Sunday, May 31, 2009

Posting this here, so I can find it more easily

The Dragonfly

No bird or insect has the flight maneuverability of the Dragonfly. They can twist, turn, change directions in an instant, hover, move up or down, and even fly backwards. The power that dragonfly brings to the tapestry of life is skill. They are experts at what they do and do it relentlessly.
Dragonflies spectacular colors sparkle with iridescence in the sunlight. These colors take time to develop reflecting the idea that with maturity our own true colors come forth.
As newly hatched nymphs, dragonflies live on the bottom of ponds and streams. As they mature and go through metamorphosis they move to the realm of air. Since water represents the emotional body and air represents the mental, those with this medicine will often find themselves trying to maintain balance between their thoughts and emotions.
Children with dragonfly medicine are often very emotional. They feel things deeply and respond to situations with great passion. As they reach adulthood, and through experience, they learn how to balance their emotions with greater mental clarity and control. This gives them the compassionate quality necessary for any type of work relating to healing or counseling.
Dragonfly has the ability to reflect and refract light and colors and is often associated with magic and mysticism. Just as light can bend and shift and be adapted in a variety of ways, so can the archetypal forces associated with dragonfly. It conveys the message that life is never what it appears to be.
By helping a person see through illusion dragonfly awakens ones true vision. Flying at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour they can spot movement forty feet away. Flying into and around things from different angles, they challenge rigid awareness and prompt the energy of change for anyone who holds this medicine.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Uh Oh

Last week, before the New Moon, I finished the work on the Mars Tincture. And, as with each previous step, I was shown just how individual and how specific to the energy each tincture is. These salt crystals were pointed, needle like and a pale, nearly tawny yellow color. Most surprisingly, though, there was no scraping needed. Completely dry, the crystals just released and swept into the bottle of liquid. Yesterday (Tuesday) at the afternoon Mars hour, I tried the tincture for the first time.

We have a divide in our society, between the puritanical, which believes that if something is appealing, then it must be evil and a lure toward continued evil; and the liberal, which, at the very least does not find evil in enjoyment. This is the juncture at which I sit with this tincture.

This was the first tincture that didn't taste "interesting." This one tasted wonderful! It made me feel wonderful, happy, energetic, powerful, productive. The rest of the day was just a really good day. This morning, I found myself thinking, maybe I would take some more today, during today's Mars hour, even though up to this point I had been using the tinctures only on their specified days. None of the others had the appeal of this one. Do I crave it because I so need these martial energies for balance? Or because that energetic, powerful, productive thrust is the lure, the first step towards-what exactly is the potential danger?

(There are times when cravings and tastes for something unusual demonstrate a true need. Has Gatorade ever tasted as good as when you are dehydrated and hungover? But sometimes, cravings can just be an excuse.)

Hence, the Uh Oh.

I see a need for divinations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My birthright

Or at least a part of it. The rocking chair originally belonged to my great-grandmother, four generations of babies were rocked and cared for in that chair. My grandmother made both the cushion on the seat and the pillow in the back. She also painted the canvases behind the chair. But then we get to some of the interesting things. Sure looks like a canopic jar, right in front, doesn't it? (actually, its only a model) And, yes, that is a scarab, off to the side. At some point, someone tried printed the carved marks on the bottom, there are remains of ink, visible. You can't really tell from the photo, but the chain between them is a belly dancers coin belt. In the bowl are copper measuring cups, and an amazing cleaver. My sister and I found a large collection of cleavers and large scissors. None of them had been well cared for or stored properly. My aunts wanted to throw them away, because they looked dangerous. Well, yes, they are. I went through the collection, hefting each one. This one felt "right" in my hand, so I took it home. When I finally got the blade clean, I found that the steel was blue, not silvery. It has a stamp in Polish and a crown. So now I'm wondering-just how old is this cleaver, and where did it come from? Not in the picture is the amazing bedroom furniture, the effects of which, on the atmosphere of the bedroom require a blogpost of its very own, the copious amounts of costume jewelry (my grandmother seemed to believe that "the smaller the woman, the larger the jewelry"), photographs and every document imaginable, that might have had anything to do with the family. (the documents paint an even more interesting family than I had known about. For example, my great-grandfather, on my grandfathers side, had three wives, in succession, all of whom had the same name. Was he worried about his memory?)
But the most important thing that I have received is not visible. That would be the completely loving and civilized manner of everyone in the family. We've lost our matriarch, but not our sense of family. The distribution of my grandmothers belongings was done in such a way that no one felt slighted, or a need to be "grabby" so as not to be left out. The whole effect has been a testament to whom we all are and from whom we've sprung. I am now, at age not-quite-50 the eldest in my particular line of this family (that's what happens when your mother dies young), and while I would have preferred to not have to step into this role so young, I have remarkable role models. I hope to do them proud.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bottle was talking

Or at least, it was ringing.

I don't post often about my dreams, I remember far too many of them. But maybe this one may have had some bearing on a recent project and my reactions to the project.

I was sitting in a classroom, with desks very much like the desks in my high school, chair and writing surface attached and a too small wire basket under the seat for books and supplies. A stern, youngish male teacher is at the front of the room, lecturing. A ringing is heard from my bag, under my desk, and the teacher is annoyed at being interrupted. I open my bag, and it was a bottle of Everclear that was ringing. I quickly open, and then close the bottle and the ringing stops. I apologize for the interruption, the teacher accepts the apology and class goes on.

I guess this particular project still has things to say to me.

The salt crystals have begun to form from the ash solution. They look like tiny, clear needles, if needle had sharp points at both ends.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


If I ever thought that these planetary tinctures would be the same process, seven times over, I have, again, been corrected. Jupiter was a cinch, Saturn (in Capricorn) was earthy and needed extra purifying and filtering. And Mars?
More than the first two, this tincture I felt a real need for-to better balance the parts of my personality, perhaps. When I first assembled it to macerate, I felt that it could be possible for me to understand why Hannibal crossed the Alps and Caesar, the Rubicon. The jar felt hot in my hands, right from the very start. Even as I coveted the drive, passion and power that was inherent, I could also sense the danger. But I wanted it, anyway.
But, true to the Mars personality, this project has been a battle. I could not do the calcination on the original date because my area of New Jersey was under drought warning and a high alert for fires. Considering that snow melt and flood is a more usual problem in the spring, this is highly unusual. And, because I use Everclear at 190 proof for the menstruum, I didn't dare attempt the burn inside the house.

The day after I had wanted to do the calcination it started to rain, and rain, and rain (weather spell? What weather spell? I just had a little talk with a couple of entities about the danger of drought). It rained for a full week. The no burn regulation was lifted and this past Tuesday night, Mars hour, I took my bowl of alcohol soaked ginger root chips outside to ignite. (The picture is above) But no sooner did I have it lit, than the rain started again. The rain didn't bother the alcohol burn off, but that was it, no glowing coals, no smoldering, no ash. Just damp little black charcoals chips made from ginger. Damp and blackened-that pretty much describes how I felt at this point in the project.

The moon will be full very early Saturday morning (12:01am) and I had wanted to be done with this before then. Rummaging through my pantry, I was able to jury-rig a pretty good crucible, and for the last two days I've worked on reducing the coal to ash and then refining the ash. It will be done on time.

Dogged and determined, I can do (even if I don't enjoy it much), but that is rather earthy, not fiery. So the question is: at what point does determination shade into drive, push and yes, power? Should I have spent more time with that (possible) salamander, last year?