July, 2012

Merry Meet

July, 2012

Welcome Readers

 

This issue of PaganPages is brought to you by our own Etsy Shop this month.   Come have a look and help support your favorite Emagazine!

 

We have all your Lughnasadh correspondences

Book Review: Casting Sacred Space

and Much, Much More…

Stay cool….and, as always, HAPPY READING!!

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Lughnasadh

July, 2012

(Loo-nas-ah) Major Sabbat (High Holiday) – Fire Festival August 1, 2

Other Names: Lunasa (meaning August), Lughnasaad, Lughnasa Celtic),First Harvest, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas, Feast of Bread, Tailltean Games(Irish), Teltain Cornucopia (Strega), Ceresalia (Ancient Roman) Harvest Home, Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas (Christian). Laa Luanys, Elembious, Festival of Green Corn (Native American)

Animals and Mythical beings: Griffins, Basilisks, Roosters, Calves, Centaurs, Phoenix

Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamonds, citrine

Incense and Oils: wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood

Colors: red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray

Tools, Symbols, and Decorations: corn, cornucopias, red, yellow flowers, sheaves of grain (wheat, barley, oats), first fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, spear, cauldron, sickle, scythe, threshing tools, sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, bilberries, God figures made of bread or cookie dough, phallic symbols

Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh&’s wife & queen ), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman grain goddess .. honored at Ceresalia), the Barley Mother, Seelu (Cherokee), Corn Mother, Isis (Her birthday is celebrated about this time), Luna (Roman Moon Goddess), other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess

Gods: Lugh (Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan), John Barley Corn, Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), Dagon (Phoenician Grain God), Tammuz/ Dummuzi (Sumerian), Dionysus, plus all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed
blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods & Tanus (Gaulish Thunder God), Taranis (Romano-Celtic Thunder God), Tina, (Etruscan-Thunder God), the waning God

Essence: fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty , The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)

Meaning: Lugh’s wedding to Mother Earth, Birth of Lugh; Death of Lugh, Celtic Grain Festival

Purpose: Honoring the parent Deities, first harvest festival, first fruits grains & drink to the Goddess in appreciation of Her bounty, offering loaves of sacred bread in the form of the God (this is where the Gingerbread Man originated)

Rituals and Magicks: astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started

Customs and Activities: games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing ’round a corn mother (doll)

Foods: loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer

Herbs: grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat, myrtle

Element: Fire

Gender: Female

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Book Review: Casting Sacred Space

July, 2012

Casting Sacred Space

  by  Ivo Dominguez, Jr.        

© 2011  Weiser Books  

ISBN:  978-1-57863-499-6

207 pages                   

Paperback       $17.95 (U.S.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivo starts this book by letting the reader know exactly what he what he means by the term “casting”  It is seemingly small things like that which mark the professional.  Different people may have differing interpretations, but by setting out his definitions he removes ambiguity.

 

How many ways can you think of to create sacred space.  Did you immediately think of a Circle?  Why?  Why not a triangle or a vortex?  You may find a need to confront your own preconceptions as you work your way through this book.  Make no mistake about it – this a book to be used, not simply read.

 

Without a doubt many, might consider this a beginner’s book.  The author spends the first half of the book clarifying terms and concepts before moving into actual rituals and techniques.  These clarification, however, venture far beyond those normally encountered in “101” books.  There are insights which may surprise many experienced magickal workers.

 

The author has interspersed numerous diagrams, charts, and drawings throughout to help with clear understanding of various concepts.  They are simple and easily understood.

 

I am NOT going into a lot of detail in this review.  It isn’t really possible to capture the essence of the work laid out herein, and any attempt to do so would not be terribly beneficial.  Suffice it to say that, after 4 decades of on again/off again magickal work, I found myself learning a lot, and considering more.

 

The appendices provide “snapshots” of some of the more important concepts as well as the rituals and techniques which are encountered in the man body of this work.  It would be possible to simply work from the appendices, but you would be depriving yourself of a wealth of information.

 

No quibbling – if you wish to expand your magickal workings you will want this book on your shelf (or better yet, on your altar).

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Plastic Paths: The Astral Travel Chronicles

July, 2012

Sleep Paralysis

 

“The only way out is to go back in.”

                Most travelers will agree that the most disconcerting part of astral traveling is sleep paralysis. More than disconcerting really, it can be down right torture, or at least that’s how it feels when one is wide awake  inside of a body that refuses every command: eyes won’t open, arms and legs won’t move, and a voice that won’t scream.

Sleep paralysis is often more than just waking up to discover you can’t move. Many people have reported feeling sensations and hearing voices, and feeling someone else in the room when they should be alone.

My first experience with sleep paralysis happened about fifteen years ago, when I lived alone in a studio apartment.  I woke up and was unable to open my eyes, and I remember that there was several seconds where I tried to convince myself that I was dreaming, except that I could feel the sheets beneath me and the covers over me, and could smell the scent of my apartment. Every sense told me I was awake. It wasn’t until I heard the doorknob jingle. Someone was trying to get in! My fear escalated as I struggled against an invisible force and tried to get away from whatever was trying to get through the door.

My panic was borderline madness when I heard the door open and I sensed three beings walk in, exactly how one feels a person enter a room even though they are asleep. I was somehow convinced that the beings were alien, and knew they were aware that I was awake. They walked around my couch-bed, and one ran his hand along side my body and I felt the covers move with the motion of the hand. They all hovered around and over me, tormenting and torturing me, seemingly getting joy out of knowing I couldn’t run, fight back, or scream for help, no matter how hard I tried.

I don’t recall how it ended or when they left. All I remember was the sheer terror and complete helplessness.

Others, of course, have experienced similar circumstances. One lady told me that while she was sleeping she heard someone enter the bedroom    . She could hear her spouse snoring next to her and when she tried to reach for his hand to try and wake the spouse up is when she realized she was paralyzed. This woman vividly remembers hearing the stranger walk closer and closer to the bed, and remembers hearing him breathe.  She told me she could smell his soap as he leaned in closer, hovering over her body, and she remembers how desperate she was to scream.

This woman told me that she, too, can’t recall how it all ended, but believed that she must have fallen back to sleep.

I’ve often theorized that the only way out is to go back in, meaning that in the most extreme terror we have to fall asleep to escape. Easier said than done, yes? Unlocking the body is no easy feat.

During one astral travel, I was sitting on the couch, eyes closed, astral form roaming freely. I remember what my astral self was doing and then I remember what my conscious mind was doing—struggling with the body to react, to wake up. Such duality is not easy to explain and, so far, is hell to go through. The TV was on and playing an early morning talk show. This irritated my conscious mind to an extreme degree and it begged to walk up. The timeline was repeating itself and my conscious mind was angered by having to hear the same news stories and same celebrity tales more than once. I remember that my astral form was experiencing a different reality and was calm, centered, and understanding while my conscious mind was agitated at having to relive the same timeline again.

Scientists have speculated that alien abduction stories are nothing more than sleep paralysis stories—people suffering hallucinations during a completely natural/physical reaction. As a person who believes in alien life interacting with terrestrial life, I can’t agree that such cases can be so easily explained. As a person who has experienced unexplainable phenomena during the horror of sleep paralysis, I believe that anyone who experiences such things for themselves will be hard-pressed to find a scientific answer. However, as a person who that one should never awesome the ultimate answer has been found and one should always keep searching to answers, then the physical reaction, AKA scientific explanation, seems reasonable.

What is the final answer? Beats me, but after years of experiencing in dealing with sleep paralysis I’ve learned that one way of freeing oneself from this terror is to relax. Stop fighting against the paralyses, and release the struggle, because once we surrender the fight, the body seems to unlock. Many have reported falling asleep before being able to move again.

Surrendering to terror and relaxing while striving through panic is not something I suggest lightly. If sleep paralysis is something you have experienced before please share what it was like for you. We can all learn from each other and grow from the experiences of others, taking comfort in knowing we are not alone.

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Spiritual Restrictions

July, 2012

The idea of paying for your actions in reward or punishment are conveyed in concepts of all systems,

whether barbaric or civilized; there has to be a sense of a moral system involved for some mental

discipline of consequences. The ideas of consequences spiritually are viewed in the Buddhist version of

Karma, Egyptian Alchemy with the Emerald tablets “As above, so below”, Kabbalistic concepts of

“Kether in in the Malkuth”, the Wiccan threefold, Christianity version of this is in the concept of

judgment after death, and the old term “you reap what you so”. So the idea of accepting responsibility

is in all religions and cultures, not only found in the Left Handed Path. When you as an individual hit

someone, the odds are you will be hit right back; therefore you have reaped what you have sowed.

 

The dangerous aspect of applying moral laws to spirituality to describe the consequences in a

metaphysical is a form of mind control of something that will transcend beyond the physical, mind

control is therefore a defamation of free will and chaining down the mind to spiritual decision in

dogma. One should have to naturally know the cause and affect without the spiritual. The mainstream

religions like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religion place a claim on this basic

life lesson and label it to patent the idea. How many times have people claimed they are better people

because a religious idea of cause and affect because their holy text told them to be that way? When one

applies spirituality to install a moral system of good or bad it is no more then brainwashing. If one

relies on a religious or faith based excuse for an action, it demonstrates either fear from the universe or

exaltation of the universe.

 

The idea of cause and effect is physical, not spiritual. The individual who does not use spirituality as a

crutch to their actions is doing it based on common sense. Common sense says, “If I were to play with

fire I am going to be burnt”, if we need spirituality for that there is something lacking. How many

people made the claim it was religion or the spiritual that makes them a better person. I do not like the

religious terms like karma because it came from a religious community to make spirituality as a crutch

to make a decision, not common sense.

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Song of the Ancients

July, 2012

Using the Wind in Your Magical Practice

 

For most of us, calling upon the Elemental Spirits during our workings and rituals is as natural and normal as breathing. We do it routinely and after awhile, it becomes rote; something we do without even thinking. There is an aspect of crafting however, that is often ignored and to be honest, that most people don’t even know about; that missing link is working with the Wind and with the directions from which it comes for maximum magical effect.

 

Harnessing and using the power of the Wind is an ancient art. As any sailor knows, working with the Wind allows your vessel to move faster, with less friction and wear and tear on the boat. It makes the journey more pleasurable and productive. We can use this same analogy with our magical workings. Whatever our intent, if we align ourselves with the correct direction of the Wind, it will help to strengthen and solidify our working.

 

North Wind: The Wind of Death, abandonment, elimination and banishment. This Wind lacks moisture, and is cold, blowing through with vengeance. The element is the Earth and the colour is black. Use for workings where you need separation, closure or finality.

 

West Wind: The Wind of Gentleness, fertile, kind and open. This Wind is moist and provides a fertile background for workings of love and fertility. The element for this Wind is water and the colour is blue. Use for cleansing, purity, romance and familial concerns.

 

South Wind: The Wind of Power. This Wind is hot and dry. Its element is Fire and its colour is red. Harness this Wind for workings where you need strength, endurance and vitality or to remove fear and anxiety. Use for initiative, passion and perseverance.

 

East Wind: The Wind of Light. This Wind brings clarity and brightness, perfect for new beginnings and changes. Great for use in career plans, employment or for help with muddled finances. Its element is air and its colour is white. Use for intellectual concerns, communication, changes.

 

Use a wind sock to determine the direction from which the Wind blows. Check your local weather forecasts to see when the Wind will be favourable for your working and plan accordingly. Most of us do this with the waxing or waning Sister, so it isn’t cumbersome. Remember that timing our workings in sympathy with Nature isn’t mandatory, but it does help to focus our intent and provides a strong, sympathetic background.

 

Reference: Medici, Marina. Good Magic. New York: Simon and Schuster, Fireside Publications, 1988.

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Meditation Moment

July, 2012

When the economy isn’t the greatest, jobs are harder both to find and to hold on to, and we’re living in a culture of limitation and fear, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of hoarding.  Even if we are very frugal and careful about what we bring into our homes, we may have a difficult time of letting go of things that no longer serve us.  We may have a hard time spending our hard-earned money, which means that our money can’t serve us either.  Sometimes, because we’re stressed out, we revert to old patterns of behavior and old ways of thinking, which brings up old pains and fears we thought we’d dealt with already.

In America, July means fireworks and barbecues, celebrating our nation’s independence from the British Empire.  Independence on an individual level is also important to us.  This is a month to liberate ourselves from the chains of our past, and from our fears concerning the future.

This month’s meditation will help us feel safe enough to let go of the baggage that holds us back and weighs us down.

To begin, take twenty two deep breaths, or as many as it takes for you to relax.  Inhale “I am peaceful,” and exhale “I release.”  While you inhale, thinking “I am peaceful,” imagine that you are pulling into your body a soothing light that fills up every cell, calming and relaxing you.  While you exhale, imagine all the fear, tension, anger, doubts, and stress gathers into a dark ball of heaviness that you push out with your breath as you think the words, “I release.”

In your mind’s eye, imagine you are in a single room.  Everything you own is in the room with you.  All your clothes, books, movies, appliances, electronics, games, office supplies, food, all your garbage that you have not yet released, and every cent you currently claim all sits in piles around you and beneath you.  The room really isn’t big enough to hold all this stuff.  In fact, it’s so full, there’s not much room for air.

You need air more than you need stuff.  Air is peace.  Air is clarity.  The more air you have in your room, the more room you have to move around in, to stretch your stiff limbs.  You need space to rearrange the most important things, and to inspire you with ideas for a better, more fulfilled life.

Let’s look around for ways you can make space.

Wow, look at all that food!  How much food do you need to keep in your kitchen?  Enough to feed yourself and your family for a week or two.  How many weeks could you feed yourself and your family with the amount of food in your kitchen right now?  Let’s toss out the food that’s already gone bad.  Let’s donate the food you don’t even like or rarely eat.  Challenge yourself to put off grocery shopping as long as you can by getting creative with the food that you’ve stored up.

There’s a little more breathing room in here.

Look at another pile, and think about how you can make it smaller.  For every item in your room, ask yourself if you need it more than you need the space it’s taking up.  Ask each item if it belongs to you or if it needs you to bless someone else with it.

Open the door to your room and push out all but your very favorite and most needed belongings.  Arrange those belongings in a way that pleases you.  This room is the altar of your life.  Your belongings are both decorations and tools.  Make this space sacred and peaceful.  Take a good look around at what really matters to you.  Breathe in this peace, and when you are ready, open your eyes and look around your home for the baggage you are ready to release.  Repeat this meditation daily if you need to to help you make space in your life for what matters most to you.

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The Mugwort Chronicles

July, 2012

Lungwort and the Doctrine of Signatures

Several weekends ago our apprenticeship class from the Arctos School ofherbal and Botanical Studies went on an awesome hike to check out a young forest near the Clackamas River in Oregon. The area had been logged about fifty years earlier, and the Douglas Firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) were slowly making a comeback. What I found most exciting was that the trees were COVERED with an abundance of Lungwort-Lobaria pulmonaria.

 

There are many plants with which I enjoy a deep relationship; however, Lungwort is definitely one that joyfully and powerfully sings to my heart. There is just something about the vibrancy of its nearly iridescent green colour, its substantial, fleshy structure and textured shape which makes Lobaria Pulmonaria appear magical to me, as if it was truly breathing.

 

It is important to make the distinction that this Lungwort is Lobaria pulmonaria- the lichen (also known as Sticta pulmonaria in older texts), and NOT the Lungwort Pulmonaria officinalis- the herbaceous perennial of the Boraginaceae family. Although they have similar uses medicinally, they belong to two entirely different plant kingdoms.

 

The lichen Lungwort is also known by several other common names including Longwort Moss and Lungmoss, emphasizing the importance of always including the taxonomic name when discussing plants. Not only does this avoid confusion, but it just may prevent a serious error in plant medicine use, as well.

 

 

Lichens are unique organisms- a partnership between fungus and alga, enabling it to live in situations where neither fungus nor alga alone could exist. The fungus protects the more delicate alga from drying out and the alga provides nutrients to the fungus through photosynthesis. Many lichens contain green algae, but Lungwort also contains a nitrogen-fixing cyanbacterium, a blue-green alga. Often found on the bark of trees, when Lungworts are blown down during storms, they decompose on the forest floor, enriching the soil with nitrogen.

 

Lungwort can be found in North America, Europe and Asia. Highly sensitive to pollution, L pulmonaria numbers have declined in many parts of the world and are considered endangered in some areas of Europe. Here in our humid Pacific Northwest forests, Lungwort can often be seen in large numbers, especially in areas of older growth.

 

When wet, Lungwort’s top surface is bright green with a smooth cream coloured underside. Its pliable, almost rubbery ridged and pitted lobes appear similar to lung tissue.  When moisture is unavailable, Lungwort will look pale and brittle, becoming dormant via a process known as poikilohydry. When rains return, the renewed moisture allows Lungwort to begin photosynthesizing once more.

 

 

L Pulmonaria has long been used to treat respiratory conditions including bronchitis, chronic asthma, croup and pertussis (Whooping Cough). The dried frond is usually made into either an infusion or a tincture and is often combined with other respiratory herbs.  Lungwort’s action is considered antimicrobial and expectorant (Tilgner).  It has also been used to make dyes and as a replacement for Hops (Humulus lupulus) to flavor beer.

 

It is Lungwort’s similarity in appearance to lung tissue which may have led to its discovery for treating respiratory ailments. According to the doctrine of signatures, the usefulness of plants for treating specific conditions could be determined based on certain characteristics of the plant such as leaf shape, colour as well as resemblance to body parts.  For example, St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) was considered useful for treating skin problems as the holes in the leaves resembled pores in the skin. Although popularized in Europe during the 1500’s, the theory of signatures has much earlier beginnings.

 

In ancient China, plant colour and flavor helped to determine which organs would benefit from certain plants. For example, plants which were red and bitter were considered useful for treating the heart, while plants that were green and sour were good for the liver.

 

The basic concept of signatures can be found in the writings of the Roman physician Galen (129 AD- circa 200 AD). Philippus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), a German-Swiss physician better known as Paracelsus, further developed the doctrine of signatures, helping to popularize it within Renaissance Europe’s medical community.

 

In the first half of the 1600’s, a German shoemaker name Jakob Böhme had a mystical vision in which a divine relationship between plants and healing was revealed to him based on the color of the flowers, the shape of the leaves and where the plants grew. In 1621, Böhme wrote of his revelations in “Signatura Rerum; The Signature of all Things”.

 

The theory of signatures continued through the works of Nicholas Culpepper, William Cole in 1657 (“Adam in Eden”) and into the twentieth century in Ben Charles Harris’s book, “The Complete herbal” (1972).

 

Undoubtedly, signatures played an important role throughout time in learning and remembering plant medicine associations. As a method for determining medicinal use of plants, the doctrine of signatures is often considered nothing more than coincidental by today’s scientific community. However the theory’s influence can still be found in contemporary plant therapies such as the Bach flower remedies.

 

 

I am fascinated how the signatures really do seem to relate to Lungwort’s healing properties. Not only do the structures of this wonderful lichen look like lung tissue, but the lush forest in which it grows encourages deep healing breaths.

 

As an herbalist, I would love to make medicine from L pulmonaria, the lichen which calls so strongly to me. However, there are more readily available plants that work quite well for any respiratory problems that I encounter, many growing right in my own herb garden. I prefer to leave this lovely jewel to work its healing magic where it proliferates: in our sacred forests.

 

This information is offered for educational purposes and is not intended to take the place of personalized medical care from a trained healthcare professional. The reader assumes all risk when utilizing the above information.

 

~Louise~

Copyright© 2012 Louise Harmon

All Rights Reserved

References

Bergner, P. (2001). Respiratory-acute and chronic case studies. Medical herbalism   

        2(6):1, 4-5. Retrieved from

http://medherb.com/Therapeutics/Respiratory_-_Acute_and_Chronic_Case_Studies.htm

Accessed 9 June 2012

 

Gibson, A. Doctrine of signatures. Retrieved from           http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Doctrine/i  ndex.html

Accessed 9 June 2012

Lepp, H. (2011). Lichens and people. Retrieved from

http://www.anbg.gov.au/lichen/lichens-people.html

Accessed 6 June 2012

 

Tilgner, S. (1999). Materia medica. Retrieved from

http://www.herbaltransitions.com/materiamedica/Sticta.htm

Accessed 9 June 2012

 

US Forest Service. Celebrating wildflowers: lichens. Retrieved from

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/interesting/lichens/habitat.shtml

Accessed 9 June 2012

 

Wikipedia. Doctrine of signatures. Retrieved from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_signatures#External_links

Accessed 9 June 2012

 

Wikipedia. Lobaria pulmonaria. Retrieved from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobaria_pulmonaria

Accessed 7 June 2012

 

Wood, M. (2011). The doctrine of signatures. Retrieved from

http://www.naturasophia.com/Signatures.html

Accessed 11 June 2012

 

For more information regarding workshops or the apprenticeship program at Arctos School of herbal and Botanical Studies located in Portland, Oregon, please visit their site:

 

http://arctosschool.org/arctosschoolapprenticeship.htm

 

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Lavender’s Corner

July, 2012

Let’s look at some carriers you can massage with or add to holistic products. Do remember that allergic reactions can occur, even with base/carrier oils, so if you have allergies be aware of this before use. If a reaction occurs, remove the oil immediately~ a bath or quick scrub shower will help. If your worried about allergic reactions from oil use, try using a neutral oil that you shouldn’t have a reaction to-Sunflower, Evening primrose, or Grapeseed oil.  If you have an allergy to flowers, you should be o.k. to use flowered oils, however test a little on the skin if unsure. If it burns or itches, then remove the oil with soap and warm water. I have hayfever and can use flower oils, but everybody is different-keep this in mind when studying essential and carrier oils.

 

You may have a few of these carrier oils in your kitchen cupboard already ~

 

Sweet almond oil- avoid this if you have a nut allergy!

Helps; soreness, itching, dryness, swellings, inflammation, wrinkled and dry hands, reduces cholesterol, and soothes sunburns.

Blends with; grapeseed, jojoba, sunflower.

Best for; children and babies.

Colour; pale gold-yellow to colourless.

Magic; Artemis, Chandra, Cybele, Hecate, Zeus, Ptah and Rhea.

 

Grapeseed oil- avoid on sensitive skin, eczema and psoriasis!

Helps; moisturises skin, assists in skin repair, skin nourishing.

Blends with; any other carrier; when you add this carrier oil to another, it helps to boost grapeseed’s nutrients.

Best for; most skin types. Body massages. This oil is thin and so only a little is needed to go a long way.

Colour; pale green to greenish yellow.

Magic; Dionysus/ Bacchus, Hathor, Iznagi.

 

Olive Oil- avoid this if you have a nut allergy!

Helps; ulcers, gastritis, soothes stomach, nourishes the skin, dry skin, dry nails, dry hair, gives shine to hair, helps to condition hair, reduces scars, acne, said to give a glow to the skin, hair growth, digestion, weight loss, heals bruises, fights bacteria and infection.

Blends with; with sweet almond, it’s said to prevent wrinkles.

Best for; all skin types.

Colour; pale yellow- yellowish green.

Magic; Athena, Aphrodite.

 

Avocado oil- avoid this if you have a nut allergy!

Helps; relieves dryness, scars, blemishes, itching, eczema, psoriasis, dehydrated skin, nourishing. Protects the skin and hair against harmful UV rays. Can improve crow’s feet, dark circles and mature skin types.

Blends with; almond, coconut grapeseed oil.

Best for; mature skin types and facial blends.

Colour; refined; colourless- a slight greenish yellow, unrefined; dark green.

Magic; Earth deities; Gaia, Pan, Herne etc.

 

Jojoba oil-avoid this if you have a nut allergy!

Helps; dry, thick and brittle hair, all skin types; including acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema, red, dry and mature skin types,

Blends with; evening primrose, grapeseed or sweet almond oil.

Best for; face blends, penetrates skin easily.

Colour; pale to golden yellow, can appear orange in colour.

Magic; Earth, fruit, plant, growth, healing deities.

 

Evening primrose oil

Helps; pmt, pms [pain], psoriasis, acne, eczema, dermatitis, nourishes sensitive skin, bruises, wound healing, itching, sore throats, rheumatoid arthritis, weight loss, menopausal symptoms, breast pain, nourishing for skin.

Blends with; sweet almond, sunflower, grapeseed and wheatgerm oil.

Best for; an excellent moisturiser.

Colour; pale-light yellow.

Magic; Flora, the fae, Nut, Diana.

 

Wheatgerm oil- not to be used on children or if you have a wheat allergy!

Helps; dry skin, scar tissue and burns, aging skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, tired muscles, mature skin types.

Blends with; too sticky to use alone; add to sweet almond, sunflower, or grapeseed.

Best for; can be added to other carrier oils to prolong their shelf life.

Colour; yellow to orange.

Magic; Demeter, Persephone, The Empress Tarot card.

 

Calendula oil [Marigold]

Helps; sore, chapped, inflamed and itchy skin, burns, eczema, nappy rash, varicose veins [with gentle massage], aids tissue regeneration, helps broken capillaries, stops bleeding, soothes pain.

Blends with; sweet almond, grapeseed or wheatgerm oil.

Best for; sore, dry skin.

Colour; yellow-dark yellow/golden orange.

Magic; All Indian Gods and Goddesses; wreaths of the flowers used to be placed outside Indian temples. Also all Sun deities.

 

Coconut oil-avoid this if you have a nut allergy!

Helps; damaged and sensitive skin types, protects the skin, softens the skin, strengthens the immune system, weight loss, stress, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, flaky skin, gives shine to hair, dandruff, prevention of lice.

Blends with; grapeseed, avocado, or sunflower oil.

Best for; longest shelf life of all vegetable oils. All skin types.

Colour; clear-white.

Magic; Shiva, Osiris, Sri, Isis, Aset, Asar.

 

Small carrier oil project

Place some coconut oil in a small cup or clean drinking bottle lid. Get a cotton swab and place it into the oil. Massage the oil with the swab onto your cuticles. This oil is fabulous for nourishing them. J

 

Bergamot essential oil [Also known as orange mint.]

Citrus bergamia.

Associated with; Mercury, Hermes, Fortuna.

 

Bergamot essential oil is now used in confectionary and in Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas. Used extensively for decades, in Italy it is now becoming a new favourite. The fruit form of Bergamot oil looks like a lime or a Lemon, yet smells different. You can get Bergamot trees, as a great holistic addition to your garden. They begin green and ripen to a yellow colour, so they appear as smaller lemons. Among it’s other attributes, Bergamot is also an antiseptic. So it can make a good addition to a self made compress. It also makes a great deodorant and perfume. You can use it in an oil burner to uplift the spirits and disperse bad odours.

 

correspondences of Bergamot;

Type of Oil~ Top.

Planet~ Sun.

Element~ Fire.

Deity~ Fortuna.

Chakra~ The 3rd chakra. The solar plexus; to improve on confidence and courage. Also the heart Chakra; compassion, unconditional love and empathy.

Archangel~ Gabriel, Uriel, Hngel, Sandalphon, Jophiel, Zechiel.

Planetary angel~ Gabriel.

Metal~ Gold/Iron.

Tarot cards~ The Sun.

Symbols~ The wheel, the flame, candles, fire, yellow lion, coiled serpent.

Crystals~ Citrine, Amethyst and Rose Quartz/malachite.

Colours~ Green.

Star sign/s~ Leo, Aries, Sagittarius.

Physical uses~ mouth infections, cold sores, sore throats, colds, nasal decongestion, acne, eczema, boils, loss of appetite, flatulence, anorexia,  nervousness and PMS.

Other uses~ Opens hearts that have been closed by grief or other pain, encourages healing, peace, shyness, S.A.D, fear, helps depression, feelings of happiness, peaceful sleep, soothes nerves, brings courage. Also relieves tension and stress.

Rituals~ money, hex-breaking and protection.

Other names~ Orange mint, bee balm, horsemint.

Parts used~ expression of the fruit and rind of the fruit.

Blends with~ Basil, Clary sage, Chamomile, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Orange, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Neroli, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang.

Precautions~ Phototoxic. Can irritate sensitive skin types.

 

This month’s blend

 

Bergamot foot massage oil. Some people hate the idea of touching feet, and some even hate the idea of massaging their own. But believe me; it can work wonders, even if your unsure of what your doing at first. This makes a great blend to try, it nourishes the skin and uplifts the spirits to encourage, and inspire. Massage in circular motions and when you get bored doing these try small strokes.

 

Carrier/ Base~ 20ml Olive oil

Bergamot oil~ x5 drops

Lavender oil~ x2 drops

 

Mix them together in a small jar or pot. Swirl them about a little. Clean your feet, before you begin. If you have any skin or nail disorders or deep cuts and your worried, you can wear plastic gloves. Or apply a plaster to the area. Then massage the feet, let them be free of socks and for a while. Feel good about yourself! Take some time to remember your achievements, even doing this is massage is one J Then you can either wash them, or put them back in socks and shoes. You can dab your feet with a towel. It is considered more beneficial for over-all health [to gain the properties of the oils] if you keep them on the skin for at least 24 hours after massage.

 

Happy massaging!

 

Bergamot is classed as a phototoxic oil. Meaning it should be avoided to be on the skin in long periods of sunlight and UV lighting.  You will find this with mainly, many Citrus oils. You shouldn’t bathe in this oil, then go out into the sun; burning can occur to your skin. Avoid this oil in Pregnancy. The safest way to use oils in pregnancy is with an oil burner through smell. There are some you should never use in pregnancy; do research or if very unsure avoid all oils…it will be safer that way!

 

Along with Lavender, Bergamot is extensively used in toiletries. It also forms the fragrance of eau-de-cologne.

 

The name Bergamot is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy where the oil was first sold. Like other herbs and oils, it has become more wide-spread today.

 

You can add Bergamot to unscented hand wash or a bland hand cream. For a more robust, masculine scent try blending Bergamot, Black pepper and Sandalwood~ at around 2 drops each. For a more feminine scent try blending Bergamot, Geranium and Jasmine together~ at around 2 drops each. If you dislike floral scents try Bergamot x4 drops, Nutmeg x2 drops and Black pepper x1 drop. You may want to just try blending Bergamot, Orange and Lavender for a fruity-subtle scent~ at around 2 drops each.

 

Blessed be,

Thanks for reading.

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Across the Great Divide

July, 2012

 “Hocus Pocus for Profit”

Businesses featured on paranormal television shows are attempting to milk their 15 minutes of fame long after the cameras have left the building.

I get that- to a degree.

They’re in business to make money; but they do so by making a mockery out of the science of paranormal research with deceptive business practices.

These businesses aren’t interested in the science behind the paranormal activity- whether it’s fact or fake; and they’re using shows like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State to get advertising for their struggling business, then cashing in on that by playing up the results of those investigations by making it into a tourist attraction.

Followers of Ghost Hunters remember well the “Moss Beach Distillery” incident. For those that don’t, let me bring you up to speed.

The Moss Beach Distillery has been reportedly haunted for decades. Some very well-known and well-respected parapsychology professionals, such as Loyd Auerbach, have conducted methodical scientific investigations there with some interesting results; some of those investigations have been written about in the world’s leading parapsychology research journals.

The restaurant made a tourist attraction out of that history; and has since installed gadgets to “enhance visitors’ experiences.” Okay let’s be fair, we all know that you can rarely set paranormal phenomenon by a watch. Patrons will want to come because of the chance of being spooked, but that isn’t going to happen to everyone all the time; so they installed speakers in the bathroom and several other parlor tricks in and around the restaurant to both excite and humor their customers.

The members of TAPS had a fit when, in the course of their investigation, they discovered the gadgets. They weren’t on, but there is a point to be made that it could have tainted evidence had they been on; in the case of EMF, the mere presence of the speakers could have influenced readings whether on or off.

Here’s where the politics of “reality” television come into play.

The members of TAPS made public statements asserting that they never knew the ‘parlor tricks’ were installed, but there is documented evidence that indicates that the producers of Ghost Hunters were specifically informed by Loyd Auerbach, and several others, during background checks on the distillery that the gadgets were present. The show’s producers never told the members of TAPS about it, assumingly, so as to make compelling television.

There you have it, then. Ghost Hunters gets ratings for the SyFy channel and the Moss Beach Distillery gets some national advertising. Everybody wins, right?

Well, that is everybody but the scientific community and the public who were deceived by the incident.

A little over a year ago I was asked if I would be interested in getting a group of friends together to go on a haunted tour and ghost hunt at Waverly Hills. It was going to be a fun and unique memory for someone’s 30th birthday. Sure, the idea intrigued me, but there was a catch. To keep the cost down, we would need a group of at least 10 people paying $100 each.

So, let me see if I have this straight. Waverly Hills (a dilapidated and abandoned mental asylum) gets the fame of being proclaimed haunted by the pseudo-celebrity folks over at Ghost Hunters; now the property owners are cashing in on that notoriety by charging $1000 to take groups of tourists on a thrill ride by letting them conduct a 5-hour ghost hunt. This is, on its face, nothing more than a glorified- and ridiculously expensive- Halloween-style haunted house attraction.

The basic format of haunted tours impacts any “investigation” conducted at such an event.

Let’s also be honest. The intent of some tourists won’t always be mature or even scientifically-themed; the mental state of those conducting the investigation will impact any results collected. I’d be willing to wager that a group of high school or college students won’t have serious science on their mind. EVP sessions will also, undoubtedly, be filled with a lot of OMGs and excited shrieks over every gust of wind.

If paranormal phenomena are caused by, or derived from, the energy created at the time of an emotionally-charged event, then having large groups of people constantly imprinting their own energy over that being investigated will affect not only that session but the following ones as well. This is a serious risk in any investigation, no matter where or how small.

The chance for tainted empirical evidence goes up with the size of a tour group in comparison to the size of the building being investigated. If you have ten or more people walking around a building the chance for the noises caused by those members, the flashes from their cameras, and the various effects that their other equipment may provide can seriously raise questions as to the validity of any data collected.

There’s also another parallel trend I’ve been meaning to address. That of some ghost hunting groups having exclusive contracts with reportedly haunted locations.

Here in the Detroit area, we have a very posh restaurant known as The Whitney; it is also known for being haunted.

I had contacted their management at one time to request an investigation by my group, the Deep Forest Paranormal Society. I was well received by the person I spoke to, but a short time later I was emailed by another person stating that an investigation would not be possible because The Whitney had an exclusive contract with another Detroit-based paranormal group and that they were the only organization allowed to investigate at that location. This supposedly scientific research group also regularly hosts haunted tours for profit benefiting both the restaurant and the ghost hunters.

Any evidence that this group presents from this point forward would be highly suspect because no one else can come in to refute or confirm the findings.

DFPS is not-for-profit, and will always be so. Science is not for profit. Any group that charges to do an investigation is not a scientific organization; they’re money-hungry glory hounds. So does any group that maintains an exclusivity clause with a location. This smacks in the face of one hundred years of diligent research by academics and real scientists. This group isn’t in it for the science, they’re in it for the fame.

Another local spot is Camp Ticonderoga, an historical home in the city of Troy with a checkered past turned into a restaurant. The location is reportedly haunted by a spirit named Hannah- a fact that is proudly extorted on the restaurant’s website. However, good luck landing an investigation there.

I tried, as did a few other ghost hunting groups, to come in and investigate to confirm the findings. My requests were treated nonchalantly until they weren’t answered at all.

The restaurant wants to claim paranormal activity, but not allow independent groups in to investigate to confirm that.

This type of business practice is steadily becoming the norm, and it really frosts my cookies.

You can’t have a monopoly on knowledge. To deny the objectivity and fresh perspective that can come from different research styles is just bad science.

Something seems fishy, and I don’t mean the menu.

 

 

© 2012 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

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