Happy Imbolc!

©pexel.com

©pexel.com

Imbolc, Brigid’s Day, is a traditional festival marking the beginning of spring and is held on the 1st or 2nd of February—just about halfway between witer solstice and spring equinox. I prefer to call it Candlemas—as the lighting of candles was the Irish/Scottish ritual.

By lighting candles in these days, we are reminded of the return of light…and we honor the growing length of day light. We might also purchase flowers for our home or cut soft forest evergreens and bring them in. Gratitude.

Enjoy these days…

Gifts of Love!

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This week, we’ve been having some love, comfort and fun with Witch Bree’s deck of beautiful inspirations, aspirations, incantations and journeys. I am grateful to her for this amazing bundle of cards with so many notes, activities, connections and prayer. Please let us know if you’ve enjoyed as well. Blessings for a wonderful new week and a sweet new moon (so much opportunity!).

Full Moon Ritual • The Blood Moon

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pixel.com

I usually celebration the Full Moon in company, but the heavy snows and shifty roads have kept folks tucked in at home.

This evening at 6:30pm, I’m going to begin my ritual. 

• Candles burning (hopefully through the night—if can be done safely)
• Sage clearing and cleansing
• Hints of Sweetgrass through the hours
• A special temporary alter (various crystals, feathers, cards) for this Eclipse, this Blood Moon and our Full Moon
• Readings from Demetra George and Starhawk
• Writings on what I have witnessed, discovered, embraced and/or manifested in the past 9 months.
• A personal note to the blood moon.
• Vessel for burning these written words—feather for fanning/scattering

I will awake around 12 midnight for a spot outside, under the sky at 12:12am.

Below is a list you can look to for specific timing of the the Eclipse.

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/sunday-nights-total-lunar-eclipse-will-be-the-last-blood-moon-of-the-decade/70007122

"Memory Systems are Essentially Magical..."

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Listening to a Podcast the other day, I was prompted to revisit some tarot texts. Kelly-Ann Maddox referenced the Mythic Tarot…and I share some of it here, because…

I am often called to defend or explain the tarot.

The images of the tarot have survived over centuries because they are universal…and invoke a sense of knowing, connection, understanding and direction. The Mythic Tarot connects the content of cards to the ancient gods and goddesses and I quote: “they remain perhaps the most fundamental and comprehensive images to describe the many-sided and multicolored workings of the human psyche. They are symbols of the raw nature, our own raw human nature with its deep ambivalence of body and spirit and its mutually contradictory drives towards self-realization and unconsciousness. Our understanding of our own ambivalence has only recently begun to be restored to its ancient scope by modern depth psychology, which has inevitably had to return to the source—the ancient gods—for its understanding of human behavior. “

“Amoral yet containing profound moral truths.”

In my Life Art, I have found the practice of revisiting the ancient symbols and the archetypes to be helpful—empowering…and providing consideration and guidance. The same proves true for my Tarot and Oracle. On a new or full moon, I often think of and on personages or mythic types to support my intentions, hopes and prayers. I pull cards and create intentional space. I invite you to do the same. You might begin here:

• Ceres (https://mythology.net/roman/roman-gods/ceres/)
• Lakshmi (http://www.koausa.org/Gods/God6.html)
• Nu Kua (http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/nukua.php)

…or consider getting a Tarot or Oracle deck you love to accompany you through your journey…2019 and beyond.

Blessings

D E S I R E: herbs & gems

Seven Magical blends crafted with intention, love and permission by Bean of the Fields

Seven Magical blends crafted with intention, love and permission by Bean of the Fields

The combination of gems and herbs are magically powerful. The stable powers of the particular crystals are enhanced by the subtle and effective qualities of herbs, resins and berries.

The plant matter is layered with the potential gems.
• Store in a cool, dry, dark-ish place
• When ready to “unleash” and embrace, pour into a shallow ceramic, wooden or glass bowl
• Keep in a special place…but near and with you
• Later, separate the crystals from the herbs. Burn the herbs in ceremony (of sort….to you) and keep the crystals (they have very stable energy)*
• Sage and/or cleanse (in your best way) the crystals periodically. Set out in the full moon light. Tune with a crystal tuning fork (and a simple and regular tuning fork works so well too!).
• Carry the crystals with you…or keep in a sacred space.

Manifest the D E S I R E.

* All D E S I R E herb blends can be extracted from the crystals and resins—then steeped and sipped as tea (vs. the burning).

The Answer: CONNECTED

©Marian Green

©Marian Green

"We will all need to regain our awareness of the phases of Nature, our feelings of the seasons and the cyclic changes each of those brings to the inner levels of our lives. We need to know the powers of the Moon, with her waxing and waning face, and shifting dance across the skies of night. We need to understand the healing forces of the Sun and his bright protecting energy, his enlivening and fertilizing light within out outward lives. We will have to learn what his circling pattern tells us, as within our personal horoscope, his energy sweeps across the other plants, enhancing and encouraging the varying aspects of our individual natures. We need to adjust to the actual seasons, the growing, sowing, reaping and cleansing tides that change our ways of thinking, both inwardly and outwardly, although few untrained individuals are aware at what level some of these forces work.

On other levels, we will need to look at human nature, how people reflect the designs of the Eternal, how individuals work with or against the tides of the world. We may need to study aspects of the real world, it’s herbs and healing plants; the powers of gems, rocks and crystals; …working with [this] will make many aspects of our ordinary existence much easier and smoother.”

—Marian Green

"Seed Leaves, Sea Robins and Garden Dreams"

Stowell Farm

Stowell Farm

Each year, I order the Stella Natura Calendar (Inspiration and Practical Advice for Gardeners and Professional Growers). This calendar is a sweet guide to “working with cosmic rhythms.” It is a biodynamic planting calendar—but it is so much more. Each month offer’s up not only specifics of the rhythms, but also stories, histories, education and mystery. October includes a piece by Rand Burkert which begins “Rudolf Steiner invites us to contemplate a seed—to evoke within ourselves a feeling for that ‘invisible something’ which enables it to unfold.” Steiner says: “Let the student fully realize that this invisible something will transmute itself later on into a visible plant, which he will have before him in its shape and color. Let him ponder on the thought: ‘The invisible will become visible. If I could not think, then that which will only become visible later on would not already make its presence felt to me.’” Burkert goes on to say: “When I attempt this, I first perceive the seed in its static mystery. Then, I “see” the root tip extending from it, and gradually, the probing, rising shoot which proffers two seed leaves, like delicate platters. At this stage, the plant is undifferentiated, gathering forces; it then gradually unfurls its individualized leaves, as it becomes a recognizable species. Only when it has its characteristic foliage, is it ready for the gesture of its full, inherent potential—flowering and seeding.”

I offer this idea up to you today—and every day. Even in the sleepy times, all is “unfurling” in its innate IS and it inherent being. In Sharing Circle, at this time of year, I speak of the Seed Pod and invite those with me to consider the beautiful necessity of this season of “folding in” and the ensuing seasons of relative sleep. They are magic, mysterious…and full of pure potential. Keep in heart and mind the Seed Pod: the container of mystery and abundance.

What Ana Said

Photo by Ana del Rosal

Photo by Ana del Rosal

I could not have said this better: so quote Ana and encourage you to visit her site, consider yoga nidra and/or acupuncture—and take a class if you are close-enough by.

“Summer tans are quickly fading. The weather is brisk. Time to tend to the gardens and prepare for the dark hours of winter. Fall in Chinese Medicine is associated with the Metal Element - it is how we find value and meaning in our lives. At this time of year, we innately take stock of what one has and what no longer serves us. We naturally end relationships or let things go that we no longer need. Even today on frontporchforum, there were several people offering items up for free. When we no longer find purpose from, we let go. This is the natural rhythm of this time of year. 

“Fall is also associated with the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians. The act of breathing provides us with life. The large intestines absorb the water from the stool then lets go of what our body does not need. When this element is out of balance, there can be excessive grief from a loss, hoarding, or inability to let go. The symptoms could be asthma, excessive weeping, coughing, constipation, or diarrhea. 

“Take time to clear out your closets, give away what you no longer need. Go through the boxes in your basement or the pile of papers on your desk to clear out clutter. If you want to bring balance through your diet, eating white foods nourishes the lungs. This includes, pears, rice, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips or rutabaga among other things. If you find that your symptoms are too much to handle, always seek out care. 

“Acupuncture is a wonderful tool that helps bring the body's natural cycles back into balance.“

Creatrices of Beauty

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We are…CREATRICES OF BEAUTY. At every moment, we have opportunity. We have the power to shift outcome, raise vibration. A subtle smile shared, a letter sent, a compliment made, a soft hand and large heart. The smallest gestures can spin off and around to create the most profound and resilient energies. SMILE. Touch gently and with love. There is magic at every moment…if you witness and embrace with intent.

Today’s Magic: Wind and Rain
In the light mist, I walk with face lifted toward the sky and eyes shut. The wind brushes my skin—and I realize that I am alive…and present…for this moment. This moment.

Lady’s Mantle: Alchemical Vulgaris
This lovely lady lays to rest now, but will reappear in the spring. She’s moist, supple and supportive. Women use alchemilla for heavy or painful menstrual periods or for symptoms of menopause. Key: Rosacea family.

A Little Autumnal Ceremony

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There is a crispness in the air today—filled with memories. Suddenly, I am present in this moment and so aware of the shifting of seasons. And in the night sky (which arrives now so much earlier, and somehow deeper), you KNOW we are upon our Autumn Equinox. I live this time with great honor. I become more aware, reflective, present, thankful, grateful. I acknowledge what I witness and take little for granted. And stepping out to walk in the damp grasses of early morning, I have layers—so many layers. The shirt, sweater, jacket and boots with socks….but also the keen sense of those who came before me.

RECIPE FOR OUR AUTUMNAL EQUINOX
• Evening sky with stars and moon (in whatever phase)
• A fire pit or fire-proof vessel for burning things
• A few small dry branches or burnable wood
• Matches and paper (fire starting stuff)
• Miscellaneous meaningful things!

With all safety in mind (and the perfect precautions), light your little fire. In the small time of burning (as this one pictured above, done alone and to keep things safe), take in the light, feel the heat (from a distance), witness the stars and the moon (or any airplanes and funny night lights), If appropriate to you, acknowledge the directions, the elements and other things sacred to you and/or to this time of year. You might sing or make music. Honor and thank. Listen. Listen well.

Autumn Morning Breakfast

Today offered a cool memory that fall is nearly here. Sweet cool. As I brewed my coffee, fed the dogs and watched for the ducks, I made these things and wanted to share:

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COFFEE
Decaf for me. Spring water, my favorite beans for this moment, and a coffee press or drip situation. KEY? A sprinkle of ground cardamom and cinnamon. YAY

THE PORAGE
What you’ll need: a small saute pan or cooking pot, paring or small knife, wooden spoon.
Ingredients: One apple, 1/2 a small zucchini or squash, oats, raisins, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
What you do: chop the apple and remove the seeds…add to the bottom of your cooking pot. Slice the squash and layer on top of the apple pieces (chunks or slices). Sprinkle on oats and raisins and make even more beautiful and yummy with a touch of cardamom, cinnamon and (a very tiny bit of) cloves. (Add pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or nuts.) Give this some heat or flame (medium and then low). Let the fresh fruit and veggie break down. Stir and let sit while the oats moisten. Enjoy!!!!!

A Little Life Knowing: A Story of a State

Image: Robbi Tide: Tide Studio. tidestudio.co

Image: Robbi Tide: Tide Studio. tidestudio.co

It is...like the ocean. The tides. Rolling in...and...rolling out. This is, indeed, a Wheel of Fortune—where mystery abounds, there are ups and downs and "successes" and "failures"—where hope and faith remain crucial. This is the state we are in.

I cannot begin to express, fully. Here's a thought or two or four or more: in the past five decades plus, we've witnessed great change—accompanied by distress, sleep, loss, sight, truth, dedication, growth, and awakening. The sixties brought forth a surge—and one to be matched somewhat in the 1990's (a similar energetic experienced through a different lens). We are now in a time of loss—in that, I mean spiritual loss in the general scope of things. The call is to return. And so, there is a large and resounding current running...pulling us toward another opportunity: another grand awakening. Like a peaceful surge, the spirit tribe builds strength and resilience—and quietly works to amend the loss, and return the balance to a sacred bounty.

So, if we are a mythology, a children's story or a doctrine of success (again, that mis-used word, but...here it works if you consider true universal abundance), how can we craft our understanding, our place in this and our associated and connected mission? Maybe it's a course of study to which we commit. I follow a story; a dream I submit for truth: those of our tribe work steadily with committed determination...and the planet, and those "everythings" of it, heal. (Might write more later...) With love, Serena

Magic "Box" of Goodies

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Ahhhhh...I LOVE this drawer of goodies! It's filled with so much yummy stuff, and smells fabulous and transformative. As someone who lives by the Wheel of the Year, I participate in all of the celebrations and more. This drawer is filled with all of my tools (additive tools—not the instruments, cloths, etc...): incense, herbs, oils, tobacco, matches, candles, booklets, journals, special papers and memories, gifts from my children. This is special place, and if I were small enough, I would climb in. Everyone should have a "magic" drawer. 

I find that my life and practices are enhanced by excellent additions: the candle, the incense, the herbs. I love the essences for their various qualities. It's so personal, but such a powerful thing to build: I mean, self-empowering toward self-empowerment and deeper connection. If you live close by, come take a look and consider: if not, I can send a more detailed list of the contents if you wish (this is just a slice of the whole picture). Let me know.

Blessings and enjoy your evening.

Immune Boosting Soup

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Yesterday, I made an adaptation of James Wong's (Grow your own Drugs) recipe, Immune System Booster. He combines echinacea root, goji berries, chicken stock, chicken parts, onions, shiitake mushrooms, ginger root, chilies, and garlic. I went this way:

Simple bone broth (from sheep)
Onions, shallots and scallions
Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms
Fresh garlic and ginger
Goji berries
Echinacea root
Astragalus root
Ashwaganda root
Chilies
Light miso
Fresh ground black pepper

I sautéed gently (never boiling) and let sit and stew with the heat off. 
Voila! It is incredible. You feel it's power with every sip and taste. 

Cooking immune soups and pastes are a passion. Next up? Restorative Nettle Soup. 

 

Ostara • March 20 Celebration

Image from  ThoughtCo . 

Image from ThoughtCo

The spring equinox in our Northern Hemisphere falls on March 20. This is (and is celebrated as)  the time when the sun passes over the celestial equator. Wiccans and other neopagans observe the day as Ostara, a festival that celebrates the season’s change from dark winter to brightening spring. Ostara is one of 8 neopagan sabbats, or holidays, that make up the Wheel of the Year.

"Ostara, or Eostra, is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represents dawn. As a spring goddess she oversees the budding plants and burgeoning fertility of the earth. The Horned God, sometimes envisioned as the god Pan, symbolizes the festive enjoyment of nature through hunting and dancing." (Huff Post)

Our current day Easter has embraced the fertility symbols of this earth-based tradition, so common symbols for this celebration include eggs, rabbits, flowers and seeds. 

I LOVE Ostara. It is a time in the Wheel where there exists a more calm embrace—before bountiful Beltane and a forth-bursting spring: it still holds a quiet contemplation, excitement and anticipation. It is still, and inward time—while it grows outward and energized (like a waxing moon). 

ThoughtCo. has a wonderful, simple and meaningful celebration (and there are so many). The link is here. There are many other ways to celebrate and honor this time: I suggest you read up on a few and craft your own...with or without a group. 

Happy Ostara. Blessings.

Creating Beautiful Spaces, through the seasons

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As we know, the foods we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear—affect us. The people we choose to hang with, affect us. Whether we know it or not, our surroundings, too, hugely affect us. Taking time to thoroughly engage with our spaces can provide reward: Take time to reacquaint yourself with what you own, what you love, where things are placed (can you see the things you love the most often/everyday?). Be mindful of what hits you in an off, bothersome or negative way...and change that up! Remove what hinders or brings you down. And these things change, so deserve refreshing (like a spring cleansing). What may have sparked before, might not now. 

Feng shui is one wonderful track to investigate and follow, but here we suggest a more fluid and personal experience of paying attention and creating the most wonderful and supportive space for yourself (and others) that you can. This works like subliminal fuel for wellbeing, positive energy and inspiration. Also, a constant practice of gratitude. 

March Seed Starting!

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I'm so excited for March! Every year I look forward to this moment: planting seeds. This month, I begin (yesterday) on the 13th with Onions and one type of Tomato that requires the 8-10 week starting before moving to the hoop house or the garden. On the 25th, I'll do another group, and the last group will be seeded on the 25th of April. I plant by the biodynamic calendar (pictured left)—so, basically, there are specific days that are better suited for planting roots, fruits, leaves and flowers. Because of this, the "groupings" will split out and be started "in-and-around" the 25th of each month. All are marked carefully so that if some don't come up, I can try again—and also to track specific types over the years and recognize how they do, here, in this particular climate and soil. 

This is a personal "holiday." On honor it as a particular part of the wheel of the year and the Life Art and Blessing of creating beauty and making magic daily.

Crystal Work: Magic!

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I begun working with crystals a couple of years ago when a friend brought me a piece of Aragonite and another brought me Candle Quartz. "Aragonite warms the extremities, bringing energy through the body...It strengthens the immune system. It is useful for grounding floaty people." I swallowed hard: the first two I could take, but...was I "floaty?" Candle Quartz Crystal (otherwise known as the Pineapple Quartz or Atlantean Lodestar) "is a mysterious crystal with a gentle but strong and persistent energy. It is a lightbringer crystal, bringing hope and comfort where there was unhappiness, hopelessness and pain. Lightworkers will be able to use this crystal to its fullest potential." I immediately wondered: "do I seem sad and lonely? Or maybe I'm meant to be a Lightwkrker?" Years later, I'm over thinking so hard and so completely grateful that these two friends introduced me to the word of crystals. 

As an herb worker and medicine maker, I am already familiar with the art of enhancing lives with food preparation, salt blends, tinctures and tonics. Today, I am thrilled to be incorporating ground crystals into appropriate* recipes and potions. The physical energetics of these are ancient and indisputable. I'm on a magic trip of learning with deep reverence: an amazing universe we inhabit and a miracle earth bounty. 

*Bath salts and essences

Power of Positive Environment

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These words at the end of a letter to a friend:

"Choose well who you hang with."

What we engage in and with, who we choose to share time with, the foods we choose to eat, the books we choose to read, the lyrics we here...All of these things potentially have an enormous impact on our lives and our state of mind and wellbeing. 

And mind what is on your walls, in your home...

...in your bookshelf. All of these things play a subtle but important roll in supporting, or NOT supporting your highest good (or highest vibration). We can be nourished, in so many ways, by simple things:
• A soft blanket
• A favorite smell
Consider leaving tokens of memories that make you happy in places you see often. Arrange paintings or photographs so that they inspire or calm and uplift. Remove broken items from your view. 

And, yes, choose well who you hang with.
(Painting by Marie White. The five of swords from the Mary El Tarot.)