As a new variant of Omicron sweeps across Europe and Asia and Russia's unprovoked attack on the sovereign country of Ukraine continues to unfold, let's think about magic and Leprechauns. It is St. Patrick's Day after all.
What is magic? "The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I'd like to suggest that it might have a lot to do with our ability to believe. In other words, the power of positive thinking. As a former Registered Nurse and current Hebalist, I like to find links between traditional practices and science. Here are some interesting ideas around "magic" and positive thinking.
---Timothy Leary, an American psychologist, best known for advocating psilocybin use in the 60's, now experiencing a resurgence for managing PTSD, is credited with the quote, "What we believe is what we make true."
--- The Mayo Clinic lists the following as benefits from positive thinking.
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress and pain
Greater resistance to illnesses
Better psychological and physical well-being
Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke
Reduced risk of death from cancer
Reduced risk of death from respiratory conditions
Reduced risk of death from infections
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.
It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess. --- Andrew D Huberman Ph.D., a Neuroscience professor and researcher at Stanford University, and his colleagues are currently examining the effects of our mindset on our well-being. He has the following to say. "The science of mindsets is not about trying to reframe everything that is happening and convince yourself that what is painful or unpleasant is actually pleasant. But as the work of Dr. Alia Crum, also at Stanford, so beautifully illustrates, if we adopt the mindset that stress is inevitable and that indeed it can enhance our ability to focus, highlight our priorities, and grow us over time, it will do just that. - In fact work from her laboratory has shown that the appropriate mindset about stress will increase anabolic hormones whereas if we think stress crushes us it increases catabolic hormones like cortisol. - Of course, there are realities to our physiology such that extreme stressors can wreak havoc on our brain and body but even those bad effects can be adjusted with the appropriate mindset. - Ask yourself: what is my mindset about stress? Acknowledge stress is inevitable, and that through stress we grow and do that *in moments of stress* and you will flourish. - Note: We cannot lie to ourselves and expect it to work. I am not a fan of “fake it to you make it” because the data just simply don’t support that. Mindsets are powerful, and we might all adopt the mindset that through discomfort we can improve. Indeed at the level of psychology and physiology, we can." --- Roald Dahl "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." --- Leprechauns are an iteration of a Faerie from Ireland. It is thought that they were named after Lugh - master craftsman, warrior, king - a god from the Tuatha de Dannon (tribe of the gods), a race of supernatural beings who were thought to be early settlers of Ireland. Yes, Irish mythology has gods and goddesses as our ancestors, love that. Because of conflict with new settlers on Ireland, the Fomerians - associated with the destructive power of nature, the Tuatha de Dannon decided to move to the Otherworld, below ground. (No, it is not Hell. It is the land of gods and goddesses). The Tuatha de Dannon are associated with passage tombs and water wells. They can pass into this realm via these portals and interact with humans. Seeing a leprechaun is good luck. You might find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. --- Ralph Waldo Emerson "Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose." During this time of stress, call on your own abilities, call on your ancestors, your greater power for guidance and help. Remember, you're driving the train more than you might think. --- Spiral Herbal Remedies has a variety of tinctures, oils, herbs, bath products, candles and alternative healing modalities to help you manage your stress as well. Stop by the shop or check us out online. Use the discount code Magic for a 10% discount online or in our shop, now through March 31st.