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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…)

Thanksgiving and the Irony of the Syrian Refugee Crisis…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanksgiving Sale at the Spiral Willow!!!!!

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Everything in the Spiral Willow store is Buy 1 Get 1 for 50% off!

Save on Oracle and Tarot Readings by taking $5.00 off when you order one of my readings!

Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed holiday here in the US!

***Good through Sunday, 11/30/2015***