Monday, January 11, 2010

Stress Reduction Spell

Everyone knows that the holidays are stressful as hell, but personally I find the days immediately after the new year to be almost as bad. With holiday bills arriving in the mail daily, my high ideals of the shiny new year already struggling to be maintained, and even a bit of the mid-winter-darkness-blues settling in for an intimate little visit, this can be a very challenging time of year. Normally, I would take myself outside and recharge my batteries by connecting with the earth's potent energy, but the bitterly cold temperatures here where I live make it nearly impossible to spend any quality time out there. This little spell is a great way to recharge your core and eliminate the emotional flotsam caused by life. It can be used year round, but it's especially wonderful when it's better to be indoors all warm and toasty rather than outdoors in the deep freeze.

What you'll need:
A handmade cloth bag with a drawstring
A cup of dry earth*
A small bunch of healing flowers

What you'll need to do with these things:
Make a small bag out of a cloth you find pleasing to look at and touch. It's important that this little bag be sewn entirely by hand so that you are putting your essence into its creation. No sewing machines allowed! It should be large enough for you to put both your hands into it with room to move them around a bit and should have a drawstring at the top to close it securely. While you make your little bag, focus on your intentions: to be calm, relaxed and connected with the earth's power.

On a sunny day, collect a cup or so of clean earth. Feel the sun on your face (even if the rest of you is freezing to death!) and remember how you feel as you do this: the earth beneath your feet, the sun on your face, the air you breathe, the power of earth energy and nature. Bring the earth indoors and let it warm.

The original of this old spell, hailing from the Mediterranean region, called for fresh borage to be picked and dried but I much prefer flowers to herbs whenever possible. Besides, borage isn't an herb that everyone has growing on their windowsills, nor is it always readily available. Roses or gardenias are both easily found in flower shops and even supermarkets at this time of year and both are potent healers of personal stress by inducing peaceful vibrations. The flowers should be dried, but that's one thing this time of year has working in its favor: hanging a bunch of blooms over a furnace will dry them in a matter of hours, unlike in the warmer months when that process takes much more time. Of course, in warm weather you can pick your own fresh flowers and not have to rely on a store. There's always a trade-off, isn't there?

Place the soil and the dried flowers, stems removed, into your bag as you state your intentions clearly. Pull the drawstring closed. Keep your little bag of calm energy in a safe place and when things are going badly and you need to recharge yourself, take a moment or two to connect with the earth. Place your hands in the bag and run your fingers through the soil and the flowers, remembering the day you were outside preparing your spell and thinking about the power of Mother Earth's healing abilities.

*Granted, it's not the easiest time of the year to gather earth, but it can be done. After you've chipped up a bit of the frozen ground, bring it indoors to warm up and then break it up into proper soil once again. When you refill your bag in the warmer months (or if you're lucky enough to live somewhere fairly warm most of the year) this step will be much easier!

Note: This bag will remain potent for about six months and then will need to be refilled with fresh earth and newly dried flowers. Be sure to scatter the old soil and flowers to allow the earth to reclaim them.

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