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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…)

The Ascension Series: Revisiting An Important Topic…

Several posts ago, I posted about a video that truly changed my life. Truth is, I still can’t stop talking about it. I want the whole world to know what I felt what I saw and heard through this video that was less than 30 minutes long. (If you want to see the video, please hover over my word “video” in the first sentence and click on it- that will take you to that video)

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Why is it, that things in our life go through such unbelievable change, yet we either shy away from it or worse, completely ignore the signs, and instead walk amongst the sheep who choose to live through life with their eyes closed?

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We were born into this world for reasons we have no idea why. Religions tell us because God created us to live a spiritual life in a physical world. Science tells us there is not spiritual world, and that we were made from star dust. And here we are, in 2016, we are STILL arguing how in the world we got here (no pun intended). I remember back in the 1980’s when Pope John Paul II caused an absolute ruckus within the Catholic Church when he offered the idea that maybe God created the Big Bang. Religious Conservatives and Scientific Scholars lost their proverbial minds over this because in their own minds, putting Science and Religion together is simply a no bueno.

Why do unknown things scare us so freaking much? I mean, take for instance something simple. Right now, as I sit typing this out, I am drinking on of my well-known Kratom teas. I came across this amazing Southeast Asian plant back in 2013 and although at first I was skeptical, I found that this plant has helped me come off so many dangerous drugs created by Big Pharma. And still, 3 years later, people around me are fearful that I am taking some “drug”. In the video that I suggested above, the narrator states that Light means “Information” and Darkness means “Lack of Information”. Which of course makes complete sense when you use the phrase of “Being in the dark” about things.   For example (and I apologize if I sound like I’m going off in another direction – I swear it will make sense in the end)…A common human trait when we become comfortable is stagnancy.  It’s why couples tend to gain weight together once they get out of the “honeymoon” phase. It’s why kids become addicted to video games because we as parents try to find some form of peace and quiet and we know that’s how we get it. Patterns become habits and sometimes those patterns are not necessarily good ones. Yet, changing ourselves can sometimes be a tedious and challenging task that can at times prove to be almost impossible. This is usually due to our environment, relationships, careers, health, and a multitude of other facets.  This, in a sense, is living in the dark.

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We can also be in the dark because we are forced to be. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to believe the governments of the world keeps things hidden from the people of this planet. Now, before you get all crazy like by calling me a conspiracy theorist, do your research. You don’t need to follow politics to know we are not told everything. And yet, big corporations like Monsanto and big Banks and the politicians they pay for continue to grow stronger and richer, slowly closing the gap on what was once the Middle Class. Modern Day Physicists have already proved Molecular Time Travel, Dark Matter, Black Holes, as well as a feast of what you would think they would be from some Science Fiction story.

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Whether you care to believe it or not, WE are changing. We are evolving. We are no longer in a 4 Dimensional World. We are currently moving into the 5th Dimension. Many people, in fact, some I personally know, have already moved into this realm. The veil between the living world and the other world has been thinner than ever in our lives. Can’t you feel that energy? It is why more and more people are moving away from organized religion and finding solace in a personal relationship with our Creator without the dogmatic laws of control. It’s why the “new age” philosophies have boomed into our world creating its own market. Why? Because we are humans and we HAVE to evolve. We NEED to evolve. Does it matter how we got here? Does it matter what we did before? Not really. What matters is NOW. Echkert Tolle coined the phrase “Living in the Now” and has a best selling book on it. But truthfully, you don’t need to read a book about living in the now. It’s a very simple concept.

You cannot rewrite the past.

You cannot predict the future.

All you have is now.

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How do you feel about now? I know for a lot of people, you’re not feeling that great. Because the Earth Herself is evolving, we who live with her need to keep up or we’re going to be left behind. You need to remember this very important fact:

Mother Earth CAN and WILL live without us.

However, we CANNOT live without Her.

Get out of the darkness and move into the light.

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Yesterday marked the First Day of Spring. Now, although my belief system has me preparing for Spring as early as February 1st, most people in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate March 20th as the first day of Spring. It makes sense because this is around the time that the crocuses, daffodils and tulips are budding out of hibernation, ready to open up and declare life has come back to us! What a joyous occasion it is! It is the day of the Spring Equinox, the day when the daytime and nighttime are of equal length. People of Persian descent celebrate their New Year with the Feast of Nowruz, and for my astrological peeps, March 20th symbolizes the beginning of the Astrological New Year.

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So, all in all, it is a day of rebirth. And as I stated on a Facebook post on my personal page, it is the reason why Christianity celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was actually crucified in November of 33 AD based on historical research and fact (I don’t need anyone quoting scripture to me, the timing of his birth and death means nothing.  It’s the actual events in hand where the importance lies), but it is honored around the week of the Equinox since its original Pagan origins symbolized the rebirth of Springtime. For many that wonder where Eggs, Chickens, Lambs, and Bunny Rabbits seem to be the symbol of Easter? Well, that was because the original holiday, Ostara, was about rebirth, and all the baby animals, including eggs, were apart of this day. In Greek Mythology, Persephone came out of the Underworld back into her Mother Demeter’s arms on the Spring Equinox.  Persephone is the Goddess of Spring, of baby animals, and of rebirth itself.  When Christianity took over Rome, they kept some of the symbols, while burying the rest of the story.

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(Jesus loves ALL of us, don’t let anyone tell you different)

See? Now, does it matter? No. Of course not. Why? Because no matter how you slice it, we are ALL connected. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Okay, well, thanks for the history lesson, Bridget, but what does this have to do with Ascension, you ask?

Everything. Because in order for us to truly, TRULY understand how Mother Earth evolves, we too, must evolve. Ascend to new dimensions to further align our physical bodies with our spiritual ones.

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It is heartbreaking for me to see people so blinded by pride and ego. Anything that is said outside their own understanding is cause for worry, resentment, or downright anger for thinking outside the box. People are irritated because they are dealing with someone who “just can’t be normal like the rest of us”, or “why do you have to act like a hippy or gypsy or whatever you call it, why can’t you just act normal?”  This week I read an article where a Christian woman was fasting for 15 days for her love of Jesus.  On the 15th Day, she because delirious and was sent to the hospital, where her bloodwork came with all low amounts of everything.  She told the hospital she was fasting.  She took her bible out and prayed.  The doctor made the assumption she was unstable, and had her involuntarily committed for 5 days where she was forced Psychotropic medicines!!!  I mean, seriously!  How cruel is that???  She was of sound mind after she was given saline to hydrate her, and yet the hospital staff and doctor even went as far as to try to get the court to allow them to lock her up in a mental institution!  For praying!  (As of right now, this woman is currently suing the hospital, doctor and staff for unlawful imprisonment).  Link to the article is below:

http://www.naturalnews.com/044306_hospital_imprisonment_mental_illness_spiritual_author.html

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People judge you fas being abnormal, crazy and the like, just for being spiritual.  This is life right now for many people.  Sadly, this type of conversation is usually part of my life at least once a week. In the beginning, I would fight back, and put people in their place. It did nothing but put me right where they wanted. It was so difficult to pull away and turn the other cheek, breathe out the bad moments and pray they lessen as the days pass. Because one of two things are going to happen: The person(s) will simply walk away from you never to speak to you again, or they will simply accept you. Don’t ever expect the nagging to go away. It won’t. People with bruised egos will do anything to make their point. And that’s okay for you, remember that.  Allow them to do what they have to do. That does not mean you need to engage in the warfare, though. And that is simply what that is. You can choose to fight, or you can choose to love.

Always choose to love.

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And yes, this is a very reasonable thing to ask. Just because the thought of a Utopian Society is pretty much something that may never happen in our lifetime, doesn’t mean each person shouldn’t strive to make their life utopian. This is the one thing that drives me batty! Just because we live in a crappy world with lots of greedy, angry and hurtful souls who are just simply blinded by the truth, doesn’t mean those who can see should act blindly as well for the sake of feeling justified!

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Ascension is about moving up. Taking the high road. Seeing the big, overall picture. That’s all Ascension is.

And in that video, whether the beings are real or not, the message is abundantly clear: OPEN YOUR EYES. See the truth of the world but more importantly…LIVE YOUR TRUTH.

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Crossroads: Beginnings of a Shamanic Journey…

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For those who know my spiritual path, you know it’s not an easy one.  Growing up Roman Catholic for almost 30 years, it’s incredibly hard to overcome the deeply rooted beliefs that you were taught over and over again, even though your soul was calling you onto a new journey.  After about 8 years of searching, I found my foundation within two belief systems: Celtic Druidism and Native American Shamanism.  Both paths actually resemble each other, so it was very easy for me to fall into this journey with much peace and content.  Yet, something didn’t feel right.  I still felt “called”…As a seeker, I naturally love to dive into research and educate myself on all the cultures and faiths of our world.  And with that came the lessons of sacred healing through the Earth.  Both in which Druidism and Shamanism utilize to its full potential.

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Over the course of the last several years, I have delved into education and research on sacred plant medicine and the ceremonies that are involved. Although I took many challenging turns in my own life, I have learned to understand that if you want your life to be truly blissful, one must recognize that life is not necessarily all about rules and power, sacrifice and pain, but joy and happiness, compassion and most importantly, respect.  How modern society today has corrupted the mind of the human to take on such anguish and suffering, all for the benefit of someone else’s gain.  Sure, I can easily sound like some crazy conspiracy theorist, but the truth is, I know what my heart, body, mind and soul tells me.  Conspicuous consumption of the world today is sincerely what drives the human race.  This is why there is hate and separation wherever we go.  Black vs. White, Church vs. State, Republican vs. Democrat, Man vs. Woman, Rich vs. Poor, so on and so on.  All we know is separation.  Separating things is easy for us because it gives us some order of substance to how we want to see our life go in a certain direction.  This, in my humble opinion, is why we are so messed up as a people.

But I digress…Let’s get back to what I wanted to talk about – Sacred Plants and the part they play in our lives.

Nestled deep within the jungles, canyons and valleys of some of Earth’s quietest tribal communities, lie the remedies of almost all the ailments in our world.  Most of us living in the “Western” world, we have submerged ourselves with so many chemicals, that our bodies have adjusted to the chaos going on inside each and every one of us.  Which puts many of us in a day-to-day survival mode.  Why in the hell are we doing this?

Let me ask you this: Are you happy?  Like truly, truly happy?  Can you honestly say you wake up every morning and have a euphoric sense of self-worth and purpose? That life is just truly this brilliant gift and you are strong and powerful enough to conquer everything thrown at you?

Of course not!  We don’t live in that kind of world!  Very few of us can say they do live this way.

But would you say if I told you, you COULD???

I totally believe this.  And I believe that one of the many secrets lie within the healing plants and natural medicines scattered over the world. They are out there to help us heal our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and yes, physical ailments that plague our bodies, minds and souls.  You don’t need to be in a religion or spiritual path to understand that our planet is pretty freaking awesome.  And we have yet to truly get into the heart of what our amazing planet can really do.

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Sadly, the powers that be who control the rules and regulations of the Western World truly regulate what the Western World is allowed to utilize in the terms of these “sacred plant medicines”.  Sadly, any plant that could somehow alter the mind’s perception is considered “dangerous”.  Even though these very plants are what heal the very illnesses that plague our world.  So, why are many of these sacred medicines outlawed in the 1st World?

Money.

Power.

Greed.

Sad, isn’t it?  That plants that have been researched to CURE things are not allowed in certain parts of our world, yet it is perfectly acceptable to combine a bunch of chemicals in some lab, feed it to animals for testing, then if it’s a go, allow the human race to consume it.  Yes, I know, it’s near impossible to try to corner a market of something indigenous to 3rd world countries or native tribal communities and make a 1st world profit.  And honestly, why WOULD you?  It’s one thing to accept donations coming from people who want to help keep the traditions going, rather than making a profit off of these sacred plants.  In that case, this can be completely unethical and disrespectful to the communities that make them a part of their daily lives.

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So, what do they do?  The powers that be “create” medicines made out of chemicals created in laboratories, to create similar “effects” of these natural medicines, so they can get a profit.  But, what happens, is that these very “medicines” that the pharmaceutical companies create end up having several times the severe side effects that may be more detrimental to the person’s original path to health and well-being.  And thus the cycle repeats itself until it results in a spiral of madness and chaos of the human body and mind.

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It’s more than just the plant medicines, though.  There are the ceremonies that are part of the consumption of them. As a devout believer in Mum Gaia (aka Mother Earth) and all the plants and flora she creates on this planet, it is with utmost importance we recognize that these plants are indeed, Sacred, and therefore should be given the respect and reverence of how we intake them.  This is why indigenous people of our lands and other communities around the world get so upset with us “white man” who tend to perverse what is Sacred to them by using these plants and ceremonies without the proper respect that needs to be given to those who originated them.  I don’t blame them at all for feeling like this, however, there HAS to be a time to stop the separation.  What the “white man” did to our Natives so long ago can never be rewritten or forgotten.  It’s part of our history and today’s society is proof that the pain still exists, and our privileges are still met before anyone else’s are.

THIS HAS TO STOP.

A few years ago I was introduced to the benefits of Kratom, Kava, and Sacred Blue Lotus.  These plants are part of my everyday life.  Because of their great healing effect, I no longer need depression or anxiety medicines.  Very rarely will I need something medicinally to help me sleep.  The properties of all these plants have the relaxing effect to help me fall asleep.  I suffer from chronic insomnia.  And Kratom, Kava and Blue Lotus help me to achieve going to sleep at night without any aid like Ambien. Every time I take them, I bless my cup, and pray for healing.

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(Me and my cup of Kratom Tea, and a bunch of Red Vein Kratom Leaves)

The frustrating part of this, however, is that many people look at these sacred plants as “drugs” or a”legal” way to get high.

So now this is the part where I’m going to drop some knowledge on the misinformed:

I am a 42 year old woman.  I have a husband, 2 children, a dog, a mortgage, car payments, and an incredibly busy life.  I think it’s an insult to my character if you want to make the assumption I use these beautiful and sacred plants to “get high”.

Plants are not drugs.  Shit that’s created in a laboratory?  Those are drugs.  Know the difference between the two and educate yourself before speaking, because sooner or later, these plants are going to come back full force as more and more people are waking up from the viscous cycle the pharmaceutical companies have us addicted to.

Another ceremony I learned about but never was able to participate in was a Native American Sweat Lodge.  One of the most powerful physical prayers a person can do, Sweat Lodges are also deeply rooted in many traditions outside our Native Americans.  Nordic Vikings and some communities in Africa are also knows to have these.  But it is through the Native American Sweat Lodge do most people come to an understanding with. Sadly, modern day New Age enthusiasts tried to make profits on these “Sweats”, and in 2009, an investigation was made in the wake of a death of a woman who died while in a Sweat Lodge. It was later confirmed that the organizer did not follow the rules of the Sweat Lodge, causing serious health concerns for the individuals who did survive, but who became very ill from that event.  This is why our Indigenous People here are so incredibly protective of their traditions, and become very angry at how they are irreverently used for profit, gain and power.  Many fake or “plastic” shamans, as the Indigenous People call them, are found on every corner preaching how to help you gain “consciousness” and “enlightenment”, all for a price so many people are desperate to pay.  And people don’t understand why are Natives get so insulted when these people give themselves “Indian” names?  These traditions, like the plants, are sacred to the people that have been practicing with for thousands of years.

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(Traditional Native American Sweat Lodge)

Several years ago, I was introduced to Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is the sacred marriage of two plants.  The Mother Ayahuasca Vine, or Caapi Vine, and the leaves from the Chacruna tree. Now, I have never taken, nor been in ceremony with this beloved plant of South America.  Mainly seen in Peru and Ecuador, retreats from all over these two countries are popping up yearly, in assisting the population with the ongoing spiritual awakening the Earth is currently going through. Sadly, some of the original retreats are rarely seen, as larger, more spacious and luxurious retreats are now in demand, with some weekly retreats ranging from $1500-$4000.  What we find is the wealthier population or 1% having the ability to go on these retreats for their “awakening”, which isn’t bad per se, but leaves out a significant portion of our population unable to go because of the financial burden one must endure in order to participate.

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(Traditional Ayahuasca Ceremony in Iquitos, Peru.  Held at Blue Morpho, and run by Master Shaman Hamilton Sauther and Master Don Alberto Torres Davila – one of the exceptions to these retreats – although this is a very expensive retreat, it is probably the best retreat for Ayahuasca in terms of safety and emotional well being.  It’s not about the money for them – it’s about the respect of the medicine AND the safety of the people who come to take the medicine)

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(The Caapi Vine or Mother Ayahuasca)

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(A forest of Ayahuasca and a pot of the ingredients, Caapi Vine and the leaves of the Chacruna tree)

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(Finished Product – Ayahuasca Brew)

I found out about 11 years ago I had a calling.  A calling of Spirit to heal and to teach.  The very Shamanic energies rising from within get stronger every day.  How does a person like myself, a member of the 1st world, with no financial access, be able to bring these sacred plants to the people of my land, without disrespecting the indigenous people from where the plants originate from?  This is currently my quest to find out.

We all need to survive, but understand, we all will NOT survive.  We are not getting out of this life alive. There is no way around it.  So, how does one follow a calling where there is absolutely no way for me to answer?  These are the very troubles that plague my mind.

I have visions.  I have dreams.  Dreams involving camps and retreats not built to accommodate the person, but to accommodate the journey of the person.  I have this desire to bring the sacred plants and ceremonies to people who truly want to be a part of, with respect and reverence, divinity and compassion.  To help those on their journey to self-awareness.  The Shamanka in me is calling out, and she knows I hear her.  My goal this year is to be in ceremony to ask for aid in the sacred plants, and see what they are telling me to do.

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It is truly the only way I know how to best respect what they are here on Earth to do for us.

Earlier this week I had a dream.  A profound dream.  Involving dream catches and feathers, sage, drums and flutes. And something inside me called out to someone.  A friend I have not seen in over a year.  I felt compelled to tell her my visions, and sure enough, she is leading me to my first Sweat Lodge, which I now believe, is the beginning of my Shamanic Journey. I am at a crossroads once again, and this time my path is telling me to walk towards a specific road that no doubt, will be incredibly difficult, but will provide the necessary healing that I have tried so hard for 36 years to fulfill.

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I know now, this new journey will bring my total healing of all the traumas I faced as a child, a teenager, and as adult. It will also bring the necessary forgiveness I need not just for myself, whom I need to forgive, but for those in my past as well as current life, hurt me to my very core.  My journey has already begun by writing this.  I look forward to sharing with you all how it goes.  Aho.

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(Me – Ready for the Journey)

 

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 Super Hunter Moon in Taurus!

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Today is a very powerful day for many people. This morning, The Hunter Moon (in Taurus) went into her Full Moon Completion. How many people felt this? Here are some examples that this particular Moon was affecting you:

  1. Your dreams have been extremely vivid.
  2. Your emotions have been running very high.
  3. Your shadow side has been coming out a little more (Your shadow side is the side of who you are that you rarely let people into, really only the closest people you know, even if it is just yourself, know this side of you. The shadow side can also be explained as the side of you that is darker, more mysterious. The side of you you wish you could change).
  4. You are feeling a need for freedom in your life.
  5. Your desire for change has become profound and significant in the last few days.

There are plenty more examples, but these are the big ones. See, our bodies are mostly made up of water. So, why wouldn’t our beautiful Moon not have an effect on us? If the Moon can govern the tides of the seas, what makes people think she cannot govern our bodies as well?

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This particular Moon is also a Super Moon. Third one in a row! How crazy is that???? Within the next few days, we are going to be experience a moment of completion in our seasonal year. For many people, Samhain (please see my previous blog) is the ending and beginning of the Celtic Year. This is the time of year when our gardening is done, everything is put away, and we retreat to the indoors where we feast and celebrate and hibernate for the next few months. This Moon came at a perfect time for us. This is a time to sit down and think about what we have done over the last year, and what we can now let go to what no longer serves us, and think about the new things you want to bring into your life.

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This is a time for change. For letting go of what once was. You have the power and capabilities of so much, and this is a wonderful time to make it happen. Allow these next few weeks to figure out what needs to get out of your life, so that when the NEW Moon comes to us, you can begin to plan what is going to come INTO your life. Your soul is calling out to you…Can you hear it?

Chiron is actually opposing Venus right now. In the moment of letting go, this is great time to figure out the healing aspects in your life. Remember the theory of Karma: What you put into your life is going to come back to you. So, while we are preparing for our annual hibernation, why don’t you think about what you need to forgive in your life? Who you need to forgive, who needs to forgive you?

This is a grand time for some good old fashioned self- love. To be able to look into the mirror, and say to yourself, “I love you”. If you can do that, you are on your way! If you cannot, however, then you know what then needs to be healed first: YOU.

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Take this time to go outside this evening for Her majestic Moon Rise (6:33 PM EST), and feel her vibration. Close your eyes, and imagine her pearly opal energy shining down into your body, feeding your soul. If you can tonight, light a white or silver candle in honor of the Moon. We are children of the Earth, take the time to honor our Mother!

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This is going to be an incredible night for many people, I hope you are one of them!

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Samhain and the Time of No Time…An Earth Spiritualist’s POV…

wheel_of_the_year    Today I was listening to the Starz’ Series Outlander Volume 1 and 2 Soundtrack on my computer and couldn’t help but feel a jolt of excitement.  Samhain is coming up next week, and if anyone has watched the Outlander Series, Claire’s journey begins on the feast of Samhain.  (Mind you, the book is different and shows that her journey begins on Beltane, but I kind of like this change, since Samhain is literally strewn in mystery, which is what time traveling is all about, right?)

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Samhain.  The end and yet the beginning of the Celtic New Year.  Halloween itself started about 1300 years ago in the Celtic Isles, however Samhain has been around much much longer than that.  This Holy Day, was the original holy day of obligation that many today know it as All Saints/All Souls Day.  The ORIGINAL holiday was called Samhain or Samhuinn (pronounced SAH-WHEN).

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(Samhain Ritual and Celebration at Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor, PA 2013 – Photo taken by Sean DeStephano)

So, how can I go from understanding myself as a Galactic Starseed during this Ascension process yet still can resonate with my Earthly bound needs?  Well, for me it’s quite simple.  Our souls are galactically bound to the Heavens, to our Creator.  It’s so vast and so strong and powerful, there is no denying where our souls come from. (at least in my opinion).  However, we are humans of the Earth right now, and we asked to be a part of this planet to learn the lessons our souls need right now.  And there is no doubt, no doubt, in my mind, how connected I am to Mother Earth.

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From gardening, to the Moon, to understanding my body’s wants and needs, and how this is all connected to the core of my humanness, my soul.  See, what many people don’t either understand or care to want to educate themselves on is that these Earth Spirituality faiths were the original religions.  Yes, I know it may come as a shock to many, but these “religions” came before Judiasm, before Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and so on.  What has happened today is that Jesus’ legacy was severely altered by subjecting those followers to believe that honoring the planet we walk upon should be viewed as “evil”.  Men perversed the Earth religions because it overpowered their own beliefs.  How the written word has literally been changed time and time again over thousands of years.  How sad is that????  Think about it this way:  You decide to start a company.  You begin in the trenches and work your way from the bottom.  Then, something happens…people start buying into your business.  You make enough money and some big investment firm offers you a proposition that you simply could NOT turn way.  You leave your company in the hands of those who never knew what you had to do to get where you are today.  Fast forward 5 years, and everything you originally started the company was no longer there.  The product changed.  The logo changed.  The mission statement changed.  Everything you thought of, dreamed of, was gone.  Why?  Because someone else decided they wanted to make it different.  And all it takes is a little marketing and boom….it’s a new brand.

This is precisely what happened here.  The old religions were shunned aside, making way for something different.  And I mean, come on, let’s look at Christianity.  The teachings Jesus taught.  Do you REALLY think that’s what the church stands for today?  I’m not looking for debate here, I’m not looking to insult anyone’s faith.  In fact, I love Christianity.  Well, the way it WAS, at least.  I live in a way, a Christian life.  I am kind to EVERYONE, even those who have hurt me.  I forgive.  I work hard and am humble. (at least I try to be).  I try to set a good example for my children.  I am loyal.  And I believe EVERYONE is welcome to enjoy the glories of eternal life, no matter WHAT faith you walk by.

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But see, I’m more than that.  I wish you could feel what I feel when I go outside at night and look up at the Moon.  Or when I light some incense and close my eyes and think about how I can be a better person in life.  Or a take a set of cards and lay them out, trying to find out what I need to do to work on myself.  Or when I stand in front of a table, with statues or pictures of people I love and honor, and pray to help me here in life.  Now, let me ask you:  Do I sound like a person who is evil?  Do you think I am playing with fire?  Because that’s truly what people think.    I’ve learned to let it go, no matter how much it breaks my heart.  But my love of this planet, my creator, and everyone around it is MORE important than a few people who think I am damned to eternal fires.  It just has to be this way.

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(The Moon from our deck just now)

This coming weekend I will be spending a quiet evening with a couple of people I am incredibly close to.  My next of kin outside my own blood family.  And we will be honoring those who have passed on, especially those in the last year.  I have a list of friend’s relatives, family and friends who have been asked to be put on my special intentions list, and we will be remembering them that evening.  I will call them to join us for dinner, and to stay with us in deep and spiritual meditation, reminding them how much they were loved here, and how they will never be forgotten.  In Latin communities, they call it Dia De Los Muertos.  In Christian communities, they call it All Saints/All Souls Day.  Again, let me ask you, why is it okay for those in those communities to do what I do, yet what I do is evil?  Asking people to let down their guard, as well as their egos, can be quite a challenge.  But I always welcome this conversation, because I believe everyone has a right to believe in what they believe in.  And as long as they respect me the way I respect them, we will live in more harmony.

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(Ritual of Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico)

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(Catholic Cemetery honoring All Souls Day in Bangladesh)

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(Traditional Altar honoring the ancestors at Samhain)

Samhain is a time of reflection, a time where we go into a void until the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of Yule, the welcoming back of the sun, or in Christian communities, the Son.  I love this time of year, because it is an amazing experience to really go inward, and let go of your ego, and you realize what true humility is like.  It’s precious, and I take advantage of every moment I have in reflective solitude.

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I am going to begin doing classes for those who are interested in my path.  I look forward to helping people on their path, whether it is along my side, or on a different road.  Either way, I will always be there for those who need me.

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Another great thing about the next several weeks of being in “no time”, is in that reflection, I will find more time for my art.  My art in writing, painting, drawing, and other crafts.  If you are interested in a painting or drawing or anything of that matter, please let me know.  I have found my best work, albeit in my poetry and artwork, always comes between November and the first 3 weeks of December.  My inspiration?  The skies at Sunset.  Trust me when I say they are extraordinary.

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(December 2013 Sunset near Appalachian Mountains)

Will you be participating in anything honoring your ancestors this week?  If so, how?  I love to hear about what everyone is going to be doing.

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Photo:Copyright JOE;CONLON;ATHBOY;;;

(Photo:  Joe Conlon)

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