GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 28 Feb-7 Mar 2021 ~ Thanks for reading!

Blessed Full Moon!

Don’t compromise yourself.
You are all you’ve got. ~Janis Joplin

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for February: Violet: Faithfulness, Wisdom and Hope

February is Heart-Healthy Month, Black History Month

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nion (Ash) February 18 to March 17

The Goddess Calendar
The Goddess Month of:
Moura – February 20 – March19

MARCH

MAR. 4: Celtic Feast of Rhiannon: Moon Goddess, Underworld Goddess

MAR. 5: Navigium Isidis – Egyptian festival honoring Goddess Isis as Lady of the Moon and Ruler of the Sea; celebrated with the launching of a boat of offerings.

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Mar 7: Face to Face Class: WitchCrafting 1–3PM
Mar 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1-3PM
Mar 21: Face to Face Class: Noon–3:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: FULL MOON

From fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. Prime time for rituals for prophecFrom seven to fourteen days after the new moon.

Time: From fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. Prime time for rituals for prophecFrom seven to fourteen days after the new moon. (energy lasts from three days before to three days after actual full moon) Prime time for rituals for prophecy.

Goddess Aspect: Mother

Associated Goddesses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis

Magickal Attributes: Fruition, Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power.

Workings on this day are for protection, divination.”extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

Treat headaches with herbs. You’re reading, driving, working, cooking—and whoomf! a headache happens. For ordinary headaches caused by the stresses and strains of daily life, a calming cup of herbal tea may be all you need to restore your equilibrium. Use these dried headache herbs, brewed with 1 cup boiling water and sweetened with honey:

Lavender, lemon balm, meadowsweet, ½ teaspoon each
Sage, rosemary, mint, ½ teaspoon each
Rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, ½ teaspoon each
A cool lavender compress for the temples and a quiet rest in a dark room may also give you the relief you need.

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com
Card of the Week: The Sun

Are you basking in the energy of the Sun?

The Sun represents success, radiance and abundance. This beautiful, warm energy is what gets you through the tough times and helps you succeed. You are in a position where you can share your highest qualities and achievements with others.

Radiate who you are and what you stand for; shine your love on those you care about. You may find people drawn to you because you can always see the bright side and bring such warmth to their lives.
If you are going through a difficult time, the Sun brings you the message you have been waiting for: that things will get better, a lot better! Through the challenges along your path, you discover who you are and why you’re here.

Ask the Tarot: What do you feel really good about right now?

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Coventry Creations
CoventryCreations.com
March 1, 2021 – March 7, 2021

We begin the month of March a lot differently than we began the last fourteen months.
We start the week off with the Moon moving through fair-and-balanced Libra. Minor relationship issues may surface on Tuesday but should be easily resolved.
Midweek, Wednesday, is a favorable day to think outside the box and change your relationship patterns by adding new and exciting elements. It’s also a positive upbeat day for socializing and networking, yet you may find it difficult to stay disciplined and focused. Thursday is superb for business matters; strategize a bigger picture, sign contracts, engage with partners or even begin an advertising campaign.
The weekend is a fine time to relax and enjoy yourself for a change. Do something entertaining and exciting.
Recommended candles and oils: Motor City Hoo Doo Adam & Eve / Blessed Herbal Love’s Enchantment / Blessed Herbal Energy & Will / Wicked Witch Mojo Everything and Then Some

March2021
FeatureRetail 200sqCreativity Helps Us Cope with the World Around Us
What if creativity was the end of your process and not the beginning? What if everything that you have been experiencing is to feed your creativity? What a freeing thought! Creating from what you know and have experienced is the hallmark of many epic classics of music, words, and paint. Ask any creative person and ask to see their best work. It is most likely after one of the hardest moments in their life.

It is a blessing to re-evaluate every experience, not as a curse or trauma, but as a blessing to fuel your future creativity. Step into seeing the moments of blessing in your life. If you are having a hard time seeing them, grab a Coventry Blessing Kit and immerse yourself in the magic of the moment.

Blessing Kits

19 combinations of blessings to awaken in your life (Including Muse to spark your creativity)

March is Aquarius season where the impulse to create rides us strong. Each and every one of us has our own brand of creativity; food, numbers, tech, paint, gardens, cars, and even the way you approach life has space for your own clever spin. Let go of your preconceived definition of what it is to be creative and open up to your inner divine child.

Play to create and you will fill your soul with joy.

Visit our website to browse our unique products, read our blogs, and more. Make sure to check out our Witches Union page. It celebrates the powerful witch in you. We’ve got products, contests, and a Spell Caster Club Facebook group. Be part of something special, our witchy community, because you are special. You can do magic!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more Coventry magic delivered right to your inbox.

March2021
RetailAstroMagic 2021It’s Here! Factual Uncomfortable Truths
March 2021, Pisces season is an energy that many are uncomfortable with because this represents everything that has a beginning and must come to an end. Our immortality-obsessed culture has difficulty incorporating into everyday life. If we dive into the depths of Pisces, we can hear the magical song of the mermaid. Listen close enough, she may give you the glimpse of a better life that is only possible when you let what is ending or no longer useful disintegrate.

Grounding the archetypal symbolism of Pisces into everyday life appears as a deep sensitivity to the environment around us. We may begin to care about things a little more and may find ourselves more compassionate, understanding, and forgiving. Magically speaking, the month of March is about letting go of the old and embracing your future potential. Candles or oils such as Blessed Herbal Needed Change, Wicked Witch Mojo Tornado Alley, Motor City Hoo Doo Uncrossing, and Transition blessing kit are recommended. This is also the month where we replace all our cleansing tools – mops, brooms, buckets, sponges, and outdated or expired cleaning products for new ones. This magically helps us release the old and embrace the new. Start the spring cleaning your soul and get to creating a better you.

Lunar Magic:

New Moon in Pisces on March 13, 2021

The New Moon in Pisces is often difficult for many people to work with magically because of the confusing collective urges. The best use of the New Moon in Pisces is to dig deep into the problem areas of your life and ‘seek’ higher meaning. This is a powerful time to do healing or trauma clearing work. This New Moon forms a beneficial sextile to Pluto in Capricorn, giving you an empowering opportunity to release toxic emotional pain from the past. Finally, the New Moon in Pisces is good for divination, mediumship, channeling, and ancestral work.

Recommended candles and oils: Blessed Herbal Healing / Blessed Herbal Heart / Affirmation Meditation / Wicked Witch Mojo Waking the Dead

Full Moon in Libra on March 28, 2021

The Full Moon this month occurs in Libra, the sign associated with relationships and partnerships. This Full Moon opposes Venus and Chiron reflecting the need to release painful relationships that are no longer serving your greater good. Past relationship wounds may resurface and need to be resolved. Letting go of relationships may be painful, and you may need to initiate this process with care, but the ‘end’ result opens the door for future healthier experiences that are beneficial for your overall growth.

Recommended candles or oils: Motor City Hoo Doo Adam and Eve / Wicked Witch Mojo Outta My Way /Blessed Herbal or Affirmation Healing / Transition Blessing Kit

Weekly Breakdown

March 1, 2021 – March 7, 2021

We begin the month of March a lot differently than we began the last fourteen months.

We start the week off with the Moon moving through fair-and-balanced Libra. Minor relationship issues may surface on Tuesday but should be easily resolved.

Midweek, Wednesday, is a favorable day to think outside the box and change your relationship patterns by adding new and exciting elements. It’s also a positive upbeat day for socializing and networking, yet you may find it difficult to stay disciplined and focused. Thursday is superb for business matters; strategize a bigger picture, sign contracts, engage with partners or even begin an advertising campaign.

The weekend is a fine time to relax and enjoy yourself for a change. Do something entertaining and exciting.

Recommended candles and oils: Motor City Hoo Doo Adam & Eve / Blessed Herbal Love’s Enchantment / Blessed Herbal Energy & Will / Wicked Witch Mojo Everything and Then Some

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Rubys Astro Readings
Venus Enters Pisces
For All Zodiac Signs

This transit fires up our fantasies and can turn our love lives into a dream.

The Piscesan energy wants us to share our feelings as it has no bounds in love. We have more compassion and are attracted to people who are left out, overlooked, or victimized. We can be self-sacrificing and have difficulty keeping up healthy boundaries in our relationships. As the walls between this physical world and the spiritual dissolve, we can find ourselves struggling to say No, especially if our heart has been touched in some way.

We can be quite sensitive and will avoid anything or anyone that makes us feel uncomfortable. Pisces invented the word Ghosted, so we need to not push for love or a commitment. Don’t not underestimate our ghostiness abilities during this time. Just go with the flow.

Fantasies and wishful thinking can be strong while Venus is in Pisces. But we must be careful not to fool ourselves by only believing what we want, as lines get more easily crossed. Finding some people may be more difficult as this energy is elusive and dream-like, and it can pull us into a strange space, and a twilight zone like state of mind, where everything feels odd. So be careful not to lose touch with reality under its influence.

We can feel detached from our physical reality and feel as if we are almost outside of it, like when remote viewing. Our dream world is highly active, and it’s easier to cross into different realms and dimensions. There can be signs and symbols in our dreams from the Universe, so we need to pay attention to what messages they are trying to convey.

During the Venus in Pisces cycle, we put on rose-colored glasses to view our relationships in the way we want to (we can do the same with money.) Often, love can be hard to define, and our thinking can be illogical.
But our hearts are full of compassion, especially with our partners, or lovers. In our relationships, we might rediscover a kind of compassion that was thought to be lost. We can feel more connected with the world in an emotional way.

Connecting into our emotions can bring some clarity, as our life is all the colors of the rainbow. So we embrace love and forgive more easily. We seem to understand or sympathize with people better during this time. We thoroughly enjoy the art of seduction, as escapism is a rush. Just don’t escape into drugs or alcohol for a whole month!

Venus in Pisces energy can soften our disposition as we feel more tender and affectionate. There’s a stronger longing or desire to hold on to something we can’t describe or put our finger on, so feeling satisfied may not come so easy. Boundaries dissolve in relationships and often with our cash flow when Venus is in Pisces. If there’s already been relationship or money issues in your life since January of this year, you need to buckle down and be more mindful of what you are communicating during this cycle.

Our imagination is very strong and active. This transit’s shadowy side often sparks our fantasies about romance, especially involving our past relationships. There also can be feelings of sadness, and we can feel more down and hurt over what we have lost in love. It’s time to let go of the pain we’ve been holding onto and release a dream or relationship in some cases.

We can be attracted to more complicated and strongly unbalanced people. It’s not the best idea to go back to an ex-lover that hurt you, as you might be focused on only the positive things that happened and can lose sight of what was wrong in the first place. It can backfire if we try to get back with ex-lovers or friends from the past.

Zen it out and get into spiritual activities like meditation, journal-writing, yoga or exercise, or doing anything that helps you connect to your higher-self, and that will help keep you stay grounded.

Take care, enjoy the Venus in Pisces vibes and work on self-care, self-love, and self-nurturing!

~Ruby
by Rubys Readings

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Muting Spell
FEBRUARY 28, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Sometimes we have to spend time with difficult people whether we like it or not. Opinions clash. Personalities don’t mix. It’s just part of life. When you find yourself having to be around an abrasive or annoying personality, use this onion spell to mute their energy so you can get on with your day.

You will need an onion, a knife, and a jar with a tight lid. Cut the ends off the onion and peel it. It will stink and make your eyes water; this symbolizes the offensive behavior of the person and your reaction to them. Tolerate it for as long as you can while visualizing their actions. Then put the onion in the jar and seal the lid. Notice that the impact of the onion is now muted, no longer affecting your sinuses or eyes. Imagine that the person’s energy, voice, and presence are muted too, as if they’re behind glass.

Put the jar away out of sight. When the situation has resolved, compost the onion and wash the jar well.
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Snow Moon Cleanse
FEBRUARY 27, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

The February full moon is often referred to as the Snow Moon. Take advantage of today’s special energies to cleanse any water-safe crystals and tools you want to recharge. If you live in a snowy climate, fill a bowl with snow from the ground. Place the water-safe objects in it and leave the bowl out under the moonlight overnight. If you live in a climate that does not receive snow, you can place snowflake obsidian stones in the water to carry and honor the energy of snow. After you place the objects in the bowl, you can say a blessing such as this:

Full Snow Moon,
I ask of thee,
Please cleanse and imbue
with your unique energy.
So mote it be!

In the morning, retrieve your objects and dry them.
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Awaken the Sun and Earth Spell
FEBRUARY 26, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

At this time of year we begin to grow anxious and are ready for spring. This spell will help keep you in step with the natural world. It will also make you feel that you’re hurrying spring along.

You’ll need an orange candle, a houseplant, and a watering can. Place the candle, the plant, and the watering can filled with water on your altar. Begin by saying:

Sun, awaken and rise into the sky.
Show me your light and power.
Earth, awaken from your frosty grave.
Show me your green grass
and begin to flower.

Next, safely light the candle and water the plant. Visualize the sun growing in strength and the earth turning green again. When you’re ready, snuff out the candle. This ends the spell. Perform this ritual as often as you like until the days are mild again.
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Venus in Pisces Relationship Spell

Venus makes its move into Pisces to day, and for the next month or so, people may be more sensitive or more aware of what they need from each other, and we can expect to have some deeper relationshiporiented conversations. Cast this spell to harmonize with this energy and to ensure positive outcomes from potentially upsetting interactions.

On a 4 by 4-inch piece of parchment paper, draw the symbol of Venus in red ink. Rotate the paper clockwise 180 degrees, then draw the symbol of Pisces over the symbol of Venus. Rotate the paper clockwise 90 degrees and fold it toward you, then repeat two more times (three folds). Kiss the folded paper and say:

From up and down and all around,
I harmonize with Venus and Pisces.
Heart to heart, matters won’t part,
We shall live through any crises!

Keep the parchment in your wallet or purse.
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Love Renewal
FEBRUARY 24, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

Dragobete is a traditional Romanian holiday celebrated on February 24. Dragobete is the patron saint of love and cheerfulness as well as the patron saint of birds. This holiday is a day for lovers and a celebration of the rebirth of nature. The patron saint Dragobete reminds us to never stop celebrating love.

Place spring flowers, flower petals, and bird feathers that you find in nature in a circle on your altar or sacred space. In the middle of the circle place one white candle. As the candle burns, visualize love renewed, whether the love is old or new. Chant these words:

May my love be renewed, may the
feathers help me fly, may my joy reach
the greatest heights in the sky.
While my white candle burns
and reflects the purity in my
heart, I desire that my love will
have a fresh new start.

Be sure to blow out the candle after the chant.
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Magically Enhanced Water

There is so much focus now on different types of water: bottled water, vitamin-enriched water, spring water, mineral water, etc. All of these are great, but magical people can take things even further. Water is so receptive that it can be programmed with an intention and then, when drunk, this magic is internalized to create its effect.

To program the water, pour the desired amount into a cup or pitcher and hold your hands over it while willing your intention into the liquid. You can then drink as much of it as you wish. Additionally, club soda can be added for a power boost, or fresh produce can be added for a variety of intentions, such as fresh cucumbers for healing and moon magic, cherries for love energy, blueberries or huckleberries for cleansing and protection, or lemon and lime for purification. You can experiment to find your favorite combinations.
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Elemental Protection
FEBRUARY 22, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

Sybil Leek was an astrologer, a psychic, and a witch, and today was her birthday. With her jackdaw bird and flowing cape, she was an early, visible witch and mystic who, like Gerald Gardener, was one of the first to publish books on witchcraft.

Today, let’s cast a circle of protection around ourselves, our familiars, our circles, and our Pagan path so that all witches and practitioners of the craft are free to practice.

As you face each direction, use your right index finger to draw a pentagram for protection in the air as you say the following words.

In the east:
May air inspire deep breaths,
diversity, and acceptance of all.

In the south:
May fire burn away intolerance,
warming our hands, heads, and hearts.

In the west:
May water balm all old wounds,
bringing spiritual healing.

In the north:
May the earth uphold
and support us all.

To the center:
May all Pagans live in
peace. Blessed be.

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Witch Hazel: A Natural Remedy
4 Ways To Use Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a liquid distillation of the leaves, bark and twigs of a common shrub (Hamamelis virginiana), which is native to North America. It can usually be found on drugstore shelves next to rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, yet many people are unfamiliar with it. That’s unfortunate, because it’s a safe, effective remedy for a variety of skin and muscle conditions:

To treat irritated skin, douse a cotton pad with witch hazel and apply it to the area.

This treatment is good for insect bites as well as sunburn and windburn, and even hemorrhoids. You can also use it in the same manner to disinfect minor cuts and abrasions, and for general skin care such as cleansing, toning and refreshing the face.
In addition, it can be rubbed into arms or legs to alleviate muscle soreness.
Topical witch hazel has no drug or herbal interactions and may be used safely for both children and adults.

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Heartwings Love Notes 972 Grousing Rights

Heartwings says, “Being cheerful all the time is unrealistic and could be bad for your health.”

I was brought up not to complain. I can still hear my grandmother saying sternly, “Stop your grumbling or I’ll give you something to really complain about.” I was taught to “bite the bullet,” as the saying goes. This particular metaphor refers to the Civil war in the US when soldiers were often amputated without anesthetic-it hadn’t been invented, and were given a bullet to literally bite down on so as not to cry out in their pain. Stiff upper lips were recommended to me as well. It was the upbringing of my parents, and I accepted it without question.

Weakness of any kind was scorned and denigrated. “Nobody likes a crybaby,” “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” I absorbed this as correct behavior when I was very young. It ultimately led me into several depressions, when I would find myself crying for no reason I could discern. Eventually, with therapeutic help I managed to sort it all out and my life improved, for which I am grateful. However, I still maintained my scornful attitude toward whatever I perceived as weakness.

In time and with experience I have come to see the error in this kind of thinking. It is still common among certain kinds of people, and it results in a lack of sympathy as well as a tendency toward arrogance. Compassion cannot grow in the hard dry soil of scorn. Because I was not raised to be compassionate, I have had to learn it through a deliberate application of kind thought. For instance: How would I feel in a similar situation, faced with what someone else is, and similar questions have helped me see things differently and aided in the opening of my heart.

Needless to say, I am still not finished with this kind of thinking. The other day I criticized my husband Stephen for complaining about something that seemed trivial to me. He looked at me, smiled and said, “Please give me grousing rights.” Light dawned, and I smiled back. “Of course, ” I told him, go right ahead and grouse. While it is unhealthy to dwell on one’s dissatisfaction or complaints, it is good to voice them, let them go and be done with them. It is healthier to let off feelings as they occur rather than have them fester and perhaps erupt into anger or even generate depression as mine once did. Grousing is a good way to be healthy.

May you express your feelings freely and authentically.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

How do you do with expressing your feelings? For best results it is important to express them without blame or finger pointing. “I feel…” is a good way to begin. Do write me and let me know your feelings on this subject. I do so love your emails. Write me at tashahal@aol.com, and to read more Love Notes, visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Freeing Our Inner Desires

Our best chance of getting what we need is to communicate by converting our inner voice to our outside voice.

Each of us has developed an internal filtering process that helps us choose which parts of our constant inner monologues get voiced outside of our heads. Sometimes the choice is based on what we consider to be polite or appropriate, using subtlety instead of directness to try to get our point across. Other times the choice is made based on our expectations of the other person and what we feel they should know about us, our feelings, and our needs. But our best chance of getting what we need is to communicate specifically by converting our inner voice to our outside voice.

This may seem unnecessary sometimes, especially when we think the other person has the same information we ourselves are working with, but we have to remember they also have their own inner voice, evaluating what they hear in light of their own issues and needs. With so much to consider and sift through, we are truly better off if we communicate precisely. Not only does doing this minimize the chance for misinterpretation, but voicing our thoughts it is an act of creation. We convert thought and imagination to sound, releasing it from the chamber of our minds into the outside world. This carries energy and intention with it, making our thoughts, wishes, and even dreams come true.

When we have the courage to speak our minds and use our voice to send the desires of our hearts from our inner world to the world outside, we take a bold step in making them happen. By removing fear of what others may think and expectation of what others should understand, we free ourselves and our thoughts from the bondage of the mental chamber and let loose our desires onto the canvas of the world. Next time we become aware that we have a choice about how to communicate, we can choose to use our outside voice and watch its creative power at work.

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Book Review: Roots, Branches & Spirits – H. Byron Ballard
FEBRUARY 27, 2021 BY GWYN

I’ve been looking forward to reviewing H. Byron Ballard’s new book. Roots, Branches, and Spirits: The Folkways & Witchery of Appalachia is more than a book of witchcraft. It is a loving history of the peoples and cultures of Appalachia, one such community from which H. Byron Ballard hails. Filled with stories, wisdom, and practical suggestions for adding to your witchcraft knowledge— Roots, Branches, and Spirits has a lot to offer the reader.

Natural Magic From The Blue Ridge Mountains
H. Byron Ballard is a native of western North Carolina. She grew up in the traditions, stories, music, and magickal ways which she shares in her book. A resident of Asheville, NC., she is known as the village witch. She is a speaker, teacher, folklorist, historian, and high priestess. In addition, Ballard has a podcast called Wyrd Mountain Gals. And she brings all of this life experience into her writing.

Divided into two parts, Roots, Branches, & Spirits offers historical information, personal reflections, and plenty of witchery tips. In addition to the everyday customs, there is a discussion of work chants, witchery tools and their uses, herblore, techniques for using various kinds of water, working with the moon, signs and omens, and so much more (including candy spells which I love).

The book is not laid out like a “how-to.” Rather, it’s like learning from a mentor (or an auntie) while working together in the garden, kitchen, or at the table. For this reason, this book may be more for a seasoned witch than a “Witchcraft 101” beginner. Regardless, pay attention to her stories and advice. Mark up this book with a pencil or pen, underlining various sentences or paragraphs. Trust me, you do not want to miss a single nugget of information.

Overall, H. Byron Ballard creates a tapestry of lore and folk magick throughout this book that emphasizes a beautiful heritage. One that a lot of people outside of the Appalachia region (which includes about 205,000 square miles of land, including all of West Virginia and various parts of 12 states) take for granted or dismiss.

Final Thoughts
If you like to read about history and folklore, if you want to glean excellent information on folk magick, then you want Roots, Branches, & Spirits by H. Byron Ballard. This is the kind of book you can go back to and discover something you missed because it is so chock full of good stuff. It’s even available on Audible. In my opinion, this one is a must-have in your magickal library.

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ARE ORBS SPIRITS?
https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/blogs/all/are-orbs-spirits

Are Orbs Spirits?

Frequently I am asked about orbs. It’s a subject of great debate among people. Many view it as spiritual visitors. Others believe it to be dust particles reflecting light.

Have you ever taken a picture or shot a video and when you go back to look at it, there is a ball of light or several balls of light? Sometimes it may appear as a person. These balls of light can come in many different colors.

So what is an orb? Why are these balls of energy in your pictures?

This is what I believe them to be from doing spiritual communication for many years.

An orb is a transparent ball of light energy that is connected to spirits. Orbs can be spotted in photos or videos. They even show up on security cameras! Of course it’s fascinating and people are always looking for a conclusive explanation of what these balls of light are.

First off it’s nothing that can harm you. These energy balls can be departed loved ones, angels, guides, or even pets. They come in a form that’s easy for them and extremely easy for you to seed. They want you to know that they are with you. That’s why these orbs of light canopy year in your pictures.

The spirit world is always active and with our world in such chaos all spiritual beings are doing their best to let you know that you are not alone in this world. They are basically saying “We’re Here. We have not left you.”

A spirit being cannot be here in physical form, so they appear in the easiest way for you to see them and understand they are not harmful. So many people want proof that their loved one is coming through in these orbs of lights or through the orbs in pictures.

If this is happening to you look closely at the picture and close your eyes and ask the divine beings to show you and some manner that is comfortable for you who is visiting you.

See what connection you can feel, sense, or even smell. You may hear a loved one softly whisper a few words to you. It departed pet may be Purring or softly barking. Learn to trust this and your instincts and know that you are being granted a visit by a spirit that loss you dearly.

People who work professionally in the spirit realm can often tell you who it is that is visiting you. If you are having confusion about whom it is. They can give great comfort to your soul to seek out someone like myself who is a spiritual advisor.

After 30 years of working as a spiritual medium I find that when I look at these pictures with orbs, I always get a feeling of peace. I know that these gentle spirits are trying to let us know they are with us. It takes so much to convince some people that the spirit world is real. Having seen and communicated with those in the spirit world I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is all very real.

Are orbs evidence of ghosts?

Yes, it can be. Some ghost researchers believe the orbs are spirits of the dead. They often show up in areas of high magnetic energy activity, also known as “haunting phenomena”.

The MESA Project describes them this way:

“Floating globes, or orbs of light, also known as “ghost lights,” have been recorded on 35mm, Polaroid, Kodak infrared, and black and white Tri-X film (Radin & Roll, 1994; Roll, Moody, & Radin, 1996; Roll & Nichols, 1999, 2000). Both professional and amateur photographers and investigators, at some sites, have also recorded other anomalous images.”

I have never found any negative energy coming at me from balls of light. Yes, I do believe it can be from a spirit you do not know, but it doesn’t mean that it’s something evil or negative. I see these balls of light as positive visits from loving spirits who want us to know they are with this and we are not alone.

Keep yourself protected in God’s White Light and you never have to worry about ghosts causing you problems.

Remember we are composed of energy and we inhabit a body. When the time comes for us to pass, we will let go of our physical body and return to pure energy. That’s the same thing as the orbs.

If you start seeing orbs more in your pictures just know that you are making a connection to your loved ones.

If you feel you need a professional opinion, make an appointment with a person who deals with the spirit world. Sometimes we need to get advice from a doctor or dentist, a spiritual advisor is a profession as well. It is difficult to understand what many of these things are better occurring and that is the purpose of finding someone you can trust to tell you.

Your loved ones, angels and guides want you to know that they care about you and are sending you lots of love. Simply be open to the signs.

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Methods For Keeping Your House Haunt-Free
by Ghost Hunting Theories
26 Feb 2021 01:00 AM PST

Even a perfectly fine suburban tract home and suddenly seem like the Munster’s house of weird when unexplained things begin to happen, like cabinets opening and closing on their own, shadows walking the hallways, or voices whispering in an empty room.

Methods for getting rid of such energy vary greatly and most depend a great deal on what you personally believe would be efficacious because your very confidence manifests results.

Here’s some things to try –

Sage Smudge Kit

Methods vary, but I like to light the stick near the front door, blow on it gently to get embers to burn, hold the shell beneath it to catch ashes. Work your way clockwise around your house, being sure to move over areas where energy can trap like dark corners, cluttered areas, and when you get back to the front door again, I usually let it sit in the house a while and then open doors and windows to air the house out after. This is said to be mirrored after customs of native people and even religions, like Catholicism, that utilize incense to ward off bad energy.

Music is another tool that seems to show some good effect. Positive, upbeat music or even music (like above) that is designed to scare off negative energy. Play it a few hours a day in areas that feel kind of dark.

Bible

In general, religious texts opened up (any page) can be a strong symbol for those who believe. As I mentioned, the method needs to be something you feel would have efficacy because your very positive energy toward the tool creates strength, rather like a warrior going into battle with an ax made of the finest steel.

Crystals for Home Protection

The use of religious symbols in the home are often reported as having a protective measure. Whatever symbol sings to your soul, whether it’s an ankh, cross, Star of David, Triskele, or other, maybe what you need. I’d suggest a wall hanging like these, so it has prominence.

Energy Center

This is my concept that has worked amazingly well. I call it an energy center. When a family moves into a home, there is past negative energy from fights, sickness, and mental issues – “baggage” from prior people. There is also the dynamics present of your own family’s mental, physical, and emotional weaknesses that might create a weak passage for bad energy to be attracted.

An energy center is a fun thing to create. I like to do it either near the front door or center of the home. A table or shelf works.

Begin to load it up with things that are positive for you – religious texts, symbols, plants, seashells, crystals, photos of family, figurines of angels, holy water, family heirlooms, whatever it is that calls to you with positive feelings and a sense of gathering all the best elements together. It is a powerful tool and a good one for your own health.

To go by the table occasionally and touch it, look at it, or even pray in this site is a good practice for your mental and physical strength. It also creates a backup of positive energy and strength that wards off energies that seek easiest entry points.

Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster

In my own desire to help those with issues in their homes, this has been a great tool. I have come to find that basic changes in the house and placement of objects, sunlight, lack of clutter, upbeat music are often the greatest relief as they incidentally make the homeowner more comfortable in the house too which creates that confidence (manifesting).

In my own home, I was having issues for a while after redecorating. I came to find out the windchime I hung in the bedroom (southwestern corner of home) was in the sector of the house that would attract spirits. I removed it and all bad mojo left.

I believe too that people who hoard and those who just moved into a place and have it cluttered with boxes and items that don’t have a place yet, clog up pathways for energy and create more and more bad energy traps. Are hoarders more depressed once their home is filled up? They very likely are having increase time soaking in bad energy trapped behind heaps of items.

Like wind, energy finds an easy path over open areas.

Ultimately, it is your own mental, spiritual, emotional and physical energy that creates protection or weaknesses that can be utilized to bring good or bad to you. Many call this manifesting.

Focusing on what you want instead of what you don’t want is the ultimate power.

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Gilberto’s Dream by Stephen Halpert

Despite Maria’s false alarm and his persistent worry over the thugs who attacked them, Gilberto awoke on Monday morning feeling an unusual sense of calm and relief. Somehow the fear and stress he’d felt had been alleviated leaving him feeling rested, relaxed, his old sense of optimism back and thriving.
“You look happy,” Maria said. “I haven’t seen you smiling like this in quite some time.” She poured his coffee and served him some cinnamon coffee cake. “You were tossing and turning in bed, as though you were fighting demons. You must have had one intense dream. I tried calming you down but to no avail. Remember any of it?”
“Only seeing Karibe. His yelling! Bloodshed. Then I woke up.”
“Wow, but you’re feeling good this morning.”
Gilberto smiled. “I feel relieved now. Don’t know how or why but something is good that wasn’t before. That much I know. Maybe I exorcised a demon.”
She took his hand and smiled. “Maybe you need to talk to God more often”.
But he shook his head. “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of His time. After all He’s really important. Think how many people need to talk to Him every day. The poor guy probably never gets any time off. Don’t you think He’d probably like some free time to go play golf or just relax with the angels?”
She smiled and took another thin wedge of coffee cake. “Don’t think that way. You’d never be bothering Him. God loves each and every one of us regardless.”
He nodded. “Still, I wouldn’t want to be a bother.” He finished his coffee cake. “I guess soon now I can go back to work?” he sounded hopeful.
She shook her head. “No need to rush. You’re still in recovery.”
He smiled and took a second helping. “Did Eva say anything about the baby’s due date after I went to bed?”
“Just to go slow and that delivery could be almost any day.”
“Doesn’t that uncertainty make you nervous. Knowing you could deliver almost any time?”
She smiled and shook her head. “Not really. I feel warm and maternal.”
“Well, if it were me, I’d be very nervous. “
She laughed. “Maybe that’s why women have babies instead of men. It’s easier on their nerves. By the way’ she said. Does He have a name?”
He paused and looked confused. “Who?”
“Your God.”
“I hadn’t thought about it. Jim maybe? When I was a kid my first soccer coach’s name was Jim. He was a good friend and taught me a lot. Maybe Jim’s a good name for Him.”
“Gertrude and Jim. Our deities.” Maria smiled and seemed satisfied.
Joey came back into the condo with Oscar. He unhitched his leash and Oscar scurried down to hall to Joey’s room.
Joey had overheard a snippet of their conversation. “Who’s Jim, Gilberto?”
Maria smiled. “That’s Gilberto’s name for God.”
“Can I tell my friends at school you talk to God, Gilberto?’
“I’d rather you didn’t,” he said. “It’s very personal, just between us. Others might not understand.”
“Oh,” Joey said. He looked momentarily disappointed. “But OK. Does my God have a name too?”
“Ask him,” Gilberto said. “See if a name comes to you.”
Now Joey looked more confused than ever but smiled nonetheless. “Oh OK. I just thought…”
“People don’t usually talk about their relationship with God,” Maria said. “It’s too personal to just blab about.”
“Even in church?”
“That’s different,” Gilberto said. “You’ll understand it all better when you get older.”
“That’s what you always say,” Joey said. “When I talk to mine, I’ll ask Him about my having more than just one wife.”
Gilberto laughed. “I’d be curious to hear what He says.”
The phone rang. It was Ramon calling from Atlas. Gilberto answered.
Ramon’s voice sounded excited. “There’s been an accident, and there’s a lot of mystery about it. No one knows for sure exactly what happened.” He went on in some detail, then said. “Rosa is worried Lola might have been hurt. I’ll get back to you when I hear more.”
Gilberto closed his device. “That was Ramon. Some kind of an accident in the mountains. Karibe’s big Caddy fishtailed on an icy patch and went off the side of a cliff.”
Maria looked concerned. “Oh dear. Was Lola with him?” She refilled their coffee.
“Not sure. Ramon said he’d get back to me when he had more news.”
“I hope she’s all right,” Maria said. “I’ve always liked Lola. I admire her independent spirit of adventure.”
“If that’s what you want to call it.” Gilberto smirked.
“I think she’s a very good woman.”
Gilberto frowned. “She wants to steal me away from you. How good is that?”
Maria smiled. “Take it as a compliment.”
Gilberto looked confused. “It’s a compliment when someone wants to turn your marriage upside down?”
She gave him her most endearing smile. “I know you’d never let that happen.”
His device jingled. Ramon again. Gilberto put on his speaker phone. “So many conflicting stories. But they all seem to indicate he’s dead.”
“What about Lola? Was she with him?” Maria asked.
“No,” Ramon said. “Apparently just him, two of his lieutenants and his driver.”
Joey came back into the kitchen with Oscar’s empty bowl. “What happened mom?”
“That’s Ramon Gilberto’s talking to. Karibe ‘s car was in an accident. No one knows for sure any more than that.”
Joey’s eyes lit up. “Maybe he’s dead.”
Maria ‘s voice rose. “Don’t talk that way. It isn’t polite to wish that on anyone. Besides we don’t know for sure.”
“I’m sorry mom. But didn’t he send those bad people after us.”
“Still,” Maria said. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“I’m sorry.” Joey paused. “I think my God’s name is Big Ears.”
Maria smiled. “Tell me more?”
“If He can hear everyone all the time at once He must have really good hearing.”
Gilberto signed off. He looked at Joey. “What did you say? Big Ears?”
“Is it OK?” Joey asked. “But if it’s like you said God must have awfully good hearing to hear everyone talking all at once.”
Maria smiled at Gilberto. “Your intuition was right on.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your dream. Then waking up and feeling relieved. Now Ramon’s news.”
Gilberto sighed. Feelings of sorrow came over him. “We were boyhood friends, team mates.” Then he sighed again. “But he’s not the same person he was.” Then tears of relief filled his eyes, and he smiled. “Thanks, Jim.”

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Being Gentle with Ourselves

So often we are sabotaging ourselves by being in our own way without even knowing we are doing so.

During those times when our lives are filled with what seems to be constant change and growth, it is important to remember that we need to be gentle with ourselves. Since it can be easy to use our energy to keep up with the momentum of our lives, we may not be aware of the fact that we are much more likely to run ourselves down. When things seem to be moving quickly, it is especially essential that we make a point to slow down and be gentle with ourselves.

It might be difficult to notice what is happening to us for we may be so caught up in the whirlwind of our lives that we lose sight of the direction in which things are heading. Being gentle with ourselves doesn’t mean that we don’t accomplish things. Instead it means that we honor ourselves on an ongoing basis and take care of the needs of our bodies.

This means different things to different people. For instance, it could mean having a session with a healer; taking a remedy, herbs, or vitamins; or getting extra sleep. Putting our energy into ourselves in this way helps create space for a more positive, loving, and accepting view of our lives. By setting the intention to do so, we will be more cognizant of our energy levels on a daily basis and more able to replenish them as needed.

The more we are able to treat our bodies with gentleness, the more tenderness and compassion we will call forth into our lives. Learning to understand and pay attention to what our self needs will in turn allow us to fill our lives with unlimited loving and healing energy and to truly take care of the things that mean the most to us.

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FEBRUARY 27, 2021.
MOON PHASE FULL.

~Patty-L.-Fletcher

One month ago, today, due to circumstances neither of us could’ve possibly foreseen, my beautiful, loving, talented, daughter Polly and I were reunited. Some of you may have seen the exchange between me and my middle sister on Facebook, after I wrote a tribute to my mother on January 27, the anniversary of her death. It was that dark moment which propelled Polly and me forward into one another’s lives again after being estranged for nearly eight years.

Those eight long and at times excruciatingly painful years, brought about changes within our lives which have allowed the two of us to view, understand and accept one another in a way like nothing we’ve ever experienced in our lives.

During one of our first conversations with one another, Polly stated, while speaking of how we should discuss the things which ripped us apart, “Once we’ve talked about these things, we can work toward having the sort of mother daughter relationship we both want and deserve”. These words though paraphrased here, brought me literally to my knees. So, moved by her want I dropped my phone to the floor and followed it in a puddle of tears. Sobs were long, loud, and at times near hysteria as the time which had been lost to the darkness, collided with the sun filled possible future which lie ahead.
There are no words with which I can adequately describe the storm of feelings roiling around in my heart at the moment that message popped into my Messenger window.

I’d prayed for this moment. Dreamed of how it might come to be but nothing in my wildest imaginings could’ve prepared me for the multitude of emotions I felt.

Throughout the past month, we’ve been slowly working our way back into each other’s lives and I must say it’s been both terrifying and beautiful all at once.
Just before the new year in 2020, I read an article on the power of prayer, meditation, and manifestation. In that article the author spoke of how if one allowed it, God could and would bring forth the true desires of our hearts.

Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find where I read this. Honestly, I think it was nothing more than a meme on Facebook advertising a class which lead me to the article, but the words I read struck home and I began a journey on the pathway of faith, such as nothing I’d ever taken before.

The instructions were to set aside one hour each day for one year, during which the seeker would focus in an attitude of meditation and prayer on one specific change they wanted to make in their lives. This exercise was not to be taken lightly. It was not designed for someone’s manifesting a brand-new car unless this was something which was a true life-changing event which would assist them with improving their life, such as creating a way for them to go to a job or see their children had safe transportation to and from school, the doctor or other necessary places they needed to go. In other words, you’re not supposed to sit and wish for a Porsche just because you think you’d look like the cat’s meow driving one.
But I digress….

On January 1, 2020, I made the decision to take what I thought of as a faith challenge. Decided on a time each day during which I sat and spoke allowed the things I wanted to say to my daughter. Began each session with Mother Father God with a prayer asking for guidance and that which to say. Asked for the courage to be 100 percent honest and then, I sat and admitted every failing I’d had which brought us to the brink of separation. Explained to her why things had happened as they did, I told her what I’d done to bring about changes in my life and introduced her to the woman I am today. I also asked her forgiveness for being the mixed-up sick woman I’d once been, for not taking responsibility for my mental illness and I begged for another chance at being her mother and grandmother to her children.

At first, these sessions were quite difficult. It was hard to hold a conversation with someone who wasn’t physically in the room. Over time though, I was able to first envision and then feel her presence there. It became easier and soon I was enjoying the liberation my discussions with she and Mother Father God were bringing about in my spiritual life.
All to soon the year was coming to a close. 2021 loomed on the horizon and it was time for me to begin handing this whole tangled mess over to my heavenly parents. They would judge whether or not I’d pled my case adequately enough to deserve a parole from the prison of loss my hideous past behavior had wrought.
Of all I’d done that year, that was the hardest part. On January 1, 2021, I had to give total control to my higher power and other than a normal inclusion in my daily prayers, I could ponder on these things no more. Had to believe that the situation was firmly in the hand of the creator. Had to believe that the projections I’d sent forward from my heart, soul and spirit had not only reached Mother Father God’s Heart but my daughter’s as well.

As the situation unfolded, I was also shown, that someone in my current life was a toxic presence and incredibly I found myself in the very situation my own sweet daughter found herself in eight years before. I had to say, until you can become a healthier person, admit you have a problem and seek help I can no longer have you in my life. I believe this had to happen so I could utterly understand what it had been like for Polly to say to her own mother, the woman who had for good or ill given her life, who had tried the best she could with what she had to raise her from her life and the lives of her beautiful children, my grandchildren, “If you’re going to continue in this way, I can no longer allow you in my life.”

I’ve six beautiful grandchildren, three, barely remember me. The other three, know me not at all. I’m Looking forward to getting to know my daughter and her family again. I’m grateful for the chance to try.
I mustn’t leave out Nathan, my incredible son-in-law. Oh, I knew right from the first moment I met this kind, caring, young man seventeen years ago that he was the man for my Polly. They’ve had their struggles as all young couples do but by standing on the promises of God, they’ve weathered those storms and their love holds firm.

You cannot know how proud I am of the young woman my Polly has become. She manages six children, three cats, a dog, a husband and even carves out time for her daily devotion and scripture readings. And now, she’s finding time to text her mother daily, and when she’s able a phone call as well.

Now, I want to pass the feather as it were. Challenge you, give your higher power, whatever you call it the chance to work a miracle in your life. Give that higher power the ability to give to you that true peace which surpasses all understanding. For if you believe, it can be so.

I invite you to pray this simple prayer with me…
Thank you for the sun.

Thank you, now day’s begun, all my needs, wants, desires, they’re met.
Thank you for what I have and have not yet.
Thank you when this day is through, I will still be me and you will still be you.
Light my path. Guide my way. Give me that which to do and say.
So, Mote It Be.
Bless It Be.
Amen.

See my latest book, Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life at: https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG

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Kitty Kat Korner!

How to Keep the Peace Between Your Cat and Toddler
Beth Ann Mayer | Feb 12th 2021

New parents are often (and understandably) concerned about how their cat will react to a new baby. But even if things go well and the cat warms up to a newborn, life changes when your baby turns from a stationary bundle of joy into a toddler.

“The toddler is a little different than the baby,” says Dr. Catherine Lenox, DVM and Regulatory Veterinary Manager at Royal Canin. “Toddlers are more mobile…the child starts walking and interacting with the cat in a different way.”

This may lead to interactions between your two babies that stress one or both out, such as if the toddler pulls the cat’s tail. Dr. Lenox says the most important thing a parent can do is supervise every interaction. She shared ways to keep the peace between your cat and your toddler if, while watching, you observe things going in the wrong direction.

Give the cat space
Real talk: As much as you love your kid, you need a break from them sometimes. Assume your cat does, too.

“It’s really important to let the cat decide if the cat wants to interact,” Dr. Lenox says. “Have a safe space for the cat. They can eat there and use their litterbox there. If they need some quiet time, they have an area where they can go where the toddler doesn’t have access.”

This space could be in a gated-off room or large closet. Try to give the kitty a place to jump to get away, too, such as a cat tree.

Observe body language
Cats can’t talk, but they tell us a lot through their body language.

“When you are supervising a cat and toddler, it can be a totally good interaction, but the cat may also have too much at some point,” Dr. Lenox says. “It’s really important to be able to read the cat so you can safely end the interaction if you need to.”

Dr. Lenox advises paying attention to the tail and ears.

“If the ears turn backwards or they are swishing their tail a lot — that can be the first sign of irritation,” she says.

On the other hand, if Kitty is purring, has forward-facing ears and a still tail, they are enjoying playing with their human sibling.

Keep an eye on what goes on the floor
Toddlers tend to go through at least one phase where they throw food on the floor. Some of those foods, like garlic, are toxic.

“Have the cat in a separate room when the toddler is eating,” Dr. Lenox suggests.

Dr. Lenox also recommends picking up toys with small parts that the cat could choke on when you leave the room.

Have the toddler help with the cat
Pets are great for kids — they teach empathy and how to care for someone else. Getting your toddler involved in care for the cat, such as measuring out and giving Kitty their food, can be both a learning and bonding experience.

“Helping gives the toddler a sense of how to treat them,” Dr. Lenox says.

And it lets the cat knows the tiny human is here to help and provide love.

“If they have positive things they can associate with the child…that is going to help keep a better relationship,” Dr. Lenox says.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, February 28, 2021
All Signs

This week fiery Mars enters Gemini to stay until April 23. (That’s seven weeks!) Mars is big-time energy. It activates different parts of our charts to stimulate different areas of our lives. It also affects us personally in terms of our physical and emotional energy. Read your sign (as well as your Rising Sign if you know it) to find out how this blast of energy will affect you. Einstein discovered a formula for the relationship between energy and mass. Apparently, when mass is in pajamas, the level of energy is diminished. It is practically inert in the presence of pizza with pepperoni, mushroom with extra cheese. (No anchovies.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Holy cannelloni! You’re entering a super, turbocharged seven weeks! This is because Mars will be in the part of your chart that affects your everyday activities. The pace of your days will accelerate. You face a jampacked schedule full of errands, tasks, short trips and everyday hustle and bustle. Not only will Mars energize the activity of your days, it will affect your style of talking to others, especially relatives, siblings and neighbours. You want to express your ideas! You will say what you mean and mean what you say! In addition, many of you will write, study and read more than usual. Busy you!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You are the financial wizard of the zodiac. (You practically mint money in your backyard.) Mars will now activate your primary Money House for the next seven weeks, which is why you will identify with your wealth and possessions so much. You will feel like you are what you own. Of course, this is silly, (admittedly you are your car.) Hence you might have disputes about the ownership of something. You might also be excited about a special purchase. Your drive to earn money and act on your moneymaking ideas will be strong! You also might find yourself defending your values to someone. (That’s Mars.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Hello world! For the first time in two years, fiery Mars will be in your sign for seven weeks. On the upside, this will boost your energy. You’ll be like Popeye after a can of spinach. “I yam what I yam!” Not only will Mars increase your energy, it will make you more competitive and aggressive when dealing with others. You’ll be more of a fighter for your own rights than usual. If attacked, you will respond! However, this supercharged physical energy will help you to get lots of work done. Be careful you don’t come on too strong with others. Even though this is your chance to show the world what you can do – don’t be pushy. Make nice with people.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Not since the spring of 2019, have you felt what you’re going to feel for the next seven weeks. This is because the strong energy of Mars will be “hiding” in your chart. This is not what Mars likes to do. Mars wants to lead the charge into battle! This means you might feel frustrates and irritable. When you try to create a good impression on someone, something might backfire, and you find yourself being your own worst enemy. (Eeek!) What’s happening is that Mars is revealing the self-defeating acts that you do (we all do). Suddenly they’re so obvious! If you want to accuse someone of something, the truth is you’re actually in confrontation with yourself. On the upside, this offers a valuable learning curve about your hidden impulses and tendencies.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Mars will be in the part of your chart that affects your friendships and groups. This brings a mixed blessing. On the upside, it will energize you and make you take a leadership role. However, it could make you so bossy, your intentions will backfire. The solution is to coordinate your needs with the needs of others. Look for a win-win solution. You will also be super competitive, which is good if you’re physically active in sports. Not so good in meetings, perhaps. (Zoom or in person.) One positive influence is Mars will stimulate your desire to pursue your goals. Ironically, you will more easily achieve these goals by working with others.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Mars is often a mixed blessing for some signs but for you, it will be a winning thing because for the next seven weeks, Mars will travel across the top of your chart, arousing your ambition more than it’s been pumped for about years. Once you identify a project, you will work extremely hard to achieve your aims. You will want to be independent in whatever you do; and of course, you will want credit. Ideally, you should be your own boss. (Note: conflict with employers, bosses and parents is likely.) The key to your success is to remember your objective. Maybe you will achieve your objective by working better with others? Consider this. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
For the next seven weeks, Mars will stimulate your desire to travel. However, most people cannot travel due to Covid restrictions (even though a glance at any street, highway or airport will show you that people are travelling). You will have to be creative. What is really driving you, is your desire for adventure and a chance to learn something new. You want to see new places, new faces and learn new things! How can you do this without physically travelling? Start by getting excited with creative, intellectual work. Do whatever you can to expand your mind. Many will be more involved with the law or something to do with medicine. Publishing and the media will also be activated. Expect an exciting time ahead!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In the next seven weeks, you might find yourself in a dispute with someone about shared property, inheritances or anything to do with joint resources, particularly money. (Perhaps how to spend a certain amount of money?) This conflict might be about the wealth of someone else, especially a partner. Or perhaps you’re attracted to someone who has a powerful effect upon you and causes you to change? This could be due to a disagreement about values? Meanwhile, Mars will boost your sex drive and make you very passionate. This is a fact. One thing is certain: as you assert yourself in the world, you might discover you have to let go of old ways of doing things and try something new.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
For the first time in two years, fiery Mars will be opposite your sign for the next seven weeks. This means you will have to be more patient with partners, spouses and close friends. Mars opposite your sign tends to make you annoyed with others. (That’s because they probably are.) But hey, your reaction or response is within your control, right? To save yourself a lot of grief, resist the urge to just react. Instead, take a beat and process what you’re thinking. What do you want to achieve? Be clear about this and then respond. (Lose the knee-jerk reaction.) For example, if someone annoys you, and you react — this escalates things and you have a rotten evening. Do you want to have a rotten evening? No, you don’t. Your call. Simple.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Lucky you! Although the energy of Mars is creating disputes and problems for many people; for your sign, Mars will be useful to you in the next seven weeks, because it will help you to work hard and get things done. You’ll be willing to put aside today’s pleasure for today’s work. (Admirable!) Admittedly, many of you will work for the benefit of someone else but this is something that has to be done. Look for ways to work independently because you will not feel like a team player. Do be careful of health hazards, infections, fevers and accidents because Mars can trigger impulsive, reckless behaviour. Having said this, you will take pride in what you accomplish in the weeks ahead.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
For the most part, because fiery Mars will be in your fellow Air sign for in the next seven weeks, things will be good for you! Mars will make you feel confident, energized, decisive and willing to work. Nevertheless, it might stir up conflict with your kids. If so, remember who the adult is. The main influence that you will feel is that you want the freedom to be yourself and express yourself. You will want to do your own thing to an almost reckless degree. Romance will be hot and sexy! You’ll be aggressive in sports and keen to seek out fun diversions. And of course, you will want to play!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
It’s been two years since Mars travelled across the bottom of your chart. In one way, this will stir up a lot of deep, unconscious energy and perhaps trigger behaviour patterns from your past. (If you find yourself behaving compulsively and inappropriately – this is what’s happening.) Meanwhile, you can definitely expect increased activity, and even chaos, on the home front. Residential moves, redecorating projects as well as conflict with family members are some reasons for all this hubbub. Meanwhile, professionally speaking, someone might block your efforts to get ahead. Methinks you might be wise to keep a low profile – and keep your eyes open.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training
http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
  2. Herbalism 101
  3. Herbalism 202
  4. Herbalism 303
  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
The Healing Arts Certificate Program Four great courses! Buy three get one free!
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 21-28 Feb 2021 ~ Thanks for Reading My Blog!

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. ~Oscar Wilde

When I see Spirit in everything, Peace is at hand. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for February: Violet: Faithfulness, Wisdom and Hope

February is Heart-Healthy Month, Black History Month

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nion (Ash) February 18 to March 17

The Goddess Calendar
The Goddess Month of:
Moura – February 20 – March19

21: Birthday of author Patricia Telesco
22: Birthday of author Sybil Leek
22: George Washington’s Birthday
23: Egyptian Day of Nut: Goddess of Healing and Fertility
27: Full Moon — Quickening Moon, or Snow Moon at 3:17 a.m. Magical rituals in this cycle often focus on new beginnings and plans for the future
28: Cake Day – Offering little cakes to the God and the Goddess; Remembering the ancestors with cakes and flowers.

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Mar 7: Face to Face Class: WitchCrafting 1–3PM
Mar 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1-3PM
Mar 21: Face to Face Class: Noon–3:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

Treat headaches with herbs. You’re reading, driving, working, cooking—and whoomf! a headache happens. For ordinary headaches caused by the stresses and strains of daily life, a calming cup of herbal tea may be all you need to restore your equilibrium. Use these dried headache herbs, brewed with 1 cup boiling water and sweetened with honey:

Lavender, lemon balm, meadowsweet, ½ teaspoon each
Sage, rosemary, mint, ½ teaspoon each
Rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, ½ teaspoon each
A cool lavender compress for the temples and a quiet rest in a dark room may also give you the relief you need.

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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CoventryCreations.com
BHC Newsletter Reta

February 22, 2021 – February 28, 2021

We begin the week with the Moon in Cancer. You can expect family issues to surface and be a dominating theme on Monday and Tuesday.

Midweek, Venus moves into Pisces making you sensitive to the emotional needs of others, keep firm boundaries. The good news is that the aspects of Mars trine Pluto and Sun sextile Uranus should give you enough gumption to stand in your personal power.

This weekend we have a Full Moon in Virgo, so get out of the house, breathe some fresh air, and get some well-needed exercise. However, do continue to follow health precautions and CDC guidelines.

Best candles for this week: Happy Home / Heart / Healing / Energy and Will

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this
week…

Full Moon in Virgo February 27, 2021
Gotta love a Full Moon in Virgo for making great strides in improving anything you set your mind to. During the New Moon on the 11th, you released the past and envisioned a better futu

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Page of Wands

What changes are you welcoming in your life? With the Page of Wands showing up, you are inclined to give anything and everything a go.

You embrace the opportunity to start out on a new journey or project and see where it takes you. You don’t necessarily have a solid plan in place, nor do you really know where you are headed, but you are excited about the possibilities.

You have a gift for dreaming up new creative ideas unfettered by the burdens of everyday life. Nothing will get in the way of your dreams!

Be sure to take your creative spark and ground it down into reality so that it is ready to implement in the physical realm. You may need to map out your strategy, or test your ideas and create a few experiments before committing.

It could be helpful to run your thoughts through a filter so that you only act on those most aligned with your broader goals.

Ask the Tarot: What could I create if I had no limitations?

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Pisces Season
by Rubys Readings
Rubys Astro Readings

For All Signs of Zodiac
Happy Birthday, Pisces!

Pisces Season Pisces Season
It’s officially Pisces Season when the Sun Enters the sign of Pisces on February 18th, 2021, and it stays there through March 21st.

Being the last sign of the Zodiac, it is a time when we reach the highest point of the Cosmic Wheel. We’re looking for closure and should be wrapping up last-minute details over the next month, from the last 12 months, as we prepare for something new. The Spring Equinox occurs, and the Sun Enters the sign of Aries all on March 21st, which is a time of new beginnings.

The sign of Pisces is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions, which is symbolic for beginnings and endings, and cause and effect, or Yin and Yang. New beginnings always follow an ending, so if we shut a door, a window opens. In other words, take action, and often opportunities will show up

With the SUN in imaginative and compassionate Pisces, we are strongly in tune with our intuition and emotions. Making decisions or commitments may not be easy under the influence but tapping into our intuition is.

A connection needs to be made to our higher-self, as this is a time of healing! Our imagination and intuition are very strong. We’re plugged into everything around us because the veils between this physical world and other spiritual realms have dissolved. As these boundaries come down, we must make sure to “shield” ourselves spiritually and physically. It’s very easy for those of us with an Empathic or sensitive nature to pick up on other people’s issues and emotions during the time. We can struggle with knowing what we’re feeling and if they are our own or if we’re just picking up on someone else.

It’s important with the SUN in Pisces to surround ourselves with kind, loving energy. This time is best spent tapping into our spirit or higher-self (no matter how we go about it.) One of the best ways to work with this energy is to get involved in creative projects. We aren’t as motivated to do as we are just to feel, imagine, and dream. Our attitude is much more relaxed as we feel more connected to the universal energies.

Pisces energy rules empathy, compassion, selfless love, and devotion. We can become very vulnerable in this energy. The shadow side to this energy can make you feel badly about yourself and cause self-pity and worthless feelings. There’s a stronger fear of being victimized by life or deceived in some way. So work on letting go of any fears or doubts you’re holding onto because feelings tend to flow more easily. Allow this energy just to be what it is.

Stay Safe & Be Well
~Ruby

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Feralia
BY EMBER GRANT

On this day, ancient Rome had a festival called Feralia that was somewhat like the Day of the Dead. This marked the end of the nine-day festival Parentalia. It was a traditional time to honor one’s ancestors and pay homage to them. Ferre means “to carry” or “to ferry,” as in ferrying the dead across the river to the underworld. According to Ovid, people would visit tombs with offerings to appease the ghosts. Gifts included flowers, wine-soaked pieces of bread, salt, or grain.

Today, if possible, visit the grave of someone you have lost and bring a small token. If this isn’t possible, create a place of honor for them on your altar instead. Decorate it with images of your ancestors and items that you associate with them. Take time today to remember those you’ve lost.
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Mercury Retrograde Ends
BY EMYME

Today marks the end of the first Mercury retrograde of 2021. Breathe a sigh of relief as this planet goes direct today and communication gets back on track. Now is the time to review and send those missives you’ve been holding onto for fear of being misunderstood. Call friends and get back into the swing of things socially. Complete the projects that have been on hold. Go ahead and make plans for vacations or business trips.

Mercury retrograde is a time to pause and reflect on communication in all forms. Offer up gratitude for having gotten through it once more, with all good thoughts and positive energy.
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A Mercurial Soul Retrieval
BY STORM FAERYWOLF

Mercury is still retrograde until tomorrow. Let’s make it work for us instead of against us. This is a good time to reflect on past events that still need resolution. These are parts of our soul that are “trapped” in our past, meaning we do not have access to the life force that is contained within them. But if we can call them back to us and confront them, we can reclaim our stolen power.

For this spell you will need a white candle. Ground and center. Think of a past event that has caused you trouble. Light the candle and say:

Shadow rooted in the past,
With this light be guided home.

Contemplate the past issue. Feel whatever emotions that arise. While in this space, imagine the light of the candle permeating the memory and the associated emotions, guiding the energy back to you as you breathe it in. Allow the candle to burn down safely.
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Water from the Sky
BY DEBORAH BLAKE

For most of us, February is a month when water comes from the sky in one form or another. In California, that may be rain. In New York, it’s usually snow. Either way, this is a good time to embrace water’s gifts, even if they make life a little more challenging. After all, water is the basis of life.

So instead of bemoaning the precipitation, collect a little bit in a bowl and use it for this simple spell. Hold the bowl between your hands and lift it to the sky. If you want, you can dab a little water on your brow, your lips, your heart, and your core. Then say:

Water, wet and full of power,
Lend me energy in this hour.
Fuel my body, mind, and soul
With the water in this bowl.

Feel the energy moving from the water, down your arms, and into your body. You can save the rest and use it for your magical work, or pour it back outside.
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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

On this day you may come across people with ashes on their forehead. The practice is rooted in antiquity and symbolizes mortality, faith, and the beginning of Lent. While this practice is commonly associated with people who are Christian, we too as Pagan or earth-based spiritual people can connect with our mortality and humility by placing a bit of dirt on our forehead. You can choose to make your forehead symbol any form that calls to you.

For this spell, gather a bit of earth. Hold the earth in the palm of your hand. Breathe in its earthy goodness. Say:

From the earth I came, unto the
earth I shall return. I am loved,
guided, blessed, and protected.

Now place a bit of the earth on your forehead. Allow it to remain there until you are ready to remove it.
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A Breakup Spell
BY THORN MOONEY

Valentine’s Day has come and go ne, and many of us may be glad to see it go. Sometimes romantic love is the last thing you need, especially if the relationship is toxic, limiting, or just long past its expiration date. The best way to break up with someone is almost always faceto- face, with directness and honesty, but a little magical help can ease the process.

On a slip of paper, write down your grievances. Focus on your own feelings and experiences. After all, you can only control yourself, not your partner! You can make a list or create a picture or sigil instead. When you’re finished, safely burn the paper in a heatproof dish or cauldron, visualizing the relationship ending smoothly. Say:

Go quickly, go completely,
go in peace. I release you.

Scatter the ashes in the wind or bury them far away from where you live (maybe in a public park or a forest, where the energy can dissipate safely and you aren’t trespassing). You want this relationship out of your life, so make sure the spell remains are nowhere near your home!

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Mercury Retrograde Ends
BY EMYME

Today marks the end of the first Mercury retrograde of 2021. Breathe a sigh of relief as this planet goes direct today and communication gets back on track. Now is the time to review and send those missives you’ve been holding onto for fear of being misunderstood. Call friends and get back into the swing of things socially. Complete the projects that have been on hold. Go ahead and make plans for vacations or business trips.

Mercury retrograde is a time to pause and reflect on communication in all forms. Offer up gratitude for having gotten through it once more, with all good thoughts and positive energy.
)0(
A Mercurial Soul Retrieval
BY STORM FAERYWOLF

Mercury is still retrograde until tomorrow. Let’s make it work for us instead of against us. This is a good time to reflect on past events that still need resolution. These are parts of our soul that are “trapped” in our past, meaning we do not have access to the life force that is contained within them. But if we can call them back to us and confront them, we can reclaim our stolen power.

For this spell you will need a white candle. Ground and center. Think of a past event that has caused you trouble. Light the candle and say:

Shadow rooted in the past,
With this light be guided home.

Contemplate the past issue. Feel whatever emotions that arise. While in this space, imagine the light of the candle permeating the memory and the associated emotions, guiding the energy back to you as you breathe it in. Allow the candle to burn down safely.
)0(
Water from the Sky
BY DEBORAH BLAKE

For most of us, February is a month when water comes from the sky in one form or another. In California, that may be rain. In New York, it’s usually snow. Either way, this is a good time to embrace water’s gifts, even if they make life a little more challenging. After all, water is the basis of life.

So instead of bemoaning the precipitation, collect a little bit in a bowl and use it for this simple spell. Hold the bowl between your hands and lift it to the sky. If you want, you can dab a little water on your brow, your lips, your heart, and your core. Then say:

Water, wet and full of power,
Lend me energy in this hour.
Fuel my body, mind, and soul
With the water in this bowl.

Feel the energy moving from the water, down your arms, and into your body. You can save the rest and use it for your magical work, or pour it back outside.
)0(
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

On this day you may come across people with ashes on their forehead. The practice is rooted in antiquity and symbolizes mortality, faith, and the beginning of Lent. While this practice is commonly associated with people who are Christian, we too as Pagan or earth-based spiritual people can connect with our mortality and humility by placing a bit of dirt on our forehead. You can choose to make your forehead symbol any form that calls to you.

For this spell, gather a bit of earth. Hold the earth in the palm of your hand. Breathe in its earthy goodness. Say:

From the earth I came, unto the
earth I shall return. I am loved,
guided, blessed, and protected.

Now place a bit of the earth on your forehead. Allow it to remain there until you are ready to remove it.
)0(
A Breakup Spell
BY THORN MOONEY

Valentine’s Day has come and go ne, and many of us may be glad to see it go. Sometimes romantic love is the last thing you need, especially if the relationship is toxic, limiting, or just long past its expiration date. The best way to break up with someone is almost always faceto- face, with directness and honesty, but a little magical help can ease the process.

On a slip of paper, write down your grievances. Focus on your own feelings and experiences. After all, you can only control yourself, not your partner! You can make a list or create a picture or sigil instead. When you’re finished, safely burn the paper in a heatproof dish or cauldron, visualizing the relationship ending smoothly. Say:

Go quickly, go completely,
go in peace. I release you.

Scatter the ashes in the wind or bury them far away from where you live (maybe in a public park or a forest, where the energy can dissipate safely and you aren’t trespassing). You want this relationship out of your life, so make sure the spell remains are nowhere near your home!
)0(
Let the Good Times Roll
BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Today is all about breaking the mold and is the ideal day to drink rum and eat bananas, pudding with coconut rice, and King Cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Live for the little joys in life with this French prayer and with purple and green candles on a cake fit for a king. Give yourself permission to feel happy and alive, even if only for today. As you light the candles on the cake, say:

Elever votre esprit et laissez
les bons temps rouler!
(Lift up your spirits and let
the good times roll.)

Buy your cake from an artisan baker and make a point to go out into a community of artists and performers to show them your support. Enjoy the spirit of live music in an effort to let loose, and allow yourself to dance! There is no better time to enjoy life than at this very moment, fleeting and precious as it is.

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Heartwings Love Notes 971: Taking Satisfaction

Heartwings says, “The doing of a long term task can be fully satisfying.”

Once every four weeks I get out all our supplements, sort the small envelopes with our initials on them and set to work to get out our daily portions. Because I am sensitive to certain common ingredients in multiple vitamins, I can’t take them all in a single pill. I have been doing this for a good many years, so it doesn’t bother me to spend between an hour and a half to two doing it. It gives me great satisfaction to look at the basket filled with groups of small envelopes pinned with paperclips, ready to take six days a week. I always take one day off as I was advised to by a health practitioner.

It makes me happy to accomplish a task that will last for a while. So much of what most of us do needs to be done daily, or at least several times a week. After a while these tasks almost become automatic and are done without thought. Another of my favorite lasting jobs is to rearrange or tidy up shelves in my hallway pantry, or to neaten up bureau drawers. Going through files and discarding ones that are no longer useful is also satisfying. While I can take pleasure in these small tasks completed, the finishing of a big job that will last a while is very special indeed.

However, it is also important to take satisfaction in those very automatic daily tasks. I learned this myself when I had my hip operation and couldn’t put on my own socks, let alone manage to get into my jeans. Fortunately, I can now do the things that I needed help with then. This helped me to become grateful in ways I had never been before. Experience is a good teacher. As my gratitude for these small blessings deepens, I grow aware of how much there is in my life for me to appreciate. Long ago I heard Oprah speak about the importance of an attitude of gratitude. These days as I acknowledge my satisfaction, I also express my gratitude for so much in my life.

May you find much in your life to provide you with satisfaction.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS What in your life gives you special satisfaction? Do you feel grateful too? I love to hear from my readers, please share if you feel so inclined. Write to me at tashahal@Aol.com. You can access more love notes at http://www.heartwingsandfriends. Thank you!

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The Perils of a Magickal Hangover
BY PHOENIX LEFAE

Something came up in a class last night. A couple of folks mentioned feeling crappy after practicing casting circles. When you’re new to energy work, casting circles, or doing any sort of magickal practice, there is a potential for a magickal hangover, ritual rebound, or energy blowback. You don’t have to be a new practitioner for this to happen either. And there are some real perils of a magickal hangover.

Magickal hangovers can bring on the same symptoms of an alcohol hangover. Here are some ways a magickal hangover can manifest:

Physical exhaustion
Headaches
Mood swings or being quick to anger or sadness
Flare ups of physical issues you already had
Dizziness
Being nauseous
Good news, you can take some steps to avoid getting one.

Sweet Sweet Energy
Ideally, when doing ritual, spells, or magickal practices, you aren’t using your body’s energy. One of the reasons we ground before stepping into ritual is to connect us to the power/energy of the earth and sky, where there is unlimited stores of energy. During magickal practice (ritual, spells, etc.) we should be pulling these energetic forces through our bodies and using them to feed the work that we are doing.

Although grounding is a foundational practice in Witchcraft and Paganism, it is by no means an easy one. It takes time to really develop the skill of grounding and centering yourself. If you notice you are prone to ritual rebound or magickal hangovers, strengthening your grounding practice will be key.

A good test is to ask yourself in ritual: where is this energy coming from? If you aren’t sure, it’s probably your own energy being used up. Ground, ground again!

Physical Care
A lot of what you might do to avoid a booze hangover is the same for what you can do to avoid ritual rebound.

Have you eaten? Unless the ritual calls for fasting, make sure you have had enough to eat. However, avoid being uncomfortably full.

Did you drink enough water? Hydration is the key to life my friends. Drinking water before, during, and after ritual will go a long way.

Do you need a shower? Taking a ritual bath or shower before ritual can help you shift your energy (and mindset) into a more focused place. Taking a shower after ritual, can help you release any pent up excess energy.

It’s Not Always Depletion
Magickal hangovers aren’t always a response from being depleted. They can also be a sign that you took on too much energy and didn’t fully release it. If you raised a bunch of energy, got really wound up, felt ecstatic power flowing through you, it’s important to ‘come down’ from that place.

Do something to spend that energy. Running around the block might sound like a good way to exhaust the energy, but it could actually have the opposite effect of building up more. Releasing energy looks more like a slow landing. Drink a cup of tea, take a shower, place your hands on the earth and visualize (feel) sending excess energy back to the land as a gift of gratitude. Ground yourself again or cleanse. Check in with friends and coven mates, see if someone else is feeling depleted. You can always give them the gift of your excess by hugging or holding hands.

Give yourself time to unwind after a ritual or working to allow the energy to naturally evaporate.

Know Thyself
I know, I know, it seems like I can’t go a day without talking about this. The most important part of any magickal practice comes from knowing thyself. Do you typically walk through life a little depleted or a little amped up? What are your natural energy proclivities? How do you replenish from physical exhaustion? How do you replenish from emotional or mental fatigue? Knowing how you best recover from non-magickal exhaustion will give you clues on how to best recover from a magickal hangover.

Ultimately, it’s all about good spiritual hygiene. The more you know how to take care of yourself the better. And don’t feel bad if you get hit with some energy blowback. It happens to all of us sometimes.

Now go drink some water.

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Waxing Moon Money Spell
BY KATE FREULER

Draw a picture of a waxing moon on the palm of your hand with henna or marker. If you don’t want anyone to see it, you can instead draw it on a hidden part of your body.

As you draw the outline of the crescent moon and then color it in, visualize prosperity entering your life. See yourself paying the bills and buying the things you want and need, and feel how relieved and happy you’ll be when this happens. If you use henna, it will have to sit on your skin until it dries. Spend this time visualizing your goal as if you already have it. You can even imagine a stack of money sitting in the palm of your hand.

When the moon picture has dried, go about your business and forget about it. Wash your hands as usual, and allow it to naturally fade away. By the next full moon, some money should come your way.

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Sheela-Na-Gig

Sheela-Na-Gig Day is on March 18th, the day after St. Patrick’s, and is celebrated in Ireland by drinking whiskey! A shamrock is placed in the last glass consumed to ensure that you drink in good luck, protection, and fertility.

The Sheela-Na-Gig is found in Celtic and medieval stonework, often positioned over entrances and doorways, carved into cathedrals and stone churches all over Ireland, Wales, England, and throughout Europe. Sheela Na Gig is depicted as a squat, ugly, female creature, using her hands to display grotesquely large genitals. The prominently displayed vulva of the Sheela Na Gig is a Celtic holy symbol of the renewal of life and the regenerative powers of the Great Mother Goddess symbolizing both fertility and protection against evil.

During the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages passage graves were built in the shape of the Goddess, with the passage the vagina, and the tomb representing the uterus. Tomb and womb were equated, thus ensuring the regeneration and continuity after death, like a dead seed planted into Mother Earth, new life would sprout and grow into completion.

To celebrate Sheela-Na-Gig Day, ritually plant new life into the womb of the Goddess. You will need a peat pot, a little water with a drop of Irish whiskey added if you have some, a tiny glass of whiskey, some earth and a seed or two. You will name the seed(s) with an idea, goal or change that you wish to bring into your life. Take your time to firmly fix in your mind what you would like to bring to life with the seed.

Fill the pot with earth and then bless it in the following manner:

Hold the pot in both of your hands and visualize the earth within it teeming with micro-organisms, like a rich soup of fertility anxiously awaiting a seed to bring to life. Hold this visualization for as long as possible and then say:

Womb of the Goddess.

Fertile womb of Water and Earth,
Combination will give birth.
I will have what I desire,
Wind is Air and Sun is Fire.
Pour some of the whiskey- water on the newly planted seeds and say:
Water of Life, of River and Sea,
Magick is done, So Mote it Be!

Rowan Morgana 2015

Sources:

Wikipedia
The Sheila Na Gig Project
White Dragon – Sheila Na Gigs
http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/sheilanagig.php
Goddess Sheelah Na Gig – Journeying to the Goddess

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What Is Tarot Magic?
BY DONALD TYSON

Tarot and Magic
When you think of the Tarot, you probably think of fortune telling. This is not surprising, since divination has been the main function of Tarot cards for more than two hundred years. Only in the late eighteenth century did the symbolism on the cards acquire a higher spiritual meaning and come to be regarded as an important part of the Western esoteric tradition. In spite of its elevation from the mundane to the mysterious, the primary use for the Tarot remains fortunetelling even in the present day. If you examine the books available on the Tarot, most are about divination, with only a handful devoted to the higher meaning of Tarot symbolism.

There is another side to the Tarot that is little known and less understood. The cards can be used as potent instruments of ritual magic. This active function of the Tarot has always existed, but is overlooked or ignored even by many of the greatest modern ceremonial magicians, who regard the Tarot either as an instrument of fortunetelling or as a source of symbolism suitable for meditation. It is much more, as Tarot Magic will show.

A deck of Tarot cards contains everything you need to work a complete and effective system of ritual magic. With the cards alone, you can construct an astral temple, build an altar, cast a magic circle, create a triangle through which to actualize your purpose, manipulate the blind elemental forces of nature, communicate with other people and with spirits, cleanse atmospheres and places of destructive influences, make potent charms, extend aid, and perform works of healing. You can attract wealth, gain love, or achieve victory over your enemies. You can use the Tarot to accomplish any purpose you would seek to achieve through more cumbersome and complex methods of ceremonial magic.

All this with only a deck of Tarot cards. When your work is done, you simply fold the cards together and put your temple, your altar, your circle, your triangle, and all your instruments into your pocket, ready for the next time you need them. Tarot magic requires no expensive materials or hand-crafted tools, no incense, no candles, no oils, no arcane languages, no special place in which to work, no costly robes or talismans. Yet it is as effective as the most complex system of magic. Everything is done through the symbolism of the cards, in accord with the esoteric correspondences for the Tarot set forth by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The standard Golden Dawn correspondences for the Tarot are used throughout Tarot Magic because they are the most widely understood and accepted. Those familiar with my other writings know that I have made modifications to these correspondences in my personal esoteric system, but in this general text on Tarot magic I prefer to retain the correspondences with which most readers will be familiar in order to minimize confusion. It is a simple matter to adapt Tarot magic to match any set of occult correspondences. That is part of its versatility—the cards are moveable and may be set in any desired arrangement. (Those interested in my modifications to the Tarot correspondences will find them explained in the appendix of Tarot Magic.)

For many years, I used Tarot magic as part of my own ritual work but did not teach it, or even reduce it to a separate integrated system. In several of my books, I mention it briefly as a subject worth the consideration of serious readers. For example, in my first book, The New Magus, published in 1988, I wrote: “The uses of the Tarot in magic are too many to list. Each individual card can be the object of fruitful meditations. Cards can be used as talismans, as instruments of ritual workings, as patterns for godforms, and as symbols of power. Above all else, the Tarot is a tool for examining the Self and its relation to life.”

Little did I imagine when I wrote those words that it would be nearly two decades before I would find an opportunity to present the system of Tarot magic that I was then developing and using in my own rituals. Here for the first time, that system is revealed in full detail and in a unified format. Those who master it will find that it frees them from the burden of the complex physical apparatus of traditional ceremonial occultism. I have deliberately restricted the system here to the cards themselves and only the cards. The goal is simplicity. The Tarot is a symbolic model of the universe. Nothing external to it is required.

Traditional magic relies on symbolism also, but in its often complex and ornate ceremonies these symbols are embodied by physical objects and instruments. For example, the magic circle is a protective shield or barrier that is physically marked or laid out on the floor or ground where the ritual is worked. It is well understood by those skilled in ritual that there is another intangible circle that exists on the astral level in the mind of the magician, without which the physical circle would be powerless. The circle held in the imagination is the living soul of the magic circle, and the physical circle laid out or marked on the floor serves as its body.

It is possible to represent the astral realities of ritual magic with symbolic rather than physical instruments. An astral circle can be grounded or given a body by means of a group of Tarot cards just as effectively as it is grounded by a circle drawn in chalk onthe floor. In both cases, it is the circle in the imagination of the magician that is the true working circle of the ritual, but in traditional magic it is fixed in the form of a circle drawn, painted, or otherwise marked on the floor, whereas in Tarot magic it is fixed by means of an arrangement of cards that embodies the ritual circle in its set of esoteric correspondences.

Nor is it necessary to lay the cards out in a large circle within which the magician stands and works. This is one possible use for the cards. I have myself employed it in rituals and it can be effective, but to think only in these terms limits the versatility of Tarot magic. Just as a group of cards can represent the true magic circle on the astral level, so can a single card, carefully chosen, represent and embody the magician. The ring of cards defining the circle need then be only large enough to contain the card of the magician and any other symbolic tools used in the circle. This allows Tarot magic to be worked on a tabletop or similar convenient surface. A ritual chamber is unnecessary because the deck of cards becomes the ritual chamber.

It may seem strange that the magician enters one of the cards during rituals of Tarot magic. In the Western esoteric tradition, it is usual for the magician to remain within his or her own body during the greater part of ritual work. This is not equally so in the magic of the East. Tibetan magicians work with esoteric designs laid out upon the floor or the ground that express in symbolic form astral temples, astral landscapes, or entire planes of being without physical reality. They project themselves into these pictures by identifying themselves with a small token, which they place within the design, usually at its center. As long as the token that embodies their identify remains in the design, they are present and self-aware in the astral reality that the design represents.

The technique of projecting the point of view, or self-awareness, outside the body requires practice, but such projection is an established part of Western magic as well. It is used for a variety of purposes, such as projecting the self-awareness through an astral doorway during scrying or soul flight, or into a godform when invoking a higher spiritual being. It is a technique every person serious about magic must learn sooner or later, and it is not very difficult. Any beginner can project his or her self-awareness to a limited and partial degree, although full perfection of the technique requires months or years of practice. A virtue of Tarot magic is that it can be worked with success even if the projection of the point of view into a card is less than perfect.

This system does not require the purchase of a special Tarot deck. Any Tarot of seventy-eight cards will be effective. The occult correspondences of the Golden Dawn upon which the entire system is based are independent of the details of the card images, so the differences between the Rider-Waite deck and the Crowley Thoth deck, for example, do not determine the success of the magic worked. The magic is not in the cards, which are merely tools used to construct rituals and to represent various instruments and forces. The magic is in the person using them. The cards act to focus and project the power of the mind.

Decks of smaller cards produce a more manageable ritual layout, and are to be preferred in Tarot magic. In my own work, I use the miniature Rider-Waite deck because it can be laid out on a very limited surface area such as a desktop or endtable. The size of the cards has no effect on the potency of the magic.

Whichever Tarot deck you select for your own rituals, you should continue to use it until you become completely familiar with its symbolism. Over time, a deck of Tarot cards used repeatedly for ritual magic will acquire its own energies that make it easier to work rituals with that deck. That is because the deck becomes more real on the astral level within the mind of the magician using the cards. Less effort is needed each time by the magician to create the cards on the astral level, freeing up energies for the actual work of magic.

It is best to keep the deck of cards employed in ritual magic separate and wrapped in a square of linen or some other natural cloth, in order to preserve this useful quality of a sustained astral charge. The cards should not be handled by others, or even shown to them. A ritual is a very private activity, unless it is specifically designed to be worked by a group. The tools of ritual are not for curious eyes—the system presented in Tarot Magic is intended for the solitary practitioner. Keep the deck separate and use it only for Tarot magic. If you do divination, it is best to get a second deck of cards for that purpose.

Even those who use the Tarot strictly for telling fortunes and have no interest in practical magic will find the explanations for the Golden Dawn Tarot correspondences and their origins more illuminating than any treatment of this subject that has previously appeared in print. For some reason that is not obvious, unless it is mere ignorance on the part of writers, the origin of the Golden Dawn correspondences is seldom adequately explained, though this set of correspondences forms the heart of the modern Tarot. Diviners accept the correspondences without knowing their ultimate source. A full awareness of how the correspondences came to be can enhance the accurate use of the cards for prediction.

This work is solely concerned with practical magic. It is not about using the cards for divination, although this is a fascinating and perfectly valid use for the Tarot. There are thousands of books on fortunetelling with the cards, and anyone who seeks to learn to divine will have no trouble finding them. Here, you will discover what is infinitely more rare and precious: a way to use the Tarot ritually to cause active and potent change in the world in conformity with your will. That is the very heart and soul of magic.

Excerpted from Tarot Magic, by Donald Tyson.

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Dispelling Drama

The drama in some people’s lives can serve as excitement, prompting the body to manufacture adrenaline, producing a pleasurable surge of energy.

There are scores of people in the world who seem to be magnets for calamity. They live their lives jumping from one difficult situation to the next, surrounded by unstable individuals. Some believe themselves victims of fate and decry a universe they regard as malevolent. Others view their chaotic circumstances as just punishments for some failing within. Yet, in truth, neither group has been fated or consigned to suffer. They are likely unconsciously drawing drama into their lives, attracting catastrophe through their choices, attitudes, and patterns of thought. Drama, however disastrous, can be exciting and stimulating. But the thrill of pandemonium eventually begins to frustrate the soul and drain the energy of all who embrace it. To halt this process, we must understand the root of our drama addiction, be aware of our reactions, and be willing to accept that a serene, joyful life need not be a boring one.

Many people, so used to living in the dramatic world they create, feel uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of a lifetime of peace and contentment. The drama in their lives serves multiple purposes. Upset causes excitement, prompting the body to manufacture adrenaline, which produces a pleasurable surge of energy. For those seeking affection in the form of sympathy, drama forms the basis of their identity as a victim. And when drama is familial, many people believe they can avoid abandonment by continuing to play a key role in the established family dynamic. The addiction to drama is fed by the intensity of the feelings evoked during bouts of conflict, periods of uncertainty, and upheaval.

Understanding where the subconscious need for drama stems from is the key to addressing it effectively. Journaling can help you transfer this need from your mind onto a benign piece of paper. After repeated writing sessions, your feelings regarding the mayhem, hurt feelings, and confusion often associated with drama become clear. When you confront your emotional response to drama and the purpose it serves in your life, you can reject it. Each time you consciously choose not to take part in dramatic situations or associate with dramatic people, you create space in your inner being that is filled with a calm and tranquil stillness and becomes an asset in your quest to lead a more centered life.

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TikTok Witches Experiencing Targeted Discrimination

BY GWYN

So, it seems in recent months there has been trouble brewing for Witches and Pagans who’ve been sharing content on TikTok. Discrimination in the form of “mass reporting” leading to “shadowbanning.” In other words, posted content blocked without their knowledge.

According to sources, there are Christians waging an alleged campaign against witches (or others they don’t like). People who comment on videos, tagging them to their friends with a comment (such as “She’s a Witch!”) then sending mass reports against the Witch to moderators.

Cos-players and LGBTQ folk are experiencing this as well. Actions, that can result in content creators being banned from their accounts, no longer eligible for the Creator Fund, etc. They are allowed to appeal the decision but there is no guarantee it will go in their favor. This is unacceptable and should not go unchallenged. Witches are allowed to have a voice on TikTok or any other platform!

Free To Create — Mostly
Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a “big deal” to some folks. It’s social media, right? But any time one group of people (in this case, reportedly Christians with an ax to grind) single out others for “removal” from the service because they don’t like their content or approve of their message? Nope. It’s time to speak out.

Because while Donald Trump, White Supremacists, and other hateful individuals or groups are violating community standards when they foment violence, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination, etc., and it is correct for them to be removed, blocked, or banned from social media; the Witches, Pagans, CosPlayers, and LGBTQ communities of TikTok are not. They are sharing information, having fun, and expressing their viewpoints, or engaging in debate/responses with other people.

So let’s be clear. These videos are being reported because the creators are Witches, Pagans, LGBTQ, CosPlayers. That’s the only reason. False reporters are passing judgment on these individuals based on personal religious beliefs/prejudices, not because the content of the video violates any of TicTok’s community standards.

These are individuals who want their own content to be shared/heard but wish to silence all those who stand opposed, have a different viewpoint, or follow another deity.

Here’s the thing. With the exception of groups or individuals out to harm, coerce, or abuse others, there is room in social media for all of us. Christians. Witches. Pagans. Buddhists. Atheists. Psychics. LGBTQ, Muggles, et al. People of different beliefs, backgrounds, ethnicities, countries –you name it. Social media has made it possible for all of these voices to be heard and life experiences to be shared.

And there is a strong witchcraft community on TikTok, many of whom are young and tech-savvy. They share a lot of great content. Is it (or any social media site) the best place to get spiritual or magickal information? Maybe, maybe not. I did write a blog post about TikTok Witches Hexing the Fae, after all.

However, if through these videos witches are connecting and learning then more power to them. And I will be damned if I will be silent while even one of these creators is being subjected to a “witch hunt.” Figurative or literal.

So, I’m encouraging those witches who do not have a TikTok account to join me if you care to do so (as I do have one). Follow and support some of these younger witches, and others who are making videos. Drop some knowledge on people. This is the 21st century. While some of us who are older may struggle with the change, we do have the option to embrace it.

Sometimes You Gotta Make A Stand
Yes. There are Christians who use TikTok (or other social media platforms) to sow fear against witchcraft, Paganism, etc. Like “Evangelist/Missionary Barbie” trying to “deliver/exorcise” the witches, pagans (and anyone she doesn’t approve of) by staring into the camera and “rebuking” spirits and deities with her “authority in Jesus.”

Alright, I know to do that is an Evangelical-Pentecostal-Deliverance Ministry-Christian kinda thing. I could be really snarky here but I’m going to refrain. But feel free to imagine the rolling eyes and single raised brow. Because —really? Okay. So, the snark has always been here.

I believe it takes tremendous hubris to create and share that kind of video (among others), but “Evangelist/Missionary Barbie” isn’t violating the rules. And to my knowledge, no one is trying to kick her off the platform for being a Christian or posting (cough ridiculous cough) content. Sure. She gets a lot of comments and rebuttals for her opinions which is fair. Witches and those who are not Christian should be allowed to do the same.

But in my opinion, if the “report the Witches” campaign continues, maybe we send emails to TikTok, letting them know their rules are being manipulated to discriminate against and silence people by those who don’t like or disagree with those doing the reporting.

Do Unto Others…

We should not tolerate hate speech, religious bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, or racism. Those attitudes and words should have no space IRL or in our online communities. Period. And we need to make a stand when necessary in whatever way is appropriate for the moment, time, and venue. The TikTok Witches (and all those who are being “shadowbanned” on that service) have the right to be there as much as anyone.

I’m not an alarmist. But I do see the situation on TikTok (or other social media sites if it is happening there) as concerning. If for nothing else because it may affect some people’s ability to bring a little extra cash into their pocket simply because they are a Witch.

While the witchcraft and Pagan communities are growing (and have been for a couple of decades now), we are still “in the margin.” And we need to watch out for one another. Stick together. Because many witches are out of the “broom closet” blazing a trail through the overculture with abandon. Many religious folks do not want that to continue.

Witches are now recognized as “real” in mainstream society. Paganism and all its varieties have their place within the spectrum of religions. But there is so much more the world needs to understand about us.

Witches, we must remember how lucky we are in this country to have the freedom to express ourselves in our lives, religions, beliefs, etc. Let’s not allow others with their own agendas to silence us. TikTok Witches are here to stay, as we all are in our own sphere of influence IRL or online. It’s up to us to make it so.

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Goals

Celebrating the happiness of others requires a generosity of spirit that we often find only in the process.

Our desires act as fuel, propelling us toward new horizons. Without something to strive for, we stagnate and become stuck in ruts of our own making because we are unsure of what to do next. Goals are the dreams that we are willing to work for. When we set goals, we take responsibility for our lives and choose to wholeheartedly devote ourselves to our aspirations. Even if we only take the smallest steps toward achieving our ambitions, it is vital that we actively pursue our goals rather than just daydreaming about them. Having goals makes us feel good because it adds a sense of purpose and direction to our lives.

When you endeavor to achieve clear and quantifiable goals, your choices and actions take on new significance. Consciously creating your goals can help ensure that the success you seek is attainable and serves you. Your plan must be conceivable, tangible, and measurable. If you cannot visualize your goal in great detail or believe that you can realize them, you may find it difficult to commit to your goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Make sure that your goals have the potential to be emotionally satisfying. You may even want to write them down. Putting your goals into words can keep your intention fresh in your mind and remind you of your purpose. As you make progress toward realizing your goals, give yourself a reward each time you take a step forward so that you have the incentive to keep going. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, examine ways in which you can revise your strategy so that your plan can work.

In creating goals, you create your future by outlining your destiny. When you choose your goals using your head and heart, you take the first step in manifesting what you want. You grant your own wishes every time you achieve another goal.

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HAUNTED HISTORY – Types of Hauntings Part 1
written by Angela Ancarana February 19, 2021

Residual Haunting:
This type of haunting usually occurs when a traumatic event takes place, and that energy is put into the atmosphere causing a type of imprint of the event. Usually, these hauntings are imprinted after a traumatic event, such as murder. These events will play over and over, and the entity is unaware of its surroundings, meaning this is not an intelligent haunting and no interaction can take place with the entity involved. Residual hauntings are not always due to a traumatic event. There are some that have been recorded and might be an event that took place in the past that plays repeatedly. For example, a man would be out on his balcony and pace back and forth to think. This would be done so often that the energy was imprinted on that very spot and some have captured a figure in that location. But when asked to interact, the entity never changes other than the pacing back and forth, and the same image can be captured repeatedly. They will not answer questions like an intelligent haunting and their movements will not change.

Intelligent Haunting:
Intelligent hauntings are hauntings where you or the entity can interact with their surroundings. There are many different theories of why some spirits stay on this plane and why some “crossover.” Possibly the entity stays in a particular location because they had wonderful memories there and do not want to leave, or they are unaware they have passed on. Other theories are that the spirit has unfinished business and until that has been completed, they are stuck where they passed on, or some have said they are afraid of their final judgment and do not want to face what may come next on a different plane of existence. Whatever the reasoning, these are spirits that we can ask questions and receive responses: they interact in ways of touching us, moving objects, and EVP (electronic voice phenomena). Some of these entities can use their energy and move objects, this may be to get our attention or for another reason we are unaware. They are able to communicate intelligently.

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Trouble Sleeping? Consider This Scent
~Dr. Weil

If you experience anxiousness or troubled sleep, but don’t want to use prescription or over-the-counter sedatives, consider jasmine. Researchers have found that the scent of jasmine is as effective as Valium and similar drugs for relieving anxiety, promoting more peaceful sleep, and reducing anxiety upon waking. Jasmine fragrances were even shown to have the same neurochemical mechanism of action as barbiturates, without the groggy, hungover feeling in the morning.

You can get the benefits of jasmine by taking a warm bath or shower with jasmine-scented soaps before bedtime, spraying your bedding with an essential oil like jasmine prior to getting in, or placing a diffuser containing jasmine in your bedroom. Make sure you use products that have actual jasmine in the ingredients and not just the scent of jasmine.

Other recommendations for getting quality rest include paying attention to your sleep hygiene – don’t drink anything containing caffeine or alcohol for several hours before bedtime, keep your bedroom at a comfortably cool temperature, reduce screen time as you start winding down for the night and make sure there is minimal or no light where you sleep. It’s also helpful to moderate your intake of refined sugars and carbohydrates. Also try to spend time outdoors (especially in the morning light) and continue to be active throughout the day.

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Gilberto Talks to God
by Stephen Halpert

Gilberto paced furiously back and forth in his living room. “The audacity that anyone would attempt to kidnap my son Joey is beyond my comprehension,” he said. “Add to that the danger Maria faced, not to mention our soon to be born baby.” His hands curled into fists.
He turned to Federal agents Smith and Jones. “Who’d pull crap like this?” he demanded. They were sitting in his living room drinking coffee. Joey was in his room playing with Oscar. Gilberto had told him that from now on he was to walk Oscar only when someone was with him to protect him.
Smith sipped his coffee. “One name comes to mind. But we’ve no substantial proof.”
“Who!” Gilberto roared.
“Karibe,” Smith said flatly. “Your goalie. But like I said, we’ve no substantial proof.”
“My friend?” his voice dropped. “Why? We’re brothers, teammates.”
Maria sat down beside him and took his hand. “He’s not your goalie now,” she said softly.
“Who better to exploit? Smith said. “This is bigger than just you. “What you must understand is that you’re seen as a success: an executive in an international firm whose income exceeds more than that of most of the population of Caracas.”
Jones chimed in, “Other Latin American executives here in the States have been singled out as well. Like when the Irish had their conflicts against the British, they demanded funds from wealthy Irish American families like the Kennedys. Nothing personal. But if you can be squeezed financially that makes you a target. Simple as that.”
“Be calm, Gilberto,” Maria said. “It won’t do any of us any good for you to be angry and lose your cool.”
“Stop,” he said. “I’m protecting you, Joey, our baby.” What do you expect me to do, roll over and play dead?”
Smith nodded. “She’s right.”
Gilberto peered at Maria. His face tightened. “If anyone ever goes near you,”… His voice trailed off.
She took his hand. “Getting all upset won’t solve anything.”
“We’re with you,” Smith said. Then he and Jones left.
She kissed him softly and looked into his eyes. “We have to trust,” she said. “Trust and have faith.”
“Trust who? Faith in what?
“God,” she said softly. ” Trust and faith in God. I know you don’t ordinarily pray but maybe this is a good time to start.”
“Maria I never bought into that Sunday school stuff. There’s no all-knowing old guy on top of a mountain.”
“I know,” she said.
He stood, went to the big living room window and looked out over the Charles. “I’m feeling trapped here. Maybe we should move.”
“Gilberto it’s all the same. Wherever we go it will always be the same. I know ultimately we’ll be ok.” Then her expression changed. She put her hand over her stomach. ” Gilberto, I think I’d better call Eva.”
His eyes widened. He rushed to her and clutched her shoulders. “Whaa?”
“It could be a false alarm or it might be time. Maybe all the excitement today started something happening sooner than expected.”
His hands began to shake. “I don’t know what to do?”
“Talk to God,” she said. “That’s what I’ve always done when there’s more trouble than I know how to deal with myself. It certainly never hurts to have a deity in your corner.”
He shook his head and scrunched up his shoulders. “You talk to God?”
She smiled and nodded. “I have since I was little.”
He huffed. “What do you mean. You pick up the phone and dial an unlisted number?”
She held his hand. “Nothing so complicated. Usually when I’m washing dishes.”
But we have a dish washer?”
“I got the idea from Brother Lawrence. He was a monk way back when.”
His eyes narrowed. “He talked to God?”
Maria smiled and sighed. “Usually when he was washing dishes in the monistary.”
He blinked. “Just like that?'”
She nodded. “It can be a very peaceful interlude. Just start talking. After a while it will come naturally.”
He shook his head. “You do this?”
She smiled. “Oh yes. I chat with Gertrude a lot.”
His eyebrows rose. “Who’s Gertrude? I thought we were talking about God.”
“We are. I’ve always called her Gertrude. That name resonates for me.”
His voice rose, But God’s a guy.”
She shook her head. “For you maybe. But to me she’s a compassionate, loving, feminine being.”
He frowned. “So, I just go in the kitchen, wash some dishes and talk to Gertrude? That feels strange to me.”
Oh, your God could be male. If you want a male entity then go for it. You see, to me God is everything and a small part of God lives within each of our essences.” She smiled at him with love in her eyes. “Go talk to her or him. while I call Eva.”
“This feels weird. But if you say so, who knows.” He kissed her, stood, picked up the coffee cups, and went into the kitchen. Instead of putting them into the dishwasher he put them into the sink. Then as he ran hot water and sponged over them, he said.
Hi God, “I’m Gilberto Santiago, Maria’s husband. “I’m a Vice President at Atlas here in Boston. She said I should talk to you.”
He waited half expecting some acknowledgment, like maybe a lightning flash. Nothing happened. He went on. “You see, I’ve got this problem. Someone I’ve known years ago, his name’s Karibe is part of a criminal conspiracy and wants to control me. He wants to kidnap our son Joey and bring harm to Maria and our soon to be born baby.”
Tears filled his eyes. He paused, gulped for air.
“I don’t know what to do. Maria suggested if I talked to you maybe you could help us out, lend us a hand. I don’t know where to turn right now. “
He rinsed out the coffee cups and put them in the drainer. Oddly, he felt a slight sense of relief. He hesitated but then went on. “I know you must be very busy but maybe we could talk again. I’d like that. Anyway, I’d appreciate whatever you could do to help us out. Thank you.”
He went back to the living room. Sat beside Maria.
Maria smiled. “Eva’s coming over. She’s not sure if it’s time. “Did you talk to God?”
He nodded, yes.
She smiled, kissed him. ” Like I said, it’s always a good thing for us to have a deity in our corner.” (to be continued)

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Herbal Elixir Recipe for Stress Relief

Holy basil, ashwagandha, and astragalus roots in a jar with honey drizzling over to make herbal elixir for stress relief.

Most herbalists will tell you that they became interested in herbs because they had some condition that they wanted to find a better way to address. For me, it was more about learning to be in charge of my emotions. It’s not that they were out of control, but I studied psychology in college, and this interest has never left me. Strong emotions can be uncomfortable and do considerable damage to various bodily systems.

There are times when we can push our limits for a long time. This isn’t always a negative. Writing a book is a good example; with tight deadlines that need to be squeezed between magazine deadlines, it’s walking a tightrope. It’s kind of fun and exciting, but the results on the body can be similar to pressure that is not so happy in origin. For instance, in my youth, I stumbled into a year as a police dispatcher, and it was difficult, educational, fascinating, and so very stressful. I wish I’d known about holy basil then! Currently, being under lock-down indefinitely has been very difficult for many of us. Learning new jobs, taking care of a relative who won’t be getting better, or living out of step with one’s true self are all taking a toll, day by day.

Over the years, I’ve created supportive herbal blends for myself, as well as for family and friends. I rely pretty heavily on adaptogens, and have debated with others the benefits of adding holy basil to the water supply of humans on occasion. Here is one elixir recipe that I like to make in a bigger batch to enjoy regularly and to share with others in need of some support. Along with holy basil, this blend includes ashwagandha, which is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen and a nervine to help cope with stress.* This formulation also calls upon another herbal ally, astragalus, which is also used as an adaptogen, but in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Astragalus was used as an herbal supplement to help increase energy and resistance to stress.* These two ingredients from differing herbal practices have been used for millennia, and it’s long-standing use shows that they’ve helped generations of people manage the daily stressors of their times.

One of the aspects I enjoy most about this elixir blend is that it is pleasant tasting, so people who don’t generally like taking tinctures or herbal preparations don’t mind taking it. An elixir is a sweet herbal preparation, typically made with alcohol and a sweetener (generally honey).

This recipe was adapted from Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing, by Tina Sams and was reprinted with permission from the author.

Herbal elixir for stress relief made from Krishna holy basil, aswagandha root, astragalus root, and honey being dripped into a cup of tea.

Daily Stress Tonifying Elixir
Makes about 24 ounces.

Ingredients

½ cup organic Krishna holy basil
¼ cup organic ashwagandha root
¼ cup organic astragalus root
½ cup raw, local honey
2 ½ cups alcohol of choice
Directions

Combine holy basil, ashwagandha, and astragalus in quart size jar.
Add honey and stir well to combine.
Pour in alcohol until completely covered.
Cover jar and shake well.
Infuse for at least 2 weeks, storing in a cool dark place.
Shake the blend every few days.
Strain the elixir and transfer to clean glass bottles.
Label and date the elixir.
Enjoy about one teaspoon to support you during stressful times.

Pro Tips
Store in a cool, dark place where it can last for several years.

As with any herbal preparation, dosage should be determined based on the status of your health and guidance from a qualified herbal practitioner. A teaspoon seems to do well for most people, but this should not be taken as a dosage recommendation.

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Kitty Kat Korner!

HOW TO SPOT WILD CATNIP

Your cat is a catnip fanatic. You just have to take out a bottle of the stuff, and he’s at your feet purring and begging. Sure, you could buy your catnip (remember — the fresher, the better).

But your cat is an Adventure Cat, and this is a call for adventure: You can go forage for your own catnip.

Catnip is a member of the mint family, and like many other mints, it grows and spreads like a weed. That means you can likely pick some without worry — chances are, no one will miss it. Even better, catnip plants will continue to grow back if you leave the roots intact, so clip the plants just above the ground and you’ll be able to keep coming back to your own little patch of wild catnip.

A few disclaimers for responsible adventuring
Only forage in areas you know have not been treated with herbicides or pesticides.

Don’t pick anything on protected land or private property even if it is just a weed. Or simply ask for permission first.
Don’t let your cat eat anything until you’re absolutely sure you’ve found the right plant.
With that out of the way, let’s head out!

Where to find wild catnip
Catnip grows all year long and is not picky about the kind of soil it grows in. In fact, you’ll often find it thriving in poor soil conditions. Catnip loves sandy or gravelly soil and full sunlight, so look for it in places such as railroad tracks, around open meadows and fields, along fences and old houses, near streams, and in other areas you’d expect to find weeds.

What to look for
There are several species of catnip, but they all share characteristics and differ mainly in the color of the flowers. Catnip is grayish-green and can grow up to three feet tall. Look for jagged, heart-shaped leaves and thick stems that are both covered in fuzzy hairs.

The best time to search for wild catnip is between July and October when the flowers are in bloom. Catnip flowers bloom in large clusters at the tops of the plants and look like little tubular mouths. Flowers are usually a bright white color, but some can be fully or partially violet. (Cats love the pure white kind the best.)

Your cat will probably react to the catnip before you do — wild catnip tends to be more potent than the kind you can buy from farms. Before you let your cat go to town on the plants, you can do one final thing to make sure you’ve got the right herb. Smell it! Pinch off a leaf and give it a sniff. If it smells minty, you’ve found catnip.

You’ve found catnip. Now what?
Catnip has a more potent effect the fresher it is — that’s why catnip-filled toys run out of oomph in the open air so quickly. You and your cat can set up camp and enjoy the plants right there in the fields. If you plan to take some home with you, remember to cut the stem instead of pulling out the roots.

Once you’re home, you can enjoy your spoils as much as your cat will. Just add some leaves to your salad or tea for a refreshing minty twist. (Yes, it’s safe!)

You can also dry out the catnip for later use by hanging it upside down in a dry, shaded place for a week or two.

Happy adventuring!

This guest post was written by our furiends at Tabby James.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, February 21, 2021

All Signs
Mercury retrograde was technically over last Saturday (the 20th). For eleven days, Mercury remained at 11 degrees Aquarius. On Friday, Mercury began to move forward (relative to planet Earth), which means this week, life will move forward with more focus, power and results. This is a good thing! Nevertheless, if you’re buying big-ticket items like computers, cars, trucks and cell phones, ideally, wait until Mercury catches up to the degree it was at when it first went retrograde, which is 26 degrees Aquarius. That day will be March 13. Meanwhile, this week, Mars is dancing with Pluto, which will channel everyone’s energy in a powerful way. The message is definitely – go big or go home!

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This week continues to be a time when you still want to play things low-key and work alone or behind the scenes. If you have to research anything or seek answers to old problems, you will be successful. There is a “subterranean” influence that indicated many of you are having secret love affairs right now. Meanwhile, many of you might also see new ways of earning money, or discover a new job. You’re in a resourceful frame of mind – this is certain. This is also why many of you will see new uses or applications for something that you already own. It’s the perfect week to set goals for the future. Goals help to keep you on track –and they make decision making easier.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This continues to be a popular time. Many of you are more in touch than usual with people online, in person or through groups, clubs and organizations. Creative, artistic contacts are also in your life, which can be stimulating and inspiring. This emphasis on close friendships right now will mean that for some, a friend will become a lover. With Mars in your sign dancing with Pluto, you are powerful and capable of working hard for long hours. Your energy is persevering and you are focused. But here’s an important tip: If you work for the good of others as well as your own good, you will receive much more benefit and credit. (That’s how Pluto works.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This week the Sun is still at the top of your chart, shining down and casting you in a flattering light, which means this is still a great time for you to make your pitch to bosses, parents and teachers. (Everyone thinks you’re great.) In fact, a romance with a boss or a saucy flirtation with someone in a position of a power might occur. It’s a great week to move forward with new studies or to begin to write an important paper or manuscript. You will find that some kind of hidden energy is stirring within you that allows you to be persevering at whatever task that you attempt to do. You have amazing endurance right now! Keep in mind that this is a year of preparation for a very successful year in 2022!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re still hungry for adventure, travel and excitement. With so many confined to home and with travel restrictions, this is obviously a challenging time for you. Make the most of this by travelling online, seeing YouTubes about exploring different countries and cities. (Maybe the greatest libraries in the world?) You might strike up a long-distance romance with someone. Meanwhile, you will make progress dealing with shared property, inheritances, taxes and insurance matters. Furthermore, your involvement with groups (and this might be competitive) will be extremely effective. Your energy will bring about change in your world and will inspire others to listen to you and follow your lead.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your focus on taxes, debt, insurance matters and shared property continues this week. Furthermore, a blessing in these financial matters still exists, which is why you might receive gifts, or people will do favours for you. Meanwhile, your ambition is aroused! You intend to make big changes that will affect the direction that you want to go in the future. The sheer energy of your motivation and drive to achieve your goals will bring about a major shift this week. This is the power of clear motivation! Please be aware that if what you want to achieve will also benefit others as well as yourself, your success will be even greater. Factoid. (It’s a Pluto thang.)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This week the Sun, Venus and Neptune are sitting opposite your sign. While Venus promotes relations with others in a lovely, warm way – the opposition of the Sun will rob you of some of strength, which is why you need more sleep. (This happens for four weeks once a year. Of course, six months from now when the Sun is in your sign for four weeks, you will get a marvellous boost of energy!) This is an excellent week to study and learn something new because you want to do this; plus you have the necessary energy and perseverance. You might also use this same driven energy to finish a paper or a manuscript or work on something related to medicine, the law and the media.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This is a productive week! Hey, this is good! You will get so much done because you’re setting the bar high. Not only do you want to get better organized in your professional life, you also want to get better organized in your personal world. You even want to improve your health. (“Look Ma! No hands!”) Fortunately, relations with coworkers and bosses are excellent. In fact, financial favours might come your way. You also might see ways to use your assets or shared property to benefit someone. If so, this decision will benefit you, too. This week you’re inclined to use your mind for amusing past times – reading, writing and playing games. Backgammon anyone?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
This week continues to offer you chances to express yourself and do your own thing. You’re free-spirited and you want to have a good time! Romance will be lighthearted and playful. Your involvement with children is greater, which is why you will enjoy games and sports activities with kids. Family discussions and home repairs might also be on your agenda. However, underlying everything is a strong desire to improve your closest relationships with others. Beware of trying to “make over” someone else or make them change to “improve” the relationship. You can’t change someone else. You can only change yourself. And when you change yourself, other changes might follow.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Home and family continue to be your primary focus. This could be because of your involvement (more than usual) with a parent. It might also be because you are busy with redecorating projects? Naturally, you have to work within responsible Covid restrictions; having said that, you might want to entertain at home – with your safe bubble of contacts. This is because you are eager to communicate and talk to others this week. Meanwhile, you intend to do something to improve your health and to buff your body. You’re setting high standards for yourself because you want to be the best that you can be. Great! You’re an outdoors person so this is wise. Use it or lose it.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Despite the restrictions that we all face at this time, you’re busy in an active way. You are certainly eager to communicate, especially to neighbours, relatives and siblings. Some of you are taking short trips. Many of you are figuring out ways to make money from your words – writing, acting, online sales – whatever. Moreover, you also dreaming up moneymaking ideas. In addition, some of you are working hard to hone or perfect a technique perhaps in sports or the arts. You might do something over and over until you get better and better at it. That old joke is certainly true: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice!”

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Money, cash flow, financial matters plus big purchases are on your mind this week. The good news is that you can attract money to you at this time. Small wonder you are also buying beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. This also fits with the fact that there is increased chaos and activity on the home front, possibly due to renovations or visitors? These changes could trigger major purchases for your home. Meanwhile, with Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn in your sign, you are very keen to communicate your ideas to others. You’re enthusiastic about big change that is taking place in your life. You sense that you are entering a new world and you are entirely right.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
This is a lovely time for you with the Sun and Venus in your sign. It means you are smooth and charming with everyone. Furthermore, the Sun gives you a chance to replenish yourself as well as attract people and favourable situations to you. This is definitely your time to shine! It’s also another great week where you will be pleased with wardrobe purchases. Yay! (Check Moon Alert on my daily column before you do so.) Meanwhile, you will be bolder and more aggressive when talking to others this week, which is a good thing because your ability to assert yourself will bring about improvements in your daily world and environment. Sweet!

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Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday, 21 February 2021

If youre born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); youre advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Over the past three or four weeks youve faced numerous setbacks. Worse, most left you few options. Obviously, that was frustrating. However, youll be well compensated by the amazing and often totally unexpected events triggered by Thursdays stunning link between your ruler Mars and Pluto. While most will delight you, some will be worrying. Still, go with the flow. Youll soon realise how wise this was.

You will be content to take a back seat and let others take the initiative. Although you are usually the one who takes charge, it could be surprising to find how much you enjoy leaving the decision making to someone else. This is also why you would prefer it if a needy friend or neighbour left you alone. You will be there for them another time but at the moment, you have something important to think over.

You are supposed to be bold and courageous. Its often overlooked though just how sensitive you can be. That sensitivity though should work well in the first half of this week - especially if youre involved in design and presentation. For some years now, finding the right image may have been of some concern. Now it seems you are slowly arriving at a conclusion. This might also have something to do with your handwriting. Small changes here could bring dramatic change elsewhere. Playing with ideas should suit you well – particularly over Wednesday and Thursday. The big theme is saying goodbye to the past and embracing the future. Your energy levels should rise midweek too. You may also find a blossoming business partnership with someone born under one of the Mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces is worthy of increased attention.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Much of Februarys been about facing obstacles. While no single one was overwhelming, they seemed relentless. Actually, they were all related to vital changes involving elements of your lifestyle or activities out in the world. Review these now, and youll realise how much you learnt from each. Better yet, those insights will be helpful from Thursday, when your ruler Venus shifts to accent life`s joys.

A loved one is worried about the future. Whether it is their job or money that is causing them apprehension, do your best to keep their spirits up. Reassure them that despite current difficulties, you will get through it together. The future can be good even if some slight changes have left people unsettled. Be patient if you have to repeat yourself a few times with an older colleague. It may take a while before you are able to get the message across.

Mercury has now turned direct at the very apex of your solar chart (one of the career or vocational spots). Obviously much depends on your personal chart, but it does now seem that youre ready to make a bold move. As is the case for all signs, leaving the past behind and finding ways of doing business differently will likely be a major driver. In your case, it might also require delegating a task that you think has beenall yours` for a long time but which really should be sent elsewhere so that you can then focus on new interests. There should be plenty of these too. Your profile looks to be much enhanced when the Moon reaches the base of your solar chart over Thursday and Friday, and your contribution and expertise is highlighted. It might even be that you attract an investor.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

You could blame the strange events and, often, bizarre challenges youve faced over the past three weeks on your ruler Mercurys retrograde cycle, which ends on Sunday the 21st. However, the actual circumstances will remain unsettled, mostly because the worlds in the midst of changes as worthwhile as they are unexpected. Looking back on events, youll be thankful for each and every one of them.

You are ready to push worries and uncertainties aside and to find the positives around you. You might decide to take up a hobby or interest that excites you. Friends may seem slightly suspicious to see you filled with such enthusiasm. At the same time, this could inspire them to be more optimistic themselves. A purchase you`re considering could involve more money than you are comfortable with. A practical friend will propose a cheaper alternative.

Your ruling planet, Mercury, has now turned direct in another of the Air signs. You should now have a sense of exactly what it is that you want to achieve in the coming weeks and the amount of expertise that will be required to get you to where you need to be. It may be useful to think back to decisions taken around the January 14th New Moon. Picking up on these and re-designing where necessary should prove a valuable exercise. Note that the Sun is now passing over the apex of your solar chart and that people want to know your plans. Attracting support should be easier from the end of the week after Venus joins the Sun in this area. It might also be that the cosmos sends you a gift in the form of someone who is excellent at administration but lacks your ability to conjure up ideas as to what could be. This partnership could go far.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

As youll be aware of, youve been in a period of twists, turns and challenges. While its unlikely any one was overwhelming, youre ready for a change of pace. It comes, but is as much about you shifting your focus to more upbeat ideas or activities, however modest, than actual changes in arrangements. Take it slowly. Within days you`ll be smiling, more than for ages.

You thought a relationship was going somewhere while all the time, your partner has been seeing it as a casual arrangement. It was inevitable you wouldnt last together. There has been disappointment in love and this will make you wary when it comes to forming new relationships. You could do with a break from routine. Nothing will seem to lift your spirits no matter how good humoured the atmosphere around you might be. Even so, if someone is relying on you to carry out a promise, you wont let them down.

It would be perfectly understandable if you were a little emotional as the week gets underway. It`s not simply down to the Moon passing through your sign until midweek, but the fact that Mercury, which has been retrograde since the end of last month, is now moving forward. It might seem to you that others are either going back on their word, or adjusting arrangements and messing with your head in the process. Yet it may be that these adjustments actually make your life run more smoothly but yes, navigating turbulence seems more likely than not. The good news is that as of Thursday, there is a very definite alteration in the cosmic weather. This should suit you well. The fact that others are now clear as to direction and that certain restrictions are no longer the obstacles that they were, promises comfort. More importantly, it could be that what you bring to a discussion is immediately viewed as valuable and that recognition of your expertise lifts your mood considerably.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Since early February, few plans have been in your hands. While, initially, accepting that fact wasnt easy, since then youve realised this frees you to focus on certain activities or, perhaps, relationships youre passionate about. Once youve time for them, youll dread returning to those familiar commitments. Dont despair. It may require creativity, imagination or others` advice, but you can do it all.

Striving for perfection is making you overly critical of your efforts. It may be necessary to lower your standards if you hope to finish a project on time. People are relying on you to deliver by deadline. Your reputation will suffer if you fail to do so. A youngster in the family seems to be constantly getting into trouble and this worries you. This is a temporary phase they are going through and it shouldn`t last for much longer.

One of the more dramatic of cosmic combinations is the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in your sign – as happens midweek There is much to suggest that you might need to be star of the show. Yes, at one level you could exercise your lions roar and be a disruptive influence. It may be that you genuinely feel provoked into this with others apparently having changed their mind or coming up with what you see as being ludicrous suggestions; and yet: it may be that having thought things through carefully in recent weeks, that there are now settled on a plan that would truly be workable both for you and for them. Putting up resistance may be futile. Youd perhaps do better to find fresh ways of working. 2021 is all about developing the new and recognising that old systems are now outmoded. In this respect, the work you produce – particularly over Thursday and Friday should bring you plaudits and might even attract a significant offer.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Planning ahead may be wise and, whats more, means you know what to expect. However, for now youre urged to wait, watch and, especially, consider which elements of your life need a rethink, if not massive analysis. That may seem excessive now; but by the time of the Virgo Full Moon, on Saturday the 27th, you`ll be far more enthusiastic about even dramatic changes.

You cant help noticing you are doing all the work while others are getting away with doing very little. The answer to this problem is to start thinking of ways to delegate. Try to recognise other peoples strengths and think how these can be put to good use. In a group effort it`s important to build up a team spirit. Talking things through with an older friend will help you see a recent event from a few different perspectives. You will be grateful for their wisdom.

Mercury, your ruling planet which has been retrograde since the end of January, is now moving forward. You too could feel as though youre making progress - though albeit the initial stages of this might include cleaning up after others who are altering direction. As messy as this might first appear, this could yet suit you well. Fact is that with the Sun now moving through your opposite sign, that others should be recognising your particular talents and though irritated perhaps that you are so fussy - especially in the first half this week, also acknowledging that you do know how to get things done and have them done well. At the very least, a makeover of your office or home could be included in this weeks lists of to-do tasks. Here you show super efficiency. There is also the strong likelihood over Thursday and Friday of embracing new technology and communicating with someone confident in this field who recognises that with a little guidance you could excel here too.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

After weeks of puzzling situations and frequent compromises, youre longing for a few days free of issues. Theyre coming. First, however, you must stand your ground over certain practical matters. The trick? State your plans, then firmly change the subject. If this means being abrupt, if not rude, fine. Within days events will involve far more appealing matters, and youll be relieved you didnt compromise.

A team effort is what is needed to reach an important deadline. Don`t be afraid to ask if you need any help. There will be someone who has time on their hands to support you. A friend might be selling a vehicle or piece of equipment you need and they will offer it to you at a great price. This will save you some money. A job offer would mean a big change in family routine. Because of this you will need to talk to your loved ones before making any moves in this direction.

Mercury is now moving forward and through that area of your solar chart associated with the risk, speculation and yes, play. What you`ve been incubating since the end of January should now be ready to move from the drawing board to improvement on design stage. True, there are likely many wrinkles to be ironed out. This though will likely be done before the weekend and after Venus joins the Sun in Pisces assign noted for flair and imagination. Make no mistake, 2021 could be your year. It may be that long over at looked talents can surface and be given the attention they needed. What might please you more is that to do this will involve developing a partnership. Though you might not be ready to make full commitment for a few weeks yet, what could be agreed in principle this week should be more than satisfactory. The fact that someone is so interested in some of your ideas will no doubt be uplifting.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently events, many unexpected, forced you to alter existing arrangements or rethink plans to suit others. While most changes were no problem, a few were unsettling, if not upsetting. However, at the time you couldn`t raise your concerns. Now that you can, think carefully about whether the issues in question remain of significance to you or can finally become part of the past.

You have an urge to travel and get out and about. If this isnt possible, meeting up with some of your more adventurous friends will provide you with a few entertaining moments. An older relative might be grumbling about how they never see you these days. They are hoping you will take more interest in family and domestic affairs. You just have too much to do and the fact that theyre making demands on you isn`t making it any easier.

Mercury stations at the very base of your solar chart. This isnt something that happens every year. Its part of a cycle is roughly 10 years long. This represents a moment when reassessment of assets usually proves wise. This year though that may be even more important than usual. Recalled that youre as is travelling through your opposite sign and that Saturn is with Mercury at the base. Developments in the lives of others will no doubt require you to rethink that which you own and that which you are tied to. Of course, you might decide you want to dig your heels in even further and make clear where your values and loyalties lie. It is perhaps as likely that youll agree that the time is rapidly coming when you need to move on. Before doing so, realising the sale of certain assets may be necessary. In the process, you might need to make contact with relatives you see rarely and arrive at an agreement with them as to how a legacy is to be maintained.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Youre fearless about standing your ground over unfair arrangements or decisions you regard as yours to make. Dramatic as recent developments have been, few were of concern to you, so you ignored them. Now, suddenly, one particular situation isnt just important, its crucial. While its vital you take fast action, ensure your facts are in order before you must to stand up to others.

Opinions in the family differ. Everyone has their own views and no one is willing to change their mind. You feel stuck in the middle of it all. Use caution in this bewildering atmosphere. Although you dont mind either way on what the outcome might be, if you arent careful someone will accuse you of taking sides. With you being in such a practical, no nonsense mood, try to find your sense of humour when a friend points out the funny side of an awkward situation.

As of this weekend, Mercury now appears to be moving forward. Some of your plans could do the same. True, hurdles might not be overcome fully until the end of the year. Yet progress should be visible before Friday. Those of your sign have a reputation for having fingers in more than one pie. There is little doubt that you have versatility and multitasking ability. You might need to display that before next Friday. First though, it may be imperative to show others that though you do have many interests that doesnt mean that youre not focused on the task in hand. The rediscovery of information or an item has been long hidden could give rise to interesting conversation over Tuesday and Wednesday. This might indeed be a platform on which you can build further. For now, your aptitude to both source and retain information should get you noticed.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Exciting as the range of existing plans and new ideas may be, the pace is swift and arrangements so detailed youre unable to keep track, at least attentively as youd like to. Actually, thats best. While many will be finalised swiftly, most will take ages. By the time thats done, you`ll have gone through a range of options as varied as, often, they are unexpected.

A role will be offered that youve never envisaged for yourself. After some thought, you might decide to turn down this opportunity. It isnt something you feel particularly happy about and although there will be advantages, these arent enough to make it an exciting proposition. Some of what a colleague has to say verges on gossip at someone elses expense. You will not be too amused. You respect the privacy of others as you will be demonstrating in your reaction and response.

After a few weeks weather was very real concern as to what could and should be done, progress could be made. Mercury is now moving forward. More importantly, your energy levels may be improving. A strong possibility is that you will be asked to pass on information. This doesnt necessarily mean that you will land a teachers role but the perhaps someone younger requires mentoring and that you are the ideal person to offer this service. Your knowledge and cost management talents set you apart particularly midweek. Whilst you might be resistant to taking on more responsibility, it`s probable that you will be at least offered the opportunity to guide a project and perhaps be rewarded for that effort. True, this could be a long-term investment but still worthy of your attention.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

The Aquarius New Moon may have taken place on 11 February, but youre still discussing the ideas that arose then. Some are life-changing. The secret? Refuse nothing, even those youre convinced won`t work. As the days pass and circumstances change, they may well become more appealing, if not ideal. Similarly, be ready to say farewell to a few familiar but increasingly restrictive elements of your life.

You feel you are being tossed to and for with no explanation as to why plans are being changed from one moment to the next. A senior colleague will talk you through some of the reasons behind recent negotiations. Stop stressing about it as this is not doing your health any good. You might enjoy the chance to catch up on the comings and goings of a few friends later in the week particularly if it has been a while since you last saw each other.

It might seem to others that you are having a change of heart. Another possibility is that youre being called in to mop up the situation that was made worse at the start of the year by plans that were not sufficiently well thought through. Either way, it will likely be necessary to go back before you can move forward. What you need to know is exactly which stages have been reached and how competent certain people. The bulk of this week will likely revolve around reviewing and then re-energising. Everyone has a gift for thrift but thats not always obvious. Yours good surface to advantage this week. True, you might then need the expertise of someone with design and management skills to make the most of the treasures you found. Yet this could be a partnership that goes far. Not necessarily connected, the support you give to someone who`s lacked confidence in recent months could make all the difference to their plans and have benefit to you too.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages youve been planning far-reaching changes. While some are going well, others are less clear-cut settled. Be patient. The foundation on which these are based is shifting and wont be settled until the powerful Pisces New Moon on 13 March. For now, focus on freeing yourself of burdensome commitments and, equally, learn more about what, and who, could soon be part of your future.

The mood, outlook and words of those around you will affect you emotionally more than you realise. The more an older relative is allowed to air their grievances and grumbles, the more you feel you have to worry about. If you are uncomfortable with matters being discussed, change the subject. Even if at first it seems your life has been thrown into chaos, don`t get too despondent. From chaos, a more organised and happier way of living will emerge.

You must know that you had design flair and an extraordinary imagination. You can make things happen. On top of that, you have a gift for multitasking and sensing and seeing opportunities that others miss. The problem as you probably know is forgetfulness or unwillingness to see something through to completion. A degree of determination, steadfastness and focus is required. The good news is that this week, with Mercury now in direct motion in neighbouring Aquarius, and the conditions are excellent for holding fast to a vision and yes, seeing it through. In a couple of months` time Jupiter will enter your sign. This too will present an opportunity. To be prepared for that requires a degree of diligence and mopping up now. This is something you should find easy to get underway this week.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training
http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
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The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
  2. Herbalism 101
  3. Herbalism 202
  4. Herbalism 303
  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
The Healing Arts Certificate Program Four great courses! Buy three get one free!
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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 14-21 Feb 2021 ~ Thanks for reading my blog!

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ~Paulo Coelho

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for February: Violet: Faithfulness, Wisdom and Hope

February is Heart-Healthy Month, Black History Month

Celtic Tree Calendar
Luis (Rowan) January 21 to February 17

The Goddess Calendar
Month of Bridhe, begins 1/23 – 2/19

FEB. 14: Valentine’s Day, voted the Sweetest Day of the Year by Chocolate Lovers Everywhere.

15: Lupercalia, celebrating fertility and the coming of spring. Festival of the Wolf: Pan’s Day—Honoring the Lord of the Wilderness, Animals, and Fertility. Coming of Spring.

16: Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. Enjoy a safe Covid-year celebration!

17: Random Acts of Kindness Day.

22: George Washington’s birthday.

27: Full Moon — Quickening Moon, or Snow Moon at 3:17 a.m. Magical rituals in this cycle often focus on new beginnings and plans for the future

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Feb 21: Face to Face Class: Noon – 3:00~The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments, and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

Treat headaches with herbs. You’re reading, driving, working, cooking—and whoomf! a headache happens. For ordinary headaches caused by the stresses and strains of daily life, a calming cup of herbal tea may be all you need to restore your equilibrium. Use these dried headache herbs, brewed with 1 cup boiling water and sweetened with honey:

Lavender, lemon balm, meadowsweet, ½ teaspoon each
Sage, rosemary, mint, ½ teaspoon each
Rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, ½ teaspoon each
A cool lavender compress for the temples and a quiet rest in a dark room may also give you the relief you need.

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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CoventryCreations.com
February 15, 2021 – February 21, 2021:

The beginning of the week starts off with the Mercury-Venus-Jupiter conjunction shining a favorable light upon pretty much every area of your life. Use this energy to plant the seeds of success for the rest of the year.

Midweek brings Saturn square Uranus to shake things up and drive the need to change structures that may be too rigid and outdated. Thursday, the Sun moves out of Aquarius and into Pisces. Take time to listen to your inner world and the messages our Higher-Self reveals.

This weekend Venus forms a discordant aspect to Mars, and you will question your purpose in relationships. Seek the middle ground in disagreements and keep your motives in check. Finally, and possibly the best news of the week, is Mercury goes direct on Sunday. Communication issues will slowly begin to improve over the next week.

Best candles for this week – Road Opener / Emotional Balance / Adam and Eve / Mercury Rx Neutralizer

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…

New Moon in Aquarius February 11, 2021
During this New Moon, we desire to expand our sphere of influence and open to new experiences. Choose well, my friends. The thoughts and activities you indulge in today direct the course of your future. Look before you leap and assess who and what you let into your mind and life.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Ten of Cups
Can you feel the love?

This week is full of energy from the Ten of Cups. This card embodies happiness, joy, and emotional contentment, particularly in your relationships and family.

You’ve created an abundance of love and happiness in your life, and you now share this love with others, expanding your heart even more.

You have a sense of wholeness, completion, and alignment in your relationships with others. You are experiencing a blissful state of peace, harmony and love where your dreams and wishes have come true.

Take a moment to step back and appreciate everything you accomplished. You’ve created a life of connection and bliss by following your heart and trusting your intuition.
Continue to follow your heart and trust your intuition to lead you to the opportunities aligned with your Highest Good.

Ask the Tarot:
How can I share my love with others?

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Platonic Love
FEBRUARY 14, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

People usually think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday of lust and romance, but love is so much more than those things. There are many more kinds of love, platonic as well as carnal. Today is a good time to celebrate them as well.

You will need a piece of parchment paper, a pen, ink, and a ribbon. Use Dove’s Blood magical ink if you have it. Otherwise, use ordinary ink in a color you associate with love. On one side of the paper, write down all the kinds of love you can think of: love of parent for child, love of child for parent, love between siblings, love between friends, and so on. On the other side of the paper, write the names of the people you love and who love you. If you don’t want to use names, descriptions or roles work fine. Then roll up the paper and tie it with the ribbon. Carry it with you or keep it on your altar as a concrete symbol of love.
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Waxing Moon Money Spell
FEBRUARY 13, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Draw a picture of a waxing moon on the palm of your hand with henna or marker. If you don’t want anyone to see it, you can instead draw it on a hidden part of your body.

As you draw the outline of the crescent moon and then color it in, visualize prosperity entering your life. See yourself paying the bills and buying the things you want and need, and feel how relieved and happy you’ll be when this happens. If you use henna, it will have to sit on your skin until it dries. Spend this time visualizing your goal as if you already have it. You can even imagine a stack of money sitting in the palm of your hand.

When the moon picture has dried, go about your business and forget about it. Wash your hands as usual, and allow it to naturally fade away. By the next full moon, some money should come your way.
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Year of the Ox
FEBRUARY 12, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

Today is Lunar New Year! In Chinese astrology, it is the year of the Ox. The Chinese consider the Ox to be hardworking, reliable, and intelligent. Perhaps you’d like to take hold of the auspicious energies of this day and channel them into beginning a project you have been thinking about embarking upon. Find an image online of an Ox that you can print and place on your altar, and light a candle before it. Meditate on the qualities of the Ox, and recite an intention similar to the following:

Lunar power glowing bright,
This is the year of the Ox’s might!
Earthy and honest, reliable and keen,
May great progress on
my venture be seen!

Let the candle burn down safely in an appropriate holder. While it burns, take steps to begin your project. Keep the picture of the Ox to remind you of your goals and to help you remain steady in your efforts.
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New Moon Love Spell
FEBRUARY 11, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

Since today is the new moon, it is a perfect time to attract new love. Fill your tub with water for a cleansing, magical bath. On the edge of the tub place rose quartz crystals to enhance unconditional love for yourself and others, along with clear quartz crystals to amplify that intention. In the bathwater, add white rose petals for purity, yellow rose petals for joy and friendship, lavender rose petals for magical enchantment, orange rose petals for passion, and red rose petals for love. Take a deep breath, relax, inhale the scent of the flowers, and soak up the divine earth love. Clear your mind and your heart, then say these words:

On this new moon night,
my love burns bright.
Attract the love to me
that is my destiny.

Remove the flower petals and place them on your altar to dry. Once they have dried, take them outside and toss them into the wind to send your wishes for love into the air.
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End Gossip Spell
FEBRUARY 10, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

If you’ve been the target of slander and gossip, this spell will help end it. You’ll need a blue ink pen, paper, a small freezer bag, and some water.

First, write the rumor on the paper and place it in the freezer bag. Fill the bag with enough water to cover the paper. Toss the bag into your freezer. After the water has frozen, remove the bag from the freezer. Let the bag sit on your counter, or in your sink, until the water has thawed. When thawed, hold the bag and say:

No more slander, no more lies.
Let water turn to ice.
Let ice turn to water.
Only the truth will be told hereafter.

Remove whatever is left of the paper. Throw it away or put it in a compost pile. Pour the water down a drain or on the ground. The gossip should now begin to stop.
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Block Buster Spell
FEBRUARY 09, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Tuesday, the day of Mars, is always a good time to do work for new beginnings and breakthroughs. Today happens to be a particularly powerful day for this, as Mars is currently transiting Taurus, the sign known for its work ethic. Cast this spell to open the roads that feel blocked to you.

Using a small carving tool, etch the name of the block you wish to bust on the side of a red candle. Dress the candle by rubbing the sides with ground ginger and cinnamon, then affix it to a firesafe dish or candleholder. Facing the west, recite the following spell and then light the candle. Allow the candle to burn completely without snuffing it out.

Tired, over it, I am done with this sh*t,
I call the powers, get me out of this pit.
I banish the blocks and clear the way,
I call in the new, the old cannot stay.
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Modern Anti-Poverty Witch Bottle
FEBRUARY 08, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

This spell is designed to guard against financial hardship. It takes the notion that shredded and torn items corresponding to the goal will magically shred that which we are warding off, in this case poverty. If you don’t have credit cards you wish to cut up, bits of hard plastic packaging will do.

Gather these items:

  • Red candle in a holder
  • Intention scroll: pen, paper, and a green or gold ribbon
  • Glass bottle with a lid
  • Cut-up credit cards
  • Torn bills
  • Tulip petals

Light the candle, and on a new piece of paper, write the following intention:

For the good of all, protected I’ll
be, from financial hardship and
poverty; secured and safe, troublefree,
without harm, so mote it be.

Roll this paper up into a scroll and tie it with the ribbon. Add each of the items to the bottle and close it. Finally, carefully drip wax from the red candle over the bottle lid to fully seal it, activating the magic. Be sure to extinguish the candle.
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Purify and Balance
FEBRUARY 07, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

Two common kitchen herbs can make purifying your personal space very simple and also bring balance to your environment. Rosemary is associated with the Sun and the element of fire, and thyme is associated with Venus and the element of water. The combination of these two herbs represents a balance of projective and receptive energies—masculine and feminine. In addition, in this spell you’re applying heat to water, another way the two elements are blended.

Add equal parts of dried rosemary and dried thyme to a cheesecloth bundle or tea bag. Steep the bag of dried herbs in hot water for five minutes. While the infusion is steeping, chant this phrase and stir the water briefly in a clockwise manner three times:

Water and fire, your balance I require.

Allow the water to cool, then pour it into a spray bottle and use it to mist any place that needs clearing and balance. Visualize negativity being dispelled as you spray the mist. Dispose of the steeped herbs.

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Asking For A Friend: Are You A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?
FEBRUARY 12, 2021 BY GWYN

Anyone who has ever watched The Wizard of Oz must remember Glinda’s question to Dorothy — “Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” A notion that has been in the public consciousness for time immemorial. Or at least since witchcraft became a known thing. But is the question fair or even accurate?

In my recent post about Tom Brady’s wife, Giselle Bündchen, who practices witchcraft, she is quoted by her husband as calling herself a “good witch.” The context appearing to be she performs so-called “good” magick, rather than “bad” magick. Indicating (at least how I’m reading it) that because of this she is (or remains) a “good” person. There is an implication that if she were to practice so-called “bad” magick then she’d be a “bad” person. So, I thought I’d explore that a little bit.

What Is Good Or Bad?
Human beings are complex creatures. We are creative, intuitive, problem-solvers starting with our most ancient ancestors devising ways to interact with the mundane and spiritual worlds, sustaining their lives. History illustrates that humanity has always strived to understand, create, communicate, build, and improve. But we have our flaws too. Emotions run high and deep within our species as does ambition to tame and conquer (in some more than others).

In my view, this is why people have spent millennia defining what is good, bad, right, wrong, evil, benevolent, and so forth. This is why laws or social “norms” have been created to govern how we live and work together. And for the most part, people have benefited through this endeavor.

Does it always succeed? Obviously not, because racism, misogyny, homo/transphobia, etc., exist. War happens. There are people who have “personality disorders,” individuals who could be deemed “bad” or even “evil” (depending on your definition) because of their harmful actions. But there are also people who choose to do “bad” things because circumstances push them in that direction. Are they “bad” people or just people living in a bad situation seeking ways to cope, escape, or simply survive?

And then there are those who are deemed “bad” for spiritual reasons. Because they choose to follow the beat of a different drummer, adopt a style of dress, live their true nature, practice certain arts deemed by particular sacred texts as “evil” or “tainted” despite refutations to the contrary. Individuals who feel connected to something outside of the “norm” and thus enter into the ranks of society’s marginalized. A stamp, a mark, or a scarlet letter attached to their personhood for choosing to be different. Being forced to answer the question —“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

Good, Bad, Neither?
Trying to suss out my feelings here, I guess it bothers me we have to ask the question at all (even subconsciously). Because the “overculture” has deemed witchcraft as “bad” there has been a concerted effort by modern Witches, Wiccans, and other magickal practitioners to assert our “goodness.” To the point, some hamstring themselves and others with strictures such as the Rule of Three (or Three-Fold Law).

The above is a Wiccan tenant that has been misinterpreted for years as “whatever you send out returns to you threefold. ” Many people double-down on this when it comes to anything deemed negative. Some even to the point of not associating with people they deem to be “bad witches” for performing baneful magick. They don’t want “exposure” to “blowback.” And yes, I’ve heard people express that with my own ears.

However, Jason Mankey has offered an excellent rebuttal to that notion in a recent comment on the Tom Brady blog post: “The rule of three as originally articulated said that “when someone does good to you, you should return that good three-fold.” It has nothing to do with karma, or the universe handing out punishments or rewards.”

Additionally, I believe it is helpful for any witch or magickal practitioner to be able to both hex and heal. They are two sides of the same magickal coin. In fact, there is an etymological argument to be made that all witchcraft is a form of hexing. This is one reason why some religious folks will always mark any form of witchcraft (sorcery, divination, et al) as “bad.”

Witch. Plain and Simple.
In the end, I suppose the question will always remain. And we will always have to deal with those who react to witchcraft, and witches in general, according to what culture or religion dictates.

Some people are more comfortable being associated with Glinda (the Good Witch). This will always be more desirable to them, rather than being lumped in with the Bad One. And yes, still using the movie reference, not the musical. The green-faced Wicked Witch of the West had no name, by the way. Typical. But to my point, does defining our “witch selves” as “good” or bad” really matter? Does it help or divide?

Witchcraft will always reflect who we are as individuals. Why? Because magick is self-governed by what we as witches or magickal practitioners intend for the outcome of our spell, in whatever form it takes. And how we cast does come down to ethics, our chosen morality, what we are willing to do for the intention to be met. Choices. That’s just part of life as a human being and our responsibility as witches. For our question, does that make someone a good witch or a bad one?

Well, I believe it just makes a Witch. Plain and simple.

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Heartwings Love Notes 970: When Less is More

Heartwings says, “You may only need a small amount to enjoy a tasty treat.”

A long time ago I read an interesting book about how someone successfully lost weight and kept it off without depriving herself of the foods she enjoyed, like ice cream, pie or cake. She practiced what she called the three bite method. She allowed herself three bites or spoonsful of any treat she craved. For the rest, she ate moderately of a healthy range of proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy carbohydrates. It has been my experience that portion control plus the three bite method has helped me lose excess pounds and then kept me at a healthy weight.

Little tricks like reducing the amount of oil when stir frying and then adding water instead of more olive oil helps lower the ultimate total of calories. Drinking water when hungry is a good way to put off snacking, too. Another trick is to drink some water before eating; you begin filling your stomach as well as hydrating yourself. Nuts make a good, healthy, satisfying snack. I try to avoid sugar because when I indulge in it, it makes me want more. I know it’s not good for me, so I allow myself only a small amount and try to avoid eating sweets at night, especially.

When I do have a little of some tasty treat I satisfy my desire. I also avoid taking more just because it had tasted good. For me, the best taste experience is in those first three bites. When I was a child, I was always encouraged to finish what was on my plate. The so called “pity the starving children in China” was one of the trite and certainly specious statements used to encourage me to do so. Finishing my plate today might mean eating more than I need to. I try to pay attention to how much is enough when I eat a meal, and I’m not ashamed not to finish if my body says not to.

Less food can be more satisfying, especially when eaten slowly and chewed well. The old adage to “chewy our liquids and liquify your solids” while sounding extreme, is an important reminder to slow down. It also helps my digestion to incorporate more digestive enzyme bearing saliva into what I am eating or drinking. I try to remember to put my fork down between bites as well, so as to finish chewing before taking in more food. In addition, I feel it is important to be grateful for good food and to honor the source of it with gratitude. When I take the time to taste my meals and to savor them, not only do I eat less, but I also enjoy what I am eating more.

May you enjoy your favorite foods even more when you practice moderation.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you have ways you can share that help you with your dietary considerations? Please share? I so enjoy hearing from readers. Please write to me with comments questions or suggestions, at: tashahal@Aol.com and for more love notes, visit my webpages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Aphrodisiac Foods ~ A Sexy Recipe Collection
by Melissa • February 13, 2013

Are you ready for some romance in the form of food?

Below you will find a romantic recipe collection that I’ve compiled from my blog. These are just suggestions for serving each of the aphrodisiac foods. You will be able to click the links below each photo where I have included a recipe. I hope you have fun creating an aphrodisiac menu for you and your sweetie! Even better….cook some of these delicacies together….

Aphrodisiac ~

A food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire.
A thing that causes excitement.

~ ASPARAGUS ~

“Asparagus stirs up lust in man and woman” ~Nicolas Culpepper (19th Century French Herbalist)

~ ALMONDS ~

Throughout history, the almond has been regarded as a fertility symbol. The aroma is said to arouse passion in women…

~ AVOCADOS ~

Chosen as an aphrodisiac food because of their shape and vitamin content

~ BANANAS ~

Bananas contain bromeliad which is said to enhance male libido

~ BASIL ~

Basil’s aroma is said to have a stimulating, aphrodisiac effect on men and women

~CHILIES ~

Spicy Chilies contain capsaicin. This natural chemical increases circulation and stimulates nerve endings.

~ CHOCOLATE ~

Chocolate (Cacao) actually contains the “love chemical” PEA, and tryptophan which is necessary for serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin = well being and relaxation.

~ HONEY ~

Wonderfully tempting. In medieval times, people drank honey wine (mead), during a newlywed couple’s “honey month” or honeymoon. Here are some tempting recipes using this sticky-sweet, tempting aphrodisiac…

~ SEAFOOD ~

It’s common knowledge that oysters, clams and lobsters are considered aphrodisiacs, but other kinds of seafood can cause you to start thinking romantic thoughts too. Shrimp is one of my favorite romantic foods. Feed shrimp to your lover using your fingers…

~ STRAWBERRIES ~

Shaped like perfect little red hearts, strawberries are nature’s edible Valentines! Considered an aphrodisiac fruit since the times of ancient Rome, the pretty little red strawberry was the symbol of Venus, Roman Goddess of Love!

~ TRUFFLES ~ MUSHROOMS ~

Truffles are a legendary aphrodisiac of ancient Rome, and one of the most sought-after ingredients in the culinary world. Truffles are rare and wonderful! It is said that truffles’ musky scent is like the male pheromone, androstenone. Other mushrooms are considered aphrodisiacs too…for their musky, mysterious scent…

~ VANILLA ~

Vanilla is a mild nerve stimulant. Many believe that vanilla is a natural aphrodisiac: as early as the 1700s, physicians prescribed vanilla to their male patients to ensure potency.

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Being in Love
By: Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach

When I was newly home from graduate school and working my first full-time job, finding a husband and starting a family seemed to be the next expected step in the progression toward adulthood. I was looking forward to having someone to share my life with—someone to be a steady roommate, a sharer of responsibilities, and a traveling buddy for my then-infrequent vacations. Certainly prime on my mind was finding a suitable father for the kids I hoped to have in the future. Getting married would also eliminate the constant nagging of my mom and other relatives, who constantly pointed out that I wasn’t getting any younger. (Ironically, I was married at 24, a mere child compared to the average marrying age today!)

Luckily for me, I did find the right guy, and all the advantages I’d anticipated did come along with the marriage package. However, I never considered that being married would be good for my health, too. When scientific research began to appear touting the health benefits of being married, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that being married is also just one more way I’m improving my health.

We humans are hard-wired for social connection, and we all possess a basic need to belong and to be loved. For many people in today’s world, the need to marry young has been trumped by climbing the career ladder, and being in a committed relationship doesn’t necessarily mean tying the knot. But despite that, most (but not all) still harbor a strong desire to be in a romantic relationship.

And it’s no wonder why we seek out romance: When we find that special connection, positivity flows, and your nervous system is flooded with feel-good hormones. Dopamine, one of the hormones triggered when individuals are in love, evokes feelings of pleasure, optimism, energy and a sense of well-being. Physical touch, such as hugging, hand-holding and having sex, releases oxytocin, which lowers stress hormones. Research shows that those who experience these positive emotions associated with love have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, greater resistance to the common cold, faster recovery after illness and injury, and decreased anxiety and depression.

In 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services put out a report of their findings after reviewing the research on the health effects of matrimony. It stated that married people are happier, live longer, drink less and even visit the doctor less often than unmarried folks. Married couples tend to have health insurance, which encourages preventative care and healthy behaviors. Additionally, married couples are more financially stable, which reduces stress. A 2004 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found that mortality rates were lowest in married couples. (Note: Although much of this research has looked at the effects of love on married couples, there is no reason to think that those in a positive and committed–yet unmarried–relationship wouldn’t enjoy these same benefits.)

However, simply being in a relationship isn’t enough to reap these benefits; the quality of the relationship matters, too. Love is a complicated emotion, and it can have both good and bad side effects depending on how partners treat each other.

According to psychology professor and researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, positive relationships prove as beneficial to survival and longevity as quitting smoking—and the benefits of love might even exceed those of exercise. On the flip side, negative relationships can wreak havoc on your health. For example, it has been found that married people have lower blood pressure than unmarried people, but unhappily married people have higher blood pressure than both happily married and unmarried groups. Additionally, a 2009 study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer) than married people.

So, how do you ensure your marriage (or relationship) will be happy enough so you and your significant other can start reaping the benefits of love? Here are a few basic tips to follow for a healthy relationship:
Get out of relationships that no longer serve you. Studies show that unrequited love can lead to increased drinking, recreational drug use and depression. If the relationship isn’t working, move on–for the sake of both you and your partner.

Practice open communication. When both of you are open and honest about your feelings, it is much easier to provide each other with what you want and need.

Make time for each other. In today’s fast-paced world, our relationships often get pushed to the back burner. Make time for your partner, even if you have to schedule it in; it is worth it!

Learn to compromise. When you enter a relationship, it goes without saying that you will probably have to make some sacrifices. Anticipating and working amicably through those compromises is key for a healthy partnership.

Have activities outside of your relationship. It’s important to keep your own separate identities and to not become too dependent on each other, no matter how in love you are. Be sure to strike a good balance by maintaining your own friends, hobbies and interests.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Chances are, your partner is probably going to have certain habits that drive you crazy—but it’s also likely that there are things about you that drive your partner crazy, too! Learn to embrace those little flaws (everybody’s got ’em!) and save the stress for the more important things.

Try something unexpected together. As humans, we thrive on novelty. It can be easy to fall into the rut of routine with your partner, causing boredom and relationship dissatisfaction. A couple times a month, go somewhere other than your ”usual” place for dinner, or book a small weekend trip together. Trying new experiences with your partner is great for bonding, and it will help you create memories to last a lifetime.

Keep making each other laugh. Laughter is good for the soul, and if you and your partner can keep cracking each other up, you’re probably on the right track! It will only make you both even more resilient to obstacles in your way.

Set and reach goals together. Finding and working toward mutual goals, like getting in shape or saving for a new car, can be a fantastic way to bond with your partner.

Above all, love yourself first! When you love and respect yourself, it’s much easier to find a mate who will love and respect you, too—and then you can start reaping all the benefits love has to offer!

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Gemstones That Change Color in Different Light
~geologyin.com

Hackmanite is an important variety of sodalite.
Photochromism is a process that can be described as a change of color upon exposure to light. A mineral that possesses this property is said to be photochromic. The phenomenon was discovered in the late 1880s, including work by Markwald, who studied the reversible change of color of tetrachloronaphthalen.

That’s when the color changes from exposure to light, like self-adjusting sunglasses. Several other stones will do this but hackmanite, especially some of the varieties from afghanistan and burma, carries this effect to extremes as you can see pale blue to deep purple.

Technically, photochromism is defined as “the reversible transformation of a chemical species between two forms by the absorption of electromagnetic radiation, where the two forms have different absorption spectra.” But the term has been loosely adopted in mineralogical circles to mean the reversible change of color of a mineral upon exposure to a particular type of light.

The term “tenebrescence” also means the reversible change of color of a mineral upon exposure to a particular type of light. Tenebresence is from the Latin “tenebrae” for shadows.

Tenebrescence refers to a reversible color change in which certain minerals darken or change color in response to radiation of one wavelength and lighten or change back to their original color upon exposure to a different wavelength. These changes usually take effect with exposure to Shortwave UV, Longwave UV and sunlight.

It seems the term tenebrescence is being replaced by photochromism. Whether you call a mineral tenebrescent or photochromic, they both roughly mean the same thing. This effect can be repeated indefinitely, but is destroyed by heating. Tenebrescent minerals include the Hackmanite variety of Sodalite, some Scapolites and Tugtupite.

White Hackmanite, from a few sources, may turn raspberry red after exposure to shortwave UV light and the color fades rapidly in sunlight. A recent find of colorless Scapolite from Badakhshan, Afghanistan changes to a saturated, medium blue when exposed to shortwave UV light.

When the shortwave UV light is removed the stones immediately begin to fade and return to colorless within a few minutes. Tugtupite will darken in color from from light pink to deep rose red when exposed to shortwave UV light and fade back to light pink when removed from the UV light.

Other minerals may change color or lose color when exposed to certain types of light but the change is permanent. These minerals may also be called “photochromic” by some. Joel Arem, in the Color Encyclopedia of Gemstones, describes Proustite as a photochromic gem because it can permanently turn dark or even black with prolonged exposure to light. This is also true of Pyrargyrite. Both minerals suffer from this effect because of their silver content. Silver was used in early photographic processing for this reason.

Alexandrite Effect: Gemstones That Change Color in Different Light

This alexandrite was cut to feature its beautiful color change. When the light source changes from daylight to incandescent light, the gem’s color changes from bluish green to reddish purple.

Alexandrite is the variety of chrysoberyl BeAl2O4 which changes color from green or blue-green in daylight to red, purple/red, or raspberry red under incandescent light. Chemically, alexandrite can be differentiated from normal chrysoberyl by the presence of chromium. Alexandrite is defined by its color change and only chrysoberyl that displays a distinct change of color should be referred to as alexandrite.

The origin of this color change is often attributed to dichroism, but simple observation shows that the change depends chiefly on the nature of the incident light. In antiquity this change was from sunlight to candlelight and this exhibition is still used today by many gemologists and jewelers.

Alexandrite is a gem that exhibits an amazing property. It appears redish in incandescent light and green in sunlight. Incandescent light and sunlight both appear white when we look at them but, as Alexandrite demonstrates, not all white light is the same. Differences in white light sources can have a profound effect on how we perceive an object’s color. The Alexandrite Effect is a perfect example.

The alexandrite variety displays a color change (alexandrite effect) dependent upon the nature of ambient lighting. Alexandrite effect is the phenomenon of an observed color change from greenish to reddish with a change in source illumination. Alexandrite results from small scale replacement of aluminium by chromium ions in the crystal structure, which causes intense absorption of light over a narrow range of wavelengths in the yellow region (580 nm) of the visible light spectrum.

Because human vision is more sensitive to light in the green spectrum and the red spectrum, alexandrite appears greenish in daylight where a full spectrum of visible light is present and reddish in incandescent light which emits less green and blue spectrum. This color change is independent of any change of hue with viewing direction through the crystal that would arise from pleochroism.

Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia can be green by daylight and red by incandescent light. Other varieties of alexandrite may be yellowish or pink in daylight and a columbine or raspberry red by incandescent light.

Stones that show a dramatic color change and strong colors (e.g. red-to-green) are rare and sought-after, but stones that show less distinct colors (e.g. yellowish green changing to brownish yellow) may also be considered alexandrite by gem labs such as the Gemological Institute of America.

According to a popular but controversial story, alexandrite was discovered by the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792–1866), and named alexandrite in honor of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Nordenskiöld’s initial discovery occurred as a result of an examination of a newly found mineral sample he had received from Perovskii, which he identified as emerald at first. The first emerald mine had been opened in 1831.

Today, several labs can produce synthetic lab-grown stones with the same chemical and physical properties as natural alexandrite. Several methods can produce flux-grown alexandrite, Czocchralski (or pulled) alexandrite, and hydrothermally-produced alexandrite. Flux-grown gems that are fairly difficult to distinguish from natural alexandrite as they contain inclusions that can look natural.

Czochralski or pulled alexandrite is easier to identify because it is very clean and contains curved striations visible under magnification. Although the color change in pulled stones can be from blue to red, the color change does not truly resemble that of natural alexandrite from any deposit. Hydrothermal lab-grown alexandrite has identical physical and chemical properties to real alexandrite.

Some gemstones falsely described as Lab-grown synthetic alexandrite are actually corundum laced with trace elements (e.g., vanadium) or color-change spinel and are not actually chrysoberyl. As a result, they would be more accurately described as simulated alexandrite rather than synthetic. This alexandrite-like sapphire material has been around for almost 100 years and shows a characteristic purple-mauve colour change, which does not really look like alexandrite because there is never any green.

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A Natural Solution For Dry And Chapped Lips

If chapped lips or dry skin are a problem, find natural relief with calendula, an herbal remedy made from the petals of the ornamental “pot marigold” flower. Available in tinctures, oils, lotions and creams, look for products with at least 10-percent extract of Calendula officinalis. A gentle, effective remedy is to wash the skin with a diluted solution of tincture. You can also apply ready-to-use calendula skin products or oil directly on irritated areas. Calendula can safely be used for skin irritations, rashes (including diaper rash), eczema, acne and minor burns.

Prevention is also a good rule here as well. Good barrier protection from the cold weather will go far – consider using a thick layer of coconut oil or other natural lip balms to hold moisture in as much as possible.

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The Dark of the Year
By Sheri Barker

Although the wheel of the year has turned past the winter solstice, there are still long nights ahead before the seasons turn to a time when light and dark give the appearance of being more balanced. Many people find this to be a difficult time of year for a variety of reasons. Some are affected by the biological changes brought about by a reduction of exposure to sunlight, which can cause disruption of circadian rhythms and serotonin and melatonin levels. Others tune into the evolutionary survival trait of the fear of the unknown that made the dark a scary place and helped keep humans safe against predators that hunted in the night. And some, like me, feel discomfort from a place that elevates that survival trait beyond biology and into the realm of spirit.

As a child, I was deeply afraid of the dark. The reasons for how that fear developed are long gone, banished to the dust pile where psychological debris goes to compost. I remember what the fear felt like, how it could paralyze my mind and body, and how certain I was that the dark housed monsters that were going to get me. I did not yet comprehend that sometimes the darkness is the monster.

My mother used every parent’s sovereign specific in her attempts to ease my fear of the dark: a nightlight, which she plugged into an outlet in the hallway outside our bedrooms. This was somewhat helpful until the bulb burned out and there was no replacement on hand. My mother tucked me in, gave me some encouraging words, and left me on my own in the dark with only my little brothers across the hall. I remember being too frightened to move and too afraid to even close my eyes, thinking it would be better if I could see whatever monster was going to emerge from the dark. After several minutes of my eyes adjusting to the dark, I found a small amount of light was coming in through the window which looked out on a large commercial feed and coal storage yard beyond our fence line.

After an inner battle to get out of bed and go to the window (the realm under the bed being fraught with danger), I ran the few steps across the floor and pulled the shade up to let the light into my room. A small half-circle of light filled the floor in front of the window, and I instinctively stayed inside that light. I was young enough that a nighttime landscape was new to me, and this one was lit by streetlamps spaced around the coal yard. Intrigued by this new way of seeing everyday objects, I took note of pallets full of farm and garden supplies turned into indistinguishable mounds of shadow, the pathways between them corridors of light fading to nothing, and the outbuildings at the edges of the light blended into the woods beyond. There was so much to process that I stood by the window until my toes felt icy cold.

Just as I was growing tired and contemplating the jumping distance to the bed, I saw something move in the coal yard. A shadow floated, rather than walked, from the outbuildings to the center of the yard. It did not change in form or substance as it moved, either in light or darkness. I knew this shadow was something that was wrong and ill-intentioned. I did not want to see it but could not stop watching. The moment it stopped moving, it turned in such a manner that I knew it was facing my house, and in the next moment, I sensed that not only was it looking at me, but it also knew that I had seen it.

Without thinking, I stepped away from the window and out of the light. For the first time in my life, the darkness of my room was a safe haven. I was too afraid to return to the window to draw the shade down, but for once I felt able to move around in the dark. I did not turn the light on because I did not want the shadow to see me. In my first ever act of sympathetic magic, I quickly gathered the small army of stuffed animals and dolls who were my daytime friends and piled them on my bed before climbing back under the covers. Placing the animals in a circle around me, I spoke words to empower them to be my protectors from the shadow. Over many nights, they never once failed me.

For the rest of the time my family lived in that house, my connection to that shadow remained. I could sense its presence on the nights it moved through the coal yard. Sometimes I would sit by the window and watch it. Over time I learned to recognize the malevolence and dark energy that emanated from the being, and there were times I felt that presence in other areas in the neighborhood, especially along the old railroad tracks and in the woods where I was not supposed to play but did.

I never told my parents about the shadow being. I suppose I thought they would not understand, or would tell me I was dreaming it up. So imagine my surprise when, as a teenager, my mother shared her own story of a daytime encounter with the being. After she told me she had seen it too, we talked about it off and on until her own spiritual journey made the subject taboo.

In retrospect, I believe that my child self had an intuitive perception of a danger that I could not communicate to others. I lacked the familial, spiritual, and educational influences that would have given me the language and knowledge to move beyond perception and into understanding of what I was seeing. I had to rely on time and experience, and again, intuition.

There have been many times in my life when I have seen and sensed that same malevolence. I would know it anywhere. I have sensed it in physical locations both with and without seeing a presence – in homes where there is paranormal activity, in buildings both new and old, and in wild places. I have also seen it and sensed it in the spiritual and physical space held by certain other human beings, and that is where it frightens me the most. I have seen the damage those humans cause. I have seen the energy of their auras with bites taken out of them, darkness where color should be.

I cannot give a name to the shadow being, but if I did know it, I would choose not to name it out loud. To me, it is only darkness. I do not know how that energy can become attached to or even consume a human being, whether by choice or accident. What I do know is that there is a difference between darkness as an absence of light and darkness as a malevolent presence. There may be monsters in the dark, but sometimes darkness itself is the monster. My experiences taught me well the importance of paying attention to instinct and intuition, and how important it is to listen to children, or to anyone, who says they are afraid but cannot articulate why.

This time of year is meant to be a time for turning inward, for self-reflection and nurturing and quiet growth. I embrace that reason for the season, and the warm glow of candles and small lights serves as a reminder that the light will return. The days will grow longer, and balance will be restored. But during this time, I am also aware that darkness is a real thing itself, and that to continue to protect myself from it and from fear of it, I must maintain an understanding of what it is. My lights and candles serve another purpose, as a reminder that I have the magic and power to keep my fear of the dark at bay.

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4 Plant-Inspired Self-Love Practices
Updated on February 2, 2021
Originally Posted in Tea & More on January 25, 2019

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important you will ever have. Putting our own needs first is not selfish, it’s a necessity, and one that sometimes we forget to honor. Without our own foundation of self-love, and the health of our emotional well-being, we can’t begin to love and care for others. While our self-care rituals take many forms; eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising and breathing, staying hydrated, we often turn to plants to give ourselves a little something extra special – especially around this time of year. Instead of starting with “what do I need to fix about myself in order to be happy” we like to go straight to the desired outcome – to be more joyful. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate plants into the pursuit of happiness.

  1. We use traditional lovers herbs – even if only for ourselves! Plants used for love and romance, and often referenced by Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, are plants that are often already in our wellness cabinets. Some of the best herbs for self-love are nervines. Nervine herbs replenish the nervous system, and support calm in the body, they quiet mind chatter and awaken our senses. Whether you are getting cozy with a loved one or not, these plants open up our hearts and allow the tension in our bodies to melt away – leaving us in a comfortable place to engage in loving conversation and be a little gentler and kinder with our actions towards ourselves and others.*

A few of our favorites:

Rose: A beloved herbal medicine for the heart, rose is used to support and open the energetic heart chakra.* Rose allows us to be open to new possibilities, yet strong and protected in our self. This is a great herb to use in syrups and elixirs as roses are sweet and their floral nature pairs excellent with raw honey.

Damiana: Traditionally used to support circulation, and has historically been prized for promoting a healthy libido. Damiana’s true qualities increase desire and enthusiasm with warmth and excitement, allowing us to be more open, and connected, even if just within ourselves. A lovely one for tea or in chocolate truffles.*

Vanilla: The scent alone can take us somewhere else. Vanilla invites qualities of pure euphoria and bliss and is wonderfully decadent! We love adding vanilla to just about any dessert, tonic drink or syrup.

Kava†: A special and more exotic plant that we pull out at this time of the year. Kava is traditionally used during welcome ceremonies as it is excellent at soothing tension, calming the mind and supporting a healthy stress response.* Kava’s qualities wash over us with a sense of calm and warm-hearted openness – leaving us fully present in the best of ways for our partners, friends, and family. It has often been said, “where there is Kava, there is love in the heart.”

Many of these herbs can be used in combination with food, and desserts – especially with cacao!

  1. We Take Herbal Ritual Baths: Therapeutic, and much like a spa experience in your own home, botanical baths are a lovely way to wind down after a long work day, or when you need a moment of retreat and alone time.

Fill up your bathtub with hot water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or a handful of fragrant herbs like rose petals, chamomile, lavender or lemon balm, and a few tablespoons of Epsom salts for a relaxing soak. You can put the herbs in a small cotton bag or use a mesh tea strainer to catch them when you drain the tub. If you don’t keep bulk herbs in your home, herbal tea bags work just as well. Our organic Chamomile with Lavender and Lemon Balm teas are two of our favorites to use.

To set the mood, we light candles, prepare tea (a bath time favorite is our Cup of Calm tea), listen to soft, soothing music, and soak for long periods with a good book, or just simply being. It’s a great time to focus on your breath or do gentle self-massage.

  1. On-the-go Wellness: It’s a rare situation when you come across an herbalist who doesn’t carry herbs with them, as you never know what you might encounter. While we often carry a wide range of herbal products for various situations (digestive support, immunity, occasional sleeplessness) while traveling, herbs are incredibly powerful for emotional resilience and we never leave home without them. Keeping ourselves together emotionally day by day is an act of self-love, and you never know when you might need a little support.*

Here are a few of our favorite items we carry with us:

Urban Moonshine Joy Tonic – an uplifting tincture blend of nervine herbs that help to turn around a bad mood and calm the nervous system if feeling overwhelmed or occasionally stressed.*

Herbal tea is always there for you and convenient to take on the go. H+H Stress Relief is our favorite if you need a moment to take a deep breath to feel like yourself again. It helps you relax, anytime.*

Essential oil blends for a change of perspective. Scent alone can be powerful, and herbs like lavender, chamomile, geranium and clary sage are all great ones to keep on hand for a pleasurable pick me up. It’s easy to find pre-blended aromatherapy rollers to carry with you everywhere.

For inspiration on putting together a wellness pouch, see our Herbs for Travel blog post, or Urban Moonshines Herbal Travel Apothecary article.

  1. Surround Yourself with Beauty, Pleasure and Plants: Don’t save the best for last! Drink your best herbal tea from your favorite mug, cook a special meal and set the table as if you are a guest in your home. Treat yourself to those gorgeous flowers or an aromatic massage. The feelings of pleasure are part of a well-balanced and joyful life. And this doesn’t just mean sexual pleasure — it includes pleasurable experiences like foods and scents; happiness inducing activities such as yoga, dance, and creative hobbies like making art, gardening, or cooking. Whatever your budget allows – treat yourself with Joy.

These pleasurable acts of self-love help us feel inspired, loving, receptive, and liberated.

†Safety is a concern for users of kava. People, especially those with liver disease or liver problems, or persons who are taking drugs that can affect the liver, should talk with their health care practitioner before using kava.

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3 Common Nightmares & What They Mean
FEBRUARY 15, 2021 BY CLARE R. JOHNSON PHD

Dreaming Imagery

Scary dreams have so much energy! Even the most terrifying nightmares carry creative, healing, and spiritual gifts. When we unwrap our disturbing dreams and nightmares, we understand how these gifts can empower us in our waking life.

Many people report anxiety dreams or dreams with distressing content. Nightmares have been on the rise since the outbreak of the pandemic, but the most common themes remain the same as always: that we are trapped, chased or attacked by shadowy men or aggressive animals, or we find ourselves in the midst of an apocalyptic disaster.

Let’s have a look at why such nightmares come, and how we can work with them to discover any personal meaning they may have for ourselves and our life situation. Only the dreamer can know for sure what their own dream or nightmare signifies for them personally, and the best way to find out is by doing dreamwork to unwrap the deeper meaning.

Disaster Nightmares
“An earthquake rips the ground open and people are screaming and falling into the chasm.”

Have you ever had distressing dreams of fires, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other natural disasters?

During the pandemic, many people report dreams of giant bugs taking over the planet. Other common disaster nightmares are scenes of warzones or other man-made disasters such as shipwrecks or plane crashes.

Some natural disaster dreams may reflect our relationship to our planet, our reaction to current news events, and our fears about the future, but more often this type of nightmare flags up emotional upheaval, helplessness, and terror in the face of unwanted changes. When such dreams arise, it can mean that we are feeling overwhelmed during an extremely challenging time. Drowning in dreams often seems linked to feeling overwhelmed by emotions or a life situation.

If you have this kind of nightmare, see if you can build a bridge between the core emotion in the dream and something you are currently dealing with in your life. Ask yourself: “When did I last experience that sense of ‘I’ll never make it!’ in my life?” Or: “When did I last feel so desperate?” Often it will be possible to connect this feeling to something in our life: “Oh, right—I’ve been feeling like I’ll never make the deadline for this project and it’s making me feel totally panicked and desperate.”

One woman had recurring nightmares about earthquakes while she was going through a divorce. Although she felt she was coping with her situation, when she worked with her nightmares, she was able to connect her feelings of terror and instability to her suppressed fears of what would happen to her once the divorce was finalised. She realised she needed to create a life-saving plan of action for her post-divorce life.

Dreams are mirrors. They show us how we are really feeling, and remind us to act to change our lives for the better, by enlisting help, creating a plan, or changing unhelpful behaviours so that we can move forward with joy instead of fear.

Scary Animals and Frightening Beasts
“I’m standing on a high pinnacle of rock. A huge, fire-breathing dragon swoops towards me aggressively and I’m terrified that he’ll either attack me or cause me to fall to my death.”

Have you ever had nightmares involving animals who bite or chase you, or mythological beasts whose power paralyses you with fear?

When dream animals want to get our attention, they might attack us, pin us down, roar in our faces, scratch, bite, or pursue us. They might even rip us to pieces and kill us. But this doesn’t mean that they are negative energies—in fact, dream animals are fascinating to work with. Their instinctive, wild energy can reveal our conflicts and the shadowy aspects of ourselves or other people in our lives. They may also have a shamanic significance, linking us to the spirit world.

A nightmarish animal or beast is trying to wake us up to something that needs addressing within us, or in our life. Nightmares come to propel us towards psychological wholeness. We can get to the heart of an animal nightmare and discover any message it may have for us by asking some key questions: “Which qualities does this animal embody for me?” “How does it feel to go through life in this animal’s skin?”

Vividly imagine yourself as that animal, seeing the world through its eyes, feeling its energy move through you, speaking with its voice. What does it want or need? What is it afraid of? What wisdom does it offer?

This kind of imaginative dreamwork is based on Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls in the early 1950s. It’s a wonderful way of connecting deeply with the energy of a nightmare figure, and can be done alone if it feels right, or with a friend or therapist present if there is a lot of fear or difficult emotions such as disgust or guilt. Some nightmares should not be worked on alone, so do check in with yourself before you engage on these deeper levels with threatening nightmare figures.

A woman who dreamed a dragon was swooping at her while she stood alone on a high pinnacle realised the dragon symbolised her husband, an aggressive and domineering man who was also having an affair. She understood how unsafe he made her feel on every level, and how threatening this situation was to her wellbeing. The nightmare showed her a vivid picture of how alone and threatened she felt, and helped her to understand that something had to change fast.

Being Trapped
“I’m in a dark room with no doors or windows. A malicious presence is there with me, and I can’t escape.”

Have you had terrifying dreams of being trapped in a burning building, or in a crashing airplane? People often report nightmares of being stuck in terrible situations, screaming for help but nobody comes to their rescue.

Such nightmares are often linked to feelings of helplessness, a lack of emotional support, and a belief in one’s inability to change a situation.

If you have a nightmare like this, ask yourself: “Where in my life do I feel trapped and powerless, as if there’s no way out?” Or ask: “Where do I need to take action in my life?” And, crucially: “Who can I turn to for help in my life?”

One woman had recurring nightmares of being trapped in a doorless, windowless room. She easily linked the feelings of helplessness and panic to her current psychological crisis. During a therapy session, she mentally re-entered the nightmare feeling safe and supported. She was able to imagine herself finding a window, through which she escaped into a beautiful flowering courtyard.

This felt symbolic to her. She realised that she did have choices in her life and could seek a more nourishing, hopeful space for herself. Once she had resolved the dream story in this way, the nightmares didn’t return.

When we do empowering imaginative work with a nightmare, equipping our dreaming self with resources such as a sense of safety, a strong ally, or magical powers, we can often break the cycle of bad dreams.

Our dreaming mind wants us to be whole and healthy. All dreams come to help us—if they can’t get our attention in any other way, they create shocking scenarios to make us sit up and listen to what’s going on within us.

We need to listen to our dreams and nightmares, because they speak to us right from our own heart and soul and have wonderful gifts of insight and wisdom to share with us.

My new book, The Art of Transforming Nightmares, aims to empower dreamers by giving them practical tools to resolve nightmares and other disturbing sleep experiences in healing ways.

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

A turtle carries its home on its back, as humans we carry our home in our heart.

The word “home” has a wide variety of connotations. To some, home is merely a place where basic needs are addressed. To others, home is the foundation from which they draw their strength and tranquility. Still, others view home as a place inexorably linked to family. Yet all these definitions of home imply somewhere we can be ourselves and are totally accepted. There, we feel safe enough to let down our guard, peaceful enough to really relax, and loved enough to want to return day after day. However, these qualities need not be linked to a single space or any space at all. Home is where the heart is and can be the locale you live in, a community you once lived in, or the country where you plan to live someday. Or home can be a feeling you carry inside yourself, wherever you are.

The process of evolution can require you to undergo transformations that uproot you. Moving from place to place can seem to literally divide you from the foundations you have come to depend on. Since your home is so intimately tied to the memories that define you, you may feel that you are losing a vital part of yourself when you leave behind your previous house, city, state, or country. And as it may take some time before you fashion new memories, you may feel homeless even after settling into your new abode. To carry your home with you, you need only become your own foundation. Doing so is merely a matter of staying grounded and centered, and recognizing that the pleasures you enjoyed in one place will still touch your heart in another if you allow them.

Your home can be any space or state of being that fulfills you, provided you are at peace with yourself and your surroundings. A person can feel like home to you, as can seasons and activities. If you feel disconnected from what you once thought of as home, your detachment may be a signal that you are ready to move one. Simply put, you will know you have found your home when both your physical environment and energetic surroundings are in harmony with the individual you are within.

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Why Dancing Is Healthy for Women
by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Japanese researchers assessed the effects of 16 types of exercise to help women retain their ability to walk, bathe, dress, and otherwise go about the ordinary activities of daily life as they aged. The investigators asked 1,003 women, who were without disability when the study began, about the types of exercise they engaged in. On follow up eight years later, the team determined that 13 percent of the women had developed some form of disability that interfered with their daily lives. They also found that the women who said they participated in dancing when the study began had a 73 percent lower likelihood of developing disabilities that affected their daily lives.

Study leader Yosuke Osuka of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology noted that it is “unclear why dancing alone” made the difference but added that it “requires not only balance, strength, and endurance…but also cognitive ability, adaptability and concentration to move according to the music and partner, artistry for graceful and fluid motion and memory for choreography…these various elements may contribute to the superiority of dancing” in maintaining a higher capacity for the activities of daily living.

My take? Dancing of any kind is beneficial for your body. Aerobic exercise promotes general fitness, conditions your heart and respiratory system, stimulates immunity and increases stamina. It also tones your nervous system, reduces stress, increases oxygen flow throughout the body and gives you a sense of well-being and empowerment. Dancing is one of the most effective aerobic activities of all because it’s upbeat and enjoyable and provides a thorough workout.

Source:
Yosuke Osuka et al, “Exercise type and activities of daily living disability in older women: An 8-year population-based cohort study.” “Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, December 18, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/sms.13336

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Spiced Golden Rice Pudding For The Goddesses of Spring – Gather Victoria

In a culinary fusion of western and eastern goddess traditions, this Golden Rice Pudding is made with primrose infused cream and spiced with saffron, cardamom, orange zest and a touch of candied ginger. It is my offering to the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, Goddess of Wisdom, Learning and Art and Brigid the Celtic Goddess of Illumination, Inspiration and Poetry.

Both of these goddesses of early spring brought blessings of fertility, prosperity and good health and their feasts celebrated “the coming of the light”.

This is an excerpt from the Winter Holiday Edition of the Gathery E-Cookery book on Gather Patreon In a culinary fusion of western and eastern goddess traditions.

Source: Spiced Golden Rice Pudding For The Goddesses of Spring – Gather Victoria
https://gathervictoria.com/2021/02/09/spiced-golden-rice-pudding-for-spring/

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Mind Stretching

Having a flexible mind makes navigating life much easier, as you are not thrown off course easily.

Flexibility is the capacity to bend without breaking, as well as a continual willingness to change or be changed in order to accommodate new circumstances. People with flexible minds are open to shifting their course when necessary or useful; they are not overly attached to things going the way they had planned. This enables them to take advantage of opportunities that a more rigid person would miss out on. It can also make life a lot more fun. When we are flexible, we allow for situations we could not have planned, and so the world continues to surprise and delight us.

Since reality is in a constant state of flux, it doesn’t make sense to be rigid or to cling to any one idea of what is happening or what is going to happen. We are more in tune with reality when we are flexible. Being in tune enables us to adjust to the external environment and other people as they change and grow. When we are rigid or stuck in our ways, instead of adjusting to the world around us we hunker down, clinging to a concept of reality rather than reality itself. When we do this, we cut ourselves off from life, and we miss out on valuable opportunities, as well as a lot of joy.

Just as we create flexibility in our bodies by stretching physically, we can create limberness in our minds by stretching mentally. Every day we have the opportunity to exercise our flexibility. We can do this in small ways such as taking a different route home from work or changing our exercise routine. On a larger scale, we can rearrange the furniture or redo a room in our house. If these are things we already do regularly, we can stretch our minds by imagining several different possibilities for how the next year will unfold. As we do this, our minds become more supple and open, and when changes come our way, we are able to accommodate and flow with the new reality.

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Gilberto’s Lazy Sunday Afternoon
by Stephen Halpert

The driver stopped and stared at her, seemingly immobilized.
Her second shot took out the left front tire, rendering the vehicle inoperable. The sedan sagged into the road.
“Get the kid,” shaved head yelled. Despite his blooded face he stumbled to his feet and followed his companion, charging toward Gilberto.
“Hold on Joey,” Gilberto said. “Make yourself very small.”
Maria launched another concrete missile, this time hitting the driver hard in the chest. He screamed but kept rushing at Gilberto
Maria had no time to reload the derringer. Instead, she threw another jagged chunk of concrete followed by several handfuls of gravel. The driver tried to duck but a stone the size of a grapefruit exploded into his face; his eyes grew covered in blood.
“Yay mom,” Joey yelled. “Hit um again.”
Despite this intent on snatching Joey the man kept charging toward Gilberto Just as he was upon them, Gilberto turned and kicked his left leg hard into the side of the driver’s knee. He jumped aside and this time kicked him hard in a tender part of his autonomy. The driver screamed, clutching himself as he fell to his knees.
Then Gilberto faked to the left, kicked his assailant in the kidneys. He screamed again and fell over. Maria rushed over and hit him on the side of his head with the handle of her derringer. He sprawled on the ground, gasping. Shaved head had collapsed, unable to get up.
Then they heard sirens. A Boston police cruiser shot onto Charles Street. Following it was a familiar sedan. Gilberto saw Jones behind the wheel, Smith talking into his device.
Two police officers’ pistols drawn, Smith and Jones behind them converged on the scene. Both assailants lay stunned and bleeding on the sidewalk. They were cuffed, taken into custody. As they were pulling them toward the back door of the police cruiser Smith showed them his credentials. The officers nodded, went to the cruiser and drove away.
Now that the action was over, Gilberto felt anger his anger rise. Who would attack his family? Try to kidnap his son? He clenched his fists, breathing heavily. He hoped to find out more. Perhaps Smith and Jones might have answers.
Looking at Maria, Smith and Jones shook their heads. “How’d you manage to throw those rocks so good?” Jones asked Maria?”
“I was the star pitcher for my women’s softball team,” she said calmy. “I guess I haven’t lost it.” There was no mention of the derringer.
Smith and Jones looked hard at Gilberto, Maria and Joey.
“You folks ok?” Smith asked.
Gilberto nodded. “Maria saved us.”
“You weren’t so bad yourself,” she said.
Smith smiled. “Good for you.”
Gilberto set Joey down and carefully embraced Maria. Tears of relief coursed down her cheeks.
“Maybe once the baby’s born you could play softball again.” Gilberto said. “You stopped them cold,”
“We both did,” Maria said softly. “We saved our son from being kidnapped.”
“Why don’t you folks jump in and we’ll drive you back home,” Smith said. Meanwhile the police had radioed for a tow truck that was already hauling the damaged vehicle away.
“No need to stay here now,” Smith said. “Let’s get this young man another ice cream and take you all home.” (To be continued)

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Essential Oils: Tea Tree Oil
Guide To Essential Oils | Andrew Weil, M.D

Tea tree oil is derived from the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), native to the eastern coast of Australia. The oil is clear, strongly aromatic, and a powerful disinfectant. (It is not the same as tea oil, which is used for cooking.)

Tea tree oil became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s due to its ability to treat bacterial infections. Its use declined after World War II when effective antibiotics became available, but interest resumed during the 1970s.

It is an effective remedy for fungal and viral infections, particularly those affecting the skin. The compound terpinen-4-ol, one of more than 98 compounds, is responsible for most of it’s antimicrobial activity.

Tea Tree Oil Uses:
Acne: Five percent tea tree oil may be as effective as five percent benzoyl peroxide for acne treatment. Tea tree oil takes longer to work but may be less irrigating to the skin. Dosage: Apply 5 percent gel for 20 minutes to affected areas twice daily.

Toe Nail Fungus: A topical application of 100 percent tea tree oil, twice a day for six months, eradicated toenail fungus in about 18 percent of patients studied. It also improved the appearance of the nails in about 60 percent of patients.

Athlete’s Foot: It oil also appears help relieve symptoms (although it doesn’t cure the fungus). One study found that 10 percent tea tree oil reduced scaling, inflammation, itching, and burning when applied regularly. Apply a light coating of dilute oil (25 to 50 percent) three or four times a day. Continue for two weeks after symptoms resolve.
Bacterial vaginosis: One small study found this essential oil effective for treatment of this vaginal infection.
This essential oil also may help manage dandruff, bee stings, scabies, and lice. Laboratory studies suggest that it may have a therapeutic role in management of abscesses and boils, especially those due to MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

When added to hot water, creating a steam inhalant, tea tree can help treat cough, bronchial congestion, sore throat and overall pulmonary inflammation.

Caution:

Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed and should only be used externally. Because it may irritate skin, apply only a small amount at first and discontinue if irritation appears. The oil may burn if it comes in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not apply tea tree oil to non-fungal rashes or broken skin.

Tea Tree Oil For Household Use:
Added to vinegar/water solutions it can kill mold and mildew on kitchen and bathroom surfaces. To clean countertops and tile floors add 50 drops to a bucket of water.

Dr. Weil’s View On Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is the best treatment I know of for fungal infections. It is an excellent alternative to the harsh chemicals found in most over-the-counter treatments for athlete’s foot and jock itch. It is also gentle for people with sensitive skin, offering much-needed relief for dandruff and acne.

Source:
K.A. Hammer et al, “In Vitro Susceptibilities of Lactobacilli and Organisms Associated with Bacterial Vaginosis to Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, January 1999.

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SOOTHING MOON MILK RECIPE WITH WARMING SPICES

BY STEPHANIE MARY

Moon milk is one of my favorite beverages for eliciting feelings of peacefulness and serenity. Each sip of this herb-filled heated milk fills my belly with warmth and contentment and acts as the perfect vehicle for me to work in the herbs and spices my body craves. Over the years, I’ve created many moon milk recipes, and have also found some wonderful gems from other genius content creators. One of my favorite moon milk mavens is Stephanie from MyTinyLagunaKitchen. She even has a free ebook with some of her amazing adaptogenic creations that I highly recommend!

Stephanie came to visit us and was generous enough to share one of her perfectly warm and spicey moon milk creations. This pumpkin spice version is balanced with earthy chamomile and a sprinkle of vanilla, and it is nothing short of magic in a cup.

What is moon milk?
(If you’re familiar with moon milks, skip on down to the recipe)

Moon milk stems from an Ayurvedic practice of drinking warm cow’s milk to assist in a restful night’s sleep. It was believed that drinking heated milk in small sips improves ojas, which is described as a state of balance and a harmony of body functions.

However, vegan versions of moon milk work just as well, which suggests it is the adaptogenic herbs coupled with the practice of taking time to enjoy a warm and nourishing cuppa that creates the real magic.

Mugs of hot drinks and cardamom powder spilling out of bottle.

While people traditionally drink moon milk before bed, I have found that it is an enjoyable way to take a little edge off or soothe feelings of stress anytime of the day. Remember that sip-by-sip, we are offering this gift to our hard-working bodies and minds. We must fill our own cup before we can fill that of others.

Mug of hot drink with chamomile and decorative spoon.

SOOTHING MOON MILK RECIPE WITH WARMING SPICES
BY STEPHANIE MARY
Makes about 16 ounces (2 servings).

Ingredients:
8 oz. clean, filtered water
2-3 Tbsp. organic chamomile flowers
8 oz. milk of choice
5-10 drops organic ashwagandha extract
1/4 tsp. organic vanilla bean powder
1/4 tsp. organic chamomile flower powder
1/8 tsp. organic cardamom powder
1/2 tsp. organic pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of sea salt
Organic maple syrup or sweetener of choice, to taste
Organic chamomile flowers for garnish (optional)
Hand dropping tincture into hot beverage.

Directions:
Heat water until it reaches a gentle simmer.
Add chamomile flowers and steep for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat milk of choice.
Using a strainer, pour chamomile infusion into each cup, filling halfway.
Fill remaining half of cup with warm milk.
Add ashwagandha extract, herbal powders, and sea salt.
Add optional sweeter, to taste.
Stir until incorporated.
Garnish with optional chamomile flowers.

Pro Tips:
You can add this moon milk to a blender or utilize a frother if you’d like a latte effect.
No recipe is carved in stone, so feel free to adjust ratios or flavors to suit your preferences and needs.
It’s possible that your herbal powders may sink to the bottom as you are enjoying your drink. I like to keep a spoon handy to keep that herbal goodness suspended and evenly sippable.

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Snow Ice Cream

One of the greatest treats in life is to sit by a warm fire and eat snow ice cream. All you need to remember is to brush the top layer off clean snow and dip out the clean center, never dipping the cup dep enough to pick up dirt from the ground or off old boards or buildings.

To make snow ice cream, whip 1 cup of heavy cream. Then fold in sugar and vanilla extract to taste. Take a large bowl outside and scoop up about one quart (4 cups) of perfectly clean snow. While the snow is still frozen, fold it into the cream mixture, and adjust the sugar and vanilla to taste. Eat immediately or pack the bowl in a snowbank, (well covered to protect the ice cream for wild or domesticated animals) and let it chill until the ice cream has hardened. Makes about 6 servings.

Source: “The Pioneer Lady’s Country Kitchen” by Jane Watson Hopping, Chapter January Soups, Warm Fires, Hot Chocolate, and Rest; Snow Party
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Kitty Kat Korner!
Share your love for cats!

5 Ways to Plan a Date Night With Your Cat
Beth Ann Mayer

As Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s consider re-imagining date night.

Think fast: When was the last time you enjoyed a date night? The pandemic has forced local restaurants to close or switch to takeout and us to hunker down for — checks notes — almost a year. It’s made it difficult to go anywhere, let alone indulge in a date night.

It’s also given us a new appreciation for our cats, who have, at the very least, put up with our being home all the time while also giving us someone to snuggle.

So, as Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s consider re-imagining date night.

“We can reward ourselves and our little friends who have been there for us through this whole difficult time,” says Samantha Bell, a cat expert and celebrity and entertainment relations coordinator at Best Friends Animal Society.

When we plan a date night with our significant other, we try to think of ways to surprise them and make them happy. Take the same approach with your cat. Remember, cats are wild animals in their own heads. For each activity, Samantha suggests asking yourself, “What would a wild cat living their best life want?

“Let’s give them a chance to experience what they are meant to do,” Samantha says.

You can do this by planning a day that appeals to all five of your cat’s senses. Samantha offers tips for how to take a walk on the wild side with your feline friend this Valentine’s Day.

Sight
Wild cats hunt for food and fun. They love spotting prey like fish, mice, birds and little bugs. “Obviously, we don’t want to bring these things into our homes,” Samantha says. “There are a lot of amazing things online.” She suggests Googling “videos for cats.” You’ll find hour-long videos of birds in baths and aquariums with fish that quickly dart back and forth. “Putting a video on the big screen for ambiance during dinner will make the cat happy and excited,” Samantha says. “After dinner, maybe watch an animal documentary.” Samantha’s cat loves Blue Planet.

Smell
A cat’s sense of smell is at least 14 times better than ours. “Scent is their strongest sense,” Samantha says. “When they recognize each other … or are interested in something, it’s because of scent.” Samantha believes “scent buffets” can be fun for cats. Catnip and valerian root (which is often found in cat toys and is available on Amazon) are musts, but think about introducing Kitty to something new. “Novel scents are great enrichment for cats,” Samantha says. If a friend or neighbor has a gerbil or hamster, ask for shavings from their cage.

Also, do Kitty a favor and skip the perfume you’d wear if heading out on a date with your significant other. “It gives them a headache,” Samantha says.

Taste
Treat your cat to something new. Instead of kibble or typical wet food, which is usually chicken, turkey or beef-flavored, opt for something like venison, salmon or duck. Some brands make these types of food in cans. Or, give Kitty something extra special. “You can prepare fish for yourself and leave a little bit for your cat that you do not season,” says Samantha. FYI: Garlic and onions are poisonous to cats, so you’ll want to be sure Kitty’s treat doesn’t have any of that in it.

Hearing
Create a soundtrack for your date night that’s music to Kitty’s ears. At dinner, opt for something soothing, like classical music or something made for cats. Musician David Teie has created playlists at a frequency cats enjoy. After dinner, play sounds of their prey, like birds, mice and gerbils. “When they hear those noises, they get very excited and want to play,” Samantha says.

Touch
While Kitty is excitedly listening to prey sounds, make her feel like she’s actually hunting. Try a wand toy. “Really get into it,” Samantha says. “Don’t just swing it back and forth. Put it on the ground, have it round a corner, so the cat really feels like it’s hunting it. They’ll grab it and bite it and feel proud of themselves.” And it’ll make your cat fall in love with you all over again. “It’ll really bond you with your cat when you give them the opportunity to do something they really wanted to do,” Samantha says.

Need a Date?
If you have room in your home and heart, Samantha believes cats make the perfect fur-ever dates. “The companionship of animals has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lessen depression and anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing,” she says. This adoption checklist can help you figure out whether you’re ready to take the plunge into cat parenthood.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, February 14, 2021

All Signs
An interesting planetary coincidence is occurring around Valentine’s Day – that special time for “l’amour!” Mercury is retrograde in the same sign as Venus, which means people are encountering ex-partners and old flames in person or on social media. Although these chance meetings might be “in person,” they can also take place in a fantasy world. Oh yes! You can be transported by passionate, sexy dreams! This is because romantic connections with anyone from your past (including your imagination) are heightened now. Fortunately, dreams are private. Only you know what you’re up to.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
In the next four weeks, you are in a window where your personal year is ending, but your new year is not yet ready to begin. This gives you the perfect window for contemplation and self-scrutiny. It’s an ideal time to think about what you want to achieve in your personal year ahead (birthday to birthday). Make a point of defining some goals for yourself for the coming year. Do yourself this favour. Goals make future decision-making easier, and they give you focus. What are your hopes for the future? How can you make these hopes your goals? Do not just react to life as it happens. Grab life! Steer your course. Meanwhile, friends and acquaintances from the past are back in your world in person, online or in your dreams.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Your popularity with friends and members of groups will increase in the next four weeks. You are loved! Not only will you enjoy interacting with others (in person as well as in your dreams), you will want to make goals for your future. Examine how far you have gotten in realizing the goals that you set for yourself so far. Don’t ignore these goals because if you do, in about a month, they will create challenges. The next few weeks are an excellent time to ascertain what has to be done and line your ducks up in a row. This is also a good time to integrate your energy with those of the people around you. Work with others. Do not go it alone.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Looking swell! In the next four weeks, the Sun will cross the top of your chart, which is the only time all year this happens. Symbolically, it means you are thrust in a flattering spotlight, which makes people admire you. They see you as competent and capable even if you don’t do anything special. (It’s smoke and mirrors.). This is why others will seek you out to ask for your advice; plus, many of you will be more involved than usual with a parent. With the Sun at the top of your chart, now is the time to examine your life as a whole and see if you’re going in the direction you want. Friends from afar or from other cultures will enter your world again. Feelings and dreams of escapism will be strong. “I need a change of scenery!”

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
For the next four weeks, life will hum along nicely. Your energy will be strong. That’s why this is a good time to do something to broaden your horizons — perhaps study or explore new experiences. Naturally, you will want to travel; however, most cannot do this. Nevertheless, you can learn from people from other cultures. Meanwhile, your physical passions will be aroused, especially because you might encounter sexual partners from your past. These encounters might be in person, online or in your dreams. However, it happens, these “encounters” will be stimulating and memorable! Financial negotiations will favour you in the next four weeks, especially wrapping up old business and discussions about inheritances and shared property. Ka-ching!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Because Mercury retrograde and Venus are both opposite your sign, many of you are hearing from ex-partners, or thinking about them, or dreaming about them. In other words, they are back in your world! Actually, this is an intense, passionate time for you. You will have passionate feelings about every aspect of your life in the next several weeks. With Mars at the top of your chart, your ambition is aroused so you will also work hard to achieve your goals. The combination of all these different planetary aspects is creating a powerful time for you to achieve something important. Just do it. “Use the Force, Luke.”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In the next four weeks, you feel pulled in various directions; but one thing is certain: you will need more sleep. You will give more thought to your closest friendships and partnerships – perhaps, wondering about whether a particular relationship is more trouble than its worth? No partnership is perfect; but if a partnership benefits you more than not – it’s probably worth keeping. Always remember that your friends influence your future because they influence your mind and your mind makes your decisions. This is an excellent month to finish up old business at work or anything related to your health. You might even wrap up old business related to a pet? You’ll be productive.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In the next four weeks, you want to turn over a new leaf. You want to pull your act together so you can take it on the road. This is why you will work hard and try to be as efficient and effective as possible. You will carry this high bar into your personal world in terms of health and everything you do – including dealing with pets. You want to make improvements in your world! Likewise, your romantic world will get a lovely lift, perhaps because old flames are back in your world – or in your dreams. (Anything can happen because your sex drive is aroused.) Meanwhile socializing with others via Zoom plus fun activities with kids will be a source of joy.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Lucky you! The next four weeks will offer you one of the most fun-filled months of the year! Not only will you enjoy fun times with children and romantic flirtations with others, you will also be more in touch with your muse and will enjoy any chance to express your creative talents. Traditionally this window of time is the perfect time to take a vacation. However, you can be creative and figure out how to take your own “vacation” at home or in a safe way. Family relations are warm. Relatives you have not been in contact with are back in your world again. Be patient with partners and close friends because fiery Mars is opposite your sign. (Patience is the antidote to anger.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
A lovely display of planetary energy is affecting you now. It draws your focus to home, family and your private life, especially dealing with a parent. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde, lined up with Jupiter and Venus will promote warm communications and fun conversations with siblings, relatives, neighbours and people from your past. This will encourage learning, studying and writing, especially making money through your words. (We like!) Meanwhile, fiery Mars is in a part of your chart that makes you want to work hard. You want to accomplish a lot. In fact, you are so ambitious to be productive, you might be a bit bossy delegating to others.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The pace of your days is accelerating in the next four weeks! Your mind will be busy and you’ll be eager to talk to others, plus you will read, write and study more than usual. Some will be forced to take short trips. This increased busyness could be related to sports or something to do with children or the arts, or possibly the hospitality industry or the entertainment world. Meanwhile, cheques in the mail will be late. (Grrr.) However, take heart! You might resurrect old ideas to earn money – ideas that failed before but might be worth reconsideration. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
For the next four weeks, you will be more focused on money, earnings and cash flow. Likewise, some of you might shop or spend money more than usual. But at a deeper level, this focus on finances will also manifest as a profound exploration on your part, into your values. In other words, what really matters in life? If you don’t know what really matters, how will you know how to make wise decisions? Aye, there’s the rub. Fortunately, with four planets in your sign right now, including Mercury retrograde, you will have the means and motivation to do this soul-searching. This journey might be provoked because old friends and ex-partners from your past trigger epiphanies and memories. “Rosebud!”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Once a year, the Sun travels through your sign for four weeks. This week this special journey begins for Pisces. Essentially, this is your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of year. Furthermore, with the Sun in your sign, you will attract others to you, as well as favourable circumstances. It’s a good thing! Meanwhile, secret love affairs and secrets of any kind might come out now. They might be revealed or they might be more prominent in your mind and your awareness. Certainly, your ability to research and look for solutions to old problems and answers to old questions is sharpened, which is why you will get results for your quest for truth.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 14 February 2021

If youre born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); youre advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!

Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages youve been aware a range of practical or financial issues would need attention, so its no surprise when some require fast action. That will do the trick now, but certain of these will require more detailed effort on your part. The irony is, once youre involved, youll recall just how fascinating the matters in question and the people involved can be.

You wish someone would explain to you what is going on. Everything is up in the air and there seems to be no sense of organisation around you. Your apprehension will vanish once things get moving and you realise that there have been measures put in place to bring things together in a more focused way. A close relationship is changing. You sense where this is leading. It would be better to accept it rather than try to fight the inevitable.

It should now be obvious that the wheels of change are turning – and at speed. Ideas could be thrown this way and that and yes, this should be exhilarating; and yet: midweek Saturn and Uranus arrive at their Last Quarter square. Where Saturn represents restriction, Uranus represents breakthrough. The past and the future collide; and yes, you could find yourself in the midst of arguments that seem never ending. Polarisation is probable. The fact that at least one person is so determined not to shift their view will make for very real difficulties. However, Mercury stations direct next weekend and it may be that they simply need a few days to process and to accept that there is now no going back. Over Thursday and Friday, you could stand back and let someone come to a conclusion themselves. View this as an Aries cosmic test in patience.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!

Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

True, the decisions youre making and issues involving others youre facing are complicated and, on occasion, worrying. Still, once you understand each step is adding to your perspective, you`ll realise how worthwhile the efforts and, often, patience required will be. For this reason, invest time in getting all the facts and, where necessary, discussing matters with others. This will pay off big time, and swiftly.

You can`t get over a recent disappointment. A relationship did not turn out as you had been expecting and you feel angry with yourself for allowing yourself to have been used. It might seem impossible to find the energy or enthusiasm for a job you are working on. Your boss or a senior colleague expects you to roll up your sleeves and get on with the work while you think you deserve a break.

Both Mars and Uranus are travelling through Taurus and midweek, Saturn will be at exact right angle to Uranus. This could bring on a bull in a china shop moment. With the Moon also moving through your sign, you could allow yourself to get so incensed that you charge ahead with no thought to the chaos and destruction you might leave behind. The fact that your ruling planet, Venus, is at right angles to Mars, accentuates this possibility. Restraint would be advisable though yes; it would be wholly understandable if you were maddened by the attitude and behaviour of others. You could though, view all this planetary energy as productive. It would work really well if you needed to move large pieces of furniture! Or even a mental block. Note that Mercury changes direction next weekend, and that what seems to be a cul-de-sac now, could yet open to a brighter future.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!

Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Your ruler Mercury may be retrograde and stirring up confusion. However, what you learn in the process of getting to the facts wont just be informative, the resulting insights are likely to answer a range of questions, some unresolved for so long you thought youd simply have to live with the resulting mystery. Ironically, what you learn will kick-start a valuable cycle of exploration and discovery.

Your heart is not in a community or social event almost everyone seems to have been looking forward to. New regulations make for a slight dulling of the pleasure you could be getting out of this. Any routine jobs associated with your work will be done automatically while your thoughts wander elsewhere. Data or information received will suggest that recent changes in the workplace are making a difference. People will praise you for your contribution.

Before the Moon arrives in your sign on Saturday, neatly coinciding with Mercury, your ruling planet, arriving at its direct station, there are very definite obstacles to be overcome. True, excellent aspects in the first half of the week should benefit friendships and partnerships of all kinds. Yet you could hit major difficulties midweek as Saturn, travelling through another of the Air signs, arrives at its right angle to Uranus. It may be that your competence and expertise is questioned. You might also be asked to take sides. It might help to remember that others need more time than you usually do to process new ideas and ways of thinking, and that they could yet accept your proposals. In the meantime, whilst giving them space to do just that, you could underpin your expertise with research.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!

Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

The trick to dealing with the unsettling situations and othersresulting ups and downs is to back off, and adopt an analytical approach. That may seem uncaring; but this shifts your perspective and, as a result, your mood will improve, probably more than you imagined possible. This, in turn, will enable you to boost others spirits. After that, together you`ll tackle obstacles that, recently, seemed insurmountable.

Before taking on a challenge, think about what it may entail. You may not be certain you have the skills or experience to carry out this task. Since you won`t want any later regrets, a little more research will give you the confidence you currently lack. Someone close will let you in on a secret that will in some way prove useful for you within the next ten to fifteen days. A scrupulous approach to health and work matters will pay off.

Though normally cautious, it perhaps wont take much for you to be excited about a plan presented in the first half of the week. You could be carried away on a tide of idealism (that could also affect your romantic life). By Wednesday however, and coinciding with the right angle between Saturn and Uranus, reality could hit - and hard. It might then be apparent that neither financial capital or the physical and mental energy will be available. Convincing others that they need to take an altered approach will surely be challenging. Yet recall that Mercury is retrograde. It is just possible that you dont yet have all the facts and figures. Equally, it may be that others just need longer to consider options before they come up with a strategy. All is not yet lost. In the meantime, your priority should be to ensure that colleagues, overwhelmed by possibilities, don`t collapse under the strain and to focus on their health and well-being.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!

Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

The key to dealing with this confusing periods twists and turns is to resist battling your own dilemmas and, equally, do the minimum to support others. The reason is simple. Urgent as situations seem, youre short of facts. Once you begin asking questions and, in some cases, get those whore facing similar matters to join in, youll learn more and act together, and swiftly.

Keep any good ideas you have to yourself. If youre developing a business proposal add a password to your documents. Keep your plans under wraps. A workmate who isnt as creative will be keen to hear your thoughts and will be equally as keen to steal the credit which should be yours. A job you agreed to take on will feel like you are running a gruelling marathon. The challenge goes on and on and you can`t wait to have this over.

By next weekend Mercury, in your opposite sign, will appear at a standstill. Over the next few days its movements are barely perceptible. Mercury is the planet associated with the brain and the opposite sign implies others. So, it could be not that others are slowing down in their thinking, but there in a period of reflection. It is possibly not the case that they`re getting ready to change their mind, that they are thinking deeply about the consequences of the steps there are about to take. This might as easily be true of you. By the end of this week Venus and Mars will be at right angle with the latter at the apex of your solar chart. Whilst every day could be described as a turning point, this could be a more memorable one when you finally decide who it is that you can work with. Career wise this could bring you into contact with craftspeople and those who want to revive an old art and perhaps need your enthusiasm but yes, also your investment.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!

Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a quick thinking and practical earth sign, youre usually the first to spot the source of problems and, therefore, their solution. However, with your ruler Mercury retrograde, youre either lacking reliable information or distrust what you`re being told. Still, in some cases, you must take action. Do so, but not alone. Get others involved and, with every step you take, double check your facts.

A work assignment isnt making any progress and thats because people arent talking. Take this chance to encourage everyone to meet and discuss possible solutions. Be sure to put your own ideas forward. You could be amazed how willing your colleagues are to fall in with your suggestions. New doors are opening up for you. Pause for a while to think about what youre letting yourself in for. Don`t jump too quickly over the threshold

As we know, yours is a sign known to worry. Its important to you to think things through from every possible perspective. The problem with that is that you will inevitably, find flaws. The art is always to find the flaws you can live with and do something about the ones that you cant. As for many people you could be carried away on a tide of enthusiasm of the start of the week but hit almost little obstacles midweek. These may be driven by health matters or even something as basic as cleanliness and routine efficiency. This though is an area in which you excel. Recall that your ruling planet Mercury will be moving almost imperceptibly this week as it moves towards its direct station next weekend. This is when you could uncover items that have been hidden or ignored. Those items include ways of thinking and experience. A strong possibility is that your expertise will be acknowledged by someone who to date has appeared to ignore your opinion. It may be now that they realise, youd be an asset on their team. The big question for you by the weekend, is whether or not thats a position you want to accept.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!

Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Hopefully during Februarys unruly first half, you realised that everybody is facing unsettling events. While some will, clearly, lead to worthwhile changes, a few are worrying. As a Libra, youre trying to deal with your own concerns yet support those around you. The solution? Encourage others to deal with tasks then, together, take a break. Focus on everything wonderful in your lives, and celebrate it.

An argument in the home will cause strain between you and a loved one. Someones reaction seems exaggerated and the tension between you will make you uncomfortable. You will hardly be able to remember what started all the trouble and you are really working hard to clear the air. An unexpected bonus or financial gift may make you a little careless about spending on everyday items. This isnt a good time for speculation or taking any chances where money is concerned.

Your sign has justified reputation for taking so, so long to make your mind up about things. Its interesting really that if something is not too important, then you can make your mind up instantly. Its the big things that you want to chew over and over until you feel youve arrived at the right conclusion. As Mercury comes to its direct station next weekend, it really would be advisable to go slowly and not to allow yourself to be pushed into making an early decision. True, with several planetary alignments coming to their next phase is likely that others will push you for answers and yes, there is the danger of this leading to a breakdown in a relationship. Sensitivity will be needed to avoid that. On the very considerable upside however, you and a colleague potential business partner could do some amazing brainstorming and problem solving and yes, an idea thats been incubating in your research and development department the best part of a year could now move to launch stage.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!

Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, youve been observing others a lot. Youve noticed that while youll think things through in detail before doing a thing, theyll have only a vague idea of their objectives, but plunge in; and now, youre encouraged to be just as easy-going. Unwise as that seems, youll soon realise youre struggling less with unsettling twists and turns. In fact, youll turn some into unexpected opportunities.

A housemate wants to take the lead. This isnt a regular occurrence and you will be quite interested to see how they approach some aspects of your world differently when they are in control. It could be surprising how inventive some people can be and you might learn something new from watching how others approach routine tasks. A money matter needs more careful thought. You do not want to commit to a long-term expense if you feel you cant afford it.

It might help to imagine yourself as a company doctor. By next weekend Mercury will breached its direct station. Its movements this week a barely perceptible and near ideal conditions reassessing values. This is a good time for any kind of risk management. Yes, it is possible that certain colleagues and business partners will be thinking now of moving on and yes, that could be deeply unsettling. Winds of change could blow Fick and fast and affect you deeply. They also promise exciting developments in and although there are likely to alter your career course, could lead you to a path that makes better use of your considerable talents. Dont underestimate your people skills or your ability to focus. In this respect, and wearing your whitecoat, you could analyse and give healthy opinion as to how a problem could yet be solved. In the process, youll surely secure your place.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!

Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

While your independent streak is an asset, at the moment it could complicate matters. Thats because a range of both the changes youre making and, equally, certain tricky dilemmas require teamwork. The problem but, also, the virtue is that others are more painstaking about details than you are, so slower. This once, be patient. Those minor but essential facts will soon prove to be crucial.

It won`t do you any harm to let a friend persuade you into joining them in a little trip out somewhere. You may have had other plans but give such a suggestion a try and you could discover a whole new area of enjoyment for the future. Your upbeat attitude will rub off on those around you both at work and at home. Whatever your aims and intentions, you will receive the support you need whenever you need it.

Expect to have to do much listening; and those closest to you – relatives and colleagues are likely considering major moves that would impact on you. It would be wise not to give opinion too early. Tempting as that might be especially around the first quarter moon on Friday, its probable that not everything has yet been thought through. Mercury is still retrograde. That doesnt mean that decisions will be overturned but that many ideas are still in a melting pot and not yet fully formed. It would be wise to keep council until early next week if you can. That said, it does seem likely that you will be asked to arbitrate between the past and the future; i.e., though it should be clear that the time is right for someone to move on to pastures new, there will likely be concerned as to how archives can be preserved. This though, is where you could excel.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!

Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Since mid-December, when both your ruler Saturn and the expansive Jupiter moved into the sign of innovation and breakthroughs, Aquarius, your life, and world, have changed. This, in turn, led to a shift in your perspective, about here and now goals and the future; and those changes continue. Tempting as it is to make plans, for now, continue broadening your horizons. The more you learn, the better.

Youre overly sensitive and emotionally brittle. You have a sinking feeling something is going to go wrong but you could be wrong. Often when you are feeling low everything seems worse than what it is. If you need help, ask for it. Your family and friends will feel good that they are able to do something for you that you will find useful. Youve done a lot for them recently and this is their way to repay you. Uplifting news received on Thursday will release some of your tension.

Work is hard. Youve always known that. Indeed, it may be that Capricorn is a born thinking that way. Finding pleasure in what you do may be one of lifes quests. Is perhaps as well that you do enjoy negotiating obstacles as a fair few could present midweek. The problem is really that others have grand ideas and proposals and yes, that many of these are super exciting, but the you know as well as them really, that they dont have the practical skills, or the capital or indeed the energy to see them through. Rather than abandoning the project though it may be that what is needed is to build a task force to complete one stage before the full moon at the end of April. In time limiting this and in preparing a schedule not only could you end the week feeling that youve made a useful contribution, you might also put in the essential staging posts to success.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!

Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Planning ahead may be a virtue; but between the insights triggered by the Aquarius New Moon, on Thursday the 11th and the coming weeks unexpected events, the more flexible arrangements and your thinking are, the better. Some changes will have been on your mind, but surprise developments will corner you into making others. Explore everything. That way, youll learn from every twist and turn.

Before making a start on a new project, there are things you need to sort out with a friend or someone who is close to you. Either they will volunteer to complete a job you had begun together or they will expect you to get on with it and get it over with. A strange situation you encounter on Friday will make you pause and wonder whether you should get involved. Whatever occurs, trust your intuition.

Perhaps more than any other sign, every seven years Aquarius seems to change direction. 2021 is likely to be one of those years. Decisions made this week could prove critical. Take your time. Recall that Mercury is retrograde in your sign. There is no need to rush. Tempting as it might be to stand your ground be firm, and show complete determination and focus. It might be as well to building a little flexibility especially where either property or career matters are concerned. You may not yet have all the facts. It`s probable to that someone close relative or colleague is arriving at similar conclusion. A clash of dreams is possible. This is where you need to employ good listening skills. Take note of body language. It is entirely possible that someone is avoiding telling you something they think you will be afraid to hear. All will surely be different early next week after Mercury turns direct. At that point, you may be more comfortable to declare your plans too.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!

Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Tempting as it is to side-line certain of your plans or projects to give those whore struggling a hand, youd soon regret it. Deep down, youre longing for a distraction from difficulties as complex as they are tedious. The irony is, once youre involved with these, youll realise how much youre leaning from them and, better yet, how worthwhile they`ll be in the long run.

A community effort has plenty of support but no real sense of direction. It might be time to suggest people get together to decide on a way forward. Dont be surprised if you are asked to take on a leading role. Everyone has been waiting for this chance to get organised and theyll be grateful for your efforts to bring them together to make for an effective team. If suddenly towards the end of the week you seem to have no energy, cancel plans and make some time for relaxation.

Instinctively you know how dreams are important and that they can become reality. You understand magic. So, its likely important to you to listen carefully to what others have to offer at the start of the week. This is your way of honouring them. That said, by mid-week obstacles will need to be faced if their visions are to be realised. Practicalities cannot be ignored. Whilst your window on the world might be literal!) and the opportunities others suggest maybe exciting on Monday, by Wednesday it should be apparent that all will not run smoothly. This could put you on collision course - especially with those born under the Fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. They may think youre being too fussy or even too idealistic. Expect to be challenged. Anticipate too, that if you can find compromise, then you could present a united force early next week after Mercury turns direct.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training
http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies

http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
  2. Herbalism 101
  3. Herbalism 202
  4. Herbalism 303
  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
The Healing Arts Certificate Program Four great courses! Buy three get one free!
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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 7-14 Feb 2021 ~ Thanks for Reading My Blog!

Since you are the one who has to live with your choices,
be sure they are your own. ~Alan Cohen

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for February: Violet: Faithfulness, Wisdom and Hope

February is Heart-Healthy Month, Black History Month

Celtic Tree Calendar
Luis (Rowan) January 21 to February 17

The Goddess Calendar
Month of Bridhe, begins 1/23 – 2/19

FEB. 7: Greek Day of Selene: Moon Goddess
FEB. 7: The birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who, with her daughter Rose, co-authored the beloved Little House books.
FEB. 10: National “Have a Brownie” Day.
FEB. 11: New Moon, at 2h. 8m. evening.
FEB. 12: Chinese Lunar New Year Day and lasting until JAN 31st, 2022. It will be a Metal Ox year.
FEB. 14: Valentine’s Day, voted the Sweetest Day of the Year by Chocolate Lovers Everywhere.

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Feb 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1PM – 3PM
Feb 21: Face to Face Class: Noon – 3:00~The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

Treat headaches with herbs. You’re reading, driving, working, cooking—and whoomf! a headache happens. For ordinary headaches caused by the stresses and strains of daily life, a calming cup of herbal tea may be all you need to restore your equilibrium. Use these dried headache herbs, brewed with 1 cup boiling water and sweetened with honey:

Lavender, lemon balm, meadowsweet, ½ teaspoon each
Sage, rosemary, mint, ½ teaspoon each
Rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, ½ teaspoon each
A cool lavender compress for the temples and a quiet rest in a dark room may also give you the relief you need.

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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CoventryCreations.com
February 8, 2021 – February 14, 2021:

This week is the most active of the month with five aspects and a New Moon in Aquarius. We start off the week with the Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius. It’s a great day for conversations and self-expression. If you want to start a new project or research a new business idea, Monday would be the day to do it.

Midweek, we have a nasty square between Mercury in Aquarius and Mars in Taurus. This aspect brings out ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome that is not easy to take back later. Thursday, Venus conjoins Jupiter and will smooth over matters easily.

During the weekend, we could not have better aspects of Valentine’s Day as Mercury conjoins Venus and Jupiter. Love is in the air for many, and the positive vibrations will linger into next week.

Best candles for this week – Uncrossing / Everything and then Some / Road Opener / Love’s Enchantment / Forever Mine

New Moon in Aquarius February 11, 2021
During this New Moon, we desire to expand our sphere of influence and open to new experiences. Choose well, my friends. The thoughts and activities you indulge in today direct the course of your future. Look before you leap and assess who and what you let into your mind and life.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Eight of Pentacles ~ Reversed

With the reversed Eight of Pentacles appearing this week, your focus is on self-improvement and personal development.

You are highly disciplined and dedicated to becoming the best version of yourself. You may even have specific practices, like a daily gratitude ritual, and perform these routines over and over until you see results.
Don’t get so focused that you are trying to perfect things to your detriment. When you focus on every tiny detail, you lose sight of the bigger picture and why you’re doing the task in the first place.
If your need for perfection gets in the way of your ability to adapt and change, then you may find that you become stagnant.
Take a step back and assess whether you are indeed focused on the right things.

Ask the Tarot: Do I need to shift my focus?
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The Energies of February 2021
by Good Witches Homestead

We are now just past the midway point between the solstice in December and the coming March equinox. Daylight hours are now expanding at an increasingly noticeable rate, bringing a welcome reminder that Spring is not so far away again.

Despite the winter cold, aconites, crocuses, snowdrops and the first delicate pink Hellebores are lighting up the corners in our garden and reminding us that it is nearly time for the next round of mother tincture making to begin. It is also a lovely reassuring reminder to us to connect in with the natural world any time we feel in need of a little extra stability and grounding.

As we venture forth into the energies of February there is still plenty of the same volatile intensity in the energy flow that we have experienced so obviously during January.

In general, we can expect a few more peaks of intenseness before the energies calm a little towards the end of the month. The winds of change are blowing strongly now, and we are all being helped in every way possible to awaken and recognise the need for us to take up our responsibilities as planetary citizens.

Be aware that we are in a phase of change where the old is falling away and the new is still being grounded into reality. The two ideologies, old and new, are currently clashing against each other and there is a need for us to focus our attention on what we would like to create rather than what is leaving. This applies to both our inner world and the external world of everyday life.

There are two major points of focus in the energy flow this month. The Aquarius Stellium on February 11th/12th (depending upon time zone) and the Uranus Saturn Square exact on February 17th.

Aquarius Stellium
A Stellium is the name given to the convergence of several planetary bodies into one area of the sky as seen from our perspective on Earth.

In this case we have no less than 6 planets temporarily hanging out together in the constellation of Aquarius for the New Moon on February 11th/12th. These are the Sun, Moon, retrograde Mercury, Venus, Jupiter & Saturn, together with the asteroid Pallas, which is recognised as an agent for change and consciousness raising.

Stelliums focus a great deal of energy in one place and are powerful in their effects. Since this one has its focus in Aquarius, we can expect that our attention will be drawn to Aquarian themes which highlight humanitarian issues, social justice, freedom and innovative technological advancements. Unusual, unexpected events and abrupt changes of course are also indicated here since the planet Uranus rules Aquarius.

The last time that we had a Stellium of planets like this in Aquarius was in February 1962. Looking back, we can see the huge process of change that it helped to facilitate. This was the beginning of an era of change in which we saw the hippy movement and ‘flower power’, ban the bomb and other anti-war protests, together with sweeping societal change that broke down old stereotypes and ultimately brought women’s liberation and gay rights amongst other things into prominence.

So, should you find yourself feeling somewhat challenged or overwhelmed by this energy just stand back, breath and remember that it is there to help you move on in whatever way is important for you. Follow the flow and it will offer you a grand opportunity to let go of something old from your past that you cannot take into the next exciting chapter of your journey.

This will be a powerful New Moon so do take time out to sow the seeds of what you would like to experience next with love and focussed intention.

Uranus Square Saturn
Despite the fact that this is a relatively rare alignment, Uranus will square Saturn in Aquarius three times over the course of 2021, the first of these events being on February 17th.

A square happens when two planets form a 90 degree angle with each other creating a tension between them as their differing ideologies clash. Uranian energies bring sudden change, rebellion, and the need for freedom, while Saturn is concerned with structure, limitation, and conformity.

We may feel this at an individual level as a strong impetus to make change and move forward in some way, coming up against a resistance that wants to keep us in a familiar comfort zone.

Again, just follow the flow and allow change to take place where necessary with as much grace and ease as you can manage.

The Influence of Aquarius
The influence of the constellation of Aquarius is always felt strongly on Earth during the month of February because this is when the Sun shines upon us from the Aquarian sector of the sky. This year the Aquarian influence will be felt even more strongly due to the unusual number of planets that will be gathered in Aquarius for the new moon on February 11th – see Aquarius Stellium above.

In astrology Aquarius is represented by the symbol of the water bearer, who freely distributes the waters of life and love to all. The airy, expansive energies of Aquarius stimulate connection to the higher mind and bring forward the spiritual values of unity, sharing, freedom and right human relationships.

From our perspective looking out to the cosmos from Earth, Aquarius is now occupying the influential position of Earth’s rising sign, as you might see it in an individual astrological chart. This means that we are now entering fully into the Age of Aquarius and that Aquarian energies will become a consistent and potent influence on Earth for the next 2000 + years.

The flow of energies from the cosmos this month will bring us a strong foretaste of some of the things that the coming Age of Aquarius will bring forward for us to focus on, both individually and collectively. Just pay attention and allow, there are exciting, expansive opportunities up ahead if we stay focussed on what is important for us.

The Increasing Speed of Change
As we venture forth into the energies of February there is still plenty of the same volatile intensity in the energy flow that we have experienced so obviously during January

The speed of change on our planet is absolutely breath taking at the moment. As the frequencies rise and rise again, there is a steady increase in the number of people who are waking up and beginning their journey of self-exploration.

For the many who are already awake there is much to do to help co-create the new reality we have been working towards for so many lifetimes. Yes, the energies of chaos that are currently engulfing our world are uncomfortable, but easier to accept when you remember that there is a lot that has to be transformed in order for something new to take its place.

The amount of light now being anchored on the planet is increasing the vibrational frequency exponentially and this, in part, is what is driving the speed of change. It is helpful to keep in mind that the energy flow we now experience on a daily basis is highly creative in nature and that anything we put our focus on will manifest very quickly.

Currently there are many things that we could put our attention on, so it is important that we choose wisely. Remember that low frequency energies and the drama that often accompanies them, are very magnetic in nature and can suck us in unless we are mindful. For best results, just observe, stay out of polarities of all kinds, and keep your personal vibrational frequency as high as you can.

Just making a practice of holding a stable vibration of peace, love and harmony can be a powerful assistance to those around you who might be finding the speed of change more difficult to cope with. Often no words are necessary, they will simply feel the frequency and lift their vibration to match.

Of course, it is not just in our outer world that the speed of change is increasing, the same thing is happening for all of us at an inner level. Anything we hold that does not resonate with the fifth dimensional patterning that we are moving towards is being brought into awareness. While this is often temporarily uncomfortable, the good news is that due to the acceleration in vibrational frequencies on the planet ‘stuff’ is clearing so much quicker than was possible in the past.

All we have to do is recognise, accept, and allow it to flow through. If you should find yourself in resistance to this process, then look at what the emotional hooks are that are keeping you stuck and use some essences to help them dissolve.

It is possible that we will all feel somewhat pushed on by the intensity of the energies this month, so if this is the case for you just keep in mind that the speed of change is your ally not something to fight against. The energies are just doing their best to lift you up and reconnect you with all of who you are at a multidimensional level, where your perspective will be so much more expansive.

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New Moon February 11, 2021 And The Year Of The Ox

This new Moon February 11, 2021 is a good month to take stock of what’s working for you in life, and what can use some improvement. And, while (safely) surrounding yourself and others is always important, it’ll be absolutely vital for you in February.

Year of the Ox
2021 is a year of the Ox, starting from February 12th, 2021 (Chinese lunar New Year Day) and lasting until January 31st, 2022. It will be a Metal Ox year. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.

This New Moon represents a time of giving back to the world and sharing the gift of hope. In today’s world being generous of spirit and giving and inspiring people to have hope is critical. We have gone through many changes over the last year and now that we are way past the holidays we can start looking at the world in a new light. The light of love!

In our day to day world it’s easy to get overwhelmed by negative energies. When we start tuning in each day to the love and light of God we start to see the world and a different way. This is what this new Moon is all about. This New Moon helps you see how your light sparkles into the world and what a difference you can make.

Hey, You may not know it, but I am an ordained interfaith minister and I practiced as a doctor of naturopathic medicine for 10 years. My love of the different Moon cycles comes from my heritage. I enjoy delivering these messages each month. Besides doing readings I do so much more such as animal communication and energy balancing, grief counseling, life coach, medical intuitive and spiritual cleansing. If you need help on changing your life contact me, Cherokee Billie, and together we will uncover the diamond of your soul! I offer countless Services, Customized Spiritual Intuitive Readings, Chakra Balancing, Spiritual Classes, and ebooks all designed to help you advance on your spiritual path.

The month kicks off with Venus in Aquarius, so expect to crave good, solid friendships. This is the month to have happy hour drinks on video chat. Even something as simple as calling up some buddies for a long catch-up, will leave you feeling amazing and connected. Many are suffering from the isolation factor. The the the the the the

But, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in February: Mercury is in retrograde until the 20th, and while it’s not that big of a deal, it will make you rethink some of the important things in your life.

New moons are always about planting new beginnings and this Moon is urging us to plant love and hope back into the world. New moons are always optimistic. It is a time to cleanse your spiritual and emotional self. When you do a cleansing you are making room for new opportunities and growth in your life.

If you do any type of ceremony or ritual for the New Moon make sure you send out the message of love, God’s Light, and hope. New moon rituals are perfect for planting new seeds and starting afresh. We are essentially working on the blank canvas of the dark moon where our ideas can gestate in the new moon soil. These thought-seeds are slowly awoken by the growing crescent moon as the day’s progress towards the illumination of the full moon. The darkness of the new moon gives peace and tranquility while our seed intentions slowly take root and sustenance form the fertile earth below. This period cannot be rushed and it is a great time to have some quiet dark-moon time to compose our goals and plans for the month ahead. Any wishes made at this time carry great force.

It’s not always easy to love people especially when they are filled with negative energies. This will be a New Moon that challenges you to rise above your personal feelings.

This is your opportunity to advance your soul growth. Do not let this moment pass you by. It is easy to say that I will do it tomorrow or the next day or the next day, and soon you will discover that ten years have gone behind you, and you will wonder what you did with your life during that time.

Even though you’re all about connecting and socializing this month, you’ll be ready for some solid alone time with YOU when the Sun moves into Pisces on the 18th. So, do some yoga, draw yourself a nice bubble bath, and just chill.

The month wraps up with the full moon in Virgo on the 27th, encouraging you to take a closer look at your at keeping everything in balance.

I love the work that I do and sharing my messages through articles and videos is my way of giving back to the world. I know that many of you look forward to what I write and what I will come up with in a video. It does take time and it is an act of love to do this type of work. So think about it – what can you do to send out the love vibration to the world. Each one of us is capable of doing it if we make that our intention for this New Moon and the Chinese New Year’s.

If you have felt that all of the good opportunities in your life have passed you by the OX is here to remind you that it is never too late. You still have time to succeed!

With the energy of the New Moon and the good fortune of the Ox it’s a perfect time to create abundance. Here is one of my favorite exercises on creating abundance in your life.

Abundance Check Ritual for the New Moon. Abundance Check for New Moon

Writing an Abundance Check is an exercise you can use to create more abundance in your life and the check is to be written within 24 hours after each New Moon. It is not necessary to put a date on the check and you DO NOT write a specific dollar amount on the check. Then put the check away in a safe place and forget about it. The Universe will take over from there.

Clean and shine the diamond of your soul and let that light shine before everyone, so that people wonder as you pass by-what it was that just touched their soul.

The Bible – Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I pray for you, even if I don’t know you, every day. I know that no prayer goes unanswered and I pray for each person to be touched by the spirit of love and be transformed into a sparkling diamond that reflects the light of God and Love.

Make a difference this year in your life and in your part of the world.

Shine on you precious diamond! Ten years from now you will look back in amazement at how much you have grown and changed your part of the world.

Find out what is ahead for you This Year with a New Moon Spiritual Intuitive Reading.

Happy Year of the Ox!
New Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Heartwings Love Notes 969: A Valentine for Lost Loves

Heartwings says, “Those we have loved and lost remain dear to us in memory.”

There are those I dearly wish I could send a valentine to, yet cannot. The post office does not deliver to heaven, where they now reside. One of them made the collage I admire so often as I come up the stairs to our apartment. It is by a late former neighbor. An image of a fairy in a lovely background, it hangs next to a plant that she had given to me when she moved. She was one of our dearest friends in the apartment building where at one time we both lived.

At her request, Stephen had given her a few lessons in collage and she took to it with great joy, turning out many wonderful pictures and improving as she did so. Eventually she had several exhibitions of her work on the walls of a local restaurant. To her delight she even sold some. After her move to a rest home, she would call us promptly at nine o’clock each morning but Sunday for a chat. How I miss those chats. She came to all of our parties and even to those of our friends. She was very popular. Everyone enjoyed her wonderful stories.

Her smiling face graces a spot in my kitchen. When I catch a glimpse of her,
I smile back. Though she had many health challenges she survived them all until in her late nineties, when she finally just wore out. She was a wonderful inspiration to me, and I often think of her and her cheerful attitude as she soldiered on through her various physical difficulties. She is one of a handful of dear ones I think of and send up a prayer of gratitude for, for their presence in my life.

At one time I used to make valentines and mail them to family and friends. It was a great pleasure to do, and I enjoyed the creativity. That was before various computer chores took up my time and energy. Now at least I can send ecards to most. However, those that I have loved and lost are beyond valentines of any sort. Perhaps instead I can send to my love with my thoughts to her and to others. I don’t have pictures of all of them except for her, so on this Valentine’s Day I will smile at her photo and blow her a kiss. As I do so, I will be remembering our good times together and feeling ever so grateful to have known and loved her.

May you have dear ones to remember with joy even if you miss them.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you have dear ones’ memories to share? I so enjoy hearing from reader and look forward to hearing what you may have to share. If you like, please write to me at tashahal@ aol.com, or if you’d like to read more love notes, visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Energy 101

Energy cannot be destroyed, but it can be changed and transformed.

There is an undercurrent of energy thrumming through the Universe. Like the wind or a whisper, we can sometimes hear it and often feel it. Most of the time, we sense this energy unconsciously without any tangible proof it is really there. Thoughts, emotions, and the life force in all living things are forms of this kind of energy. So are creativity, growth, and change. The impressions, images, and vague premonitions we get about people and situations are other examples of formless energy. When you enter a space and feel an “intangible tension” in the air that gives you a sense of foreboding in your gut, what you are likely experiencing is energy.

Energy cannot be destroyed, but it can be transformed or transferred from one person, thing, or source to another. Though energy is formless, it does take form and shape in the way it flows and resides within all things: a grain of sand, a bird, a stone, and an ocean wave. Living things radiate complex vibrations while nonliving things’ vibrations are simpler. Energy is a magnifier that can attract like energies while repelling disparate ones. Many of our reactions to people and circumstances are based on unconscious reactions to their energies. We may even intuitively tune into the energy of a situation we are facing when making a decision about how to proceed. With careful practice and meditation, we can learn to sense the energy within other living things and ourselves. We can also become more attuned to how we are impacted by different kinds of energy. For instance, being around too many energies can leave one person feeling edgy or excited, while another person will feel tired and drained.

While some people feel that energy can be controlled, others see it as the unknowable force that moves through all things. The combined energy in all things plays a hand in birth, death, growth, movement, and stillness. Practitioners of Aikido believe that all living beings share a common energy source that is our life force. Whatever your beliefs, it is worthwhile to explore the roles energy plays in your life so you can understand it more fully.

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Sacred Trees in the Americas: Rhododendron (Rhododenron maximum)
by The Druid’s Garden

I remember the first time I saw the largest Rhododendron Maximum tree. I had recently moved back to Pennsylvania, and I was driving on 422 towards my parents’ house when I looked to the left and did a double-take! An enormous Rhododendron, in bloom, at least 40 feet across and 20 feet high was in full bloom. And, it was dwarfing the house it was growing next to. After doing a little local research, I learned about how famous this rhododendron has been in our region. Ever since then, each time I pass, the Rhododendron and I exchange a little greeting.

As someone who lives in the Allegheny Mountains, Rhododendron has a special place in my heart. It is one of the dominant understory trees (and yes, it often is the size of trees here!), growing both in deciduous and conifer (Hemlock) forests, encrusting rivers, and streams, and adding so much beauty to our land. Often confused with Mountain Laurel (see this PDF for some differences), Rhododendron is part of the Laurel-Azalea-Rhododendron group of plants in the Heather family (Ericaceae). Rhododendrons can be found throughout the world and have some key distinguishing features. I’m focusing my attention today on the Rhododendron Maximum species, which is also known as Great Laurel, Great Rhododendron, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Bayis, Late Rhododendron, or Big Rhododendron. If you don’t have Rhododendron Maximum, you can substitute any number of other Ericaceae species such as Mountain Laurel, another Rhododendron variety (including ornamental), or Azaela. Many people have these shrubs growing already as ornamentals in their yards or local towns if they don’t have them in the wild, making this a good plant to work with not only for those in the Appalachian mountains but those in suburban and urban areas.

This post is part of my Sacred Trees in the Americas series. In this series, I explore the magic, mythology, herbal, cultural, and divination uses, with the goal of eventually producing a larger work that explores many of our unique trees located on the US East Coast. Other trees in this series include Witch Hazel, Staghorn Sumac, Chestnut, Cherry, Juniper, Birch, Elder, Walnut, Eastern White Cedar, Hemlock, Sugar Maple, Hawthorn, Hickory, Beech, Ash, White Pine, Black Locust, and Oak. For information on how to work with trees spiritually, you can see my Druid Tree Working series including finding the face of the tree, communicating on the outer planes, communicating on the inner planes, establishing deep connections with trees, working with urban trees, tree energy, seasonal workings, and helping tree spirits pass.

Ecology and Growth
The Great Rhododendron grows within most of the Appalachian Mountains, although the dominance and size can vary greatly. It spans from eastern Georgia to Nova Scotia, and I will say, it is particularly dominant and amazing here in the Allegheny mounts of Western Pennsylvania. Here, you can see it as a small shrub, 8-10 feet high, and up to enormous sizes. Rhododendrons can grow to 25 or 30 feet tall, twisting, beautiful, and magical. Their waxy simple leaves are evergreen, offering color and vibrancy year-round. In June, they bloom with beautiful pink clusters of trumpet-like flowers that provide a fantastic nectar source for bees, moths, wasps, and hummingbirds. This is why they are planted so widely as an ornamental–because they are truly stunning.

The leaves on the Rhododendron appear almost tropical. They vary from 3? to over 8? in length on older branches. They grow in a spiral pattern starting at the top of the branch and spiral down the branch, demonstrating the sacred geometry present in this lovely tree. Like other conifers, Rhododendron will drop and regrow a small number of leaves each year but stay green year-round.

In the wintertime, when the temperatures drop well below freezing, the rhododendron drops its leaves straight down and curls them up so that they look like long tubes. This prevents the leaves from suffering cold damage. As soon as the temperatures warm up, the rhododendron unfolds its leaves and spreads them to the winter sun. This shows incredible resilience and adaptability. One of the ways the hillbillies here in Western PA know it is “damn cold out” is by looking at the Rhododendron leaves!

Rhododendrons particularly like to grow along the edges of streams and are found in both deciduous oak-hickory overstory forests and also in Hemlock/white pine forests. It particularly enjoys wet areas, so you can often find it along riparian zones (particularly on the edges of smaller and medium-sized streams) and also in places where we have rocky outcrops, ravines, and hidden springs. Rhododendrons are usually kept in check by a thick overstory. There are cases where logging or other disruption of the overstory will allow the rhododendrons to spread for acres and acres–I once hiked through a few miles of one such situation in New England and it was quite an experience.

Rhododendrons to provide two important ecological functions: because of where they grow, their deep roots perform excellent soil and erosion control. Because they have large leaves that are evergreen, they also provide excellent shelter–particularly winter shelter–to a host of birds and small mammals.

The rhododendrons also grow in a very whimsical way–they grow twisted, branches coming out at odd angles, and sometimes growing down and back up again. I have long been a whimsical nature artist, and their whimsical, twisted, spiraling branches and trunks have always been an inspiration for me for my own work.

Uses
The Rhododendron, as an understory species, does not grow particularly large and thus, has limited use as a wood product. In fact, none of the books and resources that I currently use to research this series, none covered Rhododendron.

And yet, as someone who has worked with this wood, both to carve and burn, I am delighted to say that it is a wonderful wood. I seek it out for my artwork because it is just perfect–not as hard to work as oak or hickory, it has a softness similar to maple or tulip poplar. It has a rosy, soft texture, which is excellent for doing precise woodburning and carving. It has a very consistent light rose color from the thin bark to the core. I like to turn it into wands, staves, and most especially, create necklaces from slices. When I am kayaking out here on local streams and lakes, I look for recently dead rhododendron pieces for this work.

In the woodworking community, you’ll find other people posting about their experience in using it for wood carving, woodturning, and other fine wood products. One of the features of this wood that is often lauded is that it rarely cracks as it dries. The bushcraft community also uses this to make very fine charcoals for a variety of purposes. One of my future plans is to make charcoal and see how it works for art–my choice has been grapevine or willow for a number of years, but I suspect this may also work great.

One of the big debates about using Rhododendron is that the leaves and flowers contain grayanotoxin, which can be fatal if ingested. All evidence suggests that while the greenwood is toxic, the dried wood is fine to burn and to use (here is one such analysis). If you are going to do woodburnings or anything else, because of the plant’s toxicity, I do suggest that you invest in a soldering smoke absorber–these are very inexpensive and can filter out any smoke you may have concerns about.

Beyond the wood, I am unaware of any other uses. This is in part because Rhododendron (along with Azelela and Mountain Laurel) is poisonous, and thus, they do not have any herbal uses. When a plant does not have herbal uses, I have found it also often does not have magical ones, at least recorded ones. I have not found any lore or stories associated with this species, despite its critical importance and dominance in the ecosystem.

Divination and Meanings
Like some of my other overlooked understory plants, there isn’t a lot to go on without any magical or folklore traditions surrounding Rhododendron. Despite this, the ecological aspects themselves offer us some key insights. In particular, I think Rhododendron teaches us lessons about how to thrive in adversity and how to make the most of more difficult situations. While these are lessons that are always appropriate, they are particularly useful now.

Adaptability and Opportunity. As I recently wrote, there is a wide range of plants that thrive in the understory and that thrive in the cold and dark months when the overstory is bare. Rhododendron is one of these plants, demonstrating adaptability, resilience, and opportunity. Rhododendron offers a clear message: in times of dark and cold, find a way to grow, to thrive, and to make lemonade from lemons!

Extreme sheltering!
Sheltering in the extremes. The winter leaf foliage of Rhododendron takes the opportunity to spread wide when the warmer winter temperatures are present. However, when the temperatures go freezing, Rhododendron drops her leaves and curls the leaves up tightly to prevent frost damage. This adaptability, combined with shelter, is a powerful healing message. There are times we need to shelter, but we should only do so when the conditions warrant it. After a blast of sub-arctic cold and wind, it is ok to curl up tightly. The key is to remember to uncurl when the situation changes.

Growing your own way. Rhododendron is unlike anything else in the ecosystem here in Pennsylvania. It teaches us the power of individuality and growing in whatever whimsical and beautiful way you want. Rhododendron reminds us to be whoever we want to be. And we can do that regardless of the circumstances that are affecting the outside world. What a powerful and potent lesson for 2020 and beyond!

Dear readers, do you have experiences with rhododendron? If so, are you willing to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Blessings!

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Herbs Are Expensive – Grow Your Own
by Town & Country Gardening

Herbs Fresh or Dried purchased from your local Supermarket or Farmers Market are exceeding expensive.

These are sample prices taken from Walmart:
Litehouse Basil Freeze Dried Herbs $15.00 an ounce

McCormick Gourmet Organic Crushed Rosemary, $4.45 an ounce

Litehouse Chives $17.00 an ounce

Litehouse Parsley $14.00 an ounce

McCormick Gourmet Organic Thyme $7.60 an ounce

The best solution is to grow your own Herbs. Herbs take up little space and are very forgiving if neglected.
Most herbs will do well in containers, window boxes and planted directly in your garden soil.
If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them when cooking and serving meals.

Herbs Make Common Foods Taste Special

Sage is a herb that does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted about every 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them dry and in a dark place after drying. You will have wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Sage Use leaves flowers fresh or dried with stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects.
Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so each harvest yields two separate herb crops. 1)leaves and 2)stems.
Keep the stems in a freezer bag and use them for grilling skewers. Rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water it likes to dry out between watering. Being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most popular and rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you must be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs!
It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub like plants that enhance an entrance to your home. It’s tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from gardeners. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is so tasty, it will be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers Use in fresh or frozen soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Use leaves flowers with fresh or dried wild game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Use leaves fresh or dried with chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegar’s, salads, mustard’s, hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar sauce, soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Use leaves fresh or dried
in white and tomato sauces, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegar’s.

Rosemary Use leaves fresh or dried
with beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s, snack dips, and fresh garden salads.

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Having It Easy

Everyone must overcome difficulties, and everyone has been granted a distinctive set of talents with which to do so.

Our lives are an exercise in facing challenges. We dream the grandest of dreams as youngsters only to discover that we must cultivate copious inner strength and determination in order to meet our goals. Our hard work does not always yield the results we expect. And it is when we find ourselves frustrated by the trials we face or unable to meet our own expectations that we are most apt to take notice of those individuals who appear to accomplish great feats effortlessly. Some people’s lives seem to magically fall into place. We can see the blessings they have received, the ease with which they have attained their desires, their unwavering confidence, and their wealth. But, because we can never see the story of their lives as a whole, it is important that we refrain from passing judgment or becoming envious.

Throughout our lives, we glimpse only the outer hull of others’ life experiences, so it’s tempting to presuppose that the abundance they enjoy is the result of luck rather than diligent effort. In a small number of cases, our assumptions may mirror reality. But very few people “have it easy.” Everyone must overcome difficulties and everyone has been granted a distinctive set of talents with which to do so. An individual who is highly gifted may nonetheless have to practice industriously and correct themselves repeatedly in order to cultivate their talents. Their myriad accomplishments are more likely than not the result of ongoing hard work and sacrifice. You, no doubt, have natural abilities that you have nurtured and your gifts may be the very reason you strive as tirelessly as you do. Yet others see only the outcome of your efforts and not the efforts themselves

Our intellects, our hearts, and our souls are constantly being tested by the universe. Life will create new challenges for you to face each time you prove yourself capable of overcoming the challenges of the past. What you deem difficult will always differ from that which others deem difficult. The tests you will be given will be as unique as you are. If you focus on doing the best you can and making use of the blessings you have been granted, the outcome of your efforts will be a joyous reflection of your dedication.

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6 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Keep on Hand All Winter Long
By Hayley Sugg

These basic ingredients can help your body fight off wintertime illnesses.

At least once a year, it seems like everyone you know is sick with the flu, strep throat, or the common cold. Along with diligent hand washing and getting your flu shot, there’s an extra precautionary step to help you stay well—eating a healthy diet. While consuming wholesome foods doesn’t mean you’ll never get sick, adding these immunity-boosting ingredients into your meal rotations may help prevent illness.

Chickpeas
This versatile legume is a great plant-based source of zinc. A zinc deficiency has been linked to a lowered immunity, making you more susceptible to sickness. Other zinc-rich foods include red meat and chicken.

Garlic
It can be hard for your body to absorb zinc, but garlic contains sulfur which can actually assist your body with zinc absorption. Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant, with one study finding that it significantly lowered the subjects’ risk of catching a cold and shortened the duration of most colds.

Cold-Water Fish
Some research suggests omega-3 fatty acids might have beneficial effects on inflammation and its associated conditions, like heart disease. These healthy fatty acids can be found in cold-water fish like salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines. For vegetarian sources, try flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.

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Gilberto and Little Sure Shot
by Stephen Halpert

Gilberto stared at Maria. “You never told me you could handle a gun.”
She smiled as she put the finishing touches on their green salad. “Not exactly dinner table conversation.”
“But still, I’m your husband,” His voice on the edge of annoyed. ” I’m supposed to know things like that.”
Her eyes widened. “Why?”
His voice quavered. He shook his head. “It’s just important.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Not to me. It’s no big deal.”
“To me it’s a very big deal.” He frowned. “And you said you’ve stored your derringer in our basement storage. Shouldn’t it be registered? Isn’t there a protocol to follow?”
She sighed. “Gilberto, it’s an antique from around the time of the Civil War. My grandmother Ramona told me it was made in Hartford by Samuel Colt.”
His frown deepened. “In which case, it probably belongs in a museum.”
She added oil and vinegar to the salad. “Tomorrow I’ll go down to the basement and root it out of my storage boxes.”]
He shook his head and sighed. “I never thought of you as the type to handle a gun.”
“Is there a type?” she smiled. “When I was a teenager, Ramona would take me to her range and I learned proper procedures. She felt every woman should be able to protect herself just in case. I learned to fire everything from a 45 and a 38 to a Thompson Submachine gun.”
He cringed and almost spit up his coffee. “In case of what?”
She half laughed. “You never can tell. You know, someone breaking in. Unlikely but like the Boy Scout motto says, ‘be prepared.'”
He shook his head. “And if push comes to shove you know how to shoot somebody?” The idea of his pregnant wife standing down a gang of hardened criminals was not comfortable for him.
She went to the fridge. “Maybe I’ll add some pepperoni.” She turned back to him. “Do you disapprove of my having the derringer?”
He started to equivocate then stopped. “No, not exactly! But maybe our having something a little more powerful might make better sense.”
She laughed. “Like what? A Glock or an AK47?”
He shook his head and sighed. ” No Maria, I wouldn’t go to that extreme. Have you ever really used it in self-defense?”
She put the salad bowl on the table. Then turned, smiled, gently kissed him, and lowered her voice. “Maybe my having a gun turns you on?”
He laughed and snitched a slither of pepperoni. “In some crazy way, maybe just a little it does. But Maria this talk is all theoretical, considering you’ve never used it and probably wouldn’t, even in a time of a crisis.”
She sighed. “I never said that. I did once at a dance. Some older drunks invaded the party and decided to try to have their way with the younger women. The only way I could prevent anything like that from happening was by firing both barrels upward at the ceiling.”
His eyes widened. “Really! You did?”
She giggled the same way Joey would. “The noise from the shots was totally unexpected. One shot hit a lighting fixture and darkened the church hall. A rain of shattered glass fell onto the floor. The second hit a pipe and water started spraying.”
Gilberto grinned. “Good for you. Did you get into trouble?”
She shook her head. “Oh no, I slipped it back into my handbag and followed everyone else out. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever told this story to.”
“Wow, just like that!”
She grinned. “Anyway, push comes to shove, I know can protect you.”
Despite looking perplexed, he grinned. “That’s reassuring. Maria you continually amaze me.”
“I hope that’s a good thing.”
“A very good thing,” he laughed. ” And I always thought I’d be the one protecting you.
She kissed him. “I’m your Little Sure Shot.”
“Who?”
“Annie Oakley. That was her nickname when she appeared with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. She was my girlhood hero.”
He grinned. “Good for you.”
“Don’t stop thinking that way. But at least you know I can give you some backup. We are a team after all.”
He reached for another slither. “Yes, we are.”
Gently she tapped his hand. “Stop snitching the pepperoni. I wish I had lived in the old west and was a sharpshooter for Buffalo Bill. Maybe I was her in a past life
“You believe in that stuff?”
There was a knock at their door and Ramon, Rosa and the little girls came in.
They greeted one another and the little girls dragged Joey off to his room. As they were leaving Sophia said: “We decided we’ll both marry you but you can’t tell that to anyone or you could go to jail.”
Joey sounded alarmed. “I don’t want to go to jail. All I want to do is play soccer like Gilberto.”
“That’s all you ever say,” Antonia said. “But when you’re older you’ll change your mind. Once we’re grow up and are really beautiful, you’ll be glad to be our husband.”
Maria looked at Rosa and they both giggled. “When I was their age, Rosa said, all I thought about was sewing and cooking.”
Maria nodded. “At their age, who had any interest in boys?”
“We saw the two federales leave and drive away,” Ramon said. “Did they say anything about Lola?”
Gilberto shook his head. “They said she was a person of interest and possibly deep undercover but they had no idea for whom she may be working.”
“They also warned us about Joey or even me being kidnapped,” Maria said, concern evident in her voice.
“Who’d kidnap Joey or you?” Ramon said. “And why?’
“There’s a lot going on we don’t know,” Rosa interjected. “I’d rather all the cards were on the table. That’s the way I am.”
“I think we’re all that way,” Maria said.

To be continued

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Kitty Kat Korner!
Share your love for cats!

10 Signs Lockdown Has Made Us More Cat…
BY PORTSMOUTH CAT SITTING

With more of us spending time at home in local or national lockdowns, have we become more cat like? Many times while observing my cat Mr Ringo, it did make me wonder, who was watching who? It also made me smile when I realised that back in March, he had a more interesting life than mine. He went out more than me and saw more people, could go hunting and socialise with whoever he wished, makes you appreciate normal life doesn’t it?

So have the lockdowns made us more cat? Can you relate to these following things?

We have become meticulous in keeping our paws, sorry hands clean…

Have you become more territorial over things? Your home, garden and parking space?

Suddenly the view of your road from your window, is SO much more interesting, people watching is SO cool and don’t even start me on how exciting bird watching is!

Sleeping or napping in the day is normal now, not a guilty pleasure…

We’ve become obsessed with food and regular treats!
Do your ears prick up when your partner or housemate opens the fridge or cupboard? Do you hunt for food in the house?

Do you get excited when a new cardboard box is delivered to the door?

You have suddenly decided to take up meditation and yoga?
Cats have done this for ever…

To ensure your sanity, have you begun to run madly around the house for no reason other than exercise (hopefully not at 3am or after using the bathroom?)

Have you been startled by the the door bell or the landline ringing? “who’s that?” I hear you cry!

Finally when did you last go to the beautician? Are those whiskers I see growing?

Stay well and safe everyone and thanks for reading.

Love and Purrs Rachel From Portsmouth Cat Sitting xx

Rachel is an established cat sitter in Portsmouth UK, when she’s not busy cat sitting she studies feline behaviour, writes cat blogs and reads about cats ??

http://www.portsmouth-cat-sitting.uk/mog-blog/

February 2021 Cat Events
Interested in cat celebrations this month? We’ve found a few fun February cat activities to check out this month.

Stella Talks Exercise
Looking for a way to celebrate our feline friends this month? Here are a few fun February cat activities.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many events have been cancelled. But here are some virtual events you can check out.

All month: Spay/Neuter Awareness Month; Pet Dental Health Month; Cat Health Month
February 2021 cat events
Now’s your chance to enter the Cadbury Bunny tryouts! Photo courtesy Cadbury.

Today through March 1: Cadbury Bunny Tryouts
It’s time to let your fur babies shine! Cadbury is launching the third annual Cadbury Bunny tryouts. Last year’s winner, two-legged Coonhound Lieutenant Dan, will be a guest judge before he passes the coveted bunny ears to this year’s lucky winner. Tryouts are open through March 1, then voting will be open March 10 through March 17, leading up to the much-anticipated winner reveal on March 23. The new Cadbury bunny will grace screens across America as the new star of the iconic Cadbury Clucking Bunny commercials. The winner will also receive a $5,000 cash prize. And to give back to the animals who have brought us so much joy over the past year, Cadbury will continue its work with the ASPCA. This is the third year of this partnership, and Cadbury will be making a $15,000 donation to the ASPCA to further their mission of protecting and caring for animals. Follow Cadbury on social media at: facebook.com/CadburyUSA, instagram.com/cadburyusa and twitter.com/CadburyUSA.

February 2021 cat events

Feb. 11: Smarty Pets: Cat Weight Management
Is your tabby a little tubby? Check out this free event from Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Through a special Zoom seminar from 6 to 7 p.m., AWLA veterinarian Dr. Matt Galati will share practical information so you can help your cat lose those extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. The seminar is free, but donations to AWLA are appreciated. You also need to register to receive the link to join. Get more info here:

Feb. 20: National Love Your Pet Day
Obviously, we love our pets EVERY day! So it makes sense to commemorate our beloved companions with a special day of their own. Give your cat a little extra affection and pampering today to show them how much you love them.

Feb. 23: World Spay Day
Created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 as Spay Day USA, this day is meant to spread awareness about the importance of spay/neuter. There are so many benefits to spaying/neutering your pet: it improves his health and longevity; helps curb unwanted behaviors, like spraying and roaming; and helps reduce homeless pet overpopulation. You can help spread the word by promoting spay/neuter programs on social media using the hashtag #worldspayday. Learn more at dorisdayanimalfoundation.org/work/world-spay-day.

February 2021 Cat Events
Feb. 26: Tom and Jerry – the Movie
One of the most beloved rivalries in history continues in this eye-popping blend of classic animation and live action. When Jerry moves into New York City’s finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” the event’s planner is desperate to get rid of him, so, of course, Tom gets the job! But the ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and maybe even the hotel itself. To add to the chaos, a diabolically ambitious staffer conspires against all three of them, which forces the cat-and-mouse duo to do the unthinkable – work together to save the day. Directed by Tim Story, the movie stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost and Ken Jeong, and is slated for release on Feb. 26, 2021. Check out the trailer here.

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope
Sunday, February 07, 2021

All Signs
This week we have an Aquarian symposium. The Sun is in Aquarius. The New Moon is in Aquarius. Mercury retrograde is in Aquarius. Venus is in Aquarius along with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. (Didn’t you get the memo?) This is timely because it’s a signal that we’re shifting in a new direction, which is good and necessary. What can we expect? Huge advances in technology! Cooperation between groups and peoples of all nations! An ambitious start to achieve idealistic goals in the face of economic uncertainty! Ah yes, the light at the end of the tunnel that was turned off due to budget cuts is on again.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This heavy emphasis on Aquarius promotes interaction with friends and group activities – probably online. You’ll be active on Facebook and social media (or however you are in contact with friends and groups at this time). Friends from the past are back in the picture. The bottom line is for you to think about the friends that you have in your life. Are these quality people? Do they have your back? Is your life enriched or happier because of them? Life is too short to waste time on those who don’t deserve you. You’re quality goods!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This mosh pit of wild, Aquarian energy is taking place at the top of your chart, which means this is the culmination of a 30-year cycle, as well as a 12-year cycle. It’s a time when your cherished dreams are coming true and you are being noticed for your accomplishments. More than that, you are proud of your accomplishments! Because of the New Moon taking place at the top of your chart, this a good week to think or your life direction in general. Where do you want to be five years from now? Two years from now? One year from now? What do you have to do today to start to move in that direction? Ideas?

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
All this wild and crazy energy taking place in Aquarius means six events are doing their thing in the element of Air. And you are an Air sign! Connect the dots! You have a VIP pass to whatever you want to do, especially related to publishing, the media, medicine, the law and higher education or further training. It’s an excellent time to think about future travel plans, whenever this will be a viable opportunity (and that day will come, most certainly). Meanwhile, you don’t want to stand in place getting dusty. You’re eager to learn and expand your world! What can you do that will be adventurous and stimulating?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This week you’re focused on issues related to shared wealth and the wealth and resources of your partner or another party. This might include your involvement with an inheritance or something to do with insurance issues, taxes and debt. (Benjamin Franklin said the only thing we can be sure of is taxes, death and doing banking on cell phones.) Mercury retrograde will help you wrap up old business related to these areas. This is a benefit for you! Venus and Jupiter will favour you financially and attract gifts, goodies and favours from others to you. Another benefit for you! You wanted more?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This gaggle of planets in Aquarius is happening opposite your sign, which means you are focused on partners and close friends. You might also be dealing with members of the general public more than usual. Mercury retrograde will attract ex-partners back into your world in person or in your memory. You’ll be thinking about these people more than usual. The good news is that this will give you greater objectivity and a chance to learn more about how you relate to those who are closest to you. Meanwhile Venus and Jupiter will promote good feelings! They will encourage you to express your affection and make your feelings clear to those who are closest to you. It’s all good.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You are a doer. You are an Earth sign who likes to be efficient, organized, alphabetized and colour-coded. (Of course, perfection doesn’t exist.) Ironically, this heavy emphasis in Aquarius (six planets!) will make you want to be better organized in every aspect of your life. Yay! You want to be on top of things at work; you want to be healthier; and you want to be timely in how you do things, especially with a pet. Admittedly, Mercury retrograde will create delays and goofy mistakes – but nothing serious. The upshot is that it’s time for you to set some goals about what you want for yourself, especially in terms of your work in the next two years. Is it time to update your resume?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
All of this Aquarian activity taking place this week (see All Signs above) bodes well for you because these six planetary influences are happening in Air, and you are an Air sign. It’s as if the universe is offering you “direct support.” Such a blessing! Furthermore, this gaggle of planets is sitting in the part of your chart related to romance, parties, vacations, creative activities, sports and children – all that fun stuff! So, in a nutshell, this week, you want to have fun! Old flames are back in your world. People will reach out to you in person or online through social media or zoom because they want to share time with you. Children will be a source of joy! You will give yourself permission to be exactly who you are. No need to pretend.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
As you see in All Signs, there’s a lot going on the sign of Aquarius: The Sun, the New Moon, Mercury retrograde, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. All of this is happening at the bottom of your chart activating everything to do with home, family and your private life. (This includes your interactions with parents.) In broad terms – it’s everything to do with home and where you live now, and where you might live in the future; plus, everything to do with family members and your relationships to them. Mercury retrograde will put you in touch with relatives you haven’t seen for a while either in person, on social media or even as a memory? Venus will encourage you to redecorate and entertain your family bubble. Jupiter and Saturn will make you think about real estate and where you live.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This is a fast-paced time because this gaggle of planets mentioned in All Signs above is occurring in a part of your chart that affects your daily activity, your daily thoughts, your daily contacts and your daily habits. Naturally, Mercury retrograde will create snafus in these areas, which means you can expect transportation problems, mixed-up communications and misplaced items as well hearing from siblings, relatives and neighbours you haven’t seen for a while. However, all this will stimulate your mind! You will want to communicate to others! You might want to study and write more. Start making new plans that will affect your daily world.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Because this is the year that you are going to get richer, who is surprised that the planetary energy of six configurations (see All Signs above) is taking place in your Money House? Naturally! Admittedly, Mercury retrograde will slow things down and cheques in the mail will be late. However, Mercury retrograde will also give you an opportunity to wrap up old business and see old contacts that might boost your income or promote your moneymaking ideas. Meanwhile, Venus and Jupiter will attract money to you. If not money, then gifts, goodies from others and favours. Of course, fiery Mars wants you to play! It will energize your involvement in sports and any kind of social diversions that you are able to explore in these pandemic times.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Well, it’s all about you, dear Aquarius. Ex-partners and friends from the past are back in your world. Meanwhile, a variety of opportunities are coming your way because Venus and Jupiter in your sign and this attracts them to you! You have a strong desire to express your ideas to others, which is a good thing because people want to hear what you have to say. This is an unusual time for you because you are virtually setting out on a new 30-year journey, as well as a new 12-year journey (two separate influences). The bottom line is that you are going to grow and transform who you are and become a more evolved person. (You always knew that life was more than a dress rehearsal.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
This is an unusual time for you because the Sun, the New Moon, Mercury retrograde, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are all “hiding” in your chart. (There is plenty of room.) This means you are more in touch with your subconscious mind and how it affects you and directs your activities and influences your decisions. Oh yes! Important to know! Memories of childhood behaviour patterns will appear. You’re happy to be low key and perhaps do research. You will be giving in your romantic relationships. (Some are having a secret affair.) Overall, you are exploring your spiritual world, and starting to wonder where this might take you. (If you believe in fairies clap your hands!)

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Weekly Horoscopes ~ Sunday, 07 February 2021

If you’re born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); you’re advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You’re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

The week’s biggest challenge is accepting that things won’t go as swiftly or, in fact, the way you planned. Annoying as obstacles are initially, gradually you realise how profitable the resulting problem-solving discussions are. So much so, you forget about being in a rush to get things done and find yourself enjoying the process of investigating the source of delays and how to remedy them.

Take a practical and cautious approach to any changes you’re thinking about making especially in the financial or career areas. Think about what has motivated this desire for change. Is it a temporary restlessness or a real need to bring improvements into your life? A colleague or neighbour really won’t mean to upset or antagonise you but their attitude will start to get you down. Their lack of consideration for your feelings could cause a major bone of contention.

Think ‘team’. Managing a group of people – each of whom have different values and backgrounds – will be challenging. This theme continues throughout the year, but this week could be a particularly demanding exercise. It’s possible that you will be offered a role that would require you to step away from an existing group and affiliate elsewhere. Tempting as this may be, the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. It would be unsurprising if you were at loggerheads – especially with those born under the Fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius or if you were caught up in a political dilemma. The art may be not to be too rash (an Aries trait!), and instead to consider options carefully.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Even the simplest of plans are unlikely to go as expected. Accept that, and instead of grumbling or trying to keep arrangements as they are, you’ll begin to explore your options – and you’ve lots. What you discover will be as exciting as it is unexpected. While, initially, you’ll be tempted to reorganise plans based on what you’ve learnt, keep both arrangements and your thinking flexible.

You’re reluctant to admit you are disappointed with someone but you are. They have let you down and you don’t deserve to be treated in this way. It’s important to put the past behind you and to look upon the here and now with fresh and more optimistic eyes. There is a lot happening around you that could be good for you. Be assertive and don’t drag your heels. You don’t want to let some good opportunities pass you by.

Colleagues might wonder what on earth has got into you. The presence of Mars in your sign at the same time that a large grouping of planets is at the apex of your solar chart suggests you could be in ‘bulldozing’ mode: determined to carve a new path. Yes, this could be exhilarating for you: remember though, that Mercury is retrograde and that an alteration or refinement of plans will likely be necessary once that planet turns direct in a few weeks’ time. Building in a degree of flexibility would be wise. It’s worth noting too, that around Thursday’s New Moon, your ability to master new technology looks to be much enhanced. In fact, you could surprise a few people by taking to this with ease.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

As an inquisitive Gemini, you’re well equipped to deal with both changing circumstances and the twists and turns triggered by your ruler Mercury’s retrograde cycle. While you’ve an instinctive understanding that even the simplest of plans should be regarded as more of an experiment than anything lasting, certain individuals will still battle changes of any variety. Leave them to it. They’ll soon learn what’s best.

You might casually mention something you have to do to a friend or neighbour. When they volunteer to do this for you, don’t say no. Thanks to their helpfulness you will find yourself with some much-needed time to call your own. If you’re single, lonely and looking for love, post an intriguing profile on online dating site. Your mood is imaginative and creative and you will get an enthusiastic response.

Generally, Gemini loves information. Even better, Gemini likes taking news from one place to another. Obviously much depends on your age and actual birthdate, but there is now strong likelihood of you seeking out better quality information. This week the thirst to acquire technological expertise, will likely increase. Yes, this might mean going back into a classroom situation – but this may be something you’re ready for. Another possibility is having to learn more about medical procedures and or the inner workings of health institutes. All of this will surely be challenging, and yes, exasperation could arise if someone is not forthcoming with the exact nuggets of information you need – especially between Tuesday and Thursday. Following Thursday’s New moon however, not only might you have grasped and understood a situation exactly, you might also realise that you need to sit on information for a few days as you determine how best to transfer it from one place to another.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

True, certain events are unsettling; but as many are exciting, if not genuine breakthroughs. Your only problem is that not everybody agrees. Forget about trying to win those who’re unsure over to your way of thinking. While it may seem uncaring, simply proceed on your own. Soon the individuals in question will realise how well things are going. Once they do, the rest will be easy.

A senior colleague is not taking you very seriously. You feel they are deliberately pulling your efforts down. They aren’t paying any attention to your ideas and suggestions and you may feel even less like submitting to theirs. Put difficult chores off if possible. You may not be keen on plans being discussed in the family. If you have your own ideas or you want something different, make your wishes known so at least they can be considered.

Irritation or exasperation – most likely with an Aquarius is probable. Yet it could be that all those born under the Air signs of Gemini, Libra or Aquarius develop an uncanny knack of pressing all your ‘wrong’ buttons this week. You know that the best way to ensure progress is to work together as a team, harnessing the best that each individual has to offer. Presently though, with so many planets grouped in Aquarius, individualism and eccentricity might trigger greater enthusiasm than the desire to pull together as a team. Things should ease after the New Moon on Thursday 17th. Though Mercury is retrograde until 21st, between 17th and 21st, you could re-establish authority and set out a framework that brings people together once more.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

At the time of the late January’s powerful Leo Full Moon, you decided to abandon a range of plans and began exploring others. While you didn’t anticipate delays, you faced confusion and setbacks. While frustrating at the time, you’re now grateful. Why? You’ve encountered intriguing new ideas or offers. Some may seem disruptive but, as you’ll soon discover, they are actually timely and helpful breakthroughs.

A community event will feel different to usual. You had been expecting this but you had hoped it would have been more enjoyable. A friend or workmate will seem to take offence at everything you say. This is a rare occurrence and may make you quietly look into what is going on. Your research will alert you to illnesses people suffer from that can’t necessarily be seen. Setting up an online course or workshop will help raise awareness.

Firstly, recall that Mercury is retrograde and in your opposite sign. Is not necessarily the case that people are rethinking their position with a view to changing it, but they are rethinking and refining. This could yet work to your advances. True, with Mars and Uranus now at the very apex of your solar chart, it might seem that your aims and objectives are being deliberately thwarted. Perhaps you could view this as a cosmic test in patience? The interesting thing in all of this is that in order to move forward compromise will be necessary. That’s not an unachievable aim. By Friday and having accepted that certain practices cannot be sustained, you could, with the assistance of someone born under one of the water signs of cancer, Scorpio or Pisces find a way forward that embraces new ways of working.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Once you understand that, between the unsettled situations you’re dealing with and your ruler Mercury being retrograde until the 21st, triggering confusion, you’ll recognise even simple plans should be regarded as an experiment more than anything lasting. Resist the temptation to rush things. Intriguingly, what you learn will provide insights that are valuable now, but are likely to be crucial over the next few weeks.

You’ve been through a tough time and it’s understandable that you are keen to unwind. A difficult situation in the workplace could probably have been handled a lot better but it is done now. You support measures that keep people safe but you don’t feel you are being supported. If possible, make it your aim to get out and about. Occupy your mind with as many outside interests and stimulations as possible. An online course or workshop prompts you to look further into a subject that suddenly fascinates you.

Whilst others seem hellbent on finding new ways of working and do so in transit by new technical systems, your role is likely to look to be to ensure that adequate risk assessment is undertaken. This is where you excel. Nor should it be overlooked that you to may be intrigued to learn how new systems work. It’s just that in your case, in embracing the new, you also take account of the best of the past. True, this could put you on collision course with someone born under one of the air signs of Gemini, Libra or Aquarius who though they think they’ve thought things through crop clearly haven’t. You may need to stand firm and ensure that backup systems will operate if the new system is placed under duress.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

As a Libra, you’ve a huge respect for the value of close relationships, with family, loved ones and close friends; but you also value your links with those who’re part of your neighbourhood or working life. While you’re aware not everybody cares as much, you’ll be shocked by the uncaring attitude of certain individuals. Don’t take it personally. They’ve no idea how they’re coming across.

Avoid jumping to conclusions. An older colleague or relative may make a comment you don’t agree with. They aren’t getting at you no matter what you might think. They will welcome your views and they are willing to change their mind if you can suggest better alternatives. Try to take a less emotional view of events later in the week. It would be easy to imagine slights that aren’t there and even to build difficulties up out of proportion. Be honest about your feelings.

With so many planets now moving through your research and development area including a retrograde Mercury, you could yet come up with a superfine plan. Yes, this will probably require rethinking a system that’s been in place possibly for as much as a decade; and yes, you might need to dig deep into archives to see the original blueprint before you recreate something that is more apt for now. All this though is something that you can and could do most likely with the expertise of someone born under one of the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. In fact, your willingness to create a partnership could make all the difference by Friday. Career wise then, it seems you moving off in altered but constructive direction; but yes, to do this, might require investment of time if not actual cash.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Since late January, you’ve fended off unwelcome changes in several close arrangements, some personal, others out in the world. While you’re aware of the need to rethink things, the process requires time, thought and discussion. Judging by the current and coming weeks’ planetary activity, you’re better off plunging in, then discussing what’s best while in the midst of those changes. It will be easier for everybody.

You want to be there for someone who is feeling down but you aren’t sure what you can do to help. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything. You just need to let them know you are there for them to make a difference. You’re concerned with a matter that crops up which you hadn’t expected to have to deal with. This will be a rare occurrence but it is a one that cannot be ignored. An older colleague or relative may have some useful suggestions.

Irritation and exasperation may never be far from the surface. The main issue for you may be that too many people want to go off at tangents and or are two fixed in their thinking. It is just possible that you come into that group 2. Yours is one of the fixed signs of the Zodiac and with so many planets grouped in other fixed signs presently, it might be rather easier to stand firm and dig your heels in rather than to accept the inevitability of change. Fact is that scientific advances and new technologies will need to be embraced sooner rather than later. This though could put you on collision course with certain individuals who seem determined to cling onto outmoded ways of thinking. Where you could excel however is in creating new contacts. Old relationships could be under considerable stress wears partnering especially with those from other generations, could prove easier and potentially more rewarding.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

The fact is, several changes are pressing. However, getting others to agree to a single plan, then to take action swiftly won’t be easy. Simply take over the decision-making process but avoid discussions. You’ve done this before and it’s time to do it again. The irony is, few will notice and those that do will thank you for having that courage to take those vital first steps.

A colleague who breaks the rules is heavily reprimanded and expects support when they air their grievances. You cannot in anyway try to influence others to support them when you feel they have behaved badly. It would appear to you they have only got what they deserved. Communications with friends are fun. You might get the impression someone is embroidering the truth a little but they are making you laugh and you won’t be the one to take away their artistic license.

Bowl Sagittarius is one of the mutable signs implying versatility and multitasking, it could also be said that once you’ve identified a goal and made plans to achieve it, you can’t be deflected. That’s under normal circumstances. Outrage early this week though could lead you to amend your strategy. It may be that you now know more. Mercury has now been retrograde for over a week. You may now be learning new facts and have identified an information source that could be explored further. Challenging others about rules and restrictions could be the dominating theme in the first half of the week but in the second, forming alliance with someone who seems in the know looks to be more important. This also the high probability before the weekend, but being introduced to a new health regime which brings apparently immediate benefits.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

By now you’ve probably realised that what, only recently, would have been simple plans not only won’t last, they’ll change, and change again. What’s more, with your ruler Saturn at odds with inventive Uranus next week, and again in June and December, it’s just the beginning of this cycle of twists and turns. While they’re unsettling, they’re also leading to breakthroughs you’ve long dreamt of.

Lately, worries about money, work and health have been getting you down. Headaches and stress related illnesses are making it hard for you to fulfil obligations as you would like to. News you hear will shed light on a long-term problem and will give you hope for the future. Past worries will be put behind you and you can look steadfastly ahead. A neighbour expects you to have time to listen to their grievances. You have too many concerns of your own to be interested.

At the start of what promises to be a super busy week, the moon is in your sign. It’s probable that others will be looking to you for guidance. Recall that Mercury has been retrograde for over a week. It may be that certain individuals now realise that the path chosen is a costly one. This then could be a good time to renegotiate. This also the high probability of renewing contact with someone you worked with before and who could yet smooth your career path again. That meeting might not take place until the end of the week and in the meantime, there may be other hurdles for you to negotiate. In particular, the fact that someone who is supposed to happen expertise fails to show this could be a source of much disquiet and potentially derail the project mid-week. Knowing however that you do have that other contact to develop should ensure that the end of the week ends, sparkly note.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

While Thursday’s Aquarius New Moon marks a sort of personal New Year for you, with so much in transition in your own life and world, the path ahead is unlikely to be clear. Knowing that, tempting as it is to turn seemingly simple ideas into lasting plans, you’re better off regarding what you organise, for now and for the future, as a bit of an experiment.

Great efforts have been made to improve your working environment. It will be a relief to be separated from a moody colleague who has been causing problems. New routines will work well for you and you will take to new tasks like a duck takes to water. Your involvement in a community exercise is gratefully received. You have a support network of people who advise and help each other and who are enthusiastic to raise funds for a worthy cause.

It might not seem to you that you’re going back on your word, but others may feel you are doing. Yes, there is the potential for you rethinking and re-orchestrating your plans. You could leave a few people mystified midweek. Is almost as though you’re speaking the language from another planet and they can’t quite union. The upside of this, is that you could easily engage with those most likely of your own sign or will have particular technical expertise. It will be the only sign drawn to new systems presently but could be one of the few who sees the immediate benefits of making use of these. Not being so tied to the past was surely be to your advantage. Amidst all this though, news that would affect how you live and work could destabilise you before the weekend. Note that midmonth your two ruling planets Saturn and Uranus arrive at their right-angle phase. It may be that this is one of your life journeys turning points and that what you choose to do is based on information you receive this week.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Most Pisceans are idealists. However, you also have an understanding that while certain promising arrangements will fall into place like magic, others will take time or, possibly, require discussion, if not a serious rethink. This, in turn, could mean re-evaluating your priorities. At the moment, that might seem a compromise. If you’ve doubts, be flexible. Within a short time, you’ll realise how wise this strategy is.

A group project is floundering through a lack of communication. Take the bull by the horns and appoint yourself as the person to get everyone together. Whether you are able to meet in person or it is a virtual meeting, it’s important that everyone agrees the next steps to take to get this project moving. You can’t avoid the need to take a look at a financial matter even if you aren’t in the mood. If recently, you’ve made a big decision, you are about to discover you have done the right thing.

It would be wholly understandable if your imagination was in overdrive. You may be deeply unsettled by news or hints of developments. Bear in mind though that Mercury is retrograde in neighbouring Aquarius. It is possible that others are floating ideas but haven’t yet made firm plans. Now would not be the time to over react. That said, it’s likely true that plans are being made but that as yet these may be either impractical not yet fully costed. Reacting to quickly would be unwise. It’s not so many weeks now until Mercury arrives in your sign and when you may have a better sense of what it is that is proposed and how you would fit in. For now, you could use this extra mental energy to master elements of social media that have so far eluded you. It’s the technical aspect of this that might require particular attention. Though this is likely not the best week to invest in new equipment, learning what’s on offer could yet be a wise move.

Monthly Horoscopes for February 2021

If you’re born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); you’re advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You’re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this month:

Only now that you’re looking back on the frustrating last half of 2020 is it clear how much you learnt about yourself, but also about your world, especially what works and what doesn’t. Consequently, you’re rethinking everything from elements of your everyday routine to your long-term goals. Be aware that, appealing as certain options are, what’s best is unlikely to appear until late February. While you’re probably in no mood to wait, in this case, it will be worth your while.

Friendships will be a little strained as January gives way to February. Your focus will be on making money, which could keep you from spending as much quality time with loved ones as you should. On February 11, the New Moon will force you to put greater emphasis on your social life. When it comes to increasing your income this month, who you know is just as important as what you know. A work opportunity involving a cultural or charitable organisation could arrive during the second half of the month. It’s possible you’ll be working from home and earning a great deal of money in the process. The Full Moon on the 27th will find you reaping the rewards for a job well done. Buy new equipment.

For the first time in three decades, Venus aligns with Saturn in Aquarius. You may not be old enough to experience the financial ripples that this brought last time. Now you may be asked to make firm financial agreement which might include restructuring. This should be possible by the New Moon on February 11; and yes, that could give rise to feelings of euphoria and confidence. Be aware though, that in 2021, Saturn and Uranus arrive at right angle. As viewed from Earth, in 2021 this happens three times: this month, in June, and again at the end of the year. This is likely to deliver a blow in certain market sectors and yes, you could feel the brunt of this. A strong possibility is that what was considered to be new and exciting technology is suddenly obsolete given fast-moving developments. Care then should be taken if purchasing equipment as it is entirely possible that better models will be available soon. In the meantime, and especially after Mercury turns direct on February 21, you could make a purchase that has bargain written all over it.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this month:

Although January’s frequent and extensive changes were unsettling, deep down you knew they were in your best interests. The problem, of course, is understanding exactly how you’ll benefit. As a practical earth sign, you’d prefer hard facts to mere hope. Be patient. During February, things will begin coming together, but slowly. True, it’ll be challenging. Stand back, wait and watch. By March, the picture will be clear; and the outcome? It will be different from, and far better than, anything you’d imaged possible.

February has lots of career opportunities for you, but you must be flexible when considering them. Taking a job in an industry that has never appealed to you could be a blessing in disguise. You might find you have a hidden talent for this kind of work. The New Moon on the 11th could be the catalyst that forces the issue. Be open to exploring influences and ideas contrary to the image you want to project; you will be pleasantly surprised. Friends can be an enormous comfort during the middle of the month. When you’re not sure which direction to take, call someone with a sympathetic ear. The Full Moon on the 27th could find you getting a job, raise, or promotion. Buy yourself a handsome reward for your hard work.

February’s planetary pictures are unlike any that you’ve experienced in your lifetime. Both Mars and Uranus are travelling through your sign, whilst another group has formed at right angles to this. This should bring entrepreneurial flair to the surface. Doing so things your way will likely seem imperative; and yes, you’re right this could bring financial breakthrough – especially around the New Moon on February 11. True, Mercury will still be retrograde, but that is not necessarily a bad thing: several companies came into being with retrograde Mercury and are still going strong. In fact, one of your more creative ideas could take off superbly midmonth. It’s your ability to harness an old tradition with new technology that should ease your financial path. Once Mercury turns direct on 21st, rewards should then come. In fact, this might give you ideas about investment in the last days of February. These will likely include a significant purchase that would make your life easier.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this month:

While February’s twists and turns are unavoidable, with so much of your life changing, even hugely unexpected events are equally informative and exciting. True, with your ruler Mercury retrograde, or in reverse motion, from 30 January to 21 February, unsettling questions could undermine your confidence. What’s more, the resulting insights mean letting go of once-prized arrangements or personal alliances. The solution? Seriously consider others. While you may struggle at the time, you’ll soon be grateful you’re free to explore thrilling if entirely unexpected future plans.

Legal matters could occupy most of your time and attention this month. There’s a chance you’ll be disappointed by an official decision. If you experience a setback, keep your chin up. The New Moon on the 11th will force you to go public with a secret. After your initial embarrassment, coming clean will be a relief. Giving a professional presentation during the second half of February is likely to go very well and bring exactly the results you are hoping for, even if it’s just via video conference. Your audience will be uplifted and inspired by the rosy picture that you paint. If you’re unemployed, you could have a successful interview. A firm offer to work from home will arrive near the 27th, courtesy of the Full Moon. This is a cause for celebration.

By the end of 2021, you may know far more about crypto currencies. This is the dawn of a new age. Learning how to live without using cash is a big – and dominating – theme for some signs; but yes, this could be a nightmare for some. Maintaining track of costs could be super difficult for Gemini. Especially around the New Moon on February 11, a technical breakdown could prove costly. With Mercury retrograde until 21st, it might also feel as though so much more is going out than coming in. You may be affected by rules and regulations far beyond your control. Finding ways around these will surely exercise your brain cells. It is entirely possible though that you make an astute financial move in the last days of the month. Don’t underestimate your ability to take advantage of deals. In this respect, you could be super successful – especially if you join forces and increase bargaining power.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this month:

During February and, actually, the first half of 2021, you’re urged to put yourself first. The Cancer Full Moon, on 30 December, brought crucial matters to a head, forcing you to make pivotal decisions. Now others are wrestling with unexpected developments. Leave things to them. That may seem selfish, but their dramas aren’t yours to deal with and, what’s more, you’ve several exciting ideas or offers to explore. For once, put what’s next, and your own interests, first. You’ll be glad you did.

Beware of mixing friendship and romance in early February. Although you may be irresistibly attracted to someone you’ve known for years, you aren’t well suited as partners. It’s best to keep things platonic. On the 11th, a financial windfall will come your way, but it will have strings attached. Carefully consider whether you want to be connected to someone who will manage the dispersal of a group fund. An opportunity to expand your horizons could arrive around the middle of the month; it’s also a good time to take an advanced course, teach a class, or publish some writing. The Full Moon on the 27th brings good news about a community matter. Additional amenities or services in your area could make daily life much easier.

It wouldn’t be surprising if you felt that prices and costs were only going one way: up. The same though could be true of investments. Yet in 2021, the two planets, Saturn and Uranus arrive at right angle. As viewed from Earth, they do this three times: mid-February, in June and again at the end of the year. One of these occasions will likely bring market correction, so you are likely right to be suspicious and to be circumspect with purchases. Prices could yet fall. With Mercury retrograde until February 21st, this would be an excellent time to review costs, obtain estimates and begin the process of bargaining. You won’t be the only sign to achieve success here – notably in the last few days of February. Cancerians are generally thought of as being canny and financially astute. Yet this trait would put you at loggerheads with someone with whom you share financial commitment. Tension is probable midmonth. It might take a few days to realign. It seems however that by the 26th, that in partnership, you will realise a financial goal.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this month:

You begin the month feeling unsettled if not confused. Between the changes triggered by powerful planetary activity and the insights triggered by the Leo Full Moon on 28 January, early February is about questions regarding what’s next and, possibly, who to trust. As a fire sign, usually you’d plunge in. However, you’re conducting an extensive review. This involves letting go of element of the past and considering future options. True, some seem unappealing – but your instincts say they’re worth exploring. They are.

Striking a healthy balance between your personal and professional lives will be challenging at the beginning of February. Although your best friend or romantic partner will want to spend more time together, you’ll feel compelled to put more hours into your work and longer-term professional prospects. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your loved one on the 11th, when the New Moon will compel you to refresh your commitment. If you don’t, there’s a good chance the relationship will end. Your allure will be heightened during the second half of the month; use it to get favours and win hearts. After a series of false starts, you can sign a contract that gives you more creative freedom. The Full Moon on the 27th will bring a big payment.

With so many planets grouped in your opposite sign, Aquarius, and Mercury retrograde in that sign until Sunday 21st, it might seem that others hold all the cards and that they are playing with your fire and enthusiasm. Yes, there may be many moments when you feel angered and where your finances suffer unexpected blows. Key dates include 1st, 8th, 10th 17th and 19th. These should not be knockout blows. They simply require you to think carefully and, most likely, accept new restrictions. If 2020 was the year of the ‘great financial reset’, 2021 should be the year of the ‘great rebuild’. That is likely to require huge creativity, understanding and certainly no obstinacy. Clinging on to old ways of working will simply not do. Much could turn in your favour two days before the Full Moon on 27th. It’s then that an opportunity could arise which, though it would require acceptance of a new way of working, would see your financial flow improve.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this month:

During February things are unlikely to go as you expect or planned. Acknowledge that and, equally, that ultimately, you’ll benefit, and everything else will make sense. True, with your ruler Mercury retrograde from 30 January until 21 February, confusion is inevitable; but, often, this too leads to worthwhile insights. The irony is, because you’re taking things slowly, you’ll spot minor but thrilling ideas or offers that otherwise you’d have bypassed. It’s the same with decluttering your life. Make ‘Less is More’ your motto.

Take good care of your health throughout the first half of the month. Practicing relaxation techniques can alleviate persistent aches and pains. Instead of overanalysing problems, learn to release your anxiety. Cultivating contentment may be easier than you think, especially after the New Moon on the 11th. A dream job will be yours for the asking in late February. This is your big chance to earn a living in a field that draws on your creative ability. A partnership will assume an increasing importance as the month draws to a finish. If you’re looking for love, you could find it with someone who seems to read your mind. The Full Moon on the 27th will prompt you to do something special for yourself.

It should now be clear that we have entered a new age. The large grouping of planets in the Air sign of Aquarius clearly affects all signs with some benefiting more than others. Yours is one of the Earth signs. With so much Air around, it could feel as though you’re caught in a windstorm. Far too many ideas, insufficient practicality, and, where cash flow is concerned, difficulties in grasping exactly where things are at. Volatility is the key word. Add to this, Mercury is retrograde for much of the month: indeed, until just a few days after the Sun has moved into your opposite sign (18th). It could then be the week beginning Monday 22nd before you feel you have sufficient facts and understanding as to how others are handling financial matters. The mess they’ve created could, – as you see it – be considerable. Note however, that February sees the first of three right angle alignments between Saturn and Uranus. Each is likely to bring fresh regulations and proposals of how to build and move forward. Yes, this could be deeply unsettling but, in the last week of February bring you an opportunity to both re-stabilise and invest.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this month:

There’s a difference between things going according to plan, which they won’t, and events being in your best interests. They’ll turn out better than you anticipated. However, the timing and even details won’t be as expected. The trick? It’s to spot those changes. Then, unless they’re crucial in practical terms, don’t battle them but busy yourself elsewhere. Also, you’ll appear calm while struggling with anger about others’ attitude or behaviour. Try setting clear limits, then backing off. Ultimately, it will be better, and easier.

Your love life could be a little chaotic throughout early February. If you’ve recently embarked on a romance, resist the urge to speed up the courtship process. It’s best to let your relationship develop gradually. Do you already have a partner? Caring conversations can pave the way to passion; don’t jump straight to physical gratification. A wonderful idea for a creative project will occur to you on or around the 11th, thanks to a stimulating New Moon. Don’t worry about selling your work at this stage; just focus on finishing it. Embarking on a fitness regimen is strongly advised for the second half of the month. Taking more exercise will release tension. On the 27th, a handsome payment will finally arrive.

You are far from the only sign required to think differently about business and financial matters in 2021. If 2020 was the year of the ‘great financial reset’, 2021 should be viewed as the year of ‘research and development opportunity’ – especially for those of your sign. This month could bring one of your finest hours. True, Mercury is retrograde but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it will be imperative to go back carefully over contractual obligations and check small print. This is particularly important between 17th and 21st. Yet with this attention to detail and likely working with a new team, you could yet make significant progress; building on an idea that’s been germinating for some weeks. Saturn and Uranus come to right angle in 2021 and, each time, including the first on February 17, could bring fresh rules and regulations. Rather than balking at these, you could perhaps think of ways to use this to your advantage. You can afford to dream and yes, in the very last days of February see one of your investments move from slow to fast lane.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this month:

Few things are more infuriating for you, as a painstaking Scorpio, than having your carefully organised plans turned upside down. However, the cycle of powerful change that began in mid-December and continues until the end of February is about breakthroughs. Once you understand that, you won’t struggle. True, you’ll be short of facts and, as a result, powerless. If so, think of you struggled with similar difficulties in the past, but how well they turned out. It’s the same now, except you can skip the struggles.

Family interactions will be stressful at the beginning of February. It’s possible several of your relatives won’t approve of someone who has entered your life and seems to have a deep effect on your thoughts and feelings. By the time the New Moon rises on the 11th, you’ll be ready to take a stand. If that means enacting a temporary separation from your kin, so be it. Your love life will sizzle with excitement during the middle of the month, providing a welcome distraction from all the in-fighting. If you’re looking for romance, you could find it with a gifted artist. Flirting over the phone will be very exciting. Use the power of the Full Moon on the 27th to connect with influential people. Attending an online conference could pave the way to a stimulating creative collaboration.

With so many planets grouped at the very base of your solar chart, attention will likely be drawn to insurance matters and yes, property valuation. Asset management and care – especially as Mercury is retrograde until 21st, – might require you to review existing arrangements and yes, consider using other companies and forming fresh contracts. As should now be recognised, old ways of working will simply not do. Approach to risk will need to change. You could be pleasantly surprised by a valuation that appears to be said in jest over the weekend of 13th-14th, but which proves to be viable around 17th. As you know, yours is one of the Fixed signs of the Zodiac: not given to altering direction with ease. Yet what is proposed after 17th and before the Full Moon on 27th, should give you much to consider and, around 25th, to a pathway that is exciting and potentially beneficial.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this month:

Usually, you’re the first to rethink unworkable arrangements and, equally, to spot potentially worthwhile ideas or offers. Yet, as you may already have noticed, you’re in a cycle during which events themselves are triggering those changes. While most are thrilling, you’ve little control over them. While, obviously, this is unsettling, your instincts are correctly telling you that what’s least expected could turn out best in the long run. At minimum, you’ll learn something; but the planets suggest what next will be hugely rewarding, if not life-changing.

A demanding schedule will exhaust you during the first two weeks of February. Take every opportunity to rest, relax and recharge your batteries during this busy time. On the 11th, the New Moon will put you in contact with someone who seems to deliberately misunderstand you. No matter how many times you try to explain your intentions, they will attribute bad motives to you. Instead of trying to build a bridge between you and this troublemaker, it may be better to go your separate ways. Your home life will be rewarding during the middle of the month; dedicate yourself to domestic pursuits like cooking, cleaning and decorating. The Full Moon on the 27th could attract a fabulous job offer that makes your heart sing. Give yourself a reward.

In 2021, and as viewed from Earth, there are three occasions when Saturn and Uranus appear at right angles. The first of these aspects occurs on February 17. If the past repeats, then on one of these occasions, stock markets will fall. This should present a buying opportunity. There is no guarantee that that will happen this February, but absolutely the case that between 17th and 24th, those of your sign could seize on bargains. Note that there are now many planets grouped together in Aquarius – one of the Air signs. You are likely to be spoilt for choice as ideas and breakthroughs abound. These could have had particular benefit on the way in which you live and work after the Sun moves into Pisces on 19th. A further and strong possibility is that in the last week of February, and perhaps through a close financial partnership, that you will benefit through either a tax saving or a community project that would reduce costs.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this month:

The odds are good certain ongoing arrangements are either being taken from your hands or future plans won’t be yours to decide. Ordinarily, this would worry, if not upset, you. However, letting go of these is clearing the way for unexpected and, probably, new offers or changes. Actually, this began in mid-December, when your ruler Saturn and expansive Jupiter moved into Aquarius, the sign of innovation. That triggered not just a cycle of change, but is brining breakthroughs. That’s exactly what you’re currently experiencing.

February’s financial opportunities won’t be what they appear. Resist the temptation to put all your eggs in one basket. Several jobs will fall through the cracks, but one or two could turn out to be money makers. The inspirational and energising New Moon on the 11th brings a potential packed patch for all financial matters, but you’ll have to be creative and share your forward-thinking enthusiasm with others to build a team of like-minded go getters. You’ll become much busier during the second half of the month; this is a good time to stock up on supplies and carry out appointments. Your powerful charisma will attract at least one romantic opportunity in the final days of the February. Falling in love with someone from a foreign country is a distinct possibility near the 27th, courtesy of the Full Moon.

It seems likely that you will have many financial decisions to make this February. They won’t all be easy. Fact is that there is now a large group of planets in an area of your solar chart associated with financial matters and values. Various crises could occur. This shouldn’t necessarily be seen as negative, though it does appear that a fresh approach will be needed by the 27th. Mercury is retrograde until 21st and it might be wise not to make final decision until after that date. If you are invested in the market, then there is the possibility of strong market reaction between 17th and 21st. This could present some bargains. It might be useful to look at those working in the technical, scientific and robotic sectors. At another level entirely, the financial affairs of someone very close could impact on your own, -and give you both something to celebrate by the end of the month. True, it might take some time to cover losses from earlier months. That said, with a fresh approach, and making use of your considerable financial acumen, progress in improving your situation could yet be made.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this month:

As you’ll already have noticed during January, events that once would have been unsettling, if not disruptive are instead leading to breakthroughs. This cycle began in mid-December, when practical Saturn and fortunate Jupiter moved into Aquarius, triggering over a year of thrilling but often unexpected events. February is about rethinking, if not editing out, what hasn’t worked, while exploring yet more intriguing offers. The secret? Regard experiences as flirtations with your destiny, but not as something so serious decisions are urgent, at least just yet.

At the beginning of the month, family will pull you one way while you attempt to move in quite another direction. Hold your ground. Anyone who tries to make you feel guilty for pursuing a dream doesn’t have your best interests at heart; they’re acting from selfish motives. The New Moon on the 11th will give you the courage to break away from a stifling situation; striking out on your own will be glorious. It may be necessary to spend lots of money during the second half of February, especially if you’re setting up a household. Priorities will become clearer in the final days of the month. The Full Moon on the 27th could find you making a down payment on a home or car.

You may be ultra-determined to get your way and others may find you difficult to negotiate with. Not only are there many planets grouped in your sign, but Mercury is retrograde in that same sign. You could so, so dig your heels in. The positive side of this is that yes, you might eventually get what you want. The negative side is that there could come a point, – especially midmonth, – when others choose to negotiate no longer and walk away. In short, there is the potential for self-sabotage. You should think carefully about your approach and perhaps consider modifying it or, as an alternative, being creative about reward. It may be that you need to accept reduced salary but with profit share. The last week of February should prove exciting for all signs and in your case, bring a potential financial breakthrough. This is likely to concern property and related costs and involve investment in an item that would eventually be your legacy.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this month:

While February’s unsettling events can’t be avoided, you can focus on learning from them. True, some will pass swiftly. However, others will resolve persistent past issues past or, equally, point you towards worthwhile ideas, future plans or companions. However, appealing they are, explore but avoid making promises. Why? Things may seem clear; but you won’t see the full picture until the Pisces New Moon, on 13 March. That may stretch your patience. However, it will be easier than struggling to undo February’s hastily made arrangements.

You might have to keep your thoughts to yourself at the beginning of February. Being entrusted with a big secret will make you worry about divulging sensitive information to the wrong person. It will be necessary to keep your thoughts organised and for most of the time, under wraps. The New Moon on the 11th will prompt you to undergo a spiritual journey. Regularly connecting with your higher power will help you put worldly matters in proper perspective. Your natural charm will be evident to everyone during the final two weeks of February. This is a great time to join an online dating service. If you have a romantic partner, they might not be able to keep their hands off you. Use the power of the Full Moon on the 27th to make a serious commitment.

Just before the Sun moves into your sign on February 18, there is a First Quarter Moon. The lunar cycle is key, and patterns can be traced within it. This quarter moon should be viewed as a staging post on a journey that began in late 2020. It’s probable that this is linked to decisions about where and how you live and work. Further adjustment may be necessary. You won’t be the only Pisces to consider making alterations in this area in 2021 (though the timing obviously depends on your personal chart). It’s probable that by the Full Moon on February 27th, that others will suggest ways in which you could improve your situation. This won’t necessarily bring extra cash your way, but it could have a positive effect on costs and general outgoings. It might be wise to carry a notebook with you – especially over the weekend of 13th and 14th of February when you could do a useful ‘cosmic download’ and come up with a plan that’s worthy of further investigation. Indeed, it is not impossible that you could come up with an ingenious idea.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

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Healing Arts and Pagan Studies

http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
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The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
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  3. Herbalism 202
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  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
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Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 24-31 Jan 2021. Thanks for reading my blog!

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest

New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction

Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase

Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance

Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease

Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go

Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021:  Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for January: Carnation: Symbolizing love, fascination, distinction!

January is Hot Tea Month!

Celtic Tree Calendar – Luis (Rowan) January 21 to February 17

The Goddess Calendar – Month of Bridhe, begins 1/23 – 2/19

JAN. 24-Feb 1: Sementivae – Old Roman festival of sowing, honoring Earth Goddess Terra (Greek Gaia), Grain Goddess Ceres (Greek Demeter), and Seed Goddess Proserpina (Greek Persephone. A grain-oriented festival celebrating the sowing of the fields in preparation for springtime’s planting.

JAN. 25: Birthday of poet Robert Burns, 1759. Eat more haggis!

JAN. 28: Full “Wolf” Moon or “Cold” Moon, at 2h. 16m. PM Eastern. This is a good month to work on developing the inner self, connecting with the deities of our paths, and focusing on self-discovery and awareness. Maybe go for a night run or howl in the New Year with the Wolf Moon. This Moon is also called the “Ice Moon”, and “The Moon after Yule”.

FEB. 2: CANDLEMAS/IMBOLC SABBAT

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

Feb 7:  Face to Face Class: WitchCrafting 1PM – 3PM

Feb 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1PM – 3PM

Feb 21: Face to Face Class: Noon – 3:00~The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons,  assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord

Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord

Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord

Level IV – High Priestess  of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html

http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html

Hardcover: $39.45

Softback: $26.95

eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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The Magic of Crystals with GrannyMoon

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.

Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.

Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!

If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00

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CoventryCreations.com

January 25, 2021 – January 31, 2021.

The astrological energy slows down for the last week of January, but we still have a few configurations that pack quite a wallop. At the beginning of the week, a difficult square occurs between the Sun and Uranus that could shake things up. The main strategy to navigate through Sun-Uranus aspects is to expect the unexpected. That way when they occur you are not thrown completely off course.

On Thursday, besides the Full Moon in Leo, Venus conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. Venus-Pluto’s contacts are usually extremely intense because Pluto likes to drag love and relationships into the underworld. Often, difficult emotions such as jealousy and anger can enter relationships and become problematic if not handled correctly. The good news is that the Sun conjoins Jupiter on the same day, which could lighten up the energy enormously.

Finally, on Saturday, Mercury turns retrograde in social Aquarius. Remember to back up your computer and data devices, finalize any plans and decisions, and expect communication snafus to occur. Coventry Candle best for this week are Blessed Herbal Protection, Mercury Retrograde Neutralizer, Affirmation Tranquility, Motor City Hoo Doo Adam and Eve.

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…

Full Moon in Leo January 28, 2021

On January 28th, we have a Full Moon in the sign of Leo. This time around Leo is loud and proud and wearing his indignities close to the surface. This is your opportunity to work with that side of your personality that is still very rough around the edges

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Biddy Tarot

http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Page of Cups – Reversed

Where are you feeling blocked?

It’s possible that you may be experiencing a creative block when the reversed Page of Cups shows up. There is an aspect of your Self that wants to be expressed, but you are holding back.

You may worry whether your creativity will lead you in the direction you want, or whether it has value in this world. Or, you may feel ‘stuck’ when it comes time to express yourself creatively, and you don’t know how to bring this side of yourself out into the external environment.

The ideas are there, but you are having trouble figuring out how to make them into reality.

If you are exploring your intuition, the reversed Page of Cups can suggest that you are encountering a lot of doubt. You are trying hard to listen to your intuition, but when the messages come through, you’re not sure if it’s your inner guidance or your ego.

Open yourself to your intuition and see where it takes you.

Ask the Tarot: How can I express myself creatively?

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Winter Goddess Cailleach

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cailleach

https://www.learnreligions.com/cailleach-the-ruler-of-winter-2561705

In Ireland she is also associated with craggy, prominent mountains and outcroppings, such as Hag’s Head (Irish: Ceann Caillí, meaning “hag’s head”) the southernmost tip of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The megalithic tombs at Loughcrew in County Meath are situated atop Slieve na Calliagh (Irish: Sliabh na Caillí, meaning “the hag’s mountain”) and include a kerbstone known as “the hag’s chair”. Cairn T on Slieve na Calliagh is a classic passage tomb, in which the rays of the equinoxsunrise shine down the passageway.

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Sun Day, Sun Day!

BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

The sun is a solar deity, honored since the beginning of human time. It’s 93 million miles away, yet its presence is undeniably felt and depended upon. We mark our days and years by the sun, some people even choosing to call their birthdays “solar returns.” Countless civilizations have had rituals, rites, and beliefs that embody and honor the sun. The sun is self-sufficient and fiercely independent. Its light brightens the darkest corners and chases shadows away.

Today, in honor of the sun, anoint a yellow candle with olive oil and sprinkle it with gold glitter. Place the candle in a fireproof holder and light it.

Gaze into the candle flame and reflect upon the powerful light of the sun. Think about how the sun’s light shines into and upon the darkness of space, illuminating our world with grace.

Allow your candle to burn down safely or snuff out the flame.

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Handwritten Magic

BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Much magic relies on writing. We write spells and books. We inscribe words or names on stones, candles, wands, and other magical tools. We create magical alphabets such as runes and ogham. These work better when handwritten than when typed or printed out.

Today is National Handwriting Day, so take some time to practice the magic of handwriting. For this exercise you’ll need a pen. A ballpoint pen will do, a fountain pen is better, and a dip nib is best of all. (Most magical inks are designed to work only with dip nibs.) You’ll also need a nice piece of paper, like parchment or linen, but one with not too much texture. Finally, you’ll need a ribbon.

Write the complete alphabet on the paper, forming each letter with intent. In English, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter once. Choose a different writing system if you like. Roll up the page and tie it with the ribbon. Keep the scroll on your altar so the gods know your handwriting.

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Get Rid of the Blues Spell

BY JAMES KAMBOS

In the winter, mild depression can be a problem. This spell can help you beat the blues. Perform it during the day.

You’ll need three white votive candles. Cover an altar or a table with a white cloth. Place the candles on the altar, but don’t light them yet. Lower the blinds, close the drapes, and turn off the lights. Now say:

Darkness, you know me well,

But you’re not strong

enough for this spell.

Blues and sadness take flight.

Joy return with this light!

Now safely light each candle. As you light them, visualize your blues diminishing. Then open the drapes, raise the blinds, and turn on all the lights. Your mood should feel lighter. Make a cup of tea and relax. End the spell by snuffing out all the candles. When they’ve cooled, throw them away.

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Patience Spell

BY EMBER GRANT

Based on the popular Serenity Prayer, this spell draws on the characteristics of the four elements to help you foster patience and balance in difficult situations.

Place a clear quartz point or cluster in a clear jar or glass bowl and fill it with water. Light a floating candle on the water (or beside the jar or bowl). This represents the four elements we need for life; visualize them giving you strength. Chant this as you gaze upon them:

By water I’m balanced to

go with the flow,

While earth keeps me grounded

and stable to grow.

Air gives me insight so I understand;

With the courage of fire,

I change what I can.

Allow the candle to burn out, then discard it. Pour the water outside (or on a plant) as an offering. Carry the stone with you or keep it in a place where you can see it.

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Spell for Spiritual Alignment

BY MICHAEL FURIE

At times we may feel disconnected from our path, as if there’s some sort of cosmic signal interference disrupting our ability to receive messages from spirit. When this happens, a spell to unblock energy and revitalize our connections is needed.

You will need a white candle and a holder, a little olive oil, and some matches. Anoint the candle from the top down, mentally charging it with the intention that it will help you restore inner balance. Place the candle in its holder and light it. As the flame ignites, visualize a beam of white light descending from the sky, pouring energy into your body, passing through your chakras, and moving down into the earth. As the light passes through you, envision it sweeping away any psychic blockages from your system, releasing them into the earth to be recycled, and repeat:

Cosmic light, make it right.

Return my power, restore my might.

When you feel cleansed, end the visualization and extinguish the candle.

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Birdseed Travel Spell

BY KATE FREULER

Ready for a vacation but unsure how you’re going to make it happen? Put in a request with the most frequent flyers of all: the birds. As creatures of the air element, birds cover large distances, representing travel, communication, and movement. All you need for this spell is a handful of birdseed and a quiet outdoor place where you know many birds live.

Place the seeds on the ground, using them to carefully spell out the name of the destination you want to travel to. Visualize your trip as if you’re already experiencing it, exactly as you wish it to be. What does it sound like? Is it sunny? Is there water? Who is with you?

Listen for a moment to the birds singing, acknowledging their presence. Say:

Feather and flight, soaring birds,

Take my wishes to the sky.

To manifest my travel goals,

My dreams grow wings and fly.

Let the birds eat the seed and carry your wishes far and wide into the air.

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Pendulum Divination

BY EMYME

I purchased my pendulum many years ago at a craft fair. I chose it solely on the basis of the color of the stone. Sadly, I put it aside and it sat in a drawer, forgotten for almost a decade.

After taking a class on crystals and pendulums a few years ago, I put into practice the simple instructions and was amazed at the results. So far I have not gotten beyond “yes” and “no” questions. There is no guarantee of any answer. For some, pendulums are the only magic they employ. For others, like me, a pendulum is just one of the many tools in their bag. Pendulums can be enlightening yet very tricky and complicated. As with any tool, do not take their power lightly. Look for a workshop if you wish to become adept at the practice. Invoke:

As I embark on a journey and

seek the perfect pendulum for my

practice, please guide my hand.

Assist me in not rushing into a faulty

relationship with this prophetic tool.

I will know it by the vibration.

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Heartwings Love Notes 967

Practice, Practice, Practice

A friend of mine recently told me as a result of covid confinement she’d tried to resume working with stained glass. She hadn’t done that for many years. Much to her dismay, she found her skills were greatly diminished. She was unable to accomplish what she wished and made all kinds of mistakes. I sympathized. At one time, before I injured my shoulder, I was a guitar playing folksinger. Not having played in many years, one day I picked up my guitar and found I no longer play as I used to.

As a child, I took piano lessons. My mother disliked it when I practiced. She had perfect pitch and my wrong notes disturbed her. I was nine or ten and didn’t like practicing anyway. The lessons consisted of songs to be repeated over and over. Repetition, or repetitive action has never been easy for me. In addition, the songs in the piano lesson book were quite unappealing, not to mention boring. The lessons stopped after two years and I didn’t mind one bit.

I don’t know if practice, as the saying goes, actually makes perfect, however I do know it helps. As I grow older, I have become increasingly grateful for any chances in my daily life to do so. I’ve grown especially fond of the small daily opportunities to practice patience. Life provides many teaching moments. Gardeners know about patience. Waiting for seeds to sprout is only the beginning of the gardening experience. Compassion is another good one to practice.

I remember clearly how helpful that once was for me. I had been studying a book on yoga that talked of the importance of compassion. While I was aware of this, I did not find it easy to do. However, I persevered; every time I caught myself being judgmental or critical, I reminded myself to open my heart. One day as I shopped at a supermarket, a young man offered to help me load my groceries into the car. Then to my horror he tripped, stumbled and dropped one of the bags. My first thought was not Oh I hope he didn’t break the eggs, but I hope he didn’t hurt himself. My practice had paid off and I was so happy.

May you continue to learn and grow for all of your days on earth.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have any teaching moments to share? I do so love to hear from readers, either about their experiences or with any other comments. Please write to me at tashahal@gmail.com , or tashahal@aol.com. For more love notes, please visit my web pages at www,heartwingsandfriends.com.

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The 4-7-8 Breath

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

    Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

    Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

    Hold your breath for a count of seven.

    Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath.

    Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

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Jar Spells: Your ESSENTIAL Guide to Making MAGICK in a Jar

by Otherworldly Oracle

It seems like spells in containers are all the witchy rage these days. Maybe you’ve even tried one. Maybe it worked out? Or maybe it didn’t. There’s a couple tricks that I’ve learned when making magic in a jar. Here I’ll teach you how to cast powerful jar spells, and provide a few of my favorite protection, love and money spell jar recipes.

Why Are Jar Spells So Popular? PLUS The Basics

Seemingly just as popular as crystal magick and bath rituals, jar spells have come up on the witchy charts lately. My theory is two-fold: they’re simple to make and powerful when done right. Their origins may be traced to American folk magic traditions, to a degree, but they also mimic the old school European witch bottles. Witch bottles are essentially protective spells in a bottle the likes of which have been found buried in the earth, in house foundations and under fireplaces throughout the British Isles and the U.S. This form of magick dates to at least the early modern period and, I believe, knows no real cultural boundaries. Read more about traditional witch bottles here.

Sure, there are jar spells or “workings” that originate in the folk magic tradition Hoodoo. Particularly workings like honey “sweetening” jars and vinegar “souring” jars. But if you’d like to steer clear of cultural practices outside of your own, you’re not breaking any rules by making your own personal spell jars. For our intents and purposes, I am not teaching how to make jars of the Hoodoo variety in this article because I don’t practice Hoodoo. I’m a solitary pagan witch of 20+ years and do my own thing. You can do your own thing too.

The Essential Parts of a Jar Spell

So what do you need to cast a jar spell? A jar with a lid, obviously. But you also need ingredients to match your intentions. I’ve made quite a few spell jars and found the best ingredients are non-perishable and dry. If you add fresh ingredients to your jar, you’ll run into mold issues. It’ll get funky in there, promise you that. Plant material that hasn’t been completely dried out will also cause mold. So choose ingredients like the following.

1. Options for Jar Spell Ingredients:

A jar with a lid (obviously)

Dried Herbs (from your herb cabinet OR spice drawer): lavender, rosemary, thyme, mugwort, chamomile, mint, roses, cinnamon etc.

Flowers/flower petals: make sure they are completely dried out!

Salt: regular salt from your kitchen cabinet OR witch’s black salt. Salt is powerful in protection and cleansing rituals

Sugar: great ingredient in love and money jars

Coins and dollar bills: effective in money jars

Stones and crystals: smaller pieces are best, especially if you want to shake the jar once completed (obviously big chunks might crack the jar!)

Feathers, acorns, other items from nature

Sand: ingredient used in fertility, abundance, and ocean spells in general

Pins and needles: particularly effective in protection jars, similar to traditional witch’s bottles

Paper with intention: write your intention on a piece of paper and put it in the jar

Roots, nuts, bark

Dirt/soil: from various places that fuel your intention (a pinch is best)

Anything you feel feeds your intention and fits in the jar!

2. How to Cast Your Jar Spell, Successfully!

Throw the ingredients in the jar, seal it up, shake it. You’re done. Right? WRONG. Yes, the steps are basically that, in a nutshell. But if you put no effort and no thought into the process, often your jar spell will fall flat. I speak from experience. Mindlessly doing any ritual will yield little to no results.

The Right Ingredients

First, be sure you have the right ingredients. Ingredients that match and fuel your intention (and won’t chemically react and explore in the jar overnight). Select a jar that is sturdy with a lid. Air tight if possible! Recycled jars from your kitchen are great, too. Clean them thoroughly and cleanse them spiritually before use.

Timing

Then, consider the TIMING of your jar spell. For example, go by moon phase. Waxing moon = jar spells for spiritual growth, beauty, attracting love, friendship, growing your bank account, etc. Full moon = quick and powerful manifestation. Waning moon = banishing, binding, ridding yourself of unwanted things/people. Other appropriate mods of spell timing include days of the week, hours and times of the day. You can ignore the timing aspect, but your spell might not be as powerful. Auspicious times bring strong results.

Mindful Casting

Third, put your mind, heart and body into the process of creating your jar. Don’t just move through the steps. Change your environment and get yourself into a relaxed, open and focused state of mind. Visualize, sing, speak your intentions out loud. Do what you have to do to really focus on your intention. When you place each ingredient into the jar, speak it’s job out loud. Then seal the jar with the lid when you feel it’s whole.

Feed Your Jar Spell

Last, and maybe the most important part, FEED your spell jar. Feed it with more energy. Do this by either shaking your jar and speaking/praying your intentions over it. And/or burning a candle on top of the jar. Select a number of days to burn candles on top and correspond your burning times with auspicious spell timing (as mentioned above in the section on timing). For example, burn a candle on top of your jar for 6 days in a row for attracting new love. 3 days for a new creative venture. At the very least, hold your spell jar and speak your intentions over it.

Money Spell Jar Recipe

I’ve been particularly successful with my money spell jars in the past few years. Here’s one of my favorite personal recipes.

What You’ll Need:

a jar with a lid: a mason jar is best but a glass jar with a metal lid is required

3 coins

paper and pen: I rip pieces off of brown paper bags OR parchment paper

Herbs that draw money (3): examples are mint, basil, rosemary, chamomile

Herb that breaks through blockages: examples are john the conqueror root or cayenne pepper

Sugar

How To Cast the Money Jar Spell:

Cleanse all of your money jar spell supplies by whatever method you prefer.

Set the mood. Light candles, light incense, etc.

Write your intention on the piece of paper. I write mine three times but you can do this however you’d like.

Roll the paper towards you. Place in the jar.

With each herb, gently blow on it and put it into the jar. Visualize money flowing to you freely throughout the process.

Then put the 3 coins in the jar and say, “by three times three, for the highest good of all, money flow freely to me.”

Pour the sugar over the herbs, coins, and paper almost to the top of the jar. I leave a little room at the top to allow room to shake the contents when I’m done.

Cap the jar with the lid.

Shake the jar gently and say this money spell chant, “The roads are open, no blocks shall there be, by the power of three times three, money flow to me. So mote it be.”

Burn a candle on top of the jar. NEVER LEAVE UNATTENDED! SAFETY FIRST!

I like to burn a candle on my jars daily for 7 or 9 days and in between I shake the jar everyday and pray the same prayer.

Love Spell Jar Recipe

This love spell jar is intended to attract the right kind of love to you. This way you’re leaving it up to the fates and/or the universe to find the right match for you instead of forcing it.

What You’ll Need:

a jar with a lid

Herbs that draw love (choose 3): examples are lavender, rose, hibiscus, jasmine (you’ll want enough herb matter to layer in your jar and fill to the top)

One small crystal/stone that draws love: examples are rose quartz and jade

6 Drops of Essential Oil with love properties: rose, ylang ylang, orange, bergamot

Paper and pen

How to Make Your Love Jar:

Cleanse all of your love jar spell supplies by whatever method you prefer.

Set the mood. Light candles, light incense, etc.

Write your intention on the piece of paper. I write mine six times but you can do this however you’d like.

Roll the paper towards you. Place in the jar.

First speak your intention over the crystal and place it in the jar.

Then with each herb, blow on it and put it into the jar. Visualize the right lover coming to you throughout the process. I do this in layers: first I pour lavender one third of the way, then roses, and finally jasmine almost to the top of the jar.

Then drip your essential oil over the ingredients in the jar and say, “by three times three, for the highest good of all, the right romantic love will come freely to me.”

Cap the jar with the lid.

Hold the jar and say this love spell chant, “I’m ready for love. I am love. The right love will come to me. By the power of three times three. So mote it be.”

Burn a pink or red candle on top of the jar. NEVER LEAVE UNATTENDED! SAFETY FIRST!

I like to burn a candle on my jars daily for 6 days and leave the jar in your bedroom if its romantic love you’re seeking.

Home Protection Spell Jar

I think we can all admit protection is something we all need. That need never goes away. So here’s my home protection spell jar recipe:

What You’ll Need:

a jar with lid

photo(s) of people/pets you want to protect

pen/marker

3 herbs with protective properties: rosemary, thorns, pepper

salt or witch’s black salt

cotton fluff: you can find cotton or bedding at a fabric store or pull it from an old stuffed animal no longer in use. If you can’t find this, a piece of soft fabric from an old t-shirt or blanket works too!

What To Do:

Cleanse all of your protection jar spell supplies by whatever method you prefer.

Set the mood. Light candles, light incense, etc.

Write your intention on the back of your photo(s). I also draw protective runes or symbols.

Take your cotton fluff or piece of fabric and wrap it around the photo(s), envisioning a blanket of divine white protective light around yourself and/or your family members. Then place in the jar.

With each herb, gently blow on it and put it into the jar. Continue visualizing or stating your intentions to protect the person(s) in the jar from all harm, physical or spiritual.

Then add the salt and say, “by the power of three times three, guides and guardians protect me and my family. From all foes physically and spiritually. So mote it be.”

Cap the jar with the lid.

Hold the jar in your hands and repeat the protective prayer from above.

Burn a white or red candle on top of the jar. NEVER LEAVE UNATTENDED! SAFETY FIRST!

Then place the protection spell jar somewhere in your home in a commonplace if you included your family members (dining room, living room, etc.)

How to Dispose of Spell Jar Remnants

What do you do with the jar once your spell has manifested? It truly depends on the intention. I use my logic to figure out how to dispose of my spell jar remnants. For example, if I cast a money jar spell and the money came in, but I don’t want the money to necessarily stop coming in, I typically bury the jar remnants in the East of my property. I literally open the jar and pour the remnants into the ground. You can bury the full jar if you’d like, but at some point you’ll run out of room if you have a small yard and you’re just putting a ton of glass and metal into the ground.

That being said, if you made a spell jar for more “gray” purposes, you don’t ever want to open the jar itself. And it’s not a good idea to bury it anywhere near you. I’d dispose of the full jar (unopened) somewhere far away (i.e. a dumpster on the other side of town, at a crossroads far from human life, etc.)

If you feel like your jar spell didn’t work and you just want to start over completely, bury the remnants in the west of your property. Then clean and thoroughly cleanse your jar and lid to re-use, if you’d like.

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Winter Weather Folklore

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

There are also many general proverbs and prognostications focused on frost and snow.

Three white frosts and next a storm.

Heavy frosts are generally followed by fine, clear weather.

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow.

Snow for a se’nnight (week) is a mother to the earth, for ever after a stepmother.

When snow falls in the mud, it remains all winter.

When the first snowflakes are large, the snowstorm will be a lasting one. When they are small, the storm will be a short one.

If snow begins at mid of day, expect a foot of it to lay.

When the snow falls dry, it means to lie. But flakes light and soft bring rain oft.

When snow melts off the roof, the next storm will be rain. When the snow blows off, reckon on snow.

The date of the first snow foretells the number of snowstorms for the winter. Should the year’s first snow, for example, come down on the 12th of the month, you can expect 12 more storms before the winter’s done.

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The Legacy Of January’s Renewal

Reflection:

As we’re just past the longest night and the shortest day of 2020, we begin the new year, 2021. It’s a perfect time to focus light on some basic principles of legacy and the practice of writing legacy letters.

The format of a letter was first used by “ethical will writers” in ancient times. The obligation as well as the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others by sharing learning and wisdom is similar to the ancient, though modern-day legacy writers spread light to loved ones and future generations by writing about many subjects and occasions.

We differentiate legacy writing from storytelling in its basic purpose: to communicate and preserve values, blessings, and love for future generations.

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

~Brené Brown

Before we write, a few words about context. Preparing to write a legacy letter, you may sit alone at your desk, at your computer, be cozied in a rocker with afghan and cup of tea. You may have at hand your favorite pen or a freshly sharpened #2 pencil with its eraser. You may have lit a candle and turned on your favorite music. This is your personal context.

Include in your preparation your awareness that we don’t live in a vacuum, that we live in a particular time, and place. As our family history shaped us, we are also shaped by the context of the time in which we live. I’ll suggest two that might find their way into your legacy letters now. Both can be seen in relation to darkness and light.

First, and perhaps simply, it’s January, when each day since the winter solstice is a little longer. In a Washington Post article, Judith Levine explained: “The midwinter holidays originated in pagan rites to seduce the sun back from the under-world.” Today, as in pagan times, we yearn as individuals and culturally for more light in a dark time. It’s no wonder we light candles as part of our holiday rituals, and try to push back the darkness by decorating the outdoors with a profusion of holiday lights!

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen

But the darkness of 2020 was greater than the calendar. It was the year of the pandemic, when COVID-19 affected the globe as well as every aspect of our individual and family lives. We are living in the darkness of a global health crisis, a local, national, and global economic crisis, and for all of us the darkness of an unknown future. There is a ray of light, like a candle in the night, with the successful development of vaccines that could light the globe in 2021.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

– Edith Wharton

Action Steps:

Consider writing a January legacy letter, an opportunity to dispel the dark with the radiant light of your being for someone(s) you love.

Tell your loved ones the story of your personal experience and learning in 2020, and your hope for the light of 2021. . . (How different in intent from the usual annual letter recounting the year’s activities, or a listing of New Year’s resolutions).

Then bless them with light to illumine their way with hope for the future. (You might even accompany your letter with a beautiful candle!)

Share the context of the past year to record and preserve this most unusual year for generations a hundred years from now.

Write “process notes” directly after writing a legacy letter. Process writing, the mental counterpart of your heart-filled letter, adds light and clarity to your learning. Process notes (reflective writing) is a gift you give yourself.

May your legacy writing be a prayer and a gift to those you love this January and may your letters light up their lives and be cherished always.

– Rachael Freed

Rachael Freed, LICSW, senior fellow, Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota, is the author of Your Legacy Matters, Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs & Blessings to Future Generations and Heartmates: A Guide for the Partner and Family of the Heart Patient. Rachael can be found at rachael@life-legacies.com and http://www.life-legacies.com

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Saint Gilberto

by Stephen Halpert

               It was early Sunday morning. Gilberto awoke to hear Maria moving around in their bedroom. His head pounded from his drinking with Ramon the previous day. He stifled a yawn. “Hi,” he said. “What’s up?”

               “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to awaken you. I’m looking for my flashlight.”

               “I think it’s in the top drawer of our bureau. Why do you need it?”

               She smiled and reached down to kiss him. “Are you ok?”

               He frowned. “Headache! Hangover. I’m fine.”

               “You don’t look right. Your eyes are all bloodshot.”

               “What’s that got to do with looking for your flashlight?”

               She sighed. “Ok, be a stoic. Keep it all inside.” She looked toward the window.  “I think those federal agents who were observing us when Karibe vanished are prowling around outside. I heard a car door shut.”

               His head ached. He shook out two pain pills and swallowed them with water. “I don’t want them bothering us. You’re having a baby. That’s taking unfair advantage.”

               “Go back to sleep. It’s not even eight yet.”

               But instead he sat up, reached for his device and punched in Ramon’s number. Moments later he said. “Maria just saw the feds parked outside.”

               He heard Ramon sigh. “Something’s up. They’re parked outside here too. It’s got to be about Lola. We’re all what they’d like to call accessories or persons of interest.”

               That upset Gilberto even more “We know nothing.”

               “Me and Rosa don’t either, none of us do.”

               Gilberto yawned. His head still pounding. “This is harassment. I don’t want Maria being bothered. The baby’s close.”

               “I know,” Ramon sounded sympathetic. “We’ll finishing breakfast and will be over after mass.  They could be listening even as we speak.”

               “What is she some kind of international trouble maker?”

               “I wouldn’t be surprised.” Ramon signed off.

               Maria brought him ice to press against his forehead. She looked concerned.  “If this doesn’t stop, I’m taking you to the ER.”

               “No! Just a hangover. I’ll be fine.”

               “But you’ve had a severe concussion. Please let me care for you.”

               He mumbled “I’m ok.”

               Maria sighed. You’re such a stoic. “Maybe I should start calling you Saint Gilberto.”

               He barely cracked a smile. “Then I’d sit on the right hand of God and

make sure all his packages got delivered.”

               That made her giggle. “I don’t think Saints have to be stoics. They just have to perform miracles.”

               “Easier said than done.” He blinked.

               Maria refilled his glass of water. “How much beer did you drink with Ramon?”

               “I don’t remember. But it was good.”

               “That sounds like way too much to me. You know what your doctor said about caffeine and alcohol.”

               “He’s an alarmist.” He climbed out from the bed, dressed in jeans, a warm cashmere sweater and loafers and followed her into the kitchen. He sat at the table and sighed. Despite his doctor’s warnings against caffeine, he craved espresso.

               Maria smiled. “Lola still has eyes for you. Just in case you didn’t know.”

               He waited. Was there more she wanted to say? Then he laughed. “So do half the women at Atlas.”

               “Just so you know it’s all right with me if you have eyes for her.”

               He huffed. “So, in less than a minute I go from saint to sinner. Not to worry.”

`              ” I don’t. I just needed to tell you it’s all right.”

               “Why would I run off with Lola? Let her cut off my hair like the way Delila did to Samson so I’m weak and worthless?”

               Just then Joey came back from his early morning walk with Oscar. He took off his leash, and Oscar scampered down the hallway to Joey’s room. He took off his coat and mittens. “Who are the men downstairs?”

               Gilberto clenched his fist and huffed. “Nothing to be concerned about. It’s not important.”

                Joey stared at Maria. He cleared his throat. “Mom, will I have a baby sister? I thought Gilberto said I’ll have a little brother.”

               “Something got confused at the express office,” Gilberto said. “But you’ll love your little sister.”

               Joey smiled. “Oh, it’s ok, then I won’t have to share my comic books.”

               Maria chuckled and handed Gilberto a fresh ice pack. “Joey let Gilberto rest. He has a terrible headache. Besides maybe your sister would like reading your comic books.”

               “Girls don’t read comic books,” Joey insisted, “Or if they do it’s not my kind of comics. Girls don’t read about super heroes, just romance stories.” He frowned. “I don’t collect romance stories. They’re boring.” He turned and took some dry chow to Oscar.

               Maria’s device sounded. She answered, her expression changed. “What do you mean ‘We don’t know where she is?’ She’s disappeared?” She shook her head and sighed.  I’m glad you and Ramon will be over. The girls can watch a DVD with Joey in his room.”

               Maria turned to Gilberto. “Apparently there’s some sort of insurrection in Carracas,” she said. “Maybe Karibe has a hand in it.”

               “Sounds fishy,” Gilberto said.

               Maria handed him a cup of decaf and some water. “There’s more to Lola than we know,” Maria said. “All her globetrotting and disappearing and then turning up at the most unlikely times plus all her visits to the dentist. Poor thing will probably have dentures before she’s fifty.”

               “Like I said, fishy,” Gilberto said. The pain medication seemed to be curbing his headache.”

               “Maybe she’s some sort of spy,” Maria said.

               Gilberto shook his head and frowned. “Maybe. I wouldn’t be surprised. But that’s her look out, nothing to do with us. I’m going to go lie down. Want to join me?   

               “If I do you won’t get any rest, let alone sleep.”

               “Maybe that’s ok,” he grinned. The pounding seemed to have subsided. 

               Gilberto took her hand and started to lead her back into the bedroom. The kitchen clock read nine oh five.”

               There was a knock at their front door.

               Gilberto opened it and saw the two federal agents, Smith and Jones.

               “Sorry for this intrusion,” Smith said. “We’re concerned that anyone familiar with Lola Cortez could be in serious danger.”

(to be continued)

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Healthy Baked Donuts Filled With Healthy Nutella

These baked donuts, filled with homemade Nutella, are one of the healthiest options you can find out there and they are the perfect, wholesome treat to curb your sweet tooth.

They are spongy and moist, gluten-free and they also include a dairy-free option. This is definitely the best way to celebrate National Donut Day on the first Friday of June!

    Author: Claudia Canu

    Prep Time: 45 min

    Cook Time: 15 min

    Total Time: 60 min

    Yield: 9 1x

    Category: Brunch

    Method: Baking

    Cuisine: Healthy

Scale

Ingredients

Wet ingredients

1 banana*

? cup raisins (45 g) – soaked for 10 minutes in hot water before using them**

2 large free-range eggs***

2 tablespoons of natural Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients

½ cup (50 g) of almond flour

¼ cup (30 g) of oat flour****

¼ cup (25 g) grated coconut

1 teaspoon (5 g) of baking powder

¼ (1.25 g) teaspoon of baking soda

½ (2.5 g) teaspoon of cinnamon

Filling

5 Tablespoon of Healthy Nutella

Glaze

2 tablespoons of tahini

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted

½ teaspoon of vanilla

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Instructions

    Preheat the oven at 180ºC (350ºF).

    In a small bowl, add the raisins, covering them with hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes.

    With the help of a spoon, take out the raisins and place them in the food processor. *

    In the same food processor, add the banana, 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Process.

    Add the ½ cup of almond flour, ¼ cup of oat flour, ¼ cup grated coconut, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.

    Use butter or coconut oil to grease the donut tray.

    Pour about 2 tablespoons of dough into each donut pan and make sure it is well spread.

    To get the Nutella neatly into the donut pan, use a medium Ziplock bag, cut a hole in one corner, and pipe the Nutella into the pan.

    Squeeze it all around the donut shape and push it down into the dough with the help of a spoon.

    Cover it with 1 or 2 more tablespoons of dough.

    Place the tray into the center of the oven and bake the donuts for about 15 minutes at 180ºC (350ºF), with both racks on and using the oven fan, if you have one.

    After baking, allow the donuts to cool in the donut pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In a wide flat container, bigger than the donuts, mix the ingredients for the glaze.

    Take each donut from both sides and dip the rounder side into the glaze.

    Turn them around to let the glaze set for half an hour.

Notes

* The riper the banana, the sweeter it tastes

** 3 eggs if they are medium-small

*** Save the water that you soaked the raisins in, and use it to make Overnight Oats or Chia Pudding.

*** You can substitute the raisins with dates (45 g is about 3 large Medjool Dates or 5 of the normal ones)

****You can make oat flour yourself by processing in a food processor.

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Kitty Kat Korner!

Share your love for cats!

Guest Star: Wisteria, the Mysterious

BY MARC-ANDRÉ

Hi everyone,

Please find below the latest entry in our guest star stories by Lynn about her cat Wisteria:

My cat’s name is Wisteria, the Mysterious, and she thinks she’s a super sleuth. In truth she is a secret covert ops agent and pawtects the meowborhood from meowrauding squirrels and the occasional June bug. She started her agency on a shoestring shortly after the surgeon had removed it from her intestines. She regretted her ill-advised ingestion of said string.

Her employees had been the surreptitious ibises and the assorted enigmeowtic salamanders. The salamanders are on strike, however. When they had asked for their meowney, she ate them; a reasonable way to meowntain a low overhead.

Wisteria the Mysterious had just returned from her latest investigation-a foray into the Forbidden Zone beyond the patio wall. When I found her, I was diguised in a meowsk and a head covering which she had never seen. Being an astute cat, she recognized me. After a brief meowment of indecision, she realized I was not the culprit she was seeking.

However, in her quest to ascertain the lay of the land and gather informeowtion for her spy ring, she climbed a tree in the Forbidden Zone. Not being the intrepid explorer that she had envisioned herself to be, she was pawzzled how to descend. She jumped down clumsily, and I rescued her from the bushes reprimeownding her for her recklessness.

As her meowmmy, I am a pawtner in her enterprise, but she makes all the meowjor decisions. Her sister is totally disinterested in these spy shenanigans and ignores Wisteria’s attempts to engage her in code speak.

Lynn Rochelle

Can Cats Eat Bacon? Get the Facts

Elizabeth Vecsi  |  Jan 18th 2021

Can cats eat bacon? And if cats can eat bacon, SHOULD they? What happens if a cat eats bacon? Let’s look at the facts surrounding cats and bacon here.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat; their bodies simply require it. (On the other hand, dogs are considered scavenging carnivores, which means they are primarily meat eaters — but they could survive on plants alone if absolutely necessary.) But what about meats like bacon? Can cats eat bacon? And if cats can eat bacon, should they?

The Basics About Bacon

Before we answer the question, “Can cats eat bacon?” let’s look at what bacon is exactly. Bacon belongs to the pork family, which is one of the more versatile meats that we include in family meal planning. But pork and its counterparts — like bacon and ham — are loaded with sodium, fat and calories that our cats should receive in very small doses.

Should Cats Eat Bacon?

So, can cats eat bacon? Technically yes. Having too much bacon might make them immediately ill (more on that later), but the bigger problem is that bacon can have some negative long-term effects on our felines. Many cats — especially as they age and are kept strictly indoors — do a lot more sleeping than hunting or playing. They really need a careful nutrition profile to counteract their lack of movement.

With a sleeping schedule of 16 to 20 hours per day (yes, you read that correctly), it doesn’t leave much time for the cat’s body to burn off the dense calorie profile of bacon or any other pork products. Bacon especially contains a lot of sodium and fat, which is no better for pets than it is for us.

Simply put, eating too much salt can lead to the following conditions for your cat:

High blood pressure

Obesity

Dehydration

Clogged blood vessels

Can Cats Eat Turkey Bacon?

Cats eating turkey bacon isn’t a better alternative to your usual bacon, either. Turkey bacon should also be fed to cats in very small doses due to the high amount of sodium and preservatives required in making the product.

Can Cats Eat Bacon Bits?

You might also be wondering, “Can cats eat bacon bits, then?” Again, you should avoid the artificial bacon bits that you may sprinkle on salads for the exact same reasons why over-processed, sodium-rich products are not a great idea for your cat’s wellbeing.

Can Cats Eat Bacon Raw?

While it’s generally important for any type of pork product to be cooked thoroughly to avoid parasites, you can feed your cat an occasional piece of raw bacon. However, the lack of actual health benefits is still present so you are strongly advised to consult with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist before feeding your cat any type of raw meat.

Cats Can Eat Bacon as Treats?

So, when should you feed a cat bacon? Bacon and bits of ham are particularly good to hide pills on a short-time basis, or as a high-level reward (think after a nail-trimming session or a trip to the vet). Remember: If it’s an occasional treat, it will likely be appreciated that much more by your cat.

“We love our pets and want to give them treats, but we often don’t think about treats from a caloric standpoint,” says John P. Loftus, PhD, DVM, at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “It adds up over time. Better to show our love in ways other than food.”

What Happens If Your Cat Eats a Lot of Bacon?

If your cat unexpectedly ingests a hefty portion of the bacon you were going to serve to guests at a Sunday brunch, you may find that he gets an upset stomach and eventually vomits (so watch where you step). But the likelihood is that he’ll be just fine, and hopefully you have extra bacon to cook for your guests!

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope

January 24, 2021

All Signs

There are four notable events this week. What are these four events? First, Mercury goes retrograde until Feb. 21. This means we can expect mixed-up communications, delays, lost paperwork and goofy, silly mistakes. (It’s already here.) This is a poor time to begin a venture or initiate anything new; but it’s an excellent time to finish old business. It’s also a poor time to buy cars, trucks, motorcycles, cell phones and computers. The three other events are: The Sun will be at odds with Uranus. (Unpredictable rebellion!) Venus will line up with Pluto. (Intense passion!) And finally, the Sun will hug Jupiter. (Good news!) And as Groucho Marx said, “Time flies like an arrow! Fruit flies like a banana.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Well, you’re definitely hearing from people you haven’t heard from for a while. Friends from the past are popping up out of the woodwork! You might also encounter or hear from people you met before in groups and organizations. Very possibly, this is what triggers a surprise for you or something unexpected. Or it could be a surprise that relates to your income or something that you own – a particular possession? This encounter might also bring good news. “Glad tidings from on high.” Some of you will be passionately involved in a romantic way with a boss or someone in a position of authority. This could be the kind of relationship you shouldn’t go near – but can’t resist. (Be still my beating heart.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The events mentioned in All Signs above are taking place at the top of your chart. You might be surprised by a boss, parent or someone in a position of authority because they will do something that catches you off guard. And yet, something will please and delight you, perhaps a windfall? Something might happen that puts your name up in lights! You are admired! Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde will attract bosses, parents, teachers and authority figures from your past back into your world again. They might want to congratulate you. Nevertheless, despite all this fanfare, you desperately want to travel and expand your world. Romance with someone “different” will sizzle!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Things are a bit complicated because you want to put energy into travel and moving beyond your comfort zone. You want stimulation and adventure! (Actually, this is exactly what some of you will encounter this week.) However, your surprise could be due to a sudden change that affects you legally, medically or something to do with publishing, the media and higher education. It’s true that wonderful opportunities to expand your world do exist; however, something might trip you up or create delays. (Oops!) Meanwhile romantic relationships are impossibly passionate and intense. (Gasp!) One nice benefit: Mercury retrograde will help you finish old papers, school projects and manuscripts. At last!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You are a thrifty sign who appreciates a good value. Therefore, do be aware that all this energy mentioned in All Signs above is taking place in one of your Money Houses, specifically, the House related to the wealth of others and how the wealth and assets of others impact you and your wealth. Yes, this includes credit, debt, Visa and MasterCard. For starters, Mercury retrograde will give you an opportunity to finish old financial transactions and dealings with inheritances and insurance matters. Admittedly, it will also create delays. You can also expect a windfall or good fortune in your dealings. You might get money back from the government. You might get money or a favour from someone. However, something will also surprise you or catch you off guard so stay on top of things. You snooze – you lose.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

The planetary events this week that are mentioned in All Signs above are almost all taking place opposite your sign. “Hello out there? Can you hear me?” Expect to be touch with ex-partners and old friends. They will even pop up a lot in your memory. (Count on this.) Nevertheless, someone will surprise you or do something that catches you off guard. It might be something delightful that is connected to a partner or close friend because it will be feel-good and uplifting! It might expand your world? You might be introduced to someone new who is unusual? (Meanwhile, you are intense and determined to improve your health.)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You are definitely focused on your job and your health. No question. Something unexpected might occur in either of these areas. You might want more freedom in your job? In fact, your desire for independence might be flirting with rebellion! Be aware that technological glitches or a breakdown might occur. Argh! However, good news related to your health or your job will also come your way. For some, it will include work-related travel. Pet owners should be vigilant because something unexpected might impact your pet. Meanwhile, lovers will experience passion worthy of a diary entry. (Who has time to write?)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

This is a social month; therefore, all this strong energy mentioned in All Signs above will impact romantic relationships, social and playful diversions, the arts, the entertainment world, sports and anything to do with fun times with children. These are the areas where you can expect a surprise this week. (Parents should be vigilant about their kids in case of possible accidents.) However, something quite delightful will also occur! A chance for a vacation or a fun way to expand your world? Meanwhile, old flames are back on the scene and in your mind. Oh yeah. Your desire to improve something at home is very strong now. You are intent on these improvements.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

In All Signs above, I mention four major events taking place this week. Three of those events will affect home and family for you. One influence will be very pleasant. Increased wealth or good news will make you happy about your home. Your home or family might expand. A gathering might take place. Wealth related to your home might increase. Meanwhile, sudden news or something unexpected will also impact home and family. In addition, you begin a month-long journey where family and relatives from the past are back in the picture. Not only are you more involved with family you haven’t heard from for a while, you might misplace items and suffer from goofy mistakes at home. You will also feel very intensely about something. And who can be more passionate than you?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This is certainly a fast-paced time for you! Be careful this week because it’s an accident-prone week for your sign. Something unexpected will impact your daily routine. You might meet new faces, see new places or change the way you do things on a daily basis. You will also be very happy for some reason. Good news will make you feel enthusiastic and optimistic about your future. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde has arrived, which means you will face transportation delays, car breakdowns, missed appointments, mixed-up communications – the whole enchilada. Perhaps that’s why you feel so strongly about buying something? (“I must have it!”) Or maybe this intense passion relates to how you want to make money?

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Because this year has such a strong emphasis on wealth and assets for you (you will get richer) – therefore, the events mentioned in All Signs above will primarily impact financial matters for you as well as your wealth and possessions. Mercury retrograde will create delays in financial matters. Cheques in the mail will be late. Negotiations you want to achieve will be delayed. On the other hand, this is a wonderful opportunity to finish up old business. Meanwhile, something sudden and unexpected could impact your wealth and possessions. A windfall or sudden chance to earn more money is possible. Privately, you will want something very much this week – a person or an item. Be sensible. Don’t play games.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Yowsers! Almost everything mentioned in All Signs above is taking place in Aquarius. Expect to be involved with ex-partners and old friends from your past. This might be a chance for closure. Or it might be a chance to get a better understanding or a more accurate perspective on things? Something will surprise you that’s for sure, especially at the beginning of the week. However, something delightful will also occur, which will be good fortune for you. It will might expand your world or bring you opportunities. Those who are involved in secret love affairs now will be embroiled in passion! However, some of you will also intensely want something – unrelated to romance. You know who you are.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

This is an interesting week because so much is going on behind the scenes! You will definitely feel things impacting your life; however, it will not be that evident to onlookers or someone who knows you casually. Perhaps these will be inner shifts and private changes? For sure, you will feel inwardly surprised or caught off guard in some way. And also (and this is good news), you will feel inwardly pleased about something. Perhaps more than any other sign in the zodiac, you will benefit from this particular Mercury retrograde because it will help you research the past, study history and be personally introspective. Self-scrutiny might reveal new truths. “They really like me!”

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 24 January 2021

If you`re born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); you`re advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries

Personal theme: I am!!

Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily, when facing obstacles, your strategy is to focus on the quickest way to overcome them. However, the current planetary setup accents analysis. While ordinarily you`d avoid this dull approach, once you`re involved, what you learn about current dilemmas, potential difficulties and opportunities and, equally, the people involved will more than justify delays. Better yet, you`ll also begin rethinking your objectives for the coming weeks.

You`re seriously thinking about committing to a relationship with someone who is as loving as they are loyal. Now is a good time to give in to the temptation to reveal your deepest feelings. Go with the mood of the moment. You need to find a way to relax. You might do this by arranging your schedule so there`s time for work and a time for play. If you`re finding it hard to keep on top of your responsibilities, don`t feel ashamed to accept help.

With the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn all travelling through Aquarius, there is a need to think and react differently. Some signs will tune into this new frequency better than others. Yours is a sign known for displaying courage and yes, at times audacity. Around Thursday`s Full Moon it would be wise to undertake full risk assessment. It is just possible that you are pushing too hard and too soon. That said, there is high probability of you being asked to play singular role within a team. Those words might be contradictory but, in this instance, it could be down to your vision and recent experience that enables a group to move forward together. The key thing is that it will be you who identifies the goal and enthusiases others to reach it.

Taurus

Personal theme: I have!!

Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

While planning ahead is a virtue, do too much of it now, and you`ll struggle when the coming weeks` twists and turns arise. Being uncharacteristically flexible may seem unwise. The trick is to blend clarity about your objectives with an open mind and approach to timing. Even more important, explore the unexpected. What seems most impractical, if not disruptive, could be a miraculous opportunity, but in disguise.

There is a strong impulse to share a secret you have never revealed to anyone. You`re aware of the emotional dynamics of this situation. It may be that you will be bringing up a matter that puts someone else in a negative light. Even so, if you need to talk, getting it all out can be therapeutic. Laughter will remind you that there`s more to life than work, worries and responsibility. Spending time with the right person will help you forget life challenges, even if just temporarily.

With the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn now all grouped together at the apex of your solar chart, it would be unsurprising if career matters had your full attention. In the run into Thursday`s Full Moon your expertise will be put to the test. All that you`ve learnt since 2008 will be challenged. Yes, it`s possible you will be asked to head up a team or play key role within it. This might not be entirely comfortable. Recall that Uranus (the planet of originality and doing things differently) is now moving through your sign. You might not want to feel to contained. Yet smart as you may be, you are still inhabiting a human form! You can`t do everything and will no doubt need support. In fact, you might be a good idea – around Thursday`s Full Moon, to look to see who you want to have in your support `army`.

Gemini

Personal theme: I think!!

Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Geminis rarely object to change. However, arrangements you`ve worked hard to organise are another matter; and between recent powerful planetary shifts and your ruler Mercury going retrograde on 30 January, even the simplest of plans are bound to shift, often dramatically. The secret? Go along with changes, knowing you`re learning from each. Turn ideas into tentative plans, but put off anything lasting until late February.

You`re finding it hard to hold back from sending a text or e-mail to someone who is on your mind. You won`t appear desperate if you contact them. You need to talk and once you do, there is so much you will have to say to each other. You`re working hard to make money or to further a special ambition. If you are going through a period of financial hardship or if there is a lack of ready cash, the situation might be frustrating now but it will improve.

You`d have to go back to the 13th and 14th century to find an alignment of the Sun, Mercury Jupiter and Saturn in another of the Air signs, Aquarius. This stellium, forming in an area of your solar chart that`s all about higher learning should put a tiger in your mental tank. Thirst to acquire more information will surely be irresistible. With Mars at right angles to this formation and a powerful Full Moon in operation on Thursday, it`s probable that you will reach out of your usual comfort zone and determine this to be the time to expand your horizons. True, that might be limited by travel restrictions but, even if these are in place, your desire to learn more will surely be uncontainable. You may be prompted to learn a new language or enrol on a course. View this as an opportunity to broaden career options. By your birthday, Jupiter will have arrived at a critical career point. Armed with fresh knowledge, you may then have something to celebrate.

Cancer

Personal theme: I feel!!

Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

The current and, in fact, coming weeks` planetary setup is about reviewing elements of your life. While some need immediate attention, with most, there`s no rush. That way, you`ll focus more on other arrangements, gradually tidying up a few and saying farewell to those that are no longer rewarding. Happily, these situations arise naturally, so you`ve plenty of time to reflect on, and deal with each.

An offer or long-term proposition will bear out someone`s feelings for you. Now you have to decide how you feel about them. You could be in something of a quandary if a new relationship has taken off very quickly. If you aren`t ready yet to make a serious commitment, be honest about it. You will tend to spend without thinking but this is not a good idea. When it comes to parting with you cash you should only do so after careful consideration.

This week`s Full Moon is in neighbouring Leo and coincides with the annual alignment of Venus and Pluto (still moving through your opposite sign). This planetary picture suggests that a business partnership will have your full attention. That this conjunction coincides with the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn all travelling through Aquarius -forming a stellium in that sign indicates the strong likelihood of that partnership breaking new commercial ground. You don`t have to be involved with either science or technology (Aquarius` scene`), but it is likely that you will be involved in developing a product or service that a few years ago wasn`t even considered necessary. This, then, should prove an exciting time – if also an expensive one. Investing in and developing this partnership could be one of the greatest moves you ever make, though true, so much depends on your personal chart.

Leo

Personal theme: I will!!

Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you juggle everything from family dramas to more worldly pursuits, and mostly you turn even tricky matters into exciting challenges. However, with Thursday`s emotionally intense Leo Full Moon bringing your feelings and the others` concerns to a head, the less you do, the better. When calm and clarity return in early February, and you`re rethinking those dramas, your perspective will have shifted dramatically.

A colleague is talking too much about their personal life. You aren`t interested in their intimate secrets and will tell them so. Gossip someone is spreading is pointless and you intend to nip some rumours in the bud. If someone presents you with an idea on how to make more money, think it through before investing. Read the small print before signing contracts and documents. You don`t want to fall for a get rich quick scheme that has no sound financial basis.

This week`s Full Moon is the annual one in your sign. What is different this year is that so many planets are now grouped around the Sun in Aquarius. For Leos this likely brings to the fore issues around relationships – from business through to personal. Determining whether or not a partner shares your aims and objectives will likely be a major theme. It might be pointed out that you need to improve your technical skills. The challenge presently is to embrace new technologies and possibly even to get involved with the building of a `super information highway`. In whatever limited way, it`s probable you have something to offer. This lunation coincides with an alignment of Venus and Pluto, suggesting contact with big business. It may be that you can be more than a small cog in the business wheel.

Virgo

Personal theme: I analyse!!

Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Planning ahead is so natural that, often, you`re unaware you`re doing it. Between now and the end of February, however, you`re urged to note when you`re busily organising things and, when possible, back off. With the world changing and your ruler Mercury retrograde from 30 January until 21 February, twists and turns are inevitable. The more flexible you`re thinking and approach to the future, the better.

It isn`t easy to admit it but you have been wrong in your attitude, views or behaviour. It takes courage to apologise but you will back down in an argument when someone proves you wrong. Others will respect your honesty. Because of the challenges ahead, you`re expecting the days to be long and difficult. This is an important time for you and you intend to do a good job of whatever you take on. You should feel proud of your efforts.

coinciding with Venus and Pluto`s annual conjunction, there is a special Full Moon. It`s special because so many planets are now grouped around the Sun in Aquarius opposing the Leo Moon. None of us have experienced this vibration before in our lifetimes. The challenge is to embrace new technologies with all signs affected. For you, and given that Venus Pluto connexion, this may be the time for your inner research and development department to take over. Your ability to successfully archive and treasure past information will surely be noted. A further possibility is investing – possibly in old documents or in restoration, with a view to turning this into a commercial venture.

Libra

Personal theme: I balance!!

Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Your talent for putting others at ease is a gift. However, with challenging issues demanding a forthright approach, you`re overwhelmed. In the past you`ve put off tackling such matters until forced to by events or others` complaints. While that`s worked before, instead you`re encouraged to raise these. Be frank. Make your focus resolving them, and you`ll do exactly that, and without the dramas you`ve feared.

You`re starting to realise there`s a big gap in values between you and a new partner or friend. Talk this over. Together you will be able to decide whether this gap is so wide you will never agree on certain important issues. Alternatively, you may find a way to compromise. Business activities are highly fortunate now. It doesn`t matter if firm plans aren`t yet in place or things haven`t been fully discussed with those who matter, the important thing is to take the initiative.

Since 2008, annually Venus and Pluto have aligned at the base of your solar chart. Each time you have had to put focus on rebalancing. That this event in 2021 coincides with the first Full Moon of its kind since the 14th century, suggests you might feel that you`re walking a tightrope and that balancing is beyond your ability. That`s unlikely to be the case. There is high probability that you now have a team or small army behind you, and that they are anxious to make use of your expertise and indeed, your extra ordinary ability to bring others together. Involvement in major research seems more likely than not; and yes, at another level you could be involved with the complexities of a contract, will or testament. You will no doubt need that extra support and have reason to be grateful to a Taurus or Capricorn who look after you in such a way that the very best of you is put on display.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus

Personal theme: I desire!!

Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Recent weeks have brought challenges and changes that, at the time, seemed unmanageable. Yet, you dealt with each and, amazingly, seemingly unwelcome changes are leading to exciting breakthroughs. It`s the same now, except those changes are focused on elements of your work or lifestyle. This time, sidestep the usual battles. Instead, plunge in. While initially you`ll be anxious, the results you achieve will thrill you.

People need to know where they stand with you. Being sincere about your feelings and truthful about your hopes lets others know what you are thinking and planning. If anyone can help you achieve a cherished goal, they need to be aware of what you are aiming for. A colleague or business partner has so much to celebrate you feel lost in their shadow. You have many strengths; build on these now. People will be more respectful towards you when you show a confident face to the world.

This week`s Full Moon is the first of its kind in your lifetime. Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn join the Sun in Aquarius at the very base of your chart, whilst the Moon occupies a career point. Emotionally yes, you could be highly strung. The presence of both Mars and Uranus in your opposite sign and at right angles to the Full Moon suggests others, – with uncanny precision – will press your buttons. On the positive side, you could be pushed out of your comfort zone and find a creative outlet for your many talents. On the negative side, yes, you could be overly emotional – especially if you feel that there has been disloyalty. Maintaining an even keel might not be easy. Don`t lose sight of the fact that you can tune in to a higher inspiration and, in the second half of this week, bring a creative solution to a problem that`s bugged a group for months.

Sagittarius

Personal theme: I see!!

Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, you`ve an amazing knack for dealing with, if not enjoying, even sudden changes. Yet recent events have upset elements of your routine and even your perspective on life. While, obviously this is unsettling, those shakeups are forcing you to rethink habits and arrangements so longstanding it hasn`t even occurred to you change was possible. It is; and, as you`ll discover when you begin, it`s long overdue.

A partnership faces a number of challenges. You aren`t in tune with one another but if you work on it, there will be greater harmony. Being able to laugh with each other when life gets difficult will be a big help. Something has changed since you last visited a place you had been looking forward to returning to. It isn`t the same this time. Either the people won`t be as friendly or the surroundings aren`t as welcoming.

this week`s full moon on Thursday might not be your sign, that you could nevertheless feel and effect. There is high probability of those around you being high wired. When that this lunation coincides with the annual conjunction of Venus and Pluto suggests that many may be looking back and cursing the fact that they didn`t take action earlier. Once again, it could fall to you to raise their spirits. It`s not known is that you don`t have enough to think about already. You may remember that your illness is passing through the health and daily routine sector of your solar chart. An alignment with Mars suggests that your usual routine will have been knocked off course. Maintaining good health whilst also giving others support could be draining; but yes, there is always the possibility of you being exhilarated that others are now seizing opportunities. Balancing the two might not be easy but the challenge you want to accept.

Capricorn

Personal theme: I use!!

Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the Capricorn New Moon, which accents those matters when change is needed, took place two weeks ago, on 13 January, you`re still figuring out what needs to be rethought or go, and equally, what and who require your attention. Actually, you`re better off taking things slowly, because with the foundation on which your life is based shifting, the more ideas and options you explore, the better.

Between work, family and other commitments you don`t seem to have any time left over for yourself let alone anyone else. Romance in your life is conspicuous by its absence. Are you in a committed relationship? Relationships need to be treated tenderly and your partner is feeling neglected. Romance won`t happen automatically. You have to make the effort. Insist on having some time away from all the pressure so you can work on your love life and be creative.

the now annual alignment of Venus and Pluto still moving through your sign, coincides with Thursday`s full moon. This could be a day of high drama for many people. It`s the first lunation of its kind for many centuries with both Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn moving through Aquarius. Many people could find this fresh energy unsettling. You could be challenged to blend old with new technologies; and yes, there is the possibility of more than one of these blowing your mind! On the very considerable upside your enthusiasm to learn something new and others to witness that eagerness could put you in good stead with those who could smooth your path. If in business partnership this could prove an important time to in that a major investment could be at least discussed and, in principle agreed.

Aquarius

Personal theme: I know!!

Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you`ll explore potential changes, decide what works, then make them part of your life. However, recently destiny`s been making many of those decisions for you, and you`re unhappy about several of them. Try to be patient. Soon these will merge with shifts in your lifestyle, objectives and even arrangements involving others, and what seemed least appealing could turn out to be a dream come true.

You don`t want people to feel as if you don`t care but you need to make personal plans a priority. You`re taking a practical view to your responsibilities and that means you may have to pull out of family or social plans to fulfil certain obligations. You need an answer to something from a senior colleague but they are sitting on the fence. Be patient as it will take a few days for them to make up their mind.

This week`s full moon in your opposite sign is the first of its kind for many centuries; and yes, you could break new ground. That this come so soon after an alignment of Mars and Uranus at the very base of your solar chart suggests you might be supercharged to take action. Your career could yet go off at a tangent. Withdrawal was going on all around you remember, these planetary vibrations are new to everyone living on earth presently, you will perhaps need to factor in time to take stock. That said, the potential for making alterations that are exciting and become fulfilling parts of your life journey looks much increased. True, you would likely benefit from conversations with the main tour or guide. You might also consider improving certain technical skills and perhaps enrolling on a short course. Note too, that which you would likely benefit greatly from contact with those who appear to think more slowly than you do but who are birthed in a way that beneficial to you both.

Pisces

Personal theme: I believe!!

Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Change is coming, but your concern for others` welfare is halting progress. True, time and money are a worry. You`ve side-lined certain of your own plans and priorities, yet are unsure how to organise those changes. The secret? Begin with just one; and seek others` guidance or support. That first step will give you the courage to do whatever`s next, and soon it will fall into place.

A new friend or neighbour is too expressive, too quick to reveal their feelings and too open with you. It makes you uncomfortable to hear all their secrets and you`re suspicious that many things they tell you are grossly exaggerated. You sense they want you to share your innermost thoughts but you will keep these to yourself. There is a lot of pride in the work that you do. You are working hard and pushing yourself to your limits. It will be worth it for the reward.

it might seem that others are running around like headless chickens. Planetary alignments this week a most unusual. In fact, those taking place at Thursday`s full moon haven`t occurred some centuries. Understandably, some may be freaked out. Yet this likely presents a turning point especially for those who prepared to move forward, think differently and explore activities which a couple of years ago would have been unthinkable. Pisceans are said to be chameleons. It seems you have a gift but acting parts. You might need to act as though your character from Star Wars or something similar. There is likely to be a technical edge to this and yes, you could be introduced to ways of thinking that is so far removed from the way in which you`ve operated to date. This activity coming just a few weeks ahead of your birthday could though, set you up for an exciting year ahead.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!

Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much

High Priestess Training

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The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings

2. Herbalism 101

3. Herbalism 202

4. Herbalism 303

5. Earth Signs and Omens

6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship

7. Natural Witchcraft

8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use

9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!

Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!

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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess

And to Her we shall return

Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”

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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,

May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part

And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 17 – 24 Jan 2021 Thanks for reading! ✨✨✨

Artist Unknown To Me

Take time today to appreciate beauty –
natural beauty, art, people.
Slow down, breathe deeply, smile.
It’s a beautiful world. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.)

Flower of the Month for January: Carnation: Symbolizing love, fascination, distinction!

January is Hot Tea Month!

Celtic Tree Calendar
Beth (Birch) December 24 to January 20

The Goddess Calendar
Month of Hestia begins 12/26 – 1/22

January 17: Happy Birthday, Betty White!🎂

January 17: In the English West Country, this is the traditional Wassail Night—time to wassail your apple tree!

January 17: Blessing of the Animals Day in Mexico, in honor of St. Anthony Abbot.

January 18: According to sadness boffins, it’s the most depressing day of the year, mainly because it’s dreich, the festive season is long behind us and the working year stretches out interminably.

January 19: Birthday of Dorothy Clutterbuck, who allegedly initiated Gerald Gardner into the New Forest coven.

January 20: Feast Day of St. Sebastian, patron saint of gardeners.

January 20: Eve of St. Agnes’ Day, traditional night for dreaming of your lover.

January 23: National Handwriting Day

January 24: Sementivae, a grain-oriented festival celebrating the sowing of the fields in preparation for springtime’s planting

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Feb 7: Face to Face Class : WitchCrafting 1PM – 3PM
Feb 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1PM – 3PM
Feb 21: Face to Face Class: Noon – 3:00~The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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The Magic of Crystals with GrannyMoon

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.

Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.
Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!

If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00

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Order Your Mind, Body and Spirit Reading for 2021 from GrannyMoon!

Understand specific opportunities & unique challenges that will be presented to you in the next 12 months! New Year Special! A $15.00 Donation!

http://goddessschool.com/donations.html

Please e-mail me with your date, time and place of birth.
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CoventryCreations.com

January 18, 2021 – January 24, 2021.

The week begins with a power-packed surge of energy and ends with more sobering concerns. Make sure you take care of social obligations earlier in the week when the energy is available. The start of the week brings an immediate shift in the cosmic energy as the Sun moves out of Capricorn and into Aquarius. Aquarius energy is great to use if you need to make dynamic changes in your life. If there are areas of your life that need repair, then Aquarius season is a great time to work on them.

Later in the week, Mars is going to conjoin Uranus and square Jupiter bringing the Jupiter-Uranus energy that’s been around all month back on stage again. Since this energy is Mars influenced, and with Jupiter Uranus already an impulsive aspect, you need to think things through before acting. Moreover, Mars conjunct Uranus is accident prone so proceed with caution, and perhaps wear a hard hat.

This weekend the Sun makes its yearly conjunction with Saturn. Sun-Saturn is great for personal advancement and taking care of your responsibilities, but don’t expect fun and games this weekend because completing tasks may supersede personal enjoyment.

Best Coventry candles for this week are Blessed Herbal Problem Solver, Protection, and Stability, and Wicked Witch Mojo Wishin’ Mojo.

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Ruby’s Astro Readings
http://rubysreadings.com

SUN ENTERS AQUARIUS

January 19 – February 18

The Sun shifts into inquisitive Aquarius on January 19th, 2021.

Happy Birthday to all my Aquarius peeps, and welcome to AQUARIUS SEASON, everyone!

This month-long cycle keeps us hungry for knowledge and experience. There’s a stronger urge to mingle once again, so we search for new ways of doing things and for what’s original, different, or unique. It’s a time of self-expression, as our thoughts and actions both drive our ambitions.

During this time, we can become increasingly aware of what is no longer working in our lives and can strive to find what will, as we’re open to learning fresh new perspectives. After all, Aquarius is the Zodiac’s humanitarian, so we can feel pulled to like-minded people and groups to help them get what they rightfully deserve.

Under the Sun in Aquarius, we can feel artistic, friendly, and social. So our general attitude about life is more peaceful but also concerned. We can be quite detached emotionally simply because we want to take care of business. This energy can be nerve-wracking for some and cause high anxiety, especially if we focus on what’s lacking. Turn this worrisome energy into something you can manifest by setting goals and plans for the future. Tackle one thing at a time and prepare yourself. Concentrate on helping others because being detached from our emotions helps us put our feelings aside just long enough to take care of business.

Now that it’s officially Aquarius Season we as individuals will seek more independence and freedom. The status quo doesn’t satisfy. Especially, with so many other planets in this sign like Saturn, Jupiter and recently mental Mercury. We’re going to work very hard now to free ourselves from any restrictions, limitations, and inhibitions that keep us feeling blocked or constrained.

We’re still in the battle against Covid, so we must lockdown and stay in place if we like it or not, life is different for all of us, and we aren’t able to be as social as we used to be. These limitations don’t sit well with us, and people feel quite irritated, especially under all this Aquarius energy because we have a deeper need to be free and alive! The shadow side of Aquarius is rebellion and possible revolution, and that’s already begun here in the US! It’s important to get out of our comfort zones and look into the furthest parts of our minds for answers and more peaceful resolutions!

There’s a lot of movement and excitement, usually during Aquarius Season, along with brilliant ideas and discoveries! We tend to be more open-minded so we can experience more awareness and knowingness. And there are some seriously important A-Ha moments and epiphanies. We can experience strokes of genius, as we’re flooded with information during this time. Taking notes and journal writing can be quite telling during this cycle.

With the Sun in Aquarius, we are better at expressing ourselves more openly. To flow better with this energy, we should try new ways of communicating and expressing ourselves. Areas of study that involve science, technology, and metaphysics can go extremely well. New Age is in, now that we are actually in the “Age of Aquarius,” as we are more attracted to the unusual, bizarre, or just something different.

Conventional or traditional values are changed up during this time, with fresh and exciting horizons ahead, we are motivated by spirit. Now with mental Mercury also in the sign of Aquarius and the Sun, we get the chance to stretch our minds, bodies, and spirits. Explore the possibilities safely!

Stay Safe & Be Well ~Ruby

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Queen of Wands

Are you feeling upbeat, courageous, and determined this week?
With the Queen of Wands energy showing up this week, you are here to see through your creative visions and life purpose.
You know how to best channel your strengths and weaknesses to achieve your goals. You are optimistic and full of ideas to share with others. You know what you want and how to get it, and are masterful at engaging with others to achieve your goals.

Stay fiercely determined and focused on your goals while being friendly and optimistic with those around you.

Now is the time to be bold in your undertakings and actions. Don’t be afraid to own your real power and put it out into the world.

You have so much to offer – so shine your light bright! Believe in yourself and what you stand for, and don’t be afraid to speak up and be heard. No one will silence you.

Ask the Tarot: How can you authentically express your vision?

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Mental/Emotional Clarity Spell
JANUARY 17, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

With the Moon in Pisces and Mercury in Aquarius, this is the perfect time to do workings that can help bring clarity to the emotional and mental aspects of our lives. Perform this spell to lift the fog and bring peace to these areas so you can focus on what is truly important at this time.

In a teacup, combine one tablespoon each of dried lavender flower, dried chamomile flower, and fresh ginger root. Then fill the cup threequarters of the way with hot water. Cover and steep for three minutes, strain, and then add the fresh juice of one whole orange. Stir clockwise nine times and say:

Break the mold and seal the crack,
Clear the way; bring vision back.
What would block me now be gone,
Dark to light just like the dawn.

Drink the tea and then spin counterclockwise
three times before saying:

And so it is.
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Fresh Footbath Forward
JANUARY 16, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Take a thrice-wise footbath today to recharge your endurance and inner warmth for the long, cold days ahead. As you assemble the following ingredients, imagine the gestation and manifestations of spring. While soaking your feet, visualize the path ahead of you as glowing and golden. Be forewarned that this spell will stain your skin and towels yellow. You are about to be very lucky for a few days, and this fortune will transfer but not wash away easily, so make it count!

Combine the following ingredients in a large foot tub and soak your feet for thirty minutes. Repeat this spell three times today for the very best results, and a golden path will lay itself before your feet.

  • 4 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 4 tablespoons Hawaiian black salt
  • 1 cup potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 gallons very warm water
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    Awaken the Spirit of an Altar
    JANUARY 15, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

An altar is a space equipped with symbols and tools devoted to particular aspects of magic or spirituality, whether deity, spirit, or philosophy. Over time, altars become attuned to the energies that are worked with them. When erecting an altar, we should ideally be in tune with our creative process to allow divine inspiration to guide us. This is a simple spell to help you align with that inspiration to further empower and awaken your altar space.

You will need a small piece of paper and a pen. Ground and center. Concentrate on the purpose of your altar. On the paper, draw a pentagram, and in the center of it, draw an open eye. Chant over it three times:

Awaken unto life and be
A place to reach between the worlds.

Take a deep breath of power and then exhale over the paper, “seeing” the symbols shine. Hide the paper somewhere on your new altar.
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Invocation for Peace
JANUARY 14, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Winter can be a difficult time, when the days are short and the nights are long, and light and warmth are in short supply. But there is a benefit to these things as well. The world is quieter and slower, and if you so desire, you can tap into this natural lull in energy to find that quiet inside yourself.

First thing in the morning, or at some time in the evening before you go to bed, take a minute to say this simple invocation for peace. (You can do this on any day during the winter season.) If you want, you can light a candle first, making sure it is someplace safe so you can sit without worry as it burns down.

Quiet of winter,
Calm of winter,
Be within me, as you are without.
Bring me peace.
So mote it be.
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Step-by-Step New Moon Spell
JANUARY 13, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Many people just don’t seem to be able to keep their promises, no matter how good their intentions. Usually it’s because their resolution was a bit too drastic. A great solution is to set smaller goals over the course of the entire year that add up to big changes come December. The new moon is an ideal time to set intentions. As the moon grows in the sky, so does your motivation!

Think about what big change you want to make by the end of the year, and break it into twelve stages. At each new moon this year, you will set your intention to take the next step toward success.

Write your intention for this first month on a slip of paper. Safely light a white candle and read it aloud within your personal sacred space. Keep the paper where you can read it every day and monitor your progress. When the next new moon arrives, it is time to move on to the next phase of your goal! Be sure to extinguish the candle.
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Ask for Guidance
JANUARY 12, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

Create time to ask for guidance from your higher self today. Set aside ten to twenty minutes in a safe and private space. Sit with your hands on your thighs and breathe deeply. Inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of six. A longer exhale stimulates the vagus nerve, slows the heart rate, and creates calm.

Exhale and envision stress leaving your body, blowing a black cloud out and away from you. Inhale, welcoming fresh oxygen and bringing vitality into the body.

After about thirty breaths, or when you notice the calming of your heart rate, ask for guidance from your higher self:

Guide me to know which way
to go in the year ahead, for
my own highest purpose.

Breathe another thirty breaths, inhaling for four counts and exhaling for six. Listen for the whispers of your own higher truth and watch for a vision of what is to come.
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First Snow Spell
JANUARY 11, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

The first snow of the year is enchanting! When sparkly snowflakes cover the natural landscape, there is a sense of renewal and childlike innocence. Gathering snow from the first snowfall of the year is a wonderful way to cleanse and purify your crystals. If you cannot collect the first snow, do not despair: this spell can be used with snow during the entire winter season. If it doesn’t snow where you live, gather raindrops in a clear glass container during the first full moon of the year (which will be on January 28, 2021).

After you collect the snow, place it in a bowl with the items you want to cleanse. Make sure your crystals will not be damaged by the water or the cold temperature. The most important ingredient in any spell is you and your intention. Repeat these words as you focus your powerful magickal intention on cleansing and purifying your crystals with the snow:

Purify and cleanse these crystals
for me with this magickal snow
(rainwater). Blessed be!

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Heartwings Love Notes 968: Labor of Love

Heartwings says, “Work goes smoothy and well when it is done with a loving heart.”

Once long ago when my husband’s son was a teenager, his chore as a fellow apartment dweller was to vacuum our shared rooms weekly. One Saturday I watched him prepare for his task. He began by scowling and muttering under his breath. He continued by stomping his feet as he muttered. He appeared to be getting angry. I was about to ask him what was the matter when he went off, got the vacuum and plugged it in.

Soon he was slamming the length of the long wand around the furniture. He continued to mutter and to appear angry. The cats fled his wrath and I decided to get something done in the kitchen. Eventually he put the vacuum away and went whistling cheerfully out the back door. When I had the opportunity, I asked him what he had been angry about. He grinned at me and said, “Nothing.” He then went on to explain that he hated vacuuming, and that was how he worked himself up to get the chore done.

I thought about this recently as I was putting the clean pillow cases onto our bed pillows. I laid one on the bed, smoothed out the wrinkles and began to insert the end of a pillow into the case. As usual, this wasn’t easy to do and I had to go at it slowly and carefully in order to make any progress. Finally, though it seemed to take a lot of time, I managed to get all my pillows into their cases. As I did this, I thought about the choice I had between doing my small chore with resentment or doing it with love. Because I figured it would feel better than resentment, I decided on love.

The attitude with which a task is done is actually quite important. It can help to make a task go more quickly as well as more efficiently. I’ve noticed that when I act with impatience, I often make foolish errors or mess things up and have to go back to fix them. When I focus my mind on seeing what I do as an act of love, and most especially when I project a sense of love and satisfaction into the doing of it, the results are much better. It is not always easy to catch oneself in the act, so to speak, and it does require a sense of mindfulness. However, with practice it is quite possible to think of the small chores one does as a labor of love, and to give that to one’s loved ones.

May your chores go smoothly and your heart feel warm as you do them.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

PS How do you handle doing what you’d rather not be doing while you are doing it? I love it when my readers share their stories with me. Please write me at tashahal@gmail.com or tashahal@aol.om. For more love notes please visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Wicca and Modern Witchcraft in a Nutshell
In Magick by Chris A. Parker

Wicca is a very personalized belief and one which varies from person to person. Wicca is associated with witchcraft but is usually considered to be beneficial or positive witchcraft. In Wicca, there isn’t a single right answer. The person searching for an appropriate path should practice the witchcraft that feels most correct to them. The practice of Wicca is as denominational as Christianity is. There are several major forms of Wicca, and the searcher may require a while to find the one which is the best fit for them personally.

The Celtic pantheon or circle of gods is one of the major branches of Wicca. The searcher may choose to join with these groups, while another may choose to join with the Stregheria rituals. Similar to the Celtic pantheon is that of the Druids. Another Wicca major tradition is that of Asatru. The Gardnerian Wiccans follow the teachings of Gardner. An Eclectic Wiccan includes components from many different groups and makes them uniquely their own.

Those Wiccans who are searching for the right branch of witchcraft can be searching for many months and perhaps it will take years.

Don’t be concerned if you are unable to find a good fit in a short time. Eventually, you will hope to find one which feels more personal to you than the other paths. This is the one which will guide you into a better understanding, not only of yourself but above all of the steps which you are about to follow.

In Wicca, there is no “one right answer”. It is more about how you feel. If you prefer a Book of Shadows with lined paper, then that’s great, but don’t be hard on yourself if you’re doing something a little differently than some other Wiccans you might know. If you prefer a wand over an athame, that’s perfectly fine too. Everyone is different. The path of the Wiccan is a personal path. That is one of the many wonders of Wicca.

Witches

At the same time as it is a tradition going back into the mists of history, witchcraft is changing constantly because it is a reflection of those who practice it. There is no central holy book or one rule book to provide guidance to those who are witches. Witchcraft is a balanced spirituality which develops both communications with the whole of nature and prayerful oneness with the gods. A witch can always find room to develop and lessons to be learned. Witchcraft is a constant searching for fresh insight and deepening personal practices of witchcraft.

Most witches believe that daily observation is important to deepen spirituality. The goal is not to inform but to transform, daily observation helps to ground one in the presence of the interconnected and vibrant universe. Daily celebrations of Nature’s cycle will lead to a better understanding of one’s place in the big picture.

Often, witches will start and end the day with a greeting to each element and direction and to the gods. Those who prefer ceremonial observations may recite the Lesser Banishing Ritual. Gardnerian Wiccans may choose to proclaim the Charge of the Goddess.

Witchcraft today is made up of many traditions. Witches believe that the practice of their craft is just one of many paths and including the use of myth, symbolism, and ritual in the daily celebration helps to understand the composition of the magickal universe. Studying about other paths such as Islam, Santeria or Hinduism at a level that will allow one to experience the benefits of the other path will add richness and emphasis to your own walk. Another experience may work better for you than does witchcraft.

Witchcraft and Occult Practices

For hundreds of years, society has viewed witchcraft and occult practices as dark and sinister territory. Magickal practices and those who use them are considered to be associated with the negative connotations of life.

Those who practice witchcraft are considered to have a large collection of supernatural abilities such as levitation, clairvoyance, and telekinesis. or those whose essence comes from dusty and shadowy tomes of written mysteries. However, it should be noted that witches are also students of nature and claim nature as a teacher and educator.

Nature exists as the essence of everything that is outside human changes and interference. It’s not just the earth below and the blue sky overhead; it is all that is in between and yet more. Each being or entity that is part of this network of change is a unique existence of naked power which contains within itself a spiritual connection which binds all things together. The tree is bound to the sea which is bound to a field, which is bound to a river. Each of these entities and places expresses the quality which is inherently magical and imbues everything with a natural glow. Witches use witchcraft to become one with and be empowered by nature.

In essence, witchcraft can be defined as the ability to reach a goal or grasp onto a wish by artful channeling and manipulation of vital energy. The source of the vital energy can be almost any part of the natural landscape which provides inspiration, such as the moon, the sun, or the oak tree.

Both witches and those who oppose them have a pattern of connecting witchcraft with various elemental forces of nature. Many of the ancient tribes and clans recognized encounters with wild animals in their totems. This is particularly noted in the native American tribes and in the clans of the Celts.

A witch focuses efforts toward a delicate connection with all natural surroundings and can become attuned to various levels of knowledge which is a part of the natural kingdom. The ancient confidence in multiple spirits and the movement of these spirits between bodies is the basis of Animism which is the ancestor of the spirituality of the shamans which was prevalent in the prehistoric peoples. This ensuing world view probably forms the basis of the science and art commonly called witchcraft.

Any dedicated gardener will assure you that talking to your plants or singing to them will help them to grow more quickly and with greater strength. Speaking to plants is based in Animism and the desire to return to that connection with nature. Witchcraft recognizes that the core of Nature is that all life is connected and each person and creature is a part of the connection. This is true of each action taken and the pattern we fulfill.

The witch is one who recognizes that energy is without ending or beginning. This belief is fundamental to the practice of witchcraft. Energy can be channeled but cannot be created or destroyed forever.

Witchcraft over the History

Witchcraft of one kind or another has been known in many if not most societies for thousands of years. Over the ages of history, witches have also been known as healers, gods, teachers, historians, priests and priestesses, and shamans. Other people such as Paracelsus the Swiss physician, Virgil, the Roman poet and Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher were believed, sometimes correctly to be witches. In Western culture, the debilitating fear of witches can be traced to the beginnings of persecution in the 1400s when they were first persecuted in Europe.

Witches and those who practice witchcraft have historically been considered people who make magic. People who change or influence events through superstitious beliefs and practices, nature, and folklore are known as witches.

In Europe, although many of the ancient pagan religions which included those with practices including magic spells and other practices were strong, Christianity became the dominant religion. The Christian church, believing that magic practices along with no worship of God as seen by the Jewish and Christians, associated the practices of witchcraft and by extension witches with the devil. For over 300 years, even the mere suspicion of witchcraft was enough to result in torture, brutality, and execution of hundreds of thousands of people. In most cases, as seen in the 17th-century witch trials which occurred in Salem Massachusetts the evidence was faked, obtained through torture and often false.

Often, older women who were widowed or unmarried and lived alone or which only small animals as pets were targeted for the accusation of witchcraft. These women sometimes owned desirable land which was taken from them. Other times they were criticized for their use of plants and herbal remedies along with traditions from folklore in order to heal. Finally, the women often were poor and so made easy targets to the attackers.

Today, witchcraft exists in many cultures and societies. There was no systematic effort to eradicate witchcraft in Tibet, Thailand, Brazil, India or other countries where it is still respected and practiced. In Africa, witch doctors are numerous who ask ancestors for assistance, heal those who are ill, foretell what will occur in the future and cast spells.

In Tibet, a ritual dance by the Buddhist monks portrays an evil spirit from times which predate Buddhist beliefs includes a Tibetan Buddhist priest. The dance is an attempt to drive out evil.

The shamans of Sri Lanka treat maladies by the restoration of energy balance within the body.

The magical art of feng-shui was developed by ancient Chinese cultures and has become most popular in the West, particularly in America.

The best known and most widely practiced type of witchcraft in the West, particularly in the United States is Wicca. It is believed that there are somewhere between four hundred thousand and three million practitioners of witchcraft in the United States. Adherents to Wicca, the most common form of witchcraft call themselves Wiccans or witches. There is an active battle going on right now for acceptance and tolerance for their beliefs. It is believed that Wicca is the religion which is growing most rapidly in the country.

In addition, other popular magical beliefs which may be closely tied together including New Ageism and astrology, aromatherapy are enjoying a strong revival, as are herbalism and alternative medicine.
Wicca and Modern WitchcraftImage by RD LH from Pixabay
Types of Witchcraft

Witchcraft is practiced by four different types of witches in popular Western viewpoints.

The satanic witch was tormented as a worshiper of the devil during the Spanish Inquisitions and also during the witch hunts in this country.  Evangelical Christians still categorize satanic cults in widespread distribution as being endemic to this country.
The second type of witch is the tribal witch.  This is the type of witch from the American Indian, Pacific Islander, and African Caribbean religions.  The tribal witch is the scapegoat of the benevolent healer and shaman. In South Africa and Java both.
The hideous hags in fairy tales such as The Wizard of Oz and Hansel and Gretal are the third type of those who practice witchcraft.
The final kind of witches and witchcraft is the neo-pagan, which includes those who are known as Wiccans. Wiccans trace their roots to pre-Christian history and to the Druidism of the Celts.  There is no connection with Satanic witchcraft, in fact, Wiccans don’t believe in Satan or the Judeo-Christian God, but in a female goddess of all natural things.

Wiccans believe in spirit communication, psychokinesis and other psychic ability such as clairvoyance. Feminists grab hold of the tenets of Wicca in order to emphasize self-empowerment, female spiritual leaders and matriarchal deity.

Hollywood and other media forms have embraced the rich lore of Wicca and of connected witchcraft in a number of magazine works, films, and books. Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed on WB Network. Book sales both fiction and nonfiction dealing with the subject of witchcraft have soared.
Witchcraft and Magick

In order to successfully practice witchcraft and to bend the force of magick effectively, the witch must draw a sacred breath. This is to remove the mind from its distractions where thoughts are tossed about like leaves on the wind with no anchor. The clouds of stress burden even further so that there is no relief sensed or even hoped for. In order to overcome these fogs and mists, one must focus on the breath of fresh air which is the reconnection with the accessible elements of nature. This fresh air is taken in by the body, providing fuel to the lungs, the heartbeat to continue and the energizing of the entire body. Particularly in the morning, this breath activates and directs the essential four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire and begins the magick. (?f you want to read more about. Try these articles, “Magick – Definition and Etymology” and “The Four Elements Throughout Mystic Tradition”.)

The witchcraft magick directed by the witch in the center of a circle focuses and conducts energy that is the basis of life and youthfulness itself. Nature doesn’t need to be begged only returned to health and vitality after the patriarchal institutions of the human race who have ravaged the Earth Mother Gaia in the quest for dividing the material and the spiritual, the sacred from the profane.

This separation from the Mother is the cause of distress, confusion and searching for answers. Witchcraft magick recognizes the return to the Earth rather than expecting salvation to come from the heavens. As Gaia is more devastated, she grows less patient, but at the same time welcomes the art of witchcraft from those faithful who refuse to be absorbed into the maelstrom of superiority, conservatism, globalism, and consumerism.

Witchcraft magick is frequently castigated because it is proud and self-possessed in its refusal to be forced into molds. The witches recognize a world order that is soul-based, not mind-based. The free spirits that dance upon the wind, roam the plains freely and wander in the forest glades with only the light from the moon.

Witches ask only that from Mother Earth, Gaia which she has freely offered. She gives wisdom, happiness, wealth and health to all those who ask. The essence of witchcraft is the spirit of wholeness with nothing added. This essence is within everything as well as being everything. Its presence is a powerful answer to how we originated in omniscient consciousness which is all-encompassing.

Life is both contractions and expansions, of the push and pulls between concurrence and synchronicity. Although recognizing that subtle interplay of the forces that direct all, one can only recognize that once the cards are dealt, the casting of the runes complete, the spell determined and the powers called, the heart of the matter is in the relationship with the vital energy flow known as magick. To remain focused on the energy flow contained in the squeezing and releasing is the duty of the witch. It is the directing and control of this elemental flow which provides a hint as to the nature of the witch and the nature of the witchcraft which is practiced.

If this article resonates with you, please join our newsletter by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.

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5 Essential Magical Practices
November 22, 2019 by Gwion Raven

There are hundreds of ways to practice magic. I’m sure you have your favourites. I know I have mine. Over the years, and over many fine glasses of wine, I’ve chatted with all manner of Witches and Pagans and Druids about what makes magic happen for them. While the style and substance may vary, these five essential magical practices appear on everyone’s list.

Magical Practice #1: Use What You Have

I’d love to practice magick in the gardens of an 800 year old manor estate somewhere in the Cotswolds. All my Pagan friends would come for the weekend. We’d wile the day away discussing arcane magical lore, indulge in a veritable feast for the senses, gather in the rose garden under a full moon, make magic until the wee hours, and retire to our plush four-poster beds. Um…Unlikely to happen any time soon. Until then, I’ll practice in the living room, the local park, or in the ritual room my coven meets in.

Practicing magic doesn’t require the perfect location or the most expensive robes or the coolest tools. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tools I’ve collected, bought, borrowed, or been gifted over the years. They certainly get me in the mood to do magic, but I can do magic without them. In fact, most folk magic systems use every day items like candles and pins and sharpies and socks and old mason jars.
Not Where I practice Magic. Oh! But wouldn’t it be lovely.

Magical Practice #2: Spend An Hour In Devotion

If part of your magic includes working with deities, set aside an hour, and be in devotion to them. Working with gods not your thing? Spend an hour devoted to your ancestors, or to your partner(s), or to tending your altar, or even yourself. Make devotion a priority. And that hour could be one sixty minute time slot or you might consider spending 8.57 minutes per day (that’s an hour a week, broken down by day) in devotional practice. The key thing to remember is that devoting time to someone/something is all about them. You’re not looking for a reward or even reciprocation. Devotion is a gift you give with no expectation.

Magical Practice #3: Actually Do Magic

Folks new to the Craft are always doing spells, gathering herbs, making charm bags, anything they can do or make that connects them to magic. After a few years of practice, it’s not uncommon to forget to do magic. Or perhaps, to put it kindly, we get a little lazy. Instead of checking correspondences, erecting altars, or researching spells, we just sort of say “So mote it be” and have done with it. The best part of magic is actually doing magic. I highly recommend having some sort of spell going all the time and actively working with it. Light the green candle on your money altar. Feed your charm bag. Cut pictures out of magazines of the places you want to go. Mix herbs and oils aligned with travel into the glue and paste everything onto construction paper. Whatever you do, actually do it.
Part of a spell I’ve been working for years

Magical Practice #4: Talk About Magic

At least once a day, I talk about magic. Now, to be sure, it’s pretty easy for me. I write about magic. I own a metaphysical shop. My Partner is a witch. Many of my friends are somehow connected to various Pagan communities. If that’s not the reality for you, make it a practice to talk with someone, as regularly as you can, about magic. In person is great, and online works too. There are any number of places to chat about magic. Talking about magic could look like sharing a spell with someone or recounting a mystical experience or discussing that cool new kitchen witchery cookbook you just discovered. Whatever it is, make magic a regular part of your life. Notice I said “regular” part of your life, not “make magic an all consuming passion and bring up magic in every interaction you have with any human being ever”.

Magical Practice #5: Learn How To Ground

This is a big one. You’d be surprised how many Pagan folk don’t know how to do this magical practice. Basically, grounding means bringing yourself to the present moment. Ever have someone rush up to you after a ritual, they get right in your face, they bounce all over the place, and tell you all about their profound experiences with the Goddess, without ever realizing they’re standing on your foot? Yep. That person, needs to ground. Grounding is a pretty simple practice. It can look a lot like breathing. Grounding might be about meditation for you. Lots of folks close their eyes when they ground, but I recommend keeping them open and staying connected to your environment and whomever you’re sharing it with. I can’t tell you how many teachers, high priestesses, magical presenters, and workshop leaders I’ve talked to that swear by their regular, daily, grounding practice.

There you have it folks. Five essential magical practices you can start right now (or restart or continue doing).

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A Candle Meditation To Calm Emotions
BY GWYN

In the past week, I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions. Thus, I have performed this candle meditation. Why? The events of the Capitol Insurrection and its aftermath have preoccupied my thoughts with a lot of anger. I’ve got a lot of feels that need redirection from time to time.

My family and I have expressed the outrage we feel on our podcast (Episode 126 ). I’m sick of people supporting Trump and his…everything. News reports indicate a deeper threat to our government from Trump’s supporters that could include members of Congress. And let’s not forget we still have a PANDEMIC infecting and killing people every day. It’s enough to make even the most sanguine of individuals a nervous wreck.

Take A Moment To Focus
Inspired by others, I’ve encouraged people to care for themselves. Step away from the madness for a moment. Yes. There is a lot of information we need to know to be informed, stay safe, and make smart decisions. But it’s even more important to take a breath, watch something else, talk about anything other than Trump, the Insurrection, Covid 19, etc.

So, as we move into next week’s festivities (and many offer prayers, rituals, and spells of protection over the events) I offer a Candle Meditation. Just something easy to do when you need a chance to stop, breathe, and release or redirect the feels. And feel free to use it for any occasion. I’ve made this basic and generic. Tailor it to your needs.

Candle Meditation
This meditation is easy and can be done at a moment’s notice. If traveling, you can use a battery-operated candle if in a location where any kind of fire is not permitted. You can spend five minutes or however long you feel is necessary. If you are at home and want to add ambiance, play quiet music or nature sounds. Light some incense and dim the lights.

Needed:

Candle (birthday, taper, spell, jar —whatever works or you have on hand) I prefer white for meditation but any color will do.
Matches or lighter
Sit in a comfortable position. You can be in a chair with the candle on a table or sit on the floor with the candle in front of you.

Light the candle.

For 5 Minute Meditation
Take five deep breaths. You can use the technique I shared in my previous post.

Look into the center of the flame. It’s okay to blink your eyes as needed.

Breathe normally.

If there is something that is not useful to you, release or allow it to diminish. Otherwise, exist within the moment. Allow your breathing to bring calmness.

When ready, wiggle fingers and toes. Open your eyes and go on about your day.

For Longer Meditation
As you do this, pay attention to how you are feeling in your body. Acknowledge discomfort if you cannot alleviate it by adjusting the position and move on. Take your time and be aware of your space. Sink into your body. Exist within the moment.

Take five more deep breaths.

Observe the flame and acknowledge it.

Examine your feelings. Reflect on them. Is there anything that you need to embrace that will aid you? Can it be transformed into useful or helpful action? Is there anything you need to release? When you are ready, allow the flame to assist you with releasing or transforming.

Take five more deep breaths. Return to normal breathing, exist within the moment allowing calmness to infuse your mind and body.

When ready, wiggle fingers and toes. Open your eyes and go on about your day.

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Sulfur Quartz – Science & Origin of Sulfur Quartz

Sulfur Quartz is a common mineral that crystallizes in the form of masses, tiny prismatic crystals, large, pointed generators, scepters, and double terminated quartz configurations. Historically it’s been referred to as “Brimstone”, due to the smell of rotting eggs when struck together.

Its color can range from a light pale yellow, to a bold-defining gold that resembles rays of the sun. Although this mineral can be found throughout the world in places such as Canada, Japan, and the United States, the main commercialized deposits are coming out of Brazil.

Meaning & Energy
Sulfur Quartz resonates directly with one’s personal will and helps reignite the inner emotions that drive us forward each day. A renewed growth cycle will begin to engage your body when tapping into this stone’s energies. This newfound perspective of yourself and the world around you will help you see what it is you truly want.

Many souls that are lost in the world have no vision of what they view as important and achievable. This leads people down a scary path full of sadness, monotony, and emotional carnage. One of the major defining factors of Sulfur Quartz is its passive ability to lead one’s mind while providing hope for your emotional body and spirit.

Allow your newly illuminated core to infuse with your own unique cognitive abilities. Remind oneself of the power you possess, and begin to display it through creating, manifesting, building, and driving forward each day.

Amplify Your Desires
Sulfur Quartz enables you to truly create your own path in this world while directing your full attention to achieving your goals and desires. As you begin working with this stone and become more comfortable with its vibrations, one must begin to channel their own energies into it. Grab a piece of Sulfur Quartz and begin placing your most desired intentions into it. This can be done through extreme mental focus or vocal repetitions. This is vital as it makes your dreams and desires physical and known to the universe.

The Quartz is an enhancing crystal and will strengthen this newly conjured energy, while channeling it directly towards your personal will. This allows one’s body to become enchanted and strengthened, while maintaining a clear mind with laser sharp focus. Lastly, this crystal will provide you with reassurance that the journey you are on is the right one!

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Black Salt, White Salt, and Red Brick Dust All Over
BY LILITH DORSEY

There are many traditional Hoodoo, Voodoo and magickal items that can be used for protection. White Sea Salt, Black Salt, and Red Brick dust are a few of these powerful tools.

Hoodoo Help with Red Brick Dust

Hoodoo practitioners put Red Brick Dust almost everywhere- the thresholds, the windowsills, the property line… anywhere that needs to be protected. The most effective dust comes from old houses or buildings. Someone gave me a bag full from an old Haunted House. It has it’s own special mojo. There are several spiritual supply shops that will sell you a bag, or you can make your own from some crumbling bricks that are no longer needed. Just light a white candle, get out your mortar and pestle and ground them down into a fine powder. The red brick dust is said to create a powerful psychic barrier that nothing harmful can cross. For best results be sure to lay a complete line across all your thresholds and windowsills on the eve of the full moon. You can then replace this monthly or whenever you feel the need to reinforce your protection in the home.

Rub Salt in the Wound

Sea Salt has been used for protection and blessing for centuries. Some Pagans I know swear by salt from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. All the local rivers flow to the Dead Sea, but nothing flows out. Salt can only be removed through evaporation. This is useful for healing magick, earth magick and protection blessings. Very often I recommend to clients who come to me for spellwork to use salt if they are having a problem with nightmares or unwanted energies in their home. Salt or Saltwater can be sprinkled under the bed and in the corners of the home for a subtle, yet highly effective blessing. I have a godsister who makes visitors stand in a litterbox full of sea salt that she has outside her front door. This makes sure everyone leaves their problems literally on the doorstep before entering her home. You can also make a circle out of sea salt to recharge your Tarot Cards or other ritual items.

Black Salt for Dark Nights

Many protection formulas and spells also call for the use of Black Salt, also known as Black Salt powder. There are many different types of Black Salt, here I am referring to the ritual type, as opposed to the Indian salt used in cooking. Ritual Black Salt is usually made by combininng sea salt or kosher salt with cast iron filings or charcoal. Black Salt is great for removing negativity and I often use it is situations where sea salt alone would not be enough. Some Lucumi formulas call for its help in removing enemies from your path. In fact some people even refer to this as Santeria (La Regla Lucumi) Salt.

Which Witchy Dust Where?

Each one of these salts and dusts have their own special vibrational properties. In my experience a combination of all three is most effective. It’s the same as with roaches, sometimes you have to change up the poison so they don’t get immune. Be sure to us divination, the guidance of your elders, and your own judgment when it comes to spiritual solutions in your own home. Happy sprinkling!

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Essential Oils: Are They Safe To Use?

Chances are you’ve probably heard of essential oils — but what can they really do? Can lavender really help you sleep better? Does citrus actually boost energy? The short answer is yes, when used correctly.

From stress relief to minor pain management, essential oils have a wide range of uses and benefits that can complement traditional health care. As with any supplement, talk to your doctor before adding essential oils into your health routine. In the meantime, here’s some information about essential oils and how to use them safely.

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from flowers, fruits, seeds, and plants. Each oil has its own unique fragrance and chemical makeup. Here are some popular types of oils and what they’re often used for:

Why people use themTypes of oil
CitrusTo boost energy or use for cleaningLemon, citronella
Floral To relax or reduce anxietyJasmine, lavender, rose
HerbaceousFor a calming effectChamomile, eucalyptus, tea tree
CamphoraceousTo clear congestionCamphor, eucalyptus, laurel leaf
MintyFor an energizing effectSpearmint, wintergreen, peppermint
SpicyTo increase energy and focusBasil, cinnamon, ginger

How are essential oils used?
Aromatherapy: Inhaling oils to help relax the mind and body, either with a diffuser, aroma sticks, or aromatherapy necklaces.

1 Massage therapy: Applying oils to the skin or mixing oils into lotions for a massage.

Minor pain relief: Rolling oils, such as lavender or peppermint, onto the temples to relieve headaches and migraine pain.

Relief from the common cold and nausea: Inhaling oils like eucalyptus and peppermint to open up sinuses, or ginger and peppermint oil to relieve nausea.

2 Insect repellant: Spraying citronella oil onto your clothes or using it in a diffuser for an environmentally friendly bug repellant.

Household cleaner: Using lemon oil or tea tree oil as a natural alternative to chemical-based household cleaners.

Are essential oils safe?

When used correctly, essential oils can provide some wellness benefits. But there are no federal regulations around them, so try to buy from reputable companies, and beware of unsupported health claims.

Consider the following safety tips:

Only use diffusers in a well-ventilated space, and make sure to dilute the oil as instructed. As another option, you can use aroma sticks or other aromatherapy accessories.
Don’t ingest the oils, which can cause vomiting or other toxic reactions.

Many essential oils are toxic to pets, so use them with caution.

3 If you’re planning to apply essential oils topically, like for aromatherapy or massage therapy, consider the following safety tips as well:

Make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. If you get a red, itchy rash or hives after rubbing the oil on your skin, be sure to contact your doctor.
Never apply undiluted oils directly to your skin. When mixing a carrier oil (lotion, cream, butter, shampoo, etc.) with an essential oil, avoid using dilutions above 5% for adults and 2% for kids.

4 Looking for a way to relieve stress or minor aches and pains? Essential oils might be a good complement to your regular health care. As with any supplement or alternative treatment, it’s a good idea talk to your doctor before using essential oils for medicinal purposes.

1 “ Stress Management: Why Aromatherapy is Showing up in Hospital Surgical Units,” Mayo Clinic, October 27, 2017.
2See note 1.
3“Is the Latest Home Trend Harmful to Your Pets? What You Need to Know!,” ASPCA news article, January 17, 2019, accessed November 13, 2020.
4“Diluting Essential Oils,” NOW Foods, June 14, 2019.

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The Good In All

We need to encourage ourselves to look deeply into all things in our lives to see the inherent goodness of everything.

Sometimes we find it difficult to see the good in people, places, or situations that aren’t to our liking. We focus on the things we don’t like in our lives as a way of fueling our efforts to create change. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and it is one way we make progress. However, if we get too caught up in this way of looking at the world, we lose touch with our ability to sit back and simply say yes to everything on our plates, which is the true starting point for all successful activity. Sometimes what we really need is to encourage ourselves to look deeply into all things in our lives to see the inherent goodness at the heart of everything.

At the core of this inquiry is the practice of unconditional acceptance, which can be scary because we feel as if we are being asked not to change the things we don’t like. But when we think this way, we are still operating on the surface of our lives. In order to feel the beauty and warmth of full acceptance, we have to be willing to sink deeper into the stratum underlying the external manifestation of our lives. This deeper place of being is the origin of all lasting change, yet its paradox is that when we are in it, we often don’t feel the need to change anything. From this place, we experience the pure beauty of the process of being alive, and we see that all things change in their own time. We don’t need to force anything. If there are things that we do need to change, from this place of serenity we create the shift easily, our hands guided by an energy that resides at the very center of our hearts.

In our active, goal-oriented culture, we learn to distrust stillness and to engage in busywork on the surface of life. This tendency can blind us to the good that lies at the heart of all things. But all we have to do to see again is stop for a moment, let go of our preconceptions and our agendas, and settle into the very center of our hearts, remembering that it is only from here that we can truly see.

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Dealing With Change

Change can be both scary and exciting, intimidating and appealing. Rather than avoiding or resisting change, learn to embrace it. Use these crystals to welcome change, however big or small, in any area of your life.

CHRYSOCOLLA helps you to start fresh. Its energy allows you to feel confident and supported as you begin anew and emerge into the new you.

LABRADORITE illuminates your limitless potential. Seeing the incredible spectrum of color allows you to imagine the infinite possibilities that are waiting for you.

PHANTOM QUARTZ helps you break through any self-imposed limitations. This crystal reminds you that change is a necessary part of your journey and breaking through to that next level.

FLUORITE encourages you to see this period of change as a blessing. It reminds you that with change comes the opportunity to wish for what you always wanted.

MALACHITE supports your transformation from one state into the next. It reminds you to leave the past and your old self behind as you move forward into the next stage of your life.

TURQUOISE facilitates healing and supports you during this time of change.

CRYSTAL INTENTION
Change is good.

This is an opportunity for me to grow.

CRYSTAL PRACTICE Hold your crystals in your hands and say out loud, “Change is good. This is an opportunity for me to grow,” 3 times.

On a piece of paper, write down 1 obstacle that is holding you back from moving forward.

Fold your paper up and place your Phantom Quartz on top of it.

Hold just your Chrysocolla, Labradorite, and Fluorite and ask yourself, If I had no obstacles in front of me and no limitations for the future, what would I wish for?

And make that wish! When you’re finished, place these two crystals on a windowsill. Lie on your back and place these crystals accordingly:

MALACHITE over your heart.

TURQUOISE over your throat. Close your eyes and leave your crystals on your body for 5 to 11 minutes. During this time, visualize your transformation through this period and into the future.

Place the Malachite and Turquoise with your Chrysocolla, Labradorite, and Fluorite on the windowsill. After you’ve overcome your obstacle, rip up your piece of paper and throw it away.

Askinosie, Heather. CRYSTAL365 (pp. 251-252). Hay House.

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Gilberto Ties One On
by Stephen Halpert

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon in January. Maria was at the baby shower being held at their condo and hosted by Rosa. Maria’s parents Alicia and Edwardo were in Florida and appeared via Zoom.
Ramon invited Gilberto and Joey to the Boston House on Beacon Street for a lunch. Gilberto gave Joey a fistful of quarters and he went off to play pinball.

Gilberto sighed. “That woman Eva is making me crazy,” he said. “I’ve never met a more dominating female.” He took a sip of his beer. “And it feels like she’s affecting Maria. She’s bossier than ever.”
“I know how you feel,” Ramon sympathized. “Once there are children those sexy babes we’ve married disappear and turn into practical thinking adding machines.”
Gilberto sighed again. “Rosa changed then?” He wasn’t comfortable with his feelings.
“Oh yes,” Ramon assured him. “Once the girls were active, she was even more than an adding machine. She measured every drop of olive oil, totally controlled our bank account. Not that I cared. She knows I like spending money on her and the girls.”
“We only go through this life once,” Gilberto said. “Might as well enjoy it.” He wanted to shake off this gloom.
Ramon shrugged. “As far as we know,” he said “but if anything, God’s a practical joker and for all we know we turn around, come right back and start over.”
“Karma,” Gilberto said. He finished his tankard. |”Isn’t that what they call it?”
“It’s inevitable,” Ramon said. He was sipping a tall Planters Punch.
“I don’t want to lose Maria”
“Don’t think that way,” Ramon said. “You won’t. It just won’t be exactly the same. Motherhood changes a woman.”
Gilberto frowned. “So we’ll get old and she’ll become demanding and opinionated like her mother?”
Ramon shook his head. “Doesn’t have to go that way. What’s important is to be sensitive and not impatient. You’ll have to stand back. You won’t lose her but you’ll need to let go a little.”
Joey came over to their table; his eyes were downcast. “I used up all the quarters.”
Gilberto chuckled, reached into his jeans and pulled out another dozen. “Here,” he said, handing them to him. “But first sit down and have your shrimp cocktail.”
Joey slid into the booth beside Gilberto and across from Ramon. He cleared his throat the same way Gilberto always did before making a pronouncement. He looked at Ramon. “I don’t want to marry Sophia. She keeps saying when she’s twelve she’s going to marry me. “All I want to do is play soccer.”
Ramon smiled. “Not to be concerned,” he said softly. “It’s a compliment.”
Gilberto grinned. “Just don’t tell her you want to marry her, or then you’ll really be in hot water.”
“Oh I didn’t,” Joey assured him. “Then she said Antonia will go live in a convent for the rest of her life.”
Ramon burst into laughter. “She told you that! What did Antonia say?”
“She said if I married her then Sophia would have to go to the convent. I tried saying I didn’t want to get married, that I just wanted to play soccer, but I like them both and don’t know what to do. And besides what’s a convent?” He looked expectantly at the two men.
Ignoring his question, Gilberto looked at Ramon. “What do women do at a shower anyway,” he asked? “Why no men?”
“You want to sit there in the middle of a barnyard of cackling hens,” Ramon asked? “I don’t think so! No more then you’d want your wife along during a stag party at a strip joint for a bridegroom. There are just some times…”
Gilberto finished his beer and nodded to the hovering waiter who brought him another. Ramon continued to nurse his tall, icy drink.
Standing by their table, the waiter poised his pen. Ramon ordered lobsters for each of them and a green salad with olives and anchovies to share.
Joey nodded at Ramon. “Lobsters! Thank you,” he said. He looked at Gilberto. “What’s a convent? You didn’t answer my question.”
Gilberto shook his head. “You don’t need to know. Here:” he pulled more quarters from his pocket. “Go play pinball. Come back when you see the lobsters are served.”
Joey slid out of the booth and went back to the pinball machine.
“Such a good boy,” Ramon said. “You’re lucky to have him.”
Gilberto smiled and took a deep breath. “And my son too will become a soccer all-star.”
Ramon nodded.
“And Joey will make you a fine son in law whichever of your daughters he marries,” Gilberto said slyly.
Hearing that Ramon started coughing. “Please,” he held up his hand, “that’s all Rosa needs under our roof, an underaged husband. You watch anything like that happens and it will all be my fault.”
Gilberto drained his glass. “But you’re in love with her, aren’t you?”
“Of course I am,” Ramon said. “But I still see her domineering, adding machine side.”
“Then what do you do then?”
“Duck,” Ramon grinned. “And pray for rain. You’ve got to remember she and I are best friends. And if we bicker it doesn’t last too long.”
The rest of the lunch went along happily. The lobsters were delicious. Joey smiled when Ramon ordered him a Shirley Temple. “Wash it down with that.” He rubbed Joey’s head and patted his shoulder.
Gilberto ordered a slice of pecan pie. He’d had more beer than usual and felt not only full but also lightheaded. He looked at the time on his device and said. “Guess we’d better get back.”
To his surprise the condo was a flurry of pink and white giftwrapping paper. Rosa was in the kitchen tidying up, insisting Maria relax and enjoy visiting with her parents on zoom. Lola had left as did other women friends.
“Pink,” Gilberto said. Astonishment crept into his voice. “We’re having a son. Why is everything here pink?”
Rosa looked at him and huffed. “Because you’re not,” she said firmly. “You’re having a daughter. Maria was waiting for the right time to share the good news with you.”
Maria walked into the kitchen just as Rosa finished her sentence. She frowned at Rosa and shook her head.
Gilberto’s head spun. He looked from Rosa to Maria and back again. Maria’s lips were pressed together. She rolled her eyes.
“A daughter, but I thought…”
“You thought wrong,” Rosa said. “Best not to plan about children. The good lord has it all worked out.”
Maria sighed and went over to Gilberto.
“I guess.” He stood there, not sure what to do or say. “Not like a sweater you can send back if the color’s wrong or it’s the wrong size. Tears filled his eyes. “But I thought,” he repeated. His head was in a whirl. Shaking, he sat down heavily in a kitchen chair.
Maria took Gilberto’s hands. “Would you like to see the presents?”
He blinked and pointed at Rosa. “She said we’re having a daughter.”
“Yes,” Maria said softly. “We are.” Then she kissed him. “You were so expectant of a son that after I saw the sonogram, I didn’t know how to tell you.”
“A daughter,” he repeated. “We’re going to have a daughter.”
Maria took his hand. “Come into the living room and let’s sit together on the couch.”
Gilberto sighed, got up and followed Maria. He felt dizzy and disoriented. In an instant his dreams had been snatched away. He closed his eyes and started to babble. “I love you Maria. I guess it’s just a different colored sweater.” He kissed her, yawned and leaning against her, and amid the piles of pink, closed his eyes and began to snore.

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10 Medicinal Herbs That Might Live in Your Backyard

Nick Polizzi, Creator of the upcoming documentary REMEDY: Ancient Medicines for Modern Illness, reveals his own personal passion for medicinal herbs that just might pop up in your own backyard!

Last summer, I was helping my mom garden some of the beds in the back of her house when we stumbled upon something that looked too amazing to be true. A gorgeous Reishi mushroomwas growing on the stump of a hemlock tree underneath the fence between her and her neighbor’s yard!

You know, Reishi, the “king of herbs” in Chinese medicine? Scientifically known as Ganoderma and believed by ancient Taoists to be a core ingredient in the elixir of everlasting life? Yup, right there in my mom’s quaint little yard about 60 miles outside of New York City.

I had heard there were some great mushroomharvests to be had in the woods north of her home, but finding one in her shrubs was definitely unexpected.

The simple lesson here is that we don’t need to go far to find the medicine. We fall into the habit of thinking that the transformation or wild prescription for us exists in an exotic location “elsewhere,” but oftentimes they can be found right under our noses if we just open our eyes and take a look.
“Give nature half a chance and she has a miracle in store for everyone.” ~Rosita Arvigo

Below, I’ve shared 9 common low-growing medicinal herbs and 1 mushroom that you may want to search for in your own backyard or surrounding neighborhoods – plus, we’ve also noted which regions they can be found in. This is a good reason to keep your backyard chemical-free — and of course make sure you wash everything thoroughly before preparation and consumption.
Since some of these herbs have potent effects, be sure to look up any potential contraindications with regard to pregnancy, allergies, ailments, or other medications you may be taking.
You’ll want to do additional research on those edibles you do find in your own backyard, to see if they align with your personal needs. And if you find something promising that’s not on this list, take it to your local nursery for help in identification. With a little research, you can discover whether or not that plant has properties worth using, or if it’s one to avoid.

Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major): Unlike the large plantain trees that grow delectable fruits, the broadleaf plantain is a ground cover. Packed with Vitamin K, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals, the broadleaf plantain has a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body. This medicinal plant has been used in treating colds, diarrhea, burns, open sores, wounds, mouth ulcers, boils, acne, throat pain, sunburn, fever, respiratory infections; improving liver and kidney function; relieving gastrointestinal inflammation; and drawing out poisons and toxins from bites and stings–even snake bites! It’s often used as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, and you can make it into a tea, poultice, or salve. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Burdock (Arctium lappa): Burdock Root is an antioxidant powerhouse and has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.. Some of its traditional uses include removing toxins from the blood, inhibiting certain types of cancers, treating skin issues, and acting as an aphrodisiac. It’s also a natural diuretic, so be sure to hydrate properly. Consume in moderation. Consider trying in a tea, fresh root form, or dried root powder. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Chickweed (Stellaria media): Chickweed is known as a natural skin rejuvenator, with both cooling and drying effects on wounds, sores, minor burns, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin inflammations. It has also been used for constipation and relieving irritated eyes. Chickweed is a rich source of Vitamin C and potassium, and also provides nutritious trace vitamins and minerals. It fell out of style as a popular salad green, so you may want to try it that way first, or perhaps make chickweed vinegar by infusing it with apple cider vinegar. For topical use, create a salve from the plant’s essential oils. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Perhaps the most prolific and recognizable, the dandelionis greatly undervalued. This beneficial plant is often found in some of the finest herbal teas, and is used for its healing benefits to treat high blood pressure, calcium deficiency, cancer, diabetes, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, and eczema and psoriasis; detoxify the liver; aid digestion; and reduce inflammation. Use in salad greens, or dry the leaves and roots to make a tea. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album): This “prince of wild greens” is a common garden weed packed with enough protein to rival spinach, along with Vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and a multitude of minerals.. Our ancestors prized this plant’s medicine for its purification properties to “improve the blood,” and also to treat rheumatism and arthritis, toothaches and tooth decay, constipation, insect stings, eczema, and gout. Keep seed consumption to a minimum, but freely consume the leaves, shoots, and flowers. Eat fresh leaves and flowers mixed in with your other salad greens; steam or stir fry along with your favorite vegetables; or cook and puree with some of your favorite soups. You can also grind seeds into flour. Where it grows – North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where the reishi grows, you may already be aware of its long-touted healing properties. Mainly used in prevention of disease, the reishi offers protection against inflammation, various infections, skin disorders, diabetes, heart and liver disease, sleep disorders, digestive problems, cancer, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and viruses, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. It also helps to restore hormonal imbalance, and regulates various cellular functions. Because of its slightly bitter flavor, it’s traditionally dried and then prepared for a tea, or pulverized into a powder and mixed into your favorite protein shake. Where it grows – Eastern North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Be careful–this herb can sometimes “sting” and leave a rash when bare skin comes into contact with the acid-filled needles. Once boiled, however, the nettles leave you with leaves that, when ingested, provide nutritious elements and anti-inflammatory properties. Nettle leaves have been used in treating allergy symptoms, lowering blood pressure, improving immune system response, reducing pain, acting as a diuretic, treating skin conditions, thickening hair while also reducing dandruff, and causing a sedative effect. The plant’s root has been used to address prostate concerns in men. Handle and harvest while wearing gloves, and then boil or cook to remove the sting from the nettles. The easiest and perhaps most common way to use nettles are in a tea, where you can flavor with other herbs or spices to taste. But once cooked, you can also use nettle leaves like most other greens and use in salads, or season and bake them (like kale chips), or grind to make a pesto. For the roots, toss them in a stir fry or dry like the leaves for use in a tea. Where it grows – Western North America, Europe, Northern Africa and Asia.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea): Purslane is an excellent source of fiber; Vitamins A, B, and C; iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and powerful antioxidants. Our ancestors have used it for hundreds of years to prevent and cure disease. It’s been used to treat high cholesterol, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, and cancer. It’s believed to improve vision, strengthen bones, increase circulation, and aid in weight loss. Try it mixed with salad greens. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.): Menopause symptoms. Maintaining bone strength. Improving cardiovascular health. Lowering risk for various types of cancers. Reducing skin inflammation. Fighting respiratory infections. Detoxifying the liver. Boosting the immune system. Managing cholesterol. Balancing hormones. These are just some of the many disorders and “symptoms of aging” that red clover has been used to treat. Dry the herb to make a tea, or make a salve for a topical medicine. Where it grows – North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This pretty little flowering herb is wonderful for healing skin conditions; stopping bleeding (external); encouraging bleeding in cases of amenorrhea; alleviating anxiety; acting as a mild sedative; reducing inflammation; and treating mastitis, high blood pressure, asthma, and muscle spasms. Use fresh leaves in salads, soups, or sautéed dishes, or use dried leaves as a cooking herb. Where it grows – North America, Europe and Asia.Many of these herbs are sold in supplement form, but you can bypass the middle-man and go directly to the source by taking a look around and experimenting on your own. Perhaps LA-based guerilla gardener Ron Finley says it best:
“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”

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For A Healthy Immune System, Add Astragalus
~Dr. Weil

Want To Promote A Healthy Immune System? Try This Herb!

Feeling like your immune system is under assault? Crowded cities, frequent travel, and spending time in day care centers and schools expose you to a heavy burden of germs. You can help protect and strengthen your system by eating right, getting enough movement and rest, regular stress reduction and cultivating healthy emotional states.

You may also want to try astragalus to help enhance immune function. Obtained from the root of Astragalus membranaceous, a member of the pea family, astragalus has a long history of use in Chinese medicine. It is widely available and inexpensive and can be particularly beneficial for those with immune deficiencies.

Look for astragalus products standardized to 16% polysaccharides and 0.2% flavones and follow package directions for either year-round dosing or support during winter months when illnesses peak.

In the midst of our current global pandemic, astragalus may have a specific supportive role. It’s ability to help keep inflammation at bay as well as reducing viral replication have in on the short list of items to consider taking regularly.

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Nourishing Herbal Infusions

Creating nourishing herbal infusions is easy and fun!! For certain herbs we are looking for the nutritive qualities of the plant ie vitamins and minerals. These nutrients “live” behind the cell wall of the plant and release themselves only after steeping dried plant material for 4-8 hours.

*drying makes the cell wall more fragile and thus assists in releasing compounds that are behind the cell wall.

~Flowers can be steeped for 4 hours

~Leaves as well as roots for 8 hours.

The essential or volatile oils as well as vitamin C are on the outside of the cell wall and are readily made available in water after 5-15 minutes. Tea can be made with fresh plant material. For example chamomile tea will only be steeped for 5-10 minutes. Steeped too long and the tea becomes bitter-have you ever had this experience? If you have you know what I mean.

The reason for the bitterness is that the water begins breaking down the cell wall and releasing bitter alkaloids. In small quantities this is fine and will assist in promoting digestion, but if you are looking for a sweet relaxing beverage you will only want to steep your herbs with volatile oils for 5-15 minutes.

My favorite infusions herbal infusions are Stinging Nettle (Unrtica dioca), Oatstraw (Avena sativa), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Comfrey (Syphytum

To make a nourishing herbal infusion:

Boil Water (1 quart for every ounce of herb)

Place one ounce of herb (for each quart of water) in a tea pot, french press or canning jar.

When the water boils pour the water over the herb (if you are using a canning jar place a butter knife in the jar to act as a conduit-the knife will absorb some of the heat and keep the jar from breaking)

Put a lid on the container and set aside for 4-8 hours
After 4-8 hours strain the herb and enjoy!!!

You can store infusions in the refrigerator for 2-3 days after which they will start to spoil Infusions are nutrient rich and become food –if they spoil feed them to your plants!!!

You can drink infusions warmed, iced or sweetened!! You can also incorporate them into your diet as a soup base!!
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Ginger Tea

Experience a calm and serene feeling with every cup of this flavorful GINGER TEA that’s also good for your body. A healthy and soothing drink flavored with natural spices and sweeteners giving your body tons of benefits. You’ll surely be pleased in every brew of this simple yet beneficial drink!

Ginger Tea with Lemon and Honey

As you may know by now, I love the zingy tanginess of ginger especially on many of my dishes. It brings an earthy and spicy twist to any meaty dish, drink, or even dessert. My health enthusiast friends and I would drink this tea after our work out session to calm everything out.

Today I’ll share my flavorful recipe so you can also enjoy the warm and cozy sensation of this drink, especially during this cold season. It’s so easy to make that you could prepare this for tea time every day!

Aaannd did you know that it’s also a great drink to burn all those holiday fatty food? Yep! Crazy good, right?

Benefits of this Ginger Drink
You’ll know that you have the right plant when you sense its spicy aroma. This is due to the presence of ketones such as Gingerols, the main component of ginger. The root itself has existed for more than 5,000 years wherein the Chinese and Indians used it to treat ailments.

Menstrual Pains
I know how painful it is to have these cramps especially when you’re not expecting it. Luckily, this drink has compounds that inhibit inflammatory chemicals in the body. This lessens muscle inflammation thus decreasing the chances of cramps and discomfort.

Treats Morning Sickness or Nausea
This information might be extra helpful to pregnant women or people undergoing chemotherapy. Drinking a cup of ginger tea helps relieve nausea because of the compounds present in the drink. The plus side of this is that it’s all-natural! No need to worry about chemical side effects.

Blood Pressure Regulation
Consuming this pungent herb has been observed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also been linked to improving blood circulation which will generally improve your body’s condition.

Weight and Blood Sugar Control
A study shows that consuming ginger can help improve blood sugar control. This means a lot of ailments such as type 2 diabetes may be prevented.

Boosting the Immune System and Relieves Stress
This root crop packs a good deal of antioxidants which helps reduce the chances of general ailments. This is actually one of my secrets why you’d rarely find me stressed (??). It doesn’t really take away the stressors but it helps to calm everything down so I can think better.

Recipe Ingredients
Trust me, this drink is one of the most wholesome beverage that you’re going to taste. There are just a few ingredients for the whole drink and all of these are natural! You can easily find these ingredients in a single trip to the grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need.

Ginger (peeled and sliced)
Cardamon (a close relative of our main ingredient today. This means they go well together.)
Cinnamon Sticks
Star Anise
Lemon Juice
Honey (optional. Serves as a natural sweetener)
Water, because we can’t have tea without water, right?

This recipe is a simple mix you can easily make at home. Add in your own creative twist and let me know how it turns out!

Ginger Drink Variations Around the World
The key process in making tea is extracting the flavor of your main ingredient until it blends with the water. I’ve seen a lot of recipes where they do this in different methods and I’ve listed down below my personal favorites.

Pineapple Ginger Juice (West Africa)
This summer-perfect drink combines the citrusy taste of pineapple and the spicy and tangy flavor of our root crop. You can add a little alcohol to this drink to make it a bit more fun.

Ardak Wali Chai (India)
This beautiful drink is made from our tangy root crop, black tea leaves, and milk. It’s really fun to make because you can see how the water changes in color. From yellowish to reddish, and ultimately to a light brown tea. It tastes sweet with a spicy and a bit acidic flavor.

Ginger Ale (often credited to Ireland)
The modern style of making this (Canadian) drink is just a mix of carbonated water and ginger-infused syrup. Personally, I could drink this once in a while because it still has medicinal benefits but in moderation.

Salabat (The Philippines)
This is one of the simplest ways to brew ginger tea which is quite similar to our recipe today. The slices of ginger are brewed in hot water and that’s it! Instant drinks use dried and powdered variants that dissolve in water for quick fixes! This can be served hot or iced.

Tea Time Pairings
This drink is versatile because it can pair well with many dishes or treats. Personally, I love drinking this during tea time with some of my favorite desserts or snacks. Here are some of my top picks to pair your ginger tea with.

How to Make Ginger Tea

Add ginger, star anise, cardamon, and cinnamon sticks to a medium pot. Pour in water and place on the stove over medium-high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5-10 minutes. The longer you cook, the stronger the ginger tea is.

Adjust the cooking times as needed. Taste as it simmers and add more water if needed. Turn the stove off, remove the pot. Sieve the ginger tea using a fine sieve or cheesecloth over a large bowl or teacup or mug. Add lemon juice, start with a 1/4 cup and adjust with more, as needed to suit taste buds. Discard the remaining ingredients. Top with lemon and sweetener, if desired. Serve hot. Enjoy!
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Kitty Kat Korner!
Sharing our love for cats!

Why do Cats Knead? 7 Interesting Reasons!
BY MARC-ANDRÉ

Have you seen your cats knead? Did you try asking your vet why they are doing such an act? We will answer your question by presenting you the reasons why they need to knead. Cats are exciting creatures, with lots of unique traits and behaviors that only they can do. Some of their unique behaviors include curling up tightly to take a nap or their distinct grooming rituals after taking their meal and of course kneading.

During kneading the cat pushes in and out using paws, alternating between left and right. Some cats knead without showing their claws while others do it with all their claws extended as they push in and draw in their claws as they pull back. The kneading motion resembles the baker kneading the dough, thus some people call it making biscuits.

Cats do this on a sofa, a comforter, a flexible surface, and of course in your lap. Normally, you can also hear the cat’s purring while kneading. Other cats may drool as they relax their jaw. It is not normal for a cat to knead in a trance-like state in a steady, rhythmic movement.

  1. A Left-Over Behavior When They Were Just a Kitten

The most popular reason why cats knead is that it is a leftover behavior during their kittenhood. Cats start to knead when they were just kittens before they were able to get around on their own. During nursing, kittens knead on the area around their mother’s teat to make the milk flow. The kneading helps stimulate the production of milk.

So, why do cats continue to knead even they are adults already? They continue to knead soft surface even if it does not yield milk. It’s because they identify the motion of kneading with the satisfying comfort they felt during nursing.

  1. They Knead When they are Happy or Contented

Adult cats knead when they feel happy or contented. Sometimes they knead on a soft area thinking that it is their mother’s teat. Actually, there are instances that some cats suckle on the surface they are kneading. No matter how you interpret their kneading, one thing is for sure your cat starts to knead if they feel happy, safe, and secure.

  1. Showing their Love and Appreciation

If your cat is extra cuddly and twirled up and kneads on your lap as you are cuddling him, he is repaying the favor and informing you he loves you as well. However, there are instances that it becomes painful because the happier he gets the harder he will dig in his sharp claws. There are ways you can allow your cat to knead on your lap without making your legs turns into raw dough:

• Place a thick, soft barrier between your lap and the cat. By doing this, you can save your legs from getting hurt.
• If you feel that his kneading is becoming intense position your cat on his back and pet his belly instead. In case you got hurt, do not punish your cat from doing this, he is not aware that it hurts.
• Keeping your cats’ nails trimmed is the best solution. So anytime, the cat kneads you don’t have to worry of getting hurt.

  1. To Keep Themselves Supple and Limber

Felines are natural yoga masters and they love to work out on their kinks in their bodies that lead from keeping in one position for too long. One way to keep them limber and supple is by kneading.

  1. Check the Grounds and Create a Comfortable Place to Lay Down

Cat’s ancestors love to lay down on soft, cozy surfaces to sleep or give birth to their kittens. By kneading down on tall grass or leaves, cats were able to create a comfy spot to lie down in, and probably to check the ground for unwanted visitors loitering under the foliage.

  1. To Instill their Scent

Cats are territorial animals, and one way of protecting their area is to instill their scent. By kneading their claws into the surface of an area, they are stimulating their scent glands located in their soft pads on the bottom of their paws, thus making that item their property.

Cats have scent glands that most cat owners are not aware of. One example is on top of their eyebrows. This is one reason also why they love to rub their foreheads on your legs and furniture because they instill their scent all over the surface to tell other cats that this is their territory. Humans cannot smell this scent of course as we do not have a sharp sense of smell like they do. You might not know this but your home and your legs are smeared with your cat’s scent.

Cat’s paws are known to have scent glands. So, one theory goes that cats knead to release the scent in these glands on their paws. It is their way of claiming territory. Some think it’s cute but others find it creepy.

  1. A Way of Flirting

This is not common, but it does happen. This is common only in female cats. They are known to knead their paws before going into estrus – which means going into heat. Female cats knead to show male cats that she wants to mate.

One thing is for sure, if your cats combine kneading with solicitation purring, you are in trouble. If you don’t know or you are not aware of what solicitation purring is, there is a possibility you have experienced it already. The sound of solicitation purring is the cry of a human baby. If you hear this, it means that your cat wants to lick on your cereal bowl. And it works with many all the time.

Cats have many unique and funny behavioral traits and kneading is one of them. Kneading is not only specific to certain breeds of cats. All cats do this and you cannot stop them from doing it. So, even if these are some of the more common ideas for why cats knead, it definitely does not provide all the possible reasons. For instance, some cats knead before they are about to take a nap. It does not matter what the reasons why cat kneads, one thing is for sure kneading is a natural, common, and instinctual behavior.

Author Bio:

Sarah Keene is the founder of Themeowthing where she writes about the various cat breeds, kitty pet care & health advice, training tips, reviews of cat products, and any other issues that you might love to know about cats.

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope
January 17, 2021

All Signs
There are two big changes this week: The Sun moves into Aquarius, which brings a shift for everyone for the next four weeks. Meanwhile, this week, Mars lines up with Uranus creating sudden upsets and impulsive urges. Mars is full of energy and Uranus is unpredictable. Together they create energy is exploding in all directions! People will be rebellious and do rash things. (The last time I did something rash, I was officially escorted out of the attic of an historic, old hotel where I was found studying heart-encased initials and love messages carved into the beams where employees made out in prior decades. I was ordered to leave – with my kids — and the dog.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Guard your money and your movable belongings this week because something unexpected might impact them. An accident might create damage, loss or theft. Not good! Meanwhile, for the next month, you will be more involved with friends because you have something to say! Interactions with others will be upbeat and exciting. Many of you will be more involved with groups and clubs. It’s important to know that your involvement with others will actually benefit you now. Naturally, it will benefit others as well because this is a two-way street. But obviously, now is the time to be friendly!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This is an accident-prone week so pay attention to everything you say and do (especially mid-week). You will feel impulsive, restless and rebellious because you want to do your own thing! However, others will notice you more than usual because for the next four weeks, the Sun will be at the top of your chart casting you in a flattering spotlight. (Symbolically.) This means without making any effort on your part, you will impress everyone! They think you’re admirable! Since this smoke and mirrors trick is working for you – this window of time is a wonderful opportunity for you to advance your agenda! Act now!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Be careful this week because something going on behind the scenes (possibly hidden from you) might catch you off guard. Or perhaps this same “hidden” energy might make you suddenly do something that you could later regret. Be mindful! Be aware of what you are doing and saying. Meanwhile, in the next four weeks, you will want to travel or do anything that you can to expand your horizons. You’ll want to to reach out for more out of life! You want to learn new things and meet people from other backgrounds. If you can’t physically travel, then travel through film and books. (Geminis love magazines and YouTubes because you like quick hits of information about anything!)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
An unpredictable element might occur this week that impacts your friendship with someone. Either one of you might get angry. You might be too demanding of someone? Someone might be too demanding of you? You might suddenly quit a group or leave a friendship? Tread carefully! In the next four weeks, your focus on shared property, inheritances, taxes, debt and insurance issues will be stronger than usual. Fortunately, if you’re making important decisions in these areas or negotiating, things will probably go your way because lucky Jupiter will protect you. In fact, Jupiter will attract good fortune to you with money and practical advantages.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Oh my! Mars lines up with Uranus at the top of your chart this week, which means your ambition might trigger unexpected results. Be patient with parents, bosses, the police and authority figures. Avoid power struggles. Don’t be rebellious or you could later regret it. Think before you speak! Meanwhile, in the next four weeks, the Sun will be opposite your sign (this happens once a year), and when it occurs, it means you need more sleep. Respect your need for more rest. You will also find that you are more focused on partners and close friends; and in fact, this focus will allow you to see a more objective view on your style of relating to others. Helpful to know!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Please be careful this week. Be mindful. Pay attention to everything you say and do because this is an accident-prone week for you especially midweek. Likewise, travel plans might suddenly change. Ditto for school plans or anything to do with medicine, the law, publishing and the media. Nevertheless, for the next four weeks, you’re gung-ho to work hard and get better organized. You want to work smart because you want to be efficient, effective and productive. In other words, energy wise, you want the best bang for your buck. Small wonder that you’re setting the bar high this year because this is the year you can improve your job or get a better job! Likewise – you can improve your health. You rock!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Make friends with your bank account and make sure you know what’s happening with regard to anything related to shared wealth, shared property, taxes, debt and insurance issues because something unexpected might impact these areas this week. Definitely. It could be a windfall? It might be a loss? Meanwhile, we do know that the next four weeks are a particularly fun-loving, lighthearted time for you when you will relax and enjoy yourself. Yay! In particular, you will enjoy the company of your kids, as well as romantic partners. You will especially want to use your mind for mental games and fun diversionary past times. Anyone for backgammon?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Be patient with partners and close friends this week because you might have a blow up with someone. Things are unpredictable, rebellious and probably a clash of egos. (This, you do not need.) Therefore, be patient and tolerant to avoid nastiness. Meanwhile, home, family and your personal life will be your primary focus for the next four weeks. In particular, you might be more involved than usual with a parent. Fortunately, something will please you about where you live because this is your year to improve your home and improve your family relationships. You will feel richer and happier about where you live – one way or the other. Plus, family members will be more generous and kinder to each other. (Gosh.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Be careful with everything that you do this week because this is an accident-prone time for you, especially at work. Sudden mishaps might also relate to your pet so be vigilant and aware of this. Admittedly, a sudden and unexpected change could impact your employment or your health as well. Tread carefully! Be vigilant. Meanwhile, the pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks because suddenly, you have things to do, places to go and people to see! Your To-Do list is packed! Between appointments, increased reading, writing and studying and short trips – you’re busy! But it’s “happy” busy and you won’t mind. Strong feelings about financial matters will exist for you. You might feel obsessed about buying something. (“I have to have it!”)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
People with children have to be vigilant this week because this is an accident-prone week for your kids. Also, something unexpected might impact your social life. For example, an unexpected invitation might catch you off guard. Or perhaps, a social occasion will be cancelled? Sports-related accidents are also possible. On the other hand, there might be wonderful news that is sports related? Meanwhile, for the next four weeks, you will be more focused on money issues – cash flow, earnings as well as matters related to your physical belongings. You might have excellent moneymaking ideas? You might see ways to promote your income because after all, this year you will get richer! Write down your ideas in case you want to refer to them later.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week sudden upsets on the home front are likely. This could be a family conflict, or an accident related to your home? Perhaps a small appliance will break down or a minor breakage will occur. Something unexpected is lurking! Be aware of this. Meanwhile, you are empowered in the next four weeks because the Sun will be in your sign. (This happens only once a year.) This means it’s your turn to rejuvenate and restore yourself for the rest of the year. Things will tend to go your way. You will attract important people to you as well as favourable situations. This is very timely as you set out on your new journey of reinventing yourself. This is your hour!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Please be vigilant and mindful because this is an accident-prone week for your sign. (Especially midweek.) Be cautious driving, walking and jogging. You might suddenly have to take a small trip; or perhaps, a small trip will be cancelled? Difficulties with relatives, neighbours and siblings might also arise. Therefore, protect yourself by being mindful, careful and patient. Meanwhile, for the next four weeks, you might choose to keep a low profile because your personal year is coming to an end but your birthday has yet to arrive. That means that this is the perfect window of time to make plans for your new year ahead. Set some goals! Goals give you a clearer focus on what is important to you. They also make future decision-making easier. You will appreciate that they give you a sense of purpose.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 17 January 2021

If youre born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); youre advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re in the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

This is a tricky week in an unsettled period. While thereve been numerous disagreements about a range of topics, hopefully youve concentrated on those that involve you, personally, or where your knowledge will be helpful. Then focus on them; and the rest? Strange as the idea of ignoring everything else seems, your formidable energy is better employed dealing with matters where you can make a difference.

A recent argument or small upsets have built up in your mind. Thoughts go round in circles and this can take a toll on your physical health. You might need to step away from people you see every day until you sort out how you really feel. Expect your plans to take time and effort and guard against becoming overly ambitious or you could lose interest or be distracted by other ideas. You dont want all the hard work youre putting in now to come to nothing.

As you well know, everything has consequences. Excited as you may be as the week gets underway, for the first time in over three decades, the Sun aligns with Saturn in an area of your solar chart associated with groups and teams. Your management skills will surely be put to the test. You may be asked to take on an extra role. Of course, it is entirely possible that this will give you a chance to practice the fine art of delegation. Whatever, note that with so many planets in what are known as the Fixed signs of the Zodiac, that you`re likely to encounter stubbornness, intransigence, but yes, on the positive side, extra ordinary determination.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, certain individuals have been complaining about arrangements they regard as unfair. While you recognise everybody has a right to their views, youve also felt it was wise to steer clear of these and other potentially confrontational situations. If these arent actually directly influencing you, shift your focus to matters you can do something about. Once you have, get involved, ideally along with others.

Tension in a close relationship is getting you down. This can be traced back to a disagreement over your choice of friends or activities. Someone in the family does not approve of your recent decisions or your partner is trying to restrict your movement. You just want to get on without having to explain your choices to anyone. You want to keep moving and to enjoy new experiences. Go with what feels right for you.

As the week begins, Mars and Uranus align in your sign; and yes, there is the danger of you going off like a bull in a china shop. Yet your entrepreneurial flair should also surface. You will need to take care that you dont self-sabotage by being too fixated on one goal and oblivious to the impact your decisions have on others. Remember that Saturn has now taken up position at the apex of your solar chart. For the next couple of years, your career and professionalism are on the line. What you dont want to do at this point is alienate those who could help you achieve a goal.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

As an inquisitive Gemini, you thrive on new ideas, if not the unexpected. As a result, when lifes too predictable, youll get things going. However, recent events amongst friends or in the world around you were so unsettling youre unsure what to do or think. The answer? Quietly withdraw, and reflect on whats taking place. Only once your mind is settled will what`s next be clear.

You sense a change in a close relationship. You and a friend or lover are drifting apart. Your long-term plans are very different from each others and you cant see how you can manage to remain together. It might be time to break off this alliance. Take a practical point of view when planning for the future. Give your family plenty notice if you want to make changes in a regular schedule. They`ll be grateful for the warning.

Yes, you`re likely right that much is going on in the background – and entirely out of your control. The alignment of Mars and Uranus in neighbouring Taurus suggests that on the one hand, that others will likely be taking decisions that have extra-ordinary effect on your life. Where you do have control is in your use of social media and how you choose to represent yourself. This week, the Sun and Saturn make their first alignment in Aquarius for three decades. At this point, your expertise could be called into question. You may decide that you need to know more and so enrol on a course to improve qualifications that have effectively stagnated over the years. Clearly much depends on your age – but the major theme is about expanding your knowledge base.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Judging by this weeks powerful aspects to Uranus, which accents innovation and the unexpected, even simple arrangements are likely to change, and change again. While some of these are welcome, if not overdue, others may be unsettling. However, once youve had a chance to think things through, you`ll realise they offer a timely solution for situations that are becoming an increasing source of concern.

Youve always been intuitive and this is what makes you so alert to the needs and feelings of your partner. If you know someone is worried about the future, rather than getting defensive, make an effort to appease their fears. Try a short, practice stint first, before deciding whether you are ready for new experiences. You dont know what is going to happen and to have a safety strategy seems like a sensible idea.

Saturn may have left your opposite sign, but now its busy elsewhere: this time in an area of your solar chart associated with deep and committed partnerships. Alignment with the Sun suggests, - at the very least - discussions about if not actual signatures on contracts. This comes very soon after Mars conjunction with Uranus. This is a firecracker combination indicating that the first part of this week will be truly exciting. Yes, in your usual Cancerian way youd be right to be cautious. Its probable however, that an idea or concept has been brewing for ages and now is the moment for it to be delivered. In recognition of the effort and energy you`ve put in toward incubating this plan, you may be offered a stake in its further development. In short, this could be a super key to professional development.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Only days ago, you talked through, and overcame, persistent issues involving a range of crucial matters. Or so you thought. Now that a few days have passed, you`re beginning to realise that several of these are so complex, if not confusing, that they need to be tackled in stages. While this may mean being persistent, the results you get will justify the patience required.

Dont ignore a relative just because you arent happy with what they want or what they say. You may not agree all the time but if youre willing to talk, you will find a way to resolve contentious issues. Be honest about your feelings. A friends spontaneous offer will have you altering social plans for the better. You may not be meeting up with a lot of people but it will be fun to spend time with others who are on your wavelength.

For the first time in roughly three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in your opposite sign. View this as a full stop moment as regards partnerships. In the business world, this could either bring to an end or begin a fresh contract. The issue is all about commitment. If it is the case that one door is closing, then be assured that another is opening. A few days prior to this alignment, Mars and Uranus meet at the apex of your solar chart. This is a Jack in the box cosmic signature suggesting you might have something to say about the direction you want to take and yes, it is likely to be linked to property and career goals. Put all this together, and it`s not hard to conclude that your life is about to go off in new direction. The limitations of the last year may have been beyond your control, the ones you are choosing to accept this year would seem to be very much within it.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Its rare you undertake changes without thinking things through first. Yet even you are likely to have missed certain details, mostly because until recently they seemed unimportant. While this chaotic approach to decision-making isnt usually your style, judging by the circumstances in question, it`s unlikely you could have avoided these. Take it slowly and focus on the details involved, and what you can learn from them.

Youre in such a sensitive and giving mood that you will find it easy to reach agreements. Happiness in love and friendship has a lot to do with the amount of effort you are putting into your relationships. Your main focus is on pleasing people and positive developments will give you a renewed sense of contentment. Youre ready to work on your personal development as many different interests capture your imagination. Education is crucial to success.

Mars and Uranus meet in another of the Earth signs. This is a firecracker combination. If there really is a music of the spheres, then this combination suggests a loud cymbal crash; and yes, you could be the percussionist. Its probable that you have knowledge that astounds others. Your expertise seems much in the spotlight. That this alignment is followed by another - the first of its kind in roughly three decades, - and taking place in the working area of your solar chart, suggest that whatever your expertise is, that others will want access to it and at a daily level. True, for some this could be about health concerns. Its perhaps more likely that you`ll be asked to take on a project that would take roughly 2 years to accomplish.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

As you discovered last week, even seemingly minor differences are more complex than you realised. This has meant youve had to invest time and thought in getting to the facts, then reaching an agreement with others. While this will have been far more challenging that you anticipated, what youve learnt in the process of dealing with them will prove well worth the time and effort invested.

You will enjoy team activities you can share with friends whose company you always enjoy. You`re in the mood to have fun and eager to jump into new group events while continuing to support safety measures. Are you single? Cupid has a dart aimed straight at your heart. If you are already in a committed relationship, romance will be dreamy and exciting. If there is anything you are uncertain about or confused over, there is someone who is close to you who will offer useful guidance.

For the first time in three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in the research and development area of your solar chart. That event is preceded by another key alignment that accents financial partnerships. Its entirely possible that an idea has now got to the stage where commitment and contracts are exchanged. Obviously much depends on your personal life, but it does appear you now have something to truly get your teeth into and will be keen to move forward - even knowing that you will be under time pressure. Dont forget that yours is one of the Cardinal signs youre almost born to lead and so will need to focus on team management. Yes, you will need to take the initiative and yes, there will be times when your expertise is called into question. Yet it is possible that youve attracted a situation for which you are absolutely the right person. True, these are early days and it will likely take a couple of years but this project service or item to be ready to be rolled out. The process though starts now, and, likely in partnership, this plan could go far.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages either circumstances or the need to be tactful have prevented a frank discussion of certain crucial matters. However, with both the communication planet Mercury and the Sun having recently met your ruler Pluto, events or possibly your own desire to clear things up have forced you to talk things over. The resulting powerful insights weren`t just a relief, they felt like a real victory.

Someone will make excuses for a mistake they made. You feel they should have been more careful but you are willing to listen to them and you will give them the benefit of the doubt. Even so, you will be careful about what you trust them with in the future. You may need to organise your life around new commitments. If you leave others to arrange themselves around you especially if you have children, problems could result.

For the first time in roughly three decades, the Sun and Saturn come together at the very base of your solar chart. Think of this as the headteacher arriving. True, you could get forewarning early in the week when Mars and Uranus come together in your opposite sign and yes, that could lead to a scramble to tidy things up and look as though you have been studying hard. In short, you may feel that inadequacies are about to be exposed. It is perhaps as likely that you will be offered support to develop an interest that is actually a latent talent but which doesn`t fit neatly into any of the usual boxes. View any criticism as identifying the support you will need for moving forward. Yes, it likely means you need to archive some material and be generally more aware of the value of good organisation. This though, maybe something you are more than happy to work on.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a fire sign, you thrive on new ideas and change; and if lifes too predictable, youll shake things up a bit. Now, however, youre urged to pause and think about whether there were situations in the past you either ignored or never got around to dealing with. Although recent developments seem more urgent, tackle past issues first. Youll soon learn how wise this was.

You are finding it easier to express your feelings to someone you know you can trust. You are getting on so well with each other and this makes you look forward to plans you are making together. Are you single? Turning a friendship into romance feels comfortable. The success rate of new ideas and experiments is on the up and if these relate to money, your earning ability is also increasing. You have a lot to feel happy about.

For a few weeks now, youve been acutely aware of the value of teamwork. No, having assessed who is best of what, it may be necessary to reshape, regroup and re-delegate. For the first time in roughly three decades, the Sun makes its first alignments with Saturn in Aquarius. You wont be the only sign that needs to focus on wording and contractual obligations. It may be that you were the one who has to resolve the actual wording. By Wednesday, you may also need to deal with intransigence and stubbornness. As well as redefining a contract, you might also need to access considerable charm and good humour. Yet`s probable that others want to work with you and that though a few difficult few days have to be negotiated, that by early next week an acceptable way forward will be found.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Judging by this weeks tricky planetary activity, what youd hoped would be simple, if complex, discussions could turn into lengthy debates. While time-consuming, what you and others learn in the process will more than justify the patience required. So, tempting as it is to sidestep seemingly pointless topics, don`t. They could turn out to be of the greatest importance in the long run.

Youre still a little nervous about mixing with too many people. You should be enjoying yourself and joining friends who are planning fun activities and yet youre holding back. Once you are certain there is no risk in the plans you are making, you will feel more able to relax. You need to decide how much to give and how much to take in a relationship thats out of balance. If youve been doing too much for someone, learn how to tell them no`.

Saturn may have concluded its journey through your sign, but it hasnt left the solar system entirely. This week it makes its first aspects in neighbouring Aquarius for over three decades. For many signs this will put focus on teamwork. Whilst for the last couple of years, youve had to take on leadership roles and yes, at times challenge the authority of others, the focus now shifts to working within a team and evolving strategy for that team. You perhaps need the group to become known for expertise in a particular area; to be the A team. This should be easier to accomplish after the Sun moves into Aquarius on Wednesday. With so many planets then in Fixed signs, it should be clear who is travelling in which direction, at what speed and how their efforts can be harnessed to your own.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

While youre inquisitive by nature, in certain elements of your life you avoid change, and sometimes even battle it. Yet the current planetary setup indicates that what seem pointless shifts are actually breakthroughs, if in disguise. While you may be unable to say a wholehearted yes to whats coming your way, at least explore ideas and events. The more you learn, the more enthusiastic you`ll be.

Something you have longed for will soon be yours. This will give you cause for a celebration. Taking a chance on romance or accepting an exciting offer will be the best decision you make this month. Even though something you decide on makes perfect sense to you, a relative might suggest you`re making a mistake. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and get on with it, no matter what other people have to say.

For the first time in roughly three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in your sign. Saturn is all about responsibility and duty; and yes, despite the fact that this is your birthday time, and you no doubt want to celebrate, it does appear that you will be required to step up and deal with difficult issues. This could put you on collision course with those born under the other Fixed signs of Taurus, Leo or Scorpio. Destinations may be similar but approaches very different. A team probably has to be brought together. You may need to take charge. For once, there may be no one other than yourself to take responsibility and accept the consequences if things go wrong.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Somebody seems to be determined to manipulate you into taking over responsibility for certain existing matters or new arrangements theyre struggling to deal with. While in the past you might have said youd handle these, youve finally realised such problems arent your responsibility. Say exactly that to the individual in question, then focus on your own obligations, and who and what you enjoy most in life.

Someone is struggling to cope. You have skills in this area and you won`t hesitate to offer your help. A professional problem at the very start of the week will be fixed in no time. You will do a good job of helping everyone keep on top of everything. Sharing secrets and discussing plans for the future will bring you and someone special closer together. You are feeling loved and optimistic about what the months ahead might bring.

There are two kinds of Pisces: the ones who never seemed to know exactly where theyre going, and the other kind who are super super efficient. Perhaps you are one trying to be the other! For the first time in over three decades, the Sun aligns with Saturn in neighbouring Aquarius. The effect this has on many people may be disturbing. As afish, you may feel that this is akin to the water in your tank being changed at short notice; and yes, you might wonder initially what is happening as you are scooped from one environment to another. There is little you can do other than to go along with the flow. This isnt so much about a control issue but that you perhaps need to watch and study others as they try and find their way too; but yes, you`re right, their decisions will affect you and yes, it would be good to know what these are sooner rather than later.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

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  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
  2. Herbalism 101
  3. Herbalism 202
  4. Herbalism 303
  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 10-17 Jan 2021 ~ Thanks for reading!

Artwork: Snow by Michael Whelan

Take time today to appreciate beauty –
natural beauty, art, people.
Slow down, breathe deeply, smile.
It’s a beautiful world

~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

Flower of the Month for January: Carnation:Symbolizing love, fascination, distinction!

January is Hot Tea Month!

Celtic Tree Calendar
Beth (Birch) December 24 to January 20

The Goddess Calendar
Month of Hestia begins 12/26 – 1/22

Jan 10: Iroquois Feast of Dreams to celebrate the New Year.

Jan 11: Plough Monday

Jan 11: Roman Carmentalia begins (15 days)

Jan 11: Feast of Juturna, Goddess of Pools and Still Water

Jan 12: First New Moon of 2021 EST

Jan 12: Feast of Compatalia

Jan 13: In pre-Christian Ireland, the Feast of Brewing was celebrated

Jan 13: Norse Midvinterblot

Jan 13: Druid Feast of Brewing

Jan 13: Feast of the Wind Gods of the Eight Directions

Jan 14: Gamelion Noumenia

Jan 15: Feast of the Ass

Jan 16: Religious Freedom Day

Jan 17: Face to Face Class: Noon -3:00~The Magick of Crystals at Sticks and Stones

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Current Moon Phase: Waning Moon

Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing, Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances.

Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs!

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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The Magic of Crystals

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.

Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.
Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!

If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00

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Order Your Mind, Body and Spirit Reading for 2021 from GrannyMoon!

Understand specific opportunities & unique challenges that will be presented to you in the next 12 months! New Year Special! A $15.00 Donation!

http://goddessschool.com/donations.html

Please e-mail me with your date, time and place of birth.
GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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CoventryCreations.com
Weekly Breakdown

January 11, 2021 – January 17, 2021. The week begins with a burst of energy as Mercury translates the light from Jupiter and brings it to Uranus triggering movement in the wrong direction and at the wrong time. Although you may be filled to the brim with ideas, it’s best to let them settle to make sure they are viable. Jupiter-Uranus aspects can be very impulsive and potentially lead to problems if not handled carefully.

On Wednesday, Saturn puts a kink in the abundance of energy available in the cosmos and tells us to slow down as Mars squares the ringed planet. Expect some mild frustrations and annoyances that may be amplified by the Sun’s conjunction with Pluto on Thursday. Expect powerplays to occur so stay in your lane.

Finally, the Moon moves through emotional Pisces and may help to temper the erratic energy of the Jupiter-Uranus square. If you feel overwhelmed or short-circuited, try to find your center through meditation or grounding. Best Coventry candles for this week are, Blessed Herbal Inner Balance, Protection, and Stability, Affirmation Meditation.

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…

Your magical focus is on being your best you
This month, the sea-goat takes over as we enter Capricorn season. After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, settling into a routine and hard work can be a downer or a welcome relief, depending on your take on life. January is the beginning of a new year and perhaps a new you if you are willing to do the work.

New Moon in Capricorn January 13, 2021
There is a New Moon in Capricorn on January 13th. This is a very special New Moon as it contains all the magic, power, and stardust needed to help you get a new job, start a business, put sparkles on your reputation, or get a promotion.

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Mercury Enters Aquarius
by Rubys Readings

For All Zodiac Signs
Mercury, the messenger planet, moves into Aquarius on January 8th.

Mercury rules over the mind and helps us tap into higher dimensions, so things should get rather interesting with Mercury in progressive Aquarius through March 15th.

Heads-Up
Mercury will enter its Retrograde cycle, starting January 30th, and runs through February 20th. We have already entered the Pre-shadow phase! When the planet Mercury starts to slow down to get ready to appear moving backward or turn Retrograde through the Cosmos. So the energies are going to be quite strange. I will have more on this later.

Mercury rules our thoughts, perceptions, and communications, and in the sign of Aquarius, we are inventive, innovative, progressive, objective, intuitive, detached, rational, and outspoken. Our opinions are strong and our independence very important. Our minds are downloading amazing inspirational visions, and we can have random A-ha moments and epiphanies. So our awareness is expanded, and our ideas are brilliant, ingenious, and at times revolutionary.

It’s a strong time for free-thinking as we are minds open, so we will see scientific breakthroughs during this cycle. This influence allows us to channel information from higher dimensions and energies, so take advantage of it through spiritual activities such as meditation and journal-writing.

Over the next nine weeks, we feel pulled to explore our ideas, beliefs, strategies, so we can uplift each other and innovate. As Mercury transits the sign of Aquarius, events and experiences start to represent the Mercury traits in Aquarius more so as we think more outside the box.

Between January 8 – 13, Mercury forms a tense Square to warrior Mars in Taurus and is conjunct Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius as well. Mercury is also squaring off with the Great Awakener Uranus in Taurus! This event is being called the 3 Planet Conjunction on social media sites.

These powerful Cosmic energies create revelations that potentially have a strong impact and are definitely meaningful. This is a taste of what’s coming in January/February as other aspects continue to tap into these Cosmic connections. These influences create tensions and frictions between balancing our personal desires and values with what the world needs from us. We must think about the whole picture under these energies.

As Mercury amps up all the newly formed Aquarian energies, Venus also shifts into the sign of Capricorn. This energy re-activates the tensions from last year’s dynamic energies. It’s important to try to be more responsible by creating abundance and happiness even during these difficult times. We can make this happen by acknowledging our feelings about our difficulties and seeing our blessings, even the little ones.

The key to success and navigating through January and February of 2021 is to let go of the old ways while still valuing tradition and embracing the new ways!

Safe Jouneys
~Ruby
http://www.rubysreadings.com/

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NEW MOON JANUARY 13, 2021 IN THE SIGN OF CAPRICORN
January 07, 2021

It’s the first New Moon of 2021! Time to set the pace for the next Lunar cycle!

This New Moon is in the sign of Capricorn on January 13, 2021 .This is a time of cutting any cords that bind you and let your freedom Fly! With this potent Capricorn energy, we have the chance to create some serious order in our lives. It’s time to make some solid plans and to set the stage for reaping the rewards from our new beginnings, as little or big as they may be, in approximately two weeks’ time after the Full Moon occurs. One of Capricorn’s “lessons” is to offer us freedom–freedom from worry and chaos. Setting goals for ourselves allows us to focus on what really matters.

This New Moon is asking you to wake up! The New Moon is called the Seed Moon. It is a time of sprouting and new beginnings. It’s also a time to spiritually wake up!

This New Moon energy is incredibly strong and it’s coming your way quickly bringing with it many positive changes to your life. This energy is going to bring about a year of personal growth. If you choose to move ahead.

This year is going to be one of great acceleration. Yes, many things are slow because of the pandemic, but technology is going faster and faster. Let’s face it we can’t escape technology anymore. I year ago no one would have imagined how much our lives would depend on the Internet and Technology. It’s going to increase and be aware of this.

We need it in so many different ways, but I feel it’s running our lives more than we should allow it. So many people are controlled by their cell phones. They cannot be separated from their phone without having an anxiety attack. This is not healthy.

Everything about you is being monitored and tracked and if you think it’s not – you are sadly mistaken. To me it’s an indication of things that were predicted thousands of years ago in the Book of Revelations. I have studied this book intensely over the years and I do see the Mark of the Beast coming closer each day. More and more money is being eliminated and we use plastic money. This is traceable and that is one of the reasons cash is being discarded because it can not be recorded be recorded. The book of Revelations talks about not being able to buy things without the Mark of the Beast and basically that’s talking about having implanted credit card numbers so all you do is tracked.

This is not to put fear in to you, but to make you think about how much of your life do you want controlled and monitored.

It amazes me how so many are allowing technology to run everything in their home, cars, cell phones and pretty much their life. What did people do before this advanced technology? They did things themselves. I may sound old fashion, but I’ve been on this planet a long time and I’ve seen the incredible changes that have occurred in my lifetime and it pretty much blows my mind.

I’m the only person I know who does not have a cell phone. This stuns people, but there’s many reasons that I do not have one and one of them is I don’t like how it knows so much about me. It’s difficult enough with a computer, but a computer doesn’t track and watch you like a cell phone does.

I’m not here to preach to anyone what to do, I am just sharing my feelings about what I see coming this year. You decide what is right for you.

2021 is loaded with potential for you if you stay focused and organized. Many of you may have felt the impact of this energy already.

It’s time to Cut the Cords to the past. That includes relationships or anything that still has a strong hold on you. This is one of the biggest messages that I get from this New Moon. Let go of anything that does not serve you. Check Out My Cord Cutting Service Here.

This is not a quiet year and this New Moon starts the feelings of growth within you. For those of you who are tuned in spiritually you are going to find that your energy is heightened. It’s a great year to expand upon your spiritual and intuitive practices and learn all you can about working with your personal gifts.

As this year goes by and you find the need to do something important, to hold for the greater good, to take a stand, or to feel empowered in your truth, remember the power of the water within you. The water in our blood and in our bodies is connected to all the waters of the world in ways that are compassionate, empowering, creative and ever flowing. It always finds or creates the right and correct path as it makes its way, as it flows from the places of old to the places of new with truth, conscience, responsible action, self empowerment, and personal sovereignty.

Make a fresh start. Create a New Moon ritual:

Set an intention.
Light a white/silver candle.
Imagine the new moving toward you in joyful, powerful ways.
Find out that this New Moon holds for you and the rest of the year. Click Here To Learn More. Make a difference this year in your life and in your part of the world.

New Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Heartwings Love Notes 965 Thrifty Times

Heartwings says, “Good, nourishing food does not need to be expensive.”

Not many if any of my readers will remember the rationing of food and other items that was part of WWll at home. I still have a ration book from then. I was young however certain memories remain. One is of the bag of white stuff with a capsule in the middle. It was margarine, and the contents of the capsule were massaged into the white part until it looked like butter. We had plenty of eggs because my mother and father raised chickens. I earned my weekly allowance of fifty cents by feeding and watering them.

Later, as a young mother I had lots of thrifty tricks to stretch my food budget. I used margarine half and half with butter when I baked my twice weekly batches of cookies for my five children. I bought inexpensive cuts of meat and made sure to use every bit of the chickens I roasted; the bones were used for soup. I used to grind up the left over from a roast in my meat grinder, cranking the handle around and around and create casseroles. There was also a dish I liked because it stretched one pound of hamburger to feed all seven of us: Slumgulion

For two or three people, a half-pound of hamburger is perfectly adequate. For Stephen and me and perhaps one guest, I sauté half a chopped onion, a stalk or two of chopped celery and some of a chopped red, yellow or green pepper in olive oil. Sometimes I sauté some mushrooms in butter first, then add olive oil. I add the hamburger and break it up in the pan. A two-pronged carving fork is very useful here. Canned or frozen corn and green beans, or green peas are good to add. Stir together and add ground garlic, thyme, and/or other herbs, some beef broth or some unflavored coconut milk. I might add rice I make ahead or boil some pasta and serve it over that.

More recently I discovered an amazing and thrifty recipe using overripe avocados. You know how it ls to open one and realized it’s over the hill. Now you can do this instead. Avocado Pudding: 1 or two very ripe or even overripe avocados

2 Tbs per (avocado) Maple Syrup

3 to 4 Tbs per, chocolate powder, to taste

1/8 tsp salt

1 Tbs Vanilla

(1 ripe medium sized banana optional)

Discard seed and scoop avocados into food processor, all of it, even the icky parts, add rest of ingredients and process until smooth. The banana adds a lot of sweetness and smoothness, it’s good either way. Serve with any kind of cream—I like the Almond Vanilla flavored creamer, if you feel decadent use whipped cream and enjoy!

May your food be nourishing, tasty, and satisfying too.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have a tasty treat that is thrifty and easy to make? I’d love to see it, and maybe even make it. Drop me a line at tashahal@gmail.com  or tashahal@aol.com and let me hear from you. Readers’ emails make my day. For more Love Notes please visit my web site at www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Save the Eagles Day
JANUARY 10, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

Today is Save the Eagles Day. Although in recent years bald eagles have been increasing in number, other species are still threatened. Further, some legislators have threatened to remove the protected status of some species still in need of it.

Today, spend a few moments to connect with the spirit of the eagle. Take a comfortable seat, outside in the fresh air if possible, and center yourself. Close your eyes and enter a meditative trance state. Visualize that your arms have become feathered. Pay attention to how they feel in the air around you. Notice how your vision has changed. Note how your eagle vision is different from your ordinary human vision. How has your perspective on the world changed? Ask the spirit of the eagle what you can do to help it. After sitting with this experience for a few moments, slowly bring yourself back to ordinary reality and journal about your experience.
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Healing Beads
JANUARY 09, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

January is a good time to cast spells for the coming year. This one focuses on health and healing. For this spell you will need three beads. If possible, choose healing stones such as aventurine, chrysoprase, and malachite. If you can’t find those, use three different shades of green glass.

Name each of the three beads for an aspect of health you want, such as body, mind, and spirit or heart, lungs, and liver. Hold each bead in your hand and concentrate on its meaning. Then string them together. You can make them into something specific ( like a necklace, bracelet, or key chain) or just a knotted loop.

Hold the whole piece in your hand and focus on your overall health for the year ahead. You can leave the beads in a safe place where you spend a lot of time, such as your bedroom, or you can carry them with you to support your health.
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Affirmation for Peace
JANUARY 08, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

We live in a chaotic world, constantly bombarded by bad news, too many demands on our time and energy, and lots of electronic gizmos that distract us from the quiet blessings around us. It can be hard to find peace. From time to time, it helps to take a moment to simply let yourself stop and take a breath.

Try doing this affirmation for a moment or two every day and see if it helps. If you have time, you can sit in front of a candle or look out a window. But you can always just find a quiet place (bathrooms work!) and close your eyes for just a minute. Breathe in and out slowly, place your hands on your core (over your belly), and say:

I am a child of the Goddess and
I am surrounded by her love.
I am calm and at peace.
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Fly Like an Arrow
JANUARY 07, 2021 BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

One morning as I stood outside sipping my coffee, a squadron of Canada geese flew over my head. They were honking loudly and were close enough that I could actually hear their wings flapping. It was a thrilling experience.

I began pondering the question “Are you in the lead or part of the team?” Sometimes it’s good to be in the lead, and other times it’s good to be part of the pack.

Use this spell to help you fly confidently in the direction that supports the achievement of your goals, dreams, and desires.

Gather seven stones. Hold them in your dominant hand. Focus on the directions of north, east, south, and west. On a flat surface, place your stones in a V formation. Say:

As the geese fly away,
These stones will help me find my way.
Whether I go north, south,
east, or west,
These stones will help me do my best.

Seal the spell by tossing your stones upon the earth.
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Repair Miscommunication
JANUARY 06, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

When you find yourself in a difficult situation caused by miscommunication, try this spell.

Dress a yellow or white candle with rosemary essential oil, then safely light it. You can also burn rosemary incense alongside your candle. Visualize the issue being resolved, and take action to repair the situation in whatever way you can.

Chant the following words three times—as you dress the candle with oil (or light the incense), as you light the candle, and one more time after lighting it:

To clear the air,
To understand,
I/We really need a helping hand.

State your intent. Let the candle burn out and then discard it.
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Just Desserts Abundance Spell
JANUARY 05, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

Today is National Whipped Cream Day in the United States. Cream (and butter) has long had otherworldly and magical associations, particularly for transformation, since cream can take so many forms. This correspondence is ideal for ensuring that even in the barren time of winter, there shall still be abundance in our lives. For this simple spell, all that is needed is a carton of heavy whipping cream, a mixing bowl, your preferred sweetener, a hand mixer, and your favorite dessert.

Pour the cream in the bowl and add the sweetener. Hold both hands over the bowl and charge the cream with the intention that any who partake of it shall enjoy abundance. Whip the cream with the mixer until it has thickened nicely, then add a big spoonful of it to your dessert. Eat the dessert and take into yourself the magic of abundance. Share with whomever you choose.
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Appreciation Spell
JANUARY 04, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

The moon is in organized but eager Virgo today, which means it is a great day to make sure you are getting the attention and support you deserve. If you feel like you are underappreciated in any area of your life, cast this spell and watch the power of Virgo make it right.

Place the Three of Pentacles (Coins) card from any tarot deck under a firesafe dish or candleholder and then affix a purple candle to the dish/holder. Take three deep breaths, light the candle, and say:

Virgo Moon and Three of Coin,
Purple light, your power join!
Show them my worth and all I do.
Give the oblivious a freaking clue!

Allow the candle to burn out on its own, then discard any remaining wax and put the card back in the deck.

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Manifesting Too Slowly? Check Your Conflicting Desires!

Ever feel like your manifestations are coming too slowly or not at all? Ever feel like the universe (or God, please use the terminology appropriate for you) is not responding to your wants and desires?

Actually, universal law dictates that the moment we ask for something, it is given. The Bible phrases it as “Ask and ye shall receive.” So why is it that we sometimes don’t get what we ask for? While there might be several reasons, one of the most common is related to conflicting desires. Human beings are complex creatures and thus we have a complex set of desires. Difficulties arise when we present the universe with two or more desires which are in conflict.

For instance, I recently made a decision to choose peace above all else, knowing that a state of peace would yield the highest quality of life for me. Whenever I am faced with a decision, I choose the one which I believe will bring me the greatest peace. At the time I decided to make peace my highest choice, I was working with a corporate client that wasn’t a good match for me and as a result, my peace was limited. However, that same corporate client paid me a large income every month, so while I wanted peace, I also wanted the income. No such luck! Faced with my two conflicting desired – for peace and for income – the universe arranged circumstances so that I parted with that client very soon after.

At first, I was angry and confused, wondering how I could have mis-created so badly. As I reviewed my thoughts, actions and intentions in the previous weeks, I realized that I had made a decision that peace was my HIGHEST choice, above even income. Even so, I failed to see how a significant loss of income could bring me peace. In hindsight, I can now see that in parting ways with that client, I received a new found sense of peace and freedom, plus, my income is back to the same level! The universe, of course, complied with my highest choice and delivered the circumstances that would bring peace.

Tip: If you are asking the universe for something and not receiving it, chances are that you have made a previous request which overrides this one. Check back to see whether you have asked the universe for something in conflict with your current desire. If you want your current desire more, then simply let the universe know that you no longer want the previous request fulfilled. Just say, “Universe, I cancel my request for (state your previous desire). I now want (state your current desire).”

If you can’t find any such conflict, it may be that your current desire is in conflict with a lesson you chose to learn before you came into physical existence. If neither of these options makes sense, ask the Universe to show you the circumstances of your situation: “Universe, please show me in positive ways that I can understand the reason my current desire is not being fulfilled, and what must be done so that it will be fulfilled.” Play around with the asking until you are comfortable. The more you converse with the universe, the more it will respond to your needs and requests.

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Grounding Ourselves

As a human being living on earth, it is important to learn to ground yourself in relation to your earth mother.

We often hear people telling us to ground ourselves, but we may not be sure what that means and how we might do it. Grounding ourselves is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. Some of us are more prone than others to essentially leaving our bodies and not being firmly rooted in our bodies. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, but while we are living on the earth plane it is best to stay grounded in the body.

One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. After about 10 breaths, we will probably find that we feel much more connected to our physical selves. We might then bring our awareness to the sensations in our bodies, moving from our head down to our feet, exploring and inquiring. Just a few minutes of this can bring us home to bodies and to the earth, and this is what it means to ground ourselves.

We can go further by imagining that we have roots growing out of the bottoms of our feet, connecting us to the earth. The roots flow with us so we can we always move, but at the same time they keep us grounded. We receive powerful energy from the earth just as we do from the forms of energy we associate with the sky, and our body is a tool that brings these two energies together in a sacred union. When we are grounded, we essentially become a strong container in which our spirits can safely and productively dwell. This is why grounding ourselves every day, especially at the beginning of the day, is such a beneficial practice. Fortunately, it’s as simple as bringing our conscious awareness to our bodies and the earth on which we walk.

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Creating Spirit Ally Relationships With Your Home

My first Witch Mentor stressed the value of spirit allies in nature, the elements, the mythic, etc. My first lessons were in learning how to communicate with plant and tree spirit allies. Over the years, I have come to understand the spirit(s) of my home are unique and powerful allies as well. So, I thought I’d examine those relationships, how to cultivate and support them, because it really can be a benefit to one’s life and practice.

In The Home
As a Witch, my first instinct when moving to a new home is to search out the house for a connection to the energy there. We have moved a lot in recent years, so this has become a necessary part of the process. Does the atmosphere of the home feel charged or dull? Is there a definite sense of a strong presence about the house itself? Do things feel peaceful or is there some resentment lurking in the corners?

Does the structure feel “awake”, “sleepy” or “unaware?” Is the energy due to former inhabitants or “place memory” (an attachment to previous times, experiences, people)? These are all things I’m seeking when I inspect a house or apartment. But the most important question I send out is this: Are my family and I welcome in this space? Is the spirit(s) of the house willing to partner with me in creating a home? If not, is there something I can do to change that feeling?

Now, you may be asking how can a house or apartment have an individual spirit? This comes down to how you perceive the world. As an animist, I believe that all things have a “consciousness.” It may be different from our own but exists all the same. For me, a house can have a spirit (or spirits) that has derived from a variety of influences including the material from which it is made to the families that have dwelled within. A presence that from an initial spark develops over time to have its own identity.

For instance, the house where we live is 130 years old. It has sheltered many people over its long history. Both Ode and I perceived this spirit when we came to inspect the place before our family moved in as it immediately asserted itself as a “guardian”.

The strongest sense of it is in the cellar which has a stone foundation. We were received with a kind of “relieved” welcome. As a result, this home has agreed to be an ally as we have made offerings to the house spirit, created wards around the place, and cleanse the energy as needed.

I’ve also brought in a number of plant allies to create a “green” space that nurtures and protects the home. Not for us who abide within alone but for the building as well. It has been a beautiful partnership that has served us well (especially during a pandemic).

More Than One?
Now, we have lived in places (homes and apartments) where there has been more than one spirit of the place. For instance, one may be created within the lower areas of a home while another watches over the upper areas.

A kitchen may have a separate spirit created within that space than other spaces. However, they are all still unique to the building/structure itself as part of it rather than separate (which is what defines them as “house spirits” rather than ancestors, poltergeists, ghosts, or other entities).

My child, Ode, has an affinity for working with house spirits. They take the time to communicate with them to discover if they want offerings and the type they may desire. Ode will use a series of questions while sensing the answers. I’ve done this as well but also employ the use of a pendulum when needed.

We have lived in homes with a single spirit. We have also lived in apartments where Ode describes the building as having a larger spirit for the main building with individual spirits in each domicile. They kind of acted as a network.

The important thing to remember is however they manifest, house spirits are there and do make their presence known. By acknowledging and working with them, we have created a beneficial relationship that fosters both protection and peace within our home. This is possible for any person willing to communicate.

What If It Doesn’t Want You There?
Not all house spirits are welcoming. There can be a variety of reasons including poor tenants in the past, but we have found working on the relationship can help if we make the effort. Let the place know you have peaceful intentions. Ask for permission to live there if necessary. Put your spiritual feelers out there and test the response.

However, there are times when you might get a slapback and the situation is difficult to overcome. Ode believes (and I agree) that not all hauntings are caused by ghosts, negative place memory, or intrusive entities but the house spirit itself. Perhaps it requires appeasement for past abuses suffered or simply does not enjoy human beings living within its space.

So, if a haunting activity is happening but the traditional methods of cleansing or removing spirits from the home are not working, expand into other possibilities. Consult the house spirit (or at least acknowledge it exists). Take the time to find out if there is a problem. Find out how a compromise for living together may be achieved. And be willing to accept the possibility you may never feel welcome in that space if you choose to stay.

So What Do You Offer Them?
As with other beings, the key to offerings is to ask what they want. This is the same for working with your home/house spirit. Ask. If you are spiritually sensitive then use that to determine answers while asking questions out loud. Otherwise, you can use a form of divination such as the Tarot or pendulum. Whatever works best for you is the way to go. As with any relationship, communication is key.

Also, there is no right or wrong type of offering. Ode has mentioned on the podcast that our apartment spirits preferred milk and red fruits as an offering. Our current residence is not picky. I’ve offered incense, a bowl of dried apple and orange slices, and a bowl of water. Place the offering where their presence is the strongest. As with anything being offered, be sure to protect children and pets from getting access to it.

It’s important to remember that by creating this relationship/partnership with your house spirit(s), you have the right to ask for their assistance in protecting you and your family. Even the surly ones, once you have established a positive rapport because it is a benefit to all parties. And if you approach warding as protection for the place as well as self, family, visitors, etc., I find this goes a long way to establishing good relations overall.

So, create a space on your altar. Build a specific shrine for the house spirit(s) if that feels right. Put up a picture of the house and leave your offering on a small table beneath it. Whatever you do, acknowledge the place as an individual being(s). You will also want to learn how often to present your gift. Will it be daily, weekly, quarterly, yearly? Let the place guide you on what it wants.

Finally, here are some ideas from which to choose for approaching a house spirit if you are unsure how to begin (and be willing to try different things until you feel you’ve got it or learn that a gift isn’t required):

Potential House Spirit Offerings
Water in a bowl or goblet
Salt in a bowl with or without herbs
Herbs, flowers, plants
Dried or fresh fruits
Incense
Milk
Honey
Wine, mead, beer, liquor

Note: Different cultures have varying practices when it comes to house spirits. As a reminder, what I’m suggesting is based on our personal experiences in the homes within which my family and I have lived or currently reside.

ABOUT
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Green Earth Witch devoted to the Earth Mother, Hekate, Brighid, and Frigga. She is a Clairsentient Medium, Tarot Reader, loves writing and, spending time with her family, as well as working with herbs, essential oils, and plants. You can read more about the author here.

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Enlightenment At Home

Spiritual growth can take place anywhere, if you are open and ready to learn and receive.

Many spiritual seekers feel called to far-flung places across the globe in the interest of pursuing the path of their enlightenment. This may indeed be the right course of action for certain people, but it is by no means necessary to attaining an enlightened consciousness. Enlightenment can take root anywhere on earth, as long as the seeker is an open and ready vessel for higher consciousness. All we need is a powerful intention, and a willingness to do the work necessary to moving forward on our path.

In terms of spiritual practice, at this moment, there are more tools available to more people than at any other time in history. We have access to so much wisdom through the vehicles of books, magazines, the Internet, television, and film. In addition, the time-honored practice of meditation is free, and sitting quietly everyday, listening to the universe, is a great way to start the journey within. There is further inspiration in the fact that the greatest teachers we have are our own life experiences, and they come to us every day with new lessons and new opportunities to learn. If we look at the people around us, we may realize that we have a spiritual community already intact, and if we don’t, we can find one, if not in our own neighborhood, then on-line.

Meanwhile, if we feel called to travel in search of teachers and experiences, then by all means, we should. But if we can’t go to India, or Burma, or Indonesia, or if we don’t have the desire, this is not an obstacle in terms of our spiritual development. In fact, we may simply be aware that our time and energy is best spent in our own homes, with our meditation practice and all the complications and joys of our own lives. We can confidently stay in one place, knowing that everything that we need to attain enlightenment is always available right where we are.

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Fairy Faith in the Ozarks
BY BRANDON WESTON

Magical Fairy Bottle
The Ozark Mountain Region has inherited much of its cultural identity and folk practices from older European tradition, especially from the British Isles and Germany. These stories, languages, religious beliefs, and even some magical methods, developed amongst isolated families in the heart of Appalachia before being carried to the Ozark Mountains around 1820 after the forced removal of the Osage and New Settler Cherokee to Oklahoma. Ozark culture would further develop into what we see collected in the early twentieth century by famous folklorists like Vance Randolph in his Ozark Magic and Folklore and Mary Parler in her multi-volume collection entitled Folk Beliefs from Arkansas. These works cover a range of folkways, many of which are still around today despite the slow decay of Ozark folk culture. One of these traditions that has endured over the years, especially in the more rural areas of the Ozarks, is believing in what Ozark folk call the “Little People,” or fairies.

Cultural Origins
There’s hardly a single origin story for the Little People, even amongst tight-knit rural families. I myself have heard about a dozen in my time collecting folklore across the Ozark Mountains. In one story, the Little People were said to have been mistakenly brought over from Ireland to the New World in a farmer’s pocket. Others have claimed the Little People, much like the fairies of Celtic and Pan-European folklore, were actually fallen angels cursed to wander the mortal realm in return for their siding with Lucifer in his rebellion. The most common belief I’ve collected, however, sees the Little People as animistic spirits of nature and guardians of the wilderness. In most of the old stories, some of which are still recited around a campfire or woodstove, it’s said that the Little People were here in the Ozarks even before the oldest indigenous peoples.

In reality, lore surrounding the Little People represents a blending of Old and New World cultures. This amalgamation would have specifically taken place in the Appalachian Mountains amongst rural families. Part of this tapestry of belief would have come from Pan-Celtic sources like Britain, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Here, fairy lore would have already been a foundational part of the culture for centuries, the fairies themselves representing ancient animistic beliefs from across the Celtic world. German families were also very common in Southern Appalachia and would have added to the story with their own tales of the “Moosleute” or “moss folk,” who were capricious guardians of nature and wildling spirits. These European beliefs would have then mixed with those from Indigenous communities in Appalachia, specifically the Cherokee who have what they call the “Little People” or “yvwi tsunsdi”, common features of both traditional storytelling and cultural practices.

Physical Characteristics and Personality
As a whole, the Ozark Little People aren’t so different in form to what was passed from these more ancient sources. It’s important to note however, that much of the beliefs and traditions of the Ozarks are based in specific families or small communities, so there tends to be many different variations on common themes. While stories, of course, vary throughout the region about specific details regarding the Little People and their culture, there are some common elements that are still held to be true.

Alternative Names
While the fairies of European folklore often go by many different names, including the “Fair Folk,” the “Gentry,” and the “Good Folk,” in the English-speaking areas of the British Isles, as well as Gaelic names like the “aos sí” or the more ancient “aes sídhe,” the Little People of the Ozarks are almost entirely without alternatives. In the older European variations, phrases like the Good Folk are used as circumlocutions of language, or as ways of naming these spirits while trying to avoid offending them. In the Ozarks, the phrase Little People is itself a circumlocution and according to the legends isn’t what the Little People call themselves. That name remains for the Little People themselves and would be taken as a grave offense if used by some outsider. In short, it seems those Ozark ancestors who passed down these beliefs didn’t find it necessary to use any other terms besides the one that had always been around.

In the past hundred years or so, more and more people have begun to use words like “fairy” when referring to the Little People, mostly from folklore and storytelling influences from outside the Ozarks. I was talking to one informant about this very notion and he told me that “the Little People ain’t fairies…Fairies are from storybooks and the Little People are real.” While this distinction might make some chuckle, it points to a very important notion that the Little People are in most cases wholly unlike the sprites and fairies of the Brothers Grimm and other sources. While this distinction would have been more strictly observed at one time, today most people in the area won’t think twice about using the word “fairy” as a suitable alternative to Little People.

Size and Shape
The Little People are often depicted as just that: little. In most stories, they are described as being anywhere from only a few inches tall to around two feet at the tallest. Legends abound, however, about the Little People and their shapeshifting magic. It’s believed that while their natural forms might be quite small, they can change at will into any human or animal form they choose. This often makes identifying one of the Little People a difficult task. There are ways of sniffing out one of the Little People in disguise, however. It’s said that there will always be something off about the human form one of the Little People might take.

In most accounts, the Little People are said to look exactly like humans except, of course, smaller. There are stories describing them with all kinds of body shapes, often as many as we see in our own world. In general, they are said to wear clothes from the past, reminiscent no doubt of what the first families to settle in the Ozarks wore. In one story I collected, my informant told me that when she was a kid, she saw one of the Little People early in the morning after milking her family’s goats. She said he, “looked just like an old man with a beard, except only about a foot tall. He wore old-timey clothes like from the Civil War times and a bright red, pointy hat.”

Other stories have described the Little People in very similar ways, but the style of their clothing seems to vary from person to person. Many have described them to me as being from around the Civil War, others offer up a picture of something much more ancient. In one anecdote, my informant told me the Little People he saw were all wearing buckskin clothes and hickory nut shells for hats. The red hat as described in the first story is also often a common feature in descriptions of the Little People. I’ve yet to been able to deduce this for a factm but I suspect these descriptions are influenced by images of Scandinavian gnomes that were popular features of storybooks and Christmas cards around the turn of the Twentieth century.

Culture and Purpose
In nearly all of the descriptions of the Little People that I’ve encountered they are always described as living in towns and villages that mirror our own human settlements. Solitary Little People are a rarity, and even if someone were to encounter one of these sprites on their own, they would no doubt assume them to be a part of a larger community. These villages are almost always hidden away from sight, usually inside of certain woodland landmarks like ancient trees, solitary boulders, or natural springs. As it was once described to me, these villages often occupy a magical space within these landmarks that is much larger on the inside than the outside. In many of the stories, a human onlooker only discovers a village present after spying on one of the Little People entering in through a secret door into the side of a boulder or tree. For this reason, these natural features of the land are often held with great respect by Ozark hillfolk as possibly housing a clan of Little People. Still to this day, many farmers leave solitary trees alone in their fields believing them to be homes to the Little People.

Because the Little People’s society is viewed as a mirror of our own, they are often described in many of the same ways. For instance, the Little People are said to have their own language, religion, customs, occupations, and pastimes. Very little of this culture can be described in great detail, of course, as the Little People are very cautious of human gazes. This is another similarity shared with Ozark culture itself, which has often been described as highly secretive and distrusting of outsiders as epitomized in the title of folklorist Vance Randolph’s collection of Ozark tall tales, We Always Lie to Strangers. Those who are able to recount what they’ve seen of the Little People most often describe them as performing tasks like milking, hunting for game, chopping wood, or even hanging clothes out to dry. It’s important to note that the Little People are often described in very mundane ways compared to their fairy cousins from across Europe.

The purpose of the Little People is often debated, even to this day. Some believe them to be demons or fallen angels, but this claim is held by few in the Ozarks. Most see them as guardian spirits of the land itself. This belief follows, as the Little People are so often associated with certain natural landmarks and features. The presence of the Little People in these specific spots often allows for the survival of certain springs, old growth trees, and even entire patches of forest. The Little People then act as a sort of balancing force between humankind and nature. When we get to invasive, shortsighted, or greedy, the Little People are there to remind us of the importance of honoring the land and protecting it.

Meeting Humans
Encounters with the Little People are most often brief and usually result from happenstance. As many of the stories go, a human finds themselves out in the woods, usually at certain liminal times like early in the morning or around twilight. Activities that brought these humans to the woods vary from story to story. In most accounts, it’s either a hunter stalking deer at dawn, or a child who loses the trail on their way back home. In both cases, the story goes much in the same way, but we’ll use the example of a hunter. As they are stalking slowly through the woods, they hear something rustling in the bushes not too far in the distance. They creep slowly toward the sound, believing it to be a racoon or possum. As they move around behind the cover of a tree stump they spot one of the Little People. As I described in the previous section, the Little People are often spied performing very menial tasks like gathering firewood or picking berries. In one story, a hunter told me he spied one of the Little People milking a groundhog.

These encounters are most often harmless, and the human onlooker usually runs away with a fantastic story to pass around town. In a few cases though, the meeting between a human and one of the Little People is much more intimate. In these stories, the human often rescues one of the Little People from a predator animal like a coyote or hawk. In return for such a kind gesture, the fairy usually rewards the human with a map to buried treasure, precious gems, or sometimes even magical abilities. It’s often children who find themselves in these situations, as they are seen as innocent and thereby more likely to help a woodland creature in need.

In a few cases, such close contact with the Little People results in a not-so-happy ending. Hexes from the Little People are quite common, usually upon a person’s home or crops. Such curses usually result from negative interactions with the Little People. Examples include cutting down a tree that houses a clan of Little People or bulldozing over one of their sacred springs. These curses are often described as long-lasting and sometimes are even passed down through a family. As the stories go, rectifying such offenses is difficult but not impossible. In one anecdote, my informant told me her father had been cursed by the Little People and was only able to heal himself after he restored the natural spring he’d blocked off to make room for a barn.

Magic and Healing
For some Ozarkers, encounters with the Little People have resulted in gaining certain healing or magical abilities. While this story is far from common, I’ve encountered several modern healers and magical practitioners who credit the Little People for their power, and there are no doubt more in the past. Most often this power comes as a result of a human rescuing one of the Little People from danger, as detailed in the previous section. On rare occasions, a human might also gain magical abilities through playing a game with the Little People. Like their European cousins, the Little People of the Ozarks are often described as tricksters who can be outsmarted by cunning humans. Agreeing to a game with the Little People is dangerous business, often resulting in hexes and curses if the human loses. But if someone can keep their wits about them and watch for fairy tricks, the prize is almost always worth the trouble.

In one story I collected, a healer told me she was gifted her power as a small child through winning one of these fairy games. She’d met the troop of Little People one morning while she was out picking black raspberries. A particularly wizened old fairy challenged the little girl to a raspberry picking contest. The one who had the most berries in their basket at the end of three minutes was the winner. The little girl agreed, suspecting this haggard old man wouldn’t be able to pick nearly as many as she could. So, they started off and the old fairy shot up into the raspberry canes as quick as lightning. The little girl began to cry at the trick but still tried to pick as many berries as she could despite her tears. After the three minutes the old fairy called the game. His basket was full of ripe black raspberries but looking over, the little girl’s basket was filled with three times as many. The old fairy was shocked, as was the little girl herself. She happily wiped away her tears and looked at the crowd of Little People. About five or six of them in the front smiled and waved to her with hands soaked in black raspberry juice. As a reward for winning the game, the old fairy gifted the child with healing magic, but told her that she was never again to eat another black raspberry and that if she did her powers would leave her. At the time of our conversation, my informant was around fifty years old and swore she’d never eaten a black raspberry since.

~Brandon Weston (Fayetteville, AR) is a healer, writer, and folklorist who owns and operates Ozark Healing Traditions, an online collective of articles, lectures, and workshops focusing on the Ozark Mountain region. As a practicing folk healer, his work with clients includes everything from spiritual cleanses to house blessings. He comes from a long line of Ozark hillfolk and is also a folk herbalist, yarb doctor, and power doctor. http://www.OzarkHealing.com

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Gilberto In the Nursery
by Stephen Halpert
sthalpert@aol.com

         As the New Year unfolded, Maria and Eva, her midwife,  with Rosa’s help transformed Gilberto’s former man cave into a nursery. Although Gilberto offered many suggestions, Maria had her own ideas. She would thank him nicely, but continued to say she preferred to create her own décor.

         Gone were the wild colors of Gilberto’s style, the walls were painted a soft creamy white.  A bassinet replaced his big lumpy sofa. Gone too were the wooden tables where he and his buddies played cards with scent of tobacco and pot soaked into the wood. He sighed seeing the small four drawer white mahogany bureau with alphabet letters painted on the knobs. It struck him as too feminine for his son.   

         Beside it where his desk had stood there was now a diaper changing table. On the floor was a new thick pink, blue, and white cotton rug.

         Much to Gilberto’s chagrin, Eva seemed the sort of woman who insisted upon running the entire show. This he wasn’t used to. He found himself shaking his head as he wondered how could such an apparent sexpot be so stern and so completely indifferent to the rule of men. He felt outnumbered and frustrated. He didn’t like having to deal with women he considered bossy.

The day came when he and Maria were to begin their child care instructions. As they sat with her in the living room, Eva cleared her throat and took several deep breaths. “I want to start you both off with basic “how to” infant care. This caring must be shared by the two of you. What’s essential is for your child to feel comfortable and loved by you both.”

         She rolled up a thick bath towel and handed it to Gilberto. “This is your infant. Hold it lovingly.”

         He smiled, took the towel and had a strange inkling that he was holding a little girl. Probably because the towel is pink, he thought.

         “Now hold your baby lovingly and feel in your heart that special joy of fatherhood.”

         That caught him unaware. “I am,” he said sounding defensive “But it’s only a towel. But I do hear what you’re telling me, even though it’s only a towel.”

         Her voice grew insistent. “No, this is your child. This way when your child is born you will have crafted compassionate understanding. Your feelings of joy will be transmitted. So please Gilberto, pretend you are holding your child.”

         “Yes,” he said, with a nod. “But right now, it’s still a towel.”

         Maria turned to him. “I think what Eva means,” she said, “is that this is a rehearsal for the real thing.”

         “Yes,” Eva nodded and smiled. “It is embracing, continually embracing that sensitive paternal nature within you both.”       

         Gilberto frowned. “Of course I’ll be sensitive. Why can’t you understand that?”

         She ignored his comment. “Now,” she said reaching into her bag and pulling out two diapers. She handed one to Maria, the other to Gilberto.

         He stood there holding it. He’d never held a diaper.

         Eva took one, deftly folded and snapped it. Maria followed suite. Gilberto held his and fidgeted. “When will I have to change a diaper?” he asked, looking hopefully at Maria.

         “Oh this is an essential,” Eva said. “It is vital for the paternal bonding. You must openly share the love that only a father can express toward his child.”

         “You mean I’ll have to change diapers?” Feeling fearful and apprehensive, he began to sound belligerent. “I’ve never done that. And anyway, Maria will be there to do it.”

         But Eva’s jaw tightened. “Supposing she weren’t and your crying child needs to be changed. How would you respond?”

         Gilberto felt trapped; his stomach seemed to heave into his throat. He knew being near that smell would make him horribly sick.  He took a deep breath. Courageously he told them what he thought would be a great solution. “I’d take the him into the bathroom and hold him in the shower to let him be cleaned.”

Maria put her hand over her mouth and stifled a giggle.

         Eva gasped. “That’s horrible!” Her back grew ramrod straight. “Surely Gilberto you can’t mean that. The traumatic result of such cruelty is more than you can comprehend.”

         Gilberto frowned and stuck out his lower lip. “I’d be holding him tenderly, letting the warm shower water make him clean,” he insisted.

         Eva shook her head, frowned. “And the diaper, what of that?”

         “If it’s messy, I’d let it fall off and I’d throw it into the trash.” He turned to Eva. “I don’t see the big deal here. I will love my child certainly as much as Maria but if I must,” he paused sounding assured, “I will change his diapers the best way I can.”

         Maria tried to intervene. “I think it’s the whole poo dynamic,” she said softly. “Gilberto, like most men, is very fastidious. He never even cleans up after Oscar. Joey always takes care of it when they go or walks together.”

         Nonetheless, Eva stood firm. “There must be a sacred unity between both parents and their child. It is that sacrifice and their willingness to adapt that forges a bonding otherwise impossible.”

         Suddenly, he’d had enough. “Why are you so strict? I know my limits and who I am. I do my best. But the smell of messy diapers is beyond…”

         “That will have to change,” she said flatly. “For the psychological benefits.  Otherwise, you have no idea the harm that can occur.”

         “And what about harm to me?” He was determined to get his point across. “Please take my feelings into consideration. I’m only human and know what makes me sick. And furthermore I don’t want to throw up all over my child.”

         She shook her head. Why couldn’t she get what he was trying to say?

         He went on. “I know what it smells like in dirty men’s rooms.”

         But still she wouldn’t relent. “You mustn’t be selfish here. Please consider the feelings of your child ahead of yours.”

         “I’m not selfish,” his voice grew louder. “Believe me, I do everything that’s expected of a loving father, but I know my limits, and I’m honest in admitting them.”

         Maria put her hand on his arm and sighed. “We’ll work it out,” she said lightly.

         But Gilberto wouldn’t budge. He turned and glared at Eva. “You make me feel like someone I’m not,” he began. Some sort of bossy…what would you call it,” he turned to Maria– “a chauvinist, and I’m not.”

         Eva looked at him. “I’m not suggesting anything like that.”

         “He’s really loving and will make a wonderful father,” Maria said.

         Eva sighed, looked at Maria, patted her shoulder, and smiled.

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Hot, Heathy and Spicy Beverages!

Mocha Spice Recovery Drink

Canadian Olympic marathoner and registered dietitian Krista DuChene offers a great post-workout solution for busy athletes: a just-add-water drink mix. “You could make it when you walk in the door, keep it warm in a thermos, or stop somewhere on the way home to get hot water to make it on the road,” DuChene says. It’s also easy to scale up and make for a group or customize to your own flavor preferences.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon protein powder (vanilla or chocolate work best)
1 teaspoon chocolate-milk powder (or a mix of cocoa powder and sugar)
1 teaspoon skim-milk powder (or whole-milk powder for a creamier drink)
1 teaspoon instant coffee, or omit and use freshly brewed coffee instead of water (below)
1 pinch of your favorite spice blend (DuChene uses one with ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon)
1 cup boiling water

Directions
Mix dry ingredients in a mug or thermos. Add a few teaspoons of boiling water to form a paste before pouring in the rest of the water. Mix thoroughly. Top with warm frothed milk, marshmallows, or whipped cream with sprinkles if desired. If you’re working out with a group, prepare ahead of time and keep warm on the stove or in a Crock-Pot.

Golden Milk Turmeric Latte
Catherine Ward, a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition system InsideTracker, centers her recovery latte around one star ingredient: turmeric. Golden milk is a traditional Indian beverage, also called haldi doodh, long thought to have healing properties. Turmeric is the only food source of curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound, Ward explains, and has been shown to aid in oxidative stress reduction. After exercise, it can help reduce muscle damage, decrease soreness, and reduce inflammation. Adjust the sweetness in this recipe as you like—just don’t forget the black pepper, which can enhance your absorption of curcumin.

Ingredients
1/2 cup milk of choice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (honey, syrup, or agave)

Directions
Add the ingredients to a small saucepan, and whisk together over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for ten minutes. Serve in mugs, and top with a pinch of cinnamon.

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Kitty Kat Korner!
Share your love for cats!

Have You Tamed a Feral Cat? I Have, And His Name is Benny!
BY ANN MARIE HOFF

There are all kinds of beliefs about feral cats. That they want to be wild, they can never be tamed, they have to live outside, you have a small window to be able to tame feral kittens. I have heard it all. I have tamed them, and then of course people say they were never feral. Cats have intelligent bright minds, and can make choices just like humans.

When Benny the feral cat showed up in my backyard, I simply loved him from day one. He was smart enough to meow when he came around, and stayed up in the trees until I put my dogs inside and brought our canned cat food for him. The feeling he brought me was that of pure joy. He told me his name was Benny, which was interesting because I had never known a Benny before. Even though he was a wild cat, he communicated with me telepathically quite clearly.

Usually I would hear the dogs making some noise, then I would hear Benny’s meow. He would eat the wet cat food in big jagged bites. I could tell how hungry he was, and wondered the last time he had eaten until he was full. With time, he let me get close to him and watch him eat from a few feet away.

Sometimes he would stop by every other day, other times I wouldn’t see him for a week. This was nerve wracking living in Tucson, where I live is 1 house per acre. There are washes that lace the landscape that are basically corridors for prey animals like coyotes to run.

I remember when the feral cat Benny decided to move in with me. He shared with me how hard it was, looking for food every day, looking for water. Chasing his catch into the cactus and getting hurt. He came to me in the summer, with a golf ball size abscess on top of his head. I mixed penicillin in with the wet food I gave him to help him heal. It was 110 in the summer in Tucson, and I couldn’t imagine having an infection so serious in the heat.

I was upset when he didn’t show up that he wasn’t getting his medicine often enough. I knew then that the only way I could really take care of him is if I moved him inside the house. I was worried how he would get along with my cats, until I realized they were all sitting together quietly outside. So apparently they all got along!

I moved the food bowl closer and closer to inside the door. Then I mixed catnip with it. Benny was a sucker for catnip. When I had the food inside the door of the house. Benny easily came in. He was so happy on the catnip, he let me pick him up. He was loopy.

Thru the summer, I worked on Benny being tamer, while he taught both my dogs how to hunt and eat their catch. They were enamored with Benny, and eagerly learned every lesson Benny taught them. Benny also walked with me and the dogs every night. It was interesting to see how he made sure he was outside & ready to go on the walk. He was incredibly loyal.

When I went on vacation, I locked all the cats inside and had a house sitter come and feed them. I came home a week later, to my tame cats climbing the walls wanting to go outside and gets some space. I opened the door and they all ran out. Meanwhile, Benny was happy to see me and waiting on the couch. When I asked him if he wanted out, he said, “No. I have seen it all out there. I’m good here.”

Cats can come for their humans, and have a spiritual purpose for their humans. They can also have their own spiritual growth. Benny made the conscious decision, after taking care of himself and trying to forage on his own, to trust a human. I am not just any human, I can talk telepathically to animals, which I know intrigued him. He was a very intelligent cat, on a similar soul journey as many humans. Learning to trust and love another being, instead of surviving alone.

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Study Shows Cats May Love Their Pet Parents More Than We Thought!
By Perri Ormont Blumberg December 21, 2020

Research showed cats formed attachment to their owners much like dogs and babies.

People may commonly say that “dog is man’s best friend,” oft overlooking our furry feline friends and the roles they play in our lives. (For more on that, read our piece “I’m a Cat Person—and Here’s What I’ve Learned Over the Years.)

But a 2019 study from researchers at Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences published in the journal Current Biology, indicates that like children and dogs, cats forge a similar attachment to the humans raising them.

“In both dogs and cats, attachment to humans may represent an adaptation of the offspring-caretaker bond,” said Kristyn Vitale, a researcher in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the study’s lead author, in a press release. “Attachment is a biologically relevant behavior. Our study indicates that when cats live in a state of dependency with a human, that attachment behavior is flexible and the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort.”

For the study, researchers had kittens and cats participate in a “secure base test”— similar to a test that is conducted on babies and dogs to study their attachment behaviors—in which cats are separated and reunited with their owners over the course of a few minutes to determine if the animals were securely or insecurely attached to their owners. Of the 70 kittens researchers were able to classify, 64.3% were found to be securely attached and 35.7% were insecurely attached. For the 38 adult cats they tested, the results were 65.8% securely attached and 34.2% insecurely attached.

To see if the kittens’ attachment style could be modified, the researchers had kittens undergo a six-week training course. No significant differences were found, indicating the lasting power of an initial attachment style, as in humans.

“Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale commented in the same media statement.

This is exciting news for pet owners who create a strong bond with their kittens, indicating that their behavior may be positively influenced by an initially secure attachment with their owners. “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof,” Vitale said. “There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”

These days, that relationship goes both ways with cats owners certainly depending on their pets to keep them secure and sane when they’re stressed out during this pandemic year. If that’s not the mark of human’s best friend, we don’t know what is.

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope
Sunday, January 10, 2021

All Signs
We begin this week with enthusiasm, optimism and eagerness! Now we can see the big picture! Admittedly, late Tues. and early Wed. morning, power struggles might occur. But hey, this is a brief, dark cloud on the horizon. The tone of this week embraces pleasant surprises, new situations, new faces, new places and new ideas. It’s exciting! There is definitely a sense of a “New” year beginning. Sometimes the future feels like it’s the same as the past only longer; but 2021 is different. Whatever restrictions we face – we will do with greater skill, preparation and acceptance. Furthermore, the harsh angst of last year is history. If you think you’re happy — clap your hands!

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You are enthusiastic talking to friends and groups. Perhaps you have joyous news? You do have big plans for the future, which is why you’re thinking about your life in general down the road. Meanwhile, Venus at the top of your chart is dancing with Uranus, which means that you are suddenly elevated in a positive way in the eyes of others. It is quick and sudden, possibly unexpected but something will grease the wheels that makes you look attractive in the eyes of parents, bosses, teachers and VIPs. You might also give advice to someone about design, layout or redecorating? Avoid power struggles midweek with a friend or a group. Stay chill because fun things are happening for you!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week begins with good news! You might hear positive news from parents, bosses and VIPs; or perhaps, you are the source of positive news spreading to others? Midweek, a bit of a power struggle with an authority figure could be dicey. Fortunately, it’s brief. Sudden opportunities to travel or to expand your world in exciting ways exist this week. Some of you might fall in love with someone from another country or a different culture. Unexpected opportunities in publishing, the media, the law and medicine might also be a surprise for you. You’re entering a fabulous year where you easily garner the respect of others.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
At the beginning of this week, you want to travel or do anything to expand your horizons. Business transactions are favoured. You’re also keen to study and learn more about something. (You might sign up for a course?) Conversations and communications with others will be upbeat and mutually informative. Midweek, don’t get hung up on a power struggle with someone. Be smart and move on. As the week progresses, you might unexpectedly benefit from a gift or a source of money. Perhaps money back from the government? Perhaps an inheritance? Perhaps you indirectly benefit from the wealth of your partner? Whatever the case – you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. It’s a good week!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You have a visionary view of your assets, debt, and a realistic take on how your wealth relates to partners and friends right now. As this week begins, you might be excited by news related to the wealth and resources of someone else. Possibly, money might come your way? It might be an inheritance? It looks like something will please you because it will benefit you. If it’s not cash or money, then it might be a favour from someone or a gift or a chance to use something that someone else owns? Ignore some squabbles that might be related to this. As the week progresses, relations with friends and partners are upbeat, exciting and full of surprises. For example, you might meet someone new? Something related to close relationships will be delightful and unexpected.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Discussions with partners and close friends are enthusiastic at the beginning of the week. Someone close to you is excited about good news! Whatever this news is will have the effect of expanding your world, perhaps even your family. Be patient because in all this excitement, a misunderstanding could occur. (Patience is the antidote to anger.) By the end of the week, a surprise, perhaps positive news might relate to your health, or a pet or your job. Whatever happens will be unexpected but welcome (at least, for most of you.) Note this surprise at the end of the week will have a short window of opportunity, which means you have to act fast.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
At the beginning of the week, you are super stoked about something related to your job, your health or even a pet. You see the big picture. You see what is possible. Whatever this new understanding is, it will expand your world in some way. For some of you, this will be exciting and upbeat! For others, it will trigger future travel opportunities, especially that are job-related. Perhaps this excitement will create a power struggle with an authority figure midweek? Don’t get entangled up in this. Take the high road. By the end of the week, unexpected and exciting moments with kids, social occasions, the arts and sports will really turn your crank and be a delightful change in your world.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week begins on an upbeat, happy note! News related to children, social events, the arts, fun, entertaining diversions or something to do with sports will please you! Whatever happens will expand your world and perhaps make you feel younger! This same positive influence could impact romantic couples in a lovely way. Granted, by midweek, some kind of power struggle might also take place. Do not get involved. Be smart. Rise above these ego battles. By the end of the week, something fun and most likely unexpected will impact your home and family. It could be an impromptu visit? It might be the purchase of something beautiful for your home? It might be exciting family news?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
This week begins with a family discussion that is upbeat and positive! This might be a discussion that is social (in a group sense) or perhaps, it involves home repairs or home improvements? Or both? (Many of you will improve where you live this year.) Maybe the whole family has ideas about how to make improvements? A power struggle with an authority figure in the family is inevitable midweek. Stay chill. By the end of the week, in a very lovely way, you will find yourself completely appreciating your daily surroundings. And likewise, completely appreciating how much love there is in your daily world. Gosh. Time to alphabetize your blessings.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Your week definitely starts with a fast and busy pace; fortunately, it’s “happy” busy! You might have to travel or do something that expands your world and puts you in touch with different people. You are definitely enthusiastic and eager to inform people about positive news. Do be patient with siblings, relatives and neighbours midweek, if a power struggle develops, which is likely. Hey, this is nothing you can’t sidestep gracefully, if you wish. Good news! An unexpected gift might come your way late this week? It could be money, it could be goods, it could be a favour? But it looks like it impacts your wealth and assets. Nice!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
At the beginning of this week, you’re excited about something related to financial news, earnings, cash flow or perhaps something that you own. It looks good! It might be an excellent moneymaking idea? It might be news of a raise or a financial gift? It certainly will set the tone for this year when you will get richer! Nevertheless, squabbles about money or possessions might occur midweek. Fortunately, by the end of the week, a lovely little boon comes your way. It could be a fun invitation somewhere? It might be an opportunity for a vacation? It could be a social invitation or something related to fun activities with kids. It might also be heartwarming romantic news. It’s good, whatever it is.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
As this week begins, you are excited because you’re full of big ideas! You’re thinking big, planning big and you are definitely enthusiastic about something! Admittedly, within a few days, you might suddenly find yourself embroiled in a power struggle with someone. Do not get bogged down in whatever this is. You don’t need this. Move on! By the end of the week, something special will really give you a warm feeling in your tummy. It will likely be a surprise. It might come quickly. Whatever it is, it could boost your interest in spirituality or your own personal growth. It’s more of a private “inner-world” thang – but it’s definitely feel good! (We like.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There’s a subtle hum of excitement within you as this week begins. Something is going on behind the scenes or privately in your world but it is exciting for you. It has promise. It might be connected with your secret hopes for something to materialize very soon? Don’t let someone spoil these hopes midweek. Stay true to yourself. Late in the week, you will get a lovely, surprising interaction with a friend or a member of a group. This friend might do something that delights you. Possibly, it’s an introduction to a new contact? You might also be pleasantly surprised to be invited into a group or a club. In fact, something unexpectedly might cause you to change your future goals.

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Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday, 10 January 2021

If youre born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); youre advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re in the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily, when something or somebody is intriguing, youll take fast action; and with your ruler Mars having been in Aries since late June, your range of encounters, ideas and experience has been broad and, mostly, exciting. True, youve realised often you responded too swiftly. When Mars departs your sign, Wednesday, and moves to accent lifes practicalities, youll recognise how much you`ve learnt from these, and other, experiences.

You are eager to join in with family activities providing they dont demand too much energy. Its hard to admit you`re feeling lazy and you would be happy to enjoy a relaxed few days. If you are attending a sporting event, you will prefer to spectate from a distance rather than take part. You could meet someone with a quirky sense of humour while visiting a relative. It will feel good to relax in their company.

Expect to have to confront issues around values; and yes, it may seem as though you`re hitting a brick wall midweek. Getting your point across might require joining forces with others in similar predicament. Note however that on Thursday, just hours after the New Moon, the Sun aligns with Pluto still moving through the career sector of your solar chart, and just as Uranus arrives at its direct station. This should be a clear turning point. Yes, some give-and-take will likely be required. Yet you might know by then that your services and drive will be rewarded. The focus is very much on your drive and ability to ensure that plans succeed – even under the most challenging of circumstances.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages youve either kept certain ideas or concerns to yourself or, alternatively, youve been unable to do much about them. Now, the dynamic Marss move into Taurus, Wednesday, triggers a period of bold words and fast action. Mostly, youre unable to think, so act uncharacteristically swiftly. While, at other times, this might be risky, at the moment it`s the beginning of a rewarding new cycle.

You cant force yourself to be cheerful and sociable when there are important decisions to be made. Once you have a clear idea about your plans you will feel more relaxed and able to love, laugh and be happy. Its unlikely the week will go by without you experiencing some kind of shake up to your routines. You will welcome this as you sense change will bring improvements to your life. A close friend admires your versatility.

Its probable that youre on your way to making your mark – and some. Mars has now arrived in your sign and by the 20th, aligns with Uranus (the planet of the unexpected). Before then, and soon after Wednesdays New Moon, that planet arrives at its station. Having been retrograde for some months, it then appears to move forward. Though it might seem to some people that youve been holding back, they should take note, stand back and watch: you are likely about to show others your entrepreneurial, determined and yes, possibly rebellious streak. Career wise it seems you`re moving into the fast lane. Expect others to be talking about you and know too, that before next weekend, there is a high probability of you making plans for an adventure that would be quite alien to your parents or grandparents.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

True, youve had good reason to avoid discussing certain potentially troublesome situations. However, they arent going to get any less complicated. Whats more, with your ruler Mercury moving to accent exciting new ideas as this week ends, the more swiftly you deal with the matters in question, the better. In both cases, with existing and future plans, the trick is to organise arrangements but ensure theyre flexible.

You are ready to acknowledge how happy being with someone special makes you. You could do with more stability in your life now and making a joint long-term commitment will make your future look more secure. A colleague will reference the way you recently defended someone who needed support. Confronting someone in public seems to have taught them a valuable lesson. You`re willing to let bygones be bygones and relationships in the workplace are far more harmonious.

With Mercury having arrived in another of the Air signs, mentally you could consciously seek adventure. Whats interesting is that this ingress coincides with both Venus and Mars moving to new areas of the zodiac. As is likely to be the case for so many, your world should be opening up - especially around Wednesdays New Moon. That event is followed by Uranus arriving at its direct station. If youve been waiting for news, - it could come within hours of this event; but yes, there is the possibility of you opening up a Pandoras box. It would surely be wise to listen carefully to someone older, or a therapist or someone you trust implicitly – as it seems likely that by the weekend, you`ll be exploring avenues are new (alien?) but exciting.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the Cancer Full Moon was last Wednesday, youre still facing fallout, in terms of unsettling changes and, equally, uncertain feelings. Tempting as it is to turn those changes into solid plans just so things are settled, take it slowly. This ensures youre flexible enough to respond to exciting developments. Similarly, recognise that the more organised plans are, the more relaxed you`ll be about current uncertainties.

Its hard to stay focused on one subject or to remain in one persons company for very long. Someone close is finding your mood a little unnerving as it is unusual for you to be so restless. There are a number of interests that will attract your attention. Why not narrow this list to two or three things that really excite you? Focus on these and you won`t be spreading your energy so thinly that nothing will be achieved.

This week contains the annual New Moon in your opposite sign. Six months on from your birthday, youll perhaps welcome someone knocking on your shell and asking how far youve come and how far you intend to go. Within 24 hours of this event however the Sun forms its annual conjunction with Pluto – which this year coincides with Uranus arriving at its direct station and all systems should be go. However much a part of you might want to stay under your shell, others likely have no intention of allowing you to. Demand is likely to be great. More than that, your ideas should be welcomed. Mars is now moving through the networking area of the same chart and your world socially and career wise should expand. View this as a professional moment and know that you may well be blazing a trail before the end of the month.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

When certain potentially unsettling plans with others first arose, you were amazed at their enthusiasm. Now that the pace is speeding up, the gulf between your reservations and their eagerness to proceed is growing wider. Tempting as it is to draw these out, in the hope theyll come to nothing, its the reverse. The sooner you plunge in, the more swiftly you`ll recognise the promise they hold.

People cant resist you when you turn on the charm. You can sense someone doesnt like your ideas even though you would like their support. It wont take long to persuade them to go along with your plans. A romantic partner is waiting to hear three little words youve not yet told them. You needed to be sure of your feelings before letting them into your heart. A card, gift or a single red rose will make them smile and bring happy tears to their eyes.

What a difference a week makes! Mercury is now moving through your opposite sign and both Venus and Mars have moved to new areas too. Its probable that you now have much to say - and the confidence to say it - particularly with regard to assets and your feelings about general direction. That said, dont be surprised if others ask you to not just simply point out whats gone wrong, but to take the lead in putting things right. Yours is a sign known forworking communications(networking). Youre good at being part of a team but on this occasion, might need to put one together. With Uranus (one of your ruling planets) coming to its station soon after Wednesdays New Moon, you will likely need to put up or shut up. Given that the Moon is then moving through your sign, it seems likely that youll put up and access your many talents and set the pace.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Logically speaking, youd have good reason to debate the wisdom of changes being discussed and decisions already made by others. However, instead of battling them, youre simply avoiding getting involved, in the hope circumstances will shift, enough you can swing othersviews in your direction. Thats possible; but you`re better off getting involved now, then making changes you think best, while actually reshaping existing arrangements.

Some big changes are happening in an area of your life you share with another. Your relationship is strong enough to withstand any unexpected twists and turns. Friendships, on the other hand, can be up and down. Some people you are mixing with are friendly and helpful, others are touchy and awkward. Your social life might be a little unpredictable these days. You have a lot to get through. Remember there is always tomorrow for anything that does not get done today.

Mercury, Venus and Mars have all changed signs. Venus is now moving through what is known as the research and development or affairs of the heart sector of your solar chart. Its reasonable to suppose that youll be focused on creating conscious pleasure. Perhaps you have tired of pushing a boulder uphill. You need now to see reward, benefit and yes, also feel mentally engrossed and stimulated. It wont be so surprising if you get involved in a research project - particularly after Wednesdays New Moon which aligns with Pluto (the planet associated with uncovering and revelation). So yes, by next weekend, you could be near obsessed and involved in a new project. You might also have reason to be grateful to someone who understands completely your need to get your teeth into something quite new and to leave the past behind.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

You dont object to change, in the world around you or in your own life. However, unexpected developments seem to be sweeping the ground from under your feet. Unsettling as these are, this once, trust destiny. Step back, watch and learn. By the middle of next week, youll recognise sudden if not worrying events are the breakthroughs they are. After that, the rest will be easy.

You trust your intuition and are strong in your opinions. Even so, you wont try to force anyone to agree with you for you know they are equally as entitled to their views. Someone doesnt share your philosophical approach to life and relationships. If they get on their high horse and refuse to show others respect, they will drive their friends away. Are you feeling creative? Be ready to put your innate skills to good use. You will get pleasure out of artistic, fun and outdoor pastimes

Your ruling planet, Venus, is now moving across the base of your solar chart bringing reminders – quite likely of long-term business relationships and those which yes, may have gone sour but which could yet be revived. All that is possible soon after Wednesdays New Moon that aligns neatly with Pluto, the planet of discovery - though true, that usually requires effort and sometimes painful experience. Yet it appears youre now ready to confront deep and yes, perhaps darker issues. It might suit you to learn to swim in new waters; and yes, swim. Yours is one of the Air signs and you do best when gliding through air waves. It seems though that the cosmos now wants you to learn to move in different environments and yes, discover that you have gifts here too. Though there may be times in the next couple of weeks when you feel to be floundering, fact is that youre being offered experiences that allow you to make full use of your charm and diplomatic talents - albeit in an environment with which youre as yet unfamiliar.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

It may be that youve hinted about concerns to others. Or, and this is more likely, you said nothing until you felt you had a workable plan. While things begin coming together this week, youre still short of facts. Speak frankly about your concerns. Others will be amazingly helpful, and in some cases, you`ll join forces. Unlikely as it seems, these efforts achieve stunning results by mid-January.

A strong attraction is brewing. Why ignore it? If you both feel the same way, act on it and you will make this a week to remember. Stop worrying about what other people might say and follow your heart. If youre considering some changes in your domestic situation, whether its moving to a new place, starting a family or breaking away from an overbearing relative, take the initiative now. Have faith in yourself and your ability to make the right decisions.

Mars, one of your ruling planets, moved into your opposite sign last week. For the next few weeks expect to feel that others are pushing you to do more. Resistance may be futile. As the Sun aligns with Pluto -your other ruling planet, just after Wednesdays New Moon perhaps youll recognise that you are ready to be transplanted and yes, to take on more. A review of how and where you live is probable. Yet you might also be ready to get your teeth into something new. Solving a mystery or agreeing to go on a quest or adventure seems likely. The interesting thing about this is that this time, it appears you will have backing and support from someone whom you regard as a mentor or and who has obvious and excellent experience. In short, your career path looks set to expand.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Discussing ideas about everything from daily life to long term plans is great fun. However, so often others vanish. The problem? While they enjoy thinking about plans, you love taking them to the next stage. Learn to spot those whore equally enthusiastic, and likely to join in turning those ideas into anything from an evening out to a real adventure, and youll always have a companion.

You arent in the mood to return to family and work routines that were starting to bore you last year. This would be a perfect time to make changes. Think about relocating if youre unhappy where you are. Look for a job that sounds both challenging and exciting. Don`t let an older relative influence your decisions especially when it comes to your career and how you live your life. You need to make your own choices and they need to respect this.

The cosmic picture this week is so very different to last. Mercury, Venus and Mars have all changed signs. Add to the mix Wednesdays New Moon and Uranus direct station whilst also considering your ruling planet, Jupiter, coming into formidable aspect with Uranus, and its reasonable to conclude that this will be a week with significant challenge and much new information to absorb. Yet this could find you at your very best. True you might not exactly enjoy the contact with a large organisation (or hospital) and indeed, need to stand up for your rights within it; and yet, especially with Mercury moving through one of the communication sectors of your solar chart, you`re unlikely to be short of information: a situation that generally brings out the best in Sagittarius.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

It may be that youve hinted about concerns to others. Or, and this is more likely, you said nothing until you felt you had a workable plan. While things begin coming together this week, youre still short of facts. Speak frankly about your concerns. Others will be amazingly helpful, and in some cases, you`ll join forces. Unlikely as it seems, these efforts achieve stunning results by mid-January.

Dissatisfaction with aspects of your job needs to be resolved. There is power in numbers. Get together with people who share your concerns and you will succeed in overturning an unfair rule or regulation. Join a group where you can act, talk or be creative. Are you single? You will discover someone who shares your pragmatic view of the world. You could also do with a change of scenery. Visiting a place that`s familiar that holds happy memories for you will help ease your tension.

By this Sunday, Mercury, Venus and Mars will all have changed signs. Think of that as being a different pulse or vibration in operation; and yes, it could be slightly disconcerting when others dont behave quite as you expected in the first two days of the week. Following on from Wednesdays New Moon in your sign however, not only could you establish greater authority, you really could be off to the races. You may remember that Pluto is passing through your sign. Annually it has an alignment with the Sun – this time within 24 hours of that New Moon. That this coincides with Uranus arriving at its direct station in another of the Earth signs, suggests you could feel instantly empowered; but yes, this could put you on collision course with those who have – to you – outrageous ideas but who in fact may be really onto something special. Bottom line is that mentally you could be stretched as never before, but yes, this could be exciting.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, you were discussing, if not organising, plans triggered by the Suns powerful link with your ruler Uranus on 28 December. However, your efforts to take them further are unlikely to be rewarding. Thats because circumstances are shifting, rapidly and for the better. For now, therefore, regard plans as an experiment from which you`ll learn a lot, but then move on to something even better.

Someone who has recently hurt you will apologise. You will forgive them and accept their apology but you won`t be able to forget what they have done. This is what makes the difference between you being smart and being foolish. You learn from your mistakes and you know not to put your trust in the wrong person again. Having the chance to put imagination into your work will make life more fun and enjoyable. A close friend has ideas that will stir up things in a positive way.

Mercury has arrived in your sign and both Venus and Mars have moved to new areas of the zodiac. Others will want to hear what you have to say. Your priority, understandably, may be about what it is that you really need both financially and yes, emotionally. Feeling comfortable and having a sense of working within a team will surely be a priority. The good news is that one of your ruling planets, Uranus, turns direct just a day after Wednesdays New Moon. These two factors, together with the applying aspect between Jupiter and Uranus becomes exact at the weekend, suggests you could be moving into a much faster lane. Yes, a little politics may be involved, and yes, you might need to work with those who have to have systems and facts explained to them several times (so yes, your patience could be tested). Its probable, however, that by your birthday, you could be settled and enjoying your new position.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

While you cant ignore others battles over the rights and wrongs of certain plans, youre urged to avoid getting involved. However, since youre likely to profit from discussing both whats behind their thinking and, equally, learning from the often-unrewarding results, the trick is to remain on the side-lines. In the meanwhile, consider your options. What you learn from others dramas will be amazingly helpful.

Youve always been kind, sensitive and caring. You could forgive anyone for anything. Someone close will admit to something they did in the past that will take you by surprise. Theyre expecting you to be angry but you will shrug your shoulders and tell them to put it behind them. If you`re single and fancy someone, turn on your charm. They may be playing hard to get but by the end of the week, you will be going out together.

You seem to have unique ability to tune into even the most subtle changes of mood or vibration. With Mercury, Venus and Mars all having changed signs, the mood on Monday is likely to be so very different to that of just over a week ago. It might amuse you to watch others adjust to a new pace. Yet you might also be fractionally disturbed and concerned that theyre going to take action without considering the full consequences. You are likely right. Boosted by both Wednesdays New Moon and Uranus` direct station on Thursday, by the weekend several people could be racing off in directions which to them is exciting but to you could be fraught with difficulty. This could be a test of faith. The good news is that Jupiter – one of your ruling planets, – is also moving to a key position and that opportunities could yet be unlocked.

~arif

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training
http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
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The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

  1. High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
  2. Herbalism 101
  3. Herbalism 202
  4. Herbalism 303
  5. Earth Signs and Omens
  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 3 -10 Jan 2021~ New Year’s Blessings to All!

Not what we have,
but what we enjoy,
constitutes our abundance.

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. – Wayne Dyer

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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Celtic Tree Calendar
Beth (Birch) December 24 to January 20

The Goddess Calendar
Month of Hestia begins 12/26 – 1/22

JAN. 1: Hag’s Day – honoring the Goddess as She Who Transforms, Day of Ishtar (Inanna, Ashtart, Ashtaroth, Ashtoreth, Anat, Astarte, Anaitgis, Atar, Isis): Goddess of Love & Battle

JAN.1: Birthday of folklorist Sir James Frazier, 1854. Frazier’s work, The Golden Bough, is a must-read for anyone interested in modern Paganism, and the mythologies of the past

JAN. 2-3: Feast of Old to Greek Goddess Hekate – who guides all through transitions and crisis.

JAN. 6: Triple Goddess Day — honoring the Goddess as the Three-In-One;
Day of the Lord of the Dance – honoring Shiva, seeking his aid for prosperity and wisdom in the New Year, and for prosperity and wisdom in the New Year, and also for a spouse if desired.

JAN. 9: Festival of Isis: Mother Goddess, Great Goddess, Throne of Egypt

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Current Moon Phase: Waning Moon

Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing, Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
http://GoddessSchool.com

The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs!

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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The Magic of Crystals

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.

Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.
Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!

If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00

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Order Your Mind, Body and Spirit Reading for 2021 from GrannyMoon!

Understand specific opportunities & unique challenges that will be presented to you in the next 12 months! New Year Special! A $15.00 Donation!

http://goddessschool.com/donations.html

Please e-mail me with your date, time and place of birth.
GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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CoventryCreations.com
Weekly Breakdown

January 4, 2021 – January 10, 2021.

Lots to deal with this week. We begin with Mercury conjoined to Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury-Pluto gets you to think deeply and allows you to see things that you would ordinarily overlook. However, digging deep can often lead to opposition from others. You can best handle this by applying the knowledge to yourself and not using it to get your way. That thinking will only lead to blowback and nobody likes a know-it-all.

On Wednesday, Mars moves out of Aries and into Taurus. The sign of Taurus is normally associated with money and wealth however, Taurus is also associated with security. When Mars moves through Taurus you will notice that financial security will be top of mind. Friday brings tons o’fun with Mercury and Venus changing signs. Mercury moves out of Capricorn and into Aquarius. Mercury in the sign of the water-bearer helps us successfully get our point across to others. Venus will help matters when she slips into Capricorn and begins to focus on business and worldly matters. This combination is great for business deals or negotiating policy. However, on Friday be careful of what you say because Mercury squares Mars and could provoke disagreements.

Finally, on Sunday, Mercury conjoins Saturn in Aquarius. It’s a great day to focus on matters that need extra mental acuity. You will be better able to find solutions to long-standing problems that previously eluded you. Best Coventry candles this week are, Blessed Herbal Truth and Justice, Stability, Emotional Balance, and Problem Solver.

January 11, 2021 – January 17, 2021. The week begins with a burst of energy as Mercury translates the light from Jupiter and brings it to Uranus triggering movement in the wrong direction and at the wrong time. Although you may be filled to the brim with ideas, it’s best to let them settle to make sure they are viable. Jupiter-Uranus aspects can be very impulsive and potentially lead to problems if not handled carefully.

On Wednesday, Saturn puts a kink in the abundance of energy available in the cosmos and tells us to slow down as Mars squares the ringed planet. Expect some mild frustrations and annoyances that may be amplified by the Sun’s conjunction with Pluto on Thursday. Expect powerplays to occur so stay in your lane. Finally, the Moon moves through emotional Pisces and may help to temper the erratic energy of the Jupiter-Uranus square. If you feel overwhelmed or short-circuited, try to find your center through meditation or grounding. Best Coventry candles for this week are, Blessed Herbal Inner Balance, Protection, and Stability, Affirmation Meditation.

January 18, 2021 – January 24, 2021. The week begins with a power-packed surge of energy and ends with more sobering concerns. Make sure you take care of social obligations earlier in the week when the energy is available. The start of the week brings an immediate shift in the cosmic energy as the Sun moves out of Capricorn and into Aquarius. Aquarius energy is great to use if you need to make dynamic changes in your life. If there are areas of your life that need repair, then Aquarius season is a great time to work on them.

Later in the week, Mars is going to conjoin Uranus and square Jupiter bringing the Jupiter-Uranus energy that’s been around all month back on stage again. Since this energy is Mars influenced, and with Jupiter Uranus already an impulsive aspect, you need to think things through before acting. Moreover, Mars conjunct Uranus is accident prone so proceed with caution, and perhaps wear a hard hat.

This weekend the Sun makes its yearly conjunction with Saturn. Sun-Saturn is great for personal advancement and taking care of your responsibilities, but don’t expect fun and games this weekend because completing tasks may supersede personal enjoyment. Best Coventry candles for this week are Blessed Herbal Problem Solver, Protection, and Stability, and Wicked Witch Mojo Wishin’ Mojo.

January 25, 2021 – January 31, 2021. The astrological energy slows down for the last week of January, but we still have a few configurations that pack quite a wallop. At the beginning of the week, a difficult square occurs between the Sun and Uranus that could shake things up. The main strategy to navigate through Sun-Uranus aspects is to expect the unexpected. That way when they occur you are not thrown completely off course.

On Thursday, besides the Full Moon in Leo, Venus conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. Venus-Pluto’s contacts are usually extremely intense because Pluto likes to drag love and relationships into the underworld. Often, difficult emotions such as jealousy and anger can enter relationships and become problematic if not handled correctly. The good news is that the Sun conjoins Jupiter on the same day, which could lighten up the energy enormously. Finally, on Saturday, Mercury turns retrograde in social Aquarius. Remember to back up your computer and data devices, finalize any plans and decisions, and expect communication snafus to occur. Coventry Candle best for this week are Blessed Herbal Protection, Mercury Retrograde Neutralizer, Affirmation Tranquility, Motor City Hoo Doo Adam and Eve.

Meet Storm at http://www.stormcestavani.com. For Storm, Astrology is a lifelong study and passion. His combination of Astrology, psychology, mythology, and Kabbalistic studies create an experience he calls Transformational Astrology. A session with Storm is about unlocking your potential through self-awareness, healing, and perfect timing. We give Storm 12 stars. Meet Patty Shaw at http://www.healingwithpattyshaw.com.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter here for more Coventry magic delivered right to your inbox. Visit our website coventryCREATIONS.com for all your magical needs.

Full Moon in Leo January 28, 2021
On January 28th, we have a Full Moon in the sign of Leo. This time around Leo is loud and proud and wearing his indignities close to the surface. This is your opportunity to work with that side of your personality that is still very rough around the edges. This moon puts the spotlight on character flaws you’d rather not admit exist, but come out full force at the most inappropriate times. Since Leo magic is about improving yourself use the Full Moon to recognize and heal the parts of your character that are self-destructive in spite of your desire to be successful, a good friend, and a loving partner.

Here is a candle ritual to get you more in tune with a character flaw so you can soothe it and help it grow up.

You will need a Blessed Herbal Inner Balance candle and a Motor City Hoo Doo Uncrossing candle, two candle holders, and a bowl of saltwater, paper, a pen, a dictionary, courage, and honesty.

Step one. In a sacred space, light the uncrossing candle and place it next to the bowl of saltwater. Sit quietly and allow yourself to be filled with calm, unconditional love, and understanding. You will need to work from this space as you bring up and face your character weakness and all the pain it created in your life. Choose one aspect of your personality that is weak. I chose jealousy. It is the one thing that keeps tripping me up in just about every area of my life.

Step two. Now it’s your turn. Think about all the times your weakness was running the show. Then carefully and with honesty answer these questions. How did it color your opinion of others and their choices? How did you react? What story did you tell and are still telling yourself now? Were you a victim? In what way? What did you lose because of this weakness in your character? Write your answers on the paper.

Step three. Open a dictionary to the page that defines this character weakness. Read it and then look up the antonym for this word. Read that. Which way would you like to be? That is your path to either healing, maturing, and happiness or saying the same. Write down on a piece of paper the antonym to the word that describes your character weakness. I wrote down kindness in place of my jealousy.

Step four. Light the Blessed Herbal Inner Balance candle. Ask that it help you achieve balance in your mind and emotions as you move from one state of consciousness to another. For example, I am moving from jealousy to kindness. While the candle is burning imagine all the ways someone with the positive attribute thinks and acts in place of the ways you thought and acted when your character flaw was in full force. You may write down your thoughts as a way of reminding yourself of where you are going.

Step five. When you feel complete with that, it’s time to forgive yourself. Let yourself off the hook for not knowing better. This character flaw is the part of you that is still young and learning. Yes, the hardest lessons are the most painful, but they are there to keep you from getting complacent. The stick in the eye or the 2 by 4 to the side of the head is what made you move, act, and decide to change.

Here is a forgiveness prayer you can say to help you free yourself from all the entanglements of the past. I learned it from my teacher, Barbara Y. Martin.

“I ask forgiveness for anything I may have done that injured you in word, thought, act and deed knowingly and unknowingly.

And I forgive you for anything that you may have done to me that injured me in word, thought, act, deed, knowingly and unknowingly.

I ask that all these negative energies be dissolved in the holy fire of eternal love, freeing us completely in God/(dess’s) divine light and everlasting Peace.”

What makes this prayer so powerful is that it lets everyone off the hook. Deep down we are eternal sparks of perfection. But that can be covered with lifetimes of screwups, betrayals, and who knows what else. To verbalize this truce releases all that pain so we can be our true selves again. Life is so much more enjoyable that way.

When you are done, extinguish the candles and flush the saltwater down the toilet. For support, light the candles daily for an hour or two until they are gone. Reflect on what you learned about yourself and practice your new and improved character trait often.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Wheel of Fortune – Reversed

Is a change in order? Things might not be going your way. You may experience unexpected change or negative forces may be at play, leaving you feeling helpless.

Remember that you have a choice. You can choose to do nothing and hope things will get better or you can take action to improve your situation.

See this moment as your opportunity to take control of your destiny and get your life back on track. Changing your destiny starts with accepting responsibility for where you are now.

Consider what role your earlier actions have played in your present circumstances and think about what you could learn from this situation and how you can apply it to your future life.

This also may be a sign that you are finally breaking a negative cycle that has been present in your life.

Ask the Tarot: How can I shift the energy in my life?

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Acknowledging Your Growth
~DailyOM

Evolution of your soul is a natural fact of life and becomes a potent motivational force when celebrated.

Since personal evolution is most often a slow and gradual process, it can be difficult to recognize the scope of the changes taking place in our lives. Yet it is important that we regularly acknowledge our ongoing growth and reward ourselves for the many wonderful feats of self-improvement we have accomplished. When we intentionally contemplate our progress, we need never feel that we are languishing between past achievements and the realization of future goals. If we look closely at our lives, we may see that much of what brings us pleasure in the present is representative of the ambitions of our past that we worked so hard to attain. At one time, the abundance we enjoy currently likely seemed like a far-off dream. Now it is simply reality — a reality we created through our diligence, passion, and unflagging determination. Whether our progress is fast or slow, we deserve to congratulate ourselves for our successes.

To remind yourself of the insights you have gained with time, temporarily adopt an outsider’s perspective and carefully consider how your life in the present differs from the range of experiences you lived through in the past. Creating a written list, in a journal or otherwise, of those strengths, aptitudes, and inner qualities you now attribute to yourself can help you accept that you are not the same person you were one year ago, five years ago, or 10 years ago. Your attitudes, opinions, and values were likely markedly different, and these differences can be ascribed to your willingness to accept that you still have much to learn. If you have difficulty giving yourself credit for these changes, think about the goals you realized, the lives you touched, the wisdom you acquired, and the level of enlightenment you attained over the past years.

Recognizing growth is neither boastful nor immodest. Evolution is a natural fact of life and becomes a potent motivational force when celebrated. Knowing that you are brighter, stronger, and more grounded than you once were, you can look forward to the changes to come. In acknowledging your growth, you build a sturdy foundation upon which you can continue to blossom well into the future.

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Heartwings Love Notes 964: Time on my Hands

Heartwings says “What’s your hurry? Take your time.”

Usually, my New Year column is devoted to my forthcoming resolutions. As well, I often mention how my resolutions for the year just past have gone. As to that, my resolution for 2020 was to write three letters of gratitude each month. That resolution lasted around half the year and then it petered out. The intention remained, the spirit was willing and that was as far as it got. I finally gave up because I had been playing catch-up for the last several months before that, and my list of people to write had increased to an unmanageable size.

I have learned from experience over time to make only one resolution per year. For 2021 my resolution is about time: I hope to learn to manage it better. For instance, there are days when I look at the clock and find an hour has passed without my noticing it. I find I am unable to remember what I actually did during that hour. It’s not that my mind is failing, this I know. What seems to be happening is that the minutes I expect to have, flee when I’m not looking or paying attention. This is a mystery I have yet to solve. What might help would be to pay more attention to what I am doing. That way at least I would remember how I was occupying my time.

When I think about it, I realize in order to occupy my time, I must be present within it. This may mean not performing more than one action during any given series of moments. In the past I have often done two or three things at once. I’ve even prided myself in being able to do this. However, I do not intend to do this any longer. At my age I can’t allow myself to lose any of the precious minutes remaining to me. When I notice the obituaries in the paper, I am often shocked to see how many people younger than I am have passed away.

I can say to myself, “What’s your hurry, take your time.” After all, I can do this; it’s my time to take. I must be aware that I don’t need to hurry. There is a Pennsylvania Dutch saying: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” This is all too true. When I try to hurry, I make mistakes. Not only does this slow me down, but I must take more time to correct them. My motto now is, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Sometimes this is annoying to others, yet it works for me. I am learning that it is all right to take my time. I do not need to drag my feet or to dawdle, however I can use my available time to the fullest. This will take some practice; however, I have a whole year to do it, and I look forward to the results.

May you find the time you need to do whatever you hope to do with it.

Blessings and best regards, and Happy New Year, Tasha

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Warning Bell Bracelet
BY KATE FREULER

Now is the perfect time to raid the craft store for discounted holiday items, one of which is jingle bells. These are available in many colors and sizes. For this protection amulet, you’ll need three small jingle bells (about the size of a large berry) in the color of your choice, along with a piece of black ribbon that can be tied around your wrist or ankle.

Gather the bells and ribbon in a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Hold one bell in your hand and say:

This one protects me.

String it onto the ribbon.
Hold the second bell in your hand
and say:
This one sends a warning.

String it onto the ribbon.
Hold the last bell and say:
This one defends me.

String it onto the ribbon.
Tie the ribbon securely around
your wrist or ankle. When you feel
negative energy approaching, subtly
shake the bells to send out protective,
defensive vibrations all around you.
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A Transformation Spell
BY JAMES KAMBOS

Winter is a time for transform ation. The earth quietly begins to change too—bulbs begin to send up growth and seeds drowse before they stir with life as spring nears. It’s also a good time to cast a spell to bring about a positive transformation in your life.

For this spell you’ll need colored pencils, a plain sheet of white paper, an envelope, and a pinch of soil. (Potting soil will do.) Select the colored pencils of your choice, then write down what it is you wish to transform. It could be a new home, a different job, etc. Draw a picture of it too. Fold the paper and put it in the envelope with a bit of soil. Seal the envelope and hide it. Keep it until Imbolc. At Imbolc, either throw away the envelope and its contents or bury it. The transformation should now begin to take place.
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Coins of Blessing Divination Spell
BY STORM FAERYWOLF

For this spell you will need a deck of tarot cards and thirteen coins.

Ground and center. Draw a tarot card of your choice that represents your success, and place it in the center of your working area as a “manifestation guide” for your spell.

Shuffle your cards while focusing on the year ahead. Deal out twelve cards, face down, in a clockwise circle around the central card, naming each as a month.

Take the coins in your hands and make a heartfelt prayer for your success. Imagine breathing this prayer into the coins. Hold them as you turn over each card, reflecting on its meaning. If you find a “negative” card, place a coin upon it (heads-up) as a transformative blessing and say:

In the month of (name of month),
a challenge is struck,
But a coin of blessing turns my luck.

Read the cards to show the year’s journey toward success. Spend the coins on yourself.
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New Calendar Eve Spell
BY THURI CALAFIA

We made it! The old calendar is about to be yanked from the wall and a new calendar hung up to mark the passing of the days. The moon is just past full, so it’s a good time to release that old year!

For this spell, take that old calendar to your altar, along with a few colorful markers. Even though, as a Witch, you’ve long since marked the new year on the great Wheel, you recognize that this symbol in your hands still holds a lot of power. So page through those days, remembering all that you learned, and mark the calendar with tears, laughter, anger, joy, pain. Let it all out. Express yourself!

Then, if you can do so, carefully burn the calendar or shred it by hand, saying:

I let the past go in peace. I’m ready
to face 2021 and all its lessons.

Be blessed.
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Multipurpose Candle Spell
BY MICHAEL FURIE

A good basic candle spell is a magical must-have. The easiest candles to work with are votives and chimes. They’re small and readily available. Choose a candle color that aligns with your goal: red for love, green or gold for money, black for protection, etc.

Once you have your candle, hold it tightly in your dominant hand, mentally willing your desire into the wax. When it feels fully charged, anoint the candle with your saliva to seal the intention. You can write your desire on a slip of paper to be set underneath the candle holder.

Place the candle in a holder and light it, saying:

To reach my goal, this spell ensure;
power of flame, release my desire.
This energy now I summon
and stir, the magic is poured
out through the fire.
For highest good, manifest for
me; as I will, so mote it be.

Extinguish the candle.
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Full Moon
BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

As stated in Doreen Valiente’s classic Wiccan Rede, “When the moon rides at her peak, then your heart’s desire seek.”

Now that the sun is beginning to return to earth following the winter solstice, it’s a good time to weave your wishes into reality. If you live in a snowy or cold area of the world, it may feel like the sun will never return. But have no fear: the seasons always change, and we grow both older and wiser with the passing of each year.

In many cultures, the moon represents that subtle internal wisdom that keeps families, communities, and homes tied together with a loving bond. Considering these aspects in your own life, weave your wishes for the year by writing these goals on a small, smooth wooden log or board.

In the spirit of a Yule log, safely kindle a fire and set the log alight while performing any additional magick for these goals that you see fit. You may even wish to make this a crafty project for the whole family or coven!
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Hear My Voice Spell
BY DEVIN HUNTER

Saturn recently entered the sign of Aquarius, ushering in a time when our social values and norms will be forced to adapt to the changing times. This is an excellent time for those who have been marginalized in the past to have their voices heard and to have a real impact on society. If you are a member of a marginalized group, use the energy of the day to finally get your voice heard.

You will need the Judgment card from the tarot. Hold the card in your hands and visualize yourself inside the scene. See the change you seek happen right before your eyes, then say:

Hear the call from above,
fly in peace like a dove.
Stay and meet the changing tide, or
meet wrath from which you can’t hide.
Tomorrow shall come from
what we do today, I call upon
judgment to open the way!

Put the card on your altar and visit it often.
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Honor What’s Old
BY BARBARA ARDINGER

We’ve come nearly to the end of th e year, to its midnight, to its eldest days. Everything seems old, old, old. This is the season of the crone, of the hag. Hag comes from hagia and means “holy.” The hag is the Holy One. In Northern Europe, hags, called volvas, were sibyls; an important Icelandic text is the Voluspa, “Sibyl’s Vision.” Thanks to the aging of the baby boom generation, we meet crones and sages every day.

Cast your circle and set your altar with gold, silver, and purple candles in holders, plus symbols of the stages of your life so far. Find your favorite agates (representing strength, courage, and longevity) in your collection and set them in the center. Using a feather, wave the energies of the candles toward yourself. Extinguish the candles.

Keep the agates on your altar and carry an agate in your pocket. Be kind to older citizens who may need some help sometimes.

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Illuminate True Self ~ The Astrophyllite Gem
~xtremegems2010.com

Astrophyllite is an energetically potent stone that infuses your entire system with light, and may assist you to recognize your purpose for being here as it illuminates your true self.ental clarity. Take a look at all the ways in which Labradorite is considered to be the Stone of Transformation.

Said to have a tranquil, authentic and sincere energy, it is also called the ‘marriage stone’ as it promotes fidelity, truth and complete honesty between partners in a relationship. It gives you the ability to make major changes that will move your life journey forward in a profound way, and has strong metaphysical properties for transformation.

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Sacred Tree Profile: Devils Walking Stick (Aralia Spinosa)
by Dana ~ The Druid’s Garden

The Druid’s Garden Homestead is located on a 5-acre parcel of land in Western Pennsylvania that is currently regenerating from intense logging. Three years ago, just before we bought the property, the family who owned it logged about three of the five wooded acres. This has led to a host of possibilities where we can work on forest regeneration, observing the changes in this damaged place as it regrows, and certainly, opportunities for wildtending and creating food forests. As you walk through this regenerating landscape, one of the most striking understory trees is the Devil’s Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa. Looking like a very spiky and menacing walking stick (it has a name fitting of its visage), this tree is also known as Prickly Elder, Prickly Ash, Shotbush, Pigeon Tree, Angelica Tree, or Hercules club. These varied names really speak to the grotesque and yet wonderful nature of this plant and, I believe, give us some sense of its deeper meaning and uses.

This post is part of my Sacred Trees in the Americas series. In this series, I explore the magic, mythology, herbal, cultural, and divination uses, with the goal of eventually producing a larger work that explores many of our unique trees located on the US East Coast. Other trees in this series include Witch Hazel, Staghorn Sumac, Chestnut, Cherry, Juniper, Birch, Elder, Walnut, Eastern White Cedar, Hemlock, Sugar Maple, Hawthorn, Hickory, Beech, Ash, White Pine, Black Locust, and Oak. For information on how to work with trees spiritually, you can see my Druid Tree Working series including finding the face of the tree, communicating on the outer planes, communicating on the inner planes, establishing deep connections with trees, working with urban trees, tree energy, seasonal workings, and helping tree spirits pass.

This entry is going to differ somewhat from my previous entries in this series for a simple reason: there is almost no mythology, herbal, or magical knowledge about this tree. The giant stack of books and online databases of mythology that I regularly consult when developing this series have come up empty on this tree. Thus, I am going to rely much more on ecological knowledge, historical uses, and personal observations. Regardless of its lack of use traditionally, I think this tree is worthy of our attention and fills an important niche in the ecosystem of the US East Coast as a dominant pioneering tree with powerful energy.

Ecology
Aralia Spinosa, or the Devil’s Walking Stick, is in the ginseng family. It prefers part shade, moist soils, and can tolerate a range of soil conditions (fertile to poor, a wide range of PHs, and a wide range of soil types). As an aggressive pioneering species, it comes in after disruption in forest and field conditions, where it colonizes predominantly through rhizomes and sending out roots in different directions. The range of the Devil’s Walking Stick is quite widespread–it is native from Maine to Texas and grows up and down the entire eastern seaboard the whole way to Florida.

As the USDA Plant Database suggests, the Devil’s Walking Stick grows to a height of 35 feet, although as it is colonizing new areas, you can often find much smaller specimens. The leaves are compound and opposite, and every stalk literally is covered in spikes, even below the leaves and onto the leaf stems. The entire tree is covered in spikes, which do thin out as it gets larger. Some sources report that this tree can cause contact dermatitis if the roots or stalks are handled, but I have not found this to be the case (and in fact, have worked with the wood of it without any trouble!).

We actually have some very mature Devils Walking Sticks behind our garden, which are about 30-40 feet tall, and when they are in bloom in August, you can see thousands of butterfly moths, bees, and other insects all over the blooms. Their blooms look a lot like angelica with large umbles of small white flowers–the umbles can reach 12-24″ across and are massive on older trees. After the flowers go to seed, you can often see small birds feasting on the seeds along with deer and other wildlife. In the fall, the foliage turns dark yellow or purple and then pretty quickly drops from the leaves. The berry clusters remain a little longer and are early winter forage for birds.

One of my favorite quotes about this tree comes from the University of Florida State Extension office, “Devil’s walking stick…literally thrives on neglect.” It is also listed as “too aggressive for gardens”. Thus, if you want to plant it, the best thing to do is plant it and then leave it alone (and understand that planting one will lead to many as they colonize by roots and suckers!

Plants for the Future suggest that this tree may be very ancient and that the spines covering the stem and leaves are an earlier evolutionary development to dissuade larger herbivores (read dinosaurs, mammoths, etc) who might seek to eat it. Deer and elk do not browse on it. Given its very defensive and menacing appearance, that makes sense.

History of Human Use

One of the few recorded uses of Devil’s Walking Stick is that it was grown in gardens in the Victorian era as a “grotesque ornamental.” The Victorians were notorious for their love of the grotesque–those are things that are strange, hideous, or unpleasant while also being somehow mysterious, fantastical, or magnificent. In some ways, it was the juxtaposition of something that was fantastical aong with being unpleasant or strange that lead to the idea of grotesque. I actually think that this “grotesque” concept is an excellent fit for Devil’s Walking Stick, which is certainly a slightly weird, wonderful, and yet disturbing tree to come across!

Another recorded use of the Devil’s Walking Stick was with the Cherokees, as described by Hannah Dinkins in Plants of the Cherokees and their Uses. They were reported to harvest and roast the older roots and use them as an emetic (emetics are herbs that induce vomiting) or into a salve for healing old sores. Only the older roots were used this way, however, the young and green roots were considered poisonous. The other use is, which is clearly a more energetic healing approach, is to burn the wood, and then as the wood burned, the smoke was blown on a person who had paralysis to treat the paralysis.

In the New Garden Encyclopedia by L. D. Seymour, Seymor notes that herbalists have used the root of devil’s walking stick, which they dry and grind into powder, for treatment of rheumatism, asthma, and coughs. In all of my years of studying herbalism, I have not come across any teachings of this plant that were not in obscure references and there are very few listings (none in places like Wood’s Earthwise Herbal).

Plants for the Future notes that eating large amounts of the berries are poisonous. They suggest that the young leaves (with their slender spikes) must be gathered before the prickles harden and then can be finely chopped and used as a potherb). While this might be the case, even the young plants are pretty vicious and I’m not sure this plant has any desire to be eaten!

The wood itself that comes from the trees is extremely light, soft, and brittle. It has a lot of larger air holes, making it akin to something like young elder or staghorn sumac, but not as firm. Because of the nature of the wood, it does not have many human uses (although it will certainly start a decent campfire). I’ve worked with it a bit and have found that you can certainly make small things from it like wands, a walking stick, or staves, but I’m not sure you’d want it for any tough job (like a handle).

The Magic and Meanings of the Devil’s Walking Stick
I was unable to find any specific mythology or magic surrounding the Devil’s Walking Stick tree, despite its widespread growth here in the US. Based on the above information, we might consider at least three possible meanings for this tree:

Opportunistic and cunning. The Devils Walking Stick offers very opportunistic and cunning energy. It grows in areas that have been disrupted (like our logged forests) where it quickly colonizes and spreads, growing quickly and taking the opportunity provided.

Over-the-top Defenses. The Devil’s Walking Stick is one of the most defended trees here on the US East Coast. While its toxicity and thousands of thorns, nothing is going to get through to eat this tree. I think this tree obviously signals that defenses are needed, perhaps more than are necessary. I could see this tree being of use if you were feeling like you were being attacked or under duress.

Overcoming Adversity and Exorcism. The energy of this tree would be good for helping you overcome any kind of adversity that you face and exorcise unwanted things from your life (physical or metaphysical). This tree pulls no punches and stands in its power–and it will help you to do the same.

I will also note that if you are developing a local ogham, Devils Walking Sick could be a potentially very good replacement for the Ogham Straif (Blackthorn). Like Blackthorn, Devil’s Walking Stick is a pioneering species with a host of defenses and, frankly, the right kind of energy

I think that because this tree does not have a rich mythology or magical tradition, there’s a lot of opportunities to work with it, to experiment, and to see what comes. I would love to hear from you, my readers, about any insights, stories, or experiences you may have with the powerful Devil’s Walking Stick!

Additional Sources:

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=arsp2https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=arsp2http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c294https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1764https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st080

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Try This Meditation Technique to Foster Lovingkindness

When times seem bleak, starting a practice of lovingkindness can warm your outlook and your interactions with others.

BY MICHAEL GOLLUST

The holidays this year will be unprecedented in many ways.

With health authorities advising Americans to avoid traveling, celebrations will be smaller. Many will be forced to spend the season alone, connecting to loved ones through video screens. In the shadow of the pandemic, millions of families will be grappling with loss.

Connecting to others from your heart is more important than ever.

If you have the means and ability, volunteering to help those in need can enhance your sense of purpose—and physical and mental health—while you serve the greater good. At the same time, working inwardly can be a valuable complement to good works that everyone has the capacity to try.

One way to foster that inward connection is by developing mindfulness.

The benefits of mindfulness
Simply put, mindfulness is the awareness that comes from paying attention, non-judgmentally, with a spirit of curiosity, to the present moment. You can learn mindfulness by setting up a daily practice of meditation.

“By tuning in to our experience through mindfulness, we develop a constructive response to difficult circumstances and establish a greater sense of balance,” says Jud Brewer, MD, PhD, director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center and executive medical director of behavioral health at Sharecare. “When we do so, stressful events don’t inevitably lead to stress.”

A central element of mindful meditation that extends this benefit is a practice called lovingkindness.

“Many of us are caught in a pattern where we fixate on the mistakes we make, our flaws, what we do wrong,” says Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the author of several books, including Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness and Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World, published in September 2020. “Lovingkindness changes the channel. It expands our perspective of ourselves and the universe of those we pay attention to.”

The result for many is being able to move away from self-judgment, fear or anger to a greater openness to others. “I think of how many people are going to be alone and struggling over the holidays,” Salzberg says. “If we do the practice there’s such a genuine sense of caring and a tremendous feeling of connection.”

Here’s how to begin.

Laying the foundation for lovingkindness
Practicing lovingkindness (also known as metta) starts with setting up a basic meditation routine for yourself. You don’t need a lot of time, space or special equipment, just a quiet place and a few minutes each day.

Start by sitting in an upright, comfortable position. Notice without judgment how your body feels. Are you relaxed or tense, at ease or stressed?

Next, take a moment to think about the reason you’re meditating. Are you here to try to ease a feeling of stress or sadness, or simply to take a break from your computer? Perhaps your intention is to send well-wishes to someone in your life who is struggling.

Now, close your eyes gently and bring your attention to the flow of your breath at one point in your body. This might be the tip of your nose or your belly. Don’t try to control your breath; simply notice it flowing.

Sitting in this way, gently focusing your attention, is the essence of meditation. After a few minutes, you might feel more relaxed—or you may notice how active and agitated your mind is. Either outcome is fine.

Each time your mind wanders from your breath, gently bring it back. Each time, you have an opportunity to begin again, without judgment.

Bringing in lovingkindness
When you’ve achieved some steadiness in your meditation, bring your attention to your heart. You might imagine a feeling of warmth there or actually place your hand on your chest.

Take a moment to recite a few phrases, out loud or in your mind. There’s no set formula for what you should say or how you should say it, but the general concept is to incline your mind toward lovingkindness with the following wishes. Begin with yourself:

“May I be happy of heart.
May I be free from suffering.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I live with ease.”

Extending outward
Once you’ve said these phrases for yourself, think of someone you consider to be a benefactor. This could be a family member, friend, teacher or mentor, anyone who has shown you kindness or support or for whom you feel gratitude. Picture them or say their name, then repeat the phrases:

“May you be happy of heart.
May you be free from suffering.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you live with ease.”

The next person you might call to mind is someone you’ve encountered in life but for whom you have no connection, only neutral feelings. This could be a neighbor you sometimes pass on the sidewalk, or a clerk at the grocery store. Even though you don’t know this person, they are no less worthy of wishes of lovingkindness. Repeat the phrases with that person in mind.

“You may not feel any big change in your formal meditation,” Salzberg says, “but next time you’re in that shop or in that place you’ll notice you feel a greater sense of connection.”

Next, try saying the phrases on behalf of someone with whom you have difficulty or conflict. This could be someone you know, or someone you’ve never met but have in mind often. “You might be letting them live in your brain, rent-free,” says Salzberg.

Regardless of how you feel about this person or what they do that may cause suffering, consider that they have a wish to be happy, just as you do. Say the phrases for them.

Doing so is not going to change the person in question. “You can’t say, ‘I’m going to get really good at this and then Uncle Joe is going to turn around,” Salzberg notes. “But the dynamic around that person often shifts because we’re different.”

Lastly, expand your wish to all living beings:

“May all beings everywhere be happy of heart.
May all beings everywhere be free from suffering.
May all beings everywhere be healthy and strong.
May all beings everywhere live with ease.”

Experiencing the benefits of lovingkindness
Lovingkindness isn’t telepathy. You can’t expect to change someone’s mind, heart or attitude by having them in mind when you meditate. But research suggests you may be able to change yours.

Sustaining a regular practice of lovingkindness may help increase positive emotions (including love, joy and gratitude), lower stress levels, help you feel more satisfied in life and even decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. These benefits, in turn, can radiate outward to your loved ones and others you encounter in life.

Lovingkindness can even change your brain. Dr. Brewer’s lab uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brain activity of people practicing lovingkindness. He’s found that while people are practicing lovingkindness, a brain region called the posterior cingulate—a network that gets activated when people are stressed, caught up in worry or even crave drugs, cigarettes or chocolate—quiets down.

This season, particularly if you are home for the holidays, consider beginning a meditation practice with a component of lovingkindness. If you’re not able to be physically present with your loved ones, you can still take time to hold them in your heart for a few moments, while potentially expanding your own capacity for compassion.

“Lovingkindness reinforces a deep understanding that we live in an interconnected universe, that however alone or cut off we might feel, our lives are intertwined,” says Salzberg.

The best news, notes Brewer: “It’s a capacity that we all have and can draw upon anytime.”

If you need a hand finding your breath or developing a meditation routine, try the free Breathe by Dr. Jud app (available for iOS and Android). For a more immersive evidence-based mindfulness experience that includes exercises in lovingkindness, sign up for Dr. Jud’s Unwinding Anxiety program.

Medically reviewed in November 2020.

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Ramon’s New Year’s Eve Party
by Stephen Halpert

         Their first Christmas together was spectacular. Gilberto surprised Maria with a diamond pendent and matching earrings as well as several gift cards to her favorite stores. Tears of joy filled her eyes. She presented Gilberto with a heavy gold signet ring with an inlayed onyx G as well as some practical gifts.

         Joey was thrilled with an electric train set that took up part of his bedroom floor as well as a stocking full of small toys and sweet delights from Santa.

         Alicia and Edwardo sent a basket of oranges from Florida. The week flew by until New Year’s Eve was upon them.   

         “Ramon and Rosa love to entertain,” Gilberto said as he parked in the lot adjacent to their condo. Much to his chagrin Maria wore a simple dark blue maternity dress far too conservative and traditional for his taste.

         Gilberto sighed. “How come you didn’t wear the red dress I love so much?” he asked.

         She looked down at her large baby bump and made a face. “I tried it on, and it was way too tight.”

         Joey proudly carried the platter of Christmas cookies he and Maria had baked. Earlier that week Gilberto had taken him to Brooks Brothers and bought him a vested three button blue suit and swanky black loafers.     “Remember to keep them shined,” Gilberto said.  “Shoes like that have to glow.”

         They entered the foyer and rode the elevator up to the eighth floor.

         Gilberto kissed Maria’s cheek softly.

         Maria stifled a yawn. “I feel bulky.”

         Gilberto held her arm. “You look delicious. You bulge in all the right places.”

         “Thanks,” she said with a smile. “You are such a wild man.”

         Joey grinned. “Will I be a wild man when I’m your age Gilberto?”

         “Hush,” Gilberto said. “Wild men never announce themselves as being wild.”

         “Why?”

         “They just don’t.”

         Ramon opened the door and gave Gilberto a brotherly hug. He kissed Maria and smiled. “You look radiant.”

         Maria smiled. “Truth be told I feel more like a truck.”

         “You don’t look like a truck, ” Ramon said. “No woman ever looks like a truck,” he said emphatically.  ” A sports car maybe but never a truck.”

         The little girls ran to Joey embracing him. “You’re going to marry one of us,” Antonia announced.

         Gilberto gave Joey what could only be described as a man to man look and smiled. “So young and already the girls are after him,” he chuckled.

         “Come in,” Ramon said. “Rosa’s in the kitchen. That’s where she usually lives when we entertain. I’m out front playing host.”

         “What happens to the one I don’t marry?” Joey sounded concerned.

         “She goes and lives forever in a convent,” Sophia said.

         “What’s a convent?” he asked.

         On their way to the kitchen, Ramon took Gilberto aside. “We have a surprise guest.”

         “You mean…?” Gilberto said, wishing what he was being told wasn’t true.

         “She flew in from Caracas last night. Came straight here from the airport and collapsed in the guest room.”

         “Probably figured her condo’s being watched.”

         Ramon shrugged.  A number of Atlas employees greeted Gilberto with camaraderie worthy of a newly minted Vice President. One of the old reliables from Shipping handed him a mug of frothy spiked eggnog.

         “I’m going to give Rosa a hand,” Maria said disappearing into the kitchen.

         The little girls looked admiringly at Joey. “That’s a beautiful suit.” Antonia said. She gave him little kisses on his cheek. “You’re going to marry me as I’m twelve,” she went on, a new demanding authority much like her mother’s, in her voice.”

         “I don’t think I want to get married,” Joey said. “I need to play soccer like Gilberto did. I don’t think I’ll have time for anything else.”

         “We’ll see,” Sophia said. “Come and let us show you our Christmas presents.” Together they led Joey down the hall to their room.

         Gilberto looked around and then blinked. There right in front of him stood someone he had hoped not to see again.

         “Hello handsome,” Lola said. “I hear you’re a married man on his way to fatherhood.”

         Gilberto gulped. “How’s Karibe? We’ve all had visit from federal agents. Mind telling me what’s going on?”

         “Oh yes,” she said brushing off his concern. “Ancient history at least for now.” Her voice lowered. “You look so hot,” I don’t suppose you’ve been married so long that another woman would not be appealing?”

         He gulped. “I don’t think so.”

         Lola laughed. “I’ll wait. Maybe five or ten years from now you’ll have second thoughts. We never did consummate our relationship.”

         “Yes,” he said choosing his words carefully. “You ran off with your dentist.”

         Lola laughed. “He has such a great way with nitrous oxide. How could I resist?”

         He smiled politely and swallowed more eggnog. Gilberto looked around the room. “Well, it’s nice seeing you,” he said wishing she was anywhere except standing in front of him, bursting out of her dress.

         “Hark the Herald Angles sing,” sang a gaggle of guests gathered around the piano. Voices were raised. It was a very convivial atmosphere. 

         Her eyes tried taking over his face.  “It’s over between me and Karibe, and I’m on the prowl.”

         “Just like that? Didn’t you acquire his gold medallion?”

         “You have a memory like a hawk.”

         “Maybe you’d like one of those Federal Agents who’s been trailing after us,” Gilberto said, trying to sound offhanded.

         Lola shook her head. Then she laughed. Her voice was barely above a whisper.  “Too clean-cut Ivy League for me. I want a man who likes crawling around with me in the mud.”

         Gilberto finished his eggnog. He tried to smile. “My mud crawling days are over. Seriously, I’m very happy with Maria.”

         “She’s lovely,” Lola said. “She’ll make you a great wife and mother. “But knowing you, you’ll need some,” she paused; “refreshment during halftime, and for you I don’t mind waiting.”

         “That’s very sweet,” Gilberto said feeling flashes of guilt and self-consciousness get in the way of his voice.

         Lola laughed. “Don’t go turning into a bore Gilberto. “You’ve got too much fire in you to dry up and go suburban.”[i] She giggled. “But I’ll wait. One day you’ll get hungry and then we can go do lunch at the top of the hub.”

         Rosa and Maria appeared carrying trays of mini cheese cakes and puffy pastry.        

         “Lola,” Maria flashed her warmest cordial smile. “It’s so good to see you again. We were all so worried you were kidnapped by a gang of white slavers.”

         Lola finished her eggnog, shook her head and grinned. “No such luck. But one day I’ll fill you all in on my merry adventure South of the Border.”

         She tossed her head and headed toward the buffet.

         “Maria,” a tall athletic blond embraced Maria. Then she turned and appraised Gilberto. “You never told he was such a hunk.” Her eyes and smile danced flirtatiously. “Hi Gilberto, I’m Eva, Eva Scofield.”

         Gilberto blushed. He was entranced by her European accent.

         “Eva’s my midwife,” Maria said. “She’ll be spending time with us teaching us what to do until the delivery, as well as during and after.” 

         He looked at her sparkling eyes and thought perhaps I can trust this woman to help deliver my son. Maybe all midwives aren’t alike.  He smiled and let himself be engulfed with optimism for the new year.

To be continued


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Chaos Calmer Tea

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 60
Protein: 0g
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Sodium: 10mg

Good For:
Celiac Disease
Insomnia
Mood
PMS

Soothe away stress with this relaxing brew. The active ingredient is chamomile tea, which acts as a mild sedative and may help ease anxiety.

Prep time:
0 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This recipe makes 1 Serving
Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider
1 bag chamomile tea
1 slice lemon peel
1 whole cinnamon stick

Preparation:
Combine the cider and 1/2 cup water in a mug, and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, or until simmering.

Add the chamomile tea bag, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and cinnamon stick, and enjoy!

Serving size: 1 cup

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Kitty Kat Korner!

New Year’S Resolutions For Pet Owners
By MARC-ANDRÉ

It’s nearly the start of 2021 and you might be starting to think about resolutions for the New Year – so why not include your pet in your resolutions?

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “If you have a hard time sticking to promises you make yourself – doing something for our pets might be the extra motivation we all need. This way we can help keep our pets happy and healthy in 2021 too!”

Nina’s top tips for resolutions that stick include:

1.Exercise

Everyone knows exercise is important for our health and mental wellbeing. Joining the gym in January may seem like a good idea, yet how many of us actually go? Our latest PAW report found that over 1.4 million dogs aren’t walked every day, so taking the time to schedule in at least two walks a day with your pooch provides a healthy solution that both you and your pet will benefit from!

If you have a cat, slot in some extra playtime every day, they’ll appreciate more attention and benefit from increased activity!

  1. Learn something new

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions we make, is to learn something new. Why not include your four-legged friend in this, too? Learning a new trick, or even just brushing up on their training, can help you to spend more time with your pet and you’ll both be learning something new!

  1. Eat healthy

We’re all a little guilty of over-indulging during Christmas and this can sometimes affect our pets, too (although we would always recommend feeding them a balanced diet no matter what time of year it is). January is a great time to stop the snacking and stick to a healthy diet – for the both of you!

Chat to your vet or vet nurse and make sure your pet is on the right diet. If you tend to feed your pet table scraps, make a resolution to stop – it’ll really help your pet lose ant extra pounds they might be carrying and help to prevent tummy troubles.

  1. Spend time with the ones you love

If 2020 taught us anything it’s the importance of friends and family during challenging times. And with lockdowns and then Christmas holidays, we’ve tended to be home a lot more. This is great for our pets because they get to spend more time with us, but can also be really difficult for them when we go back to work or school and aren’t around as much. Some dogs can even suffer from separation anxiety and get really stressed.

So when routines do eventually resume, remember to make sure someone is there for your pet (a sitter or doggy daycare) so they aren’t alone for too long. When you are at home, make sure you put time aside to spend some quality time with your pet where they can have your attention all to themselves. You could play a fun game or even just sit and read a book while your cat curls up on your lap!

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. http://www.pdsa.org.uk

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How Valerian Works on Felines and it’s Benefit in Cat Toys
BY MARC-ANDRÉ

Today we want to take a closer look at toys that are filled with Valerian of which we’ve used many on our own two cats.

Many cat guardians always wonder why cats get so excited over Valerian toys and of course the next natural question is whether it is good or harmful to play with these pungent toys!

Many online articles offer different views of the valerian root (valeriana officinalis) and the effect of it on our cats. Essentially the bottom line is that these toys are safe but just like catnip toys that can induce ecstatic play behaviour should only be used under supervision.

So how does valerian impact your feline companions?

Most cats will cuddle up with the Valerian filled toys, lick them and play passionately with them! You can often see how they rub themselves all over the toys! Some will roll around on the floor and others will chase, kick or chew on the toy.

How does it work?

The Valerian root contains Actinidine which is also known as a cat attract pheromone that is found in Valerian, Catnip and a few other plants! Cats and other Felines (Yes even the big ones!) are attracted to this pheromone.

How long does it work?

This depends a bit on each individual cat and varies from 5 – 20 minutes. Once this phase has passed the cat will enter the so called refractory phase for at least 30 – 120 minutes during which time it won’t react to the fragrant material contained in Valerian toys.

How was it discovered?

Valerian was discovered as a stimulant for cats long before we started using it for our house tigers. Wild Felines have been captivated by so called “cat herbs” for centuries and scientists have been using Valerian as a lure to study small and large felines in the wild!

What are the benefits?

While the cat is attracted by the Valerian it can help them to relax during stressful situations such as shows, firework season and other events that are not part of their general routine. Most cats either get ecstatic and power themselves out or calm down and relax while “enjoying a timeout” with their Valerian toy. Best of all from our personal experience at shows we find that this beneficial effect remains even long after you’ve taken the toys away.

Valerian also often gets used in sprays and air diffuser to induce a calming effects on cats and other animals which is different to the impact of catnip. It leaves most cats calm and relaxed after use of the toys hence why there is a lasting effect!

Have you had problems in multi cat households?

We’ve successfully used Valerian toys in the best example of multi cat households – cat cafes where the Valerian toys have actually helped to calm down tension and help the cat caretakers with introducing new cats to each other. The thing to bear in mind though is that you want to provide sufficient toys as many cats are not good at sharing – not even while under the effect of Valerian.

Especially when you’ve got a very dominant cat they may decide to defend their new found prize! We would generally recommend to have at least one toy per cat handy so in case that they get territoriality you’ve got additional toys on hand!

But what about the smell?

Valerian has a very pungent smell so that does mean that toys filled with Valerian have a strong unique fragrance! ?? And really… your cat wants you to get these so what is there not to like if your cat overlord demands it?!?

On a more serious note remember you shouldn’t leave this toy out all day anyway so in a way it’s good as it will remind you to put them away once your cat is finished with them.

We would of course recommend that you leave these out to dry for a while after playtime though! Ideally somewhere the cat can’t get to! If you ever tried a Valerian toy you’ll know what we mean about the need for letting them dry… ??

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope
January 03, 2021

All Signs
It’s a New Year and change is percolating! Mars leaves Aries where it’s been for six months. Gasp. That lengthy stay in Aries has been weird! (Hasn’t happened since1988.) This change brings relief to many, especially Libra, Cancer and Capricorn. Meanwhile, heads up! Mercury will be retrograde from Jan. 29 to Feb. 21. (Please note: For big-ticket “Mercury-related” purchases like computers, cell phones, cars or trucks, don’t buy them from Jan. 21 to March 13.) This year is noteworthy because it’s the beginning of a new 200-Year cycle, which will have incredible advances in technology and more respect for the rights of the everyday person. As this new year begins, – be positive! Take life with a grain of salt. (I’ll be adding a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
After six months of being in your sign, this week Mars is leaving. (The last time Mars was in your sign for six months was in 1988. Usually, it is in your sign for only six weeks, once every two years.) This will be a big change for everyone, especially you. It will ignite your desire to work hard and boost your income, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, your year ahead will be more popular than you have had in over a decade! Not only that, relations with friends will actually benefit you, which means it will be in your best interests to be friendly with everyone. Since many of our social interactions will continue to be online – why not explore new ways of being in clubs, groups and associations?

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This year begins like gangbusters because fiery Mars has just entered your sign, which will rev up your energy and make your life busier! You will be keen to get things done and you will be more aggressive with others, especially in defending your rights. (Oh yeah.) Your physical energy level will be high and the month ahead will be very positive for you. Meanwhile, this year, you are looking swell because bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs admire you and are impressed with your achievements. Personally, you will begin to see very clearly what is working and what is not. Good. Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Go gently at the beginning of the week because disputes about shared property, debt, taxes and insurance issues could be nasty. Fortunately, this influence is brief. You’re entering a year where travel will attract you more than ever because you want to expand your experience of the world! If you can’t travel, then do what you can to expand your knowledge of the world through school or online courses because you want to discover new things. You want to embrace new ideas, new concepts, new philosophies. This month is a good financial month for you. In fact, gifts, goodies and favours from others will come your way. (Keep your pockets open.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
In one way, while Mars has been in one sign for the last six months admittedly, it has aroused your ambition! Now however, your focus will swing to friends, groups and organizations. Many of you will feel competitive, especially in group sports or perhaps online gaming? Meanwhile, this year, you will get richer indirectly through the wealth of someone else. You might receive an inheritance. Your partner might earn more, which indirectly benefits you. You might get money back from the government. It’s also a good year to try to get a loan or mortgage. Meanwhile, you will continue to need more rest and more sleep this month. Go to bed.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
It’s curious but you begin this year much more ambitious than usual! You will feel this as this week unfolds – definitely. You will be independent and will definitely want credit for what you do. Because of this strong ambition to achieve, you might find yourself in conflict with authority figures. Even coworkers might be threatened. Take it easy. Rome wasn’t built in the day. (In fact, they’re still working on it.) You’re entering a year that is tricky for your closest relationships and partnerships. In one way, they will be challenged. Nevertheless, this year there is a lighthearted joyful quality that is present. In fact, this year is an excellent year for Leos to get married.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The disputes that you might have felt with others about shared property, taxes, and debt last year will fade away now. You can relax. In fact, you will discover that this month, you’re keen to travel or do something to expand your world. You might want to take a course to learn something new? If you can talk to people from other backgrounds and different cultures, this will intrigue you. You’re entering a year where your health will improve and you can also improve your job. If you can’t improve your job, you can get a better job. Meanwhile, this is a playful, fun-loving month that favours romance and joyful times with kids. Great!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week brings such good news for you – clap your hands! For over six months, Mars has been opposite your sign creating aggro and angst in your dealings with others. Because you try to keep the peace, you dealt with this with forbearance and diplomacy – most of the time. Now this pressure is gone! You are free of that influence for another two years and even then, it will only be for six weeks. It will be much easier to deal with loved ones this year! In fact, this will be one of the most fun-loving, playful, creative years you’ve had in over a decade. Vacations, joy with children and an appreciation of the arts and sports are some of the fun things waiting for you.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You might want to dial it down a bit as you enter this new year because you are pumped with energy, especially intellectual energy, which makes you speedy, forthright, aggressive and eager to communicate to everyone. When talking to partners and close friends, you might feel some tension because Mars has moved opposite your sign (just for the month). Avoid unnecessary arguments. Why bother? Instead, start to focus on the fact that you can improve your home scene this year. You can make where you live more appealing by renovating or redecorating or expanding – or you can move. You can buy something better or rent something better. Good year for real-estate speculation as well.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You’ve been chomping at the bit for some time now, which means you will feel relieved to actually sink your teeth into a project worthy of your energy. This month, you’re ready to work and get things done! It will thrill you to get better organized. Your focus is still on money and boosting your earnings. Fortunately, you can attract money to you! In part, this is because this year you will be more optimistic, busier and eager to communicate to others – more than you have been in ages. Of course, this is stimulated by a fluctuating situation of changing residences and changing jobs either now or later. Busy you!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You will be relieved to know that the chaotic activity that has plagued your home and family scene for the last six months will start to subside. Things will go back to normal. In fact, you’re heading into a playful, fun-loving month where you might particularly enjoy competitive sports. It’s a strong week with the Sun and Venus in your sign. Admittedly, tension with someone on Monday might occur. (Ego battles.) One of the main reasons you are going to be much happier this year is you are going to get richer! You’re either going to earn more or attract money to you or inherit it – something will happen to increase your assets. Ka-ching!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Be patient with people at home this month because increased chaos and activity will stir things up. Remember: Patience is the antidote to anger. And hey – family is forever. Meanwhile, you are heading into a fabulous year because lucky Jupiter has entered Aquarius where it will stay for the entire year! This will increase your confidence and boost your self-poise by the end of the year – noticeably! It will attract good fortune to you and make you look upon your everyday surroundings with greater enthusiasm. It will nurture a more visionary view of life. It’s a wonderful time of learning and gaining new experiences. The spiritual dimension of your life might also grow. Heady stuff!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
It’s curious but it’s true that you might surprise yourself at how assertive you become this month. (Yikes!) Suddenly, you will find it easy to say what you mean and mean what you say! This will be a popular month for you. In particular, you will enjoy hanging out with creative, artistic types. In fact, in many ways, this will be a special year for you because you are going to explore more of your inner world either by osmosis or by consciously choosing spiritual disciplines or methodologies. Meanwhile, you’re also going to downsize and streamline your belongings and even your relationships because this year and next, you intend to cut loose from anything is holding you back. Smart move!

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Monthly Horoscopes for January 2021
~Arif UK via groups.io

If youre born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); youre advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You`re in the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don`t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

Aries
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

You`ve got your mind on money and money on your mind at the beginning of the month. Pursuing a lucrative job is worth the time and effort. Dress the part of a confident professional for interviews, even if you are meeting via video conference. You could get a solid job offer on the 13th, courtesy of the career-oriented New Moon. This could mark an exciting professional transformation. Neither a lender nor a borrower be during the second part of the month when a friend exaggerates their ability to repay debts. The Full Moon on the 28th warns against getting swept off your feet by a charming suitor. Mercury goes retrograde on the 30th, prompting you to make some revisions to your social activities.

Long before the year began, 2020 was described by astrologers as the Great Financial Reset. The alignment of so many planets in Capricorn in January 2020 suggested the need for complete reboot. The new business cycle began at the Winter Solstice last month. The first few days of this month could be unsettling. There is high probability that by the New Moon on Thursday 14th, that the mood will be very, very different. That lunation coincides with the Suns annual alignment with Pluto and with Uranus turning direct. Both signal developments in your career with the after-shock affecting your financial status. This need not be in a bad way. It is probable that by 24th you be talking about savings plans and other financial safety nets. Indeed, before Mercury turns retrograde on 30th, insurance and security could have your full attention. Whether you are buying or investing in these products, by the last day of the month you could take pleasure in this investment.

Taurus
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Your drive and determination will skyrocket in the first week of January; take this opportunity to pursue a lofty goal. Flirting with someone from a foreign country is a distinct possibility; late evening Skype or Facetime sessions could pass the time nicely. The 13th could find you signing up for an advanced course with a talented and forward-thinking organisation that could have a profound impact on your outlook. Embracing your authenticity during the middle of the month will cause your popularity to soar; do your best to stand apart from the crowd. On the 28th, the Full Moon could mark the end of a career path, turning you in a more rewarding direction. Its possible youll go back to work for an employer that always treated you well.

It takes you around 84 years for Uranus to work its way through all the signs of the zodiac. Some people never live long enough for it to pass through their sign. If youre reading this, then you are experiencing Uranus move through your sign, Taurus. This month, for the first time since its entry into that sign, it is joined by Mars. The Mars-Uranus cycle is important in terms of financial activity. Markets are often driven up as major aspect between the two planets form. They reach a conjunction this month, on January 20, just as the Sun moves into Aquarius. From Mars` entry into Taurus on January 7th through to that date, your financial world could be energised. It perhaps helps that there is a New Moon on 14th. This likely brings new impetus and yes, perhaps desire to achieve. You could break new financial ground. It would be wise however to ensure that you have adequate insurance – an area demanding much attention for many signs this month.

Gemini
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

The beginning of January brings the intellectual stimulation you crave. This is a great time to attend some advanced and engaging courses in your favourite subject; online learning will be engrossing. Don`t let fear of looking foolish keep you from asking probing questions or discussing interesting theories. The New Moon on the 13th will bring a financial windfall in the form of a refund check, insurance payment, or court settlement. Use this money to put a down payment on something that will bring long-term security. During the second half of January, the Full Moon could bring some unexpected news about a community matter. Take time to process this upheaval. At the end of the month, a legal matter that you thought was settled could resurface.

You may recall that the lunar node is travelling to your sign. It doesnt complete the journey until the 2021 Winter Solstice. Obviously much depends on your actual birthday, but there is high probability of you making significant domestic change before then. Change is often expensive and best done following careful assessment of estimates. Thats a task you may be willing to do once Mercury moves into another of the Air signs on January 8. You won`t be the only sign to experience financial volatility this month. Unlike last year, which could be described as the Great Financial Reset, 2021 offers moments of hope and rebuild. Following on from the New Moon on January 14, investments should gain value and, within a week, you could experience a confidence that has been lacking as is likely the case for all signs, focus on insurance is essential. It might be as well to as prepare for emergency expenses around the 26th and, given that Mercury turns retrograde on January 30, accept the need to dig deep into reserves. In short, however good the bargains appear at the start of the month, it would be wise to hold something in reserve.

Cancer
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

An intimate relationship will occupy most of your time and attention during the first half of the month. Whether you live with your significant other or chatting online is immaterial; these flirtatious conversations will be the highlight of your days. On the 13th, the New Moon could mark a big change in your relationship status. Getting engaged, married, or divorced is a distinct possibility. This shift will put you on an empowering path that allows you to realise your full potential. A source of income could come to an end as February draws near, due to a disruptive Full Moon. Working on a commission basis will improve your financial situation in the closing days of the month; this assignment will be temporary but lucrative.

The after-shocks of the Great Financial Reset that was 2020, will likely be felt for some time. After-shocks are often linked to the cycle of Mars and Uranus which reach their conjunction on January 20. It would be unsurprising if, before that date, markets began to rise. In some parts of the world the curve could be steep. That may be particularly apparent around the New Moon on January 14. This lunation coincides with the Suns annual alignment with Pluto (still moving through your opposite sign) and with Uranus direct station. Its probable that youve already made the decision to take your career off in new direction and likely the by the weekend of 23rd- 24th that your approach to financial matters will have altered too. It may be important to join forces – or even perhaps to open a savings account with the co-operative bank. What may be clear as the Moon moves through your sign over 26th and 27th is that a joint savings plan would go a long way towards ensuring that a dream is fulfilled later in the year.

Leo
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Finding ways to be of service could bring great fulfilment in the opening days of the month. Donate your time, money and resources to a worthy cause. The New Moon on the 13th beckons you to begin a fitness regimen. Toning your body and building muscle will boost your energy and improve your outlook. Career demands could put strain on a close relationship in the second half of January; it`s important to put your cards on the table with a romantic partner. Resist the urge to change your look towards the end of January, when the Full Moon could tempt you to doing something drastic. Someone from your past could try to re-connect with you in the final days of January; beware.

With both Jupiter and Saturn now moving through your opposite sign, the emphasis is very much on joint matters -financial affairs included. The first week of January could find you undecided. It perhaps wont be until Mercury arrives in your opposite sign on January 8th that serious discussion about joint endeavour opens up. By the New Moon on January 14 - which is followed by Uranus arriving at its direct station at the apex of your solar chart, - much could be centred on both your career and property. Investments in both were likely grow in importance. You wont be the only sign that needs to give consideration to insurance and risk. What is perhaps different in your case, is that you may now have your eye on an extension or working environment that would require you digging deep into reserves yes, preferably in partnership. Negotiating that could take the first quarter of the year. In the meantime, other investments that might have your intention should include products and services that promise to care for archives or in some way protect.

Virgo
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Matters of the heart are the focus in the beginning of January. If youre looking for love, post a profile on a dating website; you will generate lots of interest. If youre already in a serious relationship, you should only proceed with caution and if youre not in a relationship dont jump into the deep end too impetuously even if you`re limited to talking via Skype or FaceTime. The New Moon on the 13th could find you getting swept off your feet by an ardent admirer. Let yourself get carried away. Alternatively, you could get engaged or make a serious romantic commitment. On the 28th, the Full Moon will bring a secret to light; prepare for a shock. A former employer could offer you a job in the final days of the month.

If 2020 was the year of the Great Financial Reset, then 2021 should be a year of opportunity. Certainly, new products and services will likely have your attention. As of the very end of 2020, the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, began a new business cycle. These are early days. That said, by the New Moon on January 14th you may be aware of opportunities that just simply did not exist a year ago. Yours, as we know, is a sign given to anxiety and in a constant state of risk assessment. This though, is also one of your greatest assets. It might even be a service that you can provide. With Uranus turning direct on January 15 you could attract unusual but exciting opportunity. This might even come through contact with a sibling or neighbour who is involved at ground level with a project that a year ago would have been unthinkable. This might include property refurbishment as investment.

Libra
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Abandoning yourself to domestic pursuits will be pleasurable at the beginning of January. Its a great time to decorate, clear out clutter and make upgrades to your abode. On the 13th, the New Moon could prompt you to relocate to a more congenial area. This move will have a profound impact on your emotions. Instead of putting up with a toxic situation, youll leave the past behind and embrace a more rewarding lifestyle. Your association with a creative group could come to an end near the 28th, due to a contentious Full Moon. Going solo will feel liberating. An ex-lover might try to re-connect with you in the last days of January. Carefully consider whether you want to get involved again.

As of January 8, Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn in the research and development area of your solar chart. Expect ideas to be thrown around between then and the New Moon on 14th. Though you may feel that some ideas have fallen on stony ground, be assured that soon after the New Moon, and with Uranus then in direct motion, that projects will get underway and your investment of time and effort will not have been wasted. 2021 is so very different to 2020 (the year of the Great Financial Reset) with some signs off to the races before others. You could be in that league. It wont be so surprising if youre attracted to projects initiated by those born under the other Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer or Capricorn. In partnership (as is usually the case), you could do so very well. It`s probable however, that it will be someone born under the other Venus-ruled sign of Taurus, that will have greatest impact on your financial world – particularly from January 20th.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Money matters look likely to be coming first and foremost in your thinking as you start the New Year. Of course, you will want to think things through rationally and make some longer-term decisions that will help keep your finances on a steady course throughout the coming months. The middle of January will begin to bring some positive results of these financial decisions and also for other plans and projects you set in motion during the last few months of last year. As January begins to fade and February starts to loom large you may find yourself rethinking some aspects of your life. Professional and personal relationships may need to be reassessed. Some long-held views and values may no longer be appropriate and you will feel a growing need to find a new way forward.

At the Winter Solstice on December 21, Jupiter and Saturn formed an alignment at the very base of your solar chart. The degree to which you heard this planetary chord will obviously dependent much on your actual birthday. (If your birthday is towards the beginning of Scorpio, then you may have heard this loudly). Yet for all Scorpios, issues around investments and long-term care, property and insurance are set to demand considerable attention between now and mid-May. Initially you might not be in the mood for any of this, but by Friday 8th, be ready to find out more and yes, to read financial papers should that be necessary. Thirst for information promises to be a major driver between 8th and 14th. In the hours following the New Moon on 14th, the Sun arrives at its annual alignment with Pluto (one of your ruling planets) and just as Uranus stations in your opposite sign. This should be viewed as your starter for ten. So much of January could be spent analysing, researching and making enquiries; and yes, you are likely right that there are bargains to be had if you know where to look.

Sagittarius
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Increasing your income should be your focus in the first half of the month. Applying for lucrative jobs, starting a business, or courting wealthy clients are all good possibilities at the beginning of January. The fruits of your labour could pay off around the middle of January, when the New Moon could deposit a dream job in your lap. Beware of divulging secrets in the last half of January; indiscretion could bite you where it hurts. Towards the end of the month, the Full Moon could force you to cancel a trip or withdraw from an academic program. Politeness can help getting the refund on a deposit. Watching a documentary or reading an article could dramatically change your views on an issue in the last days of the month.

Not for the first time, it could feel as though your financial world is shaken – especially at the New Moon on 14th. That lunation coincides neatly with the Suns annual alignment with Pluto which, for the last decade has been travelling through neighbouring Capricorn where its been knocking on the door of your financial world. Yet you should now be accustomed to developments and know how best to adjust. This lunation also coincides with Uranus turning direct. If health or general matters have seriously debilitated your financial world, the opportunity to put things right begins at this New Moon. True, once again you may find there is more going out than coming in. Note however, that with your ruling planet, Jupiter having recently changed signs, that there is a new buzz to business. Those in partnership may find that it`s developments in their partners affairs that lead to discussions about new investment strategies and that by the close of the month there is optimism as to what could yet be achieved.

Capricorn
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

All eyes will be on you at the start of January. Use your powerful charisma to win favours, conquer hearts and secure jobs. Look your best and seize every opportunity to promote your agenda. The New Moon on the 13th is perfect for changing your look or upgrading your wardrobe. Investing in your appearance will pay off handsomely. Assuming additional work responsibilities during the second half of the month could pave the way to a big promotion and raise. Watch the days following the 28th, when a distressing Full Moon could bring an end to payments from a legal settlement or royalty agreement. The final days of January will find you thinking of ways to increase your earned income.

The need to take fresh approach to finances will likely be apparent once Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn in neighbouring Aquarius as of January 8th. It is then that you might want to take firmer hold of financial reins. Determining your strategy before the New Moon in your sign on Wednesday 14th would be wise. That event is followed by the Suns annual alignment with Pluto (still moving very slowly through your sign). That this coincides with Uranus turning direct suggests that unlike last year, this will be a year when youre better informed and more aware of risks and how to manage them. You won`t be the only sign thinking about insurance and risk management generally, but could take a slightly different approach to others by choosing to invest in companies managing this. A further- and strong – possibility is that after the Sun moves into Aquarius on 20th, that you will be offered an opportunity that would increase your income. Prudent as you are, you might also want to give careful consideration to the expenses that would be incurred. This month you may need to learn more about money management generally and, perhaps particularly, developments in crypto currencies.

Aquarius
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

Keeping a low profile will be the order of the day in early January. Home improvement projects could be especially engrossing, deepening your enjoyment of domestic pursuits. On the 13th, the New Moon will prompt you to devote more time to spiritual pursuits. Dont try to sweep a troubling family matter under the rug in the second half of the month. The sooner you face the truth of a relatives health problems, the easier it will be for the entire group to rally together. The Full Moon on the 28th will mark a big change in a close relationship; its possible a strong union will fall by the wayside. During the final days of January, youll radically change the way you share ideas.

As of January 8th, Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn already moving through your sign. Meanwhile, Mars joins Uranus in another of the Fixed signs, Taurus. Whilst true, in the past this conjunction has coincided with a market top, that may not be the case this year. There are other factors at work. The predominance of planets in Fixed signs leaves little scope for manoeuvrability and flexibility. Volatility levels could be high with people going from one extreme to another. You will need to care that you don`t fall into a trap – especially around January 15 and again after the Sun moves into your sign on January 20. The key will be risk management. This, of course, applies to all signs but in your case, it would be wise to do what you can to shore up your position and to invest in a safety net. View this as your birthday present to yourself. Though – true, as always, everything depends on your personal chart, the general outlook for Aquarius would be to consider investments not in old companies but in budding new ones (robotics, AI etc) and which have strong capital base.

Pisces
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram:

January begins on a sociable note. Even if you are only communicating via Zoom or Skype, youll greatly enjoy communications with your nearest and dearest. Thanks to the support you get from loved ones, you may be inspired to change your look or image. The New Moon on the 13th may find you joining a group of influential people who are dedicated to making the world a better place. Beware of making promises you cant deliver during the second half of the month; you`ll tend to overestimate your abilities. The Full Moon on the 28th might prompt you to quit a job that is spiritually depleting. A recurring dream will get your attention during the final days of the month.

As we now know, 2020 really was the year of the Great Financial Reset. Astrologers had thought that this would be a year to remember. They wondered how businesses would cope. We are learning! As of January 8th, Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn now moving through neighbouring Aquarius. This is one of the Fixed signs of the Zodiac. With both Mars and Uranus also moving through Fixed signs there is likely to be fresh determination to cut new business paths. Investment might require some signs to do serious belt-tightening – your sign included. Around the New Moon on January 14th, you might decide that the optimum way forward is to sell an asset. This requires care and advice from someone who understands your position well. What you don`t want to do (much as you may be energised), is to act in haste. It might be wise, by the Full Moon on Jan 28th, to contact with a financial adviser and to determine an appropriate strategy.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

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  6. The Priestess Entrepreneurship
  7. Natural Witchcraft
  8. Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
  9. The Magic of Crystals

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

15.A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 27 Dec 2020 – 03 Jan 2021

This land, this water, this air, this planet –
this is our legacy to our young. ~Paul Tsongas

People must feel that the natural world is important
and valuable and beautiful and wonderful
and an amazement and a pleasure. ~David Attenborough

Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon

Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.

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December 2020
29: Full Moon – Long Nights Moon at 10:30 pm. Now is a good season for spiritual alchemy. It’s time to evaluate your life, and know that you’ll survive the dark times. If you’ve already put the darkness behind you, take your good fortune and share it with others.
31: Festival of Hogmanay ~ The Crone preparing to depart, winter at its height; Crone, old and withered year changes at midnight into young and fresh New Year. Hag’s Eve.
31: Egyptian Lucky Day of Sekmet – the ravaging lioness, with her burning solar eye, is the destroyer/devourer aspect of the Goddess.
31: New Year’s Eve

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.) Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
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The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

You Might Also Be Interested In:
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs!

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!

During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!

There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.

For more info or to join my class, click here!
http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html
Hardcover: $39.45
Softback: $26.95
eBook (PDF): $6.25

The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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The Magic of Crystals

Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.

Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.
Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!

If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00

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Order Your Mind, Body and Spirit Reading for 2021 from GrannyMoon!

Understand specific opportunities & unique challenges that will be presented to you in the next 12 months! New Year Special! A $15.00 Donation!

http://goddessschool.com/donations.html

Please e-mail me with your date, time and place of birth.
GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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CoventryCreations.com
December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021.

The last week of 2020 begins with a Full Moon in the sign of Cancer. Family matters and personal security may be a major theme throughout the week. Otherwise, it’s a great time to clear up issues from the past. On Wednesday, Venus forms a tough square to Neptune. Romantic confusion could lead to disappointment on New Year’s Eve. Try to avoid falling into victim mindsets. Finally, the New Year brings in a decent aspect between Mercury and Neptune. Your creative juices may overflow. This is a great time to begin creative projects. Spiritual matters may surface. The best candles for this week are Blessed Herbal Happy Home, Hoo Doo Adam and Eve, and Affirmation Meditation.

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…

Full Moon in Cancer December 29, 2020
The Full Moon is in Cancer on December 29th. Cancer Full Moon’s are great for resolving family issues, strengthening family bonds, making changes to your house and home, and even doing a little cooking magic. This month’s candle ritual is all about creating a healing community or healing the community you live in.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Death ~ Reversed

Where are you resisting change?

You are on the brink of meaningful change but are resisting it. This may have you feeling stuck. With Death in reverse, this week brings you the opportunity to embrace change, rather than resist it.

See what possibilities become available to you once you surrender to the process. When you learn to release the past your future becomes even brighter.

On a deeper level, you may also be experiencing a massive personal transformation. This is often in private and not seen by others. Allow yourself to release what no longer serves you and make space for the new to emerge in your life.

You may be removing fears and limiting beliefs, changing your habits, physically purging or transforming yourself. Say yes to change and see what wonderful opportunities present themselves to you.

Ask the Tarot: What do I need to let go of or release at this time?

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FULL MOON DECEMBER 29, 2020 IN CANCER
December 21, 2020

Full Moon December 29, 2020 in Cancer

The last full moon of the year occurs on December 29, 2020, and is in the sign of Cancer.

Most everyone is happy to say goodbye to the year 2020.. What a year it has been! We never could have envisioned that the whole world would turn topsy turvy. Even though this year has turned things upside down for so many of us, it is important we look back on the gifts, even if they are hard to find.

What gifts were sent your way this year? What did you learn? What did you discover? How have you grown?

No matter what ups or downs you faced this year, chances are you have something in your life to be grateful for. Chances are there is a bit of love, hope, and joy just waiting to be tapped into.

The December 29-30 Full Moon arrives in the sign of Cancer. There is this sense of heightened emotions bubbling under this final full Moon of the year.

The blessings are being bestowed upon us in a powerful way on this full Moon. December’s cold Moon is a good time to evaluate the ordeals and trials of this past year. Again look for what was a blessing.

Can you feel the tension, truth, and emotions arise? This last full moon of the year often gives way to a lot of emotions we have hidden! Not to worry! Let the light into your heart and you will find your own truth. Find the spark of joy that is within you.

Your head may feel a little busy and our sub-conscious is out on the full show. What was hidden is now revealed and you will need to deal with it! We will all react differently to this. Some may feel exuberant and free, others tired and teary, some are hiding under the sheets, others shouting to the rooftops. So embrace whatever comes your way on this full Moon!

The Moon is very feminine; it’s all about our feelings being expressed and verbalized. Your head may feel a little busy and our sub-conscious is out on the full show. What was hidden is now revealed and you will need to deal with it! We will all react differently to this.

In Native American cultures which tracked the calendar by the Moons, December’s Full Moon was known as the Full Cold Moon. It is fittingly associated with the month when winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. Another name for this full Moon is Long Night Moon which is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. Other names for The December Full Moon are Oak Moon, Winter Moon, and Wolf Moon. This is the time of the Dark Lord, with the Oak being his symbol. It is the time of rebirth.

The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

The week of the Full Moon is filled with blessings from The Divine. So take some time to stop in the midst of the chaos of the holidays and appreciate all of the spiritual blessings that are coming to us at this time.

The Full Moon Is A Good Time To Set Your Intentions For The Next Year.
Think about what it is you really would like to accomplish in the next twelve months.
Write it out in a journal and update it throughout the year.
Make a vision board so you have a visual of what it is you want to achieve.
Take time to thank The Creator, all that is Divine and your Ancestors for another year.
Elements for the Cold Moon

Nature Spirits: Snow faeries, Storm faeries, Winter Tree faeries
Herbs: Holly, English Ivy, Fir, and Mistletoe
Colors: Blood red, white and black
Flowers: Holly, Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus
Scents: Violet, patchouli, rose geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac
Stones: Serpentine, jacinth, peridot
Trees: Pine, fir, holly
Animals: Mouse, deer, horse, bear
Birds: Rook, Robin, Snowy
Clean and shine the diamond of your soul and let that light shine before everyone, so that people wonder as you pass by-what it was that just touched their soul.

This is a wonderful time of year and definitely the time to send out your dreams to the universe. By doing this you will see the growth of what you have put out come springtime.

I wish all of my followers a happy holiday season, whether you celebrate one of the many festivals at this time of year or whether you are simply caught up in the cultural current of it all. Enjoy the cavalcade of lights. Let some of that peace and joy rub off on you. Find a corner of it all where you can contemplate, appreciate and illuminate your precious place in the Universe.

The Full Moon is an amazing time to receive a clairvoyant spiritual reading. It’s a great time to check in and see how things are going. This Spiritual reading is a great general reading to assess how your life is currently going and where you are on your path. Full Moon Reading info Click Here.

May your New Year Be Blessed!

Full Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Heartwings Love Notes 963: Santa Claus Really is Real

Heartwings says, “The many names for Santa Claus all spell love.”

Christmas is coming. Children who believe and celebrate it on the 25th off December are eagerly anticipating filled stockings and presents under the tree. Family traditions vary, however. In our home, the only gifts Santa brought came in the stockings filled to be opened on Christmas morning. Those presents under the tree that was set up and decorated only on Christmas eve day, were tagged from family and others as well as we children to them. Thus, credit was given where credit was due and Santa got credit for the small, often useful gifts that filled whatever served us as stockings.

There is often discussion about what to tell children who believe in him. Some feel it is cruel to lie, and others enjoy perpetrating what is thought of as a myth. Perhaps the definition of real is the actual issue here. In my mind Santa Claus is quite real. He has been around for many centuries. He has had many names: Sinter Klaus (St. Nicholas), Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Daddy Christmas, Christmas Man, Grandfather Frost. Some of these are translations from the original language, all of them reflect the spirit of giving we celebrate at this time of the year.

Do I believe there is a man in a red suit who comes down the chimney? That was how the poem A visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Moore set it up to appear. Those children eight or under who believe, have this conception of Santa Claus. However, there are many other traditions from all over the world for the giving of gifts. Some involve shoes that are filled rather than stockings or gifts beneath the decorated tree. Others involve different dates and transportation: a sleigh wouldn’t do well in the Sahara Desert, but a camel would.

So, no, the chimney delivery is not part of my vision of Santa, but a place out of time associated with the top of the world is. There elves make magic and a jolly character with a big heart works to inspire the giving of love by those whose own hearts are open to it. That love pours down over the earth like warm maple syrup, sweetening thoughts and helping givers to share from their giving selves in whatever way they wish. The gift of a cheery smile–even behind a mask, a card, a phone call, a loving greeting is surely inspired by this wondrous person by whatever name and his helpers. What is more real than that.

May you give as you wish, whenever you wish, in the name of this season of love.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS What are your gift giving traditions? How do you feel about Santa Claus? I’m always so happy to hear from readers. Write me at tashahal@aol.com or tashahal@gmail.com. For more Love Notes, check my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Honor What’s Old
BY BARBARA ARDINGER

We’ve come nearly to the end of th e year, to its midnight, to its eldest days. Everything seems old, old, old. This is the season of the crone, of the hag. Hag comes from hagia and means “holy.” The hag is the Holy One. In Northern Europe, hags, called volvas, were sibyls; an important Icelandic text is the Voluspa, “Sibyl’s Vision.” Thanks to the aging of the baby boom generation, we meet crones and sages every day.

Cast your circle and set your altar with gold, silver, and purple candles in holders, plus symbols of the stages of your life so far. Find your favorite agates (representing strength, courage, and longevity) in your collection and set them in the center. Using a feather, wave the energies of the candles toward yourself. Extinguish the candles.

Keep the agates on your altar and carry an agate in your pocket. Be kind to older citizens who may need some help sometimes.
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Celebrate Community
BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday honoring African-American culture and community. You can observe this celebration with your own mini-festival. If possible, do this with family and friends, for the real point of Kwanzaa is community.

You’ll need an item to represent each of Kwanzaa’s seven principles:
First night: Unity (an example of what I might use: a family photo)
Second night: Self-determination (a diploma)
Third night: Collective responsibility (two cords knotted together)
Fourth night: Cooperative economics (several coins)
Fifth night: Purpose (my planning journal)
Sixth night: Creativity (a sketch)
Seventh night: Faith (a piece of magical jewelry)

Festoon your altar with red, gold, green, and brown cloths, and add a chalice (filled with your celebratory drink of choice) and a brightly colored candle and holder.

Each evening, light the candle, place that evening’s item on the altar, and speak of that night’s principle. Share stories and ideas. Finish with drinks from the chalice and share your plan to take the Kwanzaa principles to heart. Then extinguish the candle.
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Pinecones Aplenty Spell
BY LAURA TEMPEST ZAKROFF

At this time of year when we often give gifts to each other, don’t forget the wildlife, especially if snow covers much of the ground.

If you have pinecones where you live, gather some up and acquire some honey and birdseed. Affix a wire or sturdy string to the pinecone so you can both handle and hang it. Roll the pinecone in honey and then generously through the seeds, then let it set. Think:

A gift from me to all of you, so
you may see the winter through.

Now take the pinecone outside and affix it to a fence, pole, or tree branch so the birds and other critters may enjoy the treat. Replenish as necessary.
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Celebrating the Magic of Winter
BY CHARLIE RAINBOW WOLF

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can still do this spell. You’ll need a twopiece clear plastic ornament. If you can’t get one, an empty clear plastic bottle will do. You’ll also need a selection of small, inexpensive items that represent what is important to you. Buttons from Grandma’s button jar, petals from your favorite flower, brightly colored yarn and thread, and colored pebbles are just a few options. I’m sure you can think of many more!

Put these items in the ornament (or bottle), and with each one you place, consider what gift it represents in your life. When the ornament (or bottle) is full, close it up and hang it on your tree, or place it outside on a tree branch or fence post. See it as a reminder of everything that is good and right in your life, because like energy always attracts like energy.
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A Nameless Day with Huge Potential
BY CHARLYNN WALLS

The Celtic tree calendar has one day that exists outside of the calendar, as it does not belong to a particular tree. It is sometimes referred to as the “nameless day.” Due to the nature of this day, which is not tied to anything, it has limitless potential. Today is a great day to manifest your dreams into reality.

Take a piece of printer paper and place it in front of you. Through this paper, you can see that the possibilities are limitless. You can write, draw, or fold this paper, transforming it into countless new creations.

Take a few moments to think about what you want to manifest in your life. Then mark or fold the paper in front of you to make visible what you have only thought of before. Place this paper in a place where you can see it daily.
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A Peace Candle Spell
BY JAMES KAMBOS

This candle spell is good to use any time, but it’s very helpful during the holiday season. Perform this spell before you have company, preferably a day or two ahead of time. It’s ideal to use if you’ll be entertaining relatives who don’t get along. You’ll need two white or blue candles, olive oil, and a white or blue piece of fabric.

First, rub each candle with a drop of olive oil. Visualize your guests enjoying themselves. Then wrap the candles in the fabric. Put the candles in a quiet place, such as a closet, for a day or two. This will let them magically charge.

Before company arrives, place the candles where your guests will sit. Safely light the candles. As they burn, “see” their flames surrounding your guests with peace and calm.
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Yule Log Blessing
BY TESS WHITEHURST

Blessed Yule! Traditionally, a Yule log was burned as a symbol of the old, dark year being reborn as the fresh new cycle in the form of radiant, sparkling flames. To make this tradition your own, find yourself a nice, old log (nothing from a live tree) that will burn safely in your fireplace or fire pit. (Customarily, the log was oak.) To thank and honor the old year, anoint the log with essential oil of frankincense. To bless the new cycle and to fill it with sweetness, abundance, and luck, anoint the log with essential oil of cinnamon. (Be careful not to get any on your skin.) Place the log in the fireplace or fire pit and say:

Farewell to the old and welcome the new,
Heartfelt thanks for blessings true.
We honor now this sacred night,
When deepest darkness births the light.

Light the log and feel the magic.
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The Problem is the Solution: Honoring the Journey of the New Year
~The Druid’s Garden https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/

Sunrise through the mist…the way may be uncertain but the sun will rise again

In Permaculture Design, one of the most challenging principles to enact is “The problem is the solution.” It seems simple on paper: you have a serious problem before you, perhaps seemingly insurmountable or overwhelming. Instead of reacting negatively to the problem, you look for how the problem presents unique opportunities. You resee your practices, hone them, make changes, and adapt to the problem so that that adaptation becomes a strength. In other words, you make lemonade from lemons–but more than that, you may actually improve your approach by having to consider new options to overcome obstacles. A simple example: I have a wet, muddy spot in my yard due to the downspout on my house. Rather than see this as a problem, I turn it into a lush rain garden, which is not only beautiful but also supports wildlife and pollinators. The problem becomes an amazing solution. I think that this principle may offer a great opportunity for us with the passing of 2020, and I wanted to reflect on that and share some thoughts today.

While the end of each year offers opportunities for change and growth, 2020 has been a year unlike any other for most of us. Regardless of where you are in the world, 2020 has created numerous challenges and problems. It has disrupted the normal patterns of life. Being an essential worker, losing your job or having job insecurity, fighting racism and oppression, feeling that your rights are being threatened by the government, being isolated from family and friends, having to deal with new family arrangements, losing loved ones, getting sick, being afraid of getting sick, political unrest–2020 has been incredibly difficult. While all of us continue to experience different challenges and aspects, as 2021 comes, it is an opportunity for deep changes in our lives.

Here’s the important takeaway: because life has been so incredibly disrupted this is the perfect time to make radical changes in your life. Coming out of this, every one of us has a clean slate, a ticket to change. For perhaps the first time in any of our lives, you can be anything you want to be, make whatever changes you want to make, and emerge from this a new person. Why not take the opportunity for growth?

For me, 2020 has been utterly brutal, particularly in what was once one of the most stable aspects of my life: my work life. I feel like I’ve been in the muddy, dark, and cold trenches all year when it comes to employment or lack thereof. But those trenches certainly have given me a good opportunity to reflect, to grow, and to change. This brutal situation has allowed me to look deeply into myself, to see what I value, who I am, and how I respond to the world. It has allowed me also to question some things that I don’t have a resolution on yet, and perhaps, it’s ok to be in a place of “I don’t really know.” There’s power in that. And it has allowed me to do some things for myself that I haven’t had a chance to do before.

My suggestion is to spend some time in meditation at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. Make some lists, and reflect on your journey. Here are some questions that might be useful to you–they were certainly useful to me:

Think about what you miss from your life before 2020.
Think about the things you are grateful not to have to deal with in 2020.
Reflect on your own personal response to the many situations in 2020: How did you feel? How did that challenge or deepen what you believe? What do you most value, perhaps unexpectedly, through all of this? What are you unsure of?
What “shadow” aspects of yourself did you have to confront or what aspects gave you trouble?
What shadow aspects did you see in others, and how did you respond?
Who do you want to be? Envision your best life and your best self coming out of this.

Sunrise and hope!

Take the opportunity presented by the challenge of 2020 to rewrite your own story for 2021 and beyond. Perhaps set some clear principles for yourself for the coming year, things you want to focus on, maintain or achieve. Put these principles somewhere you can easily see them and be reminded of what you have accomplished through this experience.

I see this kind of spiritual work as the antithesis to the typical New Year’s Resolution. Here in the US, the New Year’s Resolution is this cliche thing where everyone makes the resolution but nobody actually keeps them. Within a week or two of the New Year, most resolutions fade away and life as usual continues. The end of 2020 is not a time for empty resolutions but deep and lasting change. We’ve all had some serious disruption. Let’s make lemons from lemonade.

So who are you going to be, moving forward? What spiritual work might you need to do in order to get there? I’d love to hear you share.

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The History of Hogmanay
by Ben Johnson

Only one nation in the world can celebrate the New Year or Hogmanay with such revelry and passion – the Scots! But what are the actual origins of Hogmanay, and why should a tall dark-haired stranger be a welcome visitor after midnight?

It is believed that many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were originally brought to Scotland by the invading Vikings in the early 8th and 9th centuries. These Norsemen, or men from an even more northerly latitude than Scotland, paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice or the shortest day, and fully intended to celebrate its passing with some serious partying.

In Shetland, where the Viking influence remains strongest, New Year is still called Yules, deriving from the Scandinavian word for the midwinter festival of Yule.

It may surprise many people to note that Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and virtually banned in Scotland for around 400 years, from the end of the 17th century to the 1950s. The reason for this dates back to the years of Protestant Reformation, when the straight-laced Kirk proclaimed Christmas as a Popish or Catholic feast, and as such needed banning.

And so it was, right up until the 1950s that many Scots worked over Christmas and celebrated their winter solstice holiday at New Year when family and friends would gather for a party and to exchange presents which came to be known as hogmanays.

There are several traditions and superstitions that should be taken care of before midnight on the 31st December: these include cleaning the house and taking out the ashes from the fire, there is also the requirement to clear all your debts before “the bells” sound midnight, the underlying message being to clear out the remains of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.

Immediately after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burns‘ “Auld Lang Syne”. Burns published his version of this popular little ditty in 1788, although the tune was in print over 80 years before this.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

An integral part of the Hogmanay party, which is continued with equal enthusiasm today, is to welcome friends and strangers with warm hospitality and of course lots of enforced kissing for all.

“First footing” (or the “first foot” in the house after midnight) is still common across Scotland. To ensure good luck for the house the first foot should be a dark-haired male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a wee dram of whisky. The dark-haired male bit is believed to be a throwback to the Viking days, when a big blonde stranger arriving on your door step with a big axe meant big trouble, and probably not a very happy New Year!

The firework displays and torchlight processions now enjoyed throughout many cities in Scotland are reminders of the ancient pagan parties from those Viking days of long ago.

The traditional New Year ceremony would involve people dressing up in the hides of cattle and running around the village whilst being hit by sticks. The festivities would also include the lighting of bonfires and tossing torches. Animal hide wrapped around sticks and ignited produced a smoke that was believed to be very effective in warding off evil spirits: this smoking stick was also known as a Hogmanay.

Many of these customs continue today, especially in the older communities of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. On the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, the young men and boys form themselves into opposing bands; the leader of each wears a sheep skin, while another member carries a sack. The bands move through the village from house to house reciting a Gaelic rhyme. The boys are given bannocks (fruit buns) for their sack before moving on to the next house.

One of the most spectacular fire ceremonies takes place in Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen on the north east coast. Giant fireballs are swung around on long metal poles each requiring many men to carry them as they are paraded up and down the High Street. Again the origin is believed to be linked to the Winter Solstice with the swinging fireballs signifying the power of the sun, purifying the world by consuming evil spirits.

For visitors to Scotland it is worth remembering that January 2nd is also a national holiday in Scotland, this extra day being barely enough time to recover from a week of intense revelry and merry-making. All of which helps to form part of Scotland’s cultural legacy of ancient customs and traditions that surround the pagan festival of Hogmanay.

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Deeper Meanings
~DailyOm

It is not always for us to know, the deeper meaning of everything that occurs in our life.

All of us who seek to be conscious and aware regard our experiences as teachers, and we try to discern what lessons we are learning from the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the lesson is very clear from the get-go, and other times we have to really search to understand the deeper meaning behind some event. While this search often yields results, there also comes a point in the search where what we really need to do is move forward. It is possible that we are not meant to know the deeper meaning of certain occurrences. Answers may come later in our lives, or they may come as a result of letting go, or they may never come.

We are all part of a complex system of being, and things work themselves out in the system as a whole. Sometimes we are just playing a necessary part in that process with a result larger than we can understand. It may have very little to do with us personally, and while that can be hard to understand, it can also free us from overthinking the matter. Sometimes it is best to see it in terms of karma, a past debt we have been able to repay in this way, or as the clearing of energy. We can simply thank the event for being part of our experience and let it go. This completes the process that the occurrence has made possible.

To make this letting go official, we can perform a ritual, make a final journal entry on the subject, or sit in meditation with the intention of releasing the event from our consciousness. As we do so, we summon it one last time, honoring it with our attention, thanking it, and saying good-bye. We then let it go out the door, out the window, out the top of our heads, or into the earth through the bottoms of our feet, liberating ourselves from any burden we have carried in association with it.

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Hereditary Witches: Learning To Work With Energy And Associations
BY KATIE GERRARD

I’m teaching my hereditary witch (otherwise known as my teenage daughter) the basics of modern paganism but we’re starting with basic energy and associations.

I described her first steps into ritual in this post

Since then, I’ve put together a small program with various learning objectives to ensure she gets the right kind of training at the right time.

When I teach adults, it seems natural to begin with the elements and their associations.
But that’s quite an abstract concept for younger teenagers. Their use of similes and metaphors probably isn’t as established as you’d expect. Whilst you don’t need to understand the elements to be a witch, I do feel the ability to draw links and associations is essential.

Being a witch for me is about picking up on things. How is my friend feeling today? What do my dreams mean? What does this omen represent?

Much of our symbolism is cultural, but I can’t expect my generational imagery to spark in her mind the same way it does in mine.

It’s important for my baby witch to learn what these things mean for her. After all, she’s the one sensing them. Not me.

Asking her what colour the element fire is or what animal she associates with water isn’t so useful. Instead, we started with emotions.
I asked her to think about different emotions – happiness, sadness, love, anger, hunger. We visualised these emotions one by one and considered how they made us feel. How did we stand? Where did we feel them on the body? Did they feel hot or cold? Energising or draining?

Then she created a list of various associations. We talked about what colour happiness was, what animal we associated with sadness, what food would love represent?

Emotional energy for young people is often felt in extremes.
They may be super guarded and protective, or they could be open and fluid and habitually absorb the energies of those around them.

They can be super confident and loud, or they can be apologetic and nervous, unsure of themselves and their changing bodies.

Happiness and sadness are also often felt as extremes.

As we teach paganism to young people, we’re eventually going to be asking them to command a circle and invoke elements.
Yet how can they do this without being able to command their own energy?

Casting a circle when you don’t feel confident in your own skin is difficult.

Much like learning theatre, the first step to witchcraft is being comfortable in who you are and using your voice.

This starts with learning where you start, and others end. It starts with being able to separate your emotions and feelings from those of the world around you.

Hence, we start by really focusing on what each of these energies feels like.

After we’ve taught our hereditary witches to sense emotions as energies, we can start to show them how to recognise the energy of themselves and their peers.
Many witches are extremely empathetic and find it hard to separate themselves from the world. Part of being a witch is learning to do this, firstly to prevent burn out, but also to be able to distinguish who you’re picking up messages from and for.

The next step therefore is really learning their own energy.
Who are they? How do they ‘feel’ energetically? What colour do they associate with themselves?

Once they’re aware of themselves they can start learning to shield and protect and strengthen their auras.

When they’re comfortable in where they begin and end, they can start to think about how their friends and family feel energetically.
Ask them to practise sensing who enters a room without looking up. Suggest they release their shields for a second or two when they meet friends and briefly sense how they think their friends are feeling that day.

This is also where the work on feelings comes into its own as they can begin to learn how they pick up psychism. They could sense as colours, or songs, or as temperatures. Try not to guide them towards what we assume their associations will be. Allow them to figure it out for themselves.

Part of learning witchcraft is learning about ourselves.

This is the second part of a series of blog posts I’m writing about how to train hereditary witches. Eventually it will become a stand-alone course which goes into far more detail than can be usefully covered in Patheos posts.

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My House Is Haunted: Now What?
BY NATALIE FOWLER

Haunted House
As the whole world shut down for a global pandemic, stay-at-home orders everywhere forced people inside. As people began to spend more in their homes than they’d ever had to before, a few of us began to realize we weren’t as alone as we otherwise thought.

As a paranormal investigator, I often remind tour participants that their best ghost hunting tool is their own body, equipped with a variety of senses. One of the reasons we sit in the dark during a ghost hunt is to better tune in to the energies around us. We listen better with our ears. We can better feel when the temperature changes in our space. Our other senses are amplified when our sight is restricted.

When the daily distractions came to a grinding halt, it naturally made it a lot easier for all of us to tune in to the energies of our space—whether we wanted to or not. And sometimes, that meant realizing our space was a little more haunted than we originally thought.

It’s one thing to begin to understand that something is there—that an unseen energy is sharing and haunting our space. But the very next question becomes, what should we do about it? All of us have the ability to do more than we might think.

First, it’s important to understand the two different ways a space can be “haunted.” There are two types of energies that can haunt a space: Residual and Intelligent.

Residual Energy
When a traumatic event occurs, or something repeatedly happens in a space over and over again, a residual energetic pattern can imprint on that space. It’s almost like a record player, replaying recorded sound waves.

For example, have you ever walked into a room after two people have argued? You might not even have had to witness the argument, but the tension can still be hanging in the air; it can feel heavy. Some of us who are more empathic and sensitive can physically feel that energy. Just imagine if someone argues in that same space over and over again for the course of days, weeks, months, or years. The amount of angsty, tense residual energy that can build up might very well be overwhelming for anyone to feel, empath or not.

Residual energy doesn’t always have to be sad and heavy. For example, a common paranormal occurrence up at the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota is unexplained disembodied footsteps in the hallway. But this type of residual energy makes a whole lot of sense at a place like the Palmer House. In operation as a hotel for its entire existence, it was built in the early 1900s. Back then, it was ahead of its time with respect to indoor plumbing, boasting an indoor bathroom on each floor. Even still, there was only one bathroom that served a lot of residents and guests. Imagine for a moment what would happen every night as people would get ready for bed—they would walk down the hallway to get in line for the bathroom.

Residual energy can be cleared. Metaphysical tools like sage, Palo Santo, Florida Water, or even singing bowls and special crystals can be used to help clear and rebalance the energy of a space.

Clearing Residual Energy
In my humble opinion, there’s no wrong way to clear residual energy out of a space as long as the intent is clear. I usually burn sage and Palo Santo, mostly because I like the way they smell together. I start by setting an intention, which I repeat as I walk through the house.

I usually say some variation of, “I hereby breakup and release all of the negative energy in this space, may peace light and love be ever present.” But if it makes more sense for you to say something like, “Bad stuff be gone, good stuff take over,” then do that. This process is called “smudging.”

I never worry about walking in the right direction or making sure all of the windows are open. The more I start to worry about any of that, the more it takes away from my intent that any negative residual energy be replaced with light and love. In other words, worrying and having a lot of fear about “doing it wrong” is actually going to be the reason you do it wrong.

Intelligent Energy
The other way a house can be haunted is by an intelligent energy. Intelligent energy is just that, intelligent…and oftentimes, interactive. An intelligent energy can move small objects around. It can reach out and touch a shoulder. It could tap on a wall in response to a question or command. It can even whisper your name from across the room.

But intelligent energy can come in different vibrations. A high-vibrational energy feels light, happy, and non-threatening. Often times, high-vibrational energies are our loved ones from the other side of the veil coming back to check in on us. After all, heaven can be wherever they want it to be and often, part of their heavenly experience can be popping in on us every now and then. When I was going through a rough stretch, I couldn’t turn around without bumping into one of my grandmothers. My father-in-law has been known to drop in at our house, and once he even turned on my husband’s stereo, which just happened to be playing a song that had been his favorite. I also love going into church and seeing how many people have their loved ones from the other side sitting right next to them.

A lower-vibrational energy (i.e. a ghost) often feels heavier, and more confused. Sometimes, this kind of energy actually needs help. If a soul didn’t go where it was supposed to go upon death, it can get trapped in what seems to be an in-between dimension—it’s one that overlaps with ours just enough that we know something is there. This energy can take a little bit more work to clear, in part because in that in-between dimension, there’s not a lot of clarity. Sometimes, these ghosts don’t even realize that they died.

Clearing Intelligent Energy
Even when a ghost does realize that it’s dead, getting a low-vibration intelligent energy to move along can be a little bit trickier. Why? Because an intelligent energy has freewill choice in death, as it did in life. If a soul chose not to go where it was supposed to go upon death, there is usually a reason. If a ghost specifically chose not to go to the light—that higher vibrational dimension—when it had the chance, waving some sage around is not going to get it to go where it is supposed to go now. When we’ve burnt sage at the Palmer House, I’ve actually watched ghosts simply go outside and wait for us to be done smudging. When the air has cleared, they go right back inside again.

I was investigating a property with my Ghost Stories Ink team once at a notoriously haunted property on the East Coast. We were having an intelligent interaction with an energy that we believed was the ghost of a woman who committed suicide. Throughout the course of our conversation, it became clear that this ghost was feeling guilty for a lot of the choices she had made in her life and this guilt was keeping her trapped in the dimension between this world and the next. By offering some words of kindness and compassion, we reassured this poor girl that she still deserved to go to heaven. After a few minutes, there was a big swirl of energy. The interaction stopped and it was obvious this ghost was gone.

It might feel a little silly to talk to the air, but it can’t hurt to give it a try. Sometimes, all a ghost needs is a little bit of reassurance that their loved ones are waiting for them or that they deserve to go where they should have gone all along. After all, at one time or another, that ghost was somebody’s grandmother, father, brother, daughter, or friend. And if one of my deceased loved ones were stuck somewhere they weren’t supposed to be, I know I’d be forever grateful to the person who noticed and tried to say a few words to try and help them.

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Cooperation
~DailyOm

In our world, there is always someone in need of our best efforts to rally a group of helpers and healers.

Cooperation seems simple: working together toward a common goal for the benefit of all involved. But amazingly it can be quite challenging, even when we have so many successful examples all around us. Human society is based upon the concept of cooperation, but finding a balance to ensure the good of all members of society is difficult. In nature, symbiotic relationships form between unlikely allies: a bee and a flower, a bird and a rhinoceros, small fish and sharks. Yet nature also shows us instances of constant competition in which only the strongest survive. Given the choice, it seems most people would choose the more peaceful path of cooperation. Intellectually, we know that together we can create something greater than what one could do alone, but cooperation still seems to be one of the greatest challenges people face. We don’t always agree on how goals can be reached. Our priorities may be different, or our methods, but in the end, cooperation offers the best chance for success.

So how can we learn to cooperate with each other? We can gain greater perspective by trying to understand one another’s point of view, perhaps even putting ourselves in their place. We can search for commonalities as well as differences, and look for the good in different approaches. There is always more than one way of doing things, and some approaches are better suited for certain situations than others. All this is easier when we let go of the necessity to be right and to call others wrong. More important, we must believe that there is a solution that benefits all involved, not just one side.

The results of cooperation can be as simple as effortlessly getting everyone in your household to their appointments to large-scale social shifts to changing minds and hearts or policies that affect the future.

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The Healing Benefits Of Ceremonial Cacao
~My Little Magic Shop

Like most of the people in the world, we assume that you love chocolate. And even if you aren’t a big fan of it, we bet that you indulge in treating yourself to it from time to time. In today’s modern world, there isn’t anyone that doesn’t know what chocolate is, or that it comes from cacao. Well, mostly from cacao. What you don’t know is that cacao beans are actually very respected, spiritual plants especially with shamans.

The cacao plant is one of most respected plants for healing purposes, so much so that there are a lot of cacao ceremonies performed. In most, you willingly let go of something that has been holding you back, thus making space in your heart for a new, better healthier intention to take place.

But it also goes beyond that, because through the ceremony you get so in tune with yourself, that you get all the pieces of you that you knew and didn’t know existed communicating with each other

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Christmas, Such a Wonderful Thing
By: Patty L. Fletcher

Good afternoon, and a Happy Holly Jolly Holiday to You!

Here in Patty’s World the sun is playing peekaboo, whilst trying mightily without success to poke holes in the chilly snow flurry filled clouds!

Prince Edward, A.K.A. Little Eddy is pouting mightily, because I’m ignoring his piteous meows!

“MURRRP! MEOW! Mother! Please? Can’t I have a bite of that delicious smelling meat?”

“No! Pfui! Scat! Away! From the oven!” I scold, Thud! Comes the sound of his landing on the bookcase, as he beats a hasty retreat.

When King Campbell A.K.A. Bubba left me for the land of the Rainbow Bridge to be their king, I never imagined Christmas would be such a magnificent thing.

I thought of it as if it were a nasty, dark day. I couldn’t imagine celebrating with my Bubba gone away. In my head it was something to dread. But then came Prince Edward, and with his loving purring, the awful dread fled.

Now, on this Christmas day, we’ve snow on the ground, taco soup in the crockpot, cookies baking in the oven, and for me, there’s no sadness to be found!

And so, I say to you, wherever you are, whatever you do, find some joy in the day for the creator is waiting to give it to you!

PS. Hungry yet?

Here’s the recipe for my world-famous taco soup!

Keep in mind that you can double or triple recipe if needed.

You can also change it up to your taste.

Ingredients…
Two cans pinto beans. Include Broth from cans.
One can whole kernel corn, drained.
One-pound seasoned taco meat or use one-pound ground beef and add preferred seasonings. I was using the seasoned taco meat and I added a healthy pouring of hot sauce.
One can diced tomatoes with green chilies.
One pack chili mix.
One pack taco seasoning.
My secret ingredient, a half bag of Swedish meatballs. (They fell out of the freezer onto my toe so in they went.)
Let’s get cooking!
In a large skillet over medium heat brown the meat. If using regular ground beef, add in your preferred seasonings, such as onions, pepper, salt, etc.

While meat is browning, put the diced tomatoes, pinto beans, and corn into the crockpot and set pot temp on high.

Using one of your empty cans, mix the taco and chili seasonings by filling the can ¾ of the way with water, and mixing in the powdered mix. Once powder has dissolved pour into pot with beans and corn. Repeat the process for both packs of seasonings.

Mix into beans and corn and stir well.

When meat has finished browning, drain away excess Greece and add meat to crockpot.

Stir all well and let cook on high until soup begins to bubble. Depending upon your crockpot, between two and four hours.

When soup is bubbling well, stir well again, adding liquid if needed for desired broth.

I suggest using tomato juice for additional liquid. If no juice is to hand, tomato soup or sauce, Manwich or spaghetti sauce works well.

Turn crockpot down to medium and let cook t