These are things tried and true a list we make available to you
What are dreams? Sigmund Freud felt that dreams were the pictures of instinctual forces, both sexual and aggressive forces, crying to be let out. Carl Jung believed dreams were an expression of a symbolic language. He proposed that dreams expressed collective racial unconscious memories and instincts shared by all people. There is a wonderful dream dictionary you can access here.
Ever hear the phrase "as above so below"? Ever have a day where everything you did was a battle or a day when it seemed the universe was in your corner and you could do no wrong? Well, maybe it was. When have days like that I check the stars and usually find my experiences reflected there. My favorite astrological site is Susan Miller's Astrology Zone. It's nice to check in and find auspicious energy ready to be tapped.
It often takes me a full day to write an effective spell and sometimes I'm stalled with some elusive ingredient. One of my favorite sites is Mountain Rose Herbs for any hard to find herb or essential oil.
The complicated world of scent is all around us casting its spell. One way to harness this power is through the use of Essential oils. Essential oils are oils made from the leaves and flowers of plants. You can buy bath products or home fragrances containing the oils, or you can purchase the oils on their own. Each oil has its own, unique healing properties. Essential Lavender oil has been traditionally used in France as a topical application to heal minor burns and reduce scarring and to counteract insomnia, anxiety, rheumatism, headaches, pains and as a regenerative and anti-aging treatment.
The scent of essential oils has the power to change your mood, and in fact, affect your entire sense of well- being. Feeling down? Add a few drops of Lemon oil to a small spray bottle. Fill with spring water and mist yourself to instantly rejuvenate. Having company? Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to a diffuser and light the candle, soon the room will be filled with the cozy smell of holiday baking. Need some comfort? It's really hard to top a soothing bath espessialy when you've added a handful of sea salt and a few drops of essential oils. Try making up a jar of your own bathsalts. Here are some of my favorite bath salts recipes.
"There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness." ~Dr. Edward Bach, 1934. Bach Flower Remedies are another lovely way to use the power of scent to enrich your life. Just a spritz under the tongue is all it takes. The creation of noted homeopath and bacteriologist Dr Edward discovered a complete system of 38 flower remedies, the Bach Original Flower Remedies, help us rediscover the positive side of ourselves and help us live emotionally healthy lives. Now sold in over 65 countries worldwide, the Bach Original Flower Remedies are used by individuals and respected medical and complementary health practitioners alike.
Insense is also a wonderful way to scent a room. When I'm frazzled and need to lift my mood, one of the first steps I take is to light a stick of Nag Champa. Nag Champa is a hand-rolled blend of flowers, spices, and resins, and each stick burns for about 45 minutes. The natural ingredients, herbs, resins and masala are blended to perfection to create a soothing aroma. Or If I need something more medicinal I choose Tara healing incense, an ancient Tibetan incense composed of 31 different pure and natural herbs. It is effective, non-toxic and non-addictive and has been used for stress, depression and tension. Candles are one of the most versatile tools of magick. Candles have been used for prayer and meditation in almost all religions. Across the world you can walk into churches and light a candle in prayer, or see candles lit to honor ancestors or deities. Candle magick is one of the simplest forms of magick. From the act of blowing out a birthday candle to lighting the tapers for a candlelight dinner, candles add magick and enrich our life. Candles are use so often, some of the rituals behind their use have been forgotten but from the Yule tradition of burning a bayberry candle down to the socket to bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket, to calling up the elements, candles play an important role in ritual. I have found that Orleans Candle Company has a wonderful inventory of candles. The Orleans Candle Company produces high quality candles at a great price as their local craftsmen hand dip and pour a variety of traditional candles making every candle the old-fashioned way. Not only do they offer traditional paraffin candles but also 100% Soy Candles that are hand poured and scented. Using only pure cotton wicks and non-toxic essential oil blend scents, these candles are tested to burn clean, with minimal or no smoking and 100% Pure Beeswax Candles that are certified pure. These church quality beeswax candles burn clean and give off a subtle, natural aroma of honey. This is an excellent place to stock up for the holidays and don't forget to add a set of Bayberry Candles 10” Stick candles--- perfect for the holidays, these traditional bayberry scented candles are burnt for good luck and prosperity.
A study in the Neuroscience Journal from 2007 found that exposure to the bacteria found in dirt boosts Serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that affects sleep cycles, moods and memory. Low levels of serotonin are linked to aggression, anxiety and depression. Many gardeners already know that running their naked finger through the soil not only makes their spirits soar but grounds them in the shifting of the seasons. There are many sources for seeds but our favorite is Seed Savers the Non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seed.
Oh and when you are gardening, avoid using Roundup. A study published by Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific, Nov 2009 states that Roundup, or Glyphosate-based herbicides, deplete Serotonin and Dopamine levels. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter involved in the brain's regulation of emotion and movement. In the April 2007 American Journal of Psychiatry article, Can’t Get Enough of That Dopamine, Bruce Cohen MD, PhD and William Carlezon PhD state, "through their many connections, dopamine neurons participate in the modulation of expectation, reward, memory, activity, attention, drives, and mood - the very substrates of psychiatric illness." So what does it mean when our dopamine levels are depleted? Low levels of dopamine cause us to face life with indifference and life becomes flat and boring.
A diet that includes almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds is a natural way to boost dopamine levels. Eating fruits and vegetables and other foods that are rich in antioxidants, also protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage. So change your diet and make the organic choice!
The time-honored tradition of baking for the holidays goes back to antiquity. When early man settled an area that allowed plantlife to flourish, agricultural societies prospered allowing for the pursuit of higher ideas. In areas where grain could thrive, civilizations grew, cultivating religion with man's evolving ability to sense the changing seasons and note the motions of the celestial bodies. To the ancients, bountiful grain fields were a sign of health and harmony. A Sumerian tablet from 260 B.C. lists the crops as rice, soy, wheat, barley and millet and from the cultivation of these five sacred grains, a rich culture was established as deities of local power sprang up with symbols central to the agricultural cycles. Today there are many grains and types of flour available for today’s bakers. One of our favorites is Bob's Red Mill. Bob's RM uses a time-honored technique to grind their quality grains with a traditional stone mill.
Baking is a time honored tradition that goes back to the beginning of time. On our Bread and Cakes page we have included pages of our favorite recipes that are tried and true from members of our community. I hope that you enjoy them as much as we have.
Magickal books are an important part of our library. Yet there are so many books being published today, it's laborious to sift through them all. To help narrow your search, here is a link to a list of our favorite books on the craft.