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Herb of the Month: Cherry Alder

name: Syzygium leuhmannii

Common names:Riberry, Small leaf lilly pilly, Clove lilly pilly, Cherry satinash

Family: Myrtaceae

Order: Myrtales

Gender: Masculine

Element: Fire

Deities: Brighid, Logi, Sekhmet

Foklore: For thousands of years, Aboriginal people on the east coast, in the hinterland and rainforest regions relied upon Riberries as a core food source. The fruit was usually picked and gathered by women and children. While children thought of the berries as delicious sweet treats, adults commonly referred to them as “medicine berries”.

Culinary uses: The berry known as a Riberry, has a sour flavour similar to cranberry, with a hint of clove and cinnamon. It has been a popular gourmet bush food since the early 1980's. Its unique flavour works beautifully in sauces, chutneys and jams and complements poultry, lamb, pork and game. and is commonly used to make confectionery. The fruit can also be used in salads, vegetable dishes and desserts, such as ice cream, yoghurt and cakes. Eaten raw straight from the tree clusters of Riberries have a refreshing, spicy flavour, and an aroma of sweet, spiced tea, with musk and honey notes. The subtle Riberry flavour works well with cheeses and can even be infused in vodka to create a magic cinnamon tasting cocktail! The Riberry was discovered by the Europeans in 1770 by botanist Joseph Banks who simply recorded the Riberry as ‘a small red fruit’ when he arrived in Australia with Captain James Cook. It was one of the first fruits used by the early colonists to make jams, jellies and cordials. Although the colonists may have enjoyed the flavour of Riberries, They clearly did not understand their great nutritional power.

Medicinal uses: Riberries provided essential vitamins and minerals to fight against colds and keep the immune system healthy and strong. The pulp was also used to treat ear infections. The Riberry has three times the folate of a blueberry. Folate is needed for healthy growth and development and is essential for the healthy development of a baby during pregnancy. It is rich in manganese and an important plant source of calcium. It contains high levels of anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that is thought to improve cognitive function and protect against certain cancers, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Magical uses: Female witches in the tropical region of Australia can use the berries to make a native version of the necklaces traditionally made of Rowan berries that is worn for protection during rites.

Crystal of the Month: Topaz

Golden-yellow, Clear, Pink, Green, Blue.
Energy: Projective.
Planet: Sun.
Element: Fire.
Chakra: Solar Plexus.
Spiritual Uses: Topaz promotes truth and forgiveness., it highlights goals and taps into inner resources. Excellent for cleansing the aura and induces relaxation.
Emotional Uses: Releases tension, an excellent stone for emotional support. Treats depression and fends off nightmares.
Physical Uses: Used to treat Anorexia, stimulates the metabolism and manifests good health.

Folklore: Traditionally known as a stone of love and good fortune.
Magical Properties: Protection, Spiritual Development, Healing, Love, Money.

Vigilance, hope and discretion. This person is young or young at heart. Discerning, active, sporting and intelligent. Insightful. He is discreet in his own dealings. The help of such a person is suggested. Unexpected help in financial matters. Success in business. Possibly the need to adopt such qualities. Watch out for opportunities, contracts and help.

Image from the Fenestra Tarot.

Card of the Month: Page of Swords

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