natural

Crystal Balls

January, 2019

Crystal ball are used for divination (scrying) and spirit summoning. It is a well respected technique of divination and is used through the use of reflective surfaces and taking advantage of the bioplasmic energy (psychic power) in inanimate objects like crystals as it comes from the cosmos itself. If you can tune into that force the crystal ball will be very beneficial.

They should usually be made from clear quartz and can be large or small. Smoky quartz is beneficial if you mainly want to use it for summoning spirits. Manmade crystals are spiritually dead, so use those only for decoration. Natural crystals are what you want. Some people think it is better to be given one as a gift, but personally I think you should choose your own. It is a very personal object so you want to choose it carefully. You should be drawn to it and feel its energy.

The crystal ball is a tool of Pisces and the modern clear round ball is effective because it evokes the image of the moon. Now, some people can’t afford a real crystal ball, but there are other options. Even using something like a glass bottle of water, ink or water in a pan, etc. will give you some results, but the power of a cleansed crystal ball will be much more substantial.

A new crystal ball must be cleansed by exposing it to the light of the full moon at least once (13 times is ideal) before use. A crystal ball covered in negative energy and spiritual debris will cause disturbances and may not be accurate. Also, when you are not using it, you should keep in covered in a dark cloth. A great way to clean the crystal ball is with a blend of spring water and vinegar, charged waters, mugwort hydrosol or a water-based herbal infusion with dried mugwort and/or anise-seed.

Crystal-gazing is a great way to get into clairvoyance. You should stand the crystal ball on a black base or black cloth so that when you look into it there are no distractions. You don’t want anything to draw your attention away. The lighting should be behind you and it’s best to be in a semi-darkened room. Close your eyes and try to empty your mind and be open to the energies and aura around you. Then open your eyes and gaze into the center of the crystal. When you see a shadow or shape, clear your mind and follow them. You may immediately see someone or something or you may see it fill with smoke. The smoke will probably fill up the whole ball and then start to dissipate and leave a scene. This is called clouding.

If you don’t get anything, don’t worry. Keep looking for about ten minutes, but not much more. You don’t want to force anything or strain yourself in anyway. Just give up and try the next day. You will develop your own way of working with the crystal ball. Some see images right away, but sometimes you may need to try for a few days and weeks. Do not strain to get results, just relax and let it happen. At first you won’t have much control over what you see, but as you progress you will adjust and you will improve at clearing your mind and you will start to see what or whom you mentally ask for. If you are constantly getting negative or scary images or feelings you may want to try cleansing it again, cast a protective circle or simply try a different type of divination. Crystal balls just aren’t for everyone. Keep in mind when attempting to communicate with spirits, you should always cast a circle first.

Notes from the Apothecary

January, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Star Anise

Star anise is a beautiful, fragrant spice from China and Vietnam often used in cooking and medicine. The Latin name is illicium verum. The fruits are green and resemble star-shaped flowers when first picked. When they are dried, the fruits harden and turn a dark, reddish brown and the star shape becomes more prominent. The ‘arms’ of the star pop open to revel smooth, shiny brown seeds.

The whole fruit is used as a seasoning for many different types of cuisine, most notably in the Chinese five spice mix which is widely used in Oriental cooking. The star shape makes this fruit immediately intriguing as a magical ingredient. The powerful, aniseed-like scent speaks of mystery and wonder, whether it’s rising from a specially seasoned morning coffee or some carefully crafted incense. Read on for more information on how star anise is used in medicine and magic.

The Apothecary

The first point in using star anise as a medicine is to ensure it is never confused with Japanese star anise. Japanese star anise, or illicium anisatum, is also known as the Sacred Tree and is highly revered by Buddhists. The leaves are used as incense, but the fruits and seeds are highly toxic. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between dried Japanese and Chinese star anise fruit. Because of this, it’s important to purchase your star anise from a reputable and experienced supplier. Alternatively, if you’re able to grow your own, this is the safest way forward. If in doubt, do not consume, as the toxic substance anisatin causes severe inflammation of the urinary and digestive tracts. Chinese star anise is the only edible variety and the only variety that should be used for medicinal purposes.

Now that the dire warnings are out of the way, the good news is that Chinese star anise is incredibly medicinally important. It’s one of the primary source of shikimic acid which is used in anti-influenza drugs. There are many sources of shikimic acid, but star anise is so relied upon that when there is a serious flu outbreak, global shortages of the spice tend to occur.

Web MD states that star anise is also used for a range of ailments including colic and other digestive issues, coughs, bronchitis and congestion. It may be useful as a galactagogue; a substance that promotes the flow of breast milk. However, it should be avoided during pregnancy as can affect the uterus.

Mrs Grieve states in her Modern that the oil from Chinese star anise is identical to oil of anise, from the unrelated anise plant. This is why the two plants have such a similar taste. Many animals are highly attracted to anise oil. Hunt saboteurs have been known to use it to throw hounds off the trail of a pursued fox or hare, and it has historically been used in mouse traps as bait.

The Witch’s Kitchen

In The Green Wiccan by Silja, star anise is one of the 52 herbs she focuses on as important tools of magic. The author states that star anise is an herb of the element of air. This means it would make a beautiful addition to the eastern point of an altar or sacred space, and an ideal ingredient for any incense.

Star anise is associated with the planet Jupiter, associated with expansion and luck (Practical Planetary Magick, David Rankine and Sorita d’Este). Jupiter has historically been known as beneficent and positive, meaning plants associated with it, such as star anise, can be used for magic with a positive leaning. Jupiter is also associated with law and ethics, meaning it can be connected to justice and doing the right thing. Use star anise to gain success in business ventures or new projects.

Star anise is also linked to Apollo and Hermes, making it a tool of poetry, music, traveling and communication. and poetry can, of course, be tools for communication, which makes me wonder if this is one of star anise’s strongest traits. Perhaps a witch could use star anise to find different ways to deliver a difficult message, or to open up about something they’re having a hard time expressing.

Silja links this plant to magic for consecration and purification, which can be done via incense or scattering the seeds. The author also states the spice can be used for breaking curses and removing negativity, particularly when used in food.

Home and Hearth

Press a whole star anise into a green or gold candle. Use a blob of melted wax to stick it there, or ensure the candle is soft before you do this. Any time you need to do something regarding prosperity or wealth, light the candle and meditate on the flame for a moment. This could be a visit to the bank, a job interview, a business meeting or even a yard sale. The star anise combined with the coloured candle magic will boost your chances at success and prosperity. (Paraphrased from The Green Wiccan by Silja.)

Kitchen witches should add star anise into their recipes for a boost of humour and joviality in their lives. Indian cookery is great for this. My favourite is a biryani; a fragrant rice dish with whole star anise.

I Never Knew…

The Latin name for Chinese star anise, illicium verum, originates from illicio which means ‘alluring’. This refers to the irresistible scent of the fruit.

Image credits: guangxi – star anise farm in china 2005 by fuzheado via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review – Chakra Animals: Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World by Angelica Stuart

January, 2019

Book Review

Chakra Animals

Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World

by Angelica Stuart

Chakra Animals by Angelica Stuart provides an opportunity to weave the fundamentals of Chakra work and the wisdom of the animals into a new journey of exploration. Each of these subjects stands on its own with volumes of text and information, so the ability to use as resource an easily readable book that leaves room for an open interpretation based on your prior knowledge is a wonderful addition.

The book begins with a brief overview of each of the seven traditional Chakras. The standard associations are given for each including, color-element and sense. The descriptions are condensed, but given a subject of this weight and expanse, enough is given to stimulate the organic brainstorming of your own connections and interpretations.

Practical Uses for coordinating Chakra application and working with the animals follows. As the author states…. “there are endless parallels that I could make, but my hope is that you find many on your own.” This is a gentle reminder that the work that is done should always be guided by your own intuitive nature, in particular when seeking the assistance of other beings and energies.

And, the remainder of the book focuses on the energies and attributes of fifty (50) Animals that are commonly considered as animal guides and totems. Each animal is described for its overall traditional use, key attributes and how that animals energies may be used to enhance each of the seven chakras. This break-down provides the integrative piece of aligning your chakra work of development with the animal totems/guides that present to you.

The final offering is an index-styled listing of intentions, or Connections that identify the specific animals associated and are supportive of that specific work. Intentions include: Abundance, Community, Communication, Intelligence and more.

A lovely addition at the back of the book making use of the author’s credentials as a graduate of the prestigious MICA school of , are several pages of graphic illustrations of the animals discussed that are scored into a grid such that they can be cut out and pasted onto an index card for reference and individual work. A deck of specially illustrated cards – Chakra Animals Oracle Cards – may also be ordered via the author’s Etsy site.

Visit the author’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/chakraanimals/

Visit the author’s Etsy store: www.etsy.com/chakraanimals/

Click HERE or on Book Cover for Amazon Info

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

MagickalArts

January, 2019

The Wiccan Path

Happy New Year Everyone! This year, 2019 is a number “3” year (add 2+0+1+9=12/ 1+2 =3); a year of change and creation. Three is the number of trinity’s harmony. From the relationship and collaboration of two a third is created; the totality of its sum of parts. This may take the form of fulfilling and creating what you desire most, creating a new passion fueled by a latent wish, putting into action what you’ve been yearning to do as you create the product of those efforts.

In keeping with this creative approach I am revisiting and sharing the online course I wrote in 2014, to serve as the stimulus for those interested in Wicca and earth-centered practices and creating a path of their own. Please enjoy this excerpt and many blessings for a fabulous New “creational” Year!!

Excerpted from “A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path”…..

The Wiccan Path is one of initiatory experience. Each step taken upon this path leads towards greater understanding of your own Divine nature, which in turn brings a greater understanding of the natural world and the Divinity that exists around you. By definition, initiation is an act that sets in motion some course of events. In the case of a spiritual pursuit, initiation opens the seeker to embracing their spiritual nature as a support and foundation to their mundane nature. The spiritual path of a Wiccan (Witch) is one filled with the beauty of the natural world and the mystery of the world within each of us. The path leads to the subtle realms of the astral – the far reaches of the cosmos – and the shadows that lay hidden and buried within each of us. We practice the Craft of the Wise, which in ancient times was the gifts of the healers and the seers whose ability to see far and wide and enter so completely into alliance with the physical natural world was depended upon to ensure viable crops, healthy livestock, fertility and a sustainable life for those in whom the wise lived. In ancient times the knowledge was carefully passed in the style of oral tradition, the mysteries given ear to ear hand to hand. Although many of those traditions, rituals and wise ways are lost to the modern practitioner of Wicca, many of the core principles remain, having evolved just as we as a people have evolved, become modernized and have at our fingertips ways of communicating large volumes of information. The information provided in this course of study barely scratches the surface of what is a uniquely complex and diverse spiritual path and that to a large degree can only superficially claim its heritage in the ancient practices of which we truly know so little. Wicca is rooted in the experiential, and is a way of life that is not limited by lack of sacred space, tools or financial resources. From the Wiccan perspective, all of the natural world is sacred space and the greatest tool of working is our physical nature holding the pure essence of each individual’s Divine spirit that is priceless in

Ritual and Celebration

Wiccans use ancient and modern ceremonies, rituals and shamanic practices to attune themselves to the natural rhythms of nature, the world, and the universe as a way to commune with this divine force. In particular, the lives and daily activities of the ancient peoples were very much dependent upon and intertwined with the position of the sun and the agricultural cycles that were dependent upon movement throughout the year. The Witch’s Wheel of the Year is a reflection of those needs. The calling forth of the Light of the newly birthed Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice ensured that there would be a new cycle of planting, sowing and reaping the much needed harvest for continued life.

The Sabbats (Solar Celebrations) of the Wiccan year are eight in number. Four correspond to the astronomical transitions of the equinoxes and the solstices. These are the Vernal (Ostara) and Autumnal Equinoxes (Mabon) and the Winter (Yule) and Summer (Litha) Solstices. The other Four, or cross quarter days are those that mark the time between the equinoxes and solstices. These were the dates of celebration of the progression through the changing of the seasons and the preparations for the times of transit from one season to the next. These are Samhain (the Witch’s New Year) – Imbolc (February 1) – Beltaine (May 1st) and Lammas (August 1st).

There are many overlays that are associated with these Sabbats, the most prominent being the cycle of the God and Goddess as they move through the stages of birth- fertility- harvest and death. In this way, the physical world and the Divine world were mirror reflections and the offering of devotion and celebration of one ensured the continuation of the other.

Deity

The God, Lugh and The Goddess, Brighid

Depending upon one’s point of view, Wicca can be considered a monotheistic, duotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic religion.

Wicca is monotheistic (belief in a single deity): Some Wiccans recognize a single supreme being, sometimes called “The All” or “The One.” The Goddess and God are viewed as the female and male aspects of this single deity.
• Wicca is duotheistic (belief in two deities; a.k.a. rarely as bitheistic): Wiccans often worship a female Goddess and a male God, often called the Lady and Lord.
• Wicca is polytheistic (belief in many deities): Many Wiccans recognize the existence of many ancient Gods and Goddesses, including but certainly not limited to: Aphrodite, emis, Briget, Diana, Dionysius, Fergus, Hecate, Isis, Pan, Thor, etc.
• Wicca is henotheistic (belief in a single main deity among many): Many Wiccans view the many ancient deities as being aspects of the Lady and Lord, and view the latter as the male and female aspects of “The One.”

(excerpted from: http://www.religioustolerance.org)

There is no right or wrong to any of the beliefs above. The underlying principle is that of polarity and the belief that there is both the masculine and feminine Divine principle within all living beings. This approach to deity supports the belief in the immanence of the Divine. That the qualities of Deity exist within all of life, and that through acknowledgement and embracing of this inherent birthright, that Divinity may become transcendent in nature.

The Natural World

WICCA is considered a nature-based religion. The environment and those things that comprise the manifest world including animals, plants, minerals are considered sacred and part of the Divine web of interconnectedness. Many Wiccans are involved in environmental activities and feel it a natural part of their spiritual practice to recycle and live lightly on Mother Earth. The use and knowledge of herbs and their medicinal properties is often undertaken gladly as a study of practice and it is not unusual to find many Wiccans attracted to professions where healing modalities can be performed. Animals are considered companions and treated with the same care, love and respect

that would be afforded another human. Human and animal rights, environmental issues and preservation of our natural resources are all a focus of those following a Wiccan Path of spirituality.

The Cosmos

The ancients were limited to what could be seen with the naked eye or what mystical inferences could be gathered from what was overtly presented and the myths that were created as result. Structures were built in accord with the movement of the sun (Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid) that aligned with specific seasonal events and astrology had its beginnings in predicting certain outcomes and points of focus based on what could be observed in the heavens.

The scientific breakthroughs showing the similarities in or own physical constitution and that of the geology of our planet, as well as the stars and planets links us to our own stellar nature and the desire for access to weaving that universal magick of that starseed into all of our endeavors. According to scientist, Carl Sagan, the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago.

One of the things that has not changed is that of the celebration and worship of the Moon and her energies and attributions within a Wiccan practice. The lunar tides are seen as the domain of the Goddess and the feminine energies. The planets and the magick woven with their energies extend the reach of practical magick into the realms of space and time continuum. And, the increasing awareness of our place within the vastness of the Cosmos provides a richly layered perspective for those of the Craft.

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

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

Worth the Witch

September, 2018

Alchemy & Ashes

 

 

Parlour of Magical Curiosities

Inspired By History, Myth, and Magic

 

 


Alchemy & Ashes provide a variety of excellently handcrafted, by them, elixirs, incense, perfumes, soaps, conjure powders, and more. They supply an assortment of kits and boxes ranging from their $30 Sanctus Box, which includes a Protection Oil & Florida Water for Ritual, Purification & Aura spray for purification energy clearing, to; a PART the VEIL Conjure Kit- Witch Box that helps with intuition, divination & so much more starting at only $20. I’m only naming two, to see more of their kits & boxes, you can visit them at Alchemy & Ashes. You will not be disappointed. Their boxes are not recurring monthly subscriptions. They are one time purchases, as you go kits & boxes. So there is no need to worry about having to cancel your monthly subscriptions.

As I close the envelope addressed to me a waft of the sweetest herbal smells fills my nostrils bringing the promise of witchiness to come and my excitement surges. I received a mysterious box from Alchemy & Ashes all in black and smelling like a Witch’s Heavenly Cupboard. It immediately piqued my curiosity.

 

 

I had to tear right in I could not hold back. When I opened the box everything was beautifully wrapped like Gothic Presents. I was in a Gothic Dream come true!!!! Now let’s see what’s inside these little packages…. Rip, rip, rip…..

 

 

Pamphlet

 

Very nicely made. One page, folded. The art of their Logo and everything goes very well with a gothicy/witch theme. The Pamphlet lists all Alchemy & Ashes contact information and it mentions that they have a free app. I checked out the app and it is very helpful.

The pamphlet teaches you a few ways to use Conjure Powders. Reading this is how I learned the theme of the box. Everything is wrapped up so elegantly you could not tell what was in the box. Just smell beauty. The pamphlet goes on to tell you about 6 herbal blends of Conjure Powders, their titles, and info on them. At this point I was not sure what it all meant, but it looked promising. So I decided to get into more!

 

Conjure Powders

 

What I mistakenly thought would be a very large candle due to it’s sheer size and shape (most witch boxes give you candles what can I say!) when I opened the box turned out to be quite a surprise…6 tins of Conjure Powders. As you can see in the picture the tins are full. I kept spilling them in fact when I opened each of them. Then I would have to do a blessing, invite a spirit, or banish something. LOL. It was quite funny to watch. My familiar went nuts. I was expecting a smaller sample size of the conjure powders for a box. I was extremely pleased. The 6 Conjure Powders are as follows:

  • Elicio (Conjure) – a mixture to conjure spirits & energies beneficial to your workings.
  • Exilium (Banish) – a concoction to banish spirits & energies that are detrimental to your workings.
  • Praescientia (Intuition) – a blend to aid with intuitive abilities & divinatory gifts.
  • Amor (Love) – a mix to attract love.
  • Praesidium (Protection) – a combination to create a boundary of protection from unwanted spirits or energies.
  • Fortuna (Prosperity) – A mixture to attract spirits & energies of prosperity and abundance to you.

Almost all of the Conjure Powders from Alchemy & Ashes in the box are made from a blend of at least 7 herbs. Most of them were made from 13! The smells are vibrant. The pamphlet lists the ingredients in each powder as well as what it is used for & a definition for it’s meaning. Plus, as I mentioned before, they teach you a variety of ways to use Conjure Powders. None are difficult.

So excited by these 6 great sized tins that I almost forgot the box contains more! On we go….

 

A Modern Witch’s Flying Ointment

 

Unguentum Sabatti is the hand that parts the Veil.” That is how Alchemy & Ashes begin to explain what Witch’s flying ointment is. Flying ointment is a mixture of herbs & essential oils mixed in coconut oil and beeswax that help relax, soothe, and help bring you to another level of consciousness & help aid in meditations , divination, lucid dreaming, rituals, astral traveling, etc… When applied to certain areas of the EXTERNAL BODY before beginning.

You get a full 1oz supply in a nice tin. Solid, not too greasy and slimy like others I have tested in the past where you put your finger in the ointment and it just goes right to the bottom. This is substantial and will last a long time. The smell is amazing and you can actually pick out some of the herbs from simply taking a sniff. The back of the tin does, however, list the ingredients.

 

Sanctus Aqueum


This is Alchemy & Ashes own version of Florida Water. Florida Water is used for blessings, consecrating, cleansing, & purification when you can not smudge.

They create each batch on the New Moon & let it charge until the Full Moon. It is, also, infused with a Quartz Crystal to amplify it’s energy. It comes in a glass spray bottle.

When you spritz the air, you automatically smell more than just water in the air. I have used these sprays before, sometimes called ‘smudge sprays’ or ‘aura sprays’. I like them. They are quick ways to cleanse the area and yourself & they do work and calm you. You can feel them lessen tension in the air quickly. This one, however, has the most brilliant smell so far! The bottle may seem small but you don’t need to use much. Alchemy & Ashes recipe is strong. I am finding all I need is 1 maaaaybe 2 pumps. So shake, pump once, Deeeep breath, hold 1, 2, 3, Release, Ahhhhhh! I’m in a garden….a field….I’m goneeeeee….

 

Sanctus Oleum


In this 10 ml glass roller bottle is a witch’s protection oil. It can be used to consecrate items, make protective sigils on doorways & windows, as well as used to anoint yourself during ritual work.

Alchemy & Ashes creates each batch on the New Moon and leaves it to charge until the full moon. It is, also, infused with a piece of black tourmaline for it’s protective energy.

I have never heard of something like this before. It is definitely welcomed new knowledge and a welcomed new tool for my personal witch box. The smell to this oil is heavier than the smudge spray. Thicker somehow, if smells can be thicker. If feels thicker, too. I guess you would want protection to be heavier, your own fortress or armor.

 

Soaps (Free Samples)

Yes, I know you want to eat the picture, bu you can’t, they ARE delicious don’t get me wrong, but they are soaps! The deep brown, marbled soap on the bottom is named ‘Aquitaine’. A mix of lavender, patchouli, & bergamot it reminds me of a cleaner purer version of Bath & Body Works all “natural” line. I may have to change where I purchase my soap from now! The lighter brown, marbled soap on top is named ‘Sweet Alchemy’. It is a blend of almond, cocoa, honey, & oats and I think I may taste this one, it really does smell that good! The third, solid brown bar is named ‘Nimue’ and smells like clean sheets outside drying on a clothesline on a spring day to me. It’s made of lavender, lemon, & Clary sage.

They feel wonderful on the skin. So clean and fresh. They leave you skin soft and smelling as beautiful as the bars.

 

My Overall Opinion…


I have to admit the Witch in me loves the all black theme. Now they did send me a box of many different types of samples to review. I do not think they sell this exact box. But have boxes that sell these items. I can honestly say, though, that Alchemy & Ashes do not hold back and give small sample sizes in their boxes, because they gave me what they put in their boxes. They give you your monies worth. You can smell the quality. Feel it. The Conjure Powders tins are full to bursting, pungent, smell fresh. They explain all in their pamphlet, I love that. They don’t leave you in the dark wondering what to do. The Florida water WORKS. I have yet to try the flying ointment, but the quality is there, and I am waiting to use the Sanctus Oleum for Samhain on my front door. Their sample soaps quality is so amazing you will need more. I can, without a doubt, say this box is WORTH THE WITCH!!!

 

We were blessed to be able to have a little chat with the wonderful Owner & Madame of Alchemy & Ashes Shawnee Kircher!

 

Jennifer Wright: What brought the idea of the mystery box to you?

Shawnee Kircher: We loved the idea of other subscription boxes, and we also liked the idea of getting our products out there to people who may have never used them, or can’t decide which products to start with, so it was a win-win for them and us!

 

JW: How did you begin them?

SK: We realized there was a market for handcrafted ritual products, and felt that our products are a bit different from what we had been seeing. We were tired of seeing the commercially, mass marketed items in a lot of the boxes that lack the spiritual energy that a handcrafted product carries with it. That’s hard to recreate in a factory.

 

JW: How do you choose what you put inside them?

SK: We try to consider the season or sabbat coming up as to what people may be needing at the moment, but also like to have some staple products in there that anyone can use regardless of path or preference.

 

JW: Is yours a recurring monthly box?

SK: We’re aiming for seasonal at the moment. If interest grows, perhaps we will shift to monthly.

 

JW: Are you pagan?

SK: Yes. I use the term Pagan in the sense of a) outside the confines of the Abrahamic religions and b) nature based spiritual path follower. I also use the term Witch, as I am a practitioner of the Craft. I think those two terms can be used separately from each other, as not all Witches are Pagan, and not all Pagans are Witches, but in my practice they go hand in hand. I don’t ascribe to any religious doctrine, though I did find my way to Paganism through Wicca, as it was the most accessible at the time for me, about 20 years ago, and while I’m not an initiate of Wicca nor do I follow any of it’s “rules” (like The Rede), I do think it influenced some of my practice.

 

JW: What types of interests do you have?

SK: I love the dichotomy of beautiful and creepy when they present themselves as one – like in the “modern” vampire stories: Louis in Interview with a Vampire, or the suave and debonair Bela Lugosi – this beautiful creature that is deadly, so that you’re attracted and repulsed at the same time. That touch of “otherness” is very interesting to me in art and life.

 

JW: Did you feel the pagan world was missing something to make you create your Box?

SK: I think Pagans are pretty crafty folks, so I didn’t reinvent the wheel, but I did put my spin and perspective on my ritual products that are included in the boxes. Sanctus Aqueum (“Holy Water”) was based off of a 19th century recipe for Florida Water. I tweaked the traditional ingredients and added my own touch, and its been a great selling product. Sanctus Oleum (“Holy Oil”) is similar in use to Holy Chrism used in the Church, but with herbs associated with protection in various folk magic traditions. Unguentum Sabatti (“Sabbat Ointment”) was formulated with herbs associated with astral projection, necromancy, and visions to enhance your own intuitive abilities in a more gentle manner than many of the traditional flying ointments.

 

JW: Do you have a site and sell other types of products?

SK: You can find many of our handmade items to purchase on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/alchemyashes). Besides our ritual items mentioned above, we also make handcrafted cold process soaps, perfumes (both oil based and alcohol based), lip balms, herbal powdered incense, and amulets.

We don’t currently do direct sales through our website (alchemyandashes.com)

However, you can always email us your order at alchemyandashes@yahoo.com and we can invoice you and you can pay online.

We’d like to thank Shawnee Kircher for taking the time from her busy schedule to speak with us at PaganPagesOrg and everyone at Alchemy & Ashes for everything! We hope our readers get to meet everyone at Alchemy & Ashes soon!

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

The How-To Guide on Washing Your Hair with Natural Ingredients

December, 2017

A Few Words

Tired of all the chemicals beauty products put into your hair? There is an alternative and it may be more beneficial than using store-bought shampoos. If you love your hair, then you should consider switching to using natural ingredients to clean your hair.

Natural ingredients bring with them all the vital nutrients your hair needs to look its best. If your hair looks good, then so do you. You may not be sure that you can use natural ingredients on your hair. That is okay, our guide on how to do wash hair properly with natural ingredients will provide you with the confidence you need to try it yourself.

The Benefits of Using Natural Ingredients

(Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/spices-jar-kitchen-cooking-wooden-2548653/)

Everyone knows what store bought shampoos bring to your hair. Most are great products that contain the vitamins and nutrients your hair needs to shine and look great.

Sadly, most of these products also bring a lot of harsh chemicals that may bring you shiny hair but it will also damage your hair as well. Cleaning your hair with natural ingredients brings all the vitamins, nutrients and other vital natural contributors your hair needs to feel soft, be shiny and look healthy, without the harmful chemicals.

If you add baking soda to your new natural ingredient shampoo you will be able to remove all the dirt, grime and other buildups that comes from using other shampoos and cleaners. But only use baking soda on rare occasions each month. Too much of this natural alternative will also hurt your hair.

Step by Step Guide

Learning how to wash your hair using natural ingredients is quite simple. You do not need an advanced degree in chemistry or be a rocket scientist to mix the new cleaning mixture together and clean your hair.

Here is one simple and easy-to-use method that will change your life and how you will wash your hair in the future.

  1. Gather your ingredients – in this method you will need water, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and a cup.
  2. Add baking soda to water – you will only need to use just enough water in order to make a nice paste and to cover your head.
  3. Massage – you apply this paste to your scalp and roots only. Massage the paste so it covers all of your head and then after a few minutes of massaging let it sit. Make sure you do your temples and the back of your head completely.
  4. Mix the vinegar in water – you will only need approx.. 2 tbsps. of vinegar and between 8-12 ounces of water.
  5. Rinse the baking soda paste – you need to rinse the baking soda and water paste out of your hair before applying the vinegar and water mixture.
  6. Pour the vinegar and water over the ends of your hair and let it sit for roughly one to two minutes then rinse that mixture out as well.

And that is it. We told you it was simple and easy. There are other methods you can use, just click on the word methods to find what those are.

You do not have to worry about a shortage of alternative ways to clean your hair with natural ingredients. There are a variety of recipes that will help you avoid the risk of using too many chemicals.

Shampoo:

  • 2-3 raw eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. of honey (melted)
  • Mix thoroughly

Rinsing mix:

  • 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 liter of water
  • 3 drops of scented essential oil

Of course, the amount of the ingredients will vary depending upon the length of your hair

A Word to the Wise

Don’t believe every word you hear about washing your hair with natural ingredients. Your results will vary and not all natural ingredient shampoos work right away. It may take a few shampoos to see and feel the difference. You may need to customize the amount of ingredients you use to fit your hair quality and make up.

Some Final Words

Switching to natural ingredients may be your ticket to being the envy of all the women you know. You can get that great store-bought shampoo look without hurting your hair with the harsh chemicals they use.

Using natural ingredients is easy and simple. It may even save you money as you possibly have the ingredients in your home right now. One key to having great looking hair is to make sure that you do not wash it every day, even with natural ingredients. One last word you can dry your hair with the best hair dryer in the world but towel or sun drying is best.

 

***

About the Author:

 


Justin Bounds is the main editor at The Barbr – a Hair Care blog dedicated to providing honest advice and trustable information about the topic. He also spent hundreds of hours researching just to find out the most natural ways to take better care of our hair. He is also the author of 12 Bad Habits That Can Lead To Hair Loss. You can also follow him on Twitter to learn more about his work.

Amazing Essential Oils for Beautiful Skin

May, 2017

10 Amazing Essential Oils for Beautiful and Flawless Skin

 

*This article is based on information fount at  https://www.thankyourskin.com/best-essential-oils-for-skin/ using information found at https://www.thankyourskin.com/best-essential-oils-for-skin/  for more information, please visit their site!  

 

Essential oils are helpful in a variety of areas. They can, also, remedy and soothe a variety of skin issues.  Here are 10 amazing essential oils for beautiful and flawless skin.

 

1. Rose

Rose

 

Rose essential oil acts as a natural toner on the skin and evens out texture with continued use.  Rose oil is used as an alternative to lemon, which causes skin sensitivity to light.

 

 

2. Sandalwood

sandlewood

 

A good essential oil to use that will provide your skin with moisture is sandalwood.  It is known to hydrate the skin and treat wrinkles.  It is an oil preferred by aging women.

 

 

3. Coriander

coriander

 

If your concern is blackheads, those stubborn pimples found on and around the nose, try coriander essential oil paired with turmeric power in your skincare regimen.

 

 

4. Carrot Seed

carrotseed

 

Carrot seed is abundant with benefits for your skin.  It acts as a mild sunscreen from UV rays.  It’s rejuvenating effects are great for tired, aging skin.

 

 

5. Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-Ylang Flowers

 

A great oil for any skin type is Ylang-Ylang.  It is known to balance the skin on your face whether it is overly dry or overly oily.  It is, also, known to stimulate hair growth when used on the scalp.

 

 

6. Camomile

chamomile

 

 

Camomile Oil acts as a barrier from infection so it is a great oil to use on treating cuts and wounds.  It, also, helps with the fading of scars and stretch marks.

 

 

7. Jasmine Oil

jasmineoil

 

Jasmine oil is good for those with sensitive skin to use.  Use Jasmine oil with regular body or face lotion for the treatment of dry or patchy skin.  The oil is also used to diminish scarring and stretch marks.

 

 

8. Peppermint

peppermint

 

Peppermint oil is a good oil to have in your medicine bag or cabinet.  It has a cooling effect and is good for clearing up rashes.  It works on chapped skin caused by bug bites, plant allergies, or other irritants with it’s cooling effect.

 

 

 

9. Lemongrass

lemongrass

 

Lemongrass oil is known to add firmness back into your skin.  You can use it to replace toner in your skincare routine.  Use a few drops of lemongrass oil, applied directly to your face, to minimize pores.

 

 

10. Tea Tree

tea tree

 

 

Tea Tree oil is great for drying out blemishes and clearing up acne.  Using a q-tip, directly apply the oil to the affected areas on your face.  With every use of the essential oil the swelling and redness of the acne will decrease.

 

 

 

Other Important Tips

  1. Many essential oils are too concentrated to apply directly to our skin, so try combining your oils with some lotion, water, or a powder to dilute them.
  2. Try combining  a half a teaspoon of olive oil with one drop of essential oil then place this mixture on the inside of your upper arm to test your tolerance to  essential oils as a whole.

 

This article is based on information found at  https://www.thankyourskin.com/best-essential-oils-for-skin/ using information found at https://www.thankyourskin.com/best-essential-oils-for-skin/  for more information, please visit their site!  

 

8 Effective Natural Remedies to Prevent a Cold

December, 2016

cold1

BY

 

If you want to prevent a cold, you’re certainly not alone. Colds slow us down and make it so much harder to enjoy life. The key to feeling better is learning the best cold prevention methods and then using them to safeguard your good health. Today, we’re going to let you know the ins and outs of effective cold prevention.

We’ll share lots of practical tips which will help you to protect yourself from germs. Our comprehensive guide will include cold prevention for all ages, as well as a cold prevention remedies list and some advice on how to avoid colds, to begin with. We’ve put together a really detailed guide which is ideal for anyone who wants to explore preventative tips that work well for many users. We believe in natural remedies for preventing colds, and we are committed to offering tips that really work. First, let’s share some information about the common cold. It’s been plaguing mankind forever, and it is definitely something that most people dread.

What is the Common Cold?

 

cold2

 

 

The common cold is an illness which is triggered by microscopic organisms known as viruses. There are a couple hundred viruses which create cold-like symptoms, and the most common “attacker” is called a Rhinovirus. It triggers ten to forty percent of colds and causes twenty percent of cold cases. A virus known as Coronavirus causes twenty percent of these cases, while a virus known as Syncytial causes five percent and a virus known as Parainfluenza causes five percent of cases.

Cold symptoms run the gamut. Most people experience runny noses or stuffed noses, while others have sore throats and coughs. Some people experience congestion and/or body aches and milder headaches. Sneezing and low-grade fevers are also common. Some people report feelings of malaise while they are coming down with colds or dealing with colds. It’s possible to have just a few symptoms or a lot. Some people have milder colds because they are really strong, while others suffer from due to being a bit weaker. The age of the person may impact how bad a cold is. For example, someone who is elderly may be hit harder by a cold than a younger person would be. There are no set rules. Everyone is different. Just pay attention to your body if you feel unwell and take good care of yourself.

Now that we’ve covered some information about the common cold let’s talk about how to prevent colds in all ages. Kids have a special set of tips, some of which are just fine for the adults, too.

 

Cold Prevention In All Ages Overview

 

cold3

 

 

Kids become ill when they touch things that are contaminated with flu viruses. A lot of household surfaces and objects may carry these types of germs, including the handles of doors, railings for stairs, pencils, remote controls and so on. Usually, viruses which are found on these surfaces will remain alive for a few hours or more, before they die. To protect your kids from colds, make sure that they wash their hands on a regular basis. Hand-washing is a very effective way to kill germs, and you should encourage your children to wash their hands with hot, soapy water on a regular basis, especially after they play.

Also, to protect everyone, parents should keep their kids home if they have colds. This means keeping them home from school and other types of activities. As well, if you have more than one child, be careful to keep your other kids away from him or her while he or she is sick. Kids can still talk, but they shouldn’t share toys or get too close. While it’s often pretty challenging to keep kids separate, it’s worth trying, and we recommend it.

As well, kids should be trained to cover their mouths when they are coughing. Coughing sends cold germs into the air. The simple act of covering one’s mouth helps to keep them from touching other people and then infecting them. You can model this behavior yourself by covering your own mouth when you a cough. You may also want to cover your nose when you sneeze.

Regarding older kids, teens and adults, cold prevention tips vary. All will benefit from using the kid’s tips, though. It’s about frequent hand-washing, trying to avoid touching things which may be contaminated, staying away from people if you’re sick, or they are, and covering your mouth if you cough. Being mindful of these things should really pay off. Since there is no “cold shot,” like there is a flu shot, Prevention is really key. While you may not prevent every cold, you may avoid a lot of them if you’re careful.

Now, there are some natural supplements which people utilize quite a bit, and some get good results. As with most natural supplements, results will vary. Everyone is different, and everyone reacts to supplements in their own way. We find that these supplements get the best ratings from consumers and they definitely provide preventative benefits to a lot of people. The key to making the most of our tips is trial and error. You may need to try a few tips to find what is right for you. Use one of a few of these tips in order to stay well. You probably won’t have to use all of them. You will be able to order all of these supplements online.

Cold Prevention Remedies List

 

cold4

 

 

 

Zinc is one time-honoured cold remedy. This metal is one of the trace elements that we need to stay healthy. A lot of people have success preventing and/or treating colds with zinc supplements. They reduce symptoms of the rhinovirus. However, the reasons why improvements in these areas occur are unknown. It’s possible that zinc is antiviral and therefore inhibits the growth of viruses, such as cold viruses. If you’re interested in preventing or treating a cold, seventy-milligrams per day should work well. That recommended dosage is for adults. If you want to give zinc to kids, follow instructions on the package, as brands vary regarding their strength i.e. some milligrams in each dose.

Chicken soup is a folk remedy for colds, and there’s some scientific basis for its popularity as a cold remedy. A New York Times report indicates that this tasty and comforting soup stop neutrophils from moving. These are white blood cells which protect us from infections. The inhibition of these types of cells may reduce the symptoms of upper respiratory colds.

 

cold5

 

 

 

Echinacea is a popular way to prevent colds. Those who believe in the power of this supplement think that it dramatically lessens the duration of colds and may help to prevent them as well. This herbal remedy is widely available, and it’s considered to be pretty safe. Take it as directed, as milligrams per tablet or capsule will vary. You’ll find it almost everywhere these days. While some medical experts dispute its effectiveness, others definitely think it’s worth taking.

Garlic is available in grocery stores and in supplement form. It’s a potent germ-killer, and it’s known as “nature’s antibiotic.” If you want to use garlic, add it to food, eat it raw or take capsules or tablets. Some forms of garlic supplements are odour-free. Taking away the odor typically doesn’t change the performance, so you’re safe going for those supplements as well.

Ginseng is a Chinese supplement which is naturally-derived, and it’s renowned for its ability to boost immune system function and support general good health. Natural Ginseng capsules and tablets should be available lots of different places online. As well, you’ll find them at stores which sell Chinese herbs and medicines. Take ginseng as directed to boost your chances of staying well.

Vitamin C is an absolute powerhouse regarding its ability to promote better immune system function. Some people take a lot of vitamin C during the cold-weather months. They know that it helps them to stay well. However, to be on safe side, grab some chewable vitamin C or other types of vitamin C tablets and then take them according to the instructions on the bottle. The chewable ones taste great and may be easier to give to kids. Make sure that the supplements that you choose are safe for kids before you give them to your children. Recommended dosages will usually vary based on body weight.

Hopefully, this guide to the best supplements for preventing a cold will help you to protect your health. However, colds usually last only five days, so you should be able to make the best of things until you feel better. Now, let’s talk about the best ways to make a cold a bit more comfortable…

How to Take Care of Yourself

 

cold6

 

 

 

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we get colds. This means that supplements, keeping our hands washed and so on doesn’t always work. Germs do have a way of getting in,and when they do, we need to face the facts and then take care of ourselves. Our best advice is to take it easy on yourself if you can. This means choosing to stay in and rest as much as you can. While a lot of us decide to soldier on by going to work and doing everything that we usually do, it’s not the best way to get better. You’re putting more stress on yourself and stress makes everything worse.

So, rest if you can. It’s also really important to get as many fluids as possible. Drinking pure water is great, such as bottled water or spring water. Hot herbal teas and fruit juice in moderate quantities should be good choices, too. Keeping your body hydrated will help you to feel better, faster. As well, you should consider eating a nice, clean diet. Put the junk food away, even if you crave it or want it because it’s easy. Go for fresh, healthy and unprocessed foods which are good for your body. If you don’t feel as hungry as you usually are, don’t worry too much. Just try to eat three smaller meals each day.

If you need to be out and about, give some thought to taking care of yourself on the go. Bundle up if it’s cold, bring a water bottle along and have some medicine on hand.

While natural remedies are great and often work very well, it’s sometimes convenient to have medicine around in case you need it. A lot of people use natural remedies to prevent colds and then take non-natural cold medication if they do happen to get sick once in a while. There are so many cold remedies out there. Most are pretty safe when taken as directed. Bear in mind that over-the-counter remedies do sometimes cause side effects. Some may make people jittery, for example. Everyone reacts in their own way.

Also, try not to exert yourself too much when you need to go out. Take transit or drive, rather than pounding the pavement. While a little exercise is good at this time, too much can be a bit draining. You need to conserve your energy.

If you can rest at home and get better, without needing to worry about work and errands, take some time to binge-watch Netflix or read a novel. With hot tea and some Kleenex at the ready, as well as natural remedies and/or over-the-counter medication, you’ll be able to make it through a cold with a high degree of comfort. Just baby yourself. Don’t be afraid to let other people help you if they ask to. It’s your time to be taken care of. However, our natural remedies will be great choices for self-care. While this article is focused on prevention, you should know that many of the supplements that we talked about are also great for treatment purposes. Vitamin C and Ginseng are two examples.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to prevent a cold and to take better care of yourself.

 

As seen on https://www.positivehealthwellness.com at https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/pain-relief/8-effective-natural-remedies-prevent-cold/

BY

Book Review: The Yoga Back Book by Stella Weller

October, 2016

THE YOGA BACK BOOK BY STELLA WELLER

A Book Review

the-yoga-back-book

The sub-title to this book is “the natural solution to freedom from pain”. Since almost everyone has suffered from back pain at one time or another, not to mention those who suffer from daily, chronic back pain, this book could be a lifesaver, if used correctly. Ms. Weller’s background is as both a registered nurse and a yoga therapist, so her information comes from both a yogic and medical path.

The book is extremely informative. It not only describes the exercises, it includes photos of each one, plus its’ variation, if there is one. (Note: Making adjustments is very important when doing any type of exercise program, yoga included, as not every body can accomplish every movement.)

In and around the exercise section, Ms. Weller talks about warming up beforehand, and cooling down afterward.

She explains how each part of the back functions, along with the function of anything connected to keeping the back strong, i.e. leg muscles, abdominals, connective tissue, ligaments. If you are someone who enjoys learning about how your body works, then the anatomy portions of the book will please you. If, on the other hand, you just want to get straight to the exercises, you can do that as well.

She discusses the best way to sit, stand, lie down, bend, etc. for those with bad backs, as well as for those who just want to keep their backs in good working order.

She discusses the best diet for a healthy back including low-fat, low-protein, cutting down on caffeine and drinking plenty of water. While she suggests building your meals around fruits and vegetables, I was surprised to see that she does not recommend a vegetarian and/or vegan diet, as most yoga practitioners and teachers would.

I was very pleased to see that she has included a section on relaxation methods, including meditation and breathwork. In other areas of the book, she does recommend focusing on your breath while doing the exercises, key in most yoga exercises. This portion of the book includes advice on how to get the best night’s sleep and how to decrease stress, both of which can add to the pain in your back. She goes on to discuss other ways of alleviating your pain, such as medication, TENS units, and massage. There are several pages which include advice for before, during and after pregnancy.

As a long time yoga practitioner and teacher, as well as someone who has suffered chronic back pain for many, many years, I would recommend this book, with the understanding that there are many who will skip over the medical explanations and just begin the exercises.

Disclaimer: Please speak to your doctor before starting any exercise program, which would include those discussed in this book. The review and recommendation of this book is the author’s only; neither she nor Pagan Pages accepts any responsibility for any injury occurring while using this book.

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