Aug 28, 2009

How Does Your River Flow?

"We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon,that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and we ask that they teach us, and show us the way."
American Indian, Chinook Blessing Litany, Earth Prayers from Around the World, 1991

I was listening to a podcast by Thorn Coyle today - she has a show called "Elemental Castings" that I find wonderfully informative. She usually does interviews and each show is conducted according to one of the five elements.

The latest podcast was under the element Water, and was simply Thorn doing a reading from her newest book "Kissing the Limitless" and answering some questions as well as revealing that her path is changing. Although she has been part of the Feri Tradition for years, she has decided to no longer teach the tradition as her journey is now encompassing many other paths.

One of the things she mentions in this podcast is how the current of your life is contained by river banks and sometimes you may need a wider boundary and so your river may overflow the banks. I find it interesting that this came up today because many of the blogs I've been reading feature stories of people who's "life current" is moving in different directions or overflowing their banks.

I've been feeling quite a bit of restlessness myself - a feeling that I need to perhaps change my course or stretch my wings - or overflow my banks. I have some ideas on how to input some of this change, but I get nervous because I worry about what my family and friends will think. (I don't pay too much attention to the disapproval of strangers - so that's something, I guess!)

Thorn says in her podcast that when she made her change, there were some people who were disappointed, but she was mostly met with support, love and respect. She says once we dare to go for what our soul longs for, the Universe will support us.

I find this incredibly encouraging. I know that change often rocks the boat - but I think if it's change that flows with the true current of your life, things can't help but balance out. There may be some shedding of the old, in terms of relationships, but in the long run I think the payoff is worth it to live a life that's more genuine to who you really are.

I'm looking forward to seeing how my fellow bloggers find their true current, and I'll let you know how things go as I make some changes of my own!

Photo is by Rue - The river where I walk.

Aug 26, 2009

What Is In Your Arsenal?


I've been struggling a bit with my health lately - nothing serious - just a touch of some bug or another. Feeling achy, run-down and generally blah.
What I find interesting, is that when I take an active role in chosing things to improve my health, with positive intent, I heal faster than if I just dose myself with some over-the-counter cure all.

These are a few things in my Health Arsenal: *Manuka Honey - bee hives are placed in Tea Tree orchards where the bees collect pollen that is high in antibacterial properties. Combined with the natural healing power of honey, this is a super way to attack any bug that is invading your system! I'm told it's great for wounds as well, but I've never used it this way. I take one teaspoon a day and it usually fends off whatever cold is going around. This honey is also available in lozenge form, mixed with ginger and echinacea. (A side note: I like to make sure I'm taking Acidophilus to put the 'good' bacteria back into my system, when I'm taking this highly anti-bacterial honey!) 

*St. John's Wort - a proven stress-buster and very helpful for someone like me who suffers from occasional bouts of insomnia. If you have access to the plant itself, you can make a tincture that helps fight viruses. 

*Crystals - I use crystals for many different reasons. I carry a Hematite with me when I need to feel more grounded. For emotional upheaval, I have Lapis (usually stuffed into my bra, near my heart.) And for general feelings of icky-ness (my 'state' of late) I carry Amethyst for it's strong healing, cleansing, and protective energies.

*Peppermint Tea - cures a host of ills, but I mostly use it for an upset tummy. I find that my Arsenal changes a bit, from season to season - I add some stronger immune-boosters in the winter, and try to lighten up in the summer, adding plenty of fresh air. Two other things that are essential for me are exercise (which I don't often get enough of) and laughter (see previous post.) If I can get in some yoga or a walk, and catch up with the girlfriends for a good laugh, or find a good movie, or great music to groove to - my health blossoms.

I'd love to know what everyone keeps in their Arsenal.

Blessings of good health to all!


*picture via creative commons (link)

Aug 21, 2009

Daily Ritual

Now that the intense heat has made a reappearance, I find that my morning practice is falling by the wayside again.

By the time I am up, kittens sufficiently cuddled and treats given, coffee started, garden watered, it is so hot that I don't feel like doing my usual meditations. On a good day (one that doesn't start off at 85 degrees at 7am) I am able to get the above done in good time, and then devote anywhere from a half hour to an hour to greeting the elements and Deity, doing some yoga, and meditating. Or, when it's not ridiculously hot, I go out for a walk by the river and that usually accomplishes most of my practice in one activity. (Some oxygen going to my bloodstream, appreciation of the elements and some time to reflect.) It's amazing what I can squeeze into half an hour, but it leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed and ready to start my day.

On days like today though - I am exhausted already. The heat and humidity are opressive. Even in an air conditioned home, I am dragging myself around just waiting for the coffee to kick in. And when I'm not feeling up to par, haven't had enough sleep, or during my moon time, I just can seem to get myself motivated enough to worry about my practice.

I know that for one, I am too hard on myself. Many people have difficulty doing daily ritual - life just gets in the way. I don't have kids to rush off to school, or a husband to kiss at the door (or wave at from the bed.) But because I'm always running, it seems like the morning is the best, and most quiet time to do my reconnecting. Plus, it's the one time of the day that doing physical activity doesn't result in me bursting into flame!

I'm wondering what you do as far as daily practice or ritual. Is it as simple as lighting a candle each day, or do you find time to do an established routine? Do you incorporate exercise, or get your exercise another way, and just take a moment to connect or meditate? I'd love to know how others are able to squeeze a little spirituality into their day!

*picture via Creative Commons (link)

Aug 19, 2009

The Land Where Grapes Grow Wild

"The sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do." Galileo Galilei

This picture was taken by a river where I walk in the mornings. Grapes grow wild over a rundown fence that surrounds just under an acre of ignored land. An old house sits there too - needing to be pulled down. The land owners live somewhere else - in the big city, I think. There is a tiny modular house near the road access, and sometimes I think I see someone living there. But it is a mostly forgotten place. Fruit trees grow lanky and untamed. Lilacs bushes sprout everywhere, nearly choking out the grapes. The grass remains un-mowed.

But there is magic on that land. Something about it has always called to me. I walk by and I can see the gardens I have planted. The house I have built. The barn. The porch. I see the fruit trees pruned and healthy. I see the grape trained properly and growing with vitality, not struggling to find sunlight. I see the lilacs kept in check, and blooming beautifully. I see my neices running barefoot, large bonfires with friends, quiet rituals without the glare of neighbours security lights in my backyard.

I dream of finding the owners and buying the property. But land like that, even forgotten, is worth a mint. And unless a mint (or a cash truck, or the winning lotto numbers) falls from the sky, I will have to be content with my morning walks and my imagination.

And a few wild grapes, when they ripen...

Aug 17, 2009

Pumpkin Flowers



I was gazing at my Baby Boo pumpkin plants today, and noticed for the first time that the little flowers blossoming all over it, looked like stars. How I could have missed this all these years, I don't know, but it got me thinking about the pumpkin plant, and how magical it is.

Here is some assorted lore:

The astrological correspondence of the pumpkin is the moon, and as such, it's elemental correspondence is water. The flowers appear celestial, with their star shapes, and I think they would be lovely to use in a ritual or as an altar decoration. The pumpkin is a symbol of the harvest, abundance and protection.

Here's a fun fact: According to Wikipedia, the "fear of being turned into a pumpkin" is called: apocolocynposis. Hmm...and I felt silly for being afraid of clowns?

*picture via Creative Commons

Aug 14, 2009

Rain




"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It's raining today. Finally. We've waited for what seems like an eternity. But it has finally broken through the teasing clouds, and quenched us. The grass has sprung back to a shade of green I haven't seen since May. The flowers are no longer dusty and sad-looking. The ducks are converging on my yard, thinking that there is a new lake in town.

We are getting an exorbitant amount of rain. There is an extreme rainfall warning for a town about 40min away - but we are handling it okay. Except for the local business who is pumping out its underground parking lot...

It has been a busy day nonetheless. I took the kittens to the vet for their one-year shots. I tried not to cry. *face turning red in shame that I am such a sap* We got home unscathed (although the vet almost lost his hand - Dexter was not amused with him for some reason) and I made some shortbread cookies and put on a pot of tea. It feels like Fall today. Slippers on, sweater draped over my shoulder...now where is that box of Autumn decorations... Tomato soup for lunch with crackers. Comfort food.

Flipping through the new "Country Gardens Magazine." I had to pick it up because it had pumpkins on the front - of course. It's so-so, but there is a Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe in there that may be worth the cover price, all on it's own. I'll try it, and if it's half as good as it looks, I'll post the recipe.
Must take some time to meditate later, as I hit the ground running this morning. 

In closing, and in the spirit of this rainy day, I offer you this Irish Blessing:
"May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire."

Aug 10, 2009

You've Got To Love A Parade! Well...As Long As There Are No Clowns...

This past Saturday I dragged my Mom to the next town to watch the Peach Festival Parade. We sat along Main street with thousands of other crazies...I mean....revellers, and watched the hour-plus parade make it's way down to the lakeshore.

I'm not one for crowds, but I would easily become a hermit if not for making myself get out into the fray from time to time. So away we went. And it was FUN. The floats were cute and clever. The bagpipes were very bag-pipey. The marching band from Seattle (Seattle State, I think) was spectacular! All the usual suspects were there. Horses, kids, Shriners, and....Darth Vader? Ummm......

The only part where I had to cover my eyes and try not to moan, while rocking back and forth, was when the clowns came by. Goddess help me, I just can't do clowns. I'm not a wimp. I've jumped out of an airplane. But clowns....hell, no.

Clowns aside, it was a great time, and I'm glad I took part in at least one summer activity that didn't involve me hiding somewhere that had air-conditioning.

















Aug 3, 2009

August Full Moon



The full moon is on Wednesday, August 5th.

Owing to the approximately 500 fires now burning in British Columbia, the moon in my sky looks more like a harvest moon - glowing a bright orange from all the smoke and haze.

The August full moon is often called the Sturgeon Moon. The Native American fishing tribes gave the August full moon it’s name, due to the fact that Sturgeon were more easily caught this time of year. The Sturgeon are large fish that used to be plentiful in the Great Lakes and other larger water bodies, until they were fished nearly to extinction for the collection of their roe (as caviar.)

This moon is also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon, likely as a note of the first harvest.
I'm getting my large serving tray out to hold all my crystals that I'll be charging under the moon.
What are your plans for the full moon?


*picture via Creative Commons


Aug 1, 2009

Farmers Market Finds

Oh, what a glorious thing - a trip to the Farmers Market!

I didn't fill my basket as full as I usually do - I decided to streamline my buying with tomorrow's "Girls Night" in mind.

My Ranch-friend is having the Girls up for appies and drinks (I can hear the blender now...ahhh...) so I bought garlic, a baguette and gorgeous tomatoes to make bruschetta for the gathering. (The sunflowers and apricots are a treat for me!) I'll add a pepper from my garden, and some basil from my herb pot, and a pinch of mozzarella for the top. A quick broil, and voila! A light, flavourful snack.

The only downside, is that we can't have a bonfire as we usually do, because the area is so dry right now. But that's okay - we should be able to resume our bonfire nights next month if we get some rain.

There really is nothing better than sitting down at a farm table full of flickering candles, and appetizers, with a lime daquiri in hand, surrounded by my funny, wild, lovely friends!

Cheers!