The Living Rede

The Living Rede

A lifetime of learning I’ve set to these pages, Some learned from fools, and some learned from sages.

This tome contains musings: some wisdom, some rant. Some will find truth here, some won’t and some can’t.

If your eyes fall upon this page, it’s meant for you, For the Universe offers what you’re meant to do.

The Secret of Magic quite often astounds: There isn’t a Secret! Just look all around!

The Trees teach you lessons – the Willow that bends. The challenge for you: learn the message it sends.

By Example and Symbol the Universe speaks. It may happen quickly or take many weeks.

Be aware what you notice – it needs your attention If you’re going to hear what it’s trying to mention.

For the Universe rarely speaks loudly and clearly, But it speaks all the time if you listen sincerely.

You’re here for a reason – to heal, teach and learn. The better you listen, the more growth you’ll earn.

The goal, it would seem, is reunion with Spirit. Learn lessons while here, don’t run from, don’t fear it.

Though we travel our own paths, our lives interlace. We must all grow together – this isn’t a race.

So be mindful of others, and help when you can, A bird, tree or pebble, a woman or man.

Material, Ether and Astral involved, Work them correctly, your problems be solved.

Magic is simple, has rules, like Mundane, Push or pull with your Heart and direct with your Brain.

The Emotions you raise will determine its power. The more you project, that much sooner its hour.

The Thoughts that you hold in your mind as you cast Tell the power its job – where to go and its task.

If your thoughts falter or change while you work, Your focus is lessened – your power will fork.

Dual aspects to work with, the God and the Goddess, Called Yang and called Yin – the names matter not, honest!

Yang feels like anger – you feel in your chest. It jumps to the hand and for quick work is best.

Yin is much softer – it’s felt at the womb. The power of Love and the peace of a tomb.

Yang is aggressive – Male “Get It Done Now!” If you’re in a hurry, Yang does it, and how!

Yin is more subtle, for delicate tasks. If you’re working with love, it’s the one you should ask.

All genders have both, their intensities varied, And strong you will be with both energies married.

Be Humble and True, though, whatever your power. Sometimes you’re the lightning, sometimes you’re The Tower.

The Cards hold no magic, the Runes have no secret That’s not found within you – if only you’ll seek it.

Negative or Positive? Sometimes you must give. The Antelope dies so the Lion may live.

Remember, when tragedy breaks down your door: Whatever you lose, you will gain so much more.

I know it sounds hard, when loss brings pain and sorrow, But you will know joy again – next year, or tomorrow.

One thing that I’ve found, and I hope you will heed: Ask not what you want from life. Ask what you need.

Ask what you want and it may come to you, But ask what you need: What you came here to do.

This far through my Rede you have stayed and have read. Down paths much like mine you are likely to tread.

I welcome you, joyful, a companion to walk, For someone to listen to, someone to talk.

These pages are yours to accept or critique. May your road straight to Spirit unfold at your feet.

Stay if you will, here, or leave if you must. Blessed Be, One and All. Perfect Love. Perfect Trust.

– Brian Gallagher – author of this rede

A Year and a Day – Origins and Applications

A Year and a Day – Origins and Applications

Author:   del Luna la Madre’ Temple 

I have seen the following in many, many posts. Competently trained Priests and Priestesses look at these words, and say to themselves – “Oh, You Truly Have No Idea”. The Phrase that I am referring to is:

“I have been studying for a Year and a Day and so I am now close to being ready for Initiation.” or “I am half way through my Year and a Day and so I now have questions about where do I find a group to Initiate into?”, There are other varying forms of this, and if you read through the many thousands of posts, you will surely come across that variety.

The Truth of the matter is that training in the Crafte does NOT take a Year and A Day. It sometimes takes much longer. Wikipedia lists the following information under a year and a day:

The year and a day rule was a principle of English law holding that a death was conclusively presumed not to be murder (or any other homicide) if it occurred more than a year and one day since the act (or omission) that was alleged to have been its cause. The rule also applied to the offence of assisting with a suicide.

• The period of a year and a day was a convenient period to represent a significant amount of time. Its use was generally as a jubilee or permanence.

• Historically (England) the period that a couple must be married for a spouse to have claim to a share of inheritable property.

• In mediaeval Europe, a runaway serf became free after a year and a day.

• When a judgment has been reversed a fresh action may be lodged within a year and a day, regardless of the statute of limitations. U.S.

• Note: a lunar year (13 lunar months of 28 days) plus a day is a solar year (365 days) . Also those 366 days would be a full year even if a leap day were included.

Magickally speaking- the Year and a Day rule is a hold over from the Masons. Their training period for an Apprentice was a year and a day of service and hard work. Gerald Gardner – the father of the modern day Crafte movement derived much of his early work on the Crafte from his Masonic roots, using the model of the Co-Masonic Lodge and its training as a basis for some of the early rules of the Crafte. It is known that in the early texts that Gardner wrote, that there were EXTREME similarities to Masonry, OTO and Golden Dawn.

As I stated before, A Year and A Day is quite misleading when it comes to serious study within the Crafte. It is a guide that is used by most of the Traditions to indicate that this is the MINIMUM amount of time that can be spent working toward a degree. In some cases, it is the minimum amount of time that one is allowed to spend working on one area of training within the Crafte itself.

So before you embark on telling the world that you have spent the last Year and a Day working on your studies of the Crafte, think, will those who I tell this to take me seriously. Can I really hold my own when questioned about what I have learned? Am I still unsure about the names and purposes of Deity within the Crafte? Do I understand that there is much more to learn and that I have only scratched the tip of the iceberg? Have I investigated books and other learning tools that are not just mainstream Crafte?

These are some serious questions that you need to ask yourself. Why? Because, if you do find others who are serious about their Crafte, be prepared to be asked some serious questions in conversation. Remember, they have studied long, and hard for the information they possess, their Oaths in many cases restrict them from passing on the intricacies of their Faith. Many of them feel that it is NOT their job to school the masses about the simplicities of the Crafte and its terminology.

If you want to be taken seriously, then learn the proper terminology, understand the terminology, and by all means – don’t act like a KNOW IT ALL. No One Knows It All. And a Good Teacher, High Priest or High Priestess will never be ashamed to tell you that they don’t know it all, but by their years of practice, not just studying or reading, have given them sufficient knowledge that they know that there is so much more out there to learn, that they will always be a student and practitioner.

So think before you infer that you have been studying for a year and a day, and that now you are properly prepared in the Crafte and therefore you should be granted all sorts of privileges, because of your studying for that year and a day. You now deserve to be taken as a serious authority on some level.

If you think this, say this, write this, be prepared for a good deal of laughter. But also be aware that there may also be some that are not laughing, and those are the ones that you need to be cautious of, for they are the ones that may see you as their next target of humiliation or degradation.

To ere on the side of humility in this case is a good thing…

Something to also consider is that even after you have studied long and hard, that is no guarantee that the information that you have studied is even correct and can withstand closer scrutiny, that, you are certain to receive if you spout off about ‘studying for a year and a day.’ You may have only read all the information published by one author or one publishing company. There is so much more to the Crafte that is not found in any book.

Nothing can replace pure and sincere experience and practice. So think about your Year and a Day, and ask: How far have I come and how far do I want to go? Have I experienced all that I can or do I need to experience more? Your answers might surprise you!

Wishing you Blessings Upon Your Path!

Lady Morgen
High Priestess
del Luna la Madre’ Temple

How Others Can Effect Our Faith

How Others Can Effect Our Faith

Author:   Storm Shadow-Wolf 

Insta-Witches. Wanna-Be Witches. We’ve all encountered them now and again. That angry teen rebelling against their parents, the well-meaning yet narrow-minded “one book Wiccan”, the “I read about it online somewhere” Witch, the hippie-Heathen. I know for some of us in the broader Pagan and Witch community, these people sometimes illicit a knee-jerk reaction that is usually negative. I mean, after all, we’re serious about our religion, how dare they make a mockery of what we hold sacred through their ignorance! Humph!

Well, after a lot of reading I’ve found that some folks in our broad community believe that we shouldn’t take this stance against those who only play at what we deeply involve ourselves in. My words here are meant to both challenge and support this notion. We have every right to feel a little insulted when anyone, who’s never spent more than five minutes actually learning about what our religion is all about, tosses on a pentacle, engages in negative or attention seeking behavior, and all the while calls themselves a Witch.

At the same time, we don’t have the right to lash out at these misguided souls. Negativity begets negativity. We need to stay positive when dealing with these “Wanna-Be Witches”. Our best defense against those who would belittle our faith through their erroneous actions is patient and compassionate education. I think if everyone knew exactly what we are all about, there would be less and less people misrepresenting our religion with sensationalist nonsense. Just like the tenants of Christianity and Judaism are widely known, people aren’t able to start parading around nude in public and claim it to be some stricture of being Jewish! People know better. I think through active, positive public education, with time people wont be able to easily dramatize our religion. I believe that will ultimately lead to less and less “Insta-Witches”. But I digress.

One thing that has always been wonderful about our community is that it has the tendency to be open to just about anyone. The only downside is… well, that our community tends to be open to just about anyone… the good and the not so good. I’m sure that all of us, at one time or another, has encountered in our personal travels seeking spiritual enlightenment the “One-Book Witches”. They exist in our community the same way that ever major religion has lip service followers (not to say that one necessarily equals the other) .

How many of us have gotten caught up with the self proclaimed Witch that has read only one book from that Not-So Reputable publishing company? I know it happened to me. This happened when I was still a teenager and just beginning to get a good idea of the Craft. For several weeks I studied with a man, let’s call him “Sage”, off of worksheets he compiled from a book that I, later, wouldn’t have used even for scratch paper. Me and two other girls I knew from my neighborhood spent about five weeks or so completely wrapped up in the notion that this was the beginning of a wonderful journey. We were all sadly disappointed when, after these short weeks, we completed our “final exam”, went through a brief ceremony, and were dubbed “Priestesses”.

I was baffled. I couldn’t even raise a circle at that point! When I pressed the matter with Sage, he said that all one ever really needed to know was contained within that book. You didn’t need to bother yourself with looking at any other resources, there was only one way to be a Witch and all other ways were inherently wrong or confused. I mean, wow. Thank Goddess I knew better and quickly moved on to better teachers and better resources!

Now, to play devil’s advocate, as it were, I keep hoping that Sage will one day further his education. He was a very kind man and had a lovely energy about him. He would be a wonderful asset to our community, especially with his ability to explain things in a manner that younger minds can understand. He never once tried to take advantage of us, either, for money or sex. He never tried to coerce us into a cult setting, putting himself up as High Priest with us as his followers. I believe his heart is sincere but his methods are misguided. If he would just open up his mind to the fact that no one, singular resource can really give you the depth of knowledge you need to truly understand our religion, whatever Tradition you may belong to, then he could be capable of amazing growth.

I certainly don’t think he should be written off or looked down upon, as if to say he isn’t Witchy enough. He just needs the right person to help him realize his full potential. When we take the time to try and work with the “One Bookers” we can eliminate our feelings of hostility towards them and aid them in their personal development. No one really loses in situations like that. It may be extremely frustrating, as I have found with some of them, but very rewarding in the end.

Many years after Sage, I had the opportunity to explain to a very misguided co-worker that there were many different facets of the Craft. He was absolutely convinced that this one book he had read by a very prominent author was the one and only way because of the training this author had received. Luckily, I owned the book and brought it to work the next day. I flipped open to a certain page and read a passage I had underlined that clearly stated that this was NOT the one and only way to the Craft.

I told him that even the author, with their pedigree training, admitted that their Tradition of the Craft was not the only one and even listed resources in the back that would allow further research into different Traditions. He didn’t understand at first until I explained that the Craft was a lot like Christianity in a sense – same basic core beliefs but lots of Traditions that do certain things differently. Even though he was reluctant to accept this at first (“How could anyone possibly learn to be a Witch with so many different paths!?”) , now he understands that there is a broad variety of Traditions that make up our religious community and you can learn from as many as you need to until you find the one that speaks to your heart. I no longer feel the resentment I initially had towards him for espousing such narrow views and he understands the Craft on a much deeper level.

Let’s briefly examine how some other Insta-Witches can be harmful to our community. I brushed over the angsty teen at the beginning of this narrative. Let’s really take a good look at how this individual can, indeed, harm our religion and our community. Before we begin, I am not saying that every teen swathed in black is going to automatically be an Insta-Witch!

I was one of those teens draped in black! I didn’t start professing I was a Witch until well after I had studied voraciously and gone through my Initiation. So I’m not directing this at those teens in our community who have actually taken the religion we love seriously. This is most definitely NOT directed at you, who are the next generation and a joy to have in the community.

This is directed at the teens that have no understanding of what it is to be a Witch and yet claim to be Witches to get attention. Let’s be honest, this isn’t even directed only at teens, as I’ve seen adults like this too! More than once, I’ve seen an adult all decked out in pentacles trying to look as scary as possible and it was nowhere close to Halloween.

I used to work in the local mall and one encounter has always stood out in my mind. I was on break, getting something to eat from the food court. A group of three teen girls approached me while I was sitting. They were the epitome of Hot Topic fashion and draped in pentacles.

As they crossed the food court to where I was sitting, I watched them hiss at more conservative people and blow a kiss at an elderly woman with the admonition “Satan loves you, Granny!“. I think I just about died.

One of the girls looked at my modest pentacle and said “Rock on, hail Satan.”.

I looked at her with obvious disgust and retorted “I see you have no idea what the pentacle ACTUALLY represents… to be Satanic means that I’d have to be Christian… and I’m not. Real Witches are NOT Satanists, you should remember that.”

She looked taken aback and it was probably due to my caustic tone of voice. I was upset that she would just up and assume that because I wore a pentacle, I was a Satanist. I was also upset that she didn’t know that pentacles have nothing to do with Satanists.

She put her hands on her hips and smartly asked “Well then, if you aren’t a Satanist, what ARE you?”

I shook my head and laughed a little, replying “Look hon, Witches don’t worship Satan… they never have. Why don’t you walk down to the bookstore here and go into the world religion section or the New Age section and do some reading. You three look smart enough, so go educate yourselves.”

I recommended a few good books, grabbed my smoothie, and then headed back to my store since my break was up. I noticed as I was leaving the food court that people who were within earshot were looking at ME with disapproval, like I did something wrong.

I was fuming inside because these three girls were acting out, behaving outrageously, and displaying the symbol that represents my faith! People would actually associate these girls with the Craft! I was mad at myself as well for not having better control over my reaction – after all, these girls were maybe 14 or 15 and I was 23. I should’ve been a little nicer about how I addressed them.

I know that they were acting out and my negative response is just fuel for the fire. I know that I should’ve been more patient with the girls and given them a better, more levelheaded response. What was wrong with me?

Part of it was probably that I had a feeling that this was not an isolated incident. They were the types who went about “hailing Satan” and furthering people’s confusion about the nature of the pentacle and exactly which faith it actually represented. They were part of the reason well meaning old ladies stopped me on the bus to preach to me about the devil and Jesus because they don’t understand I don’t worship the devil.

They were part of the reason my girl friend had her tires slashed for a pentagram bumper sticker, the side of her car etched with “Satan whore” in huge letters. They were part of the reason that people think Witches are evil, nefarious, and just up to no good.

I know that that kind of behavior doesn’t necessarily reflect only upon those who are misbehaving, it reflects upon the group or community they belong to. To the uninformed, these girls and other harmful Insta-Witches belong to the same religion and community that I do – an obvious error they have no way of knowing.

As we have seen whenever there are radical factions stemming from a main church or religion, usually the parent church will publicly state that they do not condone or associate with the fanatic offshoot. The main church seeks to separate themselves from these people since they have behaved in a manner that is embarrassing to the church and contrary to their doctrines.

Similarly, we want to separate ourselves from those who pretend to be us, or can be confused for being one of us, and behave in ways that are contrary to our doctrines and beliefs. People are social creatures and as such, we draw lines from individuals to their families, their churches, even their ethnic or racial identity.

One radical Christian will make people question the church they belonged to, one violent individual will make people question their race or their neighborhood, one bad apple spoils the bunch. There are still parts of this very country we live in, the USA, where our Brothers and Sister must live in the broom closet because of negative stereotyping. I have read numerous accounts of Witches being beaten just because they are open about being a Witch.

I’ve been “lucky” enough, if you can call it that, to get away with simple verbal harassment. The longer people have the negative views of who we are and what we are about, the longer we must hide. How can we rise above the generations of prejudice and social stereotyping if we constantly have these sensationalists claiming to be us and then acting in ways that cast negative light on our community as a whole?

How do we fix this problem of the Insta-Witch who muddies our struggling good name?

The simple answer is education. The application of this answer is a long and delicate one. With people claiming to be Witches when they actually aren’t, it complicates the problem a little more.

When people are confused for Witches (who are not) due to social misconceptions, the hole deepens even more. We have to carefully and positively lift our voices and let people know how to spot those who are not Witches. We have to teach people that we do not worship any evil, that we are a very family oriented religion, and that our religion is one of celebration, not pain or suffering or torture or perversion. We wont lose any of the magic or power of our faith by sharing it people.

We need to distinguish between those who come to us with genuine interest and those who enter our community with ill or frivolous intent. When we educate the Insta-Witch, we either open the doors of possibility for a person who may become spiritually engaged or we disillusion them from bastardizing our religion further.

Once we have educated those who sully the understanding of the Craft (and continually educate the new ones that inevitably crop up) , that education sends out ripples. Their friends, family, and others around them will have a familiar voice that will quell the misconceptions. When we lend a face and a voice to our religion that is personal – that effects change.

When strangers approach you with their beliefs, you may listen politely or not at all. When a friend asks to talk with you about their beliefs, you are a little more inclined to pay attention and take their words to heart.

Once people see that we are not some faceless, impersonal institution of scary fairy tales gone horribly wrong but families and individuals and an entire community of celebrants and caregivers and heritage seekers… well, we will likely not have to worry about hiding in the broom closet any longer. While there may always be ignorance and prejudice, there will be less and less and less. Maybe our children or their children will be able to hold public ritual without protests or harassment. But it has to start with us.

It is a knee jerk reaction to have a little animosity towards the Insta-Witch. One possibility for this is because we feel they are disrespectful of our religion and our community. It may also be simply because their bad behavior or poor representation of our community doesn’t just look poorly on them, it looks poorly on all of US. I personally, don’t see anything wrong with this initial feeling of being disrespected. We are absolutely entitled to our feelings. It’s what we do with them that make the difference.

I have found these Insta-Witches are especially bothersome to those of us who strive to open dialogue with other religions or communities to try and heal the generations of degradation and misunderstanding. We are being set back by those who harm our over-all image.

Who are we trying to look good for? Our families. Our children. Our future. We all want a future where none of us have to hide. We want a future where our children will not be taunted, our tires will not be slashed, our well-being will not be in danger, and our rites will not be protested or harassed. We want what every other religion wants – freedom to practice openly and without persecution.

By actively trying to change the Insta-Witch into a respectful person, we can change our relationship with outside communities bit by bit.

We don’t need to impress anyone or be “more Witchy than thou”. We do need to understand that there are people who call themselves Witches who are not Witches and they can be harmful to us. We need to accept that we can distinguish these people without being judgmental or hostile. Just because we have a terminology for these people doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re making fun of them or poking at any inabilities they may have. We simply have a vernacular for identifying them the same way we identify a Gardnerian or a Diannic.

To those in defense of the Insta-Witches, I believe that we have the right to feel angered or upset by those who perpetrate our religion in negative ways. We have a right to feel bothered by someone who is doing something most of us would consider unethical at the very least. However, we don’t have the right to humiliate or proselytize these folks. We also don’t need to take our feelings out on these people.

They need guidance and patience, yelling at them or presenting them with a negative response wont solve anything. Sometimes, the best remedy is just to ignore them. The attention seekers, especially. When you deprive the attention seekers of the attention they crave, they tend to take their antics elsewhere or try to find other outlets.

Of course, we will always encounter people who are just made of different moral fiber than we are. They will be disrespectful no matter what anyone or we says or does. No matter how much patience or compassion we show these people, they simply don’t care and will carry on their destructive ways. It’s better to cut your losses in those cases and simply let others know about the potential problem person. Aside from that, it is up to us to try and correct the fallacies that have been assigned to our faith.

For every Insta-Witch that may come along, there is at least one of us who has dedicated our hearts to our religion that can serve as a positive role model, teacher, and voice. Let us hope that with time, we will see less and less Insta-Witches and our religion will eventually be able to come completely out of the broom closet.

Grounding your Energy Field

Grounding your Energy Field

Lauren D´Silva
BellaOnline’s New Age Editor
Grounding is the foundation of a healthy system and everyone can benefit from it. All healers must be very aware of their grounded state, as to heal  effectively and in a sustainable way requires the flow of healing energy through a well-balanced energy system.
By grounding we mean the connection of the human energy field to that of the Earth. This connection allows you to draw from the abundant source of  Earth’s energy while at the same time ensuring that you do not accumulate excess energy- this can be thought of like the earth wire for electricity-   excess energy is safely dissipated into the ground. Being well grounded helps you deal with life in a secure and rational manner.
You can become aware of your grounded state. Often the connection takes the form of a slight buzzing, warmth or tingling under the sole of each foot. It is  useful to train yourself in this awareness. When you have practiced grounding regularly you should find that you can ground yourself simply by thinking of  grounding, or turning your attention to the soles of your feet. It is the work of seconds and can make a huge difference to your life.
Many people go through their lives being ungrounded. If you know people who seem to be off in a dream world, or `dizzy’, chances are their grounding is  poor. Similarly people who have a tendency to be nervy, fly off the handle or get things out of proportion. Outbursts of anger are a less pleasant way that  the body can discharge built up energy. Lack of grounding is also a feature of many conditions that leave people weak and listless.
Some methods of grounding are passive- in other words the person being grounded doesn’t consciously have to do anything. Crystals can be used in this  way. I tend to recommend that they are placed between the feet whilst someone watches TV or sits working, however they can also be carried in pouches or worn  as jewellery. The best stones to use are generally dark or earthy in colour. Most popular choices are hematite, dark obsidians and tiger’s eye. Black  tourmaline is a favourite grounding stone as it is also very protective against negative energies.
Some activities are naturally very grounding. Keen gardeners usually have a good Earth connection. Walking around barefoot is helpful, especially outdoors.  Other passive methods include having something to eat or drink, or doing some exercise.
During a healing I ensure that clients remain grounded by placing grounding stones at the point of the Earth Star, which is below the feet. Strong grounding  can help to `fix’ the adjustments made in the energy field during     a treatment. Some practitioners recommend leaving a client ungrounded when receiving treatment. I do not, as this can leave the client vulnerable and  disorientated.
A grounding visualisation can be helpful. Use the image of roots growing out from the sole of each foot deep down into the Earth and then drawing up Earth  energy. I like to draw the energy right up through my feet & legs, up through my torso until it reaches my heart centre.
Try to become more aware of your grounded state and take daily steps towards strengthening this connection. You will most likely notice a real difference to  your health and vitality if you do.

Spell A Day – Earth Energy Spell

Spell A Day – Earth Energy Spell

Here’s an exercise to do when you have low energy. It is especially effective for when you are away from home. Sit in a chair, with  your feet flat on the floor and your hands flat on your thighs. Become aware that below your feet, if you go deep enough, no matter where you are, is the  earth. Feel the energy coming up from the earth, up through your feet and legs into your body. Feel the energy travel up through your hands and arms, and up  to your head. Let the energy go out through the top of your head. Feel the energy fall back to earth like the rain, and move through the earth back up  through your legs in a endless cycle or loop. Let the energy flow for a little while until you begin to feel restored, then focus your attention  elsewhere.
By: Magenta Griffith,
Llewelyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

Daily Aromatherapy Tip for August 10 – Spray On Body Oil

Daily Aromatherapy Tip

Spray On Body Oil       
1/4 cup vodka    
1/4 cup scented water    
(to scent water – pour boiling water over dried or fresh herbs or zest, let cool, strain or add a few drops of essential oils)    
3 tbs. Sweet Almond oil  

Pour all ingredients into a spray pump bottle and close. Shake the bottle until well mixed. Shake before each use.
Enjoy!   .
Brought to you by –

Crystal of the Day for August 10th – ZIRCON


  • Common Name: Zircon
  • Appearance: Colorless to white, pale orange, pink or yellow
  • Element(s): Fire
  • Planetary connection: Sun
  • Healing powers: Sexual energy, overall healing
  • Magical uses: Use in rituals involving beauty, love, peace and relationships
  • Other info: Because it is similar in appearance to diamonds, some traditions use zircon as a substitute in workings

Herb of the Day for August 10th – LAVENDER


Botanical Names

  • Family Labiatae
  • Lavandula officinalis syn. Lavandula angustifolia

Common Names

  • Garden Lavender, French Lavender, True Lavender, Aljucema (Spanish)


Avoid high doses during pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant.

Lavender contains limonene which can cause photosensitivity, especially when perfumes and cosmetics are used containing lavender oil.

Full-strength lavender oil should not be applied directly to the skin, but should be diluted in a carrier, or neutral, oil.


Native to France and the western Mediterranean, it is now cultivated worldwide for its volatile oil. It is grown as a garden plant as far north as Norway. Lavender is a perennial shrub, growing to about three feet, producing spikes of violet-blue flowers that extend above the foliage. Some varieties have flowers of pale pink, dark purple, white, or magenta and are harvested toward the end of flowering season when the petals have begun to fade. They are generally picked by the end of July to obtain maximum strength in its essential oils, with sixty pounds of flowers yielding about sixteen fluid ounces of oil.


One of the most popular medicinal herbs since ancient times, its name is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning to wash. The Greeks and Romans were fond of it in their bath water.

Since ancient times, the oil has been used to kill lice and fleas and as an embalming fluid.

In Arab medicine, it was used as an expectorant and antispasmodic

In European folk medicine, it was regarded as a useful wound herb and a worm remedy for children.

It became popular as a medicine during the late Middle Ages and taken to the New World by Pilgrims in 1620.

As a strewing herb, lavender was popularly used to mask the smells of households and streets.

The glovers of Grasse used the oil to scent their fashionable leather and were remarkably free of the plague. This encouraged others to use the herb to ward off the pestilence.

The medical properties of lavender have been noted in the earliest English herbals and in the British Pharmacopoeia for about 250 years.

Key Actions

  • antiseptic
  • antidepressant
  • antibacterial
  • antibacterial
  • analgesic
  • antispasmodic
  • circulatory stimulant
  • carminative
  • nervous system tonic
  • promotes bile flow
  • relaxant

Key Components

  • volatile oil (up to 3% of over 40 constituents including linalyl acetate [30-60%], cineole [10%], linalool [20-50%], nerol, borneol and others)
  • coumarins (including umbelliferone and herniarin)
  • tannins
  • caffeic acid derivatives (including rosmaric acid)
  • flavonoids
  • triterpenoids

Medicinal Parts

Flowers, essential oil

Linalyl ester is the major component of bergamot and is also responsible for the aroma and medicinal qualities of the plant.

Tannins have antibacterial properties that are useful in treating minor skin wounds.

A small British study found that lavender was more effective than a pharmaceutical sleep drug in helping nursing home patients obtain a more restful sleep.


An infusion from the flowers is taken for nervous exhaustion, tension headaches, during labour, for colic, and for indigestion. A weak infusion (25% normal strength) is given to babies for colic, irritability, and excitement.

A tincture from the flowers is taken for headaches and depression.

Traditional Uses

Lavender is well-known for its soothing and calming effect; and, when combined with other sedative herbs, relieves insomnia, irritability, headaches, migraines, and depression. Medicinally, lavender has many uses, especially in aromatherapy, and is used by midwives, massage therapists, and some hospitals.

Its significant amounts of volatile oil soothes indigestion and colic, relieving gas and bloating.

It is also used to treat asthma and, through its relaxing effects, is especially effective when excessive nervousness is the trigger.

The essential oil is strongly antiseptic and a valuable first aid remedy helpful in treating minor burns, wounds, and sores. It is also effective on insect stings as it relieves the pain and inflammation.

The dried flowers are often hung in rooms to perfume the air and repel moths and other insects.

When placed near or inside a pillow, dried lavender helps promote a restful sleep. A few drops in the bathwater can relieve tension and mild depression, while promoting sleep.

Added to cool bathwater, it becomes an energizing stimulant.

Drops of lavender oil are sometimes added to water and used as an astringent for cleaning the face and treating acne.

In Mexico, lavender is used in a tea to treat indigestion, and burned in a type of aromatherapy. Smudge sticks are made from bundles of the plant and burned to fumigate sick rooms. New mothers are purified with it after childbirth.

In Spain and Portugal, L. stoechas is used as an antiseptic wash for wounds, ulcers, and sores; but its oil is inferior to that of L. officinalis. Although L. spica (Spike lavender) yields more oil than L. officinalis, it is also of an inferior quality.

The English and French varieties are especially prized for their essential oils, which are used in perfumes, cosmetics, skin care products, and air fresheners.

Deity of the Day for August 10th – BILE


by Lisa Spindler
The Celtic god of light and healing, “Bel” means “shining one,” or in Irish Gaelic, the name “bile” translates to “sacred tree.” It is thought that the waters of Danu, the Irish All-Mother goddess, fed the oak and produced their son, The Dagda. As the Welsh Beli, he is the father of Arianrhod by Don.

Patron of sheep and cattle, Bel’s festival is Beltane, one of two main Celtic fire festivals. Beltane celebrates the return of life and fertility to the world — marking the beginning of Summer and the growing season. Taking place on April 30, Beltane also is sometimes referred to as “Cetsamhain” which means “opposite Samhain.” The word “Beltaine” literally means “bright” or “brilliant fire,” and refers to the bonfire lit by a presiding Druid in honor of Bile.

“Some believe this deity is the equivalent of Belatucadros, the consort of Belisama, another patroness of light, fire, the forge and crafts. Belatucadros, whose name means “fair shining one” or possibly “the fair slayer,” is the god of destruction and war and transports the dead to Danu’s “divine waters.” Celtic deities often reign over seemingly contradictory themes. In the case of Belatucadros, death was simply a pathway to rebirth in the Otherworld, thus linking the two themes together. However, according to Ross’s Pagan Celtic Britain, historically the worship of Belatucadros among the Celts was confined only the northwestern region of Britain and has never been associated with the festival of Beltane, healing or with a consort.

It has been suggested that the mythological king, Beli Mawr, in the story of Lludd and Llefelys in The Mabinogion, is a folk memory of this god. In Irish mythology, the great undertakings of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians — the original supernatural inhabitants of Eiru and their human conquerors, respectively — began at Beltane. The Milesians were led by Amairgen, son of Mil, in folklore reputed to be the first Druid.

Feng Shui Tip for August 10th – ‘Lazy Day’

I can really wrap my beach blanket around today’s ‘Lazy Day.’ And if you too want to veg out and restore your soul, this would be the best day to do exactly that! But also be sure to end the day by taking this stress-reducing bath. Add one tablespoon of sesame oil to bath water and place two tablespoons of uncooked rice and one chopped, unpeeled, raw potato in some sort of net. Suspend the net into the water and then get in. Close your eyes and concentrate on the area at the end of your coccyx, all the while massaging the soles of your feet. Do this for a few minutes and let your stress and cares soak away! As worries and woes circle down the drain you’ll feel your energy returning along with your enthusiasm and optimism! Now that’s a productive lazy day!

By Ellen Whitehurst for