Your Animal Spirit for August 28th is The Beaver

Beaver

Beaver may be one of the hardest working animals on the planet. Beaver is attuned to both earth and water medicine, and is strongly attached to home and family. Beaver appears in your reading to remind you that sometimes there’s no substitute for hard work. Make a plan, create a solid foundation, then take  the next indicated step.

Your Animal Spirit for August 17 is Beaver

Your Animal Spirit for Today
August 17, 2013

 

Beaver

Beaver may be one of the hardest working animals on the planet. Beaver is attuned to both earth and water medicine, and is strongly attached to home and family. Beaver appears in your reading to remind you that sometimes there’s no substitute for hard work. Make a plan, create a solid foundation, then take  the next indicated step.

The Witch Hunts of Old Hit Home

I have been thumbing through some of my books. Truthfully as I look through them, I can’t find anything at all that interests me to talk about. Except one thing that I learned about not to long ago that happened in my hometown.

All of my family came out of the mountains of Eastern and Central Kentucky. Most of the men were coal miners and the women were homemakers. I remember my father had come from a family of 13 children. There would have been 15 but two of them died as babies. My mother came from only a family of 3 children. Her baby sister passed on when she was 12 from lockjaw. She stepped on a rusty nail and there was no cure at the time. My father and mother met, married and moved to Western Kentucky. I grew up in this area and have lived here all my life. I always thought it was a very peaceful and lovely place to live. All those thoughts were scattered to the wind the other day. I learned of something terrible that had happened here. Down where the floodwall now stands on the other side of it, three witches were hanged. I cried.

The thought of those women or so called witches has been weighing on my mind. The is the first time, I had ever heard of the witch hunts and executions coming this far south. The details of the hanging are unknown to me. The names of the victims and what they were accused of is also. I want to know about these women. I feel a yearning to know. Perhaps it is a sisterhood or perhaps there Spirits are calling to me, I don’t know. But I want to find out.

I haven’t mentioned any of these to my husband yet. I know what he will say, “leave it alone. Don’t go snooping.” I had an aunt on my father’s side to just disappear. No one in the family ever talked about her. The only reason I know is because I did a little genealogy on my own. She showed up in the censuses and I also found a birth record of her. I even asked my sister about her and she had never heard of her either. It was always public knowledge that women on both sides of the family practiced healings and witchcraft. It makes me wonder if one of those women could have been my aunt.

I cannot even begin to think how to go about researching something like this. I know my husband runs across transcripts of Witch Trials no one had ever heard of before. He gave me one not to long ago about a trial in Pennsylvania that I have found no record of anywhere. I would love to find out more about these women. I would especially like to know if one of them was my aunt.

Perhaps this explains the strong feelings I have in regards to the Burning Times. Perhaps it explains why I am always talking about our Ancestors. I know I had several stoned and hung, distant ones not like an aunt. To me, an aunt is blood, real blood. I feel a responsible to find out what happened to her. Then I stop to think, if it was my aunt could I honestly handle the cruelty that I found out she suffered. Who knows if she was an actually practitioner? She might have been one of my relatives that was completely innocent. The thought of that makes me sick. The thought of her being tortured and no telling what else, just to make her confess. Then taken out to a gallows or even a tree and hung, it makes me cry. It is different when you read and heard about the old ones back in the 1600’s. But when you wonder if one of these women could have been your  aunt hung back in the early 1900’s. It hits home. It hits you square in your heart and soul.

The cruelty of people. How could people treat any of them the way they did? Did these people have any regrets? Didn’t they have any compassion for another human being? What happened back then, did the world go mad? I guess due to my tolerance and compassion for others, I will never understand it.

All I know is I want to know who these women were. Whether any of them were my aunt or not, I pray the Goddess gave them peace and comfort. I truly pray they were reborn into a much kinder and gentler world from which they came.

Your Animal Spirit for September 2 is The Beaver

Your Animal Spirit for Today
September 2, 2012

 

Beaver

Beaver may be one of the hardest working animals on the planet. Beaver is attuned to both earth and water medicine, and is strongly attached to home and family. Beaver appears in your reading to remind you that sometimes there’s no substitute for hard work. Make a plan, create a solid foundation, then take  the next indicated step.

SPELL TO BIND AN INHERITANCE

SPELL TO BIND AN INHERITANCE

First, you must obtain a porcupine quill. Granted, this isn’t an easy thing to do in this
day and age, but unfortunately, it is the only way.
Once you have the porcupine quill, the remainder of your spellwork will be a breeze.
Rub the porcupine quill with essence of Mir, which may be obtained without a prescription
from any apothecary. While stroking the quill with essence of Mir, intone the following:
Goddess of Mir, Queen of Night,
Confound mine enemies;
Prick (person’s name) with compunction,
Baffle (him/her) with blood.
(Prick your thumb with the quill and squeeze out a few drops on a smoking brazier)
Queen of Night, fair Proserpine,
Confound mine enemies;
Open (name’s) eyes so that (he/she) may do My bidding.
(Spit upon the brazier)
Artemis, brave Huntress,
Confound mine enemies;
Let the arrow find its mark.
(Blow upon the coals of the brazier until they glow fiery red)
Aphrodite, ruler of Hearts,
Confound mine enemies;
Let justice rain down from Heaven.
(Pour a libation of rainwater upon the brazier until it is extinguished; lay the porcupine
quill upon the extinguished coals.) So mote it be!
(After ensuring that the coals are extinguished, nail a live salamander to the wall)
This is a totally binding spell, so be sure that this is what you really want.

And Last But Not Least, Our Special Kitty Of The Day for March 9th!

Sylvia, the Cat of the Day
Name: Sylvia
Age: Twelve years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Domestic Short Hair
Home: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Presenting to Cat of the Day fans – Sylvia! She came to my life nearly twelve years ago – a stray kitten from a stray-friendly neighborhood. I was in the market for a new companion, having recently said goodbye to her predecessor, alas the Rainbow Bridge welcomed another angel. Soon after, I welcomed this sweet angel to my life.

Sylvia is wonderful; a true Diva Cat with many admirable qualities. She is open minded; calmly receptive to new experiences and new people, and curious about unfamiliar foods. As You can see, she loves to be outside when the weather is nice! In the city, enjoying her outdoor domain means being tethered on the balcony, but Sylvia, true to her name’s meaning, “from the forest”, is also an adventurous hiker. When the opportunity presents to walk in secluded woods, she walks right along with me – if we should lose line of sight between us, the ‘meowing’ begins! It is such fun to walk in woods with Sylvia as she meows occasionally to make sure we don’t get too separated. Very smart on her part as well, as her coat blends perfectly with Pennsylvania forest floors. If she would ever choose to strike out alone, I would be hard pressed to find her. Luckily for me, she believes that adventures are fun, but home is best!

Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb. 23 – A Zodiacal Skyscape

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 February 23
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

A Zodiacal Skyscape
Image Credit & Copyright: Jack Fusco 

Explanation: Venus and Jupiter are this month’s two brightest planets. Shortly after sunset on February 20, they dominate the sky above the western horizon and this snowy landscape. In clear and transparent skies over Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania, USA, they are also seen immersed in Zodiacal light. The extended, diffuse, triangular glow is sunlight scattered by dust along the plane of the ecliptic. Brighter near the horizon, the Zodiacal glow angles upward, first to Venus and then to Jupiter hugging the ecliptic as they orbit the Sun. Fading even further, the glow stretches toward the lovely Pleides star cluster near the top of the frame. Following their appearance in this Zodiacal skyscape, the coming days will see Venus and Jupiter sharing the early evening sky with a young crescent Moon. The two bright planets are even headed for a close pairing or conjunction, separated by about 3 degrees on March 13.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for February 17th

Dixie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Dixie
Age: Fifteen months old
Gender: Female Breed: Boxer, German Shorthaired Pointer
Home: Pennsylvania, USA
This is Dixie. She is such a fun loving dog and brings joy to everyone in the house. She shares a birthday with my younger sister, which makes her even more special to the rest of the family. We have two other dogs in the house as well, a female lab named Sandy who is only a week older than Dixie, and an elderly black lab mix named Bear. They all get along just fine, especially the younger two, who will wrestle and play all day long if we let them.

Dixie is a great companion, and she goes with me everywhere I can possibly take her, including school! I am studying to be a Veterinary Technician, and I often bring her to my campus with me; dogs are welcomed there with open arms. She loves going for rides in the truck, no matter how far, and she especially likes the small fries I sometimes get her at the drive through. She is a very active dog and enjoys going for walks and her favorite form of exercise is swimming! She could swim for hours upon hours if I didn’t call her out of the water so she could rest. I love going fishing, and she is always by my side-as you can see in the picture with water in the background. She is very curious about the fish I catch though – not quite sure what to make of them.

Dixie also makes me laugh every day, whether she won’t stop licking me or she is burying her body under my blankets in a game of hide and seek, I always get a kick out her. I love Dixie with all of my heart and she brings so much joy and excitement to my otherwise pretty ordinary life.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for Feb. 14th

Wilson, the Dog of the Day
Name: Wilson
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male Breed: Miniature Poodle
Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Wilson is my adopted shelter dog who is the subject of my children’s books, “Wilson Gets Adopted” and “Wilson Learns Manners” – which helps children learn manners, too – and the spring release will be “Wilson and the White House Pups.” I post Wilson in costumes on his website, Wilson Gets Adopted.com.

I found Wilson on Petfinder, I was looking for a small non allergenic dog to be compatible with my two Havanese. He was four years old then, and he is six now. His first book tells, of course, of his adoption, but it starts with his early life – he ended up in rescue because his former owner was an elderly man who got sick, and couldn’t keep him anymore.

Wilson is friendly, loves to be in front of the camera and be on TV shows. As he was a rescue, I thought he might be mixed with Bichon or some other breed, but we had DNA testing done, and he’s purebred poodle! So that proves you can find purebred dogs in rescue!

He learned tricks when he came to live with us, SIT, FETCH, PAW, DOWN, STAY, and he was an apartment dog with his first owner, so my two dogs taught him to go outside. He loves being dressed up – the attention and the treats are part of the deal!

Wilson is a true “lap dog“, if I let him, he would stay on my lap all day! He gives kisses and snuggles. He’s the best.

Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Groundhog Day Comments

The cute, adorable, fuzzy weatherman saw his shadow. So I’m doomed I tell you, doomed. Six More Weeks of Winter, Yuck! It would be lovely to have some beautiful snow but we don’t, it just gets cold.

So did the groundhog see his shadow in your neck of the woods?

Magickal Graphics

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

Author: Devon, The Maid Of Epona

I’ve been a practicing solitary witch for a little more than ten years. I have just recently decided to wear my pentacle openly.

Does that mean I’m out of the broom closet? Heavens no! I like to describe myself as having one foot in and the other out of the proverbial broom closet. I believe this to be the smart way to be, living where I live. Hey! Pennsylvania isn’t California!

I’m not a militant pagan although I do have a serious warrior’s streak. But being a warrior also means picking and choosing your fights. I work in the small animal business in one job and in the horse business in the other.

When working in the horse business, keeping your mouth shut about what faith you are, especially if it is an alternative faith that is greatly misunderstood by others, is the wiser way to go.

If I were to be open to everyone about my faith, it would have a detrimental effect on my career. People in the horse business would immediately assume that I was one of those “tree hugging, wackos” and I suddenly wouldn’t get hired or be able to buy or sell horses because gossip runs rampant in stables and sometimes is taken to be truer than the Bible! I also deal with many of the Amish community and I hide my pentacle out of deference to their beliefs.

So I pick and choose when and where to display my symbol of faith openly. I have also made an agreement with myself that, when I wear my pentacle openly, and someone questions my faith, then I must answer truthfully and intelligently.

I tell them that my pentacle stands for the four elements and the element of spirit. I tell them that it is a symbol of wholeness and balance, not of negativity and hatred. And its meaning cannot be twisted by reversing its direction, at least not in my eyes!

The first day I wore my pentacle, I walked about with a heightened sense of awareness, waiting for everybody to judge me. I guess I was expecting the whole world to gasp, point their fingers and declare me a witch in that tone of voice that meant nothing good. The actual reaction of people was much more subdued and confused.

Instead, the only question I had to deal with was, “I didn’t know you’re Jewish!”

Do you know how hard it is not to roll your eyes at someone and exclaim, “What? Can’t you count”?

I took a real risk this past Christmas. My husband had given me two gifts I picked out from our favorite knife catalog; an unusual knife and a pentacle decorated with red gems that I thought was pretty. So what it wasn’t silver!

Well pictures in catalogs can be deceiving!

I thought the pentacle to be modestly sized and the knife to be around the size of a Bowie knife. Well the truth was things were reversed.

The knife was the size of a pocketknife. The pentacle was big. REALLY BIG!

Try a pentacle with some serious attitude and lots of bling to the red gems on it. There was no mistaking it when I chose to wear out. It just reeled you in. Ooooh boy!

Then I decided to wear it out and obvious to a family function. Hey! It was a Christmas gift from my hubby that I still really liked in spite of the size. I wanted to show off my sparkly!

Now, not all of my family knows my religious denomination but most are aware. My parents are a blessing from the Goddess! They approve as long as I don’t go around trying to convert everybody. My brother and sister know and are open minded enough to not make a big deal about such things. My cousins even know and are cool with it.

My uncle? Well, lets just say his religious views scare me! He attends an ultra conservative church that has several ministers, several auditorium sized rooms for worship and boasts an attendance of several thousand people.

I was told to never tell my uncle what religion I was.

He was coming to the party as well.

I probably should NOT have worn the pentacle. But I did.

I also chose to disguise it with my new fashion statement, which was to wear cowboy clothes. You see, in the western horse show world, they have this design that is called a Texas star. It’s like a sheriff’s badge. Hmmm. Guess what? That’s a pentacle!

So I immediately went out and got my western show attire decorated in “Texas Stars”. I’ve got them on my hat and even my horse’s saddle and bridle sport little “pentacles”. No, I won’t wear ten million pentacles on myself but I’ll completely festoon my poor, long suffering horse with them!

Anyway, I showed up at the party with my hunka, big, new pentacle and my “Texas Star” hat. And my uncle showed up later. He looked directly at my new pentacle and then me and my newly dyed, black hair.

And then he asked if I’d had any of the steamed shrimp he brought.

I felt like I had had the rug pulled out from under me. I tried not to laugh my relief.

The pentacle was a big hit though.

Two people asked about it and my religious persuasion. I found out that they also were open-minded and we had a lovely evening chatting about esoteric things. Those conversations would have probably never happened if I hadn’t been daring enough to chance wearing it out.

But the real point of the matter is this: A pentacle, or a cross, or a Jewish star, or whatever symbol you choose to wear is nothing but a piece of jewelry unless the belief is behind it to make it more.

Those Wiccans that chose not to wear a pentacle or any other symbol of faith, does that make them any less of a Wiccan? No.

Sometimes I wear my pentacle and sometimes I wear my favorite jade horse pendant. They are both symbols of faith in my opinion and are as important to me as the cross is to someone else.

But I am not a Wiccan because I choose to wear a pentacle. I am Wiccan because that is what language my heart sings.

And no one can change what you feel in your heart. You can only choose whether or not to speak it.

Do you wear your pentacle on your skin or in your heart?

Special Kitty of the Day for Jan. 11th

Maggie Rose, the Cat of the Day
Name: Maggie Rose
Age: Ten years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Chocolate Point Birman
Home: Holland, Pennsylvania, USA
Krom the time she arrived at age three months, weighing 2.9 pounds, Maggie Rose (aka Her Maggieness) has ruled the house. She has to share it with another Birman, two-year-old Sophia Grace (who is her half sister). But definitely, in her mind, everything in the house belongs to her! She didn’t become a lap cat until after the age of two, but now she follows me around and has to get on my lap whenever it is available. In the photo, her attitude is “This is mylap, even if there is already something on it!!!”. Of course, all of the many toys belong to her, although she does share them occasionally. And the computer printer holds a singular fascination – she will come running from wherever she is, out of a seemingly sound sleep, to attack the paper as it comes out of the printer.She is the consummate hostess cat, feeling it her duty to entertain all guests, even offering to use their lap for a sleeping place or to share their bed at night. Of course, in return, she expects them to play with her, as well as admire her. She tends to win over even those who wouldn’t have said they like cats! They must like Maggie!

Maggie Rose, the Cat of the Day


 

Earth Science Photo of the Day for December 26th

Crabapples in Snow

December 26, 2011

Crabapples-in-Snow

Photographer
: Ron Chapin; Ron’s School Website
Summary Author: Ron Chapin; Jim Foster

These festive looking crabapples were photographed near Sidney, New York, after an impressive, early-season snowfall. On October 29, 2011, a strong nor’easter dumped as much as 24 in (61 cm) of snow in interior, upland areas of New England and New York. Higher elevations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia were also snow covered. October snowfall in the northeast U.S. isn’t really rare; neither are nor’easters in October, but this storm was a record setter in that it produced so much snow so early in the season. The 4 in (10 cm) of snow that fell near Sidney melted away rather quickly — temperatures were well above freezing the day following the storm when this photo was taken. However, the added mass of snow on many trees still holding onto their leaves caused considerable limb damage and seriously compromised electrical power. Some unlucky residents in Connecticut were without electricity two weeks after the storm departed.

Motivational Thought of the Day 4/9

 “I’m strong of mind… strong of heart… I’m strong in spirit. There’s strength within my soul, strength in my body. I have passion & ambitions. I am driven… determined & I will not go down without a fight because I have fire burning on the inside. There’s something that whispers within & tells me…don’t give.up! I swear it. I won’t give up!”
Written in 2011 by Brianna G. — Pennsylvania