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First Fruits

corn

corn

We were talking about Lughnasadh (Lammas) on the Blog Talk Radio “The Priestess Show” last Friday.  Of course when asked what the Sabbat means to me personally I talked about Corn, just like I did in my first year’s blog post.  But if I had to sum up the point of the Sabbat it is about celebrating abundance.

In a year where the harvest is iffy that may be a little more challenging.  The corn is  really just starting to come in from the fields fully ripe.  There are still raspberries, very late in the season.  The apples are barely green and so small I have to wonder if they’ll ripen before the frost.

Financially things are tight, and promising to get tighter.  More people may be employed, but if you’re not work is hard to find.  Salaries have stayed the same but gas, milk and beef prices continue to climb.  If the corn harvest is poor all three commodities will get even more expensive.  Honey is harder and harder to come by as the bee populations diminish.  Without bees many other crops will also suffer.

seen better days

seen better days

This is the climate in which we gather to celebrate abundance.  The thing is, abundance is subjective.  It is useful to be aware of the problems in the world.   But if we become too focused on what’s wrong we quickly get unhappy, losing all track of what is going right.  We have a culture that encourages us always to want more.  We are bombarded with marketing for the next new thing (to replace the one we just bought because it’s out of date.)

Someone once told me that contentment is being happy with what you actually have.  Most of us have more than enough of something.  I am reminded that what is one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure.  Take a look at the Landfill Orchestra.   How about getting help with mobility.  Even a small bit of food can be abundance to a hungry child.

Let’s take some time in this early harvest season to be grateful for the bounty in our lives.  Let’s see if we can find an abundance that we can share with someone in need.    I know I could use more practice at being content.  Simple things are often the hardest.

Abundance

Abundance

Blessed Be.

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Ancestors

Between the late season and my asthma I haven’t spent a lot of time in the garden this year.   I was on Blog Talk Radio the other day talking about magic in the garden.  I mentioned one of the beds I have is an ancestor garden.  Given that it’s Memorial Day Monday and that I’ve been trying to get the annuals in (between thunder showers) that seemed to be a good topic for today’s blog.

Heather doesn't grow well here, and the lavender doesn't winter well so my Irish heritage gets a pot this year.

Heather doesn’t grow well here, and the lavender doesn’t winter well so my Irish heritage gets a pot this year.

My ancestor garden is the one along side the driveway, next to the entry we most frequently use.  That way I see it all the time, winter and summer.  Winter gardens are a real challenge up here, and my ancestor bed doesn’t make it, but just knowing it’s there under the snow is a reminder that my ancestors may no longer be with me, but that they are still there.

My ancestors are a mish-mash.  I have represented ancestors of blood, ancestors of heart, and ancestors of spirit.  My best friend from college is an ancestor of heart.  He died 16 years ago and I still miss him almost every day. You’ve seen my bulbs, the tulips and hyacinths.  (The trails are fading under the lavender.)  He was a big fan of the spring flower shows.  The bulbs I started there were from a spring planter he’d gifted to me the year before he died.  My hope in the spring is also a hope that he’s still watching out for me.  I usually manage to get a fall mum in for him as well.

viola's (the nursery was out of pansy's)

viola’s (the nursery was out of pansy’s)

My grandmother’s were both gardeners.  My maternal grandmother grew sweet peas, but I’ve never gotten them to go.  She also grew pansy’s and petunias.  This year I put in viola’s for her.  Those old-fashioned wild flowers are all very much representative of her country farm wife ways.  My other grandmother had a flair for the exotic.  She’d plant cotton bringing the seeds back from a trip south.  Or she’d plant silver dollars for good fortune.  There’s a hybrid daisy that thrives in that garden for her.  The colors are bright and cheerful and I’ve never found another in the seed catalogues quite like it.  Maybe I’ll post a photo when it blooms.

dusty miller sometimes winters over, but this is a new plant.

dusty miller sometimes winters over, but this is a new plant.

The kid’s paternal grandmother loved dusty miller.  It was her favorite, I asked.  I don’t particularly care for the plant, but when I put it in honoring her, it even winters over.  I’ve come to appreciate its strength, resilience and alien simplicity.  Now when I see it grow I smile and think of her kindness and patience.

For ancestors of the spirit you may see some Russian sage coming up between the chocolate mint.  The sage is for one of my teachers.  Russian sage is perennial and he had a fondness for Occidental cultures.  The mint is a nod to the cooks, family and otherwise, who have influenced me along the way.  I got it out of a friend’s garden in Detroit so there is an extra nod to her along the way.

Chocolate mint and Russian sage

Chocolate mint and Russian sage

The cycle of the garden is a microcosm of the cycle of life.  Honoring my ancestors in this way I spend time tending their memories throughout the growing season and even in the winter.  I pick and choose my annuals, filling in the blanks and sometime adding a new memorial for a season or as a permanent addition.  These people are my foundation.  They continue to nurture me in my journey as I nurture my garden.   Blessed Be.

Spells

100_4243I was on Pagan’s Tonight Blog Talk Radio, The Priestess Show last Friday and we were talking about spells.  Somewhere doing the interview I promised to write more about spell work on my Monday blog.  So here goes.

One of the most interesting things that I got out of talking with Stephanie Neal was the idea that we are the spell.  That everything we do has an effect, an impact.  That all of our words, our thoughts and our actions move out into the world and interact with it for good or ill.  This idea is not new to me, but thinking of it as a spell is.

We are the spell we put into the world.  What we send out grows like a seed.  What comes back are the fruits of our spell.  We are the spell we put into the world. – It ought to be some kind of a chant, don’t you think?100_3605

That reminder, that focus of our intention is the core of spell work for me.  I know that when I focus my intention and truly put my desires out I have seen miracles.  I also know that the thing most likely to interfere with that process is me.  I am extraordinarily talented at getting in my own way, I think most of us are on occasion.

I talked about that in the interview as well.  That I find spells useful, as a recipe to get out of my own way.  Doing a spell sort of bypasses that whole debate about whether or not I’m worthy of what I ask for.  Following a recipe avoids that annoying little judgmental voice in my head.  “You’re just  being greedy.”   “What would you do with that if you got it anyway?”  “Don’t you think you’re getting ahead of yourself?”  “Why should you get that?  You don’t deserve it.  You haven’t worked enough for it.”

If my core belief is that love is pure energy; That it is abundant and ever renewing;  That love is something that grows when it is used; there is no call for that kind of judgment.  There is so much out there bigger than I am.  There is so much out there with a wider vision, a broader perspective on the arc of my life that I have.  What do I know about what I might and might not be able to achieve if I plant that seed of desire?  We are the spell we put into the world…..

We touched a little bit in the interview on timing.  We talked about the people who consult the astrology charts and have to do their workings in the proper timeframe with the exact ingredients with all the right associations.  Not to dismiss that process because all those things do help.  The more meaning built into what we are doing the more likely we are to succeed.  Doesn’t that apply to everything?

What we didn’t talk about is that space before taking an action.  That space where we do a divination or sit in meditation to find if doing a spell is what we really need.  When I said sometimes the best spell is a shot of scotch and stepping up to the plate I really did mean sometimes just sucking it up and taking direct action is better that crafting a spell.  Think about it this way.  If you are looking for a job you can do a spell to make a job fall into your lap.   Or you can get your resume together and start stopping in at businesses and making phone calls.   Which is more effective?  Asking the Universe for a job or asking a potential employer?

But sometimes we need both.  Sometimes doing the spell is what we need to step into that interview process with the confidence that you deserve a job.  Sometimes doing the spell is what allows us to look “outside the box”, potentially applying in a different field or asking for the promotion to a different department.  But it doesn’t work the other way around.  Just doing the spell and not doing the legwork isn’t getting us anywhere.  The best spell is sometimes BEING the spell we put out into the world.

tnI want to be a successful author.  I want to promote and sell my book, Manifest Divinity.  So when I crafted the prosperity spell I performed on the air I took a look at all of those things.  How do I get in my own way?   I need to allow my passion to be seen rather than “hiding my light under a bushel.”   I need to take the opportunities I’m given to speak about my work.  I want to make sure that what I am putting into the world is growing energy, benefiting others as it benefits me.  I looked at what would it take for me to believe in that kind of abundance as it applied to my own prosperity.

Here is the text of the spell I did on the air:

Spirits of the North I call to you and ask your aid in increasing my prosperity.  May there be increase in sales of my book as a symbol of increased prosperity.

Spirits of the East I call to you and ask your aid in increasing my prosperity.  May there be increase in my ability to promote myself and my work, especially my book.

Spirits of the South I call to you and ask your aid in increasing my prosperity.  May there be increase in my efforts to share my passion for the book I’ve written.

Spirits of the West I call to you and ask your aid in increasing my prosperity.  May there be increase in the flow and exchange that what prospers me prospers others.

Spirits of the North I call to you and ask your aid in increasing my prosperity.  May there be increase in sales of my book as a symbol of increased prosperity.

I place this dime within the circle of elements.  As like attracts like so may I see more money coming into my accounts.

I light this candle to charge this spell.  While it burns may the gifts of the elements work within me.  May this spell flourish and bring bounteous fruition by the time the flame burns out.100_4237

I ask the blessing of the Lord and Lady upon my work and upon this working.

As I will

So Mote It Be

We did the show on Friday night.  Sunday I got an email from my publisher (Immanion Press) with the contract for a poem I wrote to be included in an upcoming anthology on Pagans and Disability.  This is a piece I submitted almost a year ago.  Go figure.

We are the spell we put into the world.

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