Burnt Snow, my first novel, was released in 2010 by Pan MacMillan Australia. White Rain, the sequel, is due soon. As part of a trilogy about witches, earth magic, curses, love and revenge, this blog archives my research into the world of the witches - as well as my own magical saga as a new author.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smoky Quartz and the Antennae Growing Out of My Head

Yes, we do have to talk about the unnatural relationship that I am building with technology. The Boy Next Door and I are now a three computer household; two laptops and a tower, plus a printer... and we cart around four mobile phones between us, plus the landline, and two MP3 players, two digital cameras (one SLR), two televisions and a DVD player, a real stereo and a miniature stereo and an electronic labelmaker. Which would be fine if we didn't live in a studio apartment so small that the bed is built into the ceiling.

Note: Atennae

Compared to my friends, we lead a low-tech existence. I don't, for example, yet own an iPhone or an iPad (and given yesterday's appalling revelations about the Apple corporation's labour practises, I don't think I want them any more), and the top-notch scanner we want is but a savings plan amongst many.

This is not actually an invitation to rob our house (our models are old, and one of the laptops doesn't have a working 's' key - the resale value is not high here). This is a consideration about the antennae that I've got growing out of my head in the above photo, and how someone who is trying to lead a seasonal-eating-type existence can rationalise her save-the-earth, hug-the-whales, kiss-a-tree existence with the amount of electromagnetic radiation that I am generating just through my compulsive use of Twitter.

Hitting the books, I've learned that the Pagan Practitioners before me have a number of solutions to the technology problem. The Crystal Bible recommends that a lump of smoky quartz can draw away the 'negative energies' of buzzing machines. Specifically, it says:
Smoky quartz blocks geopathic stress, absorbs electromagnetic smog, and assists elimination and detoxification on all levels.
I think the idea is that you carry it in the pocket with your mobile phone or drop a lump onto your computer or TV when they're switched on.

Alternatively, if you think the "electromagnetic smog" is getting to you, you might want to rustle up some agrimony tea or cordial.

Agrimony is believed to be a tonic and a blood cleanser, and was popular in monastery herb gardens for its curative properties. It's said to cleanse the aura if burned on charcoal with mugwort, and its advised (in my venerable edition of Herbcraft by Ann Franklin and Susan Lavender) that the use of agrimony as a cleanser should involve visualisations of negative energy being "earthed" into the ground. Mixed with frankincense and burned on charcoal, agrimony becomes an incense for the purification of a home (with the recommendation that once the agrimony is burned, to repeat the process with frankincense alone).

The easy way to give your aura an instant scrub, though, is probably to drink it:

  • Agrimony tea: For tea, you need only steep two leaves in a pot with boiling water for 10 minutes, but do add some brown sugar to taste.

  • Agrimony cordial: ... is more involved than the tea, but a lot more fun to sip. Simmer a medium-sized bunch of agrimony (all aerial parts) in a pot with 30g of crushed freshed ginger, 2 sliced oranges, 2 sliced lemons and 175g of sugar in 250mls water for about 15 minutes. When the mixture is good and yellow, take it off the heat, whip it through a blender, strain it and mix it in a jug with 10g of citric acid. Store in a jug in the fridge. This is a particularly nice alternative to alcoholic sparkling drinks if you mix it with sparkling mineral water. 


Meri quoteth: said...

mmmm.... electronic labelmaker.. my favorite gadget.

Matt said...

Love the antennae! Can't wait for the book... so excited.

Carole said...

Hi Van,
May I suggest growing a spathiphyllum, otherwise known as Madonna lily or peace lily to absorb some of the radiation from gadgetry.
I know space is a problem but you only need 6 square inches.
Love the blog spot

Van Badham said...

Hello, all!

Carole, you'll notice I've just investigated the Peace Lily and written about it in a new blog post.

Thanks for the suggestion and please keep these things coming.

Meri - I love my electronic labelmaker with a curious desperation. As you can imagine, it's a necessity for my collection of herbs and oils. Truly. Necessity. Swear it.

Matt - September. Will you be in Sydney then?