Today is a powerful day. Words have power, and Mercury entered Leo. How does that matter? Well, you see: Mercury rules communication, and Leo is bold. This brings a royal tone to our communication and thinking. We’ll tend to focus on the grand scheme of things, on the bigger picture, more than on the details. Our ability to make our opinions heard and valued will be enhanced. We’ll be assertive, but gentle. Persuasive. Charming. We’ll shine out light without hiding it or dimming it.

This is also what I see in the card ‘Emerging’, that we pulled today from Denise Linn‘s ‘Soul Coaching’ Oracle cards.

But be careful: even if your sales pitches are supposed to be pretty awesome, today, remain open to listen to other people’s opinions too!

To make sure you stay open to the highest vibrations and intentions, you can try clearing the energy of your home, office – or any place you spend quite some time in – thru smudging (smudging is the pracice of purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs). For example, the Juniper berries in the other card (from the ‘Druid Plant Oracle‘ – see note at the end of the post) could be used that way… but watch out: those berries can produce a lot of smoke when burned, due to their high oil content!

In magick, Juniper berries are considered masculine, ruled by the Sun, and are associated with the element of fire. They are used as household protection (anti theft), seeing ghosts, protection, and health. Juniper was one of the earliest incense used, it was used to guard of evil spirits at funerals. They also increase one’s power to see spirits.

A Juniper berry is actually the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinctive flavour. It is the only tree that is native in both Eurasia and in America. It grows in the mountains ranges in the northern hemisphere.
 
Juniper berries have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs at multiple sites. Juniper Oxycedrus is not known to grow in Egypt, and neither is Juniperus Excelsa, both of which were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The berries where used in the mummification process. These berries, imported into Egypt, may have come from Greece: the Greeks record using juniper berries as a medicine long before mentioning their use in food. Both Greek and Roman physicians Hippocrates and Dioscorides used them as cure against uterus cramps, as a diuretic and even as an abortive.
The Romans also used Juniper berries as a cheap domestically produced substitute for the expensive black pepper and long pepper which had to be imported from India.

Medicinally, they are used as a diuretic to treat edema, kidney disease, and lower back pain. Their detoxifying properties can aid in the treatment of gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Juniper berries also help prevent cystitis, the build up of uric acid (can cause kidney stones),  and can help clear congestion. You can use juniper berries as a tea, tincture, or as a spice in recipes.
You can also soak juniper berries in olive oil overnight to make a massage oil or soak them in pure alcohol (for consumption not medical) or witch hazel to make an astringent to use on sore or aching muscles.
Juniper berries are not to be used by pregnant women (due to its abortive properties). those individuals with serious kidney problems or those who suffer ulcers, IBS or ulcerative colitis.

Notes:
The ‘Druid Plant Oracle‘ is a deck we bought recently at the Sanctuary of Joy. These cards combine our passion for Nature with the one for Oracles!

Jyothi is especially passionate about medical plants and herbs: she researches the information about the plants in posts like today’s, since she is studying to become a naturopathic doctor. There are so many plants with medical qualities and powers, readily available in nature and spontaneously growing in most countries! Why intoxicate ourselves with poorly tested and expensive industrial medicine when nature has you already covered?