GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast: 26 Sept 2021

May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. ~Jonathan

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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Current Moon Phase: Waning Moon:

Waning Moon Magick: From three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half days after the full moon. From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits.

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

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, 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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The Celtic Tree Calendar – VINE – SEPT 2 TO SEPT 29

GODDESS MONTH OF MALA – Sept 6- Oct 2

Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.

SEP. 26 – Oct 5: Navaratri, Hindu Festival of the Great Goddess – Huge holiday in India when Goddess destroys evil and restores cosmic order
Mesopotamian Day of the Sheepfolds: sacrifice to Goat God Azazel.

SEP. 27: Mesopotamian Day of the Willows: Festival of Astarte/Asherah

SEP. 29: Greek Festival Of Nemesis: Goddess of Fate

OCTOBER
OCT. 2:
Feast of the Guardian Spirits—honoring spirit guides and helpers

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Coming in October
Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

03: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting
10: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron
17: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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

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

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

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

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.
http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

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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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Stacy Adams
September 27, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Coventry Creations 202

The final week of September is action-packed and filled with energy with 6 planetary aspects and Mercury the trickster god turns retrograde.

Check your plans, back up electronic devices, and avoid signing contracts starting on Monday because Mercury turns retrograde in Libra. You can expect the ‘dreaded exes’ to flood out of their caves and business rivals to be up to their usual tricks. Avoid getting distracted with pettiness.

During the middle of the week, the Sun forms a lovely trine to Saturn in Aquarius. This is a great time to create order by developing systems that help your life run more effectively. Taking care of responsibilities should be relatively easy but keep your eye on communications with others because Mercury can befuddle the best of agreements.

This weekend, problems or difficulties with others may resurface as Mercury once again squares power-hungry Pluto. In this case, arguments and debates will accomplish little, so it’s best to walk away.

Recommended: Mercury Retrograde Neutralizer (Astro Magic), Stability (Blessed Herbal), Problem Solving (Blessed Herbal), Bitch Be Gone (Dorothy Morrison’s Wicked Witch Mojo).

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…
It’s never too early to grab that Limited Edition Halloween

Last month we focused on finding our destiny. This month it’s all about putting that plan into action. This moment of building is not only about building your future or professional desires but building selfcare into your life. We make time for the things that are important, now it’s time to make yourself important! After a year and a half of panic, refocus your attention on yourself, your inner peace, and building new habits to sustain that peace.

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Autumn’s Beauty

As the days grow shorter, we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too, are in transition.

The birth of autumn is an event missed by many. Autumn reveals itself slowly, hovering on the edges of our consciousness until its crisp breezes are strong enough to pierce our summer clothing, and we notice for the first time the transformations taking place all around us. It is only when the last fruits and vegetables have emerged in the crisp tangy air and the trees have begun to deck themselves in shifting patterns of crimson and gold that we internalize that fall has indeed returned. Autumn is invigorating and a time to gather our thoughts, in the same way that we might once have collected crops. Just as animals collect acorns to store them, we reap the fruit of our accomplishments. Autumn also ushers in a new slowness of being for most of us, as the tone and tempo of our lives change along with those of all of Mother Earth’s children.

As the days grow shorter and the blossoms that brightened our gardens through summer’s heat begin to droop and wilt, we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too, are in transition. The brilliance of autumn’s foliage, the flocks of southbound geese honking overhead, and the arrival of a bountiful harvest are all signs that our lives will soon be changing. Whether the season’s cooler days are a prelude to a cold winter or a long stretch of sweater weather, we feel obliged to slow down and take stock of our lives. Autumn’s pleasures and rituals revolve around the gathering of abundance in preparation for the winter to come. There is ample time to contemplate what we accomplished during the warmer seasons while tasting the year’s first cider or breathing in the sweet fragrance of leaves breaking down. The same stirring that inspires animals to burrow deep into the earth compels us to celebrate the rich bounty we instinctively know will not appear again until springtime.

Appearances deceive in autumn. The transformations undergone by living beings seem much more like endings than the transitions they really are. Dormancy, not death, is the hallmark of fall. Your priorities will likely change as nature flares into sunset brilliance and then lapses slowly into slumber, but remember to rejoice in the beauty of nature where every finale serves as an overture for a new beginning.

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Wind Power
SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

As the seasons change and the strong winds blow, here is a spell to help you release the things that no longer serve you. On a windy day, utilize the force and power of this nature element. Go outside and stand in a spot where there is a strong wind. Stretch your arms out wide, close your eyes, and visualize in your mind’s eye anything and everything that no longer serves your highest good falling away from you and disappearing into the wind. Say these words silently in your mind or out loud:

As the wind surrounds me, help
me be free of all the things in my
life that no longer serve me.

After you have said this chant, visualize yourself embracing this strong air element and welcome the winds of change.
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Altar Cleansing
SEPTEMBER 25, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT

It’s a good idea to cleanse your altar on a regular basis to remove any lingering negative energy. Remove all the items and use a cleaner made from natural ingredients to remove dust and dirt. Then prepare this mixture for energy cleansing:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Add the mixture to a spray bottle, shake well, and mist your altar as you chant the following:

Clean and clear,
Clean and clear,
Negativity disappear!

Wipe your altar dry and replace all the items—but make sure you clean those as well.
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Roots of Nourishment
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

Though most meditative practices that focus on energetic roots are designed to ground and release, in nature the roots of a plant not only provide grounding and a strong foundation but also absorb vital nutrients and water from the earth. This spell calls upon the earth to exchange any incorrect or harmful energies that you may have, replacing them with new, healthy energy.

To begin, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and meditate. Begin to do a standard grounding by mentally sending etheric roots from your body into the ground. When you have reached this state, change your focus and then pull energy back up from the earth with the intention that this earth power will vitalize, nourish, and heal your mind, body, and spirit. Dwell in this state for as long as desired, then retract your roots and come out of the meditation.
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Into the Dark Spell
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Now we enter the dark season. This is the time to get rid of any problems in your life—bad habits, relationships, jobs, etc. Perform this spell after dark. You’ll need a silver ink pen or marker, a sheet of black construction paper, a heatproof container or cauldron, and a black candle.

First, write your problem on the paper. Read it aloud. Next, tear the paper into pieces and place them in the container/cauldron. Then safely light the candle. Now ignite the paper scraps with the candle flame as you say:

Hear me, season of the dark.
Consume my problems with this spark.
Paper, burn until you turn to ash.
Now I’m free of this problem at last!

When the ashes cool, throw them outside on the ground or in the trash. Extinguish the candle. When it’s cool, throw it away.
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Put the Trees to Sleep
SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 BY KATE FREULER

As a tree hugger, it seems logical to me to send trees love and peace at the end of their growing season. After all, they give us shade, oxygen, fruit, and more.

The Fall Equinox marks the day when the Wheel of the Year starts to turn toward the dark months. It’s a perfect time to send some love and gratitude to ancient tree spirits, as soon they will lose their leaves and go dormant for the winter.

For this spell you will need 3 cups water in a pot and ½ cup each dried lavender, rose petals, and chamomile.

Bring the water to a boil on the stove, and add the herbs. Simmer for five minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the mixture into a pitcher and go outdoors where your favorite trees live.

Pour a bit of the brew at the base of as many tree trunks as you like. Think about what they’ve provided over the summer, and feel gratitude for each one individually as you pour. Tree spirits will be able to feel the appreciation in your offering and thoughts, which is a nice way to be put to bed for the winter.
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Eat an Apple
SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 BY EMYME

So many spells, incantations, and charms center around apples. Peel an apple in one long strip and toss it over your shoulder. The letter that the peel on the ground resembles is said to be the first letter of the name of your destined true love. This is a simplified version of a love spell found in numerous sources.

That is all well and good, but even better, eat an apple today. What an abundance there is from which to choose! Perhaps you already have a favorite, but if you have little experience with apples, explore the many possibilities. Consider a trip to your local farmers’ market or orchards. Get on that hay wagon with a group of like-minded folks, pick to your heart’s delight, and enjoy the fruits of your labors for days to come. In 2019 a new apple, the Cosmic Crisp, was introduced. Johnny Appleseed would be amazed!
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Full Moon in Pisces Tea Charm
SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

The full moon today is in one of the most auspicious signs for magic, mysticism, and all things psychic—Pisces! It’s the perfect time to perform acts of divination, to cross the hedge, to practice soul and astral body travel, and to listen to your instincts. Your magic today should reflect your internal needs at the moment, as Pisces makes us pay attention to such things. To help make those clear, here is a tea charm.

In a teacup, add one tablespoon of dried lavender, one whole small apple (cored and diced), a pinch of clove, and a tablespoon of honey. Fill with boiling water three-quarters of the way and let steep for five minutes. Before sipping, draw a pentacle over the cup in the air with your index finger and say:

Reveal to me the true desires within.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1001 Fall is on the Way

Heartwings says, “Let us celebrate the change of seasons.”

The change of seasons has begun. I noticed it first in late August. I was traveling to Westborough near the end of old Westborough Road, when by the side of the road a branch of red leaves flamed among the green. When we lived on Warren St. I had a window from which each fall I would see the same thing: the first stroke of autumn’s paintbrush telling me the changes had begun.

Fall is my favorite season. I enjoy the crisper air, my appetite perks up, and I can wear my nice sweaters and the warm clothes I am fond of. It is associated in my mind with newness. As a child, I enjoyed the fresh new notebooks and school supplies, unbroken crayons, sharp pencils. Late on when I was a mom, I sewed dresses for the first day of school for my little girls. Now I enjoy watching the leaves turn, some slowly, others later on almost overnight.

On our calendars, autumn began on the 22nd. Then there’s the ancient Celtic calendar which has fall beginning on August 1st or 2nd, and the equinox as mid fall. In certain respects, all calendars aside, to me fall is a state of mind. It is a season of change, of transition. For some it begins when children start back to school. For others, Labor Day marks its beginning. In Australia it’s spring, also season of transition.

Here in New England the long days of summer have shortened. The green of the leaves has darkened, and their freshness has dwindled. They look tired, even faded, hanging listlessly. Birds are eating more. Perhaps they are stocking up for a trip. With seasonal change, animals’ fur thickens. Humans go shopping get their warm things out of storage.

I appreciate my food more. As the weather cools off, I do more cooking and baking as well as eating. It’s fun to try new recipes. I have little to no interest in cooking or baking during the summer heat. Better yet, it’s fun to snuggle under the feather quilt, back on the bed. I know many will experience the onset of fall with regret, but for me, the change of season is welcome.

May you enjoy your fall days to the fullest.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you like fall or do have another favorite season? Do write and tell me, I cherish your emails, dear readers. Please do also check my web site at http://www.heeartwingsandfriends.com. And write me at tashahal@Aol.com .

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Sacred Gardening: A Druid’s Spiritual Approach to Weeding and Clearing Plants
by Dana

A shrine for the spirits of nature in a new outdoor kitchen area

Druids revere all nature as sacred–but what happens when you need to weed your garden? What happens when you need to clear a new area for a project where lots of things are growing? Is there a way to clear plants or trees honorably and with reverence? In fact, there certainly is! In today’s post, I’ll walk through some simple suggestions for how to weed and clear plants respectfully and with reverence. This is all part of my philosophy of Sacred Action, or bringing earth-honoring, care-oriented activities into our every day life (if you are interested in this concept, check out my Sacred Actions book!). This is part of what sacred gardening, creating a true Druid’s garden, is all about!

Our big project this year was starting to build an wood-fired, naturally built outdoor kitchen with a maple sap boiler/grill, an earth oven, a small pavilion and set of rocket stoves (this is an ongoing project and I’ll share more about it in upcoming posts). In order to do this, we had to clear a small bit of land. Where we are situating our outdoor kitchen is on the edge of a clearing with a shaded overstory, just as the forest begins. The tentative plan for our earth oven was about 6′ into an area with some brush and small trees. We were hoping to use this spot for the earth oven because sometimes we get bad winds from the fields that are to the south-west of our home, and by locating it slightly in the brush, it would allow us to provide it some additional shielding from the elements. But, this particular spot required me to clear a small 5′ path and about an 7 foot round area in the brush–assuming the spirits of the land and plants agreed. I’ll walk through the general principles using the clearing of my earth oven space as an example.

  1. Recognize the agency and sanctity of nature by seeking permission and offering gratitude.
    An offering bag near some garden weeds that will be cleared

One of the first things to remember is that if we are going to cultivate reciprocal relationships with nature, we must treat nature with respect, reverence and recognize nature’s own agency. This means we do not take from nature without permission (treating her with the same respect you would do any other person. There are different levels of permission: one-time permission and ongoing permission.

Getting permission for anything is twofold: seeking it and allowing the necessary time for negotiation and conversation. Don’t expect to get permission to clear a large area of land 5 minutes before you want to clear it. Seeking permission begins with simply spending time engaging with spirits of the land and explaining what you want to do and why. Explain what you would like to do and how you will do it. See what results from this converation: sometimes you can get a clear go-ahead, while other times, the spirits may want something in response (e.g. clear this area but leave this area to grow wild; build this shrine, use everything that you’ve cleared, etc).

If you are clearing for a permanent space (such as a garden, outdoor kitchen, home, etc) you can seek a blanket permission statement. This means that you have the general permission to create the garden and then keep it as a garden, clearing as necessary.

Two months before starting construction of the earth oven, I began by asking permission. I started by making an offering at the space I wished to clear and speaking aloud what I would like to do, where the boundaries of it were to be, and why. I asked the spirits to think about my request. A week later, I returned to the spot and we started discussing. I came back several times over the course of a few weeks and after that, I received the confirmation that I was permitted to proceed. As part of this negotiation, I was told that each plant species would have something different they would like me to do as I cleared.

  1. Setting Boundaries for Activities
    As part of your request, make it clear what you plan on doing and how long this agreement lasts. For example, if you are cultivating a garden, make it clear that you would like permission to tend this garden throughout the year and weed any plants that come up in the garden that you haven’t planted, etc. This allows you to set some clear boundaries for the kinds of activities you will engage in over time. You can also set boundaries about other things, such as not using any chemical sprays, etc. The idea here is that you will make a clear agreement with the spirits of the land that you are both satisfied with so that you can proceed.

In the case of our earth oven, I agreed to tend the path and boundaries of our earth oven space and also to cut back some of the surrounding areas if they grew too close to the oven, always asking the plants’ permission. We established where the areas of the other outdoor kitchen were to be before proceeding. I was also asked to build two smalls shrines, one to invite the spirits of the hearth to join us (see the first image in this post) and a hidden shrine to honor the earth elementals.

You also may need to negotiate with specific dominant plant species in an area. For example, in the case of our garden, I’ve made it clear that dandelions are welcome to grow anywhere, but I will be harvesting any within our garden areas for making food or medicine for ourselves and our animals. But, any dandelions that grow outside of the bounds of the garden will be undisturbed (unless I further sought permission to harvest them for a different purpose, which would be a different negotiation).

  1. Clear mindfully and listen to the voices of nature as to how to use cleared material.
    Once you have permission to clear an area, establish a garden, or weed regularly, the next step is to start clearing it in a way that is reverent and respectful. I like to call this “mindful” clearing. I’m going to clear in a gentle manner, pulling out each plant, checking in with each plant to see how they would like me to proceed (cut you off at the root? Harvest the root? Put you in the compost pile? Feed you to the geese?). Thus, as I clear, I am also engaging in deep connection with the plants and hearing their voices for how to proceed. As I do this, I continue to make offerings, I sing songs, and I raise good energy for the work I am doing. Beginning to clear the area for the earth oven

I work to do as much clearing without the aid of fossil fuels as possible, relying on hand tools, as this allows me to get closer to the individual plants I am clearing. Once in a great while, I do have to use a battery-powered lopper or chainsaw, and I let the spirits of nature know what I am doing before I do anything.

So in the clearing of my earth oven space, I spent about 2 hours clearing the space, while I was in a meditative place. Using movement meditation, I cleared my mind as I cleared down to the soil, making sure that each plant I was clearing had a chance to share what they would like to see happen. I ended up transplanting several wild yams into another section of the forest. The Allegheny Blackberry asked me to take their roots and use them for magic (they have been teaching me their magic for many years now) and to compost their stems and leaves. The small spicebush asked to be potted and given away. The Virginia Creeper had me pull out enough to clear, asking me to make a small wreath of her and then place that wreath on the altar. And so it went with each of the plants in this space, where I listened to their voices and did my best to honor their requests. In the end, I had not only a cleared space but new magical plant knowledge and several roots for my spiritual practices.

I do the same thing in my garden as I am regularly weeding and tending. While I don’t necessarily need steps 1 and 2 each time I got into weed the garden, when I am weeding, I am still listening to the voices of the plants and honoring what they would like me to do with them. I am treating them in reverence and respect, even as I clear them.

Eventually, you may find that even the most dominant weed can be negotiated with to grow elsewhere.

Doing these practices in this way allows you to both hear what the plant spirits may offer you as well as give you a chance to learn some of the uses of common plants in your area. For example, if you are clearing a garden, many garden “weeds” have tremendous herbal and edible uses including lambs quarters, ground ivy, pursuance, dandelion, red clover, chickweed, and wood sorrel, to name a few. If you are pulling out something and you don’t know what it is, take a few minutes to learn and do what you can to make use of that plant for food, medicine, crafts, or spiritual purposes.

  1. End in Gratitude
    Wood Sorrel Wood Sorrel, garden weed, delicious food!

Finalize your work each day in gratitude–gratitude for the land itself, the soil, and any plants or materials that were moved or pulled as part of the work you were doing. Recognize the sacrifice that these plants have made and honor them. You can practice gratitude by making offerings (such as this offering blend), drumming, dancing, doing a land blessing ceremony, or any other number of things.

In the case of my earth oven, the end of the clearing, I again sat with the space and honored it with flute music and offerings. I meditated to see if there were any additional messages, and if not, I continued to work on the project. The next steps in the project were to create a draining gravel foundation to prevent frost heaving, and so when I went back to the site a few days later to start removing soil and subsoil, I made sure to continue to make offerings at the shrine I built and continue to offer gratitude.

Conclusion
As the above explores, the key to honoring nature while also tending spaces, weeding, or clearing land has to do with the approach. Rather than immediately moving into clearing, spend time honoring the spirits of the land first, the physical bodies of the plants to clear, and take your time to make sure you are engaged in reverence and respect. This kind of practice integrates spiritual practice with everyday life in the practice of sacred action, and can certainly deepen our own relationship to our immediate landscapes.

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Create a Supportive Life Story

While we are on earth, we are all human beings in different phases of our lives and soul development.

We all have our own life story. It is filled with relationships and events that help shape who we are and what we believe to be true about the world. Depending on our perspective and willingness to grow, our experiences can become fodder for negativity and patterns of playing the victim, or they can fuel a life of empowerment and continued self-development. It is the story we tell ourselves about what happens that makes all the difference.

Take a moment to look at the life story you create for yourself on an ongoing basis. If you generally feel peaceful about the past and trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way, then you are framing circumstances in a manner that serves you well. On the other hand, if you retain a lot of guilt or resentment and often feel weighed down by life, you may want to start telling yourself a new version of past and present events. No matter who the characters are in your story or what they have done, you are the only one who can give their actions the meaning they will have for you. You are the only one who can define what role you will play in your own life. By taking responsibility for your story, you are able to learn and grow, forgive and find compassion, and most importantly, move on into a brighter future.

From now on, you can choose a life story that supports you. Let it be proof of your own resilience and creativity. Be kind with the roles you give yourself and generous with how many chances you get to learn what you need to know. When you remember that you are the author of your own story, you are free to create a masterpiece.

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Big Steps On Life’s Path

There is freedom that comes with awareness, because with it comes the opportunity to make a choice.

Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don’t know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we’ve already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.

Awareness is when we are able to realize what we are doing. We observe ourselves, noticing our reactions, actions, and choices as if we were a detached viewer. Awareness is the first step to change because we can’t make a change unless we are aware that one needs to be made in the first place. We can then begin understanding why we are doing what we are doing. Afterward, it becomes difficult not to change because we are no longer asleep to the truth behind our behaviors. We also begin to realize that, just as much as we are the root source behind the causes for our behaviors, we are also the originator for any changes that we want to happen.

There is a freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking that we are stuck in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are always ours to make. Our past and our present no longer have to dictate our future when we choose to be aware. We are then free to move beyond our old limits, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, our paths can’t help but wind us forward in our lives while paving the way for new experiences and new ways of being. It is through awareness that we can continue to consciously evolve.

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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 become 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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Gilberto Rides Again
by Stephen Halpert

Chapter 20

Gilberto was upset. Maria didn’t take his side concerning Mona’s fascination with ants and worse, her wanting a pet white mouse. He decided to put his foot down. At breakfast the next day, he looked hard at Mona. “I said No mouse in this condo. You understand what I’m saying? You bring one home and I’ll fling it out the window.”
Tears filled her eyes. Gilberto felt terrible, but he held firm. How could he back down? No, he didn’t want to. No mice!
Maria looked from one to the other and finally backed up Gilberto. “You heard your father.”
“I don’t care. I want a pet white mouse.”
“How about a hamster,” Maria tried. “Maybe even a pair.”
But Mona shook her head no. “Hamsters smell and mess all over their cages. None of my friends like hamsters, or gerbils. They smell even worse,” she proclaimed.
“But they like white rats? Gilberto said calmly.
Mona said nothing. “Please mama I’ll keep it in my room and daddy will never have to even see it.”
“That’s not the point,” Gilberto said, his jaw tight.
“Your father and I are agreed,” Maria said. Her tone signaled finality.
“When I grow up and have my own place I’ll have as many white rats as I want.”
“And I’ll never take one step into your rat-infested condo,” Gilberto said with finality. “If you have rats, I’ll never come to visit you.”
Mona burst into tears, jumped up and ran to Maria and threw her arms around her. “Please mommy,” she wailed. “Don’t let daddy be so mean.”
“I’m not being mean,” Gilberto shouted, his face red, his hand starring to shake. “Keeping a rat is crazy. Where do you get such crazy ideas?”
“Maybe you need to get to Atlas,” Maria said softly. She looked sympathetically at Mona. “Your Daddy means what he says.”
Mona sniffed. “Mean daddy. You’re being so mean.”
Gilberto rose from the table, kissed Maria, paid no attention to Mona.
Maria rose, followed after him. “Best to try not to be confrontational with her. She takes after you and is just as stubborn.”
He sighed, whispered. “Rats freak me out. Ever since I was a kid and saw them on the farm.”
“They don’t exactly thrill me either,” Maria said. “Our daughter wants to be a naturalist like Charles Darwin. Hopefully it’s just a phase.”
He frowned.
Maria grinned. “Better than a strip tease dancer. You wouldn’t like that would you?”
He frowned. “Or maybe an undertaker. Then she can dissect people.” He kissed her.
Laughter bloomed in her eyes. “You’re afraid it would escape from her room and jump into bed with us aren’t you.”
He grimaced. “Something like that.”
She kissed him. “I love you Gilberto. Please don’t worry. This too shall pass.”
Mona came to the doorway. “I love you daddy. Please don’t be mean anymore.”
He reached out and patted her head. “It’s OK Pumpkin, just let it go, OK?” With a kiss from Maria he headed out the door.
It was a bright sunny morning. Gilberto decided to walk to Atlas. He cut through the Public Gardens and crossed Arlington Street stopping at the newsstand for his morning paper.
Then he felt that that same sense of being followed. After walking two blocks up Boylston Street, he ducked into an alley and waited for whomever might appear. Moments later a man stumbled into the alley. His age was uncertain, his worn clothes reeked of booze. He hadn’t shaved and his hair was stringy. A derelict? Gilberto wasn’t sure he was what he appeared.
Carefully he pulled several ones from his pocket, let them slip from his hand and flutter to the ground. If this was really a bum, he’d head for the cash.
Seemingly unsure of his footing the derelict stumbled toward him. He may have seen the bills but didn’t stop to retrieve them.
Gilberto measured his distance, then said. “Good morning Mr. Midgley, fine day, isn’t it?”
The derelict paid no attention; he stared at Gilberto. Finally said, “Huh?”
“Mr. Midgley,” Gilbert persisted. “Sara’s deceased husband. That’s you, isn’t it?”
Squinting, his body swaying side to side, he drew closer to Gilberto.
Gilberto shifted his footing. “Can’t kid me,” he persisted, “Why not end this charade, let’s get coffee, get to know each other better.”
He mumbled something that sounded to Gilberto like a foreign language.
Gilberto watched patiently. “You can tell me all about it,” he tried. That’s when he saw the long-handled blade slide from the man’s sleeve into his hand.
Gilberto spun instantly, kicked hard at the left knee but missed. The drunk cried out, jumped back maintaining his hold of the long blade. He swung the blade at Gilberto again, missing twice before turning and darting from the alley back onto Arlington Street with Gilberto in pursuit. Despite seeming drunk, the man was swift. At the Arlington Street subway station he made an acrobatic dive down the stairs past the emerging crowd where he vanished in a wall of busily moving commuters.
Gilberto sighed turned and went on to Atlas.
“Why didn’t I use the camera on my phone,” he told Ramon. “That would have simplified things considerably.”
Ramon nodded. “You were too busy chasing him.”
“Whoever he is he’s graceful, maybe once a fancy dancer. He hid it well but I could sense his grace.””
“Acrobatic,” Ramon said. He called Sara’s line; they went to her office.”
“Foreign language?” she said. My husband was a linguist but I never knew him to use it in conversation.”
“Did he ever do theatre?” Ramon asked. “Any dramatics or acrobatics?”
She looked thoughtful. “Not that I know of, no I don’t think so.”
Gilberto nodded. “So we’re not sure if he was your deceased husband or not?”
Her face turned white. There was panic in her voice. “Do you think it’s him? Back from the dead to haunt me?”
“Might not be all that dead,” Gilberto said.
“Not to change the subject,” she said showing him a complicated legal form. As corporate council for Clay Calhoun Colonel Dimwittie is initiating a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Atlas for breach of contract.”
(To be continued

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
Share your love for cats!

The Black Cat Mystique
By Sandy Robins, September 24, 2021

Cat book author and feline furniture designer Kate Benjamin lives with a clowder of black cats. Seven in all, with delightful names such as Jeremiah Beandip, Horacio Queso and Pico de Gato. She refers to them as her little house panthers, a term of endearment that has become a universal, modern-day homage to these felines whose mystique has earned them love and reverence since the ancient Egyptians treated them as gods.

Kate started dying her hair black when she adopted her first black cat, Ando, and named her business Hauspanther, adopting the German spelling haus as a reference to the Bauhaus, a birthplace of modern design.

In many places around the world, black cats are symbols of good luck and good fortune. Although, there are still superstitions labeling them as unlucky — and even evil — which make them targets of hatred and cruelty.

Kate is on a crusade to dispel the negative myths, instead promoting black cats to be the funny, friendly and endearing creatures they are.

Kate’s cat Jeremiah Beandip is a product tester, photo shoot model and shining testament to how cute and endearing black cats are. ©Kate Benjamin

Just The facts
Now that we’re in the 21st century, it’s really time to put superstitions to rest and instead look to modern-day science. There have been many studies about black cats relating to cats of other coat colors in terms of their personalities and behavior.

Dr. Liz Stelow, chief of the UC Davis veterinary hospital’s Behavior Service, has played an active role in this research and sums up her findings in a single sentence: “We did not find black cats to be more aggressive than other coat colors,” she says. “Further, we didn’t find that they stood out in other positive or negative ways, either.”

According to Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society, black cats (and dogs) do tend to get overlooked by potential adopters.

“But it may not be as significant as we once thought,” he adds. “There are some studies that show that there are simply more black pets because black coloration is a dominant gene. Therefore, there are more black pets in shelters.”

Says Dr. Weitzman, who has authored nine books including How to Speak Cat, “At San Diego Humane Society, our length of stay is negligible for all black pets — 31 days for cats and 14 days for dogs versus pets of other colors — (27 days for cats and 15 days for dogs).

“Black pets still can be undeservedly overlooked by adopters, but the good news is an animal’s personality shines through no matter what color their coat is. And there are wonderful people who will only adopt black pets knowing this is growing,” he confirms.

There are others reasons why black cats can be overlooked by potential adopters. According to a report published by the British Broadcasting Corporation, they are the last to find homes because they don’t look good in selfies!

Changing Shelter Policies
“At San Diego Humane Society, we have a wonderful team of professional photographers who volunteer their time taking great photos of our adoptable animals,” Dr. Weitzman says. “Black animals are harder to photograph (selfie or not), so having their expertise is crucial in showcasing the beauty of all animals in our care.”

The organization, like many other shelters around the country, also holds special adoption promotions designed to give special attention to black pets. These events are usually tied to calendar days such as Black Friday, Black Cat Awareness Day and Black Dog Awareness Day.

However, in contrast to many shelter policies, San Diego Humane no longer prevents black animals from getting adopted during certain times of the year, like before Halloween, based on the fear they would be used in satanic rituals.

“It’s a total myth, and over the years has prevented hundreds of animals from finding good homes,” Dr. Weitzman says. “Putting up unnecessary and ineffective barriers isn’t the answer to protecting them.

“The reality is, San Diego, like most big urban areas, is filled with compassionate, animal-loving people who want to open their hearts and homes to animals. We want to let them do this! We want to empower them and provide resources that encourage adoption — not obstruct it.”

San Diego Humane Society also provides adopters with lifelong support to keep those pets in their homes. Says Dr. Weitzman: “This open approach to adoption is saving lives, which is resounding proof that sometimes, letting go a little can be the best way to share the love.”

Take to social media to dispel silly and outdated superstitions about our black feline friends.

Ask friends and family to share photos of their black cats on social media to highlight the joys of living with these black beauties.

Adopt a black cat yourself! “Don’t judge a cat by his or her color, get to know their personality first!” says Kate Benjamin. “In fact, all my cats have really cool, laid-back personalities. When going to adopt a cat, be open to all the possibilities. You never know who you will fall in love with.”

Expert Tips for Beautiful Black Cat Photos

You want your cat to look like the shining star she is, right? Whether you’re shooting with a cellphone or a fancy SLR camera, here are some tips to get the very best photographs possible of any house panther!

Set the scene. Don’t let clutter steal the show! Clear out any distractions from the area where you’ll be shooting. Sometimes you’ll need to sneak a photo in the moment and won’t have time, but your cat will always look better if you can brush away or lint roll any extra crumbs and loose cat hair on the surfaces around them. This might seem like a boring tip, but trust me when I say it’s a game changer!

Find your light. The most universally flattering lighting is natural light that is bright but indirect, like the light you see near a window. Indirect light is key, though: Direct sunlight creates harsh shadows and highlights. If you don’t have a great window, use a bright lamp or two to light the room. Be aware that each light source or bulb has a color tint known as its “temperature,” so if you’re seeing some funky colors in your photos, try a different type of light.

Play with contrast and color. For truly eye-catching photos, color and contrast are a black cat’s best friend! Use brightly colored throw pillows, blankets or even an interesting piece of fabric draped somewhere behind your cat. Any color or pattern you love can work, but it’s fun to try hues that match your cat’s eye color or a color that’s the complete opposite!

Experiment with angles. If all of your photos are taken while standing above your cat, you’re missing out on a lot of incredible shots! Instead, get comfy on the floor and shoot from their eye level, off to the side or slightly below them. Or get up close and personal for an ultra-close beauty shot! Certain angles will naturally create beautiful separation between your gorgeous subject and the background behind them, so play around and have fun trying new things!

— Erica Danger, cat photographer

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, September 26, 2021
https://www.georgianicols.com/

All Signs

This week we have a lot of energy and a lot of idealism. Mercury is now officially retrograde. Planetary configurations will be encouraging, and then perhaps challenging for some. (Expect fading energy and frustration at trying to deal with practical issues.) It’s a mixed bag! Best to start the week with baby steps. Shrink your ambitious goals and begin small. You can do small. Small will get done. Small is good because it is doable. We like small. This way if you take care of small tasks, later, you’ll be glad they were done. My piano teacher always said, “When you’re sweeping the floor, take care of the corners because the middle will always take care of itself.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This week, more than usual, you seem to be involved with the wealth and possessions of someone else or shared property – something that is jointly owned. This includes real estate and it also includes debt. You might be interested in fundraising, especially to help people who need assistance. You can be effective in dealing with groups (and classes) including interactions with friends. Your desire to help someone in need will set in motion something powerful and inevitable that will return to you. This means whatever you do this week will ultimately be mutually beneficial, even if it looks like it’s a one-way street of giving. Just do it! “Fresh horses and whiskey for my men!”

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
There’s no question that you are pulling out all stops trying to be as organized as you can be given the challenge of Mercury retrograde’s delays, misplaced items, mixed-up messages, confusion and broken equipment. Oy! Fortunately, your energy is focused and strong, which will help you to be productive. Heed the advice in All Signs above. Whatever plans or projects that you have in mind, break them into smaller increments and tackle them with baby steps to begin. If you do this, you will accomplish more this week than facing them head-on. Relations with partners and close friends are excellent this week. It’s a mutually receptive lovefest! Kiss, kiss; hug, hug.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You’re still in play mode! Fun times, invitations to socialize, sports events, activities with kids and anything to do with the arts and the entertainment world all beckon to you! At the beginning of the week, you think you want to do it all! By midweek, you will see realize what is a more realistic expectation. Therefore, pull in your reins. Complete small tasks first and do what you can. Relations with coworkers are excellent this week. You might help someone or vice versa they might help you. Work-related travel is also likely. Old flames are in your rearview mirror. Hiccups with social plans might occur. Give yourself wiggle-room to deal with the unexpected this week. Make your work space more attractive.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
An interesting week! Family reunions and opportunities to get in touch with family you haven’t seen for a while are at hand. DIY projects might be stalled along with other ambitious plans at home. Therefore, start small at the beginning of the week, and accomplish what you can before fatigue or obstacles arise. Meanwhile, romance is sizzling this week! Not only will you delight socializing with special people, you will welcome any opportunity to express your creative talents. Accept invitations to party, dine and enjoy the company of others. This includes kids. If you’re active in a creative project, you can get a lot done!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This will be a busy week. Get as much as you can done — right at the beginning. Be happy to do part of what you hope to achieve. Your pace is busy and you’re eager to enlighten others about many things! Nevertheless, Mercury is retrograde and it will dog your steps. Car problems, missed appointments, traffic delays, lost messages, computer glitches, broken equipment and confused communications will be par for the course. Nevertheless, you will enjoy time at home. You will enjoy redecorating where you live. You will enjoy entertaining where you live. This will be your prize — grab it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You definitely have money on your mind this week – earnings, cash flow possessions and perhaps an important purchase. This is where it’s at for your sign right now. Fortunately, Venus is sitting nicely in your House of Communications, promoting your ability to sweettalk everyone. You will enjoy discussions with neighbours, siblings and relatives. You will enjoy the beauty of your daily surroundings. You will enjoy your popularity with others because you see they truly care for you – they’re glad to see your face. This is reassuring. It’s so nice when someone wants to see your face. Be extra clear in all your communications with others to avoid misunderstandings.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
It’s all about you dear Libra, with the Sun, retrograde Mercury and fiery Mars in your sign. Mercury is definitely retrograde starting this week, which means you will encounter ex-partners and old friends from the past in person, online or in your dreams. Mars along with the Sun will give you lots of energy! Nevertheless, there will be some fuzzy deflection from Neptune, which could rob you of some of your ambitious productivity. Therefore, start this week with a strong intention to get something done, but break it into smaller parts so that something is quickly doable. Meanwhile, you might attract money to you this week. You might also buy beautiful things for yourself or loved ones. Give serious thought to your moneymaking ideas.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Continue to keep your head down this week because you are best served by working alone or behind the scenes. Fortunately, Mercury is officially retrograde now, which means any attempt to study history or pursue the past or dig for details in the past will probably be successful. Meanwhile, trust your hunches. If you encounter someone and you think they don’t have your best interests at heart – make a hasty retreat. Life is too short to hang around someone who doesn’t want the best for you. (We both know that.) It’s also important to remember that relationships are reciprocal: if someone benefits you, you will benefit them. It’s mutual. (I like that part.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This is a popular week for you! Many of you are involved with younger contacts – perhaps friends and members of groups and organizations from your past. It’s good to catch up on what’s been happening in other people’s lives. You might also be physically involved in a competition through sports or some other activity with others. (You might even play a take-charge role in this.) Enjoy schmoozing with others because this is a positive time for you. Meanwhile, some of you are involved in a secret love affair or something special that is going on behind the scenes. (It might relate to a family secret especially if it is related to drugs or alcohol.) It’s a bit hush hush.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This is a strong time for you! The Sun, Mars and Mercury retrograde are all at the top of your chart, which calls attention to you! Specifically, the Sun makes you look excellent in the eyes of others. People admire you, especially people in authority. (We like!) With this kind of easy endorsement, now is the time to make your pitch and do what you can to advance your agenda. Mars this high in your chart, arouses your ambition, which means you have the courage to make your pitch. (Even better.) The placement of Venus now smooths relations with friends, groups and organizations, which means doors will open for you at this time. You have the advantage! It’s important that you know this so that you can use it to your benefit.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Lately, you feel adventurous! You’re exploring new ideas, new philosophies, new belief systems and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. You’re flexing your intellectual muscles and learning more about what is possible. This new energy and drive make you want to travel and explore new places and meet new faces. However, Mercury retrograde will attract friends from the past to you, which is always a chance to talk about the bad old days and trade lies. Meanwhile, with Venus at the top of your chart, people in authority look kindly on you. They admire you. Someone might even ask for your advice about how to make something look more attractive. In fact, relations with bosses are so cozy, some of you will strike up a romance.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You continue to be focused on money, debt, inheritances, shared property, funding from the government, taxes and anything to do with your partner’s wealth or assets. The reason for this could be that some of you are disputing issues in these areas. Others might have old business from the past back on the table again. Travel plans look promising – no question. Some of you might strike up a romance with someone “different.” Meanwhile, let your confidence grow because good things are coming your way. Lucky Jupiter will be in your sign for the first five months of next year, which will definitely bring you good fortune and increase your optimism and sense of happiness! In fact, 2022-23 you’ll get richer! Ka-ching!

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 26 September 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:

While both existing plans and new arrangements will fall into place magically, unexpected twists and turns are bound to slow the pace. The secret? Instead of seeking the swiftest solution, explore every option. Not only will you learn a lot, with retrograde Mercury triggering confusion, and often sudden changes, dealing with the unexpected could broaden your horizons in ways as exciting as they are surprising.

People will gather together to campaign against plans for your community that are causing a lot of contention. If you feel strongly about this issue, you will do your bit in trying to rally up more support. There is a competitive feel to your career and social environments. A senior colleague will be in a position to pull a few strings to help you achieve a goal but you must let them know your intentions.

On Monday, Mercury turns retrograde in your opposite sign. That doesn’t mean that others will turn their back on you and run away, but it does suggest altered thinking that prompts you to wonder what direction others are taking and whether or not you should go along with them. Don’t jump to too hasty conclusions. Mercury’s retrograde station is followed by a Last Quarter Moon in another of the Cardinal signs. For you, this marks a turning point in a journey that began about two years ago. (You could say that this is all pandemic related). Alterations in work schedules are inevitable. Yet here you could be marked out as a leader. You know how to take a fresh approach. For many years as Uranus passed through your sign (2011 and 2018), you developed futuristic ability and understanding of trends. Now is the time to harness that skill and talent. True, you might ruffle feathers in the process, yet there is every reason to think that it will be your progressive thoughts that have useful impact.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

When looking back on this week’s range of twists and turns, each will make sense. At the time, however, you could struggle to impose order seeming chaos. The secret? Understanding that what’s least expected will turn out best in the long run. Knowing that, you’ll do something out of character, and go with the flow. The value of that approach will be clearer, day by day.

Everyone needs time to relax and enjoy life. Voluntary and community groups are starting to provide more facilities to have fun while mixing and mingling. Be sure to make the most of these. Just be careful in your approach to financial affairs. New deals and contracts will affect you for better or worse depending on how much time and thought you put into them in the first place. It will be in your interest to take a considerate approach when dealing with others.

Mercury turns retrograde on Monday and in the ‘worker bee’ zone of your solar chart. Expect a task that you thought had left your desk to return. There could be some confusion about this because initially you might wonder what an earth has gone wrong. Note however that there is a Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday and it’s possible that if you were to look back over the last couple of years, then you’d see that an essential error was made right at the start of this project. It may not be too late to put things right, but the process might require that you make contact with someone who was there right at the beginning, but who has now moved on or is less available than they once were. It could take the better part of October to unravel this. The diligent approach you take and your awareness of the security levels that must be respected even as you adjust course, should mark you out as a valuable member of a team.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

If you’re into astrology, you’re probably aware your ruler, Mercury, is retrograde or in reverse motion from Monday the 27th. While this cycle has a reputation for triggering confusion, the insights you gain in the process won’t just be informative, some could be life-changing. The secret? Instead of seeking swift solutions, take your time. Explore absolutely every twist and turn. You’ll be amazed what you learn.

Your attention will turn to community affairs. The gap between the less well-off and the more advantaged seems to be widening. Plans are being put in place to give more people a chance to be treated fairly. Supporting a good cause will help restore a power imbalance. Someone you live with is making ambitious plans for the home. You will like their ideas but you need some time to prepare while they want to start on them immediately.

Your ruling planet, Mercury, turns retrograde on Monday and in another of the Air signs. As you probably know, Mercury has a track record for mischief-making. It doesn’t always turn retrograde in the same place and key to understanding what any effect might bring is to work out where activity is likely to be most marked. A strong possibility is that you will come up with an idea that has much mileage. Where things could go wrong is in the presentation! Take your time. It might seem to others that you’re changing your mind. It might also seem that the U-turn you seem bent on taking will prove costly for them. Arguing your case will likely be challenging. This though needs to be done before October 7; but yes, you could find yourself at cross purposes with someone who was so confident in the path that you were taking that they have difficulty accepting your proposed amendments. It all seems to come down to debate and arguing your case.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

It’s an unsettled period. However, your instincts are probably telling you that even sudden twists and turns are leading to breakthroughs. The secret? Being patient, enough you’re able to explore what arises in depth; but, also, recognise that what’s most beneficial could be unrecognisable initially or, alternatively, will emerge over time; and if others demand swift decisions? Tell them they’ll just have to wait.

A community group needs more support. You will be asked to attend a meeting on their behalf. Everyone will be waiting with bated breath for the outcome and the pressure is on, for you to do well. Big ideas need careful planning. Acting on a spontaneous whim could be a costly mistake. Some unpredictable events will have some people grumbling about their lot but not you. You have felt for a long time that certain issues were overdue a change.

Mercury turns retrograde on Monday, – and at the base of your solar chart. Anticipate many comings and goings both at work and at home. That could and should be exciting. Then there is Last Quarter Moon in your sign mid-week. It may be that matters that have been developing in the last couple of years come to their natural turning point. This may not be a bad thing but yes, given Mercury’s status, misunderstandings and confusion might need to be dealt with. The most promising news though is that something you’ve been working on since September 11 should show great promise. In fact, at least one colleague may feel you’ve got your finger on a new pulse and deems you to be the natural leader for a project they’d like to see launched in October.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you enjoy others’ company; but when making decisions, you’re fiercely independent. This is tricky. Why? Because while you’ll often chat with those around you about ideas or potential plans, making them is another matter; and you’ll act independently. Usually that works well; but at the moment, you need either advice or support. Seek it out, listen and heed others’ suggestions. You won’t regret it.

People working for the community should not be subjected to abuse and attack. Whether voluntary or in the course of your employment, you do not come into work to be abused verbally or physically. Visual deterrents can help de-escalate these kinds of situations. Sometimes an act first and think about it later approach can work wonders and such a moment will occur as the week ends.

Unfinished business requiring reconnection and review dominates the next few days. Bear in mind that Mercury turns retrograde on Monday and that, facts may be incorrect. A more constructive approach is likely at Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon though you might need to deal with someone in highly emotional state (a Cancer?). They may feel that their position or even their home is threatened. Coaxing them to think constructively could be this week’s biggest challenge. Yet you can and likely will accomplish this. Obviously much depends on your personal chart, but presently, all Leos seem tuned to under-currents and the sense that fresh approaches aren’t just needed they are vital if progress is to be made. In this respect, and before the weekend, it might be wise to think about organising meetings for soon after the New Moon on October 6 – giving you plenty of time to prepare and rehearse your arguments.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Events triggered by the powerful Virgo Full Moon, on 7 September, will have kickstarted a range of plans, some straightforward, others complex but all exciting. While some have been finalised, you’re wrestling with several. This is annoying but also, offers an opportunity to think through both existing arrangements and whether you should reconsider your approach or, possibly, objectives. Do this now. It could change everything.

Issues will be discussed and addressed as people try to correct mistakes of the past. It will be important that you share your opinions when you are asked for them. Funding could be received following a successful pilot scheme. It will feel wonderful to have this investment into a worthy cause. A career change is in the offing. There will be none of the objections you had expected from your family.

It’s time to think about balancing the books. Mercury turns retrograde in neighbouring Libra on Monday. This accents one of the finance zones of your solar chart. Mercury (your ruling planet) has a reputation for messing with people’s heads. It’s entirely possible given how busy you’ve been in recent weeks, that you’ve temporarily lost the financial plot and that quick review would be helpful. That said, there is a Last Quarter Moon in Cancer on Wednesday. Research suggests that the mix of Virgo and Cancer brings anxiety to the surface. It might help to go through matters within experience of professional whose practical suggestions enable you to move forward without worry; but yes, in the process they could uncover unfinished business, and yes possibly even a bill that yet to be paid. On the constructive side however, your recent efforts are likely to be rewarded with discussions about using your talents more usefully leading to arrangements for a meeting next week.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily, you’ve a talent for organising plans that suit you but also keep others happy. Now, however, that won’t work. The resulting discussions will take you in new directions, in terms of both arrangements and the people involved. Overwhelming as those changes seem now, by early October’s Libra New Moon, you’ll recognise just how much you’ll benefit, as the coming weeks and months unfold.

A problem hasn’t changed even though this has been going on for some months now. If you feel strongly about this matter, you might gather people together to campaign for something definite to be done. Your expertise will be highly valued. A neighbour will do you a favour. You won’t take their kindness for granted and will offer to do something for them in return. They won’t have expected this and they will be delighted.

Mercury turns retrograde in your sign on Monday. This isn’t something that happens every year. The last time it happened was in 2015. You will need to take care that you don’t mess with other people’s heads. It may be that they view you as having procrastinated or prevaricated long enough. Try to avoid making a decision in haste. You’d likely regret it later. Focus instead on the world you’re trying to create. Making adjustment is not the same as doing a U-turn. At the Last Quarter Moon midweek, you could make excellent presentation incorporating the reasons why you’ve made alterations and, in the process, receive respect. Dealings with those who live and work abroad or who have international connection is set to increase greatly from the end of this year. Now should be considered the optimum time for laying the groundwork for developing these partnerships.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Appealing as the idea of finalising existing arrangements or future plans may be, the coming weeks’ planetary activity indicates you’re in for a few surprises. While these may be unsettling, each will also bring a breakthrough of some variety. The trick? It’s to explore everything, aware that this isn’t about finalising plans but rather, broadening your awareness of options, now and as the future unfolds.

Sudden disagreements could put a block on group activities which up until now, had been going well. You know you can work successfully as a team and you are certain that you will do so again once you overcome the problems now facing you. This would be a great time to start to ease yourself away from tiring commitments that are starting to make you feel restricted. Think about booking a holiday.

Mercury turns retrograde in neighbouring Libra on Monday. As you might expect, this could bring confused communication. It is definitely not the best decision-making day as you could so easily jump to conclusions. Far better perhaps to wait a few more days and do more research. Of course, it’s entirely possible that you will be driven to do so by having to take stance before the end of September. That being the case, you perhaps need to go to those who offer the best advice: possibly an Aquarius, but certainly someone who is able to take the ‘eagle eye’ view. Experience matters. The Moon reaches a Scorpio career point on Friday when your needs will doubtless be recognised. It might also be suggested that you work closely with someone for whom you have had admiration in the past. Though they may take an opposing view to your own, you will likely thrive on the ensuing debate; placing you then in excellent position to move forward.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Nobody is better than a Sagittarius at figuring out ways to sidestep obstacles, whether they involve difficult individuals or dull practicalities. Now, however, you’re urged to delve into these. This isn’t about proceeding as planned but, rather, gathering facts. These seem unimportant now; but by mid-October, when powerful planetary activity indicates breakthroughs, you’ll be glad you’ve thought options through, and know who to call on and what to ask.

Lively and sociable describes your activities with friends and neighbours. Group activities make this a good time to let your natural zest for action go to your head. Your enthusiasm for new projects will be contagious. Have fun and make the most of the sociable spirit around you. Information you should have been given some time ago will be received and now you will know why you weren’t told about this at the time.

A trip down memory lane seems more likely than not between Mercury’s retrograde station on Monday and the Last Quarter Moon midweek. Of course, this could be a good thing – particularly if you’re clearing things out and making space for the new. It might also be a little disturbing. Communications could at best be confused and at worst costly: especially if you’re involved in the sale of items. Double check all arrangements as there are times when you can be careless. The issue maya be about description and history – where you are eventually proved correct. Yet it wouldn’t be surprising if you experienced rethink moments. This may not be a bad thing. Fact is that over the next seven days you’re likely to be digging deep into your memory bank.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Not only are things falling into place magically, they’re so promising you’re wary. As a cautious Capricorn, you expect obstacles and, when possible, plan how best to deal with them. While with Mercury retrograde from the 27th until 18 October, there’ll be unexpected events, still, the planetary setup indicates the resulting surprises will benefit you. The challenge? Relaxing and allowing good things to come your way.

You hate to admit it when you are feeling restless. People know you as being cautious and controlled but you can have your fidgety moments too. Others won’t notice this so much if you are on the move or if you keep yourself busy with a variety of tasks. You may not like the direction some conversations take later in the week when you gather changes have been discussed in the past without your knowledge.

The combination of Mercury turning retrograde at a career point and a Last Quarter Moon in your opposite sign on Wednesday, suggests turbulence at work. It may be that people are moving on and or that you’re asked to review a task that began a few weeks ago but is in very much unfinished condition. This seems to be a recurrent theme. Not since 2015 have you had to deal with such a muddle. Yet this is where you excel. For the last decade Pluto has been moving through your sign and you’ve learnt to dig deep and find extra resources. Over the next few days not only could you do that, you might also realise that there are certain individuals who have been draining your batteries. It’s perhaps time for you to consider parting company or re-delegating. This isn’t a task that needs to be done in haste, indeed, it may be that strategic planning is necessary if a project is to be accomplished by mid-October.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Sometimes the misunderstandings triggered by Mercury retrograde, from 27 September, are no more than that. Explore what’s coming your way now, however, and you’ll soon spot the amazing ideas, if not breakthroughs, you’re encountering. True, taking advantage of them could mean rethinking certain longstanding arrangements. Actually, you may already have been considering it. If so, you’ll realise that the time has come to take action.

A pushy colleague or relative will try to make decisions for you. They may have done this already in the past and although you don’t want to make waves, it is time to let them know you have a mind of your own. If they don’t want to hear, deliberately doing the opposite to what they expect will get the message across. You could do with a change of scenery and travelling to a place you don’t visit often will lift your spirits.

Mercury turns retrograde in another of the air signs on Monday. That’s followed two days later by a last Quarter Moon. It may be that a situation that’s been developing over the last couple of years has now reached crisis point. Action may be needed; but this likely requires that you take a fresh approach. Mercury is turning retrograde in an area associated with higher learning. It may be that the expertise you have is no longer sufficient for what you want to do. You might also be disappointed by an educational course. Finding another route is perhaps one option; another would be to address the issues of what is being offered and demand meetings for next week to see what, if anything, can be salvaged. You likely need to know that your career path is not blocked.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Having been born under perhaps the most compassionate sign, you’ll help those who’re struggling, in whatever way is necessary, and often without a thought. Taking personal advantage of the current amazing ideas or offers, some financial or involving work, is another matter. You worry or may even feel guilty. The secret? Say yes now. Then consider how you’ll share the bounty destiny is bringing your way.

There’s a cloud of doubt and suspicion hovering over a close friendship. Someone hasn’t been honest with you and you don’t feel comfortable with certain aspects of this relationship. A heart-to-heart talk is recommended as you won’t be at ease in their company until an issue has been settled. You’re growing tired of being left with jobs other people don’t like to do. Take a few days off work if possible then they will have no choice. Get in some relaxation.

It’s just possible that something important has been overlooked. At Mercury’s retrograde station on Monday this could come to light. It may be that there is a financial element and that you need to take action quickly if you’re not required to pay a costly penalty by the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday. All this you can deal with. Yet you might need to query why certain administration has taken so long to complete. The excuse of pandemic related chaos may no longer apply. It might be as well to anticipate that schedules won’t go according to plan and that you will need to be ultra-flexible. If you’re prone to finding all this irritating, then be prepared for your temper to flare: something which could sabotage your chances for improving your situation next week.

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

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