GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 16-23 May 2021

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.

May

Birthday Flower for May: Lily of the Valley

May is National Salad Month

Feature of the Month for May. Sassafras: The Universal Plant

May 19: Canadians celebrate the birthdays of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Day is also the unofficial beginning of the warm season north of the border. Canadian gardeners, raise your trowels!

May 20: On this day in 1810, Dolley Madison is said to have served the first ice cream at the White House–strawberry, it is said. Not so: Thomas Jefferson beat her to it, but the myth lives on. For the real scoop, check out this post.

May 23: The birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, born on in 1707. A Swedish botanist, Linnaeus helped us keep everything straight with his binomial system of plant names.

26: Full Moon — Flower Moon In May, focus on magic related to careers and jobs. If you’ve thought about changing jobs, or even entering a new career field, this is a good time to do it. Expand your horizons this month; this will appear as a supermoon AND will also feature a total Lunar eclipse at 7:19 a.m. EST. The eclipse will be visible from east Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and the Americas

May 27: Today is the birthday of Rachel Carson (1907), writer, ecologist, and marine biologist. Her courageous 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the world to the dangers of pesticide poisoning.

May 31: Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is observed on the last Monday in May. Remembrance is symbolized by the red poppy.

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 members complete each level.

Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord

Level II – Adept of 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, which 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 online 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 too 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.

Biddy Tarot

http://www.biddytarot.com

Card of the Week: Seven of Swords reversed

Do you believe in yourself?

The Seven of Swords often appears reversed when you feel like a fraud and are suffering from “imposter syndrome.”

You may doubt yourself and your abilities. Get out of your head and trust that you have everything you need to make your new venture a success.

You could be deceiving yourself, trying to trick yourself into believing something even though it is out of alignment with your true self. You may attempt to fool yourself that everything is okay when it is not.

Now is the time to get real with where you are and confront your situation head-on.

Ask Your Tarot Cards: “How can I trust myself more?”

Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas by @theafrogoddessconnection

Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Spirit Guide Clarity Spell

MAY 16, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Happy Sunday! Jupiter recently entered the sign of Pisces, and we are looking at the beginning of a yearlong cycle of spiritual rebirth. Today is the perfect day to ruminate on your path and to audit your relationships to the people, places, and things that are connected to it. What we all could use now more than ever is a clear connection with our spirit allies as they help shape the road ahead.

Take a few moments tonight to ground and center your energy, then light a white candle in the east. After you light this candle, take a few breaths and focus on your spirit allies, then focus on the possibility of there being more allies that you don’t know about. Say:

Spirit allies on the edge of vision,

Be with me through each decision.

Make yourself known so I can see.

Be here now and reveal yourself to me.

Let the candle burn out safely on its own.

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Grow Something

MAY 15, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

As Witches and Pagans, we do our best to connect with the earth and the natural world. One of the easiest ways to do that is to grow something. It doesn’t really matter what, and there are plenty of choices no matter where you live or whether or not you have a green thumb. If you have a yard, by all means plant a flower, a vegetable garden, a bush, or a tree. But even if you only have a windowsill, you can grow an herb or two, or some beautiful flowers. If you want something to grow with your kids, you can even do something fun like grow a potato from a potato. The idea is simply to plant something in the soil, tend it, and watch it grow.

If you want to add an extra magical element, write down something you wish to have grow in your life and tuck the piece of paper into the soil. Then send your energy into that wish whenever you tend the plant.

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Contentment Spell

MAY 14, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

To increase peace and satisfaction in your life, light a pink candle and anoint the candle with rose, gardenia, or sweetpea essential oil. These scents promote harmony, peace, and happiness. Take a deep breath, and as you inhale the floral aroma, exhale with a sigh and visualize any self-doubt and negativity that’s holding you back from being expelled. Breathe in again and see yourself breathing in only feelings of joy and peace. Chant:

I am content, at peace, and calm.

My breath becomes a healing balm.

When I feel ill at ease,

All I have to do is breathe.

Allow the candle to burn out safely. Recall this moment anytime you need to feel content and take several deep breaths, repeating the chant.

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Nature Fairy Spell

MAY 13, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

The fairies are always around to assist you. It is a good idea to show them gratitude for their help along your spiritual journey.

Walk into the woods or an outdoor area with lots of trees. Gather up nuts, seeds, leaves, and stones that you find on your path. Find a flat surface on a rock or an area in the grass at the base of a tree, and arrange the items in a circular pattern to create a nature mandala as an offering. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and chant this three times:

I am grateful for this day.

I am grateful for the fae.

I’ve created this beautiful nature art.

Please accept it as a gift

from my grateful heart.

Know that the fairies appreciate your heartfelt nature offering and will continue to guide and assist you on your magical path.

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A May New Moon Spell

MAY 11, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

A May new moon is a perfect time to energize your spirit. This spell will empower your spirit, and at the same time help you achieve a wish. Think of a wish as you prepare for this ritual. First, cover your altar with dark blue fabric. Upon the altar place one dark blue candle and a vase of spring flowers. Lilacs, pansies, and violets are good. Safely light the candle. Think of your wish as you chant the following verse three times:

As the May moon begins to grow,

So does the magical seed I sow!

These flowers live, these flowers wither,

But my spirit shall live forever.

Meditate upon your wish, then snuff out the candle. You may use the candle again for magic. Leave the flowers on your altar until they fade. When the flowers wither, place them gently on the ground outside. As the flowers return to Mother Earth, your wish will grow to fruition.

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Think of Me Tulip Spell

MAY 12, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Tulips are associated with love and new beginnings. Send a message to your sweetheart with this easy spell.

You will need some lipstick, gloss, or balm and a petal from a red tulip. Close your eyes and think of a message you’d like to send to someone you adore. Put the lipstick or balm on your lips and say “think of me” three times while visualizing their face. Kiss the tulip petal, leaving a clear imprint.

Go to a place where traffic, the wind, or a body of water is flowing in your sweetheart’s direction, and discreetly let the tulip petal slip from your fingers. (Do not do this in the traffic. On the sidewalk will do.) They will be reminded of you sometime that day as the energy of the tulip petal gets carried toward them.

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World Bird Migration Day

MAY 10, 2021 BY EMYME

Birds play an important part in secular and earth-based belief systems. Appreciate the joy in listening to their songs and calls and watching them at domestic feeders and in their natural habitats.

Does your personal or family totem honor a special bird? Take some time today to trace their migratory habits. Or, if you have no special feathered friend, perhaps take some time to research the birds in your area and see which one calls to your spirit of flight.

Obtain a bird book for your area, close your eyes, flip the pages, and stop! Is this your spirit bird?

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A May New Moon Spell

MAY 11, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

A May new moon is a perfect time to energize your spirit. This spell will empower your spirit, and at the same time help you achieve a wish. Think of a wish as you prepare for this ritual. First, cover your altar with dark blue fabric. Upon the altar place one dark blue candle and a vase of spring flowers. Lilacs, pansies, and violets are good. Safely light the candle. Think of your wish as you chant the following verse three times:

As the May moon begins to grow,

So does the magical seed I sow!

These flowers live, these flowers wither,

But my spirit shall live forever.

Meditate upon your wish, then snuff out the candle. You may use the candle again for magic. Leave the flowers on your altar until they fade. When the flowers wither, place them gently on the ground outside. As the flowers return to Mother Earth, your wish will grow to fruition.

What to Do About Cards You Don’t Like

 BY BARBARA MOORE

Giving relevant and useful readings is easier to do if we are not bogged down by our own biases. This exercise, from Your Tarot, Your Way, is a good way to start identifying your own blind spots. Once you’ve done that, you can work on healing your relationship to that archetype so you can see it more objectively.

Love, Hate, Neutral

Go through your Major Arcana cards and divide them into three piles: ones you love, ones you hate, and ones you are neutral toward. Do this quickly and without a lot of analysis; just go with your first reaction. Keeping the piles separate, shuffle each one, and randomly draw one card. So now you have one card from each pile. Get out your notebook, so you can write about each card. You don’t have to write a lot unless you want to, but try to write at least one paragraph. For the card you love, why do you love it? What does it seem to promise? For the card you hate, why do you hate it? Does it evoke fear or anger or something else? For the card you are neutral about, why does it seem to bore you? For all the cards, find connections in your life, past, or present.

Heartwings Love Notes 982 The Beauty of Spring Dances in Our Eyes

Heartwings says, “Some of Spring’s beauty lies in its variety.”

The changeable weather of spring is one aspect of its loveliness. Until I open the bedroom curtains, I have no idea what weather the emerging day will have brought. It could be a day for a warm sweater or for shorts! If the sun is shining it could be windy and not warm even in the sun. I remember how in college we all ran out and sat on the roof with as little as possible on to get a tan, so desirable in those long ago days before sun screen and the threat of skin cancer. Though never as strong as it gets in the summer months, the newly warm spring sun was more welcome.  

Spring’s beauty is also embodied in another constant change that at times manifests almost daily. Not only does the weather change, so does the landscape. The lacy patterns created as the leaves slowly emerge are a marvel of delight. I have been watching them daily, both from my porch,  through my windows and through my windshield. Their newness reminds me of birth and of babies. They make it seem as though there was never a spring so tender and so new. It is as though every other spring has been erased, replaced by this unique, budding beauty happening now.

The emerging colors of spring seem tentative compared to those of fall, and yet were they to burst forth in vibrant colors like those of autumn, perhaps they would seem too harshly strident. Winter is stark with its pale landscapes of dull brown and white. The soft pinks, greens and purples of the emerging season make for a gentle transition from winter’s harshness. They also present a lovely contrast to the leaflessness of trees before the buds begin to swell on the bare branches. 

As a poet, I have written many poems about the seasons. I have enjoyed describing them and expressing my appreciation of them, as well as using them as metaphors and examples of life and of living. Yet I seem to find more to say even after all these years. There is something so inspiring about the seasons. I’m not sure why I feel this way. Perhaps it is because I grew up spending much of my time out of doors, in nature. Perhaps also it is because my father and great grandfathers were both horticulturists. Regardless, I welcome the seasonal changes and take great delight in sharing my appreciation of them and of nature.

I hope you can take time to appreciate the emerging of spring as it blossoms throughout the landscape. May the air you breathe refresh and renew you. 

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you enjoy all the seasons, each for their beauty, or only some of them. I love it when my readers share their thoughts and feelings. Do write to me at tashahal@aol.com, and visit my website for more at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

Heartwings Love Notes 981 Accidental Beauty

Heartwings says, “When we open our eyes to it, there is beauty everywhere to see.”

As a child I was drawn to bright colors and pretty images. I disliked hurtful humor and stories of sad or unfortunate people, even if they somehow turned things around for themselves. My eyes are and have always drawn to what sparkles or twinkles, my ears to pretty and uplifting music, now preferably classical. To me this predilection is a gift, and I am very grateful for it. What seems to me to be most interesting is how there is beauty around every corner and even in every situation, if you look for it.

Recently I was in our local thrift store, appropriately named Treasures, when something caught my eye: The sun shone on a row of glassware on a series of shelves against the wall of the shop. I stopped and gazed at the row of sparkling glass. It was breathtaking. I brought up the camera on my cellphone and took a picture. Later when I brought my picture up to look at, I realized the camera hadn’t captured the beauty that my eyes had perceived. I have had this experience before. Perhaps when we really look with our eyes, we see things with more dimension.

Accidental beauty radiates unbidden all around us. Though we may not see it there is beauty to be seen that may easily go unnoticed. If my mind is preoccupied with anticipatory thoughts or apprehensions; if I am worried about what I ought to remember or concerned over some nameless condition, I may fail to actually look out of my eyes. Even though my eyes are focused on something, I may not see it! Case in point: Have you ever looked for something without finding it, only to discover it where you had already looked perhaps even several times?  

Beauty often cloaks itself in ordinariness. Dewdrops or even raindrops that glisten in the sun shining on blades of grass may make miniature rainbows that can be seen only when we look closely. Dandelions that glow like little suns can delight the eye that sees them not as weeds but as accidental beauty. A smile that lights up a friend’s face, the sound of someone playing an instrument by an open window, the smell of something tasty cooking or baking, all may go unnoticed if we do not pay attention.

When I am present in the moment, allowing myself to really be present, I will more easily see or hear what is there to be seen or heard. If I actively seek to see the beauty that exists everywhere for those who pay attention, I will find much to delight me. Yes there is ugliness in our surroundings, and frowns are as easily perceived as smiles, yet we can anticipate what is pleasant as easily as the opposite. I once met a woman who told me she always anticipated the worst because then she could never be disappointed. I found this to be sad. However, whatever floats your boat, as Oprah used to say, is what works best for you. The real gift is being able to choose what to look for and where to look.  

May you cultivate your sense of where to look and find beauty everywhere.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you find loveliness in your surroundings? Do you have eyes for beauty and find it frequently? Please share your feelings and your experiences, I appreciate your emails more than I can say. Please write to me at Tashahal@aol.com, and for more love notes, try my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com

The Hackmanite Stone

Meaning & Energy

Hackmanite helps grant one access to their crown chakra while enhancing their mental capabilities. One will be able to see the strength that the human mind possesses, which can lead them to the gateway of higher knowledge. This elevated knowledge is from celestial beings in addition to one’s own spirit guides and guardian angels. The messages you receive may be bleak and confusing, but working with Hackmanite will help you learn the “language of the gods”. This special mineral helps one not only decode the imagery within their own visions, but also the symbolism in one’s nightly dreams. These are signs pointing you in the direction that your soul desires. By nature, humans are caught up in daily distractions, which only push one further away from achieving their dreams. However, Hackmanite works to help one prioritize what’s most important to them and how they should go about achieving it.

Spiritual Evolution

We highly recommend this stone as a means for one’s personal growth and spiritual evolution. One will begin to know the true power of Hackmanite and its energies as they continue to work with the stone. Just as this stone reveals hidden colors when exposed to a special light, it will also do the same to you. Hackmanite is YOUR special light that helps peel back your layers and reveals the beauty of your mind and soul.

A Word of Advice to the Reiki Novice

Article by Sandra Cooze

Reiki is a wonderful practice. It is amazingly versatile and full of surprises. Even after 8 years of practicing and teaching Reiki, I learn something new with every treatment I give, and every class that I teach. Thinking back to the beginning of my journey as a Reiki practitioner there are many things I wish I had known when I first started out. There is one thing, in particular, I want to share with you today in the hope that it will make the beginning of your journey as a Reiki practitioner a little easier.

Right after I received my first Reiki attunement, I had the most unusual and unnerving experience. I felt completely naked – literally. I had to actually look down my body to make sure that I was wearing clothes – the sensations were that intense.

Everything felt different. The wind felt stronger, the sun warmer; it was as if a layer around my body had been removed – and I believe that it was exactly that! A protective layer that I no longer needed was taken from me to make way for my new journey and the person I was about to become.

When I went home that day, I felt as if I could conquer the world! I was ready to just dive in and give Reiki to anyone who was willing to give it a try. But as it turned out, this was not as easy as I thought it would be.

The first time I attempted to give a Reiki treatment was to members of my family. I wanted to show them how amazing the energy felt and I was so sure they would love it just like I did. But when I began the treatment, nothing happened. I did not feel any energy coming from my hands and neither did my family members. I was so embarrassed and felt like a complete failure. I did not understand how Reiki could work so well during my classes and then completely failed me when I wanted to use it on my own.

A Word of Advice to the Reiki Novice

What I had experienced is a common occurrence amongst new Reiki practitioners. Today, I know of course what had happened and how to prevent this situation from reoccurring. But back then I was ready to give up and I know that a situation like this is the most common reason why many people do not advance beyond Reiki Level I.

So let’s take a look at what had happened and how we can prevent it.

First things first, when you want to prove to someone how awesome Reiki is and that it absolutely works, you set yourself up for failure. Wanting something means you come from an ego-based mindset. The ego is your worst enemy when it comes to Reiki. You will never be able to prove a point with Reiki when you only want to prove a point. It does not work that way.

What’s also important to know is that beginning your journey as a Reiki practitioner by giving Reiki to your family will be very difficult. The reason is again, the ego. I know that it seems simpler to find your first clients amongst your family and friends since they most likely want to support you on your new journey. But this again can cause your ego to interfere. You probably told them all about your experiences during your Reiki class and how awesome you felt and now you want to show them how amazing it is. And even if you are not trying to convince them, you want them to feel the same way you did. This again will cause your ego to get in the way.

So, what can we do to prevent these situations from ever happening? First and foremost we have to understand, that we are not giving Reiki. We are guiding the Reiki energy through us and into the client’s body, but we don’t create it and with that, we don’t own it. We have no influence over how the other person feels during or after a treatment, so there is no need for us to stress over it. What they experience, is none of our business. Period. That being said, we do need to take the pressure off of our heart, mind and soul.

When I prepare for a treatment I call my Spirit Guides and the Spirit Guides of my client and ask them for their assistance in guiding the energy where it is needed most and to guide me to the spots I especially need to work on. I also (in my mind) tell my client to take what they need and I pray for the most wonderful experience they ever had. This is especially helpful when it is a client’s first interaction with Reiki. You can, of course, set your own intentions for your client’s treatment, but I would always add the request for the most wonderful experience. It really works!

What is also important to know is that, especially with a first-time client, it may take some time for the energy to flow. This has nothing to do with you. It simply means that your client may unintentionally block themselves from receiving because they don’t really know what to expect. Therefore, it is very helpful to explain to them before the treatment what they may expect in terms of sensations. Encourage them to tell you what they experience so that you can explain to them what that means. Allow them to be part of the treatment if they wish to communicate.

If your client is really tense or blocked, encourage them (in your mind) to let go and take what they need. Even if you don’t voice this message, they will start to relax.

Remember that whenever the client does not seem to feel anything, it has nothing to do with you and your ability to perform Reiki as long as you don’t allow your ego to take over. Sometimes a person just does not sense the energy, but this does not mean that no healing is taking place. Also, some people are just not ready to let go of an issue or aren’t open enough to allow healing to take place.

I hope my article will shed some light into the mysteries of your first steps as a Reiki Practitioner.

Love & Light,

Sandra

Feeling Guilty About Being Happy

Allow yourself to release feeling any guilt about being happy

Happiness is an experience we all long for and deserve in our lives. We may wish for the happiness that comes with a much-needed vacation or an exciting new love affair, yet when the actual experience of happiness emerges, we may be too overcome with guilt to enjoy it. If guilt is interfering with your ability to feel joy, you may find relief in looking at the beliefs you hold about yourself and what it means for you to be happy. 

Guilt about feeling happy can arise for different reasons. Deep down you may believe that you don’t deserve to be happy because you hurt someone in the past, had more than others growing up, or maybe you received a mean comment from someone you admire. Perhaps it once seemed that painful experiences always followed happy ones; now whenever you begin to feel happy, you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Happiness may even just feel uncomfortable because you’ve gotten so used to feeling down. The truth is that when you feel too guilty to let yourself enjoy positive emotions, you are denying a part of yourself that has a right to exist. By limiting your life experience to just the negative feelings, you are cutting yourself off from the fullness of life — which includes all of the positive emotions as well. Fortunately, you can begin to shift the way you respond to happiness even in this moment. 

From now on, when happiness begins to blossom in your heart, try to accept it, relish in it, ask it to stay. It’s okay to feel happy even if you believe you don’t deserve it. Feeling good is an expression of your wholeness and your connection with life. The next time happiness appears for you, try not to feel guilty about it. Instead, welcome your happiness in like a long-awaited friend

Humanity

We are human, we are family — we all look at the same stars, we all laugh and cry, we all love. 

When it comes to our families, we sometimes see only our differences. We see the way our parents cling to ideas we don’t believe or act in ways we try not to copy. We see how practical one of our siblings is and wonder how we can be from the same gene pool. Similarly, within the human family, we see how different we are from each other, in ways ranging from gender and race to geographical location and religious beliefs. It is almost as if we think we are a different species sometimes. But the truth is, in our personal families as well as the human family, we really are the same. A single mother of four living in Africa looks up at the same stars and moon that shine down on an elderly Frenchman in Paris. A Tibetan monk living in India, a newborn infant in China, and a young couple saying their marriage vows in Indiana all breathe the same air, by the same process. We have all been hurt and we have all cried. Each one of us knows how it feels to love someone dearly. No matter what our political views are, we all love to laugh. Regardless of how much or how little money we have, our hearts pump blood through our bodies in the same way. With all this in common, it is clear we are each individual members of the same family. We are human. Acknowledging how close we all are, instead of clinging to what separates us, enables us to feel less alone in the world. Every person we meet, see, hear, or read about is a member of our family. We are truly not alone. We also begin to see that we are perfectly capable of understanding and relating to people who, on the surface, may seem very different from us. This awareness prevents us from disconnecting from people on the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the world. We begin to understand that we must treat all people for what they are — family.

Evening Primrose Oil – A Natural Anti-Inflammatory 

by Dr. Weil

You have likely seen it on the shelves of your drug or health food store, but do you know what evening primrose oil can do for you? This natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a versatile oil that comes from the tiny seeds of a wildflower, Oenothera biennis L., native to North America.

Very hard to come by in the diet, GLA has been studied for its natural anti-inflammatory activity, and it appears to have none of the side effects of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. I frequently suggest evening primrose oil to support skin health, as well as optimal health of hair and nails. Do not expect immediate results; it takes six to eight weeks to see changes after adding GLA to the diet. When purchasing, choose evening primrose oil that is cold-pressed and extracted without the use of solvents.

Gilberto Rides Again, Chapter 1 

By Stephen Halpert

Gilberto came into the condo, kicked off his loafers, yawned, and felt tired. He wanted more time with Joey, especially to watch him at his varsity soccer practice. Instead as part of Atlas’ ever-present front line of defense, he sat in on board meetings. His position had many perks; travel especially as a spokesperson for this  behemoth corporation continually vigilant of antitrust and monopolist criticism.

Ten years have passed. Joey is now a junior at Houndstooth Academy, a boy’s prep school in Brookline, Ma. His sister Ramona, now ten, is the apple of Gilberto’s eye. She loves to draw and wants to be an artist. Maria works with Rosa as a counselor at a battered woman’s shelter in Boston. As for Gilberto, now fifty he is a Senior Vice President on the Board of Atlas International, his firm for the last twenty-five years. 

“You look tired.” Maria hugged him. “You seem to have all these thoughts coming out of your ears.”

He chuckled and kissed her. “We’ ‘ll have to do more traveling.”

She smiled. “Great when, where?”

“Conferences starting next month in New York, then meetings in DC and Atlanta.” 

She nodded and began loosening his tie, unbuttoning his shirt. “So you’ll be talking to politicians.”

He nodded. “Protecting Atlas is like trying to reign in a crazed bronco.” 

She sighed and felt sympathetic to his frustration. “That will be forever thus as long as the acquisition is on their front burner.” 

He nodded. “It has to keep growing. That’s the nature of global sales, distribution, and shipping. More opposition from Congress about our use of drones. Everybody has a handout for political contributions.” 

She noticed a new touch of gray in his hair. His trousers seemed to fit him tighter. “And we’ll be?”

“Dinner parties,  new plant openings. You know the drill. We’re on stage.” 

She noticed he was holding several new brochures for yachts.  “Oh Gilberto, you work so hard. And what you really want is to drag me off?” She searched his eyes for an unspoken answer. 

His eyes brightened. He nodded. “Yes. Want to go back to Niagara Falls and relive our honeymoon?”

“Is that what you want?”

  “I just want us to be together, even in some shady motel in the sticks.”

“I’d hate our being seen at someplace like that. Why not a weekend getaway at the Taj or the Ritz?”

He grinned. “Sure. We can walk across the Public Gardens.”

  She unbuttoned the rest of his shirt. “I want to keep you lean and hungry like a caged tiger ready to spring.”

He growled and kissed her. For long moments they held onto one another, a momentary escape from life’s immediacy.

“Know something,” she said. “You’re bored.”

“You think?” 

“Yes,” she nodded. “I think you need a diversion. Me more.”

I like Me more,” he laughed. “That has real possibilities. Maybe we could meet at a hotel and pretend to be lovers.”

“I’d like that but who needs to pretend.” Then she kissed him longer this time. “I’ll make a reservation for this weekend.”

Ramona rushed into the room. She looked pleadingly at Maria. “Mama there’s a horrible big bug in my room on my chair.”

“Can’t you just swat it?” Gilberto said.

She wrinkled her nose. “No daddy stinks when you squash it.”

Gilberto raised his eyebrows. “You don’t have to kill it. Just put it in a jar. You don’t need your mother for that.”

“Please, mama,” she wailed, started sobbing dramatically.

Maria sighed. “She’s your temperament you know.”

“Please, please mama, please,” wailed the child.

Maria took her hand and forcefully lead her back to her room.

“Do you like staying with Aunt Rosa and Uncle Ramon?” 

“Yes,” she cried out. “They have pizza and lots and apple pie.”

Maris took the bug in her hand, went and opened the window,  pushed up the screen, and tossed it.”

“From now on that’s what you do,” she said. “Do you understand?” The child was gripped in her mother’s voice. She nodded yes. “But do I have to touch it?”

Maria ignored her complaint. “I have to go speak with your father. Please don’t come running in and interrupting us again. Understand?

The child nodded, docile now, calm for the moment.

Joey arrived home from the Houndstooth bus. As he came in Maria immediately noticed the apprehension evident in his expression. He sat across from Gilbert and Maria, tears in his eyes. He sniffled.

“What’s wrong,” she asked him. “Nothing could be that bad. Did you flunk your history test?”

“Worse than that,” he sniffled.

Now he had Gilberto’s attention. “It wasn’t me,” he sobbed. “I didn’t do it. I promised not to tell.”

Gilberto looked stern. “Then tell us!” 

“I promised I wouldn’t. She told me not to. She said it was our secret.”

Maria took his hand and sat beside him on the sofa. She looked into her son’s eyes then said very softly, “Please start from the beginning.”

“I’m just afraid. She doesn’t want anyone to know.”

“But she told you.”

“Who are we talking about?” Gilberto said.

“Sophia,” Joey sobbed. “She said she’d run away. I don’t know how to help her!”

“Start at the beginning,” Maria repeated.

“She’s afraid she’s pregnant,” Joey blurted. “I promised not to tell anyone.”

Gilberto sighed. “And who’s the father?”

Maria stroked Joey’s shoulders. “It’s all right to tell us. Carrying something heavy like that can be awfully difficult.”

She went to Spring weekend at Dartmouth.  I think she got drunk.”

“When did she go,” Gilberto said.

“Over spring break, maybe last month. She’s all confused and doesn’t want to remember or have her parents find out.”

“Are you in love with her?” Gilberto said.

“Not like that,” Joey said. She’s like my older sister. But I promised I’d help her.”

“How?” Gilberto asked.

“She asked if I could give her money. She promised she’d pay me back.”

“I don’t think it’s that easy,” Maria said. “There’s a lot of emotion involved. It’s not like having a tooth pulled.”

Joey’s face was white. He trembled, then choked as though he had bit off too big a slice of life that was stuck in his throat.

“I have money in the bank,” he sobbed. “Birthday and money I earned doing odd jobs. I could give it to her.”

Gilberto shook his head and sighed. “How was your history exam?” he asked.

Joey ignored him and looked at Maria. “I don’t know. I couldn’t study. We’ve been texting a lot. I’m the only person she can tell.”

“What shall we do?” Maria said. She looked at Gilberto. “Your father and I will help come up with something. Please Joey don’t feel disloyal. Big life experiences can be hard on anyone at any age.”

Gilberto cleared his throat, sighed again, and fumbled to get his words in order. Finally, he asked. “Is that everything or is there more you haven’t told us?”

Joey started to cry. Maria reached for a tissue, handed it to him. “But as far as you know…” 

“But I don’t know.” 

(to be continued)

Kat’s Korner

How to Calculate Cat Years to Human Years

One cat year does not equal seven human years. Read on for tips on determining your cat’s age.

A popular misconception is that cats age seven years (in human years) for each calendar year. In fact, feline aging is much more rapid during the first two years of life. A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 during his first year, then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, a cat ages approximately four cat years for every calendar year. Thus, a cat who is 5 in cat years would be approximately 36 in human years.

Note: It should be remembered that a cat who lives outdoors ages far more quickly, perhaps even twice as fast, than an indoor cat. Scroll to the bottom of this article to find out more about cat to human years for outdoor cats.

How to calculate a cat’s age

If you’ve taken in a stray cat or adopted a cat whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine her age in cat years. Here’s how to calculate a cat’s age:

A Cat’s Teeth: Teeth are a great indicator of a cat’s age in cat years. Older cats tend to have more staining than younger cats, assuming the previous owner was negligent in brushing the cat’s teeth. And a kitten’s teeth first come in between two to four weeks; their more permanent set appears at around four months of age. So if you open a cat’s mouth and find permanent, white teeth, the feline is likely to be around a year old. Some yellowing might place the cat between 1 and 2, and tartar build-up on all the teeth indicates that the cat could be between 3 and 5. Missing teeth may mean you have a senior cat on your hands.

A Cat’s Muscle Tone: Younger cats are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older cats are usually a bit bonier and may have some extra skin hanging or protruding shoulder blades.

A Cat’s Coat: The condition of a cat’s coat is another great indicator of a kitty’s age in cat years. Kittens and younger cats usually have soft, fine coats, whereas older cats tend to have thicker, coarser fur. A senior cat may display grays or patches of white.

A Cat’s Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or eye discharge are common in younger cats. A cat with some cloudiness in its eyes is likely to be 12 years old or so. While inspecting the lens, also examine the iris of the eye. Young cats have smooth irises, while the iris of an old cat can sometimes appear somewhat jagged.

A Cat’s Life Span

Felines are generally quite long-lived, though mileage varies depending on owner maintenance and genetic predisposition. In a handful of documented cases, cats have exceeded 30 years in age. Typically, indoor cats may live 12 to 18 years, with many surviving into their 20s.

Outdoor Cats Life Expectancy — How Long Do Outdoor Cats Live, in Cat Years?

Outdoor cats can have a significantly shorter life span than indoor-only cats, often living only two to five years. Pet parents in urban and suburban areas are strongly encouraged to keep their cats indoors.

Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, May 16, 2021

All Signs

We’re in the fires of Mordor! Actually, it’s Mercury Retrograde, which means you will hear from old friends, ex-partners, and old flames, which is either fun or horrifying. (I once tried to hide in the aisles of a video store.) Mercury is retrograde from May 28 – June 22; but the shadow period makes it a longer time: from May 16 – July 8. Zooks! That’s today! You can use this time to wrap up old business and make insightful observations about your past. Avoid buying ground transportation, computers, and cell phones. This week, the Sun moves into Gemini giving each of us a new focus for the next four weeks. Everyone will feel more curious and restless – eager for something new and interesting to happen. (Geminis don’t do boredom.) It’s time to make a cat video!

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your sign will feel this particular Mercury Retrograde more than the other signs because Mercury Retrograde is taking place in the part of your chart that is Mercury’s home. Expect car problems and transportation delays. (Flat tires, failed engines – something.) Get ready for missed appointments and confused communications. Oy! However, you will easily finish studying or writing something. Even though you’re caught up in delays and goofy mistakes, you will enjoy life because it is fast-paced and exciting! Plus, you will appreciate the beauty of your daily surroundings and feel more warmly connected to others. Gosh.)

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Your focus on money, cash flow, and movable possessions will be strong in the next four weeks. (“I can’t believe I own all this stuff.”) Something will prompt you to catalog, organize and get rid of what you don’t need. You will also be more focused on money, cash flow, and earnings. Although cheques in the mail will be late and other delays might be irksome, nevertheless, a moneymaking idea that you had in the past might be worth reconsideration? Why not run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes? You will attract money, goods, and favours to you this month. Likewise, you will buy pretty things and antiques. (It’s who you are.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Oh my, the Sun, Venus, and your ruler Mercury are in your sign for the next four weeks. (Venus moves into Cancer on June 2.) This means the whole world will experience a dazzling display of Gemini energy! Obviously, this is your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year. It’s also why you will feel vigourous, energetic, and enthused about life; while Venus will make you smooth, charming, and diplomatic. Of course, Mercury Retrograde will attract friends and ex-partners back into your world. Mostly this is a good thing because it’s nice to have history with others. Enjoy this lovely boost of energy and attention!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Your personal year is coming to an end; however, your new year is not yet ready to begin. This means the next four weeks are the perfect time to reflect. Look back over your shoulder. How well are you doing at the art of living? What changes do you want for your new year ahead? What goals do you want to make? After all, goals make future decision-making easier and they keep you on track and give you focus. This window of time will be great for doing research. Meanwhile, some of you are swept up in the throes of a secret, passionate, love affair. “Heathcliff!”

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

The next four weeks will bring a welcome change into your life because you will be more popular and more involved with younger people as well as creative, artistic types. (Just what the doctor ordered.) You will enjoy talking to groups and friends online or in person. You’ll be excited about creating new goals for the future. It’s as if you’re waking up after hibernation. “Life! I remember what that was. Yes, it’s time to live again!” Mercury retrograde will attract old friends back into your world; plus, it will help you to accomplish old goals that you never achieved or finished. Relations with friends will be cozy; in fact, a friend could become a lover. “Masks off!”

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Life will be increasingly thrilling during the next four weeks because this is the only time all year the Sun will be sitting at the very top of your chart. This means you will be thrust into the limelight! Everyone will notice you more than usual. But lo! This light is flattering. Everyone admires you especially parents, bosses and VIPs even if you don’t do anything special. (It’s smoke and mirrors.) This is why you will be asked to take on increased responsibilities, and others will come to you for your advice, especially about how to make something look better. Meanwhile, competition or increased physical activity will stir your blood! All hail the valiant Virgo!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The next four weeks will be like a breath of fresh air for you because you will do something to satisfy your urge for adventure, stimulation and a chance to learn something new! You will appreciate the beauty of art, architecture and the crafts of other cultures. Ideally, you would achieve these things through travel, but in these times of Covid restrictions, you probably cannot do this. This means you have to travel in other ways – through books and film. Talk to people from different cultures. You might hear from people far way because Mercury Retrograde will attract them to you. Do what you can to satisfy your love of beauty and learning. Explore new avenues in publishing, the media, medicine and the law.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You are an intense sign and in the next four weeks, your life will become even more intense. (“Her knuckles are very white.”) For starters, romance and love affairs will be passionate! The stuff of movies. This could be because ex-lovers are back on the scene. (Sigh.) Or you might meet someone new through an old friend who has returned to your world? Romantic passion aside, details about inheritances, shared property and insurance matters will be a strong focus. Fortunately, Mercury Retrograde will help you wrap up old business in these matters. You will also receive a gift, an inheritance or a favour from someone in the next month. Major bonus!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

For the next four weeks, the Sun and Mercury retrograde are sitting directly opposite your sign, which is a sure indication that you will hear from ex-partners and friends from your past. Plus, it will give you an opportunity for closure and a chance to learn more and catch up on old news. (Trade lies about the bad old days.) You might even learn more about your style of relating and your values with your closest one-to-one relationships. Meanwhile, your sex drive is amped because of the placement of Mars in your chart. However, this same placement can also indicate disputes about shared property, mortgages, inheritances, loans and debt. Overall picture: A fascinating time with others, especially people from your past.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You are hard-working. “No slackers allowed!” You like efficiency and you hate waste. These are some reasons you’ll be happier in the next four weeks. That’s because your main goal will be to get better organized. You want to work smart and be effective in everything you do. You will make lists and tackle old jobs that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Not only will you work to organize your world, you want to improve your health as well. “I want it all!” Coworkers will be supportive. Please note: Your ability to finish old jobs and work that has been dragging on and on will be stellar. You’ll wrap up this stuff in a flash. Show us your superpower!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You’re entering one of the most fun-filled months of the year! Mercury Retrograde will attract old flames from your past. Meanwhile, parents might hear from kids who wandered off the block. Your personal goal will be to enjoy yourself and express your creative urges. (“Look, ma! No hands!”) Social outings, the arts, sports, playful activities with kids and the freedom to be just who you are and express yourself without fear or hesitation will be the order of the day! In a perfect world, you would go away on a vacation. With current restrictions, you will have to have a vacation the best way you can make it happen. “We’re booking male dancers and ordering a case of wine.”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Your focus on home, family and your personal and private life will be much stronger than usual in the next four weeks. Your interaction with a parent will be significant. Furthermore, you will be in touch with relatives you have not seen or heard from in a while. If they are safely in your bubble, they’ll be perched at your place and eating out of your fridge. Some of you have a strong urge now to redecorate and make your digs look prettier. A few velvet pillows on that new sofa? Fiery Mars will urge you to be active in sports and fun athletics, especially with your kids. Despite these busy distractions, you will value quiet moments to cocoon at home, as well. Nice.

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“We all come from the Goddess

And to Her, we shall return

Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”

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“May the circle be open, but unbroken,

May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

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