Apr 30, 2014

Dancing Into May

"Come with prong, and come with fork,
Like the devil of their talk,
And with wildly rattling sound,
Prowl the desert rocks around!
Screechowl, owl,
Join in chorus with our howl!"

~exerpt from The First Walpurgis Night (1835)
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The owls have been calling.  The dragons (in boat form) have come out onto the water. I've even come across a serpent by the riverside, sunning itself in the unseasonable heat.

The in-between time is here again.  While others excitedly watch the snow melt and give thanks for the green returning, we are already watering our lawns and gardens here in the desert end of The Valley.  We are at the tipping point of summer already. Spring has been a lightening bolt. A bright flash of color, and now the blossoms have become leaves and the strawberries are rapidly forming tiny fruit.

Even the flowers blooming this time of year speak of liminal spaces (if you buy into flower symbolism and magic.)  According to Tess Whitehurst's "The Magic of Flowers: A Guide to Their Metaphysical Uses and Properties," both Lilac and Narcissus (daffodil) open the doorway between the phyical realm and the otherworld.

"...while lilac is more about the connection between us and our deceased loved ones, narcissus is more about life, springtime, rebirth, and the beneficent beings of light associated with these energies, such as angels and faeries."

A little last minute advice: if you stay up to greet the faeries (or other wiley folk) tonight feel free to give them libations, but don't partake of what they might offer. Not all otherworldy folk are "beneficent beings of light." There is plenty of folklore to caution that if you eat or drink otherworldy offerings, you may find yourself very far from home.

As we dance our way into May, I wish you a festive and fertile spring and a vibrant and fruitful growing season ahead.  May your crops be healthy and plentiful.  May your projects and passions bring you all you desire.

SlĂ inte!

Apr 23, 2014

Spring Madness

The rains have come to The Valley and everything is madness.

Each blossom, leaf, catkin, and every other thing holding tightly to itself in bud form, has burst forth in exuberance and sweet relief.  It will not be this green, this sweet-smelling again.  

Saskatoon berry blossoms

I could hear the frogs long before I reached them today.  And when I did arrive at the pond, their calls were so loud that I was entirely overcome.  I stood there for ages, swaying like a crazy person, drunk on the sound echoing in my ears.  So very quickly, as if it wanted to join them, my heartbeat matched the song of the frogs. 



I'd still be there rocking back and forth, my heart singing with the inhabitants of that pond, if someone hadn't stopped on the road above the river to look down at the strange girl keeling from side to side. I must have looked like I was having an episode. I waved and continued my walk, but I swear that my heart is still back there somewhere by the water in the midst of a thousand calling frogs.

Apr 13, 2014

Tickling My Fancy

I've been running amok in the spring weather that we have been gifted here in the west. I've spent the last few weeks planting cold-hardy veggies and watching the perennials wake from their winter sleep.  There is a good lot of magic happening in the gardens right now and I can barely stand to be inside.  There is still office work, and there has been much spring cleaning, but I get outside as often as I can to breathe in the scent of the earth stirring.

There are many tales to be told of spring and new life, but for now I'm just leaving a few notes on some things that are tickling my fancy this week.

~ We are on the verge of a full moon and a lunar eclipse.  Tomorrow night and early into Tuesday morning, I'll be out watching the moon turn red.  For those of you in the west running on Pacific time with me, that means we'll see the partial eclipse by about 11pm, the full eclipse around midnight on Monday, and the maximum eclipse hitting about 12:45am on Tuesday.  Adjust for your time zone, and happy eclipse viewing (if you decide to stay up to see it!)

~ As the sister of a cellar master at a local vineyard, I'm always intrigued by a well-run winery. The April issue of Chatelaine magazine mentioned Southbrook Vineyards in Ontario, which is not only organic, but employs biodynamics on their land.

...Bill is also fond of tea.  He even puts it on his vines in lieu of pesticide. "It sounds weird, but it works," he says. "And it's so safe that you can wear a bathing suit while spraying it."  Southbrook was the first organic, biodynamic winery in Canada; sheep graze in the vineyard to fertilize the vines, and the phases of the moon determine when it's time to plant and harvest.  (Chatelaine, April 2014 pg. 174)

~ Today I drove by a Sikh temple and noticed that they were having their celebration of Vaisakhi.  They replace the saffron-coloured fabric of the flagpole that holds their holy flag, the Nishan Sahib.  It's a gloriously happy and colourful celebration, and although there is obviously no connection between the two observations, it always reminds me that May Day is just around the corner.    

*cough*  Very large pole.  *cough*

~ The Easter candy has been out on the store shelves since February 15th and I've been avoiding it valiantly - until today, when I found "bunny money."  Think Hanukkah coins, but in pastel colors, with rabbits and carrots embossed on them.  I'm not sure how they taste, but I'm devising a few different ways to use them in prosperity work.  Coins...mulitplying bunnies...carrots (carats?)  At the very least, I'll get chocolate out of the deal.

~  I'm reading "Blackberry Cove Herbal - Traditional Appalachian Herbalism" by Linda Ours Rago, which I ordered after hearing the recording of the Appalachian Folk Traditions panel from the Sacred Space conference.  It's a beautiful book to hold and to read, and I'm savouring it like a letter from an old friend.

"Also regarding the foxglove plant (digitalis) - bury a foxglove flower in Moon-light, and the foxes will give you 'the second sight'. Bury one at noon, and they will send you gold."

See you under the moon!