Watch for the The Black New SuperMoon with a Friend on July 31st!
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 Kerea begins 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Calendar: Tinne (Holly) July 8 to August 4
Current Moon Phase: The Waning Moon
Time: From full moon to dark moon (approx.14 days)
Goddess Aspect: Crone
Associated Goddesses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan
Magickal Attributes: 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.
Waning Moon Magick: The period between the Full Moon and the New Moon, 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. This is a time for banishing and rejecting things in our lives that we no longer wish to carry around with us.
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.
Join me! GrannyMoon@Goddessschool.com Saturday’s with GrannyMoon!
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 each month. Explore a new herb or two and work on a hands-on project with us. 4-6PM
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: 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
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Solar Power Recharge Spell
July 28, 2019 by Devin Hunter
With Leo and Sunday both being ruled by the sun, the astrological energies today are perfect for all work related to the sun and its correspondences. Most especially, this is a time for you to work with the sun to replenish your own energy levels.
At dawn, go outside and face the east. Draw a circle with a dot in the center (the symbol for the sun) in the air and then focus your attention on the dot. Envision this dot capturing the rising light from the sun and then directing it directly into your solar plexus. Breathe deeply and chant this five times:
“Sun rising, fill my soul,
Sun rising, make me whole.
Fill what’s empty and restore the light.
Bring on the day after night!”
Continue to breath deeply, and when you feel you are full, allow the symbol for the sun to fade away. Then disconnect from that energy.
Summer Energetic Cleaning
July 27, 2019 by Blake Octavian Blair
Many of us do a thorough spring cleaning; however, summer is often a period when hot days lead to a lack of desire to do a deep round of housekeeping. Stagnant energy in the home can be compounded by summer heat and humidity, a really heavy combination. Since Saturday is the day of the week that is ruled by Saturn, today is a great day to do home magick, so let’s take advantage of that energetic wave!
First, do what you can to get your home’s temperature as comfortable as possible so you can concentrate on your energetic work. Mix up a simple smudge blend of one part crushed white sage, one part lavender buds, and an optional one part sweetgrass. Place safely onto a lit charcoal in a smudge bowl. Waft the smoke through your home, visualizing it as a cool cleansing breeze. Move methodically from room to room visualizing the stagnant energy dissipating and a cooling calm filling your space.
Charmed Shoe Laces
July 26, 2019 by Kate Freuler
Quite often we find ourselves at a figurative crossroads in life, caught between two life paths. Symbolically speaking, our feet don’t know which fork in the road to take, and we end up going nowhere. That is what this spell is for.
Rosemary is a common multipurpose herb associated with wisdom, memory, and mental clarity, which makes it perfect for decision-making spells and overcoming mental blocks. Make a simple brew of water and rosemary leaves by boiling them together for about three minutes. Once cooled, put the brew in a jar. Now remove the laces from whichever shoes you wear most often. Put them in the brew, tighten the lid, and shake them up. Leave them in direct sunlight for a few hours to give them illuminating solar energy. Leave them to dry, then put them back in your shoes. Pay attention to your intuition during the coming days, and let rosemary, a plant of wisdom, guide you onto the right path.
Spell to Banish Debt
July 25, 2019 by Ember Grant
To help remove unwanted debt, use this spell. Of course, you must also take practical steps as well. Let this spell help you be mindful of budgeting and other actions you can take.
First, tear up the bills (or copies of the bills) in tiny pieces, visualizing the debt being diminished into tiny, manageable bits. Next, place the pieces in a safe container for burning—a cauldron, fireplace, etc. Light a black taper candle (white can be substituted) and visualize the debt being reduced to mere ashes, easily swept away. Using the candle, light the paper pieces on fire.
“Debt be gone, no more distress.
It will be handled with finesse.
No more concern and no more woe.
This debt be banished—let it go!”
Hump Day Spell
July 24, 2019 by Stephanie Rose Bird
Today is Wednesday, known as hump day. This term has been popularized by people who work Monday through Friday. Dead in the middle of the week, hump day is what people try to get through as they look forward to the weekend.
Let’s try an affirming spell to engage with hump day. Rather than looking backward or forward to the weekend, how about appreciating the magick of Wednesday? After all, this is Odin’s Day, and he is the god of poetry and wisdom. It is also the day of the week ruled by Mercury, so it is good for communications. The following spell is designed to ground and center you:
“I look neither backward nor forward,
I am here, in the now.
Today is the day I will reach deeply
Into the power of my mind.
I honor wisdom and intentional words.
I look neither forward nor backward,
I am in the here and now.”
July 23, 2019 by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
Earthing and grounding are terms used to describe the process of connecting to the earth through bare feet. Earthing has been proven to help ease pain, promote sleep, increase energy, reduce stress, and normalize the body’s natural rhythms. Connecting to the earth reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases natural immunity.
Whether you live in a city, suburb, village, or rural locale, make time to ground yourself today. A book or blanket provides a great disguise. Sit on a park bench and remove your shoes, or lie on a blanket and let your bare feet connect to the earth. Walk barefoot in the park, along a beach, or in your yard. As you connect to the earth, invoke:
“Great Mother Earth, heal and help
me harmonize me to your vibration
that I might be grounded.”
Study the effect of grounding on your sense of well-being, and be transformed.
Stretch Your Imagination: Make the Old Myths New Again
July 22, 2019 by Barbara Ardinger
Children love to play superhero and change the script. We can do that, too, so let’s rewrite some of the old myths. Get out your old Bulfinch (Bulfinch’s Mythology) and read awhile. Then close your eyes and voilà! You’re in Mythland. Don your cape. Leap into action.
What if Prometheus entered into a trade agreement with Olympus, Inc.? What if Atreus said, “Whoa, I’m a vegan”? What if Helen said, “Paris, you’re swell, but I’m a respectable wife”? What if Midas formed a charitable foundation to sponsor arts and culture… and hired Orpheus? What if Pasiphaë put a collar on that bull and sent it out to pasture?
It’s fun to play with the old myths and add modern touches. Movies and games do it all the time. Pagans can, too. Post your remade myths online.
A Crazy Black SuperMoon Will Happen on July 31st
By Elizabeth Gulino
Calling all astronomy fiends: This month, we’ll be having a second new moon—which doesn’t happen often—and it will be called a Black Supermoon. Spooky, right? You’ll definitely want to plan out your stargazing trip for this one.
Here’s everything you need to know about July’s Black Supermoon.
What is a Black Supermoon?
According to Farmer’s Almanac, some people call the second moon in a single month a Black Moon—this is the definition that’s used most often, and the one that applies to the full moon happening on July 31st. The term has also been used where no new moon occurs in a month, which only happens every 5 to 10 years in the month of February.
This particular moon on July 31st is called a Black Supermoon because it will be near its closest point to Earth.
How often does a Black Moon occur?
Every two to three years will see a new Black Moon—although it may be different in certain parts of the world. For example, in North America, the new second moon is on July 31—making it a black moon. But for the rest of the world, the New Moon will happen on August 1st, which means that their black moon will occur on Friday, August 30th.
When is the Black Supermoon?
The next Black Supermoon will occur next week on July 31, 2019 at exactly 11:12 p.m. ET. Get your moon-gazing squad ready for it!
What does a Black Moon look like?
Unfortunately, the color of the moon won’t actually be a spooky shade of black. When a new moon occurs, it actually disappears from the sky because on Earth we see the dark side of the moon. But before and after, it’ll pretty much look like any other moon you see—but at least you’ll know this one is special!
The High Priestess- Reversed
by Brigit | Biddy Tarot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The card drawn for this week is the The High Priestess reversed
This week it may be important to take a “time-out” from your current circumstances. In order to move forward, rest and relaxation is essential. This is a good time for meditation and contemplation. This is especially true if recent times or events have been challenging. You don’t need to keep pushing through and further depleting your energy. Yes, there is more work to be done. But rest assured, you will return to the challenge reinvigorated once you take the time to replenish your strength.
Ask the Tarot: “What do I need to contemplate this week?”
Also Called – Lammas, Cornucopia, Thingtide, Half-mass, Grain Festival, Feast of Bread
This is the last of the four great fire festivals of the Wheel of the Year and is the first of three harvest festivals. This harvest celebration encompasses hay, grain, corn and cereal yields. It is best known for its festive atmosphere and temporary hand-fasting.
Traditions – games, competitions, spear tossing, feasting, Olympic-like events temporary marriage (a year and a day), Lammas towers- fire building team competition aka kindling night, gathering golden pipes of Lleu, matricara, yellow trefoil for crowns; fencing and sword sports.
Bake corn bread, visit wineries, sprout seeds to symbolize the resurrection of the Corn King. Decorate with sheaves of wheat and grain. Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant or tree with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Lord and Lady.
This is the festival of the Irish God Lugh. He is the God of all skills and games incorporating athletic prowess. He is the Bright and Shining One.
This is a time of joy and sadness. The sun and warmth is going out of the sky and waning into Winter and the growing season is winding down, but the cupboards are full of food and Winter stores. Corn dollies, symbolizing the Grain Goddess, are wound from wheat stalks and corn breads in the shape of the Grain God are baked in honor of his sacrifice.
Corn dollies are made from the last husks of the last corn stalk being harvested. It was believed that as the corn was harvested, the spirit of the corn would jump from one stalk to the next until it reached the last stalk. The farmers were very careful when cutting that last stalk of corn down for it was in that stalk that hid the spirit of the corn. In order to preserve that spirit, this last corn husk was made into a corn dolly where it reverently sat in a safe place of honor until it could be ploughed into the following years crops ensuring a good yield of corn the next harvest season.
Symbols – wheat stalks- Lugh’s magic spear, loaves of bread, a spear, goldenpipes, scythe, sickle.
Foods – apples, breads, berries, all grains, grapes, crab apples, pears, fish, wine, poultry, fowl, no red meat, gruels, cakes, oatmeal, cookies, early corn, strawberries, black berries.
Herbs – heather, sloe, dandelion, aloe, rose, sandalwood, furze, marigold, oat straw, sunflower.
Stones – carnelian
Colors – yellow, orange, red, brown
Time of Day – Noon
Astrological Sign – Leo
Element – Fire
Direction – South
Heartwings 890 Helping Out Friends and Neighbors
Heartwings says, “When we help out whether in large or small ways, we help ourselves too.”
Some years ago a friend of mine and her mother began making pillowslip dresses for young ladies in third world countries. Made from two lengths of material sewn together and tied at the shoulders, these simple inexpensively produced dresses, have supplied a great many girls and young women with modest colorful clothing. Since then the mother and daughter have had many other people join them in their efforts, all getting together to create these simple garments. It brings all who participate a sense of joy as well as the sense of satisfaction that comes from being of help to others.
There are countless ways to share effort. Most churches, senior organizations and even listserves offer opportunities. Giving rides, doing errands, bringing meals, or just being a friendly person to the aged and housebound is one simple, easily found one. Most soup kitchens welcome your help as often as you can manage. Many organizations look for volunteers to assist staff. Helping out a young mother in your neighborhood with child minding while she goes grocery shopping can be a boon. Even the small act of holding the door for the person coming along behind you can bring a smile to that person.
“It is in giving we receive,” said St. Francis of Assisi in his famous prayer for peace. From the time most of are small we are taught to share, to think of others, perhaps to put them first, and to avoid taking the biggest piece of cake or the last cookie. Because it comes when we are very young, this guidance often becomes part of us. We may thrive on the opportunity to do so. However, if I rely solely on the good feeling I get from helping others and neglect to take care of my own needs, I am apt to feel resentment or even neglect when I do not receive what feels like sufficient gratitude for my help
It is vital not to make sacrifices that I cannot afford, however, I need not expect thanks, nor feel neglected when I remember to acknowledge my own efforts to myself. I need not depend on anyone else’s gratefulness, because I can feel inner gratitude to have been able to help. The act of giving brings with it a natural source of uplift to the heart. This fountain of joy flows freely when we look into ourselves for the acknowledgement we deserve for our efforts. It is lovely to be thanked, and I try to remember to do it often. It is also good when we feel that as an echo of our own inner sense of gratitude.
May you enjoy whatever opportunities to share come your way.
Blessings and Best regards, Tasha Halpert <email@example.com>
PS Tell me about ways you have found to share. I always appreciate hearing from my readers and grateful for any responses you might wish to share. I will always answer your emails as soon as I can manage to do so.
By the time Lammas rolls around, it’s usually pretty hot. In some parts of the world, gardens are beginning to dry out, and the earth has gone from soft and pliable to dry and cracked. If you haven’t harvested your herbs yet for drying, now is a good time to start doing so — in other words, pick them before they die on their own. Any fresh herb can be dried simply by picking it and tying it up in small bundles in a well-ventilated area. Once they are completely dry store them in airtight jars in a dark place.
To make your own magical Lammas incense, first determine what form you’d like to make. You can make incense with sticks and in cones, but the easiest kind uses loose ingredients, which are then burned on top of a charcoal disc or tossed into a fire. This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes.
As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the intent of your work. In this particular recipe, we’re creating an incense to use during a Lammas rite-it’s a time to celebrate the beginning of the harvest. We’re thankful for the foods we’ve grown, and for the bounty of the earth, and the knowledge that we’ll have enough to eat through the coming winter months.
1 part basil
1/2 part cinnamon bark
1 part coriander
1/2 part rosemary
1 part yarrow
Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:
We’re thankful this day for the gift of rebirth,
Fruits and vegetables, the bounty of earth.
For the Harvest Mother with her basket and scythe,
Abundance and fertility, and the blessings of life.
We’re grateful for the gifts we carry within
And for what will become, and what has been.
A new day begins, and life circles round,
As grain is harvested from the fertile ground.
Blessings to the earth and to the gods from me,
As I will this Lammas, so it shall be.
Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.
Sitting with Our Sadness
By Madisyn Taylor
Sitting with our sadness takes the courage to believe that we can bear the pain and we will come out the other side.
The last thing most of us want to hear or think about when we are dealing with profound feelings of sadness is that deep learning can be found in this place. In the midst of our pain, we often feel picked on by life, or overwhelmed by the enormity of some loss, or simply too exhausted to try and examine the situation. We may feel far too disappointed and angry to look for anything resembling a bright side to our suffering. Still, somewhere in our hearts, we know that we will eventually emerge from the depths into the light of greater awareness. Remembering this truth, no matter how elusive it seems, can help.
The other thing we often would rather not hear when we are dealing with intense sadness is that the only way out of it is through it. Sitting with our sadness takes the courage to believe that we can bear the pain and the faith that we will come out the other side. With courage, we can allow ourselves to cycle through the grieving process with full inner permission to experience it. This is a powerful teaching that sadness has to offer us–the ability to surrender and the acceptance of change go hand in hand.
Another teaching of sadness is compassion for others who are in pain, because it is only in feeling our own pain that we can really understand and allow for someone else’s. Sadness is something we all go through, and we all learn from it and are deepened by its presence in our lives. While our own individual experiences of sadness carry with them unique lessons, the implications of what we learn are universal. The wisdom we gain from going through the process of feeling loss, heartbreak, or deep disappointment gives us access to the heart of humanity.
Safe Plants That Are Especially Enticing to Cats
Obviously, it is very important to know which plants are safe for cats and which ones are not. Fortunately, there is a long list of safe grasses and herbs that can provide your cat lots of enjoyment. Among them are:
A few types of grass are safe for – and delicious to – cats.
1. Catnip: The ubiquitous catnip or Nepeta cataria is well-known for being safe and enjoyable for cats. However, it’s best not to give it to cats who have a history of seizures. Also, young kittens and some adult cats do not respond to catnip, so it may be hit or miss with your particular cat.
2. Catmint: A close relative to catnip, Nepeta x faassenii has wonderful lavender or white flowers that will delight both humans and cats. It grows as a bush about a foot high and two to three feet wide.
3. Cat thyme: This evergreen perennial, Teucrium marum, is pretty stinky to us, but cats love it. Your cats will enjoy frolicking around this bush. Grows to about one foot in diameter with pink flowers.
4. Wheat grass: These are sprouts from wheat, chock full of nutrition for cats. Many cats enjoy grazing on it.
5. Oat grass: Like wheat grass, this grass is nutritious and very appealing to cats. It is made from the sprouts of oats, a feline favorite.
6. Valerian: Valeriana officinalis is an herb that has an affect similar to catnip. It grows three to four feet in height.
7. Rye grass: Like oat grass and wheat grass, this grass type tends to win over most cats. It made from the sprouts of rye.
8. Creeping Rosemary: This is a popular and hardy rosemary that can withstand a cat pretty well. At maturity, it reaches up to three feet in height.
9. Lemon balm: Melissa officinalis is not only a cat favorite, but this herb also makes a wonderful tea and emits a lemon-like fragrance.
Be aware that many of these plants – especially catnip and catmint – grow fast and can take over your garden in no time. Not all cats like all plants, so you may have to experiment. Also, an outdoor garden of cat-pleasing plants can attract the local strays, so be aware of that possibility!
Experts advise cat owners to select garden plants – and dirt – carefully. Many garden centers carry cocoa bean mulch, which is toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Our advice: Skip the mulch and use plain dirt to be on the safe side.
For additional advice on ways to keep your cat safe, both indoors and out, subscribe to Catnip from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Crystals and the Summer Emotion of Joy
Finding joy in things we do can give great pleasure, satisfaction and the ability to appreciate all that we are given in life! The greatness of finding JOY in anything we do is an art, which encompasses other feelings of appreciation, happiness, and self-contentment. These wonderful emotions have a balancing counterpart and are found with every emotion we feel. On one end of the spectrum is Joy, on the other sadness. On one end of the spectrum, there is anger, on the other there is pensiveness. This balancing act we experience all the time.
From a Western Science point of view, emotions arise from complex chemical reactions deep inside our brain. We actually have different classes of emotions that arise from different brain areas. We have ancient, primitive emotions that we share with all animals that have brains. These emotions are very powerful and drive what we think of as instinctual behavior.
Traditional Chinese Medical Theory recognizes control of our body by Five Elements: Earth, Wood, Fire, Water, and Metal. Each of the Five Elements is associated with a particular organ. The Ancients related a variety of different characteristics with each element and therefore with each organ. Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners use such characteristics to help diagnose patients and to understand the etiology of the symptoms.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, joy is most prevalent in the Summer. It is considered the emotion of Summer. Although we can and do experience joy at any time or season, it is Summer when this emotion is most in excess. This is believed to be due to the changes of light and great heat which vary the balance within us.
Joy (Over-excitement or Manic behavior)
Affects the Heart and Fire Element
Slows the flow of Qi
then Fear controls Joy (Water controls Fire)
Common signs and symptoms include:
Mania, Disturbed Shen (possibly manic, risk-taking)
An example of this is:
Migraine headache caused by sudden joy from receiving good news.
Finding Balance in Joy
Joy, as the energy of love, is one of the highest vibrations on this planet. According to the Universal Law of Attraction, as we think and feel we vibrate. And as we vibrate, we attract. When we vibrate with joy and love, we attract what is for our greater good.
Bring the joy, love, and happiness that’s already inside you to life! Sages tell us that joy is realized when the personality and soul are in harmony. Experience ways to go beyond conditional happiness to the blissful state of joy and love. As you resonate with joy, love, and happiness you automatically draw to you a more meaningful, healthy, loving life.
The experience of joy can:
*strengthen your immune system.
*regenerate your whole physical system.
*burn away the impurities in your emotional system.
*disperse worries, anxieties, grief, greed, irritation and other negative emotions.
*sharpen your intellect and strengthen your memory.
*clarify and balance your mind.
*expand your consciousness and understanding.
*open you to receive higher impressions, inspirations, and transforming energies.
Crystals for Joy
Joy can come from any crystal, as far as I’m concerned. But there are some crystals, due to their mineral makeup and association with the Chakra, that is often used to help increase joy in your life! Here are a few to consider:
Amber neutralizes negative energy. Helpful in clearing up depression and bringing about a positive mental state.
Aqua Aura encourages happiness and joy about oneself and others.
Blue Lace Agate is associated with peace and happiness and along with this, the sacred quality of grace.
Citrine is a sunny yellow and white and brings with it the joy of the sun.
Clear Quartz is a master healer and is useful for seeing a clear and finite picture. Opens the mind to pure enlightenment.
Sodalite is used to bring about awareness around guilt and reminds us that we are supposed to feel joyful in life.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Best Herbal Iced Teas for Summer
by Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs
PRO TIPS FOR MAKING ICED TEA:
Brew your iced tea a little stronger than you would if you were going to enjoy it hot since the ice will water down the tea infusion and its flavor.
Some heat is required for the initial brewing, and this can be done either on the stovetop or as a sun brewed tea. Sun teas take more time but less work to make, requiring three to five hours in direct sunlight to properly infuse.
Once your tea has brewed and cooled, store in the fridge for optimal shelf life and consume within a week or less.
Iced tea is one of the joys of summer! Get ready for those hot days with our guide to the best teas to serve iced.
Source: Best Herbal Iced Teas for Summer
5 Herbal Iced Teas for Summer:
This delightful blend is made with mints from the Pacific Northwest and is also a favorite among children. Mint tea makes a lovely base for many summer drinks including minty lemonade and summer punch. Happy for the tummy and the tongue.
Refreshing and citrusy, this makes a fantastic iced tea and would be a delicious low-sugar alternative to lemonade. It’s a great way to explore a variety of lemony herbs. Add in fresh berries to give it a fun, fruity kick.
Green Sunrise Tea
Citrusy and floral, this tea is made with Dao Ren and is a smooth and refreshing option for green tea lovers. Add a touch of honey or agave syrup to sweeten and then finish it off with fresh muddled mint.
Mint Chocolate Maté
Smooth and minty, this caffeinated tea will cool you down and pick you up on hot summer days. Turn this one into an iced tea latte by adding a splash of coconut milk.
Hibiscus Flower Tea
Steep some deliciously tart hibiscus flowers and pour over ice for a simple, summery beverage. Add a splash of pomegranate juice and your choice of sweetener to make this fruity drink and satisfying for all ages.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the goodness of plants, but for accessibility and simplicity, it’s hard to beat a good cup of tea. Herbal tea blends are a fantastic way to combine the synergistic qualities of different plant allies, and creating your own allows you to craft steepable combinations that cater to your personal nutrition goals and flavor preferences. With such a wide world of botanicals to choose from, however, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve been crafting organic tea blends for decades, and we’re all too happy to share some of the strategies we’ve picked up along the way!
Here, we begin with a basic three-step method for crafting delicious and nutritive herbal brews. Once you are comfortable with a few simple blends, it becomes easier to branch out into more complex combinations. While technically these caffeine-free herbal infusions are referred to as “tisanes” (only brews made from traditional tea leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are true teas), we will use the term “tea” here to discuss our steeped herbal beverages.
This fun tool will help inspire and guide your adventures in creating your own tea blends from a wide range of different herbs and spices. Start by considering the motivation for creating your herbal blend; are you looking to support your immune system, encourage a relaxed state of mind, or just want to experiment with new flavors? Use your preferred herb as the “base ingredient.” Then, add a “supporting” ingredient for a complementary effect or flavor. The final ingredient is an “accent” which adds a pop of flavor and can round out the other two ingredients.
These proportions are conceptual and not set in stone, so you have the freedom to experiment. Start with 3 parts base ingredient, 1 to 2 parts supporting, and 1/4 to 1 part accent, and then make adjustments as needed. You will find that herbs often switch roles from one blend to the next. Feel free to begin adding additional ingredients once you are comfortable with your blending skills!
Additional research may be necessary if you are addressing specific health concerns, and we always recommend consulting a qualified medical practitioner if you are unsure of what herbs may be best for your individual needs.
The Time Machine Part 2
by Stephen Halpert
The two remaining officers stared at Emily. “You say you went to a sale at Grumps that was going on a year ago Columbus Day?”
“That was the idea,” Emily said. “But Hiram’s calculations got me there a day too soon. You’ll have to try for better accuracy dear. Otherwise you could have sent me back to heaven knows where.”
“I suppose,” he said. “Maybe the officers would like some crackers and cheese?”
“What about the Sergeant,” an officer said. “Better let him out.”
“Sure.” Hiram grinned and opened the trunk. It was empty.
The two patrolmen stared. “Where is he?” they chorused.
Hiram shrugged. “Probably at Fenway Park back in 2004.”
Emily hugged him proudly. “You’ve come up with a great invention Hiram. Now you just have to be able to explain how it sends people back in time. That’s the sort of thing the patent office needs to know.”
“Just a minute,” one police officer said. “Right now Sergeant Bugle is gone, supposedly at Fenway Park for the 2004 World Series?”
Emily smiled and nodded. “It sent him back ten years, or so we hope.”
Hiram looked at the two police officers. “Couldn’t he just take a cab or bus back from Boston? Isn’t that what you did Emily? Got a cab and came back home from Grumps?”
She sat down on the old divan. “Yes but I was hardly gone at all. When I left Grumps all I thought about was coming back here to the house. Then I called a cab and told him our address.”
The second police officer said. “I just hope the Sergeant can make it back here all right.”
Right then Sergeant Ebon Bugle was in the standing room only section of Fenway Park overlooking the first base line feeling dizzy and disoriented. The crowd was euphoric. The Red Sox were at the edge of their first World Series championship since 1918. One minute ago he had been in some crazy guy’s basement looking at an old trunk he had called a time machine. To humor the man he’d climbed in. Now he was here in Fenway Park in the ninth inning of the 2004 World Series.
He was glad he was out of uniform. He felt a lot more comfortable not to mention anonymous, in boots, jeans and his brown leather jacket. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet and rifled through it. “Oops,” he said. The bills were dated after 2004. Can’t use my credit card either. He reached into another pocket. His fingers curled around the two rolls of quarters he’d picked up for the Laundromat. That felt reassuring.
Then the last Cardinal was out and the Sox won it all.
The fans in Fenway Park were jubilant; a euphoria greater than any Times Square New Years Eve filled the air.
Sergeant Bugle couldn’t believe his good luck. He had seen what he had so regretted missing ten years ago. He’d had tickets at the time and then been called in for a special detail.
Still breathless with excitement, he joined the swarming crowds, edging toward Kenmore Square. He saw a scorecard on the ground and picked it up. Ahead he saw a booth selling tee shirts. He stopped and bought two, one for him, one for his son. Then he began to work his way west along Commonwealth Avenue toward Newton.
The police officers at Hiram’s home called into the station and reported the reappearance of Mrs. Case and the disappearance of Sergeant Bugle. Minutes later the Chief’s cruiser pulled into Hiram and Emily’s driveway.
“We’re in the basement,” they called out as the Chief came in.
“What’s this all about Sergeant Bugle disappearing?” he asked as he hustled down the stairs.
They pointed to Hiram. “Mr. Case here invented this time machine.”
The Chief had always fancied himself a highly rational being. He took pride in his detecting skills. Now his face reddened.
“Why this is nothing more than an old steamer trunk. What’s the gag?”
“We’re not kidding, Chief,” one said. “Me and Kirby saw Sergeant Bugle sit down in it.”
The Chief still appeared dubious. “Why?”
“To see if Mr. Case was telling the truth about his wife’s disappearance, ” the younger one said.
The Chief looked at Emily. “But you’re here now?”
“Yes I came home in a cab,” she said. “But I didn’t go back very far, just to last year’s sale at Grumps.”
The Chief looked hard at his two patrolmen. “Go on…”
“The Sergeant said he wanted to go back to the 2004 World Series. He got in, Mr. Case closed the door, pushed some buttons and turned some dials and it made whooshing noises.”
“That’s it, Chief. When Mr. Case opened the door Sergeant Bugle wasn’t inside.”
“And where is Sergeant Bugle now?” The Chief asked patiently. “Dining with Houdini?”
Hiram cleared his throat. He knew now that the time machine could work and go back ten years possibly even more. “At Fenway Park for the final game of the Series. That’s where he wanted to go.”
“From ten years ago?” The Chief’ frowned. “I find this very hard to believe.”
“Yes,” Emily said. “I can see that you might. It’s always hard to believe something unbelievable, especially when it doesn’t make any sense.”
(To be Continued
By Madisyn Taylor
During the day, we can monitor our thoughts to see if we’re investing our energy where it is useful.
Our thoughts are powerful forces in the creation of our experience of life. You may be able to recall a time when frustration that was based on a misunderstanding completely evaporated when your understanding changed. This is because our interpretation defines our experience, and it can change in an instant. Our only true reality is the present moment, so rather than merely accepting that life is happening to us, we can harness the power of our thoughts to actively create a positive reality. For example, we can choose to appreciate beauty around us rather than focusing on traffic or look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.
Throughout the day, we can monitor our thoughts to catch ourselves in the middle of investing our energy elsewhere–such as into belief in limitations–and instead pull our focus back to the infinite possibilities of the present. Taking a deep breath will help us center our thoughts on being in our bodies right now. Regular meditation allows us to gain mastery over our minds so that we can still our thoughts to focus on the pureness of being. If we mentally dwell on the past or the future, we may miss the experience of living in the present moment. Setting and visualizing goals is wonderful, but we can bring our thoughts into our current experience by taking steps to create them now.
Our minds are powerful tools that we can harness to create our reality. Through them we move the unformed energy of the universe into form, which gives us direction for our words and actions. Each thought is like a stone dropped into a lake, sending ripples out into our world to affect all they touch. We can choose our focus and how we invest our energy, which gives us the power to design our lives to be whatever we choose in each and every moment.
Weekly Horoscope Overview
This Monday, July 29, will be full of surprises as the daring Leo Sun gets into a dynamic dust-up with spontaneous Uranus in Taurus. Twice each year, these heavenly bodies lock into a challenging 90-degree square. And when they do, it can be like tossing a lit match into a room that’s been soaked with gasoline. Explosive? Sure. But there can also be some pretty amazing pyrotechnics to behold. On a literal level, this might be the moment where you screw up the courage to take a stand.
Uranus is the celestial social justice warrior, and its long tour through earthy Taurus (from May 2018 to April 2026) calls for grassroots action. Cue the Public Enemy! Some folks will hear a clarion call to “fight the powers that be.” If you’ve been feeling dominated or disenfranchised, the Sun-Uranus square can signal your breaking point. But under the influence of a rash square, any moves you make in haste could bring more consequence than reward. Before you cry, “Dracarys!” make sure you’re properly prepared to do battle. Both the Sun and Uranus are hotheaded; spontaneous. Going mano-a-mano with someone who has more money, toys and influence than you isn’t always the way to evoke change. Perhaps the true path to victory lies in leaving a toxic situation and moving in a radically self-loving direction. Or finding (or gathering) your tribe so that when you DO storm the castle, there will be strength in numbers.
These luxe-loving energies could evoke the urge to splurge—and on some pricey treasures, to boot. Grab your wallets! High-minded Uranus brings a planetary PSA to vote with our dollars. If given a choice, why not support companies with conscientious and ethical practices? Whenever it makes sense, opt to buy from smaller, locally owned businesses that keep the neighborhood economy thriving. But maybe wait until AFTER Wednesday, July 31, before you surge or splurge. That day brings two tide-turning transits that will help everyone get their wits about them again. (Or at least begin the process.)
The first centering event of Wednesday will be the annual new moon in Leo. If you’ve been having trouble charging up your inner power source, this lunation pours fuel into your generator. Where confidence dipped earlier in the week, you may start to feel legit fierceness returning. That doesn’t mean you should bust into the CEO’s office with a list of workers’ demands. But DO set up a meeting with anyone influential with whom you need to have a word. Even if the appointment is scheduled for weeks from now, getting on the calendar this Wednesday is auspicious. Creativity, romance, self-expression and fertility are all activated by these moonbeams. Book studio time, set up a profile on a dating app…or an ovulation app! If your messages keep getting lost in translation, get to work on your style and branding, so you can unlock the genius within. The Leo new moon traffics in first impressions, and that begs the question: How do you want to shine in the world?
Another reason to lay low until Thursday, August 1? Mercury is still twerking through its mind-boggling retrograde until this Wednesday, July 31. Shortly after the new moon, the messenger planet will shift back into forward motion, getting communication and information flowing in the right direction again. Hallelujah! July’s retrograde, which dovetailed with two high-drama eclipses, has been a doozy. From July 7 to 19, Mercury retreated through theatrical Leo and staged a Shakespearean “tragi-com” of epic proportions. And since July 19, the messenger planet dropped back into ultra-sensitive Cancer. Egos flared! People flipped out for no discernible reason (at least not one that THEY could find words to explain). Maybe YOU had the overblown reaction, and you’re still hiding out because you don’t quite know how to handle the shame-over. But starting this Wednesday, those icy barricades begin to melt, signaling that it’s safe to communicate with “difficult” loved ones again. Mercury powers forward in the sign of the emotionally intelligent Crab until August 11, so you have nearly two weeks to make it all better. Take yourself on an apology tour, and when you’re saying, “I’m sorry,” do NOT (we repeat do NOT) follow that up with the word, “but.”
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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!”