August, 2013

Merry Meet Readers!

August, 2013

Welcome to the August Issue of PaganPages!

While you are avoiding the heat and staying in, we thought we’d give you something good to read!

Be sure to visit us on our Etsy Site for Beautiful Jewelry, Supplies, and Goodies.

 

We are currently looking for a columnist to review blogs, sites, podcasts, etc…  If you are interested email [email protected]

 

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Nelland Living

August, 2013

Eating Plan for Lughnasadh

I have always loved to compose eating plans for myself. They make life so much easier, because they eliminate the trouble of daily pondering on what to cook. With a plan I know what to make, and can be sure I get enough variety in my diet.

  Healthy food and decadent desserts have always been my thing. Eating is fun, I admit, and I like to eat until my stomach is really full. The secret to staying in my normal weight range by eating a lot, is paying attention to what I eat. This eating plan does just that. I can eat as much as I want, and still not gain weight.
  In my plan for Lughnasadh I draw influence from the Japanese and macrobiotic cooking. In Litha I focused on cutting out excess fat from my diet, and now it is time to tackle sugar.
  Our family is plagued by a large sweet tooth. I totally blame my Grandfather (easy to blame someone who has already passed away =)!  He was a positive, friendly, and happy man, my hero. But the sweet tooth on him… oh dear. For as far back to my childhood, as I can remember, he only had two of his own teeth left. He used fasle teeth of course, so the two didn´t stand out  in any way. But his two own teeth were a legend even when he was still here with us. He had even named his teeth. One was Max and the other Moritz. And I´m sure those bad guys are the sweet teeth behind all of the genes that make me like sugar so much. Bad teeth! They made my grandpa grab chunks of pure sugar from the coffee table, after everything else, the cakes and cookies, were already cleaned out. Despite of all the sugary foods he ate, Max and Moritz endured until the end of his days.

Here is my Max and Moritz-defying eating plan:

 

 

 

Breakfast:
Mon – Fri:
cooked whole grains (brown rice, rolled oats or barley, quinoa, millet, etc.)
miso soup (water, 1-2 types of vegetables, sea salt, tofu/legumes, 1 tsp miso paste)
salad (greens topped with a pinch of salt, and served with a wedge of lemon)
Sat – Sun:
whole grain bread with 1 tsp agave syrup per slice
a green juice/smoothie (1 cup of greens, 5 cm piece of cucumber, 1 apple, a dash of lemon juice blended in a blender until smooth)
Lunch:
sandwich (filled with raw or cooked veggies, tofu/bean mash seasoned with soy sauce, green leaves, all seasoned with balsamic vinegar)
herbal infusion to drink
Dinner:
cooked grains (quinoa and corn, brown rice, barley, noodles, etc.)
cooked veggies (any seasonal, alone or mixed)
skillet-fried protein (bean patties, tofu, textured soy protein chunks, or fish once in ten days)
Evening snack:
berries with plain or vanilla flavoured soy yogurt

(if more hungry, rice cakes with a little coconut oil and honey)

 

 

 

Breakfast salad: simple seasonal greens, a pinch of sea salt, served with a wedge of lemon.

 

 

 

Breakfast soup: textured vegetable protein or tofu, some veggie(s), a pinch of sea salt, water, and 1 tsp miso.

 

 

 

Breakfast grain pictured: rolled barley flakes cooked in water with a pinch of sea salt.
An eating plan is a guideline, not a rule, so I can go with the flow and make exceptions to it if I want. The plan is here to help me, not to restrict me! But it often turns out I rarely get the sudden burst of extra energy and time to prepare something extraordinarily fantastic, out of the plan. After all, I do live in the real world, not a fantasy land.
  Happy days!
-Nella-

P.S. If you want to see my eating plan for Litha, to which I referred, you can go to my blog Greetings From Nelland!

 

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Spell-Struck

August, 2013

5 Steps of Grieving Blend

 

 

We are all on different paths, going through different experiences, but some things are the same for everyone. One of those is the five steps of the grieving process that we all must face and walk through when there is a major loss in our lives.

Those five stages of the grieving process are:

1-Denial-“this can’t be happening to me”, looking for the former spouse in familiar places, or if it is a death, setting the table for the person or acting as if they are still living there. Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss.

2-Anger-“why me?”, feelings of wanting to fight back or get even with spouse of divorce, for death, anger at the deceased, blaming them for leaving.

3-Bargaining-bargaining often takes place before the loss. Attempting to make deals with the spouse who is leaving, or attempting to make deals with God to stop or change the loss. Begging, wishing, praying for them to come back.

4-Depression-overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning loss of person as well as the hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Feeling lack of control, feeling numb. Perhaps feeling suicidal.

5-Acceptance-there is a difference between resignation and acceptance. You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly. Realization that it takes two to make or break a marriage. Realization that the person is gone. Finding the good that can come out of the pain of loss, finding comfort and healing. Our goals turn toward personal growth. Stay with fond memories of person.

These stages are necessary; they do happen.  We don’t always go through them at the same time, or in the same order.  There is no right way to grieve; no wrong way.

How Aromatherapy Can Help the Healing Process: 

Aromatherapy is a very true, scientifically proven method of alternative medicine that works through the persons’ olfactory senses and stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands and works through changing body chemistry via the brain to bring about a desired effect.

Only true plant extracts (100% essential oils) can be medicinal. Synthetic fragrances may alter a mood (via a good memory, nice fragrance, etc.), but they are not TRUE fragrances that have medicinal qualities such as the steam distillation from plants.
Note About The Spell:

It is a good idea before doing this spell, that you get a good quality 100% pure essential oil that YOU enjoy the scent of.  More than it’s properties, or anything else, your enjoyment of this scent needs to be primary.  It is best if it is a blend of true essential oils or a single essential oil that you like.  Any will do.  Before we get to the spell, here are some ways to enjoy the oil you chose (make sure if it is 100% essential oils only, that you blend with a carrier oil (olive, vegetable oil is fine) – a couple of drops of the essential oil to a tablespoon of the carrier oil.

This oil may be used as a full body massage as often as desired. Use 10 drops in the bath water AFTER the water has been run (otherwise the oils may evaporate and lose their effect.) Put a few drops on a cotton ball; place the cotton in a ziploc baggie and put in your purse or pocket and take with you throughout the day. Breathe a few deep inhalations from the cotton ball as often as desired throughout the day at the first signs of these symptoms:

*as soon as you notice fatigue
*desire to get away from people
*feeling of being overwhelmed
*feelings of depression or loneliness
*feelings of anger
*feelings of sadness
*loss of appetite
*can’t sleep

When you use/inhale/massage your oil at the start of these symptoms, you are showing your subsconscious mind that you care and are caring for yourself, no matter what feelings may exist.  All feelings, negative or positive are understandable and okay when you’re grieving.  Taking care of yourself is very important.

MAGICKAL / PRAYER/ RITUAL USE:

May use at any moon phase.  If the moon is waning, focus on your letting go (even if it’s a teensy bit) of the loved one that has passed.  If you’re not ready for that step, wait till the New Moon (dark moon) and the waning phase to the full moon to use the ritual in bringing peace, well-being, clarity of mind, joy, settling of spirit to you.  Use a bright and cheery color (yellow, orange, pink, red, white) candle during your spell.  (for letting go spells as mentioned earlier, use a darker candle or black—white always works if you don’t have any other color.)

  • Anoint Yourself with your chosen oil
  • Set up candle of your choice in front of you on your altar or wherever you are sitting (anoint candle first with oil)
  • Choose an incense that is pleasing to you.  One that possibly brings back good memories if possible.

Make this as simple as necessary.  If you’re grieving, you may be angry at God(s) and not care about candle colors, spells, etc.  Do this when/if you are ready.  Loss is horrid.  Of any kind.

Just focus and say from the heart; change words as necessary and use this daily as you need.  Allow yourself what time you need/boundaries/etc. to heal.  Cry, don’t cry, it’s all okay.

Grief so painful,

Spinning inside,

Punching my gut,

Till all I can do is cry.

My God and Goddess hear this scream that

doesn’t even sound like me; so it must be a dream;

A nightmare more like it; that has no end,

Come to my side, my aid, and help me mend.

Over to you I give all I have

For I no longer seem to care –

Lead my on the right path.

‘an harm it none; this cry is done.

Morika Bernhard, July 21, 2013 – in honor of my son, William Reese who died on February 16, 2013.  I love you Will—I miss you so.  Still Grieving So.

 

 

 

Under The New Moon, http://www.underthenewmoon.com  / Morika Bernhard, Owner

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Lughnasadh Correspondences

August, 2013

(Loo-nas-ah) Major Sabbat (High Holiday) – Fire Festival August 1, 2

Other Names: Lunasa (meaning August), Lughnasaad, Lughnasa Celtic),First Harvest, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas, Feast of Bread, Tailltean Games(Irish), Teltain Cornucopia (Strega), Ceresalia (Ancient Roman) Harvest Home, Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas (Christian). Laa Luanys, Elembious, Festival of Green Corn (Native American)

Animals and Mythical beings: Griffins, Basilisks, Roosters, Calves, Centaurs, Phoenix

Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamonds, citrine

Incense and Oils: wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood

Colors: red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray

Tools, Symbols, and Decorations: corn, cornucopias, red, yellow flowers, sheaves of grain (wheat, barley, oats), first fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, spear, cauldron, sickle, scythe, threshing tools, sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, bilberries, God figures made of bread or cookie dough, phallic symbols

Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh&’s wife & queen ), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman grain goddess .. honored at Ceresalia), the Barley Mother, Seelu (Cherokee), Corn Mother, Isis (Her birthday is celebrated about this time), Luna (Roman Moon Goddess), other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess

Gods: Lugh (Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan), John Barley Corn, Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), Dagon (Phoenician Grain God), Tammuz/ Dummuzi (Sumerian), Dionysus, plus all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed
blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods & Tanus (Gaulish Thunder God), Taranis (Romano-Celtic Thunder God), Tina, (Etruscan-Thunder God), the waning God

Essence: fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty , The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)

Meaning: Lugh’s wedding to Mother Earth, Birth of Lugh; Death of Lugh, Celtic Grain Festival

Purpose: Honoring the parent Deities, first harvest festival, first fruits grains & drink to the Goddess in appreciation of Her bounty, offering loaves of sacred bread in the form of the God (this is where the Gingerbread Man originated)

Rituals and Magicks: astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started

Customs and Activities: games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing ’round a corn mother (doll)

Foods: loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer

Herbs: grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat, myrtle

Element: Fire

Gender: Female

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Bare Feet on an Earth Path

August, 2013

   Not too long ago, I was pondering something that had been on my mind for some time.  As a past conservative creationist Christian, it had been somewhat difficult for me to reconcile my spirituality with evolution.  Not because paganism conflicts with evolution in any way. In fact, I’ve found that most pagans love science and are quick to point out just how well it can coexist with new scientific knowledge.  So if there was no contradictory theology, what was the problem?  It was something that built up slowly, with every biology teacher who taught about humans’ place in evolution as if we came along just like any other animal, and might just as easily fade away to be replaced by others.  I thought I needed to find a way to look at evolution that would make life seem… meaningful.  Not like some completely arbitrary event, where the Divine stood back one day, shocked, and exclaimed, “Oh look!  I, the Universe, have accidentally made some humans!”  But as I thought more about the problem, the real issue hit me for the first time. 

   I didn’t want to be just an animal.  Which is a terrible thing to be if an animal is a simple life form that lives and passes away while we, the superior humans, linger on in the Universal Goo or the Summerlands or wherever it is you think we end up.  I wasn’t seeing the world around me from a pagan perspective at all.  As much as I tried to distance myself from my faith of origin, I was still seeing life through the lens of a Christian worldview.

   As I thought about it further, I realized that being “just an animal” is a complete non-issue for a pagan.  Because the Divine is immanent, that spark, that spirit, is just as present in the plants and animals around us as it is in us.  Over the next couple of days, I probed my beliefs about animals and, in fact, everything around me. Did animals have souls, I wondered. What is a soul? Did plants? And I came to the conclusion that, for me, believing that all life around me has some sort of animus, or spirit, helps me to reconcile my spirituality with the reality of the world and its history.

   We pagans focus a lot on the spiritual side of ourselves and understand that what we see and that which is most obvious is not all that there is. Though we may disagree about the details, many of us at least agree that there’s more to being human than the bodies we move in and the minds we think with.  That spirit within us communes with the spirits within the trees as we listen to them whisper words on the wind, and with the spirits within the animals as we watch them cautiously forage for food and dart away at the slightest sound. 

   I began to look at my pets in a different way.  If the spirit, or soul, is that truest part of us, then the fact that they couldn’t understand my words didn’t make them less than me. On another level, perhaps their spirits could acknowledge and understand mine. I had been holding on to the Christian theological idea that man was made in the image of God, while other animals were lesser and under our care. That our possession of a self-aware intellect, that thing that scientists say sets us apart from other animals, did, in fact, make us superior to those animals. To be able to think about the world around us is an awesome thing, but I don’t think it makes us superior, and I don’t think that ability is the highest or most important part of us.

 

   Maybe, as humans, we are just animals.  But I’ve finally realized that it’s okay that our abilities and characteristics were inherited over time through the slow process of evolution, like those of all the other species. Maybe it’s even okay if, in the millenia to come, Homo Sapiens pass away entirely, to be replaced by some other species more fit than we.  Being “just an animal” is no big deal, really.  The spark within us is made of the same stuff, after all, no matter the outer guise we wear. 

 

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.”
-Chief Seattle, 1854
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Musings of a Hereditary Witch

August, 2013

My Grandma

My grandma was the first Elder that I knew. She was a second generation witch and the main teacher of our family path. Grandma was independent, strong, wise, a champion for justice, compassionate, funny, and pouted when she couldn’t get her way. Grandma loved history and Zane Grey novels.

We would go on walks in the fields and hills and everything had a meaning. She would point and say things: “A spider’s web can be used to clot blood” or “See these puff balls (a kind of fungus), once they are dry, you can open them and use the powder as an antibiotic”. I learned many things from grandma about energy, nature, earth tides and the cycles of birth, life and death. She introduced me to the guardian of our land, to other nature spirits, to the moon and the sun, among the specifics to our family path. Everything with her was a lesson in nature and magic.

Grandma wasn’t just respected as an Elder in our family. She was also respected in the local community. Family and friends would come to her for advice, readings, healing and help when they got into trouble. She helped those less fortunate by giving to needy families, getting someone a job or having them help out around the ranch. Everyone landed on grandma’s doorstep.

It wasn’t often that we would have the veterinarian come out to check on one of the cows or horses, but when we did, grandma was right there learning whatever she could from them. Often friends or family would bring a sick or injured animal (wild or domestic) to the house for her to nurse. I remember there was always some animal she was tending; fox, fawn, calf, even a turkey vulture.

Her fondness was for birds, especially quail. No quail hunting on the property. I once watched her gently catch a hummingbird in her cupped hands and then releasing it to flutter around her. Her lesson: to be quietly one with nature.  She would often trade the cats for a bird they had caught (one that was injured not dead) by giving them tuna or some beef. I think the cats got wise because they began bringing birds that were just mouthed and not bitten to the front porch for a trade.

Grandma was well liked and respected in the community. She got city water to the local ranchers by donating acreage to the water district for a pump station, so that the children would have good drinking water. She was a volunteer for blood drives and rummage sales. She was an activist and fought the city, county and the local environmental groups for over 30 years; to keep her property from annexation or being forced to turn it over to the state park. That land is still in my family thanks to Grandma. She was a 5’ force to be reckoned with. Grandma was my hero and I like to think that I’m a lot like her.

In Loving Memory
Grandma
1902 – 2001

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Astro Report for August 2013

August, 2013

Wheel of Year info

Lughnasadh (Lammas/Loaf-mass)

Thursday, August 1, 2013 – 6:11 am EDT (sunrise)

 

Names: Lammas, Lughnasadh, Festival of Lugh, August Eve (July 31st), Loafmas, Festival of Bread, 1st Harvest, Bread Harvest, Festival of First Fruits, Gwyl Galan Awst (Welsh)

Date: Aug 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve at sunset – July 31st)

Astro correspondence: 15 degrees Leo
Color: tans, oranges, yellows and reds

Food: grains, cakes, breads, fresh fruits, mushrooms, lamb, berry pies, wine, ale, beer

Common Info: Story of Lugh, Handfasting/Handparting, 1st Harvest Fest (grains mostly), Story of John Barleycorn as the Corn King (corn is synonymous with grain),

 

Lughnasadh is the Sabbat that celebrates Lugh, the God of the Sun. The date is typically the 1st day of August although some folks begin to celebrate at sunset the day before, July 31st or when the Sun enters 15′ degrees Leo, which is ruled by the Sun. It is the first harvest festival. Foods sacred are typically grains of all sorts, vegetables off the bush or fruits off the vine. Breads and barley meads are custom as well. This Sabbat is also known as Lammas or the Mass of the Loaf (Loafmas). Sheaths of grain are usually hung on walls to represent prosperity. John Barleycorn is sacrificed and buried in the fields to promote a healthy growth for the following growing season.

The Tailtu Games are warrior games that honored Lugh’s mother. They are reminiscent of the Olympic Games, but from another time and culture.

 

 

Yod Configuration – Sun, Moon, Mars and Pluto

Thursday, August 1, 2013 – 9:00 am EDT

A Yod consists of two Planets in Sextile with another Planet in Quincunx (aka Inconjunct) to the other two. There are three Planets in a triangle formation which aspect each other from the Earth’s perspective. A Yod can be a source of irritation and frustration, because of the harsh Quincunx attempting to re-align its energy with the softer, more pliable sextile aspect.

 

When the Sun is Quincunx Pluto, we get power adjusting to or with a transformation. Working within your means as you evolve helps to assure success in your personal endeavors.

 

When the Moon is Quincunx Pluto, we get emotional discomfort within our evolution. Take your time and make any necessary changes with a grain of salt. Set your own pace.

 

Add to this that the Sun and Moon are Sextile each other, which creates an easy support to that transformation of personal and emotional power.

 

Compound all of this energy with a Boomerang effect with Mars as the rebounding center Planet between the Sun and Moon in a semi-sextile aspect each and in opposition to Pluto. When it seems that change is inevitable, embrace it with all you have and take action. Else, you will feel it in the end.

 

 

New Moon in Leo at 14 degrees

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – 5:50 pm EDT

Emotions run high when the New Moon is in Leo. As a Sign, Leo tends to be rather loyal to family matters. So, when a New Moon happens in Leo, we see a variety of emotional aspects within the family. It’s a good time to spend time with the family and start something new that helps tie the bonds of family.

 

Mercury enters Leo

Thursday, August 8, 2013 – 8:01 am EDT

Communications surround family matters when Mercury enters Leo. Remember to open up with family members, because blood is thicker than water. After that New Moon energy, Mercury helps further aspects of family talks, which continue to tie the bonds of family.

 

Venus enters Libra

Friday, August 16, 2013 – 11:21 am EDT

Venus comes home to its Rulership Sign!! Ah, that feels good! The Planet of love, art and beauty can find peace for a moment. She is all about finding a happy medium in her life and surroundings. Be warned, though; she can also find happiness in playing the devil’s advocate, too.

 

Adhik Maas Full Moon in Aquarius

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 – 9:44 pm EDT

Adhik Maas Moons are when the Sun does not transit or travel from one Sign to another within the Lunar Full Moon period. Generally speaking from one Full Moon to the next, the Sun will transit or travel from one Sign to another. However, every 32 months or so, the Sun remains in the same Sign while the Moon revolves around the Earth. On the average, it takes the Sun 30 days to travel from one Sign to the next – that’s approximately one degree per day. It takes the Moon about 29 days to go around the Earth. There are moments when the Sun enters a Sign and then hours to a day later, there will be a Full Moon. The Moon will travel around the Earth within its 29 cycle and then become another Full Moon hours to a day before the Sun enters the next Sign. Thus, there will be TWO Full Moons within the same Sign.

 

So how does that affect us? Most Astrologers will associate the full-potential energy of the Moon to its Full Moon energy. When there are 2 Full Moons in the same Sign, that energy is doubled. Would you say that you get a second chance with that fulfilling energy? Sure. You could also conclude that you get to repeat a few things, too.
A Full Moon in Aquarius brings emotional independence. Where co-dependency used to thrive, it no longer does. It is a time for folks to take a stand and be firm in their beliefs and faiths. It will be difficult to budge opinions, when folks are emotionally set in their ways. People will make their own decisions and make appropriate transitions for the Path they walk. Here’s a second chance at that energy.

 

Native Lore

Native Americans named their Moons when they were Full. The season or time of year would help assign the name of the Full Moon. In August, the Natives of North America, specifically New England states, would call this Full Moon the Green Corn Moon, since the corn was ready to harvest. Or it was called the Grain Moon when the grain was ready for harvesting. Natives surrounding the Great Lakes would name this Full Moon the Sturgeon Moon, when sturgeons were mostly abundant. Occasionally, the Full Moon of August would be called the Full Red Moon, because of the amazing hue it would have while it rose above the horizon in the evening.

 

 

Sun enters Virgo – Happy Birthday, Virgo!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013 – 6:50 pm EDT

Logical thinking and sound judgments come easily for you when the Sun enters its ride thru Virgo. Unfortunately, the whim of putting off until tomorrow what you could do today is overwhelming. It will be easy to analyze situations and come up with multiple solutions. It’ll be a better time to make the right choice that best fits your interests. Stress and nervous tensions could be tentative. Remember to take time out for you to reduce stress and tension. Find a quiet place and try to meditate over the past summer and see where you need to go forward into the Fall.

 

 

Mercury enters Virgo

Friday, August 23, 2013 – 6:24 pm EDT

Mercury finally comes home again in its Rulership Sign of Virgo. Communications should become rather comfortable. Open discussions promote practical conversations. When speaking, make sure you say exactly what you need to say – short and sweet. Offer simple answers that avoid clouding issues. Stay on topic.

 

 

Mercury conjuncts Sun in Virgo – 1 degree

Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 – 4:36 pm EDT

Mercury chases the Sun in a most peculiar way. The Planet of Communication chugs thru the Solar Express with all whistles blowing. As Mercury begins its trek behind the Sun, you will notice the excitement of being well-grounded in your expressive thoughts and inner power. Your versatility to follow thru on your promises will show others that you are willing to try your best.

 

 

Mars enters Leo

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – 9:48 pm EDT

Authority takes action. Be determined to offer definitive opinions when confronted by aggressive people. Don’t take “NO” for an answer when you need to hear “YES”. Be assertive in your own actions by being confident. Trust yourself to do the right thing – always. Avoid regret later by knowing that whatever you do, is for the right reason at the time.

 

 

There are no Planets going Retrograde in August 2013. Woo-Hoo!

 

 

There are no Planets switching gears and going Direct in August 2013. Aw, shucks…

 

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A Year And A Day

August, 2013

Wiccan Basics

 

There are very few ‘rules’ in Wicca.  In fact, a lot of people like the fact that there is no rulebook, dogma or strict hierarchy in Wicca.  Of course, this varies between traditions, as some groups have more guidelines then others.

 

Rulebook or not, there are a few key tenets that most Wiccans follow, such as the Wiccan Rede, the Rule of Three, and even the Thirteen Principles of Wiccan Belief as set out by the American Council of Witches in 1974.

 

Wiccan Rede

The Wiccan Rede provides a common moral system for those practicing Wicca and other pagan religions.  Doreen Valiente first published the famous ‘eight word’ couplet in 1964, “Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will”.  The long Rede below came from Earth Religion News in 1974.

 

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.

Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

 

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.

To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

 

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.

Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again.

 

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.

Widdershins go when the moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

 

When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.

When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart’s desire seek.

 

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.

When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.

 

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.

When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

 

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.

Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.

 

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God’s insight.

Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.

 

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.

Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.

 

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.

White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.

 

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.

Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.

 

Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.

Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

 

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it’s now Samhain.

When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.

 

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.

As the wheel turns to Lammas night power is brought to magick rite.

 

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.

When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.

 

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.

When the Sun has reached its height time for Oak and Holly to fight.

 

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.

Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you’ll be.

 

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you’ll know.

When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.

 

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.

Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

 

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.

When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.

 

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill: “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”  

 

Rule of Three

Some Wiccan groups follow the Rule of Three, also known as the Threefold Law or the Law of Return.  The Rule of Three states that any energy you put out into the universe (negative or positive) will be returned to you threefold, like a system of ‘cause and effect’.  Some liken this to the Buddhist view of Karma, or even the Christian ‘Golden Rule’.  There are many variations of the Rule of Three, with one being taken from the Wiccan Rede:

 

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should, three times bad and three times good.

 

Thirteen Goals of a Witch

Scott Cunningham included these ‘Thirteen Goals of a Witch’ in his very popular book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.  Although written more recently then the Rede, many Wiccans try to stay true to these guidelines, in both their mundane and magical lives.

 

I.             Know Yourself

II.            Know your Craft

III.           Learn

IV.          Apply knowledge with wisdom

V.            Achieve balance

VI.          Keep your words in good order

VII.         Keep your thoughts in good order

VIII.        Celebrate life

IX.           Attune with the cycles of the Earth

X.            Breath and eat correctly

XI.           Exercise the body

XII.         Meditate

XIII.        Honor the God and Goddess

 

As there is no central authority figure, dogma, or ‘Bible’ in Wicca, it promotes independence and personal responsibility.  It allows each person to determine their own ethical balance as opposed to being told how to live their lives.  And although this can sometimes be hard, it is very empowering!

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiccan_Rede

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_Three_(Wicca)

http://www.religioustolerance.org/wicrede.htm

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NATURE ALCHEMY ~ Journey through Spirit in the Natural World

August, 2013

UNFURLING FERN

~ Gift of Birth ~

 

 

“I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.” ~ T. S. Eliot

 

Upon the great forest floor, ferns thrive abundantly. They also grow within a wide variety of habitats – from remote mountain heights to arid desert rock crevices, to wetland environs or in sweeping meadows. As an ancient plant, ferns are older than the dinosaurs. They first appear in the fossil record of the Carboniferous geologic period 360 million years ago, and were thriving on earth 2oo million years before the first flowering plants evolved. What can be said about Fern is that it enthusiastically survives through the mystery of birth and death! During the Victorian era, when flower symbology was a popular passion in the beloved “language of flowers” trend, Fern was regarded as possessing magickal qualities, and its motif was ardently replicated in many forms. In esoteric terms, the visual wonder of viewing the birth of fern fronds from fiddleheads can imbue a spiritual sense of the miraculous. Unfurling upwards from a tight feathered spiral, the fiddlehead truly expresses the profound act of birth in all life. Let our eyes wander and marvel at this mysterious beauty of perfection, for we are, in the deepest sense, eternally birthing ourselves in the one energy of Unfurling Fern.

 

~ FERN SPIRIT POWER MESSAGE ~

We abound the earth with feathers, wings, and light!

Ho, we give birth to you!

With our curling and unfurling delight,

We show you the birth of Self within.

Watch our soft form take shape

Before your very eyes,

And know that We are One with you!

For our Spirit and yearning for life

Grows strong within you.

 

 ~ FERN ELEMENTS AND SYMBOLOGY ~

Through the physical and spiritual realms of the Five Kingdoms in Nature:

Celestial, Elemental, Fauna, Flora, and Mineral

Nebulae – the interstellar birthplace of stars. Nebulae is a stellar nursery composed of hydrogen clouds of gas and dust. As dense parts of these clouds compress due to gravitational forces, a slowly rotating globule is formed. The globule is then cooled by emitting infrared radiation and radio waves, but as gravitational forces overcome the gas pressure, it collapses and rotates, and then cools again as spinning increases. The spin, pressure, and temperature all begin to greatly intensify. At this point, the collapsed globule transforms into a swirling protoplanetary disk with a central core that becomes a star. Thus, the birth of a star is created within this same magickal spiraling motion as Unfurling Fern! And the death of the globule has transcended into a bright new star. Birth and death are one and the same. From the great mysterious, the sacred Source of Life births all things. Erich Fromm, German humanistic philosopher, innately expressed, “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.” And who can we be, besides our self? Ah, therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare so clearly put to us! Or, as he so cleverly queried: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” We have here, the inspection of who we are. We are born, and from that minute moment, are eternally creating who we are. Our potential is infinite, and from here, wherever we are NOW, we move forward and express endlessly, our new Self, over and over and over, as our old self dies to be reborn again. We are like the death of the globule transcending into a new star – ad infinitum. Birth and death are one and the same. This is the Sacred Circle of Life. Let us join with all life, and celebrate its boundless expression of manifestation! This is the glorious eternal Gift of Birth.

Earth Birth – the seed source of life physically revealing itself. Mother Earth is the awakened being of fertility. She bestows the Gift of Birth to all earth organisms, embracing the sacredness of mystical conception. Earth Birth is the genesis, the dawn of biological life, from whence we all spring. Upon contemplation, this can guide us to the realization that we all come from One – one earth, one life, one source. Medieval German philosopher and mystic, Meister Eckhart, perceived, “We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity… But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me.With this profound statement, we can sense that Oneness is the sacred foundation of all life. Eternal birth is life, of which we are all a part; therefore, we are a part of each other – from the celestial, to the elemental, to the fauna, to the flora, to the mineral – We Are All One! This is the hidden beauty of the Gift of Birth.

Ancient Animal Diet – fern provides fuel through the ages. Published in the journal of Mammalian Biology, it is noted that the ancient fern played an important role in the era of dinosaurs. It dominated much of the plant life during the Triassic and Jurassic eras. Ferns were a favorite food, and important bulk staple, in the giant herbivore dinosaurs’ food regimen, especially for the low-slung species who grazed closer to the ground.  And, although ferns contains some toxins, many modern vegetarian mammals, birds, and insects consume certain parts of the plant, i.e., spores, tender shoots, and/or leaves. The creative Fern certainly has contributed to the birth of history! And what is our contribution? Quintessential Shakespeare perceived, “We have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.” What he was alluding to is this: some fern spores are so small, they are invisible to the human eye. Plants were considered to gift their bearers with like qualities, so we could therefore become invisible. Even though we may think our lives, throughout time, can become obscure, I assure you this is not the case! Like exquisite Unfurling Fern, we have been born with precious gifts, and these energies pass throughout the annals of time, blessing all in the realm of the seen and unseen. So, bless yourself your birth…it truly is a miracle beheld by life!

Fern – a part of 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. The word fern is derived from the ancient Anglo-Saxon word fearn, meaning “feather”, and refers to its graceful plumed appearance. Most ferns have fiddleheads which grow into delicately divided, graceful fronds. The tightly curled fiddlehead is the visual epitome of natural nativity, as it unfurls into the beauty of a full frond.  So, what does a fern leaf symbolize? It always grows again – the rebirth of Spring ever new! “Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.” This exquisite quote by German philosopher, arthur Schopenhauer, beautifully expresses the poetry of life through the eyes of Spring. Life meets itself, over and over, through the rising and falling of birth and death. We can look upon Unfurling Fern as a powerful spiritual totem and engaging guide to live within this flowing realm with grace, like its feathery fronds, offering splendid lightness to the art of living.

Emerald – a precious gemstone with green spectral coordinates between blue and yellow. Emerald was prized by Cleopatra more than any other gem, and an emerald of the right shade of green is a treasure more highly prized than the diamond. Emerald is the sacred stone and ancient personification of the Goddess Venus, who bestows love, beauty, and fertility, and as a jewel relating to the Heart Chakra vibrating Love, it embraces and balances all aspects of life. As a multi-cultural symbol of faith, hope, and love through the ages, Emerald is honored for its embodiment of the prophecy of rebirth in Spring. “To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born”, reveals German humanistic philosopher, Erich Fromm. From the core of the sacred Emerald shines hope and love, offering healing and harmony to our souls. When we realize that we can be reborn anew, hope springs eternal, and we are in alignment with the blessings of Emerald, the great gift of rebirth.

 

~ CELEBRATION THROUGH SACRED CEREMONY ~

Moving through the spiritual energy of our own inner Unfurling Fern totem, we can be blessed with the precious Gift of Birth within all life. Here, within the realm of the archetypal Fern, our True Self eternally dwells.

A personal ceremony can be performed to enhance the manifestation and integration with Fern’s all-embracing gift. This can be a private celebration between yourself and Fern Spirit, or you can invite others to join. It can be as ritualized as you desire, or naturally free-flowing, and include anything you want to say or any object(s) that intuitively feels in harmony with the act of thanksgiving for Unfurling Fern blessing.

A powerful place to hold the celebration would be in a natural area with Fern’s presence, but physical location is not of prime importance. If you do not have access to this environment, any contact outside facing Fern’s auric essence would be helpful. Even if this area is hidden or at a great distance, emanations from Fern spiritual source are not obscured, as they flow freely throughout the Universe. If the celebration is held indoors, being in room with a window is encouraged to enhance the presence of natural elements, but if this is not possible, symbolically facing Unfurling Fern would be beneficial.

As a sample list, any of the following ideas below could be included in your celebration, and verbalized during a Blessings of Intention for Birth affirmation ceremony (see below). Also, any of these offerings may be created and integrated into your ritual either physically and/or symbolically in Spirit.

 

  1. Begin with a personal intention of Birth to enhance any general or specific aspect of your life.

 

  1. Light a white, silver, or gold candle to symbolize the transformative power of explosive Nebulae, the interstellar birthplace of stars, who can guide you through infinite moments of birth, death, and the rebirth of Self.

 

  1. Visualize the profound mystery of Earth Birth in all things as the great source of conception, connecting all life into One.

 

  1. Honor Fern’s contribution to the Ancient Animal Diet, whose sustainable sustenance parallels our own great gifts bestowed upon life everlasting.

 

  1. Appreciate the miraculous curling Fern, who, by its lightness of being, shows us the way to grow again through the seasons of life.

 

  1. Hold the sparkling green gemstone Emerald, or any other stone resonating the great Gift of Birth. Other related minerals include Ruby Zoisite, Celestite, Peridot, and Azurite.

 

  1. Proclaim intentional blessings for the Gift of Birth. A simple statement in the form of a heart-felt declaration can attract and summon the heights of magick and power through the fundamental, positive act of intention. By the sincere act of a clear and pure desire, a personalized blessing can call upon the spiritual forces of unity within life – the source of your Infinite Self. You can use any of the following Blessings of Intention affirmations as a guideline to be included into your own personal declaration towards inner harmony and integration with the energies of Heaven and Earth. Written as non-denominational statements, these intentional blessings can be practiced by any single person, or unstructured or organized group, as their own personal form of prayer, charm, chant, invocation, or medicine, etc.

 

  1. A devotional affirmation of praise, honor, and thanksgiving, as suggested in Dream Song to Unfurling Fern (see below). This act of appreciation is enhanced with the powerful personal statement “I Am”, and especially when said aloud, can invoke the creative energies of manifestation radiating throughout the Universe, calling upon Fern’s Great Spirit to be infused into your life.  All or part of the Dream Song passages can be included in this holy prayer of purpose and gratitude. Their power summon and embrace a wide range of natural spiritual influences, ancient mythology, and alchemical life-force energies from Native American, Deity, Celtic, Shaman, Indigenous, Pagan, and Wiccan cultures.

 

 

~ BLESSINGS OF INTENTION FOR BIRTH ~

  1. With this glowing candle, blessed by Fern Spirit, I feel the spiraling energy of Nebulae birthing my Self in the eternal moment of NOW, ways manifesting within my heart and soul.

 

  1. With the mystical creation of Earth Birth, blessed by Fern Spirit, I feel the oneness of all life from the Sacred Source, growing within my heart and soul.

 

  1. With the sustaining Ancient Animal Diet, blessed by Fern Spirit, I feel the presence of my own enduring gifts to life nourish my heart and soul.

 

  1. With the delicate curling fiddleheads of Fern, blessed by Fern Spirit, I feel the feathery lightness of Spring offer sweetness of spirit into my heart and soul.

 

  1. With sparkling green Emerald, (or other resonating gemstone) blessed by Fern Spirit, I feel the rebirth of hope, harmony, and love shining within my heart and soul.

 

 

~ DREAM SONG TO UNFURING FERN ~

O Sacred Fern, I see my birth in you.

As your curling frond gently opens to the light of life,

I become one with thee.

I am your Spirit manifesting…

Your new life gracing me.

As we spring forth eternal life anew,

We become the Source together.

From this unfurling forth of Spirit within,

I join all life in its celebration.

I Thank You, O Unfurling Fern, for your Great Gift of Birth

 

 

~ From Heaven Sweet Nature Springs ~

 

 

BRIGHT BLESSINGS!

 

 

 

References:

http://www.angelfire.com

http://www.enchantedlearning.com

http://www.gemrockauctions.com

http://findfunfacts.appspot.com

http://www.fernlifecenter.com

http://www.adinkra.org

http://news.bbc.co.uk

http://dinosaurs.about.com

http://www.hsn.com

http://www.romancestuck.com

http://crystal-cure.com

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://wiki.answers.com

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Stones Corner

August, 2013

Jade

Relaxation, gives off peace, calm, and stability.  Aids stomach and digestive tract.  Worn in southeast Asia as an amulet.  Its various attributes include making women fertile, easing the pain of childbirth, curing intestinal upsets, bringing rain, and eliminating thirst.  Also thought of as a good luck stone to ward off evil.  In Asia a jade bracelet is said to have saved its wearer from danger if broken in half.  Health, Wealth, longevity stone.  Ancient Chinese used also for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, and harmony.  Lungs heart, thymus, immune, kidney and blood detoxification.  Nervous system.  A gentle, steady energy.  Jade helps connect for dream work causing spiritual learning with physical plane impact.  It can assist drawing on past life wisdom especially related to Oriental traditions.  It has a therapeutic effect on many glands, organs, and the circulatory system.  Stimulates the first through the sixth chakras.  The stone projects universal love.

 

 

Jadeite

The highest gem grade of jade is jadeite.  It acts as an emotional release tool during dreams.  This stone is of value when used in the sleep area or placed on the throat.  Works on 5th Chakra.

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