We Wish You & Yours All the Joy and Happiness Of This Holiday Season!

 

Good Tuesday Morning, my dear friends! And to those who celebrate Christmas, “Merry Christmas to You & Yours!” I know I am running late, what’s new! I mean really. I can never get anywhere on time anymore. But today I was very relaxed and laid back because I actually get to work from home!!!! Peace and quiet, brother who am I kidding? I got up this morning and wasn’t really planning on doing anything. Then I got to cleaning a little here and a little there. Well you know how it is, before it’s over with you have cleaned the entire house. But as I was cleaning I was thinking about what to say today on the site. Deep down inside though, I was thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do like Samantha on “Bewitched.” You know twitch our little noses at this or that and ZAP it becomes the way we want it. Just going through life zapping our cares away. Making all the wrongs in the world right by just zapping. Having everything we desire by just zapping. Making our lives perfect by just zapping.

Unfortunately that’s not how it works and we know. We must endure what life deals our way. Whether it be great sadness, which we have experienced much too much of this year, or great joy. We all have to find a way to just survive. Get through one day at a time. I know what I am getting ready to ask you will be hard for some to do, but……during this long holiday season try to put all the sadness, bad experiences, losses you might have had, and trouble by the wayside for just a moment. Instead of thinking about all of those, think about the joy of this season. Think what this season is all about, let it feel your soul and your very essence. Breathe deeply, my friend. For you are breathing in the Love of the Goddess. She surrounds us completely. She is waiting for you to let Her give you great Joy and Happiness. All you have to do is just breathe deeply if only for a moment. She is there. She has Returned The Sun to Us. What a Blessing! We have the promise the darkness will soon end and the light will return to us. In this, we have the promise of starting anew, refreshing our souls, letting the Goddess enter our lives and guide us daily into the New Year.

For a moment, my friend, breathe, breathe deeply. Feel Our Glorious Goddess, let Her engulf you and fill you with the joy and happiness of this Blessed Season!

Much Love & Happiness To You & Yours,

Lady A

 

More Christmas Cards Comments

Calendar of the Sun for December 12th

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

About.com: 12 Days of Yule Devotionals (Day 8)

About.com

 

Day 8: Snow Prayer for Yule                              
Patti Wigington
From Patti Wigington, your Guide to Paganism /Wicca                                                                           
There’s a lot to be said for the beauty of snow. Welcome the white stuff with a prayer reminding us of why we love it.
 

Snow Prayer                            

Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.


From the reaches of the north,

a place of cold blue beauty,

comes to us the first winter storm.

Wind whipping, flakes flying,

the snow has fallen upon the earth,

keeping us close, keeping us together,

wrapped up as everything sleeps

beneath a blanket of white.

Additional Reading                            

You may at some point in the Yule season find yourself stuck inside — after all, if too much of the white stuff comes down, it’s hard to get anywhere! Stock up on reading material, and turn being snowbound into a family treat with Ten Great Books for Yule.
Tomorrow: A Prayer to the Old Gods                            

                                        This email is written by:                                                                      Patti Wigington                                                          Paganism / Wicca Guide                                        

Calendar of the Sun for December 2nd

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

My Tidings for You

“My tidings for you: the stag bells,
Winter snows, Summer is gone.

Wind high and cold, low the sun,
Short his course, sea running high.

Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone, The wild goose has raised his wonted cry.

Cold has caught the wings of birds.
Season of ice – these are my tidings.”

– Irish Poem, Translated by Caitlin Matthews

Calendar of the Sun for Jan. 23rd

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

by Michael Steward

Satirical, yet useful, home and garden article

The holidays are over. The festivities are ended. After the last decoration is alphabetically filed and boxed away for next year, and the last of the shreds of hand-stamped wrapping paper are finally in the color-coordinated recycle bin, a sense of emptiness ensues. No more extended weekends (except for those government employees who everyone else is jealous of). No more demiglace, gourmet eggnog, or cleverly decorated pagan ornaments.

Looking for that special way to shed light into your life during this dreary northwest post-holiday season weather? Here are some ideas to “Bring In The LightTM“.

Create a special illumination in your home to remind you that the sun is shining just above the clouds — and that you can reach up and pull down some of the much-needed solar warmth.

A Sun shaped talisman hanging from your window is always a good idea. Shavings of different colors of crayons make an excellent stained glass effect when ironed (on low heat) between two pieces of waxed paper. Mount this creation in a sun-shaped frame. Cut out two identical sun shapes from a piece of cardboard. Cover them in gold foil or gold leftover wrapping paper (that you made last season by hand in your basement). Add other crafty effects, such as beads, sparkling pipe cleaners, or tissue paper. Glue the stained glass in the center of the two frames, and hang in a window to remind you of those beautiful summer days not too far away.

You can also bring in the light with an easy painted effect on a boring white wall in your home. While it may seem intimidating at first, creating a feature wall in your home is actually quite easy, and the end result can freshen up any room! I think that yellow is an excellent way to brighten a boring old room. (Yes, YELLOW). Use a true bright lemon yellow. For a full wall you wont need more than a pint of paint. (You can, of course, use any color — but get the strongest version, as we will be watering down the paint in this process for a more subtle effect)

Move furniture away, and protect the baseboards and floor with masking tape and newspaper. In a roller pan mix a half-cup of yellow paint with 3 cups of warm (not hot) water. Mix it well. Keep the consistency opaque, but very viscous. Use a natural sponge with just a bit of paint on it and pat it on your wall, starting in the upper corner. Rotate the sponge continually so as not to leave identical marks on your wall. Spread the paint thin so that the

effect is subtle, yet refreshing. Work consistently from the corner in a fan shape, blending in each section as you go. Use a piece of cardboard to mask off adjacent walls.

In the garden — it’s time to get a start on spring annuals, and preparing for the seasons ahead! Here are the Monthly To-Do’s for the January Gardener:

  • Order seeds
  • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors
  • Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Move living Christmas trees outdoors
  • Plant or transplant frost-tolerant perennials
  • Plant bare-root roses
  • Apply dormant spray to bare-root roses
  • Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Prune winter-blooming shrubs and vines just after bloom
  • Apply dormant spray to trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Plant bare-root perennial vegetables
  • Sow seeds for cool-season vegetables
  • Protect tender plants from frost

Getting your hands in the dirt is one of the best ways to keep in touch with the earth `s cycle, and connect with the winter season in preparation for spring!

Good luck to you in the coming season! And remember, it’s a Blessed Thing.

4 Ways to Prepare for Winter

4 Ways to Prepare for Winter

 

The official start of winter is about a month away, and there are some practical things you can do around your home and yard now to get ready for the cold. Here are a few simple ways to prepare for winter.

1. Stay warm by sourcing good firewood

If you have a woodstove or fireplace, you’ll surely want to stock up on high-quality, well-seasoned firewood. For tips on splitting and seasoning your own wood, or getting a fair price for wood you purchase, read How to Get the Best Firewood for Clean and Affordable Energy.

2. Set up an emergency kit in case of power outages or winter storms

Sure, when the first big storm is brewing, you can run out to the store with most other folks to stock up on supplies—or, avoid the headache, and get ready now. The no-nonsense tips in Emergency Survival Kits tell you everything you need to know about being prepared.

3. Winterize your garden tools

Around this time of year, you’re likely to come across quite a few tips on winterizing your garden, but what about your trusty garden tools? Take care now to get those tools ready for winter, and they’ll be around for many more years. Learn more by reading How to Winterize Your Garden Tools.

4. Set up a hoop house to grow veggies throughout winter

Like eating fresh veggies all year? Love the idea of picking greens in January? A simple hoop house may be just the thing for you! There’s still a little time to get set up. Find inspiration in the story of a backyard hoop house gardener who harvests loads of goodies all winter.

Happy preparing!

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in small-scale, local food production (and consumption), cooking, organic gardening and waste reduction. In her spare time, she shares recipes and gardening tips in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

A Taste of Autumn

A Taste of Autumn

Author: Lady Rain StarDragon (Teresa Garcia)

Over the past several days, I’ve watched the maple tree between the laundry room window and the Mountain. Slowly, the vibrant green has yellowed to gold, and today, the whole tree now blazes a brilliant vermilion. Other trees still wear their green, like our own maples, while yet others are changing into their yellow robes. Across the street and all through the neighborhood, those that have apple trees have the golden and scarlet fruits of the season.

The air bites when I step out into the chill, sending a delicious shiver down my spine. I am constantly in a state of in between, my dragon self balances well with my human self, and so I can sense when my plumes stand up a little, and the shiver passes clear to the tip of my tail. When walking in this, the blasts of wind the town site was chosen for combs through my head and I can’t always resist the urge to spread my wings and revel in the feel.

Now is the time for hot apple pies heavy with cinnamon, and soon the pumpkins will be ready for harvest. Thoughts of warm pumpkin bread and persimmon cookies dance through my head. Sometime soon, I know that I will give in to the desire for pie, and indulge in the ecstasy that comes with baking, and then eating the fruits of my labors with loved ones.

The sky is gray, the clouds high and not touching the Mountain; yet again I’m sure the Mountain will wear a little more white. The wind and rain that caresses the land at night brings forth a purr from me, and inwardly I coil. Now is not the time to den though. This is the season of the harvest and the hunt.

Where Tia is, I know that she feels similar urges to mine. If I close my eyes, even during the day I can hear the short pant of her breath as we run through the forests in our dreams. Though we are different species, there are things that we share…

However, it is the waking world of physical form that I am in now, not the metaphysical one where not all is as it seems at first glance. Even in this waking world, I can practice my art. I can be One with Nature, draw it deeply into myself.

I have noticed that lately I have started wearing clothes that echo the changing leaves, a subconscious nod to the stately trees that teach me so much. The trees begin to draw their essence further inside of themselves, and I do as well.

The chill encourages this, this time of introspection and preparation. Now is a good time to finish things, and then I can have a little rest. The earth murmurs softly as the wind passes by, a reminder that change is the only constant.

The ranges around are still mostly green; various evergreens make up most of our forests here, despite the deciduous trees that are beginning their turning.

It is said that at this time, the veil between worlds is thin, and I’m inclined to believe it. I’ve always noticed that at this time of year, dreams become easier to recall and more vivid. It could be inspired by the weather, which inspired deep contemplation, but there is more to it.

The pendulum swings and the wheel turns, this is the way of my world. The voices grow louder, and sometimes even those that aren’t particularly open have interesting experiences.

It is also said that, in folklore and traditionally, anything left in the fields after the 31, must be left for the fey folk. Not only is it easier to pass between worlds, but they need food as well… It’s said that they blight anything left in the fields, I have sometimes wondered whether it’s because of the freeze possibility messing with the food, or whether it’s from them taking the essence… or some combination. At any rate, much of modern society doesn’t seem to follow this.

Perhaps it is a good idea to let the late stuff stay though… the nutrients return to the ground to nourish the earth, and animals have food to eat… The deer will not be quite so hungry, and the predators will benefit from this, but so will those prey animals that are fed upon. With the scat and vegetation turned under, the soil will be richer, and we will have a little less impact. But these are random thoughts as I let myself mingle with the season.

The waters grow colder with the temperature changes, and soon enough the lakes will begin to freeze. Ice will form over the rivers, though some larger ones will stay unfrozen. Small streams will sleep. But for now, we are between, and Summer mixes with Winter to make this Autumn.

Some traditions depict this time as a War between the two Kings of Summer and Winter. I’ve often thought of it more as the union of Summer and Winter, the blending and uniting of the two… male and female each season, yet neither sex as well. Two forces or essences swirling and merging, pressing into each other until at last… one gives with a last sleepy sigh and gentle nuzzle.

Summer sleeps then in the arms of Winter, and he/she covers them both with a mantle of snow as he/she watches the Beloved sleep and incubate the new life, resting for the next shifting in the Spring.

This is the Deep Magic, working with these forces that eternally shift and merge, draw apart and dance together again. This is what holds me trapped as I dance with Life and Death, Growth and Rest.

When people ask me what I think about the weather, I never know how to answer them in the moment. It is the weather, and the season, and I am a part of it, responding ever to the promptings. I’d like to share the ecstasy that a good gust of wind gives me as it passes by, leaves swirling giddily in its wake.

This is all that I can do… leave you with a taste and a touch, and let you hear the sighs of Summer and Winter in their Autumn Meeting.

Feng Shui Tip of the Day for July 24 – Parents’ Day Today

Honor thy father and they mother, especially on today’s ‘Parent’s Day.’ In fact, there is actually a particular place inside your living space that allows you to energetically do exactly that. Often referred to as the Ancestors area in Feng Shui, this arena of your home additionally relates to other members of your family, past and present. Putting an image of something called ‘The Hundred Birds’ in this same space will ensure that riches and honor follow your parents, siblings and other family members, until the close of life. This image also promises parents a vast variety of opportunities, flexibility, good health, easy-going days and harmonious nights. Strong and hardy evergreen plants put here will help the health of Dad and a well placed peace lily will aid all efforts at healing Mom. Three healthy plants kept in this arena will represent balance and blooming love between you and your parents and give your roots and family tree excellent energies of mutual support!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com