Friday, 12 February 2016

Thyme by Unity

Thyme - Thymus vulgaris by Unity


Planetary ruler - Venus
Element - Water

Magical properties - Health, healing, sleep, peace, psychic powers, love, purification, courage, releasing and beauty

Actions - Carminative, Anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, astringent, anthelmintic

Thyme is one of the few herbs growing in my garden at this time of year as it is an evergreen woody shrub that grows between 3-18 inches. The name Thyme comes from the Greek word meaning fumigation, an allusion to the healing properties of its smoke. The smell of it can ease depression and calm anxiety. The flowers, leaves and oil are used.

It can be used in incense to cleanse and purify your home in place of white sage, and it can be used in spells for healing, peace, love and courage.

Roman soldiers used to bathe in thyme to give them courage and vigour and it became well known in Europe as an emblem of bravery and energy. In the Scottish Highlands, it was used in a drink for strength, courage and to prevent nightmares.

Thyme is a powerful antiseptic and preservative, and it was used by ancient Egyptians in the embalming process.

Ancient Greeks used it in baths and as an incense for courage. In European middle ages it was placed under pillows to help with sleep and to ward off nightmares. It was also placed in coffins to ensure a safe journey to the afterlife, although it was never included in wreaths or funeral flowers as a well known superstition at the time holds ' the dead have nothing to do with time/thyme'.

Throw a sprig of thyme onto a fire to attract good health.

Wear thyme to ward off negativity and evil.

Drink as a tea to help focus on personal energies and to help you get through difficult times.

On St Agnes eve ( 20th January ) enquiring girls put a thyme leaf in one shoe and rosemary in the other, then laid them on either side of their beds saying ' St Agnes, that's to lovers kind, come ease the trouble of my mind.' She would then hope to dream of her future husband.

Thyme and garlic were sewn into a bridegroom's clothes as a charm against bewitchment on the way to church. A cup of thyme and beer is said to have been a cure for shyness.

Culpepper says thyme is ' a notable strengthener of the lungs. It purges the body of phlegm, and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath : it kills worms in the belly. An ointment made of it takes away hot swellings and warts, helps the sciatica and dullness of sight, takes away pains and hardness of the spleen.'

Thyme has long been used as an antiseptic and wound treatment, to soothe the digestion and to clear the head, it was also valued against the plague. Before antibiotics thyme oil was used to medicate bandages.

Today thyme oil is an ingredient in some mouthwashes and hand sanitisers. As a tea it can be drunk to ease coughs and bronchitis and as a gargle for laryngitis and tonsillitis. It can also help colic, arthritis, upset stomach, diarrhoea, bed wetting, flatulence, parasitic worm infections and as a diuretic. Do not use the oil neat on your skin, always mix it with a carrier oil. Also DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY IF YOU ARE OR MAY BE PREGNANT.

Red thyme oil is used in manufacturing some perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and toothpastes.

Pots of thyme growing on your kitchen window sill will deter flies and other pests from flying into your kitchen. The oil can be added to cleaning water and used to kill germs around your home during sickness ( door handles, light switches, kitchen worktops etc. ).

I have made this delicious drink before when I've had a sore throat, and found it very soothing:

Lemon thyme throat soother
1 tsp. dried lemon thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh leaves.
1 litre organic lemonade
honey to serve

Bring Lemonade to boil in a saucepan. Turn off heat and add lemon thyme, leave to steep for 15 minutes. Add honey and re-heat if needed. Sip slowly to help with a sore throat and nasal congestion.


Unity

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Wiccaning for lost babies by StormloverWolf

A Wiccaning for the children that I lost due to miscarriage by Stormloverwolf.

The altar table is draped with an ecru coloured crochet tablecloth. There is a larger size white candle in the middle on a pedestal with two wicks burning. Beside the large candle on either side are small vases holding the very delicate blooms of Lilies of the Valley. Their scent transforms our gathering in the woods to a delicate mist of scent. Attached to the outside corners of the altar are beautiful pastel coloured balloons. In front of the vases are two hearts one carved out of wood, the other woven from reeds pulled from the pond on the walk in. My parents have passed but I feel them here with me. I stand hand in hand with my sisters and High Priestess’s Lady Tansy and Lady Sunchylde. Other’s asked if they could join us but I needed to say it was just going to be my family. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, but this is so hard I don’t know if I will be able to get through it.

Tansy walks Deosil to open our Circle. She lets delicate pink rose petals and the delicate green leaves of a fern as she says: “We open this circle with every step that I take. To name and bless the souls of those lost to our Storm. Protect us and shield us from harm of any kind'” Tansy returns beside Storm.

Sunchylde – “I call the spirits of the East, the element of Air. Please join us in this special Ritual to hear the names of the lost ones. Bring gentle winds to lift our spirits. Hail and Welcome!”

Tansy – “I call the spirits of the South, the element of Fire. Please join us in this special Ritual to hear the names of the lost ones. Bring the gentle warmth to enfold our spirits together. Hail and Welcome!”

Sunchylde – “I call the spirits of the West, the element of Water. Please join us in this special Ritual to hear the names of the lost ones. Bring your refreshing mist to soothe our spirits. Hail and Welcome!”

Tansy – “I call the spirits of the North, the element of Earth. Please join us in this special Ritual to hear the names of the lost ones. Bring us your strength of roots to bind us in safety this night. Hail and Welcome!”

Sunchylde – “We call the Great Goddess Hera, Goddess of the Heavens and childbirth. Please join in this Rite to bless the souls of the lost ones. Hail and Welcome!”

Tansy – “We call the Great God Osumara, guardian of children and controller of the umbilical cord. Hail and Welcome!”

Storm – “I thank you all for joining my sisters and me this night. I wish to name and bless the two children that I lost in miscarriages many years ago. My heart still aches for them though I know they are safe and that I will be blessed and meet them when my time comes to crossover.”

My first child that I felt would be a boy; his name was to be Kyle.
My second child that I felt would be a girl; her name was to be Madison/Maddy.

Storm -"Dear God and Goddess, please bless these two spirits that I lost long ago. Watch over them, and teach them all they need to know. Protect them both and teach them to be strong, while I bask in the light of their memories long. The day will be coming, when the time’s right it will be. A glorious time for their relatives and me. My darlings I love you with all of my heart, it was the God’s wishes that we did then part. Our reunion will come and blessed that day will be, until then my children contentment will find you, you will soon see. This Is My Will, So Mote It Be!”

I thank my sisters Sunchylde and Tansy for standing with me for this incredibly special Ritual.

I thank all of the elements, Earth Air Fire and Water for joining in this special Rite this night. I am grateful for your strengths and characters. Return to your Watchtowers dear friends, until we may call on you once again. Hale and Farewell!

Goddess Hera and God Osumare my thanks for your presence in this special Rite this night. Go if you must but know that you both are welcome to stay... Hale and Farewell”!


Sunchylde walks Widdershins to close the circle gathering a few rose petals and fern drifts for me to keep “Our Circle is open, yet never broken. Blessed Be!”



StormloverWolf

Saturday, 6 February 2016

February Crafts by Lela Moon

February Crafts by Lela Moon

This month we have four simple crafts.
These crafts are nice to make now but can be adapted and made into different shapes for yule.

Paper hanging hearts
Wool hanging hearts
Windmills
Wax hearts


Paper hanging hearts




You will need:

A4 paper any colour
Stapler
felt tips, glitter or stickers if you want

Cut your paper into strips about an inch wide or however fat you want your hearts.

Decorate if you wish with felt tips, glitter or stickers.




Fold the first heart over and staple at the bottom.







Make the top into a heart shape by bending down.

Put the bottom part of the next heart into the top of the heart shape and staple.







Carry on until you have the desired length.

Put an open strip in the last one to use to hang them up.




Wool hanging hearts.



You will need:

Wool
Florist wire or any soft wire
Little bit of paper for a message if necessary

Make the wire into a heart shape




Cut off a length of wool, mine was about 12 inches.

Knot the wool to the part of the heart where the wire joins.

Weave the wool about the heart making sure you twist it at each joining.




When you are done knot the wool and then add a bit to the top to hang it from.

You can add a little message if you want.









Windmills

I have always wanted to make these.




You will need:

Squares of paper
Scissors
Split pins
Glue, I use a glue gun as its faster.

Take a square of paper . Mine is 6 x 6 inches.




fold into a triangle



fold the other way




Cut along the four lines to about an inch from the top



Fold the corners into the middle using the glue to secure.

Make a hole in the middle, carefully.

Push in a split pin.





The windmill can be left as it is and stuck onto the wall or poke into a straw or into a stick to make a windmill.

You could do this with plastic so they can then go out in the garden or you could laminate your paper first but you will need a glue gun to secure and be careful making the hole for the split pin.





Wax hearts

These are amazing and a wonderful gift for your valentine.





You will need:

Those horrid children’s wax crayons that they break and peel off the paper
A metal dough cutter
Silicone moulds if you have them
Baking tray
Grease proof paper

Line the baking tray with Grease proof paper

Put in the shape





Break up the crayons and fill the heart.

I just covered the bottom.

Put some in the silicone moulds if you have them .






Bake in an oven at 200 degrees for about ten mins but have a little look as it may be quicker.

Take out carefully.

Some of the wax will seep out from under the cutter but leave it all to cool.

When they are cold cut away the excess and pop out the wax from the molds.




These can be used again as crayons. Children would love them made into different shapes and would probably use them instead of breaking them up and picking off the paper!

Hope you enjoy making these.


Lela Moon

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Comfrey by Unity

Comfrey - Symphytum officinale



Gender : Feminine

Planet : Saturn

Element : Water

Powers: Safety during travel, money, protection, healing, hex breaking, bringing together

Magical Uses: Worn or carried, comfrey protects and ensures safety during travel. Also tuck some into your suitcases so they are not lost or stolen while travelling. The root is used in money spells.
Because it's a healing herb, it's also perfect for using in healing spells and pouches.

Folk names: Assear, Black Wort, Boneset, Bruisewort, Consohda, Consound, Gum Plant, Healing herb, Knit back, Knit bone, Miracle herb, slippery root, Wallwort, Yalluc, Gavez, Smeerwartel, Karakaffes, Ztworkost

The folk names refer to comfrey's strong healing action which was used in the past for broken bones. It will also knit flesh together, speeding the healing of wounds. Applied as a poultice or ointment, it can be used to treat bruises, discolorations and sprains. It is safe to use as long as correct guidelines are followed. Comfrey is often referred to as a miracle herb because of its healing properties.
Comfrey has a long history of use for its healing and anti-inflammatory effects on bone fractures, arthritis, sprains, inflamed joints / tendons, cuts, sores, skin ulcers, bruises and other injuries. It is soothing to the skin and was used for scars and blemishes. It was also said to promote a youthful complexion.

The healing properties of this herb are so potent that it is important to ensure when using it as a poultice that the affected area is completely clean, as it causes the skin to heal so fast that dirt or debris can end up being trapped under the new skin.

This herb had such a reputation for repairing tissue that it became popular for less virtuous brides to bathe in comfrey before their wedding day to restore their virginity!

The Latin name Symphytum means 'heal together'. It is now believed that allatoin (a main component of comfrey) is responsible for the growth and multiplication of skin cells.
In the past, comfrey root was widely used internally for healing ulceration in the digestive tract, bronchitis and other chest complaints, but in recent years comfrey has come into disrepute because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This is a large group of chemicals, some of which are toxic to the liver. Poisoning has been reported in people eating other plants with high levels of these alkaloids, but there are very few reported cases of liver damage from eating comfrey root. Some herbalists argue that comfrey has been used for hundreds of years without problems , and others blame it on Russian comfrey which has much higher levels of the alkaloids than the common comfrey , but it is better to err on the side of caution rather than risk any problems and use comfrey only externally on unbroken skin.

Different ways to use Comfrey:

The broad leaves of comfrey can be soaked in warm water, laid on a small towel or flannel and used as a compress for sprains.

Comfrey also makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden. Simply add the leaves to a bucket of water, let them rot down and pour the resulting smelly mixture around your plants.

Pick comfrey leaves and let them dry in the shade; crumble them up and put them in a jar, then fill the jar with olive oil and stir well. Place on a sunny windowsill for 4 weeks and give it a shake every day. Strain it and bottle or use it to make an ointment.

Put 300ml of infused comfrey oil and 25g beeswax in a bain marie or a small bowl on top of a saucepan of hot water, keep it on a low heat and allow the beeswax to melt. Allow to cool slightly, and then pour into sterilized jars and leave to set before putting on lids and labelling.



Unity

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Croning Ritual by Autumn Ravenflower


Croning Ritual by Autumn Ravenflower


Set up an altar with photos of various stages of life - as a baby and child, days at playgroup and at school. Teenage years, photos of becoming a mother (if applicable) right up to the present day. Wear colours that make you feel good and have flowers that you love.

The ritual could also be held on the waning moon to tie in with the crone aspect.
Write a detailed but brief outline of your life at each decade so far, filling in the gaps with fond memories of things that made you laugh. If there were any sad moments, include those too as I feel things that happen in your life make you the person you are today.

Prior to the ritual, have a ceremonial bath at home, light candles and sink into waters that had your favourite perfume in and reflect upon your life. Plan what you are going to do in your crone stage of life.

The women at the croning ritual would sit in a circle on the ground on blankets, cushions and listen while the new crone tells the story of her life. It would be interesting for other older crones to share their tales of how life is now for them and for maidens and mothers to learn of what is to become of them one day.

The new crone stands up and makes her way to the altar with the HP or the Crone.

Priestess/Crone:

"We have gathered here, Maidens, Mothers and Crones to celebrate ___________ entering into the wisdom filled life of the Crone.
We honour her passage into this new phase of her life - a life of self acceptance, of knowledge. To be the link between the crones of ancient past and the crones of the future. To embrace her crone years even when she feels like dancing like the maiden.
May we all now celebrate in welcoming ______________ as a crone and wise woman.
Blessed Be!


The crone is then handed a small bag of crystals -
Blue agate for self acceptance
Malachite for transformation
Rose Quartz for love, peace and nurturing

The ritual is then concluded with a shared supper of food and drink which everyone contributes to.




Autumn Ravenflower