Magickal Goody of the Day
Litha Blessing Broom
Litha is the time of the summer solstice, and it’s a season of great solar energy. A great project to put together is a blessing besom. Sweeping is, after all, one of the best ways of making a space sacred and clean. Make a blessing besom, and you can use it to physically cleanse your home, and then hang it up to keep positive energy flowing around you.
To make a blessing broom, or besom, you’ll need the following:
- A broom — either>make your own, or purchase one at a craft store
- Ivy or vines
- Flowers and herbs from your garden
- Small bells
Wrap the ribbons and ivy around the handle of the broom. Don’t wrap them too tight, though, because you’ll want to be able to tuck sprigs of herbs and flowers into the ribbons. Once you’ve added all of these things, tie a few small bells onto the broom, so that it will jingle as you sweep. In many cultures, bells are used as noisemakers to frighten away evil spirits and negative energies.
If you like, you can consecrate your blessing besom as you would any other magical tool. Use it to sweep around your home, starting near a window or a door, and working in a deosil (clockwise) direction. As you do so, you may wish to chant something like this:
Sweeping, sweeping, ’round the room,
Blessings from this cleansing broom.
From floor to ceiling, and all between,
May this space be fresh and clean.
Sweeping good energy here to me,
As I will, so it shall be.
Gemstone of the Day
Specific Gravity: 2.65
Chemistry: SiO2 silicon oxide
Streak: colorless or greenish
Luster: Waxy, dull
Healing: Useful when severing emotional ties. Used in the treatment of kidney stones, skin lesions, lung disorders and indegestion.
Workings: Flint is also known as Elf Shot, Thunderstone and Faery Shot. It is used to keep faeries away. Flint is also used as a protection amulet. Its energy is projective. It is ruled by the planet Mars and its element is Fire. Use in protection and healing spells. Astrological sign is Scorpio. Vibrates to the number 7.
Chakra Applications: Use in connection with the Third Eye Chakra, especially during thought transfers.
Foot Notes: Flint is a granular cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, typically dark in color. It is a form of silica more opaque than chalcedony Flint is found in many localities throughout the world. Flint and chert nodules occur typically in limestone and chalk.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
All-Heal, Garden Heliotrope
Medicinal Uses: One of natures most effective herbal tranquilizers. The roots are used for nervous tension, anxiety and insomnia. A powerful root for the nerves, valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive. It helps cure depression when taken once or twice. It is a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities.
The tea is strengthening to the eyesight, especially when problems are due to weakness in the optic nerve. Valerian has been used as an anticonvulsant in epilepsy. It slightly slows the heart and thus is a good remedy for palpitations. Simmer two teaspoons of the root in a pint of water for twenty minutes, and take one-fourth cup, cold, four times a day. The tincture may be taken twenty drops in water, three times a day.
The root is simmered with licorice, raisins, and anise seeds to make a cough sedative. The scent is very attractive to rats and is used to bait traps. Valerian is a warm and spicy herb that has a stimulating effect on the brain as well as being a sedative. If a person has a hot constitution it will be especially stimulating and may negate the calming and sedative quality. A hot constitution is one that is prone to constipation, dryness, redness in the eyes and skin and a warm body temperature (a cold constitution has the opposite qualities).
Valerian is useful as a digestive aid, is helpful in cases of gas, diarrhea, and cramps, and alleviates the pain of ulcers. In the respiratory tract, it is believed to be of benefit in reducing the discomfort of asthma attacks. Valerian is used for irritability, mild spasmodic affections, epilepsy, migraine headaches, croup, hysteria, vertigo, nervous cough, delirium, neuralgia, muscle cramps, colic, panic attacks, emotional stress, PMS, menstrual cramps, despondency, insomnia. A marvelous remedy for fevers. Will often clear a cold overnight. Good for expelling phlegm from throat and chest. Will expel worms when everything else fails. Excellent for shortness of breath and wheezing. Tea can be used as an enema for pinworms and tape worms and externally as a wash for sores, wounds, chronic skin diseases, and pimples. Combines with with lemon balm, hops, passion flower and scullcap.
Valerian produces depression when taken over a longer period. Valerian is best suited to individuals with cold, nervous conditions. Those with heated conditions can experience opposite (stimulant) effects. Valerian may increase the effects of anti-anxiety medications or painkillers. It may also react with antiepileptic drugs. Valerian is contraindicated in pregnant and breast feeding women.
Magickal uses: Powdered valerian may be used as a substitute for graveyard dust to repel unwanted presences. Valerian is added to the chalice as an herb of peace. Valerian is a frequent ingredient in love and harmony spells and potions, including spells for sexual love. It is used to aspurge the ritual space and in incense for purification. Even though this is a rather foul smelling herb it is hung in the home as protection from lightning and the Greeks used sprigs of it at windows to keep evil out. For protection from evil and magick, use Valerian in sachets, amulets, or talismans and carry it with you. To prevent unwanted visitors, sprinkle powdered herb on your front stoop and say their name. For eliminating troubles, write the trouble on parchment paper, then burn and mix the ashes with powdered herb, then bury. Sachets placed around the home help protect the home from lightening strikes.
Being an herb of peace, place some in the vicinity of a quarreling couple. Add it to love sachets and it is said if a woman wears a sprig of it, it will cause men to “follow her like children.” It will also help insomnia by placing it in the pillow. A few leaves placed in the shoes protect against colds and flu.
To find out if your love is reciprocated, bend a plant in the direction of their home. If the plant continues to grow in that direction, you are loved in return. Growing the plant on your property ensures harmony with your spouse. Valerian stalks can be dried and soaked in tallow or oil, then used as a torch for spells and rituals. The torch can then be used to light sacred fires. Meditation in the light of a torch improves clarity for a given situation. Valerian is ruled by Venus and its Element is Water.
Properties: Calmative, antispasmodic, nerve tonic, nervine, sedative, anodyne, and carminative, aromatic, emmenagogue. Contains active components are called valepotriates. Valerianic, formic and acetic acids, essential oils, resin, starch, a glucoside, and 2 alkaloids (chatrine and valerianine).
Growth: Valerian is a tall perennial herb found in damp, elevated areas and grasslands. It consists of a long stem (3-5 feet in length) with pointed dark green leaves. It blooms in the summertime, with small, fragrant flowers (white, light purple or pink) that can reach four inches in diameter. A native of damp woods, roadsides, and riversides.
Harvest in the fall. Do not boil the root.
To obtain the maximum benefit take 1 tbsp. of fresh juice daily. The latter is often prescribed as a cure for insomnia, where its great value is that it calms the mind without having a narcotic effect. Non-addictive.
Drying roots is different from drying leaves. Roots should be dried at a high temperature, such as 120 degrees F. until the roots are brittle. If they are rubber-like, they should be dried longer. Store roots after drying to keep free from moisture.
Infusion: steep 1 tsp. root in 1 pt. boiling water. Take cold, 1 cup per day, or when going to bed.
Cold extract: use 2 tsp. roots with 1 cup water; let stand for 24 hours and strain. Take 1/2 to 1 cup when going to bed.
Tincture: take 20 drops on sugar or in water, 3 times a day.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Deity of the Day
A goddess of chaos, Eris is often present in times of discord and strife. She loves to start trouble, just for her own sense of amusement, and perhaps one of the best known examples of this was a little dustup called the Trojan War.
It all started with the wedding of Thetis and Pelias, who would eventually have a son named Achilles. All of the gods of Olympus were invited, including Hera, Aphrodite and Athena – but Eris’ name got left off the guest list, because everyone knew how much she enjoyed causing a ruckus.
Eris, the original wedding crasher, showed up anyway, and decided to have a little fun. She tossed a golden apple – the Apple of Discord – into the crowd, and said it was for the most beautiful of the goddesses. Naturally, Athena, Aphrodite and Hera had to bicker over who was the rightful owner of the apple.
Zeus, trying to be helpful, chose a young man named Paris, a prince of the city of Troy, to select a winner. Aphrodite offered Paris a bribe he couldn’t resist – Helen, the lovely young wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris selected Aphrodite to receive the apple, and thus guaranteed that his hometown would be demolished by the end of the war.
Murphy’s Ten Laws of Computers
10. When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
9. When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it’s probably obsolete.
8. The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.
7. When the going gets tough, upgrade.
6. For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
5. To err is human…to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, it is downright natural.
4. He who laughs last probably made a back-up.
3. If at first you do not succeed, blame your computer.
2. A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked perfectly.
and Murphy’s Number One Law of Computing…
1. The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2015 June 9
Explanation: Is this galaxy jumping through a giant ring of stars? Probably not. Although the precise dynamics behind the featured image is yet unclear, what is clear is that the pictured galaxy, NGC 7714, has been stretched and distorted by a recent collision with a neighboring galaxy. This smaller neighbor, NGC 7715, situated off to the left of the featured frame, is thought to have charged right through NGC 7714. Observations indicate that the golden ring pictured is composed of millions of older Sun-like stars that are likely co-moving with the interior bluer stars. In contrast, the bright center of NGC 7714 appears to be undergoing a burst of new star formation. NGC 7714 is located about 100 million light years away toward the constellation of the Fish (Pisces). The interactions between these galaxies likely started about 150 million years ago and should continue for several hundred million years more, after which a single central galaxy may result.