#30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge Day 27

Well, I’m back from a vacation to check on my grandparents! They’re doing well, and we stocked their freezer full of homemade food for a good while! It was very busy indeed making chili, butternut squash soup, pumpkin and date muffins, oatmeal raisin muffins. My mom and sister made tuna casserole, Chinese Laundry casserole, chicken for lunch meat or dinner, pork chops in cream of mushroom soup with onions, peanut butter cookies. We were quite occupied!

So back to the challenge already!

Day 26: Healing
Focus on some self-care today. What are you doing in your life to bring health and vitality to your physical and emotional body? Do you practice magical healing, or energy healing like reiki? If so, practice some healing magic today! If not, take some time today to learn a little bit about different kinds magical healing.

A very recent and good example of healing for me came when we were in New Brunswick last week. I was getting a bit overwhelmed with being tired from the drive as well as all the socializing. I was getting cranky. Very cranky.

So I went for a walk. That’s it. That’s all there was to it… well, on the surface of course! What kind of magick-maker would I be if there wasn’t something going on?

First was the acknowledgment that I needed to remove myself from what was ailing me. Then was the utilizing what I know of myself, the things that help me mellow out and rebalance when I get far too negative. The biggest help for my moods and emotions has always been to get outside for a walk, or when available, a swim. That lake isn’t for swimming, but there is a beautiful trail around it, and the weather was perfect.

Like I do with grounding, I pull up the energy of the earth and the lake into me, helping clear out the negativity that pooled up in me all day. When I got back to my grandparent’s house, things were much better. I wasn’t being short with my family, and remained fairly quiet and kept myself from becoming upset again.

I don’t tend to suffer from many physical illnesses often, so healing for me never really goes into that. Knock on wood. When I am ill, I rest a lot, and try not to work at all. I will ground a lot, when I have the mental capacity to, and let the earth’s energies clear out any energetic stagnancies that aren’t helping the physical. In the end though, it’s mostly just being very gentle on myself, lots of comforting things such as hot Toddys, good books, movies and shows that are easy to watch, comfy blankets, and a warm kitty.

Like most ideas, I feel balance is at the base of all things, and healing is no different. When our bodies are physically out of balance, we can become ill. If our emotions are out of balance and not being taken care of, we become extreme in our reactions. Healing is a wonderful tool that can help put the balance back into place.

A Month for Baldr – X – Offerings

As far as historical offerings go, I have no idea. There isn’t much evidence of a wide worship of Baldr (yet, so until we find something incredible, or we travel back in time, we really won’t know), so all I have is what is between the two of u/Us, and the little bits and pieces around the interwebs from His other people (though once again, there really aren’t that many, and it seems like most of them have either a peripheral, or a very private relationship with Him).

For me, I offer the obvious chamomile tea, usually with honey. I typically end up having tea with Him, enjoying my own cup as He enjoys His. I offer a few hours of candle burning (one of Beth’s Balder candles right now) on Sundays, as well as try to spend more time than usual with Him that day, although I think it may have to be a different day as the household’s schedule has been shifting, and weekends have become busier.
I also try to go out in nature or my garden and enjoy the beauty found there, I always feel Him around emphatically when I’m out in the wide wide. Honestly, I don’ think there is much that Baldr would say no to when offering to Him. I feel He really enjoys when we ourselves find joy in life, appreciating each moment for what it is and what it brings us; basically trying to live in the moment.

TPE – Earth

The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?

What does earth mean to me? Oh man, lots of things, as most things do. They all kind of intertwine with each other, though some seem more mundane than others.
Physically, earth is the earth, it is our planet, it is the ground we walk upon each day, and provides all we need to be protected, safe, and nourished. We are of the earth, and the earth is us (I often think of that scene in the Lion King where Mufasa is telling Simba that they eat the antelope, and when they die, they become the grass that the antelope eat).

I also view all living creatures as well as those things we don’t view as living as cells of a large organism, working together, or not so much, in order to keep surviving. I think now that we’ve come to the 20th century, and have a plethora of ways in which we survive much more easily (re: vaccines), we really should be seeking to work in better harmony with our lands more than ever. We have so many more people on this planet than we did 100 years ago, hell, in 1804 there were only a billion people on the entire planet. It’s only been 200+ years, and we now have over 7 billion. We really need to start farming in ways that will truly be sustainable, not just for the crops, but for the land those crops are grown upon. If the land is completely stripped of nutrients, erroded, etc., we’ll keep losing land for crops for ourselves, and keep harming the land for anything else to live on as well for a long time afterwards.

Another part is obviously finding better ways to fuel our transportation. If we throw our climate too much out of whack, it’s not the soil we’ll have to be worrying about, it’s how fucked up we’re going to make our weather and storms. You can plant all the crops you like, but if it’s too cold, too hot, or lots of nasty hail storms come by, we’re not going to be eating. A lot of earth work for me obviously ties in to tending the earth, tending our home, creating a planet that will sustain many, many generations of our descendants, and unfortunately, capitalism only thinks about how much money can be made now, screw the consequences.

There’s also the elemental aspect of earth, that of being a foundation, of grounding, of being the place you return to. Earth is strong, it is nourishing, it will support you. It is where you plant the seeds you’d like to germinate, and where you bury the things that are dead.

Alright, so how does this support my work as it were? If you haven’t read my blog before, I like to garden (I missed it very much when we lived out West where all I could have was a potted garden). I also love to go on bike rides out on my favourite path. I often clean up jerks’ garbage on the trail (it seems there is always more garbage on the trail when I bring along an offering for the wights of the trail, and I have no qualms if it wants me to help clean up as well as leaving the offerings). The gardening for me holds a lot of magick, it’s where I can work with the land wights around me, the wights of all the vegetables I grow, and really instill nourishment and love into the food I feed my family, as well as put love back into the earth. I also have lots of flowers, many of which have been chosen to entice the bees, my effort to bring balance to the ecosystem of my yard, and in turn the area around us.
I suppose there’s a lot earth in the work I do, which isn’t surprising, being a Taurus and all.

I do a lot of grounding as well, calling my flailing self back to center to see with more clarity the situations at hand. Since I probably ground myself a few times a day, oftentimes without acknowledging that’s what I’ve done, I’ve built up its effectiveness, which has been especially helpful when depression rears its head. It’s not that the earth energies get rid of the depression, it just allows me to be restful in it. It allows me to stop the flail, like I said, and then just look at the depression from farther away. I often just remind myself of the bigger picture of my life, that things are actually pretty great, that I’m just feeling like this right now because my brain gets a little messed up every now and again. Just rest. Just be with this.
I feel that’s a big part of what the earth in me deals with, it’s always the place I return to, the resting grounds, which eventually turn into the ground I jump off from again.

And to pull it all together, why would the energy of the earth want to work with me if I mistreat it? If I keep doing things that harm it, all the plants and creatures, how could I possibly even consider calling on the earth in my magickal and spiritual work? This is why I do what I can, though it may seem small in the scheme of things, to tend the piece of land I can with respect and love. This is not the only reason, but a very good one in working with anyone. You don’t go in someone’s house and trash the place, then expect them to be happy about helping you out when you need it. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d seek some sort of vengence.
As I said, this is not the only reason, but something that is important for our own survival, as well as a reflection of my reverence of nature, because am I not myself part of nature, recycled bits of earth?

PBP – New Garden Images

This is an update on the garden… things are growing! “Well, duh,” you might say, and you would be right in saying so.
I gathered a small harvest of the Swiss Chard on Wednesday for dinner, my mom and I loooooove the stuff, I think we’ll need a bigger patch of it next year. I would have liked the lot of it on my plate, alas, there was me, my mama, and the Man to feed, so none more for me. It tasted divine, I’ll have you know. I’m ever grateful for the food these plants provide me and my family.

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This is a look at the whole veggie garden. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing overly much from the picture, or even when you look at it from afar, I think it’s because what’s in the beds are for the most part green, and the grass in between is as well. I’m hoping to line each bed at the end of harvest season and even a few of the far ones out for next year. I’m not sure yet if I’m leaving the paths in between as grass, or if I will be vinegar-ing the grass and putting perhaps wood mulch? If you have any good suggestions, I’m willing to lend an ear! We’ll be getting some horse and cow manure from my sister’s farm in the fall, and I hope that will help the sandy beds retain more water.

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This is the big, leafy rhubarb. It’s been doing really well getting settled in its new home. We had a goodly amount of rain on Monday as a storm rolled through, and this among many other plants just decided to get ginormous overnight. I can’t wait til I can make some custard and rhubarb pies, and rhubarb strawberry pies… yum!

 

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These are the zucchinis, there was supposed to be 5, but only 3 came up so I reseeded the other two on Tuesday night. I’m hoping this will allow for a longer zucchini season, as long as they germinate and grow.

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Lovely, frothy carrot greens. They got quite big the day after I thinned them out. Unfortunately I only read after the fact that you can eat the greens. They smelled terrific, and I think would do very well in a salad.
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Mmm, beets. I thinned these out in the same sitting as the carrots, but these I already knew I could eat. YUUUUM! There were quite a few young plants that I pulled up, leading me to think about sowing fewer seeds (especially for plants which the greens cannot be eaten). Yet, even the carrots and beets, I may sow fewer and just eat the greens when I harvest the roots. We shall see.2014-07-02 205 This is the beautiful Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard growing away. I love it when you can begin some harvesting, it’s a slow process, a few things here and there, and then the trickle of food becomes stronger, heavier, fills up your baskets quicker, until you have a glut of things at the height of harvest season. Aaaah…. I love me the processes of nature and life.2014-07-02 206 The salad patch. I have four different lettuces, although the two red salads I sowed don’t seem to be particularly prolific. Ah well, always next year!2014-07-02 207

I cannot wait till these onions are all done so I can cook em all up and eat the greens. I may freeze the greens. If I like these kind of onions, I will let one or two go to seed for next year (seed collecting is definitely part of my gardening plan).2014-07-02 208 Where are you, oh cauliflower head? Please hurry up so I can drizzle cheesy sauce on you.2014-07-02 209

Pumpkins! I’m very excited for these as I want to roast some seeds, and make some pies and breads and soups. Oh, how I love Thee, Pumpkin!2014-07-02 2010 My beans have finally started climbing up their poles! The day after that heavy rain, this is what I saw. It’s an amazing feeling watching the things you care for, tend, and love growing so well and happily. They hear my songs all the while I water.2014-07-02 2011

I cannot tell you how excited I am for my basil patch turning into pesto. CAN. NOT. TELL. YOU. I have sweet, Genovese, and cinnamon. 2014-07-02 2012 The Canada day petunias doing ever so well hanging on either side of the front door to our house. I always found they had an interesting smell, sweet, yet something deeper, and darker to them. 2014-07-02 2013 Potato flowers! They’re so pretty, and you can’t tell at all that they are related to the tomatoes and bittersweet nightshade in the following photos at all, can you? Oh, the solanaceaes!2014-07-03 08 I have always loved touching and smelling tomato plants. I was adjusting them on Wednesday night, as they are growing like crazy, and my hands continued to smell like fresh tomatoes all the night long. Well, until I had to wash my hands. 2014-07-03 081

I helped this bittersweet nightshade (which now has a gagillion berries all over the place) earlier this spring (when I couldn’t tell what it was), by pruning it and situating it more sturdily onto the wheel it has claimed as a trellis. I’m glad I did. I love the sweet little flowers, and when the berries turn red, they look like little jewels dripping off the stems.
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Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World

Such an important thing to remember when we are in spiritually fallow times. It’s a balance to strive for as well, not just in said fallowness, but at all times. Learn to read omens in our physical world, and you will never be without your Gods.

A Forest Door

I just had a great conversation on-air with Galina and Sannion during their Wyrd Ways radio show. And it occurs to me that the point I called in to make is something I’ve never really seen addressed, and something that would be useful to talk about here.

I’ve talked about fallow times here before, when you can’t hear/see/feel the gods the way you usually can, and how to survive them. Any mystic knows that you cannot just drop your practices, that you need to be able to endure these times of silence and keep your faith. Even for the most connected spirit-workers and devotees, the ability to sense and directly communicate with the gods and spirits ebbs and flows over time – just like an artist will not always be able to access their inspiration (and will suffer just as badly when they can’t as a mystic when cut off…

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Month of Elder

Celtic Name: Ruis (roo-ish)

Latin Name: Sambucus canadenis (for elderberry)

Folk Names: Eldrun, Lady Elder, Ellhorn, Sambucus, Hyldor, Hyllantree, Pipe Tree, Bore Tree, Bour Tree

Dates:November 25 – December 23

Parts Used: bark, flowers, leaves, berries

Medicinal Uses:
The bark of Elder has been used as a purgative when ingested. If ingested in large doses, it is used as an emetic. It has also been long used as a diuretic, and in aiding in renal and cardiac edema (when there is too much water content held between the cells or in body cavities). Ointments made of the green bark will aid with asthma symptoms and croup in young children.
The leaves can be used to make an ointment, “Unguentum Sambuci Viride”, or Green Elder Ointment, which is to be used on bruises, wounds, sprains, inflammation (especially to the hands and feet if exposed to cold and moisture, and as a soothing emollient.
The flowers can be used in a wide array of manners. Elder Flower Water is used as the foundation to eye and skin lotions as it has a mild astringent and stimulant properties. It has been used after sun bathing, and to get rid of freckles as it keeps the skin free from blemishes and fair. The flowers were also employed in bronchial and lung related illnesses such as measles and scarlet fever.Taken as a tea, it helps to bring on sweating and restful sleep to help one who is sick with a cold or flu to quickly get on the road to recovery.
Wine of the berries was used to aid in erysipelas (a deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes) and rheumatism. A tea made with the dried berries helps to ease diarrhea and colic.

Magical Uses:
General usages of Elder include: prosperity, luck, protection, healing, cleansing, spirituality, sleep, exorcism, Faery magic, and offerings. Wine made of the berries is considered to be a great aid in divination, prophecy and hallucinations. Twigs would be placed in head dresses to allow the seeing of spirits. It is used when one wishes to perform magic involving the Fae or Nature.
Elder has very strong protective qualities as well. If twigs are worn around the neck in a small bag, it is said they will protect from physical or psychic attack. Branches are hung in doorways to keep evil out. To bless someone or something, take the leaves and berries in hand and scatter them to the four directions, then over the person or thing.
Remember when you harvest of any tree or plant, give something in return. It can be an offering, water if the weather is dry, or even cleaning up any trash that has been left around it.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

-William Woordsworth

Sources:

  • Image: Bobbie Burgers

Morning Walk Bounty

This morning, the Man woke up for work, and I thought I was going to stay in bed to sleep some more, but mother nature decided that my bladder was full enough to keep me awake! So I went downstairs, hung out with the Man for a while (meaning I was getting in some hugs and kisses for the daily quota early 😉 ), and decided after he left to take my pup out for a walk. We didn’t go too far, it was kinda early for me, and I was enjoying the nice cool air (15 degrees is awesome!).

I ended up finding a feather and some Rowan berries and leaves.

I’m also posting pics of my little window herb garden… update!!! 😀

Little Hike In The Woods


Plant Identification Adventures!

Yesterday, the man and I took out our dog, Pippa, and the dog I’m currently sitting for during the week (Foxy) out for a little adventure out in a small wooded area near our home. Unfortunately, around here, that’s pretty much it as far as wooded areas/forests go, sigh! Oh well.

So I took my camera to start doing some plant identification. I know I really won’t need to know too much for Ontario soon, but I’d like to get to know some good resources on the internet before I go out to BC. (I will be picking up a field guide once out there, though!)

So here are some pictures of our little adventure!

The man with Pippa and Foxy (Pippa’s the black doggy)

This little guy flew right in front of me, stayed for four shots,
then I looked at my display to make sure I got some good ones,
looked back, and he was gone 🙂

A fairy dwelling perhaps? 🙂