Today’s I Ching Hexagram for January 10 is 37: Community

37: Community

Thursday, Jan 10th, 2013

hexagram09

 

 

 

 

A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!

Corn Wealth Spell

Witchy Comments

CORN WEALTH SPELL

For wealth and prosperity for a year, take the husk from an ear of corn and put
a dollar bill along with a note written on parchment,
“Oh, dear god of luck,
money is like muck,
not good except it be spread.
Spread some here at————–(write in your address).
Blessed Be.”
Sign your name.
Sprinkle the dollar bill and note with Coltsfoot leaves.
Roll the husk up and tie together with green string or ribbon.
Hang the token up above the entryway with green cord.
That husk should bring riches into your home or business by the bushel.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 14th is 11:Harmony

11: Harmony

Friday, Dec 14th, 2012

hexagram09

 

 

 

 

The trigram earth is above that of heaven, and heaven seems to be on earth. The gravity of matter merges with the upward radiation of light to merge in deep harmony. This juxtaposition denotes a time of peace and blessings for all living things. In the affairs of humans, tranquility comes when the good, strong and powerful show favor to those of lower status, and those of more modes means are well disposed towards those who are currently blessed. This condition marks an end to feuding. In such a state, it is best to let the energy ride high. The way is cleared, and the prospects for great success are outstanding.

Chaotic forces still abide in nature, but man, by carefully responding to the rhythms and cycles of the world around him, can find peace in the natural world. By planting the right crop in the right place in the right season, the farmer brings harmony to the cultivation of plants, and prosperity to his family. Similarly, any business must adjust to the natural cycles of the season; only through flexibility and adaptation can order and growth be maintained. Peaceful times produce a time of flowering and prosperity; the wise person channels positive energy to all quarters, to each in proper proportion, just as a farmer waters his field. But be vigilant. Otherwise, peaceful conditions will foster the growth of weeds as well as flowers.

Calendar of the Sun for November 9th

Calendar of the Sun

Media Autumnus

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a brown cloth, an earthenware jug of water, dried stalks of yarrow in a vase, and incense of many woods. In front of the altar set a great empty barrel, an earthen pot of soil, another of the day’s vegetation garbage, a smaller one of wood ashes, and a basket of gathered dried leaves.
Offerings: Bits of hair or fingernail parings.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Autumnus Invocation

Let us invest in the Earth
Beneath our feet
And see our returns in millenniums.
Let us say that our main crop
Is the ancient forest
Which we did not plant
And will not live to harvest.
Let us say that the leaves
Are harvested when
They have rotted into the mold.
Let us call that our profit,
And prophesy such returns.
Let us put our faith in the two inches
Of humus that will build
Under the trees every thousand years.
Let us listen to carrion.
Let us put our ears close and hear
The faint chatterings
Of the songs that are yet to come.

Chant:
Clay receives you
Earth has chosen you
Worms prepare you
Earth encloses you

(During the chant, several who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forward and add the garbage, the ashes, the soil, the dried leaves, the yarrow, and finally the water to the compost barrel. It is removed again to the corner until Spring.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Organic Farming vs. Industrial Agriculture: Which Method Wins?

Organic Farming vs. Industrial Agriculture: Which Method  Wins?

Since 1981, the Rodale Institute has been doing side-by-side trials of  organically-grown and conventionally-grown corn and soybeans to see how organic  farming really stacks up against industrial agriculture and GMOs. What they are  finding might surprise you.

You can check out the entire report here (pdf), but these  are a few of the key points:

  • During times of drought, organic farming outperforms conventional methods by  31 percent.
  • Organic farming yields are about the same as conventional yields under  normal weather conditions.
  • Organic farming uses 45 percent less energy than conventional.

Researchers think that the higher yields during drought are due to improved  soil quality from organic farming, which makes the soil better at holding on to  water. The organic soil retained 15 to 20 percent more water than soil on the  conventional land.

The other area where organics outperformed conventional plants was in weed  tolerance. Because organic farming principles include biodiversity and crop  rotation, the organic crops were naturally more weed resistant. That’s in stark  contrast to industrial farming, where pesticide overuse is breeding superweeds.

Of course, there are big bucks in conventional agriculture, especially the  expensive proprietary seeds and the fertilizers that go with them. It’s no  surprise then that the pro-GMO lobby is hard at work trying to convince us that  GMOs are the key to feeding our world’s exploding population. One argument that  I see a lot from the pro-GMO crowd is that if you’re anti-GMO you’re anti  science. Thirty years of side-by-side trials strikes me as some pretty solid  science.

What do you guys think? Do you think that organic farming can feed  the world?

 

Daily Feng Shui Tip for Monday, June 11th

Many moons ago I started studying Native American spiritual concepts and cultural ceremonies. And I learned that many Native American tribes refer to their god as the Great Spirit, and they would honor this powerful Universal force by offering blue corn as a gift. So on this ‘Corn on the Cob Day’ I am reminded that corn has a played a central role in North and Central American religions for thousands of years. The Maya and the Navajo both believe that humans are created from corn, and nearly every Native American tribe wove corn into their sacred ceremonies. The Corn Mother, perhaps the most widely worshipped deity in pre-Colombian America, symbolized fertility, resurrection and eternity, so corn was considered a magical a gift to the Mother Goddess. The Hopi tribe used it as part of their prediction processes. In fact, each of us can learn to bring that ancient exercise into our modern lives. Fill a small bowl with exactly thirty kernels of dried corn of any color. Then, concentrating on a specific question, take a random number of kernels from the bowl and place them on a table. Divide them into groups of four. If there is an even number of piles with an even number of leftover kernels, the answer to your question will be favorable. However, if the piles and leftover add up to an odd number, then the answer to your question will be negative. Lastly, if you are left with an even number of piles but an odd number of leftovers, confusion could reign. Finally, an old wives tale says that hiccups can cured by naming three kernels of corn after three friends, placing them in a receptacle of water and holding it over your head. Corny as that sounds, I’ve tried it and it works!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Earth Goddesses – CORN WOMAN

Earth Goddesses – CORN WOMAN 

In Native American lore, it is the Corn Woman who is known as the “first mother.” It is said that there was once a time of great famine. The Corn Woman went to her husband and asked that he kill her. The husband, distraught, went to the tribe’s teacher, who confirmed that he must do as his wife asked. With great reluctance, he complied. He dragged her body around a field and burned her in the center of it. In a few months, corn and tobacco filled the field, saving the tribe from starvation.

In the Pawnee tribe, Corn Woman held rule over the west, while Buffalo Woman held the east. Together they guaranteed that the tribe had both meat and corn.

In one of the earliest tales, we find that the Corn Woman emerged from an older world, one in which animals were not slaughtered for food and hides but rather were treated as kin. The old world had a greater respect for life, be it animal or human. The people began to lose balance and greed crept in. The deer set forth a punishment for any who would eat of its flesh – man’s first known disease. Corn Woman thought it was time to begin again and restore balance and harmony to the people.

She watched her grandsons preparing to go out to hunt and asked them to stay. She said she would cook the finest meal they had ever tasted. The grandsons replied that they were hunters and must hunt, Corn Woman nodded sadly and went about creating her meal, but not before she asked her grandsons to respect the animal life they came across in the forest. The grandsons laughed.

Corn Woman cooked, all the while singing and blessing the food. When her grandsons returned home, she saw that they had killed a wild pig. She said nothing. They sat down and began to eat of her feast. Loudly, the grandsons proclaimed the food the best they had ever tasted and proceeded to eat their fill. They asked her where she had gotten the corn, but she did not answer. She just listened to the compliments and smiled.

The next day, the young men again reached for their weapons. Corn Woman cooked again. The aromas from her kitchen reached them out in the woods as they hunted. That day, they brought home a slain deer. Corn Woman said nothing. The grandsons gifted her with the deer, and she recognized it as an honor and so returned it to the forest. She sang long into the night, invading the dreams of her grandsons.

When they awoke the next morning, instead of reaching for their weapons, the grandsons asked Corn Woman to make them breakfast. She did and they ate until they were sleepy again. When they awoke from their naps, they gathered their weapons and set about preparing to hunt. Corn Woman asked the not to go. She said, “we have so much food already.” The grandsons said they were hunters and set out toward the forest. Corn Woman called after them to respect animal life.

While on the hunt, one of the young men asked the other where Corn Woman got all the corn she was using to cook with. The other man replied that he did not care and the he knew Corn Woman would only give him what was good for him. They returned home with a turkey but once again sat down to a delightful meal of corn.

After many days of wondering, the younger of the two grandsons decided to sneak back to the home and find out where Corn Woman was getting all of the corn. As he watched, she slapped her sides and the corn fell out of her body and into a basket at her side. He ran to tell his older brother. The eldest grandson was upset. He said. “this is a bad thing, an unnatural thing. We cannot eat our grandmother. Something has taken hold of her.”

That night the grandsons returned home in fear. Corn Woman piled their plates high but the two could not eat. Her heart grew heavy as she realized that they knew her secret. She began to age rapidly before their eyes. The youngest started to cry and beg forgiveness. Corn Woman replied, “Listen well, child. For I have no long as I am to tell you all you need know. I am the Corn Mother. I a her for your abundance, harmony, health and peace. When I pass, you are to drag my body through the field and plant me in the center. I will come back to you as tall, glorious plant, with yellow hair at my fruit. Do not eat all of the seeds; save some for the planting again the next year, so that I might be with you forever.” The grandsons swore to do as she wished. Thereafter they refused to hunt unless they were on the verge of starvation. Hence, balance and harmony returned to the people.

In the Navajo tribe, we find variations of the Corn Woman. According to Navajo beliefs, there was a Corn Girl (yellow corn) and a Corn Boy (white corn) sent forth by the creator god to bring corn to the tribe. Corn was sacred and the main food of the people and was also used in religious ceremonies. Shaman’s masks were fed corn meal to “bring them into being,” or animate them.

The Aztecs have their own version of the Corn Woman in Chicomecoatl, the goddess of sustenance. It was thought that yearly sacrifices held in her honor assured a good crop. Each year a young girl was chosen to represent Chicomecoatl and was ritually decapitated. Her blood was poured over a statue of the goddess as an offering. She was skinned and her flesh was them worn by a priest.

The Hopi and Pueblo tribes have the Blue Corn Maiden as their representative of Corn Woman. On a cold winter day, the Blue Corn Maiden went out in search of firewood. Normally this was not a task for her. While she was out searching, she ran across Winter Katsina, the spirit of winter. When Winter Katsina saw the Blue Corn Maiden, he immediately feel in love. He took her back to his house, whereupon he blocked the door and windows with ice and snow. He was very kind to her, but she was sad. She wanted to go home and make the blue corn grow for her people.

While Winter Katsina was out one day going about his duties, Blue Corn Maiden sneaked out and found four blades of Yucca plant. She stated a fire. As she did, in walked Summer Katsina, carrying more yucca and blue corn. When Winter Katsina returned, the two fought. Seemingly getting nowhere, they sat down to talk. They agreed that Blue Corn Maiden would live half the year with her people, during the reign of Summer Katsina, and the people would have corn. During the other half of the year, she would live with Winter Katsina, and the people would have no corn.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 8th is 37: Community

37: Community

Hexagram 37
 
General Meaning: A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!

Herb of the Day for June 24 is Quinsy-Wort

Quinsy-Wort

Botanical: Asperula cynanchica (LINN.)

—Synonym—Squinancy-wort.

Quinsy-Wort was formerly esteemed a remedy for the disorder the name of which it bears. The specific name, cynanchica, is derived from the GreekKunanchi(dog strangle), from its choking nature.

Its roots, like those of the Galiums and Rubia, yield a red dye, which has been occasionally used in Sweden.

It is no longer applied in medicine.

This is not a common British plant, except locally in dry pastures on a chalky or limehouse soil.

It is a small, smooth plant, 6 to 10 inches high, with very narrow, close-set leaves, four in a whorl, two of each whorl much smaller than the others.

The flowers are in loose terminal bunches, the corollas only 1/6 inch in diameter, pink externally and white inside, and are in bloom during June and July.

A Few Tips On Your Spring Planting

Advice on Pest Control

Here’s a better way to prevent insect invasion than choking your herbs with chemical sprays.

  • Create a balanced, organic soil environment. Use organic compost and amendments.

  • Adjust the soil pH to 7.0.

  • Companion plant to reduce infestation. Plant chives or silvery herbs like silver king artemisia to reduce aphids.

  • Vary the color, size, texture, and scent of plants to confuse insects.

  • Rotate crops, amending the soil biannually, to reduce fungal and viral disease prone to one crop. Amend the soil to introduce microorganisms which will reduce nematode and fungal growth.

  • Use plant traps, colors, and pheromones to lure insects away from your garden. Marigolds will lure spider mites away and yellow or sticky paper will attract whiteflies and catch them.

  • Remove dead or diseased debris and weeds to prevent insects such as grasshoppers from hatching or over wintering in their protection.

  • Row covers and netting deter chewing insects. They are available at feed stores and nurseries.

  • Use biological insect control. Release ladybugs at night to reduce aphids. Dig earthworms into the soil to enhance aeration and reduce fungal disease. Use lizards and frogs to reduce the insect population.

  • Spray with soapy water and plant-derived insecticides only when necessary and after using biologicals, companion planting, and common sense.