May 072015
 

I am very fond of Malachite. I like the color, the patterns and the energy of this stone. I have several pieces of jewelry an orb and a pyramid. Imagine how thrilled I was to see it’s unique patterns and color used in decorating. Imagine using the pattern of this beautiful stone in small accents in your home.

This semiprecious stone has been turning heads since ancient times. See how to incorporate its emerald green swirls into your decor

About the Author
Houzz Editorial Staff; writer, design enthusiast, reader, softball player.
Malachite and malachite-inspired decor have long been popular interior design resources due to the mineral’s special characteristics. From antiquity until the 1800s, malachite was used as mineral pigment for green paint. In Italy malachite is called the “peacock stone” and is greatly valued for its intricate patterns. When sliced and polished, malachite is known for its intense green color and beautiful banded masses. The most highly sought after malachite has bands consisting of concentric circles. Polished malachite has been carved into ornaments and worn as jewelry for thousands of years; some ancient civilizations believed that wearing it warded off evil spirits. Find out ways this green gem is being used today and how you can incorporate it into your home.
At a Glance
Name: Malachite; named for the Greek word “mallow” (a green herb)
Category: Carbonate material
Formula: Cu2CO3(OH)2
Color: Bright green, dark green or blackish green

 

Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral most commonly mined in Africa. It is usually found in copper deposits around limestones, which is the source of the carbonate. Other places known for their malachite reserves are Russia, Australia, Brazil and Arizona.

May 062015
 
Bast, Bastet

Bast the Egyptian goddess of Sun, Protection and Joy

In Ancient Egyptian history. Bast the Egyptian goddess was a fierce lioness goddess protector of the pharaoh and her father Ra, the sun god against their enemy.  Apep the serpent god of darkness, chaos and destruction.  As Ra’s daughter she also held the title eye of Ra, lady of the flame

Later on in life Bast was known as Bastet, and depicted with a domestic cat head. This aspect of her was nurturing and gentle. And when the Greeks occupied Ancient Egypt, they associated Bastet as the Greek Goddess of the Moon Artemis -the roman goddess Diana.

Early on in life, Bast was a fierce lion headed goddess, protecting the pharaoh and her father sun god Ra. Legend has it, As the sun rose each day, Bast would ride  with her father the powerful Sun god Ra through the sky. His boat pulling the Sun across the river Nile. And by Night, she fought his enemy Apep the serpent god.

As Ra’s daughter she was also known as the all Seeing Eye that thwarts evil. This title represents her warrior protector qualities and divine royal power, she is the female aspect of the powerful force linked to the fierce heat of the sun. She ensured the warmth of the sun continued to bless the fertile land with good crops and became known as the goddess of fertility.

As Bastet  she became associated with childbirth, as mother cats give birth to many litters and lovingly care and fiercely defend their kittens. Women who wanted to become pregnant would wear amulets of Bast surrounded by her litter in the hope of becoming fertile.

Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of Health and healing warding off disease and evil spirits. Her name means “She of the ointment jar” which ties her in with healing and protective ointments. This also connects her to perfumes. Her son Nefertum, was an alchemist of beauty and perfumes.

Bastet always carried a rattle called a sistrum. These rattles were used to celebrate her festivals, usually celebrated in April and May. Bastet became linked to music, joy and dance.

About the Author

Shani Choudhari

Founder of Elements Transition Coaching

Spiritual Life Coaching

“Be the Change you want to see in the world”

Shanichoudhari@aol.com

M + 44 7957 334616

Skype: Shahnaz Choudhari

10% of my Coaching business profits are donated to the charity I founded, IGNITE COLLABORATION, which acts as a bridge bringing diverse groups of people together to work collaboratively in creating sustainable communities

 

Celebrating Beltane 2015

 Celebrating Beltane 2015, Sabbat Greetings  Comments Off on Celebrating Beltane 2015
Apr 302015
 

Ravenhawk’s invite you to join us in celebrating Beltane 2015


Celebrating Beltane 2015

~Magickal Graphics~

Beltane is the Wedding day of the God and Goddess it is a sabbat of light hearted fun and  pleasant gatherings.

“There is some speculation that Beltane and May Day is related to the ancient Roman festival of Floralia. According to the about.com article, this was “a six-day party in honor of Flora, the goddess of Spring and Flowers, the Floralia was a time of singing, dancing and feasting in the ancient capital.” Dressed in bright colors in imitation of spring flowers, citizens would decorate the entire city with fresh blooms. “Hares and goats, symbols of fertility, would be let loose in gardens as protectors of Flora, and great singing and stomping would be heard in order to wake up Spring.” Of course, dancing is a large part of May Day celebrations as well. Apparently, Flora was also the patron of prostitutes, and during this festival the Roman “working girls” participated enthusiastically, performing naked in theatres and taking part in gladiatorial events. The themes of fertility and sexuality are obviously still very much associated with Beltane and May Day amongst modern pagans… but let’s look more closely at the ancient history of Beltane in the British Isles. First of all, the origin of the name “Beltane” is disputed. The holiday was also known as “Roodmass” in England and “Walpurgisnacht” in Germany. Alternately spelled Bealtaine, Beltaine, and any number of Gaelic derived-spellings, it is also the Irish word for the month of May, and is said to mean anything from “Bel-fire” Feast of the god Bel” to “bright fire.” Janet and Stewart Farrar, in Eight Sabbats for Witches offer an excellent tracing of the holiday’s Irish roots, and particularly the European fire-god Belenus whom they believe this festival is named for (a name possible traced back to Baal, the bible’s only pagan god, whose name simply means “Lord”). Ronald Hutton states that since the Celtic word “bel” means bright or fortunate, this is adequate to explain the translation as being “lucky fire” or “bright fire.”
– Peg Aloi, You Call It May Day, We Call It Beltane

Apr 302015
 

Create a greens-laden tablescape  for Beltane 2015 using   simple things to make your centerpieces and altar pop with green and white. Check out the video below to create the beautiful green and white tablescape. It is beautiful together but if your table does not have room then use the idea to create smaller tablescapes for altars, mantles and coffee tables. This idea is versatile enough to work for Beltane, mother’s day or any gathering where simple and fresh is your goal.

Pair lush greenery and flowers with milk glass for an arrangement that will make any meal memorable

About the Author:

 Rikki Snyder- Houzz Contributor. Professional photographer and stylist specializing in food, products, still life and interiors. Contributing home tour photographer and writer for Houzz.

For a fresh and personal way to decorate your spring table for brunch, Mother’s Day or any day, combine special pieces from your china cabinet with a beautifully casual mix of fresh flowers and bright green foliage. Get the how-to from New York floral designer Dana Worlock here.

For this setting Worlock stuck with a green color scheme with a hint of pink. The greens include plumosus, hellebores, peonies, dogwood and, for just a little edge, tins filled with grass.

Tools and materials:

  • Clear floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Sharp cutting knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Tins


Flowers and foliage:

  • Peonies
  • Ranunculus
  • Paperwhites
  • Plumosus
  • Hellebores
  • Dogwood
  • Flat of grass

Look through your dishes to see what pieces you can use. We opted for a variety of milk glass vases and a cream and sugar set from Ole Carousel Antiques in Stanfordville, New York.

greens-laden tablescape
Apr 302015
 
Colors of the rainbow

Beltane Colors — Colors of the Rainbow

Beltane and May Day celebrate the reawakening and reemergence of life in all its forms.  At its essence, Beltane is about the earthy joy and delight in being alive.  This celebration of life is reflected in the colors of Beltane:   all the colors of the rainbow.  Decorate your own maypole whether is a simple wooden dowel planted in house plant or an actual tree trunk with a cascading riot of colors celebrating life in all its myriad of hues.

Red and white commemorate the Goddess and God, who celebrate their coupling at Beltane.
Red is also the color of physical strength, passionate love and lust.  Orange symbolizes beauty, sexuality and sex.  Orange also conveys joy, optimism, enthusiasm and extroversion and uninhibited action.   Yellow is for joy, cheerfulness, enthusiasm and openness as well as fun, movement and energy.  Green means abundance, prosperity, good luck, fertility, new growth and hope.  Blue symbolizes peace, harmony, devotion, loyalty and wisdom.  Indigo conveys intuition and perception as well as inner awareness and new insights.  Violet is the color of body-and-spirit union, higher psychic awareness, spirituality, and imagination and inspiration.

Celebrate Beltane with a joyful expression of color as you make this sabbat your own.  Decorate your altar with a colorful altar cloth, add a red and white candle to signify the power and presence of the Goddess and God in your magic, add some fresh spring flowers or perhaps a potted ivy to signify the Green Man and renew your connection to nature and all its bounty.

When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life.  In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul.  She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.

Apr 292015
 
fresh-cut flowers

Beltane decorating is about flowers, garlands, ribbons and baskets it is a colorful, playful Sabbat.  This Beltane consider bringing spring indoors by decorating with fresh-cut flowers in every room. Look to the video and links below for ideas of how to use fresh-cut flowers through out your home.

Here is my favorite simple flower decoration for this time of year it allows me to add the colors of Beltane to my fresh-cut flowers and buds the easy way:Use a box of food coloring to add playful punch to an array of bud vases.

Fill assorted vases or recycled jars and bottles with water tinted to match a variety of flowers. You can also use white blooms (such as affordable supermarket daisies or carnations), but remember what you learned in elementary science class: Those thirsty petals will take on the hue of your water!

Graceful, lively or dramatic, fresh flowers make rooms of every shape, size and style that much lovelier

About the Author: 

Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write tend to center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures. Learn more, and follow my adventures in creating a warm and cozy home at http://www.lolalina.com/.

The weather  may be fickle, but we can certainly cheer up our homes with a bit of sunshine in the form of fresh-cut flowers. Let’s celebrate the arrival of spring with these inspiring ideas for displaying flowers in every room of the house.

These days, many flowers are available year-round, but because out-of-season flowers must be grown in a hothouse or shipped from afar, the price can be quite steep. For the freshest blooms on a budget, try these spring picks:

  • Daffodil
  • Crocus
  • Tulip
  • Hyacinth
  • Lilac
  • Freesia
  • Iris
  • Allium
  • Peony
  • Rose
Apr 282015
 
Giants

Mythological being of Beltane — Giants

In nearly all mythologies, Giants are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature.  Frequently in conflict with the Gods, be they Olympian, Celtic, Hindu or Norse, Navajo,  the Giants are considered a race marked by excess —  excessive violence, excessive pride, short tempers and incredible strength.  Attributed with super human height and strength, Giants are one of the mythological beings associated with Beltane.  Goliath of biblical fame is credited with being over 9 feet tall, while Ajax of Greco-Roman ancestry logged in at nearly 14 feet tall.

Giants are prominent in Norse mythology, and the Gods and Goddesses were related to them through marriage.  Although often opposed to the Gods, several giants  including Ægir, Mímir, and Skaði had equal status as the Norse pantheon.  Odin is the great-grand son of the Giant Ymir, whose flesh also created the entire world.   Norse mythology has a variety of giants, including frost giants (hrímþursar), fire giants (eldjötnar), and mountain giants (bergrisar).
Giants are found in an astonishing number of cultures spanning Welsh, English, Scottish,  Celtic, Norse, Persian, Greek, Hebrew, Navajo, Iroquois, Cherokee, Aztec, Mayan, German, French, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Belgian, Spanish, Turkish, Basque, Estonian, Belarussian, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Micronesia stories and folklore.

Said to be the offspring of Gaia and Uranus (the sky), Giants were a race of great strength, size and aggression. The Greek chronicler Apollodorus describes Gaia as “vexed on account of the Titans, brought forth the Giants.” In later traditions, the Giants were often confused with other opponents of the Olympians, particularly the Titans which were an earlier generation of large and powerful children of Gaia and Uranus.

According to Native American Paiute oral history “beautiful giants” once lived between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. After giving birth to a disfigured child, the giants treated the child so poorly that the Great Spirit responded by making the land hot and desolate and allowing enemies to conquer the giants. Only two giants survived: Paiute and his wife, both of whose skin became brown from eternally living in the hot desert.

About the Author
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life.  In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul.  She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.

Apr 282015
 
Butter Churn

Symbol of Beltane — Butter Churn
As a symbol of Beltane the butter churn is a kindred symbol to the Maypole.  Both are about the phallus of the God being inserted into the womb of the Goddess.  Churning butter, like dancing around the Maypole, is a symbol of sex, and churning butter like plowing fields is a mimicry of animal and human coupling. Beltane is a light hearted and happy sabbat that celebrates live, love and sexual expression.  Putting it into historical perspective, our forebearers lived at the subsistence level.  The size of the year’s harvest and the health and fertility of your livestock was in direct proportion to whether you and your family were secure or starved come winter.  So spring and all its procreation was a very big deal indeed.

Butter churns can be historically documented as early as 2000 B.C.  The most historically prominent types of butter churns are the plunge churn which is a container usually made out of wood, where the butter-making action is created by moving in a vertical motion a staff that is inserted into the top. This type of churn is also known as an ‘up and down’ churn, churning tub or plunger churn.  Dairy products such as butter, and  cheese are a large part of the foods of Beltane, making the butter churn which  was primarily a device used by women, and the churning of butter an essential responsibility.

My favorite churn is the rocking chair butter churn. This device, invented by Alfred Clark, consisted of a barrel attached to a rocking chair. While the rocking chair moved, the barrel moved and churned the milk contained within into butter.  


About the Author
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life.  In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul.  She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.

Apr 262015
 
leopards

Leopards are a distinct family of large cat found in Africa, not to be confused with their cousin the jaguar found in South America.  In myth, art and legend Goddesses & Gods, Queens & Kings have been depicted with leopards.  With an air of power, mystery, and supremacy leopards are a natural companion for a ruler.    Leopard symbolism includes mystery and secrets, physical strength and sensuality.  A fearsome and powerful hunter, the leopard is one of animals associated with the Greek Goddess, Diana, Mistress of the Hunt.

Leopards a powerful and highly desired totem animal.  A skilled and awe inspiring hunter, those with a leopard totem are easily able to seek, find and attain what they desire, whether physical reward or spiritual insight and information from a higher plane.  People with a leopard totem are able to develop strong six sense abilities — clairaudient, clairvoyant, clairsentient.  If you have a leopard totem trust your instincts have confidence in your intuitive sense of a situation, person or circumstances.  Leopards also embody cunning and stealth in pursuit of a goal.  The large cat embodies fire and earth magic.  Their stealth signifies the ability to move in the shadows and communicate with the spiritual plane, as well communication with the plant kingdom.

As a symbol, the leopard is a valiant and hardy warrior. Leopard skins were worn by priests of ancient Egypt to ward off evil spirits. Leopards, like cougars and jaguars, are also considered to be familiars for shamans. In African lore, the leopard is stealthy, shrewd, solitary and loyal only to its own cubs. A Tanzanian proverb reads: “He who dines with the leopard is liable to be eaten.” The leopard is the smallest of the big cats. The other three are tigers, lions and jaguars. The leopard will consume almost any animal it can hunt down and can run at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour.

About the Author
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life.  In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul.  She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.

Apr 252015
 
almond

The almond tree belongs to the rose family. It can grow to as tall as fifteen feet and loves the sunshine. It flowers in the spring and the nuts are ready by the autumn.

Perhaps you’re familiar with almond oil as a carrier oil for adding essential oils and in massage. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is non-allergenic so is an excellent oil to use on the skin and for massage. It is very good for dry skin and indeed it is believed to reduce wrinkles and prevent premature ageing. It is rich in vitamins E and F and can assist with skin problems. Almonds are also used to help alleviate asthma, insomnia, anxiety and nervousness and have been used to help overcome addictions. They are understood to lower cholesterol and to alleviate diabetes. They have a high magnesium content and so are good for the heart, the muscles and the kidneys and are used to treat cardiovascular issues, anemia, kidney stones, gallstones and constipation. Almonds can boost the immune system and help reduce inflammation.

You can eat almond nuts raw or you can get powdered almonds which are also used in cooking and also almond milk to drink.

Almonds are used in magick mainly for spells to attract prosperity or love and wisdom. You could carry an almond nut in your purse to encourage money to flow to you or create a pot pourri from the leaves. It is believed that carrying an almond will lead you to treasure – probably because the nut is hidden deep inside the shell. You could also use almond oil in your magick to anoint your candles and use almond as an incense. Almond is associated with Mercury and air and is masculine. Wands are made from almond wood.

About the Author

Jill Graham is a professional psychic tarot reader, energy healer and life & soul coach assisting you to move you past blocks and obstacles to creating and living the life you truly desire. Available wherever you are in the world via skype, email, or phone. www.healinglieswithin.com (10% introductory discount for Ravenhawks readers)

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