Dancing Into the New Year

by Angela

Dancing

Dance in the New Year!

For many of us the holidays are a time of family and fellowship, giving, feasting, and merriment. However, for some, the holidays are a reminder of wounded friendships, family disagreements, and mental and emotional exhaustion. Personally, in past years, I’ve fallen somewhere in the middle! Wherever you are this season, I am here to tell you, I am a firm believer that ANYTHING can be resolved in communication…yes, anything! From small occurrences like first date tension, to national emergency situations like the responses to hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters…anything can be cleaned up, resolved, transformed, created, and re-created in communication.

I, more often than not, forget what a true miracle the gift of human language is! How blessed we are to be able to create, and express ourselves with words! It always brings me back to that Bible verse: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God…”. Unfortunately it seems as we blossom into adulthood, our language becomes a barrier to our expression. Our words become conscious and subconscious weapons of manipulation or self-inflicted guilt. We forget that communication is just a dance, and that falling doesn’t mean we’re bad; or that our partner in communication is wrong, or the situation is hopeless.

Wouldn’t it be nice to dance into the new year free to be fully expressed with family and friends? Free to clean up the relationships that have been wounded over the years? Dancing is the answer this year! It’s ok to miss a step, to trip and fall…we all have, and we all will again. The key is to remember you’re still in the dance, and that only you have the power to pick yourself up and begin again in the flow of the universe!       Speaking of the universe…we’ve been given many tools to help us learn how to do this communication dance. I’ve created a small meditation with these tools that I have found very inspiring in opening up my expression, raising my rhythm, and clearing out negativity from my dance floor! My only hope is that through this meditation you will be swept off your feet by the magic and power of your own words, and the beauty of your own human expression!

The Recipe

  • 1 sm. White Sage smudge stick: to cleanse you and your space of negativity
  • 1oz. Orris Root powder: to help keep your communication honest and expressive in all relationships
  • Lavender Incense: to relax away your mental and emotional clutter
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: to help you bring love and passion to your communication with others
  • 1 Rose Quartz stone: to remind you to be gentle and loving in communication with yourself
  • 1 Turquoise stone: to open your throat chakra, to say the things you’ve been afraid or unwilling to say
  • 1 Lepidolite stone: to help ward off depression, self-loathing, guilt, anger, and negativity
  • 3 Crystal Journey votives: Positive Energy, Courage, and Creativity

(All tools for this recipe are available at Earth-Lore, Livonia & Plymouth!)

The Affirmation (add anything you need to this affirmation to be inspired by it!)

  • “My words are magic steps.”
  • “I dance in the freedom of my self-expression.”

The Meditation

  • Choose three consecutive nights to complete this exercise.
  • Cleanse your space with the sage, and burn a stick of Lavender to begin each night.
  • In a fire-safe bowl begin burning the 3 votives all at once. Put 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil on each candle while saying your affirmation (1x per candle).
  • Next, sprinkle a very small amount of Orris Root over each candle and say your affirmation again.
  • Cleanse your three stones in the smoke from the candles and hold them tightly in your hands while saying your affirmation one more time.
  • Follow with 3 deep breaths and a prayer of thanks to the universe.
  • You may leave the candles burning for up to an hour afterward if you wish.

REMEMBER: Every step should be done slowly and mindfully. Be intentional and precise with each movement, each word, and each breath. Repeat this same exercise for the next two nights. During this 3-night period, keep the 3 stones on you AT ALL TIMES! After the 3 nights are through, you may keep the stones by your bedside, on your desk, or anywhere they will be REGULARLY visible to you.

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Dream Pillows: How-To

Dream Pillow

Dream Pillow

One of my most favorite things about the holiday season, is that I like to make gifts for my friends and family.  Luckily, both are used to receiving my hand made presents, and I think if any thing I keep my friends curiosity peaked as to what in the world I will be concocting this year. I usually remember around Thanksgiving that I wanted to make gifts for the holidays, which leaves me with little to no time. So I thought I would share one of my quick and easy ideas with you.

Dream pillows, so easy to make and fairly cheap. For those of you who have never used a dream pillow before, they are little pillows filled with herbs that usually will aid you in sleeping. If you want to make it really easy on yourself, Earth Lore carries dream pillows that are already made. The dream pillow that we’re going to construct will be slightly different, most of the herbs we will be using will aid in helping one to sleep, while the stones aid in dream recall and enhancing the vividness of your dreams. Which is perfect because most of the time we need to fall asleep so we can dream. First I’ll share with you on how to construct a dream pillow, then I’ll give a recipe idea to work with.

  1. You will need 2 pieces of material, any kind – I prefer natural material such as cotton – it’s soft, and skin safe. Any pattern – children like patterns, nothing too exciting. Any color – some colors can be too stimulating for sleeping, it’s usually best to stay on the darker spectrum – like green, blue, indigo or violet. The 2 pieces of material should be equal in size and shape. A square is a good shape to start with, and if we cut them to 5”x5”, when we’re finished sewing it should be about 4”x4” completed. *Did you catch that sewing word? For those of you who don’t know how to sew, Earth Lore carries an array of beautiful pouches, you can skip the sewing put all the ingredients in a bag and tie it tight- it will serve the same purpose, it just won’t be a pillow.
  2. Place the 2 pieces of material together, one on top of the other, with the pattern or main color on the inside, ( facing each other). We’re going to be sewing inside out. Measure ½” to an 1” in from the side of the fabric, on all four sides. This is the seam line, if you use chalk or something washable it will also help keep your seam straight.
  3. Start sewing, you can use a machine or by hand, depends on how many  you’re making. Completely sew sides together, all the way around. On the 4th side we’re going to only sew this side up ½ to ¾ ‘s of the way closed.  The bigger you leave the hole, the more stitching that will show on the outside of the pillow. But don’t make it too small, because we need to turn the pillow inside out through the hole and fill it with herbs. Make sure your thread is knotted.
  4. Turn the pillow inside out by puling the material through the hole that you left open. When you’re done, your pattern or color should have a “square pocket”. Your corners might be slightly rounded, you can use the rounded end of a pen to poke them out, but be careful not to poke through your stitch.
  5. Fill your “ square pocket”  with an equal amount of herbs (the amount depends on how big your pillow is- always use equal parts), add your stones and stitch the pocket closed, you will see an outside stitch, but hopeful if you left your opening small enough, it shouldn’t be too bad. * There is no filler in this pillow so the whole thing is going to have to be stuffed full, not to the breaking point, but enough to give it form.

Dream Pillow Recipe: Stones: Jade, Amethyst, Moldavite, Herkimer Diamond, Lapis Lazuli Herbs: Catnip, Chamomile, Eyebright, Kava kava, Mugwort, Rose petals, Lavender   Happy Dreaming and Happy Holidays to all!!!

Celebrations of the New Year

by Grant

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

There’s a whole new year just over the horizon – if you listen carefully, you can hear it rumbling toward us.  It brings along with it the promise of new possibilities, challenges, and changes in the world where we live.

But first, we party!!!

Man, I love this time of year.  I know I’ve said that about other seasons, but I mean it this time, too!  You know why?  Because EVERYONE is celebrating, all at the same time.  Even if your philosophy doesn’t have a holiday coming up near the end of the month, nearly everyone has been celebrating the new year for the past 4000 years (the Babylonians started it).  It’s the closest thing we’ve got to a whole-world holiday.

So, when you’re counting down the new year, remember:

  • The Russian children are awaiting ‘Father Frost’, who has the power to freeze evil-doers (and brings toys).
  • The Venezuelans are wearing yellow underwear and eating twelve grapes for luck.
  • The Colombians are burning big dolls stuffed with fireworks to destroy the bad things from the previous year.
  • Buddhists are splashing one another with water in hopes of a good rainy season.
  • Egyptians Islamics wait to see the first crecent moon.
  • Everyone is making as much noise as they can

But my favorite tradition of all – one I think we sould consider resurrecting – comes from ancient Babylon.  On the third day of their new year celebration, the king is put through the Ritual of Humiliation.  All of his powers are removed, and he his slapped by a priest, who tells him to go and pray forgiveness for his sins.  After three days, he is absolved and everyone parties for another three days.  That’s nine days.  Wow.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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