Posts Tagged ‘Ritual’

Hump Day Herbs – Oak

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus Alba

Folk Names: Jove’s Nuts, Juglans (Latin)Duir, White Oak

The oak is revered as a sacred tree, to the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Slavs and Teutonic tribes it was associated with the supreme god in their pantheon. Also, sacred to Zeus, Jupiter, Dagda, Perun and Thor, each of these gods had dominion over rain, thunder and lightning. It is no coincidence that oak trees seem to be more prone to lightning strikes than other trees, whether it be because of the wood’s low electrical resistance or the fact that they are often the tallest in the landscape.

Today, many believe that the Yule log should be made from it. When it is but ashes, those are strewn on one’s land to bring good fortune and wealth in the coming year. Oak leaves’ connection with rainfall is also survived in more recent folklore in a rhyme about which tree’s leaves appeared first, such as the Irish saying:

If the oak before the ash,
Then we’ll only have a splash.
If the ash before the oak,
Then we’ll surely have a soak!


Photo by Tie Guy II

“A tree as long-lived and strong as the oak naturally offers magical protection.”

Deities: Cybele, Dagda, Dianus, Erato, Hecate, Heme, Janus, Jupiter, Pan, Rhea, Thor, Zeus

Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter (Money, Prosperity, Legal Matters, Luck, Protection)

Powers: Protection, Health, Money, Healing, Potency, Fertility, Luck

Magical Uses:
Decorate altars with leaves as early as Lammas and Samhain.

  • Acorns are beaded and worn for fertility
  • Carrying any piece of the oak draws good luck.
  • Plant an acorn in the dark of the Moon to receive money.
  • Carrying an acorn increases fertility and strengthens sexual potency.
  • If you can catch a falling oak leaf you shall have no colds all winter.
  • The bark may be gathered and dried, then ground and used as an incense to invoke or honor any of the deities associated with the it.
  • The oak’s association with Vesta and fire festivals lends itself to working with this herbal tree in conjunction with elemental fire.
  • When a person is sick, place oak wood in the fireplace to “draw off” the illness.
  • Make a charm from oak. Take two equal lengths of twig or of a small branch and bind them together in a cross. This represents keeping one’s self in balance with the four elements. It can also be hung in the house for protection.
  • Acorns may be adapted into amulets and tokens. (Highly appropriate for the Samhain celebration)
  • It is believed there is no wand as sacred as one made of oak.
  • Collect an acorn and empower it throughout the winter, then plant it before the snow melts so that the new tree will be one of magic and power.
  • Acorns placed in windows guard the entrance against lightning, and a piece of oak wood, carried, protects its bearer from all harm.
  • Oak is used to bring protection against the ferocity of the elements and the dangers of life, and we use oak to ask for divine assistance in having our needs met.

Ritual Uses:

  • Include oak in the fire for your Midsummer ritual.
  • The bark may be dried and powdered and used to unite one with the gods and goddesses.
  • The Druids (traditionally) would not meet for rituals unless an oak was present, and the very words “oak” and “Druid,” some say, are related. Religious idols were fashioned from oak wood, and Witches often danced beneath the tree.

Medicinal Uses: Native Americans used White oak medicinally, it was valued for its antiseptic and astringent properties and used in the treatment of many complaints. The inner bark contains 6 – 11% tannin, and can be boiled and the liquid drunk in the treatment diarrhoea, intermittent fevers, coughs and colds, consumption, asthma, lost voice etc. The bark has been chewed as a treatment for mouth sores. Externally, it is used as a wash for skin eruptions, burns, rashes, bruises, ulcers etc and as a vaginal douche. It has also been used as a wash for muscular pains. The bark is best collected in the spring.

References:

  • Catherine Yronwode: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic
  • umm.edu
  • Paul Beyerl: A Compendium of Herbal Magick
  • Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of magical herbs

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Jasmine

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Jasmine

Botanical Name: Jasminum officinale, Jamsminum grandiflorum, Jasminum odoratissimum

Folk Names: Anbar, Jessamin, Moonlight on the Grove, Peot’s Jessamine, Yasmin


Photo By snopek

Jasmine is a woody perennial. The shrub climbs up to 50 feet, with green stems and leaves. J. grandiflorum is mostly used in herbal remedies, while J. officinale is used in aromatherapy.

In Europe, jasmine was used to aid in childbirth. The oil would facilitate birth by “warming the womb.” Burning Jasmine leaves would attract wealth and bring money. If the leaves were burned in the bedroom, it was believed that it would result in  prophetic dreams.

Deities: Diana, Vishnu

Element: Water (Fidelity, Friendship, Healing, Love, Meditation, Prophetic Dreams, Purification, sleep)

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Moon (Fertility, Healing, Peace, Prophetic Dreams, Sleep)

Powers: Love, Money, Prophetic Dreams

Medicinal Uses: The Jasmine flower is used as a cardiac sedative, and also helps with anxiety, cancer (bone, lymph nodes and breast), migraines, paralysis, wounds, ulcers, constipation, dry skin, insomnia, hysteria, hypertension, exhaustion, easing depression and so forth.

Magical Uses: Jasmine is used for love and protection. Dried Jasmine flowers are added to sachets, charms and incense to attract a spiritual love. (as apposed to a physical love) The flowers will also bring wealth and money if carried, burned or worn. It’s beautiful aroma is soothing and helps to lift spirits. Dreaming of Jasmine is said to foretell good fortune and good news for lovers. (Perhaps an early marriage)  It will also cause prophetic dreams if burned in the bedroom and helps with insomnia. Storing Jasmine and Quartz crystals together promote new/creative ideas.

Ritual Uses: Use in rituals when you wish to conjure the feminine properties of the Moon. It is also excellent to burn during meditation.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or a certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Hawthorn

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Hawthorn

Botanical Name: Crataegus Oxyacantha

Folk Names: Ban-Sangli, Bread and Cheese Tree, Gazels, Hagthorn, Halves, Haw, Hazels, Hedgethorn, Huath, Ladie’ Meat, May, Mayblossom, May Bush, Mayflower, Quick, Thorn, Tree of Chastity.


© Copyright David Hawgood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Hawthorn is a member of Rosaceae family. A spiny tree or shrub, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America, It may reach a height of 30 feet.

The hawthorn has been regarded as the symbol of hope. The branches were carried by the ancient Greeks in wedding processions, and were used to deck the altar of Hymenaios. In Celtic folklore, the hawthorn plant was used commonly for rune inscriptions along with Yew and Apple. It was also used to heal a broken heart. In Serbian and Croatian folklore, hawthorn is deadly to vampires, and a stake used for slaying must be made from its wood. In Gaelic folklore, hawthorn marks the entrance to the other-world’ and is strongly associated with fairies. It has been said, it is very unlucky to cut the tree at any time other than when it is in bloom, during this time it is cut and decorated as a May Bush. (Beltane)

Deities: Cardea, Flora, Hymen

Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mars (Courage, Exorcism, Hex-Breaking, Lust, Protection, Sexual Potency, Strength)

Powers: Chastity, Fertility, Fishing Magic, Happiness

Medicinal Uses: Hawthorn helps to lessen pain in the heart and adjacent areas. It also increases warmth in cold hands and feet where the drop in temperature is due to poor circulation. Hawthorn can also play a part in lowering cholesterol levels and removing plaque that has accumulated in the arteries. The plant parts used medicinally are usually sprigs with both leaves and flowers, or alternatively the fruit.

Magical Uses: At Beltane, the blossoms are used to symbolize love and the union of marriage. Newlywed couples will dance around a Hawthorn tree to bless and ensure a long and fruitful marriage.

Young women would eagerly await the first blossoms. When found after appropriate regard to the trees guardian spirit, a sprig of the blossom would be taken and kept as a charm to encourage the interest of a suitable husband.

It is said the Hawthorn is sacred to Fairies. Make a wish, then tie ribbons and shreds of personal belongings to the thorn, as a gift to the Fairies. The strips should be symbolically appropriate to the nature of the wish, (i.e. blue for health, pink or red for love, green or gold for prosperity) and if pleased, they would grant your wish.

Care should be taken when removing any of its branches. Damage to the tree is said to anger the guardian spirit. Any Hawthorn tree standing alone should be avoided, and only parts from trees forming hedges should be taken. In Ireland and Britain it is part of the fairy-tree triad known as the:  “Oak, Ash and Thorn”, and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see the fairies.

The tree is regarded as a powerful symbol of protection, and often planted near a house to protect it against lightning and damage from storms.  In the past most witch’s gardens contained at least one Hawthorn tree, to protect the house against evil spirits. In Ireland it is believed that food left over from the May Eve dinner should not be wasted, but left near the Hawthorn tree as an offering to the spirits that inhabit the tree.

Hawthorn wood is excellent for making talismans and wands for protection, health and luck, as well as tools in rituals to enhance spiritual development and communication.  If you cut a piece of live wood from a tree, be sure to do so with reverence and thanks to the tree’s guardian before hand.  Another option, take the discarded branches to be found after a heavy storm. To make a talisman, strip off the bark while the branch is still green and before it dries hard onto the wood. Store it outside until you are ready to work with it, this will stop the wood from drying out too quickly. Carving is easily done on green wood before it dries. The wood of the Hawthorn is especially hard.

Another custom was to make a Hawthorn globe or charm ball from its twigs and foliage. This is made at first light on the old Celtic New Year’s Day (Samhain) and tied with a white ribbon.  The old charm ball from the previous year is then burned on a bonfire of straw, ash twigs and acorns.  This represents all the previous years troubles.  Your new hopes and aspirations can then be forged into the new globe and hung in a safe place until the next New Year.

Ritual Uses: May poles were once decorated by the Hawthorn, where witches have long danced and performed rites  It was also believed that the thorn were witches transformed. Use Hawthorn to cleanse an area before ritual, protection spells, attract love or communicate with those who have passed.

Other Uses: The wood of some hawthorn trees can be very hard and resistant to rot. It has been used for tool handles and fence posts in North America.

Warning: May interfere with digitalis medications.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or a certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Garlic

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Garlic

Botanical Name: Allium Sativum

Folk Names: Ajo, Clove Garlic, Poor Man’s Treacle, Stinkweed

Native to Central Asia, garlic is a species in the onion family Alliaceae.

The ancient Greeks placed garlic at cross-roads as a supper for the goddess Hecate, or for protection to ward off demons. Greek midwives would hang garlic cloves in birthing rooms to keep evil spirits away. Athletes would take large amounts of garlic before competition, and soldiers would consume garlic before going into battle. Roman soldiers ate garlic to inspire and give them courage. Egyptian slaves were fed garlic to keep up strength. Tibetan monks were forbidden from entering monasteries if they had eaten garlic. Nicholas Culpeper, (botanist/herbalist/astrologer) linked garlic with the planet Mars. A fiery planet also connected with blood. Dreaming that there is “garlic in the house” is known to mean you will discover hidden secrets.

Deity: Hekate

Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mars (Courage, Exorcism, Hex-Breaking, Lust, Protection, Sexual Potency, Strength)

Powers: Anti-Theft, Healing, Exorcism, Lust, Protection

Medicinal Uses: Garlic has been used to prevent health problems including colds, flu, menstrual pain, high blood pressure, coughs, gastrointestinal problems, atherosclerosis, and bronchitis. It has been proven to kill various fungal infections, viruses, bacteria, and intestinal parasites. Also labeled as an antioxidant, garlic may help prevent certain cancers such as colon cancer and can improve the effectiveness of the immune system. Most popular, garlic is used for its effectiveness of cardiovascular wellness, as well as treating atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, respiratory infections, and triglyceride levels.

Magical Uses: Garlic is known to be extremely protective. It is excellent in a new home, hang braids of garlic to ward off thieves and evil. For protection while sleeping,  place under a pillow or make into a wreath placed above the bed.  Eating and wearing garlic is said to improve agility, courage, and physical endurance.

Ritual Uses: The bulb, stem, and flowers can be used in spells and as an amulet for protection. Burn the powdered herb to break spells and curses. Place with silver in a sachet of leather to bring money. Scatter around the home to promote lust.

Other Uses: Studies have found that concentrated garlic kills ticks within thirty minutes. Dehydrated garlic is used as a nutritional supplement in pet food to repel fleas and ticks.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Fennel

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

FENNEL

Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare

Folk Names: Samar, Sheeh, Sweet Fennel

Fennel is a Perennial herb from the Apiaceae family. Native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, it grows to the height of 2-6 feet.

Fennel was hung above doorways and on rafters in order to ward off  evil in the Middle Ages. The seeds were placed inside keyholes to prevent ghosts from entering the house. In 470 b.c. the Greeks defeated the Persians at Marathon. They fought on a field of fennel and this led to the belief that fennel inspired courage and strength. Greek and Roman soldiers chewed fennel seeds before entering battle.

Deities: Dionysus, Prometheus

Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mercury (Divination, Mental Powers, Psychic Powers, Wisdom)

Powers: Healing, Protection, Purification

Medicinal uses: All parts of the Fennel plant are used. Fennel is known to relieve digestive problems, increases lactation, relax spasms and reduce inflammation with expectorant, carminative and aromatic properties. Sweet Fennel oil is used in aromatherapy (it contains anethole, fenchon, limonene and a-pinene, while the seeds contain various flavonoids and furanocoumarins ).

Magical Uses: Hang over doors and windows with St. John’s Wort to repel evil spirits. Grow around the house, scent soaps and perfumes to ward off negativity and evil.

Ritual Uses: Use in spells and sachets for protection, healing, and purification. The oil can be used to enhance personal courage and strength, as well as love.

Other Uses: Syrup from fennel juice was given for chronic coughs. It is known to drive away fleas, powdered fennel has been used in kennels and stables.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

During the Middle Ages, fennel was hung above doorways and on rafters in order to ward off the devil. Fennel seeds were also placed inside keyholes in order to prevent ghosts from entering the house; In 470 b.c. the Greeks defeated the Persians at Marathon. They fought on a field of fennel and this led to the belief that fennel inspired courage and strength. Greek and Roman soldiers chewed fennel seeds before entering battle.

News & Submissions 3/7/2011

Monday, March 7th, 2011

An interview by Raymond Buckland by Bernadette Montana
It is with great pleasure that I post this interview today! Raymond Buckland has always been a huge influence on me, and is someone who has helped to shape our wiccan community today. Read full story from sacredmistsblog.com

Merlin Stone Memorial Sept. 24th
On April 10th, Z Budapest has called for a global remembrance of Merlin Stone. Here’s what Z posted to her Facebook account:

After i have considered the possibility that we all do a ritual for Merlin Stone at the same time, found it not doable. What we should do is a Parenthalia, find it in my “Grandmother of Time” or “Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries” books.

A dumb super to celebrate her life.

I talked to Lenny (Merlin’s life-partner) again today, asked what her favorite foods were. She was a vegetarian; she liked quesadias, and black coffee – no milk, no sugar.

So if you get together, serve strong black coffee and eat something vegetarian.

Lenny is sending me a box filled with her pictures, memorabilia, unpublished articles. Bobbie will put it up on her page (here on the MerlinStone.net site) and include it in the Merlin Stone Projects we are doing with your help. It seems her daughter is getting her royalties, so that’s all cool.

Counting 49 days and nights from the 25th of Feb, till 1oth of April – she is sleeping. On that day, we should all have a party in her honor to celebrate her rebirth on the other side. This elevates the soul.That’s what we can do – elevate her soul. Read full story from merlinstone.net

Faith and yoga in Roanoke: Is yoga compatible with Christianity?
Christians stand on mats at a church hall on Roanoke’s bustling Williamson Road, stretching their arms to the heavens and bending to their toes. They lay their palms on the floor, the soles of their feet perfectly flat. Chants spill from a stereo.

It looks and it sounds like the downward dog — but it isn’t. This group meets Saturday mornings to bend into poses they call the Tallit, not the Big Toe, and the Dove, not the Pigeon.

A debate over yoga’s compatibility with Western religions has torn through exercise and meditation studios across the United States in recent months, with conservative Christians denouncing yoga as pagan and demonic. Yogis respond that it isn’t. In between, some Christians practice yoga on weekdays and go to church on Sundays. Read full story from roanoke.com

New book Secret Symbols about West Wycombe Caves released
A PUB landlord has completed ‘a kind of Da Vinci Code journey’ through the notorious Hell Fire Caves – and written a book to dispel some of the myths surrounding the West Wycombe tourist attraction.

Eamonn Loughran, 42, has published ‘Secret Symbols of the Hell Fire Club’ after living for 20 years on West Wycombe Road and looking up at the Dashwood Mausoleum every day.

He says the much-published ‘history’ of the Hell Fire Club adds up to little more than gossip, adding: “The idea that Sir Francis Dashwood dug these caves simply to get drunk and worship the devil is absolute rubbish.

“There were a lot of very bad books written about the club from early 1900s onwards, mostly by journalists who sensationalised the stories.”

Rumours of black magic, satanic rituals and orgies surrounded Dashwood’s club when it was around in the 1750s and 60s. Read full story from bucksfreepress.co.uk

The Sacred Practice of Understanding Religious Difference
Last week I piled my books and student papers in my bag and headed out to The Flying Joe, a local coffee shop where the excellent mocha takes some of the pain out of grading undergraduate and seminary papers. While my visits there are inconsistent, I do notice the regulars, and the baristas obviously have taken the time to learn the details of every order, including mine.

Learning those details takes a good listener, someone invested in bringing you back for another espresso hit. It is a practice that takes patience. And it is a practice that I require of students in my world religions and non-religious worldviews classes. One of their assignments is to step outside of their bubbles and interview someone of a different worldview. They are required to return their report to the original interviewee for input before they submit it to me for their grade, which encourages them to present the view fairly. The kicker for many of them is that they cannot proselytize during their interviews, forcing them to listen and to get the details right about the other person’s views. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com

The Salem Witches conduct a Ritual to Heal and Bind Charlie Sheen (source YouTube – ChristianDay)

Meet America’s top exorcist, the inspiration for ‘The Rite’ (source cnn)

Road trip to ‘doomsday’ (source cnn)

Hump Day Herbs – Datura

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

DATURA

Botanical Name: Datura Stranmonium

Folk Names: Devil’s Apple, Devil’s cucumber, Devil’s Trumpet, Ghost Flower, Jimsonweed, Love-Will, Mad Apple, Madherb, Manicon, Moonflower, Stinkweed, Sorcerer’s Herb, Thornapple, Toloache, Witche’s Thimble, Yerba del Diablo (Spanish herb of the Devil)

Datura is an annual herb from the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. It is believed to be native to Asia or South America, origins are unknown. It grows to a height of 2-4 feet, reaching a diameter of 4-6 feet.

Native Americans used Datura to induce trance-like states and enlightenment, often this was served as a right of passage. In l676 in the Jamestown Colony, a group of English soldiers believed the leaves of the Datura to be suitable pot greens. They boiled and and consumed  it, the effects lasted for eleven days.

Deities: Hades, Hecate, Saturn

Element: Water (Fidelity, Friendships, Healing, Love, Meditation, Prophetic Dreams, Purification, Sleep).

Gender: Feminine.

Planet: Saturn (Endings, Exorcisms, Longevity, Visions, ).

Powers: Hex-Breaking, Protection, sleep

Medicinal Uses: Datura has been used as an alternative medicine in treatments for various diseases. Seeds are the most active medicinal part of the plant. Flowering tops, Leaves and  seeds have anti-asthmatic, anodyne, hypnotic, hallucinogenic, mydriatic and narcotic properties.

Magical Uses: Datura can be used in amulets for insomnia, breaking spells and to ward off evil spirits. Sprinkle it around the house for protection. (If placed in incense, it may cause nausea and does not have a pleasant smell)

Ritual Uses: Datura was used by Shamans to transcend the physical world and embark on magical flights to the spirit world. The entire plant was used for divination, prophecy, initiation ceremonies, ritual intoxication, diagnosis and healing.

Other Uses: It is said to protect neighboring plants from insects. To cure dandruff and falling hair, the fruits of the juice are applied to the scalp.

Health Hazards: Poison!.  Datura is considered toxic.  It  should only be used under Physician’s supervision. (handling it may cause skin irritation)

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Calamus

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

CALAMUS

Botanical Name: Acorus Calamus

Folk Names: Gladden, Myrtle Flag, Myrtle Grass, Myrtle Sedge, Lubigan, Sweet Cane, Sweet Flag, Sweet Grass, Sweet Root, Sweet Rush, Sweet Sedge

Calamus are perennial flowering plants from the Acorus family. Native to to North America and northern and eastern Asia. The leaves grow between 0.7 and 1.7 cm wide, with average of 1 cm, and the flower is between 3 and 4 mm.

The Penobscot people would cut the root and hang it throughout the house to cure illness. When traveling, they would take a piece of the root, and chew to ward off sickness. To cure a runny nose, The Potawatomi people would powder the dried root and put up their nose. The Teton-Dakota warriors believed it prevented excitement and fear when facing their enemy, they would chew it to a paste and rub it on their face.

Diety: Maiandros

Element: Water (Fidelity, Friendships, Healing, Love, Meditation, Prophetic Dreams, Purification, Sleep).

Gender: Feminine.

Planet: Moon (Fertility, Healing, Peace, Prophetic Dreams, Sleep).

Powers: Healing, Luck, Money, Protection.

Medicinal Uses: The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hallucinogenic, hypotensive, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge and mildly tonic. Internal uses: It Stimulates the apatite and can reduce stomach acidity in small doses. In larger doses it increases stomach secretions. (known to treat anorexia) Also known to treat bronchitis, digestive complaints,  sinusitis etc. If infused it can bring about abortion. Chewing the root  can alleviate toothache and kill the taste of tobacco. External Use: It is also used to treat neuralgi, rheumatic pain and skin eruption. It is a folk remedy for arthritis, cancer, convulsions, diarrhea, ddyspepsiayspepsia, epilepsy.

Magical Uses: Grow Calamus for good luck. Use powdered in Incense and sachets for healing. String seeds as beads for healing as well.  Used to strengthen and bind spells. Keep pieces of the root in all four corners of the kitchen in protection against poverty and hunger.

Ritual Uses: The Incense is burned to treat headaches, coughs, and colds.

Other Uses: Phenylpropanoid, produced by plants are used for defense against herbivores and protection against ultra-violet rays.

Health Hazards: Calamus is considered unsafe for human consumption by the FDA due to massive doses given to lab rats over extended time has proved to be carcinogenic.

FDA studies have shown that only Calamus native to India contains the carcinogen Beta-asarone. The North American variety contains only Asarone.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!

Lisa

News & Submissions 12/23/2010

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Medical Power of Ritual
Harvard researcher Ted Kaptchuk trained for five years in traditional Chinese medicine, but then became one of the leading researchers into the placebo effect. In his hands, the fact that patients with some kinds of illnesses get better with dummy pills is a gateway into the ways that other aspects of medicine, including the capacity of doctors to generate feelings of hope, are overlooked in our technology-obsessed health care system.

This morning, Kaptchuk is out with his latest salvo in this research: a study that showed that patients with irritable bowel syndrome improved more if they were given inert sugar pills – even though they were told the pills had no active ingredients and the bottles were labeled “placebo.” Fifty-nine percent of patients who got the obviously fake pill got adequate symptom relief, compared to 35% of those who got nothing. In a press release put out by the Public Library of Science, the medical journal that published the study, Kaptchuk’s co-author, fellow Harvard professor Anthony Lembo, says: “I didn’t think it would work. I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo. But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them.” Read full story from forbes.com

An atheist view of December
“Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer,” reads a simple yet loaded statement on the American Atheists’ website.

But how could Christians monopolize a holiday that is based on their beliefs?

It turns out that traditions associated with Christmas have morphed into social norms adopted even among nonbelievers.

Everywhere you turn there are decorations, cookies, and music. But for many of the 5% of Americans who say they don’t believe in God, December is not that different from what it’s like for those affiliated with a Christian religion. Those who don’t believe in the reason behind the holiday still celebrate the season’s concentration on values, family, and kindness. Read full story from cnn.com

Colossal pliosaur fossil secrets revealed by CT scanner
The innermost secrets of a colossal “sea monster” skull are being revealed by one of the UK’s most powerful CT scanners.

The X-rays are helping to build up a 3D picture of this ferocious predator, called a pliosaur, which terrorized the oceans 150m years ago.

The 2.4m-long (7.9ft) fossil skull was recently unearthed along the UK’s Jurassic coast, and is thought to belong to one of the biggest pliosaurs ever found.

The scans could establish if the giant is a species that is new to science.

Pliosaurs are aquatic reptiles belonging to the plesiosaur family. Paddle-like limbs would have powered their huge bulky bodies through the water, and they had enormous crocodile-like heads, packed full of razor-sharp teeth. Read full story from bbc.co.uk

French village threatens to call in army amid flood of doomsday survivalists
Residents of a tiny French village say it is being overwhelmed by outsiders who are intrigued by reports of aliens in the area and believe that the peak looming above may be a sacred mountain that will be a shelter at the end of human civilization.

Villagers in Bugarach, population 189, told The Daily Telegraph these visitors believe that the end of the world corresponds with the conclusion of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, and that the Pic de Bugarach, highest mountain in the Corbieres wine region, could provide some sort of sanctuary. Read full story from msnbc.msn.com

Do Supernova Explosions Impact Earth Every Few Hundred Million Years?
A University of Kansas research team is exploring the energy of cosmic rays and a possible link to massive prehistoric extinction events. Fossils and cosmic rays appear to have nothing in common. But Adrian Melott, a professor at the University of Kansas, is doing work with high energy cosmic rays to investigate the possibility that one may be linked to the other.

“There are a lot of things that can happen to the Earth that would cause it to get hit by more high-energy cosmic rays,” says Melott. “A supernova fairly nearby (within about 30 light-years) is an obvious one. Another one would be a gamma ray burst in our galaxy that’s pointed at us. And some people think that as we move up and down in the disc of the galaxy, when we get to the top we would get hit by more high-energy cosmic rays. So we don’t know. We have a general idea of the effects on the atmosphere, but people haven’t modeled it very much. Normally they don’t matter, because most of the cosmic rays that hit us are medium and low energy.” Read full story from dailygalaxy.com

Genome of Mystery Human Relative Revealed by 30,000 Year-Old Fossil
A 30,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in southern Siberia came from a young girl who was neither an early modern human nor a Neanderthal, but belonged to a previously unknown group of human relatives, called “Denisovans” after the cave where the fossils were found, who may have lived throughout much of Asia during the late Pleistocene epoch.

Although the fossil evidence consists of just a bone fragment and one tooth, DNA extracted from the bone has yielded a draft genome sequence, enabling scientists to reach some startling conclusions about this extinct branch of the human family tree. Read full story from dailygalaxy.com

Slideshow: Winter Solstice, lunar eclipse met by Druids at Stonehenge (photos)
The winter solstice, lunar eclipse combination may have been a wonder to some, but for Druids at Stonehenge it was a significant spiritual experience.  The winter solstice occurs when the Earth’s axis is tilted the furthest from the sun and marks the first official day of winter.  The day is often referred to as midwinter and the winter solstice is marked by being the shortest day and longest night.  Winter solstice 2010 occurred on December 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm ET.  The lunar eclipse of 2010 ushered in the solstice as the eclipse was completed by approximately 5:00 am, December 21, 2010. Read full story from examiner.com

‘Christmas is evil’: Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia.

They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead. Read full story from dailymail.com

‘John of God’: Faith healer? (source cnn)

‘Seinfeld’ actor reminices about Festivus (source cnn)

Godless Christmas (source Pat Condell)

News & Submissions 12/18/2009

Friday, December 18th, 2009

‘I cast spells and it works’
According to Pagans, the early Christian church hijacked December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Read full story from lep.co.uk

Fla. appeals court reinstates challenge to prison religious aid
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A humanist group can go ahead with its challenge against the Florida prison system’s use of two faith-based organizations to provide substance-abuse programs for inmates, a state appellate court has ruled. Read full story from firstamendmentcenter.com

Magick and Ritual
Even for the secular minded, Magick and Ritual can still have meaning and significance. Although astrology and other esoteric disciplines are often lumped into the category of religion ” and are instantly rejected by secular minded, scholars, scientists and religious critics, Magick and ritual can only enhance one`s life. This article will explain how Magick and ritual should be seen as “in the least “a social science, and not as pseudo-science “. Read full story from thesop.org

Christmas 2009: Oh Come All Ye Faithless
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree. Read full story from charlotteconservative.com

Created and embellished
Everyone knows America’s Christmas traditions: A decorated tree at home. Stockings hung from the mantle. Santa Claus coming down the chimney Christmas Eve. Special music and programs at church. Read full story from decaturdaily.com

Stepfather confesses to witchcraft against boy (2)
The stepfather of a 2-year-old boy claimed he pushed 42 “blessed” sewing needles deep into the toddler because his lover told him to while in a trance, saying it would keep the couple together, according to police. Read full story from sowetan.co.za

‘Prophet’ found guilty of stalking
NORRISTOWN — A self-proclaimed prophet who spouted biblical passages to rail against a Lower Pottsgrove couple showed no emotion as a jury determined her conduct caused emotional distress for the couple. Read full story from thereporteronline.com