GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 21-28 Mar 2021 ~ Blessed Equinox! Thanks for reading!

…O World
sing to Us your ancient song
it rumbles
low and long in Our souls
of peace and love,
of potential and possibilities
We are the sentinels
of your beauty and
Stewards of the future;
Our time has come.

~excerpt Patricia Telesco 2019~
~from We’Moon 2021, page 5~

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

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

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Light A Candle Today!

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

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Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil
March is National Women’s History Month
March Feature: The Notorious Potato

The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nion (Ash) February 18 to March 17

The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Moura – February 20 – March 19

MARCH
20: Aries Begins
20: Vernal Equinox-Northern and Autumn Equinox-Southern Hemisphere
22-Procession of the Tree Bears
24-Day of Blood
25-Festival of Lady Day
26-Solitude Day
27-Liberalia
29-Feast of Rhiannon
29-Anthestaria
31-Festival of Luna
29-Parade of Unicorns
30-Sementivae Feria

GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

April
04: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
11: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
18: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon

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

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

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

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

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CoventryCreations.com
BHC Newsletter Reta

March 22, 2021 – March 28, 2021

We start the week off with the only tense energy of the month. Watch your tongue because this energy is argumentative and quite discordant with unwanted aggressive behaviors from those around you. Be careful with this energy because it is accident-prone.

The middle of the week brings us individual expression and creativity. Issues with children may occur, but overall things should flow relatively smoothly.

This weekend we have the Full Moon in Libra. It’s an excellent weekend for socializing and romance. So put your feet up, let your hair down, and enjoy!

Recommended candles and oils: Affirmation Guardian Protector / Wicked Witch Mojo Makin’ Tracks / Blessed Herbal Happiness / Blessed Herbal Love’s Enchantment

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

Creativity Helps Us Cope with the World Around Us

What if creativity was the end of your process and not the beginning? What if everything that you have been experiencing is to feed your creativity? What a freeing thought! Creating from what you know and have experienced is the hallmark of many epic classics of music, words, and paint.
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Biddy Tarot
http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Six of Pentacles
Are you sharing your wealth and abundance with others?

You have accumulated wealth and are in a position to offer financial help to those in need. You give through charitable donations, tithing, or fundraising, and enjoy the good feelings associated with helping others.

Even if you are not financially wealthy, you offer up your time, energy, love, and support to those who are in need, knowing it will be appreciated. Giving of your time or your wisdom is often just as spiritually fulfilling as giving away money or gifts, and the intangible gift of your presence is received just as well, if not better.

Trust that every contribution you make is valued and will come back to you threefold.

This week is all about financial harmony. The amounts flowing in and out are in balance, and you are thankful for what you have and are happy to share with others in need.

Ask the Tarot: How can I create a healthy exchange of energy with others?

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Venus in Aries – Love on Fire
by Rubys Readings
March 20th – April 14th

For All Zodiac Signs:
The Goddess of Love herself, Venus, is shifting into the Zodiac’s first sign, Aries.

The planet Venus rules over our love lives and relationships, and this can include family, friends, co-workers, and members of our community. Not just lovers. Venus also happens to have a lot of influence over our finances.

It’s important to be thicker-skinned while Venus is in Aries, especially when it comes to our relationships and how we relate to people socially. There is no sugar-coating things under Venus in Aries’ fiery sign, as our words can sting. But we’re not necessarily being petty or mean, just direct. It’s time to lay your cards on the table and say your truth! Our desires are strong, so we express ourselves in spontaneous and enthusiastic ways, especially in love! And you upset the object of your affection, and you can safely bet that you’ll hear about it, as we don’t hold much back during this time.

In the sign of fast-moving Aries, Venus brings fresh new energy into our love lives and financial affairs. This cycle has a way of bringing people together rather quickly, so we are more direct in relationships, both new and old. We often act more impulsive, passionate, extroverted, and bold in our romantic adventures. There’s a stronger desire for constant change in both our romantic and social lives, so we can make friends easily and are quite fond of receiving and giving love and admiration. We can feel more motivated and enthusiastic and be a source of inspiration to lovers, partners, friends, or co-workers. And a valuable resource to our community, as we will do things to help people who are struggling.

“Carpe Diem” is our motto, which means “Seize the day!” While we are under Venus in Aries spell, we don’t worry about the past or bother looking back. Instead, it’s a time to move forward. As every day is new and full of opportunities, so every moment matters.

We can be easily influenced by the opposite sex now (or by someone more masculine than ourselves.) Since it’s a brand new day, this is an opportunity to initiate something. Anything mushy is not as appealing during this time, and we don’t want to deal with thinking about the past; we enjoy the chase and conquest.

But this fiery influence is also about emotional security, so we’re looking for longstanding relationships or love that will last. A relationship has to feel new and fresh, or we can get bored quite easily and end up moving on to the next interesting love interest.

With Venus in Aries, we are more interested in the hunt naturally, especially when it comes to matters of the heart since we feel more bold and courageous! We can be impulsive and impatient in love and financial affairs. Things can heat up fast with the added boost of Aries energy from the Sun and Mercury, making sure things stay interesting.

We can be quite candid when communicating but more reserved about our deeper feelings or emotions. If you’re feeling badly or insecure, you can get aggressive and downright mean, especially if someone isn’t expressing the love you’re showing back or doesn’t give recognition.

If you are already in a long-term relationship, you can use this fiery energy to light some passions back into your relationship. If you’re single, get ready, lots of people will hookup or have sexual relations, but the fires don’t burn forever. Your new hookup can sizzle out fast!

It’s time to move forward, especially if you want a new commitment. But pay attention to what can happen in a new relationship, unless you are just looking for a hookup! Then have fun!

It’s a good time to enjoy the finer things in life. You can show off a little now, so indulge in luxury and extravagance. We can have an easy come, easy go kind of attitude. So you may want to keep an eye on your budget, or you can overspend.

Our desires are strong and expressed more spontaneously and enthusiastically. Try to avoid throwing temper tantrums with your nearest and dearest, and watch yourself for being too harsh or coarse with those you love.

Enjoy this time,
~Ruby
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Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

To Summon Up Calm and Patience
MARCH 21, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN

Life has a way of being full-on! Take a minute today to lower your blood pressure by recharging with this Chinese remedy. Tea is comfort from a cup and is especially kind to the kidneys, bladder, and feminine reproductive system. Known for treating hypertension and easing body and mental distress, this blend can stop hot flashes, anxiety, and panic attacks, making it a must-have for any botanical first aid box. Add half a teaspoon to a cup of hot water and let Empress Wu and Mother Nature give you the personal strength to fight off the inner basilisk and work like a boss!

  • 2 ounces blue thistle, chopped (dried flowers and leaves)
  • 1/2 ounce violet (dry flowers)
  • 1 ounce hibiscus (dry flowers)
  • 1/2 ounce almonds, peeled and slivered
  • 2 teaspoons angelica root powder
  • 3 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons tulsi (holy basil)
  • 2 ounces Yun Wu green tea
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    Spring Equinox
    MARCH 20, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

The center of the visible sun is directly above the earth’s equator today, bringing balance and renewal to our energetic world. Day and night are equal in length, and the power to reveal the potential of the coming season is in our hands.

Grab your favorite oracle system (tarot, oracle cards, runes, etc.) and a yellow candle of any size and something to burn it in. Then cast this spell to hone in on the spiritual themes that await you. Light the candle, take three deep breaths, and say:

No more guesses and no more tries,
Show me where the lesson lies.
Reveal the teachings meant for me,
Lift the veil so I can see.

Draw three cards or runes. The first represents your current position. The second represents the spiritual focus that is to come. The third represents what changes must be made in order to successfully move through that lesson. Allow the candle to safely burn out on its own.
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Planting Seeds of Abundance

MARCH 19, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Depending on where in the country you live, it may be time to start the first seeds in pots that will eventually be moved outside. Even if you aren’t a gardener, it’s never too early to plant seeds of prosperity and abundance. March is a good time to plan for the rest of the year, both financially and spiritually, although you can do this spell in any season. You will need a small pot, some potting soil, a few seeds (simple herbs you might use in the kitchen are good, or easy flowers like marigolds), and a shiny penny to symbolize the abundance you desire. Put the coin in the bottom of the pot, add the soil, then place the seeds one by one as you say:

I plant the seeds of wealth and plenty,
Abundance shining like a penny.
Prosperity will grow and grow,
With these seeds that I do sow.
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Prosperity Spell
MARCH 18, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

For this spell you’ll need three almonds, preferably raw ones. Wrap the almonds in a dollar bill and tape the ends closed so you have a tube. Carry it with you for seven full days and put it in your pillow case each night. On the morning of the eighth day, open the tube. On this day you must bury the three almonds and spend the dollar. As you bury the almonds (preferably in your yard or in a potted plant), visualize planting seeds of prosperity that will expand and return to you. Say these words as you plant:

By my hands, my prosperity expands.

When you spend the dollar, say these words:

As I spend, my prosperity extends.
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A March Wind Spell
MARCH 17, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day. The earth is turning green and there’s a feeling of celebration in the air. This is a good day to combine the joyous mood and the forces of the March wind to bring a positive change into your life. The winds of March are all about change, as winter turns to spring. Use these winds to remove negativity from your life.

For this ritual you’ll need a small rock. It can be any rock that appeals to you. Go to a place where you’ll be alone, such as a hilltop, a meadow, or your back yard. Hold your rock and think of the negative issue you wish to be rid of. Face east and say:

East wind, blow away __
(name the problem).

Then repeat for each other wind direction in this order: south, west, and north. End by facing east again. Now declare yourself free of your problem. Leave your rock as an offering and walk away.
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A Charm to Work Your Will
MARCH 16, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

Tuesdays are ruled by Mars (in French, Tuesday is called mardi), which makes today an auspicious time to work magic pertaining to passion, the will, and any matter that requires fiery, forceful energy. Some of us are naturally forceful, but practically everyone could use a leg up from time to time in order to win in a stressful situation. To encourage outspokenness and the wherewithal to see your will worked in a contested situation, make a sachet that contains ingredients associated with fire, passion, and victory in conflict.

Take a square of red fabric (or a small red pouch, if you have one). Lay it out flat, and in the center place a clove of garlic and a pinch each of ground cinnamon, nettle (dried or fresh), and basil (dried or fresh). Sprinkle the mixture with a pinch of ground cayenne pepper and say:

By the powers of Mars, my will is true.
I find success in all I do.

Tie the sachet with red string or cord and carry it with you throughout your day.
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Spring Cleaning
MARCH 15, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

Spring cleaning is an old tradition. Each year, the old leaves decay and the soil brings forth new flowers. As the world turns bright and colorful again, it encourages us to brush away the remains of the old year and make room for the new. Think about what needs the most attention in your life. Here are some ideas.

In the yard, rake mulch off the flower beds to allow sprouts to come up. Put the old mulch on the compost pile.

Pick up sticks to make a bonfire. You can also pile them into a wildlife shelter.

In the house, sweep any smooth floors and carry out the dust. Vacuum or shampoo carpeted floors.

Then cleanse the area with floor wash. You can buy one ( like Chinese wash) from a magical supplier, or make your own with water, sea salt, lemon juice, and the herbal powder or essential oil of your choice.

Sort through your closet and give away at least one bag of unneeded clothes. This encourages abundance.

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The Spring Equinox & The Origins of Ostara

This year we officially usher in spring on the 20th of March. In Wiccan tradition, this day is celebrated as the festival of Ostara.

Also called Eastre by the Saxons, this moving festival marks the spring equinox, when light and dark are in perfect balance. The celebration is named after the German/Norse goddess Ostara, a fertility goddess who has long been worshiped as the goddess of spring and sunrise. Her name is derived from words for dawn, or the shining light from the East. The female hormone estrogen is also derived from her Saxon name, Eastre. Traditionally, her symbols include the flowers of spring, representing resurrection and renewal, the white rabbit, representing reproduction, and eggs, representing fertility. To honor the goddess, one tradition holds that eggs would be hardboiled and dyed using local plants or vegetables. The people would then practice standing the eggs on their ends, a feat that, when accomplished, represented equilibrium or perfect balance.

Equinox celebrations are still prevalent in many cultures throughout the world. Interweaving beautifully with the Christian tradition of Easter, a holiday which takes its roots from the earlier pagan practices, Ostara reminds us of the hope for new life, abundance, and renewal that comes with each new spring.

Whatever traditions you celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate them, may your season be filled with love and light!

~Happy Spring~
Author Unknown to Me

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Heartwings Love Notes 975 Haste Makes Waste

Heartwings says, “When we go too quickly toward the goal, we may miss the mark.”

As I hurried into my hallway pantry, I brushed against a box of small envelopes. As the box hit the floor, the envelopes scattered in all directions. Unfortunately, I had not put the box in a secure place to begin with. Nor, in my haste to accomplish my aim, had I paid enough attention to what I was doing. There is a funny old Pennsylvania Dutch saying: The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. As I surveyed the mess I had made in my pantry, this old saying rose into my mind and made me chuckle. How true it was.

Had I taken the time to put the box away properly, I wouldn’t have knocked it down in the first place. Had I paid better attention to what I was doing, I wouldn’t have knocked it down either. Always I have to remind myself to pay attention and stay in the present moment. When I do, I can maintain a better sense of attention to what I am doing. In addition, I even notice things like a badly placed box. I didn’t have the time to pick up the envelopes just then, so I went on with what I had been setting out to do.

It was several days later when I set about picking them up. As I bent over the scattered envelopes I fill on a monthly basis with our vitamins and our supplements, I focused on the fact that I was getting a good bit of bending and stretching. I am not well motivated to do exercises. The framing of what I was doing as a form of exercise helped prevent the annoyance, as well as the resentment that might otherwise have arisen. Resentment is not a healthy emotion and I try hard to avoid unhealthy emotions. They are bad for my health, creating acidic conditions in my body.

In addition it is also true that when I hurry, my exclusive focus on the goal at which I am aiming means that my peripheral vision, whether virtual or actual is not available to me. In my haste I may well miss something that could be important to my goal. Haste really may create waste simply by blinding me to important factors in the present moment. There is another saying to the effect that life is about the journey, not the destination. This implies I need to pay better attention to how I go about my actions in order to accomplish what I wish to in an efficient and timely manner.

May you find the time to slow down and be more efficient instead of hurrying.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have any experiences like his? How do you cope? Wishing you every joy as you go about your days. I am always so happy for any comments you may share. Please write to me at Tashhal@ol.com. For more Love Notes, please look up my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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The Legacy of Water | Spontaneous Happiness | Andrew Weil, M.D.

Reflection:
As storytelling beings, we tend to remember stories more than lectures. Stories have the power to shift our perspectives, change our values and behaviors. It follows then if we want to make an impact on future generations, we will likely be more successful if we share our personal and memorable stories.

We all know that water is basic to life – that our bodies are made up of 50–65% water – that clean water is at risk planet-wide. What we’ve long taken for granted is a scarce and endangered commodity. We are plagued with floods, droughts, and tsunamis. It’s predicted that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water, not oil. Closer to home, we run water in our kitchens and bathrooms without a thought for its value. We remain unconscious at best and entitled at worst as we waste the elixir of life.

I’m in Israel as I write this to you, living for two months less than a five-minute walk from the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I spent several days last week in the Negev desert, (with my son who was visiting me) where they get less than 2 inches of rain annually.

Last month I heard about an award-winning Israeli company, Watergen, that developed a practical way to make water from … (drum roll, please) … air! Check out their story that amazed me and gave me hope that we could change the legacy of millions dying in droughts and deserts, I decided to re-post a 2015 Tips&Tools I’d written about water. Back then it was Seth M. Siegel’s amazing book, Let There Be Water, describing Israel’s water partnerships with Jordan and The Palestinian Authority – sharing drip irrigation and dirty water reclamation projects to preserve this precious commodity that inspired me.

Water is the driver of nature.
– Leonardo da Vinci

Water, water, everywhere, And not a drop to drink.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Is it possible for us to affect this terrible legacy we’re leaving the future? The best way I know is to tap my memories and share stories with my grandchildren, hoping they will value water before it’s too late.

Born a Scorpio, one of the water signs, it’s no wonder that I love being in and around water: Viewing the unique blue of Crater Lake in Oregon; watching the sun paint the clouds as it sets over the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean, feeling awe at the power of the Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah, and the frigid western shore of Lake Superior; canoeing in the pristine Minnesota Boundary Waters; listening to the sound I make trailing my hand in the water from a rowboat; sitting at the creek’s edge feeling the spray from wind and water play; riding my first bike around Lake Harriet every day of my tenth summer.

Here are two of my favorite water stories that I want my grandchildren to remember:

During the drought of the late 1970s, we lived in northern California. Water was rationed. We learned from neighbors the water-saving strategy of ‘flushing with a friend’. One afternoon my seven- and nine-year-old kids returned from school enthusiastically proclaiming their plan to participate in the family’s water preservation efforts: they wouldn’t bathe anymore!

One afternoon I took a dying friend for a ride around the Minneapolis lakes; we stopped at the southern shore of Lake Bde Maka Ska (name recently returned to its original legacy name of the Dakota Native American tribe) I opened the sun–roof and the waning autumn sun warmed the tops of our heads as we sat – each of us occupied with our own thoughts. We’d talked a lot as we drove, but the silence at the lake broken only by the water lapping the shore had a special quality. His wife later told me he’d said that afternoon was the best he’d had in a long time. For me too, and the water was more than just a setting!

We forget that the water cycle & the life cycle are one.
– Jacques Cousteau

Taking Action:

Take some time to reflect and write about your own water memories and favorite stories.
Choose a person or persons of a younger generation to share your memories and stories with.
Begin your letter explaining the context of the importance of water specifically for this time in history. You may want to share how you feel about the privilege of having an abundance of water. Share your stories and memories. Conclude your legacy letter with a blessing.
You might want to follow up your letter with a conversation in which they share their water stories with you and together you make a commitment to use water more consciously and carefully.
May you and your loved ones be responsible stewards of our planet and always enjoy water, the elixir of life.
– Rachael Freed

Rachael Freed, LICSW, senior fellow, Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota, is the author of Your Legacy Matters, Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs & Blessings to Future Generations and Heartmates: A Guide for the Partner and Family of the Heart Patient Rachael Freed rachael@life-legacies.com and http://www.life-legacies.com

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Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
Written by Waylon Jordan

Kier-La Janisse’s Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror debuted last night at SXSW. At over three hours long and including references to well over 150 films, this is easily the most exhaustive look at the subgenre we’ve ever seen.

Janisse comes to the subject with serious credentials of her own as founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, editor-in-chief of Spectacular Optical, and author of books like House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films and Exploitation Films. She brings her vast knowledge along with a group of some 50 filmmakers, historians, and authors to the documentary to cover a subject in horror that is often vastly underrated.

The journey of this project begins with a look at three films in particular: 1968’s Witchfinder General, 1971’s Blood on Satan’s Claw, and 1973’s The Wicker Man. While they are vastly different in both time period and focus, they all have that folkloric edge to them, digging into themes of witchcraft, paganism, and what is ancient vs. what is new.

This sets the tone for much of the discussion throughout the documentary and provides a sort of litmus test for what is and isn’t “folk horror.” The definition is surprisingly much wider than some might think. In fact, most would relegate the subgenre to bucolic settings filled with mystic figures, strange symbols, and old religion versus new. Yet, as the film points out, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a potent and powerful example of folk horror, and one that I was pleased to see included in the discussion.

The film is at its most fascinating, for me, however, when it leaves behind Western Culture and explores folk horror from Asian countries and cultures as well as indigenous stories from Australia and Mexico.

This is, as previously state, an exhaustive study on a subgenre that I personally love. Whether we’re talking about newer films like Midsommar and The Witch or digging into classic films like The Company of Wolves and the aforementioned The Wicker Man, these films pull at latent fears of predatory spirits and entities long-forgotten or worse, relegated to fairy stories in modern society that still exists within us.

The list of films covered here come from every corner of the world, and the documentary breaks down each section under different subheadings, grouping films and subjects and cultures together for a more effective cohesive documentary.

There were moments, however, when the density of the subjects covered and the sheer amount of films mentioned almost work against Janisse.

Honestly, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched would be better served by being broken up as a docu-series rather than one long film, and perhaps that is how we’ll see it as a larger/wider release after its festival run. The subject matter deserves to be thought out and discussed. In a home viewing you can do this anytime you want, of course, but during festival screenings it’s a huge time commitment with a lot of information that will no doubt leave some viewers just a tad dazed as the final credits roll.

Despite this, the documentary remains a must-see for fans of folk horror. You will not find a more extensive collection of titles–I made notes throughout for films I hadn’t seen that I intend to–nor will you find a group of people quite so passionate about the subject as those featured in the film.

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched will continue its festival run from here and I’m sure will eventually make its way onto streaming platforms for those who cannot attend the festivals.

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The Corner Crone: The Dancing Energy Exchange
MARCH 20, 2021 BY MARTHA KIRBY CAPO

In the early 1980s, right around the time I was beginning to explore witchcraft, I read a book that transformed the way I viewed the world and All That Is. Was it Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon? Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance?

Nope.

The unceasing energetic dance of the Universe.

It was Gary Zukav’s The Dancing Wu Li Masters, an exploration (in laypeople’s terms) of quantum physics using metaphorical language taken from Eastern philosophies and spiritualities. Winner of the 1980 U.S. National Book Award in Science, Zukav’s text reinforced for me the idea that energy not only transmits but transmutes—energies are always present, always passing from one or more forms to and through another and/or several others, seen and/or unseen.

This is hardly a revolutionary concept these days, but back then it was a game changer. A worldview changer, or at least it was for me as a nascent witchling.

Science Daily tells us:

Energy refers to a concept that can be paraphrased as “the potential for causing changes”, and therefore one can say that energy is the cause of any change. […] Energy is a conserved quantity, meaning that it cannot be created or destroyed, but only converted from one form into another. […] Thus, the total energy of the universe always remains constant.
(excerpted from Wikipedia via Science Daily)

Yet while the total energy of the Universe remains constant, the ways we live and move and have our being within it do not. I’ve thought about this a lot, and written a meditation on the concept of energies that pass through and around us and how we interact with them, either by choice or otherwise.

Whether you are Witch or Pagan, whether you work with a deity (or deities) or not, it highly probable you have some sort of philosophy about the energy exchanges you engage in as you go about your day.

How does your mindfulness about the energetic exchanges you are making impact those exchanges? We’re not always in charge—much as we’d like to be—how does the way you receive energies affect their effect on you? If we block or deflect, where does that bounced-around energy really go?

As usual, I don’t have any answers to any of these questions, but even so I think they’re worth pondering as we each try to figure out how our own little corners of the Universe work and how we manifest, or convert, our energies during our dances with the great All That Is.

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The Many Benefits And Uses Of Sweet Orange Essential Oil

by Jill Nystul · March 16, 2021

That which we call an orange by any other name would smell as sweet

Of all the essential oils in my collection, there’s a clear winner for the title of “most enticing,” and that’s sweet orange essential oil. With a scent like freshly squeezed orange juice, it’s hard to feel down when you’re around such a sweet and sunny aroma!

When it comes to using your small kitchen appliances, sometimes it pays to think outside the box! Continue Reading
It’s one of my favorite oils to use in my diffuser, because it makes my whole house smell amazing and it never fails to improve my mood. Today’s post is all about sweet orange essential oil, and I hope that by the time you’re finished reading it, it will have become a favorite of yours as well!

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sweet orange essential oil, including how it’s made, what benefits it offers, and some great ways to use it in your day-to-day life. So enough chit-chat—let’s get down to business! 😉

What Is Orange Essential Oil (AKA Sweet Orange Oil)?

Sweet orange essential oil (which is sometimes shortened to just “orange”) is extracted from the rind of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) via cold press processing. The oil bears the same sweet citrus aroma as the fruit it comes from, offering a natural air freshening quality that makes it a favorite for diffusing.

But sweet orange oil can do much more than just make your house smell nice. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the benefits of sweet orange oil, including antimicrobial properties, mental health support, and more.

Benefits Of Orange Essential Oil

Kills Bacteria And Fungi
Orange essential oil has been shown to possess powerful antimicrobial properties, particularly when used against bacteria and fungi. A 2012 study found that orange essential oil inhibited the growth of E. coli samples recovered from beef, while a 2018 study found that it effectively protected potato slices against four fungal species that are known to contribute to food spoilage.

Reduces Anxiety And Depression
When used in aromatherapy, the cheerful aroma of sweet orange essential oil shows promise as a natural treatment for conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as means of relief from everyday stress. One 2015 study found that orange essential oil reduced anxiety levels in women experiencing one of life’s most anxiety-producing events: childbirth.

And in a 2019 study, researchers observing the effects of inhalation of orange essential oil on mice found that it improved their depression-like symptoms. The results of animal studies like these can’t always be extrapolated directly to humans, but it does suggest that the depression-alleviating qualities of orange essential oil are worth studying further!

There is also reason to believe that the scent of sweet orange essential oil may be able to help us navigate stressful situations. Visiting the dentist can be stressful for adults and children alike, but in a 2013 study, children who were exposed to the smell of orange essential oil during a dental procedure showed less measurable stress than those in the control group.

Relieves Pain
Sweet orange essential oil may also be able to provide some amount of pain relief. A 2017 study of emergency ward patients being treated for fractured limbs found that those who inhaled orange essential oil reported feeling less pain than those in the control group.

Kills Pests
Plagued by houseflies? Sweet orange essential oil may be able to help! A 2012 study found that sweet orange essential oil showed insecticidal activity against housefly larvae and pupae, and suggested that it could one day be used as an effective and eco-friendly method of pest control for houseflies.

Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is our body’s go-to response to injury, irritation, and external threats, but sometimes it turns into more of a hindrance than a help. But this 2017 study found that sweet orange oil may help reduce problematic inflammation both internally and externally, which could have far-reaching effects considering the vast number of health conditions related to inflammation.

Improves Acne
Thanks to its potent combination of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, sweet orange oil used topically may also prove useful for treating acne. Researches behind this 2020 hamster study suggest that sweet orange oil may be an effective acne treatment by reducing swelling and suppressing acne-causing bacteria.

Note: Other sources online have claimed that orange oil can help regulate blood pressure. But as far as I can tell, there isn’t much (if any) research out there that would support such a claim, which is why it isn’t included here.

7 Uses For Sweet Orange Essential Oil
sweet orange

  1. Boost Your Mood
    There are several easy ways to take advantage of the mood-boosting effect of sweet orange oil. For at work or on the go, whip up this simple essential oil spray so that a better mood is always just a spritz away! When you’re at home, loading a few drops of sweet orange oil into your diffuser will do double-duty by lifting your spirits and making your home smell like a fresh bowl of oranges.
  2. Remove Sticky Residues
    Citrus oils like sweet orange are extremely useful for cutting through sticky or greasy messes, which can really come in handy when you’re trying to remove the adhesive residue left behind by a stubborn sticker or label. Just place a couple of drops of sweet orange oil on the sticker gunk, let it soak in for a few minutes, then scrape away the loosened residue.
  3. Eliminate Odors
    Use sweet orange essential oil to eliminate unpleasant odors wherever they may be lurking. Add a drop or two of sweet orange to a cotton ball, and tuck it into a smelly shoe, a musty closet, or anywhere that odors are giving you grief.
  4. Make A Pain Relief Stick
    Take advantage of the pain relieving effects of sweet orange oil by making your own easy pain relief stick. Fill a 10 ml glass roller bottle with a carrier oil of your choosing, then add 12 drops of sweet orange oil. Replace the roller top, give it a shake, then swipe it over aches and pains for relief and to help reduce inflammation.
  5. Clean Your House
    Sweet orange oil can be used as a great addition to a homemade all-purpose spray cleaner. It’ll give the cleaning spray a boost of germ-killing power and leave your home smelling clean and fresh every time you use it.
  6. Kill Pests
    Keep spiders, mice, and other pests at bay with the help of sweet orange oil. Fill a small spray bottle with water, add 10-15 drops of sweet orange oil, then replace the spray top and shake to mix. Spritz over cracks, gaps, or anywhere you’ve spotted pests around the house.
  7. Treat Skin Issues
    Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet orange oil can help treat skin issues like acne, dermatitis, and more. Add 5 drops of sweet orange oil to a teaspoon of rosehip oil and apply the mixture to affected areas daily until symptoms improve.

Tips About Safety And Quality
The biggest safety concern with sweet orange essential oil is its phototoxicity, a trait shared by most expressed citrus oils. Phototoxic oils applied to the skin can produce painful skin reactions (and even burns) if exposed to sunlight, although sweet orange oil is considered to have a lower phototoxicity risk than other citrus oils.

But you should still exercise caution when using orange essential oil and other citrus oils for topical application, and avoid doing so if you’re going to be out in the sun. Here are few other precautions you should take, not only when using sweet orange oil, but with any essential oil you choose to use:

Always dilute essential oils before putting them on your skin.
Keep them away from your eyes.
Store oils out of the reach of children and pets.

Use essential oils in well ventilated spaces.

Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription drugs.

Don’t use aromatherapy products around reptiles, birds, rodents, and other small pets.

If you use a diffuser and have cats or dogs at home, always ensure that they can leave the area and access fresh air at any time.

Another part of using essential oils safely is making sure you’re buying high quality oils. So here are here are a few things to look if you’re in the market for orange oil:

Look for the scientific name Citrus sinensis on the label. (If you see the name Citrus aurantium, that’s bitter orange oil, which is quite different.)
Look for pure, 100% orange essential oil that’s free of additives and adulterants.
Make sure it’s in a dark-colored bottle, which will protect the oil inside from degrading due to sunlight exposure.
sweet orange

What Blends Well With Sweet Orange Oil?
If you’re looking to whip up your own essential oil blend or mix and match oils in your diffuser, you might be wondering which oils pair well with sweet orange. The good news is that you have a lot of good options available to you!

As you might expect, sweet orange oil pairs nicely with other citrus oils, such as lemon oil. It also blends well with “woodsy” oils cedarwood, sandalwood, and balsam fir. (For a pre-blended option, check out Simple Clean, a blend of citrus and woodsy oils that’s ideal for cleaning and freshening your whole home!)
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Homemade Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters
Originally Posted in DIY

Bitters aren’t just for fancy cocktails. They’re also an incredible digestive aid that’s perfect to accompany any meal.* There are great, convenient options out there like those from our friends at Urban Moonshine, or you can take a step into herbal medicine yourself and make your own! Below is a Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters recipe that we love.

Traditionally, all cultures enjoyed bitter foods during their mealtime rituals. Many of these bitter plants were collected from the wild or found in the garden, but farming has actually changed the taste of many of our bitter greens. Our cultivated vegetables have been bred to appeal to our preference for sweet foods, and the consequence is we’re now missing out on the incredible wellness benefits of these bitter plant allies. The bitter taste actually activates the liver and digestive juices to prepare the body to effectively process foods, which is especially helpful when digesting rich and fatty foods.*

In Western Herbalism, we often create bitters as tinctures, which make it easy to incorporate bitters on the go. Tinctures are plant extracts (usually alcohol based) that can easily be taken from a dosage bottle. Taking bitters can be helpful anytime, but we suggest a teaspoon about 30 minutes before eating to give the plants enough time to activate our bodies’ natural digestive processes.

In this tincture, we have chosen to include herbs that are simple to find in the produce section, spice aisle or perhaps growing in your front yard! One of our favorite ingredients here is dandelion, and while some might consider this plant a pesky weed, the dandelion is incredibly supportive of both our digestive system and our bodies’ natural detoxification process by helping the body break down fats and carry away waste.

  • If you can’t find any fresh dandelion root, we would suggest using our organic Dandelion Leaf and Root tea for this recipe.

When you taste your homemade bitters, you’ll notice a rich orange flavor, followed by cinnamony spice and a mild touch of bitter at the end.

Homemade Citrus Spiced Dandelion Bitters
Bitters aren’t just for fancy cocktails, they’re also an incredible digestive aid.

Servings: One 1 oz bottle contains about 7 tsps. Serving size = 1 tsp 30 mins before a meal.

Time: 10 mins prep + 2 weeks

Materials:
12 oz Mason jar
6-8 amber dropper bottles (1 oz)

Ingredients:
1 cup white rum
4 tsp of fresh orange peel
2 tbs dried dandelion root and leaf (or 6 tbs fresh, chopped finely)
2 tsp fresh ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
6 cardamom pods

Directions:
Place all herbs into a sterilized mason jar, pour in the alcohol and fill to the top of the jar.

Label your jar with the name, plants used, alcohol used and alcohol strength. Include the date on the label.

Shake daily for two weeks, and then strain out the herbs with muslin or cheese cloth. Be sure to squeeze out any remaining liquid from the herbs.

You should have enough extract to fill about six (or more) one ounce dropper bottles. Make sure to sterilize the dropper bottle before filling.

Place all herbs into a mason jar, and fill to the top of the jar.

Label your jar with the name, plants used, alcohol used and alcohol strength. Include the date on the label.

Shake daily for two weeks, and then strain out the herbs with muslin or cheese cloth. Be sure to squeeze out any remaining liquid from the herbs.

You should have enough extract to fill about six (or more) one ounce dropper bottles.

You can save all this plant power for yourself, or share the bounty as gifts with friends and families. We would like to add that we would not recommend using bitters if you have kidney stones, gallbladder disease, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcers, severe menstrual cramping, or if you are pregnant.

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Gilberto’s Day of Celebration by Stephen Halpert

         Gilberto yawned. His back ached from sleeping on the couch. Though not his favorite place to sleep, he agreed that it made sense.  Maria nursed little Ramona at all hours. Eva, still helping with the new baby, had the guest room. During the night Gilberto could hear the newborn’s cries and the tender affectionate words given her by Maria.

         He sighed. One day he’d take Maria away; but when, where, how many years from now? He felt as though he were at the beginning of a new phase of his life.

Yawning, he showered, shaved, dressed and wondered how it would feel getting back to work. His doctor had cleared him for part time duty; better than nothing he thought. Then he remembered. Alicia and Edwardo were coming for dinner today. He was fond of Edwardo. Alicia was another story. He sighed. Rosa was doing the dinner preparations at her home.

         It was past noon when Alicia and Edwardo arrived. They’d be flying back to Florida the next day after the conclusion of Alicia’s crochet conference. Gilberto greeted them with his best smile.           

         Rosa and Ramon arrived shortly thereafter, followed by their two daughters. Rosa went to the kitchen carrying a large basket.

         “Joey,” Sophia cried, “Now you’re the big brother!”

         Joey smiled and stood straighter, “Yes,” he said, “and I’ll teach her to be a wonderful soccer player too.” Chattering, they headed for Joey’s room.

Gilberto smiled and nodded as Ramon handed him the sports section of the Sunday paper.

         Ramon chuckled. “Pro sports is all about money. “Don’t you wish you still played and got big money for endorsing beer and deodorant on TV?”

         Gilberto chuckled. Who was the last soccer player you ever saw doing testimonials?

         Ramon shrugged. “Maybe from Joey’s generation not ours.”

         Eva came in holding baby Ramona. His daughter peered at Gilberto from inside her cocoon of  carefully arranged blankets. She made cooing noises.

         “Say hi to daddy,” Eva smiled.        

         Was Ramona smiling, did she recognize him or just needed a fresh diaper? So much to learn.”

         He grinned. He wished she were at least Joey’s age but knew he’d have to wait at least five or six years. He turned to Eva. “Everything all right? Did you see her pro soccer ball I bought her?

         Eva smiled. “Best not to feel impatient. Enjoy the present moment. It’s all magnificent. Besides she might decide to be a dancer or even a seamstress.”

         Why did he always feel chided or criticized by this wild Nordic blond? The way she patted his shoulder made him feel as though she saw him as a little boy.

         “I’m putting the straight back cushioned chair beside yours at the table for Maria,” Eva said.

         “Lunch is in twenty minutes,” Rosa called from the kitchen.

         Maria came in. She wore her new floral housecoat and puffy pink slippers. She kissed Gilberto. “Hi daddy. I missed you last night.”

         “Mutual,” he grinned.

         Joey came in from his room with the girls and Oscar. Alicia raised her eyebrows. ‘You allow that child a dog in the presence of a newborn?”

         Joey looked horrified.

         “Yes,” Gilberto smiled. “I think it’s healthy for a child to grow up with pets.”

         His mother-in-law frowned and shook her head. “At least you don’t have a cat,” she huffed. Then her face softened and she smiled a genuine smile. “She really is a lovely baby. I’m glad you named her for your grandmother.

“Come let’s gather,” Rosa said, wheeling in her gigantic pot of fish stew.

         Ramon clapped his hands, “clams, lobster, squid. scallops, mussels, cod. Magnificent.” 

         Maria sat beside Gilberto. Eva had refreshed Ramona’s diaper and placed her in a carrier to the right of Maria.

         The fish stew was so delicious no one wanted to talk. Eva had made some light and fluffy biscuits as well. Finally, Joey kicked off the conversation. He looked at his grandmother. “Grandma I don’t think I’m going to become a dentist.”

         Alicia’s eyes flew open. “Why do you say that?”

         “Remember when we visited you before me and mom came to Boston and you were feeling uncomfortable with your fake teeth?”

         She sighed and clicked her tongue. “I’m not sure I remember that,” she said. “What do you want to do?” Gilberto felt sympathetic. Children can be so blunt.

         “I said I’d become a dentist so I could take care of your teeth,” he said. “But I think I’d rather be a soccer player.”

         She frowned. “That of course is up to you.”

         Gilberto chimed in. “That’s funny. When I was Joey’s age, I thought I wanted to be a dentist too.”

         “Did your parents have fake teeth,” Joey asked?

         “I’m not sure,” Gilberto said. “I do know my father had a shiny gold tooth.”

         Joey wrinkled his nose and giggled. “That sounds weird.”

         “Joey you can be whatever you want,” Maria said. “I’m sure grandma doesn’t mind in the least.”

         Alicia turned to face Gilberto. “And as I understand from what I’ve been told you drive some sort of delivery truck for the shipping department.”

         Ramon grinned but refrained from speaking.”

         “That would make my job much too easy,” Gilberto said.

         “Joey grinned excitedly. “Grandma, Gilberto’s a vice president.”

         “Oh I’ve known many of those,” Edwardo said. He swabbed a piece of his fluffy biscuit to absorb some of the soup.

         “Well, what is it do you do then,” Alicia persisted.

         “Shipping,” Gilberto said. “It’s complicated. “I oversee all the shipping we do both here and at other branches. “

         “He’s good at it,” Ramon said. “He can keep track of everything all at once. Our company has many branches worldwide.”

         Edwardo nodded.

         “But as  I understand it you’ve been on some sort of extended sick leave. You weren’t laid off, were you?” Was that a sympathetic expression or a frown? With Alicia it was difficult to tell.

         “No,” Gilberto shook his head. “That night I saved Joey I had a severe concussion and several cracked ribs.

She looked at him quizzically. “How did that come about?” 

         “I was in the street and cars were coming and he saved me,” Joey said. “Then he was in the hospital.”

         “The bravest act I ever witnessed,” Maria said. “He pushed Joey out of the way of the cars and took the brunt of them on his body…”

          Edwardo patted him on the shoulder and Alicia looked impressed. “Good for you, son, Edwardo said.

        Eva appeared with a platter of pastries.

         Ramon produced a bottle of chilled Champagne. “A toast to mother and daughter,” he proclaimed.

         Glasses were lifted, the toast was made, everyone clinked glasses.

         “Thank you,” Maria said. “I hope we can all be together again and again as little Ramona grows up.”

         “Here, here,” Edwardo announced.

         “An annual birthday feast,” Gilberto said. “Let Ramona’s birthday be a day of celebration for us all.” He looked at his sleeping daughter and his heart warmed within him. He knew without knowing how, that all was as it was intended and that the precious gift of love was his.

to be continued)

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URBEX: How to Photograph Abandoned Places
from Ghost Hunting Theories

If you read my 5-star award-winning book Growing Up With Ghosts, you probably understand why I’m fascinated with archaeology. I spent my childhood digging up relics from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond on the Civil War Hospital estate I grew up in.

Since then, I’ve always been obsessed with the history of objects and locations and with my psychometry (psychic ability to touch objects and know about others who touched them) skills, being able to read a place gains me insight into history and understanding.

Two books I wrote and Julie Ferguson photographed were psychic reads on abandoned places –

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Appalachian Edition)

Urban exploration, or URBEX, as we affectionally call it, is the practice of exploring and photographing/videoing abandoned sites.

Some precautions I want to mention-

Get your tetanus shot.

Don’t go alone.

Heed “No Trespassing” signs unless you want arrest or even shooting.

Be certain building isn’t housing any squatters, meth cooks, or animals.
Structures can be quite weak, so move cautiously.

Wear a mask – most of these have asbestos.

Gloves and sturdy shoes as there are exposed nails in floorboards often times and lots of rusted metal sharp edges.

Finding such places isn’t too difficult as an online search for photos of abandoned places in your area is pretty standard and a lots of people reveal the location.

Look for mining towns, agricultural, and other industry towns that may be having a recession. Also, a quick check on Ghost Towns site can find ones in your state.

I utilized Google Earth for a good deal of places I go to. From there, I can often times get a street view, see exactly where it’s located and if there are any signs of life. One thing Google Earth doesn’t show you, unless it’s street view, is if a location is fenced off.

When Julie and I do our URBEX road treks, we don’t give ourselves a schedule. We look on the map the route we’re taking (taking extra effort to find small towns along the way) and we head out. When there is a small town, just off the main street you often found derelict homes of residents who found there wasn’t enough industry to remain. In agricultural areas, you find buildings on the periphery of town. Rural routes have lots of possibilities you can see right from the road. We let ourselves take time and follow instincts on streets that look like they might house the forgotten. Old highways that were diverted provide regular Bates Motel places left to time.

Photographically, I rely on the lighting that is present and no flash. Flash flattens the rooms out and they look stark and not very creepy, but filtered light does miracles for mood.

I highly recommend this camera!!! Nikon Coolpix. I have had this camera for about 8 years and I have to say it truly is shockproof and waterproof. You can go underwater with it, it can get rained on, and I accidently dropped mine out my car window when I was reaching out to take a pic. It bounced on the asphalt and no problems (well, over the years many times it hit the pavement!) The 300 pixel resolution photos are amazing. Can take video too. Really, with this baby you are set URBEX’ing and you can tuck it into your pocket and not worry about if it gets banged up or dusty.

When photographing, I have found that photos of a building straight on are a total bore. That’s vacation pics, like when you take a shot of a historic building to show you were there. This is not that kind of photography. This is about mystery. Show a piece of something and let people fill in the setting for that item/focus.

Find a detail, an item, a corner, a wallpaper and focus on that. In the photo above, if I had focused on the whole room, you wouldn’t know what you are supposed to take note of. In this shot, you see this lonely chair in the corner in a dank room and you wonder – why? what? how?

Also, be sure to take advantage of aging – whether it’s cracked paint, rusted hinges, or vines taking over the building.

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Kats Korner
Share your love for cats!

Why Don’t you Come on over, OH Sweet Valerian Cat Toy?

My cats’ choice of mind-altering substances:

catnip – definitely

silver vine – not bad

valerian – wowwwwww-w-w-w-w …

Valerian? Nope, it isn’t a planet in Star Trek, but a plant. It often gets added to herbal teas to help insomniacs nod off and, it seems, is irresistible to cats.

I won a valerian-infused cat toy at a raffle, which was donated by the wonderful Katzenworld and their partner 4cats. The 4cats Premium Cat Wrestler was beautifully packaged in a clear plastic tube (and with good reason; more later) and was big enough for the average size cat to grapple with. It was sturdy, well made and covered with fabric so strong that even the strongest and most determined moggie would struggle to disembowel it.

Once I got my prize home, I unpacked it and waved it at Lola and Boris, my two gorgeous felines. First, some appreciative sniffing, then some grabbing, and then a scuffle ensued, which Boris won. He spent the rest of the evening licking it, biting it and, eventually, writhing ecstatically on the carpet with it while Lola glared at him.

Something in the room smelt, well, off. I checked my shoes. Nothing. I checked the floor for decomposing mice. No corpses. I was just on the point of moving the sofa to check underneath for ex-rodents when my husband wandered into the room, exclaiming, “Christ! It stinks in here!”

I looked at Boris, who had stopped writhing and was looking rather stoned. I bent down and sniffed, then picked up the toy, narrowly avoiding the Ginger One’s claws as he tried to grab it back. It was the toy. Oh, no, the toy. The toy that Boris loved so much that it was soaked with saliva. And the toy STANK.

The husband wanted to throw it in the bin, but I pointed out the toy’s excellent packaging, which had not given the game away about the toy’s “aromatic” potential. “Look,” I suggested, “we could just keep it in here and get it out now and again for them to play with. They’ll look forward to it!” Husband reluctantly agreed.

Both cats get very excited whenever we pick the tube up and unpack the toy. It still smells terrible, but we have got used to the smell and, for all its stinkiness, it is a stellar hit with Lola and Boris.

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Rebranding the Cat
Steve Dale | Mar 16th 2021

Second class no more, cat care gets a needed reboot.

2020 wasn’t the best year for us mere humans, but for cats their time has come. Finally, the species that I somewhat famously dubbed “the Rodney Dangerfield of pets” (because they get no respect) is changing course in a big way.

And it’s millennials who are leading that charge. Adoption and foster numbers are up. Old myths about cats are being busted. They’re in the process of what a marketing person might describe as a “rebranding.”

It’s a Dog’s World
In 2008, I was invited to dinner by Dan Kramer, then a product manager for Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis), and publicist Lea-Ann Germinder. Dan noted that the new American Veterinary Medical Association Sourcebook and other data he discovered indicated that cats were under-medicalized, seeing veterinarians far less often compared with dogs, and cat owners were less willing to fork over as much money for care compared to dog owners. Cats were more likely given up to shelters and, if lost, less likely to be found compared to dogs. The percent of cats microchipped was minis­cule. In fact, if a cat got out, some people didn’t bother searching. After all, the prevailing notion among too many was, “It’s just a cat.” We were pretty much a dog society.

In truth, for several decades, cats have been enjoying the title as man’s best friend if you just go by the numbers of the most populous pet. Dan wasn’t aware that there were then (and it’s still the case today) more pet cats than dogs in the United States. Yet, despite being most pop­ular, cats had an image issue. Cats were often disrespected, misunderstood and generally didn’t seem to share the same intense bond we have with dogs.

Dan asked me what I would do about the problem. I said, “We need everyone to get on the same page to elevate the status of cats. This includes academia, feline specialty veteri­narians, general practice veterinarians, national animal welfare organizations, animal shelter professionals, nonprofit funders of cat health studies (Winn Feline Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation), veterinary behaviorists (because cat behaviors were so misunderstood), as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association. Alone, none of these groups can achieve what we might do together.”

Making a Change
About a week later, Dan phoned me and said, “I’m putting my money where your mouth is.” And so he did. A who’s who of the cat world attended a summit in California — and as an outcome of that meeting was born the nonprofit CATalyst Council (catalystcouncil.org).

Indeed, that group was a catalyst for change. Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) was rolling out Cat Friendly veterinary practices. So many veterinarians were taught primarily about dogs in vet school; cats were marginalized. AAFP said “No more.” The Cat Friendly Practice program helped to train veterinary teams to focus on cat care. And by now, feline specialty veterinarians weren’t any longer a novelty. Today, there are over 1,200 Cat Friendly Practices; 98% of practices are satisfied with the program, with 90% indicating cat care has improved. And 78% have received positive feedback from cat parents. (2019 Survey Results Cat Friendly Practice at catvets.com)

In 2016, Fear Free was launched (fearfreepets.com), an initiative to address emotional health of pets in homes and at veterinary clinics. While many species benefit from this transformative program, an argument can be made that cats have gained the most by the program minimizing the real trauma of cats seeing a veterinarian. Individual veterinarians and technicians can be certified as Fear Free, and so are entire practices. And when that happens, 91% of those practices believe their image is more positive, and 98% have noted a benefit to patient care.

Millennials that Care
Both Cat Friendly Practices and Fear Free focus on emotional well-being, and it turns out millennials do as well. Millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1996) care about the emotional health of cats more than any generation prior.

According to a 2016 study from Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI; habri.org):

77% of millennials have a more favorable view of their veterinarian if they discuss the health benefits of the human-animal bond.
74% of millennials are more likely to visit their veterinarian if they discuss the health benefits of the human-animal bond.
25% of millennials talk to their veterinarians about the health benefits of pet ownership.

It’s true, millennials love their cats. Want proof? They love their cats even more than their electronic devices. And they use those very devices to post images and videos of cats. As a result, cats rule the worldwide web.

On Instagram, some very cool cats have up to millions of followers. The Instagram cats, some-times referred to as “influencers,” may make personal appearances and some even sell swag. Most of these cool cats can thank millennial pet parents for launching their online careers and millennial fans for all those follows that secure their star status.

Nothing says millennials and cats like cat cafes. According to Meowaround.com, there are nearly 120 cat cafes, with most major cities having more than one. Back in 2008, there were zero in the United States.

Most cats at U.S. cafes are available for adoption. Speaking of which, even before adoptions soared as a result of the pandemic, cat adoptions have been increasing, and the corresponding number of cats in shelters declining. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year, and it’s an even split — 1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats.

Better Care for Cats
Millennial interest in cats goes beyond fanciful cat yoga and cat movie events presented at cat cafes. They’re serious about redirecting myths, leading the charge against declaw. Many agree that following the 2019 New York’s state-wide ban on declaw that other states would have already followed if it wasn’t for the legislative distraction of the pandemic.

In an effort to better understand cat behavior, books like Decoding Your Cat, authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, are selling well, not only because millennials seek the cat truth but also that the authors are trusted sources.

Allowing cats to be cats is a craze that millennials first embraced, so the number of available food puzzles and games for cats for purchase at pet stores and online is exponentially greater than only a few years ago.

With more cats indoors than ever (about 75%), enriching environments is now a focus; TV personality Jackson Galaxy has even given it a name — catification. Even indoor cats increasingly have their own safe outdoor environments called catios.

Back when I trained a cat to play the piano, people joked “Why would you?” Now cat parents routinely train cats to walk on a leash and harness, or take cats for rides in strollers. Today, cat parents want to socialize kittens and even train them. YouTube is filled with videos of cats playing musical instruments and showing off stupid pet tricks. Except it’s not so stupid, of course, or any more stupid than dogs doing tricks. The days of cats being thought of as boring, aloof and lazy Garfield types has ended.

Despite all of this, cats refuse to lay all their cards on the table — as some feline mystery and mystique remain.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, March 21, 2021

All Signs
Here’s the forecast for this week. The Sun and Venus are in Aries; Mercury and Neptune are in Pisces; Mars is in Gemini while both Jupiter and Saturn are in Aquarius. Pluto is still in Capricorn where it will stay until 2025, and wild, wacky Uranus is in Taurus until 2026. Two things are certain: Mercury in Pisces will heighten the Spidey sense of everyone this week while fiery Mars in Gemini will add spice and energy to everyone’s speech and thinking. Even though ideas might be hazy and intuitive – words will fly! Everyone’s an expert! (Well, we all know an expert is someone who knows a few things about something – but they’re from another city.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This is a lovely strong week! Both the Sun and fair Venus are in your sign making you charming and diplomatic with everyone you meet. You will give more thought to your appearance, which is why this is an excellent week to buy wardrobe goodies for yourself. Note: Avoid Tues. and Thur. because they’re not good days. You will feel that your psychic vibes are stronger than usual. (Some of you will pick up acid rock through your Mercury fillings.) This is why you will trust your hunches and want to explore esoteric ideas and stories about the paranormal. “Faeries at the bottom of the garden” and all that. Nevertheless, despite these “fay” thoughts, you will forthright and aggressive about expressing yourself. You’ll say what you mean and mean what you say!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week the Sun and Venus are still hiding in your chart, which, among other things, promotes secret love affairs. (Oh yes, you ripe juicy peach!) Your urge to be low-key and work alone or behind the scenes continues. However, when it comes to money, this is something entirely different. This week, you’ll be aggressive about pursuing ideas to earn money, save money and ironically, spend money! “Money, money, money!” (Music to your ears.) Expect to enjoy some lively exchanges with younger friends and people you encounter in groups and organizations. Of course, people will defer to you because with Jupiter and Saturn at the top of your chart – you’re the winner! Hands in the air!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This is a high energy, popular week for you! Get out there and schmooze with people you want to see (mindful of distancing rules.) The planet Mars, which is associated with muscles and blood is now in your sign until the last week of April. This is why you are so energized! Great! You have the chance to show the world what you can do! Obviously, you will be more of a fighter for your own rights than usual. (As well as rights of others.) Meanwhile, the Sun and Venus guarantee warm relations with friends, groups and artistic people; while Mercury at the top of your chart encourages you to pontificate and share your learned knowledge with bosses and important people. (We’re impressed.)

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is an auspicious week! Both the Sun and fair Venus are at the top of your chart making you look fabulous in the eyes of others, especially bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs. This brief blessing occurs only once a year, so make the most of it. Go after what you want. In fact, for some of you, bosses will see you in such favourable terms, a romance might begin. Meanwhile, Mercury will encourage any kind of study and education because you’re eager for more knowledge and new experiences. You want to travel and learn more about the world. You will seek out conversations about philosophy, different cultures, legal systems and fascinating beliefs. Gifts and money continue to come your way. Not too shabby!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your desire to travel or explore more of the world is growing. Fortunately, many of you might have the opportunity to satisfy this urge to learn more about new places and experience a change of scenery. (At last!) In particular, you will feel inspired by any kind of exposure to other cultures, especially the art of other countries and different peoples. Possibly, the beauty of art will become a consciousness-expanding experience for you? Physical activity with groups will appeal to you, especially athletics or competitive sports. You’re also giving more thought to your goals and how you might pursue them. How do you want your future to unfold in the next 10 years?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Many things this week will become passionate issues. They will be issues about which you feel that you have an emotional investment. In all likelihood, for many, these issues will relate to debt, inheritances, taxes and shared property. Fortunately, because of the placement of the Sun and Venus, you will be favoured. In other words, things will turn to your advantage or in a profitable way for you. Meanwhile, because Mars at the top of your chart arouses your ambition, this combination of an enhanced ambition with a financial situation that favours you cannot be ignored! Therefore, make an effort to explore financial matters that you want settled in your favour. Do it.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This week continues to be a time when you will need more sleep. Respect your need for more sleep because you, more than any other sign, often have crazy sleep patterns. (No biggie. It’s just who you are.) Meanwhile, you’re keen to do creative, intellectual work more than usual. You might have lively discussions with others about philosophy, politics, religion and racial issues because your mind wants to explore so many fascinating avenues of thought. In large measure, you want to expand your view of the world through discussion with others. You will also be more hands-on in your job and keen to work, especially doing detailed work. You will also be more health conscious. (“I’ve stopped buttering my donuts.”)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You will accomplish a lot this week mainly because you want to work! To put a finer point on it, you want to be efficient and better organized in whatever you do. With this attitude, you will increase your ability to accomplish a lot because you have more self-discipline than any sign in the zodiac. Plus, you have a strong will power. Very likely, you will have to subordinate your desire for fun to work for the benefit of someone else. (You can suck it up and do this.) That’s because right now, practical matters are more important in your relationships. Nevertheless, your sex drive is amped and you are still playful, frisky and prankish! What’s new?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Yay! A fun week ahead! You want to open up as many avenues as possible to explore entertaining good times! Little vacations, romantic love affairs, exciting sports events and playful activities with kids are tops on your menu. You will feel a desire to express yourself through some creative activity. This is also why you will enjoy concerts, museums and seeing the creations of other artists. Meanwhile, many of you are tackling home repairs and having important family discussions. Nevertheless, despite all these fun times, be patient with partners and close friends while Mars is opposite your sign. (Only a few more weeks.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
No doubt you are not surprised to see that home, family and your private life continue to be your primary focus this week. This could be because you are more involved than usual with a parent. It is certainly because many of you are doing redecorating projects or renovations or something to enhance the beauty (and value) of your home. As Covid restrictions begin to lighten, many of you will entertain family at home. You have lots of energy to make this happen, which is a good thing. Furthermore, you’re keen to communicate to others, especially siblings and relatives. Short trips, reading and studying will also appeal. An interesting week ahead!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You’re busy life swoons dizzily along! Your pace is quick and your attention is on your immediate surroundings and friends, neighbours, relatives and business associates. (The people you see every day.) You’re keen to learn and study as well, which is why you might do more reading. This desire to learn might also translate into an opportunity to take a vacation or do something to expand your world. Meanwhile, communications with others are important. This is a good week to tell someone how fond you are of them. You also have the good fortune of being able to appreciate your daily surroundings more than usual. It’s curious – but it’s true.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
It’s interesting how much you’re thinking about money, cash flow and earnings this week. It’s a good thing because you do have the ability to attract money to you now – and let’s hope this ability brings you some swag! With Mercury in your sign, you have no qualms about speaking up and defending your own best interests because you want to express your POV to people. Naturally, your mind will be very busy jumping from topic to topic. Because you feel curious and eager, you will want to get out and travel a bit – don’t we all? Cope as best you can with increased chaos and activity on the home front. For many of you, it will mean an improvement of some kind.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 21 March 2021

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

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

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

Your horoscope for this week:

After being forced to put others’ needs, plans and ideas first, and for ages, both the Sun and Venus move into Aries. This boosts your spirits but also triggers a timely review of once-rigid arrangements. You’d accepted them; but recent developments are enabling you to discuss what seemed set in stone. When you finally begin exploring your options, you’ll realise how timely these changes are.

Someone has been underestimating you. Whether they have been deliberately misleading you or trying to deceive you, you have had a strong feeling about their intentions. You are ready now to let others see you aren’t a person to be played games with. Quality moments shared with your amour will make you grateful for your many blessings. Quiet walks in the countryside together will lead to you both sharing some of your deepest thoughts and feelings.

There is great potential for you getting into a flap. Fact is that both Mercury and Mars are moving through Mutable signs. Both at the mental and physical level there may be many, many things for you to do and yes, you could feel overwhelmed. True, the excitement this creates should give you a real buzz. However, it’s long been recognised that Aries people can be rash. In trying to do too much, too fast, and too soon, you could happen to accident that proves costly at many levels. Of course, it will help if you can delegate certain tasks to those with greater aptitude for attending to detail: in the process you show great leadership. Note that although it’s still another couple of years before Pluto leaves the career sector of your solar chart, it may be that what transpires this week is yet another stepping stone en-route to a new career: being focused gets you noticed.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve explored potential changes, but every time you made a plan, destiny halted progress. While frustrating, you’ve since realised there was a range of options to explore. That’s still the case. Acknowledge that, and you can relax and enjoy this amazing cycle of discovery, both in existing elements of your life but, even more, exploring the unexpected opportunities that keep coming your way.

It’s important that you don’t allow the past to control your moods and actions. Whatever you have been through, put it behind you and be ready to start again. You have repaid someone’s past generosity over and over. What you have done for them far exceeds anything they may have done for you. They can’t keep reminding you of their past kindness without acknowledging yours. Let your amour or someone who is equally as close, shower you with affection.

It used to be the case that people retired in their mid-60s. That life- model is now out of date. Yet few are encouraged to consider developing multiple career paths. You may recall that Uranus is presently moving through your sign. For the next few years, it ought not to be too hard for you to think differently and ‘out of the box’. Self-investing and considering a work schedule that you might implement in the years to come should dominate your thinking midweek. Whilst others might think you’ve taken leave of your senses, investing in a hobby could actually be an astute career move. Not entirely unconnected, you might also give thought to learning more about alternative currencies and bargaining systems; once again taking colleagues by surprise with your knowledge of these very 21st-century developments.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The move by dynamic Mars into Gemini in early March kick-started a cycle of questioning, change and growth. True, during the coming week, you’ll make decisions that are more of an experiment that anything lasting. Recognise that, and you make a point of exploring and, where possible, trying things out. Tempted to stick with the familiar? Don’t. For now, and until late April, life’s about discovery.

Be open and honest about plans you are considering for the future and you can be sure of a loved one’s willing cooperation. On a more mundane note, you need to take a common-sense approach to financial and legal matters. Someone you’re introduced to could have a lot of influence over your job in the future. They may be playing down their role for the moment. For this reason, watch what you say while in their presence.

Midweek, your ruling planet, Mercury, arrives at right angle to Mars presently travelling through your sign. At one level this indicate increased communication and multiple short journeys. At another level this suggests a war of words. That may be linked to decisions taken by others in the early part of the week that in some way put obstacles and difficulties in your path. Making clear what is and what is not acceptable might require recourse to the law; and yes, you could get involved in in a class action dispute. In might be a useful exercise to show others that you can indeed focus on small print and minutiae. Indeed, allowing a fussy and critical sub personality to surface and show others where there have been errors could get you noticed in a positive way.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Once you understand that the plans you’re organising are about exploration and what you can learn, but not meant to be lasting, everything else will make sense. True, the world around you and your own life are changing – but so much that what seems your best option now will also change, possibly more than once. The secret? The more inquisitive you are, the better.

An older relative has been playing on your emotions hoping to get their own way. You’re tired of being made to feel guilty because you can’t be at their beck and call all the time. Don’t allow any emotional blackmail that has been a problem in your family to continue. Positive thinking will take you far. A personal dream will show signs of coming true and this is all because of the effort you have put into this in the past.

It really is time to show off your talents. Venus has now joined the Sun at the apex of your solar chart and over the next few weeks shines through your career zone. Simultaneously, Mercury and Mars move to right angle aspect increasing your interest in improving your online profile. Whilst of course, much depends on your personal chart, it’s highly likely that the first half of this week will find you refining your image and in the second half, making clear to others the skills and talents you are now ready to use. Alliance with those born under Aries, Taurus and Libra should also prove beneficial. In their different ways, those born under these signs may be developing career paths that have benefit for you too.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve been feeling restless but constrained by duty and obligations to others. Now that your ruler the Sun and Venus are both in your fellow fire sign of Aries and accenting ways you can broaden your horizons, you’ll be tempted to break away. Do, but only for a day or so. You’ve lots more to discover and more exciting people to meet.

Someone you meet through your profession will make an unusual offer. This will take you by surprise when you already have other ideas in the pipeline but you may not want to miss out on this opportunity. Stall for time. If your previous plans fall through, you now have something to fall back on. Your positive mood will bring out the best in your partner and closest friends. After a few misunderstandings you are now finding it easier to communicate with each other.

There are times when design and to technical expertise have to come together. True, this requires effort, but as Mercury arrives at its right angle to Mars midweek, you may be one bringing units together. It helps that the Moon will then be passing through your sign, and that your voice should then be heard clearly. You don’t have to get involved in the war of words created by others. What you need to know is exactly how a problem is going to be solved and who is going to take charge of the detail on the way. Since late December you’ve likely attracted precisely the right kind of expertise. This may be through people you’ve worked with before. One way or another, your contribution to team building should get you noticed and leave you well placed to take advantage of an opportunity arising around next week’s Full Moon.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, when you make a decision, that’s that. However, since the Virgo Full Moon, late last month, you’ve been dealing with ups and downs regarding potential changes and long-term plans. This continues and, although unsettling, gives you an amazing opportunity to explore the exciting and, often, unfamiliar, options coming your way. Resist the temptation to finalise plans. Between now and mid-April, life’s about discovery.

People have a tendency to rely on you quite heavily. Help you gave someone in the past has given them the impression they can always turn to you when they need some support. Expect to be busy. Make sure that you do relax when you get the chance. An artistic or musical hobby will be a great way to wind down. Even if this has at times turned out to be financially rewarding, this week it will be done purely for pleasure.

With Mercury in your opposite sign arriving at its right angle to Mars midweek, there is the danger that you getting involved in a colossal muddle. Of course, it could be argued that you attract these conditions precisely so that you can reorganise and reshape. There must though be times when you despair of the need to act and to resolve these many crises. The biggest issue this time seems to be that someone has flare and great hopes but that they lack the organisational structure that would see these become reality. It’s likely that you too require assistance separating wheat from chaff. Involvement in architecture, design and planning seems more likely than not. It’s probable that the way in which you make clear were essential pieces of furniture or structure should be placed, will make a real and constructive difference to the end product.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

The powerful Libra Full Moon may be on the 28th, however, this year it’s more about questions and the resulting discussions than a single fresh vision, for the present or the future. While part of you would like things settled, you’ve a deep need to explore life’s options, from your activities to those individuals who are part of your everyday existence. Give yourself the gift of time.

A partner lets you down in a big way. This will upset you and you will feel annoyed with yourself for having started to rely on them. At least you should be glad to be able to get out of a joint arrangement before it goes any further. Remember too that this is someone you don’t want to mix with in the future even if they decide they want you back. A housemate will be offered a job. One or two changes connected with your home environment could result from this.

Partnerships are ‘your thing’ and with the Sun and Venus moving through your opposite sign, you’re likely to give increased thought to who you work with and how you can bring out the best in one another. You won’t be the only sign focused on design and presentation. Whilst at least one person may be pushing you to make fast decision, and perhaps even accusing you of procrastinating, that is unlikely to be the case. You likely need time to carry out your own mini-survey or hold discussions with a focus group. It may be early next week with the Moon moving through your sign when you feel more comfortable about making final decision. What seems clear is that you are now a long way into the process of reinvention and moving to a new, solid life and career path where your expertise is acknowledged and rewarded.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’ve been hoping that recent discussions would enable you to sidestep either unwelcome changes or being forced to leave certain plans in others’ hands. While, in the long term, these must be dealt with jointly, the more open you are about your feelings and practical requirements, the less confusion there’ll be. Once you’re speaking frankly, you’ll realise others understand your views far better then you realise.

Job and money matters are likely to show pleasing signs of improvement. You seem able to spot interesting new opportunities and to act on them before anyone else has had the chance to blink. Are you single? A platonic relationship will take on a new and more loving dimension. New bonds are likely to be of the lasting variety. Things are starting to pick up for you now and a family outing could be on the cards.

You are likely to be prompted to think long and hard about the kind of work you do and how much you enjoy doing it. Developing new strategies may be something for the future. For now, it may be necessary to confront present-day situations and determine which tasks – if any – can be delegated elsewhere. You might also do well midweek discussing with an adviser how best to make use of under-used expertise. It should be obvious to all that you have design and technical skills that could be put to rewarding use. Yes, this might well require taking a risk – possibly work with someone who’s trying to get a new plan off the ground. Yet there are advantages to getting in ‘on the ground floor’. Though true, it can take as much as two years for a new business to turn good profit, there is every likelihood that this week you will be invited to form a valuable alliance.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

No sign is better at juggling a busy schedule. Yet even you have been so overwhelmed recently that you’re wondering if you’ll ever catch up with both obligations and time with those you care about. The fact is, you’ll need to rethink how you organise your day, and life or, perhaps reassess your priorities. While, initially, changes could seem a compromise, you’ll soon spot potential improvements.

It’s hard to understand why a friend is suddenly so moody and miserable. You feel upset that they don’t feel able to confide in you. It is possible they’re finding it hard to explain how they really feel. By Thursday, their mood will have brightened when some positive news will restore their sense of fun in full. Discussions within a partnership will go well provided you are honest about what you hope to achieve.

It’s said that Sagittarius can be super-messy. Clearing things up, organising and tidying is indeed a boring task. Yet it may be that this is essential if you are to move forward. Of course, much depends on your age and your personal chart. It’s likely however that something that’s been in your ‘research and development’ area for some time is now ready for action. To do this will likely require coordination, co-operation and attention to detail that at first is alien. Yet by Friday, you may consider this to be a major investment and worthy of all this mental and physical energy. There’s much to suggest that you will feel to be on the move after a long period of stagnation. Contact with those who live and work far away and who have some measure of respect within an organisation seems likely – with them (once again?) Seeking your advice and expertise.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

While you’re delighted when plans progress as you hoped, if things go too well, you can become suspicious, if not worry. However, Tuesday’s link between Mars and your ruler Saturn is so good that you’ll simply have to smile and try to enjoy all the wonderful things coming your way. Many will be no surprise and, better yet, a few will be as unexpected as they are thrilling.

Changes in your day-to-day activities will take some getting used to. Even so, once you get into the swing of new routines you will accept these were changes that were meant to be. You’re doing your best not to make waves and your quietly optimistic outlook on life should make certain that your efforts will be rewarded. A working relationship will be particularly enjoyable when you seem to bring out the best in each other.

We are once again at that time of year when giving thought to what you really enjoy doing is compelling. It would be wholly understandable if you were intensely irritated at work presently. It may be that yet again, there’s been too much muddled thinking. Whilst you may know that building on initial errors of judgement was always a mistake, there is no turning back. What you perhaps need is to offset work irritation with tasks that you find pleasurable and relaxing. Of course, it’s always possible that there are others who want to recruit your services and yes, choices to be made. This could lead to intense but fascinating conversations around the Full Moon next weekend. The art in the meantime, is surely to polish your CV, be confident about where you stand, and know which of your many talents you want to develop further.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

This remarkable week’s events are no accident. You’ve been quietly organising what many will regard as miracles. In a way they are, because you’ve believed certain changes were possible, despite others’ insistence they weren’t. Take a break to savour your victory. Then tackle the next challenges on your mind. The confidence you’ve gained will make it easier to take on more than one at a time.

You might wonder why it is that whenever someone has problems, they always turn to you. Whether it’s to do with romance, work or finance, they seem to think you have all the answers. That’s because you have helped them out so much in the past and your guidance has been good. Get plenty fresh air to keep you feeling fit and healthy. Follow your nose in financial matters. Be sure you don’t tell others what you intend to do.

Involvement with a new group or team seems likely. Before committing though, you need to understand exactly their aims and objectives. That really is this week’s problem. If going for interview, do your research well beforehand and have a list of questions ready. Though this might seem a statement of the obvious, it would surely do no harm to look as though you’re well-rehearsed and focused. Each person has their own research and development department. This is the time to put yours on display. Show your long-term interests and hobbies. Show too, how you’ve excelled or at least improved. Not only should this ensure that you stand out from the crowd, it could, by Friday prompt someone to consider whether or not the role you’ve applied for is the best for you. It may be that they have something as interesting on offer. What seems true for all Aquarius (interview or not), is that your inner child and creativity will surface and get you noticed.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

For weeks you’ve remained silent about certain concerns and, equally, avoided mentioning plans you care about deeply, both for fear you’d hear bad news. Recently, that was possible; but now and during this week, the tide’s turning in your favour, often magically. The trick is first, to trust it, and second, if others want changes that suit them, to have the courage to say a firm ‘no’.

Social events continue to be few and far between. This doesn’t bother you too much as you have had plenty time to get used to a less hectic social agenda. Time spends with close friends whose company you enjoy is far more appealing. You’re starting to feel it is quality not quantity that counts when it comes to friendships. Progress you are making will show up another person’s slackness. They won’t be too amused.

It is a curious thing, but most people, struggling to be the best of the Sun sign they are, often play at being the opposite sign as it seems easier. Pisces people can often appear confused and forgetful and when things get too much, they go off and play at being Virgos and become super-efficient. You could take a few people by surprise this week when you display signs of understanding, coherence, aptitude and focus. It may not be possible to keep this trend up along however! By next weekend you may need to get back into your Pisces role where your special gifts are imagination and design. In the process, and as you seek safe harbour and relief from the pressures of being too organised and efficient, you may need assistance – most likely from someone born under Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn. In their different ways, they could guide and help you plan your next move.

~arif~

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Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
)0(
“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

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