Thursday, 22 February 2018

Gem Remedies by StormloverWolf

Gem Remedies by StormloverWolf

A “remedy” is made by placing a cleaned crystal in a glass bowl of spring water and leaving it in direct sunlight for at least 3 hours. Take the crystal out and then pour the energized water into a large glass bottle so that it is about ¾ full of energized water and then top it off with brandy. This is referred to as the “Mother Remedy”. Shake the bottle and place it in a dark cupboard for two weeks, shaking it periodically to maintain its energized potential.

To make the final remedy, fill a small dark glass bottle up to 2/3's with spring water and top it off from the Mother Remedy. Shake the bottle and you have a stock bottle you then take from as your “remedy”. Remedy dose – take 2-3 drops in a glass of water 3 times a day. A bottle of Mother Remedy can be kept indefinitely and produces many stock bottles.

This gem remedy can also be added to the bath to enhance relaxation – 4 drops per bath. It can also be touched to the chakra point corresponding to the area that you need assistance with. You can also make an energizing and cleansing room spray in a pump action spray bottle. Add 2/3 spring water and 1/3 “remedy”, shake well and use.

Varied crystal remedies:

Rose Quartz – gently loving and supportive, eases emotional problems and is good for children.

Aventurine – soothes the heart and enhances relaxation.

Citrine – energizes the system and enhances mental clarity.

Smoky Quartz – cleanses away negativity.

Amethyst – enhances spiritual awareness and relieves mental stress.

Blue Lace Agate – softly relaxing and soothing; brings peaceful dreams.

I encourage you to research other crystals and see what “remedies” you can come up with.


Source: Judy Hall “The Crystal Bible”

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Green Man by Autumn Ravenflower

The Green Man by Autumn Ravenflower

Think of the Green Man and the words conjure up many images and thoughts.

Who is he? What is he? Where did he come from?

I've held a fascination with him pretty much since I stepped on my path and love reading and learning all the myths and legends associated with him.

So, who is this Green Man?...

From the rafters of ancient cathedrals and entrances to gothic churches to medieval tapestries and the green forests worldwide, you will have probably seen him. He will look different in every place, but it's him - the friendly face, almost human, the features are made of leaves or it appears that foliage is sprouting from the smiling mouth, eyes and nose.

The 'Green Man' has been around for centuries. He probably wasn't originally called that, but his name means many different things in many cultures, which I will cover further on.

So why is he still revered today and what can his story teach us?

To me, the Green Man is a symbol of nature, a connection and love of all things on Mother Earth. The cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

To others, he may represent the wildness of nature, the untamed vegetation and forests and the untamed spirit that dwells in us all.

As he gazes down from cathedrals and churches, his foliage face may make you think that he is a protector of those that reside within those walls.

The Green Man means many things to people - being a pagan nature spirit, he may well have evolved from other ancient deities - Cernunnos, wild man and protector of the forest or Pan, God of fertility - both these attributed to the Green Man. Some say that they are all the Green Man in various forms.

He is most often referred to as having an association with the season of Spring - those leafy green features do conjure up the fresh foliage that appears on our trees around spring time - and the green man certainly means to some a fresh start and new beginnings. He is also noted, however, as a fertility symbol and as an autumnal figure rather than Spring like. Some carvings and drawings of him depict him with acorns and hawthorn berries and leaves.

Although many depictions of the green man are with a smile on his face, sometimes there are stern looking ones, almost angry.

I get the sense that perhaps he is displeased by how man treats nature. It is a formidable force and one that shouldn't be messed about with. We must live with nature and not try to rule it, or we must face the eventual consequences. The stern looking face serves as a reminder of this.

The most common image of the green man is seen in cathedrals and churches - carved in stone works either outside overlooking those that seek to enter, or inside - high above and sometimes hidden from view, but nevertheless peering down, or carved in pew ends.

Why would a symbol of paganism from past and present feature in a place of Christianity?

It is thought that the green man featured very much too, as a symbol of new growth and a flourish of crops and grains amongst the church. Perhaps the carver felt that placing such a symbol would be a 'nod' to the green man to oversee that fresh green crops would grow and as such, a good harvest for the coming years. An act of faith, so to speak.

It must also be noted that the green man doesn't just appear in cathedrals in England, he appears all over the world and means many different things.

Jack 'O the Green

Many, many years ago, our country was vastly populated with trees. Forests were of a much larger scale than they are now, but these forests provided life for the inhabitants.

It gave us wood for warmth and shelter and food to eat from the plants and animals that lived within. It is not surprising that the forests were highly thought of and indeed worshipped. When the winters came, the animals hibernated, the plants and trees lost their leaves and we probably went cold and hungry.

Spring time returned, and new life emerged from the forest and celebration was to be had. Beltane is a celebration of this time of new growth - the sun is warming the earth and the forests are green and luscious once again.

Jack in the Green is a fairly recent interpretation of the green man but still signifies the celebration of the rebirth of our earths bounty and seems to be employed solely for the Beltane festival and May Day traditions.

In the May Day traditions, played out at the famous Hastings festival, he is seen as a 'winter' green man who is 'slayed' to signify the end of the winter. His leaves are given to the townsfolk to keep until the winter solstice when they shall be burned to ward off any bad spirits.

There are many other names that are also connected with the green man -

John Barleycorn - connected with the ripe grain and barley at Lughnasadh. He is depicted as a man of ripe barley and corn ears which signifies the bountiful harvest at this time. The Lammas festival, held in Eastbourne UK is one particular event that has a procession with John Barleycorn leading. He too, must 'die' in order that he may be reborn again in the spring.

It is said that the name came from an ancient song called 'John Barleycorn' about the alcoholic drinks that can be made from barley particularly beer and whisky and its effects to those that consume it!

Oak King/Holly King - some green man pictures have foliage faces which are either oak leaves or holly leaves.

These are said to represent the two battling deities, the Holly King and the Oak King. The Oak King rules the warmer half of the year and is at his most powerful at Midsummer before going into battle with the Holly King who defeats the Oak King at the Autumn Equinox and goes on to rule the cold winter months, being at his most powerful at Yule.

The Wild Man of the Woods - this is a green man representation that has spread as far wide as Germany and Switzerland.

As an ancient character, he was said to be naked and hairy apart from foliage in his hair and beard. He was said to be the embodiment of freedom, wildness and the untamed spirit that dwells in us all.

The Green Man in Other Cultures

The Green Man is not just restricted to the cathedrals and churches of Europe. There are other places far and wide who also have their representations of him.
In the Far East, there are deities with green/blue skin which is perceived as representing new life. Krishna was one such deity who was said to be the preserver of life. He was associated with Spring and was a destroyer of pain and suffering.

Associated with Krishna was the God Rama who also had dark bluey/green skin. He was said to reside in the woods with his wife Sita, who sprang up from the ground when the earth was ploughed. Together they ruled over the natural world - and birds, insects and animals travelled to be near them.

In Borneo, a face which sprouts roots and flowers is a symbol of luck and fertility.

It's called Kirtimukha - a vegetation God who is also found carved into many temples of India.

A representation of the Green Man is also found in Mexico - home to the ancient cultures of Mayan and Aztec. At Uxmal, a pyramid by the name of The Pyramid of Magicians has lots of foliate heads amongst the carved foliage on its walls.

The Green Man has also been spotted in Africa, Indonesia, Brazil and the USA in various guises from temple friezes to museum pieces.

Although the Green Man may be an ancient figure, his presence today reminds us of our need to preserve that green and luscious woodland without we would not be here ourselves. Trees stabilise our atmosphere, the air we exhale is processed by those very trees. The Green Man teaches us that we need to be aware of the world around us, look after it and preserve its beauty. He also teaches us to take time out from our daily world of work, modern day computers and life and get out there, to connect with him - breathe deeply and take him into your very being!

Green Man Meditation

Make yourself comfortable - if it's a warm day, try and sit outside in a garden or in an undisturbed place in a park or forest.

Take some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel the air as it travels deep within your tummy.

Focus your mind on your breathing and as the world dissipates around you, you find yourself on the edge of a forest. The day is warm, and the sun is shining high in the sky warming your skin. The forest has tall trees, but they are not thick enough to block out the sunshine. You walk in amongst the trees taking in the scents that come up from around the forest floor - the flowers and the earthy smell of the ground. The ground crackles as you walk on the twigs that lay on the ground. As you walk you notice a clearing in front of you. The grass is green and luscious, and you feel that you want to rest and soak up the sun’s rays. You sit down on the warm grass and take in your surroundings. Butterflies land on distant flowers and birds are floating on the warm air currents.

You look at the forest that you are in and notice a green leafy figure peering out from the trees. He is smiling and seems quite happy to see you. He has green shiny leaves for a face and leaves are sprouting from the corners of his smiling mouth. You ask him if he has anything that he wishes you to know. Listen and remember what he may tell you. Thank him and standing up, you make your way back through the forest.

As you approach the edge, you are aware of your breath once again and find yourself back in your comfortable seat.

Celebrate the Green Man. Give him a special place in your home or garden. My hallway is dedicated to him with pictures of nature and green men hanging from the walls. I also have 2 green men in my garden. Make an indoor or outdoor altar.
Make your own Green Man. This can be a drawing, painting or make one with felt or Fimo clay.

Sources and reference: (jack in the green festival)

The Green Man - Spirit of Nature by John Matthews
Greenman artwork - copyright Peter Patterson

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Valkyries by Stormlover Wolf

Valkyries by Stormlover Wolf

“Choosers of the Slain!” These female warriors working under Odin actually directed the course of battles, choosing those they favoured to go onto Valhalla and those left to die that the Valkyries did not feel worthy.

Tradition says that there were 13 warriors. All were directed and trained by Freyja. They are seen as helmeted goddesses with spears, crowned with flames and mounted upon flying horses (Pegasus) whose manes can drop either gentle rain or vigorous hail.

Valkyries were originally seen as sinister spirits of slaughter, dark angels of death who soared over the battlefields like birds of prey, choosing the fates of the warriors in the name of Odin.

In later Norse myth, the Valkyries were then romanticized as Odin's Shield Maidens, virgins with golden hair who served the chosen heroes everlasting mead and meat in the great hall of Valhalla, or as lovely swan-maidens or splendid mounted Amazons. This more appealing portrayal shows vulnerabilities over their more fierce predecessors, that the swan-maidens often fell in love with mortal heroes. These swan-maidens were at risk though, they could be easily trapped on earth if they were ever caught without their plumage.

It is said that some Valkyries had the power to cause the death of the warriors that they did not particularly favour; others, especially those considered heroine Valkyries, guarded the lives and ships of those that were dear to them while others were taken down under.

Valkyries were associated with fearlessness, war, death and fairness.

Some names and meanings of some of the Valkyries are:

Brynhild, Geironul, Geirskogul, Goll, Gondul, Gudrun, Guth, Herfjotur, Hervor (Warder of the Host), Hild (Battle), Hjorthrimul, Hlathguth (Necklass Adorned Warrior Maiden),
Hlokk, Hrist, Mist, Olrun (One Knowing Ale Rune), Randgrith, Rathgrith, Reginleif, Sanngrid, Sigrdrife, Sigrun, Skeggjold, Skogul, Skuld (Necessity), Svava, Svipul and Thruth.

The following describes the fall of Brian Boru to Viking forces at the Battle of Clontarf, 1014.


Blood rains from the cloudy web
On the broad loom of slaughter.
The web of man grey as armor
Is now being woven; the Valkyries
Will cross it with a crimson weft.

The warp is made of human entrails;
Human heads are used as huddle-weights;
The huddle rods are blood-wet spears;
The shafts are iron-bound and arrows are the shuttles.
With swords we will weave this web of battle.

The Valkyries go weaving with drawn swords,
Hild and Hjorthrimul, Sanngrid and Svipul.
Spears will shatter shields will sprinter,
Swords will gnaw like wolves through armor.

Let us now wind the web of war
Which the young king once waged.
Let us advance and wade through the ranks,
Where friends of ours are exchanging blows.

Let us now wind the web of war
And then follow the king to battle
Gunn and Gondul can see there
The blood-spattered shields that guarded the king.

Let us now wind the web of war
Where the warrior banners are forging forward
Let his life not be taken;
Only the Valkyries can choose the slain.

Lands will be ruled by new peoples
Who once inhabited outlying headlands
We pronounce a great king destined to die;
Now an earl is felled by spears.

The men of Ireland will suffer a grief
That will never grow old in the minds of men.
The web is now woven and the battlefield reddened;
The news of disaster will spread through the lands.

It is horrible now to look around
As a blood-red cloud darkens the sky.
The heavens are stained with the blood of men.
As the Valkyries sing their song.

We sang well victory songs
For the young kind; hail to our singing!
Let him who listens to our Valkyrie song
Learn it well and tell it to others.

Let us ride our horses hard on bare backs,
With swords unsheathed away from here!

Whether you choose to see them as heroine's or not is up to each of you. I would like to think that I may have been a Valkyrie in a past life, but of course not the vicious ones!


Sources: Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries
Image from Gods and Goddesses Colouring book by Rachel Patterson