Category Archives: Discussion

If It’s Not One Thing….It’s Your Mother……

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours;

it wanders wherever your children do.

~Author Unknown

 

Merry Meet my friends.  It’s a very quiet Saturn day here at my house today.  It’s been gloomy and pouring rain ..with on and off again thunder too. I actually love it, though it IS keeping me from planting my herbs I finally picked up this week.  I got all but 4 of the plants I was looking for. I will have to go to my other favorite garden center on Monday.  I am even trying some herbs I’ve never grown before like fennel and lemon verbena 🙂 Can’t wait to dig in the dirt!

 

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Here in Ohio, Mother’s Day is usually the first weekend that we are most likely safe from late frosts and that has definitely been the case this year.  Our Winter was long but Spring has arrived.  This rain is helping everything to look so green and lush.  Late blooming trees and flowering bushes like Lilacs and Forsythia and Rose of Sharon are all starting to bloom.  It’s really lovely.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, it’s tomorrow in case you weren’t aware. 🙂  Last night I attended a Mom’s Day banquet at my Mother’s church with my daughters, my sisters and of course my Mom.  My little granddaughter was supposed to go as well but she is under the weather with a stomach bug …poor kid.  Now a Witch in church..well it’s not the first time that’s happened I’m quite sure LOL.  However, my Mother..well …let’s just say that she has never been an easy woman to have as a Mother.  And no matter how old I get, or she gets,  it hasn’t changed.   So it was a bit stressful at times, but in the long run.  I’m glad we all went to make her happy.

 

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I know that Mother’s Day can be a very loving, wonderful, happy day for many of us.  It has been for me as a Mom and Nana, in my adult years.  I am blessed with wonderful daughters who love me and show it,  and my grandchildren are nothing but pure joy to me.  But on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who aren’t moms, or have lost their moms, or don’t get along with their moms, that make the day either difficult at best, and terribly sad at worst.  My heart always goes out to my friends who have lost a loving Mother.  I think that for some, losing your mom is something you never get over.  I send you all big hugs if that is your situation..I truly am sorry for your loss.

On this Mom’s Day, I’d like EVERY woman..whether a mother or not….to do something for herself..to bring joy to YOU.  My friends who don’t have children…well, they are Mom’s too.  Women are natural nurturers.  Whether they care for aged parents, a loving partner, pets, their homes and gardens, charities, friends, nieces and nephews, etc etc….you should celebrate this day.  Frankly, Mom’s day should be everyday.  Women need to learn to nurture themselves MORE! The lessons we learn from taking some time to ourselves on Mom’s Day..should be done every day!  After all, as the adage goes, you can’t care for others until you care for yourself.  I think this is a very hard lesson to learn as a woman, we tend to put ourselves last.  As I get older though, I realize how important it is to put ourselves higher on our list of things to do.  We must nurture the Goddess within us.

I’d also like us to think on Mother’s Day..about the Mother of us all…Mother Earth.  I always give thanks on this day (and every day really) for Our Mother…who nourishes us 24/7 with Earth, Air, and Water.  With beauty in Her nature if we take the time to look and feel and listen and touch.  Make an offering for Her and show some gratitude for all She does to sustain us.

 

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Picture from Café Press

 

For those like me, who have a  relationship with our Moms that isn’t always as we would like it to be.  Well…just remember, if it’s not one thing….It’s your Mother 🙂  Do the best you can to honor her as your mom.  When she’s no longer with you…you’ll be glad you did.

I wish all the Women out there a very Happy Sun day and Mom’s day.  Hope you’re loved ones treat you like the Goddess you ARE!!

On a personal note, I wish my beautiful daughter Kate a very Happy Mother’s Day.  Watching you with your own children, makes my heart swell with pride and joy.  I love you.

 

There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child — and an instinct to make ANY child who needs her love, her own.

~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn Earthsong

 

 

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Filed under Daughters, Discussion, Family, Garden, Goddess, Grandchildren, Happy Mother's Day, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote, Seasons, Spring

I <3 Herbs……Yarrow!

Merry Meet my friends. It has been a rainy, dark day today. Thunder and Lightning and I’ve done some dancing with Thor in the storms. I’m so thrilled that we had a couple of beautiful days here though. I got all our clothes washed and hung out on the clothesline to dry. (I LOVE that!) We got a few things done in the yard…some grass seed planted where a dead tree was removed last Fall….we got a birdhouse put up…a new birdbath put out and we bought a couple of hanging baskets of Calabracia to hang on our patio, a deep purple one and a yellow one. I pulled out the rosemary that isn’t coming back 😦 Added garden soil to my raised herb bed etc. All in preparation for planting! Which we can’t do yet! Ack! LOL. Another week or two I think. For sure by Mother’s Day!

Again, this posting about Yarrow can be found at The Sunday Stew here: http://mypaganworld.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-sunday-stew-beltane-edition.html. It’s the Beltaine issue so be sure and check it out!! It’s wonderful!

Beltane is almost here! As I was thinking about which herb I wanted to write about for the Beltane issue of the Stew…I decided on Yarrow. Yarrow is one of those wonderful herbs that grow wild…nearly everywhere! Usually from June thru September in meadows, roadsides, pastures, ditches etc etc. Easily found. Often thought to just be a weed LOL..but it’s so much more!!

 

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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) grows from 10 to 20 inches high, a single stem, fibrous and rough. The leaves are fern-like, dark-green, giving them a feathery appearance. The flowers are several bunches of numerous small, white flower heads. Each tiny flower resembling a daisy. Depending on the weather and where you live, the flowers bloom from May to September.

For you gardeners out there, growing yarrow is sometimes too easy, as it tends to take over a plot. It creeps along via its root system, while simultaneously reseeding itself. Yarrow prefers ordinary soil and a fair amount of sunshine. Some varieties of yarrow grow up to 4 feet in height. It comes in shades from white to pale pink…to ornamental yellow and red varieties!

Other Names: Milfoil, Old Man’s Pepper, Soldier’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter’s Weed, Bloodwort, Staunchweed, Devil’s Nettle

Mythology:

Yarrow carries the name Achillea because the Greek God Achilles in mythology is storied to have given the plant to his troops to stop bleeding in battle. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop the bleeding when he hurt his own heel, and he died from his wounds. The modern terms “Achilles tendon” and “Achilles heel” originate from this myth.

Medicinal Uses:

Yarrow has been a well-known healing herb for centuries. It has a wonderful list of healing medicinal purposes!
Parts used….everything above the ground (leaves, stems and flowers)
Harvesting for medicinal purposes should be done while the plant is in flower.
Yarrow is used medicinally against colds and flu, cramps, fevers, stomach ulcers, kidney disorders, toothaches and abscesses, skin irritations, to regulate menses, and to reduce inflammation. It can aid digestion and increase appetite. Yarrow is a diaphoretic and helps to eliminate toxins and fevers. Yarrow’s astringent properties can also help stop diarrhea and dysentery. Other yarrow uses include coughs, sore throats, lowering blood pressure, hay fever, and more.
Externally, clean yarrow leaves can be used to stop a wound from bleeding. A yarrow infused oil or balm can be used to treat other topical skin conditions including burns, ulcers, and swollen and inflamed skin, and hemorrhoids. Inserting a fresh, clean yarrow leaf into the nostril can stop nosebleeds. Yarrow can also, conversely, start bleeding when needed…for instance, getting clotted nose blood, to un-clot.

 

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Medicinal applications:

An infusion (tea) of yarrow flowers can be prepared by steeping the flowers into boiling water for some time. This preparation is useful for upper respiratory illness. It may also be useful to heal eczema when applied externally as a wash. An infusion or tea is also great for reducing fever. To get relief for varicose veins, soak a cotton pad with the infusion and apply to the veins. The poultice will also aid hemorrhoids. You can also put the infusion in bath water to soothe hemorrhoids and skin issues.
Yarrow oil is useful for any external skin issues such as swollen joints, rashes, or bruises. Also great as a chest rub (add peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil) for congestion of the chest..colds, flu or cough.
Cuts and scratches on the body can be healed by wrapping cleansed, fresh yarrow leaves on the affected area. To clean leaves, place in a bowl, pour white vinegar over them…let stand for a bit. Strain off vinegar then rinse leaves twice to ensure all the vinegar is gone. You can also place a chewed leaf on a sore tooth.
A tincture made of Yarrow is useful for healing urinary disorders and menstrual problems.

Warning:
Pregnant women should not use Yarrow internally! Excessive use can cause headaches and skin irritations for anyone who is sensitive to it.

Culinary Uses:
Yarrow is bitter but used sparingly it works in cheese sauces, soups and salads. Has been used in place of hops to brew beer.

Magickal Uses:
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Air
Yarrow is used magickally for Courage, Love, Psychic abilities, Divination, Perception, Protection and Purification.
Some ways to use Yarrow for magick are:

-When drank as a tea, Yarrow is said to increase psychic powers and powers of perception.
-When flowers or leaves are burned, if the smoke goes up, it’s a good omen, but if it goes down, it’s a bad omen.
-Use Yarrow flowers in love sachets and charms.
-Place Yarrow flowers under your pillow before sleep and your lover will appear in your dreams.
-Hang flowers over your bridal bed to insure love that lasts at least 7 years. Or place them in your bridal bouquet
-Grow Yarrow near your door for protection or hang some over your front door.
-Carried in the hand or placed in a mojo bag….it is believed to ward off fear. Also to reverse negativity and protect from hexes
-Add to the bath to protect from evil or harm.
-Throw Yarrow flowers across the threshold to protect the house from evil.
-Tie to an infant’s cradle for protection from harmful forces. (an old belief too)
-Place the flowers on your altar to aid in divination
-use it in loose incense for protection, purification or divination

These are just a few ways to use Yarrow in Magick. I’m sure you can find many more. Next time you take a walk, look for some yarrow and bring it home and put it to good use!

A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant,” 1820

 

I hope that you all are enjoying both the Stew and learning about herbs. I know I learn more and more as I study them and use them too.  I’ll be back in a couple of days to wish you all a very Blessed Beltaine and maybe a recipe 🙂

Blessed New Moon to you all!
Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Beltane, Discussion, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, My Favorite Things, Nature, New Moons, Our Yard, Poem, Seasons, Spring, Summer

We Must Love Our Mother Earth…….

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. 

~Brooke Medicine Eagle

thNP8L5I5IGreetings friends!  I’m hoping that you all had a wonderful weekend and Easter if you celebrated it.  We had beautiful weather here, so much time was spent outside.  My grandkids had a wonderful egg hunt and the adults had fun watching them and helping them etc.  It was a marvelous day and joy abounded!

I had a wonderful birthday as well and thank you so much for all the warm messages and well wishes!  I tend to accept growing older as I like the wisdom that comes with it 🙂  My family remembered my garden witchiness and got me some lovely things for my garden…a bird bath, owl stepping stone and statue, garden journals and seeds.  It was awesome!

For many years now, Earth day has come the day after my birthday.  I still remember it started in 1970 when I was in like 7th grade.  It was mentioned but didn’t seem to be that much of a thing really. Maybe I was too young to care too much.   But by the time I hit sophomore year in high school, it was becoming more acknowledged.  Kids were encouraged to walk or ride bikes to school instead of taking buses.  We were gathering in groups to clean parks, highways, collecting cans for recycling, to plant a tree or a veggie garden, etc.  I still remember a group of high school kids in my neighborhood decided to walk to school.  Now, this was about an 8 mile walk…not a small task that early in the morning.  But we put on our comfy shoes at 6am and off we went as a group.  We walked thru a beautiful winding road park to get there..made it to school on time and we were proud and excited about it.  It became a tradition for all 3 years of high school.  Fond memories.

The sad fact is..all these years later, that though they are many of us who care so much for our Mother, that we are slowly killing Her. Factories, over population, over expansion into green spaces, too much trash, too much chemicals, fracking, oil spills, pollution of waters etc etc…is destroying Her.

There are so many who live close to Earth, that see what’s happening, who do their share in their small way to try to heal Her, help her, work with Her and not against Her…but too many who don’t give a damn.  Trees are torn down to put up buildings..then new trees planted?  Does that make any sense?  Grass is covered in chemicals to keep it perfectly coifed and weed free.  Earth’s critters are constantly scrambling to find a place to live as we tear down their homes.  It goes on and on…and I have no answers for it.  It makes me cry really.

Earth day is not one day of the year my friends.  It’s EVERY day..at least it should be!!!  Now I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here as they say.  Any Witch/Pagan/environmentalist lives this every day…but as I Witch I know I can do better and work on it all the time.  But we need to set an example.  Earth day is a great day to do that.  Talk about it…get a group together to go clean a park or a highway of trash.  Plant a tree.  Help your neighbors plant a wildflower garden.  Get a rain barrel and a compost bin.  Stop using chemicals on your lawn and use natural, earth healthy products! Walk or ride a bike when you can.  Most importantly….teach your children and grandchildren to love and respect Mother Earth as well!!

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Caretakers by Robert Duncan

The Elements….Earth, Air, Fire and Water….we work with them every day as Witches.  Except for Fire…..those elements are ill.  And it will get worse and worse if we don’t do something MORE and FAST to save them. Let’s protect Her, Heal Her, Love Her!

Blessed be our Mother Earth……and blessings to all of you who are doing your part to care for Her!!

I’m not an environmentalist.  I’m an Earth warrior. 

~Darryl Cherney, quoted in Smithsonian, April 1990

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Thumbnail picture was on the internet from multiple sources.

 

 

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Filed under Discussion, Earth Day, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote

To Tell You Where I’ve Been………

Merry Meet my dear readers.  It has been a bit of time now since I’ve written here on my blog….and well….there is a good reason.  I debated with myself for a few days on whether to even write about this….but decided that as I learned a few lessons in this process…..that I would share my experience.

On Irish Day, March 17, after having a terrible headache for over 2 weeks, and with the insistence of my sister and a good friend, I had that friend take me to a local hospital to get checked out..something was not right with me and I could feel it.  Very quickly, I had a catscan and discovered that I was indeed a very sick lady.   I had two brain bleeds…one older and a brand new one.  It became a dire situation very fast.  I was ambulanced immediately to another hospital more equipped to handle my situation.  My family rushed in to be with me and we were all very scared..not knowing why this had happened or what the outcome was going to be.   After more catscans, MRI’s, IV meds, being in the ICU for a couple of days..the bleeding had not stopped.  I was really sick with nausea and such a severe headache that pain medicine didn’t stop it.    Then….I had brain surgery on wed the 21st.  Multiple burr holes were dug into my skull to relieve the pressure and allow the blood to drain out. My head was shaved down, drains applied and 30 some staples applied to close everything back up.  The next few days were a bit of a blur..still so sick, sleeping alot, and hoping for relief to kick in soon.  Eventually the drains were removed…catscans started showing improvement….I was moved out of ICU to a regular room and I started working towards going home.   I finally got home late tuesday night the 26th. 

My ordeal is not over.  I have some cognitive deficits, my eyesight seems to be affected a bit, still have a headache though much more tolerable.  There will be appts with docs who are trying to figure out what caused the bleeds in the first place..to prevent them from happening again.  The neuro docs will be involved in my life for some time.  I have alot of restrictions…. no driving, no bending over, no lifting, over exertion, no housecleaning,  must get more sleep, meds I have to take and others I can no longer take.  Whew…..it’s alot to take in and alot to deal with…….

But…….  it’s NOT more then I can handle.  I am so so grateful to be alive, to be with my family and friends, to see that Spring has sprung while I was gone, to hug my grandkids, see my daughter’s smiles, my husband’s worry,  pet my cats, sit in my favorite chair in my own jammies, to watch the Sunrise and the Moonrise.   I had not seen the Moon for 12 days….the night I got home…my husband helped me to take a long soaking bath.  Right over our tub we have a skylight.  As I laid back to just soak my achy, bruised body….the Crescent moon was shining right thru that skylight onto me…filling me with a deep sense of healing, peace, love and strength.  It was amazing and I was mesmerized by how my Goddess reminded me She was still with me…always. 

Another lesson I learned…..was how strong, caring and wonderful my facebook friends are.  The outpouring of love, healing energy and concern was incredible.  I was too sick to really “be” on facebook much….but I read what I could…so often crying at the pure magick of it…and the feeling of love I was receiving…it was humbling and so so touching.  I believe it was that incredible love that has kept me here as well.  Thank you so so much my friends.

I also learned…again….that my husband, daughters, son-in-law, sisters, brother, and some close friends….always are there for each other as well.  No matter what the crisis…someone steps in to help….not all my family has these qualities….but enough of them do 🙂  Thank you ..I love you all.

I think the last lesson I need to learn….is that I need to learn to care for myself as much as I care for others.  I ignored alot of signs from my body that something was wrong.  It’s not normal to have a terrible headache for 2 weeks or more….but I just was too busy to take the time to pay attention.  I don’t sleep enough, don’t take the time to pamper myself, don’t eat right always, put off health checks and doc appts,  and put others first always.  Well….I found out the hard way….I could be gone….and then I’d be no help to anyone..and those I love the most would not have me anymore either.  So that is probably the hardest lesson to learn..but the one that is going to have to take priority.  I have to take baby steps to getting better. It is going to be a bit of a process.  But I’m going to learn to care for myself too..I have too.  I have so much to live for….and I want to live a wonderful, healthy, full of life….Life!  The Goddess has Blessed me with another chance…I intend to take it…with great Gusto!!

 

This is me….buzzed hair, staples, still weak….watch me now as I grow strong again…..I am a Warrior!  A Goddess…..A Witch!    Blessings to you all…..take care of yourself…..and live each moment to the Fullest! 

 

In love and light and healing…..Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Daughters, Discussion, Family, Goddess, My Writing, Spring

Bloom where you grow……..

Merry Meet my friends.  Blessed Full Moon to you all!  It is completely overcast here tonight…expecting a bit of snow too!  Despite the overcast night I can feel the pull of the Moon and will spend some time..snow or no…with Her 🙂  I’ve been under the weather ..again…but this time with a stomach virus I caught from my little granddaughter.  She started pre-school about a month ago and already has gotten sick and passed it on to her loved ones LOL.  It seems to be lasting 3-5 days , today is the end of my 2nd day, so I expect to feel much better tomorrow.  Luckily, last night, I spent time outside, clearing out the sickies and calling on some healing for my family..when I could see Her!

Saturday, as I was driving home from my daughter’s house, I passed a church up the road.  The sign out front caught my eye.  It said ” You must know how to flower where God has sown you.”  For some reason…it stuck with me.  Of course being a Witch and loving the Goddess..I immediately turned God to Goddess in my mind, but the meaning stands no matter what Deity or path you follow.  Bloom where you grow…another way of putting it.  But the wording on this one meant more to me.  You must KNOW how to flower…..  hummmm??

Now I’m a Taurus…very earthy, well grounded, steady and common sense. I’m not one who has my head in the clouds and follows pipe dreams.   I understand on a simple level what the sign is saying of course.  Make the most of what you have, your circumstances, your day..your life. Standing around complaining, bemoaning, hating your life is going to get you nowhere….except miserable.  I think all of us “know” that…but not all of us know how to do it.  I always wonder what gives some people a better coping mechanism, more “gumption”, more positive energy then others to deal with what Life sends their way.  You all know what I’m talking about.  You will see someone who has everything good in life….and yet they are the most unhappy, angry, mean people in the world.  And you’ll see somebody who hasn’t got a “pot to piss in” so to speak …and they are the most joyful, exuberant, happy people in the world.  Why is that?

Now I don’t believe in the Christian concept that God sets your Life in stone… and all things happen for a reason..and God doesn’t give you more then you can handle etc.  I believe that we are given Freewill…that no matter what circumstances we are born to or fall into….we CAN change them if we need to.  But you have to WANT to.  It won’t just happen if you don’t make it so.  Now obviously, there are things that can’t be changed.  I’ll use myself as an example.  My Mother is one of the most controlling, belittling, critical, mean and unhappy people I know. My childhood was a scary place.  I had no control as a child to change that…obviously.  All I could do was to try to be the best I could be ..despite her.  My best moments in my childhood were when I was away from her.  So thats what I did.  I stayed away as much as possible.  I got involved in everything!  From paper routes and baby sitting, to school groups and functions.  I spent weekends at girlfriends houses, went to my grandmothers as much as possible, holed up in my room with books when I could. I was rarely home and was most active in School and extra-curricular activites.   It worked.  Somehow I grew up NOT  believing that I was the all the things my Mother said I was.  My sense of Self remained basically intact.  I Chose not to believe what she was teaching me…Thank Goddess. 

 

Somehow, I inherently “KNEW” how to flower where I was sown.  Somehow, I knew what I needed to do to care for myself..to nurture myself…to Bloom despite what I had to deal with.  I believe that it was inside of me.  It’s there in all of us. We just have to listen.   As a Pagan Witch, I truly believe this.  The Goddess/God is with us always.  They want only the best for us.  Everything we need to “deal” with what we are handed,  is there..if we listen for it.  Now I can hear some of you saying…but I have this terrible illness, or I’m flat broke, or I’m alone….how can I “flower” with all that going on?  Well…that is hard and terrible and sad…but how you handle it is still up to you. You can be miserable and just let it happen to you…or you can do something to change it.  Often, it’s just telling yourself that “I Can Do This”. ” You  Can” get thru Cancer with  a positive attitude ..that you will live every day given you with Joy and bring joy to all those who love you.  “You  Can”  learn to live with less..find ways to be happy that doesn’t cost a lot of money.  Live simply, cut the excesses, or get another job doing something you Love!.  If you feel lonely or alone…well that is the easiest one to fix if you ask me.  There are people at every turn…many of them looking for a friend.  Remember..what you put out comes back.  Open yourself up..feel yourself full of love for others..and it will be returned in Full…you’ll see. 

Now I am no Pollyanna…I know that life is tough…I’m living it too.  But “knowing” how to flower…in any situation…is inside of you.  You can do it if you want to.  But you have to want to.  Bloom where you grow…or change your circumstances…either way..You’ll have a better life..a happier life.  You know, Pagans believe in re-incarnation.  I believe that we come back to Earth to learn a lesson in each life we live.  Perhaps, deep inside….the Goddess/God is trying to remind you what you’re here to learn.  Your difficult circumstances may be a lesson…and you can learn the lesson well …by dealing with it well.  That’s my thoughts on it anyway 🙂 I hope you all have a Life that is a Garden..full of lovely blooms.  If not…how about growing some of your own.  🙂 

 

 

I wish you all a Beautiful Full moon night….May your Life be all you want it to be.  Make it so!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Discussion, Family, Full Moons, Garden, God, Goddess, My Writing

Happy 2012!…….

Merry Meet and a Very Happy New Year!  I am so late posting this but I have a very good reason.  I woke up on Dec. 27..with a whole day to relax in front of me.  I got my coffee, sat down, put my laptop on my lap, logged on…and OH NO!!!  I had a virus!!  A “security shield” antivirus (fake) popped up and that was that…I couldn’t do anything at all.  I shut down my computer, got dressed and ran it to the Geek Squad at my local Best Buy.  Sooo….I just got it back tonight, virus gone, and the miracle of not having lost one thing from my computer…everything intact!   I really missed my computer…amazing how hard it is to function without it..at least for me it was.  Keeping up with my blog, my facebook friends, my banking, emails, online shopping etc…much harder to do from phone or my Nook tablet then it is on my laptop.  I’m very happy to have it back 🙂   

 I wanted to do a quick post to start the New Year.   I changed out my theme from Yule/Christmas to a Winter theme (I love it!).  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, I know I did.  I was incredibly busy and quite tired, but it was worth it.  It was a great time with my family and Santa was very good to all of us.  Our New Year’s Eve was quiet.  I fixed some appetizers and my daughter Kate, her husband Matt and my grandkids came over for the evening.  We had a nice time playing with the babies, enjoying good food and each others company. After they left..no staying til midnight with babies :)…..the rest of us watched the Rockin New Year’s eve show and counted down to 2012 watching the ball drop in Times Square.  Then we went to bed.  🙂

I spent New Years Day taking down the Christmas decorations and getting the house back in order.  Then I spent the rest of the day relaxing by the fire, reading, and playing Words with Friends (my new obsession!).  So all in all a wonderful holiday.  Now, I move on to the deepest part of Winter.  Now those who know me or read my blog…know I love Winter.  I love it for the beauty of the snow, the restfulness of the long dark nights, the warmth of the fireplace and the slower pace and more days at home.  I read and crochet to my heart’s content, projects around the house get done and caught up, and I have time to spend on myself a bit too.  I call it “nesting”….and I find it necessary every year after all the busy work of the holidays!

I also love to use the Wintertime to work on my Book of Shadows, organize and clean my witchy cabinet and replace any supplies I’m getting low on, like candles, oils, incenses, and herbs etc.  I work on making up my witchy potions, loose incenses,  and oil blends.  I even collect snow for “snow water”.  I find snow to have an amazing energy and I use it for my altar work.  Basically, because Winter forces us to slow down and take it easy a bit,  I have more time to do the things I LOVE to do ..that I don’t have time to do during the other seasons.  This is why I love Winter!

Now for New Year’s, I don’t have resolutions (I never stick to them) but I do set some GOALS for the next year.  I seem to always have the need to have something I’m striving for…something to look forward to..something I want to change in my life to make it better.  This year is no different.  I want to start an etsy business and I’ll be working on that early this year.  I’m always striving to live a healthier life..more exercise, to eat better etc.  I am setting a goal also to take more time for myself and to do the things that make me feel good about myself..that give me joy..that keep me grounded and connected.  Journaling, time for my craft, reading, finding time to be with friends, taking more walks, yoga, and planning my summer gardens are all on my list of things I want to do better 🙂  What are your goals for the New Year?  Do you have any?  If goal setting is not a priority for you that is fine of course.   But  maybe you are overwhelmed with all you’d like to do or to change in your life and don’t know where to start?  In that case, I recommend you start with One thing.  I read a book years ago..about how making one small change in your life..can set off a chain of change..like a snowball rolling downhill.  Change one small thing and see what happens! Make it simple and easy.  You’ll be surprised how satisfying it’ll be!

My wish for all of you is that 2012 brings much joy, good health, prosperity, and beautiful days for you and yours.  Happy New Year to you all!! 

Oh..Imbolc is coming up fast and furious!  One of my favorite Sabbats.  So I’ll be back soon 🙂 

Blessings in 2012…..Autumn

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Filed under Discussion, Holiday, Imbolc, My Favorite Things, My Writing, New Year, Seasons, Winter

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays!……..

Merry Meet friends!  I am in the middle of enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve at home. My hubby Jim, daughter Sara, and brother Chris enjoyed a less busy day today.  Football, holiday movies, an all day fire in the fireplace.  My sister came by for a while.  Tonight we enjoyed a variety of appetizers for a simple dinner.  It is cold outside, an ink black starry sky as it is the New Moon,  and it’s been just awonderful day in every way.  Tomorrow, it will still be just us…. until the evening when all the rest of the family will be here for Christmas dinner.  During the day there will be music playing, fire going, cooking, and fine tuning the house for company.  Our gift giving day isn’t until monday morning for my family so we still have to wait for that (to accomodate my daughter Kate’s family and all the functions they are expected at…we pick a different day altogether!)  I love that things are under control and I can really enjoy these days and evenings.  My cup runneth over with peace and joy this night 🙂 

As a simple way to give all of YOU a gift…I’m going to repost my favorite post I’ve done for Christmas in the past.  It still pertains to today very much!  Merry Christmas to you all dear friends!  and to your loved ones!! 

 

 

Today I watched “A Christmas Carol”…my all time favorite book and movie…all versions..ever! Today happened to be the musical version..which I happen to think is excellent. Has Kelsey Grammar as Scrooge and many wonderful British and American stars.   My favorite version..for the record..is probably George C. Scott…he was a most excellent Scrooge! Or maybe Patrick Stewart…or maybe even the Muppets and Michael Caine 🙂  I love all the versions..even the bad ones…because I adore the story so much!!

 “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

……..Scrooge…Charles Dickens

 I am sure many of you will recognize this quote. I am a huge lover of Charles Dickens and I think he writes beautifully and from the heart and his words are still ringing true all these years later. He was indeed teaching a lesson in this Novella. What is the lesson? I would imagine most people would say the same thing…”goodwill towards men”. I see it as more than that.

My understanding is that Dickens was appalled at the poverty he saw around him, and that the middle and upper class were doing nothing to help them at all. His Scrooge talks about the work houses and the programs set up by the government to aid the impoverished…but it was nowhere near enough. He wrote this book to open the eyes of those who were not “seeing” what needed to be done. For people to open their hearts and their wallets to help the less fortunate and it would make them happier and more blessed in their own life.

As a pagan witch, I believe that God/Goddess, the Universe, the Creator, whatever you believe in… put us here to learn lessons..with the ultimate goal being LOVE. Our goal in life should be to discover that..LOVE. And to love means to care for our “fellow man”. To me, “goodwill towards Men” means just that. We should love our family and friends as I’m sure we do. But we should also love those we don’t know, help those who need it, love and care for Mother Earth and the creatures who inhabit Her… No judgement, no greed, no setting standards for others in our own minds, equality for all, acceptance of all religions, courtesy, kindness….Love.

To me, Dickens hit the nail on the head so to speak…he saw a vision of how the world should be. More of us could learn from Scrooge’s Christmas Eve night. Scrooge was not an evil man..he was afraid. His father did time in debtors prison..causing him to have to slave in a work house at 11 years old. He never wanted to do that again..but he lost track of his self, his soul..so focused was he on never being poor.  Hoarding his money, working long hours, never enjoying the money he had; even for himself. He didn’t have a relationship with anyone except his business partner, Marley. He lived a very “poor” life in every way…because of his fear. Until he learned what dying a lonely old man would truly be like..did he become a truly rich man.

 There are many positive wonderful characters in this book..I love so many of them.  Old Fizziwig, who gave a huge party, sparing no expense, to show his gratitude to his employees. There is the clerk, Bob Cratchit, so lowly in Scrooge’s eyes, but greatly loved by his large poverty stricken family, especially Tiny Tim. Then there is Fred, Scrooge’s endearing nephew. He was the epitome of a good man who’s life was abundant in family, friends, love , joy, and blessings. He showed love at every turn. All he wanted from Uncle Scrooge was for him to come to Christmas Day dinner. He came every year and requested it every year. He never gave up on him. and when Scrooge had his life altered…he welcomed him with open arms..holding no grudge for all the years of rejection. Though he was not a rich man…he was rich in every other way. I don’t know about you..but I want to be like Fred….I want to be rich in friends. I want to be rich in experiences. I want to be rich in appreciation for the blessings that come to my life. At the end of my days, I want to know that there will be people who will mourn my passing for all the right reasons..that I LOVED! This is the lesson that Scrooge learned..luckily while he could have some time to truly appreciate it.

The version I talked about above..the musical…has a song in it that is the main theme song thruout the movie.  I have looked up the lyrics because I love the song so much..it brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.

 

God Bless Us Everyone

 

Let the Stars in the sky

remind of us Man’s compassion.

Let us love til we die

and God Bless us everyone.

In your heart there’s a light

As bright as a Star in heaven

Let it shine thru the night and

God Bless Us Everyone.

Till each child is fed

Till all men are free

Till the world becomes a family…….

Star by Star in the sky

and kindness by human kindness.

Let me love til I die and…

God Bless us everyone! 

 

Look into your own Past, Present, and even into your Future. Have you done well by others? Can you do better? I think I can ALWAYS do better.  Something to strive for everyday.   A Christmas Carol will always mean a lot to me…and I will try to keep Christmas in my heart all year long. and as Tiny Tim says……God or Goddess!  Bless Us Every One!!

 

 Blessed Be and Merry Christmas!   Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Discussion, Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, Movies, Music, My Writing, New Moons, Poem, Seasons, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas