27 May, 2010

Flower Moon

Tonight is the Flower Moon or the Planting Moon.  The wildlife comes to full awakening in the month of May.  The late spring heat drives life forward and brings forth the early crops of the season.  Many people will enjoy the 3-day holiday weekend picnicing, going to the beach, enjoying parades and (hopefully) remember those who honorably served in the military and all its branches. 

The Flower Moon is a time for expanding and growing, metaphorically and in your garden.  For those of you that planted at the last full moon, it's time to move those plants to larger pots.  For those of you who have grown weary in your mundane lives, it's time to move yourself to another "pot."  Perhaps you need to quit the job that you dread going to every morning or just build up the courage to put in for that promotion.  If you've been out of work, maybe it's time to get back out there with your resumè. 

If you're going to be performing a ritual tonight and you're lucky enough to have nice weather (unlike those of us in the Northeast - thundershowers - whoo!) you may want to draw on that spring energy.  Light a few candles, grab those drums and head outside.  Dance around under the light and power of the full moon.  If you practice with your family, read or act out some spring themed myths from the pantheon you and/or your family feels closest with.


This myth is one of my favorites.  It's not a spring myth, but a moon myth.  Even though my mother's ancestors were Comanche Indians, I still love to read other American Indian myths.  This one is from the Pueblo tribes:
Why the Moon Has One Eye

Long ago, Moon and Sun were made to always keep watch over all of the children of the earth.  They kept their bright eyes on the earth all the time.  

Sun looked down from the sky during the days.  Under his bright light, the flowers and trees and other plants grew.  The birds flew and sang, and the animals went about their way.  The people also worked and played all throughout the day.  And that was good.

Moon looked down from the sky during the nights.  Her eyes were just as bright as those of her husband, the sun.  So it was that there was never any darkness.  Just as it was during the days, the flowers and trees and other plants grew.  The birds flew and sang, and the animals went about their way.  All throughout the night, the people worked and played.  And for a while, that was also good.

But because there was no darkness, it was hard for all the children of the earth to rest.  The flowers and trees and other plants grew without stopping, and they began to grow tired.  The branches of the trees hung down in weariness, and the corn found it hard to stand tall.  The flowers could barely lift their heads.  Because they were always flying and singing, the birds grew hoarse and their songs were no longer so beautiful.  The animals became so tired that it was hard for them to get food.  The people were so worn out from alwas working and playing that they no longer laughed and smiled.  They just walked about as if they were carrying great weights on their shoulders.

The moon and the sun saw that things upon the earth were no longer good for their children.

"We must do something so that our children can rest," the Moon said.

"I will give up one of my eyes," Sun said.  "Then it will no longer be as bright during the daytime."

"No," Moon said.  "It should be bright during the days.  There must be light so that our children can go about their way.  I am the one who must give up one of my eyes.  Then there will be darkness in the nights and things will be good again."

So it was that Moon gave up one of her eyes.  Now the night was no longer so bright as it had been.  All of the children of the earth - the plants, the birds and animals, and the people - could rest during that time of darkness.

Even though her light was less than before, Moon's one eye was still quite bright.  So it was that she decided to close her eye a little bit at a time throughout each month until it was all dark.  Then she would begin to open her eye again.

Although Moon has only one eye, the Pueblo people say that she is even more beautiful than she was before.  The sun is also beautiful, but his yes are so bright that no one can gaze directly at him without feeling pain.  Moon's light, though, is so gentle that even when she is at her brightest, the people can gaze up at her to give thanks for the gift of darkness that she gave through her sacrifice.  

- from The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales by James Bruchac and Joseph Bruchac, PhD. 

25 May, 2010

World Tarot Day!

In honor of World Tarot Day, I decided to try a new spread: The Ellipse Spread.  I'm not very good at it yet and I'm not fully sure what to make of my results nor how accurate the reading is.  I'm nervous about the question posed and I know how important it is to stay calm when doing a reading.  I think my negative/worried energies impacted the cards.  Here are the positions:

  1. Strength
  2. Wheel of Fortune (reversed)
  3. High Priestess
  4. 5 of Pentacles
  5. 10 of Swords
  6. Justice
  7. The Hanged Man
I know what each of these cards mean individually, but as I'm still learning the ins and outs of this spread, I'm not really sure if I'm reading this correctly.  I could really use some advice on this.  Email me: greenwillowofthewoodsATgmailDOTcom

24 May, 2010

June is Pagan Values Month!

Read all about how to participate on The Domestic Witch's post.  People participating will be posting about Pagan values all throughout the month of June. 

What does all this mean?  The month is being hosted by Pagan Values.  Here's how they explain the event:

Once again we are nearing the June Solstice.

The Sun is nearing its height in the Northern Hemisphere and nearly hidden from view in the Southern Hemisphere. Midsummer and Yule, festivals of fire and of light. Times to exuberantly celebrate all that makes life bright and wonderful, and to light our personal and familial candles and hearth fires of our inspiration and nourishment in celebration of our beloved living.

Once more I issue a Challenge and a Call to my fellow Pagans, of every Pagan faith and path, to join me in blogging about Pagan Values in the month of June.

I invite you to share those Values and Virtues and Ethics and Ideals that you have found within whatever your Paganism is. How do you carry these jewels out into the world, thus enriching it and yourself, in your daily lives? What has living your Values taught you? How have the Ethics or Ideals of your particular Paganism challenged you? What have you discovered about yourself in your relationships with the Gods, and the world around you, and with the Ancestors, and with the Spirits of the World around you – however your individual Pagan path defines these things?

Yours in Peace and Curiosity,

Pax, your editor

Monday Mutterings: Daily Tarot Draw

I haven't posted my daily tarot drawing in quite a bit and I found this one a bit alarming/amusing.

Today, I pulled the Empress card.  I must preface this with the fact that I've never drawn this card before.  The Empress represents the Great Mother or Nature herself.  She is mother to all.  In the Robin Wood tarot, she is depicted as a very pregnant woman turning a spinning wheel.  The spinning wheel is often used to symbolize time or the Wheel of the Year.  On the tree behind her is a carved sign of the female.  Essentially, this is a fertility card.

Perhaps this card has nothing to do with me (I hope not!).  Since it is Mother Nature, perhaps it has to do with the change of season or the new holiday or the full moon coming.  I'm not really sure.  I just really hope she's not for me.  I have no plans for children (unless they have fur) now or ever.  I'm not really the "mommy type."  *sigh*  I'll have to do some further readings tonight.  I'm not happy about this card.  Maybe one of you has an idea?

23 May, 2010

Lazy Sundays and Book Updates

About a month ago I wrote about my used book store find, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.  Well, it took me a while, but I finally sat down to read it yesterday and I finished it this morning.  I couldn't put the book down.  And everyone that posted about the book was right: it is a great read but very different from the movie.  Both are equally wonderful as I have a soft spot in my heart for Stockard Channing and Sandra Bullock and witchy reads. 

Plus, as an added bonus, the majority of the book took place in my neck of the woods: Long Island.  I had no idea when I read it since the film takes place on Cape Cod.  I often will complain that Long Island is a horrid place to live, but when I read books that take place here, it softens my heart a bit.  It's not that I hate the place or the people (all the time), but  I guess living in suburbia makes me feel less like a child of Nature.  Whenever I make the trip to our friend's log cabin in the Adirondacks or to our friends in Vermont, something in me just comes alive.  It's always smothered when I come back to this little sandbar in the Atlantic.  But, alas, I must continue to live here; my job is here and I would be a very big fool to give up my teaching job after just receiving tenure.  I'll just continue to lay down my weekly dollar for the lottery, save, save, save for a home of our own, place my loose change into the log cabin fund, and dream of retiring on a lake in the woods.

Yesterday I spoke of dream pillows and not really making them specific for a type of dream.  Maybe I'll have to conjure up something that will manifest my future home in the woods.  I think that might help make me rest easier.  At least I can escape to my little log cabin while I sleep.

22 May, 2010

Saturday Musings

I've been neglectful.  I'm sorry blog and blog readers.  It's not even that I haven't had the time to write.  I've had plenty of time.  I've just been so tired all the time.  I know why I'm tired, but I'm still confused on how to fix it.  I know I'm not normally too personal on here, but I suppose since I'm sharing my faith in the Goddess and the God, I guess being personal should be more a part of my writing.

I wake up frequently through the night in a panic.  It's been happening for years now.  I was on anti-depressants for over 3 years and a little over a year ago I phased off of them.  I didn't like the weight it put on me nor did I like the shadow I became.  But, I'm still waking in panic.  I've tried to keep the journal by my bedside and write down the things which wake me, but I can't seem to remember/know what it is I'm waking up for.  It's always the same.  I shoot up from a deep sleep, look at the clock, realize it's 2:37AM and I don't have to be awake until 5:30AM.  This process will repeat every hour until I wake again at 5:27AM and curse silently that I could have slept 3 more minutes until the alarm went off.  Then, I don't want to get up.  I'm tired.  I love my job teaching, but I pray to the God/dess everyday that work should start at 9AM instead of 7:20AM.  I think their deaf on the issue as nothing has changed.

So, since I'm tired all the time, physically and emotionally, I've decided to actually do something about it.  I know I need to start going to the gym again and eating healthier (again).  When I became ill 3 weeks ago with the sinus infection, I just made excuses for myself to slack off.  But, I've done all this before and waking panic still plagued me.  So, I thought a little bit of magick, prayer and craft work may help me.  I thought that it was about time I made myself a dream pillow.  I don't necessarily need to have a specific type of dream, but just the ability to dream and rest.  I'll be heading upstate next weekend to go camping and I can hopefully gather some supplies from the store I usually buy my herbs from.  I'd get started this weekend, but there is too much bustling around for birthdays and graduations.  But, the most important part of this is that I have a plan to help myself and maybe just the planning will help put my mind at ease, even if it's just slightly.  

16 May, 2010

The Hawthorn

On May 4th, the Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn began.  The Hawthorn tree is the guardian between the realms and is considered a protective and purifiying tree.  The month of May is also considered a month of lust and passion, probably because of the energies of Beltane which begin the month.

For those of you who are looking for love, this spell I found may open your heart or remove obstacles in finding it this month.

You Will Need:
- Some Hawthorn Blossoms or a picture of a Hawthorn tree
- A pink or lavender candle

Light the candle and say:
Hawthorn tree of power this night,
Open my heart to love's delight,
Free my thoughts and cleanse my mind,
And help me find a true love mine.
Then, scatter the Hawthorn blossoms in the wind or burn the picture and spread the ashes.

- Original spell by Mickie Mueller

15 May, 2010

I've been a bit obsessed . . .

with watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD.  It's reminded me a lot of my early teenage years.  My mom and I used to watch it on the WB when I was in middle/high school  Plus, it makes me miss True Blood.  I love me some vampires.  Especially this one:

13 May, 2010

It's done

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I just submitted my final paper for my research class.  I'm one step closer to my Masters Degree.  Now, I can really work on my blog!  I know I won't be getting an A in the class, but at least it's over. 

10 May, 2010

Monday Mutterings: New Moon

Grandmother moon is returning and as usual, I will spend the evening of the new moon meditating.  New Moons are a time to plant your seeds of intention for the Full Moon.  These are the things you want to work towards in the coming days and then, with the next New Moon, you can look are your intentions, wishes and/or hopes and re-evaluate them.  Are these your same dreams?  Have they come true?  Have they changed?  It's also good to not cross off or check off your intentions as they do come to light.  Take note of them or do a tarot reading to see if the intention is complete.

Some ideas for a New Moon ritual:
  • Start an intentions journal. At each New Moon, write down your wishes for yourself in the coming months/year(s).  As you work with your spells or with yourself, take note of which intentions come true and which ones don't.
  • Tend to your garden.  While you water your plants or give them compost or fertilizer (we put coffee grinds in with our tomatoes), think of how you'd like to grow yourself.  Picture yourself as the plant and how you'd like it to grow.
  • If you have children, you can do the first ritual in scrapbook form.  Have your children cut pictures of things that they dream for themselves.  If you're an avid scrapbooker, you may want to do this for yourself.  Sometimes having an image of the intention can help you meditate.

09 May, 2010

Guest Fur Baby: Tommy

I've mentioned a few times that I live with my Mom and since it's Mother's Day, I thought I'd post some pictures of her cat: Tommy.  We've had Tommy since he was about 3 days old.  No one was sure if he would live because we had to feed him with an eyedropper when he first came to us and he was so very tiny.  Well, 7 years later, he's 22lbs of orange fat cat.  My husband peered into the kitchen a little while ago and saw this:











I, of course, had to add a prop and take another photo from the front:







Doesn't he just look overjoyed to have his photo taken?

Happy Mother's Day (again) from Tommy the cat.

Kitchen Witch Questionnaire

Witchin' in the Kitchen posted a questionnaire about kitchen witchery and since I've been so busy writing my twenty page Grad school paper, I thought it would be a good blog post.  My brain is still in education/literature review mode, so I've been a bit lacking in my ideas for posts the past few days, hence my four day absence (sorry!). 

1. Does your magical name have anything to do with the kitchen, foods or herbs?
No, but it is a tree.
2. What do you think are the three most important tools for a kitchen witch?
A good cast iron pot (dutch oven), a mortar and pestal, and most importantly, patience.  Without that, none of your spells will come out right.
3. What do you do to make the kitchen the center of the home? Is it decorated in any special way? Do you have a kitchen altar?
Growing up, the kitchen was always where our family met for meals, to do homework or to just talk.  My mother (a Catholic with witchy tendencies - she'll deny it though) always thought that the family should eat together at least once during the day, so the kitchen has always been the heart of our home.  I don't currently have a kitchen altar because my husband and I are living with my parents.  However, I do have a plan for one when we purchase our first home together, hopefully next summer.
4. Which kitchen deity/deities, if any, do you feel closest to? How do you honor him/her/them?
I've always felt very close to Brigid.  I will often think of her when I'm preparing a kitchen spell or just a family dish.
5. What is your signature dish? Does it have a magical purpose? You can share the recipe unless it’s a secret.
Our family pasta sauce.  When I'm making it, I put my love and intentions into it.  The smell is a reminder of family and warmth.  I'd share the recipe if I were allowed, but alas, family secrets must stay secret.
6. What are your favorite cookbooks? They can be magical or non-magical.
Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom, The Green Wiccan Herbal, Scott Cunningham's Magical Herbalism, Any South Beach Cookbook, and Witch in the Kitchen.
7. What is your favorite food?
I love too many types of foods to list them all here.  However, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Sushi.  I LOVE sushi.
8. What is your least favorite?
I'll try anything once, but no matter how many times I've tried mushrooms, I still don't like them. 
9. Do you like to listen to the television or listen to music while you are in the kitchen? If so, what?
I do a little of both, but it depends on the time of day or who is with me.  If I'm cooking alone I do tend to watch TV (especially if General Hospital is on!) but if my husband is helping me, we'll choose some mood music.  When we lived on our own, we listened to a lot of music when we cooked.  There was a lot of Tori Amos and Soundgarden (they're his favorite) if I do remember correctly.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  Even though I'm just a mother of fur children, they did show me some extra love this morning.  However, I know most of my readers have actual human children, so I hope they shower you with kisses and love today (and everyday!).

Today is also a day to honor our Earth mother as well.  Lay in the grass with your arms open wide and hug her, kiss her and whisper into the ground how much you love her. 

04 May, 2010

A Fur Baby Tuesday

Well, I haven't been able to take any great pictures of the kitties until today.  It's been so rainy and all they've been doing is sleep.  So, today both of the boys went outside to play:

They sniffed some of the plants:














And then thought about sniffing some other plants:
















And played near the hose:












And attempted to hide behind a bush:














And we also hid under the bench:
Such silly fur babies!

03 May, 2010

Post-Beltane Reflections

This past Saturday I attended my first (large) Pagan group gathering.  A friend of mine was selling her wares at the craft/show portion of the gathering.  I unfortunately did not get to dance around the maypole because I had to proctor the SATs that morning.  Perhaps next year.  I was excited to feel such positive energy from the majority of the people there and I did not really know any of them beyond my small group of friends.

The ritual was wonderful.  Janet and Stewart Farrar, author's of the Witches' Bible, acted as High Priest and Priestess.  I could not of asked for a better Beltane gift.  Now, I did not get as emotional during the ritual as many of the other women there, as I have no interest in conceiving ever anytime in the near future.  I felt the magically energy around me during the ritual, but I could barely hear Janet or Stewart speaking.  Maybe it was because I was directly behind the drums or maybe it was for another reason (I wasn't meant to hear it).  I'm not sure if it was just the drums because my friends were also right behind them and could hear perfectly.  I'm more of the mind that I'm not ready to hear the words of a fertility ritual yet.  Let's just say, I wasn't rubbing the maypole for any reason.  I danced around it, but I dare not touch it.


I hope everyone had an amazing Beltane.  I'm still reeling from all the energy sprang from such a large group.  I never knew magic could feel that powerful.
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