Tag Archives: Full Moon

Blue Moon Blessings………

 

Merry Meet everyone and Blessed Blue Moon!  This is just a quick post as I have been very busy with lots of things!  Seems everyone I know is really busy right now.  The Wheel is turning, Summer is winding down and Autumn looms ahead (Thank Goddess!).   My family and I have been busy preparing to put our house on the market and to get ready for vacation to Florida.  Verbena Lane Botanicals has been busy enough too.  The best part…that while I’m busy…I feel great too..a real blessing!

So tomorrow at 9:58 am it is officially the Full Blue Moon.   There won’t be another Blue Moon until July 31, 2015!  So I encourage you to make the most of the amazing energy and power found on this special Full Moon!  The Blue Moon is a great time for for setting high goals and intentions.  Use this power on the big stuff…health, prosperity, love and happiness,  protection and healing for others.   I’m sure most of us have a goal in mind that this Moon’s energy would help us bring to fruition.  It’s a great night for ritual, ceremony and spell casting!!

A couple things I’ll be doing.  I like to write down my goals on scraps of parchment paper…people I’d like to send healing to (including myself),  my wishes for prosperity and happiness for my loved ones, protection for those who are in harms way etc.  I write them down.   Under the Moon, I light my cauldron and burn my wishes..sending them off in Fire and Air into the moonlit night.  You can also bury them in Earth or float them away on Water..whichever you choose.

Something else I’ll be doing tonight…I’m taking a crystal..a blue one…a lapis.   I’m going to consecrate it under the Blue Moon…cleanse it and charge it with the power and energy.  Fill it with all the intentions and goals I’m setting for myself.  Then I’ll carry it with me.  Keep it close..keeping the power imbued in it close, until my goals are realized to my satisfaction.  You can also do this with a special talisman or piece of jewelry…whatever you like.  It’s a great way to remind myself that I must work towards those goals..I must MAKE them come true…with the help of the Goddess of course 🙂

Whatever you do..be it a simple thing of just basking in the energy..or a full circle ceremony…I hope you have a Blessed night and that She shines all Her love and energy on You!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Blue Moon, Family, Full Moons, Goddess, Ritual, Seasons, Spells, Summer

Blessed Lughnasadh (and some recipes) 2012………

Merry Meet everyone!   Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas to you and Blessed Full Corn Moon!   What a night we will have huh! 🙂  I always love when there is a Full Moon on a Sabbat…the magick is palpable!  It makes everything we do to enjoy this wonderful Harvest festival..even better!

I have been a busy Witch today.  My plans completely changed today when my day at home turned into a fun day with my daughters and grandkids.  We had a lovely lunch and talked and played with the kids.  After she left..my hubby, who is on his last day of a small vacation…had an early dinner and ran a couple of errands.   Once home, I harvested my herbs…which I’m very pleased with!  I have had to baby these herbs along this year because of our extreme heat and extreme dryness.  I watered and watered and almost gave up..but with the help of a bit of rain last week..and more watering..I have some herbs hanging happily in my kitchen and scenting the whole house with the most wonderful smells :))   Here’s a picture!

I spent some time this evening putting out my Witch’s protection bottles, some wards around my property, smudged the house and am now writing here to you all 🙂   In a while, I’ll be outside, celebrating the Sabbat and the Full Moon with a simple ritual and just bask in Her amazing energy and light!

I found a couple more recipes I thought you all might like…I am anxious to try them myself as they use fresh herbs and wonderful late Summer produce!

Lemon Balm Bread

3/4 cup milk

1 cup plus 2 tbs fresh lemon balm

1 tb fresh lemon thyme

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

zest of one lemon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 – 2 tbs lemon juice

Combine milk, one cup lemon balm and thyme in a saucepan; gently bruise herbs to release the oils.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat; cover and let cool.  Strain and reserve liquid, discard herbs.  Cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture, a small amount at a time, alternating with reserved milk.  Chop remaining 2 tbs of lemon balm and add to batter; blend in lemon zest.

Pour batter in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 325* for 45 mins or until wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then continue cooling on wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, mix until smooth and pour over cooled bread.

Basil and Tomato Soup

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbs oil

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 lbs squash, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Garnish:  fresh basil

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  add tomatoes and continue to cook until they become soft, about 5 mins.  Stir in squash and chicken broth; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 mins or until squash is fork tender.  Spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and puree with buttermilk until mixture is smooth.  Sprinkle in basil and stir.  Serve and garnish.

Fajitas and Grilled Vegetables

1 lb boneless sirloin

3/4 cup salsa

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lime juice

2 tbs tequila

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large red pepper, halved

1 large yellow pepper, halved

4 red onion slices

1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise

1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise

8   7-in flour tortillas, heated

1 cup mexican-blend shredded cheese

Place meat in a large plastic bag.  Add salsa, oil, lime juice, tequila and garlic.  Close bag securely; turn to combine all ingredients and to coat the meat.  Add vegetables and coat.  Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.  Remove meat and vegetables from marinade. Reserve marinade.

Grill beef and vegetables 4-5 inches from heat for about 5 mins per side or until beef is medium rare.  Remove to carving board; slice beef and peppers into thin strips, squash into slices and separate onion into rings.

To serve, divide beef and vegetables among tortillas.  Heat remaining marinade to a boil and drizzle over beef and vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese; roll and serve with marinade on the side.

*Add sour cream if you’d like!

and of course something light and sweet :))

Lemonade Pie

6 oz can frozen lemonade

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 drops yellow food coloring

8 oz whipped topping

9 inch graham cracker pie crust

Mix together lemonade and milk.  If desired, add food coloring for a lovely lemony color.  Fold in whipped topping, and pour into crust.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing 

Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme


Well, I am off to enjoy my bread and my family and then some  time outside.  I wish all of you a very Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas and a very Blessed Full Moon.  May you have a life filled with Joy and Abundance…always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

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

Countdown to Imbolc 2012…….

 

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
– Barbara Winkler

Merry Meet on this beautiful Sun day.  Hope your New Year is going well so far.  I have been sick with a virus that has had me down for some time now but I’m pulling up my bootstraps and telling myself I’m OVER it now 🙂  I do feel a bit better today and hope it continues.  As I’m having a quiet day I decided to post on my blog…about Imbolc….as I was making notes and lists to get ready for this wonderful Sabbat.  Imbolc has always been special to me because it was the first Sabbat that I celebrated.  It always feels hopeful and full of magick to me. 

As I am writing this, I’m sitting in my chair with the window cracked open, allowing the cool air to come in and cleanse out my house a bit.  Though it’s in the low 40’s here, the Sun is beautiful and warm and it feels a bit like a Spring day.  That’s what Imbolc is all about..the return of the Spring, the warmth, the Sun….Mother Earth re-awakening!  We have had a rare Winter so far here in Ohio.  Only one snow that amounted to anything, lots of days above normal temps and it’s been delightful!  But though I’m thinking about Spring already, we have much more Winter to go I’m quite sure 🙂 

 Imbolc, known also as Imbolg, Candlemas, the Festival of Brighid, and the Feast of Lights. The word Imbolc means “in the belly,” or in the womb of Mother Earth, as well as “in milk,” which refers to ewes coming into milk for the first lambs of the season. This Sabbat marks the return of spring, even as winter continues its reign. Imbolc is February 2nd and is of course, in modern times, also known as Groundhog’s Day.

Imbolc, for me,  is a time of cleansing and purification. It’s all about Spring Cleaning!  It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new. This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc. To Sweep out negatitive and stagnant Air and bring in fresh, clean positive Air.   To re-new my home and myself. After a thorough Spring Cleaning on my home, I Cleanse and Bless my home and those who dwell here, and cleanse my body and my soul as well.   Imbolc is when I re-dedicate myself to my path every year.  Though it’s not necessary to do, it re-energizes and re-connects me to my path, my Goddess, my way of life.  

The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last of winter and hasten the coming of warm, sunny days.  Some things I do while cleaning…..I  use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors. Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms. I wash all my curtains and linens and give them a good spritz with lavender water before re-hanging them.  I clean out drawers, closets, cupboards. Sweep high and low.  Replace burnt out light bulbs, anything that’s broken, throw out that is which is no longer of use or pleasure.  The house will smell and feel amazing when you’re done!  Oh, I like to replace all my old candles that may not be finished yet…just to have a fresh start! 

I also spend some time on myself.  Taking a ritual bath scented with your favorite herbs/oils or sea salt is always cleansing and renewing.  As you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you. This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home. Anoint your chakra points with Blessing oil after and spend some time meditating and focusing inward on yourself.  Let go what needs to go and open yourself to new possibilities, Joy, Peace and Love only.  Let the negative go and the positive take over.  You will feel so great afterwards.

On Imbolc Night, in ancient times, The Goddess Brighid was honored in her Maiden form.  One way to honor her is this.  Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun. Just before sunset, turn off all the lights in the house. Carrying  a single white burning candle,  to represent Brighid, knock three times on the front door and invite the Goddess to enter, asking that she bestow health, success, abundance, and love upon everyone in the house. Then slowly begin turning on the lights, moving room to room, until every light in the house is on.  This is really magickal to me..symbolizes the Darkness of Winter changing to the Light of Spring.  If you have made a Brighid cross, have it on your altar or hanging near your front door or fireplace to represent Her as well. 

Imbolc Correspondences

*Element/Gender-Earth/female

*Threshold- Midnight

*Symbolism-First stirring of Mother Earth, lambing, growth of the Sun God, the middle of winter, Purity, Re-newal, Fertility, dispensing of old and making way for the new

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Brighid’s Crosses, Brideo’gas, Besoms, white flowers, acorn wands, candles, Brides bed, milk, evergreens, daffodils, grain/seeds, snowflakes

*Herbs-Angelica, basil, bay laurel, blackberry, heather, iris, myrrh, violets, clover, willow, and all yellow flowers.

*Incense/Oils-Basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, myrrh, jasmine, rose, sage lavender,

*Colors-Gold, light green, green, blue, yellow, pink, white, red, brown and pastels

*Crystals/Stones-Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, turquoise, onyx, moonstone, red jasper

*Customs/Activities-Candle lighting, seeking omens of spring, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor planting, stone collecting, hearth re-lighting, storytelling

*Foods-Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, spicy foods, dairy, raisins, poppyseed bread/cakes, muffins, scones, breads, pancakes/waffles, spiced wines, herbal teas

*Gods- Pan, Cupid/Eros, young Sun Gods

*Goddesses- Brighid, Venus, Diana, Virgin Goddess, Maiden Child Goddess, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia, Selene, Februa

*Spellworking/Rituals-Cleansing, purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid, feast of milk and bread, Self-dedication

To aid you in your house cleansing, here is a ritual I love to do after all the Cleaning is done….

Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual

-Light a smudge stick and walk around the rooms of your house to replace old protection and prosperity. I smudge around all my windows and door and throw them open to allow in the fresh, cold Air!  You can also go around with a representative of each element…salt, incense or sage, a lit candle etc….or you can use a Blessing oil and anoint your doors and windowsills with a pentagram or sigil of protection.  While you are doing so, say something like:

“May the goddess bless this home

make it safe and secure

so that nothing but love and joy

shall enter here.

When you are finished with every room, close the windows, step back and take a deep breath.  Feels good doesn’t it? I usually do this House Blessing…then light all the candles and turn off lights and welcome in Brighid as written above.  Then I sit with a nice glass of Bailey’s or Wine and enjoy the feel of my Clean, Cleansed and Blessed home!  I’m ready to deal with the rest of Winter and my heart knows that Spring will be here soon!

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,

 and enjoy every idle hour.”

 

– John Boswell

During this next couple months when we can only dream of Spring and our gardens, being outside.  Do that…Dream!  Pore over your garden catalogs and magazines and dream of planting your gardens, herbs, veggies.  It’ll do you heart some good.   Thats what I will be doing too.  I have big plans this year to expand my gardens 🙂

In winter’s cold and sparkling snow,
The garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.

On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my vision’s clear.
And through the snow, the buds appear.

In my mind, clematis climbs,
And morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pinks,
Replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow.
And in my mind, my garden grows.”
– Cheryl Magic-Lady, Winter Garden

I will post more about my altar and my Imbolc celebration in the coming days. If you haven’t already started thinking about this beautiful Sabbat, then do. There is alot of work involved with this one. The clearing out of the old is not for the faint of heart! LOL Be brutal in both your home and yourself! Really clear out the stuff that needs to go. You will feel so much better about your home and you will feel lighter and happier with yourself as well. Spring is coming and I know that makes many of your heart’s soar!! Start it out with a clean, uncluttered great smelling home and a clean slate full of positivity, lightness and joy for yourself! The Magick of Imbolc is upon us!

Oh, tonight is the Full Wolf or Cold Moon.  Her energy is amazing as I visited with Her last night and will again tonight.  Doing some healing work for myself and some friends of mine, making Moon water, cleansing and energizing some new crystals, tools etc.  Blessed Full Wolf Moon to you all!  Make the Most of your time with Her!

 

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, History, Holiday, Imbolc, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Poem, Protection, Quote, Ritual, Seasons, Spring, Winter

My Smoky Mountains…….

Merry Meet everyone.  Hope all is well in your world and that you are still enjoying a beautiful Autumn weather.  I have just returned from a short 4 day trip to the Smoky Mountains.  It was a girl trip..went with my daugher Sara, my sister Sunny and a friend Shawna.  We have gone to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area for years..a couple times a year at least.  I LOVE going there and know it pretty well.  Now I’m a girl and I love shopping as much as the next one, and places to shop are abundant there….but for me, it is all about seeing those mountains and spending time in them, enjoying what they have to offer…which is pure beauty in nature!

 

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

 ~John Burroughs

 

This quote  puts into words exactly how I feel when I first see those mountains, as I’m going south on I-75 from Kentucky into Tennessee.  The minute they come into view my heart just soars and my soul lets out a huge *sigh* of contentment…and recognition.  There is something ingrained in me that makes me feel at home there.  I often think it may be that my maternal grandfather was half Cherokee..my great grandfather coming from those mountains.  Maybe it is just that my soul knows how connected I am to nature and the beauty that is found here.  The trees, flowers, animals, and streams that thrive and survive there, are all connected to the Divine..as am I. 

 

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”

~Eleonora Duse

 

I love seeing the mountains in the different seasons.  All of them are beautiful there.  I have seen snow clinging on the top of the mountains with the black shadows of the leafless trees pointing to the sky majestically and the frozen streams.  I have seen the greening of those trees in the Spring, with purple and white wildflowers covering the ground, and the streams flowing with cold, icy water as the snow melts.  I’ve seen full, leafy, green trees with the dappled sunlight hitting the forest floor, animals scurrying about and the streams filled with people cooling off.  My favorite season, Autumn..trees Glorious with reds, yellows, rusts and browns, the ground covered with the fallen leaves and still, the water ever flowing in the streams.  And always, always, the smoky mists that envelop the mountains, during all the seasons, that give them their name…that make them so magickal at any time of day! 

 

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

 ~John Burrough

 

As a Witch, I find the elements in abundance in the mountains.  I can call them to me easily and they respond immediately. Earth, Air, Fire and Water..yes, I find Fire there as well, in the flame red of the leaves and berries, the heat from the Sun during the Summer, the glare off the snow, and in the warmth of the wind as Winter gives way to Spring.  I find magick in my mountains..always!  The Divine is there is well.  Nature is my church…always. The Full Moon over the mountains….A sight that everyone should see at least once!  Magnificent!!

“A wise man can do no better than to turn from the churches and look up through the airy majesty of the wayside trees with exultation, with resignation, at the unconquerable unimplicated sun.”

 ~Llewelyn Powys, The Pathetic Fallacy

While I was there, I visited one of my favorite stores..The Rock Shop.  As I was buying up crystals & stones, I came across a display of Tennesse Mountain Jasper.  Both polished stones and in large natural untouched chunks.  They look exactly like the rocky walls found in the mountains..quite recognizable.  I bought a nice piece both for myself and my two daughters.  This piece of stone will help me to keep those beautiful mountains, and that sense of peace and contentment I feel there…with me at all times.  *sigh* 🙂

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.”

~Linda Hogan

Those Smoky Mountains have stories to tell, and I do my best to listen to them. Wherever you go in Nature, to feel the Divine, to commune with Mother Earth, to calm yourself, to let out a big sigh of contentment…go there!  Often!!  It’ll do your heart, body and soul good.  Another thing that will do you some good?  If and whenever you get the chance, get a hug from a facebook friend, Do It!  I was blessed enough to get to do that on this trip..with TWO friends….. and I am so happy that I did!  Hugs Cynthia and Angelique!!  It reinforces that our facebook friends are real indeed and that hearts DO touch across the miles and thru the internet 🙂 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Quote, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Woods

Blood Moon and the Drumming Circle

Merry Meet my friends!  I hope, like me you all are enjoying a fabulous Autumn Saturn day!  The weather here is amazing…breezy, sunny, clear blue skies, and low 60’s.  It smells fabulous too! People are burning leaves or have a fire going in their fireplaces.  We are at about peak color too but grass is still green and still growing from all the great rains we’ve had. The nights have been clear and starry and the Moon bright!   It is a truly magickal time right now.

Speaking of magickal, I had the most wonderful experience and I thought I’d write about it today.  This past tuesday night, the night of the Full Blood Moon, I was invited to a “Full Moon gathering” by a new facebook friend who lives in the little village I love to go to…10 mins away.  Now I had no idea what to expect at all but I knew that it was for women only and that she owned a yurt..and that is where the gathering would be.  She sent me directions and times and I told her I’d be there. 

Oh ..this is a yurt by the way…….

 

Well, I asked my daughter Kate to come with me but she couldn’t this time and I asked my sister, who Did come with me.  So on tuesday night we found our way down a long gravel road til we saw an amazingly large,  beautiful yurt standing in the yard of our friend’s house.  Needless to say we were a little early and a little nervous 🙂  As we got out and were meeting our friend and introductions being made, another car pulled up and 3 women got out of the car…then they pulled out the djembe drums!!  I looked at our new friend and said..Oh…is this a drumming circle???  LOL  She looked at me like I should have known that..but a thrill went right thru me.   I had always wanted to go to a drumming circle but did not know there was such a thing in our area! 

We settled into the yurt on big cushions that sat in a circle on layers of area rugs.  Goddess flags and twinkle lights were all around us, an altar was set up to one side and sage was burning.  We watched as 40 or more women of all ages piled in and took their seats..some hugging and greeting each other and some maybe were new to this experience like us.  The women were as young as 6 and as old as 70 or so.  Many of them pulled up drums, some tamborines or maracas, and some had no instrument.   My sister and I were handed a couple of extra drums.  We were cleansed with the sage and a couple of women started drumming a slow steady beat..then more chimed in…then chanting and singing began.

I kid you not..for the first 20 mins I had goosebumps all over!  It was so amazing to me that I was sitting there in that circle.  Well, if you’ve ever been in one, then you KNOW what it’s like and what happened.  The songs got louder and the beat got faster and more joyful.  Women got up and danced with great joy and abandon.  The pace would slow..then grow again..then slow again.  The songs were so uplifting and wonderful.  It was one of the most joyous spiritual experiences I ever had.  and YES!!  I want to do it again and again!!

As the night wound down, good byes and hugs were said and we piled out to see the Blood Moon sliding in and out of the clouds and I felt so joyful, emotional and Blessed by the Goddess.  I was told we were welcome to come as much as we wanted to….told about New Moon gatherings as well..more meditative and quiet..no drumming, and that every Full Moon gathering was like this one 🙂  You can bet I will be there..and my daughter and sister as well!!

Oh yes, I’ve bought a djembe drum and so did my daughter 🙂 …and I plan on using it often..even when I’m alone.  The energy that drumming helps to build up is like nothing I had experieced…you can feel it with your heartbeat..in your core.  I’d like to suggest that if you get a chance to go…Go!!  You won’t regret it!  I feel so blessed to have met my new friend and the wonderful women I connected with that night.  The Goddess was very much present for us on that Blood Moon night!

This is my new drum 🙂 

 

Blessings and love,

Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Drum Circle, Full Moons, Goddess, My Writing

Wordless Wednesday 6/15/2011……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed Strawberry Moon!  Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Full Moons, Litha/Summer Solstice, Photography, Summer, Wordless Wednesday

Feeding the birds in winter……

Merry Meet my friends and Blessed Full Frost Moon!  The Moon is gorgeous tonight here..huge and yellow in the sky..just a few clouds floating lazily across Her.  I have been very busy the last few days.  I have a busy week as I’m sure many of you do too.  Thanksgiving is at my house this year and my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday party is here on sunday!  I managed to get my home cleaned and decorated for Yule/Christmas the last couple of days.  Today the grocery shopping got done..Wed.  I’ll be cooking all day and getting ready! 🙂 

In the midst of all this busyness, I got a call from my daughter Kate asking me to come for a visit..of course I went..I never turn down a chance to see her and my darling little Lily.  After visiting a bit, we decided to do a project  that Lily would enjoy.  We decided to feed the birds!  This is a great fun project ..even for the little ones…because its fun and easy.  The idea is to make “ornaments” for an outdoor tree.  I have listed some ideas below and the how-tos on how to make these natural bird feeders.  Lily had such a great time and stuck with it for quite some time.  We then went out and decorated a tree in their yard.  We made a memory for all of us! 🙂

I have always loved birds…I just love watching them and we have had feeders and a bird bath for as long as I can remember.  My particular favorite, cardinals. who mate for life by the way, give my soul a lift when I see them at the feeder or sitting on a branch singing or you catch that bright red on a snowy winter day.  We get alot of birds here in Ohio in the winter.  Those beautiful cardinals, blue jays, finches, sparrows, titmice, doves, woodpeckers and other birds I’m not sure of the names of 🙂  We live near a wetlands and get alot of different species.  We have  had a heron land in our yard many times to visit our pond.    We keep our feeders filled and try to keep our bird bath clean and filled with water that isn’t frozen.   We have a koi pond with a waterfall and at any time during the winter, we will see birds bathing and drinking at the waterfall.  We have alot of trees for shelter also.

Some other ways to feed the birds..especially if you’re on a budget is to get creative.  Yes, bird feeders are nice but there are fun ways to feed them and to have fun while you’re doing it! 🙂

Bagel or Pinecone Treat  Take some regular bagels and slice them in half. Spread the cut side with either peanut butter or honey. Sprinkle the bagels with birdseed that you can purchase at nurseries or any place that sells pet supplies. To hang the bagels on your tree, thread a short length of cording through the center of the hole in the bagel and knot the ends to make a loop. Hang the treat on various branches of the tree for the birds to feed on. If you wanted you could also use yarn to hang the treat on the tree, so that in the spring the birds can re-use the yarn in their nests. Jute or hemp is good too for hanging.  You can do this with a large pine cone as well.

Cereal Garland
 String some dry cereal such as Cheerios on the string.  I also like to use apple jacks or fruit loops.   When hanging the cereal garland on the tree, group several strands together so it’s easier for the birds to eat. Drape the garland all over the tree as you would with your Christmas tree.

Corn on the Cob Treats
Wrap some wire around the top of a corn cob, leaving a loop for hanging.  Hang the corn cob on the branches of the tree by the wire loop.  The squirrels and chipmunks will love this too!

Apple Treats
Cut a short length of wire and fold it in half. Wrap the loose ends of the wire around the apple stem, leaving a loop to hang the apple with. Hang the apples from the tree branches with the wire loop.  Birds love fruit and berries.  Try to have trees that will bear fruit and berries in your yard.

Some other natural ways of feeding and sheltering  birds…grow flowers that have seed heads such as sunflowers…leave the seed heads on the flowers instead of cutting down the flowers. Throw  your left over or stale bread, muffins, nuts, berries right on the ground.  Keep a water source.  Use a live christmas tree…after christmas..put it in your yard to help shelter birds.  Hang bird houses.  Plant trees.  The birds will come to your yard if you make it “homey” for them! 🙂  Oh yes, you will want to have a camera and a pair of binoculars available as well.

                            “Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.”….Carol P. Christ

I think this quote is so true.  Watching birds..the beauty of nature…will help you to feel the connection to our Mother Earth.  And caring for her creatures….that connects Mother Earth  to us! 🙂  So feed the birds this winter, take time to watch them while you’re having your morning cup, listen to their song, and appreciate the beauty that is right there for you to enjoy.

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Full Moons, Granddaughter, Mother Earth, Nature, Winter

The Full Moon and the Smoky Mountains……

Merry Meet my witchy friends!  Hope this finds all of you well and happy.  My hubby and I celebrated 31 years of marriage this week and decided to take a quick trip to our cabin in the Smoky Mountains for a few days.  It has been a whirlwind trip but fun and we’ve enjoyed our “alone” time together very much..especially in the mountains which sing to me, calm me and make me feel very small in this big world.  The weather has been hot but not too humid and the evenings cool down nicely. 

It is also the Full Moon and seeing the Full, bright Moon hanging over the dark mystical mountains at night is something I treasure..I can feel Her pull, Her energy, Her connection with the mountains and with me.  My body feels tingly and light just looking at Her.  I am blessed to get to see this….By the way, this moon picture was taken by me last night..thru the trees over the cabin!  Breathtaking!

// //

FULL MOON

by Darkwing

In the darkening sky, if you cast your eyes,

You will see the silver lady rise,

Bathing the world in a steely blue

Edged with a haunting, silver hue.

Higher and higher she rises with grace,

Shrouding the trees in a cloak of lace,

Sending her rays to the waters below,

Casting reflections in ripple and flow.

Oh, such a majesty gracing the sky,

Passing a twinkle to stars riding high,

Oh, what a magickal sight we purvey

From dusk, till the night gives in to day.

And so, she sinks in horizons west,

Content in the knowledge that we saw her best,

She’ll return once again when the sky turns black,

And if you should whisper, she might whisper back.

Love this poem and had to share it.  We are leaving to go home tomorrow and I look forward to seeing my daughters, cats, home and yes, I’ve missed my facebook friends! LOL…I knew I was addicted..and yes, I most definitely am. 🙂

Before I left home I made up a batch of Lavender Toner….thought I ‘d share the very easy recipe here for you all to enjoy..

1 cup witch hazel

1 TB dried lavender buds

6 drops lavender essential oil

Mix together in a lidded glass jar and shake well.  Store in a dark place and shake everyday for 2 weeks.  Then, pour thru a cheesecloth to strain buds…pour into a mister bottle or lidded bottle that you can use with a cotton ball…Enjoy!

*I doubled this recipe by the way.

It smells divine and feels so refreshing.

I hope that you all will spend some time with the Full Moon..and bless the Goddess for her gifts she has given to you.  May you all have a beautiful Esbat..

Blessed Be..

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Filed under Full Moons, Herbal remedy, Poem

Happy Bunny day…..

Today is Easter….Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.  In my family, we celebrate it mostly because my parents and sister are christian.  This year however, due to a family situation, we didn’t celebrate it with all the family.  My husband, daughter, family friend and I went out to breakfast and the weather is beautiful and we had a nice time.  My daughter Willow and her family spent this year with her husband’s family.  They are so busy on the holidays trying to see all the family on both sides that they have to alternate between families..this was not our year :(.   The had us over friday night though for a cookout which was fabulous.  We brought our little grandaughter Lily her Bunny basket, had grilled burgers and good company and this early in April the weather was 80!!  It was awesome. 

A few days ago was the full moon.  I made up Blessing Oil and my Blessed water under a starry clear sky.  However, even though it was like 10:30 at night, and the moon was full, it still wasn’t showing up in the sky.  Funny how it comes up so late in the night this time of year.  It was a warm, gentle night and while I was communing with my God and Goddess, I saw a shooting star!  It was amazing as I don’t see them very often.  I took it as a response to my prayer and felt at peace after.  I also like to recharge my jewelry, crystals, altar tools etc in the moonlight so I did that too.  I love that Spring and warm weather are here again and I can be outside to commune without having to bundle up! 

Here’s my recipe for Blessing Oil:      

1/4 cup almond oil

10 drops sandalwood oil

4 drops camphor oil

2 drops orange oil

2 drops patchouli oil

Put in a pretty bottle and use it to bless your altar, candles, yourself after a ritual bath, or your tools.  You can also anoint your doors to bless your home.  Many uses and it smells great!  This is a double batch, feel free to 1/2 it.

I decorated for Ostara, both Altars, and left them up for Easter as the symbols, eggs, lamb, bunny, spring flowers etc are the same.  I’ll be undoing them tomorrow and getting ready for Beltane.  I’ll talk more about Beltane in the next month as Beltane is also known as May Day and is on May 1.  My Book of Shadows is coming along slowly but surely.  I love working on it and seeing it come together!

Have a blessed day,

Autumn

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Filed under Easter, Oil Blend Recipe