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Happy 2015 and Winter Blessings……….

Merry Meet my friends!  I’m a bit later writing a blog post for the New Year than I should be. My muse left me I think while I recovered from the holidays! I hope that you all had a very happy Yule, Christmas, and New Year with your loved ones and friends.  I know I did.  It was even a slower paced holiday season for us this year and much enjoyed.  We ate too much, relaxed, visited with friends and family, had gift exchanges and watched the ball drop quietly.  The holiday decorations are packed away til next year and the house has been cleaned and cleansed and the fireplace often has a crackling fire happily going. There’s often something baking in the oven or simmering on the stove, and my stack of books I want to read this year actually has had a dent put in it 🙂

Today is a beautiful, blue sky, sunny day but it is also a deep freeze out there!  We got about 5-6 inches of snow a few days ago and since then we have had a lot of negative temperatures as well.  I don’t mind it too much though.  I love nesting in for cold Winter days..cause I can.  I know not everybody has that luxury of not having to go out, I’m blessed that way. Freezing wind that takes your breath away and watching snow fall isn’t bad at all when you’re cozy and warm indoors. But I also like to go outside in the Winter. There is something bracing and beautiful about the quietness of Winter.  The skies when clear, are so clear as to hurt your eyes.  At night, the inky, cold black of the skies makes the stars and Moon shine so brilliantly. Don’t you think so?  Taking walks while a soft snow falls is such a wonderful thing to do too.

I posted this picture the other day from facebook on my page.  I have seen it before and love it.  I don’t know who the original poster of this picture is but credit is given on the picture itself for this one.

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Earthing…..a concept I’ve always been familiar with but didn’t know what to call it.  When I was a kid, it was for me “getting out in nature” or “sinking my feet in the ground” or “connecting with Mother Earth.”   I love the term Earthing and have adopted it.  When I posted this picture I asked my friends how they go Earthing in the dead of Winter with snow on the ground.  I got some great answers and had a few of my own and thought I’d share them with you.  For many people, Winter is a depressive time of year. The “Winter Blues” is a very real thing.  Oh sure, some of us just grouse and complain about the cold and missing Summer etc (not me I don’t LOL) but for many it’s a real depression that sets in.  For Witches, being outside with our bare feet in the dirt is a necessity of Life.  It’s a serious need.  It centers us, grounds us, lifts our spirits physically, mentally and spiritually.  It’s a huge part of our spirituality.  This connection to Mother Earth….not just seeing her but FEELING her.  In the Winter, needless to say, being barefoot can be an issue.  So here are a few ideas for those who need that connection..no matter what your Path is.

*Go ahead and go barefoot.  For however long you can handle it 🙂  I got that answer several times from my friends.  Feel that mushy earth and cold snow under your feet.  Or the hard, cold ground.  Come in and soak your feet in a nice warm salt bath and your spirits will be lifted and your feet will feel great!

*Go out and hug a tree.  Another popular response.  Feel that connection to Earth through a strong tree that stands stark and dark in the cold weather.  The vibrations are there for you to absorb and feel.

*Take a walk.  This seems obvious to me but a lot of people don’t like walking in the snow.  Of course, if there’s an inch of ice out there don’t go and hurt yourself. But bundling up and taking a brisk walk is good for you anytime. Collect some things from nature while you’re out.  Pine cones, acorns, rocks, feathers, greens etc.  Bring them home and place them in a bowl with a lit white candle.  The scent will fill your house with outdoors.  Light a roaring fire and have a hot chocolate or coffee.and you’ll feel exhilarated!

*Get out your gardening books, magazines, catalogs and start planning your gardens for Spring. Perusing them, dreaming of working in your gardens will help you to remember that Spring will be here before you know it.  Perhaps you can plant some seed starters and get started inside.  The scent of green things growing in rich dirt in little pots should help you a lot and you’ll have an early start on your gardens.  I was at Lowe’s the other day and they already have their seeds and pots out!

*Keep indoor plants.  Watering and tending to indoor plants keeps your hands in the dirt.  Some herbs on your kitchen window sill, some large tropical or tree plants in the house are always nice.

*Take a class on gardening or herbs.  I’m working over this Winter and however long it takes me, on an herbalist class. It  keeps me thinking of being outdoors growing my herbs, their scent, cutting and drying them etc.  I still have herbs hanging in my kitchen I have dried. Rubbing my hands over them and smelling those wonderful scents keeps me in mind of warmer days with the Sun on my back, feet on the ground and hands dirty from digging.  Happy thoughts indeed!

* Get some Sun!  There are a LOT of gloomy, overcast days in the Winter.  If I get the blues over the Winter, it’s often because of lack of sunshine. I don’t care how cold it is outside if the Sun is shining.  Find that sunny spot in the house and sit there for a bit, face to the Sun.  Absorb it into your skin.  You’ll feel better right away.  On those gloomy days..light candles, turn on lights, put on upbeat music.  Do something to make yourself feel light!  Cats and dogs are a perfect example of how much fun laying in the Sun can be.  They search out those spots don’t they? 🙂  Do as they do 🙂

*Go outside and do something fun..something adventurous!  Go sledding, skiing, ice skating, ice fishing or play hockey. Get that sense of snow days that kids have. Remember that?  As kids weren’t snow days just the best things in the world?  We didn’t sit around bemoaning the cold….nope…we got bundled up and stayed outside until our toes and fingers were frozen, our noses were running and cheeks were bright red.  But our eyes too were sparkling and our energy was abounding and we had FUN!!   Do that!!

*Give yourself a project to do.  Perhaps de-cluttering and organizing your house. Cleaning out closets and drawers is so satisfying. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a book, paint, crochet, spin wool, throw a pot, play with clay, start a blog, learn yoga or meditation, etc etc.  Witches can work on their grimoires or book of shadows. Keep yourself busy doing something you love. Or learn something new. You get the idea.

Well, these are just a few ideas, I’m sure there are many more.  Don’t let Winter become something dreary and hated that you just have to get through before the days of Sunshine and roses come back.  Winter is a long season and that is a LOT of days to feel bad, feel sad, to dread.  Every day is a gift, no matter the weather.  Make the most of it. If being lazy and reading is all you want to do ..then good..do it. But do it cheerfully with a smile on your face okay?

Blessings of the Winter season to you and may 2015 bring you all the joy and happiness you deserve! I’ll be back soon with bits of magick I’m working on here and there and of course recipes etc.  Imbolc will be before we know it!

Blessings and love, Autumn

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Filed under Book of Shadows, Books, Cleaning & Organizing, Family, Friends

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

Herbs, gardening and stones…….

After about 10 days of rain and dark gray skies, the sun has finally come out, the ground is drying up and it feels like summer!….

This weekend my hubby and I were finally able to start planting, weeding, mulching etc.  I love going to the garden centers and walking thru the aisles looking for just the right thing!  So far we chose marigolds, red and blue salvia, dianthus, speedwell, shasta daisys, impatience and of course, more lavender!  These are in various beds around the house.  This year I planted my herbs early from seed, in little pots I kept in a sunny window.  I planted about 15 different herbs.  Some grew, some didn’t.  So for the ones that didn’t sprout from seed, I went and bought them at the garden center.  For my herbs I planted, lavender, catnip, oregano, chives, cilantro, basil, sage, lemon balm, parsley, marjoram and mint.  I just realized tonight though that I forgot thyme so I’m gonna have to go back and get some, got to have that! 

We also bought seeds for sunflowers so we have free feed for the birds in the late summer, early fall..plus we get to enjoy them all summer!  We bought a new bird feeder that is supposed to be squirrel proof but I’m not sure its working! LOL..I don’t mind feeding the squirrels and chipmunks either!  We have plans to remove some ugly bushes I hate and put in peonies and hydrangeas!  I love mapping out the improvements along with the yearly stuff we always do! 

Lets see, what else is going on..I am reading “the Craft of the Wild Witch” by Poppy Palin and love it so far.  She writes very well and I’m learning alot.  I just finished reading the first 7 books of the House of Night series..so good!  Now, I know these books are aimed at teens and at 52 years old I’m most definitely not a teen..but they are good books and I read all 7 in about a week..I just couldn’t put them down! LOL..now, alas, I have to wait for the 8th which doesn’t come out until January of next year I think!  :(….I have been encouraged by some witchy friends of mine (you all know who you are! )  to read the Sweep series so I’ve got the first two and will be starting them…I love to read and will read just about anything! LOL! 

I’ve also been working on my BOS..that is alot of work and always in progress but I really love working on it..its coming out just like I pictured it would!  I have so much fun going thru my witchy books and planning out the pages I want to keep in my book and finding pics to put with it..very creative!

Thursday is the Full Moon..I love the full moon every month.  Its really a special time for me.  This one I think is going to be extra bright..it already is a bright light moon and its not full yet!  I plan on doing a Full ritual this month.  I usually keep it simple, light a candle, and re-cleanse and energize my crystals, tools and jewelry in the moonlight.  This month I’m going to take advantage of the warmer weather and spend some time, outside, really communing with my Goddess. 

This has been a bad week too in that I lost an Aunt and am now losing an old friend who is too young to die.  At these times I realize even more how we are put here to love each other, to love life, and live it to the fullest!!  Blessings to both of them and their families as they start a new journey.  May their path be lit by Moonlight as is mine…..

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Garden, Herbs

Snow on the mountains….

So I’ve been at our cabin in Tennessee for a few days.  The weather the first couple of days was not so great..very dreary, cold, misty.  We thought we’d see some redbuds and forsythia blooming like usual this time of year but that was not the case.  Apparantly, Tennessee, like the rest of us, had a very cold, snowy, long winter.  We love seeing the mountains anyway, no matter what the weather.  The Smoky Mountains hold a special place in my heart.  We’ve been coming here for years, several times a year, and I never get tired of seeing them.  They are so mystical and ancient that it just makes my soul soar!

We decided yesterday to drive up the mountain to Newfound Gap.. the 2nd highest peak overlook in the mountains.  We put on our celtic music on the ipod, got something to drink and took off.  My daughter, my sister and I.  To our surprise, part way up we started seeing clumps of snow on the sides of the road, then we saw piles of snow, then we saw snow covered hills and trees, then we saw melting snow rolling off the stone mountains forming huge icicles!  Then it got foggy and the temperature had steadily dropped (about 20 degrees).  We got to the top and I kid you not, it was a winter wonderland in the middle of March in Tennessee!!!  It was so awesome.  It looked like it does in the middle of a blizzard in January.  People were smiling and taking pics, throwing snowballs, even some sledding on the small hills was going on.  It was so magickal that we just kept grinning to each other!  For us it was like we had gone into another dimension!  I’ll never forget it as long as I live.  The Apalachian Trail runs thru there too so we got on it and took pictures.  We had been to this lookout many times before and the view is always breathtaking, but this snow covered moutaintop, on this day (St. Patricks Day) was truly beautiful and unforgettable.  AHHHHHH! 🙂  Mother Earths amazing accomplishments!

Tomorrow we head home but I’m looking forward to seeing my other daughter, grandaughter, my hubby and my cats..I’ve missed them!  Saturday is Ostara…The Spring Equinox.  I’ll be getting together with my daughters and grandaughter to color eggs, have a luncheon and hopefully be outside enjoying the day.  The day and night will be equal and seeing the sun shining longer into the evening is a wonderful thing.  I feel lighter and more energetic already!  I’m busy making plans for my gardening this year…choosing what flowers and herbs I want to plant.  I need to go visit a garden center and get some pots and seeds to start the herbs.  I’d also like to get a composter this year..if I can convince the husband to find a spot in our yard for it!  🙂  We’re also hoping to build a shed this year.  That will help greatly with storage.  I have to be honest and say that I haven’t been into gardening that much in the past years,  mostly just help my husband plant flowers and pots and stop there.  His ideas and mine are two different things on what we want to plant and where! LOL..this year, I’m taking over and planting it the way I want!  Plus I’m adding the herbs…I’m going to get 2-3 very large patio pots and plant them by the back door so I can just pluck what I need when I’m cooking or gather what I need to do my spellwork.  It will be wonderful to have fresh herbs at the ready.  I plan on drying them and keeping them too.  Can’t wait!

Along with gardening this year, I’ve decided to get serious about losing a few pounds and taking up walking..serious walking!  I’ll have to build up my stamina, but I hope to get my butt in gear and move it!!  I even bought a walking/hiking stick at the hiking store down in TN…saw it and had to have it.  I’ve had some health issues in the last couple of years that are better now and the walking will help me to get my strength back in my core muscles.  I got some crystals with holes so I can attach them to my walking stick..for protection, energy, and balance.  That should make my stick even more helpful to me as I walk! 

So here’s hoping that you all see snow on the mountain at least once in your life!

Bright Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Garden, Smoky Mountains