Monday, October 25, 2021

13 Days of Samhain- Day 7

 

Photo courtesy of Sabina Music Rich


Welcome to Day 7 of our Sirens Samhain Celebration!

Before we get started, let's announce yesterday's winner of the Enchanted Wreath by Lynn Green...
Kourtney Leaf!


Congratulations!

Today's Music Selection: Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

submitted by Renee Olson





Today's Article: Sage Advice, Herbal Smoke Cleansing with Dawn Leith Dougherty

Smoke cleansing with sacred herbs and resins is a tradition as old as time, utilized by peoples of many cultures and spiritual traditions. Herbs and resins can have individual healing properties, known to our ancient ancestors, and used and appreciated in modern times, as well. There are many ways to clear, cleanse, and bless you and your home, including herbal smoke, herbal strewing, blessing sprays, bells, singing bowls, salt lamps, etc. For the purposes of this article, we shall be fo-cusing on herbal smoke bowl traditions. 

Indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as those following a Western New Age or neo- pagan path will sometimes use the term “smudging, or sacred smoke bowl blessing.” It is a recommended and welcome practice to clear negative or stagnant energy, clear energies from your body and mind after a hard day's work, and to purify the air during and after illnesses of all kinds. Also a wonder-ful tool to cleanse new items entering your home, or after visitors exit, to neutralize unwanted ener-gies, charge and bless your space, and welcome uplifting vibrations and spirits. Smudging can be done before and/or during ritual of any tradition, to create sacred space, and charge ritual tools. There are a myriad of healing herbs, weeds, flowers, and tree resins that all have individual physi-cal healing as well as energetic healing properties, and can be added to your daily practices, some of which can be easily obtained, grown, or locally wild harvested by you.

"The word ‘smudge’ comes from the old English word 'smogen'. It is cited in several dictionaries as coming from 1400-50 late Middle English. It means to smear, blur, obscure, to smother with smoke, to use dense smoke to protect an area from insects. Another meaning is also  ‘taken by surprise’. In English the term ‘smudge’ also means smut or dirt. It has been in use since the 15th century, and first appeared after the Norman conquest, so it’s certainly of Germanic origin."  - Rachel Patterson
Most spiritual paths are compatible with the addition of an herbal smoke practice. Many magical folk already incorporate the burning of special or sacred herbs upon an altar or sacred space during rituals. 

As the wheel of the year turns and many of us observe spiritual holidays, celebrations, and historical observances such as Samhain, these occasions are perfect for doing an energetic cleans-ing of yourself, loved ones, and your home. You can use this practice to clear chaotic energy from your home, after rearranging and changing decor to fit the seasons and special occasions, and is most welcome after doing a house cleaning. Cleanse your space with fragrant, herbal smoke after doing the hard work, to “lay the dust” and neutralize chaotic energies, and invoke blessings, bene-ficial spirits, and high vibrations into your home. 

Many of our favorite deities in the vast pantheon of gods and goddesses, ancestors and loved ones, and local land spirits, have plants and herbs of which they are fond, and many of us use some of these (not all are suitable for burning) in our special observances, or keep them on our altars. Con-sider using an herb or resin for honoring them that is special to them and can help you connect to their energy, and create a pathway to communication with them.  Days of the week, moon phases, and celestial happenings as well may influence what you decide to place on an altar, or burn in a censer, and all lend themselves well to a refreshing smoke bath. On an ancestor and family altar, for example, I keep rosemary (for remembrance), as well as a dish filled with my own special blend of sage, lavender, cedar, juniper, sweetgrass, and yerba santa to burn as an offering to my family. Sacred smoke is more than just clearing, many see smoke as a messenger to the divine upon which prayers, petitions, and blessings can be carried. Be sure to pay attention to the path smudge smoke creates, it’s swirls and eddies around objects, and how it behaves during smudging a home. Interesting smoke patterns and a large quantity of smoke can be indicators of the presence of an entity or simply a deep need for a clearing of someone or something’s energy field. 

Don’t be afraid to try new herb and resin combinations in your smudging practice. Many stick with the tried and true California white sage (be sure it is sustainably harvested and obtained from a shop that buys from sage farms, not wild harvested!), but if you want to change it up for a more powerful session or a different type of energetic, you may want to pair it with a resin such as drag-on’s blood or copal. Palo Santo wood sticks or powder is powerful and beautifully sweet scented, perfect for extra high vibration cleansing, blessing, as well as pain relief. Dragon’s blood works amazing by itself to completely neutralize energy, whether coming down from a party or energetic house guests, or clearing space after ritual, sickness, or argument. Dragon’s blood paired with an-other herb or resin acts as an amplifier for that herb’s properties. Copal is a sweet citrus-scented resin that you will want to use to create a light and uplifting energy in your home (you may not want to burn it at night, or you may not sleep well). Frankincense and myrrh are wonderful to use during and after any kind of illness and was burned frequently in ancient times for this purpose, as well as general smudging purposes, they smell amazing! You may be familiar with these, as they are used in many religious observances, including the Catholic church, for centuries, and are also great for meditation practices. Benzoin is also used in churches in combination with frankincense and myrrh. This smells reminiscent of vanilla, great for clearing, and is sometimes used in success or power raising ritual. Soothing pinion pine resin is used by many Native Americans in the desert southwest, and is so wonderful to burn at Yule, we just love it! Tobacco, sweetgrass, cedar, mug-wort (artemisia), lavender, and rosemary are used frequently as well, or blended with other herbs for a multi-faceted clearing and blessing blend. All of these have individual and special properties, I highly encourage you to investigate them, find what works for you and your practices, and have fun! 

To smudge yourself or another, light the tip of a sage wand or palo santo stick and blow out the flame, or light a charcoal disk and when it ashes over, place herbs or resins directly on the charcoal. Direct the smoke (this is typically done with a feather) toward the heart, then over the head, down the arms and the front of the body. Some start at the feet and work their way up the body. There is no right or wrong, just what resonates with you. To smudge a home, open windows if possible when completed to allow the room to clear. Walk room to room wafting smoke as you go, say a personal blessing, prayer, or invocation if needed. Pay attention to corners and closets. For objects, waft smoke over object or pass object through the smoke if possible. 

In our modern times, humans have strayed far away from knowledge and reverence of the natural gifts of our planet. Many of us have noticed a bit of a shift in regard to people having a great inter-est, as well as a need, for natural foods and medicines, and a search for spirituality. This also in-cludes a back to nature approach for many and a yearning for that which has been lost by so many over the years of "progress." Even science is coming to terms with what so many indigenous peo-ples, empaths and sensitives, as well as those on alternative spiritual paths, witches, and neo-pagans already understand about energy and how it works. We now know that everything is made of vi-brating energy, surrounded by a field of energy (what is sometimes termed as "auras") and that en-ergy cannot be destroyed. When an organic being dies, their energy does not die with them, it simp-ly takes another form. One does not need to have but a basic understanding of this to know that energy fields can be affected by outside influences, whether "positive" or "negative." 

Energy really isn't positive, negative, dark, light, etc. It just IS. The basic difference is simply vibration. Low vi-bration energy is considered by some to be "bad," "heavy," or "dark," whereas high vibration ener-gy can be considered by some to be "good," or "light." It always feels better to vibrate at a higher frequency of positivity and light, of course, rather than to dwell at the low end of the spectrum. It is good to remember, however, that we are having a human experience here and that we have a need to experience ALL the expressions of frequency that we are able. It is natural, normal, and human to do so, and if one is having a "low energy day," it is OK and should be acknowledged. Energy is cyclical. 

For much more in-depth information on smudging practices, history, crafting, and individual plant properties, please pick up a copy of my Ebook download, ‘Sage Advice, A Practical Guide To En-ergetic Herbal Smudging, Cleansing, and House Blessing’. 

Dawn Leith Dougherty, Tree Of Life Apothecary


Today's Cocktail: Screamcicle Shake with Alexis Kennedy

I'm going to warn you- this is delicious. I'll also warn all of us who are either prediabetic or diabetic to skip this one. Wayyyyyyyyy lots of sugar in this crazy drink!

It's definitely going to remind you of a creamscicle, but imagine it with chocolate, too.

Ingredients:
Chocolate sauce (for garnish, Hershey's or generic is fine)
6 Oreos (or generic brand) finely crushed
1 quart of orange sherbet
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz of vodka (yeah, I know we aren't friends, but I don't make the mixology rules)
Whipped cream for garnish
Orange and black sprinkles (optional, I don't like sprinkles)


1. Pour 2 tablespoons of your chocolate sauce into a small, shallow plate. Place your "oreo" crumbs on a second small plate. Now, dip the rims of your serving glass into the chocolate sauce first, then into the oreos.

2, Combine sherbet, cream, and vodka into a blender, and blend to combine. Drizzle some chocolate sauce on the inside of each glass, then fill with your milkshake. Garnish with whipped cream, oreo crumbs, and sprinkles.

Enjoy!


Today's Recipe Chickpea Frittata with Renee Olson










Original recipe from VeganRicha  Adapted to be oil free.

Ingredients
Vegetables
2 cups (200g) finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell peppers (any color), or zucchini (or a combination)
1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped red onion
1 cup (30g) tightly packed finely chopped greens

1/4 teaspoon salt
Batter
1 1/2 cups (135g) chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
1 1/2 cups (360ml) water
1/4 cup (60g) plain unsweetened or lightly sweetened yogurt or thick cashew cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 heaping teaspoon kala namak (Indian sulphur black salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon organic safflower or other neutral oil
1/2 cup (15g) chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9-inch (23cm) pie pan (or line it with parchment paper).
Vegetables: In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, greens, and salt. Toss to combine.
Water or veggie broth saute the cut vegetables in a pan over medium heat.
Batter: In a blender, combine the flour, water, yogurt, salt, kala namak, turmeric, cayenne and pepper. Blend until smooth. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.)
Add the broccoli/veggie mixture to the batter. Add the cilantro, thyme, and dill and mix well. Pour the frittata mixture into the prepared pie pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. The top will crack and get golden. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. Store refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Today's Giveaway: Handmade Scarf/Shawl from Vickie Clay

Shawl/scarf in “Spa” color, with sparkly threads woven into yarn. Hand wash. Comes with ornate pin.
Value: $65 USD
This giveaway is for United States residents only.

How to enter: 


Bonus Entries:

Like/Follow Sirens Life on Facebook. Comment below that you did. 

We must have your name and email address in order to notify you that you have won. You can enter it into the comments or enter it here for privacy sake. We do not sell or give your information to third parties, and we only use it for this giveaway.

Your entries will be pulled tomorrow morning, east coast time, and will be numbered by Alexis Kennedy (sponsor). She will then run a number generator at random.org, and will announce the winner on tomorrow's blog post. The winner will be notified first via email. The winner has 36 hours from announcement to claim the prize, or it will go toward the Grand Prize Giveaway on October 31.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email sirensallaround@gmail.com and we'll happily respond. Note: The sponsor is not eligible for any giveaways.

That's all for today!

We wish you all the very best in your October celebrating!

6 comments:

  1. How beautiful! Love that little white pumpkin too!
    riverenoauthor@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like Vicki's Facebook page!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a beautiful scarf, I love that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. SO GORGEOUS!!! Crochet is my jam. I already follow Sirens Life on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete

Happy Yule from The Sirens! December 21, 2021

  Photo courtesy of Miikaa Luotio Brightest Yule Blessings to you and yours! Our celebration was short and sweet, but we're thrilled tha...