Feng Shui for Winter Nights

Feng Shui for Winter Nights

by a Care2 favorite by Betsy Stang

 

Red is not just for Christmas! Red is the color of warmth, of fire, of yang.  It is the antidote for the cold yin nights of winter. Warm your nights with just  the right chi by practicing these feng shui tips for winter colors, light,  warmth, safety and sharing.

Winter Colors and Light

Red Replace some of your summer blues with reds and oranges.  Think pillows, quilts and place settings. You will feel warmer and less  depressed. A cozy red or burgundy throw on the chair or on the bed will make you  feel wonderful, and cut down on the need to turn up the heat.

Orange Cook orange. Pumpkins and squash are plentiful and give  you the good carbohydrates and nutrients that you need for winter.

 

Light up the Night

Get at least one full spectrum light  for a reading area. The complete spectrum will relieve seasonal affective  disorder and help your eyes. Plants love full spectrum light so you can put some  greenery nearby, and create a small winter garden that will cheer you up and  help provide oxygen for your rooms.

Long evenings mean it is time to replace light bulbs. Think energy conserving  compact fluorescents, especially for outside lights and accent areas. Your  pocket book and your planet will thank you. There are even energy conserving  Christmas lights that are now standard in Canada. Solar path lights won’t go all  night at this time of year, but they probably are on sale and will light your  way home in the evening with no strain on the environment. Additionally, in  February, as the days lengthen, they will glitter most of the night, even in the  snow, and will make you smile for years to come.

 

Warm up your Windows

Check to make sure all windows  shut well. If you have single paned glass which lets the cold wind into the  house, find some cheerful thick fabric, valances or drapes, which can cut your  heating costs all winter and is a terrific way to change the feel of a room. The  Victorians covered their windows for a reason; their homes were drafty! When you  feel an uncovered window on a cold night, it’s cold! So think warm and add  fabric.

Remove or cover your air conditioners. If removal is difficult get some  wonderful natural fabric from your local fabric store and create a cover. Tip:  Double-sided Velcro is amazing for the sewing challenged!

Watch For Fire

It is the time to have your boiler and  fireplace checked and cleaned. Too many house fires or clogged boilers are  caused by the lack of taking this step. All combustible materials create residue  which in time builds up, so be safe, be warm and be pro-active. This expense  could save you thousands.

 

Pay Attention to Your Floor, Your Grounding

Remove any  dangerously slippery bath mat. The backing does disintegrate, and think about a  cozy rug for your bedroom or sitting area. Please think about natural materials  so you are not creating a toxic environment. Artificial rugs off-gas and pollute  a closed environment; you could expose yourself and your family to illnesses.  Look for Tibetan or other tribal rugs made from natural fiber and plant  dyes.

Tell Stories; Share with Others

Get some good books. The  wintertime has always been storytelling time among all traditions, so let the  indoor time give you a chance to expand your mind, either for sheer pleasure or  to learn something new you have been meaning to get to but haven’t had the  chance.

Lastly, share your home with your friends. Long winter evenings are great for  sharing food and conversation. Being with those you love will remind you of how  much you have to be grateful for.

And as your gratitude increases take some of your old clothing and household  goods to a local shelter or Goodwill and spread some cheer around. You will also  get rid of your clutter and make room for the new.

 

From Divine Design by Betsy  Stang, certified Feng Shui consultant.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 7

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 7

“Abuse and repression have no place in a traditional family.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

Traditional families guided by their culture were taught how to live. The were taught about relationships, respect and spirituality. Only since alcohol was introduced to Indians have we seen physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse. These behaviors have no room in traditional families. The cycle of abuse must be broken during this generation. We do this by asking for help to quit drinking and abusing and return to our traditional culture and spirituality.

Creator, plant inside of me the knowledge of the traditional family.

A Little Humor – Hay

Hay


A clergyman, walking down a country lane, sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.”You look hot, my son,” said the cleric. “Why don’t you rest a moment,          and I’ll give you a hand.”

“No thanks,” said the young man. “My father wouldn’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” the minister said. “Everyone is entitled to a break.          Come and have a drink of water.”

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset.

Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real          slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”

Turok’s Cabana

 

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that you had a year — 365 days, 8,760  hours, 525,600 minutes — to do anything you please, with $100,000 to cover your  expenses. Would you travel? Would you continue working and give the money to  charity? Would you take the time to simply do nothing, maybe go on retreat?

Last week, Mallika encouraged readers to consider what they would do if they  had a year off. I have to say, my first inclination was default to the  “make-the-world-a-better-place” answer– give it to charity, of course! I mean, I  know this may sound crazy, but I love working. Even if I had a year off, I don’t  think I could bring myself to drop my job and do nothing. So if my ideal year  would include working anyway, why not give it away, especially when we know  that contributing to others’ happiness is a much greater source of joy and fulfillment than anything  money could buy?

But as I thought about it more, I remembered the words of a friend I have who  keeps trying to convince me of the important of “leisure” and “pleasure” in my  life. I know, foreign concepts for the modern workaholic, right? A few months  ago, when I went to visit her in Miami, her assignment for me was to get a  pedicure once a month — which has been surprisingly difficult for me to actually  follow through on. I have a hard time slowing down, relaxing, engaging in an  activity simply for the sake of enjoying it.

have always wanted to travel. I’ve never ventured outside the  US (not even to Mexico or Canada), and I’ve long wanted to visit other cultures  — learn about how they find happiness, purpose, and meaning in their lives.  Taking a year off for travel… now that would be cool. But would it be  fulfilling? Would I be mentally, physically, and spiritually satisfied with  taking a year off to travel?

What if, I thought, I could combine those three things somehow? Create a  year-long project that would combine the work I love (writing), giving back  (service/charity), and the leisure (travel)? What would that project look  like?

Here’s what I came up with. If I had $100,000 to take a year off, this is  what I would do:

  • Take a writing tour of charity organizations in four different countries  around the world, spending three months deeply immersed in each community
  • Listen and learn about how each organization’s programming is benefiting the  community and transforming individuals’ daily lives
  • Document the experience through a series of articles that synthesize  personal stories, scientific research, historical background, etc
  • Highlight major social issues affecting underserved communities  (poverty, violence against women, water shortage, climate change,  HIV/AIDS, etc) and what people are doing to help
  • Record interviews with staff, volunteers, scientific researchers,  and other involved professionals at each nonprofit to shed light on best  practices
  • Compile all the articles into a book at the end of the year

So that’s my dream year. Heck, maybe that’s my dream life. I think it’s a  good recipe for happiness: find meaningful work, connect with people, give back  to your community, and take time to enjoy the ride. I guess, really, you  don’t need $100,000 to do that.

What about you? What would your dream year look like? What do  you think is a recipe for a happy year and fulfilling life?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving  person to do whatever — whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a  nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of home. To enter,  you can fill out the application on their Facebook.

May the Fifth Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2019


“The new earth quickens as you rise.
The May Queen is waiting.
Feel the pulsing ground call you to journey,
To know the depths of your desire.
The May Queen is waiting.
Moving through the night, the bright moon’s flight.
In green and silver on the plain.
She waits for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.
Her temper stings if you refuse to taste Her honey.
Surrender as enchantment brings
The first light of dawning.
Move with Her in sacred dance, through fear to feeling.
Bringing ecstasy to those who dare.
Living earth is breathing.
Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,
As seedlings open with the rain.
She’ll long for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.”

– Ruth Barren, The May Queen is Waiting

MAY – THE FLOWER MOON

May is the fifth month of the year. It’s astrological sign is Taurus, the bull(April 20 – May 21), a fixed earth sign ruled by Venus. The month is name for Ma’a, a Roman goddess and mother of the God Hermes. May is known as the queen of months. Since May begins one of the halves of the year, it is an initiation, similar to a cardinal zodiac sign, it shifts power to the new dynamic. The dynamic of May is one of fertility in plants and animal (including human, birth, growth, and abundance.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the month of May is a month of lushness and beauty. The main holiday is May Day or Beltane. This sabbat celebrate the sacred union of the Goddess and God. It is a celebration of growth and fertility. A traditional part of this holiday is the maypole, usually a fir tree with the side branches removed–a symbol of fertility. Since growth is a theme of May, another central figure of the month is the Green Man, a male form covered with leaves and branches. He is an ancient nature spirit, who brings life to the fields and forests after the long winter.

The Full Moon of May in the Northern Hemisphere is known as the Flower Moon. The Moon is so named for the many flowers and trees that bloom this month associated with magic. Lilacs were originally grown near the home to repel evil. Wild blue violets can be used in love magick. A steaming infusion made with dried dandelions root was use to contact spirits. The Hawthorne three is also associated with May folk magick in the North. To make a wish come true, burn three Hawthorne branches in a Beltane fire.

—Excerpt from Llewellyn’s Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac

May’s Correspondences

Festival: Beltane, May Day. Symbols include the May pole, boughs of flowers, and fires.

Moon name: Flower Moon. Flowers come into full bloom and the corn is ready to be planted. Other names include Grass Moon, Milk Moon, Hare Moon, and Corn Planting Moon.

Astrological signs: Taurus, April 21–May 20; Gemini, May 21–June 20.

Birthstones: Emerald and agate.

Nature spirits: Tree fairies and spirits.

Animals: All cats, butterflies, and foxes.

Birds: Swallow, dove, and swift.

Trees: Hawthorn, apple, and elder.

Flowers: All tree blossoms, foxglove, and lilac.

Herbs: St. John’s wort, chamomile, flowering thyme, elderflower, and yarrow.

Scents: Rose, frankincense, honeysuckle, lilac, and jasmine.

Colors: Pink, apricot, and green.

Goddess: Diana.

Powers: Love, fertility, and joy—the expressive energy of life’s forces.

Other: May Day, Labor Day, Oak Apple Day.

—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Symbols for the Month of May

 

May’s Festivals
Beltane, May Day, Labor Day, Oak Apple Day

 

May’s Sign of the Zodiac
Taurus(April 21–May 20)
Gemini(May 21–June 21)

 

May’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Saille (Willow) (April 15 – May 12)
Huath (Hawthorne) (May 13 – June 9)

 

May’s Runic Half Months
Lagu (April 29 – May 13)
Ing (May 14 – May 28)
Odal (May 29 – June 13)

 

May’s Birthstone
Emerald and Agate

 

May’s Birth Flower
Foxglove, and Lilac

 

May’s Goddess
Diana

 

May’s Folklore

“A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.”

“Mist in May, heat in June, makes harvest come right soon.”

“If you wash a blanket in May, you will wash one of the family away.”

“Those who bathe in May will soon be laid in clay!”

Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Pagan Calendar of Events for May

MAY 1: BELTANE SABBAT: Festival of Spring and Fertility. Sidhe Day. Beltaine – Celtic festival marking the arrival of summer in ancient times.

MAY 4: Celtic/British Festival of Cerridwen and Brigit: Corn Goddesses of Fertility

May 4 – Celtic Festival of Cerridwen and Brigit – Corn Goddesses of fertility, healing, and poets.
– St. Monica’s Day (Irish)
– Veneration of the Thorn (Irish)
– Festival of Sheila Na Gig (Irish)

MAY 6: – Shepherd’s Day – Day to meditate on Deity as Lord of Animals: Dumuzi (Old Sumerian), Osiris (Egyptian), Pan (Old Greek), Shiva Pasupati (Hindu).
– Eyvind Kelve (Norse)

MAY 9: – Greek Feast of Artemis

MAY 9-12: Lemuria – Roman festival when the spirits of the dead are thought to revisit their homes.

MAY 13: – Roman Garland Day, Offering garlands to Neptune.
– Month of Hawthorn, Celtic festival of the tree.
– Our Lady of Fatima Day (Portugal)

MAY 14: – Isis Day in ancient Egypt

MAY 14: -16 Feast of Divine Love and Compassion – Source of healing and beneficence, honoring the Goddess as Isis (Old Egyptian), Oshun (Yoruba/Santeria), Lakshmi (Hindu).

MAY 15: – Festival of Vesta (Roman)
– Maia and Mercury’s Day (Roman)

MAY 18: – Celtic Feast of Greek God Pan – Who represents the masculine in Nature and protects men throughout their lives. Men recognized the transitions in their lives and honored male fertility.

MAY 19: Celtic Feast of Brigid – In which sacred healing wells and springs were adorned with flowers in honor of Goddess Brigid, daughter of Mother Goddess Danu and Father God Dagda.

MAY 21: Dark/Bright Mother Goddess Day—honoring Hecate/Demeter; Uma; Kali/Parvati .

MAY 26: – Festival of Diana begins (ends 31st) (ancient Roman holiday)

MAY 28: FEAST OF BENDIDIA—family feast day honoring of the Goddess of the Moon, Dark Moon, Underworld, Secret Wisdom and Witches.

May 30 – Frigg’s Day, Northern Goddess, spouse of Odin (Teutonic “heathen” European pre-Christian holiday)
– Feast of the Queen of the Underworld Begins (Roman)

May rolls in soft and lovely, weaving within the grasses a bevy of wildflowers that bewitch our senses and are a colorful reminder of life’s ever-renewing power. Of the many wildflowers associated with Beltane and the peak of spring’s fertility,, my favorite has to be the dandelion. The happy yellow flowers take me back to my childhood, when I would spend hours chasing butterflies through wild fields and bejeweling myself with dandelions in buttery circlets that would leave me covered with soft yellow pollen–proving yes, I did, indeed like butter.

Little did I know then of the simple dandelion’s many magickal and medicinal uses. Highly nutritious spring greens, dandelions are packed with calcium, potassium, and high amounts of vitamins and they have been used to stimulate the digestive system, restore mineral balance to the kidneys, and detoxify  for hundreds of years.

According to folklore, blowing dandelion seed heads was said to divine how much your partner loves you. If you could blow all of the seeds off the dandelion head in one puff, your lover carried a passionate fire for you. If a few seeds remained, he or she might have a few reservations about the relationship. If you blow the seed head and the majority of seeds remain, you are not loved at all.

Magically, dandelion is used in spells for wishes, for divination, to call spirits and for growth and transformation. Make a tea from the ground dried root and add it to mugwort (avoid during pregnancy) and cinnamon for a powerful psychic tea.

 

Dandelion Renewal Spell

Just as the onset of spring transforms the earth with a lush green haze and a profusion of blooms that hint to the bounty of summer, we too can feel a lightening of spirit, a renewal of body, mind and soul as spring’s promises are fulfilled all around us.

With dandelion’s association with growth and transformation, this dandelion renewal spell can be done alone or with your coven or circle and would be appropriate to do at Beltane or anytime during the Maiden’s reign. The simplicity of this spell makes it a great spell for kids, too.

All you need is one intact dandelion seed head per person. If working with children, talk for a moment about renewal and what it means to them. Have everyone hold up their dandelion seed heads and say together,

The air is alive with the hum of bees
As the wind tousles the tops of trees,
The blooms are bright and fertility abounds,
Our wish, dear Lady, for renewal to be found,
Not only across this greening land,
But within the heart of every woman, child and man.
Blessed Be!

Blow your dandelion seed heads to the four directions. As you do this, imagine the dandelion seeds planting themselves into the hearts of humankind. Imagine an abundance of joy, peace and fulfillment for all that happens as the dandelion takes root. When you’re done, find a nice spot in a field, park or lawn. Make yourself a circlet of dandelions and reflect on sunny thoughts and bright ideas for the future.

–Monica Crosson

Witchy Ways to Celebrate May

Decorate your home and altar with combinations of flowers and colors to celebrate the union between the Goddess and the God.

Work with herbs in your magic by creating spell bags and sachets. Cook with herbs whenever you can.

Create a spell for strength and wellness by lighting a Beltane candle and burning your spell written on some pretty paper.

Create a harmonious magical garden with symbols and signs of the craft. Paint pebbles and draw shapes in the earth.

Get outside and find one useable foraged ingredient for your recipes. This is also good for expanding your plant knowledge.

Connect with the God aspect by connecting with nearby trees. Spend time touching the tree and water the roots as an offering.

Make daisy chains as offerings for the Fae folk.

–Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

We are Witches
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.

 

–Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake

 Banner Exchange

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Lighten Up – Top Ten Cheesy Pick-Up Lines For Pagans

Top Ten Cheesy Pick-Up Lines For Pagans

10. Hey babe, what’s your sign? What’s it’s ascendant? What is your planet alignment in Venus during Cancer’s revolving around the Fourth House?

9. Read any good Llewellyn Books lately?

8. Would you like to come over to my place and widdershens?

7. Haven’t I seen you someplace before in another life?

6. Yes, I’m handfasted, but that’s not “technically” marriage.

5. So, do you draw down the moon here often?

4. What’s a nymph Goddess like you doing in a place like this?

3. You have the prettiest third eye I’ve ever seen.

2. You’re feet must be tired because you’ve been Spiral Dancing in my mind “all” night long.

And the Number One Cheesy Pick-Up Line for Pagans to Use at Gatherings is:

1. Is that a May Pole in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

In a Dream Country

by Bestia Mortale

Something woke me — I think it was  a sound, a throbbing of some sort, or  an infant’s cry. Waking was like coming  into focus, as if I was an image in a lens.  I sat up and looked around, a little  alarmed, but it was a dream. I was lying  in a field in the mist, among a crowd of  sleepers. Others were stirring.

I glanced at the people near me.  They were so beautiful. I tried to examine them more closely and became aware  that until I considered walking, they had  no legs. Until I thought of hair, they were  hairless. Until I remembered about men  and women, they had no gender. And  yet, as it turned out, they had everything  but age.

Someone was moving among us,  chatting and laughing, a beautiful woman.  I realized we all were naked. She came  up to me, smiling. I smiled back a little  shyly as she offered a hand to help me  up. Her breasts were large and small, all  different shapes, every sort of nipple. It  occurred to me that she had countless  arms and legs as well, and heads.

I walked beside her through the mist,  leaving the crowd. I became aware in the  strange light that it was not so much  mist as an intricate pattern of swirls, as  if a cloud of colored dust had been frozen in time. The colors were disturbing,  hard to identify. At first I thought there  was something wrong with my vision, but  everything had a clarity I was unused to.

As we left the field, the mist cleared  somewhat and we walked through a deserted city of strange windowless fortresses, down the middle of streets like  shallow troughs. On either side, instead  of sidewalks, there were sunken channels six or eight inches deep in which  were planted twisted, leafless bushes,  some so large they almost blocked the  street.

The whole effect was disturbing and  would have been unpleasant but for the  sky. The sun — though not the sun —  was vast, and not so bright or hot as  normal. Yet its warmth was full of comfort, its light rich and deep. The cloud  formations — not clouds, either, exactly  — towered layer upon layer, an intricate  landscape of unaccustomed color,  depth, striation and structure. Unlike  normal clouds, the closer you looked at  them, the more detail you could see.  Their beauty in the strange light was so  intense as almost to be painful.

Far in the distance, the land rose  away from us. For a while, I thought we  were in a valley of some sort, but then I  realized that there was no horizon —  the mountains and sky were one.

It was the colors that were most  haunting — bright, saturated hues, like  certain stones in water that grow ordinary as they dry — but not reds, greens,  blues, or anything I could put a name to.

“Where are we?” I asked her. “What  is this place?”

She paused, facing me, her face so  many faces. “This is the underside,” she  said.

“What?”

“Of your city, your world.” I could  not understand. “Come, I will show you.”  She led me down a side street to a little  park, full of the enormous leafless  bushes. In the center was a peculiar silvery translucent mound. When we came  to it, my feet sank in it as if it were liquid,  yet without a ripple.

“Here,” she said, standing beside  me. “Look.” She pointed to my feet.

I saw that the mound had a mirror-like underside in which was perfectly reflected the chthonic sky above my head.

“Look deeper,” she said, taking my  hand and squatting down. I squatted  beside her and peered carefully through  the substance. At first I could see nothing, but gradually I made out tiny pinpoints of light beneath the mirrorlike  floor. “There,” she whispered, pointing,  “My sister.” I saw, inexplicably far below  me, familiar and remote, the moon.

Crystal of the Day for Feb. 7th – Sunstone

Crystal of the Day – Sunstone

 

Colours:

Yellow, Orange, Red-Brown

 

 

Source: Canada, Greece, India, Norway, United States
Availability: Easily obtained from Specialist Shops
Energy: Projective
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Chakra: Sacral and Solar Plexus

Spiritual Uses: Clears the chakras and allows the life-force to flow freely throughout the body. Facilitates self-empowerment.
Emotional Uses: Used to rid depression and alleviate stress, anxiety and phobias.
Physical Uses: Harmonises the organs, good for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Can be gridded around the body to relieve general aches and pains.
Folklore: In ancient Greece, Sunstone was used to represent the Sun God, Helios (or Apollo). Ancient Greeks believed Sunstone invigorated and greatly improved the state of the physical body and the spirit, bringing renewed strength and good health to both.
Magickal Properties: Protection, Energy, Health, Sexual Energy, Love, Power, Happiness, Courage

Making Ointments – The Shortening Method

Making Ointments

The Shortening Method
 
 
Gently heat four parts shortening over low heat until liquified. Watch that it doesn’t burn. Add one part dried herbal mixture, blend with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed, and continue heating until the shortening has extracted the scent. You should be able to smell it in the air.
 
Strain through cheesecloth into a heat-proof container, such as a canning jar. Add one-half teaspoon tincture of benzoin to each pint of ointment as a natural preservative. Store in a cool, dark place, such as the refrigerator. Ointments should last for weeks or months. Discard any that turn moldy, and lay in a fresh batch.

Making Ointments

Making Ointments 

 
Ointments are easily made. They consist simply of herbs or oils and a base. In the past, hog’s lard was the preferred base because it was readily available, but vegetable shortening or beeswax produces the best results. The base must be a greasy substance that melts over heat but is solid at room temperature. Some herbalists actually use dinosaur fat (i.e., Vaseline, which is prepared from petroleum)!
 
There are two basic ways to create magickal ointments, the shortening method and the beeswax method.