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New Moon … New Beginnings

Wishing you a happy dark moon / new moon (10.18pmtonight, Wednesday 26th April)!

A dark or new moon is an opportunity to release and let go of things we no longer need, and to begin afresh.. According to Vedic astrology, tomorrow’s new moon brings new ways to fix old problems – helping us to let go of the past and receive an encouraging push into new and uncharted territory! 

Are you feeling this energy?

Remember to make time to write in your journal today/tonight – things you want to release and your intentions for this next cycle… I find it’s a beautiful way to feel connected to nature and ourselves; to our deep intuition and magic.. Which can’t help but make for a more peaceful, grounded existence in the day to day!


Comment below if you’re tuning in!

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Leo Lunar Eclipse

Thoughts, feelings, prayers, intentions; all are amplified during a full moon and even more so this month, with a lunar eclipse and two significant celestial alignments occurring during February’s full moon in Leo (Saturday, 11 February 2017, 10:32 am AEST).

The full moon in Leo (Sun in Aquarius) urges us to boldly step into our truth, with lion-hearted courage. The Leo lunar energy encourages us to connect to the heart and open to joy and playfulness. We are encouraged to consider how we can express ourselves to a greater depth and how can we create our he/art. We might reflect on where are we at in our ability to shine our light in the world.

The lunar eclipse offers a chance to reflect on where we are focussing our energy and to what effect. This eclipse supports us to release all that may be holding us back; to let go of fears and deep-seated wounds and to rise above and beyond negative or rigid thought patterns.

This full moon is special in that the Sun, Moon, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter align to form a pentagram as simultaneously the Sun, Moon, Uranus and Jupiter form a Golden Rectangle. The alignment is believed to offer opportunities for us to become aware of change in our lives. Let us open to allow change, promote change, choose change and be the change to create a more positive world. Self-care and nourishing the temple of the physical body and the connections and relationships that support and ground us, are imperative to help us to replenish during this period of immense change.

The formation of the pentagram also symbolises the awareness that all of creation exists within us. A notion which can always be returned to in times of turbulent motion.

‘You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop’ (Rumi)


Photo credit: ‘Rainbow Moon’ by Tracy Oliver



Yoga and Meditation Ritual for the Full Moon in Leo



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Little Rituals for the Summer Solstice…

This year’s Summer Solstice occurs at 9.44pm AEST on Wednesday 21st December 2016. That’s all well and good but what does it mean and how can we mark it?

The graceful movement of the planets, stars, Sun and Moon is continually in flux above us, and was closely monitored by ancient civilisations from the Mayans to the Pagans. Anyone observing the skies would have noticed key moments such as the new moon, full moon, movement of comets and meteorites, solar and lunar eclipses and equinoxes and solstices. An innate desire to honour, celebrate and worship these astrological alignments were the reasons so many temples and structures, unfathomable feats of human engineering, were built: Stonehenge in England, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Karnak Temple in Egypt among many others. Across the ancient world, the sun was revered as a majestic giver of life.

Ancient civilisations were very aware that humanity was part of a larger picture that included and was strongly influenced by the natural world. Accordingly, it was understood that these moments of alignment held an energetic intensity; a potency, that could be felt, tapped into and utilised to create changes in one’s external and internal world and bring about more harmony within one’s life.

Solstices occur twice a year – in winter and in summer, and are the points when the sun is either the furthest south or furthest north from the equator; thus creating the longest or shortest day (daylight hours) of the year. In the Northern hemisphere, 21st December marks the Winter Solstice, whereas in Australia, in the Southern hemisphere, we arecelebrate the Summer Solstice. Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and is thought to mark the height of Summer; a time when crops are ripening and flowers blooming. As such, this Solstice is viewed as a life-affirming celebration of light, vitality, power, prosperity, passion, desire, creativity and strength.

The word ‘solstice’ is derived from the Latin word solstitium, from ‘sol’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘sistere’ meaning ‘to stand still’; perhaps insinuating a marking of the solar phase by the pause of our day-to-day activities to observe not only the sun but ourselves – our internal world and our place within our community, society and greater world. The Summer Solstice offers a time to stand still for a moment, to take stock of our lives and embrace this opportunity for self-development, spiritual nourishment and growth.

There are innumerable ways we can tap into the ancient tradition of honouring the solstice. Five suggestions are described below. Comment to let us know how you plan to celebrate!

Blessings to you this Solstice!






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All That Glitters…

“… and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11)

Everyone knows the bible story of the three wise men bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but what is it really about?

Most biblical historians interpret the three gifts as: ‘gold’ – the precious metal and symbol of divinity in ancient times, ‘frankincense’ – the resin incense burned in antiquity during prayer and worship, and ‘myrrh’ – the anointing oil used medicinally and also for embalming (in the bible, myrrh oil was given to Jesus to drink before crucifixion and was also taken to anoint his body after death).

Although most sources agree on this interpretation, some scholars believe the ‘gold’ may refer to a less well-known resin from North-Western Africa with a rich gold colour. This resin is known as Sandarac. Also referred to as Sandarach, Sandarus and Sandalus, Sandarac takes its name from an Assyrian word meaning “as bright as the moon”. Due to it’s semi-translucent, golden appearance, the greek philosopher Aristotle believed it was made by bees!

In ancient Arabia, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, exotic resins were highly valued. Used in incense, medicine and perfume, it was custom for the wealthy to offer precious resins as gifts and these were often worth more than their weight in gold. Certainly, the frankincense and myrrh given by the magi to Jesus would have cost far more than gold of the same weight!

The Babylonians, Assyrians and ancient Egyptians sourced enormous amounts of resins via the ‘Incense Road’: a network of land (and later – sea) trading routes that connected them with the Mediterranean, North-Eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and India. This route was renowned for the transport of luxury goods: incense, spices, gems, pearls, ebony, ivory, silk, rare woods, feathers, animal skins and gold. In the earliest days of its existence, the journey was made by Arab tribes travelling via camel caravan (up to 150 camels in each caravan): transporting incense from southern Arabia to the civilisations scattered around the Mediterranean Sea. The towns or kingdoms that the convoys passed through quickly seized the opportunity to inflict heavy taxes on the merchants, who would switch routes accordingly to avoid them. This and the frequent sandstorms meant the route was often in flux: changing dependent on conditions. It is thought that at its height, the Incense Road saw over three thousand tons of incense transported each year by thousands of camels and camel drivers. Although traders stood to make a huge profit, the risk of attack by thieves, sickness and even death made it a very dangerous occupation.

Sandarac resin gathered from the Aratree (also known as Avar tree) would have been traded along this route: sourced mainly from the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco in North Africa, where it was a well-known folk medicine. Sandarac resin was burned to cure colds and taken internally to treat parasites. Its warm balsamic fragrance is thought to relax and calm the body, soul and mind. These attributes mean it can be useful in treating insomnia caused by tension or stress. Sandarac is believed to have cleansing, strengthening and clarifying properties.

The healing properties and reverence for tree resins that we find in the bible is beginning to be increasingly taken up by modern medicine. Frankincense is being explored as a treatment for cancer, Crohn’s disease, anxiety, depression and asthma among many other conditions. It is recognised to act as a fumigant: removing toxins from the air (one reason why resins were burned so frequently in ancient civilisations!). The chewing of a softer frankincense resin (Boswellia Frereana), a common practice in parts of Africa and the Middle East, is known to reduce bacteria in the mouth, throat and gut. Myrrh is being used to improve digestion and circulation, to boost the immune system, treat coughs, gum disease (we often find it in natural toothpastes), wounds, candida and some skin diseases.

It is wonderful to see the current revival of the use of frankincense and myrrh across Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and aromatherapy. Perhaps the ‘gold’ the three wise men brought as a gift gives us a clue to another potent healer: Sandarac resin.


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The Power of Daily Rituals

These are strange times to be alive indeed… There is a huge amount of tumultuous energy whirling around on Earth and it often feels like a daily struggle to remain grounded and not let emotions run riot: sending stress levels soaring. The pantomimes being played out across the media can easily be mistaken for what is really important; when what is truly important is always what is happening within. Our modern world is clever at duping us into thinking we are powerless; that we are reliant on external objects and ideas to find strength and happiness. One straight forward and almost instant way to reconnect with our personal power is through daily ritual.

The word ‘ritual’ feels charged with spooky scenes of witches stirring a cauldron or some kind of blood sacrifice – however, if we move beyond that we find ritual really translates to simply doing something regularly with deep awareness and intention.

What are your already existent daily habits? Can you add extra awareness to any of them, and in doing so create a more magic moment? Many of us make ourselves a hot drink in the morning: could this be done with added consciousness about what cup we use, which tea, how we boil the water, where we sit when we drink it and the state of mind we allow to flow as we do? Could we bring a more meditative state to the way we approach a daily task and even use it as a special time when we focus on an intention we may have to initiate positive change in our life? In the same way that meditation calms the mind and nervous system, creating small rituals out of our daily habits can be a real game-changer to one’s feelings. When we allow ourselves the time and focus to transform the mundane into the sacred through giving our full attention and grace; we feel the benefits on multiple levels.

 Alisha Battaglia talks of how ritual reawakens the body’s natural evolution mechanisms to help us be happier, healthier and feel more connected:

“Ritual allows us to enter sacred space with awareness to flow. There is often a point of focus at the center of a ritual in present time that helps us to reclaim our spirituality. Performing ritual is simply a tool to reawaken this aspect of our being because it provides a signal to the body to begin physiological and energetic changes to initiate change by aiming for an altered state of consciousness conducive to self-exploration and reprogramming.” 

This coming week, with Monday night/Tuesday morning’s super moon (peaking at 12.52am 15.11.16 – the biggest since 1948) could be the perfect time to upgrade your life by bringing a little ritual in. Full moons are often catalysts of change inspired by a new realisation or increased awareness in consciousness. Could you bring a little ritual into your life to help you reconnect to your power and your innate ability to heal, grow and manifest?

We’ve come up with a few daily rituals you might like to incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Morning yoga or meditation practice
  • Simply watching the sunrise (this is a powerful practice!)
  • Brewing and drinking a cup of tea (preferably in a pot with loose leaf tea, perhaps you have a special spoon and cup too!)
  • Burning resin incense or Palo Santo while you sit in the days first rays of light
  • Writing a page of ‘stream of consciousness’ thought as soon as you wake

Remember – start with something small at first… Creating new patterns of thought is a powerful process; and it doesn’t have to be hard!

Happy ritual creating! We’d love to see what you come up with – tag #ritualtherapy in your photos!

Rachel x



‘The Sacred Art of Ritual of Smudging’ by Reverend Alisa Battaglia


To help you to create ritual through incense, we are offering free shipping on all our Aromatic Treasure Box sampler sets through November! Click the image below!