GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast: 29 Aug 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

Today’s Affirmation:

I choose to adapt to the circumstances in which I find myself.

I choose to be flexible in my dealings with those around me.

I understand that my way is not the only way –

that inner peace comes from respecting the ways of others,

and that, if I am open, I may gain great insights and happiness

from the ideas and traditions of others.

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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September

The name “September” comes from an old Roman word, “septem,” which actually means 7. That’s right – September was the seventh month of the year on the Roman calendar – It did not become the ninth month until the advent of the Gregorian calendar. 2. The Romans believed that September was looked after by the God of Fire.

Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5

Celtic Tree Calendar: Hazel Moon: August 5 – September 1

THE CURRENT MOON PHASE: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com

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

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as 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 May Also Be Interested In:

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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.

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html

Hardcover: $39.45

Softback: $26.95

eBook (PDF): $6.25

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

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

Find Your Destiny with World Magic

What do you want to be when you grow up? This question is as nerve-racking at the age of 5 as it is at the age of 35, and really, who totally grows up? With this month in energetic Leo, discovering your destiny is powered up by your sense of self-worth.

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Mend a Broken Heart

AUGUST 29, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

How do you mend a broken heart? How do you know where to start? The best thing to do is to start working on yourself.

Gather some rose quartz crystals. The raw crystals are fine. In fact, they tend to have better energy than tumbled stones and crystals.

Sit in a cross-legged position or lie on the floor and get comfortable. Place the crystals around you in a circle pattern. Close your eyes and take several cleansing breaths. Concentrate on your heart and repeat these words as many times as needed:

I love myself, I will be good to me,

I fill my heart with love to set it free.

After crying the tears from

my broken heart,

I will begin again with

a brand-new start.

Love and peace begin with me,

My heart will mend, blessed be!

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Charge Your Batteries

AUGUST 28, 2021 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

The last weekend of August is a great time to get outside. Can you take the day to go to a lake, river, stream, or ocean? Or visit a forest, mountain, or park? With recent attention to what is called nature deficit disorder, there is more and more research documenting the positive effects of nature on the human psyche and body.

While many of us live in cities, we can still find parkland, ravines, and cemeteries with large swatches of nature, wilderness, and greenery for us to connect to the sacred elements.

Take your lunch, a blanket, and a book. Lie down on the ground. (Earth.)

Breathe deeply. (Air.)

Feel the sun on your face or arms. (Fire.)

Wade, swim, or dip. (Water.)

Throughout the day, monitor the shift in your personal energy. Observe the positive effects of nature as it raises your vibration and charges your batteries. (Spirit.)

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A Self-Love Letter

AUGUST 27, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

Fridays are associated with the Norse goddess Freya, who rules over battle but also love and sexuality. Whether or not you’re in a relationship, it’s always worth taking time to practice a little self-love.

Today, write yourself a love letter to save for when you’re feeling down and need a boost of confidence. You may write this in any form you choose, but it’s important that you be specific. Describe the qualities you like best about yourself. List the things you’ve overcome or accomplished, and offer yourself praise. Imagine the future and all of the things you hope for yourself, then encourage your future self to achieve those dreams. Address your letter to your future self from your past self. When you’re done, seal your letter in an envelope addressed to you and say:

Sealed with love from me to me,

Kept for when it’s time to see.

If I should feel lost or hurt,

Remind me of my own self-worth.

Keep your letter somewhere safe and open it when you need a boost

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Sunflower Seed Divination

AUGUST 26, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

Here is an easy divination method using sunflower seeds to get an answer to a simple yes-no question.

You will need a stick for drawing on the ground and some sunflower seeds. Gather the same number of seeds as your current age.

Use the stick to draw a line about a yard long on the ground. On the right side of the line, carve the word “yes,” and on the left side write “no.” Now turn your back on the line, and stand with it directly behind you, with one end at your feet.

Hold the sunflower seeds in both hands and ask your question.

Throw them back over your head and let them land where they may. Turn around and count how many landed on each side of the line. The side with the most seeds is your answer.

If you do this in a rural or private setting, you can leave the seeds for the wildlife to eat. Otherwise clean them up.

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Boost a Spell

AUGUST 25, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

When you’re waiting for a spell to manifest, give it a boost with this simple chant. Visualize things falling into place and burn some incense as you focus your intent on the original spell. Say:

I understand these things take time,

As the pieces fall in line.

To ensure success is mine,

Reinforce it with this rhyme.

Repeat these words anytime you find yourself thinking about your goal and you feel restless waiting for the results.

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Gifts for the Faeries

AUGUST 24, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

No one really knows what faeries are, other than that they almost certainly aren’t the cute little winged creatures you see in a Disney movie. Most Witches believe that they are a form of elemental. Just because most of us never see one doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The fae, or fair folk, as they are sometimes called, should always be treated with respect and just a bit of caution. It never hurts to try to make friends with them. The summer, when flowers are blooming, is the perfect time to do this.

Find a spot in your yard or a park or field that looks like it might be a place that faeries would like, and bring them a gift. It is said that they like flowers, honey, mead, milk, and shiny things. Set down whatever gift you have brought, back away a few paces, and say:

A gift for the faeries, lovely and wise.

May it bring me favor in your eyes.

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Harness the Power of Virgo

AUGUST 23, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

As you probably already know, the sun is now in Virgo! This season is a month-long celebration of sassiness, organization, and accomplishing big goals. Even if you aren’t a Virgo, you can still tap into this energy at any time. Here is a spell that will allow you to do just that.

Take a piece of carnelian, citrine, moss agate, or jade and charge it in the sun all afternoon. Just before the sun goes down, take the stone in your hands, kiss it, and say:

Warmed by the burning sun,

charged by the will of one.

Channel the Virgo vibration, solid

and strong regardless of the station!

Keep the stone with you or on your altar, and use it in your workings when you need a bit of extra juju over the next month.

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Heartwings Love Notes 997 A Place for everything

Heartwings says, “Good habits developed early can last as long as we do if they help.”

The most potent influence on someone’s character and behavior may come quite early in life. It helps us to develop habits that may endure all of our lives. I believe my lifelong desire for order and tidiness evolved from the teachings of an early influence in my life, from my nurse, Emily. Emily, a very loving and tender caretaker who came into my life when I was quite young, although I am not sure exactly when.

I believe she became a member of our family when I was around two and stayed until I was eight and a half. She was a practical nurse. What that meant was that rather than work in a hospital with medical staff, she helped my mother as well as took care of me. Among other things she was a kind of built-in baby sitter, and she also did tasks like laundry, ironing, and sometimes ran errands. She was a wonderful companion for me.

She taught me many lessons. One of them, that has stuck to this day, is that it was important to put things away and to have a consistent place to do that. In my life since this has saved me from having to spend many hours looking for things that otherwise might have been misplaced, or seemingly lost. For instance, I have a couple of locations where I keep my eyeglasses. When I need them, there they are.

I do find it frustrating when on rare occasions things are not where they are supposed to be. Occasionally I get distracted at a crucial moment and do not follow my usual protocol. Those times, however are rare. There are also times when items simply disappear and are nowhere to be found. They then reappear days or occasionally even later in some obvious place where I have looked many times.

This happened to me once with a garage door opener. It vanished for so long we replaced it. Then one day I opened the door of the car on the passenger side and there it sat on the floor, plain as day. Where it had been all those many weeks is a mystery. There have been other items that have done that as well. Sometimes I think they may have temporarily fallen into another dimension or entered a time warp.

I am very grateful to Emily for all the wonderful gifts she gave me in her time with me and my family. If it hadn’t been for her I would not be the person that I am today.

May you find places to put things that helps you to find them easily.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Is there someone in your life who taught you helpful habits? Please share, I so enjoy hearing reader’s stories and will always respond, sooner or later. Please write to me at Tashahal@aol.com and do visit my web pages at www.heartwingsandfriends.com for more love notes and other things as well.

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Stones and Crystals

Join GrannyMoon in a face-to-face the Magick of Stones and Crystal Class on the 3rd Sunday of every month.

12PM – https://www.meetup.com/OrderoftheBlackHat/events/ 

“Eagle Eye” Pietersite

Pietersite, also called “eagle’s eye,” was named in honor of Sid Pieters who discovered it in 1962 in Namibia, Africa. Pietersite is a trade name for a dark blue-grey breccia aggregate made up mainly of hawk’s eye and tigereye. It is a variety of chalcedony (itself a variety of quartz) with embedded fibers of amphibole minerals in varying degrees of alteration. The fibers cause a blue chatoyancy like that seen in tigereye.

Because its swirling colors resemble a storm, pietersite is known as tempest stone. Pietersite is said to center on the spiritual being with the ability to ground an individual to the etheric body–the first or lowest layer in the “human energy field” or aura. Pietersite discharges negative energies and emotional turmoil while cleansing the aura, restoring it to calm. Pietersite is thought to work with the body during meditation, rapidly moving into a higher state of awareness. Pietersite is believed to be a stone of vision and can be used for a vision quest or shaman journey.

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The Journey of Finding a Relationship

The journey to finding a relationship is just that, a journey that uses all of our life wisdom and experiences.

Before we embark upon the journey of finding the relationship that is right for us, we may want to take the opportunity to refine our concept of who we are and our ideas of what we want from life. That way, we are clearer on the kind of person we want to attract into our lives. Part of the journey of finding a mate is learning how to become our own mate. When we can learn to meet our needs without relying on someone else to complete us, we don’t have to form relationships from the space of needing our emptiness to be filled. We can also discover our intrinsic value, separate from what someone else might be reflecting back to us. Getting to know who we are and learning to love ourselves creates a solid foundation of self that we can bring to any relationship.

We are fortunate to live in a time when relationships can unfold at a pace that is right for us and take unique forms. Friendship, dating, open relationships, long term relationships, long distance relationships, or committed relationships — we are free to choose the kind of relationships that we want. If you want to be in relationship, but haven’t found the right one for you, remember that the universe works in perfect order and, therefore, right now your life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to be. Maybe all this time has been part of your preparation period for meeting your intended partner. Even the relationships in our lives that haven’t worked out as we had hoped serve us by teaching us to make better choices in our next relationships.

Finding the relationship we want can come early or later in life. It may even happen again and again in one lifetime. There is no right or wrong for how to find a relationship nor is there a timeline that you have to follow. Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, continue to become your own soul mate, and stay open to love. The journey of finding the right relationship begins with being in right relationship with yourself. 

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Feeling Stressed Out? Try Passionflower

Derived from Passiflora incarnate, a plant native to the southeastern United States, passionflower preparations are calming without being sedating. It is also commonly used to address over-stimulating stress and anxiety, offering a calming solution. This plant can be especially helpful when trying to cram for exams, reach time-sensitive deadlines at work, or need gentle sleep support.

Obviously, as our world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, finding opportunities to calm yourself becomes essential. This herbal support should be paired with taking time to press pause in your day, do a bit of relaxation breathing, and bring yourself into balance. While providing some internal peace, breathing exercises will allow your immune system to be at its best as well.

Passionflower products are available as supplements and tinctures, as a tea, and even as a topical application that can be used to address inflammation and burns.

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Wild Food Profile: Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Seed Flour & Yellow Dock Pancake Recipe

by Dana

This past month, I had a chance to visit Silver Acres, my friend’s 5-acre farm in the thumb of Michigan, where she is practicing rewilding, restoration agriculture, and permaculture.  We were walking through her field and found a good deal of yellow dock that was in seed form–which for the Midwest US, usually happens around Lughnasadh (August 1st) and continues to the Fall Equinox.  While I’ve eaten the young leaves and used the roots as medicine, I haven’t had a chance to try making any seed flour yet–so we set about our task joyfully.  I’m quite impressed by how easy this flour is to make (compared to say, acorn flour) and it cuts nicely with other flours.

Foraging for wild foods is not only a fantastic way to connect deeply with the land but also allows us to reconnect with our ancient ancestral lifeways.  It allows us to connect deeply with the land and bring some of that energy into our own lives.

Yellow Dock Ecology and Foraging

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) is in the buckwheat family, which is part of why she makes a nice flour!   Yellow dock is also known as Curly Dock or Narrowleaf Dock. Yellow Dock is a first-aid responder plant, an opportunistic plant that can quickly spread to new areas after a disruption. Thus, you will often find her growing in areas that have poor soil, have recently been disrupted (such as construction sites), or other places where the land was recently disturbed.  As part of her ecological function, she begins to break up compacted soil with her deep taproot. One of the reasons it’s good to learn how to eat and make medicine of yellow dock in all of her forms is that she is considered an “invasive” weed in the USA, and thus, ethically-based foraging is a wonderful way to keep this plant in check.

Yellow Docks are perennial plants that can, when mature, produce up to 40,000 seeds per year.  The seeds can stay in the ground for up to 50 years, and when the opportunity arises, the yellow dock will arise from the soil!  This is how they are able to so quickly colonize disturbed areas.

Once you find a patch of yellow dock, you can return to it over and over again for food and medicine.  The seeds persist on the plants into the winter and slowly drop as winter turns to spring. The easiest time to spot them is after the seeds have turned to a beautiful rust-brown and dried (usually by mid-August here in Pennsylvania). Thus, you have a fairly long harvest window with regards to the seeds. Each year, Yellow Dock also produces curled leaves (see photos) which are fairly palatable when young (cook in several changes of water).

The very good news in terms of foraging ethics is that because Yellow Dock is considered invasive and can be found in abundance almost everywhere, you can harvest as much yellow dock seeds as you want for flour.  A few hours of harvesting and processing can yield considerable amounts of very easy-to-process flour!  I still recommend that you seek permission from the plants and offer gratitude if you have permission to harvest.  I have found it is easiest to harvest these with a basket or paperback.  Just snap off or cut the mature seed stalk and place them into a bag.

Harvest the seed heads when they are dry for the best flour. If you have to harvest them wet, let them sit out in the sun until fully dry.  It is hard to strip them from the stalks when they are wet.

Preparing Yellow Dock Flour

Yellow Dock flour has three major steps for preparation: remove seed heads from the stalk; toast seed heads on the stove or in the oven; and then grind them in a coffee grinder, mortar, and pestle, or magic bullet.  I’ll walk you through each step.

I will note here that some foraging books say Yellow Dock Seed is not worth harvesting because it’s impossible to separate the seeds from the chaff (the seed casing).  But in the case of Yellow Dock, you simply grind everything up together.

Remove seed heads from the stalk. Once you have harvested, find a nice place outside to sit and strip the seed heads by hand into a large bowl or another vessel. Return the stalks to the land (somewhere where you want yellow dock to come up, as there are likely seeds remaining!).  I suggest doing this outside because it is a messy job!

Toast the seeds.  The next step is to toast the seeds.  You can do this on the stovetop in an iron skillet- just add a few handfuls of seeds, stir them till you hear popping, and then remove from heat and do the next batch. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350.  You’ll see a difference in both the color and smell of the seeds. This step is really worth it as it produces a much better-tasting flour!

Beautiful ready-to-enjoy Yellow Dock Flour

Grind the seeds. Using a Vitamix, magic bullet, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind the seeds in small batches.  You will want to work to get as fine of a grind as possible on your flour.  You’ll end up with something looking like the photo on the right!

Storage: Like other wild flours, this has about a six-month shelf life. You can extend the shelf life by freezing it (where it will stay good up to two years.

Recipes

There are few things to know about Yellow Dock flour. First, Yellow Dock flour does not contain any gluten, so it will produce a much “flatter” bread than wheat flours, which you should keep in mind when using it.  When it is cooked on its own, it has a bitterness that can be a bit unpalatable (e.g. straight yellow dock flour) so I recommend using it in combination with another flour (use 25% or 50% yellow dock).  The bitterness is considerably lessened into something quite delicious when you add some sweetness.  I don’t find that it has a particularly strong taste but rather will take on the taste of the other ingredients (like acorn flour).

Yellow Dock Pancakes

I adapted my acorn pancake recipe for use with Yellow Dock, and it works great!

1 cup yellow dock flour

1 cup other flour (white, wheat, or GF)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs (duck eggs if you can get them!)

1/4 cup of oil or butter

2 cups milk

1/3 cup sweetener (I use maple syrup, you can also use sugar or honey)

This recipe makes about 12 pancakes.

Combine all dry ingredients then add wet ingredients slowly and stir till well mixed. Dock seeds can tend to absorb moisture, so check to see if its too thick– if so, add more milk. If it’s too runny, add a little more flour.  Prepare a griddle, allowing it to heat up. Check your heat by putting a tiny bit of batter on the griddle and seeing how it does and then adjust your heat accordingly.  Lightly oil your griddle (butter, olive oil, bacon grease) and then pour out pancakes using a 1/2 cup measuring cup.  Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, until you see bubbles rising through.  Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Serve hot with fresh jam, maple syrup, and butter.  You can freeze the leftovers.

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Ghost Hunting Theories

Fictional Television Characters That Inspired Future Paranormal Investigators

Posted: 29 Aug 2021 02:00 AM PDT

Sometimes, all it takes as a kid is to see someone doing something that so intrigues you, you park it in the back of your mind until you’re an adult. When you can make your own choices for hobbies and interests, you might file through that best-of reel and recall something that has always interested you. For those of us in paranormal research, our muses might have been some interesting minds in the TV and movie realm who made uncovering mysteries look, well, downright creepy cool!

Scooby Doo Gang

Children of the 70s were first introduced to the Scooby Doo Gang in 1970. It ran the majority of the decade and went into permanent syndication for future generations to get hooked on the spooky jazzy music, the frightened dog and his owner, the brainy girl, the leader guy, and the redhead as they tried to solve unexplained mysteries. They poked around dark mansions and freaky forests and all kinds of scary locations and we waited for them to shake ghosts out of the dusty drapes, only to find that the cases were explained by very human means. And then they trapped the crook.

This was really a first debunking team we had seen growing up and they set the stage for us thinking that perhaps there is something going on that is explainable. We were usually disappointed when they found out the butler or someone did it. But, they left us with plenty of hints that maybe there really are ghosts and yeti and other unexplained things, only not responsible for the crime that occurred.

The idea of some friends piling into a van to solve a mystery was enough to get most of us kids excited about driver’s licenses and poking around in the dark, even when we’re scared

SCOOBY DOO TRIVIA: Velma’s famous line, “My glasses; I can’t see without them!” was not originally scripted for the show. During a table read for the voice artists, Velma’s voice-over actress Nicole Jaffe, who was near-sighted as well, lost her glasses and uttered a variation of what became Velma’s famous catchphrase. The writers liked the line so much that Velma losing her glasses became one of the show’s trademark gags. Velma loses her glasses in the first episode, Scooby Doo, Where Are You!: What a Night for a Knight (1969), but the actual line is first spoken in Scooby Doo, Where Are You!: Decoy for a Dognapper (1969).

Carl Kolchak

“Kolchak: The Night Stalker” was a very short-lived series in the 1970s, but it created a huge influence on a generation of kids and teens.

Carl Kolchak was an underpaid and overabused reporter who had a knack for being in the right place and the right time for coming across the unexplained. With his trusty camera and nosy personality, he managed to get himself right in the middle of threat from dangerous entities and an bellicose editor at the newspaper.

Kolchak was bumbling but persistent. That persistence taught us a lot about pushing past fear and darkness to find the truth. And, he didn’t even need a sidekick, unless you count his cheap straw hat.

KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER TRIVIA: (LINK)

The series was cancelled because Darren McGavin asked to be released from his contract. He became disappointed with the series’ scripts and was exhausted from his uncredited producing duties. Three scripts were left unproduced. Two of them were adapted into a “Kolchak” series of comic books in 2003.

Mulder and Scully

“X-Files” show began in 1993 and went almost a decade. It left a devoted audience beyond measure. It involved conspiracy theories, monsters, aliens, and unexplained miracles. No matter what the subject, we were hooked on the two investigators; a skeptical doctor (Dana Scully) and a hopeful believer (Fox Mulder).

These FBI investigators pulled out cold cases and unexplained happenings around the country and went out to investigate, trying hard to balance disbelief with humbling admissions they had no clue what or how things were going on.

Most of us itched to have a hard file we could caress to learn all about prior investigations, to go to the site, to talk to witnesses, and to have resources available to uncover secrets. It behooves us as investigators today to keep a few skeptics on the team, a few science-minded folks, and a couple of open-minded believers.

Ghostbusters

The 1980s hit movie “Ghostbusters” was just gol-darned fun, but what was really fun was the child-like way the team got a neat-o firehouse and hearse and dolled them up and started an official team with shirts and all! Most ghost hunting teams today have to say that being part of a team that is called in to deal with ghosts is as ghostbusters as you can get.

Ghostbusters Trivia: (LINK) The party scene where Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) mingles with his party guests (commenting on the price of the salmon, and so on) is not only taken in one continuous shot, but is almost entirely improvised.

MOVIES WITH PARANORMAL INVESTIGATING

The Amityville Horror

The Changeling

The Haunting

The Legend of Hell House

The Entity

Poltergeist

The Conjuring

Ghostbusters

Kolchak the Night Stalker – Complete Series

My Clown Horror Short Story – Enjoy!

This is a short story by me. It’s about a widow with panic attacks sent by her therapist to the carnival to overcome her fears. Enjoy the twist ending! My over two dozen published books can be found – HERE.

“Your assignment is to go out and do one thing alone this week. Shopping doesn’t count. You have to actually go to a place made for recreation and be seen alone. It can be a restaurant, a museum, whatever sounds good. But,” Ruth’s therapist leaned forward in emphasis, “it must be some place you would never normally go with or without someone. You need novelty.”

Ruth clenched her fingers into her purse on her lap. “You mean like going to a car show or something like that?” She must have made a look of disgust because Jeremy laughed.

         “Yes. Something like that. What’s going on this weekend?” He asked and picked up a paper and started to shuffle through it.

         “I-I’ll find something.” She assured him.

         “Do you understand why we’re doing this, Ruth?” He asked as he remained behind the wall of newsprint.

         “To learn to be my own person?” She mumbled, always feeling like he was a teacher and she was the dimwitted student in class.

         “Aha!” He snapped the newspaper shut, a huge grin on his gaunt face. “There’s a carnival in town. That’s just the thing for you.”

         She felt her stomach flutter in response. She hated the sounds, the lights, the scary rides, the creepy workers, and the…clowns.

         “Do I have to go to that?” She asked.

         His face went grim as he leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. “Ruth, because of your reaction, I’m certain this is exactly what you should do. You go to the carnival and spend a good two hours. I expect you to leave there having found yourself.”

         “At a carnival?”

         Five hours later standing before the ticket booth with cash in hand, watching the couples and young families with small children rush through the dirt lot and point at the brightly lit noisy rides, Ruth checked her watch.

         I get to leave at 11.

         Feeling out of place by herself, she nervously skirted along the Tilt-A-Whirl ride where the smell of fresh vomit filled the air and gagged as she turned the corner and ran straight into her most hated fear.

         A clown!

         His silken billowy costume blew in the breeze, snapping like the sails on a ship. Ruth stumbled back, terrified he would touch her.

The clown pulled his mouth down to exaggerate the painted on frown. Above his pout, a red ball created his prosthetic nose. Beady dark eyes clashed with the white pancake makeup and tiny bowed eyebrows were sketched in to make him look perpetually perplexed. He had a blue teardrop on his cheek. His hair was a skullcap with red wiry protrusions coiling out each side of his head. Everything about him was big, bright, and loud.

         Instinctively, she stepped back again. He imitated her motion as if mocking her.

         Feeling like the frightened child she had once been at the circus, she raced off towards the restrooms and went inside. Within the stall, Ruth held her hands to the walls and gasped for her breath.

         Panic attack number one.

         The rush of numbness raced through her body like a tsunami. Her lips tingled, her heart pounded wildly and she beads of sweat dribbled down her spine.

         It’s just a man who’s paid to put on makeup and a silly outfit and big shoes and wander around the park to drum up business and festivity. He’s not coming after you, you big baby!

         Jeremy was right, if she sat through the panic attack and observed it and it rose and fell and then was over.  She didn’t die or go crazy.

         One accomplishment at a time.

Ruth straightened up her sweater and walked outside again, determined to pretend to be normal. She’d watched other people do many things alone like eating in restaurants and traveling and they looked very comfortable in their skin. She would just pretend she was one of those people who never thought twice about going anywhere they wanted, doing anything they desired.

         Deciding to firmly try and “find herself,” Ruth wandered over to the ring toss game and promptly ordered three sets of rings to toss. The other people around the display were tossing their rings to the bottles in the middle, laughing and cheering as they tried to win a prize. When she tossed the first ring, she smiled, feeling as if she were part of the crowd.

         Someone next to her said, “it’s a scam, you know. The way the bottles are lined up, you can’t land one.” He offered.

His friend elbowed him. “That’s not true, miss. You can do it. You just have to spin it. See?” He took his ring and spun it and it circled a bottleneck and then flung itself at the shifty man running the game.

         The men laughed and Ruth found herself joining them.

         “When you open yourself up to the world and join the living, Ruth, you will find you are alive and not dead with your husband, Ricky. He would want you to live again. You’re much too young to be buried with him.”

    Jeremy’s words had never been so true.

         Feeling more secure to try something on her own, she walked over to the Scrambler ride and gave the man her ticket. He clinked her into her little bench seat and she watched the entire carnival turn into a blur of red, blue, green, and white lights.

Ruth laughed as the wind caught her long hair and flapped it around her until she couldn’t see which way she was facing. The ride continued to slam the seats to the edges of its reach and then back again, around and around. The smells of the carnival went from nasty to sweet. Candy corn, funnel cakes, corn dogs filled the night air mixed with the distant wood smoke of a fall night.

Ruth closed her eyes and laughed joyously as she was slammed yet again in her seat to the limits of the ride’s scope. The tinny sounds of the music and the dinging of the muscle hammer attraction filled her ears.

When Ruth climbed down from the ride, her hair was a mess, her sweater askew, her walking unstable from the dizzying ride. And, she’d never felt so alive in the past two years!

         Ordering a huge ball of pink cotton candy that matched her sweater, she wound the tendrils around her finger and nibbled it off with childish delight.

Several men passed by her, watching her licking at her pink finger and looking sheepishly embarrassed for her delight. One even winked at her!

Feeling a flutter of life unfold within her chest, she sighed. She felt like a woman again. She felt like she was no longer invisible. She felt as if she were interacting with her surroundings instead of just cutting through them on her way to another place, never staying still long enough to make human interactions.

         Proud and contented, Ruth turned, holding her head up high, spine erect, she felt taller, more slender, more graceful. She smiled with her secret knowledge and then licked the sugar from her lips when she felt eyes upon her.

When Ruth turned her eyes caught the clown again. His arms were crossed over his massive chest and his dark eyes were focused on her, the painted frown seeming even more anguished than before. His expression reminded her of her own expression only a half-hour ago.

It was a childish threat, but she couldn’t help feeling uneasy that he’d noticed her out of all the people in the carnival and all the distractions. What did he want?

         She began a steady walk around the carnival grounds, nervously capturing glimpses of his red and white satin costume. Was he following her? She tried to zig-zag between the rides, but now she was absolutely certain he was chasing her. It sent a shiver down her spine to consider him getting any closer.

Without realizing it, Ruth approached the edge of the carnival. She stopped short and looked back to the clown standing not 20 feet away openly studying her.

         Heartbeat hastening, Ruth searched around for a safe harbor. She was at the Ferris wheel now, the last ride on the edge of the forest clearing. All Ruth’s progress in one evening was going to be ruined by the last vestiges of childhood fear rearing its head.

         Jeremy would tell her to go to the clown and have him engage her in some trickery, but the primitive part of her mind had taken over. Heart racing, palms sweating, she handed her last ticket to the ride attendant and rushed forward onto the bench seat.

         A whoosh beside her caught her attention as a blur of white and red climbed into the seat beside her. The attendant locked the bar in place.

         “Sir!” She screamed out. “We’re not together.”

         The attendant couldn’t hear her through the grinding of the gears as he moved her bucket up one and filled the next seat.

         The clown’s satiny fabric fluttered against her arm. She withdrew to her side of the bench and looked out into the dark forest, desperate to endure a few minutes of ride beside him.

         Trying not to look curious, she peeked cautiously at him. The clown was studying the distance as they continued up higher and higher until the last seat was filled and the ride could begin.

         Desperate for some sign of humanity about him, Ruth noted that he was Ricky’s size and had dark eyes like his. She bit her lip and turned away. This was not Ricky. This was a stranger. One who chose to spend his evenings behind makeup and a costume where he could know what everyone else was, but they would never know what he was.

         What is he?

         With a nagging inner voice, Ruth imagined what Jeremy would say. He’d prod her on about making the clown a real person and not a fictional character. He would tell her to take his teeth away as she had taken away the teeth of her panic attacks by enduring them and doing things in spite of them.

         “I know clowns aren’t supposed to speak, sir, but I was wondering. Why did you get on this ride with me?”

         He turned slowly and studied her with his black eyes.

         “You wanted to frighten me? You saw that I was scared, didn’t you?”

         He raised one of his thinly marked brows as if puzzled. The exaggerated pose was almost comical.

         “I’m really not scared of you.” She insisted firmly as the ride began its fast ascent and descent into the night sky. She could see in the glowing lights of the ride her own cowering figure in his dark eyes.

         He tilted his head to one side as if he didn’t buy it.

         “See.” She insisted, putting her hand on his. He remained still. She retracted.

“You’re just a man in a costume, right? I mean, I’m not a kid. Kids are scared of clowns. Adults know they’re just normal people wearing makeup.” She reached to touch the white of his face, but his hand caught hers.

         “I’m sorry.” She blushed excitedly. His hand was warm and by the scent and size of him, she could feel the powerful man he was beneath the costume. It made her mouth go dry.

         He guided her hand to his wide muscular thigh in his balloon-shaped pants. She could feel the muscles tighten at her touch. It was a male reaction, the same reaction that tightened his hip muscles and drew his groin into a pool of heat and throbbing ache when aroused. Curiously, she spread her fingers on the clown’s thigh, feeling the width of his leg, the silken fabric, and listening above the sounds of the carnival below.

         Realizing how wrong it was to touch a stranger’s leg, Ruth lifted her hand.

The clown looked at her.

She could tell by the corner of her eye, but she was childishly afraid to look at the face too long with its grossly exaggerated frown.

         His huge hand glided to her thigh, feeling her leg through her taut jeans. His hand was so big and powerful, so warm. His breathing caught.

         She looked up at his face cautiously, his eyes closed as he held her leg. He seemed to tremble inwardly. The ride jerked to a stop and she gasped. The clown’s hand lifted from her thigh leaving a hot place where it had rested.

         The attendant grasped their cart and steadied it, opening it up. The clown stepped out and walked down the plank and Ruth followed feeling unsure of what the usual interactions with ride attendants and civilians were.

When she got to the end of the ramp, he was gone.

         Certain she’d done more than enough for a night, Ruth wandered back towards the restrooms before leaving. Near the line of forest trees, she saw something bright. The clown. He was holding a balloon and his grotesquely painted face frowning perpetually.

         She looked around her and realized he was staring at her. She walked over to him, unsure what to say to a man who was sworn to silence.

         He held out his hand, giving her the balloon and she smiled at him.

“Thank you for helping me get over my fear of clowns.”

         She turned to leave, not sure what he wanted from her. His hand came down on her shoulder and she turned back, almost hoping he wanted something more. Perhaps another caressing touch. It had been so long since she’d been touched that way, she flushed with embarrassment that a clown had been the first one to reach out and connect with her physically.

         It is certainly a night of firsts.

         He leaned into her under the shadows of the trees. “You were frightened of me?” He whispered in a rusty voice that sounded as if it were barely ever used. “Are you now?”

         She shook her head, her body shivering with arousal at the husky timber of his voice.

“I am no longer afraid of you, either. Thank you for helping me overcome my fear of…humans.”  He confessed and then turned and strolled off into the crowd.

)0(

Gilberto Rides Again Chapter 16

by Stephen Halpert

Greenbush, North Carolina was the quintennial American small town. From the balcony of their hotel Gilberto and Maria looked out onto the town common, the brick façade of the Public Library, several white towered churches, a small cluster of narrow shops with strong Confederate overtones. Less than a half mile away was a filling station, a hardware store, a small high school and a modest three story, early twentieth century building housing Clay Calhoun Shoestrings. Above the building an old billboard read: Clay Calhoun Shoestrings for the Confederacy 1864.

Gilberto turned to Maria and frowned. “This feels more like a movie set than a town.”

Maria had changed into a silky robe. She grinned at him. “I hope we don’t get fat on Southern fried cooking.”

“What a horrible thing to suggest.”

“We’ll have to devote time to exercise, perhaps every morning and maybe at night too before we go to bed.”

“That could be fun.” He looked at her slyly. “What kind of exercise?”

She giggled. “Oh, you know the usual: pushups, leg lifts, stretching.”

He hugged her. “I had hoped for a different kind of exercise.”

She smiled. “What exactly might that be?”

“A trip to the moon,” he grinned.

She sighed. “I didn’t bring my gossamer wings.”

“We’ll manage. We’re meeting the others downstairs in the Jeb Stuart Tavern at six. That gives us better than an hour.”

She nodded. “I’ll need time to dress. By the way, be warned. Our daughter has become insistent on having her own cell phone.”

Gilberto frowned. “But she’s only ten!”

Maria nodded. “I know. I told her to talk to you about it when we get back.”

“Thanks. I guess we can pick her up one at the drug store.”

She said she wanted the same as Joey has.”

He frowned. “But that costs over a thousand dollars.”

“You’ll figure that out.”

“I will huh!” He kissed her, an encompassing kiss that made him want more.

She laughed and wriggled against him. “You know how to get me all flustered.”

They kissed again. She touched his cheek and said softly. “I pray you’ll never get tired of me.”

“Why would you even think something like that?”

She gazed up at him and fluttered her eyelids. “Nothing ever changes with you Gilberto. The minute we’re alone in a hotel no matter what time of day or night it’s like that first time we were together, over and over again.”

He nodded. ” What can I tell you. That way we keep each other young.” He lifted her and carried her to the bed. “I don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a phone for a ten-year-old. That doesn’t seem right.”

She frowned. “Yes, I know.” Her hand pressed against the mattress. “Not the most comfortable bed I’ve ever sat on.”

He stretched out beside her. “You’re right. Maybe the mattress is stuffed with old shoestrings.”

“I hope it doesn’t do in your back.

He laughed, reached for her and they began seriously kissing.

The bedside phone chimed. Billy Buzz, Atlas’s CEO was on the line. “Gilberto, buddy. I don’t like their corporate counsel. He reminds me of a hanging judge at a Klan meeting. Worse some of their principles come on like dunderheads but under that bland Southern exterior, they’re downright ball busting shrewd.”

Gilberto sighed and then squirmed as Maria tickled him. “Maybe they want to keep their company and resent a hostile takeover.”

Buzz snickered. “A little late for that now, buddy. Keep your eye on their corporate counsel Colonel Cornelius Dimwittie. He’s slick as skid marks on an icy pavement.”

Gilberto frowned. Buzz was talking way too fast; not a good sign; was his blood pressure leaping off the charts?”

Gilberto shook his head at Maria. “I guess Sara’s got everything lined up.”

Buzz laughed. “She’s sweettalking Dimwittie. It’ll be the death of me, but we’ll get this merger nailed down in time for me to get my space flights, up, up and away.”

Gilberto laughed. “And Atlas will start making deliveries on the moon?”

Buzz chuckled. “You got it Gilberto. “We’ll have our own fleet of space stations; each with a honeymoon suite for the rich and famous. Outer space, Brave new planetary world. But I’ll tell you whoever gets those settlements in place first,” he paused. “Where the hell are my antacid tablets.” Gilberto heard rattling noises. “Ok, you and that hot wife of yours be ready for this dinner and signage ceremony. Over and out.” The call ended. Gilberto sighed.

“All is well with the Atlas CEO?” Maria’s asked.

He grinned. “Yes, but no need to miss an opportunity before the main event.” He reached for her, pulled her to him, and as their clothes scattered, they laughed and lost themselves in each other.

“Stop,” she finally gasped. “I need to get dressed and ready. Please Gilberto, tonight when the lights are low, I promise I’ll be yours.”

“Promise?” he asked holding onto her.

She giggled. “You know it, Superman.”

“Look away, Dixieland,” he grinned.

The Jeb Stuart tavern was designed in knotty pine and fluted glass mirrors. A bronze statue of Stonewall Jackson was poised at one end of the bar facing, across the room, a chiseled life-sized Robert E. Lee in polished marble.

The walls held antique oil paintings of the bravest sons of the South; they glared at any Yankee who dared to sit nearby and make eye contact.

As they came in, Gilberto saw Sarah Midgley hovering over an elderly gentleman in a formal Victorian waistcoat. He was amused to watch her fussing over him, fondling his lapels and whispering in his ear. She leaned over and planted a kiss on his ruddy cheek. He toasted her and gazed at her, his eyes dreamy.

Ramon joined Gilberto and Maria at their table, beneath General Jackson.

“Spooky,” was all Ramon said. “I feel like I’m trapped almost two hundred years in the past.”

“You are,” Gilberto said. “The Sons of the South,” He waved his hand.

Gilberto thought Maria looked adorable in her new prim black cocktail dress, modest yet inviting. He had been with her when she picked it out. He knew she loved it when he helped her choose something special.

Ramon showed his appreciation. He grinned at Maria. “You are a lady of style.”

Gilberto smiled. “We bought it together at that fancy shop at the Pru. By the way do your daughters have cell phones.”

“Of course,” Ramon said. “It’s the twenty first century after all.”

“Mona wants us to get her the same one Joey has.”

Ramon raised his eyebrows. “But she’s only ten.”

“She’s insistent,” Maria said. “It will be hard getting her to accept something cheaper. Today these kids know all the models.”

“I’ll be getting a new one,” Ramon said. “I’ll see if I can give her mine.”

“That would be so sweet,” Maria smiled.

“All the bells and whistles,” Ramon assured them. It even comes with its own leather carrying case.”

“She’ll love it,” Maria said.

Gilberto smiled. “You’re a buddy.”

To Be Continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner

Cat Tip of the Month: When your beloved cat crosses the Rainbow Bridge, be open to the paranormal. They may wish to come back and visit from time to time.

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

By Susan Logan McCracken

Cats are possibly the most athletic, graceful animals on the planet. Certain breeds, like the Oriental Shorthair and Cornish Rex, can scale a mantel filled with knickknacks without knocking a single one over. It’s one of their most impressive talents. So why is the internet filled with videos that show cats knocking stuff off of high places like tables and countertops?

Even though this behavior may be funny sometimes, it can be harmful at other times if something breakable shatters when it hits the floor. This behavior can also be a problem if the object is something valuable, like your smartphone or a family heirloom. To keep your cat and household safe and happy, here are some basic feline needs to consider and how to avoid having your home trashed.

Cats Test Everything

Cats want to know the nature of everything in their territory. They want to know: Can I eat this? Will this eat me? Is this a safe place to nap? Is this a private bathroom? Is this fun to play with?

Cats test everything by sniffing it, biting down on it, or using their paws to bat it around. And if it moves when they bat it, they chase it as they would go after prey. Most of the things they bat at are roughly the size of their natural prey animals: mice, birds, lizards, and other small animals. Tile, wood, and laminate floors are extra fun because anything that lands on them will slide around if it doesn’t break.

What you can do: Batting stuff around is natural feline behavior and cats need to engage in it to thrive. Provide mouse-sized toys they can bat around and pounce on, but keep your breakables and valuables where your cats can’t get to them.

Cats Need to Play

Cats love to play. In fact, they need it to stay happy and healthy. Play provides exercise, which indoor cats may have trouble getting enough of. Play also keeps their hunting skills sharp. If they know something moves when they bat it, they take mental notes and routinely return to that spot and object.

Cats are entertained by batting and chasing things that slide across floors; that is until they disappear under furniture. We’ve lost many pens this way, but we find them whenever we move the furniture for spring cleaning.

What you can do: Provide your cat with playtime and toys they can bat around and chase each day. When they play with something they shouldn’t, redirect their attention to their toys.

Cats Crave Attention from You

Knocking stuff off high places can be a sign that your cat needs more attention. If your cats aren’t getting adequate attention, they may resort to doing whatever they know will get you to notice them.

So when you see your cat knock your cellphone off the table, chances are you will say your cat’s name, jump up and pick it up. To your cat, you just participated in the game, and his effort to gain your attention worked, which reinforces the behavior.

What you can do: When you see your cat knocking stuff off the counter, ignore the behavior. This teaches your cat that this is not the way to get your attention. Wait a minute. Then redirect your cat’s attention to appropriate toys and spend about 10 to 15 minutes playing with him.

Why Cats DON’T Knock Stuff Over

I’ve always been impressed by cats’ ability to jump onto a shelf or counter covered in objects without knocking anything over. How can they be so graceful?

Aside from their athleticism, cats walk with a precise gait, meaning that their hind paws step into the same tracks as their front paws. They also step lightly onto their tiptoes and paw pads to be undetectable to prey.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, August 29, 2021

All Signs

Here’s the skinny on Mercury retrograde: Three times a year, Mercury “appears” to go backwards relative to planet Earth. There are also two shadow periods: beforehand, as it slows down; and afterwards, as it catches up to the degree it was when it went retrograde. Do we care? Yes! These are poor times to buy Mercury-related items: cars, trucks, bikes, computers, cell phones and printers. They are also poor times to initiate anything. Howevah! Mercury retrograde encourages introspection and it helps us finish old business. In two weeks, Mercury will slow down before going retrograde at the end of the month. This is a heads up for anyone who wants to begin something new. Remember: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” And for the procrastinators: So is tomorrow.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is a productive week for you because both the Sun and your ruler Mars will help you get a lot done. “Oorah!” In fact, you’ll be so busy accomplishing things, you will start delegating to others. Midweek, you might feel less energetic for 48 hours. You might be confused about your motivation; or perhaps your energy will feel low. Whatever the case, don’t worry about this because it’s temporary. This is a lovely week to deal with those who are closest to you because your exchanges with others will be spontaneous. Warm feelings will abound because both Mercury and Venus are opposite your sign. This is your week to work hard and party hard!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Lucky you! This week you’re in play mode! Grab every chance to enjoy the company of others and explore social outings including playful activities with kids. Sports events will appeal. If you are in competitive sports events, know that in midweek you might feel less energetic. This might also be a confusing time for romance. Of course, all is not “play and no work” – you will be very hands-on when it comes to your job. In part, this is because coworkers are supportive. In fact, some of them are so supportive, a work-related romance will begin. Meanwhile, your public reputation continues to shine in the eyes of others. You rock!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Some kind of chaotic or demanding situation at home requires your attention. Be aware of what’s going on because there might be an element of confusion, especially midweek. Take care of what you can and focus on the needs of a parent (if appropriate). Meanwhile, Mercury and Venus will attract many opportunities for playful outings, socializing, sports events, fun activities with kids and opportunities to enjoy the arts and the entertainment world. Fun possibilities for this week! Look for opportunities to travel or explore avenues in education, the media, publishing and anything to do with medicine and the law because these are the areas that favour you this year.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Your fast-pace continues! Not only are you keen to learn new information about something (this is a great time to study); you want to enlighten people about what you know. You’re enthusiastic something. Be aware that you might encounter some kind of hesitation or confusion that makes you second guess yourself. Meanwhile, issues at home are positive. You’re interested in DIY projects and repairs at home as well as redecorating. You also want to entertain at home. Family discussions might take place this week. If so, someone has your back because relations with family members are mutually beneficial right now.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Money continues to be a major focus for you. Money, earnings, cash flow, and also your possessions. This might also involve a major purchase? Be careful midweek because of on Wed. and Thurs., you might be confused about something. If this is the case, do not act. Don’t make a financial error on a bad hunch. Your urge to communicate to others is strong now. This is why you’re eager to talk to siblings, relatives, neighbours and friends. This same influence will make you just as eager to read and learn new information, or write and share information with others. So much to do! So little time. Continue to look for ways to make money from your words because they exist!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

This continues to be a powerful time for you because the Sun is in your sign along with feisty Mars. This gives you energy! Admittedly, midweek around Wed.-Thurs., you might be confused about something and not sure whether or not to act push your agenda. If you have doubts – do nothing. Better safe than sorry. Meanwhile, Mercury and Venus are in your Money House, which is good news! Trust your moneymaking ideas and be confident in your financial negotiations with others. When shopping, you will want to buy pretty things for yourself and others. Also, you will tend to attract money to you, which is why this is a good time for negotiations because you will might up feeling richer!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Messages are coming your way this week. Both the Sun and Mars will encourage you to keep a low profile, and work alone or behind the scenes. (Same as last week.) However, Mercury in your sign makes you eager to talk to others. You have something to say! Furthermore, with Venus in your sign, you feel more sociable and friendly with everyone. In fact, this week is the perfect time to make peace with others, especially if you have been at odds or fighting. Or perhaps, you will act as a go-between to help others? Of course, this kind of role is your metier – you excel at bringing people with differing views to the point where they find a common ground. You are the peacemaker.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This continues to be a popular time for you, which is why people will seek you out. Someone might want your advice. Almost certainly, you will take a leadership role in a group or an organization. You might be involved in some kind of competition with someone at this time. If so, be aware that your energy could be challenged midweek (Wed.-Thur.). The Moon is an excellent time to define goals for the future. Meanwhile, your ability to research is enhanced because of the placement of Mercury at this time. You might ferret out secrets. Speaking of which, some of you are involved in a secret love affair.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This week, the Sun is still at high noon in your chart, which is good for you. (It happens only once a year for four weeks.) It’s important to know that you have this advantage, so that you can use it to advance your agenda with bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs. However, do not press your case on Wed. and Thurs. because everything will be “weaker” for you. Just tread water. Meanwhile, interactions with younger, creative, talented people will likely enrich your life in some way. Be receptive to this. Actually, any kind of group setting will benefit you. This week, friendships will thrive and grow because your enthusiasm and you positive take on life will attract people to you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

This continues to be a great time to study or do anything to expand your grasp of politics, religion and social issues. Your desire to learn and broaden your horizons is strong this week. (Like last week.) Therefore, grab every chance to travel and learn new things to satisfy your sense of adventure and your desire to expand your knowledge of the world. Discussions with parents and bosses will be successful because both Mercury and Venus are at the top of your chart paving the way for relations with authority figures. You will be confident in share your views; and they will be willing to listen to you. In fact, relations with authority figures will be very warm and mutually receptive at this time. (Perhaps even romantic.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This could be a tricky week when it comes to financial negotiations. In one way, you are confident and strong; however, midweek, you might feel confused about financial negotiations or about pressing your case. If so, do not act. Wait until everything is clear and obvious to you. Midweek something could be confusing or misleading. Meanwhile, travel appeals! Especially travel for pleasure and good times. Some of you might strike up a new relationship or even a love affair with someone who is “different”, perhaps from another culture or a different country. With Jupiter in your sign now, you can’t go wrong. Everything will tend to go your way. It’s important to know this so that you can take a chance or play the longshot.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Remember that at this time, while the Sun is opposite your sign, you will need more sleep than usual. (Go to bed.) Partnerships are important for you now. In fact, with the Sun opposite your sign, you have more objectivity to see your style of relating in your closest relationships. Meanwhile, keep your pockets open because both Mercury and Venus will attract money, gifts and favours from others to you. This includes cash! This week is an excellent time to ask for a loan or mortgage. This is also a passionate, romantic week. New relationships that begin now will be powerful – and memorable! Nevertheless, be patient with others.

)0(

Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday, 29 August 2021

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

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

Aries

Personal theme: I am!!

Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Thrilling as recent ideas or offers seemed, you’re now being forced to realise they’re not as worthwhile as you thought. While the resulting review will slow your progress, and possibly take you into unfamiliar territory, what you learn and, possibly, who you meet will be worth the time and energy these distractions require. The outcome? It will be unexpected but an improvement on what you’d anticipated.

You aren’t sure you’ve made a right choice or decision. All you can do is go with it and see what happens. Pull yourself together and stop your thoughts from reaching too far into the future. Remember that what you’re worrying about may never happen and try to take every moment as it comes. You will get a sense of what it means to someone when you offer to do them a favour. You may not have realised how alone they had been feeling.

Although obviously much depends on your personal chart (calculated with exact date favoured, time and place), there is every likelihood that you are more commercially minded than you think. This isn’t about being driven by money; it’s about engaging with others and forming partnerships. True, the Aries style is to be independent. That doesn’t mean though that you can’t engage with others and allow them to be doing their things too. Your sign often practices the fine art of complementing. This week, focus is likely to be on presentation and anything to do with the Internet especially. If it’s been some time since you reviewed your professional profile, this could be the time to undertake that exercise. What seems clear, is that by the September equinox, you will be involved in a start-up or a relaunch – either of which will benefit from entrepreneurial traits you developed in the last decade.

Taurus

Personal theme: I have!!

Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Understandably, you’re hoping to sidestep changes in existing plans or new arrangements. However, with so much confusion in the background, and influencing others’ thinking, you’re better off going with the flow. Instead, focus on deciding which elements of the past should go, including those you’re clinging to ferociously. Ironically, once you’re actually focusing on the future, the resulting insights will prove incredibly helpful.

It will be during your most quiet moments that you get your best inspirations. You always know you can rely on your own judgement but you are starting, too, to recognise your intuitive responses. Your intuition will not let you down. You’re ready to make some big changes and this could mean you and a partner going your separate ways. It will feel strange to make such a drastic decision but it is time for you to be more independent.

You will be far from the only sign focused on presentation. What is different in your case is the degree of careful thought you give to advertising. Mercury joins Venus in the ‘worker bee’ area of your solar chart. And yes, there may be many moments when the you think lists of things to do are never ending. You might though, take great pleasure in knowing all the various steps that need to be negotiated before success is achieved. A review of price structure and general costings might also be necessary. Though it’s probable you will seek professional advice on this mid-September, ground work put in this week, and understanding of details will earn you respect. Don’t underestimate your ability to husband resources – especially in the second half of this week. You could also show others how to make savings.

Gemini

Personal theme: I think!!

Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

For the past weeks you’ve dealt with a range of issues on the domestic or work front, and mostly achieved wonders. Tackle any matters that remain now. On Monday, your ruler Mercury moves from accenting those practicalities to accenting life’s pleasures, and obviously you’ll want to ensure your time is free. Focus both on making timely changes and exploration. Decisions? They can, and should, wait.

You feel someone at home is being contrary. They feel you are being overly sensitive. As the week begins, solo pursuits will be the best bet. As it is a craving for peace and quiet will continue to be with you later on. Finding areas of agreement when working closely with others will not be easy. Your boss seems to think you can be in two places at the same time or they are starting to expect far too much from you.

Monday’s Last Quarter Moon is in your sign. This should bring to its last stage, a train of thought that goes back roughly 2 years. It might be an interesting exercise to list all that you’ve achieved in that time. True, with Mars and Neptune effecting a tightrope across the backbone of your solar chart, you could at times feel lost, at sea, and wonder if you’ve gained anything. Though yours is an Air sign given to thinking in your head, take time to make notes. You might be surprised to discover just exactly how much experience you’ve gained in the last two years, and how this could be presented. With both Mercury and Venus now moving together through one of the creative zones of this same chart, there is also the potential for you to revive your personal ‘research and development department’ and to take a hobby or secondary skill to the next level.

Cancer

Personal theme: I feel!!

Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Only recently you were sure what was next, and which elements of your life would have to change beforehand. However, events are forcing you to rethink both your current priorities and vision for the future. While, obviously, you’d rather get things organised, with so much in transition, you’re urged to keep plans flexible, then plunge in and explore what, and who, comes your way.

You would like everything to go your way but this is unlikely to happen. Perseverance and dedication are what it takes to get results. Impatience and indifference will get you nowhere. A newcomer is introduced to your circle. For some inexplicable reason, you may start worrying about whether you look right and sound interesting. Relax. There are plenty people who enjoy being with you and who respect you for who you are.

It is, quite literally, probably time to put your house in order. That’s as much about your homebase as it is about your working environment. The presence of both Mercury and Venus at the base of your solar chart should help. Driven too, by the need to be efficient and organised (thanks to Mars moving through Virgo), you could accomplish so, so much by the end of this week. It may be necessary to get this done before midmonth. And yes, you could be distracted along the way as you uncover apparently lost items. It may be that these have either served their purpose or can be put to new use. The challenge of the latter should be fun. With the Moon moving through your sign between Wednesday and Friday, expect others to follow your lead. What seems likely is that by Monday (6th) that you will have given a masterclass in optimum ways to prepare for action and success.

Leo

Personal theme: I will!!

Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Although it was about a week ago, you’re still juggling decisions triggered by Mars’s recent link to the fortunate Jupiter. The trick? It’s to explore everything. If plans seem promising, make commitments but ensure they’re tentative. That way you can consider what arises this week and, importantly, learn from what others have to suggest, if not offer. The more flexible your thinking and arrangements, the better.

You will flourish when you can move around a large circle of friends. Teamwork will bring out the best in you. If you are asked to take on a leadership role, you won’t hesitate about your answer. There are some important matters that must be dealt with later and these will need all your concentration. Your nerves will be churning until an important event is over. Once it is, you will wonder what you were worrying about.

The accent after Mercury moves into Libra on Sunday is on expanding your network. But yes, this could be costly. You might also wonder precisely how much you have to give before you experience reward. This week’s pivotal aspect is the opposition of Mars to Neptune. Clearly that affects all signs. Think of this as a soft chord playing in the sky. No one is quite sure if it marks the end of a piece or the start of the haunting melody. The latter is most likely. Principally, you’re investing in order to make real gain next week. And yes, that likely requires listening carefully and being supportive as others alter career (and domestic) direction. Yours is one of the Fixed signs. You appreciate determination and resilience. Know though, that there are deep emotional waves to be negotiated and that you may not have a clear idea of the best way forward until the Moon reaches your sign next weekend.

Virgo

Personal theme: I analyse!!

Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

After a series of worthwhile discussions, you’re sure of two facts. You want to proceed, but can’t possibly do everything. If you’re unsure what’s worth pursuing, discuss your options with somebody you trust. Tempting as it is to consult several individuals, it will only confuse matters. Most of all, regard what you do or decide as an experience you’re learning from, not an unshakeable commitment.

You have an important choice to make. Weighing up the pros and cons is not helping as the list on either side is equally balanced. What do you do? You may have to trust your intuition, take a deep breath and make a decision. If you can find a confidential adviser, so much the better. You will be in a totally different mood once you get this matter out of the way. With a little help from a friend, you will achieve something amazing.

You don’t have to be all over the place but it might seem to others that you are. There may be just too many options for you to consider. The last Quarter Moon on Monday is in another of the Mutable signs. Take time to consider all that has occurred in the last two years. Where precisely have you wasted energy? Was it really wasted? Is it possible that you’ve gained experience in areas you’d never have expected? It will take some time to put thoughts in order but, with Mercury leaving your sign on Monday, and moving into neighbouring Libra, it would surely be a worthwhile exercise to assess work/life balance. True, you could meet disappointment mid-week. It may be that someone younger is determined on a course you think is doomed. Yet they perhaps need that experience. They may not be able to hear words of wisdom for a few days. In the interim, you could perhaps give more thought to presentation and design in the process discovering that your thoughts here have altered considerably.

Libra

Personal theme: I balance!!

Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Weeks ago, you realised certain increasingly tricky problems not only won’t resolve themselves, they’ll require serious discussion. That time has come. While you’ll want to figure out a solution, then encourage others to follow it, first, ask their thoughts. What they come up with will be as unexpected as it is creative. So much so, you might ask them to take responsibility for everything.

Discussions will take you by surprise as you will hear something that comes as something of a revelation. Be sure others don’t get to see how stunned you are. Someone is deliberately trying to shock you and you don’t want to play into their hands. Financial and legal matters should go well for you and it will be a relief that all turns out as you hoped it would. As the week ends you will have something to celebrate.

Don’t underestimate mental health needs. There’s been so much pressure since Saturn arrived in another of the Air signs at the end of last year, that you’ve perhaps been overloaded and really need time out to consider both your mental and spiritual welfare. If all that sounds too idealistic, then at least give thought to the sights, sounds and scents that bring you pleasure and try to restore some of these. It seems highly likely that your work-life balance is completely out of sync. It may be that you’ve been doing too much for others and not paying sufficient attention to yourself. All that must change – and way ahead of your birthday month. Mars arrives in your sign mid-September and by then you need to be in good state of fitness. This week especially you perhaps need time out to recharge. You won’t be the only sign giving thought to presentation and design but, since you have natural gifts in this area, will likely be asked for advice.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus

Personal theme: I desire!!

Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re uneasy about recent ideas or offers, mostly because they’re worryingly good. Judging by the planetary setup for last week and, in fact, until mid-September, these could be even better than they seem. Explore. If things seem that promising, delve into every option and, if you can’t agree to plans, at least explore them. The odds are good you’ll soon be extending those plans further.

Life is getting busier. If you’re being asked to do the work of two, be sure to get adequate compensation. People know what they are doing and how much pressure they’re putting on you but they will say they have no choice. They do. The reason they aren’t backing off in their demands is because it makes life easier for them. A new social venture will be more than just a game to you. A competitive note will enter a community event.

As you may know, you are sensitive to the position of Mars. This week Mars opposes Neptune: a planetary pairing that has a reputation for being super creative, but also offers something of a soft landing. It may be that you need to negotiate either disappointment or loss mid-week. That might not even come as much of a surprise. You might also sense that too many people are adrift – unsure of where they’re headed. They may be leaning on you for support and advice. Consider though, is it possible that you should be spending a little more time harnessing your own imagination and creative spirit? Yours is also a sign known to benefit from taking time away. It’s not unusual for Scorpios to seek dark places to hide, and retreat. Finding sanctuary may be essential. Though Mercury isn’t retrograde, it is entirely possible that some people haven’t yet thought through the impact of their decisions! These could yet be reversed next month.

Sagittarius

Personal theme: I see!!

Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily, you don’t just welcome others’ thoughts and suggestions, you thrive on the resulting exchange of ideas. What’s more, with the foundation for potential arrangements shifting frequently, it’s vital you regard even simple plans as an experiment, so be flexible. The trick? Ensure whatever you organise is well thought out yet easily changed. The more you discuss, and the less rushed your decisions are, the better.

If you’re trying to save money, you seem to instinctively know the best way to make your cash go further. You might find some great bargains on an online store. In business, your best course of action is to refuse to follow the crowd. Making decisions independently will pay off handsomely. This may mean sticking your neck out and expressing those original and untried ideas that spring into your mind.

First the facts: it takes Neptune roughly 146 years to travel through all 12 signs of the zodiac. Some generations will never experience Neptune’s Pisces transit (as is happening now). Neptune began its passage over the base of the Sagittarius solar chart 10 years ago. Four times (2013, 15, 17 and 19) since then Mars has opposed that position as it does mid-week. It will do so once more before Neptune moves on into Aries. These aspects should be considered pivotal – particularly with regard to career. True, at one level you could feel lost and at sea, and an adriftness (even if you’re in a secure position) that feels uncomfortable. Yet it’s perhaps also true that on each of these occasions, you’ve produced material and ideas that are both creative and efficient. You might even have surprised yourself. The accent over the seven days is very much on technical matters. You may find that others require your expertise and come to applaud the multi-faceted approach with which you tackle a challenge.

Capricorn

Personal theme: I use!!

Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, when seemingly tricky plans fell into place magically, you were wary. Now unexpected but not overwhelming obstacles and minor errors are making you wonder if your concerns weren’t wise. Actually, these are nothing but details, and would need attention eventually. The secret? Relax and enjoy the process, and the joys the resulting developments are bringing your way, now and over the coming weeks and months.

Your attention is on your relationships. Expect to have to deal with an issue that involves another person. This is someone who is close to you and the issue will be resolved more swiftly if you’re willing to be flexible and open-minded. If you are determined to reach a goal, then your dedicated efforts will eventually bring the rewards they deserve. In fact, results are bound to be all the more satisfying because of the time and effort you have put into reaching that stage.

The pivotal aspect this week is the opposition of Mars to Neptune. It’s only happened in this area of the zodiac four time before in your lifetime. (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. On each occasion it’s likely required you to question expertise and how you could improve your own qualifications. It would be unsurprising if this time you determined on yet another direction. It could be that you choose to specialise in an area. True, this could exasperate someone who thought you’d made your mind up some weeks ago. Yet now you may be challenging what is the best way forward, and early next week earn respect for altering course. Obviously, the Mars-Neptune opposition affects all signs, and some will be overcome with emotion. It won’t be so surprising if you choose to withdraw from the fray. By stepping away you also create the perfect space to analyse a piece of research and how it might best be used.

Aquarius

Personal theme: I know!!

Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Although the Aquarius Full Moon was on 22 August, you’re still wrestling with the sudden changes it triggered and struggling with future decisions. Out of character as it may be, stand back and let things fall into place at the rate, and in the manner, they must. Difficult as this may be initially, the outcome will soon convince you it was the best possible approach.

You work hard and you are conscientious about your responsibilities. Even so, everyone needs a change every once in a while. If you can add a little variety to the pattern of your life, you could be surprised by how inspired this makes you feel. Visiting new places and trying new activities will bring you pleasure but as the week comes to a close concentrate hard on finding inner peace rather than constantly seeking new experiences.

The week begins with the Last Quarter Moon in another of the Air signs, Gemini. The next few months could be viewed as a clearing up time for projects begun within the last two years. True this could at one level be exasperating. The need to move forward will likely be strong and the temptation to discard, cut and run equally so. Yet it seems others will be chasing you to finish tasks. They perhaps need reassurance that you can indeed bring to successful conclusion what you began as a fabulous idea some time back. There might even be and in financial incentive to do so. By working through this cosmic storm, you could reach the other side by next week’s New Moon (Sept 7th) appearing more organised and efficient. More than that, you should also receive support (most likely from Virgo and Pisces colleagues) who understand exactly how many challenges you’ve wrestled with in recent times and who applaud your resilience.

Pisces

Personal theme: I believe!!

Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

While you’ve an amazing gift for turning potentially contentious matters into a delightful exchange of ideas, recently you’ve had to be firm. Now the wisdom of your stance is becoming clear, although not everybody is ready to acknowledge that. Say nothing and, if necessary, politely but firmly change the subject. Within a short time, certain individuals will be forced to acknowledge just how right you were.

As long as you don’t allow a tendency to daydream to get the better of common sense, there’s plenty to look forward to. If you have a choice between trying something new and sticking with what’s familiar, go for the former as your craving for something just a little different to your usual routines is likely to make itself felt very strongly. If you can arrange it so you can spend plenty of time away from home, so much the better.

For only the fifth time in your lifetime Mars opposes Neptune presently travelling through your sign. Not every generation experiences this particular aspect in this area of the zodiac. It could be argued that it’s not an easy combination either: Mars is all about energy, and Neptune conjures up images of the sea. Together, they represent a great wave. That may be wonderful to look at or to paint, it might be less pleasant to surf if you are an inexperienced swimmer. So, perhaps much depends on how well you negotiated those earlier times. The cosmos never does exact repeats, but be aware that there is every likelihood of your efficiency being challenged (you won’t be the only sign experiencing this) but that by doing so, and presenting a solid and not too emotional an argument mid-week, you could yet secure respect and perhaps an invitation to join a new team.

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

One comment on “GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast: 29 Aug 2021

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