Monday, May 25, 2009

Prayer Candles

Who does not love a candle ? Birthday , warming light on a rainy or snowy night , romantic meals , bath time and of course for prayer . Our first church was very traditional huge RC church and they always had what seemed hundreds of candles burning when we'd walk in . I think candle lighting may be one of the best ways I can draw my boys into prayer time ;-) I love preparing candles when I am praying for others , situations etc. tealight votive , taper, pillar all are equally beautiful and providie inspiration . I began collecting small clay cups last yr. and placed them thru-out the Mary garden . I poped tealights within the cups , some of which had little shapes punched out like stars and moons I do wish they'd make some with cross shapes ;-). then on evenings during the summer months would light them . I'd sit on our porch swing and pray the rosary by the fire candles flickering add such a peace to prayer . I have always used candles in my prayer time but many yrs ago I came across a candle which had flowers pressed into it . I then read of candles that also had herbs etc. rolled into the candle. This is often done by melting wax , pressing the flowers & herbs gently onto the candle then slowly waxing over the pressed items with the melted wax. I really liked this idea . I already use alot of items in my prayer work via teas and bathing , why not candles ? My mother always placed a pir plate on the back stove element with water in it then wood place spruce or other items from the woods in it orange peel too . This was something they would do at home on the woodstove ;-) So the issue of scent is big for me in regards to helping ones attitude and aides really well in our meditation . Why else are those monks burning incense all the time ;-) So yes I love candles. I prefer beeswax . They smell so heavenly on thier own never mind adding pine or spruce needles to the mix. Now I am very lazy .Really I am . I'm slow and not very crafty . I don't knit , only like handsewing , machine sewing is a chore so my children have cut offs instead of patched jeans lol . Anyway would I actually take the time to melt wax and stick the items on carefully ? Knowing me I'd burn myself . I do however love love love preparation . So I know ! Get out the mortar and pestle , some of my fav flowers , add a bit of holy water, oil and salt . I then coat the candle with the ingredients ., place candle in holder and light . I must say my fav candle to burn is the pillar . It also of course is the most expensive . However it also lasts 3 days burning all day except not thru the night of course . I also have a cheaters tip for those of you who are like me are addicted to beeswax scent but can't afford . Buy the birthday candles ;-) I do this and I burn one while I do the dishes . It gives off just enough scent to satisfy . This is also now something I wish to offer for others . As I said it is a blessing for me to do this . Intercession / Prayer is my work so I totally love it . Funny I used to pray to God my dream job was to travel & pray ;-) He ended up giving me the job after all ! So if you have a loved one here or deceased really feel free to write me . I have no problem preparing and lighting a candle for you . Most of all absolutely would love to pray ;-) I always have parafin candles but I do not have on hand nor can I afford to give away beeswax candles .The pillar alone is $7.50 before tax . If you wish me to pick one up and you reimburse me that is fine . I would only charge the cost of candle of course but I cannot afford beeswax very often . I think my dh should start his dream of raising bees lol . Wouldn't it be wonderful if I end up having to have a stand full of candles , even my church dosen't have prayer candles, a shame really ! An even better idea ... try making them yourself ;-) think of scents you would like or if the candle is in memory of a loved one use something that reminds you of them .
I prefer woodsie scents myself but add the odd lavender or rose buds too . Below are a few of the candles I have prepared for friends and family members who have passed on . Enjoy !

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Herbal Bathe ~ an art

Yes you all know I love love love this topic ! & yes I believe herbal bathing is an art, as it takes time to perfect ,it is ongoing a process a work in progress . Our spiritual progress;-)
For someone with ecsema you'd think I would not be a bather ;-) However if done properly my bathing can actually help me with my skin issues .
I really could and will probably write several posts on this topic . There are so many aspects to the herbal bath . Bathing has been a part of healing in so many cultures . I look at it in helping in all aspects of our being in the physical , emotional & spiritual . Physically bathing can help in healing wounds , skin conditions , and even internal healing . People tend to forget skin is our biggest organ ;-) the way both good and bad may enter into the body . So physically it makes perfect sence bathing would be a wonderful way for detoxing , cleansing and purifying the body . Emotionaly bathing can be a beautiful ritual and wonderful way to prepare us for what is to come or to help us emotionally surrender what has led to stress thru out our day . Setting envirnment adding smell , music special books to read ( I tend to love spanish poetry for some reason )etc. can very much influence our emotions . Aromatherapy plays a big role in the art of herbal bathing . Spiritual bathing is a big topic for me as I also use this in my work in intercession . However I will leave that for a different post perhaps specific to the spiritual bathing perhaps . As we know by setting the envrinment with our candles , our smells , special oil etc. this can help lead us in our spirituality specific to prayer . If we are in a state of calm and relaxation then we are much more apt to be open in meditation & contemplation . There are so many forms of prayer why would bathing be excluded ;-) as my spiritual director said why wouldn't it be as you are totally in the state He made you , your birthday suit ! Below I've posted some pics of little ways and likes I have for my own personal bath . I will change or alter what is needed regarding my health etc. I make a tea I need for my own well being .Today it was corriander/parsley . I absolutely cannot use epsom salts .They irriatate my skin something awful .For all I'd like to be like my friends I cannot use them . They are highly bennificial for cleansing & detox work .I offer them to my dh whenever I can get him to bath ( he is a shower fellow ) . I personally use
sea salt . It actually helps take my inflamation down greatly . It works on my scalp too . I also have special towels I use that remind me of my grandmother I found these at the secondhand and my dh & children know those are mum's towels hands off ;-) I am one I love using oils as well .I use these differently depending on the type of bathing I am doing . For this type of bath I like to add the oil directly to my skin afterwards rather then during the bath itself. Throughout my childbearing yrs. I always used coconut oil . It did an excellent job on my skin and I would also use it in our daily infant massage .
Later however as my hormones changed my ecsema returned and became more frequent this oil irritated it . I began to look for an alternative . Olive oil works really well and at times a grapeseed will do . Yet I discovered 1-2 yrs. ago the beautiful most soothing gentle oil .
Almond oil ! I read about this oil in one of my most fav books Almond Eyes and Lotus Feet . There is a section I just devoured on bathing and grooming the hair of Indian Princesses ;-)
I see this type of bathing as both self care and pampering . My spiritual director always said we cannot do our work with others unless we are looking after ourselves first. Our relationship with Him has to be one , the grace of union with Him first then us and spouse , then children , then community . So bathing is just a natural way of helping us move on in achieving this grace , that beautiful union . I love to add ietms to my bath such a blossoms , peels , dried herbs etc. again I choose for what is suiting my bathing purpose. Today was rose lavender .I must say I had this bath two days ina row I truely needed it . I also add some essential oil if I can handle it but I am also very sensative to these oils , I have add oil actually burn my skin so I prefer to just use my oils in a spray mist applied to my hair after bathing . Lately I've been craving bergamot scent .I love citrusie scents ;-) they awaken me after my relaxing tub ;-) I just found this website on different aids in herbal bathing such a recipes etc. It looks interesting but I have not spent to much time on it yet . I would also like to do a post on the whole history of herbal bathing ... another day ... I could blog on and on but the family is waiting for those waffles ! I hope this is of some benefit to you and I'd love to hear back on knew ideas etc. for now . Enjoy your soak ;-) I often add the sacramentals to the bath These are the epsom salts I love to prepare for others A candle is always nice day or night this is my little cup of seasalt & rose /lavender almond oil , again I cannot say enough good about this smooth soothing oil Rose Towels how can I not be inspired ;-) Ok I know we are blessed with having a wonderful tub

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Winner Is ...

Nique from 4real forums !! Yes we had our Mother's Day Give Away Draw today ! I plopped all the names into this nice pot I found last fall at MCC thrift & this afternoon after cleaning up our wood pile Adventure Boy helped me pull the name out of the pot . Thanks to all of you lovely ladies for partaking ! I do hope you will stop by again and like I said even if you did not win the give away I hope you all may have been inspired a bit to perhaps make your own bath salts , start your own Mary gardens etc.
I've got some good ideas for upcoming topics ;-) so please do stop by again. For now take care & God Bless

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mothers Day Give Away

Yes we are having another give away ;-) . I normally try to only have one per month but with it being Momma Mary's month and mothers day I really wanted to offer something nice for mums out there . First I was thinking of new mums and doing the diaper give away and folding tutorial .However that would exclude many other mothers . So I thought of my bath salts and facial mask ;-) perfect fo5r all mums including grannies or great grannies too . Something to help sooth those aching bones after a hard days work of non stop go go go . Along with the bath salts and facial mask There is also a pack of calendula seed ( marigold ) and a wonderful book titled Mary's Flowers for inspiration . As a little gift is an Our Lady Guadalupe pin to wear on a jacket , purse etc.
About the items . The bath salts are epsom salts mixed with organic essential oils . We offer the lavender/ rose which have organic lavender buds and organic rose petals . The other scent is cedar/ orange which has organic dried orange peel and wildcrafted cedar from the cedar bog picked for palm Sunday and our own personal use . The Clay facial mask is natural grey clay from our own lake property here . It has been streelized and perpared with wild organic mint ( not peppermint ) this is real authentic mint used by my great grandmother ;-) all that needs be done is add your own water to make the clay of the consistancy you would like and smooth onto face . It provides a nice tingly feeling and is an excellent facial cleanser .
The calendula is grown here in our own garden and is collected in autumn it has also spread to the neighbouring Catholic church yard by the hundreds ;-)
The book Mary's flowers is a beautiful book full of history , prints of flowers and the legends that go along with the flowers . It is an inspiration for anyone hoping to begin thier own Mary garden dedicated to our Lady .
The Our Lady Guadalupe pin came from a wonderful store in MX city where I purchase these pins and other items for myself and gifts for others .
This give away begins now and will end the Monday after Mother's Day . Just a week not much time . So if you would like to enter your name or perhaps the name of your mother/ grandmother etc. into the flower pot please leave in the comment section or e-mail me . I only need a full name for now if you have won I will send you a message requesting addy etc.
Thank you for visiting my blog and hoping regardless if you win the give away or not maybe some inspiration has been sparked along the way ;-) God Bless