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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: A core food source of Aboriginal people on the east coast, in the hinterland and rainforest regions for thousands of years. While children thought of the berries as delicious sweet treats, adults commonly referred to them as “medicine berries”.

Culinary uses: The berry 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. Eaten raw clusters of Riberries have a refreshing, spicy flavour, and an aroma of sweet, spiced tea, with musk and honey notes. Works well with cheeses and can even be infused in vodka to create a magic cinnamon tasting cocktail! Discovered by the Europeans in 1770 by botanist Joseph Banks who simply recorded the Riberry as ‘a small red fruit’. 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, they clearly did not understand the 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. It is rich in manganese and an important plant source of calcium. It contains high levels of anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant 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.

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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Mineral of the Month: Ametrine

Colours: Yellow and Purple.
Source: Bolivia (although readily available, natural stones are rare. Most of the time it is heat treated Amethyst).

Energy: Receptive and Projective.

Planet: Jupiter, Neptune, Sun and Moon.

Elements: Water and Fire.
Spiritual Uses: Connects contradictions, gives the wearer luck and success.
Emotional Uses: Encourages optimism and brings harmony.

Physical Uses: Strong metabolic cleanser.
Magical Properties: Protection, balance, luck, success.