How quickly is the summer going? The weather in July is usually always below par in Scotland…in fact, it is a fact it is the wettest month of the year…warm, wet and very changeable…but something we get used to living here. Always layer your clothes so you can put on/take off as needed and all is well! The plentiful summer rain is what makes Scotland so green and pleasant and enables waterfalls to spring up everywhere. However, this year, St Swithin’s Day was sunny, hot and dry…woohoo…that rarely happens so it should mean that our weather should be much better!! We will see, but nice and warm and dry so far…
Who can also believe that it is a year since the flood on 11th August…we have survived, re-built, re-opened and are now well stocked and busier than ever, even with the current restrictions. Everyone is having holidays at home so extra business for all, which is much needed, and is very welcome to all village shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants everywhere and we all thank you for your business… much appreciated!!
Lammas is the beginning of Autumn and when we should ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’… the fields are golden and the crops sway in the warm breeze awaiting the first of the harvests. They have begun picking the summer fruits and this is the lull before the storm…time for fun before the hard work of getting in the harvest. The farmer will choose his days well to get the crops in, but ‘making hay’ is also a saying that we should live life to the full, and as we begin to see some form of normality returning, we can begin to embrace life once again, socialising with our family and friends. There is a middle ground to be found as we head along this road forward, and as with all good things, everything should be in moderation. Enjoy life, enjoy friends, enjoy socialising, but carefully, so we don’t have to go one step forward and two steps back!! Just saying…
Help…which one? White Sage, Palo Santo or Frankincense…? Which is best?
A question I am often asked, which is best? Which one do I use? As purifying/smudging/cleansing is necessary to keep negativity away, especially now after the negativity and anxiety from lockdowns during the pandemic, I figured I would just explain my thoughts for you to decide.
Frankincense resin is the reason incense is called such…because all incense contains a little of the transforming Frankincense, and has been used since Egyptian times where it honoured the Sun God, Ra. When burned, it releases powerful vibrations within the smoke to uplift those in that vicinity, but also to drive out evil and negativity…the reason it is used in Catholic churches…to purify the congregation! The Boswellia tree is found in Africa, India and southern Arabia and is best used on charcoal discs, the smoke then used to clear spaces, places or crystals. Other herbs can be added to the resin to create your own incense. At home, I simply crush juniper berries with it to purify my home and get rid of any negative energies from the day! Quick, aromatic and my absolute favourite!
The simplest method to clear your home of negativity is the smudge stick – the well-known sacred Sage from the Native Americans and they have used this smoke since ancient times to cleanse with a smoke bath either a room, a person, an object or place of negative energies. When the smoke floats away, it takes the negativity with it. Smudging with sage is quick and easy and can quickly uplift the energies. It’s like sitting on a beach with a salt sea breeze – it just makes you feel in a happier place! Like salt lamps or sea air, it releases negative ions into the air which uplifts the energy of a space and transmutes the negativity.
The final of the trio is Palo Santo – the Mexicans Holy Wood from their sacred Palo Santo Tree. When burned, which is slower than the others, they believe it to release medicinal and therapeutic healing energy, which comes from the fragrant relaxing sweet smell. I love the smell of our pine forests so imagine what a forest of these smell like…wow!! They believe it bestows blessings of good fortune on all who are lucky enough to use it.
Any clearer? Personally, I think they all cleanse and purify the place, object, person or space of negative energies and uplift an environment – same job and purpose, just from different cultures and continents, and would use any of the three…just a matter of actually doing it with the preferred tool of choice!
Other ways of cleansing can be with sea salt, with sound, selenite and salt lamps…the choice is endless. Whether blasting Beethoven, banging drums or ringing your singing bowl, the important thing is to keep your home clear.
Garden remedies to get your brain back working…
Anyone suffering from ‘brain fog’? For me, lockdown and then the flood has stopped my normal run of questions. Because my brain was not tested at the same level, I feel like I have forgotten more than I can remember, and my brain is generally even slower than usual…which is slow enough seems as retirement has so far passed me by!
So how can we help clear the fog, get our brain out of lockdown mode and back into work mode?
Rosemary is a European herb that features in most herb gardens…if you see rosemary in a front garden, it tells you that a strong woman lives here! As a folk remedy, it has been used for everything from fainting, nervousness, anxiety, exhaustion, lethargy, depression, dizziness, fading sight, feebleness, foolishness, drowsiness, convulsions, hangovers and even insanity, so it has been well tested over the centuries!!
It is an amazing tonic to the brain and heightens concentration, so add a few drops rosemary essential oil to a tissue and inhale to wake up your brain and clear the fog! Dilute the oil and rub into temples if lethargic or tired and get your kick back! (If Rosemary is too strong, try Basil or Petitgrain oil instead!)
Another cottage garden plant is Lemon Balm. It was a medieval tonic to lift the spirits and strengthen the heart! It is still used to lifts spirits, calm the mind and keeps anxiety at bay, that much we know, but can also improve memory and aid concentration. Make a tea from fresh leaves from your garden to clear the mind and aid study. I also like it in oil form (Melissa) for lethargy and melancholy…maybe even add both lemon balm and rosemary to that tissue or that cup of herbal tea and inhale or drink for a cheery and enthusiastic approach to the day.
Crystals for clear thinking…
As anyone that has met me in person will tell you, I always have crystals in my pocket, often in my bra and always jewellery in pendant, earrings and bracelet forms to provide help in whatever way I need it. I will wear something and if I have a fab day, will keep in situ and if not, then I will change it until I get the vibe I am looking for. To help me strengthen my memory and concentration but also my motivation and analytic function, here are some of my favourite stones to help me get my mojo moving again… and maybe solve a problem or two for you too.
Agate: improves strength & courage to begin getting out & about again and aids concentration and decision making.
Ametrine: improves clarity and concentration to help you think through the possibilities and find solutions.
Carnelian: helps improve analytic ability, concentration and mental tiredness & lethargy
Citrine: its sunshine revitalises the mind, aids concentration and confidence and improves motivation
Fluorite: my healthy do-all, it aids confidence, mental processing of information and promotes quick thinking
Hematite: boosts your survivability, so aids focus to bring the mind back to here & now so you can sort issues!
Lepidolite: helps you focus on what is important & make decisions, accepting change and what is, not what was.
Smoky Quartz: dissolves negative thoughts whilst promoting pragmatism and confident communication
I was also going to write about the Golden healer, something I had just got but hadn’t seen for over 10 years, but we sold all the smaller pieces before this could go to print…so no point now!
However, I have had Golden Topaz lying about my work area for a few weeks and, as it is such a sunny stone, thought it was worth a mention. If you are looking for motivation, confidence, generosity and good health, although Citrine is my 1st choice, Golden Topaz is my 2nd and often wear earrings as you feel the stone gives your battery a re-charge! It helps rid tension and fears whilst strengthening optimism and faith that all will be well and says ‘just put your best foot forward and go’! This stone of sunshine and happiness is for sharing your good fortune, helping spread it among others, so that is what I, for one, am going to do!
The magic of 7…
I love odd numbers and work with them in all I do. I live at No 5 and my shop is 59-71 which equates to 5 and 7…!! I was thinking about something to aid wish-making and came up with a list of 7 herbs, which seemed a perfect fit. After all, there are 7 days in a week, 7 colours of the rainbow, 7 natural wonders of the world, 7 chakras in the body, 7 continents on our planet, 7 planets in our solar system and of course, 7 deadly sins!!
It has been a tough few weeks with some not liking how I currently run my shop. On the other hand, I have had some very appreciative customers who value and adore my shop and for them, I am truly grateful as they far outweigh the ones that give me a hard time! One lesson I think is certain from the pandemic is that life is short and if your work/life balance is lacking, then time to think about changes. I for one am not going back to working all hours so watch out for updates…and ignore Google!! If one more person says… “but Google says you’re open…!! I decide when I open and close, not Google and my times are very (ish) – suggestions, not rules!!!
Times are still difficult and not back to normality yet. I know no-one likes wearing face masks or coverings but they are still mandatory in shops here in Scotland to help keep others safe. If you are medically exempt, then I really appreciate those who come in wearing their lanyard or offer up their exemption certificate so I don’t have to ask. We will get back to normal one day but doubt if it will be before 2022 so help me follow the rules to keep my customers & staff safe, and please give others space & time in the shop. There will be little magickal extras for those who follow the rules…as my mum would say, ‘reward for effort’. You make the effort, wear that mask or lanyard, there will be a little magickal extra in your shopping to say thank you and wish you well while stocks last.
New Moon: Sun 8 Aug @ 14.50 hrs Full Moon: Sun 22 Aug @ 13.02 hrs
New Moon: Tue 7 Sep @ 01.52 hrs Full Moon: Tue 21 Sep @ 00.55 hrs
May the sun lighten your load and bring happy vibrations to you and yours.
Bright blessings from
Chris (alias the Green Witch)