Mabon

by Larissa

Happy Mabon

Happy Mabon!

Mabon occurs sometime between the 19th and the 23rd of September. This equinox notes the halfway point of the Sun’s path through the zodiac. The exact date shifts from year to year, marked when the sun moves from Virgo to Libra in the sky and crosses the celestial equator for the second time, now headed south.

The Sun enters Virgo August 23rd and leaves 22nd. Linked to the Earth harvest goddess, Demeter, Virgo invites us to take chances stemming from a place of confidence. We should accept our gifts and hone our skills. During this time take in the bountiful harvest, show beauty and the power of the goddess in all the work you do.

The sun enters Libra the 23rd and remains til October 23rd. The balance sought by the scales of Libra is, for a moment, found as days and nights; light and dark, become equal. While in Libra, allow focus to be on outward manifestation for the last time before turning inward. This turning point, as summer turns to fall, is when achievements are measured. This time represents justice, intelligence, gentleness, thanksgiving, and charm.

Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals carrying a theme of mysteries. A fairly neo-pagan holiday, Mabon combines a vestige of ancient harvest festivals. Cultures of all kinds use the equinoxes as traditional times to celebrate planting and the harvest season. Nonetheless, seasonal and astronomical events occur at equinoxes and are readily observed by the natural world.

This is a time of ritual thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth, and recognition of the need to share them to secure future blessings. Colors associated with Mabon are red, orange, and brown. Some plants used as symbols include: anise, benzoin, cedar, chamomile, clove, frankincense, honeysuckle (woodbine), juniper, myrrh, fir, roses, rue, sage, thistle, and yarrow. Include any of these herbs or oils in combination with stones and candles to create your own solitary Mabon ritual. Make notes in your journal or book of shadows to fine tune your ritual for next year.

I was inspired to include this suggestion to create a ritual by”Cunningham’s Book of Shadows”. In the back appendix there is a memoir written by David Harrington. He talks about exploring nature like the old ones did, rather than from books in a library. Not to say there is ANYTHING wrong with books, or that one should not know and honor the Craft.  Moreover, it is a reminder to get out and create one’s own experiences in addition to versed rituals.  Here’s a little maple leaf ritual from Scott Cunningham to bring success.

You will need:

  • a candle holder
  • an orange candle
  • colorful maple leaves.
  1. Arrange the leaves around the base of the candle holder(not too close!)
  2. Visualize success you wish to achieve
  3. Light your candle and say: “I call upon Jupiter to aid me please
    Bring abundance into my life by the power of three

    I am open to new opportunities and success.
    As this maple leaf spell spins out, may I be truly blessed
    By the power of the harvest and of the herbal trees
    In the best possible way-abundance will come to me!”
  4. Allow candle to burn out, gather maple leaves and leftover wax, tuck inside an envelope and keep to further empower your spell.

At autumn equinox we’re reminded that in all endings, there are also beginnings, and fields which are cut down will also one day rise again.

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Chiastolite – The Cross-Stone

Chiastolite

Chiastolite

The name ‘chiastolite’ derives from the Greek chiastos meaning “cross marked” – its most distinctive feature being that it appears with the shape of (you guessed it!) a cross formed from graphite in the stone itself.

Chiastolite is a very protective stone – historically, the cross-shape was said to ward off the ‘evil eye’, or the negative intentions/influences of others.  Overall, in fact, the stone exhibits a number of very protective qualities – but unlike many other protective stones, chiastolite’s energy focuses as much on resolving underlying problems as it does protecting you from the more obvious ones.

A Simple Practice for Releasing Negativity

Most protective practices ‘repel’ negative energy – not allowing it to attach itself to you, but not necessarily getting rid of it.  We can use chiastolite in this practice for those who want a slightly more positive approach!

As with all practices that involve stones or other physical objects, I recommend cleansing your materials prior to using them with white sage smoke.

  1. After cleansing for the first time, begin carrying your chiastolite, in your pocket or purse, wherever you are likely to run into a source of negativity or conflict.
  2. When you encounter the source of the conflict, grasp the stone in your hand and squeeze as hard as you can.  Feel the disruptive energy associated with the situation pass from the source, through you, and back out into the stone.  It is best to do this during, or soon after, the situation in question.
  3. At this point, the negative energy generated by the situation is trapped safely within the stone.
  4. Later, when you have the opportunity to do so, take the stone out of your pocket and, taking the deepest possible breath, submerge it in running water (Rivers and natural bodies of running water are best, but the sink works perfectly well for this.  Avoid sources of water that recirculate, like fountains).
  5. Keeping the stone submerged, slowly let out your breath and allow the energy trapped in the stone to be carried away by the living water.
  6. Repeat as necessary!

Earth Lore, of course, carries chiastolite stones at both stores, as well as white sage.

Chai: A Taste of India

Chai tea, or “Masala Chai” as it is often called in Hindi, is a timeless beverage from the Indian Subcontinent.  Since antiquity, this rich & seductive drink has been enjoyed for its delicious taste and healing properties.  Perhaps you have enjoyed a Chai Latte from Starbucks, or an iced Chai drink from Oregon Chai…but what is Chai?

In general, Chai is made by brewing black or green tea leaves with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs.  In India, Masala Chai is more of a medicinal, Ayurvedic mixture than the sugared-up, frothed up, recreational beverage of the western world.  In fact, the name “Chai” is a generic word for tea in Hindi, and it may be used to name any tea with one or all of the prominent Indian spices and herbs.

The most common spices in Chai are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and clove.  Other variations may exclude anise and pepper, or add nutmeg and licorice.  The spices and herbs are brewed with black or green tea leaves, and mixed with milk & honey (or soy products, and other sweeteners).

Chai Benefits:

  • provides a calm, alert, focused mental state
  • acts as a natural stress remedy
  • enhances one’s weight loss regimen
  • acts as a natural diuretic
  • aids in healthy digestion & circulation

Pick up a Chai Tea sampler at Earth lore!  It is a simple, delicious way to stay fit and healthy.

Ammonites

by Kate

Ammonite Pair

Ammonite Pair

Ammonites are fossilized animal shells that are similar to that of a snail. Their name comes from Ammonis cornua (“horns of Ammon”) because the Egyptian god Ammon (Amun) donned ram’s horns which these fossils resemble. Ammonites are not only incredibly beautiful but the have wonderful healing properties as well.

Ammonites allow the user to keep in mind the larger picture when working through problems. It is an excellent stone for birthing or re-birthing. It relaxes one, while lifting away any depression that might hinder the emerging process. This stone also strengthens one’s survival instincts. It will help one through the cycles we face in life.

Ammonites are protective by nature, as they originally protected the creature who once inhabited its shell. It brings the user protection by adding stability and structure to one’s life. It helps dispel chaos and turns negative energy into smooth, flowing energy especially through the root chakra. Because it is attuned with this chakra, ammonites offer stability in being able to provide for oneself and others. It is a stone of grounding and security. In Native American tradition it is believed they brought good fortune.

Use with Petrified Wood or Amber, as these are Ammonites natural healing companions.

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