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The Great Stones

Britain is dotted with ancient standing stones, some single monuments and some arranged in circles. While Stonehenge is certainly the most famous of them all, there are many others worth the mention. The Dragon Project has studied the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire has detected ultrasonic rays as well as radiation and magnetic energies coming from the stones.

The pattern of energy coming from the stones varies in a way which is linked to the natural cycles of the moon and the turning of the seasons. Photographs have shown various effects around the stones, from orbs of light to odd shimmers in the air.

Many people detect actual presences near these old stones. Standing stones are said to be doorways to other worlds and people have heard music and seen lights and strange people around them for centuries.

Creating Your Own Stone Circle

It is not always possible to work in close contact with the actual ancient stone circles. Many of them are now protected from casual visitors and the vandalism of centuries by English Heritage and the National Trust. Thankfully, for people who want to get in close contact with the Song of the Earth, it is entirely possible to create your own circle in your garden.

They do not need to be nearly as large as the ancient circles, either – which is a relief, as few of us have that sort of space.

Take time in the creation of your circle. Choose stones which you feel a connection to, and ones which feel ‘right’. Make sure that they are sturdy. They do not have to be taller than 30cm high for your vertical stones, with longer and thinner ones for the horizontals.

Choose the location for your circle, and light a candle each time you place a stone in position. First place the four main compass stones at the north, south, east and west points of your circle. Then the mid-point stones at the north-east, south-east, north-west and south-west of the circle. Spread these placements down over several days, placing one stone at a time. While the candle burns, meditate on the stone you have placed. Give it, and the position it is placed in, your full attention.

Consecrating Your Circle

Once every stone is placed, circle it nine times clockwise at dawn, beginning from the North Stone. As you pass each stone, touch it with a living branch from a nearby tree. Allow that to settle for the day, and then circle it nine times anti-clockwise at sunset, beginning at the South Stone. This time, touch each stone with a naturally fallen dead branch.

Light a golden candle in the centre and circle it with your favourite brown, yellow, red, or orange crystals. It can be fun to invite a few friends over to dance around your circle, if you have people who share your interest nearby.

The day after, sit quietly in your circle and allow the sounds of the Earth wash over you. Bury one of your favourite crystals in the heart of your circle, and feel free to place another standing stone over it if it feels right.

Try to spend a few moments each day with your circle, circling it at least once each way to help focus the energy of the Song of the Earth. Over time, your circle will grow in power and will offer you calming energy and mild healing, as the earth gives you back the attention you give to it multiplied several times over.

 

The Empress

Mother’s Love

The Empress embodies the Mother of Creation, the female half of all creation. She is the Goddess of Fertility, and offers love, creativity, luxury, beauty and grace.

When she shows up in the cards, it indicates a deep connection with femininity. Whatever your gender, the Empress calls you to get in touch with your sensuality. Use all of your senses and draw on them to experience pleasure and deep fulfilment.

The Empress also encourages you to spend your time in nature. Allow yourself the time and the space to enter into a different frame of mind in which you can truly connect with the Earth and receive her wisdom into your heart and mind. Take a trip to your favourite natural setting, whatever that might be, and give yourself the time to simply breathe in the energy that the Earth offers. The Empress offers you the solid foundation of being grounded in the material plane.

This is a deeply nurturing and caring card. It suggests that you are blessed by maternal, protective forces or influences. She offers a reminder that our children are our future, and we are responsible for their growth and development.

Depending on the other cards in the reading, the Empress can also indicate that the energy of the Song is about to intervene directly into your life. You may not know what brings the good fortune, but the sense of being looked after and nurtured is no accident. The Empress offers a gentle reminder that you are worthy of the Mother’s loving embrace.

The High Priestess

Guardian of the Subconscious

The figure of the High Priestess is a powerful one. She sits before the Tree of Life, beneath the arch of the Gate of Consciousness. She guards the space, keeping the knowledge she holds from those who are not yet ready to receive it.

The High Priestess sits in front of the thin veil which separates our conscious awareness from the subconscious. She knows the secrets of how to access the deep, true knowledge of the subconscious and bring it into the light of conscious thought. She represents spiritual enlightenment and inner illumination, divine knowledge and wisdom. She has a deep, intuitive understanding of the workings of the Song and uses this knowledge to gently teach rather than to try and control others. When she appears in a reading, it usually indicates that you need to listen to and trust your inner voice.

Because the High Priestess represents a link to the subconscious mind, which cannot e accessed through the everyday world but only through the more cryptic language of dreams and symbols. When this card appears in a reading, you need to pay attention to your dreams and intuition. Look for areas in your life that may be out of balance or that require greater foresight and wisdom. Knowledge of how to fix it will not come through logic or intellect but through your inner voice, so be sure to allow yourself the quiet time needed to listen to it.

When the High Priestess appears in a reading, she can also indicate that your life is changing, or that you are being inspired to creativity. This card suggests an ongoing process, rather than a finished article, but it is still a good card to appear in readings for artists, poets and writers.

The Difference Between Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy

A good many people seem to be confused by this, and so I felt that it was necessary to get my opinions about the two down very clearly. It has been a source of irritation for many years that herbal medicine and homeopathy are often confused by people, so I will do my best to outline the differences between the two.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine has been the foundation of healthcare throughout recorded history. Even today, the World Health Organisation believes that around 80% of the world’s population still uses herbs and their properties as a primary source of medical care.

Herbal medicines, just like conventional medicines, have a direct effect on the body and need to be used with care because they can be potentially harmful if not used correctly. Therefore, they need to be used with the same care and respect as conventional medicines, and it is always a good idea to tell your doctor about any herbal medicines you’re taking before starting on a new prescription.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a complementary or alternative medicine based on a series of ideas originally developed in the 1790s by a German doctor called Samuel Hahnemann. He believed that to successfully treat an illness, ‘like cures like’, and so that a substance which causes a headache should be used to treat a headache.

Very early on, this caused the deaths of a good many of Samuel Hahnemann’s patients, because a good many of the substances he was using in order to  treat people were toxic. Instead of abandoning the idea, he decided that a process called succussion should be used. This process is based around diluting and shaking the original substance repeatedly.

Practitioners of homeopathy believe that the more a substance is diluted in this way, the greater its power to treat the symptoms becomes. In effect, this means that most homeopathic remedies have less than 0.00001% of the original substance available to them, the rest of the solution being water.

There has been extensive scientific investigation of the effectiveness of homeopathy, and there is no good quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition. The results consistently show that homeopathy works thanks to the placebo effect, nothing more.

Conclusion

Please don’t confuse herbal medicine with homeopathy. They are very different things, with very different results. I would never encourage people not to use something that they believe helps them, so if you like homeopathy treatments, by all means continue to use them. But please don’t suggest that a herbalist is a homeopath. It becomes very irritating very quickly.

Healing with Lavender

Lavender is one of the most widely used and versatile herbs known today. Lavender flowers have been used for centuries to treat digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. Until World War I, lavender was used to treat and disinfect wounds. English farmers have placed lavender flowers in their hats in order to prevent headaches and sunstroke for years. In more domestic uses, women still place sachets of lavender in their wardrobes for fragrance, and it is a common element in potpourri.

Today, lavender is most commonly used to help to treat anxiety, depression, mental exhaustion, insomnia, scrapes and wounds, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and women’s health problems. In addition to this wealth of uses, lavender can be used to help treat exhaustion, heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, over-exertion, jet lag, rashes, sprains, sunburn, sunstroke, bruises and burns. It is a good mild disinfectant and insect repellent, along with being antiseptic, a natural antibiotic, a mild sedative and a detoxifier.

Anxiety

Lavender essential oil has a calming, sedative and anti-convulsive effect. When used in combination with other relaxants, it can also help to boost their effectiveness.

Insomnia

This is likely the most common use of lavender. Studies conducted at the University of Leicester have shown that using lavender essential oil is just as effective in promoting a healthy sleep pattern as traditional medication, and many hospitals offer lavender pillows in order to help their patients get a good nights’ sleep.

Scrapes and Wounds

Lavender essential oil has antiseptic properties. Applying it to wounds can not only increase cell growth and so help the wound to heal faster, it also helps to decrease the appearance of scars. The oil is anti-microbial, helping to protect scrapes and wounds from becoming infected, while allowing them to heal effectively.

Digestive Problems

Lavender helps to sooth the lining of the digestive tract and promotes the secretion of bile, which helps the body to digest fats and helps to reduce the instances of heartburn. In addition to this, lavender can also help ease bloating and constipation.

Headaches

Massaging lavender oil onto the temples, neck and forehead can relieve neck and head tension and promote relaxation, thus helping to relieve a variety of headaches. Those included are gastric headaches, nervous headaches, sinus pain and tension headaches.

Skin Problems

Massaging lavender oil into the skin can help to treat a number of skin problems including acne, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, sunburn and burns.

Conclusion

Lavender is a must-have for all homes, and is an essential part of every herbal medicine cupboard. Few herbs can truly claim to have the sheer number of uses offered by lavender. It is as close to an all-round treatment as there is to be found anywhere.

Healing with Honey

Honey has been a medicinal substance for centuries. In Ancient Egypt it was used as a wound dressing, embalming fluid, and was often included in offerings to the gods.I know. Honey is not a herb. But it is such a great healer that when I started thinking of plants to concentrate on, I just kept returning to it. So here is a run-down of what makes honey so great. Don’t worry – I’ll do similar overviews of various herbs over the next few weeks.

Today, honey is often used for its antibacterial properties. Even some hospitals use manuka honey as a wound dressing, because it helps to keep bacteria out of the wounds. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is a general all-round remedy. Not to mention, it tastes great.

Finally, for those who want to try and live a more natural life and eat fewer processed foods, honey makes an excellent sweetener for a wide range of foods and drinks.

What to look for

There is such a bewildering array of honeys available in supermarkets now that it can be difficult to work out what to buy. You also need to be very careful, because fake honey is easily and cheaply produced.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to look for the darker honeys, as these have a greater antioxidant level and are better at fighting off bacteria.

Unfortunately, most honey that you can find on supermarket shelves is pasteurized. This is meant to help increase its shelf-life, but I struggle to believe that it is necessary. Honey has been found in Egyptian tombs which was perfectly edible. What this process certainly does do, however, is to get rid of the heat-sensitive properties of honey, severely curtailing its use as anything other than a sweetener.

Ideally, you need to find somewhere which sells raw honey. This is precisely what it sounds like. It is untreated, unpasteurized honey. It crystalises very easily, and therefore cannot be poured as easily as commercial honey, but it is delicious, and very good for you.

Uses of Honey

Coughs and Colds

I have already mentioned the fact that honey is very useful in helping to treat colds and ‘flu. It helps to soothe inflamed membranes and eases coughs. It has been proved to be as effective – or more – than certain over-the-counter medications in both easing a cough and helping to promote restful sleep.

Improve Digestion

Any sort of nausea or digestive distress can be helped with a tablespoon of honey. If mixed with other ingredients, this can make a highly effective digestive syrup.

Lower cholesterol

As a natural sweetener, raw honey can help to control cholesterol levels when introduced as a way to help diets taste better.

Improves SleepHoney is a relaxant. It helps to produce melatonin, which is the hormone which helps to encourage natural, restful sleep.

Heal Wounds

I have already mentioned that honey can be used topically as an aid to promote swift healing of wounds, mild burns, rashes and grazes.

Shampoo

Raw honey can be added to home shampoo recipes very easily. When used in this way, it can help to cleanse and restore the health of your hair and scalp.

Moisturiser and Skin Care

If mixed into a lotion with lemon and olive oil, raw honey makes for a great moisturiser. Leave it on the skin for a minute or two and then rinse thoroughly.

As you can see, there are many uses to honey. This list really does only scratch the surface of its many and varied uses. It makes it a necessary part of the medicine cupboard for anyone who happens to be remotely interested in adding natural health to their daily life.

 

 

A Look At Reiki

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a gentle, non-intrusive healing technique, in which the practitioner brings universal healing energy through their hands and uses that energy to heal and restore the body at all levels – physical, emotional and spiritual. During the treatment, any blocked or stagnant energy can be released, allowing the energy within the body to flow freely, which in turn allows the body’s natural healing processes to kick in.

Where does Reiki energy come from?

Reiki energy is a subtle energy. It comes directly from the Song, and thus exists at a higher frequency than the energies of the physical world that we are more familiar with. When viewed clairvoyantly, Reiki energy appears to come down from above and to enter the top of the practitioner’s head, after which it flows through the body and out of the hands. A practitioner never uses their personal energy during a Reiki session, and is instead connecting to the infinite supply of energy offered by the Song.

Calm woman receiving reiki treatment

What does it feel like?

Reiki is usually given to you when you are either lying on a massage couch or seated, and you remain fully clothed, with only your shoes occasionally removed – and even this is done to ensure your comfort, rather than out of any degree of necessity. Depending on your personal preference, the treatment can either be ‘hands on’, where there is a gentle touch to the body, or ‘hands off’, which is the more usual form and where the practitioner’s hands are held a short distance away from your body. You are usually asked to close your eyes and to relax whilst the treatment is carried out.

The specific sensations experienced during a session vary from person to person. Some report feeling nothing, but the vast majority feel either a warmth or a tingling sensation, and this is often accompanied by an awareness of changes within your physical, mental and/or emotional state.

What are the benefits of a Reiki treatment?

Reiki treatments can help to release blocked energies and to restore physical, mental and emotional balance. The healing energy always goes to wherever you need it most. Reiki can also help you take a step back from any worries and problems, and help you reframe them from a more relaxed state of mind.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that while Reiki is certainly a powerful tool and can help to bring comfort and improve the quality of life of those who seek out treatments, it is a complementary therapy, and should never be used as an alternative to conventional medical care.

Aura Colours and Meanings

The aura is part of the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body – and every other organism and object in creation. When speaking specifically of humans, it is sometimes referred to as the Human Energy Field, or HEF, in order to avoid the mystical associations of the word ‘aura’.

The aura of a healthy person surrounds their body in an oval shaped field, or ‘auric egg’, which extends approximately 1 metre on average from the skin on all sides of the body, including above the head and into the ground.

Auric Variations

Once you have learned to perceive your own aura and those of other people, you need to start recognising the information packed in to each shade the aura can display. By recognising the significance of this and adjusting your own aura in turn, you can achieve truly spectacular effects throughout your life.

Red

This is a very creative, life-enhancing auric colour which can vary from brilliant scarlet to deep ruby. It is also the colour of the instincts for basic survival and when the shade is harsh or murky, it can reflect anger, a desire to dominate, or a strong desire to change.

A paler red can suggest buried anger or resentment and repressed guilt at these feelings and needs a particularly careful response. Pale red can reveal the truth behind a seemingly calm, reasonable exterior and you ignore the underlying negativity at your peril.

Orange

This often appears as the predominant auric colour when a question of identity is at stake. In its clearest shades it represents optimism, joy, and good health. However, in a close relationship too much orange can suggest a lack of commitment.

Pale orange over any length of time in your own aura can suggest that your identity is perhaps being eroded by your desire to please others, and when seen in others it can suggest that they rely on you more than they admit.

Yellow

This is the auric colour of communication and when it is a lovely, golden yellow, communication is clear and creative. The sun positively shines from every enthusiastic fibre. It can warm and enrich the auras of others. It is also the colour of a sharp intellect, so do not underestimate your opponent if their aura flares bright yellow.

However, when the yellow is a dull shade, it can suggest that there may be something being concealed, or some less than honest intent.

Green

This is the auric colour of the heart and emotions and is especially dominant when relationships are the main issue. In matters of love, a clear green aura is a good sign of a faithful heart and in friendship it indicates trustworthiness. Often a bright green aura may be the first sign of an emotional commitment, and can be encouraging if you are unsure whether to reveal your own feelings.

A paler green can suggest emotional dependency. That is fine in children, and also in love and friendship when it alternates with a stronger shade. A dull, muddy green can conceal conflicting emotions or an emotional leech, and yellow-green is often a sign of possessiveness and unwarranted jealousy.

Blue

This is an aura colour concerned with principles and ideals. Bright blue is altruistic and the person will put principles before personal gain. The softer blues, often associated with healing, soften that idealism with compassion. Navy blue has an unworldliness about it which can be frustrating when financial or business matters must be resolved.

When the aura is ice blue, it can suggest a touch of heartlessness. A dull blue can suggest that concern for conventions and traditions is leading to rigidity.

Purple

This is the auric colour that deals with the spiritual and psychic side of human nature that can so easily get swamped by everyday living. Because it is a colour related to intuition, it can often provide an answer when logic and emotion fail. Deep, rich purple talks of deeply spiritual areas and a strong intuitive nature.

Paler purple relates to the inner world and suggests that its wearer considers inner happiness more vital than material success. Only when the auric purple is muddy or blurred does it imply that its owner is spending too long on daydreams and illusions.

Pink

In an aura pink is a good sign as those who display this colour are natural peacemakers or are in a re-conciliatory mood. If the pink is bright and clear, you know that the person in question will be open to your suggestions, feelings and fears.

A pale but clear pink reveals inner harmony and means that the person you are dealing with is likely to take a balanced view of whatever matter is at hand. If the pink is misty, it can mean that you are dealing with someone who sees other people’s points of view to such an extent that they are unlikely to reach any decisions without firm direction.

Brown

Some people assume that brown is a sign that something is wrong, but this is not instantly the case. A clear, shining brown, like fresh-ploughed fields in the sunlight, is a healthy sign that the person in question is practical, reliable, with a good sense of humour and a great deal of common sense. Pale, clear brown shows that practicality is tempered with enthusiasm and versatility.

Problems only arise if the shade of brown is constant and unvarying. Then, it suggests someone who is too focused on utter practicality and who may need to consider adding some fun into their life. A very dark brown can suggest feeling overloaded by responsibilities that may be masked as a lack of enthusiasm or inability.

White

This is the synthesis of all the other colours and suggests creativity, energy, and focused aims in an everyday context. It is a very exciting aura to develop on a personal level. Because it includes all of the other colours, it can help to clear stagnation  in any area and promote one of those inspirational leaps that take us from an unfulfilling but secure situation to the thrilling unknown.

However, a dirty whit aura or one with streaks of black hints at unfinished or unresolved issues which must be resolved before progress can be made.

Black

This is the ultimate receptive colour of the aura and is not necessarily a negative colour. Black at its clearest represents the receptive, nurturing, accepting side of human nature. It is a very stabilising auric shade as long as it is not so heavy that the person seems to vanish beneath its weight.

Black also has a second aspect; in its softer or denser shades it can represent a natural fluidity that accepts people for what they are and not what they ‘should’ be. A dense, heavy black can suggest depression, a poor self-image and a low sense of personal worth.

Autism ‘Cure’ Hoax

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. It is not an illness or disease, and therefore cannot be ‘cured’. Unfortunately, this does not prevent people from suggesting otherwise.

The Claims

The ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ is a solution of sodium chlorite in distilled water. It was first suggested by Jim Humble in a self-published book, first released in 2006. There is also a more diluted version of the same solution marketed as Chlorine Dioxide Solution, or CDS.

Jim Humble’s book claims that his Miracle Mineral Solution can act as a preventative against malaria, cancer, the hepatitis viruses, and – most damaging of all, autism. It was not until Kerri Rivera became a promoter that it really began to be sold as a cure for autism, however.

Kerri Rivera has claimed that treating children with Miracle Mineral Solution has removed 170 children from the autistic spectrum. She believes that the cure purges the body of a range of parasites that cause autism. In spite of the fact that her support of this ‘treatment’ has forced her to move to Mexico in order for her to be able to continue to offer it, she is still as vocal a supporter of it as ever.

The Truth

Sodium chlorite is a toxic chemical. It can cause acute renal failure if ingested, and has caused fatalities in adults who have ingested it. This has caused the supporters of it to change the method of administering it to an enema, and say that it needs to be ‘activated’ by adding citric acid.

Adding citric acid to sodium chlorite produces an aqueous solution containing chlorine dioxide – a toxin commonly used in bleach. It should be obvious that giving a child an enema of bleach is a damaging process which will do nothing to combat the symptoms of autism.

In spite of the claims that the vomiting, nausea and diarrhea the product causes are proof that it is working, this is not the case. It is simply due to the fact that the solution is toxic, and the body is programmed to attempt to purge toxins as best it can. Chronic exposure to even small doses of chlorine dioxide can cause reproductive and neurodevelopmental damage. It has been shown to impair thyroid functions and reduce red blood cell counts when tested on animals.

Conclusion

Please do not give your children MMS ‘cures’. They do not work, and use of them is abuse, no matter how well-meaning your intentions might be. If you need help and support in dealing with autism, I encourage you to visit the National Autistic Society website – they offer a wide range of services, and should be able to point you in the right direction to find the help you need.

Why You Should Avoid Ear-Candles

Ear-candling involves placing a tube of cloth into your ear canal and getting a trusted friend to set the top of it alight. Exactly where this started is cited as many places, but most commonly it is referred to as Hopi Ear Candling, a fact which the Hopi tribe of Native Americans dispute strongly.

Wherever they originated, the claim is that the process creates a low-level suction force which draws wax and other debris out of the ear canal. Some people claim that this process claim that impurities are also drawn from the sinuses or even the brain itself, although exactly how this works is vauge at best.

Products

Most ear candles are relatively cheap, ranging between £5 to £10 in the UK. They can be made of either linen or cotton, which is usually left unbleached because practitioners of ear-candling claim that chlorine is bad for the ears. These cloth tubes are soaked in wax or paraffin and allowed to harden – although some manufacturers only use pure beeswax because they claim that paraffin is a carcinogenic. Some waxes contain herbs or other substances, included sage, chamomile, rose, rosemary, burdock, and many others.

Method

Most instruction direct the person undergoing the procedure to lie on their side. A collecting plate is placed above the ear, and the candle is inserted through a hole in the plate and into the ear canal. The candle is lit, and usually trimmed as the wick burns down. Some practitioners use a toothpick to maintain a hole in the top of the hollow candle so that it maintains its ‘chimney-like’ appearance. Once the candle is blown out and removed, a cotton swab is used to gently remove visible earwax from the ear.

Why This Does Not Work

Since earwax is naturally sticky, the negative pressure needed to pull wax from the canal would have to be so powerful that it would rupture the eardrum in the process. Ear-candling has been tested, and it does not produce any form of suction whatsoever. Researchers who measured the pressure during candling have found that no negative pressure is created.

The notion that the ear canal is in any way connected to structures beyond the eardrum is also false. Anyone with a basic knowledge of anatomy – or access to a local library – should be able to realise this very quickly. The external ear canal, with an intact eardrum, is not connected to the brain or the sinuses.

Dangers

Candling poses several very real dangers. The most serious of which are caused by the hot wax or paraffin from the candle dripping into the ear. There have been cases where this has actually punctured the eardrum, requiring surgery in order to reverse the damage. Even when this does not puncture the eardrum, the added wax can cause ear canal blockages which require minor surgery in order to remove.

There have also been cases where people have been burned or fires have been started by the use of ear candles.

Given that adding things to the ear can bring with it the chance of infection, and ear candles go reasonably deeply into the ear canal, they also bring with them a serious risk of secondary ear canal infections of various kinds.

In short, ear candling is a dangerous and useless procedure, and places those who use it at significant risk without offering any documented benefits whatsoever.