Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Symbol of the Evil Eye

GUEST POST by Robyn Montrec of Montrec Art


I have always been a fairly superstitious person. I believe that all things are possible and things unknown or unfamiliar should not be dismissed.
The symbol of the evil eye has always fascinated me and if something has a possibility of protecting a home person or office, why wouldn’t someone do something as simple as having an evil eye symbol somewhere in their life?
In doing some research I have found references to the evil eye in nearly every ancient culture and religion as a powerful talisman to defy evil forces.
Someone is said to give you the “evil eye” if they are directing negative energy at you in any form and is also believed that even concealed envy can cause harm to the person it is directed at. Or alternatively someone may have strong feelings which will be akin to putting a jinx on a person. The evil eye is used to protect anything new or likely to attract praise.
It is found from Bedouin to Jewish, Christian, Egyptian and Muslim cultures as well as Buddhist, Hindu and mentioned in line with Kabbalah beliefs. The Bedouins even used to tie blue evil eye beads to their horses' manes.
Some believe that the evil eye is a guard against negative energy in the form of envy or jealousy. The Turks believe that when evil is directed at a person who is wearing the evil eye, the amulet will absorb the negative energy and sometimes it is so strong that the amulet will even break.
In Turkey the evil eye can be seen above doorways, as walking under the amulet stimulates the protective qualities. Typically they will be hung from rear view mirrors in cars, worn as jewellery and most often pinned to clothing of new born babies.
The traditional glass bead known as the evil eye is a deep cobalt blue with white and then a lighter blue and dark blue or black in the centre which looks very similar to an actual eye.
It is said that wearing an evil eye or having one on your person or in your home or office will keep your life in balance and protect against negativity and bad or harmful energies.
I am an artist and have created Evil Eye designs on iPhone cases (as seen here!) and iPad cases and other items. Check out my Zazzle store.

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Friday, 9 March 2012

Jenny the Tea Leaf Reading lady

Jenny the Tea Leaf Reading lady from "Mystic Gifts" at Morpeth (Australia).
Jenny is a Psychic, Clairvoyant Medium. A Tea Leaf Reading is a 12 month future reading in the cup with Psychic and Medium impressions chanelling through her Clairvoyance using Symbolism which is the Key to this craft. Just like reading road signs, Jenny has her own skilled way of interpreting the cup.
Tea Leaf Readings with Jenny at Morpeth
Since the Ancient Chinese discovered the healing properties of Tea, Psychics and others have studied the meaning of the symbols of Tea Leaves to produce an accurate reading.
Jenny from her Morpeth Shop, "Mystic Gifts," continues the ancient art of Tea Leaf Readings. Situated at "Eliza's Cottage," one of the oldest buildings in Morpeth and Australia, built circa 1818s at 2 Green Street Morpeth, Jenny has found the atmosphere inside the cottage to be a perfect environment to get accurate psychic insight. Jenny finds the history in the way the cottage was built and the lives of the families that once lived there to be all inspiring.
Everybody is welcome to come in and have a 12 month future reading in the cup with Psychic impressions.

This is Eliza Cantwell's cottage in 2 Green Street, Morpeth.

Mystic Gifts is Open
Thursday & Fridays 10am - 4pm
Friday & Saturdays 10am - 5pm
2 Green Street Morpeth NSW.

For Available Bookings Call Jenny on 0419819993. Outside Australia, please wait for 1 April and contact Jenny through her website.
Tea Leaf Readings are $80 for Half an Hour.
Also under construction and launching 1 April, the Mystic Gifts website!  
Gift vouchers are available for that different gift.
Mystic Gifts is just one of the many attractions to be seen in the Historic Town of Morpeth.





Jenny is featured in the book, The Ghosts of Morpeth!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Winners!

The Random Acts of Kindness Blog Hop has now closed, and the winners are announced below.
Thank you to all who entered!
The winner of the paperback, Hedgeland, was S. Avery, Canada.
The winners of Kindle books are as follows: Julie, Elizabeth, Gwen, Sarah, Angie, and Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop


Feb 17 - Feb 22.

1 major prize of paperback book shipped anywhere in the word
AND several Kindle ebook consolation prizes (Including BOTH books 1 and 2 - everyone automatically goes in the draw for these).
To enter, just follow this blog (you MUST follow this blog to enter) and
leave a comment with 1) your email address at the end of this post.
(If you already followed this blog previously, just leave a comment saying
this and you will go in the draw.)
Your comment should also say 2) which book you would like to win
AND there will be Kindle book consolation prizes (including a draw for both books 1 and 2 - all entrants automatically go into the draw), so 3) mention if you have a Kindle!

(It would be wonderful if you would also follow me on Twitter or Friend me on Facebook!)

Several people have reported a glitch on Internet Explorer and are unable to leave a comment. If you can't leave a comment, then please email me at horsecare (at) y7mail (dot) com with the book you would like to win, and let me know if you have a Kindle / Kindle for PC/Kindle Cloud.
Here are the books to choose from.

Book 1.

The Dashwood Haunting
Amy Stuart is a journalist and blogger for a paranormal magazine.
She doesn't wear black leather; she can't kick butt; she doesn't have supernatural powers.
But she does have one skill: while wearing shapewear and with her reading glasses perched on her nose, she can out-research the best of them, especially when her caffeine levels are high.
When sent to England to write articles on Sir Francis Dashwood's Hellfire Club, Amy uncovers a link between the alchemist Nicholas Flamel, the nineteenth century occultists and the Hellfire Caves which endangers her own life. Can her research skills save the world from at least one dastardly killer?
The Dashwood Haunting is the first book in the Amy Stuart, Paranormal Blogger series.


Review.
The Dashwood Haunting is a fast-paced, enjoyable read. For history enthusiasts there are tons of interesting facts and anecdotes of the past and intriguing tales of secret societies and alchemists. Amy is a down-to-earth young woman that female readers will easily identify with. Smart, witty and single but very much up for some harmless fun, she is a joy to read as she comes to grips with English culture and their love of drinking tea. Nyland throws in lots of pop culture references (Buffy, X-Files, the demise of Murdoch's News of the World), which affords the story a contemporary feel. Light but intelligent reading. (Emma Meade, Goodreads.)


Book 2.
The Ghosts of Morpeth (Horror / Occult / Ghosts / Women Sleuths / Mystery)
What does Voodoo have to do with the ghosts in an Australian touristy village? Plenty, as Amy Stuart discovers to her detriment. Morpeth, once an early river port of Australia but now famous for its ghosts, plays host to Amy's latest paranormal mystery. Amy Stuart, journalist and blogger for a paranormal magazine, is back from London, having been made Keeper of a Society about which she knows nothing. Her caffeine habit is out of control, as is her job security. Even her life is left hanging in the balance, as Amy's Editor sends her to write about the ghosts of Morpeth. In danger, in shapewear and in debt, Amy matches wits against an unseen enemy. He attacks Amy with natural and unnatural means, while Amy hits back hard with facts.
The Ghosts of Morpeth is the second book in the Amy Stuart Paranormal Blogger series. It is not necessary to read the first book in the series (The Dashwood Haunting) to enjoy this book, but it is advisable.

Book 3.
Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing, and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers.


To see more blog hops in the Giveaway,
CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ancient Spell!

Here is a spell from the ancient Hittites using sympathetic magic for reconciliation between family members. The Hittites were in Anatolia (Turkey today). The Hittites were powerful - in around the 1300s-1400s, the 3 main (and equal) powers were Hittites, Egyptians, and Mitannians. (Mitanni where Iraq is today, and the Hittites wiped them out thoroughly sad to say in the early 1300s BCE). The spell's date would be in the 1600s or late 1500s BCE.
"Old Woman" is a technical term for a magic worker.
The following is the actual spell!

These are the words of Maatigga, the woman from Kizzuwatna: If a father and his son, or a husband and his wife, or a brother and his sister dispute, when I reconcile them, I treat them as follows:
She takes black wool and wraps it in mutton fat; tissatwa they call it. She presents it to the petitioners and speaks as follows: "Whatever you spoke with your mouth and tongue - see, here is tissatwa! - let it be cut out of your body now!"
She throws the tongue into the hearth.
Afterwards the Old Woman takes salt, tissue, fat and wax. She makes the wax into tongues and waves them over the two petitioners. She also waves the salt, the fat, and the tissue over them, and presents it to them. They flatten it with their left hands.
The Old Woman speaks as follows, " In whatever curses you indulged, now let the Sun God turn those curses and tongues towards the left!"
She throws them into the hearth.
The Old Woman removes the red wool and the blue wool that had been placed upon the bodies of the two petitioners, the two figures of dough that had been placed in front of them, and the hands and tongues of dough that had been placed upon their heads. She cuts the string off them. The Old Woman breaks the two hands and the tongues of dough to pieces.
Then the Old Woman waves them over them and says the following, "Let the tongues of these days be cut off! let the words of these days be cut off!" She throws them into the hearth.
Afterwards the Old Woman tales a tray and places seven tongues and seven hands upon it. She waves it over the two petitioners and says the following, "The day at which you satisfied your hunger - see here the tongues and the hands of that day. See. the father Sun has now nailed them down." She puts them into the hearth.
The old Woman takes water and dough. She sprinkles the water upon them and cleanses them. Then she waves the dough over them and says the following, "Let the mouth and tongue be cleansed!" She puts the dough into the hearth.
They drive up a white sheep. The Old Woman presents it to the two petitioners and says the following, "Here is a substitute for you, a substitute for your persons. Let that tongue and that curse stay in its mouth!" They spit into its mouth.
She says the following, "Spit out those evil curses!" They dig a hole in the ground. They cut the sheep up over it, and then put it into it.
They put one thin sacrificial load down with it. She also pours out an offering of wine, and they level the ground.
They drive up a black sheep. The Old Woman presents it to the petitioners and says the following, "The black sheep is a substitute for your heads and all parts of your bodies. The tongue of curses is in its mouth and in its tongue." She waves it over them.
The two petitioners spit into its mouth. They cut up the sheep and dismember it. They set light to the hearth and burn it. They pour honey and olive oil over it.
She breaks up a sacrificial loaf and throws it into the hearth. She also pours out an offering of wine.
The Old Woman takes a small pig. She presents it to the petitioners and says the following, "Look! It has been fattened on grass and grain. Just as this one will not see the sky and will not see the other small pigs again, in the same way let the evil curses not see these petitioners also!"
She waves the small pig over them, then they kill it. They dig a hole in the ground and put it down into it. They put a sacrificial loaf down with it. She also pours out an offering of wine, and they level the ground.
The Old Woman makes a kneading pan out of clay. Into it she puts a little dough, into which she throws a little black cumin. She waves it over the two petitioners and says the following, "Just as this clay does not return to the clay pit and this cumin does not turn white and cannot be used for seed a second time, as this dough does not get made into a sacrificial loaf for the gods, in the same way also let the evil tongue not get into the body for the two petitioners!"
(There's more in the next bit of the text but at the time it was translated, it was unintelligible. It may have been figured out by now.  The text continues:  )
The Old Woman waves water over the two petitioners and cleanses them. She also waves the dough over them. Afterwards she again makes a kneading pan out of clay and pours oil into it. She severs the blue wool and throws the severed end in. The Old Woman hides it under the coat of the two petitioners. She says the following, "This is the kneading pan of Ishtar. May they get away to a good life! May they also hide from evil matter!"
Afterwards she makes a hupuwai and fills it with wine, plain olive oil, and honey. She adds figs, raisins, tissue, salt, and mutton-fat.
She pours the contents of the hupuwai in the hearth, breaks the hupuwai to pieces and says the following, "Let the hupuwai be broken with mouth and tongue!"
When the Old Woman has broken the hupuwai to pieces, she also breaks a sweet loaf and throws it into the hearth.
They drive up a sheep and call it "substitute." The Old Woman takes one sweet sacrificial loaf and one jug of wine.
  While offering the sheep to the Sun God, the Old Woman says the following, "Sun God! Here is a substitute in their place, with mouth and tongue." She consecrates the sheep, breaks the loaf and pours out the wine. They do not kill a white sheep again, the Old Woman gets it.
(The next sections of the tablet have been too badly damaged for anyone to see. The text continues after that: )
They light fires on the right and on the left. In between the fires they set seven stone pillars in the ground. The Old Woman presents one sacrificial loaf weighing one tarnas and a cheese to the two petitioners and they touch it with their hands.
The Old Woman breaks the sacrificial loaf, pours an offering of wine and says the following, "Whoever erected these tone pillars in this one place, see, now they sway. Whoever issued from the mouths and the tongues of the two petitioners on that day - let those words say in the same way!"
The two petitioners overturn the stone pillars with their feet and throw them into the fire. They throw off the fine clothes they are wearing and the old Woman gets them.
She waves a pot over them, takes the DUG.LIS.GAL off their heads and says the following, "Look, I have taken the DUG.LIS.GAL off your heads. Let the evil words be taken off in the same way!" The two petitioners break the pot with their feet and she says the following, "Let them break all the words of mouth and tongue in the same way!"
The Old Woman takes the Sun's ???, calls it tiwariya, and rubs it on the limbs of the two petitioners. She says the following, "Let the evil words of mouth and tongue be rubbed away from you!"
The Old Woman tales water with a cup or an amphora and presents it to the two petitioners. Salt is also put in. The two petitioners pour the water over their heads. they also rinse their hands and their eyes. Then they pour it into the horn of an ox. The two petitioners seal it up. the Old Woman says the following, "On the day when the olden kings return and examine the state of the land, then and only then, shall this seal be broken."

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Morpeth Ghosts

The village of Morpeth, just two hours north of Sydney, five minutes from Maitland and twenty minutes from Newcastle, Australia, is well known for its many ghosts.
The pretty and touristy village of Morpeth has over fifty coffee shops, antique stores, galleries, specialist stores, and probably even more spirits. I drove there several times for research, but the information was conflicting. To make matters more difficult, one of the former ghost tour operators (and there have been several) told me that if I mentioned his name, he would sue me. I was surprised as some people had told me he was charming. Others, however, told me he was only charming to paying customers. That tainted an otherwise enjoyable experience. One popular ghost tour run by a gentleman who did magic acts for school children before delving into history books to run the "ghost and history tour" had decided to shut down in part because a local church whose grounds were an important part of the tour requested that he take out (or confirm that he had) the standard public liability insurance.
One store owner told me that a little girl by the name of Alice drowned in the well behind Campbell's Store. Campbell’s Store is a two story stone and brick building built in 1835 by James Campbell. This store had been highly popular in its heyday, with people travelling for many miles to shop there. James Campbell even had his own coins minted in South Africa when coins in Australia became scarce. Today, Campbell’s Store is again a wonderful shopping destination with a wonderful cafe, craft shops, galleries and possibly, attendant ghosts.
Another gentleman told me that the child who drowned in the well was in fact a ten year boy named Stephen Cantwell who drowned in 1868. He escaped the notice of his mother Eliza (the wife of the publican, Pierce Cantwell) and went outside in a bad storm and fell in the well. The same gentleman told me that Eliza Cantwell has been seen looking out of the window of her nearby cottage, waiting for her son to return. However, another source told me that this was not in fact Eliza. The ghost of lady has been seen at the window, and does not look anything like the alleged photo of Eliza at the window (taken in broad daylight). Several people have reported that they had felt a child tugging at their clothes around the vicinity of the well. (Pic of well now covered with rocks  above and at right.) On the balcony of Campbell's Store (see below right pic) which opens onto some specialty shops, the ghost of a lady has been seen walking. I was told by several people that a former ghost tour operator had said that she is Elizabeth Campbell. I had difficulty tracking down Elizabeth Campbell. James Campbell's wife was Eliza, born Eliza Jane Nunn, and Eliza and James did live on the first floor of Campbell's Store. James Campbell and his wife moved to Sydney in 1858. James passed away in September, 1879, and Eliza (referred to in nearly everything I read simply as "Campbell's wife") passed away six months later. They are both buried in Waverley Cemetery in Sydney. I am not sure then it is likely that the ghost is Eliza Campbell, given that she died in Sydney and is not seen with her son, who died at birth.
I did find an Elizabeth Campbell in an advertisement in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser of Saturday 24 July, 1886, thanking, in her capacity as Treasurer of the Maitland Benevolent Society, several people for their donations.
James' will left Campbell's Store to his two nephews, Thomas (married to Amelia Beatrice Emmaline Keen) and David. Twenty six years later, David's affairs were put into the hands of the Master of Lunacy, someone who was responsible for administering the estates of, according to the Act, "lunatics, minors and fools."
There are plenty more ghosts in Morpeth. On regular basis, a woman and a child have been seen in a clothing store, a boy moves shoes in an upstairs store, a woman appears in a store window, footsteps have been heard walking up stairs, and apparitions have been sighted in the vicinity of St James Church.
It's not surprising that Morpeth would be a hotbed of spirit activity, as it was one of the important ports in the early days of the colonies, being at the navigable head of the Hunter River. Until the late 1800s, Morpeth boasted eighteen inns, five railways stations and eight wharves, not to mention an iron foundry and flour mill, and two steamship companies.
The famous Australian companies who had their start in Morpeth include Arnott's Biscuits, the major transport company Brambles Limited, and the Soul Pattinson pharmaceutical chain.
The below photo is a portrait of Lieutenant Edward Charles Close, the founding father of Morpeth.
Lieutenant Close served in the Napoleonic Wars, and in 1811 during the battle of Albuera, he made a vow that to God that if he spared him, he would build a church in his honour. His diary records:
"In 1811 when Sergeant Meulen was wounded I went to take the colour. When I arrived at the centre a shell fell. We lay down till it burst. My head was between the legs of a soldier, and a soldier was on my right and left side, close against me.
"The shell burst, the man whose legs my head was protected by had half his head carried off; the other two were dreadfully mangled; the body of one was laid bare from his loins to his breast and both the legs of the other was carried off near the knee."
In 1837 Lieutenant Close erected St James Anglican Church at Morpeth to honour his vow. 
Left: memorial stone to Lieutenant Close.
Right: St James Church
 Below: the main street and the bridge over the Hunter River




Monday, 8 August 2011

Winners of the Summer Giveaway Blog Hop!

Congratulations to all winners of The Dashwood Haunting!
I was swamped with entries so have given away NINE instead of the 3 ebooks.
Winners chosen by Random.org
Winner of Paperback
Alison F. of Sydney, Australia. Congrats!
Winner of Kindle books
Megan A, NC, USA
Diana, Athens, Greece
Sherry S, USA
Alyssa, CA, USA
Donna N, PA, USA
Beverly G, Missouri, USA
Karen P, USA
Tina, Cypress, TX , USA
Darlene, Winnipeg, MB, USA
Your Kindle books will arrive within 10 minutes of this post!
Congratulations to all winners!
Thank you to everyone who entered.