Monday, 31 December 2012

Mistletoe - all Heal

Cider aplles
On New years Eve there will be many kisses exchanged under the mistletoe unaware that there maybe  "Merry Miners" living in the leaves.  A rare micro moth Celypha woodian The Mistletoe Marble Moth.  whose caterpillars "etch mines into Mistletoe leaves and live there unseen until they emerge in summer and take wing. The moths live mainly in mistletoe growing apple orchards.  We can help this species in a very pleasant way. 

Bridge Farm Somerset Cheers! 
*Moth experts are appealing to the public this Christmas to help save an endangered species by drinking British cider. The moth, a threatened species which feeds on Mistletoe, is confined to a few sites in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Monmouthshire.  Butterfly conservation.
How will this work? Well the more British Cider we all drink the more apple trees will be planted in the thriving cider farms orchards.  

The Mistle Thrush is a powerful bird and is larger than other Thrush. It is midway between a blackbird and a pigeon.  It is aggressive and  territorial, and can often been seen on top of a tree singing its distinctive song, particularly if the tree has mistletoe growing on it with ripe berries.

The Mistletoe Thrush has an important part to play in the distribution and germination of the seeds of mistletoe. This is describe in  Mistletoe Symbol of Love and Peace.

Mistletoe berries have also benefit human beings for centuries.  It is referred to in old text as All Heal.  Culpepper in 1649  describes it as a plant  under the dominion of the Sun. He records the use of the powders of the leaves helping falling sickness, and how  the use of the sticky substance of the berries is a remedy  for hard tumours and swellings.  This is similar to use of Mistletoe by Celtic Druid healers hundreds of years earlier..

Modern Herbalist use Mistletoe  for treatment to strengthen the heart and for high blood pressure ,and the powered leaves can be used for the treatment of epilepsy.  Mixed with Valerian root and Vervain it is said to help nervous conditions.  Mistletoe in large quantities can be toxic and is used in small amounts perhaps as little as 10- 16 grains 0.65 g. It is also used in homoeopathic medicine 

Healers throughout the centuries have used this powerful All Heal to treat similar diseases but in the 20th  and 21st century  Mistletoe  under its Latin name .viscum album is being used to treat Cancer patients. 

Rudolf Steiner the founder of Anthroposophic Medicine a combination of spiritual a scientific approaches to medicine began in 1916 to believe that mistletoe could restore the balance between spirituality energy and and  the body defences and fight back against Cancers . Continued research took Steiner's beliefs further and even: 

 that some of the chemicals in mistletoe could stop cancer growth and even kill cancer cells directly while enhancing the body's immune system.

Today an article in The Daily Mail On-line describes Mistletoe as being:

credited with the power of healing  -  an attribute currently being harnessed by a new outpatient unit at the independent Raphael Medical Centre in Kent, which offers integrated cancer care.    ....  to combat undesirable effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, such as fatigue, nausea, weight loss, low mood and infections. 

Gene Feder a GP and a Professer  at Bristol University s initiating the first UK pilot study.  He sayes:  

'Patients receiving mistletoe during and after radiotherapy or chemotherapy appear to tolerate those treatments better. 

The pilot will start in April 2013.

Modern Scientist are treading along a similar Path as the Celtic Druid Priests and Ovates, the Druid Healers, travelled.

It seem that Mistletoe lives up to its name All Heal and not only brings Love and Peace, but is Life giving  to a tiny rare moth,  the Mistletoe Thrush and many other birds as well as to  humans.


Mistletoe can be toxic to human and self medication is not advised.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Mistletoe Guide to Other Worlds

Virgel  describes in the  Aeneid how the Trojan hero Aeneas  mourning his father, Anchises wishes to travel into Hades to  seek consul from him.  Aeneas is granted his wishes by the Sybil Deiphobe  but first he must to seek a golden bough of mistletoe and take it with him for protection on his journey into the underworld.  

Aeneas encounters  horrendous phantoms who guard the gates of Hades. Heroic   Aneas full of fear and dread passes on to the River Styx where the boatman Charon ferries soul to the afterlife.  Charon is at first reluctant to take Aeneas, a living man, across the river,  but when he sees the sacred  Golden Bough of Mistletoe he agrees to ferries him across.   After wandering in the dark misery of the underworld Aeneas  eventually reaches Elysium, the place of gladness, and finds his father's spirit.  Anchises foretells Aeneas future and  urges him to go to go to Italy where his fate lies.  Weeping for his father  Aeneas  safely travels out of Hades with the protection of the mistletoe. and  follow his destiny.

Mistletoe has been used in healing in magic and healing for thousands  of years.  The  4000 year old oak coffin of The Gristhorpe man found in a tumulus near Scarborough in 1834.  He was taller than average for this period in the Bronze age. Contained among the artefacts  in the tumulus was mistletoe in a bark bag.   Was this for his passage through the underworld and perhaps his returnto the world. Was he a magician and healer?

In 1948 at Hochdorf in Germany a Celtic burial chamber was found to contain a man six foot 2 inches tall.  He became know as the Druid Prince  because his stomach contents contained mistletoe berries.

Celts and the Druids revered the mistletoe.  The Druids cultivated mistletoe on many trees  including apple ash, willow trees, hawthorn and also on the oak.  The oak is a hard wood tree and as mistletoe grows mainly on soft wood, therefore the Druids must have been very skilled to grow it on the Oaks in their sacred groves.  Mistletoe  is rarely seen on Oak in the present time, but there are some oak trees  with mistletoe growing on them in Epping forest and a few other places..

Pliny in Natural History XVI 249 -251  describes how on the sixth day after the new moon  following the winter solstice the druids cut mistletoe with a golden sickle  making sure it did not touch the ground. They would place some on an  alter stone for the mistletoe thrush to take and renew the growth and spread of  Mistletoe in the Grove.  Some was distributed to people for protection and prosperity in the new year.  the rest  of the mistletoe  would use to guide the Druid priest in his prophesy and magic work

Mistletoe was used in magic its hallucinogenic effect when eaten in quantity enabled them to journey on the astral plane and into other worlds. Perhaps like Aeneas they carried mistletoe to allow them to return back into the known world. When the Druids  returned  he would be filled with Awen's  Bright knowledge  and wisdom distilled  from a mistletoe brew which was  "baleful and  poisonous".

Mistletoe was traditionally held to be a symbol of fertility and virility by the Celts   Women wishing to conceive would tie sprigs of mistletoe to their wrist.  

Old religions and ways declined with the growing power of the Christian Church but mistletoe is a powerful  heal plant in the 21st Century.

With Reiki blessings & a safe harbour to you all


Mistletoe  can be highly toxic to human beings please do not self medicate.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Symbol of Love & Peace

The Old English word Mistletoe  is derived from the words, "mistel" (dung) and "tan" (twig).  Hardly the romantic image we hold of this kissing bough found in so many homes at Christmas but a name typical of the down to earth English.

During the winter months Mistletoe growing on soft wood trees is easy to find as it grows on deciduous trees.  The berries are nutritious and  are eaten by bird  such as the Mistletoe Thrush, Robin, Black birds. but the seed of the plant is hard and will pass through a birds digestive tract very quickly  and then deposited in droppings on a branch of the Tree.  The seed will have the perfect growing medium and position on the tree branch.   Within six weeks the seeds will have germinated, however  It takes five years for the Mistletoe  to flower.

Numerous myths have grown up about Mistletoe, my favourite myth  is an old Norse myth of Buldar son of The goddess Frigga.  When her son was born she made all plants, trees animals and inanimate object promise never to harm  Buldar.  But hidden away in the leafy canopy of the apple tree  the mistletoe was forgotten and  was not called to make the promise.

The God Loki who is a malicious entity.tricks one of the other Gods into throwing a spear at Buldar to prove that he could not be killed..  The spear was hewn from the mistletoe and  killed Buldar. His spirit sinks into  Helhiem where all the dead go unless killed in battle.

Grief stricken Frigga sends her son Hermode The Bold  into Helhiem  to offer  a ransom to Hela Goddess of this dark dank realm of the dead.  She listens to his request in silence and stares at Hermode coldly.  He begged her to allow him to take Buldar back to the world of the living where Buldar, the God of the summer sun,  is sorely missed and loved. Eventually  Hela agrees to consider his request over night.    Hela is seething  with jealous anger, she has been banished to this dark world by Odin and no one has begged for her return to the living. 

In the morning she consents to release Buldar if all things living and dead weep for him   So loved is Buldar that all the living and dead weep for him  except one giant crone who refuses to shed even one tear for Buldar.  This evil crone is none other than  the God  Loki, Hela's father. Once again Loki plays a malevolent trick on Frigga.

Frigga holding a bough of mistletoe weeps for her precious son now lost to her.  As she weeps the mistletoe berries turn from red to white.  From that time forward the mistletoe  promised it would bring only love and peace to the world.

It was decreed that when two people passed under The mistletoe  they must give each other a kiss of love and peace and there should be harmony between them.  A tradition still carried on today. 

Wishing you all Love and Peace 

Merry B

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Poppy's new coat

The best part of owning a dog is the connection you make with them, the affection you share with them, and the humour they provide.” Henry Winkler (The Fonz)

Poppy was tied up for the first year of her life and hates to be restrained in any way.  Attempts to get her to wear a coat failed because she would roll over and wriggle free, or slide along the pavement trying to rip it off.  If that failed she attacked  it and rip it to shreds when she saw the coat hanging in the hall.

This winter I tried again to get her to wear a coat in this bitter weather.  No blues or read or cute coats, plain brown  no quilting simple fastening at the neck and round the tummy.  She wore it home from the shop and wore it out in the garden had a snooze in it, had her lunch wearing it.  So far she is happy to wear it.

Is she growing old and wiser? I do not thinks so!   On Saturday we walked to the allotment, Poppy in her smart new coat, me carrying a new fruit tree one minute she was along side me the next she had dived into a foxes den with only her bottom hanging out she wriggled further in and I held onto her lead and tried to extract her.  Eventually she slithered out her coat still on and only slightly muddy. Her retreat was  only because I was tugging her backwards out of the hole as I had her on the lead. Fortunately the fox was not a home!  An underground dog and fox fight with me on the other end does not bear thinking about.  I was glad she came out if she had gone any further  she may have got stuck and I would have probably have had to dig her out.  I retrieved the abandoned fruit tree and got to my plot.  First thing I did was put the kettle on I needed my rescue remedy tea!

Poppy is a Follie a fox terrier collie cross.  When I first had her  she had been tied up for most of her first year and never mixed with other dogs or been walked.  As a result she never sniffed anything, but  now four years on she walks along sniffing for cats rats and to get her peemails, to which she always replies.  Walking with Poppy at night is very odd she bounces up over garden walls seeking cats, or twirls and whirls when a fast car passes us..  Occasionally she walks quietly and then takes another twirl or bounce.  she rarely barks when she is out now.  Sometimes at a car, or a bike.  Unlike the first walk we took but  that is another story.

She barks at the plot sometimes at a car carrying away one of her human fans, or as friends cycle off.  The flight of a flock of geese flying overhead is serenaded  by Poppy, as are air rescue helicopters and navy helicopters.  On the way out if I have spent too long chatting to friend I pass at the allotments she natters then lurches off and as she is so strong I follow saying my good byes as I am hauled along by Poppy ,who is power walking up the path heading for the gate and home.

Poppy is affectionate, funny, strong in body and will.  She is afraid off traffic especially  buses, dustcarts  Coop Lorries.  

She will be five on the 21st of December 2012  and I am so grateful for her being in my life for four years.

With Reiki blessings to all living creatures

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Mindless Chatter - White Noise

Everyday we are surrounded by the white noise of the media, and on-line chatter.  Mindless gossip, carping, laughing at, and pulling pranks on unsuspecting people. Peering into other peoples lives to reveal  that people are human and transgress.     People are  exposing  the grit and grim of their lives on social media like Facebook,  Reality TV, You Tube.  Twitter, Everyone both real and imagined have flaws.

Shakespeare was a master of showing the flaws in the characters in his plays.  In Othello the character  Michael Cassio, Shakespeare has shown how  people who if young and inexperienced,  and are simple natured, are easy targets for those who are more cynical and worldly wise and who have selfish intentions. 

Casio is duped by Iago's  bitter manipulative character  to unknowingly providing false evidence against the innocent wife of Othello.  Iago wanted  to destroy both Othello's and Cassio' reputation and lives.

Casio had a flaw in his character  lack of respect for most women except the few he diefies such as Desdemona.  This what Iago uses for his plot against  Othello.  Cassio's mistress is  Bianca and he  is duped  by Iago into talk about her and to create murderous jealousy  Othello who is  secretly listening and believes the conversation is about Casio relationship with Desdemona

Iago asks if Cassio will he marry Bianac

Casio  laughing contemptuously sayes:

 marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, 
bear some charity to my wit: do not think .
It so unwholesome,

Othello jealsousy goes beyond reason leading to tragic consequences for all involved.

Shakespeare was inspired by a great insight into a how tragedy unfolds

In our modern world we have the reality show.  Where understanding and compassion are only mouthed about.   One of these is Jeremy Kyle show.  Where guest wrestling with painful dilemmas, pour out their grief, sense of betrayal, or injustice in front of a studio audience.   They are manipulated by Jeremy Kyle into exposing the rawness of their feelings and anger.  If a fierce confrontation breaks out the studio audience boo and clap as the pantomime unfolds before them and delighting in the experience of being at a good show.

Other  popular Talk shows are full of mindless chatter unimportant  matters.  ITV's morning show Lorriane  is billed as a topical mix of entertainment, discussion, and showbiz glamour, as well as featuring fashion food, and celebrity gossip  Recently I heard  Lorraine and a stylist talking about wearing high heels which both women agreed were a must for the fashionable woman, although  both women admitted that their heels were so high as to cause them pain. The stylist declared:

if I see someone going to a party this Christmas  in flat shoes I will be traumatised.  

Traumatised  is when a father staggers out of the rubble of a bombed house in Gaza carrying his dead child in his arms. and  a parent in Israel weep for a dead child killed in a bombing of a bus.. Traumatised is when Kiki cannot get to her home in Mexico city because Drug gangs are waging a war on her street. On a street where her son is trapped in his house terrified by the men with machine guns.

Everything is fair game for the hunters of a sensation, even for fun.  A young women's privacy was invaded as she was hospitalised for problems with her pregnancy.  Just for Fun two young DJ's were manipulated into make a phone call to the private hospital were the Duchess of Cambridge was a patient.  One pretended to be the Queen and a nurse put them through to the Duchess' nurse who revealed details about her condition unaware of the hoax being played on her.  Mindless chatter of the DJs about what fun as they flew on a high.  Michael Christian wrote 

The only bad thing about our Royal Prank… is knowing that I will NEVER EVER top this,'' he posted on Facebook. "Less than a week in the job & I've already peaked. 

 But from  that peak he fell crashing  down  when the news broke of the suicide  of   
Jacintha Saldanha..   The nurse who first answered the phone at .the Royal Hospital London .  The Prank was not so funny then.

But who was it that encouraged these young inexperienced DJs to pull this prank ?  Who was the person who gave them the number?  What where the names of the producer and lawyer who agreed that the Prank call should be broadcast.?  These people, I believe, used this scoop for the selfish intention of increasing the  ratings for the show and advertising revenue.  They knew this hoax call with  real information about the Duchess's pregnancy would go viral round the world. Her privacy was discarded.

The DJs  .Mel Greig and Michael Christian not  entirely to blame and I believe they are:

gutted" and "heartbroken

 They are in environment where it is OK to use any means to get that Scoops.    A world where respect for others privacy is thrown aside for tittle-tattle, the headline the jape. Those who are really  to responsible remain anonymous whilst these two young people take the brunt of the backlash.   They are feeling the full force of public anger .  But have the production  team step forward to take a share of the backlash?  No! 

This culture of  of mindless, ruthless disrespect of  a person's  life in pursuit of another scoop is a culture engendered Rupert Murdock's News Corps Media Empire and has infected most media. The mindless chatter that fills the vacuum of so many peoples lives. 

 I know out there in the real world is a young man who must fear his wife  might be subject to the same ruthless and relentless media attention as his mother endured.   A woman who, as we all know died, in lethal a car accident while fleeing the pursuit of paparazzi.   I also feel Prince William will understand more than most of us what it will feel like for two teenage children when they take a  lonely walk  behind their mother's coffin. 

It is a shame!

Sometimes our world seems so sad.

With Reiki healing to all those involved in tragedy 
Merry B 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bee hope For Detroit

Detriot is a city I associate with those icon cars of the 60's,70's .I knew that the car industry has declined in Detroit like it has in Britain and Europe as the cheaper cost of labour land, tax cost and resources of Asia beckons the Global Companies.  but the image of 40 square miles of dereliction  seemed too vast to comprehend. The City is struggling to re-invent itself as other Cities in America and Europe are needing to do.. 

This part of a poem  by Alex called "silence".    She posted  it on Cowbird  and it was a powerful  poem in which this stanza stood out in particular for me.

 I don't know what to write about
when  there is serious talk now about
dissolving the city of Detroit, 
bulldozing it back into pre-history
into a primordial swamp. Detroit?

The changes that have occurred in Detroit has devastated many lives.  As livelihoods, neighbourhoods have been destroyed by the closure of mile and mile of car manufacturing companies.  The pain for so many people cannot be imagined.  An image of an 87 year old woman living in the the last house standing in her neighbourhood is terrible  one. She wants to move but no-one will buy her house so she left amongst the bulldoze rubble of her neighbours houses.

The images of East Detroit is like an alien landscapes as the derelict car plants and building crumble and decay.  I can understand Alex's despair and horror. However there is hope

 Nature has already started on the task of renewing the abandoned factories.  Look at the picture above cotton trees are growing through the foundations and grasses, shrubs and weeds are taking back the land.  In 1920 Detroit east side was farmland and now piece by piece, inch by 1 dollar inch new farmers, small holders, nurseries are wrestling back the land to  fertile productive food cultivations.  Neighbourhoods are creating allotments and growing their own food. People are growing food on their Balconies.  

Change is the only certainty in is this life of ours.  Detroit has been devastated by the recession but the seeds of the new resurgence are there. My friend Sue who is moving near to Detroit wrote when I asked:

Is Detroit going to bulldozed?

Eastern Market Detroit food hub
Not sure.  There's been talk about "Urban Farms" and tearing down some of the run down buildings.  The areas or cities around it are beautiful like Royal Oak where 3 of the kids live, Ferndale, Birkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills (were Dean lives) and Rochester Hills were we'll be.   I'll keep you posted.  We're going there this coming weekend.
Detroit has a beautiful "Fox" Theatre which my mom thought should have been called the Tashj.  Inside is so amazing.  There's a great farmers market called Eastern Market and Greek Town, Mexican Town, Irish Town etc.  some really great spots amid the bigger pockets of decay.    
And Mary wrote

Times change and this just might be a change for the future.  I can recall was Boston was a dying city - it was grey and grim.  Then Mayor White came along and really changed the whole city, including demolishing whole areas, re-routing streets, putting up new buildings and shopping areas, and revitalizing historic areas.  Today it is known as Government Center and Quincy Market and, no matter when you go there, there is a crowd of sight seeing individuals and shoppers.  Also, the big dig came along and another part of Boston has had a face-lift.  So, based on what happened in Boston, and continues, I think the Detroit idea of urban farming is a good, healthy thing for the city to do.
urban farm

So perhaps Detroit will not sink back into the primordial swamp but become a food producing hub for the urban areas around. There is vitality still there but also at the present time pain and devastation. But the farms are bringing in the pollinating insects, butterflies, hover-flies, bees and they are bringing on their wings hope and renewal to Detroit.

Detroit farmer 
urban allottment

With Reiki blessings
And healing for all those broken by change