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 MOON
Time: From full moon to dark moon (approx.14 days)
Goddess Aspect: Crone
Associated Goddesses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan
Magickal Attributes: Banishing, Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.
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
eBook (PDF): $6.25
The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women
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 Workshop – 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.
Thor’s 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)
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Our Lady of Life, Gaia Sophia
Spell Date: Sunday, April 28, 2019
To positively impact Gaia Sophia, honor the earth and plant a tree today. Please do your bit in the here and now; shine like the beautiful rainbow-sparkle child of emergent earth consciousness that you are. If we each plant even a handful of trees in our lifetime, then the impact will save earth-based religions such as ours from having no truly wild forests left to draw a circle within.
Think about the power of an old grove of trees, and take a moment to gift or plant a tree or perhaps a shrub. Choose something nice but not too expensive that will thrive on your property, or offer it to a coven or family member who owns land. Let your worship of the earth be at the end of a spade. Let’s weave our temples to Gaia Sophia in the woodlands of our living Mother Earth and help to resuscitate our planet.
This post was written by Estha McNevin on April 28, 2019
Amulet to Remove Obstacles
Spell Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019
This spell can be used to clear obstacles that are preventing you from achieving your goals. If you know what the obstacle is, visualize it. If you don’t, then simply imagine yourself achieving your goal unencumbered. Carry this amulet to clear the way. Use a small drawstring bag to create a bundle. Add any combination of frankincense (one grain), sagebrush (three leaves), and a sprig each of mint and rosemary, in addition to four grains of coarse sea salt. Herbs may be fresh or dried.
Choose any combination of stones from this group and charge them for your purpose: dolomite, kunzite, sulfur, or zoisite. Charge the stones by holding them and visualizing your intent. Add a piece of topaz, if you have it. Clear quartz can be substituted for any of the stones. Chant three times:
“Opposition be removed,
my way ahead shall be improved.”
Carry the bundle with you as long as necessary.
This post was written by Ember Grant on April 27, 2019
Spell Date: Friday, April 26, 2019
Today is Arbor Day in the US. Think of all that trees do, are, and provide: shelter, fuel, building materials, shade, oxygen, beauty, paper products, and syrups. In honor of Arbor Day, make an offering to a tree in your area. You’ll need a jug of water.
Kneel by the tree and say:
“Blessed be your roots that hold this sacred earth.
Pour some water.
“Blessed be your leaves that cleanse our sweet air.”
Pour more water.
“Blessed be your wood that feeds our magical fires.”
Pour more water.
“Blessed be your sap, the water of your living branches.”
Pour more water.
“As I lie in your shade or gather your leaves, I pledge to care for you as you care for me.”
Bring the tree some water occasionally.
This post was written by Dallas Jennifer Cobb on April 26, 2019
The WiFi Witchery Spell
Spell Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019
An effective Witch will use whatever tools they have available. Why not put your WiFi signal to (magical) work? These home networks can be named anything, so why not make yours a new type of “sigil” for your long-term goals? What do you want to attract? Money? Opportunity? Health? Protection? Choose a word or short phrase that speaks of this goal and then make this the name of your WiFi network. This will be broadcasted by your router and can be picked up by those around who are looking for a WiFi signal. Making sure you have a strong password, enchant this name to be a beacon that attracts the qualities it represents by placing your hands over the router and saying:
“Beacon of invisible light,
Shine your charge between the worlds
And draw to me that which I invite
By name, by sign, by holy words.”
Refresh the spell monthly.
This post was written by Storm Faerywolf on April 25, 2019
Spell Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
When you’re out in your neighborhood, do you notice little bare, ugly patches of dirt where nothing is growing? Not everyone honors our mother planet as we do. How can you help Gaia bloom in outof- the-way places? Guerilla gardening! Bring life to those little patches of dirt by planting and caring for the plants. As you engage in guerilla gardening, any time of the night or day, you may spot other people doing the same holy work.
Identify a bare spot that needs more life. Cast a modest (small, unfancy, invisible) circle and set small rocks (gravel works) in the four cardinal directions. Or draw an invisible pentacle and set rocks on the five points. Now do your planting. Choose easycare plants like oxalis (shamrock).
Don’t abandon your guerilla garden. Water your plants. Keep an eye on them. You’re fostering life on our mother planet. Help keep Gaia green.
This post was written by Barbara Ardinger on April 24, 2019
Vinalia Urbana Open-Air Altar
Spell Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
The Vinalia Urbana was a Roman wine festival held on this day in honor of Jupiter and Venus and their qualities of protection, strength, health, love, and happiness.
Pack the following in a shopping bag:
* An annual varietal wine (released spring 2019)
* Wine glass
* Handful dried mint and myrtle
* A small ox icon
* 2 snake toys
* Freshly gathered oak leaves
Pick a hillside, preferably one shielded by a large oak tree. Set out your materials. Set out the ox icon, snakes, and oak leaves as a temporary altar.
Open the wine and pour some in the glass. Say:
“Blessings, Mother Earth, from Jupiter.”
Pour some wine on the earth. Say:
“Blessings, Mother Earth, from Venus.”
Pour some wine on the earth. Say:
“Blessings, Mother Earth, from me.”
Pour some wine on the earth.
Place charcoals inside a fire-safe container, and light them. Sprinkle with the crumbled mint and myrtle.
Look toward the sky, the domain of Jupiter. Ask for what you wish.
After the spell is completed, make your footprint small by cleaning up after yourself. Take your ox and snakes with you, along with the other materials. Let the oak leaves return to Mother Nature.
This post was written by Stephanie Rose Bird on April 23, 2019
Earth Day with the Spirits of Place
Spell Date: Monday, April 22, 2019
Today is Earth Day, the celebration of our planet and our responsibility for its health and happiness. Today we look around us and appreciate the beauty and splendor that is everywhere, and we reach out to the spirits that reside within the hidden realms of nature.
As is the tradition, plant a tree today somewhere local. Bring along some milk, honey, and cornmeal and place them near the tree as an offering to the spirits of place. Call to the spirits by saying:
“Spirits of place, I pray to you.
Be here now amongst the true.
Come ye, wise ones, do not delay.
I bring gifts to guide your way!”
Spend time in silence there, reaching out with your consciousness, asking the spirits what you can do and if there is anything you need to know. Then journal about your experience and continue to build your connection with them.
This post was written by Devin Hunter on April 22, 2019
Cast Magic Into Your Beltane Bonfire – Hail! Fires of Beltane!
As an offering, place the herbs in a pretty bowl upon the altar. Or place a bowl of herbs within your sacred space to awaken sexual energy and desire! Remember, Beltane is all about sex (and fertility). Sprinkle around the base of candles or cast a bit into the garden or forest as a sacred offering to the earth. Burn as a loose incense with charcoal. This magical blend will intoxicate and fill the air. It can be used as casting herbs, an offering, or loose incense.
Beltane, celebrated May 1st kicks off the merry month of May! This fire festival is celebrated with bonfires, feasting, dancing around the Maypole and lots of sexual energy. Also known as Mayday, this sabbat is a time of sacred fertility. The Goddess and the God perform the Great Rite, sacred sexuality, making the land lush and green. Because Maypoles represent the phallic symbol, they are erected into the ground and danced around to celebrate the masculine aspect of the Sabbat. Many Pagans also use a cauldron in their Maypole celebrations symbolizing the womb of the Goddess.
Celebrations begin the eve before Beltane, and the lighting of bonfires would continue throughout the night. The Beltane Bonfire represents the return of the light as the days lengthen and summer begins its journey upon the earth. Renewal and purification rites are performed by jumping the bonfire.
Celebrating abundance and fertility, Beltane is also known as the Festival of Flowers. The appearance of flowers around this time of year heralds the beginning of summer and shows us that the faeries are hard at work. Opposite Samhain on the Wheel of the Year, Beltane is also the time when the veil between the worlds is thin which allows for divination workings and divining answers with the guidance of nature spirits.
Embracing Ancestral Fires and Fire-starting at Beltane April 28, 2019
The tiny sparks from my flint and steel shower down on my char cloth. This flint and steel set was a gift from a fellow druid from almost a decade ago, a gift that has long offered me a connection with my ancestors. It takes me a few moments to remember the technique he taught me, striking the steel against the flint in a particular way with a particulary angle to my body. Starting a fire in an ancestral way isn’t just a mental act; its an emboded one. I breathe deeply and remember, and the tiny sparks fly from my tools to the char cloth. After a few more attempts, a single spark lands on the cloth and starts to glow orange. I carefully pick up the char cloth and blow on it to increase the ember size, then place it in a specially prepared “nest” of bark, pine pitch, and soft cattail and milkweed fibers. I blow some more on the nest. At first, nothing happens, and I fear the spark is lost. But then it starts smoking, more and more, and suddenly, the whole nest is aflame. I lay this nest carefully down and begin layering thin plant stalks and dried materials that I had prepared in advance, slowly building the fire from that tiny ember. In 30 minutes, the fire is blazing and warm, and I feel intimately connected with it because I was able to start it on my own with basic tools.
We call Beltane a “fire festival” in the neopagan traditions because fire plays a central role. Modern Beltane festivities are derived from the ancient tradition in Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man where people lit fires and drove cattle through them as a blessing as they went out to pasture for the summer months. People seeking blessings also lept over the fires. For a nice description of the history of this practice, see this site. Fire was such an important part of Beltane because fire represents the sun, and by May 1st, people are eager to welcome back the sun, to enjoy the sun of the long summer months, and to have sunlight to kiss our crops that they may be fertile and abundant for the long winter ahead. Today, in honor of the fires of Beltane, I want to talk about fire as an ancestral practice and encourage exploration and experimentation with fire and fire starting in more traditional–and ancestral–ways.
Fire and the Ancestors
Fire is one of humanity’s oldest friends, tools, and teachers. New research from the Wonderwerk cave in South Africa suggests that homo erectus–our pre-human ancestors–had been cultivating and working with fire at least one million years ago, possibly 1.5 million or more years ago. It is likely that when we evolved from homo erectus into homo sapien, fire was with us. That is, when we birthed from the ancestral womb into the species we are today, fire was with us. When our ancestors transitioned from hunter-gatherer societies and developed agriculure at the start of the Holocene 8000 years ago, fire was with us. When our ancestors needed to stay warm in harsh winter weather, fire was with us. When our ancestors needed to keep back the predators in the dark, fire was with us. Fire is with us even now, as we heat our homes, move our vehicles, cook our food, and journey far and wide.
Perhaps the most interesting facts about fire is that it is one of the two things that distinguish us from other species (the other being language, although that fact is currently under debate). Fire scares and drives away animals and insects, while it invites humans in closer. If you are camping in the woods, its instinctive to want to have a fire, get close to it, and burn it brightly. Some of my most frightening times in nature have been when I was alone in the dark woods without the warmth and comfort a fire offers. This, too, was ancestral. Because my ancestors have been enjoying the warmth, light, and protection of fire for literally millions of years–it is no wonder that the primal part of my brain felt it lacking, especially when I heard critters afoot in the cold and dark night.
Today, people gather around fires, indoor or out, just as our ancient ancestors did. At any outdoor event or camping trip, there is a fire to be found. And where there is fire, there are people gathered, laughing, cooking food, telling stories, drumming, sharing songs, or more. Indoors, the fire has much of the same function. The hearth in traditional times was the center of the home. The fire burning, food cooking, the sharing of skills and traditions across generations. The hearth offers us a place to join with each other, teach each other, and nourish our own spirits.
Fire also has also contributed significantly to human evolution; Charles Darwin said that humans were distinguished evolutionarly by two things: langauge and fire. We can see this is true from both the evolution of the human brain and the evolution of human societies. First, fire has the unique ability to render food more digestable: we see that the application of fire to meats, vegetables, and fungus creates it more nutrient rich and dense. Some scientsts suggest that this has had a strong evolutionary function, in that more nutrient rich foods, honed by fire, allowed for a larger brain to develop (as typically, about 1/5 of our total calore intake goes towards our brains). Fire also was a driving force in moving humans further up the technological ladder: fire is what allowed us to create and refine copper, bronze, iron, steel and today, many, many advanced technologies still rely on basic principles of fire. Thus, each successive civilization has learned new and powerful ways to harness fire–and sometimes, to destroy with it.
Fire has had spiritual connotations throughout human history, and across human cultures. The worship or deification of fire, known as pyrodulia, pyrolatry, or pryolatria, was common, particularly in pre-industrial societies. The ancient alchemists and hermeticists, too, understood the importance and power of fire. Alchemists divided fire into four types including the “secret fire” upon which all inner alchemy (spiritual alchemy) was based. Likewise, in the Golden Dawn tradition, fire is considered the first element, and everything descends from fire. Ancient societies, including Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese, venerated fire and worked with it elementally and ceremonially.
In every way, fire reconnects us to our roots, to those ancient ancestors who gave us such an important gift. When I look at the fire from this perspective, I realize that fire is my most important ancestral gift, and thus, one of the best ways to honor my ancestors is to learn and understand fire, to work with fire as they might have, to learn to start and build fires, and to honor them through this practice.
Beltane Fire Traditions, the Ancestral Way
So perhaps this Beltane, considerworking deeply with fire in a new way. I offer three suchs suggestions for how to honor the ancestors and work deeply with fire at beltane: traditional fire starting, tending, and honoring the fire. These are three of many, many you can consider!
Fire Starting and Honoring the Ancestors
For most of us, fire starting requires a match or lighter, something that makes a quick flame. We often build a big stack, put wads of paper in it, light it with some fossil-fuel derived source, and hope for the best. However, learning to make fire in other ways, slower ways, ancestral ways, creates what I can only describe as a different quality fire. For one, you have a different investment in the fire, both from a physical and mental perspective. On the mental side, we use ancestral knowledge, knowing what materials to use, knowing the techniques, learning and failing and growing from the experience. On the physical side, as I mentioned in my opening, fire starting is an emboded practice. These practices take a lot more physical effort, particularly when you are learning. But that physical and mental effort leads us to amazing outcomes: fire we have truely kindled and lit with our ancestors beside us. But also, by starting a fire in a more traditional way, you invite your ancient ancestors to your side, and thus, the fire seems to have a different quality. Finally, the fire has more meaning becuase you have done it the slow, old way, and that has power.
The “Fire Triangle” I learned at the North American Bushcraft School offers some practical suggestions for ancestral fire starting. This triangle suggests that we need Fuel (something that will easily burn); Oxygen; and Ignition (a heat source, a spark). Traditional firestarting methods are focused on all three, with a specific emphasis on generating the spark, ember, or heat and transfering that into a fuel source that will allow you to produce a flame and using your breath to help bring oxygen into the fold.
The traditional method that I know best, using flint, steel, and char cloth, was detailed above in the opening and requires a minimal investment (a good kit is usually less than $20, you can also make your own charcloth from scrap cotton fiber). There are other primitive fire starting methods that you might try. Here are a few with detailed videos. I prefer videos for this, so I’m going to link you to some good ones)
Flint and Steel demonstration and method.
Hand Drill: method overview and instructions (probably the hardest to learn at first, but also potentially the most satsifying). Local materials for me to use include mullein, yucca, or goldenrod stalks and soft pine or cedar boards).
Bow and Drill methods.
Starting a fire with one of these methods takes practice! I’ve had some basic instruction in the hand drill, and one of my goals for this Beltane is to learning it in more detail this Beltane. After Beltane, I will continue to develop my knowledge of local woods and materials for this beautiful firemaking technique.
I believe that fire building and fire starting can be treated as a sacred practice, a ritual in and of itself. With each step, we can set our intentions from preparing to start the fire in a sacred manner, lighting the fire, and honoring the fire.
Honoring the Fires
Honoring the fire begins with creating it in a sacred manner, and continues with how we tend it and what we do with it. I think that each of us can create our own unique fire traditions, but here area few that I particularly like:
A fire offering. As we make offerings to the land, spirits, or other divine entities, we might also honor our fires.
–Creative offerings. I like to paint things or create things that are specifically for the fire. This may be a woodburned piece, a small painting, other natural creations. In particular, for these, I like to gather things from the land itself and use only natural materials (such as my natural inks or dyes, watercolors, etc) so that anything I offer to the fire is not going to have chemicals or other byproducts. So my fire offering this Beltane is a woodburned piece honoring the fire, created for the fire with intent.
–Fire blend of Herbs. You could also create a fire blend of herbs that you can offer; I especially like to include resins or other pine substances in these so that they burn brightly. Cedar or pine boughs are also great choices for this, as they crackle and pop when they burn. A ball of beeswax mixed with herbs is truely a sight to behold in the fire! I might do a whole post on fire offerings in the future.
–Music or Drumming. Play a drum, flute, sing, or make some other kind of music for the fire. Anyone can pick up a drum and offer a heartbeat rhythm and connect with the fire.
–Dance. Dance around your fire, letting your body flow and move (if this isn’t usual to you, just do this when nobody else is around! Even for someone who is not a dancer, you can connect with the fire in this way).
Treating the fire respectfully. Another thing I recently learned at the North American School of Bushcraft that some native traditions say that you should never throw anything on a fire, but rather, place it gently. This is becuase Fire is seen as an elder, worthy of respect. As druids, we might develop our own respectful fire traditions, so for you personally, you might think about what treating a fire with respect means. If you have a regular fire pit or a ceremonial pit, you can develop a layered set of expectations and actions that guide your fire interaction. Remember that the fire is a place for us to gather with our ancestors, and thus, it is always a sacred place.
I hope that this post has been inspirational to you and that you have a blessed Beltane! May the fires burn brightly and may spring once again return.
Acknowledgement: I am indebted to the fire teachings of Jason Drevenak at the North American School of Bushcraft as inspiration for this post.
Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life 877: Hoop Skirts and Test Patterns
Heartwings says, “A long life equals an interesting journey through time.”
Recently I was looking at a pretty formal gown in a consignment store and it brought back memories of ones I used to wear back in the days when formal dances were a part of my life. I didn’t go to a school that featured proms, however there was an annual series of dances held by a woman who ran a dancing school for grade school boys and girls. These dances were an extension of her classes and held for high school age students in the area.
She had very strict rules for the young ladies who wanted to participate. Gowns had to be of a certain type, and nothing too bare or plunging was permitted. This starchy New England matron who ran the dances was also particular about our weight. My dear mother put me on a diet that summer so I would conform to the ideal held out for those who wished to attend. “I don’t want any wallflowers at my dances,” she was known to say.
The dress I was looking in the consignment store at was a strapless, full length gown. The skirt was fairly narrow. I smiled to myself, remembering the hoop skirt that went under one of my first full skirted formals. How difficult it was to sit down without the darn thing flying up in the air, taking my skirt with it, revealing my gartered stockings to the world. There were other uncomfortable petticoats, starched and stiff that came later. My mother would laugh and say sometimes one must suffer for beauty. Although she wore a girdle for years and tried to get me to wear one, I refused to.
Along with hoop skirts and starched petticoats, no one born today or even many born a while ago know what a test pattern is, or has seen one. When my parents got our first TV, there were no programs before around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and after around midnight at night. All that was on the screen otherwise was a black and white test pattern from the different TV stations. There were no color TVs. Having lived a long life, I can recall much that no longer exists except in the museum of memory. It’s fun to visit there occasionally, though I’d never want to live there all the time.
May your memories of days gone by entertain you.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
PS Dear readers, if you have memories to share I’d love to read them. Your letters are precious to me, so do write and tell me about yourself. Your letters make my day. <email@example.com>
Crystals Associated with Air
These gems offer the insight and coolness that is appropriate for letting go, feeling more aloof, or bring your “too spacey” mind, back to reality.
The air signs of the zodiac are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius and they are the possessors of the virtue of knowledge. They are curious, have initiative, are original, generally are well disciplined and are quick thinkers.
Air represents the breath of life!
Here are helpful crystals for balancing the element of Air:
Apatite: allows us to connect between past and future, the conscious and unconscious and the psychic and intuitive centers. Blue apatite is used especially to heal and stimulate the Throat Chakra, for self-expression, teaching, healing, and verbally expressing yourself.
Aventurine: calms irritation. Used at the Heart Chakra, it is a soothing stone in both green and blue! It’s a particularly effective crystal for emotional healing and is especially helpful when worn for this purpose or placed on the Heart Chakra center during Chakra balancing. It helps to balance the emotions and is one of the best stones to wear or carry during stressful periods.
Blue Calcite: This amazing stone symbolizes enlightenment and mental growth. It relieves depression, lowers blood pressure and helps absorb energy. This gentle stone coddles and calms its user as it helps to absorb negative energy and thought patterns that work against you. A wonderful stone for anxiety, it works great for soothing raw nerves.
Blue Lace Agate: Helps to focus on the inner source of love within you that transforms and heals all emotional wounds. Contains the qualities of flight, air, movement, and grace. Highly inspirational when working with the inner self. soothes and cools anger. Use at the Throat Chakra.
Blue Quartz: This stone has been used to help you discover or increase your understanding of your spiritual nature. Its celestial color attunes us with the sky and the sea. It has a calming effect upon the mind and has historically been used to stimulate hope.
Celestite: celestite gets its name from the sky. Its gentle nature soothes nerves, reduces stress and quiets the mind. It allows us to find serenity, harmony, and easiness. It creates stillness for receiving, therefore allowing us connection to spirit, life overview, and creativity. Celestite increases self-expression, artistic creativity, and healing. This stone helps the Throat Chakra by allowing for honesty, openness, and listening. The celestial blue color helps reduce stress, worry, and anxiety.
Chrysoberyl: Chrysoberyl crystals are famous for increasing personal power and deepening spirituality. They help to increase generosity and charitable behavior. This stone promotes forgiveness and offers peace of mind to those who were it. Chrysoberyl can initiate intuition and spark awareness.
Citrine: This stone energizes every level of the aura. It helps develop inner calm and security and makes us less sensitive and more open to constructive criticism. Can dispel negative feelings and help us to accept the flow of events. This stone is great with help in achieving goals. Because of its matrix of iron and quartz, it is most effective on the Sacral Spleen Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, and Crown Chakra.
Lapis Lazuli: This is the stone of ancient knowledge and wisdom. Lapis resonates on a very high, harmonious level as it brings peace and deeper understanding when looking inward. It, therefore, encourages inner self-knowledge, encourages self-awareness and will show you inner truth, when you really choose to look. A wonderful stone to work with for self-acceptance. It’s deep blue color is like looking deep into an ocean of possibilities providing qualities of honesty, compassion, and morality to the personality seeking balance.
Sapphire: Sapphires are known as the stone of prophetic wisdom. They have a long-standing use in history. It is a stone of strength and gives great will power. These stones lessen tension and align the mental, physical, and spiritual planes. They can be an important stone for people with spiritual confusion or depression, those involved in situations out of their control, and anyone with concentration problems.
Tourmaline: (Indicolite): or Blue Tourmaline, benefits the upper torso, the pulmonary system, and the immune system. Some believe it has a religious nature and that its purpose is to teach” spiritual oneness”. This stone works well at the Throat Chakra. Blue tourmaline allows us the understanding to express how we feel with clarity and intention. This stone is known for cooling situations that seem to be out of control. It is a stone for quieting the mind and connecting to the sea and sky.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Rock Rose & ‘Chrysum Wound Salve
3 oz (90 ml) Trauma Oil
1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
24 drops Rock Rose (Cistus ladaniferus)
24 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
24 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
How To Make It:
1. Set up the “Stovetop Melting Method.” Put a Pyrex measuring cup into a soup pot that’s ¼ full of gently boiling water.
2. Put the beeswax into the Pyrex and melt.
3. Add the Trauma Oil and melt it into the beeswax.
4. Remove the blend from heat and add the essential oils, stirring gently with a glass stirring rod, or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
Pour the melted salve into two 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars or salve tins. Allow it to firm up before using it. (It will be solid enough to use after 15 minutes or so, but the texture will continue to get firmer over the next 24 hours.)
When you have a cut or scrape, apply the salve around the injury (not directly onto it). You can spritz Lavender hydrosol directly onto the cut or scrape, if you have it.
If you have a bug bite, bruise, or swelling, you can apply this blend directly onto the area.
If you happen to sprain an ankle or get a similar injury, you can use this blend around the area of the pain-be tender with yourself!
Whatever injury you’re dealing with, be sure to get professional attention if you need it. Rock Rose and Helichrysum will be waiting to support you as you heal.
Did You Know That Cats Heal Bones!
House cats may actually be contributing to our physical well-being.
Exposure to the vibration of a cat purring between 20-50 hz increases bone density, provides pain relief, heals tendons etc. Russian athletes, for the Olympic team are known for their increased performance when exposed to cats purring. They used a machine called “The Purr”,tuned to the cat purring frequency of 50 hz. Maybe, that is why cats have 9 lives!
~ Jain 108
Increase Prosperity and Wealth with Pyrite
Pyrite is often called “Fool’s Gold”, though there is nothing foolish about this mineral. Within its gleaming beauty is a stone of hidden fire, one that can be sparked to life by striking it against metal or stone. An Earth element, it also resonates with Fire energy, symbolizing the warmth and lasting presence of the sun and the ability to generate wealth by one’s own power.
Pyrite is masculine in nature, a stone of action, vitality and will, and taps into one’s abilities and potential, stimulating the flow of ideas. It also brings confidence and the persistence to carry things through to completion. You can start to see now why it’s so powerful for attracting money!
Pyrite is used for enhancing your financial well-being. The golden color and solid shape provide the energy to understand our financial needs and to find ways to enhance and build up our wealth.
Ways To Clean Your Copper
Copper mineral is an excellent energy conductor! Sends and amplifies thoughts, healing energy, and gem electrical energy into wearer’s energy field. Because of this, it encourages the physical/emotional bodies to find alignment. The result is clearer thinking, less aggressive behavior, a more calming persona and a boost to self-esteem.
This is a warming stone. Copper helps to release the “excess charge” of resentment and anger. It’s mineral make up encourages the balance between warm sun energy and cool lunar energy. An excellent assistant for increasing your ability to express and accept your true feelings. Copper will balance your personal energy reserve and confidence. Copper is often known as the “love metal” as it helps us open up to love energies and physically helps with sexual imbalances.
The healing properties of this stone are particularly enhanced when used in conjunction with other stones such as hematite and tourmaline.
How to Clean
Negative energy “charge” is absorbed by this mineral. It tends to become dull when used for treating negative energy.
1) Make a solution out of warm water, a few drops of lemon or lime juice, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix it thoroughly.
2) Dip the tarnished copper jewelry into this solution. Leave it there for a couple of minutes.
3) Remove the jewelry and rinse thoroughly. Repeat if some tarnish still shows.
4) Use ketchup and a soft toothbrush to remove tarnish on a piece that contains soft or delicate gemstones. The ketchup is not safe on the stones, but using ketchup and a toothbrush will give you more control over the cleaning process. Only clean the copper and avoid touching the gemstones with the ketchup.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
By Madisyn Taylor
Going on retreat is a time to cocoon, so that we may emerge ready to return to our lives with a new perspective.
Occasionally, we need to pause – and step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. Far more than a vacation, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit. It is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective. A retreat gives us time for uninterrupted meditation so that we may go deep within and spend time with ourselves.
A retreat may offer quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. Retreats often take place in humble dwellings with simple fare so that our senses may be reawakened to the beauty of unadorned tastes and the sights and sounds of nature. When we spend days in contemplation, we can more easily hear our heart when it speaks to us. We also are able to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. When we go on retreat we have time to connect to the sacred geometry of a labyrinth, discover epiphanies through asanas, or take a long, reflective walk through the woods where we can give each step our full attention.
Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go deep into our own solitude where we can fully reflect on our joys, sorrows, and fears, owning and releasing them as needed. We may even come to know and understand our life path more deeply. Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time alone back with us and create the space for deep reflection on a daily basis. We also may come back to our life renewed and ready to take on the world. The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you stay, you’ll always meet yourself when you get there.
Harry Silver opened the padded envelope and smiled as he removed the illustrated edition of the collected essays of Sir Isaac Newton. He looked at it with grateful admiration.
Just then his wife Bessie came into the kitchen. Petite, with a good figure, the only thing she didn’t like about her looks were her freckles. As he did everything about her, Harry adored them.
She glanced at the fat volume. “Newton? Didn’t he discover a lot?”
“More than a lot,” Harry said. “He virtually reinvented mathematics.”
She frowned. “How can there be more than a lot? Sometimes Harry, I just don’t understand where you’re coming from or even what you’re getting at.”
“Back when I was in school I read about his theory that the world would end sometime around 2070.”
“Oh dear,” she sighed. “That’s not a happy thought. But maybe by now it’s all fixed up.”
“He wrote that hundreds of years ago.”
“Things can change, Harry. People make predictions like that all the time.”
“But Bessie, Newton used mathematical principles.” He took a can of sardines from the cabinet, opened it and put them on a plate He looked at them appreciatively, and patted his plump stomach. “And nothing seems to have changed. If anything, global warming could speed up the process and even make things a whole lot worse.”
“When is all this supposed to happen?”
He shrugged. “In 50 years or so, give or take.”
“Let me get us some crackers. That’s terrible. Was he sure?”
“I’m sure he was.” Harry opened the fridge and took out the pitcher of iced tea. Then he got two glasses from the cabinet, added ice and brought it to the table. “Bessie it’s just one of those things we can’t do anything about.” He sat down at the kitchen table.
Bessie sat across from him. “Maybe that’s how you feel Harry. But before I do anything I’ll have to consult Sarah my astrologer. She knows about things like this.”
He put some sardines on a cracker. “And?”
“Well if she goes along with it I think we better sell the cottage at the Pier and I’ll cash in my master points.”
“Why bother? Maybe wherever we end up you can take them with you.”
She shook her head. “Oh no Harry I don’t think they’d be transferable. Ever since Charles Goren, The Master Point Association is very strict about things like that. Otherwise people would start throwing their master points around like confetti.”
He nodded and patted her hand. “Well if I were you I’d keep all this under your hat. No need to cause panic. After all it’s not for another fifty some odd years from now. And whatever you do, don’t bring it up when you go to the beauty parlor or by supper time the whole world will know.”
Her eyes widened. “Oh Harry you don’t have to worry about confidentially. Believe me, what’s said at the beauty parlor stays at the beauty parlor.”
He swallowed more sardines. “Besides Bessie it’s not like this is happening tomorrow.”
She looked at him intently. “Harry how long have we been together?”
He smiled. “Forty some odd years.”
She nodded. “Yes, and do you remember on our anniversary you said those forty years went by faster than a speeding bullet. Those were your exact words.”
He raised his eyebrows. “I remember that line from Superman on the radio. Bessie what are you getting at?”
“Well if what Newton said proves to be true then we’d better start making plans. Sell off what isn’t useful. Maybe put our money into gold.” She lowered her voice. “You could sell your baseball card collection and I’d send my mother’s needlepoint to auction.”
His voice rose. “Sell my baseball card collection, why?”
She touched his hand. “Harry you can’t take them with you. Even if we were to survive they’d be all wet and ruined. That I’m sure of.”
He sounded even more emphatic. “I don’t want to sell my baseball cards. I’ve had them ever since I was a boy.”
“Harry it’s a known fact that if there are floods, everything gets wet. Think about it. And I’m sure that when the world ends it won’t be a pretty picture.”
He scratched his head. “Maybe we should just forget this whole thing. Forget I even mentioned it.”
Her eye widened. “How can I? You’ve told me something terrible, something awful. I can’t just shove it aside. It’s dominating my mind. ”
“I’m sorry Bessie. But when we got married we agreed not to keep secrets from one another.”
She sighed. “Oh go ahead and keep your baseball cards but don’t blame me if they get all wet and mildewed.”
“Thank you.” He finished the sardines.
“But being known as the mattress czar of Pawtucket maybe you should think about having an end of the world sale. Get ahead of your competition.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Why? If the world’s going to end then why would anyone even think about buying a new mattress or bedroom set?”
“Harry if this is true; if the world is going to explode then I know that the only place I’d want to be when it happens is holding onto you in bed. And it would be nice to think about a new box spring and mattress just to make our final hours a little more cozy.”
He looked surprised. “You really think that?”
Now she sounded emphatic. “Of course I do. And when she read my astrological chart Sarah said that above and beyond anything else I was practical.”
He sighed and shook his balding head. “This is all a little premature Bessie.”
“Remember that speeding bullet remark you made Harry. After all, time flies.”
He took her hand. “Bessie let’s just forget all about this for now. You hang onto your mother’s needle point and I’ll keep my baseball cards. And just to make you feel better let’s go away for the weekend. Didn’t you say there was a bridge tournament you wanted to sign up for in Portland?”
She shook her head and lowered her voice. “Oh Harry none of that seems important to me anymore. What good are more master points when I won’t have anyone to play bridge with, assuming we even survive? And if we do would I wouldn’t be able to find a deck of cards amidst all the wet rubble.”
Harry put his arm around her shoulder and kissed her. “Tell you what, How about just to be on the safe side I buy you a couple a dozen decks of playing cards to put all around the house? That way you’re bound to find at least one.”
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“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!”