Information from The Goddess & Greenman website - with thanks
All Souls Night, Feast of the Dead, Festival of Remembrance, Feast of Apples, New Year...
Samhain is one of the major festivals of the Wheel of the Year, for many Pagans the most important festival of all. It is the third and final harvest festival of nuts and berries and a fire festival. All the harvest is in, all is complete, it is the end of the cycle of birth and growth, it is the point of death. The seeds of the harvest have fallen deep into the dark earth, they are unseen, dormant, and thus apparently lifeless.
The God, as Sun King is sacrificed back to the land with the seed until the Winter Solstice, and the Goddess, now as Crone, mourns Him until His rebirth at Yule. He travels the Underworld learning its wisdom. This is the time of the descent into darkness, of pre-conception, out of which new life, new ideas, will eventually emerge.
Traditionally the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest now. Boundaries dissolve and all is laid bare. It is time to honour and offer hospitality to, our ancestors.
At Samhain the dark half of the year commences. It is a truly magical time. Death is always followed by rebirth and while this is the end of the old year, it is the beginning of the new year. For the Celts the day did not begin at dawn, it began at sunset, it began with darkness. Light is always born out of darkness, they are inseparable, interdependent, and necessary. Darkness is fertile with 'all potential'. With the beginning of this dark phase comes the opportunity to rest and reflect on the past and to dream of new beginnings. The seed now hidden in the earth will germinate in its season. Look for the seeds in yourself!
Honouring The Ancestors
Honouring your ancestors is a very special thing to do at this time and can be done in many simple ways. Think about all those departed souls from your life, both family and friends, children may wish to remember pets even - place photographs of them on your altar. Offer them your hospitality, welcome their presence into your home. At your Samhain feast, consider laying an extra place for them to join you at the table - cook and eat their favourite dishes, talk about them - re-member them, bring them closer. You and your children can make an offering for departed pets by leaving some dog food outside on Halloween night, many night creatures appreciate this offering. Be careful what you put outside - we used to put out bread and milk but are dismayed to find that this is fatal to hedgehogs - and we love hedgehogs!
Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors
This is a wonderfully simple ritual which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it - it begins in darkness and ends full of light.
It's a great balance to trick or treating!
You will need a supply of small candles, either black or white, or a supply of night lights. You need a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put them in. Place one in the centre of the container from which all the others will be lit. Switch off all the lights and sit gently in the darkness. Allow the darkness to enfold you. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying "We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honour your presence amongst us". Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed to the Summerlands and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: 'I remember Great Aunt Sheila and her generosity of heart....'. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion.
Seed Scattering Charm for the Ancestors
This simple charm is designed to honour the Spirit of those who have passed onto the Summerland. The seeds you scatter will grow in memory, a gift of remembrance to the Earth.
You will need:
A packet of seeds of your choice
A small dish
A small white candle in a suitable holder
A pouch or bag for your seeds
The night before your Seed Scattering Charm, pop the seeds into the dish and light the candle. Think about the person or people you wish to honour and remember, and as you do so say 'gone from sight but not from the heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.' Or you can use your own words. Leave the seeds in the dish overnight and let the candle burn down completely - always taking safety precautions. When you are ready place the seeds in your pouch and hold the pouch in your right hand on the way to a place of your choosing. On arrival take the seeds and scatter them, saying 'You are remembered and held in my heart'. Repeat three times.
Where to do this? You can go to a favourite special place of your choice, a place that holds fond memories of the people you are honouring, or even your own garden - the idea of watching the seeds germinating and growing in honour of people you love is very special. The charm works just as well if you plant the seeds in a small pot.
This charm works very well as an offering of thanks to Spirit of Place. The instructions are exactly the same, except that when you prepare the seeds the night before the words are ' I give thanks for your beauty, it warms my heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.'
The Isle of Avalon, Isle of Apples, Isle of the Dead.
In mythology, here the entrance to the Underworld is found, ruled by Morgan, Queen of the Dead. There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn.
The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.
Symbols of Samhain
Pumpkins are very much an American tradition which has been successfully marketed in the UK and Europe. Everyone loves them, especially of course, children. If you consider that the Celts regarded the human head as the Seat of the Soul, the concept of the carved pumpkin with a candle inside it as the Light shining from the Soul, it becomes just about acceptable........
The Cauldron or Holy Grail is closely associated with Samhain. It is feminine, and is the cosmic container for all life and death, of transformation and rebirth.
The Besom Broom
The besom is used as this time both practically and symbolically. It sweeps away the last of the Autumn leaves, but is also used ritually to sweep out the old, to clean and clear away old energy, creating space for the new. Traditionally besoms are made from birch twigs - the birch is associated with purification and renewal.
You can make a besom at this time of year by gathering a large bundle of birch twigs tied together. Drive a broom handle into the middle of the bundle - ideally hazel or ash.
The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth - a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come. All nuts from our indigenous trees - walnuts, hazelnuts, conkers and so on - are pure potential and carry the attributes of the mother tree.
Colours of Samhain
Black for death and endings, orange for the vitality of life within death, purple for wisdom, insight and inspiration.
The Samhain Altar
A cauldron. Apples, nuts and berries. Black candles to honour the passage to the Summerland and the Ancestors. Photographs of deceased family and friends.
Buttermilk Bread Charm for Samhain.
You will need:
3 mugs of strong white flour
500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)
I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda
Samhain ribbon in black or purple.
A handful of rye flour
A scattering of oats
twig of rosemary for remembrance
Place the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Our picture shows the bread scored five times to make a pentacle.
Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.
When it is cool, place the rosemary on top and tie it with Samhain ribbon.
Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying
"From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Samhain Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless."
Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this festival of completion and beginning. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.
Recipe donated by the Counter Enchantress. Adapted by the Boss Lady with permission.
The Counter Enchantress is discovering that you can add almost anything appropriate to this simple bread recipe and it STILL WORKS beautifully. You can decide for yourself what the appropriate additions are for a particular festival, in this case rye flour. oats and rosemary, and just do it. There is much kitchen magic in working with one recipe through the Wheel of the Year just changing it a little as the wheel turns.....
Honour the ancestors, have fun and enjoy...........
Information obtained from The Goddess and Greenman website - with thanks
Here we are, we have arrived at the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Goddess is now full and pregnant with Child, and the Sun God is at the height of His virility. This is the peak of the Solar year and the Sun is at the height of its life-giving power. The Earth is awash with fertility and fulfillment and this is a time of joy and celebration, of expansiveness and the celebration of achievements.
Yet within this climax is the whisper and promise of a return to the Dark. As the Light reaches its peak so this is also the moment when the power of the Sun begins to wane. From now on the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer and we are drawn back into the Dark to complete the Wheel of the Year.
At this time the God, as Oak King, is rich in abundance, but he too surrenders his reign to his brother twin, the Holly King, and the descent begins. But before we welcome the return to the Dark side of the year, and acknowledge this great turning point of the Wheel, we celebrate!
Traditions and Symbols of Midsummer
Traditionally people stayed up all night on Midsummer's Eve to welcome and watch the sunrise. Bonfires were lit on tops of hills, by holy wells, at places held sacred, to honour the fullness of the Sun. At Litha the bonfire really represents a reflection of the Sun at the peak of its strength. The chosen wood would often be Oak and aromatic herbs were scattered into the fire. People danced around the fires and leap through them. Blazing herbs from the sacred bonfire were used to bless the animals. Blazing torches were carried sunwise around homes and fields. Coals from the Midsummer fire were scattered on fields to ensure a good harvest.
Tree worship has always played a large role in Midsummer festivities and trees near wells and fountains were decorated with coloured cloths. The Oak King who has ruled the waxing of the year represents strength, courage and endurance, and the Oak has always been particularly significant at Litha. The Celtic name for Oak is 'Duir' which means 'doorway' - we are crossing the threshold, entering the doorway into the second, waning part of the year.
Mistletoe was and is, highly revered by the Druids. It is regarded as particularly potent when it grows on Oak, the noblest of trees, growing between the worlds of Heaven and Earth. Although it is more commonly associated with Yule and the Winter Solstice, it was often gathered ceremonially at Midsummer when it is regarded as being at the height of its power.
All herbs are reaching their peak at this time of year and thus the fullness of their healing and nurturing potency. Giving a bunch of herbs as a gift on Midsummer Day is wonderful.
All of the flower kingdom is reaching its peak, wide open, full of colour, surrendering their perfume.
Our lovely bees are now making honey. Midsummer full moon is known as the 'Honey Moon' for the mead made from honey now available. This is often part of handfastings performed at the Summer Solstice. Mead is regarded as the divine solar drink, with magical and life-restoring properties. Drink to celebrate and toast the life-giving abundance of the Sun.
Bees are so special, and make that golden nectar we know as honey - a reflection of the life-giving Sun. Honey itself is full of life-giving properties, and a Honey Cake is a perfect way to celebrate Midsummer, or to give as a gift. Make it with locally produced honey if you can. But wherever the honey has come from, think of the land and blossoms and bees that made it.
225 gms Butter
250 gms Honey
100 gms Dark Muscovado Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
300 gms Self-Raising Flour
Cut the butter into pieces and heat slowly, adding the honey and the sugar. When fully melted, turn up the heart and boil the mixture for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Add the beaten eggs to the cooled honey mixture. Sift the flour into a large bowl and beat the liquid honey mixture into it until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the mixture into a round lined sponge tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 50 mins - or until the cake is well-risen and springs back to the touch.
Cool on a rack and glaze with a few tablespoons of warm honey.
Imbolc, in the Celtic seasonal calendar marked the beginning of the lambing season and signaled the beginning of Spring and the stirrings of new life. It is Feile Brighde, the 'quickening of the year'. The original word Imbolg means 'in the belly', and therein you have the underlying energy. All is pregnant and expectant - and only just visible if at all, like the gentle curve of a 'just-showing' pregnancy. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring.
Here is hope. We welcome the growth of the returning light and witness Life's insatiable appetite for rebirth.It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle. ('Spring cleaning was originally a nature ritual' - Doreen Valiente). it's a good time for wish-making or making a dedication.
Imbolc is traditionally the great festival and honouring of Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), so loved as a pagan Goddess that her worship was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget. She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft. She is a Goddess of Fire, of the Sun and of the Hearth. She brings fertility to the land and its people and is closely connected to midwives and new-born babies. She is the Triple Goddess, but at Imbolc she is in her Maiden aspect.
Some of the symbols attributed to Brigid are:
The Snowdrop. The first gift of Spring in the bleakness of Winter.
The Swan. The swan mates for life and represents loyalty, fidelity and faithfulness. Swan feathers are a powerful amulet.
The Flame. Imbolc is a Fire Festival and fire of all kinds is associated with Brigid - the fire of creativity, the protective hearth fire, and her fire wheel - the Brigid Cross, which heralds her as a Sun Goddess.
Brigid's Cross. This is a traditional fire wheel symbol - found at the hearths of homes throughout Ireland and beyond as a symbol of protection. A customer in the shop recounted finding a hearth in Ireland, in recent years, adorned with over 200 Brigid Crosses - 200 years in the life of a hearth and a family, overlit and protected by Brigid.
Brigid Doll. A very old tradition involved the making of a Brigid doll which can be included in ceremony and/or placed in 'Bride's Bed' to bring fertility and good fortune to the home.
The Serpent. In Celtic mythology Brigid was associated with an awakening hibernating serpent which emerged from its lair at Imbolc. Traditionally serpents were associated with creativity and inspiration - the powerful Kundalini energy of the Eastern Mysteries. Paths of earth energy were called serpent paths and at Imbolc they are stirred from their slumber.
Sheep. Brigid's festival is at the beginning of lambing - eat ewe's milk cheese!
Imbolc Colours: White and silver for purity, green for the fresh burst of life.
Herbs of ImbolcBlackberry: Sacred to Brigid, the leaves and berries are used to attract prosperity and healing. A Goddess plant, belonging to the planetary sphere of Venus.
Coltsfoot: Coltsfoot or 'sponnc' (Gaelic) is a herb associated with Brigid. A herb of Venus, moves emotional and physical stagnation and is used magically to engender love and to bring peace.
Ginger: revitalises and stimulates the 'fire within' - helps alignment with the rise of Kundalini serpent energy at this time of year!
Trees of ImbolcRowan: Luis, or the Rowan, is the tree usually assigned to this time of year in the Celtic (Ogham) Tree Alphabet. It has long associations with the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. It is also known as the 'Quickening Tree' and is associated with serpents. Traditionally it protects and wards of evil. A sprig of Rowan can be put near the door of your home (we have a whole tree), or a sprig worn for protection. Rowan berries have a tiny five-pointed star on the bottom reminiscent of the pentagram.
Willow: The fourth tree in the Celtic Tree alphabet - S Saille, is also long associated with the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. Willow is the great 'shape shifter' of consciousness and emotion and symbolises feminine energy and the lunar cycle. Its branches are flexible - expressing movement and change rather than resistance. It is a tree of enchantment and dreaming, enhancing the confidence to follow one's intuition, and inspires leaps of imagination.
Ideas for Your AltarDecorate your altar with snowdrops, swan feathers, a Brighid Cross, a Bridey Doll, white and green candles.
For more information about Imbolc, see https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk
We have had some very powerful full moons the past few lunar cycles, and while they tend to be most noticed because of their obvious effects on our lives, new moons are just as important because it is here that the seeds of change are planted.
New moons are very special times in astrology. While full moons call us to action and to step outside of our comfort zones, new moons tend to have us retreat and become more introspective. This is the time when we may crave solitude—especially enjoying quiet moments in nature.
It is also during the darkened skies that the seeds of change are planted.
This new moon on the 16th is very special, it comes right after our full moon in Sagittarius that was all about new beginnings. But new beginnings can be scary, and sometimes our egos question us as to if we are ready.
Next week, we will not only think we are ready--we will know we are.
We have been gathering information in the past few weeks since the last full moon, but because Mercury has been retrograde we haven’t been able to take what we’ve learned and either communicate that to others, or make the physical changes necessary to manifest it.
All that is about to change.
Gemini is about taking information and channeling that into positive action. Once Mercury turns direct we will begin thinking more clearly about all that we have been absorbing and learning the past few weeks. Topics that most likely will come up are long term career goals—especially of an entrepreneurial nature, and romantic relationships.
Gemini is a sign that is quick-thinking and independent, they also are great self-starters, and usually do best multitasking. In combination with the new moon energy and Mercury just having turned direct we are going to be inspired to set off on our own career path. Maybe we’ve been considering starting up our own business, or begin working on a creative endeavor such as a writing a book. This new moon is going to give us the confidence and the get-up-and-go initiative to make our dreams a reality!
Gemini is represented by the twins, and embodies the ying/yang energy––it is also the sign of Twin Flames. Even the symbol of the sign is identical to 11, which is an important numerology aspect of the Twin Flames. This moon has the ability to shake things up a bit romantically; it’s best to take the next week or so and enjoy life as it currently is because things are about to change––and in a big way!
The ruling planet for Gemini is Mercury which turns direct on June 12th, but Mars will also be hanging out in that same sign. Get ready for some fireworks! Mars is the planet of passion, of decisive action and urgency. We are sick of being patient and in a week or so, it will be nothing but a distant memory.
Sometimes, we like to make quiet slow changes, like the past full moons. They were deliberate, mature, rational decisions. This time though, we will have grown tired of waiting, and realize that there isn’t much point in it any longer.
We will want the future to begin today!
For the first time in a long time we actually feel ready for change! Not only that, but we are clear about why we want it, and how best to manifest it. There is no sitting on the fence about this, our heads and our hearts are clear about what direction we need and want to move in…and we will feel the confidence in doing so.
We have been asking a lot of our hearts lately. We have been digging to the depths of them, removing the cobwebs and seeing what makes them tick. It’s been frustrating this past month because we haven’t been able to take our thoughts and feelings and put them to words. All that is coming to an end as Mars in Gemini is going to give us the drive and passion to say exactly what we want and what we are feeling.
The time for waiting has come to an end. Even though we usually tend to be more relaxed and calm at new moons, don’t be surprised if in the next week you find yourself unable to sleep. We are antsy at the exciting changes that we can feel are just on the horizon and within reach.
Although we feel peaceful and relaxed because we have taken the necessary steps to learn all we can, and to process whatever that means for us, we simply can’t wait any longer.
Not only are we ready for change, but we want it now.
New Moon Ritual:
While we can plant seeds of change in our minds and hearts during this time, it’s actually a wonderful time to manifest these dreams and wishes out into the universe.
What you’ll need:
A planting container, compost and soil, seeds of your choice, twine, paper and pen.
What to do:
On the paper write your intentions or wishes that you would like to come true––write from the heart. Then take the paper and fold three times, and tie the twine around the paper. Bury it into the dirt, plant your seeds and then water.
Meditate on the change that you would like to initiate; concentrating on accepting all aspects of it with an open heart.
As your actual seeds begin to grow so will your intentions that you set. Be aware that most of the seeds of change that are planted like this take at least three lunar cycles to manifest, so have patience with yourself and with the universe.
From Saturday 11 April 2015, we will be at our new shop on the corner of York Street and Bridge Street, Stourport (close to the fun fair and river)
Parking is near by - there is a pay and display on Bridge Street or 2 pay and display car parks by the river and park (well signposted)
Hope to see you there!
Neil and Fi
If you’ve been looking for a change the universe is about to deliver.On March 20th, 2015, a powerful Solar Eclipse ignites a major turning point and beginning into our lives.
A new 19 year cycle is in the process of being born and many of us could feel a total system reboot as a result of this intense and energizing energy.
How many times have we dealt with electronic snafus and said to ourselves, “Time to reboot”? It’s the thing we tend to do when there are no other options available to fix a problem.
Reboots always seem to correct or eliminate the strangest of problems in a quick instant. Wouldn’t it be something if we could do the same in our own lives?
The secret truth is that you can. There are certain times during the year where you can tap into a restarting/rebooting type energy. This March Solar Eclipse is precisely that—a time to restart and begin anew. Similar to rebooting our gadgets, we’re all about to hit the on/off button on ourselves and have a chance to wipe the slate clean.
Whether you realize it or not, a new beginning and fresh start is happening around you. If you’re aware of this energy and open to the possibilities you might be able to see the potential in your own life. This is a great time to set intentions for yourself, make amends and look forward to new beginnings.
Solar Eclipses are extra-powerful New Moons, which create something new in our lives, and this one will be visible in parts of northern Europe. At the exact point of the eclipse, the moon will cross paths with the sun and create a burst of energy release. Many of us will actually be able to feel a resurgence of some sort because of it. The electromagnetic fields of the Earth are directly affected and the power behind it is more than super-charged.
This Solar Eclipse in particular is even more impactful because it’s a supermoon and eclipse rolled into one. That means we can expect to feel even more ramped up and ready to go. On top of that, it’s occurring in the 29th degree of Pisces which is the last degree of the zodiacal wheel. That means we’re in the process of saying goodbye to something while embarking upon totally new territory.
Something new is waiting and it’s up to us to seize the opportunity.
Something else to be aware of is this Solar Eclipse holds a ton of spiritual splash in the background. The sun, moon, Mercury, Chiron and Neptune are all nestled in the sign of Pisces at the peak of it.
Pisces is a sign that is in tune with the higher forces in play in the universe. Due to this influence our perception will be higher than normal and if we listen closely new insights will come to light.
Adding even more impact to this Solar Eclipse is the fact that the sun will enter the pioneering sign of Aries about 13 hours after the peak of it.
This transition delivers the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere and the Fall Equinox in the southern hemisphere. A change of seasons is upon us and this is another great indicator that we’re shifting gears into new territory.
There’s always an element of mystery as well as a possible fear component when we embark on something new. No matter if you decide to jump in feet first or poke in one toe at a time, the universal tools are there to help you if you’re aware of them. This Solar Eclipse delivers the system reboot we all need to help us get to wherever we’re going next.
For additional personal insight, here are the themes associated with the Solar Eclipse energy for each Zodiac sign. Something important to keep in mind is despite how this affects you personally; a Solar Eclipse of this capacity will heighten awareness and insight to great levels. Aha moments are really prominent and if you listen hard enough you can hear the universe talking…it’s just not always saying exactly what you want to hear.
Aries: You’re system reboot helps to push you out into the open and allows you to be stronger than ever. You’ve gone through a lot a challenges lately and this shift brings you into beneficial territory. Use this energy to really start putting yourself out there and making a good impression on others. They will notice! Your self-expression is front and center and this is not the time to be catering to others. There are things out there for you to grab a hold of now and this is prime time to get started doing it.
Taurus: Setting new long term goals is the emphasis of this system reboot for you. It’s time to start making a dream a reality. This is also a great time to put yourself out there and join a new group of some sort. New and important friendships could also begin at this time. At the same time, you may feel pulled in between the two arenas—wanting to be alone vs. being with others. There is also opportunity to work through long standing issues.
Gemini: New seeds are in the process of being planted in your public sector which could alter the way that people see you—in a good way. You’ve been transforming at a deep level and this is the point where the new you comes into the public eye. Things that you begin now have the potential to blossom. It’s also a great time to start new friendships or join a new group of some sort. Additionally, a new cycle could begin development with a prominent parent.
Cancer: Your system reboot involves matters revolving around learning and teaching, spirituality and religion, foreign matters or international happenings, legal matters, in-laws and long-distance travel. There’s also connection to self-promotion and public relations. This is a good time to start putting yourself out there in order to be seen and heard. Any one of these themes could start to develop into an entirely new cycle for you.
Leo: Joint resources, help coming from another person (other people’s money), investments and inheritances are all possible themes of your system reboot. This Solar Eclipse could mark a time where changes in finances come to the forefront of your awareness. New sexual activity or something of a very intimate nature could also begin. Matters involving publishing, higher education, your beliefs, foreigners, in-laws and trips are also possible themes in effect.
Virgo: Matters pertaining to close and personal relationships are the focal point of your system reboot. Anybody you are involved in a close relationship with has the potential to begin something new. Relationships are your key here. Whatever important relationship is in your view at this time will continue to be a major focal point for the year ahead. You may also notice something new stemming from help coming from another person (other people’s money) or a matter of intimacy.
Libra: Changes in your working environment, co-workers, health, pets, habits or routines may be part of your system reboot. If you’ve been thinking about doing something to better yourself, this is an optimal time to do it. There could also be a new work opportunity. The need to get more organized in general could really come over you in a powerful way. Themes in your life regarding close relationships could also be emphasized.
Scorpio: Something new with one of your children, or a child could be beginning. If you are looking to get pregnant, this combination could help you. You could also take on a new venture of fun—for yourself. You could also decide to jump into something of a speculative nature. Your working environment, co-workers, health, pets, habits or routines are also emphasized so something new could begin to take root in one of these areas as well.
Sagittarius: Your system reboot could bring you more into the public eye. Something pertaining to your home or family could also be a focal point. If you have been thinking of moving, this could mark the beginning of a new cycle in a different home or location. Home renovations could be in the works. Additionally, something new with one of your children, or a child could be beginning.
Capricorn: Connection to your communications realm are very strong with your system reboot. New learning endeavors could begin, you could purchase a new car, take an important short trip, or something new with your neighbors or a sibling could begin. Communication is key and it’s possible that you find yourself involved in making more presentations or putting yourself out there through various media outlets more. Something pertaining to your home or family could also be a focal point.
Aquarius: The area of close and personal possessions, including money, is emphasized for you with this system reboot. A new beginning could be happening in something involving a purchase or the way you earn money could begin to change. There is also a connection to your communications realm: new learning endeavors, a short trip, or something new with your neighbors or a sibling could begin at this time. The way you communicate could begin to change and you could find yourself dealing with various media or technology outlets more than usual.
Pisces: Money and personal possessions in addition to your self-identification and personal identity are in play with this system reboot. A new beginning could be happening for you in something involving a purchase, your finances, earning potential or possessions. Maybe you begin earning money in a new way. You’ve likely been putting yourself out there and you should continue to do so. You are indeed making a good impression on others. Your self-expression is front and center and you should live it up as a result.
Written by Sonia Acone, Healing Crystals.com
Fortunately, the battle over fatigue can be overcome. There are a number of crystals that can assist you and give you that much-needed boost of energy. Generally speaking, when faced with fatigue, choose stones that are associated with the element of Fire. This element is energy personified. You'll notice, also, that stones ruled by fire are often ruled by the Sun or the planet Mars and are almost always red in color. Mars is often known as the planet of warriors. If you want to combat fatigue, you'll need to think like a warrior. That being said, the crystals in this category are Ruby, Garnet, Red Jasper, and Amber. And because fatigue may also bring with it bouts of depression and/or insomnia, Amethyst and Green Aventurine are also on the list.
Ruby is a deep red crystal that is ruled by the element of Fire and the planet Mars. This powerful energizer increases blood flow, enhances stamina, and gives you renewed energy. Use it on the sacral or root chakra. Raw, uncut rubies are much less expensive and are perfect for this type of healing. Recharge rubies using a soft cloth to wipe them down with and placing them on a windowsill at night to be charged by the stars.
Garnet is a burgundy-red stone that is also ruled by Fire and the planet Mars. Placed on the root chakra, it can improve circulation as well and increase that sense of vitality you may be missing. This warming crystal can be worn or carried in a pocket (as with all of these listed crystals) and it can be recharged even on a cloudy night.
Red Jasper is “the warrior stone”. This red stone is, like Ruby and Garnet, also ruled by Fire and Mars. It is indispensable when you need to increase stamina, enhance circulation and give a great boost of energy to the system. It is associated with the root chakra and can be recharged by passing it through a red candle's flame.
Amber, the fossilized remnants of ancient tree resin, is associated with Fire and the Sun. This fiery, golden-orange “stone” recharges your energy levels by stimulating a more positive attitude. If your emotions are running rampant due to emotional overload, place amber on the solar plexus or sacral chakra to even out those emotional stresses. It can be recharged by placing it on a sunny windowsill.
Amethyst is a calming stone for those suffering from fatigue due to emotional overload. This purple crystal is ruled by the element of Air and the planet Jupiter. It's regarded as an excellent healing stone for emotional fatigue, insomnia and headaches. It also balances blood-sugar levels and has been known to recharge other stones. Place it on your brow chakra or under your pillow at night. Of course, it can be worn or carried. Recharge amethyst by placing in moonlight, as this stone should not be put in direct sunlight.
Aventurine, although green, is a wonderful crystal for clearing away negativity, increasing optimism and bringing about a more positive outlook. It's a more gentle energizing stone, but can still encourage a renewed zest for life. It is an Earth stone and is ruled by Mercury. Aventurine is used on the heart chakra to calm panic-attacks and anxiety associated with emotional fatigue. It can be recharged by putting it in amongst the leaves of a plant during the day.
So let's take some of our crystal information and put it to some practical use. You've decided to reduce your daily intake of caffeine; how are you going to get that daily dose of energy to get you going? Grab that delicious Red Jasper! You can wear it as jewelry, carry it in your pocket, or hold it in your hand when you feel your energy draining.
Another area you may need a bit of a pick-me-up is that afternoon burn out. You've had lunch, it's early afternoon and you're about ready for a nap. This type of afternoon slump can be alleviated with your crystals, rather than caffeinated drinks or sugary snacks. Crystals that are going to boost that afternoon slump are Ruby, Amber and yes, Red Jasper. Ruby and Amber are recharging stones, and will jump-start your system. Another one to try is Aventurine, which will add a bit of optimism to the mix.
Let's try a different scenario. What if you're having trouble sleeping? You're so fatigued, you think you could sleep for a week, but your mind won't shut down. Cup of warm milk or Chamomile Tea? Perhaps some calming music and a bit of meditation? Go for it. Rose Quartz and Amethyst will also bring a more restful sleep when placed under your pillow. These are calming stones that will greatly help those with overtaxed minds and bouts of insomnia. Another stone to help you relax is Blue Lace Agate that, when held in your hand, will help your whole body to relax. It will also improve the quality of your sleep, as will the crystal Iolite, which also helps with headaches, eyestrain and mental stress, by calming those overtaxed nerves.
So, whether you're a marathon runner or just running through the minefield of every day, I hope one or more of these crystals will enable you to combat your fatigue and bring you peace and energy.
Botswana Agate: is reputed to stimulate the crown chakra by bringing energy into the auric field. It encourages eternal love and boosts intuitive powers. Botswana Agate can help discover solutions instead of dwelling on problems and helps to explore creativity. It is an excellent stone to aid those wishing to stop smoking as it is excellent for overcoming addictions and self destructive behaviour. It is also great for lifting depression and alleviating stress. Botswana Agate is a stone which aids detoxification and increases fertility, passion, sensuality and sexuality. Botswana Agate can help those who have repressed emotional issues that need to be addressed so that they can let go (release) and heal. Many feel that Botswana Agate has an anti-depressant quality. It can be helpful for those who are struggling to be genuine in their lifestyle, as it promotes an understanding of the need for deeper meaning. Botswana Agate stimulates the exploration of the unknown and furthers ones quest toward the enlightened state. Carry Botswana Agate to promote creative ability in any project or goal. Botswana Agate encourages one to find solutions rather than focusing on negative aspects of daily challenges. Crystal healers like to use Botswana Agate for its soothing and calming qualities. Botswana Agate energizes the auric body and encourages eternal and constant love by bringing in the energies of Universal and Unconditional Love. Botswana Agate is a reminder that we are love and compassion in action. In general, Agates carry a quiet energy that works on the subtle bodies, and are great for achieving stability and balance in many aspects of one’s life. Agates tend to work behind the scenes on the cause, instead of the symptom, of an issue.
Botswana Agate can be used as a positive energy and primary healing stone for smokers who want to quit. All agates including this one, are grounding, stabilizing, centering, harmonizing and soothing. Botswana Agate is a strong healer for any negative energy that affects the eyes, stomach, lymph system, pancreas, skin, blood vessels (no coincidence all these are negatively impacting by smoking!) Emotionally it is so effective for emotional healing in the heart area and it helps remove blocks that prevent the acceptance of love.
Botswana Agate is beneficial to smokers and those wanting to quit smoking. It helps you to look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Helps to explore unknown territory and your own creativity. Botswana Agate aids in seeing the bigger picture. Releases repression. It helps the body to assimilate oxygen. Aids depression. It will aid in any quitting smoking program you may already be on. . One must be motivated to quit, and this stone will help reinforce and support that motivation.
Amethyst: The name Amethyst name comes from the Greek word 'amethustos', meaning non-drunk. One of the interesting facts about Amethyst is that the ancient Greeks made cups from the purple stone, as they believed it could prevent you from becoming inebriated. This Amethyst meaning has been found to be true, as healers use it today as it assists you to beat addictions, and this was also believed by the ancient Greeks. If you have addictive habits such as smoking, drinking or drug addictions you may be assisted by wearing Amethyst crystals. It is known as one of the master healers and would be a good choice for anyone with asthma, addictions, headaches, hearing problems, phobias, miscarriage, and menopause or pre-menstrual tension. It promotes restful sleep and is also a good choice for stress and anxiety. It is a potent stone for spiritual healing and growth... and to aid you to beat addictions. Amethyst was used in ancient times to recover from both physical addictions as well as addictive relationships, and became know as the “stone of sobriety”. A natural stress reliever, Amethyst can encourage inner strength. The strong healing energy of Amethyst can transmute lower vibrations to higher frequencies, transforming negative energy to love energy. Overall it is a healer beyond measure for practically everything. Amethyst is particularly well known to treat addictions on all levels and it provides a protective shield around the aura against psychic attack or negativity.
Amethyst crystals emit a strong field of vibrational healing energy... so they are marvelous tools for self healing. If you have addictive habits such as smoking, drinking or drug addictions you may be assisted by using an Amethyst stone. You can combine them with any of the stones ** mentioned above** to help you to beat addictions. Ensure that those crystals that are on you every day, are regularly cleansed.
(thanks to Crystal Healing for Women blogsite for this article)
This card deck makes it even easier than ever to give an amazingly accurate angel reading for yourself or others. Each card has a gorgeous angel painting, along with a one or two sentence message. The messages are specific and to-the-point, which makes for angel readings that have specific details and guidance. As before, the cards and accompanying booklet are positive and uplifting. However, they are much more detailed and give exact step-by-step guidance, rather than an ambiguous one-word meaning.
This deck contains 44 cards and a guidebook.
Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards is a beautiful deck filled with 365 channelled meditations, each card offers comforting and uplifting messages, to set a positive and healing tone for the day. This deck also functions as a divination tool, so you can ask a question and select a card at random to a message that gives you guidance and answers.
These cards are designed to help you stay centered in peacefulness throughout the day, and to remember that your angels are always beside you, ready to help you with every area of your life. An ideal gift, this set of cards can be referred to each morning and evening.
This deck contains 44 cards and a guidebook.
The Celtic Tarot from Lo Scarabeo is illustrated by two different authors in comic-book style art. Gaudenzi created the majors, with images of Celtic legends and mythology; Tenuta created the minors. Each suit is linked to a people of Ireland - Fomori, Fianna, Ulaid and Tuatha de Danann.
Review by Charles F. Bryant II - Aeclectic Tarot
"This is a beautiful, highly detailed deck of 78 cards (22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana).
As the name suggests, these cards are based on the Arthurian legends. The Magician is Merlin, the High Priestess is Morgan, the Empress is Guinevere and the Emperor is Arthur, etc. I particularly like The Tower card (LWB: constructed by Vortigern) which depicts a knight approaching the forbidding tower surrounded by bare trees artfully depicted in black, browns, purple and bloody red.
The suits are Pentacles, Chalices, Wands, and Swords. The names of each card are also printed in five other languages (the deck is published by Lo Scarabeno and distributed by Llewellyn).
The style has a very detailed comic book look to it (and I do not mean this in a negative way) and the colors help evoke the right mood and always seem appropriate for the card depicted. The cards as a whole do not overwhelm you when you look at them for extended periods of time.
Contrary to most decks, the cards do not necessarily have the same number of wands, pentacles, chalices or swords on them as the pips would indicate. For example, the seven of pentacles depicts a woman lying in a boat (the LWB tells you that this is a depiction of the "sacrifice of the lady who never lied") In this instance, there are NO pentacles incorporated into the picture on the card. However, to aid the reader in quick recognition, all cards have a depiction of their symbol in the upper left hand corner and the number (Arabic) in the upper right hand corner. The Major Arcana have their Roman numeral printed in the upper left where the pip cards have their symbols.
The faces on all of the characters are detailed and individual. They all have actual expressions that evoke responses from within (not just all the same indistinct faces with different colored hair).
The LWB explains which Arthurian legend each card portrays and gives divinatory meanings.
In a reading, you will actually need to take some extra time and look at the cards carefully (which I believe is a good thing) rather than just noticing the same old Rider-Waite card and immediately plugging in a definition by rote (Don't get me wrong, the Universal Waite is the deck I use the most, and I like it; but even that deck should be LOOKED at carefully).
In this deck I found it to be easier to see what is happening in the cards than in the somewhat fuzzy "Legend the Arthurian Tarot" deck. I attribute this quality to the deft and detailed pen work of the artist, Joseph Viglioglia.
If you enjoy the legends of King Arthur, or if you just want a deck that will make you actually LOOK at the pictures to understand (or divine) their meanings (which we should always be doing anyway), and perhaps a deck that will also give you new understandings and insights into some of the cards, then you would probably enjoy owning this deck. I would rate it four stars"
Review by Kathleen Meadows - Aeclectic Tarot
"What I immediately adored about this deck was its natural, cozy friendliness. The images are predominantly small-town, and rural, middle-ages scenes depicting characters that are rather homely, and therefore quite delightful. The pervasive colour scheme is soft, muted browns, and greens, the characters are typically outfitted in furry, elfin shoes, Viking helmets, and lose-fitting, plainly comfortable clothing. The dwellings are natural, humble cottages. I would describe the imagery as whimsical, and imagine it would appeal especially to younger readers.
For those studying the gods, goddesses and legends of the Druidic mystical tradition, this deck will be fun and helpful. You really have to see Lo Scarabeo’s depiction of Morrigan as the Empress, a voluptuous, Viking-like warrior woman playing the harp, or Brigh as the High Priestess, plump, contemplative, seated outside in a meadow-- to fully appreciate the thought and work that went into the creation of this deck. It is a real find for those who are wary of imagery that is alarmist, dramatic and potentially jarring. Certainly if you read this deck for others, they wont be frightened or put off by the images; in fact, in all likelihood they will giggle appreciatively at the scenes depicted.
For those who think the Tarot is a serious business, the deck may appear a little too storybook-like, resembling the types of illustrations you might find in a children’s fairy tale. But for the new reader these detailed and delightful illustrations will make your interpretive job much easier. The feeling, tone, action indicated, characterization are all plainly laid out for you, acting as great story prompts. This deck is like a down-to-earth friend who makes you laugh, feel warm and welcome. I highly recommend it"
Click on the image to find our the properties of each Jasper - there are also links to specialist websites for further information
The Crystal Vaults is a searchable on-line crystal encyclopedia. You will find details of the crystal properties as well as their colour associations, links to angels and use in feng shui.
Recently, I was in the need for some crystal healing and I was guided to find some Jasper. To be honest, I've never been attracted to Jasper but I listened to my intuition and started to find out more about this underrated stone.
Jasper is a dense, opaque, micro crystalline variety of Quartz. Jasper is colored by oxides of iron and known for its deep earthy tones of red, yellow, brown and green, sometimes in shades of blue or purple, and displays wonderful contrasts in its banding, inclusions, “pictures,” and small circular patterns.
Jasper is known as the “supreme nurturer”. It sustains and supports through times of stress, and brings tranquility and wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy. It balances yin and yang. It encourages honesty with one's self. Provides courage to assertively tackle problems. Aids quick-thinking and promotes organisational abilities. Jasper stimulates the imagination and transforms ideas into action.
This was perfect for what I needed so I decided to get a selection of different Jasper for Ravens and share what this wonderful stone can do.
If you are drawn to one, please follow the link to an amazing site called the Crystal Vaults which has a huge amount about each variety - well worth taking time to read.
I will post a piece about each stone with a photo as a separate blog post otherwise, this will be too long to read!
Brecciated Jasper - when feeling overwhelmed
Fossil Jasper - protection for travel (inc. astral)
Dalmation Jasper - removes disillusionment
Ocean Jasper - for patience
Fancy Jasper - help to "lighten up"
Black line Jasper - for removing apathy
Kambala Jasper - to increase self worth & courage
Purple Jasper (Sepdiolite) - when faced with contradictions
Leopardskin Jasper - help find your totem animal
Red Jasper - calms the emotions & worry
Yellow Jasper - protecting & nurturing
Unakite Jasper - the vision stone
Mookaite Jasper - help with decision making
I've recently started to use Orange oil to help me sleep and was amazed at how well it works. Orange has some great healing properties - some are surprising!
Being a citrus oil, it blends well with other citrus essential oils. Other than those citrus oils, orange essential oil also blends well with essential oils of Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Ginger, Black Pepper, Sandal Wood and Vetiver.
Aphrodisiac: Orange essential oil has mild aphrodisiac properties. Systematic and regular use can cure problems such as frigidity, erectile problems, impotence, loss of interest in sex, and decreased libido.
Anti-inflammatory: Orange essential oil provides quick and effective relief from inflammation, whether internal or external. regardless of the reason, whether it is excessive intake of spices, fever, infections, side effects of antibiotics, gas, ingestion of toxic substances, or narcotics, orange essential oil can reduce the irritation and pain.
Cholagogue: It promotes secretions from all appropriate glands, including the exocrine and endocrine. Therefore, it is frequently used to promote menstruation, lactation, digestive juices, bile, hormones and enzymes.
Antiseptic: Wherever there is a cut or abrasion, there is always the chance of the wound becoming septic due to a bacterial infection. This is even more likely when the wound occurred from an iron object, because then there remains a chance of it becoming infected by tetanus germs. Essential Oil of Orange can help people avoid both septic infections and tetanus as they inhibit microbial growth and disinfect the wounds.
Antidepressant: The very smell of orange essential oil reminds you of happy moments and brings pleasant thoughts to mind. That is why this oil is so frequently used in aromatherapy. It creates a happy, relaxed feeling and works as a mood lifter, perfect for people who suffer from depression or chronic anxiety.
Antispasmodic: Spasms can result in many irritating or serious problems including continuous coughing, convulsions, muscle cramps and extreme diarrhea. To avoid these effects, spasms must be treated early or prevented entirely. This can be done with the help of orange essential oil, which relaxes muscular and nervous spasms.
Diuretic: First, orange essential oils rids your body of excess gas, and then it’s time to get rid of the excess toxins. Again, the remedy is the same. Orange Oil can effectively flush the body of toxins as well. It promotes urination, which eliminates toxins like uric acid, bile, excess salts, pollutants and excess water within the urine. Urination increases appetite and promotes digestion. It contributes towards losing fats, which makes it good for the heart as well.
Tonic: The relation of a tonic to the body is quite similar to overhauling and servicing a vehicle. A tonic tones up every system that functions throughout the body, keeps the metabolic system in proper shape, contributes to strength, and boosts immunity.
Carminative: Being a carminative means being an agent that helps in the removal of excess gas from the intestines. Gas, which forms in the intestines and pushes upwards, can be very troublesome. Gas, since it is light, moves upwards and pushes against the internal organs, creating chest pains, indigestion and discomfort.
It can also cause a rise in blood pressure, negatively affect heart health, and cause acute stomach aches. Essential Oil of Orange can help with many of these problems, since it relaxes the abdominal and anal muscles, thereby letting the gas escape. Furthermore, it does not let additional gas form.
Sedative: When you need to cool down after a hard day at the office or are suffering from inflammation of any kind, you should reach for a natural sedative that helps you to relax. The artificial sedatives or drugs available on the market are mostly tranquilizers based on narcotics such as opium and other synthetic forms. These, in the long run, do immense damage to the heart and various internal organs. It is a much better choice to use a natural one like orange essential oil. It alleviates anxiety, anger, depression and certain bodily inflammations.
It serves as a detoxifier, boosts immunity, treats constipation and dyspepsia and is very good for maintaining healthy, smooth and glamorous skin. It also helps to cure acne and dermatitis.
A Few Words of Caution
Orange essential oil displays photo-toxicity. It tastes bitter and if ingested in large quantities, it may result in vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite.
This festival is named after the the God of Welsh mythology, Mabon. He is the Child of Light and the son of the Earth Mother Goddess, Modron. In truth, there is little evidence that Mabon was celebrated in Celtic countries and the term Mabon was applied as recently as the 1970's. All part of our reconstructed Paganism... :-)
Here is another point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year, its counterpart being Ostara or the Spring Equinox. Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium - dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance.
But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion, the Sun's power is waning and from now on the nights grow longer and the days are are shorter and cooler. The sap of trees returns back to their roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the fire of autumn, to the flaming reds, oranges and golds. We are returning to the dark from whence we came.
This is the Second Harvest, the Fruit Harvest and the Great Feast of Thanksgiving. The Goddess is radiant as Harvest Queen and the God finally dies with His gift of pure love with the cutting of the last grain. He will return. As the grain harvest is safely gathered in from Lammas and reaches completion, we enjoy the abundance of fruit and vegetables at this time. It is time to thank the waning Sun for the wealth of harvest bestowed upon us. It sometimes seems that each Festival requires the making of celebration and the giving of thanks, but this really is so, each turn of the Wheel brings both inner and outer gifts and insights.
So Mabon is a celebration and also a time of rest after the labour of harvest. In terms of life path it is the moment of reaping what you have sown, time to look at the hopes and aspirations of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how they have manifested. It is time to complete projects, to clear out and let go that which is no longer wanted or needed as we prepare for descent, so that the winter can offer a time for reflection and peace. And it is time to plant seeds of new ideas and hopes which will lie dormant but nourished in the dark, until the return of Spring.
The apple is the symbol of the Fruit Harvest. The apple figures significantly in many sacred traditions. It is a symbol for life and immortality, for healing, renewal, regeneration and wholeness. It is associated with beauty, long life and restored youth. The Ogham name for apple is Quert and Quert is the epitome of health and vitality. The apple is at the heart of the Ogham grove and is the source of life. For Pagans, the apple contains a 'secret'. Cut an apple width ways and it reveals a pentagram containing seeds. It is a much loved symbol of Paganism. The five points represent the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water with Spirit at the top, and thus also the directions of East, South, West, North and Within.
A circle around the pentagram represents the eternal circle/cycle of life and nature, and of wholeness. In ritual and ceremony the pentacle corresponds to the element of Earth. It has long been believed to be a protection against evil for both the person and the home, worn as an amulet or used to guard entrances to the home through windows and doors. So it has a modern day threefold function: as a mark or sign of being a Pagan, as the element of Earth in ritual, and as a powerful protector.
For more Mabon celebration details, visit
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