The Season of the Witch!
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. ~GrannyMoon
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.
Dates of this calendar were devised by Robert Graves, 1895 – 1985
Month of Hathor begins 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Calendar: Gort (Ivy) September 30 to October 27
Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON
Time: From full moon to dark moon (approx.14 days)
Goddess Aspect: Crone
Associated Goddesses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan
Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.
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 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.
Join me! GrannyMoon@Goddessschool.com Saturday’s with GrannyMoon!
Face to Face Classes at Sticks and Stones – 11037 Lee Highway · Fairfax, VA
WitchCrafting! Face to Face Classes at Noon on Saturdays! Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!
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 at Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center 11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343
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, Myrrh
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, Izanami, Ochumare
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
What’s Happening This Week!?!
Friendship Week (Rosemary is the friendship herb).
October 22: National Nut Day (No, not that kind—think pecans, walnuts, almonds).
October 24: On this day in 1788, Sarah Hale was born.
OCT. 24: Raphaelmas, Feast of Archangel Raphael, whose name means, “The High One Heals.” Since 1970, the Catholic Church no longer recognizes this day for Raphael, ending more than a thousand years of tradition by opting to lump him in with Gabriel and Michael for a Feast of the Holy Archangels Day on Sept 29.
OCT. 24: Druid Feast for Spirits of Air
OCT. 25: World Pasta Day.
OCT. 26 – NOV. 2: Egyptian Zetesis and Heuresis search and recovery of Osiris by Isis. Isia – Egyptian festival recalling Set (God of Destruction) killing God Osiris; Goddess Isis mourning Him, resurrecting Him, and conceiving God Horus with Him; and Osiris becoming Lord of Amenta, land of the dead. He weighs souls against the Feather of Truth on Goddess Maat’s Scale of Justice, but defers to Isis for those who fail the test.
Lunar News – October 19, 2019
19th Moon square Mars
20th Moon trine Venus and Mercury
21st Waning Half Moon in Cancer
22nd Moon sextile Mars &
Moon square Venus
23rd Moon square Mercury
Sun goes into Scorpio
24th Moon sextile Venus
Moon moves through:
Cancer / Leo / Virgo
Sun moves into Scorpio Wednesday the 23rd
2019 Year at a Glance for Scorpio
(October 23 – November 22)
Reading for the Week!
Nine of Cups
Pearls of Wisdom Tarot
Know that you are blessed by the Divine. Mind, body and spirit. It is a time of fruition, make a wish! Always be thankful and appreciate your bounty.
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Magickal Rapping Rhyme Writing
October 20, 2019 by Blake Octavian Blair
Today is rapper Snoop Dogg’s birthday. Snoop Dogg is well known for his rhyming artistry, so much so that many other musical artists of different genres have him as a guest artist on their songs. I myself like to employ rhyming when creating simple spells and magickal workings. It adds some pizazz and is an easy way to generate magickal focus.
Today, in honor of Snoop’s rhyming skills, try your hand at creating a magickal rhyme of your own! This exercise really is two bits of magick rolled into one. The first is the magickal act of creating the rhyme, and the second is its use in your spell! When you get your rhyme to where you are happy with it, be sure to record it in your magickal journal or book of shadows. Perhaps after this exercise you’ll feel inspired to fill successive blank pages with magickal rhymes and poetry!
Stop the Gossip Spell
October 19, 2019 by James Kambos
This spell will help put a stop to gossip and slander. First, you’ll need a square piece of black fabric. It’s even better if the edges are frayed. You’ll also need a few crumbled dry leaves, some dust, a dash of clove, a nail, and the remnants of a spider web.
Toss all the spell ingredients into the center of the fabric, and tie up the corners to form a bundle. Grasp the bundle tightly and say this charm:
Leaves, dust, clove, nail,
and spider web,
Catch and hold the lies
that are being said.
Trap the gossip in this bundle
and remove its breath.
Spirits of justice, let the
gossip die a quiet death.
Hide or hang the bundle in a secret place. The gossip will fade. When the gossip stops, bury the bundle or throw it away.
October 18, 2019 by Devin Hunter
The energies in the air today will likely make you reconsider how you spend your life force and where you invest your energy. Feelings and issues related to balance and your ability to maintain balance in the long term become of concern, even though this is the perfect time for you to perform magic to stabilize the balance in your life.
Spend time meditating today and truly thinking about the areas in your life where you feel balance is lacking. Ask yourself what causes this imbalance and what you can do to improve the situation. Face the north, light a blue candle, and say:
Spirits and allies, come to my side,
toward balance I need a guide.
Project an image into the candle of what it would be like if balance were present in the matter. Then allow the candle to burn down completely and safely.
Wear Something Gaudy Day
October 17, 2019 by Emyme
To borrow from The Wizard of Oz, are you a flashy witch or a somber witch in your manner of dress? No matter your personal style, today is the day to be colorful! Be it top, bottom, accessories, shoes, or jewelry (or everything!), feel free to create the most extravagant ensemble possible. It is the run-up to Halloween, and all manner of accessories are available. The purple top with the orange belt? The pumpkin socks with red shoes? The falling leaves scarf, cauldron pin, and wand earrings? Perhaps this is the day to test-run your Halloween costume. Go crazy, have fun, and be sure to get a picture of yourself. For those who typically prefer less loud clothing, perhaps you will find it comfortable to be on the wild side for a change. For those who are usually flashy, this is the chance to really strut your stuff.
Iris, Goddess of the rainbow, inspire
me in my clothing choices today.
I honor you with bright
colors and shiny baubles.
Boss’s Day Hoodoo Spell
October 16, 2019 by Stephanie Rose Bird
In Hoodoo, there are many spells (also referred to as tricks or jobs) related to career issues. One of the herbs (a tuber) used for this area of magick is called Little John to Chew, or simply Little John. The botanical name is Alpinia galanga, and it is also called greater galangal.
Little John resembles ginger in taste, medicinal qualities, and structure. It calms the stomach, deodorizes the mouth and body, soothes frazzled nerves, and, most importantly here, appeals to your boss, for today is Boss’s Day.
For this spell, obtain a fresh Little John to Chew root. Shred some of it into small pieces (about a teaspoon). When you approach your boss’s office or your would-be boss’s location, begin chewing the prepared root. State your complaint, desires, or wishes to the boss while chewing Little John. Once outside, spit it out on the property. Your wishes will be heard and respected by the boss. Happy Boss’s Day!
Recharge Your Batteries
October 15, 2019 by Najah Lightfoot
It’s autumn. Days are shortening. Nights are lengthening. The colors of fall are at their peak. As the wheel turns and the seasons wind down, take a moment to let go and enjoy the golden days of autumn.
Find a grassy spot where you can lie down. Resist the temptation to rest on a blanket. Simply plop yourself down on Mother Earth and look up at the sky. Feel the support she gives you. Run your fingers through the grass. Enjoy the sensation, for as sure as grass is green, we know winter will be here soon in climates where the seasons change. Our glittering green grass will be a nostalgic memory.
As you lie on your back, gaze at the sky. Look at the clouds and marvel at their wispy, willowy shapes. Enjoy this moment brought to you by the blue skies of autumn.
Pumpkin Seed Prosperity
October 14, 2019 by Deborah Blake
Here is a fun magical exercise to do as you are carving your Halloween pumpkin (into something witchy, no doubt). Seeds are symbols of abundance and prosperity, so as you scoop all that lovely gunk out of your Jack o’ lantern, use the seeds to do some simple prosperity magic. With each seed (or handful of seeds, depending on the size of your pumpkin), state aloud your wishes for prosperity, in all its forms. Then, if you want to, roast the seeds and eat them, taking all that prosperity energy back inside. As you eat each seed, say or think:
With this seed, I have the prosperity
I desire in the best way possible.
Heartwings Love Notes 902: Angels Everywhere
Heartwings says, “Look around, whether or not you can see their halos or their wings, there are angels everywhere.”
Pay a visit to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton MA and you will see a wonderful variety of angels as well as many saints. Ancient and modern icons, collected over decades by the founder, Gordon B. Lankton, line the walls of this wondrous building. Their programs and exhibitions are special too, and their gift shop holds many interesting and often inexpensive items you will not find elsewhere. As you peruse the rooms, angels of every description, as well as saints gaze at you with farseeing eyes.
Angels are considered messengers of God. To me they represent the kindness and the goodness that comes to our aid in situations where we can’t always help ourselves. This was true for me once long ago when a Salvation Army truck stopped to help me where I was stranded on a highway. It was true again for me more recently when I tripped and fell in a parking lot, landing flat on my face just barely able to sit up and assess my situation. As I sat up, not quite ready to try to climb to my feet with Stephen’s help, a truck pulled into the lot.
A man I didn’t recognize leaned out and said, “Are you all right?” As I made an attempt to get up I said I was. I expected him to go into one of the shops on the first floor of the building. Instead he got out of the truck and said, “Let me help you.” He put his hands under my arms and as though I were a little child, he lifted me gently to my feet. He turned away and as I thanked him he waved, got back into his truck and pulled out of the lot
I was so grateful. Whether he knew it or not, he was at that moment an angel, bringing a message of kindness and goodness. From time to time we can be angels for one another, coming unexpectedly to the aid of strangers or perhaps even friends. It may be that we give directions to someone who is lost. It may be that we help someone across the street or give a hand with a snow shovel or to lug groceries. To be an occasional angel is a special privilege given by circumstance when we are in the right place at the right time. I intend to keep my eyes open for an opportunity to play angel for someone. What goes around comes around sooner or later, and I hope to give back as I have been given.
May you find opportunities to play angel for another.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PS Do you have an angel story of your own? I love it when my readers share their experiences. You make my day when you do. Thanks for keeping in touch.
How to Make Decorative Witch Brooms!
Wooden dowel (1-inch diameter, 36 inches long)
Tree branch (approximately 36 inches long)
Bamboo branch (approximately 36 inches long)
Lavender acrylic paints
Willow twigs, bamboo, and decorative grass (for broom brushes)
Three pieces of black, interfacing fabric: 2×10-inch strips.
Raffia and twine
Hot-glue gun and hot melt adhesive
Follow these easy instructions to make your own set of three broomsticks. You should be able to complete this Halloween decor project in under an hour.
Step 1: Paint It
This DIY witch broom is a cool Halloween decoration with an even cooler level of simplicity. You’ll be able to add this Halloween witch broom to your outside Halloween decorations in just one afternoon. Start by painting the wooden dowel with lavender acrylic paint; once the paint is dry, lightly sand the dowel with fine-grit sandpaper for a worn look.
Step 2: Build It
Choose one of the broom brush materials (willow twigs, bamboo, or decorative grasses) to go with each broom handle. For each broom, lay the brush material across one length of interfacing fabric so about 2 inches of brush material extends beyond the fabric. Hot-glue into place and let the glue dry, then wrap the interfacing end of the brush around the bottom of the broom handle (with the interfacing facing in), gluing it into place as you wrap.
Step 3: Decorate It
When the glue is completely dry, wrap raffia or twine several times around the top of each broom brush and glue into place. Then, lean the broom against the front porch steps. Don’t forget a Witch Parking doormat to guide your local coven!
Crystals for Protection
by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
The power behind Earth’s minerals can be felt the minute you put a crystal in your hands or near your physical body. Crystals are the treasures of the earth. These stones are filled with energy to be used. Each crystal, stone, gemstone is rated by its hardness, shape, size, qualities and often have a metaphysical significance as their personality. Some of the best crystals for protection include Bloodstone, Carnelian, Hematite and Obsidian.
Properties: The protective eye stone, is a spectacular variety of agate, sometimes onyx, sardonyx or “crypto-crystalline quartz” containing layers of carnelian! This is considered a stone of virtue allowing us to find the sheer delight in living. It is infamous for bringing stability and long lasting happiness to life partners, marriage and live in relationships! Used to enhance clear choices by limiting hesitation and therefore providing courage and protection to its wearer. This is a great stone to grid the home with in order to protect against crime and the “evil eye”.
Properties: Ammonite is often used for stability in life. This is actually a fossilized creature that resembled a snail, over 65 million years old. It is now a helpful stone which offers a sense of relaxation. It is believed that Ammonite brings stability and order in life. Ammonite is a stone of protection. It provides for insight and it helps to assist one in seeing the “whole picture.” Since it is associated with the Root Chakra, it encourages ones survival instincts and is grounding.
Properties: Increases courage helps in avoiding dangerous situations by soothing the mind. Metaphysically, bloodstone is used to either promote a calm, tranquil atmosphere that is grounding or revitalize insufficient energy. A great stone for mental exhaustion. This stone represents both courage and strength and is used for achieving these attributes. It is associated with honesty and integrity and is useful in removing obstacles in life. Most effective on the Heart (green) and Root (red) Chakra.
Properties: This stone represents confidence, boldness, initiative, dramatic abilities, assertiveness and outgoingness. Precision, analysis, stimulates appetite, encourages celebration and brings awareness of feelings. This stone helps you feel anchored and comfortable with your surroundings. Provides a connection to the past or to historical events. Carnelian can improve motivation. Helps one achieve greater success in career or personal matters. Helps ground people who meditate. Carnelian is one of the most helpful crystals for healing trauma, stress and emotional wounds that have accumulated in the etheric body or the Aura and are now manifesting as physical symptoms.
Properties: The infamous hag stone has occupied myth and “legends” for centuries. Used by farmers, people seeking protection and “magickal” minded people, hag stones are stones that have a naturally occurring hole inside them. Often discovered in fields or along coastal beaches, lakes or streams. These holes occur from the elements beating down upon them over many years. These stones were believed to be able to protect cattle, their milk and people from witches. These stones are found in a different parts of the world. Hag stones represent a magical time when these rocks where used for protection, fertility, good luck and safety.
Properties: This crystal is the most recommended stone for grounding and is associated with the Root Chakra, by encourages ones survival instincts and is centering. Hematite condenses scattered feelings, turns fuzziness into mental clarity, enhances concentration, memory, practicality and helps with sound sleep. Considered the symbol of life energy, hematite allows for more confidence, will power and boldness. Helps us adjust to being physical. A protective stone and helps bolster low self-esteem. Hematite is known to deflect negativity. It brings our awareness back to the body and helps one maintain their sense of self.
Properties: The ancient Chinese culture has revered Jade for centuries. Jade is considered the health, wealth and longevity stone, used also for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, harmony. Jade has been used for protection for centuries. Jade is known as androgynous, therefore it is considered having a gentle, steady pulse of healing energy. Jade is found in different colors and can be used on the appropriate Chakra based on its color. Properties common to all colors of Jade include its ability to mellow one’s existence. Helps one rid themselves of negative thoughts and energy. Very beneficial to the heart in both physical and spiritual senses. It is a very protective stone and will keep its wearer out of harm’s way. Jade bounds us to our earth energies and physical instincts. Jade is a humbling stone.
Properties: Jet is a form of petrified wood similar to coal, though much harder. This stone has absorbing qualities. Helps draw out negative energy. Especially useful for people who have unreasonable fears that limit their lives. Therefore, that is why this black stone, it relates to the Root Chakra, the center that connects us to our earth energy. The Root Chakra is connected to survival and our trust in the physical world, and in one’s own body. Recommended for stimulating psychic experience and guiding one in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. If worn, it should be set in silver. Jet has been used as a protective stone in life’s physical journeys. It’s known as a traveler’s amulet, and the wives of sailors often burnt it to protect their husbands while they were at sea. Jet has been known historically, to also protect from scorpions and snake bites, especially when the stone is wore over the heart. Jet has been used to help soothe the pain of both a broken heart due to separation or the loss or death of a relative or loved one. In the past, this protection stone has been used to ward against enemies, evil spirits, witchcraft and harmful magic spells.
Properties: This is a strong grounding stone and is known as “the protector”. It is said to “mirror one’s soul. This stone brings about objectivity, dis-attachment and is grounding. It reduces fantasy and escapism. Absorbs and dissolves anger, criticism, fear, and therefore is protective. This unusual black stone absorbs darkness and converts it to white light energy. It is a warm and friendly stone, which is used at the Root Chakra, encouraging ones survival instincts and is grounding. Black obsidian brings higher Chakra light into lower ones; cleanses and uplifts. Changes fear into flexibility with the advent of change. Obsidian is used for transformation.
10 Medicinal Herbs That Might Live in Your Backyard
Nick Polizzi, Creator of the upcoming documentary REMEDY: Ancient Medicines for Modern Illness, reveals his own personal passion for medicinal herbs that just might pop up in your own backyard!
Last summer, I was helping my mom garden some of the beds in the back of her house when we stumbled upon something that looked too amazing to be true. A gorgeous Reishi mushroom was growing on the stump of a hemlock tree underneath the fence between her and her neighbor’s yard!
You know, Reishi, the “king of herbs” in Chinese medicine? Scientifically known as Ganoderma and believed by ancient Taoists to be a core ingredient in the elixir of everlasting life? Yup, right there in my mom’s quaint little yard about 60 miles outside of New York City.
I had heard there were some great mushroom harvests to be had in the woods north of her home, but finding one in her shrubs was definitely unexpected.
The simple lesson here is that we don’t need to go far to find the medicine. We fall into the habit of thinking that the transformation or wild prescription for us exists in an exotic location “elsewhere,” but oftentimes they can be found right under our noses if we just open our eyes and take a look.
“Give nature half a chance and she has a miracle in store for everyone.”
– Rosita Arvigo
Below, I’ve shared 9 common low-growing medicinal herbs and 1 mushroom that you may want to search for in your own backyard or surrounding neighborhoods – plus, we’ve also noted which regions they can be found in. This is a good reason to keep your backyard chemical-free — and of course make sure you wash everything thoroughly before preparation and consumption.
Since some of these herbs have potent effects, be sure to look up any potential contraindications with regard to pregnancy, allergies, ailments, or other medications you may be taking.
You’ll want to do additional research on those edibles you do find in your own backyard, to see if they align with your personal needs. And if you find something promising that’s not on this list, take it to your local nursery for help in identification. With a little research, you can discover whether or not that plant has properties worth using, or if it’s one to avoid.
Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major): Unlike the large plantain trees that grow delectable fruits, the broadleaf plantain is a ground cover. Packed with Vitamin K, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals, the broadleaf plantain has a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body. This medicinal plant has been used in treating colds, diarrhea, burns, open sores, wounds, mouth ulcers, boils, acne, throat pain, sunburn, fever, respiratory infections; improving liver and kidney function; relieving gastrointestinal inflammation; and drawing out poisons and toxins from bites and stings–even snake bites! It’s often used as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, and you can make it into a tea, poultice, or salve. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Burdock (Arctium lappa): Burdock Root is an antioxidant powerhouse and has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.. Some of its traditional uses include removing toxins from the blood, inhibiting certain types of cancers, treating skin issues, and acting as an aphrodisiac. It’s also a natural diuretic, so be sure to hydrate properly. Consume in moderation. Consider trying in a tea, fresh root form, or dried root powder. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Chickweed (Stellaria media): Chickweed is known as a natural skin rejuvenator, with both cooling and drying effects on wounds, sores, minor burns, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin inflammations. It has also been used for constipation and relieving irritated eyes. Chickweed is a rich source of Vitamin C and potassium, and also provides nutritious trace vitamins and minerals. It fell out of style as a popular salad green, so you may want to try it that way first, or perhaps make chickweed vinegar by infusing it with apple cider vinegar. For topical use, create a salve from the plant’s essential oils. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Perhaps the most prolific and recognizable, the dandelionis greatly undervalued. This beneficial plant is often found in some of the finest herbal teas, and is used for its healing benefits to treat high blood pressure, calcium deficiency, cancer, diabetes, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, and eczema and psoriasis; detoxify the liver; aid digestion; and reduce inflammation. Use in salad greens, or dry the leaves and roots to make a tea. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album): This “prince of wild greens” is a common garden weed packed with enough protein to rival spinach, along with Vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and a multitude of minerals.. Our ancestors prized this plant’s medicine for its purification properties to “improve the blood,” and also to treat rheumatism and arthritis, toothaches and tooth decay, constipation, insect stings, eczema, and gout. Keep seed consumption to a minimum, but freely consume the leaves, shoots, and flowers. Eat fresh leaves and flowers mixed in with your other salad greens; steam or stir fry along with your favorite vegetables; or cook and puree with some of your favorite soups. You can also grind seeds into flour. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where the reishi grows, you may already be aware of its long-touted healing properties. Mainly used in prevention of disease, the reishi offers protection against inflammation, various infections, skin disorders, diabetes, heart and liver disease, sleep disorders, digestive problems, cancer, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and viruses, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. It also helps to restore hormonal imbalance, and regulates various cellular functions. Because of its slightly bitter flavor, it’s traditionally dried and then prepared for a tea, or pulverized into a powder and mixed into your favorite protein shake. Where it grows – Eastern North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Be careful–this herb can sometimes “sting” and leave a rash when bare skin comes into contact with the acid-filled needles. Once boiled, however, the nettles leave you with leaves that, when ingested, provide nutritious elements and anti-inflammatory properties. Nettle leaves have been used in treating allergy symptoms, lowering blood pressure, improving immune system response, reducing pain, acting as a diuretic, treating skin conditions, thickening hair while also reducing dandruff, and causing a sedative effect. The plant’s root has been used to address prostate concerns in men. Handle and harvest while wearing gloves, and then boil or cook to remove the sting from the nettles. The easiest and perhaps most common way to use nettles are in a tea, where you can flavor with other herbs or spices to taste. But once cooked, you can also use nettle leaves like most other greens and use in salads, or season and bake them (like kale chips), or grind to make a pesto. For the roots, toss them in a stir fry or dry like the leaves for use in a tea. Where it grows – Western North America, Europe, Northern Africa and Asia.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea): Purslane is an excellent source of fiber; Vitamins A, B, and C; iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and powerful antioxidants. Our ancestors have used it for hundreds of years to prevent and cure disease. It’s been used to treat high cholesterol, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, and cancer. It’s believed to improve vision, strengthen bones, increase circulation, and aid in weight loss. Try it mixed with salad greens. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.): Menopause symptoms. Maintaining bone strength. Improving cardiovascular health. Lowering risk for various types of cancers. Reducing skin inflammation. Fighting respiratory infections. Detoxifying the liver. Boosting the immune system. Managing cholesterol. Balancing hormones. These are just some of the many disorders and “symptoms of aging” that red clover has been used to treat. Dry the herb to make a tea, or make a salve for a topical medicine. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This pretty little flowering herb is wonderful for healing skin conditions; stopping bleeding (external); encouraging bleeding in cases of amenorrhea; alleviating anxiety; acting as a mild sedative; reducing inflammation; and treating mastitis, high blood pressure, asthma, and muscle spasms. Use fresh leaves in salads, soups, or sautéed dishes, or use dried leaves as a cooking herb. Where it grows – North America, Europe and Asia.Many of these herbs are sold in supplement form, but you can bypass the middle-man and go directly to the source by taking a look around and experimenting on your own. Perhaps LA-based guerilla gardener Ron Finley says it best:
“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”
Posted by: KathyJ <email@example.com>
An Experiment in Time – Part 3
by Stephen Halpert
Adam made his way down the rickety basement stairs into the slightly damp cellar. He noticed enough firewood stacked against one wall to take them through a winter. In one corner was a sort of readymade partition that to his surprise enclosed a workshop complete with several kinds of cut and partly finished wood and a complete set of antique carpentry tools. Against a side wall was a nearly complete cupboard. That wood had been sanded and smoothed awaiting layers of finish.
His head spun and momentarily he sensed a familiarity with the carpentry tools that surprised him. To the best of his knowledge he had never so much as banged a nail. Hesitantly he picked up a lathe and holding it was surprised to find he knew exactly how to use it against the wood to form a smooth finish. The tools persisted in familiarity urging him to pick them up, hold them and feel how they fit in his hands. Then he saw a partially finish cupboard.
Upstairs in a small sitting room across from the parlor Ann felt a sense of warmth when she saw the early Singer sewing machine. Though ancient by contemporary standards, it looked new. In her heart she felt she was being greeted by an old friend. Beside it, on an oak table were stacked various patterns with illustrations and a stack of white cloth, some already cut and shaped for further sewing. “This is wonderful,” she said aloud. “All l need do is follow directions and I can turn out those communion dresses more easily than I had thought.”
Adam climbed back upstairs. He smiled and hugged Ann. Then he told her of his discovering the carpentry workshop and the nearly completed cupboard. “This is so wonderful,” he said. “It almost feels as though this house and everything here was somehow awaiting us. But how could that be?”
Ann smiled and shared her finding the sewing machine and assorted fabrics. She sounded tentative as she said. “Maybe we lived here once before. And we’ve returned in a sense to ourselves. Do you think that that could be possible?”
Adam frowned, shook his head. “There you go with that Theosophical jargon you picked up from reading Madame Blavatsky about living before in other lifetimes; and you a mathematician too,” he scoffed.
“It’s all a belief after all,” she said. “That’s what’s so incredible about our minds. What’s wonderful is we don’t have to believe any of it in order for it to have been true. Let me show you my discovery.” Ann led him into the small sewing room overlooking the garden and showed him the Singer, the nearly finished cotton communion dresses, as well as the ample supply of spun cotton waiting to be sewn into apparel.
“Whatever you say,” he smiled. Before he could go on there was a knocking on their front door.
A nervous Minnie Rathbone greeted them with a worried look on her face. She smiled briefly at Ann and shook her head at Adam. “Have you heard? Though unlikely, it seems Parson’s run off with the Widow Skeffington. At least the two of them have disappeared.”
“No,” Ann said. “We hadn’t. When was this? What happened?”
“That’s the thing of it,” Minnie said. “One moment they were sitting in the vestry discussing plans with members of the church board for Sunday’s service and then they were gone.”
“They ran off together?” Adam asked
“Vanished into thin air,” Minnie’s voice rose as she repeated herself. “Not very likely, those two. You can imagine how our church board members reacted.”
“Were they on intimate terms?” Ann asked discretely.
Minnie shook her head no. “I can’t see it. Not very likely. Neither were the types to invite that sort of intimacy. Not that appearances matter but you know of course, she’s the size of an ice chest and with his limp he can hardly stand, let alone move quickly. Besides he’s in constant pain.”
“Seems odd,” Ann said, not quite sure how to respond.
Minnie wagged her middle finger. “There must be some sort of dreadful magic afoot. What else could it be? Good Christians just don’t vanish that way, not in this day and age. We’re not free thinking Unitarians after all.”
Ann took her arm and led her into the kitchen. “Come sit down and have a cup of tea.”
Minnie nodded reluctantly. “I came to share the news, as well as to ask to see the communion dresses, that is if I may.”
Ann merely smiled and poured hot water from the stove into the blue China tea pot. “Let’s have some tea and then come into my sewing room with me.”
“Oh good,” Adam heard Minnie say from the sewing room. “They look wonderful. I’m so glad you’re equal to this task even though it was imposed upon you so recently, when the old dresses were sent to the hospital to be used for bandages.”
“Yes,” Ann said. “For the war effort. But fortunately that’s over now.”
Minnie’s face saddened. “This war will never end. Oh yes, the guns are silent but so many hearts are broken, so many families torn apart, destroyed, so much grief and hatred to be maintained for generations to come.”
“Hasn’t it always been that way? Ann said.
Minnie nodded sadly. “Yes, I suppose, elsewhere throughout much of history. But now here too. It’s as though America has contracted a deathly germ that persists in clinging to all our lives.”
Ann nodded. “I guess that’s human nature.”
Leaving the kitchen and starting down the basement stairs Adam momentarily heard what sounded like automobile traffic. Those sounds couldn’t be coming from outside, he thought. Not in this day and age, or could it?
To be continued
Recognizing Your Value
By Madisyn Taylor
Change your thinking to knowing that your life matters, and that you are important.
It can be easy sometimes to buy into the illusion of our own insignificance. We may see large corporations or institutions, celebrities or successful people in our community, and compare ourselves to them, thinking that their fame or material power affirm how little our own lives amount to. But nothing could be further from the truth. Every single one of us matters–tremendously. Our very existence affects countless people in countless ways. And because we are each essentially a microcosm of the larger universe, our internal experiences affect the whole of life more than we could ever imagine. The world simply could not exist as it does now if you, or any one of us, were not in it.
Perhaps you are aware that on some level you believe your life does not matter. If this thought resonates within you, maybe it is time to explore why you feel this way. You may have formed self-rejecting or belittling beliefs as a child to keep yourself safe or to help you make sense of confusing situations. You may have felt unseen or unheard and decided that there was something wrong with you, rather than with the attention span of the people around you. Spend some time looking into where these feelings of insignificance first took root, and see what changes you might be able to make in your life and in your heart.
This one belief in your own unimportance could be limiting you and impacting your life in enormous ways. When you shift your perceptions around your own ability to affect your life and impact the world, you may discover wonderful parts of yourself that you had long ago forgotten. There may even be exciting new parts that you never even knew existed. When you gain awareness of how much your life really does matter, new sources of energy can emerge and your sense of connection with the world is renewed.
Safe Plants That Are Especially Enticing to Cats
Obviously, it is very important to know which plants are safe for cats and which ones are not. Fortunately, there is a long list of safe grasses and herbs that can provide your cat lots of enjoyment. Among them are:
A few types of grass are safe for – and delicious to – cats.
1. Catnip: The ubiquitous catnip or Nepeta cataria is well-known for being safe and enjoyable for cats. However, it’s best not to give it to cats who have a history of seizures. Also, young kittens and some adult cats do not respond to catnip, so it may be hit or miss with your particular cat.
2. Catmint: A close relative to catnip, Nepeta x faassenii has wonderful lavender or white flowers that will delight both humans and cats. It grows as a bush about a foot high and two to three feet wide.
3. Cat thyme: This evergreen perennial, Teucrium marum, is pretty stinky to us, but cats love it. Your cats will enjoy frolicking around this bush. Grows to about one foot in diameter with pink flowers.
4. Wheat grass: These are sprouts from wheat, chock full of nutrition for cats. Many cats enjoy grazing on it.
5. Oat grass: Like wheat grass, this grass is nutritious and very appealing to cats. It is made from the sprouts of oats, a feline favorite.
6. Valerian: Valeriana officinalis is an herb that has an affect similar to catnip. It grows three to four feet in height.
7. Rye grass: Like oat grass and wheat grass, this grass type tends to win over most cats. It made from the sprouts of rye.
8. Creeping Rosemary: This is a popular and hardy rosemary that can withstand a cat pretty well. At maturity, it reaches up to three feet in height.
9. Lemon balm: Melissa officinalis is not only a cat favorite, but this herb also makes a wonderful tea and emits a lemon-like fragrance.
Be aware that many of these plants – especially catnip and catmint – grow fast and can take over your garden in no time. Not all cats like all plants, so you may have to experiment. Also, an outdoor garden of cat-pleasing plants can attract the local strays, so be aware of that possibility!
Experts advise cat owners to select garden plants – and dirt – carefully. Many garden centers carry cocoa bean mulch, which is toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Our advice: Skip the mulch and use plain dirt to be on the safe side.
For additional advice on ways to keep your cat safe, both indoors and out
~Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Letting Your Light Shine
By Madisyn Taylor
When we undermine our light by hiding our aptitudes and quashing our dreams, we deny ourselves and others a wealth of experiences.
We are each born into this world with unique gifts. Within us is a glimmer of the divine, a light that can potentially make the world a more beautiful place. But in many, that light lies dormant, snuffed out by fears and feelings of inadequacy. To spark it is to attract attention, face the possibility of rejection or the responsibility of success, and risk being labeled immodest. Yet when we undermine the light by hiding our aptitudes and quashing our dreams, we deny ourselves and others a wealth of experiences. Your abilities are a part of who you are and when you take pride in them, you affirm the love, esteem, and trust with which you view yourself. Moreover, as you express the light within, you grant others permission to do the same, freeing them to explore their own talents.
For some, we are taught to hide our light from the world since childhood. Relatives caution us that the professions associated with our aptitudes are unattainable. Our peers may be envious of our skills and thus overly critical of the activities we instinctively enjoy. And authority figures admonish us to be humble and avoid showing off. But there is a vast chasm that separates those who let their light shine and those who seek only to draw attention to themselves. When you dare to share your light with the world, the beauty and perfection of your soul become clearly visible. You become a whole being–the literal embodiment of your vast potential. Whether you are a wonderful dancer, a first-rate cook, quick with numbers, or a natural negotiator, you’ll come to understand that you do the world no favors when you hold yourself back.
If you have hidden your light for so long that it has shrunk to an ember, make a list of everything you do well, however impractical, silly, or seemingly inconsequential. Then ask yourself how you can positively utilize those abilities in your daily life. The gifts you were born with were not granted to you arbitrarily. While you may never discover what impact your light has had on others, you can be certain that when you embrace your talents and share them with others, you will spread illumination in the world.
Pumpkin Spiced Crock-Pot Granola – For Those Chilly Fall Mornings!
You’ll love the fall flavors in this wholesome snack, as well as the aroma that will fill your home while it slow cooks in your crock-pot. Because variety is the spice of life, feel free to add or swap out certain ingredients as you wish – chopped almonds, pistachios, raisins, dried apples, dried apricots, maple syrup, dark agave, etc.
½ cup coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup organic honey
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 cup dried cranberries
Grease a crock-pot (at least 5-quart in size) with the tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the oats, walnuts and coconut flakes and stir to mix.
Heat the cup of coconut oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat until completely melted. Stir in the honey, pumpkin spice and salt.
Carefully pour the spiced oil into the crock-pot; stir to combine ingredients. Turn the cook level to high and cover, placing the lid slightly ajar to vent moisture and keep the oat mixture from becoming soggy. Cook mixture for 2 hours, stirring gently every 30 minutes to prevent scorching. At the end of cooking time, stir in the dried cranberries.
Scoop cooked granola onto a baking sheet. Spread mixture evenly with a spatula. Let cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
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Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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