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I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
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Herb of the Day~Thistles

Thistle is the old English name - essentially the same in all kindred languages - for a large family of plants occurring chiefly in Europe and Asia, of which we have fourteen species in Great Britain, arranged under the botanical groups Carduus, Carlina, Onopordon and Carbenia, or Cnicus.

In agriculture the Thistle is the recognized sign of untidiness and neglect, being found not so much in barren ground, as in good ground not properly cared for. It has always been a plant of ill repute among us; Shakespeare classes 'rough Thistles' with 'hateful Docks,' and further back in the history of our race we read of the Thistle representing part of the primeval curse on the earth in general, and on man in particular, for - 'Thorns also and Thistles shall it bring forth to thee.'

Thistles will soon monopolize a large extent of country to the extinction of other plants, as they have done in parts of the American prairies, in Canada and British Columbia, and as they did in Australia, till a stringent Act of Parliament was passed, about twenty years ago, imposing heavy penalties upon all who neglected to destroy Thistles on their land, every man being now compelled to root out, within fourteen days, any Thistle that may lift up its head, Government inspectors being specially appointed to carry out the enforcement of the law.

The growth of weeds in Great Britain, having, in the opinion of many, also reached disturbing proportions, it is now proposed to enact a similar law in this country, and the Smallholders' Union is bringing forward a 'Bill to prevent the spread of noxious weeds in England and Wales,' the provisions being similar to the Australian law - weed-infested roadsides, as well as badly-cleared cultivated land, to come within the scope of the enactment.

Among the thirteen noxious weeds enumerated in the proposed Bill, the name of Thistle is naturally to be found. And yet in medicine Thistles are far from useless.

When beaten up or crushed in a mill to destroy the prickles, the leaves of all Thistles have proved excellent food for cattle and horses. This kind of fodder was formerly used to a great extent in Scotland before the introduction of special green crops for the purpose. The young stems of many of the Thistles are also edible, and the seeds of all the species yield a good oil by expression.

Two or three of our native species are handsome enough to be worthy of a place in gardens. Some species which flourish in hotter and drier climates than our own, such as the handsome Yellow Thistles of the south of Europe, Scolymus, are cultivated for that purpose, and have a classical interest, being mentioned by Hesiod as the flower of summer. This striking plant, crowned with its golden flowers, is abundant throughout Sicily. The Fish-bone Thistle (Chamaepeuce diacantha), from Syria, is also a very handsome plant. A grand Scarlet Thistle from Mexico (Erythrolena conspicua) was grown in England some fifty years ago, but is now never seen.

 

THISTLE, HOLY
Botanical: Carbenia benedicta (BERUL.) 
Family: N.O. Compositae

Description
Cultivation
Part Used
Chemical Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Synonyms---Blessed Thistle. Cnicus benedictus (Gaetn.). Carduus benedictus (Steud.). 
---Part Used---Herb.

A Thistle, however, that has been cultivated for several centuries in this country for its medicinal use is known as the Blessed or Holy Thistle. It is a handsome annual, a native of Southern Europe, occurring there in waste, stony, uncultivated places, but it grows more readily in England in cultivation.

It is said to have obtained its name from its high reputation as a heal-all, being supposed even to cure the plague. It is mentioned in all the treatises on the Plague, and especially by Thomas Brasbridge, who in 1578 published his Poore Man's Jewell, that is to say, a Treatise of the Pestilence, unto which is annexed a declaration of the vertues of the Hearbes Carduus Benedictus and Angelica. Shakespeare in Much Ado about Nothing, says: 'Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.... I mean plain Holy Thistle.' The 'distilled' leaves, it says 'helpeth the hart,' 'expelleth all poyson taken in at the mouth and other corruption that doth hurt and annoye the hart,' and 'the juice of it is outwardly applied to the bodie' ('lay it to your heart,' Sh.), 'therefore I counsell all that have Gardens to nourish it, that they may have it always to their own use, and the use of their neighbours that lacke it.'

It has sometimes been stated that the herb was first cultivated by Gerard in 1597, but as this book was published twenty years previously it would appear to have been in cultivation much earlier, and in fact it is described and its virtues enumerated in the Herbalof Turner in 1568.

 

---Description---The stem of the Blessed Thistle grows about 2 feet high, is reddish, slender, very much branched and scarcely able to keep upright under the weight of its leaves and flowerheads. The leaves are long, narrow, clasping the dull green stem, with prominent pale veins, the irregular teeth of the wavy margin ending in spines. The flowers are pale yellow, in green prickly heads, each scale of the involucre, or covering of the head, ending also in a long, brown bristle. The whole plant, leaves, stalks and also the flowerheads, are covered with a thin down. It grows more compactly in some soils than in others.

---Cultivation---Being an annual, Blessed Thistle is propagated by seed. It thrives in any ordinary soil. Allow 2 feet each way when thinning out the seedlings. Though occurring sometimes in waste places in England as an escape from cultivation, it cannot be considered indigenous to this country. The seeds are usually sown in spring, but if the newly-ripened seeds are sown in September or October in sheltered situations, it is possible to have supplies of the herb green, both summer and winter.

---Part Used---The whole herb. The leaves and flowering tops are collected in July, just as the plant breaks into flower, and cut on a dry day, the best time being about noon, when there is no longer any trace of dew on them.

About 3 1/2 tons of fresh herb produce 1 ton when dried, and about 35 cwt. of dry herb can be raised per acre.

---Chemical Constituents---Blessed Thistle contains a volatile oil, and a bitter, crystallineneutral body called Cnicin (soluble in alcohol and slightly also in water) which is said to be analogous to salicin in its properties.

 

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, emetic and emmenagogue. In large doses, Blessed Thistle acts as a strong emetic, producing vomiting with little pain and inconvenience. Cold infusions in smaller draughts are valuable in weak and debilitated conditions of the stomach, and as a tonic, creating appetite and preventing sickness. The warm infusion - 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water - in doses of a wineglassful, forms in intermittent fevers one of the most useful diaphoretics to which employment can be given. The plant was at one time supposed to possess very great virtues against fevers of all kinds.

Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.

It is said to have great power in the purification and circulation of the blood, and on this account strengthens the brain and the memory.

The leaves, dried and powdered, are good for worms.

It is chiefly used now for nursing mothers the warm infusion scarcely ever failing to procure a proper supply of milk. It is considered one of the best medicines which can be used for the purpose.

Turner (1568) says:
'It is very good for the headache and the megram, for the use of the juice or powder of the leaves, preserveth and keepeth a man from the headache, and healeth it being present. It is good for any ache in the body and strengtheneth the members of the whole body, and fasteneth loose sinews and weak. It is also good for the dropsy. It helpeth the memory and amendeth thick hearing. The leaves provoke sweat. There is nothing better for the canker and old rotten and festering sores than the leaves, juice, broth, powder and water of Carduus benedictus.'

Culpepper (1652) writes of it:
'It is a herb of Mars, and under the Sign Aries. It helps swimmings and giddiness in the head, or the disease called vertigo, because Aries is the House of Mars. It is an excellent remedy against yellow jaundice and other infirmities of the gall, because Mars governs choller. It strengthens the attractive faculty in man, and clarifies the blood, because the one is ruled by Mars. The continual drinking the decoction of it helps red faces, tetters and ringworm, because Mars causeth them. It helps plague-sores, boils and itch, the bitings of mad dogs and venomous beasts, all which infirmities are under Mars. Thus you see what it doth by sympathy.
'By Antypathy to other Planets: it cures the French Pox by Antypathy to Venus who governs it. It strengthens the memory and cures deafness by Antypathv to Saturn, who hath his fall in Aries which Rules the Head. It cures Quarten Agues and other diseases of Melancholy, and a dust Choller by Sympathy to Saturn, Mars being exalted in Capricorn. Also it provokes Urine, the stopping of which is usually caused by Mars or the Moon.'

Mattheolus and Fuschius wrote also of Carduus benedictus:
'It is a plant of great virtue; it helpeth inwardly and outwardly; it strengthens all the principal members of the body, as the brain, the heart, the stomach, the liver, the lungs and the kidney; it is also a preservative against all disease, for it causes perspiration, by which the body is purged of much corruption, such as breedeth diseases; it expelleth the venom of infection; it consumes and wastes away all bad humours; therefore, give God thanks for his goodness, Who hath given this herb and all others for the benefit of our health.'

Four different ways of using Blessed Thistle have been recommended: It may be eaten in the green leaf, with bread and butter for breakfast, like Watercress; the dried leaves may be made into a powder and a drachm taken in wine or otherwise every day; a wineglassful of the juice may be taken every day, or, which is the usual and the best method, an infusion may be made of the dried herb, taken any time as a preventive, or when intended to remove disease, at bed time, as it causes copious perspiration.

Many of the other Thistles may be used as substitutes for the Blessed Thistle. The seeds of the Milk Thistle (Carduus Marianus), known also as Silybum Marianum, have similar properties and uses, and the Cotton Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, etc., have also been employed for like purposes.

 

THISTLE, MILK
Botanical: Silybum marianum 
Family: N.O. Compositae

Description
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Synonym---Marian Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull.

The Marian, or Milk Thistle, is perhaps the most important medicinally among the members of this genus, to which all botanists do not, however, assign it, naming it Silybum Marianum.

---Description---It is a fine, tall plant, about the size of the Cotton Thistle, with cutinto root-leaves, waved and spiny at the margin, of a deep, glossy green, with milkwhite veins, and is found not uncommonly in hedgebanks and on waste ground, especially by buildings, which causes some authorities to consider that it may not be a true native. In Scotland it is rare.

This handsome plant is not unworthy of a place in our gardens and shrubberies and was formerly frequently cultivated. The stalks, like those of most of our larger Thistles, may be eaten, and are palatable and nutritious. The leaves also may be eaten as a salad when young. Bryant, in his Flora Dietetica, writes of it: 'The young shoots in the spring, cut close to the root with part of the stalk on, is one of the best boiling salads that is eaten, and surpasses the finest cabbage. They were sometimes baked in pies. The roots may be eaten like those of Salsify.' In some districts the leaves are called 'Pig Leaves,' probably because pigs like them, and the seeds are a favourite food of goldfinches.

The common statement that this bird lines its nest with thistledown is scarcely accurate, the substance being in most cases the down of Colt's-foot (Tussilago), or the cotton down from the willow, both of which are procurable at the building season, whereas thistledown is at that time immature.

Westmacott, writing in 1694, says of this Thistle: 'It is a Friend to the Liver and Blood: the prickles cut off, they were formerly used to be boiled in the Spring and eaten with other herbs; but as the World decays, so doth the Use of good old things and others more delicate and less virtuous brought in.'

The heads of this Thistle formerly were eaten, boiled, treated like those of the Artichoke.

There is a tradition that the milk-white veins of the leaves originated in the milk of the Virgin which once fell upon a plant of Thistle, hence it was called Our Lady's Thistle, and the Latin name of the species has the same derivation.

 

---Medicinal Action and Uses---The seeds of this plant are used nowadays for the same purpose as Blessed Thistle, and on this point John Evelyn wrote: 'Disarmed of its prickles and boiled, it is worthy of esteem, and thought to be a great breeder of milk and proper diet for women who are nurses.'

It is in popular use in Germany for curing jaundice and kindred biliary derangements. It also acts as a demulcent in catarrh and pleurisy. The decoction when applied externally is said to have proved beneficial in cases of cancer.

Gerard wrote of the Milk Thistle that:
'the root if borne about one doth expel melancholy and remove all diseases connected therewith. . . . My opinion is that this is the best remedy that grows against all melancholy diseases,'
which was another way of saying that it had good action on the liver. He also tells us:
'Dioscorides affirmed that the seeds being drunke are a remedy for infants that have their sinews drawn together, and for those that be bitten of serpents:'
and we find in a record of old Saxon remedies that 'this wort if hung upon a man's neck it setteth snakes to flight.' The seeds were also formerly thought to cure hydrophobia.

Culpepper considered the Milk Thistle to be as efficient as Carduus benedictus for agues, and preventing and curing the infection of the plague, and also for removal of obstructions of the liver and spleen. He recommends the infusion of the fresh root and seeds, not only as good against jaundice, also for breaking and expelling stone and being good for dropsy when taken internally, but in addition, to be applied externally, with cloths, to the liver. With other writers, he recommends the young, tender plant (after removing the prickles) to be boiled and eaten in the spring as a blood cleanser.

A tincture is prepared by homoeopathists for medicinal use from equal parts of the root and the seeds with the hull attached.

It is said that the empirical nostrum, antiglaireux, of Count Mattaei, is prepared from this species of Thistle.

Thistles in general, according to Culpepper, are under the dominion of Jupiter.

 

THISTLE, SCOTCH
Botanical: Onopordon acanthium 
Family: N.O. Compositae

Description
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Synonyms---Cotton Thistle. Woolly Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Leaves, root.

The Scotch Thistle, or Cotton Thistle (Onopordon Acanthium) is one of the most beautiful of British plants, not uncommon in England, by roadsides and in waste places, particularly in chalky and sandy soils in the southern counties.

---Description---It is a biennial, flowering in late summer and autumn. The erect stem, 18 inches to 5 feet high, is very stout and much branched, furnished with wing-like appendages (the decurrent bases of the leaves) which are broader than its own diameter. The leaves are very large, waved and with sharp prickles on the margin. The flowers are light purple and surrounded with a nearly globular involucre, with scales terminating in strong, yellow spines.

The whole plant is hoary with a white, cottony down, that comes off readily when rubbed, and causes the young leaves to be quite white. From the presence of this covering, the Thistle has obtained its popular name of Cotton or Woolly Thistle.

This species is one of the stiffest and most thorny of its race, and its sharp spines well agree with Gerard's description of the plant as 'set full of most horrible sharp prickles, so that it is impossible for man or beast to touch the same without great hurt and danger.'

Which is the true Scotch Thistle even the Scottish antiquarians cannot decide, but it is generally considered to be this species of Thistle that was originally the badge of the House of Stuart, and came to be regarded as the national emblem of Scotland. The first heraldic use of the plant would appear to be in the inventory of the property of James III of Scotland, made at his death in 1458, where a hanging embroidered with 'thrissils' is mentioned. It was, undoubtedly, a national badge in 1503, in which year Dunbar wrote his poetic allegory, 'The Thrissill and the Rose,' on the union of James IV and Princess Margaret of England. The Order of the Thistle, which claims, with the exception of the Garter, to be the most ancient of our Orders, was instituted in 1540 by James V, and revived by James VII of Scotland and Second of England, who created eight Knights in 1687. The expressive motto of the Order, Nemo me impune lacessit (which would seem to apply most aptly to the species just described), appears surrounding the Thistle that occupies the centre of the coinage of James VI. From that date until now, the Thistle has had a place on our coins.

Pliny states, and mediaeval writers repeat, that a decoction of Thistles applied to a bald head would restore a healthy growth of hair.

 

---Medicinal Action and Uses---The Ancients supposed this Thistle to be a specific in cancerous complaints, and in more modern times the juice is said to have been applied with good effect to cancers and ulcers.

A decoction of the root is astringent and diminishes discharges from mucous membranes.

Gerard tells us, on the authority of Dioscorides and Plinv, that 'the leaves and root hereof are a remedy for those that have their bodies drawn backwards,' and Culpepper explains that not only is the juice therefore good for a crick in the neck, but also as a remedy for rickets in children. It was considered also to be good in nervous complaints.

The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words onos (an ass) and perdon (I disperse wind), the species being said to produce this effect in asses.

The juicy receptacle or disk on which the florets are placed was used in earlier times as the Artichoke - which is also a member of the Thistle tribe. The young stalks, when stripped of their rind, may be eaten like those of the Burdock.

The cotton is occasionally collected from the stem and used to stuff pillows, and the oil obtained from the seeds has been used on the Continent for burning, both in lamps and for ordinary culinary purposes. Twelve pounds of the seeds are said to produce, when heat is used in expression, about 3 lb of oil.

The greater number of the Thistles are assigned to the genus Carduus. The derivation of the name of this genus is difficult to determine; by some orders it is said to come from the Greek cheuro, a technical word denoting the operation of carding wool, to which process the heads of some of the species are applicable.

 

THISTLE, DWARF
Botanical: Carduus acaulis 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonyms---Ground Thistle. Dwarf May Thistle (Culpepper). 
---Part Used---Root.

Carduus acaulis, the Dwarf Thistle, is found in pastures, especially chalk downs, and is rather common in the southern half of England, particularly on the east side. It is a perennial, with a long, woody root-stock. The stem in the ordinary form is so short that the flowers appear to be sessile, or sitting, in the centre of the rosette of prickly leaves, but very occasionally it attains the length of a foot or 18 inches, and then is usually slightly branched. The leaves are spiny and rigid, with only a few hairs on the upper side, and on the veins beneath, and are of a dark, shining green. The flowers are large and dark crimson in colour, and are in bloom from July to September.

The Thistle is very injurious in pastures; it kills all plants that grow beneath it, and ought not to be tolerated, even on the borders of fields and waste places. At one time the root used to be chewed as a remedy for toothache.

Johns (Flowers of the Field) calls this the Ground Thistle, and Culpepper calls it the Dwarf May Thistle, and says that 'in some places it is called the Dwarf Carline Thistle.'

 

THISTLE, CREEPING PLUME
Botanical: Carduus arvensis 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonym---Way Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus arvensis, the Creeping Plurne Thistle, or Way Thistle, has many varieties. It is found in cultivated fields and waste places, and is very common and widely distributed. The root-stock is perennial, creeping extensively and sending up leafy barren shoots and flowering stems about 3 feet high. The leaves are attenuated, embracing the stems at their base, with strong spines at their margins. The flowers are in numerous small heads, and are pale purple in colour. The plant is bright green, the leaves often white beneath, but varying much in this respect.

 

THISTLE, WELTED
Botanical: Carduus crispus 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonym---Field Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus crispus, the Welted Thistle, or Field Thistle, is one of the taller species. The stem, 3 to 4 feet high, is erect, branched, continuously spinous-winged throughout. The leaves are green on both sides, downy on the veins beneath, narrow, cut into numerous lobes and very prickly. The flowers are purplish-crimson, not very large, sometimes clustered three or four together on short stalks. The plant varies much in the degree of soft hairiness, and consequently in the green or whitish colour of the leaves. It is common and generally distributed in England, growing in hedgebanks, borders of fields and by roadsides, occurring less frequently in Scotland. This is one of the least troublesome of the Thistles, being an annual and less abundant than some others. Like the last species, it has many variations of form.

 

THISTLE, WOOLLY-HEADED
Botanical: Carduus eriophorus 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus eriophorus, the Woolly-headed Thistle, is a biennial. The stem is elongated, branched, not winged, short and furrowed, woolly, 3 to 5 feet high. The lowest leaves are very large, often 2 feet long, the stem leaves much smaller, all deeply cut into, with strap-shaped lobes joined together in pairs in the lower ones. The flowers are light reddish-purple, the large woolly heads covered with reddish curled hairs. The whole plant is a deep dull green. It flowers in August.

This Thistle is eaten when young as a salad. The young stalks, peeled and soaked in water to take off the bitterness, are excellent, and may be eaten either boiled or baked in pies after the manner of Rhubarb, though Gerard says: 'concerning the temperature and virtues of these Thistles we can allege nothing at all.'

 

THISTLE, MELANCHOLY
Botanical: Carduus heterophyllus 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus heterophyllus, the Melancholy Thistle, is said by some to have been the original badge of the House of Stuart, instead of the Cotton Thistle; it is the Cluas an fleidh of the Highlanders, and is more common in Scotland than in England, where it only occurs in the midland and northern counties, growing no farther south than the northern counties of Wales. It is a perennial, with a long and creeping root. The stems are tall and stout, often deeply furrowed, and more or less covered with a white or cotton-like down. The leaves clasp the stem at their bases and white dark green above, have their under-surfaces thickly covered with white and down like hairs. Unlike most of the Thistles, the leaves are not continued down the stem at all, and are much simpler in form than the ordinary type of Thistle foliage. Their edges have small bristle-like teeth. The flowerheads are borne singly on long stalks, the bracts that form the involucre being quite destitute of prickles.

Culpepper considered that a decoction of this Thistle in wine 'being drank expels superfluous melancholy out of the body and makes a man as merry as a cricket.'

And he further adds:
'Dioscorides saith, the root borne about one doth the like, and removes all diseases of melancholy: Modern writers laugh at him: Let them laugh that win: my opinion is, that it is the best remedy against all melancholy diseases that grows; they that please may use it.'

 

THISTLE, SPEAR
Botanical: Carduus lanceolatus 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus lanceolatus, the Spear Thistle, is one of our most striking and common Thistles. It grows in waste places, by roadsides, in pastures and cultivated ground, and is generally distributed over the whole kingdom. The plant is a biennial, the stem 1 to 5 feet high, stout and strong, more or less woolly with narrow, spinous wings. The leaves have the segments elongated or lanceshaped, palmately cleft sometimes in large plants, but short and scarcely cleft at all in weaker specimens, each lobe terminating in a long and acute prickle. They are dark, dull green above, paler beneath, where they are sometimes nearly white from the abundance of hair present. The flowerheads stand singly and are large and conspicuous. The flowers are a beautiful purple and, like those of the Artichoke, have the property of curdling milk.

 

 

(Carduus nutans) 
Click on graphic for larger image

Botanical: Carduus nutans 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonym---Nodding Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Root, seeds.

Carduus nutans, the Musk Thistle, or Nodding Thistle, occurs in waste places, and is particularly partial to chalky and limestone soils. It is not uncommon in England, but is rare in Scotland, where it is confined to sandy seashores in the southern counties. The stem is erect, 2 to 3 feet high, branched only in larger plants, furrowed, interruptedly winged. The leaves are long, undulated, with scattered hairs on both surfaces, somewhat shiny, green and verydeeply cut. This is a common Thistle on a dry soil, and may be known by its large drooping, crimson-purple flowers, the largest of all our Thistle blooms, handsome both in form and colour, and by its faint, musky scent.

The down of this, as of some other species, may be advantageously used as a material in making paper.

 

THISTLE, MARSH PLUME
Botanical: Carduus palustris 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonym---Cirsium palustre. 
---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carduus palustris, or Cirsium Palustre, the Marsh Plume Thistle, is very common in meadows, marshes and bogs, by the sides of ditches, etc., and is generally distributed over the country. It is a biennial, the stem stout, erect, furrowed, 1 to 5 feet high, scarcely branched at all, the branches, when occurring, being much shorter than the main stem, which is narrowly winged, the wings having numerous, long slender spines. The spines on the edges of the narrow, long leaves are similar to those on the wings of the stem. The flowers are dark, dull, crimson purple, small in themselves, but grouped together in large clusters, which distinguish it from most of our thistles, though one or two others exhibit their characteristic in a lesser degree. The plant is a deep dull green, the leaves sometimes slightly hoary beneath.

The stalks of this species are said to be as good as those of the Milk Thistle, and in Evelyn's time were similarly employed.

Culpepper tells us that, in his day, it was 'frequent in the Isle of Ely.'

[Top] [Top of Thistle, Marsh Plume]

THISTLE, CARLINE
Botanical: Carlina vulgaris 
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Parts Used---Root, leaves.

Carlina vulgaris, the Carline Thistle, closely related to the last-named Thistles, but assigned to a special genus, of which it is the sole representative in this country, is found on dry banks and pastures, being rather scarce except on chalk, where it is plentiful. It is rare in Scotland. It is a biennial, the root, a taproot, producing in the first year a tuft of strap-shaped, nearly flat leaves, hoary, especially beneath, very spinuous, but with the spines short and weak. The flower stem, appearing in the second year, is from 3 inches to 2 feet high, purple, not winged, the leaves on it decreasing in length and increasing in width from bottom to top, strongly veined, spinous and waved at the edges. The whole plant is pale green, the leaves rigid and scarcely altering after the plant is dead, except in colour. The flowers are straw yellow, the inner florets purplish, the heads distinguished by the strawcoloured, glossy, radiating long inner scales of the involucre, or outer floral cup. The outer bracts are very prickly. The flowers expand in dry and close in moist weather. They retain this property for a long time and form rustic hygrometers, being often seen on the Continent nailed over cottage doors for this purpose. The presence of the Carline Thistle indicates a very poor soil; it particularly infests dry, sandy pastures.

Culpepper describes the 'Wild Carline Thistle (C. vulgaris)' as having flowers 'of a fine purple,' so he must have confused it with another species, or given it a wrong name.

The original name of this plant was Carolina, so called after Charlemagne, of whom the legend relates that:
'a horrible pestilence broke out in his army and carried off many thousand men, which greatly troubled the pious emperor. Wherefore he prayed earnestly to God, and in his sleep there appeared to him an angel who shot an arrow from a crossbow, telling him to mark the plant upon which it fell, for with that plant he might cure his army of the pestilence.'

The herb so miraculously indicated was this Thistle. Its medicinal qualities appear to be very like those of Elecampane, it has diaphoretic action, and in large doses is purgative. The herb contains some resin and a volatile essential oil of a camphoraceous nature, like that of Elecampane, which has made it of use for similar purposes as a cordial and antiseptic.

In Anglo-Saxon, the plant was called from the bristly appearance of its flowerheads, ever throat, i.e. boar's throat. It was formerly used in magical incantations.

The texture of Carline Thistles is like that of Everlasting Flowers; they scarcely alter their appearance when dead; and the whole plant is remarkably durable.

Other Thistles are the SLENDER-FLOWERED THISTLE (C. pycnocephalous) which has stems 2 to 4 feet high, slightly branched, hoary, with broad continuous, deeply-lobed, spinous wings; leaves cottony underneath; heads many, clustered, cylindrical, small; florets pink. It grows in sandy, waste places, especially near the sea: frequent. Biennial.

The TUBEROUS PLUME THISTLE (C. tuberosus). The root is spindle-shaped with tuberous fibres; stem 2 feet high, single, erect, round hairy, leafless above; leaves not decurrent, deeply pinnatifid, fringed with minute prickles; heads generally solitary, large, egg-shaped; florets crimson. Grows only in Wiltshire. Perennial.

The MEADOW PLUME THISTLE (C. pratensis). A small plant, 12 to 18 inches high, with fibrous roots; a cottony stem, giving off runners; few leaves, mostly radical, soft, wavy, fringed with minute spines, not decurrent; and generally solitary heads, with adpressed, slightly cottony bracts and crimson florets. Found in wet meadows; not general. Flowers in August. Perennial.

The sow THISTLE is in no sense a Thistle, but is more nearly allied to the Dandelion.

The Star Thistles belong to the genus Centaurea.

See: 
KNAPWEED, BLACK 
KNAPWEED, GREATER 
TEAZLE 
SCABIOUS, FIELD 
SCABIOUS, LESSER 
SCABIOUS, DEVIL'S BIT 
CORNFLOWER 
SOW THISTLE (no listing)

[Top] [Top of Thistle, Carline]

THISTLE, COMMON STAR
Botanical: Centaurea Colcitrapa 
Family: N.O. Compositae

Description
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Parts Used---Herb, seeds, root. 
---Habitat---South-east England.

Centaurea Calcitrapa, the Common Star Thistle, occurs in waste places and by roadsides, but is somewhat rare and chiefly found in south-east England.

---Description---The stem is branched, not winged, like most of the true Thistles; the lower leaves are much cut into, almost to the midrib, but the uppermost are merely toothed or with entire margins. On the flowerheads are long sharp spines, 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. The flowers themselves are pale, purplish rose, the ray florets no longer than the central ones. The plant is a dull green, somewhat hairy, and flowers in July.

The specific name of this species is due to the resemblance of the flower-head to the Caltrops, or iron ball covered with spikes, formerly used for throwing under horses' feet to lame them on a field of battle.

It is a troublesome weed to agriculturists in certain districts, and is only eradicated by breaking up the ground.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---The seeds used to be made into powder and drunk in wine as a remedy for stone, and the powdered root was considered a cure for fistula and gravel.

 

THISTLE, YELLOW STAR
Botanical:Centaurea solstitalis 
Family: N.O. Composite

Description
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Synonym---St. Barnaby's Thistle. 
---Parts Used---Herb, seeds, root.

Centaurea solstitialis, the Yellow Star Thistle, St. Barnaby's Thistle, is rare and hardly to be considered a native, though found in dry pastures in south-east Kent.

---Description---The plant forms a scrubby bush, 18 inches to 2 feet high, with the lower part of the stems very stiff, almost woody, the branches when young very soft, with broad wings, decurrent from the short, strap-shaped leaves. The lower leaves are deeply cut into, the upper ones narrow and with entire margins. The spines of the flower-heads are very long, 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length, pale yellow. The whole plant is hoary.

This plant obtains its name from being supposed to flower about St. Barnabas' Day, June 11 (old style). It is an annual.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---It has been used for the same purposes as the Common Star Thistle.

Many species of Centaurea grow wild in Palestine, some of formidable size. Canon Tristram mentions some in Galilee through which it was impossible to make way till the plants had been beaten down. 'Thistle' mentioned several times in the Bible refers to some member of this family (Centaurea), probably C. Calcitrapa, which is a Palestinian weed.

Occult Symbols

There are different kinds of occult symbols that exist and at present,  you will find that an increasing number of people are now using these symbols by wearing them or by displaying them because these signs are considered to be trendy. This is especially popular among the youngsters. On the other hand, it is important that you know what the symbol mean before you decide to use it by displaying it or by wearing it. You need to know that the occult symbols have double meanings and sometimes multiple meanings.

Take the pentagram as an example. People have been using this sign to send out occult power in various kinds of rituals for hundreds of years. A person who does not know about this will think that is just a star. Let’s look at another example. When an image of a fish is seen, many people think that is simply one of the signs of the Zodiac but to the followers of Christianity, a fish means following Jesus Christ and spreading His message of love. On the other hand, there are some other people who make use of this image to represent the evil.
The signs and symbols of Occult have not lost their meaning even today and the followers of Occult as well as the New Agers make use of these symbols. Given below are the meanings of some of the Occult symbols:
•    Alchemy: This is basically a symbol from the 17th century that demonstrates the combination of astrological signs, elemental symbols and geometric shapes. Every single part of this symbol stands for the different forces and elements that are required for magical work. 
•    Amulet: An amulet is a magic charm that people wear to bring good fortune and protection against the evil forces, illness and accidents.
•    Angel: This is actually a symbol that represents the good as well as the evil spirits in different religions worldwide. 
•    Crystal ball: I am sure you must have heard about the crystal ball. Almost every one of us has, because we believe that the fortune tellers make use of this ball to predict the future. The crystal or gazing ball is used for the purpose of divination such as clairvoyance, scrying and fortune telling; to name a few. There was a time when the heavy crystal balls were very costly and instead of using this, the witches made use of magic mirrors, colored glass balls or glass-ball fishing floats. 
•    Butterfly: A butterfly reminds the followers of Christianity of the astonishing transformation that took place through the salvation and regeneration of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, this symbol has a different meaning to pagans as they believe that a butterfly is connected to the soul of someone who is no more in the world, someone who is looking for reincarnation. 
•    Circle: A circle is a universal and sacred symbol that means many things like female power, goddess, infinity, wholeness and unity. The circle stands for a sacred space, a spiritualized Mother Earth and feminine force or spirit to the various religions all over the world and also to the modern pagans.
•    Crescent moon: The modern witches consider this symbol to represent an aging goddess. On the other hand, the Muslims consider the crescent moon to be victory over dead. 

 

 

Indian Spiced Spinach

Type of dish: Side Dish
Servings: 4
Equipment: Cooking pot

Ingredients:

6 packed cups chopped spinach (this is about four really big bunches of spinach before chopping)
1 red or yellow onion, chopped finely
1 inch piece of ginger
6 cloves garlic
1 TB cooking fat such as coconut oil
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

The quickest way to prep the spinach is to wash it, spin it dry with a salad spinner, and then chop it by hand or with a food processor.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion. If you like heat, add a chopped green chili here (omit for autoimmune). Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes, give or take, until onions become translucent.
Mince the garlic and ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and stir in.
Add the spices (coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric) and stir well.
Add the spinach along with salt and pepper to taste.
Leaving the heat on medium, the spinach will take a while to cook. Stir frequently for the first five minutes or so to prevent the spinach from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you’d rather add a tablespoon or two of water, that will work, but eventually the spinach will let out its own water.
After about 5 minutes, cover the pot and allow the spinach to cook for about 15 more minutes, until its color changes to dark green. Take the lid off and stir every two minutes for the whole duration in order to keep the bottom of the spinach from burning/sticking.
By staying nearby and stirring often, you will need to add less (or no) water, and the flavor will stay in the spinach.
To serve, remove with a slotted spoon.

Enjoy!

QUICK NAAN WITHOUT YEAST


QUICK NAAN WITHOUT YEAST
 

8
Count
Nutrition
120
Calories
Total Time
25
Minutes
 



PREP TIME
15 mins
COOK TIME
10 mins
TOTAL TIME
25 mins
 
Recipe: by Mary
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
2 tsp oil (I used olive, you could use anything relatively mild)
½ cup* milk
butter + herbs for seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all dry ingredients, and whisk together.
Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the oil and milk. Mix everything together until it forms a ball. Turn out on the counter and knead until very smooth and elastic — at least 5 minutes — adding more flour as necessary.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 8-10 equal pieces.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Roll one piece of dough until very thin (less than ⅛"). If the skillet isn't non-stick, melt some butter before each piece. One at a time, cook the naan for about 90 seconds, or until parts are blackening, on each side. When they are done, you can brush them with butter and add seasonings (cilantro, garlic, etc.), if you want.

HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP SKILLET


HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP SKILLET
 
SAVE PRINT
PREP TIME
5 mins
COOK TIME
15 mins
TOTAL TIME
20 mins
 
Author: The Cooking Jar
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on

Sauce:

1 teaspoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ginger, minced
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the sauce ingredients and divide it into half
Marinate the shrimp with one half of the sauce for 15-30 minutes. Discard marinade
Over medium high heat in a 10" skillet, pan sear the shrimp in some oil. Sear them on both sides in two batches until browned, about 1 minute per side
Using tongs, rub the shrimp into the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan
Dish and serve hot drizzled with the remaining sauce

NOTES
For even more flavor, try adding in some red pepper flakes for heat or fresh lime juice for zest!
[This smoky and sweet honey garlic shrimp skillet is super easy with only five ingredients and cooked in less than 15 minutes!]

Ingredients5Count
Nutrition190Calories
Total Time20

Weekly Astrology for Aquarius Week from Sunday 15th May = > Sunday 22nd May 2016

* Sun 24° Taurus => Sun enters Gemini on Friday => 1° Gemini

* Full Moon on 21st May 2016 conjunct Mars at 1° Sagittarius 
* Mercury 16° => 14° Taurus - retrograde

* Venus 18° => 27° Taurus

* Mars 4°17' => 1°57' Sagittarius - retrograde

* Jupiter 13°18' => 13°29' Virgo

* Saturn 14°30' => 14°01' Sagittarius - retrograde

* Uranus 22°23' => 22°43' Aries

* Neptune 11°48' => 11°54' Pisces

* Pluto 17°19' => 17°13' Capricorn - retrograde

Weekly Astrology for Aquarius

For everyone with Sun in Aquarius - it's all on "your own Astrological Chart"

 

This week's important astrological aspects are :-

Sun entering Gemini | Full Moon in Sagittarius | Mercury in Taurus | Venus in Taurus | Mars in Sagittarius

Jupiter in Virgo | Saturn in Sagittarius | Uranus in Aries | Neptune in Pisces | Pluto in Capricorn

 

This week Sunday 15th => 22nd May 2016 - with Sun entering Gemini , the Sagittarian Full Moon AND - with Jupiter going direct in Virgo - means - this week will be a changeable week for you and for everyone. It will create the unexpected and unpredictability - when suddenly things change and suddenly people change their minds and suddenly - your life changes.

 

"It" is all unavoidable and inevitable - "It" is going to be clear that the purpose is to get your life moving forwards and give you something to look forward to. You see when life is "stagnant" - you loose hope - but when the most unexpected things happen - you awaken to realize that "destiny" really is changing your life. This week is when you'll begin to smile again - especially if the past month you haven't be able to !

 

Hence for you - an Aquarian - this week you will be SHOCKED and SURPRISED - as Sun in Gemini - turns the SWITCH ON - to positive energies - which means that THINGS WILL BE CHANGING. Accept and go-with-the-flow. When Sun enters in Gemini from 20th May => 20th June 2016 - the excitement and vibrancy comes back and steps up to become even stronger as Sun in Gemini will energize all the planets in [Fire Signs] and that's exactly what you need in your life - the vibrancy of Saturn in Sagittarius, Mars in Sagittarius & Uranus in Aries - all of which will be making your life happier and even happier than you can imagine.

 

Prior to Sun entering Gemini - this week life will HELP you eliminate anything WRONG - anyone who is inappropriate and disloyal to you - it will surprise you most when you realize who is LOYAL to you - and feel the energy of loyal reliable trustworthy relationships in your life to ensure you move towards creating a much more stable future.

 

Depending on the "Jupiter turnaround effect" and depending on your age - as an Aquarian - you should expect the unexpected destined changes between 12th May => 30th June 2016. The events will CHANGE your routine - because of something "destined" that isn't in your current daily routine and something you can't yet see coming in your life. You see "change of routine" is a sign of being awakened to change. To either get your life moving forward, get you to meet your destiny and to ensure you GROW to be the person you're destined to be.

 

As an Aquarian - the BIG change coming this week - will be BIG - because both Sun entering Gemini on Friday 20th May - followed by a positive Sagittarian Full Moon on Saturday 21st May 2016 - totally unexpected events that will change your life will be something that you won't see coming until it happens.

 

You see as an Aquarian - you attract good events when there's the "right" energy and attract bad events when the energy-flow is blocked - Sun in Gemini will be perfect for you as it will create one of the best months - full of coincidences, good events and dates-with-destiny - because your aura will be so OPEN with aliveness to connect with the right people - the right destined people you need in your life who make you feel "alive" - and - who make you feel the best version of yourself.

This Year 2016 for Aquarius

"Arriving Home" - being the real "You"

The key to success in 2016 is you be you - don't lie or pretend to be someone you're not - be the real "you"

Listen to what you know to be right for you - concentrate on what you want in your future ...

Or more to the point - don't get distracted by anyone who isn't good for you - and who is irrelevant to your future

 

You shouldn't even need to read this - because you should already know everything that I'm going to explain here by yourself from within yourself - defined by the way you're feeling and been thinking about since at least January 2012 - the ONLY reason you should be reading this is to CONFIRM what you've been thinking and to finally give you the push forwards.

 

"2016" is telling you - you can't wait another year - you can't waste any more time with the gift of life - 2016 is your destined time to do something with your life. Lucky for you - you will do it - it might need you to concentrate more than you have been and it might mean you can't let yourself get distracted for the next 12 months - but use your mind and determination and you will create the changes you need.

 

You see Aquarius is a star sign that can be hesitant and lazy - until it either becomes an emergency to do something or until you realize you must make a change - or until life gives you such an opportunity that you feel you must do it - because you know you can't continue the way you are.

 

When you look back at all the best moments of your life and the best decisions you've made - have always been because it "comes" to you SUDDENLY that this is what you must do - and you did "it". The same applies now in 2016 and 2017 too.

 

You're going to have LOTS OF SUDDEN GOOD LUCK - it will come 2 stages defined by Saturn direct in Sagittarius between 10th January => 25th March 2016 and by Uranus direct in Aries between 10th January => 31st July 2016 - both overlap - both sort out TWO major areas of your life - both just happen by coincidence. BUT - and this is the important BUT - all you need to be is YOU. The real YOU.

 

The truth is you "know" when you feel lucky - because "lucky" energies are invisible and yet create a BUZZ of vibrancy in your aura. Aquarians have a natural instinct to know what to do - because you will choose to do nothing rather than do anything that's going to fail. That's why since November 2015 - your aura has shifted - you've changed from within - you're feeling completely different about life - you're much happier and alive - that's because "you" are coming back to yourself. The real "you" is awakened.

 

Hence, whilst you can forget your lazy period of doing nothing in 2013 / 2014 / 2015 - now is your time for doing what you know you need to do. You don't need me to tell you what "It" is - because Saturn in Sagittarius is sextiles your Aquarian nature on one side - andUranus in Aries is sextile your Aquarian nature on the other side - BOTH creating a trine of stability - hence - you too are seeing "it" so clearly - that you now know - what "it" is you need to do.

 

I should say ONE important facet of Aquarius and that is when you feel LUCKY and when you are determined - you always get what you want. That's exactly why you've been awakened - because life wants you to want what it wants you to want and is giving you the fired-up determination to get it.

 

You see - when you're given the FOCUS and DETERMINATION by destiny - you actually ignore everyone and everything else - hence that's why irrespective of your age and current circumstances - you will simply SUCCEED to do whatever it is destiny wants you to do.

 

All you need to do is FOCUS and CONCENTRATE. Forget and ignore everything else in your life - at least until Saturn goes retrograde on 25th March 2016 - but by then you will have succeeded and entered the new stable phase of your life - that you will know - you've done "it". You see as an Aquarian - you know - all you need is a BIG BURST of energy - to accomplish whatever it is - and then it runs itself. That's the story of your whole life - lots of BURSTS of energy - and then a new routine is sorted. During 2015 - some of the frustration you experienced made you realize you need CHANGE - and - now it's your destined time - concentrate and it will happen.

 

Now - I must say - that Saturn in Sagittarius in 2016 and 2017 - which defines all the destined relationships in your life. Relationships that give you stability and make you feel alive. Irrespective if you're in a relationship or not - there are important people in all our lives that destiny needs us to be connected to - whether it be love relationships, family, teachers or friends - even at work - you work with other people because destiny defines you need to co-create with others - indeed everyone needs people to define life.

 

During Saturn in Sagittarius - it is about REAL relationships in REAL life - it is no longer good enough for you to have a long-distance relationship or fantasy email relationships either - it's no longer acceptable to be in a relationship that does nothing for you - as you need to vibrancy that the "right" people do for you.

 

In 2016 - life wants you to live and be amongst REAL people. That's why you've recently found a newfound warmth in people in REAL life. You see - when you speak to people on the phone it is NOT the same as meeting them face-to-face in real life - Saturn wants you to feel the warmth from real people.

 

Hence if some of you have moved-away from "home" - during the past few years when you've called your parents, family and friends on the phone that was enough - but that's not enough anymore because Saturn in Sagittarius is demanding you have stability and foundations in the place where you truly belong - that's why 2016 means "moving" for some of you. Moving to be with REAL people who give you REAL life warmth and energy.

 

Some of you will be surprised that destiny will create coincidences to put you where you will be - and will then make you realize that you're there because it is exactly where you belong to meet and be amongst the "right" people for you. 2016 will make you realize where you "home" really is - defined by the warmth of people in your life.

 

I just want to add one point about Neptune in Pisces - and hopefully it shouldn't apply to you - and that is Neptune in Pisces defines "internet, addictions, illusions, liars, lies and distractions" - you see - everyone absorbs information via what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears. There's no indication whether it's the truth or not - and when you've made mistakes in the past - it was because you were LIED to and your eyes and ears DECEIVED you too.

 

As an Aquarian - you're normally 100% perfect at sensing a liar and recognizing that something is an illusion - you're also good at always keeping away from negativity by switching-off - so I doubt any of you have any addiction problem - and you certainly always detach yourself quickly from anyone deceitful - because you sense their unstable energies and dump them quick before they have a chance to do any damage.

 

Even so - if you have been DECEIVED by illusions and liars - then between January => March 2016 - you're going to dump all the nonsense out of your life. Especially for readers born 1972 => 1985 due to Saturn in Sagittarius conjunct your Neptune in Sagittarius - will find some of your illusions of life shattered into pieces - as you face a reality that you can't have something that you dreamt of. That's a good thing - facing and accepting the truth will indeed be good for you.

The Outer Planets of Generational Changes

Jupiter in Virgo | Saturn in Sagittarius | Uranus in Aries | Neptune in Pisces | Pluto in Capricorn

 

Jupiter in Virgo - from 11th August 2015 => 9th September 2016 - Jupiter entering Virgo - means a time of generational maturity Are you ready to grow-up? This means letting-go of the "old" you and becoming a "new" you. During 2016 - you're going to become stable, confident and happy with life - because Jupiter in Virgo will talk directly and honestly to you - with clarity and knowing what's yours and what isn't yours - automatically you'll stop being distracted by anything or anyone that's got nothing to do with your destiny.

Jupiter in Virgo - will oppose - Neptune in Pisces - numerous times in the next 12 months - to ensure success and clarity by shattering illusions - because truths which will be revealed. Jupiter in Virgo will ensure no-more confusion - and you'll know what's right and wrong for you. It's up to you - whether you grow-up and listen to the truth or not.

 

Saturn in Sagittarius - from 17th September 2015 => 20th December 2017 - a new vibrant phase of life begins - Saturn understands that everything GOOD and DESTINED happens slowly - from now onwards you'll see the reasons for everything you've been through in the past 3 years - especially as you'll sense Saturn making everything become "light", good and showing you that everything is going to be alright.

 

Uranus in Aries - from 11th March 2011 and until 15th May 2018

Neptune in Pisces - from February 2012 and until 2025

Pluto in Capricorn - from November 2008 and until 2024

 

Uranus - Neptune - Pluto - each define a stage of growing-up - collectively and generationally for everyone in the whole world - each planet defines a border that you can't go-back to the "old" you - you can't go back in time - and you either move-forward with everyone else, adapt and change or you'll find yourself being left-behind. Depending on your age - each of these planets - create generational changes for everyone between the ages of 30 and 55 - which I explain in private readings.

 

As a Aquarius - you're not good at commitment and taking life seriously - but since 2008 Pluto in Capricorn - has been forcing you to grow-up and take life seriously - which isn't easy for you. During the past 12 months with Jupiter in Leo - you did what you do best - and detached yourself - liberated yourself from the stress - and found yourself.

 

Now Jupiter in Virgo - with Saturn in Sagittarius from September 2015 - will begin a commitment phase - when you give-up and let-go of the "past" - and then firmly ACCEPT the new future. The truth is even though you don't like to admit it - you do get stressed - the secret to life is to find the source of the stress and DELETE it - change your way of thinking - and then the stress goes away. From September 2015 - you will DELETE all the negativity - and begin an enjoyable phase of stability.

 

Remember - it's nonsense from the "past" that's stressing you out in your head. Life is showing you a TRUTH clearly, grow-up and stop being fooled by deceptions. Then you can create NEW stability in your life - as you eliminate all the nonsense and grow-up.

 

Believe it or not - Pluto in Capricorn is your best karmic friend - as it guarantees that you get your destiny - all you have to make sure is that you're not thinking of, distracted, not wanting nor desiring anything that's not yours - and you concentrate your efforts of getting what is yours - and letting go of everything that's not yours to have.

Jupiter in Virgo from 11th August 2015 until September 2016 will ensure you concentrate to get it - all you have to do is learn from the past and don't make any stupid mistakes. Stay within what you know is RIGHT for you - and you'll have the best 12 months you've had in a long time.

~*~ In the Stars for May 15th, 2016~*~



Sunday 15th & Monday 16th May 2016 - Moon in Virgo
Truths revealed - in sync with and in harmony with all the "right" facets ....
Moon in Virgo - conjunct - Jupiter in Virgo - means this weekend is a BIG weekend for everyone ....
I've often said that "some" people appear to look like humans but they're not acting like humans. They can't help it that's who they are. Likewise, there are people in our lives that are simply nothing to do with us - because they're on a totally different wavelength. They might appear to be living in the same world as you - but the truth is they're not.
Now, I understand that the internet creates the illusion for "some" people - that they are near to you - but they're not - and for those of you who've attempted those catastrophic dating websites - and - met them in real life - you've realized that appearances on the internet are totally deceptive.
Likewise, in a person's mind - your illusion of life - might be clouded by people around you - or - by your current circumstances. But when you think clearly and thanks to Jupiter direct in Virgo - which is opposing Neptune in Pisces - you have woken-up and are now thinking truthfully and clearly. You're realizing that when you're seeing your life clearly - life is completely different to when you see it in state of "illusion".
That's why I always recommend readers to stop drinking alcohol for at least 7 days [or stop any addictions for 7 days] - to get a reality check - to come down-to-earth and face the truth. Because when you face the truth - then you can start to fix your life.
Moon in Virgo - will ensure - each of us - comes down-to-earth - sees a truth and defined by Moon 13° Virgo conjunct Jupiter 13° Virgo on Sunday - will be able to fix it - by showing you everything with clarity especially as "things" will be happening. In fact - life will ensure you see, sense and realize - exactly what you should be doing with your life. 100% clear.
The dilemma of Moon squares Mars, Moon squares Saturn and Moon opposition Neptune will be facing the TRUTH - letting go of the illusion and lies of the past and moving on forwards. The reality seen and revealed during Moon in Virgo will be abrupt - like finding out the person you're married to is in love with someone else and having an affair. A brutal truth that can't be swept-under-the-carpet - for a truth is a truth. Whereas a lie is merely a truth that's been covered up. But when the truth is revealed then living the lie can't be put back.
Saturday 14th May 2016
Moon enters Virgo 7am UK - 8am Europe - 2am USA EST
11:30am India - 1pm Sydney, Australia
Moon 4° Virgo squares Mars [retrograde] 4° Sagittarius
Sunday 15th May 2016
Moon 11° Virgo opposes / opposes Neptune 11° Pisces
Moon 13° Virgo conjunct Jupiter 13° Virgo
Moon 14° Virgo squares Saturn [retrograde] 14° Sagittarius
Moon 15° Virgo trines Mercury [retrograde] 15° Taurus
Moon 17° Virgo trines Pluto [retrograde] 17° Capricorn
Moon 19° Virgo trines Venus 19° Taurus
Monday 16th May 2016
Moon 26° Virgo trines Sun 26° Taurus
Moon enters Libra 7pm UK - 8pm Europe - 1pm USA EST
11:30pm India - [Tuesday 4am Sydney, Australia]
Moon in Virgo - will be 100% clear - truthful - and ensure you can't go-back to the "living-a-lie". Moon in Virgo - will show 100% clarity exactly what life needs to show you - and - thereafter - ensure you do what life needs you to do.
There's a fact that I explained on Sun in Taurus Months Astrology and that's loyalty, respect and trust in relationships. You see the more you truly trust and respect people in your life - the more you can be honest with them. The more they can trust you and the more stable your life is because when you know everything about someone and ACCEPT them for whoever they are - as they ACCEPT you for whoever you are - that defines the right relationships for you.
You see - when people HATE others, ARGUE or refuse to accept others - they are saying - their aura is refusing to accept them into their lives. It's not their fault - it is merely a "sign" to ensure - there's no connection to be made - and - any bas connections are broken.
Whereas, when you instinctively like others, when you trust others, when you feel good wherever you're living - defines your aura is ACCEPTING that you are exactly where you should be. If you HATE wherever you are - your aura is defining either something is wrong with you - or something is wrong with where you are.
Moon in Virgo - will be 100% clear exactly what "it" is that is RIGHT for you and what "it" is that needs fixing in your life. When you ACCEPT the truth - that's when things will change. And even if you don't accept the truth - things will be changing anyway between Saturday 14th May and Tuesday 24th May 2016.
Depending on your nature - either when you wake-up on Sunday morning or when you wake-up on Monday morning - you will feel exactly what Jupiter going direct in Virgo is defining - that's because Moon - conjunct - Jupiter - will be feeling like the Moon - defined by your clear feelings - have interpreted what "Jupiter" wants you to do. Hence Jupiter has spoken to the Moon - and - the Moon has spoken to you. Now you're ready. That's why I predicted "movement" for everyone from Monday 16th May 2016.
The clarity for "some" of you - might make you realize you've got no feelings towards "some" things anymore - no feelings means no energy. And your feelings will be wanting to feel something - so you'll be searching for exactly what Jupiter wants you to have feelings towards. It's all about being connected to the RIGHT and LUCKY things for you.
The most fascinating fact of astrology is currently Sun in negative star sign of Taurus is going to be moving into positive star sign of Gemini on Friday - which means whatever you FOCUS your attention on will be converted from something negative into something positive by the Full Moon of 21st May 2016. And even if you don't focus - the mere fact that Sun is about to enter positive star sign of Gemini - whatever "it" is that's negative in your life today - will either vanish or become positive by the Full Moon.
Be Blessed today Pagans!
 

Basil Lemonade


Basil Lemonade
 

Author: The Peach Kitchen
Ingredients

5 cups water
4 tbsp sugar
fresh basil leaves
lots of ice
juice of 3 lemons

Directions

For the Basil leaves, you can use as little or as much as you want. It depends on how much of the Basil flavor you’d want your lemonade to have. I used the Basil leaves from my li'l garden
In a pitcher, combine sugar and Basil leaves, set aside some for garnish.
With a plastic or a wooden spoon,crush the leaves with sugar until bruised.
Pour in water and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. You can let it stand for a few hours to infuse lemonade with the flavor of Basil or you can serve it immediately.
Pour through a strainer to strain all bruised leaves.
Add lots of ice.
Garnish with the Basil leaves you set aside before serving.

Intermediate Class~wk 7

INTERMEDIATE WITCH CLASS

WEEK 7-STUDENT EDITION

 

 

Q: 1 bk green

Why is it important to craft our own spells?

A:

 

Q: 2 bk green

Why do we use a pentagram and what is its purpose?

A:

 

Q: 3 bk green

Name the six correspondence for construction a spell and tell me why we use them?

A:

 

Q: 4 bk green

When constructing the written part of a spell, is it necessary to use poetic and early century language and why?

A:

 

Q: 5 bk green

Please define what the following words mean, the basis of the meaning, why do we use them, and the pros & cons to the use of them?

A:

SMIB=

As I Will=

Harm None=.

No Harm=.

Perfect Love & Perfect Trust=

As Above, So Below=

 

Q: 6 bk green

So what is the ultimate purpose of outlining a spell?

A:

 

Q: 7 bk green

What do we need to consider when choosing a craft name, and what is the importance of have one?

A:

 

Q: 8 bk green

Is using jewelry in a ritual necessary, if so by whom, and is it helpful?

A:

 

Q: 9 bk green

Describe the following types of energy?

A:

 

Psychic energy=

Personal energy=

Thought form=

Spirit energy=

 

Q: 10 bk shadow

Give the complete definition of what “dark power herbs” are used for?

A:

 

Q: 11 bk shadow

List three dark herbs for the following spells?

A:

(student choice)

 

Return-to-Sender spell=

Deflection spell=

Retribution spell=

Exorcism spell=

Purging & Releasing spell=

 

Q: 12: bk shadow

Name me four herbs associated for each of the following elements?

A:

(student choice)

Earth=

Air=

Fire=

Water=

 

Q: 13 bk shadow

Name me all the colors and herbs associated for each day of the week?

A:

 

 

Q: 14 bk shadow

Name the best days of the week to do dark power spells and why?

A:

 

 

Q: 15 bk shadow

Name four dark power foods & beverages and their associations?

A:

(student choice)

 

Q: 16 bk spell

What will happen if you make a mistake?

A:

 

 

Q: 17 bk spell

What do you do if your forgot something, or two things for the spell outside of the cast circle, what can you do?

A:

 

 

Q: 18 bk spell

Name five common reasons why a spell didn't work?

A:

 

Q: 19 bk spell.

List the four supplies and five steps to take to do a “spell for guidance?”

A:

 

Q: 20 bk spell.

What does a “will the spell really make a difference” attitude reflect and why?

A:

 

Q: 21 bk spell.

Do you really need all the tools and props and why do we have them?

A:

 

Q: 22 bk spell.

Its always a good idea to have a mini travel altar and keep a record of your spells of what worked and what needs to be worked on making sure privacy and timing is well planned out, but what can you do if you can't stay focused or always tired?

A:

 

Q: 23 bk spell.

What do you do what a spell goes terribly wrong, and explain exactly how to fix it?

A:

 

Q: 24 bk spell.

What can be some classic symptoms of being “flashed,” and how can you prevent this from happening to you?

A:

 

Q: 25 bk spell.

What does happen when you casted a spell and were wrong in doing so, what can you do for damage control step by step?

A:

THIS WEEK YOU WILL BE DOING TWO SPELLS WITH YOUR ASSIGNMENT

 

1: You will be outlining a complete full moon spell from the book (Green Magic pg 127-133) with all aspects, the writing of the spell itself to be performed on the next full moon (05/21/2016)

 

2: You will be outlining a “dark power exorcism of renewal spell from the book (Green Witchcraft 11 pg 149-152) to fit your specific needs.... all aspects included due in with the assignment.

Litha Outline:

Prepare a full ritual outling including altar items, placement, and your ritual.

Here is some helpful correspondence and info to get you started. 

Midsummer Litha
(circa June 19-20)

 

At Midsummer, the Holly King, God of the Waning Year, vanquishes the Oak King, God of the Waxing Year. Read about them here. Celebrate passion and success. This is a night of powerful magick in Celebrate the Earth, calls midsummer the sun's sea change, when the sun reaches its peak, and "in one magical instant begins to wane." A midsummer fire was traditionally fueled by the friction between two sacred woods -- fir and oak. The element of fire is an important component of Midsummer, possibly because the sun is blazing in the sky and the heat generates thunder and lightning.

The tradition of hurling fire wheels into the air or down from atop a sacred hill was a common practice throughout Europe up until the 19th century or even later. As at Beltane, herds were driven through the embers of Midsummer fires to purge them of disease. Rubbing the ashes from the Beltane fire on our foreheads at Midsummer heightens our magickal powers.

HERBS

At Midsummer, nine different herbs are thrown into the blaze -- mistletoe, vervain, St. John's Wort, heartsease and lavender are usually among the nine chosen, but the nine can be chosen from this list:

sage, mint, basil, fennel, chive, chervil, tarragon, parsley, rosemary, thyme, hyssop, honeysuckle, red heather, white heather, rue, sunflower, lavender, fern, mistletoe, St. John's Wort, Mugwort, vervain, meadowsweet, heartsease, feverfew, iris, rowan, oak, fir, pine, aniseed, hazelnut.

 

LORE

Midsummer is a good time to seek protection and to purify space against negative or harmful energy. It's also a good time to divine in matters of fertility and love. In ancient times on Midsummer's Eve, young women galloped through fields of growing crops on broomsticks to ensure a bountiful harvest and personal fertility.

Protection rituals are appropriate at Midsummer. Some make protection amulets, charge them, use throughout the year and burn in the Midsummer fire -- making and charging a new one for the next year. I had a mini fire in my cauldron at the kitchen table (my altar for now) and burned Midsummer herbs and woods.

Make a small pouch out of white cloth. Fill it with any combination of midsummer herbs you wish. (Be sure to add them in threes). Tie the pouch with a red string. Hold the pouch in your hand. Concentrate on any problems, pain or illness you wish to be rid of. Picture these things going into the bag. Throw the bag into the Midsummer fire.

In Celebrate the Earth, Laurie Cabot invokes the sorcerer, Merlin (Merddin, Myrddin), who dwells in the spirit of the sacred Oak -- also the Faery Queen and flower goddess Vivian (Merlin's wise teacher) who was made completely of flowers in the Underworld.

Midsummer is a very magically powerful night, and a classic time for works of magick. A good time to tackle the biggies -- spellwork that needs a lot of power behind it.

Midsummer is a great time for a re-dedication.

Copyright ©042513

Legion of Pagans Spiritual Ministry

Institution of Magick

Elder Airwolf~Founder/Owner

The Healing Power of Medicinal Mushrooms

The Kinship of Mushrooms and Man

 

We are more closely related to Fungi than to any other Kingdom

 –Paul Stamets, Mycomedicinals

 

 

What is most fascinating in the exploration of the healing benefits of medicinal mushrooms is that they are in fact closely related to human beings. When human beings consume these mushrooms, they are ingesting highly absorbable medicinal constituents that are recognized by the human body. Human use of medicinal mushrooms has a long history, and the valuable medicines of mushrooms are a vital element in protecting our health. Fungi have developed incredible properties to ward off bacteria and mold that would compete with them. When humans consume these fungi, most of all they are bestowed with a strong immunity. This will be an important theme throughout the discussion, and of vital importance in our day and age. These benefits and many more can be yours when you embrace the mushroom medicine! Here we shall be delving deep into the medicinal qualities of these substances.

 

Reishi: Treasured Mushroom of Immortality

To begin, let us explore what is perhaps the most famous of all medicinal mushrooms: Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum). The history of the use of Reishi goes back many thousands of years in the orient, and Chinese herbal medicine has valued Reishi above all other herbal medicines! They called it the “Mushroom of Immortality”, “The Great Protector” and “The Herb of Good Fortune”2.

Modern Science is now validating these curious names given to what is truly an extraordinary substance. Reishi is one of the most researched herbal substances on the planet. Terry Willard’s book “Reishi: Mushroom of Spiritual Potency and Medical Marvel” sums up for us what numerous Modern Scientific Studies have revealed about Reishi3:

Reishi has an Immune Enhancing Response (this is due to its high content of Polysaccharides, complex sugars, essential food for the immune system, that have been shown to increase RNA and DNA in Bone Marrow where Immune Cells are Born). (Reishi in fact has a “double-direction” effect on the immune system, regulating anti-body production in the body.)
Is Beneficial in the Treatment of Cancer
Disrupts Viral Disease
Inhibits Bacteria
Reishi provides Liver Protection and Regeneration, Improving Liver Function
Reishi reduces Blood Fat Levels
Reishi Lowers High Blood Pressure and Hypertension
Reishi Inhibits Platelet Aggregation
Reishi Oxygenates the Blood and Increases Absorption of Oxygen
Reishi helps Alleviate Allergies, Inhibiting Histamine Release
Reishi works as an Anti-Oxidant
Reishi is Anti-Arthritic
Reishi has an Adaptogenic (Stress Relieving) Effect
Reishi relieves Chronic-Fatigue Syndrome
Reishi Contributes to Pain Relief
Reishi has Anti-Inflammatory effects
Reishi relieves Insomnia, Stress Induced Tension and has a Calming Effect

 

The Mushroom of Immortality indeed! And what is neat is how the Ancient people knew so much of this long ago. As Terry Willard found out to be the case for Traditional Chinese Herbalism practices: “Traditionally Reishi was prescribed to patients with “a tight or “knotted chest”, it was said to positively affect the heart Qi, mend the chest, cure forgetfulness and strengthen the intellect.”4 This correlates precisely with what modern science is “discovering” about Reishi’s benefits to the cardiovascular system!

Most important of all its qualities, and perhaps the cause of all the rest of its illustrious qualities, is Reishi’s ability to help us cope with stress! Stress is without a doubt is at the root cause of most illness and disease. Ron Teeguarden, Master Herbalist and founder of Dragon Herbs, a man with a most intimate relationship with Reishi and its lore and legends also reports a correspondence with ancient beliefs and modern science: that the “Taoists continuously claimed that Reishi promotes calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. They have used it to improve meditative practices and to protect the Body, Mind and Spirit so the adept could attain both a long and healthy life and Spiritual Immortality…”5 By protecting the whole human being from stress is how Reishi is able to grant longevity.

By examining Traditional Chinese Herbalism, we learn of a very important aspect of the medicine of Reishi, especially in our modern lives. As Teeguarden continues; “Reishi was believed to help calm the mind, ease tension, strengthen the nerves, strengthen memory, sharpen concentration, improve focus, build will power and as a result, help build wisdom. That is why it is called the “Mushroom of Spiritual Potency.”6 Acting as a “Wisdom” or “Spirit Medicine” is a notion that is, I believe, far advanced compared to our science. Soon, through methods such as these, we shall realize how the quality of the Spirit does indeed effect our physical body!

 

Local Relatives of Reishi: Noble Tree Polypores

Reishi does grow in North-America, as well as many other fungi known as the Polypores. They are actually easy to find, identify and use as medicine with many of the same characteristics of Reishi.

 

Local Noble Tree Polypores of Note:

Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma Applanatum)
West Coast Reishi ( Ganoderma Tsugae and Oregonenses)
Tinder Conk, or Amadou, (Fomes Fomentarius)
Red Belted polypore (Fomitopsis Pinicola)
Birch Polypore (Piptoporus Betulinus)
Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor, Coriolus Versicolor)

 

These fungi are noted to have similar benefits as Reishi, and more. For Identification of these species, as well as detailed information on their benefits, the best book hands down for our area is Robert Roger’s The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms of North America.

The above mentioned Polypores are known to be:

Immune-Enhancing
Anti-Cancer
Anti-Viral
Anti-Bacterial
Anti-Oxidant
Anti-Inflammatory
“Claimed to Reduce Fatigue and Soothe the Mind” 7

 

Evidence of consumption of these Medicinal Mushrooms by our ancestors is shown in the amazing discovery of a frozen “ice-man” in the Alps not long ago. This man, 5, 300 years old, was carrying the Tinder Conk and the Birch Polypore in his medicine bag! 8These polypores are used by indigenous peoples across the globe as tinder for starting fires, dried and powdered and applied as a poultice to stop bleeding and prevent infection and for ritual smoke, “smudge” for purification and ceremonies. Good Medicine!

 

Medicinal Mushrooms and Vitamin D

Now we must attend to a very important matter of discussion! This is the recent research that has come to light about the effectiveness of Medicinal Mushrooms as Vitamin D supplements! Vitamin D is still quite a mystery to modern science, but we are finding it also as essential to immune-health and happiness. The recommended dose varies from as low as 400iu a day to doses as large as 4,000-10,000ui Daily for severe immune system illnesses. Now, Paul Stamets, through his own research efforts, has uncovered amazing amounts of Vitamin D in mushrooms.

The essential trick is to expose the Mushrooms to sunlight and they have the potential to generate amazing amounts of Vitamin D.

Paul took 100g of Shiitake Mushrooms, and exposed them to Sunshine for a two-day period. Vitamin D content soared from next to nothing, to 46,000iu in 100g! The Vitamin D content started declining on the third day of sun-exposure, due to UV damage. He was amazed to find, that not only did the Vitamin D levels remain high after long periods of storage, but mushrooms that had been already dried for a long time exponentially increased in Vitamin D content when exposed to Two Days of Sunshine.

Mr. Stamets recommends consuming 10g of these Solar Infused Mushrooms a day, a dose equivalent to 4,600iu of Vitamin D.9 All polypores and mushrooms can be enhanced in this way! Consuming them is equivalent to taking Vitamin D supplements in terms of Blood Serum level of Vitamin D, and superior when you realize all the other benefits to consuming these fungi!

 

Chaga: (Inonotus Obliquus)

This brings our discussion to another of the noble tree fungi, Chaga! Prized as a medicine by all peoples of the Northern regions, Chaga grows for the most part on Birch trees, feeding on their sap and concentrating incredible amounts of medicinal qualities in its body.

Chaga is known to be, according to David Wolfe’s Book “Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms”;

Adaptogenic (Combats Stress)
A Blood Purifier,
The most potent Anti-Oxidant source ever discovered on the Face of the Planet, with a remarkable potential for scavenging free-radicals.
One of the most Alkalizing Substances known to Man 10.
It is shown to be Immune Enhancing and Balancing, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Viral & Anti-Inflammatory! These are thanks once again to Polysaccharides. These essential nutrients for the immune-system enhance the body’s ability to produce NK (Natural Killer) cells and activates White Blood Cell (Macrophage) Activity.
Rich source of the Anti-Oxidant pigment Melanin, which is needed throughout the body. It is known to be geno-protective, protecting our DNA from damage due to oxidative-stress.
Rich Source of the yellow polyphenol pigments, which give Chaga its deep orange colour inside. These are known to be anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-diabetic and anti-dementia!
Rich source of Selenium, Iron, Zinc, Chromium, Manganese, Copper and Magnesium. (Zinc being essential to the production of the body’s own anti-oxidant, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) as well as required for cell growth, differentiation and survival, not to mention male reproductive health!)

 

All of the above mentioned qualities make Chaga a veritable powerhouse of healing. It is one of the foremost medicines available to us to benefit health and longevity. In our times of such prevalent environmental pollution it has the potential to protect us by to building a deep immunity. The beauty of our situation is that Chaga grows plentifully in the local environs! Head into the Boreal Forest, where Birch grows plentifully, and you are sure to find some of your own medicine!

 

Medicinal Mushroom Preparations

 

Decoction

The simplest method of consuming these polypores is as a strong tea, or decoction. Hot water extraction being necessary to break down the tough, woody material of these tree mushrooms and make the medicinal constituents absorbable to human beings. Use approximately two handfuls of mushroom in one liter of water. Bring to a boil, turn it low and simmer this concoction for at least 20-30 minutes, up to several hours. The mushrooms can be rebrewed up to 2-3 times! Large quantities can be made and stored in the fridge to be used as needed. Feel free to combine other herbs, ginger is a favorite one to simmer with your Reishi!

 

Soup Broth

Native peoples on the west coast would simmer Reishi to obtain a healing and nutritious broth for soups. You can use any medicinal mushroom in this way. This medicinal mushroom broth provides an incredible immune system boost!

 

Tincture

Alcohol tinctures of these mushrooms are also highly effective at extracting the medicinal principles out of the tough mushrooms and making them bio-available to humans. The basic recipe is as follows:

Fill a suitable Jar 2/3rds of the way full of Mushroom Material
Fill it to the top with an alcohol (40% at least)
Let this stand for two weeks, shaking occasionally. (The best time to begin this is at the New Moon. The power of the waxing moon will draw the medicine out of the herbs more effectively. The tincture is ready at the time of the Full-Moon!)
Strain the Mushrooms out of the Alcohol and Decoct them as per the above directions. Combine 1 part of this tea with 1 part of the alcohol to have a minimum 20% alcohol content. Bottle them up and Voila! Taste them on their own or mix in any recipe!

 

Extract Powder

Modern technology of mushroom cultivation is making it possible to consume high-quality extracts of medicinal mushrooms that are of the highest quality and purity. This is making it possible for more and more people to consume medicines that were once quite rare. Add them to smoothies, to chocolate, to savoury dishes, you name it! Convenient and highly-effective.

Speaking of finding ways to incorporate these into your diet, here is a favorite recipe that delivers medicine to you in the form of Chocolate!

 

Medicinal Mushroom Chocolate!

2 parts Cacao Paste
1 part Cacao Butter
1 part Maple Syrup or sweetener of your choice (to your taste)
1-3 Tablespoons of Mushroom Extract per serving!
1 Tablespoon of Ginger Powder (synergistic flavor that increases circulation, thereby enhancing the delivery of the medicines throughout the body)
Anything your heart desires!

Gently Melt the Cacao, preferably using a double-boiler, until it has liquefied, then incorporate all the other ingredients. Pour this mixture as thick or as thin as you would like in a shallow glass dish. Place in your freezer for 20-30 minutes, until the chocolate has set! Break into pieces and store in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

 

Medicinal Properties of Edible Mushrooms

Delicious edible mushrooms also provide healing benefits. A large amount of the world’s population live on a mostly vegetarian diet. Especially in Asia, they consume Mushrooms as a staple food. This could well be the secret to their success, as well as a hope for feeding the future of mankind! Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms, such as these, as well as the medicinal mushrooms, are quite simple to attempt yourself!

Mushroom spawn can also be inoculated into your garden, causing seasonal fruiting bodies to appear but also generating a rich mycelia network in the soil of your garden, benefiting to the health of the soil and the quality and quantity of garden produce obtained! Paul Stamets’ books Mycelium Running, as well as Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture, contain more detailed information on this process.

Edible Mushroom are an inexpensive and mouth-watering way to take advantage of Mushroom Medicine. Here are some of their properties above and beyond their taste:

Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes) & Maitake (Grifola Frondosa) 

Immuno-modulating: increases activity of white blood cells
Anti-viral, anti bacterial, anti-cancer
Liver fortifying
Cholesterol reducing: lowers blood pressure
Anti-diabetic- regulates blood sugar levels
Anti-oxidant
Improvement in elimination

 

Medicinal Mushroom Miso Soup!

Here is a traditional Japanese recipe for you to enjoy your mushrooms!

Soak 1 handful of dried Shiitake and 1 handful of Maiitake and one handful of Seaweed (Kombu, Wakame, Dulse etc) in one Litre of water, 6-8 hours for best results. Slice and remove stems of shiitake before cooking.
Bring all the contents to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour, until the mushrooms and seaweed are tender
At this point add any and all veggies you desire, traditionally they would use Daikon Radish, Turnip Greens, fresh Burdock Root, cabbage and onions
At the last moment, add 1 tablespoon of Miso for each cup of soup. (The Miso is sensitive to heat*)
Enjoy! Feel free to add 1-3 tablespoons of any Medicinal Mushroom Extract Powders!

 

Other Medicinal Mushrooms of Special Interest:

 

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Nerve-tonic: Induces synthesis of Nerve growth factors, essential for the development and maintenance of sensory neurons. Shown to be useful in amelioration of alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and other chronic brain related diseases.
This mushroom was prized by the Shaolin for enhancing their Mind-Power, showing correlation with the modern science. According to their belief, the stronger your mind power, the greater your ability to direct the flow of your Qi energy throughout the body. And thus they are able to perform feats of great physical strength and endurance!
As well as providing an enhanced immune system, inhibitory effect on cancers, and anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties! 12

 

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

This one is truly bizarre! Cordyceps is a fungus that grows on a caterpillar high in the plateaus of the Himalayan Mountains. Exposed to drastic changes in temperature and climate, this high-elevation medicine is one of the greatest of all of them for adaptation to stress! It is much sought after by athletic individuals for this reason, but it translates from physical stress also to mental and emotional. As Paul Stamets explains: “Cordyceps relaxes bronchial passages, enhancing respiration, increasing blood-flow which then benefits muscles pushed to their maximum and greatly add to their endurance.”13 Teeguarden shares that Cordyceps is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine to “strengthen the primal kidney functions, sexual functions, brain power, structural integrity (bones, joints and connective tissues) and healing ability”14

Modern Medicine has so far discovered that Cordyceps:

Increases production of red blood cells
Stimulates peripheral blood flow
Increases sperm production dramatically (quantity and quality)
Increased respiration
Relieves fatigue and calms the nervous system “restores the deep energy depleted by excessive stress”
Adrenal Restorative
Anti-oxidant
Immune stimulant: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-tumor
Anti-inflammatory
Reduces blood cholesterol15

 

 

In Conclusion , as we have seen, mushrooms have a magnificent potential for healing the ills of modern man. The most healing benefits I personally have experienced came from actually collecting these mushrooms myself. For me it is an experience of communion with nature, being nourished by the land and truly feeling like a part of it. The greatest medicine for me when I have my mushroom tea is to remember the magnificent days spent in the calm and peace of the wild forest. Magnificent! Another important aspect to consider is that these noble medicines in fact love wild ancient old-growth forests. We must do all we can to preserve these environments, for our health and for our future generations!

I would like to leave you with a story that Dr. Terry Willard has shared with me: “One fine day while in the Amazon studying the herbal medicines of the People there, Terry Willard found a Reishi! Knowing very well what it was good for, he asked the healer he was with what this herb was good for! The Healer responded; “That is not a plant at all, that is a being older and wiser than the entire Jungle. That is only a part of it which you see, but it lives below the whole jungle and knows every plant within it. We use it as medicine when we are in the city feeling lost and lonely for our jungle. Then we chew upon it and it fills us with the spirit of the whole jungle!”

 

 

 

 

References

David Wolfe, Chaga, King of the Medicinal Mushrooms, North Atlantic Books, 2012

Paul Stamets, Mushrooms, the Hwarang & the Martial Arts, 2001 http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/mushrooms-the-hwarang-the-martial-arts.html

Paul Stamets, Mycomedicinals: An informational Treatise on Mushrooms, Mycomedia, 1999

Paul Stamets, Place Mushrooms in Sunlight to Get Your Vitamin D, 2012 http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/place-mushrooms-in-sunlight-to-get-your-vitamin-d.html

Robert Rogers, The Fungal Pharmacy The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America, North Atlantic Books, 2011

Ron Teeguarden, Siberian Chaga – A Truly Superior Protective Herb, 2012 http://www.ronsblogworld.com/?p=1850

Ron Teeguarden, Duanwood Reishi : http://www.dragonherbs.com/prodinfo.asp?number=005

Ron Teeguarden, Wild Bhutanese Cordyceps Drops: http://www.dragonherbs.com/prodinfo.asp?number=034

Terry Willard, Reishi: Mushroom of Spiritual Potency and Medical Marvel, Sylvan Press, 1990

 

1 Paul Stamets: MycoMedicinals, Mycomedia 1999,

2 Ron Teeguarden, Duanwood Reishi, www.dragonherbs.com

3 Terry Willard, Reishi: Mushroom of Spiritual Potency and Medical Marvel, p17

4 Idib.

5 Ron Teeguarden, Duanwood Reishi, www.dragonherbs.com

6 Ron Teeguarden, Duanwood Reishi, www.dragonherbs.com

7 Robert Rogers: The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms of North America

8 Paul Stamets, Mushrooms, the Hwarang & the Martial Arts, 2001, www.fungi.com

9 Paul Stamets, Place Mushrooms in Sunlight to Get Your Vitamin D, 2012 www.fungi.com

10 David Wolfe: Chaga King of the Medicinal Mushrooms

11 Robert Rogers, The Fungal Pharmacy

12 Robert Rogers, The Fungal Pharmacy

13 Paul Stamets, Mushrooms, the Hwarang & the Martial Arts, 2001, www.fungi.com

14 Ron Teeguarden, Wild Bhutanese Cordyceps Drops: http://www.dragonherbs.com/prodinfo.asp?number=034

15 Robert Rogers, The Fungal Pharmacy

Stone of the Day~Amazonite

The Healing Energies, Metaphysical Properties,
Legendary Uses and Meaning
of
Amazonite

Amazonite Healing Therapies - Overview

(Please note: Information on this web site is no substitute for consulting a health care professional. All information contained on this web site, including information relating to medical and health conditions, products and treatments, is for informational purposes only. Please see your doctor or health care professional before starting any alternative treatments, diets, supplements or exercise programs.)

Amazonite has healing powers to help with physical ailments, emotional issues, and in Energy Healing and chakra balancing. Amazonite crystal therapies are primarily associated with filtering out stresses, healing traumas, and soothing energies in the home and workplace. Its spiritual power is personal truth and communicating that truth to others.

[healing power of crystals] Amazonite Physical Healing Energy

Amazonite is known for maintaining good health in general. It aids in cell regeneration and healing after illnesses, trauma or injury, and relieves muscle spasms. It may be used in treating disorders of the nervous system and blockages in the flow of neural impulses, as well as issues with the throat and thyroid gland. [Eason, 286][Ahsian, 23][Melody, 107][Hall, 50]

Amazonite is helpful in balancing the metabolic processes related to calcium assimilation. An elixir of Amazonite taken three times a day is believed to rectify a calcium deficiency, and may be useful in resisting tooth decay and osteoporosis, and for diminishing calcium deposits.[Melody, 107][Hall, 50] Amazonite may also be used to prevent hair loss, and in repairing brittle hair and nails. [Ahsian, 23]

Rubbing an affected area with a polished Amazonite is thought to prevent infection, soothe rashes and heal blisters. It is also beneficial in clearing up acne, and may relieve the pain of rheumatism, gout and osteoarthritis. [Megemont, 20]

Amazonite is useful in treating sexual disorders, such as lack of desire, impotence, vaginitis, sexual obsession, and priapism. [Megemont, 20] It is also believed to aid in childbirth. [Gienger, 12]

[physical healing crystal uses] Amazonite Emotional Healing Energy

Amazonite is a wonderful healer for the emotional body. It soothes trauma and calms the mind, alleviates worry and fear, and directs anger and irritability into a more positive action. It regulates the aggressive aspects of one’s personality and urges the mind to seek emotional balance. [Megemont, 20][Gienger, 12][Melody, 106][Hall, 50]

Amazonite increases self-esteem, especially in women, and reduces tendencies to self-neglect. It enhances the ability to communicate more effectively by identifying how one’s words have created the current reality, and how to change one’s vocabulary to reflect a higher, more aligned reality. It also empowers one to set appropriate boundaries, inwardly in self-discipline, and with others in establishing healthy relationships. [Eason, 286][Ahsian, 22]

 

[chakra balancing with crystals] Amazonite Chakra Healing and Balancing Energy

Amazonite is deeply stimulating to both the Heart and Throat Chakras. The Heart Chakra, located near the center of the breastbone, regulates our interaction with the external world and controls what we embrace and what we resist. It gives us the balancing ability to be ourselves within the environment. When the Heart Chakra is out of balance we may feel either controlling or controlled in a relationship, and become critical of the little foibles of others. We may find ourselves having inappropriately strong emotional responses to everyday external stimuli. Green crystal energy is used to resolve blockages and to re-balance the Heart Chakra, helping us understand our own needs and emotions clearly.  We can deal with the ebbs and flows of emotional relationships, understand their cyclic nature, and accept the changes.

The Throat Chakra is the voice of the body. It is, in essence, a pressure valve that allows energy from the other chakras to be expressed. If it is blocked, or out of balance, it can affect the health of the other chakras. When the Throat Chakra is in balance and open, it allows for the expression of what we think and what we feel. We can communicate our ideas, beliefs, and emotions, bringing our personal truth out into the world. We have an easy flow of energy within the body and spirit. The energy that springs upward from the lower chakras can continue its path enabling free expression and natural release. Blue crystal energy will unblock and balance the Throat Chakra. Darker shades of blue encourage the power of truth, while lighter shades carry the power of flexibility, relaxation, and balance.

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[spiritual crystals] Amazonite Spiritual Energy

Amazonite carries a spiritual energy of personal truth. It enkindles a harmonious interaction between the intellect and intuition, allowing one to find what it right and true within oneself and to lovingly communicate those values and beliefs to others. Amazonite can provide clarity for those who are out of touch with their truth, or who are unsure of what they have to offer the world, by gently guiding them toward their gifts and knowledge. [Gienger, 12][Ahsian, 22-23]

Amazonite also empowers us to manifest our dreams and desires by magnifying our intentions. Because it works through the Throat Chakra, these intentions must be spoken aloud. By holding an Amazonite and forcefully affirming aloud what one wishes to create it can powerfully enhance one’s ability to bring it into being. [Simmons, 22]

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[crystal color power] Amazonite Color Energy

Amazonite reflects the Turquoise ray of influence, the color of the world at the vernal equinox, as the blues of winter melt into the greens of spring. It is a fresh, welcome energy that moves us to serenity as new growth and life emerges. It brings hope, discovery and balance. Turquoise color energy tempers excess, restores calm after a storm, relieves stress, and neutralizes extremes. It helps us moderate aggressiveness and deal with rage. It brings us back to center. In lighter shades, Amazonite crystals promote inner harmony and peace through spiritual understanding. Darker, richer stones bring considerable power - and flexibility. They counter intolerance and let us adapt to new ideas and environments.

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[Meditation Crystals] Meditation with Amazonite

Meditating with Amazonite brings a keen awareness of everything to the consciousness. It inspires one to listen to and integrate all aspects of the self, and because it is a stone of truth, one can trust the visions, dreams and intuitions that surface while working with Amazonite. [Simmons, 22]

Amazonite also allows one to simultaneously attune to both the spiritual dimension and the world of chaos in order to traverse all boundaries. It assists in finding a harmonious balance and bringing one back to center in order to live within the duality. It enables one to both manifest and retain the pure energy of universal love. [Melody, 107]

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[divination uses of crystals] Amazonite Divination

Dreams of Amazonite bring peace and calmness to the day.

 

 

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[angel crystals] Amazonite and the Angelic Realm

If your birthday falls in any of the following periods, an Amazonite of the color listed can be a valuable conduit to your Guardian Angel. The table also provides the name of the Guardian Angel of those born in the time period.

Date Crystal Color Name of Guardian Angel
March 21 - March 25 Light Turquoise Vehuiah (Vehujah)
July 12 - July 16 Turquoise Melahel
August 23 - August 28 Turquoise Lecabel
February 20 - February 24 Dark Turquoise Eiael

 

There are other Angels that are partial to Amazonite. The table below gives you the information about them.

Purpose Crystal Color Name of Angel
Guardian of the Twelfth Mansion of the Moon and is associated with Leo. Dark Turquoise Abdizuel
Guardian of the Seventeenth Mansion of the Moon which is Scorpio. Dark Turquoise Adriel
Ruler of Earth/Hail. Dark Turquoise Baradiel
Protector and Ruler of the dates February 20-24; Pisces. Dark Turquoise Eiael
Master of the 7th Tarot Card "The Chariot". and is associated with the sun sign, Cancer. Dark Turquoise Muriel
Master of the 7th Tarot Card "The Chariot" Dark Turquoise Pakhiel
Protector and Ruler of the dates June 11-15; Gemini. Light Turquoise Luaviah
Master of the 4th Tarot Card "The Emperor". Light Turquoise Malkhidael
Master of the 17th Tarot Card "The Star". Light Turquoise Tzakmaqiel
Protector and Ruler of the dates March 21- 25; Aries. Light Turquoise Vehuiah
Master of the 14th Tarot Card "Temperance". And is associated with Sagittarius. Turquoise Adnachiel
Guardian of the Sixteenth Mansion of the Moon; Scorpio. Turquoise Azeruel
Guardian of the Sixth Mansion of the Moon; Gemini. Turquoise Dira
Protector and Ruler of the dates August 23-28; Virgo. Turquoise Lecabel
Protector and Ruler of the dates July 12-16; Cancer. Turquoise Melahel
Sandalphon is the Kingdom Angel; Tree of Life, the Master of the 20th Tarot Card "Judgment". He also Heals Aggressive Tendencies and is known as the Angel of Glory. Turquoise Sandalphon

 

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[Goddess Crystals for Amethyst] Amazonite Goddess Crystals

Amazonite honors the goddess Tiamat, the Sumero-Babylonian Mother and Chaos Goddess. She is the elemental powerful force of chaos that was split in two to form the heavens and earth, often depicted as either as a serpent or a dragon. Tiamat is the personification of the primordial waters from which all life was formed.

Amazonite can be used in honoring Estsanatlehi, the Navajo Fertility Goddess and Whope, the Lakota Sioux Goddess.

 

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Birthstones

[birthstones]

 

There are several ways to find an appropriate birthstone. The traditional one is listed first. These are from the popular lists that most people are familiar with. The second way is to find your natural birthstone by the color wheel of life. You can click on the Natural Birthstone graphic below to learn more. Finally many people use the traditional stones of the Zodiac.

In this section you will find information on all three approaches.

 

[traditional birthstone] Amazonite Traditional Birthstone

Amazonite is not a traditional birthstone.

 

 

[Natural Birthstone] Amazonite Natural Birthstone.


Amazonite which is turquoise in color is one of the natural birthstones of those born as spring begins (20 March to 19 April). Turquoise crystals bring you discovery and balance. Their vibrations help you find yourself and return to equilibrium.

 

[zodiac uses] Amazonite - Zodiac Stone

Though there is no zodiac stone assigned to Amazonite, those born under the signs of Aries and Leo have a natural affinity for this crystal. It may also be used to treat depression in Scorpios. [Megemont, 20]

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[talisman uses] Amazonite Talismans and Amulets

Amazonite, green Feldspar known as uat, was frequently used in amulets in ancient Egypt. The Assyrians associated it with the god Belus. [Simmons, 22][Kunz, 292]

As an amulet of protection, Amazonite is a powerful Barrier Filter. Barrier crystals have incredible abilities to help us focus and amplify our efforts to keep undesirable elements out of our lives. Its crystalline structure gives it strength in all directions, allowing it to provide barriers to attack from all directions simultaneously.

Crystals with the earth power of a Filter, absorb positive energy flow but work to keep negative energy away from us. They help us view the world in a “glass half full” outlook, to see the best in others, the beauty in life, and the good in humanity. They keep us focused on the positive in situations and to not be overwhelmed by the negative. In our technological world, Filters also work to keep harmful electromagnetic transmissions from sapping our energy and health.

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[Feng Shui uses] Amazonite Feng Shui

Amazonite's elemental energy is Water. Water energy lies in its stillness, quiet strength, and purification. It embodies potentialities unrealized. It is yielding, formless, yet powerful. The water element brings the power of regeneration and rebirth. It is the energy of the circle of life. 
Water energy is traditionally associated with the North area of a home or room. It is associated with the Career and Life Path area. Its flowing energy will assure a balance of energy as your life unfolds and flows. To keep your life moving forward towards your goals use the water elements energy.

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[Lore_and _legend of crystals] Amazonite in Ancient Lore and Legend

Amazonite is revered as a stone of courage, said to have adorned the shields of the Amazonians, a formidable tribe of female soldiers. Though reputed to be mythological, some evidence suggests they were a matriarchal society of the Bronze Age. Legends claim some of these warriors had one breast removed to be more effective in their archery skills, and rubbed their wounds with a polished Amazonite to avoid infection. It was also used to heal lesions and illnesses of all kinds. [Eason, 286][www.bernardine.com][Megemont, 20]

A Brazilian legend claims the Amazon women gave green stones, thought to be Amazonite, to the men who visited them. [www.gemselect.com]

To the Egyptians, Amazonite symbolized good luck and fertility. It was carved into small amulets for strengthening the reproductive capabilities of its wearer. [www.crystal-cure.com]

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Chapter Seven, “The Judgment of Osiris,” was carved on tablets of Amazonite. [Simmons, 22][Altman, 18]

Many objects of Amazonite were found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb, including jewelry, beads and a scarab ring set in silver. It is also thought to be one of the stones on his famous gold mask. [Simmons, 22][www.powertreasuresonline.com]

Amazonite, rather than Emerald, is believed to be more likely the smaragdus, or green stone, used as the Bereketh, the third stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, Aaron. It was engraved with the tribal name of Levi. [Kunz, 292]

One legend regards Amazonite as a “Hope Stone,” whether for its strong potassium content that strengthens physical stamina, or its soothing color of the spring sky that inspires hope and faith. [Mella, 71-72]

Footnote References

 

The symbols [  ] enclose the author's name and a page number for a reference cited from the following books:

[Ahsian, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).

[Altman, pp.] Jennifer Altman, Gem and Stone: Jewelry of Earth, Sea, and Sky. (San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2012)

[Eason, pp. ]Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible (London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010).

[Fernie, pp.] William T. Fernie, The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones (Blauvelt, NY: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1973).

[Gienger, pp.] Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals (Scotland: Earthdancer Books, 2009).

[Hall, pp.] Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003).

[Hall 2, pp.]Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009).

[Kunz, pp.] George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (New York: Dover Publications, 1971).

[Megemont, pp.] Florence Megemont, The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2008).

[Mella, pp.] Dorothee L. Mella, Stone Power II (Albuquerque, NM: Brotherhood of Life, Inc., 1986).

[Melody, pp.] Melody, Love Is In The Earth (Wheat Ridge, CO: Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995).

[Raphaell, pp.] Katrina Raphaell, Crystal Enlightenment (Santa Fe, NM: Aurora Press, 1985)

[Simmons, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).

 

Herb of the Day!

Valerian

 

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century. It is used medicinally as a tea for restful sleep and as a calming agent for those with high anxiety. Sprinkle Valerian at the front door to deter unwanted visitors, or hang the leaves around the home to promote harmony amongst loved ones.

Sunday, May 15th
Moon Phase: Second Quarter and Waxing, Incense - Heliotrope, Color - Amber

The Symbolic Meaning of Feathers

Perspectives:

In addition to representing the actual feathers from angels’ wings, the spiritual symbolic meaning of feathers can be seen in many different cultures, each referring to spiritual communication, and ascension to the higher realms.

The Egyptians believed feathers to be a symbol of Ma’at, the goddess of truth, justice, and order. Native American Chiefs wore feathers in their head-dresses to represent their communication with the spirit world, and believed finding feathers was a sign of new beginnings and rebirth from spirit. Celtic Druids wore ornately feathered robes to transcend the physical plane and gain celestial knowledge from the realms of spirit. In the Bible, feathers metaphorically represent loving care and protection and as a common dream symbol, feathers signify the ability to freely move throughout life. Feathers can also represent a fresh start in a spiritual sense, as well as truth, speed, love, lightness, and flight.

Feathers clearly have a strong connection to the spiritual realms.

There is quite a bit of information out there about white feathers, but really angels will use feathers of all shapes, colors and sizes to get your attention. The cool thing about finding feathers, is the angels will align them on your path at just the right time to offer validation, comfort, or clue to in as to the answer of a question you’ve asked, or encourage you that you’re on the right path.

For me, feathers are a beautiful reminder to pay attention. When you find a feather and increase your awareness, it’s usually pretty easy to tune into the knowing of what it means. You may find it right when you’re thinking about making a change, worrying about something, or you may simply associate the feather with something when you find it.

Feathers can also be a simple reminder that your angels are near, and they want you to know it, and ask for their help. Angels are always near, but as I mentioned earlier, they’re easy to overlook, and they deeply honor your free will and will not interfere unless asked. So ask for help when you need it! There is no request too big or too small, and you can’t ask for help too often. As long as your request is in alignment with Divine will, and for the highest and greatest good of all involved, the angels will work behind the scenes to help.

Next time you find a feather, use it as a reminder that your angels are with you. If you’re not finding feathers, don’t worry your angels may prefer another sign… Just pay attention. Want to find feathers?

Just think or say: “Angels I’d love a sign of your presence. Would you help me to find a feather?”

 

 

Have you wondered about what it might mean when you find a feather? Feathers are ways that Spirit (of different forms) sends us signs. 

For a start, feathers (and other items such as coins, and creatures such as birds, butterflies) and dragonflies), can be signs from the angels, guides, or loved ones in that they are near - that they hear you, guide you and are supporting you.  It can be an acknowledgement of you or your thoughts or it is their way of saying hello.

Finding a feather is often a magical moment. I have had many beautiful feather experiences and have watched one fall down from the sky onto my daughter's lap while we had a picnic in our backyard! In my children are often sign-bearers, delivering me feathers from their playtime travels.

Feathers represent flight and freedom, soaring above, looking from a higher perspective, and moving beyond boundaries and limitations. Different colours and colour combinations can also add extra meaning. (see further below about various colour meanings).

 

Interpreting the Meaning of the Feather Sign

 Whenever you observe a sign, take note of what you were thinking just before it happened, or what is going on in your life at that moment. 

​What could the sign be telling you? Don't stress yourself about finding a meaning. Even if you do not understand the meaning of the sign at the time, it could become clearer later, or you may be absorbing it in at a sub-conscious level. Just trust that it is a sign and let go of any doubts. Enjoy the way that Spirit works, and embrace the fact you are intermingling with it and paying attention.

 

Asking for Feather (& other) Signs

 You can ask for feather (or other) signs to come to you. And you can be specific.
​ I once asked for confirmation that I had a male guide watching over me (which is what I was feeling and just wanted the magical validation). I asked that if it were true I be shown in the form of a blue feather. I picked blue because it was rarer and unusual, and I saw it as an obviously male colour. 

​Exactly one week later I went to work and as I approached some steps outside there were bright blue feathers everywhere! They were fake ones but it didn't matter. It was another of those magical moments.

 

It is just a matter of believing, letting go, and staying aware. Signs often remind us to be at peace and relax into the nature and flow of life. The meanings can at times be profound, and at other times quite simple. The best advice when signs happen is to not put any pressure on yourself to understand it. Take it as an opportunity to connect, take notice of and thank the ever-present Spirit. If your sign is an item such as a feather, you can keep it in a special place whether that be by your bedside, on your dresser, or added to your sacred space / spiritual altar. Or you can gently release it back to nature or where you found it.

 

How do you know for sure your feather is a sign?

It is especially a sign if it comes in a magical way or you find it in an odd place. Feather signs often appear on your path in front of you, or at your doorstep. Once a feather appeared in my bag, and on my bedroom floor.

This article by Natalia Kuna was published in the magazine "Alive, So Make it Count!"

 

 

So, what does it truly mean when:

You see a feather falling from the sky?

You are being asked to stop and take notice of your surroundings and what kind of energy and people you are surrounding yourself with.

Many times in our lives we look towards the heavens to ask for guidance and help and the symbolism of a feather falling towards you is a strong

reminder that you have no control over a situation OTHER than being true to yourself and the greater good of all involved.

Are you truly being the best person you can be right now? Is there a situation you are involving yourself in that you have been asking for guidance with?

Go through this guide to find the Colours of Feathers, to find the one that you have noticed.

Then ask yourself these questions:

Am I ready to accept guidance and divine intervention for a question I have wanted answers too?

Am I allowing myself to feel pure love from the Universe that I can then give to myself?

Am I ready to accept healing, guidance and financial abundance from the Universe by truly believing in the sign-posts and messages I am receiving?

Find a Feather lands on you?

Heaven is literally reaching out and touching you. A guidance and answer to your prayers is happening. A loved one that has passed is right beside you. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Allow any feelings and thoughts to come to you right at that moment.

Are you being guided to rest?

Are you being guided to forgive others, as well as to forgive yourself?

Is there a word, phrase, name that continues to be present in your mind?

What colour is the feather? Your loved one is healing you, raising your vibration to one of health, not fear. Raising your energy to one of happiness not loss and loneliness.

Be still and know that you are loved.

Find a Feather in your house?

A spiritual visitation has taken place.

Be aware of the colour of the feather that has presented itself (see Colours of Feathers etc,. for the meaning), and on what side (left, or right) of the room it was found in.

If the feather was:

Just inside the front door: A new cleansing has taken place. Happiness, joy and laughter are surrounding all those that reside in the house. Using a smudge stick/incense of your choice (I prefer Nag Champa) cleanse your front door by using the Tune in and Tune out guide.

In the lounge room: Comfort and peace-filled energy are coming to you. Communication will flow more fluidly; heated arguments will dissipate. A calm, loving space is being created.

In the kitchen: A body detox/cleanse is taking place. Take notice of what you are nurturing and feeding your body. You may go through a healing/health clearing within the next 7 days. Drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon throughout the day to help your body eliminate toxins. A letting go of old, chipped glassware and containers is needed.

Clean your kitchen out to clean your body. Archangel Raphael is near.

In the bedroom: Take notice and be aware of your dreams. You are being visited while you sleep, and given the answers to questions you can’t bring yourself to speak out loud. Ask for Archangel Michael to cut the ties of insomnia and worry, stress and mistrust. A loved one is visiting. Is there a recent anniversary of someone’s passing coming? This visitation is filled with pure love, pure bliss. Know that you are loved. Know that you are guided.

Just outside the back door: A visitation has occurred, a clearing of the past has happened. Have you moved furniture lately? Resolved issues? This visitation symbolizes a renewal of healthy, happy energy. A letting go of the past. An old grudge let go of.

Take notice of the colour and become aware of which area of your body and life this is a direct symbol for. Take a broom, and with the energy of the colour and visitation, ‘sweep’ away any residual energy that may be lurking.

 

 

What Different Feather Colours Mean

 


The Native American people had a great spiritual understanding about feathers, their colours and their meaning. They would take the utmost care of any feathers that came their way as they saw it as a sacred gift, or a powerful talisman in battle.

When considering feather colours, firstly I always recommend seeking the answer within yourself first. Do you have any particular personal association with the colour? What does the colour make you think of or feel? What are the universal meanings of that colour to your knowledge? Does the feather you found act as an answer to a question or some kind of acknowledgement. Always go with your gut and the first impressions you get, and trust. I recommend noting it down and keeping a journal of signs and synchronicities. You might see more in connection to this sign, so stay alert and enjoy the mystery of the process. 

Below is a brief rundown of the possible colour meanings of feathers (though trust your own heart and use this as a general guide - you can experiment with this!):

WHITE - purification, spirituality, hope, trust, faith, protection, peace, Heaven, angels, and also act as blessings and wisdom connected with moon.

RED - the root chakra (money, possessions, security, career), physical vitality/energy/life force/action, good fortune, passion, emotions, courage.

BLUE - throat chakra (communication, acceptance, speaking your truth) peace, inspiration, mental abilities/knowledge, connection with spirits, spiritual protection and psychic awareness.

YELLOW - solar plexus chakra (gut intuition, happiness), blessings and wisdom connected with powerful sun energy, intelligence, playfulness, joy, cheerfulness, mental alertness, vision.

GREEN - (heart chakra - love, emotions, relationships, forgiveness), health, healing, nature, environment, nature spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits, growth, fertility, harmony, unity, money, prosperity, success.

ORANGE (sacral chakra - sex/physical relationships, love, appetitive, attraction), energy, change, optimism, and ambition, success, new ideas, will power, creativity, physical love, new ideas, will power, independence.

PINK - unconditional love,  romance, feelings, friendship, caring, compassion, harmony, service, empathy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, honour, inspiration. 

GREY - peace and neutrality (as it is in the middle of black and white), authenticness, flexibility.

PURPLE - (crown chakra - universal consciousness, spiritual connection), heightened spiritual growth and experiences, higher thought.

BROWN - earth, stability, grounding, endurance, home, friendship, respect. 

BLACK - protection, warning, repelling or warning of negative energy, death (as in a closed chapter), mystical wisdom - a sign that you are undergoing a spiritual initiation, growth or increased wisdom. When the feathers are iridescent, or represents high mystical insight (especially if there is a shiny iridescence).

COLOUR COMBINATIONS:

Black and white mixed feathers can represent protection, or the sense of union.

Black mixed with purple represents a very deep spirituality. i would take it as a feely mystical sign.

Black, white, and blue mixed feathers denote change on the horizon.

Brown and black striped pattern (like a pheasant/s feather) - balance between the physical and the spiritual.

Brown and white - happiness, and you will go under the radar from psychic or other harm.

Feathers with red and green in them or together would denote that you are being assisted financially. I would take it as a very lucky sign.

Grey and white symbolize hope. 

 

 

FROM A NATIVE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE

Meaning of Feathers
The Meaning of Feathers plays an important role in the belief system of Native American Indians. Their beliefs are based on Animism which embodies the spiritual idea that all natural things within the universe, including birds, have souls or spirits.  Animists believe that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in birds, their feathers and in animals, plants, rocks and natural phenomena. The doctrine of animism is that everything is alive, and possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom.

The Meaning of Feathers
The generalized meaning of feathers signified honor & connected the owner with the Creator and the bird the feathers came from. Native Indian warriors were awarded a feather when they took coup or were particularly brave in battle. When a feather falls to earth, the Native Americans believe it carries all of the energy of its former attachment on a bird to a living being. Feathers are perceived as gifts from the sky, the sea and the trees. Feathers arrive unexpectedly, but not without purpose.

[Smudge Feather]

Meaning of Feathers and Birds
Birds were revered as bringers of messages and symbols of change and often symbolized light-hearted freedom and their feathers have many spiritual, ceremonial & ritual uses. Decorated feathers were sometimes attached to sacred pipes or prayer sticks. In the ancient culture and traditions of Native Americans the meaning of feathers is inextricably tied to the belief that birds, as spirit guides, walk through different stages of life with a person, teaching and guiding them, and in some instances protecting them.

The Meaning of Headdress Feathers
The image of the Feather Headdress and War Bonnet are instantly associated with the culture of Native Indians. The different types of headdress feathers worn by Native American Indians all had specific meanings and symbolism. The way a feather was cut or colored had great significance and represented the history and deeds of a warrior. For additional facts refer to the Meaning of Headdress Feathers.

Native American Meaning of Feathers Chart
The meaning of birds and their feathers are of great significance as they are believed to possess supernatural powers that can embody, attach and influence a person empowering them with the powerful traits, attributes and characteristics of the bird. The following chart describes the meanings of feathers providing information of the significance of each bird together with its meaning, attributes, characteristics and symbolism.

Meaning of Feathers Chart


Names of Birds


Meaning of Feathers
 


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Bluebird
 

A feather from a bluebird symbolizes happiness and fulfilment


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Crow
 

A feather from a crow symbolizes balance, release from
past beliefs, skill and cunning


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Dove
 

A feather from a dove symbolizes love, gentleness and kindness


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Eagle
 

A feather from an eagle symbolizes great strength, courage leadership and prestige. The bald eagle and the golden eagle were considered sacred birds


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Falcon
 

A feather from a falcon symbolizes soul healing, speed and movement


Names of Feathers


Meaning of Feathers
 

 

Native American Meaning of Feathers Chart
The following chart describes the meanings of Feathers providing information of the significance of each of the birds together with its meaning, attributes, characteristics and symbolism.

Meaning of Feathers Chart


Names of Birds


Meaning of Feathers
 


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Hawk
 

A feather from a hawk symbolizes guardianship, strength
and far-sightedness


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Heron
 

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Hummingbird
 

A feather from the hummingbird symbolizes love, beauty, intelligence - A Spirit Messenger and Stopper of Time


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Kingfisher
 

A feather from a kingfisher symbolizes luck, patience, speed and agility


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Owl
 

A feather from an owl symbolizes wisdom, the ability to see things normally, a creature of the night - silent and swift,


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Raven
 

A feather from a raven symbolizes creation & knowledge - the Bringer of the Light


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Swallow
 

A feather from a Swallow symbolizes peace and love


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Turkey
 

A feather from a turkey symbolizes abundance, pride
and fertility


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Woodpecker
 

A feather from a Woodpecker symbolizes self-discovery


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Wren
 

A feather from a Wren symbolizes protection

~ElderAirwolf~

How to make your own set of Ogham Staves

To make your own set of Ogham staves, start with sticks or twigs in even lengths. You'll need 25 of them, or 26 if you want to include a "blank" Ogham. If you have trouble finding sticks that are the right size, you can use dowel rods cut to short lengths. About 4 - 6" is a good size for Ogham staves. The ones in the photo are made from apple branches.

Sand the bark off the sticks so that they're smooth. Inscribe each of the sticks with one of the Ogham symbols. You can do this either by carving them into the woods, painting them on, or using a wood burning tool. The ones in the photos were made with a wood burning tool, which cost about $4 at a craft store.

Consecrate your staves as you would a Tarot deck or other magical tool.

There are a number of methods to reading the staves for divination, and you can figure out what works best for you. Many people like to simply keep their staves in a pouch, and when a question comes up that needs to be answered, they place their hand in the bag and pull out a designated number of staves.

Three is a good number to use, but you can pick as many or as few as you like. As you pull each stave out of the bag, use the information at the Ogham symbol gallery to determine its divinatory meaning.

 

Making own Ogham set

I've been reading about different divination methods and how they work. There are so many cool oracle decks and runes and things, but as far as money goes that kind of thing isn't a priority. I only had a Tarot deck I picked up 9-10 years ago (The Glastonbury Tarot) so I decided to find out if it was possible to try make anything myself.

I'm most drawn to Celtic paganism so decided to have a go at drawing the Ogham symbols. I've read about drawing them on a set of cards, and also making staves, so decided to do cards first as it is simpler. I got a pack of small plain white cards and after some practice runs on scrap paper I managed to draw the whole alphabet. It's pretty basic but it gets the job done and pretty good for a first try. 

I used green markers to write the names of the symbols. I have a set of Mont Marta watercolor pencils which are a good quality which I used for the rest. I decided they needed some kind of background so I drew light green spirals on all the cards (had been thinking about spirals in nature), then after they dried I used pencil to lightly draw the symbols on, then went over them with dark green watercolor pencil. I chose to use those rather than paint as I can manage to draw fine lines with the pencils a LOT better than a brush. Plus, they were small cards.

After they were dry I dedicated the deck to use for spiritual guidance and purified them in the incense smoke. I've drawn cards 3 times so far since I finished them in the weekend, it comes easier to me than reading tarot.

The guide also explained how to make the Ogham staves which will be my next project when I get either sticks or dowel rods as it mentioned. Can either use a wood burning tool, carve the symbols on or paint them on. Other thing to find out is what it meant by dowel rods. Basically you can use whatever materials you have even popsicle sticks, it’s up to you what you want, so take pride in your staves and make them like you plan to use them like any other magickal tool.

 

 

 

Ogham Divination

In the Irish myth Tochmarc Etaine1, “the Wooing of Etain,” a Druid named Dalan used a method of Ogham divination to find where the God Midir had taken Etain. He cut four wands of yew on which he cut three Oghams, and with them he found the "eochra ecsi (keys of science and Ogham)," with which he was able to discover that she had been taken to the Sidhe-mound of Breg Leith, where Midir dwelt. Therefore, when Midir abducts Etain, Dalan discovers where she is by using Ogham but we simply do not know precisely how Dalan did his divination.

So, is Ogham divination an ancient tool??  Quite possibly.  Is it the same as modern Ogham divination?  Most likely not.  Does this make the modern use of Ogham in divination somehow less valid?  Most definitely not. 

Ogham divination uses staves of wood with an individual few carved on each.  You may also use paper cards, as paper comes from wood. Some prefer this method because they are easier to store and manipulate than 25 sticks.  I have also seen Ogham placed on stone, but I believe wood staves are better as they more traditional and remains true to the importance that woods play in the art. However, there is some legitimacy to this practice lent by the fact that all surviving Ogham inscriptions were written on stone.  Some Ogham staves will also include the Irish name and the corresponding wood, and I recommend this if you are just learning the correspondences.  The more you see them, the quicker you will learn them. You need to make sure that you have a way to tell which way is upright because this will make a difference in the way the Oghams are read.

Ogham fews are given “kennings” or associations based on the letter which they represent.  For instance, if you wished to give Ogham deity correspondences, you could associate Beith with Brigid and Bel.  Or for animal correspondences you could associate Ruis with the Raven and the Rattlesnake.  It is perfectly acceptable in Ogham divination to create your own correspondences.  In fact, sometimes this is better because they are more personal to you.  In addition to kennings, fews can also be assigned divinatory meanings.  I will include some examples of these in another post. 

Like any other art, Ogham divination should be practiced as much as possible, preferably every day.  Below is a simple spread that is easy to incorporate into your daily ritual.

The Ray of Light Spread2

This spread is based on Awen, the three rays of light, which is a classic symbol in modern Druidry.  The first ray, on the left, is the Ray of Knowledge, and represents the influence of the past.  The middle ray is the Ray of Peace, and represents the present.  The third and final ray, on the right, is The Ray of Power, and it represents potential for change, the future. 

To use the Ray of Light Spread, the practioner will shuffle the staves or the cards, and then draw three, one by one.  The first stave will be placed on the left, for the past.  The second stave draw will be placed on the right, for the future.  The final stave, the Ray of Peace, will be placed in the middle, representing the future.  This order is very important in druid ideology.  The middle stave is the grey area, the middle ground.  This stave represents the area where the other two meet, the in between.  This is the area where druids strive to exist, in the grey between *black and white,* between extremes. Essentially, living in the present; knowledgeable of the past, with the power to face and influence the future, but living in peace in the present. 

Your spread should be representative of this image, Awen::

After the few are placed, you can begin to study and interpret their meanings.  At first, this task can seem daunting, much like tarot. Remember that there are no clear cut answers and no definitive correspondences and meanings.  John Michael Greer recommends that you ask yourself “What does this remind me of?” or “What does this make me think of?” in place of “What does this mean?”  The first two leave more room for personal interpretation, any rely a tab bit less on the stock meanings and correspondences you are working with. Over time you may develop meanings that are exclusive to your own work, and this is wonderful. 

Well, what about the question?  What should you ask while using Ogham? If you are just beginning, I suggest you start with a simple, relatively short term question.  “What does this day hold for me?”  You can do this as part of your morning ritual.  Take notes in your divination journal; the fews, the order, your interpretations.  Then, as part of your night time ritual, compare your interpretation to your actual day.  Then compare the fews to your day.  Were your interpretations accurate?  Were there possibly more appropriate interpretations?  Notice, from time to time, if certain fews begin to develop their own meanings which are unique to you.  Remember, there are no *right* meanings in Ogham divination, so it is most important to concentrate on developing your intuitive abilities and to find the meanings that speak to you.

After you become more familiar with Ogham and individual few meanings for you, you can gradually expand your questions to encompass the next week, the next three months, the next year, and so on.  Remember this is an art.  It takes practice, and you cannot get in a rush.

Now, here is another example of Ogham divination.  The interpretation here is much more involved and should be attempted after one is comfortable with the Ray of Light Spread, in my opinion.

Coelbreni

With this approach, a practioner would draw three circles on the ground, or the circles can also be drawn on a piece of cloth that you use repeatedly for this purpose.  The circles can represent different things; past, present, future; earth, sea, sky (the Celtic elements); etc. The staves are then tossed in the air, and interpretation is based on which staves fall into which circle.  I recommend journaling this process the same as you would with the Rays of Light spread, or any approach for that matter. 

Elder Airwolf