~National Cat Lady Day!~
It does not do to dwell on dreams, …
and forget to live.
~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone~
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
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.
Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Chervil – Herb of the Month
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12
The Goddess Calendar ~ The Goddess Month of:
Maia begins 4/18 – 5/15
April 19: Taurus Begins
April 19: National Cat Lady’s Day!
April 19: Sigrblot Heathen First Day of Summer in old Calendar.
April 21: Honoring the Goddess Pales.
April 21-22: Lyrid meteor shower takes center stage on the night of April 21 into the early hours of April 22.
April 22: International Earth Day. Please, let’s not get so focused on our immediate challenges that we forget the crisis facing our planet.
April 23: St. George’s Day. Be on the lookout for fleeing dragons!
April 23: Bard’s Day
April 23: Wiccan pentacle is officially added to the list of VA-approved emblems for gravestones, 2007
April 23: Vinalia Wine Ffestival in honor of Roman God Jupiter. Green Man or Green George Festivals.
April 24: Feast of Gabriel. Feast of Albion, Prytania and Britannia. Norse Day of Heimdall.
April 25: USAF recognizes Pagan holidays.
April 25: Feast of Robigalia to protect crops from the spirits of mildew.
April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day (Nice, but in April? Doesn’t this belong in July, when zukes are doing their thing?)
April 26: Full Moon at 11:31 p.m. EDT (03:31 UTC, April 27)
April 28–May 3: Floralia, honoring the Goddess of Spring flowers and vegetation
April 30: Walpurgisnacht celebrated by German Witches
May 1: Beltane or Beltain, Lá Bealtaine (Irish), Là Bealltainn (Scottish Gaelic, also known as Cétamain, is the Gaelic May Day festival. (Southern Hemisphere October 31 – November 1)
May 1: Samhain, Southern Hemisphere
Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Coming in May
02: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
09: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
16: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals
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.
High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
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
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!
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!
The Goddess School Grimoire
eBook (PDF): $6.25
The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.
Living with Moon Magic
Stacy Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
April 19, 2021 – April 25, 2021
The beginning of the week begins a 2-week concern over financial matters and security. Get your financial budgets together. Expect sudden changes coupled with frustrations and self-doubt.
During the middle of the week, relationships and financial issues may need to be handled with care. Avoid making choices and decisions impulsively.
This weekend past familial problems and grievances may resurface. Use this time to try to resolve issues by communicating and listening rather than letting your emotions drive the bus. In some cases, it’s just best to walk away.
Recommended Candles: Needed Change/Banishing Blessed Herbal, Prosperity Affirmation, Healing Blessing Kit, Tranquility Affirmation
Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…
Power in Daily Declarations
I AM is a very powerful beginning to any statement and is the superpower of Aries season. With your I AM statement you are declaring your story and your future, use this power wisely or you may end up creating a future that is not ideal.
Card of the Week: Page of Swords reversed
Are you holding yourself back from expressing your truth?
With so much transformational energy this month it’s time for you to release the fear and share your message! Share your authentic self and be sure that you are honoring your commitments too.
This might also mean that you’re all talk and no action. Be careful about making promises you know you can’t keep or saying things you’ll later regret. Before making a specific promise or commitment, make sure that you can and will deliver on it to preserve your integrity and reputation.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to slow down. Make sure you use your energy wisely and don’t try to do everything all at once. Take some time to think things through before taking action.
Tackle things one at a time rather than trying to manage everything at once. Doing so will lead to more meaningful outcomes.
Ask the Tarot: How can I best express myself?
Peaceful Home Carpet Powder
APRIL 18, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF
This simple spell is designed to dispel negative or stagnant energies and to bless your home with a sense of peace and balance. Lavender has long been known for its properties of bringing calm, peace, and balance.
Gather the following materials:
- A blue candle
- A mixing bowl
- Baking soda
- Dried lavender flowers
- Some salt
- A vacuum
Light the blue candle. In the bowl, mix together the baking soda and lavender flowers. Focus on the feelings of balance and calm that you wish to instill in your space. Add a small bit of salt and mix well.
Sprinkle this mixture on your carpets throughout your house. As you do so, repeat:
Evil, be gone,
Once you have finished, allow the mixture to sit for about 10-15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Allow the candle to finish burning down safely.
Peaceful Trails Water
APRIL 17, 2021 BY KATE FREULER
On a sunny, calm day, collect a jar of water from a tranquil pond, lake, or fountain. As you do so, spend a moment feeling how still and serene the place is. Notice the gentle ripples in the water, the soothing lapping sounds, and the harmonious existence of any wildlife. Imagine that calmness and serenity infusing the jar of water like a soft ray of sunshine. Put the lid on the jar and take it home.
Dribble a trail of this water on the sidewalk or street outside your home, then up the driveway, front path, or hallway, all the way to your front door. Anyone who enters your space will be cleansed by the vibration of the calming water and bring only peaceful energy with them into your home.
You can also use this water to attract serenity in other ways, such as watering your potted plants with it or adding a drop to your bath.
Fairy Luck Spell
APRIL 16, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM
April 16 is the Day of the Mushroom. In European cultures mushrooms are considered a symbol of hope and good luck. Mushrooms are surrounded by fairy energy. When you find a mushroom, know that the fairies knew they could trust you with their presence nearby. Cup your hands around the sides of the mushroom without touching it. In order to promote good luck and encourage more of it to enter your life, say these words:
On this day I thank the fae.
I accept the good luck and
blessings they send my way!
You can utilize this spell at any time later on by envisioning a lucky mushroom in your third eye and repeating these words.
An April Rain Spell
APRIL 15, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS
April rains are cleansing and nourishing. They cleanse the earth and enable seeds to sprout and buds to swell toward maturity. April rain can also cleanse and charge scrying tools such as magic mirrors or crystal balls. To do this, select a rainy April morning. Place your scrying tool outside in a safe place, such as in a window box or beneath a shrub. Let it stay out for about an hour, then bring it in and, if needed, rinse it quickly in water. Dry it with a clean white cotton towel. Then hold your scrying tool and say:
The April rain has left you clean.
Now you’re surrounded with
energy calm and serene.
Please be ready to help me
with my magical tasks,
Such as seeing into the
future, present, or past.
Your scrying tool is now cleansed, charged, and ready to use.
APRIL 14, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN
There has never been a more important time to embrace diversity and honor the spectrum of color that life offers to us. Crafting is a fun way to bring a sense of pride and compassion into the home. Cut twenty-two triangles from rainbow fabric and stitch them onto eight feet of cord, spacing them equally apart.
As you stitch, say the following prayer of unity eight times:
Light includes all seven colors, a
continuum clear. In every triangle
prism, drop of water, or tear, we
invoke the diversity we celebrate here.
All are welcome as a spectrum of
love; A rainbow is a reflection,
as blessed below as it is above!
When done, seal the energy by tying the ends of the rope to make a figure-eight knot on each end. Hang this in your entryway to proudly display the spectrum celebrating free will and self-identity. Take PRIDE in birthdays, mitzvahs, barbeques, and anything else!
Fortunetelling with Scrabble
APRIL 13, 2021 BY EMYME
There are many ways of predicting the future. Scrabble tiles may be one of the most inventive and fun methods of all. Ask a question, throw the tiles, and see what words come up (if any). Or play a game of Scrabble with the direct and stated intention of receiving an answer or information. Always be prepared to accept an answer that is different from what you expected or perhaps even the opposite of what you’d hoped for. And remember that no answer is an answer. It may be a sign that there is no need for you to know just yet, or the universe is not ready to divulge that information, or it may not be your right to know.
Prior to any spell, it is wise to call upon a higher power for guidance:
A glimpse of the future I seek. Please,
friendly forces, give us a peek.
This request is offered with
a light heart, accepting your
answer in whole or in part.
Aries Moon Spell for Motivation
APRIL 12, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY
The Aries new moon from last night is still in effect for the first part of today, which provides magical folks with a double shot of oomph to apply to workings pertaining to new beginnings. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and is characterized by spontaneity, impulsiveness, excitement, and an unflagging desire to triumph in the face of obstacles. Meanwhile, the new moon is an ideal time to work toward new goals and to draw things to you. With the power of the new moon in Aries, any task you set your mind on today is that much more likely to succeed!
To use the energy of the Aries new moon, carve your name into a red candle. If you have a specific goal in mind, you may state it aloud now, or carve a symbol that represents that goal for you into the candle, alongside your name. If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, that’s okay. This spell will generally draw motivating, success-oriented energy to you. Safely burn this candle throughout the day. It’s okay to snuff it out and relight it as needed. Just don’t leave an unattended candle burning!
Beltane Rites and Rituals
By Patti Wigington
April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.
There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.
Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead. Try some of these rituals and ceremonies for your Beltane sabbat celebration.
01 of 08
Set Up Your Beltane Altar
Use symbols of the season to decorate your Beltane altar. Image by Patti Wigington 2015
Okay, so we know that Beltane is a fertility festival… but how do you translate that into altar setup? This spring celebration is all about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most. Here are some tips on how to set up your altar to celebrate the Beltane sabbat.
02 of 08
Looking for prayers to celebrate Beltane? By the time Beltane rolls around, sprouts and seedlings are appearing, grass is growing, and the forests are alive with new life. If you’re looking for prayers to say at your Beltane ceremony, try these simple ones that celebrate the greening of the earth during the fertility feast of Beltane. Here are a few you may wish to add in to your upcoming rites and rituals, including prayers to honor the god Cernunnos, the May Queen, and the gods of the forest.
03 of 08
Celebrate Beltane With a Maypole Dance
The tradition of the Maypole Dance has been around for a long time — it’s a celebration of the fertility of the season. Because Beltane festivities usually kicked off the night before with a big bonfire, the Maypole celebration usually took place shortly after sunrise the next morning. Young people came and danced around the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. As they wove in and out, men going one way and women the other, it created a sleeve of sorts — the enveloping womb of the earth — around the pole. By the time they were done, the Maypole was nearly invisible beneath a sheath of ribbons. If you have a big group of friends and a lot of ribbon, you can easily hold your own Maypole Dance as part of your Beltane festivities.
04 of 08
Honor the Sacred Feminine with a Goddess Ritual
When spring arrives, we can see the fertility of the earth in full bloom. For many traditions, this brings the opportunity to celebrate the sacred feminine energy of the universe. Take advantage of the blooming of spring, and use this time to celebrate the archetype of the mother goddess, and honor your own female ancestors and friends.
This simple ritual can be performed by both men and women, and is designed to honor the feminine aspects of the universe as well as our female ancestors. If you have a particular deity you call upon, feel free to change names or attributes around where needed. This goddess ritual honors the feminine, while also celebrating our female ancestors.
05 of 08
Beltane Bonfire Ritual for Groups
Beltane is a time of fire and fertility. Combine the passion of a roaring bonfire with the love of the May Queen and the God of the Forest, and you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic ritual. This ceremony is designed for a group, and includes a symbolic union of the May Queen and the King of the Forest. Depending on the relationship between the people playing these roles, you can get as lusty as you like. If you’re doing a family-oriented Beltane celebration, you may choose instead to keep things fairly tame. Use your imagination to kick start your Beltane festivities with this group ritual.
06 of 08
Beltane Planting Rite for Solitaries
This ritual is designed for the solitary practitioner, but it can easily be adapted for a small group to perform together. It’s a simple rite that celebrates the fertility of the planting season, and so it’s one that should be performed outside. If you don’t have a yard of your own, you can use pots of soil in place of a garden plot. Don’t worry if the weather is a bit inclement – rain shouldn’t be a deterrent to gardening.
07 of 08
Many people opt to hold a handfasting or wedding at Beltane. Looking for information on how to hold your own handfasting ceremony? Here’s where we’ve got it all covered, from the origins of handfastings to jumping the broom to selecting your cake! Also, be sure to learn about magical handfasting favors to give your guests, and find out what you need to ask the person who’s performing your ceremony.
08 of 08
Celebrating Beltane with Kids
Every year, when Beltane rolls around, we get emails from folks who are comfortable with the sexual fertility aspect of the season for adults, but who’d like to reign things in just a little when it comes to practicing with their young children. Here are five fun ways you can celebrate Beltane with your young children, and let them participate in family rituals, without having to discuss certain aspects of the season that you’re just not ready to explain yet.
Assembling Your Light Team
Those on the other side of the veil want to be put to good use and help you.
Each of us, whether we realize it or not, moves through life in the company of beings whose task is to watch over us. These ancestors, spirit guides, angels, guardians, and ascended masters designated to serve as protectors and guides take pleasure in their roles yet cannot assist us without first being asked. Since the origins of our sacred sentinels differ, we may choose whom we call upon for help based on the situation at hand. However, in certain circumstances, particularly those in which time is of the essence or there is the potential for harm, we may feel the need to surround ourselves with our entire complement of benevolent, watchful guardians at a moment’s notice. To do so, a great shortcut is to create and assemble a light team — a group of spirit helpers who will come to our aid when we utter a simple word or phrase.
The creation of a light team begins with the dedication of the words that will serve as a shortcut in your time of distress, signaling to your sentinels that you are requesting their support. Meditation, at an altar or otherwise, can help you attract their attention, affording you an opportunity to articulate your desire that they work in tandem in certain instances. Creating a short ceremony in which you surround yourself with objects you associate with the helpers you wish to assign to your light team can ensure that those beings are in attendance as you designate your shortcut. Creating this shortcut is simply a tool. You can employ “light team” as your rallying cry or any other words you feel comfortable using. The numerous guides and guardians that see to your welfare will accept your choice gladly and respond instantaneously when called.
Your light team will be there to assist you in those dangerous, chaotic, or confounding moments when you don’t have the time, energy, or opportunity to center yourself and meditate on individual sentinels. You can also call upon them when seeking guidance that originates from a variety of perspectives. Whether the support they provide comes in the form of guidance or wisdom, their combined presence will give you a sense of security that strengthens you and reminds you that you are never alone.
Mountain-Ash, The Witch-Wood Tree
Here’s another interesting factoid from John McNab Currier, the 19th century folklorist and physician.
While he was living in New Hampshire in the mid-1800s he knew a woman who thought all her illnesses, indeed all her troubles in life, were caused by witches. When she was sick the woman would threaten the witches, who although invisible undoubtedly were the source of her suffering.
To keep the witches at bay the woman wore a bead necklace made from mountain-ash (that’s pyrus americana or sorbus americana to you botanists out there):
They were cut about three eighths of an inch in length, the bark being left on, and strung on string running through the pith. She was careful to keep them concealed, but sometimes they would work up above her collar and be conspicuous. This species of tree was once quite popular among New England witch-believers as a charm against witches…
Folklorist Fanny Bergen also reports that people in New England carried a piece of mountain-ash, or witch-wood, in their pockets to repeal witches.
The American mountain-ash is of the same family as the rowan tree, which is well-documented in European folklore. The Norse god Thor was saved from drowning by grasping a rowan tree, while in Scotland householders planted them at their front doors to repel evil. According to Wikipedia, it could also be used to prevent storms at sea, keep the unhappy dead in their graves, and prevent lightning from striking a house. That’s a pretty potent tree! It seems likely that the English settlers in New England brought their beliefs about the rowan tree to the New World and transferred them to its American cousin.
Oddly, I’ve been to Scotland and seen a rowan tree but don’t know if I have seen an American mountain-ash. I’ll have to take a trip to the Aboretum and track one down!
This week’s info is from John McNab Currier, “Contributions to New England Folk-Lore”, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 4, No. 14 (Jul – Sep. 1891) and Fanny Bergen, “Some Bits of Plant-Lore”, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol 5, No. 16 (Jan – Mar, 1892).
Patty Fletcher Interviews Authors Tasha and Stephen Halpert
Not long ago, I reached out to authors, Tasha and Stephen Halpert and invited them over to Patty’s World for a chat. The following interview is the result of that invitation. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
First, in your own words tell us a little about you.
Stephen: I have always been fascinated by the unknown, be it mystical or antiquarian. I love creating collages as well as writing. My idea of fun is rummaging thrift stores and yard sales in search of interesting items to give friends or to keep.
Tasha: I’m a poet and have written poetry for most of my life. I have a vast sense of curiosity about everything, an abiding faith in the goodness of All That Is, and a firm sense of optimism, which includes the belief that everything happens for the Highest Good.
Where do you live?
Stephen: Tasha and I live in North Grafton, MA.
Who are the special people in your life?
Stephen: My extended family and close personal friends.
Tasha: My family, those I love and pray for, and my wonderful teachers in life, some of whom are in all three categories.
Do you have any pets?
One day we hope to have a cat.
What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work?
Stephen: The pure pleasure of writing and creating art.
Tasha: The desire to express my truth, to help people be happier, and to teach what I have learned.
What is your favorite song?
Stephen: As a boy, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Lonesome Traveler.” As an adult, John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Tasha: Over the Rainbow.
What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.
Stephen: Foreign films and existential escapes.
Tasha: The Court Jester with Danny Kaye, Noises Off, with Carol Burnet, The Pirate or any movie with Gene Kelly.
What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.
Stephen: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. As a teen, Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis, mysteries by Robert B. Parker and Raymond Chandler.
Tasha: Jim Bucher’s Harry Dresden series, Mercedes Lackey’s Elementals and Valdemar series.
What is your favorite food?
Stephen: Lobster, Sushi, and Pizza.
Tasha: Honey, chocolate, mayonnaise, avocado, and all kinds of fruit.
What is your favorite quote?
Stephen: “Philosophy will clip an angel’s wing.” -Keats
Tasha: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?
Stephen: “Beloved Lord I do greatly thank Thee for the abundance that is mine.”
Tasha: That is mine also.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Stephen: Racists and lying politicians.
Tasha: Having to hurry when I need to take my time.
What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?
Stephen: An appreciation of humor, an ear for dialogue, and my imagination.
Tasha: My ability to focus and concentrate, my powers of observation, and my ability to make connections in my mind.
What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?
Stephen: Laziness, eating cheese and a tolerance for mess.
Tasha: Trying to do too much for the available time and being too picky over details.
What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?
Stephen: My dream for the future is to always continue writing and to see my work published and sold internationally.
Tasha: To see my Old Codger stories published, illustrated, and distributed internationally.
What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?
Stephen: Telephone or email: 508-839-0111, email@example.com
Tasha: Phone or Email: 508-839-0111, Tashahal@mail.com
Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself, or your work that I’ve not asked?
Stephen: To better answer you I invite you to read Reading on the Cheap, which says more about me than I can say right now.
Tasha: I’m enclosing a few words about me I’ve written for others.
Short Bio for Tasha Halpert
Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping. Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn and Lantern, and other publications. She is poet laureate and storyteller for the Unicorn and Lantern, and a regular part of GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast. She has published two books, Heartwings: Love Notes for a joyous Life and Up to my Neck in Lemons. With her writings, she hopes to be of help and comfort and at times to be entertaining. With her husband Stephen, she lives in Grafton and is the mother of five, grandmother of seven, and great grandmother of three.
MORE ABOUT TASHA AND STEPHEN’S WORK…
ABRACADABRA MOONSHINE & OTHER STORIES by Stephen Halpert
This collection of original, unusually intriguing short stories is an exuberant tour de force of wit, humor, and insight into the human condition. The collection of magical tales will entrance, entertain, and prompt readers to ponder the true nature of reality. They will definitely entertain you and make you wonder a bit about the twists and turns that life can take. You may even fall in love with some of his characters and wish they were real and present in your life.
Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life by Tasha Halpert
This heartwarming book brings a breath of sunshine against the cold of any day and kindly and gently reveals a deeper level of understanding for all. It provides a helpful path for anyone concerned with personal self-development to follow. Sharing a lifetime of comforting knowledge gleaned from living and loving life, the emotionally intelligent author leads readers on an introspective journey to a greater sense of realization, joy, and inner peace. Her poetry is moving, and a poem follows each thought-provoking essay.
Up to My Neck in Lemons by Tasha Halpert is a collection of practical as well as metaphorical uses for life’s lemons. This collection of essays and poems provides insights gained from daily life experiences, both happy and sad. The stories illustrate how to appreciate what might at first have seemed unfortunate.
The recipes are author favorites, and are both sweet and sour, cleansing and therapeutic. This book will bring comfort and insight on turning life’s lemons into lemonade. The poems that follow each essay form an enjoyable adjunct to the wisdom and insight this book brings the reader.
Each book is $15.00 postpaid autographed by the author. Write to Tasha Halpert at P.O. Box 171, North Grafton, MA, 01536 and include a check to receive a copy of any of these entertaining and even perhaps helpful books.
Visit Stephen and Tasha’s website here. http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com/
Shop for Stephen and Tasha’s books online here.
Simple Simmer Pot Recipes for Spring Time
by Krystle | The Wholesome Witch
We may think of simmer pots as a kitchen activity for the darker months of the year but this is just not the case! Each season comes with distinct aromas that help to define them and spring is no exception!
Spring is all about celebrating longer days, more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and nature coming to life all around us. And you can literally smell the spring time in the air.
Scents like lavender, lemon, rosemary, and vanilla can bring that wonderful spring feeling right into our homes. And who wouldn’t want that? Simmer pots are the perfect solution to have these glorious seasonal scents wafting throughout your home in minutes.
I’ve sung the praises of simmer pots before, and I’ll do it again lol. They really are an excellent, non-toxic, and eco-friendly way to have your home smelling like the season in a few short minutes. They are also a wonderful way to brew some magick in the kitchen.
So read on and discover a few recipes to help bring the energy, joyfulness, and vitality of the spring season into your home and your heart.
The Simmer Pot
Simmer pots are basically potpourri in a pot! You choose your ingredients, put them in a pot with water, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it do its thing. They couldn’t be any easier, just be sure you don’t let your pot boil dry! If you want to keep the pot going simply add more water when it gets low. And obviously never leave it going when you are not home.
Simmer pots also lack the harsh toxins that are packed into conventional air freshener sprays and many scented candles. Just fresh ingredients from your kitchen! No fake fragrances or toxic chemicals needed.
One more benefit, they can likely be crafted with things you already have in your kitchen making them a convenient and inexpensive solution.
If you’d like you can read my Autumn Simmer Pot post and Winter Simmer Pot post for some more inspiration. Or check out my Seasonal Simmer Pot Package in the shop.
Simmer Pot Magick
And we mustn’t forget that the herbs, spices, and whole foods housed in our kitchens all carry their own energies and magickal properties.
So let’s use those items to assist us in manifesting our goals. You’ll easily be able to create a simmer pot that aligns with your intentions and smells delicious!
When I do a simmer pot with a specific intention in mind I follow these simple steps to incorporate my magick and mind into the process:
Set your intentions very clear in your mind and don’t lose sight of them for the entire process.
Add ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, stir the pot clockwise. Unless you are doing a banishing or releasing spell, in that case stir the pot counter clockwise.
Visualize your desired outcome or goal for the magickal work you are doing. Are you aiming to create happiness in the home, or more money in your wallet? Whatever it may be focus on what you want the outcome to look like. Continue with the visualization and stirring until it feels right to finish. You’ll know when!
You may recite your goal, a chant, or ritual words while you stir as well. Something pertaining to your desired outcome.
When you finish I would let the pot boil down until there is about an inch of water left and then turn it off. Your work is now complete.
Of course feel free to change this process up so that it suits your own needs and magical practice.
Spring Simmer Pot Recipes
Lemon Cookie – cleansing, prosperity, success, and joy
2 bay leaves
6 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Rosemary Dream – cleansing, healing, love, and protection
6 lime slices (dried or fresh)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Glorious Grapefruit – growth, protection, self-love, and energy
4 grapefruit slices
1 fresh eucalyptus sprig
3 lemon slices (dried or fresh)
2 stalks lemongrass
Lavender Citrus – wisdom, balance, clarity, and love
4 lemon slices (fresh or dried)
4 orange slices (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp lavender buds
1 tbsp juniper berries
What to do with your simmer pot ingredients when you are finished?
Another awesome thing about simmer pots is that they don’t create any waste. You can simply compost your ingredients or dry them out to be used in future spells or for potpourri.
Are you already a simmer pot enthusiast? If so, what’s your favourite recipe?
As always, I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or connect with me on socials.
For more Simmer Pot Recipes and kitchen inspiration check out my shop page! My Kitchen Witch Grimoire Bundle includes simmer pot recipes for every season, over 100 foods and their magickal properties, coffee and tea magick, sugar magick, and more!
You can also SUBSCRIBE to The Wholesome Witch Mailing List and receive a 20% OFF discount code for my shop full of witchy digital offerings and some freebies as well! https://www.thewholesomewitch.com/
Until next time friends!
Yours in health and magick,
Ghost Hunting Theories
Kinds of Portals
The concept of portals – or doorways to other worlds – has been one of my favorite subjects. In fact, my newest released book (#3 of 3-book series), “Threshold,” handles this exciting subject with nail-biting pace.
When I was recently on the Talking Story Power Hour show hosted by Chai Gallahun, we talked almost exclusively about the subject.
Portals are considered to be openings in which beings can come and go from one world to another.
Here’s just some portal concepts –
You might call DMT the mechanism to enter the portal of dream state.
DMT or Dimethyltryptamine is a chemical substance that when ingested can create psychedelic “hallucinations.”
As mammals produce small amounts of this substance, it is understood humans do, as well. I, for one, believe that our dream state could be the result of such a substance and it is believed its release is tied to the pineal gland (third eye) that produces melatonin for the sleep state.
If you ever wondered at the merciful design of creatures and humans, just consider the sleep state. When light gets low at end of day, melatonin is released to put you to sleep and forcing rest. Then, in deeper sleep stages, forcing paralysis so you don’t act on the dreams that give you insight. Wow!
In recreation or in labs, DMT has been used to gain more understanding of the human experience, but most who have experienced the “high,” report they feel as if the world just showed its true self in a synesthetic and dynamic dimension that we never get in a “sober” state.
The experiences people have had when using DMT points to a life-changing realization, a depth of understanding, a window to the energy that is life, a reverance for existing.
Near-death experiences give us another insight into the portal to the afterlife.
I have heard scientists proclaim that there is no afterlife, but there is DMT released by the brain at the moment of death that gives visions.
As interesting as that concept is, it misses the mark on two points. One is that the visions of the dying are remarkably nearly identical. Two is that this only supports intelligent design as there is no reason to evolutionary-wise give us DMT as we are passing to have a merciful experience. That was worked into the design and shows thought and compassion on the part of whatever/whoever/however we were created.
One thing that universally occurs with NDE’s is a change in attitude, perspective, a loss of fear of death, a feeling of community with humanity. Many report that the world they entered was the real one, and this one is fake. That is how my own father felt when he had his NDE. He wanted to go “home” to the real world and a few days later, he passed away with a smile knowing where he would be headed.
Wormholes could be considered the portal to other solar systems/planets/stars.
This concept is a scientific speculation that appears to have some very real possibilities. Imagine if you could bend space and time to create a tunnel from one location to a very distant location as if they were right next door to each other.
It is easier to speculate about the visitation of aliens from faraway planets when you consider the use of a wormhole. This also holds hope for our own future travel long distances or even around our own planet.
Locations with high strangeness could be considered portals for the unexplained to come and go.
What if here on Earth we have portals that beings are utilizing to come and go? A fair deal of the public believe that Bigfoot, UFOs, and strange cryptids are coming and going through such passages.
Certain areas on the planet seem to attract a host of strange lights, cattle mutilations, UFO sightings, and strange cryptids. Places like Skinwalker Ranch, Blind Frog Range in Utah, locations in the Northeastern US like Bridgewater triangle and Bennington Triangle, as well as Hoia Bocoi forest in Romania are just some of these hot beds of high strangeness.
These supposed swirling energy locations are considered to be earth’s energy moving about in a way that is healing and regenerating. These kinds of “portals” might be considered spiritual ones.
Sedona, Arizona is said to have four vortexes, each with a unique kind of swirling energy. I have personally visited some of the vortexes over the decades and I will say that there is something to this. The sensation is liberating, as if you shed the past and are a blank slate.
For all the mystery the pyramids have ignited, none is quite as exciting as the concept that they were built and used as portals to other dimensions.
It’s commonly accepted by most researchers today that the pyramids have existed long before the dynasties of Egypt. Who built them? Likely the same civilization that built places like Teotihuacán in Mexico where Aztecs moved into the buildings hundreds of years after the original builders left.
What was the structure supposed to be used for? Well, if we look at a television set, if we were to leave one in the rainforest of the Amazon, a tribe might use it to climb up a tree or to store the bones of their dead inside, but it was not the original purpose of the device. The pyramids are likely a very similar situation.
Theoretical physicists ponder the concept that every action in this world can play out in an alternate parallel world that resides beside us. This would be a portal to a parallel realm.
Other than beating yourself up for being in the pandemic world versus the healthy parallel universe, this concept is really intriguing. Imagine that you lay out many human form existences in every way possible to give you the greatest universal understanding as you move on to the spirit realm?
Perhaps one of the most tantalizing portal potentials is the concept of time travel. This would be a portal to another time, future or past.
It would be interesting to note if people prefer to see the past or the future. I used to think the future might be awful, polluted, diseased, criminal, crowded, hungry, and desolate. But, if I had lived in the 1860s and went back in time, I might end up in the plague-ridden dirty streets of Europe. If 1860s me decided to go to the future thinking it would be as awful as the Civil War, I might miss things like child labor laws, cars, abundant food supply, antibiotics, and airplanes. Hmmmm
Obviously, portals come in so many potential forms, even more than listed here. If someone were to ask me which ones are viable right now, I’d say DMT, NDE, locations of high strangeness, and Sedona vortexes. Which ones will science some day prove or learn to manipulate? I’d be more inclined to say understanding of Pyramids. The ones that will take us more time to prove or utilize – wormholes, time travel, and parallel worlds.
What would you most like to utilize? I think if I had a choice, I’d say, if I am able to come back here, I’d like to travel a parallel world to see what other ways this world could be.
Share your love for cats!
Cat Tail Wagging: The Meaning of Your Cat’s Different Tail Wags
by Ellyce Rothrock | Apr 14th 2021
Let’s dive into understanding cat tail language — what the movements and positions of your cat’s most intriguing appendage mean.
People who say cats aren’t very expressive and are impossible to gauge just don’t have a clue. A cat’s ears, eyes, body posture and, in particular, her tail, express exactly what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. You just have to “listen” to cat tail language.
“Since cats are such different animals from us, understanding how they communicate isn’t something that comes naturally to humans,” says Kelly C. Ballantyne, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.B., clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign. “It is important that all cat owners take the time to learn because understanding how cats communicate helps us to understand them better. Once we know their body language, we can read their emotions, identify situations that cause them distress or pleasure and even identify an illness sooner.”
Once you take the time to learn and understand cat tail language and realize that careful study of cat tail signs is vital to both your and your pet’s happiness in the home, you’ll be amazed at the myriad — and very clear — signals and emotions your feline companion shares with you.
Cat tail language: The basics
Cats with their tails up.
What is your cat’s tail trying to tell you?
Thankfully, animal behaviorists like Dr. Ballantyne have done exhaustive research to help guide pet owners to understand the finer points of cat tail language.
“Tails can move quickly or slowly,” she says. “A flicking or lashing tail signals that the cat is agitated, while a slowly waving tail indicates the cat is focused on something (i.e., about to pounce on a toy). “The tail-up posture — tail straight up with a slight curve at the end — is a signal that the cat is approaching amicably,” Ballantyne continues. “This posture, witnessed among feline friends, is a common way cats greet their humans.
“Cats may curve their tail around people they are bonded to and may intertwine their tails with other cats they’re bonded to. This is called an affiliative behavior.”
“Cats tuck their tails under or next to their body when they are feeling frightened. They often are crouching with their heads tucked in at the same time. We also can see these behaviors when they’re feeling pain.”
But learning cat tail language is like learning any foreign language: It takes time. If you are new to cat tail signs, you can be confused by what various tail movements and positions indicate and inadvertently upset or confound your cat.
Petting your cat around the tail area
While learning cat tail language is a must for cat owners, actually petting the cat around the area of the tail (the base of the tail or the tail itself) is not appreciated by most cats, Ballantyne says. Rather, focus all petting and scratching around the chin and ears, she adds.
Further, if during a petting session your cat’s tail starts twitching or lashing, her ears are turning back or she’s leaning away from you, these all are signals that your companion is done with this interaction, Ballantyne explains. Cats share pretty clear messages about how they’re feeling at any given moment with one of their most expressive body parts. If you take the time and effort to learn cat tail language, you’ll be talking tail like an expert in no time, bringing you and your feline companion’s relationship to greater understanding and happiness.
How to respond to cat tail language
- Tail position: Upright, held high
What it means in cat tail language: Confident, happy
- Tail position: Curled at the top like a question mark
What it means in cat tail language: Friendly
How you should act/react: Offer your hand for sniffing and petting.
- Tail position: Straight down
What it means in cat tail language: Agitated, feeling aggressive
How you should act/react: Don’t try to engage or pet her. Try to neutralize whatever is upsetting her.
- Tail position: Curved beneath the body
What it means in cat tail language: Nervous and/or submissive
How you should act/react: Act nonchalant. Wait for her to come to you.
- Tail position: Puffed
What it means in cat tail language: Scared, agitated, angry
How you should act/react: Leave her alone!
- Tail position: Whipping back and forth
What it means in cat tail language: Fearful; angry, aggressive
How you should act/react: Best not try for quality snuggle time with an angry cat.
- Tail position: Swaying slowly from side to side/twitching
What it means in cat tail language: Focused
How you should act/react: Let your captivated cat follow her interests.
The table guide to cat tail language
If a cat’s tail is… … it means he or she is
Up at a 45-degree angle Unsure
Angled back, moving back and forth “Good” excited or “fearful” excited (the ears and eyes can help determine which)
Upright, moving back and forth slightly Happy
Upright, tip bent Friendly
Straight, almost level with the spine Uneasy; not necessarily afraid
Hanging down, with a dip near the base Aggressive
Quickly swishing back and forth Angry
Down at a 90-degree angle Attack mode
Tucked between the legs Scared, possibly experiencing pain
Sitting upright, tail tip is moving Alert, interested
Tell us: Did we miss any cat tail signals? How does your cat talk to you in cat tail language?
This piece was originally published in 2018.
Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope
Sunday, April 18, 2021
How interesting. No planets are retrograde. It’s all systems go! Use this forward energy to remind yourself to believe in your future. (After all, you’re going to live the rest of your life there.) This week four planets in Taurus, which means you can improve your wealth because Taurus is the sign of money and tangible assets. I like what Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This echoes Albert Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” But Teddy Roosevelt nailed it: “Believe you can, and you’re half way there.” Expect financial improvements!
Aries (March 21-April 19)
You’re thinking a lot about money and cash flow because there are four planets in your Money House. The Sun will make you assess your situation and think about what’s important and what you truly value. Mercury will trigger ideas about how to make money as well as spend it. Venus will attract money to you and encourage you to spend on luxuries, art and beautiful things. Uranus will bring change. (Not the kind under your sofa cushions.) It will trigger financial change as well as changes to your values. It will encourage you to find freedom in your relationship to the stuff and the wealth that you own. That’s real change.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Right now, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus are all gathered in your sign. This pumps your energy and increases your self-confidence. It’s a favourable situation because you will more easily attract money, resources and important people to you. You will be more talkative than usual, not just about money but about everything. The next four weeks are the perfect time to buy wardrobe items for yourself – make a note of this. People are more ready to listen to you now because they sense that you have something to offer, and they value your wisdom, especially about financial matters because hey – you’re the financial wizard of the zodiac!
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
All this energy in Taurus, which triggers financial wheeling’s and dealings is actually taking place in a hidden part of your chart. This does not mean that you are not thinking about money and cash flow; it means that you’re doing so quietly. Oh yes. Others might not be aware of what is going through your mind. This behind-the-scenes energy means you can research moneymaking ideas now, as well as research the philosophy of wealth. Beyond satisfying the necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter – what you want is often a state of mind. Rich people can feel anxious about money. They can suffer from poverty mentality. Meanwhile those who want little, will feel satisfied and content.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re smart with money because you know how to save, plus, you respect money. You respect what it can do, especially in terms of helping to build a nest for yourself and your family. You also know that money can help to secure your future. (These are important things for you because you are a nester.) Nevertheless, this handful of planets will activate your desire to socialize with others, probably online or via Zoom. You will also talk to younger people and creative, artistic people more than usual. This is an excellent time to explore how to make your hopes and dreams for the future a reality – because in some sense, you can!
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
In the next four weeks, you will be more involved with parents, bosses, teachers and the police. This will give you an opportunity to sort out your demands and what you want to achieve, and at the same time, do your best to fulfil their demands and what they want to achieve. There will be more discussions. Know that you will appear to be charming, cooperative and diplomatic. In fact, you’ll make such a great impression on bosses, some of you will begin a romance with someone. The Sun is at the top of your chart for four weeks casting you in a flattering spotlight. (Happens only once a year.) Use this to your advantage!
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In some ways, this will be a frustrating time for you because this handful of planets that urges you to think more about money, earnings and your assets is taking place in a part of your chart that makes you want to travel and expand your horizons. Obviously, most people cannot travel now. But you can travel through books and film. Your basic urge is to be stimulated and break free of your mental routine. You can do this from wherever you are. You can also engage more than usual with people from other countries via Zoom or on-line. Do whatever you can to learn something new. Enjoy talking to people from other cultures. Romance with someone “different” might begin. This is a good time to write an important paper or manuscript.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
As mentioned in All Signs above, your attention will be on money, assets and wealth. No question. Many of you will increase your wealth and your assets by your association with someone else. For example, you might receive an inheritance in the next four weeks. You might become richer indirectly because your partner or someone close to you expands their assets or wealth. Because Venus is in your Money House, you will literally attract money to you as well as favours from others. Your closest relationships might become hotter and really sizzle! (In astrology, sex and money are linked.) This is also a good time to explore avenues in publishing and the media as well as anything connected to medicine and the law. (Wow.)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You will need more sleep in the next four weeks because symbolically speaking, the Sun is now as far away from your sign as it gets all year, and the Sun represents energy in your chart. This polarized position of the Sun will also give you a chance to be more detached and more objective in your closest relationships, which means you can improve these relations. Major bonus! Mercury will encourage much discussion and allow you to clarify and explain important issues. (You’ll welcome intellectual stimulation.) Meanwhile, Venus opposite your sign is the best position for love affairs and relating to everyone you know – even your enemies.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You can look forward to getting better organized in the next four weeks simply because you will have the motivation to do so. Suddenly, not only do you want to be organized, you want to be working smart! You want to get results for your efforts in the most efficient way possible. You might also work for the benefit of someone else or be more focused than usual on service to someone or service to an organization. It will be a good time for mental work because you will pay attention to details. Both Mercury and Venus will guarantee that your relations with coworkers will be excellent. In fact, Venus is a hint that for some of you, a work-related romance will begin. (This can happen online.) Meanwhile, do be patient with partners and close friends while Mars is opposite your sign for one more week.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This heavy emphasis on wealth and assets is taking place in a playful part of your chart. According to astrology, when you play with money, this is considered to be financial speculation. Technically, it’s the truth. This is why your love of drama and desire for entertainment and escape through fun activities will be strong in the next four weeks. Definitely, romance will flourish! Likewise, relations with your kids will improve. Your interest in sports will increase. But what can you do to have fun? You will resign yourself to your bubble of loved ones and play games online. You can do this.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
It’s not surprising that your focus on home and family matters is strong now and will be so for the next four weeks. Some might be more involved than usual with a parent. All of you will be interested in tackling repairs, DIY projects and doing whatever you can to redecorate or make your home more attractive. Mercury and Venus will definitely sweeten your relations with your relatives. Nevertheless, you will also want to withdraw intellectually and reflect upon important ideas that are been bubbling in your mind. Memories from the past will be more important.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Despite the fact that many people are in lockdown, nevertheless, the pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks. This could be because you decide to take on an ambitious home project? You might be juggling errands or tasks that take up your time. Many of you will definitely read, write and study more than usual as well. Because you will be eager to communicate with others, especially relatives and siblings, figure out some decent lighting when you go on Zoom so that you don’t look like an apparition appearing in a seance. “Hellooo out there? Can everyone hear me?” Actually, in the next four weeks, you can make money from your words. (Be patient with family members, while Mars is at the bottom of your chart.)
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And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
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May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.
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