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.
The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight.
~The New Orleans Mistic
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
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.
Goddess Month of Bridhe, begins 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Calendar: Nion (Ash) February 18 to March 17
Moon Phase: Full Moon Magick – 19 Feb 2019
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. 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 6 o’clock 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
Honoring the Goddess Every Day at GoddessSchool.com
So mote it be!!
Each And Every Day A Feast Day!
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The Goddess School Grimoire
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The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women
GrannyMoon is Founder and Mother High Priestess of GoddessSchool, Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Living in the Washington, DC suburbs, she attended LDS Seminary, Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity, since 1999. She is a current board member of the Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, charter member and former counsel and board member of The Order of the White Moon. A scholar of ancient mysteries, Doula, Reiki Master, Herbalist and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. and former VA State Representative A.R.E.N. Alternative Religions Educational Network. She has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of the Esoteric.
Face to Face classes at Sticks and Stones – 11037 Lee Highway · Fairfax, VA
I teach classes on Saturdays 12-2, except the last Saturday of the month. On the last Saturday of the month I host the Most Excellent Order of the Black Hat – open to all – a group of solitaires who celebrate the wheel of the year. 7:15 – 9:00PM
GrannyMoon’s Herbal Witches Cauldron – Every last Saturday of the month. Explore a new herb or two and work on a hands-on project with us. 4-6PM
WitchCrafting – Saturdays Noon – 2PM
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!
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Moon Day Hail Luna! Hail Mani! Energy: Female Ruler: The Moon Magicks involving the subconscious, healing, emotions, love, spirituality, healing wounds, children, small animals, women’s mysteries,mothers, sisters, female partners, wives, instincts
Today’s Magickal Influences: Agriculture, Domestic, Long Life, Medicine,
Travels, Visions, Theft
Today’s Goddesses: Luna, Selene, Diana, Re, Gaeleach, Ida, Artemis [Whom The
Greeks Associated With Bast], The Witches, Yemaya, Erzulie, Bast
Perfumes: White Poppy, White Rose, Wallflower
Monday – Wear pearl, moonstone, or crystal. Use an emerald for amulets.
Color of The Day: Silver, Grey, White
Colors for Tomorrow: Red
Cooking on Monday will improve magics for creativity, insight, maternal
nature, and Goddess-related efforts. ~Quote from Magickal Martha
Hail Tyr! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Tyr’s or Tiu’s Day Day of Mars, Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (from whom it is named), Tuisco,. Magickal influences are: Passion, courage, aggression and protection, vitality, passion, ambition and raw, unabashed power. Mars energy makes the mind acute.It is lucky to meet a left-handed person on any day except Tuesday – then it’s an ill omen. A superstition from areas of England that were ruled by the Danelaw, because the day is named for Norse God Týr who sacrificed his right hand to bind the Fenris Wolf. #FolkloreThursday
Tuesday – Wear a ruby, star sapphire, or emerald. Use topaz for amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Destination, War, Courage, Surgery, Physical Strength
Be cautious-especially while traveling.
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Soorejnaree, Pingalla, Anna, Aine, Danu,
Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman
Perfumes: Hellebore, Carnation, Patchouli
Incense: Lignum Aloes, Plantain
Color of The Day: Red
Colors for Tomorrow: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Tuesday Is The Lucky Day For Aries
On Tuesday, cooking up a hearty meal featuring carrots, peppers, and garlic (all Mars foods and spices) to empower yourself for victory and success!
Hail Odin! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Woden’s or Odin’s Day
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick
involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions,
communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression,
artists, poets, and writers
Wednesday – Wear amethyst, star ruby, or lodestone. Use turquoise in amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing,Eloquence
Incense: Cinnamon, Cinquefoil
Perfumes: Sweetpea, Lavender, Mastic, Frankincense, Cloves
Color of The Day: Yellow, Grey
Colors for Tomorrow: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini And Virgo
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya,
Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Hathor
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day Hail Thor!
attracting more of what you have.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting More
Thors Day – Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba
Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Light Blue, Pale Green
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
Hail Freya! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Freya’s Day
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the
heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s
problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve
Friday – Cast love spells on Fridays. Wear blue robes and use turquoise, ruby, emerald or cat’s eye.
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection,
Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus,
Freya, Frigg, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense: Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day: Light Blue, Pale Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Saint Jegudiel represents Friday
Hail Loki! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Saturn and Loki’s Day
Day of Seatere, Seater, and Saturn and of Loki, the Norse god of tricks and
revelry. Saturday is ruled by Saturn, whose Magickal influences are:
longevity, endings, and homes. Saturday comes under the influence of Saturn.
Saturn’s influence directs our attention toward routine chores, customs, and
conventional traditions. Saturday is a good day for furthering our ambitions
through perseverance, patience, responsible action, and a sense of purpose .
Saturday – Wear turquoise, labradorite, or diamond. Use amethyst.
Saturday is a good day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving
spirit communication, meditation, psychic self-defense, binding, and
locating lost things or missing persons.
Today’s Goddesses: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin,
Asherah, Anath, The Shekinah, The Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua,
Today’s Magickal Influences: Duties, Responsibilities, Finding Families,
Works Of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines
Today’s Energies: Female – Rules obstacles, overcoming blockages – Use for
magick involving overcoming limitations, the elderly, endings, deaths,
blocks, constrictions, and those restricting you.
Incense: Pepperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone,
Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy
Color of The Day: Black
Colors for Tomorrow: Orange, Gold and Yellow
Lucky Sign: Saturday Is The Lucky Day For Capricorn And Aquarius
Hail Sunna and Sol! GrannyMoon Says Today is: Sun Day
Ruler: The Sun
Rule health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power,
leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands
Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonne, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna,
Sunday’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity
Incense: Mastic, Palaginia
Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk,Myrrh
Sunday – wear topaz, sunstone, or diamond. Use pearl in crafting talismans.
Color of The Day: Orange, Gold
Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White
Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo
Tarot Card of the Week from Brigit!
Ace of Wands
Yay! Another beautiful week! I LOVE the Ace of Wands because it heralds new growth, development and learning opportunities. This is the perfect time to start a new hobby or follow a passion.
This week, you’ll find yourself feeling uber inspired and ready to start a new phase of growth. Embrace the energy and get creating!
Ask the Tarot: “What do I need to nurture and grow to manifest my goals?”
Llewellyn’s Spell a Day
Fornacalia Movable Feast
Spell Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019
Fornacalia is a movable feast in honor of Fornax, Goddess of the furnace, oven, and kiln. This fire Goddess is also related to bread making. We celebrate her in thanksgiving for the earliest, newly gathered grain crops.
Create a fire outdoors, perhaps in a barbeque pit or in some other safe manner.
In a ceramic bowl or jar, place some spelt.
Have your group gather in a circle around the fire. Call the directions together:
“Spirits of the north, we welcome you!
Spirits of the east, we welcome you!
Spirits of the south, we welcome you!
Spirits of the west, we welcome you!”
The leader says:
“Goddess of the hearth!”
The group repeats:
“Goddess of the hearth!”
The leader throws a handful of spelt toward the heavens.
The group duplicates these actions.
The circle is closed.
The group breaks bread together.
Corn bread or some other grainy loaf is shared with everyone seated in a circle.
This post was written by Stephanie Rose Bird on February 17, 2019
Spirit Guide Budget Blessing
Spell Date: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Congratulations! You have officially made it through the holidays and can now take a look at your family and personal financial goals. Sit down today and spend some time reviewing your financial documents, taking inventory of how well you feel you are able to make ends meet, how well you are able to save for bigger and better things, and how you are freeing yourself of financial burden when possible.
Taking this information, meditate and ask your guides for information they might have about the way you spend and save money and then ask them to help you create or adjust your budget. Write out this budget on paper, making sure to have a savings goal in mind, and post it someplace where it will be seen regularly. Call upon your guides each time you see it to help you make empowered financial decisions and stick to your budget.
This post was written by Devin Hunter on February 16, 2019
Spell for Honest and Wise Communication
Spell Date: Friday, February 15, 2019
Use this spell when communication patterns have become stale, negative, limited, or dishonest. Write your name and the name of the person with whom you wish to communicate on two separate pieces of paper. Fill a clean, clear jar with salt and a handful of dried or fresh sage leaves. Place the two papers inside the jar. Don’t put a lid on it; leave it open. Gently swirl the contents of the jar until the papers are completely submerged in the salt and sage as you envision yourself having a productive, wise, and honest conversation with the person in question. Leave the jar in the area where you’re most likely to come into contact with the person, or alternatively, take out the two slips of paper, fold them together, and keep this tucked inside your pocket during conversations.
This post was written by Melanie Marquis on February 15, 2019
A Love Spell for Everyone
Spell Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019
Today is widely celebrated as Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to love. If you are alone or if things aren’t going well in your relationship, you might be tempted to cast a love spell. But such things can be tricky and interfere with free will. Instead, try casting a spell to bring more love into your life in all the positive ways the universe might send you. We can all use more love, right? If you want, you can light a red or pink candle while you say this spell:
“God and Goddess up above,
Send to me the gift of love.
On this day and all that follow,
Fill with love all spaces hollow.
Let my heart be filled with light,
And send me all the love that’s right.”
This post was written by Deborah Blake on February 14, 2019
A Mighty Dead Offering
Spell Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Today we mark the passing of Gerald Gardner (1884–1964), the father of Wicca, and ask his spirit for guidance and blessing as one of the Mighty Dead.
For this spell you will need these materials:
* An image of Gerald Gardner
* A black candle and holder
* Some anointing oil for the Mighty Dead (such as that which contains anise)
* An offering bowl and cup
* A food item and beverage of your choosing
Arrange your altar with the image in the center. Dress the candle (rub the oil on it) and empower it for the Mighty Dead, then place in the holder before the photo. Before all of this place the empty offering bowl and cup.
Ground and center. Focus on the photo. Light the candle. Say:
“Gerald Gardner of the Mighty Dead,
Accept this offering and
strengthen the thread:
The lineage of the magic blood
That guides me on the witch’s road.”
Place your offerings in the bowl and cup and share in the “feast.”
This post was written by Storm Faerywolf on February 13, 2019
Herbal Protection Amulet
Spell Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
To make a protection amulet using herbs, gather one acorn and a pinch of as many of the following herbs as you can: parsley, basil, cedar, sage, and valerian. Place the items in a small white or red drawstring bag (or sew your own bundle). Place the amulet in a circle of white tealights and, as the candles are burning, visualize your specific protection needs. Chant:
“I ask these plants with much respect
to guard, defend me and protect-
keep harm away, ill will at bay,
let misfortune hold no sway.”
When all the candles have burned out safely, remove the amulet and carry it with you.
This post was written by Ember Grant on February 12, 2019
Get Out Your Guitar Day
Spell Date: Monday, February 11, 2019
For those of you lucky enough to own a guitar, today is the day to get it out and put it to use. Clean and tune. Strum and stroke. It’s a Monday, so play some Monday blues or some music to make Monday bearable. Minerva and Apollo are said to be the patrons of music, and Saint Cecilia is often depicted with a stringed instrument. Choose one deity to honor and light a candle or stick of incense as you play. Offer up gratitude for your musical ability. When you are done, put the guitar away with care and dignity. For those not so blessed with talent? Try one of the music streaming sources-find a station of guitar music of any kind to suit your mood (classical, Spanish, jazz, blues, rock), light some candles, and settle in. Music soothes the savage breast. Your soul will be better for it. Say:
“Music soothes me, energizes me, enters me.
Make me whole, inspire and cleanse me.
Notes float into the universe for all to heal.”
This post was written by Emyme on February 11, 2019
Super Snow Full Moon in Virgo February 19, 2019
February’s Full Snow Moon peaks on Tuesday, February 19, at 10:53 A.M. ET. This will be the second of three supermoons to occur in 2019. Traditionally called the Snow Moon, it is being called the “Super Snow” Moon this year to reflect its status as a supermoon.
February’s Full Moon will actually be at the closest point in its orbit to Earth, making it the largest and brightest full Moon of the year. So get ready to use all of this extra planetary energy to connect with your angels and all of your heavenly guides to show you what direction to go over the next month.
February’s full moon is also known as the Snow Moon, Ice Moon, Hunger Moon, and Cleansing Moon. Native American tribes of the north and the east called it the snow moon as it use to be the time that the greatest amount of snowfall came. The name Hunger moon refers to the difficulty to gather food this time of year. The Celts called it the Moon of Ice.
The lunar qualities of emotions and instincts reach their peak at a full moon. Use you increased emotional strength and intuition to overcome any relationship challenges. Use a detached approach to looking at your life as you will see it more impartial and balanced, when you view it without emotions. When you view things without emotions you will clearly see any relationship dynamics or negative feelings causing disharmony. And then can make the right choices based on your observations.
This full moon brings opportunities for change, romance and success. This is wonderful timing because it follows on from the good news, good luck February 4 New Moon and the Chinese New Year. It is a rare thing to have consecutive moon phases with so much potential. Use all these potentials to create the changes you want in your life.
HEIGHTENED EMOTIONS: Right now the Moon is at its closest approach to Earth all Month. Can you feel it? Have you noticed you are picking on little things for no good reason, having very random thoughts or other people seem to be having a go at you? Be aware that we are being influenced by the cosmic weather.
So if you are a little agitated right now, let it pass without lashing out at someone or something you will later feel sadness over. Stay in your own space during this full Moon cycle and contemplate the bigger picture of your life.
Believe it or not this moon represents the coming of spring. It’s the time when the seeds start stirring to life under the cold ground. The farmers start planning crops for their gardens. The animals will start to feel their young in their bellies as they are readying for their spring births. The long sleepy winter is finally ending and the earth is in its early awakening to the longer days in the warmth of the sun.
Full Moon Angel Ceremony
Use the energy of this full Moon to invoke the angels to help you on your path.
Use a white or silver candle to represent the lunar powers and the energy of the angels.
Large, spherical glow candles would be nicely symbolic.
For candle scent, anointing oil, or incense, the fragrances that seem to be most popular for this Full Moon are Wisteria and Heliotrope.
Though any pleasing fragrance will bring the angels closer to you.
A simple prayer of thanks and gratitude will bring about untold blessings.
Ask the Creator/God for blessings for all on this planet.
Focus on new beginnings of your dreams and goals for this year. Work to realize where you past mistakes may have been, forgive and love yourself, and plan for your future. Ask God for blessings for all on this planet.
Elements to work with for this Full Snow Moon
Crystals: Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper
Colors: blue purple and violet.
Herbs: hyssop, sage, myrrh and spikenard.
Scents: Wisteria, Heliotrope
Trees: Rowan, Laurel, Cedar
Animals: Otter, Unicorn
Birds: Eagle, Chickadee
Tonight focus on new beginnings of your dreams and goals for this year. Work to realize where you past mistakes may have been, forgive and love yourself, and plan for your future. Ask for blessings for all on this planet tonight.
Your work on the full moon should focus on new beginnings of your dreams and goals for this year. It’s a night of purification. Work to realize where you past mistakes may have been, forgive and love yourself, and plan for your future.
Consider making a dream/vision board for the night of the Full Moon. Find a blank piece of paper or cardboard then spend some time cutting pictures out of magazines representing your dreams/visions for your future.
The Full Moon is the time of greatest power and the perfect night for a Spiritual Reading as it’s a night where energy is in abundance. This Moon is a great time to take a snapshot of your life and see where you are and where you need to be going on your personal path.
Full Moon Blessings,
Cherokee Billie https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/
Heartwings Love Notes 867 How Do I Love Thee
Heartwings says, “There are many ways to give love as well as to receive it.”
One of the more famous of the poems Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote to her Robert as they fell in love begins, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” It has always been a favorite of mine. I even set it to music and played it on my guitar in the days I sang in coffee houses and for parties. Truly, love can be given in many ways and all of them are special.
Valentines day is a reminder that love is a vital part of our lives. I know that as I live with love and give it, I grow happier and more content. A wise teacher once told me, “You don’t have to like everyone but you must love everyone.” When I first heard this I thought a lot about what it meant. How do I love everyone? Especially how do I love those that annoy, irritate or even do awful things, whether to me or to others?
In time I taught myself to do this. I learned how as I grew more aware when I wasn’t loving and deliberately corrected myself, replacing criticism with unconditional love. To be sure, I continue to learn and to observe myself and my response and reactions. When I practice unconditional love, love without judgment and with compassion, even unlikeable people can be loved. I don’t have to approve of them, or like how they act. I can simply open my heart and see them as another human being, however troubled or awful, and envision them surrounded in the light of love.
If I feel they ought to be punished I can say I hope they get what they deserve, without specifying. When my children were small and had been naughty, I might not have liked their behavior yet though I might punish them, I loved them all the same. Unconditional love grows from practice. When I make an effort not to judge another person regardless how I might feel about them, I can increase my ability to give that kind of love. Just as I might punish my child’s bad behavior and love them still, I can give my unconditional love to anyone, and as to punishment, that’s not my job. I can have faith that eventually what goes around will come around, and sooner or later, so it will.
May you discover ways to love those and that which seem unlovable in your life.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
Have you found ways to do this? I so enjoy it when my readers share their stories. Your emails make my day. Also you might like to know I have a new book, Up To My Neck In Lemons, a collection of Love notes, poems and lemon recipes. You can order one from Amazon or send $15 to P. O. Box 171, North Grafton MA for your personalized copy.
Golden & Sunny Fornacalia Bread – Goddess Magic for The Feast of The Ovens
By Danielle Prohom Olson
When the landscape outside your window resembles an arctic tundra – as mine currently does – there is nothing better to turn to than warm bread fresh out of the oven. So appropriately, this hearty and flavour-filled loaf is dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Ovens, Fornax, and her February festival of baking. It’s a kind of ancient Roman flatbread filled with cheese, olives, dried tomatoes and capers (all I had left in the cupboards after a week of being snowed in) and I think it casts a perfect culinary spell to banish the chill.
Fornax can be roughly translated as the phrase “the Oven is the Mother” and her rites called the Fornacalia were once so important that every citizen in Rome was expected to attend. Ovens were draped in garlands, spelt and grains were toasted and offered to Fornax in order that she bless the ovens, ensuring that bread is properly baked and not burnt in the coming year. This nine-day festival concluded on February 17th with a grand “Oven Feast” during which everyone ate and drank profusely.
This is the only available image of Fornax I’ve been able to find, and it had no explanatory details. It comes from this site and interestingly suggests that the English word fornicate comes from the Latin fornix, which has led some to speculate Fornacalia was “orgiastic” feast. It notes, “In the Roman bakeries associated with temples of the Goddess, her harlot priestesses were often called Ladies of Bread‘”.
Fornacalia was a moveable feast and its official date was posted each year in the Forum. In early Rome, it was likely determined by the new moon, which was the first day of the month which Roman priests announced from Capitoline Hill. And as spring began officially somewhere between February 5th -7th, (also the beginning of Fornacalia) I also think it likely this festival is a remnant of fertility magic associated with much earlier goddesses who from Old Europe to Mesopotamia, were associated with grain, bread and baking. Their shrines and temples often featuring communal oven at the centre, a symbolic representation of the womb of the Great Mother.
Details are scant about what exactly was eaten during the “oven feast” but there surely had to be plenty of bread. Bread and cakes featured heavily in many Roman religious rites involving goddesses from Ceres, Diana to Vesta. Loaves were most often round or shaped into body parts, hands, breasts, ears, eyes, and consumed in religious feasts on the respective seasonal holidays and festivals of each goddess.
When it came to possible recipes for my Fornacalia bread there were many options to choose from, spartan spelt and salt bread, round fluffy loaves of white bread, honey cakes and bread stuffed with cheese. But in the end, the theme of my Fornacalia Loaf was limited by what I could find in the kitchen. I had plenty of cornmeal (left over from the La Befana Cake I made in December) which I mixed in with some sharp Kerrygold cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as Roman-style goodies like olives, capers, dried tomatoes and aromatic fennel seeds (which were a favourite with the Romans!).
I also sprinkled in some wild fennel blossoms and calendula petals. They’re flowers of the sun and right now I’m calling on their powers to melt the frozen landscape that is now Vancouver Island. It turned wonderfully moist and flavourful, and I’m so grateful as it’s my dinner tonight along with some Roasted Cauliflower Soup. And guess what? Outside the ice is melting.
Golden Fornacalia Loaf
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted olives (green or black)
- 8 halves of sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 -3 tablespoons of capers ( I love them so added lots)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. English mustard
- 2 tablespoons of wild fennel seeds (you could also use anise)
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated cheddar
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- A handful of dried Calendula Petals
- Heat the oven to 350F, grease and flour a round baking tin, springform is easiest.
- Mix the eggs with milk, olive oil and mustard. Beat till frothy.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the eggs, milk and oil, mixing gently all the time. Beat until large lumps have turned into a smooth batter.
- Next add olives (reserving some to finish off the top), sun-dried tomatoes, capers, fennel seeds, calendula petals and half of the grated cheese. Mix gently.
- Pour the mixture into the tin, put the reserved olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with a few more fennel seeds and calendula blossoms.
- Bake for 40 minutes until it feels firm to the touch and is golden and crusty on top. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Homemade Chocolate Cough Syrup
by Karyn Maier
Yet another reason to love chocolate (as if you needed one)! According to researchers at the University of Hull in Yorkshire, England, chocolate may be more effective at calming a nagging cough than cough syrup. At least that’s the effect they observed in the 163 patients that participated in their study.
This isn’t new news, actually. A small study conducted at the Imperial College London previously found that the enzyme theobromine in chocolate seems to be responsible for its demulcent effects. It seems that this enzyme inhibits activity of vagal nerves, which would otherwise trigger the cough response. Aside from the palate pleasing factor, a does of chocolate instead of cough syrup suggests possibilities for people who are alcohol intolerant or who operate heavy machinery or drive for a living. It also provides an alternative to certain drugs found in conventional cough syrups that can produce adverse side effects, such as dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, and codeine.
It should be noted, though, that these studies were small and they involved the use of a chocolate-based medicine, not chocolate bars or hot cocoa that typically cannot adhere to the lining of the throat long enough to be of benefit. However, you can make a homemade cough syrup that provides a demulcent effect via honey and the benefit of cacao powder, which has the highest concentration of theobromine. The addition of cayenne may seem counterproductive but the spice provides capsaicin, which interrupts a pain neurotransmitter called substance P. The powdered root of maca, a member of the ginger family, provides immune-boosting nutrients (including 19 amino acids) and provides a pleasant malt-like taste. Finally, cinnamon offers not only antimicrobial and antiviral properties, but is also antispasmodic.
Homemade Chocolate Cough Syrup
1 cup raw honey
1/4 cup cacao powder
½ teaspoon maca root powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Pour the honey into a bowl and whisk in the other ingredients until well blended. Transfer to a clean glass jar with lid. Store at room temperature and use within 6-9 months. To use, enjoy 1 tablespoon (1 teaspoon for children under 12) as needed. Do not give to children under 1 year.
Why We Lash Out
By Madisyn Taylor
It is human nature to sometimes lash out at others, but we can learn to navigate our feelings without losing our center.
Each one of us has experienced situations where we’ve found ourselves lashing out at someone without meaning to. We later berate ourselves for losing control and feel guilty for treating the other person badly. And while it is human nature that our emotions and moods will get the better of us from time to time, we can learn to navigate our feelings and negotiate difficult situations without losing our center.
Often, when we lash out, it is because we are having a difficult time containing the emotions that are coming up inside of us. We may be feeling overwhelmed, afraid, frustrated, stressed out, or angry. Having these feelings boiling up inside of us can be very uncomfortable, and it is natural to want to release them. But when we release our feelings from our body by directing them outward and toward someone else, they inevitably impact the “innocent bystander” to whom we are directing this energy. They not only get the brunt of our anger, frustration, or stress, but also they can actually experience this energy as a physical force hitting their bodies.
When you find yourself in a situation where you are about to lash out at the person in front of you, try to center yourself by breathing slowly and deeply. A few slow inhales and exhales can help dissipate the intensity of your feelings before they escape you. Later, when you find yourself in a more reflective state, sit down for a moment; recall the feelings in your body just before and during your outburst; note where you feel sensations coming up in your body; and ask yourself if they are connected to any core issue or experience from your life. If nothing comes to mind, then revisit the situation again, exaggerating the details of what happened by indulging in outlandish “what if” fantasies. Exaggerating events after the fact can help expose the unconscious subtext behind your heated response. Understanding the motivation behind your reactions can help you avoid lashing out again when a similar situation comes up. In learning to navigate around your emotions, you are giving yourself the tools to feel better the next time your emotions start to boil. In doing so, you will be taking care of yourself by alleviating your own uncomfortable feelings while respecting and protecting those around you.
Howlite: The Stone of Emotional Expression
Properties: The stone of emotional expression, howlite can be used to facilitate awareness, encourage calm communication by combining reason with patience and observation. Howlite gently absorbs and uplifts stress, tension, anxiety and emotional intensity due to emotional imbalance. Howlite works by helping one to build decency of character. It shows us how to be less selfish, confrontational and less critical.
This is a good stone to help eliminate rage and anger. Howlite increases action, dissolves hesitation as it encourages ambition towards one’s goals. Although this stone in white in pure form, Howlite is most effective on the HeartChakra center, bringing
greater gentleness, patience and tact.. Howlite has been used in the past for astral traveling and accessing past lives. It has a strong
spiritual connection to the past, as it can lead you to a stronger spiritual future. This can be done by placing the stone at the Third
EyeChakra. It therefore makes for a wonderful meditation stone.
Folk Remedies: This crystal is a recommended stone for bones, teeth, and other calcium aspects of the body. It has been known to treat soft tissue injuries such as strains, sprains and contusions, while helping with pain management. Use Howlite as an elixir or essence for insomnia. The stone can be placed under your pillow as well. Use howlite in a grid around your bed to also help with poor sleep issues, especially those caused by over thinking.
Feng Shui: Howlite is used primarily anywhere to help bring change. Used in the Southeast direction, in the Center for balance and
spirituality and in the Northeast for wisdom.
History: Howlite, calcium borosilicate hydroxide (Ca2B5SiO9(OH)5), is a borate mineral. Howlite was discovered near Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1868 by Henry How (1828 – 1879), a Canadian chemist, geologist, and mineralogist. How was alerted to the unknown mineral by miners in a gypsum quarry, who found it to be a nuisance. He called the new mineral silico-boro-calcite; it was given the name howlite shortly thereafter. The most common form of howlite is irregular nodules, sometimes resembling cauliflower. Crystals of howlite are rare, having been found in only a couple localities worldwide. Crystals were first reported from Tick Canyon, California, and later at Iona, Nova Scotia. The nodules are white with fine grey or black veins in an erratic, often web-like pattern, opaque with a sub-vitreous luster. The crystals at Iona are colorless, white or brown and are often translucent or transparent. Its structure is monoclinic with a Mohs hardness of 3.5 and lacks regular cleavage. Howlite is commonly used to make decorative objects such as small carvings or jewelry components. Howlite is sometimes called “white buffalo turquoise” or “white buffalo stone.”
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Crystals Associated with Passion
From the phallus stones to the deep red crystals that stir our “sexual-self esteem”, passion is endowed by the power of the rock hard stones in this “favorites collection”. These are some of the most notable crystals throughout history that have been traded for virginity, offered as sacred sacrifices and given as gifts to allure its receiver!
“Passion Stones”: Sexual Energies and Carnelian
Sexual relations can be the most intimate and satisfying communication two people experience. Yet sex is difficult for people to talk about, let alone improve, when problems occur. We are all sexual beings. It is important to acknowledge and always celebrate this fact. We are sexual beings so it’s natural that we are sexually attracted to others. Carnelian represents confidence, boldness, initiative, dramatic abilities, assertiveness, and outgoing behavior. Precision, analysis, appetite, and awareness of feelings. Used at both the Sexual/Spleen Chakra and Solar Plexus Chakra, this stone warms emotions, passion, sexuality, physical energy, celebration, and the reproductive system. Helps you feel anchored and comfortable with your surroundings. Provides a connection to the past or to historical events. Strongly influences the reproductive organs and fertility. This stone can improve motivation. Helps one achieve greater success in career or personal matters.
“Passion Stones”: Warmth of Blood and Spirit with Coral
Part of the mineral kingdom, red and orange coral stimulate the Root and Sacral/Spleen Chakra for energy, warmth and fertility. Energizes the emotions. Best used for blood and blood circulation issues. Coral is a symbol of joy and happiness. It enables the wearer to enjoy their life and strengthen their capabilities. Red coral is attuned to Scorpio and is one of the 9 sacred Vedic stones associated with Mars.
“Passion Stones”: Phallic Passion of Fertility Quartz:
Aka the sceptre crystal or fertility stone is considered a naturally formed crystal that belongs to the quartz family. These crystals can have a unique clarity that almost looks like water. The crystal actually looks like a ruler’s sceptre or male phallus; a rod at the base with a crown-like configuration on the top. The clearer the point on the sceptre the stronger it’s ability as a healing tool. This crystal has an excellent configuration for the transmission of directional energy.
“Passion Stones”: Intimacy and Garnet
Intimacy is feeling close and connected to someone (developed through sharing and very good communications over time). Intimacy is what makes you want to share and offer emotional and material support to each other.. This is where garnet can help. Intimacy implies the desire to strengthen our moral character in a relationship. It allows us to find and keep, as well as show our best side to others. Garnet stimulates creativity, passion, and the circulatory system. Red garnet stimulates the Root and Spleen Chakra. It is a warming stone and energizes us emotionally and physically. It is also a very grounding stone. Used by ancient cultures to stimulate life force and sexuality, hormone balance, fertility, persistence, stamina, passion, confidence (and stubbornness). This stone is Yang in nature. Red represent passion and helps the wearer to strive for improvement in moral conduct. Garnets teach patience and constancy. They help us develop love and compassion. They sharpen self-perception and extend that openness to others.
“Passion Stones”: Vitality and Stamina with Ruby
Joy, love, sexual energy and power are all traits of this warm, deep red stone, It is an energizes stone after that strengthens the physical and emotional heart or Heart Chakra. Courage, confidence, vitality, stamina, strength, leadership, success over challenges are the empowering abilities given to this stone. It has been used to intensify all emotions (including passion, jealousy, impatience, love…) Attempted use for pressure/control (for love) backfires onto its user, when used for selfish reasons. Used for reproductive connections of both the Root and Sacral/Spleen Chakra, it also helps with sexual blocks. A wonderful stone whose stimulating energy can bring startling things to light. An amplifier of energy (both positive and negative). It stirs up passion. Can also amplify positive energy. Helps us in all matters of love, including love of ourselves. Stimulates motivation and visualization.. Ruby is famous for promoting sexual energy when moved back and forth over the genital area.
“Passion Stones”: The Yoni Power of Shiva Lingham
Lingam is the sacred Sanskrit word for phallus. In Tantra, the shape embodies the masculine energy; dynamic expression and knowledge. The markings or Yoni depicts female energy; wisdom and intuition. The Tantric Shiva Lingam unifies the dualistic female/male world into harmonious balance. This Sacred Stone relates to the Heart Chakra, and represents the harmony and balance of the soul that is maintained within the hearts of all of us.. Shiva Lingham stones are used for spiritual detox, allowing us to see the higher knowledge within ourselves. The stone gives us the capacity for hanging on to the beliefs which work the best for us and letting go of those beliefs which no longer serve us. When used during meditation, lingam shows us how to connect with our physical and spiritual energies and therefore, our higher selves.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
“Living life, consciously”
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Knowing Your Limits
By Madisyn Taylor
There is power in knowing your personal limits – your willingness to accept these limits can give you the means to flourish.
Every human life is defined, to some extent, by limits. No one person is capable of fulfilling every possibility. We are all born with unique aptitudes and sensitivities, and it is these qualities that largely determine the paths we will travel in life. What invigorates, excites, and inspires one individual may exhaust or overwhelm another. When we understand what we as individuals are capable of reasonably handling, we gradually learn to accept that we have control over our wellbeing. Yet determining where our limits lie can be difficult, as it is likely we have been told time and again that the discomfort, fatigue, and stress we felt while engaging in activities outside the range of our comfort zones was all in our heads. If you have never before given thought to the notion of personal limits, creating a list of those tasks and situations that leave you feeling drained can give you insight into your own.
You will know definitively that you are operating within your limits when you have the necessary energy and drive to address your personal and professional commitments. This is not to say you should not push yourself or work to extend the range of your capabilities. The wisdom you gain through dynamic self-examination will give you the tools you need to create an individual life strategy that allows you to achieve your goals without compromising yourself or your needs. The limits you honor by focusing your energy on what you can do rather than what you cannot do will not interfere with your ambitions unless you allow them to interfere. You can thrive within your limits, actively shape your circumstances, and avoid anguish by simply recognizing that certain aspects of life nourish you while others drain you, and doing your best to perceive the fine line between applying yourself diligently and overworking yourself.
You may be surprised to discover that your limits change over time. Your willingness to accept these limits as they reveal themselves to you can smooth your passage through life and give you the means to flourish.
Magee Part 7
The FBI agents hustled the two handcuffed thugs into their vehicles and drove away. Sippi took hold of my leash and we headed for her cruiser. Aunt Bea was already In the back seat with Snowflake. Sippi stopped as Raven rushed over to her. “You ok?’`
She was touched by his expression. “Close call. Fortunately those clowns were third rate, if even that. How’d you know to be here?”
Raven grinned. “We’ve been watching those two now for weeks–Russian messenger boys. I’d guess third rate help hoods use for dognapping.” Now that there was a break in the action, he felt his concern wash over him. He wanted to throw his arms around her, hold her, keep her safe, kiss her, but didn’t, not there in the middle of a crime scene, not with others around.
Instead, he frowned. “I worry about you Sippi. Girl like you doesn’t belong out here on the street. You need to be home in the kitchen baking cookies for a husband.”
She shook her head and frowned back. “Pipe dreams, Raven. Get that mushy stuff out of your head. Won’t work anyway. I bake lousy cookies, they burn up; I leave them in too long.”
He knew to stop and abruptly changed the subject. . “I want to take you to the reunion–Nba-Wnba at Madison Square Garden.”
Sippi sighed. “Maybe once, not now. I’ve purposely avoided all that jazz. Too painful emotionally. I make a lousy spectator.”
He nodded and put his hand on her shoulder. “I think we both want to be back in it. Me on the Lakers, you on any team you choose.”
“Them days are done for us, Raven. We’re cops now. Different lifestyle. No need to relive what was. Best to stay with what is.”
He sighed and shook his head. “If you say so. I can’t argue with you. Easier talking to a Sphinx on the Nile than trying to get my point across to you.”
“Then don’t try. Accept me as I am. Sippi Bopp, head of Detectives.”
Listening to them argue was getting to me. I needed to go. Not badly but still…I tugged at the leash to no effect. Raven blathered on.
“But Sippi There are wonders of medicine now, even robotics. We could get fixed, get back in the game.”
Sippi didn’t give an inch. “And play with a bunch of kids.” She shook her head. I don’t think so Raven.”
“Well at least come to the reunion with me.”
She frowned again. “Didn’t you hear me?”
He looked sheepish. “If you must know I told them we’d be there. I even bought the tickets for the dinner.”
“Without checking with me first?” She looked almost angry. I wished he would stop and we could go do what I needed to do. I tugged again. “Stop it Magee, I’m having a conversation here.” She glared at Raven. “Sometimes you can be a presumptuous turd …”
“I’m sorry Sippi. I just thought how great it would be. You and me there. Making a presentation. Maybe a Hollywood agent would want to tell our story. Make us famous.”
She saw Mallory coming toward her. “Don’t go there Raven. These days, ‘way things are they’d probably cast white actors.”
I tugged again. Maybe Mallory could take me somewhere to relieve myself.
Raven persisted. “Sippi don’t think that way. It doesn’t do race relations any good.”
She grinned at him. “Oh but I do. Think that way. Why I wouldn’t be surprised someday to see Jackie Robinson cast as a white kid with freckles.”
I could tell Sippi and Raven weren’t on the best of terms just then, but I was glad the dog nappers had been apprehended and Snowflake was safe in Aunt Bea’s arms. I wagged my tail and woofed.
“You could bring Magee,” Raven said. “Then we could do Central Park?”
Sippi sighed. “We’ll talk about it Raven. But not now. Later on maybe but give it a rest.”
He shook his head and turned away. He didn’t look happy. Raven nodded to Mallory. “Can I hitch a ride with you to the station? My car’s there.” Mallory nodded. Raven bent down, petted me, and then got into Mallory’s cruiser.
The next morning Chief Mallory’s phone rang. “Tom I’m afraid you won’t like what I have to tell you.” It was the District Attorney. “Washington issued a gag order on all phases of the Spike murder case. Agents just removed the evidence your crime lab unit collected from the mansion.
Mallory frowned and began to unfurl a cigar. “What about the four corpses in the morgue?”
“They’re still there. But the case has been turned over to the Feds.”
He frowned and bit off the end. “You’ve got to be kidding. Under whose authorization?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. But they waved official documents. The message was clear. Hands off or we’d be interfering with a federal investigation. Now the entire case is out of our hands. Apparently Spike’s concrete business reached all the way to the Kremlin.
Mallory frowned. “How does a mobster like Spike get in bed with the Russians?”
“Very sketchy details on this end. Apparently he was brokering some sort of a concrete deal to be used to build the tallest building in Moscow. Then something went haywire and the entire deal went to hell.”
“So what am I supposed to do? I’ve got four unsolved murders on the books here. Can’t just let those cases get cold.”
“Out of our jurisdiction Tom. But I don’t blame you for being sore.”
Mallory lit up. “Ain’t bureaucracy grand!”
The DA chuckled. “What we did get before they got sprung was that the two assailants who tried stealing the poodle were Russians.”
They signed off. Mallory called Sippi into his office. I yawned and followed after her.
Sippi poured herself some coffee. By now Chief Mallory’s office reeked of cigar smoke. My eyes began to hurt.
‘I’m so glad Agent Jones was on hand to stop that dognapping. Fine man Jones, I admire his perception.”
Sippi nodded and sipped her coffee.
Mallory told Sippi about Washington’s interference. “Ask your Aunt Bea to bring in that poodle. I want our lab to check her out. Something about that dog is a key to this entire case.”
“Ok Magee let’s go have a look inside the Spike mansion. See if Sherlock here can dig anything up.”
“Is that all right to do,” Sippi said. “I wouldn’t want us butting heads with the Feds.”
Mallory blew a smoke ring up into the lights. “As far as I’m concerned we’re just taking Magee for a walk. If he scurries onto that property then we’ll have to go after him and bring him out.”
Sippi lowered her eyes.She couldn’t help but smile. “I’d thought of that myself,” she said.
Mallory grinned. “Ok Sherlock, as they say the game’s afoot.”
(to be continued
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