Friday, May 30, 2014

Lovely thunderstorm!

I was unsure if I'd even get to post, for all the lightning that was going on out there! I haven't seen lightning in ages!

I actually got back to 5 minutes of meditation each of the last two days. It's not much, but it does help. I set the timer on my cell phone so I don't have to hear ticking from the kitchen timer and I don't have to think "When will this be over, when will this be over, how long have I been doing this...."....can you tell I'm a novice meditater (Meditator? How would one spell that?)? At any rate, even 5 minutes feels good, I tell ya.

Been posting to a Facebook page called The 2014 Gratitude Challenge. It does change my focus of each day to start out with an attitude of gratitude. I post most days.

I think my spiritual practice is changing a bit...not my religion, but my actual practice. It WAS self-blessing, meditate or prayer, journal, ground, shield...NOW it's ground and shield all the time, bless the water in the shower every day, thank the elements (in the shower-- it works, but I do most of my spiritual practice in the shower each morning), ask each morning for help staying sober and clean, and not tempted by things I don't need to be, remind myself to be kind and compassionate and hopefully humble, give thanks at night for all those things.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring is a'rollin' along

It's getting SO GREEN, here!

In the South, I was kind of like... well, as a Pagan I was like "Duh, Midsummer is called Midsummer for a reason-- it's the secular calendar that's wrong! It's not the first day of summer!"...for instance.

Well, up here in MA, it surely is a whole bunch of season behind Asheville. I think it's gotten above 70* all of three times thus far. Once it was 85* but the other two times was maybe 73*. I haven't checked the weather in Asheville but I wouldn't be surprised if it's full-on summer already.

Which, this weather is fine by me. I love it just a tad cooler. I am just fine at maybe 80* tops. I am loving this. Still 45ish at night.

I was reading up on witches and granny-women and magic here in New England...I think that they're much the same everywhere you go. As in, folk magics. Omens and signs and such, and little magics. Today, I saw a bird cross my path from left to right-- three separate times! I hear that is a good omen. I hope so.

And, my cat blessed me with three whiskers-- not all at once! But cat whiskers are good for traveling, because a cat can always find its way home, so I emptied out an Altoids tin and put them in there and today I put them in the car. I think I should take them back out and bless them somehow and then put them back in there. Also, I have hanging from my rearview a talisman that Byron Ballard made for me when I left Asheville. I am traveling back there in 5 or 6 weeks and I need to recharge that, somehow, too.

Random musings...I'm rather scattered today. But that's alright.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The skunk cabbage is rolled up and I now have two fat cigars of it, tied up with embroidery floss. It's still not drying much, and I hope it does not rot or mildew before it does. is an experiment after all.

Someone I know has a huge yardful of dandelions. Yesterday I snipped off a bunch of dandelion heads because I saw a recipe online on how to make a salve, or a bar that you use for dry skin, out of them. They're drying a bit in a 8x8 pan, so they don't mold in the oil that I'm going to next infuse them in.

I love nature. I love how it provides things we need, if only we look. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that dandelion is his favorite flower, and I chimed in that it's mine, too, and a comment said "I thought dandelion is a weed, not a flower?"
My answer to that was, "weed" is in the eye of the beholder. Tiny little suns all over my friend's yard. I saw a couple of beautiful honey-colored bees nipping and tasting at the dandelions. I made sure to leave plenty of them for the bees.
I'm thinking of getting a bee tattoo. Maybe.

Also, I got a peppermint plant and a rosemary plant, in pots. I haven't grown these things indoors before. Well, rosemary I tried to keep over the winter, and it did not last-- yum on salmon, anyway! I hope these last. I wonder if my peppermint gets big if it will proliferate outside in the back "yard".

On Beltane I had lots of plans-- was going to go to a semi-public ritual I heard about, but we got up late and slugged about, and then I got a badly upset stomach which lasted all day long. Good thing we didn't go, because their porta-pot got flooded, I hear.
This weekend, though, my new little group of 4 or 5 is having our Beltane ritual. I love how Beltane can last the whole month of May!

Blessed Beltane! Blessed summer.

Friday, May 2, 2014

And, I was right. Father Wiinter is indeed gone 'till next year. The weather right now is back and forth and back and rained HARD for the last couple days. Yesterday morning started out cold and chill and raw and rainy, and by the time the day was over, it was 60 and sunny.

I have to say, I love the seasons up here, so far. I am actually appreciating Spring for the first time in years. I mean really, really appreciating. Because I hate summer. And Asheville, while very lovely indeed, just more-or-less stopped having a true Winter, by the time we left it, and there were times it felt like it went right from late Autumn to Summer, by February.
Don't get me wrong-- I'm very much a mountain gal now, and I miss Asheville acutely most of the time-- but the weather here,

I am going to go down to the empty, overgrown lot on the corner and appropriate some forsythia for my kitchen table. The lot doesn't appear to belong to anybody. All the other forsythia is on people's front lawns. BAD idea, borrowing theirs!
And, there are daffodils everywhere! I love that the Earth has chosen bright yellow to herald the Springtime. It's such a banner color.

Here is what I did yesterday. I pulled over to the side of the road and got me some skunk cabbage leaves. I rolled them, kind of like a cigar, and tied them up with embroidery floss. I'm going to see if they'll work for smudge, once they dry. Yes, stinky...but local. Someone I knew in Asheville was talking about cultural appropriation, and the use of sage smudge came up, which is a SW USA thing, not here, so she was going to try to make smudge of rabbit tobacco, which is native to the WNC mountains. I should ask her how that went. So it occurred to me that what is abundant up here is skunk cabbage. And we'll see if and how it turns out!