The Mystery of the Op-Shop Book

A while back, maybe around 2 years or more ago, I purchased two books from an Op-Shop in Traralgon that I intended to cut up and use in decoupage. One was a dictionary, the other The Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations. The latter cost me one dollar and was put away for later use as I cut up the dictionary first to use on my current decoupage project. 
Yesterday I grabbed the book and popped in my craft box destined for use in the jewellery class I tutor at the local Neighbourhood House in Moe. I was intending to teach the class how to make glass tile pendants and I had an idea that would require the use of printed words from the book. 

This book had been kicking around my craft room for some time and this was to be the first time I really looked at it. I had previously been aware that there was the odd newspaper article tucked away in amongst some pages but other than that I had not flicked through the book extensively. As the class rifled through Scrapbooking paper looking for pretty pictures and patterns to use on their glass tile pendants, I began turning the pages of The Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations looking for the right words and phrases to complete the idea I had for my glass tile pendant. 
Upon this more thorough examination of the book, I discovered there were more interesting artefacts aside from the newspaper articles- one of which is of a poem “Tullamarine” written by Richard Howitt, the other an article talking about an archaeological exhibit to be held in Morwell. Both these clippings are yellowed from age and use a type font no longer common in newsprint, and the back of one showed phone numbers of a format used decades ago. It was evident that the previous owner of this book was a fan of poetry as throughout the book are tucked handwritten poems in the style of handwriting my grandmother used. There is also a selection of coloured foil, the kind chocolate eggs are covered with, pressed between the pages, just like my grandmother taught me to do as a child. There are several pressed maple leaves, two four leaf clovers (I had never seen one of these in real life! Let alone two!!), and lastly but perhaps the most intriguing a small photograph, glossy on both sides and not bearing any makings of the printer, of a handsome young man in the foreground with a large gushing waterfall as the backdrop.

  
I immediately showed my discoveries to others present at the Neighbourhood House who implored me not to deface the book but to read it as there was likely some message or wisdom I had to gain from it. I didn’t need much convincing as I don’t believe in coincidences, therefore this book has come to me for some purpose (higher than that of decoupage). 
I do intend to read this book to uncover its hidden revelations, but in the meantime I’m posting this blog along with pictures of the treasures the book houses in the hopes that someone out there might recognise the items or the man from the photo and are maybe able to shed some light on the mystery of the previous life of this book and its owner- who may have been an aspiring poet.

   
    
    
    

 

Cryptozoology & The Paranormal in Gippsland

How much do you really know about the area you live in? I’m not talking about current day statistics, but rather the history, the really interesting stuff. Who were the area’s pioneers? What struggles did they face? Are there stories or rumours of cryptids, UFOs, or hauntings? AND if there are stories of cryptids, UFOs, and hauntings, what makes your area a hotspot?
I grew up in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. This means I’ve been fortunate enough to live in an area rich in paranormal mystery. Growing up I heard countless stories of the infamous Gippsland Big Black Cat, this piqued my interest in cryptozoology from a young age. I’ve been witness to many UFO sightings and ghost sightings, I’ve even captured a ghost with my iPhone! See link here  The Ghost of Imbolc Past



So for any of my fellow Gippslanders out there, I’m interested in starting a group of like minded souls with a keen interest in the paranormal/cryptozoology and such, a group that can share stories, meet up occasionally, and maybe do some sky watching or paranormal investigations together. And to my readers in other areas, I’d love for you to share any extraordinary stories of the unexplained that you may have experienced in your own areas. Feel free to comment below.

Unakite- Loving Lights Intertwined

Unakite is a great stone when working with the heart as it contains both the heart colours- green and pink. This crystal promotes balance, harmony, and also the intertwining of two lives; and perhaps turning those two lives into three. You may like to use Unakite to support you during conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. 
Unakite is a spiritual stone that can be beneficial during meditation to bring about psychic visions. I like to use it a lot during my Crystal Healing work as it assists at several of the chakras including third eye (psychic visions), heart and higher heart, and even some of the lower chakras as it has grounding properties. 

Unakite can help in removing energetic blockages which fosters release of negativity and other hurdles and traps holding us back from achieving our goals; this may also include addictions that are troublesome to overcome.

Unakite is one crystal I would recommend to belong in your “essentials” kit. It is a good crystal to add to your collection when you are first starting to explore crystals. I remember falling in love with Unakite in my early days of crystal exploration as its energy is gentle yet powerful and easy to work with. I hope you will enjoy it too.

©The Crystal Brown Witch

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Crystals For Meditation 

Do you need a little extra help in meditation? Why not try meditating with crystals. Different crystals may assist in different ways, and so doing some research beforehand may help you to decide which one is best to assist you in achieving what you want from your meditation. 

Below is a list of my top picks for meditation:
Carnelian helps to still & quiet the mind during meditation 
Ametrine helps to calm the mind facilitating greater focus during meditation 
Chrysoprase and Larimar assist in inducing deep meditative states
Selenite is great for meditation and accessing angelic guidance

  
Happy Meditating 🙂

Why Emeralds (and not diamonds) Are This Girl’s Best Friend

I was born in the month of May, and therefore my birthstone is the Emerald. Awesome, because my favourite colour is green; and so I loved wearing the birthstone jewellery my mother bought me when I was a young girl.
As an adult I can appreciate Emerald even more so. Emeralds may help as an holistic support to diabetics. I like to carry a tumbled piece when I’m struggling to control my blood glucose levels. Emerald may also have a detoxifying effect on the liver, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t benefit from that. 

In times long ago Emerald was used as an antidote to poison and is still rumoured to assist during times of food poisoning; I often suffer food poisoning as a result of some flaw in my immune system so I like to keep Emerald close at hand for support.

The colour green is associated with healing and also with the heart chakra, so Emerald, being green, could be a choice when working with these energies. Any reference book on crystals will give an ample list of ailments and organs that Emerald may assist, but as I always advise- use your intuition as your choices for any particular ailment or issue can be vast and overwhelming. One use for Emerald that always sticks in my head though is for insect bites because I’m allergic to mosquitos (I believe the ever wonderful Cassandra Eason and her book The New Crystal Bible was responsible for that tip; great book by the way, I recommend getting your hands on it). 

Emerald has history among Ancient Egypt for which I have an affinity; I believe Emerald and I were destined to be together in this lifetime and that that must be a sign that we have some work to do together this time around. 

Emerald is a stone of protection and of love. Wearing Emerald may enhance your clairvoyant abilities… I know that I’ve been wearing Emerald for most of my life and that my clairvoyant abilities were present from a young age… coincidence? Perhaps, but then I don’t believe in coincidences (wink, wink). 

Emerald may provide comfort in times of claustrophobia, another good reason to have it close by. I’m one of those people who starts hyperventilating when I watch a scene from a movie where the actors are climbing through an air conditioning duct (that happens in a lot of films ya know!). 

So screw diamonds! For all the above reasons are why Emeralds are this girl’s best friend. 

Tumbled Stone of Emerald

Ghosts of Imbolc Past

A few years back I facilitated an Imbolc Ritual that involved welcoming back the Sun/Son at dawn on the Pagan Sabbat of Imbolc. It was a small gathering of approx. 8 people. After the ritual was complete, before we set off for some celebratory breakfast, I took a photo of the sunrise to share on a Pagan Facebook page I moderated. I couldn’t have looked at the photo too closely in the beginning, because it wasn’t until I had posted it online did everyone point out what is now glaringly obvious…
  
Photo ©The Crystal Brown Witch (please don’t reproduce without permission) 

No-one was in front of the camera at the time this photo was taken, yet where the sunbeams hit the ground you can see a figure that appears to be wearing a cloak; you can see a skin coloured head sitting on top of a dark cloaked shape of a body. Had one of the deities we invoked hung around for a picture? I don’t believe it’s a trick of light as the “figure” blocks out a footpath that runs behind it. 

Also, in the lower right hand corner of the photo is what appears to be an orb. I’m not sure what I truly believe when it comes to orbs in still photos, but this does seem a little coincidental given the mysterious figure in this photo, and I don’t believe in coincidences.

Take a look at the picture and let me know your thoughts.

Blue Stones, Sore Throats, and the Fifth Chakra

Disclaimer: this is NOT medical advice and should not be taken as such.

Recently I was laid up with a chest infection. The whole family had been crook and I was the last to cop it. As you can imagine there is a lot of coughing involved in such an infection, and after a while my throat became annoyingly sore. 

But hey! C’mon Witch, heal thyself! So I mustered all the energy I could to drag my dishevelled self out of bed and into my treatment room in search of blue crystals. I like blue crystals for working with the throat chakra, which I was sure would be totally out of whack at this time; I leaned toward light blue as intuitively it felt right for my throat at this time, so the likes of Chalcedony, Blue Lace Agate, Celestite, Larimar I thought would all make good choices. I steered clear of Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite because I like to use those for communication issues, however these stones will work with the throat chakra as well.

And that leads me onto my next point- choosing your crystals intuitively. You’ve got to trust that your higher self knows exactly what you need at that exact moment in time, so if you intuitively choose Lapis Lazuli or Sodalite for your sore throat then go with it, there very well may be more going on to do with your healing than you are consciously aware of.

I moved my hand over a selection of crystals until two light blue stones jumped out at me. I took them back to bed and laid down, placing them on my throat. Within a couple of minutes I noticed my throat felt soothed and was notably less sore than it had been; the soreness held off longer too allowing me to rest more peacefully while I recovered.

Anyway, I thought I would share my experience with you. Feel free to share with me what has worked for you previously; what crystals would you reach for if you had a sore throat? 

Selenite- The Moon, The Angels, & The Divine. 

Selenite, so named for the moon as they both share that magical lustre that draws us all in, is a variety of gypsum that is found in a number of countries including Australia. It is a very soft mineral that scratches easily and needs to be kept dry. Make sure you store it separately from other crystals, preferably wrapped or padded and in a dry environment.
Yep, you guessed it, Selenite (named for Selene- Moon Goddess) is associated with the moon and therefore Moon Magick; but Selenite is also associated with other celestial beings- Angels. If you seek the guidance of Angels, Selenite may assist you in doing so. It is a crystal that promotes love and harmony, and works well to maintain loving relationships. 
Selenite has a high vibration and can connect you with the higher realms, facilitating spiritual development. It may also assist in unlocking talents from your previous lifetime/s. Try using Selenite in meditation to facilitate self-discovery and to come to better understand your place in the world. 
Selenite cleanses the aura, and opens and activates the upper chakras (all the way to the soul star chakra!). Purifying and cleansing on an energetic level, it is often employed by holistic healers. Selenite can link spirit and matter by lowering the frequency of light while raising the frequency of matter, this helps to bring us closer to the Divine.
Selenite is a protective stone that can dispel negative energy. It can enhance one’s psychic abilities, and also bring about mental clarity. It may also have a stabilising, therefore calming effect on the emotions by bringing to the forefront our true spiritual purpose. 
On the physical side of things (and remembering this is meant as an holistic support and NOT medical advice), Selenite may assist with fertility and increasing libido, and is a wonderful support for pregnancy and the resulting motherhood… no wonder it’s named for the moon (the moon, of course, having a link to the menstrual cycle of women). Selenite may also be great for the bones by assisting with calcium absorption, also I remember learning at some point in my crystal studies that it may benefit the spine in helping to align it, I’ve prescribed it to my mother in the past when she was having trouble with her back and she reported some improvement after using some Selenite I gave her for the purpose. 
My interest in Selenite has increased steadily over the past twelve months and when I contemplate that I’m not at all surprised. As we move toward ascension in the Age of Aquarius, it makes sense that Selenite would help facilitate this process with its abilities to reach the higher realms and bring down the Divine light into the physical matter of the human body. Selenite brings about mental clarity and enhances our psychic abilities, it allows us to recall past life knowledge, so to me that suggests it would make the perfect partner for us at this point in our spiritual journeys at this time on Earth.
So in summation, if you are looking to further your spiritual and/or psychic development, or you are in the business of energetic healing, Selenite is a must have for the “toolbox”. Just remember to treat it gently; I use a Selenite rod in my Merkabah grid under my crystal healing table, and although I often leave the grid set up (made up of Clear Quartz & Black Tourmaline), I always remove the Selenite and carefully pack it away to protect it from accidental damage.

Deck The Halls! It’s Almost Yule Down Under!

So here in the Southern Hemisphere we’ve not long celebrated Samhain and now we turn our thoughts toward the coming Winter Solstice. This year I’ve had the honour of being invited to celebrate at a friend’s home (so no feast cooking for me this Yule! I might be slightly pleased about that), and so I offered my services in writing the Yule Ritual for the celebration. As my friend has invited some people who are more so open to the idea of Paganism rather than actually being Pagan, I was asked to keep the ritual simple as we didn’t want to scare them off. I decided to share the ritual with my readers here. I have omitted calling the quarters and haven’t added any details regarding circle casting so you can you make it as elaborate or toned-down for your non-Pagan friends and family as you want. I am happy for you to take this ritual for your own personal use but please, if you re-publish it, please credit the source… thanking you in advance.

I also hope to include the pictures from our celebration in a future blog post.

The following ritual can be adapted for solitary ritual. Please always exercise caution when using candles/flame.

Yule Ritual 2016

written by Athena Dragonfly

Facilitator: “Welcome. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. From here on in the days begin to lengthen. On Solstice Night the Goddess prepares to give birth to the Sun/Son. As the sun rises in the morning, she welcomes the arrival of the sun/son, and we rejoice in the promise of Summer’s return.”

Cast Circle.

Facilitator: “As the Sun begins to make his return, and the darkness begins to retreat, the time for releasing and letting go of what no longer serves us presents itself.”

Hand out pieces of paper and pens.

Facilitator: “Spend a few moments thinking about things that you want to let go of, then write them down on the paper.”

Light candle in cauldron.

Facilitator: “On this Solstice Night the Oak King & the Holly King have done battle, and the Oak King has emerged victorious, his reign over the waxing half the year begins. Now we begin to welcome back the light in the lengthening days as the shadows and darkness begin to flee, we say farewell to the trials of the year past as we release and let go the things that would hold us back or slow our journeys.”

One by one each person steps up to the altar, meditates a moment on what is written on their piece of paper, then sets fire to the paper, dropping it into the cauldron with intent that they are letting go of whatever it was they wished to release.

Facilitator: “Universe please hear our intent, we have now let go of what no longer serves us so that we may enter this new year with new goals and a clear, unhindered path ahead. So mote it be.”

All: “So mote it be.”

Open circle.

©Athena Dragonfly aka The Crystal Brown Witch