The Sojourner Healing Fair!

Saturday, September 8th! 10:00am – 6:00pm!

Join us at The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions in Greenville, NC for a day-long healing event!

Are you interested in: Crystal healing? The chakras? Sage smudging and energetic cleansing? Reiki? This is the event for you!

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Throughout the day we will be offering private alternative healing services, including reiki energy healing, crystal healing, individual guided meditation, and spiritual cleansing sessions. We will be providing demonstrations and information on in-store goods all day long, in addition to quick sage smudging and cleansing sessions outside of our storefront for donations! You won’t want to miss this!

We are also currently taking appointments for private sessions. These are limited in number, and once they are filled, that’s it! Appointments can be made in-person or over the phone at 252-758-7656, but they must be prepaid at the time of reservation.

APPOINTMENT SCHEDULE

10:00 – 11:00: Private Reiki Healing Sessions
12:00 – 2:00: Private Reiki Healing Sessions – Private Crystal Healing Sessions – Individual Guided Meditation Sessions
2:00 – 4:00: Private Reiki Healing Sessions – Private Crystal Healing Sessions – more to be announced!
4:00 – 6:00: Private Reiki Healing Sessions – Private Spiritual Cleansing Sessions

ALL DAY LONG

= Smudging and cleansing sessions on the sidewalk in front of our shop, for donations! We will have a selection of nine different smudging herbs to use, and experienced instructors on hand to guide you.

= Homemade healing herbal teas and herbal syrup samples for you to try! We will also have recipes for the samples, and an herbalist on hand to answer any questions you may have about our 100+ selection of bulk organic herbs! Bring a mason jar or reusable container for 30% off your herb purchase.

= We will have staff on hand throughout the day to answer any questions you may have about energy healing, crystals, spirit animals, meditation, chakras, aromatherapy, and more modalities toward achieving wellness!

SALE: 30% off EVERYTHING for Black Friday/Small Business Saturday!

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Hello, Sojourners!

Join us next weekend in Uptown Greenville, North Carolina for our biggest sale of the year! Skip the big box stores and support small and local business!

  • We will be open extended hours, 10:00am – 7:00pm on “Black Friday,” November 24th, and 10:00am – 7:00pm “Small Business Saturday,” November 25th.
  • We are offering a discount of 30% OFF EVERYTHING in our store, in addition to offering free gift wrapping with purchases over $25.
  • We have recycled and eco-friendly gift wrapping in the form of boxes and a few styles of holiday bags.

We are also hosting an Instagram contest for the social-media-savvy among us! Stop by the store on either of these days, and take your best Sojo Instagram picture in-store. Mention us @thesojogreenville in your post to enter, and Monday morning we will randomly select an entrant from the tagged pictures to win a basket of goodies, on us!

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Uptown is the place to be on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year, as we can boast NO ridiculous lines, NO capitalism-induced-riots or fighting, NO Hatchimals/fidget spinners/hoverboards/what-have-you, and TONS of unique, handmade, and local items that do not put a single dollar in Walmart’s oversized pocket. 🙂 PLUS, you can make a day of it with breakfast and coffee at one of the Uptown cafes, lunch at one of the fabulous small restaurants, a walk through the art gallery or just around the block to see some of the storefront decorations, and maybe even a drink at one of our local breweries. With all of the recent development down here, there is so much to do! It’s a great time, and we love to see the support for our neighbors!

See you soon!

– ❤ C.

FLASH SALE: All herbs 40% OFF! Bring a jar!

Attention, Sojourners!

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Our shelves are brimming with a colorful, fragrant array of dried plants of all types after our recent restock, and we want the community to benefit from the abundance!

We are have a 40% off FLASH SALE on all of our dried herbs, roots, leaves, flowers, resins, and spices that are sold by the ounce in our bulk jars. This sale lasts through the end of the month of May, so you have until closing on May 31st to take advantage of this sale!

Want to buy herbs, but not sure what to *do* with them when you have them? You’re in luck! Check back later today for a full calendar listing of upcoming classes on herbalism, including basic medicinal herbalism and special topics on the use of herbs! They will last at least a year in an airtight jar out of the sunlight, so there is plenty of time to experiment!

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As always, we highly appreciate if you bring your own containers to take home your herbs! Mason/canning jars are *perfect* for this, as they can be used in a variety of ways even after your herbs are gone, and are cheap, airtight, sterilizable, and last forever and a day if you take care of them! We encourage the use and re-use of containers to cut down on waste for us, and the the waste that harms the environment in general. We will package herbs in any clean, dry container, including but not limited to:

:: Canning/mason jars. (Just had to say it again 😉 )

:: Fancy, witchy, corked glass jars.

:: Recycled food jars (Glass sauce jars are perfect! Baby food jars and spice jars tend to be too small for the full ounce that is our minimum sale, but multiple jars may work!) that have been thoroughly washed and dried. The dishwasher is perfect for sterilizing jars to be recycled!

:: Paper bags that can be sealed in some way (We can seal with tape or staples if you are okay with it.)

:: Tin cans with lids.

:: Ziploc bags.

:: Drawstring muslin/cloth bags.

:: Be creative with your recycling! As long as it is clean and dry, it counts!

As always, if you have any questions pertaining to herbalism or the use of herbs, don’t hestitate to e-mail me at Courtney@thesojo.com, or stop by when I am here in the morning for a chat! ❤ See you soon!

The Sojo News: Apothecary, restocking, classes!

Hello sojourners!

As we hail the early arrival of spring, the shop begins to turn it’s eye towards all things Earthy and herbal. Keep an ear out for developments, hopes, and dreams for our apothecary in the near future…

New Inventory

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Yesterday a box of popular bulk herb restocks arrived, including: Lavender flower, calendula flower, hibiscus flower, chamomile flower, elderberries, juniper berries, bay leaves, mugwort, and valerian root! We also received small packages of culinary spices such as paprika, garam masala, curry powder, and parsley.

All Starwest essential oils are now fully restocked, including lavender and tea tree.

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We have also received some all-natural loofah sponges, and gentle ramie woven soap sacks to extend the shower-life of the organic, handmade soaps we have for sale!

We will be packaging and putting out for sale more tubs of raw, organic shea butter, as the empty tubs arrived yesterday!


Keep Updated

Follow us on Instagram @thesojogreenville, follow us on Facebook, or join our Facebook group “The Sojourner Clubhouse” for immediate, regular updates on new stock, exclusive information, and announcements!


Classes

If you are interested in learning how to make your own incense, natural bath and body products, or different topics in medicinal herbalism, be sure to keep an eye on our schedule as classes will be starting up soon! This is in addition to all of the other great classes we have regularly recurring on our schedule. Below is a list of upcoming classes, but we are constantly adding more!

Saturday, March 11th: Tarot 101//Wands and the Element of Fire

Join us for the third installment of our six-part Tarot series. This class will focus on the suit of wands, sometimes called staves. We will explore how the element of fire is embodied in every card of this suit from the ace, to the King and how each card displays the Hermetic principles of the element. We will discuss astrology and symbolism as they pertain to card meaning and interpretation. This series in beginner friendly, and covers some intermediate topics, so no matter the skill level, all will be welcome! Handouts are included, participants may wish to bring note-taking materials and favorite tarot decks.

Class will be $30 per person, Seating is limited, please register in advance by phone (252-758-7656), or in person.


Sunday, March 12th: Knock Knock!

In this two hour presentation/workshop, Edward Zula talks with participants about the different ways spirits of our loved ones communicate with us from the other side. “Sometimes they knock, play with lights, surprise us with familiar scent, come to us in dreams, and even hide or move objects,” says Edward Zula. “But no matter what it is, we are let wondering if it is spirit and ‘what did it mean ?'” Our desire to understand these messages and find meaning in them is what inspired Edwards to offer this healing workshop. “We want to know if our loved one is just saying hello when they knock a picture off the wall, or if there’s some other meaning. It can leave us frustrated, confused, and worried, which is not very helpful if we are still processing from our grief.”

Entry is 10$ per person. Please call 252-758-7656 to reserve your spot today. Must pay in advance. Limit 20 participants


Saturday, March 25th: Tarot 101//Disks and the Element of Earth

Join us for the fourth installment of our six-part Tarot series. This class will focus on the suit of disks, also called coins or even pentacles. We will explore how the element of earth is embodied in every card of this suit from the ace, to the King and how each card displays the Hermetic principles of the element. We will discuss Hermetics, astrology and symbolism as they pertain to card meaning and interpretation. This series in beginner friendly, and covers some intermediate topics, so no matter the skill level, all will be welcome! Handouts are included, participants may wish to bring note-taking materials and favorite tarot decks.

Class will be $30 per person, Seating is limited, please register in advance by phone (252-758-7656), or in person.


Friday, March 31st: Sojo’s 8th Anniversary Party!

Lady Sojo’s doors opened for her first day of business on March 28th, 2009! My, how the last 8 years have flown by!

Join us for her 8th Birthday party on Friday, March 31, 2017 from 6:00-9:00 pm. We’ll have snacks and birthday cake to share, and you are welcome to BYOB. Bring your drum for a drum circle! Let’s celebrate the miracle of an “old” metaphysical shop!


Saturday, April 1st: Incense Making Workshop//Rolled Sticks and Cones

$25 per person, 12:00 – 2:00
Learn how to create your own rolled stick and cone incense from natural plant materials. Come prepared to use your hands and leave with your own handmade incense, including the instructions for continuing to make your own at home. All materials are included in the class fee.


 

The Sojo News: Events at the Sojo this Holiday Season

Hello Sojourners!
We have some new silver and stone jewelry in stock now, including a few new men’s rings. A new order has been placed for herbs and spices, and should be here soon, so consider shopping with us for your Thanksgiving feast needs.  We will be closed Thanksgiving day, but open Black Friday and all weekend to kick off your shopping with sales!

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We have some exciting classes coming up this weekend. Please remember that all of our events are held and scheduled based on your calls to register in advance. We can schedule your session with our intuitive readers and healers, and for classes we need to know that as least three people are coming to hold the class. However, in some cases we max out the seating capacity, and only those who’ve registered in advance are guaranteed a seat. We really hate to turn people away, so please call 252-758-7656 (SOJO) to let us know you can be there, by at least Wednesday before our weekend classes.

Also, save the date! Saturday, Dec. 10th, 5-10 pm. Our annual Yule “Tacky Sweater” Party will be more of an “open-house” where we welcome you to stop in for some warm, mulled cider and refreshments, and sharing in the Holiday cheer at The Sojo while you are down here for the parade.

Held in conjunction with the Greenville Jaycees Christmas parade.
December 10th, 2 pm – 8 pm at the Five Points Plaza.
Annual Parade begins at 5 pm, Food, Music, Crafts, and Fun for Kids and Adults!


carolheadshotReiki 1 Class and Attunement with Angelica
Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 11:30-6:00. $75
Please Register in advance as space is limited.

What is Reiki? It is a Japanese term, “Rei” meaning spirit and “Ki” meaning energy, which translates into “Spirit Energy,” or the Universal life force.
This Level One Reiki class gives a history of Reiki, describes what Reiki is and how it differs from other healing modalities, the ethics, hand positions and an attunment to the first degree. Level one focuses on physical healing and self-healing. Students at this level are in training to become highly aware of their intuition, instincts and guidance from Spirit.
We will break half-way through the class, so please bring a snack and a drink.

Angelica is a Reiki Master/Teacher and Angels Oracle Card Reader who offers her services through Energy Worx: Energy Balancing and Intuitive Spiritual Mentoring. You may contact her for more information at lighttouchreiki.magickalbits@gmail.com


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Natal Astrology Workshop with Jupiter Melchizedek
Sunday, Nov. 20, 1:30-5:30, $30, open to the public.

Zodiac signs? planets? houses? What does all this astrology lingo mean, and how can you put it to good use? Learn to interpret your own birth chart with the science of western astrology, as a road map to your life, personality, strengths, challenges, and purpose. Charts will be provided. Please register in advance and provide your name, birth date, time and location.  Seating is limited, so register as soon as possible.

From Jupiter: Hi all! I am a self taught astrologer specializing mainly in Hellenistic and Medieval astrology. At this event I will be teaching the basics of chart interpretation, such as how to interpret planets, signs, houses and aspects. I will also be teaching the basics of understanding planetary transits and electional astrology (the art of timing).


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Modern Witchcraft Training Program – Seekers Meeting – Free
December Wednesday, December 7

6 PM – 8 PM

This seeker meeting is for any adults over the age of 18 who are interested in pursuing training in Modern Witchcraft through The Sojourner Tradition of Witchcraft. We invite you to this free and open event to meet us, learn about the program, and receive all the registration materials for the first Session that will meet on 5 Thursday nights from December 29th-Jan. 26th. Registration fees are due at time of enrollment; $90 for the 5 weeks of classes and is non-refundable. Seating is limited and is a first-come-first-serve basis, so please enroll in advance.
Please note that this first session is the ONLY open enrollment time–afterwards, it will be closed to new students for the remainder of the year. After the first 5 classes of the session, there is an individual interview to determine if continued training is in the best interest of the student. Those supported to continue, will be invited to our Imbolc Sabbat celebration on Thursday, February 2 at 6:00, off-site, for the ritual of dedication to that year’s studies and involvement with the coven.
We expect 4 main guidelines of behavior and interaction to be respected while enrolled with us. They will be explained in detail at the meeting:
1) Do not burn the Witch.
2) Do not be the Asshole.
3.) Do not be the Weak Link.
4.) Must be present to win.
We prefer new seekers to be present for both the seeker meeting and every class, as they build upon each other, and we take rule 4 very seriously in considering who we invite to join us for dedication.

What is a “seeker?”

Good question. A seeker is a person pursuing training in Modern Witchcraft, and trying out different traditions, styles, groups, and teachers, before settling on one particular program within which you would “dedicate” to a full year’s training. After dedicating to train within our coven at Imbolc, you are then considered a “dedicant.”

Seekers can be any sex, gender identity, or sexual preference; of any race, from any heritage, creed, nation, anything… However, we will ask that our students be at least 18 years of age (for legal reasons) and physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially stable enough to beneficially use the information and skills that we teach, and able to participate and contribute in a fair and equitable way to the over-all success of our group.

In short, paganism is for everyone. A Witch can look like, be, and come from anywhere, but Modern Witchcraft as a praxis and job-description is a demanding path not suitable for everyone. It’s demands of radical personal sovereignty, self-reliance, sacrifice and responsibility will best serve a relatively small subset of pagans, and that is absolutely OK. You’ll never know if this path is correct for you until you give it a try, and we are here to help you discover the answers to these questions.

So, are you a legal adult with the resources you need to survive, thrive and contribute fairly? Can you manage your life and current responsibilities reasonably well? Do you have the extra time, mobility and energy to commit to this program, including showing up for class, reading the required texts, and working independently on your spiritual practice? Are you ready to level up in your personal empowerment? After that, all you really need is an open and curious mind, and an open heart.

Thank you! See you soon!

~Heron Michelle
High Priestess, The Sojo Circle Coven

 

For more information in advance, visit: http://www.thesojo.com/modern-witchcraft-classes.html

The Sojo News: Henna, Witchcraft, Herbs!

 Welcome Back, Sojourners!

We are so very glad to all your shiny faces back in Greenville and browsing the shop after this long, hot summer. Come and see us this week through Friday night for 20% off all Stones and Crystals.

Come in to see what the new semester holds with a Tarot Card reading!
Friday, August 12, 6:00-9:00 pm
Reiki Energy Healing and Tarot Readings with Liz Merritt
By appointment or walk-in, $30/half hour.

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If its in a jar, it is 20% off August 20-26!

Saturday, August 20, 2016,
We switch to 20% off all our bulk herbs.

11:00-3:00 Heron will be outside offering complimentary Henna Body Art to ECU students, as part of the Greek Life Welcome Back events sponsored by the University.

3:15-5:00:  Witchcraft 102: Charge of the Goddess, Celebrating the Moon
$20 per person, register in advance.
An Introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente, known as the Charge of the Goddess, it’s history, thealogy and how Witches work with the cycles of the moon to empower their magick.

We’ve begun our restocking frenzy for the Fall semester and many books, stones and crystals, tapestries and incense sticks are already on their way. Check back over the next weeks to see what new wonders we have found.

See you soon!
~Heron Michelle


Upcoming Events:

Guided Meditation with Heron
Spirit Animal Journey
Friday August 26, 6:00-7:00, $10

Witchcraft 103: The Witches Creed, Celebrating the Sun through the Wheel of the Year with Heron Michelle
August 27, 2016, 12:00-2:00
$20 per person, register in advance.
An introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente known as The Witch’s Creed, the modern Wheel of the Year calendar of sabbats that celebrate the solar cycles, its mythology of the cycles of nature, the eternal Goddess as maiden, mother and crone, and her lover the Horned God as Oak King and Holly King.

First Friday of every month, 6:00-9:00, Sept 2.
Bring your drums, the kids, your friends, snacks (if you’d like) and join us for a party! Drumming, Henna Body Art by Heron Michelle, and divination services available.

Reiki Level 2 with Angellica
Saturday, September 10, 2016
11:30-6:00.
$100 Please Register in advance as space is limited.
This level two Reiki class furthers the skills of the Reiki practitioner with additional symbols, distance healing techniques and attention to emotional healing. Angelica is a Reiki Master/Teacher and Angels Oracle Card Reader who offers her services through Energy Worx: Energy Balancing and Intuitive Spiritual Mentoring. You may contact her for more information at lighttouchreiki.magickalbits@gmail.com

Sept. 17-18, Pagan Pride Festival in Raleigh. www.cncppd.org

September 23, 6:00-7:00 pm Guided Meditation with Heron, $10
Exploring our Universal interconnection through Divine Love.

Witchcraft 104: The Witch’s Rune, Elemental Magick and the Witches Tools
[Date change!] October 1, 2016 2016 12:00-2:00
$20 per person, register in advance.
An introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente known as the Witch’s Rune, and working with the elemental powers of air, fire, water and earth through the tools of wand, athame, chalice and paten for personal balance and empowerment within nature.

Psychic Reading and Healing Fair
October 14-16


Hours:
Monday-Thursday 10:00-6:00
Friday 10:00-9:00
Saturday 10:00-6:00
Sunday 1:00-6:00

Full calendar of events on our webpage; follow our blog and receive newsletters by email. Follow us on our Facebook page and Twitter @thesojourner1
For updates you’ll actually see on Facebook, join our group “The Sojourner Clubhouse

The Sojo News: Drum Circle, Anointing Oil Sale, Witchcraft 101 Class

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Starwest Organic Essential Oils

Hello Sojourners,

Welcome to the hopeful month of August, and the height of summer that we pagans celebrate as Lammas–the first harvest–when we arrive at 15 degrees of Leo. May all your harvests this season be bountiful!

Tonight is the last night of our 20% off sale of Smudging supplies, bundles, shells, feathers.

Starting Saturday: August 6, 20% off Starwest Essential oils and Sun’s Eye Fine Oils

Future Sales: Week of August 13, Crystals and Stones
Week of August 20, Bulk herbs and botanicals
Week of August 27, Incense sticks, cones, and loose mixed incense

TONIGHT! Uptown Art Walk, Drum Circle Party!

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Sun’s Eye Fine Oils


August 5, 2016
First Friday of every month, 6:00-9:00
Bring your drums, the kids, your friends, snacks (if you’d like) and join us for a party! Drumming, Henna Body Art by Heron Michelle, and Tarot Card Readings available.

TOMORROW! Please call to sign up for this class!
Witchcraft 101: The Wiccan Rede, Ethics of Personal Sovereignty with Heron Michelle
August 6, 2016, 12:00-2:00 pm
$20 per person, register in advance. An Introduction to the concepts of Modern Witchcraft, with a look at the long form of the Wiccan Rede, and Heron’s four rules for ethical and responsible living in balance with nature.

Angels 102 Workshop with Angelica
August 13, 3:00-5:00pm
$25 per person, register in advance.
Explore your relationship with the angels through this workshop on their history and hierarchy. Then connect with your personal guardian angel through guided meditation. Angelica is a professional educator, witch, priestess, Reiki master/teacher and certified angel oracle card reader.

Witchcraft 102: Charge of the Goddess, Celebrating the Moon with Heron Michelle
August 20, 2016, 12:00-2:00
$20 per person, register in advance.
An Introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente, known as the Charge of the Goddess, it’s history, thealogy and how Witches work with the cycles of the moon to empower their magick.

Guided Meditation with Heron
Spirit Animal Journey
Friday August 26, 6:00-7:00, $10

Witchcraft 103: The Witches Creed, Celebrating the Sun through the Wheel of the Year with Heron Michelle
August 27, 2016, 12:00-2:00
$20 per person, register in advance.
An introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente known as The Witch’s Creed, the modern Wheel of the Year calendar of sabbats that celebrate the solar cycles, its mythology of the cycles of nature, the eternal Goddess as maiden, mother and crone, and her lover the Horned God as Oak King and Holly King.

 

Witchcraft 104: The Witch’s Rune, Elemental Magick and the Witches Tools
[Date change!] October 1, 2016 2016 12:00-2:00
$20 per person, register in advance.
An introduction to the traditional Wiccan liturgy by Doreen Valiente known as the Witch’s Rune, and working with the elemental powers of air, fire, water and earth through the tools of wand, athame, chalice and patten for personal balance and empowerment within nature.

 


Summer Hours:
Monday-Thursday 10:00-6:00
Friday 10:00-9:00
Saturday 10:00-6:00

Sunday 1:00-6:00

Full calendar of events on our webpage; follow our blog and receive newsletters by email. Follow us on our Facebook page and Twitter @thesojourner1
For updates you’ll actually see on Facebook, join our group “The Sojourner Clubhouse

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.