Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Feed the Birds

Feed the birds ...
Yes I know it costs more than two-pence a bag but I was rather surprised by a recent article in a country publication which stated: “After a break, I’m back feeding the garden birds and they are costing a fortune to keep.  I had given up on them as the cheeky crows and magpies developed all sorts of strategies to empty the feeders ...”  My first thought was: move the b.....y feeders, then!  But the reaction went much deeper than that.

This was an alleged country person writing who’d stopped feeding the birds during a bitterly cold snap when they are most reliant upon us for food!  Also with the climate on the blink, there aren’t the insects about in early spring when birds are feeding their young, so they might need a helping hand at that time too.   As any pagan worth their salt knows, the crow family are our messengers from Otherworld and a few handfuls of corn for the bigger birds should be looked upon as an offering rather than begrudged.  My magpies are as fat as ‘butter-ball’ turkeys and provide  hours of amusement watching their attempts at raiding the feeders, so they deserve a hand-out as well.  Not to mention the community of noisy starlings who roost in the cypress outside the bedroom window ... and the family of pheasants screaming at one another ...

I agree it’s good to see the robin and the wren in the garden but the big boys need a helping hand sometimes, too!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


The thought police have been busy again ... this time in The Independent’s ‘Mother and babies’ section warning folk about ‘using  amber accessories’  as teething or healing aids for children under the age of three.  Amber  is still believed in today and used for its magnificent healing power for treating joint pain, arthritic ailments, and even teething pain for children but the National Consumer Agency  is now officially advising against ‘amber teething accessories’ as though in additional to it being a health hazard, its use also belongs in the realm of superstition.

Let’s just put consumerism and alternative healing into perspective. To relieve the pain and calm the child, it helps for them to ‘bite’ into something and originally amber (or ivory) teething rings were given as christening presents.  As time passed these were replaced by plastic but the superstition remained.  Today, in a market of mass-produced consumerism and ignorance, the superstition has still remained but the teething aid has morphed into bead necklaces – and surely only the brain-dead would stick a bead necklace, bracelet or anklet anywhere near a small child who automatically puts everything in its mouth!

So where does this ancient healing belief come from?   Amber includes a substance called succinic acid, a powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to stimulate neural system recovery and bolster the immune system, while reducing stress. And Baltic amber contains 3-8% of succinic acid, a scientifically examined medical substance used in contemporary medicine. The highest content of the acid is found in the amber cortex--the external layer of the stone. There is much documentation regarding the power of succinic acid and recent scientific research has proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on strengthening the body and improving  immunity.

So, shouldn’t the NCA be campaigning against all BEAD teething accessories being given to small children and leaving amber out of the equation – or being a Consumer Agency, wouldn’t they be more gainfully employed in warning the public against buying fake amber because its odds on that very few of these actual ‘amber’ teething accessories are made from genuine Baltic amber.  And fake amber will have about as much use as a teething aid as a knitted giraffe.   

The real issue here is the dismissal of those ancient beliefs that have all too often been proved to have more than a grain of truth them – or as the old saying goes: ‘yesterday’s magic is today’s science’.  Our ancestors may not have understood the scientific elements to their remedies but they got results.  The real problem appears to be the scientists and academics of today saying dismissively: “How could those old wives possibly have known!”  And that covers just about everything from wort-lore and earth-mysteries to astronomy!

From a magical perspective, fake amber has little purpose here, either, because no matter how pretty or authentic looking, only genuine amber has the real magical properties required to energise a spell!  MD