GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 16-23 May 2021

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

Dark Moon – Time to Rest

New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction

Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase

Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance

Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease

Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go

Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

May

Birthday Flower for May: Lily of the Valley

May is National Salad Month

Feature of the Month for May. Sassafras: The Universal Plant

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 on in 1707. A Swedish botanist, Linnaeus helped us keep everything straight with his binomial system of plant names.

26: Full Moon — Flower Moon In May, focus on magic related to careers and jobs. If you’ve thought about changing jobs, or even entering a new career field, this is a good time to do it. Expand your horizons this month; this will appear as a supermoon AND will also feature a total Lunar eclipse at 7:19 a.m. EST. The eclipse will be visible from east Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and the Americas

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 31: Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is observed on the last Monday in May. Remembrance is symbolized by the red poppy.

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!

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

Lavender, lemon balm, meadowsweet, ½ teaspoon each

Sage, rosemary, mint, ½ teaspoon each

Rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, ½ teaspoon each

A cool lavender compress for the temples and a quiet rest in a dark room may also give you the relief you need.

There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, which 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 the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html

Hardcover: $39.45

Softback: $26.95

eBook (PDF): $6.25

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

Biddy Tarot

http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Seven of Swords reversed

Do you believe in yourself?

The Seven of Swords often appears reversed when you feel like a fraud and are suffering from “imposter syndrome.”

You may doubt yourself and your abilities. Get out of your head and trust that you have everything you need to make your new venture a success.

You could be deceiving yourself, trying to trick yourself into believing something even though it is out of alignment with your true self. You may attempt to fool yourself that everything is okay when it is not.

Now is the time to get real with where you are and confront your situation head-on.

Ask Your Tarot Cards: “How can I trust myself more?”

Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas by @theafrogoddessconnection

Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Spirit Guide Clarity Spell

MAY 16, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Happy Sunday! Jupiter recently entered the sign of Pisces, and we are looking at the beginning of a yearlong cycle of spiritual rebirth. Today is the perfect day to ruminate on your path and to audit your relationships to the people, places, and things that are connected to it. What we all could use now more than ever is a clear connection with our spirit allies as they help shape the road ahead.

Take a few moments tonight to ground and center your energy, then light a white candle in the east. After you light this candle, take a few breaths and focus on your spirit allies, then focus on the possibility of there being more allies that you don’t know about. Say:

Spirit allies on the edge of vision,

Be with me through each decision.

Make yourself known so I can see.

Be here now and reveal yourself to me.

Let the candle burn out safely on its own.

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Grow Something

MAY 15, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

As Witches and Pagans, we do our best to connect with the earth and the natural world. One of the easiest ways to do that is to grow something. It doesn’t really matter what, and there are plenty of choices no matter where you live or whether or not you have a green thumb. If you have a yard, by all means plant a flower, a vegetable garden, a bush, or a tree. But even if you only have a windowsill, you can grow an herb or two, or some beautiful flowers. If you want something to grow with your kids, you can even do something fun like grow a potato from a potato. The idea is simply to plant something in the soil, tend it, and watch it grow.

If you want to add an extra magical element, write down something you wish to have grow in your life and tuck the piece of paper into the soil. Then send your energy into that wish whenever you tend the plant.

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Contentment Spell

MAY 14, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

To increase peace and satisfaction in your life, light a pink candle and anoint the candle with rose, gardenia, or sweetpea essential oil. These scents promote harmony, peace, and happiness. Take a deep breath, and as you inhale the floral aroma, exhale with a sigh and visualize any self-doubt and negativity that’s holding you back from being expelled. Breathe in again and see yourself breathing in only feelings of joy and peace. Chant:

I am content, at peace, and calm.

My breath becomes a healing balm.

When I feel ill at ease,

All I have to do is breathe.

Allow the candle to burn out safely. Recall this moment anytime you need to feel content and take several deep breaths, repeating the chant.

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Nature Fairy Spell

MAY 13, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

The fairies are always around to assist you. It is a good idea to show them gratitude for their help along your spiritual journey.

Walk into the woods or an outdoor area with lots of trees. Gather up nuts, seeds, leaves, and stones that you find on your path. Find a flat surface on a rock or an area in the grass at the base of a tree, and arrange the items in a circular pattern to create a nature mandala as an offering. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and chant this three times:

I am grateful for this day.

I am grateful for the fae.

I’ve created this beautiful nature art.

Please accept it as a gift

from my grateful heart.

Know that the fairies appreciate your heartfelt nature offering and will continue to guide and assist you on your magical path.

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A May New Moon Spell

MAY 11, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

A May new moon is a perfect time to energize your spirit. This spell will empower your spirit, and at the same time help you achieve a wish. Think of a wish as you prepare for this ritual. First, cover your altar with dark blue fabric. Upon the altar place one dark blue candle and a vase of spring flowers. Lilacs, pansies, and violets are good. Safely light the candle. Think of your wish as you chant the following verse three times:

As the May moon begins to grow,

So does the magical seed I sow!

These flowers live, these flowers wither,

But my spirit shall live forever.

Meditate upon your wish, then snuff out the candle. You may use the candle again for magic. Leave the flowers on your altar until they fade. When the flowers wither, place them gently on the ground outside. As the flowers return to Mother Earth, your wish will grow to fruition.

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Think of Me Tulip Spell

MAY 12, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Tulips are associated with love and new beginnings. Send a message to your sweetheart with this easy spell.

You will need some lipstick, gloss, or balm and a petal from a red tulip. Close your eyes and think of a message you’d like to send to someone you adore. Put the lipstick or balm on your lips and say “think of me” three times while visualizing their face. Kiss the tulip petal, leaving a clear imprint.

Go to a place where traffic, the wind, or a body of water is flowing in your sweetheart’s direction, and discreetly let the tulip petal slip from your fingers. (Do not do this in the traffic. On the sidewalk will do.) They will be reminded of you sometime that day as the energy of the tulip petal gets carried toward them.

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World Bird Migration Day

MAY 10, 2021 BY EMYME

Birds play an important part in secular and earth-based belief systems. Appreciate the joy in listening to their songs and calls and watching them at domestic feeders and in their natural habitats.

Does your personal or family totem honor a special bird? Take some time today to trace their migratory habits. Or, if you have no special feathered friend, perhaps take some time to research the birds in your area and see which one calls to your spirit of flight.

Obtain a bird book for your area, close your eyes, flip the pages, and stop! Is this your spirit bird?

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A May New Moon Spell

MAY 11, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

A May new moon is a perfect time to energize your spirit. This spell will empower your spirit, and at the same time help you achieve a wish. Think of a wish as you prepare for this ritual. First, cover your altar with dark blue fabric. Upon the altar place one dark blue candle and a vase of spring flowers. Lilacs, pansies, and violets are good. Safely light the candle. Think of your wish as you chant the following verse three times:

As the May moon begins to grow,

So does the magical seed I sow!

These flowers live, these flowers wither,

But my spirit shall live forever.

Meditate upon your wish, then snuff out the candle. You may use the candle again for magic. Leave the flowers on your altar until they fade. When the flowers wither, place them gently on the ground outside. As the flowers return to Mother Earth, your wish will grow to fruition.

What to Do About Cards You Don’t Like

 BY BARBARA MOORE

Giving relevant and useful readings is easier to do if we are not bogged down by our own biases. This exercise, from Your Tarot, Your Way, is a good way to start identifying your own blind spots. Once you’ve done that, you can work on healing your relationship to that archetype so you can see it more objectively.

Love, Hate, Neutral

Go through your Major Arcana cards and divide them into three piles: ones you love, ones you hate, and ones you are neutral toward. Do this quickly and without a lot of analysis; just go with your first reaction. Keeping the piles separate, shuffle each one, and randomly draw one card. So now you have one card from each pile. Get out your notebook, so you can write about each card. You don’t have to write a lot unless you want to, but try to write at least one paragraph. For the card you love, why do you love it? What does it seem to promise? For the card you hate, why do you hate it? Does it evoke fear or anger or something else? For the card you are neutral about, why does it seem to bore you? For all the cards, find connections in your life, past, or present.

Heartwings Love Notes 982 The Beauty of Spring Dances in Our Eyes

Heartwings says, “Some of Spring’s beauty lies in its variety.”

The changeable weather of spring is one aspect of its loveliness. Until I open the bedroom curtains, I have no idea what weather the emerging day will have brought. It could be a day for a warm sweater or for shorts! If the sun is shining it could be windy and not warm even in the sun. I remember how in college we all ran out and sat on the roof with as little as possible on to get a tan, so desirable in those long ago days before sun screen and the threat of skin cancer. Though never as strong as it gets in the summer months, the newly warm spring sun was more welcome.  

Spring’s beauty is also embodied in another constant change that at times manifests almost daily. Not only does the weather change, so does the landscape. The lacy patterns created as the leaves slowly emerge are a marvel of delight. I have been watching them daily, both from my porch,  through my windows and through my windshield. Their newness reminds me of birth and of babies. They make it seem as though there was never a spring so tender and so new. It is as though every other spring has been erased, replaced by this unique, budding beauty happening now.

The emerging colors of spring seem tentative compared to those of fall, and yet were they to burst forth in vibrant colors like those of autumn, perhaps they would seem too harshly strident. Winter is stark with its pale landscapes of dull brown and white. The soft pinks, greens and purples of the emerging season make for a gentle transition from winter’s harshness. They also present a lovely contrast to the leaflessness of trees before the buds begin to swell on the bare branches. 

As a poet, I have written many poems about the seasons. I have enjoyed describing them and expressing my appreciation of them, as well as using them as metaphors and examples of life and of living. Yet I seem to find more to say even after all these years. There is something so inspiring about the seasons. I’m not sure why I feel this way. Perhaps it is because I grew up spending much of my time out of doors, in nature. Perhaps also it is because my father and great grandfathers were both horticulturists. Regardless, I welcome the seasonal changes and take great delight in sharing my appreciation of them and of nature.

I hope you can take time to appreciate the emerging of spring as it blossoms throughout the landscape. May the air you breathe refresh and renew you. 

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you enjoy all the seasons, each for their beauty, or only some of them. I love it when my readers share their thoughts and feelings. Do write to me at tashahal@aol.com, and visit my website for more at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

Heartwings Love Notes 981 Accidental Beauty

Heartwings says, “When we open our eyes to it, there is beauty everywhere to see.”

As a child I was drawn to bright colors and pretty images. I disliked hurtful humor and stories of sad or unfortunate people, even if they somehow turned things around for themselves. My eyes are and have always drawn to what sparkles or twinkles, my ears to pretty and uplifting music, now preferably classical. To me this predilection is a gift, and I am very grateful for it. What seems to me to be most interesting is how there is beauty around every corner and even in every situation, if you look for it.

Recently I was in our local thrift store, appropriately named Treasures, when something caught my eye: The sun shone on a row of glassware on a series of shelves against the wall of the shop. I stopped and gazed at the row of sparkling glass. It was breathtaking. I brought up the camera on my cellphone and took a picture. Later when I brought my picture up to look at, I realized the camera hadn’t captured the beauty that my eyes had perceived. I have had this experience before. Perhaps when we really look with our eyes, we see things with more dimension.

Accidental beauty radiates unbidden all around us. Though we may not see it there is beauty to be seen that may easily go unnoticed. If my mind is preoccupied with anticipatory thoughts or apprehensions; if I am worried about what I ought to remember or concerned over some nameless condition, I may fail to actually look out of my eyes. Even though my eyes are focused on something, I may not see it! Case in point: Have you ever looked for something without finding it, only to discover it where you had already looked perhaps even several times?  

Beauty often cloaks itself in ordinariness. Dewdrops or even raindrops that glisten in the sun shining on blades of grass may make miniature rainbows that can be seen only when we look closely. Dandelions that glow like little suns can delight the eye that sees them not as weeds but as accidental beauty. A smile that lights up a friend’s face, the sound of someone playing an instrument by an open window, the smell of something tasty cooking or baking, all may go unnoticed if we do not pay attention.

When I am present in the moment, allowing myself to really be present, I will more easily see or hear what is there to be seen or heard. If I actively seek to see the beauty that exists everywhere for those who pay attention, I will find much to delight me. Yes there is ugliness in our surroundings, and frowns are as easily perceived as smiles, yet we can anticipate what is pleasant as easily as the opposite. I once met a woman who told me she always anticipated the worst because then she could never be disappointed. I found this to be sad. However, whatever floats your boat, as Oprah used to say, is what works best for you. The real gift is being able to choose what to look for and where to look.  

May you cultivate your sense of where to look and find beauty everywhere.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you find loveliness in your surroundings? Do you have eyes for beauty and find it frequently? Please share your feelings and your experiences, I appreciate your emails more than I can say. Please write to me at Tashahal@aol.com, and for more love notes, try my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

The Hackmanite Stone

Meaning & Energy

Hackmanite helps grant one access to their crown chakra while enhancing their mental capabilities. One will be able to see the strength that the human mind possesses, which can lead them to the gateway of higher knowledge. This elevated knowledge is from celestial beings in addition to one’s own spirit guides and guardian angels. The messages you receive may be bleak and confusing, but working with Hackmanite will help you learn the “language of the gods”. This special mineral helps one not only decode the imagery within their own visions, but also the symbolism in one’s nightly dreams. These are signs pointing you in the direction that your soul desires. By nature, humans are caught up in daily distractions, which only push one further away from achieving their dreams. However, Hackmanite works to help one prioritize what’s most important to them and how they should go about achieving it.

Spiritual Evolution

We highly recommend this stone as a means for one’s personal growth and spiritual evolution. One will begin to know the true power of Hackmanite and its energies as they continue to work with the stone. Just as this stone reveals hidden colors when exposed to a special light, it will also do the same to you. Hackmanite is YOUR special light that helps peel back your layers and reveals the beauty of your mind and soul.

A Word of Advice to the Reiki Novice

Article by Sandra Cooze

Reiki is a wonderful practice. It is amazingly versatile and full of surprises. Even after 8 years of practicing and teaching Reiki, I learn something new with every treatment I give, and every class that I teach. Thinking back to the beginning of my journey as a Reiki practitioner there are many things I wish I had known when I first started out. There is one thing, in particular, I want to share with you today in the hope that it will make the beginning of your journey as a Reiki practitioner a little easier.

Right after I received my first Reiki attunement, I had the most unusual and unnerving experience. I felt completely naked – literally. I had to actually look down my body to make sure that I was wearing clothes – the sensations were that intense.

Everything felt different. The wind felt stronger, the sun warmer; it was as if a layer around my body had been removed – and I believe that it was exactly that! A protective layer that I no longer needed was taken from me to make way for my new journey and the person I was about to become.

When I went home that day, I felt as if I could conquer the world! I was ready to just dive in and give Reiki to anyone who was willing to give it a try. But as it turned out, this was not as easy as I thought it would be.

The first time I attempted to give a Reiki treatment was to members of my family. I wanted to show them how amazing the energy felt and I was so sure they would love it just like I did. But when I began the treatment, nothing happened. I did not feel any energy coming from my hands and neither did my family members. I was so embarrassed and felt like a complete failure. I did not understand how Reiki could work so well during my classes and then completely failed me when I wanted to use it on my own.

A Word of Advice to the Reiki Novice

What I had experienced is a common occurrence amongst new Reiki practitioners. Today, I know of course what had happened and how to prevent this situation from reoccurring. But back then I was ready to give up and I know that a situation like this is the most common reason why many people do not advance beyond Reiki Level I.

So let’s take a look at what had happened and how we can prevent it.

First things first, when you want to prove to someone how awesome Reiki is and that it absolutely works, you set yourself up for failure. Wanting something means you come from an ego-based mindset. The ego is your worst enemy when it comes to Reiki. You will never be able to prove a point with Reiki when you only want to prove a point. It does not work that way.

What’s also important to know is that beginning your journey as a Reiki practitioner by giving Reiki to your family will be very difficult. The reason is again, the ego. I know that it seems simpler to find your first clients amongst your family and friends since they most likely want to support you on your new journey. But this again can cause your ego to interfere. You probably told them all about your experiences during your Reiki class and how awesome you felt and now you want to show them how amazing it is. And even if you are not trying to convince them, you want them to feel the same way you did. This again will cause your ego to get in the way.

So, what can we do to prevent these situations from ever happening? First and foremost we have to understand, that we are not giving Reiki. We are guiding the Reiki energy through us and into the client’s body, but we don’t create it and with that, we don’t own it. We have no influence over how the other person feels during or after a treatment, so there is no need for us to stress over it. What they experience, is none of our business. Period. That being said, we do need to take the pressure off of our heart, mind and soul.

When I prepare for a treatment I call my Spirit Guides and the Spirit Guides of my client and ask them for their assistance in guiding the energy where it is needed most and to guide me to the spots I especially need to work on. I also (in my mind) tell my client to take what they need and I pray for the most wonderful experience they ever had. This is especially helpful when it is a client’s first interaction with Reiki. You can, of course, set your own intentions for your client’s treatment, but I would always add the request for the most wonderful experience. It really works!

What is also important to know is that, especially with a first-time client, it may take some time for the energy to flow. This has nothing to do with you. It simply means that your client may unintentionally block themselves from receiving because they don’t really know what to expect. Therefore, it is very helpful to explain to them before the treatment what they may expect in terms of sensations. Encourage them to tell you what they experience so that you can explain to them what that means. Allow them to be part of the treatment if they wish to communicate.

If your client is really tense or blocked, encourage them (in your mind) to let go and take what they need. Even if you don’t voice this message, they will start to relax.

Remember that whenever the client does not seem to feel anything, it has nothing to do with you and your ability to perform Reiki as long as you don’t allow your ego to take over. Sometimes a person just does not sense the energy, but this does not mean that no healing is taking place. Also, some people are just not ready to let go of an issue or aren’t open enough to allow healing to take place.

I hope my article will shed some light into the mysteries of your first steps as a Reiki Practitioner.

Love & Light,

Sandra

Feeling Guilty About Being Happy

Allow yourself to release feeling any guilt about being happy

Happiness is an experience we all long for and deserve in our lives. We may wish for the happiness that comes with a much-needed vacation or an exciting new love affair, yet when the actual experience of happiness emerges, we may be too overcome with guilt to enjoy it. If guilt is interfering with your ability to feel joy, you may find relief in looking at the beliefs you hold about yourself and what it means for you to be happy. 

Guilt about feeling happy can arise for different reasons. Deep down you may believe that you don’t deserve to be happy because you hurt someone in the past, had more than others growing up, or maybe you received a mean comment from someone you admire. Perhaps it once seemed that painful experiences always followed happy ones; now whenever you begin to feel happy, you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Happiness may even just feel uncomfortable because you’ve gotten so used to feeling down. The truth is that when you feel too guilty to let yourself enjoy positive emotions, you are denying a part of yourself that has a right to exist. By limiting your life experience to just the negative feelings, you are cutting yourself off from the fullness of life — which includes all of the positive emotions as well. Fortunately, you can begin to shift the way you respond to happiness even in this moment. 

From now on, when happiness begins to blossom in your heart, try to accept it, relish in it, ask it to stay. It’s okay to feel happy even if you believe you don’t deserve it. Feeling good is an expression of your wholeness and your connection with life. The next time happiness appears for you, try not to feel guilty about it. Instead, welcome your happiness in like a long-awaited friend

Humanity

We are human, we are family — we all look at the same stars, we all laugh and cry, we all love. 

When it comes to our families, we sometimes see only our differences. We see the way our parents cling to ideas we don’t believe or act in ways we try not to copy. We see how practical one of our siblings is and wonder how we can be from the same gene pool. Similarly, within the human family, we see how different we are from each other, in ways ranging from gender and race to geographical location and religious beliefs. It is almost as if we think we are a different species sometimes. But the truth is, in our personal families as well as the human family, we really are the same. A single mother of four living in Africa looks up at the same stars and moon that shine down on an elderly Frenchman in Paris. A Tibetan monk living in India, a newborn infant in China, and a young couple saying their marriage vows in Indiana all breathe the same air, by the same process. We have all been hurt and we have all cried. Each one of us knows how it feels to love someone dearly. No matter what our political views are, we all love to laugh. Regardless of how much or how little money we have, our hearts pump blood through our bodies in the same way. With all this in common, it is clear we are each individual members of the same family. We are human. Acknowledging how close we all are, instead of clinging to what separates us, enables us to feel less alone in the world. Every person we meet, see, hear, or read about is a member of our family. We are truly not alone. We also begin to see that we are perfectly capable of understanding and relating to people who, on the surface, may seem very different from us. This awareness prevents us from disconnecting from people on the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the world. We begin to understand that we must treat all people for what they are — family.

Evening Primrose Oil – A Natural Anti-Inflammatory 

by Dr. Weil

You have likely seen it on the shelves of your drug or health food store, but do you know what evening primrose oil can do for you? This natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a versatile oil that comes from the tiny seeds of a wildflower, Oenothera biennis L., native to North America.

Very hard to come by in the diet, GLA has been studied for its natural anti-inflammatory activity, and it appears to have none of the side effects of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. I frequently suggest evening primrose oil to support skin health, as well as optimal health of hair and nails. Do not expect immediate results; it takes six to eight weeks to see changes after adding GLA to the diet. When purchasing, choose evening primrose oil that is cold-pressed and extracted without the use of solvents.

Gilberto Rides Again, Chapter 1 

By Stephen Halpert

Gilberto came into the condo, kicked off his loafers, yawned, and felt tired. He wanted more time with Joey, especially to watch him at his varsity soccer practice. Instead as part of Atlas’ ever-present front line of defense, he sat in on board meetings. His position had many perks; travel especially as a spokesperson for this  behemoth corporation continually vigilant of antitrust and monopolist criticism.

Ten years have passed. Joey is now a junior at Houndstooth Academy, a boy’s prep school in Brookline, Ma. His sister Ramona, now ten, is the apple of Gilberto’s eye. She loves to draw and wants to be an artist. Maria works with Rosa as a counselor at a battered woman’s shelter in Boston. As for Gilberto, now fifty he is a Senior Vice President on the Board of Atlas International, his firm for the last twenty-five years. 

“You look tired.” Maria hugged him. “You seem to have all these thoughts coming out of your ears.”

He chuckled and kissed her. “We’ ‘ll have to do more traveling.”

She smiled. “Great when, where?”

“Conferences starting next month in New York, then meetings in DC and Atlanta.” 

She nodded and began loosening his tie, unbuttoning his shirt. “So you’ll be talking to politicians.”

He nodded. “Protecting Atlas is like trying to reign in a crazed bronco.” 

She sighed and felt sympathetic to his frustration. “That will be forever thus as long as the acquisition is on their front burner.” 

He nodded. “It has to keep growing. That’s the nature of global sales, distribution, and shipping. More opposition from Congress about our use of drones. Everybody has a handout for political contributions.” 

She noticed a new touch of gray in his hair. His trousers seemed to fit him tighter. “And we’ll be?”

“Dinner parties,  new plant openings. You know the drill. We’re on stage.” 

She noticed he was holding several new brochures for yachts.  “Oh Gilberto, you work so hard. And what you really want is to drag me off?” She searched his eyes for an unspoken answer. 

His eyes brightened. He nodded. “Yes. Want to go back to Niagara Falls and relive our honeymoon?”

“Is that what you want?”

  “I just want us to be together, even in some shady motel in the sticks.”

“I’d hate our being seen at someplace like that. Why not a weekend getaway at the Taj or the Ritz?”

He grinned. “Sure. We can walk across the Public Gardens.”

  She unbuttoned the rest of his shirt. “I want to keep you lean and hungry like a caged tiger ready to spring.”

He growled and kissed her. For long moments they held onto one another, a momentary escape from life’s immediacy.

“Know something,” she said. “You’re bored.”

“You think?” 

“Yes,” she nodded. “I think you need a diversion. Me more.”

I like Me more,” he laughed. “That has real possibilities. Maybe we could meet at a hotel and pretend to be lovers.”

“I’d like that but who needs to pretend.” Then she kissed him longer this time. “I’ll make a reservation for this weekend.”

Ramona rushed into the room. She looked pleadingly at Maria. “Mama there’s a horrible big bug in my room on my chair.”

“Can’t you just swat it?” Gilberto said.

She wrinkled her nose. “No daddy stinks when you squash it.”

Gilberto raised his eyebrows. “You don’t have to kill it. Just put it in a jar. You don’t need your mother for that.”

“Please, mama,” she wailed, started sobbing dramatically.

Maria sighed. “She’s your temperament you know.”

“Please, please mama, please,” wailed the child.

Maria took her hand and forcefully lead her back to her room.

“Do you like staying with Aunt Rosa and Uncle Ramon?” 

“Yes,” she cried out. “They have pizza and lots and apple pie.”

Maris took the bug in her hand, went and opened the window,  pushed up the screen, and tossed it.”

“From now on that’s what you do,” she said. “Do you understand?” The child was gripped in her mother’s voice. She nodded yes. “But do I have to touch it?”

Maria ignored her complaint. “I have to go speak with your father. Please don’t come running in and interrupting us again. Understand?

The child nodded, docile now, calm for the moment.

Joey arrived home from the Houndstooth bus. As he came in Maria immediately noticed the apprehension evident in his expression. He sat across from Gilbert and Maria, tears in his eyes. He sniffled.

“What’s wrong,” she asked him. “Nothing could be that bad. Did you flunk your history test?”

“Worse than that,” he sniffled.

Now he had Gilberto’s attention. “It wasn’t me,” he sobbed. “I didn’t do it. I promised not to tell.”

Gilberto looked stern. “Then tell us!” 

“I promised I wouldn’t. She told me not to. She said it was our secret.”

Maria took his hand and sat beside him on the sofa. She looked into her son’s eyes then said very softly, “Please start from the beginning.”

“I’m just afraid. She doesn’t want anyone to know.”

“But she told you.”

“Who are we talking about?” Gilberto said.

“Sophia,” Joey sobbed. “She said she’d run away. I don’t know how to help her!”

“Start at the beginning,” Maria repeated.

“She’s afraid she’s pregnant,” Joey blurted. “I promised not to tell anyone.”

Gilberto sighed. “And who’s the father?”

Maria stroked Joey’s shoulders. “It’s all right to tell us. Carrying something heavy like that can be awfully difficult.”

She went to Spring weekend at Dartmouth.  I think she got drunk.”

“When did she go,” Gilberto said.

“Over spring break, maybe last month. She’s all confused and doesn’t want to remember or have her parents find out.”

“Are you in love with her?” Gilberto said.

“Not like that,” Joey said. She’s like my older sister. But I promised I’d help her.”

“How?” Gilberto asked.

“She asked if I could give her money. She promised she’d pay me back.”

“I don’t think it’s that easy,” Maria said. “There’s a lot of emotion involved. It’s not like having a tooth pulled.”

Joey’s face was white. He trembled, then choked as though he had bit off too big a slice of life that was stuck in his throat.

“I have money in the bank,” he sobbed. “Birthday and money I earned doing odd jobs. I could give it to her.”

Gilberto shook his head and sighed. “How was your history exam?” he asked.

Joey ignored him and looked at Maria. “I don’t know. I couldn’t study. We’ve been texting a lot. I’m the only person she can tell.”

“What shall we do?” Maria said. She looked at Gilberto. “Your father and I will help come up with something. Please Joey don’t feel disloyal. Big life experiences can be hard on anyone at any age.”

Gilberto cleared his throat, sighed again, and fumbled to get his words in order. Finally, he asked. “Is that everything or is there more you haven’t told us?”

Joey started to cry. Maria reached for a tissue, handed it to him. “But as far as you know…” 

“But I don’t know.” 

(to be continued)

Kat’s Korner

How to Calculate Cat Years to Human Years

One cat year does not equal seven human years. Read on for tips on determining your cat’s age.

A popular misconception is that cats age seven years (in human years) for each calendar year. In fact, feline aging is much more rapid during the first two years of life. A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 during his first year, then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, a cat ages approximately four cat years for every calendar year. Thus, a cat who is 5 in cat years would be approximately 36 in human years.

Note: It should be remembered that a cat who lives outdoors ages far more quickly, perhaps even twice as fast, than an indoor cat. Scroll to the bottom of this article to find out more about cat to human years for outdoor cats.

How to calculate a cat’s age

If you’ve taken in a stray cat or adopted a cat whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine her age in cat years. Here’s how to calculate a cat’s age:

A Cat’s Teeth: Teeth are a great indicator of a cat’s age in cat years. Older cats tend to have more staining than younger cats, assuming the previous owner was negligent in brushing the cat’s teeth. And a kitten’s teeth first come in between two to four weeks; their more permanent set appears at around four months of age. So if you open a cat’s mouth and find permanent, white teeth, the feline is likely to be around a year old. Some yellowing might place the cat between 1 and 2, and tartar build-up on all the teeth indicates that the cat could be between 3 and 5. Missing teeth may mean you have a senior cat on your hands.

A Cat’s Muscle Tone: Younger cats are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older cats are usually a bit bonier and may have some extra skin hanging or protruding shoulder blades.

A Cat’s Coat: The condition of a cat’s coat is another great indicator of a kitty’s age in cat years. Kittens and younger cats usually have soft, fine coats, whereas older cats tend to have thicker, coarser fur. A senior cat may display grays or patches of white.

A Cat’s Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or eye discharge are common in younger cats. A cat with some cloudiness in its eyes is likely to be 12 years old or so. While inspecting the lens, also examine the iris of the eye. Young cats have smooth irises, while the iris of an old cat can sometimes appear somewhat jagged.

A Cat’s Life Span

Felines are generally quite long-lived, though mileage varies depending on owner maintenance and genetic predisposition. In a handful of documented cases, cats have exceeded 30 years in age. Typically, indoor cats may live 12 to 18 years, with many surviving into their 20s.

Outdoor Cats Life Expectancy — How Long Do Outdoor Cats Live, in Cat Years?

Outdoor cats can have a significantly shorter life span than indoor-only cats, often living only two to five years. Pet parents in urban and suburban areas are strongly encouraged to keep their cats indoors.

Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, May 16, 2021

All Signs

We’re in the fires of Mordor! Actually, it’s Mercury Retrograde, which means you will hear from old friends, ex-partners, and old flames, which is either fun or horrifying. (I once tried to hide in the aisles of a video store.) Mercury is retrograde from May 28 – June 22; but the shadow period makes it a longer time: from May 16 – July 8. Zooks! That’s today! You can use this time to wrap up old business and make insightful observations about your past. Avoid buying ground transportation, computers, and cell phones. This week, the Sun moves into Gemini giving each of us a new focus for the next four weeks. Everyone will feel more curious and restless – eager for something new and interesting to happen. (Geminis don’t do boredom.) It’s time to make a cat video!

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your sign will feel this particular Mercury Retrograde more than the other signs because Mercury Retrograde is taking place in the part of your chart that is Mercury’s home. Expect car problems and transportation delays. (Flat tires, failed engines – something.) Get ready for missed appointments and confused communications. Oy! However, you will easily finish studying or writing something. Even though you’re caught up in delays and goofy mistakes, you will enjoy life because it is fast-paced and exciting! Plus, you will appreciate the beauty of your daily surroundings and feel more warmly connected to others. Gosh.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Your focus on money, cash flow, and movable possessions will be strong in the next four weeks. (“I can’t believe I own all this stuff.”) Something will prompt you to catalog, organize and get rid of what you don’t need. You will also be more focused on money, cash flow, and earnings. Although cheques in the mail will be late and other delays might be irksome, nevertheless, a moneymaking idea that you had in the past might be worth reconsideration? Why not run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes? You will attract money, goods, and favours to you this month. Likewise, you will buy pretty things and antiques. (It’s who you are.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Oh my, the Sun, Venus, and your ruler Mercury are in your sign for the next four weeks. (Venus moves into Cancer on June 2.) This means the whole world will experience a dazzling display of Gemini energy! Obviously, this is your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year. It’s also why you will feel vigourous, energetic, and enthused about life; while Venus will make you smooth, charming, and diplomatic. Of course, Mercury Retrograde will attract friends and ex-partners back into your world. Mostly this is a good thing because it’s nice to have history with others. Enjoy this lovely boost of energy and attention!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Your personal year is coming to an end; however, your new year is not yet ready to begin. This means the next four weeks are the perfect time to reflect. Look back over your shoulder. How well are you doing at the art of living? What changes do you want for your new year ahead? What goals do you want to make? After all, goals make future decision-making easier and they keep you on track and give you focus. This window of time will be great for doing research. Meanwhile, some of you are swept up in the throes of a secret, passionate, love affair. “Heathcliff!”

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

The next four weeks will bring a welcome change into your life because you will be more popular and more involved with younger people as well as creative, artistic types. (Just what the doctor ordered.) You will enjoy talking to groups and friends online or in person. You’ll be excited about creating new goals for the future. It’s as if you’re waking up after hibernation. “Life! I remember what that was. Yes, it’s time to live again!” Mercury retrograde will attract old friends back into your world; plus, it will help you to accomplish old goals that you never achieved or finished. Relations with friends will be cozy; in fact, a friend could become a lover. “Masks off!”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Life will be increasingly thrilling during the next four weeks because this is the only time all year the Sun will be sitting at the very top of your chart. This means you will be thrust into the limelight! Everyone will notice you more than usual. But lo! This light is flattering. Everyone admires you especially parents, bosses and VIPs even if you don’t do anything special. (It’s smoke and mirrors.) This is why you will be asked to take on increased responsibilities, and others will come to you for your advice, especially about how to make something look better. Meanwhile, competition or increased physical activity will stir your blood! All hail the valiant Virgo!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The next four weeks will be like a breath of fresh air for you because you will do something to satisfy your urge for adventure, stimulation and a chance to learn something new! You will appreciate the beauty of art, architecture and the crafts of other cultures. Ideally, you would achieve these things through travel, but in these times of Covid restrictions, you probably cannot do this. This means you have to travel in other ways – through books and film. Talk to people from different cultures. You might hear from people far way because Mercury Retrograde will attract them to you. Do what you can to satisfy your love of beauty and learning. Explore new avenues in publishing, the media, medicine and the law.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You are an intense sign and in the next four weeks, your life will become even more intense. (“Her knuckles are very white.”) For starters, romance and love affairs will be passionate! The stuff of movies. This could be because ex-lovers are back on the scene. (Sigh.) Or you might meet someone new through an old friend who has returned to your world? Romantic passion aside, details about inheritances, shared property and insurance matters will be a strong focus. Fortunately, Mercury Retrograde will help you wrap up old business in these matters. You will also receive a gift, an inheritance or a favour from someone in the next month. Major bonus!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

For the next four weeks, the Sun and Mercury retrograde are sitting directly opposite your sign, which is a sure indication that you will hear from ex-partners and friends from your past. Plus, it will give you an opportunity for closure and a chance to learn more and catch up on old news. (Trade lies about the bad old days.) You might even learn more about your style of relating and your values with your closest one-to-one relationships. Meanwhile, your sex drive is amped because of the placement of Mars in your chart. However, this same placement can also indicate disputes about shared property, mortgages, inheritances, loans and debt. Overall picture: A fascinating time with others, especially people from your past.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You are hard-working. “No slackers allowed!” You like efficiency and you hate waste. These are some reasons you’ll be happier in the next four weeks. That’s because your main goal will be to get better organized. You want to work smart and be effective in everything you do. You will make lists and tackle old jobs that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Not only will you work to organize your world, you want to improve your health as well. “I want it all!” Coworkers will be supportive. Please note: Your ability to finish old jobs and work that has been dragging on and on will be stellar. You’ll wrap up this stuff in a flash. Show us your superpower!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You’re entering one of the most fun-filled months of the year! Mercury Retrograde will attract old flames from your past. Meanwhile, parents might hear from kids who wandered off the block. Your personal goal will be to enjoy yourself and express your creative urges. (“Look, ma! No hands!”) Social outings, the arts, sports, playful activities with kids and the freedom to be just who you are and express yourself without fear or hesitation will be the order of the day! In a perfect world, you would go away on a vacation. With current restrictions, you will have to have a vacation the best way you can make it happen. “We’re booking male dancers and ordering a case of wine.”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Your focus on home, family and your personal and private life will be much stronger than usual in the next four weeks. Your interaction with a parent will be significant. Furthermore, you will be in touch with relatives you have not seen or heard from in a while. If they are safely in your bubble, they’ll be perched at your place and eating out of your fridge. Some of you have a strong urge now to redecorate and make your digs look prettier. A few velvet pillows on that new sofa? Fiery Mars will urge you to be active in sports and fun athletics, especially with your kids. Despite these busy distractions, you will value quiet moments to cocoon at home, as well. Nice.

Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!

Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much

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Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!

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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess

And to Her, we shall return

Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”

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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,

May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part

And Merry Meet Again!”

Goddess Bless!

GrannyMoon

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 2-9 May 2012

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and cheer
and give strength to the body and soul. ~John Muir, “John of the Mountains”

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

April 2021 was “National Native Plant Month.” Native plants are adapted to local conditions and occur naturally in a particular place without human intervention.

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Maia
4/18 – 5/15

May
May 1: Beltane or Beltain, Lá Bealtaine (Irish), Là Bealltainn (Scottish Gaelic, also known as Cétamain, is the Gaelic May Day festival. (Southern Hemisphere October 31 – November 1)

May 1: Samhain, Southern Hemisphere

5: Cinco de Mayo

9: Mother’s Day

26: Full Moon — Flower Moon In May, focus on magic related to careers and jobs. If you’ve thought about changing jobs, or even entering a new career field, this is a good time to do it. Expand your horizons this month; this will appear as a supermoon AND will also feature a total Lunar eclipse at 7:19 a.m. EST. The eclipse will be visible from east Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and the Americas.

Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

Coming in May
02: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
09: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
16: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waning Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Knight of Swords

What mission are you focusing on this week?

Nothing can stop you right now — you’re feeling so motivated, ambitious, and action-oriented that you will stop at nothing to pursue your dreams.

The challenges, difficulties, and obstacles on the path ahead don’t sway you because you know where you want to go. Rather than making plans, you are diving right in and taking quick action to manifest your goals.

Now is the time to be assertive, so channel this energy into proactive inspired action and watch your future unfold!

Ask Your Tarot Cards: What is my mission?

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May 2021 Astrological Influences & Ritual Recommendations
by Dacha Avelin

We welcome May with the Gaelic celebration of Beltane, which marks the beginning of Mother Earth entering a new cycle of growth, fertility, and abundance. Although I do not practice or observe any Pagan or Wiccan/New Age holidays or rites, I do honor this blessed day by creating an abundant ritual altar of candles and flowers.

May 3rd, 2021: Last Quarter Moon in Aquarius will bring a strong desire for solitude. Sensitives and those developing their third eye will feel overloaded with psychic messages. Anxiety often heightens during this time. Excellent time to physically and spiritually cleanse the home. The combination of Agrimony Powder and Wormwood Powder illuminates and cleanses all surroundings. This nearly smokeless method of cleansing will be very satisfying under the influences of this Last Quarter Moon. More information and instructions can be found on the Smokeless “Smudge” Kit page.

If anxiety about a particular potential outcome is present, nip the negative energy in the bud and prevent the outcome from manifesting. Energy flows where attention goes. Do not feed the potential problem or problematic outcome by drawing more energy to it! Obstruct the thoughts, energies, and buildup surrounding the potential undesired outcome by following the Block Undesired Manifestation Ritual.

May 8th, 2021: Venus enters Gemini, which causes many people to start thinking about love spells. Love triangles are often formed or come to light under this influence. This doesn’t necessarily indicate anything dramatic, but simply a sudden desire to freely explore romance with more than one person. For example, if you are in a relationship, you may suddenly spot a new person of interest. It is an excellent time to begin planning a love spell – whether it’s to draw a specific person into your life or increase self-love, invite a new awareness of love, and heal the heart chakra. The keyword here is plan – don’t start your love spell on this day. Wait until May 14th!

May 11th, 2021 11:59pm PST / 2:59pm EST: Dark Moon in Taurus intensifies our need for stability and practicality. Even the most eccentric and visionary personalities will suddenly feel the need to ground and get their mundane tasks in order. As with all Dark Moons, this is an excellent time for banishing rituals and cutting ties.

Put the energies of Dark Moon in Taurus to use if wanting to change your physical, feet-on-the-ground situation. Use the Resistance Release Ritual when your life calls upon sudden endings in order to open a path for new beginnings. Ideally used when it feels as though you are stuck in an undesirable situation or a negative thought pattern.

Dark Moon in Taurus also an excellent time to put an end to abusers and those that wish you or others harm. See the Vendetta Ritual for more information – now also available as a Ritual Kit.

If you suspect someone has intentionally or unintentionally (evil eye) placed something negative on you, perform the Break & Release Ritual tonight to banish the harmful energies. You may choose whether to send them back to the sender or simply eliminate and move on.

May 12th, 2021: Witches are Sensitives. Unless we are consciously prepared to block people’s energy, we automatically pick up the vibration of our surroundings. The night after the Dark Moon, I recommend all Witches to build spiritual protection around themselves. With the help of the Old World ritual herbs and resins of the Tiger’s Eye Ritual Blend, this ritual will protect you from unpleasant external energies and influences. Especially useful before stepping into an uncomfortable or potentially toxic situation. Wards against energetic vampires – those who suck the energy out of you or love to see people be miserable.?

May 14th, 2021: Mercury retrograde pre-shadow begins to cause static in everyday life. Begin your Mercury Retrograde Ritual today or within the next 14 days.

Mercury Retrograde begins: May 29th, 2021
Mercury Direct: June 22nd, 2021
Mercury Retrograde Post-Shadow Ends: July 7th, 2021
Learn more about Mercury Retrograde here.

May 14th, 2021: Witch’s New Moon is when the very first crescent or sliver of the Moon is visible. ?This is typically 2-3 nights after the Dark Moon. The moment you see the first crescent of the Moon, know that the Witch’s New Moon is upon you.

With some variations, the Witch’s New Moon rises in the daytime before noon and becomes visible in the day sky. It will be most visible at sunset and usually sets well before midnight. The Witch’s New Moon is the same percentage all over the world – both in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. However, which way the tips of the Witch’s New Moon point depend on the time, date, and your location on Earth. ?

May 14th’s Witch’s New Moon in Gemini is the ideal time to begin rituals for love and manifestation. The Come to Me Ritual utilizing the Song of the Siren Ritual Blend will do wonders to permeate the desired lover’s energy field. Read more about how love spells work in our FAQ section.

Note: Depending on your location, you may see the first crescent as early as May 13th.

May 20th, 2021: Sun enters Gemini and energizes social interaction, as well as intellectual pursuits. Under this 28 day influence, it’s common to jump from one hobby to the next. The physical seemingly cannot keep up with the mental. There isn’t enough time in the day to pursue every hobby, every person, and every adventure that you will be interested in. Boredom is everyone’s kryptonite under this transit. If you are feeling stuck in manifesting a specific experience, the Attainment Ritual can help bring specific adventures or occurrences into physical form. Begin the series of Attainment Rituals tonight.

May 23rd, 2021: Saturn Retrograde reminds us of our unfinished mandated tasks, obstacles, and obligations from the autumn of 2020. Life is cyclical. Understanding and tuning yourself to the undercurrent of the influences has profound power. Unfinished business, unfinished relationships, unfinished imbitions will cycle back to the forefront of the mind. The conditions set forth between now and early October may feel oppressive or restrictive. Usually, these are self-imposed restraints and a sense of being overwhelmed. Feeling as if somewhere along the way, you missed an exit to your destination and have suddenly realized that you have come full circle and are back to the starting point. Use the next four months to review and revise the unfished chapters of autumn 2020.

May 26th, 2021 4:13am PST / 7:13am EST: Full Moon in Sagittarius. The Moon rules our emotions, inner dialogue, and deeply held beliefs. May 26th’s Lunar eclipse challenges the perceived experiences of the past and swiftly turns the page to a new chapter. As the polarising energies of the Moon and Sun heighten all senses, our rawest emotions are revealed.

The Full Moon will be in the sign of Sagittarius. It allows us to think creatively about our career, our place in the world, and how to best use this short time we have left on Earth. Desires to change occupations and/or move will be amplified. If possible, keep yourself buckled to your current situation until at least early July.

The May 26th Full Moon is also known as the Blood Supermoon. Despite the ominous name, the Blood Moon gets its name from the reddish-orange glow the Moon takes on during an eclipse. On this brightly lit night, the Full Moon will be closest to the Earth and look more prominent in the sky. This makes it known as the Blood Super Moon Eclipse.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand, you will witness roughly 14 minutes of a Total Lunar Eclipse. Those in the western United States and Southeast Asia will still be able to enjoy this phenomenon, though the entire eclipse will no be visible.

On a personal note, I find eclipses to be energetically draining. With the strong exception of the Sacred Full Moon Ritual, I withhold rituals for a later date, especially if these rituals require very specific outcomes.

Enjoy this evening; take it easy on yourself. Burn a Rosemary Smudge around your home. Smudge your physical and non-physical body, which includes the 3 feet below your feet’ soles (you will need to sit or lay) and the 3 feet above your head. Scatter the ashes under the glow of the Full Moon.

Wishing you blessed new cycle of growth and abundance! We will reconnect on May 31st.

Love & Magick,
Dacha Avelin

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Jupiter Enters Pisces
http://rubysreadings.com

Beneficial Jupiter shifts into the sign of Pisces on May 14! This lucky cycle makes for quite an exciting time. It’s good to know about the cosmic connections early on so you can take advantage of them. This whimsical energy sets the tone that will last through spring and some of the summer. It’s a time when all of us can receive some sort of luck that’s different or new.

The Zodiac Signs that can have the most luck and benefit from the Jupiter in Pisces influence are the Water Signs; Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio. But Taurus and Virgo can also do quite well, and Virgo’s may get lucky in love this time around. But all the Zodiac Sun Signs can experience a miracle or blessing of some kind as Jupiter bestows its luck and goodness.

Jupiter was actually considered to be the ancient ruler of Pisces before Neptune was discovered! But Neptune is Pisces ruling planet, and Jupiter is Pisces co-ruler. So Jupiter goes well with the sign of Pisces and its energy. This influence brings luck, blessings, and prosperity into our lives. So it’s a good time for Setting Intentions and focusing on future goals. But time-outs are important from time to time, and some serious daydreaming. Remember, our feelings connect us to the Universe, so make sure to ask for the good things during the Jupiter in Pisces cycle. Dream big!

Jupiter is in everyone’s personal Astrology Birth Chart, and depending on what areas of your chart Jupiter is cruising through, it is the part of your life that you see the most gains. But if you don’t see anything happen or you decide not to work with this energy, don’t worry; you’ll get another chance once this transit comes back together, starting at the end of December 2021, where it will stay through mid-May 2022.

But you can take advantage of Jupiter in Pisces cycle in its entirety and reap the rewards for as long as possible if you do some spiritual healing work and ask the Universe for what you want and need in your life. Let Jupiter lead the way and be your guide. It’s the planet of higher learning, knowledge, truth, and adventure. Remember, this exciting influence starts on May 14 and runs through July 28.

May Astro Highlights

Uranus Squares Saturn With the Moon in Aquarius at the beginning of the month and Uranus being Aquarius ruling planet. Whatever challenges you’ve already been dealing with over the last few months might have recently intensified. But this energy might start to disappear as we move away from those problems and towards something new.

Some good days in May are 4, 6, 8 & 9, and 14. There are often better conversations that are clear as we communicate with dignity and respect. This can make a big difference in our lives.

May 2-3 – Venus Sextile Neptune

Making helpful actions brings good energy back to you. This aspect is a potent one because Venus and Neptune both transiting their home signs (Taurus & Pisces) during this cycle, and Venus is exalted or in a higher vibration. This energy promotes positivity, so something good stuff will happen for a whole lot of people.

May 11 – New Moon in Taurus

The New Moon conjuncts the Goddess Black Moon Lilith! This energy tends to bring out the darker side of Lilith, and we have some shadow work to do. This influence produces some interesting energy, that’s for sure. Suddenly, there are more blowups or outbursts, and we can be vicious and use our words to cut someone down to size. And, of course, someone else could play out The Lilith factor in your life. So watch out for difficult situations.

A few days before and after the New Moon peaks, we should keep our distance from those who appear angry or frustrated and from any situation that feels tense or problematic. Now, this is a time to work on your Shadow Self! If you can handle it.

May 23 – October 11 – Saturn Goes Retrograde

Whatever started last February will be reviewed, so you can take this time to revise and rework a project or issue. This Retrograde lasts until mid-October, as Saturn brings a Karmic second chance. There could be a significant event that we should discuss in more detail as we get closer to this time. So I will have more on this soon.

Stay Safe & Be Well

~Ruby

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Mindful Magick
MAY 02, 2021 BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

The practice of mindfulness has gained quite a foothold in recent years. It seems everyone from elders to children is practicing mindful meditation. We all need ways to calm our mind and release stress.

For our spell today, we are going to practice being mindful magickal practitioners. Find a stone, crystal, leaf, feather, or flower that grabs your attention. Go to a location where you will not be disturbed. Hold your item in your hand and gaze at it lovingly. Slow your breathing. When you begin to relax, close your eyes. Feel the item with your fingers. Try to quiet your thoughts, and allow the item to speak its magick to you.

When you feel ready, open your eyes. Thank your item for being with you. Return your item to Mother Earth, or place it on your altar, where it will help you to remember to be mindful.
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Love Is Blooming
MAY 01, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Today is Beltane, otherwise known as May Day. It celebrates the union of the Goddess and the God, fertility, abundance, and of course love. Traditionally it is often seen as a holiday that is raucous and sensual—and certainly it can be. But love takes many forms, and Beltane is the perfect time to focus on whichever kind or kinds of love you wish to invite into your life. This can include romantic or sexual love, but also the love of family, friends, pets, community, or anything else that will fill your heart with joy. Beltane is a fire holiday, so if you can, light a bonfire and dance around it. (If you can’t have a bonfire, light a red candle in a cauldron or firesafe bowl instead. Snuff it out when you are done.) As you dance, say or chant:

Beltane fires,
Sacred and wild,
Bring me love,
Both sweet and mild;
The kind of love
I need and desire.
Come to me
With Beltane’s fire.
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A Cleansing Spell
APRIL 30, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

In some regions of Europe centuries ago, this date was considered to be the official end of winter. Cleansing rituals were performed to purify homes, farms, and livestock in preparation for a fruitful growing season. Many rituals involved fire. Bonfires were set, or sometimes straw brooms were set afire. These fires were meant to burn away the last remnants of winter and cleanse the environment. This spell is based on these ancient traditions. Use it to cleanse your living space or to bring good fortune. Begin by selecting three straws from a broom. Ignite them. Let them burn or smolder until they’re ash in a fireplace or heatproof container. As they burn, say:

I dedicate this fire to the earth and sun,
And to the summer season still to come.
Let bounty spread across the land.
I send this wish from my own hand.

When the ashes have cooled, sprinkle them as a blessing in a favorite outdoor area.
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Feed the Birds and Welcome Spring!
APRIL 29, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Tuppence charms date back to Victorian times and involve binding a coin with ribbon and seeds, then hanging it in a tree for the birds to nibble loose. This luck-casting utilizes the cycle of nature and the fertility of birds to imbue the charm with magick. Picking exotic coins is best. Later, a treasure hunt for these coins can be had, giving this spell an extra aura of luck and chance.

Gather the following:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 3 cage-free eggs
  • 1/2 cup meringue powder
  • 12–16 ounces regional seed mix
  • 12 coins bound up with green ribbon
  • 12 silicon cupcake molds

Mix the first six ingredients together with your hands, then pack around each coin and ribbon. Press into a silicone cupcake mold. Leave a bit of ribbon dangling out for hanging later.

Dry them in the oven at 190 degrees F. for three hours. When set, hang the charms in the trees around your yard.
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Floralia Celebration
APRIL 28, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Floralia was an ancient Roman festival that was held from April 28 to May 3. It honored Flora, the goddess of flowers. People hosted games and theatrical performances.

You can celebrate Floralia alone or with your coven. Plant summer flowers such as daylilies, clematis, sunflowers, or zinnias to honor the goddess. Planting peas or beans— especially sweet peas, grown for their fragrant blooms—promotes fertility. Pick spring flowers like tulips and daffodils to make flower crowns, boutonnières, or wrist corsages. Play games related to blossoms or gardening, such as the card game Lotus, the dice game Bloom, or the board game The Little Flower Shop. A favorite form of divination is to pick flowers, determine a meaning for each one, and blow them across a pool of water. The first to reach the far side indicates the answer to your question.
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Keep Your Side of the Street Clean
APRIL 27, 2021 BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

On a regular basis we have experiences that frustrate or annoy us. And in between those times there are moments when life shows us that we are not in control. During those times, I’m reminded of the old adage “Keep your side of the street clean.”

For this spell you will need a small container, some water, and a broom.

Fill the container with water. Hold it in your hands and say:

Blessed be, element of water; water
that cleanses, renews, and refreshes.

Dip your fingers in the water and sprinkle a few drops on your broom. Say:

Blessed be, this broom, which sweeps
away that which no longer serves me.

Pour the water onto your doorstep. Sweep the doorstep from side to side. As you sweep, let go of things you cannot control, and know that sometimes the best thing you can do is keep your side of the street clean.
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Daytime Fell Moon Tool Consecration
APRIL 26, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

The full moon is a great time to cleanse and consecrate magical tools. Many people will place crystals, oils, herbs, and other magical accoutrements in the light of the moon to absorb its energy, but the truth is that full moon energy is present during the daylight hours, too.

Use today to inventory your magical tools, dismantling those that no longer serve you or giving away those that may find better homes with others. You should regularly charge and reaffirm those that you decide to keep or that you’ve only recently acquired. Choose a favorite magical oil, if you have one, or simply use plain olive oil or magically consecrated water. Anoint each tool by dabbing it and saying:

I cleanse, consecrate, and empower
this (tool) so that it may serve
me in my work. So mote it be.

Allow your tools to sit in view of the sky over the course of the day, no matter the weather. Be careful with your colored quartz crystals, such as amethyst, as sunlight can cause them to fade over time.

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Sound of Change
MAY 2, 2021 ~ CAT

AIbum: I Am ? 2001 (c) 2001 Spiral Rhythm
Released on: 2001-01-01

LYRICS

Wind blows, fire burns,
Water flows and the earth turns.
Wind blows, fire burns,
Water flows and the earth turns.
Can you hear it?
Can you hear it?
Can you hear it?
That’s the sound of change,
That’s the sound of change,
Oh, that’s the sound of change.

Wind blows, lifts you up,
Lets you touch the sky.
And the fire burns your spirit black,
Forges freedom’s cry.
Water flows through your veins,
Becomes your salty tears.
And the earth she turns upon her course,
Marks your living years.

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Heartwings Love Notes 980 Befriending Yourself

Heartwings says, “Treat yourself like you treat your best friend, and you’ll be happy.”

When you mess up in some way, do you scold yourself? Do you act and/or think in critical ways toward your actions, habits, achievements? If so, you are not alone. Most of us do. It’s easy, and normally, it’s a habit we have acquired from those we grew up with who were in authority in our lives. Even contemporaries can contribute to the habit. I was a chubby child and not very athletic. My classmates, who valued good coordination and speed, found me a good subject for poking fun.

“I don’t want her, you can have her, she’s too fat for me,” known as the Too Fat Polka, was a popular song of the day. My contemporaries enjoyed teasing me with that song. To add to this, my mother had grown up with a mother who constantly harped on the importance of a slender figure. She had passed her attitude on to her daughter, so that she was highly critical of my looks. In addition, a slim waist was fashionable. Even at my most slender I did not have one of those. I also refused to wear the uncomfortable girdle my mother wanted me to wear.

As a result of these circumstances, for many years, whenever I looked in the mirror what I saw did not reflect what I actually looked like. Even today I have to take the old habit into account and look twice to be sure. These days, however, I am a better friend to myself than I used to be. I no longer act harshly toward myself when I make a mistake, drop something or bump into or trip over an object. I’ve learned to be compassionate and understanding toward errors in judgement or my lack of proprioception-being able to sense one’s body in space and thus avoid tripping and bumping.

I have learned to listen to myself as I go about my day, making sure I have the same attitude toward myself that I do my best to have toward others. My goal is to treat myself as I would a good friend. This way I can catch any tendencies I may still have to be hard on myself or on others either. The child that dwells within us all, no matter how old we become, appreciates it when we have a kind attitude toward ourselves. He or she works hard to live up to the good image our attitude conveys as well. When I treat myself as I would treat a good friend, I feel ever so much better about myself as well as about life in general.

May you discover ways to become your own friend, and enjoy this important step toward wholeness.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Are you, my readers, learning to befriend yourselves? It’s a learning and an unlearning process both. Let me know how you are doing and what you are thinking. Your emails are so special to me. Thanks for reading and responding.

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Simple Simmer Pot Recipes for Spring Time
https://www.thewholesomewitch.com/

We may think of simmer pots as a kitchen activity for the darker months of the year but this is just not the case! Each season comes with distinct aromas that help to define them and spring is no exception!

Spring is all about celebrating longer days, more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and nature coming to life all around us. And you can literally smell the spring time in the air.

Scents like lavender, lemon, rosemary, and vanilla can bring that wonderful spring feeling right into our homes. And who wouldn’t want that? Simmer pots are the perfect solution to have these glorious seasonal scents wafting throughout your home in minutes.

I’ve sung the praises of simmer pots before, and I’ll do it again lol. They really are an excellent, non-toxic, and eco-friendly way to have your home smelling like the season in a few short minutes. They are also a wonderful way to brew some magick in the kitchen.

So read on and discover a few recipes to help bring the energy, joyfulness, and vitality of the spring season into your home and your heart.

The Simmer Pot
Simmer pots are basically potpourri in a pot! You choose your ingredients, put them in a pot with water, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it do its thing. They couldn’t be any easier, just be sure you don’t let your pot boil dry! If you want to keep the pot going simply add more water when it gets low. And obviously never leave it going when you are not home.

Simmer pots also lack the harsh toxins that are packed into conventional air freshener sprays and many scented candles. Just fresh ingredients from your kitchen! No fake fragrances or toxic chemicals needed.

One more benefit, they can likely be crafted with things you already have in your kitchen making them a convenient and inexpensive solution.

If you’d like you can read my Autumn Simmer Pot post and Winter Simmer Pot post for some more inspiration. Or check out my Seasonal Simmer Pot Package in the shop.

stovetop potpourri, simmer pot, seasonal living, kitchen witch, kitchen witchery, magical recipes, spring living, witch, pagan
Simmer Pot Magick
And we mustn’t forget that the herbs, spices, and whole foods housed in our kitchens all carry their own energies and magickal properties.

So let’s use those items to assist us in manifesting our goals. You’ll easily be able to create a simmer pot that aligns with your intentions and smells delicious!

When I do a simmer pot with a specific intention in mind I follow these simple steps to incorporate my magick and mind into the process:

Set your intentions very clear in your mind and don’t lose sight of them for the entire process.
Add ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, stir the pot clockwise. Unless you are doing a banishing or releasing spell, in that case stir the pot counter clockwise.
Visualize your desired outcome or goal for the magickal work you are doing. Are you aiming to create happiness in the home, or more money in your wallet? Whatever it may be focus on what you want the outcome to look like. Continue with the visualization and stirring until it feels right to finish. You’ll know when!
You may recite your goal, a chant, or ritual words while you stir as well. Something pertaining to your desired outcome.
When you finish I would let the pot boil down until there is about an inch of water left and then turn it off. Your work is now complete.
Of course feel free to change this process up so that it suits your own needs and magical practice.

Spring Simmer Pot Recipes

Lemon Cookie – cleansing, prosperity, success, and joy
2 bay leaves
6 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Rosemary Dream – cleansing, healing, love, and protection
6 lime slices (dried or fresh)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Glorious Grapefruit – growth, protection, self-love, and energy
4 grapefruit slices
1 fresh eucalyptus sprig
3 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
2 stalks lemongrass


Lavender Citrus – wisdom, balance, clarity, and love
4 lemon slices (fresh or dried)
4 orange slices (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp juniper berries
What to do with your simmer pot ingredients when you are finished?
Another awesome thing about simmer pots is that they don’t create any waste. You can simply compost your ingredients or dry them out to be used in future spells or for potpourri.

Final thoughts.
Are you already a simmer pot enthusiast? If so, what’s your favourite recipe?

As always, I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or connect with me on socials.

For more Simmer Pot Recipes and kitchen inspiration check out my shop page! My Kitchen Witch Grimoire Bundle includes simmer pot recipes for every season, over 100 foods and their magickal properties, coffee and tea magick, sugar magick, and more!

You can also SUBSCRIBE to The Wholesome Witch Mailing List and receive a 20% OFF discount code for my shop full of witchy digital offerings and some freebies as well!

Until next time friends!

Yours in health and magick,

Krystle xo

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The Different Procedures of a Reiki Session
Article by Reiki Master Judy Camblor

So what actually happens during a Reiki session? What techniques does the Reiki practitioner use in order to bring us back into mind/body balance?

I’m glad you asked. In this article, I will cover the step-by-step procedures that I teach to my Reiki students during the Level 1 attunement class. The Level 1 attunement class covers the basic techniques which are the same techniques used throughout every level. In the Master/Teacher level, I teach additional healing techniques. Some of these techniques can be modified by each practitioner to a form that best suits their style, however, the techniques themselves basically stay the same.

Byosen Scanning
At the beginning of a Reiki session, we are taught to conduct the Byosen scanning. This scanning is performed on a client while they lay on your treatment table. Before beginning, be sure to ask your client to participate by imagining themselves in a peaceful retreat. This helps your clients to relax and mentally prepare for the session. You will find they will soon be off to La-La land (and it’s okay if they snore a little bit). Now, back to Byosen scanning. This is done by holding the hands over the chakras and other body parts for a minimum of three breaths while allowing the Life Force Energy (LFE) to travel through the practitioner to the client and back out. Three breaths is an initial starting point for any new practitioner. Through repetition, the practitioner learns to use their intuition to guide them when more or less scanning is needed in a particular area of the client’s physical body and aura.

Beginning with the Third Eye Chakra, a practitioner places their hands over the client’s Third Eye. After three breaths, the practitioner moves their hands now to the Crown Chakra before moving on to the ears. In my own practice, I like to feel the energy between the ears by pulling the energy out and pushing it back in. (This done by simply holding the hands near the ears and not touching them.) During the treatment of the ears, I envision the pineal gland as a beautiful blue crystal. As I move my hands away from and towards the client’s ears, I envision this crystal beginning to spin and spilling it’s beautiful white and blue light around the head-clearing out stagnant energy and sweeping away old thought patterns that no longer serve the client. From here, I move to the back of the head to bring that spinning energy to more of a normal pulse. By now, my client is somewhere in La-La land enjoying visions of the happy place they love.

The Different Procedures of a Reiki Session
From the back of the head, I move to the shoulders. I like to work on the shoulders because many of us hold our stress there. I sweep away the stagnant energy found in the shoulders before moving to the Throat and Heart chakras. The Throat and Heart chakras are centers of communication. When either of these is blocked or slow, it means that we are holding onto information whether it be speaking our truth or expressing our creativity. Please see my article on “In my own Experience”, to read about how having these two centers blocked for so many years affected my own life.

Now we come to scanning the body. Beginning at the shoulders again, I look for spots that cause changes in temperature in my hands. When I am conducting a Reiki session, the palms of my hands tend to get very warm. This warmth is produced by the movement of LFE. When I notice my hands getting too hot or too cold over a certain region of the body, I know that I need to stop scanning and deliver healing to that particular part of the body. I also listen closely to my intuition to see if there are portions of the body that need more clearing than others. Moving slowly down the body from the chest area, I begin to scan the Solar Plexus Chakra; the area of our personal power. I spend some time here because I like to get a feel for where the person’s self-confidence is. Do they need a boost? Is some preconceived notion about themselves blocking them from harnessing this personal power? By sweeping and clearing the energy here, the client is able to experience a newfound sense of purpose and direction. Since this is where we digest everything in life that we experience and everything we put into our bodies, after sweeping and clearing, I will move my hands in a clockwise motion a few times to get the digestive energy flowing to aid in their mental, emotional and physical digestion.

From there I move to the Sacral Chakra which is the seat of our creativity, female reproduction, and emotions. Huh? Emotions so low in the body? Yes! While it makes sense that our emotions come from our heart, and they do, the Sacral Chakra stores all of our emotions from the time that we are born until we leave the physical plane. Any buried emotions can hide here and create disease in the body. Any repressed or unexpressed desires can also reside here. This chakra can also become overworked if there is too much sexual energy being expelled. Too much of anything is not good for you, right? Well, that applies to sex also. Once the sweeping and clearing of this chakra is done, I do the same digestive hand motions here that I do for the Solar Plexus Chakra. I direct the energy out of the body through the regular paths of elimination.

Now we come to scanning the Root Chakra. The scanning of this chakra includes the legs and the feet. Why? Because just as the Root Chakra is the base of our energetic body and supports the rest of the chakras, so do our legs, knees, ankles, and feet support our physical bodies. This is the seat of our animal instincts, our survival. When our basic needs are met, this chakra can run smoothly. However, remember those feelings I was talking about before in the Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras? Yeah, they can affect the Root Chakra. If you spend a lot of time worrying that what you have is not enough, this will throw your Root Chakra out of balance. This imbalance can physically affect the knees, the ankles, and the soles of the feet.

Once I have scanned, swept, and cleared the chakras on the front of the body, I will gently ask my client to turn over so that I can go through the same procedures on the back of the body. Did you think chakras only had one side?

Sometimes I will conduct Byosen scanning while a client is sitting in a chair because it makes it easy to work on both the front and the back of the chakras at the same time. This allows for the client to have an uninterrupted meditation during their session without having to turn over on the table.

Balancing Chakras
After the Byosen scanning is done, I can now ask my client to return to laying on their backs. I like to offer my clients support for their knees and ankles in case they have lower back issues. Since I work with crystals, I will provide here a brief list of the crystals I use during this part of the session.

To begin I place a piece of Clear Quartz near the top of the client’s head and a piece of Hematite between their feet. This provides clear communication (Quartz) and grounding (Hematite). At all times during the balancing of the chakras, the practitioner should be holding space for the client with their non-dominant hand over the Crown Chakra while balancing the chakras with their dominant hand. This might be difficult to do if you don’t keep all the crystals you will need close to you. The point is to not break the LFE channel being held by the non-dominant hand.

The Different Procedures of a Reiki Session
Image by Jlhopgood

Balancing the chakra is a technique that can vary from practitioner to practitioner. Here is how I balance the chakras. With my non-dominant hand held over the Crown chakra, I move from chakra to chakra by rotating my dominant hand in a clockwise motion over each chakra three times and then sweeping the energy through the body towards the feet. I then bring the hand back over the chakra. Once I feel the energy of the chakra moving at its normal vibratory state, I move on to the next one. The goal is to get all the chakras spinning in the same direction each at their natural vibratory state. At this point, depending on your practitioner level, you can add crystals and draw symbols over the chakras. The crystals help to absorb and transmute any remaining stagnant energy, and the Reiki symbols help to amplify the healing and balancing. Use your intuition to know which crystal/symbol combination to use. By now you know what each chakra needs and you will be able to use the correct symbol for each.

One important aspect of this part of the healing process that I don’t want to leave out is that we can also direct energy from one chakra to another to benefit the entire chakra system. For example, if I know a client has communication issues with his or her spouse like speaking their truth, after balancing the Throat, Heart, and Sacral chakras, I will direct energy upward from the Sacral Chakra to the Throat Chakra. In this type of scenario, I will also direct Solar Plexus energy into the Heart Chakra so that with self-confidence, my client is open to communicating their truth to their partner in a loving way.

Here is my list for the crystals/chakra combos that I use: Crown/Amethyst; Third-Eye/Lapis Lazuli; Throat/Blue Lace Agate; Heart/Aventurine or Rose Quartz (depends on whether the client needs to attract love or heal from love); Solar Plexus/Citrine; Sacral/Carnelian; and Root/Red Jasper. There are also essential oil combinations, but we will get into that in another article.

Calling All Angels
Once the chakras are all flowing and happy, it’s time to call in the angels from the pure white light. Using a sweeping motion akin to that of the flutter of angel’s wings, I call in the angels and intuitively know which Archangel has come to the person’s aid. I give this information and other intuitive messages to my clients once the session is done. I ask the archangels to bless the healing that my client has just received and ask that it only serve for their highest good.

Infinity
Standing at the head of the table, I draw an infinity symbol three times over my client.

Reiki Protective Layer
Lastly, in sweeping motions as if spreading a layer of icing over a cake, I sweep my hands over my client from head to toe covering all extremities with protective energy sealing up the cleansed aura.

I then step back and do a self-cleansing and balancing technique for myself. I allow my client to lay peacefully for a few minutes after the session before waking them up so that the energy centers and the energy body can acclimate to the new flow of energy. Once they are awake, I provide them with a glass of water that has been infused with Reiki energy and recommend that they spend the day drinking water in order to flush out the body.

Wishing you a day full of Love and Light!

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Cycle of Life

While we are on earth, we are all human beings in different phases of our lives and soul development.

As we walk through the world, the people we encounter appear so different from one another. We see babies, old men, pregnant women, and teenaged boys. We know couples on the verge of marriage and lonely widows. We interact with toddlers and the terminally ill. As different as each person seems, they are all living the human experience. They are just at different places in the cycle that begins with birth and ends with death. Every phase of the cycle of life has its gifts and its challenges. Each stage is temporary and ultimately gives way to a new phase. This ephemeral quality makes each phase precious, because it will never last.

One of the wonderful qualities possessed by babies and young children is that they are unaware that a cycle of life even exists. They simply are present to wherever they happen to be right now, and they don’t give much thought to the past or future. Being around them reminds us of the joy that comes from living fully in the moment. On the opposite end of life’s cycle are our elderly role models. They are a reminder that each phase of life should be treasured. Time does pass, and we all change and grow older.

Being aware of the cycle of life and our place in it makes us wiser. As we develop a true appreciation for the phase we are in, we can savor it more. A new mother going through a difficult time with her infant can more easily embrace her challenges because she knows that her child will grow up, and she will long for this time again. Difficult and challenging periods are inevitable, but ? like everything that is a part of the cycle of life — they are temporary. When we are fully engaged with life, we get to savor and grow from each phase, and we are ready for the next one when it arrives. Fully embracing wherever you are in the cycle of life is the very essence to happiness.

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Springtime

Springtime inspires us to believe that, along with the earth, we too might change, release the past, and give birth to new ideas.

Spring comes when the earth, coaxed by lengthening days and warmer temperatures, begins to awaken from her winter slumber. She stretches open to receive the rain that gives drink to flower buds and seedlings. She takes a deep breath, and on her exhale the leaves on trees unfurl like tiny flags heralding her revival as baby animals tumble forth, trumpeting the good news to all who will listen. Rebirth and repopulation fill the void of winter with flurry and fury as what appeared to be gone forever comes into being once again. Even though it happens this way every year, we stand in awe, our insides trembling sweetly like the legs of a new foal as we too are reborn.

This is when we fall in love, again, speak without thinking, say yes to things we would normally refuse. It becomes more difficult to say no when the whole world around us appears to be an astounding affirmation of the resilience, richness, and plain, perfect beauty of life. We may find ourselves feeling several years younger and 10 pounds lighter without changing a thing. We may feel the urge to cleanse our bodies with a new pattern of eating, clearing our kitchens of cold-weather comfort foods and filling them instead with lighter fare and fresh fruits and vegetables. We may clear our closets of old clothes or cut our hair to express a new facet of who we are, and who we might become.

Springtime inspires us to believe that, along with the earth, we too might change, release the past, and give birth to new ideas, new relationships, and new perspectives. In honor of spring, we could make a list of the many possibilities we envision for the future and bury it in the earth, surrendering the fertile seeds of our imaginations to the nurturing soil. In tune with the season, we can then watch in wonder as the last of the snow dissolves into the rich brown earth, and stark winter gives way to green possibility.

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The Process of Grieving

Grief can arise from many life situations, but know it is not a permanent state of being.

When we experience any kind of devastating loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dream, or a relationship, feelings may arise within us that are overwhelming or difficult to cope with. This sense of grief can also come up when we are separated from anyone or anything we have welcomed into our lives. And while it may feel like we are caught up in a never-ending spiral of sadness and emptiness, it is important to remember that the grief we are feeling is not a permanent state of being. Rather, grief is part of the process of letting go that in many ways can be a gift, allowing us to go deeper within ourselves to rediscover the light amidst the seeming darkness.

The emotions that accompany any kind of loss can be intense and varied. A sense of shock or denial is often the first reaction, to be replaced by anger. Sometimes this anger can be directed at your loved one for “abandoning” you; at other times you may feel outrage toward the universe for what you are enduring. And while there are stages of grief that people go through — moving from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance — the cycles of grief often move in spirals, sometimes circling forward and then back again. You may even experience moments of strength, faith, and laughter in between. While these emotions seem to come and go sporadically, it is important to feel them, accept them, and allow them to flow. With time, patience, and compassion, you will eventually find your center again.

As we move through our grief, we may find ourselves reluctant to release our pain, fearing we are letting go of who or what we have lost. We may even regard our movement toward healing as an act of disloyalty or giving up. Know that while the hurt may fade, the essence of what you had and who you loved will have already transformed you and forever stay with you. If anything, once you are ready for the pain of your loss to subside, their memories can then live more fully within you. Remember, that healing is a part of the spiraling cycles of grief, and that in letting yourself feel restored again, you are surrendering to a natural movement that is part of the dance of life.

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Welcome to the Loan Department
by Stephen Halpert

Willard wore his new white shirt and tie to celebrate. It was his first day at the bank since his promotion from teller to loan officer. He took pride in his shiny new desk, especially the credenza beside it with a library of banking form books at his fingertips. Proudly he dusted invisible specks from his newly engraved nameplate.
At 10:05 an Uber van pulled up to the front door. A driver emerged, opened a sliding side panel and helped out an older, well dressed woman wearing a blue business suit and bedroom slippers. Over her arm was an elaborate cloth handbag. In one hand she clutched a large Styrofoam cup of coffee. The driver pulled an enormous suitcase from the van.
“Four hundred sixty-seven dollars,” he said in broken English; he lit the cigar stub stuck between his teeth.
Her eyebrows flew up, but without commenting she rummaged inside her capacious bag and pulled out a credit card.
“No take credit cards,” he said. “Told you outside hotel in New York. Only cash or check.”
She didn’t argue; instead, she set the bag on her suitcase and rooted around in it. She found a pad of checks; hastily wrote one, tore it off and with a flourish handed it to him.
The driver stared at the check, saw her generous gratuity and shrugged. He tossed away his cigar stub. It fell unnoticed into her gaping cloth handbag. He handed her her cloth bag and wrestled her oversize suitcase through the revolving door. Then he went to a teller to cash the check.
The woman surveyed the three desks in the Loan Department, saw Willard, and tugged her suitcase toward him.
Meanwhile the driver was having a dispute with a teller.
“I’m sorry sir,” she said. “But I can’t cash this check. It’s written on a bank in Romania.”
“So what?” he shrugged. “Check is check. I drive her four hours here from hotel. I want to be paid.”
“Of course,” the teller said graciously. “Just a moment please.” She turned and left her cage.
Meanwhile the woman set her suitcase beside Willard’s desk. Then she put her handbag on his credenza and sat down heavily in his client chair. “Young man,” she sipped her coffee. “Is it possible for me to negotiate a loan.”
‘Why yes,” Willard said. He reached for one of his banking forms, smiled politely and tried to sound dignified. “What is the nature of this loan?”
“That must for now remain confidential.” she smiled back, revealing uneven, yellowish teeth. “Of course, you are no doubt familiar with the terrible competition surrounding investments.”
He wasn’t sure what that meant but nodded wisely and asked “How much have you in mind?”
“Four hundred million.”
He gulped. “Oh, a real jumbo.”
“Not exactly a loan. More like a letter of credit from this bank that I may draw upon funds should they be needed.” Her blue skirt rode up as she crossed her legs.
“Of course.” He felt unsure which form to give her. “And may I ask the nature of this purchase?”
She moved closer, lowered her voice to barely above a whisper. “La Belle Dame Sans Mercie. It will be next week auctioned in Paris.”
“La Belle what?”
She waved her hand dramatically. “Sans Merci,” she said emphatically. Coffee jumped from her Styrofoam cup onto Willard’s desk and splashed up onto his new white shirt and tie.
“Oh dear,” she said, “Let me help you.”
Meanwhile the manager, approached the teller’s cage. “I’m terribly sorry,” he said pushing the check back. ‘We cannot cash this. It is not within our protocol.”
The Uber driver scowled. His face turned crimson. “No!” he slammed his hands on the counter. “This is bank. Banks cash checks. Cash this one.”
“I’m sorry,” the manager said.
“Why not?”
“Because it is on a bank in Romania.”
“What is wrong with Romanian?”
“Nothing I’m sure but we cannot…”
“Then if nothing is wrong with Romanian, cash it. I want my money.”
He pounded his fist harder on the shelf in front of the cage, drawing the attention of the two bank guards. They moved toward him slowly.
Meanwhile Willard’s client grabbed her suitcase and hefted it up onto his credenza, pushing her cloth bag over in the process. “Let me help you. I’m terribly sorry.” She opened her suitcase. Lingerie burst out.
She grabbed something black and silky, reached over and began patting his stained shirt and tie.
“That’s really all right,” he said, squirming to get out from under her ministrations.
Clutching her check the Uber driver turned and made his way toward his former passenger. He slipped on some fallen lingerie and fell into her lap. He glared at the woman. “You pay me.”
The two bank guards, followed by the manager rushed over and tried to grab him.
He jumped from her lap. “You pay me!” he shrieked.
The guards seized him. Swearing in some foreign language, he struggled to free himself.
The bank manager surveyed the scene. “What is she doing here?” He pointed to Willard’s client.
“”She wants to borrow 400 million for something coming to auction next week.”
“I want my money,” the struggling driver yelled between curses.
Suddenly smoke billowed from the woman’s cloth bag. Flames followed, leaping toward the ceiling. This activated the sprinkler system. Willard, his desk and everything close by was drenched.
Seeing this, the woman fainted dead away.
Fire engines sounded in the distance. Customers and workers hurried toward the exits. The guards abandoned the driver and rushed over to the tellers’ cages.
The water quickly revived her and the woman opened her eyes. The Uber driver still stood there; fists clenched. She saw him and reached for his hand. “Help me,” she implored. “I’ll figure out a way to pay you.”
He sighed, shrugged and nodded. “Okay, okay.” Hastily he gathered the items that had burst from her suitcase. By now her cloth bag was sodden. He gathered that up too and led her away.
Willard surveyed the wreckage of his waterlogged desk and credenza. Swabbing at the mess he realized he was using a piece of silky black lingerie. The Branch Manager came over. He looked at Willard, sighed and said, “I trust your next client will be less exotic.” He cocked an eyebrow at the lingerie Willard was clutching. Then he nodded, patted Willard on the back and said, “Welcome to the Loan Department.”

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Kat’s Korner
Share your love for cats!

Does Your Cat Need Some Space?
by Sassafras Lowrey | Apr 27th 2021

Can cats experience separation anxiety? Can cats get stressed by having us around all the time? Here’s what you need to know.

When most of us hear the phrase “separation anxiety,” we think of dogs. But can cats also experience separation anxiety? Is the opposite possible – can cats get stressed by having us around all the time? Here’s what you need to know about cats and separation anxiety.

Do cats get separation anxiety?
“Cats experience and feel separation anxiety just like dogs. They may not react or express it in the same way, but the feeling/intensity may be the same,” says Dr. Dora Ramos, DVM of the Quick Care and Emergency team at NorthStar VETS Veterinary Emergency, Trauma, and Specialty Center.

Separation anxiety is particularly likely to occur with very social cats, heavily bonded with their people, and cats who are particularly social with their families.

“Bottle-fed kittens, orphaned or weaned too early, might be predisposed to separation anxiety due to the strong bond. Handling kittens between 2-7 weeks of age makes them more prepared for life changes later, more resistant to stress,” says Dr. Barbara Boechat, DVM at Firehouse Animal Health Center.

What about too much togetherness?
Any change in household routine can be challenging for cats. With pandemic lockdowns and many of us working from home, cats have lost a lot of the alone time they might previously have been accustomed to. Like how some very social cats might, as the country reopens, start to experience separation anxiety, other cats have been struggling with the constant togetherness and need more space.

“If you were used to going to work every day and now you are working from home, that can also be a new stressor for your furry friend,” says Dr. Boechat. Sometimes cats need some space from us, and cats feeling stressed out by too much togetherness will behave the same way as a feline with separation anxiety. According to Dr. Boechat, some signs of too much togetherness to watch for include: house soiling, anorexia, and vomiting, and hiding.

Give your cat space
It’s important to remember that cats spend a lot of time sleeping.

“Cats spend an average of 12-15 hours per day sleeping, mostly during the daytime as they are nocturnal by nature,” says Dr. Ramos, who advises that older cats will likely spend more time sleeping than younger cats and kittens.

“When awake, the amount of time cats spend socializing is individual to that cat’s personality and socialization status,” says Dr. Ramos.

Try to avoid disrupting your cat while they are sleeping. Similarly, it’s essential to give your cat as much autonomy as possible to choose when and how much time you spend together, even if you are home all day.

“If your cat is struggling with too much togetherness, give them space, be aware of their feelings, and monitor for behavioral changes,” encourages Dr. Ramos.

cat separation anxiety
Worried your cat might have separation anxiety? Here’s are some signs of cat separation anxiety. Photo: Drazen_/Getty Images

Cat separation anxiety symptoms to watch for
Symptoms of separation anxiety in cats will mirror the kind of symptoms you would see around cats who are experiencing stress or anxiety. This includes vomiting, anorexia, excessive grooming to the point of losing hair, and vocalization (especially when the owner is away from home).

“The most common complaint owners bring to the clinic is house soiling. Felines that are used to using the litter box might start changing their habits and urinating or defecating in the owner’s bed, for example,” says Dr. Boechat.

Cats experiencing separation anxiety may exhibit a change in behavior around eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating. Dr. Ramos notes that cats who are stressed by having people home all day every day might exhibit the same symptoms.

How to help your cat deal with household transitions
Any significant change in routine can be stressful for your cat. Last year’s lockdowns were a big change in routine for most cats, and now as we’re looking towards returning to something closer to normal, our cats are experiencing big changes again. Dr. Ramos advises helping your cat make positive associations with you leaving by pairing your cat alone with something rewarding. “If you are returning to work, make the transition as smooth as possible for your feline friend by offering a favorite toy or treat only when you’re leaving the house (so it changes your departure from a negative to a positive experience).” For cats closely attached to people, Dr. Ramos advises that it can be helpful to have a pet sitter or a family member come and visit your cat during the day while you are at work. Also, Dr. Ramos encourages that “it’s a good idea to leave the home in its most common state for stability for the pet – leaving the tv or radio on if that’s commonly done while humans are home.”

On the other hand, “If you are home more than usual, it is a good idea to try to maintain the same routine your animal is used to, the same way if you are going back to work. For example, you can feed and play with your cat at the same time as if you must leave your house. Also, keep a separate room where your animal can go and be by himself,” encourages Dr. Boechat. Cats thrive on consistency, and so regardless of what kind of schedule changes are happening for you, it can help your cat keep their life as consistent as possible. For example, maintaining a consistent feeding time can be comforting for cats. Dr. Boechat encourages cat guardians to consider using an automatic feeder so regardless of if you are home, your cat will eat at the same time every day.

When to seek veterinary help for cat separation anxiety
If your cat’s behavior has suddenly changed, it’s essential to schedule a checkup with your cat’s veterinarian. Your vet will be able to rule out any underlying health conditions that could manifest with the same symptoms as stress. If the vet determines your cat is physically healthy, they will help you develop a plan that might increase enrichment, like adding cat trees to the home or plug-in pheromones. Your vet may also recommend supplements, or in severe cases, an anti-anxiety medication. Dr. Ramos advises that your veterinarian will also be able to provide a referral to a veterinary behaviorist for your cat if they continue to emotionally struggle with being alone or with changes to a routine.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope
weekly@georgianicols.com

Sunday, May 02, 2021
All Signs

This week begins with tough love because on Monday, relationships with parents and bosses are strained. We are forced to deal with balancing what “we want to do” versus what “we should do.” (I hate that.) Self- gratification versus duties and responsibilities. Oy! Things will be depressing and restrictive for many. News in the media will be bleak and we will feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. Fortunately, the rest of the week gets better and better and by Thursday, relationships are hot and sexy! And by Saturday, everyone wants to enjoy the company of old faces! “Natasha!” “Boris!” (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your emphasis on money, cash flow and earnings continues to be strong this week. It’s important for you to know that things are better than they actually look. You will attract money and goods to you, so keep the faith. Having said that, during the beginning of the week, you will be disappointed because you might be turned down or you might hear depressing news that impacts your earnings and spending power. Arrrg. Nevertheless, stay strong because as the week unfolds, your financial scene looks better! Therefore, cope as best you can with the chaos and increased activity on the home front. It is what it is. People will help and the cash will come. “Friendship is the bread of life but money is the honey.”

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You continue to be empowered because it’s your turn to replenish yourself for the rest of the year. You are also attracting favours, gifts and resources to you. Admittedly, this week starts out tough. You might feel discouraged. You might wish you didn’t have to work or deal with certain people. Issues with parents and bosses will be restrictive. But lo! What news from yonder modem breaks? As your week unfolds (not unravels), your mood transforms into feelings of passion and excitement. Romance will be promising! The arts will appeal! By the end of the week, you will be happier enjoying the company of others. Websites must be scoured! Money must be spent!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Your ruler Mercury enters your sign on Monday, which will make you more talkative and able to put a great deal of yourself into whatever you have to say. Your mind will be busy jumping from topic to topic and you will seek new, fresh experiences! Normally, Mercury is in your sign for about two weeks once a year. However, this time, Mercury will be in your sign for 11 weeks! (Whaaat?) Yes! Until Sunday July 11. The reason for this is that Mercury is going to go retrograde in your sign from May 16 to July 8. (The last time this happened was six years ago in 2015.) This is a major deal! Don’t be discouraged at the beginning of the week when life feels tough because this week gets easier and easier as it unfolds.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your popularity with others and your interaction with groups continues to be strong; nevertheless, someone will oppose you at the beginning of the week. Whatever happens might make you feel discouraged to the point of even changing your future goals. Don’t let this get you down because these difficulties and restrictions will disappear. In fact, someone, perhaps someone creative, artistic or attractive will make things better for you. In some cases, a friend will become a lover. But all of you will feel relieved and happier because of this person. Meanwhile, you are strong and vigourous because fiery Mars is in your sign. “I can do this!”

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You continue to garner the admiration of others because the Sun is still at the top of your chart along with Venus, which is a very favourable influence! Nevertheless, at the beginning of the week, you might be slammed by harsh news or have difficulty dealing with a parent or a boss. This might curtail your plans or create problems. Definitely a bummer. The thing to know is that this is the only tough time this week. Once you deal with this, things will get better and better, and ironically, by the end of the week, your reputation will shine! People will think so highly of you that some of you will begin a romance with your boss or someone “important.”. As for Monday? “Even a hurricane only lasts for a day.”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This is a powerful time because five planets are cresting the top of your chart. You have a take-charge style dealing with others; and you’re eager to study and expand your horizons and share your idea as best you can in these times of Covid restrictions. Nevertheless, as the week begins, rules and regulations or legal matters (possibly something medical) will create difficulties or disappointments. The good news is that once you get over this initial hump, your week gets better and better. Romance with someone different might blossom. You will also have an increasing enjoyment of other cultures and their arts and crafts because you have a stronger appreciation of beauty.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I recently read that Bruce Lee said, “Don’t speak negatively about yourself even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Words are energy and cast spells, that’s why it’s called spelling.” Wise words! Meanwhile, you want to improve yourself; and in your desire to do so, you might be self-critical. Don’t be discouraged about your shortcomings. Cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself and remember that you’re doing your best – for today. This week begins with discouraging news about finances, taxes, debt or shared property. But you will handle this! As the week progresses, gifts, goodies and favours will come to you. A fabulous change!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Many of you need more sleep this week and are focused on your closest one-to-one relationships because the Sun is opposite your sign. This happens once a year and when it does, it offers you a chance to gain greater insight into your style of relating to others. However, at the beginning of the week, you might clash with a parent or a boss. You won’t get the approval or permission you want. Your plans might be dashed. You will be discouraged. Fortunately, these feelings lessen to the point that later in the week, relations with others are excellent! This week is a true transformation in that sense. For some of you, a new, passionate romance will begin.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You still want to get better organized, become healthier and work as efficiently as possible. Noble goals! However, this Sunday or Monday, some kind of barrier might hold you back from doing what you want to do. Relations with authority figures will be testy. In addition, your energy will be low and you will feel depressed about the state of the world. More than any other sign, sometimes you need to take a news fast or a break from the media because it’s important for you to maintain your optimism about life. Speaking of which, this week gets better and by the end of the week, everything will fall in place for you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Although this is a lighthearted time for you, at the beginning of this week, something will discourage you. It could be difficulty dealing with your kids, or a challenge to your plans for a social event or perhaps it is related to sports. For some of you, this challenge could be a disappointment with a romantic relationship. None of this sounds like fun. The important thing to know is your situation will improve rapidly this week. Trust me. Whatever difficulties you encounter at the beginning of the week soon will be history. By the end of the week, romantic relationships, relations with your kids and social plans will be exciting and promising!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your relationship with a parent or relations with your family will be challenging at the beginning of this week. This is almost a certainty. Maybe someone has put their foot down or shut down your ideas, which makes you feel blocked or restricted in some way? Perhaps a home project is overwhelming? Two things are going to turn this situation around for you. The placement of Mars right now gives you lots of energy to work hard him, which means you will accomplish a lot this week. Furthermore, a Venus influence will greatly ameliorate your difficulties at home and in fact, redecorating plans, real-estate plans and relations with family members will be fine! (Whew!)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You might be worried about something this week to the point that you feel victimized. “Why me?” This is because something in your daily world will discourage you or make you feel shut out or blocked. Naturally, this will be discouraging. In truth, everyone feels a challenge at the beginning of this week. You are not alone. Don’t fall into worry mode because this difficulty is brief. Already by Thursday, things look much better! And by the weekend, you’re laughing! Continue with your ideas to improve where you live with DIY projects and home repairs. Mars will guarantee fun times with others, especially with romance and sports. It’s all good.

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Monthly Horoscopes for May 2021
~Celestial Prognostication

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

The past year’s been both busy and challenging. While you’ve done a lot, it’s meant neglecting certain longstanding arrangements and, often, people who’re an important part of your life, from family or friends or colleagues. If you’ve apologised, it was briefly. With your ruler Mars accenting both your own feelings and forcing such matters out in the open, frank discussions about any issues are unavoidable. It’s an opportunity to learn more. This isn’t just about others; it’s about boosting the joy in your own life.

Money could be tight at the beginning of the month, especially if you attend lots of expensive social outings. It’s best to err on the side of frugality during the first half of May. If you’re looking for a job, you could land a lucrative one on the 11th, courtesy of the enriching New Moon. Working for a large organisation like a university, government agency, or hospital is especially favoured. Your spiritual life will assume greater importance during the middle of the month; this is a good time to take up a sacred practice. The Lunar Eclipse on the 26th could mark the end of a legal battle. You won’t be happy with the result, but you’ll be relieved this fight is over.

Jupiter changes sign every year. In 2021, and for a short time between mid-May and end July, Jupiter enters Pisces; and yes, it is en-route to its transit of your sign in 2022. View this as the overture. This is the time when you need to build up reserves. That though, may be easier said than done. Communication costs look set to rise greatly. Recalling that Mars is presently moving through a property-related zone of your solar chart, it may be that renovations and general improvements have the potential to drain resources. Note that just a few days after the Full Moon on May 26, Mercury turns retrograde and will be retrograde in one of the Air signs through until June 23. Nailing others down and getting them to keep to costs agreed will likely be challenging. To avert possible problems later, it would be wise to secure definition in a contract before the Sun leaves Taurus on May 20. Consolidating your position, gaining control of runaway costs and improving cash flow balance will require accessing the risk management expertise you’ve hopefully built up in the last year but would surely be a valuable exercise ahead of next month’s solar eclipse.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Although the Taurus New Moon on 11 May brings a range of matters to a head, the period from April until late June is about changes, often on seemingly stable arrangements, and possibly more than once. The key? It’s recognising despite confusion; changes are introducing timely breakthroughs. While temporarily unsettling, what’s least expected ultimately turns out best. Knowing that, ensure plans are flexible and, when possible, leave details until the last minute. This enables you to explore ways you’ll benefit from unexpected ideas or offers.

An authority figure might feel threatened by your powerful charisma in early May. Although it might be difficult to get ahead in your career, you’ll be a smashing success on the social front. If you’re looking for work, ask a well-connected friend to set up an interview at their company. They’ll be happy to oblige. The New Moon on the 11th is perfect for getting a makeover or changing your image. Starting a new chapter will make your eyes sparkle with happiness. Who you know will be more important than what you know in mid-May. Take this opportunity to make friends and influence people. An intimate relationship will hit a rough patch on the 26th, due to a disruptive Lunar Eclipse.

Whatever your birthday, as of Tuesday 4th, the accent turns to addressing financial issues and long-term security. Doing this ahead of the New Moon in your sign would be wise. Three days after that lunation on May 11, Jupiter changes signs. Whenever one of the slower moving planets moves from one Zodiac sign to another, there is commonly a ripple in financial affairs. Jupiter enjoys its transit through Pisces and expenses for most signs are likely to increase. Jupiter returns to the career zone of your solar chart at the end of July, and between now and then could prove an expensive time. Yet it may be that costs incurred are necessary for your well-being. It would be wise however, to be circumspect: especially around the weekend of 22nd and 23rd. Ahead of the Lunar Eclipse on May 26, it’s important to have reserves in place. In investment terms, consider communication and transport sectors.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

For months, you’ve lived with unsettling circumstances and often been unable to make lasting plans. Being a flexible Gemini, you’ve benefitted from the freedom to rethink plans and even more, explore. However, certain individuals are obsessed with ensuring arrangements are lasting. Discuss these, focus on your need to keep things flexible, in both social and professional ventures. This is especially important now, prior to the life-changing Gemini eclipsed New Moon in mid-June. Until then, regard any plans as steps in this cycle of exciting growth.

It could be difficult to get respect from an expert at the beginning of May. Someone with extensive knowledge in a subject might not think you are serious about this discipline. If you’re going to work together, you must be diligent. You’ll be more successful in love than work; paying extra attention to your appearance will attract the attention of several ardent admirers. Going on a spiritual retreat is would be good for you on the 11th, courtesy of the calming New Moon. After taking time to rest and relax, you’ll be ready to pursue an exciting career opportunity during the middle of the month. The Lunar Eclipse on the 26th may mark the end of a close relationship; prepare for a jolt. Choose your words carefully at the end of May.

May 2021 is special for all Geminis. Ahead of the Sun’s arrival in your sign, both Mercury and Venus begin their annual transits of Gemini. This should put you into thinking and desire mode ahead of your birthday. Also ahead of your birthday, Jupiter arrives at the apex of your solar chart opening up career horizons. Perhaps the most important feature of the month is the lunar eclipse in your opposite sign on May 26. View this as a cosmic punctuation mark and turning point. A business partnership could then take shape. Though perhaps things can’t be launched until after the Solar Eclipse in your sign next month, plans start here. Plans require vision; and that’s Jupiter’s job. Jupiter’s move into Pisces could bring with it a swathe of ideas and excitement. You might though need and invest or certainly regular support. Putting a support system in place should be possible between the New Moon on May 11 and Monday 17th.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

During this complicated period, every sign and individual is experiencing unsettling changes. While, eventually most will be bringing progress and a few will be true breakthroughs, patience is essential. Instead of trying to figure things out, think back to times in the past when similarly unruly events turned out brilliantly. The solution? Be patient. Those reassuring details will come together, but not until mid-July’s powerful Cancer New Moon. Until then, ensure plans are flexible, and stay in close touch with those who can update you.

Neither a lender nor a borrower be at the start of the month. The last thing you want is to mix friendship with finance. The New Moon on the 11th could find you mixing with a different group of people. Joining an artists’ collective or professional organisation could improve your social stature. The chance to advance your education could arrive during the middle of the month. This is a good time to take some advanced courses, even if it’s via the Internet. On the 26th, a Lunar Eclipse could bring an abrupt end to a job. Think about returning to a former employer for work; this position will be much more stimulating than your former position. Your experience could pave the way for a big promotion.

May 2021 is, for Cancer especially, all about savings, and long-term security – including pensions. It should be easiest to assess your position in the first three days of the month. You will need this information before you start discussing options with those who can help you build your nest egg. Plans could then be put in place in the short window between the New Moon on May 11th and Jupiter’s arrival in another of the Water signs on 14th. This is a special pocket of time when your focus should be particularly good. Jupiter’s move into Watery Pisces will obviously affect all signs. Many people will feel as though the brakes have come off and that they can now explore and invest in new areas. This could be the subject of much discussion over the weekend of 15/16th. It’s possible too that you will be preparing the celebrations around 21st. Though these might seem costly, the could in fact be a wise investment. Self-investment is always a good idea and before the end of May you might decide you need to undertake a short training course. View this as an early birthday gift.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Ordinarily, your ability to battle unfair situations or overcome obstacles is a virtue. Now, however, it’s vital you investigate their source. What you learn won’t just force you to focus on the origin of problems, the resulting review may raise questions about the value of certain passions, from work or projects to romance. Note, this is about achieving greater clarity, then weighing up your options, including those that appear suddenly and are as dazzling as they are unexpected. For now, explore. Decisions can wait.

Your romantic or business partner won’t give you much support for career plans in early May. It’s important to pursue a golden opportunity regardless of what anyone thinks; you don’t want to be consumed with regret. On the 11th, the New Moon could find you accepting a wonderful position involving real estate, luxury goods, or gourmet food. This work will feel like you’re getting paid to have fun. In the middle weeks of the month, your love life could really sizzle. Spending as much time with your amour will give you an attractive glow that turns heads. Renewing your commitment to each other is a strong possibility at the end of the month. A risk could result in loss on the 26th, due to a conflicted Lunar Eclipse.

Jupiter moves into Pisces this month and there is a Lunar Eclipse on May 26 that heralds a solar eclipse on June 10th. There is high probability of alteration to global financial matters. No sign will be immune. For Leo it may be important mid-month to discuss financial obligations and how these might be recalibrated. This would cover everything from extending a loan to agreeing new terms entirely. This would best be discussed between 11th and 16th. Before 11th, it’s important to take stock and do a quick review of assets and your general position. It’s probable that you will soon want to invest either in a trip or in a hobby or creative experience that would help lift your mood. This would surely be a wise investment. That said, it may be important to discuss this with a financial adviser who is well aware of previous dramas and how much you need to protect assets. Your risk management strategy has no doubt altered in recent months. By the end of May, you may wish the world to know how determined you are to preserve your position even whilst exploring new options.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Planning ahead isn’t just wise. For you, as a Virgo, it enables you to relax and make the best of life. However, the many unexpected events and offers that arise May’s remarkable planetary setup brings your way could seem overwhelming. Explore everything, conscious that what seems least promising could be a breakthrough; and, where appropriate, get others involved. They’ll contribute and, often, your relationship with them will grow as well. Most of all, take chances. You’ll only regret what you didn’t do, not what you did.

Your health could be delicate at the start of the month. Try not to weigh down your schedule with lots of extra work. When you get tired, take naps. Eat nutritious food. Take light exercise. Sensible habits can help you stay well. The New Moon on the 11th will open the door to an exceptional educational opportunity. You’ll really enjoy working with an expert you have always admired, even if you’re just communicated via video conference or e-mail. A close relationship will become a source of tremendous joy. Whether you have teamed up with a romantic or business partner, your interactions will open doors that were previously closed. On the 26th, a Lunar Eclipse could prompt you to suddenly relocate.

On May 26 there is a lunar eclipse accenting the backbone of your solar chart. This may well have something to do with property, renovation or perhaps, the closing of one career door so that another can open. Remember, a lunar eclipse accompanies a solar one. The solar happens on June 10th. There may be a short gap between one door closing and the next opening. Note too, that on May 30th Mercury turns retrograde. This too could put a spanner in the works; and yes, it’s possible that the next month will offer a bumpy financial ride. You may feel that you’re not where you want to be. Hold the thought that this is a peculiar year and that all could yet change. Note too, that decisions taken around the New Moon on May 11 could yet stand you in good practical stead – particularly if these are driven by those who have a clear track record of financial acumen. They don’t need to be your financial advisor but may well have had that role at some point in the past.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

As a Libra, you thrive on order. However, making the best of both April and May means regarding plans as an experiment, in which changes aren’t just inevitable, they result in unexpected benefits and worthwhile encounters. Strange as this seems initially, you’re soon encountering fascinating people and having amazing, if entirely unanticipated, experiences. The secret? Stand back and allow events to unfold in the way they must, and at their own pace. By late May you’ll realise how wise this approach was.

There may not be much money for leisurely pursuits in the opening days of May. Instead of being consumed by frustration, find inexpensive ways to have fun. Armchair traveling can be diverting. Watch movies and read books set in exotic locales. By the time the 11th arrives, the New Moon will deliver a financial windfall that allows you to indulge in creature comforts. Exceptional work opportunities could arrive during the middle of the month. Landing a job in the arts is a distinct possibility. A former romantic partner might try to reconnect with you during the second half of May; be wary about getting involved again. The Lunar Eclipse on the 26th could deliver some shocking news about your community; prepare to have your assumptions challenged.

It may be time for you to think quite differently when it comes to financial matters. Whereas investments may have been on the periphery of your mind, they could come to the fore: most likely around the New Moon on May 11th. Just a few days later Jupiter leaves the speculative area of your solar chart for a short trip through the ‘working area’. Give thought to this: it may be time to invest in companies that provide essential services. You might even want to think about providing one of these yourself. Though perhaps this idea can’t take flight until closer to the end of the year, for now, it might be worthwhile discussing options with a financial adviser. Note that there is a lunar eclipse on May 26th and in one of the Fire signs. Your enthusiasm for a project could wane around that time. You might also hit a financial bump in the road as regards a travel experience that may need to be aborted or whose costs are set to rise exponentially.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

It may not be until you’re looking back on the twists and turns that are reshaping your life during late April and early May that you recognise them as vital breakthroughs. What’s more, with the Scorpio Full Moon, on 27 April, heightening your feelings, your judgement won’t be at its best. The solution? Wait, watch and, bizarre as this seems, focus on decluttering your life. This could take weeks; but only once you begin will you realise how burdensome certain arrangements and, equally, passions, are.

Your family might not approve of your best friend or romantic partner at the beginning of May. Standing in defence of your loved one is critical to the health of your relationship. The New Moon on the 11th opens the door to an alliance that restores your zest for life. It’s a great time to exchange vows, form a professional alliance, or collaborate on a creative project. Embarking on a romantic adventure is a strong possibility; throw caution to the wind and take a big risk. Domestic pressure could let up during the second half of May. If the Lunar Eclipse on the 26th ends a job, you can start a home-based business. You’ll find this work much more rewarding.

Take time and take stock in the first three days of May. There is high probability that by mid-month that you will be in speculative mood. The arrival of Jupiter in the risk area of your solar chart suggests you will want to invest in those things which are creative (including affairs of the heart), and be tracked attracted to precious jewels and even currency trading. Understanding your position and what obligations you have to others in terms of debt and credit would at least enable you to know exactly what resources you have to play with. This task is best done early in the month. From the New Moon in your opposite sign on May 11th, the sense of needing to ‘push the boat out’ is set to increase. Be wary: there is a lunar eclipse on May 26th which could bring with it a financial drama – possibly affecting those closest to you more than you yourself. By then, many costs will likely have risen (including travel). This requires a re-budgeting exercise for all signs.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

No matter how solid arrangements seem, expect breakthroughs. During May’s first half, consider what you could do. This prepares you for the expansive cycle that begins on 13 May, when your ruler Jupiter moves to accent breakthroughs as unexpected as they are exciting. Then, on the 26th, the powerful Sagittarius eclipsed Full Moon triggers timely shake-ups. The secret? During May’s first half, declutter your life, and your mind, so that as the thrilling events of its second half unfold, you’re ready to think and move swiftly.

Arguments at work could break out during the first half of the month. Avoid contentious subjects like the plague. The last thing you want is to make your job more stressful than it already is. On the 11th, you could embark on a fitness regimen that helps relieve anxiety. Mid-month could bring a chance to relocate to a peaceful abode. Moving to a place near the water can soothe your fiery energy. It’s possible you will be leaving a role near the 26th, due to a disruptive Lunar Eclipse. Embrace this chance to start afresh.

Those born under Sagittarius are sensitive to the movements of Jupiter. Jupiter changes signs annually. On May 15th it enters Pisces. This will bring altered rhythm to all signs. Jupiter enjoys it stay in Pisces and for Sagittarius this brings opportunity to explore the oceans or at least think of places far, far away. Travel can of course be in the mind: it doesn’t have to be expensive. Yet you wouldn’t be you if you didn’t consider breaking out of your usual environment. To do that requires assessment of what resources you have. That’s a task best undertaken either in the first few days of May or around the New Moon on May 11. At either time, your perspective should be excellent. Don’t underestimate either your ability to rearrange your financial structure: it may be that the sale of no longer needed item brings significant cash boost. Most financial excitement is likely to come around the Lunar Eclipse in your opposite sign on May 26. It’s then that a co-worker or partners affairs are likely to change direction entirely; bringing with it a valuable review of joint commitments.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Change is in the air, but being a typical Capricorn, you’ll be putting it off until you’ve solid facts and your feelings about letting go of elements of the past are clearer. Still, the only way you’ll gain the clarity you need is by at least exploring some of those unfamiliar experiences or beginning to break away from reliable but restrictive arrangements. That way, you’ll be prepared for the dramatic changes in your lifestyle triggered by the Capricorn Full Moon on 24 June.

Money could be tight at the start of May. Selling your handmade wares could be a good source of additional income. You’ve always been gifted with your hands; use them to make furniture, clothing, jewellery, or food that’s marketed to a specialised market. The New Moon on the 11th could find you falling head over heels in love with someone who satisfies your sensual needs. If you’re already in a relationship, it may feel like you’ve embarked on a second honeymoon with your amour. Your main source of income could dry up during the second half of the month, so it’s important to find new ways of making money. A Lunar Eclipse on the 26th could bring a family secret to light.

There is an old adage of ‘sell in May and go away’. It certainly works well for some markets. May 2021 though is different in that on May 15th, Jupiter makes a brief foray into Pisces (returning to that sign fully at the very end of the year). This should bring complete change in the cosmic weather affecting global finances as much as anything. Jupiter is always ‘along for the ride’ and in Pisces, that ride includes crypto currencies. Expect a flurry of activity from May 15 through to end July. Of course, cryptos have been active already – but expect these to now reach new heights. Your interest in global finance is likely to be heightened by developments in your working scene too. Around the New Moon on May 11th, there may be working opportunities that require you to be more familiar with markets beyond those you are used to working with. At a personal level, renovation or even new build could have your attention. These though should not compromise long-term pensions or savings arrangements. The Lunar Eclipse on May 26 highlights the need to give these attentions too. This may be part of the negotiation process involving possible career adjustment due to begin next month after the solar eclipse on June 10th – and so affect your financial situation.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Once you understand this is a year of change, some initially unsettling, but all of it ultimately beneficial, you’ll regard the numerous twists and turns you’ve been facing, and will from May until June as part of an extensive – and exciting – pattern of growth and breakthroughs. The only problem is that things won’t come together until later in the year, when the practical Saturn and your ruler Uranus stage the final of three links. Knowing that, enjoy this period of exciting, if often unsettling, growth.

You may not get much cooperation from family during the first half of May. Relatives think your ideas are too radical, but you’re firmly convinced that it’s time for a dramatic overhaul. The New Moon on the 11th could prompt you to move to a place surrounded by beautiful landscaping. Your moneymaking potential will grow exponentially by mid-month; don’t be surprised if you’re offered a high-paying job. You’ll earn more for doing less. On the 26th, the Full Moon could bring an end to a group association that has been getting on your nerves.

Property matters could affect and even consume finances in the first half of May. This is a recurrent theme that won’t diminish for some time yet. There’s no need to take action too quickly: though you may feel prompted to do so as Jupiter moves into Pisces on May 15. From mid-May through to late July investing and yes, possibly spending more than you can afford, is a real possibility. Yet there is an eclipse on May 26th that could deliver a reminder that you’re going too fast and too soon. With this in mind, you could discuss your situation with a financial adviser between the Last Quarter Moon on May 3rd and the New Moon on May 11. Getting a firm grip on your position would surely be wise. Investing in expertise: especially around Monday 17th May, should pay off handsomely. Indeed, thanks to this counsellor’s observations and research, a financial pitfall could yet be averted. Note that Mercury turns retrograde in another of the Air signs on May 30 and that from then until the solstice in June, that renegotiation and revaluation is more likely than not.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

During May’s first half you finally say farewell to increasingly unrewarding relationships, personal or otherwise. This clears the way for events as exciting as they are unexpected, triggered by the fortunate Jupiter’s move into Pisces, on 13 May. Its brief stay of ten weeks brings a preview of the amazing, and often unexpected, cycle of growth that intensifies during early 2022, when Jupiter returns to Pisces. For now, and the future, be bold. Explore every idea, offer and encounter. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Beware of blurting out secrets at the beginning of May. Practicing discretion is critical to maintaining friendships. Instead of socialising, you may prefer spending lots of time at home. Domestic pursuits like cooking, cleaning and gardening can be rewarding. A job involving teaching, writing, or broadcasting could be awarded to you near the 11th, thanks to the communicative New Moon. There’s a good chance you will earn fame and acclaim for this work. The Lunar Eclipse on the 26th might prompt you to quit your day job to spend more time on this new assignment.

You could say that Pisces is more likely to dance to planetary tunes this month than any other sign. Others might even want to stop and watch. It all begins with the passage of both Mercury and Venus at the apex of your solar chart. It’s then that it might seem that you’re trying out new steps and yes, possibly moving the goalposts – at least where financial matters are concerned. Jupiter then enters your sign on May 15 and when all eyes really could be on you. It should be apparent that major change is in the air. Change though brings expenses. Balancing these against income could be super-hard especially around the lunar eclipse on May 26. It’s not that these developments are necessarily ‘bad’ but that you could feel overstretched and at every level. It would arguably be wise to have someone go through costs with you. This need not be a financial adviser, but a trusted friend or relative. Their advice (especially around 17th 18th) could yet prove invaluable and possibly avert a potential crisis in the last few days of May as Mercury turns retrograde.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
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The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 26 Apr – 2 May 2021

Full Pink Super Moon ~ 26 Apr 2021

~The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time. ~D.H. Lawrence~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Maia begins 4/18 – 5/15

April

April 23: Wiccan pentacle is officially added to the list of VA-approved emblems for gravestones, 2007

April 23: Vinalia Wine Festival in honor of Roman God Jupiter. Green Man or Green George Festivals.

April 24: Feast of Gabriel. Feast of Albion, Prytania and Britannia. Norse Day of Heimdall.

April 25: USAF recognizes Pagan holidays.

April 25: Feast of Robigalia to protect crops from the spirits of mildew.

April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day (Nice, but in April? Doesn’t this belong in July, when zukes are doing their thing?)

April 26: Full Moon at 11:31 p.m. EDT (03:31 UTC, April 27)

April 28–May 3: Floralia, honoring the Goddess of Spring flowers and vegetation

April 30: Walpurgisnacht celebrated by German Witches

May 1: Beltane or Beltain, Lá Bealtaine (Irish), Là Bealltainn (Scottish Gaelic, also known as Cétamain, is the Gaelic May Day festival. (Southern Hemisphere October 31 – November 1)

May 1: Samhain, Southern Hemisphere

Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

Coming in May
02: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
09: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
16: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Full Moon Magick:

Goddess Aspect: Mother

Associated Goddesses: Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Asherah, Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Isis,, Selene, Sisters of the Wyrrd, and the Norns

Magickal Attributes: Fruition – Manifesting goals, Nurturing, Passion, Healing, Strength, Power.

Prime time for rituals for prophecy. From seven to fourteen days after the New Moon.

Full Moon: Symbolic of the height of power, the peak of clarity, fullness and obtainment of desire.

Full Moon energy is used for banishing unwanted influences in your life, protection magick, and divination.

The Moon travels 1/2 way around to the 6oclock position, and the face of the Moon is fully illuminated. We love full Moon magic, an apt time for fruition, completion and wholeness. Some say the magic can be done the day of the Moon as well as three days on either side of it. It is a good time for all Positive Magic, protection, scrying, love, healing and prosperity. Also a good time to grow closer to the Goddess by Drawing Down the Moon

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

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

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Monday’s SuperMoon! A new or full moon closely coinciding with perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. The crest of the full moon will fall on April 27 at 03:31 UTC (Mon even for us in the U.S.). The perigee will also fall on Apr27 at 15:25 UTC.

Monday night will feature the 1st of 3 consecutive “SuperMoons” in 2021. April’s Full Moon is also known as: The Pink Moon, Frog Moon, Fish Moon, Egg Moon.

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
Living with Moon Magic

Stacy Adams retail@coventrycreations.com
April 26, 2021 – May 2, 2021

We start this with a Full Moon in Scorpio, the ghosts from the past may resurface leaving you feeling emotionally exhausted or traumatized. Release the energies as quickly as possible.

Mid to late week is great for creative activities, spiritual work, or just escaping (for a day) ordinary life.

This weekend expect the unexpected and sudden changes. This is also a good time to get to the root of your problems and implement actions that lead to results.

Recommended Candles: Grief (Affirmation), Meditation (Affirmation), Tranquility (Affirmation), Problem Solving (Blessed Herbal).

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

Full Moon in Scorpio April 26, 2021
The Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th swirls our subconscious and brings to the surface what still needs to be understood and healed. As old traumas, giant mistakes, and sins of the fathers come calling, do this candle ritual and release the past forever.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: The Magician reversed

In reverse, the Magician shows that you’re exploring what you wish to manifest, but you aren’t taking action yet.

You may be feeling uncertain about how to receive what you need. If you can decide what you intend to manifest, the Universe will work out how. Stay attuned to your intuition and pay attention to opportunities as they arise. These are like little breadcrumbs that will take you closer to your goal.

If you’re already acting on your goal, this can be a sign that you are struggling to see progress or success. You might have an idea but don’t know what actions to take to manifest it, or you’re unclear on the desired outcome. This can lead to your efforts being misdirected or unfocused.

This could also be a sign that your end goal is out of alignment with your Highest Good and the Universe is sending you a sign to stop, go back, and reassess.

Ask the Tarot: What needs to change so that I can achieve my goal?

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day
Under the Creative Moon

With the full moon tomorrow, this is a great time for some creative kitchen witchery. Collect all of your bowls, cookie sheets, cake pans, measuring cups—everything. Wash it all and set aside whatever you no longer use. Round up every recipe you can find, then update and organize them in one place. Go through your pantry and ruthlessly discard out-of-date items. Tomorrow, drop off items no longer needed at your local thrift store, then purchase fresh supplies and new tools.

Plan for a time of blessing your loved ones with nourishment, sharing recipes, and teaching the next generation the magic of creating food with love.
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Herbal Smudge Home Cleanse
APRIL 24, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

Saturdays, which are under the rule of Saturn, are a wonderful time to do some hearth and home magic. Let’s take this opportunity to do a bit of energetic clearing using an herb that is also associated with Saturday’s energetic currents: mullein. Mullein is known for keeping away evil and malevolent energies—perfect for upping your household protection against stray, unwanted vibes!

Gather a heatproof and fireproof vessel, an incense charcoal, and a couple spoonfuls of mullein. Get the charcoal lit and burning, and add some mullein on top. As it smokes, work your way around your home counterclockwise while wafting the smoke. Recite an incantation such as this:

By power of mullein, clean and cleanse.
By power of fire and earth, smoke
and herb, my home I defend.
My home is a sanctuary
that shall not upend.
Blessed be.
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Spell to Ease Work Stress
APRIL 23, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

No matter how enjoyable a job may be, there are still times of difficulty and stress. This spell can help during those rough patches.

As soon as you have a quiet moment at work, even if it’s in the bathroom, close your eyes and envision yourself surrounded by an orb of electric-blue light. Within this orb you are protected from the chaos of work stress. Not only does this orb protect you from future stress, but it also is spiritually magnetic. Feel it pulling the harmful energy out of your body and transforming it into more electric-blue power to strengthen itself. Feel all the stress leave you and become a beneficial part of your new shield.

When you’re ready, open your eyes and return to work with the knowledge that any stress sent your way will be blocked and absorbed by your shield, protecting you from all chaos and harm.
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Earthing/Grounding
APRIL 22, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

It’s Earth Day, so let’s practice earthing, or grounding—attuning our energy with that of the earth.

Stress, pollution, illness, and negativity can create free radicals: molecules that have lost one or more electrons. Free radicals can induce oxidative stress, which can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Good ions are oxygen atoms with extra negatively-charged electrons. Abundant in nature, they’re present in the earth, beach, mountains, and water. Negative ions neutralize free radicals, promote healing, and balance the autonomic nervous system. The earth has the capacity to restore health and balance in the human body.

Today, go outside and sit where you can place your bare feet on the ground. Sit quietly for half an hour. Be aware of the subtle shift in your energy as your body attunes to the resonant energy of the earth. You are now grounded.
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Overlook It Spell
APRIL 21, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Happy Taurus season! The sun recently moved into Taurus, ushering in a time of hard work, beauty, and home-centered thinking. Taurus is one of those signs that likes to have everything in place, and presentation matters! Unfortunately, things can’t be perfect all the time, so here is a spell to get people to overlook unsightly things that might mar your presentation. (This works great for when in-laws or parents visit.)

Take a foot of pink ribbon and empower it by saying the following charm:

Everything is perfect, everything is fine,
Not a hair out of place or error to find.
Overlook them and forget what you see.
You won’t have one complaint
when it comes to me.

Now tie the ribbon to your left wrist or ankle, making a bow with the remaining ribbon. Leave it on while that person is near and remove it when you no longer need it.
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Cleaning with Spring Herbs
APRIL 20, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

One of the joys of spring is the coming of the first fresh herbs to gardens and markets. Some may even sprout in your own yard. It is probably no accident that many of the earliest herbs are especially good at detoxifying the body. Back in the old days, a winter diet was mostly made up of preserved or fresh meat and whatever vegetables could be stored for a long time. By the time people made it to spring, they needed all the cleansing they could get.

These days, our winter diets might be better, but our spirits can undoubtedly use a boost come spring. Try using some fresh spring herbs in your magical work. You can also make a healing tea from fresh (edible) herbs like peppermint or lemon balm. Bless the herb on your altar first to give it an extra boost, and say:

May this fresh spring herb
bring its healing and refreshing
qualities to my body and spirit.

Then sip it slowly and mindfully.
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Spell for a Rainy Day
APRIL 19, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

Take advantage of April showers with this spell that uses rain and the element of water. All you need to do is go outside on a rainy day, visualize your goal, and chant the following:

Rain is falling to the ground.
Water bring your magic down.
With every drop that you allow,
Fulfill the wish I whisper now.

State your goal.
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Peaceful Home Carpet Powder
APRIL 18, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

This simple spell is designed to dispel negative or stagnant energies and to bless your home with a sense of peace and balance. Lavender has long been known for its properties of bringing calm, peace, and balance.

Gather the following materials:

  • A blue candle
  • A mixing bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Some salt
  • A vacuum

Light the blue candle. In the bowl, mix together the baking soda and lavender flowers. Focus on the feelings of balance and calm that you wish to instill in your space. Add a small bit of salt and mix well.

Sprinkle this mixture on your carpets throughout your house. As you do so, repeat:

Evil, be gone,
Balance restored.

Once you have finished, allow the mixture to sit for about 10-15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Allow the candle to finish burning down safely.

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Heartwings Love Notes 979 Expanding and Contracting

Heartwings says, “It is important neither to over expand nor to over contract.

Babies are always expanding, both physically and in every other way. They eat, drink and take in constantly, whether actual food and drink or the sensations that give them information about their surroundings and the world in general. They grow in all directions as is appropriate. Youngsters do the same, though not as voraciously. Then for young adults the physical growth process slows and stops. However, in healthy humans the mental, emotional and psychological consumption—the process known as learning continues.

To the dismay of parents and the delight of shopkeepers, young children outgrow clothes and shoes at a remarkable rate. As well they eventually outgrow much of their mental conditioning, or limits learned as youngsters and venture further out into the world. Young adults and then mature adults learn new limits, some of which may be outgrown and some of which may not. However, at some point mental, emotional and psychological growth may stop and when it does, contraction may begin.

It’s my experience that either we move in one direction—down, or toward contraction, or up toward expansion. Nature, as in the human and otherwise natural condition does not allow for us or anything else to stand still. Even rocks and cliffs are worn down by wind and water, and planets have their evolutionary directions. All of which is to say as we get older, the tendency to contract gets stronger and we may need to work harder to expand. For instance, I have found that I have lost inches from my original height.

Worse, my shoulders have a tendency to hunch over and my spine requires an effort for me to straighten it. I must constantly remind myself to practice good posture. In addition, I find I am accumulating habit patterns and ways to do things at a rapid rate. In other words, I am becoming fixed in certain ways and that is leading to contraction. What is the solution? Not only to work on my spine but also to remember to deviate from encroaching patterns. This is work! However, it is worthwhile work. All of this requires me to pay attention and to be mindful. This too is a way to keep growing.

I wish you the best of luck in your efforts to learn and grow,

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you encounter limits to growth and find a need to expand? Have you begun to shrink, without perhaps noticing it? I so appreciate your comments and suggestions, they make my day. Please write to me at tashahal@aol.com, and for more love notes to enjoy, go to http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.
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Mythology for Every Day of the Week
FEBRUARY 04, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

We are surrounded by mythical connections every day—the most obvious is in the names of our days of the week. This may not be news to you, but in exploring the details of each name we strengthen our connection to our daily spiritual and magical practices by incorporating aspects of mythology.

To discover the origins, we need to begin in ancient Babylonia, the place where many things started. They’re the ones who decided to name heavenly bodies after their deities. They only knew of five celestial bodies at that time, and so chose the sun and moon for the other two names. Later, the Romans took up this similar custom of naming the celestial bodies for deities, followed by the Germanic-speaking people. The Germanic peoples used their deities’ names instead and, since English is a Germanic language, we have the origin of our weekday names. This is a somewhat over-simplified explanation, but it’s basically what happened.

Let’s take a closer look at the characters behind the names in an effort to remind us of the qualities that each day honors. In this way, we keep our connection to these influences and can easily incorporate this energy into our magical lives each day. In addition, for each day there is a brief affirmation intended to celebrate that day’s particular energy and a list of magical correspondences for rituals or spells to create a week filled with magic. You can simply wear the colors or stones of the day, eat associated herbs/plants, or take advantage of the day’s particular scent using aromatherapy or incense.

These lists are brief and only touch the surface of ways to discover mythology each day. But when we look back at the stories and characters that inspire so much of our lives, we are reminded of our connectedness with all things—all people—and the universe itself.

Sunday: The Sun
Sunday is obviously named for the sun. The life-sustaining sun has, naturally, inspired sun-worship in many societies around the world. As with the moon, many mysteries have been revealed about just what kind of celestial body the sun is, and that there are many stars like it in the universe. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s essential for our life here on earth. Many deities are associated with the sun, both gods and goddesses alike. In Japan, the sun goddess Amaterasu hides herself, plunging the world into darkness, and must be coaxed back out into the world. And in Maori myth, the demi-god Maui snares the sun to regulate its movement across the sky.

A variety of myths from Native American nations tell stories about animal trickster figures interacting with the sun and moon causing the days or seasons to come into being. In a Zuni myth the sun and moon are contained in boxes but Coyote opens the boxes at the wrong time, causing the season of winter. A Tahltan story tells of Raven bringing light to the world so people could have division between day and night, work and rest.

In Greece and Rome, the god Apollo was associated with the Sun. He’s the only deity whose name remained the same in Rome as in Greece. He is associated with prophecy, music, healing, and poetry, and many other things. In addition, Helios was a sun god of the Greeks. No matter which sun deity interests you the most, by its very nature the energy of the sun can’t help but be associated with hope and life. </p

Magic using the sun involves success, confidence, new beginnings, power, health, and healing.

Colors: Yellow, gold, orange
Stones: Amber, brass, carnelian, citrine, diamond, gold, sulfur, tiger eye, topaz, zircon Incense/Oils: Benzoin, cinnamon, copal, frankincense, rosemary, sandalwood
Herbs/Plants: Bay, carnation, cashew, cedar, chamomile, cinnamon, juniper, marigold, mistletoe, oak, olive, orange, peony, pineapple, rosemary, rowan, rue, saffron, St. John’s Wort, sesame, sunflower, tea, walnut
Affirmation: Seasons come and go, cycles ebb and flow; no matter when, no matter where, the star of life is always there.

Monday: The Moon
Nearly all myths of the world contain some mention of the sun and the moon. Of course, there are cultural differences, but even the most primitive societies recognized the movement of these objects in the sky. Some bestow upon the moon a feminine identity; others give it masculine qualities. A Maasai story from Kenya tells of the sun marrying the moon but they fought, resulting in both of them having a battered appearance. However, the sun became bright to hide his face; the moon, being unashamed, allows people to see her. Many cultures have stories about a rabbit being associated with the moon which, if you look at it with imaginative eyes, you can see. Even though few mysteries about the moon remain, we still can’t help feel a sense of awe when we gaze upon it and follow its cycles that seem to mirror our own lives in so many ways.

As with the sun, there are too many moon deities to name. In Greece, the goddess Selene was regarded as a personification of the moon; in Rome she was called Luna. In addition, the Roman goddess Diana (Greek Artemis) was associated with the moon.

Lunar energy is typically associated with life cycles, nurturing, dreams, psychic ability, and magic in general.

Colors: White, silver, gray
Stones: Aquamarine, labradorite, moonstone, pearl, clear quartz, sapphire, selenite, silver
Incense/Oils: Eucalyptus, jasmine, lemon, myrrh, sandalwood
Herbs/Plants: Camellia, camphor, coconut, cotton, cucumber, eucalyptus, gardenia, grape, jasmine, lemon, lemon balm, lettuce, lily, lotus, myrrh, poppy, sandalwood, willow
Affirmation: Changing faces of the moon, dancing with the sun; you follow us, inspire us, watch over everyone.

Tuesday: Tyr; Mars
We get the name Tuesday from Tiw’s (Tiu) Day—the Anglo-Saxon name for the Norse god Tyr—a god of war who was equated with the Roman god. Some sources attribute the naming of this planet for the war god because of its reddish color. In Norse myth there aren’t a great deal of stories about Tyr. He’s most famous for losing one of his hands while binding the great wolf Fenrir. But let’s not overlook Mars himself, for which the planet was named. He wasn’t exactly a copy of his Greek counterpart Ares. Mars was considered to be less impulsive and more virtuous. In addition, the month of March is named after him (Martius).

When working with the energy of Mars, don’t think of it as “war-like” or negative but, instead, view it as courage, strength, facing fear, or standing up for yourself. Channel this energy into your day however it’s needed; remind yourself that you have the strength to overcome any obstacle.

Colors: All shades of red
Stones: Bloodstone, flint, garnet, iron, jasper, magnetite, pyrite, rhodonite, ruby
Incense/Oils: Dragon’s blood; pine
Herbs/Plants: Allspice, basil, carrot, chili pepper, cumin, garlic, ginger, holly, leek, mustard, onion, pepper, peppermint, pine, radish, reed, shallot, snapdragon, thistle, tobacco, wormwood, yucca
Affirmation: Gods of battle give me courage, strength for anything I need; I am bold and I am brave, in every word and every deed.

Wednesday: Odin; Mercury
Most people are familiar with the Norse god Odin, the All-father, head of the Norse pantheon, god of wisdom, poetry, and war. The Anglo-Saxon name Wodan/Wotan is the origin of Wednesday, or Woden’s Day. So, what is the connection between the Roman god Mercury and Odin? Sources vary on this subject. It could be that Odin’s association with wisdom is linked with Mercury’s later connection with learning; he has been attributed to giving Romans the alphabet. I like to consider their relationship as one based on communication. Mercury is the god of commerce and, like his Greek counterpart Hermes, is a swift-footed messenger who also guides souls to the underworld. Odin is also associated with the dead and has two ravens as companions who fly all over the world and deliver information. In this way, we can see some similarities.

Use the energy of Wednesday for communication and messages, travel, learning, and wisdom.

Colors: Yellow, green
Stones: Agate, aventurine, mica, citrine, opal
Incense/Oils: Lavender, lemongrass, peppermint
Herbs/Plants: Almond, aspen, bean, Brazil nut, caraway, clover, dill, fennel, fern, lavender, lemongrass, lily of the valley, mandrake, marjoram, May Apple, mint, mulberry, parsley, pecan, peppermint, pistachio, pomegranate
Affirmation: Swift and wise, be my guide, in all I show and all I hide.

Thursday: Thor; Jupiter
The Norse god Thor probably needs little introduction—most everyone is familiar with his prowess and his magic hammer. He’s a giant-killer and also associated with storms, thunder, and lightning. The Roman god Jupiter was a sky god also associated with thunder and storms. The Old English Dunresdaeg was the day of Thunor, an equivalent to the Norse god Thor. In ancient Rome Jupiter was part of a triad of very important deities that also included Mars and Quirinus (a deified version of Romulus, one of Rome’s legendary founders). It may seem like the head of the pantheon like Jupiter (Zeus) would be more comparable with a figure like Odin instead of Thor. But that’s not the case here. It reflects just how much prominence a sky god like Thor had in ancient times.

The energy of “Thor’s Day” involves change and possibility; movement. In addition, this is a good day for spells to harness good fortune and wealth.

Colors: Shades of blue/violet and deep purple
Stones: Amethyst, lepidolite, pewter, sapphire, tin
Incense/Oils: Star anise
Herbs/Plants: Anise, chestnut, clove, dandelion, fig, honeysuckle, maple, nutmeg, sage, sassafrass
Affirmation: Calm or storm, I stay in form; change and chance, eternal dance.

Friday: Frigg; Freya; Venus
The Norse goddess Frigg (Frigga) is the wife of Odin, associated with love and nurturing—she was also a mother figure. Her name comes from an Indo-European root that means “love,” and so she was compared to Venus, Roman goddess of love. Frigg is typically portrayed as a loving wife and mother, but not always. In fact, most love goddesses are not always painted in such a simplistic role. That’s because life and relationships are rarely simple. Some sources actually say that Frigg and the Norse goddess Freya were once the same figure. Freya, too, is associated with love. In addition, she is the only female of the Vanir (lesser group of gods) who is named in the epic poetry, and is associated with fertility and magic as well. It is said that she taught seid—a type of divination—to the Aesir (the main group of gods). As with the other Roman gods, Venus has some distinctions from her Greek counterpart Aphrodite. Venus was considered a goddess of fertility and victory in addition to love.

Use the energy of Frigg’s day for love, relationships, friendship, fertility, and all types of bonds.

Colors: Blue, pink, green
Stones: Azurite, beryl, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, calcite, celestite, copper, emerald, jade, lapis lazuli, lodestone, malachite, olivine/peridot, sodalite, turquoise, watermelon tourmaline
Incense/Oils: Rose, spearmint, spikenard, vanilla
Herbs/Plants: Apple, apricot, avocado, aster, birch, blackberry, cardamom, catnip, cherry, crocus, daffodil, daisy, elder, foxglove, geranium, heather, hibiscus, hyacinth, iris, lilac, magnolia, mugwort, oats, orchid, pea, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, rose, strawberry, thyme, tomato, tulip, vanilla, vervain, violet, willow
Affirmation: Love is all, transform, transcend. Love is all, begin and end.

Saturday: Saturn
There seemed to be no satisfactory god or goddess equivalent for Saturn’s Day. In Old Norse, they referred to this day as “washing day.” In other parts of Germany this day was called “Sunday eve.” Some people associate this day with the Norse trickster figure Loki because Saetere was a possible Slavic name for Loki, but there is less evidence for this. Since Saturn was equated with the Greek Cronus (Kronos), we can look to those qualities for mythological associations. Cronus was associated with time and agriculture. He is our embodiment of “father time” as depicted with sickle in hand for the harvest.

In Greek myth, Cronus was a Titan, and their leader, not one of the Olympian gods. He overthrew his father Oranous (Uranus), castrating him. He threw the genitals into the sea and from this the goddess Aphrodite was born (Venus). This myth illustrates the motif of succession: we are taken over by our offspring just as we take over those before us; although, since this is often not a desired state, there is resistance. Many people fear the ending of their time or the ending of a period of controlling something. Cronus knew his children would replace him, just as he replaced his own father, and he enacted a plot to subdue the next generation by devouring them which, naturally, was unsuccessful. We get the word for time (chronology) from his name. We all know our time is limited, and it can be frightening to consider this.

The energy of Saturn governs domestic concerns (family, duty, loyalty), protection, and binding.

Colors: Black, gray, shades of brown
Stones: Apache tear, hematite, jet, salt, serpentine, obsidian, onyx, black tourmaline
Incense/Oils: Patchouli
Herbs/Plants: Beech, cypress, datura, elm, hemp, ivy, morning glory, mullein, pansy, poplar, yew
Affirmation: Riddles and webs, reason and rhyme, I can navigate this travesty of time.

Bibliography
Cartwright, Mark. “Mars.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. ancient.eu Jan 16 2014.
Coolman, Robert. “Keeping Time: Origins of the Days of the Week.” Live Science. May 7, 2014. https://www.livescience.com/45432-days-of-the-week.html
Couzens, Reginald. The Stories of the Months and Days. 1923. https://www.sacred-texts.com/time/smd/index.htm
Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Worldwide. 1999.
Lindow, John. Norse Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. 2001.
Grant, Ember. The Second Book of Crystal Spells. Woodbury: Llewellyn Worldwide. 2016.
Novara, Jayme and Christina Gant. An Introduction to World Mythology. Revised Second Edition. Des Moines: Kendall Hunt. 2018.
Wasson, Donald. “Mercury.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. ancient.eu Nov 6 2018.
_ “Jupiter.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. ancient.eu May 6 2014.

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A Labyrinth: Celebrating Life’s Twists & Turns

Life involves many twists and turns. Why not celebrate them?

That is one of many lessons taught by the labyrinth, an ancient form that has fascinated people for millennia. I had one on my ranch in southeastern Arizona (I’ve since moved to a smaller home in Tucson) and I must say, I miss it. When I travel, I seek out labyrinths and always find a slow walk through the turns and curves worthwhile.

A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is often made of tall hedges that obscure the route and offers multiple paths; it is designed to confuse and challenge. A labyrinth has one way in, one way out, and lets you see where you are at all times.

The idea of building the one at my ranch came from a friend, Jace Mortensen. He used the Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France as inspiration, copying the pattern of the famed labyrinth laid into the floor sometime around the year 1200. He used a center stake and string to mark the 11 concentric paths and the central chamber, making a pattern 80 feet across, roughly the same size as the one at Chartres. H then placed stones on the circles.

So what’s the attraction? Labyrinths were traditionally seen as representations of a pilgrimage – people who walk the path were said to be symbolically retracing heroic journeys to salvation or enlightenment. But in recent years, they have been regarded as ways to reach a contemplative state, and this is how I see them. Because the path is complex, it requires one’s full attention – which means the everyday cares that normally nag the conscious mind fall away. The walker becomes quiet, absorbed in this moment, freed by the fact that there is nothing to do now but walk, slowly and deliberately. It is at least restful; at most, transforming.

If you would like to realize the advantages of a labyrinth, an organization called The Labyrinth Society https://labyrinthlocator.com maintains a “Locate a Labyrinth” tool that lets you find labyrinths in your community or in places you may choose to travel. Also, labyrinths are not difficult to build – there are many resources on the web. Enjoy!

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Herbal Practices for Spring
~Traditional Medicinals.

At the end of winter here in California, the countryside is covered with fresh, medicinal herbs like cleavers, chickweed, dandelion, nettles and an array of other edible spring greens—a gift from our rainy winters and a symbol of transition into spring. It’s no accident that these health-supporting herbs are a part of spring’s bounty, as our bodies are meant to be nourished in harmony with the Earth’s seasons.

Known as “the season of renewal,” spring is the perfect time to support our liver, kidneys, and lymphatic systems, as according to various herbal modalities these systems tend to have less flow and more stagnation over the winter season. While spring feels full of opportunity in growth, it can also be curtailed by seasonal stressors brought on by the verdant awakening of plant life. When crafting any herbal and self-care protocol, it’s important to keep in mind the season’s elements and their effect on your body. Below are some simple and effective herbal practices to prepare and support you this spring, brought to you by our herbalists at Traditional Medicinals.

Love your liver. Dandelion is a robust bitter that supports the kidneys, liver, and the digestive system as a whole. The leaves make a wonderful herbal diuretic, helping to relieve occasional water retention by supporting the kidneys and their flushing of excess waste.* Try it in our organic Dandelion Leaf & Root and EveryDay Detox® Dandelion teas, or create your own Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters.

Craft simple and lighter meals. As we move from the cold and damp to longer and warmer days, our diets should honor the seasonal shift. Try infusing spring greens like dandelion into your juice ritual and swapping your heartier fare with lighter, simple dishes like Astragalus Miso Immunity Soup, herbal congee, or kitchari.

Support your lymphatic system. According to traditional herbal theory, this often overlooked highway system of the body is fundamental to immune function and the absorption of nutrients. Our lymphatic system works hard to remove waste products from the body as well, which is why supporting it with lymphagogues—herbs that support lymph flow—is fundamental during the springtime. Consider using herbs like cleavers and burdock, featured in our Every Day Detox® Lemon tea.*

Invest in body work. Winter dormancy can promote stagnation and a lack of flow, particularly in regards to our lymphatic system. Try investing some time into self-care massage routines at home to move your lymph, or by going to a local body worker. Enhance the ritual with herbal oils and salves infused with spring greens to promote a healthy glow or arnica for musculoskeletal health.

Spend time planning your garden. Create herbal medicines from the ground up by growing plants from cuttings. Or if it’s still too cold where you’re living, try bringing the green inside in preparation for warmer days ahead.

Learn how to identify spring greens. Make your hike more interesting by bringing along an herbal field guide. This season you may find spring greens and wildflowers, but eventually you’ll notice the ebb and flow of each season and fall into alignment with your local ecosystem.

Celebrate the shift in the seasons. Usher in the return of light, creativity, and abundance by cleaning your home, nurturing seedlings, or painting eggs—an ancient symbol of fertility. Find out why the Romans considered the spring equinox the beginning of the New Year.

Adopt a healthy view on detox. Your body isn’t toxic. While everyone seems to have their version of “the” detox diet, we don’t. We believe our bodies are powerful and fundamentally self-healing, sometimes we just need help from the plants.

And finally, “When in doubt, use nettle.” That’s what our Chief Formulator, Medical Herbalist David Hoffman always says. Nettle is an earthy spring tonic that’s been used for over 2,000 years to support joint health and promote whole body wellness.

Wishing you all a happy spring!

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How to Meditate When You Have No Idea Where to Start
Even If You’Re A Fidgety Overthinker.

By Anna Borges

If you’re wondering how to meditate, there’s a good chance it’s because you’ve heard all sorts of things about how good it can be for you. People love to suggest meditation for a variety of reasons: to reduce stress and anxiety, to ease depression, to put you to sleep, to make you feel more present, to magically transform you into a better, more grounded human being. The claims go on and on. And while the benefits of meditation have been greatly exaggerated in a lot of ways, plenty of people find it to be a worthwhile practice and we agree. With everything going on in the world, it’s a solid time to explore meditation and whether it might be useful for you too.

Meditation may seem simple—and in many ways, it is—but people are often unsure where to start and whether they’re doing it correctly. To help you learn how to meditate and integrate it into your life, SELF asked meditation experts some of your most common meditation questions.

  1. What is meditation, exactly?
    First things first, there are many different kinds of meditation. “Meditation is generally used as a broad umbrella term that covers a wide array of contemplative practices, many of which are drawn from Buddhist traditions but have often been adapted and secularized for application in Western society,” neuroscientist Wendy Hasenkamp, Ph.D., science director at the Mind & Life Institute and visiting professor of contemplative sciences at the University of Virginia, previously told SELF.

With that in mind, the questions of what meditation is and how to meditate aren’t exactly straightforward ones. It’s kind of like asking how to play sports, Diana Winston, the director of mindfulness education at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and the author of The Little Book of Being, tells SELF. “Just like there are many types of sports, there are many types of meditation,” she says. And just like different sports share important things in common (like competition and physical activity), meditation has core tenets too. “I define meditation as any practice that cultivates inward investigation,” says Winston.

For this article, we’re going to focus mostly on mindfulness meditation. Why? A few reasons. For one, mindfulness is at the heart of many different types of meditation. Plus, it’s very accessible to beginners and has the most convincing body of evidence regarding its mental health benefits (more on that later). It’s also a very popular form of meditation, especially in recent years. Chances are, if you’re interested in developing a meditation practice to support your mental health, the type of meditation you’re thinking of is mindfulness meditation.

Like meditation, there’s no single universal definition of mindfulness, but experts generally agree on the gist: focusing on the present moment with openness and without judgment. “If you check in on your mind at any point during the day, you’ll probably notice you’re thinking about the past or thinking about the future, or you’re generally planning, obsessing, worrying, and catastrophizing,” says Winston. “Mindfulness is getting in the practice of pulling our minds away from these places to come back to the present moment.” And so, mindfulness meditation is the formal practice of cultivating mindfulness.

If all that sounds like a little abstract for you, consider that you’ve probably meditated—or at least felt meditative—at some point in your life. “In my classes, I always tell my skeptical beginners to share their favorite hobby,” Laurasia Mattingly, a meditation and mindfulness teacher based in Los Angeles, tells SELF. “Then I tell them that they’ve meditated before. Any activity that allows you to be fully present without worrying about the future or the past is a doorway into meditation.”

  1. What are the benefits of meditation?
    Here’s where things get a little tricky. The proven scientific benefits of mindfulness meditation are hard to sum up (so much so that SELF has a whole separate explainer on it). The TL;DR is that there are three conditions with a strong and convincing body of evidence to support the effects of meditation: depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Meaning, a not insignificant amount of meta-reviews and meta-analyses have found that mindfulness meditation can moderately help with symptoms associated with these conditions (or in the case of chronic pain, how people cope with symptoms, at least). For a full breakdown of what we do and don’t know about the health benefits of mindfulness meditation, check out this article.

Research aside, though, it doesn’t hurt to consider the anecdotal evidence, as long as you don’t buy into meditation as a magical cure-all. People find meditation very worth doing for tons of different reasons. “People report more connection, more gratitude, and more appreciation of life when they practice mindfulness,” says Winston, who has taught mindfulness for health and well-being in a variety of settings since 1993.

  1. Why should I try meditating?
    Why not? No, just kidding. Broad potential benefits aside, having a why to your meditation practice can help motivate you to keep your practice up, so it’s a good question to ask. Some meditations do that work for you because they have a clear goal (think sleep meditations to help you doze off), but there are a variety of reasons why you might decide to try meditating. Some of them might be practical, others might be personal.

“If you feel like you’re living your life on automatic pilot and you want more connection to yourself and to life, you might want to try mindfulness meditation,” says Winston. “It’s very also helpful for regulating negative emotions and cultivating positive emotions like kindness and compassion.”

Your why doesn’t have to be that deep, though—it can simply be what intrigues you about meditation. Why did you click on this article today? That might be your answer.

  1. Okay, talk me through the basics. What does meditating look like?
    Good news: People often imagine there are a lot of rules around how to meditate properly, but meditation is meant to be flexible and personalized. “A lot of people think you have to sit in a certain way, like cross-legged on the floor, which is absolutely not true,” says Winston. “You can sit in a chair. You can sit on the couch. You can lie down. However you’re comfortable.” Winston notes that people also think they have to do it for a certain amount of time—often a long time—but that’s another misconception. A few minutes is fine.

To give you an idea of what mindfulness meditation looks like in practice, consider this basic example: “A very simple way to meditate is to sit down in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed and bring your attention to your body,” says Winston. “See if you can notice your body breathing. Maybe you feel your breath moving in your abdomen. Maybe you notice your chest moving up and down. Some people notice the air moving through their nose. Then, just pick a spot to focus your gaze on and then stay with it, feeling the breath rising and falling in and out. When you notice your mind wandering away, return your attention back to your breathing and the spot that you’re noticing. Then just do that again and again. If you just did that for five minutes a day, you’d be golden.” It may sound too easy, but that might be all you need to incorporate a fulfilling meditation routine into your life.

  1. How do I actually start meditating?
    Despite how simple the above example sounds, a lot of people understandably find it difficult to do on their own without getting bored or restless. That’s where guided meditations come in. “It’s very helpful to have guidance because people get discouraged when they sit down to meditate,” says Winston. “So many people try and then they’re like, ‘Okay, what do I do now?’”

On top of gently easing you into meditating, guided meditations will also introduce you to a variety of specific meditations beyond focusing on your breath, such as loving-kindness meditations (which involve sending positive thoughts to others) or body scan meditations (which involve tuning into the sensations of your body head to toe).

Here are some guided meditation apps and resources to get you started:

Insight Timer (iOS and Google Play, free, or $10/month or $60/year for premium): Insight Timer has over 55,000 free meditations tracks, many of which are geared toward beginners. It also has courses, such as Learn How to Meditate in Seven Days.

UCLA Mindful (iOS and Google Play, free). Created by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and featuring recordings by Winston herself, this easy-to-use app has both basic meditations for beginners and wellness meditations geared toward people living with challenging health conditions. If you don’t want to download the app, you can listen to a few of their free meditations on their website.

Headspace (iOS and Google Play, $13/month or $70/year): Headspace comes highly recommended as a beginner app, thanks to its expansive library of guided meditations for just about every mood or goal. Plus, they have a lot of their own educational resources too, like this guide to different types of meditation.

Calm (iOS and Google Play, $70/year): Another frequently recommended meditation app for beginners in meditation apps, Calm is an all-around good starting point for guided meditation. You might like Calm if you prefer background nature sounds to silence.

Healthy Minds Program (iOS and Google Play, free): Created by a nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Healthy Minds Program app has meditations, exercises, and podcast-style lessons designed to build foundational mindfulness skills.

Tara Brach’s podcast (iOS and Android): Tara Brach is a psychologist and meditation teacher, as well as the author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion. On her podcast, she shares a weekly guided meditation. Many fans love the intimacy of her meditations, like you’re practicing with a compassionate mentor. You can also find her guided meditations on her website.

  1. How do I quiet my thoughts and keep my mind from wandering?
    Aaaand here we have the most common misconception about meditation. Despite popular belief, the goal of meditation isn’t a completely blank mind. “Meditation isn’t turning off thoughts but rather learning to meet them with awareness and curiosity,” says Mattingly. The same goes for our wandering minds; you don’t have to keep absolute focus, either. In both cases, the key is noticing.

“When our attention wanders away or other thoughts are coming up, we notice what’s happening and then bring our attention back to whatever it is we’re focusing on in our mindfulness meditation, such as our breath,” says Winston. “And then we do that over and over. What we learn to realize is that that’s not a problem. That’s part of the process.”

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, of course. Paying attention to our thoughts and emotions can set off anxiety, judgment, and other things that feel like they interfere with mindfulness. But with practice, you can learn not to get pulled down into that spiral and instead incorporate these moments into your meditation. “[Meditation] allows us to take a step back and become the observer,” says Mattingly. “When we invite in curiosity, we’re able to notice the changing nature of all emotions and realize that these emotions rise and fall in everyone.”

  1. How do I know I’m doing it right?
    “Right” and “wrong” aren’t the point of meditation. Like okay, sure, technically there are ways you can meditate “incorrectly,” but they basically boil down to not actually trying. The only thing you need to do is make an effort. “If you sit down and ignore your guided meditation completely and decide instead to use the time to think about your to-do list for a day, you’re not really meditating,” says Winston. “But if you take a moment in the course of thinking about all the things you have to do to bring your attention back to your breathing and try to be present, you’re doing great.”

But in general, Winston suggests not dwelling in this mindset too much. “The really important thing is to be kind to yourself so you don’t turn meditation into another thing that’s wrong with you,” she says. “Try not to be judgmental. It’s not like you’re going to automatically do it perfectly. It’s a process.”

  1. How do I make a habit out of it?
    Like with building any habit, there isn’t a magic tip out there that will compel you to meditate every day. It takes persistence and commitment. That said, there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself to make a habit out of it. For one, the meditation apps above double as accountability tools; some let you track your progress and send push notifications to remind you it’s time to meditate.

All your run of the mill habit-building tips will serve you well with meditation too. Set a specific goal—instead of deciding you’re going to “start meditating,” decide you’re going to do one guided meditation as soon as you wake up. Build it into your morning routine with these tips or into your night routine with these. Start small, set reminders, find an accountability buddy who wants to start meditating too. At the end of the day, keeping a regular meditation practice is about making an effort and, well, doing it.

If you really don’t want to go out of your way, Winston recommends building it into something you’re already doing, also known as habit stacking. For example, meditate after you brush your teeth every day or while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. A persistent habit that you don’t even have to think about anymore can serve as an anchor and a reminder.

  1. What if I don’t have time?
    That’s the great thing about meditation—it doesn’t have to take much time at all. Many guided meditations are five minutes or less. “Everyone has time for five minutes,” says Winston. “Meditation is adaptable and shouldn’t feel like a huge commitment you have to take on.”

Beyond being open to finding small pockets in your day to meditate, you can also build mindfulness into your life. When it comes to mindfulness meditation, there’s formal practice (like everything we’ve been talking about) and informal practice, when you take the skills you’ve learned in your formal practice and put them to use. “You can apply it throughout the day,” says Winston. “You can brush your teeth mindfully or remember to take a mindful breath when something stresses you out or be mindful during your daily walk. There are all sorts of ways we can make room for mindfulness even when it feels like we don’t have room.”

Mattingly also recommends the S.T.O.P. meditation as a quick meditation you can use on the go. It stands for: stop what you’re doing, take a breath, observe without judgment, and proceed. “This practice teaches us to check in with ourselves without judging our experience,” she says. “The ‘without judgment’ is the most crucial piece. For example, if we do this exercise and we notice anger or sadness or any difficult emotion, can we allow ourselves to honor how we feel without looking to ‘fix’ or ‘change’ any of it?” The R.A.I.N. meditation (recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture) serves a similar purpose.

  1. How do I know if it’s working?
    Depends on what you mean by working. It would be amazing if there was a universal sign that you were officially reaping the benefits of meditation, but that’s not how it goes. “Meditation isn’t prescription,” says Winston. “It’s not like ‘If you meditate this amount of time for this number of days, you will see this result.’ Our minds are very individual.”

Because of that, a lot of people give up without giving meditation a fair shot. Winston recommends two main things when it comes to judging whether or not meditation is working for you: checking in with yourself and sticking it out for a while. “Don’t try it once. Try it over time and then investigate how you’re feeling,” says Winston. “Is it benefiting me? Am I seeing the effects? Am I noticing that I’m a little bit calmer? Am I being a little bit kinder to myself and to others? Am I sleeping better? Am I enjoying having these small moments?”

All that said, though, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. Mindfulness meditation has been pushed as some universal habit that everyone will benefit from and it’s easy to blame yourself if you’re not feeling it. Let go of those expectations. “Mindfulness meditation is not for everybody,” says Winston. “It’s extremely helpful for some people, but not at all for others.”

If you don’t know when to call it, Winston recommends giving it six weeks or so, based on her experience teaching students over the years, including through a six-week program. It’s by no means a magic number, but it’s long enough that you’ll probably get a sense of how you like meditation and how it’s working for you.

Also, remember: There are all sorts of types of meditation. If mindfulness meditation doesn’t work for you, you don’t have to swear off meditation in general. It might just be you haven’t found the right fit yet. Maybe movement meditation is more your speed. Or maybe you’d connect with mantra meditation. Or healing meditation. Or something else entirely. It’s worth a shot, right?

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How to Make Moon Water and Use It In Your Beauty Routine
BY AMANDA MITCHELL

The sun tends to get all the glory, but the Moon has plenty of benefits too.

As a Cancer sun woman, my relationship with the Moon is a deep and intimate one. After all, the Moon is Cancer’s ruling planet, and everyone in my life will easily tell you my emotions change with its phases. When I was a child (OK, and sometimes as an adult, too), I used to talk to the Moon; I wanted to press all of my deepest hopes and dreams into every single crater. The last year really thrust me into my inner spirituality — shadow work, tarot, crystals, flower essences, all that good good — and that’s why it was no surprise that my TikTok algorithm started recommending I make Moon water.

But what exactly is Moon water, anyway? Basically, it’s distilled water charged under the new and full Moon, believed to absorb lunar energy to help us tap into our subconscious feelings and emotions. It also helps to heal and revive aspects of our spiritual body.

“[Making] Moon water is an ancient practice of alchemically activating water molecules with the emanations that radiate from the light of a full Moon,” explains Mariah K. Lyons, crystal healer and author of Crystal Healing For Women. In fact, it has been used in beauty routines and ritual practices for ages and is seen in cultures all over the world. “The Moon radiates a lunar ‘feminine’ energy — which has nothing to do with gender but energetics — while the sun radiates a solar ‘masculine’ energy. Just as we see solar panels capture light particles for a ‘charge,’ when we place water or crystals under the light of the Moon they receive a lunar ‘charge’ from the emanations of the Moon,” shares Lyons.

Awesome, right? We go outside to get some vitamin D from the sun, but many of us have never considered that light reflecting from the Moon may offer some kind of benefit, as well. However, it’s a long-standing spiritual belief that water holds consciousness, and it can be said to hold “memories.” Japanese researcher Masuro Emoto deeply researched water molecules for his 2004 book The Hidden Messages in Water, claiming that those molecules can change depending upon environment and intention. When you “charge” water by the Moon, its molecules are being imprinted with the energy of the Moon — so, the general theory would be that when you drink the Moon water or use it on your face as a beauty treatment, you are vibrationally tuning into the energy of the Moon that is stored within the molecules of water.

Of course, since this is Allure, we also wanted to get a dermatologist’s opinion. I asked Hadley King, a dermatologist based in New York City, if she had any thoughts on the medicinal side of Moon water. “I love the Moon in all of its phases, but unfortunately there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that water will be any different after exposure to Moonlight,” she says. So while the Moon does actually certain types of scientifically proven impact on our water — its gravitational pull affects the tides, something we all were reminded of during the battle of the Big Stuck Boat of 2021 — it’s also true that there’s no real statistical evidence behind the claims that water charged by the Moon will give us any real benefit. However, King agrees that she wants you to stay hydrated, either way, regardless of whether your water has been charged by the Moon or not. “It’s essential to our health to stay well hydrated, so that means drinking plenty of water, whether or not it has been exposed to Moonlight,” she explains. Drinking water is the easiest and best way to take care of your body, your health, and your mental health, too.

Varying opinions aside, if you’re interested in Moon water, party on, Garth. We tapped a few other experts to answer the hows and the whys of Moon water for you.

Who should use Moon water?
“The Moon controls the tides of the ocean, and we are made of 60 percent water,” shares Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Saturn Return Survival Guide. “This means that the Moon has a huge effect on all of us. Therefore, anyone and everyone should and could use Moon water.” Every single one of us has an energetic body as well as a physical one, and it’s important to maintain good spiritual hygiene. It helps to keep us in alignment to receive renewed energy and clear out anything that does not serve our greatest good.

When should you make Moon water?
If there’s a Moon in the sky, you can make Moon water (read: any time!). However, it’s highly recommended that you wait until a new or full Moon to charge your water, according to Stardust. If you make your water in the new Moon, it is best to charge it with positive affirmations and set your intentions towards growth. Full Moon water, on the other hand, aids in the release of all that no longer serves us. In order to welcome new fresh energy, we have to make space in our lives for new things, and the full Moon helps us to truly dig deep and let go.

One thing, though: Stardust highly advises to not make Moon water during an eclipse. The energy of the lunar nodes overpowers the Moon’s potent phases, which are used to make Moon water, so steer clear.

How is Moon water made?
It’s actually really easy, you’ll just need a few things:

A glass container or bottle (it doesn’t need a lid, but you can use one for storage)
Incense or sage
Water — any kind, distilled, tap, from a river, directly from a spring
Labels and a pen
Anything you want to infuse into your water — crystals, herbs, flowers
First, you’ll want to cleanse the glass container with smoke from your incense or sage. Pour your water into your container or bottle and place it by the window in the Moonlight or outside to absorb the Moon’s glow. Stardust suggests labeling the bottles with the date and the sign of the luminary, or astrological sign the Moon is in at that moment. “If the new Moon is in Sagittarius, for example, make note of that to ensure that you can use that vibe to ignite excitement. If the full Moon is in Virgo, make note of that as well to allow healing to happen with the water,” she explains.

You can add edible herbs and flowers to your water, like roses for love (including self-love), lavender for cleansing and relaxation, or anything conducive to the mood you’re trying to manifest. You can also add crystals like rose quartz to heal the heart chakra, or amethyst for heightened intuition to the water, allowing them to absorb and be “charged” by the lunar energy as well. “Crystals such as Moonstone, selenite, mother of pearl, and jade have a natural feminine resonance and are wonderful to charge in the light of the Moon, especially when looking to conceive or connect deeper with one’s own intuition,” recommends Lyons.

Speak your affirmations and intentions into the water, repeating it aloud or in your head to bless and set your intentions. Leave the jar overnight to charge with Moonlight, and it’ll be ready in the morning.

What are some of the uses for Moon water?
According to Moon water maker Barbara Mouradian of Eye Love Love, a company that makes handcrafted small-batch Moon-charged water in Florida, the uses for Moon water are endless: “Moon water can be used to create a bath ritual, charge and cleanse crystals, cleanse your energetic body, cleanse your home to remove stagnant energy, sacred objects, in your diffuser and more,” she explains. Her Moon water recipe, which was passed down from her grandmother, is made of charged Moon water, flowers, herbs, spices, salt, and alcohol. She works with each of the 12 zodiac signs and their attributes and uses complementary ingredients in her Moon water.

One of the most common ways to use Moon water would be to bathe in it during the new or full Moon — you can even use it to water your plants if you use plain distilled water. If you’re an artist, you can dip your paintbrush into it to cleanse your brushes to evoke energy, creativity, and emotions into your art. You can also use it to clean your floor, to make perfumes or oil — basically, anywhere you use water, you can use Moon water. You can also drink it to help to aid with cleansing and heal the body.

I turned mine into a cute little mist for my desk and for my shower, and I mist my Moon water as much as I spritz my face with my various favorite facial mists, and if I’m feeling super reckless… I might even combine the two.

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Persian Rose-Water Pudding

Recipe courtesy of “Healing Tonics” by Jeanine Pollak (Storey Publishing, 2000)

This recipe is quite exotic and a lovely treat for the body and soul.

If you ever want to woo someone, this healthy dessert qualifies as divinely inspiring in matters of love. It’s quite exotic and a lovely treat for the body and soul. Rose water, cardamom and vanilla are all traditionally associated with special occasions, feasting and love.

Food as Medicine
The yogurt in this recipe could help trim your waistline. A three-month study found that 16 obese men and women eating a reduced-calorie diet that included yogurt three times daily lost 61 percent more fat than 18 subjects who ate the same number of calories, but who consumed little or no dairy products and low overall quantities of calcium.

Ingredients
1 quart vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 drop pure sweet orange essential oil
1 teaspoon pure distilled rose water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon fresh rose petals
1/4 cup whole raspberries

Instructions

  1. Place a colander or strainer into a bowl. Line the colander or strainer with a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Gently scoop the yogurt into the colander.
  2. Cover top of colander with a plate, and let sit in refrigerator overnight. This will thicken the yogurt by allowing the whey to drain out. (You can save the whey. It’s full of good nutrients and healthy acidophilus, and can be mixed into drinks or juice or drunk straight.)
  3. The next day, gently scoop the yogurt into a pretty bowl, or onto a nice serving plate.
  4. Mix the honey with the orange essential oil. Drizzle the honey, rose water and cardamom over the yogurt.
  5. Garnish with fresh rose petals and fresh berries.

Recipe courtesy of “Healing Tonics” by Jeanine Pollak (Storey Publishing, 2000)

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Chasing the Paranormal in Your Spare Time

23 Apr 2021

What we do with our spare time these days has vastly changed. Rather than consider a crowded cabana bar on a beach somewhere, many are opting to hit AirBNB isolated locations where they can be free of mask-wearing and self-contained with their own meals rather than restaurants.

There is no better time to consider freestyle paranormal investigating as your new hobby.

You can delve into the unexplained in many simple ways that don’t involve crazy equipment or groups.

UFO WATCHING

My first suggestion is UFO watching. The only thing needed for this is a car to get out of the city and away from city lights.

You might put together some great music like Brian Eno’s work – very space-watching sounds!

Consider a portable picnic too and bring some lounge chairs.

These are items you will want to have around whether it’s for road trips, camping, or investigating.

If you’re serious about UFO watching, you might consider two other pieces of equipment. One is IR goggles with recording ability and the other is a telescope. If you’re going to be out there anyways, you might as well enjoy the night sky fully.

This activity of UFO watching is a fantastic one for everyone. It’s romantic. It’s a road trip. It’s being outdoors. It has something for everyone.

If you’re wondering where to go in particular for a higher chance of seeing a UFO, check out the reports at MUFON to see if there is an area near you with high incidence of reports.

SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS

It’s always best to chase ghosts somewhere else. The simplest way for anyone to have encounters is to stay in a notoriously haunted place. Whether it’s an AirBNB, hotel, or bed and breakfast inn, there are plenty of haunted places to lay your head down.

Take a digital voice recorder and ask questions. When you get home, play it back on your computer to really hear if there are any replies.

Digital Voice Recorder

You may want to check the room for a baseline EMF (electromagnetic field, the product of accelerating electric charges) and use it throughout the evening to identify possible spikes (some believe this energy is either a process of ghost manifestation or a result of it). My advice is to watch out for spikes near alarm clocks and when the air-conditioning turns on and off.

EMF meter

Honestly, there is no better barometer than a human body and its five (really six) senses. There is something built into our biology that sees things that don’t show up on cameras, hears things that are vague on recordings. Spend some time in the room, lights out so you can see movement, and silent so you can hear what’s going on. Simply “be” with it, no interrogations, no equipment. Just a human being in quiet repose, senses acute because of lack of sensory input, and a mind that is shifted into neutral.

HIKING FOR BIGFOOT

Maybe you don’t want to sleep in Bigfoot’s living room, but you wouldn’t mind a hike that could produce an encounter.

Here’s some hiking trails to consider –

The Bigfoot Trail.
Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. Of the 360 miles, approximately 100 miles (160 km) are along seldom used Forest Service roads while the remaining segments are backcountry trails, either in wilderness or on National Forest land.

Bear Canyon Lake.
Although the lake was created for anglers, it is a Bigfoot attractant, as well.

Allegheny National Forest.
In Northwestern Pennsylvania, this area has had quite a few sightings.

Sam Houston.
In southeastern Texas, this park has had a LOT of sightings and some rather disturbing.

Find out where sightings have occurred in your region by checking out the BFRO site.

I will say this, that people who get a glimpse of a Bigfoot, it is about 99% of the time that they are hiking, hunting, or whatever, not thinking about Bigfoot, not searching them out. It’s almost like that sensation you get in a public place that someone is staring at you, you turn and see them staring. Bigfoot appears to feel our focus upon them. So, keep yourself engaged in a happy hike, enjoy nature, take a lot of rest stops where you can be quiet and maybe notice things moving around.

If you really want to see them, take video. Stop. Zoom in and out, slowly doing a 180-degree pan so that your back is facing where you started filming. Wait a few moments, zoom in and out again as you pan back to where you started. When you get home, pop it on the computer. What happens is they freeze when you walk by so you don’t see movement. They blend right in. As you turn away they peek out, or use that opportunity to hit the ground. When you view the video, you can see them peeking out or being there and suddenly not being there.

ENJOYING THE UNEXPLAINED WITHOUT INVESTIGATING

If you like the unexplained but don’t necessariy want ot poke around looking for it, how about sleeping in it?

AirBNBs now offer so many quirky and delightfully-themed settings to sleep in that it’s easy to find a place that is so unusual to spend the night that you feel like you knocked something off the bucket list.

La Canada Flintridge in California offers a vintage home for rent complete with ghosts.

Don’t want to sleep with ghosts? How about sleeping in a strange vessel?

How about –

A bigfoot cabin?

Maybe you might like to stay in –

A UFO?

Maybe you’d like –

A spaceship house.

A creepy room –

When life gets boring and predictable, it’s often because we tackle each day the same. We figure we know everything by heart because we do the same routine so much that we can drive across town, arrive at our destination, and not recall a moment of the process.

Chasing the unexplained is a way of opening a new world we didn’t realize was there right beside us. It brings out the creative side of us trying to explain it, it brings out our courage chasing it, and it brings out our hope for there being more to the world than the zombie pattern we inhabit daily.

Open your mind and insert wonder!

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Welcome to the Loan Department

by Stephen Halpert

Willard wore his new white shirt and tie to celebrate. It was his first day at the bank since his promotion from teller to loan officer. He took pride in his shiny new desk, especially the credenza beside it with a library of banking form books at his fingertips. Proudly he dusted invisible specks from his newly engraved nameplate.

At 10:05 an Uber van pulled up to the front door. A driver emerged, opened a sliding side panel and helped out an older, well dressed woman wearing a blue business suit and bedroom slippers. Over her arm was an elaborate cloth handbag. In one hand she clutched a large Styrofoam cup of coffee. The driver pulled an enormous suitcase from the van. 

“Four hundred sixty-seven dollars,” he said in broken English; he lit the cigar stub stuck between his teeth.

Her eyebrows flew up, but without commenting she rummaged inside her capacious bag and pulled out a credit card.

“No take credit cards,” he said. “Told you outside hotel in New York. Only cash or check.”

She didn’t argue; instead, she set the bag on her suitcase and rooted around in it. She found a pad of checks; hastily wrote one, tore it off and with a flourish handed it to him. 

          The driver stared at the check, saw her generous gratuity and shrugged. He tossed away his cigar stub. It fell unnoticed into her gaping cloth handbag. He handed her her cloth bag and wrestled her oversize suitcase through the revolving door. Then he went to a teller to cash the check.

          The woman surveyed the three desks in the Loan Department, saw Willard, and tugged her suitcase toward him.

          Meanwhile the driver was having a dispute with a teller.

          “I’m sorry sir,” she said. “But I can’t cash this check. It’s written on a bank in Romania.”

          “So what?” he shrugged.  “Check is check. I drive her four hours here from hotel. I want to be paid.”

          “Of course,” the teller said graciously.  “Just a moment please.” She turned and left her cage.

          Meanwhile the woman set her suitcase beside Willard’s desk. Then she put her handbag on his credenza and sat down heavily in his client chair.             “Young man,” she sipped her coffee. “Is it possible for me to negotiate a loan.”

          ‘Why yes,” Willard said. He reached for one of his banking forms, smiled politely and tried to sound dignified. “What is the nature of this loan?”         

          “That must for now remain confidential.” she smiled back, revealing uneven, yellowish teeth. “Of course, you are no doubt familiar with the terrible competition surrounding investments.”

          He wasn’t sure what that meant but nodded wisely and asked “How much have you in mind?”

          “Four hundred million.”

          He gulped. “Oh, a real jumbo.”

          “Not exactly a loan. More like a letter of credit from this bank that I may draw upon funds should they be needed.” Her blue skirt rode up as she crossed her legs.

          “Of course.” He felt unsure which form to give her. “And may I ask the nature of this purchase?”

          She moved closer, lowered her voice to barely above a whisper. “La Belle Dame Sans Mercie. It will be next week auctioned in Paris.”

          “La Belle what?”

          She waved her hand dramatically. “Sans Merci,” she said emphatically. Coffee jumped from her Styrofoam cup onto Willard’s desk and splashed up onto his new white shirt and tie.

          “Oh dear,” she said, “Let me help you.”

          Meanwhile the manager, approached the teller’s cage. “I’m terribly sorry,” he said pushing the check back. ‘We cannot cash this. It is not within our protocol.”

          The Uber driver scowled.  His face turned crimson. “No!” he slammed his hands on the counter. “This is bank. Banks cash checks. Cash this one.”

          “I’m sorry,” the manager said.

          “Why not?”

          “Because it is on a bank in Romania.”

          “What is wrong with Romanian?”

          “Nothing I’m sure but we cannot…”

          “Then if nothing is wrong with Romanian, cash it. I want my money.”

          He pounded his fist harder on the shelf in front of the cage, drawing the attention of the two bank guards. They moved toward him slowly.

          Meanwhile Willard’s client grabbed her suitcase and hefted it up onto his credenza, pushing her cloth bag over in the process. “Let me help you. I’m terribly sorry.” She opened her suitcase. Lingerie burst out.

          She grabbed something black and silky, reached over and began patting his stained shirt and tie.

          “That’s really all right,” he said, squirming to get out from under her ministrations.

           Clutching her check the Uber driver turned and made his way toward his former passenger. He slipped on some fallen lingerie and fell into her lap. He glared at the woman. “You pay me.”

          The two bank guards, followed by the manager rushed over and tried to grab him.

          He jumped from her lap. “You pay me!” he shrieked.

          The guards seized him. Swearing in some foreign language, he struggled to free himself.

          The bank manager surveyed the scene.  “What is she doing here?” He pointed to Willard’s client.

          “”She wants to borrow 400 million for something coming to auction next week.”

           “I want my money,” the struggling driver yelled between curses.

          Suddenly smoke billowed from the woman’s cloth bag. Flames followed, leaping toward the ceiling. This activated the sprinkler system. Willard, his desk and everything close by was drenched.

          Seeing this, the woman fainted dead away. 

          Fire engines sounded in the distance. Customers and workers hurried toward the exits. The guards abandoned the driver and rushed over to the tellers’ cages.

          The water quickly revived her and the woman opened her eyes. The Uber driver still stood there; fists clenched.  She saw him and reached for his hand. “Help me,” she implored. “I’ll figure out a way to pay you.”

          He sighed, shrugged and nodded. “Okay, okay.” Hastily he gathered the items that had burst from her suitcase. By now her cloth bag was sodden. He gathered that up too and led her away.

          Willard surveyed the wreckage of his waterlogged desk and credenza. Swabbing at the mess he realized he was using a piece of silky black lingerie. The Branch Manager came over. He looked at Willard, sighed and said, “I trust your next client will be less exotic.” He cocked an eyebrow at the lingerie Willard was clutching. Then he nodded, patted Willard on the back and said, “Welcome to the Loan Department.” 

)0(

Kat’s Korner
Share your love for cats!

How to get Your Cat Used to Their Carrier
POSTED ON APRIL 21, 2021 BY MARC-ANDRÉ
Authored by the team at Vital Pet Club

We all know that if our cats had an arch-nemesis, it would be their cat carrier. And, for some cats, no amount of treats, trickery or full-on pleading will get them on board! Surely there must be a simpler way…

How to train your cat
Effective cat training involves shaping your cat’s behaviour through positive reinforcement, which basically means getting them to do certain things (like walking into their cat carrier or letting you check their paws) by making the experience more positive. This might involve using familiar items or pheromone sprays, or rewarding them afterwards (normally with treats).

Unlike dogs, cats are not able to read our behaviour as well and don’t have the innate desire to please us in the ways dogs do. This means that the best way to motivate them to do something is often through food.

That being said, it’s important to not set your expectations too high, as it can take some time for your puss to learn new things. It’s also vital that you always view training as a fun game with your cat. Don’t become frustrated if your puss doesn’t learn something straight away and never punish your furball, as the best way for your cat to learn is in a happy and relaxed environment.

Getting your cat used to their carrier
It’s important to try and get your cat used to their carrier from a young age so they see it as a normal part of their home, rather than a demon box that only appears when they have that dreaded car ride to the vets or the cattery. By having your cat carrier out in your home, you allow your fussy feline to walk in and out freely and become familiar with the cat basket- they may even nod off in there!

You can put your cat’s treats, favourite blankets and toys in the carrier so your cat associates it with positive things. And you can also spray the inside with a pheromone spray, as your puss will be able to recognise these pheromones, which will help them to feel more relaxed and comfortable in their carrier.

All of these techniques will allow your cat to think of going into their carrier as a positive experience. And, for many cats, this can change their behaviour, making them want to go into the carrier more, and also causing them to feel less stressed when they’re inside the carrier. And, by changing your cat’s behaviour, and getting them to do something that they wouldn’t normally want to do, you are successfully training your cat!

How to put your cat in their carrier
The first and most important thing to remember when putting your cat into their carrier is to remain calm and be gentle. As frustrating as it may be, getting worked up will only make your kitty more worried and stressed and they will probably try to run away, or may even become aggressive, making the process even more difficult for both of you.

Start by lining your cat’s carrier with newspaper followed by a familiar non-slip blanket or vet bed. Then make sure you give your cat plenty of opportunities to investigate the carrier, as some felines (especially kittens) will just walk straight in, especially if you have trained them to get used to the carrier.

Try to avoid forcing your cat into the carrier, as this can be very frightening for them, and may send them into a panic. However, if you can’t get your cat won’t go into their carrier voluntarily, it’s time to decide whether you are going to put them into the carrier head or bottom first.

The Head-first technique
If you are trying to put your cat in head first, place one hand under their chest, with the other supporting their bottom and slowly lift them into the carrier. Be sure to promptly shut the carrier door behind them, as cats will often try and spin around to escape. But always make sure you’re not going to accidentally trap their ears, paws or tail first!

Bottom-first!
The advantage of this technique is that your cat won’t see the carrier coming, however you may be more likely to get nipped or scratched! Again, gently hold your cat’s chest with one hand and bottom with the other and either lower your cat into the basket, with the carrier facing upward, or carry them into a normally positioned carrier (like with the head-first method) again making sure you close the door behind them.

Carriers with detachable lids can make putting your cat into their carrier so much easier! By removing the lid from your cat carrier, you will be able to place your puss into the lower half of the carrier before gently replacing the lid and quickly closing the door. This is the best way to get most cats into their carrier because many felines will panic and resist more if they are put into their carrier through the front door as this smaller opening will often feel make your cat feel more confined.

How big should your cat’s carrier be?
It’s important to have a carrier that is large enough for your cat to be able to turn around inside, but not so big that your cat may slide around and hurt themselves when travelling. It’s also important not to put more than one cat in each carrier- even if your cats get on well- as cats don’t like to be in confined spaces together and may become aggressive.

Preventing escapees
Before you leave the house with your cat in their carrier, always make sure the top of their carrier is securely attached, and that the carrier door is locked- as you don’t want an escapee! But it’s always worth making sure your cat’s microchip details are up-to-date so you’re prepared for any worst-case scenarios. It’s also a good idea to place a blanket over the front of your cat carrier, as this can help your puss to feel secure and safe.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope
weekly@georgianicols.com

Sunday, April 25, 2021

All Signs
Fair Venus is making its annual journey through Taurus, the sign that likes good food, good wine, good sex and a nice place to live. This is why we all have a desire to eat well and enjoy a good merlot. We are more aware of skin regimes. People want a massage or a facial. (I scared my partner with mud from the Nile on my face.) We also want to make our rooms pretty and beautify the outdoors by buying plants and focusing on decks and patio furniture. Venus in Taurus likes the good life and wonderful creature comforts! Orson Welles said, “Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad but you never know when luxury is going to stand up.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
The influence of Venus mentioned in All Signs above, along with the Sun, Mercury and Uranus are all taking place in your Money House, which means you are focused on money, cash flow and earnings this week. Fortunately, Venus tends to attract good things to you, especially money! Therefore, keep your pockets open. (Yes, Venus will also urge you to buy beautiful things as well.) Be aware that on Friday, the Sun will line up with unpredictable Uranus indicating something unusual could impact your wealth, your assets or your possessions. This could be a windfall? Yay! However, be wise and protect what you own from loss, theft or damage. Be alert. (The world needs more lerts.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Because the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus are all in your sign, the entire world is having a Taurus influence, which is of course, why people have their hands in the earth (or around a wine glass) and are starting to plant pots on balconies or flowers in gardens. However, as mentioned in All Signs above, this is also why we are all more delighted than usual with good food and good drink – the creature comforts of life. You will enjoy buying wardrobe items. You are eager to talk to others and share your ideas. You’re especially persuasive and convincing – no question. On Friday, you might feel rebellious about something. Caution against disputes with others as well as accidents. Tread carefully!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Naturally, you like your creature comforts as well as anyone else, which is why you also will enjoy a massage, facial treatment, good soaps, plush towels, good food and fine wine at this time. Nevertheless, the circumstances in your life dictate that you are happy to take a backseat. You’re content to playthings low-key and work alone or behind the scenes because it feels better. While some feel restless with Covid restrictions, you feel more comfortable staying at home. This doesn’t mean you’re not working hard to earn money because you are. However, by the end of the week, especially on Friday, something unexpected will happen. Your usual routine will change. Stay flexible so that you can react gracefully to whatever occurs.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a popular time for you! You are in contact with friends and members of groups either in person or via Zoom or whatever medium works best for you. You might be talking to younger people more than usual. You are definitely focused on your future goals and discussing them with others. Meanwhile, Venus will make relations with others so warm and friendly that for some of you, a friend will become a lover. Nevertheless, at the end of the week, probably on Friday, (perhaps Thursday), someone will do or say something that surprises you and catches you off guard. Possibly, you will meet someone new who is unusual and changes things in your life? Whatever this surprise is, it might cause you to change your future goals.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Of course, you’re enjoying good food, good wine and the luxuries of life whenever you can. However, unusual events are taking place that affect your career, your public status and your reputation among your peers. Relations with bosses, parents and VIPs are excellent now. (Someone is considering nominating you for sainthood.) Because you make such a fabulous impression, your voice will be heard and your influence will reach more people. You can pretty much call the shots! Success is based on timing and right now, the timing is excellent for you. Make your pitch! However, be aware that at the end of the week, a surprise from a boss, parent or supervisor might catch you off guard.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
At this time, you are keen to expand your world by doing anything different or unusual. In pre-Covid times, you would travel! Now you will have to seek other ways to be stimulated and find new adventure. Talk to people from different backgrounds. Explore interesting places and other countries online. Within the limitations of your own world, you can still shake up your routine and do something different or go someplace you’ve never been before. At the end of the week on Thursday or Friday, travel plans will suddenly change, as will plans related to medicine, the law, publishing, the media and anything to do with higher education. You might also encounter someone who is unusual. “Hi Darth.”

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You feel very comfortable with your ruler Venus being in Taurus because both Libra and Taurus share this rulership. It’s also why you are two signs who truly love beautiful things. In your case, this strong emphasis is taking place in a Money House, specifically the wealth that comes to you via your partner or other sources. You might receive money back from the government or benefit indirectly through your partner’s increased wealth. Some kind of boon will favour you. Although, on Friday, sudden and unexpected news that might impact inheritances, shared property or such could occur. Meanwhile, your ambition is aroused – along with your sex drive!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
All this heavy energy of four planets in Taurus is taking place directly opposite your sign, which means your focus on close friendships and partnerships is unusually strong now. Many of you are enjoying good times with friends, hopefully, with good food and drink. You might also have a chance to enjoy the arts with a friend or a partner. Warm discussions are taking place, all of which makes you feel good because this increased socializing fills a need in you. However, at the end of the week, on Thursday or Friday, someone will say or do something that shocks you or catches you off guard. For some, this might end a friendship. You might want more freedom in a relationship and have a quarrel? Expect a few surprises.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Your everyday routine is coming along smoothly because you are working hard and doing your best to be efficient and productive. And you are succeeding! Yay you! This is why things are going well at work and even your health feels improved. Likewise, relations with pets are more fun-loving and rewarding. Some of you are working to make your workspace more attractive. Many of you are enjoying smoother relations with work colleagues as well. Nevertheless, by the end of the week, some kind of surprise will catch you off guard. It could be a technological glitch, a computer problem. It could be anything. Be prepared.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This lovely Taurus energy that I mention in All Signs above, works beautifully for you! You are happy to rest in the lap of luxury until luxury stands up. Enjoyment from children, as well as an appreciation of the arts, sports and fun-loving diversions will please you this week. Some of you are involved in a new love affair. Woot! All of you feel more playful and prankish in your daily world. However, something unexpected might occur on Thursday/Friday that could involve accidents with children. Therefore, be vigilant! Anticipate anything that might go wrong with kids or something that is sports related because a surprise will occur. (Be patient with rebellious teens.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This increased emphasis on creature comforts, good food, good wine along with making your home more beautiful and creating a lovely ambience outdoors through new patio furniture and plantings – is where it’s at for you because your focus is on home and family. You want to beautify your home along with your patio, balcony or garden. You want to entertain as much as permitted. You will also address home repairs and enjoy family discussions. However, at the end of the week on Thursday/Friday, something unexpected will occur. It could be a family argument? It could be computer problems or conversely, it might be the introduction of something high tech for your home? Fingers crossed.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your fast pace continues this week. It’s a great time for those who communicate to others. If your job involves marketing, sales, teaching, writing or studying – you’re shining! You can make money from your words. However, it’s also a wonderful time because your appreciation of your surroundings and the people in your life is heightened. This is a wonderful! Appreciation is probably one of the most important things we can experience. It means you feel fortunate. You appreciate the beauty of your environment and the affection that you feel from others. Be careful because Thursday/Friday could be an accident-prone time for you because something unexpected will occur. Be vigilent.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 25 April 2021
CelestialPrognostication@groups.io

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve long been discussing potential changes in your domestic life or work, but nothing’s happened. Now that your ruler Mars has moved to accent exactly such matters, not only will the pace pick up, it will be so swift that you’ll have frustratingly little time to shape plans the way you want. Go with the flow. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to reorganise things later.

An offer that comes your way could take you down untried pathways. Don’t hold back because you sense someone close is likely to object. They may not feel as adventurous as you do but you can reassure them that you won’t take any unnecessary risks. Be discreet in all professional dealings. You suspect someone of dishonesty but until you have proof, keep any negative thoughts to yourself. This is not the time to air your suspicions.

It’s been a couple of years since Mars, your ruling planet, last crossed over the base of your solar chart. This is where property matters generally demand extra attention. Around this Tuesday’s Full Moon that may be much needed. Investments might need to be discussed to. There’s also the issue of insurance and how best to finance developments that are out with the norm. Whilst all this is going on, there might also be singular developments in the workplace. Again, this could be down to financial restructuring. Uncomfortable and difficult conversations are probable. Yet the good news is that through groupthink, solutions could yet be found. It might also be that through one of your connections – possibly with someone who’s lived overseas or who studied there – you could outline a plan that meets with approval.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Accepting the fact that you’ve little control over changes, some far-reaching, won’t be easy. Once you do, however, instead of waging a pointless battle against unwelcome arrangements, you’ll allow events to unfold. Better yet, you’ll be aware that you can reorganise things the way you want, and when it suits you. For now, therefore, observe what works and what doesn’t. The outcome could be a pleasant surprise.

You’ve been planning to make a move in a new direction for some time only one excuse after another has prevented you from doing so. You have a chance now to act on these intentions. If you spend too much time thinking, you won’t ever find the courage to bring this about. If your best friend or partner has made an embarrassing mistake, don’t rub it in. Not even in jest. If you want a relationship to last, you need to be prepared to work at it.

You may remember that Uranus is passing through your sign. This transit happens for just seven years in approximately every 84 years. Not every Taurus will live through this transit. Obviously much depends on your age. The indications are though that with this transit there is a desire to do things differently and to be in charge: freelance rather than employment tends to work best. This is when you incubate your ideas and develop them. With Mars having recently changed signs, it may be developments within the neighbourhood that have some of your attention. In fact, it’s not impossible that around Tuesday’s Full Moon that you’ll consider joining forces with someone who is also developing a ‘cottage industry’. Whilst the way forward might not yet be wholly clear, it should be obvious by the last day of April that you’re spreading wings in fresh direction and that these are exciting you in ways you hadn’t thought possible.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The problem you’re facing isn’t the range and urgency of changes. From your perspective they’re exciting. Besides, those that are unwelcome initially could turn out to be the most rewarding of all. The problem is the unimaginative, if not obstructive, attitude of certain cautious individuals. The secret? Proceed without discussing your plans, knowing you can tell others once everything is done, and has worked brilliantly.

Although a colleague means well, the advice they are offering you is unhelpful. You would like to diffuse the tension between you but you don’t know how. Everything you say seems to rub them the wrong way. Everything you do seems to be wrong. It might be best to avoid them altogether. A friend or neighbour has come to heavily rely on you. You don’t mind helping out occasionally but you want a life of your own.

It would be understandable if financial matters now had your full attention. Of course, these never go away, but until Tuesday’s Full Moon is in the past, you may have real and deep concerns as to whether or not you can cope with the rollercoaster ride that 2021 is offering. It may be necessary to unexpectedly ‘raid the piggybank’. Yet this might also be the moment to consider wild, yes to some reckless, but certainly unusual investments. One way or another, the Gemini head is set to turn in many, many directions. Don’t underestimate the impact this has on your emotional state and from that, your working pattern. With so many ‘small fires’ to put out, and remembering, that you are not superhuman, there is the danger of you missing an excellent opportunity to improve skills. On your radar must surely be improving your expertise and yes, perhaps enrolling on a course. This would surely be a wise investment.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re facing a series of unsettling yet exciting changes, in both existing arrangements and future plans. While your instincts are correctly telling you these seemingly bizarre events are leading to breakthroughs, certain individuals are anxious. Tempting as it is to reassure them, they’ll only list reasons to justify their concerns. That being the case, enjoy your own upbeat feelings but avoid discussing plans with doubters.

People won’t always agree with you and they will try to persuade you to rethink your decisions. This will make you start to doubt yourself. You have the right ideas. Don’t let anyone talk you out of them. It’s important to stand your ground. It brings you happiness to help those who are more vulnerable. At the same time, you need to look after your own interests. Agreeing to work a set number of hours for a charitable organization will be rewarding.

Mars has now arrived in your sign; its last visit there was in 2019. Mars has a justified reputation for energising. It could be that you are now all systems go – particularly around Tuesday’s Full Moon which accents the creative zone of your solar chart; but yes, others could find you intensely emotional and arguably difficult to work with. Some people though will surely want to get to know you better and see that you have unique talents and expertise that are entirely appropriate to the challenges of 2021. Anticipate intense discussions and, by Friday, the invitation to join a new team. This may be something you’ve been primed for exactly, the best part of the year but only now able to access. In short, by the close of April, your working pattern could be different and your career refuelled.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Your dynamic, fiery side is unmissable. However, those closest know you’re a creature of habit, and avoid, if not battle, changes. Yet not only are changes likely, many will be as far-reaching as they are unexpected. The trick? Think of times in the past when similarly sudden events reshaped your life, but initially you fought them. The irony is, it’s these you’re currently battling to keep.

You’re surprised, after all you have done for a friend, that they seem to turn their back on you. They aren’t answering your calls and whenever you suggest meeting up, they have made alternative arrangements. It’s disappointing that they are ungrateful for all the time and effort you have put into this relationship. When they realise how much they have hurt you, apologies will follow. Take any chance you get to relax: you need it.

It would be understandable if you felt unsettled. Perhaps you don’t know where you really want to be. Perhaps nothing feels exactly, right? Work or home. There might also be real concerns about the long-term; both in terms of health and finances. May be the cosmos is setting you a test of faith. It might also be that a review of decisions taken in the last couple of years leaves you feeling you may have taken a wrong turn. You probably didn’t. It is likely though, that you do need to talk through revised options and resources with an expert. That’s a task that could be successfully undertaken between Tuesday’s Full Moon and the Sun’s alignment with Uranus at the top of your solar chart on Friday. Viewed as a week for assessment, this should prove a profitable and even an exciting time.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, every Virgo is inquisitive, and so thrives on new ideas and others’ adventures; but that doesn’t mean you’re eager to get involved. Yet destiny seems to think you’re ready to make a range of changes, some minor, a few far-reaching; but all are as sudden as, in some ways, they’re worrying. Despite the obvious doubts, the planetary setup advises you to agree. You’ll soon learn why.

You are tempted to make an irrational choice or decision just to shake things up a bit. It’s unlike you to be impetuous. Foolish optimism should be avoided. Take the advice of a practical friend and curb an urge to be extravagant and self-indulgent. In legal matters there will be the usual, tedious red tape to tie up but the worst is over and the end will soon be in sight. Be sure to make some time in your schedule later, to relax.

As you well know, worrying rarely advances anything. Yet there may be matters you need to consider, and in depth. This is probable around Tuesday’s Full Moon when it might seem that others are trying to pry information from you but that as yet, they haven’t offered reward. Determining motivation may be on your ‘to do’ list. A frank exchange of views may be necessary but yes, could be awkward. That though is presumably just temporary. It might also be that you require help – a junior assistant – perhaps. Before the end of April determining which tasks can be delegated, and to whom, looks to be priority. By then the Moon will be passing over the base of your solar chart. Try not to get overly emotional and accept that some people simply have to learn on the job. Interfering as they go about their tasks could deny them a useful learning experience.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

While known for your charm and diplomacy, many Libras live a life that involves clashes, out in the world, in business or politics, or closer to home. The current and coming weeks’ planetary setup accents these and, better yet, indicates opportunity to deal with them, once and for all. The secret? Compromise, in ways you’d ordinarily avoid. Within days you’ll realise how wise this was.

You’re doing your best to get over a recent disappointment. You could do with the support of friends and family. You hate to admit you are feeling sensitive and vulnerable bur someone who knows you well will sense your need for some reassurance. Their comforting words will help you overcome your fears. Are you looking for work? Sometimes your search for a job might seem futile but don’t get disheartened. Exercise can help release tension.

Aims and ambitions should be energised now that Mars has arrived at the apex of your solar chart. This, together with Tuesday’s Full Moon in one of the finance areas of that same chart, suggests that work and reward will be high priority. There is now much for you to consider. As you know, yours is the sign of balance. You work hard at reaching harmony and getting the accounts balanced ‘just right’. That the Full Moon coincides with Pluto arriving at its retrograde station suggests asset management will be made necessary too. On top of that, issues around joint financial affairs will likely require immediate if not urgent attention. This though, should not be viewed as a negative. It may be that before the end of the month you’re planning an adventure – and in partnership. Nailing down the true costs at every level would obviously be wise before plans are finalised. In this, Mar’s position should be useful.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Unwelcome changes have been in the air for ages, but thus far you’ve managed to avoid them. However, between the insights triggered by Tuesday’s Scorpio Full Moon and increasingly dramatic developments involving existing arrangements and others’ plans, you’re beginning to realise those changes aren’t just unavoidable, they’re in your best interests. Still, you’re unsure what to do. It’s simple. Let destiny take care of it.

Developments in your career will be so swift and sudden they will take you by surprise. It will feel as if your world has been taken by storm. If you have an important decision to make, take a deep breath and count to ten. You need to know you are thinking clearly before deciding what to do next for the best. Walking, cycling and getting out is really important for your mental and physical health. Getting close to nature is therapeutic.

Tuesday’s full moon is the annual one in your sign. This year that event coincides with Pluto your ruling planet arriving at its station. So yes, this is likely an important time. Recall though that there are many planets now in your opposite sign of Taurus. One possibility is that you will feel others are pushing new in directions you are not wreck yet ready to take. Yet perhaps you do need to listen to the options. Perhaps you would need to show just how resilient or determined you can be. One where another, this week is about strengths. Mars is now moving through another of the water signs and activating an area of your solar chart that about acquiring knowledge. You’re supposed for information is likely to be much increased. This could coincide with major evaluations and re-evaluations. Indeed, financial matters could head your priority list. It is just possible, that you have something to celebrate on the very last day of April.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you’re the first to spot, explore and get involved in exciting new ideas, activities or places to go. Yet, currently, destiny’s focusing on those you’ve previously sidestepped or deliberately avoid. Once, that made sense; but times have changed and so have you. Tempting as it is to battle these, give them a try. You’ll be amazed what you learn, about them and, even more, about yourself.

Mistrust is marring a close relationship. Make an effort to build bridges. A heart-to-heart talk will reveal some hidden resentments and through being honest with each other, suspicion will be replaced by appreciation. Rushing about madly in trying to get everything done will lead to careless mistakes. A financial matter would benefit from some extra attention when some surprising information about a recent expenditure will come to light. Someone has not been honest about certain financial transactions.

Health and wealth are likely to top the priorities list this week. They could be considerable hiatus around Tuesday’s full moon. Of course, it’s possible that the two things are linked. It may be that to improve well-being you need to read the piggy bank. Alternatively, it could be that you see that others require care and similarly want to invest in improving the quality of their life. Either way you may need to dig deeper. Just as you think that that issue is at least resolved or on the way to resolution, a further sidewinder could affect you on Friday. This though could be good news. The Sun makes fabulous aspect to your ruling planet Jupiter. You may remember the Jupiter is now passing through one of the air signs and yes, that does bring ideas your way. Recall that you are a fire sign and tend to react quickly when the air blows. So, it’s entirely possible that you conclude the week thinking differently and excited. Career wise you might also discover to your delight, that you’ve been mentioned in dispatches and in a good way.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

One of your most admirable traits, as a Capricorn, is your persistence in the face of opposition. Yet now events are forcing you to make what seem compromises. Initially you’ll question giving in. Yet once you do, the people you meet and experiences you have will reveal dramatic changes in the actual circumstances involved. Enough, in fact, to raise questions about other similarly strong convictions.

New methods and routines will be introduced into the workplace. This reminds you of a project you were thinking about at the start of the year which you still haven’t got around to. This would be an ideal time to set the ball rolling. A relative seems to be doing all they can to discourage you from pursuing your own interests. If you snap at them, this will cause tension between you. Keep your emotions under control.

First the learning, but delving and for researching could dominate the first half of this week. Around Tuesday’s full moon you may be determined to crack the code. If not a computer programmer, then you may want to make friends when one of these as well. It seems likely you’ll want to get to the bottom of something and that something could well be related to the Internet and to working matters. In fact, all this could tease your brain so much that by Friday you are eager to learn more yourself. You might even consider taking a short course. An alternative, is reaching out to those who just left or were about to leave their studies and who see in you and mental work whilst you see in them qualities that suggest you could make a fabulous partnership. Meanwhile as they say back at the ranch, a close colleague or partner looks set to be moving in altered career direction requiring you perhaps to move items around at home so that they have more space to work in.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recent events, some disruptive but a few unwelcome, are forcing you to make changes in elements of your life. Battle these if you must, but the sooner you begin exploring the new ideas and avenues of activity these offer, the more swiftly you’ll begin discovering joys as thrilling as they are unexpected. The secret, now and during the coming weeks? Say yes first, make decisions later.

Think carefully about all you say and do. Be on the alert for people who will mock your efforts and then steal your ideas. Someone will try to out manoeuvre you in a professional or legal deal. Keep your distance from anyone you suspect is dishonest or disloyal. This could be your chance to break free from a toxic situation. Have faith in yourself and in your abilities. You have more control over your destiny than you may realise.

By the end of what could be a turbulent week, the Sun makes fabulous aspect to Jupiter now moving through your sign. This though comes after a full moon that coincides with Pluto apparently stood still in the sky. In recent years, this event that occurs twice every year, has coincided with big financial news. That this coincides with the full moon accenting the property and assets axis of your solar chart suggests news might prompt you to think differently about both. This could lead to many discussions. Note that on Friday and coinciding with that spectacular Jupiter aspect, the Sun and Uranus have their annual meeting this time at the very base of your solar chart. This could bring quite shocking news your way and most likely concerned with the valuation. The yard is presumably not to act to precipitately, to doublecheck the facts are indeed correct, and take your time before you begin the next stage of negotiations most likely after the last quarter moon in your sign on May 3rd.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ignoring those who’re struggling, if not suffering, isn’t easy; but the reality is, these individuals complain constantly. It frees them from responsibility, while distracting others from duties they’d rather ignore. At the moment you could easily fall into this trap. Or you could say a firm ‘no’ and focus on certain of your own tasks, then once they’re dealt with, celebrate your victory over such distractions.

You can normally rely on your powerful intuition to help you sense obstacles that may be ahead. You might therefore wonder why you didn’t see a difficult situation coming. It shouldn’t take you long to realise your instincts aren’t as reliable as usual. For now, avoid getting into arguments with your loved ones about your plans. There are some ideas you will need to keep secret. You don’t have to tell your family everything you are doing.

Tuesday’s full moon is in another of the water signs and coincides with Pluto’s station. This could mark an important moment for everyone. Though you may not be too bothered by outbursts of emotion, you perhaps should be aware that even those who are considered to think logically coolly and have considerable expertise, may be acting more from the heart from the head. It will likely take a few days for things to calm down. Meanwhile there are important issues for you to address most likely concerning transport and local transport conditions. This could get you involved almost in a political move by the weekend. Then there is the question about what’s been written and what is accurate. You may now have doubts about information given over the last year and who in fact can be trusted. Though this is perhaps a conundrum that can’t be resolved until the lunar eclipse at the end of May, for now, in what might wish to be more circumspect about whose advice you accept.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
The Healing Arts Certificate Program Four great courses! Buy three get one free!
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Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 19-25 Apr 2021

~National Cat Lady Day!~

.

It does not do to dwell on dreams, …
and forget to live.
~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Maia begins 4/18 – 5/15

April

April 19: Taurus Begins

April 19: National Cat Lady’s Day!

April 19: Sigrblot Heathen First Day of Summer in old Calendar.

April 21: Honoring the Goddess Pales.

April 21-22: Lyrid meteor shower takes center stage on the night of April 21 into the early hours of April 22.

April 22: International Earth Day. Please, let’s not get so focused on our immediate challenges that we forget the crisis facing our planet.

April 23: St. George’s Day. Be on the lookout for fleeing dragons!

April 23: Bard’s Day

April 23: Wiccan pentacle is officially added to the list of VA-approved emblems for gravestones, 2007

April 23: Vinalia Wine Ffestival in honor of Roman God Jupiter. Green Man or Green George Festivals.

April 24: Feast of Gabriel. Feast of Albion, Prytania and Britannia. Norse Day of Heimdall.

April 25: USAF recognizes Pagan holidays.

April 25: Feast of Robigalia to protect crops from the spirits of mildew.

April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day (Nice, but in April? Doesn’t this belong in July, when zukes are doing their thing?)

April 26: Full Moon at 11:31 p.m. EDT (03:31 UTC, April 27)

April 28–May 3: Floralia, honoring the Goddess of Spring flowers and vegetation

April 30: Walpurgisnacht celebrated by German Witches

May

May 1: Beltane or Beltain, Lá Bealtaine (Irish), Là Bealltainn (Scottish Gaelic, also known as Cétamain, is the Gaelic May Day festival. (Southern Hemisphere October 31 – November 1)

May 1: Samhain, Southern Hemisphere

Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

Coming in May
02: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
09: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
16: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
Living with Moon Magic

Stacy Adams retail@coventrycreations.com

April 19, 2021 – April 25, 2021

The beginning of the week begins a 2-week concern over financial matters and security. Get your financial budgets together. Expect sudden changes coupled with frustrations and self-doubt.

During the middle of the week, relationships and financial issues may need to be handled with care. Avoid making choices and decisions impulsively.

This weekend past familial problems and grievances may resurface. Use this time to try to resolve issues by communicating and listening rather than letting your emotions drive the bus. In some cases, it’s just best to walk away.

Recommended Candles: Needed Change/Banishing Blessed Herbal, Prosperity Affirmation, Healing Blessing Kit, Tranquility Affirmation

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

Power in Daily Declarations
I AM is a very powerful beginning to any statement and is the superpower of Aries season. With your I AM statement you are declaring your story and your future, use this power wisely or you may end up creating a future that is not ideal.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Page of Swords reversed

Are you holding yourself back from expressing your truth?

With so much transformational energy this month it’s time for you to release the fear and share your message! Share your authentic self and be sure that you are honoring your commitments too.
This might also mean that you’re all talk and no action. Be careful about making promises you know you can’t keep or saying things you’ll later regret. Before making a specific promise or commitment, make sure that you can and will deliver on it to preserve your integrity and reputation.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to slow down. Make sure you use your energy wisely and don’t try to do everything all at once. Take some time to think things through before taking action.

Tackle things one at a time rather than trying to manage everything at once. Doing so will lead to more meaningful outcomes.

Ask the Tarot: How can I best express myself?

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Peaceful Home Carpet Powder
APRIL 18, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

This simple spell is designed to dispel negative or stagnant energies and to bless your home with a sense of peace and balance. Lavender has long been known for its properties of bringing calm, peace, and balance.

Gather the following materials:

  • A blue candle
  • A mixing bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Some salt
  • A vacuum

Light the blue candle. In the bowl, mix together the baking soda and lavender flowers. Focus on the feelings of balance and calm that you wish to instill in your space. Add a small bit of salt and mix well.

Sprinkle this mixture on your carpets throughout your house. As you do so, repeat:

Evil, be gone,
Balance restored.

Once you have finished, allow the mixture to sit for about 10-15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Allow the candle to finish burning down safely.
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Peaceful Trails Water
APRIL 17, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

On a sunny, calm day, collect a jar of water from a tranquil pond, lake, or fountain. As you do so, spend a moment feeling how still and serene the place is. Notice the gentle ripples in the water, the soothing lapping sounds, and the harmonious existence of any wildlife. Imagine that calmness and serenity infusing the jar of water like a soft ray of sunshine. Put the lid on the jar and take it home.

Dribble a trail of this water on the sidewalk or street outside your home, then up the driveway, front path, or hallway, all the way to your front door. Anyone who enters your space will be cleansed by the vibration of the calming water and bring only peaceful energy with them into your home.

You can also use this water to attract serenity in other ways, such as watering your potted plants with it or adding a drop to your bath.
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Fairy Luck Spell
APRIL 16, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

April 16 is the Day of the Mushroom. In European cultures mushrooms are considered a symbol of hope and good luck. Mushrooms are surrounded by fairy energy. When you find a mushroom, know that the fairies knew they could trust you with their presence nearby. Cup your hands around the sides of the mushroom without touching it. In order to promote good luck and encourage more of it to enter your life, say these words:

On this day I thank the fae.
I accept the good luck and
blessings they send my way!

You can utilize this spell at any time later on by envisioning a lucky mushroom in your third eye and repeating these words.
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An April Rain Spell
APRIL 15, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

April rains are cleansing and nourishing. They cleanse the earth and enable seeds to sprout and buds to swell toward maturity. April rain can also cleanse and charge scrying tools such as magic mirrors or crystal balls. To do this, select a rainy April morning. Place your scrying tool outside in a safe place, such as in a window box or beneath a shrub. Let it stay out for about an hour, then bring it in and, if needed, rinse it quickly in water. Dry it with a clean white cotton towel. Then hold your scrying tool and say:

The April rain has left you clean.
Now you’re surrounded with
energy calm and serene.
Please be ready to help me
with my magical tasks,
Such as seeing into the
future, present, or past.

Your scrying tool is now cleansed, charged, and ready to use.
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Rainbow Flags
APRIL 14, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

There has never been a more important time to embrace diversity and honor the spectrum of color that life offers to us. Crafting is a fun way to bring a sense of pride and compassion into the home. Cut twenty-two triangles from rainbow fabric and stitch them onto eight feet of cord, spacing them equally apart.

As you stitch, say the following prayer of unity eight times:

Light includes all seven colors, a
continuum clear. In every triangle
prism, drop of water, or tear, we
invoke the diversity we celebrate here.
All are welcome as a spectrum of
love; A rainbow is a reflection,
as blessed below as it is above!

When done, seal the energy by tying the ends of the rope to make a figure-eight knot on each end. Hang this in your entryway to proudly display the spectrum celebrating free will and self-identity. Take PRIDE in birthdays, mitzvahs, barbeques, and anything else!
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Fortunetelling with Scrabble
APRIL 13, 2021 BY EMYME

There are many ways of predicting the future. Scrabble tiles may be one of the most inventive and fun methods of all. Ask a question, throw the tiles, and see what words come up (if any). Or play a game of Scrabble with the direct and stated intention of receiving an answer or information. Always be prepared to accept an answer that is different from what you expected or perhaps even the opposite of what you’d hoped for. And remember that no answer is an answer. It may be a sign that there is no need for you to know just yet, or the universe is not ready to divulge that information, or it may not be your right to know.

Prior to any spell, it is wise to call upon a higher power for guidance:

A glimpse of the future I seek. Please,
friendly forces, give us a peek.
This request is offered with
a light heart, accepting your
answer in whole or in part.
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Aries Moon Spell for Motivation
APRIL 12, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

The Aries new moon from last night is still in effect for the first part of today, which provides magical folks with a double shot of oomph to apply to workings pertaining to new beginnings. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and is characterized by spontaneity, impulsiveness, excitement, and an unflagging desire to triumph in the face of obstacles. Meanwhile, the new moon is an ideal time to work toward new goals and to draw things to you. With the power of the new moon in Aries, any task you set your mind on today is that much more likely to succeed!

To use the energy of the Aries new moon, carve your name into a red candle. If you have a specific goal in mind, you may state it aloud now, or carve a symbol that represents that goal for you into the candle, alongside your name. If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, that’s okay. This spell will generally draw motivating, success-oriented energy to you. Safely burn this candle throughout the day. It’s okay to snuff it out and relight it as needed. Just don’t leave an unattended candle burning!

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Beltane Rites and Rituals
By Patti Wigington

April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.

There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead. Try some of these rituals and ceremonies for your Beltane sabbat celebration.

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Set Up Your Beltane Altar

Use symbols of the season to decorate your Beltane altar. Image by Patti Wigington 2015
Okay, so we know that Beltane is a fertility festival… but how do you translate that into altar setup? This spring celebration is all about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most. Here are some tips on how to set up your altar to celebrate the Beltane sabbat.

02 of 08
Beltane Prayers

Looking for prayers to celebrate Beltane? By the time Beltane rolls around, sprouts and seedlings are appearing, grass is growing, and the forests are alive with new life. If you’re looking for prayers to say at your Beltane ceremony, try these simple ones that celebrate the greening of the earth during the fertility feast of Beltane. Here are a few you may wish to add in to your upcoming rites and rituals, including prayers to honor the god Cernunnos, the May Queen, and the gods of the forest.

03 of 08
Celebrate Beltane With a Maypole Dance

The tradition of the Maypole Dance has been around for a long time — it’s a celebration of the fertility of the season. Because Beltane festivities usually kicked off the night before with a big bonfire, the Maypole celebration usually took place shortly after sunrise the next morning. Young people came and danced around the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. As they wove in and out, men going one way and women the other, it created a sleeve of sorts — the enveloping womb of the earth — around the pole. By the time they were done, the Maypole was nearly invisible beneath a sheath of ribbons. If you have a big group of friends and a lot of ribbon, you can easily hold your own Maypole Dance as part of your Beltane festivities.

04 of 08
Honor the Sacred Feminine with a Goddess Ritual

When spring arrives, we can see the fertility of the earth in full bloom. For many traditions, this brings the opportunity to celebrate the sacred feminine energy of the universe. Take advantage of the blooming of spring, and use this time to celebrate the archetype of the mother goddess, and honor your own female ancestors and friends.

This simple ritual can be performed by both men and women, and is designed to honor the feminine aspects of the universe as well as our female ancestors. If you have a particular deity you call upon, feel free to change names or attributes around where needed. This goddess ritual honors the feminine, while also celebrating our female ancestors.

05 of 08
Beltane Bonfire Ritual for Groups

Beltane is a time of fire and fertility. Combine the passion of a roaring bonfire with the love of the May Queen and the God of the Forest, and you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic ritual. This ceremony is designed for a group, and includes a symbolic union of the May Queen and the King of the Forest. Depending on the relationship between the people playing these roles, you can get as lusty as you like. If you’re doing a family-oriented Beltane celebration, you may choose instead to keep things fairly tame. Use your imagination to kick start your Beltane festivities with this group ritual.

06 of 08
Beltane Planting Rite for Solitaries

This ritual is designed for the solitary practitioner, but it can easily be adapted for a small group to perform together. It’s a simple rite that celebrates the fertility of the planting season, and so it’s one that should be performed outside. If you don’t have a yard of your own, you can use pots of soil in place of a garden plot. Don’t worry if the weather is a bit inclement – rain shouldn’t be a deterrent to gardening.

07 of 08
Handfasting Ceremonies

Many people opt to hold a handfasting or wedding at Beltane. Looking for information on how to hold your own handfasting ceremony? Here’s where we’ve got it all covered, from the origins of handfastings to jumping the broom to selecting your cake! Also, be sure to learn about magical handfasting favors to give your guests, and find out what you need to ask the person who’s performing your ceremony.

08 of 08
Celebrating Beltane with Kids

Every year, when Beltane rolls around, we get emails from folks who are comfortable with the sexual fertility aspect of the season for adults, but who’d like to reign things in just a little when it comes to practicing with their young children. Here are five fun ways you can celebrate Beltane with your young children, and let them participate in family rituals, without having to discuss certain aspects of the season that you’re just not ready to explain yet.

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Assembling Your Light Team

Those on the other side of the veil want to be put to good use and help you.

Each of us, whether we realize it or not, moves through life in the company of beings whose task is to watch over us. These ancestors, spirit guides, angels, guardians, and ascended masters designated to serve as protectors and guides take pleasure in their roles yet cannot assist us without first being asked. Since the origins of our sacred sentinels differ, we may choose whom we call upon for help based on the situation at hand. However, in certain circumstances, particularly those in which time is of the essence or there is the potential for harm, we may feel the need to surround ourselves with our entire complement of benevolent, watchful guardians at a moment’s notice. To do so, a great shortcut is to create and assemble a light team — a group of spirit helpers who will come to our aid when we utter a simple word or phrase.

The creation of a light team begins with the dedication of the words that will serve as a shortcut in your time of distress, signaling to your sentinels that you are requesting their support. Meditation, at an altar or otherwise, can help you attract their attention, affording you an opportunity to articulate your desire that they work in tandem in certain instances. Creating a short ceremony in which you surround yourself with objects you associate with the helpers you wish to assign to your light team can ensure that those beings are in attendance as you designate your shortcut. Creating this shortcut is simply a tool. You can employ “light team” as your rallying cry or any other words you feel comfortable using. The numerous guides and guardians that see to your welfare will accept your choice gladly and respond instantaneously when called.

Your light team will be there to assist you in those dangerous, chaotic, or confounding moments when you don’t have the time, energy, or opportunity to center yourself and meditate on individual sentinels. You can also call upon them when seeking guidance that originates from a variety of perspectives. Whether the support they provide comes in the form of guidance or wisdom, their combined presence will give you a sense of security that strengthens you and reminds you that you are never alone.

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Mountain-Ash, The Witch-Wood Tree

Here’s another interesting factoid from John McNab Currier, the 19th century folklorist and physician.

While he was living in New Hampshire in the mid-1800s he knew a woman who thought all her illnesses, indeed all her troubles in life, were caused by witches. When she was sick the woman would threaten the witches, who although invisible undoubtedly were the source of her suffering.

To keep the witches at bay the woman wore a bead necklace made from mountain-ash (that’s pyrus americana or sorbus americana to you botanists out there):

They were cut about three eighths of an inch in length, the bark being left on, and strung on string running through the pith. She was careful to keep them concealed, but sometimes they would work up above her collar and be conspicuous. This species of tree was once quite popular among New England witch-believers as a charm against witches…

Folklorist Fanny Bergen also reports that people in New England carried a piece of mountain-ash, or witch-wood, in their pockets to repeal witches.

The American mountain-ash is of the same family as the rowan tree, which is well-documented in European folklore. The Norse god Thor was saved from drowning by grasping a rowan tree, while in Scotland householders planted them at their front doors to repel evil. According to Wikipedia, it could also be used to prevent storms at sea, keep the unhappy dead in their graves, and prevent lightning from striking a house. That’s a pretty potent tree! It seems likely that the English settlers in New England brought their beliefs about the rowan tree to the New World and transferred them to its American cousin.

Oddly, I’ve been to Scotland and seen a rowan tree but don’t know if I have seen an American mountain-ash. I’ll have to take a trip to the Aboretum and track one down!

This week’s info is from John McNab Currier, “Contributions to New England Folk-Lore”, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 4, No. 14 (Jul – Sep. 1891) and Fanny Bergen, “Some Bits of Plant-Lore”, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol 5, No. 16 (Jan – Mar, 1892).

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Patty Fletcher Interviews Authors Tasha and Stephen Halpert
https://pattysworlds.com/

Not long ago, I reached out to authors, Tasha and Stephen Halpert and invited them over to Patty’s World for a chat. The following interview is the result of that invitation. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

First, in your own words tell us a little about you.
Stephen: I have always been fascinated by the unknown, be it mystical or antiquarian. I love creating collages as well as writing. My idea of fun is rummaging thrift stores and yard sales in search of interesting items to give friends or to keep.

Tasha: I’m a poet and have written poetry for most of my life. I have a vast sense of curiosity about everything, an abiding faith in the goodness of All That Is, and a firm sense of optimism, which includes the belief that everything happens for the Highest Good.

Where do you live?
Stephen: Tasha and I live in North Grafton, MA.
Who are the special people in your life?
Stephen: My extended family and close personal friends.
Tasha: My family, those I love and pray for, and my wonderful teachers in life, some of whom are in all three categories.

Do you have any pets?
One day we hope to have a cat.

What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work?
Stephen: The pure pleasure of writing and creating art.
Tasha: The desire to express my truth, to help people be happier, and to teach what I have learned.

What is your favorite song?
Stephen: As a boy, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Lonesome Traveler.” As an adult, John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Tasha: Over the Rainbow.

What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.
Stephen: Foreign films and existential escapes.
Tasha: The Court Jester with Danny Kaye, Noises Off, with Carol Burnet, The Pirate or any movie with Gene Kelly.

What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.
Stephen: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. As a teen, Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis, mysteries by Robert B. Parker and Raymond Chandler.
Tasha: Jim Bucher’s Harry Dresden series, Mercedes Lackey’s Elementals and Valdemar series.

What is your favorite food?
Stephen: Lobster, Sushi, and Pizza.
Tasha: Honey, chocolate, mayonnaise, avocado, and all kinds of fruit.

What is your favorite quote?
Stephen: “Philosophy will clip an angel’s wing.” -Keats

Tasha: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?

Stephen: “Beloved Lord I do greatly thank Thee for the abundance that is mine.”

Tasha: That is mine also.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Stephen: Racists and lying politicians.
Tasha: Having to hurry when I need to take my time.

What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?
Stephen: An appreciation of humor, an ear for dialogue, and my imagination.

Tasha: My ability to focus and concentrate, my powers of observation, and my ability to make connections in my mind.

What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?
Stephen: Laziness, eating cheese and a tolerance for mess.

Tasha: Trying to do too much for the available time and being too picky over details.
What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?

Stephen: My dream for the future is to always continue writing and to see my work published and sold internationally.

Tasha: To see my Old Codger stories published, illustrated, and distributed internationally.
What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?

Stephen: Telephone or email: 508-839-0111, sthalpert@aol.com

Tasha: Phone or Email: 508-839-0111, Tashahal@mail.com

Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself, or your work that I’ve not asked?
Stephen: To better answer you I invite you to read Reading on the Cheap, which says more about me than I can say right now.

Tasha: I’m enclosing a few words about me I’ve written for others.

Short Bio for Tasha Halpert
Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping. Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn and Lantern, and other publications. She is poet laureate and storyteller for the Unicorn and Lantern, and a regular part of GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast. She has published two books, Heartwings: Love Notes for a joyous Life and Up to my Neck in Lemons. With her writings, she hopes to be of help and comfort and at times to be entertaining. With her husband Stephen, she lives in Grafton and is the mother of five, grandmother of seven, and great grandmother of three.

MORE ABOUT TASHA AND STEPHEN’S WORK…

ABRACADABRA MOONSHINE & OTHER STORIES by Stephen Halpert

This collection of original, unusually intriguing short stories is an exuberant tour de force of wit, humor, and insight into the human condition. The collection of magical tales will entrance, entertain, and prompt readers to ponder the true nature of reality. They will definitely entertain you and make you wonder a bit about the twists and turns that life can take. You may even fall in love with some of his characters and wish they were real and present in your life.

Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life by Tasha Halpert

This heartwarming book brings a breath of sunshine against the cold of any day and kindly and gently reveals a deeper level of understanding for all. It provides a helpful path for anyone concerned with personal self-development to follow. Sharing a lifetime of comforting knowledge gleaned from living and loving life, the emotionally intelligent author leads readers on an introspective journey to a greater sense of realization, joy, and inner peace. Her poetry is moving, and a poem follows each thought-provoking essay.

Up to My Neck in Lemons by Tasha Halpert is a collection of practical as well as metaphorical uses for life’s lemons. This collection of essays and poems provides insights gained from daily life experiences, both happy and sad. The stories illustrate how to appreciate what might at first have seemed unfortunate.

The recipes are author favorites, and are both sweet and sour, cleansing and therapeutic. This book will bring comfort and insight on turning life’s lemons into lemonade. The poems that follow each essay form an enjoyable adjunct to the wisdom and insight this book brings the reader.

Each book is $15.00 postpaid autographed by the author. Write to Tasha Halpert at P.O. Box 171, North Grafton, MA, 01536 and include a check to receive a copy of any of these entertaining and even perhaps helpful books.

Visit Stephen and Tasha’s website here. http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com/

Shop for Stephen and Tasha’s books online here.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tasha+halpert

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Simple Simmer Pot Recipes for Spring Time
by Krystle | The Wholesome Witch

We may think of simmer pots as a kitchen activity for the darker months of the year but this is just not the case! Each season comes with distinct aromas that help to define them and spring is no exception!

Spring is all about celebrating longer days, more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and nature coming to life all around us. And you can literally smell the spring time in the air.

Scents like lavender, lemon, rosemary, and vanilla can bring that wonderful spring feeling right into our homes. And who wouldn’t want that? Simmer pots are the perfect solution to have these glorious seasonal scents wafting throughout your home in minutes.

I’ve sung the praises of simmer pots before, and I’ll do it again lol. They really are an excellent, non-toxic, and eco-friendly way to have your home smelling like the season in a few short minutes. They are also a wonderful way to brew some magick in the kitchen.

So read on and discover a few recipes to help bring the energy, joyfulness, and vitality of the spring season into your home and your heart.

The Simmer Pot

Simmer pots are basically potpourri in a pot! You choose your ingredients, put them in a pot with water, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it do its thing. They couldn’t be any easier, just be sure you don’t let your pot boil dry! If you want to keep the pot going simply add more water when it gets low. And obviously never leave it going when you are not home.

Simmer pots also lack the harsh toxins that are packed into conventional air freshener sprays and many scented candles. Just fresh ingredients from your kitchen! No fake fragrances or toxic chemicals needed.

One more benefit, they can likely be crafted with things you already have in your kitchen making them a convenient and inexpensive solution.

If you’d like you can read my Autumn Simmer Pot post and Winter Simmer Pot post for some more inspiration. Or check out my Seasonal Simmer Pot Package in the shop.

Simmer Pot Magick
And we mustn’t forget that the herbs, spices, and whole foods housed in our kitchens all carry their own energies and magickal properties.

So let’s use those items to assist us in manifesting our goals. You’ll easily be able to create a simmer pot that aligns with your intentions and smells delicious!

When I do a simmer pot with a specific intention in mind I follow these simple steps to incorporate my magick and mind into the process:

Set your intentions very clear in your mind and don’t lose sight of them for the entire process.
Add ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, stir the pot clockwise. Unless you are doing a banishing or releasing spell, in that case stir the pot counter clockwise.

Visualize your desired outcome or goal for the magickal work you are doing. Are you aiming to create happiness in the home, or more money in your wallet? Whatever it may be focus on what you want the outcome to look like. Continue with the visualization and stirring until it feels right to finish. You’ll know when!

You may recite your goal, a chant, or ritual words while you stir as well. Something pertaining to your desired outcome.

When you finish I would let the pot boil down until there is about an inch of water left and then turn it off. Your work is now complete.
Of course feel free to change this process up so that it suits your own needs and magical practice.

Spring Simmer Pot Recipes
Lemon Cookie – cleansing, prosperity, success, and joy
2 bay leaves
6 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Rosemary Dream – cleansing, healing, love, and protection
6 lime slices (dried or fresh)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Glorious Grapefruit – growth, protection, self-love, and energy
4 grapefruit slices
1 fresh eucalyptus sprig
3 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
2 stalks lemongrass

Lavender Citrus – wisdom, balance, clarity, and love
4 lemon slices (fresh or dried)
4 orange slices (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp juniper berries

What to do with your simmer pot ingredients when you are finished?

Another awesome thing about simmer pots is that they don’t create any waste. You can simply compost your ingredients or dry them out to be used in future spells or for potpourri.

Final thoughts.
Are you already a simmer pot enthusiast? If so, what’s your favourite recipe?

As always, I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or connect with me on socials.

For more Simmer Pot Recipes and kitchen inspiration check out my shop page! My Kitchen Witch Grimoire Bundle includes simmer pot recipes for every season, over 100 foods and their magickal properties, coffee and tea magick, sugar magick, and more!

You can also SUBSCRIBE to The Wholesome Witch Mailing List and receive a 20% OFF discount code for my shop full of witchy digital offerings and some freebies as well! https://www.thewholesomewitch.com/

Until next time friends!
Yours in health and magick,
Krystle xo

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Kinds of Portals

The concept of portals – or doorways to other worlds – has been one of my favorite subjects. In fact, my newest released book (#3 of 3-book series), “Threshold,” handles this exciting subject with nail-biting pace.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1948266156/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i29

When I was recently on the Talking Story Power Hour show hosted by Chai Gallahun, we talked almost exclusively about the subject.

Portals are considered to be openings in which beings can come and go from one world to another.

Here’s just some portal concepts –

DMT
You might call DMT the mechanism to enter the portal of dream state.

DMT or Dimethyltryptamine is a chemical substance that when ingested can create psychedelic “hallucinations.”

As mammals produce small amounts of this substance, it is understood humans do, as well. I, for one, believe that our dream state could be the result of such a substance and it is believed its release is tied to the pineal gland (third eye) that produces melatonin for the sleep state.

If you ever wondered at the merciful design of creatures and humans, just consider the sleep state. When light gets low at end of day, melatonin is released to put you to sleep and forcing rest. Then, in deeper sleep stages, forcing paralysis so you don’t act on the dreams that give you insight. Wow!

In recreation or in labs, DMT has been used to gain more understanding of the human experience, but most who have experienced the “high,” report they feel as if the world just showed its true self in a synesthetic and dynamic dimension that we never get in a “sober” state.

The experiences people have had when using DMT points to a life-changing realization, a depth of understanding, a window to the energy that is life, a reverance for existing.

NDE’s
Near-death experiences give us another insight into the portal to the afterlife.

I have heard scientists proclaim that there is no afterlife, but there is DMT released by the brain at the moment of death that gives visions.

As interesting as that concept is, it misses the mark on two points. One is that the visions of the dying are remarkably nearly identical. Two is that this only supports intelligent design as there is no reason to evolutionary-wise give us DMT as we are passing to have a merciful experience. That was worked into the design and shows thought and compassion on the part of whatever/whoever/however we were created.

One thing that universally occurs with NDE’s is a change in attitude, perspective, a loss of fear of death, a feeling of community with humanity. Many report that the world they entered was the real one, and this one is fake. That is how my own father felt when he had his NDE. He wanted to go “home” to the real world and a few days later, he passed away with a smile knowing where he would be headed.

Wormholes
Wormholes could be considered the portal to other solar systems/planets/stars.

This concept is a scientific speculation that appears to have some very real possibilities. Imagine if you could bend space and time to create a tunnel from one location to a very distant location as if they were right next door to each other.

It is easier to speculate about the visitation of aliens from faraway planets when you consider the use of a wormhole. This also holds hope for our own future travel long distances or even around our own planet.

Locations with high strangeness could be considered portals for the unexplained to come and go.

What if here on Earth we have portals that beings are utilizing to come and go? A fair deal of the public believe that Bigfoot, UFOs, and strange cryptids are coming and going through such passages.

Certain areas on the planet seem to attract a host of strange lights, cattle mutilations, UFO sightings, and strange cryptids. Places like Skinwalker Ranch, Blind Frog Range in Utah, locations in the Northeastern US like Bridgewater triangle and Bennington Triangle, as well as Hoia Bocoi forest in Romania are just some of these hot beds of high strangeness.

Sedona Vortexes
These supposed swirling energy locations are considered to be earth’s energy moving about in a way that is healing and regenerating. These kinds of “portals” might be considered spiritual ones.

Sedona, Arizona is said to have four vortexes, each with a unique kind of swirling energy. I have personally visited some of the vortexes over the decades and I will say that there is something to this. The sensation is liberating, as if you shed the past and are a blank slate.

Pyramids
For all the mystery the pyramids have ignited, none is quite as exciting as the concept that they were built and used as portals to other dimensions.

It’s commonly accepted by most researchers today that the pyramids have existed long before the dynasties of Egypt. Who built them? Likely the same civilization that built places like Teotihuacán in Mexico where Aztecs moved into the buildings hundreds of years after the original builders left.

What was the structure supposed to be used for? Well, if we look at a television set, if we were to leave one in the rainforest of the Amazon, a tribe might use it to climb up a tree or to store the bones of their dead inside, but it was not the original purpose of the device. The pyramids are likely a very similar situation.

Parallel Worlds
Theoretical physicists ponder the concept that every action in this world can play out in an alternate parallel world that resides beside us. This would be a portal to a parallel realm.

Other than beating yourself up for being in the pandemic world versus the healthy parallel universe, this concept is really intriguing. Imagine that you lay out many human form existences in every way possible to give you the greatest universal understanding as you move on to the spirit realm?

Time Travel
Perhaps one of the most tantalizing portal potentials is the concept of time travel. This would be a portal to another time, future or past.

It would be interesting to note if people prefer to see the past or the future. I used to think the future might be awful, polluted, diseased, criminal, crowded, hungry, and desolate. But, if I had lived in the 1860s and went back in time, I might end up in the plague-ridden dirty streets of Europe. If 1860s me decided to go to the future thinking it would be as awful as the Civil War, I might miss things like child labor laws, cars, abundant food supply, antibiotics, and airplanes. Hmmmm

Obviously, portals come in so many potential forms, even more than listed here. If someone were to ask me which ones are viable right now, I’d say DMT, NDE, locations of high strangeness, and Sedona vortexes. Which ones will science some day prove or learn to manipulate? I’d be more inclined to say understanding of Pyramids. The ones that will take us more time to prove or utilize – wormholes, time travel, and parallel worlds.

What would you most like to utilize? I think if I had a choice, I’d say, if I am able to come back here, I’d like to travel a parallel world to see what other ways this world could be.

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Kat’s Korner
Share your love for cats!

Cat Tail Wagging: The Meaning of Your Cat’s Different Tail Wags
by Ellyce Rothrock | Apr 14th 2021

Let’s dive into understanding cat tail language — what the movements and positions of your cat’s most intriguing appendage mean.

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?

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Tail position: Puffed

What it means in cat tail language: Scared, agitated, angry
How you should act/react: Leave her alone!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

The table guide to cat tail language
If a cat’s tail is… … it means he or she is
Upright Content
Up at a 45-degree angle Unsure
Angled back, moving back and forth “Good” excited or “fearful” excited (the ears and eyes can help determine which)
Upright, moving back and forth slightly Happy
Upright, tip bent Friendly
Straight, almost level with the spine Uneasy; not necessarily afraid
Hanging down, with a dip near the base Aggressive
Quickly swishing back and forth Angry
Puffed Frightened
Down at a 90-degree angle Attack mode
Tucked between the legs Scared, possibly experiencing pain
Sitting upright, tail tip is moving Alert, interested

Tell us: Did we miss any cat tail signals? How does your cat talk to you in cat tail language?

This piece was originally published in 2018.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope

Sunday, April 18, 2021

All Signs
How interesting. No planets are retrograde. It’s all systems go! Use this forward energy to remind yourself to believe in your future. (After all, you’re going to live the rest of your life there.) This week four planets in Taurus, which means you can improve your wealth because Taurus is the sign of money and tangible assets. I like what Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This echoes Albert Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” But Teddy Roosevelt nailed it: “Believe you can, and you’re half way there.” Expect financial improvements!

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You’re thinking a lot about money and cash flow because there are four planets in your Money House. The Sun will make you assess your situation and think about what’s important and what you truly value. Mercury will trigger ideas about how to make money as well as spend it. Venus will attract money to you and encourage you to spend on luxuries, art and beautiful things. Uranus will bring change. (Not the kind under your sofa cushions.) It will trigger financial change as well as changes to your values. It will encourage you to find freedom in your relationship to the stuff and the wealth that you own. That’s real change.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Right now, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus are all gathered in your sign. This pumps your energy and increases your self-confidence. It’s a favourable situation because you will more easily attract money, resources and important people to you. You will be more talkative than usual, not just about money but about everything. The next four weeks are the perfect time to buy wardrobe items for yourself – make a note of this. People are more ready to listen to you now because they sense that you have something to offer, and they value your wisdom, especially about financial matters because hey – you’re the financial wizard of the zodiac!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
All this energy in Taurus, which triggers financial wheeling’s and dealings is actually taking place in a hidden part of your chart. This does not mean that you are not thinking about money and cash flow; it means that you’re doing so quietly. Oh yes. Others might not be aware of what is going through your mind. This behind-the-scenes energy means you can research moneymaking ideas now, as well as research the philosophy of wealth. Beyond satisfying the necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter – what you want is often a state of mind. Rich people can feel anxious about money. They can suffer from poverty mentality. Meanwhile those who want little, will feel satisfied and content.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re smart with money because you know how to save, plus, you respect money. You respect what it can do, especially in terms of helping to build a nest for yourself and your family. You also know that money can help to secure your future. (These are important things for you because you are a nester.) Nevertheless, this handful of planets will activate your desire to socialize with others, probably online or via Zoom. You will also talk to younger people and creative, artistic people more than usual. This is an excellent time to explore how to make your hopes and dreams for the future a reality – because in some sense, you can!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
In the next four weeks, you will be more involved with parents, bosses, teachers and the police. This will give you an opportunity to sort out your demands and what you want to achieve, and at the same time, do your best to fulfil their demands and what they want to achieve. There will be more discussions. Know that you will appear to be charming, cooperative and diplomatic. In fact, you’ll make such a great impression on bosses, some of you will begin a romance with someone. The Sun is at the top of your chart for four weeks casting you in a flattering spotlight. (Happens only once a year.) Use this to your advantage!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In some ways, this will be a frustrating time for you because this handful of planets that urges you to think more about money, earnings and your assets is taking place in a part of your chart that makes you want to travel and expand your horizons. Obviously, most people cannot travel now. But you can travel through books and film. Your basic urge is to be stimulated and break free of your mental routine. You can do this from wherever you are. You can also engage more than usual with people from other countries via Zoom or on-line. Do whatever you can to learn something new. Enjoy talking to people from other cultures. Romance with someone “different” might begin. This is a good time to write an important paper or manuscript.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
As mentioned in All Signs above, your attention will be on money, assets and wealth. No question. Many of you will increase your wealth and your assets by your association with someone else. For example, you might receive an inheritance in the next four weeks. You might become richer indirectly because your partner or someone close to you expands their assets or wealth. Because Venus is in your Money House, you will literally attract money to you as well as favours from others. Your closest relationships might become hotter and really sizzle! (In astrology, sex and money are linked.) This is also a good time to explore avenues in publishing and the media as well as anything connected to medicine and the law. (Wow.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You will need more sleep in the next four weeks because symbolically speaking, the Sun is now as far away from your sign as it gets all year, and the Sun represents energy in your chart. This polarized position of the Sun will also give you a chance to be more detached and more objective in your closest relationships, which means you can improve these relations. Major bonus! Mercury will encourage much discussion and allow you to clarify and explain important issues. (You’ll welcome intellectual stimulation.) Meanwhile, Venus opposite your sign is the best position for love affairs and relating to everyone you know – even your enemies.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You can look forward to getting better organized in the next four weeks simply because you will have the motivation to do so. Suddenly, not only do you want to be organized, you want to be working smart! You want to get results for your efforts in the most efficient way possible. You might also work for the benefit of someone else or be more focused than usual on service to someone or service to an organization. It will be a good time for mental work because you will pay attention to details. Both Mercury and Venus will guarantee that your relations with coworkers will be excellent. In fact, Venus is a hint that for some of you, a work-related romance will begin. (This can happen online.) Meanwhile, do be patient with partners and close friends while Mars is opposite your sign for one more week.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This heavy emphasis on wealth and assets is taking place in a playful part of your chart. According to astrology, when you play with money, this is considered to be financial speculation. Technically, it’s the truth. This is why your love of drama and desire for entertainment and escape through fun activities will be strong in the next four weeks. Definitely, romance will flourish! Likewise, relations with your kids will improve. Your interest in sports will increase. But what can you do to have fun? You will resign yourself to your bubble of loved ones and play games online. You can do this.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
It’s not surprising that your focus on home and family matters is strong now and will be so for the next four weeks. Some might be more involved than usual with a parent. All of you will be interested in tackling repairs, DIY projects and doing whatever you can to redecorate or make your home more attractive. Mercury and Venus will definitely sweeten your relations with your relatives. Nevertheless, you will also want to withdraw intellectually and reflect upon important ideas that are been bubbling in your mind. Memories from the past will be more important.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Despite the fact that many people are in lockdown, nevertheless, the pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks. This could be because you decide to take on an ambitious home project? You might be juggling errands or tasks that take up your time. Many of you will definitely read, write and study more than usual as well. Because you will be eager to communicate with others, especially relatives and siblings, figure out some decent lighting when you go on Zoom so that you don’t look like an apparition appearing in a seance. “Hellooo out there? Can everyone hear me?” Actually, in the next four weeks, you can make money from your words. (Be patient with family members, while Mars is at the bottom of your chart.)

https://www.georgianicols.com/

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
The Healing Arts Certificate Program Four great courses! Buy three get one free!
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Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 12-18 Apr 2021

Life does not consist mainly,
or even largely, of facts or happenings.
It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts
that is forever flowing through one’s head. ~Mark Twain

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Fearn (Alder) March 18 to April 14

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Month of Columbina begins 3/20 – 4/17

April

April 11: Bake Bread for Goddess Diana.

April 11: Day of Moon Goddess Anahit.

April 11: Nehelenia’sDay (Celtic Goddess of the Dead)

April 11: Licorice Day. A cup of licorice tea, anyone? An immune-system booster, licorice helps to protect against upper respiratory infections.

April 12: New Moon in Aries.

April 12: Cerealia, 8 day Festival of Ceres.

April 15: Roman Day of Tellus Mater.

April 16: Feast of Hiketeria to Honor Apollo.

April 16: Margot Adler born, 1946.

April 16: National Stress Awareness Day–even with a postponed tax date, there’s plenty of stress. Relaxing choices: a cup of mint tea, a relaxing scented bath, one of the Darling Dahlias mysteries.

April 17: Festival of Goddess Astarte.

April 18: Step outside and watch for bees, doing their spring thing.

GrannyMoon’s Sunday April Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

April 18: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
Living with Moon Magic

Stacy Adams retail@coventrycreations.com
April 12, 2021 – April 18, 2021

The second week of April is filled to the brim with energy and features eight aspects and a sign change. O.M.G.

We begin the week with a decent boost of energy to help tackle tasks that need some extra gumption and old-fashioned elbow grease.

Midweek, financial activities will receive a needed assist from Lady Luck. Financial investments and business matters will surface, take advantage of opportunities that come your way.

This weekend you may need to battle the demons in your head as insecurities and fears may surface.

Recommended Candles: Luck Affirmation, Energy & Will Blessed Herbal, Sweet Grass World Magic, Poof Wicked Witch Mojo

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

Subpoena Your Inner Hero
So, this month we enter the first full month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) and April begins where March left off – a bit of relief from the cosmic energies of the last 15 months with some minor hiccups until the end of the month when the astrological storm begins once again.

New Moon in Aries on April 11, 2021
The New Moon in Aries occurs on April 11th. The Aries New Moon urges you to climb higher fearlessly and go after what you want. Yet, if you are still stuck at the bottom of your mountain, Aries wants you to know that determination and courage are what you need to break through what is holding you back.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: The Sun

The Sun appeared for us back in February, and it’s revisiting us this week — representing fun, warmth, radiance, and positivity! How will you bask in the energy of the Sun this week?

This beautiful, warm energy is a reminder to be optimistic. Know that positive energy will follow, bringing you joy and happiness.

Can you feel it? This week you’re full of energy and can already sense the success and abundance flowing your way. Radiate who you are and what you stand for! Tap into that confidence and trust that everything will work out.

If you’ve been having a difficult time, the Sun has a message for you: things will get better — a lot better! Through the challenges along your path, you’ve been discovering who you are and why you’re here.

Ask the Tarot: What fills you with positivity and enthusiasm for life?
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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

New Moon Blessing Ritual
APRIL 11, 2021 BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

She goes away. We’re forced to wait and believe that she will return. We cannot see her with our physical eyes, yet we know she remains in her orbit high above the earth. It is us who must wait for her return.

A new moon calls upon us to have faith. It signals a time of new beginnings. For this spell you will need a black candle, a fireproof candle holder, a saucer, and salt.

Place your black candle in the holder, then set it upon the saucer. Pour a circle of salt around the base of the candle. Light the candle and say:

Though darkness surrounds me, I am
filled with light. I trust in the universe
on this moonless night. I await new
beginnings and new opportunities.

Allow the candle to safely burn out. Place the salt on your altar.
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Earth Healing on Arbor Day
APRIL 10, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

On this date in 1872, the first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska. This is a perfectly pagan holiday, as it was created to promote the planting of trees. I can’t think of a more perfectly aligned holiday for earth-based spiritualities!

Today, either plant a tree or pot or repot a houseplant, and if you’re able, make a donation (even a small one) to a tree or other environmental conservation organization. During any of these activities, hold the intention that the growth of the tree or plant you planted carry your magical intent of healing the planet as it grows. See the tree’s green glowing light gently wrap around the planet as its roots grow deeper and its branches grow taller. As the green light spreads, hold the intention that other people will also have the realization that trees and the earth are vital to preserve.
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Moving the Rain
APRIL 09, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Spring brings rain in many parts of the world. Sometimes this is welcome, and other times not. Too much rain can cause flooding, while other parts of the land get none. Here is a spell to send unwanted rain where it is needed more.

Gather these items:

  • A large map of your continent
  • Several small containers, such as shot glasses or bowls, one bigger than the others
  • Some water (rainwater if possible)

Check the weather conditions on your continent to find out where it is wet and where it is dry right now. Place the map on your altar, then put the big container over where you live and the smaller ones over locations where there currently is also rain. Visualize the current rainy weather in your location. Then say:

We give thanks for the rain, but
others need it more. Please give
our rain to (name of dry area).

Pick up the big container and move it to that part of the map. Visualize the rain in your location moving to that dry location. ( The smaller containers remain in place, since you are not trying to move that rain.) Then you can clean up the altar.
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Cultivating Tradition
APRIL 08, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

Today in Japan, Hana-Matsuri is celebrated. A combined celebration of spring , traditional Japanese culture, and quite possibly Buddha’s birthday, the festivities are abundant and gorgeous. Imagine lots of flowers, costumes, and kimonos! Today, perform your own “cultivating tradition” spell.

Choose some small icons that represent your cultural, religious, and familial traditions. My origins are in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Easy associations are tea, shortbread cookies, and my Claddagh ring— a traditional Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship.

Place your cultural icons on your altar. Dress in traditional garb or wear jewelry handed down through your lineage. Safely light a candle to illuminate and warm your traditions. Make a traditional drink or food, and as you sip or nibble, know that your traditions live on within you. As you pay sacred homage to your traditional roots and ancestry, know that they enrich your life and community. Be sure to extinguish the candle.
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Inspiration Incense and Charm
APRIL 07, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Mercury, ruler of the mind and communication, is currently moving through Aries, the bringer of new beginnings and a can-do attitude. This pairing is auspicious for those of us who are engaged in the arts, as it can help us tune in to our muses and break through creative blocks.

Begin by making the following incense recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon ground sandalwood
  • 1 tablespoon ground rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon ground copal

As you burn the incense over charcoal, say the following charm:

Spirits of inspiration, I conjure thee.
Be here now; reveal yourself to me.
Open the doorway and
unblock the mind.
You have the key to what I need to find.
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Blow Out the Old
APRIL 06, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Spring is finally in the air, both literally and figuratively. If you open your window, you can probably smell a new freshness and hear the birds changing from their winter songs to the ones they sing in the spring. Depending on where you live, there may be the scent of flowers growing. Even in the city, the air will smell cleaner and you will sense the potential for growth and new beginnings. Throw open a window—or all of them—and use a small hand fan or scarf to waft the air over you. As you do so, say:

Spring air, so fresh and clean,
Blow away the cobwebs of winter.
Clear my mind and spirit.
Bring in your energy for new growth
And the potential for positive change.
Thank you, air, for all
you carry with you
And for all you carry away!
Blessed be, O power of air.
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Dandelion Perspective Spell
APRIL 05, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

April 5 is National Dandelion Day in the US. Dandelions are viewed by some as weeds, but a weed is simply an unloved flower. This spell will help with balance, power, and a change of perspective.

Gather up dandelions for your altar or sacred space. Place stones and crystals around the flowers in a circle. Use yellow calcite for positive energy and yellow jasper for balance, and add clear quartz crystals to amplify your magical intentions. Chant these words at least three times:

Bring me a perspective that is new.
Help me change my point of view.
I seek balance and I seek power. Allow
me to grow like this beautiful flower.
Keeping an open mind is best
for me. I am grateful for your
guidance. Blessed be!

Offer the dandelion flowers at the base of your favorite tree in gratitude to the Earth Mother for her endless wisdom and bountiful gifts.

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How to Use Everyday Objects for Folk Fortunetelling
BY CORY THOMAS HUTCHESON

Eggs and Gemstones
When you imagine someone “fortunetelling,” what images come to mind? For a lot of people, it’s a crystal ball or a stack of tarot cards. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those methods when handled with care and thought, but as many witchy folk know, divination goes well beyond what so often gets portrayed by Hollywood. For those inclined towards folk magic, the tools of prognostication and metaphysical diagnosis are often both a bit strange and incredibly commonplace. That’s because divination is so commonplace in North American folk magical practices, and therefore it makes use of commonplace objects. Diviners, however, often use those objects in uncanny and unusual ways, which renders them powerful tools for gaining insight into worldly (and Otherworldly) problems.

Below I offer an exploration of a variety of folk magical divinatory methods making use of common objects. What you find here is drawn from the pages and practices of American folklore (a subject about which I am deeply passionate, as evidenced by my rather massive book on the subject). No matter who or where you are within North America, chances are there are similar practices around you and within your own communities if you look for them.

Sieve and Shears: A sieve—a straining device most often used for food—could be suspended on the end of a pair of shears or scissors to answer questions. These were often used in fortunetelling games (not dissimilar to games like MASH or those little paper fortune tellers that kids used when I was growing up). If the sieve began rotating clockwise when a question was asked, it indicated “yes.” If it went counterclockwise or fell off balance, that was a “no.” In a bygone era, a sieve would have been made from materials like willow withes, which have their own magical lore (as they are often used to bind a witch’s broom, or “besom”). The sieve and shears method even appears in Aggripa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, published in the sixteenth century, so the practice has a decent pedigree.

Bible and Key: The use of a Bible or other book for divination is known as “bibliomancy,” and it’s a subject I’ve written about before on my own website in terms of folk practice. In most cases, book divination is done by turning randomly to specific passages and reading the first thing found by pointing at the page, a process known as “scanning.” There are more prescriptive methods, too, such as predicting fortunes based on one’s birthday by indexing them to particular Psalms based on gender and date. One method, however, that we find imported from Europe and fairly well-known in areas settled by English, Irish, or Scottish-speaking colonizers, is the use of a Bible and key. The key is inserted into a Bible (sometimes at a specific passage such as Psalm 49), then the book is bound up tightly so that the key can’t slip out. The person making this charm suspends the key between their fingers, using the Bible as a sort of pendulum weight, and asks questions. The key will begin moving in response to queries, with the reader needing to establish which direction means “yes” and which “no” at the beginning of the divination session. This method is even mentioned in Reginald Scott’s Discoverie of Witchcraft from 1584, so it’s quite old!

Coins and Cards: Plenty of people know about using tarot cards for divination, but in recent years a burgeoning vogue has appeared for learning to read fortunes using playing cards. Playing cards derive from the same sources as tarot cards (with most scholarship suggesting all such cards emerged from games involving tiles printed paper cards from places like India and China). So it makes sense that playing cards have just as much a place in fortunetelling as their better-known tarot cousins. There are a wide variety of methods for reading them, ranging from the very detailed and intricate Lenormand card system to the Spanish method involving removing all the Queens to variations found in places like Kentucky or other parts of the American South that were often codified in well-known rhymed verses. It seems most readers had their own particular methods based on years of practice and fine-tuning, so each person’s approach might inspire someone else but be distinctly different as well (I am no stranger to this phenomenon, as I have even written a book about my own method for doing readings and then interpreting them by linking them to folk or fairy tales). Similarly, coins are incorporated into divination in a few ways. One divinatory ritual known as the “Calling Circle” involves surrounding a young baby with a variety of objects like coins, a knife, a Bible, and a whiskey bottle, and then seeing which the baby chooses. If they choose the coins, they will go into banking (or, depending on your interpretation, be stingy with money), while the other objects indicate a life of violence, holiness, or vice, respectively. The Chinese fortunetelling system known as the I Ching also makes use of coins in some cases, interpreting them through a process known as geomancy.

The Egg and Glass: This method is simple enough that you can go to your kitchen and do it anytime (so long as you keep eggs on hand). There are several different variations on this practice. One of the best-known is the limpia found in Mexican and Mexican-American curanderismo. In that system, the egg is usually used to cleanse a person of spiritual maladies by rubbing them and praying. The egg is then cracked into a glass of water and interpreted based on the shapes that appear, such as bubbles or “curtains” of egg whites draping down like ghosts. Spots on the yolk or foul smells can indicate witchcraft or curses as well. This method was also connected to the Salem witch trials, as an account (published a good bit after the trials were done) indicates that some of the young women involved in the early hysteria had been playing a game called a “Venus glass,” in which an egg was cracked into water and then read or interpreted to provide information about future husbands.

Ring and Hair: The last method is one used in very particular circumstances, but one that might be adaptable to even broader work by a clever folk magician. In parts of the rural South and even into the Midwest, a woman can discover the sex of her baby by taking her wedding ring and suspending it by a piece of her hair over her tummy. If it moves back and forth, it indicates a girl, while movement in a circle usually indicates a boy (although some sources wind up reversing these, so it’s a good idea to ask the ring to show you which is which first). While this is almost exclusively used in pregnancy situations in folklore, I can easily imagine someone seeing the links between things like marriage, birth, and more as indicative of other fortunetelling possibilities (such as asking the ring to help choose between various potential suitors).

These methods are simply a small handful of the incredible variety of everyday divinatory practices found in American folklore. Truly, almost anything, from dish rags to brooms to broken plates and dropped knives, could potentially tell a tuned-in reader about what they might expect to happen.

What makes these methods so valuable to us today isn’t just the actual practices, but the sense of “ordinariness” that we see in them. While it’s all well and good to collect tarot decks like they’re going out of style (and I do the same with playing card decks, so I’m absolutely not judging!), understanding that everyday methods of divination are valuable and rich traditions of their own can help us figure out what works best for us. You may be the sort of person who can divine based on the way your soup boils on the stove, or the way smoke rises from a candle you’ve extinguished, or even which song comes up next on your Spotify playlist. All of those are the sort of folk magic our forebears would have turned to, and they can be sources of insight and inspiration to us today, as well.

Whatever method you turn to, I encourage you to look within your folk communities like family and neighbors (and family here can be chosen family just as readily as anything biological). You’ll likely find plenty of divinatory possibilities if you just listen, pay attention, and ask the right questions. Which is really what divination is all about, right?

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Heartwings Love Notes 978 Simple Fish Soup

Heartwings says, “Sometimes the simple recipes are the most delicious.”

One of the staples in our household is a fish soup made very simply and rather quickly, that is a great favorite with my fish loving husband, Stephen. He grew up in Providence Rhode Island, and spent his summers in Narragansett Pier as a boy. When he was quite small his father began to take him with him to Galilee, Rhode Island to some of his favorite places to buy fish. While there they would indulge in raw cherrystones and sometimes oysters, freshly shucked for them and handed over.

As for myself, I never had anything fancy in the way of fish. My mother served it on Fridays as a matter of course, and I don’t remember her doing anything much to it but bake it in the oven. Her seasonings were ancient and came out of a set of square white jars with red shaker tops that sat on a wooden rack in the kitchen. After her many years of a pinch of this or that, they were pretty dried out and tasteless. She was a very plain cook and tried to keep us healthy with simple basic food cooked to nourish.

My fish soup starts with some cod purposely left over from another meal. When we buy the fish, we usually get about ¼ pound or so more than what we need. I bake it simply, in coconut milk -found in the health food section of the supermarket in a carton, not a can. Baked at 350 with the coconut milk poured just to surround it, the cod is tasty. I usually bake it 25 to 30 minutes depending on its thickness. After we eat, I save what’s left in the cooking fluid and plan to use it within a week or less.

To make my soup, sauté a cup of chopped celery and a cup of chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. When celery and onion are transparent, add 1 teaspoon each ground garlic granules, lemon pepper, and thyme–to taste. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add ½ to ¾ cup raw peeled medium shrimp, (tail on is fine) and ½ to ¾ bay scallops. Add reserved cod plus liquid, and another 1 to 2 cups coconut milk. Bring back to a simmer, cook until shrimp turns pink and enjoy! If you wish, you can prepare the base ahead and add fish ingredients just before serving to four or more.

It is so nice to have plans for leftovers, and I wish you happy ways with them.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

P.S. Do you have interesting ways to cook fish? Or with leftovers? Care to share? Your comments and what you share make my day. Thanks in advance for writing to me at tashahal@aol.com. For more Lovenotes, visit my website heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Green Witch Plant Profile: Wild Violets For Food, Medicine, Magick
APRIL 7, 2021 BY GWYN

There is nothing like walking into my yard on a Spring afternoon to violets peeking through the growing green with smatterings of purple and white. It fills me with so much pleasure to see the early blooms of April in Michigan. It gives me hope that the cold, gray weather is coming to an end. And when I fill my basket with violets (while leaving healthy plants and blooms behind) there is a lot I can do with the blossoms.

Violets: A Brief Introduction
Wildflowers are “weeds” to some but to me, they are wonderful additions to the yard. Violets are no exception. They have a wide variety of uses as food, medicine, and magick. So, let’s get to know this low-growing plant you will find in your grass that makes an appearance as the Winter chill is replaced by Spring breezes.

The Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is native to central and eastern North America. These little beauties begin sprouting up in lawns, along the roadside, within sidewalk cracks, and beside forest paths in late March/Early April. There is a variation (cultivar) that is white with purple streaks that will grow alongside the typical purple/blue. And the leaves and blossoms of the Common Blue Violet are edible.

Identification
There are many species of violet. In addition to Viola sororia, there is Viola oderata, (Sweet Violets). You can identify these by their light sweet scent. However, it is most likely the flowers growing in your yard are the Common Blue variety. But whether you are foraging from your yard or at another location, it is always good to know how to identify the plant so you are 100% sure before you use them.

Common Blue Violets have a basal rosette (a crown of leaves radiating from a stem) of toothed, heart-shaped leaves, and drooping flowers with five petals that do not produce seeds. The blossoms are blue, purple, and white.

There is a yellow variety that some people might come across when foraging. It is important to note that Common Violet does have a look-alike that is poisonous. Ficaria verna, also known as lesser Celandine or Pilewort. While the yellow flower of this plant looks different from the yellow violet, the basal leaves are very similar. So, if you are foraging and you come across leaves you believe are violets, wait until the flowers bloom to be certain of their identification.

Medicinal Uses
There are a number of ways to use violets. They are a soothing herb with a gelatinous (mucilaginous) consistency. Violets have antioxidant properties which means they are a great source of Vitamins C and A. They are also anti-inflammatory which means they can support the body when dealing with discomfort, pain, swelling, etc.

Violets are helpful for coughs and sore throats due to colds, flu, and allergies by infusing them into a tincture, syrup, etc. They can be used topically in infused oil, balm, or lotion for rashes and other skin irritations, eczema, dry skin, bug bites, and varicose veins.

Violet is also said to be helpful for headaches, to calm nerves, ease emotions, and aid in achieving restful sleep when enjoyed as a soothing cup of tea.

Violet Blossom Infusion (Herbal Tea)

1 Cup of Boiling Water

2-3 Tsp Violet Blossoms (fresh or dry)

Pour the water over the flowers. Allow the violets to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Violet Leaf Oil Infusion

1 cup Coconut Oil

1 Cup Violet Leaves

1/2 Cup Violet Blossoms

Clean, dry lidded canning jar

Fill the canning jar with the leaves and flowers. Pour the coconut oil over the plant material until covered to just above (add more oil if necessary). Put the lid onto the jar. Give a gentle twist, shake to stir the oil and violets. Place in a sunny spot for two weeks. Strain the flowers and leaves. Use topically as needed.

Violets As Food
Since these little flowers are high in vitamins, they make a great addition to salads or nourishing soups. Violets make an attractive decoration for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Or, you can use them in a baked recipe such as muffins. You can make a simple syrup with violets to add to lemonade or iced tea. Here is an easy recipe:

Violet Simple Syrup

1 cup Sugar
1 cup water
1/2 – 1 cup violet blossoms (stems removed) loosely packed in a lidded canning jar.
Bring water to boil in a small saucepan.

Pour the hot water over the blossoms.

Leave the flowers to steep for several hours.

Strain flowers from water into a double boiler.

Heat over low temperature and add sugar.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour into a lidded glass jar.

Keep in the refrigerator until used.

Violets in Magick
Tiny though they may be, these flowers are powerful aids in magickal workings. They are useful for spiritual growth, protection, healing, faithfulness, love, and glamour. They are also associated with psychic abilities, dreams, and visions.

Wear violet in a small muslin bag as an amulet of protection.

Place them beneath your pillow for dreams and visions.

Allow them to grow near your door to ward off evil.

Drop the blossoms in a ritual bath for healing.
As you can see, there is a multitude of ways that Common Violets can aid you in your life. And it is easy to come across them. Ask these lovely plants to aid you as a spirit ally, then see where your intuition and creativity take you.

ABOUT
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Green Earth Witch devoted to the Earth Mother, Hekate, Brighid, and Frigga. She is a Clairsentient Medium, Tarot Reader, loves writing and, spending time with her family, as well as working with herbs, essential oils, and plants.

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Let’s Breathe Through This Together

In Buddhist and yogic traditions, some have claimed to reach an enlightened state by doing nothing more than paying attention to the rising and falling of the breath. In this time of high stress and anxiety, breathing can not only help calm your state of mind but also help you to reach a meditative state. Breathing and breathing exercises are intrinsic parts of many forms of meditation the world over. It is also free and always available to you!

By paying attention to your breath – the ebb and flow of in and out – you will rapidly change your state of consciousness, begin to relax, and slowly detach from ordinary awareness. Try to focus on the dimensionless point between your in-breath and out-breath and glimpse the elements of enlightenment in that space.

Here are a few video examples of breathing exercises that Dr. Weil uses and recommends:

The 4-7-8 Breath https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/

A Dr. Weil favorite, this breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

The Bellows or Stimulating Breath
https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/the-stimulating-breath/

The aim of this exercise aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

Breath Counting https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-breath-counting/

A deceptively simple breathing technique much used in Zen practice.

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Dandelions: A Dandy Little Herb
by Susan Wittig Albert

Ever wonder how the dandelion got its name?

The word dandelion is the way English folk pronounced the French phrase dent de lion, or tooth of the lion. Named for the plant’s toothed leaves, perhaps? Or maybe the blossom’s color—the same yellow used to picture heraldic lions? Or both.

The dandelion’s other folk names are also descriptive. “The devil’s milk pail” refers to the sticky white sap that oozes from the broken root, used to remove warts and treat other skin ailments. “Swine’s snout” describes the closed blossom. “Puffball” is exactly the right name for the fly-away seeds. And “monk’s head” is a good way of describing the smooth, bald head that pokes up out of the grass after the seeds have blown away.

The Medicinal Dandelion

What sort of medicine? We can find a clue in the inelegant name “piss-a-bed.” The plant produces taraxacin, stimulating the kidneys to produce urine. Because the dandelion is high in potassium, a vital nutrient lost when the kidneys do their job, herbalists prefer it to chemical diuretics. In the many centuries before modern medicine, the dandelion was used to treat heartburn, liver complaints, gall stones, jaundice, and dropsy (what we now call congestive heart failure). And dandelion salve was a pain-relieving standby in many medicine cabinets.

The Culinary Dandelion

Your backyard dandelions (if they haven’t been sprayed with something noxious) can also put in an appearance at your table. The leafy greens are a zestier version of arugula and add a nice bite to raw spring-green salads. Cooking calms them down. Use in any dish that calls for kale, chard, collard greens, or mustard greens. Or how about a pesto? Here’s one made with dandelion greens and pumpkin seeds that will charm any pasta/pesto lover. Dandelion jelly is an old-fashioned favorite, and dandelion wine was my grandfather’s spring specialty. For a bushel of hand-picked wine, jelly, and syrup recipes, check out this Tipnut page.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
–Slim Acres

For more about medicinal wild plants, cunsult these useful guides:

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs (Eastern and Central North America), Peterson Guide, by noted herbalists Steven Foster and James Duke

Identifying and Harvesting Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill

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Bigfoot Stick Structures
by Ghost Hunting Theories

With regards to our tall feral neighbors, some behaviors catch our attention, such as infrasound, screaming, wood knocks, and especially the stick structures.

Let’s talk about some of the possible reasons for stick structures and review some of the most amazing formations to be found.

Some theories involving stick structures include –

Marking territory for a clan.
A hunting blind.
Sleeping structure.

As the structures aren’t always little lean-to’s, they are also found in the form of an X shape or arched bow, it is generally believed each construct means something different.

In studying arches and X’s, I’ve come to find a pretty consistent use of X marks where the human land begins. It’s as if they know others of their kind or their own clan going through an area needs to know “bow” please enter into our land and “X” please don’t pass as you are close to humans. This makes sense as one thing they need to know as they travel on foot is the knowledge that the local clan has about the area. There isn’t time to spend days and weeks and months studying a piece of land for human areas and safe areas, but if they pass the knowledge to everyone of their kind, they save them time and effort.

As it has come to horse mane braiding, I’ve found if a Bigfoot is traveling along new areas, the rural places are their preferred course. In rural areas near woodlands, you find horses in pastures. If the manes are braided, the clan could be letting others know that there is a clan in the area.

These subtle constructs using nature, such as limbs and horse manes can elude humans, but be the very “natural” looking markings that they seek for knowledge. They can’t put out a sign “hey the Enoch Clan is here” or “don’t go that way, there’s humans,” but they can do it in ways we are oblivious to.

That being said, the stick structures particularly are of interest as they almost always involve a base tree, whether standing or broken off, that limbs are stacked against, woven, and formed into a kind of tiny house. One that almost invariably does not fit the size of a human.

But, in some private studies among Bigfooters in our research group, the Bigfoot do have a kind of daycare situation in which very young ones are left in a kind of nested area near a tree. The wee ones play games with tree bark and try to abide by the rule to not stray.

My theory on these structures are they are built for the wee ones and guarded by one sentinel at the opening, they will be easy to protect. The concept would be to place the toddlers within and have one adult sitting guard.

These Bigfoot daycare centers make good sense as it is the best way to wrangle wee ones and also to teach them to stay near the trees for protection. In other words, hide at the tree; a lesson hiding and feral parents would want deeply embedded in the next generation’s psyche.

Let’s have a look at some of the best documenting of stick structures I’ve ever seen. This comes from the fantastic and insightful channel Southern Ontario Sasquatch. This researcher appropriately calls them “wood nests.”

There are plenty of reasons for stick structures, including a human-made hunting blind, but when it comes to the work of the Forest Ones, it would appear that these are not there for ornamentation as their prime directive is not to decorate the forest, but to remain cloaked and ignored.

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12 Cemetery Superstitions
by Cathy Wallace

Cemetery superstitions from the last century or two may have more influence over how you behave when it comes to family funerals and burials than you might realize.

Have you ever worn black to a funeral? Did you travel from a funeral home to the cemetery in an unbroken procession of cars? Have you ever sent flowers to the family of the deceased?

Why did you do those things? Tradition? Where did those traditions come from? Many of them came from century-old cemetery superstitions.

In this blog post, you will discover 12 cemetery superstitions from the Victorian era that still haunt us today.

Cemetery Superstitions #1: Wearing Black
The custom of wearing black at funerals is an ancient one, but it became more popular during the Victorian era. Black was believed to make the living less visible to the spirits that came to accompany the deceased into the afterlife.

After all, they didn’t want the spirits to make any mistakes and take them along too!

If a family could not afford black clothing, it was acceptable to wear a black armband. Widows were expected to wear black for two years after their spouse died. But during the last six months of this period, they could add some trim in grey, white, or lavender.

For women who were mourning the loss of a parent or a child, it was appropriate to wear black for one year. The typical period of time to wear mourning garb for the passing of a grandparent, sibling, or close friend was six months. If an aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew died, they were expected to wear black for just three months.

They must have had quite a dark wardrobe!

Cemetery Superstitions #2: Stop the Clock
When someone died, clocks were stopped at the moment of death. For practical reasons, this would allow for an accurate doctor’s report and death certificate.

But it was also said to be out of respect for the dead. Time had stopped for their mortal life and so their spirit must not be rushed into leaving too quickly by allowing them to notice the passage of time.

When the family’s mourning period had ended, they started their clocks again – symbolic of it being time to move on to another period of their life.

Cemetery Superstitions #3: Draw the Drapes
For our ancestors, visitations and funerals were often held in the home of the deceased. The body was laid out in the front parlor.

As soon as someone died, it was customary to quickly close the parlor drapes. This was believed to be a way to keep the deceased’s spirit from leaving too quickly.

Even today, funeral home visitations are usually held in a room called the “funeral parlor”. It is made to look like a household living room and often has closed draperies somewhere in the room.

In some parts of the United Kingdom everyone on their street closed their draperies when someone in the neighborhood passed away. Children were taught to be quiet near these homes or play someplace else.

Cemetery Superstitions #4: A Kiss Good-bye
It’s potentially the saddest part of a memorial service, where the inevitable must be faced, and having celebrated a life, we must say our final farewell.

Today, it is common to stand in line at a “viewing” for a chance to speak a few words to the family and then to walk past the coffin. When there is an open casket, many people reach out to touch the deceased one last time.

This was even more common in previous generations, where it was customary not only to touch the hand or heart of the deceased but to give them a kiss.

It was thought that the bestowal of a kiss would keep the living person from dreaming about the departed one.

Cemetery Superstitions #5: Saved by the Bell
In previous generations, it was sometimes difficult to tell if someone had actually died or if they were just in a coma. So craftsmen began putting bells on the top of coffins with chains that ran to the inside for the deceased to pull. Then they could ring the bell if they woke up.

This is where the expression, “saved by the bell” comes from.

Cemetery Superstitions #6: Leave Feet First
If the deceased was carried out of the home headfirst they might look back and call another family member to follow them into the afterlife, so they were always carried out feet first.

Cemetery Superstitions #7: Keep a Lock of Hair
Historically, giving a lock of your hair to someone has been considered a sign of love and devotion, especially when done before an impending separation.

And although it may seem creepy to us, keeping a lock of hair from a deceased family member was perfectly acceptable during the Victorian period.

Over time, funeral hair became a form of art.

Jewelry was made from hair, like this mourning bracelet. And hair was even used to make wreaths and pictures for home décor.

Our ancestors believed that keeping a lock of a loved one’s hair would keep their loved ones close to their heart. Today, we may not be as likely to keep locks of hair but we often save other mementos to remind us of deceased family members.

Cemetery Superstitions #8: Plant Flowers on the Grave. Cemetery superstitions said that if the deceased had lived a good life, flowers would bloom on their grave. But if they had been evil, only weeds would grow.

It is still common today to plant flowers on graves, particularly on Memorial Day or Armistice Day.

Another common superstition was the belief that the spirits of the deceased could enter the mirrors, which served as portals to the “other side”.

So as soon as someone passed away, family members rushed around covering the mirrors with blankets or cloths.

Wealthy families kept black crepe on hand for this purpose.

If it was decided that the mirrors did not get covered soon enough, and the deceased’s spirit was stuck in the mirror, breaking it would release them.

Cemetery Superstitions #10: Graveside Picnic
During the Victorian era, it was common for people who lived in London, Paris, New York, or any large city to take a day-trip to large park-like cemeteries in the countryside.

Funerals were often an all-day affair so mourners brought along a picnic lunch. They packed dainty ham sandwiches, little lemon cakes, and tea in a basket to be eaten on blankets on the grass. This gave them leisurely time to reminisce about their departed loved ones and ancestors buried there.

Some undertakers even rented “picnic wagonettes” and helped to plan “pleasure parties” at the cemetery.

But they had to be careful about where they set up their event. It was considered bad luck to sit or walk on someone’s grave.

Cemetery Superstitions #11: Funeral Biscuits
You may have been invited to a meal after a funeral. It’s a common custom. But where did that tradition start?

During the Victorian era, a funeral mass or memorial service was often held at a local church or in the home of the deceased. Bread and wine were shared, following the Christian practice of partaking of the last supper, sacrament, or communion in remembrance of Christ dying for the sins of mankind.

In time, some people began substituting cookies, known as “funeral biscuits” for the bread. The funeral biscuits were distributed by the lady of the house as she reached over the coffin and handed them to the visiting guests in her parlor.

A superstition sprung up that the guests themselves were taking upon them the sins of the deceased to allow their departed loved one to pass straight into heaven, sin-free. This practice was known as “sin-eating”.

Taking on someone else’s sins was a rough business so people started to hire someone to do the deed. In England and Wales, funeral sin-eaters were generally community outcasts who were paid sixpence for their services.

In America, the funeral biscuits resembled round molasses cookies and they were sometimes stamped with hearts, skulls, or crosses. In England, they were elongated sponge cakes, also known as “lady’s fingers”.

Funeral biscuits were also wrapped in white paper and sealed with black sealing wax and given to departing guests to take home to those who could not attend.

Following up to four days of visitations at the home, the burial occurred, and then a meal was served to close family and friends. Pork pie, a large wheel of cheese, and fruit cake might be on the menu.

Cemetery Superstitions #12: Funeral Processions
Funeral processions used to consist of walking from the home to the church, trailing behind those who carried the coffin. The deceased was then buried in the churchyard.

This was often done at night, with each person carrying a candle or lantern to light the way.

When the use of church graveyards in the cities was replaced by burials in cemeteries outside of the cities, it was too far to walk. So the funeral procession was made by train, by horse-drawn carriage, or by motor car.

Even horse-drawn hearses had lanterns on them to light the way, as in the photo above.

Today, funeral processions are usually led by a hearse, follow by the family vehicles, and then other attendees.

Small magnetic flags are placed on the hood of each car and headlights are turned on so others in the community will recognize the slow-moving convoy as a funeral procession and give them due respect.

Other travelers are expected to wait for the funeral procession to pass uninterrupted. This evolved from the superstition that anyone who interfered with the deceased going to the grave would attract the wrath of evil spirits.

Help Preserve Cemetery History
It’s good luck to help preserve cemetery history by taking photos with the BillionGraves app. Just kidding!

But it is a great way to help others find their ancestors so they can grow their family tree.

As you photograph your cemetery, and I photograph mine, we will all be able to find our ancestors!

If you would like to volunteer to take gravestone photos with your smartphone click HERE to get started.

You are welcome to take photos of gravestones at your own convenience, no permission from us is needed. If you still have questions after you have checked out the resources above, you can email us at Volunteer@BillionGraves.com.

Would you like to lead a group in documenting a cemetery? Send an email at Volunteer@billiongraves.com and we’ll be happy to send you some great tips!

To volunteer to transcribe names and dates from gravestones, go to billiongraves.com/transcribe.

Happy Cemetery Hopping!

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Master Points
by Stephen Halpert

Harry Silver opened the padded envelope and smiled as he removed the illustrated edition of the Collected Essays of Sir Isaac Newton. He stroked it with grateful admiration.

His wife Bessie came into the kitchen. She peered at the fat volume. “Newton? Didn’t he discover a lot?”

         “More than a lot,” Harry said. “He virtually reinvented mathematics.”

         She frowned. “How can there be more than a lot? Sometimes Harry I just don’t understand where you’re coming from or even what you’re getting at.”

         “Back when I was in school, I read about his theory that the world would end sometime between 2050 and 2070.”

         “Oh dear,” she sighed. “That’s not a happy thought. But maybe by now it’s all fixed up.”

         “He wrote that hundreds of years ago.”

         “Things can change, Harry. People make predictions like that all the time.”

         He looked at her patiently. “But Bessie, Newton used pure mathematical principles.” He took a can of sardines from the cabinet, opened it and put them on a plate. “And nothing seems to have changed. If anything, global warming could speed up the process and even make things a whole lot worse.”

         “When is all this supposed to happen?”

         He shrugged. “In 50 years or so, give or take.”

         “Let me get us some crackers. That’s terrible. Was he sure?”

         “I’m sure he was.” Harry opened the fridge and took out the pitcher of ice tea. Then he got two glasses from the cabinet, added ice and brought it to the table. “Bessie, it’s just one of those things we can’t do anything about.” He sat down at the kitchen table.

         Bessie sat across from him. “Maybe that’s how you feel Harry. But before I do anything I’ll have to consult Sarah my astrologer. She knows about things like this.”

         He put sardines on a cracker. “And?”          “Well if she goes along with it I think we better sell the cottage at the Pier and I’ll cash in my master points.”

         “Why bother? Maybe wherever we end up you can take them with you.”

         She shook her head. “Oh no Harry I don’t think they’d be transferable. Ever since Charles Goren, The Master Point Association is very strict about things like that. Otherwise, people would start throwing their master points around like confetti.”

         He nodded and patted her hand. “Well if I were you, I’d keep all this under your hat. No need to cause panic.  After all it’s not for another fifty some odd years from now. And whatever you do don’t bring it up when you go to the beauty parlor or by supper the whole world will know.”

         Her eyes widened. “Oh Harry, you don’t have to worry about confidentially. Believe me, whatever’s said at Madam Swank’s stays at Madam Swank’s. It’s an unwritten rule of cosmetology.”

         He swallowed more sardines. “Besides Bessie it’s not like this is happening tomorrow.”

         She looked intently at him. “Harry how long have we been together?”

         He smiled. “Forty some odd years.”

         She nodded. “Yes, and do you remember on our anniversary you said those forty years went by faster than a speeding bullet. Those were your exact words.”

         He looked quizzical. “I remember that line from Superman on the radio. What are you getting at?”

         “Well if what Newton said proves to be true then we’d better start making plans. Sell off what isn’t useful. Maybe put our money into gold.” She lowered her voice. “You could sell your baseball card collection and I’d send my mother’s needlepoint work to auction.”

         His voice rose. “Sell my baseball card collection, why?”

         She touched his hand. “Harry, you can’t take them with you. Even if we were to survive, they’d be all wet and ruined. That I’m sure of.”

         He sounded even more emphatic. “I don’t want to sell my baseball cards. I’ve had them ever since I was a boy.” 

         “Harry it’s a known fact that when there are floods things get wet. Think about it. And I’m sure that when the world ends it won’t be a pretty picture.”

         He seemed momentarily stymied. “Maybe we should just forget this whole conversation. Forget I even mentioned it.”

         Her eye widened. “How can I? You’ve told me something terrible and awful. I can’t just shove it aside. It’s dominating my mind.”

         “I’m sorry Bessie. But when we got married, we agreed not to keep secrets from one another.”

         She sighed. “Oh, go ahead and keep your baseball cards but don’t blame me if they get all wet and mildewed.”

         “Thank you.”‘ He finished the sardines.

         “But being known as the Mattress Czar of Pawtucket maybe you should think about having an end of the world sale. Get ahead of your competition.”

         He looked quizzical. “Why? If the world’s going to end then why would anyone even think about buying a new mattress or bedroom set?”

         “Harry if this is true; if the world is going to explode then I know that the only place I’d want to be when it happens is holding onto you in bed. And it would be nice to think about a new box spring and mattress just to make our final hours a little more cozy.”

         He looked surprised. “You really think that?”

         Now she sounded emphatic. “Of course I do. And when she read my astrology chart Sarah said that beyond anything else, I’m practical.”

         He sighed and shook his head. “This is all a little premature Bessie.”

         “Remember that speeding bullet remark Harry.  After all, time flies.”

         He took her hand. “Bessie let’s just forget all about this for now. You hang onto your mother’s needle point and I’ll keep my baseball cards. And just to make you feel better let’s go away for the weekend. Didn’t you say there was a bridge tournament you wanted to sign up for in Portland?”

         She shook her head and lowered her voice. “Oh Harry, none of that seems important to me anymore. What good are more master points when I won’t have anyone to play bridge with, assuming we even survive?  And if we do, I wouldn’t be able to find a dry deck amidst the rubble.”

         Harry put his arm around her shoulder and kissed her. “Tell you what, how about just to be on the safe side I buy you a couple a dozen decks of playing cards to put all around the house? That way you’re bound to find at least one.”  

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Kats Korner
Share your love for cats!

Why Do Cats Follow You Into The Bathroom?
~Susan Logan McCracken | Apr 5th 2021

May I ask you a personal question? Does your cat follow you into the bathroom? Do you leave your door slightly ajar so your cat can come in after you? And what happens if you close the door behind you and leave your cat out? Do you see paws reaching under the door? Does your cat scratch or leap at the door? This may be one of the quirkiest, funniest and most baffling things our cats do.

Even my docile Ragdoll would stick her paw under the door and rattle it if I left her out when using the loo. Our cat Sophie comes in and walks right back out. But Maddie solicits petting from me or my husband and sometimes plays in the bathtub when one of us is in there.

I talked with my longtime friend, pet lifestyle expert and fellow cat writer Sandy Robins, about this puzzling feline behavior. Sandy’s cat, Fudge, even followed houseguests into the bathroom. I was one of those guests privileged enough to know Fudge before her passing. Today Sandy has two adorable cats, Ziggy and Tory, who, not surprisingly, engage in this same type of behavior.

Although I didn’t find studies or scholarly articles that explained why cats follow people into the bathroom, I do think this funny quirk reinforces several behaviors we attribute to cats.

Cats Can’t Stand a Closed Door
Cats are territorial and so are passionately interested in everything that goes on in their territory. Their survival depends on it. They can spend hours observing it, and they know where the safe places are to eat, drink, sleep and do their business.

Once they learn a door opens and that there is territory behind it to explore, they want in. If there is unexplored space in your home, it almost kills them to not be able to go inside.

“It’s as though they want to know what are you doing in there and ‘May I help,’” Sandy says. She and her family don’t lock the bathroom door, but they close it completely. Yet somehow the cats are still able to push open the door and barge right in, Sandy says. When her son, who has a dog, was staying with them, Ziggy, Tory and the dog all came in. “We wanted to put up a sign that said ‘one at a time please,’” Sandy says.

My cat Sophie has figured out how to open the closet door in our guest bedroom and goes in there at night when she believes no one is looking. We’ve heard her open it. We find her in there the next morning. If cats had opposable thumbs, we’re pretty sure they would open every unlocked cabinet and door in your home.

Cats Love It When You’re Still
Cats like it when you don’t (or can’t) move and somehow instinctively know that you can’t move when on the toilet.

Have you noticed that when you’re still, your cats like to come and hang out? Whether you’re sitting at your computer, relaxing on the couch or lying in bed, most cats will either sit on your lap or near you, plop down on your keyboard or paperwork, or curl up next to you. Take this as a huge compliment that your cat wants to be where ever you are, feels safe with you and likes being the center of your attention.

Why Do Cats Follow You Into the Bathroom? Maybe They Just Like Bathrooms
Bathrooms and closets are usually the smallest rooms in the house. A room where they can see all boundaries provides the sense of security they crave. “Cats like small spaces and boxes,” Sandy says. “Perhaps they see the bathroom as our version of a box.”

The bathroom also contains some other exciting things — running water, for instance, which some cats find irresistible. Many cats like running water and will even drink from a running faucet or fountain.

Other bathroom fixtures cats like are the smooth, cool surfaces of sinks and bathtubs. Just Google “cats in sinks” some time. There’s an entire website called catsinsinks.com. A sink fulfills many feline desires: It’s cat-sized, enclosed and smooth, and provides running water.

Cats also like tubs for similar reasons. But a tub’s size makes it an ideal playground. Many people discover their cats’ toys in the tub. My cat Maddie likes to spin around and chase her tail in the tub. Sandy’s cat Tory plays in the tub, and Ziggy carries his wand toy into the bathroom.

Another feline favorite: the toilet paper roll. “Ziggy pulls the toilet paper and insists on getting the first three squares,” Sandy says. At the beginning of COVID, when we had a toilet paper shortage, Sandy thought she would have to ration toilet paper for Ziggy.

Google “cats and toilet paper” and prepare to be entertained.

If You Feel Safe, It Must Be Safe
Cats look to their favorite people for many of their needs — food, water, shelter, a clean litter box and more. But they also look to their people for their safety and security. My cats like it when either my husband or I watch them eat. Why? Because cats feel vulnerable when they eat. Cats also feel vulnerable when they’re using the potty.

Cats get a lot of their information from observing us. In the world of psychology, it’s called social referencing. Human children and animals look to their parents and guardians for how they should react to something. If something startles us, it will startle them. If we’re calm and relaxed, they feel safe, too. If you feel safe enough to do your business in the bathroom, they’re confident that both you and they are in a safe space.

Author and editor Susan Logan-McCracken shares her home with her husband, Mark, and two red tabby domestic longhair cats, Maddie and Sophie.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, April 11, 2021

All Signs
This week the Sun and Mercury are dancing with lucky moneybags Jupiter, which is a lovely, upbeat influence for everyone. On Tuesday, fair Venus moves into Taurus to stay for three weeks. Another lovely influence! Venus is the ruler of Taurus, and both Venus and Taurus love money. So, this is a happy marriage indeed. This means we can all hope to get richer or somehow “feel” richer in the next three weeks. So, stay positive and keep your eyes open. Someone once said, “Small opportunities are what big opportunities look like when they’re young.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You are sitting pretty this week. The Sun and Mercury are in your sign dancing beautifully with lucky, moneybags Jupiter. This encourages you to think positive and expect the best for yourself and your situation. You won’t be afraid to entertain big ideas. Furthermore, you will feel very sociable and eager to interact with groups and meet friends. This is because you feel a need to be part of something bigger than yourself. You want to make that connection. You want to be where it’s happening. This week Venus moves into your House of Earnings, which means it will attract money to you for the next three weeks. Admittedly, it will encourage extravagance. (What’s your superpower?)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week your ruler Venus moves into your sign where it will stay for the next three weeks, which is excellent news for you. This will promote your desire to relate to others in a very charming way. In fact, you’ll be willing to make personal compromises if necessary because you want to get along. (Venus always likes to get along.) It’s a great time to enjoy fun times with pals or a vacation because Venus always ranks pleasure above work. This is also an excellent time to buy wardrobe goodies for yourself. Since you are working so hard to earn money at this time, why not look your best? Success is sexy! And this is your year to dazzle everyone with your successful reputation.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
With Mars in your sign, you’re still pumped with energy! Make the most of this fabulous influence because it comes only once every two years, and you continue to have this blessing until April 23. Meanwhile, this is an incredibly sociable week! Enjoy interacting with friends and being involved with groups. Many of you will be involved with younger people as well. It’s a particularly good time for you to examine your goals and think about where you want to be five years from now – 10 years from now – to infinity and beyond! Some of you are making future travel plans (“some day”) while others are exploring opportunities in medicine, the law, publishing, the media and higher education. (A secret love affair is lurking.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You make a fabulous impression on everyone this week. No question. Furthermore, you will enjoy success talking to important people as well as parents, teachers and the police. You might learn something important from a boss. You’ll also feel more important to be included in some kind of bigger venture. (It’s always hard to see the big picture when you’re in the frame.) But now -you’re at the table! You’re getting a better grasp of how things are done and likewise, how things are unfolding in your own world. This gives you a sense of personal power because you feel more in command. You’re ready for anything that comes your way – and you’ve got your recharger and just in case – your own glue stick.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This is an exhilarating week, especially in terms of publishing, the media and making travel plans, dealing with foreign countries and taking advantage of opportunities in medicine and the law. Some of you are excited about school plans as well. Yes, it’s all happening! You deserve this. (Yeah, some think you’re bossy but that’s because they can’t tell the difference between demanding and commanding.) One of the rewarding things right now is you are learning something new, perhaps learning it from important people – perhaps not. But it’s exciting to be part of something bigger. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change. (“But it’s all I ever wanted since I heard about it a minute ago!”)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You might do some wheeling and dealing about financial matters, inheritances, shared property, taxes or debt this week. (Taxes? That’s no surprise. Look at the date.) Nevertheless, this wheeling and dealing will attract money to you. It might parlay you into a bigger group that relates to your job. Perhaps it’s because you’re dealing with foreign interests? Or perhaps it will entail future work-related travel? Fortunately, your ambition is aroused, so you’re ready for whatever comes up. (You’re not getting dusty.) Meanwhile, because your appreciation of beauty is heightened, grab every chance to enjoy beautiful parks, buildings, galleries and art in person or online.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Yes, it’s true that you still need more sleep. (Who has more erratic sleep patterns than you? Well actually, a few Aquarians I know.) You will be more socially involved with others this week, perhaps through your partner or through a friend. You might be introduced to new people? Younger people might suddenly be in your world. You might join a group or become involved with a group. Romance is promising; hot and heavy passion are in the picture for many. (Yes, you too.) Examine your goals. You will see that things are working out as planned and this is reassuring. Many of you will also be more involved with members of the general public in some way. In person or on-line.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
This is a super positive week for your work. You might impress bosses. You might have an opportunity to schmooze with authority figures and learn something new, which is exciting because this makes you feel part of something bigger than you. You might see how well you are progressing in your goals related to your job or your health (this is also a positive week for your health). You feel more vigourous than usual, which in turn, leads to a more pumped optimism about everything. You’re The Little Engine That Could. I thought I could! I thought I could!” (After Roger Bannister broke that “impossible feat” of running the four-minute mile -over a thousand runners have since done the same.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You are a sign that is noted for working hard and playing hard. You take things all the way! This week you will play hard. Of course, if you’re in sports, or the arts, this could feel like work. This is a very sociable week for you, which means you will be out there flying your colours! You want to talk to people in person or on-line. In particular, you might be more involved than usual with younger people. You seem to be more concerned with the bigger picture, which is of course, your style. Romance might be over-the-top. You might also be thrilled because of your involvement with kids. Something will make you enthusiastic and glad to be alive!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Everything to do with home and your family life will be warm and reassuring this week. Many of you will invite people over this week – perhaps your family bubble? You might also be busy doing renovations or repairs to where you live. Perhaps others will pitch in with help? Some of you might explore real-estate opportunities because this is a distinct possibility. Many of you can enrich yourself through home and family and real estate at this time. Whatever you do, you won’t be afraid to have big plans. If you need to get the permission of important people – you won’t be afraid to ask. This is also a romantic, playful week that promises social delights.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week you are so positive minded and optimistic, your enthusiasm will know no bounds! Your interaction with your daily contacts is rewarding and reassuring. You are also excited to be in touch with bosses and people in authority at a level where you feel included and at the same time, you are learning something. It’s exciting to see the big picture! Certainly, relations with siblings and neighbours and relatives are excellent. This is a great week to write, communicate, act or sell because your words are like gold. Meanwhile, you will also enjoy doing something to make where you live feel more attractive for yourself and perhaps someone special. Woot!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
“Show me the money!” This is definitely a good financial week for you. You will see ways to boost your earnings because you have moneymaking ideas. Likewise, you will see ways to impress bosses and people in power with your ideas, which in turn, can attract money to you. You will be smooth, charming and diplomatic in discussions with others. You won’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves to get busy and work hard to deal with financial matters. This could involve some ambitious projects on the home front because things seem to be topsy-turvy there. (You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.) It’s a reassuring time for you because you see where you are in the bigger picture. It’s all good.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 11 April 2021

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Urgent as sudden dilemmas and unexpected changes seem, either avoid making decisions or, if that’s impossible, ensure whatever you organise is flexible. Within days you’ll be juggling yet more changes and, possibly, more options; but, also, ensure your own goals are equally flexible, because what seems disastrous at the moment could turn out to be unexpectedly fortunate, and by as early as next week.

You exude charm, personality and sex appeal. Whether single or attached, events at this time could mark a major turning point in your life. A thrifty partner is expecting you to manage within the confines of a tight budget. You’re tempted to treat yourself to one of those little luxuries you love so much. You know this will leave you feeling guilty. Money is tight and you can understand the need to economise even if you aren’t happy about it.

It should be ‘all systems go’ following the annual New Moon in your sign on Monday. True, you may be asked to take on extra responsibility and faced with clearing up a mess from the past. The political angle of all of this should not be ignored either. Fact is though, that an old war is just that – an old war. By the time the Venus leaves your sign on Thursday, it should be clear that you now need to move focus to the future and let go of systems that really are no longer working. Painful as that may be, once that’s accepted, employing fresh strategies and being in the driving seat as these are implemented should be exciting. Career wise it seems you are now refuelled and pointed in fresh direction.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Recent challenges have been informative. Still, Tuesday’s move by your ruler Venus into your sign begins a new, and upbeat, cycle. Still, let go of what doesn’t work. This may seem unwise, if not hasty. However, with the Sun and ideas planet Mercury both entering Taurus on Monday the 19th, the tide will turn suddenly and, in a direction, as exciting as it is unexpected.

You have the energy and determination to overcome any challenge that is presented to you now. People around you look stressed and tired whereas you feel completely relaxed. It might be up to you to iron out some difficulties before a group project gets underway. Personal plans will be put on hold in order to focus on a team effort. You should be able to make up for ground lost as you head into the second half of the week.

It is perhaps time to think long-term. The annual New Moon in neighbouring Aries on Monday puts sharp focus on playing for the long-term. Yet the old way of doing this is probably just that: old and out worn. It may now be time to think differently and at least to prepare for moving in altered direction: most likely in June. The key as always, always, is in the planning. First, it’s essential that you assess your expertise and what you really have to offer. What you display by the end of this week – and especially if at interview, – is crucial. Pandemic or otherwise, a review of working practices should now be under way. With Saturn, the planet of responsibility, now pivotal at the apex of your solar chart, you are well-placed to take on a new role and even perhaps, to create it.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you’ve an amazing knack for showing interest in others’ activities and future plans, yet leaving decisions to them. Now, however, their choices could undermine, if not obstruct, exciting ideas or ventures of your own. Discuss your concerns frankly, then back off. While, initially, this may seem weak, not only will the individuals in question act on your concerns, their efforts will be unexpectedly clever.

You want to get ahead. A colleague who is stuck in the same place will resent your determination. Ignore their attempts to hold you back. You’re positive that this is the right time for you to go after a prominent position. The challenge will be highly stimulating. Some ideas that you have to improve your home will need a little working on if they are to be put into practice in the future. If something doesn’t work on your first attempt be prepared to try again.

It should feel as though it’s all systems go after Monday’s New Moon in fiery Aries. It should be apparent that the rest of the world is now ready to get to work – and at speed. What should be delightful for you is that there will be much to talk about. Priorities have most decidedly shifted – if not altered dramatically. Venus’ entry into Taurus on Thursday coincides with the Moon’s arrival in your sign. It’s then time for you to lay out what your revised needs are and to open discussions about your long-term dreams and goals. In alerting others to where you want to be, you are also putting down the key steppingstones to getting there. In particular, Aries, cancer, Libra and Capricorn colleagues should be particularly appreciative of the goals and strategies you set out.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve known certain elements of your life needed a rethink. Now, while you acknowledge this is urgent, you’re unsure where to begin. The insights, if not unexpected events, triggered by Monday’s New Moon help clarify it all. True, initially developments may seem both unwise and unsettling. Be patient. By the week’s close you’ll not only realise how brilliant they are, you’ll be delighted.

You don’t need anyone’s approval to do something you want to do. Seek to satisfy yourself rather than trying to live up to other people’s expectations of you. Are you single? You could meet someone special through your work. Not only will you be impressed by their accomplishments, but you also seem to have similar spiritual outlooks. If you already have a partner, sharing secrets, listening to music and having fun together will strengthen the bond between you.

You are quite capable of pulling down your shell and staying put for some considerable time. You are equally capable of lifting the shell up and scurrying off in fresh direction. That’s most likely following Monday’s New Moon in another of the Cardinal signs, Aries. Indeed, you could mesmerise someone older and gain so much respect before next weekend. Your ability to network and to relate to other people’s revised aims and objectives should ensure that whilst you are focused on your personal ‘north’, that you do so in a way that ensures you don’t crash into others en-route. An ability to swerve and avoid collision and adapt whilst holding firmly your goal should get you noticed and, by Friday, have you ‘mentioned in dispatches’ with a view to giving you a project all of your own to nurture before your birthday.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Understandably you’re not thrilled about potential changes in elements of your work or lifestyle. However, not only are these inevitable, they’re forcing you to update familiar but increasingly restrictive arrangements. If you can’t say an enthusiastic yes, at least explore these. You’ll soon realise these updates of arrangements or future plans aren’t just timely, they’re taking you in a direction as exciting as it is unexpected.

A little humility will go a long way. You don’t have to be the best at everything. Attempts to outperform a talented rival could lead to some embarrassment. Instead of competing, you could learn a lot from working together. Remember that pride goes before a fall. Close friends are used to your playful ways but someone who doesn’t know you well may take your teasing in the wrong way. The weekend is perfect for developing an engrossing personal project and spending time with people who understand you.

As you probably know, a New Moon is said to mark new beginnings. It doesn’t always work out quite that way, but certainly, the promise of Monday’s New Moon in another of the Fire signs suggests increased desire to move forward, to feel passion and yes, to engage in a way that’s been lacking. You may be pushed towards this by a partner or colleague who is determined to see that energy is not wasted. This will likely require that you renew some contacts. Concerning as it may be to learn that someone you once relied on has now moved off in altered direction, and challenging as it may be to get them to focus until an old issue is resolved, all this could bring out the best in you. Indeed, by next weekend others may be reaching out and asking you to join their team now that they can see exactly what you can do.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Rarely have you faced so many unanticipated changes, in both existing arrangements and future plans, in such a short time. True, they’ll be unsettling and you’ll wonder whether, with careful planning, they could have been avoided. Ignore those questions, instead simply allowing events to unfold. By the week’s close, things will come together in ways as spectacular as they are unexpected. After that, you’ll be thrilled.

Taking on a job you had not planned for will send the rest of your week’s plans into turmoil. Having to miss a date or special event will leave you feeling disappointed and empty. You’re making sacrifices for other people and your good deeds will not have gone unnoticed. Very soon, someone will be making it up to you. A relative will be in touch with news that gives you something important to think about. Affairs regarding children will need ironing out.

Over this last year, you’ve likely learnt much about duty and responsibility. You may also have had to grapple with property issues and what is and what is not possible. Following on from Monday’s New Moon some of those old issues are set to resurface. The good news this time, is that recent experience and acquired knowledge should result in promising conversations with those who know how to get things done. That really is this week’s big theme. With others now clearly ready to push forward you could have your work cut out to keep up. It’s long been recognised that those of your sign are excellent at-risk assessment. That’s very different to risk management. Persuading others to give you time to do your job will likely require a charm offensive. That said, as early as this Friday, and even with only a sketchy outline of what can be achieved, others should be quick to acknowledge that your input has been invaluable.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The week divides neatly into two parts. Initially your focus will be rethinking a range of issues, from personal to financial, some recent but many as persistent as they’ve been puzzling. Amazingly, by midweek, most will be resolved. This, then, frees you to focus on a range of promising yet unsettling ideas. The rapid pace will force you to move swiftly. Discussions can wait.

Honest communication is the key to building stronger relationships. Encourage your family and friends to talk about their hopes and dreams. You want to support them in any way you can. To do so you need to know what they are thinking. How else will you know you are getting it right? It’s important to fulfil obligations to your employer. You have an opportunity to prove what you are capable of but it will require hard work and dedication.

As of Tuesday, it could feel as though you’ve fallen into a pit of responsibility. True, at one level you may have longed for this. It’s just the timing that could be irritating. At Monday’s Aries New moon, you may feel that others are pushing you to make decisions before you’re ready. It actually isn’t the case that you are procrastinating, but you may well need a few more days to adjust to fresh cosmic rhythm. Focus presently is likely to be on self-investment and for some, developing entrepreneurial talents. In this, you may yet be indebted to those born under either Aries, Leo or Sagittarius whose to give you an energy boost just when needed could make all the difference to one of your research and development ideas moving to the next stage. Meanwhile, it might also be important to open up a dialogue (most likely with a Cancer or Capricorn) to discuss ways in which a long-term goal can be achieved.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve managed to sidestep changes as disruptive as they’d be unwelcome. However, events between now and the pivotal Scorpio Full Moon, on 27 April, aren’t just building up to these, they’ll prove to be breakthroughs. How? There’ll be hints, but the details will remain unclear until you’re actually involved. Risky as it seems, take a chance. Plunge in. You won’t regret it.

Your ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes makes you a popular character. Friends and neighbours know they can trust you and they value your advice. It might seem as if all you are hearing these days is one hard up story after another. Your compassion knows no bounds and you won’t turn anyone who needs you away. You recognise the seriousness of a workplace situation and you will be working together with a newly selected team to put measures in place to combat this problem.

It might be as well to do a quick check on health appointments – not necessarily because anything is wrong, but to pre-empt a mini-crisis. This could also apply in the workplace where a quick audit check would be useful. It is likely that energy is now being directed in what is rapidly becoming un-productive ways. Dove-tailing this with the demands of someone apparently in charge, and who feels that so much time has been wasted will likely be a challenge. Assuring them that recent setbacks have not been ‘time lost’ but opportunity to refine and then to re-engage, could prove challenging but not beyond your capabilities. Indeed, it is highly likely that something you’ve been working on moon, the quiet, has real and long-term value. In alliance with a Taurus or a Leo you could perhaps agree to work together on presentation strategy.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you’d respond to unsettling events immediately. Instead, do the minimum, and explore your options until Friday the 17th, when powerful planetary links to your ruler Jupiter indicate breakthroughs as amazing as they are unexpected. After that, your challenge is the decision to let go of certain longstanding, but increasingly unworkable, arrangements. This will free your time, mind and, possibly, heart, for what’s coming your way.

You’re becoming tired of a group project that seems to be going nowhere. One person blames another for a fault. This person blames someone else and you all travel round in circles. Instead of continuing with something you aren’t enjoying, turn your attention to activities that will bring you joy. A connection in business could lead to romance if you’re single. You could be receiving roses, a card or a romantic e-mail and romance suddenly seems idyllic.

Monday’s New Moon is in another of the Fire signs. This, coupled with career and commercial developments in the life of a close friend or partner, should put you on a learning curve. It wouldn’t be at all surprisingly if you considered undertaking a short course or even, creating one. The point is that this week is all about exchange of information. It might also be that someone close is navigating the difficult waters of maintaining one career whilst attempting to kickstart another. They may need extra support. Though administration isn’t necessarily ‘your thing’, you likely recognise that unless this is streamlined, there is danger of default and financial loss. The good news is that by applying an adjusted strategy, a plan could work and, soon after the Solar Eclipse in your opposite sign in June, pay dividends.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Acknowledging that seemingly unfair, if not impractical, arrangements are breakthroughs won’t be easy. Still, at least explore them. True, this means relinquishing control, and to a worrying extent. The fact is, they’re leading to changes, if not opportunities as stunning as they’ll prove to be worthwhile. If you can’t say an unconditional yes, at least consider them. By the week’s close, you’ll know why.

Your link with some of your closest friends has never felt so good. It’s almost as if you can reach into each other’s minds. If you suspect someone is worried about something, you are probably right. Listening to your intuition is strongly advised. You’re tired of having to return to tasks that haven’t been carried out properly by others. If someone is being careless, it should be up to them to clean up their mess.

Monday’s New Moon is the annual one at the base of your solar chart. This is where you kick-start plans for asset improvement and indeed, plan as to how best to move your career forward over the next six months. Discussions around positions and responsibility are probable. You might also be asked if you would be happy to act as mentor or teacher to someone who is well-qualified but as yet lacks practical experience. Venus moves into another of the Earth signs on Thursday, and what was deemed difficult in the first part of the week should then be found to be pleasurable. What seems clear is that you’re building up professional recognition and that your contacts are expanding: in particular, links with someone who’s worked with an international agency may be developing to the point where you’re working-bond becomes stronger (and perhaps profitable).

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, you’re the first to spot and embrace ideas or offers as exotic as they are intriguing. However, these would mean giving up far more control than you think is wise. Still, the planets aren’t just accenting their promise, the message is it’s about timely breakthroughs; and, worse, these will vanish as swiftly as they appeared. Plunge in. You’ll soon realise how wise it was.

You’re feeling lucky in love and content with your lot. Positive thinking keeps you happy and healthy. Remain alert for any chance that comes your way to further your ambitions. Whatever you take on, you will stick tenaciously to your goals and your hard work will bring its just rewards. A friend may show signs of envy or resentment. In spite of all your efforts to ease the situation between you, know when you have done all you can and accept when it is time to walk away.

Mars, the energizer is working its way through an area of your solar chart that is all about developing ideas and having fun. These desires should increase following Monday’s Aries New Moon; but yes, that could mean that others feel you’re blowing hot air and actually have no intention of seeing an idea through to the finish. Disabusing them of that notion will likely be easier after Venus arrives at the base of your solar chart on Thursday. That’s when it should be obvious exactly where you’re ‘at home’ and what you do well. Indeed, interviews taking place at the end of this week should – at the very least, – lead to something more. With it likely that travel restrictions are eased, there is also the potential by the weekend, of cautiously planning trips and reconnecting with those you haven’t seen for some time. Planning this, should increase your sense of fun yet again.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the disarray certain changes would bring is worrying to you and is guaranteed to upset certain individuals whose support you need, your instincts are saying to proceed. They’re right. These are breakthroughs, although in disguise. If those concerns persist, simply ensure arrangements are regarded as flexible. While the dust won’t settle for some weeks, once it does, you’ll be relieved you decided to say yes.

You may not condone a relative’s recent behaviour but you are ready to forgive. The sooner you put this matter behind you, the faster you will be able to move forward. They won’t believe how willing you are to accept their apology. Being able to accept people’s shortcomings as well as their strengths helps keep relationships strong. Accept an invitation to do something that thrills or appeals to you. Nothing lifts your spirits more than immersing yourself in activities that excite your imagination.

The annual Aries this time on Monday, marks the annual moment the spring cleaning your finances. Obviously much depends on your age, but this may be the moment to review pension and long-term saving arrangements. This could lead to renewed contact with those who have proven skill in this area and could lead to interesting discussion before the weekend as to how best to employ a strategy that is very much in keeping with 2021 developments. Yes, you could become more interested in block chain and crypto currencies. Even if that’s not your thing, interest in new ways of working and indeed, in new companies just setting up is likely to be piqued most likely the conversations with a neighbour who is clearly got contacts in these developing fields. By the weekend, much of your thinking could feel turned on its head. You might also likely be energised to create to learn more about new systems and perhaps, agreed to join a group or task force.

~Arif~

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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 4-11 Apr 2021

Sue Vincent
14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021
R.I.P

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Fearn (Alder) March 18 to April 14

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Month of Columbina begins 3/20 – 4/17

April
APR. 4: The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English

APR. 5-7: Feast of Aphrodite

APR. 5: Festival of Kwan Yin

APR. 5: Roman Day of Fortuna: Goddess of Fate

APR. 7: Feast of Blajini—offerings made to the Other People/Sidhe or Faeries “Kindly Ones”.

APR. 7-8: Feast of Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana) – who represents the feminine in Nature and protects women throughout their lives.

APR. 8: Day of Mooncakes—Honoring the Moon Goddess.

APR. 9: Modron’s Day

APR.10: Celtic Sun Dance

APR.11: Bake Bread to Diana

APR.11: Day of Moon Goddess Anahit

APR.11: Nehelenia’sDay (Celtic Goddess of the Dead)

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

April
11: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
18: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

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

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
Living with Moon Magic Patty Shaw Friday, 02 April 2021

New Moon in Aries on April 11, 2021

The New Moon in Aries occurs on April 11th. The Aries New Moon urges you to climb higher fearlessly and go after what you want. Yet, if you are still stuck at the bottom of your mountain, Aries wants you to know that determination and courage are what you need to break through what is holding you back.

Be ram tough this New Moon and push through your blocks with your head. Meaning, use your mind to overcome what has got you befuddled and in emotional knots about why you haven’t been able to get to the top.

Candle Ritual for Igniting Determination and Courage

You will need a Goddess Affirmation candle, a candle holder, a Citrine quartz and Sodalite crystal, paper, and a pen.

  1. Remove the packaging from the candle and carve your goal or project on the side. Place it in the candle holder.
  2. Place the Citrine and Sodalite crystals next to the candle.
  3. Write out all the reasons you have not moved forward on your goal. Some of them will be about the circumstances around you that you can’t control, but many of the other reasons will be of your own making. Your own thoughts and feelings need to be brought out into the open and dealt with. List them all. Then add at the bottom of the list, “and all reasons unknown to me”.
  4. Light the Goddess Affirmation candle and ask that her light fill the affirmation on the label. Then say the affirmation out loud. “I am filled with the strength, wisdom, and abundance of the Goddess, uniting me with the rhythm and flow of life.”
  5. When the candle has melted enough wax, let it drip all over the words on your list. Let the wax obscure the words.
  6. Now say, “The Goddess knows my challenges and has absorbed them into her light. I am now unburdened and more able to take my next step toward my goal.”
  7. In prayer, ask the Goddess to fill your Citrine and Sodalight with the courage and determination you need to get you to the top of your mountain. Thank her for sending you the steady, sure-footed energy of the Aries Ram to get you where you want to go.

Repeat the steps until the candle is consumed or you feel you are on your way up the mountain.

Lighten up your life with help from products from Coventry Creations http://www.coventrycreations.com and advice from Storm Cestavani, Astrological Life Coach, http://www.stormcestavani.com. Discover your potential in your Akashic records with Patty Shaw, http://www.healingwithpattyshaw.com.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Five of Wands

Are you dealing with tension right now?

The Five of Wands shows you’re in the midst of a battle, tension, or competition with others. This is impacting your ability to move forward with your goals.

Instead of working together for a common goal, you’re meeting constant opposition.

When the Five of Wands shows up, everyone is fighting to be heard, but no one is listening.

Everyone has a different opinion, but no one is stopping to hear each other out. This leads to conflict and misunderstandings.

If you find yourself in this situation, see it as an opportunity to rise above the chaos and disorder. Take a moment to listen to what others have to say, even if you agree to disagree.

Ask the Tarot: How can I take an enthusiastic approach to change?


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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Eggs of Hidden Blessings
APRIL 04, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

Easter is such a Pagan holiday. With its abundance of pre-Christian fertility symbolism, it celebrates the renewal of life and spring. Eggs represent life, and utilizing those brightly colored ones from childhood in our magical work is a great way that we as Witches can reconnect to those cultural elements on our own terms.

You will need several white hardboiled eggs, a commercial egg-dyeing kit, and a white crayon.

Begin by designing sigils for various blessings, such as health, prosperity, love, etc. If you need help, Laura Tempest Zakroff’s Sigil Witchery is an eggcellent resource. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) Draw these symbols on the eggs with the crayon, contemplating their meanings.

Follow the instructions on your dye kit. While the eggs soak, say:

Cosmic egg of all creation,
Be present in your symbol here.
Alive here now with exaltation,
Hidden blessings now appear!

The sigils will remain white, revealing their magical intention. Hide or eat the eggs. Bon appétit!
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Nature Divination
APRIL 03, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Augury is an ancient form of divination. Simplified, it’s the act of asking a question and then observing the behavior of nature to get an answer.

Go to a place with wildlife, such as a park or other natural area. Find a quiet spot to sit down comfortably, preferably away from other people. Close your eyes and ask your question. When you open your eyes, sit and watch for a while. What animals do you see, and how are they behaving? Birds in a loud flock represent upheaval and travel, while a single bird singing loudly signals a message. A squirrel gathering food indicates that you need to start preparing for change. Even insects are important: if a fly keeps annoying you by landing on your face, your situation requires immediate action.

Also pay attention to the weather. Did a cloud suddenly block out the sun? Did the wind pick up suddenly and give you a chill? Both of those things are a warning.

The more you practice this, the more you will come to understand nature’s messages.
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Squirrel Power!
APRIL 02, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

Yes, they may be cute and playful, but squirrels are also keen gatherers that can teach us much about planning for the future and building abundance. To connect with the squirrel as a type of spirit animal, it is a good idea to take time to feed your local squirrels. In the springtime they are usually relegated to different types of grasses since vegetables and nuts are hard to come by this time of year. Good things to feed them are raw, cut-up vegetables such as yellow squash, broccoli, and peas. They can also have some fruits, like watermelon and grapes, in small amounts. Dedicate a small squirrel feeder to the intention of building a spiritual relationship with their realm, and keep a small squirrel figurine on your altar to call in their energy.
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“Don’t Be Fooled” Affirmation
APRIL 01, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

In honor of April Fools’ Day, here’s an affirmation to guard against falling for illusions and being tricked. Light a white candle in a clear glass container and place it on a small mirror. Gaze upon the candle and chant:

I can read between the lines.
I can see what isn’t shown.
I will not be tricked or fooled.
I will learn what isn’t known.

Allow the candle to burn out safely. Carry the mirror with you.
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Healing and Connecting with Trees
MARCH 31, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. Connecting with the essence and energy of trees is healing and can be done at any time of the year. Whenever you need to become more grounded with nature, perform this simple tree magick.

Find a tree that you adore and can connect with. Place your arms around the tree trunk and hug it, placing the side of your face on the bark. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Concentrate on what you can see in your third eye. Don’t worry if you don’t see anything at first. It may take some practice. As you connect with the energy of the tree, ask the tree to ground you and heal whatever pain you are dealing with. Send the pain into the tree and visualize it going down deep into the earth. Say these words:

I give gratitude and thanks
to this tree for this healing
connection that grounds me.

Repeat these words until you feel a deep connection.
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A Spell for a Speedy Workweek
MARCH 30, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

If you work a nine-to-five job, Monday though Friday, Tuesdays can be tough. The barrage of Monday is over, but it feels like you’re an eternity away from Friday! To make your workweek fly by and ensure that you still get all of your essential tasks done, try this.

Use a small jar or bowl to dilute five drops of pure peppermint oil with twenty drops of carrier oil. (Olive oil is fine, but you may also use jojoba oil, safflower oil, or almond oil.) Before you go to work, anoint a tumbled piece of bloodstone with the oil and say:

My day flies by, easily and with success.
Tomorrow is as good as Friday.

Carry the anointed stone against your skin. You may place a piece of flannel or linen between your clothes and the stone to prevent staining. Know that your day will be a success and that it will pass quickly and easily.
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Healthy Pet Magic
MARCH 29, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

We all love our pets. These an imals who bless our lives are true friends, and they depend on us to keep them healthy. So in addition to taking the best possible care of your fur baby (or scale baby), it doesn’t hurt to work a little magic into their maintenance.

Think about a symbol that represents general good health to you, perhaps a plump red heart to represent vigor, a bone for strength, or a sun for vitality. Draw the symbol on your pet’s belongings and recite:

Good health, long life, and lots of love.

Here are some ways to use your symbol:

• Draw it on a food container, such as bag of dog or cat kibble or a canister of fish food.

• Trace it onto treats and toys with your finger.

• Paint it on their bed or stitch it into the corner of a favored blanket.

• Dip your finger into their water bowl and draw the symbol.

• Draw it on a slip of paper and place it near their enclosure.

• Paint it on the underside of their food bowl.

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Heartwings Love Notes 977 Celebrations Are Important

Heartwings says, “Occasions for celebration mark opportunities for joy.”

This past week Stephen and I passed the two week anniversary of our vaccinations against Covid 19. To celebrate we went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants.. I’ve been in favor of celebrating and of finding opportunities to do so for as long as I can remember. Any excuse will do. Life speeds by at a fast rate and celebrations mark milestones that help to break up that swift passage. Back in the mists of time, before people used calendars and clocks, celebrations on holy days or holidays were important occasions for gatherings rituals and ceremonies.

They provided people with a sense of continuity as well as marked the time when certain kinds of work was to be performed as well. They also gave people an opportunity to have fun, and to perform certain rituals that pertained to these times. These rituals built up over the years and in many cases represented a way to keep the history of the people alive and current in their minds. Written records were not common to most. Few people knew how to write or to read either.

Today many of our holiday celebrations embrace a blend of customs accumulated over time. Easter is a case in point as are Christmas and Halloween. Even Thanksgiving, though recent among other special days, has accumulated its set of rituals. The Jewish holy days are a record of their history as well as opportunities to gather, and they also provide a collection of customs handed down over time with the rituals to go with them.
Such rituals and customs are built into what has been called the collective unconscious of the human race.

They provide a sense of comfort as well as a sense of continuity with the past and with our ancestors. When we color eggs, we are following ancestral activities from the mists of history. Eggs colored red have been found in prehistory sites. The Easter bunny and related customs are descended from the spring hare associated with the moon. As well, the moon marks the days each year that Easter and Passover are celebrated. However, any occasion can be a cause for celebration. It is my joy to find what I wish to be happy about and make my own

May you find many opportunities to rejoice and to celebrate the rejoicing.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS How do you like to celebrate and with whom? Do you find occasions to do this and how do you mark your holidays or holy days? Write me at tashahal@aol.com, and for more love notes, visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com .

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9 Tips For New Witches
MARCH 23, 2021 BY ANNWYN AVALON

One of the most commonly asked questions I get from students and social media is “How do I begin!” There are usually many variations of this question. Some people want to know how to begin their Witchcraft practice, others are more specific wanting to begin a Water practice.

There are so many ways one can begin a magical path. So I will try to give you some ideas, tips and what I feel may be useful. This is not a full list and not everything works for everyone or every path. So there is Tip 1! Every magical person is different. Within a water magic path, this is the same. Just like there are so many diverse creatures in the sea it is the same for the Water Witch or Water Priestess. We are all different sacred vessels that hold sacred water. Water always forms to your container! We will always look and practice differently than someone else. Water is that which binds us.

Tip 2– Begin taking an inventory of the jars, bottles, bowls, and baskets you already have! Chances are you already have collected a few things that you can use in your magical practice. Water Witches may find they already have a stash of shells, jars, and driftwood. Green Witches may have a stash of herbs, nuts, strange-looking sticks, and rocks of all sorts. Taking a look at what you already have and what you love the most will give you another clue as to what your particular path may be.

You do not need to go out and buy new tools. A significant portion of my tools were gifts, handmade (by me or a magical artisan), or were found 2nd hand. I enjoy thrift shopping! Check out your local thrift shop, eBay, Etsy, and estate sales! I have found some of the coolest things for only a few bucks! Also, reach out to your magical friends! We all have extra bits and bobbles around and sometimes we are very happy to offload them to someone who will work with them. I have been given many magical tools and gifted just as many. I think sometimes we are just a stop on the way to the right witch.

Tip 3– Nature is your ally and can teach you so much. Observing the cycles of nature, how the seasons pass by, how animals behave, and the sun and moon cycle you will find yourself deeply immersed in the mysteries of nature and much will be revealed to you. If you don’t want to spend a dime on ritual tools, take to nature and see what you can find! Driftwood, shells, seaweed, bones, leaves, berries, nuts, and sticks are easy to find and don’t cost anything. Recycled jars can become their homes lined in a row on your workspace! Do be sure to check before you take. Some parks and beaches have regulations, and it is illegal to take certain goods.

Tip 4- Working with Ancestors is a significant portion of many practitioners work. There are so many different types you can work with. You can learn a little bit more about how I work with them here. Even if you don’t want to work with your Blood Ancestors consider the Ancestors of the Land. Beyond the seasons and rhythms of our natural world. There dwells in the tween places beyond this space and time. Find a place in nature near your home. Visit often and begin a meditation practice there. Try connecting with the Ancestors of Land, local land spirits, and even ancestral animals. A large part of many magical paths is a connection to nature and this is a great place to start.

Tip 5– Turn on your Magical GPS. What is a magical GPS? Well, I have written an entire blog about it here. However, I will give you a quick introduction as well. When it comes to any magical practice, Grounding, Protection, and Shielding should be regular practices. While Shielding is a form of Protection, I have separated them because Shielding is an energetic practice of keeping out baneful energies. Protection takes a bit of a deeper meaning and can be employed in many different ways, from charms, talisman, spirit pacts, rituals, and spells. There are going to be many ways to do all three of these.

My advice is to try everything a few times. You will not like everything, somethings you will fail at miserably and will need practice. Other things you will have a natural knack for. It is a practice of trial and error. You are going to struggle, and you need to know that is ok. We all do, I don’t know one magical person who hasn’t had a spell, ritual or work go bad. I also don’t know one that proclaims to have every spell work out perfectly. It just is not realistic. However, with practice, you will not only understand magic better, but you will draw closer to your Spirit. Practice so you can know magic, but mostly to know yourself.

Tip 6– Read and research everything, even the bad stuff. There is so much information out there and you will never know what works for you, what options you have, and the endless possibilities out there if you don’t dive into the sea of information out there! Read the old stuff but read it with an open mind. History is really important, partially because it shows us where we came from, but more importantly where we should not go again. This older text, are full of misogyny, bigotry, and very derogatory language. You need to know this exists as part of our history. Does this overshadow their magical contribution? This is something only you can answer for yourself and one day you will find yourself here. Spend some time and figure out what is and isn’t right for you and your path. For every terrible text out there, there is a really good one as well. If you are interested in a topic, read all you can about it. Taking notes will help you understand where you are leaning and what your magical path might be.

Tip 7- Set up an altar. I included instructions on altar and shrine building in both of my books because this is such an important part of your practice. It is the place you will practice most of your magic and work with spirits if you choose to. It should be a reflection of you and something that you love. Don’t worry about what you see online either. Set it up how you like and make sure you love the way it looks! Different altars may also hold different energies. While I show my Sulis altar online quite a bit, other altars don’t look anything like that one. Also remember that it is your sacred space, and you can keep it private or not. It is up to you.

Tip 8- After you set up your altar, begin to practice circle casting techniques. Different paths and traditions will have different techniques and processes. Some may work in a salt circle, others in a crystal circle, some may use a bullroarer to create sacred space or lay a compass with a Stang. Find what you like, what feels good, and what you are naturally good at. Then practice them often! Even if you aren’t doing any magical workings, practice creating and releasing them in word, physical action, and the mind’s eye. Do not be timid when it comes to your circle casting. Eventually, you will want to become so good at these you can rely and trust them to hold when you are working more difficult magic.

Tip 9- One thing most magical folk have in common is the belief in spirits or the spirit world. Eventually, you will be approached by a spirit, or you may seek one out. They can range from local land spirits to archangels. You may encounter devas, undines, nymphs, dragons, Faery Queens, Gods, Tricksters, and all manner of baneful spirits. The spirit world is just as vast as the human world. Just remember not everything light and beautiful is good, and not everything dark and scary is bad. These are subjective constructs society has put on us. For I have found the gentlest caress and powerful healing in the darkest of nature and been stabbed in the back with a fiery sword of light. Evil has always masqueraded as beauty and light and the darkness has always been demonized. These are part of a system that has poisoned the earth, harmed humanity, and kept us quiet and under control. Nothing is as it seems, it is not all black and white. You must have wisdom to discern the difference and look beyond what our mortal eyes see. A magical path is all about learning the reality of nature from a place of personal experience. You are your own guide upon this crooked path, the map is you. Witch… know thyself.

ABOUT ANNWYN AVALON
Annwyn Avalon is a Water Witch, Water Priestess, and the founder of Triskele Rose Witchcraft, an Avalonian witchcraft tradition.

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Chanting Can Aid In Connection To Deity, Spirit, Self
APRIL 2, 2021 BY GWYN

When I began learning about witchcraft twenty years ago, one of the first things I began studying is meditation. It became an important part of my daily practice, helping me to learn focus, etc. But over the years, I have learned that chanting can be a valuable aid in one’s meditation practice or on its own. In fact, it can be the one thing that helps return focus when my mind starts a-wandering.

Chanting: A Brief Definition
Chanting is a centuries-old practice found in multiple regions, cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions. It is a form of rhythmic speaking or singing focusing on a word, phrase, or sound. One or two pitches are generally used and are repetitive. A chant can be simple or complex with repeating subphrases. You can think of chants as stylized speech or music.

When performing a chant, the singer/speaker may draw from sacred texts (psalms, hymns, verses), the names of deities, affirming words or phrases, and sounds (such as the “ohm” or basic vocalizations).

Chanting is practiced in African, Aboriginal, and Native American tribal cultures. It is found in Buddhist, Vedic, Bahai, and Muslim faiths. Gregorian chant finds its origin in the Catholic church around the 9th to 10th centuries. Chanting is also used in the Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches. And that’s just to name a few of the religions, traditions, and spiritualities (such as Pagan or Witchcraft) that utilize chant.

The purpose of chanting is to find a greater connection to the spiritual world. For those who use sacred text, it opens the heart and mind to the lessons those words offer. Chanting the name of a deity draws one closer into communion with them. For those who chant or sing a sacred sound, it draws the chanter into greater awareness of self and the universe.

The Benefits
In the same manner as meditation, chanting offers a wealth of health benefits, not to mention may be easier for those who find meditation a challenge. According to studies, those who use chant improve overall focus while decreasing stress and anxiety. According to a 2016 study, chanting “om” for ten minutes improves one’s mood and “increases the feeling of social cohesion.”

Another study from 2018, found chanting to be a beneficial treatment for veterans experiencing PTSD. Makes sense. Recently, I watched TINA, a documentary about the life and career of Tina Turner. In the film, she credits Buddhism and chanting as what helped her escape and heal from an abusive relationship with Ike Turner. She has maintained a daily chanting practice for forty years.

As mentioned, there are people who avoid meditation because it is difficult for them. Their mind wanders, they do not like sitting still, etc. Fair enough. So, how about giving chanting a try? It really is not difficult and much like a walking meditation, a person does not have to be sitting or even keeping still to benefit from chant.

The Point is to be Focused
Let me share a story with you. A couple of years ago, I had some time to kill at Michigan Pagan Festival. Feeling a need for an emotional break, I decided to walk a labyrinth that had been set up. While walking the path, I began to feel overwhelmed, unsure of how to proceed, so I started chanting “Hekate Enodia, Hekate Kleidoukhos. Hekate Lampadios.”

With every breath of the chant, my head felt clearer and emotions calmer. By the time I reached the center, the goddess joined me. I spent time with her, seeking wisdom and guidance. When the time came to leave, I was able to make my way out with confidence. So, you can chant while engaging in another activity such as walking. The point is to be focused.

Most days, I chant to connect with my deities but I have a separate meditation practice as well. Closing my eyes. Settling my breathing. Being intentional in my space and time. And like many others, there are days it does not work because thoughts interrupt. What do I need to make for dinner? Are there errands to run? What is that song that keeps niggling at my brain?

On days like this, no matter how many times I recognize them and move on, more thoughts will follow to distract me. But chanting helps put the kibosh on wandering thoughts when they occur during meditation. When thoughts creep in, I will chant a word, affirmation, or name of a deity. Sometimes I will hum the “om.” The chant leads me back into focus.

How Do You Chant?
The biggest question is how do you start? What kind of chant works best for you? The most obvious answer is to start with the “Om.” You can begin with a hum that you sustain for one long breath. Then add the syllable, dragging out the sound before humming on the “m” at the end. The steps are:

Take a slow, deep breath in. From the belly, filling the lungs.
Release the breath slowly with the “o” on a singing pitch sound, sustaining as you breathe out.
As you near the end narrow the sound to the “m” until you come to the end of the breath.
Repeat.
There are videos that you can chant along with also.

Another option is to chant the name of a deity, as I did with the example listed above. In fact, that is my daily chant and how I began that dedicated practice. You can do this on a breath (pronouncing the syllables on a slow inhale and exhale) — a technique I learned from Cyndi Brannen for chanting Hekate’s name.

Or you can speak or sing the name of the deity in a slow, repetitive manner. An example:

Take a slow, deep breath in. From the belly, filling the lungs.
Say the deity’s name on a slow exhale, drawing out the syllables.
Another way to chant is to speak a mantra or phrase. This could be a positive affirmation:

I am kind.
I am generous.
I am curious.

Or you can repeat a sacred line from a religious text. There are many ways to create a chanting practice.

Additionally, you do not have to chant out loud if it is not convenient or you feel weird doing so. Silent chanting in your head, a low hum, it all works too.

How Long Do I Chant?
That is up to you. You can set a timer for five minutes to start. See how it goes, then add minutes every day. You can use a set of mala or rosary beads, repeating the mantra, prayer, name, or sound for each bead. Experienced people can chant for hours but you may want to keep it simple and short. Whatever is best for you and your schedule.

Where you chant is also up to you but try to find a space where you have some time to yourself, even if it is in a park or while taking your dog for a walk around your neighborhood.

But I’m Not Religious. Or I Don’t Believe In Deities.
No problem. You can still use a chant to connect with your inner wisdom, bring peace and clarity to your mind, or just calm your spirit. Stick to a sound, positive affirmation, or something that works for you. Sing it, speak it, hum it. And focus your mind on your intention to relax.

Meditation and chanting are not for religious or spiritual people alone. Anyone can benefit from quieting the mind, tuning into the body, and just being “aware” in the moment.

ABOUT
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Green Earth Witch devoted to the Earth Mother, Hekate, Brighid, and Frigga. She is a Clairsentient Medium, Tarot Reader, loves writing and, spending time with her family, as well as working with herbs, essential oils, and plants.

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Everything Is in Divine Order

It is during the most difficult times that we need to trust and find solace that, in fact, things are in divine order.

We can only see so much from where we sit in our particular bodies, in the midst of our particular lives, rooted as we are in the continuum of space and time. The divine, on the other hand, is not limited to the constructs of either space or time, and its wisdom and workings often elude us as we try to make sense of what is happening in our lives. This is why things are not always what they seem to be and even the best-laid plans are sometimes overturned. Even when we feel we have been guided by our intuition every step of the way, we may find ourselves facing unexpected loss and disappointment. At times like these, we can find some solace in trusting that no matter how bad or just plain inexplicable things look from our perspective, they are, in fact, in divine order.

Even as we take our places in this earthly realm, a part of us remains completely free of the confines we face here. Regardless of what is happening in our lives, this part of us remains infused with joy and gratitude, connected to the unbroken source from which we come. Our small self, on the other hand, who is caught up in our false identity as a being limited in space and time, regards happiness as the result of things going the way it wants them to go. It is this part of us that suffers the greatest confusion and upset when the logic of events does not compute. And it is to this self that we must extend unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion. In order to do this, we tap into our inner divinity, holding the space of a tender authority, extending love and light to our ego as a mother extends her love to a troubled child.

There are many ways to access our inner divinity — meditation, prayer, chanting, channeling, and conscious breathing, to name a few. It is helpful to develop a regular practice that provides us access to this all-powerful, healing presence, as it can be difficult to reach once we are in a stressful position, if we have not already established a connection. The more connected we are with this part of ourselves, the more we share its unlimited vision and the secure, knowing that all the things of our life, no matter how they appear, are in a state of divine and perfect order.

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Reiki Explained the Scientific Way

As a Reiki Master, we often come across queries around how Reiki or energy healing works and whether it really exists. The simplest way to explain Reiki is that it is an all-knowing form of energy and flows where it is needed. However, few people are still intrigued with Reiki and want a scientific explanation. So, how exactly does Reiki work?

With recent findings in quantum physics, an explanation of we ‘Being energy’ and how energy impacts us becomes clear. Quantum physicists have discovered that the fundamental building blocks of matter are made of energy.

It is believed that the Universe was born out of the Big Bang explosion and after hundreds of millions of years, stars began to form. The force of the explosion was so strong that the stars are still moving outwards and so the Universe is spreading and getting bigger all the time! We, therefore, carry the universal wisdom of the light or energy in every cell of our body.

Let’s understand what matter our body is built of as per quantum physics.

The frequency with which each of the above elements vibrates determines the state of our bodies. It’s as simple as, if you are listening to the radio, when you tune the radio-set to the correct frequency of the radio station, you hear clearly -without noise or disturbance whereas, if you poorly tune in, then you will find it hard to hear and have an unpleasant experience.

Since our body has the omnipresent wisdom in every cell, it knows how to heal itself. In today’s modern world, our bodies tend to get out of sync due to factors like environment, contaminated food, stress which leads to ailments such anxiety, depression and long-term illness. It is in such times, that energy healing techniques such as Reiki, come to the rescue. By learning to manage and balance the subtle energies and tap the infinite wisdom, we re-align our energies and live life to the fullest. Reiki is designed to heal the deeper aspects of the energy elements of the body. By using Reiki to heal our body, the energy magnifies the innate cell wisdom and heals not just our physical body but many past life issues as well which probably were not known to us.

It’s important to tune into your energies by listening to your body and taking steps to heal. The energies define your health and put you into a state to which you are tuned in.

It is possible to justify Reiki or any energy healing technique, with the progressions in quantum physics and support anyone who needs healing. Nonetheless, Reiki flows where it is needed irrespective of the beliefs, as is Universal life force!

Article by Nivedita Bhosale

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The Light in The Sky by Stephen Halpert

         It was early evening before Easter at the Lonesome Traveler’s Inn. Gertrude stared out the kitchen window and took a deep breath. She had just finished baking her celebrated raisin squash casserole with cherries, walnuts and figs for Easter dinner.

         Gertrude frowned. “I’m so fed up with all that commercialism we see on TV around Easter. Too much, makes people judge one another by their possessions rather than what’s meaningful in their hearts.” 

         Mabel looked up from her reading. “Every year merchants are dependent on Christmas and Easter to pull them over the finish line. Take that away and watch out.”

         Harry came in with a bundle of kindling for the fireplace.

         Gertrude sighed. “Maybe next year instead of Easter candy I should give handmade presents.” She looked over at Harry. “Wouldn’t you like it if I knitted you a pair of light weight woolen socks?”

         He grimaced. “Instead of the usual imported hand dipped chocolate cherries?”

         “But it would be something I made especially for you.” 

         “Wooly and itchy probably.” He paused. “No, the imported cherries are fine.”

         Barney walked in. He’d just gotten back from playing poker. He handed Gertrude a large platter of rich delicious pastry. “Here’s for Easter dinner.”

         “Fattening,” Mabel glowered, seeing pastry as an enemy agent about to blow up her stomach.

         Barney frowned and looked at her. “You would have to say something like that. I’ll remind you of that when you dig into them tomorrow.”

         The lights in the kitchen flickered and then went out. Gertrude looked out the window and saw that the neighborhood was in darkness.

         “Power line, I guess.” She grabbed her flashlight, waved it  at the stove.

         “What was that?” Mabel said. “It sounded like some kind of an explosion! Let’s go look outside.”

         “Cell phone’s out” Barney peered at his ‘droid. “Dead.”

         “Out of the blue,” Harry said. He reached for his coat on the brass tree by the back door.

         Gertrude peered out the window and then put on her coat. “Something strange,” she said. “If it isn’t the Easter bunny or visitors from another planet. Then….”

         The four went outside and stood on the back porch. No streetlights, the houses were darkened.

         A glow of light lit up the sky and made it red.

         “Never seen any light that bright,” Gertrude said. 

         “How far away?” Barney wondered.

         “Who knows?” Harry said.

         “You think we’ve got a new source of light?  Or is something just visiting from outer space?” Mabel tried to judge its distance but couldn’t.”

          “Hard to tell how far away,” Gertrude said. “I wonder what made it happen?”

         “Whatever it is it knocked out power at least across Worcester,” Harry said.

         “Maybe its a sign,” Barney said lighting up his cigar. “Maybe its one of those Biblical warnings that says shape up or ship out.”

         “With no prior warning?” Mabel said. “But there’s never any prior warning when history suddenly happens.”

         A soft rain began to fall.

         “”Obviously something happened,” Harry said.

         “Funny, I don’t hear any police or fire sirens,” Gertrude said.

         “Unbelievable,” Harry said. “Just a great big bang, like that.”

         The sky brightened even more intensely. The air began to feel summery, obviously humid.  It was seven at night. The brightness of the light made it seem more like midday.

         Neighbors began coming out of their houses, milling around in their yards and onto the street. Looking concerned they shielded their eyes from the warm brightness of the light. 

         Mabel turned to Gertrude. “Well, isn’t this just what you asked for? You said you wanted Easter to be a lot less commercial and I think you just got your wish. If they don’t get the power back on this certainly won’t be your typical Easter Sunday.”

         “I wonder what it all means?” Gertrude said repeating herself. “Out of nowhere an incredibly brilliant light turning dusk into day.”

         “And knocking out power.” Harry added.

         “Maybe some of those satellites we’re all dependent upon decided to crash and call it quits.” Barney said. “That in itself could make it seem kinda Biblical.”

         Gertrude shielded her eyes from the light. “When something happens that’s beyond understanding and doesn’t make any sense then all we can do is to turn inward and search for answers within ourselves.” 

         “Like the monks did in the hills of old Tibet.” Harry chuckled.

         “I doubt very much that a new Messiah was just born.” Mabel said. “If he were, wouldn’t we be hearing church bells?”

          “Or at least the Hallelujah Chorus,” Barney grinned.

         “From my understanding He was born in the Spring close to the Equinox,” Gertrude said.

         “But what about Christmas?” Barney asked.

         “The Christians picked the Christmas date because it coincided with the birthdate of a popular pagan savior, Mithras.” Mabel said.   

         The rain began falling harder. A noticeably chill, swirling rain and fog obliterating visibility. 

         “Best we get back inside,” Gertrude said.

         Despite the rain the light remained bright. The power was still out. The house began feeling decidedly chilly. 

         Harry peered at Gertrude. “So you’re thinking that somewhere’s around here a Messiah was born?”

         “Could be,” Gertrude said.

          “I’m far from being a student of religion.” Harry said. “But I always appreciate Christmas vacation as a break from going to school.”

         “That light sure is bright,” Mabel said. “Something unbelievable must be happening. It’s Easter, after all.”

         “So just like that?” Barney said.

         “I’d say it’s some kind of a pretty good send off,” Gertrude said. “The universe letting the planet know.”

         ‘”Could be,” Harry said. “If history does repeats itself, we’ll all find out about it when He’s in his thirties.”

         “Not necessarily,” Gertrude said. “After the last time maybe He’ll be more careful.”

         They were about to say good night and go to their rooms when the lights came back on. Gertrude could hear the hum of the fridge. The electric clock over the stove began to tick.

         Gertrude saw the hard rain swirl against the windows. Has to be some kind of message, she thought. I guess at my age I’m not one for surprises.


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Finding Joy in Meaningless Tasks

Finding joy and reason in mundane tasks can shift the flow, and make it not so bad afterall.

Spending an afternoon working on the car, gardening, or even cleaning the house can be fun when we have an interest in the project. Yet, we can also find joy in the chores and tasks we don’t especially like. All we need is a change of attitude, a different approach, a little music, or some help from friends, and the tasks or responsibilities that we perceive as tedious can become a source of pleasure.

Most of us tend to put off what it is that we don’t want to do. Yet, one of the best approaches to an unpleasant task or dull chore is to dive right in and be fully mindful of what it is that you are doing. You may not perceive washing the kitchen floor as enjoyable, but it can be if you view it as a loving act for both yourself and your family. Lose yourself in paying your bills, and thank the universe that you are able to receive the service you are writing that check for. Mending can become a treasure hunt to find the right button and matching thread. And, each morning, see how neatly you can make your bed and take pride in your results.

Playing your favorite music, dancing while you work, or creating a mental list of everything you are grateful for are just a few ways to turn an unexciting activity into a fun event. Ask a friend to help you clean out the basement or paint a room; provide some yummy snacks as an incentive. Look for joy in doing your mundane activities, and they’ll become a source of enjoyment rather than a tolerable duty.

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Kats Korner
Share your love for cats!

Are Lilies Poisonous To Cats?

Do you have a cat in your household? Please use EXTREME caution when bringing in flowers, bouquets, and new plants into your cat-friendly household. Easter lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, and just 1-2 leaves (or even the pollen) can kill a cat! Even small ingestions can result in severe kidney failure.

Sources of poisoning: Many plants of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species are very poisoning. Commonly known as the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, or Japanese Show lily, these plants result in severe acute kidney failure.

Mechanism of action: The exact toxin has not been identified, but is known to be water soluble. All parts of the plant – the leaf, pollen, stem, flower are considered poisonous. Kidney damage (specifically, renal tubular necrosis) occurs within 24-72 hours of ingestion.

Common signs of poisoning: Signs of poisoning often develop within 6-12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, and dehydration. Untreated, signs worsen as acute kidney failure develops, and signs of not urinating or urinating too frequently, not drinking or excessive thirst, and inflammation of the pancreas may be seen with lily poisoning. Rarer signs include walking drunk, disorientation, tremors, and even seizures.

Antidote and treatment: There is not antidote for lily poisoning. That said, prompt veterinary attention is necessary. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently your veterinarian can treat the poisoning. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving drugs like activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis. IV fluids need to be started, ideally, within 18 hours for the best prognosis for your cat.

Threat: Just 2-3 leaves, or even the pollen groomed off the fur, can result in poisoning in a cat. If untreated, acute kidney failure will develop and be fatal. Thankfully, lily poisoning doesn’t cause kidney failure in dogs, but if a large amount is ingested, it can result in some gastrointestinal signs in our canine friends.

What about other types of lilies? Other types of lilies like Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies don’t cause deadly kidney failure, but they also can be mildly poisonous too, as they contain oxalate crystals which result in tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – resulting in minor drooling. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care.

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Learning To Interpret Your Cat’s Language
POSTED ON MARCH 30, 2021 BY MARC-ANDRÉ

Have you ever wondered why your cat has a behavioral problem? Cat behavior is perceived as rather illusive for most people, because cats are so mysterious in many ways, but also beautiful and magical creatures. Deciphering a particular behavior in a cat can be very challenging. And as with human behavior, sometimes there are several explanations and certainly several reasons for the poor behavior. Cats experience and express a wide range of emotions and feelings such as, for example, fear, pleasure, joy, hunger, frustration and other various emotions that affect the cat and how he/she behaves.

Some behaviors, even the most common ones, are not very understood by many people and this unclear communication can impair the cat’s quality of life and the development of behavioral problems. Fortunately, most of the problems can be solved and it all starts with clearer communication from both sides. When a cat is suffering with a certain issue, it may start to play up, a little like a baby would. For example they could have health trouble or even something such as fleas; and in this case, you may want to look at a flea collar. Cats should get their regular check ups and you should ensure that they look happy and healthy.

Let’s say you’ve got your first kitten, let’s call him Felix! Felix will need to learn about his territory and play and develop just like any other pet would. They need a safe and comfortable environment. Although sometimes, their development may be problematic. So let’s take each problem step by step so that you can learn to understand what it all means.

Scratches
There are several reasons why cats rub their nails and scratch things. It is a way for them to mark their territory and strengthen their nails. If you want your cat to stop scratching on furniture, you should first provide him with a very attractive alternative to furniture and then teach him only positive methods to use the new nail sanding device you have purchased. It is very important that the cat be able to use its claws because it is part of their DNA and therefore it’s quite an important habit. So utilise the things available from pet stores and online.

Chewing
Cats that chew objects and other belongings at home, may do it out of boredom and frustration. It is important to understand that cats, by virtue of being hunters, must use their teeth and nails often. Kittens that bite a lot, do this as part of their natural developmental stages as puppies. At the same time, if we do not provide the cat that lives in the house with options for hunting through games, food, he will try to find solutions for himself. Chewing is a genetic need and not a treat. Don’t see this as a negative, so provide them with something that will assist.

If your cat chews objects at home, look for the cause first as we have just mentioned. Make sure their diet is high quality and varied, make sure he likes his food. Enrich this further with more activity and games, because most of this behavior is due to boredom and frustration.

Out-of-the-box needs
Cats can develop various problems with their needs. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, even tumors. Other factors can also cause your cat to defecate outside their crate. Problems between cats at home and quarrels can also cause problems with the litter box also. In order to take care of the matter and get the cat to use the designated litter box again, you must first diagnose the situation and understand exactly what is causing this behavior. Once we understand what is causing the behavior, it will be possible to solve the problem. Some cats may have complex needs, especially if you have adopted them and they have been part of another family, or even found abused. You can look at some help articles to ensure that you are tackling the problem effectively.

A very common mistake that people tend to make is related to the issue of the cats’ litter box – and cleaning it too infrequently. This may cause the cat to have to look elsewhere and you will actually find yourself cleaning needs from the rug or blanket through no fault of the cat. After all. Cats are very clean animals, with a very developed sense of smell, which means that even in nature, the cat will not defecate in the exact same place it did in the morning and yesterday and two days ago… but will look for a clean place that will not smell and endanger itself. At home, the cat is 100% dependent on us, so it is our job to allow him to defecate in a crate that is clean of residue, free of unpleasant odors and is not dirty.

Aggression
Cats can react aggressively towards another cat in the home or towards a family member and this is a difficult problem. The cause of aggression can be stress, or a health problem that causes pain. There is a long list of reasons for aggressive behavior, so even in this case, we will first make a classification, we will understand what exactly the reason is. How to treat behavioral problems in cats? The first step on the way to solving behavioral problems is to go to the vet and rule out a medical problem. If you think your cat is feeling a little unwell or you see that his behavior is different than before, see a veterinarian. Once you have done that you can start examining the behavioral aspect with the same thoroughness and devoting the proper attention to it with a cat behavior consultant to solve the problem correctly and professionally.

Having a cat is a lovely thing and can be great for the entire family. They take care of themselves more often than not and can be a good companion. But once you can break down their patterns and behaviours, you will find things run very smoothly!

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, April 04, 2021

All Signs
This week Mars will square Neptune, which triggers feelings of doubt, discouragement and inadequacy. People will feel things are hopeless. There’s a temptation to give up. I don’t even want to go there – so let’s not. Because something else is happening: The Sun, Mercury and Venus are all gathered in Aries like pumped action heroes! So we must choose. Which door do you want to open? The one that promises fuzzy thinking and hopelessness or the one that promises positive energy, enthusiasm, drive, new ideas, motivated confidence, bravery and success? Hmmm, not an easy choice, especially if you have to get up and walk over to the door.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
For most of this week, you’re totally pumped! That’s because the Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in your sign. Furthermore, Venus is dancing with lucky Jupiter; and it is also energized by your ruler fiery Mars. (Great combo!) This week – you run the meeting. It’s also an excellent week to make new friends and expand your influence in groups and organizations. You will definitely earn more money, think of moneymaking ideas or attract money to you. Your interest in the arts will be stronger. You might start to work on a particular arts and crafts creative project. In addition, you will feel more benevolent to others and want to help or do something to make a difference in the life of someone else. Right on!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Many wonderful things are taking place this week, but most of them are happening internally. These are private events and happenings that other people are not aware of; or they’re taking place within your own psyche and are privy only to you. You will make more effort to work hard to boost your income this week – that’s a fact. To be sure, privately, you will see that you are enriching yourself financially and in practical terms. You will also be generous or involved with charitable effort in such a way that it boosts your public reputation. Don’t give into financial doubts and fears at the end of the week. They will be brief!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This is a popular week! Everyone wants to see your face. Many of you will hang out with younger people and be more involved with artistic, creative people because you yourself are more involved in the arts or in PR events that require smooth schmoozing. You might also be involved with a charitable organization this week because you have a lot of energy to work, and a lot of energy to do good and benefit others. (This is admirable.) It’s interesting to note that all this energy that you’re putting out to share with others and work on their behalf will indirectly enrich you – even financially. (Well, of course, who is surprised? After all, what goes around, comes around.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
What a stellar week! The powerful energy of the Sun, Mercury and Venus working together is taking place at the very top of your chart. (“Can you see me from up here?”) This means others are aware of your success. You will have greater ease and will get good results in your dealings and conversations with bosses, parents and VIPs. Relations with important people will be warm and cozy. (In fact, a romance with a boss will begin for some.) Your influence with a group or an organization will increase, especially in terms of fundraising or attracting money and practical resources to any agenda that you want to support. Some of this will come about because you are working behind the scenes. However, be careful, if you think someone out there is working against you – you might be right. (Even paranoids have enemies.) Be guarded and keep your eyes open on Friday.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This is a great week because all this fire energy that is going on will amplify your own Fire Sign and your dealings with foreign countries and anything to do with publishing, legal matters, medicine and the media. Look for improved opportunities in anything related to higher education because they will exist for you. The upshot of this wonderful energy is it will make you want to travel and do something adventurous! It can also promote making money from foreign interests, as well as exploring romance with someone far away or someone who is “different.” On Friday, a friend (or a member of a group) might disappoint. It will pass quickly. (Especially if you drink a lot of water.)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This is a financially beneficial week. Ka-ching! Lots of energy is taking place in one of your Money Houses: specifically, the House of Other People’s Money, which means it will activate inheritances, shared property and anything you own jointly with others (including debt). Almost certainly, advantages and benefits from others, including material, gifts and money — will come to you. However, you can use this shared wealth to benefit the lives of someone less fortunate. (Bravo!) Meanwhile, your sex drive is heightened and romance will be the stuff of movies! At the end of the week, don’t be discouraged about a close relationship. (Unexpressed expectations often lead to disappointment.) This is temporary.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week is all about your closest relationships to spouses, partners and close friends. These relationships will be blessed. Good feelings and warm conversations will be the order of the day. You will more easily express your affection for others and vice versa. You might meet new friends or have warm introductions that delight you. Someone close to you might be generous to you or give you some moneymaking ideas. You might also join forces with a group, especially for charitable cause, because you will feel more generous to others – that’s certain. By the end of the week, you might feel disillusioned about politics, religion or racial issues or dealing with foreign interests. This letdown is temporary. Relax.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You feel reassured because matters related to your job are flowing smoothly this week. You see ways to boost your earnings or make more money. Meanwhile, people will praise your efforts because you will help others if you can because you feel genuinely concerned about someone. A new friendship or a romance that is work-related might begin. Work-related travel or dealing with foreign countries is also likely because everything to do with your job and your work will expand your world! Likewise, your health will feel more vigourous. And many of you will have pleasant, rewarding experiences with your pet. A disappointment at the end of the week is a brief dark cloud on your horizon.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You are a fortunate sign (because lucky Jupiter is your ruler), and this week is a lucky week! You’re happier because you’re more enthusiastic about your future. You’re also happier because you have chances to play and enjoy lighthearted, entertaining diversions. Yay! You will also love to explore any chance for creative self-expression. Grab opportunities to enjoy fun activities with kids, and particularly, a chance to enjoy the arts or make future vacation plans. Romance will flourish! You’re feeling that you are finally back in the game and life is promising! (Be patient with misunderstandings with partners and close friends at the end of the week.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Things will flow smoothly at home this week. (Many will be more involved with a parent.) Home repairs, DIY projects and a chance to redecorate your digs will appeal. Some are planning to entertain their special bubble. This emphasis on home and family might also translate into real-estate opportunities for some. Perhaps real-estate speculation or a residential move? You might pour money into your home and yet, at the same time, you can make money from your home? (Perhaps through a rental situation or a family member will be generous to you?) Some kind of confusion related to your job or your health at the end of the week is just a temporary setback. Relax.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your busy pace continues this week! However, it’s fun busy! Enjoy talking to siblings, relatives and neighbours because you’re keen to learn new things. Please note that your spirits are so high, you see your surroundings through new eyes. You’ll be grateful for where you live and for the people you know. You are experiencing that profound truth: When you change the way you see things, the things you see change! Relations with everyone will improve this week. It will be an invigorating time; however, by the end of the week, a confusion with romance or one of your kids might arise. Be mindful and don’t kid yourself.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
“Money, money, money!” This week you can boost your earnings because you will attract money to you. No question. You have moneymaking ideas, which means you might continue to attract money in the future. However, be careful towards the end of the week, because some confusion taking place at home will occur. Don’t let this cloud your thinking or create self-doubt. Meanwhile, because of the influx of money or the hope of money to come, you are spending money on beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. Well, if you’ve got it baby, flaunt it! (Note: Remember to share the wealth because what you give comes back to you multiplied.)

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Monthly Horoscopes For April 2021

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Being enthusiastic by nature, you’re rarely willing to wait until the right moment to commit to pivotal plans. Still, during April’s first half, focus on decluttering your life of unworkable arrangements, even if it means admitting defeat. Meanwhile, rethink your goals and consider what’s truly inspiring. This prepares you for the powerful insights and resulting shift in priorities triggered by the Aries New Moon, on 12 April. Once these are clear, you’ll know exactly what, and who, will take priority in your plans and passions.

Railing against cancelled plans will be a waste of valuable energy in early April. Instead of trying to put things back on track, move in a different direction. You’re brimming with great ideas and can easily attract a loyal audience for them during the first half of the month. On the 12th, the New Moon will find you adopting a fashionable look that turns heads. Don’t be surprised when people who were once indifferent to your charms become passionate interested in you. Clashes with authority could occur in the middle of April; don’t overestimate your power. The Full Moon on the 26th could put strain on an intimate relationship. Resist the urge to put so much emphasis on the physical part of your union.

By the Full Moon on 27th tough decisions need to be made. Your ruling planet, Mars, moves into Cancer on 23rd. This marks a decided sea-change in thinking and desires. Just a few days later, on 27th, the Full Moon is part of a complicated planetary picture including Uranus (unexpected). That this coincides with Pluto’s station at the apex of your solar chart suggests a tough call will need to be made regarding both property and career matters. Risk assessment is essential. It would be as well to be careful through the first three weeks of April i.e., don’t overspend, act too hastily or think that handshake deals will go through as planned. In preparing for emergency – which hopefully won’t happen -, you could also learn much about what is really important to you and how to secure and protect all that you love.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

You can be amazingly patient when plans are organised and it’s clear what’s next. However, between unsettled arrangements and the resulting questions about timing and the outcome of plans, you’re uneasy. Yet during quiet moments with loved ones or in nature, you begin to gain a fresh, and unexpectedly optimistic, perspective on the present and, even more, the future. Take it slowly. Things will come together, but probably not until the Taurus New Moon on 11 May. What happens then will be well worth waiting for.

Solitude is bliss during the opening days of the month. Take this opportunity to daydream, develop creative projects and connect with your spiritual side. The New Moon on the 12th will heighten your intuition; pay careful attention to your dreams. A fabulous concept for a business, service or product could occur to you while sleeping; it would be wise to develop this brainstorm. Your charisma will skyrocket in mid-April; use it to attract romantic, financial and creative opportunities. On the 26th, the Full Moon warns against making whimsical demands on your partner, or a breakup could be imminent. The final days of April are ideal for getting a radical makeover that turns heads and heightens your allure.

Ahead of the Sun’s arrival in your sign, there is much work to be done. Until 27th, all the planets appear to be moving forward. You too should feel as though you’re making progress. Be prepared though, to have to negotiate an unexpected obstacle around the Full Moon in your opposite sign on 27th. Just a few days earlier, Mars moves into Cancer. Around 23rd, you may be made acutely aware of what others consider to be valuable and yes, irritated that they didn’t speak up earlier. The legacy you want to leave may be priority around the Full Moon; and yes, after 23rd family and property matters are likely to become super important. The art in the first three weeks is to ensure that as you adjust to a new working and domestic pace and that you really hear what someone is trying to say. What you’re trying to avert is having to deal with an emotional outburst between 23rd and 27th that might threaten to knock you off your chosen path.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

In early March the planet of courage and action, Mars, moved into Gemini to remain until late April. The resulting far-reaching review and restless exploration both declutters your life and takes you in new, and often unanticipated, directions. While, generally, you ensure arrangements are flexible, you sense certain plans need to be finalised. That’s true; but with circumstances, others’ plans and your own priorities changing frequently, lasting plans or final decisions can, and should, wait you’re benefitting from the insights that come with early May’s events.

Your social side will be in full evidence at the start of April. It’s important to keep in continual, even if you can’t meet with loved ones personally. Video conferences and online chats will keep your spirits high and creativity flowing. Don’t feel compelled to convert other people to your belief system, though; it’s best to adopt a live and let live approach to work relationships. On the 12th, you may decide to join a support group or artists’ collective, thanks to the outgoing New Moon. Covering expenses can be challenging during the middle of the month; don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling. Like the ocean, finances ebb and flow. The Full Moon on the 26th may prompt you to leave a job that bothers your conscience.

Yet again it seems property matters have your full attention. This may be especially true from April 23 and in the days leading up to the Full Moon on 27th. Prior to then it seems there will be much bartering, to-ing and fro-ing and negotiation; and yes, there may be times when you feel you are losing. This may be particularly apparent in the days before the New Moon on April 12. Yet with the New Moon comes fresh energy: a deal could yet be struck around 15th but not cemented until after 20th. Markets are just one way of taking the global financial temperature. After a chilled period in March, (declining indices?) it’s probable that these will spark to life again in the last days of April. It’s then that you too could husband resources wisely and even perhaps make shrewd investment. There is high probability of you being attracted to new technologies – including robotics and artificial intelligence generally.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

While you’re delighted about the longed-for changes reshaping others’ way of living and working, you’re oddly unsure about your own plans. Yet your instincts are telling you to be patient. That’s wise. Ideally, in fact, you’ll wait until the 23rd, when dynamic Mars’s move into Cancer triggers a two-month cycle of review, exploration and exciting change. For now, focus on shedding what doesn’t add to your life, even if it’s unclear what’s next. What you encounter as events unfold will delight and excite you.

Occupying the spotlight will be a good use of your charisma at the start of the month. It’s a great time to go on auditions and job interviews. Stop worrying so much about making a good impression and just be yourself. You’ll get a warm reception for your quirky humour and emotional intelligence. The New Moon on the 12th could drop a fabulous career opportunity in your lap; don’t hesitate to accept a leadership role. Your social life should sparkle during the middle of the month; if you can’t meet in person, it will be fun connecting with friends via Zoom or FaceTime. On the 26th, the Full Moon will prompt you to abandon a romance or creative project that no longer thrills you.

It would be understandable if, until the 23rd you were preoccupied with managing savings. You’d likely be right to anticipate extra expenses after the Sun changes sign on Monday 19th. Yet through the first three weeks of April, you could perhaps improve cash flow situation by getting rid of unwanted items. Over the weekend of 10th – 12th this could be therapeutic in more ways than one. With the cash flow looking a little brighter, by the time that Mars moves into your sign on 23rd you’d be better placed to make investment. The Full Moon on April 27 accents the risk and speculation area of your solar chart and could bring with it the opportunity to buy in on the ground floor or to self-invest. This might also be the time to undertake future planning with the assistance of a financial adviser (perhaps someone who has a Saturn cycle of at least 30 years’ experience).

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

Your horoscope for this month:

There’s no doubt you’ll be delighted by the ideas, events and encounters life’s bringing your way. Despite them being fascinating, you’re being forced to juggle elements of the past that must go with intriguing, yet uncertain, future plans. The trick? Temporarily set aside that Leo impatience and explore experiences and encounters for whatever they bring. However, things are unlikely to come together until mid-June, when dynamic Mars moves into Leo. The resulting clarity, and the plans you make then, will have been worth waiting for.

April begins with a powerful desire to expand your horizons. Scheduling a long-distance trip or enrolling in an advanced course will fill you with excitement. It’s possible your business or romantic partner won’t approve of your plans, fearing they will be a distraction from your relationship. Do your best to reassure your other half of your loyalty. On the 12th, the New Moon could prompt you to embark on a spiritual journey. You could adopt a belief system or take up a sacred practice. Attending a family reunion in mid-April will be lots more fun than expected. Don’t despair of a career path dries up on the 26th; the Full Moon will connect you with bigger and better professional opportunities.

The temptation to exercise your lion’s roar could be irresistible once the Moon arrives in your opposite sign on Tuesday 6th. Perhaps you need to make clear what is and what is not acceptable; but don’t be surprised if this leaves you exhausted by the end of that week. Recharging your batteries will likely be necessary over the weekend. All this should be viewed as positive. As for most people, finding new ways of working and operating will require adjustment. You should make headway – especially in the few days after the New Moon on April 12. Yet even this would come with an emotional and yes, perhaps financial price. A few days ahead of the Full Moon on April 27, asset management and perhaps even property arrangements may be necessary. By then, Mars will be in one of the Water signs and yes, arguably dampening your Fire. Support from an Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn to help you refine your profile ahead of an important meeting at the end of the month.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

After several months of enforced patience, and being cornered into shedding certain longstanding but increasingly unrewarding arrangements, you’re looking at life from a fresh perspective. Tempting as it is to organise new plans for the present and the future, adopt an uncharacteristically easy-going approach. Explore whatever arises, get to know the people you encounter; but, also, keep your mind open and plans flexible. Why? By mid-May encounters and offers as thrilling as they are unexpected will make it clear how wise this strategy was.

Passions will be running high at the beginning of the month. If you’re in love, you’ll want to spend every second with your amour. Are you single? You could meet someone special through a competition. Don’t let an authoritarian break your spirit with petty criticism; they’re just threatened by your talent. The New Moon on the 12th could attract a financial windfall. Use this money to buy a car, computer, or electronic device that makes life easier. A wonderful chance to expand your horizons will arrive soon; let an accomplished teacher take you under their wing. Disappointing news about a family or community matter could reach your ears on the 26th, due to a tense Full Moon.

Until 22nd at least, you could be super busy rushing hither and thither but successfully juggling many interests and projects – especially in the days following the New Moon on April 12. That said, more than once you may feel you are negotiating an obstacle course when, as one dilemma is resolved, another surfaces. The week beginning Monday 19th could be particularly challenging. By 23rd however, and the Moon’s arrival in your sign, together with other factors, there could be yet something else to celebrate. You wouldn’t be you if you didn’t have something to worry about of course! and with Mars’ arrival in Cancer you could go into overdrive fretting about how much there is to do. By the Full Moon on April 27 others will surely encourage you to simply ‘calm down’; but perhaps your intuition is spot on as developments in the last few days of the month could be as exciting as those at the start but leave you aware of new challenges ahead.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

The changes triggered by the Libra Full Moon on 28 March seem final, but they’re just beginning a process of discussion, exploration and yet more discovery. While, initially, you’ll try to stick with original plans, soon new ideas, inspiring encounters and unexpected changes lead to fresh take on existing plans and your ideas about what’s next. Although, obviously, you’d like things settled, every twist and turn, is so exciting you’re soon embracing events that, while disruptive in the short term, offer thrilling promise in the long run.

A close relationship will be a profound source of pleasure at the start of April. If you’re single, you could meet someone special through a cultural, religious, or educational organisation. Do you have a partner? Undertaking an advanced course of study together could draw you closer. The New Moon on the 12th is ideal for signing a contract, exchanging vows, or entering a creative collaboration. Your finances could pick up during the second half of the month, thanks to an inheritance or legal settlement. Don’t hesitate to spend your additional income on luxury items that appeal to your sensual side. A crisis of conscience could occur on the 26th, due to a conflicted Full Moon. Take the high road in all matters.

Confusion when thinking around financial matters is probable in the first few days of April. Between 4th and 15th, with both Mercury and Venus passing through your opposite sign, others will no doubt have many ideas as to how you could improve your situation. By mid-month it’s important that you take the reins. Your financial antennae – particularly with regard to investments – should be working much better midmonth. As of 23rd, and Mars’ Cancer ingress, self-investment should take priority. This might well require improving your environment both at work and at home. Redecorating and improving working conditions generally might seem an excellent idea. Perhaps more importantly – and especially around the Full Moon on April 27th, – you could give thought to investing in craftsmanship and artisans (perhaps even within the family). Those who have special skills but perhaps have not – as yet – developed their business plan will likely benefit from your support.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

You’re superb at gently, but firmly, encouraging others to learn about people, places or ideas you’re sure will benefit them. However, your reaction to new ideas of changes in existing arrangements and new ideas ranges from dismissive to hostel. You could decide to battle a few. However, most are timely breakthroughs. If you’re unable to spot their potential, think back to times on the past when, similarly, you dismissed sudden changes, which then turned out brilliantly. It’s the same now and over the coming month or so.

Pouring your energy into a fitness regimen will be a great use of your time at the beginning of the month. Having an outlet for your restless energy will be good for you. Without it, you might put too much emphasis on the physical aspect of a romantic relationship. A demanding but rewarding job will be offered to you near the 12th, thanks to an upbeat New Moon. Not only will you enjoy your duties, but the perks will be great, too. You could find yourself enjoyably immersed in a romantic relationship. If you’re single, ignore your family’s input and pursue the object of your desire. Follow a selfish impulse on the 26th, when the Full Moon shines its light on you.

The Full Moon on April 27 is in your sign and will likely mark a turning point in global financial affairs. By then Mars will have arrived in another of the Water signs and yes, an emotional reaction to recent events is likely – but also bring a buying opportunity. Prior to then, it’s important that you get your financial house in order. This could be an exercise expedited quickly as both Mercury and Venus join the Sun in another of the Mars’ ruled signs (Aries) between 4th and 12th. The New Moon that day signals the desire for a fresh approach; and, may be, the opportunity to buy in to a service or item that others have discarded. Yours is a sign that knows how to maximise resources. Your input could make immediate and significant difference and yes, perhaps bring financial reward around the aforesaid Full Moon. All in all, April promises to be an exciting month for buying and selling.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Ordinarily, when others take over life’s dull details, it’s a relief. However, you’re right to think their idea of wise decisions is likely to be the opposite of yours. This leaves you no choice but to get involved with the matters in question, mostly a range of practical decisions, some minor but others more far-reaching. Once you’re involved, you’ll note most need an update. Even more, you’ll also realise that certain of your own views, priorities and plans need to be reviewed, ideally before you commit.

Love, romance and adventure will characterise the first half of April. Put responsibility on the back burner and take a few risks; you could use a few thrills. Your best friend, romantic partner or business contact won’t be happy with your wild behaviour, but that shouldn’t stop you from having fun. On the 12th, the New Moon will urge you to start a creative project that speaks to your heart. Don’t worry about rendering a perfect performance on the first try; just let your ideas flow unchecked. You might attract a lucrative job during the second part of the month; take this opportunity to save some cash. The Full Moon on the 26th may bring a shocking secret to light; brace yourself.

The good news is that not one major planet is retrograde this month. The ‘bad’ is that between 4th and 14th, Mercury and Venus move through another of the Fire signs and cash flow may be fast, furious and yes, with more going out than coming in. There is real danger of slipping on a financial banana skin around 9th. With the New Moon on 12th comes fresh energy and, within days, you could take a more practical approach. Indeed, what you recycle around 16th could have real benefit. You won’t be the only sign preoccupied with domestic, repair and family related costs from April 23. It may be though, that you see that by investing here you’ll save money later. Implementing these plans whilst negotiating disruption to work activities and yes, likely your income stream, could mean that hard decisions have to be taken week beginning Monday 26th. The Full Moon that week accents the need to rethink savings and long-term financial schemes. Yet, as is so often the case with Sagittarius, by the time the Moon reaches your sign on 29th-30th, you could come up with a plan which, though it involves a degree of risk taking, leaves you feeling excited about your financial outlook.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Now that you have a better understanding of the events shaking up several elements of your life, you’re not only recognising their potential, but you’ve begin exploring other options. While this is wise, you also need a break from the past months’ relentless analysis. The objective? Balance this with a focus on what, and who, brings you joy in life and whether you’re devoting enough time to these. Previously, you’ve put off such pleasures until everything was settled. With so much in transition, focus on balance.

Sticking close to home will make you feel grounded at the beginning of April. Resist the temptation to work overtime during this period; your nearest and dearest need you more. The New Moon on the 12th could prompt you to launch a renovation project; it’s a good time to upgrade your kitchen, bathroom or both. Alternatively, you might find a better place to live. Love could find you during the middle of the month. If you’re single, your dating profile could get lots of hits. Are you in a relationship? Your amour will have difficulty keeping their hands off you. By the time the Full Moon rises on the 26th, you may grow tired of a social group and leave its ranks.

Realisation that you need to dig deep into savings – particularly between April 4 and 14th will likely be discomforting. Over 8th and 9th especially, you could feel at financial loss. This though is likely to be temporary. Soon after the New Moon on 12th and Venus’ arrival in another of the Earth signs, you could attract support that allows you to negotiate a financial hurdle with ease; and yes, this may involve a job offer. By the time the Sun moves on into the Taurus on 20th, you will likely be weighing up the benefits of self-employment versus steady income. All this could lead to a hiatus around the Full Moon on April 27 when global markets could be disturbed once again pushing financial matters to the forefront of your mind. In the last two days of the month, your expertise is likely to be both recognised and rewarded. There may be an unexpected element to this. Whilst this might not bring direct cash your way, a gesture may be made that makes clear your contribution is much valued and will be rewarded when possible.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

It would be easy to convince yourself that the battles triggered by the Full Moon on 29 March will lead to lasting arrangements. True, what you discuss, the problems you define and the understanding you gain about both others’ priorities and ideas about the future will last. However, the powerful shift in the planetary focus, from 19 April, onward, indicates both circumstances and, as a result, your plans must change. Annoying as the resulting chaos is, the options coming your way will soon thrill you.

Don’t be so quick to turn a casual romance into a serious commitment at the start of the month. It’s best to develop this relationship slowly. The more you know each other, the stronger your bond will become. The New Moon on the 12th could prompt you take a class or begin a writing project; exercising your intellect will be the priority. Turn a deaf ear to your inner critic during the middle of the month; you don’t want to talk yourself out of a marvellous plan. Moving to a beautiful part of the world is a distinct possibility during the second half of April. On the 26th, the Full Moon may make you question your career path. Be ready to try something different.

Hold the thought that yours is a sign with the capacity to think differently. You don’t have to repeat the past. Indeed, it could be argued that you are the best sign for moving in altered directions. That may be necessary by the Full Moon in another of the Fixed signs on April 27. This could bring with it a sudden, sharp, financial shock. It would be as well to anticipate this and, where possible, place safety nets. Of course, you may already know this is coming. This may be to do with property management or your job or a combination of both. With the high probability of global financial markets also experiencing trauma in the last few days of April, you’ll likely not be alone. You could though, excel in exploring new ways of working and yes, joining forces. From April 15-18 you may show a special financial courage. Then, between 19th and 22nd – and likely with the assistance of a Gemini, you could position yourself well to cope with any discomforting waves at the Full Moon.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

The ideas, events and offers triggered by the Pisces New Moon, on 13 March, won’t just be inspiring. You’ll be learning about and discussing them well into the month of April and, in some cases, beyond. While your instincts will say what’s worthwhile, certain individuals are less imaginative and could try talk you out of pursuing what you believe in. Waste no time on debate. Instead, discuss your plans, present and future, with somebody who shares your vision but who’ll also raise crucial questions.

Opportunities to increase your income will abound at the beginning of April. Landing a job or contract with a university, hospital, or government agency is a strong possibility. If you’d like to start your own business, the New Moon on the 12th is an ideal time to do so. You could get some start-up cash from a generous relative. Don’t let peer pressure prompt you to take an undesirable path during the middle of the month; it’s critical to listen to your heart. During the second half of April, you’ll be busy running errands and conducting meetings. The Full Moon on the 26th may bring disappointing news about an application, test, or legal decision; look for the silver lining to this cloud.

Preparation is usually the key to success. Before Jupiter arrives in your sign next month, assessing your situation, knowing what reserves you have and improving where possible your financial safety net would surely be a wise endeavour. As the Moon passes through your sign over 8th and 9th you could do this with ease and show others your extra ordinary ability to juggle funds successfully. You might also determine around 12th, that it’s time to be released from one item that might sell successfully on the 16th boosting cash coffers as a result. That would leave you well-placed to make new investments after Mars arrives in another of the Water signs on Friday 23rd. Between that date and the Full Moon on 27th, you will likely see opportunities others miss. Divesting yourself of investments in outworn areas and, in the days after the Full Moon on 27th, embracing new areas should ensure you conclude the month at least not in a worse financial condition than at its start.

~Arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training
http://GoddessSchool.com

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

Herbs!!! Herbs!!! Herbs!!!
Interested in herbs and healing? Learn with GrannyMoon!
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GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 28 Mar – 4 Apr 2021 ~Thanks for Reading!

…O World
sing to Us your ancient song
it rumbles
low and long in Our souls
of peace and love,
of potential and possibilities
We are the sentinels
of your beauty and
Stewards of the future;
Our time has come

~excerpt Patricia Telesco 2019~
~from We’Moon 2021, page 5~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil
March is National Women’s History Month
March Feature: The Notorious Potato

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Fearn (Alder) March 18 to April 14

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Columbina – March 20- April 17

MARCH
27-Liberalia
29-Feast of Rhiannon
29-Anthestaria
31-Festival of Luna
29-Parade of Unicorns
30-Sementivae Feria

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

April
04: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
11: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
18: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Full Moon

Goddess Aspect: Mother

Associated Goddesses: Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Asherah, Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Isis,, Selene, Sisters of the Wyrrd, and the Norns

Magickal Attributes: Fruition – Manifesting goals, Nurturing, Passion, Healing, Strength, Power.

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

Full Moon: Symbolic of the height of power, the peak of clarity, fullness and obtainment of desire.

Full Moon energy is used for banishing unwanted influences in your life, protection magick, and divination.

The Moon travels 1/2 way around to the 6oclock position, and the face of the Moon is fully illuminated. We love Full Moon magic, an apt time for fruition, completion and wholeness. Some say the magic can be done the day of the Moon as well as three days on either side of it.

It is a good time for all Positive Magic, protection, scrying, love, healing and prosperity. Also a good time to grow closer to the Goddess by Drawing Down the Moon

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
March 29, 2021 – April 4, 2021

The beginning of the week starts off with confusing but creative energy. Your imagination will be active so make sure that you check and verify information while being clear and concise. Tuesday is beneficial for business and relationships.

Midweek is great for self-discipline and to put yourself in a positive light on the job or in your career. If you are looking to get a raise or increase your fees, now would be the time to do it.

The weekend is good for problem-solving and getting to the roots of long-standing problems. This could help you resolve them once and for all. You will be filled with pioneering thoughts and focus on potentials and possibilities. You will find yourself more enthusiastic than normal.

Recommended candles and oils: Blessed Herbal Truth & Justice / Blessed Herbal Stability and Self-Esteem / Motor City Hoo Doo Road Opener / Wicked Witch Mojo Everything and then Some

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

Full Moon in Libra on March 28, 2021
It’s a rare person who gets through life without a broken or bruised heart. Thankfully we have a Full Moon in Libra, the sign of relationships, here and armed with ice cream and a box of tissues. Why is this so important right now? It’s because this Full Moon opposes Venus and Chiron and our need to release the effects of painful and destructive relationships is top of mind and heart.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Five of Cups

Did things not go as expected?

The Five of Cups often appears when a situation hasn’t turned out the way you expected, and you are sad, regretful, and disappointed.

Instead of moving on, you are choosing to wallow in your self-pity. All you can focus on right now is what went wrong and how you failed.

This is a gentle nudge that it’s time to get over it! Allow yourself to feel the feels, but set a time limit for your self-pity and then pull yourself together and move on.

The negative emotions you feel are holding you back from your fullest potential. Release them so you can move on and create positive change.

Forgiveness is vital now for yourself and others. If someone has disappointed you, find it within your heart to forgive that person, releasing yourself from the disappointment.

Shift your mindset and focus on what can go right from this point onwards.

Ask the Tarot: What can I learn from my mistakes?

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The Full Libra Moon
From Rivers in the Ocean

The Full Libra Moon is associated with balance, harmony, justice and right relationships with all things. Will it help us to bring the balance and equilibrium in this world that is so out of order now? Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet of Love, so with its power we should be able to find the balanced way to harmonize relationships with ourselves, others and world around us.

We need to be mindful and aware of the balance needed in different aspects of our lives, learn to understand contrasting positions and be truthful to our authentic self. Full Moon brings energetic surges that can push us from our comfort zones to embrace the changes and encourage the new growth. Let’s be free to express yourself with careful consideration of ripple effects and impact of our actions on others.

The name for this Full Crow Moon came from the northern native tribes who observed that the crow cawing heralds the end of winter. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night, or the Full Worm Moon since the earthworms appear from the thawed soil and attract the birds.

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Home Protection
MARCH 28, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

This is a favorable time to cast spells of protection. Here is one that uses the four magical elements: air, fire, water, and earth. You will need a stick of incense, a burner, a lighter, sea salt, water, a bowl, and a fan. It is easier to do this spell with two people, but it can be done alone.

First put the incense in the burner and safely light it. This represents air and fire. Next put the water in the bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. This represents water and earth. If you have two people, you can bless the rooms one at a time, first with incense and then with salt water. By yourself, it may be easier to do the whole home with incense and then with salt water. Fan the smoke so it touches all parts of your home. Sprinkle salt water on the walls, floors, and ceilings. Draw a pentacle in salt water over every door, window, and other opening such as vents or electrical outlets. When finished, be sure to extinguish the incense.
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Seed Catalog Spell
MARCH 27, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

It’s time to dream of summer and plan a magical garden. The soil is still cold, but the latest seed catalogs are out and you can always dream.

Cast a circle, calling in the Goddess:

By the earth that is her body, the
air that is her breath, the fire of her
strong spirit, and the waters of her
living womb, I cast this circle.

I call what is above and what is below,
and ask them to unite—earth and
sunlight—to grow my magical garden.

In sacred space, contemplate your own garden and which herbs and flowers you could seed and grow to use in your magical practice. Focused on love spells? Grow roses and basil. Interested in joy and happiness? Plant calendula and sunflowers. Practicing protection? Plant garlic and rosemary.

Once you have envisioned your magical garden, thank the directions and open the circle, ready now to order from those seed catalogs.
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Remembering the Ancestors of the Land
MARCH 26, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

Today is Prince Kuhio Day. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was a Hawaiian monarch who helped pass the Hawaiian Homes Act, which set aside 200,000 acres of land to be homesteaded by native Hawaiians. We often do not think about the people who were native to the lands that we now live upon. Sometimes the land was less than honorably, if not forcibly, taken from them. Those who lived on the land where we now reside are connected to us as ancestors of place.

Today, research the identity of the native peoples of the land where you currently live. Take a few moments in meditation, sitting outside directly upon the land if possible, to consider the chain of events that possibly took place to result in your home being upon that land today. How can you honor those who came before you and were native to the land?
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Turn Left
MARCH 25, 2021 BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

Today we are going to practice divination by using our intuition. If you always go up the stairs, go down the stairs. If you always sit in a certain chair, sit in a different one. If you always go home by the same route, take a different one today.

What you are doing is waking up your intuition and encouraging spirit to speak to you through the simple act of changing up your routine. We all get into ruts. It may be quicker, faster, or easier to always do things the same way, but what if something magickal and spectacular is waiting for you around the corner or comes your way because you took a different route?

Pay attention to any signs, feelings, nudges, or small miracles that come your way. At the end of the day, notice how changing your routine for just one day brought blessings into your life.
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Obtain the Blessing of a Sylph
MARCH 24, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

Sylphs are elemental points of consciousness that exist within what we experience as the air. When we tune into them, they can help us become cleansed, alert, and revitalized.

For this spell you will need some light-smelling incense and some small wind chimes (or small bells).

Sometime in the morning, face east and light the incense. Ground and center. Imagine the light of the morning sun shining into your heart center. Imagine that the breeze, wind, and clouds are flowing through you. Say:

Morning sun and breath of life,
Vital essence, sing thy song.

Now blow upon the wind chimes (or strike the bells) and imagine that the sound is ringing inside your body as you breathe. Be aware of how the air around you is filled with tiny points of consciousness. You might imagine them as little silver spirals, but just notice however they manifest for you. Imagine breathing them in and out again, leaving you feeling refreshed and cleansed. When finished, be sure to extinguish the incense.
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Near Miss Day
MARCH 23, 2021 BY EMYME

On this date in 1989, an asteroid came very close to hitting the earth. Since then, people have celebrated March 23 as Near Miss Day.

What other near misses have you or your loved ones experienced? Tainted food? Car accident? Kitchen mishap? Those experiences stay with us long after the actual event. Take some time today to ponder those events and your good fortune, and perhaps write about them.

Soteria is the Greek goddess of safety, deliverance, and protection from hurt, and Soter is her male counterpart. Express gratitude for your near misses and call upon Soteria and Soter and/or the Lady and Lord to continue to offer their protection:

In great thanks for the protection
from any “almost” injurious
occasion, we ask to be kept well
and whole going forward.
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The Remember Yourself Spell
MARCH 22, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

A concept that I usually choose to follow in my practice is the idea that spells should be cast “for the good of all.” That way, money magic and even binding or banishing (for example) are given the built-in condition that the goal will be achieved without harmful side effects. That being said, it’s important to avoid becoming so focused on everyone else’s good that you overlook yourself; “all” includes you. This spell serves to ensure that you remain looped in to your own work while simultaneously programming your future magic to be infused with the proper level of care.

Anoint a white candle with a bit of your saliva and place it in a holder. You can burn rosemary incense if you wish. As you light the candle, say:

Achieving goals with grace and
charm, commanding, strong, and
without harm; for good of all,
including me, as I will, so mote it be.

Extinguish with a candle snuffer.

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Spring Cleaning for the Soul and the Home

It’s time to think about spring cleaning. Think of it as a meditative exercise to sweep out the old energies of winter and make way for spring abundance. Do it with the conscious intent of clearing out old energies to set the stage for new good fortune.

In spring cleaning the first thing to clean is your spirit/soul. Let me assist you in cleansing your spirit and house! You’ll be surprised what I find spiritually that you need to remove.

Smudging is another way to clean your spirit, body, house, and even your work place. Click here for details on how to do Smudging.

Next is cleaning out your house. Start with your closets. Most of us have closets that are bursting with stuff we have not used for a long time. Donate items that you no longer can use. Old clothes can be recycled and used for cleaning rags. Nothing feels better than having a clean organized closet.

From there you can start cleaning one room at a time. After you finished your home you can also clean out your office. From there you can start cleaning out your flower beds or flower pots. Nothing feels better than putting your fingers into Mother Earth.

Once finished, treat yourself to a cleansing and relaxing bath. Light some candles and add some of your favorite bath oil for a cleansing and rejuvenating bath. Get rid of that winter skin by using a natural scrub! And finish with a good natural moisturizing lotion.

When you have finished cleaning your house and soul you are going to feel refreshed. Your mind will be clearer and Your spirit will sing!

Happy Spring Time!
Cherokee Billie

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Heartwings Love Notes 976 Festival of Rebirth

Heartwings says: “Spring brings festivals of rebirth.”

As I look around my home, I see the dust and disarray that has gathered during the low light of the winter months. After all, if you can’t see it you can’t very well clean it. And to be sure, during the cold weather, I move more slowly and sleep later, which means there are less daylight hours to get things like cleaning done. This is the downside to the longer light hours of spring: the revelation of my tasks that lie ahead. However, I am much better off than the homemakers of previous centuries.

Spring house cleaning in years gone by was quite a chore. Homes were lit by fires, and later by coal furnaces. The smoke from the heat source would permeate the home, adhering to everything from floors to walls to curtains and more. I feel fortunate that I don’t need to beat my rugs as they hang on the clothesline, wash the walls and floors with harsh soap and water carried in buckets from the pump, take down the drapes and curtains and shake them, and more.

As it does for our homes, spring cleaning for the planet comes once a year. The earth too needs to do a rebirth and refresh. In addition to the spring winds and rains that arrive to do visible and actual cleanup, there are festivals in many cultures that have arisen to symbolize the renewal that comes at this time. The Internet is a great source for these celebrations. They include Holi in India, Cherry blossom festivals in Japan, Tulip festivals in Holland and many more.

There are also many familiar rituals associated with spring celebrations: the wearing of new clothes, attendance at sacred and/or religious services and ceremonies, gifts that are said to be brought by the Easter Bunny, the hunt for Easter eggs, and traditional family gatherings where certain foods are served. Easter is the name many in the USA associate with our spring festival. It is a joyous opportunity to honor the beauty together with the new life that emerges as we celebrate the festival of rebirth embodied in spring.

May your Spring celebrations be filled with joy and happy occasions.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS How do you celebrate the season? For some it is a religious holiday, others celebrate in secular ways. Most do celebrate spring one way or another. I am so happy when readers share their thoughts and experiences, thanks for doing so to tashahal@aol.com. For more Love Notes please visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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March Full Worm Moon
https://www.moongiant.com

March’s Full Moon is commonly called the Full Worm Moon. This is because of the earthworms that wriggle out of the ground as the earth begins to thaw in March. Here’s a little known fact about March’s Full Moon: it was called the Worm Moon only by Southern Native American tribes. In fact, there’s no way the Northern tribes would have ever called it the Worm Moon – and the reason why is fascinating.

Essentially, earthworms did not exist in Northern America. It would be literally impossible for Northern tribes to see worms popping up in March. All the earthworms you see in Northern America today are invasive species brought in by colonists. These earthworms were brought over either out of a misguided intent to help fertilize the soil, or as an accident along with transported plants or the soil used for ballast in ships. Little did the colonists know that during the last ice age, glaciers had spread so far across Canada and the northern parts of the United States that all earthworms had been completely wiped out.

When the deep ice melted 12,000 years ago, the native forests in those areas grew back and adapted to the loss of earthworms. The growth of these forests became dependent on a layer of duff, which is a compost layer comprised of decomposing leaves and other rotting organic matter. If you ever visit one of these native forests, you will be asked to clean your shoes and make sure it’s free of earthworm eggs. That’s because while it’s normally harmless everywhere else, earthworms will aggressively destroy the native forest’s duff layer by eating right through it.

This is why in Northern American tribes such as the Shawnee tribe, the Worm Moon is called the Sap Moon instead, as a reminder for the tribes that they can begin tapping maple syrup. In general, March’s Full Moon is known as a herald for the beginning of spring and new agricultural cycles. The Anglo-Saxons even used the Worm Moon as a way to predict the state of their crops. They called it the Storm Moon if it was stormy, which was a sign that their crops would fail. But if it was dry, they called it the Rugged Moon, an indication of a bounteous harvest.

One of its other names is the Chaste Moon, symbolizing the purity of early spring. The Pueblo tribe named it the Moon When the Leaves Break Forth, while in Shoshone culture it was known as the Warming Moon. Sometimes it is called the Crow Moon, after the crows and other birds that appear as winter draws to a close. Other times, it’s called the Crust Moon, because of the snow that becomes crusty when it thaws in the sun and freezes in the moonlight.

In India, March’s Full Moon is also seen as a symbol of the arrival of spring, and coincides with the festival of Holi. This is a riotous party where Indian communities all around the world engage in a huge water fight. Everyone goes out into the streets and sprays each other with colored water and powders, singing and dancing with strangers and loved ones alike. Playing and feasting together is a chance for you to repair relationships that have gone bad, reaffirming your existing social bonds as you move forward together into the new year.

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Taking Responsibility for Your Destiny

Your destiny may be waiting for you, but whether or not you meet your destiny is up to you.

There are those of us who believe that our lives are predestined and that we should resign ourselves to our lots in life. Yet the truth is that it is up to each one of us to decide what that destiny will be. While each of us is born with a life purpose, it is up to us whether or not we will say yes to fulfilling it. And just like when we choose what to eat, who to keep company with, and whether to turn right or left when we leave our home everyday, choosing to say yes to your destiny is a decision that can only be realized when you take action to make that choice a reality.

Whether you believe it is your destiny to be a parent, an adventurer, an artist, a pioneer, or a spiritual guru, saying yes to your destiny is only the first step. While manifesting your destiny starts with knowing what you want and believing you can attain your goals, there are then the actions that must be taken and the decisions to be made before your destiny can truly happen. When you take responsibility for fulfilling your destiny and begin acting with the intention of doing so, you not only take fate into your own hands, but also you become the hands of your own fate. Doorways inevitably open for you to step through, and every choice you make can be a creative act toward realizing your goals and dreams. You begin to follow your instincts and intuition, recognize opportunities when they are presented to you, and seize those golden moments. You also begin to recognize the decisions that may not serve this greater picture and can more easily push them aside.

Remembering that the decision to fulfill your destiny is always a choice can be empowering. Knowing you are fulfilling your destiny because you want to, rather than because you have to, can make a huge difference. When you are freed from obligation, obstacles in your way become challenges to be overcome, and the journey becomes an adventure rather than the obligatory steps you are being forced to take. Your destiny may be waiting for you, but whether or not you meet your destiny is up to you. Your fate is in your hands.

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The Magical Spice Rack: How To Work With The Correspondences In Your Cupboards
APRIL 21, 2019 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

I plunder my cupboards for my magical works so much that my “magical spice rack” has become a cliche. It’s a cliche for a good reason, though. My spice rack and tea cabinet always have the perfect ingredients for my spellwork. Do you need a pinch of heat in your magic? Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper. Need some more comforting aspects in your spell? Grab a lavender tea bag, and rip that baby open.

Every seed, leaf, stem, flower, root, bark, and rind have their own properties and magical correspondences. You can take advantage of these powers by creating a magical spice rack. It’s useful in so many ways: in magical works, in your cooking, and it also acts as a bank to store energy, just like an altar.

Shop for Quality Herbs, Spices, and Teas
First, get some great ingredients for your magical spice rack and tea shelf. Buy a little bit of everything–sweet and bitter, spicy and mild, and savory and bland. Buy ingredients for all kinds of cuisine, and get different colors and smells.

My favorite way to get new spices or herbs is to go to the health food store and buy them in bulk. It’s usually cheaper and fresher than buying individual packages from a big store.

Organize Your Magic
I know that a lot of people would love to skip organizing, but trust me–it’s important. My spice rack didn’t become magical until I wasn’t overwhelmed by a mess whenever I opened my cupboard. Before I organized, I had to had to hunt through a old bags and bottles, and I had to sniff the red powders in unlabeled bags to see if it was paprika or chili powder. Now, after putting in an hour of organization, I know what I’m getting every single time.

Get organized by buying some jars and labels, and get to work. I prefer using glass jars because it feels cleaner and more sterile than using plastic, but to each their own.

Bless Your Spice Rack and Tea Shelf
Bless your collection of herbs, spices, and teas to net some extra magic and to create a bank. Stand in front of your spice rack and take a deep breath. Touch the bottles and boxes, and feel the various energies inside of them. Commune with the energy of your special collection. Feel the potential of everything they can do for you. It’s a bank of energy just waiting to be activated with your magical intentions. Call upon a hearth deity for an extra blessing if you wish. Ask for your spice rack to be blessed. It will now act as an altar for your work.

It’s Magic Time! Feel the Energy of Each Spice or Herb
When it comes time to use your spice rack for magic, you could look up the correspondences of every herb and spice in a witchy book, OR you can just feel the energetic essence of each item to see if it corresponds with your will. Your personal opinion and intuition of the spice or herb will likely be just as strong as what’s in a book.

However, don’t assume a spice will feel the same if it’s in two different forms, or from two different locations. Ground cinnamon probably will feel different from whole cinnamon bark. Two brands of ground cinnamon could be two different plant species, and from different parts of the world. This means that the energy will be different, too. When in doubt, feel it out!

Work Your Magic
Select a few spices, herbs, and teas for your work. There are two basic ways to work with these correspondences. You could grab the jars or tea bags and take them with you into your ritual space to work with them there. This is a good method if you want to recite why you’re adding every item to your brew, or if you’re just feeling dramatic and have some time to kill.

The second method is to open the jars and tea bags in your kitchen, sprinkle them into a bowl or a cauldron, and take that into the ritual space. It’s a lot faster, and no less powerful. Either way will work fine.

Use the energies of the herbs and spices in your magic. Feel your will align with the energy of the plants. Of course, write down what you used in your book of shadows so you can see what works best for you.

Stock Up On More Herbs and Spices For Next Time
Buy high quality products whenever possible. Whenever you’re low on an item, write it down on a list so you don’t run out. That’ll also help you combine trips in case you forget one.

Here are a few ways I’ve used my magical spice rack:

Bay Leaf Magic: Burn and Banish

The Cleansing Power of Salt Bowls to Remove Negativity

Kitchen Witchery

I hope your magical spice rack works wonders for your magical works and your food preparation. Blessings!

~ Align with Starlight Witch ~
Intuitive Witchcraft Book (Llewellyn)
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The Greater Cause

Imagine what a different world we would live in, if we all worked toward the greater good.

With all that takes place in our lives, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the fact that we’re part of something greater than ourselves — a collective consciousness, the Universe, a greater cause. Because of our tendency to forget this, we might make decisions in our lives that don’t reflect that responsibility that comes with this belonging. All too often, we focus just on the short-term, tangible gain to ourselves without worrying about its consequences. Other times, we may discard the greater cause because it seems like “hard work.” The challenge is to expand our minds so that we transcend the distinction between self and others, so we are aware of how our choices and actions can impact a greater cause.

Contributing to the greater cause doesn’t have to be all about self-sacrifice. For example, if you plant a tree in a community space, its shelter will cool and protect you as well as your neighbors. Or, your reward might be in the form of the beauty that you now see in that space or the sincere smiles of appreciation from neighbors. When you serve the greater cause you also serve your greater good. There is nothing that you cannot do for your highest good that will not benefit the good of all. For example, saying no to a relationship that isn’t right for you not only benefits you but serves the greater good of the other person that you are honoring with your honesty. Saying yes to your dream job not only fulfills you but also serves the people that will benefit from your enthusiasm and productivity.

When you know you are serving a greater cause, there is little room for fear and doubt. You know that what you do will benefit others, so there is no way the universe is not going to support your efforts — even if sometimes it may not look that way. Serving the greater cause allows you to live from the space of your greatness. When you know that what you do can serve a greater cause, you are aware of your power and ability to influence and create change in this world.

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Ancient Love
MARCH 26, 2021 CAT
© 1996 Carolyn McDade
https://spiralwound.wordpress.com/2021/03/26/ancient-love/#like-5760

LYRICS

Long before the night was born from darkness
Long before the dawn rolled unsteady from fire
Long before She wrapped her scarlet arm around the hills
there was a love, this ancient love was born.

Long before the grass spotted green the bare hillside
Long before a wing unfolded to wind
Long before She wrapped her long blue arm around the sea
there was a love, this ancient love was born.

Long before a chain was forged from the hillside
Long before a voice uttered freedom’s cry
Long before She wrapped her bleeding arms around a child
there was a love, this ancient love was born.

Long before the name of a God was spoken
Long before a cross was nailed from a tree
Long before She laid her arm of colors ‘cross the sky
there was a love, this ancient love was born.

Wakeful our night, Slumbers our morning
Stubborn the grass sowing green wounded hills
As we wrap our healing arms to hold what her arms held
this ancient love, this aching love rolls on.

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WHAT ABOUT UNMARKED GRAVES?
by Cathy Wallace

Unmarked graves are burial sites without visible markers. How will those who have been buried in graves without headstones be remembered?

Thanks to the BillionGraves app, there is an easy solution!

Unmarked graves become genealogical treasures once the site has been photographed with the BillionGraves app because it automatically adds a GPS location.

Locating Your Ancestor’s Unmarked Graves
But first, you will need to find those unmarked graves! Finding your ancestor’s burial locations is an important part of growing your family tree.

Knowing the location of their final resting places gives you a place to visit so you can honor your ancestors. It also provides a foundation for future genealogical research.

The first thing you need to do, is find the cemetery where they may be buried. Here are four ways you can do that:

1) Family Lore
If you have older living relatives, begin by asking them if they know where your ancestor was buried.

They may have first-hand knowledge of someone who died before the family moved to another location or who died at a time when the family could not afford to purchase a grave marker.

This can be the easiest way to find unmarked graves. But sometimes no one knows, what then?

2) Check the Death Certificate
Burial locations are often noted on death certificates. Examine them closely. You will usually find the name of the cemetery near the bottom of the page.

Sometimes the cemetery name will be abbreviated. For example, “CH” written on the corner of the certificate may stand for Circle Hill Cemetery. If there are unexplained initials like this on the certificate, check with the local county offices, libraries, or online resources to find out the names of the cemeteries in the area to see if any of them match the initials.

3) Read the Obituary
If you know the general area where your ancestor’s family lived, check old newspaper records for your ancestor’s obituary. It will often state the time and place of the funeral, as well as the cemetery where the deceased was buried.

Many old newspaper collections are now available online.

Local libraries also often have old newspaper collections. Sometimes local historical societies will do a lookup for you if you don’t live nearby.

4) Call the Cemetery Manager
It is often fairly easy to guess where your ancestor’s graves may be. They are usually in one of the cemeteries closest to their home or on the property of the church they attended.

Call the church, county clerk, or city clerk that manages cemeteries in your ancestral hometown to see if they have records of older burials. Ask specifically about records for unmarked graves.

If the cemetery is a really old one, and is no longer managed by any entity, you may still be able to get burial records by checking with the local historical society or library archives.

Found the Cemetery?
Once you have found the cemetery where your ancestor is buried, you may choose to go to the cemetery in person to search for their unmarked grave.

Cemetery managers will typically be able to give you directions to the location of the grave and provide you with a map.

Sometimes there is a space between the headstones in your ancestor’s family plot. There may even be an indentation in the ground where the coffin beneath has collapsed over the years.

Once you know who is buried in an unmarked grave, write the information on a whiteboard or piece of paper. Then take a picture of it with the BillionGraves app.

It will automatically be tagged with GPS coordinates – just as if it was a beautiful gravestone.

After you have taken the photo, step back and take another picture that shows the unmarked grave in relation to surrounding headstones. This will give it locational context – in addition to the GPS-marked satellite map – to help others find it in a cemetery.

To link those two photos together, tap the chain icon in the corner of your phone screen in between taking those two pictures.

Why are Some Graves Left Unmarked?
BillionGraves, family history, genealogy, family, unmarked graves, cemetery, field, farm, burial, final resting place, unknown burial, unmarked grave, GPS, ancestors
There are many reasons that people are buried in unmarked graves. Here are a dozen of them:

In past centuries, many burials were made on family homesteads – especially farmland – with only a tree or a rock to mark the spot. The family may have meant to post a proper monument later. But as families became more transient, they moved away from their homesteads, including the burial site. If they did not mention it to the next generation, the information was lost.

  1. Financial limitations may prevent families from purchasing headstones.
  2. Mass unmarked graves are common during times of widespread disease or war.
  3. Sometimes older headstones have deteriorated, leaving the grave without a marker.
  4. It may reflect the wishes of the deceased to have a simple burial.
  5. Some families are wracked with grief and indecision during the time of mourning and intend to place a marker later.
  6. Others are waiting for the spouse to die so the engraving for the couple can be done at the same time but the family members don’t get around to placing a headstone.
  7. Executed criminals used to be buried in unmarked graves as a form of disgrace. Today, it is more common for them to be cremated and their ashes scattered.
  8. Famous celebrities are sometimes buried with unmarked graves so the family can avoid a multitude of visitors and have privacy when they go to the cemetery.
  9. Mental health hospitals often buried patients with numbers on their grave markers instead of names due to the societal stigma tied to mental illness.
  10. Temporary markers sometimes are left to become permanent markers. They are not very sturdy so they are sometimes run over by lawnmowers or the letters fall off.
  11. Prior to 1950, stillborn infants were often buried without funerals, names, or gravestones to prevent the family from bonding with the child in an effort to diminish their grief. Cemeteries sometimes place one monument for all the babies collectively.

In spite of these varied situations, the deceased is often remembered generations later. Then family descendants sometimes place grave markers for their ancestors as a token of remembrance and honor. Or they may choose to memorialize them by taking a photo with the BillionGraves app.

A Remarkable Eagle Scout Project to Document Unmarked Graves

Eagle Scout candidate Diego Gallardo of Patterson, California and his group of 30 volunteers documented the entire Patterson Cemetery District which has more than 7,800 gravestones in about two hours.

Diego’s own great-grandfather is buried there.

Diego enjoyed his Eagle Scout project so much that he decided to expand it by taking photos of the unmarked and worn graves.

Diego said, “I am taking it one step further and helping the cemetery document the unmarked, faded, and unreadable markers. To find these graves, I am walking row-by-row again with the cemetery general manager by my side.”

Eagle Scout, Eagle Scout project, Eagle Scout project ideas, BillionGraves, family history, genealogy, family, unmarked graves, cemetery, burial, final resting place, unknown burial, unmarked grave, GPS, ancestors
“As we walk,” he continued, “I write down the location of the worn headstones and then we look them up in their computer. I write down the names and dates on an index card, go back out to the cemetery, and retake the picture with the index card next to the gravestone.”

Diego said, “The index card will be easy to read when the picture gets transcribed. This way, everyone gets documented and no one is lost or left behind.”

If you are a cemetery manager who would like to have your cemetery documented, email us at Volunteer@BillionGraves.com and we’ll see what we can do to help.

If you would like to volunteer to take gravestone photos, click HERE to get started. You are welcome to do this at your own convenience, no permission from us is needed.

If you still have questions after you have clicked on the link to get started you can email us at Volunteer@BillionGraves.com.

Happy Cemetery Hopping!
Cathy Wallace and the BillionGraves Team
https://blog.billiongraves.com/what-about-unmarked-graves/

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Cilantro Love and Hate: Is it a Genetic Trait?
March 22, 2021

There’s a day for almost everything, so, of course, there’s an international “I Hate Coriander Day.”

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world, but a preference for this little leafy green is just one more thing that divides people.

For some of us, why anyone would feel such a passionate loathing for an ingredient that brings a little distinctive tang to their guacamole is baffling. While others cringe in disgust at the thought of tasting anything with what they think of as a “devil herb.”

Cilantro Tastes Like Soap
As one former 23andMe blogger said in an old ode to cilantro hatred:

“For years I believed that every Mexican restaurant my family took me to had some kind of problem with their dishwashing machine. Why else would the food always taste like soap?”

Many people have no idea that this leafy green herb can cause such repulsion, much to the chagrin of those who find it foul. For some, cilantro tastes like soap. To others, it can taste like stink bugs, dirt, or — if they’re feeling really dramatic – anarchy, pure evil, or the plague.

Cilantro Taste Aversion
Like with anything that divides people, it’s helpful to understand where the other side is coming from. And we at 23andMe are here to help with a little science.

Several years back, a team of 23andMe scientists found that there’s a “genetic component to cilantro taste perception.” The findings suggested that genetic variants in the olfactory receptors may be what contributes to some people’s distaste for cilantro.

23andMe also offers customers a Cilantro Taste Aversion Trait Report that looks at two genetic variants associated with a dislike for cilantro and can tell you if you have slightly higher or lower odds of disliking the herb.

While genetics plays a role, culture and environment do, too. Some of that may explain the differences between people of different ancestries. In the 23andMe study, we found that 14-21 percent of people of East Asian, African, and Caucasian ancestry disliked cilantro while only 3-to-7 percent of those who identified as South Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern disliked it.

But clearly, your environment or your cultural cuisine isn’t everything. Genetics also plays a role in this love-hate relationship.

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Gilberto Learns Something New

by Stephen Halpert

Aside from cuddling his daughter and expressing his affection: smiling and making loving sounds, Gilberto hadn’t gotten into the actual thick of parenthood. Whenever he felt a squish in Ramona’s diapers or caught the scent, he panicked and handed her off to Maria who sighed, smiled lovingly, and appeared understanding until this particular moment.

         “This can’t go on forever,” she said as she unfolded a clean diaper and handing it to him.

         He looked at it oddly. “Why not?” Panic filled his voice.

         “Because I may be out sometime or busy and then her diaper changing will be up to you. “

         “Oh please.”

         “Really,” she said. “Now’s as good a time as any.”

         He threw up his hands. “Why?”

         “Because you’re Ramona’s father and in today’s world fathers have to pitch in equally, but even more important, she needs to become accustomed to your touch and your energy.”

         He knew not to argue. Instead, he took a deep breath and made a dreadful face.

         Maria ignored his theatrics.  “Please unfasten her diaper, then toss it into the hamper”

         He grimaced. “You mean I have to touch it?”

         She nodded. “Come on Gilberto, don’t play games.”

He held his breath and did as she had directed.

She handed him a soapy cloth and a towel. “Now, wash her down.”  

         “She needs to be cleaned?”

         Maria nodded. “That’s the best way to get poo off her skin.”

         “Maybe in the tub?” Gilberto tried.

         At that moment Ramona let out a yell worthy of an Indian massacre. Her mouth turned down. She stared directly at Gilberto.

         They made intense eye contact. He gave her his most gracious corporate smile. The one he used in the thick of negotiations. Ramona howled even louder.

         “Stroke her,” Maria urged. “Express your love for her with your voice.  Sing a little melody…”

         Gilberto started to hum John Lennon’s Imagine. Ramona glared, and Gilberto sensed her defiant nature.  

         Then he grinned. “Come on, let’s be friends, I’ll do this fast but you need to relax and giggle and not think I’m an invading army.”

         He blew her a kiss and made a face. The stench from the diaper was overwhelming.

         “Relax,” Maria said. “This is your first time. I promise it gets a lot easier.”

         “How long until she’s trained? Months?”

         Maria frowned. “That makes her sound like a greyhound. Kids are different. By the time she’s five or six this will be a distant memory.”

         Then she grinned.  “Most children can go potty by the time they’re two. Others take longer.” She sighed, remembering changing Joey on the back seat of her old VW.

         “So, for six years I have to do this?” His expression was thunderous.

         She laughed. “Don’t turn changing her diapers into a horror show. That could cause her irreparable emotional damage. Besides we’re doing it together. We’re a team, right?”

         Then the belligerent little boy inside him simply said. “What do I do?”

         “Man up and do it,” Maria said

         “So you’re saying I better get used to it.”

         “Oh Gilberto, it’s just life. Wash her off.  She’s your daughter, from your seed, so what’s a little poo? There’s always waste in nature. Stop being so fastidious.”

         He stuck out his chin. “Men aren’t raised to think that way. But I’m trying. Maybe we could train her just to go a couple times a week.”

         “Oh no,” Maria exclaimed. “Really! This is after all your daughter.”

          “Ok.” He took a deep breath and whisked the damp soapy cloth over Ramona.

         Apparently, she didn’t appreciate his style. Instead of a giggle. Another long, loud bellicose howl.

         Maria sighed and took her from Gilberto. Gently she sponged her off with warm water. “Sweet baby daughter, please love your daddy. He loves you more than anything else on earth.”

         Gilberto saw from her eyes that Ramona was watching him very carefully. Making note of his words and actions. He knew she was so like her mother. Gilberto realized he had to win her heart. But by changing her diapers?

         His device sounded. It was Ramon. “We’re coming over. Big news: surprise.”

         “Ok,” Gilberto said. Maybe, he thought we can take turns changing diapers.

         Ramon laughed. “Is Joey helping you with the baby?”

         “Maybe someday, but not yet. What’s the surprise?”

         Ramon laughed. “See you in a few.”

         He grinned at Maria. “Maybe we can hypnotize her.”

         She looked angry. “That’s barbaric, not funny. Tell me you’re just making a joke.”

         He nodded. “Ok, yes. Sure, sure, a joke.”

         Ramon, Rosa, their little girls and surprise! Lola and Agent Jones, followed them into the condo.

         Lola beamed and flashed a rock worthy of Cleopatra. “We’re hooked,” she grinned.

         “You and Agent Jones?” Gilberto said.

         Jones grinned like a kid in a candy store. “Despite Agency policy We’ve always stayed in touch. Lola’s been a courier for us.”  

         “But now I’m retiring,” she grinned. “Thaddeus is going to make an honest woman of me.”

         “That’s why me and Smith took such an interest in you all. We had to be sure none of you would be comprised by Karibe and his thugs putting pressure on Lola.”

         Lola giggled and kissed him. She winked at Gilberto. “He’s my James Bond, my Secret Agent Man.”

          Gilberto thought she sounded girlish and adolescent.

         Then to everyone’s surprise she deftly reached into her mouth and extracted a hollow filling. “Load this up with data and I was off to Geneva.”

         Gilberto saw a small opening in the filling.

         Good enough,” Jones said.  “We’re both retiring from the Agency. We’re thinking of buying a sheep ranch out west.”

         Lola snaked her body around Jones and grinned. “He’s such a hunk. He can bend steel. I just love this man.”  She grinned at Maria. “Hang on to the baby’s clothes. I might need them sooner than later.”

         Joey came in with the little girls. “Guess what!  Antonia and Sophia and are going to teach me how to change Ramona’s diapers. They just learned and said it’s easy.” He looked cautiously at Gilberto. “If that’s ok with you and mom?”

         Gilberto nodded, smiled and took Maria’s hand. “Of course,” he said and smiled. From the corner of his eye, he could see the ever-watchful Ramona. He sensed she was taking in everything.

(End Book One)

After an interval of several magical tales, Gilberto will return.

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Kats Korner
Share your love for cats!

10 Health Benefits of Cat Ownership for National Cat Lady Day, April 19
POSTED ON MARCH 22, 2021 BY MARC-ANDRÉ

It’s no secret that we believe cats make the world go round. But there are still some naysayers who might believe cat lovers, cat people, and cat ladies are — as the stereotypes go — a little “crazy.”

There were once even some science-backed theories surrounding this, including regarding toxoplasmosis, an infection associated with mental and behavioral syndromes in humans that’s caused by a parasite found in cat feces. Fear not, cat lovers, because this and so many other “crazy cat lady” stereotypes and cat myths have been debunked since.

In fact, research increasingly shows that felines positively affect our well-being. For starters, there are benefits of bringing your cat to work and a pet’s affection can even break us out of those moments when we’re feeling blue. There’s never been a better time than the present to embrace being a cat lady. There’s even a U.S. holiday committed to it: National Cat Lady Day is on April 19.

In the lead up to that, Honest Paws compiled more of these health benefits of cat ownership and illustrated a few modern-day cat ladies who’ve relished in them. It’s all pared down into the infographic below. Scroll through and, go on, embrace that our furry friends make the world go round!

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CAMPING WITH CATS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
by Emma Deans

Camping with cats? Yes, it’s possible. It’s also a great way for your feline friend to get some exercise and for the two of you to bond in the outdoors. However, you can’t simply attach a leash to your cat’s collar, pack an extra can of tuna and head into the woods with your little campurr. If you want to ensure that both you and kitty have an enjoyable time, it’s going to take a little planning and preparation.

If you’re new to the world of adventuring with a cat, we recommend you start by determining if your kitty is right for this type of lifestyle because if your cat doesn’t enjoy camping, you’re certainly not going to enjoy camping with your cat. (You kitty will make sure of that.)

“It’s absolutely true that this is not for every cat,” Dr. Kat Miller, director of ASPCA anti-cruelty behavior research, told Adventure Cats. “A feline must be easy to handle to get the harness on and off, confident enough to explore the outdoors without fear, and not so ‘squirrely’ as to try to wriggle out of a harness and make a break for it.”

So read up on the nine feline personalities to determine whether your cat could be an adventure cat.

Also, before you head outdoors even for a walk around the backyard with your kitty, make sure you’ve purchased the right type of harness and have properly leash trained your cat. Your kitty’s first trip into nature shouldn’t be when his paws hit the ground at the campsite.

While throwing you cat into camping may work out fine, most cats won’t respond well to being forced into a new situation, and it’s very likely your cherished pet could end up injured or even lost. So do this camping thing right and brush up on all the basics before you hit the trail.

Before you go
What kind of trip are you planning?

Will you be sleeping in a trailer or doing a little car camping with a tent nearby? Purrfect. A short hike to the campsite with a kitty accustomed to hiking? Totally doable. A 10-mile backpacking trip or a few months on the AT? Uh-huh. Don’t even think about it. Not even the meownificent Millie or badass Burma are putting in those kind of miles, so please don’t spring this kind of trip on your kitty.

Never taken your cat on a trail before? Here’s everything you need to know about hiking with cats.

Is your destination pet-friendly?

Do your research before you go, and call ahead if you’re not sure if cats are allowed. While some national parks allow pets on certain trails and in campgrounds, they won’t allow them in the backcountry. Pets are allowed in all U.S. national forests, but they’re expected to be on leashes in most places and aren’t permitted in swimming areas. Keep in mind that some campgrounds will charge extra if you bring along your cat.

How’s the weather?

Check the weather before you and your feline friend head outdoors, and don’t take your cat camping during extreme temperatures. Also, consider the length of your cat’s coat — or lack of coat — before heading out on a particularly hot or chilly day. If your cat is a hairless breed or has fine, light-colored hair, he may need sunscreen.

Pack the proper gear.

In addition to your own outdoor gear, you need to bring along all the necessary items for your four-legged friend. Check out our list of the 14 essentials to pack for camping with your cat, but familiarize yourself with some other important gear below.

A cat’s gotta eat.

Pack the exact same food that your kitty consumes at home to avoid any digestive issues, and bring enough for every day you plan to camp. Then bring a little extra just in case. Keep in mind that cats need about 250-300 calories a day to maintain their weight. (Not sure how much to feed your kitty? Every food is different, so refer to the food label or talk to your veterinarian.) Also, be a good parent and pack some treats to reward your kitty camper when he makes it to the campsite.

And yes, your cat’s food goes in the bear bag at night, too.

Keep your cat hydrated.

Bring plenty of water for both of you to drink, and don’t rely on wet food to keep your cat hydrated. Your cat needs fresh water — and no, not water from streams or ponds. Such water could contain parasites like Giardia or bacteria that can cause infections. If you wouldn’t drink that water, your cat shouldn’t either, so bring along a water filter or water-treatment drops if you won’t have access to potable water.

Safety furst.

In addition to that first-aid kit, make sure your cat’s harness and leash are outfitted with lights so he’ll be easy to spot should he get away. Or you could go the Burma the adventure cat method and outfit your cat’s collar with a radio transmitter; however, some LEDS and supervision should be all you need.

“Take LEDs to put on them at night, and keep these on all night in case you have to exit in emergency,” Craig Armstrong, Millie the climbing cat’s human, told Adventure Cats.

Also, never take your cat outside unless he’s vaccinated and on flea, tick and heartworm prevention treatment. And your cat should be microchipped and wearing a collar and tags.

Hopefully it never happens, but if your cat does go missing, be sure to have a recent cat photo on your phone to show people. (Admit it, your phone is already 90 percent cat photos anyway.)

What about a litter box?

While some cats have no qualms about doing their business in the woods, most cats prefer to have a litter box on hand so be sure to pack a small one you can fit in your tent. If you’re going to be in the car for a while, it’s a smart idea to also have access to one in the vehicle. Check out these adventure cat-approved suggestions for lightweight and collapsible reusable litter boxes, as well as disposable, biodegradable ones.

And if your kitty chooses to make the forest his litter box, clean it up just like you would with a dog. Cat feces can contain Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that can infect any warm-blooded species. T. gondii has been linked to several health issues and can be particularly harmful to pregnant women.

The comforts of home

In addition to all the kitty essentials, bring a favorite toy or a familiar blanket to help your cat feel right at home in the tent.

Do you need a carrier?

Your cat should always travel in a carrier when you’re driving to your camping destination, and it’s a good idea to bring a carrier to your campsite as well. You likely don’t want to lug a large plastic carrier on the trail, so consider a soft-sided one that can collapse or lie flat. These type of carriers are great for camping because they provide a comfortable place for your cat to nap at night, as well as a safe place for your cat to retreat to. Burma sleeps in a carrier beside Stephen Simmons at night, so clearly it’s a practice even the most adventurous of kitties can adjust to.

You may instead choose to have your kitty snuggle up in your sleeping bag with you at night, but keeping the carrier inside the tent is a good idea in case of an emergency.

Do a test run.

If your cat has never been in a tent before, it won’t hurt to get him used to it in the yard or even inside your home. Set up the tent and let your kitty get a feel for his new sleeping quarters.

At the campsite
Keep your cat on a leash.

Don’t let your cat roam the campground by himself. Keep him on a leash or in a carrier. This is the best way to ensure your cat doesn’t wander off and encounter wildlife, eat something he shouldn’t or get into another dangerous situation.

Don’t tie your cat up and leave him.

Never tie your cat’s leash to something and leave him unsupervised. However, while you’re setting up camp, Caitlin Seida of Catster suggests setting up a picket line. “Pack a length of clothesline and tie it to two trees,” she writes. “Clear the area beneath the trees and hitch up your cat’s harness and leash to the picket line. This allows her to move freely and explore as you go about your work. Do keep an eye on her, though, to make sure she isn’t getting tangled or her harness isn’t coming loose.”

If your cat somehow does get off leash, you’ll be relieved that you trained him to come when called. If for some reason your kitty makes a dash for it, know what to do if your cat gets away.

Keep a close eye on your kitty.

From insects and plants to new scents and sounds, there’s going to be a lot going on at the campsite that your cat will want to check out. Let him engage his curiosity, but do it under your constant supervision.

Don’t let your cat munch on potentially dangerous plants, and keep an eye out for other campground pets, as well as wildlife. Your feline may be fierce, but dangers can lurk under rocks as well as in the sky. Eagles, hawks and even large owls can pose a serious danger to an unsupervised cat.

Watch that campfire.

Your kitty may be intrigued by the fire and want to check it out, so be aware of where he is in relation to it. While your cat is likely smart enough not to get close enough to singe his whiskers, he may not be aware of the location of his leash so it’s your responsibility to ensure that the end doesn’t get too close to where you’re making s’mores.

Maintain your usual schedule.

Cats are autonomous animals, but just like us they can find comfort in ritual, so don’t change your cat’s schedule just because you’re in the great outdoors. Feed your kitty at the same time of day, clean the litter box daily if that’s what he’s accustomed to, and climb into the sleeping bag at your usual bedtime.

Provide a safe place for your cat.

Whether it’s a carrier or an open car door, your feline friend should have a place where he can run if he gets off leash or becomes spooked.

“I think having the open tent door or the open truck doors, somewhere familiar with familiar smells and what not, really helps [our cat] to relax outside and enjoy camping as much as we do,” Haley O’Rourke, who camps with her cat Pistachio, told Adventure Cats.

Let’s emphasize this again: Never leave your cat alone.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve zipped your kitty into the tent or enclosed him safely in his carrier, don’t leave your cat alone at the campsite. If you want to engage in cat-less activities on your camping trip, then leave your kitty safely at home.

Remember that a cat can change the nature of your camping trip.

Cats can definitely enhance your outdoor experience. It can be magical to watch them interact with nature and downright comforting to have a kitty curled up on your lap beside the campfire.

“Quandary loves watching the birds, bugs and fire crackle,” Erin Verplaetse told Adventure cats. “She sleeps like a rock, snuggled in my bag with me at the end of the night.”

Plus, cats can clue you in to parts of the natural world you might have overlooked, according to Craig Armstrong, who frequently camps with his cat, Millie.

“You see things you would not otherwise see,” he said. “You get lower to the ground, you move slower, you notice things she checks out that you would have walked right past.”

However, there are drawbacks to camping with cats because it puts limitations on what you can do. After all, just like at home, your cat will be the one calling the shots. And as all good pet parents are conscientious, having your fur baby with you in the outdoors can cause a bit of anxiety.

“I’d say the only disadvantage there is to camping with Stash is that sometimes I can’t fully relax because I’m constantly making sure he hasn’t gotten too comfortable and wandered off into the woods,” said O’Rourke. “Even though he sticks around the truck and never has gone too far. I am slightly obsessed with my cat and, like a lot of pet owners, think of him as my child.”

Be sure to take all of this into consideration before going camping with your cat.

Have fun!

Now that we’ve got all that important safety and preparedness information out of the way, let’s just say that you’re going to have a meownificent time. After all, you’re camping with your cat!

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, March 28, 2021

All Signs
Oh my, April is arriving in style! This week Mercury will move into Aries to join the Sun and Venus already in Aries to create an imposing fiery trio! Everyone will be direct and to the point. Quick and fast. In and out. “Finito!” “Vamonos!” Meanwhile, fiery Mars in Gemini continues to stoke our desire to talk, explain, listen, whisper and relish gossip. (“I heard she got the house, the car and the plane and he kept the cabin at Silverstar?”) The slower moving planets are all where we left them. This means that overall, this will be a high-energy week that is fast-paced and definitely, a bit competitive. (My partner and I laugh about how competitive we are. But I laugh more.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This is a powerful week for you! The Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in your sign. Naturally, the Sun will give you energy and a chance to replenish yourself for the rest of the year. Mercury will encourage you to express your POV to everyone. Your mind will be busy; you will be talkative; and you will want to get out and hustle! (And travel, if you can.) Fortunately, Venus in your sign will soften some of this cheeky energy and help you to be charming and diplomatic with everyone. Your warmth and friendliness will melt those who are close to you. Incidentally, this is an excellent week to buy wardrobe goodies. (Check the Moon Alert.) Your ruler Mars will make you unusually persuasive and heighten your desire to communicate verbally, by mail, or by smoke signals.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
“May you live in interesting times” was a Chinese curse. This week will be interesting but you need not be worried. Nevertheless, the powerful energy from the Aries trio (see All Signs above) will stir up hidden things for you. On the upside, it will promote your ability to research and sleuth out information and hidden answers. It will also attract secret love affairs to you. However, it can stir up suppressed psychological energies regarding unresolved problems in relationships. If this energy surfaces, be aware of your behaviour. In particular, you might be more aggressive than usual about financial matters, cash flow or your possessions. (Twenty years from now, will this matter?) Keep things in perspective – stay chill.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
A lovely, friendly week ahead! You’re in top form! (With fiery Mars in your sign who would expect less?) Do remember that this energy from Mars in your sign, (which lasts about six weeks) can happen only once every two years. This means now is your chance to show the world what you can do! Meanwhile, all this fiery energy from the Aries trio mentioned in All Signs above, will promote your interaction with friends and groups. Your exchanges with younger people and artistic, creative people will prompt you to think differently about your future. You might decide to reach for more exciting possibilities? You might want to change your appearance? Very likely, you will realize life isn’t a rehearsal – this is the real thing. Go for baroque!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a powerful time because that trio of Aries energy that I mentioned in All Signs above is sitting at the very top of your chart! All hail, Caesar! You make a great impression on others now. Your conversations with others will be well timed and to the point. In fact, you will schmooze with bosses and VIPs so well, a flirtation might begin with someone? Actually, this is more likely than you think because the influence of Mars will encourage a secret love affair. (You cheeky devil.) Since this is a strong influence, and we all know you love an adoring peanut gallery – be mindful that it would be foolish to threaten a permanent relationship with a mere bonbon.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your urge to travel and do something to expand your horizons is stronger than ever this week. This is because now there is a trio of Aries energy in your fellow Fire Sign encouraging you to explore new avenues in publishing, the media, medicine and the law. You will be keen to take courses and learn more. Obviously, as part of this desire to expand your world, travel would be a compelling choice. Who knows? Vaccines might permit this – but maybe not. Meanwhile, fiery Mars continues to encourage some kind of competitive situation in a group (perhaps physical sports?) Or with a friend. Do you the know tune to “Anything you can do I can do better?”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Your ambition is still strong! Small wonder because Mars at the top of your chart arouses your ambition for almost two months. It’s important to know that this influence can happen only once every two years. That’s why you might as well use this energy. If you want to boldly go where no man has gone before, now is the time! Meanwhile, this trio of Aries energy that I mention in All Signs above will heighten your focus on taxes, debt, shared property and even differing values with someone else. It will also heighten your interest in sex. You will be more passionate than usual. Not only that, you will attract money to you. (Now that’s a curious combo.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In All Signs above, I mention a strong planetary trio of Aries energy. For your sign, this is taking place directly opposite you! This means your awareness of partners, spouses and close friends will be more acute and more accurate. Obviously, you will learn something from this. (And why wouldn’t you because happy relationships support a happy life.) Mercury will encourage discussions, while Venus will encourage warmth and mutual understanding. This is important because your sign, more than any other sign in the zodiac, likes to have someone else sitting on the other side of your teeter-totter. You’re not a loner.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
This will be a productive week for you because this high-energy trio of Aries planets (see All Signs above) will encourage you to work harder than ever before. In fact, your desire to get organized and work smart will be paramount. You will also apply this same determined energy to improve your health. You will like this drive because Aries and Scorpio are very similar signs. In fact, until Pluto was discovered in 1930, they shared the same ruler Mars. You are both proactive and willing to fight for what you want. The difference is that Aries goes for immediate gratification – while you bide your time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. (Yikes!)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This is a delightful and exciting week for you because that trio of Aries energy that I mention in All Signs (see above) takes place in your fellow Fire Sign, which of course, offers you tremendous support – physically, psychologically and even in the everyday events of your life. (“Elementary, my dear Watson.”) This is why things will flow more easily for you right now. It’s also why you feel playful, prankish and ready for fun! If possible, this is the perfect time for a vacation. It’s also a wonderful time to express your creative energy and to enjoy rewarding activities with kids. In fact, all fun plans including social encounters with others will appeal. This week, you’re a winner!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Your focus on home, family and your private life has increased even more so this week because now, a trio of planets will channel your energy in that direction. For some, this will mean increased involvement with a parent. For others, it will mean you want to cocoon more and relax at home or “hide.” Many of you will use this energy to do home repairs or redecorating projects and certainly, to entertain (specially to show off what you have done). Whatever your plans, the placement of Mars will give you the energy to follow through on your ideas. This is definitely a productive week for you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your pace has been accelerating for the last few weeks and this week, it will accelerate even more. Oh yes, fasten your seatbelts! In part, this is because you are encountering new ideas, new faces, new places and learning new things, which makes life stimulating! (You’re certainly not sitting around getting dusty.) But what is particularly enriching is that while all this increased stimulation is taking place, it also brings a heightened awareness to your daily world making you see the beauty of everything around you – including the people close to you. How illuminating! This is valuable knowledge.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
No matter what is happening in your life, this week you will definitely be focused on money, earnings and cash flow as well as something to do with your possessions. For starters, many of you are thinking about moneymaking ideas more than usual. Plus, you will attract money to you in addition to which you will spend money on beautiful things for yourself and your loved ones. It will feel good to enhance your self-image – and why not? Love yourself. Love how you look. You only get one time around at this, right? Meanwhile, increased chaos and activity on the home scene are unavoidable. This could be visiting guests, renovations, repairs – whatever. Cope as best you can.

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Goddess Blessings!
Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Much
High Priestess Training

http://GoddessSchool.com
Healing Arts and Pagan Studies
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

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

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

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 21-28 Mar 2021 ~ Blessed Equinox! Thanks for reading!

…O World
sing to Us your ancient song
it rumbles
low and long in Our souls
of peace and love,
of potential and possibilities
We are the sentinels
of your beauty and
Stewards of the future;
Our time has come.

~excerpt Patricia Telesco 2019~
~from We’Moon 2021, page 5~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil
March is National Women’s History Month
March Feature: The Notorious Potato

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

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Moura – February 20 – March 19

MARCH
20: Aries Begins
20: Vernal Equinox-Northern and Autumn Equinox-Southern Hemisphere
22-Procession of the Tree Bears
24-Day of Blood
25-Festival of Lady Day
26-Solitude Day
27-Liberalia
29-Feast of Rhiannon
29-Anthestaria
31-Festival of Luna
29-Parade of Unicorns
30-Sementivae Feria

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

April
04: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
11: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
18: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
BHC Newsletter Reta

March 22, 2021 – March 28, 2021

We start the week off with the only tense energy of the month. Watch your tongue because this energy is argumentative and quite discordant with unwanted aggressive behaviors from those around you. Be careful with this energy because it is accident-prone.

The middle of the week brings us individual expression and creativity. Issues with children may occur, but overall things should flow relatively smoothly.

This weekend we have the Full Moon in Libra. It’s an excellent weekend for socializing and romance. So put your feet up, let your hair down, and enjoy!

Recommended candles and oils: Affirmation Guardian Protector / Wicked Witch Mojo Makin’ Tracks / Blessed Herbal Happiness / Blessed Herbal Love’s Enchantment

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

Creativity Helps Us Cope with the World Around Us

What if creativity was the end of your process and not the beginning? What if everything that you have been experiencing is to feed your creativity? What a freeing thought! Creating from what you know and have experienced is the hallmark of many epic classics of music, words, and paint.
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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Six of Pentacles
Are you sharing your wealth and abundance with others?

You have accumulated wealth and are in a position to offer financial help to those in need. You give through charitable donations, tithing, or fundraising, and enjoy the good feelings associated with helping others.

Even if you are not financially wealthy, you offer up your time, energy, love, and support to those who are in need, knowing it will be appreciated. Giving of your time or your wisdom is often just as spiritually fulfilling as giving away money or gifts, and the intangible gift of your presence is received just as well, if not better.

Trust that every contribution you make is valued and will come back to you threefold.

This week is all about financial harmony. The amounts flowing in and out are in balance, and you are thankful for what you have and are happy to share with others in need.

Ask the Tarot: How can I create a healthy exchange of energy with others?

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Venus in Aries – Love on Fire
by Rubys Readings
March 20th – April 14th

For All Zodiac Signs:
The Goddess of Love herself, Venus, is shifting into the Zodiac’s first sign, Aries.

The planet Venus rules over our love lives and relationships, and this can include family, friends, co-workers, and members of our community. Not just lovers. Venus also happens to have a lot of influence over our finances.

It’s important to be thicker-skinned while Venus is in Aries, especially when it comes to our relationships and how we relate to people socially. There is no sugar-coating things under Venus in Aries’ fiery sign, as our words can sting. But we’re not necessarily being petty or mean, just direct. It’s time to lay your cards on the table and say your truth! Our desires are strong, so we express ourselves in spontaneous and enthusiastic ways, especially in love! And you upset the object of your affection, and you can safely bet that you’ll hear about it, as we don’t hold much back during this time.

In the sign of fast-moving Aries, Venus brings fresh new energy into our love lives and financial affairs. This cycle has a way of bringing people together rather quickly, so we are more direct in relationships, both new and old. We often act more impulsive, passionate, extroverted, and bold in our romantic adventures. There’s a stronger desire for constant change in both our romantic and social lives, so we can make friends easily and are quite fond of receiving and giving love and admiration. We can feel more motivated and enthusiastic and be a source of inspiration to lovers, partners, friends, or co-workers. And a valuable resource to our community, as we will do things to help people who are struggling.

“Carpe Diem” is our motto, which means “Seize the day!” While we are under Venus in Aries spell, we don’t worry about the past or bother looking back. Instead, it’s a time to move forward. As every day is new and full of opportunities, so every moment matters.

We can be easily influenced by the opposite sex now (or by someone more masculine than ourselves.) Since it’s a brand new day, this is an opportunity to initiate something. Anything mushy is not as appealing during this time, and we don’t want to deal with thinking about the past; we enjoy the chase and conquest.

But this fiery influence is also about emotional security, so we’re looking for longstanding relationships or love that will last. A relationship has to feel new and fresh, or we can get bored quite easily and end up moving on to the next interesting love interest.

With Venus in Aries, we are more interested in the hunt naturally, especially when it comes to matters of the heart since we feel more bold and courageous! We can be impulsive and impatient in love and financial affairs. Things can heat up fast with the added boost of Aries energy from the Sun and Mercury, making sure things stay interesting.

We can be quite candid when communicating but more reserved about our deeper feelings or emotions. If you’re feeling badly or insecure, you can get aggressive and downright mean, especially if someone isn’t expressing the love you’re showing back or doesn’t give recognition.

If you are already in a long-term relationship, you can use this fiery energy to light some passions back into your relationship. If you’re single, get ready, lots of people will hookup or have sexual relations, but the fires don’t burn forever. Your new hookup can sizzle out fast!

It’s time to move forward, especially if you want a new commitment. But pay attention to what can happen in a new relationship, unless you are just looking for a hookup! Then have fun!

It’s a good time to enjoy the finer things in life. You can show off a little now, so indulge in luxury and extravagance. We can have an easy come, easy go kind of attitude. So you may want to keep an eye on your budget, or you can overspend.

Our desires are strong and expressed more spontaneously and enthusiastically. Try to avoid throwing temper tantrums with your nearest and dearest, and watch yourself for being too harsh or coarse with those you love.

Enjoy this time,
~Ruby
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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

To Summon Up Calm and Patience
MARCH 21, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Life has a way of being full-on! Take a minute today to lower your blood pressure by recharging with this Chinese remedy. Tea is comfort from a cup and is especially kind to the kidneys, bladder, and feminine reproductive system. Known for treating hypertension and easing body and mental distress, this blend can stop hot flashes, anxiety, and panic attacks, making it a must-have for any botanical first aid box. Add half a teaspoon to a cup of hot water and let Empress Wu and Mother Nature give you the personal strength to fight off the inner basilisk and work like a boss!

  • 2 ounces blue thistle, chopped (dried flowers and leaves)
  • 1/2 ounce violet (dry flowers)
  • 1 ounce hibiscus (dry flowers)
  • 1/2 ounce almonds, peeled and slivered
  • 2 teaspoons angelica root powder
  • 3 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons tulsi (holy basil)
  • 2 ounces Yun Wu green tea
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    Spring Equinox
    MARCH 20, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

The center of the visible sun is directly above the earth’s equator today, bringing balance and renewal to our energetic world. Day and night are equal in length, and the power to reveal the potential of the coming season is in our hands.

Grab your favorite oracle system (tarot, oracle cards, runes, etc.) and a yellow candle of any size and something to burn it in. Then cast this spell to hone in on the spiritual themes that await you. Light the candle, take three deep breaths, and say:

No more guesses and no more tries,
Show me where the lesson lies.
Reveal the teachings meant for me,
Lift the veil so I can see.

Draw three cards or runes. The first represents your current position. The second represents the spiritual focus that is to come. The third represents what changes must be made in order to successfully move through that lesson. Allow the candle to safely burn out on its own.
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Planting Seeds of Abundance

MARCH 19, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Depending on where in the country you live, it may be time to start the first seeds in pots that will eventually be moved outside. Even if you aren’t a gardener, it’s never too early to plant seeds of prosperity and abundance. March is a good time to plan for the rest of the year, both financially and spiritually, although you can do this spell in any season. You will need a small pot, some potting soil, a few seeds (simple herbs you might use in the kitchen are good, or easy flowers like marigolds), and a shiny penny to symbolize the abundance you desire. Put the coin in the bottom of the pot, add the soil, then place the seeds one by one as you say:

I plant the seeds of wealth and plenty,
Abundance shining like a penny.
Prosperity will grow and grow,
With these seeds that I do sow.
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Prosperity Spell
MARCH 18, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

For this spell you’ll need three almonds, preferably raw ones. Wrap the almonds in a dollar bill and tape the ends closed so you have a tube. Carry it with you for seven full days and put it in your pillow case each night. On the morning of the eighth day, open the tube. On this day you must bury the three almonds and spend the dollar. As you bury the almonds (preferably in your yard or in a potted plant), visualize planting seeds of prosperity that will expand and return to you. Say these words as you plant:

By my hands, my prosperity expands.

When you spend the dollar, say these words:

As I spend, my prosperity extends.
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A March Wind Spell
MARCH 17, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day. The earth is turning green and there’s a feeling of celebration in the air. This is a good day to combine the joyous mood and the forces of the March wind to bring a positive change into your life. The winds of March are all about change, as winter turns to spring. Use these winds to remove negativity from your life.

For this ritual you’ll need a small rock. It can be any rock that appeals to you. Go to a place where you’ll be alone, such as a hilltop, a meadow, or your back yard. Hold your rock and think of the negative issue you wish to be rid of. Face east and say:

East wind, blow away __
(name the problem).

Then repeat for each other wind direction in this order: south, west, and north. End by facing east again. Now declare yourself free of your problem. Leave your rock as an offering and walk away.
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A Charm to Work Your Will
MARCH 16, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

Tuesdays are ruled by Mars (in French, Tuesday is called mardi), which makes today an auspicious time to work magic pertaining to passion, the will, and any matter that requires fiery, forceful energy. Some of us are naturally forceful, but practically everyone could use a leg up from time to time in order to win in a stressful situation. To encourage outspokenness and the wherewithal to see your will worked in a contested situation, make a sachet that contains ingredients associated with fire, passion, and victory in conflict.

Take a square of red fabric (or a small red pouch, if you have one). Lay it out flat, and in the center place a clove of garlic and a pinch each of ground cinnamon, nettle (dried or fresh), and basil (dried or fresh). Sprinkle the mixture with a pinch of ground cayenne pepper and say:

By the powers of Mars, my will is true.
I find success in all I do.

Tie the sachet with red string or cord and carry it with you throughout your day.
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Spring Cleaning
MARCH 15, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Spring cleaning is an old tradition. Each year, the old leaves decay and the soil brings forth new flowers. As the world turns bright and colorful again, it encourages us to brush away the remains of the old year and make room for the new. Think about what needs the most attention in your life. Here are some ideas.

In the yard, rake mulch off the flower beds to allow sprouts to come up. Put the old mulch on the compost pile.

Pick up sticks to make a bonfire. You can also pile them into a wildlife shelter.

In the house, sweep any smooth floors and carry out the dust. Vacuum or shampoo carpeted floors.

Then cleanse the area with floor wash. You can buy one ( like Chinese wash) from a magical supplier, or make your own with water, sea salt, lemon juice, and the herbal powder or essential oil of your choice.

Sort through your closet and give away at least one bag of unneeded clothes. This encourages abundance.

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The Spring Equinox & The Origins of Ostara

This year we officially usher in spring on the 20th of March. In Wiccan tradition, this day is celebrated as the festival of Ostara.

Also called Eastre by the Saxons, this moving festival marks the spring equinox, when light and dark are in perfect balance. The celebration is named after the German/Norse goddess Ostara, a fertility goddess who has long been worshiped as the goddess of spring and sunrise. Her name is derived from words for dawn, or the shining light from the East. The female hormone estrogen is also derived from her Saxon name, Eastre. Traditionally, her symbols include the flowers of spring, representing resurrection and renewal, the white rabbit, representing reproduction, and eggs, representing fertility. To honor the goddess, one tradition holds that eggs would be hardboiled and dyed using local plants or vegetables. The people would then practice standing the eggs on their ends, a feat that, when accomplished, represented equilibrium or perfect balance.

Equinox celebrations are still prevalent in many cultures throughout the world. Interweaving beautifully with the Christian tradition of Easter, a holiday which takes its roots from the earlier pagan practices, Ostara reminds us of the hope for new life, abundance, and renewal that comes with each new spring.

Whatever traditions you celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate them, may your season be filled with love and light!

~Happy Spring~
Author Unknown to Me

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Heartwings Love Notes 975 Haste Makes Waste

Heartwings says, “When we go too quickly toward the goal, we may miss the mark.”

As I hurried into my hallway pantry, I brushed against a box of small envelopes. As the box hit the floor, the envelopes scattered in all directions. Unfortunately, I had not put the box in a secure place to begin with. Nor, in my haste to accomplish my aim, had I paid enough attention to what I was doing. There is a funny old Pennsylvania Dutch saying: The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. As I surveyed the mess I had made in my pantry, this old saying rose into my mind and made me chuckle. How true it was.

Had I taken the time to put the box away properly, I wouldn’t have knocked it down in the first place. Had I paid better attention to what I was doing, I wouldn’t have knocked it down either. Always I have to remind myself to pay attention and stay in the present moment. When I do, I can maintain a better sense of attention to what I am doing. In addition, I even notice things like a badly placed box. I didn’t have the time to pick up the envelopes just then, so I went on with what I had been setting out to do.

It was several days later when I set about picking them up. As I bent over the scattered envelopes I fill on a monthly basis with our vitamins and our supplements, I focused on the fact that I was getting a good bit of bending and stretching. I am not well motivated to do exercises. The framing of what I was doing as a form of exercise helped prevent the annoyance, as well as the resentment that might otherwise have arisen. Resentment is not a healthy emotion and I try hard to avoid unhealthy emotions. They are bad for my health, creating acidic conditions in my body.

In addition it is also true that when I hurry, my exclusive focus on the goal at which I am aiming means that my peripheral vision, whether virtual or actual is not available to me. In my haste I may well miss something that could be important to my goal. Haste really may create waste simply by blinding me to important factors in the present moment. There is another saying to the effect that life is about the journey, not the destination. This implies I need to pay better attention to how I go about my actions in order to accomplish what I wish to in an efficient and timely manner.

May you find the time to slow down and be more efficient instead of hurrying.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have any experiences like his? How do you cope? Wishing you every joy as you go about your days. I am always so happy for any comments you may share. Please write to me at Tashhal@ol.com. For more Love Notes, please look up my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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The Legacy of Water | Spontaneous Happiness | Andrew Weil, M.D.

Reflection:
As storytelling beings, we tend to remember stories more than lectures. Stories have the power to shift our perspectives, change our values and behaviors. It follows then if we want to make an impact on future generations, we will likely be more successful if we share our personal and memorable stories.

We all know that water is basic to life – that our bodies are made up of 50–65% water – that clean water is at risk planet-wide. What we’ve long taken for granted is a scarce and endangered commodity. We are plagued with floods, droughts, and tsunamis. It’s predicted that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water, not oil. Closer to home, we run water in our kitchens and bathrooms without a thought for its value. We remain unconscious at best and entitled at worst as we waste the elixir of life.

I’m in Israel as I write this to you, living for two months less than a five-minute walk from the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I spent several days last week in the Negev desert, (with my son who was visiting me) where they get less than 2 inches of rain annually.

Last month I heard about an award-winning Israeli company, Watergen, that developed a practical way to make water from … (drum roll, please) … air! Check out their story that amazed me and gave me hope that we could change the legacy of millions dying in droughts and deserts, I decided to re-post a 2015 Tips&Tools I’d written about water. Back then it was Seth M. Siegel’s amazing book, Let There Be Water, describing Israel’s water partnerships with Jordan and The Palestinian Authority – sharing drip irrigation and dirty water reclamation projects to preserve this precious commodity that inspired me.

Water is the driver of nature.
– Leonardo da Vinci

Water, water, everywhere, And not a drop to drink.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Is it possible for us to affect this terrible legacy we’re leaving the future? The best way I know is to tap my memories and share stories with my grandchildren, hoping they will value water before it’s too late.

Born a Scorpio, one of the water signs, it’s no wonder that I love being in and around water: Viewing the unique blue of Crater Lake in Oregon; watching the sun paint the clouds as it sets over the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean, feeling awe at the power of the Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah, and the frigid western shore of Lake Superior; canoeing in the pristine Minnesota Boundary Waters; listening to the sound I make trailing my hand in the water from a rowboat; sitting at the creek’s edge feeling the spray from wind and water play; riding my first bike around Lake Harriet every day of my tenth summer.

Here are two of my favorite water stories that I want my grandchildren to remember:

During the drought of the late 1970s, we lived in northern California. Water was rationed. We learned from neighbors the water-saving strategy of ‘flushing with a friend’. One afternoon my seven- and nine-year-old kids returned from school enthusiastically proclaiming their plan to participate in the family’s water preservation efforts: they wouldn’t bathe anymore!

One afternoon I took a dying friend for a ride around the Minneapolis lakes; we stopped at the southern shore of Lake Bde Maka Ska (name recently returned to its original legacy name of the Dakota Native American tribe) I opened the sun–roof and the waning autumn sun warmed the tops of our heads as we sat – each of us occupied with our own thoughts. We’d talked a lot as we drove, but the silence at the lake broken only by the water lapping the shore had a special quality. His wife later told me he’d said that afternoon was the best he’d had in a long time. For me too, and the water was more than just a setting!

We forget that the water cycle & the life cycle are one.
– Jacques Cousteau

Taking Action:

Take some time to reflect and write about your own water memories and favorite stories.
Choose a person or persons of a younger generation to share your memories and stories with.
Begin your letter explaining the context of the importance of water specifically for this time in history. You may want to share how you feel about the privilege of having an abundance of water. Share your stories and memories. Conclude your legacy letter with a blessing.
You might want to follow up your letter with a conversation in which they share their water stories with you and together you make a commitment to use water more consciously and carefully.
May you and your loved ones be responsible stewards of our planet and always enjoy water, the elixir of life.
– Rachael Freed

Rachael Freed, LICSW, senior fellow, Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota, is the author of Your Legacy Matters, Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs & Blessings to Future Generations and Heartmates: A Guide for the Partner and Family of the Heart Patient Rachael Freed rachael@life-legacies.com and http://www.life-legacies.com

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Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
Written by Waylon Jordan

Kier-La Janisse’s Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror debuted last night at SXSW. At over three hours long and including references to well over 150 films, this is easily the most exhaustive look at the subgenre we’ve ever seen.

Janisse comes to the subject with serious credentials of her own as founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, editor-in-chief of Spectacular Optical, and author of books like House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films and Exploitation Films. She brings her vast knowledge along with a group of some 50 filmmakers, historians, and authors to the documentary to cover a subject in horror that is often vastly underrated.

The journey of this project begins with a look at three films in particular: 1968’s Witchfinder General, 1971’s Blood on Satan’s Claw, and 1973’s The Wicker Man. While they are vastly different in both time period and focus, they all have that folkloric edge to them, digging into themes of witchcraft, paganism, and what is ancient vs. what is new.

This sets the tone for much of the discussion throughout the documentary and provides a sort of litmus test for what is and isn’t “folk horror.” The definition is surprisingly much wider than some might think. In fact, most would relegate the subgenre to bucolic settings filled with mystic figures, strange symbols, and old religion versus new. Yet, as the film points out, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a potent and powerful example of folk horror, and one that I was pleased to see included in the discussion.

The film is at its most fascinating, for me, however, when it leaves behind Western Culture and explores folk horror from Asian countries and cultures as well as indigenous stories from Australia and Mexico.

This is, as previously state, an exhaustive study on a subgenre that I personally love. Whether we’re talking about newer films like Midsommar and The Witch or digging into classic films like The Company of Wolves and the aforementioned The Wicker Man, these films pull at latent fears of predatory spirits and entities long-forgotten or worse, relegated to fairy stories in modern society that still exists within us.

The list of films covered here come from every corner of the world, and the documentary breaks down each section under different subheadings, grouping films and subjects and cultures together for a more effective cohesive documentary.

There were moments, however, when the density of the subjects covered and the sheer amount of films mentioned almost work against Janisse.

Honestly, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched would be better served by being broken up as a docu-series rather than one long film, and perhaps that is how we’ll see it as a larger/wider release after its festival run. The subject matter deserves to be thought out and discussed. In a home viewing you can do this anytime you want, of course, but during festival screenings it’s a huge time commitment with a lot of information that will no doubt leave some viewers just a tad dazed as the final credits roll.

Despite this, the documentary remains a must-see for fans of folk horror. You will not find a more extensive collection of titles–I made notes throughout for films I hadn’t seen that I intend to–nor will you find a group of people quite so passionate about the subject as those featured in the film.

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched will continue its festival run from here and I’m sure will eventually make its way onto streaming platforms for those who cannot attend the festivals.

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The Corner Crone: The Dancing Energy Exchange
MARCH 20, 2021 BY MARTHA KIRBY CAPO

In the early 1980s, right around the time I was beginning to explore witchcraft, I read a book that transformed the way I viewed the world and All That Is. Was it Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon? Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance?

Nope.

The unceasing energetic dance of the Universe.

It was Gary Zukav’s The Dancing Wu Li Masters, an exploration (in laypeople’s terms) of quantum physics using metaphorical language taken from Eastern philosophies and spiritualities. Winner of the 1980 U.S. National Book Award in Science, Zukav’s text reinforced for me the idea that energy not only transmits but transmutes—energies are always present, always passing from one or more forms to and through another and/or several others, seen and/or unseen.

This is hardly a revolutionary concept these days, but back then it was a game changer. A worldview changer, or at least it was for me as a nascent witchling.

Science Daily tells us:

Energy refers to a concept that can be paraphrased as “the potential for causing changes”, and therefore one can say that energy is the cause of any change. […] Energy is a conserved quantity, meaning that it cannot be created or destroyed, but only converted from one form into another. […] Thus, the total energy of the universe always remains constant.
(excerpted from Wikipedia via Science Daily)

Yet while the total energy of the Universe remains constant, the ways we live and move and have our being within it do not. I’ve thought about this a lot, and written a meditation on the concept of energies that pass through and around us and how we interact with them, either by choice or otherwise.

Whether you are Witch or Pagan, whether you work with a deity (or deities) or not, it highly probable you have some sort of philosophy about the energy exchanges you engage in as you go about your day.

How does your mindfulness about the energetic exchanges you are making impact those exchanges? We’re not always in charge—much as we’d like to be—how does the way you receive energies affect their effect on you? If we block or deflect, where does that bounced-around energy really go?

As usual, I don’t have any answers to any of these questions, but even so I think they’re worth pondering as we each try to figure out how our own little corners of the Universe work and how we manifest, or convert, our energies during our dances with the great All That Is.

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The Many Benefits And Uses Of Sweet Orange Essential Oil

by Jill Nystul · March 16, 2021

That which we call an orange by any other name would smell as sweet

Of all the essential oils in my collection, there’s a clear winner for the title of “most enticing,” and that’s sweet orange essential oil. With a scent like freshly squeezed orange juice, it’s hard to feel down when you’re around such a sweet and sunny aroma!

When it comes to using your small kitchen appliances, sometimes it pays to think outside the box! Continue Reading
It’s one of my favorite oils to use in my diffuser, because it makes my whole house smell amazing and it never fails to improve my mood. Today’s post is all about sweet orange essential oil, and I hope that by the time you’re finished reading it, it will have become a favorite of yours as well!

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sweet orange essential oil, including how it’s made, what benefits it offers, and some great ways to use it in your day-to-day life. So enough chit-chat—let’s get down to business! 😉

What Is Orange Essential Oil (AKA Sweet Orange Oil)?

Sweet orange essential oil (which is sometimes shortened to just “orange”) is extracted from the rind of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) via cold press processing. The oil bears the same sweet citrus aroma as the fruit it comes from, offering a natural air freshening quality that makes it a favorite for diffusing.

But sweet orange oil can do much more than just make your house smell nice. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the benefits of sweet orange oil, including antimicrobial properties, mental health support, and more.

Benefits Of Orange Essential Oil

Kills Bacteria And Fungi
Orange essential oil has been shown to possess powerful antimicrobial properties, particularly when used against bacteria and fungi. A 2012 study found that orange essential oil inhibited the growth of E. coli samples recovered from beef, while a 2018 study found that it effectively protected potato slices against four fungal species that are known to contribute to food spoilage.

Reduces Anxiety And Depression
When used in aromatherapy, the cheerful aroma of sweet orange essential oil shows promise as a natural treatment for conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as means of relief from everyday stress. One 2015 study found that orange essential oil reduced anxiety levels in women experiencing one of life’s most anxiety-producing events: childbirth.

And in a 2019 study, researchers observing the effects of inhalation of orange essential oil on mice found that it improved their depression-like symptoms. The results of animal studies like these can’t always be extrapolated directly to humans, but it does suggest that the depression-alleviating qualities of orange essential oil are worth studying further!

There is also reason to believe that the scent of sweet orange essential oil may be able to help us navigate stressful situations. Visiting the dentist can be stressful for adults and children alike, but in a 2013 study, children who were exposed to the smell of orange essential oil during a dental procedure showed less measurable stress than those in the control group.

Relieves Pain
Sweet orange essential oil may also be able to provide some amount of pain relief. A 2017 study of emergency ward patients being treated for fractured limbs found that those who inhaled orange essential oil reported feeling less pain than those in the control group.

Kills Pests
Plagued by houseflies? Sweet orange essential oil may be able to help! A 2012 study found that sweet orange essential oil showed insecticidal activity against housefly larvae and pupae, and suggested that it could one day be used as an effective and eco-friendly method of pest control for houseflies.

Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is our body’s go-to response to injury, irritation, and external threats, but sometimes it turns into more of a hindrance than a help. But this 2017 study found that sweet orange oil may help reduce problematic inflammation both internally and externally, which could have far-reaching effects considering the vast number of health conditions related to inflammation.

Improves Acne
Thanks to its potent combination of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, sweet orange oil used topically may also prove useful for treating acne. Researches behind this 2020 hamster study suggest that sweet orange oil may be an effective acne treatment by reducing swelling and suppressing acne-causing bacteria.

Note: Other sources online have claimed that orange oil can help regulate blood pressure. But as far as I can tell, there isn’t much (if any) research out there that would support such a claim, which is why it isn’t included here.

7 Uses For Sweet Orange Essential Oil
sweet orange

  1. Boost Your Mood
    There are several easy ways to take advantage of the mood-boosting effect of sweet orange oil. For at work or on the go, whip up this simple essential oil spray so that a better mood is always just a spritz away! When you’re at home, loading a few drops of sweet orange oil into your diffuser will do double-duty by lifting your spirits and making your home smell like a fresh bowl of oranges.
  2. Remove Sticky Residues
    Citrus oils like sweet orange are extremely useful for cutting through sticky or greasy messes, which can really come in handy when you’re trying to remove the adhesive residue left behind by a stubborn sticker or label. Just place a couple of drops of sweet orange oil on the sticker gunk, let it soak in for a few minutes, then scrape away the loosened residue.
  3. Eliminate Odors
    Use sweet orange essential oil to eliminate unpleasant odors wherever they may be lurking. Add a drop or two of sweet orange to a cotton ball, and tuck it into a smelly shoe, a musty closet, or anywhere that odors are giving you grief.
  4. Make A Pain Relief Stick
    Take advantage of the pain relieving effects of sweet orange oil by making your own easy pain relief stick. Fill a 10 ml glass roller bottle with a carrier oil of your choosing, then add 12 drops of sweet orange oil. Replace the roller top, give it a shake, then swipe it over aches and pains for relief and to help reduce inflammation.
  5. Clean Your House
    Sweet orange oil can be used as a great addition to a homemade all-purpose spray cleaner. It’ll give the cleaning spray a boost of germ-killing power and leave your home smelling clean and fresh every time you use it.
  6. Kill Pests
    Keep spiders, mice, and other pests at bay with the help of sweet orange oil. Fill a small spray bottle with water, add 10-15 drops of sweet orange oil, then replace the spray top and shake to mix. Spritz over cracks, gaps, or anywhere you’ve spotted pests around the house.
  7. Treat Skin Issues
    Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet orange oil can help treat skin issues like acne, dermatitis, and more. Add 5 drops of sweet orange oil to a teaspoon of rosehip oil and apply the mixture to affected areas daily until symptoms improve.

Tips About Safety And Quality
The biggest safety concern with sweet orange essential oil is its phototoxicity, a trait shared by most expressed citrus oils. Phototoxic oils applied to the skin can produce painful skin reactions (and even burns) if exposed to sunlight, although sweet orange oil is considered to have a lower phototoxicity risk than other citrus oils.

But you should still exercise caution when using orange essential oil and other citrus oils for topical application, and avoid doing so if you’re going to be out in the sun. Here are few other precautions you should take, not only when using sweet orange oil, but with any essential oil you choose to use:

Always dilute essential oils before putting them on your skin.
Keep them away from your eyes.
Store oils out of the reach of children and pets.

Use essential oils in well ventilated spaces.

Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription drugs.

Don’t use aromatherapy products around reptiles, birds, rodents, and other small pets.

If you use a diffuser and have cats or dogs at home, always ensure that they can leave the area and access fresh air at any time.

Another part of using essential oils safely is making sure you’re buying high quality oils. So here are here are a few things to look if you’re in the market for orange oil:

Look for the scientific name Citrus sinensis on the label. (If you see the name Citrus aurantium, that’s bitter orange oil, which is quite different.)
Look for pure, 100% orange essential oil that’s free of additives and adulterants.
Make sure it’s in a dark-colored bottle, which will protect the oil inside from degrading due to sunlight exposure.
sweet orange

What Blends Well With Sweet Orange Oil?
If you’re looking to whip up your own essential oil blend or mix and match oils in your diffuser, you might be wondering which oils pair well with sweet orange. The good news is that you have a lot of good options available to you!

As you might expect, sweet orange oil pairs nicely with other citrus oils, such as lemon oil. It also blends well with “woodsy” oils cedarwood, sandalwood, and balsam fir. (For a pre-blended option, check out Simple Clean, a blend of citrus and woodsy oils that’s ideal for cleaning and freshening your whole home!)
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Homemade Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters
Originally Posted in DIY

Bitters aren’t just for fancy cocktails. They’re also an incredible digestive aid that’s perfect to accompany any meal.* There are great, convenient options out there like those from our friends at Urban Moonshine, or you can take a step into herbal medicine yourself and make your own! Below is a Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters recipe that we love.

Traditionally, all cultures enjoyed bitter foods during their mealtime rituals. Many of these bitter plants were collected from the wild or found in the garden, but farming has actually changed the taste of many of our bitter greens. Our cultivated vegetables have been bred to appeal to our preference for sweet foods, and the consequence is we’re now missing out on the incredible wellness benefits of these bitter plant allies. The bitter taste actually activates the liver and digestive juices to prepare the body to effectively process foods, which is especially helpful when digesting rich and fatty foods.*

In Western Herbalism, we often create bitters as tinctures, which make it easy to incorporate bitters on the go. Tinctures are plant extracts (usually alcohol based) that can easily be taken from a dosage bottle. Taking bitters can be helpful anytime, but we suggest a teaspoon about 30 minutes before eating to give the plants enough time to activate our bodies’ natural digestive processes.

In this tincture, we have chosen to include herbs that are simple to find in the produce section, spice aisle or perhaps growing in your front yard! One of our favorite ingredients here is dandelion, and while some might consider this plant a pesky weed, the dandelion is incredibly supportive of both our digestive system and our bodies’ natural detoxification process by helping the body break down fats and carry away waste.

  • If you can’t find any fresh dandelion root, we would suggest using our organic Dandelion Leaf and Root tea for this recipe.

When you taste your homemade bitters, you’ll notice a rich orange flavor, followed by cinnamony spice and a mild touch of bitter at the end.

Homemade Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters
Bitters aren’t just for fancy cocktails, they’re also an incredible digestive aid.

Servings: One 1 oz bottle contains about 7 tsps. Serving size = 1 tsp 30 mins before a meal.

Time: 10 mins prep + 2 weeks

Materials:
12 oz Mason jar
6-8 amber dropper bottles (1 oz)

Ingredients:
1 cup white rum
4 tsp of fresh orange peel
2 tbs dried dandelion root and leaf (or 6 tbs fresh, chopped finely)
2 tsp fresh ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
6 cardamom pods

Directions:
Place all herbs into a sterilized mason jar, pour in the alcohol and fill to the top of the jar.

Label your jar with the name, plants used, alcohol used and alcohol strength. Include the date on the label.

Shake daily for two weeks, and then strain out the herbs with muslin or cheese cloth. Be sure to squeeze out any remaining liquid from the herbs.

You should have enough extract to fill about six (or more) one ounce dropper bottles. Make sure to sterilize the dropper bottle before filling.

Place all herbs into a mason jar, and fill to the top of the jar.

Label your jar with the name, plants used, alcohol used and alcohol strength. Include the date on the label.

Shake daily for two weeks, and then strain out the herbs with muslin or cheese cloth. Be sure to squeeze out any remaining liquid from the herbs.

You should have enough extract to fill about six (or more) one ounce dropper bottles.

You can save all this plant power for yourself, or share the bounty as gifts with friends and families. We would like to add that we would not recommend using bitters if you have kidney stones, gallbladder disease, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcers, severe menstrual cramping, or if you are pregnant.

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Gilberto’s Day of Celebration by Stephen Halpert

         Gilberto yawned. His back ached from sleeping on the couch. Though not his favorite place to sleep, he agreed that it made sense.  Maria nursed little Ramona at all hours. Eva, still helping with the new baby, had the guest room. During the night Gilberto could hear the newborn’s cries and the tender affectionate words given her by Maria.

         He sighed. One day he’d take Maria away; but when, where, how many years from now? He felt as though he were at the beginning of a new phase of his life.

Yawning, he showered, shaved, dressed and wondered how it would feel getting back to work. His doctor had cleared him for part time duty; better than nothing he thought. Then he remembered. Alicia and Edwardo were coming for dinner today. He was fond of Edwardo. Alicia was another story. He sighed. Rosa was doing the dinner preparations at her home.

         It was past noon when Alicia and Edwardo arrived. They’d be flying back to Florida the next day after the conclusion of Alicia’s crochet conference. Gilberto greeted them with his best smile.           

         Rosa and Ramon arrived shortly thereafter, followed by their two daughters. Rosa went to the kitchen carrying a large basket.

         “Joey,” Sophia cried, “Now you’re the big brother!”

         Joey smiled and stood straighter, “Yes,” he said, “and I’ll teach her to be a wonderful soccer player too.” Chattering, they headed for Joey’s room.

Gilberto smiled and nodded as Ramon handed him the sports section of the Sunday paper.

         Ramon chuckled. “Pro sports is all about money. “Don’t you wish you still played and got big money for endorsing beer and deodorant on TV?”

         Gilberto chuckled. Who was the last soccer player you ever saw doing testimonials?

         Ramon shrugged. “Maybe from Joey’s generation not ours.”

         Eva came in holding baby Ramona. His daughter peered at Gilberto from inside her cocoon of  carefully arranged blankets. She made cooing noises.

         “Say hi to daddy,” Eva smiled.        

         Was Ramona smiling, did she recognize him or just needed a fresh diaper? So much to learn.”

         He grinned. He wished she were at least Joey’s age but knew he’d have to wait at least five or six years. He turned to Eva. “Everything all right? Did you see her pro soccer ball I bought her?

         Eva smiled. “Best not to feel impatient. Enjoy the present moment. It’s all magnificent. Besides she might decide to be a dancer or even a seamstress.”

         Why did he always feel chided or criticized by this wild Nordic blond? The way she patted his shoulder made him feel as though she saw him as a little boy.

         “I’m putting the straight back cushioned chair beside yours at the table for Maria,” Eva said.

         “Lunch is in twenty minutes,” Rosa called from the kitchen.

         Maria came in. She wore her new floral housecoat and puffy pink slippers. She kissed Gilberto. “Hi daddy. I missed you last night.”

         “Mutual,” he grinned.

         Joey came in from his room with the girls and Oscar. Alicia raised her eyebrows. ‘You allow that child a dog in the presence of a newborn?”

         Joey looked horrified.

         “Yes,” Gilberto smiled. “I think it’s healthy for a child to grow up with pets.”

         His mother-in-law frowned and shook her head. “At least you don’t have a cat,” she huffed. Then her face softened and she smiled a genuine smile. “She really is a lovely baby. I’m glad you named her for your grandmother.

“Come let’s gather,” Rosa said, wheeling in her gigantic pot of fish stew.

         Ramon clapped his hands, “clams, lobster, squid. scallops, mussels, cod. Magnificent.” 

         Maria sat beside Gilberto. Eva had refreshed Ramona’s diaper and placed her in a carrier to the right of Maria.

         The fish stew was so delicious no one wanted to talk. Eva had made some light and fluffy biscuits as well. Finally, Joey kicked off the conversation. He looked at his grandmother. “Grandma I don’t think I’m going to become a dentist.”

         Alicia’s eyes flew open. “Why do you say that?”

         “Remember when we visited you before me and mom came to Boston and you were feeling uncomfortable with your fake teeth?”

         She sighed and clicked her tongue. “I’m not sure I remember that,” she said. “What do you want to do?” Gilberto felt sympathetic. Children can be so blunt.

         “I said I’d become a dentist so I could take care of your teeth,” he said. “But I think I’d rather be a soccer player.”

         She frowned. “That of course is up to you.”

         Gilberto chimed in. “That’s funny. When I was Joey’s age, I thought I wanted to be a dentist too.”

         “Did your parents have fake teeth,” Joey asked?

         “I’m not sure,” Gilberto said. “I do know my father had a shiny gold tooth.”

         Joey wrinkled his nose and giggled. “That sounds weird.”

         “Joey you can be whatever you want,” Maria said. “I’m sure grandma doesn’t mind in the least.”

         Alicia turned to face Gilberto. “And as I understand from what I’ve been told you drive some sort of delivery truck for the shipping department.”

         Ramon grinned but refrained from speaking.”

         “That would make my job much too easy,” Gilberto said.

         “Joey grinned excitedly. “Grandma, Gilberto’s a vice president.”

         “Oh I’ve known many of those,” Edwardo said. He swabbed a piece of his fluffy biscuit to absorb some of the soup.

         “Well, what is it do you do then,” Alicia persisted.

         “Shipping,” Gilberto said. “It’s complicated. “I oversee all the shipping we do both here and at other branches. “

         “He’s good at it,” Ramon said. “He can keep track of everything all at once. Our company has many branches worldwide.”

         Edwardo nodded.

         “But as  I understand it you’ve been on some sort of extended sick leave. You weren’t laid off, were you?” Was that a sympathetic expression or a frown? With Alicia it was difficult to tell.

         “No,” Gilberto shook his head. “That night I saved Joey I had a severe concussion and several cracked ribs.

She looked at him quizzically. “How did that come about?” 

         “I was in the street and cars were coming and he saved me,” Joey said. “Then he was in the hospital.”

         “The bravest act I ever witnessed,” Maria said. “He pushed Joey out of the way of the cars and took the brunt of them on his body…”

          Edwardo patted him on the shoulder and Alicia looked impressed. “Good for you, son, Edwardo said.

        Eva appeared with a platter of pastries.

         Ramon produced a bottle of chilled Champagne. “A toast to mother and daughter,” he proclaimed.

         Glasses were lifted, the toast was made, everyone clinked glasses.

         “Thank you,” Maria said. “I hope we can all be together again and again as little Ramona grows up.”

         “Here, here,” Edwardo announced.

         “An annual birthday feast,” Gilberto said. “Let Ramona’s birthday be a day of celebration for us all.” He looked at his sleeping daughter and his heart warmed within him. He knew without knowing how, that all was as it was intended and that the precious gift of love was his.

to be continued)

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URBEX: How to Photograph Abandoned Places
from Ghost Hunting Theories

If you read my 5-star award-winning book Growing Up With Ghosts, you probably understand why I’m fascinated with archaeology. I spent my childhood digging up relics from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond on the Civil War Hospital estate I grew up in.

Since then, I’ve always been obsessed with the history of objects and locations and with my psychometry (psychic ability to touch objects and know about others who touched them) skills, being able to read a place gains me insight into history and understanding.

Two books I wrote and Julie Ferguson photographed were psychic reads on abandoned places –

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Appalachian Edition)

Urban exploration, or URBEX, as we affectionally call it, is the practice of exploring and photographing/videoing abandoned sites.

Some precautions I want to mention-

Get your tetanus shot.

Don’t go alone.

Heed “No Trespassing” signs unless you want arrest or even shooting.

Be certain building isn’t housing any squatters, meth cooks, or animals.
Structures can be quite weak, so move cautiously.

Wear a mask – most of these have asbestos.

Gloves and sturdy shoes as there are exposed nails in floorboards often times and lots of rusted metal sharp edges.

Finding such places isn’t too difficult as an online search for photos of abandoned places in your area is pretty standard and a lots of people reveal the location.

Look for mining towns, agricultural, and other industry towns that may be having a recession. Also, a quick check on Ghost Towns site can find ones in your state.

I utilized Google Earth for a good deal of places I go to. From there, I can often times get a street view, see exactly where it’s located and if there are any signs of life. One thing Google Earth doesn’t show you, unless it’s street view, is if a location is fenced off.

When Julie and I do our URBEX road treks, we don’t give ourselves a schedule. We look on the map the route we’re taking (taking extra effort to find small towns along the way) and we head out. When there is a small town, just off the main street you often found derelict homes of residents who found there wasn’t enough industry to remain. In agricultural areas, you find buildings on the periphery of town. Rural routes have lots of possibilities you can see right from the road. We let ourselves take time and follow instincts on streets that look like they might house the forgotten. Old highways that were diverted provide regular Bates Motel places left to time.

Photographically, I rely on the lighting that is present and no flash. Flash flattens the rooms out and they look stark and not very creepy, but filtered light does miracles for mood.

I highly recommend this camera!!! Nikon Coolpix. I have had this camera for about 8 years and I have to say it truly is shockproof and waterproof. You can go underwater with it, it can get rained on, and I accidently dropped mine out my car window when I was reaching out to take a pic. It bounced on the asphalt and no problems (well, over the years many times it hit the pavement!) The 300 pixel resolution photos are amazing. Can take video too. Really, with this baby you are set URBEX’ing and you can tuck it into your pocket and not worry about if it gets banged up or dusty.

When photographing, I have found that photos of a building straight on are a total bore. That’s vacation pics, like when you take a shot of a historic building to show you were there. This is not that kind of photography. This is about mystery. Show a piece of something and let people fill in the setting for that item/focus.

Find a detail, an item, a corner, a wallpaper and focus on that. In the photo above, if I had focused on the whole room, you wouldn’t know what you are supposed to take note of. In this shot, you see this lonely chair in the corner in a dank room and you wonder – why? what? how?

Also, be sure to take advantage of aging – whether it’s cracked paint, rusted hinges, or vines taking over the building.

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Kats Korner
Share your love for cats!

Why Don’t you Come on over, OH Sweet Valerian Cat Toy?

My cats’ choice of mind-altering substances:

catnip – definitely

silver vine – not bad

valerian – wowwwwww-w-w-w-w …

Valerian? Nope, it isn’t a planet in Star Trek, but a plant. It often gets added to herbal teas to help insomniacs nod off and, it seems, is irresistible to cats.

I won a valerian-infused cat toy at a raffle, which was donated by the wonderful Katzenworld and their partner 4cats. The 4cats Premium Cat Wrestler was beautifully packaged in a clear plastic tube (and with good reason; more later) and was big enough for the average size cat to grapple with. It was sturdy, well made and covered with fabric so strong that even the strongest and most determined moggie would struggle to disembowel it.

Once I got my prize home, I unpacked it and waved it at Lola and Boris, my two gorgeous felines. First, some appreciative sniffing, then some grabbing, and then a scuffle ensued, which Boris won. He spent the rest of the evening licking it, biting it and, eventually, writhing ecstatically on the carpet with it while Lola glared at him.

Something in the room smelt, well, off. I checked my shoes. Nothing. I checked the floor for decomposing mice. No corpses. I was just on the point of moving the sofa to check underneath for ex-rodents when my husband wandered into the room, exclaiming, “Christ! It stinks in here!”

I looked at Boris, who had stopped writhing and was looking rather stoned. I bent down and sniffed, then picked up the toy, narrowly avoiding the Ginger One’s claws as he tried to grab it back. It was the toy. Oh, no, the toy. The toy that Boris loved so much that it was soaked with saliva. And the toy STANK.

The husband wanted to throw it in the bin, but I pointed out the toy’s excellent packaging, which had not given the game away about the toy’s “aromatic” potential. “Look,” I suggested, “we could just keep it in here and get it out now and again for them to play with. They’ll look forward to it!” Husband reluctantly agreed.

Both cats get very excited whenever we pick the tube up and unpack the toy. It still smells terrible, but we have got used to the smell and, for all its stinkiness, it is a stellar hit with Lola and Boris.

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Rebranding the Cat
Steve Dale | Mar 16th 2021

Second class no more, cat care gets a needed reboot.

2020 wasn’t the best year for us mere humans, but for cats their time has come. Finally, the species that I somewhat famously dubbed “the Rodney Dangerfield of pets” (because they get no respect) is changing course in a big way.

And it’s millennials who are leading that charge. Adoption and foster numbers are up. Old myths about cats are being busted. They’re in the process of what a marketing person might describe as a “rebranding.”

It’s a Dog’s World
In 2008, I was invited to dinner by Dan Kramer, then a product manager for Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis), and publicist Lea-Ann Germinder. Dan noted that the new American Veterinary Medical Association Sourcebook and other data he discovered indicated that cats were under-medicalized, seeing veterinarians far less often compared with dogs, and cat owners were less willing to fork over as much money for care compared to dog owners. Cats were more likely given up to shelters and, if lost, less likely to be found compared to dogs. The percent of cats microchipped was minis­cule. In fact, if a cat got out, some people didn’t bother searching. After all, the prevailing notion among too many was, “It’s just a cat.” We were pretty much a dog society.

In truth, for several decades, cats have been enjoying the title as man’s best friend if you just go by the numbers of the most populous pet. Dan wasn’t aware that there were then (and it’s still the case today) more pet cats than dogs in the United States. Yet, despite being most pop­ular, cats had an image issue. Cats were often disrespected, misunderstood and generally didn’t seem to share the same intense bond we have with dogs.

Dan asked me what I would do about the problem. I said, “We need everyone to get on the same page to elevate the status of cats. This includes academia, feline specialty veteri­narians, general practice veterinarians, national animal welfare organizations, animal shelter professionals, nonprofit funders of cat health studies (Winn Feline Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation), veterinary behaviorists (because cat behaviors were so misunderstood), as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association. Alone, none of these groups can achieve what we might do together.”

Making a Change
About a week later, Dan phoned me and said, “I’m putting my money where your mouth is.” And so he did. A who’s who of the cat world attended a summit in California — and as an outcome of that meeting was born the nonprofit CATalyst Council (catalystcouncil.org).

Indeed, that group was a catalyst for change. Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) was rolling out Cat Friendly veterinary practices. So many veterinarians were taught primarily about dogs in vet school; cats were marginalized. AAFP said “No more.” The Cat Friendly Practice program helped to train veterinary teams to focus on cat care. And by now, feline specialty veterinarians weren’t any longer a novelty. Today, there are over 1,200 Cat Friendly Practices; 98% of practices are satisfied with the program, with 90% indicating cat care has improved. And 78% have received positive feedback from cat parents. (2019 Survey Results Cat Friendly Practice at catvets.com)

In 2016, Fear Free was launched (fearfreepets.com), an initiative to address emotional health of pets in homes and at veterinary clinics. While many species benefit from this transformative program, an argument can be made that cats have gained the most by the program minimizing the real trauma of cats seeing a veterinarian. Individual veterinarians and technicians can be certified as Fear Free, and so are entire practices. And when that happens, 91% of those practices believe their image is more positive, and 98% have noted a benefit to patient care.

Millennials that Care
Both Cat Friendly Practices and Fear Free focus on emotional well-being, and it turns out millennials do as well. Millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1996) care about the emotional health of cats more than any generation prior.

According to a 2016 study from Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI; habri.org):

77% of millennials have a more favorable view of their veterinarian if they discuss the health benefits of the human-animal bond.
74% of millennials are more likely to visit their veterinarian if they discuss the health benefits of the human-animal bond.
25% of millennials talk to their veterinarians about the health benefits of pet ownership.

It’s true, millennials love their cats. Want proof? They love their cats even more than their electronic devices. And they use those very devices to post images and videos of cats. As a result, cats rule the worldwide web.

On Instagram, some very cool cats have up to millions of followers. The Instagram cats, some-times referred to as “influencers,” may make personal appearances and some even sell swag. Most of these cool cats can thank millennial pet parents for launching their online careers and millennial fans for all those follows that secure their star status.

Nothing says millennials and cats like cat cafes. According to Meowaround.com, there are nearly 120 cat cafes, with most major cities having more than one. Back in 2008, there were zero in the United States.

Most cats at U.S. cafes are available for adoption. Speaking of which, even before adoptions soared as a result of the pandemic, cat adoptions have been increasing, and the corresponding number of cats in shelters declining. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year, and it’s an even split — 1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats.

Better Care for Cats
Millennial interest in cats goes beyond fanciful cat yoga and cat movie events presented at cat cafes. They’re serious about redirecting myths, leading the charge against declaw. Many agree that following the 2019 New York’s state-wide ban on declaw that other states would have already followed if it wasn’t for the legislative distraction of the pandemic.

In an effort to better understand cat behavior, books like Decoding Your Cat, authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, are selling well, not only because millennials seek the cat truth but also that the authors are trusted sources.

Allowing cats to be cats is a craze that millennials first embraced, so the number of available food puzzles and games for cats for purchase at pet stores and online is exponentially greater than only a few years ago.

With more cats indoors than ever (about 75%), enriching environments is now a focus; TV personality Jackson Galaxy has even given it a name — catification. Even indoor cats increasingly have their own safe outdoor environments called catios.

Back when I trained a cat to play the piano, people joked “Why would you?” Now cat parents routinely train cats to walk on a leash and harness, or take cats for rides in strollers. Today, cat parents want to socialize kittens and even train them. YouTube is filled with videos of cats playing musical instruments and showing off stupid pet tricks. Except it’s not so stupid, of course, or any more stupid than dogs doing tricks. The days of cats being thought of as boring, aloof and lazy Garfield types has ended.

Despite all of this, cats refuse to lay all their cards on the table — as some feline mystery and mystique remain.

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

All Signs
Here’s the forecast for this week. The Sun and Venus are in Aries; Mercury and Neptune are in Pisces; Mars is in Gemini while both Jupiter and Saturn are in Aquarius. Pluto is still in Capricorn where it will stay until 2025, and wild, wacky Uranus is in Taurus until 2026. Two things are certain: Mercury in Pisces will heighten the Spidey sense of everyone this week while fiery Mars in Gemini will add spice and energy to everyone’s speech and thinking. Even though ideas might be hazy and intuitive – words will fly! Everyone’s an expert! (Well, we all know an expert is someone who knows a few things about something – but they’re from another city.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This is a lovely strong week! Both the Sun and fair Venus are in your sign making you charming and diplomatic with everyone you meet. You will give more thought to your appearance, which is why this is an excellent week to buy wardrobe goodies for yourself. Note: Avoid Tues. and Thur. because they’re not good days. You will feel that your psychic vibes are stronger than usual. (Some of you will pick up acid rock through your Mercury fillings.) This is why you will trust your hunches and want to explore esoteric ideas and stories about the paranormal. “Faeries at the bottom of the garden” and all that. Nevertheless, despite these “fay” thoughts, you will forthright and aggressive about expressing yourself. You’ll say what you mean and mean what you say!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week the Sun and Venus are still hiding in your chart, which, among other things, promotes secret love affairs. (Oh yes, you ripe juicy peach!) Your urge to be low-key and work alone or behind the scenes continues. However, when it comes to money, this is something entirely different. This week, you’ll be aggressive about pursuing ideas to earn money, save money and ironically, spend money! “Money, money, money!” (Music to your ears.) Expect to enjoy some lively exchanges with younger friends and people you encounter in groups and organizations. Of course, people will defer to you because with Jupiter and Saturn at the top of your chart – you’re the winner! Hands in the air!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This is a high energy, popular week for you! Get out there and schmooze with people you want to see (mindful of distancing rules.) The planet Mars, which is associated with muscles and blood is now in your sign until the last week of April. This is why you are so energized! Great! You have the chance to show the world what you can do! Obviously, you will be more of a fighter for your own rights than usual. (As well as rights of others.) Meanwhile, the Sun and Venus guarantee warm relations with friends, groups and artistic people; while Mercury at the top of your chart encourages you to pontificate and share your learned knowledge with bosses and important people. (We’re impressed.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is an auspicious week! Both the Sun and fair Venus are at the top of your chart making you look fabulous in the eyes of others, especially bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs. This brief blessing occurs only once a year, so make the most of it. Go after what you want. In fact, for some of you, bosses will see you in such favourable terms, a romance might begin. Meanwhile, Mercury will encourage any kind of study and education because you’re eager for more knowledge and new experiences. You want to travel and learn more about the world. You will seek out conversations about philosophy, different cultures, legal systems and fascinating beliefs. Gifts and money continue to come your way. Not too shabby!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your desire to travel or explore more of the world is growing. Fortunately, many of you might have the opportunity to satisfy this urge to learn more about new places and experience a change of scenery. (At last!) In particular, you will feel inspired by any kind of exposure to other cultures, especially the art of other countries and different peoples. Possibly, the beauty of art will become a consciousness-expanding experience for you? Physical activity with groups will appeal to you, especially athletics or competitive sports. You’re also giving more thought to your goals and how you might pursue them. How do you want your future to unfold in the next 10 years?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Many things this week will become passionate issues. They will be issues about which you feel that you have an emotional investment. In all likelihood, for many, these issues will relate to debt, inheritances, taxes and shared property. Fortunately, because of the placement of the Sun and Venus, you will be favoured. In other words, things will turn to your advantage or in a profitable way for you. Meanwhile, because Mars at the top of your chart arouses your ambition, this combination of an enhanced ambition with a financial situation that favours you cannot be ignored! Therefore, make an effort to explore financial matters that you want settled in your favour. Do it.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week continues to be a time when you will need more sleep. Respect your need for more sleep because you, more than any other sign, often have crazy sleep patterns. (No biggie. It’s just who you are.) Meanwhile, you’re keen to do creative, intellectual work more than usual. You might have lively discussions with others about philosophy, politics, religion and racial issues because your mind wants to explore so many fascinating avenues of thought. In large measure, you want to expand your view of the world through discussion with others. You will also be more hands-on in your job and keen to work, especially doing detailed work. You will also be more health conscious. (“I’ve stopped buttering my donuts.”)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You will accomplish a lot this week mainly because you want to work! To put a finer point on it, you want to be efficient and better organized in whatever you do. With this attitude, you will increase your ability to accomplish a lot because you have more self-discipline than any sign in the zodiac. Plus, you have a strong will power. Very likely, you will have to subordinate your desire for fun to work for the benefit of someone else. (You can suck it up and do this.) That’s because right now, practical matters are more important in your relationships. Nevertheless, your sex drive is amped and you are still playful, frisky and prankish! What’s new?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Yay! A fun week ahead! You want to open up as many avenues as possible to explore entertaining good times! Little vacations, romantic love affairs, exciting sports events and playful activities with kids are tops on your menu. You will feel a desire to express yourself through some creative activity. This is also why you will enjoy concerts, museums and seeing the creations of other artists. Meanwhile, many of you are tackling home repairs and having important family discussions. Nevertheless, despite all these fun times, be patient with partners and close friends while Mars is opposite your sign. (Only a few more weeks.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
No doubt you are not surprised to see that home, family and your private life continue to be your primary focus this week. This could be because you are more involved than usual with a parent. It is certainly because many of you are doing redecorating projects or renovations or something to enhance the beauty (and value) of your home. As Covid restrictions begin to lighten, many of you will entertain family at home. You have lots of energy to make this happen, which is a good thing. Furthermore, you’re keen to communicate to others, especially siblings and relatives. Short trips, reading and studying will also appeal. An interesting week ahead!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You’re busy life swoons dizzily along! Your pace is quick and your attention is on your immediate surroundings and friends, neighbours, relatives and business associates. (The people you see every day.) You’re keen to learn and study as well, which is why you might do more reading. This desire to learn might also translate into an opportunity to take a vacation or do something to expand your world. Meanwhile, communications with others are important. This is a good week to tell someone how fond you are of them. You also have the good fortune of being able to appreciate your daily surroundings more than usual. It’s curious – but it’s true.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
It’s interesting how much you’re thinking about money, cash flow and earnings this week. It’s a good thing because you do have the ability to attract money to you now – and let’s hope this ability brings you some swag! With Mercury in your sign, you have no qualms about speaking up and defending your own best interests because you want to express your POV to people. Naturally, your mind will be very busy jumping from topic to topic. Because you feel curious and eager, you will want to get out and travel a bit – don’t we all? Cope as best you can with increased chaos and activity on the home front. For many of you, it will mean an improvement of some kind.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 21 March 2021

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

After being forced to put others’ needs, plans and ideas first, and for ages, both the Sun and Venus move into Aries. This boosts your spirits but also triggers a timely review of once-rigid arrangements. You’d accepted them; but recent developments are enabling you to discuss what seemed set in stone. When you finally begin exploring your options, you’ll realise how timely these changes are.

Someone has been underestimating you. Whether they have been deliberately misleading you or trying to deceive you, you have had a strong feeling about their intentions. You are ready now to let others see you aren’t a person to be played games with. Quality moments shared with your amour will make you grateful for your many blessings. Quiet walks in the countryside together will lead to you both sharing some of your deepest thoughts and feelings.

There is great potential for you getting into a flap. Fact is that both Mercury and Mars are moving through Mutable signs. Both at the mental and physical level there may be many, many things for you to do and yes, you could feel overwhelmed. True, the excitement this creates should give you a real buzz. However, it’s long been recognised that Aries people can be rash. In trying to do too much, too fast, and too soon, you could happen to accident that proves costly at many levels. Of course, it will help if you can delegate certain tasks to those with greater aptitude for attending to detail: in the process you show great leadership. Note that although it’s still another couple of years before Pluto leaves the career sector of your solar chart, it may be that what transpires this week is yet another stepping stone en-route to a new career: being focused gets you noticed.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve explored potential changes, but every time you made a plan, destiny halted progress. While frustrating, you’ve since realised there was a range of options to explore. That’s still the case. Acknowledge that, and you can relax and enjoy this amazing cycle of discovery, both in existing elements of your life but, even more, exploring the unexpected opportunities that keep coming your way.

It’s important that you don’t allow the past to control your moods and actions. Whatever you have been through, put it behind you and be ready to start again. You have repaid someone’s past generosity over and over. What you have done for them far exceeds anything they may have done for you. They can’t keep reminding you of their past kindness without acknowledging yours. Let your amour or someone who is equally as close, shower you with affection.

It used to be the case that people retired in their mid-60s. That life- model is now out of date. Yet few are encouraged to consider developing multiple career paths. You may recall that Uranus is presently moving through your sign. For the next few years, it ought not to be too hard for you to think differently and ‘out of the box’. Self-investing and considering a work schedule that you might implement in the years to come should dominate your thinking midweek. Whilst others might think you’ve taken leave of your senses, investing in a hobby could actually be an astute career move. Not entirely unconnected, you might also give thought to learning more about alternative currencies and bargaining systems; once again taking colleagues by surprise with your knowledge of these very 21st-century developments.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The move by dynamic Mars into Gemini in early March kick-started a cycle of questioning, change and growth. True, during the coming week, you’ll make decisions that are more of an experiment that anything lasting. Recognise that, and you make a point of exploring and, where possible, trying things out. Tempted to stick with the familiar? Don’t. For now, and until late April, life’s about discovery.

Be open and honest about plans you are considering for the future and you can be sure of a loved one’s willing cooperation. On a more mundane note, you need to take a common-sense approach to financial and legal matters. Someone you’re introduced to could have a lot of influence over your job in the future. They may be playing down their role for the moment. For this reason, watch what you say while in their presence.

Midweek, your ruling planet, Mercury, arrives at right angle to Mars presently travelling through your sign. At one level this indicate increased communication and multiple short journeys. At another level this suggests a war of words. That may be linked to decisions taken by others in the early part of the week that in some way put obstacles and difficulties in your path. Making clear what is and what is not acceptable might require recourse to the law; and yes, you could get involved in in a class action dispute. In might be a useful exercise to show others that you can indeed focus on small print and minutiae. Indeed, allowing a fussy and critical sub personality to surface and show others where there have been errors could get you noticed in a positive way.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Once you understand that the plans you’re organising are about exploration and what you can learn, but not meant to be lasting, everything else will make sense. True, the world around you and your own life are changing – but so much that what seems your best option now will also change, possibly more than once. The secret? The more inquisitive you are, the better.

An older relative has been playing on your emotions hoping to get their own way. You’re tired of being made to feel guilty because you can’t be at their beck and call all the time. Don’t allow any emotional blackmail that has been a problem in your family to continue. Positive thinking will take you far. A personal dream will show signs of coming true and this is all because of the effort you have put into this in the past.

It really is time to show off your talents. Venus has now joined the Sun at the apex of your solar chart and over the next few weeks shines through your career zone. Simultaneously, Mercury and Mars move to right angle aspect increasing your interest in improving your online profile. Whilst of course, much depends on your personal chart, it’s highly likely that the first half of this week will find you refining your image and in the second half, making clear to others the skills and talents you are now ready to use. Alliance with those born under Aries, Taurus and Libra should also prove beneficial. In their different ways, those born under these signs may be developing career paths that have benefit for you too.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve been feeling restless but constrained by duty and obligations to others. Now that your ruler the Sun and Venus are both in your fellow fire sign of Aries and accenting ways you can broaden your horizons, you’ll be tempted to break away. Do, but only for a day or so. You’ve lots more to discover and more exciting people to meet.

Someone you meet through your profession will make an unusual offer. This will take you by surprise when you already have other ideas in the pipeline but you may not want to miss out on this opportunity. Stall for time. If your previous plans fall through, you now have something to fall back on. Your positive mood will bring out the best in your partner and closest friends. After a few misunderstandings you are now finding it easier to communicate with each other.

There are times when design and to technical expertise have to come together. True, this requires effort, but as Mercury arrives at its right angle to Mars midweek, you may be one bringing units together. It helps that the Moon will then be passing through your sign, and that your voice should then be heard clearly. You don’t have to get involved in the war of words created by others. What you need to know is exactly how a problem is going to be solved and who is going to take charge of the detail on the way. Since late December you’ve likely attracted precisely the right kind of expertise. This may be through people you’ve worked with before. One way or another, your contribution to team building should get you noticed and leave you well placed to take advantage of an opportunity arising around next week’s Full Moon.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, when you make a decision, that’s that. However, since the Virgo Full Moon, late last month, you’ve been dealing with ups and downs regarding potential changes and long-term plans. This continues and, although unsettling, gives you an amazing opportunity to explore the exciting and, often, unfamiliar, options coming your way. Resist the temptation to finalise plans. Between now and mid-April, life’s about discovery.

People have a tendency to rely on you quite heavily. Help you gave someone in the past has given them the impression they can always turn to you when they need some support. Expect to be busy. Make sure that you do relax when you get the chance. An artistic or musical hobby will be a great way to wind down. Even if this has at times turned out to be financially rewarding, this week it will be done purely for pleasure.

With Mercury in your opposite sign arriving at its right angle to Mars midweek, there is the danger that you getting involved in a colossal muddle. Of course, it could be argued that you attract these conditions precisely so that you can reorganise and reshape. There must though be times when you despair of the need to act and to resolve these many crises. The biggest issue this time seems to be that someone has flare and great hopes but that they lack the organisational structure that would see these become reality. It’s likely that you too require assistance separating wheat from chaff. Involvement in architecture, design and planning seems more likely than not. It’s probable that the way in which you make clear were essential pieces of furniture or structure should be placed, will make a real and constructive difference to the end product.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The powerful Libra Full Moon may be on the 28th, however, this year it’s more about questions and the resulting discussions than a single fresh vision, for the present or the future. While part of you would like things settled, you’ve a deep need to explore life’s options, from your activities to those individuals who are part of your everyday existence. Give yourself the gift of time.

A partner lets you down in a big way. This will upset you and you will feel annoyed with yourself for having started to rely on them. At least you should be glad to be able to get out of a joint arrangement before it goes any further. Remember too that this is someone you don’t want to mix with in the future even if they decide they want you back. A housemate will be offered a job. One or two changes connected with your home environment could result from this.

Partnerships are ‘your thing’ and with the Sun and Venus moving through your opposite sign, you’re likely to give increased thought to who you work with and how you can bring out the best in one another. You won’t be the only sign focused on design and presentation. Whilst at least one person may be pushing you to make fast decision, and perhaps even accusing you of procrastinating, that is unlikely to be the case. You likely need time to carry out your own mini-survey or hold discussions with a focus group. It may be early next week with the Moon moving through your sign when you feel more comfortable about making final decision. What seems clear is that you are now a long way into the process of reinvention and moving to a new, solid life and career path where your expertise is acknowledged and rewarded.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve been hoping that recent discussions would enable you to sidestep either unwelcome changes or being forced to leave certain plans in others’ hands. While, in the long term, these must be dealt with jointly, the more open you are about your feelings and practical requirements, the less confusion there’ll be. Once you’re speaking frankly, you’ll realise others understand your views far better then you realise.

Job and money matters are likely to show pleasing signs of improvement. You seem able to spot interesting new opportunities and to act on them before anyone else has had the chance to blink. Are you single? A platonic relationship will take on a new and more loving dimension. New bonds are likely to be of the lasting variety. Things are starting to pick up for you now and a family outing could be on the cards.

You are likely to be prompted to think long and hard about the kind of work you do and how much you enjoy doing it. Developing new strategies may be something for the future. For now, it may be necessary to confront present-day situations and determine which tasks – if any – can be delegated elsewhere. You might also do well midweek discussing with an adviser how best to make use of under-used expertise. It should be obvious to all that you have design and technical skills that could be put to rewarding use. Yes, this might well require taking a risk – possibly work with someone who’s trying to get a new plan off the ground. Yet there are advantages to getting in ‘on the ground floor’. Though true, it can take as much as two years for a new business to turn good profit, there is every likelihood that this week you will be invited to form a valuable alliance.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

No sign is better at juggling a busy schedule. Yet even you have been so overwhelmed recently that you’re wondering if you’ll ever catch up with both obligations and time with those you care about. The fact is, you’ll need to rethink how you organise your day, and life or, perhaps reassess your priorities. While, initially, changes could seem a compromise, you’ll soon spot potential improvements.

It’s hard to understand why a friend is suddenly so moody and miserable. You feel upset that they don’t feel able to confide in you. It is possible they’re finding it hard to explain how they really feel. By Thursday, their mood will have brightened when some positive news will restore their sense of fun in full. Discussions within a partnership will go well provided you are honest about what you hope to achieve.

It’s said that Sagittarius can be super-messy. Clearing things up, organising and tidying is indeed a boring task. Yet it may be that this is essential if you are to move forward. Of course, much depends on your age and your personal chart. It’s likely however that something that’s been in your ‘research and development’ area for some time is now ready for action. To do this will likely require coordination, co-operation and attention to detail that at first is alien. Yet by Friday, you may consider this to be a major investment and worthy of all this mental and physical energy. There’s much to suggest that you will feel to be on the move after a long period of stagnation. Contact with those who live and work far away and who have some measure of respect within an organisation seems likely – with them (once again?) Seeking your advice and expertise.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

While you’re delighted when plans progress as you hoped, if things go too well, you can become suspicious, if not worry. However, Tuesday’s link between Mars and your ruler Saturn is so good that you’ll simply have to smile and try to enjoy all the wonderful things coming your way. Many will be no surprise and, better yet, a few will be as unexpected as they are thrilling.

Changes in your day-to-day activities will take some getting used to. Even so, once you get into the swing of new routines you will accept these were changes that were meant to be. You’re doing your best not to make waves and your quietly optimistic outlook on life should make certain that your efforts will be rewarded. A working relationship will be particularly enjoyable when you seem to bring out the best in each other.

We are once again at that time of year when giving thought to what you really enjoy doing is compelling. It would be wholly understandable if you were intensely irritated at work presently. It may be that yet again, there’s been too much muddled thinking. Whilst you may know that building on initial errors of judgement was always a mistake, there is no turning back. What you perhaps need is to offset work irritation with tasks that you find pleasurable and relaxing. Of course, it’s always possible that there are others who want to recruit your services and yes, choices to be made. This could lead to intense but fascinating conversations around the Full Moon next weekend. The art in the meantime, is surely to polish your CV, be confident about where you stand, and know which of your many talents you want to develop further.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

This remarkable week’s events are no accident. You’ve been quietly organising what many will regard as miracles. In a way they are, because you’ve believed certain changes were possible, despite others’ insistence they weren’t. Take a break to savour your victory. Then tackle the next challenges on your mind. The confidence you’ve gained will make it easier to take on more than one at a time.

You might wonder why it is that whenever someone has problems, they always turn to you. Whether it’s to do with romance, work or finance, they seem to think you have all the answers. That’s because you have helped them out so much in the past and your guidance has been good. Get plenty fresh air to keep you feeling fit and healthy. Follow your nose in financial matters. Be sure you don’t tell others what you intend to do.

Involvement with a new group or team seems likely. Before committing though, you need to understand exactly their aims and objectives. That really is this week’s problem. If going for interview, do your research well beforehand and have a list of questions ready. Though this might seem a statement of the obvious, it would surely do no harm to look as though you’re well-rehearsed and focused. Each person has their own research and development department. This is the time to put yours on display. Show your long-term interests and hobbies. Show too, how you’ve excelled or at least improved. Not only should this ensure that you stand out from the crowd, it could, by Friday prompt someone to consider whether or not the role you’ve applied for is the best for you. It may be that they have something as interesting on offer. What seems true for all Aquarius (interview or not), is that your inner child and creativity will surface and get you noticed.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For weeks you’ve remained silent about certain concerns and, equally, avoided mentioning plans you care about deeply, both for fear you’d hear bad news. Recently, that was possible; but now and during this week, the tide’s turning in your favour, often magically. The trick is first, to trust it, and second, if others want changes that suit them, to have the courage to say a firm ‘no’.

Social events continue to be few and far between. This doesn’t bother you too much as you have had plenty time to get used to a less hectic social agenda. Time spends with close friends whose company you enjoy is far more appealing. You’re starting to feel it is quality not quantity that counts when it comes to friendships. Progress you are making will show up another person’s slackness. They won’t be too amused.

It is a curious thing, but most people, struggling to be the best of the Sun sign they are, often play at being the opposite sign as it seems easier. Pisces people can often appear confused and forgetful and when things get too much, they go off and play at being Virgos and become super-efficient. You could take a few people by surprise this week when you display signs of understanding, coherence, aptitude and focus. It may not be possible to keep this trend up along however! By next weekend you may need to get back into your Pisces role where your special gifts are imagination and design. In the process, and as you seek safe harbour and relief from the pressures of being too organised and efficient, you may need assistance – most likely from someone born under Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn. In their different ways, they could guide and help you plan your next move.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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

http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html
http://Goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The GoddessSchool ~ http://GoddessSchool.com

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

10.Introduction to Energy Healing

11.Introduction to Paganism

12.Introduction to Meditation

13.Introduction to The Goddess Tradition and The Feminine Divine

14.Kuan Yins Gentle Embrace Reiki Certification

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

16.Tarot, Numerology, Natal Charts and Dream Readings

17.Reiki Training and Certification

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

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

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 7-14 Mar 2021 Thanks for reading!

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves
to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson ~

Look for joy in your life; it’s not always easy to find. – Charles Kuralt ~

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. – John Barrymore ~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil
March is National Women’s History Month

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

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Moura – February 20 – March 19

MARCH
14: Veturius Mamurius – Roman Festival of Armor Making
15: Feast of Anna Perenna
15: Attis and Cybele
16: Baccanalia, Roman
16: Festival of Dionysus, Greek
17: Saint Patrick’s Day
17: Green George Day (Celtic)
17: Feast of Aphrodite and Hermes begins (2 days)
18: Feast of Sheela-Na-Gig (Irish)
19: Feast of Saint Joseph
20: Aries Begins
20: Vernal Equinox

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

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
March 15, 2021 – March 21, 2021

The week starts off highly sensitive to your surrounding environment. Listening to your inner voice will enhance your imagination and creative projects will flow easier. Your personal power increases helping you fix problems that have been difficult to resolve.

Midweek is favorable to exploring your emotions and how deeply you feel for your partner(s.) You will understand the deep and more meaningful connection there and if your needs are being met.

Weekend, we move into fiery Aries, which should bring a boost of much needed energy. This is a great time to do spring cleaning and embrace the change of the seasons.

Recommended candles and oils: Chakra Magic Empowered Candle / Blessed Herbal Problem Solving / Blessed Herbal Inner Balance / Blessed Herbal Energy & Will

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

New Moon in Pisces on March 13, 2021
A new moon in Pisces is a great time to dig deep into the problem areas in your life and ‘seek’ higher meaning. Not just to find a reason for all that has happened, but also to accept, forgive, and release. When you keep reliving the past traumas, you re-traumatize yourself on every level.

It’s Here! Factual Uncomfortable Truths
March 2021, Pisces season is an energy that many are uncomfortable with because this represents everything that has a beginning and must come to an end. Our immortality-obsessed culture has difficulty incorporating into everyday life. If we dive into the depths of Pisces, we can hear the magical song of the mermaid.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: The Tower Reversed

This week, the Tower reversed suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval.

You’re instigating change and calling into question your fundamental belief systems, values, purpose, and meaning. You may go through a spiritual awakening as you discover a new path.

Your beliefs and opinions about important topics may change as you realize that you can no longer support old beliefs.

You may be in denial that change is occurring, or maybe you’re clinging to an old belief system, even if you know it’s no longer relevant or healthy for you.

Even though you probably don’t want to go through it, this challenging time will help you learn a valuable lesson and make progress in your life.

You are creating change and transformation so you can step into a new and evolved version of yourself.

Ask the Tarot: How can I embrace this transformation?

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Heartwings Love Notes 974: Intrusive Advertising

Heartwings says: “The voices saying, ‘Buy, buy, buy,” get louder and louder.”

I picked up the fortune cookie left from our last takeout Chinese dinner. “Open it,” Stephen said. I did, and took out the slip of paper with the fortune on it. I read it aloud, chuckled, and was about to put it down when I noticed writing on the other side. I turned it over and discovered an advertisement for a tax preparation firm together with a suggestion: “Ask the in-laws to move in. They may be tax deductible.” There was also one of those ubiquitous black boxes with the designs one photographs with one’s cell phone, to be guided to a web site.

Checking the backs of other, older fortune cookie slips we still had, I found only blank paper or a Chinese language lesson. I was somewhat taken aback. Here too? Is nothing ad free? Anyone who uses a computer is inundated with ads. They are on the edges of one’s screen menus, one’s lists of emails, and surround whatever one wants to explore that might be of interest. Of course, no magazine is without them, and I’m used to that, but fortune cookies? What will they think of next? Toilet paper? Paper towels? Those little cloths used for cleaning and dusting? Or maybe the(to me) evil smelling sheets that go into the dryer to soften the clothes!

It’s not easy to ignore these intrusions into my life, not to mention my consciousness. When I was on my typewriter, it was different. Times have changed and company advertising has become ever cleverer and more persistent. As a writer I need to use my computer frequently. It takes great self discipline to ignore all the comes at me constantly without much I can do about it. My experience is not unusual I know. My son-in-law was speaking the other day about all the mail that comes to him from what appears to be legitimate sources marked “urgent, or open at once.” He has to waste time opening what turns out to be trash.

There is so much to read coming to us all from all sides. Information overload is real. With my inquiring mind, I find it difficult not to pursue the plethora of interesting facts and stories displayed everywhere on my computer screen. It’s also very distracting, and usually a complete waste of time. It used to be that catalogues arrived in the mail by the dozens. They still do, however, now my email as well as Stephen’s is filling up with advertisements for anything I might have taken a look at in an idle moment. Apparently Big Brother really is watching me, and a delayed 1984 has arrived in 2021.

May you be able to screen out what is intrusive and feel comfortable.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS How do you cope? How do you feel about all that? I’d Love to hear your views. Email me at Tashahal@aol.com and for more Love Notes on a variety of subjects, check out my web pages at Heartwings and friends.com

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Butterfly Magick
MARCH 14, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

March 14 is Learn About Butterflies Day. Butterflies are a universal symbol of transformation. When you encounter butterflies on a regular basis, it is a message from spirit that big changes are on the way. In order to harness the energy of the butterfly, you can perform this simple spell. Gather seasonal flowers and place them on your altar or sacred space along with labradorite (a transformation stone) and quartz crystals (to amplify your intentions). Say these words and repeat as many times as needed:

May the wings of the butterfly
set me free and allow wonderful
changes to come to me.
I will flow with the transformation
without a care, like the butterfly
as it flies gracefully in the air.

Release your expectation to the outcome of the changes you desire and trust that the universe will guide you to your highest good.
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Truth Honey
MARCH 13, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

There is nothing kinder than a truth from a friend delivered with tact and pure love. It can be hard to speak our mind. This little potion helps to sweeten the tongue, making it easier to express our compassion and sincerity. Enjoy a spoonful of this elixir before any heart-to-heart, and it will make for honesty and golden communication, rooted in perfect love and perfect trust.

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 4 quince, sliced
  • 8 juniper berries, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon jasmine flowers
  • 8 slices fresh or canned lotus root

Combine all of the ingredients, warming them over low heat. Cook this on low for 1.5 hours or until the fruit begins to mash when pressed. Strain into a glass jar and feed the pulp to wild creatures. Draw or decorate the jar with lotus flowers, yin-yang symbols, and peace signs to further imbibe the elixir.
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Divining Rods Spell
MARCH 12, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

There is much talk these days about food sensitivities. Using divining rods can help put the power of diagnosis in your own hands.

Create a set of divining rods using two 20-inch lengths of medium-gauge aluminum (from a hardware store) or straightened coat-hanger wire. Bend each wire into an L shape, with a 5-inch “arm.” Hold the two arms loosely in your closed hands so that the 15-inch length of each rod floats horizontally in front of you.

Experiment with foods that you know disagree with you until you understand what “bad” looks like with your rods. My rods push out wide to the sides to indicate “bad” foods. Once you have established what “good” and “bad” look like, use the rods to connect to your own higher knowing and cellular vibration, and test foods to confirm what is problematic for your system. Seeing is believing and hearing your higher self.
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Listen to Your Instincts
MARCH 11, 2021 BY EMYME

Some days you wake up energized for a new venture or the completion of a project, and ready to accomplish anything, but your calendar is full of obligations. There comes a time and place to listen to your body and soul and point that energy inward.

Try this today. First perform whatever morning ritual you have. Then contact those to whom you have obligations—work, family, friends— and cancel those plans. Next, plant yourself in front of your chosen task and ready, set, go! My personal preparation on such days includes candles for aromatherapy and a request to the appropriate goddess or muse, such as this one:

(Name of goddess or muse), I thank
you for your inspiration. Allow
the creativity to flow through me.
Guide my hands in the performance
of this work in your honor.
All is well. Blessed be.
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Strengthen the Bonds of Friendship
MARCH 10, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF

For this spell you will need the following materials:

  • One fresh cut flower for each person in the friendship
  • Several pieces of paper
  • A pen
  • A large, heavy book (An old dictionary or phone book works best.)
  • A needle and thread

Choose a flower for each person in the friendship. Bonus points for choosing their favorite flower.

Perform the following steps for each individual involved, including yourself. Take two pieces of paper. On each, write the person’s name thirteen times. Hold the flower and focus your attention on it. Imagine that the person is emerging from the flower. Say:

By stem and petal, leaf and bud,
Unfolding flower, I name you
__ (name of person).

Place the flower between the two sheets of paper and insert them into the book. Firmly close the book.

Repeat these steps until each person has a flower in the book. Now collect the papers and sew them all together in any fashion you choose while you chant:

Friends through thick and
friends through thin.

Keep the papers and flowers hidden away.
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Goddess Caffeina
MARCH 09, 2021
BY NAJAH LIGHTFOOT

Teas and coffees wake us up and enliven our spirit. However, not all of us are coffee or tea drinkers. Some people grab an energy shot to begin their day.

But before you pour that liquid caffeine into your mouth, in whatever form you like best, take a moment to give thanks to the goddess Caffeina, mother of caffeinated drinks.

Before one sip of that delicious libation touches your lips, say:

Goddess Caffeina, I honor you. Unto
you, Mother Earth, I give the first sip
of this delicious drink, which stirs
my being and shakes my soul. Thank
you for the blessing of caffeine!

After you have finished saying your blessing, pour a bit of your drink onto the earth.

Now go forth and enjoy your caffeinated drink!
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Celebrating International Woman’s Day
MARCH 08, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR

Today is International Women’s Day, a time to stop and recognize the important accomplishments of women in the arenas of politics, human rights, economics, etc. Today, don’t simply celebrate on the macrocosmic level; bring your acknowledgments down into the microcosm of your life. Take the time to directly acknowledge an individual woman you know personally and thank her for her efforts. Those who fight in the name of progress are often happy to do the job but will tell you it is thankless work. Gratitude is a kind of magic all its own, and expressing it is an act of magic. If the woman is living, email, call, or visit her. Let her know you appreciate her efforts. Perhaps bake her a treat or get her a cup of coffee in appreciation. If the woman has passed, make an offering to her spirit.

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What Marie Kondo Can Teach Witches About The Shadow
FEBRUARY 23, 2019 BY MAT AURYN

Marie Kondo is someone whom I absolutely adore. She’s a former Shinto priestess and her Netflix show is amazing, particularly because she’s bringing awareness of animism to people in America, who wouldn’t normally think about talking to the Spirit of Place or viewing objects as entities. Researching Marie’s history, I realized she is the perfect example of how I will illustrate how Shadow work should be approached from a Jungian & Witchcraft point of view.

One of the biggest questions with Shadow Work that I receive is how to repurpose and reintegrate the Shadow once it’s identified. The goal in both is to repurpose the Shadow in a way that is beneficial so that it works with you and not against you. The goal isn’t to fight the Shadow, but to reintegrate it in a healthy manner. The goal also isn’t to ignore or silence the Shadow aspect of ourselves, as that’s how the aspect becomes Shadow instead of part of our conscious personality. The goal is always wholeness.

“…this integration [of the shadow] cannot take place and be put to a useful purpose unless one can admit the tendencies bound up with the shadow and allow them some measure of realization – tempered, of course, with the necessary criticism. This leads to disobedience and self-disgust, but also to self- reliance, without which individuation is unthinkable.”
– Carl Jung

Psychology & Western Religion
When Marie was little she would obsessively clean and throw old things out, whether it was hers or her parents or not. She felt overwhelmed by the chaos of the world and this obsessive cleaning and minimalism helped her feel a bit more in control. She would also stay in during recess and after school to clean up the classroom because it gave her anxiety. This behavior made her antisocial with severe social anxiety and disconnected her from other people. This aspect of herself totally took over her life, to the point of having a nervous breakdown and blacking out and falling to the ground when coming home to see her room in severe disarray. This is the Shadow completely out of control.

“Sometimes, [Shadow] aspects manifest in people’s lives in unexpected or even inexplicable ways. For example, someone stuck in the depths of addiction may be suffering from unresolved Shadow elements around worthlessness, fear of success, fear of failure, abandonment, etc. Those elements can be considered the core issues. They then manifest in compensatory behaviors intended to relieve the struggle around their repression, meaning outward behaviors, such as lying, cheating, isolation, substance abuse, angry outbursts, control moves, etc. Such behaviors are ways in which the shadow makes itself known because the person has not come into balance with it through careful and constructive investigation. In this way, we can see that many manifestations of the shadow through behavior are actually tied to deeper complexes within the mind that are unresolved or unaddressed. Almost always, they point to a fear of some sort, or multiple fears wedded together.”
– Sarah Lynne Bowman, Ph.D.

Integrating The Shadow Self

Marie Kondo made one little shift to her Shadow that helped her integrate it in a healthy manner. This one little shift helped change her life and that of countless others. She took this part of her that was compulsive about throwing things out and shifted the focus on figuring out what to keep. It’s still the same aspect of her that was controlling her unconsciously, but this time she was deciding to give that aspect of herself a different and more healthy task. Instead of focusing on throwing out what was making her anxious, she shifted it to looking for which objects brought her joy.

This lead to her creating a cleaning consultation business. This part of her which isolated herself from others and was purely anxiety based has led her to fly around the world and bringing her closer to other people, helping transform their lives and discovering what brings them joy. This is the perfect example of how Shadow work can transform our lives and that of others when done properly. Finding these little shifts to make in our Shadow isn’t easy, which is one of many reasons why despite being difficult work, is necessary and transformative.

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How to Start (and Interpret) a Daily Tarot Practice, According to Experts
by JULIANNE ISHLER

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
Woman is reading Tarot cards on the table in cafe

Woman is reading Tarot cards on the table in cafe
So, you’re tarot-curious. Maybe you have the classic Rider-Waite deck sitting on your shelf for when you feel called to do a reading. Or, perhaps you have a vintage hand-me-down deck that looks aesthetically pleasing next to your crystals and record player.

You’re not alone — tarot is trending. Not only have tarot deck sales skyrocketed, but spirituality has made a bigger splash in mainstream culture over the years. Especially during the pandemic, more and more people are searching for greater purpose and reevaluating what’s important to them. What better way to do that than to turn to the cards themselves, as other people have been doing for centuries?

Whether you’re a newbie, spiritual skeptic, or an advanced reader, there are many benefits to having a daily tarot card practice. For one, a daily practice such as tarot can help you get in the habit of accessing your intuition, which in turn can guide your decision-making and align your actions. A tarot habit can also serve as an opportunity to check in with yourself and put the right questions in front of you. You may even feel like you’re starting to see things more clearly because you’re making it a priority to tune into your own rhythm and patterns, whether it’s red flags at work or a larger issue you need to confront in a relationship.

The best part is, you can easily incorporate a tarot card pull into your daily routine — and three experts weigh in on how to create a meaningful habit below.

How to Get Started with a Daily Tarot Practice
First things first, you need a tarot deck. Sure, that’s obvious, but it’s important to find one that speaks to you. There are tons of options out there, from the traditional Rider-Waite deck to the artsy Thoth deck and the modern Mystic Mondays deck.

“You want to be able to see a story in the cards,” Sasha Piergeorge, a tarot reader and psychic medium, says about choosing the deck for you. Connecting to your deck’s visual imagery activates your intuition. Are you drawn to the colors and patterns you see? How about the artwork? Just like piecing together a story, each card reflects a scene, and Piergeorge recommends looking at the parallels between the cards and your personal life — perhaps it reminds you of a situation you’re currently facing or a dream you’ve recently had.

When it comes to your daily practice, it helps to find a quiet space and limit your distractions. Put your phone somewhere out of reach (or turn it on silent) and focus on being present with your cards, as well as the prompt you offer them. “When shuffling the cards, start off with a simple question that can be asked again each day, such as, ‘What do I need to focus on?’ or ‘What does the universe want me to know today?’” Piergeorge says.

After you pull your card, sit with it for a minute or so before looking up its meaning. It can also help to keep track of your results — and your personal interpretations— in a journal, Jessica Wiggan of BehatiLife recommends. “This will help you notice trends, make predictions, and track your spiritual evolution which encourages your daily card pull practice,” she says.

Whether you choose to do your practice first thing in the morning or right before bed, there are many ways to establish a routine. Grace Duong, founder of Mystic Mondays, says that morning is a great time to pull energy from the cards in order to set intentions and receive guidance for the day ahead. She adds that doing this at nighttime is an opportunity to reflect on your day and what you learned — what matters is that you find a cadence that works for you.

How to Interpret What the Cards Mean:
Each tarot deck is divided into major arcana cards and minor arcana cards.

The 21 major arcana cards represent life lessons, karmic patterns, and larger themes influencing your life.
The 56 minor arcana cards have four different suits of 14 cards: cups, wands, swords, and pentacles. Cups represent your emotional world, pentacles reflect the material world, swords represent your thoughts and actions, and wands reflect your passion.

Once you have a basic idea of how the arcanas are divided up, you can piece details together. Maybe you’re feeling burnt out at work and you consistently pull cards from the cups suit — this could be telling you that you’re feeling emotionally drained. Or, maybe the cards you’re pulling all have dark-colored imagery on them, signifying you’re being weighed down. Whether you look at cups or colors, symbols or signs, anything can be interpreted how you want it to be.

“Always look at the symbols and pictures found in the tarot card,” Wiggan says. “What images or numbers stand out to you? What are the expressions on the characters’ faces? Note what they remind you of, how you feel, and what they symbolize. Like the saying goes, ‘a picture can speak a thousand words.’ The same is true for tarot.”

While there are traditional meanings for each of the cards, each deck tells a different story. Try not to get too attached to the literal interpretation of the cards or think you have to memorize them before starting your practice. In fact, Before turning to a guidebook, check in with what you’re sensing.

“If you immediately look up the meaning in the guidebook, you miss out on the random-seeming thoughts that end up being spot-on, and you might find it harder to develop trust in your intuition,” Piergeorge says.

Another thing to note is that there are no good or bad pulls. The Death or Devil cards, for instance, are not bad omens and you may block yourself from the card’s message based on a very common misconception. If you’re only getting a positive or negative reaction from a card, look for hidden messages — what’s in the background? What does the scenery represent? Use it as an opportunity for further exploration. “Consider mining these cards for deeper self-knowledge,” Piergeorge says. “Journaling about my cards sparked so many epiphanies for me.”

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Things We Don’t Want to Do

Doing things we don’t want to do, or that scare us, creates flow in our lives and allows us to grow.

Most of us have had the experience of tackling some dreaded task only to come out the other side feeling invigorated, filled with a new sense of confidence and strength. The funny thing is, most of the time when we do them, we come out on the other side changed and often wondering what we were so worried about or why it took us so long. We may even begin to look for other tasks we’ve been avoiding so that we can feel that same heady mix of excitement and completion.

Whether we avoid something because it scares us or bores us, or because we think it will force a change we’re not ready for, putting it off only creates obstacles for us. On the other hand, facing the task at hand, no matter how onerous, creates flow in our lives and allows us to grow. The relief is palpable when we stand on the other side knowing that we did something even though it was hard or we didn’t want to do it. On the other hand, when we cling to our comfort zone, never addressing the things we don’t want to face, we cut ourselves off from flow and growth.

We all have at least one thing in our life that never seems to get done. Bringing that task to the top of the list and promising ourselves that we will do it as soon as possible is an act that could liberate a tremendous amount of energy in our lives. Whatever it is, we can allow ourselves to be fueled by the promise of the feelings of exhilaration and confidence that will be the natural result of doing it.

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Spring is Mother Nature’s Wake Up Call
by Mama Donna, The Urban Shamman

She sounds her bugle for reveille and the sun comes running back to us, light, and warmth on its heels. “Rise and shine,” she orders. And it does.

The Earth awakens in the solar radiance. The living energy, which has stayed hidden underground during the long deep sleep of the dark season, now shifts and starts to stir.

The dirt thaws. The sweet sap rises. Poking and peeking, it seeks the surface, the space, the air, the light. Stretching skyward, life breaks new ground.

Bulbs burst forth from the Earth, sending up tender shoots. Buds appear, looking all pink and rosy before the sun turns them green. Seeds sprout. The first early flowers explode open, exposing their delicate centers.

The Hatching of the World Egg
If the Winter Solstice signals the birth of the sun, then the Spring Equinox exclaims the birth of the earth – the resurrection of nature from the dark death of winter. The life, which has stayed hidden, in exile or underground, during the long deep sleep of the cold season, now shifts and starts to stir. Poking and peeking, it seeks the surface. The space. The air. The light. Striving, stretching skyward, life breaks new ground. Bulbs, shoots and buds burst forth from the earth, exploding open, exposing their tender green growth. The sweet sap rises.
The birth waters break. The snow melts. The skies open. It rains, it pours, it mists, it drips fertilizing fluids from the heavens. The air is damp like a baby’s bottom. The land is soaked. The mud, like mucous, like after-birth. The defrosting sodden soil is teeming, churning with every creepy crawly thing that ever slithered out of a swamp. Hordes of birds descend, drawn by the juicy feast. Animals awaken from their pregnant hibernations, skinny and starving and suckling their young. Birds and beasts, alike, set out on a concerted feeding frenzy, gorging themselves and their ravenous, insatiable, mouths-ever-open offspring.

It is as if the great egg of the whole world has hatched.
And so it has in the collective imagination and symbolism of many cultures. The myths of the peoples of Polynesia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Greece, Phoenicia, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Central and parts of South America and Africa all describe an original cosmic egg from which the universe is born. The Latin proverb, Omne vivum ex ovo, proclaims “All life comes from an egg.” It is only natural and not so subtle to assign the birth of the world to a Great Mother Goddess who laid the egg of life. All of nature, after all, is a constant cyclical reminder of just such a fertile female force, the seed source of all generation. All life does, indeed, come from an egg.
The Egyptian goddess Hathor took the form of the

Nile goose, the Great Cackler in order to lay the golden egg, which was the sun. The Egyptian hieroglyphic notation for the World Egg is the same as for that of an embryo in the womb of a woman. The Celts, too, had a Mother Goose who laid the egg of all existence. According to the Hawaiians, the Big Island was produced from the egg of a huge water bird. She was known as the Great Midwife, the Egg Mother. Knosuano was the Moon Egg of Ghana. The Druids honored the Egg of the World. In Greek Orphic tradition, The Great Goddess of womb-like darkness, Mother Night, was impregnated by the Wind, and she gives forth with the silver egg from which the earth emerges.

According to the Chinese, the first human being sprang from an egg dropped from the heaven into the primordial waters. The Chimu Indians of Peru are descended, ordinary people and heroes alike, from the original egg – the Moon. The Samoan Heavenly One, hatched from an egg whose shell pieces became the earth. Prajapati, the creator of all living things in Indian mythology, was born of a great golden egg, which was first incubated in the uterine waters of eternity. The god, Brahma burst forth from a gold egg.
In time, the egg, the symbol of life, of birth, came to signify the season of spring. For it is then that the aspect of fertility and rebirth within the cycle is so overwhelmingly evident. Clearly, the egg stands for spring. The egg, in fact, stands at spring. Actually stands up on its end at the moment of the Vernal Equinox. Stands at attention as the sun crosses the equator into the northern hemisphere. Stands in salute to spring.

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Creating a Garden Sanctuary

A personal outdoor sanctuary is an important part of feeling connected to all of life.

Each of us has been blessed with an innate need to celebrate and glorify life. At a most basic level, we honor the forces that came together to bring us into being by caring for our bodies and our souls. To truly rejoice in existence, we must also learn to cultivate loveliness in those special places that replenish the soul. When we create a garden sanctuary, we are reminded that we are a part of both nature’s essence and something more. An outdoor retreat is a place we can surround ourselves in nature, beauty, and the life force. It is not difficult to create a sanctuary — we should endeavor, however, to create sanctuaries that speak to us as individuals.

Whether we have a yard, a grassy corner, a patio, or a porch at our disposal, our creative potential is infinite. Any of these spaces can become a magnificent garden. When we feel drawn to specific themes such as Zen, angels, paradise, or the ethereal, we should explore them. Décor and furniture crafted from natural materials like wood and stone blend seamlessly into nature. Yet we can also augment the natural world by filling our garden sanctuaries with statues, bells or gongs, or colorful flags. Running water, like that in a created stream or fountain, helps energy flow smoothly. If space is a concern, crystals and mirrors can fulfill the same function. Hidden features like concealed swings and reflecting pools veiled in shadow can surprise and delight. As your garden sanctuary evolves, remember to invite the elemental spirits of nature to assist you in your efforts to create a small pocket of harmony, beauty, and peace in your own backyard. If you have not already felt their presence, sit quietly in your garden and reach out to them. You will feel these earthly guides at your side as you continue to develop your sanctuary.

In the refuge of brilliant color, sweet scents, and stillness you create in your garden, the burdens imposed upon you by a sometimes hectic world will melt away. The splendor and tranquility of what you have brought into being will entrance you, allowing you to forget the constraints of time and space. No matter how large or small your garden sanctuary, the time you spend reveling in its pleasures will refresh your spirit and provide you with innumerable opportunities to celebrate life.

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Burial Customs From Around The World
by Cathy Wallace

Burial customs from around the world provide an important link to our ancestors. They are physical evidence of a society’s spiritual beliefs, sometimes dating back thousands of years.

Most people believe that their ancestor’s spirits journey to an afterlife but what their families do to honor them after they are gone is unique to each culture.

Below are some burial customs from around the world from A – Z: Aboriginal Australia to Zimbabwe.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Aboriginal Australia

The Aboriginal people make up about 3% of Australia’s population. They often refer to their funeral rites as “sorry business”.

Traditionally, the Aboriginal people of Australia were divided into about 500 tribes and their burial customs varied greatly.

Some tribes buried their family members in two phases. First, their bodies were wrapped in bark and placed on an outdoor platform in the hot sun for several months.

Then, when only the skeleton remained, the second phase began. The bones were painted with red ochre and buried in a location that was significant to the family such as a coastal dune or a mountainous cave.

Today, in modern Australia, Aboriginal families usually choose a standard coffin burial or cremation combined with traditional ceremonies. They decorate their bodies with white paint and spend several days dancing and singing as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

Burial Customs from Around the World: China

The foundation of burial customs in China is the ancient practice of ancestor worship. The Chinese do not view cemeteries as repositories of the dead, but rather as a community of living spirits who are capable of communicating with and helping their descendants.

And they need to do a great job too. If their ancestors are unhappy with the upkeep of their graves or the quality of the offerings, they might teach their descendants a lesson by refusing to help them when they are in need or by even by giving them a good haunting.

Offerings include physical objects to make their ancestor’s afterlife more comfortable – food, money, and household objects.

Then the money is burned. Some worshippers pray to a higher deity, asking that their ancestors will be honored, while others pray directly to their ancestors.

And while descendants may want to give their ancestors more elaborate gifts – such as houses or cars – that is not practical so these types of objects are made out of folded paper – called Joss paper.

Today, elaborate Joss paper offerings can be purchased in the shape of smartphones, shoes, cameras, and kitchen appliances.

These paper offerings are also burned at the graveside, along with incense.

It is common to see the deceased’s photos on gravestones.

Chinese cemetery rituals not only honor the deceased, but they also strengthen family ties as clans gather together at their common ancestor’s gravesites. And family strength has been the bedrock of Chinese society for millennia.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Ghana

“Let’s get this party on!” But wait . . . it’s not a party, it’s a funeral. Whaaaaat?!

In Ghana, if the deceased has lived beyond the age of 70, they are considered to have lived a full life and this is cause for a grand celebration! It is a testimony to the Ghanaians’ strong belief that death is the beginning of the deceased’s afterlife.

Funerals for older people are all-night celebrations. Everyone wears white, a symbol of resurrection. And there is song and dance – a Ghanaian mix of jazz, brass bands, and African rhythms.

Funerals are also a chance for the family to showcase their success and social prestige. They are more flamboyant than weddings, birthdays, or any other ceremony. And “the more the merrier” holds true as hundreds of people attend.

Coffins are built in the shape of objects that reflect the interests and passions of the departed. There are coffins carved to look like shoes, cars, cameras, phones, Bibles, lions, and more.

A fisherman might be buried in crab, fish, or boat coffin.

If you were born in Ghana, what would your coffin be shaped like? It might be fun to ask your family and friends what they would choose for you!

Burial Customs from Around the World:
Indonesia

Many Indonesians are buried in crypts that have been carved into rock walls. Why? So they can easily be removed for a celebration of their life during a “2nd funeral”.

Ma’nane is Indonesia’s “cleaning of the corpse festival” celebrated every three years by the Tojaran people of Sulawesi Island.

During the festival, family members remove their relative’s bodies, clean them, redress them, and even take them on a walk through their village.

For them, this is a sacred time to reconnect with their deceased loved ones.

According to legend, this sacred festival dates back hundreds of years to a man who was hiking in the mountains when he found a corpse. He dressed it in his own clothes and buried it, which brought him good luck.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Ireland

The traditional Irish wake was a way to deal with grieving through celebration.

According to Irish custom, when someone died, all the clocks in the house were stopped and the mirrors were covered. A neighbor woman came to prepare the body which stayed at the family home until the next day, sometimes lying down and other times sitting bolt upright in a chair.

No one was allowed to weep until the body was washed, believing that this may attract the attention of evil spirits who might try to enter the body while it was still unclean. Once the body was cleansed, the lead mourner would begin to wail and other women joined in.

The period of weeping and wailing was followed by the arrival of guests. Visitors came for food, drink, dancing, drink, games, drink, and laughter (did I mention drink?) as they celebrated the life of the departed. The frolicking went on into the night.

The next day a walking procession was held, with the deceased’s body being carried by pallbearers. They went first to the local church and then to the graveyard.

At the graveside, bagpipes were played, prayers were said, and dirt was shoveled into the grave. Often a Celtic cross was placed at this final resting place.

Celtic Cross in the west of Ireland, with beach and Atlantic ocean in the background, BillionGraves, GPS, gravestone, cemetery, genealogy, burial customs, family history, Ireland, burial customs, Irish, Irish wake
Learn about Irish gravestone symbols by clicking HERE.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Mexico

In Mexico, visitors come to the home of the deceased to sit with the family for 24-48 hour vigil. They bring gifts, eat and drink together, and pray.

The deceased is buried with their clothing and important possessions.

But the Mexican cemetery traditions don’t end there. The Day of the Dead is a holiday held on November 1st and 2nd when it is believed that the veil between the spirit world and the physical world is removed.

Family and friends gather in cemeteries to pray for and to remember those who have died. The souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, dance, and play music with their loved ones.

Faces are painted to look like skeletons. White clothing with bright colored embroidery is worn. Candles and flowers are carried in a parade-like procession to the cemetery.

Decorated tomb in the cemetery of Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico, during the celebration of Day of the Dead.
Graves are covered in elaborate decorations made up of flower petals and candles. Families sometimes spent the entire year planning for the grave cleaning and decorations.

Families gather in cemeteries to hold full-day picnics and talk about their memories of the departed. Not only is food is eaten by the living, it is also placed on the graves as offerings or ofrendas to the spirits of their departed ancestors.

Pan de muerto, a sweet roll decorated with bone shapes, and calaveras, a skull made of sugar and decorated with colorful designs to represent the personality of the departed, are common foods made during Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Scandinavia

Anciently, the Vikings of Scandinavia believed that boats symbolized safe passage into the afterlife. Grave mounds were often built to resemble ships, with stones outlining the shape of the vessel. Those of high-rank were buried with their ships.

Today in Scandinavia, people are buried three deep, stacked one on top of another. When each new person is buried, another name is added to the gravestone. Family members must pay an annual fee or the three bodies are exhumed and someone else is buried there.

At Christmastime, Scandinavians visit their ancestor’s gravesites to place lit candles, many of them dressed in traditional folk costumes.

The cemetery takes on a magical otherworldly glow as every gravestone is lit up with a flickering flame reflecting off the snow.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Tonga

When someone dies in Tonga, the mourning period lasts for 100 days. During this time, mourners wear black clothing and a Ta’ovala, a grass skirt woven from coconut fibers.

Family and friends of the deceased gather for a wake to pay their respects. Those who are close to the family are expected to spend the night, sleeping outside under a canopy with them.

Graveyard on Ofu Island, Vavau group, Tonga
Visitors bring small gifts to the grieving family, such as woven mats, flowers, or food. For those of high social status, a brass band leads the way to the cemetery where those gifts are often used to decorate the gravesite.

The burial customs for Tongan royalty are especially elaborate. Tongan kings are considered to be sacred and are therefore deemed untouchable by anyone of an inferior class during their lifetime.

Even after their death, only a few “sacred hands” are allowed to touch the king’s body. The undertakers who are designated to care for a deceased king’s body are known as nima tapu.

The nima tapu are forbidden from using their hands for any other task for the full 100 day mourning period! Fortunately for them, servants are appointed to care for their every need. (Uh, wait, that’s a little awkward.)

Neifau, Vava’u Islands, Tonga
Anciently, after the mourning period ended, the undertakers were killed so that they could accompany the king into the afterlife. Later, this practice was modified to just cutting off one of their fingers – usually the pinky.

Burial Customs from Around the World: Zimbabwe

When someone dies in Zimbabwe, it is customary for their body to stay in the family home overnight. It is then transported to the place of their birth for ceremonies and burial the next day.

Zimbabwean funerals are held in the early morning rather than late afternoon. This is due to a belief that witches roam during the late afternoon looking for bodies to use in evil spells.

The immediate family stands together on one side of the grave and others stand opposite. Close family members are not allowed to speak or participate in the burial ceremony.

The deceased is buried with eating utensils, walking sticks, blankets, and tools related to their occupation.

Then the guests are invited to the deceased’s home for a simple meal with the family. Prior to entering the home, they participate in a cleansing ritual to remove cemetery dirt from their clothes.

The following year, on the anniversary of the death, there is a much more elaborate ceremony to mark the end of mourning and to release the spirit of the deceased.

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Gilberto’s Moment of a Lifetime
By Stephen Halpert

Upon returning to the condo Gilberto placed the warm pizzas on a kitchen counter and placed three bottles of French Champaign on the kitchen table. Joey went to his room to check on Elmer. Ramon sat across from Rosa and Eva at the kitchen table.

Eva and Rosa were smiling. Both looked blessed. Each was smiling a warm glow

“Hi,” Gilberto said. “Maria is all right?”

Eva nodded. “She’s fine. She’s resting but wants you to come to her when you get home.”

“Thank you,”

“But don’t stay too long,” Rosa said. “She needs to rest and be fortified when the baby cries for feedings.”

He nodded. “So she won’t sleep for a full night.”

Rosa chuckled. “A full night’s sleep are for children.”

He looked confused. Maybe Ramon kept her up he thought. He nodded but said nothing.

Eva smiled at him. “Feel the warmth now in your heart.”

He wasn’t sure what she meant. He loved Maria dearly but wasn’t caught up in some sort of effulgence.

“I’ll just go say hello,” he smiled turned and went to the bedroom.

A soft blue light glowed from Maria’s bedside table. He approached the bed slowly. “Hi,”

Did she hear him. Was she deep in sleep?”

A soft quiet sound, then slowly she opened her eyes and smiled broadly at him. “Come kiss me and greet your daughter.”

Her words touched something deep inside him and he was brought to tears.

“A miracle,” he said reaching for words to describe….”

Maria smiled. “I’d like to introduce e you to Ramona Sanchez Santiago, our daughter.”

He reached down and brushed his lips softly against hers. She smiled. “”You can kiss me like you always do. I’m not a fragile waif.”

“Oh I will,” he grinned. “Have no fear. ” He looked at the bassinet by the side of the bed. But it was empty. Holding her newborn in her old pink blanket Maria had as a girl and miraculously kept. “She’s going to be a great athlete,” she whispered to him. “That will be our secret to be kept secretly in our hearts. Hold these moments with me Gilberto. Let them warm your memory throughout our lifetimes.””

He nodded. “From day one. I’ll order her a pro gauge red, white, and blue soccer ball tomorrow.” He smiled. That idea so appealed to him. “She can roll it around like a toy. Get used to playing with it.”

“Maria laughed. “Oh Gilberto I love your eccentric impatience. You are such a dear, dear man but she won’t need a soccer ball for years…”

His eyes bright. He smiled. “But she it could just be a toy that she could push around with a rattle.”

Maria laughed. “If you say so. Probably. Here hold your daughter.”

He reached down and lifted the pink blanket and looked at a very familiar face. “She’s a tiny little you,” he said. “Joey has your eyes and a strong resemblance but Ramona’s totally a mini you.

“Good,” Maria half smiled, and yawned. “Then you’ll have two uppity feminists to deal with. “That should keep you lean and trim.”

He laughed and swept his daughter up in his arms in a grand gesture. “Hello,” he repeated. The newborn slept.

“Hi,” I’m Gilberto,” he persisted. “Your daddy. We’re going to have an incredible lifetime together.” Hi’ He choked up on his words. He wanted everything at once, see her grow into an adult right then before his eyes. He was overcome by an unfamiliar excitement.

He turned to Maria. “Want some pizza and a sip of Champaign? I’ll bring you some.”

“Later on,” she smiled. “Just this little bit with us together has me tired. Now I want to doze.”

“Ok,” he smiled. “I’ll let you sleep. But I won’t be far, so call me if you need me.”

She smiled. “Of course, my darling. You’ll always be so close to me.”

Then he kissed her again, looked at his sleeping daughter and quietly left.

In the kitchen Ramon was heating the pizzas, Rosa and Eva were sitting quietly, their faces bright, their eyes very translucent. Each held a small shot glass.

“The miracle of birth,” Rosa said. “She smiled at Gilberto. “I trust you’re…”

He nodded unsure what to say. He couldn’t put into words those miraculous moments. Whatever thoughts he might say would only flatten them out, take away from them the amazing miracle they contained.

Joey came in leading Oscar. “Can I go see my sister?”

“A little later,” Rosa said. “Right now your mama’s resting. She needs rest to fortify her strength.”

Joey nodded. “I’ll take Oscar back to my room. He loves it there. Especially when he can watch Animal Planet on my DVD player.”

Ramon handed Gilberto a fluted glass of Champaign. He turned to Joey. “Then come back. We’re going to toast the good health and long life of your little baby sister.”

He scampered down the hall, put Oscar in his room and came right back.

Ramon poured everyone a glass of bubbly.

Gilberto noticed Eva’s glow was so real. Her face could have been sunburnt. She turned to Rosa. Did you notice at that moment of birth the beginning and the end are there at once? Can you see the life that still remains in her aura passing into light as the new life emerges. It is so miraculous that continuum of life.”

Rosa nodded. “Yes. The miracle of birth ands into so many lifetimes.”

Gilberto wasn’t sure what she was saying but kept his questions just then to himself.

Ramon opened the pizza and served everyone. Then he handed Joey a fluted glass. “Just a little so you can toast Ramona.”

Joey’s eyes bulged. “He looked at Gilberto. “It’s ok?”

Gilberto smiled, nodded. “But drink it slowly. This isn’t a Shirley Temple to be gulped.”

Joey took a small sip and wrinkled his nose.

There was a knock at the front door. Ro9sa stood and went to open it. ‘

“Hello Mrs. Sanchez,” Gilberto heard her say. Then Alicia Sanchez followed by her husband Edwardo followed Rosa into the kitchen.

“I’ve come to see my daughter,” she proclaimed.

“Our granddaughter,” Edwards said. Gilberto thought he looked tired.

“We took an early flight from Miami,” he said. “Alicia has a Crochet Conference.”

Gilberto handed each of them a flute glass of Champaign. But rather than sit down and imbibe Alicia said. “I must see Maria and the baby. Please take me to her.”

(to be continued)

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Black Magic Cake (or Cupcakes!)

Lifestyles of the Witch and Ageless is, frankly, filled to the brim with cupcakes. Juniper Jones is pretty obsessed. So obsessed she’ll have cupcakes for breakfast. And Black Magic Cupcakes are her favorites (Newsflash: They’re my faves too!). I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite recipes. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and the chocolatey richness will knock your socks off!

Black Magic Cake (or Cupcakes)
Ingredients

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c strong black coffee, cooled (I use decaf for caffeine sensitive folks)
1 c buttermilk (or mix 1 Tbs vinegar with a cup of regular milk to make your own)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp real vanilla extract

CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 c butter, softened
2 oz melted semi sweet chocolate chips, cooled
3 c powdered sugar
3 Tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
  2. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. The batter will be thin. You’ll probably wonder what’s wrong with it. Trust me, it’s fine.
  3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans. Or 2 lined cupcake tins (24 total cupcakes).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9×13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans, or 20 minutes for cupcakes. (An inserted toothpick should come out clean.) Remove from oven and cool (cupcakes should be removed from tins, but cakes stay in the pan).
  5. Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer.
  6. Spread frosting on cooled cake.
  7. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. But if you do, no judgements here.

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Kitty Kat Korner!

Cats!

Cats have been associated with the supernatural since ancient times. Cats are associated with either good
or bad luck, healing or harm. In folklore, the cat is one of the favored animal companions of witches, sorcerers
(see sorcery) and fortune-tellers. Superstitions about cats abound.

The cat was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who associated it with the Moon and Bast, the goddess of marriage.It also was associated with the Mother Goddess,Isis. In Egyptian art, the sun god, Ra, was personified as
a cat slaying the Serpent of Darkness. Black cats were associated with darkness and death.

According to lore, virtually every sorcerer, witch and Gypsy fortune-teller was supposed to have a cat—and
sometimes an owl and a toad as well. During the witch hunts, cats were familiars; they embodied demons who
performed the witches’ tasks of maleficia against their neighbors. Elizabeth Francis of Chelmsford, England,
convicted as a witch in 1556, said she kept a white spotted cat named Sathan, which, whenever it performed a
job for her, demanded a reward of a drop of her blood (see Chelmsford witches).

Witches were said to be able to assume the shape of a cat nine times, presumably because a cat has nine lives.
Black cats were said to be the Devil himself. Throughout medieval Europe, black cats were routinely hunted down
and burned, especially on Shrove Tuesday and Easter. A cat accused of being a witch’s familiar usually was killed
by being burned alive. Cats were also used in witches’ spells. In the trial of John Fian, Scotland’s most famous
witch, in 1590–91, Fian and his coven were accused of trying to drown James VI (James I) and Queen Anne on
their voyage to Denmark. The witches allegedly christened a cat, tied it to a dismembered human corpse and threw
the bundle into the sea while they recited incantations. A great storm arose and forced the royal ship to return to
Scotland, but the king and queen were unharmed. In the lore of the Scottish Highlands, a large breed of
wild cats, called Elfin Cats, are said to be witches in disguise.

The Elfin Cats are about the size of dogs and are black with a white spot on the breast. They have arched
backs and erect bristles—the stereotypical Halloween cat. Though the black cat is associated with witchcraft, it
is nevertheless considered good luck to own one in parts of Europe, England and the United States. But having
one’s path crossed by a black cat is always bad luck. In other folklore, if a cat jumps over a corpse, the corpse
will become a vampire. To prevent this, the cat must be killed. Cats are fertility charms—a cat buried in a field
will ensure a bountiful crop.

The cat plays a role in Vodun in the southern United States. Cat charms, particularly those made with cats’
whiskers, can bring bad luck, disease and death to the victim. Conversely, in folklore cats have many healing
properties. A broth made from a black cat is said to cure consumption. In the 17th century, a whole cat boiled in
oil was held to be good for dressing wounds. Illnesses could be transferred to cats, who were then driven from
homes.

Cats’ eyes are supposed to be able to see ghosts. In western Asia, a stone called the Cat’s Eye—dull red with
a white mark—is associated with trouble and evil. In Wicca, the cat is a favoured companion or familiar,
valued for its psychic sensitivity and assistance in magic and ritual.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, March 14, 2021
All Signs

On Saturday this week, we have the Spring Equinox. (At last!) For Indian and Persian calendars, it’s the New Year; and in the southern hemisphere it’s the beginning of Fall. Since the Equinox is when the Sun is directly above the equator, you might try to balance an egg to see if it stands on its end. Alaska celebrates the Spring Equinox with a midnight baseball game, while in Iceland, you can play a midnight round of golf. According to a Cornell study based on 2 million tweets, people get happier as the days get longer. Yay! Let’s have more happiness! (This is easier than you think because happiness is a choice.) Be the reason someone feels happier today! (Pay them back the money you owe.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This week, you can start singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” because the Sun will move into your sign to stay until April 19; and by the end of the week, fair Venus will also be in Aries. This is blessing happens only once a year and when it does, quite literally, it is your chance to make hay while the Sun shines! In other words, it’s your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year because you can restore and replenish yourself with the energy of the Sun in your sign. Your ruler Mars is now in Gemini, which means your style of talking to others will be more direct and in-your-face during the next six weeks. “Hut, toop, threep, fourp!” (Sheesh!)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Right now, your personal year is coming to an end; however, your new year will not begin until your birthday takes place. This gives you a window of time for some serious self-introspection. Not only can you do some beneficial navel gazing in order to get to know yourself better; this is also the ideal time to define some goals for what you want to achieve in the coming year. Once you have goals established in your mind, it makes future decision-making easier. Furthermore, goals give you a sense of purpose and framework in your life. Meanwhile, you will bust your buns making money (and spending it) in the next six weeks. Ka-ching!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Good news! You’re entering a positive time. This week the Sun and Venus move into your House of Friendships, which will improve all your dealings with friends, clubs, groups and organizations. For example, if you share your hopes and dreams for the future with others, their feedback will help you. Try it. Meanwhile, Venus will increase the affection you feel for a friend. (Indeed, a friend could become a lover.) On top of this, fiery Mars is now in your sign boosting your energy for the next six weeks! (This happens only once every two years.) Oh yea, you’re gonna be PowerPoint on steroids. Look out world!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Once a year, the Sun sits at the top of your chart for four weeks. This symbolizes that you are in a flattering spotlight! This is why, without doing anything special, you will be admired by bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs. They might ask you to assume increased responsibilities. Since this “magic lighting” begins for your sign this week, this means the month ahead is the perfect time to make your pitch and go after what you want because everyone admires you and sees you as competent, capable and clever! Venus will also be at the top of your chart making relations with authority types smooth and cozy. (In fact, a romance with a boss might begin.) Since you have this enormous advantage in the coming month –use it!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week the Sun and Venus will move into your fellow Fire sign, which means the energy of those planets (symbolically speaking) will be supportive to your sign. (This happens twice a year, about four months before and four months after your birthday.) For starters, it will boost your energy both at work and at play. It makes the month ahead the perfect time for a vacation. Basically, you will be able to do whatever you want. Take time to survey your recent achievements. Decide how you can use them to prepare for the future. Meanwhile, the month ahead is a great time to formulate goals because Mars will give you the drive to act on them as well as enjoy physical activity with friends.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This week ushers in a month ahead where you will be more focused and more ambitious for your career, your job or anything that promotes your reputation among your peers. You will have a stronger than usual interest in anything to do with shared property, taxes, debt and insurance matters. In fact, the coming month is an especially favourable time for you to discuss how to divide or share an inheritance or anything to do with shared property because the outcome will very likely benefit you, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Intimate relationships will be particularly passionate during this same window of time. Wow, money and sex – what more do you want?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week, the Sun and Venus will move into a position that is directly opposite your sign and they will stay there for the next month. This polarized position will cause you to focus on partnerships and close friendships more than usual. Ultimately, it will benefit these relationships because it will allow you to see how you interact with others with more objectivity. In turn, this means you can learn more about your style of relating to others and you can improve how you function in these relationships. Hey, this is a major bonus! You will also have a stronger than usual desire to travel, learn, study and do anything to expand your awareness of the world.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
For different reasons (according to the details of your life), starting this week, you will work hard to get better organized in the month ahead. Many of you will make lists and decide how to work smarter to get more bang for your buck in terms of results for your efforts. As you set these high standards for yourself, they will extend into other areas of your life including your health. This means many of you will work to improve your health in the month ahead. Likewise, many of you might be more involved with a pet. Incidentally, you might have some conflict about shared property, inheritances or differing values with someone. These are just ego conflicts.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In the month ahead, the placement of both the Sun and Venus, starting this week, will encourage playful activities, social diversions, the enjoyment of sports events, fun activities with children, and an eagerness to enjoy the arts or express your creative talents. Meanwhile, romance will flourish! Vacations and good times will appeal! Yes, it’s party city Sagittarians! Having said that, however, fiery Mars will be opposite your sign for the next six weeks and this could promote conflict and competition with partners and close friends. To deal with this – patience will be your best ally.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You will be super productive in the month ahead. Issues related to home, family and dealing with a parent will be a bigger focus. You will want to stay at home or cocoon more than usual. Some will take on redecorating projects to make your home look more attractive. Some will pursue possible residential moves. Meanwhile, the placement of Mars will make you want to work very hard. You will take considerable pride in how much you work you do. You might also be so gung-ho, that you start delegating to everyone else as well. Easy does it. Rome wasn’t built in a day; in fact, I hear they’re still working on it.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
The pace of your days will begin to accelerate this week because in the month ahead, you’ve got things to do, people to see and places to go! Short trips, errands, appointments plus increased reading, writing and studying are some reasons you face a jampacked schedule. Relax: this will be “fun busy”. You won’t be harried. Quite the opposite, you will be pleasantly pumped because you’re getting so much done. Relations with siblings, relatives and neighbours will be positive. Very likely, you will have a greater appreciation for the beauty all around you in your everyday world. Likewise, you will feel fortunate to know the people that you do. Appreciation is a wonderful thing. Lucky you!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
In the month ahead, you will focus more on earnings, cash flow, resources, your possessions and your values. This is a good time to take stock of what you own and what you owe. In other words, how much are you worth? When it comes to money, information is power. Many of you will spend money on beautiful things for yourself and loved ones in the coming month. You will also be eager to communicate to others because Mercury will be in your sign. One unexpected influence however, is that something to do with your home will be chaotic or upset on a temporary basis. Visiting guests, renovations, redecorating projects – something will force you to cope as best you can.
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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 14 March 2021

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

It wasn’t until recently you realised that, despite lengthy conversations, you hadn’t even mentioned certain ongoing concerns or issues involving others. This is mostly because you assumed nothing could be done to remedy them. However, the results your efforts in those matters achieved have boosted your spirits about the potential to deal with them. Now you’ve the confidence to tackle these, as well.

You have been relieving other people of their responsibilities as they admitted to being overworked and overwhelmed. It is your turn now to step away from the spotlight. Even if you do nothing more than recharge your batteries or catch up on small but important chores, it is important for you to focus on your health and your own concerns. Someone at home will have news to share that will cheer you up enormously.

As you well know, image matters. How you present yourself and people’s first reactions makes a huge difference to relationships at every level. In the build-up to both the Sun and Venus’ arrival in your sign by next weekend, thinking about presentation could be all-consuming. It appears that you have much to offer on the professional stage but do need to find a way to deliver your thoughts, your creativity and to show just how good a team player you can be. The words you use and the form in which you get a message across require care. In this respect, you might do well to listen to someone born under one of the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn who should help ensure you miss nothing out and convey confidence and experience.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Worryingly, certain pivotal arrangements are in others’ hands. Accepting that is a struggle. However, doing so frees you to focus on more rewarding matters. Finally, you can concentrate on ideas that are thrilling but need thought and nurturing. While, at the moment, they may not seem urgent, the more you explore, the more exciting the ideas and options you’ll discover, now and in the future.

A senior colleague will ask for your views and opinions. Honesty is the best policy. They will respect you for speaking your mind. A job you take on will be complicated and it will take time for you to feel comfortable with new routines. Take it one step at a time. If a close relationship has been going through a rocky phase, a partner will agree to make some long-term plans. This gives you the confidence to raise your sights higher.

You will be far from the only sign giving thought to appearance and presentation presently. What might matter to you between Tuesday and next Saturday is making clear that you have your finger on a financial pulse. You likely need to show – not only that ‘books can balance’ but how. In working with others, especially after the Moon arrives in your sign on Tuesday and before it leaves on Friday, there is potential for you to have tremendous impact at many levels. From the positioning of a large item, to the way in which accounts are presented, your input will likely be considered invaluable. Another big theme is security. This is perhaps less about ensuring that things are locked up and indeed, adequately insured, but more about conveying that items or services are not compromised, and that clients and customers are assured of sound quality control and integrity.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

On the 4th the fiery Mars’s move into Gemini triggered a cycle of action and energy. Since then, you’ve had an urgent need to make changes. While you’ve made a few, you’re wrestling with timing. With Mars in your sign until late April, there’s no huge rush. First, list what’s pressing, then focus on your passions and ideas about the future. Only then should you take action.

You’re worried about a friend who seems to be getting themselves into deep water regarding a financial or legal matter. You might suggest they take professional advice if they won’t listen to you. You feel you have been missing out a lot on social activities. Without neglecting important tasks, try to devote as much time as possible to catching up with what the rest of your world has been doing lately. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you to share your skills online.

There is very real danger that you could over-talk. True, you might also overthink. It’s the talking though that could get you into trouble – particularly if you are in negotiations. Fact is that Mars is now moving through your sign and the temptation to play with words will likely be considerable. On the positive side, you could find exactly the right wording for an advert or job application. Balanced against this though you could skim over facts and fail to show required level of gravitas. It’s likely important that you don’t allow aspects of a design to mask a core message: think of the number of times an advert amuses you but you can’t actually remember the name of the product. Key this week then is ensuring that you get a message across and that this conveys all that it needs to.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The current focus on the most inquisitive and idealistic part of your chart has shifted your attention from the current relentless practicalities to uplifting ideas or pursuits. Tempting as it is to plunge into the first that’s appealing, invest time in exploring these, on your own and, ideally, with others. What you learn will fit in brilliantly with the unexpectedly buoyant shift in everybody’s mood over the coming weeks.

You had started to doubt the strength of a friendship. You’ve not being able to see each other as much as you used to. It’s only natural in such circumstances to feel someone was tired of your friendship and may have drifted on to other things. A display of absolute loyalty around Wednesday will dispel any such fears. At home, you have it within you to keep your relationships harmonious by being the first to look for a compromise.

Like a performer waiting to come on stage, it seems you’re full of anticipation looking for support from a stage manager and wholly aware of audience expectations. Your entrance should come next weekend, after both the Sun and Venus arrive at the apex of your solar chart. Of course, the Sun passes here at this time every year. 2021 note is different. This year’s visit coincides with Jupiter and Neptune coming to arguably the last phase of their cycle before they begin a new cycle in 2022. Others should now be waiting to see how you present yourself and hear your message. With great emphasis on another of the Water signs, Pisces between Tuesday and next weekend, those who know how to present and show off their talents will surely receive great recognition. In this respect, you could so make your mark. Anticipate a degree of excitement within a group where your contribution is much appreciated.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

After struggling to find an exciting plan or project, you’ve not only discovered several, you’re overwhelmed. The problem? You’re micro-managing when you need to focus on the big picture. This applies to the matters in question but, equally, to various other areas of your life. The trick? Continue with your current activities and, also, broaden your horizons. That includes exploring entirely unexpected ideas and offers.

Some people aren’t as reliable as you thought they would be. A friend will walk away from a half-made commitment leaving others with the mess. The enthusiasm they originally showed has quickly waned and you guess it’s because the hard work is about to begin. At least you know not to get involved with them in the future. The more assertive side of your personality will be on show in a work situation. This will see you making great strides of progress.

Any tendency to overdramatise could surface – and not endear you to some! In fact, you could experience considerable resistance between Tuesday and Thursday. You may not like some of the designs or ideas presented and make clear your displeasure; and yet, it’s likely that within these proposals there are seeds of genius. Perhaps they just require a little of your input? The fabulous aspect between Venus and Mars occurs just ahead of the Equinox (Friday) and is followed by an equally good aspect between Jupiter and Neptune. The potential for pulling people together and for building expertise in the process is great. While some of your enthusiasm may be dampened by those born under the Water signs of Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces it’s these same individuals who are most likely to harness your considerable talents and guide you toward realising success around the Full Moon later this month.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Since early in the year, you’ve faced a range of practical matters, some pressing, others routine but most rather dull. Monday’s move by your ruler Mercury to accent close alliances, personal and otherwise, shifts your focus. Ironically, what you’ve learnt from those issues will prove handy when discussing plans, present and future. Urgent as things seem, take it slowly. You’ve many amazing options yet to discover.

Make the most of your imagination and don’t let your talents go to waste. Someone is keen to develop certain skills and they will look to you for guidance. Don’t think you have nothing to teach them. You should be sharing your gifts with others. A workmate is full of their own importance. They are clearly trying to impress you but the more they boast and brag, the more bored you will become with their company.

For much of this week, there is planetary attention in your opposite sign of Pisces. True, at one level you could feel that others are unfocused and pulling you this way and that. Remember, yours is a sign that likes things to run smoothly and perfectly: your risk management antennae system works well. Yet imperfection can lead to break-through. That’s entirely possible this week. In fact, it’s highly likely that something others are ready to abandon you will see as having considerable value if given just a little attention. You won’t be the only sign focused on presentation. Again, your input as to how someone could better present themselves for an interview or appointment should make all the difference to them realising success.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Theoretically, the Libra Full Moon on 28 March is a turning point for you. However, with so much in transition, now and as the coming months unfold, the decisions you’re currently considering should be regarded as experiments more than anything lasting. The gives you room to manoeuvre but, even more, means you’ll be free to explore the extraordinary opportunities that come your way during April.

Taking the helm of a new group project will be a wonderful creative challenge. Someone will want to introduce traditional methods and you will welcome their input. Even so, don’t let this stop you from encouraging others to invent new art forms. Sharing a love of creativity with a friend or partner will help sustain a rewarding relationship. Are you looking for work? Emergency services or community services would be a perfect fit for you.

Design and presentation matter. You know that. You also know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by possibilities. Anchoring a theme and focusing is essential and is this week’s big theme. Determining what is practical and realistic will likely require assistance from someone who has known ability for staying the course. Remember, yours is one of the Air signs of the Zodiac. You’re good at thinking up plans, but do require others to put necessary systems in place. In just a few weeks’ time there is a Full Moon in your sign opposing Chiron the planetoid associated with accountability and yes, with health matters. To reduce the potential for later stress, delegating and acquiring backup and support would be wise. This is something that could be done with relative ease this week.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a Scorpio, you loathe being cornered into making decisions when you’re short of facts or still reviewing your own plans. Yet that’s what you’re facing, and in a range of situations. The trick? It’s to regard plans and even commitments as an experiment. While initially this will seem a compromise, you’ll soon realise how useful this approach is, even when you could finalise arrangements.

You’re trying to make a housemate see sense over a money matter. They’re being careless with their cash. Some gentle persuasion won’t seem to get you anywhere and you may have no choice but to leave them to learn from their mistakes. Just be certain to protect your own interests while this is going on. A job offer or the chance to get involved in a volunteer effort appeals. What isn’t so appealing is the amount of travel involved which could be time consuming.

Don’t underestimate your creativity. Your input and meetings concerning design, present social media etc should prove invaluable. The presence of so many planets in another of the Water signs, Pisces – and coming so soon after this weekend’s New Moon, should result in you being in tune and hypersensitive to prevailing trends. By the Equinox on Saturday, you should be so, so on top of your game. If there is a snag, it’s that others may well be holding on to your coat-tails and allowing you to do their work. Mastering the fine art of delegation is a task for next week. For now, recognising who has the talents to work with you as you refine and improve a piece of work should prove a valuable exercise.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you don’t mind changes. In fact, they keep life interesting. However, you’ve just had to make a series of tricky decisions so aren’t thrilled about rethinking them. Despite that, delve into recent developments and those coming your way. You’ll soon recognise them as exciting breakthroughs, some as unexpected as they are inspiring. The secret? Because these are still unfolding, ensure any plans are flexible.

Tension in the home has had a lot to do with a misunderstanding over some new arrangements. You realise you have been expecting too much from someone you live with. Now you can see it from their point of view, you will be open to making some changes. You hadn’t meant to take anyone’s help or support for granted. You may have to look at a situation in the workplace more closely. Someone is hiding something from you as you will soon find out.

This weekend’s Piscean New Moon is followed by a grouping of planets in that sign at the very base of your solar chart. This is the time to think legacy and your footprint on the Earth. At one level this is about asset management: at another, it is about philanthropy and generosity. By the time that the Sun arrives in another of the Fire signs and marks the Equinox on Friday, your ruling planet Jupiter begins the conclusion of its cycle with Neptune: the planet of giving. There is much then to suggest that you will be thinking long, long term. It won’t be surprising if you attract those who appreciate your gift for envisioning a brighter future. Bringing together a group who could see that made reality will likely not be so hard. It’s probable that those born under Venus-ruled Taurus or Libra will have significant role to play. Business partnerships with these individuals should take on new rhythm from Friday.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Your ruler Saturn moved into inquisitive Aquarius last December, but you’re still learning how to take advantage of the breakthroughs it’s triggered. This is about dealing with people, ideas and plans very different from those in the past, and in many ways. While, ordinarily, you’d gather facts, then decide what’s next, you’re better off simply plunging in and allowing experience to be your guide.

A chatty colleague could inadvertently let slip some important information. Soon you will get the chance to use this to your advantage. Shopping for the home will make you feel you are bringing some improvements into your life. You will prefer to do this alone as a friend is getting too curious about your financial situation. Whether you gave support, your time or money to helping someone out in the past, your generosity is about to be repaid.

By Saturday (YOUR day of the week), the Sun will have arrived at the very base of your solar chart: The Equinox. Prior to that, and following on from this weekend’s New Moon a planetary grouping in Pisces accents the communications area of your solar chart. It seems likely you will be involved in presentations, designs, social media, and Internet presence generally. Though you may find some of the ideas to be unfocused, by the Sun’s arrival in Aries you are likely to be in leadership role driving others to see their plans realised. You may see involvement in one particular project as potentially being an asset when eventually put on your CV. Even if cash doesn’t change hands this week, you could yet be rewarded for this investment of time and energy.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Nobody’s better at spotting new, and exciting, ideas, pursuits and places. However, altering elements of your own life, habits and priorities is another matter; but with so much in transition, you’ve had no choice, and have taken one step at a time. You’re now more relaxed about this and, so, are saying yes to options that, only recently, you’d have rejected without a moment’s thought.

A project you had hoped would be financially rewarding may take longer to come to fruition than you had expected. Someone may pull out of a deal and although this seems to leave you in the lurch, a delay will turn out to be to your advantage. If you sense an argument brewing in the home or workplace, be ready to change subjects quickly and leave the issue that is causing contention alone, for a while.

Following this weekend’s New Moon, the accent moves to financial matters and ‘balancing the books’. This may not be easy as cash flow could be fast and furious. Maintaining control might not be so easy – especially given the need to make essential repairs or self-invest. You could see all this as a test in prioritisation. For many signs, presentation, design, style and content management will require effort and care; and yes, it may be that you underestimate the time needed to perfect the finished product. By the Equinox on Friday, and as Jupiter and Neptune arrive at the concluding phase of their cycle, you could once again be in the limelight however. Perhaps because you bring copywriting skills or otherwise identify what could make a message punchier, you may then be seen as an invaluable member of a team.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the Pisces Full Moon, on Saturday the 13th influences everybody, you’ll have been aware of the intensified feelings it triggers for days. While some matters can be discussed and dealt with swiftly, with most it’s about taking time to gather information and, even more, to reflect on your own feelings, to learn about those of others and, only then, to make decisions about the future.

You may not want to admit it but you feel a strong need for emotional fulfilment. This will lead you to reaching out to those who matter. Admitting to your deepest needs and feelings will be the first step towards building closer bonds. You will not be disappointed with their reactions. A task you took on with enthusiasm isn’t going as well as you had hoped. A little perseverance will help you overcome stumbling blocks.

One of your many gifts is to envision multiple options. You see shades of colour to which other people are oblivious. Your design skills should come to the fore midweek, be respected and appreciated; and yet: Pisceans can get lost, mislay, or appear confused. Bringing vision to reality, and concluding projects successfully is perhaps not your strongest suit. By the Equinox on Friday, your two ruling planets, Jupiter and Neptune arrive at the concluding phase of their cycle. It’s around this time that others will likely demand that you set a schedule for completion. To realise this success will likely require input and support from those born under the Wrath signs of Taurus, Virgo Capricorn each of whom, with their different talents and skill sets, should assist in launching your personal New Year off to a promising start.

~arif~

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!

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Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 7-14 Mar 2021 Thanks for reading!

Dark Moon Coming!

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

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.
Life will not meet your expectations.
Choose joy anyway. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil
March is National Women’s History Month
March Feature: The Notorious Potato

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

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

MARCH
6: On this day in 1899, aspirin was patented by Felix Hoffman of the German company, Bayer.
7: The birthday of American horticulturist Luther Burbank, born 1849. He developed many new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A Burbank favorite: the Shasta daisy.
8: Feast of Artemis
9: Day of Aphrodite and Adonis
11: Greek Feast of Hercules
12: Feast of Marduk
13: Pagan Fire Festival of Burgsonndeg
13: New Moon in Pisces

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

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Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON

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

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
BHC Newsletter Reta
March 8, 2021 – March 14, 2021

We begin this week off with a good time to focus on work or career matters. You may experience some mild powerplays at work, but seeing people for who they are will help you manage your interactions with them in the future.

Midweek brings compassionate and empathetic energy. You will be able to easily understand others on a more human level. Keep your boundaries if you are highly sensitive to prevent being overwhelmed. This is also a good time for spiritual activities and meditation.

This weekend is great for expressing emotions and creative work. Be cautious of the information you receive and trust and verify everything.

Recommended candles and oils: Blessed Herbal Protection / Affirmation Meditation / Affirmation Tranquility / Blessed Herbal Truth & Justice

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

Creativity Helps Us Cope with the World Around Us
What if creativity was the end of your process and not the beginning? What if everything that you have been experiencing is to feed your creativity? What a freeing thought! Creating from what you know and have experienced is the hallmark of many epic classics of music, words, and paint.

It’s Here! Factual Uncomfortable Truths
March 2021, Pisces season is an energy that many are uncomfortable with because this represents everything that has a beginning and must come to an end. Our immortality-obsessed culture has difficulty incorporating into everyday life. If we dive into the depths of Pisces, we can hear the magical song of the mermaid.

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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: King of Cups

How are you doing emotionally? This week it’s important for you to be in control of your emotions, relying on emotional intelligence to get you through. With the emotional mastery of the King of Cups, when life throws you a curveball, you can draw on your emotional maturity and stability to help you navigate challenges. Don’t let things get to you, steer clear of drama, and choose an emotionally balanced and calm approach.If you are being challenged personally, you can remain in control of your emotions. When faced with negative energy from others, be firm on your personal boundaries, stating what is and is not acceptable on an emotional level. Use your intellect to make smart decisions and do not let other circumstances sway you from your beliefs and morals. Stay true to your emotions and feelings and do not allow others to steer you off course.

Ask the Tarot: How can I create a greater balance between my head and my heart?

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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Bitter Seeds Banishing Spell
MARCH 07, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Apple seeds not only are bitter to taste but contain a miniscule amount of poison. (Don’t worry, it’s not enough to harm you.) This toxic quality makes them useful in banishing spells.

On tonight’s waning moon, consider a personal issue or situation that’s been bothering you, making you feel bitter or sour. Gather three apples seeds and find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.

Hold the seeds in your hand. Allow yourself to feel the bitterness and negative feelings as they come over you. Mentally direct those feelings into the seeds. You can do this by visualizing a trail of black smoke drifting from your heart into the pips. Do this for as long as necessary, until the feeling of unhappiness starts to diminish or you lose focus.

Now take the seeds outdoors under the waning moon. Throw them away from you onto the earth, separating yourself from the black smoky energy. They will either deteriorate and be composted into new life, or they will sprout and grow, transforming into something useful.
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Mad as A March Hare
MARCH 06, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

You may have heard this old expression, which originated in England and is best known to most people through the character of the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland. The saying comes from the unpredictable behavior of the hare, or wild rabbit, during its mating season in March. You might think this is a bad thing, but if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you might be feeling the need for a little fanciful madness of your own.

To bring a little passion to your relationship, try putting a carved figure or a picture of a rabbit on your altar (maybe along with a carrot as an offering) and asking the gods for some new ideas to bring fire to an old love:

Make me mad as a hare
Now that spring’s in the air.
Breathe new life into love
With a spark from above.
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A Sea Spirit Spell
MARCH 05, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Traditionally in ancient times this date marked the beginning of the sailing season in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Sailors prayed and blessings were said for a safe and bountiful year at sea. Utilize the energies of this day by performing this spell to bring you some prosperity.

You’ll need a plain white sheet of paper, a blue crayon, a pen, and a few drops of salt water. At the top of the paper, draw a wave design using the crayon. If you wish, you may also add other sea-related designs, such as a ship, a dolphin, a fish, etc. Beneath the design write this charm in ink:

Spirits of the sand, spirits of the sea,
Favor me with prosperity.

Now read the charm aloud. Sprinkle the paper with a few drops of salt water. Fold the paper like a letter and hide it. When good fortune begins to come to you, give thanks, then discard the paper.
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The Luck of a Green-Clad Leprechaun
MARCH 04, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Ac cording to myth, a leprechaun’s tweed is green for those folks who like to socialize and red for those who write manifestos on the overpopulation of the human species. The red-clad leprechauns are best left alone at home, to toil away by the light of an earwax lamp. A green-clad leprechaun, however, can be anyone, anywhere, at any time; you may not even know he’s been for tea but for the simple fact that he left you lucky!

Hang a small child-size green tweed jacket by your back door to entice a lucky leprechaun to visit and bless you and your house. Keep his coat by the back door so he knows he’s welcome as one of the family. Place a sweet bun or candy in the left pocket and, if possible, a four-leaf clover in the right. Leave kind messages and three wishes for him, along with some treats to win his favor.
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Fire Spell to Banish Debt
MARCH 03, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

Many of us receive and pay bills electronically now, so use a sheet of paper for this spell if necessary to represent a bill you’re having trouble paying off. Write the name of the bill on the paper. Of course, if you have a paper bill or statement, use that. Light a candle in a large heatproof dish or cauldron and carefully pass the blades of a pair of scissors through the fire several times. Visualize the blades becoming empowered with the element of fire. Then cut the paper (or bill) into small pieces with the scissors. Every time you cut, see your debt being snipped into smaller and more manageable pieces. When the paper is completely cut into pieces, scoop them up and burn them in the fire. (You may want to do this spell outside or use a fire pit.) As you toss the pieces into the fire, speak these words:

I can manage this debt;
it’s no longer a threat.

Be sure to extinguish the fire.
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Snow Problem at All
MARCH 02, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

By this time of year, most people are tired of the winter cold and are ready for spring to arrive. Since spring is still a few weeks away, we can harness the energy of this last bit of winter to remove a problem or obstacle from our lives.

Create a symbol of the problem you wish to remove, or write down the problem on a piece of paper and fold it into a small square, making each fold away from you. If you live where there is snow, gather some into a freezersafe container (with a lid) and bring it indoors. If not, use some crushed ice. Bury the symbol or paper deep in the center of the snow or ice and place the lid on tight. Put the container in the freezer with these words:

Power of winter, this issue resolve,
freeze, remove, scatter, dissolve.
Freed from the problem and
balance achieved, my gratitude I
give for this blessing received.
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Muting Spell
FEBRUARY 28, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

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

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

Put the jar away out of sight. When the situation has resolved, compost the onion and wash the jar well.
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To Soothe Emotional Upheaval
MARCH 01, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Today the moon is in powerful Libra, which may bring a bit of internal upheaval as we compare ourselves to the world around us. Our sense of right and wrong and how that fits into our reality may be at odds at this time. Cast this spell to decrease the intensity and to help smooth out any mental/emotional frustrations you may be experiencing.

Fill a bucket or your bathtub with warm water, just enough to cover your foot. Place one foot in the warm water, with the other remaining on dry land, and say:

Salty water and dry land, these
two worlds I have in hand.
Soothing waves and changing
tide, from within I cannot hide.
Balance in the place of strife,
bringing strength into this life.
It is my will, so must it be, with
this spell I shall be free!

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March 2021 Astrology Includes The Astrological New Year & A Full Moon
By Nina Kahn
March 5, 2021

I’m not sure how another month has whizzed by, but here we are! And when it comes to the astrology of March 2021, the cosmic forecast looks pretty clear. February rocked our world with the intensity of the 2021 Aquarius stellium and the year’s first Mercury retrograde period, but thankfully, things chill out considerably over the coming month. However, there are still some major astrological happenings in March 2021 that you’ll want to mark on your calendar.

The first three weeks of this month will be dominated by watery Pisces energy, which culminates in an emotional new moon on March 13 that’s part of yet another powerful planetary stellium. Later in the month, we’re due for an exciting triple new beginning, as we kick off Aries season, spring, and the astrological new year on March 20. All the personal planets in astrology will be switching signs this month, so we’ll be feeling some significant shifts — but all will be balancing out as we wrap up the month with a full moon in Libra on March 28 to harmonize our hearts.

More good news: March is the only month of 2021 during which none of the major planets will be retrograde. From now until April 27 (when Pluto retrograde 2021 begins), we are officially in a retrograde-free zone — meaning that it’s a time for progress, forward motion, and looking toward the future.

A Flood Of Emotional Pisces Energy
Pisces is the zodiac’s mutable water sign, and in case you missed it, Pisces season 2021 dominates the first three weeks of March. Pisces season is a time for getting in touch with our feelings, connecting with our spiritual sides, and allowing our imaginations to run wild, so embrace the strengths of being soft.

On March 13, we’ll be flooded with even more emotional Pisces energy via the March 2021 new moon. During this lunation, the sun and moon will align in the sign of Pisces alongside romantic Venus and spiritual Neptune — forming a stellium of planets in Pisces that’ll make us feel extra sensitive and dreamy. As the last major lunation of the winter season, this new moon offers us a beautiful chance to connect with our feelings and fantasies, Pisces-style.

In addition to the sun and Venus spending most of the month in this watery realm, the asteroid Pallas enters Pisces on March 7, inspiring us to lean into our intuitive sense of wisdom and channel our feelings into creativity. About a week later, on March 15, communication planet Mercury will enter Pisces, too, which will ask us to rely heavily on our intuition and feelings rather than logic.

Getting Fired Up For Aries Season & The Astrological New Year On March 20
Saturday, March 20 is a special day that’s bursting with change, excitement, and fresh energy for a few important reasons. Firstly, the sun is moving out of emotional Pisces’ realm and into Aries’ fiery territory, kicking off Aries season 2021. Aries energy is action-oriented, impulsive, and fearless, so prepare to feel like the most take-charge version of yourself.

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Heartwings Love Notes 973: Ingenious Muffins

Heartwings says, “With clever thought, mistakes can be turned into triumphs.”

As we get older, sometimes what we try to chew can be challenging. I was looking for some gluten free cereal in the supermarket, specifically, one with flakes rather than one that was very crunchy. I picked out a box that looked likely and was gluten free, and brought it home. The next day Stephen and I poured some into bowls, added milk and took a spoonful. Crunchy much! I picked up the box and checked it out. What appeared to be flakes was actually clumps of flakes. I shook my head and sighed.

“Try grinding it up,” Stephen suggested. Into the food processor it went. When I had what looked like crumbs, I poured it into a container. The next day we tried a little and decided it was still much too hard to chew. Always ready with suggestions, Stephen said, “Why not make it into muffins?” I remembered seeing recipes in my ancient Fanny Farmers’ cook book, where crumbs from stale or leftover baked goods were added to recipes, so I agreed to try his suggestion.

I thought about how to use the cereal crumbs. I reasoned that they were grains after all, so I decided to substitute some for part of the gluten free flour in my recipe. I did so, made the recipe with some additional rising ingredients and poured the batter into the silicone baking cups I use to line the muffin pans. Into the oven they went, and when they emerged and had cooled a little, we tried them. Excellent! Stephen thought I ought to share the recipe, so here it is. I don’t remember the kind of cereal, however I expect any granola or firm type cereal would do.

Preheat oven to 425 and prepare muffin tins. In blender or by hand, mix 2 eggs, ¼ cup mild olive oil, and 2 cups milk. In a medium to large bowl mix 1 cup gluten free or not flour, 1 cup gluten free or not ground dry cereal of your choice, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 3 tsps. baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 1 cup white or dark chocolate chips. Pour wet mixture over dry and mix well. Put ¼ cup mix in 12 to 16 baking muffin pan cups. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until top bounces back quickly from a light poke. Tipping them up in the pan to cool slightly, serve to delighted family and or friends.

May your ingenuity flourish in the kitchen as well as elsewhere.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have a recipe you crafted yourself to use something you didn’t want to waste? I do so love to hear from my readers. Perhaps you will try the recipe and let me know how you like it? Email me at tashahal@aol.com or gmail.com. For more love notes, visit my web site at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com .

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The Corner Crone: Ready or Not, Here Comes the Equinox!
MARCH 5, 2021 BY MARTHA KIRBY CAPO

Many of us are experiencing the quickening that comes with the northern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox in surprisingly personal ways this year, or so it seems to me, particularly as this year Ostara seems to be more or less coinciding with a wider distribution of various Covid-19 vaccines and the loosening of the social restrictions that we have all come to view as the new (horrible) normal.

Get ready, Northern Hemisphere! The Spring Equinox is coming! Image by Witchgarden via Pixabay.
It feels like the pace of things is picking up, and as if I need to hustle myself along with the flow—ready or not—launched back into the world out of this past year of quarantine. Because of my privilege I’ve been able to really drill down into the whole shelter-in-place gig and really, as a gal with her moon in Scorpio and Cancer in her First House, quarantine for the most part hasn’t been too much of a personal ordeal.

But this part, this time-to-reengage-more-fully part, well, this has me feeling a little anxious, and I wonder how many of us might be feeling the same way. A little rushed, a little less in control of our daily rhythms and choices. I mean, it’s thrilling, but—for me, anyway—more in the sense of a scene from The Simpsons: after a Homer-induced disaster on the space shuttle, an ant farm is shattered, releasing the colony. “Freedom!” cries one of the ants as they free-float to an unknown end, “Horrible, horrible freedom!”

Some of you are aware that in addition to my blog here on The Agora I also write meditations that appear or are heard on other platforms. Very recently, I decided to rework some of them for the YouTube page I didn’t even realize I’ve apparently had for who knows how many years. While the text of this first video was originally written a couple of years ago, I think it’s retained its relevancy—particularly so as we near the Spring Equinox this year. In it I explore themes of loss, transition, and new beginnings as Ostara approaches. (You may need to toggle the play button back to the beginning of the video; I’m still figuring out this new-to-me technology.)

May you be well, and may we all figure out how to return to each other without too much scraping and bumping of the new edges each of us may have developed over the past year.

You can hear more of The Corner Crone during her Moments For Meditation on KPPR Pure Pagan Radio on TuneIn or on YouTube. Follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

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Finding Our Own Paths

Beginning our spiritual path is highly personal and we all enter a path that speaks to us, even if it is different than our neighbor.

Entering into our own spirituality is a private journey. Each of us will be drawn to a different gateway to begin on our personal path to awakening to a greater experience of ourselves. Even though we may be taught certain philosophies or beliefs as children, we still need to find our own way of understanding and applying them in our lives. For those who are raised without a spiritual framework, they may not even know their process as a form of spirituality. But at some stage in their lives, whether in youth or adulthood, they are likely to recognize the resonance of their beliefs, the ring of truth in their philosophy, and their dedication to their chosen purpose.

Our inner guidance will lead us, so that we will be drawn to the right doorway for us — a doorway that only we can recognize by the way it makes us feel inside. It could be a picture of an angel or the gift of a crystal. We may meet someone special who shares their experiences with us in a way that we find intriguing. While visiting the home of an admired friend, we may notice a book or statue of a deity, and ask why they chose those tools. Or a word or phrase may catch our attention in a song, or a lecture. For some they may find their way by walking through the experience of illness before they begin the search for what will help them to truly heal, while others may seek physical improvement and stumble across yoga or meditation — only to find that it leads them to an unexpected place beyond the body.

As we awaken to ourselves and to life, we will become more attuned to what is right for us. The universe speaks to all of us through infinite channels, but we each have our own frequency. Others may share what worked for them, but only we can decide what truly makes us feel inspired, awakened, connected, fully conscious, aware and alive. Whatever our path, it is perfect and is meant especially for us.

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Befriending Plants – The Presence of Pine
Posted: 03 Feb 2021 01:03 PM PST

Sheltering among the graceful Pines.

Have you truly felt a Pine forest’s presence? It is other worldly. Not just because of it’s pungent uplifting Evergreen aroma…there is something ephemeral yet lasting to be experienced in the embrace of these trees.

Years ago, Skipper and I were trudging along the ridge above Peaceful Acres in a bitterly cold January storm, the cruel wind ripped at any exposed flesh and forced us to keep moving. Skipper, in his collie fur coat, led the way as we instinctively went for cover into the enclosure of a Pine forest. Almost the instant we stepped foot into the forest the howling winds seemed muted and the Pine needles in the crowns towering above stopped the freezing rain as if in it’s tracks. It felt surreal. The forest floor was cushioned with fallen dry conifer needles silencing our steps. I remember feeling safe and curious all at once.

Heading out with long handled clippers, saw, axe, my truck and my dog in search of Pine bounty.

Ever since that day I began actively befriending Pine and have been fascinated by it’s plethora of wild gifts for food, medicine, shelter and beauty. Allow me to introduce to you a giant in the plant kingdom that God has provided to empower you with it’s presence and it’s offerings.

Pine is splendid and majestic and wonderful and memorable. Pour yourself a mug of hot Pine needle tea and let’s delight in this green friend together.

Who is Pine?
There are over 200 species of Pines, most are edible and all are useful. All Pines are evergreens, keeping their beautiful needled greenery all year round. They are also referred to as Conifers, because they are cone bearing. The family name is Pineacea. There are softwood pines and hardwood pines. The soft pines have needles that are found in groups of five on twigs. Their wood is low in density. Hard pines are more dense and have needles in groups of two or tree per bundle. White Pine, or Pinus strobis, is the tree I will be featuring in this blog, it is a soft pine and has five needles in each bundle along their twigs and they look like little brooms!

What does Pine Look Like?
Pine trees can grow to enormous heights of up to 250 feet and live up to 500 years. The branches grow around the trunk in a whorl and this can even be seen on the twigs whirling around each branch. In a pine forest many of the lower whorls break off as a tree grows taller, perhaps due to the lack of sunshine with the shading of the crowns in a tightly packed forest.

Pine Cones – The Pine cone contains the reproductive structures. Most conifers (or cone bearing trees) have female and male pine cones on the same tree, with the female cones up higher in the tree and the male cones lower. The armored scales of a woody female pine cone protect the ‘babies’ or the seeds inside. These armored scales will open on warm days just long enough to fertilize the seeds and then remain closed for up to two years until the seeds are mature and ready to fly on their papery wings far away from the parent plant to begin new life. Some species of Pine require intense heat to open up their tightly closed cones and some even wait for a forest fire to begin this process of rebirth. The heaviest cone grows on the Coulter Pine cone weighing up to 10 pounds each cone! The longest Pine cone is the Jeffrey Pine with a length of up to 2 feet. Both of these trees grow on the west coast of North America.

Female pine cones, opened scales to drop seeds.

The male cones don’t really look like pine cones…they are not as woody as the female cones and they create an enormous amount of yellow pollen that gets released in the Spring rising in the wind in hopes to pollinate the female cones bearing the seed.

Needles – The needles of evergreen conifers are actually their leaves. Although, Evergreens are constantly shedding their needles to the forest floor, they keep regrowing them so they are everGREEN. Various species of Pines bundle their needles in fascicles of 2,3 or 5 needles per bundle with each bundle securely attached to the twig. Spruce needles and Fir needles grow individually from the twig. Their needles are easy to tell apart in that the Spruce needles are 4 sided and when you roll a Spruce needle between your fingers they spin easily. Fir needles are 2 sided and flat and will not roll between your fingers. Another clue is that Spruce needles tend to be sharp and pointy while Fir needles are a bit softer. Cedar is also an evergreen conifer and it’s ‘leaves’ look rather scaley when examined.

I brewed up a jar of Spruce, Pine and Cedar needles to have a taste test. I love them all but they are distinctly different from each other. Try it!

What is Pine’s origin and history?

English merchant and warship masts were made out of Pine. Learn how the 1720 Mast Act was like a declaration of war to the colonists.

“The pine tree is rooted in American history. The Eastern White Pine more than any other tree species had a profound effect on the course of events in the New World beginning four centuries ago. At one time the most sought after and valuable tree in the world, it’s wood built the fledgling United States. It was the driving engine of the early American economy and the foundation of it’s trade relationships. It’s place in American History in a tale not often told.” This story is absolutely fascinating and one you will want to watch to learn more. Here is the link: Eastern White Pine – The Tree Rooted in American History https://www.youtube.com/watch=bQs7novlvtA&fbclid=IwAR0bi5iaX8qmTxd9rgIQrlxwr7Sn8jmpz3HhnuH3weX7NRE3Z8MCKzK8P3o

Another fascinating history of Pine and it’s offering is how it saved many a sailor and colonist of scurvy. Scurvy could be prevented with the consumption of Vitamin C which the body can not produce on its own and the lack of fresh produce on long sea voyages often caused sailors to fall ill. In 1753, Scottish naval surgeon James Line, showed that scurvy could be cured and even prevented by ingesting the juice of lemons and oranges. Citrus fruits became so common aboard ship that British sailors were referred to as ‘limeys’. The American Indians showed the colonists in the New World that Pine needle tea was an even better solution for the lack of Vitamin C. Pine is six to seven times higher in Vitamin C than lemons! By the 17th century Pine was the most sought after tree in the world.

Edible
The whole Pine is edible from the roots to the needles. However Ponderosa Pine, Australian or the Norfolk Pine, the Lodgepole Pine and the Yew Pine are toxic to humans so always be sure to know what species you are dealing with before ingesting. Fortunately, most Pines are edible. If you live near a Pine forest you have an endless supply of food and medicine and useful offerings as well.

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A Lucky Find – or Not!
https://www.gemselect.com/

A discovery of a rare gemstone in Thailand made worldwide news recently.

The story begins with a dream. 37-year-old fisherman, Hatchai Niyomdecha, had a vision in which an old gray haired man with a long white mustache tells him he must go down to the beach the following day where he will find a gift.

The next day, Hatchai and his younger brother duly head down to the beach. Despite walking up and down the length of the shore, they see nothing that could be considered a gift. Disappointed, they headed home but not before collecting a few sea snails that were attached to an old buoy lying in the shallows thinking at least they could get a meal out of the trip.

They handed the shell fish to their father so he could prepare a lunch. As their father cleaned the snails he discovered a giant orange Melo Melo pearl about the size of a quarter (an inch in diameter!)

Unlike normal pearls which are formed inside oyster shells, Melo Melo pearls are created inside the shell of a Volutes sea snail – a predatory shell fish which can grown up to half a meter in length. A small irritant inside the shell can cause the snail to secrete layer after layer of calcite and aragonite to ease the discomfort.

These secretions can build up over many years to create almost golf ball size pearls and as they cannot be cultured like oysters, they are always completely natural. An orange color with flame like patterns is the most valuable type.

The fishing family showed the pearl to friends who assured them it was worth a fortune. Very quickly word spread to a local businessman who offered them a million baht (about $30,000) on the spot – an enormous figure.

They took more advice and received another offer from Bangkok of 5 million baht before getting word that a Chinese billionaire was flying in to pay 10 million baht for the gemstone!

As Mr Hatchai said at the time ‘The money won’t just change my life, it will change my destiny. My whole family will have better lives.’

It is here that the feel-good tale takes a horrible twist.

The worldwide publicity over the fabulous find caught the attention of the local police who had an outstanding warrant for Mr Hatchai in connection to a drug smuggling ring. A big celebration party where loud music and the smell of narcotics led to complaints by the neighbors and a raid by the police.

Mr Hatchai was arrested and taken to jail although he vehemently denies the accusations.

In the meantime, there is a Chinese businessman in two weeks quarantine in Bangkok and a suitcase full of money ready to buy but the current whereabouts of the Melo Melo pearl is not certain.

A quick reminder that the birthstone for March is Aquamarine. If you are still recovering from the icy spell that enveloped the northern hemisphere, these gorgeous glittering blue gemstones will transport you to the shores of crystal clear tropical oceans in a moment.

If you prefer your gemstones to be a bit more meaningful and resolute, the secondary birthstone is the historic and spiritual bloodstone, a stunning opaque green stone with flecks of red.

Both would make excellent gifts for loved ones or for yourself this March.

We love getting your questions about gemstones
Every month we answer questions of general interest from our customers. Please feel free to send your questions or suggestions to our support team at help@gemselect.com

Question:
What is a rose cut stone?
Answer:
Rose-cut gemstones are gems with flat bottoms and domed checkerboard or faceted crowns. Many black gemstones, such as black spinel and black tourmaline, are given a rose cut to show off their luster.

Question:
Are there untreated Tanzanites?
Answer:
Natural Tanzanite is a mix of grey, green, brown, blue and purple colors. Tanzanite achieves its gorgeous violet blue color through heat treatment. A very small amount of tanzanite in the marketplace has a violet blue color that was produced naturally before the gem was mined. These gems are however usually heat treated regardless in order to improve the color by removing any residual unwanted colors.

To ensure you can receive our emails, please be sure to add help@gemselect.com to your list of safe contacts, or add us into your email address book! Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, and queries! We respond to every email we receive.

That should do it for this month.
Stay safe and stay warm.
Happy Gemstone Hunting!

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Gilberto Embraces Fatherhood
by Stephen Halpert


All night long Gilberto tossed and turned. It was past eleven the following Saturday morning when Maria gently nudged him awake from his restless sleep.  “It’s time, sweetheart. I’ve already called Eva and Rosa. They’ll be over. You might want to dress and have some  coffee.”

He opened his eyes. She was sitting on the side of their bed, her cheeks flushed, her pink bathrobe loosely tied. Their bedside clock read minutes before eleven thirty.

“You sure?”

She nodded. He reached to kiss her. His heart warmed as he gazed at her radiant smile.  She was blushing in warm sensuality. She kissed him back. “I’m so glad it’s you and me for the rest of our lives with you as our children’s father.”

Tears filed his eyes. He choked up.  “Maybe I should order cigars.”

“Please don’t. They’ll stink up the place.  But if you must, then maybe, chocolate ones.”

He kissed her again, then rolled out of bed and stumbled into the shower. By the time he had dressed Eva had arrived. She wore white scrubs and a mask over her freckled nose. A blue cap hid her wavy blond hair.  She handed a mask to Gilberto. “Just to be on the safe side.”

He looked at it oddly.

“Put it on,” she said. “Hygiene is essential now.”

He nodded, placed it over his mouth, clumsily fit the strings over his ears. Then he stumbled into the kitchen. Coffee was already on the stove. He poured a cup, removed the mask and sat alone at the kitchen table. He gazed at Maria’s empty chair and sighed.

Joey came back from walking Oscar. Oscar sniffed the floor ever hopeful of discovering table scraps. Joey smiled at Gilberto. “I saw Eva come. My baby sister’s almost here,” he said, his words tumbling out fast. “She and I can play soccer together.”
“Best to wait a few years,” Gilberto said. “Maybe start her out when she’s five.”
Joey frowned. “I’ll be twelve by then. I won’t want to play with a five-year-old when I’m twelve.”
Gilberto laughed. “You never can tell. Some five-year olds can be very athletic.”
The doorbell rang and he let Rosa and Ramon into the condo. She made shooing motions in his direction. “You guys go out for a long lunch. Don’t come back until I phone Ramon.”
Gilberto had never liked Rosa’s bossy nature, especially this particular morning even before he felt awake and into the day. He gulped down the rest of his coffee. “Why?”
Rosa tossed her head, her hand on her hip. “Because Eva and I are delivering your daughter and no men need be here right now to make complications.” She turned to her husband. “Ramon take him and Joey out. Go celebrate, eat lobsters or whatever you’d all like; have a long, relaxed lunch but don’t plan on getting back until at least later this afternoon.”
Gilberto’s fists balled up. “Maria needs me with her.”
“Forget it,” Rosa waved a finger at him. “Don’t get pushy, Gilberto. Maria’s fine with me and Eva. You’ll only be in the way.”
“How could I be in the way in my own home?” he huffed
She pointed toward the door. “Go!” Her lips were straight and thin. “Bring back pizza and Champagne.”
Ramon smiled and clapped his shoulder. Then softly he murmured, “Don’t start with her, after all she’ll be the baby’s godmother.”
Joey already had his jacket on. “Oscar’s in my room watching Animal Planet. I’ve got the sound off so it won’t disturb mom.”
Gilberto glared at Rosa. “You’re the bossiest woman I’ve ever met.”
“Get used to it,” she said. “Now go!”
They drove over to The Lobster Pound on Atlantic Avenue. Long tables and straight back chairs faced the harbor. Though it was not much past noon the place was already packed. There was at least a half hour wait. Ramon ordered from the bar.
“On me,” Ramon insisted. “Relax, they have good draft here. We sit on a bench and look at the ocean.” He motioned to the waiter and ordered: “A large pitcher of draft, and a smaller pitcher of Shirley Temples for the young man.”
When after several beers they were finally led to their seats, Gilberto was feeling mellow and hungry. “Strong draft,” he told Ramon.
“Like lobster?” Ramon asked Joey?”
“Oh yes,” Joey’s eyes bulged. “I love lobster.”
The waiter reappeared hoisting two refills. .
“Bring this young man the biggest baked stuffed lobster you’ve got in the tank, and a dozen oysters each for me and my friend.”
Gilberto rubbed his hands and grinned.
“Oh boy,” Joey said. “Shirley Temples, lobster, and a baby sister. I don’t know which is better.”
Ramon chuckled. He gave Gilberto his most endearing smile. “Relax and be happy. Believe me, embracing fatherhood is holy.”
Gilberto nodded and drank half his mug. “I feel I should be there with her. Feels weird being out of reach this way.” His voice reflected alarm. “What if something happens and I’m sitting here drinking. This isn’t right.”
Ramon nodded. “Just relax. All is well. Maria’s in very capable hands.” He toasted Gilberto, “Here’s to fatherhood.” Then Ramon’s face turned serious. “Smith called last night. You’ll be glad to hear the assailants will be extradited. They confessed under pressure.”
Gilberto nodded. “Hard to believe Karibe would resort to such tactics against me. “
Ramon nodded. “He always liked getting his way and wouldn’t tolerate opposition Some things never change. But now he’s gone and we’re free of him.”
Gilberto sighed. “Let’s hope. Any word from Lola?”
Ramon shook his head. The waiter appeared, pad in hand.
Joey finished his Shirley Temples, slurping his straw against the ice.
Ramon nodded to the waiter. “The young man needs a refill.”
Attention was paid to the lobsters and finally they were all consumed. Joey had never felt so full. He’d polished off a two-pound lobster and two small pitchers of Shirley Temples. He grinned when Ramon ordered him strawberry short cake with extra whipped cream.
After dinner they went for a digestive stroll along the harbor. At four o’clock Ramon’s phone jingled. He beamed at Gilberto. “Congrats. You’re the father of a baby daughter. Mother and daughter are doing well.”
“My Maria and my little girl,” Gilberto said. Tears filled his eyes
Ramon listened then spoke. “Maria and the baby are resting.” He said.
Gilberto hugged Joey, “Now you have a sister, and I’m a father, –again,” he added with a smile at Joey.
Joey smiled. “My sister Ramona.”
Gilberto’s eyes glistened and he sighed. “Thank you, Ramon. Thank you for this feast, and for your companionship.”
Ramon nodded. “Now we pick up pizza and Champagne and drive back to your condo. Let the festivities begin.”

(To be continued)

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Kitty Kat Korner!

7 Reasons to Have a Cat
by Marc-André

Pets have a way of bringing immense wonder and joy into your life. What many people don’t realize is that cats are often one of the best options. Not only do they offer affection, comfort and companionship, but they can also suit a variety of lifestyles. If you are looking for the perfect pet, here are 7 reasons why you should adopt a cat.

  1. Independence and Autonomy
    While cats will be reliant on you for their care, there are much more autonomous than many other animals. Because they are self-sufficient, you can leave food, water and litter out for them, and leave them for longer periods than many other common household pets. Even when you go away for long trips like all-inclusive cruises, your cat will require far less care and fewer visits from a pet sitter than a dog. With a cat, you don’t have to sacrifice your freedom while you enjoy the company of your cuddly companion.
  2. Litter Box Training
    Similar to their independence, cats do not require your time or attention to do their business. If your kitty needs to use the facilities, they can see to this themselves. While you will need to clean out their litter box frequently and do a deep clean periodically, you will not find yourself struggling through the elements at the wee hours of the morning when they need to go potty. Litter training is not something that tiny kittens know how to do; however, because of their instincts, they are often very quickly litterbox trained.
  3. Health Benefits
    While most cats don’t go on leashed walks like dogs, there are still numerous health benefits to cat ownership. Everything from lowering your blood pressure to offering emotional support or the comfort of companionship, cats can have wondrous influences on your health. You may not realize it, and yet, cat ownership may end up improving your quality of life significantly.
  4. Cuddles
    When you are feeling down or just a bit lonely, there is nothing like the cuddles of your kitty companion to improve your mood. While cats often do not cuddle on cue, they are incredibly affectionate creatures, particularly with those they trust. You may be surprised by the calming effect and comfort that the cuddles of a kitty can bring to you.
  5. Entertainment
    Cats make great companions and they can offer endless hours of entertainment. Watching your cat interpret and interact with the world around them can be an amusement that you never knew that you needed. Everything from the joy of a shipping box or a paper bag can leave them, and you amused for hours on end.
  6. Laughter
    As you enjoy the entertainment that your furry family member has to offer, there often comes widespread, stomach-heaving laughter. While you will likely watch them explore the world around them, the antics and shenanigans that they can often provide hilarity that is sure to leave you tickled. The joy and amusement that your cat can offer can have wondrous effects on your mental health as well.
  7. Responsibility
    Pet ownership oftentimes produces the outcome of teaching responsibility as you learn to care for another being. While you may not have intended for this outcome, adopting a pet inherently teaches you about caring for others and the importance of accountability. While this is a valuable reason to adopt a cat, you should never adopt a pet before you are ready. You must be emotionally, financially, and mentally ready for the weighty task of caring for your furry family member. If you feel that you aren’t ready, it is better to hold off until you are.

Cats are marvelous, cuddly, and often hilarious creatures that are sure to bring joy to your life. Even if you had not considered yourself a cat person before, you may be missing out on one of the best experiences. Don’t let yourself miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime when adopting a cat may be the best choice for you.

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March 2021 Cat Events
All Month: National Nutrition Month

Give your pet sitter an extra thank you this week!

7-13: Professional Pet Sitters Week
Started in 1995 by Pet Sitters International, Professional Pet Sitters Week honors professional pet-care providers who offer quality, dependable care to clients’ pets; educates the pet-owning public about the advantages of professional in-home pet care; and encourages pet-loving entrepreneurs to explore pet sitting as a career. This is a great time to give your pet sitter an extra thank you! Follow the week on social media with the hashtag #nationalprofessionalpetsittersweek or #petsitting.

21-27: Animal Poison Prevention Week
This week focuses on educating pet parents on what can poison their pets, identifying the signs of poisoning and how to prevent it. It’s a good time to remember the springtime dangers of poisonous materials like plants, herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides. The ASCPCA lists many household products, foods and plants that can be toxic to pets. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website for information on how to keep your pet safe.

Give your cat a little extra love and respect today.

28: Respect Your Cat Day
Obviously, we respect our cats every day, but today is a great day to celebrate you and your feline friend and acknowledge all the “hard work your cat puts into being your loyal bestie!

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, March 07, 2021
All Signs

Neptune is the planet of dreams, inspiration and imagination as well as illusion, confusion and deceit. Neptune takes 165 years to travel through all 12 signs, and right now it is in Pisces from 2012 to 2025. (When it was last in Pisces from 1847 to 1861, photography came into its own to the chagrin of outlaws in the Wild West.) This week, the Sun lines up with Neptune, which happens once a year. A few days later, the Moon lines up with Neptune, which happens once a month. A double whammy of selflessness and self-deception. “I’d walk through fire for my best friend. Well, not fire – that would be dangerous. But a super humid room…. but not too humid because, you know .. my hair.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
You get the biggest hit of this fuzzy Neptunian action because it’s all taking place where Neptune lives in your chart. This might make you more aware of childhood behaviour patterns from your past. Now that you see them, you can see how inappropriate they are. You also might see that you’re giving out mixed messages to people: “Come close!” “I need to be alone.” “Come close!” “Go away.” You might also feel that you need to be a bit sacrificial and take one for the team, or work for someone else’s benefit. Actually, this could be rewarding because we get self-respect and self-love by helping others. (Of course, you have to keep score.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This is a tricky week for dealing with friends and members of groups because you’re inclined to idealize someone and expect a lot from them. (Especially if you admire them.) Unfortunately, when you put someone up on a pedestal, they are bound to disappoint you. Furthermore, if you had expectations that you didn’t express – this is a guarantee for disappointment. When we feel idealistic about someone, we think they should be able to read our minds. Somehow “they should know.” (Ha!) But that’s not realistic, is it? Meanwhile, on the upside, you might make ambitious goals for the future this week. “Follow your bliss!”

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This is a tricky week because this illusory Neptunian influence is taking place at the top of your chart, which could create confusion with parents, bosses, teachers and VIPs – even the police. You might feel disappointed with someone you admire because you expected more, or you feel let down or unnoticed. Possibly, you feel that you’re letting yourself down because you have these high goals and now you can’t achieve them? Give yourself credit for what you are doing. This is a tough year for so many. If you are coping and taking the time to be aware of the needs of others as well as your own – congratulations!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your idealism is aroused this week – without question. For many, it will equate with philosophical ideals or something to do with religion or how to address society and the world community in a meaningful way? (Heady stuff.) In a more personal way, you might develop a crush on someone who is “different.” You might also become more involved with wanting to help people in another culture, people who are less fortunate than you. Meanwhile, be careful about confusion when dealing with the law this week. Stay realistic and if you can’t be honest, then say nothing. Don’t lie because this will get you in even deeper and create further regrets. You will find it gratifying to learn something new. (Did you know that baby porcupines are called “porcupettes?”)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week as both the Sun and the Moon line up with Neptune, you might face a situation where your values are at odds with the values of someone else. This is a sobering reality, especially if this person is dear to you. This is something you have to live with because you can’t change other people’s values – only they can. There might also be confusion about inheritances, shared property, taxes, debt or how to spend a certain amount of money or share something. We have different ideas about what generosity means. Keep in mind that Leos are very generous. They will even borrow money to lend it to someone. Very few would do this.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Your closest relationships – spouse, partner or dear friend, could be the source of some confusion and disappointment for you this week. In all likelihood, you might be expecting too much from this person? Or perhaps you have not expressed your expectations? (After all, they can’t read your mind.) Misunderstandings and confused communications will be classic. On the upside, you might also have a mind-meld with someone because your Spidey sense is highly developed now when it comes to dealing with others. So, this situation could go either way. You might feel disappointed or disillusioned or you might feel a true, almost spiritual bond with someone.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
The Neptunian influence that is present this week will introduce tendencies to be selfless and altruistic and to be willing to work for others without reward and even without recognition. (This is kinda tough to do unless you have a Mother Teresa style.) Nevertheless, it’s possible. Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where you are giving more and going more than halfway to help someone else – just suck it up. It’s par for the course right now. It’s okay, you’re not being a martyr or a fool. This is an influence that can permeate your job or something to do with your health or even your relationship with a pet. “It’s a joy to labour for those you love.”

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
The conjunction of the Sun and the Moon with Neptune will create number of possibilities for you this week. One is it could relate to romance. You might be head over heels in love with someone and expecting a fairytale. If this doesn’t happen, you might be disappointed. Kierkegaard said, “The most painful state is remembering the future.” Neptune triggers disillusionment. You might also feel disappointed with your kids. Or you might feel disappointed with your own creative output or lack of it. However, on the upside you might be completely open to your muse and be in touch with your artistic expression. This Neptune influence can create many possibilities.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The area where you might have the greatest misunderstandings this week will be with home and family. Conversations with a parent might be like two ships passing in the night. Relatives might not understand what you’re trying to do or what is important to you? Or perhaps someone in the family accuses you of misunderstanding them? This could lead to disappointment. Or perhaps this influence will inspire you to be the best that you can possibly be for a family member? You want to do whatever you can within your power to help them or make their life happier and easier. You might even use this same influence to redecorate or create more beauty in your home. It can manifest in many ways.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Please make an effort to be as clear as possible in your dealings and communications with your everyday world this week to avoid serious misunderstandings that might occur. In fact, you might encounter someone who misleads you. At its worst, you might even doubt your own ideas and thoughts? However, you might also pursue studies, conversations and ideas about metaphysics, mystical subjects, karma and reincarnation because you want to understand how things work. Neptune can create illusion but it can also put you in touch with your highest ideals. It’s a mixed bag.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week it’s important for you to keep your eyes open because the Neptunian influence that I mention in All Signs above can affect your assets, your wealth, your money and your cash flow. Think twice before you give something away. Make sure you know what you’re doing with how you handle your possessions and your wealth this week. Above all, you don’t want to have regrets later about what you do now. Likewise, be careful about sudden splurges of extravagance. If you are tempted to blow your money, keep your receipts – and the box. Things might not be as they appear. The worst-case scenario is that you are even being deceived in some way. (Yikes!)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Well, all this Neptunian influence is happening right before your very eyes because the Sun is lining up with Neptune in Pisces; and this week, the Moon will be in Pisces and it too, will line up with Neptune. In addition to which, fair Venus is also in Pisces. Yes, it’s all about you! You might experience two extremes of these influences or both. You might feel turned on by ideals, dreams and the love of beauty to the point that it feels spiritual and that you are in touch with the Divine. Alternatively, you might feel disappointed, disillusioned and discouraged because life isn’t turning out how you had hoped it would. Actually, both these extremes are an illusion. Do not give into either one. If your head is in the clouds, make sure your feet are on the ground. Trust to your own staying power because within a matter of weeks, everything will change.
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Monthly Horoscopes for March 2021

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

Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

You begin March impatient, eager to get going; but a range of practical issues and those involving others need to be dealt with, ideally swiftly. You’re ignoring some because they seem unimportant, others would mean admitting, in certain situations, you got it wrong. Uncomfortable as this is, the resulting insights are preparing you for the powerful cycle that begins when the Sun moves into Aries, on 20 March and continues until mid-April, when facts, plus your vision for the present and the future, will be much clearer.

An energetic pursuit of knowledge will characterise the opening days of March. This is a great time to attend an online class in a subject that has always fascinated you. Watching documentaries will also be informative. The New Moon on the 13th will be a time of profound introspection. It’s possible you’ll adopt a spiritual practice during the middle of the month, which can keep material concerns in proper perspective. Your charisma will shoot through the roof during the second half of the month; use it to open doors and win favours. An argument with your business or romantic partner could erupt on the 28th, due to a contentious Full Moon. It’s time to decide whether you want to make up or break up.

As viewed from Earth, all the planets are in forward motion throughout March. March brings anniversaries of historical market volatility and March 2021 may be no exception. The critical date comes at the Full Moon on March 28 with the Sun’s alignment with Chiron – in your sign. This is likely to bring an ‘accountability’ test. True, this doesn’t have to be financial. It is probable though, that a financial wound will require attention. Before the Sun arrives in your sign on Saturday 20th, it would be wise to put safety nets in place where possible. Don’t under estimate your ability to ‘do things differently’ and, in fact, to be quite ingenious. Thinking out of the box is probable mid-month and done with the assistance of someone born under one of the Mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces. Yes, the accent is very much on financial partnership involving learning marketing techniques: an area in which you could make progress between 16th and 21st. All told, by the end of the month your financial ship could be in altered but exciting direction.

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

Your horoscope for this month:

Life during 2021 has been unsettling. However, looking back on changes, you realise they’ve been exciting. In fact, many unwelcome events are turning out to be breakthroughs. March is about making these parts of your life; but, also, find the courage to explore new and seemingly disruptive ideas, offers or events. True, these means rethinking familiar elements of your life. If in doubt, reflect on those changes you battled recently, then gave into – and are now enjoying. These are the same, if not better.

In the opening days of the month, you’ll be a virtual love magnet. Being the object of desire will boost your ego in a healthy way. Joining an online group is a distinct possibility on the 13th, when the New Moon stimulates your social side. Talking regularly with fellow artists could get your creative juices flowing like a mighty river. Neither a lender nor a borrower be during the second half of March; mixing friendship with finance could be disastrous. The Full Moon on the 28th could bring an end to a job. Secretly, you might be delighted. Although you’ll miss the regular income, it will be a relief to escape the company of odious colleagues. Onward and upward.

As of March 3, and until the Sun arrives in your sign, Mars moves through neighbouring Gemini: one of the key financial zones of your solar chart. Taurus has a reputation for building wealth. With Mars, the ‘energizer’ moving through this area, your financial antenna should be super active boosting interest in long-term investments. The cash flow for all signs is likely to be fast and furious but not everyone though will be focused on building slow wealth. This though – and especially through until 15th, – is where you could put down good foundations. Property matters might well be discussed around the Equinox on March 20. This isn’t necessarily about moving as such but could be about investing in order to work from home or develop a second revenue stream. This trait is marked over the weekend of 20th and 21st. If history repeats, global financial markets could be especially turbulent around Full Moon on March 28, but bring buying opportunity. Over 30th and 31st you may be drawn to businesses focused on waste management and at a personal level, be deli