Calling Down the Sun*

May 3rd is World Sun Day. (First designated as Sun Day by Jimmy Carter in 1978.) We all know The Sun is the center of our Universe, but in reality it is much, much more.

The Sun gives Life to all living things here on Earth. Without it nothing would survive. Not only does it keep our planet from becoming one big iceberg, it provides LIGHT – something plants and other organisms require in order to covert light energy into fuel for their metabolism (a process called photosynthesis). Not only does this “fuel” provide necessary nutrients to animals who consume plants, the nutritional benefits are also passed along to animals that eat the herbivores – including we humans.

After I brought Ramses home I found a small patch of ringworm on his chest. It was easily treated and caused no further problems for either of us, but in researching this fungus I discovered that sunlight kills it. Outbreaks of ringworm can be quite common in shelter cats – a consequence of stress and lack of sunlight. Being the highly intelligent creatures they are cats instinctively know that bathing in sunlight not only feels good, it’s good for them, too!

The Sun’s radiant energy is beneficial to people, as well. Such as:

  1. Better Sleep Cycle. Studies show that getting out in the sun could connect your body to its natural circadian rhythm.
  2. Increased Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a major component of building a strong immune system and spending at least 15-30 minutes in the sun a day can give you all the Vitamin D that you need.
  3. Increased Mood. Groups that were more exposed to the sun had more energy, increased mood, and a more positive outlook on life.
  4. Lower Blood Pressure. The sun helps release nitric oxide into the blood which aids in lowering blood pressure and increased heart health.
  5. It just plain feels good!

When thinking of flowers one’s mind naturally turns to the Sunflower (Helianthus). Did you know that young sunflower heads track the sun’s movement? Before blooming, they tilt during the day to face the Sun in order to gain more sunlight for photosynthesis. This is thought to help attract pollinators, as many are more attracted to warm flowers.

Magickally, use the properties of the Sun to help lend energy to the following intents: Eenlightenment, generosity, spirituality, health, vitality, joy, positivity, creativity, and friendship. Metaphysically, its color is yellow and its stone is the sunstone, which is a stone of ABUNDANCE.

Sunstone creates an inner fire that vanquishes any unwanted power others hold over you.
It is a stone of self-love and confidence.

Goddesses associated with the Sun: Brigid (Celtic), Hathor (Egyptian), Medusa (Greek), Sekhmet (Egyptian), Sól/Sunna (Nordic), and Bast (Egyptian).

Tarot of Vampyres

Lord of the Fire of the World
Planetary Trump of the Sun; ruled by Leo
Father Archetype
Vitality, Joy, Creativity, Spirituality, Pride, Self-confidence, Personal power, Abundance

Resources:
Amazing Facts About the Sun
Daily Tarot::The Sun
Health Benefits of Being in the Sun
Helianthus
Midsummer Ritual: Calling Down the Sun
Sun Goddesses
4.20.2022: The Sun is Vibrating!
What on Earth is a Sunstone?
Wikipedia

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*A ritual celebrated on June 21st (Litha on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year).

Day Trip ~ Santa Cruz Mountains

Last Wednesday, I awoke to a mixture of marine layer and smoke from the Caldor and Dixie fires. The particulates in the air created an orangish tint to the sunlight that managed to peek through, and I could detect a faint smell of smoke. But that didn’t deter us from taking a day trip to Boulder Creek.

We stopped for lunch at a small taqueria in town. Vegetarian nachos and a Corona. Took a stroll to walk-off lunch and found ourselves in front of a cool little store calling itself “A Mystical Bazaar”: Air and Fire.

Now’s the time to start working on my personal grimoire:

The shop had a large selection of tarot decks and books. Saw this and had to get it:

Inside there are chapters on Cat Dieties and the Feminie Mystique; Elemental Feline Folklore and Divination; Cat Magick, Candle Spells, and Astrology; The Feline Familiar, Charms and Spells for Your Cat; Cat Magick Journal, and Feline Power Animals.

Gemini
(May 21 to June 21)

The Gemini cat is curious, alert, very social, and really enjoys being spoken to; they demand attention! This cat is the perfect companion for the young at heart, and Gemini cats retain an air of kittenish behavior throughout their lives. (Uh-oh…) Gemini cats are full of activity and fun loving. They are constantly on the move and looking for the next adventure. Gemini cats are very vocal, with quite the repertoire of sounds. These cats love to scout out goodd hiding places and are active and smart. They do enjoy their quiet time and are likely to go and pick out a favored hidey-hole for a nice, long nap. That way, when they wake up, they are full of energy and can find lots to occupy themselves. (Or just plain annoy their Maman.) The Gemini cat is not overly demonstrative but shows its affection in subtler ways. A typical gesture of affection from a Gemini cat is having it rub against your legs, going back and forth, while you do your best not to trip. The Gemini cat loves to keep its human on their toes.

Ramses: May 22

I also grabbed a couple of crystals and a beautiful black leather pouch to stash ’em in. The citrine is a stone I wanted in my repertoire but the pink calcite was unknown to me. I was drawn to it. In their display of crystals it was the first one I reached for. I loved the feel of it and figured I would research its properties later. (Ha! My powers of intuition win again. The calcite was just what the Goddess ordered and I’m keeping it on my desk.)

Metaphysical Index

CITRINE
Chakra: solar plexus and crown
Strengthens self-esteem, increases psychic powers, deflects nightmares, promotes positive energy, enhances mental clarity and will power, good for protection.
Citrine is referred to as the “Merchant’s Stone” because it’s associated with success and prosperity.
Elixir for removing toxins from the body: Soak citrine in a glass of pure water. [source]
Citrine should never be soaked in salt water and it’s very sensitive to heat. Never place or store it where there’s excessive exposure to heat and light.

Crystals & Jewelry
Love and Light School

CALCITE
Chakra: sacral
Centering, grounding, purification/cleansing, peace, calms fears, removes negativity, linked to higher consciousness, enhances learning abilities.
Calcite clears negative energies from the environment, and protects against negative energies and physical/psychic attacks.
It’s called the stone of emotional intelligence because it creates a bridge between the emotions and the intellect.
Calcite is a spiritual stone, facilitating psychic abilities and deep spiritual awakening.
Amplifier: Calcite will intensify the vibration of any crystal nearby. It also enhances the frequencies of the human biofield – the field of energy and information that surrounds and interpenetrates the human body.
Calcite should never be cleansed with salt or anything harsh. To cleanse pass it through the smoke of burning sage or leave it to bathe overnight in the light of the Moon (perfect for charging your crystal with intentions).

Crystals & Jewelry
Charms of Light

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Metaphysical Index::Emotional Healing

Our emotional well-being is intricately and inextricably connected to our physical health. Eating healthy foods, being physically active, meditation or other methods of mindfulness, and cultivating positive thoughts all go a long way towards improving one’s spiritual health.

There are also a number of metaphysical elements you can use to assist in healing emotional wounds caused by trauma, illness, grief, negative energies, or just plain stress.

PINK
Associated with the astrological sign of Libra (The Scales), the color pink has been shown to have a pacifying affect on prison inmates. You don’t have to paint your walls pink to experience the calming effects of this color. (Although if that’s your thing GO FOR IT!) You can burn pink candles, fill vases full of pink flowers (like roses, branches of cherry blossoms, calla lilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, or dahlias), or set-out a bowl filled with pink-hued crystals and gemstones:  rose quartz, pink opal, star ruby, morganite.

INCENSE
Sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh (both resins), pine resin, copal (resin), hellebore, and rose are all good elements to burn. I love copal and regularly use it to cleanse my tarot deck before a reading but it does fill a room with smoke – so make sure you leave a window open (even slightly) when you burn incense, especially if you are burning resins.

OILS
Rose:  According to Vancouver EMDR Therapy, “Rose oil is the second most popular essential oil used to treat anxiety and depression.”

Lavender:  I add a few drops of lavender oil to my cleaning products (either homemade or non-scented plant-derived). I love the scent. Studies have shown that lavender oil can not only help you fall asleep but also improve your overall quality of rest. Apply to your feet, temples, and wrists before you go to bed.

Other good choices: bergamot, frankincense, ylang-ylang, and vetiver.

Oils can be applied directly to the skin (To avoid possible skin irritation, you may want to dilute first with a carrier oil.), added to bath water, or used in a diffuser. To receive optimal benefits you’ll want to purchase a high-quality, non-synthetic oil (such as Aura Cacia).

After a cleansing ritual, wash away any lingering negativity in a luxurious bath to which you’ve added a few drops of Rose or Frankincense oil.

TEA
I’m sure you’ve heard of the health benefits of chamomile tea (specifically as a sleep aid and to de-stress) BUT you may experience a reaction if you are allergic to plants in the daisy family, such as ragweed and chrysanthemums. Like me, if you’re one of these people I have an alternative: agrimony. Agrimony is a tall, perennial herb native to Europe and parts of North America and is distantly related to the Rose. It has a lemony scent. According to WedMD, “agrimony contains chemicals called tannins [which] may cause side effects such as stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting…” Both green and black teas also contain tannins, so if you have stomach issues with those you may experience the same with agrimony.

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Metaphysical Index::Copal

Copal is a name given to tree resin. The resins from the copal tree (Protium copal) were used as ceremonial incense by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and was discovered in the burial grounds of Mayan ruins. It is still used ceremonially by some indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America.

Copal resin from Hymenaea verrucosa is found in East Africa and is used in incense. By the 18th century, Europeans discovered it was a valuable ingredient in making good wood varnish.

Etymology
The word copal is derived from the Nahuati word copalli (“incense”).

Metaphysical Properties
Masculine
Sun
Fire

Purification, consecration, cleansing, to promote spirituality, inspiration, contact with astral planes, exorcism, hex-breaking, banishment, seeking “divine favors”.

  • Use to purify crystals & stones, to consecrate ritual tools, during spellwork to ward-off negative energies, and to energetically clear spaces.
  • Between readings, I cleanse my Tarot deck(s) in its smoke.
  • As it’s linked with the crown chakra, burn copal during meditations. It is particularly effective in removing energy blockages and in relieving stress and melancholy.
  • Burning copal with other herbs or resins adds power and focus to their metaphysical properties.
  • When making a poppet, use a piece of copal to represent its heart.
  • Fashion a piece of amber copal into a charm to wear as a protective amulet.

You can purchase high-quality Copal online from Psychic Eye Books.

Sources
Energy Muse
Herbal Riot
Wikipedia

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Metaphysical Index::Mistletoe

An evergreen plant in the order Santalales, mistletoe is considered a “hemiparasite”. This means it can grow independently or as a parasite growing on the branches or trunk of a tree. In the latter case, it attaches itself to a tree then sucks up nutrients and water using a root system which actually penetrates the host. This weakens or disfigures the tree, and heavy infestations can also kill a host.

There are two types of mistletoe. Phoradendron flavescens is native to North America and is the one commonly used as a Christmas decoration. The European mistletoe, Viscum album, is a green shrub which bears small, yellow flowers and sticky white berries. When ingested, all parts are poisonous to both humans and pets.

Mistletoe is the state floral emblem of Oklahoma, and is also called: Birdlime, Devil’s Fuge, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Misseltoe, Druid’s Bough, Witch’s Broom, Thunderbesom, and Wood of the Cross.

Etymology
The word ‘mistletoe’ derives from the older form ‘mistle’ adding the Old English word tān (twig).”

Mistletoe Folklore
Harkening back to Norse mythology, mistletoe became a symbol of peace under which enemies would lay down their arms, maintaining a truce until the following day.

The ancient Greeks held that mistletoe had mystical powers. It has become one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants in European folklore; associated with fertility, love, protection. The mythological tale of Persephone (Greek)/Proserpina (Roman) mentions using mistletoe to open the gates of Hell. Beginning in the Middle Ages, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil sprits. Europeans hung it over doors to keep witches from entering. Some Germanic peoples called mistletoe “ghost stick”, and anyone holding a branch of it could see/talk to spirits.

The Druid tradition of harvesting mistletoe during the Winter Solstice and hanging it in their houses pre-dates the Christian holiday of Christmas. Speaking of the Winter Solstice, the Roman festival of Saturnalia includes mistletoe in its celebrations:  fertility rituals were performed under it. (Perhaps an early nod to the Kissing Ball/Bough?)

Its association with fertility (and the tradition of hanging mistletoe branches over the marriage bed) is noted in Chapter 35 of the novel, Tess of the D’Ubervilles:
“…Tess notices sadly the mistletoe that Angel had over the bed…”

In Dungeons & Dragons Druids use mistletoe for casting spells.

Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe
The ritual of oak and mistletoe is a Celtic religious ceremony. Pliny the Elder wrote of this in Natural History. The Druids held mistletoe sacred – especially when it was found on an oak tree (also deemed sacred). On the sixth day of the moon, the white-robed priests would prepare a ritual sacrifice of two white bulls and banquet beneath the oak. One of the Druids would climb the tree and harvest the mistletoe with a golden sickle. “Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons.”
Courtesy of  Wikipedia

It’s logical to assume that due to mistletoe’s connection with the Druids’ pagan ritual and beliefs, Christianity prohibited the plant from being used in churches – a ban which is still being observed today.

Norse Mythology
The Norse god Balder was the best loved of all the gods. His mother was Frigga, goddess of love and beauty. She loved her son so much that she wanted to make sure no harm would come to him. So she went through the world, securing promises from everything that sprang from the four elements – fire, water, air, and earth – that they would not harm her beloved Balder. Leave it to Loki, a sly, evil spirit, to find the loophole. The loophole was mistletoe. He made an arrow from its wood. To make the prank nastier, he took the arrow to Hoder, Balder’s brother, who was blind. Guiding Holder’s hand, Loki directed the arrow at Balder’s heart, and he fell dead. Frigga’s tears became the mistletoe’s white berries.
Courtesy of  The White Goddess

Some versions show it becoming a symbol of peace and friendship (Norsemen laid down their arms if they met beneath a growth of mistletoe). In the version…with a happy ending, Balder is restored to life and Frigga is so grateful that she reverses the reputation of the offending plant – making it a symbol of love and promising to bestow a kiss upon anyone who passes under it.

The Anglo-Saxons believed that the custom of kissing under mistletoe was connected to Freya, the Norse goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, war, and death.

Kissing Ball/Bough
The custom of kissing under the mistletoe is referred to as popular among servants in late 18th century England; and the serving class of Victorian England is credited with perpetuating the tradition. The tradition dictated that a man was allowed to kiss any woman standing underneath mistletoe, and that bad luck would befall any woman who refused the kiss.
Courtesy of  Wikipedia

Instead of the more familiar Christmas holiday, France follows this custom on New Year’s Day.

Associations
Mid-summer and Yule festivals
Balder, Apollo, Freya, Frigga, Venus, Odin
It was believed that mistletoe would appear in a tree during a lightning flash; hence, the plant is also associated with Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

Metaphysical Properties
Masculine
Sun
Air

Burning incense during rituals, spell-casting, or other workings can help you focus your attention on what you’re trying to accomplish. One of mistletoe’s magical attributes is to promote creativity, and I’ve been burning it regularly with very positive results.

  • Use as incense to promote creativity, fertility, to prevent illness/misfortune, banish evil, draw in customers/money/business, and for protection from negative energies.
  • Hang for protection from lightning/fire, to bring abundance, and draw love to you. It was also believed that hanging mistletoe in the home protected you from disease, lightening, werewolves, and having your children switched with “changelings”.
  • Include in sachets or charms to increase luck and money; for protection and fertility; for success while hunting; and to repel negativity and ill will.
  • For healing, use in ritual baths or prayer bowls.
  • Its wood is useful in making wands and other ritual implements.

You can purchase high-quality Mistletoe online from Psychic Eye Books.

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe
http://www.973-eht-namuh-973.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3995
http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/history/mistletoe.htm
https://www.thoughtco.com/mistletoe-myths-mysteries-and-medicine-2562992
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/articles/mythology_folklore/mistletoe.asp
http://man-and-culture.com/pdf/mistletoe.pdf
http://herbalriot.tumblr.com/post/66282338595/magickal-uses-of-mistletoe
http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:mistletoe
https://gowonderworks.com/content/blog/herbal-alchemy-mistletoe

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