Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Types of Incense

The Types of Incense by Mary Caelsto

When most people think of incense, they think of stick incense with a bamboo core. But there are several different types of incense available, and exploring the wide variety of incense available can lead you on an exciting olfactory journey.

All incense is lit and left to smolder in order to release its aroma into the room. Resin and powdered incense is placed on charcoal tablets. Lighting the tablet creates the flame needed to burn this type of incense. For stick or cone incense, lighting the tip and extinguishing any flame, leaves it to burn. This latter type of incense needs to include some kind of flammable material, such as resins or pastes, to keep it burning. Otherwise it just goes out and doesn’t burn.

Stick incense usually contains a “punk stick” or bamboo core. As the core burns, it also consumes the incense around it, leaving just the remaining stick to dispose of once the incense is gone. Most homemade incenses are of the stick variety, and you’ll most often see Indian incense, such as the 8-10 stick square packs commonly sold, created in this manner. Hand-dipped incense from individual crafts people also fall under this category.

Scents sold as sticks are often created into cone incense as well. The same material that helps the stick to keep burning also makes the cones burn, and since some individuals prefer cone incense, manufacturers provide both types. Instead of putting the incense material on a stick, it’s rolled into a cone shape and dried. The tip of the cone is lit with a match, and as it burns, it consumes the entire cone.

The other type of stick incense simply are the solid sticks, or spaghetti stick incense. In these cases, the incense is rolled or shaped into long cylinders. This incense goes by several names, such as dhoop, joss sticks, senko sticks or simpoi sticks. These sticks are solid throughout, and are either made by extruding (such as the long, thin joss sticks) or are hand-rolled like the thicker dhoop-type incense.

Masala incense can either be rolled around a bamboo core, such as the Hem Flora series, or created as solid incense sticks. Masala incense is considered to be of higher quality than regular stick-cored incense.

While the word “joss” has become synonymous with incense sticks, there aren’t any hard or fast rules in what constitutes a joss stick. The word is Chinese in origin, referring back to describing temples and religious idols. Thus, a joss stick, was an incense stick burned in a temple. The wide variety of traditions in the east, meant that each temple could create incense its own way. Thus, Indian joss sticks usually have the bamboo core commonly associated with Indian incense, and Japanese joss sticks are smaller, solid sticks of incense.

Dhoop sticks and logs come in two forms: a solid stick of incense, and a soft, gummy log. Neither type of dhoop has a bamboo core, and most incense of this type is either Tibetan or Indian in origin.

Senko stick incense sticks are also known as “Chinese matches.” Senko comes from Japan. They’re thin, smooth spaghetti-like sticks of incense, and can also be sold as “joss sticks” by such companies as Morning Star. Senko has many spellings, including sen-koh, senkoo, and senkou.

Simpoi sticks are a Tibetan style of incense stick. Primarily it’s based on Deodar Cedar and lacks the bamboo core. Tibetan stick incense is typically hand-formed and thicker than Japanese Senko.

Of course each of these types of incense requires its own burner. Thankfully most of the specialty incense, such as Tibetan or Senko, comes with its own burner. Other multi-purpose burners can also be purchased, such as ones that burn both cones and sticks.

There really isn’t one type of incense that’s “better” than the others. Most people’s incense preferences come from experience and familiarity. For many years, I burned the Indian incense simply because I wasn’t aware of the other kinds. Then, slowly, my incense repertoire grew, and now I have my favorite scents and brands. Stick incense, because it’s based on the bamboo core, tends to be less expensive than the other types, and because of this, may have a “punk stick” odor to it. For pure scent, it’s widely believed that the solid type incense provides a better experience.

When it comes to choice, my advice would be to try as many different types as you can. Each individual has his or her own preferences. Plus, with such a wide variety of incense available, both in type and smell, why would you want to limit yourself to just one?

Mary Caelsto is a metaphysical writer and also runs Jupiter Gardens, LLC an online store featuring a wide variety of incense along with books, essential oils, and other metaphysical products. Jupiter Gardens Press, a division of Jupiter Gardens LLC, publishes metaphysical, science fiction, fantasy and romance novels.

For more information please visit or

Friday, July 30, 2010

Treating Depression With Aromatherapy

Treating Depression With Aromatherapy by Misty Rae Cech

A fantastic and mysterious relationship is continuously unfolding between plants and their surroundings. These organic green machines are ceaselessly performing a glorious alchemy with water, soil, air and sunlight. The nearly infinite possible combinations of plant genetics and environmental conditions on the face of the earth have allowed for an almost immeasurable diversity of alchemal floral expression, resulting in a vast array of natural botanical materials. These range from simple staple foodstuffs to gourmet fruits and vegetables, from rich exotic spices to effective medicinal herbs, and from enchanting natural perfumes to complex therapeutic essential oils. Mankind is reaching ever further into the jungles and rainforests, knowing that nature is the true master of creation in these fields.

The line between food-plants and medicinal herbs is a fuzzy one. Science regularly reports newfound medicinal effects in plants once taken for granted; many fruits once thought quite plain contain some of the world's most potent anti-cancer agents. The same goes for teas - green tea is one of the most potent anti-oxidants known - and spices - cinnamon may prevent the onset of debilitating diabetes - and this list continues to grow. This same lack of distinction exists between natural fragrances and therapeutic essential oils. The oil of a rose, laden with Citronellol, does triple duty as a perfume, an effective agent against the herpes simplex virus, and an uplifting aromatic that can help one open emotionally after a traumatizing experience.

The use of so-called 'alternative' therapies is on the rise; more individuals are turning to the wisdom of nature for assistance for all types of ailments, both physical and psychological. Interestingly, the source of most ills, from a naturopathic point of view, is being out-of-balance with nature. Eating unnatural things, following unnatural cycles,and living in unnatural environments. Lack of balance with the earth, from which we are made and upon which we live, leads to 'dis-ease' in our bodies and minds. As plants have created their wondrous botanical materials in a process guided by the rhythms of the heavens and earth, we may look to 'plant wisdom' to lead our way back into balance.

A depressed emotional state is a common reasons for using complementary and alternative therapies today. A wide range of psychological, physical, and energetic issues can lead to feelings of depression and a pervasive outlook of negativity. Moreover, once in a state of depression, patterns can arise that make relief all the more difficult to find. The use of essential oils for uplifting the psyche and spirit is becoming more widespread because of the oils' broad and dramatic effects. While the oils themselves may not directly affect the underlying cause of depression, they may help individuals break free from depressive cycles - they may provide the impetus to 'get off the couch', so to speak, and begin creating long lasting change. Many natural healers believe depression to be a result of, like many other ills, of being out of balance; being unable to 'synch up' with the natural state of harmony that permeates the universe. For relieving this is-harmony, aromatherapy can be a very powerful means to infuse one's body and mind with the most concentrated, sublime botanicals nature has to offer.

In humans, the olfactory (sense of smell) region is an area of about 2 and a half square centimeters, and is located in each of the two nasal cavities between and below the eyes. Containing approximately fifty million primary sensory receptor cells, this region is highly intricate, being 10,000 times more perceptive than the sense of taste. When compared to sight, we find that olfaction is more complex - it is able to distinguish a nearly infinite number of element compounds at very low concentrations. In order to perceive the visible spectrum, humans use only three types of photoreceptors; in contrast, the sense of smell relies on several hundred distinct classes of receptors.

Modern research has shown natural plant oils stimulate multiple regions in the brain, including those controlling endocrine, immune, and limbic (emotional center) functions. Essential oils have a direct and profound effect on the deepest levels of the body, emotions, and psyche. Through inhalation, essential oils have a strong and immediate influence. Passing through the capillary beds of the sinuses and activating the olfactory nerves, volatile plant oils enter the brain, producing direct and powerful systemic effects - the most immediate being on the emotions. Our emotions and our sense of smell have very strong ties - perhaps more than with any other of the other four senses.

In both Naturopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine (The Science of Life), essential oils are considered to enhance the flow of prana (essential life force), enhance and nourish ojas (sustaining energy and immunological essence), and brighten tejas (clarity and mental luminosity). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, essential oils in general are medicines for the Shen, the spiritual essence that resides in the heart and guides and governs consciousness. Used consciously, essential oils powerfully enhance positive mental and emotional states.

Further, the medicinal properties of essential oils, through their ability to support physiological healing, can also be of great benefit to the heart and mind. A Korean study on the effect of aromatherapy on pain in patients with arthritis found that receiving massage with lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint oils significantly decreased both the pain AND mental depression levels.

Following are some oils that have a reputation for up-lifting Shen, enhancing prana, nourishing ojas, and brightening tejas - combinations that may have marked effects on symptoms of depression. These oils can be used alone or in combination in a nebulizing diffuser (producing a fine mist of oils for inhalation), or in aromatherapy massage, thereby inhaled and absorbed through the skin concurrently.

Bergamot (pressed from the peels of bitter oranges) has a strong reputation for its ability to gently uplift. In terms of Chinese medicine, this is a direct result of its smoothing the flow of Liver-Qi ('Chi' or Life Force), the liver being thought of as the seat of the eternal soul. Bergamot combines the ability to both relax the nerves and refresh the Spirit; it is suitable for many types of depressive states.

Neroli (from the flower of bitter oranges), like Bergamot, regulates the Qi - and like Jasmine flower oil, comforts the mind and heart. Neroli is called for at a core level, for the type of depression that comes from nervous and emotional exhaustion. Neroli uplifts the mind and Spirit with its potential to nourish and unify. Neroli assists in retrieving and releasing repressed emotions, with potential to nourish and unify a fragmented psyche. Neroli is specifically indicated for individuals who, in order to escape from emotional pain and suffering, cut themselves off from their feelings and senses.

The Chamomiles (German and Roman) are wonderful oils to use when the depression manifests in a moody, irritable, dissatisfied outward expression associated with stagnant Liver-Qi. These flower oils are earthy, rich, and grounding with subtle uplifting qualities.

When depression is of a Fire (overly aggressive) nature, it often involves an imbalance of joy and love - the root emotions of the heart and mind. Joy is an extension of Shen's (spiritual essence's) innate sense of harmony and perfection, an experience of emotional and spiritual well-being. The depression that afflicts the heart and Shen involves a loss of one's natural sense of joy. There is often an accompanied lack of enthusiasm and interest as well as an inability to become inspired. Rose otto - steam distilled rose essential oil - or Rose Absolute may have a profound effect on this state. Rose is thought the premier heart opening aromatic, bringing joy, uplifting and restoring balance.

What follows are a few recipes for uplifting and releasing depressed emotional states - use your intuition to find the right one. Often, the single essential oil or blend you find most attractive will be the one that serves you best. Experiment, explore, and have fun with these fantastic gifts of nature. These blends may be used in a diffuser or candle lamp, unless where a carrier oil is indicated - blends with carriers are intended specifically for aromatherapy massage (self-massage is very effective, as well as a simple massage from a friend or loved one).

For releasing and opening the heart: 1 part Rose 3 parts Sandalwood 1 part Sweet Orange or Bergamot;

3 parts Jasmine 1 part Ylang Ylang 1 part Sandalwood

Brightening, refreshing and uplifting: 3 parts Bergamot 1 part Ylang Ylang 1 part Grapefruit;

2 parts Bergamot 2 parts Clary Sage 1 part Frankincense;

3 parts Bergamot or Sweet Orange 2 parts Clary Sage;

2 parts Frankincense 1 part Lemon 1 part either Jasmine or Neroli

Nourishing: 1 part (Roman) Chamomile 1 part Vanilla 10 parts Carrier oil of choice

Floral and earthy (uplifting and softening to Spirit): 1 part Neroli 1 part Vanilla 1 part Orange 1 part Sandalwood;

1 part Chamomile 1 part Bergamot 1 part Helichrysum

Single oils can also be used, and should be investigated so one can learn the different energies of each plant. For depression associated with negativity: Bergamot, Chamomile, Helichrysum, Neroli, or Sweet Orange. For a profound lack of joy, try Rose, Jasmine, Patchouli, or Ylang Ylang. For overthinking and worry, try Frankincense, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh or Vetiver. For pessimism, regret and remorse, try Clary Sage, Cypress, Hyssop, or Pine needle. For doubt of one's capacity to cope with overwhelming situations, try Juniper Berry.

For cases of moderate to severe depression, professional help should always be sought. It is important to consider if you one requires professional help if the depression is overwhelming - while aromatherapy can provide support in a significant number of situations, it may not be for everyone. Essential oils can safely be used in conjunction with other treatments - consult your care giver to ensure there are no conflicts if medications have been prescribed.

About the Author: Misty Rae Cech, ND is a degreed naturopath, iridologist and herbologist praciticing in Boulder, Colorado. She regularly employs aromatherapy and essential oils with her clients and friends.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Is The Law Of Attraction?

What Is The Law Of Attraction? by Aaron Potts

The Law of Attraction - in its simplest form - states that "like attracts like". Whatever you focus on the most is what will be most attracted to your life. At first glance, that would seem to state that since we all think about being healthy, rich, and having fulfilling lives, that we should all be living happily ever after, right?

Wrong. Although it is true that if we properly focused on those things that they would come to us in abundance, the truth is that most people don't focus on having those things - they focus on the fact that they DON'T have those things!

So, going back to the definition of the Law of Attraction - "like attracts like". If all you ever do is think about how much you wish you were healthy, or how much you wish you were rich, or how much you wish you were happy, do you know what the Universal Law of Attraction will bring you? You guessed it - a life full of wishing you had all of those things.

The only way to attract what you desire in life is to allow yourself to understand what it would feel like to have what you want, to allow yourself to believe that you will have it, that you deserve it, and by focusing on those positive feelings and beliefs on a consistent basis.

It seems way too simple to be true, right? It is hard for you to believe that just by thinking about having a new car that you will get one. You can't grasp the fact that by just thinking about getting promoted at work that it will happen. You refuse to believe that by feeling positive about your life, that your fulfilling life will come to pass.

So, let's see if you have been paying attention. If you believe that it's not possible to get that car, that promotion, or that fulfilling life, guess what you are attracting with the Universal Law of Attraction? That's right - NOT having those things!

In order to invoke the Law of Attraction for positive gain, you must visualize the things that you want, feel in your heart what it will be like to have them, and believe that you will get them. It really is just that simple! However, after spending decades of our lives being taught to "work hard for what we want", we can't bring ourselves to believe that anything less than hard work will bring those things into our lives.

Now, don't misunderstand. The Law of Attraction is not "magic". You won't manifest material goods or personal success simply by thinking about them. However, the Universe WILL provide methods for you to gain those things, and hard work may or may not be part of that equation.

For that reason, it is important for you to remember that you have to be aware. When you train your mind to send out the positive emotional vibrations into the Universe that will bring these things to you, the Universe WILL answer. However, if you aren't paying attention, you will not be home when Opportunity comes knocking at your door!

The Law of Attraction is not some sort of mystical mumbo-jumbo, but rather scientific fact. The key is in knowing how to use that science, and the consistent application of those scientific principles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Herbs And Spices That Contribute To Your Health

Herbs And Spices That Contribute To Your Health by Bronwen Roberts

What you eat will show on your face and body: it will impact on the way you carry yourself, the amount of energy you have, and your level of passion for life! You are what you eat and that’s a fact.

Take advantage of this herb that grows prolifically, just about anywhere. If you don’t have a garden, it will grow in a pot on your balcony. The great thing about basil is that it adds sweetness to your meal and has none of the downside effects of sugar e.g. mood swings, weight gain, addiction, and (yes) acne. In fact, Basil can be used to treat acne; just add boiling water to a bunch of leaves and flowers. Allow to cool, strain and apply directly to the skin.

Try and eat basil as raw as possible: basil grown in strong sun will have the best and most intense flavour and perfume. Basil must be handled carefully: it is preferable to tear the leaves as cutting can produce a strong aniseed flavour. Purple basil (if you can find it…) with its intense flavour and beautiful colour is wonderful in salads as well as mixed with grilled vegetables.

Medicinal qualities include helping with nausea and stomach disorders. Basil juice can be used to treat insect stings and cuts. Basil is particularly good in treating symptoms relating to nervous disorders.

Fenugreek is a plant that is native to southeast Europe and west Asia. Its seeds are often used in Middle Eastern or North African dishes. The slight bitter taste of this spice enhances the many flavours that are used in Eastern cooking.

Fenugreek is famous for its medicinal qualities. For centuries, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans have used fenugreek to treat various disorders. It can improve cholesterol levels and help stabilise blood sugar in diabetics.

Fenugreek can also aid digestion. Occasionally it can cause diarrhoea, depending on the constitution of the patient, so doses need to be monitored. Decreasing your dose should alleviate this side effect. In addition to seeds and capsules, fenugreek also comes in powder and gum forms.

Ginger is thought to have originated in South-East Asia. Its hot, spicy and clean flavours have become popular in many cultures over the centuries. In ancient times it was a highly prized Eastern import to the Roman Empire, where it was used mostly for medicinal purposes. In medieval England, ginger was used as a condiment and was as common as pepper. It was also eaten as a ‘sweet’ in a preserved or glace form. Ginger has been used predominantly in the Middle East, Africa and South America but where it has really flourished has been in Asian cuisine. Eaten sliced, juiced, grated, ground, minced or mashed, or preserved in vinegar or sugar, ginger has become the quintessential spice.

Ginger has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for centuries to purge the body of colds and viruses and as a stimulating tonic for digestive disorders and the female reproductive system. Allowed to steep in tea, it induces sweating, which helps fevers run their course. It also tones and helps boost the immune system.

Ginger is also helpful in the treatment of period pains, digestive disorders, nausea and colds. It has been known to successfully treat travel sickness and nausea in pregnancy; used instead of traditional medication. Its revitalising qualities lift the spirits and ease depression.

It is one of the most pungent of vegetables and also the most popular. The powerful bite and odour of garlic are caused by a reaction between sulphur compounds and enzymes which are activated by the air when the bulbs are crushed or cut. Garlic is integral to nearly all stocks, soups and stews. It is credited with medicinal qualities as well as its versatility in cooking, for which it is well known. Used whole, chopped or crushed, raw, sautéed or roasted, garlic has a distinctive flavour (not for the fainthearted…) that can vary from pungent to sweet. Garlic grows underground as a bulb consisting of many cloves, each of which is encased in a papery skin. The smell of garlic only emerges once the cloves are cut, causing damage to the cell walls. The more you cut the cloves, the stronger the smell. Cooking the garlic, however, destroys the compound, rendering it milder and sweeter. When choosing a head of garlic, make sure it is firm and dry, with no discoloration.

Most of the modern research on garlic has concentrated on its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as offering protection against strokes and heart disease. While garlic is gathering a reputation for helping to maintain a healthy heart, regular amounts of garlic seem to also help the body fight off infections.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guide To Some Common Herbs That Heal

Guide To Some Common Herbs That Heal by Lee Dobbins

Herbs have long been an acceptable way to fight common ailments and while they should not take the place of medical advice, can be a great supplement to your current medical care. There are many common herbs that have healing properties which you may not even know about.

Some of the herbs like garlic, parsley, rosemary and cayenne you may associate more with cooking, but these plants also have medicinal properties that you can easily put to use by using them in teas, compresses and even as spices in your meals!

Some common healing herbs include:

Aloe Vera
The gel within this plant is reputed to heal wounds and other skin problems such as sunburn. It is also a strong laxative. The plant can be grown in your garden in tropical climates or on your window sill. Slit open the leaves and use the juice inside.

Cayenne is great for the circulation and it’s no wonder with it's spicy bite! You can use it in your food, or if you are really brave, in a tea. You can also take it in a capsule. It is said that Cayenne will help to expedite the healing effects of other herbs.

This herb has many uses. In a tea, it has a relaxing effect and can sooth the digestive system. It is also excellent for the skin when applied topically in a cream or lotion. Many herbal soaps, shampoos and lotions include this herb which has been used since ancient times.

This much publicized herb can help stabilize the immune system. It can be taken as a pill or tincture or pulled out of the ground an eaten as a snack! You may have some of these purple daisy like flowers growing near you and not even realize that they have medicinal properties.

You thought it was just a tasty root to put on bread but this herb has been used since ancient Egypt and has properties that strengthen the immune system. It is used as a treatment for infections, coughs and colds.

Our herb guide likes ginger as it can be used in so many dishes. It is reputed to aid in circulation.

Rich in potassium, this herb is often used as a garnish and left uneaten. I suggest you put it right in your salad and eat it up - it has many vitamins and is reputed to strengthen the kidneys and help with waste removal.

This herb stimulates circulation and aids in memory.

St. John's Wort
No herb guide would be complete without mention of this herb which is used to treat mild depression and elevate mood.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins writes for pet and health related websites. Visit for more on natural home remedies and herbs. Don’t forget to check their extensive article database at

Monday, July 26, 2010

50 Questions To Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose

50 Questions To Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose by Lance Beggs

Let’s get straight into it!

If you want to live a happy life, then you MUST spend some time deciding what you want to do with your life, and then make the effort to live that life with passion.

It’s up to you!

No-one else is going to do it for you.

So, take some time out from your busy day-to-day routine, and consider the following questions.

1. What is my life’s purpose?

2. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, what would it be?

3. Who am I?

4. What is the most important thing in my life?

5. What do I love to do, more than anything else?

6. If I had only six months left to live, what would I like to achieve?

7. What would I like to leave the world, as my legacy?

8. What would I do with my life, if I knew I could not fail?

9. If money, or time, or current responsibilities were not an issue, what would I like to do with my life, more than anything else in the world?

10. What activities have I discovered that give me the most pleasure?

11. What do I still want to learn?

12. When I was a child, what did I dream of doing with my life?

13. What has been the greatest challenge that I have overcome so far in my life? Could I help other people to overcome that same challenge?

14. What challenge would I love to overcome, and then help others achieve the same?

15. Who are the people I most admire?

16. Why do I admire these people?

17. How would I define their life’s purpose?

18. What qualities do these people possess that I’d also like to be known for?

19. What is the biggest dream I have ever had for my life?

20. What subjects did I enjoy most in school?

21. What sport have I most enjoyed?

22. What art or craft have I most enjoyed?

23. What social activity have I most enjoyed?

24. What hobbies have I pursued?

25. What hobbies do I wish I had pursued?

26. What would I like to do, if only other people didn’t think it was silly?

27. Where in the world would I most like to live?

28. Who would I like to live there with?

29. Where in the world would I like to work?

30. Who would I most like to work with?

31. What would my perfect day be like?

32. Is there a spiritual side to me, waiting to be unleashed?

33. What would I like to do, RIGHT NOW, which would bring me the most happiness or pleasure?

34. What special gift do I have that I could give to the world?

35. What makes me cry with joy, or brings tears to my eyes?

36. What would I like to do this weekend, just for fun?

37. If I could be granted the power to change the world, what would I do?

38. If I were given three wishes, what would they be?

39. What is something that scares me a bit, but would be really exciting if I did it?

40. What does my heart say I am to do with my life?

41. What qualities do I possess that I am really proud of?

42. What have I done in my life that I am really proud of?

43. If I had time available to contribute to a charity, or some cause, what would it be?

44. What am I usually doing when I suddenly realise that time has flown by, and all my focus has been on that one task?

45. What do I want to do on my next vacation?

46. Who in history would I most love to be, and why?

47. What do I most regret not doing, so far in my life?

48. At the end of my life, what would I most regret not having done?

49. What is my life’s purpose?

50. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, and just get started with something that excites me, what would it be?

Ponder these questions for a while. Pick out one that you can really relate to, and ask yourself the question over and over and over, until you have an answer.

The answers are within. If you ask, you will receive your answer.

You can live a life of purpose. You can live a life of passion and success! Ask, until you get your answer. And then take massive action. It’s worth it, I promise.

Lance Beggs.

About the Author: Lance Beggs is the author of the "How to be Happy Now" newsletter, and the soon to be released "How to be Happy Now" book. His mission is to help others live a life of meaning, love and happiness! Subscribe to his FREE ezine at

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Garden Magick

Garden Magick - Transform a Difficult Garden into a Sacred Resort for the Soul by Carolyn Donnelly

Are you establishing a new garden? Are you trying to bring a long neglected or difficult garden back to life again? You can create a flourishing garden anywhere. All you need is loads of desire, a little imagination and an open mind. In this article I briefly summarise some techniques that I have successfully used for encouraging growth in difficult areas of the garden. By adding a little magick to some basic ecological gardening principles your can create a sensation.

There are a few essential requirements for a healthy garden. These are: soil with the correct texture, nutrient levels, and drainage; water; sunlight and the appropriate plant choice for your local environment. Garden bed preparation is of utmost importance and you would be well advised to ensure that you have provided your plants with the best physical environment possible for their successful growth. But getting the physical environment right is just the first step. To get the best out of your garden you need to provide a happy environment, full of positive energy and a little magick.


When you first start planting out your garden it doesn’t look much like it will in two, three, five or ten years. Visualization is a crucial part of the garden design and planning process. It is also important for the growing process. To keep your garden growing in the direction would like it to grow, you need to visualize regularly. This is just a matter of looking at the garden and imagining what it will look like when your plants are fully grown. In doing so you are mentally sending your plants messages of encouragement. Make a habit of visualizing your garden on a daily basis and imagine it as it will look in, say, five years of constant and healthy growth.

In the meantime … fake it

While you are in the early stages of garden creation, try making a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ garden. This simply means creating an interim garden. You can do this by placing pots filled with colourful plants around the area. This will give you some instant gratification for your efforts. It will also give your new plants some company. After all, plants are communal and are not meant to grow alone.

You can quickly and easily create new pot plants by taking cuttings from other plants in your garden or your existing pot plants. Put the cuttings in water until they sprout roots – some won’t grow roots this way, it will be trial and error but many will grow roots within a week. Alternatively, buy some plants, preferably colourful flowering plants. Of course, choose appropriate plants for the location of your garden - shade loving plants for areas with little sun, etc.

Place the pots around the area where you want the garden to be and in between the plants that you have recently planted. If the garden is located in a harsh landscape that is subject to extreme hot or cold or strong winds, you can place the pots so that young plants are protected from harsh winds or direct sunlight. If your environment is particularly harsh, you may consider adding small screens made from bamboo or other natural materials to protect young plants until they establish. In a dark or very shaded area, ensure that your pots will not block any sunlight that your seedlings may be receiving.

Attract Native Animals

Life attracts life, so by attracting as many animals to your garden as possible you will increase the life energy of your garden which will help your plants to grow. Place rocks and logs in your garden to provide shelter and homes for small lizards and insects. If you do not have any tall trees, installing a pole that a bird can perch atop (but a cat can’t climb) is a great idea, as birds will contribute seed laden droppings that can bring additional plants to your garden as well as additional nutrients. Show your delight when you notice a new native occupant and let him know he is welcome.

Allow the ecology of your garden to evolve along with the growth and addition of your plants and other components. Resist interfering by removing or killing particular animals that you don’t like such as spiders. Instead, become curious and learn about them. Talk to them. You will gain an entirely new appreciation for these animals and improve your karma at the same time.

Avoid Using Poisons

Garden shops are full of garden poisons. It’s big business. It would be easy to assume that weed killers, snail killers and the other exterminators are an essential component to gardening. However, the reality is that they are really bad for your plants and the animals that add value to your garden. There is almost always a natural or more gentle alternative to using poisons in the home garden. It is far more effective in the long term to pull weeds out by hand and you will save a lot of money.

Decorate and Communicate

Celebrate your garden area by decorating it with beautiful things, such as hanging pots, statues, bird baths, sculptures and low lighting. These will add positive energy and atmosphere. If possible, include an outdoor table and chairs and spend some time there entertaining friends, laughing and having a good time, or just be there on your own relaxing and smiling upon your garden. Make sure you remove or disguise any ugly or unsightly objects. It is important to keep the area beautiful as you are more likely to spend time in, and give loving energy to, a garden that you like the look of and feel good about.

Take a leaf out of Grandma’s Book

Did your Grandmother speak to her plants? Mine did, and that practice was passed down to my mother and now I do it. It works! You don’t need to spend a lot of time in conversation with your flowers. Simply walk around and admire your plants for a few minutes most days. In the difficult spots, stop and talk to those plants that are struggling. Express pleasure when you see some growth. Smile at your plants and talk to them in a light manner as you are attending to their needs.

Crystals for Positive Energy
Use crystals and semi precious stones to add some beneficial energy to the area. Here are some ideas:

This crystal is known for its ability to produce abundance and increase yields in crops. It can be used to enhance the health of your pot plants or your garden plants.

Jade represents life and growth and has been associated with the health of plants and the environment. Place jade statues in the garden or use jade in a decoration that hangs above or nearby your plants.

Moonstone helps to enhance the growth and health of plants. Use it in decoration in your garden or wear it when attending to your plants.

Clear quartz
Quartz will amplify and enhance the qualities of any other stone and can be used to achieve any goal of pure intention. Use it alongside the other stones or alone in your garden to enhance plant growth. I hang crystals over pot plants to improve their performance.

These are examples of stones and crystals that have specific qualities that can assist plant recovery and growth. However, there are many crystals and stones that have healing and nurturing properties so it may pay to experiment. Crystals can be placed in pots, used as a display on a table, in a bird bath or water feature. They are particularly beautiful when they form part of a hanging decoration.

Add a Little Fairy Magick
Fairies have long been associated with gardens. Flower fairies were thought to live in the flowers of plants. They looked after the plant by ensuring it had everything it needed. You can add your own bit of fairy magick to your garden by placing a hanging fairy near the garden that you want to prosper from this energy.

You can also increase the positive energy of your garden area by hanging or placing sculptures of powerful symbols such as the Sun, for positive energy, and the Moon, for receptivity and supernatural powers. Both of these symbols together represent balance and harmony. There are many other symbols of good fortune such as Buddha that will enhance the energy and the feel of your garden. These symbols and bearers of good energy also look great.

Feng Shui Garden

Designing your garden for good Feng Shui
The Feng Shui garden is designed to allow Chi to flow. To create good Feng Shui, design your garden with plenty of curves. If you have a garden with very straight edges, add features that give the impression of curves. You can achieve this by the way you place your garden features and how you locate your plants. Choose rounded pots and curvy furniture to increase the positive Feng Shui in your garden.

Windchime Magick
Another way to increase Chi in your garden is by hanging a windchime or a windchime bell. Windchimes aid in the flow of Chi and add an additional element to your garden through sound. The right windchime can create a sensation of peace through its harmonic tunes. It is worthwhile selecting a well made bell or windchime that you enjoy listening to as this will make a valuable addition to the atmosphere of your home and give you joy every time the breeze blows.

Water Features
A water feature is also extremely beneficial in the creation of a positive Feng Shui garden. The water must be flowing, however, so that Chi can flow and so that it does not become stagnant. The addition of fish to your water feature will provide more positive energy due to the additional life. Be sure to find fish that do not eat the spawn of local frogs. Gold fish, which originated in China, have become an environmental nuisance in some countries and they will eat frogspawn. For frog friendly fish, check with your Government Fisheries Department.

Frog Magick
Frogs represent good luck in many cultures around the world. The first frogs hopped this earth alongside the Dinosaurs. They are wise beings, worthy of respect and they will bring good energy to your garden. Be sure to locate any pond a good distance from bedroom windows, however, as frogs can croak up a storm at night.

A wonderful way for a garden to enrich your life is through scent. You can create a special atmosphere by planting the shrubs, trees and flowers in your garden that provide certain scents that enhance particular moods. Add some instant inspiration by filling your pots with lavender, jasmine, geranium, lemongrass or whatever your nose desires.

Burn incenses outside or light a scented candle at night while sitting in the garden. Select the scent that will be most beneficial for your garden’s growth. Try gardenia or lavender for love and healing, ginger for success, patchouli or rosemary for love and growth, the invigorating benefits of sweet orange or frankincense and myrrh for healing and growth.

A closing thought ..
Your garden reflects the relationship it shares with you and the other inhabitants of your home. By increasing the positive loving energy in your garden you will create a place for growth and harmony, a place where life will thrive. In return you will receive much enjoyment. By combining good ecological concepts with a little magick you can turn a difficult garden into a sacred resort for the soul.

About the Author: Carolyn is an ecologist, avid gardener and supporter of new age spirituality. Her website, Placid Moon, features a range of products that can assist you in building your ‘sacred resort for the soul’, such as essential oils, incense, scented candles, incense burners, candle holders, oil warmers, crystals, hanging sculptures, windchimes and bells.