GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 22 May 2022

If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are,
and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.
And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong. ~Terry Pratchett


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

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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

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.

Goddess Month of Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ May 13th to June 9th ~ Hawthorn

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

What’s Happening in MAY

May 23: The birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, born in 1707. A Swedish botanist, Linnaeus helped us keep things straight with his binomial system of plant names.
May 27: Today is the birthday of Rachel Carson (1907), writer, ecologist, and marine biologist. Her courageous 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the world to the dangers of pesticide poisoning.
May 30: The Southern Ute Bear Dance (Memorial Day Weekend)
May 30: New Moon in Gemini

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Face to Face with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays/

Black Hat – May 28 – 7PM – 9PM
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ WitchCrafting – June 5
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herbal Cauldron – June 12
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – June 19
Reiki I and II: 4 PM – 6PM – June 25
Black Hat – June 25 – 7PM – 9PM

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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), with sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.

Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord

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

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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 online lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

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

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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
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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

GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com

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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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Join Our Cat Community on Twitter! The Cat Philosophers! Must Love Cats!
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1508878853783048194

Three Rules

  1. Be kind and respectful.
  2. Keep Tweets on topic.
  3. Explore and share.

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Mercury Retrograde in Gemini — Here’s What You Can Expect
By Tarot.com Staff

By now, you’ve probably already heard about the pesky astrological event known as Mercury Retrograde. It’s usually written about as a very chaotic time when communication goes awry, and while that’s true, there’s so much more to what goes on during this retrograde period! Many things can impact how you personally experience Mercury Retrograde — including what sign and element Mercury is in, and where the retrograde occurs in your natal chart.

What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury Retrograde happens about three or four times each year, for a period of about three to four weeks at a time. Mercury slows down to the point that it appears to be moving backward, but it’s really an optical illusion. The communication planet does still have forward momentum, it just isn’t moving at its usual speedy pace.

Planet Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology, so all of these things are often disrupted during Mercury Retrograde. Yes, things can get a bit chaotic, but there’s also a lot of good that can come out of this time. This can be a time of reflection, reconsideration, and retreat. Just like the planet Mercury, we’re being asked to slow down so we can revisit our beliefs, our thought patterns, and how we want to move forward in our lives

In 2022, almost every Mercury Retrograde period will begin in an Air sign and move to an Earth sign: Aquarius moving into Capricorn, Gemini into Taurus, Libra into Virgo, and finally beginning in Capricorn. Air signs are intellectual, while Earth signs are more rooted in reality. Because Mercury Retrograde is a time of reflection, this shift from theoretical Air into productive Earth means we could come out of the retrograde period with more solid plans than we had when we originally entered it.

When is Mercury Retrograde?

• Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: May 10 – June 3, 2022 (entering Taurus on May 22)

• Mercury Retrograde in Libra: September 9 – October 2, 2022 (entering Virgo on September 23)

• Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn: December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023

Reveal how to make Mercury Retrograde work for you with a FREE reading »
Mercury Retrograde in Gemini and Taurus
The next Mercury Retrograde period starts on May 10, 2022 in chatty Gemini, and will continue backpedaling into Taurus on May 22 before turning direct on Jun 3, 2022. As Mercury rules Gemini and is strong in this sign, it’s possible that the usual Mercury Retrograde mishaps might become more of a nuisance! In particular, if you have anything going on that involves writing, speaking, teaching, or learning, this might be a time when you’d be wise to review your work and double-check your sources even more than usual.

Since Mercury and Gemini are also connected to siblings and your neighborhood, watch out for misunderstandings between you and a brother, sister, or neighbor. Do your best to avoid making a vital decision about any situation connected to you and any of these people in your life. There might be some type of frustrating situation that happens in your neighborhood during these few weeks and if so, you’ll need to be patient. Roadwork or some other situation that makes commuting in your area more frustrating is possible.

Once Mercury Retrograde moves into Taurus, life becomes all about your own self-acceptance and worth. You may start to question your attachments towards the material side of life. You could realize your budget needs fine-tuning or reconsider what you are doing to earn a living. Either way, this is the time to think through your finances and identify ways to change and strengthen your self-worth. Try to keep things in perspective — any slowdowns won’t last forever.

And while Mercury Retrograde often gets a bad rap for leading to chaos, this retrograde period could actually lead to profound clarity! It’s all about how you navigate it, so discover how to steer your love life in the right direction…

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Heartwings Love Notes: A Recipe for Friendship

Heartwings Says, “Food and friendship go together.”

Remember how at one time friends would do a chain letter for the sharing of recipes? This involved typing up 10 copies of a recipe and sharing it with ten friends who were to do the same, and so on. Names were listed and we crossed out the name at the top and substituted one’s own. In addition, we were supposed to share a recipe of our own back to the sender. Theoretically, we were supposed to get back a large number of recipes to enjoy. In practice I don’t know about anyone else, but I got few if any new recipes and those I did get, much to my dismay, were not to my taste.

Once everyone pretty much had computers this changed to sending them out as emails. While this was easier, it still produced the same results: One or two recipes back and nothing I could make use of. However, I have often shared recipes with friends and they with me. These I keep in a loose-leaf notebook of pages with clear plastic over them beneath which I can place the written page for preservation.

This unique recipe for a banana cake given me by a dear friend is very special. Banana Lattice Cake: From South America, the recipe is somewhat time consuming, yet fun to make especially if you have a child to help you with the lattice work. Grease a 9X12 baking pan, preheat the oven to 350 or 325 if pan is glass.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
4 or 5 ripe bananas
Cinnamon to sprinkle
Sugar to sprinkle
Lemon juice to sprinkle

Method: Cream sugar and butter, add egg and vanilla, beat well. Mix in Baking powder and salt, then flour. When mixture is well blended put half of it into baking dish. Press into dish, let sides build up a little. Slice ripe bananas over top and distribute evenly. Sprinkle lemon, sugar and cinnamon over bananas. Take about a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Then put your hands together as if you were clapping but rub them back and forth so that the dough makes a long roll or strip. Crosshatch the bananas with these strips, placing them on the diagonal. Don’t worry if some are not long enough; just add onto them with shorter pieces. The dough will all glue itself together nicely as it bakes and spread out to make a pretty, puffy appearance. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool before cutting and serving. Delicious! Serves 24 to 36.

Whenever I make this, I think of my friend fondly and wish we could share a piece. My hand written recipes are my most precious and evoke fond memories of the times we spent together.

May you have friends to cook with, and may your recipes turn out well.

Blessings and best Regards, Tasha Halpert

Please write me back with any comments, thoughts or suggestions. I prefer tashahal@gmail.com for now. All blessings, Tasha

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Double It!
MAY 22, 2022 BY NATALIE ZAMAN

Welcome to Gemini season! The celestial twins remind us that more can be better. What in your life needs to be doubled (without, of course, wreaking havoc in other areas of your life)? Do you need more funds? More time? More patience?

Go outdoors (Gemini is an air sign) and take in two (for the twins) deep breaths—in through your nose and out through your mouth. With each exhale, say or think this two-line incantation to bring double-good energy to that which needs multiplying:

Double, double—without any trouble!
Double my ____.

Fill in the blank with what you need.
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Magical Quartz Battery
MAY 21, 2022 BY MELISSA TIPTON

For this spell, you’ll need a piece of clear quartz, a plant pot or a spot in the garden, and a seed of any kind. As the seed germinates and blossoms into a plant, you’ll be charging the quartz with the energy of growth.

Prepare the soil, then hold the seed and quartz in your hands, closing your eyes and coming into a light meditative state. Focus on the intention that the quartz will record the energy of the plant’s divinely guided growth, allowing you to tap into this “battery” whenever you need to.

Then plant the seed and anchor the quartz in the soil nearby. Tend to the seed in the coming weeks, and as the plant grows, the crystal will be charged with this energy. When you want to use it, retrieve the crystal, empower any magical workings with its energy, then place it back in the soil to recharge.
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World Bee Day
MAY 20, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

Today is World Bee Day. Bees are of vital importance to our ecosystems and human food production, and wild bee populations have been in significant decline for over forty years. Year after year, bees bless us with the beauty of flowers and trees, the magic of herbs, the sweetness of honey, and the sustenance of fruit, nuts, and seeds. So today, bless the bees. First, close your eyes and place your hands in prayer pose. Take some deep breaths and connect with Mother Earth. Say:

Gaia, Great Goddess, please bless the
bees. Surround them with the golden
light of wellness and vitality. Help
them multiply and thrive. Thank you.

Then plant one or more plants that support bees in your garden or an outdoor pot, or gift someone you know with such a plant (or seeds). Plants that support bees include borage, crocus, bee balm, goldenrod, calendula, and sunflower.
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A Peony Spell for Protection
MAY 19, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Peonies are blooming now in many regions. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also excellent at repelling evil forces. For this reason, they are frequently cut and brought into the home.

For this spell you’ll need one to three cut peony stems placed in a vase of water. Set them near an exterior door. Then look at them and say:

Peonies, let the spirits of light stay.
Peonies, let the spirits of darkness be on their way.

Allow the peonies to sit undisturbed until the petals fall. Then gather the petals along with the vase and carry them outside. Compost the petals or toss them on the ground. Do the same with the stems. Then pour the water on the ground, but don’t use it to water another plant. Wash out the vase to use for other purposes. Your home is now spiritually clean.
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Beginning of La Fete de la Nature
MAY 18, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

La fête de la nature (the Party of Nature) occurs every year around the International Day of Biodiversity. To celebrate, we’ll create Nana Buluku. This fierce wisewoman and powerful witch created the universe. Nana Buluku is called Lady of the Swamp and Lady of the Clay. Prominent in West Africa’s Fon, Ketu, and Yoruba pantheons, she rose up from the primordial swamp and loves everything connected to it. We’ll conjure her energies outdoors; she’s too powerful for magick indoors.

Gather these materials:
• 8 cups (or more) of soil
• Jug of spring water
• Cowrie shells (or other seashells)
• Rose petals and buds
• Freshly collected leaves

To invoke Nana Buluku’s energy, make an earth mound, symbolic of her fertility. Think loving thoughts of gratitude as you conjure creativity from this divine herbalist.

Moisten the soil with the water, just enough to be able to work it. Shape an earth mound with your hands. (Do not use a knife or any metal, as this will anger her.) Decorate with the shells, rose petals and buds, and leaves.
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A Peony Spell for Protection
MAY 19, 2022 BY JAMES KAMBOS

Peonies are blooming now in many regions. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also excellent at repelling evil forces. For this reason, they are frequently cut and brought into the home.

For this spell you’ll need one to three cut peony stems placed in a vase of water. Set them near an exterior door. Then look at them and say:

Peonies, let the spirits of light stay.
Peonies, let the spirits of darkness be on their way.

Allow the peonies to sit undisturbed until the petals fall. Then gather the petals along with the vase and carry them outside. Compost the petals or toss them on the ground. Do the same with the stems. Then pour the water on the ground, but don’t use it to water another plant. Wash out the vase to use for other purposes. Your home is now spiritually clean.
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Safe, Magical Neighborhood
MAY 17, 2022 BY ASTREA TAYLOR

Magic can raise the energy, safety, and positivity of your area. This spell requires a printed map of your neighborhood, a pencil, six small bags, and a marker.

On the map, circle your home. Next, draw a pentagram over your neighborhood, with your house in the middle. Number the points 1–5.

Take a walk to the first point. Get as close as possible to it without trespassing. Secretly collect a small sample of dirt, grass, rocks, or leaves, and place it in a bag. Number that bag “1” with the marker. Repeat this for all five points. Collect a sample from your home area as well. At your altar, arrange the materials on the map according to their number. Trace the pentacle with your finger and say:

Rock, grass, leaf, and debris,
A safe, magical community.
A pentacle creates unity.

Trace a circle around the points to form a pentacle. Leave the map out for a day. Store the materials in a jar to seal in the magic.
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Dream Processing and Remembrance
MAY 16, 2022 BY RAVEN DIGITALIS

It’s a well-known fact that our subconscious mind communicates messages to us in the dreamscape. Additionally, our time of rest allows our brain, our mind, and our consciousness to assimilate previous experiences. Sleep also allows the body to repair itself on a cellular level.

The full moon is a time of illumination and insight. Before going to sleep tonight, meditate with a large piece of amethyst in the dark. Speak nine times to the stone (nine being the esoteric Qabalistic number of the moon) the following words:

I remember and feel my dreams tonight;
they will provide me healing insight.

Put the stone in a glass of water on your bedside table. It’s even better if the water can receive some moonlight!

Upon waking, meditate while slowly sipping the water. Make note of any dream insights or memories, and consider repeating the spell on other full moons.

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Surrender Box

A surrender box is a tool to let go of our burdens so the universe can take care of them for us.

There are times when our minds become too full. Our to-do lists, worries, plans, and dreams may be so crowded together in our heads that we don’t have room to think. We may believe that we are somehow taking care of our desires and concerns by keeping them at the forefront of our minds. In maintaining our mental hold on every detail, however, we may actually delay the realization of our dreams and the resolution of our worries because we won’t let them go. At times such as these, we may want to use a surrender box.

A surrender box allows us to let go of our worries and desires so the universe can take care of them for us. We write down what we want or need to happen and then place the note into a box. By writing and placing our thoughts in the box, we are taking action and letting the universe know we need help and are willing to surrender our feelings. We give ourselves permission to not concern ourselves with that problem any longer and trust that the universe is taking care of it. You may even want to decorate your box and place it in a special place. Your surrender box is a sacred container for your worries. Not only do you free up space in your mind by letting go of our worries and desires and dropping them into your surrender box, but you are giving your burden over to a higher power. Once we drop our worries and desires into the surrender box, we free our minds so we can be fully present in each moment.

Surrendering our worries and concerns and placing them in the hands of the universe doesn’t mean that we’ve given up or have been defeated. Instead, we are releasing the realization of our desires and the resolution of our worries and no longer concerning ourselves with their outcomes. It’s always fun to go back and pull the slips of paper out of the box once your requests have been granted. And it’s amazing how quickly problems go away and dreams come true when we finally let go and allow a higher power to help us.

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Trouble Sleeping? Consider A Natural Sleep Solution
by Andrew Weil, M.D.

If getting enough deep, restful sleep has become more of a dream than reality, consider Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). This herb is a safe and effective sleep aid, shown to help relieve insomnia. It is available in tincture, extract, or capsule form – use one teaspoon of the tincture in a quarter cup of water or take one or two capsules at bedtime. Look for valerian products standardized to one percent valerenic acid. When used appropriately, valerian has no known side effects, but it is best used only on a short-term or an occasional basis to maintain its efficacy. Combine this herb with a guided meditation app or program or my relaxation breathing exercise while hibernating in a completely dark room for greater and consistent success.

Learn more about how to get deep sleep, naturally!

If getting enough deep, restful sleep has become more of a dream than reality, consider Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). This herb is a safe and effective sleep aid, shown to help relieve insomnia. It is available in tincture, extract, or capsule form – use one teaspoon of the tincture in a quarter cup of water or take one or two capsules at bedtime. Look for valerian products standardized to one percent valerenic acid. When used appropriately, valerian has no known side effects, but it is best used only on a short-term or an occasional basis to maintain its efficacy. Combine this herb with a guided meditation app or program or my relaxation breathing exercise while hibernating in a completely dark room for greater and consistent success.

Learn more about how to get deep sleep, naturally!

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Riding the Wave of life

While riding the wave of life you must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe’s flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life’s high and low points. The universe’s flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching the bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life’s flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.

Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can “stay above water” as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life’s flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
Haunted Lakes

Haunted lakes are a chilling scenario. Sure, haunted houses, haunted railroad tracks, haunted forests, but haunted lakes can add a pallor over any fishing trip or summer getaway. Why would a lake be haunted? Well, let’s look at some that claim to be –

Haunted Lake
Francestown, NH
Just outside of Francestown in New Hampshire, there is a pond that has come to be known as “Haunted Lake.” They had reason to give it this nomenclature.

Way back in the pond’s history, there was a fire along its shores that burned everything, leaving it looking very eerie and odd. European settlers and Native People all noted its odd appearance.

In the 1700s, a surveyor was employed to map out the area and wrote in his journal, “Soon after darkness set in, there commenced groanings and shrieks as of a human being in distress, and these continued, most plaintive and affecting, till nearly morning.”

In the late 1700s, a man was building a mill near the pond and found the bones of a “very large man.”

In the 1800s, four males drowned in the lake.

Eventually, the pond was named for the Scoby family, but locals still referred to as the Haunted Lake.

Lake Ronkonkoma
New York
Hold onto your blanket and pull your feet up off the floor and be safe. Here’s a legend of a lake haunted by a beautiful Indian Princess who likes to claim men at the lake to join her in the deep recesses for eternity.

The legend says this princess fell in love with a white settler who claimed a homestead near the lake. Her father forbade her marrying the man. They would repeatedly send each other love messages. The princess would paddle halfway out on the lake and push a message toward his shore. After years of this lovesick connection, the princess lost her mind. She supposedly sent her lover one last note of farewell and the note and her boat washed up on his shore. She had killed herself on the lake. The legend also says that over the past 200 years, one man has died on the lake each year.

Stow Lake Ghost
California
The legend has lasted for 100 years that a woman was strolling her baby near the lake in Golden Gate Park and she stopped to sit down, talked to another lady, and her strolled rolled down hill into the lake, drowning the baby. It is said that, after searching for her baby all day, during the night she checked the lake, entering it and never coming back. Her supposed spirit has taken on a “white lady” theme.

Source: It is rumored that if someone goes to Stow Lake at night, weird occurrences take place. Stories have been told that the lady comes up from the lake, or the statue in her honor comes to life, or she will come up to you and ask, “Have you seen my baby?” Other reports say if you drive there with your friends in a group of cars, all the cars will stall at the same time. Another rumor is said that, if someone says “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times, the lady will appear. She’ll ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say yes, she’ll haunt you and if you say no, she’ll kill you.

Drew University Lake
New Jersey
In the woods close to the arboretum at Drew University is a lake. It is reportedly haunted by a lady in blue. The spirit apparently likes to trip people and her apparition has been seen. People also report things such as feeling uneasy, as if they are being watched, and even cold spots.

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The Druids Garden
Building an Earth Oven, Part II: Insulation, Finish Plaster, and Cob Mosaic

In last week’s post, we began exploring the build of an earth oven. An Earth Oven is a simple structure, made of clay, sand, straw, stone, and fire brick, that you can use to cook foods in a traditional way. Last week’s post walked you through the first set of steps for building your oven. In this post, we’ll finish the build, troubleshoot, and talk about how to bake in your oven. When we last left off, the oven was drying after building the dome. What is left to do is to add a layer of insulation and a finish plaster, and then offer the oven protection from the elements (an upcoming post cause I don’t have that last part done yet!)

Insulating Your Oven!
Mixing cob insulation layer–keep on adding straw until it barely stick together!

Once your oven is fairly dry, you will need to add an additional layer of insulation to the oven. Insulation is critical for the success of your oven, as this determines how quickly the oven heats up and how long it holds heat. If you want to bake 10 pizzas in a row in the oven, an insulated oven may be able to do it, while an oven with less insulation wouldn’t hold the high temperature long enough and you would have to repeatedly build fires. There are a few things that work and, as I discovered, some things that don’t work, for insulation.

One of the tried and true methods for insulation is to mix your cob with as much straw as possible so that it just barely is holding together. Straw itself has a lot of holes that trap air, so a layer of mostly straw will trap air, creating insulation. You want STRAW here and not hay (straw has many long and thin shafts with air in the middle; hay is basically dried grass). If you get creative, you can also add lots of glass little bottles to your oven to get even more insulation. I had read online somewhere that sawdust also makes a good insulation layer–this did not hold true in my experience. I added a layer of sawdust-cob mix and it had very little insulating properties, so I had to add a second insulation layer. So let’s add that layer!

To do this, you will mix up your cob, keeping it a little wetter than normal. Take clean straw and, if you can, use scissors to cut it up if it’s really long (anything over about 12″ in length you can cut down a bit). This makes it easier to cut it. Then you mix it in and get ready to add it all over your entire oven.

My big mistake here is that I thought sawdust would be insulating enough, so my friends and I put on a layer of sawdust (and artwork) that we ended up having to cover up. Ah well!

For extra insulation, I also added some small bottles; these created bigger pockets of air for extra insulation. You don’t have to do this. I had a bunch of bottles that I was having difficulty cleaning after they had tinctures in them for a long time, so I decided to put them to use in my earth oven. You can see that in-progress shot above–the straw insulation with the extra bottles.

Finish Plaster and Decoration
At this point, you have a fully functional, very well insulated, earth oven. Now you can turn your attention to the decoration of your earth oven, the finish plaster, and figuring out how to put a good “hat” or roof on your oven. The reason you need to think about plaster and a roof is to protect it from the elements. This is an oven made of mud, and thus, exposure to the elements for any amount of time will damage it. Until you get your finishes on, you can put a tarp over it!

You have a lot of options for finish plasters and thinking about how to protect your oven. Lime plasters are one option–here is a good introduction to lime plaster. If you do a lime plaster, you will have a nice breathable finish that is also very protective of rain and snow.

I made a cob-based finish plaster using a higher ratio of sand to prevent cracking. You will want to mix your plaster in advance and then do a test piece on your plaster to see if it’s cracking or not. If it cracks, adjust your ratios (particularly see if you need more sand). You will also want to include a short fiber that is very strong. A lot of people use cattail fluff for this; but, I had an abundance of milkweed pods on the property (and I was already using the seeds for seed balls), so I decided to use the milkweed fluff and that worked great.

Plaster can be applied in a thin layer. What I did was to briefly wet down the outer layer (so that the plaster sticks) and then use a trowel and my hands to spread the plaster, about 1″ thick and smooth it out nicely. Here are a few steps:

Mixing my milkweed-based finish plaster–I felt like a frolicking fairy!

After I have started my final plaster–you can see the consistency of the milkweed plaster (a cattail plaster would look pretty similar).

Because I also wanted some artwork and decoration on my cob, I used the cob plaster to shape some nice spirals. I saved up broken plates, cups, and bowls that had broken during regular use, and then I used a hammer to smash them up and give me smaller pieces. I embedded these in the cob plaster and used a small sponge to wipe away excess. When the plaster dried, I went back in and wiped it away again to clean up the mosaic pieces.

Now I’m going in and taking a wet sponge and sponging off most of the excess cob. If there are areas that need more cob, I add it. The idea is a smooth presentation.

Despite my best efforts, I still had a little cracking on my earth plaster, but I’m ok with that. I needed to do a second test, and I didn’t, primarily because it was starting to get cold and I was running out of time to complete the build!

Sheltering your Earth oven
The final step for your earth oven is to create a shelter for it. You either need a shelter or a finish plaster( lime plaster). In temperate ecosystems with lots of rain and snow, a shelter is your best bet. I am working on that final step this spring, so I’ll share more about it once my friends and I finish that part. It has taken some time because I’ve been harvesting lumber from the property–as trees fall down or are blown down by storms, I am gathering them up to use for my shelter. This takes more time, but it’s also in reverence and respect for this land that had been logged before I came.

Final Thoughts and Troubleshooting
My oven has a crack! Nearly all earth ovens will develop a crack somewhere. That’s ok, and honestly, the crack can tell you a lot about the oven–as you learn about your oven, you will learn to read the crack to understand the temperature, etc. This isn’t usually anything to worry about as long as you have built a strong structure.

My oven takes a while to heat! Yes, it does. This is not like turning on your fossil-fuel-driven oven. Earth ovens take time and are absolutely ‘slow food’. Because of this, you have to spend time tending the fire before you can cook. To get pizzas, I start my oven about 4-4.5 hours before I want to bake. If it’s below 40, I start it 5 hours before I want to bake. This means every 30 min, I am going to tend my fire. That’s part of the experience. If you aren’t achieving baking temperatures, you probably need a longer fire.

My oven doesn’t seem hot enough. Get yourself an oven thermometer (the stand-up kind) and see what your internal temperature is.

I will be sharing more details about baking in the earth oven and some cool recipes to try in my 3rd post in this series! Stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope that this series has inspired you to get your hands in the mud and maybe build something or help someone build something. Blessings!

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 12
by Stephen Halpert

After they twirled about the dance floor for close to an hour, Gilberto and Maria headed for the elevator. Once inside it, they kissed like adolescents.
The door opened; he bent to pick her up. “I’ll carry you back to the room,” he smiled.
She shook her head gently. “I appreciate your offer, however, best not to with that back of yours.” Her hand stroked his cheek.
They walked hand in hand down the hall to their room. Gilberto sighed. “That boy’s screwed up.”
“Hush,” Maria said. “That’s a judgment. He is what he is: a sensitive child caught in emotionally painful gender confusion.”
Gilberto frowned. “Any way around that?”
Maria smiled. “Perhaps giving him and others like him a tender environment where they can grow safely into maturity.”
He unlocked their room and opened the door to let them in. “And you’re saying gender doesn’t matter–boy or girl? Jeans or skirts?”
She slipped out of her dress, saw his immediate expression and grinned. “No darling. Don’t try to understand it that way. Each of us is a tender creation of God. There are no mistakes, Gilberto. God doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
He looked at her and grinned. “Can we skip this and,” he paused, “get on with our evening?”
She sat on the bed and sighed. “Gilberto, what you must try to understand is that we are who we are intended to be.”
He frowned and shook his head. “It’s so confusing, Maria.”
She stroked his arm. “Would you please rub my shoulders? I want us to talk about this.”
“Sure,” he sat next to her on the bed and smoothed his palms across her shoulders. Then he laughed. “I forgot what I was going to say.”
She turned to face him and smiled. “Then I guess it really didn’t matter.”
She put her fore finger against his lips. “The kids like him are working on their identity issues. They’re wonderful children trying to find their way.” He stroked her back.
She sighed and said ‘Oh that feels so good.” She paused and wriggled her shoulders. “I think he’s a sweet little boy.”
“Who thinks he’s a girl.” Gilberto stood, took off his jacket and kicked off his shoes.
“Yes,” Maria nodded. “He does.”
he leaned down and took off his socks. “Maria, he’s setting himself up for trouble.”
“But Gilberto, if since his birth he always felt feminine, who is anyone to tell him differently. Certainly not politicians using a child’s confusion to cause trouble and garner votes.”
Gilberto finished undressing and got under the covers. “So, what are we supposed to do, buy him dresses?”
She grinned. “You were wonderful. I feared you’d have blown up but you maintained your cool and actually showed friendship.” She slid into bed beside him.
He kissed her. “You see life so simply. Maria, I am very glad we have each other. I trust what you say.”
She smiled and reached for something on the bedside table. “Here.” She handed him a folded paper plate.
His eyes widened. “What’s this?”
She giggled. “A jelly donut, I thought we could share.”
He nodded. Good idea!” He took a big bite and handed it to her. “And how about Joey. Are we just going to stand aside and let him follow the way he wants to?”
She nodded. “Of course. I trust Joey. I love him and I believe he’ll always make the right decisions with how he deals with life.”
He shook his head and sighed. “Optimistic.”
Maria looked him in the eye. “He’s my son, why shouldn’t I want for him the very best? I love him. But Gilberto, I have to let him be, let him grow into himself.”
Gilberto sighed. “Ok Maria. I can’t say anything back. I have no words, just fears that bring tears to my eyes.”
Maria put her arms round him. “Let them be them tears of joy, not tears of sorrow or fear, Gilberto. Send positive vibrations to our Joey. Then at least you’ll know you did the best you could. But God put Kyle in our path. I’ll do whatever I can for him.”
Gilberto looked into her eyes and smiled. “Ok, yeah, me too,” he said and embraced her.
“Personally, I think the world’s more than a little confused right now about how life is intended.”
Gilberto stroked her hair. “Maria the world has always been mixed up, just not like this. You’re right though, right now our job is to be compassionate and understanding.” He got out of bed and got a beer from the stocked bar in the mahogany liquor cabinet. “One more for the road,” he said, sitting in the armchair as he popped off the cap of the imported beer.
Maria shook her finger at him. “Don’t you fall asleep there in that chair.”
“Won’t happen. I intend to fall asleep next to you.”
His cell phone chirped. He made a face and picked it up. “It’s Rain. Hi?”
“Gilberto,” Diana Rain said. “There’s a hastily called meeting at Houndstooth at 2, and I thought I should let you know.”
“Meeting?”
“Yes, trustees and heads of departments. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.”
“Sure, Lunch at noon here at the Ritz?”
“Thank you, kind sir, I’d love that. The headmaster is at loggerheads with Lara Parker, who holds deeds to much of the estate property. Headmaster went ahead and funded a visibility study. Parker found out about it and now her attorneys are threatening to haul him into court. Behind it is a plan on her part to build a charity hospital.”
Gilberto shook his head as he remembered the painting crashing off the wall. Something tells me there’s more to this than just that. What caused Willabee’s sudden death, and how about his missing money, too?”
“Strange,” she said. “And everyone says all the boys loved him as though he were one of them.”
He shrugged and finished his beer. “We’ll talk tomorrow,” he said.
“Sure,” came the reply, followed by a click.
He put his phone away and looked at Maria, awaiting him beneath the covers. “Now back to us. There is nothing more important right now,” he said as he climbed in beside her.
To be continued

)0(

Kitty Kat’s Korner
=^..^=

How Can You Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Climate?

Share your love for cats!
Pet travel experts PBS Pet Travel have created a useful guide to help your four-legged friend enjoy trips abroad as much as you do!

With travel opportunities at their best for a few years now, more and more people are opening up to foreign holidays, travelling or even emirgrating. Latest govt figure show that 403,000 people left the UK to live abroad and that there were 23.8 million overseas visits by UK citizens by end of March 2020. With restrictions now more relaxed, those numbers are likely to increase.

How do you look after your pets though when you start this adventure?

Helping my pet adjust to colder weather
If you are moving to or are visiting a country colder than home you may need to consider a few things to make your little friend feel more comfortable.

Take shorter walks
When you first arrive, you and your pet will want to stretch your legs, great idea! To start with though, if you take your cat for walks, start with short walks. Too long out in the cold weather could cause injury and colds. The lower temperatures being something your little companion isn’t used to yet! Over time increase the level of walks but keep an eye out for shortness of breath or signs of them being unwell. IF you see this, contact a vet

Dress your pet appropriately
We all love to see our pets in cute costumes but when the temperature drops, it’s all about them feeling good-not looking good! Shop around for something that keeps them warm in the climate you are going to be surrounded by.

Incorporate indoor play
Sometimes, cats just wanna have fun! So find ways to keep the entertainment going inside. It promotes exercise, keeps them warm and staves off the boredom if weather outside is particularly bad! Look for fun and stimulating toys that let you interact with your pet!

Keep your pet dry
You will almost certainly be caught in rain, snow, sleet or hail at some point, just make sure your pet is dried off when you return. Snow is especially enticing to an animal that has never seen it before and could bring on a cold that takes a while to become noticable to you. Dry them off and let them settle down in their bed next to a suitbale heat source!

Create a suitable sleeping place
Your pet may love sleeping at the end of your bed-thats great! just be aware that in your new residence, that may not provide enough warmth! A banket, a pet bed and maybe even a pillow are all great to keep them comfortable and warm!

Helping my pet adjust to warmer weather
If you are enjoying time in the sun, just make sure your pet does too. A few simple tips will keep them happy and well!

Keep your pet hydrated
It sounds obvious but providing them with fresh cold water will stave off heatstroke and other ailments bought on by hot weather. Why not allow them the benefit of a shower with the garden hose!

Shorter walks later in the day
Sometimes the temperature is uncomfortable for you and your pet. Start walks later in the day to avoid the sun at its hottest. The lower humidity will also help keep your pet feeleing good. The longer you are in the area, the earlier you can make the walks as you all adjust to the new climate.

Limit exposure
Providing a shady area or simply limiting time exposed to the sun is always a great way to keep them comfy. Pets love to enjoy the outside, just make sure you have somewhere they can chill! They can get surnburnt too so invest in suitable animal sunscreen!

Protect from pests
Hot weather brings out all types of bugs and increases their reproduction! Don’t let your pet fall foul of the creepy crawlies.

Change your pets water supply regularly, bugs love to pollute drinking water!
Apply an animal safe insect repellant to your pet
Keep your living area clean and tidy- all types of bugs love to nest in cracks, holes and amongst clutter.
Time your walks-dusk and dawn are a common time for mosquitos
Brush their coat

Some pets have a very thick coat, regular brushing encourages a shed of the winter coat faster. They can then enjoy the sunny weather without a big thick coat and reduce the risk of heatstroke too!

PBS Pet Travel have been safely transporting animal across the world since 1989. Experts in the transportation of all types of animal, they are market leaders in the transit of your pets.

Marc-André
We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by five cheeky cats that get up to all kinds of mischief that of course, you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

)0(

Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, May 22, 2022

All Signs
Positive vibes are exploding this week! Except for seven weeks in Nov. & Dec. — lucky Jupiter is in dynamic Aries from May 10, 2022 to May 16, 2023. That’s a ten-month shot of adrenaline pumping into us! This week, Mars (the ruler of Aries) joins the dance, amplifying the energy of Jupiter, making it explode in astrological “goodness!” This will boost everyone’s confidence, erase their inhibitions, and make people believe they can achieve their dreams. But (there’s always a ‘but’) …. Mars in Aries rules war; so feisty confrontations are likely. Also, Mars is our ego. Ergo: “We are right!” (Gotta watch that ego/ergo thang.) “Whaat? If was wrong, don’t you think I’d know it?”

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your ruler Mars will be in your sign for the next six weeks, which is super energizing! Although this can happen once every two years, this time it will be an over-the-top experience for you because at the same time as Mars is in your sign, Jupiter will be in your sign as well. (This can happen only once every 12 years.) This means you’re cooking on all six burners. You feel courageous, eager, enthusiastic and totally confident about carrying out your plans. You’re ready to think big and nothing will hold you back. Obviously, this fortuitous combination can help you accomplish something. Grab the baton and run!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Mercury is retrograde in your sign until June 3; however, the shadow phase of Mercury retrograde will last as long as June 19. (Be smart and postpone buying ground transportation, computers and cell phones until after June 19.) Despite the annoyances of misplacing items, forgetting appointments and dealing with goofy mistakes, when Mercury is retrograde in your sign, it helps you to study the past, and learn more about who you are by seeing where you came from because you are the sum of all that you have ever been. It’s a time of reflection and wisdom that can be attained by deduction and revelation. You can make this work for you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You are empowered because the Sun is in your sign until Tuesday, June 21. This means the next month is your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year. This is timely because you’re looking at a popular time ahead! For the next year, Jupiter will boost your interactions with others and increase your involvement in clubs and organizations. For the next seven weeks, fiery Mars will urge you to formulate goals and pursue them. It also might throw you into a competitive situation with someone else, especially in athletics. Fortunately, it will stimulate your physical activity. You might get a promotion or a boost in your income. Looking swell!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a fabulous time for your reputation, your career and the impression you create on your peers because for the next year, Jupiter will be at the top of your chart giving anyone the impression that you are successful. (Hopefully, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.) Very likely, something will substantiate all this admiration. You will get a raise, a promotion, an award, or earn accolades and public recognition for your efforts. For the next month, Mars at the top of your chart, will arouse your ambition to go after what you want. Meanwhile, Venus is also at the top of your chart smoothing all your dealings with authority figures. Possibly promoting romance?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You’ll be popular for the next four weeks because your attention will be on friends and groups. This is because friendships will be important to you. You might examine your role in these relationships, and wonder if you are being a good friend to others. Should you do more to cultivate warm friendships? Meanwhile, lots of activity is taking place in the sign of Aries because Jupiter, Mars and Venus are gathered together in this sign. This ensemble will boost your desire to travel and do what you can to get a change of scenery. It might also increase your ambitions in publishing, medicine and the law. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde will attract bosses and authority figures from your past back into your world.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Once a year, the Sun travels across the top of your chart for four weeks. That time has arrived, which is good news because it symbolizes that you are in a spotlight, and this light is flattering. Yes! (You look mahvalous dahlink.) Especially to bosses, parents and VIPs. And you don’t even have to do anything special. (It’s smoke and mirrors.) Obviously, you can take this to the bank. (Oh yes.) Lucky, moneybags Jupiter, Mars and fair Venus are all in one of your Money Houses! Jupiter will stay there for the next year, which will increase your wealth from other sources – the government, loans, inheritances or indirect benefit through your partner. Romance is hot as well!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In the next four weeks, you want to get outta Dodge and grab a change of scenery to feel more stimulated about life. You want to study, travel, seek adventure and meet new, interesting people. Yeah! Likely, this will include partners or close friends because this part of your chart is activated for the rest of year. Venus and Jupiter will introduce positive, upbeat vibes with those who are close to you; however, Mars has just entered the room to stay for the next seven weeks. Mars represents war so it will create conflict. (See All Signs above.) On the upside, Mars will give you the courage to speak your peace, which might be a good thing.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In the next four weeks, you will be more in touch with a deeper part of yourself. You want to experience life on a feeling level, not an intellectual abstraction. (You might meet someone who triggers this process.) You might find you are more concerned about financial bills, insurance issues, shared property and money from others. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde will attract ex-partners and old friends from your past. “Homer!” “Marge?” However, one thing is certain, anything related to your job will slowly start to improve – no question. Opportunities to improve your existing job or get a better job will come to you. Relations with coworkers will also improve. This is nice.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Once a year, the Sun sits opposite your sign for four weeks. That time has arrived. This means you are focused on partners, spouses and close friends. “Sup, hon?” It’s important to know that while you are focused on this relationship, it’s an ideal time for you to learn more about your own style of relating to others because you have more objectivity right now. Meanwhile, the Sun is your source of energy, and symbolically, it is as far away from your sign as it can get all year. This means you will need more sleep. It’s also a good time to consult experts – lawyers, counsellors, accountants or an astrologer. But in the bigger picture, it’s going to be party city for your sign because you want to have fun! Children will be a source of joy. (Nice.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Roll up your sleeves because in the next four weeks, you will be productive, busy, hard-working and you will accomplish a lot. Oh yes. You will set your standards high, which is why whatever you do – you want to do it as efficiently as possible. (Like the wise carpenter: Measure twice, cut once.) You’ll be happy in the next four weeks because you like to be efficient. It pleases you. Meanwhile, a strong energy is focusing on home and family for you that will last all year. However, a strong burst of energy in your personal life will take place in the next several weeks. You might do renovations, redecorating projects, repairs or just shove some furniture around. Enjoy your home!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This is one of the most playful times of the year for your sign because for the next four weeks, the Sun will travel through the part of your chart that deals with vacations, parties, playful activities with kids, sports, the entertainment world and just having fun. Yay me! Your creative vibes will be hot. You want to socialize, as well as express your talents. Retrograde will put you in touch with family members you haven’t seen for a while. Meanwhile, optimism will be the theme of all your communications in the next year. And in the next several weeks, you will mean what you say and say what you mean! “‘Ten shun!”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Home, family, and your private life will be your main focus for the next four weeks. No question. Many of you will also be more involved with a parent than usual. Meanwhile, this is a wicked Mercury retrograde for your sign right now so expect transportation delays, car problems, mixed-up communications, missed appointments, and lots of delays. (Major groan.) However, you will also enjoy coming in contact with relatives, siblings, and neighbours you haven’t seen for a while. This will be a great time to study history and do research into the past. But the really good news is that for the next year, you’re going to get richer! Ka-ching! Would I kid you? (Not about money.

)0(

Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday
22 May 2022

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 every day 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:

With both the fortunate Jupiter and, as of Tuesday, your ruler Mars positioned in Aries, it’s time for a review. First, focus on activities, alliances, or objectives that are no longer rewarding, then say farewell to those you can now. Next? Explore the ideas and offers coming your way. For now, explore, knowing there are lots more ideas and encounters yet to appear.

If you can’t decide what to begin on first you should make it a priority to finish what has already been started. Do this before beginning on anything new or you may never complete projects now waiting for attention. Money-making activities will be productive and successful mid-week while romantic and sensual pleasures will be available in abundance as the weekends. The weekend will be dotted with lavish celebrations and joyous occasions.

Don’t underestimate your gift for making something out of nothing. Although Aries usually likes to start something new, you’re quite capable of taking something that has been discarded and giving it new life. That’s a major theme over the next few days. Through Monday and Tuesday, determining resources you have, and then, as Mars moves into your sign mid-week, implementing plans should result by Friday in you astounding others with what is regarded as an exercise in thrift! Yes, likely driven by Mercury retrograde and accenting financial issues. Yet Aries is the go-getting sign of the zodiac and showing others how to overcome obstacles is part of your nature.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Sometimes it’s easy to plan ahead. During this week, however, you’ll be facing frequent changes in circumstances. Plus, your mood or others’ ups and downs will complicate even the simplest of arrangements. The trick? Do what needs doing, then back off and respond to events as they arise. The individuals you encounter and, equally, completely unexpected activities will bring new light into your life.

Someone you work with or a member of a committee is refusing to give information that has been requested from them. If they aren’t going to reveal what has been going on you may have to some secret delving of your own. You would rather keep everything open but there are questions that need to be answered. When it comes to evening social plans, allow some room for last minute changes. Someone may cry out of arrangements at the last moment.

Mercury is retrograde and has returned to your sign: making full entry into Gemini mid-June. These next few weeks then should find you going back over recent decisions, refining them and ensuring all is perfect before moving forward. View this as a period of reconstruction. Writers should find this an excellent time for editing, and artists for rehearsing. With Mars crossing the all-important World Axis mid-week, you will likely find that others grasp the concept you present over Monday and Tuesday, and are willing to help you realise your goal. Though true, there may be difficulties with communication systems, and some people unavailable for comment or assistance. Yet by the close of this working week, you could set plans in motion ready for the launch of a project next month.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The Sun’s encounter with your ruler Mercury, on 21 May, promises to boost your spirts and, better yet, clarify your thinking about existing and future plans. However, life’s full of twists and turns. So, make plans, but regard them as tentative. Knowing that, take chances on the ideas and even individuals you’ve regarded as risky. While, at minimum, you’ll learn something, the outcome could be thrilling.

You are looking forward to starting on a long-term project but there are others around you who aren’t as keen. If, for whatever reason, you absolutely can’t wait to begin on this, make good use of your enthusiasm and get going now. If other people aren’t ready, they can catch up with you later. Ideally for company in the evenings, you will choose to be with quiet friends and loved ones who don’t expect constant conversation.

Your ruling planet, Mercury, is retrograde and returns to Taurus this week. Consider this to be a time for refinement. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to go back over pension arrangements or anything that’s deemed ‘long term’. Yes, it could feel initially as though you walking through quicksand with design faults or flaws holding you back. However, by the time Mars crosses the all-important World Axis mid-week, you should be re-energised: most likely by Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn who understand precisely what it is that you want to achieve, and are focused on assistance. That said, resist the urge to enter into too much debate. Ideas and opinions are likely to flow thick and fast and whilst you might understandably enjoy the cacophony of sound, take care that you don’t indulge so that this becomes a time-wasting exercise.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Judging by the current planetary setup, you’re on edge, if not under pressure to get certain ideas or plans going. What’s more, with the actual situations you’re dealing with in transition, while breakthroughs are possible, they probably won’t last long. Actually, that’s good, because your own priorities are likely to shift, regularly and, often, dramatically. Plans? Make them, but one day at a time.

There is a lot you would like to do for pleasure and an equal amount you have to do out of duty. You won’t resent putting work and other responsibilities first if this allows you to get on with the things you want to do, without interruption, later. This is a good time to develop your spirituality and for quiet thought and contemplation. Enjoy art, music, poetry and literature. If you are studying any of these subjects, expect to be praised for your work.

Your expertise could be challenged by someone who thinks they know so, so much better. They are likely incorrect. True, a review of progress would be wise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that flaws of faults have to be magnified. It might simply be that risk assessment should take place. Certainly, risk has an important role to play mid-week as Mars arrives at the apex of your solar chart. This should draw attention to the considerable effort you’ve put into a recent project and deemed that it can’t go much further without your increased involvement. This though would surely leave you with a dilemma. There are only 24 hours in the day, and it may be that you need to consider giving up one role or responsibility to make room to develop this other stream. Discussing options – most likely with a Capricorn – would likely be helpful. Their perspective will be slightly more detached than your own, but help you arrive at a conclusion – or at least a strategy for further discussion.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re definitely open to new ideas. It’s just that recently you’ve faced so many changes, most of which didn’t last, that you need a break. Actually, this is wise. As an occasionally impatient fire sign, you’ll sometimes force issues just to get things going when, in fact, you’re better off waiting; and what to do with your free time? Take that break. Have fun with others.

Someone who usually gets argumentative when things don’t go their way seems to be making a determined effort to remain calm. You will admire their self-control and you should tell them so. It will mean a lot to them to know you have noticed. Joining forces with an intelligent and talented workmate will ensure you make an excellent job on an important assignment. You will not have expected to achieve a lot; you will be pleasantly surprised.

Expect your words and actions to be high profile over the next seven days. That being the case, you need to be super careful about what you say when retrograde Mercury returns to the apex area of your solar chart. What you presumably don’t want to do is unsettle the situation. That said, this maybe a bargain shopping time. Observing, recalculating and re-estimating would be your better options. You can take action after Mars moves into another of the Fire signs mid-week. Then, not only should you make progress, but also make clear that you have fresh thoughts (very different to those of a couple of years ago) about how you wish to live. Anticipate that those born under the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, – whilst not putting up obstacles, – to question your reasoning.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a painstaking Virgo, you’re probably well aware your ruler Mercury is retrograde and understand the complications that triggers. Yet, as you’ll have noticed, often those errors lead to amazing breakthroughs. The focus? Mostly, it’s about shedding unrewarding commitments; but, also, explore appealing, yet possibly unfamiliar, ideas or offers. If ever there was time for breakthroughs, and in a variety of ways, it’s now.

Don’t get too frustrated when things seem to be going wrong. You might instead approach a job from another angle. There is every chance you will make better progress when you are left to get on with some tasks on your own. Purposeful effort will feel satisfying. Someone will try to influence you. Prepare to stand up for what you believe in. Go with your instincts later on. You will sense what is best for you.

Mercury returns to Earth sign, Taurus, on Monday. This energy should suit you. You might then be aware that certain individuals are rethinking an earlier position and bring room for further negotiation. Though real progress might not be made until early next month, the fact that others are willing to rethink their position, should be helpful. Career-wise, as Mars moves into one of the Fire signs and crosses the all-important world Axis on Wednesday, you might be surprised and delighted to discover that someone wants to work more closely with you. Whether that person is a company, or a partner who is now willing to share financial responsibility, will obviously depend much on your personal chart. Bottom line is that a massive rethink seems to be taking place with outline plans benefiting from your input.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

In early June your ruler Venus moved to accent close alliances of all kinds – personal, business and otherwise. Since then, there’s been a growing emphasis on links of this variety, and both learning and benefiting from them. This continues now, with unexpected but exciting encounters. The secret? Forget about planning and enjoy the discoveries, and the twists and turns they bring. Decisions? They can wait.

Your partner or a housemate will be showing their stubborn side. Occasionally they get like this and with them refusing to make any compromises on plans you are making together, you can either be equally as stubborn or give them their own way. The choice ultimately is yours. You will have a few things to do later when there are jobs you have put off long enough and you just want to get them over with.

It would be wise to take time over Monday and Tuesday to consider all that’s happened in the last two months. Don’t assume you can do all of this in your head. Take a piece of paper and write it down. Those born under the Air signs have a tendency to assume that they can remember everything. You likely can’t. Once things are written down in black and white, you may see an outline plan more clearly. Then, as Mars arrives at the all-important World Axis and begins its transit of your opposite sign on Wednesday, you should be well armed when others put proposals forward. At least one of these might suit – but again needs to be done on temporary basis at least until Mercury completes its retrograde move next month. Fact is that your career is now going places and your expertise recognised. True, you probably need time out to deal with important health considerations – not necessarily your own, – but even with that, you could still take your career to another level entirely.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re probably still dealing with the fallout from exciting changes and unexpected events triggered by the Scorpio eclipsed Full Moon, on the 16th. While some events were clear, you’re still wrestling with sudden changes. The secret? Forget future worries and take things as they arise. Equally, discuss this with others, encouraging them to adopt the same, easy-going, approach. Soon you’ll be enjoying the surprises, this brings.

A need for action will inspire you to charge into new situations. This will not have been planned yet an impulsive move will lead to exciting experiences. Before you know it, you will be in the spotlight. All because you find the courage to act on an opportunity the moment it presents itself. A joint effort will take you well past a goal you had originally set for yourself. You will be glad of the help of a talented friend.

Mercury returns to your opposite sign as part of its retrograde loop. Anticipate that others – even those closest to you, – to rethink an earlier position. They possibly need to go back over decisions made in April – either to check that these were correct, or to refine them. You too might benefit from a review. Though yours is one of the Fixed signs that doesn’t mean that you can never change your mind. Indeed, as Mars (one of your ruling planets) moves to the World Axis and crosses over into Aries fully on Wednesday, you should experience a burst of energy and with that experience enlightenment. Yes, it could be that someone born under one of the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn says something that prompts that rethink. It may be though, that this is a wise tip, and that after due consideration you choose to make an adjustment that reduces pressure.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After months of facing dull practicalities, finally you’re getting a break. Both your ruler Jupiter and, as of Tuesday, the fiery Mars are in the part of your chart that accents who and what brings you joy. While certain dreams are clear, others remain misty hopes. However, miracles are possible, now it’s time to reflect on, and maybe discuss, where you’d like destiny to take you.

Whether it is to begin or complete a creative venture, you could find inspiration via an e-mail, letter or phone call from a distance. Subjects that come under discussion will be unusual in some way and you will want to look into them further. You feel under pressure to do better in order to outshine a competitor. Although you are expecting a job to go wrong, it will actually be a bigger success than you could ever have imagined.

It is perhaps time to review your diet – yes, again. Mercury returns to that area of your chart that is all about day-to-day routine and management. Yours is one of the Fire signs of the zodiac, and it’s entirely possible that though you accept that you need fuel for energy, you perhaps don’t always choose the best kind. A rethink would be advisable before Mars crosses the World Axis on Wednesday and begins its transit of another of the Fire signs this time, where it brings energy to the research and development area of your solar chart. Think about that: there are presumably ideas that were seeded some time back, but have yet to be developed. Focusing on these, and ensuring that latent talents aren’t being ignored should be priority. You might also discover that others are excited by your plans and willing to help create a business plan. In particular, those born under Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn seem likely to offer excellent advice and support.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

With both the ideas planet Mercury and your ruler Saturn retrograde at the moment, setbacks are inevitable. However, they’re not about major problems but, instead, slowing your pace. This, in turn, is enabling you to explore certain activities or even get to know interesting people. You’re asking now you’ll benefit. That’s your biggest challenge – recognising you’ll need to be patient until the answer comes your way.

You’re tempted to put too much faith in a tip or offer that is given to you early in the week. Wait until you find out more before acting on what you hear. Equally, you should check exactly what might be involved before volunteering for anything. It’s a week to use some of your innate caution. A relaxing weekend will help you conserve your energy for plans pending early next week. Romance and creativity will also help ease tension.

Two things mark this week out: firstly, that retrograde Mercury returns to another of the Earth signs and the ‘expertise and knowledge area of your solar chart. You may be flattered and delighted to discover there firstly, are people who want to learn more from you. True, you might wish that they’d shown this interest some months back. The fact that they’re now showing renewed respect for your work should be heart-warming. It might also leave you in more relaxed state to tackle an urgent issue on the home front. Mars crosses the all-important world Axis midweek and is heart-warming with that, for Capricorn, there is desire to improve general surroundings. A makeover seems likely. With Aries, Cancer, and Libra friends offering support, you could determine a plan of action; though true, this perhaps can’t be fully implemented until the middle of next month.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a clever air sign, you have a knack for sidestepping both obstacles and issues involving difficult individuals. Now, however, you’ve no choice but to face them head-on. While, initially, this will be exasperating, you soon realise you’re being forced to view circumstances from their perspective. That, alone, will revolutionise your thinking and priorities, in the present and, equally, in the future.

Regular arrangements or activities will be canceled due to unexpected delays. You won’t mind this as much as others when you had been looking for an excuse to get out of them anyway. Nothing seems to come easy to you at the moment but hard work will bring its just rewards so persevere. Keep trying and you will reach your goals. You might sense a partner isn’t telling you it all when you raise a joint financial concern with them.

Mercury returns to the base of your solar chart and a massive rethink will likely be necessary. Yours is one of the Fixed signs of the zodiac and generally you don’t want to go back over old ground. Having determined your path, you want to move forward. Yet there are times when it’s useful to go back – if only to pick up items (or people). In this case, it could be the latter. There may be people who wanted to work with you before, but were unable to do so for a variety of reasons. They may now be free to do that. Mid-week Mars crosses the all-important world Axis bringing fresh energy and desire to connect; most probably with neighbours and educational establishments. The fact is that you now need to know more than you did. It could be that there’s a hole in your qualifications that needs to be filled. This though is surely something that could be arranged so that soon you are viewed as the ideal candidate for a role.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

You’re facing a range of decisions, some are practical, so clear cut; but as many involve elements of your lifestyle. While you’ve been talking about these for ages, suddenly the time has come to commit. It may seem overwhelming; but actually, this is the first step of a series of changes that are leading you to the next, and very exciting, chapter, of your life.

Difficult situations you have been trying to avoid will crop up now and there is no way you can get out of this. It might feel at times as if the Stars aren’t looking favourably down on you. A difficult patch will not last long and you may have to remind yourself this more than once over the next few days. Your intuition will warn you not to be too fast to commit yourself to a new project or partnership.

Mercury is retrograde but has returned to an area where it seems it works well for Pisces. It might suit you that others are reviewing earlier decisions and/or that they are now aware of the kind of assistance and support you need. That should lead to interesting discussions in the first half of the week and action after Mars crosses the World Axis and moves into Aries on Wednesday. Plans should then be made, and though tasks will likely not be completed until at least the middle of June, there should be ample indication of progress. True, you could be irritated by a Leo or Sagittarius who appears to ride roughshod over some of your concerns. You may need to accept that they’re not as empathetic as you are, and perhaps don’t realise just how important certain things are to you. That aside, the fact that they now addressing some of your needs should make clear that soon, your routine will be altered for the better.

~CelestialPrognostication

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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

One comment on “GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 22 May 2022

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