beauty

Going Back to My Roots

December, 2018

(Roots by Frida Kahlo)

 

Be like a tree. Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing.”

-Joanne Rapits

 

I’ve been going through major internal shifts in the last year. Recently, I’ve been making some changes in my life that are shaking up relationships with people I love. Some of these patterns are co-dependent and that is a no-go for me. When I read this quote by Victor Hugo, I realized that I have a changeable mind and ways of being that used to work for me in those relationships stop working as my thinking shifts: “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” But one thing that keeps uncovering itself at deeper levels are my values; these, I’ve discovered don’t change. They do, however, reveal themselves more completely as I get older. As I grow towards my chronological elder hood, I see how important it is to be who I am at my essence. The intent that takes the most courage for me to keep meeting is to be who I really am, no matter what.

 

Over the last month or so, my paternal grandma–who I called Avó Maria–has been showing up in my 
dreams at night. She died when she was in her nineties in 2014. She had a big hand in raising me. As a 
child I spent a lot more time with her than I did my parents. My family were new immigrants to Canada 
at the time and my parents worked hard to build a life for us here. 

I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with my Avó Maria. 

In my dreams, we are back in her house only this time, I am in my adult body. 

We are doing the same things together that we always did: cooking, picking vegetables for meals, crocheting,
praying, and talking. The overwhelming feeling in the dream is one of comfort: You know, the kind you feel
when you are with someone who really loves, accepts, and gets you at an essence level. My dream ends with
her telling me in Portuguese to go back to my roots: volta para tuas raízes.

I’ve been sitting with this directive for a few weeks now. I’ve taken this question into ceremony, I’ve prayed about it, and I’ve stayed silent to hear the response from Avó Maria or Great Spirit or my ancestors or the land. It turns out they all had something to say about it! Paradoxically, this statement– volta para tuas raízes–has so many meanings on different levels. I remembered the many lessons Avó Maria taught me about the things my ancestors valued. Like all children, I’ve taken the values from my culture that resonate with me and left behind others that don’t. Among those that remain into adulthood are: inclusion, community service, hospitality, open-mindedness, and open-heartedness. Then there are the spiritual values that I feel come from Great Spirit of unconditional love, unity and equality among all of Spirit’s creations. From the land, I remember the values of diversity, creativity, and advocacy.

 

When I talk about raízes now, I see this going past my blood line to the earth, the sky, and all my relations in nature. My body comes from the earth and I am rooted in the Great Mother herself. It took me a long time to feel like I belonged here on earth but the Earth Mother was patient until I remembered the truth. My spirit comes from the sky; no matter what happens, it can never be damaged or destroyed–only transformed. I believe that Spirit will simply give me many chances and lifetimes to grow and change until I am finally living in alignment with the essence of who I am and why Spirit created me so.  Rumi reminds me that Everything [I] see has its roots in the unseen world. The forces change yet the essence remains the same.”

 

As I work through the spiritual causes of the autoimmune issues I’ve been facing in my body, I notice how part of my spirit has been living in the past searching for the answer to the question of where I belong. Through journeying in the spirit world, I realized that much of my consciousness was holding onto a past life where I felt I’d been completely accepted for who I was. I was living with this desperate feeling that if I let go of that past lifetime that I would never find my place in this present lifetime. Buddha reminded me that the only time is NOW: Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

 

I am aware that I have little control of what happens in the universe save for my response to the present moment’s happenings. My life hasn’t turned out the way I expected it to, however, I am so grateful that Spirit’s hand reached into my life at pivotal moments to re-direct me to stay on my path with heart. The truth is that I have no idea where my Sacred Dream is taking me and this scares me sometimes. I wonder if I will drift so far away from my raízes that I will be unrecognizable to those I love. But these are simply fears and I’ve never let them stop me before from creating positive change in my life. After all these weeks, I do know one thing…If I stay rooted in my values and I keep sharing my gifts through my essential being, my life will be well lived–no matter what surprises the universe sends my way.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Goddess in the Flesh

August, 2018

It is almost impossible to meet every beauty standard. It is almost impossible for the beauty, diet and medical industries to “approve” of your body, skin, hair and eyes. In a world that deliberately shifts the “should’s” and shames that attacks and blames, loving yourself is an act of rebellion.

What is reviled in one country is celebrated in another. From skinny shaming to fat-hating what stays the same is the entitlement of male-gaze, the disgust and ownership of the female form. The idea that women are objects for public consumption is at the root of both modesty and pornography.

My mum was a fat hater and a fat-shamer. So was my dad. This meant that while I was “not pretty” I had the good grace to be thin and clever. I prized this things because both came easily to me. I can’t tell if I was an exercise addict, someone who coped with anxiety through exercise, or just very active. I would roll at of bed at dawn and do 30 sit-ups, until about the age of 17. Exercise makes me feel good, helps me focus and is something I really enjoy, though I can’t do much, if any, these days. I didn’t diet, far from it I ate a huge amount, but as a dancer I knew plenty of girls who ate tissue to not be hungry. Girls who didn’t eat for half of the school week to be “thin enough” to go out on a Friday. Fat was a mystery to me. A softness I was scared of. Still find frightening on occasion.

Fat was “weakness” and was far too vulnerable to the rough grabbing hands. No I wanted to be hard, strong and never weak. Of course I hated myself plenty. My wonky nose, crocked teeth, my ginger curly hair. Once I stopped dancing I grew breasts quickly. They came as something of a shock to me. I went from a B to a D cup in a very short time and they had their perks I was sort of mystified by this fleshier body.

As I got older, and then had children my weight was the first thing my mum would comment about.

You look fat, and not the jolly kind.”

Oh you lost weight, your face looks better.”

You are thin enough now, much skinnier you’ll look ill.”

Of course my mum was a much better feminist than I was because I had “given myself over to the yoke of motherhood” instead of doing something “more important”. My feminism was “too soft” and far too feminine and far too fat for her.

I have been all different sizes, shapes and tones and while I was more desired by men when I was thinner and more toned I have rarely been happy with myself. Rarely felt self-love or safety in my skin. I fear the toxic seep of this self-loathing for my daughter. I wonder what seeds I have sown accidentally. I have been working on loving myself for years and sometimes I feel I get there.

So how do we create real change? How do we dismantle huge industries that promote self-loathing as self-care? How do we dare to be soft when it hurts so much? How do we find our strength in body, spirit and mind? I think we must make Goddess figurines. Thousands of them, millions. Ones that are like us, as we are, not as we wish to be. Some with huge voluptuous breasts or none to speak of. Some with long legs, or no legs. With curly coils, or no hair. With lines and scars. With powerful thighs and big arses. So that we know our flesh is powerful and beautiful and important. That we are worthy, fat, scarred, skinny and all. For in reclaiming our image as beautiful, as sacred art maybe we will love ourselves just a little bit more.

Worth the Witch

June, 2018

Goddess Provisions

 

 

Boxes Fit for Goddesses,” is what GoddessProvisions advertise they carry. They would like to “Nourish your inner goddess and grow your spiritual practice.” Sounds interesting to me, now let’s see if they can deliver!

GoddessProvisions.com sells their boxes either monthly or as monthly subscriptions. A monthly box cost $33.00 and if you live within the USA, shipping is free.

 

My Box Arrives!!

 

 

You definitely know when your GoddessProvisions Box has arrived! It is a lovely, purple box with the companies logo on top. It’s website on one side.

 

 

As well as, a lovely quote of the boxes intentions covering another

 

 

…and other self promoting links cover the rest of the sides.

The bottom has the companies logo and some really cute doodles. The box does draw attention, but not in a witchy way. People will read the word Goddess, but I feel they will think of it more as something for just any woman, or for pampering. In other words, if you are in the broom closet, you are safe with this Box!

 

First Opening

 

 

Upon opening the box you can not help but smile at the cute doodles again! Everything is so neatly placed, you almost hate to disturb it! But I must dig in for the postcard I see poking through at the bottom.

 

The Postcard

 

 

The postcard I pull out is THE MOST professional catalog of inventory and information I have seen come with a subscription box yet. It is gorgeous. Laminated. Brightly colored. Includes every single item in the box. Does not leave out anything!! It shows you a picture of each item with a number next to it. The numbers are then on the back of the card and match to a paragraph about each individual item, explaining: what it is, how its used, it’s monetary value, and even how to get in contact with the creator of the item showing their logos. Completely thorough. I am blown away.

In my excitement about the brilliance of the table of contents, I forgot to mention that this GoddessProvisions Month’s Box theme is Aura Cleanse….”Radiate Light from Within.”

 

Aura Mist

 

 

Kate’s Magic Purification & Protection Aura Mist has a light aroma. It’s not an overpowering scent. Very soothing still. The scents inside are Sandalwood & Lavender, however I do not smell so much lavender. Stays true to the fact that it is a mist, so when it falls on your skin it does not leave a heavy or oily feel on it. More like a lovely cool sensation. They send a nice full sized bottle.

 

Seaweed Bath Co. Detox Facial Bar

 

 

All natural ingredients like seaweed, charcoal, & volcanic ash. This bar of soap is Vegan and cruelty free. It has 65 vitamins and minerals. It’s for gently exfoliating skin while washing away toxins from the environment. It says unscented, but I’m gonna be honest, it has a slight scent. Not an unpleasing one or pleasing one. Just a small scent. It lathered up nicely. Just like any other soap would. Most importantly how did it make my skin feel after washing? Really amazing. You know the tightness you get from a regular soap bar because it is very drying, so it leaves your skin feeling very taut on your face. You get none of that feeling with Seaweed Bath Co.’s Bar, yet you still feel completely fresh & clean. Twenty minutes later my skin still felt soft, clean, yet more moisturized then usual. No oily spots anywhere, either.

 

Jade Facial Roller

 

 

Jade is a wonderful stone of health and healing revered in China. By rolling the Jade Facial Roller over your face your circulation is increased in your skin while promoting lymphatic drainage & releasing toxins. Facial muscles relax and collagen is stimulated, improving elasticity. All the while reducing fine lines, dark circles, & Puffiness.

GoddessProvisions.com provides a website on their postcard that teaches you the proper way to use your new beauty & relaxation tool. Written instructions, a drawing, and a video are provided.

Provided is a beautiful solid jade roller. It looks heavier then it is, but it is by no means flimsy. At first is it cold on the face and a bit hard and shocking. A bit squeaky. The massage it gives your face is lovely. The feeling is relaxing. Only time will tell if it does all it says, but the quality is definitely there.

 

Munde Fragrance

 

 

Pax Apothecary Munde Vibrational Fragrance is the companies own blend of essential oils in a glass, roller ball dispenser bottle. The scents included are bergamot, carrot seed, cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, and saro. You are to roll this blend onto your pulse points to clear energetic blocks so you can pursue your purpose. Very fragrant. Not my personal choice of smell. A bit pinsesol & lemon drops to me. Maybe to manly for me. But it’s strong, good quality oil. Not a weak blend. The scent lasts a long time. My husband enjoys the scent and tested it and it’s longevity for us.

 

Rose Detox Tea

 

 

Essential Life Detox Tea ingredients include organic ginger, dandelion root, tulsi & lemongrass. This is a loose tea. It has a sweet, earthy flavor. Very delicious taste and I am picky with my herbal teas. It is for purifying your energy field and cleansing your body from the inside out. It leaves you feeling very relaxed after drinking with a nice after taste on your tongue. The packaging gives you instructions for ratio and & steeping.

 

Decorated Selenite Heart

 

 

Fractalista Selenite Heart has a gorgeous design laser-etched onto it. It is very fragile. A great tool for energy workers. Used over your Chakras in times of anxiety, stress, or depression. It absorbs excess emotions and breaks up energy blockages and cleanses your aura.

 

My Over All Impression…

 

 

These definitely are “Boxes Fit for Goddesses.GoddessProvisions.com definitely delivers a box that pampers the Goddess in us all. The products are of amazing quality. Solid, full sizes, working, delicious, beautiful, & lasting. Just about every item comes with a full explanation on it, but if it doesn’t there are no worries because the beautiful postcard GoddessProvisions provides explains it all. Instructions on what it is used for, the name of the company, links to the company, even links to instructional videos on how to use the products. They really cover all angles so there is no confusion on the buyers part. I would definitely recommend purchasing a box from GoddessProvisions. The quality it amazing.

 

Unfortunately we do not have our usually Q & A with the company, but I thought I would provide a little more on what GoddessProvisions offers.

 

Each Box Contains

  • 5-7 full size products per box
  • Great value, typically $60-$90 of goddess goodies
  • Free shipping to the U.S.
  • Ships Worldwide
  • $33 per month or as low as $27.75 with 12 month prepay
  • Always cruelty-free & vegan

Their Subscription Prices

  • Month to Month is $33 charged every month
  • 3 Month prepay is $99 charged every 3 months
  • 6 month prepay is $178 charged every 6 months
  • 12 month prepay is $ 333 charged every 12 months

These are all in USD.

Shipping is free in the USA. Canadian shipping is $15. International is $25.

 

There is also… a Shop Area where you can buy some of their past boxes, as well as, a few items found in past boxes. You can even gift a box to someone.

 

To Contact GoddessProvisions

Their Website: GoddessProvisions.com

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goddessprovisions/

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/goddessbox

Their Instagram: @GoddessProvisions

Their Snapchat: @GoddessBox

 

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is simply a Witch. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMag.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can email her at jenniferwright at paganpages dot org.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way & trying to make the world a better place with her family.

Worth the Witch

January, 2018

The BOHO Box

 

 

 

The BOHO Box is a recurring monthly box subscription full of surprises like beautiful boho jewelry, natural beauty products and cosmetics, essential oil-based perfumes, incense, crystals, candles… and surprise gifts like dreamcatchers or leather journals. Their boxes are $39.95 a month.

Right now they are only shipping within the United States, but if you join their Newsletter you get 10% off your first box!

 

The BOHO Box has sent us a box to review…so let’s get right to it.

 

The Box Arrives…

 

 

The BOHO Box comes in a completely plain brown outer box. This is great news to me. Though I am out of the broom closet (and you can find me kissing the tree in front of my house when I borrow from it) I favor this due to the fact that many are in the broom closet and you never know about nosy neighbors seeing things on your front doorstep.

 

However…

 

 

Inside this box is another box and the beginning of the goodies! This box is beautifully decorated with their logo and states proudly “The BOHO Box”. You also pull out your first gifts that give you an inkling of what your box will be like.

First, A Bumper Sticker that states “Follow the Moon”. Nice, bright, and simple. You can put it on your car, altar, or anywhere.

Next, you pull out a real delight that makes you think. A gorgeous, handcrafted mask. With glorious plumage. The jewels around the eyes give it a festive effect. Great for Samhain, a party, or a fun ritual/spell.

Now I’m really curious. Let’s open this box and really dig in!

 

 

Included Papers

When the box with The BOHO Box business logo on top is opened you are greeted by a purple wax sealed letter. There are 2 pages to the letter. The first page is a letter that states all the goings on within the company and is very interesting. It tells you the topic of the Box for the month. Our Topic: Moon Goddess! The first letter goes on to detail all that is held within the box and what everything is used for.

The second page is information on different Moon Goddesses from all over the world. (Pictured in full box photo later.)

The letters are printed on beautiful parchment paper. The wax seal adds an elegant touch.

 

Spooky & Elegant Rhinestone Spider Bracelet

 

 

Who would like a spider bracelet? I would! Especially one like this! Elegant is definitely the word for this bracelet. The rhinestones have a wonderful crystal-like feel. Sturdy, not cheaply made or flimsy. The design is gorgeous. Clasps on easily. No fear of falling off. The way it clasps it seems to be able to fit multiple size wrists.

 

Wild & Free Boho Crescent Moon Layer Necklace

 

 

This decorative necklace has a very creative design. It harnesses the moons power in many creative fashions. It definitely has a wild & free feel to it. The short part of the necklace has a choker feel to it, while the long piece gives you a lariat effect. Both work together to give a wonderful appearance.

 

Anointing Oil Formulated for Rituals & Spells

 

 

Given to us is Samhain Anointing Oil for Rituals & Spells by one of the most trusted and best Pagan companies known to us online shoppers, Azure Green. It smells wonderful, like nutmeg and cloves.

 

Boho Ring with Mandala Inspired Design

 

 

It’s Large in design size and very pretty. But it’s hard to send a ring. The finger size is average to small. It didn’t fit me or my young niece. I did find someone for it to fit and she loves it. So that makes me very happy because it really is a very pretty piece. I can see how difficult it is to include a ring in a box. It’s a wonderful idea, though.

 

Black Pouch Containing Gemstones

 

 

The black velvet pouch contains 3 raw stones, this means they are not polished down to smooth stones. You get the in their raw energies. The stones are a Black Obsidian, which has a glorious shine to it. An Amethyst and a Moonstone. They are all sparkly, huge pieces. The reasons for sending them and their correspondences are listed on the papers sent.

 

The Moon Incense Cones

 

 

The Moon Incense are from HEM which is a company, if you burn incense on a regular basis, you may know well. They are a great company. Well known and trusted. The scent is relaxing when burned, it gives a clean aroma.

 

Celtic Inspired Crescent Moon Pendant

 

 

Beautiful moon with lovely markings. Almost looks like marcasite. The three bulbs could represent the triple goddess. Choker length. Good medium size.

 

Silver Nail Polish to Mirror your Jewelry

 

 

Now that you shine with your new jewelry, your beautiful mask, and your fully anointed, why not have your nails shine, too!! This is a full size bottle of Silver, shiny polish. Not sample sized. It’s silver, also, not like foil, or a gray.

 

Moonstone Pendulum

 

 

Good weight. The peachy color to the pendulum is delicious. The gemstones that run up the chain are brilliant shades. The gemstone chips on the balancing side of the pendulum are a very pretty touch.

 

Cloth Pendulum Mat

 

 

As if a pendulum was not enough, a pendulum mat was sent! I have not seen one of these. I am used to seeing pendulum worksheets on paper. This is a thick cloth. The bottom side has a grip type fabric to it. The top is made of a velvet type fabric. It is a lot fun to work with. We tried it with those new to the pendulum and those who are old hands at the pendulum and they both enjoyed it.

 

Starry Forest Card to be Framed

 

 

A beautiful picture is sent to inspire you. It is of the night sky in the forest. The stars in the background look as if they glow. The picture is for you to save and frame or just hang. It really is breathtaking.

 

Personal Oracle Card Reading

 

 

I found this reading to be something rather incredible because it hit right on what I was going through at the moment. Without the round about mumbo jumbo that could fit any situation. It spoke to me directly. Also, sage advice was given.

The card that was drawn for you, is given to you to keep. The deck the card is taken from is beautiful. The advice is given on parchment paper. I found this part of the box to be the most inspirational.

 

Over All Impression…

 

 

I think The BOHO Box had me from the wax seal! No wait, the mask! It spoke of surprise and whimsy ahead. Boy did they deliver! Each turn had a new surprise and unique gift. This box made me shine in so many ways. It made me feel pretty and good inside and out!

The jewelry and polish made me shine & glow on the outside. The incense and stones had me feeling good spiritually. The pendulum, pendulum mat & anointing oil The BOHO Box provided helped me to be more spiritual in my everyday life.

Now this reading The BOHO Box sent me. Honestly, it blew me away. I don’t know how they did it. How they can give a personal reading to touch everyone in a subscription box, but they do. It was personally addressed to me, by name and all. I am very, very impressed. The box is only $39.95 and for all you get, I find this a very fair price.

 

So who is behind The BOHO Box? Her name is Diana Price and she took some time from her very busy schedule to talk with us at PaganPagesOrg about The BOHO Box and more.

 

PaganPagesOrg: What brought the idea of The BOHO Box to you? 

Diana Price: Even before I discovered that the box subscription phenomena was a real “thing,” I thought it would be cool to create a subscription to some kind of box filled with things to pamper people and make then feel good. Then I discovered a lot of people were already doing that and became a subscriber to a box myself. 

When that box arrived every month, I was downright giddy. That great feeling inspired me to get serious and do it myself. I have many interests, mainly metaphysical, but I was building a boho lifestyle blog and decided to go with The Boho Box first. Ironically, that boho site is being revamped because I discovered that “gypsy” is considered a racial slur, so The Soul of a Gypsy has to be completely rebranded. Fortunately, The Boho Box also has a separate site/domain.

I’ve also secured domains and social media for an astrology box and may try to create one for my jewelry/metaphysical store, The Midnight Rose, but I’m still learning the ropes with The Boho Box. One at a time…

 

PaganPagesOrg: How did you begin the process of the subscription?

Diana Price: I joined up on groups with others doing subscription boxes to learn as much as possible and signed up with the selling platform Cratejoy, but the costs of it are high, so I am trying to funnel subscribers directly to my site with the hope of reducing the cost.

I already had a list of suppliers from trying to launch online stores in the past and a small store on my Tarot and Horoscopes site, so I had the resources for the products already.

 

PaganPagesOrg: How do you choose what to put inside the boxes?

Diana Price: I try to choose monthly themes and sort of match things up, but this last month I think I got a little too caught up in that. I had found these gorgeous crystal lotuses, then choose very sparkly jewelry to go along with it. It didn’t go over so well, so lesson learned…. stay BOHO!

I still try to keep with a theme because ideally I want all the jewelry pieces to work together so people can layer, but check myself to make sure I stay in line with the boho style. 

After the jewelry pieces are selected, I browse through my suppliers and start filling in the other goodies. I’m also wanting to create more handcrafted items starting with the February box.

Basically, I try to create a box I’d love and get excited about opening. 

 

PaganPagesOrg: Is The BOHO Box a recurring monthly box subscription?

Diana Price: Yes, it’s a monthly subscription.

 

PaganPagesOrg: Are you, yourself a pagan?

Diana Price: Yes, although I tend to be a bit of a closeted one, not talking much about that or my tarot and astrology interests with many casual friends because I’ve been burned in the past by that. Many years ago I worked night shift in a nursing home and would bring books to read in the downtime, often on metaphysical topics. I found out from co-workers the Southern Baptist charge nurse was telling everyone I worshiped the devil and didn’t know it, and even said “Suffer not a witch to live.”

I was devastated. Unfortunately, many who visit your site will probably have a similar story.

I’m working on being more open about my pagan and Gothic sensibilities. I’m currently on a travel nurse job in Charleston, SC, and as I was driving around, I realized my style and the vibe I REALLY want for my new store and jewelry line, The Midnight Rose, is more witchy southern Gothic and I need to fully embrace that. I had been sort of “mainstreaming” the jewelry line and avoiding anything too pagan or dark, but that’s who I am and I need to embrace it.

 

PaganPagesOrg: What are some of your interests?

Diana Price: I love to travel, although preferably without the nightmare of a temp job I’m currently on, and love photography, tarot, and I’ve been doing paranormal investigations. I’m also getting serious about candle-making and natural beauty products as well as jewelry design. 

I’m quite the foodie, so I’m trying to cram in as much fine dining as possible while in Charleston and I’m taking next weekend to visit Savannah. I’m sure I’ll return inspired!

 

PaganPagesOrg: Do you sell other products?

Diana Price: Yes, as I touched on, The Midnight Rose will be selling more than jewelry when it’s fully up and running – also new and vintage clothing, custom candles, herbs, natural beauty products, and Victorian/Southern Gothic gifts as well as tarot readings and astrology charts/reports. I’ve also started designing a line of Semicolon jewelry for suicide awareness.

 

PaganPagesOrg: Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or your boxes?

Diana Price: Like many other box businesses, I’m just a small, “mom and pop” operation, but I take each box personally and always try to deliver a lot of value and something that makes people happy. I think that’s especially important right now in these dark times we’re living in. I believe one of the best ways to fight back against that darkness is to spread as much light and positivity into the world as possible.

 

I’d like to thank Diana Price for talking with us and I wish her so much prosperity on her endeavors. I know I can not wait to see her new ideas. If they are anything like The BOHO Box I know they will be great!!

 

Helpful Links:

If you are interested in Visiting The BOHO Box Site, Visit:

http://thebohobox.com/

 

You can Subscribe for $39.95 a month by Visiting:

http://thebohobox.com/shop/subscription-boxes/the-boho-box-monthly/

 

For More Information on The BOHO Box, Visit:

http://thebohobox.com/how-does-it-work/

 

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is a Witch and she runs PaganPagesOrg eMagazine.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can find her email address in the about section.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2017

Cliodnha

goddess1

(Photo Credit : Pinterest)

Cliodnha, known as the Queen of the Banshees, or Queen of all the Fairies of the HIlls, is part of the Tuatha Du Danaan, subject to the Goddess Danu.

Cliodnha presides over Tir Tairngire, or the Land of Promise, a place of happy feasting, with no aging, violence, death or decay, which some say is the Celtic Otherworld.

She has three colorful birds, who eat apples from a tree in that Otherworld, that can heal the sick with the beauty of their song.

goddess2

(Photo Credit: wolfanita@deviantart)

She is a Goddess of love and beauty. She would take the form of an enchantingly beautiful human woman and use her beauty to take many mortal lovers. She was associated with light and happiness, but with a dark edge because when we was done with her mortal lovers, she would sometimes lure them to their deaths by the sea.

She fell in love with a human man named Ciabhan, and wished to be with him. But she was lulled to sleep by the music of one of Manannan mac Lir’s minstrels, and was swept away by a wave. She is said to rule the ninth wave of every series of waves, which was larger than the preceding eight. Large waves are knows as “Cliodnha’s Waves”.

goddess3

(Photo Credit: inochitohi.deviantart.com)

One of the best known stories of Cliodnha is when Cormac mac Carthy asked her help in a lawsuit in the 15th century. Her advice to him was to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning. He did so and easily won his court case by the eloquence of his speech. This stone is the famous Blarney Stone. Cormac mac Carthy was so concerned that everyone would kiss the stone and the land would become a home to those who “could deceive without offending”, that he hid the stone in his castle, where it is to this day.

Cliodnha resides in her palace in the center of a sacred hill in County Cork, called Carrig Cliodnha.

May the blessing of Cliodnha be with you.

)O(

Aromatic Life

January, 2016

The Skin You’re In

This month we will discuss skin cleansers, clarifiers, and lotions.

 

Basic Skin Clarifier and Facial Recipe
2/3 cup Witch hazel

1/3 cup Rubbing alcohol

Mix together.

Store in a tightly capped glass bottle.

 

Rosemary Chamomile Facial Rinse

1 Tablespoon Dried rosemary or 1 tb Fresh

2 Tablespoons Dried chamomile flowers or 1/4 cup Fresh

4 Cups Water

Boil all ingredients for 15 minutes.

Strain, retain liquid, cool and put in container.

Wipe liquid over face, let remain for 30 minutes.

Rinse with cool water.

 

Simple Lotion

Another way to nurture your skin is to create soothing and healing
lotion and moisturizing cream. A simple way to do this is to buy a
fragrance-free lotion or cream (available at health food stores) and
add 20 drops of essential oils per ounce of the product.

If your skin is especially dry, add 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of a base
oil such as Young Living V-6 Vegetable Mixing Oil, a perfect blend of
organic vegetable oils including sesame seed, grapeseed, sweet
almond, wheat germ, sunflower and vitamin E. After stepping out of
the bath or shower, apply the skin oil to wet skin and gently rub.
The water combined with the oil deeply moisturizes dry skin.

Oily skin responds to Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cypress, Jasmine,
Lavender, Lemon, Orange and Ylang Ylang.
For dry skin use Rosewood, Sandalwood, Patchouly (good for wrinkles),
Rose Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomile (inflamed skin) and
Davana (chapped skin).
Sensitive skin loves German Chamomile, Rose Geranium, Jasmine and
Lavender.
For cellulite use Grapefruit (dissolves), Cypress, Rosewood,
Cedarwood, Tangerine (dissolves), Basil, Juniper, Lemon, Orange,
Patchouly, Rosemary, Sage or Fennel.

 

Information on Lotions & Creams

There is a basic combination of melted waxes, oils and scented water,
brought all to the same temperature, that are the basis of creams and
lotions. Waxes are melted over a low heat to combine them, the oils are
warmed and whipped into the waxes, then the heated waters are dropped slowly
into the blended oil and wax. The mixture is stirred until cool.
(approximately 10 minute completion time)

To make a cream firmer, add more beeswax; to make it softer, more oil is
needed. Adding more waters will make the mixture lighter and fluffier (too
much waters and creams has tendency to separate more easily)

Creams should be refrigerated.

Cleansing creams are more effective than soap for heavy dirt and makeup.
Massage into skin and wipe off with cosmetic cotton balls.

Toners tighten the pores and refresh the skin.

Moisturizing creams are the last to be applied to the skin and provide a
protective covering to maintain skins natural moisture level.

~Non herbal Ingredients for Cosmetic Mixtures~
All the ingredients listed can be purchased from your local Pharmacy or
Grocery Store:

Agar agar derived from seaweed and is used in gels.

Alcohol~solvent/preservative. (ethyl alcohol) used in perfumery

Beeswax~emulsifier for oil and water contain in cream mixture (sold in
blocks)

Benzoin~preservative, astringent/antiseptic

Borax~white mieral powder used as emulsifier (Borax has a tendency to cause
a reaction when applied to inflamed skin. Just omit it)

Bran~used in face masks, soaps and body scrubs

Buttermilk~Soothing/astringent. (available in health food stores)

Calamine lotion~alkaline lotion for problem skin

Castile soap~pure soap no additives

Cocoa butter~made from cocoa bean, a fat used to make rich emollient in
creams.

Distilled water~should only be used in making cosmetics

Emulsifying wax~a wax used to emulsify oils and water in cream mixtures

Fuller’s earth~fine grey powder made from single`cel algae found on seabeds.
Very absorbent and rich in minerals, excellent for face mask

Gelatine~obtained by boiling animal bones. Used in eye ointments and
nail-hardening lotions. Agar agar is a vegetable substitute

Glycerine~is a byproduct of soap manufacturing. It mixes with water, soluble
in alcohol, has softening tendencies

Honey~ softening, healing and also is used as a binder

Iodine~antiseptic

Kaolin~purest form of clay used in face masks

Lanolin~obtained from sheep’s wool. Softens and will nourish the skin, it is a
fat

Liquid paraffin~used in barrier creams as it is not absorbed by the skin

Oatmeal~same as bran

Oils~almond, avocado, wheatgerm, carrot coconut and nut kernel oils are skin
enriching.

Oleic acid~ emulsifying liquid that can return separated creams back into
emulsion.

Petroleum jelly~used in lip salves

Vinegar~softens, cleansing and soothing to skin

Vitamin capsules~to add vitamins to skin creams

Zinc oxide~ white powder made from zinc, has mild antiseptic and astringent
properties. available as ointment

 

 

Aromatic Life

December, 2015

It’s All About the Lavender

 

Here are some beauty recipes whose main ingredient is lavender.

 

Lavender and Rosemary Soap

lavender

 

Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) each have a mild yet stimulating effect on skin. Both are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and beneficial for treating wounds, blemishes, boils, dermatitis, fever blisters, and more.
Begin this soap by making and infusion of fresh lavender flowers and rosemary leaves. To make an infusion, pour one cup of steaming hot water over three tablespoons of dried or fresh lavender flowers and rosemary leaves (proportioned as you like) and steep for ten minutes.

3 cups glycerin soap base
1/4 cup lavender flowers/rosemary leaves infusion
1 1/2 tsp. lavender oil
1/2 tsp rosemary oil
1 tsp pulverized dried rosemary (optional)

Combine melted base and herbal materials. Stir until blended, then pour into molds and cool.

This soap is very pleasing–so try not to give it all away! Store some in a linen closet for yourself and your family.

 

 

Lavender Mineral Bath

1/2 cup solar dried sea salts
1/4 cup epsom salts
1/4 cup dead sea mineral salts
40 drops lavender EO

Mix all ingredients well (adding EO last) store in a glass jar or tin
and use 1/4 cup per bath!

 

 

Deodorant Recipe

4 ounces 100 proof grain alchohol
28 ounces purified water
1 cup of dried lavender flowers
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaf
1/4 cup witch hazel leaf
2 teaspoon Lavendar essential oil
In a large jar, combine herbs. Mix alcohol and water and pour into jar with herbs to fill. Screw cap tightly on jar. Let steep, shaking occasionally for a full moon cycle. Strain liquid through muslin cloth. Return liquid to clean jar, add essential oils, Screw cap tightly on jar, shake vigorously. Let set and shake thrice more over the course of a day. Shake well before decanting into spray bottles.

 

 

Lavender Bath 
Lavender essential oil is reassuring, soporific, and is often the first choice of aromatherapists for treating emotional or mental stress. It also reduces muscular pain, whether from illness or physical exertion, and soothes the skin. I can’t think of a more perfect herb for a relaxing bath.

Ingredients:

4 cups epsom salts
2 cups Sea salt
1 cup non fat powdered milk
2 cups oatmeal ground to a very fine powder in a food processor or
coffee
grinder-use the old fashioned kind
40 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, sieve if you wish,then add the lavender 10 drops at a time, thoroughly mix it through. Do this 4 times, so that the lavender essential oil is distributed.

I then put the mix in glass jars and put a pretty sticker on the jar with all the ingredients and the date when I made it.

 

 

Lavender Dusting Powder

 

1/3 c white kaolin powder
1/3 c arrowroot powder
1/3 c cornstarch
4 drops each lavender, clary sage and mandarin EO
Combine ingredients in blender. Add oils and blend. Put in shaker orjar with powder puff.

 

 

Solid Lavender Perfume

4 ounces beeswax
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon Lavender essential oil

Melt beeswax into the oil using a double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in essential oils and keep stirring for about a minute. Pour into containers and let cool completely until solid.

 

 

 

Jade Owl’s Kitchen

October, 2013

Photo used with permission. twopagans.com

 

 

Blessed Samhain!

This is hands down, no doubt about it my favorite time of year. It is the time of year of new beginnings, so I use this time to clean out all the old and make room for the new. I will clean out my herb cabinet and return the old herb to the earth via compost. If I feel the need for a new besom, I will either make one or purchase it. And instead of waiting for January to make new resolutions I will state mine at the end of my Samhain ritual. (And of course some of them will be long gone by Thanksgiving)

October is the last month many of us have to harvest what we have grown thru the year. By this time I have long since gotten all my herbs and flowers harvested, dried, and put up. But what about the barks, bulbs, and roots? They are ready now. Generally you should gather your barks in the fall when the sap is running. This reduces the damage to the tree. Remove small vertical pieces of the bark; never remove all the bark and never a complete band around the tree. You will kill it. Allow the bark to dry completely before using it.

Gather your bulbs and roots after the top of the plant has died back for the year. Some roots will reabsorb the moisture from the air; if this happens it will get soft and will need to be thrown away. Chop your roots into smaller pieces as some will be too hard to chop after they are dry.

Bulbs can be dug up and stored in the fridge until the next growing season by placing them in a paper bag and storing in the bottom of your fridge. Keep an eye on the bulbs to make sure they are not getting moisture as they will rot.

I will start making my herbal blends and tincture at this time. For the rest of the year it is pretty slow as everything goes to sleep for the season. I can experiment to see what works and what doesn’t without feeling like I am being rushed. As the earth is sleeping I am busy being creative making my own incense and potpourri.

This is something to try if you have them in your area. Years ago a neighbor of mine tried to keep Praying Mantises in her yard, as they eat the bugs that would eat her flowers and plants. This time of year is when you might start seeing their eggs. Each October (mid to end of month) she would go and gather some of the eggs and keep them in her fridge to keep them from freezing as it will kill the eggs if they do. The eggs are small, foamy looking and will be attached to leaves, stems, and branches.

 

 

with permission by: www.shirecsa.com

 

 

 

Pet recipes

 

Doggy Peanut Butter Cookies

½ c honey                                                                    ½ c molasses

1 ¼ c rice flour                                                            11/2 c all natural unsweetened peanut butter

½ c buck wheat flour                                                  ¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder                                                  ¼ tsp salt

1tbsp beef or chicken soup base dissolved in ¼ c hot water.

¼ c olive oil

In large bowl beat the wet ingredients and egg together until smooth. I another bowl combine dry ingredients and slowly mix into wet mixture until combined. If mixture is too dry add ¼ cup

Take a small amount of dough and roll into a ball about the size of an acorn. Place on a cookie sheet about ½ inch apart. Once cookie sheet is full take a fork and make the criss cross marks in the top mashing the ball down like you would if you were making cookies for yourself.

Bake at 375 for 10 – 12 min. cool and store in an air tight container.

 

Catnip Treats for Kitty

1 ½ c rice flour                                                            3 tbsp wheat germ

¼ c soy flour                                                               1/3 c evaporated milk

1tsp malt powder                                                        ½ tsp bone meal

1 ½ tbsp crushed catnip leaves                                   1 tsp chicken flavored soup base in ¼ c hot                                                                                       water

1 egg                                                                           1tbsp olive oil 

1/3 c milk

Mix dry ingredients together and add all remaining ingredients. Knead dough to mix well. Roll flat to ¼ inch thickness and cut into ¼ in strips and then cut into squares. Place on oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 20 min. Cool and store in an air tight container.

Cooler nights are coming. Make sure your pet is where it can get out of the elements

I love to be in the kitchen and this time of year usually finds me making lists of things I want to make for all the holidays coming up. I make cookies, and candy for Samhain, Thanksgiving, Yule, and Christmas. (I was raised a Christian and still celebrate those holidays with my family) Every year I try to come up with at least one new recipe for each holiday.

Spooky Punch

In a large punch bowl combine 2- 2 liter bottles of 7-up with 1 gallon of apple cider. Add 2-3 peeled, cored, chopped apples, white grapes, and a package of gummy worms. Add ice to bring the level to just under the rim of the bowl. To liven up the punch you can add some regular or Malibu Rum. Please be responsible when adding alcohol.

I am serving this punch at my wedding on Samhain.

 

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great snack and you will have plenty after carving your pumpkins this year.

Rinse your seeds well. Preheat oven to 375 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl combine 1/3 c canola oil with ½ tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp crushed rosemary, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp sage. Pour this over your seeds and toss to coat. Spread seeds in a single layer on cookie sheet and bake till they are an off white color. You do not want them brown!! When done slide them off into your party bowl.

 

Something to add to your Samhain celebration

I try to always remember those that have past during this time of year and one way I do it is to set a table for my loved ones who have moved on. I will set up a small table with my favorite dinnerware and stemware and decorate it as I do the regular dinner table. Instead of serving food I will put a tiny pumpkin with my loved one’s name painted on it in the center of the plate. This way I feel them when I sit down to dinner.

 

 

Witchy Beauty

Clay masks remove toxins from the skin. Just simply mix powdered clay with enough water to make a paste. I add sea kelp to my clay because of oil problems on my face. Leave your mask on until dry and gently remove with warm water and a cloth. Rinse the cloth out good.

 

Recently a friend of mine mentioned how her feet were swelling and painful. I told her to rub peppermint oil into her feet. It may not remove all the swelling but will help some with the pain.

Try mixing 10-12 drops of peppermint oil with rubbing alcohol (at least 70%) and place in a spray bottle. When needed spray onto legs and feel and rub in. Be sure to wash hands before touching your face or eyes.

Next month I will be adding a new element to my column. I know that Pagans are all over and in every profession in this world. I was a truck driver for 17 years, and I will be adding some tips and info I have learned on the road for those Pagan Trucker readers we have here at Pagan Pages. Stay tuned.

 

That is it for this month. Til next month: Keep your brooms under the radar.

I love to hear from my readers. You can email me at: jadeowlscottage@gmail.com

Blessed Be,

Jade Owl )0(

© 2013 By: Jade Owl (Margaret Creekmore)

The Tree of Life

June, 2013

Rituals of Beauty and Delight
Summer time, and the living is easy! In the northern hemisphere, the month of June is traditionally a time of joy and easy living. The Earth revels in long, sunny days and celebrates with an abundance of flowers, and seasonal treats like strawberries and asparagus.
In appreciation of all this loveliness I like to make my rituals at this time of year as beautiful and pleasurable as possible. Whether you are celebrating as a solitary, as part of a coven or even facilitating a public ritual, here are some ideas to make your ritual truly enchanting.
A ritual to delight the senses should take as many of them as possible into consideration. Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell – how will you charm them all? Some are easier to engage during ritual than others. For example, it is likely you already decorate your sacred space (sight) and burn incense (smell). You may offer a libation to your Gods (taste), or use music (sound). Integrating touch may be less clear-cut, but in all instances with a bit of imagination and forward planning it is possible to come up with creative and delicious ideas.
Firstly, list the different parts of your ritual such as cleansing, grounding, casting a circle, invoking elements and deities and/or other allies, meditation, visualisation, raising and directing energy for spellwork/healing etc, sharing food/drink, making an offering or libation, devoking and dismissing the circle. By breaking the ritual down into its component parts, you can examine them and brainstorm ways to enhance the aesthetics of the ritual.
Here are a few ideas you may like to adopt or adapt for your ritual:
  • Decorate the ritual space as beautifully as possible. Drape beautiful fabric over the altar(s) – I have a selection of saris that I use – and incorporate fresh flowers (especially if they are fragrant), candles, representations of the elements (shells for water, painted fans for air, strings of chilis for fire, crystals for earth etc) and deities, magical tools, fairy lights etc. For this kind of occasion, when it comes to altars, more is more!
  • Consider the lighting. Do you want to highlight certain areas, add mystery with shadows, impress with a blaze of candles, rely on the glow of a central campfire, supplement with fairy lights or accent with carefully placed sequins, tinsel etc?
  • What sounds will you use? The tone of a singing bowl can be used to cleanse, create sacred space or denote the beginning or end of the ritual. Songs and chants can be used to raise (or lower) energy levels, bring the group together or emphasise the intention of the ritual. Well-chosen music on CD can accompany the ritual, or you may be lucky enough to have a talented musician within your group or coven. You could also add atmosphere by playing a recording of natural sounds – gentle rainfall, birdsong, ocean waves or a tumbling stream.
  • For taste, consider carefully what seasonal culinary delights you could include when sharing food and drink either during or after ritual. If working in a group, a delicious ‘pot luck’ meal could be shared afterwards with everyone bringing along their favourite dish. And for toasts and libations, mead – made from fermented honey – is a lovely way to celebrate the sweetness of life. If you would prefer an alcohol-free option, there are many delicious fruit juices and cordials to choose from. Elderflower cordial is a seasonal favourite of mine, which tastes like the very essence of bottled summer.
  • Enjoy your sense of touch with robes or altar cloths of tactile fabrics – soft velvet, crisp cotton, smooth silk. Pile up plump cushions for people to sit or lie on during meditation or visualisation. Consider temperature – if it’s a scorching hot summer day find a location that offers cool shade or a refreshing breeze. If it’s a little chilly, have cosy blankets to hand for participants to snuggle in, or plan a central campfire to sit around and toast your toes.
  • Indulge your sense of smell with your favourite incense, or sprinkle essential oils around the circle. Use scented candles instead of plain, and ensure any flowers on the altars are fragrant. For the ‘cleansing’ part of your ritual, offer round a bowl of rosewater for participants to wash their hands in or anoint themselves. Or asperge people as they enter the circle, using a branch of lavender or rosemary dipped in lavender water.
These ideas are just the beginning. Let your imagination loose and you will come up with all kinds of delicious inspirations for truly gorgeous rituals. And don’t confine your celebration of beauty and pleasure to ritual. The Goddess says ‘All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals’, so celebrate Her every day by bringing beauty and joy into your life. Treat yourself to a bouquet of wildflowers. Savour a bowl of sun-warmed strawberries or cherries. Use your favourite perfume – the one you save for special occasions – on an ordinary day ‘just because’. Take some precious time out to swing in a hammock or go to the beach. Hug your loved ones whenever you can. Life is beautiful. Enjoy it.
Blessed Be.

Aphrodite, Goddess of Love & Beauty

August, 2010

goddesscards1

“April is the cruelest month…” This famous opening line of T.S.Eliot’s revolutionary poem, The Wasteland, published in 1922, fits the ancient myth of the birth and life of Aphrodite to a T.

“Foam-risen” Aphrodite, (the Greek name for foam is “aphros”), was the product of a highly dysfunctional family. Her mother, Gaia, the generative Greek Earth Mother, tired of the constant attentions and cruelty of her husband, Uranus, who was both God of the Sky, and her first-born son. She asked one of their sons, Cronus, to castrate his father, so he would be unable to father any more children with her. (Uranus feared that their children would overthrow him one day. Because of this fear, he tried to prevent their being born. He did this by burying their babies deep within their mother, causing her untold anguish.)

Cronus was glad to oblige. He launched a murderous attack upon Uranus, and cast his severed genitals into the sea, where they dissolved into foam. From this potent and sexually charged brew, the fully-grown Goddess of Love was formed. She was never a child, raised to respect the rules and regulations of her elders. Instead, she emerged in full glory, her hair dripping with pearls, and greeted by ecstatic doves. Riding on a seashell, she was blown ashore to the island of Cyprus by the West Wind ~ the embodiment of love, beauty, and untrammeled sexuality. Her arrival caused a sensation in Olympus! Every god desired her. Every goddess was jealous. The world was turned upside down…

Zeus, King of the Gods, quickly realized he had a disaster on his hands. To avoid fighting amongst the gods for her favors, and to nail her down, he married her off to Hephaestus, the crippled master craftsman of Olympus. Hephaestus couldn’t believe his luck! Besotted with love, he created exquisite jewelry for his lovely bride, including the cestus, a magic girdle or belt, which made the wearer irresistible to men. This was another terrible mistake. Aphrodite was already irresistible, and had no intention of being faithful to a dull husband.

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She carried on with dozens of lovers, including her half-brother, Ares, the impetuous God of War. She bore many children to her paramours, including Eros (Cupid), the son of Ares, who helped her to promote love and sensual delight. In vain, Hephaestus tried to control her. When he trapped Ares and Aphrodite in a golden net, and exposed their illicit affair to Zeus and the gods for judgment, he failed. Zeus, recognizing the futility of trying to discipline the goddess, refused to condemn her. She went on her merry way.

Aphrodite was impulsive and thoughtless as well as sexually self-indulgent. Wanting to defeat Hera and Athena in a three-way contest to be crowned Most Beautiful of all the goddesses, she shamelessly bribed the judge, Prince Paris of Troy. Hera and Athena also tried to bribe Paris. They offered him power and wisdom. Aphrodite, knowing what moves the hearts of men, promised him the most beautiful woman in the world for his wife. Paris awarded her the Golden Apple. Unfortunately for him, and for the ancient world, the woman, Helen of Sparta, was already married, to Agamemnon, King of Sparta.

Aphrodite’s scheme worked. Paris and Helen fell in love, and eloped. The tragic meddling of the goddess in affairs of the heart soon morphed into affairs of state, leading to the devastating 10-year long Trojan War, in which thousands of Greek heroes and citizens perished. Enraged, Zeus commanded Aphrodite to return to her appointed role as goddess of love, sensual delight, and fertility, where she could do less harm.

Aphrodite continued to take lovers. She even fell in love with a mortal ~ Adonis, the Hunter. This time, however, she was destined to suffer as well. Fearing that a wild animal might kill Adonis, she ordered him to give up hunting. Adonis refused, and was gored to death by a wild boar. The devastated goddess transformed her dying lover’s drops of blood into anemones. These lovely, short-lived blossoms remind us that she knew sorrow as well as passion.

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A cult sprang up around the worship of Aphrodite. The month of April was consecrated to Venus, her Roman equivalent. Her festival, the Aphrodisia, (from which we derive the word aphrodisiac) was celebrated all over Greece on the first day of Aprilis, or April ~ especially at her temples in Athens and Corinth. Intercourse with her priestesses, called hierodules, or “sacred servants,” was considered a sacred act ~ a way of worshiping the goddess to ensure fertility and good fortune in love.

This custom originated in rituals practiced by worshippers of Aphrodite’s Near Eastern predecessors, such as the Sumerian goddess, Inanna, and the Akkadian goddess, Ishtar. These Eastern goddesses, forbears of both Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus, also employed temple prostitutes. The practice was well documented in Babylon, Syria, Palestine, Phoenicia, and Carthage. Not surprisingly, Aphrodite is the patroness of courtesans, and of all who love or seek to be loved. She is also the protectress of sailors.

She has modern counterparts in contemporary “Sex Goddesses,” such as Madonna or Britney Spears. These adored celebrities seem to break all the rules in their search for happiness ~ though their behavior does not appear to reflect the goddess’s sense of sacred mission and delight.

Aphrodite’s power over love may seem narrow and frivolous, especially when compared to the impressive powers of Zeus, King of the Gods; Ares, God of War; or Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. The capacity to wage war, to lead nations, to sway mobs, to amass fortunes, or to display intellectual brilliance, are often more highly prized than the simple ability to move the human heart.

Yet the lesson of Aphrodite is that love reigns supreme. Zeus himself could not suppress her search for love. And the history of the Trojan War demonstrates the power of an ill-conceived passion to destroy nations. The goddess drives us into each other’s arms, breaks our hearts, and brings us back for more. She plants the seeds of attraction that lead to the birth of babies. She ensures the continuity of the human race.

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While her willful quest for pleasure may lead to grief, she never gives up on love, or ceases to pursue it. She is fruitful, bears many children, and cherishes them. She rewards those who honor love: punishes those who deny it. She is a good friend, a bad enemy, and an ardent lover.

Above all, she is beautiful, fearless in her determination to live her life with passion and joy. Because of this, she has inspired generations of artists, poets, and writers to create immortal works of art in her honor.

Check out a few of their images on this You Tube video.

Enjoy the many faces of Aphrodite. They’re as varied as the human race! Beauty comes in many guises. Love is prompted by our unique perception of Beauty in the Other.

Love makes the world turn.

(URL OF YOU TUBE VIDEO ON APHRODITE)

http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=aphrodite+the+greek+goddess&www_google_domain=www.google.ca&hl=en&emb=0&aq=2&oq=Aphrodite+the+#