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Magickal Musings From Infinite Flame

February 16, 2010
Define "wicked".....


Happy (insert holiday here)!

Are you aware that there is a 6 day line up of events happening right now? To be fair, most people are only aware of the middle four, but there are six that I would call note worthy. February 13 saw the dark moon at 9:51pm EST. Then February 14 is, of course, Valentine’s Day and it is also the Chinese New Year (plus the Daytona 500, "let’s go racing, boys!"). The 15th is the day we observe President’s Day this year. Tuesday, February 16, is Fat Tuesday and the start of Mardi Gras so the next day, February 17 is Ash Wednesday. On February 18 the Sun enters Pisces and the Celtic Tree Month of Ash begins. There you go....6, count ‘em, 6 days of celebrating something that is important to someone!

So what to write about? That’s easy. Last year I wrote about 2009 being the Year of the Ox so I had to write something about 2010 being the Year of the Tiger. In honor of Valentine’s Day I will tell you a bit about one of my favorite, altho expensive, essential oils, rose.

I was looking back at some past newsletters and was reading the parts when I brought Sandy here. For any of you that are wondering, she is doing great. Instead of being under the couch all the time, she is on the couch most days. I put a throw on the couch for Brian (my boyfriend) and I to use to keep warm when watching TV. Sandy thought it was great. Brian didn’t want cat hair all over it so I kept it folded on the back of the couch and created a nice kitty bed for Sandy using "her box" (cat owners understand this ) and a small blanket from my aunt’s house that I brought with her. She like the box bed but eyed the blanket. She would jump on the couch and paw at it and try to drag it down. It took two weeks before she drove me crazy and I gave up. Now she spends most of the day on "her blanket", sometimes she burrows into it. Brian and I watch TV and freeze, but Sandy is happy and purring. She really is a strange little kitty, I never know what she’ll do next and she keeps me laughing. She now has a bunch of store bought toys that she ignores most of the time. I’ll put up a pic of her on her blanket once this newsletter goes in the archive (this newsletter service won’t let me add one now).

Click to enlarge

Sandy peeking out from her blanket.

Chinese Year of the Metal Tiger

So what does the Year of the Tiger have in store for us? According to The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, this....

"This is definitely an explosive year. It usually begins with a bang and ends with a whimper. A year earmarked for war, disagreement and disasters of all kinds. But it will also be a big, bold year. Nothing will be done on a small, timid scale. Everything, good and bad, can and will be carried to extremes. Fortunes can be made and lost. If you take a chance, gamble for high stakes, but understand that the odds are stacked against you.

People will do drastic and dramatic things on the spur of the moment. It is not surprising that Watergate and the drama of Nixon’s resignation culminated in the hotheaded year of the Tiger. Tempers will flare all around and it will be a trying time for diplomacy. Like the Tiger, we will tend to charge without thinking and end up regretting our rashness.

Friendships, joint ventures, and deals requiring mutual trust and cooperation made at this time are brittle and will be easily broken. However, the forceful and vigorous Tiger year can also be used to inject new life and vitality into lost causes, sinking ventures and drab or failing industries. It will likewise be a time for massive change, for the introduction of new and bold, especially highly controversial, ideals.

The fiery heat of the Tiger’s year will no doubt touch everyone’s life. In spite of its negative aspects, we must realize that it could have a cleansing effect. Just as intense heat is necessary to extract precious metals from their ores, so the Tiger year can bring out the best in us. Just one brief word of advice for this unpredictable year: Hang on to your sense of humor and let things sizzle out!"

Wow. Sounds like a tough year. Just what we need....NOT! The above is a general Tiger year outlook, it does not differentiate the elements involved. So if you go online and find something about a metal tiger year that does not match this exactly, don’t go emailing me that I’m full of it, they both are right. One is just more general.

That being said, I encourage you to find out more about the Chinese horoscope. It is really quite interesting and they go into more that just the year. There is a 5 element cycle too so if two people are born 12 years apart and both are tigers they are not necessarily the same sign as one could be a metal tiger and one could be a water tiger. They also divide the year into 12 signs so for example I’m a monkey (month) snake (year). Cool, huh?

I found a fun website that will figure your animal for the day, month and year you were born. For example, I’m a brown pig (day) born in the year of a green snake during the month of the green monkey. It also tells you the corresponding element and energy (male/female). I am female earth (day), male wood (month), and female wood (year). To find your Chinese Zodiac Animals, go here. This site has other fun stuff to waste time doing. If you look into the Metal Tiger info, you can find out your lucky element and how you will do this year. I love the little cartoons they use for each animal sign. Here is a link to the home page, have fun!

A Rose is a Rose

I love the smell of roses. Real roses, not that awful artificial fragrance they call rose. Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive out there but it is worth it. My favorite is Bulgarian which I am out of right now. I was only able to get Turkish rose when last I ordered and it is nice but if given the choice, go with the Bulgarian and you won’t be disappointed. Why is it so expensive? It takes an actual ton of petals to produce 11 ounces (300g) of essential oil. Seriously. Think of how many petals that is. Wow.

I was always frustrated when I came across an oil blend recipe or a spell that called for rose, it seemed to have been used often. That was until I bit the bullet and bought 5ml of Bulgarian rose otto for $78 a few years ago. I used it sparingly but found it very effective in both skin care and spell work. I recently had to replace it and bought both Turkish rose otto (5ml for $105) and Turkish rose absolute (5ml for $45). I wondered, if rose was always so costly, why was it in such widespread use? The answer is that it was not always so expensive. The reason it takes so many rose petals to make oil now is that the scent has been bred out of the rose. That’s right, they cross bred roses to lessen the smell. My understanding is that this was done mainly because the scent would be overpowering at a funeral or wedding where there could be dozens of rose in one small room. Roses grown for making oils contain more scent than those you purchase in a shop. The difference between the smell of roses from an older plant and those in a shop is amazing. Mankind thought they could improve on nature and now we are paying the price, literally.

Of course, you can always substitute something else for rose in a recipe or spell. You can use rose water, which is more reasonably priced or you can make your own (do not use store bought roses, use unsprayed ones grown by you or a friend to make rose water ). If a spell calls for rose oil, see if you can tweak it to use either fresh or dried rose petals instead. In soap or a bath product, dried rose petals can also be used instead of oil but be sure they are just dried petals and not coated with anything or dyed. Or you can find another oil that has the same properties to substitute in a spell. For skin care, if you can afford it go with the rose oil. I only put a drop or two in my facial blend but it really makes a difference.

Rose is associated with Venus and either water (Cunningham) or air (Heath). Magickally it is used for love, beauty, clairvoyance, compassion, consecration, to contact other planes, divination, luck, harmony & balance, peace, retention, secrets, and transformation . Because it is so expensive and therefore a splurge for most of us, I would say it makes the perfect oil to use when one needs love of self or to see one’s true beauty. Roses are so romantic that I would include the oil in any spell aimed to strengthen the bond between you and your lover.

Medicinally, rose is excellent for the skin, I use it in my face oil blend. Rose tones the capillaries and stimulates circulation. It is antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, tonic, antiviral, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, diuretic, and has a purging action on toxins and waste products. Rose balances and strengthens the digestive system and can help to relieve nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Soothes sore throats and eases coughs. As a tonic for the womb it can alleviate premenstrual syndrome and regulate the menstrual cycle (avoid during the first four months of pregnancy).

When buying essential oils the Latin name is important. For one, it tells you it is truly an essential oil and not a fragrance oil. Second, there can be many variations between species that effect the scent and properties of a plant. For example, I found out that rosa damascena petals are the most often used for perfumery and bath products while rosa laevigata petals are never used but it is the major source of rose hips for the food and herbal products industry. The best roses for essential oil is rosa damascena and rosa alba followed by rosa centifolia and rosa gallica. There is a specific rose, rosa rubiginosa (syn. r. eglanteria), whose oil is made from the seeds and is excellent for scars, burns and wrinkles.

I mentioned above that I bought both rose otto and absolute, they are two different products from the same plant. Rose otto or attar (can be called rose oil or rose essential oil) is the purer of the two as it is steam or hydro distilled. This oil is best for aromatherapy or therapeutic use. Rose absolute is produced by solvent extraction, by which a solvent is used to extract the plant molecules. The absolute still contains a bit of the solvent thus it is not pure plant oil, it can irritate sensitive skin depending on the solvent used and the quality of the finished product. Absolute also has more rose scent, making it better for perfume or scenting uses. Absolute is the cheaper of the two but don’t think it is inferior, it is still rose. If you want rose for scenting soaps, candles, or for spell work, the absolute is the better choice. If you are looking to create a skin oil or to treat a condition like depression, grief, or for menstrual issues, go with the otto.

Interesting facts I uncovered:

  • It is estimated that 96% of women’s perfumes and 42% of men’s fragrances contain rose oil.

  • Legend says that rose was the first essential oil to be distilled, in Persia during the 10th century.

  • Rose was used medicinally by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Persians, in AD77 Pliny recorded 32 disorders that responded well to rose treatments.

  • Legend has it that Cleopatra wore rose oil at her first meeting with Mark Anthony to capture his love.

  • Persian warriors adorned their shields with red roses.

  • The Sufi tradition says the rose is a symbol of transcendent desire.

  • Christians say the rose represents divine love and it is the symbol of the Rosacrucian order.

  • There is a tale that the rose sprang from the blood of Adonis, Venus, or Muhammad (depending on who tells the tale).

  • Rose flavored food was very popular in Elizabethan times.

Rose blends well with many other oils, especially sandalwood which is another expensive oil. I personally love rose and patchouli, in fact that is the newest soap I have created. Rose and patchouli together reminds me of what I call old rose, that soft scent that your grandmother used to wear. Very romantic smelling, I named the soap Bed of Roses. I use absolute to make the soaps as using otto would make it too expensive.

Have a rosy day @-^-- ( supposed to be a rose)
~~~~Rhiannon Rose

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Moon Phases
& Sign

Dark in Aquarius:
February 13 - 9:51pm

1st Quarter in Gemini:
February 21 - 7:42pm

Full in Virgo:
February 28 - 11:38am

Last Quarter in Sagittarius:
March 7 - 10:42am


Credit and

Llewellyn's Witches Datebook for all moon phases

Magical Oils by Moonlight by Maya Heath

The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes by Theodora Lau

Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham

Aromatherapy, An Illustrated Guide by Clare Walters

The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown

Nature's Gift - rose oil page


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