GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast 15-21 Oct 2018

Green-Black-Halloween-Witch-Cat

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

The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight.
~The New Orleans Mistic

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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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Goddess Month of Hathor begins 10/3 – 10/30
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Celtic Tree Calendar: Gort (Ivy) September 30 to October 27

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing, First Quarter

Waxing Moon: Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).

Keywords for the First Quarter phase are: action, expression, growth, breaking away. It is the time in a cycle to take the initial action necessary to achieve your goal by expressing your needs and desires. Feel & Move. Make phone calls. Write letters. Dance. Act now.

Waxing Moon: Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity,

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom.

Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.) Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).

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Honoring the Goddess Every Day at GoddessSchool.com
So mote it be!!

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Each And Every Day A Feast Day!
Embrace It!!!

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The GoddessSchool
goddessschool2
http://GoddessSchool.com
High Priestess Certification and Ancient Mystery Teachings
Now Taking Students!
High Priestess Mystery School Training
E-mail me ASAP for an application!
GrannyMoonsMail@yahoo.com
http://Goddessschool.com/

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The Goddess School Grimoire
goddessschool
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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GrannyMoon is Founder and Mother High Priestess of GoddessSchool, Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Living in the Washington, DC suburbs, she attended LDS Seminary, Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity, since 1999. She is a current board member of the Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, charter member and former counsel and board member of The Order of the White Moon. A scholar of ancient mysteries, Doula, Reiki Master, Herbalist and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. and former VA State Representative A.R.E.N. Alternative Religions Educational Network. She has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of the Esoteric.

Join us! GrannyMoon@Goddessschool.com http://Goddessschool.com GrannyMoon occasionally teaches classes, and on the last Saturday of the month hosts the Most Excellent Order of the Black Hat – open to all – a group of solitaires who celebrate the wheel of the year. 7:15 – 9:00PM

Face to Face classes at Sticks and Stones – 11037 Lee Highway · Fairfax, VA

GrannyMoon’s Herbal Witches Cauldron – Every last Saturday of the month. Explore a new herb or two and work on a hands-on project with us. 4-6PM

October – Face to Face Reiki Classes
November – Crystal Reiki
December – Animal Reiki

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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Moon Day Hail Luna! Hail Mani! Energy: Female Ruler: The Moon Magicks involving the subconscious, healing, emotions, love, spirituality, healing wounds, children, small animals, women’s mysteries,mothers, sisters, female partners, wives, instincts
Today’s Magickal Influences: Agriculture, Domestic, Long Life, Medicine,
Travels, Visions, Theft
Today’s Goddesses: Luna, Selene, Diana, Re, Gaeleach, Ida, Artemis [Whom The
Greeks Associated With Bast], The Witches, Yemaya, Erzulie, Bast
Incense: Myrtle
Perfumes: White Poppy, White Rose, Wallflower
Monday – Wear pearl, moonstone, or crystal. Use an emerald for amulets.
Color of The Day: Silver, Grey, White
Colors for Tomorrow: Red
Candle: White
Cooking on Monday will improve magics for creativity, insight, maternal
nature, and Goddess-related efforts. ~Quote from Magickal Martha

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Hail Tyr! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Tyr’s or Tiu’s Day Day of Mars, Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (from whom it is named), Tuisco,. Magickal influences are: Passion, courage, aggression and protection, vitality, passion, ambition and raw, unabashed power. Mars energy makes the mind acute.It is lucky to meet a left-handed person on any day except Tuesday – then it’s an ill omen. A superstition from areas of England that were ruled by the Danelaw, because the day is named for Norse God Týr who sacrificed his right hand to bind the Fenris Wolf. #FolkloreThursday

Tuesday – Wear a ruby, star sapphire, or emerald. Use topaz for amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Destination, War, Courage, Surgery, Physical Strength
Be cautious-especially while traveling.
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Soorejnaree, Pingalla, Anna, Aine, Danu,
Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman
Perfumes: Hellebore, Carnation, Patchouli
Incense: Lignum Aloes, Plantain
Color of The Day: Red
Colors for Tomorrow: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Tuesday Is The Lucky Day For Aries
Candle: Red
On Tuesday, cooking up a hearty meal featuring carrots, peppers, and garlic (all Mars foods and spices) to empower yourself for victory and success!
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Hail Odin! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Woden’s or Odin’s Day
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick
involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions,
communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression,
artists, poets, and writers
Wednesday – Wear amethyst, star ruby, or lodestone. Use turquoise in amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing,Eloquence
Incense: Cinnamon, Cinquefoil
Perfumes: Sweetpea, Lavender, Mastic, Frankincense, Cloves
Color of The Day: Yellow, Grey
Colors for Tomorrow: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Candle: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini And Virgo
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya,
Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Hathor
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GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day Hail Thor!
Energy: Male
Ruler: Jupiter
attracting more of what you have.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting More
Thors Day – Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba
Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Light Blue, Pale Green
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
Candle: Blue
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Hail Freya! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Freya’s Day
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the
heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s
problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve
quarrels today!
Friday – Cast love spells on Fridays. Wear blue robes and use turquoise, ruby, emerald or cat’s eye.
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection,
Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus,
Freya, Frigg, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense: Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day: Light Blue, Pale Green
Candle: Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Saint Jegudiel represents Friday
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Hail Loki! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Saturn and Loki’s Day
Day of Seatere, Seater, and Saturn and of Loki, the Norse god of tricks and
revelry. Saturday is ruled by Saturn, whose Magickal influences are:
longevity, endings, and homes. Saturday comes under the influence of Saturn.
Saturn’s influence directs our attention toward routine chores, customs, and
conventional traditions. Saturday is a good day for furthering our ambitions
through perseverance, patience, responsible action, and a sense of purpose .
Saturday – Wear turquoise, labradorite, or diamond. Use amethyst.
Saturday is a good day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving
spirit communication, meditation, psychic self-defense, binding, and
locating lost things or missing persons.
Today’s Goddesses: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin,
Asherah, Anath, The Shekinah, The Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua,
Demeter
Today’s Magickal Influences: Duties, Responsibilities, Finding Families,
Works Of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines
Today’s Energies: Female – Rules obstacles, overcoming blockages – Use for
magick involving overcoming limitations, the elderly, endings, deaths,
blocks, constrictions, and those restricting you.
Incense: Pepperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone,
Myrrh
Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy
Color of The Day: Black
Colors for Tomorrow: Orange, Gold and Yellow
Lucky Sign: Saturday Is The Lucky Day For Capricorn And Aquarius
Candle: Black
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Hail Sunna and Sol! GrannyMoon Says Today is: Sun Day

Rule health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power,
leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands
Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonne, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna,
Izanami, Ochumare
Sunday’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity
Incense: Mastic, Palaginia
Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk,Myrrh
Sunday – wear topaz, sunstone, or diamond. Use pearl in crafting talismans.
Color of The Day: Orange, Gold
Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White
Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo
Candle: Yellow

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Llewellyn’s Spell a Day

Rise From Darkness
Spell Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018

Physical exercise can enhance magic; movement activates intention and meditation. When you’re feeling low (an affliction all of us deal with many times throughout the course of our lives), try this movement based meditation to rise from darkness. All you need is a chair.

Begin seated. Feel your feelings; ground yourself in them. Next, visualize a light above your head. Stand up and into the light, and let it flood through you—then sit down again. Try to do this ten times. This exercise, a simple “sit-stand,” activates your leg and core muscles and increases circulation. The up-down movement is rhythmic and meditative, but most importantly you are in control, choosing when to rise and when to sit down again. The light is always there.

Enhance this mini magical workout by placing on your temples a drop or two of uplifting oil, such as ylang ylang, lemon balm, or neroli.
This post was written by Natalie Zaman on October 14, 2018
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The Writing in the Web
Spell Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018

This is often a time of year when spiders start to come out of their hiding places, either seeking shelter from the approaching weather in the north or busying themselves for the warmer weather in the Southern Hemisphere. The spider is a very magical creature with much to tell us. Some stories say that the very first language was written in the spider’s web. It’s the bringer of destiny, the weaver of fate.

Working with spider energy enhances your creativity. If you’re planning on participating in November’s write-a-thon or starting to make gifts for Yule or Christmas, then invite spider to come and help you by wearing spider-themed jewelry or putting a picture of a spider on your altar or screen saver. If you start to see physical spiders, know that they’re coming to help and inspire you as you weave your own web of destiny toward achieving your dreams.
This post was written by Charlie Rainbow Wolf on October 13, 2018
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Inspirational Incense
Spell Date: Friday, October 12, 2018

If you’re ever feeling a bit stuck in a creative block, grab a stick of your favorite incense and head outdoors. Light the tip and, when you blow out the flame, focus on the element of air within you (the breath) and all around you (the breeze).

Focus intently on the rising smoke while you ask for inspirational energy by saying this rhyme:

“Great and spritely air spirits
who swiftly wax and wane,
release my mental blockages so
creativity may flow again!”

Offer the incense to the spirits of air and to your own spirit guides and guardians.

Repeat the rhyme in your mind or out loud a number of times. Take the incense inside and situate it in the location where you’re most creative. As it burns, visualize yourself jumping through a brick wall with the word “blockage” scrawled on it with spray paint. See yourself jumping safely through, shattering the wall and glowing with reinvigorated creativity.
This post was written by Raven Digitalis on October 12, 2018
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Healing Wine
Spell Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Meditrinalia festival was celebrated by the Romans on this day in honor of Meditrina, a goddess of wine and health. During this time of the waxing moon, you could petition Meditrina if you or a loved one is in need of healing.

Set up a small area to work in and create sacred space within it. Create an offering to Meditrina by crushing grapes and adding herbs to it that aid in healing. As you pour the libation onto the earth, say:

“Meditrina, take this offering made
from the vine to create a healing wine.”
This post was written by Charlynn Walls on October 11, 2018
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Good Cents Success Mojo
Spell Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I love spell bags. These compact bundles of magick can really pack a punch! Because today is the tenth day of the month, it is a good opportunity to harness the qualities of the number’s numerological vibration along with the qualities of success and attainment.

Bring to mind a goal you are working toward, and gather a small square of cloth, some ribbon or twine, a small pinch of cinquefoil (five-finger grass), and ten dimes. The dimes pack a triple dose of success energy: you will use ten of them, each dime is worth ten cents, and they are currency.

Place the dimes in a stack on top of the fabric, and sprinkle the cinquefoil over them. Place your hands over the pile, palms down, and focus on your intent, channeling energy into the mojo. Tie up the corners of the fabric with the ribbon or twine, and carry the spell bag in your pocket or place it on your altar.
This post was written by Blake Octavian Blair on October 10, 2018
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Spell to See Nature Spirits
Spell Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2018

This day is the old Greek festival of Gaia and the nymphs. These nature spirits are both male and female entities and are known to be beautiful, sensual, and mischievous. Their descriptions from ancient literature inform our modern-day conception of fairies and other beings.

Early autumn is an evocative time, one that often prompts feelings of nostalgia or moments of déjà vu, suggesting that the veil between the worlds is thinning as we approach the Samhain cross quarter.

Find a quiet spot surrounded by nature (a woodland or meadow is ideal) and sit comfortably. Bring a small offering for the spirits and leave it by a tree or stone. Celtic lore says they love fresh dairy products, but you can also leave fruit, candy, or shiny coins. Try not to make sudden movements or noise. Soon you may notice fleeting movements in your peripheral vision or faint sounds like whispering voices or bells. These may be nature beings trying to communicate with you. What are they trying to say?
This post was written by Peg Aloi on October 09, 2018
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Rise From Darkness
Spell Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018

Physical exercise can enhance magic; movement activates intention and meditation. When you’re feeling low (an affliction all of us deal with many times throughout the course of our lives), try this movement based meditation to rise from darkness. All you need is a chair.

Begin seated. Feel your feelings; ground yourself in them. Next, visualize a light above your head. Stand up and into the light, and let it flood through you—then sit down again. Try to do this ten times. This exercise, a simple “sit-stand,” activates your leg and core muscles and increases circulation. The up-down movement is rhythmic and meditative, but most importantly you are in control, choosing when to rise and when to sit down again. The light is always there.

Enhance this mini magical workout by placing on your temples a drop or two of uplifting oil, such as ylang ylang, lemon balm, or neroli.
This post was written by Natalie Zaman on October 14, 2018
)0(
The Writing in the Web
Spell Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018

This is often a time of year when spiders start to come out of their hiding places, either seeking shelter from the approaching weather in the north or busying themselves for the warmer weather in the Southern Hemisphere. The spider is a very magical creature with much to tell us. Some stories say that the very first language was written in the spider’s web. It’s the bringer of destiny, the weaver of fate.

Working with spider energy enhances your creativity. If you’re planning on participating in November’s write-a-thon or starting to make gifts for Yule or Christmas, then invite spider to come and help you by wearing spider-themed jewelry or putting a picture of a spider on your altar or screen saver. If you start to see physical spiders, know that they’re coming to help and inspire you as you weave your own web of destiny toward achieving your dreams.
This post was written by Charlie Rainbow Wolf on October 13, 2018
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Inspirational Incense
Spell Date: Friday, October 12, 2018
Color of the day: Rose
Incense of the day: Violet
If you’re ever feeling a bit stuck in a creative block, grab a stick of your favorite incense and head outdoors. Light the tip and, when you blow out the flame, focus on the element of air within you (the breath) and all around you (the breeze).

Focus intently on the rising smoke while you ask for inspirational energy by saying this rhyme:

“Great and spritely air spirits
who swiftly wax and wane,
release my mental blockages so
creativity may flow again!”

Offer the incense to the spirits of air and to your own spirit guides and guardians.

Repeat the rhyme in your mind or out loud a number of times. Take the incense inside and situate it in the location where you’re most creative. As it burns, visualize yourself jumping through a brick wall with the word “blockage” scrawled on it with spray paint. See yourself jumping safely through, shattering the wall and glowing with reinvigorated creativity.
This post was written by Raven Digitalis on October 12, 2018
)0(
Healing Wine
Spell Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Meditrinalia festival was celebrated by the Romans on this day in honor of Meditrina, a Goddess of wine and health. During this time of the waxing moon, you could petition Meditrina if you or a loved one is in need of healing.

Set up a small area to work in and create sacred space within it. Create an offering to Meditrina by crushing grapes and adding herbs to it that aid in healing. As you pour the libation onto the earth, say:

“Meditrina, take this offering made
from the vine to create a healing wine.”
This post was written by Charlynn Walls on October 11, 2018
)0(
Good Cents Success Mojo
Spell Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I love spell bags. These compact bundles of magick can really pack a punch! Because today is the tenth day of the month, it is a good opportunity to harness the qualities of the number’s numerological vibration along with the qualities of success and attainment.

Bring to mind a goal you are working toward, and gather a small square of cloth, some ribbon or twine, a small pinch of cinquefoil (five-finger grass), and ten dimes. The dimes pack a triple dose of success energy: you will use ten of them, each dime is worth ten cents, and they are currency.

Place the dimes in a stack on top of the fabric, and sprinkle the cinquefoil over them. Place your hands over the pile, palms down, and focus on your intent, channeling energy into the mojo. Tie up the corners of the fabric with the ribbon or twine, and carry the spell bag in your pocket or place it on your altar.
This post was written by Blake Octavian Blair on October 10, 2018
)0(
Spell to See Nature Spirits
Spell Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2018

This day is the old Greek festival of Gaia and the nymphs. These nature spirits are both male and female entities and are known to be beautiful, sensual, and mischievous. Their descriptions from ancient literature inform our modern-day conception of fairies and other beings.

Early autumn is an evocative time, one that often prompts feelings of nostalgia or moments of déjà vu, suggesting that the veil between the worlds is thinning as we approach the Samhain cross quarter.

Find a quiet spot surrounded by nature (a woodland or meadow is ideal) and sit comfortably. Bring a small offering for the spirits and leave it by a tree or stone. Celtic lore says they love fresh dairy products, but you can also leave fruit, candy, or shiny coins. Try not to make sudden movements or noise. Soon you may notice fleeting movements in your peripheral vision or faint sounds like whispering voices or bells. These may be nature beings trying to communicate with you. What are they trying to say?
This post was written by Peg Aloi on October 09, 2018
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Heartwings 849: An Adventure on the High Seas

Heartwings says: “Nature has gifts to share when we pay attention.”

If you have never been on a whale watch be sure to put one on your bucket list. Stephen and I enjoyed one recently and it was a truly fine experience. We were fortunate and saw a number of whales as well as being given a wonderful show by two of them, a mother and her calf. At first like most of the several hundred people on the ship, I was trying to take pictures. However, the whales were coming and going before I could aim my camera. It was frustrating, and I began to feel annoyed.

I put my camera away and was glad I had. It was after I did that and began to just observe the whales that I had a truly vivid experience. As I put all my attention on just watching I also felt a kind of connection with the beautiful, sleek dark bodies that were present in the ocean around the boat. Our knowledgeable guides said that the whales were unusually active. Since these are not tame creatures trained to perform, they act the way they wish, and that day it felt as though they were entertaining us with their behaviors.

A mother whale and her calf were swimming fairly close to the ship, and the captain spent quite a lot of time near them so we could watch. At one point the mother whale was apparently helping her calf learn something because she kept repeating her behavior. She would slap her tail against the water and do a shallow dive, then come up and roll over, flapping and then flopping her flippers. Our guides were happy for us and spoke of how rare this was. It was a wonderful sight to see. But what I found most intriguing was the feeling of connection that occurred after Ihad put away my camera.

Once when I was swimming in a lake in Maine I found myself fairly close to a Loon and had a similar experience. It was as if I were in the presence of a friendly stranger, perhaps speaking another language I could not understand, but felt to be welcoming. As I stood with many others at the side of the boat, I felt a sense of communion with the mother whale. It came as a warm sensation in my chest that came with no words yet communicated a wondrous sense of beauty, grace, and intelligence. How differently we might behave toward the earth’s creatures if everyone could feel what these special beings inspired in me and perhaps in all who watched them.

May you find a kinship with creatures that inspires you to feel the importance of protecting the environment.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you have a story to share about communicating with a creature in some way? I love to hear from readers and enjoy your stories immensely. Thanks in advance for anything you might like to share.

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You Call It Hallowe’en… We Call It Samhain
by Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Hallowe’en has its origins in the British Isles. While the modern tradition of trick or treat developed in the U. S., it too is based on folk customs brought to this country with Irish immigrants after 1840. Since ancient times in Ireland, Scotland, and England, October 31st has been celebrated as a feast for the dead, and also the day that marks the new year. Mexico observes a Day of the Dead on this day, as do other world cultures. In Scotland, the Gaelic word “Samhain” (pronounced “SAW-win” or “SAW-vane”) means literally “summer’s end.”

This holiday is also known as All Hallows Eve (“hallow” means “sanctify”) ; Hallowtide; Hallowmass; Hallows; The Day of the Dead; All Soul’s Night; All Saints’ Day (both on November 1st) .

For early Europeans, this time of the year marked the beginning of the cold, lean months to come; the flocks were brought in from the fields to live in sheds until spring. Some animals were slaughtered, and the meat preserved to provide food for winter. The last gathering of crops was known as “Harvest Home, ” celebrated with fairs and festivals.

In addition to its agriculture significance, the ancient Celts also saw Samhain as a very spiritual time. Because October 31 lies exactly between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, it is theorized that ancient peoples, with their reliance on astrology, thought it was a very potent time for magic and communion with spirits. The “veil between the worlds” of the living and the dead was said to be at its thinnest on this day; so the dead were invited to return to feast with their loved ones; welcomed in from the cold, much as the animals were brought inside. Ancient customs range from placing food out for dead ancestors, to performing rituals for communicating with those who had passed over.

Communion with the dead was thought to be the work of witches and sorcerers, although the common folk thought nothing of it. Because the rise of the Church led to growing suspicion of the pagan ways of country dwellers, Samhain also became associated with witches, black cats (“familiars” or animal friends) , bats (night creatures) , ghosts and other “spooky” things…the stereotype of the old hag riding the broomstick is simply a caricature; fairy tales have exploited this image for centuries.

Divination of the future was also commonly practiced at this magically-potent time; since it was also the Celtic New Year, people focused on their desires for the coming year. Certain traditions, such as bobbing for apples, roasting nuts in the fire, and baking cakes which contained tokens of luck, are actually ancient methods of telling fortunes.

So What About Those Jack-O-Lanterns?

Other old traditions have survived to this day; lanterns carved out of pumpkins and turnips were used to provide light on a night when huge bonfires were lit, and all households let their fires go out so they could be rekindled from this new fire; this was believed to be good luck for all households. The name “Jack-O-Lantern” means “Jack of the Lantern, ” and comes from an old Irish tale. Jack was a man who could enter neither heaven nor hell and was condemned to wander through the night with only a candle in a turnip for light. Or so goes the legend…

But such folk names were commonly given to nature spirits, like the “Jack in the Green, ” or to plants believed to possess magical properties, like “John O’ Dreams, ” or “Jack in the Pulpit.” Irish fairy lore is full of such references. Since candles placed in hollowed-out pumpkins or turnips (commonly grown for food and abundant at this time of year) would produce flickering flames, especially on cold nights in October, this phenomenon may have led to the association of spirits with the lanterns; and this, in turn, may have led to the tradition of carving scary faces on them. It is an old legend that candle flames which flicker on Samhain night are being touched by the spirits of dead ancestors, or “ghosts.”

Okay, What about the Candy?

“Trick or treat” as it is practiced in the U. S. is a complex custom believed to derive from several Samhain traditions, as well as being unique to this country. Since Irish immigrants were predominantly Catholic, they were more likely to observe All Soul’s Day. But Ireland’s folk traditions die hard, and the old ways of Samhain were remembered. The old tradition of going door to door asking for donations of money or food for the New Year’s feast was carried over to the U. S. from the British Isles. Hogmanay was celebrated January 1st in rural Scotland, and there are records of a “trick or treat” type of custom; curses would be invoked on those who did not give generously; while those who did give from their hearts were blessed and praised. Hence, the notion of “trick or treat” was born (although this greeting was not commonly used until the 1930’s in the U. S.) . The wearing of costumes is an ancient practice; villagers would dress as ghosts, to escort the spirits of the dead to the outskirts of the town, at the end of the night’s celebration.

By the 1920’s, “trick or treat” became a way of letting off steam for those urban poor living in crowded conditions. Innocent acts of vandalism (soaping windows, etc.) gave way to violent, cruel acts. Organizations like the Boy Scouts tried to organize ways for this holiday to become safe and fun; they started the practice of encouraging “good” children to visit shops and homes asking for treats, so as to prevent criminal acts. These “beggar’s nights” became very popular and have evolved to what we know as Hallowe’en today.

What Do Modern Witches Do at Hallowe’en?

It is an important holiday for us. Witches are diverse and practice a variety of traditions. Many of us use this time to practice forms of divination (such as tarot or runes) . Many Witches also perform rituals to honor the dead; and may invite their deceased loved ones to visit for a time, if they choose. This is not a “seance” in the usual sense of the word; Witches extend an invitation, rather than summoning the dead, and we believe the world of the dead is very close to this one. So, on Samhain, and again on Beltane (May 1st) , when the veil between the worlds is thin, we attempt to travel between those worlds. This is done through meditation, visualization, and astral projection. Because Witches acknowledge human existence as part of a cycle of life, death, and rebirth, Samhain is a time to reflect on our mortality and to confront our fears of dying.

Some Witches look on Samhain as a time to prepare for the long, dark months of winter, a time of introspection and drawing inward. They may bid goodbye to the summer with one last celebratory rite. They may have harvest feasts, with vegetables and fruits they have grown, or home-brewed cider or mead. They may give thanks for what they have, projecting for abundance through the winter. Still, others may celebrate with costume parties, enjoy treats and good times with friends. There are as many ways of observing Samhain as there are Witches in the world!

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Crystals for Protection
by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Peacefulmind.com

The power behind Earth’s minerals can be felt the minute you put a crystal in your hands or near your physical body. Crystals are the treasures of the earth. These stones are filled with energy to be used. Each crystal, stone, gemstone is rated by its hardness, shape, size, qualities and often have a metaphysical significance as their personality. Some of the best crystals for protection include Bloodstone, Carnelian, Hematite and Obsidian.

Agate Eye:
Properties: The protective eye stone, is a spectacular variety of agate, sometimes onyx, sardonyx or “cryptocrystalline quartz” containing layers of carnelian! This is considered a stone of virtue allowing us to find the sheer delight in living. It is infamous for bringing stability and long lasting happiness to life partners, marriage and live in relationships! Used to enhance clear choices by limiting hesitation and therefore providing courage and protection to its wearer. This is a great stone to grid the home with in order to protect against crime and the “evil eye”.

Ammonite:
Properties: Ammonite is often used for stability in life. This is actually a fossilized creature that resembled a snail, over 65 million years old. It is now a helpful stone which offers a sense of relaxation. It is believed that Ammonite brings stability and order in life. Ammonite is a stone of protection. It provides for insight and it helps to assist one in seeing the “whole picture.” Since it is associated with the Root Chakra, it encourages ones survival instincts and is grounding.

Bloodstone:
Properties: Increases courage helps in avoiding dangerous situations by soothing the mind. Metaphysically, bloodstone is used to either promote a calm, tranquil atmosphere that is grounding or revitalize insufficient energy. A great stone for mental exhaustion. This stone represents both courage and strength and is used for achieving these attributes. It is associated with honesty and integrity and is useful in removing obstacles in life. Most effective on the Heart (green) and Root (red) Chakra.

Carnelian:
Properties: This stone represents confidence, boldness, initiative, dramatic abilities, assertiveness and outgoingness. Precision, analysis, stimulates appetite, encourages celebration and brings awareness of feelings. This stone helps you feel anchored and comfortable with your surroundings. Provides a connection to the past or to historical events. Carnelian can improve motivation. Helps one achieve greater success in career or personal matters. Helps ground people who meditate. Carnelian is one of the most helpful crystals for healing trauma, stress and emotional wounds that have accumulated in the etheric body or the Aura and are now manifesting as physical symptoms.

Hag Stone:
Properties: The infamous hag stone has occupied myth and “legends” for centuries. Used by farmers, people seeking protection and “magickal” minded people, hag stones are stones that have a naturally occurring hole inside them. Often discovered in fields or along coastal beaches, lakes or streams. These holes occur from the elements beating down upon them over many years. These stones were believed to be able to protect cattle, their milk and people from witches. These stones are found in a different parts of the world. Hag stones represent a magical time when these rocks where used for protection, fertility, good luck and safety.

Hematite:
Properties: This crystal is the most recommended stone for grounding and is associated with the Root Chakra, by encourages ones survival instincts and is centering. Hematite condenses scattered feelings, turns fuzziness into mental clarity, enhances concentration, memory, practicality and helps with sound sleep. Considered the symbol of life energy, hematite allows for more confidence, will power and boldness. Helps us adjust to being physical. A protective stone and helps bolster low self-esteem. Hematite is known to deflect negativity. It brings our awareness back to the body and helps one maintain their sense of self.

Jade:
Properties: The ancient Chinese culture has revered Jade for centuries. Jade is considered the health, wealth and longevity stone, used also for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, harmony. Jade has been used for protection for centuries. Jade is known as androgynous, therefore it is considered having a gentle, steady pulse of healing energy. Jade is found in different colors and can be used on the appropriate Chakra based on its color. Properties common to all colors of Jade include its ability to mellow one’s existence. Helps one rid themselves of negative thoughts and energy. Very beneficial to the heart in both physical and spiritual senses. It is a very protective stone and will keep its wearer out of harm’s way. Jade bounds us to our earth energies and physical instincts. Jade is a humbling stone.

Jet:
Properties: Jet is a form of petrified wood similar to coal, though much harder. This stone has absorbing qualities. Helps draw out negative energy. Especially useful for people who have unreasonable fears that limit their lives. Therefore, that is why this black stone, it relates to the Root Chakra, the center that connects us to our earth energy. The Root Chakra is connected to survival and our trust in the physical world, and in one’s own body. Recommended for stimulating psychic experience and guiding one in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. If worn, it should be set in silver. Jet has been used as a protective stone in life’s physical journeys. It’s known as a traveler’s amulet, and the wives of sailors often burnt it to protect their husbands while they were at sea. Jet has been known historically, to also protect from scorpions and snake bites, especially when the stone is wore over the heart. Jet has been used to help soothe the pain of both a broken heart due to separation or the loss or death of a relative or loved one. In the past, this protection stone has been used to ward against enemies, evil spirits, witchcraft and harmful magic spells.

Obsidian:
Properties: This is a strong grounding stone and is known as “the protector”. It is said to “mirror one’s soul. This stone brings about objectivity, dis-attachment and is grounding. It reduces fantasy and escapism. Absorbs and dissolves anger, criticism, fear, and therefore is protective. This unusual black stone absorbs darkness and converts it to white light energy. It is a warm and friendly stone, which is used at the Root Chakra, encouraging ones survival instincts and is grounding. Black obsidian brings higher Chakra light into lower ones; cleanses and uplifts. Changes fear into flexibility with the advent of change. Obsidian is used for transformation.

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Halloween Brownie Pizza
Ingredients

1 package fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts such as walnut, pecans or peanuts
1 1/2 cups assorted cut-up candy
Chopped nuts, optional

Directions

Grease a 12-inch pizza pan. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, stirring in nuts.
Carefully spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until edges are set. Sprinkle partially baked brownie with candy and nuts, if desired. Return to oven. Bake 5 to 8 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. To serve, cut into wedges. Makes 16 servings.

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Trusting Your Gut
By Madisyn Taylor

Part of being an intuitive person is becoming in-tune with, and trusting, your power center.

Gut feelings earn their name from the place in the body where they make themselves known. A pang in your gut when you may be doing the wrong thing, or a vibrant zing when your body approves, can guide you reliably at times when logic fails. Sometimes, when logic prevails, we ignore our gut and live to regret it, understanding later that a rational approach is only one way of determining what is going on in a situation and how we should react.

Our gut resides in the neighborhood of our solar plexus and the third chakra just above your belly button. When it is functioning well, we can trust its guidance and adjust our actions accordingly. Many of us have a tendency to hold in this area of our bodies. We may take shallow breaths that never reach this vital nexus that is the source of our empowerment. It is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and create change. When our power center is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had said something we were only able to phrase later when we were alone; wishing we had acted on an opportunity we didn’t see until it was past.

In order to utilize your power center, you may want to focus your attention on it more regularly and make time to care for it. You can begin right now by taking a deep breath into your belly. On the exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out completely before taking another deep breath into your belly. When you empty completely, you release stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with fresh, nourishing breath. The more you practice this simple, cleansing exercise, the more clear and communicative your gut feelings will be and the more comfortable you will feel acting on them.

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Be Happy Every Single Day
By Madisyn Taylor

Discover something daily that makes you happy and become witness to your life transforming.

Our lives are rich with potential sources of happiness, but sometimes we become victims of negative thinking because we believe that focusing on all that has gone wrong will provide us with the motivation we need to face the challenges of survival. When we choose to focus on what makes us happy, however, a shift occurs in the fabric of our existence. Finding something to be happy about every single day can help this shift take place. The vantage points from which we view the world are brought into balance, and we can see that being alive truly is a gift to be savored. There is always something we can be happy about–it is simply up to us to identify it.

On one day, we may find happiness in a momentous, life-changing event such as a marriage or the birth of a child. On another day, the happiness we experience may be a product of our appreciation of a particularly well-brewed cup of a tea or the way the sun shines on a leaf. If we discover that we literally cannot call to mind a single joyful element of existence, we should examine the cause of the blockage standing between us and experiencing happiness. Keeping a happiness journal is a wonderful way to catalog the happiness unfolding all around us so that joy has myriad opportunities to manifest itself in our lives. Writing about the emotions we experience while contemplating joy may give us insight into the factors compelling us to resist it.

Happiness may not always come easily into your life. You have likely been conditioned to believe that the proper response to unmet expectations is one of sadness, anger, guilt, or fear. To make joy a fixture in your existence, you must first accept that it is within your power to choose happiness over unhappiness every single day. Then, each time you discover some new source of happiness, the notion that the world is a happy place will find its way more deeply into your heart. On this day, find one thing to be happy about and let it fill your heart.

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Stephen Halpert
Murder in North Grafton, #11

Driving back to her condo Sippi began to feel she was being tailed. Instead of driving straight back she made a sudden illegal turn into the parking lot of the supermarket complex; she checked her rear-view mirror. Moments later she spotted Charley Chico slouched down looking confused as he drove past her. What’s all that about, she wondered?
Once back home Sippi opened her computer and shook her head over an unexpectedly mushy email from Nancy Sauterne. “What’s she up to,” she thought as she dumped a bunch of other unwanted emails. There was nothing else she needed to attend. Not wanting to deal with Nancy’s seductive flattery, she set that email aside and called her Aunt Bea.
“Why didn’t you tell me about you and Charley Smiles?” She said.
Bea chuckled. “Oh Sippi, he’s such a dear boy. I hated to do it, and it was all I could do to set him free, but Sippi I had to. This is after all the old North and those puritanical New England families have no truck with ladies of color. When the Smiles family cornered him and told him he’d be disowned and disinherited if he kept on seeing me I knew it was time for me to hit the road.”
“Sounds wise on your part,” Sippi said. “Must have been hard for you to just leave like that.”
Aunt Bea nodded. “Yes,” she agreed. But Sippi I loved him and I simply couldn’t let them put him through all that. That boy is bound to his roots in North Grafton. To Charley driving over to Worcester was like going to the big city. He was born, raised and made his living here. I could never have been part of that. Think his family would have wanted me at the table with them for Thanksgiving?” She snorted a chuckle, “No, siree! They’d expect me to be in the kitchen doing the cooking and the serving!”
Sippi raised her eyebrows. “Well today he owns the newspaper and lots of other property.”
Aunt Bea smiled and nodded. “Thanks in part to me,” she said. “I had to help him Sippi. When my first album Sinner Man made gold, I bought him that building near the shopping center where he has his newspaper officer.”
“Sounds like you’re still smitten?”
“Of course, I am! What self respecting woman wouldn’t be smitten by a man willing to lose everything in the world just for her? That kind of adoration doesn’t come along often. But why you so interested in Charley? Him and me are ancient history.”
Sippi told her about Marjorie’s soiree, seeing Charley and hearing him sing his praises of Bea; her meeting Nancy Sauterne, and Inspector Mallory’s passion for whiskey sours.
Aunt Bea chuckled. “Men who like sweet drinks lose their teeth,” she said.
“I’d like to know more about Nancy Sauterne,” Sippi said. “Pick up anything, Aunt Bea?”
Bea was silent for a few moments and Sippi sensed she was tuning into her guidance. Finally she said. “She’s sweet on you, Sippi. She’s one of those Greenwich Village types who swing both ways. Highly volatile, selfish, demanding, needy. That sound like her?”
“Right on,” Sippi said. “So far you’re totally accurate. Do you think she’s capable of murder?”
Aunt Bea paused. “Depends on the circumstances. Probably! Most people are capable of dark thunder if they fear being pushed overboard. Hold on, let me throw the cards.”
Sippi could just see her as she took out her ancient tarot deck and shuffled it. She cut the cards and began to deal them out. “There’s that Queen of Swords again. Didn’t she show up the last time I read for you? This time it’s dark, Sippi. She’s surrounded by the Devil, 10 of Swords, the Tower and Death. Expect the unexpected with that one. She might not be that much longer for this world either.”
Sippi sighed. Much of her own suspicions had been confirmed by what Aunt Bea shared.
“Sippi, why on earth must you always be around unbalanced people like her?”
“I’m a cop Aunt Bea. Gotta play ’em like they lay.”
“Well be careful. There’s something else, something unexpected coming your way. This just confirms my apprehensions. I must live closer to you.”
“What for?” Sippi kept her voice down. No need to rile her. Aunt Bea was showing her love the only way she knew how.
“What for? How can you ask me that? To protect you Sippi, to take care of you. See to it that you eat healthy like the rest of us instead of drinking all that questionable powered goop you do just to keep your weight down. Personally, Sippi I think you’re much too thin. A few extra pounds never hurts with winter coming. Besides most men like a woman with a little extra on their hips.”
Sippi sighed. “Thank you, Aunt Bea. “I’ll throw out all my protein goop and switch to pancakes, muffins and fried dough. Would that make you happy?”
“Don’t sass me Sippi. I know I can’t tell you anything. You’re headstrong just like the rest of us Bopp’s.” Bea chucked. “But you come by it honestly.”
“I love you too Aunt Bea. I’ll get back to you and fill you in,”
Sippi poured herself a glass of almond milk and nibbled on a cracker. She kept thinking about the cards Aunt Bea had laid out and wondered what unexpected circumstances she might encounter. Then she made sure all her gear was cleaned up and set out, ready for the next day. She got undressed and began to get ready for bed. Moments later her doorbell rang. She checked the time. Nearly one thirty in the morning.
She threw on a robe and put the chain on the door and opened it a little way. Nancy Sauterne, wearing a raincoat, stood on her doorstep. Sippi shook her head and said, “Isn’t it a little late for a visit?”
“Oh, but I have something important to tell you and I didn’t have your number.” She smiled blearily. Sippi sighed and took the chain off. Nancy staggered in. She clutched a half empty bottle of tequila. She undid the buttons and let her raincoat fall to the floor. It was all she had on. She gave Sippi a wicked grin. “Like what you see?”
“What do you want to talk about?” Sippi tightened the sash of her robe and crossed her arms.
Nancy giggled. Her voice slurred. “Aren’t you glad to see me?” She blinked and took a long swig from the tequila bottle. “Come on Sippi, loosen up. Don’t you like me?” She blinked and opened her eyes wide. “I thought I’d stop by and help you out by telling you who killed Tom and Laura.”
(To be continued) .

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Every Day is Earth Day! Love Your Mother!
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