It’s the Magic Season!!!
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 Maia begins 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Calendar: Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12
Current Moon Phase: Waning Full Moon:
Waning Moon Magick: From three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half days after the full moon. From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity.
Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)
Goddess Aspect: Crone
Associated Goddesses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan
Magickal Attributes: BANISHING Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.
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
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. 7:00 – 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 The 1st 3 Saturday’s of the month! Noon – 2PM
USUI SHIKI RYOHO REIKI CERTIFICATION with GrannyMoon!
You’ve been selected as an Event Host for this repeating Meetup.
Saturday, June 1,8, 15 2019 at 2:00 PM
Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center
11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343
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!
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting attracting more of what you have.
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
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Candle: Purple, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Green, Light Blue
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
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: Dragons Blood
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
MARYLAND PSYCHIC FAIR
May 19th, 2019 9 am to 5 pm
1506 Defense Highway, Gambrills, MD 21054
Many of the best psychics, mediums, healers, and readers of all types, along with related arts and crafts vendors from Maryland and the surrounding areas. For both those who are serious or for those who are just curious. Event can be a life changing experience to just a fun time. 3/4 of tables offer some type of readings, 1/4 of tables offer related arts, crafts, books, oils, crystals, information etc.
31 Tables, All under one roof , Indoor Event, Free Parking.
A Fair that is not to large and not to small.
Many of the vendors will be giving Fair Specials and Discounts.
Some of the tables will accept credit cards.
Snacks and soft drinks will be available.
Pre-pay via Eventbrite -Ticket Cost = $5.00 plus service charge.
Pay day of the event, at the door- Ticket = $10.00 (Cash Only)
Celebrating Easter & Ostara
(an excerpt from Andrew’s newest book, Lead Us To A Place ~ your spiritual journey through life’s seasons)
Eostre or Ostara of Spring is a Goddess in Germanic and Celtic tradition who is the namesake of the festival of Easter.
In her various forms, she is a spring-like fertility goddess associated with the dawn. She is also associated with Eostre or the Norse Goddess, Freyja. Her focus is on balance and the equilibrium between night and day at the Spring Equinox.
Ostara has transformed into Easter, the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ. It is the transforming of life to spirit and the raising or transition into a new beginning.
In both the Celtic and Russian traditions, placing eggs on burial sites or burying their dead with eggs, reinforced the fact that the egg was a powerful symbol of immortality, resurrection, and rebirth!
The coloring of eggs has also been a long-standing tradition representing the promise of joy, happiness, and rebirth. The Christian concept of Easter connects the holiday of Easter with the renewal of life through the egg. It is a representative of the renewal, resurrection, and rebirth of Christ.
The “World Egg” is an ancient story about how the Universe “hatched” and the Hindu’s believe the yolk became heaven and the white became earth. The Shinto believed the entire Universe was contained in a huge egg, standing upright.
Celebrated all over the world and in different cultures including Easter, Feast of the Annunciation (Christian), Lady Day, Celebration of the Goddesses, Venus (Roman) and Aphrodite (Greek), Eostre or Ostara (Old English), Hewsos or Austro (Proto-Indo-European goddess of the Dawn), Easter, Eastre (Old High German).
Season: Spring or the Vernal Equinox
Represents: Spring Equinox, Easter, the balance of the day and night
Virtues: Growth, Union, Renewal
Symbols: Egg, Egg Coloring, Rabbit, Flowers,
Gemstone: Amethyst, Blue Lace Agate, Aventurine, Bloodstone, Chiastolite, Citrine, Rose Quartz
Color: Green, Pink, Violet, Yellow
Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood
Remedies: Bee Pollen, Bilberry, Blessed Thistle, Burdock Root, Calendula Flower, Catnip, Chamomile, Chaste Tree Berry, Cramp Bark, Dandelion, Eye Bright, Hydrangea Root, Milk Thistle Seed, Mullein Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Passion Flower, Wild Cherry Bark
Flowers: Daffodil, Gorse, Iris, Narcissus, Peony, Violet, Woodruff
Life Event: Renewal, Rebirth
Lunar: Growing Moon or Full Pink Moon
Body Healing: Cleansing
Mind Healing: Sun Walk
Spirit Healing: Sacred Spirit
~ Light a colorful candle or Easter candle – to celebrate rebirth and new beginnings. “Renew your spirit” as a source of promise. Say a prayer, state an intention or make a positive affirmation.
~ Blend essential oils of rose absolute, lavender and jasmine to use as a perfume. You can anoint candles, eggs, or jewelry, to “embrace the goddess” or to “honor the renewal of life”.
~ Gather some of your favorite crystals together to use as powerful tools representing love and fertility (rose quartz), heart’s desires and Spring (aventurine), the sun and renewal (citrine), the veil of the goddess/virgin (blue lace agate), courage and the martyr stone (bloodstone) or the cross stone (chiastolite).
~ Light some incense and burn them as a cleansing ritual, or rite of Spring, to clear away negative thoughts or bad energy.
Sacred Spirit: Ostara Blessing
“Balance of light and dark are here,
Take this time to find what’s dear,
creative spark and fertile life,
release me from this winter’s strife.
With promise of renewal strong
Those days of winter nights are gone,
So bless me with rebirth of light,
And start this season off, alright.”
~ Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Spell Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019
Easter is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. It features many symbols of fertility and prosperity, such as flowers, rabbits, ducks, chickens, and eggs. That makes this an ideal opportunity for abundance magic. Begin by coloring at least a dozen eggs. You can now find kits to make gilded eggs; they include the basic dyes, plus a shimmer powder that looks quite gold over yellow dye. Say a blessing over each egg as you prepare it:
“Come, abundance, fill this shell.
May its finder do quite well.”
If you wish, you may designate each egg with a different type of abundance, such as financial prosperity, healthy pets/livestock, or a loving home. Then gather the eggs together in a basket filled with green grass, which also symbolizes bounty.
Hide the eggs in the traditional way. As each one is found, it will release its blessing into the right hands.
This post was written by Elizabeth Barrette on April 21, 2019
Free to Be
Spell Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019
In my home state of Colorado, April 20th is fondly referred to as “420.” On this day Coloradans celebrate their victory for medical, medicinal, and recreational cannabis use. What freedoms have you recently achieved? If you haven’t achieved your freedom, how are you working toward it? Use the energy of this day to add fuel to the fire and set yourself free!
Cleanse a red candle with Florida Water. Carve the word freedom onto the candle. Anoint the candle with frankincense essential oil. Place the candle in a fireproof holder and set on a fireproof dish. Sprinkle a small amount of angelica root around the base of the candleholder.
Light the candle and focus on your intentions. Once the candle has burned out, gather up the angelica root, toss it into the air, and yell:
“I am free!”
This post was written by Najah Lightfoot on April 20, 2019
Family Full Moon Ritual
Spell Date: Friday, April 19, 2019
This is a small, simple ritual we do in my family to honor and acknowledge the full moon. You will need a sheet of paper, a pencil, a handful of your favorite fresh or dried herbs, and a small fire (optional).
On the paper have each person write one thing from the last lunar cycle for which they are thankful or that they wish to change in the coming month. Don’t worry if you can’t think of any major events. Life is full of small wonders! Place the herbs on top of the writing and carefully fold the paper around them. Take a moment to appreciate the moon together in silence. Let the herbs absorb the power of the words written on the paper. Then have everyone hold a corner of the package and throw it into the fire as one.
If you do not have access to a fire, you can dump the herbs out of the paper and into a shallow hole in the earth and then recycle the paper.
This post was written by Kate Freuler on April 19, 2019
Grasping Prosperity with Five-Finger Grass
Spell Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019
We can all use a bit of extra prosperity from time to time. Here is a lovely little spell to promote that prosperous flow in our lives. Thursday’s planetary ruler is Jupiter, and one of my favorite prosperity herbs, cinquefoil (aka five-finger grass), corresponds with Jupiter. Anoint a small green chime candle with olive oil and roll it in a very small amount of cinquefoil. Place in a holder on top of a heatproof dish or inside a cauldron. Sprinkle more cinquefoil around the candleholder. Light the candle and recite the following while visualizing a growing prosperous energy:
“Flaming candle, burning bright,
Five-finger grass reaching into the ethers with might,
Grasping prosperity and maintaining flow,
May it continue to grow and grow,
May it be steady in its flow,
For the best, may it be so!”
Let the candle burn down safely.
This post was written by Blake Octavian Blair on April 18, 2019
Invoking Tara Buddha
Spell Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
In Vajrayana Buddhism, Tara is a female incarnation of Buddha and is known as the mother of liberation. Meditating on Tara enables practitioners to develop and understand compassion and emptiness.
Years ago, on April 17, I began labor, and my daughter Terra was born two days later. Parenting is a transcendental path toward compassion and emptiness. I understand the need to protect and nurture my child while simultaneously encouraging her to go farther and longer away, developing independence.
Today, bring to mind one of your babies: a child, a pet, a garden, an artistic creation, or even a car- we baby so much in life. Hold your hands over your heart and draw your baby to mind.
“Bless you for teaching me compassion.
Thank you for teaching me emptiness.
May Tara Buddha walk with
you in liberation as you venture
independently into the world, protected
from fear, danger, and illness, with
increased longevity and prosperity.”
This post was written by Dallas Jennifer Cobb on April 17, 2019
Honor the Family
Spell Date: Monday, April 15, 2019
April is an important and busy month in my family, with many births, deaths, and anniversaries. Perhaps there is a month like that in your family. It is a wonder how the planets and the stars, nature, and the universe align and make a particular month so special (or so sad).
We can honor any special/sacred month. Plan celebrations for the living and for those who have passed. You may wish to plan one gathering to celebrate all the birthdays in that month at one time, and during that celebration offer up words for those who have passed. Don’t forget to include the God and Goddess attached to that month. Say:
“In honor of our family:
To those who have gone before, we ask
that you keep a watchful eye over us.
To those coming in, bring the love
with which you were created.”
This post was written by Emyme on April 15, 2019
Heartwings Love Notes 876 Gathering Together To Celebrate
Heartwings says, “Family rituals are an important part of family gatherings.”
This weekend holds Easter, a Christian Holiday and Pesach or Passover, a Jewish one. Both are important in the tradition of family gatherings. Both have an element of ritual that is central to the celebration. Carl Jung the eminent psychologist taught us about what he called the collective unconscious. Briefly stated this is a kind of universal memory that underlies all of human consciousness. It is not individual– what we remember for ourselves, but comprised of the memories encoded in symbols, of the whole human race.
The collective unconscious is like a vast rich sea in which each of us is a drop. We swim in it, and thus make our connection to the psychic history of humanity. The symbols and rituals of the holidays are present within it. These provide pathways that we honor with our traditions. For instance, eggs are a universal symbol of fertility. They are found in myths from all over the world. The use of eggs in Easter baskets goes back to Germany. It was brought to this country by settlers in Pennsylvania.
The gathering for the ritual recitation of the history of the Exodus at Passover is another important connection to the past. Known as a Seder, it recreates the connection to Jewish peoples of history. The Easter bunny, actually originally a hare is an ancient symbol associated with the Moon. Both Easter and Pesach are full moon based, rather than on a fixed date. Lilies grow from bulbs, symbolic of regeneration and rebirth. Spring the season we celebrate Easter and Passover is when new growth, even before the sprouting of last year’s seeds, emerges from bulbs. We wear new clothes to symbolize this newness.
As we come together to celebrate, we are connecting to one another. As well we are expressing humanity’s roots. Our ancient religions and spiritual paths, even those lost to history live again in our minds and hearts. Yes, there are reasons we celebrate linked to historical events, and yes there are links within us to peoples and even to places in our distant past that we are part of through the symbols and rituals we incorporate. The chocolate rabbits, the marshmallow chicks, the flowers and feasts, even the lovely Easter hats are of greater significance to us than we might think, for our celebration is enhanced by these echoes from our shared human history.
May you enjoy your family gatherings and the connections with the past.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
PS Do you have special customs or celebratory rituals you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear from you. Your comments always make my day.
I Didn’t Find the Witch Life, the Witch Life Found me…
July 8, 2017 by Laura Tempest Zakroff
You know, one of those quick “and that was the exact moment I knew I was a Witch” or “how I found my path in 300 words or less.” It makes me a bit uncomfortable because for some unknown reason, I feel like I should be able to spit it out in a sentence, or pinpoint one moment in time.
And I have been reminded of this a lot in the last few weeks on tour, as multiple people have asked me about it – oh and we’ve got writing prompts this month (which is a great idea) at the Pword channel here on Patheos – and the first one is “how did you find your path?” (Technically I’m posting this after the deadline…sorry Jason.)
I’ve talked about the evolution of my path several times over the last two years, and on various podcasts (including the latest episode of Down at the Crossroads – check it out!), and you would think all of that writing and talking would help codify that origin story into a neat little format. I feel like it has had the opposite effect. Like, instead, I’m even more aware of all of the MANY factors that have contributed to this path.
Mommy Fortuna from The Last Unicorn. I watched that movie on repeat, probably driving everyone in my family crazy. I found her both scary and fascinating. Her image has stayed in the back of my head for decades, bleeding through first when I called up the archetype of the crone for art reference.
The first culture that fueled exploration outside the Judeo-Christian model?
Egypt. I spent endless hours pouring over the Museums of the World reference book collection in my parents’ library, especially the ones focusing on Egypt, from first to third grade. I attended a summer camp at the shore library where the focus was on Egypt – and I internalized the myths, gods, and hieroglyphics. Around this time, I also read The Egypt Game – which involves a group of kids finding a replica bust of Nefertiti and they make a clubhouse temple for her and start to devise rituals devoted to her. (It was also the most egyptgameculturally diverse cover I had seen up until that point in my life.)
Travel Opens Eyes.
I also was exposed to Native American imagery very early on. We would frequently fly to Arizona to visit my Aunt Milly and Uncle Paul. Aunt Milly was retired, childless, and taking up painting. I idolized her, and she and my uncle brought me to all sorts of interesting places in Arizona, showing me Kachinas, rugs, jewelry, pottery, and much more. That probably sparked my interest in prehistoric and Native American-inspired historical fiction – where the spirits, myths, and gods of the people were part of daily life.
Shells, Stones, & Bones
Spending my summers at the Jersey shore, and so I spent a lot of time occupying myself with shells and exploring sealife on the beach and in the marshes. Armed with a small illustrated guide to the seashells of the world, I developed a shell collecting habit, which led to me learning a lot about the life of mollusks and the diverse practices involving shells (commerce and trade, divination, decoration, etc). Stores and shows that would sell shells would also carry fossils, stones, and other crystals, so my love spread. I had quite the shell and rock collection (some of which I still have). I still love shells, though I can’t say I’m big on crystals/stonework – though I do find them pretty.
Wait, People Still Do This?
While I was quite familiar with Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, and Native American mythology very early on, it didn’t really register in my brain that such practices (outside of the Native Americans) were still a thing. Reading The Mists of Avalon filled me with rage – over the loss of those cultures and the rise of patriarchal bullshit. (FYI: the Beltane scene is cemented in my head as an amazing moment.) Somehow from there, I discovered Neo-Paganism was a thing – and I acquired Drawing Down The Moon – the most serious-looking book in the witchy section at the local bookstore. I devoured it.
Connecting with Real P-words
But it’s one thing to read about Pagans or to talk to them online (#paganteahouse on IRC). I had yet to meet another one in “real life.” I don’t think I consciously met my first real Witch I could relate to until my freshman year of college. This pivotal point involved finding a Pagan magazine at the RISD bookstore. I was doing work-study there, and the guy in charge of the magazines told me that a fellow student published the magazine. I about died. He pointed her out one day, and I melted: she looked like she stepped out of a Klimt painting by way of Carpe Noctem magazine – tall with long dark curly hair with big dark eyes, swathed in layers of black. A few days later I managed to work up the courage to talk to her, and we hit it off. I got involved in the magazine, I founded a Pagan society at RISD after she graduated to find more folks, and the rest is history.
Looking back, I don’t think I found the path at any one point. It seems like I have been walking on it all along, with markers along the way.
Sacred & Spiritual Crystals: Bloodstone: The Martyr Stone
The power behind Earth’s minerals can be felt the minute you put a crystal in your hands or near your physical body. Crystals are the treasures of the earth. These stones are filled with energy to be used. So for this Holy week, I will be discussing some crystals with loving, spiritual connections.
Bloodstone: The Martyr Stone
Properties: The martyr stone aptly named, due to the legend of this stone being at the foot of the cross and stained by the drops of blood from Jesus. Metaphysically, bloodstone is used to either promote a calm, tranquil atmosphere that is grounding or revitalize insufficient energy. A great stone for mental exhaustion. This stone represents both courage and strength and is used for achieving these attributes. It is associated with honesty and integrity and is useful in removing obstacles in life. A classic stone for wealth, it attracts abundance and good luck. Most effective on the Heart (green) and Root (red) Chakra.
Folk Remedies: This crystal is one of the most recommended stones for blood and circulation issues. Bloodstone is an immune stimulator and energy cleanser. It is believed to neutralize toxins. It can be placed in a bowl of water or in bath water to ensure peaceful sleep and protects against nightmares. This is a good stone for pregnant women.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Sacred & Spiritual Crystals: Chiastolite: The “Cross Stone”
The power behind Earth’s minerals can be felt the minute you put a crystal in your hands or near your physical body. Crystals are the treasures of the earth. These stones are filled with energy to be used. So for this Holy Week, I will be discussing some crystals with loving, spiritual connections.
Chiastolite: The “Cross Stone”
Properties: This powerful crystal balances one’s perspective in both creativity and practicality. It is used as a sign of devotion towards awareness and dispels negativity. It signifies both death and re-birth and helps one to understand the realization of immortality. It is used as a bridge for “crossing over”. It helps one to assimilate during times of change. It provides insight to answers when problem-solving. This stone has a reputation for astral journeys and is used as a gateway into the mysterious. This stone allows for the overcoming of fear, the facing of reality and overcoming of the unknown. Chiastolite is used to attune to our soul’s purpose. Since it is associated with the Root Chakra, it encourages one’s survival instincts and is grounding and protecting. This stone is said to embrace the emotions and assist in spiritual journeys.. This stone is famous for assisting in our financial lives by encouraging moderation, simplifying our debt, helping us to stay focused on our fiscal worth and helps us to see the bigger financial picture in order to stay the course in tough times as well as manage appropriately.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Living a Spiritual Life
By Madisyn Taylor
Remembering who we really are is the first step in awakening to our spiritual path.
Throughout the journey from birth to death, many people choose to question life, strive for improvement, seek out knowledge, and search for the divine. Simply put, this is the essence of spirituality. One’s spiritual practice can take on many forms, because embracing the spiritual is a very personal pursuit. While many people do relate their spirituality to a God or Goddess, this quest for the divine, or oneness with the universe, always springs from within. It doesn’t matter where you find your spiritual path. We are all fundamentally spiritual beings and the essence of that lies in knowing one’s true self and finding a peace that comes from within rather than the outside world. It is in remembering this that we awaken to our personal path.
The spiritual path springs forth from a daily routine that reaffirms our personal connection with a purpose or a way of life. Practicing compassion, gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness, generosity, meditation, and taking care of one’s wellbeing can all be a part of one’s spiritual life. If you are new to exploring your personal spirituality, remember that this is a process. You may want to spend a few moments each day giving yourself a spiritual gift. Try a new form of meditation, visit a sanctuary, or explore a specific deity.
Accepting the importance of spirituality can be a healthy decision, because a spiritual practice tends to include habits that promote healthy living. Take the time to carefully determine the action, thought, and ritual that most speaks to your soul. Remember that your most profound spiritual experiences may also come from the simple intricacies that make up your life. See the interconnectedness of all things. As you explore your “inner work,” you will be walking your spiritual path and feeling your oneness with the universe.
Essential Oils for Allergies
When my springtime allergy symptoms are at their worst, I reach for my powerhouse essential oils. I have a few that I lean on to decrease inflammation and histamine response. They are very helpful when I am in desperate need of relief.
The first essential oils for allergies is Fragonia (Agonis fragrans) essential oil. This Australian oil is worth every penny. Not only does it help decrease inflammation, but it also helps support the immune and respiratory systems. Fragonia tops my list because it is safe and effective to use with children. It also has a very beautiful aroma. I use this oil very sparingly as there is a limited supply at this time. However, I am hopeful it will continue to be cultivated in its natural habitat.
Lemongrass essential oil has a clean citrus scent and is arguably the best essential oils for allergies. Further, it works to alleviate various allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, and stuffy nose. It also reduces inflammation and is safe to use around children.
Among the 20 EOs examined treatment with EOs from chamomile and lemongrass produced >40% inhibition of mast cell degranulation, as assessed by ß-hexosaminidase release. Moreover, of the EOs examined, lemongrass EO showed the strongest inhibitory activity.
My second choice is German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) essential oil. Roman Chamomile may have a better aroma, but German Chamomile is an excellent choice for inflammatory and allergic responses. I love to use German Chamomile to relax and unwind after a long day of gardening. It blends very well with Lavender essential oil.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) essential oil is another fantastic choice for springtime allergy relief. It also helps with inflammation and supports the respiratory system. Eucalyptus can also help get rid of mucus, which makes it a good choice for runny noses. This oil should be avoided with young children, so I use it in personal inhalers. Or I just use it when my children are not around.
Lastly, Sweet Marjoram (Citrus limon) essential oil is another oil I love to include in allergy blends. This oil can help reduce histamine production, inflammation, and can also help support the immune system. It blends very well many different essential oils. I like to use it with Lavender and Sweet orange essential oils for a calming, sweet aroma.
Essential Oils for Allergies Inhaler Blend
This list of essential oils for allergies is for use in an inhaler. This recipe is for adults only. Several of the essential oils used are not safe for children, but they are perfect for adults.
7 drops Eucalyptus essential oil Eucalyptus globulus
5 drops Tea Tree essential oil Melaleuca alternifolia
5 drops Lemongrass essential oil Cymbopogon flexuosus
3 drops Lemon essential oil Citrus limon
Drop essential oils into a small, shallow bowl and mix oils together gently with a glass stir rod or another utensil.
Place a cotton wick in a bowl and allow it to absorb the essential oils.
Using tweezers, pick up the cotton wick and place it in the aromatherapy inhaler, seal or cap as directed.
When seasonal allergies strike, use several times daily for relief.
Domestic Tranquility: The Lively Art of Matrimony
An Easter Offering
It was shortly before Easter when we received the letter on fancy stationery. I read through it and smiled. “It’s certainly nice to feel recognized.” I waved the hand lettered document at Tasha. She was at her computer working on her weekly newspaper column. She turned toward me.
“Good news?” she asked.
“Even better.” I felt a warm surge of pride. “We’ve been chosen.”
She set aside several papers. “For what? To read at a new open mic?”
“Better than that! The Prelate of this monastery would like us to provide a good and loving home to a Karmabarka
She looked puzzled. “A sacred statue of an Eastern deity? It sounds somewhat Hindu or Buddhist.”
“Close.” I waved the sheets of creamy handmade paper inscribed with deep blue calligraphy. “Says here that it is sacred to the holiest of monks in temples throughout an obscure principality in the Himalayas. Apparently the constant threats of earthquakes and global warming have caused the priests to seek loving homes for them throughout the West.”
“Admirable,” she said.
“And what’s special is that we’ve been chosen by a blue ribbon panel from the United Nations to welcome a Karmabarka into our home.”
She smiled appreciatively. “We could move one of the statues into storage to make room for it.
“It’s not a statue; a Karmabarka is a holy temple dog that fits in the palm of a priest’s hand or sits in a special handmade shoulder harness.”
She looked at me and shook her head. “What for?”
I smiled and showed her the brochure with its pictures. “Apparently when it barks it dispels negative karma. As far back as the dawn of time they were used to protect temples from thieving rambunctious monkeys.”
She took a sharp breath. “A dog! This entire conversation is about our getting a dog? Didn’t we decide against that?”
“Yes but Tasha, this isn’t just any dog.” I held out the impressive invitation and pointed to the color photographs in the brochure. “From what I gather it’s a very special creature, an ascended master spending a lifetime in the body of a dog. And that’s very different. Not only does a Karmabarka’s chant, it will mediate with us.”
Her eyebrows rose. “Chant?”
I looked at the letter, cleared my throat and shared the mantra. “Barka Karma, Barka Karma, Karma Barka Karma Ka. Karma Karma Barka Barka Karma Barka Karma ka…”
“Are you sure? That melody sounded to me like the Ode To Joy chorus from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”
“Chant is universal,” I equivocated. “But just think! A little palm sized friend who will sit with us when we mediate.” I showed the dog’s picture to her.
She made a face. “It looks like a baby squirrel without any fur.”
“And we won’t even have to buy dog food. Each month they’ll ship us their special formula of hybrid peas mixed with dehydrated green tea. All we have to do is add water.”
“Let me see this.” She snatched the invitation and perused it. Her eyes widened. Moments later she shook her head and gave me her there’s one born every minute look. “It says here that this dog costs $8900. Plus shipping.”
I shrugged. “You know that pedigrees are pricey. That’s part of their exclusivity. But that price includes its own hand woven temple robe, shoulder harness and special incense. Apparently to be happy they need to smell this familiar scent.”
Her face was stony: “I don’t think so.”
“Keep reading,” I tried. “A pair would only run us $16,000. We’d probably pay way more than that for any pair of expensive miniature breeds exhibited at those exclusive dog shows. Then of course with a pair, in time they could breed.”
The look she gave me would wilt seedlings.
“But at least think about it and don’t jump to any hasty conclusions.”
“For $16,000. we could afford several first class European river cruises.” She wrinkled her nose. “Besides I don’t like its looks.”
“But it’s holy. Granted it doesn’t look like Lassie but it doesn’t shed either.”
“How could it? It has no hair.” She stood up and put her hands on her hips. “I know you’d like us to have a dog or at least you think you would until we got one. And then guess what? Your dog would become my responsibility.”
I shook my head.
“Would you take it out for walks when it’s raining? Besides it looks like it’s got pinkeye.”
“I think that’s a significant characteristic of the breed. Judges probably look for that at shows. But wouldn’t it be fun to have a buddy to meditate with?”
“You could always invite in one of the neighbors.”
“None of our neighbors chant.”
“Neither do we.”
“But what’s important is they only bark when they sense impurities within a person’s aura. That will protect us by keeping anyone with negativity from our home.”
“And I suppose you’d expect me to walk it. I’d look like I was walking some kind of wrinkled, deformed rat.”
“Tasha you know perfectly well that appearances aren’t everything. Don’t forget that in truth you’d be walking an ascended master.”
She took a sniff of the sample incense included with the invitation and wrinkled her nose. “It smells worse than dirty feet that haven’t been washed in weeks.”
“Ok, I hear you. I give up. But we might be missing out on an incredible opportunity. I thought with Easter coming it would be a perfect time for us to make an appropriate spiritual offering to each other.”
She folded her arms. “At Easter we order rum balls and jelly beans.”
Reluctantly I gathered the paperwork and photographs and put them into the recycling.
In the distance I thought I heard the faint sound of mournful barking.
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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”
“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!”