Friday, November 26, 2010

Protecting your Home/Business/Work Space

There are many ways one can protect there space. you have the physical aspects such as Alarm Systems, Security Cameras, Man's Best Friend the loyal Dog, non-leathel bobby-traps. I had one coworker that rigged his desk drawers so he can tell who was snooping where they shouldn't be snooping.

Then there are the Magical Barriers and charms. These add extra security to those physical actions. A pice of mind and for thousands they claim they work (I am a believer and many of my customers are to). There are many who simply use these to make themselves fell more secure and there is nothing in wanting that for oneself.

There are Charms, Washes, Powders, Rituals, Spells and many other things one can do. In this post we will go over just a few things and we do make kits upon request. For many getting a kit that has all of the herbal components and other items is more cost effective then trying to get all of the supplies from everywhere and ending up spending far more then they wanted. Our kits are simply the separated components with the ritual/directions on how to put it all together. We will put some of the components together ahead of time such as the labor intensive powdering, making washes, incense and oils. These can take weeks and when one needs to do something sooner the kits are a perfect solution while they get there replacements made.

The First thing is Cleansing the space: This is important to do. We use Sage smudges to cleans protect the space. While using the smudge stick walk all around the entire primiter of the place and stoping at the openings and double duty them such as the windows and doors. Invasion a white light filling you up and going out with the sage smoke as you walk invasions this light making a primator around the space. For many I do suggest doing the outside of the space as well as inside. Such as Homes, cars, Certain shops. If you can't do the outside its okay, it is not required.

Wash: using a specific wash for your needs can help intensify the smudging.
Washes are made like herbal teas. But you do not drink these you will use them as a floor or window wash, depending on what it is for.
Protection Wash:

Brew, strain and anoint each window and door of the house/space. Pour the rest down the drain to safeguard them. Make a fresh batch as needed.

Money wash:

  • 3 parts Sassafras
  • 2 parts Cedar
  • 1 part allspice
  • 1 part clove
  • 1 part dill
  • 1 part vetivert
  • 1 part calamus
Half fill a green glass bottle with fresh water. add about a handful or so of the mixed, empowered herbs. Cap tightly and leave in full sunlight all day. At dusk, sniff the water. If the scent is strong, strain and add to baths, wash hands, anoint money charms and so on. If it isn't strong enough, chill overnight and return to the Sun the following day. You can even use this on the counter where your Business transactions happen.

Business Drawing Wash

mix well add two tablespoons of the mixture to one pint of fresh water
If your business has walk in customers, wash down the entrance floor, the door handle and the aisle, while using your chant. For mail order business, wash your mailbox. Once a week wash down these places. Never use wash longer then a week, make fresh batch as needed. It is said that this wash is also good in attracting tenets to an empty apartment.

Essence of Louisiana Van Van

  • 1 1/2 ounce of Louisiana Van Van oil 
  • 16 ounce of alcohol
Shake well before each use. Used as a sprinkling solution to attract luck and power of all kinds when used full strength Add to scrub water to wash down the floor and steps of a home or business to get rid of evil.
Louisiana Van Van Oil:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon grass herb
  • 2 ounces base Oil (Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Vegetable Oil, Extra virgin Olive Oil)
  • a pinch of blessed salt
how to brew: I use my double boiler method and Dried herbs. Put a pot of water on, place a thick durable glass bowl on top to make a double boiler. Pour your oil base into the bowl and add the dried herbs. Gently heat up to a gentle boil (the water not the oil) The heat will release the herbal oil from the plants. Steep until desired strength, in some cases you might need to change out the herbs and add more. Make sure you squeeze the oil out of the herbs. After the last strain add in the salt and turn off the heat. This will dissolve the salt. Let cool and then bottle up.

Powders: Are simple components to help you out. They are also used in Gris Gris bags as well as in rituals.  All powders are made from finely ground herbs and resins. Sometimes Oils and other liquids are added, if your recipe has a liquid make sure to add the talc powder last, talc powder does not absorb liquids. you can also sprinkle the powders in your space as a flour sweep powder.

Gold Dust Powder:

Luck Powder

  • 2 parts Vetivert
  • 2 parts allspice
  • 1 part nutmeg
  • 1 part calamus
Use to bring positive changes in your life.

Protection Powder:

Mix and sprinkle outside your property to dispel and stave off negativity.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goddess of the Day Lakshmi

Lakshmi Puja
Lakshmi puja is performed during Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by those who wish to acquire or to preserve wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or where the people are lazy.
In the Sri Vaishnava philosophy however, Sri (Lakshmi) is honoured as the "Iswarigm sarva bhootanam" i.e. the Supreme goddess and not just the goddess of wealth. This is an important distinction between Sri Vaishnavism and other materialistic philosophies.

The auspicious moment
The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of Lakshmi-puja and is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. On this very day sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing. Despite the fact that this day falls on an amavasya day it is regarded as the most auspicious.
The day of Lakshmi-Puja falls on the dark night of Amavasya. The strains of joyous sounds of bells and drums float from the temples as man is invoking Goddess Laxmi in a wondrous holy "pouring-in" of his heart. All of a sudden that impenetrable darkness is pierced by innumerable rays of light for just a moment and the next moment a blaze of light descends down to earth from heaven as golden-footed Deep-Lakshmi alights on earth in all her celestial glory amidst chantings of Vedic hymns.
A sublime light of knowledge dawns upon humanity and this self enlightenment is expressed through the twinkling lamps that illuminate the palaces of thewealthy as well as the lowly abodes of the poor. It is believed that on this day Lakshmi walks through the green fields and loiters through the bye-lanes and showers her blessings on man for plenty and prosperity.
Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in North and West India. It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion). Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up Her path.
Lakshmi Puja consists of a combined puja of five deities: Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighneshvara; Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali; Kuber (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.

Rite of a Diwali Puja
Initially the house must be cleaned, and a Rangoli is drawn at the doorstep in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
The Puja requires the following elements:
The Ritual Elements
▪ Silver and Gold coins
▪ Ten Betel Nuts (Supari)
▪ Uncooked Rice
▪ Five Paan or Mango leaves
▪ A Coconut
▪ Water in a small pot (a "Lota")
▪ Red vermillon ("Kumkum") for applying the tilak
▪ Oil Lamps ("Diyas")
▪ Holi-type colored powders
▪ Indian sweets (Mithai)
▪ Camphor
▪ Incense sticks (Agarbatti)
▪ Dry fruits (almonds, cashews)
▪ A Thali
▪ Rose or other flower petals
▪ Some red string
▪ A new notebook
▪ Panchamrita
▪ A piece of red cloth for putting the puja items
▪ Ghee to light the lamps
▪ Rose water
▪ Water
▪ Icons of:
▪ Ganesha
▪ Saraswati
▪ Lakshmi
▪ Narayana

The Rite
Steps of Lakshmi Pooja Spread a new cloth on a raised platform: Place a handful of grains in the center and, on this, place a kalash (pitcher) made of gold, silver, copper, or terracotta. Fill three-fourth of the kalash with water and place a betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains in it. Arrange five kinds of leaves or mango leaves in the kalash. Place a small dish on the kalash and fill it with rice grains. Draw a lotus with turmeric powder ( haldi ) over the rice grains and place the idol of goddess Lakshmi over it, along with coins.
Place the idol of Ganesha: In front of the kalash, on the right (South-West direction), place the idol of Ganesha. Also place ink and books related to your business or occupation on the platform. Light a lamp and begin the puja by offering haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the platform on which the kalash is placed. Then offer haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the water that is to be used for the puja. Invoke the river goddesses to be part of this water.
Invoke goddess: Lakshmi by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her. One can also recite the mantras mentioned in the Puranas or simply take some flowers in your hands, close your eyes, and think of goddess Lakshmi being showered with gold coins by two elephants standing on either side of Her and chant Her name. Then offer the flowers to the idol.
Place the idol of Lakshmi: Place the idol of Lakshmi in a plate and bathe it with water, panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee or clarified butter, honey, and sugar) and then with water containing some gold ornament or a pearl. Wipe the idol clean and place it back on the kalash. Alternately, you can just sprinkle water and panchamrit on the idol with a flower.
Offerings: Offer sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume ( itr ), haldi, kumkum, abeer, and gulal to the goddess. Offer a garland of cotton beads to the goddess. Offer flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree). Light an incense stick and dhoop. Make an offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul. Make an offering of puffed rice and batasha. Pour some puffed rice, batasha, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over the idol. Safe where you keep money and jewelry; Worship this safe as a symbol of Lord Kuber.
Aarti: Finally, perform the aarti for goddess Lakshmi. Always remember that She abhors loud noise. So the aarti should be accompanied only by a small bell. Do not clap hands, as is the practice when performing aarti for other gods. A peaceful and sublime atmosphere should prevail during the diwali day pujan. Do not light crackers while the puja is on or immediately after it.

Offering Prayers to Goddess Laxmi
[May need English translation]
Om Jai Laxmi Mata, Maiya Jai Laxmi Mata,
Tumko nis din sevat, Maiya ji ko nis din sevat
Hari Vishnu Data
Om Jai Laxmi Mata (Repeat above verse)
Uma Ramaa Brahmaani, Tum hi Jag Mata,Maiya Tum hi Jag Mata,
Surya Chandra Ma dhyaavat, Surya Chandra Ma dhyaavat
Naarad Rishi gaata.
Om Jai Laxmi Mata.
Durga Roop Niranjani, Sukh Sampati Data, Maiya Sukh Sampati Data
Jo koyee tumko dhyaavat, Jo koyee tumko dhyaavat
Ridhi Sidhi dhan paataa
Om Jai Laxmi Mata.
Tum Pataalani Nivasini, Tum hi Shubh Data, Maiya tum hi Shubh Data
Karma Prabhaav Prakaashini, Karma Prabhaav Prakaashini
Bhuv Niddhi ke praata
Om Jai Laxmi Mata
Jis ghar tum rehti teh, sab sath goon aataa, Maiya sab sath goon aataa,
Saab sambhav hojata jataa, Saab sambhav hojata jataa
Man naheen ghabraataa.
Om Jai Laxmi Mata
Tum Bin Yaghya na hote, vaastra na ho paata, Maiya vaastra na ho paata,
Khana paan ka vaibhav, Khana paan ka vaibhav
Sab tumse aata
Om Jai Laxmi Mata
Shubh Goon Mandir sunder, shero da di jaata, Maiya shero da di jaata
Ratna chaturdashi tum bin, Ratna chaturdashi tum bin
Koi nahi paata
Om Jai Laxmi Mata.
Maha Laxmiji ki Aarti, jo koi nar gaata, Maiya jo koi nar gaata,
Pur aananda samata, Pur aananda samata,
Paap utar jaata
Om Jai Laxmi Mata.
Om Jai Laxmi Mata, Maiya Jai Laxmi Mata,
Tumko nis din sevat, maiya ji ko nis din sevat
Hari Vishnu Data
Om Jai Laxmi Mata (Repeat above verse)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

God of the Day Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being (Brahman of the Upanishads) that continuously dissolves to recreate in the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation of the universe. As stated earlier, Lord Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.

Owing to His cosmic activity of dissolution and recreation, the words destroyer and destruction have been erroneously associated with Lord Shiva. This difficulty arises when people fail to grasp the true significance of His cosmic role. The creation sustains itself by a delicate balance between the opposing forces of good and evil. When this balance is disturbed and sustenance of life becomes impossible, Lord Shiva dissolves the universe for creation of the next cycle so that the unliberated souls will have another opportunity to liberate themselves from bondage with the physical world. Thus, Lord Shiva protects the souls from pain and suffering that would be caused by a dysfunctional universe. In analogous cyclic processes, winter is essential for spring to appear and the night is necessary for the morning to follow. To further illustrate, a goldsmith does not destroy gold when he melts old irreparable golden jewelry to create beautiful new ornaments.

Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons, bestows grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees. The symbolism discussed below includes major symbols that are common to all pictures and images of Shiva venerated by Hindus. Since the tasks of Lord Shiva are numerous, He cannot be symbolized in one form. For this reason the images of Shiva vary significantly in their symbolism.

The unclad body covered with ashes: the unclad body symbolizes the transcendental aspect of the Lord. Since most things reduce to ashes when burned, ashes symbolize the physical universe. The ashes on the unclad body of the Lord signify that Shiva is the source of the entire universe which emanates from Him, but He transcends the physical phenomena and is not affected by it.

Matted locks: Lord Shiva is the Master of yoga. The three matted locks on the head of the Lord convey the idea that integration of the physical, mental and spiritual energies is the ideal of yoga.

Ganga: Ganga (river Ganges) is associated with Hindu mythology and is the most sacred river of Hindus. According to tradition, one who bathes in Ganga (revered as Mother Ganga) in accordance with traditional rites and ceremonies on religious occasions in combination with certain astrological events, is freed from sin and attains knowledge, purity and peace. Ganga, symbolically represented on the head of the Lord by a female (Mother Ganga) with a jet of water emanating from her mouth and falling on the ground, signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removes ignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees.

The crescent moon: is shown on the side of the Lord's head as an ornament, and not as an integral part of His countenance. The waxing and waning phenomenon of the moon symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. Since the Lord is the Eternal Reality, He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments, and not an integral part of Him.

Three eyes: Lord Shiva, also called Tryambaka Deva (literally, "three-eyed Lord"), is depicted as having three eyes: the sun is His right eye, the moon the left eye and fire the third eye. The two eyes on the right and left indicate His activity in the physical world. The third eye in the center of the forehead symbolizes spiritual knowledge and power, and is thus called the eye of wisdom or knowledge. Like fire, the powerful gaze of Shiva's third eye annihilates evil, and thus the evil-doers fear His third eye.

Half-open eyes: when the Lord opens His eyes, a new cycle of creation emerges and when He closes them, the universe dissolves for creation of the next cycle. The half-open eyes convey the idea that creation is going through cyclic process, with no beginning and no end. Lord Shiva is the Master of Yoga, as He uses His yogic power to project the universe from Himself. The half-open eyes also symbolize His yogic posture.

Kundalas (two ear rings): two Kundalas, Alakshya (meaning "which cannot be shown by any sign") and Niranjan (meaning "which cannot be seen by mortal eyes") in the ears of the Lord signify that He is beyond ordinary perception. Since the kundala in the left ear of the Lord is of the type used by women and the one in His right ear is of the type used by men, these Kundalas also symbolize the Shiva and Shakti (male and female) principle of creation.

Snake around the neck: sages have used snakes to symbolize the yogic power of Lord Shiva with which He dissolves and recreates the universe. Like a yogi, a snake hoards nothing, carries nothing, builds nothing, lives on air alone for a long time, and lives in mountains and forests. The venom of a snake, therefore, symbolizes the yogic power.

A snake (Vasuki Naga): is shown curled three times around the neck of the Lord and is looking towards His right side. The three coils of the snake symbolize the past, present and future - time in cycles. The Lord wearing the curled snake like an ornament signifies that creation proceeds in cycles and is time dependent, but the Lord Himself transcends time. The right side of the body symbolizes the human activities based upon knowledge, reason and logic. The snake looking towards the right side of the Lord signifies that the Lord's eternal laws of reason and justice preserve natural order in the universe.

Rudraksha necklace: Rudra is another name of Shiva. Rudra also means "strict or uncompromising" and aksha means "eye." Rudraksha necklace worn by the Lord illustrates that He uses His cosmic laws firmly - without compromise - to maintain law and order in the universe. The necklace has 108 beads which symbolize the elements used in the creation of the world.

Varda Mudra: the Lord's right hand is shown in a boon- bestowing and blessing pose. As stated earlier, Lord Shiva annihilates evil, grants boons, bestows grace, destroys ignorance, and awakens wisdom in His devotees.

Trident (Trisula): a three-pronged trident shown adjacent to the Lord symbolizes His three fundamental powers (shakti) of will (iccha), action (kriya) and knowledge (jnana). The trident also symbolizes the Lord's power to destroy evil and ignorance.

Damaru (drum): a small drum with two sides separated from each other by a thin neck-like structure symbolizes the two utterly dissimilar states of existence, unmanifest and manifest. When a damaru is vibrated, it produces dissimilar sounds which are fused together by resonance to create one sound. The sound thus produced symbolizes Nada, the cosmic sound of AUM, which can be heard during deep meditation. According to Hindu scriptures, Nada is the source of creation.

Kamandalu: a water pot (Kamandalu) made from a dry pumpkin contains nectar and is shown on the ground next to Shiva. The process of making Kamandalu has deep spiritual significance. A ripe pumpkin is plucked from a plant, its fruit is removed and the shell is cleaned for containing the nectar. In the same way, an individual must break away from attachment to the physical world and clean his inner self of egoistic desires in order to experience the bliss of the Self, symbolized by the nectar in the Kamandalu.

Nandi: the bull is associated with Shiva and is said to be His vehicle. The bull symbolizes both power and ignorance. Lord Shiva's use of the bull as a vehicle conveys the idea that He removes ignorance and bestows power of wisdom on His devotees. The bull is called Vrisha in Sanskrit. Vrisha also means dharma (righteousness). Thus a bull shown next to Shiva also indicates that He is the etemal companion of righteousness.

Tiger skin: a tiger skin symbolizes potential energy. Lord Shiva, sitting on or wearing a tiger skin, illustrates the idea that He is the source of the creative energy that remains in potential form during the dissolution state of the universe. Of His own Divine Will, the Lord activates the potential form of the creative energy to project the universe in endless cycles.

Cremation ground: Shiva sitting in the cremation ground signifies that He is the controller of death in the physical world. Since birth and death are cyclic, controlling one implies controlling the other. Thus, Lord Shiva is revered as the ultimate controller of birth and death in the phenomenal world.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Willows Harvest Soup

When making this hearty soup make sure you have a huge crowd to feed or even several containers for the freezer. This soup is great for any chilly night/day.

Equipment Needed:
2 baking Pans
Chopping Knife/Chefe Knife
Cutting Board
Big Mixing Bowl
Blender/Food Processor/Submerged Blender stick (Or you can use a vita mixer)
Soup Pot

5 cup stalk: Chicken, Beef, Mushroom or vegetable stalk. The Mushroom and Vegetable Stalk are newer stalks and can be hard to find.
1 butternut Squash Gutted and cubed
1 Small/Medium Cooking pumpkin
1 Med Onion thinly sliced and sautéed in one teaspoon butter, until no more liquid and onions have a caramelized dark color.
3 medium Sweet Potatoes peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon Dried Sage
Curry Powder (to your taste I used less then a tablespoon for just a slight kick)
olive oil
9 oz Chutney (sweet or spicy up to you. This is a hard to find item recipe at the end on how to make your own if you cant find any)

Roasting Veggies, you dont have to do this step you can simply add everything to the pot and simmer until vegies are tender, I do this to I can peel the skin off the pumpkin and squash
Heat oven to 425
Put cubed veggies in the mixing bowl
Drizzle with a tablespoon at a time of the olive oil, mix the veggies until they are coated. Add more oil as needed. Place the veggies on the pans in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes until tender.
Sautee the onion in the butter I used less then a teaspoon of unsalted butter. I got mine a dark carmel color.
in your pot or vita mix add:
Chutney, Curry powder, the 5 cups of stalk, sage, onions and when the vegies are done add them in. If you opt out of roasting the veggies continue from here: Simmer until everything is tender and the flavors have melded together.
Once tender and hot blend until you get the constancy you want. We left ours slightly chunky but one can blend until pureed.

Enjoy with a pice of bread yumm!

Chutney recipes on Many to chose from.