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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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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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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

 

 

Year In Review…Goals for 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Sunday Ramblings of a Tired Hobbit….

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve accomplished SO much, and yet I feel I haven’t even broken a dent in my day.  Summer can be truly glorifying when your home is at a state of organization.  But I am sure most of you would agree with me that rare do we have an organized home.  Still, I am grateful that I got up this morning, that I got to the store, made 3 ½ pounds of homemade meatballs, and picked up a bag of clothes from my sister.  All in all, a productive day so far.  My darling husband, sweet man that he is, has been domesticated bliss and I cannot appreciate him any more than I do right now.  While I was out gallivanting around to get the unordinary chores completed, he was at home doing laundry, dishes, and taking the trash and recycling out.  How amazing is he?  And yet, I come home from my chores, incredibly stressed out and irritated, and still manages to be romantic and sweet, even though I wasn’t able to reciprocate it back to him immediately.  It’s how we complement each other that makes me so blessed.

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My sweetie, isn’t he dishy?

When I am down, he balances me back up, and when he is down, I do the same.  As humans, it is impossible to be 100% of the time.  We are bound to make mistakes and mess up.  And it had been so long since I had a partner in my life who actually GROUNDED me.  His love shows me every day I still have so much to learn not only about myself, but how much I can truly give if I just try harder.  So, I’m doing my best to be less irritated, and spend more time at being happy my boys are spending some downtime to themselves, something we ALL need.

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This summer has been at the very least, semi-challenging.  Most weekends have been spent busy at parties and events that required our presence, and although I love being around my friends and family, the lack of quiet time that many of us actually do get in the late autumn pre and post-holiday chaos is significantly felt, which no doubt, aids in my tension.  As I am preparing my journey from the Mother to the Crone stage of life, I have found my love for Spring, although still very strong, is beginning to wane, while my love for Autumn is beginning to grow.  Spring and Autumn have always been my two favorite seasons, but Spring has been without a doubt my favorite.  Easter/Ostara has always been my favorite holiday, however my love for Samhain has definitely curbed my Spring appeal.  Something about quieting down, going within, that makes my stomach warm with butterflies.  My longing for October and November gets stronger every morning I wake up.  I feel the seasons changing as we speak, and my desire for the following things is seriously heeding my call:

  • Bon/Camp Fires
  • Hot Apple/Mulled Cider
  • Caramel Apples
  • Burning Leaves
  • Everything in their orange, red and yellow glory
  • Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
  • Hayrides
  • Mums
  • My apartment being adorned with orange lights and leaves

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Beautiful enchanted forest during fall or autumn, great fairy tale background, hdr

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I am sitting here, enjoying a nice warm cup of Kratom tea, and the butterflies are fluttering like crazy in my belly.  My headset is currently listening to “Embraced” by Paul Cardall, and realizing I need to start making my Autumn 2015 playlist!  What shall I put on it this year??????  Last year, I had Ingrid Michelson start my playlist with “Girls Chase Boys” with a follow up of All About That Bass by Post Modern Jukebox featuring Kate Smith and Adele’s Set Fire To the Rain.  Would love to know your thoughts, as a musician, I am ALWAYS looking for new music to listen to.  Right now I am straight head-on listening to mostly New Age/Dark Celtic music such as Enya, Clannad, Loreena McKennit, Gandalf, 2002 and Secret Garden.  Really, this music is sort of my go-to music when I am turning inward, so it only goes to understand why I would be listening to this kind right now.  But I do like a twist during my Autumn-time, as I always see Autumn as the romantic season.  There is something about cloudy, dark, rainy, cold days that puts me in that “mood”.  Maybe it’s the cuddling!  Some other artists that have made an Autumn playlist in the past include:

  • Omnia
  • Nox Arcana
  • Faun
  • Damn the Bard
  • Emerald Rose
  • Spiral Rhythm
  • Coyote Run (now respectfully called Picti)
  • Albannach
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Qntal

I love using these artists above because they make SUCH AMAZING music!!!!!!  Please let me know if there is a specific band you want to hear more about, because I will definitely blog about them!  I am a singer, writer and pianist and sacred drummer, so I’m always looking out for new stuff!

So, I know this was a hodge podge of information today, but I wanted to get it out there, so we can talk more about things!  I still have to get back to my 40 days of Spirit, I promise this week I will get a new post on that!  In the meantime, I leave you with my new favorite band, I’ve been in love with these ladies since I found them last year on a Woman Tribal Facebook page I am a member of.  It’s my new theme song (you know how I feel we all need one), as it truly speaks of who I am.  As a Northern Appalachian Shamanka/Hedge Witch, whatever you want to call me, being able to help heal people through the Earth is something that lives within me and truly gets me out of the bed every day.  I hope you like them…They are Rising Appalachia: