GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 8 Aug 2022

Thanks for reading my blog!

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

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

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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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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 For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

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What’s Happening In August?!?

Goddess Month of Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ August 5th to September 1st – Hazel

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

Flower of the Month for August: Gladiolus

August is National Watermelon Month

AUG. 6: Celtic Fire Festival of Tan Hill.
AUG. 9: Druid Feast of the Fire Spirits
AUG. 9: Roman Vinalia Rustica: Wine festival of Venus and Pan
AUG. 12: Full Sturgeon Moon
AUG. 13: Pomona is the Roman Gddess of Apples and Orchards
AUG. 17: National Black Cat Day
AUG. 23: Roman Festival of Vulcanalia

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Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – Aug 7
Witchy Wednesday! 5 PM – 7 PM Aug 10, 17, 24, 31
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – Aug 14
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – Aug 21

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Druids Garden
21st Century Wheel of the Year
by DANA

Many of us are now going deeper into the experience of climate extremes. In the summer months here in the US, we are experiencing heat, lack of rain, and drought-like conditions. It is hotter and drier, and that creates stress on plants, animals, and the land. Cracks appear in the earth, plants wilt and wither away, and stream beds dry up. And then, after enduring these conditions, it rains. Even a little rain in these hot and dry conditions is a blessing. You run in it, dance in it, frolick in the rains that bring life back to the land. You raise your hands to the sky, allowing the cool drops to fall on your face, running down your arms. You hear the land breathe a sigh of relief, and the petrichor (the smell of the rain hitting the land) fills the air. This kind of experience fills you with reverence for the rain and the living earth. This kind of experience–an experience of scarcity–is part of what creates deep reverence.

Today’s post–the final in my 21st Century Wheel of the Year series, focuses on practicing reverence at Lughnasadh. The series began almost a year ago, and we’ve gone the whole wheel around, exploring key concepts, rituals, practices, and spiritual insights for how to adapt the traditional wheel of the year to the age of the Anthropocene. These themes are:

Receptivity at the Fall Equinox
Release at Samhain
Restoration at the Winter Solstice
Reskilling at Imbolc
Resilence at the Spring Equinox
Regeneration at Beltane
Revisioning at the Summer Solstice
Reverence at Lughnasadh (this post!)
As we continue to deepen our descent into the age of the Anthropocene, these themes–and many more–will be critically important to find our balance, grounding, and focus.

Reverence
Reverence is the practice of deep respect, which includes gratitude, honoring, and reciprocation. To revere something is to hold that thing sacred–recognizing its deep and intrinsic value–and allowing us respectful interaction and experience. For those practicing nature spirituality, reverence towards the earth and everything on it is often a natural extension of our philosophy. For many, reverence is something you deepen over time, a practice that continues to grow the more you connect with the living earth both physically and spiritually. I also think that reverence is a big part of building deep connections between ourselves and the living earth. Part of a foundation of connection is founded on mutual respect and honor. But, reverence is also something we can work to practice and make a focal point of our lives.

Reverence is a particularly salient theme at Lughnasadh, which has traditionally been considered the “first harvest” festival. The act of harvest is also an act of gratitude–being grateful for the bounty that the earth and the plants provide. For those that continue to grow their own food, engage in wild food foraging, or participate in other kinds of harvests–the gratitude that you experience as you gather nourishing food from the earth is palatable. Even those of us who do not participate in these activities at present can still work to directly cultivate reverence towards the living earth in our lives. Regardless of our life circumstances, focusing on reverence, respect, and gratitude at this holiday is a great way to attune ourselves with the energy of the season and re-affirm our relationship to the land.

One of the big things missing culturally is reverence. If we had reverence for the earth, would the earth be in such peril? If we had reverence for things coming from the earth, would we consume much less of it? In the age of the Anthropocene, reverence and gratitude is in extremely short supply, where it seems that an over-abundance of stuff, input, and things demanding our attention and energy pushes us in very different directions. It is hard to have reverence when you are literally bombarded at all times by too much stuff and an overabundance of media–it makes us a bit numb to the things that ARE important. We are drowning in waste, in stuff, and that can create a sense of feeling overwhelmed rather than grateful. That’s why I started this post with a discussion of rain after a drought–because experiencing the rain after weeks or months of no rain is a lesson in gratitude. Scarcity creates a kind of natural respect in us, it creates gratitude and reverence. When we have the opposite of scarcity–a world full of meaningless stuff–its hard to practice reverence.

But the other part of why reverence is important deals with the age of the Anthropocene and how we navigate these difficult times. Reverence is a balm to the numbness and apathy of the present age–it helps us connect, stay focused, and ground. It reminds us of what is important and what is not, and allows us to focus our attention on the things that are truly important. And of course, it provides a very necessary balm to our living earth and her spirits who are very much in peril.

Reverence, Offerings, and the Harvest
One of the most fundamental practices of reverence throughout the ages is through offerings. In cultures across the world, offerings are made surrounding the harvest season–often, this offering is a portion of the harvest that is returned to the land in gratitude. Offerings may also be made at other times of year, such as the offering of apple cider during wassailing in January.

I find that it is a useful practice to regularly reflect on what you want to offer. Offerings vary quite widely by person and tradition, and can be symbolic, energetic, or physical.. I’ve long argued that while symbolic offerings are important, offerings of time and physical energy are most useful in an age where nature needs so much help from us.

Symbolic offerings include things like an herbal offering blend (see more below), wine, water, cider, cakes, a pinch of cornmeal, or other such offerings. Symbolic offerings can help habituate you into a regular reverence practice (especially if you carry an offering back with you)
Energetic offerings allow you to “give back” energetically by raising and directing energy to benefit the land. These might be rituals, prayers, sacred song and dance, drumming and music, or any other ways that we raise and direct energy.
Physical offerings are when you donate your time and energy to restoring, healing, and supporting the earth. This might include river cleanup, tree planting, or removing invasive species by hand.

It is useful to meditate and reflect on the kinds of offerings you make and try to make some offerings that fit in all three categories. I have also found it easier to move beyond reverence practices as a simple 1-1 relationship. What I mean by 1-1 is that I find some woodland nettle in the woods, and I want to pick some. So I ask permission, and when the woodland nettle agrees, I offer gratitude and an offering for the harvest. That’s a simple reverence practice–I want something so I offer gratitude. While it is important to do this, it is more connected if you develop a longer relationship with the larger spirit of woodland nettle–returning later in the season to scatter seeds, to spend time with the plant outside of the relationship of harvest, and to learn from the plant–to cultivate relationship. I see reverence and sacred relationship as intertwined in these ways.

Conclusion
It’s hard to believe that this series wraps up with this post–but now, we have the full 21st-century wheel of the year with new themes for this present age–and to help us envision and bring about a brighter future. Now that we’ve come the full way around the wheel, I’d love to hear how this alternative wheel of the year has worked for you. Do you resonate with it? Did you try any of the practices? Do you see concepts that perhaps we should explore next?

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Questions and Answers
AUGUST 07, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Sometimes it’s handy to be able to get a quick answer to a pressing question. If you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do a major tarot reading, here are a few fast ways to get simple answers—usually along the lines of “yes,” “no,” or “sorry, no answer.”

Make sure your question is clear in your head; for instance, “Should I take this trip?” Then pull one tarot card, or one card from an oracle deck that lends itself to that kind of use. If the answer isn’t obvious (the Chariot would be “yes” and the Tower would be “no”), listen to your gut. You can also pull one rune stone (Raidho would be “yes” and Isa would be “no”). Or you can use a pendulum, which is best for simple answers. If you want, say:

Divination, tell me true,
what it is that I should do.
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Restful Sleep Spell
AUGUST 06, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Long days and too much to do can make falling asleep during the summer a real struggle. Luckily a little magick can go a long way toward getting a full night’s sleep. For this spell you’ll need a small piece of moonstone. Once you get into bed, hold the moonstone in your dominant hand and say:

I now breathe away the
remains of the day,
In blissful sleep and
contentment I will lay.
May the piece of moon I
hold in my hand
Take me to peaceful slumber’s lands.

Take three deep breaths. As you exhale each time, imagine all the worries of the day being removed from your body and pushed away. When you are done, place the moonstone under your pillow so that its power can aid your sleep and protect you from any bad dreams.
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Restful Sleep Spell
AUGUST 06, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Long days and too much to do can make falling asleep during the summer a real struggle. Luckily a little magick can go a long way toward getting a full night’s sleep. For this spell you’ll need a small piece of moonstone. Once you get into bed, hold the moonstone in your dominant hand and say:

I now breathe away the
remains of the day,
In blissful sleep and
contentment I will lay.
May the piece of moon I
hold in my hand
Take me to peaceful slumber’s lands.

Take three deep breaths. As you exhale each time, imagine all the worries of the day being removed from your body and pushed away. When you are done, place the moonstone under your pillow so that its power can aid your sleep and protect you from any bad dreams.
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The Spirit of Money
AUGUST 05, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

Many of us have absorbed toxic messages about money, and going directly to the source—the spirit of Money—can be a powerful way of breaking free from destructive patterns.

Light a green candle on a heatproof surface, gaze softly at the flame, then close your eyes, coming into a meditative state. Call upon the spirit of Money. If you have a specific concern, you can ask how to heal this issue. Or request more general guidance on how to improve your relationship to Money. When done, snuff out the candle with gratitude.

Money is closely tied to the energy of exchange and flow, so it’s quite common for Money to advise action that requires you to put energy in motion. This could be anything from donating old clothes, surprising a friend with home-baked goodies, or gratefully receiving a compliment.

If you feel called, continue seeking Money’s guidance to maintain this open channel of giving and receiving.
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Seeking Wisdom
AUGUST 04, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

Today is the Double Seventh Festival in China. It is traditionally a time when Chinese girls go to local temples in order to seek wisdom. We can also seek out wisdom today. We need only tap into the energies of the day. Since we are doing our magickal work on a Thursday, we can work with Jupiter and use the colors blue or purple. Use a candle in one of those colors or in white. If it is a white candle, use a blue or purple marker to write the word wisdom on it. Light your candle and ask for Jupiter to grant wisdom to you:

Jupiter, I call to you. Allow me
a deeper understanding of the
world of myself so I can better
understand the world around me.

Allow the candle to burn completely out so that the magick can take effect. Once it is extinguished, bury any remaining candle wax outside.
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A Wednesday Rite for Now
AUGUST 03, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

Wednesday is referred to as h ump day, inferring that we’ve made it halfway through the week. This vision requires looking backward and forward. How about a rite about being in this moment?

Wednesday is the day of wisdom and messages, and with its association to the color green, you may find prosperity flowing your way. This is also a day of the lungs, making it perfect for aromatherapy-enhanced work.

Gather these items:

  • Clary sage essential oil
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A green candle
  • A firesafe candleholder
  • Pen and paper

Dab your pulse points and third eye (the center of your forehead just above your eyebrows) with clary sage. Light the candle and affix it to the holder.

Walk while reciting the following:
I am here in the now, ready to receive.
Stand back, Odin, no time
today to be deceived.
I listen and wait.
As I walk and listen,
I will learn more about the
meaning of this date.

Repeat this verse at least twice more.

Sit down and reflect on your journey through your home. What messages have the spirits sent to you? Jot down your thoughts. Extinguish the candle.
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Vigil Fire
AUGUST 02, 2022 BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

While the summer nights are st ill warm, it’s a good time for vigil fires, which have long been held for ceremonial purposes.

Begin with planning. What is the purpose of your vigil fire? Where will you have the fire? Will you hold vigil for an hour or two or an entire night? Or something else? Will you stay awake or sleep by the fire? What will you do during the vigil?

Consider your comfort: warmth, food, drink, and a light source.

Consider fire safety, and be sure someone knows where you are and when you’ll return.

Build the fire in a safe location. A log cabin–style fire with wood that can be pushed in from the sides will last for hours.

Hold your vigil at fireside, periodically repeating this chant:

Sitting with the vigil fire, watching
embers through the night.
Powers of vigil, rite and ritual,
shine in me like firelight.
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A Lammas Corn Ritual
AUGUST 01, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

It’s Lammas, the first of the harvest sabbats, celebrating corn and Lugh, an ancient harvest god. Grains are honored during this sabbat, but especially corn.

Begin this ritual at sunrise. Cover your altar in yellow fabric. In the center, place one yellow candle. In front of the candle, lay one ear of corn with the husk removed. Safely light the candle. Meditate on how grains such as corn, the Mother of Seeds, have fed civilization since before recorded history. Then speak these words:

In the stars, the lion reigns.
On Earth, mighty Lugh
rules the grains.
Praise the harvest, praise the corn.
Thank you, Lord and Lady,
for this Lammas morn!

Snuff out the candle safely. Then with care, as if carrying a child, carry the ear of corn to a quiet place outside. Holding the corn, visualize all people on Earth being nourished and fed. Then gently lay the corn on the ground, so it may be shared with our wild friends, such as the squirrels.
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Where Shall I Wander?
JULY 31, 2022 BY NATALIE ZAMAN

Sometimes you just need to get away—but where? First deal with the mundane details. Think about where you can go, physically, financially, etc. Then print out a map that encompasses all the possible areas, and set it on a table or place it on the floor—upside down so that you cannot see the various destinations.

Take a piece of tourmaline. (It’s protective, and you want to get to your destination safely. If you don’t have tourmaline, use another protective stone, like turquoise, or a penny.) Gently toss the tourmaline onto the surface of the upside-down map with these words:

Wither shall I wander,
Where shall I go,
To lift my heart
And heal my soul?

Make a pin prick on the map where the tourmaline lands, and repeat two more times. Flip the map over and your destination will be revealed.

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Sacred Smoke
JULY 24, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

Burning incense is a great way to tap into the power of the air element, and making a homemade batch allows you to connect with this energy on a deeper level.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons sandalwood powder
  • 1 teaspoon frankincense resin (can be purchased in powder form or ground by hand with a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ teaspoon guar gum
  • Water

Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl, then add a teaspoon of water at a time, mixing thoroughly. I typically use just shy of 3 teaspoons. Pinch off small chunks of dough and shape them into little cones with your fingers. Let dry completely (this can take up to a week).

Hover your palms above the incense as you chant:

I call upon the power of air!
Please charge this incense with the
energy of change, clarity, and wisdom.
So mote it be!
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Connecting with Earth
JULY 23, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

The four elements of earth, air, fire, and water are an important part of a Witchcraft practice. We tend to take these elements for granted, but it’s a good idea to take a moment occasionally to consciously connect with them.

The summer provides many great opportunities to connect with the element of earth. If you are a gardener, you can put your hands in the dirt and say thank you. Or you can take a walk outside, being extra aware of when your feet meet the land. Or simply sit on the grass and feel how grounding it is to be in touch with the earth. If you like, you can say these words:

I reach out to you, element of earth,
And thank you for grounding me,
For providing solid footing for my life,
And for all the growth that
springs from your soil.
I am the earth, and the earth is me.
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Finding Lost Objects
JULY 22, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

Every now and then we all lose something that is meaningful to us. Today we can call upon our faerie allies to help us find what is lost. The Faerie occupy an in-between realm and often have a unique vantage point. Where we may overlook something, you can bet that the Fae will not. For this spell you can simply stand outside in an area that is a little wilder than the other surroundings. If you live in an apartment, you will want to open a window. Speak directly
to those in the other realm:

Faerie kind, hear my plea. Help
return what is missing to me.

Once you have spoken to the Fae, have an offering for them ready to show your appreciation. A traditional offering is that of milk and honey. You can pour this into the wild area after the spell. If you are in an apartment, you can leave the offering in a small dish where it will not be disturbed. You can and should repeat the offering once the object is found.
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Offering for Spirits of the Land
JULY 21, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

With the moon in Taurus to day, we may find ourselves drawn to the element of earth. One of my favorite things to do is to make an offering to the spirits of the land. They’re always present in natural areas, and they love receiving something beautiful.

Before leaving home, grab something natural that you feel the spirits would appreciate, such as a stone or a natural object like a pinecone. Go outside and walk to a natural area. When you arrive at a place that feels right, align with the energy and set the offering on the ground. Say:

Spirits of earth,
I leave this for you,
In gratitude for all you do.

Leave the offering and make your way home again. When you wish to connect with the element of earth in your magic, you can call to mind the energy of that place and the offering.
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A Witch’s Potion to Bless the House
JULY 20, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

A fun way to bless your room, home, or property is to pull out the ol’ cauldron for some boilin’ and bubblin’. Since we are modern Witches, a pot on the stove will suffice! Bring some water to a boil (however much you’d like) and set aside a handful of sea salt along with the herbs you most associate with blessing and energetic protection. Because there are so many, I will leave the herbal concoction up to you!

Once the water has boiled, add the herbs and place your hands safely in the vicinity of the pot while saying:

Boiling and brewing, this potion’s
alight. Blessed and protected
for all days and all nights.

Simmer for thirteen minutes. Once cooled, strain the herbs and asperge (sprinkle) the potion all around your room, house, and/or property. Leave the strained herbs outdoors to finish working their magick.
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A Ritual of Thanks
JULY 19, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

During July, the earth begins to bless us with its bounty. This ritual gives thanks for our food supply. Begin the ritual at sunset. Drape your altar in rich purple or green fabric. Upon the altar place one glass of red wine or purple grape juice. Face west, then ground and center. Speak these words:

Slowly the sun’s power
begins to decline.
Still we’re blessed with the fruit
of the orchard from the vine.
Great Mother, thank you for
your gifts from the land.
Farmers, thank you for all that
comes from your calloused hands.

Now raise your beverage in a toast and take a sip. Truly stop and think about where our food comes from. Next, carry the rest of your beverage outside. Respectfully pour it upon the earth in a show of thanks. Finally, when you can, purchase something from a farmers’ market to support your local growers.
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Prophecy
JULY 18, 2022 BY BARBARA ARDINGER

The ancient world had ten sibyls, who were prophetesses. The Cumaean Sibyl wrote her prophecies on leaves that she placed at the mouth of her cave. If no one came to pick them up, she let the wind scatter them.

A hot summer day is a good time to try some prophecy. Take advantage of “the heat of inspiration.” First, cut 22 leaf shapes, one for each major arcana card in the tarot, out of colored paper and number them. Next, take your leaves, some colored pencils, and your favorite tarot pack and go outside and find a shady spot. Look at true.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1046 Working with Control Issues

Heartwings says, “Each day is different and needs your complete attention.”

The first skill a baby learns is that of control, primarily control of muscles. Learning to roll over is an important experience. Later, it’s sitting up, crawling, and finally, standing and walking. If you are a parent, do you remember how your child enjoyed dropping things over the edge of his or her highchair? A face full of glee would blossom on my children’s faces as they did so, and it never varied, regardless which of my five children it was. Toilet training was another control hurdle, and learning to sit still, another. As adults most of us are pretty well able to control ourselves.

That’s unless Parkinson’s comes into your life, and control is something very difficult to maintain, at least for some. Speaking for myself, I find I struggle with it pretty much every day. Though I have avoided the “shakes” so far, I still have difficulties with balance and with using my hands and fingers. Peeling carrots or other vegetables, for instance, with any accuracy, takes around four times as long as it once did. While typing on my computer is doable, it goes more slowly than formerly. There are things I used to do without thinking, like shuffling cards, that are now impossible for me to do.

One of the worst aspects of my condition, however, is none of these. It is emotional control. I can burst into tears over something I might once have brushed off or ignored. I can find myself depressed for no reason I can tell, or make sense of. Being able to contain tears when affected in a difficult way is one of the most important aspects of emotional control. One learns this in school, to the tune of “cry baby,” or even in families. I well remember my stern grandmother ignoring my tears. Or a parent saying these familiar words: “Stop your crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Perhaps some of my readers can remember similar experiences.

I’m not saying these words to complain, but rather to set the stage. I now understand that control is actually an illusion. We may think we are in control, however, if our bodies choose otherwise, we are not. It is an odd experience, and an uncomfortable one as well, to find oneself unable to avoid a cascade of unwanted tears. It is frustrating to not be able to shuffle the cards. Much of what I once took for granted in my daily life has now become a matter of effort or even finally of surrender. Many things I once did without thinking, I no longer can do, or I must find alternative or new ways to accomplish them.
A key word here is surrender. To keep trying to do what is no longer possible is not smart. To let go and seek new ways to function is best learned as soon as possible. It is said the brain grows when we learn new ways, so that’s a good outcome, and perhaps the potential blessing to come from my or even your current experiences.

May you meet your challenges with courage and welcoming grace.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS If you have any stories to share or comments, I’d be so happy to receive them. Do write me at tashahal@gmail.com. More at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Green Spaces Does Your Heart Good
~Andrew Weil M.D.

The new findings come from a five-year University of Louisville study that included 408 people, largely at elevated risk for cardiovascular diseases. In addition to collecting blood and urine samples from the study group, the investigators measured the density of greenspaces and levels of air pollution near all of their homes. The tests revealed lower levels of the hormone epinephrine among participants who lived in the greenest areas, which suggests they have lower levels of stress. The investigation also showed that these participants had a higher capacity to repair blood vessels and experienced less oxidative stress (the challenge posed by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism in addition to other pressures the environment brings to bear). The researchers reported that their findings were independent of the study participants’ age, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, neighborhood deprivation, the use of statin medications and roadway exposure. Study leader Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., suggested that increasing the amount of vegetation in a neighborhood “may be an unrecognized environmental influence on cardiovascular health.”

My take? These welcome new findings add to what we know about the health benefits of forest therapy, which entails spending time in the woods as an antidote to the sometimes-jarring sounds, sights, and smells of city life. Researchers in Japan, where forest therapy originated, have learned that its’ benefits include lower levels of salivary cortisol, a hormone that rises when we’re under stress. Forest therapy can also lower blood pressure and heart rate and trigger a dramatic increase in the activity of natural killer (NK) cells (produced by the immune system to ward off infection and fight cancer). Spending three days in the forest has been shown to increase NK activity by 50 percent, a beneficial effect that can last up to one month. This new study suggests that living in green neighborhoods may have similar benefits.

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The Gift of Friendship

Our best friends are a warm refuge in which we feel free to be fully ourselves.

By the time we reach adulthood, many of us have had the good fortune to have at least one best friend. If we have moved around or changed our life situation repeatedly, we may be lucky enough to have had several. The best friend relationship is often our earliest intimate peer relationship, and it can be a source of great warmth and connection throughout our lives. The details of best friendship change as we grow up and grow older, but the heart of it remains the same. Our best friends are a warm refuge in which we feel free to be fully ourselves, to share our deepest secrets, to rest when we are tired, to celebrate when we are happy — a place in which we feel utterly welcome to give and receive that most precious of all gifts, love.

Most intimate relationships hit bumps from time to time, and one of the hallmarks of an enduring best friendship is its ability to ride out the turbulence and remain intact even as it faces changes. Our best friends are those who manage to love us through all of our transitions, as we do the same for them. We find ways to embrace and appreciate the differences that set us apart and offer love and support no matter what. We allow each other to be exactly as we are at a given moment, even as we allow each other to change over time. In this way, best friends sometimes feel like family. We know we will stick together regardless of where our individual paths lead.

We may be on the phone with our best friends every day, or we may not have spoken for a year, yet we know that our bond will be strong and immediate when we do connect. This bond ties us together even when we are apart and draws us blissfully back into the warm refuge of each other’s company when our paths bring us together again.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1044: A Timely Dance to Do

Heartwings says, “Time can be an enemy or a friend; you can choose.”

“Summertime, and the living is easy,” as the song goes. I confess I have no choice but to take it easy in the hot weather. I wilt. Of course, there are things that must be done, like laundry. I used to hang it up on the porch on racks. Unfortunately, I am no longer able to take the time or the energy for that; fortunately, I have a drier that does it instead. So, I have traded time for money—a higher electric bill, and it’s worth it.

The same is true for food shopping. While I do enjoy walking around the grocery store picking out the items on my list, it takes time I could put to better use. I don’t enjoy making Stephen lug them home and up a steep flight of stairs, either. Enter the grocery delivery service. Again, I am trading time, and more effort as well, for money. I don’t mind economizing in other ways. We eat out less and generally do less driving. Drinking water or making our own iced tea helps too.

The older I get, the more precious my time has become. The sand in my hour glass is piling up on the bottom. One of my daughters pointed out that spending my time creatively, working on writing projects, needs to be a priority. She’s right. The trick is to figure out not the priorities but those tasks or things to do that can be down sized, down played, or simply eliminated.

I have someone to help with the cleaning. Cooking can be simplified. I bake less, or only for special occasions. Stephen has become my sous chef, and he is usually available to stir, peel, or do whatever needs doing while I am preparing a meal. While I have always enjoyed cooking, hot weather does not inspire me to cook much. On the other hand, I prefer cooking from scratch except for baking, because I believe it is healthier. I do try to prepare certain things, like rice or sweet potatoes in quantity, so dinner takes less time.

One of my most daunting tasks has been getting out our vitamins and supplements. I used to do this once a month in less than two hours and have four weeks of envelopes for the next twenty-eight days. The last time it took me two days, pausing in between rounds to rest. Clearly, a change was needed. Not knowing what to do, I did nothing. After a week of dealing with a counter laden with the pill bottles, I was ready to try doing it once a week instead.

Finally, I need to apply discipline and ignore the temptation to read what could be interesting articles in my email. Because I answer whatever emails I am sent by a reader or friend, I need to be especially vigilant. None of this is by way of complaint, please hear me. I am working to find new ways to live efficiently and well as I deal with my daily challenges. Time needs to be my friend as I do so.

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Channeling Pain Into Compassionate Service

Channeling your pain into helping others spreads a tide of curative energy throughout the world.

Pain is a fact of being and one that permeates all of our lives to some degree. Since the hurt we feel may be a part of the experiences that have touched us most deeply, we are often loathe to let it go. It is frequently easier to keep our pain at our sides, where it acts as a shield that shelters us from others and gives us an identity — that of victim — from which we can draw bitter strength. However, pain’s universality can also empower us to use our hurt to help others heal. Since no pain is any greater or more profound than any other, what you feel can give you the ability to help bring about the recovery of individuals whose hurts are both similar to and vastly different from your own. You can channel your pain into transformative and healing love that aids you in helping individuals on a one-to-one basis and spreading a tide of curative energy throughout the world.

The capacity to heal others evolves naturally within those who are ready to disassociate themselves from their identity as victims. In fact, the simple decision to put aside the pain we have carried is what grants us the strength to redeem that pain through service. There are many ways to use the hurt you feel to help others. Your pain gives you a unique insight into the minds of people who have experienced trauma and heartache. You can draw from the wellspring of strength that allowed you to emerge on the other side of a painful experience and pass that strength to individuals still suffering from their wounds. You may be able to council individuals in need by showing them the coping methods that have helped you survive or simply by offering sympathy. A kinship can develop that allows you to relate more closely with those you are trying to aid and comfort.

Helping others can be a restorative experience that makes your own heart grow stronger. In channeling your pain into compassionate service and watching others successfully recover, you may feel a sense of euphoria that leads to increased feelings of self-worth and optimism. Your courageous decision to reach out to others can be the best way to declare to yourself and the world that your pain didn’t defeat you, and in fact it helped you heal.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Haunted Amusement Parks in America

It’s easy to look at an abandoned amusement park and think it’s probably haunted. It seems to haunt itself with it’s once shiny and active, now dull and quiet appearance. Some haunted amusement parks are abandoned, others still in operation.

Let’s check out some in the US –

LAKE SHAWNEE
ROCK, WV

  • ABANDONED –
    In terms of this extremely haunted and abandoned park, the land can carry some bad memories. Is it cursed? I’m not sure I would call it cursed as much as “manifesting bad.” When enough bad things happen upon a land, even when good-intentioned people arrive, they may be struck with odd bad luck. It appears to be a cumulative phenomena.

In the case of Lake Shawnee, it began as the home of a settler and his large family. The Indians in the area had killed two of his sons and abducted a third. The father went about gathering up a posse and killed a few members of the tribe. This resulted in the burning of his son on a stake.

In the 1920s, the abandoned land appeared to have a nice setting for a man wanting to put together a speakeasy, a circular swing, a swimming hole, and water slide.

A girl died on the swings, a boy drowned, and many accidents occurred in this rickety carnival and it only had a short run and closed.

Around the 1940s, a developer thought it might make a nice location for some homes around the small lake. They began to dig but hit lots and lots of bones and pottery. It was discovered it had been an indian burial ground and most of the occupants had been children. They covered it back up, and left the site.

Since then, the site is privately owned and can be toured by permission of the owners. In the autumn time, they have ghost tours and even camping on the grounds with bonfire tales.

DISNEYLAND
ANAHEIM, CA

  • OPEN –
    If a park ever had the most amount of trampling happy kids and adults, this park is it. There are several reported hauntings around the park.

A lady in white is said to stroll Main Street, wearing an 1800s dress.

Walt himself is said to be seen in the window of his apartment above the firehouse on Main Street. Every evening the park lights the window for eternity in memory of the founder. And, upon occasion, his figure is seen.

A teenager that sneaked into the park and crossed the monorail track and got hit is supposedly seen by train operators who say they witness a figure but by the time the train approaches, it disappears.

We just knew that the Haunted Mansion had its own story. A mother supposedly spread her son’s ashes outside the mansion and people are said to witness a crying boy.

BOB-LO ISLAND, MICHIGAN

  • ABANDONED –
    This Michigan park opened in 1898 and closed in 1993. The rides were sold off to other parks and the boats, that had run for 81 years stopped riding. A tall heavyset man in a suit and hat is seen by those who sneak in to look at the property. It is said to be a performer named “Smiley,” a magician who reportedly studied under Houdini and died during and escape trick.

KINGS ISLAND, CINCINNATI OH

  • OPEN –
    Another location with bad mojo history. This park is on land that saw a cemetery and also an explosion that killed 100 people in the past.

One of the ghosts is referred to as “Tram Girl.” She is seen wearing a blue dress and says hi to the visitors. It’s believed she might have been interred at the old cemetery.

CEDAR POINT, SANDUSKY, OH

  • OPEN –
    This popular park was opened in 1870. Today, it’s considered THE premiere rollercoaster park.

In Frontiertown, a woman used to be seen on the carousal riding a military horse. This has been removed, but before it was, the rumor was that a woman married to the carousel carpenter was caught cheating and her husband shot her.

Employees had also reported they could hear music playing after hours, the horses on the carousel were in a different order, or the carousel ran backwards.

The Breakwater Cafe is said to be haunted by a boy who supposedly drowned in the nearby lake.

SIX FLAGS, NEW ORLEANS, LA

  • ABANDONED –

With the arrival of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and loss of 1600 precious lives, the park remained closed.

Those who sneaked around to take photos of the still park, have reported shadowy figures, feelings of being watched, strange lights, and sounds.

BTW, there’s a great documentary on the park called “Closed for Storm” that can be found streaming on Amazon Prime and Discovery + channels.

As we move into summer weather, expect me to be sharing haunted campsites, haunted roads, haunted beaches, and more places to explore and have spooky encounters….

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Looking at Life From All Sides

Expanding your perspective opens you to insights and inspirations.

Whenever we examine our lives, we examine them from a particular side or angle. Most of us tend to favor one side over the others. For example, we may tend to look at things from an emotional perspective rather than a financial perspective, or we may prefer to think in terms of details rather than the big picture, or vice versa. To a certain degree, this is not a problem, and these tendencies add color to our individual personalities. However, they can also make us one-sided, blind to the many other ways of looking at our situation. Even if we have decided that we are most happy when we focus on one particular side of things, it is always worth exploring the other sides. When we do, we become well rounded, more understanding of other viewpoints, and even more solid in our own.

Perhaps you are a person who tends to see your life in terms of your spiritual well-being. As a result, other concerns such as financial comfort or social standing may not be prominent in your mind as you make decisions. However, taking just a moment to consider those angles will help you in several ways. One, it will enable you to see more clearly what your priorities are and how they influence your life situation. Two, it will enhance your sense of confidence, because you will see your situation from all sides, even as you choose one. And three, it will help you communicate with others about who you are and what you are doing, because you will come from a place of understanding that your own biases and tendencies are unique as are theirs.

Most of us instinctively come at things from a particular angle, and in many cases this is the right way for us. Still, understanding the other angles only strengthens us. When we look at our lives from all sides, we shed light on the big picture, giving ourselves access to many points of view and highlighting more clearly the one we have chosen to take.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
The Horror of Scary Neighbors

Come on, admit it, it scares you to think of running into weird locals in some backwater roadway or small town, maybe a stretch of the desert while driving alone, but sometimes those weirdos are your very own neighbors!

Neighborhood Stalkers
LeLeyon: Misanthropic Wanderer

Some countries know how to have a legend. Switzerland is definitely one of them. This photo above supposedly is the first picture taken of LeLeyon in his 10 year reign of terror.

This cryptic figure wears a military uniform, a thick clock, and an antique gas mask covering his face.

He’s been reported to wander the woodlands in a certain area, walking the same route over and over again. Someone recently sneaked up on him and got a photo. LeLeyon stared the person down, turned, and walked off.

Many local families will not go in the woods, parents tuck their children away and women avoid the country roads.

Locals hope to find a way to speak with him/her and ask not to be so threatening, but legends are passed around of a person afraid of the apocalypse, someone horribly disfigured, or simply mentally ill.

The Bloody Benders: Neighbor Murderers
In the small town of Cherryvale, Kansas in the 1870s, a German family, the Benders, built an inn to house travelers. Unknowingly, the traveler would enter, sit down at the table, seated with his back to a canvas curtain. The young attractive Bender woman, Katie, would keep his attention while one of the Bender men attacked him with a hammer from behind. They would then, slit his throat, take his money and possessions and toss his body down a trapdoor under the house. Later, they would go back and bury him in the orchard. Katie hung posters in town announcing she was a healer and could cure all kinds of illnesses, as well as talk with the dead. When all was said and done, the family had murdered 11 people. They even murdered a man and buried his daughter alive with his mutilated body! It took a prominent doctor going missing for people to start to cast an eye at the Bender family.

The family fled and it was never solved as to where they went or what became of them. Many years later, two women were taken to Kansas who were thought to be two Bender women, but there was no way to prove they were. In fact, the family was actually not a family – they were just criminals who posed as a family.

The Leatherman: Creepy Hobo
Since 1862, there have been reports of a wandering hobo who traveled an 365-mile circle from Connecticut to the Hudson River. He spoke only in grunts and gestures and wore a crude suit stitched together of leather. He slept mostly in caves. Many claim he’s still wandering today. He followed this lengthy repeatable circuit in precisely 34 days. When trekking back his history, he actually began his journey in France in the 1820s. He wanted to win the hand of a young woman and was told he must excel at leather work or leave the country all together. In his shame at failure, he went missing. Many years later in 1862, this man in Connecticut showed up matching his description. He had a very strong constitution, but in the 1880s, he passed away in one of his caves. The caves still stand in the woods on the Mattatuck Trail in Watertown, Connecticut.

Peruvian Fat Collecting Gang
No, I did not make this one up! In Peru the cops caught a band of freaks who were stealing people, gutting them like deer and draining them of body fat to sell for cosmetic use. The liquid fat was worth $60,000 a gallon.

Dark Watchers
For hundreds of years in the St. Lucia mountains in California the citizens have caught sight of very tall (sometimes 10-feet) caped figures. Sometimes the figures have a hat and are seen usually in the afternoon, even perched atop a mountain. When the Spanish arrived to the area in the 1700s they referred to these apparitions as Vigalantes Obscuros, or “dark watchers.”

Neighbors With Weird Houses
Forget crabgrass, imagine living next door to these –
Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA
Coral Castle in Homestead, FL
Shangri-La in Hightowers, NC
The Peterson Rock Gardens in Redmond, OR
Prairie Moon Garden in Fountain City, WI
Salvation Mountain, San Diego, CA
The Forevertron in South-Central Wisconsin

-okay, okay, I admit I’d like to live next door to this huge steampunk dream, mostly because no one would mess with my house, thinking it was guarded by a missile system.

Movies To Watch

Wrong Turn
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Hills Have Eyes
Tourist Trap
The Hitcher
The Burbs
Neighbors

For those of us in the suburbs, the Klopeks are the ultimate test.

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Hidden Gems & Silver Linings

Life is full of buried treasures. Chances are, you’re sitting on some right now.

Sometimes we have an experience that we don’t understand, but if we look deeply, or wait long enough, a reason for that experience will usually reveal itself. All the events in our lives lead to other events, and all that we have manifested in this present moment is the result of past events and experiences. We cannot easily tease apart the many threads that have been woven together to create our current reality. Experiences that don’t make sense, as well as any that we regret, are just as responsible for the good things in our lives as the experiences we do understand or label as “good.”

This is especially important to remember at times when we feel directionless or unsure of what to do. It is often at times like these that we take a job or move to a place without really knowing if it’s the right thing to do. We may ultimately end up leaving the job or the place, but often during that time we will have met someone who becomes an important friend, or we may have an experience that changes us in a profound way. When all the pieces of our life don’t quite make sense, we can remember that there may be some hidden gem of a reason that we are where we are having the experiences we are having.

It’s fun to look back on past experiences with an eye to uncovering those gems—the dreadful temporary job in a bland office building that introduced you to the love of your life; the roommate you couldn’t tolerate who gave you a book that changed your life; the time spent living in a city you didn’t like that led you into a deeper relationship with yourself. Remembering these past experiences can restore our faith in the present. Life is full of buried treasures. Chances are, you’re sitting on some right now.

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Chunky Peach Popsicles

Make sure to reserve a portion of the peaches as you puree the mixture so the pops will be packed with icy cold, chunky bits of fruit. For a grown-up twist, try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint, lemon verbena or basil.

Servings:12

Ingredients
1 1/4 pounds ripe peaches, (3-4 medium), halved and pitted
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup sugar, or to taste (optional)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Step 1
Coarsely chop peaches in a food processor. Transfer 1 cup of the chunky peaches to a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, orange juice and sugar to taste (depending on the sweetness of the peaches) to the food processor. Puree until smooth. Add to the bowl with the chunky peaches and stir in vanilla.

Step 2
Divide the mixture among twelve 2-ounce or eight 3-ounce freezer-pop molds (or small paper cups). Freeze until beginning to set, about 1 hour. Insert frozen-treat sticks and freeze until completely firm, about 1 hour more.

Tips
Make Ahead Tip: Store in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

Tips
Equipment: Twelve 2-ounce or eight 3-ounce freezer-pop molds, or small paper cups with frozen-treat sticks

Nutrition Facts
Per Serving:
39 calories; protein 0.4g; carbohydrates 9.9g; dietary fiber 0.7g; sugars 8.5g; fat 0.2g; vitamin a iu 104.3IU; vitamin c 7.1mg; folate 2.5mcg; calcium 0.9mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 0.9mg; potassium 89.1mg; sodium 0.1mg.

Exchanges:
1/2 fruit

© Copyright 2022 EatingWell. All rights reserved.Printed from https://www.eatingwell.com 08/04/2022

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 21
Stephen Halpert

It was a hot summer day; sweat drenched his shirt. Gilberto carried his old office table into the condo elevator. After wrestling it down the hall he finally managed to fit it through the front door. He needed a shower and knew it. He paused, took out his crumpled handkerchief and wiped his forehead.
Maria came to help him. “You brought that all the way home from Houndstooth in this heat?”
“For Mona,” he gasped. “Her new table for art.”
Mona joined them in the hallway. She eyed the table and wrinkled her nose. “That’s not the art table you promised me,” she huffed.
Gilberto glared at her. “I promised you a table. This is it.”
“Be polite to your father,” Maria said. “It was hard for him to lug this home for you.”
“It’s a good size for your room,” he said. His voice took on a pleading tone. “Plenty of space to lay out paper and make pictures.”
Mona’s voice was determined. “Daddy, it doesn’t have a light.” She tried the drawer. “And look, the drawer won’t open, it’s all stuck.”
“You wanted an art table. Start with this,” Gilberto said firmly. “We’ll get the drawer open. Right now, the humidity is making it stick.”
Mona thrust her shoulders back and planted her feet. “I don’t want it,” she said.
Maria’s voice was soft and gentle. “Please, Mona,” she said. “Let’s get it in your room and give it a try.”
Mona jutted her chin and gritted her teeth. “No,” she growled.
Gilberto’s eyes flashed. “You’ll use it or nothing. How can you complain. You hardly ever draw anything.”
“Yes, I do,” she insisted, stamping her foot.
Gilberto looked daggers at her. “If you knew how difficult it was for me bringing that table home so you could do your art, you’d be more appreciative.”
But Mona stood her ground. “I don’t want it daddy. It not an art table. It has no easel, no light, and the drawer is stuck and all warped.”
Maria held out her hands, pleadingly. “It is a fine table,” Maria said. “We could paint it nice colors.” she smiled. “Maybe daddy will help us paint it.”
But Mona wouldn’t be persuaded. She sighed, and like a lawyer pleading for her client’s life presented her case. “Mom. It’s not an art table. It has no nice light like the ones in the art catalogue and the drawer’s warped. It’ll never open.”
Ever the peacemaker, Maria tried once again. “Maybe your father can pry it open. He’s very strong you know.”
But Mona shook her head. “Please mom, don’t make me have to have it in my room. It’s mean and ugly.”
Gilberto had had enough. His voice rose into a shout. “How can a table be mean? It doesn’t have a personality. It’s a tool; it performs a function. Use it until we find something better and replace it.”
“It’s ugly, “Mona insisted. Then she kicked the front left leg. “Ow!” she cried out. ” See it doesn’t like me.”
“Don’t do that!” Gilberto cried. You’ll hurt yourself.”
“No, I won’t.” Mona yelled. Then she lifted up the table and threw it to the floor with a resounding crash. Wood splintered. The drawer burst. Cascades of cash flew up into the air like confetti at a holiday parade.
The three of them stared in astonishment, then began gathering it up.
“Must be Willabee’s missing cash,” Gilberto said.
Mona grinned. “Can I have it, Daddy?”
“That’s real money,” Maria said, examining several of the hundred-dollar bills.
Mona sighed. “Guess not,” she said, and went off to her room.
Gilberto stared. He didn’t know what to think. He went into the kitchen and took a beer from the ‘fridge. Then he opened his phone and dialed up Diana Rain. “I think Cy Willabee’s cash is found,” he said.
“I’m on it,” she said. “Be right over.”
By the time Rain arrived Maria had carefully gathered up the bills and placed them in neat stacks, contained in rubber bands.
“$37, 460.” Maria said. “Quite a windfall.”
Rain looked at it and sighed softly. “That was his life’s savings,” she said.
A soft breeze gently ruffled the bills.
Look,” Gilberto said. “A small box.”
Rain reached into the splintered pile and withdrew it. Before she could open it, the box slid out of her hand, glided up into the air and hovered just above reach. Then the lid lifted, and as they watched open mouthed, a small gold ring encrusted in diamonds floated down to Rain and fit perfectly on the third finger of her left hand.”
“I think he’s proposing to you,” Maria said.
Rain smiled. She studied the ring. “Diamonds,” she said. “He usually proposes every night before we go to sleep. But I never expected anything quite like this.”
Maria smiled and patted her shoulder. “That’s so wonderful,” she said. “You’re so lucky to have him.”
Gilberto sensed Rain’s quiet feelings of appreciation.
“Yes,” she choked out.
“I think a celebration is in order,” Maria said. She left and came into the living room with a bottle of Champagne and three fluted glasses. “Wait,” she said. “Be right back,”
She returned with a fourth glass. “Cy, I hope you ‘ll have some Champagne to celebrate,” she said. “I think you and Diana make an amazing couple.”
A shimmer of light seemed to glow in the room. Gilberto opened the bottle and began pouring. Just as they lifted their glasses, Mona barged in.
“Daddy, if I can have some of that money then I can buy my own art table.”
Before he could answer five twenties flew from the accumulated hoard and landed in Mona’s hand. “There you go,” Rain smiled.
Mona grinned and clutched it. “Thank you,” she cried as she ran back to her room.
“A toast,” Maria said, “To Diana and Cy,” May you remain happily together.”
“Thank you,” Rain said, taking a few sips.
Maria glanced at the fourth glass and pointed. “Look!” Slowly, the Champagne in Cy’s fluted glass was vanishing.

To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

Why Do Cats Bring You “Gifts”?
By Susan Logan McCracken

Although I’ve had indoor-only cats for my entire adult life, I grew up with several outdoor cats who earned their weight in paper currency as “working” cats on my parents’ farm. Although these cats were friendly toward humans, I think they would have climbed the curtains if we tried to keep them indoors. But they were sure great at their jobs: catching mice, rats and moles in particular that shredded my parents’ lawn.

Our tuxedo cat, Miss Kitty, would wait patiently for a mole to come out of its hole beneath the grass, then she would grab it and bring it to my parents, who praised her for her work. I remember during a garage sale, Miss Kitty brought one of her “gifts” and dropped it right in front of one of our customer’s feet. You can imagine the alarm that the shopper expressed. I can’t remember anything more, but I’m guessing she never returned to any of our garage sales!

Love Language
Giving gifts is considered to be one of humans’ love languages, a concept made popular by Gary Chapman’s best-selling book The 5 Love Languages. Do cats have love languages and could gift giving be one of them?

Miss Kitty did receive a lot of praise from my parents whenever she brought her prey to them, and I guess you could surmise that she felt the love and repeated the behavior.

I consulted with board-certified feline veterinarian Gary D. Norsworthy, who owns the Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio and has more than 40 years experience practicing veterinary medicine.

“The older I get the more I am convinced that genetics is a major player in personality traits,” Dr. Norsworthy says. “I believe this is one example of that.”

Dr. Norsworthy recounted the story of one of his patients, Ret, who brought home tree bark, a deflated soccer ball and a horse’s bridle. Ret’s retrieving behavior began when he was 6 months old and his humans, a sweet senior couple, gave him treats every time he brought them one of his treasures.

Dr. Norsworthy refers to cats who engage in this behavior as retrieving cats. “These cats are not trained; they come by it naturally. Their unusual behavior may be increased with rewards, but retrieving cats are often driven to make their owners happy with or without rewards. If you have one of these unique cats, enjoy their special talent.”

Hunting Instinct
All cat species are carnivores and have an instinct to hunt. Among lions, the lionesses hunt for food and bring it to the cubs as a team, while male lions protect the pride. Other feline species are solitary hunters, but the females still share the food with their offspring and teach them to hunt.

Female domestic cats also hunt and bring dead or injured prey home to their offspring to teach them how to hunt. One theory is that spayed females, as they do not have offspring, bring their prey to their humans instead. In other words, they consider their humans as family.

You might inadvertently reward this behavior without realizing it. If you jump, scamper trying to catch the thing, then give your cat a treat, you just rewarded the behavior.

If your cat plops a toy or other object in front of you, he is most likely looking for some playtime. That is a good time to indulge your cat’s need to play. Cats are hardwired to play and might engage in destructive behaviors or have health problems if they don’t get enough playtime.

Curbing Predation
If you’re concerned about your cats bringing prey animals into your home, here’s how to get them to stop.

Keep your cats indoors. Studies show indoor-only cats live longer.
Provide regular playtime. They need the stimulation and exercise.
Use food or treat dispensing puzzle toys to simulate hunting followed by eating.
Feed a high-meat protein diet. Cats need animal protein to thrive.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom found that people who provided their cats with a high-meat protein, grain-free diet and introduced five to 10 minutes of play with prey-simulating toys each day experienced a 25% to 36% decrease in the numbers of animals the cats captured and brought home.

The researchers concluded that nutrition and playtime were so successful in curbing feline predation that these noninvasive, positive methods worked better than impeding their hunting abilities by such measures as adding bells to their collars, which they wrote had no discernible effect. The study, “Provision of High Meat Content Food and Object Play Reduce Predation of Wild Animals by Domestic Cats Felis catus,” was published on Feb. 11, 2021, in Current Biology.

No matter their reason for bringing you gifts, your cats see you as family as much as you see them as family. And like you, their basic needs for a healthy life include proper nutrition and exercise.

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Georgia Nicols’
Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, August 07, 2022

All Signs
This week the Sun is opposite Saturn and at odds with Mars. It’s a Mexican stand-off. (Think The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.) Meanwhile, in another part of the desert, Venus is opposite Pluto. (Yikes!) Power struggles and sneaky sabotages might take place. Nevertheless, if you keep your wits about you, and are aware of what’s going on, you’ll be fine. If conflict is unavoidable, be smart and pick your battles, especially when things come to a head by Thursday’s Full Moon. Afterwards, separate yourself from negative energy. Seek out people who nourish you. Life is too short for boxed wine and bozos. Oscar Wilde said, “True friends stab you in the front.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that family relationships might be intense this week. Ditto for relations with your kids, and perhaps. a lover. Disputes about money, earnings and possessions might also occur, especially when dealing with a boss, parent or someone older. But these challenges do not have to define your week. As the Full Moon approaches on Thursday, they might intensify; however, afterwards, they will diminish. The reason you can flow through this week with confidence and charm is because lucky Jupiter is in your sign! Jupiter always brings divine protection; plus, it boosts your confidence and sense of optimism. Nothing to fear. Metaphors be with you!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You are part of a tense dynamic with Saturn and Sun being at odds with your sign. (You might want to buy the ring tone app of the haunting opening of the theme song of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.) There’s no question that you will encounter difficulties dealing with parents and authority figures this week. (They might have difficulty dealing with you as well because Mars is in your sign, which means you’re no shrinking violet.) Midweek, you will feel tension building up before the Full Moon taking place at the top of your chart. You’ll feel pulled between the demands of home and family versus the demands of your career or public reputation. Everything settles down by the end of the week. Hey, no mud – no lotus.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Pay attention to everything you say and do this week because this is an accident-prone time for your sign. This means verbal gaffs as well as physical accidents. Think before you speak or act, especially because you might be fixated on a financial situation or something you own. You might also be caught up in ideas that are political, religious or race -related and this could upset your peace of mind. Fortunately, after the Full Moon peaks on Thursday, things will quiet down. (Btw, you can attract money to you this week.) Family conversations will be productive and interesting. Short trips and discussions with others will intrigue you. (Don’t fry bacon when you’re naked.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This week begins with passionate intensity because Venus in your sign opposes Pluto, which means, “I must have that!” Suddenly, your world is black-and-white – there are no greys. You have temporarily lost the ability to see that everything is relative. (Of course, all generalizations are false, including this one.) You might meet someone new. Existing relationships might be overshadowed by guilt and manipulation. Be wise and put a lid on things. Don’t express your feelings right away because by the end of the week, everything will look different. If you act out at the beginning of the week, you will end up with egg on your face. (Ketchup helps.)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week in All Signs above, I mention the dynamic of a Mexican standoff, which takes place between the Sun, Saturn and Mars. Behold! The Sun is in your sign at 3 o’clock, which means Saturn is opposite your sign, and Mars is at high noon. So, what’s it going to be? Wooden spoons or darts? Remember: anger makes everyone miserable. Meanwhile, patience is the antidote to anger. You have to ask yourself. “Do I want to have a happy week?” Of course, you do. Therefore, avoid doing things that trigger conflict with others because who needs this? You have the advantage of the Sun in your sign. This happens only once a year! Let the Sun restore and rejuvenate you! You’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, and ee-lim-in-ate-the negative.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Yay! You have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for this week’s planetary challenges. Yes, you’ll feel some tension, especially with coworkers and issues related to higher education, medicine and the law — but this is nothing you can’t handle. Perhaps the biggest challenge is at the beginning of the week, on Monday, when issues with a friend or a member of a group might become intense. Someone might try to coerce you to agree with their ideas. Or they might try to manipulate you or guilt trip you so that they can get their own way or stop you from doing something. Don’t fall for this. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You can sidestep much of the tension this week. (Albeit, you might encounter difficulty with kids, friends and groups, as well as shared property, insurance and the wealth or debt of someone else.) At the beginning of the week, you’ll have strong feelings about a boss or someone in authority. This might be about a romance? Or you might feel passionately about something related to design, layout work, redecorating or how something looks. Of course, many people don’t realize how much you are affected by your immediate surroundings. Furthermore, they don’t realize you have an excellent eye for beauty, colour, composition and furniture arrangement. (Apparently, fellow Libran Oscar Wilde’s last words were, “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.”)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
At the beginning of the week, you have strong views about religion, politics or racial issues. Or perhaps, you’re involved with travel plans, legal issues or medical matters? Whatever the case, you will state your views, which like a chain reaction, might upset bosses, older family members, as well as spouses, partners and close friends. (Oh yeah; you’ll be in the thick of it!) Fortunately, the ace up your sleeve is the fact that right now, the Sun is at the top of your chart casting you in a flattering spotlight. You are admired! (Others will understand and forgive.) This means you can skate through skirmishes building to Thursday’s Full Moon, after which, your dreams are free! (With a small charge for alterations.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
As the philosopher of the zodiac, this week, you might find yourself in conflict about politics, religion or racial issues. Or perhaps it’s about challenges you face dealing with travel plans? Issues at work will further complicate things. (Is there no justice?) As this week begins, you might be caught in the throes of a passionate love affair because you’re overwhelmed by obsessive feelings. (Possibly your strong feelings relate to shared property or inheritances.) In either case, you are prepared to stand up for your beliefs. Pay attention to what you say and do because the Full Moon on Thursday is an accident-prone time for you. Be mindful. After that, you’re free!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Be patient with partners and close friends at the beginning of the week because people are entrenched in their views, including you. Passionate feelings will lead to passionate beliefs and intense conversations. (Einstein said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”) The thorny issues that you face this week, especially leading up to Thursday’s Full Moon, will deal with shared property, financial and practical issues, especially related to your kids, or something to do with vacations and social outings. (Why is there always so much month left at the end of the money?) These issues matter to you because you want to feel secure in your old age.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week you might be at cross purposes with partners, domestic situations and your desire to do things the way they’ve always been done. (Or because you are an unconventional, spontaneous individual –maybe you want to do things different from the way they’ve always been done?) Whatever the case, issues will build in intensity until Thursday, when the only Full Moon in your sign all year occurs. (Gulp!) The secret is to stay flexible. Remember, the rigid trees are the first to snap in a storm. Fortunately, Jupiter will keep you optimistic! (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Oscar Wilde said, “Work is the curse of the drinking class.” This week, you agree. Initially, as the week begins, a romance might grab you by the throat. You might feel obsessed by passion! (Possibly, parents will be challenged by their kids.) But as the week goes on, work-related issues will build until the Full Moon on Thursday. Note: This tension could affect your health. It might also be tension related to your pet. Whatever the case, it will likely trigger arguments with everyday contacts – siblings, relatives and neighbours. This makes it tough to keep the peace. Be wise. Don’t be foolish on Twitter. Don’t end up in Facebook jail. Say nothing you will later regret.

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Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday,
07 August 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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:

True, the past week’s events were sudden and, often, unsettling. Still, you’re now recognising them as timely breakthroughs; and judging by the current planetary activity, there’s yet more excitement to come. The challenge? Recognising that because, in certain situations, you’re short of facts, decisions must wait. In the meanwhile, focus on decluttering your life and schedule of activities and objectives that really should be history.

It can take courage to admit you are struggling with a big responsibility. You took on this work because of the challenge of doing something completely new, and you will learn as you go. Even so, relying on your own limited knowledge where greater expertise is necessary would be foolish. Be willing to accept help and guidance from an experienced colleague. An offer to join a training course is worth considering whether to add to your qualifications or to develop new skills.

In the run-up to Friday’s Full Moon, the urge to purge, to clear out, to space clear and generally prune should increase. Don’t underestimate your efficient sub-personality. If care needs to be taken, it’s that you could in your determination to make space, you could throw away something that would be useful. This is as true of working partnerships as it is of items. Yes, you’re right in that tough decision do need to be made and arriving at graceful conclusions, a challenge. Just how responsible you are for other people’s happiness could bring uncomfortable emotions to the surface. Yet this seems to be a week for going back to basics in order to survive.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Sometimes setbacks are nothing more than difficulties to be overcome. However, those you’ve been facing since late July and which continue this week, are an invitation to rethink increasingly troublesome situations and, equally, to explore options you’ve rejected, some recently. Why, then, would you consider these again? Times have changed and so has your vision of the future. The more you explore, the more you’ll learn.

Before continuing with joint arrangements, ask yourself what you hope to get out of them. It may be that these have become a habit you haven’t given a lot of thought to recently. If so, you could replace these routines with something more fun or productive. You aren’t sure whether you can trust a colleague. Watch them carefully, and you could learn more from their actions than their words. A change of scene will help curb your restless instincts.

Friday’s Full Moon configures with Saturn which is presently moving over the career zone of your solar chart. This is responsibility time. It may not be easy to make decisions and yes, considerable investment of cash and energy could leave you feeling as though resources are drained. It might help to know that as of Friday 12th, Venus begins its transit of the apex of your solar chart and that actions taken should soon be rewarded. You won’t be the only sign to feel that the cupboard is bare and that there is gloom and doom ahead. However, with Uranus travelling through your sign, your entrepreneurial spirit ought not to be too far from the surface – bringing with it the options to create new revenue streams.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Currently, you’re focusing on decluttering your life. In part, you’re reviewing your goals; but, equally, it’s about eliminating outdated plans and passions. You’re clearing the way for the powerful cycle of change and growth that begins on 20 August, when fiery Mars moves into Gemini, its first visit in two years. The more you let go of now, the more swiftly those breakthroughs will appear.

Getting a balance between pursuing personal aims and being there when other people need you is important now. As well as getting on with your own concerns, keeping in touch with friends, listening to loved ones and showing a willingness to carry out responsibilities to the best of your ability. This will help you keep a well-balanced and healthy outlook. Sharing your knowledge of an unusual subject in workplace conversations will impress a senior colleague.

Take time to consider your expertise. With Mercury moving over the base of your solar chart, a review of qualifications would surely be wise. This might also be the time to look around for an appropriate course to begin in September. There is strong possibility that as Neptune has been moving through your career zone, that you have spread yourself too thinly. It might help to discuss with a professional adviser or mentor how you could repackage recent experience. Revising your CV by Friday’s Full Moon would surely be a valuable exercise. Though obviously much depends on your personal chart, this might also be the moment to push yourself into a role that requires accepting more responsibility and 2 – 3-year commitment.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently you’ve faced a series of shakeups. Initially, these seemed an unsettling nuisance. Gradually, however, you realised events were shifting your focus from once-meaningful goals to new and, often unfamiliar, ideas and settings. Take things slowly. For now, explore. As you learn more, you’ll find yourself not only intrigued by the unexpected, your intuition will tell you which direction to go next.

Be sure to let those you care for know how much you appreciate them being in your life. It doesn’t matter how busy you are and how heavy your responsibilities are; there are friends and loved ones who are patiently waiting for your company. You never know when things or people you take for granted might suddenly disappear. An older colleague will give some practical guidance. You wish you had listened to them when they tried to help you before.

Do you really want to know that there’s a Full Moon on Friday (12th)? If you’re a Cancerian who knows that you tend to go over the top at this time of the month, then it may help. You could choose to pull your shell down hard over you, preventing others from witnessing your reaction to events and to their decision-making. This Full Moon configures with Saturn; suggesting a melancholic if not cold and hard time. Businesswise some tough, tough decisions might need to be taken. Yet this is also a time when professionalism should win out. Worrying is not a productive energy. Instead, you could choose to show just how quietly organised and efficient you can be and so prove yourself indispensable – especially to those trying to get a new project off the ground.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The Leo New Moon, on 28 July, introduced a timely fresh perspective on certain tricky situations. However, turning them into lasting plans hasn’t been easy. The problem isn’t your ideas but that, as a fire sign, you’re often impatient. The solution? It’s not figuring out ways to speed things up, but to use this time to declutter your life of outdated passions and potentially troublesome obstacles.

It doesn’t matter how many different methods and approaches you take to complete a job; nothing seems to be happening. You know you are fooling yourself by thinking progress is being made when in actual fact, you’re just chasing your tail. Get to the root of the problem to work out how to resolve it. This will pull you out of a rut. Later in the week, duty won’t get a look in when you are more in the mood for fun, frolics and flirtation.

It would be understandable if you were in highly protective and security conscious mode. Friday’s Full Moon is in your opposite sign and you may feel that others are placing unexpectable burdens on you. The more efficient you can show yourself to be the better. Practicalities have to be addressed. You would be correct in thinking, that this would be pouring Earth on a Fire and that your spirit could so easily be put out. What you need is considerable understanding – though it may be a case that you have to give before you receive. Anticipate reaching a major turning point by the end of this week when reviewing your career and the control you have or have not over a situation would be wise. It might help to discuss this with a Libra or Aquarius.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

For several weeks you’ve been wrestling with tricky questions. Now that your ruling planet, Mercury, has moved into Virgo, the facts you’ve been seeking will come your way; and, equally, you’ll have the clarity necessary to make certain pivotal decisions. Still, with things moving so swiftly, both the circumstances you’re dealing with and your own priorities are likely to change, possibly more than once.

You’re looking for ways to bring improvements into your life. If you are hoping to gain a better position, let your work speak for itself. There’s no need to exaggerate your accomplishments. Those in high positions already know what you are capable of. It will come as a relief when domestic plans that have been discussed are set in motion. You wondered if this day would ever come. Any problems that do crop up will not be as serious as you think.

With Mercury moving through your sign, you could be in hyper active mode. The default system for Virgo is to worry. In the lead into Friday’s Full Moon, tough decisions need to be taken. It might seem that others are failing to take responsibility for recent actions and so understandable if you feel overwhelmed; and yet: it’s precisely these chaotic conditions that your efficiency side surfaces and you create magic. With others in panic mode, your ability to think creatively and to view obstacles as challenges should get you noticed. Others will surely find you indispensable to their team and as a result, a career opportunity could open up ahead of8 your birthday.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re faced with a range of decisions. The challenge? These are meant to be ‘final’. However, with the foundation on which they’re based shifting, changes are inevitable. Actually, that’s for the best, because events aren’t just exciting, they’re taking you into new, and worthwhile, territory. Resist the temptation to make promises. Instead, for now, regard plans as more of an experiment than anything lasting.

It will be upsetting to discover someone you had trusted has been keeping secrets. There is no excuse for their behaviour, even though they will try to explain it in a way that makes their actions seem justified. Refuse to let them get around you if they have been disloyal or unfaithful. A team effort will hit a brick wall. This all has to do with differing views. You will reach an agreement when it is agreed that if this situation continues, nothing will get done at all.

Pay attention to detail. By Friday’s Full Moon (which accents the research and development area of your solar chart), you could be ready for a launch. True, that will likely bring with it considerable responsibility. Yet this may be something that’s been planned for some months. Focus is essential with pricing and estimates requiring careful attention mid-week. It’s probable that you have many allies. With Jupiter moving through your opposite sign – albeit retrograde – those that you bounced ideas off between mid-May and late July, should be ready to give essential support. The art is in knowing exactly what and when to delegate: another of this week’s challenges.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a Scorpio, before making even simple plans, you think things through, so changes are rare. Except that recently and now, during the coming week, changes are as frequent as they are unexpected. While, initially this seems unsettling, it’s about breakthroughs. Some will have been on your mind, but others are as puzzling as they are surprising. Decisions? They can wait. For now, focus on exploration.

Refuse to feel intimidated when an older relative or neighbour starts to treat you like a child. Contention in a group situation will contribute to the tension you are already feeling. It might be useful to remind yourself of how you have helped others in the past. They weren’t so opinionated or pushy when they needed you. Health is up and down. You will be either feeling elated and euphoric or empty and low. There seems to be nothing in between. Take it nice and slow.

Last Friday’s First Quarter Moon was in your sign and the coming Full Moon this Friday, is in another of the Fixed signs. This represents a super busy week for Scorpio: one that is focused on asset management and space clearing. You won’t be the only sign to feel overwhelmed by tasks. In your case, it could be that you’ve attracted too much mess and that there are too many things you’ve outgrown or no longer need. By clearing space, you create opportunity for fresh developments – which should be plentiful from the Full Moon. The art is to show Virgo or Cancer colleagues, that you have everything in hand, and are ready to move forward.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re already aware that certain ideas or offers are thrilling. Yet twists and turns aren’t just inevitable, they’re forcing you to rethink even simple plans. For you, as an inquisitive Sagittarian, that’s not only easy, it’s fun. Still, certain uptight individuals are annoyed with the resulting delays. Apologise politely, explaining you’re in the midst of a cycle of exploration and decisions really must wait.

Not only will you find it hard to believe how quickly things start to happen, but some events will seem almost too amazing to be true. Despite being caught by surprise, you will cope with the unexpected. It would be good to use any time you have on your hands later in the week to tie up as many loose ends as possible or to look for someone who is willing to take over some of your responsibilities temporarily. Make the most of every opportunity.

Starting the week with fresh strategy would be wise. With much still in upheaval and systems still not bedded in, the challenge is to get both people and items into the right place. You’d perhaps agree that the last two years have seen this as a constant and relentless issue. Endlessly you’ve had to make adjustment – a theme that hasn’t quite run its course. However, it may be that contacts made since the middle of May will return with ideas as to how you might progress together. In the days leading up to Friday’s Full Moon, anticipate exciting developments. Whilst these would surely disrupt routine once more, on this occasion what’s suggested may be entirely appropriate and relieve pressure.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You may already have noticed you’re in a period of twists and turns. Annoying as the resulting unpredictable events are, they’re forcing you to rethink both longstanding arrangements and more recent plans. Certain individuals want these dealt with swiftly. Instead, invest time in exploring your options, especially those you’d once have dismissed. What seems least likely now, could work out best in the long run.

It will be hard to explain why you are anxious about what’s ahead when there is nothing to suggest things will go wrong. It could be that being able to get through a few meetings, seminars or discussions without contention is what means most to you. Someone who tends to be argumentative should be kept at arm’s length. A senior colleague has convinced themselves that a new contract is worth pursuing even though there will be objections.

Friday’s Full Moon accents a key financial axis of your solar chart. It’s probable that you are en-route to making tough and important decisions. Before Friday, the Moon passes through your sign – which will hopefully give you considerable voice. Whilst finer details could be time-consuming to resolve, and unexpected developments (including alteration of a design), leave you momentarily both excited but also exhilarated, it does appear that you’re coming to conclusion about an issue that’s preyed on your mind for at least the couple last couple of years. You might also need to give careful consideration to developments in a close colleague or partner’s career. The impact that this is having on your schedule may be considerable and require review of your commitments.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Yes, you’re inquisitive, enough that often you’ll rethink seemingly solid plans. Yet you also have a stubborn streak. The current cycle of change, triggered by events as sudden as they are far-reaching, is forcing an extensive rethink. This has roused the inflexible side of your nature. Instead, regard this as instructive. The secret? Despite your reservations, takes chances. You’ll soon realise how wise this was.

It will be clear when you receive a message early on that you will be dealing with something out of the ordinary. You will have to give some serious thought about who and what you support. In dealing with a business issue, all views will be considered. Nothing will be ruled out. A new start is something you have been considering for some time. Any advice on any subject can be found by talking to others who have been through similar experiences.

Friday’s Full Moon is in your sign and comes just a day after the Sun arrives at right angle to one of your ruling planets, Uranus. It’s probable that you will be at the centre of high drama. The build-up will surely start earlier in the week when it becomes apparent that certain systems are no longer efficient. It might also be that you are chasing invoices and finding others to be either administratively incompetent or elusive. Even so, it would be wise to make clear that present behaviour is unacceptable and that you need to see better results. Given that you likely have considerable excess energy, you could usefully deploy that in space clearing; making it obvious that you’ve come to the end of one particular way of working.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, you’ve been wrestling with issues, from personal doubts to tensions with those around you; and, worse, you’re unable to discuss these. For now, regard them as a game, a sort of obstacle course. This perspective prevents you from taking these too seriously. Actually, your reactions are preparing you for the powerful insights that come with the Pisces Full Moon, in four weeks’ time.

This is not an inactive time as such. Even if you are keeping to the background and some people are finding it hard to contact you, you will be busy with important concerns. There’s a reason why you are keeping to yourself, and it’s because you want to get on without any distractions. Keeping your thoughts and feelings hidden will be wise. Romantic plans will forge ahead nicely in the weekend. You will cherish intimate moments shared forever.

Colleagues who worry more than they take action, may require you to steer their career-ship midweek. Consider, is this the best use of your energy? It’s often the case that Pisces expertise is undervalued. You perhaps need to show – particularly within a large organisation, – that you’re carrying too great a load. Though this may be temporarily inevitable, it might be wise before Friday’s Full Moon, to make clear that this is not a situation you wish to continue and that you need reassurance that there will be reappraisal in the not-too-distant future. Note that the Full Moon coincides with Venus’ Leo ingress. It’s likely to be a day of high drama. That being the case, rehearsing what you need to say as you make confrontation would be wise.

~CelestialPrognostication

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 17 Jul 2022

It’s Leo Season!

Our journey into consciousness of wealth begins with the realization
that we have already arrived! – Michael Bernard Beckwith

There will be no Weekly Feast next week!

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

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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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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon To Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, 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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What’s Happening in July!

Goddess Month of Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ July 8th to August 4th Holly

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

JUL. 17: Marina’s Day Romania
JUL. 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day.
JUL. 17: National Ice Cream Day
JUL. 17: Celtic Feast of Tailtiu – Mother Nature Goddess who fostered Lugh.
JUL. 19: Egyptian Opet Festival – Celebrating the marriage of Isis and Osiris.
JUL. 21: Witch’s Day—Celebrating the Craft as life, practice and religion.
JUL. 21: Let’s declare today Love Your Basil Day.
JUL. 23: Roman Neptunalia: honoring Neptune, God of the Sea
JUL. 24: July is International Tequila Day
JUL. 27: Belgium Procession of the Witches: Festival of Witches
JUL. 28: Archangel Auriel (Uriel) Day. His/Her name means “Fire or Light of God,” and titles include, Regent of the Sun, Angel of Music, Patron of Prophecy, Archangel of Salvation, Angel of the Presence. See Uriel.org for more about him/her, the crystal egg association, and paintings.
JUL. 29: Festival of Thor – Celebration of Norse God Thor
JUL. 31: thru Aug 2 – Lughnasadh – Old Celtic / Irish Feast of Goddess Tailtiu and God Lugh (Deities of Life and Light), celebrating the grain harvest. Aug. Eve; Sun God, Harvest God, Horned God willing to become the grain of life.
– Lammas, harvest festival coming 40 days after Summer Solstice, offer 1st fruits to the Divine (See Aug. 1)
– Festival of Loki – Day to honor Norse trickster god Loki and his consort Sigyn
– Feast of the Grain Harvest – Honoring Goddess Demeter & Kore (Old Greek), and God as Osiris (Egyptian).

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Coming back in August! Witchy Wednesday! Details Soon!

Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – Aug 7
Witchy Wednesday! 5 PM – 7 PM Aug 10, 17, 24, 31
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – Aug 14
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – Aug 21

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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New Moon Circle
THU, JUL 28 · 5:00 PM EDT
$25.00
Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center
11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343, Westfair Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Strawberry Blessings
JULY 17, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

While the end of June is known for the first rush of local strawberries, in many areas the berries are still widely available in mid-July. Associated with purity and passion, perfection and righteousness, strawberries are the perfect food to use for blessings. Not just spiritually powerful, strawberries are filled with healthy antioxidants.

Whether alone or with family or friends, create a strawberry blessing dessert. I love strawberries with sponge cake and a topping of Greek yogurt, but you can eat them with scones and whipped cream or shortbread and clotted cream as well. As you wash the berries, intone purity. As you cut the berries, notice how perfectly red and juicy they are, and how they are passionately heartshaped. When you serve the berries, hold the blessings of purity, passion, perfection, and righteousness in mind so that all who eat this divine dessert are blessed and filled with sweetness.
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Banishing Ritual
JULY 16, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

To banish means to prohibit, abolish, or eliminate. In magic, to banish something means getting it out of your life and your energy field for good. Banish a situation, condition, or relationship today by writing a simple word or phrase that represents what you want to banish on a small piece of paper. Place it on your altar. Say:

Great Goddess, as you know, it is
time for this to go. Thank you for
helping me banish it from my life,
now and in all directions of time.

Now, leaving the paper flat on your altar, spin it counterclockwise three times, feeling that you are unwinding its power over you. Next, either shred it with scissors or put it through a paper shredder. Place the shreds in a cauldron or pot and safely burn them. Bid your final farewell by releasing the ashes in a moving body of water or flushing them down the toilet. Give thanks to the Goddess and happily move on with your life.
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The Heart’s Mirror
JULY 15, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

The heart is the seat of the self. It holds emotions and virtues. It is the place to look when you want to discover yourself—your wants and needs, your potential and your purpose. For this spell you will need a mirror that you can open and close, like a compact case or a travel mirror. Wash it in water with a little salt to purify it, then in plain water, and wipe it dry. Look in the mirror and visualize your true self. Then say:

Mirror of the self,
Mirror of my heart,
Show the truth within
And reflect my Art.
Let the looking glass
Bless the path I take
As I live my life,
And each choice I make.

This will help you see who you really are. When you have an important decision, take out the mirror and look in it, imagining yourself on each possible path, and compare that to your true self. Keep the mirror closed when not in use.
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Hestia’s Sweet Simplicity
JULY 12, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

Hestia is a Greek hearth goddess, and her domain is domesticity. Since it’s National Simplicity Day, let’s engage Hestia’s energy to cleanse our altars. Altars need freshening up. Candlewicks get too long, stuck in dried wax, or encrusted in herbal dressings. You get the picture. Your altar craves some goddess-fueled TLC.

Carefully dismantle your altar. Clear its components in the manner most fitting to your spiritual path. You might smudge them or spritz them with Hoyt’s Cologne, rainwater, spring water, lightning water, vodka, vinegar, or rose water. Cleanse chalices and shot glasses for libations and offerings. Handwash cloths on your altar using a soapwort infusion or gentle floral water rinse, then hang them outside to recharge. Wipe down candles and trim wicks. Bring special objects such as athames and besoms outside for clearing in the sun and air. Sun, sea salt and snow are dependable, simple, and natural cleansers from Mother Earth. Reassemble the altar and thank Hestia for her help.
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Bloodstone for Energy
JULY 11, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Bloodstone is a type of jasper crystal. It’s useful for a variety of reasons, being a stone that both contains healing energy and helps deflect negativity. Over the years we’ve found that its healing powers are useful for bestowing extra energy. This is especially helpful to us in the summer when we are on vacation or going on an extended hike.

Before going on a long day of walking or engaging in any vigorous activity, place a small piece of bloodstone in your pocket or purse. When you feel yourself starting to get tired, take out the bloodstone and place it in your dominant hand. Squeeze the bloodstone and feel the energy it gives off, letting that energy flow into your hand and move throughout your body. Take three deep breaths while holding the stone and feeling its energy. You should now notice yourself feeling less tired, with your body prepared for new adventures.

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Three Easy Steps to Open Your Mind to New Thoughts, Ideas, and Beliefs
BY GRANDDAUGHTER CROW

Chains Transforming into Birds
We are at a place within our recent history that we are having deeper conversations. As we look around on social media, listen to podcasts, and watch various YouTube channels, we may notice deeper content around sensitive topics than we ever have before, including the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, feminism topics, and LGBTQ+ communities. Personally, I am being asked questions about my preferences and lived experience as a member of the First Nation here in North America. These are several examples of these deeper dialogues. We are in exciting times, a time to promote cross-cultural communication and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

With these larger, deeper conversations, I believe that it is also time to examine and revise our individual belief systems. As I mentioned before, I am now being asked about my preferences and lived experiences as a member of the First Nation in North America. Some of these questions I have never been asked before. As a female Gen-Xer, I am in the early developmental stages of my personal perspective and my contribution to these conversations. I can only imagine that there are others who are experiencing this newness, and in such, having to do the work that I am doing internally—the work of finding my personal voice and positioning within these and other sensitive topics. The time of being simple sheeple has come to an end. Now is the time for our individual authentic voices to be expressed.

What is the first step to opening our mind? It is to recognize that each of us has the right to develop a personal position and perspective that can change, grow, and develop; that it is no longer the mainstream to which we need to adapt. Moreover, there are so many media outlets for differing thoughts and ideas that it is the perfect time to gain further perspectives and learn from others. In the past, the minority voices were drowned out by the mainstream ideals. This only promoted singular thinking that is a reflection of the dominant, agreed-upon views. In the past, we were told to conform to certain ideas that were acceptable to the majority. I will go so far as to say that in the past, we were told not to question, not to ask, and to keep our opinions to ourselves. Now, however, we can decide for ourselves our values, perspectives, and ideals with our internal authentic voice. This promotes a society that is well-rounded, broad, and deeper/more complex than we thought. Here is our opportunity to give ourselves permission to think, to have ideas, and investigate our personal belief systems. You have the right to develop a personal position and perspective. You have the right to change. You have the right to grow.

The second step to opening the mind is to recognize that we all have blind spots and to be curious about that which we don’t know. This is natural. It is not foolish to have blind spots—it is foolish to think that we don’t. Even in drivers’ education, the instructor will speak about blind spots. We only see the things that we are looking to see. Hence, if you are only looking for cars and trucks when you switch lanes, you may miss the motorcycle. There was a whole movement about this understanding. Now, if we can carry that understanding with us into our personal perspectives and views, we will understand that there is so much more to see and understand. I have blind spots in my thoughts, ideas, experiences—concepts that are absent in my worldview. When I realize this, I come to the table with a mind that is more open and curious to learn something that I didn’t know before. Curiosity is the second easy step to opening the mind. The art of curiosity is to come to the table without an agenda, except to learn something that you didn’t know previously, and doing so with respect for the self and the other in order to embark on new thoughts and ideas together. Approach everything with a sense of curiosity, and you will always gain.

The third step to opening the mind is to be flexible and to ask questions. No one knows everything. No one has it all figured out. If they think that they do? I would suggest that they only have their own agenda figured out. There is so much more to the collective understanding. You have the right to learn something new, every single day. I am asking us to be flexible, mutable. When I was a little girl, it was not cool to be a member of the First Nation (in fact, my experiences were that a red body was seen as more savage, animal-like). Now, I am experiencing a different reality. I do not hold a grudge because perceptions have changed—I am flexible. Be flexible with thoughts. Thoughts are like the air, an unseen force that is ever moving within the mind. Being stagnant within a thought is like being in a room with no doors or windows—hard to freely breathe. Relax the mind and engage in the questions. There was a time that asking a question was deemed as challenging authority. Let’s end that idea. Ask questions for clarity, ask questions for the sake of learning, ask questions because you are curious. There is so much more to learn!

If you would like to go to a deeper level with this topic, please check out my book Belief, Being & Beyond: Your Journey to Questioning Ideas, Deconstructing Concepts & Healing from Harmful Belief Systems. Now is the time for society to have these deeper conversations. Now is the time for us to learn from one another. Now is the time to do what comes the most natural to us: to know that we have the right to think for ourselves, to recognize that we all have blind spots, and to be flexible with our thoughts and to be curious with our understandings. These three steps will help us to open our minds to new thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. What do you think?

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Heartwings Love Notes 1043 Balance is Key to Good Health

Heartwings says, “When you are in balance your life goes more smoothly.”

When I was a child, I was fascinated by the circus. I used to do what I thought of as trapeze acts on the rope swing that hung from the great elm in our back yard. I would print up tickets and sell them for pennies to my mother, as well as anyone else I could. Then too I would try to get her to run away with me and join the actual circus. Of course, she was always too busy to do that. The tightrope walkers also intrigued me. I didn’t have a tightrope to practice on, except in my imagination, but I had fun thinking of myself as doing it. I’d practice on a pretend rope, balancing my way as I inched along it, arms outstretched.

Balance in everyday life is extremely important. It is one of the mainstays of good health. A balanced diet employing all the food groups in proper proportion is one key. Another is balance between work and rest or play. Yet everyone is different and what is good balance for one is not necessarily adequate for another. There is no one size fits all because like snowflakes, every individual is unique. This even applies to twins. They may look alike yet be quite different inside.

In everyday life, balance is not always easy to achieve. Young children have a way of needing attention just when the parent might try for a needed rest. When hunger strikes, dinner may not be ready and the cookie jar might be too handy. Or then there’s the munchies that come on with late night TV, that can be difficult to resist. What to do when the siren song of the potato chip is heard? Balance may be ideal, not, however, real in the mind of the would-be muncher.

Lately for me, balance is a real issue in my daily life. I am unable to navigate safely outdoors without a cane to steady me. Parkinson’s has slowed my reaction time. A simple stumble or stub of the toe could prove
disastrous. In the house if I feel unsteady, I can catch onto the furniture. Out of doors that is not practical. It is daunting for me to realize all the things I can no longer do, and that I have to rely on others to help me in situations where I need a hand. It is also vital to remind myself to be grateful for what I still can do. Feeling sorry for myself is a real no-no.

To feel sorry for yourself is like shooting yourself in the foot. It hurts your sense of self-worth as well as keeping you in a pessimistic state This does no one any good. The late teacher Thich Nhat Hanh instructs us to smile even when or especially when we don’t feel like it. He suggests “a tiny bud of a smile,” and when I do this, I find it blooms of its own accord, changing everything. A smile can restore balance. Try it sometime when you need it.

May your smiles blossom with joy as you achieve balance.

Blessings and best Regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have good ways to keep in balance? Write to me about them, or anything else you would like to share with me.. I do like to hear from my readers, and will always respond. Please just hit the reply arrow or write to me at tashahal@gmail.Com Do visit my Website at http://www.Heartwingsandfriends.com

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Turning Tea Time Into a Sacred Ceremony

Drinking tea can be a nourishing ritual that brings inner peace to your body, mind, and soul.

Coffee may be the power beverage that gets us revved up in the morning and fuels us when we’re burning the midnight oil, but tea is the drink we turn to when we want to relax and be refreshed at the same time. Black, green, white, herbal, hot, or ice cold, tea is more than a soothing beverage. It can be a ritual, a cultural experience, and even a spiritual practice.

The reverence for tea has inspired ceremony in many cultures. From the spirituality of Chanoyu, the Japanese way of preparing and serving tea, to the sharing of Maté in Latin America, tea rituals are for celebration, ceremony, and relationship bonding. In China, tea rituals are part of many wedding ceremonies with the bride and groom serving their elder relatives in a show of respect and gratitude. The Chinese art of drinking and serving tea has been a source of inspiration for poetry and song. The Russian custom of chaepitie has inspired a unique style of teapots, caddies, teacups, and cozies. The samovar, a special brewing device, has become the symbol of the Russian tea ceremony and an object of art in its own right. Iced tea, popular in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, is a modern ritual bringing cool relief on a sweltering summer day.

You can turn your own tea time with a friend into a simple ceremony by preparing your tea with the intention of offering nourishment and good wishes to the other person. When you are seated together, rather than drinking your tea right away, look at one another and express your gratitude and appreciation for your friendship. When you pour the tea, again intend it as an offering. Drink your tea slowly, savoring its flavor and aroma. Let its warmth or its coolness soothe your body. When you are finished drinking your tea, thank your friend for taking part in this nourishing ritual with you. Whether savored in the presence of another or tasted alone, the custom of drinking tea provides a soothing pause in our hectic world. Drinking tea can be a daily ritual that brings inner calm and clarity to the body, mind, and soul.

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An Ocean Meditation for You

We can learn to live like the ocean, ever-changing and moving with natural grace.

Like us, the sea is ever-changing. And, like us, the earth’s vast oceans appear at a distance to be stable and homogenous. But beneath the mask of solidity that both we and the sea wear, there lies unpredictability, sensitivity, and power. There is much we can learn from the ocean, representative as it is of our inner landscapes. The rough sounds of the sea’s waves are spiritually soothing, and its salt can purify our physical selves. Yet not everyone has the luxury of living by the shore or even visiting the coastlines where water and land meet. The ocean, however, exists in our conscious minds, put there by images we have seen and descriptions we have read. Wherever we are, we can access that mental image and use it as the starting point from which we can help to heal our emotions by meditating on the sea.

To begin, gather together any ocean artifacts you may have on hand. Seashells, a vial of sand, beach glass, stones rubbed smooth by the pounding surf, or a recording of ocean sounds can help you slip more deeply into this meditation, but they are not necessary. Sit quietly and visualize the ocean in your mind’s eye. Allow all of your senses to participate in your mental journey. Feel the tiny grains of sand beneath your feet and the cool spray of mist; hear the sea’s rhythmic roar as the waves meet the beach and retreat; smell the tang of salt in the air. Watch the sun’s rays play over the ocean’s surface, creating shifting spots of teal, cerulean, cobalt, and green. Don’t be surprised if you see dolphins or whales frolicking in the waves — they are there to assist you. Spend a few minutes drinking in the ocean’s beauty and appreciating its vast splendor.

Once you are fully engaged with the setting before you, visualize yourself sitting on the beach, facing the ocean, and watching the waves advance and retreat. As each new wave of seawater approaches, imagine it carrying healing energy toward you. The magnificent ocean in your thoughts is sending you light and love while the sun supports your healing efforts and Mother Earth grounds you in the moment so healing can occur. When you feel you are finished, grant the ocean your earnest gratitude for the aid it has given you. Thank the sun, the sand, and any other elements of your visualization that offered you guidance. Perform this meditation daily or monthly in order to rid yourself of negativity and reestablish emotional equilibrium. Just as the ocean’s tides sweep the shores free of detritus, restoring balance, so can the waves in our mind’s eye cleanse our souls of what no longer serves us.

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Eating Right to Feel Better

There’s an intimate connection between what we eat and how we feel.

At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.

A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
5 Most Haunted Roads in America

There is nothing like a trek in the summertime through green overgrowth on a narrow country road, twisting and turning without knowing what is up around the next bend, but it’s even more spooky when you know the road has a reputation for unexplained mysteries, ghosts, spooklights, and weird creature sightings.
I’m going to share my top 5 favorite haunted roads in America.

Clinton Rd
West Milford, New Jersey
As haunted roads go, this one is pretty exceptional. The most famous ghost reported there is a boy ghost. He supposedly hides under the bridge and when you toss coins in the water, he returns them. Most stories relate to the boy being at the bridge at dead man’s curve.
Another variation is that throwing a penny in the lake will have it returned to the road the next day. This might be a variation on the boy and the coins ghost.
The road has a remote feel to it, poorly kept, several dangerous curves and wilderness bearing down on it.
It got a reputation for some kind of village of albinos because of some very white pale people seen there. To delight and cause more chills, there are some aliens that are white beings often called by some, Tall Whites or Tall Albinos.
There is an old abandoned building on the road called Cross Castle that has seen many partiers and some say satanists.
The 10-mile street has had about every kind of reported activity one imagines in such a place from driverless cars chasing folks to ghost children’s laughter, escaped lunatics, satanists, and strange lights. It’s one of those roads that just feels it should be haunted.

Shades of Death Rd.
Warren County, New Jersey
As if the name doesn’t seem prophecy fulfilling enough, there is a lake (“Ghost Lake”) near the road that often hugs a low level of fog over its surface, adding to the chill factor.
One legend says settlers killed some Indians long ago and threw them into the lake. With a number of deaths associated with that area, it was come to believe there was a curse.
A cabin near the lake also got a reputation for ghostly goings on, as did the roadway where some said they saw figures.
The origin of the name of the road is up for grabs but one of the more accepted explanations had to do with an outbreak of malaria some time ago.

The Devil’s Promenade
Hornet, Missouri
This road’s reputation has to do with spooklights seen along it since way back into the 1800s.
Some believe this orb of light is the torch of a beheaded Native, the spirit of a couple who were not allowed to be married, a decapitated miner looking for his head, and many other spirit light explanations. Science hasn’t come up with a definitive answer, though the old swamp gas and other variations have been tossed out there.
The chances of seeing the light are pretty good as it has been making itself seen regularly.

Bray Road
Elkhorn, Wisconsin
In 1936, they had the first reported sighting of a werewolf-like creature on this rural road. Some have reported the creature as bear/Bigfoot like, others a wolf-like tall creature walking on two feet.
The journalist who investigated this topic extensively and has gone on to be an expert on the subject of the Beast of Bray Road (sometimes called Dogman), is Linda Godfrey. She has many excellent books on the subject including The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf.

Mount Misery Rd (and Sweet Hollow Rd)
Near Melville, Long Island, New York
It begins like many bad mojo areas with legends of Natives seeing the land as cursed. A mental asylum built in the 1700s in that area was said to be burned to the ground and the ghost of a patient’s who died in the fire is said to wander the area in a white hospital gown.
In one area, it was said a woman’s car crashed and she died. If you park your car under the North State Parkway overpass and put the car into neutral, it is said she will push it uphill to save you.

Although part of the roadway is quite developed and only a short portion is secluded, ending in a park, it still carries hundreds of years’ of fears and anxiety.

Conclusion
Are you in the mood for a good spooky lonely-road-don’t-wanna-break-down-here movies? Be sure you have your AAA membership intact. Talk about road kill! Here’s some winners!

“Wrong Turn”
Two cars collide on a dirt road in the West Virginia mountains, and a bunch of young people are faced with inbred cannibals chasing them.

“The Hills Have Eyes”
A family drives out in the desert with their station wagon and trailer for a getaway, only to break down and be vulnerable to a cannibalistic family in the desert.

“Tourist Trap”
A group of friends break down on a lonely road. They go to the nearest building, an old tourist trap style museum of oddities where the mannequins might just be alive.

“House of Wax”
A group of friends break down at some obscure fake town that is set up like a movie set. The wax museum appears to be filled with the real bodies of victims dipped in wax.
Also –

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
Two siblings face a cannibalistic psychopathic family in the Texas countryside.
“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”
A woman’s car breaks down on a lonely mountain road at night where she runs into a serial killer “Moonface.”

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 20
by Stephen Halpert

Peter and Fiona Bunyion stood glaring at Gilberto and Diana Rain. “What kind of ghost is this?” Peter sputtered.
“Yes,” his wife and fellow parapsychologist almost shouted. “Who does he think he is, anyway?” She clutched herself defensively. “I’ve never in all my days been tickled by a ghost.”
“Cy seems to have a mind of his own,” Gilberto said.
Peter began packing up their gear, which Cy had scattered around the room, and making grunting noises as he tried to keep his trousers up. His belt had disappeared.
“Here,” Diana said, handing it to him. Cy gave it back. He does have a strange sense of humor. She giggled, but she covered her mouth so as not to seem impolite. Fiona huffed as she looked around to see if any of the items from her upended purse were still on the floor. She spotted a lipstick under a chair and bent over to retrieve it. Suddenly she shrieked and straightened up. “He goosed me! I’ve never had anything like this happen, ever!” She glared at Gilberto as if he were the culprit.
Gilberto covered his grin with his hand. “I apologize,” he said softly. “Best you go soon, before he acts up again.”
The parapsychologists huffed their way out and one of them almost but not quite slammed the door to his office.
Diana Rain and Gilberto both pointed at the closed door and burst into simultaneous peals of laughter. Finally, Gilberto stopped laughing. He wiped the tears from his eyes, took a breath and shook his head. “I didn’t know you were still friendly with Cy Willabee’s ghost
Rain smiled. “Oh, yes. I even gave him my extra bedroom. Moved in his easy chair, desk, shelf of books, and I renewed his subscription to National Geographic.”
Gilberto’s eyebrows flew up. “But isn’t he complicating your life?”
Rain smiled. “Actually no. He’s good company and very respectful. I’d say he’s a lot easier to deal with than some of those flesh and blood type males I’ve run into. “
Gilberto shook his head slowly as if bemused. “He is?”
Rain nodded. “Saves money on things like food and laundry detergent even though he’ll occasionally absorb a slice of pizza or a slice of pineapple cheesecake.”
Disbelief warred with the evidence from today. “But he’s dead. How do you communicate with someone who’s dead?”
“Oh, simple,” Rain shrugged. “I think something and he responds to my thoughts with some of his own.”
Gilberto scratched his head and sighed. “I guess I believe you.” He sat back in his chair.
“Actually we get along quite well. He’s really sweet, and wonderful to cuddle with.”
“Cuddle?” Startled, Gilberto threw his arms in the air. “What are you saying?’
A momentary blush burst into her smile. She chuckled. “Cy’s still randy for his years.
Gilberto shook his head, sighed and swallowed more of his French roast. Strangely to him, he found he wasn’t all that surprised by what Rain was saying. Another thought occurred: so maybe he knew who killed him. “Did you ask him who pushed him off the bridge?”
Rain nodded. “I tried, but he said he was staring off in the wrong direction. He did tell me that before he tipped over the edge, he felt a definite hand against his back.”
Diana Rain said. “I’m sure he was pushed, and my intuition tells me he was pushed by a woman.”
Gilberto frowned. “I think we’d best catch his murderer. Then hopefully he’ll go peacefully into the light the way the dead are supposed to.”
“I’d miss him. When we talked, Maria told me she thought he was a perfect companion for me.”
Gilberto swallowed. Maria never told me,” he huffed.
Diana smiled. “She told me it was my story to tell, not hers.” She smiled a big smile. “Just so you know, he’s already been to the Light. He decided to come back to Houndstooth and keep an eye on things. I’m hopeful that he considers becoming my research associate.”
Gilberto was struggling with this, and Rain went merrily on. “Can you imagine having a spirit who can turn up evidence and help solve crimes.”
Gilberto shook his head. “But shouldn’t he take up residency in heaven. Isn’t that what deceased people do?”
Rain looked thoughtful. “Ask him some time. If he does decide to move on I’ll lose a tremendous Scrabble opponent. That man’s vocabulary is immense.”
Gilberto frowned, looked at his empty cup and wondered what it was about life and the hereafter he somehow missed learning. After a few moments he asked. “Have you shared any of this with anyone else?”
Rain nodded. “Hardly anyone. My cousin Mitzi who’s an homeopath in Kansas City and of course your wife Maria. She and I have talked about him a lot.” Rain smiled. “Maria finds our relationship fascinating.”
Gilberto shook his head. “And he hasn’t a clue?”
“He thinks it was a feminine hand that pushed him,” Rain said. “He told me a masculine hand would have felt firmer, bigger. .”
Gilberto squinted. “So, one of the women on Houndstooth’s faculty?”
Rain nodded. “Perhaps. Now the trick is to bring his murderer to justice.”
“How do we proceed?” Gilberto said.
“I’m not sure,” Rain replied. “I did think that at the right moment he could materialize briefly. Perhaps seeing him that way might prompt a response from his killer.”
Gilberto nodded. “Any idea for how long he can materialize?”
“Oh, five to ten seconds max. Apparently materialization eats up an enormous amount of energy, leaving him exhausted.”
Gilberto smiled slyly. “Would you call him your boyfriend?”
Rain smiled. “Considering his limitations–being dead and all that, I think we get along famously. We’re not exactly an item romantically, but I really do care for Cy. He has such a brilliant mind.”
Gilberto felt a breeze ripple through his office.
“Oh you’re there,” Rain said. “Maybe you could give us a few suggestions to help us catch your murderer?”
For an instant Gilberto thought he saw a shadowy profile float around his office.
“Hi Cy,” he began. “Rain and I want to bring your murderer to justice. Want to give us a hand?”

To be continued

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The Druids Garden
Introduction to Animism: Definitions and Core Practices for Nature Spirituality
by Dana

I am hanging out with a friend’s two daughters by a local lake. The lake is peaceful early in the morning, and we are enjoying watching flock of wild geese playing nearby. One of the children picks up a beautiful, smooth stone and brings it over. “I’m going to take this home and put it in my fort!” She says. I ask “Does that stone want to go with you?” “Hmm…” she says, “I better ask.” I respond, “Great idea!” In the end, the stone is happy to join the foundation of her fort, and we go on our merry way. This whole interaction makes me smile–for if the stone is respected as a sovereign being, so too, are other things for this younger generation.

Over the last few months, I’ve begun talking about animism in relation to a worldview (ecocentrism), in relationship to co-creating intentions with nature, and in terms of weeding and clearing plants. In this new series, am planning on spending some time talking through animism as I understand it as a druid, and also in upcoming posts, connecting it to other practices such as permauclture, wild food foraging, gardening, and more. In today’s post, I’m going to break down some of the basic principles of animism as both a worldview and spiritual philosophy to lay the groundwork for more to come.

Defining Animism
Animism is a belief in the spirit of all things. Animistic views recognize that rivers, stones, trees, animals, human-created objects, and people all have spirits and that those spirits can be worked with, learned from, and honored in various ways. Historical evidence suggests that pre-holocene, it is likely that most peoples of the world held animistic philosophies; animism continues to be important to many indigenous people’s beliefs Animism is also an incredibly important movement in nature-based spiritual traditions like druidry and adjacent traditions. While specific forms of animism will vary based on the culture, there are some threads that seem to transcend across different animistic views.

Here are some common threads that define animism.
Recognizing and honoring the spirits present in things present in the world and universe, both animate and inanimate, both natural and created
Recognizing the importance of interacting in a respectful way with those spirits; building the right relationships and connections with them, and learning from them as teachers and guides
Recognizing that humans are part of nature, like any other animal, and that we have a set of tools we have evolved, including both our five senses as well as instinct and intuition
Recognizing that we have to cultivate our own intuition, observation, and listening skills (inner and outer) so that we might effectively communicate with the spirit present in all things.
Recognizing that our actions have a significant impact on others and that we can engage in right actions to behave in ways that honor the sovereignty of all being
So under this philosophy not only does all living beings have spirit, but so does all of nature–including land forms and bodies of water. But also having spirit are all objects, all human-created things. If the world is literally full of spirit, there’s an incredible opportunity to interact, grow, and learn as part of that world.

Do all things have spirit?
From the above list, one of the big questions people ask is: what actually has a spirit? In the druid community, I see this question frequently. Some people believe that only all living beings have spirits, so that would include plants, insects, animals, fish, etc. Others believe that all of nature has spirit, which includes rivers, stones, mountains, etc. Where the division seems to occur is to whether human-created objects have spirit.

All things have spirit–and here’s the logic. Everything that exists–regardless if we are talking about an animal, a stone, or a human creation like your car or pair of shoes–comes from nature. In the natural world, we see that nature is the perfect recycler. A tree with spirit falls, and the worms and mushrooms with spirits decompose the tree, turning it into the soil. The soil web itself has spirit. Nutrients from that soil are taken up by plants, which are fed upon by animals–all with spirit. Thus, everything from natural cycles include spirit. If all nature has spirit, then things that are created from nature also have spirit. Humans also have spirit and come from nature. Thus, our creations that come from nature also have spirit–it’s the same process.

To break this down logically, we can say this: all things come from nature and have spirit. Things created in nature have spirit. Humans come from nature and have spirit. Things humans create come from nature and have spirit. Therefore, all things have spirit.

Let’s look at a few examples to clarify this.

Artistic tools and creations are one good example. As an artist, you can communicate with your tools, link with them, channel through them, honor them. My leather sewing machine, Coco, has such a strong spirit that she guides me when we sew together and she has her own music preferences she prefers to hear when we are sewing. I have no doubt about the spirit that resides within Coco. All of this art that I create with Coco, materials coming directly from nature, also has spirit. My paintings themselves, such as the Plant Spirit Oracle, are literally spirits that can communicate–they were intentionally painted that way. My experiences are hardly unique–many people who create anything and practice the bardic arts experience this–as do those experiencing others’ creations.

But what about industrialized creations? Stuff made in factories, maybe even without good environmental practices? The equation is the same–they are still made from nature, and if you accept that al natural things have spirit, then of course, these must have spirit too. They come from the world, they return to the world, and they have spirit. Now, even if all things have spirit, it doesn’t mean they have good energy–sometimes industrial creations are awful for many reasons, and that’s why we have cleansing practices in many spiritual traditions. But regardless of the energy that has gone into making these things, they still have spirit.

What about garbage or other throw-away things like single-use plastic? Yep, all of these have spirit because it comes through that same world and process as above. If you accept that single-use plastic has spirit, then it’s worth meditating on how you interact with things like unavoidable single-use plastic (perhaps create some ecobricks?) and other “trash.”

So what does this all mean? One of the key takeaways for me is that since I know everything in the world has spirit, it changes my relationships with things I interact with in the world. Those who hold an animistic philosophy can then work to interact ethically, spiritually, and honorably with all things in the world. Over time, Animism will radically change the view you have of the world and your place in it. If animism encompasses everything in the world, that philosophy implores you to take your animism out of the realm of the theoretical and into the realm of practice. And it is to this that we now turn.

How do I practice Animism? Animism in theory vs. Animism in Practice and Ethical Interactions

Once you’ve sorted out that all things have spirit, the next question is–what are you going to do with that knowledge? How does that change who you are, what you do, and how you interact with the living earth? These are important questions that may take you a lifetime of mediation and interaction to sort out–and that’s an amazing and sacred journey to take. Many who take up the practice of animism realize that embracing, living, and understanding this philosophy is a lifetime endeavor.

A critical next step is moving from philosophy to action. Beliefs in your head are easy enough to hold and think about–but it is actions where the core work of animism happens. That’s why I suggest that meditation and interaction with spirits as teachers and guides should be the basis for much of your own exploring of animism.

So let’s talk about some basic steps that you can engage in to turn animistic beliefs into actions.

  1. Recognise that all things have spirit and all spirits have sovereignty. Think about this just like meeting an unknown human on the street. There are basic rules of engagement (eg. you aren’t going to start taking their hat, cutting their hair, touching them, etc). The rules for interacting with spirits are pretty much the same. This is particularly true when you are out and about in nature, but it is also true anywhere else, including in human-dominated spaces.

Sovereignty is the critical term here. Sovereignty refers to the authority of an individual to self-govern, in other words, the authority of an individual to make decisions that are best for themselves without others making decisions or inflicting their own actions/thoughts/opinions on them. If everything has a spirit, then we as human beings need to respect that that spirit is best to decide what should happen to them, and it’s not our place to override the will, agency, and choices of that spirit. This is a fundamental philosophy and I think one of the cores to embracing animism as a practice.

  1. When interacting with any spirit, its important to honor the sovereignty of that being. To respect the sovereignty of spirits, don’t do anything without permission. When you see a flower you want to harvest, a stone you want to sit on, a tree you want to hug–just ask for permission and offer gratitude. Listen to what is said in return and honor whatever the spirit tells you. Doing anything else is a violation of trust. Sometimes it might be that an exchange can be made or sometimes you are tested and told no or to wait Just listen and trust in spirit. Nature will always work with you to meet your needs, but may want to meet your needs in a different way than you expect.

So let’s look at some examples here.

If you have access to land, or even if you want to do something new like put in a garden, take the time to co-create intentions with that land. Discuss your needs and the land’s needs and come to an agreement. This can become really useful if you can establish larger agreements that respect the sovereignty of the spirits of the land. For example, at the Druids Garden homestead, we have negotiated with the spirits of the land established areas for gardens and established areas for wild spaces. If we want to weed the garden, that’s fine, as there has already been an agreement in place about the use of that land and we don’t have to ask every plant if we can pull it out (although there is an agreement that all plants are used–either composted, made into medicine, etc).Thus, we can weed, harvest, and plant as we see fit. But if we wanted to establish a new garden or anything else somewhere else, we need to negotiate that and see how the spirits of the land feel about our request.

Another practice might be when you bring things into your home–groceries, new goods, books, whatever. Take a moment to connect with the spirit of those beings present. Honor them, acknowledge them, and be thankful for them. See what they may want (to be read, to be composted after use, to be used in a certain way). As a leatherworker, for example, when I purchase hides (especially online), I always lay out the hide on the floor of my art studio and open up a sacred space. I speak to the hide and ask the hide what it may want to be. Sometimes, some of my best artistic creations come from this experience.

When you need to release things from your life, thank them, honor their spirits, and do everything you can to ensure that they are recycled, rehomed, or given a new use. This honors both the spirit as well as what was given by the living earth or how the earth was harmed to make, produce, and ship that thing.

What does all of this do? It creates a powerful interaction between you and the world of spirit. It helps transition you from someone who takes from the land heedlessly, consumes, and is part of the problem to someone who is honoring nature in all her forms (including those forms where nature has been transformed into something else by humans) and putting you back into right relationship.

  1. If you honor spirits, they will honor you and your relationship with nature will deepen tremendously. Flowing from the above, if you are engaging in these very respectful interactions with the spirits of nature, you are creating a circumstance where very deep work can happen. Nature takes you seriously. The spirits see that you are doing your best to rectify the unbalance that humans have, and they will respect you in turn for this.

A lot of people ask me–how do I deepen my relationship with nature? My first response is to spend as much time in nature as you can. And my second is to put yourself in right relationship with nature. If you only do these two things,

  1. You are going to make a lot of mistakes, especially coming from Western culture. People from Western culture have been indoctrinated into an anthropocentric worldview that will take years–maybe decades–to overcome. Those of us from Western cultures have been socialized into seeing the whole world as devoid of spirit, that nature is there to fit their needs, and that they can do whatever they want without consequences. This is the legacy of colocalization, industrialization, and so many other issues whose time is now coming due. Even if you are the most conscientious and spiritually-minded individual, this socialization runs deep and it will take time to counter. Those of us working to recover from anthropocentrism (myself included) make mistakes, often. I’ll give you a good example–this summer, my goose flock and I have been going down to the swimming hole at the creek on our property for swimming each day. The geese love the water and cooling off, and I have been using that time for direct observation of nature, meditation, and ritual (as well as swimming ). As this has become a daily thing, I realized that a lot of the rocks in the creek between where we can go into the water and the 10 feet to the start of the swimming hole were hard for the geese to navigate. I was worried one of them might get injured. So, I took about 30 min and made a goose path through the creek to make it easier for the creek, moving the rocks out of the way in an area. Then I sat in meditation, and the creek was like, “you didn’t ask permission and you disrupted the ecosystem to do this.” And I was like “Yes, you are right. I just did this action and did not consult with you. I’m sorry, and I’m learning.” The creek accepted my apology and shared some ways to make my goose path better and less disruptive. It was a good lesson for me and a great example of how easy it is to forget to mind your manners.
  2. Recognize that a lot of this is in the realm of the head, not the heart.

Everything I’m describing above is finding ways of making the philosophy of animism heart-based and experience-based, rather than head-based. Don’t get me wrong–there are some fabulous books out there about animism, but they are often from academic points of view (Harvey’s Animism being the one most people start with). There’s nothing wrong with reading about animism through the lense of social science, but fundamentally, being an animist is different than reading about being one.

So the action point here is to work to experience animism through your own direct experience, through your intuition (which is body-based), and through your heart. Feel the connection to the spirits. Talk with them, hear their stories. Recognize the joy that comes from building a relationship to them. See how it feels to interact–pay attention to the cues your body gives you when you meet a new spirit.

And most especially, quiet your own mind and listen. Make this a habituated practice–rather than imposing your own will and ideas on a place, object, or anything else, just take the time to listen to spirit. That listening is so critical as a first step and is a gateway into everything else.

  1. Recognize that some spirits are teachers, guides, and companions. If you get to this point, and get through all of the above, then the real interesting spiritual work can begin. Spirits can be guides, teachers, friends, and companions. You can learn more from them than the best human teachers, and they can offer you deep insights. I’m going to spend a lot more time in an upcoming post in this series on how to learn from spirits.

Another way you might look at this is how polytheism vs. animism works. In polytheism, you might dedicate yourself to a single deity, small group, or pantheon. In Animism, you dedicate yourself to interacting with the world of spirit and develop a myriad of relationships through that practice.

  1. Recognise also that not all spirits are friendly or have good intentions. Just like in the world of humans, spirits in the world have their own agenda. Nature is not always roses, puppies, and kittens. Part of the reason any spiritual tradition worth its salt teaches basic protective work as core/101 practice is that there’s a lot of stuff in the world of spirit that isn’t good and does not have good intentions. Don’t assume every spirit you interact with (including those in nature) is good. Some spirits who are friendly may also be tricksters or have their own agenda.

Conclusion
The practice of animism opens up literally an entire world of possibilities for interacting with the spirit inherent in everything. Through animism, you can connect deeply with the living earth and the natural world, but also within the human realms.

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
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Wondering How to Talk to Your Cat? 6 Tips
By JaneA Kelley

Of all the things non-cat-lovers damn our feline friends for, chief among them is the belief that cats never listen to us, and if they do, they don’t care one single iota about what we say. Sure, if you’re used to the fawning adoration and obvious expressions of a dog, you might not think cats listen to, or talk to, their people. But once you find out how to use cat language, and your kitties listen, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing. Here are some ideas for how to talk to your cat:

  1. Listen to your cat
    A brown tabby kitten with his mouth open, meowing or making another sound.
    Wondering how to talk to your cat? Follow these tips. Photography ©davidevison | Thinkstock.
    Being a good communicator means being a good listener first and foremost. Get to know your cat’s body language. Observe his reactions to different stimuli. What does his body look like when he’s staring out the window at a bird or a squirrel? Have you seen similar body language when he interacts with you? When was that? What does your cat look like when he’s dozing in a sun puddle? Have you seen that same expression at other times? Listening to your cat is much more about sight and intuition than hearing.
  2. Give your cat love blinks
    From a distance, close your eyes slowly and then open them again. Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy describes the speed of the blink as a slowly spoken “I love you” — close your eyes slowly as you think “I,” hold them closed as you think “love,” and open them slowly as you think “you.” Do this when your cat is calm and relaxed, and you’ll see him return your love blinks.
  3. Offer the “cat nose hand”
    Cats often greet each other by touching noses. You can replicate this by sitting down or crouching, curling your index finger into a shape sort of like a cat nose, and slowly extending your arm. By doing this, you’re giving a cat a chance to greet you in a way that makes sense in cat language. Be sure you extend your hand slowly and come from in front of him or just to the side rather than from above.
  4. Keep your voice down
    Cats have very sensitive hearing, so if you bellow at your cat like a drill sergeant or greet him with the kind of overly enthusiastic greeting common to kids and dog people, he’ll run off. Siouxsie hates shrieky people, and I don’t blame her. I find a quiet lilt is the best tone in which to share affectionate words with cats or to tempt a shy kitty to get closer.
  5. Use directions consistently
    When I say, “Hi there, Mister Handsome. Come on up here,” Thomas knows it’s time to have his pre-bedtime special moment with me. Bella will occasionally sit on the floor and look up at me while I’m writing, as if she’s asking permission for lap time; when I look at her and say “Come on up” or make a kissing sound, she knows that means she’s welcome.
  6. If your cat gets too rough, think of kittens at play
    When kittens play, they’re developing social as well as physical skills. When one kitten is too rough with the other, the victim will squeak loudly and disengage himself from the bully. Do the same thing if your cat insists on using your fingers and toes as toys: Say “Ow!” in a high-pitched voice and put the cat on the floor, then ignore him for a while. Do this consistently until your cat learns that it’s not okay to chew on you or claw the heck out of you.

Each cat has his own dialect, so to speak. The best way to learn how to talk to your cat is to observe your kitty and his cat language carefully. Every little gesture and look speaks volumes, and with enough experience, you’ll find yourself understanding cat language better than you ever imagined.

Tell us: How do you talk to your cat? What are your tips for how to talk to your cat? What techniques have worked for you when introducing yourself to a new cat or working with your own cats? Share your experiences in the comments.

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope.
Beginning Sunday,July 17, 2022

All Signs
This week, Mercury and the Sun enter truth-seeking Leo. (Leo is by the pool in the leopard print wearing big sunglasses.) This is wonderful news because for the first time in 12 years, lucky Jupiter is in Aries. Meanwhile, both Aries and Leo are Fire signs, which means when the Sun and Mercury move into Leo this week, this creates a magnificent vibration with lucky Jupiter, which in turn, promotes feelings of peace and harmony. Everyone will feel more optimistic, enthusiastic and have a better chance of finding parking. This is time to take stock, and try new things. It’s a great time to travel. With this in mind, let me share my rule for parallel parking: Park somewhere else.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
For the next four weeks, your personal mantra will be, “I want to be me! I want to enjoy myself!” You will feel more lighthearted and playful than usual, which is why you will make an effort to enjoy sports events, entertaining diversions, the theatre, fun luncheons, romantic dates, playful activities with kids and exciting vacations. Aries people also love to camp (which is more than just getting drunk with insects.) This placement of Mercury will make you want to pursue mental activities for their own sake – games, puzzles and mysteries. Please note– if you can’t take a big vacation, then slip away on a weekend getaway because you need fun, adventure and a chance to explore new things!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week the Sun and Mercury will trigger a four-week window where your focus on home and family will become much stronger. You might be involved more with a parent. You will enjoy spending more time at home, relaxing among familiar surroundings. Many of you will tackle home-repair projects and enjoy family discussions, including entertaining family and friends at your fine table. Because Mercury will be at the bottom of your chart, you will take more time to reflect and examine your personal life, as well as think about whether your goals are meeting your needs. This is an excellent time for you to express important views to family members. “I want a pool.”

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Get ready because the next 4 to 5 weeks are fast-paced and stimulating! Your ruler Mercury will be in its “home” in your chart, which will intensify its energy. You will be more involved in group discussions and conversations with others. You will meet new people, take short trips and have more contact with relatives and neighbours. You will enjoy intellectual activities. You will not want to settle down. Au contraire! The tempo of events in your life will be accelerating! Do whatever you can to break free from your everyday routine. Take a vacation. Enjoy short trips. Remember that it’s important to express your views, especially your affection to loved ones.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a lovely time for you because fair Venus is in your sign promoting your desire to relate to others. Venus will also make you warm, friendly, diplomatic and charming. This is an ideal time to make peace with others. It’s also a good time to buy wardrobe treasures and score bargains! In the next four weeks, your interest in money, cash flow and taking care of what you own will be stronger. You will be more concerned with business and commercial affairs. Financial transactions will take place. You will also give more thought to your values and where you stand on certain issues. Yes, this will be a thought-provoking time for you.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This is a powerful time because both the Sun and Mercury are moving into your sign this week. This will boost your energy and your confidence, which is why you will create a better impression on everyone. Meanwhile, Mercury is the planet of communication, and when it’s in your sign, it helps you to communicate effectively because you will put more of yourself into what you say. This winning combo puts you in the perfect position to impress others and be successful in going after what you want. Mercury will also give you an urge to get out and travel as well as hone your skills in all kinds of negotiations. Oh yeah, you rule!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Because your birthday is a month away, this means your personal year is coming to an end. When this occurs, the Sun, and this week, Mercury as well, are actually “hiding” in your chart. Hence, you will prefer being in the background for the next 4 to 5 weeks. Also, you’ll keep your opinions to yourself. This is why the next few weeks are an ideal time to go off by yourself to think, study or do research. It’s also an excellent time to make goals for your new year ahead (which begins on your birthday). Goals give you a clearer focus on what is important. They make future decision-making easier and they give you better control over your life. What’s not to like?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You are the most social sign in the zodiac. This week, the Sun and Mercury will move into the part of your chart associated with groups and friends. This means friendships will become more important, and you will examine the role people play in your life. This is also the perfect influence to help you work and cooperate with others. It will give you the personal courage to establish who you are with your friends. Team efforts will thrive. Personally, you will scrutinize the people you hang out with. “Are these my people?” “Do they have my back?” You are a people pleaser. Now, it’s time to think of who is willing to please you?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Once a year, for four weeks, the Sun sits at the top of your chart, casting you in a spotlight that is flattering. This means others will admire you even if you don’t do anything special. (Good lighting s everything.) Bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs will see you as competent and capable. Obviously, this is an advantage you can use. That makes the month ahead the perfect time to make your pitch or ask for permission or approval for whatever you want. At the same time, Mercury will also be at the top of your chart helping you to make plans about your professional life, and how you should express yourself in society. It’s a great time to take up any study that will help your career. An opportunity not to be missed!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This week the Sun and Mercury move into the part of your chart that is your “home.” This means you will feel energized to do all the things you love to do! It will heighten your desire to travel and broaden your horizons. It will make you enjoy studies and discover fresh, new experiences. It will promote opportunities in publishing, the media and anything to do with medicine and the law. It will also help you finish important papers or manuscripts. It will encourage discussions about abstract ideas and general philosophy and approaches to life. Study, learning and travel are the things you love to do! And fiery Mars will help you work hard to attain your goals. (Not too shabby.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In the next four weeks, you will get in touch with some hidden aspects of yourself. You might go deeper within yourself and make changes in your ways of thinking. In part, this is because the Sun is now helping you to be more in touch with your inner being and do psychological self-inquiry. In other words, you want to experience things beyond just an intellectual level. (Heady stuff.) You will also have more discussions about finances, property and shared possessions because these areas will concern you as well. Fortunately, Venus opposite your sign will pave the way for smooth negotiations. Good timing.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week the Sun and Mercury move directly opposite your sign. (This happens once a year.) This means it’s not the time to go it alone. Au contraire! It’s best to work with others or create working units and partnerships. It’s an excellent time to ask for help from consultants, lawyers, specialists or astrologers. You can examine your closest partnerships. If so, you have more objectivity to do this, and to discover what needs these relationships do or do not fill in your life. Mercury will help you to clarify issues to someone else. Mercury will also stimulate conversations with others – not only intellectual conversations but also arguments!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You will accomplish a lot in the next 4 to 5 weeks because this week, both the Sun and the Mercury are moving into your House of Employment. Even if you are retired, this astrological energy will help you to focus and work on whatever task that you set for yourself. Because of Mercury, this will be an excellent time for all kinds of mental work. You will pay more attention to details, and you will enjoy planning and looking at something from every angle. Relations with coworkers will likely improve. In addition, you will explore ideas about how to improve your health, as well as your dealings with a pet. You can look forward to productive times ahead!

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Weekly horoscopes beginning Sunday, 17 July 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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:

While others are struggling with pressure to get things going, you’re enjoying the accompanying swift pace and quick thinking. The challenge? Spotting details and practicalities that need urgent attention versus those that are bound to change, so can wait. Gather facts each day, knowing that eventually even seemingly pointless details will be crucial. Once you’ve achieved that balance, the rest will be huge fun.

Solitude, at times, can be good for you. Quiet times can replenish, restore and revitalise your active brain. You don’t have to spend every minute of every hour on your own. Just making time for a little privacy every once in a while, can make a difference. A group project will go more smoothly once teething problems have been resolved. The moment you all accept each other’s different ways; a wonderful rapport and team effort will be established.

You may know that there are different ways of looking at a chart. The usual way is the geocentric view (i.e., where the planets are in relation to Earth’s journey around the Sun). There are other perspectives and one of these gives clues as to the soul’s journey. Using that perspective, the emphasis this week is very much on communications and, in particular, your use of language. With Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon in your sign, how you put your ideas across carries more weight than usual. What you need to show is that you understood precisely the background to a situation. The weaknesses of initial decisions will be exposed. It could be argued that you are the perfect person to draw attention to what now needs to be done and how important close relationships i.e., with those in adjacent buildings (or competitors) should be preserved.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The last thing you want is to rethink certain arrangements you struggled to organise. However, with the foundation on which these are based shifting, you’ve no choice. The secret is to do something out of character, and make halfway changes. This deals with any pressing practicalities yet ensures the actual arrangements remain stable. Still, be aware, bigtime changes aren’t just inevitable, they’re in your best interests.

You will do well in jobs and assignments that require an air of calm professionalism. There’s an air of dignity about your thinking and your way of doing things. This inner certainty of what is and what is not the one thing will turn out to be of use to a close friend as well as yourself. In an awkward situation as the week ends you hold the key to the correct way of doing things. Don’t hold back from giving advice.

You may remember that Mars is travelling through your sign: hopefully boosting energy levels. Certainly, by the time that that planet aligns with Uranus next weekend, your need to do things differently, to explore your entrepreneurial talents and to do things your way will no doubt be noted – most especially by Aries colleagues. They may be impressed by the diligent way in which you approach difficulties. It’s highly likely that you will identify commercial opportunities and could quickly put together a business plan. You will surely need both backing and partners. By Wednesday, and Mercury’s arrival at the base of your solar chart, you could find support close to home. It may be that through a relative or sound advice from a trusted adviser, that you access essential funding and get plans ready for launch soon after the New Moon on July 28th.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After weeks of facing crucial but dull practical and financial matters, not only have most of the issues in question been dealt with, you’ve learnt a lot. Your focus now shifts to broadening your horizons. This ranges from your thinking to the possibility of travel. That, in turn, means combining exciting plans with yet more practicalities. What you learnt only recently will be amazingly valuable.

Expect positive results from your hard-working efforts. Promotion is a possibility providing you don’t let your success go to your head. You don’t need to sing your own praises to receive the rewards coming to you mid-July. Just relax and let things happen. A relationship is about to come to an end and there will be some sadness to this parting even though it has been planned or expected for a while.

There are different ways of looking at the planets. The common way is to look at the Earth centred positions. There is an alternative perspective and using that, the emphasis is presently on Gemini. Communications are always important but it seems that for now, your role is acting as a bridge between past and future. Your instincts and your intuition should prove invaluable to those who feel pressured into making major decisions and Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon should mark a significant career moment. Of course, it can’t be true that all Geminis will be offered a new role, but highly likely that most will have their talents acknowledged. It’s further probable that you will be asked to assist with a research project requiring considerable detective work. Your nose for what’s important and what is a smokescreen should make you an asset to any team.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Since late June, you’ve had a fresh perspective on both existing plans and introduced thrilling ideas or offers. What’s more, you’ve taken action on some and explored others. Yet nothing has settled in the way you’ve hoped. Be patient. This week marks a turning point. Persist in both your efforts and vision of what’s possible and those once-distant dreams will become reality.

Your creative and imaginative talents are at their peak. Sharing your interests will be rewarding as you inspire others to try new skills and abilities. This is a great time to showcase your talent. Discussions mid-week will be important and will have something to do with plans for the future. An old romance shows signs of being rekindled. Your ideas and creative efforts will make an impact on someone you have always admired.

It’s long been recognised that Cancers have excellent memories. Accessing these is rarely a difficulty. At the start of this week though you could be destabilised by a thought that takes you down memory lane that feels uncomfortable. You are likely right in that these thoughts have to be probed. It could be argued that this would be an excellent time to discuss them with a therapist. You might also consider ancestral thinking and whether or not what lies within your genes would benefit from analysis. Certainly, by Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon, it might help to think about how grandparents and great grandparents coped with trauma. You perhaps need to be reminded of their strength (which now lies within you). A further possibility is being involved in a work project that requires access to an archive. Certainly, history appears to play a very strong role this week.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a Leo and an impatient fire sign, you’re unlikely to be thrilled to learn that, ideally, certain major decisions should wait until after the Leo New Moon, on 28 July. Force issues, if you must. However, between powerful insights and pivotal events that arise later this month, you’re urged not to rush things; and until then? You’ve plenty of decluttering, of plans and possessions, to do.

A glorious sense of harmony and togetherness surrounds friendships, partnerships and work relationships. You can add to this even more by letting routine chores stand for a while whenever possible. If someone special suggests doing something different, don’t think twice about taking them up on their offer. Are you single? You can look forward to having some fun in the romantic department. A commitment that has been arduous and demanding is about to come to an end.

As you well know, is not always easy to be a Leo: a sign that values loyalty, integrity and honesty. When you feel undermined – as indeed you may well have done over the last couple of years, – rebuilding trust is super, super hard. Those issues are likely to loom large at the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday. A strong possibility is that you’ll consider your position at work and whether or not you want to stay but accept more limitations. Recall that Saturn is presently passing through your opposite sign and that it likely feels that others hold all the cards. They don’t and you can still be empowered. True, you might need to wait until next week’s New Moon in your sign before you make a challenge. This week may be all about gathering information so that you can open discussions and make clear present unhappiness and declare the direction you now want to take.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After a tricky period, during which even your best efforts at dealing with everything from practicalities to tricky individuals have been unrewarding, suddenly the tide turns. While, often, your past efforts pay off, just as frequently sudden changes in circumstances will so alter the situation that problems vanish. The trick? Resist you Virgo tendency to improve on what’s happened. Instead, enjoy those victories, even those that seem minor.

Activities with your family and friends look set to offer plenty of pleasure. You might suddenly be taken with the idea of visiting someone who lives abroad but even friends living close by will provide lots in the way of entertainment. If you make time for gossip with a neighbour you will hear some welcome information. Don’t hesitate about getting in touch with someone who was meant to have contacted you earlier in the month. Rather than waiting for their call, take the matter into your own hands.

You don’t have to be the world’s greatest cleaner-upper! Nor do you have to multitask. A crisis is likely brewing – most probably because it will seem to at least one person, that you’re not allowing them to get on with the job that you tasked them to do. This could be linked to decisions taken last autumn and before that, to the start of 2021. You may be right about one thing: steps taken now will affect your long-term career plan. It might help to discuss options with an Aries or Libra. Though markedly different, what they have in common are leadership skills and could help you with the decision-making process. A further, and strong possibility with Mars moving through another of the Earth signs, is that you will be tempted to confront someone. What you presumably don’t want is a long-drawn-out legal battle but need access to expertise to support your cause.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Only recently you were complaining that either certain individuals or destiny itself were taking decisions from your hands. Actually, that’s in your best interests. You tend to ignore certain tedious but crucial details. Many of these are important to you, enough that entrusting these to others won’t be easy. Still, as the increasingly complex events of coming days and weeks unfold, you’ll be glad you did.

A friend who has been distant and awkward with you lately will reveal what has been getting under their skin. Whatever the situation, be willing to talk. The end of the week is a good time to get closer to those you care about or have cared about. Relationships begun this week will stand the test of time and bring you great happiness. Let your true feelings show; relax, be yourself and enjoy the pleasing consequences.

It seems you’re coming to a career turning point: indicated by the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday that coincides with Mercury changing signs. It might suit you to make contact with a group you last worked with around your birthday in 2021. It isn’t necessarily the case that you will do business with them again, but might need to discuss what options there will be for you later in 2022. They may want you to take on greater role. Accepting a position of leadership is probably not what you have in mind! The group may be correct though concluding that you have the perfect diplomatic skills and network to help them through a crisis. Whilst you will doubtless enjoy the dialogue, this is a diversion from other thought that do need to be addressed. Every year, Venus makes its transit through your career zone. Over the next few weeks, you should perhaps give careful thought as to who you want to partner with career wise, and who might best assist you in incubating an idea that’s been germinating since late last year.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Because you think through everything from simple plans to emotional passions in depth, you’re rarely surprised by events or others’ actions. Yet with both the Sun and Mercury challenging your ruler Pluto, unexpected developments are inevitable. Tempting as it is to leap into action, for now, do the minimum. The fresh perspective triggered by the New Moon, on the 28th, will transform circumstances and your priorities.

Friends who were too busy to keep you company earlier in July will more than make up for it now. Even if you hadn’t planned to spend as much time socialising, this won’t stop people from beating a path to your door. It may mean you will have to juggle plans you had been looking forward to in order to accept a travel invitation but the happiness gained from this will more than compensate.

It might be as well to anticipate career drama around Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon. The fact that this coincides with Mercury arriving at the apex or career point of your solar chart, suggests you’re coming to the close of a chapter with the next phase due to start in 2023. Emphasis now is on orchestrating graceful conclusion – which may be harder than first appears. The difficulty is that with both Mars and Uranus in your opposite sign, others might appear to continue to press all the wrong (or perhaps the right!) buttons. What they want is for you to make a decision. What you want, is to know that you will be able to develop your expertise and your talent if you alter direction. At another level entirely, you may be asked to give advice to a team you used to work with and who have correctly identified that you are well placed to protect the history of a situation whilst acknowledging the need to adapt to new ways of working.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a quick-thinking, fast-moving Sagittarius, you’re superb at dealing with even sudden changes. However, those you’re currently facing involve financial or practical matters, so require a cautious approach. Tempting as it is to plunge in, then base decisions on whatever you encounter, you’d soon regret it. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll realise how vital the facts you learn will be, for now and the future.

There is good news and bad news when it comes to friendships and work relationships. Someone will pull out of commitments they have been involved in for some time. This will leave a hole in your own agenda and some sadness. The good news is that new faces will be coming into your life and some of these will become firm friends. A rare opportunity will bring the chance for you to widen your social circle. Resist the temptation to dwell on disappointments. Concentrate on your blessings.

Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon in Aries (another Fire sign) coincides with Mercury’s move into the other Fire sign, Leo. Enthusiastic as you may be by a proposal, it’s entirely possible that midweek will mark a dividing line. Buffeted and pushed by planetary conditions for the last couple of years, it is possible that this will be a release moment. Career wise, something that is been on and off could now approach the finishing line – leaving you room to plan an adventure. It would be unsurprising if travel, publishing or improvement in your general profile was involved. It is, of course, important that you don’t push yourself too fast and too soon. That said, your skills – particularly as an archivist or custodian of valuable information, – should be noted (something to add to your C.V?)


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Having struggled for months to organise plans, the recent Capricorn Full Moon both roused unspoken feelings and triggered changes as sudden as they are dramatic. Tempting as it is to try to restore those familiar arrangements, explore every idea or option that’s come your way; and take your time. Decisions may seem urgent; but they can, and should, wait until all the facts are clear.

You always value the practical in life. Your family are grateful for your ability to find ways and means of getting a good deal from money transactions. It will be work carried out behind the scenes that sees you at your most productive. You prefer to be away from distractions that can disturb your concentration. Even when you are out with friends you will want to spend time away from crowds and noisy places. Be assertive about getting an important job started.

For the last couple of years, half of every month has seen planets all on one side of the Sun and in the second half, the Moon moving away to the other side and acting as a handle to an apparent bucket shape. That formation is now breaking. With this should come new opportunities but yes, a decidedly different pace where commercial activity is concerned. This should be notable at Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon which coincides with Mercury moving into fiery Leo. Arguably the last thing you need is for others to be throwing yet new ideas your way. Work that should have been completed earlier in the year is likely still outstanding with no finish in sight. Yet perhaps you’ll accept, that although many loose ends need to be tidied up, it’s also important to think about future opportunity. The fact that one arm of a business is in clear decay will require attention and a decision needs to be made as to whether or not this should be laid to rest or given intensive care. Although the decision perhaps can’t be made until the New Moon on July 28, your listing of the pros and cons should prove invaluable in this week’s discussions.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The unsettling events you’re facing are about progress, and often exciting new ideas. Once that’s understood, you’ll be calmer and, despite instincts to hurry things, will take it slowly. Better yet, you’ll focus on letting go of past plans and passions. This clears the way for the powerful insights and breakthroughs that accompany the Aquarius Full Moon on 12 August. They’ll be worth waiting for.

A workmate who has an eye for detail will give you constructive criticism. You appreciate their help but you can also see how they could improve their own work. It is unlikely they will want to listen. Near sighted people can only see things close up. There are some who will be unable or unwilling to take a broader view. Not only are they limiting themselves but also those they work with and for that reason you need to be sure to look after your own interests.

Coinciding with the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday, Mercury, the planet linked to commercial activity and thinking, moves into your opposite sign. It might initially appear that others have all the advantages. This is likely not the case. Yours is a sign known to have a strong sentimental streak. This could be on the show and threaten to weaken your position. This should be a week when the focus is on business activities and steering your career boat away from rocks. There is strong likelihood that pressure will be put on you to agree new working conditions. These may be less than ideal. Hold the thought that we are still in a transitory period. It will be a couple of years yet before working practices evolve into something more acceptable. By then Pluto will have arrived in your sign and hopefully, experiences gained now will give you an advantage. The art for now is to be open to new concepts even if these initially appear destabilising and yes, press all your emotional buttons.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, others’ lives and the world around you are in disarray. However, you’re in a period of thrilling, if often unexpected, change, exciting encounters and growth. Those around you may advise caution. However, trust your own instincts that say things really are as good as they seem. The more you learn, the more optimistic you’ll be; and aim high. You’ll be glad you did.

Someone has come to depend a lot on you lately. You may have to think carefully about how you want this relationship to continue. It may be time to encourage a friend or neighbour to stand on their own two feet. Showing restraint in chats about cash will pay off handsomely. Expect to get the green light that will mean long held hopes can be put into action. There will be more optimism for the future.

The whole point of looking at planetary positions is to see when the cosmic weather will change and if you can play that to your advantage. Being prepared is key. This week contains a Last Quarter Moon and, just as the word implies, there is a suggestion that this will mark a conclusion of some kind. Obviously, the lunar phase affects all signs but in different areas of their lives. For you, this could mark – if not the actual conclusion – then the beginning of the conclusion to a relationship where finance was an issue. The fact that this lunar phase coincides with Venus moving into another of the Water signs, suggests you will be in the mood to protect your interests and yes, possibly to even seek legal counsel should that be necessary. There is also the strong possibility on Monday of learning about an overpayment. This could be linked to tax arrangements. You may need to challenge to get what is rightfully yours.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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The Magic of Crystals
Introduction to Energy Healing
Introduction to Paganism
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Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine
Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 10 Jul 2022

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. ~ Carl Sagan

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

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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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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.)
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What’s Happening in July!

Goddess Month of Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ July 8th to August 4th Holly

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

JUL. 10: International Don’t Step on a Bee Day
JUL. 12-14: Feast of the Moon – Honoring Goddess as Selene (Old Greek), Ixchel (Maya), and Manat (Old Arabic-Sufi)
JUL. 13: Full Buck SuperMoon in Capricorn
JUL. 13: Birth of Osiris, Egyptian God of Divine Youth, annually resurrected by Isis.
JUL. 14: Bastille Day, the National French holiday.
JUL. 15: St. Swithin’s Day. Is it raining where you are?
JUL. 17: Marina’s Day Romania
JUL. 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day.
JUL. 17: National Ice Cream Day
JUL. 17: Celtic Feast of Tailtiu – Mother Nature Goddess who fostered Lugh.
JUL. 19: Egyptian Opet Festival – Celebrating the marriage of Isis and Osiris.
JUL. 21: Witch’s Day—Celebrating the Craft as life, practice and religion.
JUL. 21: Let’s declare today Love Your Basil Day.
JUL. 23: Roman Neptunalia: honoring Neptune, God of the Sea
JUL. 24: July is International Tequila Day

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Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – July 10
Reiki III and Advanced: 3 PM – 5PM – July 10
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – July 17
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – Aug 7

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Full Moon Circle
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
5:00 PM $25.00
Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center
11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343, Westfair Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Super Full Moon July 13, 2022.
Known as Thunder or Buck Moon

The Full Moon occurs on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Capricorn. It is called Thunder Full Moon or Buck Moon. The Full Moon in July is 2022’s second Supermoon, the largest of the year!

The Full Moon in July represents what many natives call “Thunder Moon”, since July is a time when rains and downpours appear allowing Mother Nature to give her wrath to people who mistreat her. At the same time, being so merciful, she would provide support and fostering to drought and feeding her playground through surges of water. Use this Thunder Moon power to charge and revitalize your energy.

Also because July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur, this moon is called the Full Buck Moon. The gifts that the buck deer gives to us are gentleness in our words, thoughts and our deeds. Listen with the ears of the deer buck to hear the beauty all around you. This is a wonderful time to be outdoors and for a time let go of civilization. Go back to who you really are. Back to nature

Wishes made at the preceding new moon are supposed to come true at this July’s Full Moon, which is associated with dependability, responsibility, and growth in astrology.

You might have a strong need for being useful to the society and you look for justification in the outside world. You may underestimate what you want from yourself and for yourself. Shyness may be accompanied by resentment of the fact that others ignore you. Do not seek approval from the outside, it will not help you get rid of your doubt and it is harmful to you. You have to trust your inner values.

This Full Moon calls for us to take responsibility for our lives and the direction they are traveling.

If we are not happy, if we are not fulfilled, if we are not spending our time how we wish to, this Full Moon beckons us to take charge and own up to any of our self-sabotaging actions which may have led us here.

Capricorn is ruled by strict Saturn and associated with the 10th House of Social Status. As a result, this Full Moon illuminates your professional life. Full Moons can be dramatic, but that’s not always a bad thing. Remember, they are also powerful times of manifestation.

This Full Moon is bursting with energy –some positive and some negative. This is a good time to tune into your intuitive self as this will help you keep your emotions and a call me even level. If not your Emotions will be running at a very high level and could cause problems in relationships or finances. It is a time to keep yourself balanced as it will be easy to get emotional during this Full Moon. This is a wonderful time to get your Chakras balanced so you do have an even level of emotions during this wild energy.

With the Moon being in Capricorn this is a time of creativity. Use this time to let your creative side come out and express itself in a positive way. Let the Thunder be the power behind your creativity during the next 28 days.

One of the best things you can do at this time is to meditate and keep your mind focused on positive thoughts. With this energy any negative thoughts can take off like a firework and cause you to explode. Take time to pray and visualize what you want during this Full Moon.

The Full Buck Moon is a perfect time to do a Burning Bowl Ceremony. In this ceremony you release all that is not needed in your life so that you make way for new positive energies to come into your life. With the hot summer months this is perfect to do outdoors with a barbecue or fire. I detail how to do this in my video below

It is time to cleanse and charge your crystals under the Sun during the day and the Moon by night. Your crystals need to be cleansed periodically to get rid of any residue energies so that they can function at their highest capacity.

Get a Full Moon Spiritual Life Path Reading. https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/

It is beneficial to have an in depth spiritual reading every moon cycle. Since every moon cycle represents a change, it not only affects our external forces but our internal forces as well. This reading will help you understand your life path and where you are headed. If you would like to get a reading with me

Full Buck and Thunder Moon blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Staying Connected
JULY 10, 2022 BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

Use this charm to stay connected with your loved ones. Ideally, those wishing to be connected should create the bracelets together. Otherwise, bracelets may be sent to the other(s).

Each person will cut 12-inch lengths of cotton thread or embroidery floss in a favorite color, one length for each bracelet. Imagine person A chooses blue, person B red, and person C purple. Each person would cut three lengths of thread in their color. Each bracelet will include a length from each person. With the above example, each bracelet would have blue, red, and purple strands.

Form a bracelet by twisting or braiding the strands together. Tie a figure-eight knot in the middle of each: a sign of the infinite nature of friendship.

Tie bracelets to wrists with square knots. As each knot is tied, say:

Friends together, friends forever.

Each time you look at your bracelet, imagine your friend(s). When the bracelet falls off, write a letter to your friend(s), recalling shared memories.
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Uniting the Lovers Within
JULY 09, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

The Lovers card of the tarot has rich meaning, one being the union of the conscious and unconscious selves, which gives rise to the transcendent function, often symbolized by an angel watching over the couple. When these two aspects of the self are brought into partnership, we are gifted with useful insights and divine inspiration.

Set aside the Lovers card from your deck of choice, then use the following incantation before shuffling the cards:

Deep within my heart,
The Lovers hold the key
To uniting my full self
In perfect harmony.
Teach me, Lovers.

Draw three cards: the first is the desire of your conscious self, the second is the desire of your unconscious self, and the third is the result of honoring both of these inner yearnings through your daily choices.
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Prosperity Magic
JULY 08, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Summer is a great time to work prosperity magic, since the natural world around us is filled with energy for growth and abundance. Here is a simple spell for prosperity that you can do outside if you have a yard, or inside in a potted plant if you don’t have a garden. Take five coins—it doesn’t matter what they are, as long as they are new and shiny. Pennies or dimes work well, although you can use something fancy like a half-dollar or dollar coin. Hold them in your hands and visualize them multiplying, becoming larger and larger piles of money. Plant the coins in the dirt and visualize the sun infusing them with power and energy, then say:

Money, money, grow for me,
Bring me bright prosperity.
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Amethyst Unblocking
JULY 07, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

If you feel stuck in a certain life area, this spell will help you transform that block into positive momentum and flow. First, write a positive affirmation on a small slip of paper. Choose an affirmation that describes exactly how you want to feel in this life area, in the present tense. For example, you might write, “My finances are flowing,” “I am in love with someone wonderful who loves me back,” or “I am experiencing wonderful success in my career.”

Empower a small amethyst in bright sunlight for a few minutes. Then place the affirmation on your altar so the words are facing up. While holding the amethyst, go to your front door, open it all the way, stand in the threshold, and speak aloud the affirmation you wrote. Place the amethyst on top of the affirmation on your altar. After twenty-eight days, release the amethyst in a moving body of water and recycle the paper.
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Bind Your Distraction
JULY 06, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

First quarter moons can really test new moon intentions. This spell to bind distractions is useful for staying the course. All you need is a candle, a lighter, a medium-sized piece of paper, a pen, a twist tie, tea tree oil, clove oil, and a ceramic bowl.

Light the candle and think of how annoying your distractions are. Write them down on the paper, then roll the paper into a tight scroll and secure it with the twist tie. Say:

I bind my distractions with wire!

Carefully catch one end of the scroll on fire, stub it out in the bowl, and then drop it into the bowl. Say:

I bind my distractions with fire!

When the embers are completely out, put three drops of each essential oil onto the scroll. Say:

I bind my distractions with
clove and tea tree!
The things on this list have
no power over me!

Keep the scroll in a safe place and extinguish the candle.
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A Thunderstorm Banishing Spell
JULY 05, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

This spell uses the awesome power of a thunderstorm to banish an issue from your life. You’ll need a six-inch terracotta flowerpot saucer and some garden or potting soil. As a thunderstorm approaches, fill the saucer with the soil. Smooth out the soil. With your finger, a pencil, or a stick, write a word describing your problem in the soil, or draw a symbol or image of it. For example, if you’re having money worries, you could write “money” or draw a dollar sign. When done, place the saucer and soil outside. Go inside to wait out the storm and think about the rain cleansing the problem from your life.

When the storm passes, go out and check the soil. The word or image should be rinsed away. Scatter the soil on the ground. End by rinsing out the saucer. You may use it again for magic. Your problem should begin to diminish.
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A Spell of Independence
JULY 04, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

For those of us in the Unites States, Independence Day is an ideal time to consider the things that make us independent as a country and as individuals. Although no country is perfect, we are afforded great freedom to live an authentic life.

Light a white candle and “pull” the flame into each of your body’s seven chakras. Quickly and safely pinch the flame with your right hand, and draw this energy into the chakra.

Say the following at each chakra point:

  1. Base: “My body is sovereign. I am in control.”
  2. Navel: “My sexuality is sacred. I determine its expression.”
  3. Solar plexus: “My soul creates my experience. I choose my path.”
  4. Heart: “My kindness is my nature. I declare empathy for all.”
  5. Throat: “My expressions are authentic. I am inspired to inspire.”
  6. Brow: “My visions are clear. I am a psychic being.”
  7. Crown: “My connection to Spirit is pure. I am me and I am free!”

Extinguish the candle when done.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1042
Successful Techniques For Being Sociable

Heartwings says, “We learn best when we from our mistakes.”

I grew up pretty much by myself in the sense that my family lived in the country with no other families close by. There was lots of nature: wonderful trees to climb, fields to wander in, and a salt water marsh that could be explored for the occasional treasure cast up by a high tide. I loved to read and immersed myself in fairy tales and adventure stories. These sparked my imagination so that I made up my own tales of adventure, where I would ride off on one of my trusty steeds to explore and discover.

My steeds consisted of a rake and a hoe with reins of rope, and I rode them around pretending I was one of the knights I read about in my father’s boyhood books. They were filled with colorful illustrations and exciting adventures. The pirate stories were the most fun, and I read and reread his red, blue and green fairy tale books.

I was not well coordinated nor was I skilled at athletic games and therefore I was not good at the sports activities so important in my school. In addition, my classmates’ interests were very different from mine. They followed baseball and other sports avidly, some of them owned horses and even went skiing over Christmas vacation. My mother and father had no interest in such things, and so neither did I. This gave me little to nothing to talk about with my classmates.
Although I had no one to play with at home, and I was often alone, I was never lonely. I had my imagination to keep me company. There was one drawback to this (to me) idyllic childhood: I was never able to learn to interact easily with people my own age. However, I interacted with older people easily and enjoyably. My parents entertained often and I was usually part of the gatherings, chatting away with the grownups, who always seemed happy to interact with me.
It has taken me many years to learn to converse easily with fellow adults in casual situations. This is not to complain but simply to explain how my upbringing influenced my learning process. Fortunately, as I have grown older my avid curiosity and my broad interests have helped me to become more sociable. Over the years of my long life, I have learned some important things about how to interact and to relate.

One significant one is that honesty, while important, must be tempered with tact, especially with friends. Being blunt is not acceptable. I have also discovered that most enjoy telling you about themselves, and that everyone has a good story or two to share, which they will do when encouraged, as I enjoy doing. It is kind, not to mention polite to respect others’ opinions even if you disagree. Finally, it is vital to cultivate the art of listening. You never know what you can learn. Rather than wait impatiently to put in your two cents or to tell your story, just enjoy what others have to share.

May you find good ways to interact with others and make friends.

Blessings and Best Regard, Tasha Halpert

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Are You the Tortoise or the Hare?

Like the tortoise and the hare, we all move through life at our own unique pace.

The classic tale of the tortoise and the hare reminds us that different people take life at different speeds and that one way is not necessarily superior to another. In fact, in the story it is the slower animal that ends up arriving at the destination first. In the same way, some of us seem to move very quickly through the issues and obstacles we all face in our lives. Others need long periods of time to process their feelings and move into new states of awareness. For those of us who perceive ourselves as moving quickly, it can be painful and exasperating to deal with someone else’s slower pace. Yet, just like the tortoise and the hare, we all arrive at the same destination together, eventually.

People who take their time with things are probably in the minority in most of the world today. We live in a time when speed and productivity are valued above almost anything else. Therefore, people who flow at a slower pace are out of sync with the world and are often pestered and prodded to go faster and do more. This can be not only frustrating but also counterproductive because the stress of being pushed to move faster than one is able to move actually slows progress. On the other hand, if a person’s style is honored and supported, they will find their way in their own time and, just like the tortoise, they might just beat the speedier, more easily distracted person to the finish line.

It’s important to remember that we are not actually in a race to get somewhere ahead of someone else, and it is difficult to judge by appearances whether one person has made more progress than another. Whether you count yourself among the fast movers or as one of the slower folks, we can all benefit from respecting the pace that those around us choose for themselves. This way, we can keep our eyes on our own journey, knowing that we will all end up together in the end.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Lake Vacations With a Spooky Vibe

Ah, a vacation at the lake. It sounds like the perfect retreat. But, if you like a bit of romantic atmosphere, spooky lingering fog, stomping monsters in the woods, strange lights, a lake vacation can be so much more than a paddle boat and some Smores.

If you’re looking for UFOs, pick a lake away from big city lights.

If you’re looking to have a Bigfoot encounter, pick a higher elevation wooded area lake.

If you’re looking for a cursed lake, do a google search for a prospective lake and the word “haunted.”

How about a haunted or cursed lake?

Lake Ronkonkoma in New York
Hold onto your blanket and pull your feet up off the floor and be safe. Here’s a legend of a lake haunted by a beautiful Indian Princess who likes to claim men at the lake to join her in the deep recesses for eternity.

The legend says this princess fell in love with a white settler who claimed a homestead near the lake. Her father forbade her marrying the man. They would repeatedly send each other love messages. The princess would paddle halfway out on the lake and push a message toward his shore. After years of this lovesick connection, the princess lost her mind. She supposedly sent her lover one last note of farewell and the note and her boat washed up on his shore. She had killed herself on the lake. The legend also says that over the past 200 years, one man has died on the lake each year.

Stow Lake in California
The legend has lasted for 100 years that a woman was strolling her baby near the lake in Golden Gate Park and she stopped to sit down, talked to another lady, and her strolled rolled down hill into the lake, drowning the baby. It is said that, after searching for her baby all day, during the night she checked the lake, entering it and never coming back. Her supposed spirit has taken on a “white lady” theme.

Source: It is rumored that if someone goes to Stow Lake at night, weird occurrences take place. Stories have been told that the lady comes up from the lake, or the statue in her honor comes to life, or she will come up to you and ask, “Have you seen my baby?” Other reports say if you drive there with your friends in a group of cars, all the cars will stall at the same time. Another rumor is said that, if someone says “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times, the lady will appear. She’ll ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say yes, she’ll haunt you and if you say no, she’ll kill you.

Drew University Lake in New Jersey
In the woods close to the arboretum at Drew University is a lake. It is reportedly haunted by a lady in blue. The spirit apparently likes to trip people and her apparition has been seen. People also report things such as feeling uneasy, as if they are being watched, and even cold spots.

How about a lake that has Bigfoot sightings?
Lake James, North Carolina

Avocado Lake, California

Salt Fork State Park lakes, Ohio
Pat Mayse Lake, Texas
Crater Lake, Oregon

Want a UFO sighting?
Crater Lake, Oregon
This deepest lake in Oregon has had many missing planes, helicopters, people, Bigfoot, and UFO sightings.

Eagle Lake, Allagash, Maine
In the mid 1970s, two brothers and their two friends went camping at a lake in Maine and had missing time. Later on, after hypnosis, they were able to recall abduction by aliens.

Lake Superior
Lake Michigan
Falcon Lake, Manitoba
Lake Elsinore, California

If you don’t plan to go away this summer, at least make some smores and hunker down for some good horror movies that take place at lakes (*my favorites) –

*The People Across the Lake
*Friday the 13th (series)
Mermaid: Lake of the Dead
*Cabin by the Lake
*In Dreams
*Lake Placid
House by the Lake
Eden Lake
Lake Mungo

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Everyday Teachers

All the situations in our lives teach us exactly what we need to be learning.

Many of us long to find a spiritual teacher or guru. We may feel unsure of how to practice our spirituality without one, or we may long for someone who has attained a higher level of insight to lead the way for us. Some of us have been looking for years to no avail and feel frustrated and even lost. The good news is that the greatest teacher you could ever want is always with you — that is your life.

The people and situations we encounter every day have much to teach us when we are open to receiving their wisdom. Often we don’t recognize our teachers because they may not look or act like our idea of a guru, yet they may embody great wisdom. In addition, some people teach us by showing us what we don’t want to do. All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, conspire to teach us exactly what we need to be learning at any given time. Patience, compassion, perseverance, honesty, letting go — all these are covered in the classroom of the teacher that is your life.

We can help ourselves to remember this perfect teacher each day with a few simple words. Each morning we might find a moment to say, “I acknowledge and honor the teacher that is my life. May I be wise enough to recognize the teachers and lessons that I encounter today, and may I be open to receiving their wisdom.” We might also take some time each day to consider what our lives are trying to teach us at this time. A difficult phase in your relationship with your child may be teaching you to let go. The homeless person you see every day may be showing you the boundaries of your compassion and generosity. A spate of lost items may be asking you to be more present to physical reality. Trust your intuition on the nature of the lesson at hand, work at your own pace, and ask as many questions as you want. Your life has all the answers.

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The Garden as Sacred Space
BY LAUREL WOODWARD

Fall Garden Scene
I am a magically minded person who looks at the world with an animist’s perspective as I mindfully acknowledge and honor the lives of the others I encounter, from the large elementals to the tiny devic energies underfoot. I talk to my plants and hug the trees. I call out greetings to the geese as they pass overhead and stop to help the earthworm stranded on the sidewalk. There is a message in the visit from tiny hummingbird hanging on the breeze, the crow cawing loudly in the tree, the surprise sighting of a garden snake, and the colorful dragonfly lighting on a grass head. The outdoors holds both magick and mystery, and I immerse myself in its beauty whenever I am able to.

Our brains evolved in nature. When we leave our man-made environments and return to a natural setting, we are able to step out of the busyness of our lives and leave our worries behind. Being outside is a magickal, full-on sensory experience that quiets worry, eases anxiety, and grants the spirit peace.

When we immerse ourselves in a natural setting, it boosts health by strengthening the immune system. Step into nature and you step into beauty. The act of catching sunlight in your eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, breathing in the scent of the green world from the smell of the dirt to the fragrance of flowers, or having natural sounds fill your ears, like the call of birds, the chatter of squirrels, or the rattle of the wind through the trees, are experiences that foster healing feelings of serenity and joy.

While forest bathing and hiking are popular nature therapies, gardening in your own yard, if done mindfully, becomes a vehicle to immerse yourself in nature and foster a relationship with the natural world. If you have never tried gardening you might be surprised by how therapeutic the experience is. When you take up gardening, working under the sky with the sun on your arms and your hands in the dirt, it engages all of your senses to create a place of refuge and solace. Being out in the fresh air doing yard and garden work lifts outlook and elevates mood. The activity tones muscles and makes the body feel good, and when done mindfully, the overall experience fills the heart with a joyful sense of purpose that inspires creativity and helps us rediscover our sense of wonder.

When we take an area of land under our care we nurture a reverence for nature that allows the heart to swell with gratitude every time we invest ourselves in the work, because it doesn’t matter if you are a first-time gardener or a veteran—there is always something new waiting to surprise and inspire. The simple joy of discovering the seed that you planted sprouted, the surprising beauty of a mound of clematis that opened overnight, or the delicious taste of a ripe, home-grown tomato you plucked fresh from the vine deepens satisfaction and improves our sense of well-being. Step into the garden and we step out of worry and into nature’s grace.

The wisdom of an ancient practice waits in the garden. If you follow an earth-based spirituality, you will find the act of gardening creates sacred space and puts nature back into the center of your practice. By caring for plants and being aware of their life cycles, we become aware of the turning of the seasons and sync with the natural rhythms. The garden becomes a window into the workings of the Universe and allows us to sense the thrumming webs of power. It is in the garden we connect to the deepest parts of our being as we become a witness to the miracle of life unfolding right before our eyes.

If you have never gardened before, you may want to start by taking a few chosen plants under your care. Identify and research each one, making note of their individual needs so that you may provide what each needs to thrive. Visit them often. Talk to your plants and shower them with attention, and soon you will find you have made a friend that may become a helpful ally in your magical practice. While some plant allies provide food or medicine, others provide ingredients to empower ritual, potions, incense, bath magick, candle dressing, and wash water. When we use ingredients from a plant that we help to grow, we delve into an ancient craft laden with wisdom and knowledge, a craft that deepens spirituality as it acts a bridge to the past to help us see beyond modern restrictions as it links us to a reality in which we are able to recognize and interpret the magickal connections all around us. The garden then becomes a liminal space where we may go to meet Deity or converse with the Universe.

My garden is my church. Step into the garden and I step out of time and into sanctuary. Being in my garden allows me to leave the troubles of the modern world behind and take up the practice of the old ways. In my garden I find peace and joy. It is in my garden where I find magick. You, too, can create your own personal outdoor sanctuary, a place of safety and wellness to nourish your soul and help you foster a relationship with your local energy web. For more ideas on how to design and implement a garden plan for your very own personal sanctuary garden, pick up my new book, Backyard Garden Witchery, a guide to help you manifest a magickal space outside your door. Backyard Garden Witchery contains a collection of meditations, exercises, and an extensive list of garden plants and their magickal properties with suggested uses to empower your magickal practice.

By designing your own unique garden setting, and implementing features that speak to you personally, you will manifest a sanctuary to nourish your soul. Keeping a flower garden, an herb garden, a vegetable patch, or even tending a collection of patio pots allows interaction with nature and opens a doorway for us to experience her amazing wonder. By working, and planting, and tending the earth, the garden becomes a liminal space to nourish our spirituality and connect us to the larger world. When you become a gardener, you become an artist working with nature to create amazing beauty, and as life sprouts and grows under your care, it opens the heart to wonder and solace as it provides flowers or herbs to use in your practice, or food to nourish your body, and the results bring an incredible sense of accomplishment. Gardening is a remarkable rewarding experience that has nourished mankind since the beginning of time. It has the power to change your life. If you have never gardened I hope you give it a try.

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The Power of Staying True to Your Word

Honesty is one of your most precious and powerful resources.

Promises are easily made. Keeping them often proves more difficult because when we are pressured to strive always for perfection, we find it simpler to agree to undertake impossible tasks than to say no. Likewise, there is an infinite array of circumstances that conspire to goad us into telling falsehoods, even when we hold a great reverence for truth. When you endeavor to consistently keep your word, however, you protect your reputation and promote yourself as someone who can be trusted to be unfailingly truthful. Though your honesty may not always endear you to others — for there will always be those who fear the truth — you can nonetheless be certain that your integrity is never tarnished by the patina of deceit. Since frankness and sincerity form the basis of all life-enriching relationships, your word is one of your most precious and powerful possessions.

When we promise more than we can deliver, hide from the consequences of our actions through falsehoods, or deny our true selves to others, we hurt those who were counting on us by proving that their faith was wrongly given. We are also hurt by the lies we tell and the promises we break. Integrity is the foundation of civilization, allowing people to live, work, and play side by side without fear or apprehension. As you cultivate honesty within yourself, you will find that your honor and reliability put people at ease. Others will feel comfortable seeking out your friendship and collaborating with you on projects of great importance, certain that their positive expectations will be met. If you do catch yourself in a lie, ask yourself what you wanted to hide and why you felt you couldn’t be truthful. And if life’s surprises prevent you from keeping your word, simply admit your error apologetically and make amends quickly.

Since the path of truth frequently represents the more difficult journey, embarking upon it builds character. You can harness the power of your word when you do your best to live a life of honesty and understand what motivates dishonesty. In keeping your agreements and embodying sincerity, you prove that you are worthy of trust and perceive values as something to be incorporated into your daily existence.

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 19
by Stephen Halpert

It was a sunny morning with a few puffy clouds. Helen Conners bustled into Gilberto’s office. “Your new furniture arrives today,” she said triumphantly. “You have no idea the red tape I had to go through getting it delivered these days.”
Gilberto to grinned. “Wonderful.” Carefully he extracted his knees out from under the savage table serving as his desk. He was especially mindful of the sharp table legs.
“I guess we can finally put this old Cy Willobee table into the dumpster.” Helen said. “Good riddance.”
Gilberto shook his head. ” No, I’ll take it home and let Mona use it for her painting and crafts.”
“So be it,” Helen smiled. “But before moving it out, you may want to wait until the visiting parapsychologist have left. Drs. Peter and Fiona Bunyion, those tv psychic celebrities are coming this morning.”
“Oh that’s today,” Gilberto checked his calendar. “Helen, please let Diana Rain know they’ll be here. She said she wanted to be in on the meeting.”
Before leaving Helen poured Gilberto his morning mug of French Roast. She looked at it peculiarly. “As usual just black, no milk or sugar?” She sounded disapproving.
“Right,” he nodded. “Strong black coffee’s the best.”
“If you say so. Tastes like mud to me. But what do I know?”
From her desk, Helen called Rain. Minutes later the newly appointed Assistant Headmaster was in Gilberto’s office. She smiled. “New furniture, I hear. Now you can junk that decrepit table.”
The phone rang. They’re here.” Helen sounded dubious. “Dr and Mrs. Peter Bunyion.”
“Send them in,” Gilberto said. He sipped at his French Roast.
Helen brought in the couple, together with two more chairs.
A slim angular woman with strangely arranged red curls, gray green eyes and a distinct chin was followed by a large, smiling gentleman.
“Drs. Peter and Fiona Bunyion,” she said, extending her hand. She shook first Gilberto’s then Diana Rain’s hands as they nodded and introduced themselves.
She rubbed her hands together briskly and smiled. Turning to her husband she said, “Shall we get started?”
“Yes, my dear,” he said with a smile. “Do you sense the presence of spirit here?”
There was a sharp bang, and the old battered table rose a few inches and then dropped.
“Oh,” said Fiona, “my goodness.”
“Ah, a promising start to our investigation,” said Peter.
Fiona opened her large shoulder bag and took out a strange instrument. It resembled a flashlight, with an odd red tip where a light might usually be. There was a series of dials along the side. She tried moving them, but oddly it seemed as though they were stuck.
“Strange”, Dr. Peter Bunyion said. “Should be working.”
“Maybe Cy’s interfering with it,” Diana Rain said.
Fiona frowned and tried pushing harder. Nothing happened.
“What is that?” Gilberto asked.
“An aura meter,” Peter said. “It reads sensitive vibrations. There must be strong interference. This is most unusual.”
Suddenly the aura meter leapt from Fiona’s hand and rose to the ceiling where it floated.
Diana Rain smiled. “Let me help. I’ll see if I can talk to Cy,” she said. “Cy please don’t make things difficult for the lady and her husband. They investigate the paranormal.”
The aura meter began swaying. She reached to grab hold of it but each time, playfully it jumped away out of reach.
She spoke again: “Cy give the lady back her aura meter.” Diana’s voice was stern. Then her tone softened. “Please Cy. Give it back and I’ll let you kiss me.”
Immediately, the meter landed on the floor with a clunk. Gilberto rolled his eyes and grinned, then his eyes widened as he saw the shadowy shape of the deceased faculty member embrace Diana.
‘”Excuse me,” Fiona said, staring at Rain.
“Now be good,” Diana chuckled. She turned to the two parapsychologists. “He’s really perfectly harmless, but on occasion he can be mischievous.”
The parapsychologist shook her finger. “You must be careful,'” she told Diana sternly. “Your essence could be damaged; you could be inviting madness.”
Diana Rain grinned. “Thanks for the tip.”
“I’m serious,” Fiona’s eyes widened. “You are tampering in the unknown.”
Diana laughed. “Hear that Cy, you and I are tampering with who knows what.”
At that moment Fiona’s bulky purse flew up in the air and emptied onto the floor. Everything from makeup to pens, keys to booklets and even a small, old leather Bible fell into a pile.
“Now just a minute,” Peter frowned and shook his fist. “You’ve no right to do that to my wife!” All at once his belt undid and his trousers dropped to his ankles. He stood there in his briefs, his face red, his mouth gaping, but no words came out. He tried to pull his trousers up but they seemed glued to the floor.
“Release my husband’s trousers,” Fiona demanded. In response, her skirt flew up and covered her face. She struggled to pull it down but to no avail. She started to scream. “Peter” she cried. “Banish this poltergeist.”
“I want my trousers to stay up,” he wailed as he struggled with them.
“Stop that,” Fiona hissed, letting go of her skirt as it fell back down, and clinging to her sweater. “Stop pawing me.” Her body twitched. “Don’t tickle me.” she cried. “You have no right knowing how ticklish I am.”
Almost helpless with laughter, finally Diana Rain gasped out, “Enough Cy, “Behave yourself.”
The office door flew open and two reporters from Fox News came in. “Heard the Bunyions were here one said and started to hold up his camera. “Wait, what’s going on?” He turned to his partner. “My batteries were fresh this morning! Now they don’t work.”
Gilberto Put his hands on their shoulders and began moving the two men toward the door. “Now,” he said, “this is a private meeting, please move along.”
“But,” one protested.
Gilberto opened the door and beckoned to Helen. “Please show these gentlemen out,” he said firmly, and released them. Then he went back into his office and closed the door.

To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

Can Cats Eat Bacon? Get the Facts
By Elizabeth Vecsi

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’s Weekly Horoscope.
Beginning Sunday,July 10, 2022

All Signs
This week we are walking a tight rope balancing heart and mind — logic versus emotional sentiments. By midweek, balance will be achieved. (“I want a hot dog. Make me one with everything!”) However, Wednesday is also the only Full Moon all year in productive and useful Capricorn. It will make us feel more personally in charge of our lives. We don’t need the approval of others; instead, we have our own inner validation. I once heard a wise teacher say, “If you think you know something and you don’t – that’s arrogance. If you think you know something and you do – that’s confidence.” Dale Carnegie said, “Action breeds confidence. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” (Hmmm, does this mean I have to get dressed?)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your home scene might be interrupted this week with unusual surprises and events. Renovations and repairs along with unexpected visitors are some examples. A family member might have an unusual idea? Or perhaps, a family member will do something a bit dazzling or different? Meanwhile, an element of confusion will be at play with siblings, relatives, neighbours and daily contacts. This could make you underestimate a situation or not “get” what’s going on. (Usually, you are quick to see what’s happening.) Be aware that your ability to interpret what’s happening around you might not be hundred percent reliable. By the end of the week, entertaining at home will be fun! Make plans.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This is an active, busy week because Mars in your sign is boosting your energy and keeping you busy. But expect your daily routine to change. Oh yes! You might meet someone who sets a chain of events in motion that you didn’t expect. Something out of the blue might occur. Whatever happens, you can handle this because Mars is supporting you. Be aware that financial matters might create confusion. For starters, you’ll be tempted to go overboard buying something luxurious. (Not surprising because you adore collectibles.) Be forewarned something might not be as it appears. Double check purchases. Save your receipts. By the weekend, a short trip or discussions with others will be upbeat and fun!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Be careful because there is a tricky aspect happening this week: Venus in your sign is having a confusing dance with fuzzy Neptune. This could make you unrealistic in your dealings with others but you’re not aware of it. For example, you might be disappointed because someone doesn’t live up to your ideals. (Note: Unexpressed expectations almost always lead to disappointment.) In one way, Venus will make you seek out romantic moments with loved ones, candlelit dinners with romantic vibes. But it might also create a confused situation that leads to a breakup. Meanwhile, impulse shopping will take place. Fortunately, you’re happy about your possessions and financial matters by the end of the week. Perhaps a special purchase?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This continues to be a strong week because the Sun and Mercury are in your sign. In fact, Mercury will get an electric jolt from Uranus this week, triggering new discoveries, new encounters and exciting new events. You will impulsively do things like suddenly reaching out to others. Caution about rash, impulsive decisions, especially because with Venus hiding in your chart, you might feel confused about a relationship, especially a secret love affair. You might even be deceived! Therefore, think carefully before you make important decisions because somethings in your world are puzzling. (“No matter what I do to kid-proof the house – they keep getting in!”)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week is weird. Both the Sun and Mercury are stirring up your subconscious more than usual. You might revert to childhood behaviour patterns that you thought were long gone. (“These are mine!”) This can mean your actions might work against you and suddenly, you’re your own worst enemy. (“Really? I’ve had worse.”) Beware of sudden, “bright” ideas that might not be so bright, even though they initially dazzle with promise. Meanwhile, relations with an artistic person might be confusing even deceiving. You’re not sure how to handle things. You might be disappointed in this person. (Leos have high standards for their friends.) Fortunately, by the weekend, you’re happy. There’s sunshine in your soul.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You’re popular! Everyone wants to see your face, especially younger people. You also look good to bosses, parents, teachers and the police. (Major bonus!) Fortunately, you’re full of bright, creative ideas that impress friends and member of groups to which you belong. You might start off on a new path or suddenly embrace new goals that are bold and different. However, something to do with a parent or a boss might confuse you or end up in a misunderstanding. For some, this misunderstanding could lead to a breakup of the relationship. Too many assumptions? Fortunately, by the weekend, opportunities to schmooze with others abound. “Come out to the coast. We’ll get together, have a few laughs.”

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week you are admired, which means you have an advantage. If you ask someone for something, whatever you say will be well received. (Good to know.) Furthermore, you’re full of bright, clever ideas that you can suggest to a boss or someone in power. (Possibly, it’s the other way around and an authority figure has a bright idea that they suggest to you.) Either way, everyone wins! Nevertheless, be aware that travel plans or something to do with foreign countries might be confusing this week. Something might promise more than it can deliver. Or perhaps, you will fall for appealing propaganda that isn’t truthful? By the end of the week, a parent or boss might help you or do you a favour. Yes!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You are still keen to travel and do anything that will broaden your horizons. You’re full of bright, unusual ideas, which means you might travel impulsively. Others will experience sudden changes related to the media, publishing opportunities or something to do with medicine or the law. Hopefully, whatever occurs will benefit you. The area where you have to be astute and wary is anything to do with financial matters with others. This includes inheritances, debt, taxes and insurance disputes. Be cautious in these dealings. Be sure to do your due diligence and check things out because things are not as they appear. Plan on opportunities to travel or do something different and exciting by the end of the week. (“I barely had time to pack my bag.”)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You’re percolating with ideas about financial negotiations, shared property or anything that you hold jointly with someone else. (Taxes, debt and insurance issues.) At a deeper level, you might have an epiphany about an inner psychological truth. For example, you might see a new way to be a better person. Or you might have a profound conversation with someone? Ironically, relations with those who are closest to you are subject to confusion and disappointment. You might feel let down by someone. You expected more of them. But did they know this? Did you communicate your expectations to them? Keep your pockets open at the end of the week when money and favours will come your way. Yippee!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You need more sleep this week. (This need will end next week when the Sun changes signs.) This week, someone close to you might say or do something that surprises you. Or they might introduce you to someone who is different or unusual. Meanwhile, be careful about relations with work colleagues as well as people related to your health or your dealings with your pet because there will likely be a misunderstanding and disappointment. Knowing this, strive to be clear when talking to others. Happily, your encounters with other will be warm and friendly by the end of the week. Enjoy fun time with partners and close friends!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You are still in work mode, which means you’re getting a lot done simply because you are motivated. (Motivation is everything.) This week you can expect some work-related surprises. You might have some genius-like ideas? Or a coworker might surprise you in some way? Or you might meet a new coworker or a new method of doing something? Surprise work-related travel might happen. Could be anything! Meanwhile, romance might disappoint some of you. You might want to ask yourself if you had unrealistic expectations about someone? By the end of the week, you’re pleased with your health or your work or something to do with a pet. Good time to tackle chores.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Parents must be extra vigilant this week because this is a mildly accident-prone week for your kids. Keep this in mind. Meanwhile, surprise invitations to social events or exciting diversions might suddenly pop up? Admittedly, social plans might be suddenly cancelled or delayed because anything to do with your social scene, romance, the arts and dealing with your kids is subject to sudden changes. Meanwhile, something at home might disappoint you. Perhaps you expected more from a family member? You might feel let down. One thing is certain: you want to entertain, and the perfect time will be this weekend, when vibes are sunny and friendly! Creative projects are favoured then, as well.

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Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday, 10 July 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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:

You’ve long known a range of tedious but crucial practical or financial matters would need attention. Your ruler Mars’s move to accent these says ‘it’s time’. While some will fall into place swiftly and easily, others are more complex, and a few will require serious patience. Still, each day’s experiences and encounters are adding to your knowledge. These, in turn, will lead to worthwhile, and lasting, decisions.

Quiet good fortune surrounds you as the week begins. It doesn’t matter what you turn your hand to, you will do a good job of it. Your boss appreciates your skills and your determination to do your work to the best of your ability. Don’t be surprised when you are given a bonus or promotion. A working relationship will assume greater importance in your life. If you are single, you could meet someone special at a conference or professional gathering.

This week contains the annual full moon that accents the career point in your solar chart and pushing forward should be imperative. Aided by Jupiter’s presence in Aries, reaching out and making new contacts ought not to be difficult with at least one of these linked through a relative. It’s discussions taking place in your homebase that promise greatest impact. A strong possibility is working on a business plan or idea for an event to be celebrated next year. A surge of creativity from Thursday looks set to appeal to Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces friends who are clearly ready to join you in planning.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re in a period of exciting breakthroughs, and in a range of situations. The challenge? The form these take won’t always be as expected or even immediately recognisable. That being the case, explore absolutely every idea or encounter that comes your way. This doesn’t just ensure nothing passes you by. What you learn or who you meet could prove to be unexpectedly worthwhile.

Decide on what you want to do and once you’ve made a firm plan, stick to it. People will try to distract you but without success as you are focused on your goals. This does not mean you will be working in isolation as a talented friend will be keen to lend a helping hand. Their assistance will mean a lot to you. Time spent in nature will replenish your mental and spiritual energy.

Words matter. Mars is now travelling through Taurus and this, coupled with Mercury’s, (communications) accenting memory and vocabulary, you should be in the mood to put ideas on paper and argue a case super effectively at Wednesday’s Full Moon. Career issues are high profile from then and should enable you to surf the hugely creative wave affecting many signs. In practical terms, this may be all about reviewing your online presence, your fashion style and the way in which you present generally. Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to try out a new signature or to alter your e-mail font. One way or another it seems you’re determined to put a new image across.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Last week’s events called your attention to a range of pressing financial, practical or business matters. If you’ve already tackled them, you’ll be prepared for the pivotal decisions triggered by Wednesday’s Full Moon, which brings dramas in both circumstances and everybody’s mood. The secret? Make those plans, but ensure they’re flexible enough you can rethink them, as you’ll probably need to do, maybe more than once.

After some conflict, an agreement will be reached. All is well in a close relationship. You will feel more content and secure. Teaming up with a close friend will inspire you to dream big dreams for the future. You both feel you can accomplish anything together. Additional responsibility is likely and this could mean a promotion. An immediate answer isn’t necessary. You might prefer to sleep on it before making important decisions.

You know you need support. You also need that to be cost effective. In the run-up to Wednesday’s Full Moon, determining who can best promote your interests and get you appointments with the right people becomes priority. In the first half of the week, renewing connections with those you haven’t seen for some time seems likely. At the Full Moon itself it’s your place within an existing large organisation that comes under scrutiny. Colleagues may have very definite ideas about how and where they want you to work. This could mark the start of lengthy negotiation. The choices on offer may not be exactly what you had in mind. A Cancer could guide you through the maze.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Only days ago, you’d have sworn changes in certain longstanding arrangements aren’t just unlikely, they could lead to problems. Recent revelations have made it clear you weren’t told everything. Now that you know all the facts, you’re not only ready to take swift and decisive action, you know exactly what to do.

Be careful of a hidden rival in business. Someone isn’t being entirely honest with you and you can sense this. Be ready to act when an opportunity to improve your career prospects comes along and don’t let an aggressive competitor push you out of the way. Don’t be too trusting of anyone you don’t know very well. Of course, not everyone is harbouring hidden motives but for the time being, look after your own interests.

A week containing the Full Moon in your opposite sign is sure to be eventful. Expect others to be leaning on you and hoping that you will nurture their career. Yet obviously, is important that you look after your own. Do you have a plan? It would surely be wise midweek to have something you can foot forward. What’s special about this particular full Moon is that it coincides with two other aspects both of which point to marketing and distribution possibilities. This certainly seems to be excitement regarding both and arguably, the opportunity to work more closely with a Gemini who need your help as much as you need theirs.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you’re a quick-thinking, fast-moving Leo. Yet it’s worth nothing that in several situations you’re short of facts and likely to remain so until the New Moon in your sign, on the 28th. That may seem a long wait. However, this is your opportunity to declutter your life, from your to-do list to those passions that waste your time and give little in return.

There’s an undeniably dramatic side to your nature and this will be evident now much to the delight of your friends and family. Your flair for adding just the right amount of theatre to your speeches and presentations will make you popular in the home and workplace. Whether you are expressing love, your passion for a project, or trying to inspire someone who is feeling down you will succeed magnificently. Taking a short trip out of town will have surprise consequences as the week ends.

It seems that property matters (whether at home or at work) still scream for attention. This may be particularly true at Wednesday’s Full Moon. At some point, decisions do have to be taken. Costs are clearly rising and containing these will be challenging. It’s possible however that through an old connection a way forward can be found. Furthermore, an idea that’s been incubating since early May could take better shape. Persuading someone of your vision and assuring them of your determination to see a quality service or product produced, should get you noticed, and perhaps lead to the birth of a business alliance.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Initially, you could worry setbacks indicate that you’ve planned unwisely. However, you’ll soon notice everybody’s struggling with the unexpected. These surprises are being triggered by the unruly planetary setup between now and late July. The secret? Join with others in gathering information and seeking solutions, but avoid rushing. Not only will you learn a lot, in the process, you’ll heal rifts in a range of tense relationships.

Something useful will come out of an upset or disappointment. If you have recently felt a sense of loss or defeat you could be in for a surprise. There will be a recovery of losses. Not only this but an offer or competition win will be the key that eases a financial burden. You enjoy your friendships and close relationships but there’s also a need for some time on your own. You will benefit, later, from doing some quiet thinking.

It could be argued that this is an excellent time to undertake a short course. This might even be after hours. Certainly, Wednesday’s Full moon that accents the research and development area of your solar chart suggests this would be a good time for extending your knowledge through fun. (Yes, romance could play its part). It’s as likely that you’ll find someone at work that you could partner with, to ensure that one of your creative ideas is given the attention it deserves. The quirkier you can be the better. It’s probable that this will include finding ways of marrying the past to the future.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After weeks of wrestling with tricky individuals and, equally, unsettled relationship issues, your perspective changes. You exchange worries for accepting things as they are. This, alone, is a relief. However, it also frees you to focus on this week’s intriguing ideas or encounters. While some are clear cut, understanding others will require patience. Still, your efforts bring clarity and the promise of lasting harmony.

Talks with an older relative will give you food for thought. Someone you have always looked up to has wisdom to share with you and what they tell you will stick in your mind for many years to come. Are you spending too much time with your head in the clouds? It’s great to use your imagination but daydreaming can be harmful during those times when you need to have your wits about you.

Wednesday’s Full Moon is the annual one accenting the base of your solar chart. At one level this is the perfect time to re-think your world and how your environment supports you. That could lead to decisions about interior or even exterior design. Work wise this is a time to invest in your next career step and likely that support is closer than you think. Doing business should prove relatively easy. Contacts – most likely with those who live some distance away- could be the driver. Yours is one of the Air signs and generally you carry a lot of information in your head. This may be one of those weeks when having a written list proves helpful. Indeed, working on a business plan would surely be very good idea.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Only recently, you’d have regarded altering certain habits or letting go of cherished passions as a defeat. Yet sudden events have so altered your viewpoint that you’re questioning these, as well as other longstanding issues. Let go. Once you do, your perspective on these and other, equally longstanding, matters will shift dramatically. This, in turn, frees you to focus on what or who you truly care about.

Spending more time with people you love will be a welcome change of pace. You’re focusing on all that is positive now and this optimistic attitude is good for your health. There is excitement about joint travel plans now being made and you feel more confident about the future. A change of scenery is just what you need especially if you haven’t ventured far from your own locality recently. Are you single? You could meet someone special on a journey.

It would be understandable if you felt pressured. You need answers and to know more about decisions that were taken last week which affect your future. With so much activity in your opposite sign of Taurus, the needs and desires of others could feel pressing. You might even feel pushed into making quick decisions. This is not your forte. You might also give thought as to whether someone who is supposed to be a team leader has the right qualities. They may have identified the goal but perhaps not put together the perfect team. A storm looks set to brew around Wednesday’s Full Moon. Yet it will pass and soon after, your talent for bringing people together should be obvious. In particular, your ability to make use of old knowledge and archive material should get you noticed.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recent events forced you to declutter your life, activities or possibly, possessions. At first, this seemed a nuisance. Now that you’ve begun getting rid of these, you’re experiencing a new joy. Continue, shifting your focus to elements of your life that, equally, need to go. Challenging as this seems initially, you’ll not only be relieved you said a firm farewell, the doors you’re opening will be thrilling.

It’s a great time to go hunting for bargains. Whether you have a special collection you would like to add to, you’re knowledgeable about antiques or satisfying your love of art, keep your eyes peeled. You could come across something which makes you feel you have invested well, at a car boot sale, market or out of the way antique shop. If you’re looking for a birthday or wedding present, using your imagination will help you solve a difficult gift problem.

Pressure of responsibility, financial or otherwise could get to you at Wednesday’s Full Moon. A potential issue is the cost of health management and /or utilities. A review of energy usage might be wise. What’s interesting is that you appear to be arriving at a decision regarding a goal that’s been a couple of years in the making. What might now be needed is support from a Cancer or Pisces. Whilst they may be quick to point out potential obstacles, you could perhaps make clear that this is something you want to make part of your life journey and that you can’t be dissuaded. Career wise, the accent is on creating lasting impression or legacy.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve been facing unsettled situations, and the resulting emotional ups and downs. Logically, you’d seek a single, lasting, plan. However, with the foundation on which these are based and your own priorities shifting, the trick is to organise those plans, yet ensure arrangements are kept flexible. Also, continue to explore. This ensures you miss nothing. What’s least expected could turn out best in the long run.

You will excel when it comes to acting on your initiative. If an older friend or colleague urges caution or suggests waiting for instructions, ignore them. Your good judgement, practical approach and common sense will keep you on the right track while your ability to judge situations for what they are will take you far. Aim to throw yourself wholeheartedly into whatever takes up your interest. You might even consider taking on some extra duties without waiting to be asked to do so.

Wednesday’s Full Moon is in your sign. There is at least one of these in every year. What’s special this time, is that it seems it’s happening just as a working bond is gathering momentum. Observing others streamline their thinking and moderating their reactions should prove useful. The slow build of an alliance has advantage. What may yet prove memorable is just how much work you shift in the second half of the week once you’ve assessed natural talents at work. Anticipate your team building skills being notices and for your internet presence to be under scrutiny. With that in mind, you could also use this week to review your CV and social network links.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve known certain arrangements, from alliances to practical obligations, would have to change. Now, events are forcing your hand. While, initially you may struggle, by midweek you’ll actually be enjoying the process. So much that, as you move into July’s second half, you’re focusing on either substantially altering or getting rid of several longstanding but burdensome arrangements that have outlived their time.

Your industrious mood and a strong desire to get results will not go unrewarded. Instinct will guide you when it comes to getting the most out of your time, effort and skills. Be sure to play your hunches. Finances, both personal and shared, should go the way you want so be sure to devote some time to dealing with such matters. When it comes to joint arrangements, your partner will be swift to give you their full attention.

With others likely to reach important decisions in the first half of the week, it’s your reactions to these that warrant full attention in the second half. A strong possibility is agreeing that one partnership is no longer as satisfying or rewarding as it once was. You may feel you’re carrying too much weight. Orchestrating a graceful parting of the ways will surely take time. It may be to your advantage to make clear before the end of this week that you’re prepared to countenance a break. Before Mercury moves into your opposite sign next week, it might be as well to plan and rehearse a showdown. The last thing you need is for this to be overly emotional. Being cool, calm and collected will get you further.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, ignoring certain persistent issues won’t be easy. However, the current planetary setup accents what and who lift your spirits and mean the most to you. Focus on these now, and you’ll not only learn a lot, in some situations you’ll make life-changing progress; and those issues? Many will vanish of their own accord while, suddenly, others will bother you far less than they once did.

When it comes to dealing with housemates, close relatives and neighbours, it is plain speaking that is needed. There can be no better way of encouraging honesty and openness than through your own example. Make it clear you want to hear and give honest opinions. Someone like the boss is quietly watching you. They admire your loyalty and your strong sense of purpose. Be prepared to spend more time at the office until an important job is completed.

Gossip could get you into serious trouble around Wednesday’s Full Moon. Mercury isn’t retrograde, but it is travelling through a sign associated with memories. Other people’s recall may be very different to your own. Add to those emotions running high at the Full Moon, and you have the perfect background for matters going awry. A possibility is that a colleague wants to reach out to someone you’ve both worked with before. They may be misremembering difficulties from that earlier time and you perhaps need to point out the need for creating sound parameters before you move forward. You might also wish to point out the costs if things don’t run entirely to plan.

~CelestialPrognostication

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GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast
https://grannymoon.wordpress.com/

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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com
https://twitter.com/GrannyMooninVA
https://grannymoon.wordpress.com/

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 3 July 2022

Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts,
cause your mind to dwell on peace and joy. ~Ernest Holmes

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

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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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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon To Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, 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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Goddess Month of Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ June 10th to July 7th is Oak

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in July!

JUL. 7: World Chocolate Day
JUL. 6-7 Kupala In Eastern Slavic Regions – Honor the Slavic Goddess Kupal
JUL. 10: International Don’t Step on a Bee Day
JUL. 12-14: Feast of the Moon – Honoring Goddess as Selene (Old Greek), Ixchel (Maya), and Manat (Old Arabic-Sufi).
JUL. 13: Birth of Osiris – Egyptian God of Divine Youth, annually resurrected by Isis.

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Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays

WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – July 3
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – July 10
Reiki III and Advanced: 3 PM – 5PM – July 10
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – July 17

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1041 Celebrating Birthdays

Heartwings says, “To celebrate being born is important.”

When you are a child, birthdays are an event to be celebrated. Every year represents an achievement. Young children, when asked how old they are, often reply with “five-and-a-half,” as opposed to just the one number. Eventually they stop calculating their years this way and for a while, simply reply with the year itself.

At some point, later on depending on the age and/or self-consciousness of the person, she or he may become coy about the total number of years lived. She or he may refuse to reveal it, simply dodge the question or fob it off. I know for many years I used to say, “I’m ageless,” and people had to be content with that.

My mother used to tell me, “You should be proud to tell people your age.” I believe she was referring to the fact that I have always appeared younger than my actual age. Now that the information about sun damage has come out, I realize she bears a lot of the responsibility for my youthful appearance. From the time I was small, she always made me wear a hat in the sun, and the habit stuck. Now that I have passed into my eighties, I do tell people how old I am, and it’s fun to see their surprise.

This is the time of year we celebrate the birthday of our country. It is also the time Stephen and I, the day before the USA’s official birthday, celebrate his. This has often proved not to be the best time for a party because people often celebrate with their families, or go on vacation, and are not available for his celebration. Still, it is a good time to gather and we are always grateful to whoever can come.

I remember that my mother used to wreath the place setting of the person celebrating her or his birthday with flowers. I believe her mother did this. It was a fun custom. My father loved celebrating with flowers. One of my sons-in-law does also. Being given blossoms is so appropriate. All over the world there are customs that relate to celebrating the day of birth. Wikipedia is full of them.

Not all birthdays are celebrated on the actual birthday. In some cultures, children are named for a saint of that tradition, and the saint’s day is celebrated instead of the actual day of the child’s birth. Other traditions do not celebrate at all, seeing the day of birth as insignificant or perhaps the celebration of it as irreligious. Certainly, it is a cultural event, and as such, the tradition of celebration not universally followed.

The birthday of the USA is usually celebrated with a display of fireworks. Given our national anthem, this seems an appropriate way to do so. I was once in D.C. for the July 4th display, and it was truly memorable. These days we watch it on the TV from the comfort of our living room.

May all your celebrations be filled with joy.

Blessings and Best regards, Tasha Halpert

How do you celebrate your day of birth? Write and tell me, I’d love to know. Please write to me at Tashahal@gmail.com and do visit my web pages for more at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Elixir of Inspiration
JULY 03, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

July 3 is when the Festival of Cerridwen was observed. Cerridwen is a Welsh goddess who kept the cauldron of rebirth, transformation, and inspiration. We can work with Cerridwen today to harness that inspiration for ourselves.

Pour some water into your own cauldron or vessel. You can add items sacred to Cerridwen, including grain, oak, sage, sandalwood, and apple. Stir in a clockwise motion. Once the mixture has been combined, apply three drops of your elixir to your thumb to represent the three drops of Awen that fell on Gwion when he was gifted with inspiration. Chant:

Inspiration from drops of three.
Past, present, and future,
awaken the power within me.

The transformative and creative powers will now begin working with you.
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Approaching Independence
JULY 02, 2022 BY BARBARA ARDINGER

As we approach Independence Day, identify something in your life that makes you feel like you may be a captive or at least kind of tied up. From what are you yearning to be free?

In the 1972 film 1776, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams sing “The Egg.” This is when they decide the eagle will be the new nation’s national bird. Create an altar today featuring a symbol of what is holding you captive. Find an illustration in a magazine or online or draw what you seek to be free from. As you set out your elemental symbols, see each elemental power taking some action to drive away that which is holding you captive. Light a blue candle and visualize an eagle swooping toward you. It’s coming to free you. Ask the eagle for help:

Great eagle, bird of freedom,
Bring me freedom from _.
Carry it away, out of my
aura, out of my life.
As you fly, let me breathe
freely and live!

Extinguish the candle.
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National Pride Spell
JULY 01, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

I am Canadian and I love my country. On July 1, Canada celebrates independence and our ongoing growth and development as a nation. Wherever and whoever you are, celebrate with us Canadians today. Celebrate your national pride.

Gather a paper, a pen, and a small piece of ribbon or string. Write down ten things you love about your country. I love Canadian manners, and politeness; socialized medicine and education; regional diversity and how we embrace newcomers; racial diversity, equity, and respect; and our varied natural geography.

Now roll up your list, saying:
The best of my country is the best
of me. I celebrate my country and
diversity. I hold this strength and
wealth within me. So mote it be.

Tie the ribbon around the roll and place it on your altar. Your national pride energy is collected in one place and will aid you in working powerful magic.
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Nonbinary Pride Meditation
JUNE 30, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

It’s the end of Pride Month. Let’s balance our energies with the help of Erinle, the Yoruba orisha and patron of the LGBTQIA+ community. This orisha, like many nonbinary people, doesn’t fit neatly into any one gender category.

Erinle is a hunter who resides in many places: forests, farms, and waters. This complex orisha is the perfect choice to engage with the energies of a beautifully diverse community. Let’s draw the orisha to us with gorgeous coral, turquoise, and/or indigo silk or satin cloth. Set a piece of fabric of this type on a table to begin.

In a crystal or glass bowl, drop the following essential oils:
21 drops frankincense
21 drops myrrh
14 drops vetiver
7 drops patchouli
14 drops lavender

Swirl to mix or use a glass stirrer, and place the bowl on the cloth. Put on some relaxing music for an hour.

Touch your pulse points with the oils. Lie on a yoga mat and meditate. See what Erinle has to show and say to you.
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Harvesting Herbs
JUNE 29, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

In East Anglia, this is Herb Harvesting Day. According to ancient tradition, today is the best day of the year to harvest herbs meant for healing. It’s a good time to pick herbs for magical or culinary uses too.

First, plan to pick herbs around midmorning. Wait until the morning dew has evaporated and everything is dry. By noon, though, the sun begins to affect the essential oils in the herbs. So they are strongest at midmorning.

Use garden scissors to cut the stems. In some cases, like with rosemary or thyme, it works best to cut sprigs and strip the leaves off later. Others such as basil or sage can be picked by the leaf. Place the herbs in a basket to keep them safe while you pick more. Give thanks to the plants and encourage them to keep growing.

Indoors, bundle sprigs with string and hang in a warm, dark place to dry. Individual leaves are best dried flat on screens. When fully dry, store them in labeled jars.
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Breaking Through
JUNE 28, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

The new moon is a time of breaking out and starting anew. It is the darkest point in the lunar cycle before moving into the illumination of the light. If you are looking to start an endeavor in your life, you can use this energy to break through to the next level.

Find a quiet spot in your home or property. You will need a piece of paper, a writing utensil, and a candle. Write down what you are wanting to break through to, and place that piece of paper under the candle. Now turn off all the lights and see yourself emerging from where you are into the next stage of your evolution. Once you can visualize where you need to be, light the candle to symbolize your breaking through to a new you. Extinguish the candle when done.
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A Protection Charm for Empaths
JUNE 27, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

Empathy is the glue that binds us together as a society and propels the evolution of our species. Although empathy is the greatest gift we have as humans, it can sometimes hurt when turned on high for too long.

In addition to reading my book on the subject, Esoteric Empathy (yeah, shameless self-promotion), empaths can create a charm for when things seem altogether too much or when you are preparing to enter a potentially challenging social situation.

Find or create a necklace of black tourmaline. Alternatively, you can simply buy a small piece of black tourmaline and keep it in your pocket when needed.

To enchant the tourmaline, surround it in a bowl of sea salt and the herb yarrow and leave it there overnight. Repeat the following verse ten times:

This stone is blessed and guards
my emotions; I am in harmony
with my life’s devotions.

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Self-Reflexology

Exploring our feet through self-reflexology can be an easy and free way to support our mind, body and spirit.

Our feet are home to literally thousands of nerve endings and almost seventy acupuncture points, which is why foot reflexology is so effective. By massaging and stimulating specific areas on the soles of our feet, we can provide general support for our entire body, improve sleep patterns, increase physical and mental wellbeing and also alleviate chronic conditions such as sinusitis and digestive upset. Although it is wonderful to work with an experienced foot reflexologist whenever possible, we can also develop a practice of treating ourselves to a self-reflexology treatment if we take some time for this purpose before we begin our day or in the evening to relax before going to bed.

There are a number of different ways to work the soles of your feet, including walking barefoot on river stones, rolling each foot over a golf or tennis ball, or just using your fingers and hands to massage your feet. When starting a reflexology session, it’s a good idea to begin with loosening up your ankles — rotate each foot clockwise then counterclockwise about ten times. You might also want to pinch the end of your toes, which can increase circulation and drainage in your sinuses and stimulate your pituitary and pineal glands. Then you can begin massaging the ball of your foot, the arch, and the heel. If you find that an area is tender, it may indicate some distress or dysfunction occurring in the corresponding area of the body. You may want to explore what is going on with that organ or system.

Whether we are able to spend just a few minutes a day on this kind of self-care or a full half-hour, our efforts are never wasted. By taking responsibility for our own health and taking time every day to connect with our body, we can not only assist our body in letting go of stress and dysfunction, but we can also continue to support an ongoing sense of wellness and vitality.

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Have you Picked Up a Feather Lately?

If you have picked up a feather recently you are being blessed. Find out how and why in this article

The Path of the Feather traces all the animals, but feathers are the easiest to find. It takes a special moment, a sacred space, to see the beauty of the feather, and if you have paused long enough to notice, and stopped long enough to pick it up, you can be assured you are already on this path.

If you have never stopped long enough to pick up a feather it is now time for you to begin. Birds leave their feathers as their traces all around us. You won’t find other traces from animals around you as easily. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a wild place, bears or lions don’t leave traces near your home except in your visions.

Birds are messengers from Spirit for us to receive and we can send messages back to Spirit through them. They are such sacred beings and should always be treated with love and respect.

One day right in front of you in the parking lot of the market is a feather taking you on this journey. It will take you to the sacred sites, it will sing to you of the legends, it will make you alive. It will take you to the sacred places near you, and give you gifts to tell you who you are and what you are to do. Each time you pick up a feather it is a reminder that you are on the right path and that your life is sacred again.

The angels delight in leaving feathers as a sign that they are with you.

Whenever you find a feather take it home and make a ceremony of thanks for what you have just received. You may not know what the blessing is, but it is on its way.

On the Path of the Feather, we pray for world peace. In this dark time, making medicine wheels for peace and forgiveness is our work. Making art, writing, dancing and making music for world peace is our work. Pray and make medicine wheels to heal those who are in pain, to forgive and bring world peace.

The Message Behind the Colors of Feathers

If you would like to learn more about feathers and how to use them in your life Contact Me for my Private Services and I will guide you through all the different ways they can be used.

Many blessings,
Cherokee Billie

https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/

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4 Secrets To Living A Longer Life

If living a long life is important to you, you may want to adopt some of the habits that supercentenarians have in common. Most supercentenarians – people who live to be 110 or older – share four lifestyle characteristics that may help explain their longevity. Throughout their lives, they remain:

Physically active. Even as you get older, daily physical activity should be a priority. Modify your routine to incorporate gradual progress, such as daily walks, parking in the back of the lot, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking up hobbies that involve exercise, such as gardening, playing tennis or hiking. The more you can challenge your muscles regularly and preserve muscle strength the better, so already active folks should be sure to include strength training to their regular plan.

Positive. Maintaining an optimistic outlook is important to managing stress and preventing related health issues such as heart disease. With today’s current climate this can be a challenge. Focus on aspects of health and life that you can control. Work on improving your nutrition and activity and take periodic or long breaks from the news and social media. Also be certain to incorporate some simple self-reflection like a gratitude journal and meditation as well as using humor for coping with negative thoughts.

Social. A network of family and close friends is vital to optimum health. You can enjoy the benefits of a well-developed social life by spending time with people who make you happy, joining community groups or clubs, volunteering, and participating in support groups. While social distancing eases this summer, start to seek out opportunities that allow you to feel connected which is essential.

Spiritual. Regardless of your religious affiliation, feeling a connection with a higher being, nature or purpose cultivates spirituality, and is an important part of graceful aging. Find books or podcasts that can further your beliefs and connections to grow in this area.

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A Rainbow of Healing

Colors are like words that form a subtle language of mood, energy, and insight.

When we enter a room or see an object for the first time, our minds register its color before any other detail. The colors our eyes can perceive are like words that form a subtle language of mood, energy, and insight. Color can exert a gentle effect on the mind and the body, influencing our dispositions and our physical health. Color has the ability to trigger our emotions, affect the way we think and act, and influence our attitudes. You unconsciously respond to the color of the walls in your home, your car, your clothing, and the food you eat based on your body’s natural reactions to certain colors and the psychological associations you have formed around them. The consequences of the decision to paint a room or wear a specific article of clothing therefore goes beyond aesthetics.

The colors you encounter throughout your day can make you feel happy or sad, invigorate you or drain your vitality, and even affect your work habits. Throughout history, cultures spread over many different parts of the globe have attributed varying meanings to different colors. In China, blue is associated with immortality, while people in the Middle East view blue as a color of protection. There is also evidence that human beings respond to color in a very visceral way. Red excites us and inflames our passions. Too much red, however, can make us feel overstimulated and irritated. Pink tends to make people feel loved and protected but also can cause feelings of lethargy. Yellow represents joy or optimism and can energize you and help you think more clearly. Bright orange reduces depression and sadness. Blue and green are known to inspire peaceful feelings, and people are often able to concentrate better and work in rooms painted in soft blues and greens. The darker tones of both colors can make you feel serious and introspective.

There are ways to integrate color into your life that go beyond picking the hues of your décor and your wardrobe. You can meditate with color by concentrating on the colors that make you feel peaceful or using a progression of colors to symbolize a descent into a relaxed state. Color breathing involves visualizing certain colors as you in inhale and exhale. Choose to surround yourself with the colors that you are attracted to and make you feel good, and you can create an environment that makes you feel nurtured, peaceful, and uplifted.

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June Brides in the Paper!
by Jenny Ashcraft

Have you ever wondered why so many couples get married in June? Historically, it hearkens back to a superstition that since June is named in honor of the Roman goddess Juno, she blesses and protects the marriage of couples wed that month. June is still one of the most popular months to get married, and for many, it’s because June brings warmer weather.

Do you have June brides in your family tree? Newspapers are filled with historic wedding announcements that provide unique genealogical details, and some include fantastic photographs. We’ve scoured our archives and identified more than 70 million wedding announcements. You can find wedding announcements by accessing our Marriage Index from the search page here:

Here are a few examples of what you might discover in the Marriage Index.
This bride is wearing a wedding tiara worn initially by her grandmother. Her wedding announcement reveals incredible details and familial relationships. See it here.

The Miami Herald 8.11.1940
The bride didn’t always wear white. When the Smiths married in 1923, their wedding announcement included details about the bride’s tan dress and matching hat and said her grandfather walked her down the aisle. The announcement names many family members and includes a photo of both the bride and groom.

Fall River Globe 7.9.1923
You’ve got to love a wedding announcement that includes a photograph of the bride, the groom, the groom’s sister, AND both sets of parents! Wow! This 1939 announcement comes from our UK papers with the wedding taking place in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England.

The Tamworth Herald 2.9.1939
Not all marriage announcements include a photograph. Consequently, reporters often used words to paint a vivid picture. This wedding announcement reveals that the bride wore her great-grandmother’s wedding dress and described the gown in detail. We also learn that the groom survived the Hindenburg disaster by leaping from a window when the ship caught fire.

Here’s another tip when searching our Marriage Index – engagement announcements often preceded marriage announcements, so be sure to search for both. We learn more details about the couple above in their engagement announcement printed a month before the wedding announcement.

This beautiful 1924 announcement celebrated the double wedding of two siblings. Not only does it include portraits of both brides, but of every member of the wedding party.

The Lincoln Star 6.1.1924
Flowers set the theme for this 1928 June bridal announcement with floral wallpaper, drapes, flowers in the bride’s hair, and an elaborate floral bouquet.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel 7.1.1928
We love the bride and groom’s formal attire for this 1928 wedding in Kent, England.

Seven Oaks Chronicle, Westerham Courier and Kentish Advertiser 6.8.1928
And this 1939 wedding announcement even printed a list of what gifts each guest presented to the newlyweds (talk about pressure).

Have you discovered your family wedding announcements in the paper? Start searching today and discover more June brides on Newspapers.com™.

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Passive Aggressive Behavior

The way to end passive aggressive behavior on your part or others’ is with complete honesty and truth in any situation.

If you’ve ever found yourself repressing your anger and behaving in other ways to get your point across, you may be someone who is adept at engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Although passive-aggressive behavior is recognized as a psychological disorder, it also describes the behavior that many people use to cope with confrontational situations. Such behavior has the outward appearance of being peaceful, yet it is really an attempt to express oneself in seemingly passive ways — usually without accepting responsibility for doing so. For example, someone who doesn’t want to attend an event with a partner might engage in behavior that causes them to be late or miss the event without ever admitting to their partner that they never wanted to go to the function at all. Procrastination, inefficiency, stubbornness, and sullenness are some of the many ways that anger can be expressed indirectly.

It is important not to judge ourselves when we engage in passive-aggressive behavior. You may want to consider that you are not owning your feelings or your expression by indirectly expressing yourself. Perhaps you are judging your feelings and needs as wrong — which is why you are expressing yourself indirectly. You also may be worried that others will judge you for feeling the way that you do. Remember that anger and every other emotion are never good or bad. They can, however, become toxic of you don’t express them in healthy and proactive ways. When we express ourselves directly, we are more likely to be heard by the other person. It also becomes easier for us to ask for and get what we want.

Once we learn to be honest with ourselves about our feelings, we can begin to directly express ourselves to others. By learning to express ourselves directly, we prevent misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment from cropping up in our relationships. We also learn to communicate with others in healthy and productive ways. It is never too late to start working on ourselves and our behaviors, just take it one day at a time.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
What’s Inside Skinwalker Ranch’ Mesa?

SPOILER ALERT: We will be discussing things that have occurred in the most recent episodes.

Researcher Dennis Guern and I have the most interesting conversations about Skinwalker Ranch and the situation there. We’re going to share some insights and hypotheses –

We are looking at a fixed location in the mesa and in the sky that seem to relate.

What do we know about these locations?

The sky location appears to bend laser light and (according to previews of next week’s episode) may take in a rocket as if it’s a doorway or black hole.

In fact, launching a Voyager with earth info into that portal might be the best way to communicate with other beings rather than the crude and rudimentary radio waves or vehicle drifting aimlessly.

We mean, if you could get from here to there without having to fly through endless space and taking forever, would you ever even go out there and hang out in the back 40 and find the Voyager and read the messages? Nope, you’d launch from your portal and end up somewhere else!

No one advanced would be dallying in the space it takes to get from here TO there; they are either here OR there.

The mesa location underground appears to have been caught on the GPS to show that the helicopter went below the mesa.

There are also local tales of a ship going into the mesa. If this metal that is within the mesa is part of a ship that utilizes the ability to bend space and time around it, then it would have an aura like the ti-tac video showed. This very aura would help bend the mesa around it.

If this ship is still actively affecting the meters the team utilizes, then it says to us that we are dealing with something based on physics and not electronics necessarily.

Here’s why –

If this were a vehicle that perhaps for millions of years has utilized that portal above and entered the mesa, it is defying what we think we know about propulsion and physics.

And whether it’s intelligently occupied at this time or not, the ship does not utilize fuel as we know it and likely is still actively situated there with its aura “on.” It would maintain an endless power.

We see moving an object as a task performed by burning great deals of gases to propel forward. We see going from “here” to “there” in a very lineaer sense. This is also why seeing these vehicles in the air, we are confused by what propels them and how anyone could survive the movements they make.

What we are missing, perhaps, is that element of physics in which the ship can make the rider feel as if they aren’t moving at all, but the ship itself is bending that space and even time to look to outsiders as if it skipped fast across the sky and made a sharp turn.

We are seeing it linearly instead of multidimensional.

Another example of this on earth are the megalithic structures and pyramids that can be found and whose erection cannot be recreated.

Instead of electronics and fuel, it utilizes metallurgy and physics.

Dennis and I also concur that even though the Skinwalker team believes they are testing this anonymous intelligence, it’s actually the intelligence that is testing them.

It would seem that this kind of back and forth might have happened for many mellinnia. At this point, with the team putting direct attention to the “craft garage” in the mesa, they are pushing back to see if we can figure it out.

They were once gods to earlier man. To us now, an advanced technology.

Are we being tested and is mankind closer to full reveal and the transition to a new kind of knowledge that would allow a civilization to have free energy, to commute through space, to trade with other worlds?

Keep watching and we shall see!

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Poverty Jellies

June 28, 2013
by Home Tree Gal in Farming, Healthy Living, Homesteading, Organic, Preparedness, Recipes, Self-Reliance, Self-Sufficiency.

In the worst of financial circumstances you can always make bread. It is incredibly inexpensive and fills your belly. Having a jelly or jam on top can be the difference between choking down bland sustenance or having a sweet treat. You can really make jelly out of anything and people have. For years my grandmother and great grandmother made strange jelly appear out of nowhere. I would like to share a few of those recipes with you.

CORN COB JELLY

This one will be familiar to many. It isn’t common but it isn’t uncommon either. This is easily my favourite and I love it because it makes use of what would otherwise just get thrown out. There are lots of coloured sweet corns out there now and the cobs of these coloured ears dye your jelly. Many people like to use red cob corn for the sole purpose of making their jelly red, which is fine. I have seen purple, white, yellow red and orange cob jelly. You could just use a little food colouring too. Play with the colour and have fun.

We usually have between 14 and 20 ears of corn after my family is done with a meal. I usually use 1 cup of water to 3 ears of corn as a ratio. Boil your ears for 15 minutes in the stock pot you used to boil them initially. After 15 minutes discard the cobs and strain your water through cheesecloth (or I admit it…I frequently cheat and use a dish towel). Using 16 cobs…this should give you about 4 cups of liquid. Return to your pot and add 2 ounces of fruit pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Add 4 cups of sugar and return it to a boil. Skim off the foam and add colour (if you desire). Pour into cleaned and hot canning jars and let stand upside down for 10 minutes. Turn upright and allow them to cool completely before you store them.

CRABAPPLE JELLY

Lots of people have crabapple trees and have no idea what to do with the bitter little things. Well…make jelly of course!

Pick about 2 quarts of crabapples. Clean, de-stem and cut out bad spots. Cut in half. Place your cleaned up fruit into a pot of water with the water level at the top of the apples. Simmer the apples in the pot for 30-60 minutes or until the fruit is tender but not mushy. Let the fruit drain into pot for several hours using a jelly bag or panty hose. You may speed up the process by using cheesecloth and squeezing but this will give you a cloudy jelly. Ideally let them hang for 12 hours and then measure how many cups you have. Use 3/4 of a cup of sugar for every cup of juice.

Pour the juice into a pan and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add sugar per original number of cups of juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 pats of butter to cut down on foam. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes and the natural pectin will start to thicken your jelly. It should drop from the spoon in sheets rather than drops. Store in hot, clean jars. Ideally this jelly should be sweet tart. They are crabapples after all.

DANDELION JELLY

Wondering what to do with the pesky weeds that pop up everywhere in your yard. Make one of the prettier jellies and use what otherwise would just be a nuisance!

Start with 1 quart of lightly packed dandelion flowers. Only the yellow portion. Try not to get any of the bitter greens of stem in to the pot. Boil the flowers in 2 quarts of water for about 10 minutes. Cool and strain your liquid. Add 2tbs of lemon juice, the zest of one lemon and 1 package of pectin to 3 cups of yellow liquid. Bring to a rolling boil and then add 5 cups of sugar. Mix well and return to a boil. Pour into hot pint jars and seal. Allow to cool before storing.

BEET JELLY

I love beets but they get a bum rap when it comes to doing things with them. There is more to them than making pickled beets. It is a pretty jelly for sure.

Use 8-10 medium beets. Peel and simmer in 5 cups of water until fork tender. Strain the beets juice which should yield about 4 cups. Mix the beet juice with 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 packet of pectin and bring to a full boil. Stir in 6 cups of sugar and return to a boil for roughly 1-2 minutes. Put into hot, clean jars and let cool before storing.

VIOLET JELLY

Spring is a great time to make floral jelly. Violet jelly is beautiful to look at and has a faintly floral, kind of grape flavour. I give it in gifts often because it just looks that darn good!

Collect 3 cups of violet blooms. Pick all the stems and greens from the flowers. Pour 3 cups of boiling water onto the flowers and let them steep until the water colour is a bright and brilliant blue. Strain the flowers and place your blue water into your cooking pot. Add the juice of one lemon and your liquid will change colour. This is normal! Add 1 packet of pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Add 3 1/2 cups of sugar and return to a boil while stirring. Place into hot/clean jars as normal and allow to cool.

**You can also make LAVENDER JELLY using 1/2 cup of dried lavender flowers. Place them into 3 1/2 cups of boiling water and allow them to steep for 30 minutes. Prepare in the same way as the violet jelly.

So I hope you get the gist of it. You can also follow the basic rules above and make jelly out of your discarded pea pods, extra cucumbers, any fruit tree you have around your house and many florals, like roses. My favourite question is “what can I do with that?” Always think about what you can do with what you have available…before you pay for it!

Tina
https://prudent-living.groups.io

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Coach Gilberto Chapter Eighteen by Stephen Halpert

Gilberto looked from a trembling Maria to the snake on the bed and back again. “Do you want to leave? What shall we do?” Feeling foolish as he stood there with a towel wrapped around his waist, he looked for something to use as a weapon.

“Just call the manager,” she gasped out.

“But Maria, the phone is by the bed,” he said. Tucking in the towel more firmly he gazed at the large black snake wriggling on the bed and tried to think.

He was saved by a knock at the door. “Everything all right in here? Someone reported screaming.”

Keeping his eye on the snake, Gilberto reached to open the door. He glared at the hotel manager. “No, it is not!” he shouted. There’s a snake in here. I’m ready to pack up and leave. Get it out of here!”

Coming into the room, the hotel manager frowned. He looked upset.

“What are you saying?”

Gilberto pointed at the bed, but there was no snake to be seen. He rubbed at his face. “There was a big black snake on the bed and it scared my wife half to death!”

The manager sighed. “Oh dear, Bobo is not supposed to be in this part of the hotel.”

“Bobo”” Gilberto’s face morphed between confusion and indignation and back again. “Bobo? Who’s Bobo?”

Meanwhile the manager had begun searching the room in earnest. Finally, after several minutes he pulled the long black snake out from behind the old-fashioned radiator.

“Ah ha,” the manager said. “Bobo. Why do you do this, cause problems for our guests? Give the hotel a bad name.” He put the snake around his neck and patted it. Frowning, he said “Bobo what are you doing here in the guest quarters? Your place is in the kitchens! Why must you roam about the hotel and frighten our guests?”

 Gilberto was incensed. “You know that snake? You talk to him?”

The manager nodded. “Bobo! Everyone throughout the hotel knows Bobo.” His voice was tender as he stroked the reptile. “He is our mascot of sorts.”

“Kill him.” Gilberto shook his fist.

“But sir, Bobo is an endangered species. Besides, he is quite tame.”

Gilberto shook his fist at Bobo. “You frightened my wife half to death.”

Bobo eyed Gilberto. There was a sudden flick of its long red tongue as its great bulk stretched out to its full length and wriggled again.

Gilberto thought the snake looked as though it were laughing at him. Then it opened its mouth and yawned.

“Yes, yes.” The manager was patting the snake and talking to it in soothing tones. A young man appeared behind him, carrying a box with handles. Carefully the manager deposited the snake in the box. “Take him back to the kitchen and put him where he belongs,” the manager said, patting the young man on the shoulder.

“Yes, Sir,” he responded.

The manager waved his hand while the young man carefully took Bobo from around his neck, placed him in a large ventilated box, and without another word started to leave the room.

“Wait. Please wait,” Maria said. You aren’t going to kill it are you?” she asked fearfully.

The manager frowned. “Kill him? Of course not! Bobo is an endangered Saint Vincent black snake. As well, he’s incredible mouser. Keeps our rodent population in check.”

Gilberto took some deep breaths and relaxed his fists.

Maria’s face brightened. “Gilberto,” she said. “Maybe we could keep it. Put it in the Houndstooth biology lab.”

Gilberto’s eyes widened. “Please Maria.” He shook his head but to no avail.

“Really,” she went on. “It seems so happy and peaceful. It would make a wonderful pet for Mona.”

He looked helpless. “Please Maria,” was all he could say.

Maria looked at the hotel manager. “Could you arrange shipping it to my husband’s school?”

Sadly, the hotel manager shook his head. “I regret to say, Bobo is ours and must stay here.”

 “No doubt,” Gilberto said softly. “But think of the good publicity for your hotel. Bobo must have brothers and sisters all living throughout the walls. Hundreds maybe, living in the woodwork watching guests unsuspecting of their presence.”

“Please,” the manager held open his palm in a show of resignation. “The authorities…please.”

Maria frowned and sighed. “Mona will be so disappointed.”

“Yes,” Gilberto said, admitting defeat.

“We understand,” she said. Then she smiled again at Bobo, who Gilberto was sure was taking everything in.

“Such a sweet snake,” she said.

“Please sir,” the manager proclaimed. “Our guests for dining for you and Mrs. Santiago during your entire stay. My most sincere apologies.”

Maria smiled at the manager. “Thank you,” she said softly. “It was quite a shock.”

The manager opened his phone. “An hors d’oervres platter and complimentary Champagne for Mr. and Mrs. Santiago.”

He smiled, bowed politely and left. Gilberto chuckled. “I’ll bet whoever let Bobo go wandering will be sorry,” he said, as he reached for his clothes.

Moments later a tray of delectable appetizers and a chilled bottle of Champagne arrived.

“I think we’ve just been bribed,” Maria giggled.

“Good Russian caviar, ” Gilberto said, reaching for a cracker.

“Thanks Bobo,” Maria said with a smile.

The Champagne was French. They toasted one another and feeling heady, dressed for dinner and went to the dining room.

Gilberto consulted his schedule. “Free until tomorrow afternoon. How about a swim after dinner?”

Maria grinned. “You just want to see me in my new bikini.”

“That too,” he chuckled.

While they waited to feast on their order of a variety of fresh ocean shellfish, Gilberto phoned Rain. “How are things?” he said.

“All’s well here,” Rain said. “Have fun and enjoy yourselves.”

And they did. The next two days were taken up with soccer protocol: Rules for schoolboy tournaments, creation and expansion of leagues, coaching opportunities, even a fancy photo op for visiting coaches and school administrators. Gilberto and Maria socialized and enjoyed the menu offerings, and Bobo made no more appearances, at least where they could see him.

To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
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Resource Guarding — Why Some Cats Can’t Share
By Rita Reimers

Resource guarding is fairly common in multi-cat households, and most people have experienced it with their cats. Yet in our cat behavior practice, we have found that many people don’t know the term for it, nor what causes it to happen, let alone what to do about it.

Why it happens
Cats who have spent a great deal of time homeless or in shelters, especially those who have been deprived of food in the past, are most likely to resource guard. This behavior usually happens when there is a perceived lack of resources for the cats, even if there are plenty.

Usually there is also an underlying stress component that triggers this type of behavior. Often, we will see it happen by the resident cat when another cat enters the household. A new cat may also exhibit guarding if he has come from a situation of abandonment or lack of food and water. Feline insecurity can also cause your cat to feel stressed by any household changes, such as new people entering (new spouse or roommate) or by people leaving the household (divorce, kids leaving for college).

One of my cats, Smoochy, is very protective of her time with me. If any other cats try to come near me when Smoochy is on my lap, she will swat at them. Before swatting, she will growl and often “bark” at the other cat. When she’s on my lap, the other cats know to stay away until she leaves. When she does try to bully the other cats, I simply set her down on the floor and walk away. She’s learning that her guarding of my lap equals removal of my attention, so she’s getting better about sharing me.

What it looks like
Guarded resources can be anything from toys and food to places and people. Cats exhibit guarding of resources by:

  1. Hissing to warn others to stay away
  2. Swatting at other cats and perhaps even their human to stay away
  3. Literally blocking the other cat’s access to an item or place to prevent other cats from getting near
  4. Scratching items to claim as territory
  5. Spraying or peeing on items (or people)

Resources your cat might guard:
Food
Toys
People
Litter boxes
Cat trees
Cat scratchers
Napping spots

Anything else they decide is “theirs”

What to do
If you notice one of your cats is guarding resources from the other(s), there are things you can do to prevent the behavior from escalating into constant bullying or fighting. Nipping these behaviors in the bud is the key to preventing disagreements among your cats and keeping peaceful coexistence.

Here are a few tips:

Prevent food bowl sharing by putting a bowl down for each cat.

Remove lids from litter boxes, so one cat cannot trap the other in the box.

Provide more than one litter box area so the bullied cat has another option if one litter box area is being guarded.

Give each cat one-on-one time with you, as well as group play experiences.

Provide enough toys, cat beds, cat trees and cubby holes that each cat can claim one as theirs.

Try flower essences as a natural choice for calming stress in both the bully and the bullied cat. Two to try are Convivial House Cat and Cat Calm Stress Reducing Liquid Formula.

Give your cats praise whenever they are together and no bullying or guarding happens.

If needed, visit your veterinarian if your cats need anti-anxiety assistance with medication.

Living in harmony with multiple cats can be done. I live with 18 cats and rarely do I see resource guarding in my house. Providing enough toys, food and love for all cats goes a long way toward correcting, or even preventing, bullying and resource guarding.

Now that you know what to look for, you’ll be able to bring harmony to your own cat household and prevent guarding behaviors before they become too much of a habit.

Help your cats adapt
When bringing a new cat home to your resident cat, prepare ahead of time with the following steps.

If it’s possible, do some scent swapping before the new cat enters your household or at the very least before introductions happen.
Provide enough toys and bedding areas for both cats to enjoy.
Feed your cats in separate bowls instead of having them share one plate.
Give your resident cat extra praise and love when in the company of the newbie, so he knows he has not been replaced.

Mutual playtime will help the cats become friends, as long as time and attention from you (and treats!) is distributed evenly and both also get special alone time with you.

Rita Reimers and Linda Hall are co-founders of The Cat Behavior Alliance, offering a unique Duo-Approach to cat behavior correction. Visit them at CatBehaviorAlliance.com for more information. You can also find Rita and Linda on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok @CatBehaviorAlliance.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope.
Beginning Sunday, July 03, 2022

All Signs
This week generates a wide range of moods that swing from one extreme to the other. Hopeful inspiration and innovative ideas to stubbornness and pigheaded points of view. Oy! Nevertheless, there will be a fun-filled, buoyant energy to most of this week, especially Monday! (Good news for those celebrating July 4th.) This week Mars enters Taurus and Mercury enters Cancer. That’s a shift! We can expect an increased interest in food, restaurants and gardening. (Yum, yum.) Mercury in Cancer will also encourage activity at marinas, and a desire to tinker with engines. Boats or cars. (Obviously, these jobs require basic motor skills.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Things are going well for you now, and will continue to go well this summer because lucky Jupiter is in your sign for the first time in 12 years. (Not too shabby!) Mars has just entered your Money House, which means you’re going to be tempted to make some big expenditures. Meanwhile, Venus will sweeten your words with everyone. In fact, it will heighten your appreciation of your daily world. (That’s nice.) Meanwhile, both the Sun and Mercury will channel your focus on home and family, especially to areas that need attention – home improvements and home repairs. (“This again? I just fixed it seven years ago!”)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Mars moves into your sign this week to stay for seven weeks. This will boost your energy and make you work hard to further your own interests. You will also assert yourself among others because you want to show the world what you can do. You will be more of a fighter for your own rights than usual. Your physical energy will be high, which is why physical sports and outdoor exercise will be a wise choice, in case you need to blow off any pent-up steam building up within you. You can really use this energy boost to your advantage! Meanwhile, Venus will attract money to you. It will also tempt you to buy beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. (Taurus loves antiques and fine things.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Fair Venus continues in your sign for the next two weeks making you charming and diplomatic with everyone. This is a good time for you to make peace with others. It’s also an excellent time to relax because Venus always ranks pleasure above work. Take advantage of this influence and shop for wardrobe goodies for yourself. Meanwhile, this week, Mercury joins the Sun in your Money House, which means you will be more concerned with business and commercial affairs than usual. You might negotiate about money, property or possessions. You might also feel the need to define your values to someone else.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The next few weeks are the perfect time for you to formulate goals and start to actively pursue them. Why? For starters, this is the only time all year the Sun is in your sign. (This boosts your confidence and helps you to make a great impression on others.) Furthermore, because it’s your birthday month, you have that sense of “new beginnings”. Plus, Mercury is in your sign as well, which make you chatty and full of lots of ideas! Meanwhile, physical activity with friends, especially athletics, will be an excellent choice for you because Mars likes to be active. In particular, Mars likes to win!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Both the Sun and Mercury are hiding in your chart, which means, you are happy to take a backseat and “hide” yourself. (Ideally, in luxurious comfort with good food and drink. Let’s be real.) Nevertheless, countering this desire to seek peace and quiet, fiery Mars has moved to the top of your chart, and this arouses your ambition! In addition, Venus has just moved into the part of your chart that heightens warm interactions with friends and groups. So, in one way, you want to hide in comfort. Yet at other times, you want to enjoy group settings, conferences and classes because relations with others are cozy and warm! Go figure. Life is full of contradictions.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Your popularity continues! You are encountering younger people more than usual in your immediate circle of friends; and you’re keen to exchange ideas and be in the company of others, especially groups. At the same time, your interest in making goals is strong now. You’re giving a lot of thought to your life expectations. No doubt this will include travel plans because you have a strong urge to get outta Dodge! This is why you are looking for ways to travel this summer because you need a change of scenery! Although you might have high hopes of distant travel and thrilling destinations, ironically, you just need a change. You don’t have to go far to get a change. (But you do have to get dressed and get out of your home.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Both the Sun and Mercury are at the top of your chart, which makes you look good! Mercury will encourage you to make plans about your professional life, which might mean new training or new studies. You’re also interested to talk to bosses or employers to advance your position. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, you want to travel. Oh yes! You love schmoozing in great hotels and resorts with excellent room service. (Your idea of roughing it is when the air-conditioning is weak.) Disputes about inheritances and shared property might occur. Fortunately, because you look so good to people in power, you’re in an excellent position for a favourable outcome. (Use what you got.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You want to travel or do something to get a change of scenery because you’re hungry for adventure! (Some of you will find new studies rewarding and stimulating as well because the discovery of new ideas and new information will be thrilling.) Do make note that if you have disputes with others about inheritances or shared property, you will have the upper hand and the outcome will be favourable to you. In fact, gifts, goodies and favours from others will come your way. Personally, romance is very passionate right now. Not only passionate but deeply affectionate. This is a good thing because with Mars opposite your sign for the next six weeks, you might be irritated with others. (Ouch.) Patience is your best ally.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Lucky you! Mars just moved into your House of Work, which means you’re gung-ho to get things done! This is why you will throw your energy into working hard, and why you will be able to defer tomorrow’s pleasure for today’s work. (I’m impressed.) Nevertheless, fair Venus is opposite your sign, which is the best place for it to be for all of your relationships – love affairs, friendships and professional partnerships. This means that while you are so keen to work, at the same time, you get along well with others. They might even help you! This is perfect because you want to do some outdoor entertaining, as well as enjoy sports events and playful activities with kids. It’s all coming together for you!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Because Mars is now in your fellow Earth sign (where it will stay until late August) your energy is getting a lovely boost! In particular, you will seek out ways to be playful and sportive because you want to have fun and pleasure! Expect to socialize more as you enjoy entertaining diversions, sports events and playful times with kids. This is the perfect time for a vacation! Even romance will be hot and sexy. This is appropriate because with the Sun and Mercury now opposite your sign, you are focused more than usual on partnerships and close relationships. This will help you to discuss matters with greater objectivity, especially how to improve the relationship. Even your health will improve!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You are still eager to get organized and work hard to accomplish as much as possible. In fact, now that Mercury has changed signs, you will be more hands-on than ever – digging in to get things done! Small wonder because Mars is stirring things up on the home front. Visiting guests, relatives and family get-togethers will create increased activity where you live, and this demands your attention. Meanwhile, you’re happy to entertain others. In fact, you’re up for good times! Nevertheless, enjoying a vacation, as well as entertaining others, takes work, energy and planning. Fortunately, you now have the energy to make this happen! In addition, you’re in a positive frame of mind, which is the key to every successful operation.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Starting this week, you are cranking up your efforts to have a good time. You want to party! You want to enjoy vacations. You want to have time off. This is why you will delight in sports events and enjoy playful activities with kids. Your ability to communicate to others will be forceful and to the point, which is good news for those of you who sell, write, teach and act. Your days will get busier. You will entertain more at home as well as redecorate your digs because you want to make everything to come together! And you want to express your creative energy! And of course, an increase to your earnings and wealth is another reason to be happy! How suite it is.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 03 July 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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: As an Aries, you hate compromise of any variety. Yet judging by the week’s planetary setup, that’s what you’ll need to do, and in several situations. The irony is, once you’re actually learning about these, and acknowledge their potential, you’ll realise they could turn out better than your original plans or ideas. If you can’t let those go, at least explore your options. You won’t regret it.

A frank and open discussion about finances is necessary. Spending is starting to exceed your earnings and unless you cut down on unnecessary expenditures it’s going to be difficult to make ends meet later in July. Working for a relative could bring in a little extra. Someone close is hurting and you wish you could take away the pain. Being there for them when they need you will be appreciated more than you realise.

Aries needs a sparring partner and excels when they find the right one. True, in order for that situation to arise you likely need to be marginally irritated. If not that, then your investigative skills need to be active. Whatever, being drawn into lively discussion or a war of words with a political undercurrent is probable. Double check all facts. It would be rare for your memory to be faulty but, before you go into the next stage of a battle, you do need to be well armed. Whatever, in the run-up to next week’s Full Moon, your ability to cope with challenges should get you noticed and increase your negotiating power next week.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: You’re already rethinking once-worthwhile, if not cherished, plans. However, dynamic Mars’s move into Taurus, on Tuesday – for a six-week stay – kickstarts a cycle of review and, equally, change. While some developments will be a relief, others will be as sudden as they are unsettling, at least initially. You’ll soon recognise them as they breakthroughs you’ve been seeking, but in a different, and unexpectedly thrilling, form.

Instead of dwelling on recent disappointments, remind yourself of all your achievements so far this year. Forget about upsets of the past and concentrate instead on making your future brighter. It would be a shame to mar a good relationship by bearing grudges. Accept an invitation issued by a neighbour that sounds quite dull to you. You could be surprised by how much fun someone can be in a different setting. Plan something unusual if you are going out on a date.

Mars arrives in your sign on Tuesday. This is a significant transit that lasts until August 20. View this as an energiser. Initially the driver may be protecting an idea, product or service that’s been in your research and development department for the better part of two years. The challenge then is how you deal with competitors and to learn from their marketing operations. It might not be a bad idea to discuss your position with a retired relative who speaks with authority about how best to value your work i.e., price it. Prior to next week’s Full Moon, these discussions should be viewed as urgent.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: Recently, you’ve worked hard organising plans. However, with both your ruler Mercury and Mars moving into new positions, on Tuesday, sudden shifts in circumstances demand you rethink existing plans, and swiftly. While unsettling, every twist and turn is leading you to breakthroughs, both in once unsurmountable obstacles and your ideas about what’s next. For now, focus on exploration. Decisions can, and should, wait.

Expect to find yourself extra busy as a new month begins. What will surprise you most is how much you are loving every minute of it. You could never really feel happy or fulfilled in simply lazing your days away. Now is your chance to get ahead with jobs that aren’t urgent but need to be done. Don’t waste this opportunity. New guidance in the workplace will allow you greater freedom to make your own choices and decisions.

Take care that you don’t overload colleagues with information. Dropping ideas is one thing, but these need to be backed up with practical plans and resources. By Tuesday you may be challenged. The determination of others to pin you down – particularly where costs are concerned would surely be frustrating and not bring out the best in you! Squandering time through what is actually displacement activity would be another act of self-sabotage. Focus is essential but should come at the first Quarter Moon on Thursday. Simultaneously, you should experience another surge of creativity. This one though will likely require you working more closely with a colleague possibly even after hours on what you determine to be a secret project intended for display at the end of next week.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: The shakeups you’re facing are clearing the way for breakthroughs. While it’s clear the form some will take, others are a mystery. In fact, the powerful Full Moon, on the 13th, and its accompanying ideas and offers, is pivotal. In the meanwhile, focus on decluttering your life of unrewarding plans and commitments and, in some cases, burdensome goals, being now and continue over the coming weeks.

Plans have been discussed and now is the time to get started on projects that fill you with excitement. Anticipation boosts your energy and general zest for life. This mood will prove to be highly infectious. Even when there are challenges to overcome you are able to inspire everyone to remain positive. Go out of your way to offer encouragement to someone who is struggling with a worry or two. You will be a big help to a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on.

It’s rarely hard for a Cancerian to talk about the past. Your memories are generally good and accurate – if at times prompting emotional outburst. This recall is sure to have added value in a conversation taking place mid-week when a team require access to your archival knowledge. It’s likely that they are adamant that new directions must be found and yes, that as a group they are becoming political – possibly dogmatic in their approach. They may need to be reminded of the past and the very foundations on which something has been built. It’s unlikely that you’re averse to trying new methods but that you have real understanding of why schedules and procedures were initially put in place. In the run-up to next week’s Full Moon in your opposite sign you may find it necessary to stand firm – even when discussions take an ugly turn.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: You’re in a tricky position. Circumstances or, possibly tricky circumstances are forcing you to go along with others’ plans or decisions. While you’ve an adventurous streak, you fear these are taking you into unfamiliar, if not risky, territory. The secret? Avoid analysis or discussions and instead, take things one day at a time. Gradually, you’ll realise what seemed least appealing is a breakthrough, if in disguise.

An online conversation will alert you to some background goings on which have been kept well under cover. Think twice when asked to perform duties outside your job description. Who is this likely to benefit? If it, isn’t you, say no. Making good choices will help you further your own career. An interest will be shown in an exciting investment opportunity but this could turn out to be something of a con so be careful.

It might not be such a bad idea to blow your own trumpet. With both Mercury and Mars changing sign on Tuesday, there will be new energies to enjoy and not difficult to push your career aims forward. Yes, for some this might be all about arguments about whether or not to work from home. Property issues certainly seem to be the big theme. There is also the issue of cash restraint and how assets should be used. Within the working scene you might wonder if someone is deliberately sabotaging a marketing plan requiring you to play ‘supersleuth’ to ascertain motivation. You are likely right that they’re working hard to protect their own interests – and not for the greater good.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: Now that you’ve acknowledged certain changes aren’t just inevitable, they’d be wise, you’re eager to get things organised. While that’s understandable, you’re short of facts. You need to explore. That could mean venturing into new, and unfamiliar, territory. Begin by asking those you trust for suggestions. For now, focus on learning as much as you can. Final decisions? They can, and should, wait.

A colleague is making some bad decisions. A plum assignment will be offered and the chance to make huge sums of money will muddle their thinking. The terms of a business arrangement will be confusing and you sense there are strings attached. Your built-in security system will warn you to keep away from what could be a dodgy deal. A relative will be acting out of character. Very soon you will discover what is causing them to behave this way.

Never underestimate your ability to absorb information. With both Mercury, your ruling planet, and then Mars changing signs on Tuesday, thirst for information is set to increase. Property issues may be at the heart. Whether you’re creating space, or using it differently, you could enjoy the process even whilst arguing with someone who feels they know so much better as to where items should be placed. Anticipate too that you might feel the need to be in more than one place at a time. Yes, that’s not an unusual situation for any sign. It does appear though, that presently, your expertise and opinions will be requested for more than one project and that by Friday you will be ‘double-booked’ and overstretched.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: You’re in a period of discussion and discovery, but not decision-making. Once that’s clear, you’ll stop worrying about future plans and focus on making timely if disruptive changes. While unsettling, these are clearing the way for new ideas, if not stunning breakthroughs. The first step? Say farewell to elements of the past. Some seem vital but once you’ve said farewell to them, you’ll realise they’re not.

The kind, caring and tolerant side of your nature will get you far and gain you a few extra friends too. Should you notice someone is on the receiving end of another person’s somewhat bigoted point of view, don’t hesitate to step in and put a stop to such behaviour. A neighbourhood gathering may not sound your idea of bliss but give it a try anyway. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to support a community beautification project.

Thursday’s First Quarter Moon is in your sign indicating that it really is time to get your act together. The good news is that with both Mercury and Mars changing sign on Tuesday, accessing energy ought not to be difficult. This is not the time to allow your lazy Libra sub- personality to take over. Think back to all you’ve achieved since your birthday. These have been truly uneasy times and the challenges great. Yet you may well have done far better than you realise. Working partnerships – especially with those who aren’t local, – should now be on new course and developing these be priority. With Mercury now moving through the career zone of your solar chart, this would be a good time to talk about your ideas and what you’d like to nurture (be in charge of!) next.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: No sign is better at calculating which plans will go as intended, versus those that could lead to confusion, if not chaos. Yet recent unsettling events have exceeded even your predictive talents. That’s because they’re true breakthroughs. They’re about altering your perspective on pivotal situations. Taking a chance on the unexpected may seem risky, but it’ll transform your vison of the futures and, possibly, life.

A moneymaking venture will offer you a degree of financial security and this will be good for your peace of mind. As well as seeing a boost in income, there will be a chance to gain or benefit through further education or training. Don’t dismiss the idea of enrolling on a study course because of your age or because you don’t feel capable of reaching the standard required for examinations. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t try. Once you put your mind to it you will be amazed by what you can do.

This should be an excellent week for undergoing any kind of test or examination. Accessing information ought not be difficult as your memory should be in excellent working order. As importantly, it seems you know exactly how to present material and how to make it compelling. By Friday you could be considered the star in a team. All this aside however, you may have anxiety about the mental health of someone who hasn’t coped with a situation as well. It may be that their emotional life is clouding their judgement. They may also be sleep deprived. Coaxing that person into realising that all is not lost, is something you can do. Indeed, your skills and understanding in this area is a trait that should get you noticed.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: You’ve an instinctive understanding that, when necessary, even pivotal decisions can be made swiftly. However, the current confusion isn’t just irritating, it’s slowing the pace. This is annoying. However, in retrospect, you’ll realise what a relief it’s been to take time, both to say farewell to elements of the past and, equally, to explore options as exciting as they are unexpected. Those decisions? They can wait.

Keep quiet about money and business deals. Obviously, a partner will be in on your every move but they won’t want the world to know about it and you will respect their desire to keep some plans a secret. A colleague will share confidential information with you. Again, this is something you should not pass on to others. If someone special has been away for a while, news received on Thursday could mean they are homeward bound at last.

As you know, wealth and health are inexorably linked. As of Tuesday, when both Mercury and Mars change sign, just how apt that statement is should be apparent. It may be that you are on collision course with a Gemini, Libra or Aquarius whom you may feel has not attended to matters sufficiently well and thus created difficulties. It’s probable that they’ve done the best they can under significant pressure and that they now want to work with you to find resolution. Thursday’s First Quarter Moon should provide the required energy boost. Coincidentally, a close partner may need to talk about developments in their career. Your understanding of what they’ve been through, and the challenges they’ve faced – but also where they’ve excelled, – could help them arrive at a decision as to which offer to accept.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: It’s no secret you’re facing several pivotal decisions. While certain individuals are in a hurry, you’re unclear about your priorities or lack vital information. Since this confusion remains until the Capricorn Full Moon on Tuesday the 13th, take it slowly. For now, give serious thought to what it’s time to say farewell to anyway. This will clear your diary and focus your mind.

Plans you had not expected to get going on yet will suddenly start moving forward at an amazing rate of knots. Things are going too fast for your liking. Life will be far from boring when there is so much to think about and so many things to do. You might wonder whether you can cope. Take it one day at a time. Success will come through balancing your mental and physical strengths and from your ability to remain calm under fire.

Thursday’s last Quarter Moon is in another of the Cardinal signs and comes just a few days after Mercury arrives in your opposite sign. Together, this suggests an energy surge. Your expertise should be put to good use. It’s likely that you will be asked to take charge of a team or become further involved in either marketing or distribution. You may not be entirely comfortable with this proposal. What it almost certainly means is that you understand of how a situation has developed and the errors that have been made along the way will prove invaluable. This is a haunting theme that’s now played for the better part of two years. It would be understandable if you were exhausted. However, you may need to stick with this in order to you secure your position long-term.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: Few things annoy you more than being forced to commit to changes or make decisions while you’re short of facts or unsure of your own priorities. Yet this is what you’re facing, and in a range of situations. The secret? Regard these as an experiment, and instead of worrying about getting things right, you’ll enjoy the process of discovery this period is all about.

Arguments in the home have caused tension. You will be doing your best to please someone to restore harmony. If you’re hoping to sweet talk a loved one into agreeing with new ideas you have for the future, go all out with such efforts as the week begins. Choosing the right words will be matched by a good sense of timing. Most fulfilment comes through combining hard work with moments of quiet reflection.

On Tuesday, Mars arrives at the base of your solar chart as Mercury also moves into a new sign. This represents a major change in gear. Mars acts as energiser which can be useful. However, if you’re irritated this could manifest as a rash or even a tummy upset. It is likely that there will be issues that press all the ‘wrong’ buttons. Of course, it could be argued that these are the ‘right’ buttons to energise you into making decisions that improve your career prospects. Certainly, Thursday’s First Quarter Moon in another of the Air signs indicates increased desire to know more and to tackle major issues. Those of your sign are coping with the slow transit of Saturn through Aquarius. This is a time to step up and be counted but yes, there will be moments along the way where you need to compromise – as now.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Epigram: It’s not that you’ve been secretive. With so much in transition, you’ve been unable to discuss plans, for the here and now, or the future. The secret? Relax. Others are well aware of the unsettled nature of this period. What’s more, they’d be delighted to exchange ideas about your vision for the here and now, and, equally, the future. Open up. You’ll be glad you did.

A relative or neighbour’s moodiness has been worrying you. Suddenly they will snap out of it and it will be a relief to see them back to their normal self. It will be good to know you have no further cause for concern. Family life will bring a few emotional moments and although you try hard to hide your feelings, right now, emotions are so powerful that there is no way you will want to repress them.

There are four significant factors to take account of this week. Priority must be given to both Mercury and Mars changing signs on Tuesday. That will bring with it fresh energy and in your case, require developing better relations with those who archive material. It might even be necessary to visit a library or access old documents. All this may be driven by a degree of anger or at least irritation. It may be that you need to know more about your home or workplace and its boundaries. A further possibility is that you’ll feel invaded at some level – perhaps by workmen doing essential work but where you feel that your daily routine is compromised. The First Quarter Moon on Thursday promises a surge of energy which again affects all signs, but in your case, could lead to open and frank discussion with someone who feels that they could improve your working situation and financial well-being if you would let them.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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The Magic of Crystals
Introduction to Energy Healing
Introduction to Paganism
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Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine
Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification
A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com
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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast 26 June 2022

For Jasper – RIP

“And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them. . . and always will.”

by Linda Barnes

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

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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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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON -NEW MOON

The beginning of a new cycle.

Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity.

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

The New Moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting.

Magickal Attributes: Invoking. Workings On This Day Are For Starting New Ventures, New Beginnings, Love, Romance, Health Or Job Hunting.

It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone.

VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. New Moon workings can be done from the day of the New Moon to three-and-a-half days after.

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Goddess Month of Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ June 10th to July 7th is Oak

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in June/July

JUN. 25: Parvati Praise Day – Women’s Festival for Earth Mother
JUN. 27: Day of the Lares: Household Deities (/Roman) – honored and tended —cleanse/rededicate household – Altars/shrines.
JUN. 27: National Orange Blossom Day.
JUN. 27: National Indian Pudding Day.
JUN. 28. National Tapioca Day.
JUN. 29: NEW MOON in Cancer
JUN. 29: Shiva Day: Lord of the Dance invoked for blessings
JUN. 30: Sumerian Day of Aestas: Corn Goddess

JULY
JUL. 1: Crone Day – Kronia —honoring Kronos -Father Time and Rhea – Old Mother Nature.
JUL. 2: Roman Feast of Expectant Mothers.

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Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – July 3
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – July 10
Reiki III and Advanced: 3 PM – 5PM – July 10
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – July 17

More Circles!
Women’s New Moon Circle

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Organized by Sway – $25.00
Sticks & Stones

Men’s Circle – Green Lion Ate the Sun
Friday, July 1, 2022 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Organized by Deige
Entrance fee: Donations Welcomed
Sticks & Stones

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Spiritual Guidance for Summer

We are now entering the summer season, which represents fertility, inspiration and rebirth. This energy gives rise to colorful fruits, both out there in the world and in our inner worlds, which we will sow at the end of the summer. So, this time of the year is really an opportunity to renew, add zest and color to all areas of your life.

There could be a release of pressure, especially felt at your workplace or career endeavors. Those who have been dealing with financial issues will find solutions that are of long-term and stable nature.

This period will illuminate our consciousness and increase our ability to relate to what is foreign to us. It will bring talks about philosophy and higher knowledge of the world. We could see or hear foreign policies changing in some countries. Religion and higher learning could have new and much welcome influence in our lives.

The summer season is the only time period where the Sun is in its own sign (July 22 to August 22), which is a period of increased outdoors activities. Nature reaches full maturity and manifests all possibilities. The energy goes outward, toward the event and to the connection with life and with others. Thus, we see that we are the active agents of our expression in physical reality.
Summer and Love

Enjoying the sun, connecting with nature and being receptive to positive energy, is the best way to manifest desires this summer. The Sun will be shining bright in the sky and the universe will be supporting new friendships and love connections. For those that are currently single the energy will become more sensual and sexy. This summer is a particularly good time for change, to start new projects and to meet new people.

Love is on the horizon! With a summer full of passionate solar dances in the sky, the planets’ special celestial movements everything is in place for love to thrive and your troubles to go away.

Summer Blessings,
Cherokee Billie
https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Tarot for Connecting with Source Energy
JUNE 26, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

Whenever we connect with source energy, we can tap into a deeper meaning in life that transcends the day-to-day. “Source” can mean our higher selves, the gods, ancestors, spirit, or wisdom. This tarot reading gives you insights on connecting with it.

Hold a deck of tarot cards to your heart for a few breaths. Shuffle them, then choose five cards from the center.

Card 1: Where you are now
Card 2: How you get confused or disconnected
Card 3: What you do when you get confused/disconnected
Card 4: What’s holding you back from connecting with source
Card 5: What you have no control over and need to let go of

Write down the messages you receive from your reading in your Book of Shadows or journal. Choose one symbol that encompasses the most important insight. Draw it in seven places where you’ll see it every day and be reminded of it. If you have a dry-erase marker, mirrors and windows are especially great places. Whenever you see the symbol, honor its message.
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A Gazing Globe Spell
JUNE 25, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Originally, garden gazing globes had magical significance. They were placed in the garden to repel the evil eye or to reflect back the envious stare of a passerby. This spell will help you magically charge your gazing globe.

You’ll need some bottled spring water and a soft cloth. Moisten the cloth with the water. Gently wipe your gazing globe with the damp cloth as you speak this charm:

I bless you, gazing globe,
return all evil glares.
Protect my home, send back
all envious stares.

Try to place your globe so it can be seen from the street. Renew your magical charge once a year or more if you feel the need.
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Homes for House Spirits
JUNE 24, 2022 BY LAURA TEMPEST ZAKROFF

Cultures from around the world acknowledge the presence of house spirits. Though they are called by different names, there’s a common theme throughout: if you want things in your home to be copacetic, then respecting the house spirits is crucial. If this is a new idea to you, it may help to build or provide a tiny home or space just for the spirits where you can interact with them. Possibilities include a small birdhouse, a little curio cabinet, or a snail shell—nothing with locks or seals, so they can come and go as they please. Decorate as you feel inspired, and place it near the center of your home, ideally tucked away, semiprivate (in a corner, on a shelf, on top of a mantel, etc.). Announce to them:

Spirits of this home,
creatures of this place,
I acknowledge your
presence in this space.
Just for you, this special
space I have made.
Please do protect and bless
this house in trade.

Be sure to keep the area around the spirit home clean and respected, and if you feel called to make additional offerings, you can do so at this spirit home.
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Shield of the Sun
JUNE 23, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

This spell taps into the power of the sun, which is in the sign of Cancer today, to create loving boundaries that provide a safe space for emotional and ancestral healing to unfold. You can perform the spell at high noon, when the sun is at its full power, but any time during daylight hours is fine.

Sitting where you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, come into a light meditative state. Envision your aura around you, and see and feel the rays of the sun cleansing your energy field. Visualize the outermost layer of your aura glowing strong and bright, empowered with the sun’s rays, as you chant:

My aura shines with healing light,
And Cancer guards me with her might.
Safe from harm in sun’s embrace,
I’m whole,
I’m healed,
In sacred space.
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Paying the Ferryman
JUNE 22, 2022 BY NATALIE ZAMAN

On this day in 1978, Pluto’s moon Charon was discovered, so this is a good time to honor that archetype. In Greek and Roman mythology, Charon is the ferryman of the dead to whom souls paid a coin for passage into the next life.

What’s next for you? Find a penny—with this year’s date on it, if possible—and cleanse it with salt and water. If you can, pass it through the smoke of jasmine incense (which is good for dreaming). Place the coin under your bed (or between your mattress and box spring or in your pillowcase) with these words:

I’ve paid the toll. Show me what’s next.

Keep a journal by your bed so you can record what Charon reveals to you in your dreams.
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Sacred Prayer
JUNE 21, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

Here is a prayer for the summer solstice. Feel free to reword it as you wish.

I welcome the east, where energy rises;
call in the south, where the light
reaches; gather the west, where we seek
sacred rest; and greet the north, where
we sink into our roots. Hail above,
where our planetary parents Sun and
Moon reside, and below, where all
that has come before informs us.

Rise. Reach. Rest. Roots.
Above and below.

I place my hands on my heart and
know that as I stand in the bright
light of the summer solstice, I
celebrate mother and father, above
and below, day and night, sun and
moon. All of these live within me.

And as the sun stops and changes
direction, I too am called to shift my
trajectory, turning away from what
no longer works, releasing what no
longer serves, letting go of ancestral
trauma and inherited patterns.
Welcoming the radiant light of my
sacred parents, I stand solidly on Earth
and imagine new ways of being.

Blessed be.
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Who’s Your Muse?
JUNE 20, 2022 BY BARBARA ARDINGER

The daughters of Memory, the nine Greek muses, are as follows:

Clio: “fame-giver”
Euterpe: “joy-giver”
Thalia: “the festive”
Melpomene: “singing”
Terpsichore: “lover of dancing”
Erato: “awakener of desire”
Polyhymnia: “many hymns”
Urania: “heavenly”
Calliope: “beautiful voiced”

We honor the muses whenever we visit their home, the museum.

Poets, playwrights, and artists have always invoked their favorite muses. So why can’t ordinary people like us invoke them, too? Why can’t we appeal to the muse who most inspires us? Which muse will help us be better than we are, be more talented?

Consider what you enjoy, what you’re good at, what you want to do better. Read more about the muses and figure out who would best inspire you. When you’re ready, cast your circle and invoke your muse:

_ (Name of muse), I ask you to be present in my life. Help me find mentors and teachers. Remind me to practice what I learn And to be faithful to you. Gentle _ (Name of muse),
inspire me to be the best I can be.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1040 And Dine Upon Strawberries

Heartwings says, “Fresh picked berries taste best of all.”

Perhaps I am a heretic, yet I’ve never been a fan of strawberry shortcake. Who needs the biscuit? Strawberries, especial the local ones, are delicious just plain or with a little cream. They’re so heavenly sliced up on sorbet or ice cream, it almost seems a shame to cook them. They can of course be baked into muffins or pancakes. I make sauces of them, especially when they are very ripe and probably won’t keep for long. To do so I cut them up, cook them only briefly and add just a touch of sugar. This way they keep quite a while or can also be frozen for later.
Never wash strawberries until you are ready to use them, and if you can trust your source, try not to wash them at all. It removes some of the vitamin C. Also, I prefer not to refrigerate my strawberries. Like tomatoes, they lose some of their good taste when chilled. If you do refrigerate, be sure to take them out a half hour or so before eating so as to return them to room temperature

Strawberries can also be medicine: Mrs. Grieve, in A Modern Herbal, tells us that the brewed leaves are of great value as a mild laxative while the brewed root is astringent and can be used to treat diarrhea. Even more interesting is her information that fresh strawberries, rubbed on the gums, help keep them in good condition. This could be due to their high Vitamin C content. She also suggests that if strawberry juice is allowed to remain on the teeth for five minutes, and they are then brushed with baking soda, it will help whiten them.

A favorite source, Jeanne Rose’s Herbal, says that the leaves, brewed into tea, have alkaline properties and tend to neutralize excess acid in the stomach. She suggests you drink the tea for spongy gums. An old recipe for a face wash recommends “1-quart strawberries, some wild tansy, and three pints of new milk, distilled together over a soft fire.”

Sacred to the European fertility goddess, Freya, Strawberries are one of the few berries that have a reputation as an aphrodisiac. And, in the Middle Ages, pregnant women avoided them for fear of red birthmarks. Wild strawberries are said to be are the most desirable of all, however, any will do.

In the days when I had a garden, my mother gave me some European strawberry plants. They were perennial, so I enjoyed them every June. Their small, pointed berries were wonderfully sweet and tasty. I used to pick them and put them on my cereal of a summer morning. The birds and the chipmunks loved them too, as did the occasional young visitor to my spiral garden.

May your berries taste sweet whoever has picked them.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Have any strawberry tales to tell? Do please share, and I will be so happy to hear from you. Write to me at Tashahal@gmail.com, and check my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Beauty Day

Take the time today to really notice and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

Sometimes we go through whole days without really tuning in to the beauty of nature that surrounds us. We have a habit of seeing it without really taking it in, yet once we begin to notice it we treat ourselves to an exquisite realm of subtle, complex scents, miraculous forms, and ethereal light. The natural world enriches our entire being through the vehicles of our senses. When we are low, nature lifts our spirits. When we are tired, it rejuvenates us — if we pause long enough to drink from its beauty. If you have fallen out of the practice of taking time to observe the light as it filters through the leaves of a tree, or the concentric rings a raindrop makes as it plops into a puddle, you can retune yourself by dedicating a day to noticing the beauty in nature.

On this day, one possibility is to rise early enough to see the sunrise. Watching the sky change colors and the world emerge from darkness is an experience that will influence the whole rest of your day in ways that words cannot describe. Or simply observe the quality of the morning light as it infuses the world with its particular pale golden beauty. You may let the light play on your own hand, remembering that you are also part of the natural world. Let your intuition guide you to the elements of nature that call to you throughout the day, such as the sound of the wind as it shakes and sways a tree or the feeling of snowflakes landing on your warm eyelids and cheeks.

After you devote one day to opening your eyes more fully to the beauty of nature, you may want to make this part of your daily routine. Each day drink from the beauty all around you, and allow it to rejuvenate your entire being. All you have to do is pause, for just one minute, and really take it in, remembering to thank Mother Nature for her beauty.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Real-Life Horror Movie Locations

You ever wonder about locations of horror movies and if they were a set, if the buildings are gone, or if you can drive by and take a pic? Well, here’s just some of the biggies that still exist –

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”
1428 North Genesee Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

“The Shining”
Timberline Lodge” at Mt. Hood, Oregon

“The Fog”
Point Reyes Lighthouse, CA

“Halloween”
Pasadena, CA
The Myers house was moved across the street

“The Amityville Horror”
18 Brooks Rd. Tom’s River, NJ. The owners have done some revisions on the windows to be less distinct.

“Night of the Living Dead”
The cemetery can be found in Evans City, PA not too far from Pittsburgh and it looks identical to the movie still. I couldn’t resist going and finding this headstone myself.

“30 Days of Night”
Barrow, Alaska

“The Haunting” (1963)
The film took place in New England, but was actually filmed in the UK. Five miles southeast of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.

And, sometimes you find movie fans who can’t help but recreate the set of a horror movie –

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The Ripple Effect

Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters causing ripples to spread as they move outward.

In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples moves onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of positivity.

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How To Use Aloe To Treat Burns & Bites

The gel extracted from the inside of aloe (Aloe vera) leaves is a cost-effective, natural way to treat a variety of summer ailments: it can be used topically for the treatment of sunburn, first and second degree burns, skin irritations or inflammation, mosquito bites, and rashes from poisonous plants.

This summer, it’s a good idea to keep a potted aloe plant in your kitchen. Slice open a leaf and apply the gel to the affected area or consider keeping a lotion (look for those with a high percentage of aloe gel and more natural ingredients) or a gel product in your first aid kit. Be aware that topical use can trigger rare allergic reactions and may delay surgical wound healing. Always seek evaluation from your primary care provider or local urgent care for burns with significant blistering for proper evaluation and care.

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Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Tortillas
Black Beans
Salsa
Taco Seasoning

TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes YIELD: 4 servings 1x

These vegetarian tacos have a deliciously satisfying black bean filling with fresh salsa and seasonings all tucked into a golden crispy tortilla and served alongside a cool and creamy cilantro lime sauce. YUM!

Crispy Black Bean Tacos
1 (14 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4-ish cup of your favorite salsa
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
small flour tortillas
olive oil or butter for frying

Cilantro Lime Sauce:
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup sour cream (sub avocado to keep it dairy free / vegan)

INSTRUCTIONS
Blend all ingredients in the cilantro lime sauce until smooth-ish. Set aside.

In a food processor or chopper, blend the beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. Transfer to a skillet with a drizzle of oil and cook it up long enough to soften the flavors of the garlic and / or onions in the salsa. About 5 minutes is fine.

Spread a few tablespoons of black bean filling into a flour tortilla. Fold in half. Repeat until the filling is used up (about 6-8 tacos).

Heat some oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry in a skillet over medium heat, until crispy and golden brown. Dip in cilantro lime sauce. Serve with chips and salsa and a mid-week margarita. You’re welcome.

Serves 4
Calories Per Serving: 456
% DAILY VALUE
36%Total Fat 28.4g
6%Cholesterol 17mg
38%Sodium 876.2mg
16%Total Carbohydrate 44.6g
40%Dietary Fiber 11.1g
Sugars 3g
21%Protein 10.3g
7%Vitamin A 62.2µg
16%Vitamin C 14.1mg
16%Iron 2.9mg
12%Potassium 547.7mg
24%Phosphorus 302mg

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 17
by Stephen Halpert

Good news travels fast. By the following morning everyone was talking about Gilberto’s surprise faculty meeting. Helen Connor’s phone was jumping off the hook. Those who had chosen not to attend, immediately asked when the next meeting was scheduled.
“No idea,” Helen told them. “You’ll have to check with Gilberto. My guess is monthly but don’t go by me.” She chuckled. “After all I only work here.”
With that she stood, huffed and left her office for coffee. By the following morning what had been intended as a simple act of friendship on Gilberto’s part, had sparked confusion and doubt. By evening his gesture had become a source of deadly gossip.
His phone rang. It was Ramon. ” Has everyone been fired?”
“Whatever gave you that idea?”
“Just checking.”
“That’s crazy,” Gilberto said.
“That’s what I thought,” Ramon said. “But everyone’s uptight and confused. And fearful.”
“Why?” Gilberto said.
“Just too good to be true.” Ramon replied.
Gilberto huffed. “What a bunch of nitwits.”
“Listen,” Ramon said, “Ever since we got here, I’ve noticed people seem to be walking on eggs, fear getting pink slipped, or worse dumped for no reason. Unbeknownst to you and me, this has been the way Houndstooth has always operated.”
He shook his head and sighed, “That kind of behavior can break the spirit of the faculty. We’ll have to do some damage control.” He hung up, called Diana Rain and filled her in.
“On it,” she said. “Let me handle this. I’ve already got some ideas.” She hung up and Gilberto set down his phone with a sigh of relief.
Helen Conners came in and handed him a fancy envelope. “You’d best read this.”
He opened and scanned the impressive invitation. “We’ve been invited to the Secondary School Soccer Finals in Jamaica. All expenses paid.”
Helen grinned. “Maria will be thrilled. Time away in the Caribbean.”
Gilberto laughed. “You think? What an opportunity to scout talent.” He called Diana back and let her know the good news, then called Maria and told her. Her happiness came through the telephone very clearly. “When do we leave?”
“Saturday next.”
“That gives me time to buy a new bikini.”
He frowned. “You have some don’t you?”
She laughed. “Gilberto, a new bikini is a sign of the love and devotion a woman feels for her beloved.”
He huffed. “That last one cost you over a hundred dollars.”
“You wouldn’t want me to lose my top in the waves would you.”
He grinned but said nothing. “You’ve never lost a bikini in the ocean?”
“That’s because I make sure to buy a new one for occasions like this.”
“Sure,” he laughed. The thought of seeing her in a skimpy bikini stirred his blood. “Whatever you want,” he smiled. “Who am I to come between you and the Atlantic Ocean?” He grinned, envisioning her thrashing about with him in the wild frothy sea.
“Exactly,” she agreed. “And don’t worry you won’t be disappointed.”
And that night when he got home, he wasn’t, not in the least.
The next day Helen Connor made their reservations and presented Gilberto with their tickets and the itinerary. “I could get used to this,” Gilberto told her, as he thanked her. Quickly they set to work tidying up any loose ends and doing whatever necessary paperwork needed to keep Houndstooth running smoothly while he was away.
That Saturday Gilberto and Maria left for what promised to be a paid vacation. Joey, Mona and Boris the St. Bernard would be staying with Ramon and Rosa. As he walked out of their condo, he felt light hearted and happy, off with his lover to an island paradise.
They were at the airport when his phone rang. It was Diana Rain. “I’m sorry to bother you but I thought I’d best check in.”
“Everything ok?” He looked concerned.
“I hope so,” I’m here at the hospital.”
“What happened? Are you ok?”
“Oh, I’m fine. But I fear I dislocated Alvin’s collarbone. He was being terribly insistent and enough was enough. I told him several times to back off but all that seemed to do was to fan his enthusiasm. Finally, I was forced to take action. It was a momentary thing, over in seconds. He made me promise not to tell his wife. As far as Houndstooth is concerned he slipped.”
Gilberto chuckled. “But you’re fine?”
“Of course,” she chuckled. Gilberto please remember I survived the Gulf War. Alvin’s a chauvinist creep. Whatever I did, he more than deserved.”
Maria gave him a worried look. “Everything ok,” she asked?
Gilberto signed off and grinned. “No problem. Alvin was too friendly with Diana Rain, and she acted accordingly. Put him in the Emergency Room. All he told her was don’t tell my wife. What kind of a marriage is that?”
Maria nodded. “Good for Diana,” she said. “She’s my hero.”
The plane landed and as they stepped out, the heat was astounding. Gilberto was immediately drenched in sweat. His shirt clung against his skin. Then at the hotel, it was quite the opposite; the air conditioning ruled supreme, and he and Maria shivered from the relentless chill.
“So, in here we’re chilled or outside we fry,” Maria said. She slid out of her sundress and grinned at Gilberto. “How about a shower?”
“Sure,” he said. “I’ll never turn down a shower with you.”
“There’s a dinner at eight for visiting coaches and staff.”
“That’s us,” she grinned. “I hope they don’t stick us with chicken.”
“Please Maria, this is a five-star hotel.”
“Oh.” She grinned. “In that case they’ll give it a fancy Italian or French name.” They stepped into the large, gadget festooned shower and enjoyed the endless hot water and fancy soap.
“I’ll leave you to finish toweling off.” She said as she kissed him and left the luxurious bathroom.
He began drying himself with one of the thick towels. Suddenly he heard, a scream, “Gilberto, help!”
He panicked and rushed into the bedroom. Maria was standing against the mirrored closet door. She pointed to the bed. A large black snake moved lazily toward the pillow.”
To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

Growing Cat Grass and Catnip Indoors

Spring is here! With the grass turning greener and flowers in full bloom, it’s important to know what greenery is safe for your feline friends. For cats who are craving a taste of spring, we’re here to share how to create and cultivate a cat-friendly indoor garden.

Grass is Good
If you don’t know how to feel about your cat munching on grass, don’t be alarmed. Grass can actually provide a great deal of health benefits for your furry friends. Grass is a source of needed trace minerals, micronutrients, folic acid and vitamins A, B and D. It’s a healthy alternative to other potentially toxic plants, and adds fiber into their diet. However, eating too much grass might cause your cat to get sick — it acts as a natural laxative to rid your pet of things that may be causing digestive issues. Your cat will have a more regular gastrointestinal tract, fewer hair balls and less constipation.

Grass in Moderation
Cat grass and catnip are typically quite safe for your cat to have, but moderation is the name of the game. Cats don’t have the necessary digestive enzymes to process large quantities of grass, and overeating can result in excess vomiting. Like any other treat, cat grass should only take up to 10 percent of your cat’s total caloric intake a day in order to fully absorb all of its health benefits.

Catnip vs. Cat Grass
There’s two different types of plants for your feline friend to enjoy this season — catnip and cat grass. While catnip is a member of the mint family, cat grass is generally a combination of various types of grasses, rye, oat, barley or wheat grass that can be grown indoors. While both have health benefits for cats, they’re very different types of plants. Cat grass has a variety of health benefits as explained above, while catnip contains aromatic oils that relax your cat, such as nepetalactone. It stimulates their senses and has a soothing effect. Catnip excites many cats and may be useful as a form of positive reinforcement and encourages activity.

Grow Your Own Kitty Garden
You can bring the spring greenery inside for your cat to enjoy this season! Look for cat grass at your local pet store or try to grow your own using the following steps:

Sow your seeds. Sow cat grass seeds directly into your soil, about a quarter-inch deep. If you are planting in rows, ensure they are one inch apart. Cat grass can grow indoors all year round since there’s no threat of frost with the unpredictable spring weather.
Germinate. For indoor growing, keep your soil moist. Partially cover your planting pot in plastic wrap and place in a warm and dark place. After two to three days, your cat grass seedlings should start sprouting.
Provide direct sunlight. Cat grass will need plenty of sunlight while growing. Make sure your cat grass receives direct sunlight by placing it near a windowsill that can provide full sun exposure.
Firm the soil. Firm the soil lightly and keep it evenly moist. Be careful not to overwater, as it can ruin the roots.
Maintain and harvest. Use less water once the seeds have sprouted above the soil line. Once the grass has reached about three inches long, you can feed it to your cat. The roots will be solid enough to not be ripped out, and more will grow in its place.
If you are growing catnip, the steps are similar to growing your cat grass:

Plant your seeds. You’ll want to plant it somewhere where your cat can munch on it without damaging nearby house plants. Seeds should be placed about a foot apart, so likely in a longer container or pot, and in direct sunlight.
Water and feed when needed. When the first inch of soil dries up, water accordingly. You can encourage growth by using a water-soluble plant food.
Harvest. Once you catnip has grown to about 6-8 inches in length, it’s ready to be harvested. Hang upside down to dry. To prolong the enjoyment, dry some catnip in a window and sprinkle it on toys, cat scratching posts or other objects to encourage your cat to interact with it or even sprinkle it on the floor for them to roll in!
Cat grass and catnip are viable options for your cat to enjoy a little taste of the outdoors without the threat of poisonous plants during springtime. With added health benefits, your feline friends will have an extra spring in their step this season!

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope.
Beginning Sunday, 26 June 2022

All Signs
This week is about taking a practical, step-by-step approach toward securing our future, especially in terms of self-determination and personal freedom. Tuesday’s New Moon will boost this process because it is a great chance to make resolutions. How timely! Btw, it is not pointless to make resolutions – because our thoughts are the starting point of everything in our lives. It’s been said: First comes the thought, and from the thought springs the word. From the word springs the deed; and the deed soon becomes habit. Then habit eventually hardens into character. Therefore, we should watch our thoughts and make them loving and kind. I have a thought: “Time for a little nosh!”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You begin this week with determined energy because your ruler Mars is in your sign, dancing with stern Saturn. This makes you methodical, careful and diligent. Whatever you do, you will do with care and precision. This is a good time to make plans. (But avoid power struggles at the end of the week around Friday.) Meanwhile, Tuesday’s New Moon is the perfect time to make resolutions about how you want to improve your home, as well as how you want to improve relations with family members. You’re prepared to set your sights high — as well you should while lucky Jupiter is in your sign! (Mom always liked you best.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
As this week begins, you’re prepared to work alone or behind the scenes to attain your goals. In fact, you will undergo self-denial and discomfort because your own self-gratification will be secondary to practical issues that are important to you. (I’m impressed.) Remember to apply this self-discipline and sense of reserve when dealing with others on Friday, when some power struggles might take place. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s New Moon is a wonderful opportunity for you to think about moneymaking ideas, as well as your style of communicating to others in general. In particular, you will be mindful of relations with siblings, relatives and neighbours. Are you a good communicator?

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Rally your troops on Monday and set them marching! If you plan to execute a particular routine or strategy, you can get others in line to help you, or follow your example. It’s an excellent time to accomplish what you want with the help of a group or a friend. Note: Whatever happens, don’t let this deteriorate into a nasty power struggle on Friday. Take the high road. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s New Moon takes place in your Money House. This means it’s the perfect time to make resolutions about how to handle your money, how to handle what you own, and how to boost your earnings. How well are you handling your assets? Moment of truth.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re very determined this week! You have strong ambitions about what you want to achieve. You will work with diligence — making careful plans. Most likely, bosses and parents will be impressed. Having said that, you might find yourself at odds with authority figures on Friday. (Perhaps by then, it’s best to zip thy lip.) Definitely – tread carefully. However, on Tuesday, the New Moon will interest you because of course, the Moon is your ruler. Furthermore, this particular New Moon is the only New Moon in your sign all year! (Holy Lunula!) This is the perfect time for you to think about the impression that you create on your world. How can you improve your image? Haircut? Clothes? Shoes? Hmmm?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
As this week begins, you’re keen to make precise, travel plans or explore opportunities in publishing, the media or perhaps, medicine and the law? You might also strategize how to deal with someone from another culture or negotiate with someone in another country. Be careful of a situation breaking down by Friday and becoming a raw power struggle. Be mindful of this. Meanwhile, the New Moon on Tuesday is taking place in a hidden part of your chart, which means you are giving thought to your spiritual values and what makes your life tick at a subconscious level. Remind yourself again about the power of your thoughts by reading the All Signs above. Remember: You are your thoughts, which means be mindful of what you’re thinking about.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You will get a lot of work done at the beginning of the week, especially with taxes, debt, insurance issues and matters related to shared property. This also includes banking. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore and postpone these details, but right now, you feel the need to get on top of this, and get the complete picture. Smart! (When it comes to finances and assets – don’t be in the dark. Even bad news is better than no news.) By Friday, you might be at loggerheads with someone about one of these issues, perhaps an inheritance or how to share something? Fortunately, fair Venus is at the top of your chart, which bodes well for your influence with important people. Tuesday’s New Moon is all about friendship and the role that friends play in your life.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
On Monday, partners and friends will cooperate with you. Partnerships will be productive. You might make careful plans together, or figure out how to do something. Everyone will be on the same page. Nevertheless, be careful because something related to this same energy could get out of hand by Friday, when you might be at loggerheads with someone. (Patience will be your best recourse, then.) Meanwhile, Tuesday’s New Moon is the only New Moon to take place at the top of your chart all year. This offers you the perfect opportunity to think about your life direction in general. Where do you want to be five years from now? What does that picture look like? What do you have to do this year to make that a reality?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You’ll be productive on Monday because you want to work, and you want to get things done. It’s that simple. You’re prepared to make the necessary sacrifices, and you have the perseverance and drive to make it happen. Commendable! Do be careful because this drive might somehow morph into something so different, that by Friday, you have some serious, power struggles with someone. (Especially if you’re too bossy.) Meanwhile, financial advantages, gifts and goodies can come your way at the beginning of the week. This is an excellent time to resolve differences about inheritances and shared property. Tuesday’s New Moon might trigger exciting travel plans in your mind. You definitely want to do something to expand your world. What might that be?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
On Monday, you might make serious vacation plans or plans for social outings, sports events or something to do with your kids. Or you might buckle down in a serious way on an artistic project. Whatever your choice, you have specific goals, and you intend to work hard to achieve them. Don’t push too hard because on Friday, someone might rebel. Meanwhile, the New Moon on Tuesday is in an interesting part of your chart. For starters, this is the best time all year for you to ask yourself what you can do to become a better person. And in the same vein, (probably a different arm), you will ponder how to improve your relationship with debt and shared property.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
At the beginning of this week, you will accomplish much at home because you’re determined to work hard. No question. Recently, increased activity or chaos on the home front has been challenging. On Monday, you want to tackle this and make some headway. And you will! You will be purposeful and efficient. That simple. But be reasonable about your goals to avoid power struggles by the end of the week, in case there’s a mutiny. (It was ever thus.) Tuesday’s New Moon is the only New Moon all year opposite your sign, which means it’s your chance to make resolutions about how to improve your closest relationships. Ideas?

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Monday is a great day to study or make long-range plans because you’re in a careful, practical frame of mind. You will also be very convincing talking to others about what you intend to achieve, or what you hope they will achieve – either way. This is because you expect results! You’re willing to work and put duty before pleasure. And you’ll be convincing! Caution about being bullheaded about something because by Friday, you could be at odds with someone. A serious ego clash. (No fun.) Tuesday’s New Moon is a wonderful opportunity for you to think about how to improve your health, as well as improve your job.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
On Monday, you can use what you own to get work done; plus, you will work hard to boost your earnings. (This will be done carefully according to detailed planning.) Obviously, others will notice your efforts! Perhaps because of jealousy or resentment, or for some other reason, by Friday, you could be at odds with someone for financial reasons, or because they don’t agree with your decisions. (Stay chill.) Meanwhile, Tuesday’s New Moon urges you to think about the balance you have between work and play. Play and creative expression are so important. Value your creative talents. Make plans to socialize with others. It’s important.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 19 June 2022

Today is your day to dance lightly with life,
sing wild songs of adventure,
invite rainbows and butterflies out to play,
soar your spirit, and unfurl your joy. – 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

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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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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon To Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, 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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Goddess Month of Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ June 10th to July 7th is Oak

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in June

JUN. 19: Father’s Day
JUN. 19: Juneteenth
JUN. 21: LITHA/MIDSOMER/ALBAN HEFIN/SUMMER SOLSTICE (longest day of the year)
JUN. 21: Sun Dance
JUN. 21: Slavic Nature Transformation Festival
JUN. 22: National Onion Rings Day. Yes, onions are an herb, too—and good for you, (although not necessarily when they’re deep-fried).
JUN. 22: St. John’s Eve, a traditional European celebration of Midsummer’s magic

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Face to Face with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
Reiki I and II: 4 PM – 6PM – June 25
Black Hat – June 25 – 7PM – 9PM

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Summer Solstice June 21, 2022

This year, the summer solstice will take place on, June 21, 2022. What does this mean for you? Find Out

There’s already an incredibly light, pure, and high vibrational frequency streaming in.

These subtle energies are preparing you to step into a new level of your authenticity…

To release the narrow pockets of resistance holding you in illusion…

So you can merge with your higher self on a new level…

Where you experience the Divine perfection and infinite possibility available to you at this time.

Be willing to release past emotion, pain, or negativity when it arises…

And know that as you dive inward…

Quieting your mind, opening your heart and focusing your awareness in the present moment…

You can download the energy available to you.

Supporting you in really embodying your highest vibrational truth…

And through this, you’re able to step into a new phase of inspired co-creation…

That is both fulfilling and joyful for you, and in alignment with the highest interest of all.

Keep releasing into the light, love what arises within you, shine your truth, and remember that you are infinitely loved and supported…

Let this wave of light flow you right into alignment with your highest level of authenticity.

We are receiving yet another upgrade to our human and light systems. In other words, our cellular structure is being prepared very quickly, in time for this new energy that Summer Solstice and a number of other celestial events are bringing in. Our spirits are being more fully integrated with our bodies. For some of you it’s happening right now and for some, it will happen closer to or on or just after Summer Solstice.

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning “sun” + “to stand still.” As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

The summer solstice is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is when all may absorb the Sun’s warming rays and it is a celebration of fertility, not only for humans, but also for crops, animals and all beings.

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. While those in the Northern Hemisphere cover up with sunscreen, residents in the Southern Hemisphere will be wrapping up in their warm clothes in honor of the winter solstice — the shortest day of the year and official start of winter.

Stepping into sacred time is becoming more and more important to our success as spiritual entrepreneurs. Focus on what you want to accomplish over the next few months that will bring peace and happiness into your life.

Stay out of your head as much as possible. Be more of an observer of your thoughts than the thinker of them. Quiet your mind and spend time in nature reconnecting yourself. This is where summer can be a very healing time.

Every single line of energy we have in our bodies and light bodies is being opened, expanded and utilized right now – and some of these energy lines have never been opened up inside of us in this way before. So it can feel a little startling, disconcerting, even bring up anger or frustration. It can also make you feel euphoric, energized, and like your gifts are being magnified – because they are.

We are receiving yet another upgrade to our human and light systems. In other words, our cellular structure is being prepared very quickly, in time for this new energy that Summer Solstice and a number of other celestial events are bringing in. Our spirits are being more fully integrated with our bodies. For some of you it’s happening right now and for some, it will happen closer to or on or just after Summer Solstice.

You know how this whole year so far has been an acceleration of your release of all that does not serve you? Well, right now, it’s as if we’re being squeezed and internally shifted to facilitate the massive release of what remains that needs to leave us.

If ever there was a time to let go and allow… that time is now. The more you resist it, or live in your head about it, the harder it will feel. The more you can allow this energetic/spiritual/physical upgrade, the easier and more amazing you will experience your transformation and success.

This is a powerful opportunity for reflection during the excitement of midsummer’s magic, manifestation, and abundance.

Stepping into sacred time is becoming more and more important to our success as spiritual entrepreneurs. Focus on what you want to accomplish over the next few months that will bring peace and happiness into your life.

Stay out of your head as much as possible. Be more of an observer of your thoughts than the thinker of them. Quiet your mind and spend time in nature reconnecting yourself. This is where summer can be a very healing time.

Every single line of energy we have in our bodies and light bodies is being opened, expanded and utilized right now – and some of these energy lines have never been opened up inside of us in this way before. So it can feel a little startling, disconcerting, even bring up anger or frustration. It can also make you feel euphoric, energized, and like your gifts are being magnified – because they are.

The Summer Solstice is called Midsummer or Litha in some medieval and Craft traditions. In the mythical cycle, this is the end of the reign of the Oak King, and the beginning of the Holly King’s rule.

Litha is a time of great magical power. All forms of Sun magic are going to be amplified, and especially effective for love, healing and prosperity. This is also a very good time to perform blessings for your pets and home.

May the children of Earth awaken, rise up, and be about healing and blessing we need to give one another, and for our holy Mother Earth, our home. In the way of our ancestors, we honor the Turning.

Early Celebrations

Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer (see Shakespeare), St. John’s Day, or Litha.

The Celts and Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing and bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.

In ancient Egypt, the Solstice heralds the New Year. In Ancient Egypt, the summer solstice preceded the appearance of the Sirius star, which the Egyptians believed was responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile that they relied upon for agriculture. Because of this, the Egyptian calendar was set so that the start of the year coincided with the appearance of Sirius, just after the solstice.

The ancient Chinese honored the Yin on the Solstice In ancient China, the summer solstice was the yin to the winter solstice’s yang—literally. Throughout the year, the Chinese believed, the powers of yin and yang waxed and waned in reverse proportion to each other. At the summer solstice, the influence of yang was at its height, but the celebration centered on the impending switch to yin. At the winter solstice, the opposite switch was honored.

Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids’ celebration of the day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”, resulting in the present day belief of a “lucky” wedding in June. Now we understand why June has traditionally been the most popular time of the year to be married.

Today, the day is still celebrated around the world – most notably in England at Stonehenge, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site and has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Summer Solstice since time immemorial.

Pagan spirit gatherings or festivals are also common in June, when groups assemble to light a sacred fire, and stay up all night to welcome the dawn.

Summer Solstice Fun Facts

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the “Honey Moon” for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called ‘chase-devil’, which is known today as St. John’s Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.

“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.” ~ William Shakespeare

Now is the perfect time to connect to the Earth’s Energy. If you have wanted to make changes in your life is never too late to create a new you! Learn How – Click Here For More Information.

Solstice Blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Juneteenth Spell for Father’s Day
JUNE 19, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Juneteenth, celebrated today, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This year the holiday falls on the same day as Father’s Day, which is celebrated every third Sunday of June. On the conjunction of these two holidays, we can’t help but think of all the fathers who were taken from their children as a result of racial injustices such as slavery, lynchings, and police brutality.

Set up a small candle on your altar (or wherever you do your magickal work) and say:

I light this candle that all fathers may
find a way back to their children. May
souls be reunited, wrongs righted,
and justice found. Let love be the law
and hate cast aside, so that all may
live a life filled with opportunities.

As you light your candle, reflect on what you can do to make these words a reality. Extinguish the candle.
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Crystal Grid
JUNE 18, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

Today, create a crystal grid to fine-tune the energy in your home. You can use crystals you already have or acquire new ones for this purpose. First, clean your home and cleanse the energy with a chime or sage smoke. Then choose one stone to act as a center point and anchor for the grid. Hold it in your hand as you mentally charge it with the intention to establish sacred space and harmonious energy in your home. Place that stone on a flat surface where you’d like to build your grid (such as a countertop or table), and position the remaining crystals around it. You can simply surround the center crystal with four, six, or eight stones, or you can elaborate on the radial pattern by arranging several more layers around the center. You can also get creative and add other natural items to the mandala-shaped grid, such as fresh leaves or blossoms, star anise, or coffee beans.
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Refresh Your Altar
JUNE 17, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

As we approach the day of the summer solstice, you might want to consider taking some time to refresh your altar (or to create one, if you haven’t yet). Think of it as a bit of Midsummer spiritual housecleaning, a way to prepare yourself for the magical workings of the second half of the year.

Working mindfully and with focus, remove everything already on the altar, and clean and dust as necessary. You can either return all of the objects to their original spot or perhaps change things up to reflect the season or new magical goals. You can finish up with an offering of fresh flowers, or perhaps a small glass of mead or milk for the faeries, if it is safe to do so. Take a moment to send out appreciation for the altar, the day, and the presence of the gods in your life.
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Waters of the Night
JUNE 16, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

According to Egyptian lore, this is the Night of a Tear Drop. When Isis shed a tear for her lost love Osiris, the goddess Satis caught it and used it to make the Nile River flood. This flood replenished the fields, bringing good out of sorrow.

In most places, water comes from rain rather than a flooding river, but the concept still carries over. Sometimes it’s good to sit with a feeling and just let it be what it is. Tonight, go outside in a dark and quiet place. Think of something in your life that makes you sad. When the tears begin, say:

As the tears of Isis
Made the Nile rise,
May the rains of summer
Flow from my eyes.

Let your tears fall on dusty ground, then repeat the verse. Finally, let go of the sorrow, like a storm passing. In the morning, the sun will rise and bring cheerful feelings once more.
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Waters of the Night
JUNE 16, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

According to Egyptian lore, this is the Night of a Tear Drop. When Isis shed a tear for her lost love Osiris, the goddess Satis caught it and used it to make the Nile River flood. This flood replenished the fields, bringing good out of sorrow.

In most places, water comes from rain rather than a flooding river, but the concept still carries over. Sometimes it’s good to sit with a feeling and just let it be what it is. Tonight, go outside in a dark and quiet place. Think of something in your life that makes you sad. When the tears begin, say:

As the tears of Isis
Made the Nile rise,
May the rains of summer
Flow from my eyes.

Let your tears fall on dusty ground, then repeat the verse. Finally, let go of the sorrow, like a storm passing. In the morning, the sun will rise and bring cheerful feelings once more.
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Recovering Memory
JUNE 15, 2022 BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

Memory is spurious, and the following magical approach, relying on the practice of freewriting, can boost recall.

You’ll need a candle, rosemary essential oil, paper, a pen or pencil, and a memento linked to the memory in question, such as a photograph, book, personal item, etc.

Anoint the candle with the oil, and add several drops of the oil to the candlewick and the wick well. Light the candle safely. Place the memento before you, and ready your writing tools. Repeat:

Pen and paper, rosemary,
May my memories return to me.

Holding the memento, close your eyes, breathe in the rosemary scent, and let the memory fill your mind. After a moment, open your eyes, set the item down, and start writing. Write whatever comes to mind, and write without stopping. Don’t worry about corrections—just write, allowing it to be rough and unformed. Add doodles if you wish. Write for ten to fifteen minutes. Extinguish the candle.

Freewriting helps recover retained, forgotten memories. You may be surprised at what you remember.
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Flag Day Affirmation
JUNE 14, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

Freedom and justice for all is a promising concept; its tenets are embodied in our flag. Today is Flag Day and a supermoon. Spells done today are supercharged.

The colors of the US flag are symbolic:

Red: Hardiness and valor
White: Innocence and purity
Blue: Perseverance, justice, and vigilance

For this spell, candlelight will be used to symbolize the fire element. You will need:

  • A reusable bag
  • A sheet of paper
  • A sharp pencil * Scissors
  • 1 large white pillar candle
  • 2 medium-size pillar candles, one red and one blue
  • A fireproof plate
  • Matches or a lighter

Ponder the meaning of freedom and justice as you go outside at dusk with your bag containing all the spell items. Sit respectfully on Mother Earth.

Take your piece of paper from the bag and write down your thoughts on freedom and justice. Then cut the paper into strips.

Now create a candle plate, with the white candle in the center of the fireproof plate and the red and blue candles on the sides.

Slide your paper strips underneath the plate. Light the candles.

Say this affirmation three times, gazing into the lit wicks:

May my words produce strong action.
May my thoughts become deeds.
So mote it be!

Reflect on the spell and the flames until you are confident the affirmation has taken hold.

Snuff out the candles with wet fingers of your dominant hand.

Pack up your materials.
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A Spell for Academic Study
JUNE 13, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

We magickal folk are constantly learning. We are forever in the process of experientially learning about the world around us and our place in the grand scheme of things. Many of us also take classes, courses, workshops, and other structures of study that require our utmost focus in order to excel.

If you are studying material for an exam, a course, an esoteric order, or a coven, consider making a sachet containing any of the herbs spearmint, rosemary, eyebright, dill, or jasmine. As you mix the herbs or grind them with a mortar and pestle, repeat these words:

Herbs of focus, herbs of wisdom,
give me knowledge, give me vision.

Place the herbs in the sachet (any color but black will do for the sachet, and orange is the ideal) and draw the alchemical symbol for Mercury on the bag with a permanent marker or ink. Keep this bag near you while studying to boost successful study.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1038 Coping with Changes

Heartwings says, “Finding a way to change is a paramount skill to develop.”

I was completely caught by surprise when I was given the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Less than a year ago everything was different for me from how it is now. Last spring my daughter took me to get a neurological test. She and other family members had noticed things about me that I had not: changes in my gait–in how I walked, as well as several other minor but unlike me patterns of behavior.

Reluctantly I did. I was sure, despite a couple of unusual changes, that it was unnecessary. I had noticed that my handwriting was dwindling oddly from the beginning of each sentence to the end. I wondered if I could have had a minor stroke because occasionally the corner of my mouth would relax and release saliva. I had no knowledge or understanding of Parkinson’s disease, except that it seemed people who had it shook. I have since discovered that only 80 percent of those who have it do that. Some, like me do not.

The saying goes, “If you know one person with Parkinson’s, you know one person with Parkinson’s.” Indeed, this disease is more like a condition. It results from the weakening of the connections between the brain and the body, what we term the nerves. There is a deterioration due to the death and diminishment of the cells that make dopamine, a necessity for the efficiency of that connection. There are ways to slow Parkinson’s progress but no cure. Medicine can help however it can also produce some of the same symptoms as Parkinson’s. According to my research, about the only symptoms most P.D. sufferers seem to have in common are slowness, fatigue and trembling.

I find I can get about a quarter of what I used to be able to do done. This means I must plan ahead in order to prepare lunch or dinner and allow enough time for what I need to do. Stephen is very helpful; however, I do much of the cooking and he has his own agenda to attend to, not to mention his own deadlines. Too, naps must be factored into the day, and there goes another hour or so of time. Resting between activities or exertion also seems to be necessary. There is more but I won’t bore you with the details.

None of this is by way of complaint. One of the most destructive attitudes to good health is that of feeling sorry for oneself. Also, since depression is one of the common symptoms of P.D., it is easy to slip into. I am grateful for my practice of meditation; it enables me to catch negativity when or if it creeps up on me. Exercise is vital and must be factored into every day. One reason it’s difficult to be diligent about that is that exercising serves to remind me of how difficult movement has become for me. Yet I cannot and must not dwell on what I can no longer do. Instead, as often as possible I need to express my gratitude for what I am able to do still – for example writing poetry and this column!

May you find good ways to cope with your own changes,

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert P.S. Have you had to develop ways to cope with changes? It’s good for the brain to do things differently, and we can all use that! I so love to hear from readers. Write me with comments and thoughts Tashahal@gmail.com, web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

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Defense Mechanisms

Because we are spiritual beings, we have the ability to rise above habits and patterns to see the truth.

We all have defense mechanisms that we’ve developed over time, often without being aware of it. In times of trouble, the behaviors that have worked to get us past challenges with the least amount of pain are the ones that we repeat; even when part of us knows they no longer work. Such behavior is a natural response from our mental and physical aspects. But because we are spiritual beings as well, we have the ability to rise above habits and patterns to see the truth that lays beyond. And from that moment on, we can make choices that allow us to work directly from that place of truth within us.

Most of our defense mechanisms were developed in childhood; from the moment that we realized crying would get us the attention we craved. Passive aggressive ways of communicating may have allowed us to get what we needed without being scolded, punished or laughed at, so we learned to avoid being direct and honest. Some of us may have taken refuge in the lives of others, discovering ways to direct attention away from ourselves entirely. Throwing ourselves into projects or rescuing others from themselves can be effective ways to avoid dealing with our own issues. And when people are truly helped by our actions, we get the added bonus of feeling heroic. But while defenses can keep away the things we fear, they can also work to keep our good from us.

When we can be honest with ourselves about what we truly desire, then we can connect our desires to the creative power of the spirit within us. Knowing that we are one with the energy of the universe allows us release any need for defense. Trusting that power, we know that we are exactly where we are meant to be, and that challenges bring gifts of growth and experience. When we can put down arms raised in defense, then we are free to use our hands, minds, hearts and spirits to mold and shape our abundant energy to create and live our lives.

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The Druids Garden
A 21st Century Wheel of the Year: Re-Visioning at the Summer Solstice
by Dana

Human cultures throughout the world, modern and ancient, recognize the incredible power, potency, and magic of the sun. This is why so many cultures have sun gods and worshipped the sun, and this is also why so many ancient kings and rulers are also associated with the sun. The sun is the center of our solar system, it provides light, and heat, and allows everything on this planet to thrive. At the summer solstice, we have the triumph of the light over the darkness, the time of greatest light, and the time afterward where we move into the heat of summer and eventually, the season of harvest.

It is at this peak time of year that we can focus on some of the most important work–visioning a brighter future. I believe that right now, creating a new vision, and working our hardest to bring that vision into reality, is critical for all life to survive the coming age. And because it’s that important, we need the power of the sun in its zenith to do this work effectively. Last year, I wrote about visioning the future from the perspective of the bardic arts–how using storytelling, artwork, music, and songs, can help us create a brighter tomorrow. The problem that’s come up since I wrote that post is that in my meditations and in conversations I’ve had it seems that we have a stronger sense of the problems than the solutions–we know what is wrong, but we don’t necessarily have a clear sense of what to do to fix it and create hope. So the questions I have are: What does that vision look like? What are the specifics? Where do we find inspiration for that brighter vision of the future? Who creates these visions? Who enacts them? How can we draw upon that summer solstice energy to do this work? Thus, in today’s post, I’m going to dig into these questions and offer you some mundane and spiritual tools in order to begin to shape–and share–this vision. The more of us that do this incredibly important work, the more hope we have for a brighter today and tomorrow.

This post is part of my 21st Century Wheel of the Year series where I’m offering insights on how to adapt the traditional neopagan wheel of the year to fit our present age. I have found that as we move deeper into the age of the Anthropocene, the traditional wheel of the year no longer fits, and thus, I’ve been creating a new wheel of the year with themes more appropriate to help us navigate, respond, and do good in this difficult age. Previous posts in this series have included: Receptivity at the Fall Equinox; Release at Samhain; Restoration at the Winter Solstice, Reskilling at Imbolc, Resilience at the Spring Equinox, and Regeneration at Beltane. As you can see from the previous posts–we’ve laid a tremendous groundwork of excellent skills and tools in the previous wheel of the year: receptivity, release, restoration (tools for humans to adapt internally) and reskilling, resilience, and regeneration (tools to do good in the world) as the first six holidays. Today’s post explores the idea of visioning and revisioning through the Summer Solstice. For more traditional interpretations, I will also point you to my other summer solstice posts: sunrise ritual at the summer solstice; journeying at the summer solstice; standing stones at the solstice; working and honoring the sun; and sustainable practices for the summer solstice. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, you might want to check out my winter solstice posts: restoration at the winter solstice, herbs for visionary work at the winter solstice, sacred dreaming at the winter solstice, and the lessons of nature at the winter solstice.

Visioning and Re-Visioning: Basic Principles
So what does it mean to have a vision for the future? You might think of a vision as a plan or set of principles, principles that you can live, principles you can share, and principles you can build with others in the community or in the world around you. You can think about this like any other guiding principle–establish them, enact them, and reflect on and revise them as necessary.

The magic of the sun

Visioning work is often powerful work, but work that takes time. You want to first figure out who you are doing this visioning with: are you working with yourself? A small community? A group of friends and/or family who are looking to build a better tomorrow? If you are working with others, you’ll want to think about the practices of collaboration and consensus-based decision-making as part of what you do to enact your vision.

Empowering yourself and others is part of the magic of visioning. We have been culturally disempowered to put our power and sovereignty in the hands of experts–and where has that gotten us? It is painfully obvious that present leaders/politics/government/corporations aren’t doing enough about the ongoing crisis. Don’t wait for someone else to fix it–take steps to fix it yourself, in your own way, in the places that you can reach and impact. Take back your sovereignty and make a better life for yourself and future generations. That’s the real power of visioning–it is making a decision to do something, to see a better way forward, and to enact that in your own life.

Another part of visioning is that visions are often grand, big, and not always easily attainable. You’ll see my own vision below–it may not happen in my lifetime, but the act of articulating it and working toward it itself is a powerful magical act. So give yourself permission to think as radically as you can–don’t let our current views of how to live or limitations stop you from weaving the magic of that grand vision for the future.

To start visioning, you might start by reflecting or meditating on these questions:

What are the problems you see at present that are most pressing to you personally? To your community? To the world? (You don’t have to dwell on this, but it’s a good idea to have a clear sense of problems)
What are inspirations for you–things that you see are going in what you consider the “right” direction for the future? Can you take that “right direction” further? Where could it lead?
What kind of world do you want to live in? What are things that could make that happen?
What do you see as the role of humans in relationship to the land?
What do you see as the role of nature in relationship to humans?

What kind of world do you want to leave behind?
These are some questions that may spark ideas within you, ideas that you can mold, shape, and work with. Discursive meditation, the practice of meditation taught by the Ancient Order of Druids in America, is a particularly useful practice in thinking through these questions for yourself. You may also realize that as you are doing this work, you don’t necessarily have all the answers. That’s ok. This work takes time–and taking the first few steps on that journey is the idea now.

The other piece is that it’s good to go and experience other ways of life, and other people’s perspectives, read lots of books and learn and grow. Additionally, I believe it is critically important to privilege the voices of indigenous peoples and make room for these traditions to provide leadership in offering wisdom for visioning the future.

Finally, there is also power in the word “re-visioning” here; the idea here is that we have a vision that has been handed to us by the present culture that none of us are too fond of (a world spiraling out of control with climate change, humans’ inability to stop the sixth mass extinction, a world that grows dark and unstable). By re-visioning, we are revising that vision to a better one. Since this post is already quite long, next week I’ll share the second part of this post with my own visioning principles (as very much a work in progress).

Visioning through Summer Solstice Activities
A lot of personal and community visioning work can come through spiritual practices. So for the rest of this post, I share some practices that can help both with visioning and considering your own visioning principles as well as in addressing some of the above.

Connection and Decentering Work at the Solstice
A good place to do some decentering work

A final spiritual practice that can help us with visioning the future is what I call “decentering”. As I wrote about in my recent post on ecocentrism, humans have placed themselves at the center of reality, and it is useful for each of us to recognize that we are equal to other things, equal to each other, and in relationships and service to the living earth. Thus, one way of doing this is a simple decentring practice. Go into a natural place, a place where you can interact with some form of nature. It is easier to start with animate persons (squirrels, fish, rivers, trees, etc) before moving into less-animate beings (stones, shells, mountains). Once you are in nature, spend some time breathing deeply and grounding yourself in the living earth. Then, open yourself to your senses and simply observe in quiet. See what draws you in. See what you are led to–a stone, the tree swaying in a breeze, a flower, a nearby grazing goose. Imagine your human body fading into the background, and instead, imagine what it is like to be that being. Start by experiencing the moment as that being, spending all the time you need to realign your senses. If you can, you can move your own body in mimicry of that being (if it makes sense–e.g. get down and nibble grass with geese). Once you’ve experienced that moment, stay with that being through the course of the seasons. What is it like to experience the heat of the summer sun? Rain? Wind? heat? Hunger? Passage of time? Take all the time you need to fully experience this perspective.

Then, when you are finished, slowly return to your own body and present. Meditate on the following: What lessons did you learn from this experience? How does it help you recognize the equality of you to this being? How does it help you develop a more nature-connected and ecocentric perspective? How does this experience help you create a vision that takes into account this being’s perspective, needs, and gifts?

Finally, offer gratitude and some kind of offering to the being. It might just be a simple thanks, but for some beings, you might be able to do more (e.g. leave some seeds for the squirrel, pick up garbage along the river, or give the tree a liquid gold offering).

Summer Solstice Vision Board
As you are working with visioning your own future and the future of your descendants, it is a perfect time to create a solstice vision board. I describe this more fully in my book Sacred Actions, but in a nutshell, a vision board is an intuitive approach to bringing together ideas and concepts that help magically shape the future. You tap into your subconscious as you do the work, which usually leads to really interesting insights. Usually, vision boards are for shorter amounts of time–a year at most–but there is no reason you can’t make one for a broader vision. Try it out!

To make a vision board, the traditional approach is to create a comfortable place where you can work–candles, sacred music, and a cup of tea. Using a stack of old newspapers, magazines, and other print resources, and look for words, phrases, and images that stand out to you. Cut them out and put them in a pile. When you feel your pile is complete, get a piece of cardstock (usually larger, like 12×18″) and start intuitively gluing your images, words, and phrases to the board. The board will slowly take shape, and then you can see what your subconscious created. What messages in there are potent and powerful for you? Meditate on this experience and see what messages emerge from it.

Summer Solstice Visioning Circle
Strengthening our collective vision for the future involves letting go of the past narratives that bind us!

With your larger community, you can engage in community visioning. One strategy that I’ve adapted comes from Joanna Macy’s work called “letters from the future.” People sit in a circle in pairs–an outer ring and an inner ring. On the inner ring, are the people from the future. On the outer ring are the people of today–you, yourself. The people of today share their experiences living in the world, they share their fears and their hopes, and their dreams. The people of the future simply listen, and when it’s their turn, they respond, sharing a future vision that is powerful and healing. After that, the group comes together to discuss the experience and insights that arise from it. Usually, many different things emerge from this practice, so if you are doing it in a group, it is a great idea to write these down and use them as future talking points.

Summer Solstice Meditative Mandala
Another wonderful practice to “mull over” things in your mind as you are considering how to craft that vision is to create a nature mandala. I shared more about this practice in the linked post, but I’ll offer a brief explanation here. Find a place to create your mandala, a place where you won’t be disturbed. Gather things that you would like to use–flowers, leaves, sticks, stones, anything natural that will not disturb the ecosystem. Then, simply lay your material out in a pattern; the pattern can be a prayer, an offering, and a way of focusing your vision. Here’s the best part–you can simply raise the question in your mind (What is a good vision for the future?) and then let the question work in your subconscious while you work on the mandala. As you work on the physical mandala, your subconscious will work on the question and ideas will arise from it. (There’s some really great research out there about daydreaming, movement, and taking time away from a problem in order to come up with solutions–so this really works!).

Sunbathing Meditation
Spend time in the sun, baring yourself as much as you feel comfortable, and laying in a spot to allow the sun’s rays to soak into you. feeling the radiance of the sun warm your skin, and draw that energy in. Feel yourself drawing that energy and it warming you, refreshing you, and healing you. Now you are ready to do the good work of visioning the future and bringing that vision into alignment with the present!

Concluding Thoughts
Perhaps the most powerful magical act we can do as humans are put forth a vision of the future that is life-honoring, balanced, and regenerative. The more of us that do this visioning work (and continue to do it, returning to it at least once a year on the solstice, if not more often), the more powerful of a magical act we create–one that has the power to shape the future. In order to work this world-changing magic, we do this work at the time of greatest power and light–the summer solstice. I firmly believe that change starts with each of us who has found ourselves returning back to nature and nature-honoring ways; it is through having a vision that we can maintain our hope, our joy, and our determination amidst the challenges of this age.

Readers, please share–what is your vision for the future? What does it look like? What is important to you?

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Did Norwegian Trolls Exist?

The dense rocky forests and jutting fjords of Norway seem to be the ideal setting for a magical creature that turns to stone if it encounters elusive sunlight.

Norway love and appreciates their trolls and put them on lots of souvenirs and signs. But, is there anyone who believes that trolls might actually exist?

Trolls are part of Scandinavian lore and they are pretty much similar to ogres. They are often described as stupid, dirty, and huge. And, the reason they say there are large rocks all over Norway is that, trolls had encountered the sunlight. They are often described as shapeshifters that are capable of going invisible and sneaking into places without needing use doors and windows. Their hiding places are considered to be under rock croppings and cave-like areas.

When I was a child, my father was a Thorvaldsen from Norway. The family changed their name in the late 1920s after coming to America. He used to tell me great tales of the most troublesome and stupid trolls and sometimes even kind ones. I was a child in the era of troll dolls, so imagine my obsession!

In that interesting way that I study Native legends, the legends of the trolls intrigue me because – they are giants and they cannot handle sunlight. This has been reported often and the Cherokee spoke of the moon-eyed people they had to drive from the lands in North Carolina, “white” people who could not tolerate sunlight. In ancient times, trolls were reportedly giants and over time stories made them smaller and smaller. Repeatedly, we hear legends of Native people around the world, encountering giants, and having to outsmart them.

The movie, “Trollhunter” (one of my favs) is a great concept. But, are there people out there in the woods of Scandinavia seeking such creatures?

Is there a troll curse?
In one incident, a worker was being airlifted by helicopter because he was ill. He opened the emergency door and jumped out 2000 feet to his death.

Another worker was hit by a steel beam being swung by a crane.

The legend of Torghatten Mountain in Norway –
Hestmannen, a troll, was chasing a beautiful virgin. When he realized he could not catch her, he shot an arrow to kill her. The troll king, Somna, threw his hat into the air to block the arrow’s path at the maiden. The hat turned into a mountain with a hole in the middle.

In actuality, it is said that the ice age created the crevice.

My Norse people definitely have a great sense of humor about their legends –

Want to take the family for some troll fun? Norway has a Troll Park, Hunderfossen! Tucked away in Lillehammer, this park includes fun rides, and when the sun sets, the Trolls and other creatures of the forest come out to play… You can watch the fairytale show, Trolls, theatre, seasoned with Rock/Folk music, lighting and mystique.

The longest cave in Norway is called (drum roll) “Trollkjerka” or Troll’s Church.

Might the troll legends come from actual giants who did inhabit the lands thousands of years ago?

Norway has an ancient legend of Jotunn, a giant race. Jotunn (Proto-Germanic *etunaz) might have the same root as “eat” (Proto-Germanic *etan) and accordingly had the original meaning of “glutton” or “man-eater”, probably due to their enormous diet because of their size. Once again, an ancient legend of people-eating giants!!

There have been finds of the giants in Norway, as they have been all over the globe. Did the very legends and religions base themselves on explaining this “master” race of “god-like” giant beings? Did these beings seem to do magical things? Interestingly, the trolls are depicted with body hair and the Paiutes reported the red-haired giants their ancestors’ encountered were hairy all over.

Do trolls exist presently? Well, if trolls are a creature designed in a legend to explain an ancient race of giants, they likely did exist. And, if today’s race of “Bigfoot” beings around the world are the descendants of such a race, then they do still exist.

Norway has its own reports of Bigfoot.

In other words, today’s Sasquatch might just be the trolls of yore.

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 16
by Stephen Halpert

“Are you sure?” Maria looked dubious as she hung up her phone from speaking to the caterer. “A party in lieu of a faculty meeting? Isn’t that a little over the top?”
Gilberto smiled as he added to his notes in preparations of his first faculty meeting. “Maria, Alvin Sheckler accused me of being a glorified gym teacher. I thought it best to fight fire with fire.”
She grinned. “Oh, Gilberto you’ve got that look in your eyes. Hope you’re not out on thin ice.”
He smiled. “I don’t think so. Besides I’ve a secret weapon.”
She raised her eyebrows. “What’s that?”
He turned and kissed her. “A change in atmosphere. We need to create a better atmosphere for teamwork.”
She shrugged and grinned. “Whatever you say. I love kissing you when you’re feeling this way.”
He gave her another kiss even longer than her first. Then he called Ramon and filled him in on the next day’s meeting.
Ramon laughed. “Like you did during the tournaments when our backs were up against the wall.”
“You think?” Gilberto chuckled.
The following morning a somewhat reluctant Helen Conners set up the faculty dining room with the caterer’s bagels, smoked salmon, spicy chicken, deli meats, smoked turkey and adhering to Gilberto’s specific instructions two cases of assorted imported beer and several bottles of sparkling wine. In addition, here was a big bowl of fruit punch Maria had concocted.
Gilberto made sure the air conditioner was on high. When Alvin Sheckler and Bob Sharp appeared, he greeted them like long lost friends, clapping them on the back and handing each a frosty brewski.
Bob frowned. “I thought this was a meeting.”
Alvin grinned and rubbed his hands together. “Yeah?”
“It is,” Gilberto assured them. “But we may as well enjoy lunch. That way we share our ideas and gain a good understanding of the tasks at hand.”
They nodded and both began stuffing their faces.
April Winters was next to appear. She looked at Bob Sharp curiously. He hoisted the last of his imported beer. Then he sang, “April in Houndstooth…”
“Stop it,” she laughed as she looked around. “This is all too good to be true. Who sprang for all this, Lara Parker?”
“All on me,” Gilberto said. “”It’s time to give Houndstooth more spirit.’
“I’ll drink to that,” Bob agreed and he slid his arm around April’s waist.
What’s all this?” Karen Muskie, eyed the catered platters, then she saw the makeshift bar. “Happy New Year,” she grinned and kissed Alvin gently on his cheek.
“A toast to Houndstooth,” Ramon said as he handed out frosty mugs.
Gilberto greeted everyone jovially and they all dove into the food and drink.
“Well, this certainly is a surprise Alvin said. “Most faculty meetings have been dry, stodgy events.”
“Welcome to a new era for Houndstooth,” Gilberto said. “I feel we need to better connect in order to have a good idea as to our mutual future here.”
April eyed Gilberto suspiciously. “Will all our meetings be like this or is today a grand exception?” She reached back and untangled herself from Bob’s maneuvers.
By now more of the faculty had arrived and were enjoying the buffet and imported beer.
Gilberto tinged his fork against his glass mug. “I want you all to know,” he began, “I’ve always liked my team feeling comfortable.” They were all listening intently. “That way we have better communications, and work in a more harmonious way.” He nodded to Helen Conners who handed out envelopes to each in attendance.
“We’ll begin by sharing with each of you a twenty percent raise, effective immediately. I want my team happy and ready to take on any challenge here at Houndstooth.”
As Ramon handed around more drinks. Helen Conners took Gilberto aside. “I fear Mr. Gomez spiked the punch. I think with vodka but I can’t be sure.””
Gilberto smiled and nodded. “No doubt necessary”
She smiled. “You certainly are quite different for a headmaster.”
Ramon handed her a beverage cup. She took two sips nodded and hickuped.
April Winters finished her drink and immediately reached for a refill. Ramon smiled and made sure she was comfortable.
Peter Flanders polished off his plate of cold cuts and enjoyed his drink. “This sure is a great way to run a faculty meeting,” He grinned at Gilberto.
Bob Sharp grinned at April Winters. “When the wife’s away,” he said slyly.
April ignored him and beamed at Gilberto. “I love that body of yours,” she grinned.
“Thank you,” Gilberto replied.
April played with the top two buttons of her black silk shirt. Once the shirt opened up she breathed a sigh of relief and staggered a bit. Ramon stood beside her and steadied her.
Gilberto smiled at her. “I’ve always thought a team was the best way to face any challenge. That way we’re all better able to communicate more effectively.”
“I think I’m drunk,” Karen Muskie said. “But I don’t see how, just some sparkling wine and a little punch.”
Gilberto smiled. “It’s good to relax so each of us has a better understanding of the challenges ahead.”
“What challenges are those? Alvin asked. “What don’t I know?”
Bob Sharp grinned at April.
Lara Parker appeared. She nodded to Gilberto. “I’d say your first faculty meeting is running smoothly, as I thought it would.”
Rosemary Greene arrived late. “What am I missing,” she asked?
April grinned and handed her a glass. “”A new birth of freedom for us all.”
Diana Rain followed her in. “Sorry I’m late,” she said. “What did I miss?”
“Nothing important,” Gilberto said. “Help yourself, there’s plenty left still.”
Lara Parker put her slender beringed hand on Gilberto’s shoulder. “I thought you’d bring new life to this old establishment,” she said. “And you did not disappoint me. I’ll see to it that you are compensated, both for any food and drink or other expenses.” She smiled as Ramon handed her a glass of punch and raised it toward Gilberto. “Here’s to a new era for Houndstooth,” she said, “and a new captain of the team.”
To Be Continued.

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Confidence in Social Situations

If you feel shy or awkward in social situations, know that many others are probably feeling the same way too.

If you’ve ever been to a social gathering where you’ve felt awkward and uncomfortable, chances are you are not alone. While social gatherings can be very enjoyable, especially when we are surrounded by people whose company we enjoy, there are social events that we attend where we sometimes find ourselves wishing we were someplace else. Such occasions can sometimes be the cause of much anxiety and self-consciousness. We may even feel like everyone else is having a good time except for us. Yet the truth is that everyone has felt shy and awkward on occasion. One of the best ways to overcome self-consciousness or get past your feelings of shyness at social gatherings is to focus on the people around you. If you can remember that other people might also be feeling awkward or shy, you might find the thought of speaking to them less intimidating or overwhelming.

The next time there is a social event you feel nervous about attending, you may want to try this exercise: Spend some time with your eyes closed and breathe deeply. When you feel ready, create your own zone of comfort by visualizing yourself surrounded in a warm white light that is protective yet accepting of others. Imagine people at the event being drawn to you because of the open and warm feelings that you are radiating. When you arrive at the event, take a moment to spread this same light of loving acceptance to everyone around you. Smile and greet people warmly. Try going up to someone who is standing alone and introduce yourself. When you radiate acceptance, openness, and receptivity, people can’t help but respond to you in kind.

Focusing on how we can make other people at a social gathering feel at ease can help us forget about our own insecurities. In the process, we end up making the very connections that we seek. The next time you attend a social gathering, invite people to join you in your zone of comfort that you have so lovingly and intentionally created. Let yourself enjoy being encircled in the warmth of their friendships.

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Granola & Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles

These fun yogurt pops studded with fresh berries make a great on-the-go breakfast for a busy morning–perfect for kids and adults alike. ~Carolyn Casner

Servings: 6
Ingredients
1 ¼ cups low-fat plain yogurt
1 ½ cups chopped fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries)
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons granola, large chunks crumbled

Step 1
Stir yogurt, berries, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Divide among six 3-ounce popsicle molds. Stir granola and the remaining 2 teaspoons maple syrup together in a small bowl. Top each popsicle with 1 tablespoon of the granola mixture. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze overnight.

Tips
To make ahead: Store popsicles in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Tips
Equipment: Six 3-ounce popsicle molds

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 popsicle

Per Serving:
100 calories; protein 3.1g; carbohydrates 17.6g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 10.5g; fat 1.8g; saturated fat 0.8g; cholesterol 3.1mg; vitamin a iu 50IU; vitamin c 2.3mg; calcium 75.8mg; iron 0.3mg; magnesium 6mg; potassium 102.1mg; sodium 36mg; added sugar 6g.

Exchanges:
1/2 fruit, 1/2 reduced-fat dairy, 1/2 starch

© Copyright 2022 EatingWell. All rights reserved.Printed from https://www.eatingwell.com 06/16/2022

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Kitty Korner
=^..^=

Cat Pupils: Here’s What Your Cat’s Eyes Are Telling You
Cat pupils do more than respond to light. Discover how your cat’s pupils are the keys to her mood — and can even tell you if you need to see a vet ASAP.
By Jane A Kelley

A cat’s eyes are pretty amazing. They allow a cat to see in near-darkness and provide her with a great ability to detect motion in order to hunt prey. But the thing that really fascinates a lot of people are those vertical, slit-shaped cat pupils. Cat pupils do much more than respond to the level of light in a room, though. They also give you a good sense of how your cat is feeling — emotionally and physically.

Here are a few cool things to know about cat pupils:

Cat pupils show your cat’s mood
Our cats communicate with us in very subtle ways, and one of those ways is through their eyes. A cat’s mood can be determined by a combination of understanding cat body language and cat pupils.

Narrow pupils signal an aroused cat
Arousal can be caused by many things — anger, fear and pleasure, primarily. These emotions can result in the sudden contraction of pupils so that they become narrow slits. You might see this if your cat encounters a catnip mouse and prepares to attack it. Even the smell of catnip itself can cause arousal in a cat that likes the stuff.

You may also see the pupils contract suddenly if she’s about to “kill” her favorite toy (or your toes moving around under the blankets). Anger can also cause pupils to contract into slits; this is usually accompanied by growling or hissing, though.

If the cat eyes are narrow and the eyes are squinted, that’s a sign of aggression. The squint helps to protect her eyes from an opponent’s claws.

However, if the cat pupils are narrow and your cat is relaxing on your lap and purring, you can probably guess that she’s experiencing great pleasure.

Wide pupils signal an excited or scared cat
Yes, it’s true: wide cat eyes can mean both excitement and fear, so you’ll have to suss out the meaning of your cat’s wide eyes by looking at what’s going on around her and her other body language cues. For example, when my cat, Bella, gets surprised, her pupils go wide and she jumps up in the air with the classic “bottle brush tail.” Wide cat pupils can also indicate excitement. When you pull out your cat’s favorite treats, her pupils may get wide in anticipation.

On the other hand, wide cat pupils may indicate anxiety. If your cat is sitting there, looking tense (with a hunched back and her tail close to her side), and her pupils are also wide, you can assume that she’s anxious about something. You’ve probably seen this when you take your cat to the vet and she really doesn’t want to be there.

Wide cat eyes can also indicate abject terror. Maybe you’ve seen this if you’ve been in a huge thunderstorm, just before your cat runs for the smallest and darkest place she can find.

What if the cat pupils are different sizes?
When one of the pupils is larger than the other, your cat has a condition called anisocoria. Anisocoria is a symptom, not a disease itself. Sometimes, it’s an emergency.

“If anisocoria occurs suddenly, you should consider this an emergency situation and seek veterinary care immediately to lessen the chance that your cat’s vision will be permanently affected,” Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH, writes in an article on anisocoria in cats for the VCA.

When pupils are different sizes, it can indicate that your cat is suffering from one of the following issues: a brain injury due to trauma (such as a fall or being hit by a car or a disease like a stroke); an injury to the surface of the eye; a problem with the nerves running to the affected eye; glaucoma, a very painful pressure buildup in the eye; inflammation of the interior of the eye; retinal disease; or even cancer. Cats may also develop anisocoria due to spastic pupil syndrome, which is associated with the feline leukemia virus.

The final word on cat pupils
Cat pupils are an amazingly expressive part of your feline friend’s body language repertoire. By studying your cat’s eyes along with her body language, you’ll be able to understand your cat better and avoid unwanted aggression or fear. The pupils are also a reflection of your cat’s health. Don’t hesitate to get your cat to the vet if you notice that her pupils are different sizes.

Tell us: Have you noticed your cat’s pupils changing different shapes and sizes?

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday,
June 19, 2022

All Signs
This week two planetary events occur: On Tuesday, the Sun moves into Cancer to stay for four weeks. Cancer is warm hearted, nurturing and thrifty; hence, these qualities will blossom more in all of us. We’ll focus more on home, family, gardening, cooking and boating, especially activity around marinas. (The Sun is a clue to where we put our energy.) On Wednesday, Venus moves into Gemini, to stay for almost 4 weeks. Venus will attract different opportunities to each of us. Venus is a social planet. It represents romantic relationships, the arts and all things beautiful. It also has a strong association with money. Let’s welcome this change. (Incidentally, this is my step ladder. I never knew my real ladder.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your attention now turns to home, family and your private life. Many will be involved more than usual with a parent. Because of this, some of you will cocoon at home more and relax among familiar surroundings. However, countering this energy, your ruler Mars is still in your sign, along with lucky Jupiter, and this means you want to be physically active! The shift of Venus will increase this influence by attracting interactions with siblings, relatives and neighbours. Note: Something will make you happier on a daily basis. In fact, you will appreciate the beauty of your everyday surroundings more than you realized before. (A blessing!)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
The pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks, because you’ll be running with an outboard motor strapped to your butt. Errands, appointments, short trips and visits with siblings, relatives and neighbours! You’re eager to enlighten others. You want to tell someone what you think about something. If you can squeeze in a little vacation – this is a great idea. Meanwhile, your ruler Venus, a planet that attracts things to you (especially money) is moving into one of your Money Houses! Hello? Things don’t get much better than this! This means you might get richer in the next four weeks. It also means you will spend money on beautiful things. Ka-ching!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
In the next four weeks, you will reflect upon your values. You want to know, “What really matters?” You don’t want to be 90 years old, looking in the mirror saying, “I blew it.” You want greater control of your world through what you own. Meanwhile, the lovely news is that this week fair Venus moves into your sign to stay for the next four weeks. (Yay!) This makes you want to reach out to others. It also makes you charming and diplomatic. You will seek peace and want to patch up problems with others. Good times with friends will be a priority. This is a great time for a vacation! It’s also a wonderful time to buy wardrobe goodies for yourself. Enjoy your good fortune!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This week, the Sun moves into your sign to stay for four weeks giving you a chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of year. It’s your turn to replenish and restore yourself. You will also (almost magically) attract important people and favourable situations to you. Ah yes, this is the power of the Sun! Actually, this is an empowering birthday month for you because this year, lucky Jupiter is at the top of your chart. (Happens only once in 12 years.) Jupiter makes you look successful! This is the classic time for a promotion or public recognition by your peers. Meanwhile, with Venus hiding in your chart, secret love affairs might flower. Oh my.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your personal year is ending but your new year will not begin until the Sun enters Leo, a month from now. Therefore, the next four weeks are a time of limbo for you. (You’re waiting at the train station for your ship to come in.) Nevertheless, you can use this time to make plans for your new year ahead. What do you want to achieve in the next year? What three things come to mind? Set some goals because this will give you a clearer focus on what is important you. Goals also give you more clarity in decision-making. Plus, they give you a sense of purpose. Venus is now moving into your House of Friendships, which means you will schmooze more with others, especially artistic, creative people. (Remember – write down some goals.)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You will be more popular in the next four weeks. You will seek out friends, plus, you will also become more involved in groups, clubs and organizations. (It’s just what’s happening.) Your idealism will be aroused, which is why you might seek out charitable organizations or ways to help those who are less fortunate. Admirable! (Whenever we’re more aware of the suffering of others, we become more compassionate.) Fair Venus will now be at the top of your chart, which is good for business and attracting people who can help you. Romance with a boss might begin. Almost certainly, someone will ask for your advice about how to make something look better. (“First, remove the yellow crime tape.”)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Ta da! Once a year the Sun sits at the top of your chart for four weeks and that time has arrived. Symbolically, this means the Sun is shining down on you and capturing you in a spotlight that is flattering. This is why everyone will admire you and see you as super capable (even if you don’t do anything special). Good lighting is everything! Since this almost magical phenomena is occurring for the next four weeks, it means now is the perfect window of time for you to make your pitch or go after what you want because you look so good in the eyes of everyone. Meanwhile, Venus makes you want to travel for pleasure. It might also create a romantic relationship with someone “different.” (Exciting!)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Decide to act on your urge to do something different because you need a change! Einstein said, “I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” Sometimes you need to give up the familiarity of your velvet rut to explore more of the world. This includes intellectual exploration, which is why many of you will choose to study or take courses instead of jetting off to new places. Fair Venus has just moved into one of your Money Houses, which means the financial or practical help you need or an inheritance might come to you! (Where there’s a will, there’s a way.) Romantic relations will be very affectionate and sexy!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Venus is opposite your sign for the next four weeks, which symbolizes that this is a lovely time for all relationships – love affairs, marriages, partnerships and professional relations with coworkers. Venus will even improve relations with your enemies! What a blessing! Certainly, you can use the next four weeks to patch up difficult relationships and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, in this same window of time, you will have more involvement with financial matters and shared property. This includes taxes, debt and inheritances. You will also feel emotionally passionate in the coming month, and at times, even compulsive. (Just so you know.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
It’s been six months since your birthday, which means certain things in your life are culminating. Be smart, respectful and courteous when dealing with authority figures. (You’ll be glad you did.) Oh yes, don’t burn bridges. Some situations might not work out right now. Remember: Your first loss is your cheapest loss. Let it go. What is working needs to be incorporated in your life so that you move forward with growth and progress. Venus will promote warmer relations with coworkers. It will also boost your health. However, watch out for seconds on dessert because Venus loves sweets! (Yum, yum.) A work-related romance will begin for some. Smoochie boochies!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Grab that toolbox or briefcase because you’re keen to work in the next four weeks. You’re setting the bar high and you want to be productive! You want to make every action count. (Admirable.) Basically, you want to manage your life well. One quirky detail is you might have to work on behalf of others, which means you might not be your own boss. Nevertheless, you will derive satisfaction from a job well done. Fear not. Venus will bring you rewards because Venus will be travelling through the most fun part of your chart in the next four weeks attracting creative activities, social outings, vacations, sports events, romance and fun times with kids. Yeehaw!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Great news! The next four weeks will be full of social outings, fun vacations, romantic diversions, sports events and enjoyable activities with kids. Yes, it’s your turn to play! Not only do you want to play and socialize with others, at a deeper level, you want to express the real you, especially your creative talents. You want the freedom to be who you are. Expect relationships to be more lighthearted and fun-loving! Romance in particular will sizzle! Many of you will also enjoy redecorating projects and doing something to make your home more attractive. You will want to entertain at home as well. Invite family over for good food and drink because the vibes are warm and loving.

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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

High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
Herbalism 101
Herbalism 202
Herbalism 303

Earth Signs and Omens
Natural Witchcraft
Practical Magick: Spell Casting for Every Day Use
The Magic of Crystals
Introduction to Energy Healing
Introduction to Paganism
Introduction to Meditation
Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine
Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification
A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin
Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings
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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com
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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 12 June 2022

Every leaf that grows will tell you:
What you sow will bear fruit.
So, if you have any sense, my friend,
Don’t plant anything but Love.
~Rumi

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

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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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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.)

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Goddess Month of Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ June 10th to July 7th is Oak

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in June

JUN 7-15th: Roman Festival of Vestalia
JUN. 11: Feast of Matuta (Roman)
JUN. 11: Matralia (Roman)
JUN. 11: Fortuna’s Day (Roman)
JUN. 14: FULL SUPERMOON in Sagittarius
JUN. 14: Flag Day
JUN. 19: Father’s Day
JUN. 19: Juneteenth

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Face to Face with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays/

Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herbal Cauldron – June 12
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – June 19
Reiki I and II: 4 PM – 6PM – June 25
Black Hat – June 25 – 7PM – 9PM

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 online 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 too 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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Full Moon Circle
SUN, JUN 12 · 5:00 PM EDT
Location: Sticks and Stones

Details
A moon circle is a sacred gathering of women, who usually come together to honour and celebrate the new and full moon gathering to harness the potent energy of the moon.

A moon circle is a safe space, where women can enjoy being in sacred sisterhood, feel supported and witnessed. In the circle we will set intentions, clear energy, gain clarity, and connect to oneself through communal energy.

Everything that happens in circle remains privately in the circle, which allows women to truly open up, share, and be authentic, practice self-care and experience community.
$25

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Full Moon June 14, 2022. Strawberry Moon in Sagittarius
by Cherokee Billie

On June 14, 2022, we welcome The Strawberry Moon in the fire sign Sagittarius. This week the intuitive powers increase as we approach the Full Moon. This is a time to gather and harvest things you’ve planted earlier this spring. The Strawberry Moon is a time of transformation as you continue to ripen. It’s a time to pick your intentions. Winds of Change are in the Air!

Find out what changes are ahead for you with one of my Personalized Spiritual Readings.

June’s Full Moon is a friendly one and will feel different from the string of potent Full Moons we have had since the start of the year.

The astrological year is a quarter way through and the calendar year is halfway through, and this is symbolized through the changing of the seasons.

The ability to formulate goals, motivate yourself, enjoy life – that’s what will be important on the June full moon. You can believe in luck and luck, but it is better to rely only on yourself. Energy is in full swing, a person is at the peak of activity: there is nothing impossible. The full moon in June 2022 favors large-scale affairs, helps to determine plans. You just need to look into the very depths of your soul, honestly admit your desires to yourself. This is a time of hopes, searches and discoveries: familiar things are seen from a different angle. It is important not to get confused here, if you hesitate a little – and the game starts over. While this has its own charm, life is cyclical: you can always catch up.

Now more than ever it’s time to stay in the present moment. Manifest within your heart and soul the spirit of Love and Light and send it out to the world that is filled with great darkness.

For the June full moon, the American Indians came up with a beautiful name that reflects their usual way of life. It is known as “Strawberry Moon” and it is at this time that the strawberries are harvested. Summer comes into its own, the days are getting longer, the sun is hotter and hotter – nature blooms in June. The first harvest has already been received, it will only get better. There are no barriers to moving forward, the future looks great. Another name, no less beautiful than the previous one, evokes pleasant associations. In honor of the exquisite flower that blooms at this time, the full moon in June is designated as the “Full Moon of Roses”. Refined fragrance creates a special atmosphere saturated with romantic fantasies.

It was often known as the Full Rose Moon in Europe and the Honey Moon

Even the tiniest candle can light the darkest room. Our job on this planet is to be a part of this light movement and send out our little beam of light as much as possible.

As this full Moon falls close to Father’s Day I feel it’s a good time to use the analogy of what a father is in terms of how our Heavenly Father helps us.

To me a father is a man who loves his children enough to let them make mistakes. A father is a guide and teacher, but he also cares enough to say “no” to his child even when he or she might hate him for it in the moment. That’s because a father tries to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

I think this brings into perspective how our Heavenly Father works with us. Often we can’t understand why we didn’t get something that we worked hard at or really wanted and it’s because it was not going to be the right thing for us. Many people blame God when things go wrong. Instead think of him just like an earthly father that he loves you enough to say no.

Everything related to family, career aspirations becomes of great importance. The Strawberry full moon in June is a period of powerful energy that makes it possible to move forward. If you work a little harder than usual, and have a firm belief in yourself, success is bound to come. There are no barriers other than internal fears, which is why the correct psychological attitude is so important. For more confidence, you can enlist the support of loved ones.

Respect the elders

On the June full moon, it is customary to pay special attention to the older generation. Disagreements should not be allowed: the slightest negative can provoke a huge argument. Now is the time to strengthen family ties, to maintain family traditions. Honor the Elders now and always.

The acute need for change, the desire to breathe deeply – this is what drives the actions of people. With the full moon in Sagittarius in June 2022, you can feel extraordinary cheerfulness, a surge of energy. The influence of the fire sign and its patron Jupiter is manifested in openness, activity and inexhaustible love of life. A person feels himself to be a creator, changes reality with inspiration. There is no place for pessimism: if something does not suit you, you can start over. On the Sagittarius full moon, positive changes take place, people demonstrate their best qualities. Difficulties do not frighten, on the contrary, they start: excitement stirs up the blood. I want to go forward, overcome, conquer – in a word, be the master of my own destiny.

This full moon is used as a signal that fruit—particularly strawberries—are ready to be picked. It’s time for you to pick your intentions.

Clean Out Your Life – Start With:

Cleansing Your Spirit
Clean out closets and drawers
Clean off the clutter around your sleeping area
Clean out old papers and receipts
You can take your time and do this cleaning over the next few weeks. It will benefit you enormously on your spiritual path. Clutter tends to attract negative energy. That’s why cleaning out your home or office is important as it frees up the energy and lets the light in.

I feel that all full moons are a special time for us to connect to the Great Spirit as well as the moon. Remember we’re fast approaching the Summer Solstice on June 21, 2022.

I offer a special Full Moon Reading that is unlike any spiritual or psychic reading you have ever received. To learn more Click Here. https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/collections/spiritual-phone-readings

Full Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Love, Take Root
JUNE 12, 2022 BY LAURA TEMPEST ZAKROFF

Today is National Red Rose Day in the US. The red rose symbolizes love and romance in the language of flowers and is also the birth flower for the month of June. Today is also Loving Day, which commemorates the 1967 US Supreme Court ruling disbanding all laws that made mixedrace marriages illegal. Therefore it’s an ideal day for this spell.

Consider every plant you put in your garden to be the beginning of a magical relationship. By planting a red rose, you are helping foster love of all kinds in your home and neighborhood. After selecting a spot where the rose will flourish, prepare the ground and plant the rose. Next, water and bless the earth and rose with these words:

O beautiful rose red,
To this home, love is led.
Take root, blossom, and grow.
Starting now, love will flow.

Remember to take care of the plant regularly and refresh the chant.
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A Garden Blessing
JUNE 11, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

As gardens are really beginning to grow now, it’s a good time to bless your garden with this simple ritual. You’ll need one shiny new penny. Begin by standing in your garden at sunrise as you hold your penny. Face east. Breathe deeply as you ground and center. Whisper to yourself:

Divine Power, bless this garden.
Bless you and the four cardinal
directions that provide me with the
bounty and beauty from this garden.

Then thank the guardians of each direction, starting with the east. Simply say:

I thank the guardians of the east
for protecting my garden.

Repeat this for each direction as you turn to face each one in this order: south, west, and north. Now, facing east again, look up and say:

Thank you, Father Sky.

Look down and say:

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Then return to an everyday state of mind. End by pressing the penny into the soil as an offering.
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Empowering Sun Tea Spell
JUNE 10, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

Today is National Iced Tea Day, and sun tea is a wonderful way to enjoy it because the sun’s energy is used to brew the tea instead of electricity or gas. The sun nourishes every part of our earth, and sun tea can be drunk for empowerment and positive energy.

This spell uses tea (such as black tea or hibiscus), a clear glass pitcher of water with a lid, sunshine, and a cup of ice. Drop the tea in the pitcher of water, replace the lid, and set it in direct sunlight. Gaze at the light-filled pitcher and say:

Great star, I ask that you
Infuse this water
With your brilliance, empowerment,
And uplifting qualities.

After two to three hours, pour the tea over ice and enjoy the taste of the sun’s bright energy. Sun tea can also be used in your magic in place of water whenever you want to add solar energy to your works.
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Outdoor Magic
JUNE 09, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

June is Great Outdoors Month, and a perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature. Go to a natural setting, rural or urban, and spend some time exploring. Find natural totems representing the four elements, such as a feather or leaf representing air, sunlight or lamplight to represent fire, some water, and a stone representing earth. Sit on the earth and place your air totem in the east. Say:

Air of the east inspires me.
I breathe in new life.
And breathe.

In the south, let your face turn toward the sun or lamplight. Say:
Fire of the south, warm me.
Warm my hands, heart, head, and
health so that I am nourished.

In the west, lay the water, saying:
West and water, intuition and
feeling, help me flow and heal.

In the north, lay the earth totem, saying:
Mother Earth supports me. I am secure
and stable. I am at home outdoors.
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Clear as a Bell
JUNE 08, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

Use this spell to pave the way for clearer communication before conversations, work meetings, presentations, etc. You’ll need two pieces of paper and a bell.

Start by writing the names or a descriptor of the two parties involved, one on each piece of paper. For example, you might write your name on one and “the audience of my presentation tonight” on the other. Set the papers in front of you, a few inches apart, and imagine a channel of clear communication energy flowing between them.

Ring the bell, dissolving any obstructions within this channel as you chant:

Communication, clear and bright,
Fill my words with love and light.
My message is received most true,
Divinely guided through and through!

After your talk, you can safely burn the papers with gratitude or recycle them after making a horizontal karate chop motion over each, intending that the link between paper and person(s) be dissolved with love.
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Wear Gold for Prosperity
JUNE 07, 2022 BY NATALIE ZAMAN

A little over five hundred years ago, King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France held the Field of the Cloth of Gold, an event wherein they showed off their wealth to each other. Does the apparel maketh the man? Sometimes.

Don some gold for prosperity. It’s the element of wealth and confidence, and by wearing it you literally envelop yourself in prosperity. It does not need to be a piece of jewelry or have a metallic element to it—nor does it have to be visible! Bless the item before you put it on:

Gold near me,
Gold on me,
Gold for me!

Repeat this mantra throughout the day to attract prosperity and prosperous opportunities.
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Start Your Day Spell
JUNE 06, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Most of us start our day with some sort of beverage. For many of us, that drink is coffee. For others, it might be a glass of juice or water. No matter what it is, you can make it a bit more magickal and use it to start your day on the best foot possible. Before drinking your morning beverage of choice, take a moment to think about just why you drink it. Hold that reason in your mind, and see its powers helping you throughout your day. Then say this spell before drinking:

Morning drink. revitalize
my spirit and mind,
Prepare me for the day
ahead; may it be kind.
Humble drink, and yet a
gift from the earth,
Work your magick as I
prepare to set forth.
May this day be one of
satisfaction and glee,
For this I thank the gods.
So mote it be!

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Heartwings Love Notes 1038 Unexpected Benefits of Covid

Heartwings says, “Even difficult experiences can bring good outcomes.”

When I was very small, we had a real icebox with a big pan underneath that melting ice dripped into. I remember the man who delivered the big blocks of ice carved from Wenham Lake, I think, and stored in an ice house. He wore a rubber apron on his back and carried the ice on big tongs, slung over his shoulder. Too, there was milk delivered to the door in round, long necked bottles with the cream on top.

I remember there was a woman who carried a big suitcase between Beverly Farms and Manchester, filled with all sorts of things to buy like nylons, gloves, thread and needles, pins and lace. She would open it up to display the ribbons my mother bought for my hair, and other useful things. Another woman washed and ironed my father’s shirts and perhaps other things as well. We dropped the shirts off at her house and picked them up in a day or so. These things and more made life easier.

Like most in those days, we owned only one car, so groceries were often delivered, though the stores that did that were more expensive and my mother preferred to shop at the First National in town or the A&P in the next one. To me it is very amusing to see the delivery of groceries coming around again. How strange to think that only a very few years ago, we all went to stores or restaurants and shopped or ate in person rather than having meals or groceries delivered. The proliferation of services has certainly burgeoned. Covid is responsible.

Covid is also the reason for the development of people working from home. Rather than fight the traffic they can sit at their computers in the comfort of their own pleasant surroundings, in informal clothing. Too, families have gotten to know one another better and spent more time together.
Once upon a time, before the convenience of automobiles and the ease of transportation, much of what was bought was delivered. Not only that, the doctor came to your home if you were ill. Now it is possible to have a visit in your home from the doctor via zoom. In addition, Meetings can be held that way, and people can gather from all over without traveling. The poetry group I’m part of used to meet in person, locally. Now it has members from as far away as France.
A while ago I would have gone to the store to buy a new dish drainer. Now I have ordered one to be delivered. The convenience of not having to drive as much or as often is also a good way to save money. I wonder if the changes we have had will be permanent. It is difficult to tell. Will we ever go back to spending more time commuting? Shopping in person? Eating lots of meals out rather than having them delivered? Only time will tell.

PS Have you benefitted in any way from Covid? I’d love it if you would share with me and tell me your experiences. Thanks for reading my thoughts. Wishing you every joy. Contact me at Tashahal@gmail.com and do check my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Sharing Your Gift with Others

Your earthly existence provides you with ample opportunity to explore your purpose and use your gifts.

The gifts we are born with and those that we work to develop throughout our lives vary in form and function. Some we find use for every day while others are only useful in specific circumstances. Yet many times we overlook opportunities to share our unique gifts with others. It may be fear of criticism that holds us back or the paralyzing weight of uncertainty. Ultimately, we doubt that our innate talents and practiced skills can truly add value to others’ lives. But it is the world as a whole that benefits when we willingly share our gifts. Whether you have been blessed with the ability to awaken beautiful emotions in others through art or industry, or your aptitudes transmit more practical advantages, your gifts are a part of who you are. As you make use of those gifts as best you can, be assured that your contribution to worldly well-being will not be overlooked.

Your personal power is defined in part by your gifts. To use your talents is to demonstrate to the world that you understand yourself and are truly attuned to your capabilities. Your earthly existence provides you with ample opportunity to explore your purpose, to utilize your skills in a life-affirming way, and to positively touch the lives of others while doing so. Yet you may feel that your gifts are not as valuable or worthy of attention as those of others and thus hide them away. However, every gift lying dormant in your soul has the potential to fill a void in someone else’s life. Just as your existence is made richer by the love, support, friendship, aid, and compassion of others, so, too, can you add richness to their lives. Your natural ability to soothe hurt, inspire compassion, bake, dance, knit, organize, or think outside the box can be a boon to someone in need.

As you embrace your gifts and allow their light to shine, you will discover that more and more opportunities to make use of them arise. This is because your gifts are a channel through which the universe operates. By simply doing what you are good at and also love to do, you make a positive difference. The recognition you receive for your efforts will pale in comparison to the satisfaction you feel when fulfilling your innate potential.

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Sending Love Ahead to Your Day

Send love to your day ahead and remember to stop and catch the miracles.

Upon waking, many people consider the coming day with trepidation. Because of the natural human tendency to focus on what we fear or dislike, it is easy to unwittingly send a message of unease into the future that negatively impacts the quality of your day. However, while our lives are busy and frequently replete with challenges, they are also rich with joy and experiences worth savoring. We can attract this natural bliss into our lives by starting each day with a message of love. When you send love ahead to your day, that love will manifest itself in your interpersonal interactions, your professional endeavors, and your domestic duties. Tasks and circumstances once made trying by your own anxiety are transformed by your love, and you will find yourself approaching life’s subtle nuances with great affection.

Each morning, when you have cast off the fog of sleep, take several deep, grounding breaths and reaffirm the love you have for yourself. Speaking a loving, self-directed blessing aloud enables you to access and awaken the reservoir of tenderness in your soul. Before you leave the comfortable warmth of your bed, be sure to tell the universe that you are eager and ready to receive the blessings it has set aside for you. Then as you prepare to meet the day, visualize yourself first saturated by and then surrounded with a warm and soft loving light. Gradually widen the circle of this light until you are able to send it ahead into your future. If you are commuting to work, send love to the roads upon which you will drive, your fellow commuters, and your parking space. If you have colleagues who arrive at your workplace before you, send them love. Likewise, a day spent being a parent or addressing household chores can benefit from the sentiment that precedes you. Sending love ahead to everyone you will meet and everything you will do can ensure that your day is suffused with grace.

If you have difficulty sending love to those situations and individuals you deem particularly frustrating, consider that the warmth and tenderness you project can change your life for the better. Each morning, in sending this love, you will exercise your power to control the ambiance of your existence and to color your day with positivity.

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Soul Walk: A Simple Exercise for Soul Integration
JUNE 09, 2022 BY DANIEL MOLER

The soul has many parts. With my work in shamanic practices, I have been astounded at the repeating presence of the number three. Various aspects of the number three will crop up in many ways on the shamanic path. For instance, there are three worlds in the shamanic universe: the upper, middle, and lower worlds. The shamanic healing process unfolds in three phases: the cleansing, the alignment, and the raising. Likewise, the psyche itself is comprised of three elements.

This segmentation of the self is not just reserved for shamanic traditions. In Qabalah, the self is reduced to three expressions of being known as Nephesch (the primal subconscious), Ruach (the base personality), and Neschamah (the higher self). Similarly, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory divided the psyche into the Id (base, primitive instincts/subconscious self), Ego (reality-based personality/conscious self), and the Super Ego (the moral conscience/ideal self).

In my book, The Shamanic Soul: A Guidebook for Self-Exploration, Healing, and Mysticism, I discuss the three aspects of the self as taught to me from my training in Peruvian curanderismo. They each are rooted in the concept of sombra, translated in Spanish as “shadow” or “shade,” which is a projection or image of oneself cast upon the world. The sombra is the way the soul is expressed in reality. The three aspects of sombra are known as the:

Sombra Ganadera: Known as “the rancher” shade, but also referred to as “the contrary” (contrario), this sombra typically corresponds to the lower self, the subconscious state of mind where base instincts and repressed memories reside. Therefore, this aspect of the soul is primarily concerned with the past. If not properly controlled or corralled (hence, “the rancher”) this sombra will resurface and sabotage one’s life in often unintentional ways.
Sombra Primera: The “prime” shade is the primary personality, conscious and aware of the world around us, the aspect of our soul concerned with relationships and day-to-day living. This part of the soul is more concerned with the present.
Sombra Criandera: The “wet nurse” or “nursemaid” shade is the aspect of the soul that nurtures the self upon one’s path, encouraging them toward evolution. Other traditions call this the higher self, that which is concerned with transcendent reality.
Often life will bring upon a set of challenges that will fracture these aspects of the soul. The natural way of life is for these parts to work together in unison. If they do not, they will work against each other and individuals will wade through life confused, disgruntled, and even engage in self-sabotage. One can be easily ruled by emotions or ego, and disharmony of the sombras will reflect a disharmony of the soul.

Although my book The Shamanic Soul is comprised of many spiritual healing practices, most of them are centered upon the mesa, a shamanic altar used for shamanic training and practice. However, one does not have to have a mesa to engage in shamanic healing. In fact, you have everything you need already! Your mind, body, and soul are built to heal themselves. Just as a physical wound will heal in the right conditions, all you need to do is nurture your healing capacities and provide the time/space for your soul to do its job. If my own soul feels fragmented, disjointed, or not quite in alignment, if the three sombras don’t seem to be working in alignment, this is the simple ritual I follow for true soul integration.

The Soul Walk Ritual
Carve out some time for yourself. A true healing ceremony cannot be done while working or in a space where you can be distracted with other tasks. You need to allot some time specifically for your soul care, just as you would for any other event. I would suggest at least a good 3 to 4 hours, but if you cannot do anymore than that, then at minimum schedule an hour.

Find a space where you can go for a walk out in a natural setting, specifically where you will not be interreacting with other people. It is good to have some isolation from others, so you are not distracted from your healing process. There are plenty of State and National Parks you can look up, even close to the city, with walking trails that will provide an appropriate amount of isolation from the populace. You will want a space where the only connection is between you and the natural world, ideally a space to which you are connected.

You may want to take a backpack to carry a water bottle, sunscreen, or insect repellent, if that is conducive to your needs. Dress appropriate for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Leave your phone behind. If you need to let someone know where you are, in case of an emergency, do so. However, you do not want another opportunity for distraction to arise.

When you arrive at your space, state your intention to the land that you intend to heal yourself and ask for permission and assistance. The lands listens, and the land will answer.

Ganadero Walk
First is the walk with the sombra ganadero, the aspect of the soul typically concerned with the past or subconscious state. For this you will want to begin your walk by locating a stone. If you are in an area where no stone can be found, you can choose a stick or some other natural object. However, a stone is ideal for this exercise, specifically a dark, dense one.

Place the stone in your right hand and begin your hike. The first third of your walk will focus on brining up your issue at hand. Are you having issues with a spouse? Do you feel alone, confused? Is work stressing you out? How does your issue reflect back upon you and your personality? How does it make you feel? Why do you think it makes you feel that way? Was there an event in your past that causes you to react in the way that you do, that causes you to feel or think these thoughts?

Don’t judge any of these notions. And please don’t try to solve the problem at hand. Just bring up these feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and witness them, without judgement. Whatever they are, just observe as you walk.

Using the power of your imagination, fueled by the physical power of your walking, intend for any thoughts, feelings, or memories that make you uncomfortable to flow from your body, down your right arm, and into the stone in your right hand. Intend for the stone to act as a magnet, attracting any density these feelings bring up to be absorbed into the stone itself, leaving your body and mind. Everything in the natural world is conscious and can utilized as a tool to assist us in our own healing. Stone are wonderful ancestors who are great at absorbing these sorts of dense energies from the sombra ganadera. It is okay, they will not affect the stone, because we will soon disburse these energies where they need to go.

When you feel that the first third of your walk is complete, that you have appropriately distributed the negativity of these feelings and emotions into the stone, find a place to bury the stone in the ground. It doesn’t have to be deep. Even with your own hands or a stick you can remove enough soil to bury the stone and long as it is beneath ground-level. When you do, thank the stone for its assistance and intend for the energies you have distributed into the stone to back into the earth. Mother Earth knows what to do with these energies, as she will transmute them into something good, composting them from dense negativity into nutritive life.

Primera Walk
Next, is the walk with the sombra primera. Since this is the aspect of the soul mostly concerned with the present, you will take the next third of your walk being completely open and mindful of the present moment. Do your best to clear your mind. Pace your breathing with your walking. If any thoughts try to crop up in your mind, use the exhale of your breath to breathe them away. Focus only on the natural world around you. The shuffle of your feet on the ground. The brush of grass against your legs. The sound of the wind rustling through the leaves of trees. The chirps of any nearby birds. The movement of the clouds. Let the natural world be your only stimulus.

This aspect of the walk is a palate cleanser, from being in denser energies to now realigning oneself to the presence of your own soul as an integrated whole. This walk can be the best form of meditation. Your soul is meant to be operating in unison. You are multifaceted, but also whole, and the sombra primera reminds us of that. Let the natural world speak to you and reconnect you with the holism of soul integration.

Criandera Walk
The “nursemaid” aspect of soul looks toward the future. This sombra will caretake the necessary aspects of oneself to encourage evolution. In the shamanic path, this is often done by giving back to Mother Earth in some way, in thanksgiving for the support she has provided us. In my tradition this giving back is what we call a pago (“payment”) in sacred reciprocity of the work complete.

For the final third of your walk, scan the landscape for any flowers or plants that catch your eye. A common form of pago is to pluck these flowers or plants and arrange them in a mandala-like design on the earth, providing an artful gift of beauty to the Mother. You can be as creative and detailed as you want with it, as long as you are working from the heart as a payment back to the medicine you have received in your integration ritual. If you are in a landscape where there not many flowers, you can create a design using stones, such as medicine wheel. If no natural materials are available, you can provide a gift yourself by either singing a song or plucking a piece of your hair to leave on the land.

Sacred reciprocity is an artform itself. There are not specific rules, but it must be done with earnest gratitude. It is about establishing a connection with the natural world, a rapport in which you and earth commune as one soul to another. This aspect of the sombra can be a great boon in overall soul integration, uplifting one’s spirit and charging the physical body with positive energy to move forward in one’s endeavors.

Summary
When done with focus and intention, the Soul Walk Ritual can mend fractured thoughts and emotions. It can bring clarity to one’s soul walk in life, so that when you feel uncertain about a situation, you can provide a space for yourself where harmony can take place. Integration is about taking the unconnected pieces of the soul and connecting them so they can work together, not against each other. Take the time and space for yourself—you deserve it!

To explore more shamanic exercises, you can check out my book The Shamanic Soul/ https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738770697&utm_source=llewellynjournal&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=llewellynjournal

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Understanding Hauntings and the Afterlife: Here’s How It Works

Most of us regard the afterlife from the point of view of a living 3-dimensional player on a 3-dimensional field. Thus, we see a ghost as an invisible person who can get confused, trapped, vengeful, or concerned, but always in one place at one time.

Ghost investigators tend to hit all the most traumatic locations, assuming that somehow following an awful death one leaves their ghost to linger in that place and time. The problems with that include the fact that any of us who have had a bad event, generally do not want to go back to that location for any reason. As well, if you have passed on and are free to go anywhere, you might want to choose a beloved relative or a favorite vacation spot.

Once again, we are thinking too linear in our references.

Why are some places haunted?

Places of intense emotion at time of death or great pleasure while alive, should be haunted. It’s not about being trapped, not knowing you’re dead, or seeking vengence.

Once again, we are thinking too linear in our references.

The human electromagnetic field seems to imprint on a space, whether it’s on the 3-dimensional, 4-dimensional, 5-dimensional plane.

Imagine if you will that in a moment in time and space, a person leaves an imprint, like the 2-dimensional image on a photograph that can be pulled out and looked at later in the 3-dimensional world.

We tag “recordings” of us when we emit the proper electrical and hormonal peaks that can leave a print of it in the higher dimensions.

An image of a person is a 2-dimensional representation of how they appear in one moment in time. That 2-dimensional image enters the 3-dimensional world by hanging on a wall on a piece of photo paper.

There is also a point of contact between the 3-dimensional world and the 2-dimensional world where they interact, such as when we press a finger to the photograph.

Here we are in a 3-dimensional playing field. We have a moment in time of great excitation, whether it’s anger, pain, grief, excitement, pleasure, contentment, prayer, and we leave an imprint on the next dimension that shares the same playing field.

Upon occasion, that imprint we have left in a higher dimension (like that photo in a 3-D frame) will show itself in our lower dimension, like that time when our finger meets the photographic image.

We can leave an electromagnetic and chemical print in a higher dimension while angry in prison, dying in a sanitorium, screaming with excitement on a rollercoaster.

In a way, consider those moments a “photograph” being captured and held in a higher dimension that doesn’t use paper to hold and record but instead uses energy.

Since we are physical beings, the photograph captures how we appear physically. That is an important capture to us for recall memories and to document as we think in terms of the visuals and the physical world.

But, in a higher dimension, such as the afterlife inhabited by “soul” energies, we would have to leave an imprint there of something it registers, such as energy. To that plane of existence, that is the substance of importance, not the physical flesh.

We psychics often refer to energy a lot. We have to, as there is no other real comparison for this form of transport and communication. Imagine if you will that a photographic image had a mind to think. He may think, “I feel I’m part of something bigger but I can’t get outside of my 2 dimensions to view just what my purpose is.” He has no idea he’s a photograph of something on a higher plane.

Voila! We walk around not able to perceive but knowing we are part of a soul, not understanding how that works or what the bigger picture is. Once we step outside of mortal existence, like the photographic image being launched into the 3-dimensional world, everything becomes quite clear. We gaze upon the 2-dimensional image and think how limited an existence when there is so much more!

Such is the perspective upon passing.

If any of my readers watches “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” on History Channel, you are likely caught up in the mystery in the air over the triangle.

Is it a portal? Well, it very well could be a point of interaction between two dimensions like when we place our finger on that photograph. If the photograph had cognizance and vision, it would only see another dot on the horizon that appeared and then disappeared, as it has not ability to see depth.

So it goes for us trapped in this mortal 3-dimensional plane. The interaction of a higher dimension would seem to be otherworldly and what we could actually perceive would only be that which three dimensions can hold and display, like the dot on the photograph for Mr. 2D. We might only see what appears to be a vehicle or light.

Did you ever notice how sometimes you pull up a memory of some mundane thing that happened in the past, but it’s so well imprinted in your memory you recall how you felt, what song was playing, and other details? For whatever reason, during that moment in time, you were leaving an imprint. We sometimes call it déjà vu.

It’s like a higher dimension storage of a memory, sort of like how a photo is a visual representation of a moment in time.

Is it possible that in a higher dimension, our souls wish to be back in the prior mortal life?

Well, let’s look at it this way: That photograph of you, you might wish you looked like your younger self when you gaze at it, but then you realize, “no thank you, if I had to repeat all I’ve been through again, no thanks.”

You also might look at the face of that youngster and think, “wow, I don’t relate to her anymore.” BINGO! This is why we are not constantly confronted by dead relatives badgering us about who we date or rescuing us. You would look at the photo and think, “I don’t want to be a two-dimensional image stuck in time.”

The truth is, when we are free of the confines of this dimension, it is not only liberating, but being able to perceive 360 degrees, past, present and future without sense of separateness and ability to be anywhere and everywhere at any time all at once means we are no longer one specter in one location and we certainly are not trapped or confused as we are quite omniscient.

Imagine for a moment who a photographic image would feel if it could peel off the paper it’s printed on and suddenly be the actual person it represents in this 3-dimensional world. That’s one jump in dimensions and yet suddenly that being has depth, movement, vitality, biology, thought, interactions. Its mind would be totally blown by all this input and this new playing field.

Now imagine what near-death experiencers describe as they are suddenly giving all knowledge, all vision, all sense of no longer being a separate entity? Mind blown upon birthing into the afterlife!

In a way, if the photographic image’s friends knew he was going to get to move into the 3-dimensional plane, they would be cheering him on.

This is a novel way of looking at birthing.

We start birth to this plane down a tunnel to a light and those that greet us happily. Before that, all we knew was a womb, darkness, liquid, and a sense of physicality.

We also birth into the afterlife with the same perception to be greeted by those awaiting us and a whole new sense of how limited and dark our world was and how amazing it is to be free.

Many experiences of near-death report a sense of community on the other side that, like a returning warrior, you are taken into the fold and admired for having been willing to do the mortal thing.

How does the human represent a soul?

All it takes is one overly manipulated photo of someone to realize, “that’s not the REAL them.” Well, in this case the photographic facsimile isn’t a real facsimile of the person.

When we make decisions as mortals with a soul-energy we represent, we are either making a genuine representation or an ingenuine one, in which case we are not a true facsimile. This has moral implications.

It would appear that no matter your spirituality here or your particular beliefs or lack thereof, we all end up the same dimension, a transformation from a biologic representation of soul energy to being free to be soul energy only.

How does religion work into this rather scientific explanation?

We are given these passionate teachings to help us remember we are a soul and we are representing it on this physical plane like the photograph represented us.

If you look around our world and how everything is designed to maintain our life forms from oxygen and carbon dioxide, plants and animals, rain and oceans, even the animal forms that can reproduce, you begin to realize something monumental.

This planet and its life forms were designed to run on autopilot and reproduce and play out here. If the photographic image utilizes ink and paper, we utilize trees, water, crops, and reproduce.

Near-death experiencers report a heaven that sounds a lot like earth.

We could chalk it up to that being our only point of perception.

The truth is, earth is a facsimile of heaven.

In heaven or the next dimension (you choose), the colors are acute, everything is full of life. That is the real thing. If we compare you to the photograph of you, we see the photo can’t capture your sides, back, your varied expressions, the lighting in the afternoon or morning.

Earth was designed as a facsimile to play upon for our biological forms to act out. The soul is with the body, playing with amnesia, believing it can die when it actually returns to the fold.

When we speak of people being pious, we are really saying that someone is recalling they represent a soul on this plane.

When we forget we have a soul, we can make poor decisions thinking it only affects this playing field, but like a bad photograph (remember your third grade class picture?) you can represent the most soul-less decisions.

The politics, power, and profit of religion aside, spirituality and faith, living as a soul in a human suit is the best practice. In order to impress such importance, we are often presented with religions that base much on black and white, good and bad, heaven and hell.

If God wanted to prompt us with a hint, this is the way it is done to leave the most impression on mortals.

The fact that a soul is willing to birth into this situation with a general sense of amnesia is an amazing leap of faith.

Faith.

I leave you to ponder that.

NOTE: This is how I as both a psychic and a lifelong investigator of the spirit realm understands the experience. Depending on your faith, the media, your family and friends, your view may be entirely different. I never expect anyone to come to my conclusions, but I do appreciate a forum to be able to share my insights.

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Honey, Lemons, and Thyme: 10 Essential Ingredients for the Kitchen Witch’s Pantry
BY GAIL BUSSI

Magical Kitchen Ingredients
Any kitchen witch worth their salt (sorry for the pun!) will undoubtedly have his or her favorite ingredients—the kind that one’s pantry just feels incomplete without—but I venture to guess that there are some ingredients fairly common to us all, no matter where we live and what kind of witchcraft and magick we practice! Here are ten of my favorites (whittled down from a considerably longer list!) and I hope they will strike a chord with you, too; you will also find a lot more ideas and recipes using these ingredients in my new book, The Enchanted Kitchen.

  1. Lemons
    Honestly, I simply can’t imagine my kitchen without the basket of lemons sitting on the windowsill; I use lemons every day, and in every way, and I think every kitchen witch probably feels the same! (Please note that I am talking about fresh lemons, that you squeeze yourself; those little bottles of lemon juice may be useful but they just don’t have the same healthful or magical properties as the fresh fruit.)

The lovely lemon is packed with feminine energy, both protective and magical, and is a fruit sacred to the moon, unsurprisingly. On a spiritual level, lemon also clears away confusion and helps us focus and clarify our thoughts. And, of course, lemons work so well in the kitchen, from fish to chicken, from baking to desserts, and for all kinds of pickles and preserves. (You’ll find a delicious recipe for lemon pickles in Enchanted Kitchen.)

Keeping a supply of dried lemon peel on hand in the pantry lends itself to all sorts of kitchen uses, in particular gremolata, an Italian favorite used for topping meat and pasta dishes, as well as salads. You will need to peel several large, smooth-skinned lemons, ensuring that the peel is free of the bitter white pith. (Use the peeled lemons for juice or in other recipes.) Chop the peel into thick slivers and dry out in a fairly cool oven (250° F) for at least 3-4 hours. Pulse the dried peel briefly in a blender—it should not be completely powdered—and store in a small glass jar in your pantry. To make gremolata, mix 2 tablespoons of the lemon rind with 1 large clove of crushed garlic, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or thyme), then sprinkle the mixture over your dish just before serving.

  1. Garlic
    For my Italian father no meal was ever complete without garlic in some shape or form—he even spread a little on his fried eggs in the morning, much to my mother’s chagrin! Of course, garlic has powerful magical properties of protection, strength, and healing and for these reasons has long been a witch’s kitchen mainstay. Strings of garlic were traditionally hung in kitchens (and often still are) to protect the home and its inhabitants from malevolent spirits.

I always have a few fresh garlic bulbs in my pantry, which I can then peel and use as needed: either whole, with just a clove or two to flavor oils and vinegars, or crushed and added to sauces, marinades, butters, and so on. Allioli is a pungent garlic sauce made by crushing together four cloves of garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir in an egg yolk, and then gradually add up to 1 cup mild olive oil, until the mixture thickens. Stir in a little lemon juice to sharpen and some crushed black pepper. Store in a little jar in the fridge and use with pasta, chicken, seafood, or lightly steamed vegetables.

  1. Thyme
    This magical little herb is full of magical and health-giving properties and is credited with giving greater courage and willpower in difficult situations. And it has so many uses in the kitchen; fresh thyme is wonderful, of course, but since thyme is also one of those herbs that keeps its aromatic flavor well when dried, I always have a large jar of it tucked away in my pantry.

If you have some fresh thyme, place a few sprigs in a glass bottle and fill with olive oil; allow the oil to steep for a few weeks, then strain; you will always have fragrant thyme oil for frying, adding to salad dressings and marinades, and so on. Make a paste of soft butter, crumbled dried thyme and a little crushed garlic, and rub it liberally over the skin of a chicken before roasting. I also love baking with thyme, and it blends particularly well with lemon—for example, mix a little thyme with lemon juice and sugar, and use this as a glaze for a simple pound cake or cookies.

  1. Cardamom
    Probably not one of the most familiar spices, unlike cinnamon and ginger, but if you are a kitchen witch like me, who loves to prepare spicy curries and Middle Eastern dishes, cardamom, with its unique flavor of both rose and citrus, is an essential. You can buy the seeds ready-ground, but I keep a jar of the whole seeds in my pantry and grind them as needed in my wooden mortar and pestle. Apart from curries and the like, ground cardamom is lovely in baking and desserts; you can add a few seeds to tea or coffee, too, as they do in the East. Make a tea syrup using Earl Grey Tea simmered with 2-3 tablespoons of cardamom pods and a few tablespoons of sugar. When the mixture is thick and syrupy, strain it and store in a small jar—it can be served over dried fruit, or creamy custard and rice puddings.

Magically, cardamom is known for increasing clarity of thought, and lifting the spirit; it’s also a passionate spice, that can draw love to us, or increase the romance in existing relationships.

  1. Honey
    Really this needs no introduction: not only is honey one of the oldest foods known to mankind, but its health and spiritual properties are unsurpassed, thanks to the magic of the bees! Honey was sacred to the gods of Eqypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as in Hinduism; it’s believed to carry messages of spirit and is also beloved of the faeries and their kin.

Honey lifts and sweetens soul, spirit, and life, so I believe it should be used as often as possible, in baking, sauces, desserts, and more; use it to replace sugar as a sweetener in hot or cold drinks. Please use raw, organic honey if possible, and try local honey fragranced by different plants and flowers—it’s a true taste experience. (I have a jar of lavender honey in my pantry that is just fabulous drizzled on pancakes, scones, and in tea, too.)

  1. Sage
    Sage is such a diverse herb, with its various culinary, medicinal, and ceremonial applications. Here I am talking about culinary sage—white sage is the one traditionally used for rituals and ceremonies, but unfortunately has become rather over-harvested in recent years. Sage, like thyme, retains both flavor and taste well when dried, so should be a part of everyone’s magical pantry. Earthy and aromatic, I love adding it to chicken or pork dishes, and it’s wonderful with rice, pasta, and beans, too.

Magically, sage helps ease stress and tension and helps us feel calm and clear again; it is particularly helpful when made into a tea for this purpose.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
    Although the wine vinegars have their place, I still return, time and again, to the simple and traditional apple cider vinegar, which has so many uses in the kitchen and beyond. (Please try and obtain organic, natural cider vinegar, with the “mother” if possible.) Other vinegars may contain various chemical additions and preservatives.

Making our own fruit, herb, and spice vinegars is a wonderful way of bringing garden bounty and blessings into the pantry; they are wonderful on salads, of course, but adding a spoonful of herb vinegar to soups, broths, and sauces adds a magical new taste dimension. A delicious Italian-style vinegar can be made by steeping sage, black peppercorns, oregano, basil, and rosemary in a small bottle of vinegar for a few weeks. (And vinegar is wonderful for health applications, too, particularly coughs, colds, and infections of all kinds.)

  1. Chilies
    Here I am not talking about the many kinds of fresh chili, which I always have in my kitchen, but rather a jar or two of dried red chilies, which are incredibly useful to have up your (witchy!) sleeve. Anything you create using these little spicy powerhouses will give you and your food a burst of warm, protective energy.

You can make spicy chili oil simply by steeping the chilies in a bottle of olive, vegetable, or sesame oil for a few weeks; add some coriander seeds, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, or garlic to create a more complex flavor. Toss rice, pasta, or salad with a little of this oil for a simply delicious meal. I also like to grind a few dried chiles and mix them with some dried oregano, cumin, oregano, and a little sea salt, and use this mixture (which keeps well in a small jar) as a delicious sprinkle over pasta or vegetable dishes, or addition to sauces and marinades for barbecues or grills. You will find a lot more recipes using the magic of chilies in my book Enchanted Kitchen.

  1. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    There is nothing quite like a tomato fresh from the garden, but these tomatoes give a burst of summer flavor all through the year, and just a few make a wonderful addition to pizzas, salads, pasta dishes, and more. I always buy small plum/cocktail tomatoes when they are on special at the market and prepare a few jars of these little wonders! (Actually, they are not dried in the sun, but in the oven; they can be prepared in a dehydrator or microwave, but since I own neither of these, the oven works fine for me!)

Line a large baking sheet with foil, and then arrange the tomatoes, which you have cut in half, on the foil, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a few dried herbs like sage or basil, and then leave in a fairly cool oven (200° F) for at least six hours, or until the tomatoes have shrunk slightly, and are dry to the touch. Cool then remove from the baking sheet and pack into sterilized glass jars, leaving space at the top for the olive oil, which should cover the tomatoes completely. Store on a cool shelf in your pantry and top up the oil when it gets low. (These keep for ages, but seldom last too long in my kitchen!)

Sacred to Venus and Aphrodite, the tomato has long been venerated for its magical powers when love, romance, and passion are concerned; however, it also keeps negative energies out of the home, and is known for increasing creativity and inspiration on all levels.

  1. Black Pepper
    This probably seems a fairly obvious pantry choice, since most of us use pepper on a daily basis in one way or another, but since this familiar spice has so many wonderful and magical uses, I felt it deserves a place in my “essential” ingredients list. Use black peppercorns to repel negative, jealous, or harmful energies and increase your self- confidence—you can add it to protection bottles and simmering mixtures for this purpose, too. And apparently you can get rid of unwanted visitors or entities by sprinkling a mixture of ground black pepper and sea salt around the entrances to your home!

Of course, we probably all already use pepper in our kitchens, but I have a simple pepper blend that I like to keep on hand in my pantry; simply grind some black peppercorns, and mix with some ground paprika, a few dried and crushed chilies, and a little dried rosemary or oregano. Store in a small jar, where it will last for ages. Use this mix as a rub for steaks or chicken before grilling or stir a little into some softened butter andthen spread on grilled meat or vegetables—wonderful!

Happy enchanted cooking in your magical kitchens!

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Rainbow Yogurt Bowl

Arrange vibrant, colorful fruit in the shape of a rainbow on top of yogurt for a fun and delicious healthy breakfast or snack kids will actually want to eat.
~Carolyn Casner

Servings: 1

Rainbow Yogurt Bowl

Ingredients
½ cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey
9 raspberries
3 clementine segments
3 green grapes, halved
6 blueberries
Directions
Instructions Checklist

Step 1
Combine yogurt and syrup (or honey) in a wide shallow bowl. Top the yogurt with a rainbow made from raspberries, clementines, grapes and blueberries.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup

Per Serving:
128 calories; protein 7g; carbohydrates 21.5g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 18.5g; fat 2.1g; saturated fat 1.2g; cholesterol 7.3mg; vitamin a iu 82.2IU; vitamin c 17.1mg; folate 23mcg; calcium 243.6mg; iron 0.3mg; magnesium 29.6mg; potassium 398.6mg; sodium 87.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 5g.

Exchanges:

1 1/2 fruit, 1/2 reduced-fat diary, 1/2 other carbohydrate

© Copyright 2022 EatingWell. All rights reserved.Printed from https://www.eatingwell.com 06/11/2022

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Coach Gilberto, Chapter 15
by Stephen Halpert

Lara Parker gestured at the smoked salmon pate and other delicacies on the table. “Please help yourselves, I took the liberty of ordering for us all. I do like to treat my friends…and we are all friends here, are we not?”
Gilberto and Maria smiled and nodded, and Diana Rain said, “Yes indeed.”
Lara reached into the large bag by her chair and petted her small dog. “You be good now,” she murmured. There was a little woofing sound from Lucy, followed by a sigh as she gave her a bit of cracker with some salmon pate.
Then she sipped her drink. Something tall loaded with shaved ice and a mixture of vodka, cordial and fruit juice. “I may not be doing any of you a favor. Keeping Houndstooth afloat is no easy matter; and going co ed next September may well complicate things even more,” Lara said.
Then she raised her glass. “A toast to our new headmaster and his charming wife.”
Maria waved her wine glass, Gilberto his half-finished beer and Diana Rain her favorite, applejack over ice in a frosted mug.
Everyone smiled and nodded, and Gilberto finished his beer. “So, if you don’t mind my asking, how does Houndstooth stay afloat?”
“That is one of the bones of contention between myself and the former headmaster,” she said with a sigh. “He wasn’t content with the status quo. He was always wanting to purchase this and that expensive piece of equipment. Or he wanted new school buses for transportation, or more. He spoke constantly of luxury items. The trust established by my family to fund the school is good but not to the point of the extravagance he envisioned. Then too, he saw the school as a source for his kind of publicity.”
“How did he want it to seem?” Diana asked.
“Oh, elitist, featuring its age and prestige, things like that. He wanted to attract wealthy snobs while I wanted and still do, to educate young people of all colors and shapes and foster their intelligence and enthusiasm.” She signaled a waiter to refresh their drinks and asked if their first course was ready yet. The waiter nodded, returned with refills then scurried away.
Lara looked around the table. “I hope you’re not adverse to file mignon and asparagus with hollandaise, she said.
Gilberto grinned and Maria smiled. “Not at all,” she said. “What a nice treat.”
“Now to answer your question better, the Houndstooth trust is sufficient to cover reasonable expenses and supply the needs of the school programs and salaries. ” She handed Gilberto and Diana each a check. “Here is an advance on your salaries.”
Gilberto’s eyes widened. “Thank you very much,” he said as he tucked it away.
Diana nodded and smiled. “Likewise,” she said. “However, I must say I’m still curious about Cyrus and his most unfortunate death.”
The waiter brought their plates and they all admired the feast set before them. Then Lara spoke. “So am I,” she said with a sigh. She reached into her big pouch stowed under her chair and fed her little dog a piece of her steak.
“I fear in order to protect Houndstooth Ed Long perpetrated a cover up. He managed to create sufficient fear of speaking about it that everyone at school went mute. Apparently, some think he was on the bridge that afternoon with guests and parents. Others insist he was in the lounge chatting with parents and related faculty. It was a windy afternoon with the threat of rain. No one seems to know for sure where he was.”
“But what do you think? Diana persisted. “You must have an opinion. How do you think old Cy there fell off the bridge? Wind blew him off? Or was he perhaps pushed?” She paused, as if thinking. “Or perhaps he stumbled and fell accidently.”
Lara smiled and chuckled. “I’m aware of your background in law enforcement,” she began, “and I hope you will use some of those skills to ferret out a good possibility or two. I was fond of Cy, and I would give a lot to see his…,” she paused.
“Killer brought to justice?” Gilberto interjected.
“Cy was a marvelous dancer, very steady on his feet. I can’t see him stumbling like that, or falling accidentally.”
“And he wasn’t depressed or anything,” Maria said.
“Oh no.” Lara said quite the opposite. “He was a cheerful person. Loved a good joke. He’d stopped by my house that afternoon to share his latest ‘funny,’ as he called them.” She sighed and Gilberto thought he saw something glistening in her eyes. He was sure she might even have had more than a fondness for the gentleman.
“He even forgave Ed for putting about a rumor that he was gay, seeking to discredit him with faculty and eventually perhaps get him fired by the board of trustees.”
“He did what?” Diana asked forcefully.
“You heard me,” Lara said. “He was not a man of integrity where Cy was concerned, and the reason I kept him on was because despite his behavior over Cy, he was a fine administrator.” She sighed again and dabbed at her eyes with one of the damask dinner napkins. His only real flaw was his attitude toward Cy.”
“Do you think he might be capable of murder? Gilberto interjected.
Maria’s face reflected dismay. “Please,” she said. We’re having a nice dinner. Let’s not bring up such an unpleasant thought.”
Lara shook her head. “To answer your question, I’d hate to insinuate Cy was pushed. Then the natural suspect would be Ed Long. They certainly were far from being friends. But I can’t imagine anyone including Ed having done that.” She shivered and clutched her arms. “I hope, Miss Rain, that you will apply your skills, which I am sure are considerable, to seeing what you can discover.”
“In the meantime,” Maria said somewhat forcefully, “can we speak of pleasanter things? Gilberto told me you have plans for a special charitable animal hospital. Please tell us more about that?”
To be continued

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Cat Tail Language: What Your Cat’s Tail Is Telling You
Let’s dive into understanding cat tail language — what the movements and positions of your cat’s most intriguing appendage mean.

By Ellyce Rothrock

People who say cats aren’t very expressive and are impossible to gauge just don’t have a clue. A cat’s ears, eyes, body posture and, in particular, her tail, express exactly what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. You just have to “listen” to cat tail language.

“Since cats are such different animals from us, understanding how they communicate isn’t something that comes naturally to humans,” says Kelly C. Ballantyne, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.B., clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign. “It is important that all cat owners take the time to learn because understanding how cats communicate helps us to understand them better. Once we know their body language, we can read their emotions, identify situations that cause them distress or pleasure and even identify an illness sooner.”

Once you take the time to learn and understand cat tail language and realize that careful study of cat tail signs is vital to both your and your pet’s happiness in the home, you’ll be amazed at the myriad — and very clear — signals and emotions your feline companion shares with you.

Cat Tail Language: The Basics

Cats with their tails up.
What is your cat’s tail trying to tell you? Photography ©Cynoclub | Thinkstock.
Thankfully, animal behaviorists like Dr. Ballantyne have done exhaustive research to help guide pet owners to understand the finer points of cat tail language.

“Tails can move quickly or slowly,” she says. “A flicking or lashing tail signals that the cat is agitated, while a slowly waving tail indicates the cat is focused on something (i.e., about to pounce on a toy). “The tail-up posture — tail straight up with a slight curve at the end — is a signal that the cat is approaching amicably,” Ballantyne continues. “This posture, witnessed among feline friends, is a common way cats greet their humans.

“Cats may curve their tail around people they are bonded to and may intertwine their tails with other cats they’re bonded to. This is called an affiliative behavior.”

“Cats tuck their tails under or next to their body when they are feeling frightened. They often are crouching with their heads tucked in at the same time. We also can see these behaviors when they’re feeling pain.”

But learning cat tail language is like learning any foreign language: It takes time. If you are new to cat tail signs, you can be confused by what various tail movements and positions indicate and inadvertently upset or confound your cat.

Petting your cat around the tail area
While learning cat tail language is a must for cat owners, actually petting the cat around the area of the tail (the base of the tail or the tail itself) is not appreciated by most cats, Ballantyne says. Rather, focus all petting and scratching around the chin and ears, she adds.

Further, if during a petting session your cat’s tail starts twitching or lashing, her ears are turning back or she’s leaning away from you, these all are signals that your companion is done with this interaction, Ballantyne explains. Cats share pretty clear messages about how they’re feeling at any given moment with one of their most expressive body parts. If you take the time and effort to learn cat tail language, you’ll be talking tail like an expert in no time, bringing you and your feline companion’s relationship to greater understanding and happiness.

How to respond to cat tail language

  1. Tail position: Upright, held high
    What it means in cat tail language: Confident, happy
    How you should act/react: Offer playtime, cuddles and treats.
  2. Tail position: Curled at the top like a question mark
    What it means in cat tail language: Friendly
    How you should act/react: Offer your hand for sniffing and petting.
  3. Tail position: Straight down
    What it means in cat tail language: Agitated, feeling aggressive
    How you should act/react: Don’t try to engage or pet her. Try to neutralize whatever is upsetting her.
  4. Tail position: Curved beneath the body
    What it means in cat tail language: Nervous and/or submissive
    How you should act/react: Act nonchalant. Wait for her to come to you.
  5. Tail position: Puffed
    What it means in cat tail language: Scared, agitated, angry
    How you should act/react: Leave her alone!
  6. Tail position: Whipping back and forth
    What it means in cat tail language: Fearful; angry, aggressive
    How you should act/react: Best not try for quality snuggle time with an angry cat.
  7. Tail position: Swaying slowly from side to side/twitching
    What it means in cat tail language: Focused
    How you should act/react: Let your captivated cat follow her interests.

About the author
Ellyce Rothrock spent half her life with Flea, a Maine Coon who lived to be 21 and is missed every single day. She’s currently seeking a feline friend to manage Fritz and Mina, her German Shepherd Dog rescues. She’s lucky enough to live her passion for pets as a 25-year member of the pet media industry.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, June 12, 2022

All Signs
This is a marvellous week to socialize! Plan a party! Reach out and contact friends, as well as widening your social circle by meeting new people. In fact, it’s not just this week that promises fun energy – the next several weeks are perfect for summertime socializing! Mercury is in Gemini, which makes everyone eager to communicate and curious enough to engage. The Full Moon on Tuesday is powerful. Act on every chance to do good because what goes around comes around. But hey – always remember: You moon the wrong person at an office party and suddenly you’re not “professional” anymore. (Ain’t it the truth?)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This is a lovely, upbeat week for you because the Sun and Mercury combined makes you want to take short trips and talk to everyone. Your pace is accelerating with a busy schedule of errands and appointments. Meanwhile, with fiery Mars in your sign, you have lots of energy to do what you want; and lucky Jupiter (also in your sign) is bringing you good fortune and divine protection. (Oh yeah, it doesn’t get much better than this!) Meanwhile, Venus in your Money House, will attract money to you as well as entice you to buy beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. Be patient and helpful on Tuesday’s Full Moon.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Your ruler, fair Venus, is in your sign now, which gives you a great desire to relate to others. It makes you warm and diplomatic when talking to friends. In fact, you will want to make peace if there is dissension. It’s the perfect time for vacations, parties, socializing, or doing whatever gives you pleasure – and who loves their creature comforts more than you? Basically, when Venus is in your sign, you will put pleasure above work. Nevertheless, let us not forget that you are the financial wizard of the zodiac, so you’re also going to keep an eye on your money and cash flow. (“What am I? Stupid?”) Swami sees all, knows all.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This week the Sun is in your sign, pumping you with energy. And now your ruler Mercury joins the party! This makes you want to express your POV to others; which, incidentally, you will do in an entertaining way because you will put a lot of yourself into whatever you have to say. Your mind will be busy and excited, which is why it will jump from topic to topic very rapidly. You will have a strong urge to get out and travel, preferably short trips. You will enjoy physical activity, (especially competitive) with groups. As I mentioned last week, many of you are still dabbling in secret love affairs. Go with the flow while your mind is exploding with ideas. You’re pumped!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Like everyone else, you will feel a strong urge to socialize and be friendly this week. Nevertheless, unlike others, you still have a desire to keep a low profile or work alone or behind the scenes. Therefore, the choice is entirely yours. Nevertheless, opportunities to hang out with younger people (especially creative, artistic types) will please you. Be patient with coworkers at the beginning of the week. After the Full Moon peaks on Tuesday, these relations will soften and become smoother. Act on your ambition to achieve because Jupiter is at the top of your chart making you look great in the eyes of others; and this blessing comes only once every 12 years. Use it!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You’re keen to socialize this week! Enjoy the company of friends as well as groups, clubs and organizations to which you might belong. You will especially enjoy meeting new faces. In particular, you might be stimulated by hanging out with younger people, who make you feel younger. Your idealism is aroused. However, one of the reasons you feel good is because people admire you. (We like.) In fact, this admiration could lead to a saucy flirtation with a boss. Meanwhile, your urge to get outta Dodge is strong! Take a short trip so that you at least, can get a change of scenery. This is a good week to think about goals and expectations. Likewise, examine your attitude towards groups. Do these people benefit you?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The Sun is still at the top of your chart, which means it is casting a flattering light on you. This is why bosses, parents and teachers are impressed with you even if you don’t do anything special. (Good lighting is everything.) As Mercury starts to move across the top of your chart, you will contemplate more serious plans about your professional life and your career. You might decide to take up a new study or learn something. Communications with others, especially bosses, will be important. Meanwhile, because travel for pleasure still appeals, grab every chance to take a short trip or fly somewhere to have a thrilling adventure. “Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here – shall we dance?”

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You are one of the most sociable signs of the zodiac, which is why you will love this week ahead because it is full of opportunities to schmooze and enjoy the company of others. Nevertheless, be careful at the beginning of the week, when champagne bottles are popping, because Tuesday’s Full Moon will create a slightly accident-prone influence for you. Therefore, think before you act or speak. In addition to this, Mars is opposite your sign, and this creates tension with partners. (These are the little things you have to watch for this week.) Aside from that, it’s a fabulous week to travel and meet people from other cultures. Romance will be passionate and affectionate. Gifts, goodies and favours from others will come your way. What’s not to like?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Financial issues come to a head at the beginning of the week – no question. Very likely, they will involve banking, bills, taxes and shared property – possibly inheritances. However, like others, you want to party this week, especially with Venus opposite your sign. When Venus is opposite your sign, it is literally the best position for all relationships – love affairs, friendships, coworkers, even time spent with your enemies. (“She’s not so bad.”) In part, this is because you will more easily express your affection for others. Plus, you are motivated to get along. Accept all invitations to par-tay!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Is this a marvellous week to socialize and have fun with others? Definitely yes. Does this week have the only Full Moon in your sign all year? Another definite yes. Therefore, be careful Sunday and Monday before the Full Moon on Tuesday, because you will feel tension building up with others, especially partners and close friends. However, once you pass that speedbump, it’s all systems go for the rest of the week! Fiery Mars will make you want to boogie with others and have fun. Playful activities with kids, sports events, the entertainment world – are all great choices. Have a picnic! Throw a barbecue! Invite coworkers because right now, relations with people you work with are excellent. (Maybe even cozy.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This is a marvellous week to socialize and enjoy friendly encounters with everyone. Nevertheless, your primary focus is to work efficiently and get things done. (It’s just what’s happening right now.) Despite the fact that both the Sun and Mercury want you to roll up your sleeves and get busy — fair Venus wants you to party! That means this is a week where you will do both. Work hard, party hard. Let’s face it, you have to deal with sorting things out at home – no question. (Increased activity and chaos on the home front continue to be a challenge.) Remember the advice of Oscar Wilde: “Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you will never be invited to a party.”

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Well, this week is play city for you! You’re ready to have fun and fortunately, so is everyone else. (Perfect timing.) Make a point of entertaining at home. Invite someone over. This will motivate you to act on your urge to redecorate and tweak your digs (which you want to do). You also want to travel, explore and talk to others, especially young people. Check out sports events and fun diversions. (After all you are the networker extraordinaire of the zodiac.) You love reaching out and connecting people because this makes you feel fulfilled in a worthy way. And to be sure, what higher calling than to remind everyone that we are interconnected all the time?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Live for today. Plan for tomorrow. Party tonight! This is your motto not only this week, but in the month ahead. Admittedly, Tuesday’s Full Moon might create a bit of tension at home on Monday. Fear not because this will be quickly resolved. Entertaining at home will be your best option because of your strong focus right now on home and family. In fact, many of you are tackling home repairs and having meaningful family discussions. Fortunately, Venus will make your words sweet, which is why your everyday interactions are warm and friendly. Caution about hemorrhaging money. You’re tempted to buy a lot of stuff right now – do you really need it? (Shoes? Well, that’s different. Of course!)

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 12 June 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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:

True, recent breakthroughs were thrilling. However, taking certain plans further requires others’ agreement if not support, and that means getting solid facts. Begin asking questions. To your relief, after weeks of chaos, things are settling down, enough you can explore your options. Ensure you’re clear on any requirements, then discuss these in detail with those involved. Once that’s done and over with, the rest will be easy.

An argument early in the week will actually clear the air. Relationships will be less tense and at last you will feel you can bring up subjects that have been taboo in the past. You will forgive someone for a recent mistake. This does not mean you will forget it. If they repeat the same error again you won’t be so quick to overlook it. A goal will be reached. You’ve got as much out of a situation as you can and it is time to move on.

It’s not abnormal around the Full Moon (14th), for emotions to surface. This week might seem that a few people – notably Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius individuals, be more than a little excitable or even hysterical. Patience will be required. We should note that this is not Aries strongest suit! Maintaining control, accepting that others have visions, but that these must be underpinned by addressing practicalities will surely be a challenge. Yet you’ve risen to this in the past and can do so again. The key thing, with both Mars and Jupiter moving through your sign, is to be conscious of your own behaviour and the strategy you choose to employ. Whatever you do, don’t run the risk of being accused of being impulsive and thoughtless later.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The events of the past month have led to breakthroughs as stunning as they were unexpected. Welcome as these are, you’ll be delighted with the opportunities this week offers to reorganise various elements of your life. Be aware, others are facing similar changes. If it’s family or colleagues, you’re urged to link up. Explore options with friends, too. The secret? Ensure plans are flexible.

Someone who wrongs you thinks they can get away with it. Their selfish attitude annoys you. They have let you down and no matter how charming they are and what excuses they come up with, you will never be able to trust them again. Offering to lend a friend a hand could be a big mistake when they are in a rush to get a job over with and you would prefer to take your time.

It seems likely that a bee will land in your bonnet. Others might put your behaviour down to the effect of Tuesday’s Full Moon. You could indeed display a talent and enthusiasm that’s actually been not so far from the surface. Obviously much depends on your actual birthday, but there is every likelihood that the entrepreneurial streak in most Taureans will surface. What you then need is to have the right team around you. A marketing exercise can only be successful if it’s done with diligence and thought. Attracting people to help ought not to be difficult in the second half of the week once you’ve got over the minor hysterics thrown (most likely by an Aquarius who takes a few extra days to understand your vision).


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After a period of breakthroughs, most as welcome as they were unexpected, you’re rethinking your lifestyle and future plans. You’re not alone in this. In fact, brainstorming with others will be amazingly helpful. Often, you’ll agree. If not, be bold. Base decisions on your own ideas or vision of the future. Ideally, you’ll ensure plans are flexible, so you can rethink them, possibly more than once.

A joint effort is going sadly wrong. Your first reaction will be to look for who is responsible for the mess. Don’t be too quick to criticise. Instead, analyse what is causing the problem and consider ways to fix it without making anyone feel guilty. Holding the wrong person responsible for an error would only worsen the situation as they will feel impelled to defend themselves against accusations. You could do with getting more time to yourself.

This week’s keyword must surely be strategy. Particularly around the full Moon in your opposite sign, and as Mercury arrives in Gemini, it’s important that you have a clear plan and don’t get overly excited and lose sight of the bigger picture. By Thursday you could be called to account. That needn’t be in a bad way: it may be that your ideas as to how a project could progress would make all the difference to a team enterprise. What they need to know is how to best use your expertise. You may also need to display just how much you’ve learned in the last couple of years and how good you are at archiving information.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Logically, you’d be wise to impose order on the current chaos. Gather facts, but be aware things are unlikely to come together until you’re benefitting from the clarity triggered by the Cancer New Moon, on 28 June. Between now and then, consider what could go; but, as much, focus on discussing the changes you’d still welcome, in your own life or the world around you.

You always see the good in others but this could prevent you from making a shrewd assessment of some people. Are you being too trusting of a friend or colleague? Someone will take advantage of your kind nature if you let them. You need to protect your own interests. You will get to forge ahead with plans that have been put on hold and although it won’t be immediate, you can expect success later on.

Work could go completely crazy and as early as Monday evening you could be overwhelmed. It’s all linked to Tuesday’s Full Moon and the arrival of Mercury in neighbouring Gemini. Ideas are likely to be thrown at you, with others totally confident that you can run with them. They may be choosing wisely – especially if they allow you free reign to follow your vision of how things could be; but that really is the difficulty: too many people may have ideas as to how something should happen, but assume that you can make it so. The challenge is in working with those who are all ‘Air’ (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius). It’s the Libras particularly who could be unsettling. Their lack of balance should put you on your guard. That said, if you can find a way to work together, then what you produce by next weekend, could indeed be wondrous.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You begin the week wary about sudden ideas, offers or changes; but by its close, you’ll be eagerly exploring these. The trick? Do something out of character; adopt a slow pace. Not only are the actual situations in question only just coming together, you’ll need to consider what you’re willing to change, if not say a farewell to. In certain cases, this will be a huge relief.

The attitude and confidence of successful friends and colleagues will rub off on you. Once you have set goals, you will do everything within your power to reach them. You could find yourself involved with people you don’t normally mix with or feel drawn to. This could make for some interesting experiences. You sense information isn’t being shared in the family as openly as a relative is making out. Someone is keeping something from you and you will be determined to discover more.

It might help to think of this week as being in two parts. There is the period before Tuesday’s Full Moon and Mercury’s arrival in Gemini, and then after. The buzz through Monday and most of Tuesday could leave your head in a whirl. Recall, yours is one of the Fixed signs and that you like to know exactly when use stand. When bombarded with too many ideas, you can flareup like a forest fire that runs out of control. Thermostatic control is the big issue for the second part of the week. What should be clear to all is that you have specific aims and objectives – particularly with regard to how and where you live and work. It may be necessary to put some of this down on paper and yes, agree contractual obligations.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Basing plans more on hope than solid facts is out of character; but it’s key to making the best of the current amazing, if unpredictable, changes. Yes, it means letting go of increasingly unworkable situations. Yet, as you do, you clear the way for yet more new ideas or offers, many appearing from nowhere. At minimum, explore these. Once you do, those doubts will vanish.

When life is busy you haven’t time to truly appreciate all that some people are doing for you. Someone who is always there for you will not let you down. As always you can rely on them to get on with whatever needs to be done. You won’t mean to be less appreciative or mindful of their support, but someone is starting to feel a little used and taken for granted. You could do with a break from serious concerns to spend more time with your family.

Just how many changes can you make in one week? Tuesday’s Full Moon accents the backbone of your solar chart and as it takes place, Mercury arrives at the apex. This should bring multiple opportunity your way. Yours is one of the Mutable signs and there is a general assumption that you can multitask. That’s true, – but only to a certain extent. Even you have to focus sometimes. Absolute attention will likely be required by Thursday when you could be challenged to bend the rules. Note though, that the accent is on bending them and not breaking them. It’s entirely possible that you could yet conclude this week having negotiated a hurdle with style. In the process, you could form an ongoing working relationship with a Taurus or Aquarius.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you’ve a knack for smoothing over even seriously tricky situations. True, you’re facing several shakeups, so are encouraged to wait and watch. Then, when golden opportunities appear, respond swiftly. True, they’ll be as disruptive as they are unexpected. However, their promise will be clear instantly. Gather facts, then get others involved. The results will be far better than you’d imagined possible when this cycle of change began.

Someone isn’t sure about decisions already made. They want to have a rethink while you just want to get moving and get a job you have taken on over with. A friend is hoping you will check something out but you just won’t have the time. They are going to have to be patient. A partner’s words or actions will disappoint you. In a way you saw this coming even though you’ve been hoping your instincts were wrong.

It’s reasonable to anticipate hiatus around Tuesday’s Full Moon. That event coincides with Mercury arriving in another of the Air signs, Gemini. It visited here for a short time back in May but then retreated back into Taurus. Now there are loose ends to connect. It may be up to you to reach out to others – which could be exhausting leaving you feeling that you need time out. This isn’t down to usual Libra procrastination, but more about determining what would truly revive you. Note that with both Mars and Jupiter moving through your opposite sign, colleagues may feel they know what’s best for you. They may be right about one thing: the need for a change of scenery.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The only problem with both welcome changes and the ideas and offers swirling around you is the lack of plans. The secret? Temporarily abandon your Scorpio caution and go with the flow. You’ll be amazed how swiftly you’re actually enjoying developments as sudden as they are thrilling; and take what seem chances. The more you explore, the more exciting your options will be.

Where you had expected to gain some support or understanding you seem to be getting the opposite. People who are normally helpful will seem to take too negative an approach to your ideas and suggestions. It may be time to reassess some relationships. If you’re in a long-term partnership it will be well worth your while discussing important issues that have not yet been resolved. You both need to know what to expect from each other in the future.

You may experience a value, (financial or ethical) crisis at Tuesday’s Full Moon. Transport issues may be involved requiring assistance from a Capricorn or someone older. A deal could be struck by Thursday. The problem, – if there is one, – is the long-term commitment required. It’s entirely possible you’ll feel that you’re being offered a fresh start. In a sense you are. However, given that the amount of work headed your way, pacing yourself is something to be considered. It’s probable that a close friend (a Taurus or Aquarius) will have some thoughts about this; but even that should work in your favour as it could be a partnership that can be built on to your mutual benefit.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

It’s not that you haven’t wanted to get things organised. It’s that every time a plan was made, sudden events forced a major rethink. While you’ll have learnt a lot, you’ll be relieved to discover that Tuesday’s Sagittarius Full Moon marks a turning point. So, gather your facts, acknowledge what’s going and what you want more of then, when you’re ready, begin making lasting changes.

Someone you work with is taking a very different approach to the job. They’re pushing you to try new methods and you won’t feel comfortable with these. Don’t let anyone force you in the wrong direction. A senior colleague will be seen to take sides and this won’t go down well in the workplace. You’re all for justice and won’t like it when someone isn’t being as fair as they could or should be.

It wouldn’t be abnormal for you to be centre of attention at Tuesday’s Full Moon in your sign. Yet this is an annual event. What’s different this year is that Mercury moves into your opposite sign on the same day. It’s probable that others will be talking about you and trying to work out what it is that you need and would enjoy. Expect lively discussion and debate. Words and music seem to matter hugely. True, you won’t be the only sign giving careful thought to presentation and marketing. What’s different in your case is the contribution you make to a discussion involving a Gemini, Libra or Aquarius who has grand ideas but often fails to make their mark. It may be that they need a touch of your enthusiasm and idealism. Your ‘can do’ could make things happen.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve long intended to review elements of your life. That time has come. Take it slowly. You’ve lots to think about but are lacking clarity. The focus? It’s partly on your activities and priorities but, equally, you’re rethinking your goals, personal and otherwise. The good news? It’s you needn’t commit to anything lasting until the Capricorn Full Moon, on 13 July. Until then, explore with passion.

Someone will try to take over some of your assignments. You know what they are up to. They’re trying to rush you into getting results. Some people don’t mind cutting corners to speed up the work. You prefer to do a good job of it so stick to your own devices. There’s some worry about a domestic matter. Having company around you as the week ends will keep you from dwelling too long on issues you cannot at this time, resolve.

The fact that others have so many ideas and are launching them apparently willy-nilly around Tuesday’s Full Moon would of cause be exhausting. Once again you have to point out the practicalities that have to be addressed before a dream can be realised. Yet you have so much experience to offer. By Thursday, you could truly make your mark, make clear to others that whilst you share their aims and objectives, that your feet are firmly on the ground and that it’s essential that they work to a timeline. True, you might not wish to be put in charge of this but, with Mercury now moving through the day-to-day affairs sector of your solar chart, it’s likely that you will be quizzed, have to attend multiple meetings and generally be at beck and call – a situation that could last for some weeks.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re inquisitive, so usually up to date on the latest. However, you’re currently fascinated by those who’re obsessed by new activities, interests or passions. Discuss their experiences but, for now, avoid getting involved. They’ll switch plans, probably often. Meanwhile, you need to learn more about recent developments in your own arrangements. They’re as unsettling as they are exciting. For now, explore. Decisions can wait.

Persevere if it feels as if a joint project is going nowhere. Just as you are about to give up, everything will slip neatly into place. It will be a relief that all your past hard work has not been wasted, after all. If you can’t get support for a cause that means a lot to you, you may need to find a way to broaden its appeal. It’s a week when you should not write things off too easily and don’t let pessimistic people get in your way.

The working week begins with a Full Moon that coincides with Mercury’s arrival in another of the Air signs, Gemini. This accents the play or research and development area of your solar chart. It may be that you have schemes you can put forward but need these to be underpinned by solid planning. You may have cause to be grateful to someone older (or perhaps born under neighbouring Capricorn) for their wisdom and expertise. Fact is that you could launch one of your grander ideas with the intention of seeing them through before your birthday next year. It would be a good idea to have a firm idea of the timeline involved and, before Friday assess exactly who you want to have on your team.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Finally, certain individuals are doing something that brings them joy. This is a relief. Tempting as it is to abandon some of your own plans to join in, you’d soon regret it. They need to explore on their own and, meanwhile, you’ve certain obligations you can’t neglect. If this seems overly logical now, within days you’ll be glad you stuck to what makes sense for you.

You’re tempted to strike out in new directions. Be prepared to handle the remonstrations if someone close does not approve of your plans. Have you been keeping your intentions to yourself knowing there will be objections the moment you let others know what you are thinking about? If so, now is the time to bring your ideas out into the open and to explain the reason why you will not change your mind.

At Tuesday’s Full Moon, the backbone of your solar chart should be shaken: as though someone were trying to shake the fruit from a tree. Whilst you’re used to swaying with the breeze, you could nevertheless be shaken by events when siblings, neighbours and extended family place extra demands on you requiring you to make many short journeys. As we know, Pisces is willing to serve. Yet there are times and very likely towards the end of this week, that you will have to place boundaries. This is self-preservation. It’s not that you don’t want to help, but that there has to be limits to what you can do. Handing over certain tasks to experts would surely be wise. This might even be made necessary by the fact that with both Mars and Jupiter moving through one of your finances owns, there is more threatening to go out and come in.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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The Magic of Crystals
Introduction to Energy Healing
Introduction to Paganism
Introduction to Meditation
Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine
Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification
A Year and a Day of Contemplation with Kuan Yin
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com
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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 5 June 2022

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Anatole France, French poet

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

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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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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.)

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Goddess Month of Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ May 13th to June 9th ~ Hawthorn

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in June

JUN. 5: Earth Mother Day—honoring Gaia/Tailtiu/Mother Earth. Calling forth good harvests.
JUN 7-15th: Roman Festival of Vestalia
JUN. 11: Feast of Matuta (Roman)
JUN. 11: Matralia (Roman)
JUN. 11: Fortuna’s Day (Roman)

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Face to Face with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays/

Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ WitchCrafting – June 5
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herbal Cauldron – June 12
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – June 19
Reiki I and II: 4 PM – 6PM – June 25
Black Hat – June 25 – 7PM – 9PM

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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), with sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 online 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 too 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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature, and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Full Moon Circle
SUN, JUN 12 · 5:00 PM EDT
Location: Sticks and Stones

Details
A moon circle is a sacred gathering of women, who usually come together to honour and celebrate the new and full moon gathering to harness the potent energy of the moon.

A moon circle is a safe space, where women can enjoy being in sacred sisterhood, feel supported and witnessed. In the circle we will set intentions, clear energy, gain clarity, and connect to oneself through communal energy.

Everything that happens in circle remains privately in the circle, which allows women to truly open up, share, and be authentic, practice self care and experience community.
$25

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Recreate Your Own Vestalia
JUNE 05, 2022 BY BARBARA ARDINGER

Vestalia was a Roman festival that honored Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home. Her name comes from a Sanskrit root that means “shining one.” Because landlords and mortgage companies have zero interest in shining goddesses, the sacred element of our home is usually missing until we create it ourselves.

At noon today, stand before your home altar with a candle of your favorite color. As you light the candle, invoke Vesta:

Gentle Goddess, Shining One—
Bless my home and hearth
Today and every day.

After the candle has burned down safely, clean your home. Clean out the fridge, clean out your closets, give away clothes you no longer wear. Honor and celebrate Vesta by making your home shiny-clean. If you can, bake a loaf of bread. Invite friends for lunch. Ask them to bring food and candles and together create a new ritual to honor Vesta.
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Planting Seeds
JUNE 04, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

The thing about gardening is that different seeds need to be planted at different times, depending on the conditions. Spinach and lettuce and peas can go into the ground as soon as it can be worked. Corn and squash like warmer soil. Tomato plants must wait until after the risk of frost is over.

The seeds we plant in our lives are like that too. Depending on the project and the goal, we sometimes have to wait for the time to be right and the conditions to be optimal for success. But it isn’t always easy to tell when that time is. You can use this spell to help with an actual garden or to guide you in when to start an important endeavor:

God and Goddess, tell me
when the time is right,
And the conditions are at their best,
So the seeds I plant may
come to fruition
And bring me my request.
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Oomancy ( Egg Magick)
JUNE 03, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

National Egg Day in the United States falls on June 3. This is an excellent time to work magick with eggs. You can divine with eggs!

Consider what you want to know and write down your question. Choose the egg from your fridge that calls to you for this purpose. You will need a small dish with some water to crack an egg into. Check to see if there are any abnormalities in the egg first. Take note of anything odd. Then break the yolk and swirl it around and look at the patterns within the yolk. What are the shapes that appear to you? Write down anything you notice from the patterns revealed to you. See how they apply to your original question and keep a record of it. You can then refer to your records to gauge the results of your prediction.
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Safe Home Spell
JUNE 02, 2022 BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

For this spell to keep your home safe, gather these items:

  • Salt
  • Bits of obsidian
  • Powdered garlic
  • Powdered rosemary
  • A small candle
  • A match
  • Some charged water

Leave your home through the front door and proceed clockwise to the northern side of the house. Face north and say:

Powers of earth, protect this house.

Cast the salt onto the ground. Move to the home’s east side. (Note: Upon passing any corner of the building, bury one of the obsidian pieces, saying, “Protection HERE.” Upon passing any door or window, scatter garlic powder around it, saying, “Protection HERE.”)

On the east side of your home, face
east and say:
Powers of air, protect this house.

Cast the rosemary into the air. Move to the south side. On the south side of your home, face south and say:
Powers of fire, protect this house.

Light the candle safely, wafting smoke into the air. Then bury the candle in the ground. Move to the west side.

On the west side of your home, face west and say:
Powers of water, protect this house.

Pour the water into the ground. You have “warded the bounds” of your home.
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Water Purification
JUNE 01, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

In just two days, Mercury goes direct. Today, purify yourself with the water element to reset your energy and let go of any stress or negativity that may have entered your energy field during this Mercury retrograde period. Light a white candle in your bathroom and draw a warm bath. Add one cup Epsom salt and one tablespoon sea salt and swirl the water in a clockwise direction to dissolve. (If you don’t have a bathtub, skip the salt and turn on your shower.) Before getting in the bathtub (or shower), direct your palms toward the water. Say:

Great Goddess, Divine Mother, Lady
of the Rivers and the Sea, fill this
water with your light. Thank you.

Envision the water surrounded and filled with a sphere of golden-white light. As you soak (or stand under the spray), feel old stories of disempowerment dissolving away as you call all your energy back to you and regain your sense of clarity and calm. Extinguish the candle when you’re done.
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Water Bowl Spell
MAY 31, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

Water bowls are altar items that represent the moon. They help connect you with lunar power and manifest that which you seek.

Set a large bowl on your altar and fill it with water. Sprinkle a handful of sea salt into the bowl and say:

Bowl of water sprinkled with salt,
I call upon the ocean’s heart.

Place your hands on either side of the bowl and take a deep breath in. Feel the rocking waves of the ocean within you. Say:

With pure intent and crescent moon,
I ask ocean, moon, and
water to gift me a boon.

Speak your wish aloud to the surface of the water. Anoint your third eye and temples with the water, then give thanks.

Leave the water bowl on your altar for the whole moon cycle, each day anointing your third eye and temples and giving thanks. Your boon should arrive by the end of the moon cycle.
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Water Purification
JUNE 01, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

In just two days, Mercury goes direct. Today, purify yourself with the water element to reset your energy and let go of any stress or negativity that may have entered your energy field during this Mercury retrograde period. Light a white candle in your bathroom and draw a warm bath. Add one cup Epsom salt and one tablespoon sea salt and swirl the water in a clockwise direction to dissolve. (If you don’t have a bathtub, skip the salt and turn on your shower.) Before getting in the bathtub (or shower), direct your palms toward the water. Say:

Great Goddess, Divine Mother, Lady
of the Rivers and the Sea, fill this
water with your light. Thank you.

Envision the water surrounded and filled with a sphere of golden-white light. As you soak (or stand under the spray), feel old stories of disempowerment dissolving away as you call all your energy back to you and regain your sense of clarity and calm. Extinguish the candle when you’re done.
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Memorial Day Moment
MAY 30, 2022 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

In the United States, today is Memorial Day. On this day, we celebrate those who have served in the armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice. Whether or not we approve of war, those who serve—and the families who love them—are worth remembering with honor.

There are also other warriors, those who fight for the environment, for the rights of the downtrodden, for justice and truth, and for those who cannot speak for themselves. Let us remember them too, and send our love and energy and gratitude to all those who put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of others. Take a moment to be grateful and perhaps to consider ways you can become a warrior on behalf of the light.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1037 Becoming Friend with Yourself

Heartwings says, “You have a friend with you always.”

Sometimes when you’re alone and you need comforting, have you ever thought of holding your own hand? Even if you are all alone, either by choice or by circumstance, you have someone with you: your inner child. If you can think of her or him as a part of you, you can and do communicate with, it is possible to comfort yourself. Whenever you talk to yourself or address yourself with blame, praise or other words, you often are speaking to that part of yourself. You can also be of comfort to her or him.
Are you as kind to yourself as you are to others? Whether you know it already or not, you may recognize the truth of what I say.

Within us, all is the child we were before we “grew up” and assumed the role of adult. If you can be kind to that child, that part of yourself, you will be much happier as well as more productive. As well, life will become more interesting when you have learned to be able to see it from the point of view of your child self. First, however, you need to get to know him or her, the way you would any new potential friend.

Your child self is going to need your encouragement in order to want to be friends. The first thing to do is to learn to treat yourself the way you would treat a friend. This might take a bit of introspection on your part. How often do you pay attention to the way you treat yourself versus treat others? Do you give yourself credit? Do you praise yourself when you have done well? On the other hand, do you castigate yourself when you feel you haven’t done well?

Learn to listen to your self-talk, the language we use when we speak to ourselves. Do you say things like, “How stupid I am,” or “I’m ashamed to say,” or speak in other unkind ways about yourself? Are you perhaps echoing words heard from someone when you were a child? You don’t need to treat yourself that way. You didn’t like it then and it’s still not kind or nice.

Reflect upon how uncomfortable it is to be told, “How can you be so incompetent,” “make such a mess,” and “be so uncoordinated?” What would it be like to hear someone jeer every time you made a mistake? The child inside quails before this critical attitude. If instead, you tell yourself, “Good job!” when you at least tried, even without succeeding, much would improve for you. I knew a popular coach who had a lot of uncoordinated children on his baseball team. No matter what a child did at bat or in the game, even if mistakes were made, there was praise for the effort. None of the children on his team felt bad if the team lost when they were told, “You did well, and we’ll do even better next time.” Help your inner child to become part of your team and you will have a friend who is always with you.

May you find your inner friend and be happy together.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

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How to Stay Positive in a Negative World
JUNE 16, 2022 BY LISA WAGONER

Divination and Witchcraft Items
It is not an easy existence, this human experience. It is not all rainbows and unicorns, or endless delights. Life itself can be and usually is pretty challenging. So, how can we stay positive in a negative world? I’ve written a book on this very subject, called Positive Pagan: How to Stay Upbeat in an Offbeat World. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about, and a never-ending quest for me, to find more ways to get back to a positive frame of mind. As a fellow human, I know that life can be very overwhelming, so I share some very concrete ways in my book about returning to the flow of positivity from a Pagan perspective. No matter what spiritual traditions you follow, the rituals, meditations, and suggestions that are included in the book are accessible to everyone.

Why aim to stay positive? Quite simply, I ask you this: can you make things happen or change your circumstances in a negative state? Not really. I feel that the core of positivity is action, so if you do one thing to change your circumstances and mindset, that leads to another, and then another. To be positive is a choice and a way of life. It is something that you choose to do daily, and yes, there are days when you may choose not to be positive. Without the darkness of life, we cannot truly appreciate the light that we can tap into ourselves. In my book, I liken it to an ember, a glow that keeps me going, no matter what is happening in my world and the world at large. Some days it can be difficult to access, and some days, it’s a bit easier.

Here are a few things you can do on a daily basis to tap into that positivity. I hope it helps you with navigating this sometimes very negative world.

Start Your Day Simply: I was one of those people who rolled out of bed at the very last minute, and would spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. Sound familiar? A way to get out of such a pattern is to begin simply. Begin by keeping your bedroom as serene and soothing as possible. Get rid of all clutter and distractions, keep only a few books by the side of the bed, and remove the television. When you awaken, take a few moments to take some deep breaths before anything else. Don’t reach for the phone right away. Meditate before you get out of bed. When you get up, make your bed. So far, you have accomplished a few things already! Much better than rushing about. When making your morning beverage, incorporate some magic into the process by stirring your spoon in multiples of three, or saying affirmations while you drink your beverage or make your breakfast. Slowing down and calming your morning routine will help time feel expansive. Less rushing, calmer frame of mind, incorporating magic, simplifying your bedroom environment. Try incorporating these into your morning routine, and see how you feel as you go about your day.

Think of Others: Make time in your day to think of others. Whether it is leaving birdseed out for the birds, tending to plants, sending someone a check-in message or note, be sure to spend at least some time each day thinking of others. It will help you to get out of negative mental spirals, help others feel better, and in return, you will get a boost. As you get used to this being part of your daily practice, you can start looking for other ways to think of others. Maybe bring in a treat for a coworker, bring some flowers or baked goods for a neighbor, or, if time allows, volunteer.

Be a Child Again: What did you like to do most when you were a child? Blow bubbles, stomp in mud puddles, make blanket forts, play board games, camp? Do something that brings you those same feelings of joy. It puts you in a different frame of mind, and all your worries fall away for a bit. Consider it a boost, and don’t worry about what other people think. Focus on the joy of the activity, and revel in it.

Spiritual Practice Daily: Participate in a spiritual practice daily, whether it is as simple as gazing into a candle, checking in with your deities, or pulling cards for a daily reading. Tune into your spiritual self, and discover what keeps you connected. Perhaps it’s music, or using Pagan prayer beads, or reading a book of daily meditations. Enjoy the process of discovering what parts of a spiritual practice you truly enjoy.

Ground, Center, and Protect: Make sure you ground, center, and protect yourself daily. There are all sorts of energies bouncing about, so it’s a good habit to do these three actions daily. Grounding is as simple as imagining roots growing from your feet, down deep into the ground. Go outside and walk barefoot on the grass if you can. Eat grounding foods, such as oatmeal or brown rice. Center yourself with deep breathing, breathe in, hold and breathe out on a count of four. Imagine a silver beam from the top of your head, down to your toes as it centers you.

Protection can be as simple as a hematite or tourmaline on your desk at work. Or protective jewelry, either in a special symbol, anointed with protection oil (your own or purchased) and made of protective stones, such as smoky quartz, amethyst or onyx.

Cleanse: Cleanse yourself of negative energies with a bath or shower, wash your hands regularly, and cleanse any new items (especially from thrifting) that come into your home. Use Florida Water, or herb smoke and incense, to cleanse your home and items regularly. Ring bells, clap your hands, open your windows, to keep the energy flowing in your home. Notice the difference it makes, and incorporate it into your regular routines. Getting rid of stagnant energy helps keep you in a positive flow and frame of mind.

Language: How you speak to yourself, and how you speak to others impacts you greatly, without you even realizing it. How often do you say, “I’m old, I’m fat, I’m lousy at XYZ?” Monitor your language, both written and verbal, for a few weeks. Do you find yourself spreading gossip, saying unkind things, or speaking poorly about yourself? How do you appear on social media? Are you posting negative, gloom and doom, unhappy words? Everybody has a bad day or even a few bad days, but if you are noticing that your words are negative on a regular basis, it’s time to change that. Pause or take a deep breath before speaking, and take a break from social media, or find different things to post.

Community: Who is in your community? Are you happy with the people in your life, or are you in contact out of politeness or obligation? Who you surround yourself with has an impact on your daily life, so take stock of who is in your social circle, and make changes if needed. Or withdraw for a bit, take a break, and spend time with your favorite person (yourself!) Vice versa, if you are finding yourself lonely or without many friends, try building up your life with interests, reading, hobbies, and more. Become good friends with yourself, and do things that make you happy, and you can find others who share in your interests. If your spiritual community feels more like a burden than a joy, then it is time to evaluate where your time could be better spent.

Laugh: The world can be very tough! So, incorporate laughter into your life. Whether it is a favorite sitcom, comedy shows, reading jokes, wordplay or puns, find what tickles your funny bone, and make sure you access it regularly. Laugh with friends, or watch a funny movie when you are feeling less than positive. Laughing is a good way to get energy flowing throughout your body, so be sure to do it as often as possible.

Learn: Lastly, always be open to learning. Whether it’s a new language, or how to use a new tarot deck, a different way to celebrate a turn of the Wheel of the Year, never stop learning. With the vast world of the internet, you can never run out of new and exciting things to learn about, whether it’s videos or apps on your phone. Give something you’ve always been curious about a try, and see where it takes you.

Most of these ideas may seem common sense, but we can all use reminders to change the energy in our lives. Being positive is an energy flow, whereas being negative often feels stagnant. When things flow, life flourishes, so make choices daily to incorporate a bit more positivity into your life, and by doing so, dealing with negative things that happen will be a little more tolerable. Shifting your mindset can bring about changes for the better in your life, and when you empower yourself this way, the possibilities can be wonderful.

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Quality vs. Quantity

It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment.

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts.

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Anti-Inflammatory Golden Tonic
~Jamie Vespa MS RD

The momentum behind functional foods and wellness elixirs is at an all-time high. Expensive products are touted as having the power to do everything from restoring gut health to boosting immunity and fighting inflammation, but their health claims are often backed by little solid science. So instead of pricy supplements, we’re mixing up a more affordable antidote that’s both healthy and homemade. A tonic, by definition, is a combination of ingredients that have the potential to enhance or restore health. While this tonic (or any tonic) is not a cure-all remedy, consuming more anti-inflammatory foods–like the ones found in this tonic–over time may only not only ease current symptoms (such as fatigue, joint pain and chronic bloating), but it may also reduce the risk of future diseases and slow aging. The combination of green tea, herbs, honey, apple-cider vinegar and spices also makes for a tasty and refreshing beverage!

Total: 1 hr 25 mins
Active: 10 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients
2 cups filtered water
2 bags green tea
5 sprigs fresh thyme, lightly bruised with the side of a knife
1 (2 inch) piece peeled ginger, finely grated
1 (2 inch) piece peeled turmeric, finely grated
1 tablespoon honey, preferably manuka
1 tablespoon raw unfiltered cider vinegar
Ice cubes
2 cups chilled sparkling water
4 wedges lime for garnish

Step 1
Bring filtered water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tea bags, thyme, ginger, turmeric, honey and vinegar, stirring to dissolve the honey. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a mason jar. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2
Fill 4 glasses half full of ice. Divide the tonic mixture evenly among the glasses (about 1/2 cup tonic per glass). Top each with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Serve with a lime wedge, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size:
1 cup

Per Serving:
18 calories; protein 0.1g; carbohydrates 4.6g; dietary fiber 0.1g; sugars 4.3g; vitamin a iu 19IU; folate 0.4mcg; calcium 5.9mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 2.5mg; potassium 23.2mg; sodium 4.1mg; added sugar 4g.

Exchanges:
1/2 other carbohydrate

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Feeling Achy? Try Arnica, A Natural Remedy
~Andrew Weil, M.D.

Seasonal changes can set off arthritic aches and pains, but you can help relieve the discomfort with arnica (Arnica montana), a daisy-like mountain flower. Try rubbing tincture, cream, or gel on sore spots. Do not use on broken skin, and never take arnica internally unless in the form of a homeopathic remedy, where the dose is very low.

To make an arnica compress, mix one tablespoon of arnica tincture in one pint of purified water. Dip a gauze pad in the mixture, then put it on the troublesome joint or bruised area. Look for pure arnica extract for making topical applications.

Since this is also the season of bumps and bruises, know that arnica applied to the injured area following trauma may help alleviate some of the pain and bruising that may come. A premade gel or cream is a great addition to a camping or hiking pack or sports weekend this summer.

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Shining through the Clouds

We can shine like a beacon from a lighthouse when met with the force of a grumpy person.

When we’re in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above. Then it’s easier to think of these “grumps” affectionately, knowing that they only have the power to affect our mood if we allow it. With the power of change firmly in our hands, we can choose how to respond to a grumpy person, or a grumbling group of people, with confidence and understanding.

Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own. We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. We may sense that reaching out to offer a comforting touch or hug can ease their frustrations and cause the clouds to dissipate. If they need understanding, we can sympathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive. Helping them find the humor in their situation might be appropriate and is a great way to lift spirits, or a logical approach may help them see all the good in the situation, in their lives and in the world.

We might find that someone we encounter often seems to be in a perpetual state of gloom. Our tendency in such cases may be to try to avoid them, but instead we can make the choice to offer support that comes from the heart. We may be inspired to ask if they would like some help or to offer suggestions that have helped us in the past. We can include thoughts of their health and happiness in our times of prayer and meditation. When we lend our energy to uplift another in any way, we improve our own lives while making the world a better place for all of us.

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Questioning Everything

Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A lot of people feel threatened if they feel they are being asked to question their cherished beliefs or their perception of reality. Yet questioning is what keeps our minds supple and strong. Simply settling on one way of seeing things and refusing to be open to other possibilities makes the mind rigid and generally creates a restrictive and uncomfortable atmosphere. We all know someone who refuses to budge on one or more issues, and we may have our own sacred cows that could use a little prodding. Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A willingness to question everything, even things we are sure we are right about, can shake us out of complacency and reinvigorate our minds, opening us up to understanding people and perspectives that were alien to us before. This alone is good reason to remain inquisitive, no matter how much experience we have or how old we get. In the Zen tradition, this willingness to question is known as beginner’s mind, and it has a way of generating possibilities we couldn’t have seen from the point of view of knowing something with certainty. The willingness to question everything doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t believe in anything at all, and it doesn’t mean we have to question every single thing in the world every minute of the day. It just means that we are humble enough to acknowledge how little we actually know about the mysterious universe we call home.

Nearly every revolutionary change in the history of human progress came about because someone questioned some time-honored belief or tradition and in doing so revealed a new truth, a new way of doing things, or a new standard for ethical and moral behavior. Just so, a commitment to staying open and inquisitive in our own individual lives can lead us to new personal revolutions and truths, truths that we will hopefully, for the sake of our growth, remain open to questioning.

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Ashwagandha, Indian Ginseng
~Andrew Weil, M.D.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is a tonic herb with a variety of therapeutic uses. It is especially prized in the Ayurvedic herbal tradition and is commonly known as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry. Ashwagandha a perennial herb native to Southern Asia and is cultivated in the drier regions of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India. It features small, green flowers and fruit that is orange to red when ripe. A member of the Solanaceae family, or nightshade family, ashwagandha is related botanically to potatoes, pepper, and tomatoes.

Ashwagandha Is Used For:
Each part of the ashwagandha plant – the roots, leaves, and fruit – has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of treatments. The leaves and fruit are applied externally to the skin to treat wounds, tumors, back pain, and carbuncles (cluster of boils). The tuberous ashwagandha root is most often used orally to help improve brain function and alertness, relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce pain and swelling. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, a substance that enhances the body’s adaptive response to stress and balances normal body functions.

Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system. In one clinical trial of people with moderate to severe anxiety, researchers compared the effects of a mixture of 300 mg standardized to 1.5% withanolides, prepared from root, to psychotherapy. After the eight-week trial, the group that received the ashwagandha mixture had decreased anxiety and fatigue and increased concentration, compared to those who had psychotherapy.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database found insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of ashwagandha for a variety of conditions including tumors, tuberculosis, liver problems, fibromyalgia, and infertility.

Ashwagandha is available in extract form in capsules as well as tea and powdered form.

Side Effects, Interactions And Warnings:
Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effects of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and other depressants. It may also interact immunosuppressant medications. Talk with your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen that includes ashwagandha.

Other Safety Concerns:
Pregnant women should avoid ashwagandha as it may affect hormone levels in the body, which could endanger a pregnancy. In animal studies, high dosages have been linked to toxicity, including impacts on thyroid function; however, human studies are limited.

When Buying Ashwagandha:
The supplements or tea should be packaged in light-resistant containers.

Ashwagandha Dosage:
Dr. Weil recommends 500 mg of an extract standardized to 2.5-5% with anolides. Ashwagandha dosage depends on several factors including your age and health history. Follow the dosage recommendations on the product.

Child Dosage:
Ashwagandha is not recommended for children.

Dr. Weil Says:
I recommend ashwagandha – along with other measures – for the treatment of insomnia when stress is a contributing factor. If this is an issue for you, try to stick to a routine at bedtime – go to bed at the same time every day, avoid caffeine and get plenty of exercise during the day. A dark room free of noise may also help. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. I also recommend ashwagandha as a natural way to fight fatigue and boost energy levels, as well as a treatment for pain, skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy.

SOURCES:
al-Hindawi MK, al-Khafaji SH, Abdul-Nabi MH. Anti–granuloma activity of Iraqi Withania somnifera. J Ethnopharmacol. Sep 1992;37(2):113-116.

Anwer T, Sharma M, Pillai KK, et al. Effect of Withania somnifera on insulin sensitivity in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. Jun 2008;102(6):498-503.

Ashwagandha. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty, Updated June 30, 2011, accessed January 8, 2014, at naturaldatabaseconsumer.therapeuticresearch.com/

ConsumerLab – consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21532#ref5 – accessed 6-19-2016

Cooley, Kieran, Orest Szczurko, Dan Perri, Edward J. Mills, Bob Bernhardt, Qi Zhou, and Dugald Seely. “Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.” PloS one 4, no. 8 (2009): e6628.

Jayaprakasam B, Zhang Y, Seeram NP, et al. Growth inhibition of human tumor cell lines by withanolides from Withania somnifera leaves. Life Sci. Nov 21 2003;74(1):125-132.

Mishra, Lakshmi-Chandra, Betsy B. Singh, and Simon Dagenais. “Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review.” Alternative Medicine Review 5, no. 4 (2000): 334-346.

Panda S, Kar A. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwagandha root extract to adult male mice. The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology 50, no. 9 (1998):1065-1068.

Reviewed by Russell Greenfield, M.D., August, 2016.

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Remain Flexible

Backwoods Home Magazine recently reposted a self-reliance article in their email newsletter called “Boost your income by adding a processing step to what you sell.” The article was on some best practices homesteaders can use to boost supplemental income, but the author made some statements that are applicable to anyone trying to be more self-reliant. One was “If you want to be self-reliant, you must remain flexible.” If you remember that the only thing constant is change, then you can see how this statement would apply to so many other situations and conditions. He also wrote about how important it is to gain knowledge, skills, and tools for becoming more self-reliant so that you are ready when the opportunity arises to use them.

I have seen these two ideas – remaining flexible and gaining knowledge, skills, and tools – work for me in the last two years.

When we went into lockdown in March 2020, I knew what meals I could make without trying to get to the grocery store. Other than a quick trip to Costco for items I should have made time to purchase the previous month, I didn’t shop for 2 months. I started making yogurt again after not having made it for years. I learned to make artisan bread. I sewed with supplies I had stored specifically for face masks. I canned using foods in my freezer. I learned how to cut my husband’s hair. I read books and put together puzzles we already had. I planted a winter garden in the fall, which I hadn’t done in a long time. We weren’t able to travel internationally but we took advantage of online classes given by the Royal Oak Foundation. We started watching online and DVD courses on subjects we were interested in.

We were able to spend more time doing family history and explore the photos and histories we had but hadn’t had time to look at. We did some yard improvement projects and built some raised garden beds for vegetables that expanded the size of our garden considerably. I did more writing and research. I am learning how to rebuild my website. There were, and still are, things we are unable to do due to the pandemic, but we have been flexible in how we use our time and in how and what we learn.

Other things that can be learned for future use include candle making, soap making, rendering lard, medicinal use of herbs, new sewing skills, new canning and dehydrating skills and how to use the foods preserved, expanding our use of our solar oven and rocket stove, and learning how to use other emergency preparedness equipment better.

How have you been flexible and also benefitted from knowledge and skills learned in the past?

Backwoods Home Magazine Nov/Dec 1995

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The Druids Garden.
Biocentrism and Ecocentrism as a Core Part of Nature Spirituality

by Dana

Once you begin walking the path of nature spirituality, things begin shifting. A tree is not just a tree, an insect is not just an insect–they are beings in their own right, with stories to share, lessons to offer, and a right to live freely and in a healthy ecosystem. You realize the boundaries between you and other life, boundaries that have been culturally imposed upon you, aren’t actually boundaries at all. You realize that you are just an animal in nature like every other animal, and that gives you a deeper sense of connection, purpose, and of joy.

You even realize that everything has a spirit–stones, rivers, trees, and even human-created things (that derive themselves from nature). What I’m describing is essentially something I’ve seen take place not only in myself but in so many people I’ve mentored in the druid spiritual tradition: a shift from a human-centric (anthropocentric) view to a biocentric view. In today’s post, I’m going to explore these terms and some spiritual strategies you can use to help deepen your connection to nature.

From Anthropocentrism to Biocentrism/Ecocentrism
Anthropocentrism is the philosophical stance that places human life above all other life on earth, privileges humans and their needs, and places humanity in center stage. Most people have this view, but they may not call it or recognize it as such. In this view, human life is seen as more important or valuable than other forms of life. In an Anthropocentric view, humans have the right to do whatever they want to earth (e.g. if you own property, you can do whatever you like to that property), choices are made based on what is best/most convenient to humanity, and humans are the prime driving force in all decisions.

In an Anthropocentric view, the “news” is all about humans, the focus is all on humans, and how we spend our time is human-focused (which includes most of the social media, tv, radio, etc). This results in at least three issues:

Without an intrinsic belief in the value of all life, the land is depleted, ecosystems are degraded, and the earth is seen as a resource to extract. This view has created systems that have caused extensive damage and loss of life to happen and has ultimately resulted in the 6th mass extinction event taking place right now.
Animals and other life are not given the same sovereignty or care given to other life; they are less important and their lives are less valuable. We can see this clearly from everything from the acceptance of medical testing on animals to factory farming animal operations. Or even the phrase, “I was treated like an animal..”.
Humans are seen as somehow more highly “evolved” than other life, and thus, deserving of more right to live and take up space than others.

Most modern humans living in industrialized nations often don’t even recognize that they carry this human-dominated perspective; it is just the way things are and have been, and it is subconscious or semi-conscious within us. And these beliefs run very, very deep and can impact every interaction and decision about nature and our relationship with it.

Biocentrism and Ecocentrism offer more life-affirming views that recognize that humanity is but one form of many on life on earth. Biocentrism places all life–the tree, the bird, the insect–at the same level as human life. This view recognizes that we are all equal, all deserving of life and that humans need to recognize the sovereignty and right of all beings to live. Ecocentrism takes this a step further by placing the ecosystem and larger earth equal to human life, recognizing that the ecosystem as a whole has a right to sovereignty and life.

The forest path–a good place to get lost! Or better yet, leave that path and wander.

We know from ethnographic and historical research that many human cultures have held biocentric views and also lived in balance with their ecosystems. For example in Ropes to God: Experiencing the Bushman Spiritual Universe, Bradford Keeney describes the African Bushman tribe’s innate connections with their surroundings. Keeney has a number of works on the Kalahari Bushman peoples, and they all are fascinating accounts of people who clearly recognize the equality of themselves and all life and who work to build spiritual connections to that larger world. We can see many more examples of these in the new Graeber and Wengrow book,The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (where they explore the concept of human freedom, among others). In fact, the idea of a biocentric society is so threatening to those carrying anthropocentric views that indigenous cultures carrying such views are often the tragic subject of mass genocide.

There appear to be many root causes of anthropocentrism, some stretching so far back into history that they have been with Western Civilization for millennia. And some of it has to do with our basic interaction of how we eat, live, and inhabit an ecosystem. I think that part of the reason that so many indigenous cultures could maintain strong biocentric views is that hunter-gatherer societies required that they live close to the land and in balance. Hunting a wild animal is inherently different than butchering an animal raised for that purpose, and it puts you in a different relationship with the living earth. You are not in control of the deer; the deer is a sovereign being and it is your relationship with the hunt and the deer that impacts whether or not you have a meal. You are likewise not in control of the stinging nettle patch, the nettle grows (and defends itself from you); you might help cultivate it further, but the nettle is a sovereign being. Domestication radically changes that relationship.

Agrarian societies that focused on domestication first came into being with the stabilization of the climate 8000 years ago at the start of the Holocene. With domestication, humans are put in a “higher” position than those plants, animals, and land that are domesticated, and the seeds of anthropocentrism are planted. We are now seeing the tragic results of domestication wildly out of balance: factory farms, industrial agriculture, and extraction of resources being primary expressions of how to feed more people. Religion also has a lot to do with it–many of the dominant world religions put nature in a subservient role to humans, but most modern religions came about after domestication. I do think that if you go far enough back in time, into prehistory, biocentrism was likely present in nearly all cultures…but for some cultures, it may have been millennia since these views were accepted or expressed.

But thankfully, the rise of many new movements, work, and philosophies are slowly bringing us back into alignment (such as nature spirituality, druidry, permaculture, herbalism, earth/ancestral skills, natural building, etc). That is, a lot of people are working very hard to realign our views and come to a more biocentric and ecocentric view of life. And I believe once we have the philosophy in alignment, the actions can flow forth. This realignment work is necessary if we are going to create a better vision for the future and fight for the right of all life on this planet to thrive. I think that nature spirituality has something powerful to offer this conversation. So, from the perspective of nature spirituality, what does this shift towards bio/ecocentrism look like in practice?

Towards Biocentrism and Ecocentrism in Spiritual Practice
There are many, many ways we can make the shift away from anthropocentrism. The following seven suggestions are one way to consider this approach, and I plan on returning to these in later blog posts to provide more details.

Adopting an Animistic Philosophy

At the core of a bio/ecocentric view is animism. Animism is a belief in the spirit of all things. Animistic views recognize that rivers, stones, trees, animals, and people all have spirits and that those spirits can be worked with, learned from, and honored in various ways. Animism is not only a big part of nearly all indigenous peoples’ beliefs (regardless of where they are in the world), but it is also emerging as an incredibly important thread in nature-based spiritual traditions like druidry and other adjacent traditions like herbalism.

While specific forms of animism will vary based on the culture, it often manifests as the following:

Recognizing and honoring the spirits present in all life and inanimate things

Recognizing the importance of interacting in a respectful way with those spirits; building right relationships and connections with them, and learning from them as teachers and guides

Recognizing that we are part of nature, like any other animal, and that we have natural skills like instincts and intuition

Recognizing that we have to cultivate our own intuition, observation, and listening skills (inner and outer) so that we might effectively communicate with the spirit present in all things.

Recognizing that our actions have a significant impact on others and that we can engage in right actions to behave in ways that honor the sovereignty of all being
I see animism as the prerequisite for a lot of the other resulting practices I’m sharing here. Animism opens you up to the world of spirit, which in turn, allows you to connect, interact, and engage. Being an animist does not preclude you from also being anything else (polytheist, monotheist), but it does put you in a really different relationship with nature, and that relationship has major implications for how you interact with the world. I’ll be posting more on how druids practice animism and suggestions for animistic practices in a range of other activities in forthcoming posts later this year.

Observing and Interacting with Nature

Part of building a biocentric and animistic view of nature requires you to spend a great deal of time in nature–learning, observing, and growing. A technique I’ve shared here before is the Druid’s Anchor Spot, where you pick a spot that you can visit every day, do deep work with, observe, and interact. Learning how to deeply observe nature in her different seasons builds the first-hand knowledge and skills that will help you shift your value and emphasis to the natural world. Use all of your senses when observing and interacting–make it an embodied experience. Books, teachers, and classes are great supplements to help you learn and grow in your knowledge, but they should never be used as a substitute for actually being outside! The more you understand nature, the more value nature holds.

Working with the Spirits of Nature

The animistic view of the world changes how your spiritual and everyday life takes place. One of the big shifts is that this opens you up to developing relationships with the spirits of nature–the spirits of individual trees, plants, stones, insects, and animals as well as the larger spirits of the land (Genuis Loci), or even the spirits in human-created things. If everything has a spirit, then your first order of business is to learn how to effectively communicate with that spirit, learn some etiquette for how you can act respectfully, and most importantly, recognize the sovereignty of nature (see next point). This may include plant or animal spirit communication and journeying, taking up the practice of magical herbalism, finding and developing plant and animal allies and learning from them as teachers, and much more. Sometimes, this may also mean that there are things that are easier for you to do as a human being–and so you might be asked to do some work on behalf of the land spirits, such as land healing. In rituals, it is appropriate to always make offerings and acknowledge the land and her spirits.

Permission and Rights of Nature

A bio/ecocentric view recognizes the rights and sovereignty of all life, including trees, insects, and other natural features like rivers, stones, and mountains. By sovereignty, I mean the right for an individual to have control over one’s body or life, rather than have some external control imposed. There is a balance here. Like any other animal in nature, you need to eat and need nature to provide for your basic needs. There is nothing wrong with harvesting from nature for this purpose as long as it is done intentionally, respectfully, and with gratitude. On the basic level, this means that if you are going to take a part of nature for your use (e.g. foraging for a meal, foraging for spiritual tools) or you need to remove part of nature (weeding, establishing a new garden, cutting a tree for firewood, etc) you need to directly ask permission and explain what you are going to do. If the plant says no, you need to honor that request (sometimes this is a test to see if you WILL honor the request; other times, the plant wants to be left alone). On larger tracts of land, such as a garden where you need to weed, it is best to establish some larger permissions that cover a variety of practices (e.g. get permission to establish the garden and maintain it, which takes care of permission for weeding). I’ll describe this more later, and I’ve shared some thoughts about clearing weeds and clearing land here.

If you grew up in a dominant Western culture, chances are you have a different set of indoctrinated practices and that requires an intention to shift and a period of learning while you do. Sometimes, you may take and forget yourself, but it’s okay to ask for forgiveness. It takes time and effort to cultivate these practices so that they become second nature–remember you’ve had a lifetime of indoctrination in another direction. But these shifts can happen and be very beneficial to your relationship with the land–the spirits know you are serious about your path and will work with you on the deepest levels.

In order to continue to habituate my practices in this direction, I always grow my own herbal offering blend, and anytime I’m out of the house, I have some with me (along with my tools in my crane bag). At a minimum, I carry my offering blend around my neck in a small bag; having easy access to the offering blend allows me not to forget to treat the land and her spirits with the proper respect that is due.

Considering Symbolism

Another part of this shift away from anthropocentric thinking surrounds the symbolism and ideas that we surround ourselves with–artwork, divination tools, and other things that express concepts to us. A big motivation for me in developing the Tarot of Trees was that I didn’t want to work with human-based symbolism in the Tarot. I wanted a biocentric divination tool. Hence, in the Tarot of Trees, you won’t see a single person (but you will see plenty of trees, stones, seeds, flowers, squirrels, and more). You might think carefully about how much “human-centered” symbols you work with and if it is appropriate to shift some of those symbols and tools into more nature-oriented ones. The ideas here are simple–if you are constantly surrounded by human-dominated imagery and symbols, it will become hard for other kinds of imagery and symbols to have as much importance.

Embracing Your Inner Wildness

If you are on equal footing with all life, and if you accept that you are just another animal on this planet, this gives you the potential for freedom and joy. Thus, another spiritual practice is to embrace your inner animal. This can mean different things to different people, but there are lots of options. The first is to learn from animals through mimicry (also practiced by the Bushmen and other indigenous cultures) and behave as the animals do. Spend time with your own pet and mimic their behavior. Build a fire and dance around it as the bear, the hawk, or the stag. Observe animals in nature. Learn animal tracking, where you can connect deeply with animals and their movements. Pay attention to what the animals do or eat and mimic their behavior, sounds, and activities.

Another option is to embrace your own wildness as a human animal. Go barefoot and feel the earth beneath you. Practice forest bathing. Frolilck naked in a rainstorm. Run with abandon through the forest. Yell, hoot, and shout out to the heavens. Just be wild and be free. Let go of the societal chains that hold you back. Practice joy.

Balancing your Time in Human/Technology Dominated vs. Natural Settings

A final practice that I think is really important to this overall shift is to consider the amount of time you spend in human-dominated and technology-dominated spaces with the amount of time you spend in natural settings. Humans–cities, technology, gadgets, houses, etc–can create such a bubble that we forget the natural world is there. We know from statistics here in the United States (pre-pandemic) that the typical human spends 87% of time indoors and another 6% of time enclosed in a vehicle (that leaves only 6% time outside–and how much of that is spent on a lawnmower?). And of that time, over seven hours a day is spent looking at screens. How much of It is no wonder that we have such challenges today with protecting nature–if people don’t interact with nature, they don’t value it. Part of this shift moves us out of human-dominated and tech-dominated settings and back to nature.

Pay attention to how you spend your time–how much of it is outdoors, in nature? How much of it is truly just in nature, with no technology, cell phones, or other devices? I have found real value in getting completely away from everything, to a place where my cell phone has no signal, and where I can truly just be present in nature. If you have children, make sure they are also getting the opportunity to experience nature without the mediation of technology.

Concluding Thoughts
Taking the first steps from an anthropocentric to a bio/ecocentric philosophy and way of life is the work of a lifetime. But it is critical work for us to do now and in the future. I’d love to hear from you, readers–how do you navigate these perspectives? What practices have been most helpful to you as you work to make these shifts? What has been challenging?

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 14
By Stephen Halpert

Ed Long, now the former headmaster of Houndstooth, sat at what had been his desk, his face reddened, his lips tight. It seemed to be taking hours for a locksmith to unlock the door to what had been his office. He glared at Lara Parker. She smiled back serenely. Staring at Gilberto and Diana Rain, he shook his head. Then he slumped in his chair and picked wordlessly at the pile of papers there.
Suddenly the ceiling began to drip water onto Ed’s head. He jumped from his chair, slipped and slid onto the floor, then banged his knee hard against the side of the credenza attached to his desk.
Politely, Diana Rain hid her grin behind her hand.
Lara Parker reached out and offered Ed Long a hand. With a grim sneer he shook his head and started to get his feet under him. Again, they slid and he banged the side of his head against the floor.
Gilberto helped lift Ed back on his feet. Immediately he lost his footing, falling forward.
“You poor man,” Diana Rain said. A deep blue bruise began to form on his forehead. His arm shook and his words came out in a snarl. “Damn you Willobee,” he cried out.
“Careful,” Lara Parker’s voice was honey drenched.
Diana leaned toward her. “What’s up with him and Cyrus Willobee,” she asked.
“Cy used to head up the Social Studies Department until Ed became headmaster.” Lara began. “For some reason he took a dislike to old Cy, and despite his tenure, he saw fit to fire him. The Board refused to accept that; he was a beloved teacher, and he was reinstated.”
“Oh dear,” Diana said.
“Yes,” Lara said, standing up. Well, perhaps we ought to call it a day here. I need to speak to my attorneys and have the papers drawn up. Gilberto, I’ll have Helen Connors move your things into Ed’s office.” She gathered her belongings, settled her dog and started out the door. Then she stopped and turned. “I’ll be in touch later,” she said, and was gone. Ed stood up, sighed, and without a word, stalked out the door.
Gilberto looked a Diana they both burst out laughing. “Can you believe this?” he said.
Diana shook her head. She looked up at the ceiling, which no longer dripped. “Thank you, Mr. Willobee,” she said.
Gilberto dialed Maria and told her the news. She laughed delightedly.
“And now you’re in charge! Hurry home so we can celebrate. Tell Diana to come too.” She hung up and Gilberto and Diana went to their cars.
Later back at his condo He hugged Maria. “I’m the new headmaster of Houndstooth! Imagine that!” He laughed and embraced her, kissing her passionately.
“Tell me more, how did it happen?”
“It’s a long story,” Diana Rain said. She hugged Maria. “Your husband is a genius.”
“What did I do?” Gilberto seemed very confused.
“Nothing,” Diana Rain said. “That was the beauty of it. You didn’t care one way or another which made you the perfect choice. No agenda. Just a brilliant coach ready to assume command.”
“But what about Ed Long?” Maria said.
Gilberto laughed. “He used to be married to Lara Parker whose family essentially founded the school a ways back.”
“What made him leave?”
Diana grinned. “A sweet little dog on their wedding night.”
“What?”
Gilberto laughed. “Good beginning. She had it with her at the meeting. Poor Ed totally lost his cool. Threatened to quit, did, and then the door to his office wouldn’t budge.”
“I think we need to take a time out here,” Maria said. “Let me see if I can figure this out.”
“Don’t try,” Gilberto said. “Maria, the Gods are shining favorably on us. I don’t know for how long but long enough to hand Joey his diploma. Then on our merry way. This is not forever, at least I don’t think so!”
“Come into the kitchen, I picked up something to celebrate with.”
Maria opened a bottle of sparkling red wine and poured three glasses. They toasted the occasion and laughed like happy children.
In the middle of it all their phone rang.
Allow me,” Maria said. “Hi,” putting the phone on speaker.
“You must be Maria,” Lara Parker’s creamy voice exuded warmth and caring. “I’d like to invite you two to dinner, and Diana Rain, if she is with you. Let’s meet at the Top of the Hub. I’ve arranged for a private dining room so we can talk.”
“Yes, she’s here. We were just celebrating…”
“Come and let’s celebrate some more,” Lara said.
“That’s wonderful,” Maria said still sounding a bit non plussed. “What time?”
“Let’s say eight thirty,” Lara said.
“Oh yes, Maria said. “This sounds like a dream come true.”
Lara’s voice sounded almost musical. “See you soon!” She hung up and Maria turned to Gilberto and Diana. “How exciting!” She smiled at Gilberto. “I wonder what Joey will say?” And Mona? I’ll give Rosa a call and have them spend the night since they’re already over there. I’ll let you tell them yourself tomorrow. Meanwhile, Diana, come see if I have anything nice in my closet you’d like to borrow for this little celebratory party.” She took Diana by the hand and led her toward the bedroom. Gilberto reached for a beer and sat down. His head was spinning, and not from the wine.
A little later the three of hem got into Gilberto’s car and drove toward the restaurant.
“How do you think you’ll begin?” Maria asked.
Gilberto laughed. “No clue right now,” he said. “Let the bridges that need to be crossed emerge when its time.”
Lara Parker met hem at the entrance and led them to a secluded table set off from the main dining room. She had already ordered champagne, fresh shrimp rolls and other appetizers. She gestured at the waiting chairs. “Please sit down. We have a lot to discuss. I am eager,” she said turning to Maria, “to get to know you also.”
To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

Houseplants That Are Poisonous to Pets
Reviewed by Amy Flowers

Amaryllis
1/12
This bulb produces a large, trumpet-shaped flower, typically red or white. They grow to between 4 and 10 inches in size. Common symptoms after your dog or cat eats it are:

Diarrhea
Vomiting
Tenderness in belly area
Drooling
Sudden weight loss
Trembling

Lilies
2/12
This flower is so toxic to cats that even a small amount could cause kidney damage. All of the plant is poisonous — even the pollen. You might notice drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or no symptoms at all. The key is to get your cat to the vet right away. Lilies are far less harmful to dogs, but they can irritate their mouths and stomachs, especially calla lilies.

Sago Palms
3/12
You might know them as coontie palms, cardboard palms, cycads, or zamias. They look like little palm trees, and your pet could get seizures or liver failure from munching on them. The seeds are especially bad. Even one or two could cause symptoms like:

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Depression

Tulips
4/12
These colorful, cup-shaped flowers signal the start of spring. But they can be a real problem if your furry friend mistakes them for a snack. Though any part of the plant can irritate their mouth and throat, the bulbs are the most toxic. If your pet eats a few, they might have trouble breathing, start drooling, or even have convulsions.

Holly
5/12
Lip smacking, drooling, and head shaking are signs your pet has chowed on holly. Toxins are part of the problem, as are spiky leaves that can be hard on the mouth and tummy. You might notice vomiting, diarrhea, and low mood soon after. Some types are more toxic than others.

Mistletoe
6/12
If you like to use real mistletoe for your holiday events, keep it where pets can’t get to it. The berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, low heart rate, and even ataxia (walking wobbly) and seizures in dogs and cats.

Begonia
7/12
The most toxic part, which can cause kidney issues, is under the soil in the root area. So your pet would have to empty the pot onto the floor to get to that. Still, the leaves and blossoms are also poisonous. They can irritate the inside of your dog or cat’s mouth and cause vomiting, drooling, and trouble swallowing.

Oleander
8/12
Tremors, drooling, seizures, muscle weakness, and extreme vomiting are just some of the signs that your pet may have eaten some of this highly poisonous plant. It can strain their heart, so get your pet to the doctor right away.

Schefflera
9/12
You might know this common household plant as an umbrella tree or starleaf. It adds a touch of green to your house, and it’s easy to care for. But if your pets nibble on it, they might have intense burning and irritation in and around their mouth, along with vomiting, drooling, and swallowing problems.

Plants You Cut Outside
10/12
Any number of flowers and plants that you cut outside and bring inside can also be poisonous to pets. Azalea and hydrangea cuttings are two common culprits. Foxglove, iris, and daffodils can also cause serious problems.

Marijuana
11/12
Take great care if you decide to keep this plant inside. It can cause vomiting, drooling, fast heart rate, seizures, low body temperature, and even unconsciousness or coma.

What to Do for Your Pet
12/12
Keep poisonous plants away from pets. Clear up any leaves and other debris that might tempt them. Call your vet or an emergency vet if you think your animal has eaten something toxic, especially if they show signs of illness. Take a picture of the plant or bring some of it, or the vomit, with you to the vet to help figure out what your pet ate. Also, the ASPCA has a 24-hour Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435.

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope: Sunday
June 05, 2022

All Signs
This week there is a lovely grand trine in the Earth signs: Moon in Virgo, Pluto in Capricorn and Mercury in Taurus. (The gang’s all here!) This will help everyone to work hard to achieve goals that will lead to success. Therefore, think about what you want to achieve and focus on it. Make a list. Maybe you want to clean something that has been challenging? Maybe you want to boost your income? Whatever it is you want to do – get ready to tackle it because you will make great strides! Mid-week, it’s easy to be sidetracked with daydreams, but that’s a temporary detour. The key is perseverance. Veni Vidi Velcro: I came, I saw, I stuck around.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Because this is a fantastic week to accomplish a lot, you will be busy! (You’re not going to sit around getting dusty.) This lovely Earth trine is perfect for you because it activates three separate parts of your chart: your House of Earnings, your House of Employment and your House of Career. Holy moly! You don’t want to miss this opportunity! Furthermore, your ruler Mars is in your sign lined up with lucky Jupiter, which gives you the energy, drive and confidence you need to go after your dreams. A dash of unexpected good luck will help you. To me that sounds like a recipe for success. Get busy!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Well, you’re sitting pretty this week because fair Venus and Mercury are in your sign; plus Mercury is part of this wonderful grand trine in your fellow Earth Signs. (See All Signs above.) Many of you will use this practical drive to explore creative options, perhaps working in the arts, the entertainment world, working with children or professional (or amateur) sports. However, another aspect of this favourable influence is that you might transform your appearance or the image you project to the world. Somehow, you will improve your game face. It could be a haircut, a wardrobe change, new glasses, or a determination to buff your bod. Whatever the case, you’ll be pleased with the results!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This lovely grand trine in the Earth Signs will help you to work behind the scenes and introduce improvements to your home or where you live. These improvements might include your relationship to a family member, especially a female. Because the Sun is in your sign now, you are unusually empowered! (The Sun is in your sign for only four weeks a year, so you want to make this work for you.) Some kind of boon or a piece of good luck might occur that is private. You know about it, but nobody else does. You can also harness the energy of others, friends and groups, to help you achieve your objectives. However, always listen to the “friend” inside you.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This week you still feel two opposing influences: the need to work alone or behind the scenes and keep a low profile; versus an aroused ambition to succeed. This lovely grand trine in the Earth Signs will prompt you to interact with others and engage with people in such a way that you will stir up support for yourself and whatever it is you are doing, or you want to achieve. In particular, young people as well as creative, artistic types, might help you. You will be convincing and persuasive because you will speak from the heart. (No surprise here because after all, you’re a feeler.) Someone might have advice for you about how to relate better to a partner or close friend. Be open to everything.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Like Aries, you benefit from the Grand Trine in the Earth signs because it hits three houses: your House of Earnings, your House of Career, and your House of Employment. What an advantage! Like a cool breeze on a hot day. Good fortune coming your way! As they say, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. So be prepared! People in power, bosses and parents can help you do something to boost your earnings. You can revise, improve or modify your job or how you do your job. You might even change your job. (Note, this same beneficial influence can improve your health.) Be ready to accept advice or to approach people in power. “More porridge?”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Lucky you! This wonderful Grand Trine mentioned in All Signs above occurs between three “planets”, and one of them is the Virgo Moon! (Yeah, yeah, the Moon is not a planet but for the sake of ease, astrologers refer to the Sun and the Moon as planets when talking about a chart.) This means you have an opportunity this week to explore or improve travel plans, opportunities in publishing and the media, or legal or medical matters. (This is a great time to travel or to make travel plans!) It’s also a propitious time to improve your relations with kids, especially by trying a new approach with something. Speaking of new approaches, you might also improve a romantic relationship. Woot!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Very likely, you will do some quiet research and private thinking about how to make improvements at home or within your family dynamic. And when you consider the possible improvements that you would like to explore, what is timely is the fact that you will find the financial backing or the resources and practical help from others that you need to do what you want to do. Sometimes we have great ideas but we can’t pull them off because we don’t have the money or the help. This week, it will all come together for you. Don’t be afraid to explore making improvements in your personal life. You can do this!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You are a powerful sign, and not one to miss an opportunity when powerful energy is flowing. That’s what’s happening this week. Go forth and explore new ways of engaging with partners, friends, groups and organizations. Yes, we’re talking about how you relate to the people in your world. You can improve how you talk to your daily contacts, siblings, relatives and neighbours. Reach out and explore aspects of networking. Act on your urge to contact others in person, through social media, or attending an event or a meeting. We are gregarious creatures. We need people in our lives. We need to go out to see others and to be seen.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This week is all about how to improve your job, boost your career and your public reputation, and make more money. This is an auspicious time for you because the Grand Trine (mentioned in All Signs above) is taking place in Earth Signs. Earth is practical. Earth is “Let’s get it done.” Earth is about tangible wealth. It most certainly relates to work and earnings. For you, the three planets in this Trine (Virgo Moon, Mercury in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn) are each sitting in your House of Earnings, your House of Career, and your House of Employment. (Your House of Career is actually your path in life, not necessarily your job.) This means you can get a lot done and see ways to boost your income. Yay!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Obviously, the Earth Signs are getting a tremendous boost this week because the Grand Trine is taking place in earth: Moon in Virgo, Pluto in Capricorn and Mercury in Taurus. This bodes well for you! Travel plans, vacations, the entertainment world, fun activities with kids, the arts, sports and entertaining diversions are all areas that can flourish for you – and in an unexpected way, allow you to improve your appearance or improve the image you offer to the world. Let’s face it, you want respect. You like to look good. This week somehow, you will use a lot of fun energy and exploring new ideas and meeting people who are different – all of which will benefit you. Get ready!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week, the lovely Grand Trine in Earth Signs will benefit your home and family and your private world. Unexpected assistance and help from surprising sources will be there for you, so that in turn, you might entertain at home. You might also redecorate or begin renovations at home. You might even explore a change of residence? Most definitely, family relations will be more lively and more active in a pleasant, social way. This week is a lovely time to entertain at home, especially because you are unusually optimistic, warm and friendly. “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together – we’ll have a few laughs.”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The Grand Trine mentioned in All Signs above will boost your opportunities to schmooze on a daily basis this week. This will be a busy, popular week for you! Your dance card will be full because you will have appointments, errands, visits, conversations and fun opportunities to schmooze with neighbours, siblings, relatives and daily contacts. Some of you will also study and learn more. You might explore a writing project. Because you are inclined to focus on home and family right now, you might invite these people to your home. Or you might work more and write and study from your home. You definitely have something to say this week. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact someone. “Hi, there…”

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday
05 June 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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 recent powerful link between your ruler Mars and fortunate Jupiter kick-started a cycle of ideas, events and offers as thrilling as, often, they’ve been unexpected. Gradually, however, you’re gaining clarity on what’s truly worthwhile and, equally, which should come first. As a passionate, and often impatient, Aries you’d ignore other options. This time, don’t. Each of these magical events has its place in your life.

Someone seems to think you have taken on more than you can comfortably handle. Although annoying, their watchfulness is more concern than criticism. It may be that they know you better than you think and this is your chance to ease your load by accepting help that is offered. Communication with someone from a distance will leave a lot to be desired when it might feel as if something important is being left unsaid. Travel plans will be finalized later and previous misunderstandings put right.

There is little doubt that you need to see concerted action: Mercury is no longer retrograde, and steps need to be taken to plug leaks and ensure no further losses. The fact that you know that rules are being rethought will surely be disconcerting – especially when you need to know where you stand before you make plans. So yes, in the first half of the week it might seem that you are stuck in quicksand. Don’t underestimate your abilities to sleuth and to find a way around obstacles. There is still the prospect of turning a fresh career page and forming alliance with a Taurus or Capricorn. True, it might be wise to have a trial period before agreeing terms of a contract, but it could be that this is the optimum way forward.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve been through a series of changes as unsettling as, ultimately, they were worthwhile. However, you’re hoping for calm so you can begin to catch up. Actually, it’s the reverse. While this period of unexpected events continues, it’s increasingly clear how much you’ll benefit from each. The secret? Enjoy this magical cycle, knowing you can rethink existing arrangements and restore order to your life later.

A working relationship comes under the microscope. You may have underestimated the influence a colleague has on a project you are involved in. They have the power to bring things to a halt or to allow the work to continue. You might wish you had given this job more consideration before you took it on. You are experienced enough in many areas to know what you are doing now is important and you would prefer to have more control over proceedings.

Saturn has turned retrograde in your career zone and it’s likely that there are now things you need to say to show that steps you’ve taken in the last 12 months, are ones that you really want to follow through. Don’t forget, your entrepreneurial spirit has been growing in the last couple of years. Whatever the constraints (including governmental rules and regulations), you need to find a way forward and might do precisely that by Friday. All of this is likely to be aided and abetted by a Sagittarius or Pisces who understands your need to explore new areas. Career wise it appears that you’re on a springboard. You may have greater charge now of finances than you had before. That doesn’t mean that you won’t make errors, and bringing together a team to support you, should be priority.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you learnt lots while your ruler Mercury was retrograde, until 3 June. Now it’s about juggling the ideas and offers currently emerging from those unexpected insights. While you’ve a talent for spotting and taking advantage of even surprising developments, be wary of allowing others to waste time on debate. The secret? Proceed solo, but ensure others know that, in time, you’re expecting them to join in.

While you are bound to get more out of life by plugging into social and romantic opportunities around you, there is still work to be done. Getting a balance between work and play is vital now. People are relying on you to fulfil obligations and you need to prove you do take your responsibilities seriously. In finances don’t take anything for granted. An expected sum of money may not arrive in your bank account as promised.

Mercury is no longer retrograde and reaches your sign at next week’s Full Moon (14th). Before then, there are matters to clear up. Accessing paperwork that shows you have the expertise and qualifications you’ve implied will probably take time: an exercise that should take priority in the first half of the week. Proving who you are, what you know, and yes, defining where you want is a major theme. True, you might not need to produce credentials until after the Full Moon, but accessing references would surely be a useful exercise. A strong possibility is that your presence on a team would make very real difference (making this a good time for interviews). You perhaps see exactly where you could fit in, and now need others to understand that you have not just the drive, but the enthusiasm to share their goals. In particular, you may find that a Leo welcomes your input (possibly suggesting that you join forces).


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re considering all sorts of promising ideas. However, you’re lacking the kind of solid facts you’d prefer to have. The secret? Acknowledge you, and the rest of the world, are in a period of exciting but mostly unpredictable, changes and new ideas. You’ve a knack for dealing with, if not improving on, uncertain situations such as these, so that’s no problem. Plunge in. You won’t regret it.

No matter how much time and effort you put into it, a job you are working on will seem to make little progress. Just as you are about to give in, someone or something will come along to help you achieve your aims. So, there will be no need to lower your sights after all. If you are doing any kind of research or study, you may feel reluctant to approach someone who is never easy to talk to even though they could help you. Most of the information you need will be found on the internet.

For the next few weeks, Mars and Jupiter patrol the career zone of your solar chart. This should put a real spring in your step. With Mercury no longer retrograde, pushing forward ought to be easy; and yet: Saturn is now retrograde in a partnership zone. It may be that a colleague or close partner is not entirely sure that you’re doing the right thing. Another possibility is that family matters warrant time and attention so that you don’t feel you can do what you want to do. In the approach to your birthday reassessing all that’s gone in the last year, is an important process. To this end, you might like to consider working relationships: particularly with those born under Taurus or Gemini, that have flourished in the last 12 months, and which could yet move you onto even stronger career platform.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The past month’s tricky planetary activity is over. That’ll be a huge relief. Be aware, however, the pace will remain slow until mid-July. Actually, that’s perfect timing, because it gives you a chance both to declutter your life of increasingly unworkable arrangements and, equally, to explore the new options coming your way. Commitments? They can wait. What’s good is about to get a lot better.

It’s all about keeping up appearances if you want to impress someone who matters. The problem is, the more you act, dress and behave in a way other people expect of you, the more you lose touch with the real you. Is it time to just be yourself? If someone can’t accept you for whom you are, maybe they just don’t belong in your life. An unusual offer or something unexpected will come your way. This will involve some risk when progress cannot be made by following a cautious path.

Have you any idea what it means to get your act together? And do you need to get angry or at least highly irritated before you do? Now that Mercury has turned direct at the apex of your solar chart, you need action. You might also wonder why you’ve been held up for so long. Exasperation with others would be understandable. Yet it’s entirely possible that it’s you who hasn’t quite defined what it is that you want. You could surprise a few people by going back over old ground – but this time explain where you feel that you’ve either been misled or confused. True, this would be maddening but perhaps, it’s like disease sometimes: matters have to get worse before they get better. Yet by Friday, you could roll out a plan that is exciting, exhilarating, and that makes clear to others that you have a strategy – if they would just listen.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, when organising plans, you’ll gather the necessary details, think things through, then turn those ideas into a lasting arrangement. Recently, however, frequent changes in circumstances have forced you to keep things loose. While annoying then, the current and coming events and offers will be so thrilling you’ll be relieved arrangements are flexible; and the more distant future? Take it slowly. Each day will bring something new and exciting.

Negotiating the sale of property or possessions will not be as easy as you first anticipated. An offer received could be changed and this will put you in two minds about whether or not to go ahead with this transaction. Efforts to impose a sense of orderliness into your working environment are thwarted by a careless colleague who can’t seem to follow the rules or do the right thing. Communication is a key factor. You may not be mixing with your usual crowd and a competitive air hangs over the workplace.

Your ruling planet, Mercury, is now in direct motion and moving with Venus through another of the Earth signs. You could think of this as driving along a smooth road after negotiating disruption. The temptation to put your foot down and go superfast will likely be great. That feeling of freedom, should allow ideas and plans that have been playing in the back of your mind to come to the fore. It may be that it’s working in partnership that would work best presently. The problem is finding sharing responsibilities. You also need to understand more of the capital base behind a project. There may be serious questions to ask. Armed with answers, and ahead of next week’s Full Moon, you could at least outline the next step.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, you’ve felt battered by challenging developments and, equally, the unhelpful attitude of others. However, if you realised you were meant to be taking a break, then instead of worrying, you’ll have relaxed. As important, you’d have taken this opportunity to explore options you’d previously ignored or didn’t know about. Times are changing and so, too, should you plans. That begins with taking the idea of relaxing seriously.

It’s not enough anymore to think about making some changes. You want to act on your ideas to get out of a rut and to add more excitement into your life. A chance to improve your lifestyle will be offered. If it has already come up in conversation, this would be a good time to set up home with a partner. You are in touch with your feelings, confident about your decisions and it will be easier than usual to discuss thoughts and emotions.

The good news is that Mercury has now turned direct. The not so good news, is that Saturn is turning retrograde. Imagine at long last picking up speed having been caught up in a traffic jam. The difficulty is that the highway is reduced to one lane. You can’t reach maximum speed. Impatient to get a move on, the temptation to yell at other drivers will likely be great. Yet progress can only be made if everyone maintains a steady speed. The ‘road’ will clear most likely around next week’s Full Moon. Now that things are moving (sort of), you could use this slower than wished for pace to refine your plans. Think deeply – especially after the Moon moves into your sign on Thursday. There’s high probability of you being offered a partnership arrangement. Perhaps you’d agree that you now need greater support to conclude a project which, over the last few months has proved particularly difficult.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re cautious, so have been discreet about both your concerns regarding certain arrangements and, equally, individuals who you’d hoped were trustworthy. Finally, things are beginning to move ahead; and your biggest challenge is deciding what, and who is reliable. The fact is, with so much unsettled, feeling you can speak frankly is key. That, in turn, will lead to discussions that result in the trust you’re seeking.

Someone will ask for a favour as the week begins. You won’t have the time to help out and although it is true there is only so much you can do in a day; a feeling of remorse might strike you later. You may regret not having helped someone who needed it. It won’t be too late to make amends. A move you are about to make is going to be very different to what other people are expecting. Don’t let this stop you.

Mercury is at last in direct motion in your opposite sign. You’d be forgiven for thinking that at long last, things can move forward smoothly. Yet Saturn has turned retrograde at the base of your solar chart and there is high probability of needing to go back over and regroup. This may be no bad thing: it may be that plans could be made to work more efficiently. Conversations – most likely with teachers or experts – should be particularly rewarding on Tuesday (if at times irritating and frustrating). It may be that you feel that had you been given adequate information earlier, you’d have made different choices. You could choose to brood on this, or access an independent streak and make plans for how to move forward in your own way.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually when facing pressing decisions, you rely on your amazing capacity to think fast. However, with the Sagittarius Full Moon, on the 14th, triggering shakeups, your time is better spent decluttering your mind, and your life. Let go of certain, once-compelling, plans or passions. Not only will this be a relief, it will free you for the thrilling opportunities of the coming week or so.

Someone will ask you to give a new job or arrangement a chance before deciding it isn’t for you. Intuitively you feel you aren’t going to like this but to please them you will go along with their request. Even so, this should not prevent you from looking at other alternatives. You aren’t being fickle in wanting to change things that aren’t working for you. Being willing to diversify will ensure you get the best out of everything life has to offer.

With Mercury now in forward motion, – and especially if you’ve been held back by health issues, progress should be possible. It may be that you need to return for further conversation with an expert. However, it might take a few months to arrange this; and yes, this would be hugely irritating – even given the amount of energy are likely to throw at this in the first half of the week. Travel and connecting with those you haven’t seen the some time seems high on your agenda too. It may be that either a health or niggling work-related issue continues to hold you back. You will likely need support and encouragement – most likely from a Gemini, Libra or Aquarius. Their thought-centred approach could help you find exactly the right language to get someone’s attention. With both Mars and Jupiter now passing through another of the Fire signs, it’s likely that all you need is a little mental stimulation to get you to where you need to be.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Little annoys you more than those who insist they’d done their part in organising plans, only to ask for your help at the last minute. While, initially, you’ll wish you’d done it all, gradually you’ll realise that they’re seeking your guidance, nothing more. Give them exactly that, then back off. Focus on your responsibilities and leave others to theirs. The results will amaze and impress you.

You can’t be too careful in a group situation. Someone who is asking questions may use information received in a way that causes upset and argument. Disagreements will have a negative effect overall on relationships. To keep a team harmonious, it will be necessary to keep recent news or information to yourself. Problems that do crop up at this time cannot be corrected by pointing fingers. Be prepared to put in some hard work behind the scenes.

Mercury has now turned direct and in another of the Earth signs. This, together with Saturn’s apparent altered direction suggests you’ll give full focus to both your expertise and that of those around you. It may be that more qualifications are needed – again either by you or a close colleague. Whatever, focusing on courses and ascertaining both the quality of training on offer and the time needed to focus on this quest would surely be a good use of your time. The presence of both Mars and Jupiter at the base of your chart suggests development on the domestic front. It may be that you need more space or to organise it better. Chasing up estimates and ascertaining what extra insurance is now needed might also be necessary exercises.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

While you’d have every right to get involved in heated exchanges regarding the questionable activities of certain individuals, think twice. You’ve other, far more constructive, ideas in mind. Invest time in turning these into reality, which can be done amazingly swiftly, and others’ tricky behaviour will, quite simply, matter less; and you won’t just be relieved, you’ll have the joy of achieving a moral victory.

New arrangements will have to be made when an event or appointment is cancelled at the eleventh hour. A partner or housemate won’t be happy with this change of plans and despite what they think, you aren’t doing this to upset them. If they can’t cooperate, you may have to do some things separately. Go over financial and tax matters with an accountant or financial advisor. Some undercover and discreet research could bring useful information to light.

Now that Mercury is at last moving forward, you likely need to see action – and particularly on the home front – which might even be your office desk. With both Mars and Jupiter together moving through one of the Fire signs, there should be plenty of ideas and thoughts to play with. If there is a problem, it’s that you could end up with far, far too much to do by Tuesday. You should perhaps consider the danger of playing with too much fire and needing to run away when things get too busy. You might then be accused of being eccentric and difficult to work with. One of your ruling planets is Saturn (the cosmic headmaster). Now in its retrograde stage, you could pace yourself better and, by Friday, show that you’ve given careful thought to how things should and could progress.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

This is one of those tricky periods during which you could easily be drawn into seemingly crucial debates. However, they’ll not only achieve very little, you’ve a range of important discussions to have and decisions to make. Those, in turn, will lead to a new and worthwhile approach to arrangements that only recently, were a source of serious despair. You can remedy these. Possibly overnight.

You can’t do right for doing wrong. Obstacles seem to arise to cause problems with almost everything you attempt. You’re getting annoyed with yourself and with others too who aren’t exactly being helpful. Someone close will know how to soothe your ruffled feathers. A few diversions will have to be made for you to overcome stumbling blocks. Talk to people you don’t normally see and be prepared to visit places you’ve not been to before.

Mercury is no longer retrograde and you’d think that progress would now be easy. However, its Saturn’s turn to appear to move backwards in the sky, and so progress could yet be slow. That said, it appears that you will be in the mood to organise. In fact, you could be so super-efficient on Tuesday that you clear an area and enjoy the satisfaction then of thinking of how you could make better use of the space. There is, of course, always the danger of throwing out something that you later need: so, it might be as well to stay your hand – or at least do a second check before you finally release certain items. With the focus too on maximising assets and reserves, you could also investigate a savings option and consider joining forces with someone whose recent experiences and contacts result in a working plan being put in place.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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Introduction to Energy Healing
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 29 May 2022

Rest in Peace to Our Sister, High Priestess, Sisters of the Burning Branch,
Firefly Nokomis Yona. – Thank you for your service.

Set Life’s Rhythm with Your Heart-Drum- 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

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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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Current Moon Phase: New Moon
The beginning of a new cycle.

Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity.

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

The New Moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting.

Magickal Attributes: Invoking. Workings On This Day Are For Starting New Ventures, New Beginnings, Love, Romance, Health Or Job Hunting.

It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone.

VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. New Moon workings can be done from the day of the New Moon to three-and-a-half days after.

The New Moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting.
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Goddess Month of Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ May 13th to June 9th ~ Hawthorn

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in MAY
May 30: The Southern Ute Bear Dance (Memorial Day Weekend)
May 30: New Moon in Gemini

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Face to Face with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays/

Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ WitchCrafting – June 5
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herbal Cauldron – June 12
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – June 19
Reiki I and II: 4 PM – 6PM – June 25
Black Hat – June 25 – 7PM – 9PM

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 too 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 $150.00 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Men’s Circle – Green Lion Ate the Sun!
Time: June 3, 2022 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Sticks and Stones
Organized By: Deige

Event Description:
Magick practitioners are often drawn to join together for the sake of community and solidarity within a world that would otherwise alienate us. We are aiming to provide a celebration and focus for our brothers in our community that are seeking to deepen their practices and share in the wisdom and safety of a trusted band of men who participate in the occult and arcane arts.

We celebrate the dichotomy of the human experience. It is a wonderful bounty when those with similar lived experiences can find authenticity, community, and trust in one another. This is a men’s only event where we welcome all creeds, practices, and spiritual skill levels to enrich each other, ask questions, and engage in a judgment-free and private zone of curiosity and discovery. Together we can delineate our goals, craft our paths, and work with our energy and Will to lead intentional and gratifying lives.

Organized by Deige
entrance fee: donations welcomed

Deige has been studying metaphysics since he was young. While growing up in a Pentecostal household, he chased alternate spirituality in the dark; reading books, searching the internet, and absorbing knowledge in whatever way he could. Now, Deige is looking to build community and be for others what he wished he had in those times. His specialty knowledge lies primarily in tarot, crystals, ritual crafting, and Hermetics. Deige also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Philosophy with honors in studies of Western Culture.

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Full Moon Circle
SUN, JUN 12 · 5:00 PM EDT
Location: Sticks and Stones

Details
A moon circle is a sacred gathering of women, who usually come together to honor and celebrate the new and full moon gathering to harness the potent energy of the moon.

A moon circle is a safe space, where women can enjoy being in sacred sisterhood and feel supported and witnessed. In the circle, we will set intentions, clear energy, gain clarity, and connect to ourselves through communal energy.

Everything that happens in the circle remains privately in the circle, which allows women to truly open up, share, be authentic, practice self-care, and experience community.
$25

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New Moon May 30, 2022, in Gemini

This is your moment to shake off that eclipse energy and push forward. This New Moon May 30, 2022, is all about healing and rebuilding with Archangel Raphael. Memorial Day will be a great time for you to connect to your inquisitive self as this sign is in the ever-curious Gemini.

Falling on Monday, May 30 this summery feeling, the action-oriented moon will feel like a welcome change of pace from the heavy, emotional, likely stressful feeling that came with the previous lunar event — a full moon and eclipse that occurred on May 15-16. And it may be the moment that allows you to shake off any lingering darkness and move forward

Not only could your mental and social energy be heightened but you’ll also be stirred to think about how you’ve been receiving info and communicating it to others. As a super communicator, Gemini excels not only at speaking but at listening and absorbing what others have to say. And you’ll want to be sure you’re striking that balance in both your personal and professional lives.

Heal and Rebuild with Archangel Raphael

The energy from the May New Moon is filled with healing and rebuilding. This is a very exciting New Moon to work with and we are being touched and healed by Archangel Raphael.

Our world certainly needs healing and Archangel Raphael is pouring out his green healing energy into Mother Earth and every living creature. What a wonderful time to be alive and to be able to witness the powerful healing this wonderful Archangel is giving us.

The spirits of the earth are working with Archangel Raphael to assist us in healing and lifting up our spirits. They are blessing us with peace. Ask for these wonderful spirits of the earth such as fairies to be with you and to make you smile once again. Whether you are outside or not they can still be with you and help you feel a connection with all that is Divine!

Focus your prayers to Archangel Raphael and ask for whatever you need at this time. He is working overtime to help us.

If you can get outside take time to ground yourself. Put your feet into the dirt and feel the energy of Mother Earth coming up into you. This is a wonderful healing exercise. You can learn more how to practice this in my article on Grounding. Click Here to read.

We are going through a major shift in our world and we have to ask for Divine assistance. Archangel Raphael is willing to help and all we have to do is ask. Look for the miracles. I know it’s been a rough time for everyone over the last few months, but now it is time to look at the healing that is coming. The pandemic will lesson and we have to do our part by calling on the healing energy from Archangel Raphael to work on our planet.

Each one of us is a bearer of light and we need to send that light out into the world. It’s needed more than ever. We have been brought down to our knees and it’s time to rise up with praise and hope.

The New Moons are about new beginnings and now you need to focus your thoughts on the fact that we are beginning again. We are being born again into a New World and we will make it because we are a strong people.

The new moon is symbolic of the second chance we are given over and over again. If everything went wrong by the time of the full moon and we made every mistake we could have possibly made, the new moon gifts us with a clean slate. This is why the new moon is the perfect time to meditate, journal, organize, and plan our next move. The new moon’s purifying energy is there to aid us in our reflection.

How to Set your New Moon Intentions in Motion

Cleanse your Sacred Area with an opening prayer.
Surround yourself in the White Light
Do sage smudging, and/or burn some incense.
Light one or more candles
Have your favorite crystals with you.
Have anything you consider sacred with you.
Center and calm yourself.
Take some deep cleansing breaths.
Play music that is peaceful and meditative.
Invite the angels, especially Archangel Raphael, into your home on this Special New Moon. They love to be invited and when you do this you will see more evidence of their divine presence. Watch my video on Tips to Invite Angels into Your Home. Click Here to Learn How. https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/blogs/all/tips-to-invite-angels-in-your-home

Have a notebook handy and Begin writing down your desires. Write out what you want to manifest during the next month. These goals can range from small to big. Do not limit yourself. Sometimes obtaining the smaller goals helps you have confidence that you can manifest the bigger goals.

Now close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to attain your desires and goals. Make sure to not come from the place of feeling the “wanting” part but really feel as if you have already achieved those moments and goals, picture what that feels like.

In this notebook, you can also use it as a manifestation scrapbook or make a vision board where you can paste in pictures or catalog clippings of items that you want to manifest. You will soon be amazed how these things begin to find their way into your life once you start this process.

During the month when an item on your new moon list comes to you, feel free to cross it off!

Be Blessed. Be safe. Be well. You are loved. All Are One. And so it is!

Let me guide you on your path with a Special Reading. These readings are so special and filled with messages from your angels and animal spirit guides. You will not be disappointed! Book Yours Now.

New Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie – https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/collections/spiritual-phone-readings

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Garden Blessing Spell
MAY 29, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

When we prepare our garden ev ery year, we like to bless it by invoking the blessings of its past, present, and future. For this spell you’ll need some seeds from last year’s garden, a handful of your garden’s soil, and some new seeds or seedlings to plant.

Grab last year’s seeds with your dominant hand and sprinkle them into your garden while saying:

May last year’s abundance return.
A fine harvest we wish to earn.

Follow that by picking up a handful of your garden’s soil and sprinkle it over your garden while saying:

The soil we bless of this time and place,
Harvest joy, come to our garden space.

Finally, sprinkle your new seeds while saying:

Growth and possibilities today we plant.
A bright future may the earth to us grant!
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Setting Boundaries
MAY 28, 2022 BY CHARLYNN WALLS

Today is a good time to renew the physical boundaries of your home or property. You will need a few small stones to set along the edges of the property. You can use smokey quartz, black obsidian, black tourmaline, or any protective stone you connect with. You will need to walk the boundaries of your property. As you do this, set the stones in the corners of your property line. You may bury them if they are outdoors, so they will not be disturbed. If you live in an apartment, you can simply place them near the doors or windows of your home where they will not be in the way. As you walk the boundaries, at each point where you are placing a stone, say:

Only those who are welcome may
stay. All others must go away.

When the last stone has been placed, the ward is sealed and the property protected.
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Tending Our Gardens
MAY 27, 2022 BY BARBARA ARDINGER

Is there a Pagan who does not have a garden, whether on a table by the window or outside in a sunny spot? If you’ve planted seeds and transplanted plants from friends or the local nursery, the end of May is high time to give your garden some extra attention: watering, weeding, trimming. While you’re doing your gardening, recite old nursery rhymes to the plants. Here are two. Find more online and encourage your garden to grow and bloom.

Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty blossoms all in a row.

Round and round the garden
Like a teddy bear;
One step, two step,
Tickle you under there!

As you tend your earthly garden, also think about the metaphorical gardens in your life. These are your friendships in your mundane life, in circles and covens, or on social media. Tend these gardens, too. Start with a friendly email or an invitation to lunch, or post a nursery rhyme.
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Draw Sweetness to You
MAY 26, 2022 BY LAURA TEMPEST ZAKROFF

The bathtub is my favorite cauldron—it’s an ideal place for working magic, in my opinion. This bathtub magic is a twist on the traditional honey jar spell, which is generally used to sweeten someone’s disposition toward you. In this case, the bath becomes the jar, and you become the focus to draw sweetness to you in general. The ingredients are pretty simple, and fresh is best if you can manage.

• Handful of rose petals
• Handful of honeysuckle blossoms
• 1 teaspoon honey

Sprinkle the flowers in the bathtub as you turn the water on, and deposit the honey near the tap so it dissolves more quickly. (If you don’t want to clean up a mess of flowers when you’re done, you can put them in a cotton mesh bag instead.) Get in the tub and soak for at least twenty minutes. Afterward, spread the flowers outside by your door.
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Wildflower Essence
MAY 25, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

The woods are bursting with wildflowers at this time of year. Trillium, dogtooth violet, and trout lilies abound in my area. Wildflowers are resilient, strong, willful, and beautiful. Get outside and find some. If you live in a city, you may find wildflowers in the unexpected wild lands of urban ravines, parks, and cemeteries. Don’t pick the wildflowers that you find, but draw from their energy, knowing how much it took for them to push up through the snow, mud, and soil. Let each wildflower teach you about its essence. Take their magic to heart, holding onto a little of their spunk and resilience. Tap into wildflower ferocity, willfulness, and strength. Witness the beauty they bring to the world. In the days to come, “be” a wildflower—let your resilience, strength, willfulness, and beauty shine for all to see.
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Peace and Prayer Flags
MAY 24, 2022 BY SUSAN PESZNECKER

Following the example of Tibetan flags, you can make your own flags for prayer and peace. You’ll need some natural fabric (cotton, linen, etc.) in 12-by-8-inch pieces. Finished flags will be about 8 inches wide and 10 to 11 inches long. Choose colors that have magical significance (e.g., white for peace, blue for calm, green for nature, and so forth), or just choose those that you love.

You’ll need a thick rope or cord to stretch horizontally across a space; the flags will hang vertically along the cord. You’ll need a means of sewing, gluing, or hot-fusing the top edge of each flag.

Cut out your flags. Fold over one narrow edge, creating a 1-inch pocket for the cord to run through. Secure the folded pocket by sewing, gluing, or using iron-on fusible webbing.

Use permanent ink to inscribe prayers, symbols, etc., on each flag. String the flags along the cord and display. Use them in spell, ritual, or meditation or simply for happiness.
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Successful Coins
MAY 23, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Success and money are closely connected. Usually you need some money to start with, and success tends to bring money along with it. So each one can be used to attract the other.

For this spell you’ll need a set of coins, including a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, a half-dollar, and a dollar (preferably golden, but silver will do). You’ll also need a gold-tone picture frame just big enough to hold the coins and a bit of black velvet for backing. Lay the velvet over the inside back of the frame. As you place each coin, starting with the penny, say:

From the small to the great,
Such success is my fate,
That it’s drawn to my name,
And it fills up the frame.

After you finish placing the coins, put the front of the frame on and fasten it. Say the verse one last time. Then hang the frame where you want to attract wealth and success.

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ROSE QUARTZ LOVE BATH

If you’re really looking to relax, try this candle lit love bath with Rose Quartz! Some optional elements include Jasmine Essential Oil and flower petals. Jasmine flowers are believed to symbolize love, so this is the perfect oil to infuse your love bath with. Fresh flower petals represent the element of nature, and fill the heart with lively, loving energy. These will boost your love bath experience, but aren’t crucial if you don’t have them.

What you’ll need:

1 Rose Quartz Point
1 Candle
(optional) 6 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil
(optional) Flower Petals

Steps:
Light your candle
Set your Rose Quartz Point on the edge of your bath
Optional, use 6 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil in your bath (6 is the number of love)
Optional, sprinkle flower petals in your bath

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Heartwings Love Notes 1036

Heartwings says, “A day to remember those we have loved and lost.”

My mother once told me that my great grandmother said, ” I have nobody to play bridge with, all my friends have died.” My mother told me that soon after that she herself passed on. I was around four years old at the time, however I have vivid memories of her. She wore hats, even indoors as her generation often did, and I do recall her wearing a purple one that sat on top of her grey curls.

I also recall her ear trumpet, as she had the family deafness and, in those days, there were no hearing aids. Then she acquired a large battery that sat on the table and somehow was used to power something that helped her to hear. My memory does not hold that detail. I also recall riding in her limousine and throwing up on a grey furry lap robe. My mother supplied the detail that the limousine was stuffy, which must have affected me.

Grandma Great, as we called her, lived through several wars and quantities of changes. I don’t know the year of her birth, however she was at least eighty when she died in 1940. I am in my eighties now, and even more changes have taken place since I was born. It’s difficult to keep up, however I do the best I can. Many living today have never been without a computer, let alone a cell phone. Soon cars will drive themselves and what will become of chauffeurs?

Memorial Day is a day for remembering those who gave their lives in wars. My grandfather was one, dying in the first World War. That was once said to be the “war to end all wars,” an optimistic view if ever there was one. There are parades and perhaps still recitations of “In Flanders’ field the poppies grow.” Veterans from various conflicts will most likely be riding in convertibles wearing uniforms that still fit if they are fortunate. My late friend Laura Dodge used to decorate her husband’s grave, as do many. Generally, cemeteries look cared for and the graves well-tended, often blossoming with fresh plants.

I will not be able to do that. One family cemetery is on the Cape, another in Cambridge. My brother has moved to Illinois so there will be no one to place the wreath on the sign in Beverly Farms dedicating the square in his great grandfather’s name. I remember going there with my grandmother who would place a large bunch of carnations in the wreath hung there. Then the parade marched to West Beach where they played “For those in peril on the sea,” and she would throw the bunch of Lilies of the Valley she had brought tucked into her belt, into the ocean.

There are so many for me to remember now. Some of them died at a much younger age than they might, others were older than I am now. Their lives were meaningful as are all lives. The short or long time we spend on this earth is not unlike the flowers placed on the graves of the fallen. They decorate the space where they dwell and pass on, leaving memories for those knew them. Memorial Day is a day to recall them and to remember what they gave to this life with theirs.

May your memories be sweet to think over and perhaps to share.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Thank you for reading and for any comments or sharing you have to give. Please write to me at Tashahal@gmail.com. It is my great pleasure to correspond with you.

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My Life With Tea, Part One
Dr. Weil

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.
~Chinese Proverb

I have written about the health benefits of green tea for more than 30 years, and it is possible that in some small way I have helped this wonderful beverage become popular in the United States. I hope so, because today, thousands of scientific studies confirm what the ancient Chinese knew through simple observation – green tea is perhaps the most healthful beverage human beings can consume. Studies either strongly suggest or confirm that the antioxidants in green tea can reduce LDL cholesterol, promote fat burning, reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, and alleviate depression.

But tea is much more than the healthful compounds in it. It is an experience, and for me, a personal story of discovery that continues to this day.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.
~T’ien Yiheng

When I was growing up in Philadelphia in the 1940s and 50s, my parents drank coffee exclusively – black and unsweetened. I did not like it (and still don’t). The only tea we knew about was the stuff from the supermarket in tea bags. Old and sick people drank hot tea. My parents and I drank iced tea in the summer, much sweetened.

Then, after graduating from high school in 1959, I had a life-changing experience. As part of a remarkable institution known as the International School of America, I traveled around the world in nine months with a group of fellow students. In Japan, I was exposed to sencha – the everyday green tea drunk by all Japanese. More significantly, I experienced matcha, the powdered green tea, as part of a true Japanese tea ceremony. Many Americans have heard of, or even taken part in, this ceremony today, but in 1959, it was virtually unknown to most of the western world. The idea of using a food – tea – as a ceremonial object of focus and meditation fascinated me and made a strong impression.

Later on that same trip, I had a chance to drink tea in other Asian cultures as well as in middle Eastern and European countries, and by the time I returned to the U.S. to attend Harvard College, I was a confirmed tea aficionado and experimenter. In the early 1960s, I recall in particular a period of enthusiasm for lapsong souchong, a Taiwanese tea that is smoked over pinewood fires, imparting a rich, dark color and a complex, satisfying flavor.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
~Japanese Proverb

In the 1970s and 80s, I became concerned about widespread coffee addiction in America. Many of my patients had longstanding disorders – such as chronic stress, insomnia, or gastrointestinal conditions – and had been to dozens of doctors, taken many medications, but found no relief. I was nearly always the only doctor who 1) asked them if they drank coffee, and 2) told them in no uncertain terms to stop drinking it for at least two months to see if the problem resolved.

This simple counsel was amazingly successful. My files are full of accounts of chronic health problems that resolved completely when people stopped drinking coffee. In many cases, these patients became tea drinkers, and found the experience satisfying and healthful.

Also in those decades, I went to Japan many times, and was fascinated by the true depth and richness of the green tea culture there. I became familiar with some of the finest varieties of green tea, and soon began to drink these daily.

I’ll discuss what I drink, and why, in part two of “My Life With Tea.”
https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/meet-dr-weil/my-life-with-tea-part-two/

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Insecurity
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

To understand your insecurities, you must get to the root source and know that it is only a mask you wear.

There is an innate awkwardness to being human. With each decision we make, there is the potential for self-doubt, and it is this self doubt that forms the root of insecurity–a complex emotion that is a mix of equal parts inadequacy, isolation, fear, and hopelessness. Yet these feelings of insecurity that prevent us from fulfilling our potential by inducing us to abide by arbitrary self-limitations are nothing more than erroneous perceptions. We feel unconfident and unsure of ourselves because we judge ourselves to be so. Banishing insecurity is often simply a matter of challenging ourselves in order to prove that we are indeed intelligent and able.

When we feel insecure, we not only perceive ourselves as incapable of meeting life’s challenges but also fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness. We move through life plagued by a sense that others have judged us and found that we are lacking. As a result, we are robbed of our personal power and rendered unable to feel positive about the choices we make. Everyone feels insecure from time to time because each of us is born into the world with unique strengths. If you should find yourself with feelings of insecurity, however, endeavor to understand their source. Perhaps you were repeatedly berated as a child or seldom receive positive reinforcement in the present. A tendency to withdraw from risk or uncomfortable situations can amplify feelings of insecurity. When you have pinpointed the origin of your insecurity, focus on your abilities. The more you utilize your personal power–by taking risks, boldly facing challenges, and acting decisively–the stronger it will grow.

Remember that insecurity is not objective. Rather, it is an emotional interpretation of your value unconsciously based on doubt, shame, and fear. As you overcome those underlying emotions through courageous action and copious self-love, you’ll discover that you are capable of achieving more than you ever thought possible.

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Flower Power
Peacefulmind.com

Foraging edible wildflowers is probably one of the more fun aspects of eating wild food and it’s a great introduction to learning about flowers. Flowers also give us power in other ways. As a source of color, beauty and aromatic pleasure!

Enjoy such edible flowers as redbud, violet, clover, chickweed, wood sorrel, dandelion and wisteria. Add them to salads, make them as teas, decoct them as herbal tinctures or crush them and use them as poultices.

Consider these flowers for their color, beauty and healing nature:

Patchouli: is a sweet, earthy scent. Its smell is intense and spicy. Patchouli is a sweet and grounding harmonizing fragrance!

Neroli: is emotionally unifying and soothes with harmonizing effects. Described as both sensual and spiritual, it allows us to recall hope and joy!

Rose: The mother of all flowers, rose has amazing powers of love, trust and self acceptance. Rose oil calms and supports the heart and helps to nourish the soul!

Jasmine: has a bold, sweet scent. These night blooming aphrodisiacs are picked at the height of the full moon. Associated throughout history with the Moon Goddess, Jasmine, in ancient Egypt, represents Isis, the Mother Goddess of fertility, magic and healing.

Marshmallow Root : stimulates the immune system and the production of white blood cells. It soothes inflammation, slows production of mucus, reducing blood sugar levels.

Milk Thistle: is the best in cleaning our blood and liver. It helps to prevent a host of problems our bodies can acquire from internal and external toxic overload.

Nettle: Nettles are invaluable as a food, rich in vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent remedy for anemia, their vitamin C content ensures that the iron they contain is properly absorbed. Nettles increase the quality of the blood helping to give a healthy glow to the skin.

Yellow Dock: is useful for relieving a congested liver, as well as for scrofulous skin diseases. It can be freely used as a blood tonic and mild laxative.

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Finding Our Life’s Work
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Your most important work in this lifetime may not be your job – it’s a conviction within your soul, recognizable if you allow it to shine.

Sometimes it takes us the better part of a lifetime to discover our life’s work, even though we may have been doing it our whole lives without necessarily realizing it. Our life’s work is not always what we do to make money, although we often think it should be, and sometimes this way of thinking prevents us from seeing clearly what it is. It may be the work of having children, caring for them, and running a household. The way we know our life’s work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

When we are doing our life’s work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn’t mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self. When we are engaged in our life’s work, our bodies feel more alive, because our energy is devoted to a cause that, in turn, feeds us. We may be tired after engaging in our life’s work, but we are almost never depleted. We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.

When we are deeply unhappy, depressed, or subject to one illness after another, this may be due to a sense of disconnection from our life’s work. At times like these, finding the work we are meant to do is an essential act of healing. Most of us remember a time when we felt fully engaged in some act of work, service or creativity, and it is here that we may rediscover the work we are meant to do now. On the other hand, it may be time to explore what inspires us through volunteering, taking a class, going back to school, or just doing whatever it is we long to try. We all have callings, and when we find them, we owe it to ourselves to nurture and protect them, because while they may or may not be our livelihood, they are the keys to our wellbeing.

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Shiva Lingham: The Harmony and Balance of the Soul

Properties: Lingam is the sacred Sanskrit word for phallus. In Tantra, the shape embodies the masculine energy; dynamic expression and knowledge. The markings or Yoni depicts female energy; wisdom and intuition. The Tantric Shiva Lingam unifies the dualistic female/male world into harmonious balance. This Sacred Stone relates to the Heart Chakra, and represents the harmony and balance of the soul that is maintained within the hearts of all of us. Shiva Lingham stones are used for spiritual detox, allowing us to see higher knowledge within ourselves. The stone gives us the capacity for hanging on to the beliefs which work the best for us and letting go of those beliefs which no longer serve us. When used during meditation, lingam shows us how to connect with our physical and spiritual energies and therefore, our higher selves.

Folk Remedies: This fertility stone is a powerful second Spleen/Sexual Chakra healer and has been used traditionally for births and conception assistance. It
is also helpful for those who have second Chakra related illness due to uncommon rearing and lack of nurturing as infant/child. This stone is used on the spine, especially on the sacrum for fertility issues, anywhere on the back for pain issues, prostate issues and menopause. This is also a very powerful male energy connector.

Feng Shui: Use this stone in the Center area for grounding, in the West for children, East for community and family and Southwest for relationships (use two
stones).

Crystal Cleansing: This stone can be cleansed and discharged of negative energy by running it under warm water and charging it in the sun for 30 minutes. It can also be charged on a crystal cluster, preferably quartz or bowl of tumbled quartz.

History: This stone is a variety of jasper. Shiva Lingams originate at the Narmada River in the central western part of India, which is one of India’s
seven holy sites. Accessible only during the dry season, these stones are collected from the river bed. Lord Shiva is the supreme being revered by Hindus,
and this fertility stone is often worshipped as his embodiment. Lingam describes the egg-like shape that is hand-polished to balanced proportions.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac

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How To Perform the 4-7-8 Breath To Relieve Unhealthy Stress
~Dr. Weil

Including breath work into your daily routine can lower stress and improve overall health. The 4-7-8 (Relaxing) Breath can help: it is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no special 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 begin inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

Including breath work into your daily routine can lower stress and improve overall health. The 4-7-8 (Relaxing) Breath can help: it is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no special 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 begin inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

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Your Last Breath
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Sometimes the only way we can see the beauty of life, is to remind ourselves that it is finite.

Procrastination is an almost universal human habit and one that infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives. Modern existence is so complex, and much of what we long to do is left to wait by the side. We know what is important but tend to let the weight of worldly pressures lead us astray. To get back on track, however, we need only take a moment to consider where our thoughts will be as we take our last breath on this earth. More likely than not, at that instant, disagreements, bills, petty annoyances, and other frustrating elements of our lives will no longer seem as significant as they once did. Thoughts of loved ones and the positive impact we had on the world would no doubt occupy our remaining thoughts. Whatever we imagine ourselves musing upon during our last breath will almost always be representative of what truly matters to us.

This simple exercise introduces us to a new way of thinking. While our attention is drawn momentarily to the end of life, our contemplations serve to point out that we are masters of our own perspective and, consequently, our own existence. There is nothing preventing us from shifting our focus right now as we imagine we will in our final moments. We can choose to spend more of our time and energy on what gives our lives meaning. We can spend more time with loved ones and do more of what we enjoy. Doing so may not always prove easy, and there will inevitably be times when circumstances interfere with our resolution, yet we do not have to regard this as an indication that our priorities are not in alignment with who we really are.

Sometimes the only way we can see the beauty of life is to remind ourselves that it is finite. Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” His words are a potent reminder that living life more fully is not about pushing ourselves harder or shouldering more burdens, but about experiencing all the wonderful richness life has to offer.

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 13
by Stephen Halpert

Curious about this hastily called meeting, Gilberto and Diana Rain took seats in the leather club chairs in Headmaster Long’s spacious office. Oddly they were the only faculty asked to attend.
Helen Conners greeted and ushered them in, then left. “Headmaster wanted you both here. I guess it’s about use of the back field for athletics.”
Minutes later a harried Ed Long entered. He looked perturbed, definitely out of sorts. A few minutes later a statuesque middle-aged woman with streaked blond hair and glitzy movie star sunglasses came in. She wore a fancy embroidered floral skirt, a black cashmere sweater, several expensive rings, a thick braided gold bracelet and dark suede boots. On her shoulder was a monogramed leather sack. She sat at the other end of the table, took off her dark glasses and smiled graciously at Gilberto and Diana.
Something seemed to be moving in her leather shoulder bag.
“Is someone in there?” Diana Rain asked.
Lara smiled. “Just my little Lucy. Come on out sweetheart.” She reached into it and brought out a toy poodle.”
Ed Long’s frown lines deepened.
“Oh what a sweetheart,” Diana Rain said.
“Here, hold her if you’d like.” She handed Lucy to Diana, who cooed and rubbed her ears.
Gilberto smiled. This was the first time he’d seen Diana Rain exhibiting such an interest in an animal.
Gilberto noticed the strength in Lara’s hands. He wondered if she were into hiking and mountain climbing. Compared to most women he had, met she certainly seemed unusual.
Ed Long looked up, frowned. “Sit down; we’ve been waiting.”
She smiled and looked at her expensive watch. “Inside of two minutes, Ed. Had it not been for the pot holes in the parking lot…”
Gilberto thought Ed looked upset. Certainly he was grumpy and not his usual suave, blasé self.
“Harrumph.” He turned to Gilberto and Diana. “I’ve asked you both here because athletics will play an ever-growing part in Houndstooth’s expansion. We have less than adequate fields to conduct a variety of practices.”
Lara leaned forward and smiled. “Yes, yes Ed. The more the Parker Foundation provides the more you seem to need.” She looked over at Gilberto and Diana. “I’m Lara Parker. Chairman and CEO of Houndstooth’s Board of Directors.”.
“Let’s get to it,” Ed interrupted. He looked at Lara. “What’s your beef?”
Her voice was as soft as spring rain but nonetheless firm as pig iron. “Now wait a minute Ed. You know perfectly well why…”
He looked at Gilberto and Diana. “Simply put, I need that back acreage for a stadium and field to accompany our gym.” He frowned, looking toward Diana and Gilberto. “She wants to throw her money into some hairbrained animal hospital and pet adoption scheme for indigents.”
Lara Parker smiled. “And of course, in your mind that’s just a big bother; my hospital is irreverent, a nuisance.” Her words came out sweetly and gently.
His face reddened. The softness of her voice was doing a job on him. “That’s right,” his voice grew louder. “A colossal nuisance that needs to be resolved one way of the other, right now.”
Lara smiled., “Oh Ed you haven’t forgotten how to veil your threats. Tell me if I say ‘no,’ you’ll pout and stamp your feet and walk away like a silly boy.”
Lara looked at Gilberto and Diana. “Would you two say Houndstooth has sufficient open space for a healthy athletic program?
Gilberto nodded.
“Oh yes,” Diana Rain said. “Unless you were wanting to upgrade sports into a business.”
“Now hold on,” Ed said. His voice rose and his fists clenched on his desk.
He looked down, frowning, then shuffled through some papers. “Lara as l see it I’ve taken Houndstooth as far as I can. Without a significant influx of revenue to support a fine sports program…”
“Oh Ed, you don’t need a stadium, whatever for?”
He banged his fist on the table. His voice grew even louder. “I’ve had it with your philanthropic schemes.”
Lara sighed, reached into the sack and petted Lucy. She looked Ed in the eye. “Now wait a minute Ed, is what you are really saying that if you don’t get your stadium with a new athletic center then you’ll quit? Isn’t that the way you play? Like how you ended our marriage.”
Ed stood up and his red face was set in a grimace. “Go to hell, Lara. And take Houndstooth with you!”
Lara’s face momentarily turned to stone. She sighed. “Ok Ed, go ahead, walk away, quit if that’s what you want. You know I’ll never let you starve.”
Seeing how red his face was, Gilberto feared the man would have a stroke.
Ed’s next words came though gritted teeth. “And who will you hire to be headmaster at this miserable excuse….”
Her face was sad but determined. “If that’s the way you want it. I’ll hire a new headmaster.”
“Ha,” he laughed. “You don’t know the necessary qualifications to hire a janitor.”
She shook her head. “Don’t kid yourself Ed. My lawyer can draw up the separation agreement. Just as they did to dissolve our marriage. “You’ll haver enough to live well.” She took a deep breath and looked at Diana and Gilberto. “I’m sorry we had to wash our laundry in front of you two. But some things are as they are.” She leaned forward. “Gilberto, I’d like to appoint you acting headmaster.” She nodded toward Diana, “and Ms. Rain, dean of students.”
“That’s a joke,” Ed Long looked stricken, his face a mask.
Lara smiled at Gilberto. How’s that sound to you Gilberto, willing to take on the task?”
“S-sure,” he stammered. This felt unreal. It was as though he were the butt end of an enormous practical joke. He wondered what Maria would say. Maybe she’d find it amusing to be the headmaster’s wife.
Diana Rain nodded. “Thank you,” she said. “I feel I’m qualified to assume the position of Dean of Students.”
Ed Long slammed his fist on his desk. Then he stood, flung his pile of papers to the floor, turned and made for the door. The knob rattled in his hand but did not turn. The door was locked.
Lara grinned and snickered. “I’ll bet Cy Willabee’s up to his old tricks. He never was that fond of you.”
(to be continued)

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
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Why Does My Cat Knead Me?
By Sassafras Lowrey

Have you ever wondered why does my cat knead on me? Sometimes referred to as “making biscuits,” kneading is a common behavior for cats. When kneading, cats push in and out their front feet with varying levels of claw action. This light scratching behavior with or without purring is something that cats of all ages do, but why?

Why do cats knead?
Kneading is a behavior that generally develops for cats in kittenhood.

“Kneading can help to stimulate their mother’s milk, so most nursing kittens do it instinctively,” explains Dr. Jamie Richardson, Medical Chief of Staff at Small Door Veterinary.

The behavior often continues into adulthood and it can be a sign that your cat is really happy.

“Many cats will continue this behavior in adulthood, often when they are particularly content – it seems to be a soothing, relaxing behavior for them” says Dr. Richardson.

Related: 5 Fun Reasons for Cat Kneading

When do cats knead?
Kneading is a way that cats express how happy they are, but kneading can also be a way that cats can try to calm down.

“A stressed cat may knead to self-soothe, as the motion can help to generate relaxing emotions,” says Dr. Richardson.

Kneading may also signal a cat is feeling territorial. Dr. Richardson explains that “cats have scent glands in their paws, and when they knead, they leave some of their scent behind. Some cats may therefore knead to mark their territory.”

And some cats may knead just because it feels good or just to stretch their paws. Kneading before napping is incredibly common, and cats may knead blankets, beds or pillows as they prepare for sleep.

why does my cat knead me
Photo: SilviaJansen/Getty Images
Should you worry about your cat’s kneading?
In general, kneading isn’t something to worry about; however, any sudden change of behavior is something to be aware of and thoughtful about.

“If your cat suddenly starts behaving in a different way to usual (including kneading a great deal more or less frequently than usual), it may be worth getting them checked over by the vet to ensure that there are no medical issues to blame for their change in behavior” advises Dr. Richardson.

Why does my cat knead on me?
Not only do cats knead blankets, furniture, carpets or beds, they can often knead people, especially their favorite people.

“If your cat is kneading you, they are most likely conveying their happiness and affection. They are enjoying whatever interaction you are having – whether you’re petting them, or they’re simply curling up on your lap for a cuddle” explains Dr. Richardson.

Essentially, if your cat is kneading you should feel privileged because it probably means your cat is very comfortable and really values spending time close to you.

Can I redirect my cat’s kneading behavior?
Although it’s very sweet for cats to knead on you, sometimes it can be unpleasant or painful. To help kneading to be enjoyable for you and your cat Dr. Richardson advises you “ trim your cat’s nails regularly, and ensure they have sufficient access to scratching posts to help keep their nails in check between trims.”

If your cat’s kneading is still uncomfortable for you, it’s possible to gently redirect your cat by putting your cat onto a blanket or pillow on your lap. This can be a great way to give your cat something to knead that isn’t your skin or your clothing and make kneading comfortable for you, while still encouraging your cat to do what is a loving and pleasurable activity.

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Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, May 29, 2022

All Signs
This month has been busy with appointments, visits and hectic schedules. By contrast, this week begins on a more mellow note. However, a speedbump on Wednesday will make tempers flare when the Moon is at odds with fiery Mars. Basically, our biggest challenge will be dealing with Mercury retrograde, which began on May 10 in Gemini. Last week, Mercury slipped back into Taurus. This week, it will go direct on Friday, and stay at the same degree for six days, then slowly move forward covering old ground. This creates confusion, delays, mistakes and missed appointments. I feel its influence as I write these words. (In Rome, I used to be called Smarticus; but today I’m Uptititus.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your fast pace continues as the Sun travels through your House of Communications. It is accelerating the pace of your days with short trips, communications with everyone, appointments and errands. Fortunately, fiery Mars is now in your sign boosting your energy, giving you focus, a sense of purpose and a strong drive. Physical exercise will be a wise choice to burn off any pent-up energy building up within you. Mercury retrograde can help you restructure financing or finish financial matters. It might even help you get a job where you applied before. Meanwhile, Venus encourages fun shopping and buying beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. It will also attract money to you. Ka-ching!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Your focus on finances continues to be strong. In fact, at a deeper level, some of you are giving thought to your deeper values. In other words, you’re asking yourself, “What really matters?” Fortunately, fair Venus, your ruler, has just moved into your sign, which paves the way for smoother communications with others because Venus always makes you more diplomatic and charming. (Take note: the next few weeks are an ideal time for you to shop for wardrobe treasures.) Meanwhile, old friends and ex-partners are back in your life because Mercury retrograde slipped back into your sign last week. On a more sinister note, be aware of anyone who might suddenly be working against your best interests. If you think something fishy is going on – it is.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You continue to be empowered because the Sun is in your sign. (It stays there until the summer solstice of June 21.) Appreciate this good fortune! It attracts important people and good situations to you. Meanwhile, fiery Mars and Jupiter will encourage your popularity, especially with groups. Many of you will be involved more than usual in a competitive way with others, probably physical sports. Secret love affairs and exciting flirtations might take place behind the scenes. (You love the adoration of your friends.) Naturally, your everyday world suffers from delays, goofy mistakes and misplaced items because Mercury is retrograde, and Mercury is your ruler. (!) Stay on top of potential car problems.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your personal year is coming to an end; but your new year will not begin until the summer solstice on June 21. This means you feel a bit like you’re in limbo. And in a way, you are. The ideal way to use this “in between” time is to do some soul-searching and think about your deeper values in life. What principles guide you? Because Jupiter is at the top of your chart this year, (something that can occur only once every 12 years), you look good to others. People admire you, especially bosses and VIPs. Therefore, it’s important for you to have self-confidence and a clearer idea of who you are. The more you can determine this – the more you will shine in your world!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your popularity continues! Take advantage of opportunities to socialize with others. Reach out to meet someone for coffee or lunch. Renew old friendships and enjoy getting involved again with groups and organizations. Many of us have lost our social skills to Covid isolation. This is the perfect time for you to begin to flex those social muscles and get in contact with others. Enjoy schmoozing! You actually look very attractive to the world right now because fair Venus is at the top of your chart promoting relations, even flirtations with important people. Some of you will fall in love. Nevertheless, all your personal relationships are favoured now. Make plans to travel if you can because you want a change of scenery!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The Sun is at the top of your chart for the next three weeks. (This happens only once a year.) Therefore, make the best of this! Symbolically, it means that the Sun is “shining down on you”. Furthermore, this light is flattering! Therefore, this influence means that important people, bosses, parents, teachers and anyone in a position of power see you (almost magically) as very capable, very competent. They admire your achievements – even though you don’t do anything different. (Go figure.) It really is magic lighting! Since this is a once-a-year blessing, demand the advantage in financial matters, discussions about inheritances, making travel plans or exploring publishing options. You hold the winning hand!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
For the next three weeks, your desire to travel and get a change of scenery continues to be strong. Therefore, grab every chance to take a short trip or a long one! This same influence will help you to study and explore new ideas. You might also open opportunities in publishing and the media. It definitely favours legal matters and the study of law. Meanwhile, fiery Mars is now opposite your sign, which can create tension and conflict dealing with partners, fellow workers etc. On the other hand, you are a people pleaser; and Mars will give you the courage to speak up and defend yourself. This could be a good thing. (Keep your pockets open because money and gifts will come your way.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You feel passionately about everything right now! (Your feelings are heightened.) It will be helpful to practice techniques like counting the breath, so that you have more mind control. If you don’t control your mind, it will be running the show! Fortunately, favourable things are helping you now. Fiery Mars makes you want to work hard and work efficiently. Meanwhile, fair Venus is opposite your sign paving the way for smooth relations with others. This is particularly timely because you are contacting old friends and hearing from ex-partners since Mercury Retrograde has slipped back to oppose your sign. This could be an opportunity for closure and clarification with someone. Take it.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Remember to get more sleep this week because symbolically speaking (in your chart) the Sun is now as far away from your sign as it can get all year. (And the Sun is your source of energy.) Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde has not only resurrected people from your past (now that it has slipped back into Taurus), it will create problems and delays in your work. Equipment problems, staff shortages, misplaced items, late deliveries and goofy mistakes are frustrating. No question. Fortunately, Venus will help you accept these frustrations with grace and civility. Your relations with coworkers will still be friendly and warm. Competitive sports are on the menu for many. This is timely because you are physically active and assertive! “I am!”

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You’re not a slacker; and this week is another example of how you will accomplish a lot because you work hard! Incidentally, not only will you be working hard, whatever you do will also boost your health and overall vigour. It’s wise to focus on any task that you set for yourself to get away from the chaotic activity taking place at home, which can create family tension. Fortunately, offsetting this, fair Venus and Mercury Retrograde bring you opportunities to socialize, slip away on a vacation, enjoy good times with others, enjoy the arts and also enjoy playful activities with kids. Romance will also be saucy! (Old flames are back in the picture.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Lucky you! The Sun will continue to promote opportunities for vacations, playful outings, fun activities with kids, the arts, and abundant opportunities to express your creative talents for the next three weeks! (“Mom always liked you best.”) Nevertheless, many of you are enjoying entertaining at home along with redecorating where you live because relatives and family members you haven’t seen for a while are visiting, and hopefully, helping you with some projects. Your optimism and enthusiasm are very strong now because both Mars and Jupiter are in your House of Communications. This is a fantastic opportunity for those of you who sell, market, teach, act or write. Yada, yada, yada

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Home and family continue to be your primary focus for the next three weeks. (This includes increased interactions with a parent.) You will feel happy to nest and cocoon at home because you feel safe. You welcome the security of familiar surroundings. Meanwhile, you will work hard to earn money, which is a good thing because you will be earning more money this year. Yay! You will get richer! Nevertheless, at the moment, Mercury retrograde will create car problems, transportation delays, mixed-up communications, missed appointments and silly, goofy mistakes. On the upside, you will enjoy meeting friends and relatives you haven’t seen for a while. “Hail fellow, well met!”

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday
29 May 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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 current link between your ruler Mars and Jupiter indicates good fortune is coming your way. While the promise some events hold will be clear, others may be so unexpected that you’ll ignore them. Once you understand these are about exploring new ideas, offers or unexpected encounters as much as your existing dreams, you’ll not only be more open-minded, you’ll ensure nothing worthwhile passes you by.

Accepting a challenge to prove something to yourself or to someone who keeps belittling you will feel empowering. You can do this. Remain confident and you will succeed in your aim. Having them apologise for their high and might attitude will mean a lot to you. If there is something about a stranger that doesn’t feel right to you, trust your instincts. A charming client or workmate will be trying to get information out of you.

If it seems that you’re headed towards buffers, you may be right. By the end of this week tough decisions will likely have to be taken. It would be as well to slow down and consider options. True, that’s not your natural style, but think about it: going headlong and then having to brake suddenly, could lead to crash landing. Hold the thought that Mercury is retrograde until Friday; and yes, you may be right in that others don’t yet have a clue as to the direction they’re going to take. You don’t have to take the lead. What you do need is to preserve. The key thing is to make sure that no action jeopardises the incredible work you put in through March and April.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re contending with disarray, yet everything is going in the right direction. The fact is, you’re still dealing with the unsettling but exciting changes in both circumstances and your perspective triggered by the eclipsed Taurus New Moon on 30 April. While some developments are clear in your mind, others are still coming together. Being patient won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

You always hate it when people try to rush you into making your mind up. As long as you hide your desire to be given more time to think, it should be possible to delay matters. By Wednesday you will feel more certain about the best way to jump. If you want to have your say in a contentious work situation you need to be sure to make yourself heard and that means resisting the temptation to hide in the background simply to keep the peace.

It would be understandable if all eyes were on you. There are people who want to partner with you. Work wise this should be an exciting time. Recall that Mercury is retrograde in your sign and take time to think. True, you don’t have a reputation for doing things too quickly anyway, but on this occasion, the more time you take and the more assessment you make, the better. Fact is that others do want to do business with you and because of that, you have more leeway than normal. Yes, you probably will come to a conclusion before Mercury arrives at its station next Friday and yes, that might require dealing with hard facts. That though doesn’t mean that this will be an unproductive week. Far Yes, from it: a major clear out could actually be beneficial.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the New Moon in Gemini, on Monday the 30th, indicates it’s time for a fresh start, and in a range of settings, you’re urged to take it slowly. First, your own views about a variety of matters are unclear. What’s more, with your ruler Mercury retrograde until the Friday, 3 June, even simple facts could change. The secret? Relax. Most plans can wait anyway.

Accepting an assignment that someone else was hoping to be offered could put you in for some criticism. You have been chosen especially for this job and you cannot and won’t want to turn it away. You just wish you could keep your own business away from other people’s prying eyes. New received on Thursday will be slightly bewildering and it might help to discuss this with a relative who always offers sound advice.

It would be understandable if you had to go back over old ground – and even do that more than once. The issue is likely lack of clarity. Where you may have thought you were giving clear instructions, the opposite may have been the case. There is also the issue of long-term security and rethinking how best to ensure that. Giving explicit instructions as to how items are to be preserved warrants extra care. You may not need to look far to find a posse of friends willing to give essential support. Indeed, it’s probable that by the time that Mercury stations on Friday, a plan of action will be drafted. It may not be ideal, but it could ensure that by the middle of June, you haven’t lost ground, that what’s valuable has been made safe and that your interest in a particular aspect of work is recognised.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Certain elements of your life are unsettled, if not confused. You’re facing tricky misunderstandings; but equally, you’re struggling with confusion about what and, in some cases, who comes first. While some issues can be dealt with in a single discussion, others go deeper into the nature of certain relationships. You’re aware these need attention. While in some that clarity will come swiftly, in others it will take time.

Put thought into what you take on now. It would be easy to say yes to something only to realise later that it doesn’t particularly interest you. Taking charge of a community project could leave you swimming out of your depth. It would be better to play a passive role in activities. Be careful who you talk to and watch what you say. Should important information be heard by the wrong person, they could cause trouble for you.

Following on from Monday’s New Moon, don’t be surprised if others lean on you – and heavily. They are perhaps still in the process of arriving at decisions. You can’t make these for them. Yet you can do what you do so well: which is to listen. What you should try to avoid, is shouldering any responsibility or making decisions for them: tempting as it may be. Until the Moon leaves your sign on Saturday, it would surely be wise to keep your own counsel. Career wise your world does indeed seem to be opening up. (It will do so even more next year.) This week offers just a hint of what’s to come. Observing and learning from your responses, and considering carefully with whom you can entrust certain information would be a wise use of this week’s planetary energies. The more ordered you can be, the better: delegate where possible.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a fire sign, you think and act swiftly. Usually that works. However, you’re in a period of trial and error. Currently either hasty remarks, rigid plans or your own stubbornness could lead to problems. While, ordinarily, you’d stand your ground, you’re urged to do the reverse. Listen to others’ concerns and, even more, their suggestions. What you learn won’t just be helpful, it could be life-changing.

Taking up an opportunity to broaden your knowledge or experience will come in useful in the future. This may be through signing up for an online course, evening class or attending a workshop. You will also learn a lot through conversations that capture your interest. A favour you agree to do for a friend won’t be the easiest of tasks but you are guaranteed to get results if you approach this jointly.

Believe it or not, but others do want things to run more smoothly – though the opposite might seem to be the case even after Monday’s New Moon and the promise of fresh start. Fact is that until Mercury turns direct on Friday, upheaval is more likely than not. One of the main issues seems to be the lack of clarity as to direction – particularly with regard to property management. Disputes and disagreement are more likely than not. Arriving at understanding will take time. Recall though, you’ve likely negotiated one major hurdle last month and might do another in June, and yet another in July; but yes, the paperwork that was done earlier, likely needs to be revisited and valuations re-calculated.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

When organising plans, you always double-check facts first. Yet now either you’re under time pressure or feeling uncharacteristically rebellious, so are plunging into the arrangements in question. While many of those plans are flexible, a few are far more demanding than you anticipated; and, to your relief, you’re more than equal to the challenges you’re facing, enough you’re considering the ideas of taking on others.

Your family hope you will go along with long-term plans being made even though they are more for others than for you. Still, it makes them happy and if this does not interfere with your own objectives, you will find a way to support them. A couple of events you hadn’t expected to happen will give you something to smile about. Be sure to show plenty of affection to your other half in the evenings. Someone is feeling low but doesn’t want to admit it.

Mercury turns direct at the end of this week. Before it does, it’s pace seems to slow. You may find others appear to slow as well. Decision-making might not be so easy. Fact is that many people will want to review and rethink. You included. There is every likelihood that you will be asked to consider a joint financial arrangement and arguably something you don’t want to enter into quickly. It might even be that it’s better to wait until this time next year before so doing. Fact is that although others clearly want to work with you having seen the many talents and gifts you bring to a team. What may be concerning you however, is the cost of putting together a business package and its marketing. Accessing the courage, or undertaking a risk assessment exercise could prove challenging. It might benefit from the input of an Aries or Cancer who can see the potential.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Obviously, you’d rather resolve recent issues. Being a Libra, you dislike tension, so are wondering what to say. The answer is nothing, at least for now. You’re not only short of facts, you’re unaware of the difficulties others are facing. The solution? Busy yourself with certain dull tasks you’ve been putting off. Once they’re dealt with, it will be time to talk things over with others.

A close relationship isn’t going as smoothly as you had hoped. You might feel as if you have lost your way in romance. It’s hard to know how to express loving feelings when a partner is being distant and uncooperative. Draw on your imagination to arrange something special for you both. The weekend will bring a perfect opportunity for you to woo your amour. Keep thoughts to yourself in the workplace to avoid an argument.

You could choose to think that you have until Friday to clear up a mess, and are perfectly capable of doing this with the energy provided by Monday’s new Moon in another of the Air signs. As always, the art is not to be distracted. With prankster Mercury still retrograde until Friday, it’s likely that others will always find something else for you to do – usually financially related. Balancing the books might not be easy. However, it appears that you are coming to the conclusion of a long-drawn-out situation. True, and obviously much depends on your actual birthday, it could take until the early part of 2024 to close the door on this entirely. It should though, be obvious that you are nearing its end and that to do this gracefully would be something you could then be proud of. The strategy starts now.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You pride yourself on your clarity of mind; and few situations are more challenging for a Scorpio than being forced to make decisions when you’re short of facts or, worse, unclear about your own feelings. Yet that’s what you’re facing. This is about adopting a fresh viewpoint, possibly one that challenges your perspective. While, obviously, this won’t be easy, your efforts will be unexpectedly rewarding.

The past few weeks have had their fun moments but this is nothing compared with what lies in store now. News is trickling in about a community celebration. This will be your chance to get involved in group activities with a difference. Your creativity shines. Don’t hold back. Someone will accidentally let a secret slip. Rather than feel annoyed this will cause you some amusement. As the week ends you can’t escape the fulfilment and satisfaction hard working efforts will bring.

By the end of what promises to be a turbulent week, Mercury will no longer be retrograde and you should have clearer idea of where others are headed and what their investment in your relationship will be. Yes, this most likely applies to your romantic life. However, it’s as likely to work in your professional one. Recall that this particular retrograde Mercury is in your opposite sign. You may find that others have been rethinking their position. You’d perhaps agree that they have been round pegs in square holes? It may now be time for them to move on and for you to review how to make better use of your considerable talents. With the impetus of Monday’s New Moon and the potential for forming new alliances – albeit tentatively, – you could yet make progress This might require the effort of learning a new language or mastering the art of archiving.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Much of the past year’s been about taking care of life’s practicalities. While you’ve achieved wonders, you need a break. So, the recent move by both your ruler Jupiter and forthright Mars into the part of your chart that accents life’s joys and its pleasures is well timed. The challenge? Recognising those duties are dealt with. Your priority? Putting yourself, and life’s joys, first.

You’re keen to try something different and out of the ordinary. As determined as you may be to add a little spice to your days you may not get a lot of encouragement from your family and friends. Instead of giving support, their priority will be with mundane matters that hold no appeal to you. Are you single? If you have your eyes on someone, where’s the harm in at least giving them the opportunity to say no?’ Take the initiative in romance.

Monday’s new Moon is the annual one in your opposite sign. This lunation is ruled by Mercury which is presently retrograde and yes, it’s likely that there are either health issues or routine matters that are still not running smoothly. Yet Mercury turns direct on Friday and between now and then there is much that you can do to clear matters up. You won’t be the only sign in the process of either archiving or attending to detail. What’s slightly different in your case, is that the pressure to do this could come from colleagues who are desperate to move forward. This doesn’t make this a bad time and indeed, your expertise – particularly with regard to archiving – should be much appreciated. Anticipate greater involvement with those who tend to get themselves tied up with bureaucratic knots. It’s one of these knots that may be hard to unravel as Mercury arrives at its station – but not impossible.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently you’ve faced several tricky situations, some personal, a few involving others; but each required that you make a complex decision. As a Capricorn, you thought long and hard before reaching a conclusion. To your surprise, nobody said a word. In fact, they seemed not to care. They don’t; but you do, and your own opinion of what you say, do and decide matters most, especially now.

Be flexible and be ready to break out of your usual routines. It will be through taking an open-minded approach to challenges that are ahead that you stand to gain the most. A friend who is an enthusiastic collector of antiques will try to get you interested in one of their collections. This could get you started on a new and interesting hobby. Health is delicate later. Be sure food is cooked properly before eating.

It’s interesting that your ruling planet Saturn, arrives at its retrograde station as Mercury arrives at its direct station at the end of this week. These are apparently contrary energies. Yet it’s perhaps as well that Saturn will apply the brakes – particularly if the prankster planet, Mercury, gets out of control and wants things done by yesterday – and that’s likely. Following on from Monday’s New Moon, the amount of work headed your way will probably be considerable. A recurrent theme has been colleague’s incompetence or lack of experience and perhaps you haven’t felt that you can safely delegate. It may be time to alter the dynamics of a team. Moving people around could make all the difference – even if it does require you to take a disciplined and overseeing approach. Not only could you excel in this role, you might also find that you’re shown renewed respect.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Change is in the air; and while you’re fascinated by both events and others’ ideas, you’re wary about committing at all. That’s wise. True, intriguing ideas and offers are coming your way; but with Mercury’s retrograde ending on Friday 3 June, changes in both circumstances and your priorities are inevitable. Decisions? They can wait. Rarely has the adage ‘live one day at a time’ been more apt.

You’ve always been sociable but for reasons of your own you will want to avoid putting yourself in situations where you are the centre of attention. Watching from the side-lines also means you can get a good idea of what is motivating those around you. A friend will mention something in a way that makes you wonder whether a secret you confided in someone has been shared. With no proof of this it is best to remain silent.

It’s reasonable to expect that you need to know more about what’s going on in the neighbourhood. Threatened changes might not appear be to your advantage. There could be slight political edge to this; with you determining it’s time to either form or join a group to protect interests. Mercury arrives at its direct station on Friday and what can’t be resolved this week, most likely will be resolved next. That doesn’t render the next few days as potentially wasted time as you could still achieve much – even on your own. Priority must be given to collecting accurate information. To do that might require visiting a library and digging deep into archives. The more you understand the history of the situation the better able you should be to argue your case. As one of your ruling planets, Saturn arrives at its retrograde station this weekend, you could then be well armed to move forward.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

All Pisceans are intuitive, although not everybody born under your sign acknowledges it. Whatever your views on this, it’s worth at least heeding what your instincts are saying. What’s tricky is that, often, those closest dismiss those feelings, so you end up saying nothing. Here’s a hint. If there’s nobody to talk to, jot down your thoughts. Maybe begin a mini-journal. You’ll soon be glad you did.

There is something you have been saving for and you are very close now to being able to afford this. Don’t feel guilty about treating yourself now for after all, you have been looking forward to this moment. You deserve it. A friend will remind you of a promise you made you had almost forgotten about. You may not have a lot of energy to spare for social pastimes. Relaxing pursuits are what you will be opting for instead.

It would be wholly understandable if you felt that you had too much on your plate. You probably do. Focus is on clearing up the past – and at times feeling as though you can never move forward. Health issues; either your own or of those close to you, take priority. This though is not a minefield and it is something you can cope with – though you would likely appreciate support from a Leo or Aquarius. As Mercury appears to slow down before turning direct on Friday, gathering information takes priority. Following Saturn’s station on Saturday, you could then present a well-argued and supported case early next week. The fact that you’re showing just how diligently you’ve attended to the small details should ensure that your voice is heard.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 22 May 2022

If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are,
and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.
And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong. ~Terry Pratchett


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

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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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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon To Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, 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.

Goddess Month of Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ May 13th to June 9th ~ Hawthorn

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in MAY

May 23: The birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, born in 1707. A Swedish botanist, Linnaeus helped us keep things straight with his binomial system of plant names.
May 27: Today is the birthday of Rachel Carson (1907), writer, ecologist, and marine biologist. Her courageous 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the world to the dangers of pesticide poisoning.
May 30: The Southern Ute Bear Dance (Memorial Day Weekend)
May 30: New Moon in Gemini

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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), with sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 online 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 too!

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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature, and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Mercury Retrograde in Gemini — Here’s What You Can Expect
By Tarot.com Staff

By now, you’ve probably already heard about the pesky astrological event known as Mercury Retrograde. It’s usually written about as a very chaotic time when communication goes awry, and while that’s true, there’s so much more to what goes on during this retrograde period! Many things can impact how you personally experience Mercury Retrograde — including what sign and element Mercury is in, and where the retrograde occurs in your natal chart.

What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury Retrograde happens about three or four times each year, for a period of about three to four weeks at a time. Mercury slows down to the point that it appears to be moving backward, but it’s really an optical illusion. The communication planet does still have forward momentum, it just isn’t moving at its usual speedy pace.

Planet Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology, so all of these things are often disrupted during Mercury Retrograde. Yes, things can get a bit chaotic, but there’s also a lot of good that can come out of this time. This can be a time of reflection, reconsideration, and retreat. Just like the planet Mercury, we’re being asked to slow down so we can revisit our beliefs, our thought patterns, and how we want to move forward in our lives

In 2022, almost every Mercury Retrograde period will begin in an Air sign and move to an Earth sign: Aquarius moving into Capricorn, Gemini into Taurus, Libra into Virgo, and finally beginning in Capricorn. Air signs are intellectual, while Earth signs are more rooted in reality. Because Mercury Retrograde is a time of reflection, this shift from theoretical Air into productive Earth means we could come out of the retrograde period with more solid plans than we had when we originally entered it.

When is Mercury Retrograde?

• Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: May 10 – June 3, 2022 (entering Taurus on May 22)

• Mercury Retrograde in Libra: September 9 – October 2, 2022 (entering Virgo on September 23)

• Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn: December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023

Reveal how to make Mercury Retrograde work for you with a FREE reading »
Mercury Retrograde in Gemini and Taurus
The next Mercury Retrograde period starts on May 10, 2022 in chatty Gemini, and will continue backpedaling into Taurus on May 22 before turning direct on Jun 3, 2022. As Mercury rules Gemini and is strong in this sign, it’s possible that the usual Mercury Retrograde mishaps might become more of a nuisance! In particular, if you have anything going on that involves writing, speaking, teaching, or learning, this might be a time when you’d be wise to review your work and double-check your sources even more than usual.

Since Mercury and Gemini are also connected to siblings and your neighborhood, watch out for misunderstandings between you and a brother, sister, or neighbor. Do your best to avoid making a vital decision about any situation connected to you and any of these people in your life. There might be some type of frustrating situation that happens in your neighborhood during these few weeks and if so, you’ll need to be patient. Roadwork or some other situation that makes commuting in your area more frustrating is possible.

Once Mercury Retrograde moves into Taurus, life becomes all about your own self-acceptance and worth. You may start to question your attachments towards the material side of life. You could realize your budget needs fine-tuning or reconsider what you are doing to earn a living. Either way, this is the time to think through your finances and identify ways to change and strengthen your self-worth. Try to keep things in perspective — any slowdowns won’t last forever.

And while Mercury Retrograde often gets a bad rap for leading to chaos, this retrograde period could actually lead to profound clarity! It’s all about how you navigate it, so discover how to steer your love life in the right direction…

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Heartwings Love Notes: A Recipe for Friendship

Heartwings Says, “Food and friendship go together.”

Remember how at one time friends would do a chain letter for the sharing of recipes? This involved typing up 10 copies of a recipe and sharing it with ten friends who were to do the same, and so on. Names were listed and we crossed out the name at the top and substituted one’s own. In addition, we were supposed to share a recipe of our own back to the sender. Theoretically, we were supposed to get back a large number of recipes to enjoy. In practice I don’t know about anyone else, but I got few if any new recipes and those I did get, much to my dismay, were not to my taste.

Once everyone pretty much had computers this changed to sending them out as emails. While this was easier, it still produced the same results: One or two recipes back and nothing I could make use of. However, I have often shared recipes with friends and they with me. These I keep in a loose-leaf notebook of pages with clear plastic over them beneath which I can place the written page for preservation.

This unique recipe for a banana cake given me by a dear friend is very special. Banana Lattice Cake: From South America, the recipe is somewhat time consuming, yet fun to make especially if you have a child to help you with the lattice work. Grease a 9X12 baking pan, preheat the oven to 350 or 325 if pan is glass.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
4 or 5 ripe bananas
Cinnamon to sprinkle
Sugar to sprinkle
Lemon juice to sprinkle

Method: Cream sugar and butter, add egg and vanilla, beat well. Mix in Baking powder and salt, then flour. When mixture is well blended put half of it into baking dish. Press into dish, let sides build up a little. Slice ripe bananas over top and distribute evenly. Sprinkle lemon, sugar and cinnamon over bananas. Take about a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Then put your hands together as if you were clapping but rub them back and forth so that the dough makes a long roll or strip. Crosshatch the bananas with these strips, placing them on the diagonal. Don’t worry if some are not long enough; just add onto them with shorter pieces. The dough will all glue itself together nicely as it bakes and spread out to make a pretty, puffy appearance. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool before cutting and serving. Delicious! Serves 24 to 36.

Whenever I make this, I think of my friend fondly and wish we could share a piece. My hand written recipes are my most precious and evoke fond memories of the times we spent together.

May you have friends to cook with, and may your recipes turn out well.

Blessings and best Regards, Tasha Halpert

Please write me back with any comments, thoughts or suggestions. I prefer tashahal@gmail.com for now. All blessings, Tasha

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Double It!
MAY 22, 2022 BY NATALIE ZAMAN

Welcome to Gemini season! The celestial twins remind us that more can be better. What in your life needs to be doubled (without, of course, wreaking havoc in other areas of your life)? Do you need more funds? More time? More patience?

Go outdoors (Gemini is an air sign) and take in two (for the twins) deep breaths—in through your nose and out through your mouth. With each exhale, say or think this two-line incantation to bring double-good energy to that which needs multiplying:

Double, double—without any trouble!
Double my ____.

Fill in the blank with what you need.
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Magical Quartz Battery
MAY 21, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

For this spell, you’ll need a piece of clear quartz, a plant pot or a spot in the garden, and a seed of any kind. As the seed germinates and blossoms into a plant, you’ll be charging the quartz with the energy of growth.

Prepare the soil, then hold the seed and quartz in your hands, closing your eyes and coming into a light meditative state. Focus on the intention that the quartz will record the energy of the plant’s divinely guided growth, allowing you to tap into this “battery” whenever you need to.

Then plant the seed and anchor the quartz in the soil nearby. Tend to the seed in the coming weeks, and as the plant grows, the crystal will be charged with this energy. When you want to use it, retrieve the crystal, empower any magical workings with its energy, then place it back in the soil to recharge.
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World Bee Day
MAY 20, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

Today is World Bee Day. Bees are of vital importance to our ecosystems and human food production, and wild bee populations have been in significant decline for over forty years. Year after year, bees bless us with the beauty of flowers and trees, the magic of herbs, the sweetness of honey, and the sustenance of fruit, nuts, and seeds. So today, bless the bees. First, close your eyes and place your hands in prayer pose. Take some deep breaths and connect with Mother Earth. Say:

Gaia, Great Goddess, please bless the
bees. Surround them with the golden
light of wellness and vitality. Help
them multiply and thrive. Thank you.

Then plant one or more plants that support bees in your garden or an outdoor pot, or gift someone you know with such a plant (or seeds). Plants that support bees include borage, crocus, bee balm, goldenrod, calendula, and sunflower.
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A Peony Spell for Protection
MAY 19, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Peonies are blooming now in many regions. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also excellent at repelling evil forces. For this reason, they are frequently cut and brought into the home.

For this spell you’ll need one to three cut peony stems placed in a vase of water. Set them near an exterior door. Then look at them and say:

Peonies, let the spirits of light stay.
Peonies, let the spirits of darkness be on their way.

Allow the peonies to sit undisturbed until the petals fall. Then gather the petals along with the vase and carry them outside. Compost the petals or toss them on the ground. Do the same with the stems. Then pour the water on the ground, but don’t use it to water another plant. Wash out the vase to use for other purposes. Your home is now spiritually clean.
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Beginning of La Fete de la Nature
MAY 18, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

La fête de la nature (the Party of Nature) occurs every year around the International Day of Biodiversity. To celebrate, we’ll create Nana Buluku. This fierce wisewoman and powerful witch created the universe. Nana Buluku is called Lady of the Swamp and Lady of the Clay. Prominent in West Africa’s Fon, Ketu, and Yoruba pantheons, she rose up from the primordial swamp and loves everything connected to it. We’ll conjure her energies outdoors; she’s too powerful for magick indoors.

Gather these materials:
• 8 cups (or more) of soil
• Jug of spring water
• Cowrie shells (or other seashells)
• Rose petals and buds
• Freshly collected leaves

To invoke Nana Buluku’s energy, make an earth mound, symbolic of her fertility. Think loving thoughts of gratitude as you conjure creativity from this divine herbalist.

Moisten the soil with the water, just enough to be able to work it. Shape an earth mound with your hands. (Do not use a knife or any metal, as this will anger her.) Decorate with the shells, rose petals and buds, and leaves.
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A Peony Spell for Protection
MAY 19, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Peonies are blooming now in many regions. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also excellent at repelling evil forces. For this reason, they are frequently cut and brought into the home.

For this spell you’ll need one to three cut peony stems placed in a vase of water. Set them near an exterior door. Then look at them and say:

Peonies, let the spirits of light stay.
Peonies, let the spirits of darkness be on their way.

Allow the peonies to sit undisturbed until the petals fall. Then gather the petals along with the vase and carry them outside. Compost the petals or toss them on the ground. Do the same with the stems. Then pour the water on the ground, but don’t use it to water another plant. Wash out the vase to use for other purposes. Your home is now spiritually clean.
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Safe, Magical Neighborhood
MAY 17, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

Magic can raise the energy, safety, and positivity of your area. This spell requires a printed map of your neighborhood, a pencil, six small bags, and a marker.

On the map, circle your home. Next, draw a pentagram over your neighborhood, with your house in the middle. Number the points 1–5.

Take a walk to the first point. Get as close as possible to it without trespassing. Secretly collect a small sample of dirt, grass, rocks, or leaves, and place it in a bag. Number that bag “1” with the marker. Repeat this for all five points. Collect a sample from your home area as well. At your altar, arrange the materials on the map according to their number. Trace the pentacle with your finger and say:

Rock, grass, leaf, and debris,
A safe, magical community.
A pentacle creates unity.

Trace a circle around the points to form a pentacle. Leave the map out for a day. Store the materials in a jar to seal in the magic.
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Dream Processing and Remembrance
MAY 16, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

It’s a well-known fact that our subconscious mind communicates messages to us in the dreamscape. Additionally, our time of rest allows our brain, our mind, and our consciousness to assimilate previous experiences. Sleep also allows the body to repair itself on a cellular level.

The full moon is a time of illumination and insight. Before going to sleep tonight, meditate with a large piece of amethyst in the dark. Speak nine times to the stone (nine being the esoteric Qabalistic number of the moon) the following words:

I remember and feel my dreams tonight;
they will provide me healing insight.

Put the stone in a glass of water on your bedside table. It’s even better if the water can receive some moonlight!

Upon waking, meditate while slowly sipping the water. Make note of any dream insights or memories, and consider repeating the spell on other full moons.

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Surrender Box

A surrender box is a tool to let go of our burdens so the universe can take care of them for us.

There are times when our minds become too full. Our to-do lists, worries, plans, and dreams may be so crowded together in our heads that we don’t have room to think. We may believe that we are somehow taking care of our desires and concerns by keeping them at the forefront of our minds. In maintaining our mental hold on every detail, however, we may actually delay the realization of our dreams and the resolution of our worries because we won’t let them go. At times such as these, we may want to use a surrender box.

A surrender box allows us to let go of our worries and desires so the universe can take care of them for us. We write down what we want or need to happen and then place the note into a box. By writing and placing our thoughts in the box, we are taking action and letting the universe know we need help and are willing to surrender our feelings. We give ourselves permission to not concern ourselves with that problem any longer and trust that the universe is taking care of it. You may even want to decorate your box and place it in a special place. Your surrender box is a sacred container for your worries. Not only do you free up space in your mind by letting go of our worries and desires and dropping them into your surrender box, but you are giving your burden over to a higher power. Once we drop our worries and desires into the surrender box, we free our minds so we can be fully present in each moment.

Surrendering our worries and concerns and placing them in the hands of the universe doesn’t mean that we’ve given up or have been defeated. Instead, we are releasing the realization of our desires and the resolution of our worries and no longer concerning ourselves with their outcomes. It’s always fun to go back and pull the slips of paper out of the box once your requests have been granted. And it’s amazing how quickly problems go away and dreams come true when we finally let go and allow a higher power to help us.

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Trouble Sleeping? Consider A Natural Sleep Solution
by Andrew Weil, M.D.

If getting enough deep, restful sleep has become more of a dream than reality, consider Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). This herb is a safe and effective sleep aid, shown to help relieve insomnia. It is available in tincture, extract, or capsule form – use one teaspoon of the tincture in a quarter cup of water or take one or two capsules at bedtime. Look for valerian products standardized to one percent valerenic acid. When used appropriately, valerian has no known side effects, but it is best used only on a short-term or an occasional basis to maintain its efficacy. Combine this herb with a guided meditation app or program or my relaxation breathing exercise while hibernating in a completely dark room for greater and consistent success.

Learn more about how to get deep sleep, naturally!

If getting enough deep, restful sleep has become more of a dream than reality, consider Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). This herb is a safe and effective sleep aid, shown to help relieve insomnia. It is available in tincture, extract, or capsule form – use one teaspoon of the tincture in a quarter cup of water or take one or two capsules at bedtime. Look for valerian products standardized to one percent valerenic acid. When used appropriately, valerian has no known side effects, but it is best used only on a short-term or an occasional basis to maintain its efficacy. Combine this herb with a guided meditation app or program or my relaxation breathing exercise while hibernating in a completely dark room for greater and consistent success.

Learn more about how to get deep sleep, naturally!

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Riding the Wave of life

While riding the wave of life you must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe’s flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life’s high and low points. The universe’s flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching the bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life’s flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.

Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can “stay above water” as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life’s flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Haunted Lakes

Haunted lakes are a chilling scenario. Sure, haunted houses, haunted railroad tracks, haunted forests, but haunted lakes can add a pallor over any fishing trip or summer getaway. Why would a lake be haunted? Well, let’s look at some that claim to be –

Haunted Lake
Francestown, NH
Just outside of Francestown in New Hampshire, there is a pond that has come to be known as “Haunted Lake.” They had reason to give it this nomenclature.

Way back in the pond’s history, there was a fire along its shores that burned everything, leaving it looking very eerie and odd. European settlers and Native People all noted its odd appearance.

In the 1700s, a surveyor was employed to map out the area and wrote in his journal, “Soon after darkness set in, there commenced groanings and shrieks as of a human being in distress, and these continued, most plaintive and affecting, till nearly morning.”

In the late 1700s, a man was building a mill near the pond and found the bones of a “very large man.”

In the 1800s, four males drowned in the lake.

Eventually, the pond was named for the Scoby family, but locals still referred to as the Haunted Lake.

Lake Ronkonkoma
New York
Hold onto your blanket and pull your feet up off the floor and be safe. Here’s a legend of a lake haunted by a beautiful Indian Princess who likes to claim men at the lake to join her in the deep recesses for eternity.

The legend says this princess fell in love with a white settler who claimed a homestead near the lake. Her father forbade her marrying the man. They would repeatedly send each other love messages. The princess would paddle halfway out on the lake and push a message toward his shore. After years of this lovesick connection, the princess lost her mind. She supposedly sent her lover one last note of farewell and the note and her boat washed up on his shore. She had killed herself on the lake. The legend also says that over the past 200 years, one man has died on the lake each year.

Stow Lake Ghost
California
The legend has lasted for 100 years that a woman was strolling her baby near the lake in Golden Gate Park and she stopped to sit down, talked to another lady, and her strolled rolled down hill into the lake, drowning the baby. It is said that, after searching for her baby all day, during the night she checked the lake, entering it and never coming back. Her supposed spirit has taken on a “white lady” theme.

Source: It is rumored that if someone goes to Stow Lake at night, weird occurrences take place. Stories have been told that the lady comes up from the lake, or the statue in her honor comes to life, or she will come up to you and ask, “Have you seen my baby?” Other reports say if you drive there with your friends in a group of cars, all the cars will stall at the same time. Another rumor is said that, if someone says “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times, the lady will appear. She’ll ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say yes, she’ll haunt you and if you say no, she’ll kill you.

Drew University Lake
New Jersey
In the woods close to the arboretum at Drew University is a lake. It is reportedly haunted by a lady in blue. The spirit apparently likes to trip people and her apparition has been seen. People also report things such as feeling uneasy, as if they are being watched, and even cold spots.

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The Druids Garden
Building an Earth Oven, Part II: Insulation, Finish Plaster, and Cob Mosaic

In last week’s post, we began exploring the build of an earth oven. An Earth Oven is a simple structure, made of clay, sand, straw, stone, and fire brick, that you can use to cook foods in a traditional way. Last week’s post walked you through the first set of steps for building your oven. In this post, we’ll finish the build, troubleshoot, and talk about how to bake in your oven. When we last left off, the oven was drying after building the dome. What is left to do is to add a layer of insulation and a finish plaster, and then offer the oven protection from the elements (an upcoming post cause I don’t have that last part done yet!)

Insulating Your Oven!
Mixing cob insulation layer–keep on adding straw until it barely stick together!

Once your oven is fairly dry, you will need to add an additional layer of insulation to the oven. Insulation is critical for the success of your oven, as this determines how quickly the oven heats up and how long it holds heat. If you want to bake 10 pizzas in a row in the oven, an insulated oven may be able to do it, while an oven with less insulation wouldn’t hold the high temperature long enough and you would have to repeatedly build fires. There are a few things that work and, as I discovered, some things that don’t work, for insulation.

One of the tried and true methods for insulation is to mix your cob with as much straw as possible so that it just barely is holding together. Straw itself has a lot of holes that trap air, so a layer of mostly straw will trap air, creating insulation. You want STRAW here and not hay (straw has many long and thin shafts with air in the middle; hay is basically dried grass). If you get creative, you can also add lots of glass little bottles to your oven to get even more insulation. I had read online somewhere that sawdust also makes a good insulation layer–this did not hold true in my experience. I added a layer of sawdust-cob mix and it had very little insulating properties, so I had to add a second insulation layer. So let’s add that layer!

To do this, you will mix up your cob, keeping it a little wetter than normal. Take clean straw and, if you can, use scissors to cut it up if it’s really long (anything over about 12″ in length you can cut down a bit). This makes it easier to cut it. Then you mix it in and get ready to add it all over your entire oven.

My big mistake here is that I thought sawdust would be insulating enough, so my friends and I put on a layer of sawdust (and artwork) that we ended up having to cover up. Ah well!

For extra insulation, I also added some small bottles; these created bigger pockets of air for extra insulation. You don’t have to do this. I had a bunch of bottles that I was having difficulty cleaning after they had tinctures in them for a long time, so I decided to put them to use in my earth oven. You can see that in-progress shot above–the straw insulation with the extra bottles.

Finish Plaster and Decoration
At this point, you have a fully functional, very well insulated, earth oven. Now you can turn your attention to the decoration of your earth oven, the finish plaster, and figuring out how to put a good “hat” or roof on your oven. The reason you need to think about plaster and a roof is to protect it from the elements. This is an oven made of mud, and thus, exposure to the elements for any amount of time will damage it. Until you get your finishes on, you can put a tarp over it!

You have a lot of options for finish plasters and thinking about how to protect your oven. Lime plasters are one option–here is a good introduction to lime plaster. If you do a lime plaster, you will have a nice breathable finish that is also very protective of rain and snow.

I made a cob-based finish plaster using a higher ratio of sand to prevent cracking. You will want to mix your plaster in advance and then do a test piece on your plaster to see if it’s cracking or not. If it cracks, adjust your ratios (particularly see if you need more sand). You will also want to include a short fiber that is very strong. A lot of people use cattail fluff for this; but, I had an abundance of milkweed pods on the property (and I was already using the seeds for seed balls), so I decided to use the milkweed fluff and that worked great.

Plaster can be applied in a thin layer. What I did was to briefly wet down the outer layer (so that the plaster sticks) and then use a trowel and my hands to spread the plaster, about 1″ thick and smooth it out nicely. Here are a few steps:

Mixing my milkweed-based finish plaster–I felt like a frolicking fairy!

After I have started my final plaster–you can see the consistency of the milkweed plaster (a cattail plaster would look pretty similar).

Because I also wanted some artwork and decoration on my cob, I used the cob plaster to shape some nice spirals. I saved up broken plates, cups, and bowls that had broken during regular use, and then I used a hammer to smash them up and give me smaller pieces. I embedded these in the cob plaster and used a small sponge to wipe away excess. When the plaster dried, I went back in and wiped it away again to clean up the mosaic pieces.

Now I’m going in and taking a wet sponge and sponging off most of the excess cob. If there are areas that need more cob, I add it. The idea is a smooth presentation.

Despite my best efforts, I still had a little cracking on my earth plaster, but I’m ok with that. I needed to do a second test, and I didn’t, primarily because it was starting to get cold and I was running out of time to complete the build!

Sheltering your Earth oven
The final step for your earth oven is to create a shelter for it. You either need a shelter or a finish plaster( lime plaster). In temperate ecosystems with lots of rain and snow, a shelter is your best bet. I am working on that final step this spring, so I’ll share more about it once my friends and I finish that part. It has taken some time because I’ve been harvesting lumber from the property–as trees fall down or are blown down by storms, I am gathering them up to use for my shelter. This takes more time, but it’s also in reverence and respect for this land that had been logged before I came.

Final Thoughts and Troubleshooting
My oven has a crack! Nearly all earth ovens will develop a crack somewhere. That’s ok, and honestly, the crack can tell you a lot about the oven–as you learn about your oven, you will learn to read the crack to understand the temperature, etc. This isn’t usually anything to worry about as long as you have built a strong structure.

My oven takes a while to heat! Yes, it does. This is not like turning on your fossil-fuel-driven oven. Earth ovens take time and are absolutely ‘slow food’. Because of this, you have to spend time tending the fire before you can cook. To get pizzas, I start my oven about 4-4.5 hours before I want to bake. If it’s below 40, I start it 5 hours before I want to bake. This means every 30 min, I am going to tend my fire. That’s part of the experience. If you aren’t achieving baking temperatures, you probably need a longer fire.

My oven doesn’t seem hot enough. Get yourself an oven thermometer (the stand-up kind) and see what your internal temperature is.

I will be sharing more details about baking in the earth oven and some cool recipes to try in my 3rd post in this series! Stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope that this series has inspired you to get your hands in the mud and maybe build something or help someone build something. Blessings!

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 12
by Stephen Halpert

After they twirled about the dance floor for close to an hour, Gilberto and Maria headed for the elevator. Once inside it, they kissed like adolescents.
The door opened; he bent to pick her up. “I’ll carry you back to the room,” he smiled.
She shook her head gently. “I appreciate your offer, however, best not to with that back of yours.” Her hand stroked his cheek.
They walked hand in hand down the hall to their room. Gilberto sighed. “That boy’s screwed up.”
“Hush,” Maria said. “That’s a judgment. He is what he is: a sensitive child caught in emotionally painful gender confusion.”
Gilberto frowned. “Any way around that?”
Maria smiled. “Perhaps giving him and others like him a tender environment where they can grow safely into maturity.”
He unlocked their room and opened the door to let them in. “And you’re saying gender doesn’t matter–boy or girl? Jeans or skirts?”
She slipped out of her dress, saw his immediate expression and grinned. “No darling. Don’t try to understand it that way. Each of us is a tender creation of God. There are no mistakes, Gilberto. God doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
He looked at her and grinned. “Can we skip this and,” he paused, “get on with our evening?”
She sat on the bed and sighed. “Gilberto, what you must try to understand is that we are who we are intended to be.”
He frowned and shook his head. “It’s so confusing, Maria.”
She stroked his arm. “Would you please rub my shoulders? I want us to talk about this.”
“Sure,” he sat next to her on the bed and smoothed his palms across her shoulders. Then he laughed. “I forgot what I was going to say.”
She turned to face him and smiled. “Then I guess it really didn’t matter.”
She put her fore finger against his lips. “The kids like him are working on their identity issues. They’re wonderful children trying to find their way.” He stroked her back.
She sighed and said ‘Oh that feels so good.” She paused and wriggled her shoulders. “I think he’s a sweet little boy.”
“Who thinks he’s a girl.” Gilberto stood, took off his jacket and kicked off his shoes.
“Yes,” Maria nodded. “He does.”
he leaned down and took off his socks. “Maria, he’s setting himself up for trouble.”
“But Gilberto, if since his birth he always felt feminine, who is anyone to tell him differently. Certainly not politicians using a child’s confusion to cause trouble and garner votes.”
Gilberto finished undressing and got under the covers. “So, what are we supposed to do, buy him dresses?”
She grinned. “You were wonderful. I feared you’d have blown up but you maintained your cool and actually showed friendship.” She slid into bed beside him.
He kissed her. “You see life so simply. Maria, I am very glad we have each other. I trust what you say.”
She smiled and reached for something on the bedside table. “Here.” She handed him a folded paper plate.
His eyes widened. “What’s this?”
She giggled. “A jelly donut, I thought we could share.”
He nodded. Good idea!” He took a big bite and handed it to her. “And how about Joey. Are we just going to stand aside and let him follow the way he wants to?”
She nodded. “Of course. I trust Joey. I love him and I believe he’ll always make the right decisions with how he deals with life.”
He shook his head and sighed. “Optimistic.”
Maria looked him in the eye. “He’s my son, why shouldn’t I want for him the very best? I love him. But Gilberto, I have to let him be, let him grow into himself.”
Gilberto sighed. “Ok Maria. I can’t say anything back. I have no words, just fears that bring tears to my eyes.”
Maria put her arms round him. “Let them be them tears of joy, not tears of sorrow or fear, Gilberto. Send positive vibrations to our Joey. Then at least you’ll know you did the best you could. But God put Kyle in our path. I’ll do whatever I can for him.”
Gilberto looked into her eyes and smiled. “Ok, yeah, me too,” he said and embraced her.
“Personally, I think the world’s more than a little confused right now about how life is intended.”
Gilberto stroked her hair. “Maria the world has always been mixed up, just not like this. You’re right though, right now our job is to be compassionate and understanding.” He got out of bed and got a beer from the stocked bar in the mahogany liquor cabinet. “One more for the road,” he said, sitting in the armchair as he popped off the cap of the imported beer.
Maria shook her finger at him. “Don’t you fall asleep there in that chair.”
“Won’t happen. I intend to fall asleep next to you.”
His cell phone chirped. He made a face and picked it up. “It’s Rain. Hi?”
“Gilberto,” Diana Rain said. “There’s a hastily called meeting at Houndstooth at 2, and I thought I should let you know.”
“Meeting?”
“Yes, trustees and heads of departments. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.”
“Sure, Lunch at noon here at the Ritz?”
“Thank you, kind sir, I’d love that. The headmaster is at loggerheads with Lara Parker, who holds deeds to much of the estate property. Headmaster went ahead and funded a visibility study. Parker found out about it and now her attorneys are threatening to haul him into court. Behind it is a plan on her part to build a charity hospital.”
Gilberto shook his head as he remembered the painting crashing off the wall. Something tells me there’s more to this than just that. What caused Willabee’s sudden death, and how about his missing money, too?”
“Strange,” she said. “And everyone says all the boys loved him as though he were one of them.”
He shrugged and finished his beer. “We’ll talk tomorrow,” he said.
“Sure,” came the reply, followed by a click.
He put his phone away and looked at Maria, awaiting him beneath the covers. “Now back to us. There is nothing more important right now,” he said as he climbed in beside her.
To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

How Can You Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Climate?

Share your love for cats!
Pet travel experts PBS Pet Travel have created a useful guide to help your four-legged friend enjoy trips abroad as much as you do!

With travel opportunities at their best for a few years now, more and more people are opening up to foreign holidays, travelling or even emirgrating. Latest govt figure show that 403,000 people left the UK to live abroad and that there were 23.8 million overseas visits by UK citizens by end of March 2020. With restrictions now more relaxed, those numbers are likely to increase.

How do you look after your pets though when you start this adventure?

Helping my pet adjust to colder weather
If you are moving to or are visiting a country colder than home you may need to consider a few things to make your little friend feel more comfortable.

Take shorter walks
When you first arrive, you and your pet will want to stretch your legs, great idea! To start with though, if you take your cat for walks, start with short walks. Too long out in the cold weather could cause injury and colds. The lower temperatures being something your little companion isn’t used to yet! Over time increase the level of walks but keep an eye out for shortness of breath or signs of them being unwell. IF you see this, contact a vet

Dress your pet appropriately
We all love to see our pets in cute costumes but when the temperature drops, it’s all about them feeling good-not looking good! Shop around for something that keeps them warm in the climate you are going to be surrounded by.

Incorporate indoor play
Sometimes, cats just wanna have fun! So find ways to keep the entertainment going inside. It promotes exercise, keeps them warm and staves off the boredom if weather outside is particularly bad! Look for fun and stimulating toys that let you interact with your pet!

Keep your pet dry
You will almost certainly be caught in rain, snow, sleet or hail at some point, just make sure your pet is dried off when you return. Snow is especially enticing to an animal that has never seen it before and could bring on a cold that takes a while to become noticable to you. Dry them off and let them settle down in their bed next to a suitbale heat source!

Create a suitable sleeping place
Your pet may love sleeping at the end of your bed-thats great! just be aware that in your new residence, that may not provide enough warmth! A banket, a pet bed and maybe even a pillow are all great to keep them comfortable and warm!

Helping my pet adjust to warmer weather
If you are enjoying time in the sun, just make sure your pet does too. A few simple tips will keep them happy and well!

Keep your pet hydrated
It sounds obvious but providing them with fresh cold water will stave off heatstroke and other ailments bought on by hot weather. Why not allow them the benefit of a shower with the garden hose!

Shorter walks later in the day
Sometimes the temperature is uncomfortable for you and your pet. Start walks later in the day to avoid the sun at its hottest. The lower humidity will also help keep your pet feeleing good. The longer you are in the area, the earlier you can make the walks as you all adjust to the new climate.

Limit exposure
Providing a shady area or simply limiting time exposed to the sun is always a great way to keep them comfy. Pets love to enjoy the outside, just make sure you have somewhere they can chill! They can get surnburnt too so invest in suitable animal sunscreen!

Protect from pests
Hot weather brings out all types of bugs and increases their reproduction! Don’t let your pet fall foul of the creepy crawlies.

Change your pets water supply regularly, bugs love to pollute drinking water!
Apply an animal safe insect repellant to your pet
Keep your living area clean and tidy- all types of bugs love to nest in cracks, holes and amongst clutter.
Time your walks-dusk and dawn are a common time for mosquitos
Brush their coat

Some pets have a very thick coat, regular brushing encourages a shed of the winter coat faster. They can then enjoy the sunny weather without a big thick coat and reduce the risk of heatstroke too!

PBS Pet Travel have been safely transporting animal across the world since 1989. Experts in the transportation of all types of animal, they are market leaders in the transit of your pets.

Marc-André
We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by five cheeky cats that get up to all kinds of mischief that of course, you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

)0(

Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, May 22, 2022

All Signs
Positive vibes are exploding this week! Except for seven weeks in Nov. & Dec. — lucky Jupiter is in dynamic Aries from May 10, 2022 to May 16, 2023. That’s a ten-month shot of adrenaline pumping into us! This week, Mars (the ruler of Aries) joins the dance, amplifying the energy of Jupiter, making it explode in astrological “goodness!” This will boost everyone’s confidence, erase their inhibitions, and make people believe they can achieve their dreams. But (there’s always a ‘but’) …. Mars in Aries rules war; so feisty confrontations are likely. Also, Mars is our ego. Ergo: “We are right!” (Gotta watch that ego/ergo thang.) “Whaat? If was wrong, don’t you think I’d know it?”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your ruler Mars will be in your sign for the next six weeks, which is super energizing! Although this can happen once every two years, this time it will be an over-the-top experience for you because at the same time as Mars is in your sign, Jupiter will be in your sign as well. (This can happen only once every 12 years.) This means you’re cooking on all six burners. You feel courageous, eager, enthusiastic and totally confident about carrying out your plans. You’re ready to think big and nothing will hold you back. Obviously, this fortuitous combination can help you accomplish something. Grab the baton and run!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Mercury is retrograde in your sign until June 3; however, the shadow phase of Mercury retrograde will last as long as June 19. (Be smart and postpone buying ground transportation, computers and cell phones until after June 19.) Despite the annoyances of misplacing items, forgetting appointments and dealing with goofy mistakes, when Mercury is retrograde in your sign, it helps you to study the past, and learn more about who you are by seeing where you came from because you are the sum of all that you have ever been. It’s a time of reflection and wisdom that can be attained by deduction and revelation. You can make this work for you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You are empowered because the Sun is in your sign until Tuesday, June 21. This means the next month is your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year. This is timely because you’re looking at a popular time ahead! For the next year, Jupiter will boost your interactions with others and increase your involvement in clubs and organizations. For the next seven weeks, fiery Mars will urge you to formulate goals and pursue them. It also might throw you into a competitive situation with someone else, especially in athletics. Fortunately, it will stimulate your physical activity. You might get a promotion or a boost in your income. Looking swell!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a fabulous time for your reputation, your career and the impression you create on your peers because for the next year, Jupiter will be at the top of your chart giving anyone the impression that you are successful. (Hopefully, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.) Very likely, something will substantiate all this admiration. You will get a raise, a promotion, an award, or earn accolades and public recognition for your efforts. For the next month, Mars at the top of your chart, will arouse your ambition to go after what you want. Meanwhile, Venus is also at the top of your chart smoothing all your dealings with authority figures. Possibly promoting romance?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You’ll be popular for the next four weeks because your attention will be on friends and groups. This is because friendships will be important to you. You might examine your role in these relationships, and wonder if you are being a good friend to others. Should you do more to cultivate warm friendships? Meanwhile, lots of activity is taking place in the sign of Aries because Jupiter, Mars and Venus are gathered together in this sign. This ensemble will boost your desire to travel and do what you can to get a change of scenery. It might also increase your ambitions in publishing, medicine and the law. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde will attract bosses and authority figures from your past back into your world.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Once a year, the Sun travels across the top of your chart for four weeks. That time has arrived, which is good news because it symbolizes that you are in a spotlight, and this light is flattering. Yes! (You look mahvalous dahlink.) Especially to bosses, parents and VIPs. And you don’t even have to do anything special. (It’s smoke and mirrors.) Obviously, you can take this to the bank. (Oh yes.) Lucky, moneybags Jupiter, Mars and fair Venus are all in one of your Money Houses! Jupiter will stay there for the next year, which will increase your wealth from other sources – the government, loans, inheritances or indirect benefit through your partner. Romance is hot as well!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In the next four weeks, you want to get outta Dodge and grab a change of scenery to feel more stimulated about life. You want to study, travel, seek adventure and meet new, interesting people. Yeah! Likely, this will include partners or close friends because this part of your chart is activated for the rest of year. Venus and Jupiter will introduce positive, upbeat vibes with those who are close to you; however, Mars has just entered the room to stay for the next seven weeks. Mars represents war so it will create conflict. (See All Signs above.) On the upside, Mars will give you the courage to speak your peace, which might be a good thing.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In the next four weeks, you will be more in touch with a deeper part of yourself. You want to experience life on a feeling level, not an intellectual abstraction. (You might meet someone who triggers this process.) You might find you are more concerned about financial bills, insurance issues, shared property and money from others. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde will attract ex-partners and old friends from your past. “Homer!” “Marge?” However, one thing is certain, anything related to your job will slowly start to improve – no question. Opportunities to improve your existing job or get a better job will come to you. Relations with coworkers will also improve. This is nice.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Once a year, the Sun sits opposite your sign for four weeks. That time has arrived. This means you are focused on partners, spouses and close friends. “Sup, hon?” It’s important to know that while you are focused on this relationship, it’s an ideal time for you to learn more about your own style of relating to others because you have more objectivity right now. Meanwhile, the Sun is your source of energy, and symbolically, it is as far away from your sign as it can get all year. This means you will need more sleep. It’s also a good time to consult experts – lawyers, counsellors, accountants or an astrologer. But in the bigger picture, it’s going to be party city for your sign because you want to have fun! Children will be a source of joy. (Nice.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Roll up your sleeves because in the next four weeks, you will be productive, busy, hard-working and you will accomplish a lot. Oh yes. You will set your standards high, which is why whatever you do – you want to do it as efficiently as possible. (Like the wise carpenter: Measure twice, cut once.) You’ll be happy in the next four weeks because you like to be efficient. It pleases you. Meanwhile, a strong energy is focusing on home and family for you that will last all year. However, a strong burst of energy in your personal life will take place in the next several weeks. You might do renovations, redecorating projects, repairs or just shove some furniture around. Enjoy your home!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This is one of the most playful times of the year for your sign because for the next four weeks, the Sun will travel through the part of your chart that deals with vacations, parties, playful activities with kids, sports, the entertainment world and just having fun. Yay me! Your creative vibes will be hot. You want to socialize, as well as express your talents. Retrograde will put you in touch with family members you haven’t seen for a while. Meanwhile, optimism will be the theme of all your communications in the next year. And in the next several weeks, you will mean what you say and say what you mean! “‘Ten shun!”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Home, family, and your private life will be your main focus for the next four weeks. No question. Many of you will also be more involved with a parent than usual. Meanwhile, this is a wicked Mercury retrograde for your sign right now so expect transportation delays, car problems, mixed-up communications, missed appointments, and lots of delays. (Major groan.) However, you will also enjoy coming in contact with relatives, siblings, and neighbours you haven’t seen for a while. This will be a great time to study history and do research into the past. But the really good news is that for the next year, you’re going to get richer! Ka-ching! Would I kid you? (Not about money.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday
22 May 2022

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; consist of every possible detail of every day and are 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:

With both the fortunate Jupiter and, as of Tuesday, your ruler Mars positioned in Aries, it’s time for a review. First, focus on activities, alliances, or objectives that are no longer rewarding, then say farewell to those you can now. Next? Explore the ideas and offers coming your way. For now, explore, knowing there are lots more ideas and encounters yet to appear.

If you can’t decide what to begin on first you should make it a priority to finish what has already been started. Do this before beginning on anything new or you may never complete projects now waiting for attention. Money-making activities will be productive and successful mid-week while romantic and sensual pleasures will be available in abundance as the weekends. The weekend will be dotted with lavish celebrations and joyous occasions.

Don’t underestimate your gift for making something out of nothing. Although Aries usually likes to start something new, you’re quite capable of taking something that has been discarded and giving it new life. That’s a major theme over the next few days. Through Monday and Tuesday, determining resources you have, and then, as Mars moves into your sign mid-week, implementing plans should result by Friday in you astounding others with what is regarded as an exercise in thrift! Yes, likely driven by Mercury retrograde and accenting financial issues. Yet Aries is the go-getting sign of the zodiac and showing others how to overcome obstacles is part of your nature.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Sometimes it’s easy to plan ahead. During this week, however, you’ll be facing frequent changes in circumstances. Plus, your mood or others’ ups and downs will complicate even the simplest of arrangements. The trick? Do what needs doing, then back off and respond to events as they arise. The individuals you encounter and, equally, completely unexpected activities will bring new light into your life.

Someone you work with or a member of a committee is refusing to give information that has been requested from them. If they aren’t going to reveal what has been going on you may have to some secret delving of your own. You would rather keep everything open but there are questions that need to be answered. When it comes to evening social plans, allow some room for last minute changes. Someone may cry out of arrangements at the last moment.

Mercury is retrograde and has returned to your sign: making full entry into Gemini mid-June. These next few weeks then should find you going back over recent decisions, refining them and ensuring all is perfect before moving forward. View this as a period of reconstruction. Writers should find this an excellent time for editing, and artists for rehearsing. With Mars crossing the all-important World Axis mid-week, you will likely find that others grasp the concept you present over Monday and Tuesday, and are willing to help you realise your goal. Though true, there may be difficulties with communication systems, and some people unavailable for comment or assistance. Yet by the close of this working week, you could set plans in motion ready for the launch of a project next month.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The Sun’s encounter with your ruler Mercury, on 21 May, promises to boost your spirts and, better yet, clarify your thinking about existing and future plans. However, life’s full of twists and turns. So, make plans, but regard them as tentative. Knowing that, take chances on the ideas and even individuals you’ve regarded as risky. While, at minimum, you’ll learn something, the outcome could be thrilling.

You are looking forward to starting on a long-term project but there are others around you who aren’t as keen. If, for whatever reason, you absolutely can’t wait to begin on this, make good use of your enthusiasm and get going now. If other people aren’t ready, they can catch up with you later. Ideally for company in the evenings, you will choose to be with quiet friends and loved ones who don’t expect constant conversation.

Your ruling planet, Mercury, is retrograde and returns to Taurus this week. Consider this to be a time for refinement. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to go back over pension arrangements or anything that’s deemed ‘long term’. Yes, it could feel initially as though you walking through quicksand with design faults or flaws holding you back. However, by the time Mars crosses the all-important World Axis mid-week, you should be re-energised: most likely by Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn who understand precisely what it is that you want to achieve, and are focused on assistance. That said, resist the urge to enter into too much debate. Ideas and opinions are likely to flow thick and fast and whilst you might understandably enjoy the cacophony of sound, take care that you don’t indulge so that this becomes a time-wasting exercise.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Judging by the current planetary setup, you’re on edge, if not under pressure to get certain ideas or plans going. What’s more, with the actual situations you’re dealing with in transition, while breakthroughs are possible, they probably won’t last long. Actually, that’s good, because your own priorities are likely to shift, regularly and, often, dramatically. Plans? Make them, but one day at a time.

There is a lot you would like to do for pleasure and an equal amount you have to do out of duty. You won’t resent putting work and other responsibilities first if this allows you to get on with the things you want to do, without interruption, later. This is a good time to develop your spirituality and for quiet thought and contemplation. Enjoy art, music, poetry and literature. If you are studying any of these subjects, expect to be praised for your work.

Your expertise could be challenged by someone who thinks they know so, so much better. They are likely incorrect. True, a review of progress would be wise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that flaws of faults have to be magnified. It might simply be that risk assessment should take place. Certainly, risk has an important role to play mid-week as Mars arrives at the apex of your solar chart. This should draw attention to the considerable effort you’ve put into a recent project and deemed that it can’t go much further without your increased involvement. This though would surely leave you with a dilemma. There are only 24 hours in the day, and it may be that you need to consider giving up one role or responsibility to make room to develop this other stream. Discussing options – most likely with a Capricorn – would likely be helpful. Their perspective will be slightly more detached than your own, but help you arrive at a conclusion – or at least a strategy for further discussion.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re definitely open to new ideas. It’s just that recently you’ve faced so many changes, most of which didn’t last, that you need a break. Actually, this is wise. As an occasionally impatient fire sign, you’ll sometimes force issues just to get things going when, in fact, you’re better off waiting; and what to do with your free time? Take that break. Have fun with others.

Someone who usually gets argumentative when things don’t go their way seems to be making a determined effort to remain calm. You will admire their self-control and you should tell them so. It will mean a lot to them to know you have noticed. Joining forces with an intelligent and talented workmate will ensure you make an excellent job on an important assignment. You will not have expected to achieve a lot; you will be pleasantly surprised.

Expect your words and actions to be high profile over the next seven days. That being the case, you need to be super careful about what you say when retrograde Mercury returns to the apex area of your solar chart. What you presumably don’t want to do is unsettle the situation. That said, this maybe a bargain shopping time. Observing, recalculating and re-estimating would be your better options. You can take action after Mars moves into another of the Fire signs mid-week. Then, not only should you make progress, but also make clear that you have fresh thoughts (very different to those of a couple of years ago) about how you wish to live. Anticipate that those born under the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, – whilst not putting up obstacles, – to question your reasoning.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a painstaking Virgo, you’re probably well aware your ruler Mercury is retrograde and understand the complications that triggers. Yet, as you’ll have noticed, often those errors lead to amazing breakthroughs. The focus? Mostly, it’s about shedding unrewarding commitments; but, also, explore appealing, yet possibly unfamiliar, ideas or offers. If ever there was time for breakthroughs, and in a variety of ways, it’s now.

Don’t get too frustrated when things seem to be going wrong. You might instead approach a job from another angle. There is every chance you will make better progress when you are left to get on with some tasks on your own. Purposeful effort will feel satisfying. Someone will try to influence you. Prepare to stand up for what you believe in. Go with your instincts later on. You will sense what is best for you.

Mercury returns to Earth sign, Taurus, on Monday. This energy should suit you. You might then be aware that certain individuals are rethinking an earlier position and bring room for further negotiation. Though real progress might not be made until early next month, the fact that others are willing to rethink their position, should be helpful. Career-wise, as Mars moves into one of the Fire signs and crosses the all-important world Axis on Wednesday, you might be surprised and delighted to discover that someone wants to work more closely with you. Whether that person is a company, or a partner who is now willing to share financial responsibility, will obviously depend much on your personal chart. Bottom line is that a massive rethink seems to be taking place with outline plans benefiting from your input.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

In early June your ruler Venus moved to accent close alliances of all kinds – personal, business and otherwise. Since then, there’s been a growing emphasis on links of this variety, and both learning and benefiting from them. This continues now, with unexpected but exciting encounters. The secret? Forget about planning and enjoy the discoveries, and the twists and turns they bring. Decisions? They can wait.

Your partner or a housemate will be showing their stubborn side. Occasionally they get like this and with them refusing to make any compromises on plans you are making together, you can either be equally as stubborn or give them their own way. The choice ultimately is yours. You will have a few things to do later when there are jobs you have put off long enough and you just want to get them over with.

It would be wise to take time over Monday and Tuesday to consider all that’s happened in the last two months. Don’t assume you can do all of this in your head. Take a piece of paper and write it down. Those born under the Air signs have a tendency to assume that they can remember everything. You likely can’t. Once things are written down in black and white, you may see an outline plan more clearly. Then, as Mars arrives at the all-important World Axis and begins its transit of your opposite sign on Wednesday, you should be well armed when others put proposals forward. At least one of these might suit – but again needs to be done on temporary basis at least until Mercury completes its retrograde move next month. Fact is that your career is now going places and your expertise recognised. True, you probably need time out to deal with important health considerations – not necessarily your own, – but even with that, you could still take your career to another level entirely.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re probably still dealing with the fallout from exciting changes and unexpected events triggered by the Scorpio eclipsed Full Moon, on the 16th. While some events were clear, you’re still wrestling with sudden changes. The secret? Forget future worries and take things as they arise. Equally, discuss this with others, encouraging them to adopt the same, easy-going, approach. Soon you’ll be enjoying the surprises, this brings.

A need for action will inspire you to charge into new situations. This will not have been planned yet an impulsive move will lead to exciting experiences. Before you know it, you will be in the spotlight. All because you find the courage to act on an opportunity the moment it presents itself. A joint effort will take you well past a goal you had originally set for yourself. You will be glad of the help of a talented friend.

Mercury returns to your opposite sign as part of its retrograde loop. Anticipate that others – even those closest to you, – to rethink an earlier position. They possibly need to go back over decisions made in April – either to check that these were correct, or to refine them. You too might benefit from a review. Though yours is one of the Fixed signs that doesn’t mean that you can never change your mind. Indeed, as Mars (one of your ruling planets) moves to the World Axis and crosses over into Aries fully on Wednesday, you should experience a burst of energy and with that experience enlightenment. Yes, it could be that someone born under one of the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn says something that prompts that rethink. It may be though, that this is a wise tip, and that after due consideration you choose to make an adjustment that reduces pressure.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After months of facing dull practicalities, finally you’re getting a break. Both your ruler Jupiter and, as of Tuesday, the fiery Mars are in the part of your chart that accents who and what brings you joy. While certain dreams are clear, others remain misty hopes. However, miracles are possible, now it’s time to reflect on, and maybe discuss, where you’d like destiny to take you.

Whether it is to begin or complete a creative venture, you could find inspiration via an e-mail, letter or phone call from a distance. Subjects that come under discussion will be unusual in some way and you will want to look into them further. You feel under pressure to do better in order to outshine a competitor. Although you are expecting a job to go wrong, it will actually be a bigger success than you could ever have imagined.

It is perhaps time to review your diet – yes, again. Mercury returns to that area of your chart that is all about day-to-day routine and management. Yours is one of the Fire signs of the zodiac, and it’s entirely possible that though you accept that you need fuel for energy, you perhaps don’t always choose the best kind. A rethink would be advisable before Mars crosses the World Axis on Wednesday and begins its transit of another of the Fire signs this time, where it brings energy to the research and development area of your solar chart. Think about that: there are presumably ideas that were seeded some time back, but have yet to be developed. Focusing on these, and ensuring that latent talents aren’t being ignored should be priority. You might also discover that others are excited by your plans and willing to help create a business plan. In particular, those born under Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn seem likely to offer excellent advice and support.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

With both the ideas planet Mercury and your ruler Saturn retrograde at the moment, setbacks are inevitable. However, they’re not about major problems but, instead, slowing your pace. This, in turn, is enabling you to explore certain activities or even get to know interesting people. You’re asking now you’ll benefit. That’s your biggest challenge – recognising you’ll need to be patient until the answer comes your way.

You’re tempted to put too much faith in a tip or offer that is given to you early in the week. Wait until you find out more before acting on what you hear. Equally, you should check exactly what might be involved before volunteering for anything. It’s a week to use some of your innate caution. A relaxing weekend will help you conserve your energy for plans pending early next week. Romance and creativity will also help ease tension.

Two things mark this week out: firstly, that retrograde Mercury returns to another of the Earth signs and the ‘expertise and knowledge area of your solar chart. You may be flattered and delighted to discover there firstly, are people who want to learn more from you. True, you might wish that they’d shown this interest some months back. The fact that they’re now showing renewed respect for your work should be heart-warming. It might also leave you in more relaxed state to tackle an urgent issue on the home front. Mars crosses the all-important world Axis midweek and is heart-warming with that, for Capricorn, there is desire to improve general surroundings. A makeover seems likely. With Aries, Cancer, and Libra friends offering support, you could determine a plan of action; though true, this perhaps can’t be fully implemented until the middle of next month.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a clever air sign, you have a knack for sidestepping both obstacles and issues involving difficult individuals. Now, however, you’ve no choice but to face them head-on. While, initially, this will be exasperating, you soon realise you’re being forced to view circumstances from their perspective. That, alone, will revolutionise your thinking and priorities, in the present and, equally, in the future.

Regular arrangements or activities will be canceled due to unexpected delays. You won’t mind this as much as others when you had been looking for an excuse to get out of them anyway. Nothing seems to come easy to you at the moment but hard work will bring its just rewards so persevere. Keep trying and you will reach your goals. You might sense a partner isn’t telling you it all when you raise a joint financial concern with them.

Mercury returns to the base of your solar chart and a massive rethink will likely be necessary. Yours is one of the Fixed signs of the zodiac and generally you don’t want to go back over old ground. Having determined your path, you want to move forward. Yet there are times when it’s useful to go back – if only to pick up items (or people). In this case, it could be the latter. There may be people who wanted to work with you before, but were unable to do so for a variety of reasons. They may now be free to do that. Mid-week Mars crosses the all-important world Axis bringing fresh energy and desire to connect; most probably with neighbours and educational establishments. The fact is that you now need to know more than you did. It could be that there’s a hole in your qualifications that needs to be filled. This though is surely something that could be arranged so that soon you are viewed as the ideal candidate for a role.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re facing a range of decisions, some are practical, so clear cut; but as many involve elements of your lifestyle. While you’ve been talking about these for ages, suddenly the time has come to commit. It may seem overwhelming; but actually, this is the first step of a series of changes that are leading you to the next, and very exciting, chapter, of your life.

Difficult situations you have been trying to avoid will crop up now and there is no way you can get out of this. It might feel at times as if the Stars aren’t looking favourably down on you. A difficult patch will not last long and you may have to remind yourself this more than once over the next few days. Your intuition will warn you not to be too fast to commit yourself to a new project or partnership.

Mercury is retrograde but has returned to an area where it seems it works well for Pisces. It might suit you that others are reviewing earlier decisions and/or that they are now aware of the kind of assistance and support you need. That should lead to interesting discussions in the first half of the week and action after Mars crosses the World Axis and moves into Aries on Wednesday. Plans should then be made, and though tasks will likely not be completed until at least the middle of June, there should be ample indication of progress. True, you could be irritated by a Leo or Sagittarius who appears to ride roughshod over some of your concerns. You may need to accept that they’re not as empathetic as you are, and perhaps don’t realise just how important certain things are to you. That aside, the fact that they now addressing some of your needs should make clear that soon, your routine will be altered for the better.

~CelestialPrognostication

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
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Introduction to Energy Healing
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Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine
Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification
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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

Never forget…you are magick!

Goddess Bless!
GrannyMoon

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 15 May 2022

Stay Alert and Doors Will Open.
You can never know when and where a magic door will open for you,
so pay attention, stay watchful, and never give up hope. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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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

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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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Current Moon Phase: FULL MOON

Time: Approx. 14 days after New Moon (Energy lasts from three days before to three days after actual full moon)

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.

Goddess Month of Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ May 13th to June 9th ~ Hawthorn

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in MAY
May 10: Jupiter enters Aries
May 10: Mercury turns Retrograde
May 15/16: Scorpio Full Blood Moon Eclipse (May 16 East Coast time)
May 15/16th: The Vesak, the birthday of Buddha
May 15: Mokosh is the Mother Goddess in Native Slavic Paganism
May 15: Green Corn Dance
May 16: May cheeses were traditionally made at this time. A French summer cheese: Nettle Cheese, wrapped in fresh nettle leaves for ripening.
May 19: Canadians celebrate the birthdays of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Day is also the unofficial beginning of the warm season north of the border. Canadian gardeners, raise your trowels!
May 20: On this day in 1810, Dolley Madison is said to have served the first ice cream at the White House–strawberry, it is said. Not so: Thomas Jefferson beat her to it, but the myth lives on. For the real scoop, check out this post.
May 23: The birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, born in 1707. A Swedish botanist, Linnaeus helped us keep things straight with his binomial system of plant names.
May 27: Today is the birthday of Rachel Carson (1907), writer, ecologist, and marine biologist. Her courageous 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the world to the dangers of pesticide poisoning.
May 30: The Southern Ute Bear Dance (Memorial Day Weekend)

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Reiki III and Advanced: 1 PM – 3 PM – May 22
Black Hat – May 28 – 7 PM – 9PM
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ WitchCrafting – June 5
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herbal Cauldron – June 12
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – June 19

Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays/

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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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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 online 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 too 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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
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Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Full Flower Moon in Scorpio and Lunar Eclipse on May 15-16!

The Scorpio Full Moon brings powerful energies for changing and transforming our lives. It is a good time for releasing, clearing, and cleansing the darkness of hidden, unspoken conflicts and a time of quietude to get deep with ourselves. Sun is in Taurus, and Scorpio-Taurus interplay brings forward a tension between signs polarities and requires some intelligent balancing. While self-oriented Taurus enjoys stability, certainty and security supported by materials possessions on a physical plane of existence, passionate Scorpio represents more mystical concepts of life focusing on intangibles, changes, and inner emotional and spiritual workings.

In this esoteric dance of Light nature of Taurus and a Shadow nature of Scorpio, we need to find a balance and uncover the path to healing from inside out. The best way to do that is to acknowledge our own shadows and start cultivating self-love by accepting our dual nature.

The lunar eclipse offers the ways to transform heavy emotions into expanding awareness of the new realities. It is important not to resist to transformative changes even when they cause discomfort and uncertainty of the unknowns.
The name for this Full Moon was inspired by wonderful colors and fragrance of blooming flowers gifted by Mother Earth as a celebration of Spring. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Full Milk Moon.

Text: Rivers in the Ocean

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Heartwings Love Notes 1034 Friends of the Heart

Heartwings says, “Friendships form an important part of life.”

Because I have lived such a long life, I have had many friendships of different kinds. I have certainly experienced the truth of the saying “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” I’m glad for any kind of friend, whichever she or he has been. I even have special friends I never have and may never meet face to face, but know through my computer. But the lifelong friends are the most special. I have a couple of the lifetime sort that go back close to fifty years! Sometimes the connection has taken place at a distance, sometimes large chunks of time have passed between contacts, but the friendship endures.
There is a very special paperweight on my coffee table. Upon it is written, “The loveliest flowers in the garden of my life are my friends.” The one who gave it to us is now dancing with angels, and I know this because she was such a special person, not just to me but to many others. I miss her, and Stephen does too. Once upon a time our phone would ring at nine o’clock every morning except Sundays. I’d pick it up and hear the cheerful voice of our friend. She and I would chat briefly about our lives and doings before hanging up and getting on with our day.
She lived downstairs from us in the same building and suffered from pains in her legs. Many evenings I would visit her in her apartment. I would sing to her and do healing work for her pain, and she always said she felt better afterward. It was my joy to do what I could for her. We spent time in one another’s company, chatting or just visiting. She was very clever with her hands and made me some sweet dolls I cherish and keep close.
A good friend of mine, also a writer, recently wrote this: My mother used to say, “Friendships are like flowers, if you don’t give them regular water and sunshine, they die.” When I read this, I realized the way my late friend and I had nurtured our friendship. My mother, too, provided me with a good example of friendship nurturing. She and her friends used to meet twice a month at each other’s homes for lunch. They’d bring their mending or whatever handwork they might be working on and sit together in friendly conversation, after lunch.
In today’s world with its many distractions and complications, friends are more likely to meet at the gym or other exercise facility after work. But the intent is the same: the nurturing of friendship. You never know when someone will fall ill and leave the earth, and there need be no regrets if the friendship has bee