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

Sigyn and Daisies + worry dolls

Recently I have written about how I associate Sigyn with Roses, and also about making a Daisy tincture for Inner Child healing work. Others have experienced Sigyn as a Goddess for helping heal the Inner Child, and I believe one way She does so is through Daisies.

On the day my Daisy tincture post went live I had a parcel arrive – a handmade worry doll. I went on the site originally because a friend had liked her tarot and ribbon-reading page on Facebook and it piqued my curiosity. While browsing the online shop I saw the worry doll and felt such a strong ‘Sigyn’ vibe that I bought her. Pink, pretty, girly, flowery things often (but don’t always) mean ‘Sigyn’ to me. There’s a side to Her (that others have written about too) that is almost like this beautiful, innocent, sweet, open-hearted young girl. And that part of Her is the one I associate with the pink, girly, flowery stuff. Things I used to actively avoid, but the last year or so I’ve been more drawn to.

When the worry doll arrived (on the afternoon the Daisy tincture post went live) I saw she came with a little card:

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The worry doll’s name is Daisy! I didn’t even notice she had a name on the listing, and yet I felt so strongly that this little doll was for Sigyn that I bought her.

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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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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

 Herbal project: Dandelion flower tincture

I saw some lovely bright Dandelions on the grass opposite our house last Monday and they gave me an idea. Mum and I are both in need of some more joyous, spontaneous energies, and we’re both exploring Inner Child healing at the moment. For me the Dandelion has a positive, joyful, almost childlike playfulness to it. So many people see it as a weed but it has amazing detoxification properties, is full of nutrients and can be used for uplifting.

Mum helped me pick them, and after checking them for critters I put them in a jar, poured vodka over them, and placed them on my altar. I thought I’d ask Bast and Horus to help charge the tincture. Both are associated with the Sun. Cats can be playful, nurturing and protective, like Bast. Horus can see from a higher vantage point, is associated with children as Horus the Child, and is sometimes shown with His wings protecting the King’s back. As such I feel like Their blessings will add to the energy of the Dandelion tincture, which I intend to use in aura sprays to nurture us during Inner Child work and bringing in more joyful, abundant energies.

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Despacho-type ceremony to thank the house & garden Spirits at our old home

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We moved house on 6th July. We left the home and garden that nurtured and nourished us for almost 14 years. If we could pick them up and move them closer to the new area we would have, but we could no longer stay.

We’ve moved to a different area of the county, one closer to the main city. We need the opportunities it provides, the better transport links, the better and more varied health and wellbeing facilities, and more groups so we can experience more of life again. While the area we had been living in for the past 20 years has some beautiful countryside it is a deadzone when it comes to opportunities for me and my parents’ growth.

The house and garden we left had looked after us well, and I miss our lovely Elders, Hawthorns and Blackthorns. To thank them all I did a Despacho-type ceremony on one of the few dry days of our last week there. I used some pink handmade fair trade paper to represent the love and appreciation my parents and I feel.

The flowers were all from the garden, and I also added some dried Rose petals and Lavender. As is customary I also added lots of sugar, and some mini pretzels to represent never-ending memories.
Mum also came to see it, and added some pieces of Lavender and more sugar.
Afterwards I meditated with the Despacho for a while, then wrapped it up and buried it behind the Plum tree. I offered some potato vodka and the rest of the pretzels.

Here are some photos:

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Drying Elder flowers & berries, Roses, and creating tinctures & an infused oil

As spoken about before, I love collecting berries and drying them. This has now extended to flowers. Our lovely Elders have been in full bloom, so I collected some of the creamy sprays to make tinctures from. Some had also started to become berries, so I thought these might be good for a transition-type tincture – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE UNRIPE BERRIES ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR INTERNAL USE. I intend to use the tinctures mainly for aura and energetic sprays, and for cleansing baths.

I’m really loving getting so connected to nature again, and finding new ways to bring Mother Earth’s bounty into my life in magical ways. I’ve been making sprays for a few years now, along with oil mixes. At least I won’t get the raw berry bits clogging up the spray bottle mechanisms now!

Here are some pictures of the Elder flowers and proto-berries before and after drying. They were particularly fiddly to get off the stems, and I still have to remove the flowers from their stalks to make up the tincture. I will be leaving them to ‘soak’ for at least two months before filtering them.
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