The Daily OM for May 9th – Experiencing Nature by Night

Experiencing Nature by Night
Moon Gardens

by Madisyn Taylor

A whole other world exists in the light of a moon-filled night that few of us even notice.

In the height of summertime’s heat, we drift outdoors at dusk to refresh ourselves in the temperate air of evening. Cricket song and the glow of fireflies come together with ever-lengthening shadows to create a natural symphony of overlapping sensations that invigorate the body and gladden the soul. As the sun sets, the vivid colors of most flowers and leaves fade, becoming a dull grey, but moon gardens provide us with a space to appreciate Mother Nature’s bounty long after the light of day has retreated. Designed to be enjoyed from dusk until the coming of the darkness, these gardens serve as a perfect complement to silvery moonlight, mild summer nights, and the spirit of rejuvenation.

Most plant life worships the sun, but a select few shrubs and flowers come into their own in luna’s glow. The silvery leaves of lamb’s ears and artemisia reflect the radiance of the moon, while the bright-white flowers adorning yucca and evening primrose seem to shimmer brilliantly in dusk’s gloom. Certain blossoms such as the moonflower and four o’clocks open only at night, releasing their sweet fragrances in spectacular displays of scent and beauty. While creating a moon garden, remember to take each human sense into account. We appreciate the ghostly beauty of nighttime nature best when we can sit comfortably until our eyes have adjusted to the surrounding darkness. Bamboo and thick grasses make a comforting sound when bandied about by gentle nighttime breezes.

Transforming a portion of your existing yard or patio into a moon garden is simple, and the pleasure you will derive from your nighttime retreat will become worth it once you start to enjoy it. Green spaces come alive at night when nocturnal blossoms release their perfume into the air and ethereally lovely and luminous foliage dances in the breeze. In a moon garden, relaxation is a simple matter of attuning yourself to the stillness of evening and seeing, for the first time, the myriad shades of beauty that can be found in the darkness.

 

Source:

The Daily OM

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Daily OM for March 4th – Rhythmic Rest

Rhythmic Rest
Natural Cycles of Sleep

by Madisyn Taylor

Our bodies are naturally encoded to respond to light and dark and sleeping with the rhythms of Mother Nature.

The human body evolved to fall asleep soon after the descent of night’s curtain and to wake with the appearance of the dawn. Sleep cycles were governed by patterns of light and darkness for thousands of years, meaning that for much of history, humanity has enjoyed nine of more hours of sleep each night. Our bodies are naturally encoded to respond to light and dark and sleeping with the rhythms of Mother Nature. In the present, artificial light has changed the way we schedule our day-to-day lives, and most of us slumber for less than seven hours at a stretch. It is possible, however, to come back to natural sleeping cycles by making a few small changes. When our bodies and minds are attuned to the world’s natural rhythms, we feel calmer, more centered, and more energetic while awake. Sleep is more satisfying because we afford ourselves more than enough time for restoration and rejuvenation.

Our reliance on indoor lighting further compounds our disassociation from the natural cycles of light and darkness that would otherwise preside over our sleep. You can mimic the passage of the day by changing the quality of the light. Sleeping without heavy drapery or shades is best so you can wake up with the sun. If sleeping by a window without a curtain is not an option, a dawn simulator lamp imitates the sun by growing steadily brighter with the coming of the height of morning.

You will likely discover that changing your sleep patterns to be in sync with the daily cycle of light and darkness is easy and that you feel more alive when your sleeping and waking rhythms are in alignment to those of the earth. Nature’s own phases will be your guide to wellness, granting you more waking hours in the summertime when you will benefit greatly from spending time outside and ensuring you get plenty of sleep in the winter when you likely need it most.

Daily OM

Daily Cosmic Calendar for February 27th

Stop, look and listen! Back in our calendar on February 3, the information was provided that the largest asteroid — Ceres — would be making a station at 2 degrees of Scorpio and turning retrograde today. That time becomes official at 12:09AM and all Ceres themes — agriculture and gardening, Mother Nature, parent-child and mother-daughter relationships, food, diet and nutrition, productivity and scarcity of natural resources — are accentuated around the exact time and for most of today. [Ceres will remain in reverse until June 1 when it will turn around and go direct at 19 degrees of Libra.] Adding to today’s potency of this important asteroid is its supportive, 60-degree link to Pallas in Virgo (11:21AM). Problem-solving and strategic thinking go hand-in-hand.  One day before Mercury makes its shift to go from retrograde to forward motion, the Moon unites with the Messenger of the Gods planet in Aquarius (12:02PM) — offering a few early benefits concerning communications, correspondence, literary and educational interests. The fine arts, film classics, inspired musical compositions and sacred dance are high on the agenda as the Moon parallels fantasy-prone Neptune (3:08PM).  This day ends on a cautionary note as the Sun parallels Mars (11:21PM) — giving you ample warning of the switcheroo by the red planet on Saturday March 1 when Mars in Libra stops and turns retrograde until May 19. Watch out for overnight discord and volatility that can wreak havoc on the home front. [Note to readers: All times are calculated for Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

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View From My Side of the Broomstick

View From My Side of the Broomstick

Author:   Keyokwee   

I am always amazed and enlightened by the differing views that we all take away from our encounters with each other and Mother Nature herself. We can choose to look at ritual performed in the moonlight in the nude, as a powerful statement, a beautiful sign that there is nothing between yourself and Goddess, or simply cover up. But the choice is yours to do so and no less is thought of you if you choose not to do so.

Also since I am a Crone, I can truly savor a wicked sense of humor when it is delivered with justice! My husband, while pagan, does not go for the “foo-fer-all” of rituals instead preferring to sit on the sidelines and watch (usually mildly amused) . But he does understand and accepts me, as I am when I do my thing.

Now in the Crone aspect of life, I can truly respect Hecate. I am constantly amazed by what she can teach me, including and especially, in preparation for the unexpected in life. And since I’m mainly Irish, Hecate likes to throw a twist of the Murphy’s into my life, to keep me on my toes, and to gently remind me to cover my bases before throwing myself enthusiastically into my worship.

I’m reminded that I must approach Her with extreme caution and Wisdom because she will deliver a lesson that you’re sure never to forget. As Hecate is kind of like the Goddess of the Crones, she respects the fact that one is a Crone and allows some leeway for it. But in my case, She delights in delivering her lessons with a ruthless sense of humor. Case in point…

My husband and I live in a very rural part of Northern CA, and we like our privacy. It’s wonderful to have such freedom with no neighbors in sight. We have an above ground pool that is well used during the summer and we feel we can safely skinny-dip in the pool or pretty much walk au-natural around our house. (Polite people call before barging in!) And I feel quite comfortable in my own skin. So when my younger neighbor topped the hill after crossing the front pasture…I think that he pretty much got what he deserved!

It was a typical end to a very hot day. My husband I took advantage of the near darkness to dip into the delicious coolness of our pool and then climbed out to sit at our patio table. Each had our beverage of choice in hand. Mine was wine; his was beer. We were both caught up in the magic of the stars starting to twinkle overhead and the crickets and tree frogs were starting to turn up the volume on their nightly serenade.

There is something seductive about this time of the evening, especially when you are pagan. It’s one of the two times during the day that light meets dark and embraces. So we have come to expect that anything to happen.

I started humming and swaying and dancing around, caught up in the moment and had just raised my glass in a salute to the Goddess when the applications of Nature were driven home. The ensuing chain of events was a lesson to us all.

For it was at that time that our neighbor chose to walk over the top of the hill. But was that the end of it? Oh! Heck No!

Throw in the Murphy’s Law Applications: One Reubenesque Crone. Darkness falling. A salute to the Goddess with a glassful of wine. A gopher hole. And nine billion mosquitoes that all saw my 40 axe-handle butt shining with more lumens than a full moon reflected in an amusement park Hall of Mirrors!

You can see where this is going, can’t ya?

I was a mosquito posse’s dream come true served up on a smorgasbord! It was truly a sight to behold: A Gen-U-ine Kodak moment! I swear that I heard cackling a split second before everything converged at once. My neighbor got a free shot (Or so he thought) of a fat, drunk, naked middle aged lady who spilled her wine while flailing her arms around, waving at him!

I bet that was a little bit too much information! But on the flip side, I’m a crone and I can appreciate the warped sense of Her dark humor served up with a liberal dose of Justice and Common Sense!

The seductive song of a warm summer’s night was disturbed by the unexpected appearance of a fool! There’s a reason why I am a solitary. May your mind be seared by the shocking sight of a Crone moments before her just desserts are served in Spades! I’m no Barbie Doll, honey…this is the real stuff at 54-gravity served up on steroids!

Well that poor kid must have thought that his eyes and brain just sucked a big one on the un-sweetened Lemon of Truth because the ensuing retreat was felt on the local Richter scale.

And what desserts are those, ya almost forgot to ask?

Never think that you can get away with just a toast. Share or She’ll take it all! And if you toast Her, come with just a little wisdom and be prepared to use some common sense. Burn the incense of citronella or ‘Off ‘coils.

(Friends and neighbors, please call first. That’s the polite thing to do!)

And to the fool drinking the beer: Keep your mouth shut! Never again wince and look at your bottle and say, ”That’s going to leave a mark!” to the retreating form of your neighbor’s back.

In the blink of an eye that song of that summer night was drowned out and replaced by the high pitched whine of the incoming going to Glory! The mosquitoes were everywhere! I quickly started flailing about inside the midst of that cloud, stepped in the gopher hole in the process, and flung my last glass of wine out to the grass.

I left three-quarters of the cloud of mosquitoes there to deal with Mr. Naked Big-Mouth while I hastily retreated to spray myself with ‘Off’. The other quarter of them followed me into the house where they fed on his sorry carcass for the rest of the night because he refused to spray himself down!

So what marks is your sorry butt referring to now? The ones left in the mind of our neighbor, or the ones on your backside? Or on mine. Even my hills and valleys now have hills and valleys. (And have you folks ever sprayed yourself with Off after scratching yourself? There’s a real in-the-now reminder! Humph!)

I still swear I hear Her cackling and snapping Her fingers saying, “ YES! The Goddess is in the house!”

Peace and Blessings, Honey

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What Witchcraft Means To Me

What Witchcraft Means To Me

Author:   allisjames 

So what does witchcraft mean to me? Wow. What a question. Is there an easy answer? No! Witchcraft is beautiful and complicated, mysterious and wonderful. For some it is all about the gods and goddess; for others it is about spell-work and ceremony; and for the rest it is just the flavor-of-the-month religion or practice.

Is Witchcraft a religion, or is it a practice? Is Witchcraft different then Wicca?

Wicca, we know, came into being somewhere between the 1930’s and the 1950’s via Gerard B. Gardner. Yet history blooms with stories of witches, brooms, black cats, and spell-work. People were burned as witches in both England and America. The monotheistic religions had a hard time with anyone who believed in other gods other then their own. Apparently, Jesus dying on a Roman stake was not good enough for the Western church – more blood had to be spelled.

But every society seems to have had some kind of equivalent to the witch. They may have been called Shamans, witch doctors, gypsies, maybe even grandmother herself. Whoever the healers were in society – the psychic, the spiritualist, the herbalists- you had the makings of a witch. And witches were not exactly liked by the church.

Gerard Gardner brought witchcraft back to mainstream society after the last laws banning witchcraft were repelled in England in the 1950’s. He reintroduced ‘The Craft’ to the world with his book ‘Witchcraft Today;’ a book published in 1954.

My initial introduction to the Craft was through a 1960’s TV show called ‘Bewitched, ’ a comedy about an American witch who married a mortal man. Throughout the show we were introduced to covens, rituals, magic, wands, warlocks, Sabbats, and spell-work. Even though a lot of the show was based on false premises (witches being immortal) , the show was on-point with true witchcraft in many ways.

In the 1980’s I came across a book by Erica Jong called ‘Witches.’ This was a coffee table sized book loaded with text, pictures, and poetry explaining Witchcraft. I devoured this book like no other. Erica Jong crafted a very fitting tribute book to a religion she never claimed to be party too. But her involvement in the neo-pagan life style is evident from reading her books and interviews. Erica’s views on sexuality and religion are very close to my own views.

To put it bluntly – I was drawn in.

In 2004 I became a member of Unity Church of Fredericksburg, VA, USA. This church was strong on the Father/Mother God concept, the unity of all things, meditation/yoga, and the divine in all of us. By 2005 I was examining, via the Internet, Wicca or Witchcraft. I started taking a course on Witchcraft through http://www.magickaschool.com. I was also hobnobbing with different witches in the local area where I lived. I did complete one course on the Introduction to Witchcraft through magickaschool.com, and still have a little ways to go on course number two. I am also involved somewhat in the Northern Virginia Witches and Pagans Meetup Group.

After a year of being homeless, I find myself once again drawn to the magick and mystery of this Path. I am reading books on the subject, meditating more, and enjoying the outdoors more. I especially enjoy watching the moon at night going through its many phases. Currently I am reading books by Raymond Buckland and Deborah Lipp. I am also learning The Hidden Path divination cards by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor, with artwork by Mickie Mueller.

As a pagan/witch/wiccan I am no longer restrained by the shallowness and limitations of the Christian Church. I will put down no religion, but my calling seems to be more metaphysical then revelation based. I believe strongly in the line from the movie ‘Inherit the Wind’ where the defense attorney, played by Spencer Tracey, said regarding the Bible – “The Bible is a good book, but it’s not the only book.”

The path of Witchcraft is an inward path and a mystical path. In a way all spiritually minded people are witches – we all believe in some divine being, we live by some code of law, we believe in the concept of magic/miracles, and we all reach for inner transformation.

I am a Witch because I can be nothing other then a Witch. I can’t twiddle my nose like Samantha in Bewitched and cause magick to happen. It doesn’t work that way. And it’s not about that anyway. Witchcraft is about inner transformation, empowerment, magic, and ultimately LOVE. We love, not by judging and condemning, but by understanding and appreciation. All life is sacred because all life comes from a divine source. That should be the heart and soul of any religious path.

Witchcraft satisfies an inner hunger like nothing else. It is a lifelong study and practice that draws me closer to the god/goddess, keeps me open for all sorts of possibilities, and makes me a channel for light and magick. I feel more at home in this vast universe, and more appreciative of life in general. As I celebrate the Sabbats and esbats, I also celebrate the seasons and learn to adapt to each one. No matter what season, I can follow the moon as it waxes and wanes through each of its cycles.

My spiritual journey began with my introduction and acceptance of the Christian path. But even then I knew there had to be more. And there was: Buddhism, Hinduism, Shamanism, Voodoo, The Golden Dawn, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, and Cabbala, as well as the historical evidence of goddess worship spanning way back into the Old Testament periods.

Witchcraft, in one form or another, has always been here. I embrace it with open arms freely and in sound mind and body. The more I read and study the Craft, the more I am drawn into it. Coming out of the sixties, Witchcraft appeals to me because of its Nature based emphasis, its emphasis on the sacred in everything, its openness to change and its encouragement to grow on whatever Path you are on. Somehow, the idea of celebrating the Goddess out in the openness of nature – singing, chanting, dancing, (skyclad or not) , under an open sky, or under a full moon, appeals to me. Celebrating Nature, and not just theological dogma’s, is what worship is all about.

When I see the full moon in the sky now, I feel like I am walking on sacred ground. The earth is my Cathedral and the Divine is everywhere. I don’t have to worry whether I am theologically sound, or politically correct – it is just me, the goddess, and Mother Nature creating energy and magick through each season, through each rising sun, and through each phase of the moon.

What does it mean to be a Witch? Everything!

So mote it be.

___________________________________

Footnotes:
My personal journey from Christianity to Witchcraft.

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Daily Cosmic Calendar for December 12th

Strange forces are on the prowl on a very significant day in the heavens. The strange factor is due to four parallel and contra-parallel formations as Mercury is contra-parallel to Jupiter (3:19AM), Mercury is also parallel to Venus (5:32AM), Venus is contra-parallel to Jupiter (8:26AM), and then Ceres is parallel to Uranus (12:47PM). Four of these types of alignments — in one 24-hour time-span — are very rare, and they combine to create a fair amount of uncertainty in the psychic atmosphere.  Meanwhile, during a 5-hour void lunar cycle in Aries (from 7:38AM to 12:41PM), the Sun makes an inspirational, 72-degree rapport with far-out Neptune (8:34AM) — opening the gates of creative imagination and artistic improvisation. Once the Moon enters the sign of its exaltation — Taurus — at 12:41PM, focus your attention on business matters, physical fitness, and tuning into Mother Nature’s rhythms.  The big event clocks in at 4:02PM when Jupiter in Cancer trines Saturn in Scorpio. They formed this same 120-degree contact on July 17 and will do so again on May 24, 2014. When the two largest planets in our solar system make this tie, you have a rare chance to take several giant leaps ahead on the professional horizon. Think outside the box and know that you can be a mover-and-shaker within your fields of expertise. [Note to readers: All times are calculated for Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Winter Solstice Greetings

Winter Comments & Graphics
Winter Solstice Greetings

A blanket of snow glistens fluffy and white
Tucks us in, oh so cozy
for the long winter night

We’ll light one white candle
Let busy minds release
all the cares of the day
for a moment of peace

On this longest of nights
and shortest of days
Thank the Great Universe
for the sun’s growing rays

From our house to yours
Yuletide blessings we send
So gracious life’s cycle
No beginnings, no end

For those who aren’t here
we’ve a hole in our lives
But because we’re all one
Their spirit survives

Their breath in the wind
Their voices are heard
in the chirping of crickets
and the sweet singing bird
In the great scheme of things
We’re connected to all
If one of us stumbles
Another may fall

So gather your loved ones
Your friends and your foes
We’re all in this together
Yes, that’s how it goes

Mother Nature can teach us
She’ll show us what’s best
If we learn from life’s lessons
she’ll do the rest

So let’s light our candles
on Winter Solstice night
Celebrate kindred spirit
and be one with the light

(My treasured muse shot this one out in about 20 minutes when I sat down to write a sentiment for my Winter Solstice greeting cards. A Blessed Winter Solstice to all!)

Janet K. Rauch

PoemHunter.com

 

Mother Nature Can Be Fickle

Winter Comments & Graphics

Mother Nature Can Be Fickle

Winter’s cold is Mother Nature’s way
Of saying, lie with me now, lay your head on my breast
It’s snow, a blanket under which to lay
Neath a crystal cover, enjoying winter’s cold caress

Frost rimed windows … Mother Nature’s art
Icy abstractions painted with frosty finesse
Crystalline concoctions that form only a part
Of Mother Natures wonderful winter largesse

Ice coated limbs of slope shouldered trees
droop drowsily down as if fallen asleep
Unable to sway in winter’s frigid breeze
Appear as white mounds, when the snow drifts deep

The stillness one hears on cold winter nights
Broken by the sudden crack of ice laden boughs
The ethereal essence of undulating northern lights
Headlights in the sky for Nature’s snowplows

All is withdrawn, in awe of Nature’s might
Willingly waiting, deep neath frozen ground
Safely sequestered, from winter’s cruel bite
In warm tunnels and burrows, til spring comes around

Mother Nature invites winter into her domain Cohabits with coldness, wantonly sleeps with Jack frost
Yet finds cold winter quickly falls to disdain
Invites in the spring…and tells winter to get lost

Mother Nature is fickle…and also the boss!

—–David Whalen

Blessings & Warmth to You On This Thursday Morn!

Good Morning, dear family & friends! I hope everyone is having a very warm and safe day. They have changed our weather forecast. Our bad weather is suppose to hit this afternoon. We are suppose to have mostly ice here. I can tell you I would much rather have the snow than the ice any day. We can’t very well argue with Mother Nature though. Just accept what we are given and go on about it.

We did get all of our supplies yesterday and have battened down the hatches. So we are ready, I guess. I just don’t want to think about losing power. I remember last time. At first it was like an adventure but by day 8, the night was closing in and I was about ready to strangle someone. It is nice to spend time with people but when you are trapped with them for several day, get real! Enough is enough, lol! I am just kidding. I am not the only one that felt this way. Even the best of friends trapped for long periods of time will get on each other’s nerve. I know after so long the cat became a pain in the rump. I would catnap during the day because at night we would use kerosene heaters or a big LP camp stove to keep the place warm. Well the darn cat would catch which other was on and try to lay right on top of it. I stayed up making sure the cat didn’t catch on fire and burn us up and we didn’t run out of oxygen and kill ourselves. Oh, what fun is was!

So I beg you again, please keep us in your prayers that we don’t lose power and stay safe during the upcoming storm. And to remind you, in case you don’t hear from us within a day or two, send help! Lots of it, too! Out here, when the power goes out, we lose our telephones. Why? I don’t know. I guess that is one of the many problems you have to put up with when dealing with a Co-Op. But send in the Mounties, please!

Enough with the silliness, I know there are some already suffering from the winter storm. My heart goes out to you and yours. I pray that you stay in and stay safe. If you have power and the internet, spend the day with us. I am sure after reading all this, it will warm your hearts, lol!  I can’t help it, I am a big baby witch. I am use to all the modern conveniences, especially power and heat. Those happen to be two of my favorites in the Winter. I honestly don’t see how our ancestors and the cave people made it. But I guess they didn’t miss what they never had. Perhaps we are too spoiled these days. Truthfully, I don’t know too many people that ain’t spoiled these days. Even the hunters around here tickle me. They will brag and talk about how they are great outdoorsmen and they are rough and tough, yeah right! They want to come home to a nice warm house, a freshly brewed pot of coffee and the TV. Yeah, they are really tough and rough outdoorsmen, lol!

Well enough with the poop! I hope everyone has a great day. Please stay safe and warm. If you have to do any traveling, be extra careful because I expect to see all of you back here tomorrow. Have a very blessed day & may the Goddess watch over us all.

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

Calendar of the Moon for December 4th

Calendar of the Moon

Elder Tree Month

Color: Russet
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a russet cloth set three black candles, a cauldron filled with water, a vase filled with elder branches, a cup of dried elderberries, and a knife.
Offerings: Give aid to the elders in the House, and outside.
Daily Meal: Soups and stews, and soft foods.

Ruis Invocation

Call: Hail the month of passing.
Response: For all things pass away.
Call: Hail the month of waning.
Response: For all things must fade and die.
Call: Hail the month of creaking wood.
Response: Hail the month of creaking bones.
Call: Hail the month of the dwindling Sun.
Response: Hail the time of all endings.
Call: For even as we began the year in silence,
Response: So we shall end the year in silence.
Call: For even as we began the year with chill winds of newness,
Response: So we shall end the year with chill winds of darkness.
Call: May the raven croak his warning from the bare branches.
Response: May the deer leave her footprints in the wake of the first snows.
Call: We will surrender ourselves to the darkness.
Response: Yet even with that surrender, we shall not pass away.
Call: For the seed that was grown in the spring still lives.
Response: Its life force is given back to the Earth.
Call: Its life force is given back to the Maker of new life.
Response: And new life shall spring forth in time.
Call: This is the moment of waiting for the end.
Response: This is the moment of bowed heads.
Call: Elder Goddess, teach us to praise loss, death, and the passing of all things.
Response: For from this flux we know your blessings flow.

Chant: In the eye of the Moon
We walk willingly
Into the darkness.

[Pagan Book of Hours]