Saturday, 26 May 2012
GUEST BLOG POST
Whether you're Pagan or not, to me, there is no more Magickal a place in or around your home than your nearest garden...be it your garden or your neighbors. It doesn't matter if you grow in containers, boxes a roof top garden or a ground garden. It doesn't matter if you have two plants or two hundred. No matter who you are or where you live you can find the space for a garden.
When I first started growing plants, trust me, no one had a blacker thumb than I did. Everything I tried to grow died...quickly. Many a poor house plant met its untimely end at my hands. I can't say just when that black thumb turned into a green one all I can say is I stuck with it and it happened. I'm not really one of those Go Out and Buy a Book type of people either...all of my growing techniques are good old trial and error. There have been plenty of trials and errors! But I kept at it and while I can't say that I can grow absolutely everything now...witness the rosemary plants that keep dying on me after wintering over nicely. Come April they just up and die, I have no idea of why but I keep trying.
I live and garden in Connecticut. Once upon a time, if you couldn't find me here at the computer then you'd just take a walk out my back door and you're sure to find me puttering around in the herb garden or the veggie garden or one of the flowerbeds. However, over the last few years, my hands hurt from carpel tunnel, I've battled the deer, rabbits, raccoons, gophers, opossums, and more…and lost badly. I've been unable to find an effective way of keeping them out of the vegetable gardens.
I've given up on planting in-ground and taken to gardening in containers on my deck except for a few small beds that are very close to the house and the deer don't seem to venture quite that far. It's not quite the same but it still brings me peace and tranquility to plant and putter. Of course the upside of container gardening is; no weeds! If you start with clean soil and don't let the lawn mower shoot into the containers, you'll never have a single weed.
I started gardening because I wanted to grow my own herbs. Not only did I want to have fresh herbs and spices for cooking I was also very interested in learning about their medicinal properties, folklore, and ritual uses. So I planted and I grew and I read and I studied and I started making my own remedies with my own freshly grown herbs. One problem I found with the books that were labeled 'for the beginner' (or something like that) was they talked to me as though I already knew what they were talking about. I found it confusing. I also found several 'beginner' books that contained recipes with poisonous herbs and the author didn't label them as such. If I didn't have a writer's book entitled "Deadly Doses" I could have killed someone early on in my practice. Every herb I came across I checked against that writer's reference book—which I'd bought years before for a story I was working on.
This year, I thought I would gather my herbal knowledge in book form and came up with "A Window to Magickal Herbalism". This book is intended to give the beginner a good starting point getting familiar with tools they'll use regularly and terms they should know. It also discusses how to buy/pick/store herbs, the differences between methods of delivery, how to make your own tinctures/infusions/oils/ointments/incense. We talk about the herbs you probably have in your spice cabinet and their medicinal uses along with some simple remedies to try. There's some interesting bits on candle magick and crystals and stones to show how useful they can in conjunction with the magickal herbalist's practice. I included a huge list of crystals/stones with their meanings and uses. I also added in a good dose of herbal folklore by giving the reader information on the herbal associations with the planets, deities, zodiac signs along with their use in everyday rituals (house blessing, marriage, birth, death) and in Wheel of the Year rituals.
Now I would like to share with you my simplest most favorite herbal remedy. My husband used to come home on a steady basis with Athlete's Foot from his job. Let me tell you, buying those tubes of ointment gets expensive quickly! One day, while cruising through "The Way of Herbs" I came across this:
1 ounce fresh thyme[Soft Break]1 cup boiling water[Soft Break]Steep covered 20 minutes[Soft Break]Drain[Soft Break]Pour into Mason jar or other air tight container[Soft Break]Store in fridge up to two weeks
Use:[Soft Break]Drench as many cotton balls as necessary to cover the afflicted area and allow to soak as long as possible from five minutes to a half hour. Repeat as often as necessary.
I thought: What the hell? I have thyme out there, it's FREE, give it a shot.
Within 3 days his Athlete's Foot was GONE. It didn't come back for quite a while. It has worked like the proverbial charm every single time I've used it. It even works on jock itch! So, Lotrimin no longer gets any business from us. [Symbol]
Try it yourself. If you don't have an ounce of thyme just cut the recipe down as needed; ½ ounce thyme to ½ cup boiling water and so on.
I'd like to thank everyone for coming to read my little article today and, of course, our wonderful hostess for having me here! So I'd like to giveaway 2 copies of "A Window to Magickal Herbalism" in the winner's choice of format. I hope you will enjoy this book and the view to the wonderful work of magick and herbs that it offers.
For those of you familiar with my OF WAR Series of adult paranormal/romance/erotica/drama, the third book in the series "Child of War-Rising Son" releases September 21st. Sneak peeks are offered on my blog.
LINKS:[Soft Break]Website: http://www.moonsmusings.com[Soft Break]Blog: http://lbdarling.wordpress.com[Soft Break]FaceBook: http://facebook.com/lbdarling ("fan page")[Soft Break]Twitter: @lb_darling
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