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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Count your blessings every day this new year!

I am making a resolution to remember to count my blessings each and every day in 2009. A blessing is defined in the dictionary as "anything that gives happiness" and I can certainly find 365 reasons to be happy. One of my happiest days this year was the day my "yardmunk" finally trusted me enough to eat sunflower seeds from my hand. If I talked to you, emailed you, shipped a package to you that day, I told you how blessed I felt to earn the trust of such a sweet and innocent creature! In fact, he has become a wonderful teacher and companion in my life.

Recording our blessings is a way of counting them, but also a way to savor the sweetness of a life lived with gratitude, wonder, and curiosity. Sometimes the simple pleasures are too soon forgotten. Joy is a treasure, and gratitude is our greatest wealth! Here is a simple way to celebrate life's blessings every day.

Make a Blessing Box or a Blessing Bowl! This can actually be any container you choose, a box you make, or purchase, or a glass jar or vase, just make sure it will be large enough to hold a blessing a day for each day of the year. Decorate the container and label it if you like. Set your intention with creativity.

At the end of each day, write down your blessing(s) for the day and the date on a piece of paper and drop it into the container. Say a little prayer of thanx. I'm using a big crystal bowl (to amplify the energy) and using scraps of recycled colorful paper I've been collecting just for this purpose. And, I'm already looking forward to next year at this time when I can relax in front of the fire, read each entry again and relive the miracles that found their way to my open heart one more time.

May you be blessed with abundant joy in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cashmere from plants? Discover Bamboo!

What's as soft as silk, and as hard as oak? It's Bamboo, and its turning up in shirts and pants, socks, sheets, and towels! Bamboo yarn is stronger than cashmere and stretches more than a silk-and-cashmere blend, and bamboo doesn’t pill as easily as synthetic yarns. Devotees of Bamboo textiles are calling it "cashmere from plants." Its soft, silky feel, its natural antimicrobial quality, and breathability appeal to Eco-chic fashionistas who want natural luxury and a healthy choice.

An eco-friendly fiber, Bamboo is extremely replenishable. It requires no fertilizers or pesticides. Those are big pluses for those of us concerned about the environment and sustainability. Bamboo grows as much as 18 inches in a day, maturing to a harvest in three to five years. Bamboo is not the only woody fiber used in clothing: Linen, hemp, and burlap are also plant-based fabrics, but they're all much coarser than bamboo.

In our search for tranquility, health, and well-being, and at a time when many are desperate to de-stress and find comfort, bamboo's all-natural qualities are a logical choice for Earth-friendly luxury and peace of mind. And best of all, our collection of Bamboo clothing is on sale at Oshun Spirit thru December 31!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tachyon Water, Love, Consciousness, and Crystal Grids

In the late fifties, Russian scientist, Nikolai Kozyrev proved that human thoughts and emotions relate to torsion fields. Torsion fields or vacuum domains are the equivalent of the electromagnetic imploding vortexes in the vacuum of space.

At Heart Math Institute, Daniel Winter has proven that e-motion is actually an implosion of electromagnetic energy from the heart and mind when coherence is reached between the EEG and the ECG. Feelings of love will harmonically entrain brain and heart waves by Golden Mean Ratio related frequencies in the frequency spectrum of the EEG and ECG. This will create an imploding vortex in the energy field around the person.

Human consciousness seems to have an effect on the clustering of the water molecules. This effect which creates Kozyrev’s conscious torsion field, may also explain why Masaru Emoto’s water crystals are influenced by thoughts and emotions. Masaru Emoto is a Japanese scientist who has proven that the formation of ice crystals from water samples can be altered by human intention.

It’s noteworthy that all of Masaru Emoto’s water samples that stem from natural and unpolluted water sources as well as those that have been administered positive human intentions, form ice crystals with a hexagonal core. It’s only from pure, natural spring water or water that has been treated with love that these beautiful hexagonal ice crystals can be created. In all other cases, the ice crystals are chaotic.

Masaru Emoto research on this hexagonal or icosahedral structured water has shown that this water has abilities to transfer what he has coined ‘Hado’ or the vital energy of the universe. Hado is the Japanese term for Orgone, Prana, Chi, etc. Masaru Emoto’s research acknowledges the abilities of water to act as a superconductor for this cosmic energy once the water itself gets structured. Masaru Emoto’s research has shown that:

  • Hexagonal structured water appears in natural clean water sources
  • Ordinary water such as tap water can be changed into hexagonal structured water by positive and loving human intentions.
  • Hexagonal structured water can be artificially created using scalar waves or torsion fields.
That's why dropping a few tachyon cubes into water creates super-structured water that neutralizes potentially harmful contaminants, and creates beautifully clear, refreshing and great tasting water! To use tachyon cubes, place one or two cubes into a pitcher of pure water for at least 11 minutes. I use this charged water for drinking, making tea, cooking, making elixirs, and watering medicinal herbs and organic veggies.

Using Tachyon water stimulates your immune system, cleanses and detoxifiess the body, enhances blood and chi circulation, and supports natural healing.

There is a Dutch psychic by the name of Woutje Winkler-Prins who’s been paranormally receiving information from her spirit guides about geometrical forms that impose ‘healing faculties’ on water. She’s been creating her ‘structured water’ using geometrical forms drawn on paper, and the latest geometrical form that she has been using to create her Donave trademark water is this:

. .
Woutje’s geometrical form icosahedral super water cluster

Its seems that modern science is catching up to what the ancients taught about sacred geometry and crystal gridding, and that information and ancient technology is becoming more accessible through our collective consciousness. As the world's clean water supply becomes an increasingly precious commodity, I pray we will share it freely with each other. For more information about Dr. Emoto’s hexagonal water, visit http://www.hado.net/indigo_water.html.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bathing in Blessings Lesson One: Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the basis of all unity in that all is allowed; yet all is healed. In using the vibration of forgiveness, nothing sticks, and therefore all karma is released. As forgiveness is made a part of the aura, all interactions become a blessing.

In this Sunday morning series, "Bathing in Blessings," I will teach you how to make wonderful elixirs that combine energies from minerals, herbs, and essential oils that you can use to improve the quality of your life. The first one, Forgiveness, will help you to raise your own vibration and allow this quality to manifest as a primary signature in your life.

Traditional gem elixirs are made by placing cleaned stones chosen for their vibrational signature in a clear glass or crystal container with pure water and placing this in sunlight for several hours.
Herbs and essential oils may be combined with minerals to boost effectiveness.

The mineral we will use for our Forgiveness Elixir is Rhodocroshite. Rhodocroshite holds all tones of forgiveness and will assist one in releasing the past allowing one to create a new future founded upon unity. Always clean your stones with water and a clean brush to get rid of any organic matter before using them. A new hard bristle toothbrush works great for this. Next, clear them of any psychic residue by putting them in open sunlight for 2-3 days.

It is also important to minimize your direct physical contact with the stones and water in order to keep the crystal energy from absorbing your own energy and effecting the elixir. You should always have a calm and focused emotional state while making elixirs, because strong emotions can effect the energy.

Conventionally made elixirs are made outside on bright sunny days in the morning or at noon. Many practitioners keep the gemstones in the water for a minimum 24 hours. I usually create a 21-day grid to make an elixir, spending some time each day in meditation to reinforce the intention. You can experiment with techniques and see what works best for you.

Please take note that it might be possible to do some real damage with elixirs made in the conventional way from some kinds of stones. Soaking the stones in water can cause the leaching of toxic components into the water. These include but are not limited to, Copper, which would include Azurite and Malachite. Cinnabar contains Mercury for example. "Love is in the Earth" by Melody is a good source of information as to whether or not a stone can be used to make conventional elixirs.

For stones which are not suitable for soaking in water, alternative methods can be used to make elixirs. These methods include: placing the stone in a smaller container which is placed in the larger container of water, and placing stones around the container being charged. I recommend that you have at least six stones of the same type to place around the container in a grid, using quartz points to amplify and direct the energy of the stones you are making an elixir with into the water.

There is no set requirement for the type of the container but I prefer an undecorated clear glass or crystal container which is held sacred to creation. Cleansed baby food jars also work great for this. Never use plastic bottles or jars for elixirs, and NEVER use city or tap water. The chemicals in city or tap water can destroy the vibrational energies of the stones. Use distilled or reverse osmosis or Tachyon water for your elixir preparations.

After the water has been charged by the gemstone, it is filtered and usually preserved with alcohol (I use a few drops of vodka). The alcohol is used to inhibit bacterial growth and may also help to " fix" the vibration.

We will also add a few drops of organic, therapeutic grade Geranium essential oil to our elixir. Geranium flowers have a beautiful and powerful scent, and their energy assists in allowing for the release of karmic ties that bind, along with contracts and agreements that have been forgiven.

Finally, we will be adding a sprig of the herb Echinacea Purpurea into the container. You can purchase dried organic material or use fresh from your own medicinal herb garden. Echinacea assists initiates in releasing cellular trauma during the transmutative process of ascension. In essence, this herb assists initiates in the act of biological forgiveness. Cellular trauma is recorded in a particular biochemistry that is often related to viruses and disease. As such trauma is released, some people become ill or feel ill. Echinacea will assist in boosting the immune systems at such times for a more rapid biological transcendence through the trauma.

Elixirs can be used by drinking glasses of the charged water, by placing drops of the elixir in a glass of water or directly under the tongue two to four times a day. 3 - 6 drops taken 3 - 4 times each day is usually recommended.

They can also be used topically on the skin or put in bath water. A great way to absorb the elixirs is to mix them into your body lotion. These are both excellent methods of absorption into the body. You can also add them to sprays that you use for room or aura clearing.

Forgiveness made manifest is the thousand-petal lotus in the heart of the Bodhisattva that projects joy and compassion upon all. May you be blessed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa has gone on vacation!

Santa's work is done, but you can still save 25% on resonance jewelry, Tachyon wellness tools, luxurious spa goodies, eco-friendly clothing, and more! Save on all Oshun Spirit goods and services, including metaphysical and wellness appointments, by entering the coupon code SANTA at checkout both on our website and at our new storefront on Bonanzle! Our end-of-the-year clearance sale ends Wednesday, December 31. Here's a sampling of the bargains while they last:

10-pc chakra balancing set
chakra balancing stretch bracelet
hand-carved Chinese Fir root ball burl basket
gemstone and botanical oils
tachyon slippers
Q Pod pendants
soy and bamboo clothing

And, you can feel really good about making your purchases this week. A portion of our Clearance Sale proceeds will be donated to Heifer International. So, stock up on the things you need: handcrafted soaps, bath salts, hong detox patches... in addition to the few indulgences that you've had your eye on! With each purchase, you'll be sharing the gifts of health and hope, and together we'll be caring for the Earth and for each other!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wishing You Peace

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;

and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

and a little child shall lead them."
Isa 11:6

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We must be the change we want in the world.

This profound statement by Mahatma Gandhi is meant to inspire all people to act responsibly, consciously, and from a place of peace . In this, the season of love and light, I share these words of unification as inspiration that you, and I, might indeed be the change we are waiting for. Namaste, Susan

The Declaration of a Global Ethic
Originally from the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions, September 4th, 1993, in Chicago, IL.

We Declare:

We are interdependent. Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, and so we have respect for the community of living beings, for people, animals, and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil.

We take individual responsibility for all we do. All our decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences.

We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. We make a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that every person is treated humanely, without exception. We must have patience and acceptance. We must be able to forgive, learning from the past but never allowing ourselves to be enslaved by memories of hate. Opening our hearts to one another, we must sink our narrow differences for the cause of world community, practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness.

We consider humankind a family. We must strive to be kind and generous. We must not live for ourselves alone, but should also serve others, never forgetting the children, the aged, the poor, the suffering, the disabled, the refugees and the lonely. No person should ever be considered or treated as a second-class citizen, or be exploited in any way whatsoever. There should be equal partnership between men and women. We must not commit any kind of sexual immorality. We must put behind us all forms of domination or abuse.

We commit ourselves to a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace. We shall not oppress, injure, torture, or kill other human beings, forsaking violence as a means of settling differences.

We must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. We must speak and act truthfully and with compassion, dealing fairly with all, and avoiding prejudice and hatred. We must not steal. We must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money, and consumption to make a just and peaceful world.

Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. We pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, by meditation, by prayer, or by positive thinking. Without risk and a readiness to sacrifice there can be no fundamental change in our situation. Therefore we commit ourselves to this global ethic, to understanding one another, and to socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Honey from Oshun

Every year, a portion of Oshun Spirit sales are donated to Heifer International. Because of you, today, people who were once hungry will be nourished by milk, eggs, fresh vegetables, and self-reliance.

Families who for generations knew only poverty will be building new homes and starting businesses. Children who once headed out to the fields to do backbreaking work will be heading into schoolrooms to learn to read.

And people who never thought they’d be in a position to help someone else will be experiencing the joy of charitable giving.

How is this possible? Heifer helps people obtain a sustainable source of food and income. From Uganda to El Salvador, bees from Heifer International help struggling families earn income through the sale of honey, beeswax and pollen.

Beehives require almost no space and, once established, are inexpensive to maintain. As bees search for nectar, they pollinate plants. Placed strategically, beehives can as much as double some fruit and vegetable yields. In this way, a beehive can be a boost to a whole village.

Although most Heifer partners keep bees as a supplement to family income, beekeeping can be a family's livelihood. Your generosity has helped Heifer provide several families with a package of bees, the box and hive, plus training in beekeeping.

Thank you for your kindness, may you be blessed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Make a fragrant holiday decoration, a pomander!

The pomander, a clove-studded fruit, is a traditional Christmas ornament and New Year’s gift. The word pomander comes from French pomme (which means apple, also the root of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits,) and ambre meaning golden in color. If you are looking for fun holiday activity or an inexpensive gift idea you might try making pomanders. The scent should last for up to a year, and you can refresh them with essential and fragrance oils such as cinnamon, clove, cedarwood, vanilla, myrrh, and frankincense.

To make citrus pomanders, you will need the following:

· clean, dry and undamaged citrus: lemons, oranges and limes
· fine knitting needle or kitchen/BBQ skewer or a 2 inch nail
· whole cloves

First decide upon a design. Stud the surface evenly and closely with cloves, completely covering the fruit, or create patterns, spirals, or write names with the cloves to use pomanders as place cards at the table. But, don't leave the pomander half finished because the skin will harden once pierced. Before you stud the fruit with cloves poke a hole first with a skewer, nail or knitting needle. Make the holes approx. 1/4" apart. (Leaving less space between cloves may result in broken fruit skin and your pomander may fall apart.) Insert cloves. The more cloves in your pattern (the more thoroughly you cover the fruit), the better the chances of it drying properly and not molding.

Tie on ribbons or rafia (secure with a straight pin), form a bow at the top for the hanger, and hang them on the Christmas tree. Later, remove the ribbon and simmer in boiling water on the stove top to scent your home with a spicy, citrus ambience perfect for the holidays! You can also artfully display several pomanders in a fruit bowl, or burl basket, and use as a table centerpiece, or give them out as gifts. Delightful!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Recipe for Happiness: Chocolate Covered Gratitude

The best thing about the winter holidays might just be hot chocolate! Hot chocolate makes everyone feel good! Thick, creamy, aromatic, hot chocolate... what exactly is it that makes this hot drink so magical? The chocolate? The cream? The warm feeling in your stomach? The nostalgia of snowy days when school was canceled, the sledding was perfect, and the cookies were still warm when the gang came inside all wet mittens and red noses!

Close your eyes as you take that first sip, and you are instantly transported to a place of sweetness within you... and a cozy feeling of safety and security, the rich flavor activating your pleasure centers and creating that warm, tingly sensation that comes with only the purest cocoa content.

The Aztecs were the first to invent this magic potion. The Spanish refined it and brought it back to Europe. Slowly, it made its way North to France and was common by the time of Louis XV. We've known for quite some time that eating dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And while many consume small amounts of organic, dark chocolate for health benefits, I think of chocolate, and a mug of hot chocolate especially, as the perfect meditation.

"As the warm, rich, decadent chocolate melts in my mouth, there is only the creaminess...the dreaminess of this present moment."

Yes, Chocolate Covered Gratitude! My inner child is enjoying this moment even as the stressed-out adult is making her list and checking it twice.

"As the warm, rich, decadent chocolate melts in my mouth, there is only the creaminess... the dreaminess of this present moment."

With a steaming cup of hot chocolate, everything is sweeter. Here's my Grandmother’s absolutely delicious recipe, followed by several easy-to-make variations I’ve come to love, too… enjoy!

From the Recipe Box
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, grated
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg

1. Put milk into a microwave-safe container and cook on high in microwave for 2 minutes.
2. Mix in chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl, whisk an egg until smooth, then mix itinto the chocolate mixture.
4. Return to microwave and cook on High for 3 to 4minutes or until foamy (be careful not to let it boil.)
5. Whisk until smooth and pour into two large mugs.

Healthy Vegan Hot Chocolate for Two
2 1/2 cups soy milk
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1. Bring the soy milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and whisk until frothy. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information/serving: Calories: 196, Total Fat: 6.9g, Cholesterol: 0mg,
Sodium: 620mg, Total Carbs: 29.3g, Dietary Fiber: 6.7g, Protein: 9.9g

White Chocolate Cocoa for a Crowd (10 servings)
This is a great recipe for a skating party or open house.
2 cups whipping cream
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips
Whipped cream
Candy canes

1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and white chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes, as desired.

Elf Fuel
OK, let me begin by stating there is absolutely no nutritional value here! But served in a pretty Christmas mug it is the perfect accompaniment to an evening of gift wrapping. Play your favorite Christamas carols mix , light the fireplace, and enjoy!

Servings: 1
1 fluid ounce vanilla flavored vodka
3/4 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur
1 tablespoon instant hot chocolate mix
4 fluid ounces hot milk
Hot Fudge Sauce
Whipped cream

1. Into a coffee mug, pour in the vanilla vodka, amaretto, and add the hot chocolate mix. Pour in the hot milk and stir to blend well.

As Odgen Nash wrote,
"Here's to holly and ivy hanging up,
And to something delicious in every cup."

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remembering Leon Shenandoah, Wisdomkeeper

Leon Shenandoah, chief of Onondaga Nation, and Tadodaho "Firekeeper" of the Six Nations Confederacy (Iroquois), whose symbol is The Tree of Peace, passed over into spirit Monday July 22, 1996, at the age of 81. This gentle, soft spoken, humble holy man was principal chief of a surviving sovereign nation of indigenous people, and spiritual elder of one of the western hemisphere's oldest cultures. In the spirit of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All People, I would like to share with you excerpts from his address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on October 25, 1985. It is indeed a message for our time.

"Listen to the words of the Creator given to the first United Nations, the Haudenosaunee, over 1,000 years ago. The Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee shall be mentors of the people for all time. The thickness of their skins shall be seven spans, which is to say that they shall be proof against anger, offensive action, and criticism. Their hearts shall be full of peace and good will, and their minds full of a yearning for the welfare of the people. With endless patience, they shall carry out their duty. Their firmness shall be tempered with a tenderness for their people. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodging in their minds, and all their words and actions shall be marked by calm deliberation.

In every nation there are wise and good people. These should be appointed Chiefs. They should be the advisors of their people and work for the good of all the people, and their power comes from the "Great Peace."

A chief must never forget the Creator of mankind, never forget to ask the Creator for help. The Creator will guide our thoughts and strengthen us as we work to be faithful to our sacred trust and restore harmony among all peoples, all living creatures, and Mother Earth.

We were instructed to carry a love for one another and to show a great respect for all the beings of this earth.

In our ways spiritual consciousness is the highest form of politics. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed, and human life on this planet will come to an end.

These are our times and responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes.

In order to do this we must recognize the enemy, the one within us. We must begin with ourselves. We must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only lead to our own destruction. We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit now.

We must abide by the Natural Law or be victims of its ultimate reality.

We must stand together, the four sacred colors of humans, as the one family we are, in the interest of peace.

We must abolish nuclear and conventional weapons of war. When warriors are leaders, then you will have war. We must raise leaders of peace.

We must unite the religions of the world as the spiritual force strong enough to prevail in peace.

It is no longer good enough to cry, "Peace."

We must act peace, live peace, and march in peace in alliance with the people of the world.

We are the spiritual energy that is thousands times stronger than nuclear energy. Our energy is the combined will of all people with the spirit of the Natural World, to be of one body, one heart and one mind for peace. "

Friday, December 19, 2008

Create a Winter Solstice Wreath with Meaning

Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.

We decorate our homes with lights, greens, and holiday colors. This is a time to strengthen bonds with family and friends by visiting and/or exchanging gifts and greetings. If you are part of a group, you might take up a collection of food and/or clothing at your Holiday gathering and give what you collected to a social service agency to distribute to the needy. Place sunflower seeds outside for wild birds to feast upon. Greet the Sun at dawn on Solstice morning by ringing bells. Set your intention for a more peaceful planet, and a festival of inner renewal. Bless your home with a wreath on your front door and sprigs of mistletoe inside.

Decorating with evergreens is a colorful tradition with a symbolic past. From ancient times, plants that stayed green throughout the dead of winter were a symbol of life, for both Christians and other religions. Evergreens symbolize Continuity of Life, Protection, and Prosperity. Wreaths displayed at Christmas time are in the form of a circle, signifying eternity. They also serve to wish people happiness in the new year. The evergreen represents eternal life in Christ. Wreaths on the door mean "welcome."

Christmas wreaths are decorated with candles symbolizing the sun at winter solstice, along with holly, evergreens, red berries, and pine cones, representing the harvest, which may have originated in ancient Rome.

Mistletoe is considered one of the most magical, mysterious and sacred plants of European folklore. Celtic druids as well as Greeks believed it could bestow life and fertility, protect against poison and serve as an aphrodisiac. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace under which enemies could declare a truce or fighting spouses could reconcile. Kissing under the mistletoe originated during the Greek festival of Saturnalia. Later, the 18th-century English developed the kissing ball. At Christmastime, a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe cannot refuse to be kissed. If she remains unkissed, she cannot expect to marry the following year.

Holly and ivy were used in pre-Christian times to help celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival, ward off evil spirits and celebrate new growth. Holly is considered a "man's plant," believed to bring good luck and protection to men, while ivy brings the same to women. Holly is used for protection, good luck and to invoke Wood Spirits.

According to Christian beliefs, Evergreen Holly symbolizes eternal life. Legend has it that one winter night, the holly miraculously grew leaves out of season in order to hide the holy family from Herod's soldiers. The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified; the berries are drops of blood he shed. In Scandinavia, holly is known as the Christ Thorn. Ivy must cling to something to support itself as it grows, reminiscent of the need to cling to God for support in our lives.

Pagan Romans believed Laurel was sacred to the sun god Apollo. The first Christians in ancient Rome decorated their homes at the Saturnalia with laurel and when Christianity became more popular in Rome, it became a symbol of Christmas. Laurel has been worn as a wreath on the head for thousands of years to symbolize success and victory. More specifically, it represents the victory of God over the Devil.

During the Middle Ages, Rosemary was used by housewives to spread on the floor at Christmas time. As people walked on it, a pleasant aroma arose. Legend has it that the shrub is fragrant because the Virgin Mary laid the garments of the Christ Child on its branches. The night he was born, the trees suddenly bore fruit and flowers blossomed out of season. Rosemary is also known as the herb of remembrance.

Here is a short list of some additional herbs and materials you might want to incorporate as you create your wreaths, centerpieces and arrangements of holiday greenery:

• symbolizes New Solar Year; Waxing Sun; endurance, strength, triumph, protection, good luck
• forms: Yule log, acorns, wood for sacred fires
• divinities: Oak King; Oak Spirit; Sky Gods including Thor, Jupiter, Zeus
• traditions: Teutonic, Celtic, Christian

• symbolizes the Sun, purification, consecration, protection, spiritual illumination
• forms: incense, oils
• divinities: Sun Gods, Ra at Dawn, Bel
• traditions: Babalyonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, Roman, Christian

• symbolizes healing, death and afterlife, purification, inner peace
• forms: incense, oils
• divinities: Isis, Ra at Midday
• traditions: Egyptian, Jewish, Christian

• symbolizes sustenance, abundance, fertility, good luck
• forms: grain, straw figures and symbols, cookies, cakes, breads
• divinities: Earth Goddesses; Saturn & Ops; Goat Spirit; Fairy Folk
• traditions: Roman, Celtic, Scots, Teutonic, Sweedish, Christian

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Spirit of Oshun: Random Acts of Kindness

Kindness is contagious, even small acts of kindness! Want to do something kind today, but just can't think of what to do? Oshun is the equivalent of Venus or Aphrodite in African mythology. Like them, she is known as "the goddess of love". Like them, she is the most beautiful of all the goddesses, but Oshun is best known for her kindness, which in African mythology is considered the most important quality anyone can possess.

Give of Yourself! Prepare a nutritious bag lunch for a homeless person and hand it to him/her saying "have a great day". Shovel snow for someone. Mow the yard of an elderly or ill neighbor. If you see someone having a bad day, stop to listen to them, hand them a flower, anything to make a difference in their day. Babysit for free for a mom who needs a day to herself to prepare for the holidays. Offer to drive elderly or disabled people to appointments or the store. Crochet or knit baby hats and blankets to donate to a local hospital nursery. Leave your newspaper behind for the next person to read.

Practice kindness towards the environment. Reduce air pollution by carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, or walking. Make a commitment to recycle all aluminum, plastic, and paper materials. Cut down on the energy you use by lowering the heat and turning off lights and unused appliances. Learn more about solar energy. As gifts, give houseplants to teachers, friends, or coworkers.

Express Gratitude. Appreciate someone who has done something kind for you. Send a 'Thank You' card to someone who's helped you when you really needed it. Write a letter to an old teacher who influenced your life. Call your grandparents or parents and let them know how they've impacted your life. Email a friend to thank them for being there for you through hardships. Send an e-card to your husband or wife to tell them how much you appreciate having them in your life. You can create and send a free e-card on our website, by clicking here.

Give the Gift of Inner Transformation! Restrain from criticizing or saying anything negative to anyone today. In a challenging situation, dare to see the glass half full rather than half empty. Listen more than you speak. Give freely of yourself. Practice kindness at every opportunity you get.

Spend five dollars to make someone's day! Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine or a payphone. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Leave flowers in front of someone's house. Bake cookies for your neighbors. Put quarters in the laundry machine for the next person. Leave chocolate on the desk of your co-workers.

Tag, you're it! It's a game of pay-it-forward: anonymously make someone smile with an act of kindness, leave behind a card asking them to keep the ripple going. As the Goddess of love and beauty, Oshun also shows us that true beauty is found on the inside! Alafia Iya!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

– max ehrmann – 1927

Monday, December 15, 2008

give yourself permission to redefine your values this holiday season

There is a spirit of change in the air, and one of the best ways to begin to create change is to let go of some of the outworn ideas and activities of the season that simply don't bring you all that much joy. One of the best ways to avoid holiday stress is to redefine what you really value about how you choose to celebrate the holidays. Consider exploring some of these questions with your kids, family, and friends, and listen to their answers with an open mind and heart. With everyone's input, you should be able to focus on those activities that matter most to you this holiday season, and drop the ones that simply aren't as important to you this year.

• What do you love most about the holiday season?
What comes to mind right away? Baking and decorating cookies for someone special? Creating and wrapping gifts? Ice skating with the kids? Decide what matters to you as a personal "kick-off" to the season. Maybe curling up by the tree with a steaming cup of hot cocoa to test the cookies? Perhaps it's having the opportunity to help others or teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas. Perhaps it's attending the school concert or children's service at your local church. Think of the things that personally symbolize the meaning of the holiday for you and your family.

• What is something that you'd prefer to put "on hold" for this year?
Maybe you enjoy baking three varieties of Christmas cookies, but just don't have the energy or financial resources to do it this year. Or perhaps you need to take a break from planning the annual holiday party at work or school. Give yourself permission to let go of a few traditions you don't feel up to this year. Be honest here. What could you live without? Perhaps it's hanging the outdoor Christmas lights, or writing cards. Determine which events are feeling more like a burden, and consider skipping them this year.

• How do you plan to reach out and help others this year, if at all?
Do you want to get the kids involved in giving this year? If so, what charities would you all like to become involved with? Talk with your children about what they feel passionate about, and look for ways to contribute by sharing your time or financial resources. Instead of organizing an office party, see if any of your co-workers would be interested in creating a charitable drive.

• How do you plan to incorporate your faith in this year's holiday celebrations?
For many people, the winter holidays present an opportunity to return to or seek out their true faith and deepen their spiritual practices. If this is something you wish to incorporate in your holiday celebration, what activities would be meaningful for you?

• What is something new that you'd like to include in your holiday celebration?
Think of a few things you've never done, but would like to try. Maybe you'd like to explore how different cultures and people of other faiths celebrate, and incorporate some of those foods and traditions in your own celebration. Perhaps you'd really like to attend midnight services on Christmas Eve, or begin a new tradition of your own.

Stay focused on what really matters to you this holiday season. It's so easy to get caught up in the business and commercialism of the holiday season and lose sight of you really want to experience. Work with your kids to be intentionally focused on what matters most to you this year, and what will bring you and your loved ones the joy and spirit of the holiday season!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Win an Oshun Spirit mystery box full of goodies on Bonanzle!

If you haven't yet checked it out, it's time to visit our new store on Bonanzle! Bonanzle is a hip, happening, on-line marketplace where the vendors are friendly and up-beat, and the bargains are bountiful! Some are calling it the new ebay alternative, and we'll be closing our ebay store shortly, making Bonanzle our premiere marketplace venue. Many of your favorite ebay merchants have set up shop there as well. With lower merchant fees, prices are better for you! Take some time to browse by category, by exceptional items, (funniest, coolest, most bizarre, and most beautiful to name a few), by handpicked lists (retro jewelry, practical things, stress-busters and feel-good-things are on the list) or by keywords. Beware, browsing Bonanzle might be your new favorite thing to do online!

At Oshun Spirit, we're well-stocked with all your favorite goodies including our best sellers, and a great selection of gorgeous, new Tachyon jewelry. Gift certificates are available, too! And, you can enter coupon code SANTA at checkout and take 25% off your purchases, including wellness and metaphysical services today!

We're also offering our BEST EVER Mystery Box Raffle just in time for holiday giving! You’ll receive 1 FREE ENTRY w/ each $10 PURCHASE Friday 12/12 – Sunday 12/14. This generous stash of goodies has a value of over $150, and includes wellness, jewelry, spa, and more! The drawing will be held on Monday morning 12/15!

Good luck and happy holidays from Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

thinking of green hair?

Eco-friendly green, that is! Making your own natural or organic hair care products at home can be a fun, healthier, and a less expensive way to take care of your hair and shine! Have fun with experimenting with different combinations until you find the best overall product for your hair type and your lifestyle.

By creating your own product, you can be secure in the knowledge that you are aware of every single ingredient and not have to worry about adding chemicals that you cannot even pronounce into contact with your body. This is a great idea for a hand-crafted, eco-chic spa gift to give to your green-thinking friends this season!

In creating a shampoo, I use a base of castille soap, a vegetable-based oil soap (as opposed to most commercial soap bases which use a base of animal fat). There are many varieties of castile soap that come from the natural oil base that they are made from. The most popular castile soap bases are: Coconut Oil, Almond oil, Olive oil, Hemp oil, and Jojoba oil. I like Olive oil.

Once you have chosen your castile soap base, you can add your essential and/or fragrance oils to the mixture. Different oils will affect the hair in different ways depending on what you are looking for in a home made shampoo. For instance if you are looking to control dandruff and to sooth an itchy scalp, then you would add Tea Tree oil and Chamomile to your shampoo base. If you wanted to add extra shine to your hair with a great scent, try Lemongrass and Rosemary.

Here are some oil and herb combinations that you can used based on creating a shampoo that begins with 4oz of castile soap for placement in an 8oz bottle.

  • Dandruff Control: 1/2 oz Tea Tree oil and 2 1/2 oz strained Chamomile Tea.
  • Extra Shine: 2 1/2 oz strained Lemongrass Tea and 1/2 oz Rosemary oil.
  • To Control Oily Hair: 1/2 oz Lavender oil and 2 1/2 oz strained Sage tea.
  • To Thicken Hair: 1 oz Rosemary oil and 1/2 oz strained Nettles.

Once you have created your organic shampoo, you'll want to store the bottle in a cool and dark area. Because you are creating something using natural and organic ingredients, the product does have an indefinite shelf life as the chemical additive shampoos that are on the market today.

For most organic conditioners, the popular choice is to use a base of plain organic yogurt. Keep in mind that the following information is for one to two applications of conditioning only. Yogurt based conditioners can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Here are some organic homemade yogurt based conditioner recipes.

  • Strengthening: Combine 1/4 oz organic plain yogurt, 1 egg yolk and the zest of two lemons.
  • To Create Texture: Combine 1/4 oz organic plain yogurt, 1 egg yolk and one smashed Avocado.
  • Dandruff Control: Combine 1/4 oz organic plain yogurt, 1/4 cup Coconut oil and 3 tablespoons Lime juice.
  • Extra Moisturizing: Combine 4 oz organic plain yogurt, 1 smashed banana and 1/2 cup honey. Leave mixture on for up to 40 minutes for a weekly conditioning treatment.

Do it yourself! Know what you are putting in and onto your body. Save on plastic packaging materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill! And, making your own green haircare products helps to keep a little green in your wallet, too. Have fun!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

brighten your day!

When you're happy, you feel better, look better, and are better! Here are some simple and effective tips you can use to brighten your day!

• Get outside! Whenever you feel bored, antsy, or gloomy, go for a walk. The fresh air, changing scenery, and exercise will boost your mood. See the sun daily. The sun's rays may encourage your body to produce natural chemicals that induce joy. Go outdoors at night and look to the heavens. Whenever you have a chance to relax under the stars, do it. Gazing at the night sky makes you feel more connected to the world.

• Meditate while you walk. Stroll through a familiar part of town and focus your mind on its sights, smells, and sounds. If other thoughts pop up, acknowledge them but return your concentration to what's around you.

Answer slowly. Take a deep breath before responding to a question from anyone, whether it's your boss, your mother, or your lover. Chances are you'll say something smarter (and kinder). Bow out gracefully. The next time you argue with someone, be the first person to relent and acknowledge the other person's point of view. You'll both be smiling sooner.

Marry beauty and practicality. Next time you need an everyday object, like a cereal bowl or a coffee mug, choose the most pleasing replacement you can afford. When you use it, notice its simple elegance. Place a small but exquisite painting, handmade vase, natural object, or other piece of art prominently in your home. Admire it often.

Add greenery. Adorn your desk and kitchen counter with cut flowers, houseplants, or potted herbs. Plants are proven mood enhancers. Revel in simplicity. Buy a single rose, tulip, or gerber daisy. Admire the color and shape of the petals and remember how beautiful life can be.

• Care for yourself. Eat fresh food, drink pure water. Create a home spa in which you can retreat, relax and renew. Treat yourself to scented candles, therapuetic bath salts and oils, aromatherapy, soft towels and uplifting music.

Remember kindness. Recall a situation in which a friend treated you kindly. Mentally extend the feelings of joy she inspired back to her. Keep in touch. Write a friend. Use your best pen and beautiful stationery. Realize that you are actually sending love. Know you're loved. There's no greater joy!