Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zodiac - Leo

Sorry this one is late. Life has been busy and chaotic. 

Symbol- Lion
Ruling Planet- Sun
Element – Fire
Nature- Positive
Quality- Fixed
Energy –Yang
Star Stone – Ruby
Lucky Stone – Periot
Metal – Gold
Color – Gold, Purple, Orange
Trees – All Citrus
Flowers- Sunflower, Marigold
Body Areas- Heart, Back, Spine

Leo, the 5th sign of the Zodiac, is symbolized by the Lion. The glyph   , is generally thought to represent the tail of a lion. The time of Leo has been believed to signify the best growing season and reflects the rich bounty of life. Leo is seen as the ordained provider. Historically the qualities of Leo were associated with sovereignty and divinity. In many cultures the lion serves as a guardian. They guard against darkness and evil intent at the entrances of palaces, temples, and in the rituals of the Chinese New Year.

The constellation of Leo is explained in the Greek myth of Hercules and the Nemean Lion. The Lion terrorized the countryside for years and all weapons were useless against him. Hera, who hated the illegitimate son of Zeus, sent Hercules to kill the beast. Hercules successfully killed the creature and made a cloak and helmet from its hide. In honor of this great feat, Zeus set the form of the fearsome lion among the stars.

Ruled by the sun, and therefore the element fire, Leos are the most dominate, impulsively creative and outgoing of all signs. As lions, Leos are born leaders, inquisitive, courageous, determined, independent, self-confident, and charismatic. They are also ambitious, self-controlled, positive, uncomplicated, and they know exactly what they want and use all their resources to get it. This fire personality is HOT, and tends to plunge head first and let consequences be damned. They have a strong zest for life, and love new experiences and excitement, making their own if necessary. They do not take well to others trying to impose their will or beliefs on them, and if crossed they will strike back.  

Leos are intensely idealistic, humane, and charitable. They have a powerful intellect; and are of an extensive philosophical, sometimes spiritual, personality. They have a passion for luxury, an innate wisdom, and are excellent organizers. Lions love making an impression, and are grandiose and have a flair for the dramatic. As lions, they believe they are the center of the universe, and tend to be dignified and strong. They get things done and see projects to completion.

As a fixed quality, Leos are opinionated and set in their ways; though they have a way of inspiring others. They are also loyal, have an extreme sense of honor, and are fearless. Though they are status-conscious, they’re warm-hearted, vibrant, and progressive. They cannot conceive of an uncomfortable throne, so they can be excessive money spenders. Though they can be somewhat self-absorbed, they are never so much so that they can’t help those in need.

Lions pamper their friends, treat them well, are very forgiving, and never hold a grudge. They respect and understand people’s differences, and have an amazing ability to get along with others. They are extremely sensitive, but hide it well. They love praise, admiration, appreciation, and flattery. This sign is very social; not because they wish to be, but because people gravitate towards them. They prefer not to be alone and need an audience and a following of those that look up to them. The secret to Leos is that they love to be needed.

Leos tend to be too trusting, and therefore they are usually not the best judges of character. They can be extremely arrogant, prideful, self-centered, snobbish, boastful, pretentious, domineering, melodramatic, emotionally indulgent, and quick tempered. Fortunately it is rare for a Leo to give in to these impulses; they believe it is beneath them to behave so unseemly.

In relationship Lions tend to be open, sincerely genuine, trusting, outgoing, and out-spoken. They have a strong sex drive and can be intensely sexual. They are fun, romantic, devoted, and creative lovers. They can be deeply sensual, passionate, and at times can be over zealous partners. As parents they are fiercely protective (I can attest to this ).

In summary, Leos are very fiery and positive personalities; and I just want to wish my amazing mother, and all other Leos, a Happy Birthday.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Celtic Astrology - Tinne

The popular Celtic Tree Astrology is based on works by Helena Patterson, who in turned used Robert Graves’ work The White Goddess. Additional research has shown Graves’ system to be greatly debated by scholars. See The Fabrication of ‘Celtic’ Astrology, if you are interested in following the debate. That being said, I am sharing this information strictly for your amusement.
Holly - Tinne
July 8 - Aug. 4

The Holly - The Ruler
Celtic Name: Tinne
Animal: Cat/Unicorn [Gaelic: Kati (pr. Ka-Chi)], Horse [Each]
Celtic Symbol: Unicorn
Ruling Planet: Earth
Birthstone: Red Carnelian
Celtic Season: Elembiuos  (claim time)
Deities: Govannon (The Smith God)
Compatibility: relationships with owl [10/28 - 11/24], & bear [3/18 - 4/14] and relate well with crane [1/21 - 2/17], bee [5/13/ - 6/9], and swan [9/2 - 9/29]

Celtic warriors carried cudgels (clubs) made of holly wood because it was believed to repel evil and enemies. Ancient Celtic chieftains were also crowned with holly wreaths. Just as oak is said to attract lightening, holly is thought to repel lightening and is often planted around homes for protection. It is alleged that the distinct shape of its leaves acts as a natural repellent for lightening energy.

Holly is an evergreen that fruits in the winter, the dark part of the year. Those born under the Holly (Tinne) Moon have a deep understanding of the dark, veiled side of humanity. This understanding enables these individuals to bring that which is in the dark, into the light. The ‘new moon’ personality (born the first 2 weeks), is more likely to become involved in the dreams and ambitions of others by providing financial and emotional support. The ‘full moon’ personality is more committed to themselves.

Holly individuals are noble souls, principled, enjoy challenges, and are able to overcome hurdles with great skill. When facing an obstruction, Hollies intensify their efforts and remain focused on obtaining their ultimate goal. Competitive and ambitious even in casual situations, they are seldom defeated. They can appear arrogant, but are essentially extremely confident in their abilities, which is why many people admire them and follow them as leaders.

Those who are born during this time are practical, cautious, logical, efficient, proficient and unwavering in adversity. These individual are known to have good business sense, exhibit extreme amounts of personal integrity, and tend to influence things greatly. Their word is, literally, their bond and honor; their guiding principle. These qualities make them very powerful leaders.

Being highly intelligent, things come easily for the Holly personality, but if not kept active they have an inclination to slip into an unhealthy and lazy lifestyle. They have a tendency to strive for perfection, which can lead to loss in confidence and direction if not accomplished. These individuals are generous, kind, and affectionate; once they get to know you. They are strong-willed and trustworthy friends. They sometimes appear to lack a sense of humor, this is due to their dislike of laughing at the expense of others. They often require a peaceful place to take a breather from the large amount of responsibility they place on themselves.

They are also sensitive to personal criticism and need constant affection and attention. Due to this need they can be very demanding in relationships, but are extremely loving themselves and often overly protective. They are tolerant and supportive, and are not inclined to wander. Holly personalities are compatible with Ash [2/18 – 3/17] and Elder [11/25 – 12/23].

The Druid Animal Oracle, Illustrated by Bill Worthington
The animals associated with this time of the year are the Cat [kati] and the Horse; the Unicorn is the symbol for this month, which represents purity and strength.

Cat personalities are very sensual, loyal, trustworthy, honest, loving, and protective. They have creative minds, an air of nobility, firm set of values, deep devotion to family, and can change and adapt quickly.

The Druid Animal Oracle, Illustrated by Bill Worthington

Horse individuals are exuberant, expansive, powerful, naturally competitive, talented in business matters, and have a sixth sense when it comes to strategy and navigation. They are unreserved, charismatic, flirty, and make grand appearances, knowing how to carry themselves with flair and authority. Horses are stubborn, confident, intelligent, and valiant in times of strife. They do well as leaders, but are also happy to be a helper, as long as they get recognition for their contributions.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stones of Cancer - Spinel

Amazing Variety of Spinel

The origin of the word spinel either comes from the Greek word ‘spinther’, meaning ‘sparkling’, or the Latin word ‘spina’, meaning ‘little thorn’, which refers to the sharp point on the crystals. Spinel comes in an assortment of colors. In is purest form it is colorless. But, it is most famous for its deep red variety that closely resembles Ruby; though it comes in blue, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and black. It is often fluorescent in ultra-violet light, which makes its identification easier.

The Black Prince's Ruby
This stone is often called the great impostor; often being mistaken for gemstones such as Ruby, Sapphire, and Tanzanite. Until the late 19th century there was no distinction made between the Ruby and red Spinel; they looked identical and were found in the same locations. Currently, distinction can be made through hardness and x-ray test.

Timur Ruby
Many famous “Rubies” were discovered to be red Spinels. ‘The Black Prince’s Ruby” that Henry V wore in his helmet while battling the French in the early 1400s, was discovered to be a 170ct Spinel, in the 1940s. ‘The Timur Ruby’, which has the names of all the Mighal emperors who previously owned it engraved on the face, is another stone that was thought to be a Ruby; but, is in actuality a 352ct Spinel.

The earliest recorded use of spinel was in 100 BC as an ornament on a Buddhist tomb in Afghanistan. Historically, spinel was valued as a protective stone by Greeks and Roman and was thought to grant strength and energy to the wearer.

Samarian Spinel
The ‘Samarian Spinel’ is the largest known spinel of gemstone quality in the world, at 500 ct. (100 g.). It is currently part of the Iranian crown jewels. According to legend, this stone once adorned the ‘Biblical Golden Calf’ referred to in Exodus 32. The second largest is 398.72 ct and part of the Russian crown jewels.

Spinels of all colors are believed to bring high energy to all efforts; and to attract money, wealth, and prosperity. They are said to clarify thought, and attract the help needed in any given situation. These stones are also alleged to increase powers of self-healing, protect one from negative influences of others, and alleviate stress and depression. Spinels are also thought to have a calming effect on the wearer, protect the wearer from harm, reconcile differences, and dispel sadness.

Black Spinel Silver Wire Earrings
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Stone of Immortality’, spinels are often used for intellectual power and alleviating forgetfulness. They are also used to cleanse auras, improve physical vitality and appearance. Spinels also have other properties according to their individual colors. Pink Spinel, sometimes called ‘The Fairy Godmother’ is a good gift for children, holding the continuous love and protection of the giver.

  • Zodiac: Red- Cancer, Scorpio; Blue- Sagittarius
  • Planet: Pluto, Mars
  • Element: Fire
  • Chakra: depends on color
  • Energy: Projective
  • Properties: Energy, strength, protection, love, prosperity 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Featured Artist - Kostas of Artistico

This weeks Featured Artisan is Kostas - Artistico!

Kostas Tsipos

I have always been a creative person. Ever since I can remember my self, I wanted to work with anything that had to do with art. Being able to express myself through art and to better understand the world around me is a journey I never want to end...

You can find Artistico on:


You can grab the code for your blog HERE

Are you On Fire for Handmade?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stones of Cancer - Ruby

The DeLong Star Ruby
The word ruby comes from the Latin word ‘ruber’, meaning red. Rubies are a variety of the mineral Corundum and are found as crystals within metamorphic rock. As a member of the Corundum family, this mineral is up to ten times more valuable than a diamond of equal carat and clarity. Corundum is the second hardest mineral after diamond. It comes in a variety of colors, and is considered a sapphire in any other color except red, which is considered a ruby. Rubies range in hue from an orangey red to a purplish red, but the most valuable are true red.

They were called the ‘Rajnapura’ or King of Gems by ancient Hindu. Rubies were highly prized throughout history, were considered to have magical powers and were worn by royalty as talismans against evil. Ancient tribes used them as bullets for blowguns. It was also said that that water would boil instantly if a ruby was tossed in. it was also believed, by Hindus, that the red glow comes from an internal flame that can’t be extinguished. Making a gift of this stone is symbolic of everlasting love. Ancient lore has it that if worn on the left hand, the Ruby will bring good fortune to it wearer.

As long as it was in the hands of its rightful owner, it was thought to grow darker when danger was near and return to its natural color once the danger was past. Legends say that Catherine of Argon wore a ruby which turned dark and dull the day before Henry VIII announced he was divorcing her. Henry V wore ‘The Black Prince Ruby’ in his helmet as he fought the French in 1415. It was discovered later that the gem was merely a spinel. (Which will be the topic of next week’s stone blog.) Engraved rubies were believed to attract wealth and enhance magical energies; dragon and snakes being the most popular subjects for engraving.

Chain Reaction Jewelry (Ruby Buddha)
Rubies were thought to be one of the most important gifts with which to honor Buddha and Krishna. Ancient traditions believed that this stone would protect people from violent storms. In the Middle Ages, it was viewed as a stone of prophecy. In the 13th century powdered rubies were prescribed to cure liver problems. In the 15th & 16th centuries it was believed to counteract poison. It was also thought to restore youth and vitality, when rubbed on the skin.

The red color of rubies symbolizes love and passion and was thought to represent heat and power. A stone of nobility, the energy of this stone is intense and vivid. They strengthen one both physically and emotionally. They are thought to bring love, confidence, loyalty, and courage. It is also believed that they impart stamina, vitality, and strength; but calm hyperactivity.

Rubies are rumored to remove blocked energy and re-energize a person. They reduce negative thought patterns and remove resentment. They can bring clarity and wisdom, and help to resist self-destructive patterns. They are believed to be motivative, to fire passions, and to shield against harm. They help in legal disputes and personal conflict; and guard against psychic and physical attacks. They are also thought to remove any sense of limitations; to strengthen courage, selflessness, spiritual endeavors, joy, and leadership qualities.

These stone are very protective of home, possessions, and children. Rubies are also associated with vitality and strong feelings. They are said to provide wealth, protection, power, and to guard against nightmares. These stones are believed to encourage a zest for life, to balance the heart, to promote good dreams, and to remove negative energy. Rubies are known to provide spiritual wisdom, knowledge, to encourage one to follow his/her dreams, and to help eliminate the ‘martyr’ syndrome for which Cancers are known. Legends say they will light the way though the darkest fears.

Raw Ruby Crystals

  • Traditional Birthstone- July
  • Zodiac stone- Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius
  • Planet- Mars, Sun
  • Element- Fire
  • Energy- Projective
  • Deities- Buddha, Krishna
  • Powers- Wealth, Protection, Joy, Anti-nightmare
  • Chakra- 1st Root, 4th Heart

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zodiac - Cancer

Planet- Moon
Element- Water
Nature- Negative
Quality- Cardinal
Symbol- Crab
Colors- Silvers, grays, reds
Metal- silver
Gem- Pearl, Ruby, other
Body parts- Chest, Breast, Stomach
Lucky Numbers- 7 & 3
Lucky Day- Monday
Flowers- White Roses
Herbs- Tarragon, Verbena
Energy- Yin- Indirect action

Cancer is represented by the crab. According to ancient Greek legend, the crab was placed in the sky by the goddess Hera. Hera swore to kill Heracles, but each time she tried, his incredible strength allowed him to survive. Hera cast a spell of madness on him, causing him to kill his children. As penitence, he had to perform twelve tasks; one of which was destroying the nine-headed water-serpent, Hydra. While battling Hydra, Hera sent a crab to aid the serpent; but Heracles killed the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. Impressed by its loyalty and as a reward for its service, Hera placed the crab’s image in the night sky.

In ancient Egypt, the constellation of Cancer was represented by two turtles. Cancer is not a brilliant constellation, but at its heart is a star cluster, known as a ‘Beehive’ (a swarm of stars in a dance of activity). 

The crab is a nocturnal water creature with massive claws to defend itself. Crabs come in a variety of species and are found in most of the oceans of the world, as well as many inland waters. As sea scavengers, they help humans by keeping our waters clean.

Cancer as the 4th sign of the zodiac is ruled by the moon. Its glyph is often seen as signifying breasts, indicating the area of the body that is ruled by this sign. Colors that are most favored by crabs are all shining colors of the moon, especially silver. Cancer’s star stone is pearl, but there are many other stones associated with this sign.

The least clear cut of the signs, Cancers range from timid, dull, shy, and withdrawn, to the most brilliant and exciting. They are primarily conservative and home loving in nature. They need a secure base to which they can retire when a break is needed. Crabs come out of their shells to fight, but need a stable home base (shell). Women of this sign tend to have strong maternal instincts and have large families.

Crabs are often overly imaginative and prone to fantasy. They sometimes try to shape their lives to fit their romantic ideals. This sign appreciates art and literature, especially drama. They may also possess talents in these areas. Cancers have a retentive memory, particularly for emotionally laden events, which they can recall in detail for years after. They have a great talent for imitation; therefore they are able to truly identify with others. They are normally ambitious and dedicated supporters of causes. Crabs love comfort and good living; and are excellent organizers, with a great sense of value and economy.

This mysterious sign is filled with contradiction. They want security and comfort; yet seek new adventures. Crabs are helpful to others; though sometimes cranky and indifferent. Their driving, forceful nature can be hidden behind a calm, cool exterior; hence they are unpredictable. There is always something more than meets the eye. Crabs are always partially hidden behind their shells; they are deeply sensitive and easily hurt, which might be why they have defensive shells.

Being the nurturers that they are, they surround themselves with people. Complex and temperamental, they require constant support and encouragement; they need to be needed. When offended, they tend to sulk instead of confronting the party face to face. Crabs can be very possessive, not just with material things; but with people also.

It is easier for a Cancer to maintain a relationship than to learn to trust anew. These people have excellent memories, are very observant, and read people well. They rarely forget a hurt or slight against them; but they are giving and selfless. They need to be aware of falling into the role of ‘martyr’. They are friendly, loyal, devoted, affectionate, and very protective.

Outwardly they appear thick skinned, un-emotional, uncompromising, obstinately tenacious, purposeful, energetic, shrewd, intuitive, and wise. They can be sulky, devious, moody, tactless, and inclined toward self-pity. Those closest to them may see a different side; symphathic and generously sensitive to others, especially those they love.

Crabs are a mix of tough and soft, often emotional and romantic, to the point of sentimentality in the abstract; but in real life their loving is not so much sentimental as it is loyal. Even if they have an affair (males in particular are open to sensual stimulation), their first loyalty remains to their spouse and family; in their roles of self-appointed protectors.

Both the male and females of this sign love unconditionally; giving much and asking little in return. Crabs are usually easily influenced by those they love and admire; and are swayed by the emotion of the moment. They are loyal friends; but tend to be clannish, and believe that their clan or group is right (no matter what); often closing ranks against outsiders.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Stones of Gemini - Agate

Thunder Eggs
Agates are generally multi-colored and multi-layered. There are many different types of agate, in many different color combinations and they are found all over the world. Its properties and names are different according to its appearance and to the location in which it is found. The name agate is from a stone originally discovered on the ‘achate’ river (currently known as the Drillo River) in southwest Sicily. Agate is the state stone/mineral/gemstone for many US states. It is the official stone/rock for Kentucky, Arizona, Nebraska, and Florida. It’s the official gemstone for S. Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It’s also the official mineral of Louisiana and Tennessee.

German Agate Bowl
In ancient times agates were highly valued as talismans or amulets. They were believed to make one invisible, thus protecting the wearer from danger. Early Greeks wore them for protection from the sea. Early civilizations used eye beads to protect from evil and to bring good luck. Eye beads were created by carving a hole in an agate disc. In Medieval times the wearing of agate was said to bring God’s favor; and to make one agreeable and persuasive.  Legend says that wearing agate would give victory and strength to the wearer, and protect from all danger. A stone of strength, it was used by ancients on the breast plates of armor to give warriors strength and make them victorious in battle. It was also believed to quench thirst and protect from fever. Some of the earliest tools were made of agate. Farmers of old would use agate to ensure a good crop. It is said that Persian magicians used this stone to divert storms. Some legends claim that any person who looks upon agate can’t remain secretive and must tell the truth. Agate bowls were popular during the Byzantine Empire, and also favored by European royalty during the Renaissance era. A collection of 3,000 agate bowls was accumulated by Mithradadates, King of Pontus.

Ox Head Cup
The metaphysical properties of any specific agate depend, in some part, on the color; but all agates have certain things in common. These stones are believed to provide balance, courage, protection, healing, and to calm emotions. They enhance creativity and strengthen the intellect. Agates are known as a stone of strength and good luck. They are said to provide protection for children, especially against falls. These stones are thought to increase energy, give emotion strength, dispel fear, lessen envy by grounding emotions, ease anxiety and stress, remove and release resentments and bitterness, and help to improve relationships. They are also alleged to help discern truth, improve memory and concentration, increase stamina, bring prosperity, prevent insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams, and avert storms and lighting. Furthermore, agates are believed to enable one to choose between true friends and false ones, to remove curses, and to eliminate bad luck.

Agate Slices
  • Zodiac: Gemini, Virgo
  • Mystical Stone: September
  • Elemental Stone: Gemini
  • Element: depends on color
  • Planet:  Moon, Mercury
  • Chakras: depends on color
  • Deities: Mercury
  • Powers: Love, abundance, wealth, good luck, longevity, acceptance courage, strength, protection, balance, harmony, calming