GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 17 Jul 2022

It’s Leo Season!

Our journey into consciousness of wealth begins with the realization
that we have already arrived! – Michael Bernard Beckwith

There will be no Weekly Feast next week!

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.

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What’s Happening in July!

Goddess Month of Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8

Celtic Tree Calendar Month ~ July 8th to August 4th Holly

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

JUL. 17: Marina’s Day Romania
JUL. 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day.
JUL. 17: National Ice Cream Day
JUL. 17: Celtic Feast of Tailtiu – Mother Nature Goddess who fostered Lugh.
JUL. 19: Egyptian Opet Festival – Celebrating the marriage of Isis and Osiris.
JUL. 21: Witch’s Day—Celebrating the Craft as life, practice and religion.
JUL. 21: Let’s declare today Love Your Basil Day.
JUL. 23: Roman Neptunalia: honoring Neptune, God of the Sea
JUL. 24: July is International Tequila Day
JUL. 27: Belgium Procession of the Witches: Festival of Witches
JUL. 28: Archangel Auriel (Uriel) Day. His/Her name means “Fire or Light of God,” and titles include, Regent of the Sun, Angel of Music, Patron of Prophecy, Archangel of Salvation, Angel of the Presence. See Uriel.org for more about him/her, the crystal egg association, and paintings.
JUL. 29: Festival of Thor – Celebration of Norse God Thor
JUL. 31: thru Aug 2 – Lughnasadh – Old Celtic / Irish Feast of Goddess Tailtiu and God Lugh (Deities of Life and Light), celebrating the grain harvest. Aug. Eve; Sun God, Harvest God, Horned God willing to become the grain of life.
– Lammas, harvest festival coming 40 days after Summer Solstice, offer 1st fruits to the Divine (See Aug. 1)
– Festival of Loki – Day to honor Norse trickster god Loki and his consort Sigyn
– Feast of the Grain Harvest – Honoring Goddess Demeter & Kore (Old Greek), and God as Osiris (Egyptian).

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Coming back in August! Witchy Wednesday! Details Soon!

Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – Aug 7
Witchy Wednesday! 5 PM – 7 PM Aug 10, 17, 24, 31
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – Aug 14
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – Aug 21

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

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

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

You 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 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 too or will learn to!

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

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

The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or $150.00 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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New Moon Circle
THU, JUL 28 · 5:00 PM EDT
$25.00
Sticks and Stones ~ Westfair Center
11037 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030 (703)352-2343, Westfair Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Strawberry Blessings
JULY 17, 2022 BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB

While the end of June is known for the first rush of local strawberries, in many areas the berries are still widely available in mid-July. Associated with purity and passion, perfection and righteousness, strawberries are the perfect food to use for blessings. Not just spiritually powerful, strawberries are filled with healthy antioxidants.

Whether alone or with family or friends, create a strawberry blessing dessert. I love strawberries with sponge cake and a topping of Greek yogurt, but you can eat them with scones and whipped cream or shortbread and clotted cream as well. As you wash the berries, intone purity. As you cut the berries, notice how perfectly red and juicy they are, and how they are passionately heartshaped. When you serve the berries, hold the blessings of purity, passion, perfection, and righteousness in mind so that all who eat this divine dessert are blessed and filled with sweetness.
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Banishing Ritual
JULY 16, 2022 BY TESS WHITEHURST

To banish means to prohibit, abolish, or eliminate. In magic, to banish something means getting it out of your life and your energy field for good. Banish a situation, condition, or relationship today by writing a simple word or phrase that represents what you want to banish on a small piece of paper. Place it on your altar. Say:

Great Goddess, as you know, it is
time for this to go. Thank you for
helping me banish it from my life,
now and in all directions of time.

Now, leaving the paper flat on your altar, spin it counterclockwise three times, feeling that you are unwinding its power over you. Next, either shred it with scissors or put it through a paper shredder. Place the shreds in a cauldron or pot and safely burn them. Bid your final farewell by releasing the ashes in a moving body of water or flushing them down the toilet. Give thanks to the Goddess and happily move on with your life.
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The Heart’s Mirror
JULY 15, 2022 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE

The heart is the seat of the self. It holds emotions and virtues. It is the place to look when you want to discover yourself—your wants and needs, your potential and your purpose. For this spell you will need a mirror that you can open and close, like a compact case or a travel mirror. Wash it in water with a little salt to purify it, then in plain water, and wipe it dry. Look in the mirror and visualize your true self. Then say:

Mirror of the self,
Mirror of my heart,
Show the truth within
And reflect my Art.
Let the looking glass
Bless the path I take
As I live my life,
And each choice I make.

This will help you see who you really are. When you have an important decision, take out the mirror and look in it, imagining yourself on each possible path, and compare that to your true self. Keep the mirror closed when not in use.
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Hestia’s Sweet Simplicity
JULY 12, 2022 BY STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

Hestia is a Greek hearth goddess, and her domain is domesticity. Since it’s National Simplicity Day, let’s engage Hestia’s energy to cleanse our altars. Altars need freshening up. Candlewicks get too long, stuck in dried wax, or encrusted in herbal dressings. You get the picture. Your altar craves some goddess-fueled TLC.

Carefully dismantle your altar. Clear its components in the manner most fitting to your spiritual path. You might smudge them or spritz them with Hoyt’s Cologne, rainwater, spring water, lightning water, vodka, vinegar, or rose water. Cleanse chalices and shot glasses for libations and offerings. Handwash cloths on your altar using a soapwort infusion or gentle floral water rinse, then hang them outside to recharge. Wipe down candles and trim wicks. Bring special objects such as athames and besoms outside for clearing in the sun and air. Sun, sea salt and snow are dependable, simple, and natural cleansers from Mother Earth. Reassemble the altar and thank Hestia for her help.
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Bloodstone for Energy
JULY 11, 2022 BY ARI MANKEY

Bloodstone is a type of jasper crystal. It’s useful for a variety of reasons, being a stone that both contains healing energy and helps deflect negativity. Over the years we’ve found that its healing powers are useful for bestowing extra energy. This is especially helpful to us in the summer when we are on vacation or going on an extended hike.

Before going on a long day of walking or engaging in any vigorous activity, place a small piece of bloodstone in your pocket or purse. When you feel yourself starting to get tired, take out the bloodstone and place it in your dominant hand. Squeeze the bloodstone and feel the energy it gives off, letting that energy flow into your hand and move throughout your body. Take three deep breaths while holding the stone and feeling its energy. You should now notice yourself feeling less tired, with your body prepared for new adventures.

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Three Easy Steps to Open Your Mind to New Thoughts, Ideas, and Beliefs
BY GRANDDAUGHTER CROW

Chains Transforming into Birds
We are at a place within our recent history that we are having deeper conversations. As we look around on social media, listen to podcasts, and watch various YouTube channels, we may notice deeper content around sensitive topics than we ever have before, including the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, feminism topics, and LGBTQ+ communities. Personally, I am being asked questions about my preferences and lived experience as a member of the First Nation here in North America. These are several examples of these deeper dialogues. We are in exciting times, a time to promote cross-cultural communication and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

With these larger, deeper conversations, I believe that it is also time to examine and revise our individual belief systems. As I mentioned before, I am now being asked about my preferences and lived experiences as a member of the First Nation in North America. Some of these questions I have never been asked before. As a female Gen-Xer, I am in the early developmental stages of my personal perspective and my contribution to these conversations. I can only imagine that there are others who are experiencing this newness, and in such, having to do the work that I am doing internally—the work of finding my personal voice and positioning within these and other sensitive topics. The time of being simple sheeple has come to an end. Now is the time for our individual authentic voices to be expressed.

What is the first step to opening our mind? It is to recognize that each of us has the right to develop a personal position and perspective that can change, grow, and develop; that it is no longer the mainstream to which we need to adapt. Moreover, there are so many media outlets for differing thoughts and ideas that it is the perfect time to gain further perspectives and learn from others. In the past, the minority voices were drowned out by the mainstream ideals. This only promoted singular thinking that is a reflection of the dominant, agreed-upon views. In the past, we were told to conform to certain ideas that were acceptable to the majority. I will go so far as to say that in the past, we were told not to question, not to ask, and to keep our opinions to ourselves. Now, however, we can decide for ourselves our values, perspectives, and ideals with our internal authentic voice. This promotes a society that is well-rounded, broad, and deeper/more complex than we thought. Here is our opportunity to give ourselves permission to think, to have ideas, and investigate our personal belief systems. You have the right to develop a personal position and perspective. You have the right to change. You have the right to grow.

The second step to opening the mind is to recognize that we all have blind spots and to be curious about that which we don’t know. This is natural. It is not foolish to have blind spots—it is foolish to think that we don’t. Even in drivers’ education, the instructor will speak about blind spots. We only see the things that we are looking to see. Hence, if you are only looking for cars and trucks when you switch lanes, you may miss the motorcycle. There was a whole movement about this understanding. Now, if we can carry that understanding with us into our personal perspectives and views, we will understand that there is so much more to see and understand. I have blind spots in my thoughts, ideas, experiences—concepts that are absent in my worldview. When I realize this, I come to the table with a mind that is more open and curious to learn something that I didn’t know before. Curiosity is the second easy step to opening the mind. The art of curiosity is to come to the table without an agenda, except to learn something that you didn’t know previously, and doing so with respect for the self and the other in order to embark on new thoughts and ideas together. Approach everything with a sense of curiosity, and you will always gain.

The third step to opening the mind is to be flexible and to ask questions. No one knows everything. No one has it all figured out. If they think that they do? I would suggest that they only have their own agenda figured out. There is so much more to the collective understanding. You have the right to learn something new, every single day. I am asking us to be flexible, mutable. When I was a little girl, it was not cool to be a member of the First Nation (in fact, my experiences were that a red body was seen as more savage, animal-like). Now, I am experiencing a different reality. I do not hold a grudge because perceptions have changed—I am flexible. Be flexible with thoughts. Thoughts are like the air, an unseen force that is ever moving within the mind. Being stagnant within a thought is like being in a room with no doors or windows—hard to freely breathe. Relax the mind and engage in the questions. There was a time that asking a question was deemed as challenging authority. Let’s end that idea. Ask questions for clarity, ask questions for the sake of learning, ask questions because you are curious. There is so much more to learn!

If you would like to go to a deeper level with this topic, please check out my book Belief, Being & Beyond: Your Journey to Questioning Ideas, Deconstructing Concepts & Healing from Harmful Belief Systems. Now is the time for society to have these deeper conversations. Now is the time for us to learn from one another. Now is the time to do what comes the most natural to us: to know that we have the right to think for ourselves, to recognize that we all have blind spots, and to be flexible with our thoughts and to be curious with our understandings. These three steps will help us to open our minds to new thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. What do you think?

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Heartwings Love Notes 1043 Balance is Key to Good Health

Heartwings says, “When you are in balance your life goes more smoothly.”

When I was a child, I was fascinated by the circus. I used to do what I thought of as trapeze acts on the rope swing that hung from the great elm in our back yard. I would print up tickets and sell them for pennies to my mother, as well as anyone else I could. Then too I would try to get her to run away with me and join the actual circus. Of course, she was always too busy to do that. The tightrope walkers also intrigued me. I didn’t have a tightrope to practice on, except in my imagination, but I had fun thinking of myself as doing it. I’d practice on a pretend rope, balancing my way as I inched along it, arms outstretched.

Balance in everyday life is extremely important. It is one of the mainstays of good health. A balanced diet employing all the food groups in proper proportion is one key. Another is balance between work and rest or play. Yet everyone is different and what is good balance for one is not necessarily adequate for another. There is no one size fits all because like snowflakes, every individual is unique. This even applies to twins. They may look alike yet be quite different inside.

In everyday life, balance is not always easy to achieve. Young children have a way of needing attention just when the parent might try for a needed rest. When hunger strikes, dinner may not be ready and the cookie jar might be too handy. Or then there’s the munchies that come on with late night TV, that can be difficult to resist. What to do when the siren song of the potato chip is heard? Balance may be ideal, not, however, real in the mind of the would-be muncher.

Lately for me, balance is a real issue in my daily life. I am unable to navigate safely outdoors without a cane to steady me. Parkinson’s has slowed my reaction time. A simple stumble or stub of the toe could prove
disastrous. In the house if I feel unsteady, I can catch onto the furniture. Out of doors that is not practical. It is daunting for me to realize all the things I can no longer do, and that I have to rely on others to help me in situations where I need a hand. It is also vital to remind myself to be grateful for what I still can do. Feeling sorry for myself is a real no-no.

To feel sorry for yourself is like shooting yourself in the foot. It hurts your sense of self-worth as well as keeping you in a pessimistic state This does no one any good. The late teacher Thich Nhat Hanh instructs us to smile even when or especially when we don’t feel like it. He suggests “a tiny bud of a smile,” and when I do this, I find it blooms of its own accord, changing everything. A smile can restore balance. Try it sometime when you need it.

May your smiles blossom with joy as you achieve balance.

Blessings and best Regards, Tasha Halpert

PS Do you have good ways to keep in balance? Write to me about them, or anything else you would like to share with me.. I do like to hear from my readers, and will always respond. Please just hit the reply arrow or write to me at tashahal@gmail.Com Do visit my Website at http://www.Heartwingsandfriends.com

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Turning Tea Time Into a Sacred Ceremony

Drinking tea can be a nourishing ritual that brings inner peace to your body, mind, and soul.

Coffee may be the power beverage that gets us revved up in the morning and fuels us when we’re burning the midnight oil, but tea is the drink we turn to when we want to relax and be refreshed at the same time. Black, green, white, herbal, hot, or ice cold, tea is more than a soothing beverage. It can be a ritual, a cultural experience, and even a spiritual practice.

The reverence for tea has inspired ceremony in many cultures. From the spirituality of Chanoyu, the Japanese way of preparing and serving tea, to the sharing of Maté in Latin America, tea rituals are for celebration, ceremony, and relationship bonding. In China, tea rituals are part of many wedding ceremonies with the bride and groom serving their elder relatives in a show of respect and gratitude. The Chinese art of drinking and serving tea has been a source of inspiration for poetry and song. The Russian custom of chaepitie has inspired a unique style of teapots, caddies, teacups, and cozies. The samovar, a special brewing device, has become the symbol of the Russian tea ceremony and an object of art in its own right. Iced tea, popular in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, is a modern ritual bringing cool relief on a sweltering summer day.

You can turn your own tea time with a friend into a simple ceremony by preparing your tea with the intention of offering nourishment and good wishes to the other person. When you are seated together, rather than drinking your tea right away, look at one another and express your gratitude and appreciation for your friendship. When you pour the tea, again intend it as an offering. Drink your tea slowly, savoring its flavor and aroma. Let its warmth or its coolness soothe your body. When you are finished drinking your tea, thank your friend for taking part in this nourishing ritual with you. Whether savored in the presence of another or tasted alone, the custom of drinking tea provides a soothing pause in our hectic world. Drinking tea can be a daily ritual that brings inner calm and clarity to the body, mind, and soul.

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An Ocean Meditation for You

We can learn to live like the ocean, ever-changing and moving with natural grace.

Like us, the sea is ever-changing. And, like us, the earth’s vast oceans appear at a distance to be stable and homogenous. But beneath the mask of solidity that both we and the sea wear, there lies unpredictability, sensitivity, and power. There is much we can learn from the ocean, representative as it is of our inner landscapes. The rough sounds of the sea’s waves are spiritually soothing, and its salt can purify our physical selves. Yet not everyone has the luxury of living by the shore or even visiting the coastlines where water and land meet. The ocean, however, exists in our conscious minds, put there by images we have seen and descriptions we have read. Wherever we are, we can access that mental image and use it as the starting point from which we can help to heal our emotions by meditating on the sea.

To begin, gather together any ocean artifacts you may have on hand. Seashells, a vial of sand, beach glass, stones rubbed smooth by the pounding surf, or a recording of ocean sounds can help you slip more deeply into this meditation, but they are not necessary. Sit quietly and visualize the ocean in your mind’s eye. Allow all of your senses to participate in your mental journey. Feel the tiny grains of sand beneath your feet and the cool spray of mist; hear the sea’s rhythmic roar as the waves meet the beach and retreat; smell the tang of salt in the air. Watch the sun’s rays play over the ocean’s surface, creating shifting spots of teal, cerulean, cobalt, and green. Don’t be surprised if you see dolphins or whales frolicking in the waves — they are there to assist you. Spend a few minutes drinking in the ocean’s beauty and appreciating its vast splendor.

Once you are fully engaged with the setting before you, visualize yourself sitting on the beach, facing the ocean, and watching the waves advance and retreat. As each new wave of seawater approaches, imagine it carrying healing energy toward you. The magnificent ocean in your thoughts is sending you light and love while the sun supports your healing efforts and Mother Earth grounds you in the moment so healing can occur. When you feel you are finished, grant the ocean your earnest gratitude for the aid it has given you. Thank the sun, the sand, and any other elements of your visualization that offered you guidance. Perform this meditation daily or monthly in order to rid yourself of negativity and reestablish emotional equilibrium. Just as the ocean’s tides sweep the shores free of detritus, restoring balance, so can the waves in our mind’s eye cleanse our souls of what no longer serves us.

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Eating Right to Feel Better

There’s an intimate connection between what we eat and how we feel.

At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.

A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.

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Ghost Hunting Theories
5 Most Haunted Roads in America

There is nothing like a trek in the summertime through green overgrowth on a narrow country road, twisting and turning without knowing what is up around the next bend, but it’s even more spooky when you know the road has a reputation for unexplained mysteries, ghosts, spooklights, and weird creature sightings.
I’m going to share my top 5 favorite haunted roads in America.

Clinton Rd
West Milford, New Jersey
As haunted roads go, this one is pretty exceptional. The most famous ghost reported there is a boy ghost. He supposedly hides under the bridge and when you toss coins in the water, he returns them. Most stories relate to the boy being at the bridge at dead man’s curve.
Another variation is that throwing a penny in the lake will have it returned to the road the next day. This might be a variation on the boy and the coins ghost.
The road has a remote feel to it, poorly kept, several dangerous curves and wilderness bearing down on it.
It got a reputation for some kind of village of albinos because of some very white pale people seen there. To delight and cause more chills, there are some aliens that are white beings often called by some, Tall Whites or Tall Albinos.
There is an old abandoned building on the road called Cross Castle that has seen many partiers and some say satanists.
The 10-mile street has had about every kind of reported activity one imagines in such a place from driverless cars chasing folks to ghost children’s laughter, escaped lunatics, satanists, and strange lights. It’s one of those roads that just feels it should be haunted.

Shades of Death Rd.
Warren County, New Jersey
As if the name doesn’t seem prophecy fulfilling enough, there is a lake (“Ghost Lake”) near the road that often hugs a low level of fog over its surface, adding to the chill factor.
One legend says settlers killed some Indians long ago and threw them into the lake. With a number of deaths associated with that area, it was come to believe there was a curse.
A cabin near the lake also got a reputation for ghostly goings on, as did the roadway where some said they saw figures.
The origin of the name of the road is up for grabs but one of the more accepted explanations had to do with an outbreak of malaria some time ago.

The Devil’s Promenade
Hornet, Missouri
This road’s reputation has to do with spooklights seen along it since way back into the 1800s.
Some believe this orb of light is the torch of a beheaded Native, the spirit of a couple who were not allowed to be married, a decapitated miner looking for his head, and many other spirit light explanations. Science hasn’t come up with a definitive answer, though the old swamp gas and other variations have been tossed out there.
The chances of seeing the light are pretty good as it has been making itself seen regularly.

Bray Road
Elkhorn, Wisconsin
In 1936, they had the first reported sighting of a werewolf-like creature on this rural road. Some have reported the creature as bear/Bigfoot like, others a wolf-like tall creature walking on two feet.
The journalist who investigated this topic extensively and has gone on to be an expert on the subject of the Beast of Bray Road (sometimes called Dogman), is Linda Godfrey. She has many excellent books on the subject including The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf.

Mount Misery Rd (and Sweet Hollow Rd)
Near Melville, Long Island, New York
It begins like many bad mojo areas with legends of Natives seeing the land as cursed. A mental asylum built in the 1700s in that area was said to be burned to the ground and the ghost of a patient’s who died in the fire is said to wander the area in a white hospital gown.
In one area, it was said a woman’s car crashed and she died. If you park your car under the North State Parkway overpass and put the car into neutral, it is said she will push it uphill to save you.

Although part of the roadway is quite developed and only a short portion is secluded, ending in a park, it still carries hundreds of years’ of fears and anxiety.

Conclusion
Are you in the mood for a good spooky lonely-road-don’t-wanna-break-down-here movies? Be sure you have your AAA membership intact. Talk about road kill! Here’s some winners!

“Wrong Turn”
Two cars collide on a dirt road in the West Virginia mountains, and a bunch of young people are faced with inbred cannibals chasing them.

“The Hills Have Eyes”
A family drives out in the desert with their station wagon and trailer for a getaway, only to break down and be vulnerable to a cannibalistic family in the desert.

“Tourist Trap”
A group of friends break down on a lonely road. They go to the nearest building, an old tourist trap style museum of oddities where the mannequins might just be alive.

“House of Wax”
A group of friends break down at some obscure fake town that is set up like a movie set. The wax museum appears to be filled with the real bodies of victims dipped in wax.
Also –

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
Two siblings face a cannibalistic psychopathic family in the Texas countryside.
“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”
A woman’s car breaks down on a lonely mountain road at night where she runs into a serial killer “Moonface.”

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Coach Gilberto Chapter 20
by Stephen Halpert

Peter and Fiona Bunyion stood glaring at Gilberto and Diana Rain. “What kind of ghost is this?” Peter sputtered.
“Yes,” his wife and fellow parapsychologist almost shouted. “Who does he think he is, anyway?” She clutched herself defensively. “I’ve never in all my days been tickled by a ghost.”
“Cy seems to have a mind of his own,” Gilberto said.
Peter began packing up their gear, which Cy had scattered around the room, and making grunting noises as he tried to keep his trousers up. His belt had disappeared.
“Here,” Diana said, handing it to him. Cy gave it back. He does have a strange sense of humor. She giggled, but she covered her mouth so as not to seem impolite. Fiona huffed as she looked around to see if any of the items from her upended purse were still on the floor. She spotted a lipstick under a chair and bent over to retrieve it. Suddenly she shrieked and straightened up. “He goosed me! I’ve never had anything like this happen, ever!” She glared at Gilberto as if he were the culprit.
Gilberto covered his grin with his hand. “I apologize,” he said softly. “Best you go soon, before he acts up again.”
The parapsychologists huffed their way out and one of them almost but not quite slammed the door to his office.
Diana Rain and Gilberto both pointed at the closed door and burst into simultaneous peals of laughter. Finally, Gilberto stopped laughing. He wiped the tears from his eyes, took a breath and shook his head. “I didn’t know you were still friendly with Cy Willabee’s ghost
Rain smiled. “Oh, yes. I even gave him my extra bedroom. Moved in his easy chair, desk, shelf of books, and I renewed his subscription to National Geographic.”
Gilberto’s eyebrows flew up. “But isn’t he complicating your life?”
Rain smiled. “Actually no. He’s good company and very respectful. I’d say he’s a lot easier to deal with than some of those flesh and blood type males I’ve run into. “
Gilberto shook his head slowly as if bemused. “He is?”
Rain nodded. “Saves money on things like food and laundry detergent even though he’ll occasionally absorb a slice of pizza or a slice of pineapple cheesecake.”
Disbelief warred with the evidence from today. “But he’s dead. How do you communicate with someone who’s dead?”
“Oh, simple,” Rain shrugged. “I think something and he responds to my thoughts with some of his own.”
Gilberto scratched his head and sighed. “I guess I believe you.” He sat back in his chair.
“Actually we get along quite well. He’s really sweet, and wonderful to cuddle with.”
“Cuddle?” Startled, Gilberto threw his arms in the air. “What are you saying?’
A momentary blush burst into her smile. She chuckled. “Cy’s still randy for his years.
Gilberto shook his head, sighed and swallowed more of his French roast. Strangely to him, he found he wasn’t all that surprised by what Rain was saying. Another thought occurred: so maybe he knew who killed him. “Did you ask him who pushed him off the bridge?”
Rain nodded. “I tried, but he said he was staring off in the wrong direction. He did tell me that before he tipped over the edge, he felt a definite hand against his back.”
Diana Rain said. “I’m sure he was pushed, and my intuition tells me he was pushed by a woman.”
Gilberto frowned. “I think we’d best catch his murderer. Then hopefully he’ll go peacefully into the light the way the dead are supposed to.”
“I’d miss him. When we talked, Maria told me she thought he was a perfect companion for me.”
Gilberto swallowed. Maria never told me,” he huffed.
Diana smiled. “She told me it was my story to tell, not hers.” She smiled a big smile. “Just so you know, he’s already been to the Light. He decided to come back to Houndstooth and keep an eye on things. I’m hopeful that he considers becoming my research associate.”
Gilberto was struggling with this, and Rain went merrily on. “Can you imagine having a spirit who can turn up evidence and help solve crimes.”
Gilberto shook his head. “But shouldn’t he take up residency in heaven. Isn’t that what deceased people do?”
Rain looked thoughtful. “Ask him some time. If he does decide to move on I’ll lose a tremendous Scrabble opponent. That man’s vocabulary is immense.”
Gilberto frowned, looked at his empty cup and wondered what it was about life and the hereafter he somehow missed learning. After a few moments he asked. “Have you shared any of this with anyone else?”
Rain nodded. “Hardly anyone. My cousin Mitzi who’s an homeopath in Kansas City and of course your wife Maria. She and I have talked about him a lot.” Rain smiled. “Maria finds our relationship fascinating.”
Gilberto shook his head. “And he hasn’t a clue?”
“He thinks it was a feminine hand that pushed him,” Rain said. “He told me a masculine hand would have felt firmer, bigger. .”
Gilberto squinted. “So, one of the women on Houndstooth’s faculty?”
Rain nodded. “Perhaps. Now the trick is to bring his murderer to justice.”
“How do we proceed?” Gilberto said.
“I’m not sure,” Rain replied. “I did think that at the right moment he could materialize briefly. Perhaps seeing him that way might prompt a response from his killer.”
Gilberto nodded. “Any idea for how long he can materialize?”
“Oh, five to ten seconds max. Apparently materialization eats up an enormous amount of energy, leaving him exhausted.”
Gilberto smiled slyly. “Would you call him your boyfriend?”
Rain smiled. “Considering his limitations–being dead and all that, I think we get along famously. We’re not exactly an item romantically, but I really do care for Cy. He has such a brilliant mind.”
Gilberto felt a breeze ripple through his office.
“Oh you’re there,” Rain said. “Maybe you could give us a few suggestions to help us catch your murderer?”
For an instant Gilberto thought he saw a shadowy profile float around his office.
“Hi Cy,” he began. “Rain and I want to bring your murderer to justice. Want to give us a hand?”

To be continued

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The Druids Garden
Introduction to Animism: Definitions and Core Practices for Nature Spirituality
by Dana

I am hanging out with a friend’s two daughters by a local lake. The lake is peaceful early in the morning, and we are enjoying watching flock of wild geese playing nearby. One of the children picks up a beautiful, smooth stone and brings it over. “I’m going to take this home and put it in my fort!” She says. I ask “Does that stone want to go with you?” “Hmm…” she says, “I better ask.” I respond, “Great idea!” In the end, the stone is happy to join the foundation of her fort, and we go on our merry way. This whole interaction makes me smile–for if the stone is respected as a sovereign being, so too, are other things for this younger generation.

Over the last few months, I’ve begun talking about animism in relation to a worldview (ecocentrism), in relationship to co-creating intentions with nature, and in terms of weeding and clearing plants. In this new series, am planning on spending some time talking through animism as I understand it as a druid, and also in upcoming posts, connecting it to other practices such as permauclture, wild food foraging, gardening, and more. In today’s post, I’m going to break down some of the basic principles of animism as both a worldview and spiritual philosophy to lay the groundwork for more to come.

Defining Animism
Animism is a belief in the spirit of all things. Animistic views recognize that rivers, stones, trees, animals, human-created objects, and people all have spirits and that those spirits can be worked with, learned from, and honored in various ways. Historical evidence suggests that pre-holocene, it is likely that most peoples of the world held animistic philosophies; animism continues to be important to many indigenous people’s beliefs Animism is also an incredibly important movement in nature-based spiritual traditions like druidry and adjacent traditions. While specific forms of animism will vary based on the culture, there are some threads that seem to transcend across different animistic views.

Here are some common threads that define animism.
Recognizing and honoring the spirits present in things present in the world and universe, both animate and inanimate, both natural and created
Recognizing the importance of interacting in a respectful way with those spirits; building the right relationships and connections with them, and learning from them as teachers and guides
Recognizing that humans are part of nature, like any other animal, and that we have a set of tools we have evolved, including both our five senses as well as instinct and intuition
Recognizing that we have to cultivate our own intuition, observation, and listening skills (inner and outer) so that we might effectively communicate with the spirit present in all things.
Recognizing that our actions have a significant impact on others and that we can engage in right actions to behave in ways that honor the sovereignty of all being
So under this philosophy not only does all living beings have spirit, but so does all of nature–including land forms and bodies of water. But also having spirit are all objects, all human-created things. If the world is literally full of spirit, there’s an incredible opportunity to interact, grow, and learn as part of that world.

Do all things have spirit?
From the above list, one of the big questions people ask is: what actually has a spirit? In the druid community, I see this question frequently. Some people believe that only all living beings have spirits, so that would include plants, insects, animals, fish, etc. Others believe that all of nature has spirit, which includes rivers, stones, mountains, etc. Where the division seems to occur is to whether human-created objects have spirit.

All things have spirit–and here’s the logic. Everything that exists–regardless if we are talking about an animal, a stone, or a human creation like your car or pair of shoes–comes from nature. In the natural world, we see that nature is the perfect recycler. A tree with spirit falls, and the worms and mushrooms with spirits decompose the tree, turning it into the soil. The soil web itself has spirit. Nutrients from that soil are taken up by plants, which are fed upon by animals–all with spirit. Thus, everything from natural cycles include spirit. If all nature has spirit, then things that are created from nature also have spirit. Humans also have spirit and come from nature. Thus, our creations that come from nature also have spirit–it’s the same process.

To break this down logically, we can say this: all things come from nature and have spirit. Things created in nature have spirit. Humans come from nature and have spirit. Things humans create come from nature and have spirit. Therefore, all things have spirit.

Let’s look at a few examples to clarify this.

Artistic tools and creations are one good example. As an artist, you can communicate with your tools, link with them, channel through them, honor them. My leather sewing machine, Coco, has such a strong spirit that she guides me when we sew together and she has her own music preferences she prefers to hear when we are sewing. I have no doubt about the spirit that resides within Coco. All of this art that I create with Coco, materials coming directly from nature, also has spirit. My paintings themselves, such as the Plant Spirit Oracle, are literally spirits that can communicate–they were intentionally painted that way. My experiences are hardly unique–many people who create anything and practice the bardic arts experience this–as do those experiencing others’ creations.

But what about industrialized creations? Stuff made in factories, maybe even without good environmental practices? The equation is the same–they are still made from nature, and if you accept that al natural things have spirit, then of course, these must have spirit too. They come from the world, they return to the world, and they have spirit. Now, even if all things have spirit, it doesn’t mean they have good energy–sometimes industrial creations are awful for many reasons, and that’s why we have cleansing practices in many spiritual traditions. But regardless of the energy that has gone into making these things, they still have spirit.

What about garbage or other throw-away things like single-use plastic? Yep, all of these have spirit because it comes through that same world and process as above. If you accept that single-use plastic has spirit, then it’s worth meditating on how you interact with things like unavoidable single-use plastic (perhaps create some ecobricks?) and other “trash.”

So what does this all mean? One of the key takeaways for me is that since I know everything in the world has spirit, it changes my relationships with things I interact with in the world. Those who hold an animistic philosophy can then work to interact ethically, spiritually, and honorably with all things in the world. Over time, Animism will radically change the view you have of the world and your place in it. If animism encompasses everything in the world, that philosophy implores you to take your animism out of the realm of the theoretical and into the realm of practice. And it is to this that we now turn.

How do I practice Animism? Animism in theory vs. Animism in Practice and Ethical Interactions

Once you’ve sorted out that all things have spirit, the next question is–what are you going to do with that knowledge? How does that change who you are, what you do, and how you interact with the living earth? These are important questions that may take you a lifetime of mediation and interaction to sort out–and that’s an amazing and sacred journey to take. Many who take up the practice of animism realize that embracing, living, and understanding this philosophy is a lifetime endeavor.

A critical next step is moving from philosophy to action. Beliefs in your head are easy enough to hold and think about–but it is actions where the core work of animism happens. That’s why I suggest that meditation and interaction with spirits as teachers and guides should be the basis for much of your own exploring of animism.

So let’s talk about some basic steps that you can engage in to turn animistic beliefs into actions.

  1. Recognise that all things have spirit and all spirits have sovereignty. Think about this just like meeting an unknown human on the street. There are basic rules of engagement (eg. you aren’t going to start taking their hat, cutting their hair, touching them, etc). The rules for interacting with spirits are pretty much the same. This is particularly true when you are out and about in nature, but it is also true anywhere else, including in human-dominated spaces.

Sovereignty is the critical term here. Sovereignty refers to the authority of an individual to self-govern, in other words, the authority of an individual to make decisions that are best for themselves without others making decisions or inflicting their own actions/thoughts/opinions on them. If everything has a spirit, then we as human beings need to respect that that spirit is best to decide what should happen to them, and it’s not our place to override the will, agency, and choices of that spirit. This is a fundamental philosophy and I think one of the cores to embracing animism as a practice.

  1. When interacting with any spirit, its important to honor the sovereignty of that being. To respect the sovereignty of spirits, don’t do anything without permission. When you see a flower you want to harvest, a stone you want to sit on, a tree you want to hug–just ask for permission and offer gratitude. Listen to what is said in return and honor whatever the spirit tells you. Doing anything else is a violation of trust. Sometimes it might be that an exchange can be made or sometimes you are tested and told no or to wait Just listen and trust in spirit. Nature will always work with you to meet your needs, but may want to meet your needs in a different way than you expect.

So let’s look at some examples here.

If you have access to land, or even if you want to do something new like put in a garden, take the time to co-create intentions with that land. Discuss your needs and the land’s needs and come to an agreement. This can become really useful if you can establish larger agreements that respect the sovereignty of the spirits of the land. For example, at the Druids Garden homestead, we have negotiated with the spirits of the land established areas for gardens and established areas for wild spaces. If we want to weed the garden, that’s fine, as there has already been an agreement in place about the use of that land and we don’t have to ask every plant if we can pull it out (although there is an agreement that all plants are used–either composted, made into medicine, etc).Thus, we can weed, harvest, and plant as we see fit. But if we wanted to establish a new garden or anything else somewhere else, we need to negotiate that and see how the spirits of the land feel about our request.

Another practice might be when you bring things into your home–groceries, new goods, books, whatever. Take a moment to connect with the spirit of those beings present. Honor them, acknowledge them, and be thankful for them. See what they may want (to be read, to be composted after use, to be used in a certain way). As a leatherworker, for example, when I purchase hides (especially online), I always lay out the hide on the floor of my art studio and open up a sacred space. I speak to the hide and ask the hide what it may want to be. Sometimes, some of my best artistic creations come from this experience.

When you need to release things from your life, thank them, honor their spirits, and do everything you can to ensure that they are recycled, rehomed, or given a new use. This honors both the spirit as well as what was given by the living earth or how the earth was harmed to make, produce, and ship that thing.

What does all of this do? It creates a powerful interaction between you and the world of spirit. It helps transition you from someone who takes from the land heedlessly, consumes, and is part of the problem to someone who is honoring nature in all her forms (including those forms where nature has been transformed into something else by humans) and putting you back into right relationship.

  1. If you honor spirits, they will honor you and your relationship with nature will deepen tremendously. Flowing from the above, if you are engaging in these very respectful interactions with the spirits of nature, you are creating a circumstance where very deep work can happen. Nature takes you seriously. The spirits see that you are doing your best to rectify the unbalance that humans have, and they will respect you in turn for this.

A lot of people ask me–how do I deepen my relationship with nature? My first response is to spend as much time in nature as you can. And my second is to put yourself in right relationship with nature. If you only do these two things,

  1. You are going to make a lot of mistakes, especially coming from Western culture. People from Western culture have been indoctrinated into an anthropocentric worldview that will take years–maybe decades–to overcome. Those of us from Western cultures have been socialized into seeing the whole world as devoid of spirit, that nature is there to fit their needs, and that they can do whatever they want without consequences. This is the legacy of colocalization, industrialization, and so many other issues whose time is now coming due. Even if you are the most conscientious and spiritually-minded individual, this socialization runs deep and it will take time to counter. Those of us working to recover from anthropocentrism (myself included) make mistakes, often. I’ll give you a good example–this summer, my goose flock and I have been going down to the swimming hole at the creek on our property for swimming each day. The geese love the water and cooling off, and I have been using that time for direct observation of nature, meditation, and ritual (as well as swimming ). As this has become a daily thing, I realized that a lot of the rocks in the creek between where we can go into the water and the 10 feet to the start of the swimming hole were hard for the geese to navigate. I was worried one of them might get injured. So, I took about 30 min and made a goose path through the creek to make it easier for the creek, moving the rocks out of the way in an area. Then I sat in meditation, and the creek was like, “you didn’t ask permission and you disrupted the ecosystem to do this.” And I was like “Yes, you are right. I just did this action and did not consult with you. I’m sorry, and I’m learning.” The creek accepted my apology and shared some ways to make my goose path better and less disruptive. It was a good lesson for me and a great example of how easy it is to forget to mind your manners.
  2. Recognize that a lot of this is in the realm of the head, not the heart.

Everything I’m describing above is finding ways of making the philosophy of animism heart-based and experience-based, rather than head-based. Don’t get me wrong–there are some fabulous books out there about animism, but they are often from academic points of view (Harvey’s Animism being the one most people start with). There’s nothing wrong with reading about animism through the lense of social science, but fundamentally, being an animist is different than reading about being one.

So the action point here is to work to experience animism through your own direct experience, through your intuition (which is body-based), and through your heart. Feel the connection to the spirits. Talk with them, hear their stories. Recognize the joy that comes from building a relationship to them. See how it feels to interact–pay attention to the cues your body gives you when you meet a new spirit.

And most especially, quiet your own mind and listen. Make this a habituated practice–rather than imposing your own will and ideas on a place, object, or anything else, just take the time to listen to spirit. That listening is so critical as a first step and is a gateway into everything else.

  1. Recognize that some spirits are teachers, guides, and companions. If you get to this point, and get through all of the above, then the real interesting spiritual work can begin. Spirits can be guides, teachers, friends, and companions. You can learn more from them than the best human teachers, and they can offer you deep insights. I’m going to spend a lot more time in an upcoming post in this series on how to learn from spirits.

Another way you might look at this is how polytheism vs. animism works. In polytheism, you might dedicate yourself to a single deity, small group, or pantheon. In Animism, you dedicate yourself to interacting with the world of spirit and develop a myriad of relationships through that practice.

  1. Recognise also that not all spirits are friendly or have good intentions. Just like in the world of humans, spirits in the world have their own agenda. Nature is not always roses, puppies, and kittens. Part of the reason any spiritual tradition worth its salt teaches basic protective work as core/101 practice is that there’s a lot of stuff in the world of spirit that isn’t good and does not have good intentions. Don’t assume every spirit you interact with (including those in nature) is good. Some spirits who are friendly may also be tricksters or have their own agenda.

Conclusion
The practice of animism opens up literally an entire world of possibilities for interacting with the spirit inherent in everything. Through animism, you can connect deeply with the living earth and the natural world, but also within the human realms.

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Kitty Kat’s Korner
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Wondering How to Talk to Your Cat? 6 Tips
By JaneA Kelley

Of all the things non-cat-lovers damn our feline friends for, chief among them is the belief that cats never listen to us, and if they do, they don’t care one single iota about what we say. Sure, if you’re used to the fawning adoration and obvious expressions of a dog, you might not think cats listen to, or talk to, their people. But once you find out how to use cat language, and your kitties listen, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing. Here are some ideas for how to talk to your cat:

  1. Listen to your cat
    A brown tabby kitten with his mouth open, meowing or making another sound.
    Wondering how to talk to your cat? Follow these tips. Photography ©davidevison | Thinkstock.
    Being a good communicator means being a good listener first and foremost. Get to know your cat’s body language. Observe his reactions to different stimuli. What does his body look like when he’s staring out the window at a bird or a squirrel? Have you seen similar body language when he interacts with you? When was that? What does your cat look like when he’s dozing in a sun puddle? Have you seen that same expression at other times? Listening to your cat is much more about sight and intuition than hearing.
  2. Give your cat love blinks
    From a distance, close your eyes slowly and then open them again. Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy describes the speed of the blink as a slowly spoken “I love you” — close your eyes slowly as you think “I,” hold them closed as you think “love,” and open them slowly as you think “you.” Do this when your cat is calm and relaxed, and you’ll see him return your love blinks.
  3. Offer the “cat nose hand”
    Cats often greet each other by touching noses. You can replicate this by sitting down or crouching, curling your index finger into a shape sort of like a cat nose, and slowly extending your arm. By doing this, you’re giving a cat a chance to greet you in a way that makes sense in cat language. Be sure you extend your hand slowly and come from in front of him or just to the side rather than from above.
  4. Keep your voice down
    Cats have very sensitive hearing, so if you bellow at your cat like a drill sergeant or greet him with the kind of overly enthusiastic greeting common to kids and dog people, he’ll run off. Siouxsie hates shrieky people, and I don’t blame her. I find a quiet lilt is the best tone in which to share affectionate words with cats or to tempt a shy kitty to get closer.
  5. Use directions consistently
    When I say, “Hi there, Mister Handsome. Come on up here,” Thomas knows it’s time to have his pre-bedtime special moment with me. Bella will occasionally sit on the floor and look up at me while I’m writing, as if she’s asking permission for lap time; when I look at her and say “Come on up” or make a kissing sound, she knows that means she’s welcome.
  6. If your cat gets too rough, think of kittens at play
    When kittens play, they’re developing social as well as physical skills. When one kitten is too rough with the other, the victim will squeak loudly and disengage himself from the bully. Do the same thing if your cat insists on using your fingers and toes as toys: Say “Ow!” in a high-pitched voice and put the cat on the floor, then ignore him for a while. Do this consistently until your cat learns that it’s not okay to chew on you or claw the heck out of you.

Each cat has his own dialect, so to speak. The best way to learn how to talk to your cat is to observe your kitty and his cat language carefully. Every little gesture and look speaks volumes, and with enough experience, you’ll find yourself understanding cat language better than you ever imagined.

Tell us: How do you talk to your cat? What are your tips for how to talk to your cat? What techniques have worked for you when introducing yourself to a new cat or working with your own cats? Share your experiences in the comments.

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope.
Beginning Sunday,July 17, 2022

All Signs
This week, Mercury and the Sun enter truth-seeking Leo. (Leo is by the pool in the leopard print wearing big sunglasses.) This is wonderful news because for the first time in 12 years, lucky Jupiter is in Aries. Meanwhile, both Aries and Leo are Fire signs, which means when the Sun and Mercury move into Leo this week, this creates a magnificent vibration with lucky Jupiter, which in turn, promotes feelings of peace and harmony. Everyone will feel more optimistic, enthusiastic and have a better chance of finding parking. This is time to take stock, and try new things. It’s a great time to travel. With this in mind, let me share my rule for parallel parking: Park somewhere else.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
For the next four weeks, your personal mantra will be, “I want to be me! I want to enjoy myself!” You will feel more lighthearted and playful than usual, which is why you will make an effort to enjoy sports events, entertaining diversions, the theatre, fun luncheons, romantic dates, playful activities with kids and exciting vacations. Aries people also love to camp (which is more than just getting drunk with insects.) This placement of Mercury will make you want to pursue mental activities for their own sake – games, puzzles and mysteries. Please note– if you can’t take a big vacation, then slip away on a weekend getaway because you need fun, adventure and a chance to explore new things!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This week the Sun and Mercury will trigger a four-week window where your focus on home and family will become much stronger. You might be involved more with a parent. You will enjoy spending more time at home, relaxing among familiar surroundings. Many of you will tackle home-repair projects and enjoy family discussions, including entertaining family and friends at your fine table. Because Mercury will be at the bottom of your chart, you will take more time to reflect and examine your personal life, as well as think about whether your goals are meeting your needs. This is an excellent time for you to express important views to family members. “I want a pool.”

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Get ready because the next 4 to 5 weeks are fast-paced and stimulating! Your ruler Mercury will be in its “home” in your chart, which will intensify its energy. You will be more involved in group discussions and conversations with others. You will meet new people, take short trips and have more contact with relatives and neighbours. You will enjoy intellectual activities. You will not want to settle down. Au contraire! The tempo of events in your life will be accelerating! Do whatever you can to break free from your everyday routine. Take a vacation. Enjoy short trips. Remember that it’s important to express your views, especially your affection to loved ones.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a lovely time for you because fair Venus is in your sign promoting your desire to relate to others. Venus will also make you warm, friendly, diplomatic and charming. This is an ideal time to make peace with others. It’s also a good time to buy wardrobe treasures and score bargains! In the next four weeks, your interest in money, cash flow and taking care of what you own will be stronger. You will be more concerned with business and commercial affairs. Financial transactions will take place. You will also give more thought to your values and where you stand on certain issues. Yes, this will be a thought-provoking time for you.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This is a powerful time because both the Sun and Mercury are moving into your sign this week. This will boost your energy and your confidence, which is why you will create a better impression on everyone. Meanwhile, Mercury is the planet of communication, and when it’s in your sign, it helps you to communicate effectively because you will put more of yourself into what you say. This winning combo puts you in the perfect position to impress others and be successful in going after what you want. Mercury will also give you an urge to get out and travel as well as hone your skills in all kinds of negotiations. Oh yeah, you rule!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Because your birthday is a month away, this means your personal year is coming to an end. When this occurs, the Sun, and this week, Mercury as well, are actually “hiding” in your chart. Hence, you will prefer being in the background for the next 4 to 5 weeks. Also, you’ll keep your opinions to yourself. This is why the next few weeks are an ideal time to go off by yourself to think, study or do research. It’s also an excellent time to make goals for your new year ahead (which begins on your birthday). Goals give you a clearer focus on what is important. They make future decision-making easier and they give you better control over your life. What’s not to like?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You are the most social sign in the zodiac. This week, the Sun and Mercury will move into the part of your chart associated with groups and friends. This means friendships will become more important, and you will examine the role people play in your life. This is also the perfect influence to help you work and cooperate with others. It will give you the personal courage to establish who you are with your friends. Team efforts will thrive. Personally, you will scrutinize the people you hang out with. “Are these my people?” “Do they have my back?” You are a people pleaser. Now, it’s time to think of who is willing to please you?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Once a year, for four weeks, the Sun sits at the top of your chart, casting you in a spotlight that is flattering. This means others will admire you even if you don’t do anything special. (Good lighting s everything.) Bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs will see you as competent and capable. Obviously, this is an advantage you can use. That makes the month ahead the perfect time to make your pitch or ask for permission or approval for whatever you want. At the same time, Mercury will also be at the top of your chart helping you to make plans about your professional life, and how you should express yourself in society. It’s a great time to take up any study that will help your career. An opportunity not to be missed!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This week the Sun and Mercury move into the part of your chart that is your “home.” This means you will feel energized to do all the things you love to do! It will heighten your desire to travel and broaden your horizons. It will make you enjoy studies and discover fresh, new experiences. It will promote opportunities in publishing, the media and anything to do with medicine and the law. It will also help you finish important papers or manuscripts. It will encourage discussions about abstract ideas and general philosophy and approaches to life. Study, learning and travel are the things you love to do! And fiery Mars will help you work hard to attain your goals. (Not too shabby.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In the next four weeks, you will get in touch with some hidden aspects of yourself. You might go deeper within yourself and make changes in your ways of thinking. In part, this is because the Sun is now helping you to be more in touch with your inner being and do psychological self-inquiry. In other words, you want to experience things beyond just an intellectual level. (Heady stuff.) You will also have more discussions about finances, property and shared possessions because these areas will concern you as well. Fortunately, Venus opposite your sign will pave the way for smooth negotiations. Good timing.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week the Sun and Mercury move directly opposite your sign. (This happens once a year.) This means it’s not the time to go it alone. Au contraire! It’s best to work with others or create working units and partnerships. It’s an excellent time to ask for help from consultants, lawyers, specialists or astrologers. You can examine your closest partnerships. If so, you have more objectivity to do this, and to discover what needs these relationships do or do not fill in your life. Mercury will help you to clarify issues to someone else. Mercury will also stimulate conversations with others – not only intellectual conversations but also arguments!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You will accomplish a lot in the next 4 to 5 weeks because this week, both the Sun and the Mercury are moving into your House of Employment. Even if you are retired, this astrological energy will help you to focus and work on whatever task that you set for yourself. Because of Mercury, this will be an excellent time for all kinds of mental work. You will pay more attention to details, and you will enjoy planning and looking at something from every angle. Relations with coworkers will likely improve. In addition, you will explore ideas about how to improve your health, as well as your dealings with a pet. You can look forward to productive times ahead!

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Weekly horoscopes beginning Sunday, 17 July 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 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 others are struggling with pressure to get things going, you’re enjoying the accompanying swift pace and quick thinking. The challenge? Spotting details and practicalities that need urgent attention versus those that are bound to change, so can wait. Gather facts each day, knowing that eventually even seemingly pointless details will be crucial. Once you’ve achieved that balance, the rest will be huge fun.

Solitude, at times, can be good for you. Quiet times can replenish, restore and revitalise your active brain. You don’t have to spend every minute of every hour on your own. Just making time for a little privacy every once in a while, can make a difference. A group project will go more smoothly once teething problems have been resolved. The moment you all accept each other’s different ways; a wonderful rapport and team effort will be established.

You may know that there are different ways of looking at a chart. The usual way is the geocentric view (i.e., where the planets are in relation to Earth’s journey around the Sun). There are other perspectives and one of these gives clues as to the soul’s journey. Using that perspective, the emphasis this week is very much on communications and, in particular, your use of language. With Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon in your sign, how you put your ideas across carries more weight than usual. What you need to show is that you understood precisely the background to a situation. The weaknesses of initial decisions will be exposed. It could be argued that you are the perfect person to draw attention to what now needs to be done and how important close relationships i.e., with those in adjacent buildings (or competitors) should be preserved.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The last thing you want is to rethink certain arrangements you struggled to organise. However, with the foundation on which these are based shifting, you’ve no choice. The secret is to do something out of character, and make halfway changes. This deals with any pressing practicalities yet ensures the actual arrangements remain stable. Still, be aware, bigtime changes aren’t just inevitable, they’re in your best interests.

You will do well in jobs and assignments that require an air of calm professionalism. There’s an air of dignity about your thinking and your way of doing things. This inner certainty of what is and what is not the one thing will turn out to be of use to a close friend as well as yourself. In an awkward situation as the week ends you hold the key to the correct way of doing things. Don’t hold back from giving advice.

You may remember that Mars is travelling through your sign: hopefully boosting energy levels. Certainly, by the time that that planet aligns with Uranus next weekend, your need to do things differently, to explore your entrepreneurial talents and to do things your way will no doubt be noted – most especially by Aries colleagues. They may be impressed by the diligent way in which you approach difficulties. It’s highly likely that you will identify commercial opportunities and could quickly put together a business plan. You will surely need both backing and partners. By Wednesday, and Mercury’s arrival at the base of your solar chart, you could find support close to home. It may be that through a relative or sound advice from a trusted adviser, that you access essential funding and get plans ready for launch soon after the New Moon on July 28th.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After weeks of facing crucial but dull practical and financial matters, not only have most of the issues in question been dealt with, you’ve learnt a lot. Your focus now shifts to broadening your horizons. This ranges from your thinking to the possibility of travel. That, in turn, means combining exciting plans with yet more practicalities. What you learnt only recently will be amazingly valuable.

Expect positive results from your hard-working efforts. Promotion is a possibility providing you don’t let your success go to your head. You don’t need to sing your own praises to receive the rewards coming to you mid-July. Just relax and let things happen. A relationship is about to come to an end and there will be some sadness to this parting even though it has been planned or expected for a while.

There are different ways of looking at the planets. The common way is to look at the Earth centred positions. There is an alternative perspective and using that, the emphasis is presently on Gemini. Communications are always important but it seems that for now, your role is acting as a bridge between past and future. Your instincts and your intuition should prove invaluable to those who feel pressured into making major decisions and Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon should mark a significant career moment. Of course, it can’t be true that all Geminis will be offered a new role, but highly likely that most will have their talents acknowledged. It’s further probable that you will be asked to assist with a research project requiring considerable detective work. Your nose for what’s important and what is a smokescreen should make you an asset to any team.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Since late June, you’ve had a fresh perspective on both existing plans and introduced thrilling ideas or offers. What’s more, you’ve taken action on some and explored others. Yet nothing has settled in the way you’ve hoped. Be patient. This week marks a turning point. Persist in both your efforts and vision of what’s possible and those once-distant dreams will become reality.

Your creative and imaginative talents are at their peak. Sharing your interests will be rewarding as you inspire others to try new skills and abilities. This is a great time to showcase your talent. Discussions mid-week will be important and will have something to do with plans for the future. An old romance shows signs of being rekindled. Your ideas and creative efforts will make an impact on someone you have always admired.

It’s long been recognised that Cancers have excellent memories. Accessing these is rarely a difficulty. At the start of this week though you could be destabilised by a thought that takes you down memory lane that feels uncomfortable. You are likely right in that these thoughts have to be probed. It could be argued that this would be an excellent time to discuss them with a therapist. You might also consider ancestral thinking and whether or not what lies within your genes would benefit from analysis. Certainly, by Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon, it might help to think about how grandparents and great grandparents coped with trauma. You perhaps need to be reminded of their strength (which now lies within you). A further possibility is being involved in a work project that requires access to an archive. Certainly, history appears to play a very strong role this week.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

As a Leo and an impatient fire sign, you’re unlikely to be thrilled to learn that, ideally, certain major decisions should wait until after the Leo New Moon, on 28 July. Force issues, if you must. However, between powerful insights and pivotal events that arise later this month, you’re urged not to rush things; and until then? You’ve plenty of decluttering, of plans and possessions, to do.

A glorious sense of harmony and togetherness surrounds friendships, partnerships and work relationships. You can add to this even more by letting routine chores stand for a while whenever possible. If someone special suggests doing something different, don’t think twice about taking them up on their offer. Are you single? You can look forward to having some fun in the romantic department. A commitment that has been arduous and demanding is about to come to an end.

As you well know, is not always easy to be a Leo: a sign that values loyalty, integrity and honesty. When you feel undermined – as indeed you may well have done over the last couple of years, – rebuilding trust is super, super hard. Those issues are likely to loom large at the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday. A strong possibility is that you’ll consider your position at work and whether or not you want to stay but accept more limitations. Recall that Saturn is presently passing through your opposite sign and that it likely feels that others hold all the cards. They don’t and you can still be empowered. True, you might need to wait until next week’s New Moon in your sign before you make a challenge. This week may be all about gathering information so that you can open discussions and make clear present unhappiness and declare the direction you now want to take.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

After a tricky period, during which even your best efforts at dealing with everything from practicalities to tricky individuals have been unrewarding, suddenly the tide turns. While, often, your past efforts pay off, just as frequently sudden changes in circumstances will so alter the situation that problems vanish. The trick? Resist you Virgo tendency to improve on what’s happened. Instead, enjoy those victories, even those that seem minor.

Activities with your family and friends look set to offer plenty of pleasure. You might suddenly be taken with the idea of visiting someone who lives abroad but even friends living close by will provide lots in the way of entertainment. If you make time for gossip with a neighbour you will hear some welcome information. Don’t hesitate about getting in touch with someone who was meant to have contacted you earlier in the month. Rather than waiting for their call, take the matter into your own hands.

You don’t have to be the world’s greatest cleaner-upper! Nor do you have to multitask. A crisis is likely brewing – most probably because it will seem to at least one person, that you’re not allowing them to get on with the job that you tasked them to do. This could be linked to decisions taken last autumn and before that, to the start of 2021. You may be right about one thing: steps taken now will affect your long-term career plan. It might help to discuss options with an Aries or Libra. Though markedly different, what they have in common are leadership skills and could help you with the decision-making process. A further, and strong possibility with Mars moving through another of the Earth signs, is that you will be tempted to confront someone. What you presumably don’t want is a long-drawn-out legal battle but need access to expertise to support your cause.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Only recently you were complaining that either certain individuals or destiny itself were taking decisions from your hands. Actually, that’s in your best interests. You tend to ignore certain tedious but crucial details. Many of these are important to you, enough that entrusting these to others won’t be easy. Still, as the increasingly complex events of coming days and weeks unfold, you’ll be glad you did.

A friend who has been distant and awkward with you lately will reveal what has been getting under their skin. Whatever the situation, be willing to talk. The end of the week is a good time to get closer to those you care about or have cared about. Relationships begun this week will stand the test of time and bring you great happiness. Let your true feelings show; relax, be yourself and enjoy the pleasing consequences.

It seems you’re coming to a career turning point: indicated by the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday that coincides with Mercury changing signs. It might suit you to make contact with a group you last worked with around your birthday in 2021. It isn’t necessarily the case that you will do business with them again, but might need to discuss what options there will be for you later in 2022. They may want you to take on greater role. Accepting a position of leadership is probably not what you have in mind! The group may be correct though concluding that you have the perfect diplomatic skills and network to help them through a crisis. Whilst you will doubtless enjoy the dialogue, this is a diversion from other thought that do need to be addressed. Every year, Venus makes its transit through your career zone. Over the next few weeks, you should perhaps give careful thought as to who you want to partner with career wise, and who might best assist you in incubating an idea that’s been germinating since late last year.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Because you think through everything from simple plans to emotional passions in depth, you’re rarely surprised by events or others’ actions. Yet with both the Sun and Mercury challenging your ruler Pluto, unexpected developments are inevitable. Tempting as it is to leap into action, for now, do the minimum. The fresh perspective triggered by the New Moon, on the 28th, will transform circumstances and your priorities.

Friends who were too busy to keep you company earlier in July will more than make up for it now. Even if you hadn’t planned to spend as much time socialising, this won’t stop people from beating a path to your door. It may mean you will have to juggle plans you had been looking forward to in order to accept a travel invitation but the happiness gained from this will more than compensate.

It might be as well to anticipate career drama around Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon. The fact that this coincides with Mercury arriving at the apex or career point of your solar chart, suggests you’re coming to the close of a chapter with the next phase due to start in 2023. Emphasis now is on orchestrating graceful conclusion – which may be harder than first appears. The difficulty is that with both Mars and Uranus in your opposite sign, others might appear to continue to press all the wrong (or perhaps the right!) buttons. What they want is for you to make a decision. What you want, is to know that you will be able to develop your expertise and your talent if you alter direction. At another level entirely, you may be asked to give advice to a team you used to work with and who have correctly identified that you are well placed to protect the history of a situation whilst acknowledging the need to adapt to new ways of working.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a quick-thinking, fast-moving Sagittarius, you’re superb at dealing with even sudden changes. However, those you’re currently facing involve financial or practical matters, so require a cautious approach. Tempting as it is to plunge in, then base decisions on whatever you encounter, you’d soon regret it. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll realise how vital the facts you learn will be, for now and the future.

There is good news and bad news when it comes to friendships and work relationships. Someone will pull out of commitments they have been involved in for some time. This will leave a hole in your own agenda and some sadness. The good news is that new faces will be coming into your life and some of these will become firm friends. A rare opportunity will bring the chance for you to widen your social circle. Resist the temptation to dwell on disappointments. Concentrate on your blessings.

Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon in Aries (another Fire sign) coincides with Mercury’s move into the other Fire sign, Leo. Enthusiastic as you may be by a proposal, it’s entirely possible that midweek will mark a dividing line. Buffeted and pushed by planetary conditions for the last couple of years, it is possible that this will be a release moment. Career wise, something that is been on and off could now approach the finishing line – leaving you room to plan an adventure. It would be unsurprising if travel, publishing or improvement in your general profile was involved. It is, of course, important that you don’t push yourself too fast and too soon. That said, your skills – particularly as an archivist or custodian of valuable information, – should be noted (something to add to your C.V?)


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

Your horoscope for this week:

Having struggled for months to organise plans, the recent Capricorn Full Moon both roused unspoken feelings and triggered changes as sudden as they are dramatic. Tempting as it is to try to restore those familiar arrangements, explore every idea or option that’s come your way; and take your time. Decisions may seem urgent; but they can, and should, wait until all the facts are clear.

You always value the practical in life. Your family are grateful for your ability to find ways and means of getting a good deal from money transactions. It will be work carried out behind the scenes that sees you at your most productive. You prefer to be away from distractions that can disturb your concentration. Even when you are out with friends you will want to spend time away from crowds and noisy places. Be assertive about getting an important job started.

For the last couple of years, half of every month has seen planets all on one side of the Sun and in the second half, the Moon moving away to the other side and acting as a handle to an apparent bucket shape. That formation is now breaking. With this should come new opportunities but yes, a decidedly different pace where commercial activity is concerned. This should be notable at Wednesday’s Last Quarter Moon which coincides with Mercury moving into fiery Leo. Arguably the last thing you need is for others to be throwing yet new ideas your way. Work that should have been completed earlier in the year is likely still outstanding with no finish in sight. Yet perhaps you’ll accept, that although many loose ends need to be tidied up, it’s also important to think about future opportunity. The fact that one arm of a business is in clear decay will require attention and a decision needs to be made as to whether or not this should be laid to rest or given intensive care. Although the decision perhaps can’t be made until the New Moon on July 28, your listing of the pros and cons should prove invaluable in this week’s discussions.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

The unsettling events you’re facing are about progress, and often exciting new ideas. Once that’s understood, you’ll be calmer and, despite instincts to hurry things, will take it slowly. Better yet, you’ll focus on letting go of past plans and passions. This clears the way for the powerful insights and breakthroughs that accompany the Aquarius Full Moon on 12 August. They’ll be worth waiting for.

A workmate who has an eye for detail will give you constructive criticism. You appreciate their help but you can also see how they could improve their own work. It is unlikely they will want to listen. Near sighted people can only see things close up. There are some who will be unable or unwilling to take a broader view. Not only are they limiting themselves but also those they work with and for that reason you need to be sure to look after your own interests.

Coinciding with the Last Quarter Moon on Wednesday, Mercury, the planet linked to commercial activity and thinking, moves into your opposite sign. It might initially appear that others have all the advantages. This is likely not the case. Yours is a sign known to have a strong sentimental streak. This could be on the show and threaten to weaken your position. This should be a week when the focus is on business activities and steering your career boat away from rocks. There is strong likelihood that pressure will be put on you to agree new working conditions. These may be less than ideal. Hold the thought that we are still in a transitory period. It will be a couple of years yet before working practices evolve into something more acceptable. By then Pluto will have arrived in your sign and hopefully, experiences gained now will give you an advantage. The art for now is to be open to new concepts even if these initially appear destabilising and yes, press all your emotional buttons.


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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, others’ lives and the world around you are in disarray. However, you’re in a period of thrilling, if often unexpected, change, exciting encounters and growth. Those around you may advise caution. However, trust your own instincts that say things really are as good as they seem. The more you learn, the more optimistic you’ll be; and aim high. You’ll be glad you did.

Someone has come to depend a lot on you lately. You may have to think carefully about how you want this relationship to continue. It may be time to encourage a friend or neighbour to stand on their own two feet. Showing restraint in chats about cash will pay off handsomely. Expect to get the green light that will mean long held hopes can be put into action. There will be more optimism for the future.

The whole point of looking at planetary positions is to see when the cosmic weather will change and if you can play that to your advantage. Being prepared is key. This week contains a Last Quarter Moon and, just as the word implies, there is a suggestion that this will mark a conclusion of some kind. Obviously, the lunar phase affects all signs but in different areas of their lives. For you, this could mark – if not the actual conclusion – then the beginning of the conclusion to a relationship where finance was an issue. The fact that this lunar phase coincides with Venus moving into another of the Water signs, suggests you will be in the mood to protect your interests and yes, possibly to even seek legal counsel should that be necessary. There is also the strong possibility on Monday of learning about an overpayment. This could be linked to tax arrangements. You may need to challenge to get what is rightfully yours.

~CelestialPrognostication

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