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August Native Moon: Excerpt from the Forthcoming Book ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’ by Ashley Leavy

July, 2019

August Native Moon

From ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’ by Ashley Leavy
Available August 20 from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group

The thirteen Native Moons in Cosmic Crystals are by far the most difficult to describe. With so many different Native tribes, cultural traditions, and important stories, finding common threads is not always easy. In most instances, the main moon name given is the most commonly used name among the Algonquin tribes, and the listed alternative names come from other well-known tribal peoples from North America, Central America, and South America.

As you read about the Native Moons, put yourself in the shoes of those who lived in harmony with the natural cycles. Consider the lessons from the deities and totem animals that can be applied to present day life. What are the commonalities between yourself and the tribal people who were some of the first in the world to name the moons each month? What is different in your own life compared to the lives of those who gave these moons their names? What wisdom can you take away from recognizing those differences?

When working with the lunar rituals for the Native Moons, push yourself to find new ways to incorporate the corresponding totem animals and healing herbs into your ritual. Remember, your ritual may be as simple or as complex as you like. The point is to create a moment of sacredness between you and the moon, so listen to your inner guidance for how to customize each ritual to meet your needs.

AUGUST

The Grain Moon

The Grain Moon is named for grains, such as corn and barley, which can now be harvested. Fishing tribes know this as the Sturgeon Moon, named after the fish that are abundant at this time. Other tribes know the August full moon as the Red Moon because it often takes on a reddish color. Still others call this the Lightning Moon due to frequent late-summer thunderstorms.

To connect with the energy of the Grain Moon, place a small bowl of dry grains (e.g., corn, barley, or rice) in your sacred space or on your altar. Surround the bowl with Ruby Fuchsite stones to represent the sharing of this abundance with those you love. You may even choose to have one stone to represent each specific person in your circle of close friends and family.

ALTERNATE NAMES Barley Moon, Lightning Moon, Red Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Swan Flight Moon, Women’s Moon

ANIMALS squirrel, sturgeon, swan

COLORS gold, green, yellow

CRYSTALS Green Grossular Garnet, Heliodor, Ruby Fuchsite

DEITIES Laqan Kachina, Mashe-Namak, Mikew, Nisk-Na Peu – the Goose Master, Urubutsin

ESSENTIAL OILS rosewood, tangerine, tea tree

HERBS eucalyptus, lemongrass, rose petal

KEYWORDS abundance, connection, magic

GREEN GROSSULAR GARNET This abundance stone connects to the Grain Moon by reminding you that with hard work, there will be plenty to harvest down the road. Green Grossular Garnet enhances your connection to the plants and animals of the earth. Work with this stone if you’d like to find balance between modern life and more traditional ways of living.

HELIODOR A yellow variety of Beryl, Heliodor shines with the color of golden grain. This crystal helps you recognize abundance all around you and connects you to all that is. The more connected and grateful you feel, the more you have to be thankful for, because things are drawn to you like a magnet. Helidor is also a stone of magic and facilitates mystical experiences.

RUBY FUCHSITE This rock, also called Anyolite, is a combination of two minerals, red Ruby and Green Fuchsite. This crystal corresponds to the heart center and instills empathy and compassion. Wear Ruby Fuchsite in a medicine bag over your heart to facilitate a connection with others. This energy is perfectly suited to the Grain Moon, a time of celebration and sharing the abundant harvest.

About the author of ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’:

Ashley Leavy (Madison, WI) is the Founder & Educational Director of the Love & Light School of Crystal Therapy. Teaching others about crystals is Ashley’s passion and her purpose. Ashley’s experience is based on almost a decade, and 100+ classes, of professional crystal healing training. Because of her expertise, Ashley has been a featured guest on NBC, has been interviewed about crystal healing for dozens of radio shows, has had articles published in many newspapers and magazines, and has been featured as a guest blogger on hundreds of energy healing and wellness blogs. She is also the author of Crystals for Energy Healing.

Learn more at quartokno.ws/CosmicCrystals.

Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting With Lunar Energy on Amazon

MagickalArts

July, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Four

Continuing this series of posts about the Energetic Anatomy and our seat of power that comes from ourselves as a Divine Source of co-c

The Nadis and Meridians: Specific Energetic Pathwaysreation….

The Nadis and Meridians are highly specialized energetic pathways that run in multiple directions throughout our body. It is these pathways that Chinese Medicine, Accupuncture, Accupressure and other healing modalities make use of by way of stimulating the flow of Chi energy to move in a non-restricted and healthful pattern.

The Nadis are highly specialized and localized pathways that align with the Chakras and act upon the energy flow moving up the central column, inclusive of the spine, spinal fluid, and the nerve bundles. In the Eastern Kundalini Yoga practice the Nadis and the rising of the Ida and Pingala coiling up the Sushumna is the serpent fire that opens the awareness of the practitioner to union with his/her Higher Nature.

The Ida is the lunar (Feminine) energetic path and the Pingala is the solar (masculine) energetic path. The union achieved at the Crown chakra is the product of the combined polarities of moon and sun, feminine and masculine giving birth to the Divine Child of your Higher SELF.

The Meridians are the pathways of the body that help to regulate and maintain a balance of flow from organ to organ. Each major Meridian or channel is responsible for a specific organ and their surrounding structures. The Meridians play a major role in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the treatment of dis-ease, thought to be cause by a disruption of the natural flow of the Chi within the body.

There are 12 major meridians in the body:
• Lung meridian
• Large Intestine
• Spleen meridian
• Stomach meridian
• Heart meridian
• Small intestine meridian
• Bladder meridian
• Kidney meridian
• Pericardium (Circulation/Sex) meridian
• Triple Warmer meridian
• Liver meridian
• Gallbladder meridian

Exercise:

Let’s begin with a very simple exercise to run pure energy through the chakras

A Chakra Renewal Meditation

©Robin Fennelly 2002

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths, allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. Now, shift your awareness to visualize seven clear glass spheres within your energetic self, each aligned with a specific chakra point along the central column. And approx. 7-8 inches above your head is an eighth glass sphere. This is the transpersonal chakra; the gateway between your parts of Self and the Divine.

Beginning at the root chakra, visualize the sphere filling with ruby red energy and light. As it continues to fill it becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with vivid orange energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sunshine yellow energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with emerald green energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sky blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with indigo blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with amethyst purple energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

You have reached the uppermost sphere, that of your transpersonal space. See this sphere fill with brilliant white light. It pulses radiant light and seems brighter than those below it in clarity and intensity. When it has reached capacity, see all the spheres equal in size, perfectly transparent and filled to capacity with colors that are clear and vibrant. Allow this image to permeate your being for several minutes. Feel the strength and power in each of the spheres and connect with this enlivening energy, engaging all of your sensations.

Visualize a line of energy moving upwards from the ruby red sphere of the root chakra. This energetic pathway is the same hue of red as that contained within the sphere itself. It moves, and swirls and as it reaches upwards it blends and mingles with the orange energy within the sphere of the belly chakra. Allow the integration and synthesis of this energy to build and circulate.

Now, extend this energy and visualize it moving upwards towards the yellow of the sacral chakra. Allow it to blend and merge creating an energetic column connecting each of the three spheres in turn. Each, feeding one into the other, merging and unifying into a singular stream of vibrant and pulsing energy. Continue in this manner moving up through each of the chakra points rising all the way up and ending at the transpersonal chakra.

When reaching the transpersonal chakra, allow the brilliant white energy of the transpersonal sphere to pulse, infused with crystalline luminosity. As this energy builds it becomes brighter, fuller and more expansive. Allow this energy to grow and expand until it is overflowing and spilling down, pouring its energy into each of the spheres below it. Each, in turn filling with the brilliance of Light, the vibrancy of their individual colors fading and folding into the density of a brilliance of white. This transformation continues downward through each chakra and when it returns to the root chakra allow this energy to circulate, moving up and cascading down through each of the chakras for as long as is needed.

When you feel energized and have a sense of balance, beginning at the transpersonal chakra, see this energy slowly dissipate as each globe clears and returns to a state of transparent glass. Move downward from one sphere to the next. Each in turn fading in brilliance, returning to its resting state of transparency and size.

When you have returned to the root chakra and the spheres are once again clear pure transparent glass, chant a sustained “ OM “ to complete the working and coalesce the rate of vibration within each of the chakra columns in each of the subtle bodies.

References:

Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Interview with Reanna of Woodland Wand Creation

July, 2019

Bright Blessings!

Last month, I got to review a great wand by Lady Reanna Shellenbarger of Woodland Wand Creation, and this month, I lucked into an interview!

Here is the link to my review if you did not have a chance to read it yet!

Read on to learn more about this amazing artist and creatrix, and her sacred, beautiful wands!

On their Facebook page, it says:

“Welcome friends to my store called Woodland Wand Creation. A magical place of semiprecious stones & enchanting wood from the magical forest. All to make amazing Wands. All work is unique artwork. No two are the same. I work within the respect to our Ecosystem. Many of my pieces are created with natural and reclaimed supplies. Wood is collected with respect and reverence. All wood is render by the tree naturally after stormy weather. No tree is ever harmed or wood cut from trees. My artwork & Wands are said to be very powerful. Because I work and charge all pieces by the moon light for an extra punch of energy.

Bert is the engine and Reanna is the artist. Together we are Woodland Wand Creation. All items are made by Reanna she is such the artist. We hope you all enjoy them as much as we do.”

Then, I got to catch up with Reanna, and she told me wonderful things!

Saoirse- How and why did you get into making your beautiful wands? What or who inspired you?

Reanna- A friend of mine purchased a bag of random semiprecious stones and had no idea of what to do with them. so I took some of the stones home and fashioned a Wand, not knowing if it would even work. well, needless to say, it did, and here I am today.

Saoirse- How does this tie in with your personal spiritual path, and what would you like to share about your path with us?

Reanna- I studied Wicca some years ago. I reached High Priestess status. today I’m solitary but very, very social. I found more freedom by dedicating myself to more creative pursuits. As a Libra, I require the freedom to go with what the wind calls to me and what strikes my fancy.

Saoirse- Tell me about your creative process. How do you get an idea that inspires? What types of materials draw you? What colors? How do you begin, and how long does it usually take from start to finish?

Reanna- Each stone or branch tells me their desire to become something more. I then clean them up a bit by removing the bark, to show off the natural beauty of the wood. I work with only naturally rendered woods, like after storms and such. I never cut or hurt a tree. I still go for the random mix of stones to this very day. I meditate while I divide them up into the kinds of stones they are. I can then hear them speak to me about their desire. Some stones want to be a Staff, Smudge fan or a Rattle. I am blessed with a wide range of woods in my area. White Willow is my all time favorite, but I do work with Wise Oak, Red Elm, Sweet Maple, and Driftwood.

Saoirse- Tell about how you run your business and how and why you decided to sell as opposed to just making your own? Talk about your business partners!

Reanna- I work with my longtime partner Bert. Bert is my online Wizard. the engine to my inspiration. We are the perfect team. We have a small shop on Etsy. We also are on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I will provide links below.

Saoirse- Tell about yourself aside from your path and wands.

Reanna- I enjoy cooking and making up my own recipes. I like to sew children’s blankets and quilts that I donate to the local church. I really like to gardening, growing herbs, flowers and playing in my Fairy garden. I dabble in painting. I like to recycle items to keep them out of the landfills so most of my stuff is up-cycled. I also work with many divination tools such as Tarot, Crystal balls, Zodiac- natal charts, Tea leaves, and Pendulums. I write memes about magick for FB as well as some really bad poetry. I teach the basic of Tarot and Wicca in a FB group. well, I guess I’m just your all-around crafty Witch.

Saoirse- My editor noticed your fair pricing. Many merchants charge a lot more for a wand than you do. Why do you charge what you do as opposed to what many of your competitors do?

Reanna- Well, we did our homework on the prices before we set out. We saw that so many are over priced for just the simplest items. We did not want to rip off the Pagan community like this. We feel magick knowledge should not be misused by over pricing. To us, it seemed so unfair and it gives our movement such a bad name in a time when we are rising out of the shadows. Our intention was to sell a good product at a good price. Honest and true is the only way to a secure future. In this simple and humble way, a Wand can be in many hands.

Shared here are some links where you can find Reanna’s amazing goods, and have some for yourself!

This is Reanna’s FB

This is Bert’s FB

This is the Etsy shop

Their Woodland Wand Creation FB

This is their Pinterest link

And Their Twitter Link

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Perimenopause: A Spiritual Threshold

July, 2019

The special powers and sensibilities of women (especially menstrual powers) are central to the Wise Woman tradition. Men in the Wise Woman tradition find the wise woman within themselves and become her. In the Wise Woman tradition, we nourish. We do not fix or cure or balance…health/wholeness/holiness comes through nourishment. Healing occurs in the ground of woman power, in the ground of heart-centered compassion…Nourishment encourages expansion and growth. Nourishment includes. Nourishment supports each being as unique, holy, individual. Nourishing our problems encourages love for all parts of ourselves.

-Susan S. Weed from “Healing Wise”

(Haida Gwaii Beachcombing Collage by Jennifer Engracio)

Recently, I was talking to a friend who is also at the threshold of perimenopause about the changes she is experiencing as a woman at this age. Neither of us have ever been forty-four before, after all! And it turns out that we are feeling similarly at this point in our development even though we lead quite different lives in many ways. Ellen Besso’s article on menopause being a time for women to go inside in order to heal deeper emotional wounds makes sense to me. I feel my psyche is mature enough now to go there–that I can finally parent myself compassionately through the pieces I discover: pretty and ugly. Recently, I’ve been able to unearth the root cause of many issues that plagued me my whole life. And I have faith that my body will continue to heal as that process completes itself with the support of homeopathic medicines, practicing living aloha, and ceremony. I also feel that there is a deeper level of spiritual fulfillment that I am starting to venture into. I don’t know what this is going to look like and I am curious about how all of this is unfolding.

When these psychological shifts started happening along with the physiological ones, I didn’t put the two together. I initially thought I was losing my zest for life or that there was something wrong with my dreaming and manifesting skills that I’d always been able to lean on. What I see now is that there is a really profound change happening in all of my energy bodies requiring me to rest and introspect more. Gone are the days of rushing through life to get as many things done as possible. I find myself reflecting on what I’ve accomplished in my life so far. Morbid thoughts come and go: If I died tomorrow, would the legacy I leave behind be enough? Somewhere along the way, part of life has become about achieving things as a way to validate my existence somehow. As if taking up space isn’t alright unless I am contributing in ways that the mainstream culture approves of. These thoughts are fleeting though. These false beliefs are what I am letting go of as they arise in my consciousness. This is the transcendence that is presently taking place.

I’ve been going on the long walk to the beach most mornings here on Haida Gwaii in Northwestern Canada. It is late spring and nature is alive and blooming. Most mornings, I walk through the bird sanctuary, the dark and cool rainforest and its ethereal cemetery until I get spat out onto the big open ocean. I breathe in the salty air and thank the Goddess I am here in all this beauty. It is all I can do to keep taking it all in, allowing its magic to fill every cell of my body. This morning, I rode a bike so I could spend more time on the beach looking for agates, shells and beach glass. I haven’t ridden a bike around the ‘hood like that since I was in elementary school; this made my inner kid indescribably happy. I bumped up and down the trails giggling to myself as I went. Ironically, even though I work with children, there are things I forgot about slowing down to kids’ pace–like the details and moments I notice when I am not on a mission to get somewhere. I spend my days wandering and beachcombing for treasures that maybe only I will find beautiful. But then, when I was a kid, I didn’t care if other folks thought these finds had value. I am going back to a time when all there was was me and Spirit. Back then, I was conscious of what was happening in the now and nothing else. I can sense something being rejuvenated inside myself even while I don’t know exactly what it is. And I don’t feel I need to know. I know it’s all as it should be.

This is the first time I’ve given myself a “victory vacation” where I am celebrating all of the accomplishments and challenges I’ve transitioned through in my life. And there have been a lot of them! My inner landscape has completely changed. I am in a space where nothing new has emerged to place my focused energy on. I am in the dreaming of creation. Little wisps of inspiration and interest come my way, yet something has yet to really take hold. Strangely, I am not panicking about this like I would have done in my thirties. My ego keeps telling me I should be worried, but I am really not and this is liberating. I feel more present lately–like I did when I was a kid. Susun S. Weed describes this further in her incredible book “Healing Wise”:

In the Wise Woman tradition, all health…begins with a return to the void. To…become whole, we turn again around the spiral of our life…The void is woman power: simultaneously dynamic and relaxed; empty yet completely full, satiated yet always consuming; creative, abundant, insatiable, unfillable, unquenchable, wild, having nothing to receive, knowing everything is already present, completely calm. Here in the void lives the Crone.

If I had a wish for women my age, it would be to surrender to this process. Fear of the unknown is natural, however, I hope we can remember to celebrate all of the things we’ve accomplished and overcome in our lives and to “nourish” our current challenges. It’s good to acknowledge the enormity of this with all of the responsibilities pulling on women in the world! I recommend that women take time for reflection so they can really be in this new psychological and spiritual landscape they find themselves in as they prepare to enter their crone years. I’ve found solace and insight speaking to fellow sisters who are going through this stage of life and I really encourage you to do the same if you are in the same boat with us! I have a feeling an exciting and edgy new journey is beginning…for all of us if we can find the courage to welcome the elder we are becoming.

Resources:

icle: The Change: Medical Problem or Spiritual Passage? By Ellen Besso

https://www.life.ca/naturallife/0608/spiritual_menopause.htm

Book: “Healing Wise (Wise Woman )” by Susun S. Weed

“Haida Gwaii Beachcombing” collage by Jennifer Engrácio

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About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Gael Song

July, 2019

The Druid Garden, Edible Forest Magic

Because I worry about the overuse of chemicals across the earth, monoculture on huge farms that leave the soil depleted, the clear cutting of trees for building, so soil that has taken 500 years to build up is washed away in the next big storm or two, I am hooked on edible forest gardens! They are meant to be as simple as can be, ending up as a hunter-gatherer’s dream come true. And EASY! All those Monsanto chemicals kill the network of tiny micronutrients in the soil, too, organisms that break down organic matter into forms the plants and trees can absorb. Without micronutrients, plants and trees starve. If you are using herbicides on your grass, stop, now! Overuse of chemicals has killed off most of the honeybees, too, so those massive farms are now in a pollinator crisis. But honeybees think an edible forest garden is heaven on earth and come zooming in to thrive all summer long. If food grows scarce in the future from all those Monsanto misuses, the edible forest garden is my personal hope for a simple and natural solution. Everyone should have one!

This year, I moved into a new home, (one I own as opposed to rentals for many years) so, I could FINALLY have an edible garden of my very own! This has been the most fun part of moving, joy that is only beginning as the apples and blueberries plump up and ripen. I will take you through the whole building process, so you can see how any five year old could do this. Beginning a garden after a move is the best possible time because my gardens always begin with sheet mulching, a permaculture technique in which cardboard is laid down over grass and weighted with a few stones to keep it from blowing away. I recycled very little cardboard from my move. And in 3-4 months, the grass underneath has died and the cardboard disintegrated to become organic matter in the soil, enriching it. Be sure to remove the plastic tape and staples, though (the plastic comes off as easily as can be after the cardboard has been outside through a few rains). Sheet mulching eliminates the need for rototilling or digging to turn grass under, both of which also disturb the micronutrient network beneath the soil for 2 years or more. Sheet mulching is a peaceful, simple way to prepare an area for planting, cardboard best laid down in the fall for spring planting.

Every edible forest garden has three layers, a tall tree canopy, an intermediate height shrubby level, and ground covers. Many druids believe in three realms; above, middle, and below just like this. And a forest garden especially is druid to the core! And once the ground covers fill in, there’s no need for mulching with bark or sawdust on the soil level. I was surprised how many plants will fruit or bear under a thin tree canopy in dappled shade. And plants in edible forest gardens are meant to be perennial. Yes, perennial! This means NO digging once the initial planting is done (with the possible exception of a bit of weeding before those ground covers fill in Such edible forest gardens have the most PEACEFUL undisturbed feeling when they mature, like Eden. And one can walk through and harvest nuts or fruit or greens for years to come with very little care. I only add compost around my forest plants in the spring, for compost is loaded with micronutrients, and all my plants sigh in pleasure when it gets watered in, I can feel it. Then, aside from harvesting, which is pure delight, not work, and a bit of pruning or weeding, and organic spraying on the fruit trees if pests come in (I’ve dusted mine with spinosad only once this year), that’s the only work an edible forest garden needs every year.

Some of the plants can get out of hand, and you’ll have to decide how much of this you want to tolerate when you choose what to put in. Most edible forest gardens look like a jungle when they mature. But I am one of those folks who likes neat drawers, closets, and gardens, so I put my plants in sections, rounded edges (another permaculture principle, no straight lines. Research shows there is much more growth and activity with curved borders between plants.), with a path up through them that is mulched in brown bark. So, it all looks exactly like a tree with branches of plant families and companions, as druid as can be. See the photo above (taken before the chicken wire went up to keep out the very chubby groundhog family living nearby who entertain me every evening now that they are no longer eating my dill and lettuce to the ground!). The mulch in the small beds is sawdust I got free from a nice man who cuts and sells wood for heating a few houses away (You do need to add some nitrogen when using mulches because they deplete it when they break down, a little manure, for instance.). Next year or maybe by fall, all those saw dusted areas should be filled in and green. By spring of next year, I will have zero mulching to do. Only adding some nutrient rich compost here and there and popping yummy produce into my mouth!

So, let’s talk about plants that will thrive in a part shade, forested space. Of course, this greatly depends on the climate, and you’ll need to check what temperature number your own location is in when you choose what to put in. I’m in southern New England, so a lot of the edible plants in the texts about them won’t work here, heat and jungle type plants mostly. (In the south, you can have a ball with this!). Many edible forest plants I read about in texts also are quite unusual, hard to find, and with acquired tastes and reactions one has to watch out for if they aren’t cooked properly (like sunchokes-cook those babies really well or you will be on the pot all night long!). In my own little garden, I chose trees with leaves and branching patterns that don’t completely block the sun. I have a Butternut tree (sometimes called a white walnut), a white Oak for acorns (just shell them, boil for 10 minutes, changing the water three to four times to get out the tannins, and grind up immediately [they get hard very quickly] and store in the freezer for use in baking, very nutritious, indeed and as druid as trees! A friend of mine suggested putting them in a pillow case and running them through the washing machine to get out the tannins but I haven’t tried that yet, maybe this year. Tannins make the nuts bitter, a taste that is hard to get rid of in your mouth, too. The Native Americans put their acorns in nets and left them in streams for a few days to get the bitterness out. And it’s impossible to get tannins out of black oak acorns, no matter how much rinsing you do. Use fruit only from oaks with rounded tips on their leaves, not the pointed ones, and you’ll be fine. I have Paw-Paw trees in my edible garden, too, which are native to the US, even in the north, fruit well in part shade, and grow large delicious fruit that tastes like vanilla pudding! Yum! And I put in a small fig tree, too, which is hardly native and not truly hardy here. But a friend of mine has figs he’s grown for many years in his orchard. He makes a columnar box of 2” thick, hard insulation, ties the fig branches loosely together in a tall central stalk, and puts the insulation box over them after one or two frosts in early November here. The insulation box needs to go all the way to the ground and be tied or weighted down to survive winter storms, too Then my friend takes the box off just as the weather starts to warm in spring, just before the last frost in early April (protecting the tree if there is a late frost but opening it up to air out as the warmth comes in. Leaving the insulation on too late results in mold all over the tree.) And his figs are leafed out and budded with fruit well ahead of the rest of his orchard and produce really well with this method. I’ve been aching to try this ever since he first showed me. And I put in a semi-dwarf cherry tree and apple here, too, both of which I keep pruned down to a reachable level. (Most fruit trees now are grafted to roots of smaller growing types, so they will not get too large and need far less pruning than the older, full-height varieties.) So, those are my tree canopy plants for my first-year forest garden. I have a feeling my edible forest “tree” will be expanding and growing with new plants every year, but this was enough for me right after a move. I am aching for several more varieties of apples and cherries, a plum, and a native persimmon, though. (Edible forest gardening can be a bit addictive, fair warning!)

My shrub level then has elderberries, raspberries, and half-high blueberry bushes, too (North Country, with fruit that tastes like those wonderful lowbush Maine wild ones). Wild blueberry pie, mmmm! I’ve planted the raspberries in their own section on the side of the yard and will mow the narrow strip in between other “branches” of my forest garden, since raspberries send shoots off into the wild blue yonder and need to be contained a bit if you don’t want them all over your yard. All these are easy care plants, too, only the raspberries needing any canes that have turned brown cut to the ground after summer fruiting (not the fall fruiting or you’ll have no berries next summer!) All plants need regular watering, soil full of humus, and most need good drainage as well.

Of course, the ground cover level is lowbush blueberries! Along with alpine strawberries, both of which fruit well in dappled sun/shade, so are utterly perfect for a forest garden. I have regular strawberries, too, in front, so they get the sun they need, along with herbs like sage and rosemary, etc. I added a very few annual plants in between this year, too, since there’s so much sun under the new little trees and space between baby ground cover plants I could not resist filling in with eggplant, cabbage, lettuces, parsley, nasturtiums for my salads, and dill (These all need full sun). Once my trees grow big enough and the ground covers take over, the veggies will need a sunny spot of their own. And, of course, they have to be planted every year, so are not true edible forest garden plants, taking more work and requiring digging every year. But there are perennial vegetables, too; onions, leeks, broccoli that is mostly like cauliflower, asparagus, spinaches, and many more to choose from that I haven’t listed here. (See the book Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, the edible garden guru.)

Put on your druid robe as you plant and carry your wizard wand, for this is the happiest, most delightful and druid way of gardening there is in the world. You’ll create your own Avalon. And you’ll have moons of delicious things to eat with little to no work to produce them. There you have it, edible forest gardening, as magic as can be!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment on Amazon

St. Louis Pagan Picnic

July, 2019

Every year for the past 27 years in Tower Grove Park in early June you will find a gathering of Pagans. This picnic is a fantastic start to the festival season in Missouri. 2019 was the first year that my husband and I were able to go for both days of the picnic. This year the picnic was able to boast that they had nearly 100 vendors. The vendors are in the middle of the picnic. The picnic coordinators are hoping to welcome even more next year.

On Saturday at 10 AM, there was an opening ritual. Ritual is on the south side of the vendor’s row. The Ritual takes place in an area that is marked by flags for each compass point. It is always open to all who want to participate.

Speakers start their presentations at 11 AM and go until 3 PM both days. The lectures take place on the north side of the vendors’ row. There were so many speakers this year, but I could only pick a few because there are four presentations every hour. Speakers only took an hour for a lecture; many also-ran vendor stalls while at the festival too.

Celia was there her talk was titled “Adventures of an Everyday Goddess,” and we could hear her singing during her lecture too. Reverend Don Lewis-Highcorrell was there talking about Cornellian Soul. Mickie Mueller taught about “Magical Self-Care During Hard Times. Reverend Bill Duvendack was there teaching about “Astrological Timing of Rituals.” And Sunday started with Oberon Zell giving a presentation on “Awakening into Quantum Consciousness.” (there were so many more that I didn’t get to hear this time around.)

At the St. Louis Pagan Picnic, there are a lot of local artists, writers, and teachers that give lectures. If there is a time that you don’t want to go to hear a speaker, you can sit on the south side of the vendors’ row at the Bardic Circle. At the Bardic Circle, they have some great singers and Dancers. Celia also was at the Bardic Circle. At another time, you could catch Mama Gina or watch Sugar Cyanide dance.

My husband and I purchased a Tarot deck and a refillable book from artist Karen Swartz, who has a shop on Etsy, Talenshistudios. The Tarot deck is called “A Darisa Tarot.” I found that the Tarot deck is genderless to be a unique aspect that makes reading with it more accessible in so many ways.

Another vendor I adore is “Chaos Emporium.” She has a shop in South County Mall in St. Louis. Her shop and her vendor space deal with corsets, hats, gloves, and some beautiful Parasols. (I had to get a purple one to go with the primary color I wear daily.)

I also found a new vendor that I hope is there again next year, Obsidian Sithin. They have amazing wooden puzzles. (I purchased a Unicorn from them. I want to get more of their puzzles.)

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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Learning Lenormand

July, 2019

Dreaming Lenormand

I remember when I started learning reading Tarot cards over thirty years ago. I had a deck of Rider-Waite cards and I would lay out one of several spreads on a daily basis – usually a Celtic Cross – but sometimes a Horoscope Spread or a Tree of Life Spread or some other spread I had just read about in a book I had just gotten out from the library. My diary is filled with these readings – some are ridiculously lame – since I obviously had no idea what the cards truly “meant” and I was simply quoting what the “little book” said, trying to fit the “meaning” of the card into the position it landed in the spread and what I wanted to know. This often required some agile mental gymnastics on my part and often, when I am reading these works of psychological analysis today, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But even though I was more confused than not, some of the readings are quite astute. Right from the beginning, I can see that I had a knack for reading the cards. I gave the cards nicknames and saw personalities in the cards – a lover of mine was the King of Cups and my best girlfriend was the Queen of Wands, for instance – the cards became profoundly close to my life quite quickly.

I started dreaming “in terms of the tarot” after I had been reading the Tarot for about six months or so. It’s hard to say how I knew I was dreaming about the tarot but I always knew that I was dreaming about this card or that – my diary is filled with descriptions of these dreams. Many of these dreams became poems. I can confidently say that this is where my current Tarot poetry project was generated. Anyone who follows my silverapplequeen or no commas blogs on WordPress knows these poems.

I got my first Lenormand deck around a year ago and now own four Lenormand decks. Although the language of the Lenormand doesn’t come as easily to me as the language of the Tarot, I am beginning to speak it with more fluency. I’ll be honest – I don’t practice with the cards as often as I should – certainly not as often as I did when I first started learning the Tarot. There are reasons for this – my life isn’t as dramatic as it was thirty years ago – I am not trying to figure out the motives and movements of husbands and lovers – I am not constantly changing jobs or homes or trying to become pregnant. I am now retired and my son is a grown man. I don’t have any lovers anymore nor do I desire any. Life is boring! And I like it that way!

But I love the cards and I love collecting them. Lenormand, Tarot, playing cards – I am a card person. I love the feel of them in my hands. I have certain sets I actively look for. I think the Chelsea Lenormand is beautiful and if I ever see it, I am jumping on it like a duck on a June bug. I would also love to own the Blue Bird Lenormand. Right now, I am working with the Fairy Tale Lenormand and the Gaelic Lenormand. I also like the Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards, with the little verse instead of the playing card insert. But I love all of them. My main question with the Lenormand is this: why is there no cat? There’s a dog and a fox – that’s two canines. But no feline energy. That’s a big omission IMHO.

I had my first Lenormand dream a few weeks ago. I didn’t know it was a Lenormand dream until I was awake and thinking about the dream. I was dreaming that I was in a giant mansion by the sea – if you have ever seen the HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire”, it was just like the Commodore’s mansion – only darker and more gothic. There was a coffin in the entrance – a green coffin – I remember the color vividly. I walked around the coffin and then out to the beach. There was a maple tree on the beach.

When I woke up, I thought I had just been dreaming about “Boardwalk Empire” – my son and I had been watching it for several days – I had even been dressed in 1920’s formal wear in the dream. But after thinking about the dream more closely, I realized that it was a Lenormand dream. There were definite Lenormand images in the dream – the coffin, the house, the tree, and the woman. Although it can be argued that I didn’t see the house – I was inside the house – it was still present in the dream.

At the time I had this dream, I was suffering from a terrible eye infection. I looked like a deformed monster. I was in horrible pain and I was horrendously depressed.

(The Fairy Tale Lenormand)

The images of the dream – read in Lenormand cards – Lady, House, Coffin – say no more than “The Lady of the house is ill” – which made me laugh. No shit, sherlock! The tree told me that healing would be coming – after all, in the dream, I am walking to the tree – three weeks after this dream, my eye is healing, although very slowly.

(The Gaelic Lenormand)

A few nights ago, I had a very restless night with dreams that were unclear but very emotional. I know I dreamed of a man I loved passionately but who is now dead and gone. I also dreamed of a close friend who betrayed me. Maybe they were the same person. It was the night of the last full moon but it was a stormy night and with the cloud cover, the moon was hidden. Even so, her power was felt.

I woke up and thought about the dreams I had that night – even though I could barely see them – I could feel them. The Gaelic Lenormand seemed to be the best deck for the dreams I had that night. I used a “Line of Five” spread with the 29 Woman card to signify myself in the middle. The 10 Scythe card paired with the 28 Man card was the lover who was dead and gone. The 18 Dog card paired with the 6 Clouds card was the faithless friend.

(Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards)

Last night, I went to bed thinking about my novel. I have not written a word on this novel in two years but in the last few weeks, I have been thinking about starting work on it again. I woke up this morning knowing that I had been dreaming about writing the novel – that I had found the perfect form for the story – that I was writing easily and happily – that I had found the key. I woke up thinking those words exactly – the key. But I also felt really happy.

So writing is 26 Book and finding the key is 33 Key and feeling happy is 24 The Heart and I’m not even sure why I picked out 4 House except that to me – writing a book means a certain amount of success and that means obtaining the home of my dreams. It all ties together – with me, 29 Woman, in the middle of it all.

Anyway – these dreams have pushed my Lenormand practice into another level – which is really a good thing, because I needed something – my own life was too boring! Now, every morning, I wake up and think – where was I last night? Where did my dreams take me? What did I do in them? Who did I meet? And how does that correspond to the Lenormand? Then I get the cards out and try to make a story out of the dream using the cards. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s sure fun trying!

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

Decks Featured

Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon by Lisa Hunt. US Games Systems, Inc. 2016.

The Gaelic Lenormand on Amazon by Diana Clark. http://amzn.to/212x2ij

The Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards on Amazon Sterling Ethos. 2006.

All photographs by Polly MacDavid.

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Wreathing the Wheel

July, 2019

Watching the Summer Skies

Summer is a great time to get outside, go camping, and watch the stars come out. This is something I like to do at least once a summer, and more than that if I can manage it. This year, my interest in stargazing has a new dimension: I have been studying astrology, and am now watching stellar bodies with renewed interest. In the interests of getting serious about learning the ropes of astrology, I decided to make some bullet journal spreads as a reference to help me study.

Natal Chart and Astrological Reference

One of the things that most new astrology students do is to study their own natal chart, which captures the positions of the planets and stars at the moment of a person’s birth. I’m lazy and didn’t want to do all the complicated calculations to figure out the positions myself, so I used the natal chart calculator available at Cafe Astrology so that I could focus my efforts on making my pages look good. As I usually do, I used a ruler, protractor, and mechanical pencil to sketch out these layouts, and tried to fit in the information as densely as possible. When I felt certain that I liked how it looked, I used my set of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to ink the spreads. I also used “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need” by Joannaa Martine Woolfolk as a reference, along with a handful of astrology websites. 

The right side of this spread is completely dedicated to an exploded reading of the planetary positions in my natal chart, complete with the names of the positions and some basic keywords. The center figure started as a basic circle drawn with a protractor, and I used a circle template to add the concentric inner circles around the central point. Most of this was drawn with the 180 degrees of the circle divided into twelve equal 30-degree angles; the houses don’t perfectly match the division of the signs, but were drawn in by hand using the computer-generated chart as a reference. The positions of the planets, houses, and signs are all included here, along with the ascendant line and the midheaven point. In the lower left corner of the spread, I added the aspects in my natal chart.

I wanted to add a lot of basic reference information as well, so that I could refer back to these spreads over and over again. I included several lists: the signs with their symbols, associated elements, ruling planets, dates, and keywords; and the houses, with keywords and their native signs, as well as a list of the symbols used. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a newbie to astrology, so hopefully experienced astrologers will excuse any mistakes made in these spreads. While I did spend a fair amount of time inking these spreads, I won’t lie — the majority of the time that I spent on these spreads was spent on research, which is pretty unusual for a bullet journal spread.

The 2019 year calendar was difficult to fit into a small space, but I used the Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Calendar as my reference for most of the included planetary transits. My calendar simply includes which sign each planet is in during each half of each month of the year, along with the moon’s path and phases. Below this, I added the year’s meteor showers and eclipses. After filling out the symbols on the facing page, I found I still had a lot of space left — so I decided to add the constellations of the zodiac and a big more art here. These spreads are now basically full of information, though there’s room to add a few additional notes. I may be a beginner, but I feel like I’ve now got a great reference to help me move forward with my studies, something I can come back to again whenever I have astrology to do!

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Book Review – Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols

July, 2019

Book Review
Tarot and the Archetypal Journey
The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light
by Sallie Nichols

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols. Originally published as “Jung and the Tarot” with a 1980 copyright, and republished in 2019 by Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950. This is a 6 inch by 9 inch soft cover book with a matte color illustration on the front cover and a book description on the back cover. There are 398 pages with somewhat small black typeface printed on white paper; the quality of the printing is somewhat inferior, which could be why the images are not very clear and appear to be reprinted rather than original images. Tarot and the Archetypal Journey follows the Journey of the Fool through the Major Arcana and explores the connection between Tarot imagery and Jung’s archetypes.

We begin with a forward by Mary K. Greer and an introduction by Laurens van der Post. Then we dive right into one of those amazing rabbit holes one encounters whenever we delve a bit deeper into the Tarot. If you read nothing else in this book, the first two chapters, “Introduction to the Tarot” and “Map of the Journey” will bring powerful insight into the Tarot Majors/archetypes connection. But definitely don’t stop there or you will miss the meat of the book.

Nichols has chosen the Marseilles Tarot (one of the oldest designs) as her focus for this book, and that makes sense if we are exploring traditional Tarot imagery and symbolism. What makes the Marseilles Tarot a particularly valuable teaching tool for exploring the subconscious is this deck does not come with a traditional LWB or companion book; thus we can’t fall back on explanations conveniently provided by others but must find our own.

Despite the fact that Jung himself did not write much about the Tarot, Nichols has been able to offer an average of 7 to 15 pages dedicated to each of the 22 Major Arcana cards, offering images, symbolism, history, connections to other cards, and an in-depth explanation of the effects of the card’s corresponding archetype. That is a total of 345 pages of information! For example, there are 12 pages and two images in the section dedicated to the 16th card of the Majors, titled The Tower of Destruction: The Stroke of Liberation. Nichols speaks of the Biblical associations with this card, the association between lightning and a spiritual message, possible psychological interpretations for the figures falling from the tower, comparisons to contemplate with the images in The Magician, The Emperor, The Pope, The Popess (The High Priestess), The Hermit, The Hanged Man and The Devil.

After the detailed descriptions of the Major Arcana cards there is a chapter offering information about using the cards, an explanation of a Nine-Card Tarot Oracle Spread, some definitions, and references identifying the many images and direct quotes presented within this book.

This is not a how-to-read-the Tarot book, not necessarily a beginner’s book. It is a way to understand the power of Jungian archetypes in combination with the symbolism of the Major Arcana, how to understand them and use their power for personal evolution, and how to identify their effects in order to lessen their hold upon our lives. Nichols explains that once we begin to pay attention in this way to the characters inhabiting the Major Arcana, they will begin to pop up with regularity in our lives, offering us opportunities to get in touch in a more personal way with our cards and our psyche.

I am happy to have this book on my Tarot bookshelf; not that it will spend much time there. I’ll be reading it, often. I will be anticipating the effects of the cards and the archetypes on my daily life. After all, according to Sallie Nichols, “Strange things can happen when one confronts an archetype.”

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

July, 2019

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times July 2019

Bright Blessings!

It is almost Summer Solstice, and I realize I get to pick the topic as there is no Sabbat next issue!

Well…we are getting a lot of rain in Central Ohio, and on one hand, my plants just LOVE it, and it means I do not have to water them. Do those of you who garden notice that plants prefer being watered by rain than hose watering?

Mine do!

So, on one hand, I cannot really complain, but SO much rain! I remember some years ago, one June, it rained for nineteen days straight. NINETEEN. I am seeing stories in the news about flooding taking place in other towns, and mine does not have flooding issues because we have the Hoover Dam a few miles away as well as some very well built and well-maintained sewers in my town.

I’m feeling pretty thankful for that right now. I’d pack the dog and cats on my back, and swim away if this place flooded!

While rain is something people prayed for since as long as we can remember, flooding is NOT!

FLOODS!!!!!

I can only imagine how people felt in days of yore when there was a flood. Back before electricity and automobiles to drive us to safety, ship in supplies for rebuilding, and before TV forecasts helped alert people to evacuate. Lore exists that flooding was sent from some deity for some reason. The most famous of these stories is the one of Noah and his Ark.

(Woodcut of Noah’s Ark from Anton Koberger’s “German_Bible”)

I grew up listening to how mad the god of the Hebrews was at humanity, and decided to destroy them all- except Noah, who pleased him. So, he warned Noah to build a huge boat for his family, and all the animals, and go inside. He tried to warn his neighbors anyhow, and they laughed at him. Well, the story goes, when Noah was done, and his family and one male and one female of all the animals were safely inside, the rain started, and it rained so hard, the neighbors begged to be let into the boat. The door, however, was shut fast, and they could not let anybody in. For forty days and forty nights, Noah, his family, and the animals were safe in the ark, and eventually, the rain stopped, and they were able to go out and start life again. In the story, their god was sorry for destroying humanity, and sent the rainbow as a promise he would never destroy humanity with a flood again.

To me, it’s always been just another lore story, trying to explain floods. People believed it an act of a god, not an act of nature. What I did not know, is this story comes from even OLDER stories from non-Hebrews, but polytheistic Pagans!

The Deluge

Experts call these Deluge Myths, or Flood Myths, and while such stories exist in Hinduism and ancient Chinese sources, I am going to focus on Mesopotamian sources.

In The Epic of Gilgamesh, dated to 7th century BC. It tells us that the god Enlil becomes tired of the noise humanity makes, and decides to destroy all of them. But the god Ea, who created human beings out of blood an earth warns the human named Utnapishtim, telling him how to build a great boat so humanity may survive. Bits of this are contained in a marvelous book titled Near Eastern Mythology by John Gray, and here is an excerpt of what Ea told Utnapishtim:

“Give up possessions, seek thou life.

Forswear worldly goods and keep the soul alive!

Aboard the ship, take thou the seed of all living things.

This ship that thou shalt build,

Her dimensions shall be to measure.

Equal shall be her width and her length,

Like the Apsu that shalt ceil her.”

Then, after the ship is completed, the story further says:

“With the first glow of dawn,

A black cloud rose from the horizon.

Inside it Adad thunders,

While Shullat and Hanish go in front,

Moving as heralds over hill and plain.

Eragal tears out the posts:

Forth comes Ninurta and causes the dykes to overflow.

The Anunnaki lift up their torches,

Setting the land ablaze with their glare.

Consternation over Adad reaches to the heavens,

Who turned to blackness all that had been light.

The wide land was shattered like a pot:

For one day the storm wind blew,

Gathering speed as it blew, submerging the mountains,

Overtaking the people like battle.”

Clearly it is not ONE god, but those named working together to make this great flood destroy life.

Another myth from Sumeria about a hero king named Ziusudra relates a deluge as well. The writing is dated to the 17th century BC, and follows the same basic story-line as the Noah, and Gligamesh deluge with only a slight differences.

Evidence

I was able to find an incredible video explaining how the Tigris and Euphrates region flood every year and how it creates floods that devastate some years. Basically, there is snow on the mountains located nearby, and every spring, the snow melts, bringing with it fertile soil from the mountains, which make the farmlands great for growing things. Unfortunately, WHEN it happens is not always at the same time. Furthermore, HOW much water comes is unreliable also. Sometimes, you get almost no water or silt, and if this happens a few years in a row, the famine devastates. Other times, just the right amount of water comes, and it’s fantastic. Other times, WAY too much water comes, and sweeps away everything in its path, wiping out homes, farms, and pretty much ‘destroying the world.’ Many believe the story of the great floods possibly came from such an event.

Here is the video you can watch that explains the flooding cycles:

Beyond that, more than one expert in the field is convinced they can find exactly where that great deluge happened that inspired the stories, a researcher named Robert Ballard for one. A retired US Navy Officer, and professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, he is most famously known for his groundbreaking research of the USS Titanic, was convinced he can find where Noah’s flood was. Back in 2012, excited articles ran, stating he found a flooded shoreline, and was looking into that a lot. Nobody has inconclusively proven THE event that triggered all these myths, but one can understand how an entire shoreline being washed away and becoming permanently submerged in a catastrophic event that killed many triggered these stories. Here is one of the articles I read about Ballard and his research on the topic.

So What Now?

What does all of this mean to people today? Well…with Global Warming, rising sea levels due to polar ice cap melting, the easy to see demise of animals in Polar regions, and the warnings we have gotten from scientists, I am not convinced we won’t see another great deluge.

I hope we won’t, and I am convinced we can prevent it, but we have to start now, and never let up.

First off- WHAT is causing it?

Well, people. Naysayers will claim climate change happens from time to time anyhow, and refuse to believe humanity has the power to create it, but science states different. Temperatures are rising and that is making the ice melt. We are causing it in many ways, one of which is with our emissions from cars and energy use. While we are not going to just scrap technology and walk everyplace, or ride wagons or horses again, we can make a difference.

Instead of a spell or Sabbat rite, I am including a list of easy ways you can make a difference. BIG things can be done, and are being done, but most people don’t know the little things they can do at home that make a big impact.

As we are earth based, and worship the great mother, the earth being one of her embodiments, one of the best ways to worship her is to tend the earth.

Ten Small Ways to Fight Climate Change

  1. Reduce Trips- Reducing trips will reduce the amount of gas you use, thus reducing your emissions. My mom would bunch all the errands into one trip and go in a circle from the house, calculating the shortest possible trip, thus saving gas. Back then, it was about saving money, but it saved the air too. Carpool if you can, and instead of long rides places, go for walks in the park or in your neighborhood. There are many ways you can reduce trips, and thus save yourself from using more fossil fuels.
  2. Use less power at home- Shut the lights off in the rooms you are not using, and when it is time to buy a new appliance, buy the most energy efficient one you can afford. Also, take a look at your insulation and windows. Do those need an upgrade? Our sliding glass door lets air leak out, and in the next year or two we are getting a new one- it is 50 years old, after all, as are the windows!!!!! Our insulation was redone last year, making me need to run the thermostat way less. We also dress FOR the season, meaning we do not crank our heat up to 80 in winter and run around in shorts. I like to run the air conditioner cold, and am working to turn it higher. We also do what our mothers said and do not “run in and out the door” letting the air out!
  3. Plant things- Yes. Cultivating the earth keeps it healthy and producing. Planting native plants does wonders for your ecosystem, supporting insect and animal life. Unless you are allergic, plant as many bee and pollinator friendly plants as possible, and grow some fruits, herbs, and veggies. It is also a good way to get you closer to mother earth and in sync with her seasons. Take good care of your plants, and don’t neglect them. This will also get you outdoors more, and acclimated to the outside temperature instead of being cooped up in a climate controlled box.
  4. Buy secondhand- Not only does this save money in the long run, but it helps keep things from rotting in the landfills. An added bonus is this ensures you are always finding interesting things, and your home will be filled with unique conversation pieces!
  5. Donate- Don’t throw away the good stuff! It can be somebody else’s treasure, raise money for a charitable thrift shop, and keep good things from rotting in the landfill.
  6. Reduce- They used to ask us all to recycle before discovering the energy used to do so causes horrible pollution, and about 1/3 of our recycled good rot in landfills or get dumped in the ocean. #4 and #5 denoted suggestions of how to reuse- but we also have to reduce what we use to begin with. If there is less demand for more to be produced, that reduces emissions are factories, saves YOU money, is a win- win for us all. The main thing people are currently focused on is using less single use plastics, but I would go a step further. Do you really need to buy that thing on sale when you have two of the same at home? If you have plenty of clothes, why are you buying more? How many tubes of pink lipstick do you need? Get in the habit of living with less in as many ways as possible. It becomes habit and spills over into all aspects of your life after a time.
  7. Do the local thing- It’s become a cliché saying these days, but it is true. Support local businesses as much as possible. Buy goods and services that have been produced nearby as often as possible. It’s not financially doable for some things- I cannot afford $10 for local honey when it would be $4 for the same size honey from the grocery, but maybe you can buy tomatoes at the farm stand all summer instead of the grocery, or maybe even once or twice. Maybe local food is not doable, but hiring a local contractor instead of somebody from out of town is. That would mean less gas is used for the professional to come do the job. You can also try to get them to use local materials if at all possible, and tell everybody in your town what good work they do, giving them future references so they get hired more.
  8. Do the local fun stuff- Like buying local, instead of heading out of town for every vacation of long weekend, why not check out the goings on in your own community? I worked at a local cavern, and I cannot tell you how many customers came in, said how much they loved their visit, and said they had lived nearby all their lives and never bothered to stop in. BUT they had gone to caves and caverns out of town. Why? Unless you live in hometown nowhere, and are dying to get out, check out the local scene. My hometown, for example is Westerville, Ohio. In my town, all Friday nights in late Spring through early Fall has something called Fourth Fridays in the historic district where all shops and restaurants have open houses. There are street vendors, shows, and art and handmade food and goods are everyplace. There is something similar 20 miles away and in other towns an hour or two away, but I can go two miles and do it all close to home! You would not think such a small town would have such fun goings on, but as people like to have fun, most towns certainly do.
  9. Share what you do- I don’t advocate proselytizing or preaching at people, but when everybody is talking about their lifestyle, share yours. If there is a program or even a website you know of that gives suggestions and resources for how to reduce emissions and fight global warming, talk about it when the time is right. Teach your children, and friends about it, and keep the good things going.
  10. Vote- That’s another cliché piece of advice, but if we vote fpr people who have a track record of putting things in action that combat global warming, they are going to be in the position to keep doing it. Many people I know insist they do this by voting with their pocketbook. If they think a company is doing horrible things, they don’t buy from them, and they tell everybody else not to buy there also. A lot of people boycott Hobby Lobby or Chick Fil A due to disagreeing with their values. But that in, and of itself is simply not enough. You have to also buy from the people who uphold what you DO value. Still, that is simply not enough. As we saw from the campaign in the 20th century to “Buy American Made Only”, it did not stop companies from sending jobs and manufacturing centers overseas anyhow. As many people boycott Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby, they are still open, and nobody can change how the owners and CEO’s operate, and none of us can control all the throngs of people who agree with them. We must demand through voting politically, that our lawmakers create change, and just boycotting one store or one product is not going to fix it all. People get very angry with me when I say these things, but the issue is not ONE store or restaurant. It is a system we have in place which allows things like this to happen. We have to dismantle the system instead of bitching about one store or one cause. Say you are against slave labor and low wages. Do you know how many companies literally use it? Nestle, Nike, and Starbucks for a few- and Nestle is responsible for approximately 2,000 brands in over 150 countries. Most Americans use Nestle goods. They are just one of many corrupt organizations that has a lot of things out there drawing business. We have to have people in lawmaking who get the power away from companies and individuals to make these horrible things happen to begin with.

If you want an idea of how big Nestle is, look at this Wikipedia list– I bet you have some of their products at home!

The earth will be better off once humanity goes extinct, some of us say! But I don’t know if that is ever going to happen, so we have to do the best we can to turn things around as well as we can.

As I finish writing this, a major downpour just finished at my condos, and my cat hid out someplace until it eased off, then she came home soaking wet to treats and cuddles. If our home was swept away, where would she have to come in from the rain? Our pets, children, and all our loved ones are depending on us to protect them and to prevent disasters from global warming.

May the rains bless us and be all we need, but not too much, and may we make it be so.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

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