NEW: Loose Leaf Teas and Supplies! (full list)

Greetings, Sojourners!

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Very exciting times in the shop as we work toward expanding our apothecary. Just this past week, we have stocked 28 new loose leaf teas! These teas are sold by the ounce, and represent a wide range of tastes: Black teas, green teas, white teas, fruit teas, and herbal teas represent the bulk of what we have, but see below for a full listing with prices per ounce. All of our teas are either certified organic, fair-trade certified, or both!

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To complement, we have also stocked tea tins. These tins are small, fit up to one ounce of tea, and most importantly they are reusable! When you buy a tea tin or reuse it for more tea in the future, we will take 10% off the price of your tea! 🙂 Tea kept tightly packed in a tin stays fresh and fragrant for much longer than other storage containers.

We also have stainless steel tea ball infusers, tea infusers with celestial teapot and owl charms, and stainless steel tea scoops.

Tea List:

Assam Black Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Chai Herbal Tea $2.50 (Organic)
Chicory Root Roasted Herbal Tea $2.00 (Organic)
China Green Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Darjeeling Black Tea $3.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Earl Grey Black Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
English Breakfast Black Tea $2.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Forever Fruit Tea $2.50 (Organic)
Gunpowder Green Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Genmaicha Green Tea $3.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Guardian Spirit Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Honeybush Herbal Tea $2.00 (Organic)
Indian White Tea $5.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Irish Breakfast Black Tea $2.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Jasmine Green Tea $3.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Kukicha Twig Tea $3.50 (Organic)
Lapsang Souchong Oolong Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Lemon-Ginger Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Luscious Licorice Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Nigiri Black Tea $2.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Orange Spice Black Tea $3.00 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Relaxing Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Rooibos Herbal Tea $1.50 (Fair Trade – Organic)
Sencha Green Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Tangerine White Tea $4.00 (Organic)
Very Berry Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
Warming Crimson Berry Herbal Tea $3.00 (Organic)
White Peony Tea $3.50 (Organic)

You might say our apothecary is looking rather… boun-TEA-ful. 😀

See you soon!

– ❤ C.

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Product Spotlight: Smoke Cleansing Supplies

This week in the shop we are offering our 20% off sale on all of our smoke cleansing supplies.  White sage, sweetgrass, lavender, rosemary, juniper, cedar and many more cleansing and purifying herbs are  rolled up and tied into bundles and then carefully burned in a variety of rituals. So why don’t I use the more accepted term smudging? Smudging refers to a very specific Native ritual that is closed to outsiders. Members of the Neo-pagan and New Age movements have borrowed this term for the act of smoke cleansing. In reality us non- Natives should stick to using smoke cleansing as our term as we don’t actually smudge anything. Using the word ‘smudge’ in an incorrect sense can slowly over time erase the actual culture basis and be harmful to the Native population as well.  In the same vein, White Ceremonial Sage has been harvested and over harvested to support the increasing demand from the New Age and Neo-pagan movements. I always suggest you support ethical harvesting in all of your plants, and remember that in Eastern NC you can grow white sage for a season and have enough to dry and use all year. This keeps the plant from becoming severely endangered and adds a personal element to your sage bundle.

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Loose White Sage- Photo from Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Smoke Cleansing for those not in the know, is a way of removing any baneful energies from your space. I always say that its like energetic sweeping. It completely clears and resets a space. This is very beneficial to do! Good energetic hygiene as it were. Customers at the shop always ask if there is a special way to cleanse using these bundles. They want to know if there’s a super secret chant they must say for it to work, or a prayer to recite. Like most of my personal feelings on witchcraft and spirituality related issues, its all a matter of personal preference, tradition and doing what feels right. There’s no right way to light a hunk of herbs on fire and waft it around your home. As long as you don’t set anything on fire, I think you are doing it right.

Rule 1. There are no rules

Rule 2. You make your own rules.

Each different herb is going to have slightly different meanings and uses, they will also have different smells. White ceremonial sage is the most popular, most well known. It also has a specific odor that can be a bit much for sensitive folk. If lighting a bunch of herbs on fire and waving their smoldering remains through your house is not to your taste, we have Palo Santo wood that has a softer sweeter smell, or copal resin. We even have cleansing sprays that are smoke-free for those asthmatic Sojourners. AS always, anyone behind the counter is ready and able to help you answer any questions and we can steer you towards the herbal bundle that best fits your needs.

-Liz

 

Book Sale!: Top Three Summer Picks

We’ve hit one of my favorite weeks of the summer sale: Books! Glorious, crisp, brand-spanking-new books, discounted without the mega-corporate stench of big retailers. The Sojourner will be giving 20% off all books and calendars through Friday night, making this a great opportunity to stock up for summer reading and crafting (Of all sorts!)

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We have a large and varied selection of specialty books, on topics such as paganism, wicca, druidism, asatru, herbalism, shamanism, tarot, runes, meditation, crystals, and many more! Definitely the largest selection of occult books in Greenville, NC!

Summer, to me, screams “Plant! Create! Prepare!” The Earth is overflowing with an abundance of plant life in our backyards, parks, forest paths, and wild places, providing so that we may thrive now and prepare for the barrenness of the winter months to come. There is no better time to brush up on herb craft while you are harvesting, drying, and daydreaming of fully stocked apothecary shelves! I also like to think ahead to the coming late-summer and autumnal sabbats and festivals, giving myself time to create and prepare meaningful celebrations and activities for friends and family.

So, prepare yourselves: Here are my top three user-friendly summer reading picks! (If I had the time it’d be top thirty!)

#1: Llewellyn’s 2016 Herbal Almanac: Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

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Llewellyn has a wide and varied array of yearly almanacs, for topics ranging from astrology to magic to sabbats, and my favorite: Herbs! This almanac is full-t0-the-brim with crafts, activities, information, and articles perfectly relevant to this abundant time of year. It is organized into thirty short, interesting articles that are great for readers who prefer occasional reading. The instructions for the crafts are clear and concise, and often written by notable, published authors in the pagan community. It is priced at $11.99, and is a must for anyone looking to fit herbalism into their summer schedule!

#2: The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, & Brews by Scott Cunningham

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Scott Cunningham is widely regarded as one of the most accessible authors in the pagan community. This book is a classic for those looking to create their own incenses, anointing oils, bath salts, inks, sachets, ointments, and more, all with a spiritual purpose and meaning. This book is a compendium of recipes, making it a great expansion for those who may already own the Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs or Magical Aromatherapy by Cunningham as well. Be prepared to put those plants to use when you crack this one open! Cunningham’s books are also well-known for being well-priced, and when you apply our sale to the cover price of $16.95, it’s hard to pass up!

#3: Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials Series: Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

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Llewellyn has recently created a line of adorable, pocket-sized reference books for each sabbat, and I find them invaluable for quick information when needed! Lughnasadh, or Lammas, is the next sabbat approaching us, and this little book is packed with history, references, ideas, and suggestions to flesh out your celebration! For those who like to procrastinate, it also contains a couple of pre-written ritual celebrations for those practicing alone or with a group, including written invocations and prayers. For those going the less formal route, recipes, crafts, and activities are also detailed to make the day special without a bunch of fuss! I really cannot recommend this little series enough, especially for pagan parents seeking to explain and celebrate the sabbats with children who need a basic introduction. At $11.99, it’s worth a look!

The summer is our slowest time of year, so please consider stopping by and checking out what we have to offer. Comfy chairs and good smells free of charge. 😉

Happy reading!

Courtney

Product Review: Shoyeido Daily Incense Series

There are few sensual treasures in this world as great as incense. The gentle wafting of smoke in the air, the lingering aroma, the feeling of presence in a space otherwise unoccupied… Incense has been around as long as humans have been torching their surroundings, and (Fortunately.) greatly refined over time.

The product of that refinement can be found in many commercially available incenses on the market today; But if you are looking for a high quality, low smoke, masterfully blended olfactory symphony, you will eventually find yourself staring down a box of Shoyeido.

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Shoyeido is a Japanese koh incense company that has been around for centuries, passing their techniques and recipes down over time. Their processes and scents have truly been refined into an art form. With respect for the environment, Shoyeido uses only natural materials in their incense. With respect for culture, they encourage the world to contemplate the Ten Virtues of Koh*. Incense ascends past a simple consumer “fragrance” product, into the realm of true spiritual and sensory experience.

Shoyeido offers many incense lines, but today I will be breaking down and reviewing their most popular series: Shoyeido Daily Incense.

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The daily incense line consists of eight uniquely blended incenses crafted from high-quality natural materials. Each scent has a Japanese name and English interpretation of the name printed on the front of a beautifully colored box. If you examine the ingredients listed on each, you will find that many of these scents are composed of five or so similar ingredients: Sandalwood. Cinnamon. Clove. Camphor. Patchouli. Yet each variety, only enhanced with few extra spices, is remarkably distinctive in it’s scent and presentation.

Daigen-koh: Great Origin

“Sandalwood and cinnamon combine to promote comfort and insight.”

30 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, camphor, and spices. The stick itself upon first lighting is more reminiscent of campfire than the other blends; Very woodsy, without a strong presence of other scents. It almost seems to be a smoky cedar, but as it burns the sandalwood comes through more strongly in the background. This incense is clearly suited to those who enjoy the smell of a wood burn more than sweet sandalwoods or florals. As a result, this scent does not have a strong presence in a room much longer than the burning time.

Hoyei-koh: Eternal Treasure

“One of Shoyeido’s oldest recipes, to nurture abundance and fortune.”

40 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, clove, cinnamon, and spices. This is what I would consider your basic incense. It’s smoke is balanced with a strong presence of cinnamon and sandalwood, counterbalancing each other to create that unique smell which I associate and name purely as “incense.” As it burns, the cinnamon really comes through as the strongest note, without that “mom’s making snickerdoodles” feeling. It strikes me as a great incense for housework, a true companion in solitude lending our daily work a subtle layer of significance and meaning.

Nokiba: Moss Garden

“Sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin mix to create a light hearted mood.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, benzoin, patchouli, and spices. This is, by far, our best-selling Shoyeido blend. And why not? It’s scent is utterly enchanting, not unlike what I imagine an enchanted forest filled with night blooms might smell of at night. It’s scent is sweet without the sickly feeling of synthetic incenses; A great replacement for the blue-box nag champa addict. The scent is indescribable based on it’s contents, though it is closest to a musky, sweet sandalwood (Due almost certainly to the presence of patchouli.) with some hint of a mysterious floral in the background. If you try no other scent in this series, you must try Nokiba if for nothing but to wonder how they created such a stick without sneaking in any less-than-natural ingredients. It has a great presence in the room, and a long hang-time; My house often smells of Nokiba twelve to twenty-four hours later!

Kyo-nishiki: Autumn Leaves

“Created to inspire one’s inner spirit, a blend of sandalwood and cinnamon.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, benzoin, and spices. This stick is a straight-up physical manifestation of fall. We’re talking hot chai lattes, decomposing leaves, and light sweaters. The spice aspect of this stick really comes through the sandalwood base, with a vanilla undertone that is so completely reminiscent of the last few months of the year. It smells almost like baking, if you’re looking for the “mom’s making snickerdoodles” feeling mentioned before. It is a great stick to burn for company, as it lends an air of sneaky warmth and coziness to a space that will encourage guests to an at-home comfort. It’s smell slowly tapers throughout the day, with evidence lingering in corners and small spaces a delightful amount of time.

Kin-kaku: Golden Pavilion

“A recipe of patchouli and cinnamon, to create a positive atmosphere.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are cinnamon, sandalwood, clove, patchouli, and spices. I would consider this incense to be a more elevated version of the Hoyei-koh incense. The presence of cinnamon is in the front, with a little bit of the enchanted sweetness behind Nokiba bringing up the background. It is truly a noble, zen-inducing incense, well suited for temples and sacred spaces. It invokes a feeling of harmony and serenity unmatched in the previous blends. This incense lives up to the seventh virtue of koh: When it is plentiful, one never tires of it. Daily use cannot diminish the presence of this incense, which we burn near-daily in The Sojourner.

Kyo-zakura: Cherry Blossoms

“Rhubarb, clove, and cinnamon merge to inspire awareness and regeneration.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, benzoin, clove, and spices, but you would swear there was cherry tree hiding somewhere in this box! There is a sweet, fruity and floral tone to this stick that is quite unlike it’s predecessors, and reminiscent of a tree in bloom. The wood in this stick is only a base, setting the stage for the other notes to intermingle. There is a truly resinous quality to this also, thanks to the benzoin, which has thus far been indistinguishable in the other blends. If you are looking for the smell of a cherry slush, you thankfully will not find it here. What you will find is the sweetness that scent memories are composed of, respectfully hearkening to a scent that truly exists only in it’s natural form.

Gozan: Five Hills

“A blend of clove and sandalwood promotes an air of calm and contemplation.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, patchouli, clove, and spices. The clove and benzoin really come through in this blend, whose presence during it’s burn time is really quite strong. As it burns, the sharpness of the resin dissipates into a sort of crisp herbiness, not unlike cardamom. This blend is serene like a rainy day, yet more internally energizing than the others in my point of view; As it hangs in the air, it seems to remind you of what you needed to do that day, and why you needed to do it. It is one of the more expensive in the series, reflecting the higher quality of ingredients contained in each stick.

Haku-un: White Cloud

“An earthy-sweet scent to help bring a moment of peace and solitude.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are benzoin, sandalwood, clove, camphor, and spices. This incense is the most expensive in the series, and rightfully so. The blend is so masterful that it is truly difficult to pinpoint one major scent. It is truly it’s own being. There is something very chai-like about how it hits your brain, the complementary nature of the clove and spices really coming through. Honestly, lighting up a stick of this incense is an event for me. It seems to change the longer you “listen” to it, the longer you experience it, and this continues even after a stick is long past burned. It is a true balance of wood, resin, and spice, and I cannot recommend it enough for someone who is truly interested in experiencing incense as an entity itself, rather as a background to other tasks. Meditation and contemplation are fine companions to this unique stick.

I’ve been enjoying incense for over seventeen years so take my word as you will, but there is no comparison to experiencing these scents for yourself. Every person, and every memory and experience unique to that person, will change the response to and enjoyment of every stick of incense. I hope you will come to know and enjoy Shoyeido and all of their fine products as much as I do!

Best smells and wishes,

Courtney


*”The Ten Virtues of Koh (As written in Japan thereabout the 16th century:)

It brings communication with the transcendent.

It refreshes mind and body.

It removes impurity.

It brings alertness.

It is a companion in solitude.

In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.

When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.

When there is little, still one is satisfied.

Age does not change it’s efficacy.

Used everyday, it does no harm.


 

 

 

 

Product Spotlight: Orange Calcite

During our week of 20% off stone and crystals sale, I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you all about my most cherished and favorite stone. Here at the shop we have a huge selection of all matter of beneficial mineral allies, but one in particular catches my heart. I just cant get enough of Orange Calcite and I wanted to almost proselytize the good news that is this stone.  Calcite’s of all types have the ability to unlock potentials, and are about new beginnings, new opportunities. Orange calcite is what orange marmalade and sunlight would be coalesced into a smooth, warm package. The helpful info paper we have for this entirely magickal stone says this about it:

Orange Calcite is the happiness stone. It helps heal sorrow and grief, and brings joy and peace to its bearer. It is one of the most powerful and protective stones. It is helpful in all new beginnings, including the birth process, new projects, and life changes. It is very beneficial to one’s physical energy, facilitating a state of increased vitality and strong sense of purpose.

I have over and over found this to be true. Perhaps there are stones better suited for life’s many and varied transitions, but so often this little stone nestles its way into my life when I need it most. In fact, in a time of great upheaval and difficult change I chanced upon a fairly enormous chunk of it at the local pagan pride festival. It was love and rock lust at first sight, and I often went back to the tent to hold it until I finally just bought the dang thing. The owners of the tent were most understandably pleased that I would no longer be skulking about their booth.
The gentle, kind, and often seemingly understanding energies really aided me in that moment of emotional crises and has a cherished position in my homes living room as we speak. Or, er write.
Perhaps there’s a mineral ally waiting for you. to help you in your times of fortune, both good and bad. I suggest diving head first and feeling out each stone and you should find something that matches. When I find a good stone partner I usually feel a gentle tingling up my arm and a warmth from the stone itself, kind of like an energetic hug. In any case, we have lots of lonely stones just sitting here waiting for a friend. Who knows what will call out to you?13214718_10154839019713154_246388018_o