As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter. Farmers’ Almanac
Have you ever taken a few brief moments to breathe deeply or gently stretch your body? Then you actually practiced some natural yoga. Yoga originates from ancient East Indian philosophies and is more than 6000 years old. It can alter consciousness in its pure form. Originally, the goals of yoga were the liberation of the body from earthly desires, as well as cleansing and quieting of the mind. Yoga is a primary source of all mind body fitness programs, it’s a discipline unifying mind, body and spirit. Hatha yoga (yoga for strength) is most commonly practiced today. It consists of a combination of body postures, gentle stretching, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques. This helps to balance and attune opposing energy forces in the body generating improved health, well being and inner peace.
The eight paths:
The body, mind, and soul gradually transforms and generates a new strength. The consistent practice of yoga is said to give you greater health and wisdom. Yoga follows 8 guidelines summarized in the 8 paths:
- Yama – correct moral code, ethical standards and sense of integrity
- Niyama – self discipline and spiritual observances
- Asana – postures
- Pranayama – breathing, connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions
- Pratahara – moving inward toward the self, direct attention internally
- Dharana – concentration
- Dhyana – meditation, a state of stillness
- Samadhi – being one with the universe, fulfillment, bliss, ecstasy
- Begin postures with proper breathing and relaxation techniques.
- There are more than 80 basic postures, which are held from a few seconds to several minutes.
- Begin the exercises cautiously and consistently, stretch until you reach a comfortable limit.
- You will notice surprising changes in yourself if you practice yoga regularly, even after a short period of time.
- Yoga strengthens mental and spiritual balance.
- You will become more content and composed.
- It will help you to cope better with daily demands, stress, and worries will recede.
- Regular, relaxed deep breathing plays an important role in the effectiveness of yoga postures. Life energy is taken into the body along with the breath, according to ancient yoga texts. This energy reaches all regions of the body, giving them strength. Life energy flows through the body of a well composed, healthy human. You may feel sick if this flow is obstructed. Yoga postures remove obstructions, enhancing energy, well being, and inner peace are restored.
- The best time to practice yoga are in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.
- Yoga is effective for alleviating muscle tension, joint problems, chronic pain, nervousness, anxiety and sleep disorders, as well as strengthening the body, mind and spirit, and promoting spiritual balance and focus.
Types of Yoga:
- The best type of yoga can be determined with the help of a certified instructor. Classes can generally be found in fitness centers or schools.
- Hatha yoga is great for beginners. It is slow-paced, gentle, and focused on postures, breathing, and meditation. Some teachers of this technique focus on physical poses while others concentrate more on relaxation, breathing and meditation. It relieves stress, provides physical exercise, and improves breathing.
- Vinyasa is much like Hatha, it covers basic poses and breath-synchronized movement. This variety of Hatha yoga emphasizes on the Sun Salutation, a series of 12 poses where movement is matched to the breath. It helps improve strength and flexibility, tones the abdominal muscles, and reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Raja is more meditative, focusing less on strength. Its objective is to further one’s acquaintance with reality, and achieve awakening, and eventually enlightenment
- Ashtanga is a form of yoga combines both the physical and cognitive elements. It’s fast-paced and intense with lunges and push-ups, and considered a form of power yoga. Great for relieving stress, improves coordination, and helps with weight loss.
- Bikram, also known as hot yoga, is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room. It’s typically a series of 26 poses that allows for a loosening of tight muscles and sweating. It speeds up recovery from an injury, enhances flexibility, and cleanses the body.
Kundalini and Tantra Yoga:
- Kundalini and Tantra yoga focus on activating the energy centers of the body called chakras.
Hatha yoga positions:
Diamond sitting position:
- This position may be used for meditation exercises, it also improves poor circulation in the feet and lower legs, stimulates digestion and combats tension and sleep problems.
- Kneel on the floor with knees close together, slowly sit back on your heels.
- Stretch your upper body erect and place your hands on your knees and close your eyes.
- Holding the posture, slowly take several deep breaths in and out, focusing on the steady rise and fall of your abdomen.
- The tree position loosens shoulders and promotes balance.
- Stand with feet slightly apart and facing forward.
- Breathe in, place the flat of your right foot against your left inner thigh. Breathe naturally.
- Slowly raise your arms over your head, palms together, and stretch them straight up.
- Hold the stretch as you breathe in. As you breathe out, lower arms and leg. Repeat on the other side.
- The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
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- One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (we used Krinos)
- Half of a large garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Dash of ground paprika for serving
- In a bowl or a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
- Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, then process another 30 seconds.
- Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid, then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor, then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and quite smooth.
- Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
- Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!
Coven Season Three: ‘American Horror Story’
Details About ‘Coven’ Season Three: ‘American Horror Story’
Ryan Murphy revealed the set up for the next installment of “American Horror Story” during a Friday night event for Emmy voters. Coven will be a massive witch-off: Salem versus voodoo.
“The witches of Salem, the smart ones, got out very early and they were none of the ones who were burned,” Murphy explained. “They all gravitated toward New Orleans, where they now live, and every generation has a great witch who has the most powers of them all, and that’s called the Supreme. Ms. Jessica Lange is the Supreme.” Read full story – au.ibtimes.com
Out of the Broom Closet, into the Rave: ‘Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music’
Paganism and popular music share a love of physicality. Rooting this scholarly anthology not in beliefs constructed by modern society referring to nature, but arising rather from earth’s own manifestations by cultural contexts, co-editor Donna Weston introduces 13 contributions to the study of Pagans and music now. (The capitalization is significant: convention prefers a “P” for modern followers and a “p” for pre-Christian adherents.) Read full story – popmatters.com
Witchcraft-accused force-fed human excreta
PARSA, AUG 07 – A single woman in Bishrampur-1 in the district was allegedly thrashed and force-fed human excreta on the charge of practising witchcraft , police said.
According to police, Devmati Chaurasiya, Lalchuni Chaurasiya and the latter’s son Manjaya, who beat 65-year-old Saraswoti Devi Chaurasiya on Tuesday evening, are arrested for necessary investigation.
However, local resident Bijaya Chaurasiya, who was also reportedly involved in the incident, is at large. Read full story – ekantipur.com
My Mother the Witch
what if your mother were a witch? Do you think she would have done things a bit differently from other mothers? Based on my experience, you would be right…
My mother Maggie, as she likes to be called, has referred to herself as a witch for a couple of decades now — at least since she was in her early 70s. That was around the time she started adding 8,000 years to the date: She would date her letters to me 9989 instead of 1989 and 9992 instead of 1992, to signal that she was reckoning time from the estimated beginning of Goddess worship. Nowadays, at 92 years young, she talks about the Goddess often, keeps an altar with a Goddess statue from Malta, and regularly wears a large pentacle around her neck. Read full story – huffingtonpost.com
Slippery Spells: Gay-Inclusive Curriculum Leads To Witchcraft Says South Carolina Teacher
A South Carolina teacher is making the rounds on the anti-gay circuit for his wild claims about homosexuality in the classroom. Last week the infamous Fox News contributor and American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios — who last week compared the love two gay men feel to the “love” kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro felt for the women he kept captive as slaves in his home — talked with Ira Thomas, a South Carolina teacher.
Thomas told Rios that a gay-inclusive curriculum is harmful to children, and said “it’s like teaching people about how to use crack.” Read full story -thenewcivilrightsmovement.com
Mother told she can’t pray on grounds of Concord High School
CONCORD, N.H. —A mother has been told she can no longer pray on the grounds of Concord High School.
During the school year, Lizarda Urena, the mother of two students, prayed out loud on the steps of the school as students walked in.
Woman charged in Globe crash threatened voodoo hex, police say
BOSTON —A police report says an Everett woman accused of being drunk when her car rammed a newspaper delivery truck on a Boston highway, sending it plummeting 40 feet to the ramp below, threatened to put a voodoo hex on the arresting officer.
Police say 25-year-old Vivencia Bellegarde struck the Boston Globe truck on Interstate 93 at about 3:15 a.m. Monday. The driver, Paul Healy Jr. of Brockton, was listed in fair condition at a hospital on Tuesday. Read full story - wcvb.com
Couple says app lets the iPhone communicate with ghosts
INDIANAPOLIS STAR – Those thumps and bumps in the night, or the item that mysteriously falls from a shelf, are more than coincidence and may be signs the spirit world is trying to communicate. At least that’s what a Greenwood, Ind., couple is banking on.
Ghost hunters Roger Pingleton and Jill Beitz, founders of StreamSide Software, have developed an iPhone app they say gives the dead a voice.
In developing the Spirit Story Box app (99 cents to download at the Apple app store; there is no Android version), Pingleton said his goal was to improve on other paranormal apps for the iPhone. Read full story – KSDK.com
- Raise the Horns – Your Responsibilities In Ritual
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Bedfordshire kids taken by social services over card game, claim parents
A PAGAN couple claim a game of dungeons and dragons led social services to take their kids away after the authority equated it with ‘witchcraft’.
The Bedfordshire pair, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their two daughters, say they have been persecuted for their beliefs and claim social services accused them of ‘devil worship’.
They are due to appear in court for the custody of the children in September after they were taken into foster care around 18 months ago. Read full story bedfordshire-news.co.uk
Mbozi man killed, wife injured over witchcraft
THREE people, including an old man who was butchered by unidentified people on suspicion of witchcraft at Lumbila Village, Mbozi District in Mbeya Region, died in spearate incidents over the weekend.
Mbeya Regional Police Commander (RPC), Diwani Athumani, said that the old man, Msawile Halinga (70) was stabbed to deathe by unidentified people, saying the suspects also wounded his wife Esther Mgala Mgala (60). “The deceased’s wife was taken to Mbozi District Hospital for medical treatment after she sustained multiple wounds on her body,” said the RFC. Read full story dailynews.co.tz
Police arrest man suspected of killing elderly persons over witchcraft
Kilifi,Kenya: Kilifi police are holding a man they claim is the killer behind ten deaths since 2004 in Ganze District.
His victims have been the elderly or people suspected of practising sorcery and police said he killed them “after being paid”. They added that he about to wipe out a family when he was nabbed.
But it is not clear why the suspect has been held without charge since July 18 or if police have sought court permission to continue holding him. Read full story from StandardDigital
Mysterious pentagram etched into remote Kazakhstan field explained
A mysterious pentagram discovered by satellites etched into a remote corner of northern Kazakhstan, baffling and mystifying viewers around the world has been explained — and it couldn’t be further from the Gates of Hell.
The massive 1,200 feet in diameter pentagram just 12 miles west of the city of Lisakovsk has been identified as the remnants of a former Soviet-era summer camp whose grounds are said to have never been completed. Read full story nydailynews.com
Ghostly reputation makes house a tough sale
WILKES-BARRE – For sale: Two-story single family home on South Welles Street, complete with washer, dryer, kitchen appliances – and ghosts.
Stacey Evans and her husband, Matt, are trying to sell her mother’s house, but they’re afraid its long-standing reputation as haunted might hinder the sale.
Enter investigators from nonprofit, Luzerne County based Deadline Paranormal to find out for sure.
On Sunday evening the house at 46 S. Welles St. swarmed with human activity as investigators placed cameras, recorders and assorted other electronic devices throughout both floors and the basement in order to check for paranormal activity. Read full story citizensvoice.com
- LLEWELLYN – 10 Reasons to Help a Ghost Cross Over
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- Nutmeg is a fragrant spice.
- Active ingredients in the essential oil are myristicin, elincin, camphene, geraniol and borneol.
- It also contains fatty substances, starch, protein and some potassium and calcium.
A warming spice oil:
- Nutmeg can be found as a whole nut, a ground powder and an essential oil.
- Its healing properties act on both physical and psychological level.
- Nutmeg oil strengthens the heart and circulation, stimulates digestion, warms the body and banishes fatigue.
- For joint pain, add a blend of nutmeg, clove and rosemary essential oils to a diffuser.
- Regular use as a seasoning stimulates the cardiovascular system, promotes concentration, acts as an expectorant, reduces joint inflammation and helps the liver remove toxins.
- It has a warming effect on the digestive system, reduces indigestion, nausea and vomiting and calms diarrhea.
Nutmeg for diarrhea and upset stomach:
- Fast relief for diarrhea: dissolve 3 pinches of ground nutmeg in a glass of warm milk. Sip slowly.
- For stomach upset, add a pinch of nutmeg to peppermint tea or sprinkle nutmeg over 1 tsp. of honey.
For joint inflammation:
- Regular consumption can relieve joint pain and gout.
- Put 5-6 drops on a sugar cube, or in 1 tsp of honey.
- Add the sugar to a cup of warm milk and sip throughout the day.
- place 1 drop of nutmeg oil on a cotton swab.
- Apply to the gum area around the tooth.
- Repeat several times a day.
- Pre-packaged ground nutmeg can quickly lose its aroma. It’s best to buy whole nuts and use the fine side of a cheese grater to grind to a powder yourself. Do this shortly before using. Whole nuts keep indefinitely.
- The nuts dipped in lime milk is a sign of high quality.
- Nutmeg is an excellent seasoning for cooked vegetables, especially cauliflower, potatoes, spinach and winter squash.
- It’s also an excellent addition to creamy white sauce, pasta fillings and meat dishes. A familiar flavor in pumpkin pie and eggnog.
- Nutmeg loses its flavor when heated. Add freshly grated nutmeg toward the end of the cooking process.
- Limit your alcohol intake when eating foods with a good amount of the spice, The effects of alcohol are intensified by nutmeg.
- Nutmeg is often used in winter drinks, such as tea and hot apple cider. Sprinkle the spice over the hot drink, it adds flavor and helps soothe colds and bronchitis.
- Nutmeg works well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 oz. candled lemon peel
- 9 oz. ground almonds
- 1-2 tsp. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1 small package graham crackers
- Lemon cake frosting
- 2-3 oz. chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F
- Beat the eggs and sugar until frothy
- Chop the lemon peel. Stir the peel and almonds into the egg mixture. Add some cornstarch to thicken. Fold the nutmeg into the egg mixture.
- Shape the dough into walnut sized balls and place each ball on a graham cracker.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 mins after they have cooled, spread frosting on them and sprinkle with pistachios
- The myristicin and elicin in nutmeg can be toxic in large doses. It may hallucinations or cause miscarriages.
- Don’t use more than 2 tbsp. of ground spice or 10 drops of essential oil per day.
- The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
In a diffuser, combine sandalwood oil with rose oil for a calming effect:
- 5 drops sandalwood
- 3 drops rose absolute
For skin irritations:
The oil helps heal cuts, rashes and eczema.
- As a massage oil, mix 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil with 5 drops of sandalwood oil.
To release sexual energy:
In a diffuser combine:
- 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil
- 2 drops of sandalwood
- 2 drops of jasmine absolute
- 2 drops of rosemary oil.
To comfort the the grief stricken:
As a massage oil.
- 5 drops of sandalwood oil
- 3 drops of rose-otto oil
- 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil
In a relaxing and uplifting bath:
- Add 3 drops of the oil to your bathwater.
- Relax in the warm water for at least 30 minutes.
To keep tissues elastic:
- A massage with sandalwood oil mixed into sweet almond oil can help keep the tissues elastic and prevent stretch marks.
- Be sure to check with a health care practitioner before using during pregnancy.
- For bronchitis: Add 3 drops of sandalwood oil to 1 gal. of hot water, place a towel over your head and inhale the vapor deeply through your nose and mouth.
- For bladder inflammation: Mix 8 drops of Sandalwood oil with 4tbsp. of sweet cream, add to a bathtub half filled with water. Stay in sitz bath for 15 minutes. Be sure to rest for 30 minutes after.
- For a hair dressing: Mix 2 drops of sandalwood oil with 2 tsp. of sweet almond or jojoba oil, you can also add both jasmine and rosemary oils.
Warning: Most essential oils are made up of alcohols, esters, ketones, hydrocarbons, phenols and acids. Sandalwood oil can be toxic if taken internally and in high doses. It can also cause inflammation of the skin and damage to kidney tissue.
- The Complete Guide To Natural Healing
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- 1 Ib 2 oz boneless pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Salt and pepper
- Sour or Sweet trahana
- Place pork in a bowl with mustard until coated on all sides.
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or frying pan. Add garlic and pork, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, and the meat is lightly browned.
- Stir in the wine, a little at a time, cook over high heat until it has evaporated.
- Add the tomato juice, cayenne pepper, oregano, allspice and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, until meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with red wine and Sweet or Sour trahana. (See directions below for Trahana)
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 1/4 cups of semolina, or 1/2 semolina and 1/2 bulgar wheat
- Bring the milk to a boil in a pan, stirring constantly.
- Add the salt, reduce the heat, and gradually add the semolina and bulgur wheat mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes, until very thick.
- Remove from heat, cover with a thick cotton towel, and let cool.
- Break the dough into small, rough pieces and put them on a thick cotton cloth in a single layer.
- Let stand in a dark, well-ventilated place for about 2 hours, until dry and crumbly.
- Rub the pieces through a coarse strainer, then spread out on a thick cotton cloth, and leave in a cool place for 4-5 days, until completely dry.
- Store in a cotton bag hanging in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
- 3 cups sheep’s milk
- 1/2 cup Plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 1/2 cups semolina, or 1/2 bulgur wheat and 1/2 semolina
- Pour milk in a large ceramic bowl, add the yogurt and salt, mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Place a thick dish towel on top, cover with a thick blanket, let stand in a warm place, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 18 hours.
- Gradually stir in the semolina or bulgur wheat mixture to form a thick dough.
- Break the dough into rough walnut-sized pieces and put them on a thick cotton cloth in a single layer.
- Let stand in a dark, well-ventilated place for 2-6 hours, or until dry and crumbly.
- Rub through a coarse strainer, then spread out on a thick cotton cloth, and leave in a cool place for 4-5 days, until completely dry.
- Store in a cotton bag hanging in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
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Even in the Bible Belt, pagan symbols dot Birmingham
Those of you who read my column regularly know that I never post political or religious pieces. However, a recent Fox News story regarding Pagan and Wiccan holidays at the University of Missouri prompted a whirlwind of religious debate across the nation.Fox News stereotyped Pagans and Wiccans as “Compulsive Dungeons and Dragons players” or “middle-aged, twice-divorced older women living in a rural area working as midwives”, and said that the bad part about Wicca was “well, witchcraft”. Negative stereotypes aside, Fox News also mentioned that there were relatively few Wiccans and Pagans in the United States (There are ~1 million).
I decided to research Wicca culture in the Magic City. What I found was that Pagans do live in Birmingham, and their influence is all around us, whether we realize it or not. Read full story studentmedia.uab.edu
Theological Meaning of Wicca
Unlike many of the world’s religions, Wicca is a religion whose theological meaning cannot be found within the pages of one sacred text, nor can it be determined by studying a specific body of work. The theology of Wicca is not determined by one head leader speaking for a body of believers. Instead, Wiccan theology is best explained by examining its principles. Read full story opposingviews.com
A Photographer Remembers Wounded Knee, 40 Years Later
Forty years ago, a caravan of more than 50 cars full of demonstrators pulled into Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. That day marked the beginning of a 71-day occupation led by members of the Oglala Lakota tribe and followers of the American Indian Movement, attempting to address long-standing grievances — not only with the U.S. government but also with tribal leaders.
Over those 71 days, Pine Ridge was effectively barricaded from the outside world. Electricity was turned off even though it was winter, and food and medical supplies were halted. Two Native Americans and one FBI agent died before the standoff ended. Read full story npr.org
Chad Stambaugh Presents New Guide to Paranormal Investigations
FRESNO, Calif. – In his new book “Paranormal Investigations: The Proper Procedures and Protocols of Investigation for the Beginner to the Pro” (published by iUniverse) author and retired Marine Chad Stambaugh takes readers into a controversial world: the supernatural.
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ACACIA (Acacia Senegal)
Folk Names: Cape Gum, Gum Arabic, Egyption Thorn, Kikwata, Mgunga, Mkwatia, Mokala
Powers: Cleansing, Contact the dead, Protection, Psychic Powers
Acacia is native to the Sudan region in Africa, as well as Oman, Pakistan, and northwestern India. It grows to a height of 5-12m, with a trunk up to 30 cm in diameter.
Deities: Astarte. Diana. Ishtar, Osiris, Ra
Element: Air (Mental Powers, Visions, Psychic Powers, Wisdom)
Planet: Sun (Healing, Legal Matters, Protection)
Magical & Ritual Uses:
- Burn for altar offerings or purification.
- To ward off evil: Place a sprig over the bed.
- To Open the Mind to Visions: Burn the leaves on charcoal to induce spiritual phenomena and develop psychic power, add Frankincense and Myrrh to intensify the effect.
- For Meditation & Inspiration: Burn the leaves on charcoal.
- Acacia is also used in money and love spells.
- It can be used as an emblem of immortality and initiation, as a sense of resurrection.
- To Contact the Dead: Dip the leaves in holy water and sprinkle your altar with the water, or burn it as incense to communicate with or to memorialize the dead.
- The wood is ideal for a sacred chest to hold ritual tools. If you can’t obtain the wood, you can use the herb to consecrate your box and sacred tools.
- To Cleanse a Sacred Space: Burn the dried gum as incense. The leaves or wood can be infused to create sacred water for asperging. Acacia may be used for blessing any sacred space. (A temple, Circle or storage area and magical possessions)
- Catherine Yronwode: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic
- Paul Beyerl: A Compendium of Herbal Magick
- Paul Huson: Mastering Herbalism: A Practical Gude
- Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs