Finding Dragons

Finding Dragons

 
 
Dragons live deep underground in caverns, usually with many passages and inner caves where the treasure is kept.
 
Some areas, like Wales or the Catalan region around Barcelona, have strong fire-dragon traditions.
 
Visit places with dragon or drake names such as Dragon Hill near Uffingham on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire borders, close to the huge chalk horse symbol of the Celtic horse goddess Epona.
 
Go also to those spots where there are dragons legends, such as Krakow in Poland where the dragon lived in a cave beneath Wawel Hill under the castle. You can be sure people in times past experienced dragon energies there and so wove the legends. Enter ‘dragon’ in the regional website of the place you intend to visit.
 
Explore dry, rocky, sandy regions, like Almeria in the south east of Spain. Visit also the bush lands of Australia and the Midwest of America and New Mexico, where European and Scandinavian settlers from the Old World carried the dragon mythology and the absorbed energies to join with the indigenous myths.
 
Explore the sacred sites of the creatrix rainbow serpent in Australia. In American, Serpent Mound in Ohio, just east of Cincinnati, which was used for worship by the Adena Indians, somewhere between 800 BCE and CE 100, is another perfect dragon location.
 
Most deep forests also have their share of dragon legends, especially in Germany. Visit different cavernous or rocky areas and feel for your dragon.
 
You may even find friendly fire-dragon energies near seaside caves in sandy coves (watch for tides). Western dragons traditionally live alone except for mating.
 
Collect the legends and your own impressions in your Book of Shadows.
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Dragon Blessing

Dragon Blessing

 
 
This is a ritual for blessing and consecrating all your ritual tools. Whether your ritual tools are chosen specifically for dragon magick or whether you plan to use them in several kinds of magick, it is wise, as well as a nice gesture, to ask your dragons to add their powerful blessings to the equipment. The stronger the power in a magickal ritual tool, the better the rituals are worked.
 
This ritual is best done on a Full Moon or at bright noon. All of the tools may be consecrated at once if you have gathered them, or you may consecrate those that you have at this point. Others may be blessed as you acquire them. Any jewelry can be blessed at the initiation ceremony. Have pure frankincense gum to burn in the incense burner; a little goes a long way with gums, which tend to smoke.

Tools that you will find useful at this point are the dragon pentacle, the pentacle disk, incense burner, chalices, salt dish, sword, and wand. If you cannot drink wine, substitute apple cider, grape juice, fruit juice or soda.
 
Arrange your ritual area with care. It is best to set the altar in the center of your working area so that you can face the east. Light the two altar candles (black on the left, white on the right). Remember, if you are timid about using black, substitute extremely dark blue, purple or indigo.
 
Play soft instrumental music, if you wish. It helps to create the proper atmosphere and mask minor noises. Once the circle is cast, do not cross the boundary until the ritual is finished! You are dealing with mischievous creatures in this type of magick. Dragon power is a totally different and more unpredictable kind of magick: it can even be dangerous if you are frivolous and half-hearted about your work.
 
Begin the ritual by going to the east. With the forefinger of your power hand (this is generally considered the one with which you write), “draw” your magickal circle on the floor around your ritual area. Do this by pointint your finger at the floor and seeing great flames shooting from it. Move clockwise around the circle with this flame; end by overlapping it in the east. While drawing the circle, say:
 
“BY DRAGON POWER, THIS CIRCLE IS SEALED.”
 
Return to the altar. Put a small amount of frankincense on the burning charcoal in the incense burner. Point your forefinger at the burner; say,
 
“BY DRAGON POWER, I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Lift the incense burner and carry it clockwise around the edge of the cast circle, beginning and ending in the east. Return the burner to the altar.

Slowly pass the pentacle disk through the incense smoke, Say;

“ELEMENT OF SPIRIT, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 

Set the dish of salt on the pentacle disk. Circle the dish three times clockwise with your forefinger. Say:
 
“OUT OF THE DARKNESS OF EARTH AND SEA COMES THIS BLESSED SALT.
BY DRAGON POWER, I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Sprinkle a few grains of salt on all four corners of the altar. This sprinkling purifies the altar and may be done at any time, whether during ritual or as a cleansing if someone has messed about with your altar.

Pass the dragon pentacle through the incense smoke and say:

“ELEMENT OF SPIRIT, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
With the dragon pentacle in your power hand, go to the eastern quarter. Hold up the pentacle, facing the east. Say:
 
“DRAGONS OF AIR, BEHOLD YOUR SYMBOL AND ALLY.”
 
Moving clockwise, go to the south. Hold up the pentacle, say:

“DRAGONS OF FIRE, BEHOLD YOUR SYMBOL AND ALLY.”
 
Go to the west. Hold up the pentacle, say:
 
“DRAGON OF WATER, BEHOLD YOUR SYMBOL AND ALLY.”
 
Finish by going to the north. Hold up the pentacle, say:
 
“DRAGONS OF EARTH, BEHOLD YOUR SYMBOL AND ALLY.”
 
Return to the altar. Lay aside the dragon pentacle and take up the sword. Touch it briefly to the pentacle disk and pass it through the incense smoke. (You will have to keep adding small amounts of incense through out the ritual, but not enough to make breathing uncomfortable.) Say:
 
“SWORD OF FIRE, O (NAME OF SWORD),
BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Hold the sword for a few moments before the dragon pentacle. Put down the sword and take up the dagger. Touch it to the pentacle disk, pass through the incense smoke, and say:
 
“DAGGER OF FIRE, O (NAME OF DAGGER),
BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Hold the dagger for a few moments before the dragon pentacle.
 
For each tool set it briefly on the pentacle disk, then pass it through the incense smoke. When finished with the Call, hold the tool up before the dragon pentacle.
 
Water chalice:
 

“CHALICE OF WATER, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 

Wine chalice:
 
“CHALICE OF EARTH, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Dragon bowl:
 
“BOWL OF EARTH, YOU HOLDER OF LANDS FAR DISTANT AND NEAR, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOUR PURIFIED.”
 

Gem bowl:

“BOWL OF EARTH, YOU HOLDER OF GEMS BRIGHT AND POWERFUL, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 

Wand:

“WAND OF AIR, WIELDER OF MIGHT AND MAGICK, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 

Staff:

“STAFF OF SPIRIT, AUTHORITY AND POWER ARE YOURS, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 

Water bottles:

“CONTAINERS OF WATER, HOLDER OF GREAT SEAS AND RIVERS, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 
Gong, finger cymbals or bell:
 
“YOU ELEMENT OF AIR, WHOSE MUSICAL NOTES REACH TO THE DRAGON WORLDS, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 

Mirror:

“EYE OF THE DRAGON, YOU ELEMENT OF EARTH, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”

 
Whenever you get new supplies of herbs and oils, they can be consecrated by circling them three times with your wand and saying:
 
“HERBS (OILS) OF EARTH, GIVEN BY DRAGONS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS, BY DRAGON POWER I CALL YOU PURIFIED.”
 
Now is an excellent time to chant and use free-form dancing. Invite the dragons to share in the raised energy and your joy of being a magician. Talk to them about your hopes and dreams. And listen to see if they have suggestions or words of encouragement for you. This is an opportunity for close friendships to be forged.
 
To close the ritual, take your sword in your power hand, your wand or staff in the other. Hold the sword up in salute. Go to the east and say:
 
“DRAGONS OF AIR, BEHOLD THE TOOLS OF MAGICK,
CONSECRATED BY DRAGON POWER,
LET US BE ONE IN MAGICK.
FAREWELL, O DRAGONS GREAT AND WISE.”
 
Continue clockwise to the south. Say:
 
“DRAGONS OF FIRE, BEHOLD THE TOOLS OF MAGICK,
CONSECRATED BY DRAGON POWER,
LET US BE ONE IN MAGICK.
FAREWELL, O DRAGONS GREAT AND WISE.”
 
Go to the west: Say:
 
“DRAGONS OF WATER, BEHOLD THE TOOLS OF MAGICK,
CONSECRATED BY DRAGON POWER.
FAREWELL, O DRAGONS GREAT AND WISE.”
 
Go to the north; Say:
 
“DRAGONS OF EARTH, BEHOLD THE TOOLS OF MAGICK, CONSECRATED BY DRAGON POWER,
LET US BE ONE IN MAGICKL
FAREWELL, O DRAGONS GREAT AND WISE.”
 

Return to the altar. Point the sword at the dragon pentacle and say:

“DRAGONS OF SPIRIT, HIGHEST OF DRAGONS AND MOST POWERFUL, BLESS THIS ALTAR WITH YOUR FIRE,

LET US BE ONE IN MAGICK.
FAREWELL, O DRAGONS GREAT AND WISE.”
 
Cut the circle with a backward sweep of the sword across the circle boundary. Extinguish the altar candles. Leave the ritual tools on or around the altar overnight to be further empowered. The dragons may inspect them closer during this time and add special blessings.

It is important to realize that you work with dragons as partners and co-magicians. You have to be firm in your intentions but willing to listen to their point of view. A magician tries to gain control over dragons at her/his own peril.

Dragons in Mythology and Legend

Dragons in Mythology and Legend

 

 

The world’s mythologies are full of tales about dragons. Sometimes they are portrayed as huge serpents, sometimes as the type of dragon known to the Western world, sometimes in the shape known to those in the Orient. But dragons have always played a part in the shaping of this world and its many diverse cultures. They have also had an important part in cultural perception of spiritual ideas.

Dragons have been portrayed in many forms and variations of these forms. Ancient teachings say dragons can have two or four legs or none at all, a pair of wings or be wingless, breathe fire and smoke, and have scales on their bodies. Their blood is extremely poisonous and corrosive, but also very magickal. Blood, or the life force, is a symbol of the intensity of their elemental-type energies. Depending upon the reception they received from humans in the area where they lived, dragons could be either beneficial or violent. One thing is for certain: dragons were regarded with awe by all cultures affected by their presence and interaction with humans.

Although one can speak of dragons as a separate species of being, there are numerous subspecies and families within the dragon community, as one can deduce from reading ancient histories and stories. The subspecies and families may have greater or lesser differences in appearance but still retain the basic traits that are common to all dragons wherever they are. One family of dragons, with very similar characteristics, lived in Europe, especially northern Germany, Scandinavia, and islands of the North Atlantic. A second family was recognized in France, Italy and Spain. A third family dwelt in the British Isles, including Ireland; these dragons, commonly called Firedrakes, included the subspecies of Wyverns (dragons with two legs) and the winged but legless Worm. A fourth family was found in the Mediterranean area, especially Greece, Asia Minor, southern Russian, and northern Africa; the dragons with many heads was common in this region. A fifth dragon family and the largest in number was the Oriental dragon of China, Asia and Indonesia. The sixth family, of very limited size and number, was found in the Americas and Australia.

In the Eastern world, dragons seldom breathe fire and are more benevolent, although hot-tempered and destructive when provoked. They are sometimes pictured as wingless, but can propel themselves through the air if they wish. The dragons of the Orient, Mexico, the Americas and Australia propelled themselves through the skies by balancing between the Earth’s magnetic field and the winds.

Characteristics of Dragons

Characteristics of Dragons

 

Dragons are long-lived, hoard treasure, and are very wise. The older a dragon, the wiser he is. Conversing with an old dragon is a double-edged sword. He may be wiser, able to give you greater knowledge, but he is also touchy and extremely untrustworthy, unless you handle him correctly. After all he has been around long enough to have experienced human unreliability and deceit.

Dragons have control of deeper currents of elemental energies than is usually felt by humans. They are always connected in some manner with various forms of the four elements. Sightings of dragons have also been reported in areas where other psychic phenomena have occurred, such as ghosts and other astral creatures.

Depending upon the behavior of the dragons under observation, their apppearance can be considered an omen of good fortune. Oriental dragon-watchers said that it was possible to predict the weather and fortune of any community by studying the part of the sky in which a dragon appeared and the way it behaved, such as breathing fire, fighting with another dragon, screaming or frolicking in and out of the clouds.

Dragons tend to speak in riddles and symbols, avoiding straight answers whenever possible. The only weapon dragons respect is the sword, but only if it is wielded by a confident magician who is prepared to stand his ground. Please notice I say respect, not fear. I believe this is because dragons like strong humans with a healthy, balanced opinion of themselves. They do not care for vacillating humans, who are afraid to make a decision or take responsibility. Do not make the mistake of trying to physically attack with the sword. In the first place a dragon could melt the blade like ice in a flame. In the second place, the dragon is an astral creatures, incapable of being actually harmed by a physical weapon. The sword is only for magickal gestures.

As one can see by the legends, there was a time when dragons materialized from the astral into the physical plane on a fairly regular basis. Considering a dragon’s intelligence, it is no wonder that they now choose to stay away from humans. Most humans want to control, dissect, or vanquish everything they do not understand, and even a lot of what they do understand.

But that wonderful, vast storehouse of dragon magick and power is still available if a magician will take the time to learn how to approach the dragons and their deep magickal energies.

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway

TO THE DRAGONS, REBORN

TO THE DRAGONS, REBORN

They say the flame wrought winds are dead;
Ethereal dancing, jeweled wings – no more.
Monolithic rationality is the head.
Noble dreams and works – shattered, torn.

Their world was theirs – never doubt.
But the magic and power faded away,
When the light gave way to spiritual drought
and Oppenheimer replaced Morganna Le Fay.

But in some strange souls they found a home:
Those inspired, lost, exiled castaways.
Music and verse and The Craft are the bones
Of these long lost archetypes of elder days.

And it takes a mere seed to create an oak,
and music and light, rain and mirth,
bridging land and sky with it’s growth;
fulfilling the call to renew the Earth.

So nurture these dragons who live within you-
The Burning has ended and they may go free.
Let them grow so that their work may continue.
An it harm none, do what ye will

 
Blessed Be!

Dragons and The Ancient Arts

Dragons and The Ancient Arts

 
 
The Chinese word for dragon’s breath is sha, a term which may correspond to what European dowsers call “black radiations.” For the past 50 – 60 years European dowsers have traced lines of black radiation which seem to follow underground water-bearing fissures or “black streams.” These black streams produce an energy imbalance in the Earth, affecting the landscape, its vegetation and crops, and any humans or animals that live there or frequent the area. Dowsers say that this imbalance of energy can be caused by quarrying, cutting through hills for roads or building, landslides, etc. Like an acupuncturist “staking” a node on an acupuncture meridian to restore balance in the human body, these dowsers stake the black streams with iron rods. In Chinese terms, they are restoring the Yin and Yang of the land where the dragon’s breath has turned sour or noxious.
 
This staking or guiding the dragon’s Earth energies may have been an ancient art which both balanced and collected these energies within a specific place. Dragons are connected in legends with mazes, spirals, labyrinths, and hills, coiling around or within them. It is possible that the terraced and spiraled hills, the circles of stones, indeed the single monoliths, were a method of controlling and directing this dragon energy. With the spiraled mounds and labyrinths the energy would have been guided into the center of the structure where it would have been of use to initiates who understood its great potential and power. In legends this guided dragon energy would be symbolized by the dragon coiling around a hill and squeezing the hill into its spiral form, such as in the legends of the Wormington Hill and Bignor Hill dragons in Britain. The Vurm of Shervage Wood was said to lie in and out among the trees of its area, its winding coils marking the boundaries of an ancient so-called campsite. Archaeologists have long called these spiral-marked areas ancient campsites, although common sense tells you that they could not be defended from invaders.
 
This dragon energy may be a form of static electrical energy flowing naturally through the Earth. It would explain the strange sensations one gets within specific areas, especially in what are called sacred spots. The sensations range from tingling in the fingers, spine or back of the neck to a great sense of peace to an unidentifiable strange feeling. Whatever this energy is, it is extremely strong wherever it is concetrated into a contained area, such as the center of a stone circle or a spiral. There are other places, commonly called power spots or power-sinks, where this energy appears to rise from the ground without human-made structures. These power spots covers a specific area of ground and have definite edges where the energy phenomena cease to exist.

Barrow mounds have long been associated with strange happenings. It may be that the priests of the original builders knew now-forgotten techniques of situating these sites over power flows so that they collected and stored the energy as would batteries. Among the Celts, it was a common practice for trained seers to spend the night on such a mound or grave and communicate with the dead, either to gain information from the past or predict the future. It has been documented several times within the last few centuries, that when a barrow mound was opened, strange and violent thunderstorms occurred soon afterwards. It would appear that there was a release of some kind of contained energy, and that the release was done in such a way as was not safe for such a build-up.
 
Many old stories tell of the dragon using a regular path, whether by air or land, whenever it journeyed from one place to another. These paths were not necessarily in straight lines. It is possible that these dragon paths followed underground streams of energy that move from one sinkhole of energy to another. In his book Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain, L. V. Grinsell tells of a mysterious light commonly seen moving from a cairn at Torhousetie to a water conduit and back; the conduit had been covered with a stone slab taken from the cairn. In this instance it would seem that the cairn slab had become so magnetized that the energy set up a new line of flow from the sinkhole (cairn). Legend says that when the dragon’s blood is spilled, no vegetation will grow there. Dowsers say that if something goes wrong with the Earth energy the same thing happens. One story about spilled dragon blood is connected to the bare spot called Dragon Hill, which lies just below the White Horse at Uffington in Berkshire, England. There is another such legend connected with a bare spot near Aller in Somerset.
 
The conquering Christians were quick to take advantage of these power spots. They had a policy of building churches to St. Michael the dragon-killer over these old sites, some of them in very unlikely places. Both Glastonbury and Burrowbridge in Somerset have churches to St. Michael atop them. Other churches are built in the most illogical, out-of-the-way places, areas far from towns or even roads. There is absolutely no reason for siting the church in such an isolated place except to cover a power spot known to the Pagans.

The Anglo-Saxons spoke of another type of dragon Earth energy when they said dragons laired in certain sites to protect hoards of treasure. These sites most often seemed to be connected with burial mounds which the Anglo-Saxons called dragon hills. The Celts, Anglo-Saxons and the Norse all said that were-fire burned above the barrows where treasure was buried. It may well be that the ancient peoples knew where the energy streams ran and built burial mounds over them for some specific reason. The grave goods in barrows over such energy streams would absorb that energy, particular if they were made of gold or silver.
 
In the Mabinogion, there is a story of Peredur, son of Efrawg, who refers to a Welsh barrow that is guarded by a Worm. The Mabinogion is filled with symbolic stories that can be interpreted on a spiritual level. On the physical plane, the burial treasure was considered to be magickally charged. Perhaps the treasure in the dragon lairs really meant spiritual treasure which could be discovered through the use of the streams of “dragon” energy. Physical treasure which has been removed from such mounds often carries with it strange vibrations which precipitate very weird events.

“Dancing with Dragons”
D. J. Conway

Dancing with Dragons

Dancing with Dragons

 

 

The sun is out. The day is bright.

The dragons dance upon the grass

And trees and flowers brilliant.

On the winds they pass.

In and out among the clouds

They frolic in the light,

Sliding down the sunbeams,

Dragons crystal bright.

When the Sun has passed beyond

Mountains turned purple-blue,

The dragons dance on through the night

On strands of Moon-lit dew.

They dance to strains of music

Unheard by human ears,

As they have danced through eons,

Untouched by human years.

Teach me, lovely dragons,

To dance with joy life’s plan,

To life myself to higher planes

Above the limits of common man.

 

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway

Lady A’s Spell Of The Day: RID OF NASTY ASTRAL SLIME

RID OF NASTY ASTRAL SLIME


After Chakra cleansings in the evening by the ocean or a large body of water like a river
or lake or pond. As the sun sets so your bad fortune will drain away.
Hold a stone or object that you find and feel is appropriate and project all the nasty slimy
and inky feeling you picked up from this person into it. Really focus on letting all your
emotions about it as well and let them flow into the rock. When you have done this say:
“I release this astral slime
And all darkness which is not mine
I let go of all that may have harmed
My aura is bright all negativity released
And I am charmed”
Now throw the rock into the water preferably as the sun drops below the horizon and
be conscious of its fading light taking away your bad feelings from this person.
You can do this spell on then first night of the waning moon (after a full moon) for
seven nights if you really feel tainted. Also Place 1/2 cup vinegar, a bunch of fresh
or rosemary and 1 tablespoon of sea salt in your bath. Light a white and a blue candle.
Imagine yourself surrounded by blue light, giving you positive energy.
Visualize all of the negative energy and astral slime leaving your body through every pore.

Crystal of the Day for August 9th is Apatite

Apatite

Spiritual and Healing Properties of Apatite:

Love of Others

This stone works much like rose quartz except the love is more love of others with this stone than of self as in rose quartz.
~forum post from whitehorse woman

Earth Consciousness

Apatite comes in many colors, the most common being the greens, and yellows. It has a hardness of 5 on a scale of 1-10. It helps those who are Earth conscious to continue on a path of helping our Mother Earth. It is a stone that many psychics use for it helps to open the third eye and brings revelations closer. It brings inner peace and is good for meditations as well.

Apatite Curbs Appetite

This is one stone that many use when trying to stay on diets, as it helps to curb the appetite. It shakes up the inner self and allows you to look at/for your own truth. Then to put those truths into action.
~forum post from stones

Herb of the Day for August 9th is The Aloes

Aloes

Botanical: Aloe Perryi (J. G. BAKER), Aloe vera (LINN)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae

—Part Used—Leaves.
—Habitat—Aloes are indigenous to East and South Africa, but have been introduced into the West Indies (where they are extensively cultivated) and into tropical countries, and will even flourish in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.

The drug Aloes consists of the liquid exuded from the transversely-cut bases of the leaves of various species of Aloes, evaporated to dryness.


—Description—They are succulent plants belonging to the Lily family, with perennial, strong and fibrous roots and numerous, persistent, fleshy leaves, proceeding from the upper part of the root, narrow, tapering, thick and fleshy, usually beset at the edges with spiney teeth. Many of the species are woody and branching. In the remote districts of S.W. Africa and in Natal, Aloes have been discovered 30 to 60 feet in height, with stems as much as 10 feet in circumference.

The flowers are produced in erect, terminal spikes. There is no calyx, the corolla is tubular, divided into six narrow segments at the mouth and of a red, yellow or purplish colour. The capsules contain numerous angular seeds.

The true Aloe is in flower during the greater part of the year and is not to be confounded with another plant, the Agave or American Aloe (Agave Americana), which is remarkable for the long interval between its periods of flowering. This is a succulent plant, without stem, the leaves being radical, spiney, and toothed. There is a variety with variegated foliage. The flower-stalk rises to many feet in height, bearing a number of large and handsome flowers. In cold climates there is usually a very long interval between the times of its flowering, though it is a popular error to suppose that it happens only once in a hundred years for when it obtains sufficient heat and receives a culture similar to that of the pineapple, it is found to flower much more frequently. Various species of Agave, all of which closely resemble each other, have been largely grown as ornamental plants since the first half of the sixteenth century in the south of Europe, and are completely acclimatized in Spain, Portugal and Southern Italy, but though often popularly called Aloes all of them are plants of the New World whereas the true Aloes are natives of the Old World. From a chemical point of view there is also no analogy at all between Aloes and Agaves.

Although the Agave is not employed medicinally, the leaves have been used in Jamaica as a substitute for soap, the expressed juice (a gallon of the juice yields about 1 lb. of the soft extract), dried in the sun, being made into balls with wood ash. This soap lathers with salt water as well as fresh. The leaves have also been used for scouring pewter and kitchen utensils. The inner spongy substance of the leaves in a decayed state has been employed as tinder and the fibres may be spun into a strong, useful thread.

The fleshy leaves of the true Aloe contain near the epidermis or outer skin, a row of fibrovascular bundles, the cells of which are much enlarged and filled with a yellow juice which exudes when the leaf is cut. When it is desired to collect the juice, the leaves are cut off close to the stem and so placed that the juice is drained off into tubs. This juice thus collected is concentrated either by spontaneous evaporation, or more generally by boiling until it becomes of the consistency of thick honey. On cooling, it is then poured into gourds, boxes, or other convenient receptacles, and solidifies.

Aloes require two or three years’ standing before they yield their juice. In the West Indian Aloe plantations they are set out in rows like cabbages and cutting takes place in March or April, but in Africa the drug is collected from the wild plants.

—Constituents—The most important constituents of Aloes are the two Aloins, Barbaloin and Isobarbaloin, which constitute the so-called ‘crystalline’ Aloin, present in the drug at from 10 to 30 per cent. Other constituents are amorphous Aloin, resin and Aloe-emodin. The proportion in which the Aloins are present in the respective Aloes is not accurately known.

The manner in which the evaporation is conducted has a marked effect on the appearance of the Aloes, slow and moderate concentration tending to induce crystallization of the Aloin, thus causing the drug to appear opaque. Such Aloes is termed ‘livery’ or hepatic, and splinters of it exhibit minute crystals of Aloin when examined under the microscope. If, on the other hand, the evaporation is carried as far as possible, the Aloin does not crystallize and small fragments of the drug appear transparent; it is then termed ‘glassy,’ ‘vitreous,’ or ‘lucid’ Aloes and exhibits no crystals of Aloin under the microscope.

—Varieties—The chief varieties of Aloes are Curacao or Barbados, Socotrine (including Zanzibar) and Cape. Other varieties of Aloes, such as black ‘Mocha’ Aloes, occasionally find their way to the London market. Jafferabad Aloes, supposed to be the same as ‘Mocha’ Aloes, is of a black, pitch-like colour and a glassy, somewhat porous fracture; it is the product of Aloe Abyssinica and is imported to Bombay from Arabia. It does not enter into English commerce. Musambra Aloes is made in India from A. vulgaris. UgandaAloes, imported from Mossel Bay, not from Uganda, is a variety of Cape Aloes produced by careful evaporation. Natal Aloes, another South African variety, is no longer a commercial article in this country. The A. Purificata of the United States Pharmacopoeia is prepared by adding Alcohol to melted Aloes, stirring thoroughly, straining and evaporating the strained liquid. The product occurs in irregular, brittle, dull- brown or reddish pieces and is almost entirely soluble in Alcohol.

Curacoa Aloes is obtained from A. chinensis (Staud.) A. vera (Linn.) and probably other species. It was formerly produced on the island of Barbados, where it was largely cultivated, having been introduced at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and is still frequently, but improperly called Barbados Aloes. It is now almost entirely made on the Dutch islands of Curacoa, Aruba and Bonaire by boiling the Aloe juice down and pouring the viscid residue into empty spirit cases, in which it is allowed to solidify. Formerly gourds of various sizes were used (usually containing from 60 to 70 lb.) but Aloes in gourds is now seldom seen. It is usually opaque and varies in colour from bright yellowish or rich reddish brown to black. Sometimes it is vitreous and small fragments are then of a deep garnet-red colour and transparent. It is then known as ‘Capey Barbados’ and is less valuable, but may become opaque and more valuable by keeping. Curacoa Aloes possesses the nauseous and bitter taste that is characteristic of all Aloes and a disagreeable, penetrating odour. It is almost entirely soluble in 60 per cent alcohol and contains not more than 30 per cent of substances insoluble in water and 12 per cent of moisture. It should not yield more than 3 per cent of ash.

Commercial Aloin is obtained usually from Curacoa Aloes.

Solutions of Curacoa and other Aloes gradually undergo change, and may after a month no longer react normally, and may also lose the bitterness natural to Aloes.

Socotrine Aloes is prepared to a certain extent on the island of Socotra, but probably more largely on the African and possibly also on the Arabian mainland, from the leaves of A. Perryi (Baker). It is usually imported in kegs in a pasty condition and subsequent drying is necessary. It may be distinguished principally from Curacoa Aloes by its different odour. Much of the dry drug is characterized by the presence of small cavities in the fractured surface, but the variety of Socotrine Aloes distinguished as Zanzibar Aloes often very closely resembles Curacoa in appearance and is usually imported in liver-brown masses which break with a dull, waxy fracture, differing from that of Socotrine Aloes in being nearly smooth and even. When it is prepared, it is commonly poured into goat skins, which are then packed into cases.

—Constituents—The name ‘Socotrine’ Aloes is officially applied to both Socotrine and Zanzibar Aloes. Its chief constituents are Barbaloin (formerly called Socaloin and Zanaloin) and B. Barbaloin, no Isobarbaloin being present in this variety of Aloes. Resin water-soluble substances other than Aloin and Aloe-emodin are also present.

Socotrine Aloes should be of a dark, reddish-brown colour, and almost entirely soluble in alcohol. Not more than 50 per cent should be insoluble in water and it should yield not more than 3 per cent of ash. Garnet-coloured, translucent Socotrine Aloes is not now found in commerce, though fine qualities of Zanzibar Aloes are sometimes slightly translucent. Samples of the drug which are nearly black are unfit for pharmaceutical purposes. The odour of Zanzibar Aloes is strong and characteristic, and its taste nauseous and bitter.

Cape Aloes is prepared in Cape Colony from A. ferou (Linn.), A. spicata (Thumb.) A. Africana, A. platylepia and other species of Aloe. It possesses more powerfully purgative properties than any other variety of the drug and is preferred to other varieties on the Continent, but is chiefly employed in this country for veterinary purposes only though for this purpose the Curacoa Aloes is as a rule preferred. Another form of the drug used for veterinary purposes, called Caballine or Horse Aloes, usually consists of the residue from the purification of the more valuable sorts.

Cape Aloes almost invariably occurs in the vitreous modification; it forms dark coloured masses which break with a clean glassy fracture and exhibit in their splinters a yellowish, reddish-brown or greenish tinge. Its translucent, glossy appearance and very characteristic, red-currant like odour sufficiently distinguish it from all other varieties of Aloes.

Uganda Aloes is also obtained from A. ferox. It occurs in bricks or fragments of hepatic, yellowish-brown colour, with a bronze gold fracture and its odour resembles that of Cape Aloes.

Cape Aloes contains 9 per cent or more of Barbaloin (formerly known as Capaloin) and B. Barbaloin. Only traces of Capalores not annol combined with paracumaric acid. Cape Aloes should not contain more than 12 per cent of water; it should yield at least 45 per cent of aquoeus extract but not more than 2 per cent of ash Uganda Aloes yields about 6 per cent of Aloin, part of which is B. Barbaloin. The leaves of the plants from which Cape Aloes is obtained are cut off near the stem and arranged around a hole in the ground, in which a sheepskin is spread, with smooth side upwards. When a sufficient quantity of juice has drained from the leaves it is concentrated by heat in iron cauldrons and subsequently poured into boxes or skins in which it solidifies on cooling. Large quantities of the drug are exported from Cape Town and Mossel Bay.

Natal Aloes. The source of this variety which is seldom imported, is not yet definitely ascertained, but it is probably prepared from one or more species of Aloe, probably including A. ferox. Natal Aloes is prepared with greater care than Cape Aloes the leaves being cut obliquely into slices and the juice allowed to exude in the hot sunshine, after which it is boiled down in iron pots the liquid being stirred until it becomes thick and then poured into wooden cases to solidify. Natal Aloes is much weaker than any other variety, having little purgative action on human beings, apparently because it contains no Emodin. It is no longer of commercial importance. It resembles Cape Aloes in odour and occurs in irregular pieces which are almost always opaque and have a characteristic, dull greenish-black or brown colour. It is much less soluble than Cape Aloes. It has not a glassy fracture like that of Cape Aloes and when powdered is of a greenish colour.

Good Aloes should yield 40 per cent of soluble matter to cold water.

Both Curacoa and Cape Aloes in powder give a crimson colour with nitric acid, Socratine Aloes powder touched with nitric acid does not give a crimson colour.

—History—The Mahometans, especially those in Egypt, regard the Aloe as a religious symbol, and the Mussulman who has made a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Prophet is entitled to hang the Aloe over his doorway. The Mahometans also believe that this holy symbol protects a householder from any malign influence.

In Cairo, the Jews also adopt the practice of hanging up the Aloe.

In the neighbourhood of Mecca, at the extremity of every grave, on a spot facing the epitaph, Burckhardt found planted a low shrubby species of Aloe whose Arabic name, saber, signifies patience. This plant is evergreen and requires very little water. Its name refers to the waiting-time between the burial and the resurrection morning.

All kinds of Aloes are admirably provided by their succulent leaves and stems against the drought of the countries where they flourish. The cuticle which covers every part of the plant is, in those which contain a great quantity of pulpy material, formed so as to imbibe moisture very easily and to evaporate it very slowly. If the leaf of an Aloe be separated from the parent plant, it may be laid in the sun for several weeks without becoming entirely shrivelled; and even when considerably dried by long exposure to heat, it will, if plunged into water, become in a few hours plump and fresh.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—The drug Aloes is one of the safest and best warm and stimulating purgatives to persons of sedentary habits and phlegmatic constitutions. An ordinary small dose takes from 15 to 18 hours to produce an effect. Its action is exerted mainly on the large intestine, for which reason, also it is useful as a vermifuge. Its use, however, is said to induce Piles.

From the Chemist and Druggist (July 22, 1922):
Aloes, strychnine and belladonna in pill form was criticized by Dr. Bernard Fautus in a paper read before the Chicago branch of the American Pharmaceutical Society. He pointed out that when given at the same time they cannot possibly act together because of the different speed and duration of the three agents. Aloin is slow in action, requiring from 10 to 12 hours. Strychnine and Atropine, on the other hand, are rapidly absorbed, and have but a brief duration of action.’

Preparations of Aloes are rarely prescribed alone, they require the addition of carminatives to moderate the tendency to griping. The compound preparations of Aloes in use generally contain such correctives, but powdered Aloes and the extracts of Aloes represent the crude drug.

Aloes in one form or another is the commonest domestic medicine and is the basis of most proprietary or so-called ‘patent’ pills.

There is little to choose medicinally between the Curacoa and Socotrine varieties, but the former is somewhat more powerful, 2 grains of Curacoa Aloes being equal to 3 grains of Socotrine Aloes in purgative action. The latter is more expensive, but varies much in quality.

Aloes is the purgative in general uses for horses, it is also used in veterinary practice as a bitter tonic in small doses, and externally as a stimulant and desiccant.

Aloes was employed by the ancients and was known to the Greeks as a production of the island of Socotra as early as the fourth century B.C. The drug was used by Dioscorides, Celsus and Pliny, as well as by the later Greek and Arabian physicians, though it is not mentioned either by Hippocrates or Theophrastus.

From notices of it in the Anglo-Saxon leech-books and a reference to it as one of the drugs recommended to Alfred the Great by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, we may infer that its use was not unknown in Britain as early as the tenth century. At this period the drug was imported into Europe by way of the Red Sea and Alexandria. In the early part of the seventeenth century, there was a direct trade in Aloes between England and Socotra, and in the records of the East Indian Company there are notices of the drug being bought of the King of Socotra, the produce being a monopoly of the Sultan of the island.

The word Aloes, in Latin Lignum Aloes, is used in the Bible and in many ancient writings to designate a substance totally distinct from the modern Aloes, namely the resinous wood of Aquilaria agallocha, a large tree growing in the Malayan Peninsula. Its wood constituted a drug which was, down to the beginning of the present century, generally valued for use as incense, but now is esteemed only in the East.

A beautiful violet colour is afforded by the leaves of the Socotrine Aloe, and it does not require a mordant to fix it.

—Preparations—Fluid extract: dose, 5 to 30 drops. Powdered extract: dose, 1 to 5 grains. Comp decoc., B.P.: dose, 1/2 to 2 OZ. Tincture B.P.: dose, 1/4 to 2 drachms. Tincture aloes myrrh, U.S.P.: dose, 30 drops.