embody all three and sets of threes were also found in some of the minor deities.
The Greek Furies and the Fates of Roman and Nordic beliefs are examples of this. Several goddess were of such complexity that they embodied the Triple Goddess all on their own. Brighid, Hecate and Kali all had multiple aspects. You can work with established triads of goddesses or compose your own based on what feels best for you.
~The Maiden, a young girl, represents the first stage. Newness, youth, purity, and innocence were qualities possessed by the Maiden. This matches the new moon phase. Fresh flowers, new grains and the color white are all appropriate for working with this energy. Springtime rituals often involve these deities. Specific instances when you might want to invoke the Maiden are during any new beginnings, when starting a new job, at the start of a new relationship and as part of a puberty ritual for young girls.
~The Mother, a woman who has reached puberty, represents the second stage. Her role is one of fertility, growth, sexuality and ripeness. She also is in a position of power, either from her life-giving forces or in her actions to defend her young. The full moon corresponds to the Mother, as does the color red. Summer and fall rituals, when crops are growing and being harvested, are when to work with these goddesses. Working with the Mother often happens when projects are reaching fruition, in rituals as part of marriage
and childbirth, for protection of people or animals, and when working with plants.
~The Crone, an elderly woman, represents the last phase. She is symbolic of wisdom, experience, change, transformation and death. The waning moon is associated with the Crone. Like the moon phase, the death she represents is necessary for rebirth. Winter is her season and her color is black. Working with the Crone is related to rituals that are about the ending of things (quitting a job, divorce, etc.), moving out of a home, extreme protection or retribution (assault, abuse), passing through menopause, or dealing with a death.
Mar 2, 2009
Since I love cats so much, I figured a little research on the Egyptian goddess Bast was in order and some of what I found was very interesting.
Bast, also known as Bastet, patron of cats, women, and secrets appears as a desert cat or a woman with the head of a cat (this form possibly dates after the domestication of the Egyptian wild cat). She is described as probably the most famous Egyptian goddess after Isis and Bast was said to be the daughter of Ra though long after he created the primal gods.
She was originally a sun goddess but after contact with the Greeks, she changed to a moon goddess probably due to the Greeks associating her with Artemis. Like Artemis, Bast was a wild goddess and to those who were in her favor, she gave great blessings, but her wrath was legendary and she was sometimes listed as one of Ra's avenging deities who punished the sinful and the enemies of Egypt. This is of course in keeping with her totem animal the cat. Cats were sacred to Bast and to harm one was deemed a great transgression.
Bast's importance in the Egyptian pantheon might be due to the great value placed on the domesticated cat by the Egyptians. Cats curtailed the spread of disease by killing vermin and though the idea of microbes was unknown to the ancient Egyptians, they must have noticed the connection between rats and disease. Her worship was widespread, and her followers apparently had a great deal of power. Bubastis was even the capital of Egypt for a time during the Late Period and some pharaohs took her name in their king-names. Herodotus' description of her temple at Bubastis is that of a place of great splendor and beauty, rivaled only by the temples to Ra and Horus Worshiped widely throughout Egypt...... her center of worship was at Bubastis.
Cats have an air of mystery about them and some do not care for them as pets because of this but I have always understood them and knowing their royal history only makes me love them more!
Mar 1, 2009
Last week seemed to just drag for some reason, I'm not entirely sure why but my meditation this morning cleared out a lot of the junk that's collected from everyday stuff and I feel a bit more inclined to be thankful for all the blessings in my life.
1.) My children
2.) My cats
3.) My roses that are starting to bud..."c'mon Mother Nature!"
4.) Chai Spice coffee creamer
5.) A cashier that smiles and says "Have a nice day".... while making eye contact
6.) The new wet/dry vac I just bought
7.) My tattoo is almost healed....yea! ( now for the rest of it to be finished)
8.) Pink Floyd
9.) Good friends
10.) Real butter
I know some things might make you want to question my sanity but it's real butter that just seems to make everything taste better.