Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed.
The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight.
~The New Orleans Mistic
Dark Moon — Time to Rest
New Moon — Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon — Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon — Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon — Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon — Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon — Time to Rest Again
Light A Candle Today!
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.
Goddess Month of Month of Rosea begins 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Calendar: Duir (Oak) June 10 to July 7
New Moon Magick
Goddess Aspect: Maiden
Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona
Magickal Attributes: Invoking. Workings On This Day Are For Starting New Ventures, New Beginnings, Love, Romance, Health Or Job Hunting.
New Moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three-
and-a-half days after. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new
beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting.
Honoring the Goddess Every Day at GoddessSchool.com
So mote it be!!
Each And Every Day A Feast Day!
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The Goddess School Grimoire
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The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women
GrannyMoon is Founder and Mother High Priestess of GoddessSchool, Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Living in the Washington, DC suburbs, she attended LDS Seminary, Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity, since 1999. She is a current board member of the Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, charter member and former counsel and board member of The Order of the White Moon. A scholar of ancient mysteries, Doula, Reiki Master, Herbalist and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. and former VA State Representative A.R.E.N. Alternative Religions Educational Network. She has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of the Esoteric.
Face to Face classes at Sticks and Stones – 11037 Lee Highway · Fairfax, VA
On the last Saturday of the month I host the Most Excellent Order of the Black Hat – open to all – a group of solitaires who celebrate the Wheel of the Year. 7:00 – 9:00PM
GrannyMoon’s Herbal Witches Cauldron – Every last Saturday of each month. Explore a new herb or two and work on a hands-on project with us. 4-6PM
Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center
11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343
Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!
GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Moon Day Hail Luna! Hail Mani! Energy: Female Ruler: The Moon Magicks involving the subconscious, healing, emotions, love, spirituality, healing wounds, children, small animals, women’s mysteries,mothers, sisters, female partners, wives, instincts
Today’s Magickal Influences: Agriculture, Domestic, Long Life, Medicine,
Travels, Visions, Theft
Today’s Goddesses: Luna, Selene, Diana, Re, Gaeleach, Ida, Artemis [Whom The
Greeks Associated With Bast], The Witches, Yemaya, Erzulie, Bast
Perfumes: White Poppy, White Rose, Wallflower
Monday – Wear pearl, moonstone, or crystal. Use an emerald for amulets.
Color of The Day: Silver, Grey, White
Colors for Tomorrow: Red
Cooking on Monday will improve magics for creativity, insight, maternal
nature, and Goddess-related efforts. ~Quote from Magickal Martha
Hail Tyr! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Tyr’s or Tiu’s Day! Day of Mars, Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (from whom it is named), Tuisco,. Magickal influences are: Passion, courage, aggression and protection, vitality, passion, ambition and raw, unabashed power. Mars energy makes the mind acute.It is lucky to meet a left-handed person on any day except Tuesday – then it’s an ill omen. A superstition from areas of England that were ruled by the Danelaw, because the day is named for Norse God Týr who sacrificed his right hand to bind the Fenris Wolf. #FolkloreThursday
Tuesday – Wear a ruby, star sapphire, or emerald. Use topaz for amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Destination, War, Courage, Surgery, Physical Strength
Be cautious-especially while traveling.
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Soorejnaree, Pingalla, Anna, Aine, Danu,
Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman
Perfumes: Hellebore, Carnation, Patchouli
Incense: Lignum Aloes, Plantain
Color of The Day: Red
Colors for Tomorrow: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Tuesday Is The Lucky Day For Aries
On Tuesday, cooking up a hearty meal featuring carrots, peppers, and garlic (all Mars foods and spices) to empower yourself for victory and success!
Hail Odin! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Woden’s or Odin’s Day!
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick
involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions,
communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression,
artists, poets, and writers
Wednesday – Wear amethyst, star ruby, or lodestone. Use turquoise in amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing,Eloquence
Incense: Cinnamon, Cinquefoil
Perfumes: Sweetpea, Lavender, Mastic, Frankincense, Cloves
Color of The Day: Yellow, Grey
Colors for Tomorrow: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini And Virgo
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya,
Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Hathor
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day Hail Thor!
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting attracting more of what you have.
Thor’s Day – Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Candle: Purple, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Green, Light Blue
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
Hail Freya! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Freya’s Day!
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the
heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s
problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve
Friday – Cast love spells on Fridays. Wear blue robes and use turquoise, ruby, emerald or cat’s eye.
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection,
Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus,
Freya, Frigg, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense: Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day: Light Blue, Pale Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Saint Jegudiel represents Friday
Hail Loki! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Saturn and Loki’s Day!
Day of Seatere, Seater, and Saturn and of Loki, the Norse god of tricks and
revelry. Saturday is ruled by Saturn, whose Magickal influences are:
longevity, endings, and homes. Saturday comes under the influence of Saturn.
Saturn’s influence directs our attention toward routine chores, customs, and
conventional traditions. Saturday is a good day for furthering our ambitions
through perseverance, patience, responsible action, and a sense of purpose .
Saturday – Wear turquoise, labradorite, or diamond. Use amethyst.
Saturday is a good day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving
spirit communication, meditation, psychic self-defense, binding, and
locating lost things or missing persons.
Today’s Goddesses: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin,
Asherah, Anath, The Shekinah, The Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua,
Today’s Magickal Influences: Duties, Responsibilities, Finding Families,
Works Of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines
Today’s Energies: Female – Rules obstacles, overcoming blockages – Use for
magick involving overcoming limitations, the elderly, endings, deaths,
blocks, constrictions, and those restricting you.
Incense: Pepperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone,
Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy
Color of The Day: Black
Colors for Tomorrow: Orange, Gold and Yellow
Lucky Sign: Saturday Is The Lucky Day For Capricorn And Aquarius
Hail Sunna and Sol! GrannyMoon Says Today is: Sun Day!
Ruler: The Sun
Rule health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power,
leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands
Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonne, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna,
Sunday’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity
Incense: Dragons Blood
Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk, Myrrh
Sunday – wear topaz, sunstone, or diamond. Use pearl in crafting talismans.
Color of The Day: Orange, Gold
Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White
Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo
Llewellyn Daily Spells
July 01, 2019 by Deborah Blake
With the warmer weather come fireflies, also called lightning bugs because of the way they flash on and off. There is something truly magical about standing outside in the dark, warm night and watching these tiny beetles sending secret messages to each other. They might almost be fire elementals, summer heat made manifest.
If you are lucky enough to have fireflies where you live, you can try making a wish on a firefly, sending your own message out into the universe. If not, try watching a video of them online and then visualizing them outside your window. Say:
light up the night.
Take with you my wish and
bless it with light”
Bewitching Iced Tea
June 30, 2019 by Najah Lightfoot
Melissa officinalis, otherwise known as lemon balm, is a calmative herb. It soothes digestion and reduces anxiety, which is great for relieving stress on a hot summer day. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, so if you plant it, it may try to take over your garden!
To make bewitching iced tea, combine one teaspoon dried lemon balm per cup of water in a Mason jar. Place a lid on the jar and shake. Set the jar outside on a sunny morning and say:
“Lemon balm, green and strong,
stir this spell all day long.
Before the sun, high and bright, relieve
my thirst when day turns to night.”
In the evening, strain the tea and pour into glasses filled with ice. If you like your iced tea sweet, add honey. If you’re feeling frisky, add a splash of whiskey to the mixture. Sit back, sip, and enjoy!
June 29, 2019 by Devin Hunter
When I’m feeling a bit gray, I cast this spell to fill myself with inspiration and a sense of purpose. In a fire-safe dish, form a square with salt in the center. Then take four yellow candles and dress them with lemon essential oil. Affix them, one each, to the corners of the square. Light the candles and say:
“This box I’m in is not for me,
This spell I cast to set me free.
What evades shall come to light;
I break the bounds with all my might.”
Now, with your index finger, break the four lines of salt that form the square and say:
“Inspiration from on high,
The gift of daemon from the sky.
Muses, spirits, be here now,
A fertile mind for you to plough!”
Let the candles burn out and then safely dispose of the remnants.
A Binding Love Spell
June 28, 2019 by James Kambos
This spell/ritual may be used as part of a wedding, a handfasting, or a commitment ceremony. You could also use it as a private romantic rite. You’ll need a field where tall grasses and wildflowers are growing, as well as some jute garden twine and a pair of scissors or a ritual knife.
In the field, the couple should each cut a handful of grasses and twist them together to form a braid. Then they should tie the braided grasses together in the center with the twine. As they both hold the tied grasses, they should say:
“These grasses, which are tied and bound,
Unite us forever from toe to crown.
We are bound hand to hand, heart to heart.
United, we shall never part.”
End by leaving the bundle of grass in the field. It should be allowed to return to the soil from where it came, and again be united with Mother Earth.
Communicate with a Salamander
June 27, 2019 by Storm Faerywolf
This spell will assist you in contacting a salamander: a fire elemental. Typically, these beings provide energy, help break down boundaries, and sharpen one’s will. Invoke them when you need focus.
For this spell you will need some resin incense (I prefer black copal), a charcoal-safe incense burner, and some charcoal.
Light the charcoal. Ground and center. Face the south, or the direction your tradition associates with the fire element. Enter a trance and sprinkle some of the resin on the coal, watching the smoke rise. Call to the salamanders- the conscious beings of fire- to appear in the smoke before you:
“Creatures of the very fire,
Reveal here to me your form.”
Look into the smoke with the Witch’s eye: your inner sight. Allow the salamanders to reveal themselves to you. Once they have, you may commune with them as you wish.
Protective Bug Repellent
June 26, 2019 by Kate Freuler
Oh no, it’s mosquito season! There are many natural ways to ward off these little bloodsuckers besides using chemical-laden commercial repellents. Many herbs that ward off mosquitoes also, coincidentally, possess protective qualities, according to folklore. This herb bundle is a mild mosquito repellent and a protection spell all in one.
Before going out hiking or camping, gather a bundle of some or all of these pest-resistant herbs: citronella leaves, marigold flowers, lemon balm, catnip, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, or basil.
Tie the herb bundle with a white thread. Wipe the fragrant bouquet of herbs all over your skin and clothing so that the herbal scent is all over you. As you do so, visualize white light everywhere that it touches you until you are completely surrounded in protective energy. Guard yourself against mosquitoes and the negative energy of unhappy campers all at once.
The card drawn for this week is the Four of Swords
This week it may be important to take a “time-out” from your current circumstances. In order to move forward, rest and relaxation is essential. This is a good time for meditation and contemplation. This is especially true if recent times or events have been challenging. You don’t need to keep pushing through and further depleting your energy. Yes, there is more work to be done. But rest assured, you will return to the challenge reinvigorated once you take the time to replenish your strength.
Ask the Tarot: “What do I need to contemplate this week?”
New Moon Setting Intentions Guide
by Rubys Readings
There’s a New Moon occurring soon, which makes this the best time of the Lunar Month to set some powerful intentions. These Wish Lists or Intentions can be about your future goals. Learning how to work with the cycles of the Moon can be a life-changing experience.
During a New Moon cycle, we should be asking the Universe for new beginnings, by planting seeds of intention from our heart and getting in touch with our higher-self. It’s a good time to be grateful for what we have, so we can work on manifesting what energy we want to come into our lives next. We can create whatever it is we desire, such as a better life, more money, happiness, or even love! It really doesn’t matter, but we have to take an action, both, physically and spiritually, together, to make it really happen and stick! And no, not everything you want is going to just magically appear. But you will more than likely get put on the path towards your wishes, even if you don’t realize it and that sometimes take time, so be patient. But it’s nice to know at least we are headed in the right direction.
Also, just sometimes when you Set Intentions with the New Moon energy amazing things happen and you get what you want very quickly!
At least by “Setting Intentions” with the energy of the New Moon, you’ve made it clear to the Universe what path you’d like to begin heading down and that’s a start. Then the energies will begin to line up to get you there, and if you continue to stay persistent and connected, and keep doing this work it truly can change your life circumstances for the better. I am like those old commercials, I don’t just talk about it, I have lived it! LOL! And this work, just works! It’s that simple.
The intentions that are set during a New Moon will set you on the right path towards your desires. The New Moon is a magical time of New Beginnings when you can recharge your goals with new energy. During the New Moon, we often experience some sort of major “energy shift.”
Here are some ideas on just how to Manifest under a New Moon:
1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.
2. Share your Intentions with someone in a supportive way, who will be encouraging.
3. Do something to demonstrate your commitment to your intention. For example, taking even a small action around what it is your asking to create! Send an email, move something in your house, or make a phone call perhaps.
4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would, and then take the next step.
So have a conversation with the Universe (meaning your higher power, God, Source Energy, higher-self, Guides, Angels, etc), and work with the New Moons energy to help illuminate the path that will lead you toward your deepest desires. Simply ask to be led to what you’re choosing to manifest. Remember to be patient and simply allow the time needed, things don’t always happen right away, as we can get taken down certain paths to find our way to what it is we’re looking for. And sometimes magic just happens, you just never know!
What if you don’t know how to “Set Intentions” under the New Moon?
Follow the Steps below to learn how:
Step One: Clear Your Sacred Space
Clear the energy of the area or room you’re using to do any New Moon work. Think about where you are going to do this work, because we create an energy vortex wherever we sit or sleep. This is mainly why you feel so good in your favorite chair, because it’s comfortable and feels safe and secure, but also because you have created an energy vortex in that spot or space.
You are simply calling in some positive energy to work with. Burn some Sage or Incense and clear the energies! Maybe say a blessing or a special prayer that helps you feel cleared and protected. Next, close your eyes and breathe deeply and call upon your Guides, Angels, or higher power and ask to have your sacred space cleared, and then to fill up the special space you are working in with the energy of light, love, and protection. Never leave energy empty, always fill it with something once you’ve cleared it. Never leave a VOID when working with energy.
Step Two: Set the atmosphere
Set the mood for your New Moon Ritual and burn some special incense, light some candles (colors of candles do have different energies and meanings), and play some music that helps you feel spirituality connected. This can be a very different experience for everyone, just make sure to use whatever colors, music, and tools that make you feel calm, centered, and peaceful.
Step Three: Setting Intentions
You’re going to need a notebook, paper, or a journal and something to write with.
Now write what energy you’d like the Universe to bring in. Simply write your deepest desires, wishes, and questions. Think about what energy you’re trying to manifest or create. Write a letter, like as if you are talking to an old friend. Think about what energy you’re trying to bring into your life, and be detailed about what you want to see happen next in your life, and what energies you’re willing to work with.
As you’re doing this work and Setting your Intentions, here are some helpful questions you can think about. For example; ask for what you’re choosing or what changes you would like to see in your life? What are you or should you be calling in? How do you feel about what is happening in your life now? What do you want to change and create?
Think about your long-term goals and future. Be careful about focusing too much on the how, why, and when’s around how you will get what you want! Instead, focus more on what it is you are choosing and how you want to FEEL. See the end result! Only see the ultimate ending and again what it feels like when you receive what it is you are choosing! What you see in your mind’s eye, so don’t focus on how you get it, or the hurdles you have to jump, or sacrifices you may have to make. Just allow the Universe to shoulder the burden for you once you have requested what you want and let them take care of the rest. Have some faith in something. Rule # One is always energy follows thought, it will come to you in one way or another, or you’ll be put at least on a path towards your goals.
Step Four: Visualize
It’s time to visualize what you have written. Close your eyes and take some long deep breaths, so in your nose and out your mouth. Repeat this about 4 or 5 times. See the energy of your heart center, that’s in the middle of your chest, not over your pumping heart but your spiritual heart or commonly referred to as the “Heart Chakra.” Visualize yourself in what you are actually trying to create or manifest. For example: see yourself living in that new home, falling in love with that Soul-Mate, or driving that new car. Just don’t think it folks, make sure and FEEL IT, as if you were really experiencing what you’re visualizing!
Allow the Universe to show you which paths to follow over the next month, and look for any signs or symbols that will help you along your journey, so you may bring in what you truly desire and let go of what you don’t want! Don’t forget to show gratitude in some way and tell the Universe or Moon thank you in advance.
You also might gain some clarity around something or someone that is not serving your higher good, and they actually could be blocking you from your desires. So, in other words, pay attention after you’re done doing this work so you can clearly understand what the Universe is trying to show you!
Have a blessed New Moon and good luck. ~Ruby
Heartwings Love Notes 886 The Hand of Time
Heartwings says, “Sooner than later, everything is touched by the hand of time.”
I looked at the single metal hour hand on the table in front of me. Stephen and I had been playing with an old clock in an effort to get it to work. However, once the hands have loosened from the mechanism that counts off the minutes, even if it ticks, the clock is effectively broken. We had removed the back and kept the face to use for an art project. Gazing at the pointed hour hand I wished I could think of a way to put it to use. Finally I gave it to Stephen, thinking he might be able to make use of it in a collage.
Time is strangely elastic. It can stretch or shrink to suit how I am feeling. When I’m impatient, time seems to pass ever so much more slowly than when I am not thinking about time at all, but fully engaged in what I am doing. I remember once playing music with a friend during our lunch hour and when I looked at the clock I was amazed. It seemed we had entered a timelessness that stretched on and on, yet in real time we had been playing music for only half an hour.
The older I get the more conscious I am of the passage of time. Perhaps that is because there is less and less of it left to me with each passing year. Although almost nobody know their expiration date, we all know that there is a limit to the time we have left, regardless how long or how short. I do not feel anxious or fearful about my personal duration; it’s just that I wish to make the best use of whatever time remains to me. Most have heard about one’s so-called bucket list. I gave that up a while ago. I content myself with making the most of every day I have. That gives me a better focus.
It’s odd how we speak of spending time. Minutes and hours are not real like dollars and cents. Yet often we treat time as though it was tangible–to be stored up or spent or hoarded or wasted. I remember my delight as a child at the thought of having a whole afternoon to do what I liked. Now I am grateful to have an hour or two to do something meaningless as opposed to productive. Sometimes I feel I am stealing time from what I ought to be doing. Then I remind myself that it is my time to do with as I wish, and I am a not a human doing but a human being.
May you find the hand of time resting lightly upon you.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PS How do you feel about time? Is it your friend or your foe? Write and tell me, I love to hear from my readers. I’ll be sure to respond as soon as I can.
Worth The Time
By Madisyn Taylor
It is when our lives are full and busy that we need our daily meditation to help center us for the day.
Ironically, when we get busy, the first thing that tends to get cut back is our meditation practice. We have less time and a lot on our plates, so it makes sense that this happens, but in the end it doesn’t really help us. Most of us know from experience that we function much better when we give ourselves time each day to sit in silence. And the more we have to do, the more we need that solitary, quiet time for the day ahead. As a result, while it may sound counterintuitive, it is during busy times that we most need to spend more time in meditation rather than less. By being quiet and listening to the universe, we will be given what we need to get through our day.
Expanding our morning meditation by just 10 minutes can make a big difference, as can the addition of short meditations into our daily schedule. The truth is, no matter how busy we are, unless we are in the midst of a crisis we always have five or 10 minutes to spare. The key is convincing ourselves that spending that time in meditation is the most fruitful choice. We could be getting our dishes done or heading into work earlier instead, so it’s important that we come to value the importance of meditation in the context of all the other things competing for attention in our lives. All we have to do to discover whether it works to meditate more when we are busy is to try it.
We can start by creating more time in the morning, either by getting up earlier or by preparing breakfast the night before and using the extra time for meditation. We can also add short meditation breaks into our schedule, from five minutes before or after lunch to a meditation at night before we go to sleep. When we come from a place of centered calm, we are more effective in handling our busy schedules and more able to keep it all in perspective. If more time in meditation means less time feeling anxious, panicky, and overwhelmed, then it’s certainly worth the extra time.
Summer Wellbeing: Summer, The Season of Becoming
by Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs
Summer has arrived, filled with a joyful abundance of all the sweetest of things. It makes me want to run barefoot and wild, as I listen to the sounds of the forest: the chirping birds and crickets, the rush of leaves when a gentle breeze comes to play. I fill my lungs as long and as wide as I can, dancing upon the warm winds of this season of flourishing.
Here we are met with the season of being alive — of letting go of all fears. Of letting the sun heal us with her gentle glow: restoring our hopes and our dreams. By now we are full-grown, in full bloom, but are also all still children with dirty feet and sparkling eyes. Summer is the season of starlight, of hikes through the forest, of a mountain lake, swims, bursts of laughter, long books of poetry, long days by the sea. For after seasons of waiting, and seasons of wandering, summer is the season of becoming.
Skin-Soothing Aloe Mix
Lavender essential oil and aloe vera are two easy to use home remedies that offer healing benefits for minor burns and skin irritation. With summer comes more time spent outside, and the risks of sunburn and skin irritation increase. Whether your skin is tingling from the kiss of the sun or feeling irritated from environmental or other causes, lavender essential oil, and aloe vera are two rock star remedies that are my personal go-to’s to make sure I find quick relief.
Lavender is a beautiful plant, and I love using the essential oil for many purposes. Science confirms that the topical application of lavender essential oil decreases the effects of burns and irritation by increasing collagen production, as well as accelerating the healing process. Lavender has been used throughout history for this purpose, and today, you can easily find the essential oil in stores or online to keep in your medicine cabinet. Blending this essential oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or adding a few drops to a spray bottle containing one ounce each of water and vodka are great ways to apply this remedy directly onto the skin.
My other favorite remedy for burns and skin irritation, Aloe Vera, can be used directly from the potted plant. Keeping an aloe plant nearby provides a quick solution when someone touches a hot pan or has a rash. Break off a small leaf and apply some of the clear, cool, soothing gel directly onto your skin; as it absorbs, you will feel relief immediately. If you do not have an aloe plant, you can find aloe vera in stores as well. When shopping, make sure the product you choose contains a high percentage of aloe to ensure you are getting the benefits. With these two home remedies, you should be all set for a summer filled with fun in the sun and outdoors!
Herbal First Aid for Summer
As a kid, I spent my summers running around outside, and I always encouraged my children to do the same. Now that they’re grown, I’m rarely indoors this time of year—you’ll find me in my garden, tending the chickens, walking the dogs, riding horses, and generally immersing myself in the beauty of the season. Unfortunately, summer adventures sometimes lead to not-so-fun stuff like bug bites and stings as well as scrapes, scratches, and bumps. That’s why I like to make sure my medicine cabinet is always stocked with homemade healing remedies. Here are some of my favorite recipes that you can use to create your own herbal first aid kit.
T’s Wound Salve
This salve has been a mainstay in my home for decades. Minor wounds heal faster and with less scarring.
10 grams goldenseal root or barberry root bark
10 grams calendula flowers
5 grams yarrow flowering tops
5 grams echinacea root
240 milliliters olive, grapeseed, or sunflower seed oil (carrier oil)
Grind your herbs, put them into a glass jar, and add the carrier oil. Let it steep for 2 to 4 weeks. Strain, retain the oil and compost the herbs.
Here’s a little variation on the salve that features raw honey.
2 ounces grated beeswax
4 ounces of raw honey
50 drops of tea tree oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
Put the strained oil in a double boiler and slowly add grated beeswax, while gently stirring. Check and adjust for consistency. Remove from the heat. As it begins to harden, stir with an electric handheld blender until it is smooth. Let it cool for another 5 minutes, blending periodically. Then add your raw honey, vitamin E oil, and tea tree oil and continue mixing for an additional minute. Pour into salve containers and store in a dark, cool place.
How to Use: This salve is amazing for any kind of minor cut, scrape, or burn. It is an all-purpose healing first aid salve.
This should be a first aid remedy in all households. We use a lot of arnica tincture on the ranch. It can be mixed with clay for bug bites or used as a compress for strains and sprains. I even rub it on my mare’s tendons after a long ride. Remember to keep it out of reach of children! Some folks can be sensitive to arnica when applied topically—discontinue if it causes a rash.
25 grams Arnica montana flowers
125 milliliters menstruum, 40 to 50 percent alcohol
Grind arnica flowers to a coarse powder and put them in a widemouthed jar. Add vodka. Stir to make sure that the spoon moves freely. If necessary, add another 25 milliliters of vodka. Put a lid on tightly and shake daily for 2 to 4 weeks. Strain the contents of the jar through a muslin cloth. Store the liquid in a dark glass bottle. Label: EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Compost the remaining herb.
How to Use: Put 30 milliliters of tincture in 300 milliliters of water and apply as a compress to sprains, strains, painful spider bites, or any acute injury where there are pain and swelling. It should not be used on open wounds, however, as it is only for topical use. Or you can use directly on a small insect bite.
I have used this Clay Paste so many times; it is amazingly fast and powerful for reducing pain and swelling from stings and bites.
2 tablespoons bentonite or French green clay
5 drops lavender essential oil
½ teaspoon arnica tincture
3 tablespoons water
Mix the arnica tincture, lavender essential oil, and water. Add slowly to the clay to make a paste. The clay helps draw out the venom from the sting and gets rid of the itch. The lavender essential oil and arnica dramatically relieve the swelling and pain.
How to Use: Apply the paste to the affected area. Cover it with plastic wrap or gauze for 30 minutes. Repeat this in 4 to 6 hours if needed.
If you think you have been exposed to an irritant like poison ivy, I suggest using a vinegar wash to remove as much of the irritant as possible. Apple cider vinegar is a versatile, neutralizing agent. Some recommend using it undiluted, but I’ve found it can be irritating to skin that is already red and inflamed.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups of water
Mix both ingredients together.
How to Use: Rinse the area with the vinegar wash to remove as much of the irritant as possible. Let your skin dry.
By using just two common ingredients in your kitchen, you can provide your family with an amazing anti-itch remedy. Use it in the tub to soothe mosquito bites or poison ivy, or make it into a paste and apply to a bad bug bite. Totally safe and effective!
4 cups oatmeal, powdered
½ cup baking soda or cornstarch
Grind the oatmeal into as fine a powder as you can in a blender or electric coffee grinder. Pour the powder into a jar and add baking soda or cornstarch. Mix well. Put on a lid, label, and store in a dark cupboard.
How to Use: This mixture can be made into a paste and applied topically or added to a bath for itch relief. For more nasty rashes, like poison ivy/ oak/ sumac, I recommend adding a couple tablespoons cool water to ½ cup Oatmeal Relief to make a paste. Spread a thin coat over the affected area, cover it with plastic wrap or a towel, and let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes. (You don’t need the plastic wrap; it just keeps the poultice from falling off and making a mess!) Rinse off the paste with cool or tepid water. Hot water will make you itch. Repeat as often as necessary to relieve itching and inflammation. For a bath, mix 1 cup Oatmeal Relief into your bathwater. Make sure the bath is warm, not hot. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
Note: For those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, oatmeal can be safely used on the skin.
Natural Beauty from the Garden
In addition to nourishing and healing our bodies, plants also provide us with a bounty of ingredients for enhancing our natural beauty. This time of year, I like to combine herbs picked fresh from my garden with essential oils to create my own skin care products. Since everything we put on our bodies is absorbed through our largest organ, the skin, when possible and within reason, I try to avoid preservative-laden products with synthetic ingredients in favor of simple preparations. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.
Calendula Body Oil
I grow calendula in my garden for the beauty of its warm orange blossoms and also because it’s my go-to herb for soothing skin. I like to massage a thin layer of this oil into my skin after bathing to seal in moisture. Gentle enough for babies, it can also be a useful part of any herbal first aid kit—simply dab the oil on the cuts, bites, and other skin irritations that often accompany a season well spent outdoors.
Calendula flowers, dried or freshly dried
Organic sunflower seed oil (carrier oil)
Fill a jar 2/3 full with calendula flowers and cover with sunflower seed oil. Seal jar with a tight-fitting lid and let steep in a warm place for 2-4 weeks. Strain, bottle, and store the oil in a cool, dark place. If you’d like (and you’re not using the oil on a baby), you can add your favorite essential oil—use 2-3 drops per ounce of strained calendula oil.
Lavender Honey Yogurt Mask
I love using lavender-infused honey to treat minor skin troubles, and it also makes a wonderfully soothing facial mask when combined with probiotic-rich yogurt. To make the honey, stir 1/4 cup of dried lavender flowers into a cup of honey, place in a jar, put on a tight-fitting lid, steep for 2-4 weeks, strain and store in a clean jar. Smooth this mask on right out of the refrigerator to cool sunburned skin, or simply apply any time you’re in the mood for some easy-yet-luxurious self-care. You’ll be amazed by how radiant your face looks after you rinse the mask away.
6 tablespoons probiotic-rich whole milk yogurt
6 tablespoons lavender honey
Mix ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, noting the yogurt’s expiration date. To use, remove about 2 tablespoons from the container and apply to a clean face. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse and apply moisturizer.
Rose and Coconut Body Scrub
I adapted this recipe from Herbal Goddess by Amy Jirsa. I like it because it uses sugar, which is less abrasive than salt, as an exfoliant. And it smells divine! While this scrub is great in the shower as a total body treatment, it also works well to clean and soften hands worn weary after a long day in the garden.
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup organic cane sugar (brown or white)
1/2 cup dried rose petals
3 drops rose essential oil
Mix the oil, sugar, and rose petals in a bowl, adding additional oil or sugar as needed to reach your preferred consistency. Add the essential oil, blend, and transfer mixture to an airtight container. To use, scoop a fingerful and rub over damp skin.
Green Clay Mask
I always keep some green clay around the house because it doubles as a great skincare mask and also an invaluable first aid remedy. French green clay is wonderful for those who struggle with oily skin and/or blemishes and it can also be used to soothe bug bites.
2 Tbsp French green clay
1-2 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
1 drop lavender or tea tree essential oil
Mix clay and aloe vera gel in a small bowl. Add aloe vera gel to reach desired consistency. Add one drop of lavender or tea tree essential oil and blend well. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off. Repeat once weekly for radiant skin.
The Story of Carmelite Water
Long ago, before the advent of modern distillation and mass production, herbal formulations were passed down from each generation to the next, typically by the matriarchs of households, the original do-it-yourselfers. Their recipes, then known as receipts, were written down in household herbals, which also served as early cookbooks. Many of these elixirs and tonics eventually became what we recognize today as aperitifs and liquors. During the Middle Ages, however, when many regions still endured the suppression of science, these formulas were the first — and often only — line of defense against the most deadly of diseases of the time, namely Black Death (the plague), leprosy, and Saint Anthony’s fire.
In some parts of Europe, particularly in France and Italy, formal medical schools began to spring up by the 12th century. One of the most famous of these was the school of Salerno in southern Italy. Although it may sound like the start of a not-so-politically-correct joke, the school had the unique distinction of being founded by a Christian, an Arab and a Jew, and was also notable because it permitted women to study there. At the same time, monasteries began developing herbal preparations and guarded their secret recipes with as much as care as they did their official gardens from which they harvested their raw materials. Of these “elixir for long life” formulas, the best known are Benedictine liqueur, Chartreuse and Carmelite Water. The last is also associated with a dark tale of conspiracy and the attempted assassination of a French noble, a real life Duke featured in the historical saga of The Three Musketeers.
The Miracle Makers
The tale begins with the Sisters of Carmel, more commonly known as Carmelite nuns of the Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (the Carmelite Order), which represents a group of cloistered Catholic monasteries and nunneries. The order is named for Mount Carmel, the Carmelite’s place of origin in Haifa, Israel, where the prophet and miracle worker Elijah was sent by God to lift the people under King Ahab from corruption. It was here, in the 12th century, that a band of crusaders vowed to become hermits and live a life dedicated to service and prayer in honor of Elijah’s memory and teachings. Over time, these early Carmelites migrated to Europe, with one branch finding its way to Paris, France.
The nuns of the Carmelite Abbey of St Just in France became celebrated for their now famous aqua mirabilis, a “miracle water” that eventually came to be known as Carmelite water and, reputedly, originally created for King Charles V of France circa 1379. With the endorsement of the aging king, the popular miracle water, also known as Eau de Melisse, was carried by ladies of the court and was considered a panacea for a wide variety of complaints. Carmelite water became so popular and was in such demand that another first arose from its production – it was the first bottled formula offered to the public with a protective seal of melted red wax with a raised image of Mount Carmel against the sky. This symbol was later adopted as the official seal of the Carmelite Order and remains so today.
A Tonic Turned Toxic
Gaston Jean Baptiste, the third son of King Henry IV, who later became Le Duc d’Orleans (Duke of Orléans), was a restless and fickle noble. At different times in his life he conspired against his younger brother, King Louis XIII, and his Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu. Gaston shared his contempt for the latter with a poor young lad from Gascony named d’Artagnan, who encountered an older man on his arrival in Paris named Comte de Rochefort, an agent of the Cardinal on a mission to pass information to his spy Lady de Winter. Rochefort insults the young d’Artagnan, who challenges the man to a duel. But Rochefort’s companions overpower the lad, and leave him beaten in the street. Later, d’Artagnan spots Rochefort in the square, but in his rush to reach the man he draws the ire of three others and they each challenge him to a duel. The brave d’Artagnan accepts and proceeds to battle them all at once. This spectacle draws the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who sends his guards to arrest the men for fighting in public. In a twist of fate, d’Artagnan, together with the three duelists, defeat the Cardinal’s guards, which impressed King Louis XIII so much that the young man was invited to join his elite band of highly skilled, daredevil bodyguards. Our young friend, together with his new companions, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, served king and country, bonded in friendship by their creed, “All for one and one for all!”
Wait…this sounds like the plot to Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers! Indeed, it is. However, although many adventures in the story may be fictionalized, the setting is historically accurate and many of the characters actually existed. Athos (Armand de Sillegue d’Athos d’Auteville), Aramis (Henri d’Aramitz) and Porthos (Isaac de Portau) were all members of the King’s Musketeers, and the young man from Gascony, Charles de Batz-Castelmore d’Artagnan, was their captain. What’s even more interesting (and finally to the point) is that Carmelite water is also featured in the story. Remember the Duke of Orléans, who had it out for Richelieu? Knowing that Cardinal Richelieu took the tonic regularly to combat migraines, the Duke contaminated the brew with poison. Fortunately for Richelieu, his keen sense of smell warned him of danger before he could drink, and his suspicion of an assassination attempt was confirmed upon examination of the vial contents. And the red wax seal placed on vials intended for public consumption? It wasn’t done out of concern for sanitation or quality control, but to foil future attempts on Cardinal Richelieu and other members of the court.
The Young Entrepreneur, Part 1
When Jerry saw the ad for the magic mirror he grinned. “Wow, this looks like something I could really use.” It was advertised in Midnight, a supermarket magazine his mom brought home when she went food shopping.
The ad guaranteed immediate answers to vital questions concerning health, wealth, romance, and the beyond. All he had to do was ask his question, press a button, and await a reply from the great cosmic forces.
Then I could find out stuff, he thought. For someone completing his junior year in high school, answers to questions like that were invaluable.
The mirror sold for ten dollars. He thought that seemed expensive, however the vivid illustrations were convincing. He called the eight hundred number, placed an order with his mom’s credit card. He knew she wouldn’t mind.
The next day at school he shared the ad with Loretta, his new girlfriend.
“You’re not going to buy that?”
“But it can predict important stuff.”
She shook her head. “Jerry, like they say there’s one born every minute.”
He pointed to a bold headline. “Read this: ‘This is the same magic mirror used by Cleopatra, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great.’ They couldn’t print stuff like that if it wasn’t true.”
“Then go ask them,” she hissed. “But you can’t because they’re dead.” She could hear her mom’s words warning her not to get too serious with this boy. After all his parents were divorced, and his mother didn’t belong to the PTA. She was beginning to understand her mom’s concern.
She snatched the paper from him and read aloud: “Little Green Men Invade Indiana; New Miracle Cure For Hives; Aliens Found Living in Arizona.”
Obviously he wasn’t right for her image amongst her friends. “Sure Jerry,” she said, “whatever you say.”
Two weeks later the Magic Mirror arrived. The package was considerably smaller than Jerry had anticipated. He opened it, expecting an elaborate glass mirror framed in brass. Instead what he got was a pink plastic one that looked like a toy from the dime store.
The directions were simple. Insert battery, ask question, push red button below screen. Your answer from great cosmic forces will appear.
He inserted a battery, rubbed his hands together and asked.
“Will me and Loretta stick together ’till we graduate? He pushed the little red button. Almost immediately a no appeared on the tiny screen.
That was bothersome. He was expecting to see yes, and he didn’t like being second guessed even by great cosmic forces. “How come?”
But no answer appeared. Then in tiny letters came the words “Ask again later.”
“Ok forget it. Celtics going to beat the Knicks tonight?” He pushed the little red button. A yes popped up. “Darn straight,” he said still shaken over the prediction about him and Loretta.
He took it into the kitchen and showed it to his mom. “My magic mirror came today. Ask it anything?”
She tousled his red hair and smiled. “Oh I had one of those when I was a little girl. I think it came from a company somewhere in Michigan.”
“It said me and Loretta won’t stay together.”
“That’s all right dear. Loretta has her bossy side. I should think you’d be much happier with Mary Jane. Want a cookie?” She poured him a glass of milk.
“Her!” He remembered how before Loretta he’d tried to kiss Mary Jane at a birthday party. He’d been rebuffed. “She’s no fun.”
“Ask your mirror,” she suggested.
He did and a yes appeared on its screen.
The next day at school Loretta broke up with him. “I’m sorry Jerry but I need a boyfriend more down to earth than you, someone who’s practical and knows how to save money.” She gave him a peck on the cheek and vanished amidst a flock of admirers.
Crestfallen, when he got home he sought out his magic mirror. “Got to get money,” he said. “Tell me how?”
What appeared on the screen was the word, “oil.”
That didn’t make any sense. Then on the kitchen table he saw a recent copy of his mom’s newsmagazine Midnight . There in bold type across the back cover was the headline: Last Chance to Invest in Biggest Oil Bonanza Ever.
He thought about it. It felt right. His magic mirror said yes, affirming it. He had more than $300 saved up to buy a special birthday present for Loretta, but forget that. Instead he bought three hundred shares of Big Oil Bonanza at $1. a share.
When he told her of his investment, his mom shook her head and sighed. “Oh, Jerry.” Then when he said he had practically cleaned out his savings account, all she said was, “You’ll learn, dear.”
Several weeks later Jerry received a registered letter. The latest big oil gusher had paid off. His three hundred shares were now worth three hundred thousand dollars. Did he want to reinvest or sell? He chose to sell, depositing his money back into his savings account.
That night he called Mary Jane and invited her to the Junior Prom. To his surprise she said yes.
That made him feel happy. Now he had a new girlfriend and money back in the bank. He hugged his mom when she came in from work, shared his good news with her and took her out to dinner.
(to be continued)
Hearing the Whisper
By Madisyn Taylor
There is beauty and power when we listen to the whisper.
You may have noticed that if you want to speak to someone in a noisy, crowded room, the best thing to do is lean close and whisper. Yelling in an attempt to be louder than the room’s noise generally only hurts your throat and adds to the chaos. Similarly, that still, small voice within each of us does not try to compete with the mental chatter on the surface of our minds, nor does it attempt to overpower the volume of the raucous world outside. If we want to hear it, no matter what is going on around us or even inside us, we can always tune in to that soft voice underneath the surrounding noise.
It is generally true that the more insistent voices in our heads delivering messages that make us feel panicky or afraid are of questionable authority. They may be voices we internalized from childhood or from the culture, and as such they possess only half-truths. Their urgency stems from their disconnectedness from the center of our being, and their urgency is what catches our attention. The other voice that whispers reassurances that everything is fundamentally okay simply delivers its message with quiet confidence. Once we hear it, we know it speaks the truth. Generally, once we have heard what it has to say, a powerful sense of calm settles over our entire being, and the other voices and sounds, once so dominant, fade into the background, suddenly seeming small and far away.
We may find that our own communications in the world begin to be influenced by the quiet certainty of this voice. We may be less inclined to indulge in idle chatter as we become more interested in maintaining our connection to the whisper of truth that broadcasts its message like the sound of the wind shaking the leaves of a tree. As we align ourselves more with this quiet confidence, we become an extension of the whisper, penetrating the noise of the world and creating more peace, trust, and confidence.
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again!”