Long ago, kids used to dance to a little ditty that asked the big question, "Will I see you in September? / Or lose you to a summer love?" If you haven't yet met that special summer someone, it might be time to put away the suntan lotion and exchange it for some custom-made "Come to Me" kind. Purported to attract and enchant new love interests, this oil promises to draw enough potential partners to render the aforementioned September question moot!
To produce this magical potion yourself, simply add two drops each of rose, jasmine, bergamot and damiana true essential oils to a quarter-cup of almond oil. Then, wear it as a perfume to bring -- and keep -- your next hot summer love at a rolling boil!
The end of August always evokes three fashion related-words for me: back to school! From pre-K through college seniors and everything in between, new and updated wardrobes will be on every kid's mind ... and every parent's credit cards.
For this month, though, I thought we'd explore some back-to-school fashionista Shui for first-time students. And we're going to make their initial foray into the hallowed halls of education an easy and peace-filled experience by using the power of scent!
Diffusing a blend of lavender and chamomile essential oils in your child's room at night will calm them and keep them content. Alternately, you can put ten drops of each of these essential oils into an atomizer spray bottle filled with spring or distilled water, then spritz this sleepy-time spray around their bedroom to give Mr. Sandman a helping hand. Try also placing a few drops into their nightly bath, or get really creative and put a drop or two into the washing machine when cleaning their clothes.
And here's where we engage the Fashionista Shui! After a few weeks of smelling that scent every night at home and associating it with all things homey, you'll be able to use it to bring those same energies and emotions to their classroom. As soon as the school year starts, spray this same scent on their backpacks, or hide cotton balls dabbed with a few drops in their pockets or little purses. This way, they'll have a subconscious reminder of home all throughout their school day.
Begin using these oils at least two to three weeks before the schoolyear starts to set a pattern and induce the peace promised by these big scents for little minds!
August's humidity can present prickly situations for anyone with sensitive skin, but I've got a few alternative remedies that work like a charm on heat rash!
I had an Irish aunt who used to suggest browning a half-cup of all-purpose flour in the oven and, as soon as it cooled, applying it directly to a heat-related rash. In the years since, I've also come to find that plain old cornstarch is absorbent and clears up those unpleasant rashes; no need to brown it beforehand -- just a simple application will do.
But by far, the best natural remedy my dear old aunt suggested involves rubbing the heat rash with the inside of a watermelon rind. It's that simple!
You can also take a small amount of Vitamin E oil and mix it with a tiny bit of olive oil. Blend the mixture with a dab of petroleum jelly and gently cover the irritated skin with it.
And since it's August, I'll also add that this last concoction helps with bikini rash as well!
I grew up in northern New Jersey, where the end of August signaled the beginning of the best white and yellow corn harvest you could ever hope to taste. If you've ever had it, you know that fresh and sweet corn -- drenched in melted butter and dusted with sea salt and bit of white pepper -- can be a meal all on its own!
Throughout New York state's Native American era, when summer would start to say "so long" and the time for the final corn harvest was near, the Senecas of the Iriqouois nation would gather for their Green Corn Festival to honor our Earth Mother's daughters, who were believed to be the guardians of corn, beans and squash. Yes, these people clearly understood corn's magically delicious alchemical influence!
In fact, many ancestral cultures throughout the Americas share the same reverence for corn, believing it to be one of the most sacred foods of all. When hung in the home, ears of blue corn are said to induce spirituality, while cornmeal scattered around the outside of the home is believed to bring many blessings; also, ears of red corn placed in baskets on the floor are said to protect the home. And of course, offering corn kernels in gratitude and grace to the Great Spirit has been considered the ultimate prayer within a number of native cultures for centuries.
Indeed, any way you cut it, corn is this month's focus food!
AUGUST INDIAN PUDDING
1/4 cup of cornmeal
1/3 cup of maple syrup
2 1/2 cups of warmed or hot milk
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of cold milk
1/2 cup of currants (raisins will also do)
2 cups of vanilla ice cream
1. Using the top of a double-boiler, heat the milk while very slowly stirring in the cornmeal. Continue stirring over the boiling water until the mixture thickens.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and baking soda, then pour in the cornmeal mixture. Next, stir in the maple syrup, then the cold milk. Blend thoroughly.
3. Add the currants, then pour the entire mixture into a lightly greased two-quart casserole dish. Bake at 275 degrees for two hours.
4. Serve warm, topped with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream!
(A few months ago, I began taking a look at ancient Tibetan Feng Shui methods that promise protection and prosperity during travels. As previously noted, this sage advice originates from age-old text given by the Buddha Manjushuri to one of the great Indian pundits, Nagarjuna. All the modern-day information, however, comes courtesy of the venerable grande dame of Feng Shui [and one of my esteemed teachers], Lillian Too, who relates that the aforementioned Buddhist masters offered myriad methods for travel that would smooth over any bumps caused by starting a journey at an inappropriate astrological time.)
Over these last few months, I've covered specific rituals and mantras to make traveling in any direction peaceful and prosperous. This time, we're going to investigate some all-purpose Shui to help you avert bad luck and any other obstacles that could crop up along your journeying way!
There is, in fact, one mantra in particular that's believed to help overcome any astrological anomalies caused by bad timing, while additionally promising nothing but auspicious energies during your trip. I have never failed to use this next mantra on any of my travels ... and likewise, it has never failed me!
Recite as follows:
Om ah kani ni kani
Ah ghila mandala manda yeh so
Thank me later. Or better yet, bring something back!
As the college crowd heads back to school, this quick and easy one is for any frosh going to live away from home for the first time!
Feng Shui suggests that in order to avoid homesickness, you should migrate some water and soil from your old home to your new one. Disperse the water and earth around your new living space, and your old home's energies will take care of the rest!