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Q & A From the Last Blog….

meadow   Well, now that the cat’s out of the bag, so-to-speak, I got inundated with a ton of questions from people, friends, family and you lovely readers, about this “sudden” but not sudden change, how it has affected my life and the lives around me, and what’s going to happen going forward.  So without further ado, here goes the questions:

  1. Bridget, congratulations on finding faith. Your story is really awesome but how does one go from a certain faith/philosophy to a complete 180 with another faith?

Bridget:  This is the most asked question I have been asked since coming out a few weeks ago.  I wish I could explain it better, but it’s like this:  I was the Bridget most people have known for over a decade, and then I took a shower.  When I got out of the shower, every thought, idea, belief and understanding shifted.  Like a mountain range fault that decided to move a few inches, creating an impact for hundreds of miles.  This is precisely what happened to me.  How I went from believing in a specific idea, then after taking that shower, I no longer believed in it, I can’t explain.  It was a supernatural event, plain and simple.

 

  1. What is going to happen to the community you founded 3 years ago based on your former beliefs?

Bridget:  Last year, I went on a sabbatical due to my health issues.  I find it strangely coincidental that things started shifting months before the event ever occurred.   At this point, the community will no longer be what it was, since as its leader, I can no longer teach the philosophies I had been teaching.  It would be awesome to create a Bible/worship/ministry study group out of it, but I’m thinking most will not be up for that.  One never knows, though.

 

  1. How has your family handled your change? They must be so excited! 

Bridget:  Well, not exactly in truth, and really I cannot blame them.  Sure, they are thrilled that I have decided to come back full time to Jesus, but growing up in a Roman Catholic household, even though it is of Christian origin, there are certain dogmatic doctrines within the Catholic Canon Law that stipulates certain things that I happen to disagree on, which caused me to join a Protestant Christian church rather than go back to my Catholic upbringing.  Adult baptism, female pastors/ministers, etc are just a couple of issues I challenge the Catholic Church with, and I know for a fact the Church does not appreciate that.  So one needs to respect those differences…Despite our differences, though, my family is the most amazing people, and I know they love me unconditionally, no ifs, ands or buts.  I do have a cousin who is born again, and he has become even a more protective brother in Christ for me.  Jerry and I had always been close growing up, and coming to this faith only brought us closer.

 

  1. I know you love to watch videos to learn about stuff.  Who has been your go-to channels or websites to keep up with your journey?

 

Bridget:  Oh dear!  Where should I start?  There are quite a few!!!!  Well, Jessica from Truth at Home, Starry Hilder, James and Lea from Philia Ministries, The Fundamental Home, Fouch-a-Matic and Esther Emery, Patara from Appalachia Homestead, Melanie from Road to the Farm, just to name a few!!!!!!  All of them are homesteaders, living their lives according to God, and well, I am just in awe of these amazing godly women!!!!!!!  Go subscribe to their channels on YouTube!!!!  You’ll thank me for it!!!!

 

  1. How has this affected your personal relationship with God?

Bridget:  It has magnified it! Praise God! I honestly feel that I needed to go through the trials and tribulations in my life, because the Father has been preparing me for something big.  I feel my ministry in life is going to finally come to fruition in the next few years.

 

  1. What going to happen to your blog?

Bridget:  Nothing.  My blog is my blog.  Just because I no longer believe in some of the things I talked about on my blog, doesn’t make them irrelevant to other people.  I think down the road, I will eventually archive those blog posts, but for right now, the mystical stuff will come down once I am able to sell the remainder of my inventory.  Plus, I will be putting up a disclaimer to show any new readers about my change.  And I think some of those readings are going to be a great reminder of how dangerously close I came from losing myself to evil.

 

  1. What are you going to do with the friends and family who won’t support you on this?  Don’t those closest to you have a say in making sure you are making the right decisions in your life?

Bridget:  (yes, this question WAS asked)….Um, well, of course they have a say, this is a free will zone, is it not?  But whether or not they have the right to tell me what to do, well, as a 43 year old woman living in a free-ish country, I can easily say that I have my own mind, and without trying to sound snarky in any way, no one REALLY has the right to tell me how to live. Besides God, the only person I answer to is my husband Scott, because he is the head of our family.  I’ve always been a free spirit, so if anything, being closer to God than I have ever been before, will only magnify the love and wonder I have of this world we live in.  I can ONLY hope people see how cool it is to love Jesus!

 

  1. Have you found a church you feel comfortable going to?

Bridget:  YES!  About a mile away from my home, there is an amazing community called Trinity Lighthouse Evangelical Church.  My friends Jenny and Steven invited me there, and I feel so welcomed and comfortable there.  It’s an amazing church, with even a more amazing Pastor.  Even his wife, I feel so kindred with her.  Like she completely GETS me!  And although I have been asked to give lots of churches a try to find the one best suited for me, right now I’m in a good place.  And I look forward to continuing going there.

 

  1. What happened to you going to the Unitarian Universalist Church?

Bridget:  Ah, yes.  This sadly has hurt my heart to stop going there.  I had been going there on and off for almost 5 years.  I spoke to many of the parishoners there, who asked me to reconsider coming back, because in all my years of going to ANY church, this was the one that was like family to me. To put it quite simply, I’m heartbroken to not see them each Sunday.  From Kay, Desiree, Erica, Nick, MaryAnn and Carla, and so many more, not being able to see them actually causes a physical pain, but I know that right now, this is where I need to be right now.  Honestly, I wish there was a way to see both communities each week.

  1. Is this the reason why you stopped blogging for the last few months?

Bridget:  Yes and no.  “Yes” in the way that my brain was going in about a zillion directions, and I could not keep one subject in my head long enough to jot something down.  And then “No” in the way that Wintertime is a very difficult time for me.  Living in Pennsylvania has its many ups during the Spring, Summer and Fall time.  But the moment old man Winter comes to visit, my health deteriorates as well as my state of mind.  Even as I type this on Tuesday, my mind has been filled with worry and anxiety of the raging Nor’easter happening outside.  Seeing gray skies with snow on the ground, crushes my heart.  My heart lies in warmer climates, where life is teeming and abundant.  For 3-4 months, I look upon dormant trees and bushes without their leaves, dead, brown leaves scattered like the memories of the warmer days the year before.  And it truly makes me ridiculously sad.

In light of that, though, I tend to pray more in the Wintertime, mainly because even with all my family and friends, I feel incredibly lonely and know that God is listening to me when I am in my darkest moments.  So, I turn inward, write more in my journal rather than my blog, pray and have lots of contemplation time.  It is when I tend to hear God the most!

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So….that’s it, folks.  Those are the top ten questions I have been asked in the last few months over what’s happened to me.  Once this weather starts to stabilize and get warmer in the weeks to come, you will see more gardening/homesteading blogs and hopefully a video blog soon.  I would love to get everyone’s feedback on my thoughts for the upcoming gardening season and what people would like to see this old Hobbit girl try out!  This is Winters last Hurrah this week, so I am trying to keep that in mind with lots of love and hope for Spring and new life to come.

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If you have any additional questions you want answered, send me a message or comment below.

Flying in the Face of the Lammas Season…

***Excerpts from my Blog Post “Lammas and the Autumn Season“***

The Feast of Lammas is upon us!

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Wait, what?  What is this silly Hobbit talking about? Last year, I wanted to go into a new series installment called The Wheel of the Year.  I’d like to think I hit every holiday, but I don’t know right now, I have to go back and check on my past blogs!

Lammas (in Christian/Catholic context meaning “Loaf Mass”), is also called Lughnasadh. (pronounced Loo Nah Sah).  It is a Celtic Sabbat/Holiday that begins the first of the 3 major Harvest Festivals.  Oh, by the way, I wanted to educate those who say Celtic wrong.  Celtic is pronounced *KELL-TICK*.  NOT *Sell-Tick*. Okay, I admit, that rubs me the wrong way in so many ways.  It’s like someone called the Amish with the pronunciation *AY-MISH* or Italian like *EYE-TAL-YUN*.  To me, it’s a bit insulting, and it can truly drive many enthusiasts like myself, mental.  For some reason, many sports teams that have the word Celtic pronounce it Sell-tick, but I can assure you, the proper right way to say it is how I mentioned it above.  Okay, moving on….

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Lammas! Ohhhh I how love me some Harvest holidays! It’s probably one of the reasons why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays!  There is something about the word “comfort” that drives all of us to find our own sense of the word.  For me, comfort means my home.  And it’s going to be extra special since this will be our first FULL autumn in our new home!  It means all the stuff I love around me.  It means listening to music I love, smelling aromatic candles, drinking an amazing tea, reading a good book, a nice casserole in the oven, my husband and children around me.  That’s comfort.  Comfort is a rainy day in the autumn, when you wake up and realize you don’t want to get out of your pajamas.  And you don’t.  Whoever said  you have to get up every morning and get dressed like in your Sunday best everyday is for the birds!  People are going to accept you, whether you have makeup on, or going au natural.

Comfort is taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon on that said rainy day, smelling the rain and feeling the cool air coming in.  I love days like that.  But comfort is different for each person.  What is your form of comfort?  Think about it and write a list out.  When you realize what things make you feel comforting, then do what you can to make it happen!

Lammas is the beginning of the Harvest.  The first seeds planted in Spring are now ready to be picked of their ripened fruit.  Many will start to see the hay barrels in the fields from farmers picking their crops.  This is a good time to start thinking about what you are going to plant in the Autumn for next year!  Spring bulbs may be on sale in grocery stores or produce markets, so this is a great time to make a list of what you want to see pop up in Spring of next year!  Sadly, my garden has taken an INCREDIBLE beating this year with the heat and humidity of the Summer.  So much has died and withered, and I just wasn’t home enough to tend to them, OR I was home and the heat was too hard to bare, I couldn’t even get outside or my lungs would have flared up tremendously from how weak they get during this time of year.  So, I stay indoors and work on my dried herbs I already was able to harvest, as well as work with my tinctures and teas, and even today, I baked Soda Bread!!!!  YUM!

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August 1st is the Feast Day of the Celtic deity, Lugh (hence the name Lughnasadh).  Lugh was revered by many as the man who sacrificed himself to give people the comfort of a good harvest.  He was in ancient times known as the Corn God.  Understandably why corn is usually harvested this time of year.  Nevertheless, this is a time of turning inward.  Just the beginning of it, though.  We are still in the throes of hot and humid weather, with lots of sunny days and warm nights ahead of us.  But the air is changing, and many can feel it right now.  Some associate it with the beginning of school, and whatever you need to do to understand why we are in the process of a season change, go with what feels good.

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Right now, in my home, we are continuing our path to organization by preparing ourselves for what we hope to be an annual yard sale!  I promised myself come hell or high water we were going to get this house situated for living, and although we’ve been here for 9 months, we still have boxes to go through (yeah, I know).  Living with people who have a hard time purging old things, rooms can get pretty crowded in here quickly.  So, my daily talks about how good we feel when we are uncluttered I am hoping are getting into their heads!  I hope to be starting the autumn season with lighting some fall candles, and I don’t know about you, but it just feels right to do this now.  I love going to places like AC Moore and looking at all the Autumn/Halloween goodies that are already out on display.  I love planning on how I’m going to decorate this year.  I think its good to change it up every year.  It always gives off a fresh energy when you change things around, even with decor that only stays up a few weeks.

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If you are interested in learning more about this upcoming season and how you can incorporate rituals in your life to make yourself more spiritually grounded with our Earth, keep coming back here, as I will have different ideas you can do to make this next season inspiring and fun!  Autumn is always easy, because there is SO much to do!  But remember: do what makes YOU feel good, instead of what everyone else is telling you how things should be.  You will be surprised how good it feels when you walk into this next Season doing things YOU love to do!

Next Saturday, my beloved Circle is getting together to celebrate this wonderful Season with great food and great drink, campfire and swimming, and crafts galore, and we continue as we always do, in perfect love and perfect trust.

As above so below, as within so without.

As the Universe, so the soul.  Blessings to you all!

Love, Peace and Macaroni and Cheese,

Bridget

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Nature Therapy and the First Generation of the Sacred Gardens of Mabon House…

All I want to do is be at home in my gardens. If there was any addiction I wouldn’t mind having, it is the addiction to being outside in nature. Now, before any finger-pointing people start telling me no addiction is good for you – allow me to explain further. Trust me on this – I am an addict…so I know all about addiction.

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Addiction by definition is “An unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.” Over the years, I have been addicted to food and prescription pain medicine.  And because of that, we all know that when you hear someone who is “addicted” to something, one immediately jumps to the conclusion that something is wrong. I am here to tell you that even as an addict, this is not necessarily the case. Coming from an addictive personality myself, I can totally relate to the feeling of needing to have or want something that I crave.

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But that doesn’t necessarily mean that my feelings for that are malignant in nature. I mean, let’s face it – addiction of all kinds CAN be bad. That’s the truth. When you do one thing too much, it tends to lead to isolation from social interaction and impairs normal ranges of judgement. With things like drugs, alcohol, sex, food, continuously plaguing our world, it’s no wonder the word addiction has such a horrible stigma to the name.

And so, I have tried in earnest, to take my addictive personality, and use it towards something healthier. For me, it’s gardening.

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Years ago I had a dream to build a Goddess Permaculture Paradise Plan (or as I like to call it, the GP3 haha).  I never had a name for it until my friend Colette, who is the magical mistress at Bealtaine Cottage ( http://www.bealtainecottage.com ), coined the phrase “Goddess Permaculture Paradise”.  Unfortunately, in 2007, that dream was put on hold when my life was turned upside down and everything I once had, had been taken away from me. Here I am, 9 years later, and my dream is back on with a vengeance. An involuntary sabbatical that left me depressed but also more motivated than ever to refocus on my dream has presented itself in my new home, appropriately named, Mabon House.  If you are just reading my blogs for the first time, my husband Scott and I purchased this home in October 2015.  Since we follow the 8 Earth Festival holidays, we decided to name our home after the holiday we just celebrated, called Mabon, which means “Gratitude and Thanksgiving”.

(A little slice of our home, Mabon House)

Utilizing my friends Colette and Jacqueline (who are truly some of Gaia’s hand maidens) as my muses, I KNOW NOW, I have found my calling. Yup. Who knew? At 42 years old, I FINALLY found my calling.

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(Some areas of Bealtaine Cottage, one of my favorite places on Earth)

So, riddle me this, Hobbits…HOW do I proceed?

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(Mother Moon Monastery and Herb Farm, another favorite place I wish to visit – please check her website at http://www.moonmother.net )

When you are living paycheck to paycheck, it’s actually quite impossible to be “living the dream.” Yet, I cannot tell you how many self-help gurus, books, memes and everything else under the sun tell me that it CAN be done! Truth is, I DO believe this. I believe we are magical, spiritual beings that can do ANYTHING if we truly put our mind to it. And if it doesn’t happen, then it wasn’t meant to be AT THAT MOMENT. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen later down on your road of life. I’m living proof this has happened. And that the universe will surely reward for our love of trying and enduring the trials that come with it. I really do believe this. I teach this to people I mentor. Isn’t it funny though, when the teacher sometimes need to be taught?

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On Mother’s Day, the majority of my afternoon and evening was spent in my gardens. I say gardens because I am planning on having little gardens spread throughout the property.  (Please see my previous video blog on my quick tour around the back gardens).  On the following Tuesday, after an incredibly difficult day, I went to my favorite garden nursery (Renninger’s in Royersford, PA), and went on a little shopping spree since they were having a sale. And less than 30 minutes later, I was back in my gardens, tinkering and toiling. It’s my therapy. My NEEDED therapy.

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What’s in my garden, you ask? Oh dear Hobbits….have I got treats for you!

For the veggies, I’ve got String Beans, Sweet Peas, Russian Kale, Hugh’s Cabbage, Green Cabbage, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, 3 types of Tomatoes, 2 types of Onion, Leeks, Red Bell and Sweet Banana Peppers, Scallions, Beets, Nastercians, Eggplant, Blue Kale, Potatoes and Carrots.

In the fruit department, I’ve got Raspberries and Strawberries. And soon to be planting seeds from my organic lemons, because…why the hell not?

In the herbal/flower section, I’ve got Calendula, Italian Parsley, Dill, Basil, Sage, Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, Patchouli, Feverfew, Chamomile, Angelica, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lavender, Passion Flower, Comfrey, Valerian Root, Purple Deadnettle, Plantain (not the banana type-the medicinal herb type) and Gladioli.

In the tree department I’ve got Dogwoods, Hawthorn (appropriated named The Fairy Wood), and Crab Apples. My Willow cuttings from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland sadly didn’t make it over the winter, mainly because Linus pulled them out and ate them. Sigh…a little rascal, indeed.

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(my clever little rascal of a doggie, Linus VanPuggle)

On Thursday, after working half a day and getting some appointments done, I will be exactly where I am most happy – in my gardens. Do you know that every morning, I walk outside before leaving for work, letting my beloved plants know I will be back soon enough, then sit in the meditational nook and speak to my Mother, Gaia. Sometimes I call her Gaia, sometimes I call her Mary, sometimes I call her Lakshmi, but in the end, she is the same, she is One Mother. My Mother. Not to take away my own love for my Mom, Eileen, as my love for her swells past the ages, I don’t think she will ever understand the depth of unconditional love I have for her, even though we both make each other crazy. In the end, she is my Mother. And even though I don’t agree with things she believes in, if there is one thing I have taken from her teachings, it is to unconditionally love. This has been the greatest teaching she and my Father have given me. Something I once took for granted, and never again will question. This is truth buried beneath my very bones.

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The fact that for the next 3 ½ days I will be spending time in my gardens has made me squeal with such excitement. It’s funny how some people absolutely hate the thought of working in the garden or yard. For me, it is therapy. Deep therapy. And Mum Gaia is my therapist.

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I am excited also that you, my readers, will be joining me on this journey I have been talking about for how many years? And now it’s finally here. My heart swells. My cup runneth over.

Come, walk with me…

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(My lavender is beginning to flower)

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(Same as my lemon verbena…flowers=seeds!!!!)
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(Transplant babies. From seed to garden)
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(First flower of my Nastercians!)
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(Tomatoes and Passion Flower galore! )
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(My pretty Hibiscus I had to take home with me…)

Imbolc – The Season of Spring!

 

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(our deck to the back gardens – a good foot of snow has already melted from last weekend)

With the harsh weather that the East Coast was dealt last weekend, much of my excitement for warmer weather went right down the tubes.  I wish I understood why Winter makes me sad enough to want to hide from the world.  But, I have hope!  This Winter has not been bad at all, compared to other years.  The last couple years we were dealt with ridiculous polar vortexes coming from the Artic. But the El Nino phenomena we are experiencing this year, I am grateful for the above normal temperatures so far, even with the blizzard.

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(Plants are still growing in the winter at Mabon House)

I have been diving knee deep into my sweet friend’s Jacqui’s video blogs on her Green Witch Herb School Series.  And as I am typing this, I am watching her Imbolc videos and then it dawned on me…

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IMBOLC IS NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!  OH MY GOD!  Samhain is coming to a close.  And one of my two favorite seasons is about to hit!

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So, if you are reading my blog for the first time, I will explain what I am talking about.

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Imbolc (pronounced IMM-MOLCK), or in Christianized meaning, Candlemas.  It is the Celtic season of Springtime.  The time where our beautiful Earth’s alarm clock starts going off, and when many of our little animals begin to be born (such as goats, sheep, deer, bunnies, etc).  And like many of us, we tend to hit the snooze.  And that’s what she will be doing.  February 1st, St Bridget’s feast day, or the Goddess Brighid’s feast day, is coming up next week.  It is the time where we begin our planning for the seasons of life.

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For me, it really is the beginning of my year.  Many men and woman celebrate the Celtic New Year on Samhain, which is October 31st.  And in a way, I agree.  Yule, or Christmas, is the first holiday of the Celtic new year, which is the welcoming back of the Sun.  And now, we are approaching Imbolc, which allows the early buds of Spring to awaken.  Crocuses, Snow Drops, Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and other early Spring flowers, will begin to crack open their bulbs and slowly and surely reach out to the light of the sun.  Right now, my beloved bulbs are under a foot and a half of snow.  So, it can be difficult to celebrate the upcoming Spring with all that white on the ground!  But, never fear, Spring WILL come!  That’s the beauty of our world.  Spring always follows Winter.  And for me, Winter is almost over.

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I am sitting here at home today, because we were running out of oil and needed to wait for the oil guy to come today.  I am watching the Green Witch Herb School as I said above, and she is teaching people how to make your own besom with witch’s (scotch) broom flowers, raffia and a piece of driftwood.  I think it is important to craft things that you can hang or show in your own home, because it really empowers the energy of the house as YOUR home.  In this case, I love besoms.  I have brooms in almost every room, and there are brooms at every doorway.  In old folklore, a broom at every door is meant to protect each and every entrance into your home.  At our Lughnasadh celebration in 2014, I had all my Circle ladies make their own broom.  It was so much fun and I look forward to doing more with my ladies this upcoming year.  Sadly, I had to make a difficult decision over the weekend regarding relationships in my life.  I know I made the right decision, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  All in the journey, I guess.  And knowing that I no longer have anything in front of me that would be keeping me from moving on in my journey, it’s almost kind of perfect that Imbolc should be the next holiday.  It’s about new beginnings.  New journeys.  New paths.

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I am currently burning sage in my family room, and the house smells AMAZING.  It’s a shame it’s so cold out, as I love to open the doors and let the fresh air in.  Hopefully this will be a different story come next month.

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Today, since I am home, I will be preparing some of my seeds to be planted in my containers.  Wait?  Isn’t it the end of January?  Yup!  But, now that I have more room, as well as areas where I CAN sprout and seed my fruits and vegetables, I want to give them a head start so they will be super strong by the time they go in end of March, beginning of April.  Baby steps…

I give myself 10 years to make this whole.  To create a self-sustaining homestead based on permaculture principals.  I want to be able to video all of my journey, but I feel especially right now, my sad emotions from the cold weather are keeping me from doing so.  I hope, like I said above, that will change come next month.

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What are YOU doing to plan for Spring?

Ideas for Celebrating Imbolc:

  • Make a St. Bridget’s Cross
  • Create your Garden Planner
  • Light lots of white and red candles
  • Make or decorate a broom
  • Have a gathering of friends to plan your spring and summer
  • Create a sacred space for ritual and meditation
  • Burn sage and smudge your house for the upcoming season

 

 

The Demon Within…

One of the biggest things I deal with during this particular time of the year is the big D.  Most people know what I speak of, and I’m sure many of you are sitting on the other side of your computer nodding in complete and utter understanding.

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Depression, as many know, is when a chemical imbalance in our brains result in a disruption of some-sort, creating a sort of chaos in our bodies that causes hopelessness. Most times, depression is the result of a tragedy a person experiences, whether it be a death, break-up, or any of loss of “something”….Sometimes, in my case, it could be just a simple explanation of the weather 5 feet from me.  It is one of my biggest struggles I face with in life, and every year I pray and pray that somewhere, somehow, this feeling of sadness would end.

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So, let’s talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)….

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It goes without saying that everyone, both of human and animal alike, NEED sunlight.  The vitamins coming from the sun gives off so much energy and a pulse of life itself, there is no wonder why people love to “Sun bathe”.  Sadly, for me, I’m a Celt by blood.  A mixture of Irish, English, Scottish, and German.  So, putting my pasty self outside for more than a few moments will cause my skin to scream.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to be out in the sun.  It’s why I am a morning person, so to speak…(I say that because during the Monday-Friday deal, I’m not really worth talking to in the morning, but that’s a whole other story LOL)

In the Northern Hemisphere, at the time of Litha, otherwise known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, the Sun is at his prime, beaming down with such veracity, it even finds the shadiest of places.  But sadly, after that prime day of days, the Sun begins its fall.  And within 6 months, the Sun, although still shining, does not have the luster and awe that we had just a few months before.  For many people, this time is the beginning of Winter.  And we start our slow climb back to the manifestation of the gifts the Sun gives us in the Spring and Summer.

So, during the time after the holiday and New Year season ends, there is a period of silence.  Nothing really happens until the next little break, which is Valentine’s Day.  And then, after that, is the Spring Equinox, Ostara, or as many know it to be, Easter.

What do we do during this period?  Well, for me, I kind of go crazy and start cleaning and regrouping my life, creating goals for the warmer weather to come, all while taking care of my mind, body and soul, who is sadly ill-at-ease over the lack of warm sunlight, growth and overall life.

It’s why I love living myself according to the Celtic Seasonal Calendar.  It makes sense for me, because I always was like a month early to prepare for each season/holiday.  In just a few weeks, MY Winter will be over.  On February 1st, I celebrate the feast day of St. Bridget, who holds the keys of the kingdom for my favorite Season: Spring.

February 1st in the Celtic Calendar is the Season of Imbolc (Pronounced IMM-OLCK).  It is the beginning of the Springtime, the time where our Mother Earth is stirring and beginning her slow process of “waking up”.  Just as we, each morning, open our eyes, stretch our arms and legs, and get reacquainted with the morning and the light, so does Mother Earth.  The soil, through its Winter hibernation, begins to warm up, allowing the seeds within the soil to take heed and blossom.  One of the greatest gifts we can get in the Early Springtime are Crocuses.  They are Mother Nature’s quiet little trumpets, usually peeking up within the snow and cold ground, alerting us all that warm weather IS coming back.  That is the beauty of this planet.  Of where I live.  We know Spring follows Winter.  It’s how life is.

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So, what do I do in the meantime?  Even as I type this out, on this lazy Sunday morning, I feel sad.  Sad because going outside would require me to bundle up because the air is SO cold, it would actually hurt my skin.  Make my eyes water.  Even the “smell” of life, is not there.

What makes me gaga over being outside?  Feeling the grass beneath my bare feet.  Smelling the seasonal flowers breezing through the air.  Seeing the magnificent trees, shrubs and bushes blossom with beautiful green leaves…In the Celtic myths, Autumn and Winter meant Jack Frost was out and about, dropping hints of frost and ice among everything alive, telling them it’s time to die or go to sleep….In the Spring and Summer Months, Jack in the Green is our go-to guy.  He is the one who warms the skies and the Earth, and instead of frost, we have beautiful droppings of dew.

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(one of MANY Jack in the Green Parades held every year in Europe)

This is what makes my pulse quicken, my heart smile and my soul beam.  Warmth, light….like Persephone feeling so out of touch down in the Underworld, where she could not use her Gift with the Living World, and patiently waited until it was time for her to go back up, and be among the Living again, to feel the warmth of the Sun on her skin…Yes, I feel the exact same way.

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Since going off all Depression and Anxiety medicine, and opting for my Kratom intake, I can honestly say it hasn’t been TOO smooth sailing.  Of course it would be easy for me to put some chemicals into my body and numb myself…but it would be a disservice to me to do so.  I know not everyone agrees with me on that.  I always welcome other’s opinions and ideas…it’s just…it’s not for me.  I’ve been very careful over the last several years to deal with my addiction to pain killers…and for someone like me who is always in some kind of pain, it’s an easy excuse for me to pop a pill and call it a day.

No, as much as times like these where I wish I had something to numb my physical and emotional pain of the Winter, I know that in the end, it helps me SEE who I really am, because I am completely bare and open to the senses entirely.  I feel things now more than I ever have.  So, yes, the depression sucks.  But I also know, that there are times I feel such immense joy, that knowing I wouldn’t even feel an inch of that when trying to control my depression with medicine, gives me the honest knowing that I’m doing the right thing.

Don’t get me wrong:  I think about taking something every day.  Even right now, I feel incredibly blue (Get it?  Winter “blues”?) and staring at the walls may be what I need right now to numb the sadness of the lack of life outside….

This depression began in 2001.  And slowly progressed as the years went on…Now that I am in the beginning stages of my body slowing down and turning into the Crone, I feel this even more.

How do I deal with it?  It’s a demon inside of me I deal with every day between Thanksgiving and about Mid-March.  For some people it’s less time, and for others, it’s more.  It feels like the Postpartum depression I had for the first 4 weeks after my son’s birth.  It begins as a nagging feeling, that turns into a feeling of dread.  Dread?  Yup, dread.  It overtakes me like a demon overtakes a human…I cry at everything and anything, I sleep more, I stare more, and I tend to lash out more.  My husband, sons, parents, sisters and closest friends know it the depression talking.  The know this silly little hobbit doesn’t usually act like this, and know how to approach me during my times of struggle.  They know and respect the fact I don’t want chemicals in my body.  They are patient and kind, and allow me the time and patience I need for myself to understand how my body reacts to this rough season.

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(seriously, whoever created these are a GENIUS)

Kratom certainly helps, but, it is just a band aid.  It does NOT take away the full feelings.  But it does lessen the load.  And the best part?  It does not numb me.  If there could be anything that I hate, it is the numbness of my body, mind and soul.  To lose the essence of your life just because there’s a period of time each year where I feel sad, it’s just not enough for me to make that kind of decision.  That’s not for me to judge anyone who DOES.

So, for the next few weeks, I will be quietly tinkering away at my new home.  Putting things in their place, and dealing with the sadness I not only feel for the cold months, but for other things I cannot control.  It’s a continued lesson in humility, and I love that I’m always up for the challenge, no matter how tired and sad I’m feeling at the moment.

What makes me happy during the colder months?

  • Music – Usually Celtic/Irish/Scottish music, 80’s Pop, and some Sacred World music, from either Lisa Thiel, Snatnam Kaur, or Spiral Dance
  • Painting – I am still trying to find my easle, but the moment I do, I’m off!
  • Festivals – There is an amazing Scottish and Irish Festival that happens in February, and it truly lifts up my spirits EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • Garden Planning – For the first time since 2007, I will have my own garden again.  Planning it has definitely helped tremendously during this time.
  • Snuggles – My boys know all these need to do is snuggle up to me, it will bring a big smile.  I love my family.
  • Cleaning – I tend to light A LOT of incense that smells of lavender, jasmine, and other springy smells…as well as light lots of candles…and the smell of Pine Sol?  OMG Don’t go there with me…it’s like heaven haha!
  • Ritual – if there is anything I love to do, is to be in ritual with myself.  That time you give to yourself, whether it is meditating, chanting, praying, or even something simple like taking a nice, warm bath…yes, it helps a great deal.

I know there are probably more, but these are the big ones.  Tell me about what you do!  I am always looking for suggestions.

Lots of Hobbit Love,

Bridget

 

Year In Review…Goals for 2016

10307193_1559900494267589_6711902782439770635_nAnyone else thinking this year went super fast?  I mean, I feel like it was just a couple weeks ago I was getting into our SUV after our wedding reception.  That was April.  So much has happened in this last year I cannot even begin to start.  So, instead, I’m just going to plunge right into goals for next year.

As many of you know, I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions.  I think they are truly lofty aspirations that end of not even making it out of the month of January.  People need to stop doing that to themselves!  Instead, make goals.  Instead of making a resolution to START something, make a goal, which is an END result!  That way, you don’t feel pressured into starting at a particular time, and can figure it out as you go along.  So what are my goals for 2016?

Well, I have a few.  And boy, a couple of them are big ones.  I think we should all at least have one big goal for the year, so you don’t feel as if your life is becoming stagnant.  For me, it’s a change.  A major change.  I really can’t go far more into it than that because the change I am considering is going to upset people I know.  And really, I’d rather deal with it when the time actually comes, then deal with the backlash of debate and ridicule from people who claim I would be making a huge mistake, being flighty, and so on.  So, instead, I’m going to talk about the little stuff…

#1.  The Spiral Willow is going to become more active.  I will admit, I’m a little bummed I’ve got a big inventory of really amazing stuff for a decent and competetive price, but yet no one seems to want to buy.  It bums me out when people seek me out for Oracle Readings and Tarot Readings, but since I’ve started requesting donations for my readings, all of a sudden it’s radio silent out there. Makes for a sad hobbit.  So, I will be doing more sale and more incentives, and even considering doing a boxed subscription each month.

#2. I’m going to learn how to play the guitar. (Again).  A few weeks ago my husband came home with all his guitars that have been in storage.  I myself own a guitar but it is too large for me.  I found my husband had a red guitar, a little smaller than the one I own.  I put it in my arms, and it felt RIGHT.  It was as if my fingers were tingling.  So yeah.  Time to re-learn.

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#3. I want to take my kids to New York and Baltimore.  My husband and I talked about this at great length, and we’d really like to find time to get our family to go to these places for the day.  They are not far from our homes and our boys deserve to see a little culture.

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#4.  I want to take a PROPER vacation camping/going to the shore.  Like a whole week off from work.  Not a mini vacation here and there.  I want to wake up every morning and smell the forest air. Walk on the trails.  Read in a hammock.  Swim in the lake or pool.  Like Everyday.

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#5.  I would like to start my Red Tent community.  Please see my page right here for more information.

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#6.  I need my house to be fully unpacked and readied to be lived in.  We’ve been living here since the beginning of October and we haven’t even neared the half way point.  A lot of this has to be with no vacation time left.  So, I am hoping to make a move in getting that done in early 2016.

#7. I plan to create more.  Paint, draw, work with my herbs, forage, create my oils and tinctures, yes, this is the year my creations are going to take more of a hold on this world.

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#8. I plan to meditate more.  Finding alone/quiet time can be difficult, no matter how hard you try.  Even if it’s from your own mind, you can never seem to get out of a certain place without having your mind racing with thoughts.  I want to create a daily ritual where I quiet my mind and just listen to my breath.

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#9. I plan to let go.  I have been holding on to things for so long, it is only habit now I keep holding on.  Not anymore.  So much of my weight is in emotional baggage that people expect me to carry, either because they cannot forgive me for things, or have expectations of me doing penance for the rest of my life for things I did in the past.  I cannot control other people’s emotions, and so, since I’ve been trying to hold on for a modicum of relief in certain relationships, I just know it’s not going to be the case, and I’m going to let go of them.

#10. I’m going to smile every day.  There is no question amongst my friends and family alike that I haven’t been happy with certain things in my life.  Some of these changes that I stated above will result in this #10.  I deserve nothing less than to be the happiest I can be every day.  And damned if I’m not going to try my hardest to achieve that.

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And so, those are my goals.  Have you thought about yours?

Thanksgiving and the Irony of the Syrian Refugee Crisis…

I’m curious, and without trying to start an online debate, but why does it seem that people tend to post their feelings of gratitude and Thanksgiving just during the month of November? I mean, sure, the holiday of Thanksgiving is in November here in the States, but I guess I never understood why we don’t as a society practice the art of gratitude throughout the whole year?

Don’t get me wrong: I love Thanksgiving. I love the Autumn feeling of the crisp air and the feeling my boots have when walking through a leaf pile, sitting down to a plate of some amazing homemade food, while my male family counterparts gleam at the football game.  I love sitting around with my husband, kids, my amazing mom and dad, my sisters and brother in laws, getting down on the ground and playing with my nephews, and knowing that at night on my way home, I can find neighborhoods beginning their holiday season with their homes in their sparkly glory.  There is much to be thankful in my own life, so I do understand the allure to want to shout all that out.

Yet this year, especially, in light of what has been going on with the news with our Syrian refugees, I can only think that our feelings of gratitude can be felt even more acutely right now. Why do I say that? Take a walk with me here…

What is the basis of Thanksgiving in the United States? Well, to put it quite simply, it was about the men, women and children who fled from England and came to this country, not knowing it was primarily inhabited by the Native American peoples. Yes, the entire country, as we know it, was completely and utterly inhabited. Below is a map of our country before the Pilgrims came over…(mind  you, this has NOTHING to do with the map that was claimed by Snopes to be false, as that map is something the author created to show what America WOULD have looked like if England didn’t come over).  The map I am showing you is a depiction of the Native American Tribes that held territory prior to American colonization:

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Now, there was a peace offering between the Indigenious People of this Country and the refugees of England (yes, no matter how you want to spin this, our Ancestors were in its simplest terms, refugees). The Native American people who claimed ownership of the lands we now know as the United States allowed us to come into their territories, set up camp, and colonize.

Result?  Our gratitude for this gift is honored as Thanksgiving Day.

Sounds promising, right? How kind it was for people who technically “owned” the rights to these lands for God knows how many years, decades, centuries, before people across the big pond came over here on those ships and created life here. And because of that, we celebrate every November that fateful day the owners of these lands created that peace with the refugees who sought freedom from the persecution that they lived within their home country.

I need you all to really sit down and think about your feelings right now. While you are watching your food shows, preparing your big royal feast of turkey, chicken, duck (or in some cases, all 3), stuffing, cranberry sauce and so forth, there are people who are currently risking their lives, their childrens lives, to come to our country to seek refuge because of the persecution there are having in their home country. I ask you, why are they not allowed the same rights we were granted? Yes, if it weren’t for our Ancestors, we may all still be living over there in the Western European Nations. They took a chance and it worked. Sadly, the generosity bestowed upon us was betrayed to the very people who took us in, by killing, maming them, then claiming ownership of the very lands they allowed us to live on in the first place! Is that what you are afraid of? That refugees coming over here will do what we did to the Native Americans?

Don’t get me wrong, not all of our Ancestors were bad people. One of my best friend’s Ancestors were held in such high regard here in England and in the beginning of the colonization that stories are still being told about them today. Many of our Ancestors were TRULY, good people. Who came here in search for freedom. In search for a chance. And we got it! Yet, some of these people took advantage of those gifts and here we are today.

I do not believe that is the fate for these refugees. I believe in the heart of my hearts that this country was founded on the belief that ANYONE could come here to seek refuge from the tyranny that their home countries put upon them. That ANYONE could come here to find their own way of life, to get the chance we all had just to be born here. The generations that live today in the United States were BLESSED to be born here. So, who I am to say that just because of my natural birth right that someone living in another country doesn’t have any more of a right than I do to live here?

I beg of you, my friends, to think about your thoughts and feelings this coming Thursday, and every day here on out. There are men, women and children currently in the middle of the sea in tiny little boats, freezing and hungry, begging for peace and sanctity. Claiming that “our country needs to be taken care of first”, is simply a cop out. It’s lazy. It’s insulting. Our first and foremost right is the right to be a human being. Stop thinking about borders, stop thinking about countries, stop thinking about laws and politics. Even for a moment. Think about your heart. Think about your conscience. Would you REALLY turn someone away from your home when you see someone in need?

I have no money. It all goes to my bills. But I would sacrifice a month’s worth of my own entertainment and belongings if it meant someone or some one’s life could finally seek the peace and freedom they need and DESERVE. And guess what? If they killed me because I mistakenly took a bad person in, well then I guess it was my time to go anyway.  Anyone who is a God-loving and/or God-fearing person certainly understands when it’s your time to go from this earth, nothing’s going to stop that from happening. In the meantime, I can only hope that my brethren citizens agree with me, our way of thinking is way off. Take time to reconsider what Thanksgiving REALLY means, instead of seeing it as a pre-curser to good Black Friday sales, the season of Santa Claus, and the inevitable ongoing debate on who’s “holiday” is more imporant.

I truly believe, that’s what being an American is all about.