"October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know;
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those foes to rest."
- Birthday poem from "The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones," by William T. Fernie, M.D.
The birthstone for October is the opal, a gem related to sympathy, compassion, pure thoughts and confidence. Legend says that Constantine, the Roman emperor, wore an opal in his crown, believing that it provided light in the darkness (both literally and figuratively) along with protection of his imperial authority. Older, more mystical legends say that she who wears an opal has the ability to become invisible.
Oriental legends claim that the opal is the stone of fidelity and true love; European lore maintains that wearing one will bring happiness and hope. Whether worn to calm nerves or restore hope, the legends surrounding this special stone certainly support that laying one upon an October baby's breast will definitely put the foe of woe to rest!
Ghosts and goblins and ... Feng Shui? Well, sure as the Shui I write about every month, Halloween is certainly a special day when nothing is really as it seems -- neither trick nor treat nor fright of night!
With all the potential for misbegotten Halloween magic hanging heavily in the late autumn air, this is also a perfect time to offer protection to all your little Hershey's hustlers. The following lucky day fashion Shui is light on both the pocketbook and your worry load, and while it may require a bit of pre-planning, if you give yourself a little extra time, you won't be scared to run out of it!
Have your little fairy, princess or action hero don his or her favorite T-shirt or pajama shirt underneath their costume. This inner layer of safety will keep your children feeling secure as they face Halloween's demons, which means they'll be far less likely to wander your halls in the wee hours looking for Mommy and/or Daddy to check under the bed for the four gajillioneth time!
And while we're talking Halloween costumes, everyone knows they're notorious for being "too scratchy" -- or just plain uncomfortable. However, if you pair the aforementioned T-shirt or pajama shirt with a favorite pair of jeans or matching pajama pants, you'll not only help prevent a floor of fears from overflowing out of their little psyches, but you'll also create a subtle sense of security on a night when it's most needed. Keep in mind as well that the softer the fabric and the lighter the color of the garment underneath the costume, the more balance there will be to offset the symbolic darkness of this holiday.
No more boo-hoo for your young ones if you keep these fashion Shui Halloween tips in mind!
I'm going to make this one short and, well, sweet. It's for those of you who may want to overindulge on the full-size Snickers or eat all the candy corn before it even makes it to the Halloween dish!
An age-old sugar-shock detox remedy that comes from ancient Indian annals says that if you need some quick relief from a major candy binge, you should crush one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, then steep them in one cup of freshly boiled water for five minutes. Strain the liquid, pour it into a glass or mug and swallow it very slowly; you should feel better in about five minutes!
You can also add this mixture to a detox bath in order to get the sugar-shock out of your system. Or if you're able to summon the willpower, you can just pass over the plastic pumpkin filled with sweets.
(But, just in case you get yourself a case of M&Ms -- or just a case of the munchies -- be sure to keep some fenugreek seeds handy.)
Autumn is a terrific time to reflect on lessons you've learned since the start of the year. Rosemary, an herb most associated with memory, will aid your recollections as you include it in the magical side dish below!
As you slice all the vegetables for this offering, take time to remember all the challenges you've faced so far in 2011; also consider what you've learned from those hardships. With an attitude of gratitude, give yourself a big pat on the proverbial back for not only making it through, but doing it with your grace, strength, faith and class intact. This dish will remind you of all that -- and more!
MAGICALLY DELICIOUS MUSHROOMS
1 cup of large mushrooms, stemmed
1/4 cup of chopped mushroom stems
2 tablespoons of chopped onion
2 tablespoons of chopped green bell pepper
1/2 stick of salted butter
3/4 cups of breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
1 half garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat before adding all the vegetables (including the garlic). Saute until the veggies are tender, then mix in the breadcrumbs, bacon and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon the mixture into mushroom caps.
3. Put the mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Gently drizzle the remaining melted butter over the mushroom caps. Top each with a smattering of the grated Parmesan, then bake for 15 minutes.
This quick travel tip comes courtesy of a friend of mine who recently returned from New Orleans with a new memento -- a painted mask -- in hand. She shares of how she found the mask in a magical little metaphysical store, but didn't think to ask the shopkeeper of its origin or what it symbolized. She just liked it, and thought it would make a fine addition to her living room's eclectic art collection.
Once she returned home and hung it up, however, things began going slightly awry in almost every area of her life. So, she asked me if I thought that one event had anything to do with the other.
You already know what my answer was, right?
See, every trinket you pick up during a trip contains the energetic imprint of not only where it came from, but of the artisan who crafted it in the first place. Any seemingly harmless souvenir can sabotage your Feng Shui unless you're careful to cleanse any stale prior energies.
You can easily do this by creating that same cleansing intention in your head, followed by lighting several sticks of sandalwood incense or simply smudging the item with dried sage. Whichever method you choose, be sure to pass the item through the smoke of the incense or sage, allowing the smoke to completely permeate your newfound memento so it may energize you and your environment -- as opposed to causing consternation and concern!
Remember: When you travel, the only thing you should bring home with you is a memory of good times. Anything else should be thoroughly cleansed in the aforementioned way before taking up space in the same one in which you live.
With September and all those back-to-school costs behind us, but with the holidays looming straight ahead, this is a perfect time to share a Feng Shui remedy known as the "Great Wealth Accumulator." This special Shui technique attracts cash and coin while also imparting disciplined lessons. The treasure box you're about to create will becomes the symbolic root of your wealth -- and will tirelessly work to help you grow more!
You'll need a piggy bank or some other repository in which to store your money; just make certain it will fit underneath your bed. You'll also need a new black-ink pen to use only for this wealth-accumulating purpose.
Get yourself a red, round piece of paper, of which you'll use about three inches for your bank's label. Also, in keeping with traditional Feng Shui practices, you'll need a square piece of red cloth that's slightly larger than your piggy bank (or whatever repository you use), as well as a pair of round, one-sided mirrors approximately three inches in diameter.
Now, the exact method.
1. Practice breathing deeply on any day between 11AM and 1PM.
2. While inhaling deeply, hold your breath and write "GREAT WEALTH ACCUMULATOR" on one side of the red paper label, then sign your own name on the opposite side.
3. Affix the label to your bank, with the side your name is written on hidden and facing the inside of the bank.
4. Place the piece of red cloth on the floor under your bed approximately where your "power" hand (the one you write with) rests as you lay in bed with your arms at your sides.
5. Place one of the round mirrors on the cloth, mirrored side facing upward.
6. Place your bank atop the mirror. It should rest partly under the bed and partly exposed next to it.
7. Attach the second round mirror to the frame of the bed that sits above the bank. The mirrored surface should be facing downward, as if reflecting your Great Wealth Accumulator.
8. Choose a specific denomination of coin you'll collect and put into the bank.
9. Every day for 27 consecutive days, collect at least one coin of your chosen denomination and place it in the bank. Any and all coins of this particular denomination that come into your possession must be put into the bank. No coins of that denomination may be spent during the 27-day period.
10. After placing the coins in the bank each day, reinforce your impending wealth accumulation by reciting, "Om mani padme hum" nine times.
11. After completing the cycle over the 27 days, you can either leave the bank by the side of your bed or place it in the wealth area of your bedroom.
The objective here is to create a collection of coins that will attract more cash to you, thereby making you a money magnet! Just remember that if you skip one day of this ritual, you must begin the entire 27 days all over again. So, be dutiful!
This wealth-accumulating method is true, and is sure to bring you luck and fortune. And who couldn't use those gifts around holiday time, right?