Book Review – The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and Spells by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

 

 

Available at Amazon.com

The Good Witch’s Guide is truly what it sets out to be: an excellent reference guide for skilled practitioners, novices or those just beginning to take interest in the magickal arts. The book is well-organized, insightful and provides explanatory summaries within each section that provides clarification of purpose.

The Good Witch’s Guide is broken into three parts, the first of which is Ye Olde Witch’s Wisdom, Rituals and Formula’s. This part of the book gives a brief history of the folklore, aromatherapy, and use of crystals and gemstones. I like that this part of the book explained the “doctrine of signature” which is thematic in traditional folklore. I found the essential oil list comprehensive; the chapter provides a list of common ailments, points of improvement and essential oils that are recommended to provide relief. The essential oil section is also divided into healing and magickal and provides several recipes for each. Required items that many of these recipes call for are easy to locate.

The chapter, Crystal Power, provides information on charms, elixirs, and explains chakra balancing in a concise manner. The chapter also provides a list of crystals and gemstones and their applications as well as recipes for healing and magickal applications. The list provides a great number of commonly utilized crystals and gems.

The second part of the book, Spirit Spells and Spirituality, outlines the importance of well-being and visualization. I absolutely love the spells for well-being and self-love. The focus segues into spells that can be utilized to heal others such as the Healing Poppet Spell. The section then transitions to cleansing, protection and magical spells. Chapter 5 covers candles, their colors and uses.

Chapter 6 has spells for health and also some for removing fears and phobias. The section is rounded out with a section that defines types of spirituality and philosophies. I like that it gives a brief summary of those listed without a bias toward one or another. “A Good Witch’s Guide” encourages and promotes self healing in daily life and encouraging use of healing of others and then extend it outwards to include wildlife and the environment. It contains a gentle reminder to be kind, be mindful and act with love.

The third part of the book, DIY Brews and Potions, continues to remind the reader to look in your kitchen and your yard for sources for herbs and plants. As well as defining animism, this section contains a terminology of infusions, decoctions and tinctures. A list of common herbs and uses for them includes information on possible prescription drug interactions, information that is vital to all practitioners. As a kitchen witch, I really appreciated Chapter 8, Kitchen Witchware: Cooking up Magick. There are several recipes that are definitely going to be incorporated into my repertoire!

The A to Z of Health Remedies is a nice addition to the appendix. I enjoyed seeing remedies from other practitioners. The Good Witch’s Guide also provides a great resource list for supplies and also a recommended reading and reference material list.

I enjoyed The Good Witch’s Guide. It is a good read. The book provides a summary explanation, directions for self use, healing, magick and then encourages focus outward to use the knowledge to benefit others and the environment around us. Throughout the book there is significant emphasis on cleansing the items you work with of residual energy as well as a focus on energy, mood and intent. These things are very important to keep in mind whether you are creating an essential oil for a ritual bath or baking a loaf of bread for a family dinner.

I appreciated the liked that the format of the book was user-friendly. Each of the three sections is broken down into healing and magickal applications and each of these sections lists herbs, spices, plants, supplies uses in either application. I also liked that the authors encourage the practice of “look in your spice cabinet” and also to look for plants, herbs in your environment.

I recommend The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and Spells to anyone who is interested in learning or continuing to seek knowledge with healing lore or has an interest in the arts. Rating: 5 stars

 

Lenore Sagaskie is a writer and artist living in self-imposed exile in Michigan.

You can follow Lenore on Facebook and on Twitter @Lenorewrites

Priesthood and Witches Mental health and Magic

We live in a world where often concepts of the mind and soul are ignored.  Where mental health issues like Depression and Anxiety are ignored or made light of.  As a society we are told that its “all in our heads” or that “it will pass”.  We are expected to be able to just laugh and smile at everything.

To those without anxiety disorders, clinical depression, or any other number of mental health issues it makes no sense why a certain song can bring us to our knees or cause crippling panic.  It looks like we overact to every little thing for no reason or for the smallest most insignificant of reasons.

These people don’t realize that there is an intense battle going on within our minds every day. Its expected that everyone gets sad so you will just power through it.  When a person says that certain activities like going shopping make them panic they can get laughed at or told to just “buck up and do it”.  Those who live with mental health issues often wish we would just snap out of it.  Who wants to feel paralyzed by crippling anxiety and depression?

Those without mental illness may be able to meditate, be in nature, do yoga, exercise etc to work out depression and anxious feelings.  Which is good for them, they don’t realize that  it may not work for those with actual illnesses not just situational depression or anxiety.  Many of us try to be in nature to relieve our depression.  We may try exercise and meditation.  It doesn’t always work, and sometimes the depression and anxiety can be so overwhelming that we can barely get out of bed, let alone do anything physical like exercise!

One of the many reasons why people dont get help for mental health issues is the stigma that they are crazy or that they feel they should be able to control all of their actions without the aid of medication or therapy.  They believe that it should be possible to just shake off the depression and anxiety.  They believe that since everyone gets sad and anxious and still manages to go to work etc they should be able to do it as well.

The above meme is dangerous.  It gives people who would seek help a bad idea.  At the same time when those who would seek help (therapy, medication etc) many people reply that they should spent more time in nature.  That medications are poison and should be avoided.  Often times people highlight the fact that several of these anti-depression medications have side effects that include suicidal thoughts and worsening of symptoms.  To those uneducated in medicine it seems silly to take something for depression and anxiety that could make you feel worse.  Memes liks this go around promoting this dangerous attitude.

 

Likewise you get those people who claim that herbal supplements, crystal therapy, Reiki, and prayer were all that they needed.  That if you were in tune enough with your spirits and the spiritual forces of the universe you would not have these very real health issues.  These people argue that if you were truly a witch and truly a member of the priesthood your connections to the spiritual world would make you healthy and secure in your health.

Mental health issues are not something to make fun of.  Nor are they something to state is all in the head or a result of spiritual work and awakenings.   Mental health issues can strike anyone of any religion, spiritual path, race, and walk of life.  Mental health and mental Illnesses exist everywhere.  No one person is more susceptible to mental illness than anyone else (except those who may have a family history, but that goes for any medical condition that can be hereditary).

There are those who believe that if you do work with spirits and are attuned to nature you will develop depression, anxiety, and other issues as a result of the spiritual work you have done.  They attribute issues like anxiety, depression, Schizophrenia etc to being awaken to the worlds state.  They believe that these illnesses are gifts from spirit to see the world and be able to help heal the world.  They treat the illnesses as if there was no problem with them at all.  That your spirits will care for you, and you should live with the illness.

All of these attitudes are very dangerous.  They do not count for the fact that these are very real illnesses.   They do not account for the fact that with these illnesses there are very real chemical imbalances in the brain which need medication to be corrected.  They do not account for the fact that these illnesses present very real disabilities, disabilities that can make a person go from being productive and useful to curled up in a ball cringing at every little thing.  Mental Illnesses are very real and cause very real problems in life.

These problems can not be fixed with simple prayers and crystal charms.  These problems can’t be fixed with a spell and herbal teas.  These problems have no single simple solution.   Mental health is a complex issue that impacts the mind, the body and the spirit.  This complex relationship makes it impossible for there to be a quick and easy fix.

It can take years for an individual to find the proper treatment for themselves and their particular illness.  Some of these treatments may include different types of therapy (Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Etc) along with medications.  Sometimes several therapies and medications will be used at the same time.  Until all parties involved believe that the best treatment possible has been reached finding the perfect treatment takes trial and error as well as time an effort.  Everyone involved needs to be doing their part otherwise the treatments don’t work.

So what about those who have an aversion to prescription medications but would like to treat with herbal supplements and natural medicines?  There are hundreds of memes going around that discuss the virtues of herbal medicine.  Some of them list herbs others list various natural remedies to treat depression and anxiety.  What’s wrong with using some of these remedies?

If you have access to a Naturopathic Doctor and pharmacy for Herbal prescriptions than go for it.  A naturalpathic doctor is the only one who could safely prescribe you medications for your illness.  Other than that unfortunately i have to say you have to see a doctor and get on prescription medications.  These medications can and do save lives.

I’m not saying that herbal medicines aren’t useful or effective.  I’m saying that if you are going to go that route you need to understand that there is a lot to look at.  It is better to work with a trained professional in herbal remedies and natural medicine than experiment on your own.  I’m also saying that these remedies work best in trained hands and in cooperation with trained medical professionals.    If you use herbal remedies and folk medicine let all your health care providers know.

Those are steps that you can take to address the physical and mental aspects of Mental Illnesses.  How are you going to address the spiritual aspects of the illness?  This is where some people have issues.    They aren’t really sure how to deal with the spiritual side of mental health issues.  Once they have chosen to deal with the mental and physical aspect of the health issue, sometimes they can have difficulty finding ways to address the spiritual aspects of the illness.

Many pagans and witches believe in true holistic health.  They believe in a connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit.  Mental health impacts the mind, the body, and the spirit together.  So it makes sense that there would be treatments spiritually for mental health issues..  For the treatment of mental health issues the alignment is no different.  The use of therapy and medication treats the mind and the body.  The treatment for the spirit is very different.

 

Spiritual work is an important part of maintaining mental health.  It can be a powerful partner in treatment of mental illnesses.  Performing rituals, casting spells, and going to powerful church services can leave a person invigorated, feeling powerful, and cleansed.  It can be a way to connect with yourself and be motivated beyond anything you had before.  Spiritual work absolutely plays a part in healing mental health issues.

This is where spiritual work comes into play.    Treatments like Reiki, Soul Retrieval, Chakra Alignment, and Sweat Lodges are all spiritual work designed to heal the spirit and align the mind, body and spirit.  Aromatherapy and crystal elixirs would be a useful one to include with spiritual treatment.  These wok on the mind and the spirit together while Chakra alignments and sweat lodges combine the physical and the spiritual.  Reiki does all three in one.

None of these practices should be done without the practices of modern medicine and therapy.  Spiritual treatments are designed to be used along side of modern medicine.  Those are treatments and practices that can attune to the spirit and heal the spiritual aspect of the illnesses. They are used with the modern medicine and therapy to create an approach that is holistic and will heal you completely.  Modern medicine, therapy, and spiritual work together provide a holistic health plan allowing you to become your best self.

Even knowing that spiritual work can be useful maintaining it can become difficult.  The spiritual side of things can be very hard to deal with when you are at your worst.  It can be the best thing for you, but it can become the hardest thing for you to deal with. At times mental health issues can be overpowering where even the most devout priest or active witch can be paralyzed to the point of no practice.

Often times in these situations the witch and or priest may know that doing cleansing work and prayers could be some of the most useful things to help break the cycle, yet they are paralyzed  and can not get themselves to do the needed work.  For people in this situation the statements about faith and depression can cut deep and deliver a sense of failure as a witch and or as a priest.

This is where your spell casting and ritual work can be useful.  Doing a spell and ritual to break the blocks keeping you down can invigorate your spirit and release the mind.   Spells that would be good here are cleansing, protection, and self love work.  These spells boost positive energy in the spell casters life.  Starting with a few simple spells or rituals is an excellent way to get back into the swing of things.

Altar set up for healing work

This will allow you to be more open to the regular daily practice ( if you are looking for a good guide line to developing a daily practice check out :Starting a Daily Practice ).  Through the use of a Daily practice and spiritual hygiene (protection and cleansing, blocks and filters etc) one can treat and realize that your spiritual practice can be helpful tool rather than a hindrance in your mental and spiritual health treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deals In The D!

 "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes" - Detroit City Moto
“We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes” – Detroit City Motto

Against all odds, The Renaissance City is truly living up to it’s name(most parts, but that’s a different post)These days!

From the University District at McNichols and Livernois to Riverside Park, Old Redford District to  the edge of Grosse Pointe, there is renewal and the Breath Of   Life flowing across my great city. As more and more people turn from Suburbanites to City Slickers, a Witch has to wonder: Where can I find great deals and support my new neighbors and City, while still getting quality service?

Well my friends, just in time for the Holidays, I have complied a list of Detroit’s Premier places to shop for all your Holistic, Metaphysical,Unique and Witchy needs! 

Now, what makes this list any different from the same old recommendations floating around, internet retailers, or your usual tried and trues? Well, EVERYONE on this list is a Detroiter and their businesses are based in DETROIT.Detroit Proper.

Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!
Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!

 

logo_purple

  1. The MotownWitch – “Creative Magic” 

Now, what would Detroit be without its resident Witch? Everything offered is hand-crafted by The Motown Witch (aka High Priestess Yvette-Louise) using the highest quality ingredients.The Motown Witch is dedicated to supplying customers with the finest quality spiritual products and services. She is excellent at and offers oils, herbs, hand-crafted soaps, body butters, incense, jewelry, spiritual baths, waters, ritual powders and salts, ritual and spell work.

If you’re looking for an Authentic ATR worker that has dedicated herself to serving her community, Contact The Motown Witch at:  www.motownwitch.com  / https://www.etsy.com/shop/MotownWitch  Phone: 313-757-0689

 

ssc

2. Sacred Stone Collections“Where Wellness and Transformation Can Ascend “

We Magickal People tend to have a rock addiction, as in stones and Crystals! This wonderful Proprietress, Fullmoon Ptah(Alisha Fullmoon Brown) is an expert in several healing modalities, one of which is Crystal healing. Sacred Stone Collections is your one stop shop. they have a vast variety of crystals in different forms. Her store consists of products that assist spiritually, mentally, physically as well as various supplies.

  • They have rough and polished crystals/gemstones in various selections such as: Yoni eggs, pendulums, stones, geometry sets, wands, merkabahs and more.
  • Spiritual products such as: White California Sage, Satya, Hem and other incense, resins, rocks, Palo Santo Wood Sticks and Florida Water.
  • Rejuvenate your body with raw Shea butter and black soap, Nubian Heritage’s Organic Soaps, Body Washes and Lotions, then anoint yourself other fine oils.
  • We also carry cast iron cauldrons, abalone shells, soapstone and wooden boxes, various velvet and silk bag for wands, crystals, Sacred Crystal eggs and pouches.
  • Other services Fullmoon provides are:
    • Crystal grid and body layouts
    • Back herbal nerve application
    • Magnetic Hematite spine realignment
    • personal and group crystal workshops
    • personal and family holistic coaching
    • Sacred Crystal Eggs Consultant and Affiliate Program(Make Money while you shop!!!)
    • gemstone consultant
    • Loctician
  • Fullmoon Ptah is also a distributor for Young Living High Therapeutic Essential Oils and Pure Herbs Herbal Extracts!

You can contact Fullmoon Ptah directly at 313-303-7765 and  www.ssccrystals.rocks

 

capture

3Blooming Lotus Wellness – “Because YOU ARE worth it!”

Eventually we all get to a point where we realize a need to reunite with the Divine Feminine for our healing and restoration. Blooming Lotus Wellness is a place where Women and Men can find peace, tranquility, healing and Love. Love of self and a whole being; Mind, body, soul and womb. Danyelle Claxton is skilled and trained to assist both  men and women along their wellness journey using the holistic tools of food, herbs, prayer, meditation, and exercise, to bring your mind, body and spirit back into alignment and into a state of balance and dis-eased free. The Blooming Lotus Offers:

  • Womb and Health Consultations
  • Yoni Womb Steam Consultations
  • Yoga Sessions
  • Belly Dance Session
  • Pre Natal Doula and Birth Services
  • Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Food Prep Services
  • Weight Loss Services
  • Pure Herbs Liquid Tenturs
  • Queen Afua Wellness Products

You can TEXT “BLWELLNESS” TO 28228, Call (313) 516-1789 or go to http://www.mybloominglotuswellness.com/

 

pbclogotrans

4. Porter Bottle Company

So after you’ve gotten your Herbs, oils and rocks, you will most likely need something to package them in! Something no herbalist, Cunning person or Witch ever has enough of is bottles and jars. While you could go to a big box store, why not stay local and unique and checkout this detroit gem! While the website might not be fancy, I promise the quality and service can’t be beat. You can check them out at:

1941 West Fort Street

Detroit, Michigan 48216

Hours:8:00 am – 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday – Friday.

Phone: (866) 341-5172

Email: porter@porterbottle.com

capture2

5. Mecca Aroma“Radiate Beauty From the Inside Out” 

Mecca Aroma® is part of a family business that has existed for the past 30 years. Mecca Aroma is importer and distributor of the finest grade “A” top quality oils. They have a huge selection of over 1,000 fragrances in stock and continuously growing each and everyday. 100% free from alcohol, we also carry burning oils, essential oils, punk sticks and natural beauty products. If you’re looking for a bulk supplier of incense and perfume supplies, or looking to get into retail yourself, all vendors are welcome. No customer is too small. They ship nationally and worldwide. Orders are usually  processed within 24 hours.  You can check them out at:

15370 Grand River Ave
Detroit,MI  48227
Email: MeccaAroma@yahoo.com
Tel: (313) 835-2295

691033_orig

6. Crown’s Royalties – “Authentic To The Bone”

If you are looking for handmade, African jewelry with authentic free-trade beads and stones, check out this woman’s Facebook page! She has irresistible African Trade Bead jewelry with timeless beauty with affordable prices.CROWN’S ROYALTIES is not just a jewelry company. They also have handmade and organic body and skin products as well! You can also contact her via: http://www.crownsroyalties.weebly.com/

Phone: (313) 451 0297
email: crown7176@gmail.com

10486302_836772856394335_8566962791583717384_n

7. Twisted Willow Soap Company – “Get Twisted”

YES, they ARE made in DETROIT. trust me, I’ve seen where the Magick happens!

This wonderful company is guided by 3 Powerhouse Women and are a favorite across all demographics. Not necessarily a Magickal company per se, however the deeply moisturizing soaps, lotions and balms work wonders on My family’s dry skin.

My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.
My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.

They have an array of wonderful scents (or, none!) and products that are great for those with special needs (Eczema, cancer, arthritis, etc) . Twisted Willow is an organic bath and body company that believes in creating a quality, luxury product that is good for the body, mind, soul, and planet. ALL of their products are hand-made in small batches, and fair trade. With the exception of a few scent oils, our products are also 100% organic. They even take some special orders!

You can find this wonderful company at:

Gibraltar Trade Center

http://www.twistedwillowsoap.com/

or Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/Twistedwillowsoap/

 

Okay people, this list is by no means exhaustive, so if you know of another little known Detroit Proper Gem of a Detroiter’s , caring is sharing so drop it in the comments!

Go Forth, Share, and SHOP SMALL!

 

 

 

How to Spiritually Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and be Magically More Productive During the Fall and Winter Seasons

pixabay-stuxAfter the heat and activity of the summer, many of us look forward to the cool autumn days and snow bunnies become giddy as winter approaches bringing them the snow they so crave. But others may be dreading the loss of light and warmth and may experience the potentially devastating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. This disorder affects some during the spring and summer months but is mainly prevalent in the winter. The symptoms may include but are not limited to:

Depression

Irritability

Lack of motivation

Feeling physically heavier

Not wanting to get out of bed

Self-induced isolation

This disorder can also put a big damper on your spiritual and magickal practices since the proper mood and energy we need to manifest our intentions may be sorely compromised by this affliction. There are ways to overcome this disorder such as certain lamps that emulate the Sun as well as medical treatments that a doctor can prescribe. There are also spiritual ways to overcome it, particularly by reconnecting with the energy of the Sun. Here is a video that gives three techniques that show how to reconnect to the awesome energies of the Sun so that you can get your energy back and happily engage in the magic of the season:  The techniques that are given are categorized for those who are visual and/or highly imaginative, empaths and the highly sensitive and those who have a strong awareness of their energetic connection to their own internal energy and that of the Divine. These categories allow the instructions to cater to the individual needs and gifts of the viewer.

Now that you’ve got your sunshine back on, let’s continue by removing that which is no longer needed and which may be hampering our productivity.

Shed Your Skin and Those that Drain You

As fall approaches, trees begin to prepare for the winter months by first transferring the nutrients from the leaves to the branches and then sealing off the parts of the branch that have leaves attached which then causes the leaves to fall off and die. They do this so that they can maintain their moisture and nutrients to successfully get through the winter. We can learn much from this process. During the winter months, our energy may be lower so it’s important to make sure that we direct it towards that which we need to sustain our wellbeing and not those who would drain us of our precious resources.

Exfoliating the skin and removing the dead cells that block moisture retention and dull our skin is an excellent way to start. Not only does exfoliating the skin warm and invigorate it, promoting healthy lymph flow and collagen production, it is also symbolic of removing those things from our lives that block our good health on all levels. As it uncovers new and healthier skin, symbolically it uncovers new and healthier energy in our lives, in our spirituality and our intention work. It is a declaration to gladly purge that which drains us and welcome that which renews and invigorates us and our lives. It helps us to retain moisture, the element of water which is the creation elixir of life, energy that can be used to further empower us on all levels of our being. Use a natural exfoliant such as oatmeal, sugar or salt depending on your preference and infuse it with your intentions to remove that which is adverse to you and to suffuse you with young, fresh, vital energy to empower you. As you rinse it off, ask the element of water to help you to go with the flow for a better life and to bless and empower you with stronger vital life force energy so that your ability to manifest the life of your dreams does not slow down in the winter but instead helps you to walk your path with strength, vigor and spiritual peace and power.

It is also time to exfoliate those people that may be draining you while contributing nothing to your life. The same way the tree diverts nutrients to the branches and seals them to cast off the leaf to maintain its survival during the winter, so we too must also remove those who drain our energies and contribute no value to our lives. This can be a very painful but liberating process. It may also be a very necessary one if you are handing over your already minimalized energies to others without return. It can be likened to taking constant withdrawals from your bank account without making deposits. This is a sure path to energetic bankruptcy and now is the time to preserve our energy and not waste it on those who have proven themselves to be energy parasites.

Now that we’ve removed that which holds us back from our spiritual awesomeness, let’s get into how to take full advantage of the energies surrounding us during these magickal seasons.

Plant a Winter Intention Garden to Harvest Great Things in the Spring

There are plenty of crops that are planted in the fall and winter to bring a spring harvest. You can grow a plant in your home that represents what you wish to harvest for spring or to bring a specific energy into your home during the winter. Here are some examples:

Peas – Represent money and love and are best planted in November and February.

Garlic – Represents protection, healing and passion.

Leeks – Represent love, protection and exorcizes evil.

Onions – Represents protection, healing, prosperity, passion and prophetic dreams. The best time to plant them is in January or February.

You can also grow flower producing plants in the warmth of your home to bring in the energies to boost you towards your goals.

The fall and winter months are filled with magickal energy that is ripe for the picking. Exfoliate, rejuvenate and bask in all powerful and productive energies that these seasons bring and use them to manifest the life of your dreams.

Psychic Empath Goddess Rhonda Harris-Choudhry has been utilizing her psychic gifts since she was a teenager. It is her Divine mission to empower people by teaching them about their innate spiritual and energetic gifts and how to use them effectively to improve their health, life and happiness. She also trains empaths, helping them to lead happier and healthier lives. Learn more at www.healinghennagoddess.com.

 

Herbal Lore

Written by: Rose Miller AKA Ravenwings

7

For thousands of years, herbs have been used for medicinal purposes as well as cosmetics, aromatics, cooking, and even embalming. The earliest known medicinal uses were documented it an Egyptian medical document called the Ebers Papyrus. This document contains over 800 medicinal drugs that were used from herbs and dates back to 1700 B.C. The Chinese claim that their use is even older than the Egyptians. Traditional Chinese medicine dates back to around 2500 B.C. Their form of using herbs also incorporates other treatments such as acupuncture and even massage. To treat an illness is to treat the whole person, to restore balance and harmony so that the body can then heal itself.

Indian Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes that good health is the responsibility of the person. Herbs and diets are used to help restore a balance to the body in order for it to heal itself. The Greeks also believed in maintaining a balance for good health and incorporated herbal knowledge from Egypt, India and China.

Hippocrates – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

3

From Greece the medicinal practices reached Rome around 100 B.C. Medicine itself became a profitable business. Galen disagreed with Hippocrates idea of the body allowing to heal itself and reworked his ideas. Galen’s books became standard medical texts and his theories are still used in Unani medicine practiced by Muslims and even in India. Some of his theories are found throughout Shakespeare’s plays.

During the reign of Elizabeth I herbals were written by Gerard, Parkinson, and Culpepper. An herbal book that not only describes plants but, also shows how to use them. The herbal book was second only to the Bible at this time.

In an article in The Economist. 2002

“Chimpanzees suffering from intestinal worms in Tanzania dose themselves with the pith of a plant called Veronica. This plant produces poisonous chemicals called terpenes. The pith contains a strong enough concentration to kill the gut parasites, but not so strong as to kill the chimps (nor people, for that matter; locals use the pith for the same purpose).”

In the early days of medicine, drugs could only come from the plant. As society has changed and we have more scientific ways to find out what makes this herb do what it does. Then chemical structures can be identified and made synthetically. The active ingredient in Willow Bark is salicin, and was artificially made in 1852. In 1899 Bayer was the first company to introduce the aspirin using this synthetically made product. The problem with the synthetically made active ingredients found in these herbs have numerous side effects that using the actual herb does not have.

The use of herbs however over the thousands of years have been more than just for culinary and healing uses. In Rome the people actually paid their taxes with anise. Romans also used dill to make wreaths and garlands to keep away witches. In some places parsley was thought to repel head lice. There are some other great little tidbits about herbal folklore on http://www.almanac.com/content/herbal-folklore-and-old-fashioned-tips.

Whatever the reason we use herbs today it has all been tried and true over thousands of years by millions of people. So the next time you add oregano to a spaghetti sauce or take an aspirin, keep in mind that what you are doing is not new or unique, just a modern version of the days of old.

What is “The Lion’s Gate” 888 Portal? by Robert Vilches

LionsGate2016

I would like to welcome you to one of the most interesting and soul changing life experience that one can have. This time of year is amazing. Right now, in our day in age, we find that 2016 has been a year of expansion, ascensions, informational downloads of information, or activation of informational DNA that is we already have within us. This DNA is coded specifically to limit us to basic thoughts, concepts or understanding. What we need to understand is that this information However, a large number of people are going through a process called “Awakening” or an “Ascension”, which effect the personal and spiritual evolutionary experience. This experience varies from one person to another, but you will experience incredible changes in your life, inside and outward.  This time of year called the “Lion’s Gate”, is where there is a five planet alignment that happens every year, at the same time, between August 8-12th.  During this process you may have been effected in a way that you feel as if you are like a computer, whereas information comes to you as a download, then once it is completed, you just “know” about things, situations, idealism and wisdom. Some people would call this “Claircognition”, which is the idea that some people have a “knowing”.  Well, the truth of this awesome occurrence still remains a mystery, but it is still a theory, that we have so much more of our brains that we can unlock, and when we unlock them, we would be able to have so many more abilities than we can fathom, and some still believe that we have become “De-evolved”. When we unlock these most hidden parts of our mind, what then? This Lion’s Gate part of the physical year, is when you are going to experience clear understanding of concepts that may seem foreign to you in the past. You see, this time of year, may very well be, the most amazing and the most informational in the whole year. This is where, from where I have read, that the star Sirius and other planets align in such a way as to open us up with this enormous alignment. This alignment also creates a huge amount of energy

My own personal experiences have been an interesting things to talk about as well, so I would love to share it with you.  In all actuality, I didn’t even know that this “Lion’s Gate” situation was even happening until I saw posts on Facebook and then researching a bit of it, and finding out some really fantastic validation for things that were directly happening to me before I even found out that this event was even happening. The very first thing that I experienced was an overwhelming feeling to remove certain people or repeating life situations from my life. I began to feel like I was losing my mind. I was almost intuitively forced to do things like clearing, cleansing and purging my life from negative actions, thoughts and reactions. I also noticed that my sleeping patterns have changed. Sleeping about half the time is what is happening to me. What is going on with other people, I have no idea, and haven’t the information to give that to you right now, but when I do, I will post another article about that at that time. Okay, so to get back on track. Dreams are also starting to make even more sense than before. I can hold on to the dream more so than ever, even when going through my daily activities as well. The dreams are even more lucid and vivid as well. My gifts, or some call them abilities, from what I can tell, have enhanced by leaps and bounds. I do believe that I have maybe acquired new abilities, or just the fact that my abilities have been increased to such a point that my whole life seems to be changing as well. Visions are showing up more and more random. I am given symbols and flashing of memories from different times in life, different versions of a living experience. What I know about this is unknown, but my theory is that the very DNA that is within me is being activated and the information is just a product of that awakening of hidden DNA.

 

What has been your experience with this event from August 8th to the 12th? We’d love to hear about it. Write your comments below. Blessings

Spiral Circle (Pagans In Recovery) made charity for Midwest Witches Ball

This year, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery rises being one of the new charities for the 2016 Midwest Witches’ Ball.  Many in Michigan learned of this organization through the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Witches of Michigan, or through word of mouth.   Those who have found it are making changes, and are agents of their own change.

spiral

The Spiral Circle is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience,strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from their addiction to self-destructive behaviors. – Preamble to Spiral Circle 13 Step Program Material
Why a need for a Pagan “step program of recovery”is the first question on some readers’ minds.  There are many organizations doing great works out here.  The pause that some take when hearing of this is understandable.
There are many reasons that many Pagans hesitate in getting the full benefit of the programs that are most ubiquitous for recovery. The main one is that they tend to emphasize a heavily Judeo-Christian base of belief and integration as part of the systems.  For those who are no longer on that spiritual path or who have no ties to it in any way, this is a hindrance.  Proselytizing can undermine the goal of the programs by injecting a feeling of being the “outsider” in a space where this is inappropriate.
Spiral Circle does not engage in this practice.  There are no cliques, no causes, and no categories of belief.  There is simply the space where healing happens. Their 13 Traditions’  stance of “Principles before Personalities” sets that bar, and rivets it in place.
Rebecca Sisler, a local Pagan business woman and community healer through this work, is the leader of the groups.  She continues facilitating safe spaces for people to come together in trust and openness.   Why does she do it?  Because it works.  In her own words, she shares this.
Spiral Circle has a wonderful core group. Some of them have been in other recovery meetings, and I have seen them really blossom from this program.
The Spiral Circle Program is based off the 12 steps of AA. It is designed for those people looking for a program of recovery that is non-Christian. I personally do not have an issue with the Christian dogma used in AA or NA. However it has been proven that Christian dogma is alive and well in both AA and NA meetings.
Up until now I have not spoken out about this program. I have heard a lot of people in recovery question this program, so now I am going to address the questions that I have heard. I have watched many people suffer even in recovery. I have seen people feel isolated and even shunned for their beliefs.
On the other side I have seen many people find recovery outside of 12 step programs. I have seen these people find their healing through Earth based spirituality. Some of these people have helped me work my program in profound ways
My heart bleeds for all those that NA and AA has not helped. Yes, there are people that these programs have not helped. And while listening I have heard two very disturbing facts.
One, there are those who feel excluded because their issue is not drugs and alcohol. They have been told that their issues are not as serious. Some of these people suffer from things like cutting, depression, eating disorders, the list goes one. And the truth is that drugs and alcohol are only a symptom of the disease. Self-destruction comes in many forms, and people are dying from self-destruction.
Two, even though these programs say a God of your understanding and a High Power, they are still based in “God” related thinking. For some people this creates an issue. Personally, I have heard many people say at meetings, “the God of my understand is Christ Our Lord”. Where this personally doesn’t detour me from meetings it does detour others. Furthermore, I know of people who have chosen to walk no-Christian paths that have been shunned at meetings for doing so. I don’t feel that people at meetings intend to come across this way however at times they do, and for some this is enough to railroad their recovery.
Perhaps there is a need for another 12-step recovery program that eliminates these issues? Personally, it is not my place to decide. It is for those seeking recovery to decide. And for those seeking out this new recovery program their reasons are personal. I have only spoke of what I have seen and experienced myself.
So, for those who still question the motive and validity of this program all I can say is that I come to you with an open heart. This program is not in completion with NA or AA. I can only hope that this program will save lives, help people find their true spiritual essence, and promote true recovery for those involved. I think that recovery in any form is a good thing and I believe whole heartily that all recovery programs can work together in carrying the message.
One primary difference in approach is the Pagan version of the Serenity Prayer. This goes into the personal toolbox of those who are working the steps.  Other  prayers based around Pagan spirituality make a big difference when you do the internal spiritual heavy lifting.  They work toward making connections within the personal spirit.
To contact the program, you can look for them on Facebook at their group page, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery.  Their program guide is available by visiting the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry’s resource page.  There you can find the complete written form to decide if this is right for you.
This song featured in this article, Rootless, dedicated to those who are making the healing journey, whether as healer of self or others.  Ginger Doss and S.J. Tucker just  hit it out of the park on this one.  Through the bad times, and the good times, we SEE you.  We are here.  And we honor your strength.
Addendum:  This article failed to mention that the research, development, and implementation of this entire program was done by Michigan’s own Gordon Ireland.