Monday, 25 November 2013

Linseed oil, a magic ingredient

Linseed oil comes from seeds of the toxic Flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Linseed oil, or Flax seed oil, has much special traditional uses in medicine, fabric, wood polish and plaster. The grounded seeds are used as a food ingredient and protects and heals, often rich in Omega 3 fatty acid, and it's treated for the heart. Flax is also a highly potent form of natural oil used as a guardian against witchcraft and sickness. However, flax is a poison and like most poisonous plants, they contain the ability to heal, protect and even to alter destiny.  If not used properly it can turn very toxic. Spun flax resembles blond hair and the plant grows pretty looking flowers from vivid blue to scarlet colours.

Superstitions about flax seeds include wearing a flax seed in your shoe to prevent poverty; carrying a seed in your purse is supposed to attract money; putting a flax seed under your pillow helps give pleasant dreams. Also children that run through a flax field would grow to become attractive and popular. Blue flowers of the flax are worn to protect against harmful psychic attacks. In mythology, Flax is a herb potent to maternal goddesses, especially Frigga and Holda, associated with spinning.   

Despite it's magical properties, linseed oil is dangerous. King Tutankhamun's remains were slowly burned after mummification. A TV documentary called "Tutankhamun: Mystery of the Burnt Mummy" explored this subject and found that the linen had to have been drenched in linseed oil to cause spontaneous combustion. An experiment was done to show this. It demonstrated how cloth soaked in linseed oil cooked itself at a certain room temperature alone without any fire. It reveals the power of linseed oil.

Info on Flax / Linseed:

Seedguide - Linseed oil
LadyHawke's herbs ("F" look up Flax)
Northern Shamanism - Frigga's herbs

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Power of Nott

As we approach winter, the nights will get longer. Days will become darker. For this time is when the sun is barely visible as it's so low on the horizon. Further north, the sun isn't even visible and the grim season is fast moving, as the starry cloaked goddess of night gallops on her winged black steed.

Her name is Nott. She's a personification of night time. She is a mysterious and ancient goddess in Germanic mythology, whose name "Nott" (or Nat) means "night". This nocturnal goddess has a variety of nick names according to the Poetic Edda. The dwarves call her "the goddess of dreams." Elves call her "the goddess who brings joy in sleep". The giants call her "un-light" and the gods call her "goddess of darkness". She is the absence of light, and makes the stars appear visible to us every night. She is total darkness, night itself, and some describe her as a shadow goddess. She rides upon a black chariot pulled by her winged black horse, Hrimfaxi (meaning the "frost mane"). It's worth mentioning that a similar horse named Shadowfax appears in the Tales of Middle Earth by Tolkien.

Nott is a much earlier goddess. She predates the Viking age and reference to her can be traced as far back as the Iron Age. This type of goddess is from a time when humans were primitive. She's the granddaughter of a giant sky god, Bergelmir, who built Asgard. According to myth, she married three times. She is the mother of Dag (a god of day), Jord (the earth goddess) and Aud and she's the grandmother of Thor. She may have had other children. Nott travels the world to bring night, and her horse scatters dew and frost.

This goddess is a keeper of magic, secrets and wisdom. She can be a goddess of the inner night (subconscious) as well as the external night hours. She is a goddess of darkness and the cosmos. She is also the goddess of the obsidion mirror, the poles, the womb, ghosts, magic, alchemy. She's a goddess of the supernatural, the dead as well as the living, birth and death, and anything else that is without light but contains unseen forms.

Ancient Indo-European tribes branched out after the end of the last Ice Age and these stories of gods came from an earlier source. It's likely that certain gods and goddesses in different myths can have the same origin. In Greek mythology, the goddess of night appears as Nyx, the helper of heroes and demigods, who invokes sleep. Just like Nott, Nyx is the mother of the god of day. She has her own starlit temples.

Nott is a cosmic goddess who rules over shadows, stars the nebula. Dark goddess of all things hidden, like caves, deep sleep, vision quests, dreaming, creativity, inner knowledge, insight, divination, outer space and the unknown. Some people are afraid of the great dark goddesses. Maybe She reveals some truth that is presently invisible and undiscovered.  

Some information on the goddess:

Norse mythology Nott
Nott Goddess of Night
Northern Sky 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Fairy Tale Grimoire: Cinderella

Cinderella is a popular fairy story about a young woman who's life is improved by magic. Everyone familiar with this story will sympathise with an unhappy Cinderella, who was treated badly by her step mother and step sisters. They made her do all the housework without any rewards, and she didn't have any decent clothes to wear apart from rags. She didn't have her own room either. She had to sleep in the kitchen beside a fire in the hearth. When invitations arrived to attend the birthday party of a prince at the palace, everyone was excited to go. The step family didn't want Cinderella to go to the ball with them. They told her to remain at home doing endless chores. After they were dressed up and gone to the royal birthday bash, Cinderella broke down in tears, when the arrival of a supernatural visitor came, the "fairy godmother". She gave Cinderella hope just for the night, instructing her to collect mice, newts, a large pumpkin and a rat. With a wave of her magic wand, the fairy godmother turned the pumpkin into a coach, the mice into white horses, the newts into footmen and the rat was turned into a coach driver. Finally Cinderella was transformed from a raggedly dressed scullery maid, into a beautiful stunner wearing an exotic gown and glass slippers.

"Be warned, Cinderella," announced the fairy godmother. "When the clock strikes midnight, your magic will fade. Your gown will return to rags. The coach will turn back into a pumpkin. The mice, rat and newts will return. So go now and enjoy yourself."

Cinderella understood. She was helped into the coach by the driver, and the white horses pulled the pumpkin coach away towards the palace ball. Everything turns glitzy and glamorous now. The ball is filled with dancers in finery. When Cinderella entered the place hall, eyes turned to look in amazement at her for she was the most beautiful one there. Even the step family didn't recognise Cinderella. The handsome prince was in awe of her and he danced with her all night. The clock struck midnight, and Cinderella had just remembered the fairy godmother's warning. Afraid of transforming back to her old self, she had to quickly leave the palace in a hurry. She ran fast and one of her glass slippers fell off and landed on the palace step outside. As she ran, her usual clothes appeared and the coach was gone. Instead was a pumpkin, newts, mice and a rat. Cinderella ran home and got her breath back. When the others returned home, Cinderella kept quiet about her magical night dancing with the prince.

The prince tried chasing after Cinderella but she had gone. Then he came upon the glass slipper that he'd seen her leave behind. He wanted to search for her. Using the glass slipper and it's unique proportions would help him find exactly where his dancer was. The prince made it official to search every house in the land, wanting every young woman to try on the slipper. No one fitted the shoe. He came upon the dwelling of Cinderella and wanted the tow step sisters to try on the glass slipper. Neither did their big feet fit into the delicate small shoe. The prince was tired and he almost gave up hope, when he turned his attention to the maid dressed in rags. He ordered her to try the slipper on, doubtfully thinking it would make a difference. Cinderella sat on a stool and placed her small foot into the glass slipper, when the discovery was made. Cinderella's foot fitted perfectly. The prince looked at her again and recognised who she was. He announced his love for her and proposed marriage to her there and then. Cinderella became the bride of the prince and they lived happily ever after.  

Cinderella is an enchanting story of a maidservant who was magically transformed into a princess. One of the most popular girl stories and perhaps the most famous. It's a very old story going back centuries, to the time of ancient Greece. The writer and philosopher Herodotus (484 to 425 BCE) compiled "historical" information about a rosy cheeked girl named Rhodopis, who'd lived as the real original Cinderella. 

The fairy story we know is a combination of folklore, magic and ancient legends. The ideas within the story that seem to go unnoticed suggest that Cinderella was not a mortal woman. Her step family, the adoptive unrelations, who were more beastly and selfish, punished Cinderella for being special all along. Her immortality shone through during the night of the prince's birthday party. Cinderella is ruled by time, and has a fairy godmother (her own mother?) guiding her on a life's path. She appears ordinary in the day but for one night she is something more. Now the fairy godmother is also interesting because, like the fairies of other folktales and stories, they have the nature of the goddess about them.

Most people haven't established that the glass slipper is the only object that didn't transform! It remained "magical" because it wasn't a fake or an illusion but the identity code of Cinderella's actual true glorious nature. The pumpkin is a symbol of autumn, witchcraft, Halloween and harvest. Pumpkins are traditionally used as lanterns and guardians of the home, to keep evil entities away. As Cinderella, in her truest form, is driven towards the palace, the coach (a pumpkin in disguise) protects her.

Rats and mice are linked to dark, dirty, dusty things. Newts have always been a creature of healing and white magic, according to old superstitions. Rats, mice, newts and pumpkins are altogether not a very nice vision, so these were given a disguise, to shield the vision of a young goddess hidden in the coach as she's taken towards her future.


Pretty artwork on here is "Cinderella" by Lia Selina   
Cinderella info   

Friday, 8 November 2013

These are noble birds

Ravens and crows.

I've always considered them my most favourite birds. Of all the birds, these are the most mysterious and misunderstood. I've observed them and befriended them too. Take it from me, ravens are beautiful.

A local park with a big fish pond is home to a lot of different animals and birds including ducks, swans, even pigeons go there to feed from crumbs. Now at certain times of the year, seagulls go there and behave like nasty bullies towards all the other birds. If crumbs are thrown to a duckling or a sparrow, seagulls would be straight in on there and push aside the others to steal that other bird's snack. Seagulls are quite vicious but yeah some people like them. When the gulls were at the park, I almost walked away until a flock of ravens appeared. I watched in surprise as all of the seagulls scarpered to a different area. Ravens and crows had a presence and made harmony again.

Some people may also witness that?

Crows and ravens are associated with bad things in superstitious myth and literature. Crows and ravens have high intelligence and they are able to count up to 5. The oldest known living crow was 59 years old but their life span varies between 25 and 30 years. Crows and ravens are often seen as birds of death, such as the Morrigan of Celtic mythology and the Valkyries of Germanic mythology. Odin Himself has two messenger ravens that fly across the world and report information back to the All Father. Due to their colour black, these birds are linked to the unknown, from death, magic and the creation of life. In some cultures, ravens are believed to be a creation bird. They are guardians of the earth's secrets and these birds are a connection to spirits. In Hinguism, crows are regarded as our spiritual ancestors.

 More on the phenomenal crows and ravens:

Cultural depictions of ravens
Raven in mythology
Odin's ravens Huginn and Muninn
Crow in Hindu scriptures
Crow spirit animal

Art by Nene Thomas