Deck Review – Flower Petals: Blossoming guidance from the garden by Cheralyn Darcey

I bought these cards to work with Sigyn, as to me She has a strong connection to flowers and nature. I have to say I have found them a beautiful way of working with Her.

The cards themselves aren’t that big but they have a good thickness to them, similar to most oracle decks. They come in a hard box which has a magnet fastening to keep it closed.

There are 40 cards in total, which “contain the wisdom of the traditional Language of Flowers“. The back of each card has the same watercolour in pinks and purples. This makes up the border on the main face of the cards. The main section is white with a delicate watercolour painting of each flower, their names and their message.

They can be used like a traditional oracle deck or in conjunction with flower essences, herbs and aromatherapy. As part of a wider holistic healing therapy they would make a wonderful addition to any therapist or healer’s practice.
As I have said, I am using them to connect with Sigyn. They could be used to connect in with other Deities too, especially Those associated with flowers and healing.

Flowers are wonderful healers, in many different ways, and I believe these cards can really open up a new aspect of working with them.

As a final note, I have asked Sigyn for a card to end this review on:

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

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National Insect Week – The Symbolism of Flies

This week is National Insect Week, and to celebrate our buggy friends I’ve decided to muse about flies… partly because of the links to Loki, and also because of their sacred symbolism in Ancient Egypt.

Many people have seen pictures of golden fly amulets and necklaces and wondered, “Why?” From a human perspective flies can seem annoying, they spread germs and diseases, and they multiply quickly. Let’s now turn this around and try to see it from a mindset the Ancient Egyptians were familiar with: symbolism and sympathetic magic.

If viewed from this perspective the fly becomes persistent and tenacious rather than annoying. As anyone who has ever dealt with them knows, flies don’t give up! They keep trying, going for what they’ve set their tiny fly-hearts on, no matter what obstacles (or fly swatters) they come up against. They are tenacious little creatures, and sometimes we too need that kind of attitude.

Flies also breed in large numbers, so from a sympathetic magic viewpoint the fly could be a very useful motif to draw upon. Fertility, in various aspects, was something the Ancient Egyptians valued so emulating the abundant fertility of the fly by wearing a fly amulet isn’t too far a leap of the imagination.

Flies also spread disease and perhaps, as with Sekhmet, their amulets were worn to try to curry favour, stave off illness, and act as a protective symbol. Flies also swarm on the dead, and it is not unreasonable to reason that they may well have a ‘death’ element to their symbolism. They are drawn to rotting substances and ‘feed’ on death in that manner too.

On a more modern level of symbolism flies as scavengers can also represent those who seek relentlessly to make what they can of the opportunities that present themselves. Flies are the ultimate opportunists. No matter how many times they’re wafted off (or chased away) they keep trying to get to what they want. Sometimes this is perfectly good stuff, but other times they’re literally feeding off poo. And this teaches us something: sometimes even the messy, s*** stuff in our lives can become fuel for our future Self.

If we tie in their fertility as well then we gain a picture of a creature relentless in the pursuit of its goals, able to turn even the rubbish times into future nourishment, and able to keep producing and creating ‘life’. We could learn a thing or two from Fly, if we’re willing to look from a more symbolic, sympathetic magic, Ancient Egyptian type of perspective.

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See also: Flies, Cats and Rat Traps: The Ordinary Animals of Ancient Egypt by Anna Garnett, Curator of the Petrie Museum –http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2017/11/15/flies-cats-and-rat-traps-the-ordinary-animals-of-ancient-egypt/

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Roses for Sigyn

Occasionally I will pick flowers and leave them out for Sigyn. At the moment one of our Roses has lovely peachy-pink blooms, so I decided to pick a couple and gift them to Her. I associate Roses with Sigyn because they’re linked to the heart and the heart chakra. Being a Goddess of immense compassion and love this symbolism seems very apt. The colours of these Roses speaks very much to that softness in Sigyn, balanced with the compassion and deep love… but Roses also have thorns, and as with others who know this Goddess, I have seen a side to Her that is fiercely protective.

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The day after I picked and presented them to Her the Roses started to wilt. I put them in a mesh tray in the airing cupboard so I can dry the petals for magical use.

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Making Daisy & Elder Flower Tinctures

Our lawns are covered in Daisies. No matter how many times the lawn mower goes over them they always spring back, bright and cheery. I love Daisies, and recently I have been very drawn to them. As I’ve been getting into deeper levels of inner work, Inner Child work has become more important, and Daisy is perfect for this. Think of the bright, innocent joy of a child; they fall but get back up. And think of Daisy chains – bringing together the Self in joy, innocence, creativity and upliftment. That is Daisy, to me.

So I went around picking Daisies before the mower did its rounds, and found myself humming a tune from my childhood (“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…”). The sun was out, the sky was blue, and I was just humming happily, moving from one Daisy patch to the next picking the flowers. Perfect Inner Child healing in itself. When I got inside I added them to a jar with English potato vodka, and put the jar on my altar to charge up. As with the Dandelions, I asked Horus and Bast in particular to help bring in Their healing and protective energies, and I also called on Mut, Whom I affectionately term ‘Mother Mut’.

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Reconnecting with Fire

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Over the Autumn, Winter and into Spring we had an open fire every night. Lighting and tending to the fire brought me closer to the element of Fire itself, and to Deities associated (and I associate) with Fire. Not only that but it brought me into a better understanding of the hearthfire, and how important tending that would be. The expression ‘hearth and home’ became something that had more meaning to me than it had before.

Where we lived previously we had a log burner, and I loved seeing the fire through the glass window, but I didn’t realise that even that was keeping Fire ‘contained’ and ‘removed’ somehow. When we moved to where we’re currently living and the seasons turned, having an open fire was a kind of revelation. Here Fire is not shut away, it’s a part of the room, and feels more a part of the home. Our open fire became the hearth fire, the home-fire. Even my parents said how much of a difference it made, how it made the house feel different; how coming together by the fire and tending to it as a family made the house feel more homely.

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Equinox 2018 poem

Happy Equinox, everyone. May Winter’s pall make way for Spring’s more inviting shawl.

As it looked through the haze
The Sun saw it then;
The seed was a seed no more,
But with Spring’s eyes
It had shed its disguise
And was coming at last
Into bloom.
Out at last
From Winter’s gloom.

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Shared: Tattooing in Ancient Nubia by Nile Scribes

This is an interesting read for anyone interested in Ancient Egyptian and Nubian history, as well as those interested in tattoos in general. The article is short but talks about different styles, symbolism, tools and pigments used.

Egyptologists previously believed that tattoos carried a fertility or erotic significance and applied only to women in ancient Egypt — a belief that is now challenged by these new findings. Friedman points out that the wild bull was a symbol of male potency in ancient Egypt… They suggest that ‘Gebelein Woman’s’ tattoos, on the other hand, may indicate “ceremonial or ritual” involvement based on their similarities to motifs on Predynastic ceramics, figurines, and a tattoo from the late New Kingdom (1,539-1,077 BC).

You can read the full article here:
http://nilescribes.org/2018/03/10/scribal-spotlight-tattooing-in-ancient-nubia/

Remembrance Sunday prayer + repost of ‘Why I wear a poppy’

On this Remembrance Sunday
I wear my Poppy to remember the fallen,
To remember my family and Ancestors Who fought and gave their lives
And hearts for freedom.
I remember those who fought
To maintain the liberties
Of their families and people,
And I honour them for their sacrifice.
May they now know peace,
May they be remembered.
May the freedom we have
Because of them
Never be taken for granted.

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2017

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Samhain 2016 -Finding the seed of light in the darkness

It is a very human trait to fear death and the darkness, but many ancient and indigenous cultures understand that there is a greater cycle to life. In doing so they respect these forces and understand their place in the world, and in the universe(s) we live in.
Many Deities and Spirits have an element of darkness within them, like the Tao symbol, with Yin and Yang each having a seed of the other within. Some are darker than others, some are more of the light, but each have elements of both that can teach us.
For what is life if not day and night, light and shade?  Even those destructive moments strip away the old to leave the potential for a new way of life. As the moon shines in the night it lights our way through the darkness of the nocturnal hours, just as those who are darker in nature can teach us to find and follow our own pathway – ‘to thine own self be true’. Many of these so-called darker Deities have protective aspects, and can teach triumph through adversity. often they embody our own worst fears, ones we must ultimately face, or else how can we truly enjoy life in all its aspects?
Give the dark the respect it is due, and you may just find the seed of light – the moon – to guide you through it. Continue reading