Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Saturn Enters Libra” Focus on Relationships & Fairness as Justice is Put to the Test” by Shelley Jordan

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Category: Astrology
Written by Mimosa
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Saturn’s Itinerary:

October 29, 2009 – Saturn’s first entry into Libra.
January 14, 2010 – Saturn goes retrograde, re-entering Virgo on April 7
May 30, 2010 – Saturn goes direct in late Virgo
July 21, 2010 – Saturn makes its full blown entry into Libra, remaining there until October, 2012. Zodiac signs in circle.

While Saturn has been in Virgo, the sign associated with health, diet and work (as in jobs), there has been a great effort expended by many people to rectify America’s broken health care system. Even more crucial is the job crisis, with unemployment now reaching over 10%. Since Saturn has made its initial entry into Libra we can now add a new set of issues to our “To Be Corrected” list. Think of Saturn as describing assignments that might not be easy, but that yield tremendous rewards and compensation for the effort. Nothing is more satisfying or confidence-building than the premiums that come from fulfilling Saturn’s mandates. Some of the world’s most successful and accomplished people have a prominent Saturn in their charts. The greatest achievements can occur during Saturn transits.

Saturn travels around the Zodiac like a cosmic building inspector, appraising conditions and providing feedback about the soundness or deficiencies of each of the signs it occupies. Saturn points out weaknesses or problems that that need repairing. It takes Saturn 29 years to make its correcting and gratifying sojourn through the Zodiac, remaining in a sign for two and a half years. This journey resounds in the environment and in the personal spheres of your chart. If you know the house that Saturn is occupying in your chart at this time, you can see where your greatest achievements can occur. Saturn symbolizes the bones – the skeletal structure of consciousness, providing opportunities for support, strength and solidity. Just as weight lifting strengthens the bones, efforts of a Saturnian nature strengthen character and life circumstances.

Saturn also has a moral and spiritual quality to it. Transits from Saturn can awaken you to problems that need addressing, at the same time providing spiritual rewards and bonuses for jobs well done. Saturn has a particularly karmic quality, as if the homework it assigns is directly addressed to the soul of a nation or a person. Saturn often describes just what it is that you need to learn at a particular time. Lately, Saturn in Virgo has highlighted the inadequacies of the American health care system, the sad state of affairs in the job market, and the unhealthy consequences of the typical American diet.

As the Inner Adult, Saturn focuses attention on issues and problems that need to be solved. In the birth chart, Saturn represents concentration, responsibility and opportunities for achievement, growth and maturation. Libra is the sign of harmony, justice, equality and relationships. It has a particular resonance with the legal sphere. The symbol for legal, ethical fairness and for Libra is the same – the scales of justice. Libra also describes significant others, marriage, partnerships and close relationships. In the public sector, Saturn in Libra may put the spotlight on the issue of same sex marriage legislation, which will hopefully be resolved before Saturn is finished with its passage through Libra.

Libra is the sign of harmony and peace. As the nation hovers on the brink of increased war efforts, we can hope that the wisdom of Libran nonviolence and mediation will appear in the form of a white dove of peace.

Now that Saturn is entering Libra, you can tend to your relationships with greater mindfulness. Your significant others may be among the most important sources of comfort and reward you’ll have during these challenging days as the nation gets itself back on its feet. Relationships, especially those built on love and trust, are one of the most effective ways of developing yourself spiritually. Since Saturn is the last visible planet, it represents the gateway to the transpersonal and spiritual realm. By tending to your personal relationships, you can discover spiritual solutions and support for this unprecedented episode in American history. The distractions of excessive spending and wasteful consumption are no longer options now that Pluto is in responsible Capricorn. Extending warmth and support to loved ones provides a much more effective solution to the pervasive angst of this historic moment. Saturn in Libra recommends a tune, oil and adjustment for your partnerships so that they endure, strengthen and evolve. The rewards will be far-reaching and long lasting.

Click Here to Visit Shelley Jordan’s Website.

“The Magic in the Wand” by Cathy Douglas

Written by Mimosa
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Magic is a subtle matter. It’s about what is inside of us as much as any external tools, words or rituals. We form a strong internal image of what we want to happen, and transform this image into some part of the external world, using both mind and physical items. One traditional tool for transformation is the magic wand.

Handmade wand by Solitaire Wolf

Handmade wand by Solitaire Wolf

In Greek myth, the god Hermes created the first wand from a simple wooden walking stick. One day he came across two snakes fighting in the road, and threw his wand/stick between them. Not only did they immediately stop fighting, the two of them twined their way up the stick in a double helix pattern, forming a special kind of wand we call a caduceus. This wand harmonized opposing forces, so that Hermes was able to use both types of power in tandem for the greater good of mankind.

Not that wands are limited to any one culture. The zen master has his walking stick, the Welsh bard carries his staff, and the early American goodwife had the stick she used for stirring her pot. Even the magic wands we see as toys symbolize transformation; the star at the tip of the storybook “Fairy Godmother Ward” can represent astral travel and magic, perhaps through the “magic” of a shooting star connecting us with the heavens.

Although the form of a ward is less important than the user’s ability to direct energy and conduct healing power, the form of the wand enhances the user’s power by harmonizing with tradition. The materials wands are made of–whether wood, stone, clay, metal, or bone–all have historical meanings and associations. Some users–healers, for example–may to use several wands they associate with different purposes. On the other hand, someone who works with only one wand will choose one that fits their overall personality and purpose.

Wood wands represent the magic of biology. A living tree performs a wand-like transformation when it brings the shadow energy of the earth up through its roots and trunk, while pulling solar energy down through its leaves and branches. In terms of energy, the wood is doing the same thing Hermes did with the snakes–taking two opposite energies and harmonizing them so that they work together. For wand-making, beech, birch and olive wood have the longest tradition, followed by oak and willow. Other woods, like elm, have become popular more recently. Each type of wood has its own associations: ash for journeying, maple for change, elm for containing, walnut for illumination, oak for wisdom, birch for purity, and willow for uniting.

  • Metals are famous for their powers to transmit. It’s possible to represent their different energies through symbols:
  • Gold as the sun, a strong and sustaining source of energy, good for practical uses such as abundance and healing;
  • Silver as a river, fast-moving and transient, a good association for psychic and dreaming abilities;
  • Copper as a bridge, a way of crossing barriers, a strong conductor of energy, including healing energy.

Crystal wands range from natural mineral formations to hand-carved works of art. Crystal healers may use small wands in grids for healing and magic, or in energy work such as aura cleansing. Selenite and Quartz wands are excellent for this. Round-ended massage wands can be useful for body work.

Because it’s so great for directing energy, quartz often forms at least a part of a magic wand. A wand may feature a quartz point at the tip and a ball of it at the pommel end. If crystal also forms the main shaft of the wand, another type of stone may be used as well; the properties of this crystal will give the wand its essential character and unique magical properties. Wands designed for chakra work also have a series of chakra stones running the length of the shaft.

Wands made of clay or bone are rarer. Clay is an easy material to work into intricate carvings or to hold inset stones, but the clay itself is a fairly neutral material. Bone in infused with the spirit of the animal the material comes from. It’s hard to find real bone wands, probably because of popular culture “evil” associations. (Traces of Voldemort, eh-hah-heh!)

Mimosa carries wands of the other types, though, including beautiful wooden wands handmade by Solitaire Wolf like the one pictured above. If you want to make your own wand, we also carry the very informative book Wandlore by Alferion Gwydion MacLir (which I relied on heavily for this article). And once your wand is ready, don’t be surprised when your wishes start to come true!

For more information like this, consider signing up for Mimosa’s newsletter. It’s free, and you’ll even receive a free ebook too! You can check it out here: Free ebook & newsletter

“Incense Basics” by Cathy Douglas

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Sometimes when new customers ask whether we have incense, a slightly shocked expression comes onto their faces when they see our three-tier table overflowing with choices. Yes, we have incense, it’s just that there’s . . . so much of it! Before they can bolt for the door, a Mimosa staffperson will come out from behind the counter to give a guided tour. Today, I’d like to share a little incense table tour with you in writing.

Photograph from Wikipedia

Photograph from Wikipedia

First, a basic definition. Incense is essentially any herbs and other aromatics processed for burning. Incense has been used since before recorded history, for ritual, health, purification, religious offering, and to influence mental states. (I imagine Og tossing a sap-sticky log on the cooking fire, taking a deep breath, and saying, “Ooh, that smells good!”) Most incense contains aromatic materials, a binder–often acacia gum–and a little charcoal to help in burn evenly. Purer forms use plant-based mucilage to bind the scent agents, with naturally occurring cellulose taking the place of charcoal in the mixture.

Incense from India: Much of the technology and tradition of incense developed in India, over the course of many centuries. Plant materials–including resins, tree bark, flowers, roots, leaves, or seeds–are mixed into a matrix of binder and powdered charcoal or wood, making a paste. Artisans dip a bamboo stick into this paste for stick incense, or form it into some sort of shape, often a cone. Sometimes it’s finished with a dip in scented oil.

Tibetan incense sticks: Like Indian incense. Higher quality brands use a sandalwood stick in place of bamboo. Incense is part of traditional healing in Tibet, so their sticks tend to have a distinct herbal scent.

Tibetan rope incense: In this form of incense, powder is wound into paper, and then the whole thing is twisted up to make a flexible rope, about four inches long. Comes in limited scents, but this form of incense stays fresh a long time, and is easy to take along during travel. You can set it in sand or hang it to burn.

Smudge: A smudge wand is a cluster of dried leaves, usually tied with string. Sage is the most common, but juniper, cedar and sweetgrass also work for smudging, as well as blends of sage with other herbs, such as lavender. People often use it to cleanse and purify a space. One way to do this is to light the wand so that the end leaves are smoldering, then move around the room with it, touching doors, windows, and any other feature that needs special attention. When you’re done, either leave the wand in a container or snuff it out in sand or water.

Resin: The oldest form of incense. If you burn a pine log and see the sap squeezing out in the heat, you’re seeing “wild” resin incense. Resin will not burn on its own, but needs a source of heat. In a modern home, that source is usually charcoal. If you have an electric oven, you can set the charcoal on the burner, turn it on, and leave it for about 30 seconds, or until a good portion of the charcoal is smoldering. A lighter works okay too. Then transfer it to your incense burner with tongs, and drop grains of resin or a little scoop of powder right on top.

Joss sticks: Small incense sticks traditionally placed in doorways or on altars, as a blessing or offering. The word “joss” comes from Deus, meaning “God,” a word the Chinese adopted from Portuguese missionaries.

Dhoop: Another variety of short, concentrated stick incense, which usually comes in a special box that doubles as a holder. Dhoop is a flexible term, and sometimes also refers to Indian cone incense.

Koh: Very pure Japanese incense with a fresh, light scent. It has no wooden stick, though it’s formed into a stick-like shape. Sometimes koh is a bit thick to fit in a standard incense burner, but many brands come with their own little holder, which you can set on a plate to catch the ash. The packaging is deceptively small; a tiny package often holds fifty sticks.

Botanicals: Incense made by infusing some kind of a standard incense, often sandalwood, with essential oils. It’s sweet, but in a fresh way, not cloying. Some blends have magical names like “Moon Goddess,” while single-ingredient sticks feature plants, sometimes uncommon ones. Botanical incense is often chosen for its magical properties.

Incense of the West: This is a brand, rather than a variety of incense, but it deserves mention because it’s unlike any other incense we carry. It comes in a squat sticks that burns like a cone, with uniquely American scents like mesquite and balsam fir. Strong, fresh scent.

Incense burning is a healthy practice, as long as we use common sense. Burn just enough to make the room fragrant, not smoky, and leave a window open at least a crack when the weather allows. And of course we’re dealing with fire here, so be careful about leaving incense unattended, especially if there are pets or small children about. If you are sensitive to incense or smoke, and oil burner or reed diffuser might be a better choice, but botanicals and Japanese koh incense burn clean enough to work for all but the most sensitive.

Each incense has traditional associations through plant magic, often including medicinal properties. We have more information about this available in the store, and plan to put more information online soon.

For more information like this, consider signing up for Mimosa’s newsletter. It’s free, and you’ll even receive a free ebook too! You can check it out here: Free ebook & newsletter