Singing Quartz Crystal

by Grant

Singing Crystal

Singing Quartz Crystal

Singing crystal (aka. singing quartz) is a variety of quartz with unique tonal qualities.  When two pieces are gently touched together, they will produce a clear, high-pitched resonant tone.  It’s a difficult sound to describe, but the difference is easy to discern when you compare it to the ‘clack’ sound you normally get from touching two crystals together.

The most prominent qualities of singing crystals have to do with facilitating communication on multiple levels.  They have been used to stimulate contact between entities, both terrestrial (people, animals, plants, etc) and celestial (angels, guides, etc.), and to remove blockages that prevent easy understanding between beings.

The sound that singing crystals make is said to be of the higher-pitched ‘OM’ vibration, and can be used to bring forth creative energies that are in line with the universal ‘blueprint’.  It can also be used to align the energy centers of the body, calm the aura, and break apart unnatural psychological ‘constructs’ that separate us from true understanding.

These crystals are most often used as part of meditative practice.  Simply sit quietly, lightly holding two pieces of singing quartz (or one singing quartz and another quartz crystal) parallel in one hand, and gently move them around so you can hear the tone they produce.  Focus on and become aware of this sound, and allow the vibration to bring your energy centers into alignment.  Finally hold the crystals against your throat, visualizing blue light in that location, and allow the energy center there to open and stimulate your creative and communicative aspects.

Earth Lore handles many varieties of quartz crystal, including singing crystals.

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Burning Resin and Herbs

by Kate

Charcoal

Burning Resins on Charcoal

Most people are used to burning what is now considered normal incense. You simply light the end of a pre-rolled scented stick or cone, set it in a burner and voila! However, before people burned incense that was pre-made, they burned herbs and resins and hot coals or rocks. It may seem surprisingly simple once you’ve learned how but many of our customers still are unsure of how to burn resin and herbs as incense. This easy tutorial will get you on the fast track to aromatic nirvana in no time!

Items needed:

  • Resins/Herbs
  • Charcoal Tablets
  • Burner (Holder)
  • Lighter

Resins and Herbs

Resins are basically pieces of hardened tree sap. Do you know the story of the three magi who brought Frankincense and Myrrh to celebrate the birth of Christ? These resins were highly valued for not only their aromatic qualities but for their medicinal healing properties as well. At the time, they were worth their weight in gold! Don’t worry. You don’t have to spend a fortune these days to enjoy such rich aromas. We carry both frankincense and myrhh for just $2.95 an ounce, as well Dragon’s Blood, a variety of Copals, Benzoin and more!. Each of these resins have their own enchanting scent and healing properties.

Many people have familiarity with basic kitchen/cooking herbs, but did you know they make great incense as well? Burning herbs and dried flowers like lavender, cinnamon, rose as well as many others can set a wonderful ambiance in one’s home. Herbs and resins can be mixed together to create personalized signature scents or to make incense with magical intentions. (Keep reading for recipes!)

Charcoal Tablets

This is the ingredient many people are unfamiliar with. You do not want to burn charcoal you would use in a BBQ grill in your home! SwiftLite Charcoal mini tablets are made with the specific purpose of burning indoors.(Available at Earth Lore: $2.95) Because charcoal emits carbon monoxide when burned, it is important to only use these smaller tablets in a well ventilated area. They are easy to use and considered generally safe when used in the manner described. However, always remember when burning anything: A little common sense goes a long way! (i.e. Don’t burn in closet with the door closed. Don’t set on a windowsill without first securing curtains.)

Burners (Incense Holders)

Burners can be a bowl, urn or a plate. Anything that can withstand the heat will work but its best to purchase something designed with burning incense in mind. I recommend burning in a bowl with silica sand (only $0.29 per bag!) for a variety of reasons. First the sand absorbs some of the heat of the charcoal, which reduces the likelihood of the burner scorching the table/counter its sitting on. (Never set a burner on or near something flamable, like say Gramma’s favorite chair. Always place away from pets, children and others who may not realize its burning.) Second, when using a decorative bowl filled with sand, it doubles as a regular incense holder for both sticks and cones. Its easy to clean. (Extinguish anything still burning. Dump out sand. Refill bowl.) Earth Lore carries a wide selection of burners to compliment any décor.

How to Burn Incense on Charcoal:

  1. Hold charcoal tablet in air. (Although I personally use my hands, I do not recommend this. Only fools play with fire. 🙂 Its best to use some type of tongs or pliers.)  The reason you do this is to allow air to flow around the charcoal – othewise, it may extinguish itself before it gets lit.
  2. Hold flame for about 20 seconds on either side of charcoal. Matches will do in a pinch but lighters work better. They can be difficult to light while sitting in the burner.  You will probably see it spark a little bit – this means it’s self-igniting like it’s supposed to.  Once you’ve lit it, set it down! It will get very hot. VERY.
  3. Wait for a minute or two to allow charcoal to fully ignite and warm up. You’ll notice ash along the edges. Its ready!
  4. Place just a pinch or your resin, herb or homemade mixture onto charcoal. No, really just a pinch! You don’t want to extinguish it. If you’re planning on using several herbs/resins; crush and mix them first. A small pinch can scent a whole room for hours.
  5. Make sure to reseal any left overs for use at a later time. (Hey, an excuse to buy a pretty decorative box to store supplies in! 🙂

Enjoy! I find writing down my experiments with resins to be helpful in creating recipes.

Protection Incense:

  • 1 part Frankincense
  • 1 part Sandalwood
  • ½ part Rosemary
  • ½ part White Sage

Get Me Out of this Recession Incense:

  • 1 part Cinnamon
  • 1 part Benzoin
  • ½ part Patchouli
  • ½ part Ginger

Seriously Sexy Confidence Incense:

  • 2 parts Dragon’s Blood
  • 1 part Rose Petals
  • 1 part Lavender
  • ½ part Jasmine

All of these ingredients and more can be found on our herb rack. I suggest reading Cunningham’s Complete Book of Incense Oils and Brews for more recipes. Most of our herbs are $2.95 per ounce. In addition to making your own incense, we also carry a new line of resin incenses that are premixed for spiritual and aromatic pleasure: Majesty Incense. These come in conveniently packaged tins filled with 1.5 ounces of incenses. Majesty Incense are only available at our Plymouth location. Scents include Frankincense, Myrrh, Frankincense & Myrrh, Celtic Blend, Three Kings, and Gloria.

An Evening of Acne Clearing

by Larissa

Clear SkinSkin is sometimes called the third lung, as it is our largest organ of elimination and assimilation.  Acne is not only embarrassing, it is a sign that internally something is not right.  Many factors come into the picture when we see our skin erupt, from diet, to stress, to hormones.  Although the problem area is usually the face, the chest and back are also prone to breakouts, especially this transitional time of year.  Besides good nutrition, rest, and exercise there are other rituals to bring beauty into your life. Excess oil on the face is a major cause of irritation.  Sometimes an evening of working on yourself is in order to clear up problems which may be manifesting themselves in the form of acne. Making your own remedies guarantees synthetics, preservatives, fragrances, and coloring agents will not be present to spoil the results as they often make problems worse.  Try to set aside an evening once a week to do this for yourself, and don’t forget daily cleansing and toning to maintain radiant skin.

Start with making a cup of tea.  The chanakara line from Stash offers seven different caffeine free herbal teas.  Please avoid teas or any beverage containing caffine when trying to clear up angry skin.  If you don’t drink tea, have water or make a fruit and ice smoothie and try to use honey or agave nectar instead of refined sugar for extra sweetening. Put on music or enjoy the silence.  Leaving the tv off is a must, overstimulation stresses the body.

Draw a warm bath, try not to bathe in extremely hot water, it strips moisture and oils out of the skin, and can actually cause overproduction of oils.  If you aren’t into baths, or just don’t have time just do a facial steam.  Either way the pores will be opened.  For this ritual use the same herbs i suggest for the steam right in the bath if you don’t feel like standing over a bowl.

  • Facial steams – use about 1/2 oz to 1 oz total of these combinations make notes in a journal of how the results were so your recipes can be tweaked to meet the needs of your skin.
  • Licorice Root- Unique and potent in opening pores so other herbs can medicate.
  • Violet Leaf-Soothing yet astringent, contains SALICYLIC ACID and are extremely high in vitamin A. Try infusing in a carrier for a body massage treatment
  • Comfrey Root- contains allantion which can liquefy pus and necrotic protein(causes death of tissues) thus accelerating healing of lesions and denuded skin
  • White Willow-Contains salicin, very astringent

Feel free to substitute the white willow with Lavender, Neem, Witch Hazel, or any other gentle herb you’ve had good experiences with.  I suggest swapping the willow because i personally don’t like the smell.  Try , however to use the licorice and comfrey, as they assist other herbs in medication.

After steaming , or soaking in the tub, cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser.  Here is a recipe for cleansing grains, however be gentle and as with any exfoliant,  let the scrub do the work for you so you do not over stimulate skin and cause it to make more sebum(natural oil produced by skin)

  • 1 part fine ground oats to 2 parts clay(green or white)
  • Dash of ground almonds or apricot kernel meal, dash powdered lavender
  • Dash of powdered roses
  • 1-2 drops each lavender essential oil and lemon essential oil

If you wish, add a little honey and distilled water to make a creamy paste.  Do not make more than a weeks worth at a time, keep it fresh in the fridge.

We sell powdered rose and lavender, but electric coffee grinders or a mortar and pestle work fine. DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC OILS IN SKIN PREPARATIONS, they can burn or irritate skin.

After cleansing , do a mask if you like or simply close pores with a toner.  Try an infusion of herbs in apple cider vinegar. Cover herbs with apple cider vinegar in air tight jar. Seal and keep in a dark location for one to two weeks.  Try to remember to shake the concoction daily for even distribution.  Strain, and to each cup of herbal solution, add half a cup of distilled water, or food/cosmetic grade rosewater. Since the solution is in vinegar, it is preserved and does not need refrigeration.

One of the biggest mistakes acne prone people make is not moisturizing.  As I mentioned earlier, when the skin is over-cleansed and oils are stripped, the skin actually makes more oil to compensate.  This oil, in turn clogs the pores and the vicious cycle begins again.  At least put a thin layer of jojoba on while skin is still damp.  I promise, it won’t make things worse, only better.  Beauty and blessings!!

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