Saturday, September 14, 2013

Herbal Wise: The Benefits of Celery

Back in the far away (and very hazy) day I used to dance ballet. Those days were over fast when I realized two things: those (comparatively) huge boobs were not going to work and and my right knee was trouble from the get go. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

To the point, though, I still have problems with my knee. It pops and pains and I wear a soft brace made from bamboo charcoal fiber most days just to keep the darn thing in line. Recently though, due more to the fact that I often research possible helpful solutions for my daughter's Juvenile Idiopathic (they used to call it "Rheumatoid") Arthritis than any interest in my own uncooperative joint, I have found a surprisingly simple solution. Celery.

It turns out that celery seed has been of long standing assistance to those with joint pain. According to Andrew Chevallier in The Visual Reference Guide to Herbal Remedies, celery is a "... good detoxification remedy, celery stem, leaf and seed stimulate the kidneys to clear waste... especially helping to cleanse salts that accumulate in joints, causing stiffness and inflammation."

Celery seed in particular is of great assistance in this process, and can be found at health food stores and herbalists in capsule form. Both my daughter and I take one capsule daily to the benefit of our sore joints. I won't say that it has completely alleviated our symptoms like some miracle but celery seed has certainly helped.

An added bonus here is that celery seed, and more specifically the juice of the celery stem, can help in detoxifying and moving unwanted fluids along. If you are prone to swollen ankles after a long day at your desk, a nice infusion of celery juice in an evening green tea will help move those fluids along and make you less gargantuan in the lower extremities after a long day.

But Pauline, you say; this is HQ. We're not here to have our piggies de-bloatified by some silly celery tea. What will celery do for us magickly gosh darn it?

Hold your horses, as they used to say. I've got that for you too.

Use celery in your cooking not only to help your dreaming hint at the future but to bring peace and harmony to your home and your family.

Most often, celery - particularly in the form of seed - is used to encourage psychism. Crush and bruise a few celery seeds, then wrap them in a muslin bag or a coffee filter and brew them into a tea with very hot water to help you along in your card, crystal ball, pendulum or other readings. The celery tea is said to open the third eye to visions of the future and what might be the best path for anyone you are reading for - including yourself.

You can make a mojo bag for psychic vision by placing equal parts anise, calendula, poppy flower and celery seed into a muslin or yellow flannel bag with intention. Place the mojo in your pillow case and sleep on it nightly to encourage your psychic ability. Carry it - if you dare - into haunted places to see the ghosties and ghoulies that walk the night. The mojo is best held in your left - receptive - hand for this purpose but beware: this practice can encourage an attraction making an unwelcome entity glom on to you and follow you home. Not a very pleasant experience and one that can only be avoided by proper and careful warding beforehand.

In the end, celery is both a practical and spiritual plant that can help in myriad different ways and on various levels. Use it wisely, and the benefits will be manifest happily. Bonne chance ~

Header: Found on Tumblr; isn't the internet amazing?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Art of Beauty: We Are Not All So Small

I work hard in a toxic environment. There is nothing I can do about that, needing the job and all, but stories come to my mind and they have their own way of being and so - here we go:

I work with a woman who is obsessed with her looks and her size. At a 30-something average she believes that fake boobs, botox and zero calorie count will win her immorality.

Meanwhile I roam the halls with one boob and a good attitude.

Go figure.

Thanks to my dearest of dear friends Undine I now know what's what in the way of body image. Enter my new best friend Hida. Seriously. This girl is all that. And her best friend is an odd dog. What could possibly be better?

Thank you Hilda. Thank you Messy Nessy. And especially thank you Undine. On a bleak and barren Friday, all y'all brought joy to my quiet, weird, bizarrely silent corner of the world.

Header: The great and glorious Hilda wasting her time on a scale

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Samedi: The Art of Beauty

Over at "The Joyful Molly", Molly Joyful has been treating us to more and more eclectic fare. Once a site for all things Royal Navy, Molly is now exploring everything from Medieval land disputes to fashion. My hat is off to you there, girl. And thus, a link.

The above engraving is from a pamphlet entitled Gallery of Fashion, Month of November 1795 which fell into Molly's hands to everyone's - well - joy. More pictures and elaboration can be found at her post here. As we can see from this picture, though, England had a bit of a time pulling itself out of the old hard corsets and paniers era of the 1770s and moving into the classical inspired fashions known as Empire (not empire, by the way, which always sets my teeth on edge: it's pronounce om-PEER). Unlike Paris, which had that messy revolution to jolt it into nearly nude fashions, London stubbornly clung to billowing skirts and properly covered cleavage. No wonder a British sailor loved a stop in a French port of the late 18th century.

In fact the British, and the Americans outside of racy New Orleans, tended to like their Empire gowns with a bit more fabric than the French. A pity, I think, but no one was asking me.

All that said, those gloves are stunning.

Not in the mood for fashion? How about a little something else 18th century and French: magick. The Appendix blog has a wonderfully scholarly evaluation by professor Lisa Smith of a circa 1718, handwritten book entitled Recueille de diferents secrets (Collection of Different Secrets). Find it here and learn how to do everything from repel snakes to stop field fires. This incredible archive of folk-magic and religion proves that "The Enlightenment" hadn't quite taken hold the way Rousseau might have hoped.

And with that, I will leave you to your Samedi. Bonne chance ~

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Samedi: Curios

The beautiful, sea-blue stone known as aquamarine is an ancient talisman of those devoted to the sea. As I am thoroughly missing the blue water right now, I find it is high time to discuss the crystal most precious to my lwa, La Siren.

Aquamarine, a variety of beryl, has been used as a talisman and made into beads and pendants since the dawn of civilization. Beads of aquamarine have been found in Sumerian and Egyptian burials from as early at 4,000 BCE, when bead making was just taking off as an art form. The stone was thought to ease the soul's transition from life into afterlife, probably a stunning psychological trauma that needed - and needs - all the easing it can get.

The stone has long been believed to enhance psychic power, and is a favorite of those who work in the business of divination. Scott Cunningham, in his Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, gives a simple yet powerful ritual for enhancing one's psychism and empathy. Place an aquamarine of any size, even the smallest bead will do, in a glass of fresh water and let this sit in the light of a full moon for three hours. Retrieve the stone, which you might want to tuck away wherever you store your divining tools, and drink the water to achieve increased psychic awareness. This ritual can be repeated as often as necessary.

Probably because of its color, aquamarine is associated with seafaring and safety on the water. The Phoenicians, whom the Ancient Egyptians simply referred to as "The Sea People," sent their men out into blue water with amulets of aquamarine to protect them from storms and drowning. Fishermen along the coasts of Europe and North Africa still wear aquamarine for this purpose. Tuck an aquamarine in your luggage, or wear one on your person, when you travel by or over water to safely arrive at your destination.

Aquamarine can also be used in the same ways one would use amethyst. Wear it to inspire courage, calm, joy, happiness and strong relationships as well as keep the mind alert. Bonne chance ~

Header: Orpheus and Eurydice by Michael Putz-Richard via Old Paint