Category Archives: Sacred Space

Garden Magic

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This is the time of year where we spend a lot of time in our gardens. Gardens can be a wonderfully simple way of bringing more magic in your life. If you are an apartment dweller, don’t despair! Container gardens work well. Remember that you will have to water them daily and transplant your plants to bigger containers, or replace the soil every year to keep the roots healthy.

There are many common plants that have magical lore. Each plant you put in your space brings a certain energy to both the garden, your home, and if used in ritual- your practice.

Here are a few common plants and their magical attributes.

Basil– Highly regarded in India as sacred. The Greeks still crown a bride with a basil wreath in one of the world’s oldest wedding traditions. The aroma dispels dispiriting thoughts.

Betony– This herb makes beautiful purple flowers. Wood Betony was said to provide protection from curses, and assist with the exorcism of bad spirits

Clover– This “weed” was once regarded sacred to the goddess Hecate. Old spell books list clover, dill and vervain to be wrapped in a trefoil and thrown into the Midsummer’s Fires.

Dill– This herb is best kept in a locket as a love spell, and was once used to fend off witches. This induces sleep and digestive problems.

Fennel– This is a very effective protection amulet and was worn by the ancient Greeks to aid in battle.

Hyssop– This herb can purify your energy in the bath and protect you if it is worn as an amulet.

Jasmine– The scent of this night blooming plant is common in love sachets. It is ruled by Jupiter, so it can also bring abundance.

Juniper– If you plant it at the doorstep, it can ward off of evil spirits. It was burned with rosemary and thyme, to clean the air during the Plague.

Rosemary– A sprig of fresh rosemary placed under the pillow can ward off bad dreams and insomnia.

Rue– Rue has had a very long history in magic and witchcraft. A sprig can be dipped into water and sprinkled around the home to ward off evil spirits. Hang a sprig over windows and doors to protect from all kinds of evil.

The best thing about gardening is the sense of grounding and peace that comes with being outside in nature. Knowing that some of the plants that you may have in your space have deeper spiritual qualities, can make your love of gardening grow.

~Melody

June, 2016

Shinrin-Yoku, the healing act of “Forest Bathing.”

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Collectively, western society has become borderline hysterical. You can just turn on the TV and see how the world has become mad. Day in and day out, negative energy bombards us through our devices and media. It is exhausting, stressful, causes disease and interferes with out circadian rhythms. We get so caught up in the drama of being connected, that we panic when we cannot get a wifi or data signal. The sense of being all “up in our heads,” takes over, leading to anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and substance abuse. We just want the “noise” to stop, but we cannot imagine our lives without it.

Think back to a time where you were out in a forest walking at a relaxed pace. The air is clean, you are feeling the tension leaving your body and the birds are singing. You can taste the sweet air, feeling the breeze on your face. In The more time you spend here the more present you become. The chaos clattering about within quiets down that turns into a calm and grounded connection with the Earth.

Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese word for “forest bathing,” the art of breathing in and enjoying the forest with all senses. It is no surprise that the Japanese came up with a word for this practice, since 68.5% of the land mass is covered in forests! Not to be confused with hiking, Shinrin-Yoku is a slow deliberate enjoyment of the forest. Typically, this can cover ½ to 1 mile of area and lasts 2-4 hours. Time is taken to sit, skip stones, and marvel at the different shades of green in the sunshine.

The benefits of this practice are immediate. With the constant barrage of information we are receiving through our many devices, being “off the grid” for a few hours a week can do wonders.

Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

For more information about Shinrin-Yoku, check out these websites below.

http://nutriunify.com/what-is-forest-bathing-and-how-it-can-slash-stress-and-boost-immunity/

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/herbal-remedies/forest-bathing-ze0z1301zgar.aspx

http://wakeup-world.com/2015/03/18/healing-body-and-soul-through-the-japanese-art-of-shinrin-yoku/

Grateful for Gracefull Heart

Last month, I was blessed to have my “first gig” at a lovely store called Gracefull Heart Spiritual Shop on Trindle Road in Carlisle, PA.

 

Every now and then, I check out online listings for new and different places that open up. Google finally decided to share the news with me! I was surprised to find out that this little place has been in business since 2011.

 

When I arrived the first time to meet Sharon, I noticed the warmth and authenticity she exuded. The store has a nice vibe, with an impressive selection of oracle cards and crystals and gemstones. Gracefull Heart also has a lovely variety of singing bowls (my favorite metaphysical toy), books, oils and lovely gifts to delight the seeker in your life.

 

In the back of the store, there is a lovely reiki room, and also beautiful room which has a Dominus Cervix Stargate. The Stargate consists of a pattern of the Merkaba (also known as the Star of David), with specially charged glass orbs located at key points within the Merkaba. The client sits in the center while listening to instrumental music and enters a state of meditation. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to give it a try. It was indeed relaxing, and I believe I had past life memories pertaining to my irrational fear of horses in this life!

 

This is a lovely store and is a welcome addition to Central Pennsylvania’s growing Metaphysical Community. I am glad to be a part of it!

 

Stop by their website at:

 

http://www.gracefull-heart.com/

The Inner Connection in New Cumberland, PA

Spring is here, and with it, comes the winds of change! In Pennsylvania, we have had some really strong winds as of late.

These cold winds are indicative of Earth’s desperate attempt to hold on to winter. Change will also come because the trees and plants are being pollinated by that same wind.

This leads me to the point of this post. (Like Monty Python says “GET ON WITH IT!”)

It is with a heavy heart (for selfish reasons, of course) to say that this month will be my last time reading at The Inner Connection Metaphysical Shoppe in New Cumberland. I will be there all day on April 16th.

The Inner Connection is closing in May.

(Don’t ask me anything about whether anyone is buying it or not, because I do not know. Not my circus, not my monkeys)

Jan and Paul have decided to move on with things and start a new chapter in their lives. I am thrilled that they will be able to spend more family time, take vacations, or even sleep in! It has always been an honor to read there. My first gig was reading at one of their Fun Fests in the fall of 2007. Before then, I was one of the “Kids,” who frequented the store in my teenage days of heavy metal t shirts, dyed big hair and a hyperactive temperament that must have made Jan’s head spin. There were times that Jan would point her index finger at me, tell it like it is, and get me in line. I have named the term “Jan giving me the finger,” She has done that as needed, throughout our friendship.

Paul officiated the wedding of my husband Joe and I. It was a wonderful and beautiful day by the Susquehanna River with great friends and family. Having Paul and Jan there meant so much to us.

The Inner Connection has always been a safe haven, a respite from the chaos of the outside world, and a meeting place for veterans and newbies alike. While it will be missed, we need to remember that place (along with Jan and Paul) blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. Jan and Paul helped so many of us to find our own wings to fly.

It is time for them to fly now.

Kushti bok jal a drom

(good luck on the road)

~M.B

April 7th 2016

 

Smudging with Palo Santo

Smudging is the sacred art of clearing a space by burning bundles of herbs (usually sage or cedar) to clear and create a sacred space. For years, sage bundles were my first choice. While effective, they triggered my asthma and allergies in a bad way! I would have to medicate before I could even use it. While I loved the energetic after-effect of a freshly smudged space, I began to dread smudging with sage, only using it when I absolutely had to.

A fellow colleague had introduced me to Palo Santo and had given me a piece to take home to try. It did not trigger my allergies and asthma the way sage did. On top of that, the smoke smelled divine! The delightful scent lingered long after I burned it. I was hooked!

Palo Santo (“Holy Wood”)  tree belongs to the Burseraceae family which also includes Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal. Palo Santo is often used by Amazonian shamans in sacred  ceremonies; the smoke of the lit sticks is believed to enter the aura of participants to clear negativity, bad luck and to chase away evil spirits.

Smudging with Palo Santo can be done the same way that one smudges with Sage. The only difference is  with Palo Santo, the stick can be extinguished and used again. Traditionally with Sage, the stick must burn down.

To smudge, simply light the end of the Palo Santo wood and blow out when the tip glows red. Use an ashtray or fireproof container to catch any falling ash. In a clockwise direction slowly allow the space to fill with the fragrant smoke. Pay extra attention to corners, closets, the attic and basement. If the stick goes our simply re-light it. When you finished, place the the stick in the ashtray and it will go out on it’s own.

Crack open a window to let the energy clear and to invite the good vibes in.

To clear your divination tools, crystals, prayer beads or anything that you choose, simply pass the item through the smoke several times.

Palo Santo wood can be purchased at metaphysical stores, expos and online at these following websites:

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/palo-santo-smudge-sticks/profile

http://sacredwoodessence.com/benefits/

http://www.shamansmarket.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=palo+santo

Happy Smudging!

~Melody

February 2016