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Change…

I know I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here.  Let’s just say the muse went on a vacation and she took a major sabbatical from my brain.  I don’t blame her.

Sitting here on this Sunday morning, I am looking around at all the trees, and noticing so many of them are still very green with most of their leaves still going strong.  And it’s October 30th *actually, it’s November 5th, it’s been a week since I typed this up and now I’m just getting to finish it *.  A bit unusual for this time of year, as the ending of the autumn season usually accompanies the falling of the leaves.  By early November, almost all the trees are bare. *actually, the trees are finally starting to change, and I have pictures of last Sunday versus this Sunday and see how they changed within 1 week*  And people say climate change isn’t real.  If people would stop for just a moment to see what our Earth is doing, they might actually agree.

(Our Sugar Maple)

(The Walnut Tree next door)

Change is everywhere in the air.  I am able to understand a little better now why I am feeling the blues hit me a little earlier than my normal time (which is usually between end of December to beginning of March).  The last time I felt the blues come on this early was 2008.  I was right on the cusp of a major life change.  The difference now than where I was in 2008, was that I am aware of the change.  Back then, my ego was still running the show, the MC of my life, so it allowed me blissful ignorance while I was doing my day to day activities.

The last few days I had been going over the life changes that were in store for me at the time I was unaware.  Who I was in 2008, is no longer on this plane of existence.  Like a leaf blowing in the wind before its final journey from tree to grass is complete, I said goodbye to that Bridget I once was.  Selfish, immature, narcissistic, egocentric, and living in the world of victim-hood, shedding those facets that made up of who I was, was challenging yet liberating.  I truly believed that once I shed that skin, the real Bridget would be out and I would then live my days in this new frame of existence.

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How silly I was to think that was to be the last change!

Yes, its true, we shed physically every 7-9 years.  Astrologically speaking, we go through major changes every 17-19 years.  Right now I’m smack in the middle of my second nodal return.  Changes I am going through are enough to keep me on my toes.  Honestly, up until a few weeks ago, I thought I was in a good place in all areas of my life.  Sure, there is ALWAYS room for improvement, but I guess I thought the majority of my life was pretty much it, and I was pretty content with that knowledge.  Who would have thought my ego was still peeking through?

I have learned through grace and humility that ego does not like to be wrong.  It wants to win every time.  Ego will fight when you try to change.  That’s all ego knows.  Instead of fighting the ego, love it.  Bless it.  Acknowledge it.  Then keep moving.  Spending more and more time with ego will cause backwards thinking, stagnancy and despair.  I know because I’ve done it.  That “Stuck” feeling we get from time to time?  Depression?  Anxiety?  That’s all ego is.  When we step away from it, we come closer to our true selves.

If you are a follower of me on Social Media, then you probably saw a post not too long ago about me feeling a shift of my Spirituality.  For almost 2 decades, I have felt a kinship and a love for Earth Spirituality.  Being in Communion with God out in Nature proved to be one of the most intense and deep loves that I felt in a long time.  When I officially walked away from the Catholic Church on December 21, 2012, I truly believed I found where I was supposed to be.  I studied so many religions and faiths over the years, Earth Spirituality was most definitely *the* path I felt called to be a part of.  And for over 20 years, it’s where my heart lied.  Until recently.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, my heart still lies there, just like it still lies with Catholicism in some ways.  When you emerge and align your body, mind and soul with a particular faith, you go all in.  Your whole world becomes taken over by it.  It’s literally like falling in love with someone.  Butterflies, a longing to be a part of them in every way.  I truly believe that’s how a person feels when they delve into a life change they have been craving to be a part of.  All the endorphins are finally released, creating a euphoric high within you.

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This is precisely how I have been feeling when I allowed myself to dive into Hinduism.

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What’s funny, is that for some time now, there were signs that I never bothered to take notice of.  From listening to Hindu music, Bollywood, just my overall love for Indian culture, yoga, meditation, Tibetan prayer flags (both Hindu and Buddhist) at home and at work, my sudden love for Lakshmi. Buddhas all around my home and at work (yes I know that’s Buddhist but humor me here).  Yes, the signs WERE there.  But I chose not to listen or look at them.  I had always been interested in Eastern Religions, as they go further back than Christianity and most other modern day religions.  But lately, Hinduism has been catching my eye, and most importantly, my heart.  Would you believe who I found in Hinduism?

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(Yup, that’s right….that’s Jesus)

The only thing I’m not sure if I feel comfortable with is the idea of an incarnation of Shiva, or Guru.  It’s different from being a Karmapa (a living incarnation of Buddha). There are many representations of Shiva who are considered enlightened Masters or Swami’s.  Sadly, I have read many of them have controversies that are aligned with them.  From overcharging people for retreats/enlightenment courses (some can run around $10,000 a week), to sexual assault, and deception.  I learned long ago that all religions have their bad eggs, so I shouldn’t be surprised by what I found.  One teacher I have found I feel connected to, and although his name isn’t without some controversy (that later proved to be false so please don’t go trying to dig stuff up, I already did my research), he came into my dreams this past week and told me to come to his Ashram.

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(Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda otherwise known as Swamiji)

I was like, “What the heck is an Ashram?”  I had to Google it when I got up the next morning, and found it was a monastic community-like place where you go to pray with him. I’ve been reading up on his words and teachings, watching his videos, and quite frankly, there’s so much that he says that correlates with Jesus, it’s almost freaky to think they are kindred souls.  What I found was fascinating.  So many people have the impressions that Hindus believe and worship idols.  They do not.  They believe in ONE God.  One Divine Creator.  And within God, there are many dieties, enlightened masters, gurus, teachers, however you want to call them, that are the physical representations of God.  That they ask not to be worshipped, but to be called upon to help aid in our prayers going to God.  Sounds a lot like the Saints and Angels, doesn’t it?  The fact remains is that even practicing Earth Spirituality, I found Jesus, who has always been there since Day 1.  Moving onto a new path, I find Him again.  How Lakshmi is the representation of the Blessed Mother.  Different culture, same soul.  Does it mean I need to go back to Catholicism?  Heck no.  I love that I can continue to explore my profound and devout love through different cultures and different paths.  As I’ve said so many times, there are MANY paths to the top of the same mountain.

In the end, I feel that my journey in life is taking me down a new road.  I do not know if it will pan out, but I do know that in order for me to know, I need to do the walk. Bless.

 

 

 

 

 

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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Feeling the Welcoming Shadows of Lammas…

First off, I cannot believe it is July 6th. I haven’t written in a long while, mainly it’s because I haven’t had moments like what I am having now.  I’m actually on vacation, or what we 9-5’ers call “Staycation”. I am home currently in my bedroom, lounging in bed, at 1:40 PM. The temperature outside is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and all my phone says is “Very HOT”.  No kidding.  Summer is in its full and unforgiving swing, with temperatures sweltering and the humidity sometimes unbearable.  I equally love and hate this time of year.  Our Independence Day celebrations here in the United States are FINALLY over, and hopefully our doggie Linus VanPuggle will fall back into his normal pattern (we had first-hand knowledge of what fireworks do to pets, and our neighbors setting off theirs at all times of the day resulted in our pup vomiting, shaking, dry heaving, and all other sorts of crazy anxiety-ridden ailments.

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(Fireworks and Pets DO NOT MIX)

On top of that, we had some pretty crazy stormy weather move in a couple days ago, which prompted our pool to change to a pretty color algae-green.  Yuck.  So, my boys and I are stuck indoors today while our pool is getting its much needed shock treatment to get it back to it’s pretty crystal clear blue.

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(Before the storms)

But as someone who follows the seasons (as you know), even with the heaviness of the heat and humidity, I can already FEEL the change in the air.  I knew this would happen since we had an early Spring.  So, naturally, the smell in the air is incredibly intoxicating with the musty scent of woods and grass, acknowledging that although Summer is very much the in season right now, Autumn is beginning its whisper.  And why wouldn’t it?  Just as it is in October we are wanting the Winter holidays, then in January, people start wanting Spring.  And it April, people long for the long Summer, so by July, Autumn is beginning to beckon us.  It’s who we are and we should NOT ignore the most basic of our bodies calling.  I talk about this every year and yet it still is important to mention.  Before religion became a “thing” in this world, the people ONLY had the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and the ever changing seasons.  Traditions and Spiritual paths are all based on this. Why we continue to fight this, I’ll never understand.

Yet here we are.

The last few days I had delved hard into the bedroom I share with my husband.  When we purchased this home a little over 9 months ago, neither of us had really any vacation time left.  So, I made a promise, that in the upcoming Summer, I would have a “proper” vacation, walking away from all work related calls, emails and the like, and settle on holing up in my home to do some proper nesting.  We went from a severely cluttered home to a “somewhat” cluttered home.  Trust me when I say, I feel like I’m living in a castle compared to what it had been!  We still have a lot to go through, and next month we are holding a massive yard sale to say buh-bye to those items no longer needed in our lives.  Anything we don’t sell, we are donating, or giving to my in-laws to continue to sell.  Either way, they are not coming back into this house.

I will say, I am rather bummed I cannot be outside right now, I know my plants are in need of my care. Sadly, my health and the outdoors in this type of weather don’t mix, and I don’t want to risk getting more sick. One can only hope we can get through the heat wave, and if not, I will continue to seed and plant, until Mother Earth tells me to settle in for the Winter.

Speaking of my garden, she’s not doing so well.  And as this is our first year here, I’m not surprised.  The ground is extremely brittle with areas of clay.  So, when watering, it just runs off.  I know it’s going to take another good year before I have good enough soil to get a better harvest.  My original goals of a decent harvest are continually being thwarted by this heat and the fact I get full sun for most of the day.  So, I really can’t water my plants after 7AM or they will get burnt by the sun.  Add the fact our house sits in what feels like a man-made wind tunnel, gardening this year has been completely exhausting.  And while I know the haters are laughing under their breath and desperately wanting to tell me “I told you so”, I know deep down it’s going to be okay, and that I just need to keep going.

(Sadly they don’t look this good anymore)

Kinda missing the Summer of 2014, now.  (For those on the East Coast of the US, it was the coolest and nicest Summer on record)

So, today I am painting.  Not walls, but canvasses. The Muse has been harnessed for a long time, sacrificing her time for a more rigid lifestyle of being an adult. The promise I made to myself when on this “vacation” from work to de-clutter my home, it was to de-clutter EVERYTHING.  So today, I am making space for my head and the right brained little girl who has been patiently waiting on the sidelines to come out and play.

(Couple little things I played around with today)

As I look outside and see the thick haze of the air, prompting the weather guys to issue a necessary air quality warning, I sit inside the imitation coolness of air conditioning, I quietly acknowledge change is indeed in the air.  This year in particular has gone incredibly fast. Which only solidifies my continuing argument that we are never guaranteed the next minute, and we can never get back the one that just passed. Be in tune with your breath.  Be in tune with your change. It’s who we are, it’s how we are. I for one, welcome the upcoming quieter time of the year.  But in the meantime, I will continue my lounging session for the day, before gearing back up to de-clutter more things around my home tomorrow.

The Season of Lammas is approaching.  Can you feel the shadows of the season coming?

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Nursing the Possibilities…

The last several weekends have been incredibly busy, which has left me doing all sorts of gardening prep and maintenance on the week nights after work, which only provides me with a couple hours of sunlight.

(Potted a little over 70 seed pots, cannot wait to see what comes up! Each side is some Fennel and Calendula)

So, Sunday, I had promised myself that after all was said and done, this day would be the day to continue working with my seedlings, mow the lawn, and even shock the pool. Alas, it doesn’t look like much was going to happen yesterday, as the rain clouds, although not in one big clump, are sparse throughout the area, which is going to result in passing rain showers like every 20 minutes! But, Scott and I were busy-busy at keeping up with Mum Gaia as she spread her light showers. And we were totally okay with that, really. Mother Nature has a job she needs to do, and I firmly believe that we need to let her do it. She can most certainly live without us, however WE cannot live without HER!

(Excited to finally see my Roses and Morning Glories coming in to bloom, and that mystery daisy-looking plant finally flowered, and it’s Fleabane!  How exciting!)

So, the grass was mowed, and I got about 70+ seedlings planted in their starter pots. When I was finished, I stood in front of my little greenhouse, like a hovering new mother looking into the nursery. Maybe that’s why gardens and hospitals call these places “nursery”. We are nursing the things in that room to grow and thrive.


On another note, I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on astrologically. Mercury will be thankfully going out of retrograde status on May 22. But that still leaves 3 others in the retrograde phase. Mars, Saturn and Pluto.

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With Mars, we need to remember this is a good time to SLOW down. When we try hard to make things happen, things can backfire if you are not prepared. And especially with Mars AND Saturn being retrograde, you best remember this will most likely happen. Expect to work a little harder for things. (in my case, that’s just a normal day for me hahaha). And then you’ve got little Pluto out there, reminding us that now is the time to cleanse the inner most part of ourselves. To walk away from things and people who no longer serve our greater good. When you are awake, it can be acutely difficult to be around those who are still in a sleep mode. You continue to love them and wish them peace, but their own lack of ascending is only going to hinder your own journey. Take time to seek within. Sometimes we have to make decisions that may hurt others, but will bring YOU peace. And you know what? Sometimes, you HAVE to make that sacrifice. You cannot be 100% for others if you are not 100% for yourself. I’m not giving you the liberty to make decisions based on selfish desires, but more suggesting you take a hard look at the who’s and what’s in your life that are bringing your soul down. And when the soul ain’t happy, nothing else about you will be either. I know people close to me who are suffering, or making decisions just like this. And as hard as it is for them, it is for the best of all concerned. If anything, that is what these retrogrades are teaching us right now. Slow down, think about what is good in your life and stick with it. Think about what’s bad in your life and let it go. It’s really that simple, even if the action itself is difficult to finish.


I myself have had a lot to think about in the last couple weeks. It doesn’t make it easier that the retrogrades have been causing a bit of a riot in my own life. Things not going right, conversations being skewed, plans being rescheduled, etc etc etc….For me, it relates to a bigger picture in my life. What does one do when every part of your beings KNOWS a change needs to be made, and yet, outside forces and even my own brain is telling me, “no no no, it’s too risky”. To say I’m scared is an understatement. But I know the universe has a way of working things out for the betterment of all, and so I have to trust in it. Deep inside I know this is a time of great possibilities. And I just need to have faith, right?
Great possibilities. Like my garden. I look around, and see so much possibility. The potential for growth, harmony, existence, life and so on…like my own personal journey is reflected into what is the Sacred Gardens. Because my life is sacred. Our planet is Sacred. And my soul is the nursery. Tending and caring for its very existence to grow and thrive in this world.

(Where I am nestled tonight in quietude where the rest of my clan in watching Wrestling in the family room…I choose Enya, candlelight and warmth…Maybe time to make a cup of tea???)

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