Category Archives for A to Z Challenge

A to Z Reflections 2017

For posterity, this year’s A to Z Challenge will henceforth be known as, “The Year I Fell Behind on Visiting and Commenting and Never Caught Up.” Catchy, yes?

It started off well enough. Probably because it was a Saturday, and I was able to spend a fair amount of time that first weekend visiting and commenting. But then Monday rolled around, and it pretty much went downhill from there. That’s not to say I didn’t spend a fair amount of time visiting and commenting the following weeks. I did. As much as I could spare/mentally handle. But it felt like no matter how much time I spent, it was never enough. Continue reading

A to Z Herbarium: Zhi Zi

Love, Peace, Healing, Spirituality

Chinese-named herbs to the rescue again! This time, zhi zi = gardenia.

Fresh gardenia flowers placed in sickrooms will help with healing. The dried petals are often added to incenses and healing mixtures. Dried gardenia is also often used in Moon incenses, and scattering dried gardenia about the room will encourage peaceful vibrations.

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A to Z Herbarium: Xue Jie

Love, Protection, Exorcism, Potency

Ok, so I had to use the Chinese name for this herb, as herbs starting with X in either English or Latin are seemingly non-existent.

Anywho, turns out that xue jie, in English, is dragon’s blood (from the Latin sanguis draconis). It’s the resin from a number of different plants belonging to genera Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang and Pterocarpus. That all seems terribly complicated, so let’s just say it comes from the dragon tree (which is actually true).

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A to Z Herbarium: Wormwood

Psychic Powers, Protection, Love, Calling Spirits

Wormwood is used in incenses intended to develop psychic powers. Carrying wormwood will protect against bewitchment and bites from sea serpents. According to ancient tradition, wormwood will also counteract poisoning by hemlock and toadstools (take this advice with an epic-sized grain of salt).

Burning wormwood will summon spirits, and is sometimes mixed with sandalwood for this purpose. If burned in graveyards, it’s said that spirits of the dead will rise and speak.

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A to Z Herbarium: Violet

Protection, Luck, Love, Lust, Wishes, Peace, Healing

Carrying violet will protect one against wicked spirits, and bring about a change in luck and fortune. When mixed with lavender, violets stimulate love and lust. Gathering the first violet in spring means your greatest wish will be granted.

In ancient Greece, violets were worn to cool tempers and bring about sleep. Ancient Romans made wine out of violet blossoms. A wreath of violets worn on the head was believed to cure headaches and dizziness. Violets have also been associated with death and mourning. It’s possible this connection goes back to ancient times, as it’s said when the Phrygian god Attis died, violets sprung wherever his blood fell.

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